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Elden Ring: Full Needle Knight Leda questline, all possible rewards

needle knight leda elden ring dlc boss

The Needle Knight Leda questline in the Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is one of the longest in FromSoftware history and naturally, it gives players a wide variety of rewards.

NPCs that can both help and hinder progress have always been a part of the Soulsborne line of games, all the way back to Demon’s Souls. For the most part though, these questlines are quite short. Players find a friend, bring them an item or select the right dialog option, and then they hang out as a merchant in the hub area. If they’re not a merchant, they’ll either be one-off invaders or summoned help that later gets killed.

Shadow of the Erdtree does things quite differently. The DLC introduces an entire crew of NPCs with different ties to each other and bosses from the base game. These characters can be steady allies or dogged enemies depending on the player’s choices and decisions during a playthrough. Many of those choices flow through Needle Knight Leda.

Full Needle Knight Leda questline walkthrough in Elden Ring’s DLC

Needle Knight Leda’s questline makes other NPCs available to players during major boss fights, before culminating with a major boss fight against Leda.

Though Leda isn’t a remembrance boss, she’s one of the biggest bosses of the Elden Ring DLC. She also governs how much help, or hindrance, players have for the major bosses in the Land of Shadows. Her questline is relatively short, but it extends across every other questline in the DLC. Here’s every step of Needle Knight Leda’s questline and the rewards for each part of it.

Start the Elden Ring DLC, meet Needle Knight Leda and the Followers of Miquella

Needle Knight Leda is the first thing players see of Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. She appears in front of Miquella’s cocoon once players can start the DLC. After players arrive in the land of Shadows they’ll meet Leda’s entourage, dubbed the Followers of Miquella.

While everyone is doing great at the start and is united in their purpose, things go awry in catastrophic fashion.

Defeat Rellana the Twin Moon Knight, then head to Shadow Keep

Leda isn’t anywhere to be found after heading to the Land of Shadow, but she does arrive before long. Players can find her after defeating Rellana, Twin Moon Knight. Rellana is technically optional, but beating her is the fastest way to the Scadu Altus region. Leda is a summonable NPC outside of Rellana’s boss arena, but players don’t actually have to call upon her.

needle knight leda those who follow miquella

The Highroad Cross site of grace is found directly outside of Rellana’s boss arena. Leda will appear there alongside the Hornsent. From there, players can follow the road to reach Messmer the Impaler and Shadow Keep.

But along the way to the Elden Ring DLC’s big boss, players receive a notification that Needle Knight Leda’s questline has truly started and that they need to make some choices about which missable rewards they want.

“Somewhere a great rune has broken” means Needle Knight Leda’s questline in the Elden Ring DLC has started

The “somewhere, a great rune has broken” notification marks the start of Needle Knight Leda’s questline. After receiving this notification, return to the Highroad Cross site of grace and talk with Leda. She will reveal that the Followers of Miquella were actually under a spell that made them love Miquella. Each one has a different reaction to this, and different thoughts on Miquella as a result.

Leda remains loyal to Miquella, and doesn’t like the fact that others in the group no longer feel the same. She remains outwardly confident in the Tarnished, for now. Players have the choice of suggesting that Thiollier or the Hornsent are disloyal. The choice doesn’t matter, but things still escalate.

needle knight leda

Should I help Needle Knight Leda kill the Hornsent in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree?

Players have the choice of helping Needle Knight Leda kill the Hornsent, and they should probably do so

The first major part of Needle Knight Leda’s questline is her planned assassination of the Hornsent. This results in two multiplayer signs appearing in Shadow Keep. One sign lets players help Leda, while the other lets players help the Hornsent. 

Each option has different results and each has different rewards.

hornsent vs leda summon location
Location of the Hornsent vs. Leda signs, near shortcut outside Main Gate Plaza site of grace.

Alternatively, players can do nothing. This results in missing all the rewards while keeping Hornsent available for Messmer. Players must choose one side or the other before reaching Messmer’s boss arena. If players do nothing, they still retain the choice of helping or stopping Leda’s next assassination attempt.

Rewards for helping both sides in Needle Knight Leda’s Hornsent invasion in the Elden Ring DLC

It’s worth noting that regardless of what players do here, the Hornsent becomes hostile later and will drop his full armor set and his powerful weapon later.

