With Godrick the Grafted’s death in “Elden Ring”, you’ve defeated your first demigod and claimed a Great Rune, a significant step toward becoming Elden Lord. This secures your spot in the Roundtable Hold and allows you to explore more of the Lands Between. Following that, we’ll travel north to Liurnia of the Lakes, the country beyond Stormveil Castle, and home to the Academy of Raya Lucaria, where sorcerers master mystic techniques distinct from those taught by Golden Order members.
In Liurnia, you can learn a lot more about Radagon and Rennala’s demigod children, as well as significant aspects of the Lands Between’s history, and follow one of the game’s endings. It also paves the way to Leyndell, the Erdtree capital, and Mt. Gelmir to the east. Here’s what happens when you travel through Liurnia in search of a second Great Rune, as well as what you need to know about the sorcerers in charge. Of course, there will be spoilers in this post as we attempt to explain Liurnia’s story.
The Two Fingers Meet
When you enter the Roundtable Hold with Godrick’s Great Rune in hand, you become a full member of the Hold, with access to the room behind the Roundtable’s main chamber. You meet the Two Fingers there and learn that the moniker isn’t a metaphor. In a modest throne room, The Two Fingers are two gigantic fingers, practically (nearly) half of a large hand. Alongside the Fingers, you’ll meet Enia, a Golden Order cleric known as a Finger Reader. Her task is to decipher the Fingers’ actions and pass on their wisdom, and she can harness their power to turn the Remembrances you claim from great opponents into exceptional weaponry.
Meeting the Two Fingers provides some insight into what goes on behind the scenes in the Lands Between. The rising fingers appear to serve the Greater Will and appear to be somewhat accountable for the directing of grace. However, it’s unclear what’s going on with the Fingers. For one thing, they appear to be weirdly decayed (and if you go to the Divine Towers to enhance your Great Runes, you’ll find more Fingers that aren’t just decaying, but dead). What, for example, makes their advice worth following? Finally, how can you be sure the Two Fingers are telling you the truth about the Greater Will’s desires? What guarantees do you have that the Finger Readers are telling you the truth about the Fingers’ desires?
With all of that going on in your thoughts, you can return to Sir Gideon Ofnir, who can provide you with some additional information about the demigods you’re chasing. Gideon also wants to be Elden Lord, and he’s been gathering as much information as he can about what’s going on in the Lands Between to help him get there. He’ll provide you with information on the whereabouts of numerous Great Runes and their bearers, but there’s a lot he’d want to learn from you if you’ll tell him.
You should keep track of the potential agendas of the people you’re talking to within the Roundtable Hold with both the Two Fingers and Gideon. You shouldn’t expect everyone to tell you the truth, and you shouldn’t expect everyone to share all of their information with you. Pay attention since other people may have agendas that you aren’t aware of.
Gideon will guide you in the direction of probable targets, and if you follow the map, Liurnia of the Lakes, the region north of Limgrave, will be your next stop.
Liurnia is more of a large marsh than a lake, and its villages have sunk into the water and dirt beneath it as a result of conflict. Aside from the conflicts of the Shattering, the country has also been ravaged by civil strife. In Liurnia, there are two main political forces at strife, and as a result, two significant characters, a demigod and a Shardbearer, are shut up in their respective fortifications for very different reasons.
Raya Lucaria, a sorcery academy, is located in the heart of Liurnia, whereas Caria Manor, the residence of the Carian royal line, is located in the north. Although they were formerly allies, these are two independent powers: the Carians are Liurnia’s traditional royal family, and Rennala, the last of the Carian royal line, is a strong sorcerer and the former ruler of Raya Lucaria. However, a lot has changed since then.
In terms of history, Liurnia is where you’ll learn about Radagon and some of the events that led to the Golden Order gaining control of the entire Lands Between, as well as the politics that would tear it apart during and after the Shattering. The Lands Between was home to multiple nations of various kinds of people before Marika was chosen by the Greater Will to become a god. The Carian royals were the rulers of Liurnia, which was home to sorcerers who prized intelligence over faith and pulled power from the cosmos to generate their magic. Rennala was a formidable sorceress and champion in her youth, and her prowess earned her the title of the master as well as queen at the academy. Liurnia rejected the Golden Order under her leadership, prompting Marika to send her own champion, Radagon, to command an army. Despite their lower numbers, the Carians and their sorcery-adept knights held off the Golden Order armies.
The impasse was eventually overcome, not by military force, but by marriage. Radagon and Rennala fell in love, and when they married, Liurnia became part of the Golden Order. That would have brought the land and its sorcerers under Marika’s leadership, and there’s talk of sorcery being allowed to exist under the Golden Order, despite the sorcerers’ antipathy to faith. Rykard, Radahn, and Ranni are the three most important offspring of Radagon and Rennala.
