Welcome to the Elden Ring Walkthrough for the captivating Ainsel River region! Ainsel River is an underground area similar to Siofra River, with multiple entrances and an extensive network of tunnels. Although it may appear vast, there is actually less to explore compared to other regions. In this guide, we will explore the different paths you can take after defeating the Dragonkin Soldier in Nokstella. So, let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Entering from Ainsel River Well:
- Ainsel River Well Depths
- Ainsel River Sluice Gate
- Ainsel River Downstream
- Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella
Entering from Renna’s Rise or Deeproot Depths:
- Ainsel River Main
- Nokstella, Eternal City
- Nokstella Waterfall Basin
- Lake of Rot Shoreside
- Grand Cloister
- Astel, Naturalborn of the Void
- Moonlight Altar
- Cathedral of Manus Celes
Entering from Ainsel River Well:
The first way to enter Ainsel River is through the well elevator located in Liurnia. Similar to the entrance to lower Siofra River, this well elevator can be accessed at any time after reaching Liurnia. However, when entering through this route, you can only explore the smaller section known as Uhl Palace Ruins and battle the Dragonkin Soldier in Nokstella. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to access the northern part of Ainsel River or the Lake of Rot.
Head down the elevator to the bottom where you’ll find the first site of grace in this part of the area.
Ainsel River Well Depths
Start by heading down the path on the left, where you’ll encounter giant ants. Be cautious of the ants as they hang from the ceiling and walls, dropping down when you approach. You can either run past them or engage in combat, but it’s recommended to lure them down one by one using ranged weapons instead of triggering them all at once.
Continue down the tunnel until you reach the lit intersection. From there, follow the right path to progress. The left path leads to a dead end with only a single Smithing Stone.
Once you reach the next lit split in the room filled with corpses, you can choose either direction to progress. However, taking the right path will lead you to the next site of grace. It’s advisable to go this way first to collect the grace.
When you reach the area with the stone structure, head up the path to the right and cross the bridge leading back to the left. Make sure to grab the grace in the cave ahead before proceeding.
Ainsel River Sluice Gate
Head down the elevator to reach the entrance of the Uhl Palace Ruins. This area is infested with Clayman enemies similar to the ones in Siofra River. They are slow-moving, so you can easily evade them if you prefer not to engage in combat. While exploring the ruins, you’ll come across two paths. If you enter through the front door, you’ll enter a large room and notice a Naturalborn hanging from the ceiling on the far side. If you wish to avoid confrontation, simply head to the left, along the water, to continue progressing through the next tunnel.
If you want to eliminate the Naturalborn, return to the entrance and go to the right of the side statue. There, you’ll find a tunnel leading to the right side of the larger room. Use the fallen pillar to reach the top of the ruins, where the Naturalborn awaits. You can either attack from behind the pillar or confront it directly. Remember, once defeated, the Naturalborn won’t respawn, allowing for easier navigation through the area.
To continue, go to the west side of the room and follow the river deeper into the cave. Climb to the higher level on the right to discover the next site of grace.
Ainsel River Downstream
Continue further into the tunnel until you reach another area filled with ants and dead bodies. The left path leads to a dead-end overlooking the Lake of Rot, so it’s best to proceed down the right side to progress.
Continue through the tunnel until you reach the opening to a large room with a giant skeleton on the throne. It’s important to note that the boss will appear once you start progressing further into this room. Be prepared for battle when you reach the entrance to the cave.
Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella
Reward: 12,000 Runes, Frozen Lightning Spear (Spell)
The Dragonkin Soldier is a relatively simple boss. It relies on slow, single-hit attacks without any real combos. You’ll have plenty of time to dodge its attacks, leaving opportunities for dealing significant damage. Once its health drops below 50%, it gains electric abilities and wings. Watch out for its flying sweep attack, which can be easily dodged sideways. It will also spawn electric fields on the ground, so make sure to dodge or run sideways to avoid the explosions. Apart from these new abilities, the Dragonkin Soldier will continue using its single-strike melee attacks. Overall, this boss shouldn’t pose much of a challenge, especially for higher-level players.
