All trees need roots, even huge, magical trees. The Deeproot Depths feature an ant colony as well as the remains of a nameless Eternal City, all built in and around the Erdtree’s roots. This is one of many optional underground areas, and isn’t required to complete the game. However, it has some respectable loot, and is also where you can complete Fia’s questline for the Age of the Duskborn ending.
There are two paths to the Deeproot Depths, but we’re going to start the guide from the one that is easier to access, and so that will be the route we cover first here (the one via Siofra River Aqueduct). Images for path 2 will be added at a later date.
Via Siofra Aqueduct
To access the Deeproot Depths, you’ll need to defeat the Valiant Gargoyle Duo in the Siofra River Aqueduct. Then, you can head to the northwest of the boss arena by the Great Waterfall Basin site of grace, where you’ll find a coffin. Entering that coffin will transport you to the start of the Deeproot Depths.
Via the Subterranean Shunning Grounds
You can also reach the Deeproot Depths from the Subterranean Shunning Grounds, once you’ve defeated Mohg. From the Cathedral of the Forsaken site of grace, head northeast into the catacombs, and where there’s a large pit with boards across it, jump down (equipping the Longtail Cat Talisman is a big help here), all the way to the Frenzied Flame Proscription site of grace.
Head due south from the site of grace to find an illusory wall with a chest beyond — behind the chest is another illusory wall that will lead you to the Root-Facing Cliffs site of grace, from which you can walk down some roots to enter the Deeproot Depths proper.
After taking the coffin ride from Siofra River, you’ll find yourself in the Deeproot Depths, standing in shallow water. To the south on the shore is the Great Waterfall Crest site of grace — activate it and then mount Torrent (who is available for most of this area). Head southwest around the rocks, then continue south, where you’ll see an Erdtree Avatar just ahead. This stumpy boy gets the honor of being the first enemy you kill in this area, and it drops the Staff of the Avatar when defeated.
Further south is a loot beetle, which can be seen sparkling on the hill. As you approach it, grab the Ghost Glovewort  on your left. The beetle is guarded by a couple of shield ants — they aren’t too difficult to flank on horseback, but you can also just kill the loot beetle for the Ash of War: Golden Land and then ride away to the northwest.
Continue northwest to where large roots span a chasm. Jump over the first root in your path and make your way further north, and follow the root that leads back east (1). Then double jump the gap at the end of the root (where it meets the rock wall) to the root further east (2), and then continue out onto the smaller root southeast to find a Smithing Stone .
Go back the way you came, jump the gap again, and take the root down to the west. After you pass a root that curves upwards, turn right (north) and drop down onto the root below, then follow it further north towards the cave.
Stop at the cave entrance and — if you don’t already have some — craft food for Torrent (Sweet Raisins or similar), then put it on your toolkit. The ants in the cave will often hit Torrent with their attacks instead of you, and so being able to heal Torrent is very helpful — being dismounted often leads to dismemberment.
Enter the cave and continue through the initial tunnel — you’ll soon enter a larger chamber, where a queen ant sits surrounded by her workers (who are also probably her children). Stay mounted and ride into the chamber just far enough to aggro a few of the ants, then ride away and pull them towards the entrance of the chamber before engaging them. Repeat until all the ants near the queen are dead, then go pop the queen to receive a Numen’s Rune and a Rune Arc (this is what all the queen ants here will drop).
Now head northwest carefully to find where the high ground ends — more ants wait on the low ground and the ceiling above. If you have ranged options like Fire Pots or spells, you can thin the ants out from up here. If you don’t, the safest thing to do is drop down and gallop west — you’ll see a lantern on the ground, at which point you’ll want to turn left to head southwest, all the way out of the cave.
If you’re fast enough, the ants won’t even chase you, and you can then head back into the cave and pull a few at a time, ideally with projectiles (or, you can be foolishly brave!). Once all the defending ants are dead, you can kill the queens, and also snag the Somber Smithing Stone  in the northeast corner of the room.
