Carian Study Hall contains the Moonlight Greatsword, but it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Elden Ring.
The Moonlight Greatsword is one of the most iconic weapons in FromSoftware history. After an absence in Sekiro, many fans wondered if the blade would return in Elden Ring. The answer is yes, but getting it is more complicated than just cutting the tail off a dragon. Here’s how to start Ranni the Witch’s quest and eventually claim the Moonlight Greatsword in Elden Ring.
Elden Ring’s Moonlight Greatsword quest starts at Carian Study Hall
The first step for Elden Ring players is to clear out the normal version of Carian Study Hall. The only problem is an NPC invader named Preceptor Miriam, who will pester the player with Loretta’s Greatarrows and Magic Downpours while teleporting away. This fight is tough, but it can be made easier by running past Miriam. The ghost enemies spawn whenever the player gets close, but Miriam herself only teleports after taking damage.
Clear out the first and second floor, then return to fight Miriam. She constantly teleports on the top floor, so throwing knives or using ranged weapons is the best bet to defeat Preceptor Miriam. Once this is done, you’ll need to start a new NPC quest involving a secret item and a centuries-old conspiracy.
How to start Ranni the Witch’s questline in Elden Ring
The next step to unlocking the secret of Carian Study Hall is very involved and is one of the most convoluted quests in Elden Ring. Players must begin another NPC questline involving Ranni the Witch and her cohort. This character is located on the north side of the map in her tower, Ranni’s Rise. She will task the player with cooperating with War Counselor Iji, Preceptor Seluvis, and Blaidd the Half-Wolf.
First, players must complete the Siofra River area and defeat the giant deer boss. Then they must speak with Blaidd located east of the Siofra River Bank Site of Grace. He will mention a tournament being held at Redmane Castle in the south of Caelid. The fight there is an extremely difficult group battle against Starscourge Radahn, which Blaidd will now show up for. This fight basically requires a ton of NPC summons to complete, including a surprise return from Patches.
Now that you’ve progressed through most of the game, cleared out a secret area, and claimed a useful Great Rune, it’s almost time to learn the secret of Carian Study Hall. But first, there’s another new area to explore.
Upon returning to Ranni, she will tell the player about the lost city of Nokron hidden under the earth. To access Nokron, head south from the Mistwood Ruins. This is where the giant star from the Radahn boss fight landed, which is coincidentally an entrance to Nokron.
While exploring the lost city, players will come across a mimic tear that transforms into the player. The easiest way to beat this boss fight is to unequip all weapons, then reequip them as the mimic transforms. Fight the unarmed version of yourself and then continue along your way.
This is just the start of the Moonlight Greatsword quest in Elden Ring. The sheer number of steps involved makes this one of Elden Ring’s most complex NPC quests, but the reward is well worth it.
Where to find the Fingerslayer Blade in Carian Study Hall in Elden Ring
After exploring Nokron, players will eventually come across a Site of Grace named Ancestral Woods. Instead of fighting the now-corporeal barbarians protected by song, head southeast into another region of Nokron. There are many mimic tears along the path including a sentient boulder miniboss. Use ranged weapons from above the ladder to take it down or spam jump attacks with a blunt weapon.
This path leads to another site of grace called Nokron, Eternal City. Nearby is a massive legion of mimic tears, some of which transform into larger enemies including a disemboweled giant. The bridge eventually leads to a massive skeleton presiding over a chest containing the Fingerslayer Blade. Grab it and return to Ranni.
Where to find the Carian Inverted Statue to unlock more of Carian Study Hall
Ranni will commend the player for their efforts, even claiming that they have surpassed Blaidd and Seluvis for this act. She will then hand over the Carian Inverted Statue.
This strange item is described as the key to unlocking the secrets of the Carian Study Hall, but if there’s anything to learn from this guide, nothing in Elden Ring is quite that simple. Head back to the Carian Study Hall and place it on the pedestal at the entrance. A cutscene will play showing the Carian Study Hall flipping upside down.
Be careful not to instantly fall down a bottomless pit as soon as you step inside the new Carian Study Hall. Miriam is back, but this fight isn’t quite as difficult. She will only teleport twice, but look out for the ghostly spearman she summons.
As with the first encounter, used ranged weapons to whittle away her health and make sure to dodge the magical arrows. Proceed through the new area keeping cautious of grafted grabbers and summoned soldiers. This eventually leads to a set of thin rafters. The camera can bug out for this part, so line up drops carefully. Land on the lift and ride it to the next Site of Grace, Lirunia Tower Bridge.
As a reward for all that hard work, Elden Ring drops a ghastly flesh monster right after the site. A hit-and-run strategy on horseback is the easiest answer. Watch out for its rolling attack, which can one-shot most characters regardless of their build. Just run away on Torrent for the entire length of the bridge. Alternatively, just ride past him and into the Divine Tower of Liurnia.
The final secret of Carian Study Hall is a dried corpse with two items on it. The Cursemark of Death is an essential item for Ranni’s questline. Its description reveals that the dried corpse is actually the physical body of Ranni herself, who claims to have cheated death when you first meet her. The Stargazer Heirloom is a talisman that raises intelligence by a massive 5 points.
