Welcome to the Atlus plateau in Elden Ring, land of gold, death, royal capital, death, windmills and death. This destination marks a turning point in your journey through the Lands Between, hosting a number of key story events that dramatically change the trajectory of the narrative as well as some new and important characters. Despite the relatively small map size, there is plenty to see and do here.
Visit the royal capital of Leyndell
Whether you arrive via the Great Dectus Elevator or the hidden tunnel system up the mountain, your first destination should be the road to the capital. It stretches north across the Altus plateau and is guarded by a number of battalions of soldiers. This is the path you’ll take if you just want to progress through the story, although you’ll need at least two large runes before you can enter the capital.
Take part in the gold rush
As you would expect from a location so close to the Erdtree, the Altus Plateau has a number of saplings with golden seeds to collect. Unlike the other Golden Seed Sprouts, the ones closer to the capital have two Golden Seeds, making them a great way to upgrade your flasks for future battles.
Take in the sights of Windmill Village
Windmill Village is home to an unsung part of the social culture of The Lands Between. It is home to a rustic band happy to spend the day singing scary songs, laughing menacingly and dancing around corpses strewn along the road under flower-adorned crucifixes depicting Queen Marika.
Atop the hill is a powerful Godskin Apostle, a worm-human hybrid that wields black flames and a deadly twin blade called the Godskin Peeler. You can claim it for yourself, along with a Black Flame incantation, if you beat the boss.
That’s right, your smoldering ambition wasn’t quite enough to put the Fell Omen to rest the first time around. To the north of the outer wall Phantom Tree Site of Grace are the burnt and scarred remains of a battlefield of The Shattering. Take down one of the undead wandering the field and you’ll get a big surprise: it’s Margit. It has the same attack pattern as before, although you have the whole field as an arena and can mount Torrent. His defeat is final this time, and you will receive the Viridian Talisman that increases stamina for your trouble.
For a bit of a bonus on Margit, check out the glowing monument in the graveyard north of the lot.
Salute the dragon tree sentry
By “wave” we mean hitting repeatedly with your strongest weapon. This upgraded version of the Tree Sentinel is a required boss and blocks your path to Leyndell proper. It functions essentially the same as the regular Tree Sentinel, with a few key differences. The Draconic Sentinel wields a large club that can kill you in one hit, supercharges its attacks with red lightning bolts, and when you get too far away, summons a red lightning bolt that can kill you instantly. Defeating it allows you to upgrade to Leyndell – assuming you have two Great Runes – with the Dragon Greatclaw Weapon and Dragonclaw Shield.
At the southern end of the moat outside the capital wall, you’ll find the Sealed Tunnel. It’s a small mine with a gravity-wielding enemy called the Onyx Lord at the end, but it’s what comes after that that makes it an essential location on your Altus tour.
Behind the Onyx Lord, the tunnel opens a path leading to the West Altus Divine Tower. This is where you’ll power up Rykard’s Great Rune of Mount Gelmir, which when activated restores HP each time you defeat an enemy.
Enjoy the poisonous saunas of Shaded Castle
Follow the road north of Erdtree Gazing Hill, past the giant masked troll and mounted spirit summoner, and you’ll eventually reach a poisonous swamp. This is where you’ll find the Shaded Castle, a host of giant slugs, undead spirit summoners, and Elemer of the Briar, a powerful boss with an equally powerful weapon. Shaded Castle is also where the Valkyrie Prosthetic is, which you’ll need to complete Millicent’s quest.
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