Leave the cave via the southwestern tunnel — on the edge of the cliff here, you can find the Elden Stars incantation. Then drop down onto the two flying ants below you to the southwest. Kill them both, then ride out onto the root and follow it west.
You’ll come to a place where the root you’re on intersects another root — turn left here and head downward on the root as it bends southeast, and you’ll find x3 Holy Grease at the end of the root. Then turn around and go back west — the root will pass over the edge of the cliff and continue upwards, where a corpse holds a Smithing Stone .
Go back down the root a bit and drop down onto the ground, then head south to the edge of the cliff. Follow the cliff edge southwest towards the large tree trunk the cliff runs into — the root furthest to the south that sticks out over the chasm has a Golden Rune  at its tip. Make your way to this root carefully, as there are some hard-to-see places where you can fall to your death.
Head back around the large tree trunk and look northwest to where a number of ants are hovering over three corpses. If you want to earn some runes, you can summon spirit ashes here and engage the ants; otherwise just ride in and grab the stuff — x3 Warming Stone, a Golden Rune , and a Smithing Stone , plus a Ghost Glovewort  by the broken column to the west of the corpses — before riding away to the northwest.
Continuing northwest to the edge of the cliff should bring you to the Deeproot Depths site of grace. If you don’t see it, start near the southern end of the cliffs and work your way north — you can also look for the Finger Reader Crone, who sits near the grace. Once you find it, rest and then ride northeast, keeping the cliff edge on your left. Then make your way through the tangle of roots and into the strangely milk-colored water — a basilisk lurks here, so start spamming target-lock to avoid being ambushed.
Grab the Golden Centipede next to the basilisk you (hopefully) ambushed, and from there go north and you’ll quickly find a small ruined building. Inside are a ridiculous number of basilisks, and two corpses that hold x3 Smithing Stone  and a Rune Arc. It’s a good idea to equip the Prince of Death’s Pustule before entering this area, and since there are a number of other basilisk infestations in the Deeproot Depths, you can keep it equipped. You can either ride in and try to grab the items before you’re surrounded, or you can whittle them away from range with spells or projectiles.
From the ruined building, continue heading northeast, making your way in between the waterfall and the tall half-sunken building. Beyond the building is a Ghost Glovewort  sitting in the shade — grab it and then turn around, as there may be basilisks following you. Kill any that chased you, and then head through the waterfall that sits directly behind the tall sunken building.
In the cave behind the waterfall is a runebear who drops the Prince of Death’s Cyst when it dies — this is a challenging fight, but ranged characters can cheese the bear by riding northwest out of the cave and through the doorway in the ruined wall; the bear can’t get through here, so you can attack him and then ride back through the wall when he tries to attack you.
This doesn’t work very well for melee characters, but you can try to fight him mounted, or use our melee guide and fight him on foot. Once you defeat the runebear (or once you give up — it’s a very difficult fight, and we won’t judge you if you save it for later), go back through the doorway indicated above and turn right (northeast) to head into the church-like building. Immediately gallop to the far end of the building to get behind the disfigured gargoyle before it can flame-perfume you. You can then pick up the Ash of War: Vacuum Slice the gaurdgoyle was guarding, and then ride southwest out of the building and straight to the gazebo that contains the Map: Deeproot Depths.
Nearby, just southwest of the gazebo, is a corpse with x5 Hefty Beast Bone. From that corpse, just a bit further southeast is another gargoyle you can attack from behind, then grab the Dragonwound Grease from the corpse in front of it. Ride back to the gazebo and from there go west through the water, ignoring the spectral soldiers. You’ll reach a more open area, where you’ll find the The Nameless Eternal City site of grace.
From the site of grace, you can head west to a nearby graveyard, where you can find a Smithing Stone  and x5 Human Bone Shard on a pair of corpses, plus the usual Golden Runes in coffins. Then ride northwest to the edge of the cliff, where you’ll see a building below — that’s your next destination.
