Elden Ring Guide – Ainsel River

Within Elden Ring’s Liurnia Region is where you’ll find the larger Dungeon known as Ainsel River. It is an optional underground area that is slightly more linear than the overworld, but it maintains many of the overworld’s core mechanics, such as fast travel and the restoration of flasks upon defeating enemy groups (however, unlike Siofra River you cannot use Torrent in this region). This page contains information on the location, a walkthrough, and a guide to traverse this area, locate all of its treasure, and find out how to defeat the enemies that are located within it.

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EnemiesBossNotable Loot
Giant Ants, Clayman, Malformed StarDragonkin Soldier of NokstellaRune Arc, Frozen Lightning Spear

How to Get to Ainsel River

You will find a spherical building with a dome in eastern Liurnia, just to the north of the Eastern Tableland Site of Grace. A Golem will be guarding the entrance to the building. After you have dealt with the golem, it is best to aim your attacks at its ankles because it will maximise your effectiveness, then open the door, step onto the lift, and ride it down.

The Ainsel River Well Depths Site of Grace can be found immediately to the right of where you step off the lift.

Ainsel River Walkthrough

As you leave the Site of Grace and begin descending the slope, you will notice five Giant Ants lined up along the ceiling of a tunnel on the left-hand side of the path. To begin, go to the right of the entrance to the tunnel that leads upstream. There, you will find a dead body that contains magic grease. Be wary as you make your way back down the stairs because there is a giant ant perched on the ceiling above you. This ant does not always come crashing to the ground below, but it has the potential to do so at any time.

After defeating the five Giant Ants, which you should be able to bring down one at a time if you are cautious, proceed through the corridor that they were guarding and grab the Grace Mimic from the corpse lead that is located above the coffin in the middle of the stream. If you continue on, an ant that is hidden in an alcove to the right of the path will ambush you, and an ant that is patrolling the lit tunnel to the south of the path will be following you.

After you have dealt with the Ant that is patrolling, another Ant will run down the tunnel to the southeast. Once you have defeated this Ant, you will have the option to either continue along the tunnel to the southeast or descend the slope to the southwest. As you continue to travel down the southeast tunnel, just as you turn the corner, you will come across a dead body that is holding a Smithing Stone (3). Additionally, an Ant will ambush you from the far end of the tunnel, and another will come up behind you.

When you turn around and head down the southwest slope, you’ll notice that two ants have fallen from the ceiling. In the next room, which is full of dead bodies and viscera, there will be two dead bodies: one of them will have a golden rune, and the other will have a silver firefly (1). Additionally, there is a dead body in the tunnel on the left that is guarded by an ant and containing a golden rune. You can platform up the rocks beyond to access a passage that leads down into a cave with multiple Giant Ants lining the ceiling and an Ant Queen on the floor to the left. This cave can be accessed by going down the tunnel. Unless you attack the Queen, none of these will actively harm you; however, doing so puts you in grave danger. As a result, you will not run into any problems if you choose to pass by, and after making your way through the lengthy tunnel, you will emerge high above the ruins of the Uhl Palace.

Before you go any further, you need to go all the way back to the room with all of the viscera and bones and then take the other tunnel that slopes down. As you exit out, you’ll arrive at a well-lit structure. Near the stalagmite in front of you is a plant called Ghost Glovewort (1), and behind the stalagmite is a dead body that has ten copies of Shattershard Arrows (Fletched). Another dead body can be found in that area to the left, and it is holding a Smithing Stone (3).

After climbing the stairs on the right, continue along the walkway (the ruins of the Uhl Palace, which you had seen earlier, are to the right of the walkway), and you will reach a Site of Grace at the far end of the walkway. Take the lift down next to the Site of Grace, and on the far side of the waterfall to the right is a dead body holding a Golden Rune (1). There is a Ghost Glovewort (1) plant along the right-hand wall, a corpse with a Golden Rune (3) along the left, a corpse with a Golden Rune (2) in the corner of the ruins and another with a Smithing Stone (1) just to the left of the destroyed statue head. There are dozens upon dozens of Clayman warriors in this area and the ruins that lie beyond it. Since they frequently travel through the area in small groups, you should make an effort to entice only a couple of them at a time so that you are not overwhelmed.

It is recommended that before continuing, the player return to the platform beyond the Ant Queen and descend off the left side onto the pillar there. Only then should the player continue. The dead body at the very end of the path has a Smithing Stone (4), and the dead body that can be reached by dropping off onto the rocky platform to the left has a Celestial Dew, an extremely uncommon item.

