Now that Elden Ring has been out for a while, players are starting to make some serious progress in it. Based on achievement and trophy stats, about half of players are halfway through the game, while more than one-quarter of players have already finished it.
If you’re somewhere in the middle, though, you may be wondering how many optional quests you want to complete before finishing things up. And one of the best quests in the game belongs to Ranni the Witch.
You’ll first meet Ranni early on, in the Church of Elleh. There, she’ll give you a Spirit Calling Bell, which lets you summon various creatures to aid you as you progress through the game. (If you miss her, you can simply buy the Bell in Roundtable Hold.) Although she claims your paths are unlikely to cross again, you can indeed track her down if you visit Ranni’s Rise in the northwest corner of Liurnia of the Lakes. There, she’ll send you on a long, involved quest, where you’ll have to make your way through a dangerous optional area called Nokron, the Eternal City.
Ranni’s quest has a lot of optional components, and how to complete it varies significantly depending on where in the game you are. The Elden Ring wiki (opens in new tab) does a fantastic job breaking down the individual steps of the quest, and there’s no real reason to rehash that information here.
However, it is worth breaking down exactly what you get out of Ranni’s quest, and whether it’s worth the effort. After all, Elden Ring is already a huge, difficult game, and completing Ranni’s quest adds another layer of difficulty and complication to the mix. Here’s what you get out of completing Ranni’s quest — and what you’ll miss if you skip it.
Lore and character development
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The main reward you’ll get out of any Elden Ring quest, Ranni’s included, is lore. Elden Ring, like the Souls games that preceded it, has a dense and complicated story, which doesn’t reveal all that much in mandatory cutscenes. If you want to learn more about the Lands Between, you’ll have to meet a variety of characters and listen carefully to what they say.
Without spoiling too much, Ranni is a vital character for the game’s main narrative thread, even though her quest is optional. Queen Rennala gives a few hints about Ranni after you fight her, as does Gideon Ofnir when you talk to him in Roundtable Hold. Ranni, as well as her servants Blaidd, Seluvis and Iji, fill in the rest of the details.
While Ranni’s backstory isn’t absolutely vital to understanding Elden Ring, she’s an interesting character, and reveals a few things about the game’s plot that you wouldn’t learn otherwise.
One of Elden Ring’s great joys is confronting the varied and difficult bosses you’ll come across as you explore. Following Ranni’s questline is absolutely vital if you want to fight one optional boss, and will put you on the right path for another one.
When you first approach Ranni’s Rise, you’ll have to square off against Glintstone Dragon Adula, but the beast mysteriously disappears about halfway through the fight. If you follow Ranni’s quest through to completion, you’ll get to confront Adula once again, plus two other similar glintstone dragons that occupy the surrounding area.
The bigger draw, however, is Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, which you’ll encounter if you take a side path in the underground Lake of Rot area. Astel is an enormous and tricky boss, and quite different from just about any other foe in the game. If you’ve played Bloodborne, you may find Astel reminiscent of the bosses in that game.
The Dark Moon Greatsword
In just about every From game, you can find a phenomenal late-game weapon called the Moonlight Sword, or some variation thereof. In Elden Ring, it’s the Dark Moon Greatsword, and completing Ranni’s quest is the key to finding it.
To acquire the Dark Moon Greatsword, you’ll have to complete Ranni’s entire quest, which culminates with giving her the Dark Moon Ring. Without detailing how to complete the whole sequence of events, it’s worth noting that you can find the Dark Moon Ring next to Queen Rennala in the Raya Lucaria Grand Library. Ranni’s Discarded Palace Key will open the chest.
As in previous From games, the Dark Moon Greatsword is a beast of a weapon. To wield it, players will need 16 Strength, 11 Dexterity and 38 Intelligence. The sword scales poorly with STR and DEX, but reasonably well with Intelligence, making it an excellent companion for sorcerous characters. To upgrade it, you’ll need to use Somber Smithing Stones.
The third ending
Here’s where we get into mild spoiler territory. I’ll refrain from revealing anything significant, but be warned that Ranni’s quest can affect Elden Ring’s ending. Simply completing the quest won’t lock you into anything, though.
Without getting into too much detail, there are three possible major endings in Elden Ring. One of them requires a convoluted sequence of actions beneath the royal capital, Leyndell, which your maiden, Melina, explicitly warns you against. Another is the game’s default ending, which you can unlock just by completing the game normally.
The third ending is the culmination of Ranni’s narrative throughline. If you want to see Ranni’s ending — and be aware that this will lock you out of the other two choices — look for Ranni’s summon sign after you defeat the final boss. Once you summon her, a cutscene will begin and you’ll see what her quest was leading up to.
However, if you complete Ranni’s quest and decide you want the default ending anyway, that’s fine, too. Simply don’t summon Ranni after the final boss, and you can choose the default ending instead.