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How To Complete Hornsent’s Questline in Elden Ring (Full Quest Guide)

How To Complete Hornsent’s Questline in Elden Ring (Full Quest Guide)

You’ll meet Hornsent almost right off the gate as you begin Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree. However, his questline isn’t as straightforward as your first encounter with the NPC.


There are many ways you can screw up this quest but don’t worry; we are here to hold your hand through the whole thing. Here are all the steps and even bonus steps of Hornsent’s quest so you won’t miss a thing.

Step 1: Meeting Hornsent

The first thing you must do is introduce yourself to Hornsent when you start Shadow of the Erdtree. This step is unnecessary, but it will provide some background to the quest and reward you with a neat little item.

Hornsent Three-Path Cross Site of Grace

Finding Hornsent’s initial location is fairly simple. You can find him at the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace just north of the cave you emerge from where the DLC begins. If you follow the road that passes through the Scorched Ruins, it takes you there directly. Be careful of the titanic Furnace Golem that roams this area.

The path will lead you to your first (most likely) Miquella’s Cross. Additionally, you’ll also find a Scadutree Fragment here. Standing beside the Site of Grace are Hornsent and Redmane Freyja.

Hornsent quest start

Talk to Freyja first and then approach Hornsent. Hornsent will have reservations about your kind, but if you continue talking to him, he will realize that we all walk the same path and thus are allies. He will then reward you with a hand-drawn Cross Map. This marks the location of other nearby Miquealla’s Crosses.

Step 2: Belurat, Tower Settlement

Belurat, Tower Settlement

Instead of advancing towards Castle Ensis, I advise you to go towards Belurat, Tower Settlement. It is located right through the giant archway west of the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace. You will be rewarded with some extra goodies if you complete this legacy dungeon and interact with Hornsent Grandam NPC.

You must beat Divine Beast Dancing Lion and have the Storeroom Key to find this NPC.

Hornsent Grandam

After defeating Divine Beast Dancing Lion, you must wear the Divine Beast Head and talk to Hornsent Grandam. You can find her behind a locked door (opened using the Storeroom Key) near the Small Private Altar Site of Grace. Doing so will reward you with an Incantation, Watchful Spirit. Reload the area and return to her. This time, she will give you Scorpion Stew.

 Scorpion Stew to Hornsent

You can then take the Scorpion Stew to Hornsent at the ThreePath Cross Site of Grace. You will be rewarded with three Furnace Visages for bringing the stew to him.

Step 3: Reach Scadu Altus

Highroad Cross Site of Grace

Now it’s time to move Hornsent from his previous location to Highroad Cross Site of Grace on Scadu Altus. There are two ways to do this and advance Hornsent’s questline:

  • Go to Castle Ensis, across the Ellac Greatbridge, northeast of the Three Path Cross Site of Grace. After defeating Rellana, Twin Moon Knight, the Highroad Cross Site of Grace will be right after you exit the castle.
  • You can also take an alternate route if you don’t want to face the boss. From the Castle Front Site of Grace, take the path to the east. Follow it until you reach the backside of the Fort of Reprimand. Break a stone formation here to activate the Spiritspring and jump up the cliff to Sacdu Altus. From here, you can ride Torrent to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace.
Hornsent at the Highroad Cross Site of Grace

You will find Hornsent at the Highroad Cross Site of Grace along with Needle Knight Leda. Talk to him, and he will give you another Miquella’s Cross map. You can also pick up Monk’s Missive nearby to get your hands on a nice martial arts weapon.

Talk to Leda as well and ask her about Hornsent for more context.

Step 4: Arriving at Shadow Keep and Breaking Charm

reach Shadow Keep

Progress the game until you reach Shadow Keep, north of Castle Ensis. As you approach the keep’s door, you’ll receive this message: “Somewhere a great rune has been broken, and so too has a powerful charm.”

Somewhere a great rune has been broken

Only poke your head inside the Shadow Keep and activate the Shadow Keep Main Gate Site of Grace. Fast travel back to Highroad Cross Site of Grace to continue Hornsent’s quest.