Drop down to the rocks below and continue forward into the structure, where two soldiers and a knight await you. Kill the soldiers first before taking on the knight — it’s probably easiest to stay mounted and do the classic mounted tactic of “bait an attack, ride out of range, then counter attack”. Of course, you don’t have to kill these foes at all if you don’t want to. Grab the Somber Smithing Stone  from the back of the structure, leave, and head southwest to find a Ghost Glovewort  in some bushes near the edge of the cliff.
To the northwest is a Spiritspring jump — use it to jump east to the top of the building, where you’ll find a corpse with a Stonesword Key. Snag it and then drop down to the northwest, onto the step-like roof halfway down the building — you’ll need to either move towards the building as you fall or equip the Longtail Cat Talisman to avoid taking fall damage.
If you want to cheese the nearby crucible knight boss, stand as high up on the “steps” as you can (you’ll need to stay in range of the spirit monument) and then summon Latenna (or another ranged summon that can’t fly) before continuing.
From the steps, double-jump to the northwest onto the small plateau. To the west at the base of a large root is Crucible Knight Siluria — you can choose to fight her for her 25,000 and Siluria’s Tree, or you can just ride past her and loot the chest inside the root that contains the Crucible Tree Set. if you don’t want to cheese this boss, you may want to wait until you’ve made the walking mausoleum sit down — this removes all the headless soldiers and makes kiting/retreating vs Siluria much easier.
From Siluria’s location, head northeast, where a group of spectral soldiers sits near a few large roots. You can choose to kill these foes or just ride past them — as long as you don’t stop moving, they won’t be too big of a hassle to simply ignore. First, head up the left-hand root and kill the loot beetle there for a Somber Smithing Stone .
Then ride back down and off the root, and grab the Ghost Glovewort  from the base of the small tree. Next, pick up the Golden Rune  from the corpse that lies where the two large roots meet, and then ride east-northeast on the right-hand root — it branches off to the left, but stay on the large root until you get to the next fork — from here, go right to continue upwards. Stay left when the root branches again, and follow the smaller root as it narrows and use it to jump to the top of the nearby building.
Kill the headless knight here and then grab the Smithing Stone  from the corpse. Next, jump back onto the small branch and go back down the way you came, to where you turned right at the fork. There are a number of paths down, and you may fall attempting to retrace your steps — all that matters is that you get back to the fork on the root where you turned right in the above image.
Turn right when you get back to the fork to head northeast on the left-hand path, and you’ll be confronted with another fork. First, take path (A) down to the right to find a Golden Rune , and then go back up and take path (B) to the tip of the root — from here, you should be able to jump down to the walking mausoleum (if it isn’t close enough, just wait a bit).
Whack enough skulls off of the mausoleum and it will sit down — you can then enter and duplicate a remembrance if you so choose. From the mausoleum, ride southwest, then veer right to get up onto the rocks — from here, double-jump over the lowest part of the root to reach a corpse with a Somber Smithing Stone .
To the south-southeast of the corpse is a structure in the water below — drop down and head inside to find another Somber Smithing Stone . Exit the building and ride north-northeast to another building — a corpse with a Somber Smithing Stone  rests against one of its columns. Next, continue north to the tip of the cliff to find the Mausoleum Soldier Ashes. Finally, ride southeast past the mausoleum to the waterfall. On the left of the waterfall is a corpse with x6 Lightning Greatbolt — loot ’em and then teleport back to the The Nameless Eternal City site of grace.
From the site of grace, ride due northeast to the nearby tilted building, where a corpse lies against the outside of the far column. Take its Smithing Stone  and then head east, where you can find a loot beetle in the water that’s rolling around a Somber Smithing Stone .
Now go north around the buildings — on the north side of the furthest building is a Spiritspring jump. There’s a Ghost Glovewort  in the bushes to the northeast, so grab it and then use the Spiritspring jump to go southeast up onto the top of the adjacent building. The corpse on the top has x5 Arteria Leaf — next, drop down to northeast onto the corpse below, who’s got a Smithing Stone . Once you’ve snagged it, you can teleport once more back to the The Nameless Eternal City site of grace.