Helping Needle Knight Leda kill the Hornsent gives the following rewards:

  • Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman
  • Hornsent’s equipment drops early

The Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman boosts dash attacks, which is extremely helpful on certain weapons and in PVP. Alongside this, players get the Hornsent’s full equipment set early. This is notable as his weapon, Falx, is one of the best curved swords in the game and one of the best new weapons added in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.

The drawback is that after killing the Hornsent, he will no longer appear as a summon for the Messmer the Impaler boss fight. However, players can still have a summonable friend for that fight in Swordhand of Night Jolan, who appears if the player has started Count Ymir’s questline.

Helping the Hornsent survive the fight against Leda gives the following rewards:

  • Ash of War: Swift Slash
  • Leda’s Rune (worth 40,000 runes)
  • Hornsent remains summonable in Messmer boss fight

The Swift Slash Ash of War is strong and is compatible with the Backhand Blade, one of the first new weapons that can be obtained in the DLC.

The Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman is more versatile than the Swift Slash Ash of War, and players can’t summon both Hornsent and Jolan against Messmer. This makes helping Leda a net positive.

Should I help Needle Knight Leda kill Sir Anbach in Shadow Keep?

After the player defeats Messmer the Impaler in the Elden Ring DLC, Needle Knight Leda’s questline advances regardless of what happened with the Hornsent. If the player didn’t help her kill the Hornsent, she will say he’s no longer an issue after Messmer’s death. Her sights then turn to Sir Ansbach.

Players should help Sir Ansbach against Needle Knight Leda.

As with the Hornsent, a pair of multiplayer signs will appear in Shadow Keep. These are found in the storehouse’s first floor where players previously found Ansbach. Once again, players have the choice of helping Needle Knight Leda’s invasion or being summoned as help by Sir Ansbach with different rewards on offer by both.

Rewards for helping both sides in Needle Knight Leda’s Sir Ansbach invasion in the Elden Ring DLC

Players receive Ansbach’s Longbow for helping either side in the invasion. As with the Hornsent, there are missable rewards that players must choose between.

If the player helps Needle Knight Leda kill Sir Ansbach, they receive the following rewards:

  • Ansbach’s Longbow
  • Ansbach’s equipment drops early
  • Retaliatory Crossed-Tree talisman

The Retaliatory Crossed-Tree talisman is a solid option that boosts the damage to attacks done after dodge rolling or backstepping. This can be a strong choice for certain builds and cannot be obtained otherwise.

If the player defends Sir Ansbach from Leda’s invasion, they get the following rewards instead:

  • Ansbach’s Longbow
  • Leda’s Rune (worth 40,000 runes)
  • Ansbach’s questline continues

The big rewards for defending Ansbach are his longbow and allowing his questline to advance. The questline lets players summon him for the final boss battle and bestows two other rewards that are otherwise unobtainable. This includes the Furious Blade of Ansbach incantation and the Obsidian Lamina scythe. Players also get his armor alongside these items, so the only thing players truly miss out on by siding with him is the Retaliatory Crossed-Tree talisman.

Face Needle Knight Leda to finish her questline, beat the Elden Ring DLC

Needle Knight Leda’s questline ends by fighting her, with rewards varying based on advancing other questlines in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree.

Needle Knight Leda Boss Fight

The boss fight against Leda can involve several other NPCs from Shadow of the Erdtree. Leda will summon help, and players can do the same. In both cases, the participants in the fight change based on dialog choices and whether the player has finished the questlines of other Followers of Miquella.

Leda is guaranteed to summon Dryleaf Dane as an ally for her boss fight. Depending on how the player has advanced other questlines, she’s also capable of summoning Moore, the Hornsent, and Redmane Freyja to her side. On the flipside, if the player helped Sir Ansbach and finished Thiollier’s questline, they can both be summoned for the fight against Leda and then re-summoned for the final boss battle.

The final reward for finishing Needle Knight Leda’s questline is Leda’s Sword, part of the new light greatsword class of weapons added in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree. Players will also receive Leda’s Armor, a cuirass. Though Leda has her own unique cuirass, her helmet, greaves, and gauntlets are all from the Oathseeker set.

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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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