Castle Ensis Guide – Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

The gateway to Scadu Altus and the primary exit (though certainly not the only exit) from the Gravesite Plain, Castle Ensis sits at the end of a bridge, surrounded by a moat, and filled with footsoldiers and Carian-flavored secrets.

  • Unique Rewards:
    • Milady
    • Loyal Knight’s Cookbook
    • Scadutree Fragment
    • Moonrithyll’s Knight Sword
    • Wolf Crest Shield
    • Glintstone Trio
    • Ash of War: Wing Stance
    • Rememberance of the Twin Moon Knight (boss drop)

Castle Ensis is beyond the Ellac Greatbridge. On the other side of the game, you’ll find the Castle Front site of Grace, which leads directly to the bridge leading to Castle Ensis. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you see a Troll Knight.

The first challenge of Castle Ensis comes early: at the other side of the bridge where you start, you will see a Troll Knight, crouched until you approach. You’ve almost certainly fought these before in the base game, but remember that this troll is scaled up for the Realm of Shadow. Beware of the door to your right, too, which houses a Glintstone Sorcerer who can spot you fighting the Troll Knight and come join the fray (Image 1).

After you’ve dealt with the Troll Knight, go into the room with the Sorcerer and grab a Shadow Realm Rune [4] (Image 2). Around the right side of this small keep, you can also find a Somber Smithing Stone [3] on a roof, and to the left of the Troll Knight (but not up the stairs), you can find a Somber Smithing Stone [1].

Once you’ve grabbed those, go up the stairs. You can divert to the grassy ledge to your right for a Broken Rune, if you want. When you get to the top (and notice the dangling body with an item), you’ll enter a field. To your right, you’ll see a Mesmer Footsoldier and Dog resting near a campfire. But don’t plot your attack yet! To your right, beyond the stone wall, there is a set of stairs, where another Messmer Footsoldier and a Dog will be coming down shortly (Image 3).

Deal with both sets of warriors and dogs, and then head up those stairs to the left (Image 4). At the top of a tower on the battlements, you’ll find a chest containing the first Light Greatsword of the Shadow Realm, Milady.

Now, head back down and go past the campfire where the Footsoldier and Dog were, into a short cave. At the end of it, there is a body with 2x Flight Pinions. Going further up: To the right, you’ll see two Footsoldiers around a campfire on a roof. To the left, a Black Knight (a more powerful enemy than the Footsoldiers). Take out the Footsoldiers immediately, then the Knight. When you are done, return to the roof with a campfire; to the left of it, you’ll see a gap in the battlements (Image 5). Jump down from the gap to reach the item you passed earlier, 10x Bolts.

Now, head back up to where you were before. To the left of where you fought the Black Knight, there is a storeroom with the Loyal Knight’s Cookbook. Meanwhile, to the right, there is a small alcove with a Silver-Pickled Fowl Foot, though a dog will try to ambush you from the left as you grab it (Image 6). After you’ve gotten those, activate the Castle Ensis Checkpoint Site of Grace, grab the Castle Cross Message, Scardutree Fragment, and Somber Smithing Stone [1].

From the Site of Grace, footing the Footsoldier in red light siting at the edge of a ledge (Image 1). Dispatch him, drop down to grab some Knot Resin on a corpse, then drop another level down into a cave, where you’ll have to take on 3 dogs. As a reminder, dogs in groups are best tackled by blocking with a shield, then guard-countering them after they attack. Once they are dead, you can grab the arrow off the corpse in the cave.

Head forward and exit the cave, where you can go to the left or right (Image 2). From here, you can go to the right (and make a small jump) to get Starlight Shards. After you grab those, turn around and jump back, heading along the left path until you reach the waterfall with rocks.

From here, you will need to work your way up the rocks jutting out from the waterfall, being careful not to tumble down. You’ll have to make a total of at least 3 jumps; 2 from rock to rock and 1 to get to the top of the waterfall (Image 3).

Once you are at the top, you’ll soon come to a large cavern with a ladder (Image 4). Before you go up it and into the Castle Ensis proper, head to the waterfall at the back of the room to pick up Drawstring Royal Magic Grease from a corpse, then into a cave behind that waterfall to grab some Knot Resin from another. Then you can climb the ladder.

At the top of the ladder, there will be a room directly in front of you, with a Footsoldier seemingly facing away from you. But beware, there is a weaker Footsoldier waiting to ambush you to the left (Image 5). Once you’ve dispatched them, continue out of this room and directly across the gate from where you are, where you’ll find a wheel that you can turn to open up the gate, creating a shortcut to the Castle Ensis Checkpoint Grace (Image 6)

After opening the gate, head up the stairs to reach a bridge. There are 4 Footsoldiers gaurding this bridge, which can make for a somewhat tricky fight (Image 1). Try to take them on one at a time, careful to avoid (or back away from) the Footsoldier at the end, who will use a crossbow. After you’ve killed them, there is a Corpse with a String on it to the left. Then, continue on, but be wary of the right side, where a Large Dog hiding around a corner in some bushes will try to ambush you.

In the next area, you’ll be met with 3 Sorcerers who will cast glintstone shard at you and then disappear. 2 you can kill from the ground, but one is higher up; you can either kill him with ranged attacks, or start to make your way to him by going around the cliff he is on, toward a ladder (Image 2). At the top of this ladder, there will be a page guarding a body with a Somber Smithing Stone [6]. After that, you can jump down to where the Sorcerer was to take him out.

