Elden Ring guide: Volcano Manor walkthrough

Elden Ring’s Volcano Manor is unique in the legacy of Soulsborne games. It’s a combination of NPC quest hub and Legacy Dungeon. You’ll get missions from the non-hostile characters there while simultaneously busting through illusory walls and fighting bosses in the basement.

It can also be incredibly confusing, so don’t dive in without our guide to every quest, secret, enemy, and item with our Elden Ring Volcano Manor walkthrough.

Table of contents

  • Path 1: Help Rya (Volcano Manor invitation)
  • Path 2: Mountaineering
  • Preparing for the fight
  • Learn the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast fight
  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Target 1: Old Knight Istvan
  • Target 2: Rileigh the Idle
  • A brief interlude: Zorayas and the Red Letter
  • Target 3: Great Horned Tragoth
  • Targets 4 and 5: Vargram and Wilhelm
  • Inside the walls
  • Into Prison Town
  • Over the rooftops
  • Back to the top
  • Stonesword Key door
  • Across the bridge to the Guest Hall site of grace
  • From the Guest Hall site of grace
  • Magma Wyrm, Blackflame Monk, and beyond
  • Preparing for the fight
  • Learning the fight
  • Phase 1
  • Phase 2
  • Another interlude: Zorayas, Tonic of Forgetfulness, or not
  • Final target: Juno Hoslow, Knight of Blood
  • Back on the path
  • The final secrets
  • One last detour

[Ed. note: We’re still making our way through Volcano Manor, and we’ll keep updating and publishing this walkthrough until we’ve collected every item and defeated every boss.]

Volcano Manor general tips

Get the Flamedrake Talisman +2 from Dragonbarrow Cave in eastern Caelid.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
  • Flame on: Predictably, Volcano Manor is filled with lava and enemies that do fire damage. Spec your gear to take advantage of as much fire resistance as you can manage. You can get the Flamedrake talisman +2 at any time by defeating the boss of the Dragonbarrow Cave in eastern Caelid.
  • Climb the mountain: If you want to see everything Volcano Manor has to offer, make sure to defeat Morgott in the Capital and reach Mountaintop of the Giants before you beat the Manor’s final boss. You’ll find out why as we go.
  • Bring your lantern, and equip it in one of your pocket slots on the right side of the main menu for easy access. If you missed buying this item, you can get it from the nomadic merchant in Liurnia. You’ll be exploring some dark environments, and the lantern lets you light up your environment while keeping both hands free.
  • Pack ranged weapons: Volcano Manor and its Legacy Dungeon, Prison Town, are filled with enemies who can cause you pain at a distance. Bring ranged weapons, whether that’s a bow, spells, or throwing knives.

How to enter Volcano Manor

Volcano Manor is not the easiest location to reach in The Lands Between, but you do have a couple of different options.

Path 1: Help Rya (Volcano Manor invitation)

There’s an NPC named Rya standing in a stone gazebo right next to the telescope icon on the map for Liurnia. She’ll ask you to retrieve a necklace that was stolen from her. Travel northwest from her location and you’ll find a small shack where Blackguard Big Boggart is cooking prawns. Buy the necklace from him and return it to Rya, and she’ll give you the Volcano Manor Invitation.

The Volcano Manor Invitation.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

When you ride the Grand Lift of Dectus up to Altus Plateau for the first time, Rya will be present and can teleport you directly to Volcano Manor.

If you’ve already reached Altus Plateau before speaking with Rya in Liurnia, she may not be present — in which case you’ll need to travel there the hard way.

Path 2: Mountaineering

Your other option is to travel to Volcano Manor manually. In the north of Altus Plateau, just south of Shaded Castle, the Bridge of Iniquity stretches over a ravine. Travel over the bridge heading west and you’ll find the First Mt. Gelmir Campsite site of grace. Continue on this path until you reach the Ninth Mt. Gelmir Campsite site of grace.

You now have a choice: You’re going to ride the nearby spirit spring up to the top of the mountain, where you’ll find a boss called Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast. Your choice is whether to fight it or run. It’s completely optional, though beating it gives you a cool weapon, some precious upgrade materials, and an invaluable feeling of accomplishment. If you’d rather just get to Volcano Manor, skip ahead in the guide. Otherwise, read on.

Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast boss fight

Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

This boss has a ton of health, pesky resistances and immunities, and dangerous attacks. Luckily, this boss guide will tell you exactly how to beat it.

Preparing for the fight

The Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast is immune to Frost and Bleed, so put those katanas away. And it’s tough to make a dent with physical damage. That means magic users are going to have the easiest time.

If you’d like to take the Beast on using melee attacks, we recommend buffing your armament with extra elemental damage. For sorcerers, the Scholar’s Armament spell is great, while faith casters can choose between incantations like Electrify Armament and Blackflame Blade. At this point in the game, you should have access to most areas, so if you don’t already have these spells, here’s where you can get them:

  • Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
  • Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
  • Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
    • Electrify Armament: Buy from any incantation vendor after finding the Dragon Cult Prayerbook on a knight who patrols just south of the Artist’s Shack in Liurnia.
    • Scholar’s Armament: Buy from Sellen in the Waypoint Ruins in Limgrave.
    • Blackflame Blade: Purchase from any incantation vendor after finding the Godskin Prayerbook in Stormveil Castle. You’ll locate it past the Stonesword Key door downstairs from the courtyard full of soldiers with flame turrets.