From the site of grace, ride northeast, and use the rooftops of the sunken buildings to avoid the disfigured gargoyle that guards the root you need to traverse.
You’ll come to a confluence of roots — go left and drop down onto the lower root, then turn left at the T-intersection and follow the root down to its end (1), where you’ll find a Smithing Stone . Then turn around and go northeast up the root you’re on, turning left when the root bends (2) and riding onto the roof of the building, where you’ll find the Prince of Death’s Staff.
Head back onto the root and take it to the nearby ledge that rings the building to the southeast, and follow the ledge around to the gargoyle who gaurds the root below. Slay it, then go north, back around the ledge, and walk back onto the root. Go southwest and then take your first left where the root splits to head south-southeast. When you reach the larger root, you’ll need to double jump up to it, then turn left to continue east.
This next section of roots is also guarded by flame-spewing gargoyles, so you’ll either need to keep moving once you enter the area, or else wait for them to finish emitting flames and then dash past their zone of control. Go east up the root (1), ignoring the first branch to the left as well as the next one to the right. Instead, continue until you can jump onto the small root to the left that just touches the large root you’re on (2).
Move quickly this whole time, or you run the risk of getting knocked off of the roots by flames (which can be pretty frusturating). Follow this smaller root north and then west as it curves up past the building — when you’re level with the platform the gargoyle is on, jump from the root to the building, exact your revenge on the gargoyle, and grab the x3 Nascent Butterfly from the western corner of the structure.
Jump back onto the root and follow it to the northeast until you can’t go any further, then drop down to the Across the Roots site of grace to the southeast. You’ll take a bit of fall damage, so if you aren’t full health, eqip the Longtail Cat Talisman or else make your way to a lower section of roots to reach the site of grace (the jumps are more difficult but you can avoid fall damage).
From here, we can go through the nearby hole in the roots and face the area boss(es), but there’s a couple more items to grab first. First, go northwest from the site of grace and turn west onto the root that leads slightly downward. Kill the gargoyle just to the right of the root you’re on, then keep going southwest until you hit a root running perpendicular — jump to it and head left (southeast). You’ll also encounter a corpse with a Golden Rune , but go quickly so you don’t get hit by the gargoyle targeting this spot.
Continue east up the root until it dead ends, and then look down over the edge to the right (south-southeast). Drop down to the root below that leads south.
Continue south-southeast and you should come across a hole in the ground — we’ll go in the hole as soon as we grab the Ghost Glovewort  at the far (southeastern) end of this area. There are some ants here as well, but you can ignore them if you want and just head back into the hole once you grab your glowy-white flower.
Drop down carefully — there is a ledge that wraps around half of the hole that you need to land on initially. From there, drop down onto the root, and take it down to the rocks below. Another drop will land you near a corpse with a Somber Smithing Stone  — once you grab it, you can teleport back to the Across the Roots site of grace.
Note that both of the boss fights below are optional, but unlock the Age of Duskborn Ending (assuming you have the requisite item).
From the site of grace, head north through the doorway-like gap in the roots and continue northeast to the far end of the arena to begin the Fia’s Champions boss fight.
Once you defeat Fia’s Champions, you’ll be able to grab the site of grace and then speak to Fia, who sits against the roots near the site of grace. If you have the Cursemark of Death from Ranni’s questline, you’ll be able to show it to Fia — exhaust her dialog, and she’ll give you the option to “Enter the Deathbed Dream”, where you can fight Lichdragon Fortissax.
With the Lichdragon defeated, you can talk to Fia again, then rest at the site of grace — when you get up from the site of grace, Fia will be dead, and you’ll be able to pick up the Mending Rune of the Death-Prince, which unlocks the Age of Duskborn Ending.
That wraps up our time in the Deeproot Depths! Ideally, you’ll have done this area after completing Caelid, Nokron, and Nokstella, making Altus Plateau your next destination.