Return to Ranni and she will be missing from her normal place with a new Site of Grace. Renna’s Rise nearby will now be open. A teleport stone at the top will send the Tarnished to Ainsel River Main, where they will find a miniature version of Ranni. Speaking with it at a Site of Grace will reveal more information about Ranni’s lore and what her goals are. In the meantime, she tasks the player with defeating the Baleful Shadows.
Eliminate the Baleful Shadows for Ranni to claim the Moonlight Greatsword
At this point, Elden Ring players are probably too far in to consider dropping Ranni’s questline now. The now-angry Ranni tasks the player with eliminating the Baleful Shadows.
After introducing yourself to the locals, continue down the river to an eldritch abomination. Hide behind the ruins and use ranged attacks to take it down. Continue past it to find a small group of ants, which are also weak to ranged attacks. Watch out for the poison spit attack, which does a massive amount of damage and builds poison. Continue down the river path until you reach Nokstella, another massive underground city related to the Moonlight Greatsword.
The mimic tears here set off dangerous chain reactions, so pick one off and run away to clear out most of the pack. The humanoid enemies have a lot of health but are generally weak to stagger and guard counters.
Head right across the bridge to fight another sentient boulder. Head up and into another chapel where a large boulder rains down tear mimics. Start chain reactions but save a few for when the giant boulder eventually falls. Two shocks are enough to take it out. The Baleful Shadows that Ranni talked about are just a few steps away now. In total, the path looks something like this.
Proceed up a long staircase into a chapel with two invader mimic tears and a swordstress. Lure the mimics out to the staircase first, then grab the Moon of Nokstella talisman from the treasure chest. Continue through the elevator to find another new area. Head south along the river to find an elevator leading to another Site of Grace.
Head down the next tunnel past a few basilisks to finally fight against the Baleful Shadow. The enemy is none other than Blaidd, who has gone mad since Ranni’s departure. He taunts the Two Fingers before fighting the player. He hits extremely hard with lengthy greatsword combos, and the black flame debuff takes an additional chunk of health for each successful strike. Ranni says goodbye to the player after defeating Blaidd, but not before handing over the Discarded Palace Key.
The Discarded Palace Key helps unlock the Moonlight Greatsword in Elden Ring
The Discarded Palace Key’s item description reveals two key pieces of information. The first is that Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon and Shardbearer, is actually Ranni’s mother. It also mentions that the chest it unlocks is located in the Raya Lucaria grand library. Head back to Rennala and use the key in the chest behind her to reveal the Dark Moon Ring.
The Discarded Palace Key rewards a very important item to complete Ranni’s quest in Elden Ring. Using it is another matter entirely, as a few bosses still stand between you and the end of the quest. Luckily, the quest for the Moonlight Greatsword is almost over.
How to get the Moonlight Greatsword in Elden Ring
Completing Ranni’s quest is the only way to get Elden Ring’s version of the Moonlight Greatsword, which is called the Dark Moon Greatsword in this game.
It’s a bit of an early spoiler, but the full reward for this quest line is one of the most iconic weapons in FromSoftware history. Once you have all the tools outlined in the steps above, teleport back to the Site of Grace right after the Baleful Shadow Blaidd fight.
The Lake of Rot is a sprawling pool of rot with very few safe zones. Stepping on pressure plates found around the lake raises platforms. Suicide runs out to the platforms are the only way to make progress through this area at first.
Once you have a few safe zones, start dashing toward the southern end of the field. The scarlet rot will quickly drain health, but allocating all flasks to health will help make it to the next Site of Grace. Drop down along the ruins and run past the bugs to a short river eddy on the left. Jump into the coffin and get ready for an intense boss battle.
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void, is a massive beast with a long crystalline tail and a human skull for a head. It opens up the fight with a massive blast that seems to be an instant kill regardless of health, so spam side rolls to get close. It’s reasonably easy to stagger which leads to massive critical hits.
The second phase of the fight starts with a massive meteor shower but just roll until it’s done. There are no other changes for the second phase, so keep cool and don’t get greedy to get one step closer to Elden Ring’s Moonlight Greatsword.
After defeating Astel, a very long elevator ride will take the Tarnished back to Liurnia on a massive plateau. Ride to the Cathedral of Manus Celes, avoiding the optional Glintstone Dragon boss. Activate the Site of Grace and drop down a nearby hole to find the corpse of Ranni the Witch. The game will prompt the player to put the Dark Moon Ring on her finger. Doing so will trigger another cutscene where Ranni thanks the player before leaving to the stars. As a parting gift, she drops the Dark Moon Greatsword.
The Moonlight Greatsword is one of the most iconic weapons in the history of FromSoftware. Originating in the King’s Field franchise, the sword has appeared in every mainline Dark Souls game and its spinoffs since Demon’s Souls.
The Moonlight Greatsword was notably absent in Sekiro: Shadow Die Twice, which led fans to wonder if it would even appear in Elden Ring. While it goes by a slightly different name this time, the weapon’s inherent skill is directly named Moonlight Greatsword and bears its signature technique of launching magic projectiles.
It’s probably the most difficult weapon to get in Elden Ring, but the legacy of Dark Souls and fantastic boss fights make the journey from the Carian Study Hall to an abyssal void and back worth it.