    Faith casters can also buy the Lightning Spear incant from the aforementioned prayerbook, while sorcerers can use whatever spells you’re comfortable with.

  • Get the Green Turtle Talisman in Summonwater Village. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
  • Get the Dragoncrest Shield Talisman +1 in Sainted Hero’s Grave. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon
  • Defense-wise, we don’t recommend using a shield here, as the Beast’s most dangerous attacks are all gravity-based, and blocking them is ineffective. Instead, you’ll need to learn exactly when to dodge and when to straight up run away. We’ll cover that more in the next section.

    For now, simply equip the Dragoncrest Shield talisman +1 found behind the stonesword key door in the Sainted Hero’s Grave in Altus Plateau, plus anything that boosts your stamina, like the Green Turtle talisman found behind the Stonesword Key door in eastern Limgrave’s Summonwater Village.

    Learn the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast fight

    The battle with the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast will be one of attrition for most players, as it’s difficult to make a dent in the boss’s strong defenses. However, that’s mitigated by its slow and easily predicted attacks. Sure, those attacks can be tough to dodge even when you see them coming, but that’s what this guide is for.

    Before we get into the boss’s move set, here are a couple of general tips:

    • Riding Torrent is not advisable, as it’s harder to dodge the boss’s attacks on horseback, and you’ll usually get knocked off quickly.
    • If you can manage to hit the boss in the face, you’ll do extra damage compared with striking its rocky body and legs.

    Phase 1

    The Fallingstar Beast’s attacks fall into a handful of categories:

    • Combo strikes: The beast briefly winds up, and then strikes with its head in front of it. The combo can last anywhere from one to four hits, and it often ends with a rearing-up animation followed by a frontward stomp. These attacks are easy to dodge, and you’ll have a great damage opportunity should you manage to remain in close-quarters with the boss. However, it can also throw tail and ranged attacks into the mix, which gets complicated. The best rule of thumb is to just keep dodging.
    • Grab: Occasionally, the boss grabs you in its pincers and does heavy damage, possibly even one-shotting you. It’s hard to tell this strike apart from its normal hits, but luckily, the strategy for dodging it is the same, and you should be able to avoid it with relative ease.
    • Bull charge: The boss stamps its foot on the ground and then charges like an angry bull. It often turns around and charges up to two more times afterward, though this isn’t guaranteed. Your best bet is to dodge toward the side of its head, through its horns, though the timing is admittedly tricky.
    • Tail swipes: The Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast’s tail swipes can cause big damage plus Bleed build-up, not to mention the damaging debris they sometimes hurl into the air. Luckily, they’re easy as pie to dodge. Often, especially if you’re close enough to the boss, the tail swipes will miss entirely, even if you fail to dodge at the right time.
    • Gravity quakes: For many players, the beast’s gravity attacks, which send craggy rocks jutting up from the ground, will present a serious problem. However, avoiding them is relatively simple. Dodging them is possible, but it’s easier to simply start running away from the boss when you see it begin this attack, which usually includes two small eruptions of rock under your feet, followed by a wide-area explosion that’s significantly tough to dodge. However, as long as you keep running in a straight line away from the boss, you should escape this attack most of the time.
    • Ground slam: The boss leaps into the air, curls into a ball, and lands near you, causing heavy damage. Dodging this is simple, as long as you get the timing right, and it presents a great attack opportunity as the beast uncurls.

    The bottom line is that the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast’s attacks are supremely telegraphed, and once you get the timing down, it shouldn’t be all that difficult to dodge them. If you’re having trouble surviving when you do get hit, try beefing up your HP and defense any way you know how.

    Once you get it to about 50% health, the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast will enter a second phase, which comes with a couple of new attacks — and even more chances for you to retaliate and cause damage of your own.

    Phase 2

    The boss enters its second phase by launching a massive gravity attack during which it flings anyone and anything close to it into the air, and then slams you back down to the ground. Luckily, this attack is incredibly easy to avoid. You should see it coming a mile away, and can simply put distance between yourself and the boss to avoid it, and then use any long-range attacks you have to cause damage during the build-up. The boss will repeat this attack now and then, and you can use the exact same strategy every time. It’s a great opportunity to chug some flasks or refresh your buffs.

    In addition to that gravity attack, the Fallingstar Beast gains a deadly magic beam ability in phase 2. However, not only is it also easy to avoid, but it presents the best damage opportunity of the whole fight. It tends to launch this face-laser after two bull charges, so as long as you dodge through those and stick relatively close to it, you can deftly flank around the boss’s right (your left) side and get four or five attacks in while it’s casting the now-useless attack.

    Using these strategies, you’ll wear the Full-Grown Fallingstar Beast’s health down in no time (well, maybe a lot of time, but still). Doing so will net you a Somber Smithing Stone [6], Smithing Stone [6] x5, and the Fallingstar Beast Jaw weapon.