The charm breaking will permanently change interactions with all of the NPCs. Talk to Leda and Hornsent to determine their new condition. Exhaust their dialogue and move on to the next step.

Step 5: Golden Hippopotamus Boss Fight

Main Gate Plaza Site of Grace

Warp back to the Main Gate Plaza Site of Grace, and you will see a summon sign near the entrance. Interacting with the sign will summon Hornsent to fight against the feral Golden Hippopotamus.

Defeat the boss and continue your exploration of the Shadow Keep if you want, or you can fast-travel to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace to meet up with Hornsent for the next step of the quest.

Note: If you continue exploring the Shadow Keep, do not progress past the Dark Chamber Entrance Site of Grace. Do not initiate Messmer the Impaler, or there is a chance of ruining Hornsent’s quest.

Step 6: Leda’s Choice

When you return to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace talk to Leda and Hornsent. Keep engaging them, and Leda will soon reveal her dastardly intention. She wants to start picking off people she realizes are not ready to follow Miquella’s footsteps.

Leda's Choice

You will be presented with three options: give no suggestion, suggest killing Thiollier, or suggest killing Hornsent. Regardless of your preference, she will ultimately pick Hornsent as the weaker link and her target. You have no real choice in this matter, so don’t beat yourself down.

Reload the area, and Hornsent will vanish while Leda is still there. Talk to her, and she will let you know about her plan to eliminate Hornsent.

Step 7: Your Choice!

Summon signs map location
Summon signs map location.

Return to the Main Gate Plaza Site of Grace and move towards the area right before entering the Specimen Storehouse. Here, you will see two summon signs on the ground: one golden and one red. If you have gone through Millicent’s quest in the base game, then you know what the deal is here.

two summon signs on the ground

You can either aid Needle Knight Leda in taking out Hornsent (Red) or help Hornsent resist Leda’s attack (Golden). The choice is yours.

Killing Hornsent will reward you with his gear and end his quest. But if you want to continue Hornsent’s quest, choose to help him fend off Leda.

Assist Hornsent and defeat Needle Knight Leda. Her dying words ensure that this won’t be the last time you meet her. Once you return to your world, you will receive:

  • Ash of War: Swift Slash
  • Leda’s Rune

Step 8: Messmer the Impaler Boss Fight

Dark Chamber Entrance Site of Grace

With Hornsent surviving his assassination, it is time to go to the Dark Chamber Entrance Site of Grace in Shadow Keep. Enter Messmer’s arena to begin the boss fight.

Hornsent summon sign

Look for a golden summon sign behind you inside the arena to beckon Hornsent to aid you in this fight. This is a necessary step, although some players have reported that it’s not needed, but don’t leave it to chance.

Hornsent in Messmer arena

Defeat Messmer and rest at the Messmer’s Dark Chamber Site of Grace. After the area reloads, you will see Hornsent standing in the arena. Go and talk to him and let him exhaust his monologue.

revisit Hornsent Grandam

At this point, you can revisit Hornsent Grandam in Belurat, Tower Settlement, and she will give you Gourmet Scorpion Stew for helping Hornsent exact revenge on Messmer.

Step 9: Hornsent’s Final Encounter

Rauh Ruins

As you progress through the main adventure near the end of the Shadow of the Erdtree, you will reach the Church of the Bud in Rauh Ruins. Right before you enter the church, near Rauh Ancient Ruins Site of Grace, you will be invaded by Hornsent. Damn that traitor!

Hornsent Invasion

Duke it out and kill him. Killing him will net you the same rewards as you would have gotten if you had assisted Leda in killing him:

Hornsent Gear
  • Falx
  • Caterpillar Mask
  • Braided Cord Robe
  • Braided Arm Wraps
  • Soiled Loincloth

And that’s it. Hornsent’s quest will end with this last hostile encounter. As always, there are no happy endings for any of FromSoft’s NPC. At least I’m happy getting my hands on that surprisingly great Curved sword, Falx!