Elden Ring takes place where? What does the term “tarnished” mean? What Elden Ring mythology do you need to be aware of? We’ve hunted through Elden Ring to help you comprehend the plot a little better now that we’ve had time to put the story and setting together and get a handle on everything. We’re just placing your frenzied dragon battles and knightly duels in some perspective, helping to explain the intro cinematic and the scenario a little. Don’t worry, there aren’t really any spoilers here for you to deal with.
Oh, and before we go down this rabbit hole of mythology, we should emphasise that, the cryptically obscure FromSoftware games being what they are, this is just one interpretation of the fundamental idea of Elden Ring. In fact, you might discover that while you play, your own perception of Elden Ring’s story evolves, causing you to draw alternative conclusions. Here is a description of the setting for Elden Ring, the fundamental lore, and what being Tarnished entails.
Where is Elden Ring set?
The Lands Between, a sizable kingdom ruled by demigods and endowed with the strength of the Elden Ring and the Erdtree, is the name of the world of Elden Ring. You may have seen a meme going around that made fun of the notion that Elden Ring is actually set in the US state of Ohio, but this is unsurprisingly untrue. Simply put, the continent-sized, mythical Lands Between are encircled by sea. Take a look at the Elden Ring map pieces we collected to get a sense of the area.
The universe of Elden Ring and The Lands Between are entirely unique and distinct from prior FromSoftware games. While George R. R. Martin, the author of the “A Song of Ice and Fire” trilogy, which served as the inspiration for Game of Thrones, was also hired to help with establishing the world and mythology of Elden Ring, the universe has still been created by Hidetaka Miyazaki and the FromSoftware team.
With grassy fields, valleys, trees, cliffs, and ancient ruins, Limgrave is a pretty attractive environment where you, the player, will begin your Elden Ring adventure. The disease-ridden province of Caelid, which is home to a variety of zombie horrors, the hazy marshes of Liurnia, and many other diverse regions with their own ecosystems and wildlife will eventually be discovered as you explore.
What’s the story of Elden Ring?
The Elden Ring myth basically states that the Greater Will, an unknowable god fascinated with Order over Chaos, bestowed blessings on the Lands Between and then sent down the Elden Ring, a magical artefact that had the power to alter the Lands Between at will. The Erdtree, a massive golden ghostly tree that held the Elden Ring, was home to it. With this ability, the Erdtree was able to bestow the Elden Ring’s grace upon the country and its people, bringing about an extraordinarily well-ordered world.
Queen Marika the Eternal, who served as the guardian and keeper of the Elden Ring and had a large family, ruled the Lands Between. She was a being selected by the Greater Will. Additionally, she purposely changed it by taking off the Rune of Destined Death, which rendered anyone wearing the Elden Ring immortal. All humans were impacted in this way, but some of them seemed to be rejected by the Elden Ring and Erdtree, being labelled as Tarnished and banished. They had been stigmatised in some way, but they could still not pass away.
Marika had two husbands throughout her reign: Godfrey, who turned into Tarnished and fled into exile, and Radagon, the enigmatic red-haired warrior. Through their union with Marika, both of these men attained the status of Elden Lords and attained great divine power; in fact, despite the fact that Marika is a supremely powerful entity, the Elden Lords appear to be almost as powerful as she is.
However, during an occurrence known as the Night of the Black Knives, in which a group of unidentified assassins murdered a number of Marika’s demigod children, the Elden Ring was later broken into numerous Great Runes. The Elden Ring was assaulted and shattered, further distorting reality and jeopardising the Greater Will’s vision of the world. This led to a horrible conflict among the remaining demigods known as the Shattering. Marika vanished without a trace and hasn’t been seen since, leaving the rest of the world in the dark about where she went.
Many grand demigods have Great Runes salvaged from the broken Elden Ring, but none have fully ascended to power to either replace Marika (as some powerful demigods known as Empyreans can do) or become the next consort, aka a new Elden Lord, as a result of the battle (which anybody could do). The Elden Ring’s blessing on the Lands Between began to largely wane as a result of this meaningless middle ground, and now, decades later, the Erdtree is calling the Tarnished back to try to end the impasse. The existing demigods have sort of demonstrated why they are not deserving of becoming Lords, or even new Empyrean vessels to replace Marika, which is why the Greater Will does not like this mediocre state of affairs. By failing to ascend to power.
And you are a member of the despised Tarnished. In Elden Ring, you take on the role of an initially pointless character living among monsters and demigods who are all vying for dominance over the Lands Between. Your mission is to travel the globe, gain strength, engage in combat with people you encounter, or form alliances with them in order to bring about a new order by gathering the Great Runes. By doing this, you have the opportunity to fix the Elden Ring, take on the role of the new Elden Lord, and alter the universe to match the beliefs and aspirations of the group you are collaborating with.
Of course, the story is much more complicated than that. Elden Ring, like earlier FromSoftware games, features a mysterious tale that requires you to piece together cryptic clues from the environment, objects you discover, and people you encounter across the globe in order to understand the greater picture.
Who are the Tarnished in Elden Ring?
Knowing who you play as, a Tarnished, is crucial now that you are familiar with the setting and plot of Elden Ring. Anyone who was banished from the Lands Between after the Shattering because they no longer received the Erdtree’s counsel and grace is referred to as a “Tarnished.” With the ability to once more see the guiding of grace taking them back to the Lands Between, the Elden Ring and the Erdtree have now called your character back to try and break the impasse.
Your main task now is to attempt to bring the Great Runes back together with this newly acquired ability. However, you’ll also need the assistance of a Finger Maiden to develop the requisite strength and power. You’ll be “maidenless” for the first hour or two of the game—another Elden Ring cliche you may have seen—which means you lack direction and the capacity to transform your Runes into strength. Eventually, you’ll come across Melina who will offer you an accord to become your Finger Maiden and will allow you to level up with your Runes.
Along your travels through the Elden Ring Lands Between, you’ll meet plenty of other Tarnished heroes, especially in Roundtable Hold – a haven for Tarnished that exists outside the Lands Between – but obviously, you’re the one who must become the next Elden Lord. You know the saying, “If you want anything done right, do it yourself”?
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