    Onward to Volcano manor

    Whether you chose to fight or run past the Fallingstar beast, you’ll need to drop down from the jutting rock on the western side of the large crater.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Follow the path down, and you’ll find the Manor’s entrance, guarded by a frenzied giant.

    A family of champions

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    The entrance to Volcano Manor is probably not what you expected. Head up the stairs, through the door, and down the hall, and then stop at the Volcano Manor site of grace in the next room.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Your first stop will be to chat with Tanith, the NPC directly in front of you. She’ll invite you to join Volcano Manor and “rise against the Erdtree.” Regardless of whether you actually want to do that, tell her that you’ll join. Doing so does not lock you out of any other content or endings.

    You’ll be heading to the Drawing Room shortly, but first, go upstairs to get invaded by Inquisitor Ghiza. Defeat him to obtain Ghiza’s Wheel, a unique weapon that scales with strength (and which will look familiar if you played the Bloodborne DLC “The Old Hunters”). Pick up the Smithing Stone [6] against the far wall, and then head back downstairs and down the side hallway.

    The first door on your right leads to a corpse with a Perfume Bottle on it. There’s a hidden path behind it. We’ll get back to that later.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    The door across from that one is blocked for now. Continue down the hall, and open the next door on the right, although for now, the room is empty. Across from that door is the main Drawing Room. Inside, you’ll find Rya, Knight Bernahl, and Diallos, assuming you spoke with him in Liurnia. Exhaust all their dialogue, and then pick up the items on the table: a Letter from Volcano Manor and the Recusant Finger.

    Speak to Tanith again and she’ll explain that the letter contains your assignment. Examine it in the Info tab of your inventory, and you’ll learn the name and location of your target.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    In addition, a red mark is placed on your map.

    Ready? It’s time to hunt some Tarnished.

    Target 1: Old Knight Istvan

    elden ring istvan invasion.jpg

    Travel to the Warmaster’s Shack in Limgrave, and ride north, under the Great Bridge, and toward the coliseum. You’ll find a red summon sign on the road. Examine it to invade Istvan’s world. The fight is relatively straightforward, although the Old Knight uses an interesting gravitational weapon art.

    Defeating Istvan will return you to your world with a few extra runes and the Scaled Armor set. Travel back Volcano Manor, and speak with Tanith to get the Magma Shot spell, and then return to the Drawing Room to pick up your next assignment.

    In addition, take some time at this point to chat with the Manor’s other recusants and residents. Rya will wonder aloud at the strange noises she hears in the walls, while Bernahl will offer to sell you some new Ashes of War. You can also now find Patches in the entry hallway, provided you spared him during the fight in Murkwater Cave back in Limgrave.

    Target 2: Rileigh the Idle

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    The next target is at the bottom of a ravine in Altus Plateau. You can reach it by heading south from Shaded Castle, or north from the Erdtree-Gazing Hill site of grace. Rileigh uses scarlet rot crossbow bolts, but his attacks are slow and easy to dodge, so you shouldn’t have much trouble.

    This assassination will grant you the Crepus’s Vial talisman, which makes you move silently, and some Black-Key Bolts.

    A brief interlude: Zorayas and the Red Letter

    Back at the Manor, Tanith will grant you another reward: the Serpentbone Blade, a katana that causes poison buildup. She’ll also give you more information about Volcano Manor, revealing that her boss is none other than Lord Rykard, one of the shardbearers for whom you’ve been searching.

    At this point, you won’t find Rya in her usual spot. Instead, check the room across the hall that was previously empty. Inside, you’ll find the manor’s servant in her true form: a large, bipedal snake. She’ll tell you that her real name is Zorayas, and ask you to keep her secret. There will be more to do with Zorayas later, but for now, head across the hall and back into the Drawing Room and pick up the Red Letter. This letter contains your third and final target for the Manor, but we’re going to shelve it for now.

    In the drawing room’s far corner, chat with Diallos, who seems to be regretting his choice to ally with the recusants. In addition, both Bernahl and Patches will now offer you more assassination missions (you may need to speak with Patches and exhaust his dialogue several times).

    Target 3: Great Horned Tragoth

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    The Letter to Patches provides your next target. If you already traversed the Ruin-Strewn Precipice and defeated the Magma Wyrm boss, you can travel directly to the boss’s eponymous site of grace and find Tragoth’s invasion sign nearby. Otherwise, you’ll need to travel up the ravine that leads north from the Liurnia Lake to find the dungeon, and then make your way through it at this time.

    Coldly murdering your old pal Tragoth nets you the extremely heavy Bull-Goat Armor set. Tanith won’t give you a reward for this one, since it was technically Patches’ mission. Instead, tell Patches that it’s done, and then rest at the nearby site of grace and return to him once again. He’ll reluctantly hand over the Magma Whip Candlestick, a Dex/Faith weapon with fire damage.

    Targets 4 and 5: Vargram and Wilhelm

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Meanwhile, Bernahl has provided two more targets: Vargram the Raging Wolf and Errant Sorcerer Wilhelm, located in Leyndell. The sign is in the middle of the main room of the Fortified Manor — the Capital’s version of the Roundtable Hold.

    Bernahl will join you for the fight, making it a breeze. Your reward is the Raging Wolf Armor set. When you speak with Bernahl again in Volcano Manor, he’ll also give you the Gelmir’s Fury spell.

