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Elden Ring guide: Stormveil Castle basement grave and root monster boss fight walkthrough

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Elden Ring’s Stormveil Castle is bigger than we thought, and in this Elden Ring guide, we’ll show you how to reach the most hidden area in a Legacy Dungeon full of hidden areas, destroy some rats, collect items, and defeat a boss who isn’t exactly a boss but is totally, actually, unquestionably a boss.

We don’t know exactly what to call this unnamed area in Stormveil Castle. It’s kind of the basement. It’s kind of a grave. Forgive us if we use the descriptors interchangeably. Or together. Which we totally will.

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How to find the basement grave in Stormveil Castle

You’ve got two options, depending on what you’ve done so far. We’ll tackle them in their own sections below, but we can’t recommend the first option more.

Either way you go down, pillage the corpse on the broken flying buttress for Smithing Stone [2] x2 and the body on the ground for Golden Rune [2].

Option 1: The Liftside Chamber locked door

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If you’ve unlocked the door near the Liftside Chamber site of grace, it’s easy: Walk right through the door, and head down. If you haven’t, check out our guide to opening the Liftside Chamber locked door. It’s worth the trouble.

Option 2: Over the corpse ledge

If you really don’t want to unlock the door, exit the Liftside Chamber room into the courtyard and turn left.

A corpse to pillage for Smithing Stone [1] x2, and then a ledge to drop down.
You can drop down here, but you’ll waste precious health.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Drop down the ledge. You’ll survive the fall, but you’ll lose a significant amount of health and have to burn a healing flask, which is much more valuable to have in the upcoming boss fight.

Rats and items

Ahead of your are four rats: three small and one large. Take down the three small rats first, ideally from range, and never all at once if you can avoid it. They’re the quintessential kind of FromSoftware enemy that seems relatively harmless alone but is deadly in a group.

Elden Ring giant rat in Stormveil Castle
The giant rat is hiding behind the pillar, waiting to ambush you.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

At the opposite end of the room from which you descended, you’ll see a corpse to pillage. The giant rat hiding in the darkness behind a pillar is much more difficult to see. Take it out, and pillage the nearby body for Poisonbloom x3, a crafting material.

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Wait a moment and listen for the faint ringing of bells, which means that there’s a Teardrop Scarab nearby. Sprint through the room on the right, and come out swinging. Defeat it, and you’ll get Rancorcall, a sorcery that “summons vengeful spirits that chase down foes.” It requires 16 Intelligence and, interestingly, 14 Faith.

The only thing left is the boss fight, and it’s a doozy.

Ulcerated Tree Spirit boss fight

Elden Ring Stormveil Castle Ulcerated Tree Spirit boss arena
Here’s where you’ll fight the root monster
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

At the bottom, past the rats, you’ll face an Ulcerated Tree Spirit root monster. Here’s the thing: It’s clearly a boss fight, but it’s not named, and it doesn’t have a boss’ giant health bar at the bottom of the screen. You can actually find it (or thinks just like it) in multiple locations, Stormveil Castle being just one. In some of those places, it gets a name. So Ulcerated Tree Spirit is what we’re going with.

You don’t have to fight it now. You can come back. But defeat it, and you’ll receive a Golden Seed to upgrade your flasks. Loot the corpses in the area for the following:

  • Stonesword Key
  • Throwing Dagger x8
  • Smoldering Butterfly
  • Prince of Death’s Pustule, a talisman that raises vitality

Again, defeating the root monster here is optional. You can always come back. But it’s also doable. Our advice is simple. It’s all about execution.

  • Use a blood loss weapon. Weapons that cause blood loss, including the Wolverine-like Hookclaws that you can easily find near the Stormveil Cliffside site of grace, cause blood loss buildup. Essentially, every hit fills an invisible meter. When that meter is full, you cause blood loss, which is nothing more than an incredible amount of damage. Against relatively weak enemies, this isn’t terribly useful because they can die before the blood loss takes effect. But strong enemies like bosses are ideal for building up and dealing blood loss.
  • Equip a 100% physical damage shield. The root monster’s standard attacks are devastating to your HP. If you hold up a shield with 100% Physical damage, like the Beast Crest Heater Shield, it will negate all damage (in the first half of the fight, provided you have enough stamina).
  • Haligdrake Talisman. In the second half of the fight, the Ulcerated Tree Spirit glows yellow, which as far as we’re aware means Holy damage. The Haligdrake Talisman, which you can find in a cave off of a beach in West Limgrave, “boosts holy damage negation.”
  • Don’t get greedy. Your job, since this root monster is so powerful and difficult, is mostly to stay alive. Concentrate on blocking its attacks, managing your stamina, and only attacking a couple hits at a time. This is a war of attrition that you can win slowly.
  • Run away from explosions. In the second half of the fight, the boss will occasionally burn brighter yellow, and then explode. Run away before you get caught in the explosion. It’s basically instant death.

You can warp your way out, or you can take the ladder. You should totally take the ladder just to see where you end up.

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