Make sure you are crouching as you go up the stairs. Moonrithyll, Carian Knight is guarding them, but by passing far to the right and crouching, he will not see you (Image 3). You can keep going along this far side to reach some stairs that go down, leading to a room with a chest containing the Wolf Crest Shield, though we can also grab this chest later when you circle back around to this area. Regardless, there will be a door to the right of Moonrithyll that you can enter, and use it to sneak around behind him to start his fight with a backstab critical.

Now, Moonrithyll is a tough NPC enemy, even after that backstab. He can use the Ash of War Carian Phalanx, and his sword can deal a devastating amount of damage. However, he has low poise, slow attack speed, and is susceptible (like most NPCs) to parrying and blood loss. As such, you should have enough time to react to his swings and can really capitalize on the hits you get. Once defeated, he will drop Moonrithyll’s Knight Sword.

After defeating Moonrithyll, you can properly enter the building he was guarding. You can speak to the spirit within and grab Rellana’s Cameo. Then, crouch and enter the hallway to your right, dispatching the Glintstone Warrior in the hall (Image 5). You can do the same to the Glintstone Warrior in the room to the right, and then take on the Glintstone Warrior at the end of the hall, grabbing the Shadow Realm Rune [2] on the corpse as you do.

Once you head back outside, you’ll immediately come under attack from a weak Sorcerer. Dodge his attacks (or take him out now with range), grab the Glintslab Firefly on the body in front of you, then jump over the battlements to reach a grassy area (Image 6). The corpse here has a Dewgem, then you can climb the ladder up to the roof.

Climb the next ladder, and then fight the Page that is waiting here. After that, take out the Sorcerer if you didn’t take him out with range earlier. Continue along the roof to the West to grab a Somber Smithing Stone [2], then circle back and drop down off the roof to the North, when a corpse will be holding the Glintstone Trio sorcery (Image 7).

shadow of the erdtree castle ensis 19 rooftops
Image 7

Drop down from this ledge once more, and you’ll be right next to the room with the chest containing the Wolf Crest Shield (which you can grab now if you didn’t before). Climb the stairs, and go back through the building. This time, when you get to the courtyard where the Sorcerer was shooting down on you before, head to the iron gate and open it.

As you round the corner on the Castle Ensis wall, you’ll see a Footsoldier with a spear, facing away from you. Take him out, then continue along the wall. Get ready to crouch as you approach an area of the wall with stairs going down. Instead of going down them, head to the left, crouching, until you reach a Footsoldier that you can backstab (Image 1). After you backstab him, the other 3 Footsoldiers and 2 Dogs below you will take notice.

As alluring as the jump attack is, these enemies can swarmn you easily if you try. It is best, instead, to back up to the top of the stairs and let them come to you. Once you’ve taken the Footsoldiers and Dogs out, you can go to the lower area and grab the Somber Smithing Stone [6] and Somber Smithing Stone [5] on the corpses.

Continue along the path and up the wooden stairs around the tower in front of you (Image 2). But be careful: there is a Footsoldier with a spear waiting to ambush you here, and he can knock you to your death.

At the top of the stairs, you’ll be able to see a Black Knight in front of you to the right (Image 3). However, to your left, you can enter a small keep and grab an Imbued Stone Key from the chest in it without the Black Knight noticing. After you’ve done that, you will need to take the Black Knight on; you should be pretty good at this enemy type by now, but if you are having trouble, focus on attacking right after he attacks, so that his shield is down.

After taking him out, you can take the elevator he was gaurding up. When you do, you’ll want to send the Elevator back down and then get off before it descends. After that, you’ll quickly come to the Castle-Lord’s Chamber Site of Grace.

shadow of the erdtree castle ensis 22 black knight
Image 3

From the Castle-Lord’s Grace, head out to the balcony, grabbing the Somber Smithing Stone [4]. Then, jump over the side to the south (your right). You’ll end up on some cliffs, which you can drop down on to reach a tower (Image 1).

Head up to the top of the tower, where there will be a chest containing the Ash of War: Wing Stance. Grab it, then you can quickly descend the tower and end up back at the base of the elevator (where you fought the Black Knight) by falling down the side (Image 2). Or you can simply teleport back to the Castle-Lord’s Chamber Grace, since you’ve acquired all the items here.

From the Castle-Lord’s Chamber, the only challenge that remains in Castle Ensis is its master: Rellana, Twin Moon Knight. This brutal fight of fire, ice, and magic is one of the most challenging fights of the Shadow Realm, so we’ve created a Boss Guide for Rellana, Twin Moon Knight, which you can see below.

After killing Rellana, Twin Moon Knight, or after entering Scadu Altus from the Fort Reprimand, you can once again approach Castle Ensis to get a few more items. From the Highroad Cross Grace, you can head down into the river to the west and follow it south until it drops off as a waterfall (Image 1). From the western bank here, you can grab a Shadow Realm Rune [2] from a corpse in a tower here, then jump down (losing Torrent) in order to reach a chest containing the Carian Sorcery Sword (Image 2).

You can also spend some time jumping over the battlements here to reach some Starlight Shards at an altar in the field beyond, should you deem it worthy. It is also worth noting that, should you have entered Scadu Altus from the Fort Reprimand without completing Castle Ensis, you can actually use this skip in order to drop in behind the gate, letting you open it right away without going through the cliff and waterfall entrance.

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Graves is an avid writer, web designer, and gamer, with more ideas than he could hope to achieve in a lifetime. But, armed with a mug of coffee and an overactive imagination, he'll try. When he isn't working on a creative project, he is painting miniatures, reading cheesy sci-fi novels, or making music.

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