    Cross the hall, and speak with Rya/Zorayas again to get your last hint that the Volcano Manor hides more secrets than you’ve yet discovered. She claims she saw a serpent enter the room next door and never emerge again, and she implores you to share any secrets you discover with her. For now, we’ll put a pin in the assassination missions to oblige her request.

    Volcano Manor’s secrets

    Volcano Manor’s secret wall
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    In the room next door to Zoryas, you’ll find a hidden passage behind an illusory wall (or hidden wall or secret wall) in the back right corner, where the crooked painting hangs. Roll into the wall to dispel the illusion, and then make your way into Volcano Manor’s secret corridors.

    Inside the walls

    The snail enemies here shouldn’t cause you much trouble. You’ll find Budding Horn x3, a crafting ingredient, in the next room. Skip the stairs for now, and head down the hallway in the back left corner, watching out for the snails on the ceiling. Pick up the Nomadic Warrior’s Cookbook [21] at the end of this passage, which enables you to craft Alluring Pots that can lure humanoid enemies.

    The wall to the left of this item is another illusion, so smack it with your weapon, and head through to pick up the Depraved Perfumer Carmaan Spirit Ash.

    Now backtrack to the room with the stairs and descend to find a Bloodhound Knight waiting in the dark. You can sneak up on him for a critical attack, or try attacking with range from the hallway. He’s also susceptible to status effects, so wear him down with poison or Scarlet Rot if you have to. Pillage his corpse to obtain the Bloodhound Claws, a close-range weapon that causes blood loss.

    Your next stop is the Prison Town Church site of grace, which will serve as your starting point for the Prison Town Legacy Dungeon hidden within Volcano Manor.

    Into Prison Town

    Open the church’s doors, and head outside. To your left, all you’ll find for now is a shortcut you can’t use yet and some decent Lord of the Rings jokes.

    Go right, activate the Summoning Pool, and begin your descent into the town.

    Over the rooftops

    Let’s explore the rooftops first. The Man-Serpent in front of you shouldn’t prove too much trouble. Their Mr. Fantastic stretching abilities can be annoying, but the sword-and-board varieties can be easily outmaneuvered. Continue heading southwest, killing the zombies and Man-Serpents as you go. Jump across a small gap to a round-ish roof, and then drop off to an overhang below to grab a Smithing Stone [5].

    The Omenkiller in the courtyard near the bonfire below can be troublesome to melee users, though spellcasters can easily whittle him down from this perch. He drops the Great Omenkiller Cleaver, a greataxe that causes bleed. Note that this guy does respawn, so we’re going to grab everything down here now so we can avoid returning.

    Down at street level, watch out for zombies who wield Fire Poles and Poison Pots, as well as annoying dogs. A corpse near the fire has a Drawstring Fire Grease, while one on the other side gives you a Golden Rune [6]. An open cell to the northeast contains the Erdtree Seal, an incantation caster with a 40 Faith requirement. Return to where you dropped down to the plaza, and a doorway set into the eastern wall leads outside to a rock ledge.

    Pillage the body for a Stonesword Key.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Turn right, and follow the walkway around the corner; however, tread carefully, as the walkway ends in a drop that you’ll want to avoid. Instead of falling down, get a running start and land on the stairs across the gap to pick up a Stonesword Key.

    From there, drop down to the rock ledge and continue around the corner.

    If you have any fire defense gear, like the Flamedrake talisman (which we’ll help you to get in our Groveside Cave walkthrough), now is the time to equip it. Don’t worry too much about touching the lava here, as it won’t kill you instantly. You can walk through it, though it does slow you down and cause damage. This cavern is host to several small Living Jars that explode when attacked. Kill or avoid them. It’s up to you. Either way, pillaging the bodies in this chamber nets you a Golden Rune [9], the Smoldering Shield, and, on the island in the center of the lava flow, a Smithing Stone [6].

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    On the other side of the cavern, past the sarcophagus, you can leap onto another rooftop. Be careful of more zombies, whose Poison Pots can be irritating. After a somewhat difficult jump across a gap between two round-ish roofs, you can climb the rock pathway to get back up to the town square. However, we’re going to warp back to the Prison Town Church site of grace to resume our exploration of the upper roofs.

    Back to the top

    Head outside the church, kill the nearby Man-Serpent, and then jump down onto the rooftops once more. This time, turn right at the jutting chimney and drop down to a slightly lower level. A corpse on a walkway has a Golden Rune [5] for you to pick up, but be careful — this area can be surprisingly treacherous, as the zombies above you will attack with Poison Pots as you try to explore, and the nearby Man-Serpent likes to pick you up in its jaws, inflicting Poison. Take them out from a distance before exploring any further.

    Climb the narrow pathway upward, claim the Golden Rune [9] from a corpse ahead, and then proceed around the building to a ledge with three zombies. Take them out, and then use target lock to spot the dogs on the street below, including one in the mouth of an alleyway to the north. Kill them from a distance if you’re able.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    There’s also an Iron Virgin patrolling the street below. This is your best perch from which to take it out without risking painful death. Wait for it to come within range, and then hit it with whatever spells, incantations, arrows, or throwing weapons you can muster. Anything is better than fighting these things head on.