However, Liurnia is not in the same state as it was during the height of its strength. Godfrey, the first Elden Lord, was stripped of his favor and exiled out of the Lands Between when Marika and her armies won all of their conflicts; he, his descendants, and the warriors he brought with him became the Tarnished. Radagon then left Rennala for an unknown reason and returned to Leyndell to marry Marika and become the second Elden Lord. The details of the decision are hazy, especially as Radagon and Rennala appeared to be in love. Radagon gave Rennala a Great Rune in the form of an egg fashioned of Erdtree amber, the Great Rune of the Unborn, as they separated. People can be “reborn” by Rennala’s power by using the rune, however, the procedure does not appear to be particularly, um, good—the offspring “born anew” by Rennala’s power is fragile and short-lived. More on that later.
Rennala’s heart, as much as her mind, was broken by Radagon’s departure. Raya Lucaria sealed herself up inside her, and the academy rapidly realized she was no longer fit to lead. Rennala was imprisoned in the academy’s great library following Radagon’s departure, possibly during the Shattering, with Raya Lucaria and its Cuckoo Knights turning on Caria Manor. They never managed to take the manor, but with Rennala broken and imprisoned, Raya Lucaria now essentially rules Liurnia, such as it is.
The Carian Royals’ Demise
You’ll find Caria Manor heavily guarded by vicious magical spells if you get there. Any force heading north from Raya Lucaria would have been easily shredded by the torrents of magic that fall upon you as you reach the manor. When you enter Caria Manor, you’ll notice that it’s generally deserted—mostly it’s guarded by mystical creatures like creeping hand-spiders and the souls of its previous soldiers. Caria Manor, unlike Stormveil Castle in Limgrave or Castle Morne on the Weeping Peninsula, is not cared for by a castellan. In fact, only a few people are still alive there.
Another mystical projection, this time of a Carian knight named Loretta, is guarding the castle. Many of the magical precautions on Caria Manor, including magical attacks on the grounds outside it, are lifted if you fight and defeat the projection. Ranni, Rennala’s daughter—at least in a sense, as Ranni appears to magically occupy the body of a doll—can be found beyond the manor, on the protected land behind it. You discover that she still employs a few Carian royalists, including Iji, a well-spoken troll blacksmith; Blaidd, a half-wolf bodyguard known as “shadow,” who was reared as Ranni’s adoptive brother; and Seluvis, a magician who wears Rennala and Radagon-related gear.
Despite being a demigod—all of Radagon’s offspring with Rennala were elevated to demigod rank when he married Marika—Ranni evidently “put aside her Great Rune,” according to Sir Gideon Ofnir. As a result, she isn’t a Shardbearer, and you won’t be able to combat her. Instead, you have the option of assisting her. Ranni is an Empyrean, someone chosen by the Two Fingers with the potential to be promoted to godhood, as she’ll later explain. If you join her, you may assist her to achieve this aim by working with her small group of loyalists to further her goals. Ranni’s narrative is much longer and needs its own treatment, but suffice it to say that, like the other demigods, he is making strides for dominance. She does, however, require assistance, owing to the fact that she is mainly confined to her tower behind Caria Manor, as Liurnia is a perilous location for a Carian monarch to roam around.
The Albinaurics’ Predicament
Control of Liurnia for the sorcerers of Raya Lucaria consists mostly of mining for Glintstone (a sorcery rock), dressing like Burger King, and studying ever-more-powerful spells; it doesn’t seem unreasonable to assume that they intend to strengthen themselves to resist any potential demigod conquest.
The Albinaurics—artificial beings produced by humans—specifically, it appears, by sorcerers—can be found all around Liurnia. Albinaurics of the first generation resemble humans, and you’ll frequently see them crawling around on the ground because their legs eventually fail due to their flaws. The strange frog people you meet on the fringes of Raya Lucaria are second-generation Albinaurics. Albinaurics are utilized as servants and slaves by Raya Lucaria (and, to a lesser extent, the Carian royals) in both circumstances, and they are despised as impure and unnatural, unaffected by the Erdtree’s grace. They are, nonetheless, sentient beings in their own right.
If you go to the Albinaurics’ settlement in Liurnia’s south, you’ll see what I mean. Though the Albinaurics are a created race, some have attained some measure of independence from their rulers, maybe as a result of the Shattering’s upheaval and the ensuing political turbulence. The Albinaurics have their own town, but if you go there, you’ll find them all dead or insane. They’ve recently been assaulted, and you may learn more about it from a nearby Finger Reader Crone and some of the characters you meet there. Gideon Ofnir sent his faithful thug, Ensha, to attack the town. (Ensha is the person in the Roundtable Hold who appears to be wearing rotting flesh as armor.) You’ll find a few of Gideon’s remaining warriors in the town, including an Omen Killer, a skilled fighter dedicated to tracking down the Omen.