After defeating the boss, interact with the site of grace at the north end of the room.
There isn’t anywhere else to progress in this part of Ainsel River, as you cannot descend the waterfall behind the throne. However, don’t forget to explore the room underneath to retrieve a Great Ghost Glovewort from a chest.
Entering from Renna’s Rise or Deeproot Depths:
To reach the northern part of Ainsel River, leading to Nokstella and the Lake of Rot, you need to have either progressed through Deeproot Depths or advanced halfway through Ranni’s questline, which is required for the Age of Stars ending. If you are following Ranni’s questline, you can refer to the guide on how to reach Nokstella Eternal City & Lake of Rot. Alternatively, you can explore the Deeproot Depths walkthrough, where the coffin used to enter the area is indicated in The Nameless Eternal City section.
Regardless of the entry point, both routes converge in the northeast corner of Ainsel River. Journey further north to find the first site of grace. If you’re completing Ranni’s questline and have obtained the doll, make sure to sit at the site of grace and select the “Talk to Ranni” option repeatedly until you encounter repeated dialogue. Ranni will ask you to defeat the Baleful Shadow, a specific enemy you’ll encounter later in Ainsel River.
Ainsel River Main
If you are progressing through Ranni’s questline and have acquired the doll, it’s advisable to sit at the site of grace and engage in conversation with Ranni. This step is not mandatory to progress, but it enriches the storyline.
Continue down the river, defeating the Claymen that appear in this area. Shortly ahead, you’ll encounter another Naturalborn hanging from the ceiling, blocking your path. However, you can maneuver around it by using the ruins along the way to shield yourself.
Proceed down the left path to reach a dead-end waterfall north of Ainsel River Well Depths. Alternatively, you can navigate through the Naturalborn to progress. By cleverly positioning yourself behind it, you can either bypass it or engage in combat.
Continue through the tunnel, following the flow of the river to the lower area. Be prepared to encounter more ants, including winged ones that attack from above.
Upon entering the open cavern, you’ll come across a fork in the path. The left path leads to a dead end, while the right path allows you to continue towards Nokstella. Follow the river to the right to proceed.
Continue down the path and through the doorway on the right to reach Nokstella. Just a few steps down the staircase, you’ll find the next site of grace.
Nokstella, Eternal City
In Nokstella, you can take either the stairs leading into the city or the river path to the right. If you’re looking for a shorter route, head down the river and bypass the city area. However, exploring the city provides opportunities to discover additional items.
Most of Nokstella is inhabited by Silver Tears. Unlike those in Nokron, these Silver Tears are surrounded by electricity and explode upon defeat.
Upon ascending the staircase, you’ll encounter two possible routes. Start by entering the building on the left. After defeating a group of Tears with shields, you can collect the Ghost-Glovewort Picker’s Bell Bearing from a chest.
Continue along the path and ascend the stairs toward a large bridge leading to the other side of the area. Be cautious of the giant rolling ball attempting to attack you.
To the right of the bridge, you will find another building. Although locked in with another rolling ball, you can easily avoid it by sticking close to the pillars along the wall. After defeating the ball, open the chest to obtain the Great Ghost Glovewort.
Proceed up the stairs into the next building, where a significant number of Tears will descend from the ceiling to attack you. Another ball will drop from the ceiling once you eliminate most of the Tears. However, you are not confined within the building, allowing you to retreat to the doorway and take on the ball separately.
As you exit through the left side of the room, an open door leads to an elevator. Take the elevator down, and you’ll arrive at a platform with a phantom tree and a Golden Seed. From there, drop down to the lower area to locate the next elevator that will enable you to progress.
At the bottom of the elevator, you’ll find the next site of grace.
Nokstella Waterfall Basin
If you had a conversation with the Ranni doll earlier, you can engage in additional dialogue at this stage, though it is not necessary for progression. Continue down the tunnel, but beware of the Basilisks in the middle. They emit deadly clouds of Death and can impose scarlet rot on you.