    Kill the Teardrop Scarab for a Somber Smithing Stone [5].
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Lastly, look down to the northeast to spot a Teardrop Scarab hiding next to a chimney. Kill it for a Somber Smithing Stone [5], but be careful that it doesn’t lure you back down into the plaza below and get you into another brawl with the Omenkiller there.

    From the rooftop that the scarab was on, you can jump to the town’s main walkway, where the Iron Virgin was patrolling. First, head upward, back toward the Prison Town Church site of grace, and climb toward a conical roof to find a Smithing Stone [6]. Keep climbing on the main road, and you’ll find a Furlcalling Finger Remedy guarded by three dogs in an alleyway on your left. Return downward, and follow the road to a corpse with a bundle of Fire Arrows x10, near a dog you killed earlier. Continue downward until you reach the Stonesword Key fog gate.

    Stonesword Key door

    The prize for using your Stonesword Keys here is the Crimson Amber Medallion +1, which significantly raises your maximum HP. However, there’s another Iron Virgin inside the fog gate. Your best bet upon entering is to run past it to the staircase, and then sprint upward and take out the six or so zombies on the upper floor. Grab your prize, and then take out the monstrosity from this elevated position. Alternatively, you can teleport back up to the site of grace, and then finesse your way back down here any way you see fit. There’s no extra prize for killing this thing.

    Across the bridge to the Guest Hall site of grace

    However you choose to do it, make your way back down here, and cross the bridge being guarded by a Man-Serpent to the south. The door ahead of you is blocked, but you can explore to either side.

    First, jump over the low wall on your left and loot the Albunauric Bloodclot off the corpse on the roof. Continue to find an open door into the structure. Using target lock in the doorway will reveal several zombies hanging from the ceiling. Kill them and enter, taking out another enemy on your left before turning right to open the front door from the inside.

    There’s another enemy hidden by the barrels under where the others were hanging, guarding the Beast Blood you can loot off a corpse in the corner, and another hanging from the ceiling further into the building. Continue tapping the target lock button as you explore and try to avoid being attacked by surprise.

    Backtrack a bit to the now-open front door, and follow the path to its other side. Around the corner, a Man-Serpent guards a Smithing Stone [4]. Just before that, a ladder leads to the roof. Find a ledge with an open door that you can drop down to on the western side.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Use caution: Another Omenkiller waits inside. He guards the Albinauric Staff and Albinauric Mask on a guillotine. Continue into the next room and climb the ladder for a Golden Rune [10].

    Drop down to the roof, head inside, and then proceed deeper into the house to find a crawling Albinauric on the staircase. Watch out for its grab attack. Kill it, and proceed downstairs, watching out for more on the ground floor.

    Behind and under the stairs you’ll find a Golden Rune [9]. There’s another hanging enemy in the hallway to the north, with another crawling Albinauric beyond it. Hang a right in the next room, and enter the doorway to reach the Guest Hall site of grace and another summoning pool. Breathe a sigh of relief, but don’t get complacent — there’s a lot more to come.

    From the Guest Hall site of grace

    You can have a chat with Melina, your Finger Maiden, at this site of grace. The open doors outside the grace room lead to a closed balcony with a patrolling Man-Serpent and a corpse with Explosive Greatbolts x5. You can jump down from here, but there’s no point. Instead, open the closed door inside, turn right, and descend the ladder.

    This area is home to fire slugs and zombies, neither of which pose much of a threat. Jump over the lava across from the ladder, and round the corner to find a slug guarding a Fireproof Dried Liver, a consumable that boosts Fire damage protection.

    Turn around and jump over the lava again to kill a zombie on a slope next to a house, and then leap up the embankment and onto the roof for a Somber Smithing Stone [6]. On a stone plinth across more lava, guarded by several slugs, is a Golden Rune [9]. Watch out for zombies on rooftops here, as they’ll throw annoying pots at you.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    You can jump up some cages in a corner here to find a Smithing Stone [6] on a roof. From there, either traverse the rooftops or climb the stairs at ground level to the east to reach a wide platform surrounded by hanging cages and patrolled by a Man-Serpent wielding a candlestick whip. The elevator (lift) on your right will take you down to a lower level. Enter the cave ahead to face off against a Magma Wyrm.

    Magma Wyrm, Blackflame Monk, and beyond

    There are several viable strategies here, and this miniboss shouldn’t be nearly as difficult as the last time you faced it. You can choose to lure it out of the lava, and then backtrack to the elevator and attack it from a distance. The Magma Wyrm is quite resistant to magic, though the Rock Sling spell is as reliable as ever. In addition, you can summon spirit ashes here, so take full advantage. The beast drops a Dragon Heart when slain.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    A corpse on the ground in the vicinity holds a Smoldering Butterfly, while one across the lava to the west has a Smithing Stone [7].

    Take the elevator back up to that wide platform, and ride the other elevator up to the base of a staircase with an imposing Blackflame Monk at the top. Go right instead, and loot the Somber Smithing Stone [5] from the corpse hanging over the edge (take note of this spot, as we’ll be returning later).

