Like in other previous FromSoftware RPGs, it’s not quite clear which factions in Elden Ring are “good” or “evil”; the Golden Order may have been a beacon of civilization destroyed by treachery or a conquering imperial power, while the grim assassins of the Volcano Manor faction might be blasphemous killers or heroic rebels against the Erdtree’s tyranny. The Volcano Manor area of Elden Ring, noble intention of its inhabitants aside, is certainly a sinister-looking place, surrounded by lava and infested with serpentine creatures. The more players investigate the secret passageways and twisted quest-lines of the Volcano Manor, the more dark secrets they learn regarding the blasphemy of Lord Rykard and his long-term plans.
In the opening cinematic of Elden Ring, players are presented with both a narrative and a goal of reclamation and restoration; according to the hoarse-voiced narrator, Elden Ring‘s Golden Order was a splendid thing that once united the Lands Between in peace and plenty. Then the Elden Ring was shattered and Golden Order torn about by the civil war of power-hungry Demigods. Within this worldview, the player character and other Tarnished protagonists are prodigal heroes, chosen by the grace of the Greater Will to dethrone the unworthy Demigods, claim their Great Runes, and build a new Golden Order as the Elden Lord.
Certain NPCs in Elden Ring‘s open-world, however, claim this narrative is a lie – that the Golden Order and the Two Fingers who speak for the Greater Will are a dogmatic force of oppression seeking to use the Tarnished as pawns. Players who see reason in these arguments may find themselves aligning with the Demigod known as Elden Ring‘s Lunar Princess Ranni, who seeks to replace the Age of the Erdtree with an Age of Stars. Others may gravitate towards the words of Tanith, leader of the Volcano Manor, who sends players out on missions to assassinate fellow Tarnished. This begs two questions; why are the member of the Volcano Manor enemies of the Golden Order and what twisted blasphemies have they embraced in order to gain the power to rise against the Erdtree?
Elden Ring’s Zorayas Leads Players To Volcano Manor’s Secret Passageways
Many players will be recruited into Elden Ring‘s Volcano Manor society after encountering Rya, a hunched over, suspicious-looking woman who will teleport players directly to the red-lit halls of the Volcano Manor estate itself. After two completed assassination quests, Rya strangely becomes a lot more friendly and trustworthy after revealing her true form and identity – a humanoid shawl-wearing serpent named Zorayas. Zorayas proudly expresses the belief that she’s the daughter of Tanith, the leader of Volcano Manor, “born by the grace of a glorious king.” If the player talks to the gold-masked Tanith, however, the Volcano Manor’s head will refer to herself as Zorayas’ “adoptive mother” and laments how she “hardly deserves the sweet child.” Later on in Zorayas or Rya’s complete questline, she tells the player about a strange sight she saw – a slithering serpent figure just like her who wandered into a side room and never came out.
This hint from Zorayas will lead players to a room in the Volcano Manor with an illusory wall, and from there to a secret passageway players can use to traverse the inner depths of Elden Ring‘s Volcano Manor area. Among the many enemies players can encounter here are Man-Serpents shaped just like Zorayas, proof that her existence isn’t as unique as she’d first believed. If the players discover and give Zorayas a “Serpent’s Amnion” key item, the soft-spoken serpent-woman will discover the awful truth: She and her ilk were not born from Volcano Manor’s Tanith, Rykard, or a “glorious king,” but from the hideous rituals of a demented madwoman. Crushed by this revelation, she asks the player character to kill her, though the pitying Tanith will offer players an alternative in the form of a Tonic Of Forgetfulness.
Rykard Uses The Volcano Manor To Lure In & Devour Tarnished Heroes
Whether through navigating the hidden areas of the Volcano Manor or completing enough assassination missions for Tanith, players can eventually gain access to the Elden Ring boss known as Rykard, Lord Of Blasphemy, a Demigod child of Rennala who searched for the power needed to destroy the Erdtree and found it in an immortal, god-devouring serpent. The description for the Great Rune Elden Ring‘s Rykard drops when defeated reveals what happened next:
“[…] Rykard fed himself to the blasphemous serpent, Great Rune and all.”
In his hellish boss room, Rykard appears as a scaled face protruding from the side of the serpent’s belly, urging the player to “join the Serpent King as family” so they might together “devour the very gods.” The description of the Remembrance players gain from Rykard’s death provide more context for his statement:
“Rykard took the form of a giant serpent that he might devour, grow, and live eternally. “I understand. The road of blasphemy is long and perilous. One cannot walk it unprepared to sin.”
Victorious Elden Ring players can use this Remembrance to unlock a new weapon and new Sorcery spell, both of which flesh out Rykard’s goals and plans even more. The gore-caked greatsword called the Blasphemous Blade has this description:
“Sacred sword of Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.Remains of the countless heroes he has devoured writhe upon thesurface of this blade.
Now they share the same blood, bound together as family.”
The Rykard’s Rancor Sorcery, which summons a burning skull, has a similarly sinister description:
“These spirits manifest from the rancor of heroes who met a violent end. The lord granted them an audience, whereupon they were welcomed by the maw of the great serpent – and within the serpent’s bowels, they became the lord’s kin.”
From these four Elden Ring items’ essential descriptions, it’s possible to piece together a sold picture of Rykard’s original motivations and current agenda. The blasphemous serpent Rykard fed himself to was an immortal being, capable of resurrecting from death; by becoming one with it, Rykard would similarly become immortal, able to challenge the Erdtree over and over until he defeated it. Furthermore, Rykard and the serpent he was part of could grow more powerful with every new victim devoured. And so the Volcano Manor – both as a place and an institution – became a vessel for feeding Rykard’s appetites. The wheeled machines called the Abductor Virgins would drag new bodies or recruits to join Elden Ring‘s Volcano Manor, while the finest assassins of the Manor were invited to have “audience” with their lord, who would devour them and add their strength to his own.
The darkest secret of Elden Ring‘s Volcano Manor area may well be this: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy, will never be powerful enough to destroy the Erdtree, because his literal hunger for power will never be satiated.
The Family Chantel: Chantel Jimeno’s Weight Loss Secrets Revealed
About The Author