You can then descend once more to the Uhl Palace Ruins, where you have the option of entering through the main entrance or going around the statue that is located to the right of the entrance, jumping over the rocks, and finding a secret passage. You can use this passage to better protect yourself from the projectiles that are fired by the Malformed Star that is hanging from the ceiling across the way.

A number of dead bodies containing items such as Smithing Stones, Golden Runes, a Furlcalling Finger Remedy, Magic Grease, and Throwing Daggers are lined up along the right side of the room, as well as the structures and steps in the centre of the area. All of these will have to be navigated while maintaining a vigilant watch on the projectiles that are being discharged. Following the path of the water along the left side of this cavern will lead you to a Ghost Glovewort (1) plant, and above that plant will be a Site of Grace. If you hug the left side of the cavern, you will find this location.

After you have activated it, you will be able to continue following the water stream until you reach a cave that is full of viscera and multiple Giant Ants. In addition, there are a few dead bodies strewn about the area, and they have Formic Rock, three Smithing Stones, the Immunizing Horn Charm, five Crystal Darts, and several Formic Rock deposits on their person (which you can easily mistake as bloodstains). If you climb the slope in the southwest corner of the room, you will come face to face with a number of Basilisks that can exhale smoke that represents the death curse. You will emerge on a platform that overlooks a massive cavern once you reach the top of this slope. On the platform, you will find a dead body from which you can loot multiple Aeonian Butterflies and a Somber Smithing Stone (3).

After dealing with the three Ants in the area, head down the slope, and at the fork in the path, turn left to grab a Melted Mushroom off of a dead body. You can also get two Ghost Glovewort plants by going back up the slope and turning left. If you choose to go to the right instead, you will come across a Ghost Glovewort as well as a tunnel that leads to a large open room where you will engage in combat with a boss.

Boss Fight – Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella

The Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella is a massive dragon-like warrior that wears armour and has a limited number of highly damaging moves that it can use in the first phase. These moves should be avoided at all costs. Despite its name, the Dragonkin Soldier does not actually possess the ability to breathe fire. The majority of the assaults consist of sweeping blows with the arms and low-impact strikes from the ground.

The Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella has the ability to swipe in any direction, including to the left, to the right, to the rear, or to the front. The primary tactic, particularly for melee builds, is to dodge roll in the same direction as the swipes. This is especially important. Do not start to panic if you take a strike; the Soldier will not pursue with a follow-up attack before you can recover from the first one if you are struck by one of them.

If you are engaging in close-quarters combat, you will want to make sure that you aim your attacks at any part of the Dragonkin Soldier’s body other than its chest. If you have your sights set on the chest, a significant number of your swipes will either be unsuccessful or will collide with the armoured belt that the Soldier is wearing.

Around the time it reaches approximately fifty percent of its maximum health, the Soldier will let out a tremendous roar and spread its wings as it becomes charged with frozen lightning. Its swipe attacks will now all be infused with lightning and have the potential to inflict the Frostbite status effect on their targets. The Soldier has the ability to leap into the air and attack you with a swipe while also dragging itself across the ground as it lands. A dodge roll can be useful in avoiding that, and it will also work for the most common attack in this phase; the Soldier will throw bolts of lightning onto the ground near it, which creates a streak of lightning across the floor of the arena in that direction. If you roll a dodge, you will be able to avoid both of these attacks. These will always be locked on to your position, but the ground in the affected area will begin to spark with lightning for a couple of seconds before actually exploding with lightning, allowing you to roll or sprint out of the zone with a reasonable amount of ease before it actually catches fire.

The Incantation of the Frozen Lightning Spear will be awarded to you once you have vanquished the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella.

Continuing to Explore

After you have vanquished the Dragonkin Soldier of Nokstella in this room, you will be able to activate a Site of Grace there. Additionally, there is a chest containing a Great Ghost Glovewort in the chamber that is located beneath the giant corpse that is sitting in the chair.

If you go back through the tunnel to the southeast and all the way to the ruins of the Uhl Palace, you will find that if you dash to the left and get underneath the Malformed Star that is throwing projectiles, you will find the Hermit Merchant as well as a dead body that has the Ainsel River Map in its possession.

The next step is to leave the ruins through the primary entrance, then make a sharp turn to the left and enter the hidden passageway once more. Once inside, you will find that you can dash up the collapsed pillar, onto the top of the structure, and continue running along to jump to a pathway that leads up to the Malformed Star. You can defeat the Malformed Star in this room using ranged attacks (bows, throwables, or spells), and doing so will make it much simpler for you to navigate through this area in the future.

You won’t be able to explore any further of Ainsel until you have finished Ranni’s Questline, which requires you to investigate Nokron, the Eternal City.