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Here’s something fun: As of this writing, venturing into the northeast corner of this clearing triggers a bug that prematurely begins the upcoming boss fight, though there doesn’t seem to be any point in doing so, and in fact, this will irritatingly prevent you from opening your map and fast traveling. The fight even remains active after you rest at a grace. Interesting stuff!

    Use the lever to deploy the bridge and unlock a shortcut.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Anyway, head up the stairs and defeat the Blackflame Monk. Don’t enter the temple yet; instead, turn left and use the large lever to activate the shortcut bridge from much earlier.

    Either cross the bridge or fast travel back to the Prison Town Church site of grace, and prepare to fight the Godskin Noble boss.

    Godskin Noble boss fight

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Preparing for the fight

    The Crimson Amber Medallion +1 behind the Stonesword Key fog gate in Prison Town is worth equipping, even though you’ll need to avoid getting swallowed by a couple of Iron Virgins to claim it.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    In addition, this boss is susceptible to both Frost and Bleed effects. The best thing you can do is load your weapons up with both, and go in whole hog to layer on these damaging statuses as quickly as possible. Power-stancing dual katanas by equipping one in each hand and tapping L1/LB to attack with both is one of the best ways to accomplish this; for Int/Dex builds, Moonveil, acquired in Caelid’s Gael Tunnel, and the Uchigatana, found in the Deathtouched Catacombs in Limgrave, make an unstoppable combo, particularly if you give the Uchi the Cold affinity using the Glintstone Whetblade found in Raya Lucaria.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Magic and Lightning damage are also both somewhat effective against the Godskin Noble, giving faith and casters plenty of options. Strength-based characters can always use Grease-based items to augment their heavy weapons with these elements; you can craft Lightning Grease after finding the Ancient Dragon Apostle’s Cookbook [1] in the Altus Plateau’s Wyndham Catacombs, while the Glintstone Craftsman’s Cookbook [5], found in Raya Lucaria, holds the recipe for Magic Grease.

    As far as defense, you’ll want to maximize your Fire protection to defend against the Godskin Noble’s Black Flame attacks. If you haven’t already, go grab the Flamedrake talisman +2 in Dragonbarrow Cave in eastern Caelid.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Learning the fight

    Godskin Noble’s combos are extremely annoying, with an unpredictable mix of slow and fast attacks, all of which have the potential to cause massive damage. It can be extraordinarily difficult to discern when the Godskin Noble’s combos have actually ended. There are exceedingly few moments when it’s genuinely safe to get in a hit of your own.

    When to heal: When you have to chug a flask, do whatever you must to put a pillar in between you and the boss. Otherwise, there’s always a chance he’ll catch you with a long-range thrust attack.

    If you’re playing a sorcerer, one thing you can do to give yourself a slight advantage is to cast Terra Magicka at the fog gate, and then cast some offensive magic just after you cross the threshold into the fight. This will allow you to safely get in some damage, though it’s just a small head start and ultimately unnecessary.

    The key to this fight is learning exactly which attacks leave you enough of an opening to retaliate. To that end, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all of Godskin Noble’s moves.

    Phase 1

    His standard attacks generally comprise variable combos of thrusts and swipes. He can combine these in unpredictable ways, and it’s generally not safe to attack just because you think a combo is over.

    Attack opportunity: You can be certain that the Godskin Noble’s current combo has ended when he sidesteps after an attack. This brief movement leaves him open.

    One of the Godskin Noble’s trickiest attacks is a powerful delayed thrust. The Godskin Noble raises his sword back and waits for an extended period, before slamming forward with a stab that can cover a shocking amount of ground while easily slashing your health in half. The best way to avoid it is to literally count two beats out loud when you see him raise his arm: “One, two, dodge.” Dodging early and getting caught by this one is a common source of death.

    The Noble also uses a couple of Black Flame attacks during its first phase. Black Flame causes brief damage-over-time when it attaches to you, but both attacks are easy to avoid. When he drags his left hand at his side for a moment, roll away, as he’s going to surround himself in flames.

    Attack opportunity: On the other hand, when he raises his flame hand above his shoulder, he’s about to toss a fireball your way. Dodge toward him and get in an attack or two.

    He’ll also occasionally belly bump you when you’re close to him, though it’s not too damaging, and generally worth the risk when you’re trying to cause damage or stack status effects.

    Attack opportunity: Lastly, the Godskin Noble sometimes raises his right leg into the air, bringing it down for a slam that does area damage. Dodge backward to avoid it, and watch for the follow-up that usually, but not always, comes. If he raises his leg up again, dodge toward him, and get in your own attacks. He sometimes gets stuck in a pattern doing this multiple times in a row, which is your golden ticket to serve him up some damage.

    Phase 2

    At around 50% health, Godskin Noble rises into the air and enters Phase 2.

    Attack opportunity: Get away from him while he’s doing this to avoid the Black Flame damage, and then get close after he lands to retaliate.

    During this phase, he adds some attacks to his repertoire. Two of them should simply be avoided at all costs. The first you’ll likely notice is a little thing we like to call the dinner roll. It’s telegraphed when he stands in place and jiggles, and then leaps into the air and turns on his side. He then Sonic-the-Hedgehogs around the room, causing damage every time he hits you. This can go on for a disturbingly long time. Thankfully, it’s easy as pie to avoid once you know how: Simply roll into him when he gets close.

