Hornsent questline walkthrough for Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree



Meet Hornsent and help him find revenge (… or kill him)

Hornsent is an NPC you’ll meet at the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace early on in Elden Ring’s Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

He’s got a couple maps to give you, but his questline gets a lot more intricate once you reach the Shadow Keep.

Hornsent is also not to be confused with Hornsent Grandam, who is another NPC you’ll find locked away in Belurat.

Our Elden Ring DLC guide will walk you through where to find Hornsent, and all the steps you’ll need to take to complete his questline, including the Hornsent or Leda choice.

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Hornsent locations

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Hornsent moves around a bit as you progress through the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

  1. You’ll meet Hornsent for the first time not too far into the Gravesite Plain. He’ll be hanging out with Redmane Freyja at the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace.
  2. After you defeat Rellana, Twin Moon Knight at Castle Ensis, he’ll move to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace on Scadu Altus. He’s hanging out with Needle Knight Leda there. Their questlines interweave for a bit until Hornsent gets involved in your journey into Shadow Keep.
  3. The final location is an invasion outside of the Church of the Bud in the Rauh Ruins region.

Hornsent first meeting in Gravesite Plain

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Hornsent at the Gravesite Plain
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

From the start of Shadow of the Erdtree at the Gravesite Plain Site of Grace, you’ll follow the road north. Past the Scorched Ruins and your first Furnace Golem, you’ll come to the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace.

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Talk to both Redmane Freyja and Hornsent there and exhaust both of their dialogues. Hornsent will give you the Cross Map that marks the locations of a few Miquella’s Crosses.


Hornsent second meeting in Scadu Altus

Before you meet Hornsent again, you’ll have to go through Belurat, Tower Settlement and defeat the Divine Beast Dancing Lion. And then you’ll have to explore Castle Ensis and defeat Rellana, Twin Moon Knight.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player speaking with Hornsent at the Scadu Altus
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

After all of that, you’ll meet up with Hornsent and Needle Knight Leda at the Highroad Site of Grace in Scadu Altus. This time, Hornsent will give you the New Cross Map that marks a few more Miquella’s Crosses.

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If you want to, you can give him some Scorpion Stew from Hornsent Grandam. It gives you a little extra dialogue, but it doesn’t seem to affect their questlines.


Lift the charm and return to Hornsent and Leda

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree notification that a powerful charm has broken near the Shadow Keep
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Before anything else can happen with Hornsent, you need to approach Shadow Keep. Just before you reach the front door, you’ll get a pair of messages — Somewhere, a great rune has broken…” and “And so too has a powerful charm.” These both relate to Miquella and the NPCs you’ve met so far.

Head inside of Shadow Keep to unlock the Shadow Keep Main Gate Site of Grace, but do not fight the Golden Hippopotamus yet. Instead, warp back to the Highroad Site of Grace.

Speak with both Hornsent and Leda. Make sure you exhaust both of their dialogues.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player speaking to Hornsent after the charm was broken
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Summon Hornsent for the Golden Hippopotamus boss fight

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player summoning Hornsent at the Golden Hippopotamus boss fight
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Head back to the Shadow Keep Main Gate Site of Grace. This time, there will be a gold summon sign to the right of the door. Summon Hornsent to help you with the Golden Hippopotamus boss fight.

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You can continue through as much of Shadow Keep as you want, but make sure to stop when (or before) you reach the Dark Chamber Entrance Site of Grace.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player speaking to Leda at the Scadu Altus
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

At any point after the Golden Hippopotamus fight and before the Messmer the Impaler boss fight, head back to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace. Check in with Hornsent and Leda again. Keep talking to them until Leda decides it’s time to start killing people.

She’ll ask for your opinion, but you don’t have to decide anything at the moment. Ultimately, you’re just waiting for Leda to say she’s going kill Hornsent — it might take a couple of rests at the site of grace to trigger.

Before she can kill him, Hornsent will disappear. Check in with Leda again, and then head back to Shadow Keep.


Be summoned to assist Hornsent or Leda

From the Shadow Keep Main Gate Site of Grace, head out the door on the right (east) side and go up the ramp. At the top of the rampart, turn around to your right and you’ll find a pair of summon signs — one red and one gold.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player deciding to assist Leda or Hornsent
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Here, you have a choice: be summoned to assist Needle Knight Leda or be summoned to assist Hornsent. This is ultimately about Leda’s decision to kill Hornsent.

  • If you choose Leda, you’ll (try to) kill Hornsent and, unsurprisingly, end his quest then and there. You’ll still get his drops, though, so it’s an option.
  • If you choose Hornsent, you’ll be summoned to another world and have to fight a spectral version of Leda (she doesn’t actually die here). When you defeat her, you’ll receive the Swift Slash Ash of War and Leda’s Rune (worth 40,000 runes).

Summon Hornsent for the Messmer the Impaler boss fight

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree player summoning Hornsent during the Messmer the Impaler boss fight
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

If you’ve done all of that, you’ll find a summon sign for Hornsent inside the boss fight arena for Messmer the Impaler.

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From the Dark Chamber Entrance Site of Grace, push through the doors and watch the cutscene. Before things get too hectic, check the floor behind you and to the right for Hornsent’s gold summon sign.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Hornsent at the Messmer’s Dark Chamber Site of Grace
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

After the fight, rest at the new Messmer’s Dark Chamber Site of Grace. When you stand back up, Hornsent will be there with a bit of a monologue. Let him talk it out, and then you can move on.


Hornsent invasion at the Church of the Bud

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The final step of Hornsent’s journey happens much later near the Church of the Bud in Rauh Ruins. As you travel through the caves on your way toward the church, you’ll get invaded by Hornsent just before you reach the Church of the Bud, Main Entrance.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Hornsent invading in the Rauh Ruins region
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Defeat him as an invader, and he’ll drop his Falx curved swords, Caterpillar Mask, Braided Cord Robe, Braided Arm Wraps, and Soiled Loincloth.


If you’re looking for more NPC quests, we have guides for Needle Knight Leda, Count Ymir, Moore, Dryleaf Dane, Hornsent Grandam, Fire Knight Queelign, Thiollier and St. Trina, Sir Ansbach, Igon, and Redmane Freyja. You can see their starting locations, and more, with our Elden Ring DLC map.

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