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Elden Ring DLC: Full Hornsent questline and all possible rewards

hornsent elden ring

Hornsent is the most bristly member of Needle Knight Leda’s party in the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, but his brief questline can give players a few valuable rewards.

Like the other NPCs of the Elden Ring DLC, the Hornsent starts off as a big fan of Miquella. Unlike the other NPCs, he stays that way for a time. That doesn’t mean things go well for him and his former constituents or that he remains loyal to Miquella to his end, though.

Hornsent inhabits a unique space in Elden Ring’s lore, being an NPC who was actually a victim and survivor of Marika’s wars of conquest. Those experiences ultimately are the sole defining feature of the character, and drive him toward an unfortunate end regardless of what the player does. Still, players will want to make sure they get the maximum amount of juice from the squeeze before his story concludes.

Full Hornsent questline in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC

Hornsent’s questline revolves around him being a summon sign for the Messmer the Impaler boss fight, but there are a few extra rewards to be had along the way. The key question is whether players want to guarantee he’s there to help or if they feel like they don’t need his help. 

Here’s the step-by-step process for the Hornsent’s questline:

  1. Meet Hornsent by the Three-Path Cross site of Grace
  2. Defeat Rellana, Twin Moon Knight
  3. Talk with Hornsent by the Highroad Cross site of grace
  4. Advance toward Shadow Keep until an alert appears saying “somewhere a great rune has been broken”
  5. Return to Highroad Cross, speak with Hornsent and Needle Knight Leda
  6. Progress through Shadow Keep
  7. Invade or protect Hornsent using summon signs before the Specimen Storehouse, or ignore summon signs
  8. Progress to Messmer boss fight, where Hornsent can be found as a summon sign
  9. Continue in the DLC until Hornsent attacks one final time

Regardless of how players approach Hornsent, things end with killing him.

Start things normally. Meet the crew, defeat the Divine Beast Dancing Lion and Rellana, Twin Moon Knight, then reunite with Hornsent and Leda outside her boss arena.

After approaching Shadow Keep, Miquella’s spell over Leeda’s crew breaks. Needle Knight Leda then becomes paranoid regarding her allies and starts targeting them, with Hornsent being the first in her sights. Players can suggest Hornsent or Thiollier as a traitor, but the actual decision is irrelevant.

hornsent vs leda summon location
Location for the Hornsent and Needle Knight Leda summon signs

This comes to a head partway through Shadow Keep. Along a bridge near the shortcut to the Main Gate Plaza shortcut, players will find a red summon sign where they can assist Leda in killing Hornsent, or defending Hornsent from Leda.

Should I help Hornsent or Needle Knight Leda in Shadow Keep?

Players are better off helping Needle Knight Leda kill Hornsent, unless they desperately need Hornsent’s help against Messmer.

Killing Hornsent will yield a new talisman, while helping Hornsent will give the player a unique Ash of War. The Ash of War is usable on certain weapons, but the gift from Leda for defeating him is generally better.

If the player doesn’t kill Hornsent, a summon sign for him will appear inside Messmer’s boss arena. This can make the fight significantly easier. While NPC summon signs are often a net negative in Elden Ring, as seen with Freyja at the Divine Beast Dancing Lion, Hornsent’s is invaluable.

needle knight leda

Because his summon sign appears inside the arena, players can summon him without increasing Messmer’s health and without sacrificing the ability to use Spirit Ash summons. Regardless of whether the player summons Hornsent for the fight, disappears until invading near the end of the DLC. Defeating him drops his armor set and weapon.

All possible Hornsent questline rewards in Elden Ring DLC

Hornsent’s questline ends with the player getting his armor set and weapon, but there are some extra items available along the way depending on players’ choices.

Killing Hornsent at any point gets the player all his gear, which includes the following:

  • Falx
  • Caterpillar Mask
  • Braided Cord Robe
  • Braided Arm Wraps
  • Soiled Loincloth

Falx is a powerful curved sword upgrades with Somber Smithing Stones. It has passive bleed buildup and is exceptionally fast, making it deadly against both bosses and other players. Similar to the Backhand Blade and Dark Souls 3’s Sellsword Twinblades, two-handing the weapon instead sees the player dual-wielding the swords.

His armor has the unique perk of empowering numerous “spirit” spell and items. This includes the Watchful Spirit incantation and the new Horned Bairn tool.

The fight between Hornsent and Needle Knight Leda has two possible rewards, depending on who the player sides with:

  • Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman
  • Ash of War: Swift Slash

The Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman comes from Leda as thanks if the player helps her kill Hornsent. It gives a boost to dash attacks, which is extremely helpful on colossal weapon builds that rely on these attacks. Hornsent gives the player the Ash of War: Swift Slash if they defend him from Leda. This sees the player zip forward, leaving a trail of slashes in an AOE.

Finally, players can get three Furnace Visages from Hornsent early in his questline. If players befriend the Hornsent Grandam in Belurat Village and bring a Scorpion Stew to Hornsent, he will give the player the items. These can help kill those pesky Furnace Golems in short order.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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