    The second, even more dangerous new attack is a flurry of thrusts that can easily one-shot you if they catch you off guard. You can tell he’s about to unleash this when the boss briefly raises his sword vertically in front of his face, as if he’s assuming a combat stance. The trouble is that this readying movement lasts a fraction of a second before he begins wildly stabbing you, so all you can do is be extra careful about when you choose to try to attack him in this phase.

    Attack opportunity: The third new attack during Phase 2 gives you a big opening to attack. When the Godskin Noble soars high into the air, he’s about to slam into the ground, causing damage in a small area around him. Once you get the timing down, you can roll toward him and easily get in several hits. He’ll usually bounce you off him afterward, but it does little damage compared with what you’ll be able to inflict.

    With Godskin Noble defeated, you’ll gain 50,000 runes, plus the Godskin Stitcher weapon and the Noble Presence incantation. Rest at the Temple of Eiglay site of grace and take a breather — we’re still far from done.

    The road to Rykard

    After defeating Godskin Noble, rest at the newly unlocked Temple of Eiglay site of grace, and spend your runes if you have enough to level up. Out the church’s north side door is a shortcut you can’t yet use, so ignore it for now. You’ll be heading up the lift to the grace’s right shortly, but first, pick up the Serpent’s Amnion key item from the altar and travel back to Volcano Manor.

    Find Rya in her room and choose the dialogue option to “tell her of the dark side of Volcano Manor,” followed by “give Serpent’s Amnion.” Return to the Temple of Eiglay and prepare to advance.

    Head up the nearby elevator and explore around the temple’s upper level to find a Golden Rune [9] on a corpse. Head outside to the balcony via either exterior door and drop down over the ledge to the north onto the volcanic rock shelf below.

    Drop off the balcony here.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Activate the summoning pool while remaining wary of the burning slugs that inhabit the area. A Golden Rune [12] hides down a small walkway against the balcony wall, while a corpse on the lava pool’s far side has a smoldering butterfly.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Follow the path east to find a Furlcalling Finger Remedy on a body, and then drop down to another lava rock path to the north.

    Continue along the path until you reach a large pool of lava.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Leap over the burning streams and make your way toward the nearby structure. Watch out for the Iron Virgin just out of sight against the wall to the west. You’ll need to kill it if you want to fully explore this area, as the darn thing will follow you even over the lava, and you’re fooling yourself if you think it’ll take any damage from it.

    Once you’ve dealt with the monstrosity, skirt around the base of the structure, rolling or backstepping over the lava, to find a Teardrop Scarab holding a Somber Smithing Stone [5] around the corner. Keep going, hopping across a narrow lava stream and past an open window. Skirt along this building and under the stone serpent heads, killing the pair of Man-Serpents who ambush you from the lava. Head inside the small arched doorway and kill the curse frogs inside, preferably from a distance if you don’t want to be one-shotted by their death blight attacks. Pick up the Somber Smithing Stone [6] and return outside, to the open window you passed earlier.

    Head through the open window.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    If you’ve followed the guide up to this point, you’ll find Rya inside, and in quite a sorry state. At this point, you can fulfill her request and earn the Daedicar’s Woe talisman, which increases the damage you take (yay?). However, you can also leave her alive, and meet her again after you defeat Rykard. Up to you.

    Another interlude: Zorayas, Tonic of Forgetfulness, or not

    If you don’t kill Zoryas here, you can return to Tanith and speak with her about Zorayas’s troubles. She’ll give you the Tonic of Forgetfulness, which you can give to Zorayas to relieve her of the knowledge of her origin. Doing so will cause Zoryas to fall asleep. She will wake up again after you defeat Rykard.

    Your third option is to hang on to the tonic, as it does have alternative uses elsewhere in the game. Instead, you can simply leave Zorayas where she is for now and continue on the path toward Rykard.

    Final target: Juno Hoslow, Knight of Blood

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    At this point, you can also complete the final assassination mission (doing so previously would have locked you out of receiving the tonic from Tanith). The Red Letter’s target is Juno Hoslow. You will find his sign in the Mountaintop of the Giants — which is why we recommended you defeat Morgott and reach this area prior to tackling Volcano Manor.

    Juno’s invasion sign is on the western side of the frozen river past the Ancient Snow Valley Ruins site of grace. Invade him to earn the Hoslow’s Oath gesture.

    The fight is actually fairly difficult. Juno’s whips do heavy damage and build bleed quickly, and he employs the Bloodhound’s Step Ash of War to dodge your attacks. All you can really do is get good at dodging his whips, or try to stun-lock him with a spell like the Carian Piercer.

    Once you’ve dispatched him, Juno drops Hoslow’s Petal Whip and the Hoslow’s Armor Set. Return once again to Volcano Manor. Tanith will give you the Taker’s Cameo talisman, which restores your HP upon defeating enemies (awesome). She’ll also invite you to meet with her Lord, Rykard. Accepting the offer will teleport you straight to the boss.

    For now, however, decline the invitation — we still have a lot more to do around Volcano Manor first.