If you look closely, you can locate one survivor in the Albinauric village, who has disguised himself as a pot using sorcery. This man, Albus, tells you what Gideon’s men were looking for when you find him: a fragment of a rare medallion. He managed to keep it hidden from them, but due to a lack of time, he entrusts the medallion piece to you and requests that you bring it to Latenna, an Albinauric woman. This object is crucial to the Albinaurics’ overarching story, which you can piece together in bits and pieces during the rest of the game. The medallion Albus mentions leads to the Haligtree, a unique spot far north in the Lands Between that Gideon wants to visit.
After exploring the Albinauric village, return to the Roundtable Hold to find it abandoned. Despite Gideon’s assurances that the Hold is a safe haven for Tarnished, Ensha attacks you, ostensibly in search of the medallion piece he was unable to obtain. Gideon apologizes to his enforcer after you murder him, saying Ensha “got ahead of himself.” He indicates that Ensha acted on his own initiative, rather than as a result of Gideon’s instruction that you be killed for the medallion piece. In any event, Gideon has to replace one of his minions, so he hires you as an intelligence gatherer to help him discover some of the demigods. The man, on the other hand, is clearly a snake.
Gideon offers you some information on the matching piece of the medallion he murdered all those Albinaurics to find as an apology. He has no idea where the second piece is, but he knows who will: an Albinauric woman who managed to flee Ensha and took refuge in a cave near the settlement. You’ll locate Latenna, an Albinauric warrior whom Albus tasked you to find, in the cave. During the siege of the village, she managed to flee Ensha, but not before her beloved wolf, Lobo, was severely wounded in the fighting. Latenna’s legs have failed her, and she is unable to move without Lobo’s assistance. She’ll tell you where to find the second part of the medallion in the Mountaintops of Giants if you show her the medallion, and if you pledge to take her there, she’ll join you in the fight as a Spirit Ash.
Latenna’s story is brief, yet it has far-reaching ramifications for the Albinaurics’ fate. You’ll eventually get to the Mountaintops, where you can discover about the Albinaurics’ fate and the reason for their vigilance in defending the medallion Gideon would kill them for.
Rennala, the Full Moon Queen
The grace-guided path in Liurnia leads you to Raya Lucaria, where you can claim Rennala’s Great Rune. Various sorcerers and Albinaurics who appear to serve them can be found inside. Other indicators of the academy’s power can be found within and around it. Soldiers marching from the north are met by magical projections and multi-armed mechanical marionettes that have been brought to life by sorcery. The sorcerers appear to wield a great deal of power, and they continue to study the stars and the cosmos in order to expand their knowledge while rejecting faith in the Outer Gods.
As you progress farther into the academy, you’ll notice another oddity: a motorized device on wheels in the shape of an iron maiden. This is an Abductor Virgin, and there are a few of them roaming about the academy grounds. They had ties to Rykard’s lordship on Mt. Gelmir, a volcano north of Liurnia. The “abductor” element of Abductor Virgin’s name is significant because these contraptions appear to be capturing and transporting Albinaurics. In a subsequent installment of this series, we’ll look into what’s going on with Mt. Gelmir.
Your route leads you to the big library in the academy’s upper levels, where Rennala is imprisoned and you must battle her as a boss. Rennala is not a demigod, despite the fact that her Great Rune indicates she is a Shardbearer. However, when you arrive, you will discover that Rennala is not all that it appears to be. Her wounded heart appears to have driven her insane, and she’s created a swarm of creepy scholar children that crawl around and sing to her using her Great Rune egg. These are the defective “born again” creatures Rennala can produce with her Great Rune, and they don’t seem to live for very long; they’re similar to Albinaurics but don’t seem to be the same thing. The resurrected scholars employ magic to harm you and defend Rennala, but they’re rather easy to defeat. When you inflict enough damage to Rennala, though, the genuine defenses that safeguard her kick in, thanks to Ranni.
The second part of the combat pits you against a bizarre, magical projection of Rennala at full strength, as she would have been during the Liurnia-Golden Order conflicts. However, the voice-over narration here claims that this projection is Ranni’s design, thus it appears that what you’re dealing with is a sort of sorcery security system Rennala’s daughter installed to safeguard her mother. It appears to activate automatically—you aren’t fighting Ranni in the shape of Rennala here—which is why this combat has no bearing on whether or not you continue to serve Ranni.
Although you don’t kill Rennala, defeating the Rennala projection allows you to capture her Great Rune, you do leave her imprisoned in both the library and her mind. If you like, you can utilize Rennala’s Great Rune to “reborn” yourself, allowing you to re-allocate your stats and modify your character build.
With a second Great Rune in your possession, you can truly try to become Elden Lord if you so wish. However, there are more Shardbearers to face and more Great Runes to collect, including one held by General Radahn to the east. Getting across Caelid’s diseased land, on the other hand, is no simple endeavor.