In the open area ahead, you’ll encounter the Baleful Shadow enemy, which constitutes your battle against Blaidd. If you summoned Blaidd to aid you in previous boss fights, their moveset remains the same. The enemy primarily employs slow slashes with the sword, allowing you to easily dodge through its attacks. It will heal once its health drops to half, so be prepared. Utilizing Bleed attacks proves effective against the Baleful Shadow. After defeating it, you’ll acquire the Discarded Palace Key, which unlocks the chest in Raya Lucaria Grand Library (Rennala’s boss room). This chest grants you the Dark Moon Ring, which is required to progress after defeating the area boss.
Continue through the building ahead and ride the elevator to find the first site of grace in the Lake of Rot area.
Lake of Rot Shoreside
Before proceeding any further, make sure to retrieve the Map: Lake of Rot from a body along the shore.
Your objective now is to cross the lake. However, walking through the water continuously inflicts scarlet rot, a stronger form of poison. Keep Preserving Boluses on hand to heal against rot damage or try to replenish your health while advancing through the lake.
Start by heading toward the pillar to the right in the distance. These pillars feature buttons in front of them, which raise sections of ground for you to walk on. This allows you to avoid traversing the entire lake submerged in water.
Continue along the raised path, and you’ll come across another pillar just across a section of the lake that requires raising.
The next section consists of only a few small platforms. Exercise caution as you progress due to the potential increase in rot level. Follow the path to the right, off the platform with the round pillar, to locate the next button.
Once the large section of pillars is raised, jump onto the bases of the pillars to proceed further to the west side of the lake.
As you approach the final pillar, you’ll notice a set of platforms leading towards the far side of the lake. Follow them until you reach the area where two torches stand at the base of large statues.
Continue past the torches toward the flowing water off the ledge. Move to the left of the waterfall to find a large set of stairs leading down, where you’ll encounter the next site of grace.
Your next step is to descend to the lower area. To achieve this, navigate down the first set of stairs, and then continue descending along the crumbled ledges ahead.
Continue forward through the area until you reach the building ahead.
Inside the building, you’ll encounter a group of prawn enemies. Within this area, you’ll discover the Scorpion’s Stinger dagger. However, this is not the path to progress. Instead, follow the river to the left until you reach the end. There, an open coffin will transport you to the next area.
After the sequence, you will find yourself in a small area at the southernmost point of the Ainsel River map. From there, proceed northward to discover the golden fog gate leading to the boss.
Astel, Naturalborn of the Void
Reward: 80,000 Runes, Remembrance of the Naturalborn
This boss moves relatively slowly and does not attack frequently. It employs ranged attacks that can be easily dodged sideways and only resorts to melee attacks when engaged at close range. As a mage, you can safely spam the Rock Sling spell from a distance while evading its attacks. Melee characters should not encounter significant difficulty either. Summon Ashen Remains to distract the boss and attack while it’s focused on the Ashes.
After defeating the boss, head to the north side of the room to activate the site of grace.
Just beyond, you’ll find a blue fog door. If you haven’t obtained the Dark Moon Ring from the chest in Raya Lucaria Grand Library, the wall will be intact. With the ring, the wall will no longer exist, and you can proceed forward to the elevator that leads out of the area.
This elevator takes you to the Moonlight Altar area, located in Liurnia directly above the Village of the Albinaurics. Follow the path ahead to find another site of grace.
If you’re following Ranni’s questline to its conclusion, continue up the hill toward the large ruined building.
Take caution as Glintstone Dragon Adula emerges to block your path near the front of the structure. You can choose to run past this dragon and enter the building.
Head toward the back of the cathedral to locate the next site of grace.
Cathedral of Manus Celes
Walk southward from the site of grace, and you’ll discover a hole leading into the ground.
Continue down the ledges ahead until you find Ranni’s body on a platform. Engage in dialogue with Ranni, delving into every aspect of her story to complete her questline and unlock the Age of the Stars ending.
For information regarding other regions, please refer to the comprehensive Elden Ring Walkthrough.
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to navigate the Ainsel River after defeating the Dragonkin Soldier in Nokstella, it’s time to explore this captivating underground realm and discover all its secrets. Journey on, brave adventurer!