    Back on the path

    Return to the Temple of Eiglay, and once again ascend the elevator, making your way up to the large lava pool. Jump into the window near the Iron Virgin’s hiding place, and head down the ladder to the left of the closed door. Descend to find Drawstring Fire Grease on a body, and then continue down the staircase, killing the crawling Albinaurics and Albinauric sorcerers as you go. At the bottom, the Missionary’s Cookbook [6] waits inside a cell. It contains the recipe for Holyproof Dried Liver.

    Pillage the body for the Crimson Tear Scarab helmet.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Make your way back upstairs, up the ladder, and out the door. Jump over the wall to the south to find the Crimson Tear Scarab helmet on a ledge.

    Jump down, make your way back up, and then continue, killing the Man-Serpent and climbing the stairs.

    A crawling Albinauric waits to ambush you in the next room. Kill it, and then activate the elevator on the south side of the room. This lift returns down to the Temple of Eiglay, opening the shortcut from earlier. In addition, while riding the elevator up or down, you can deftly hop off just below the top to find a hidden room with a single zombie and a Stonesword Key. (This room is also accessible via an open window across from the one that leads to Rya’s current location).

    Back on the main path, continue north/northwest into an area filled with zombies who explode with poison when you kill them, not to mention a pair of extra dangerous Man-Serpents whose weapons spray magma all over the place. From here, you can climb out onto the stone serpents hanging over the lava, one of which holds the Commoner’s Headband.

    Into the room ahead and through a closed door, you’ll find a pack of zombies and Man-Serpents, including one with a giant, bulbous head who throws sorceries your way. Lure these out, and kill them one at a time to make your life slightly easier. You’ll find the Man-Serpent Ashes on the altar ahead.

    There are two exits on the upper floor of this room. The east door takes you to a teleporter that sends you to Rykard’s boss fog. Congrats! Feel free to head there now and activate the Audience Pathway site of grace and summoning pool, or, if you have enough flasks to keep exploring, head out the door on the other side to find a fog gate that requires two Stonesword Keys to pass.

    The final secrets

    Through the gargoyle fog gate, you’ll find a treacherous jumping puzzle.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    If you descend across the cages ahead of you, you’ll be accosted by a sorcerer who will snipe you from a ledge on the room’s far side.

    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Instead, look to the right of the entrance for a ledge you can drop down to. Follow the path and defeat the Man-Serpent with a candlestick whip and the Albinauric sorcerer. Pick up the Dagger talisman, and then drop to the nearby cage and then to the level below to get your revenge against that sorcerer and pick up the Rune Arc on the ground.

    Take out Albinaurics from above with ranged weapons.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    From there, you can jump down the cages as normal. The ground floor is crowded with crawling Albinaurics. If you have ranged weapons, you can take them out from above before jumping down.

    Pick up the Royal Knight’s Resolve Ash of War at the fireplace through the door on the east side of this room. Upstairs, open the door for yet another shortcut back into Volcano Manor. Head back down and pick up the Seedbed Curse from a corpse on the other side of the large chamber. This key item relates to the Dung Eater’s storyline; hang onto it for now.

    Get the Iron Virgin stuck in that doorway and enjoy the cheese.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Up the nearby stairs, lure the Iron Virgin to the doorway to take it out in relative safety (though its attacks can still reach you through the walls). Outside, pick up the Somber Smithing Stone [7] on the ledge.

    Congratulations! You’ve now seen everything Volcano Manor has to offer — almost.

    One last detour

    There are two ways to reach Volcano Manor’s final secret. The easier method is to return to the Temple of Eiglay site of grace, and then head out the front doors and past the Fire Monk, and over to the corpse hanging off the edge.

    Drop down here.
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Drop down to the ledge that we noted earlier, and follow the path through a tunnel. Alternatively, travel to the Schoolhouse Classroom site of grace back at Raya Lucaria, and then head outside and ride the massive, rotating lift down to the very bottom. There, you’ll find an Iron Virgin. Fight it until it grabs and eats you. Allow this move to kill you, and you’ll wake up in the same area back at Volcano Manor. Be warned, though: You will lose your runes in the process.

    Behold, Prison Town’s secret area!
    Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

    Either way, proceed across the lava rock platforms, taking out the Giant Bats as you go. The platform with the item on it contains a Smoldering Butterfly, but be careful, as you’ll be attacked by several bats when you jump to it. Continue through the tunnel with two bats, and then jump down the platforms to reach a chamber full of Burning Slugs.

    Down another series of ledges and onto the platform below, a crawling Albinauric and an Albinauric sorcerer await you. Head up the stairs to find the Subterranean Inquisition Chamber site of grace. At this point, provided you haven’t died again, you can return to Raya Lucaria and pick up your lost runes.

    Back at the Inquisition Chamber, the area below is littered with burning slugs. There’s a Smithing Stone [4] on a fallen pillar in the middle of the lava, and a Smithing Stone [6] on the far side of the room. Proceed down the tunnel and fall through the false floor to land in a chamber filled with Budding Cave Moss, and prepare for a boss fight on the other side of the green fog gate.

    [Ed. note: We’ll keep updating and publishing this walkthrough until we’ve collected every item and defeated every boss.]

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