My Elden Ring Arcana Run - Part 8 (Into the Darkness)

Picking Flowers

First up, Nokrum is pretty straightforward. Go to the red marker on the Map (after defeating Radahn it'll show up) - find a way down - and after some minor "platforming" you should find yourself in the city. Here you have to drop down a few times (again), make your way accross some rooftops - maybe collect some Golden Runes ([5] and [6]) - and then to the left is a window we get into a room through. Here we again have to drop down - but before dropping down you can pick up a Smithing Stone [5]. Below you'll find a bunch of enemies, including a few archers shooting at you, but also a Ghostwart [3]. Moving on you'll find a site of Grace - and then you'll get into a courtyard of sorts where you'll find a Bell-Bearing for Ghostwarts ([1]-[3]), a few more Ghostwarts ([3] and [4]), a Smithing Stone [5] and a somber Smithing Stone [4] somewhere. Once done here you may move on, down some stairs to the first boss. This is a/the Mimic Tear that takes your likeness; And some like to go in without any equipment, wait until the tear spawned in and then put on their weapons. The 'woosh' I'd thin indicates when the form of the Tear is determined. With our setup we have an easy time using Bloody Slash - but if you play it "legit", that same Bloody Slash can also come right back. With that done, we exit onto a bridge of some sort which, if you check the map, is high above Siofra. Once on the bridge, you can also use Torrent. We'll want to make our way to the end of the bridge first, but one level lower. Moving along, to the right you'll at some point find a Scarab that holds a Somber Smithing Stone [5] - then you'll come accross an exit to the left; And from here you get to the lower part of the bridge. At the end you'll have to carefully make your way down a building - and at the bottom you'll have to find a way to the ground below. Possibly after picking up a Smithing Stone [5] at the far end of that other bridge thing. In the building we descended through, the lower part accessible from the bottom you'll find another Somber Smithing Stone [5], but more importantly there are a bunch of Ghostwarts strewn about. Notably a Ghostwart [5] hidden behind a building near the upper lake. Don't mind that Dragonoid boss, though behind him in the Waterfall you can pick up the Marika's Scarseal Talisman.
Hmm ... I thought there were two Ghostwart's [4] down here ... .

Then teleport back to the Mimic Tear site of grace, make your way down the Bridge to that exit, but this time hug the left until, around a rock, you'll find a site of Grace. Walking back, you can find a relatively safe vantage point overlooking the immediate vicinity. Ahead you should find a bunch of creatures doing some kind of ritualistic dance on some structure - and to the left thereof a cliff and some woods. Making your way through there takes you towards the aqueduct, which are those buildings hanging from the ceiling. TO get there you have to drop down to a ledge. On the one end of it you'll find a site of Grace; And on the other a stonesword key. If you don't have one (or want one more) ... you should pick it up. Prior to dropping down onto that ledge you can also make your way ontop of that structure those creatures are dancing in to find a Talisman that boosts some resistences. I thought it could be a neat one, but we actually find a better one. South-west of the Smoldering Church - in those ruins - locked behind a Fog-Wall/Imp-Statue, we for instance find one that booss Stamina regeneration.

Back the site of Grace we unlocked previously, moving on you can overlook an underground City. Nokrum. Here the path is also pretty much linear. You have to jump and walk accross some ledges and roofs - and eventually, past some Silvertears ("Mimics") you'll get into a Church or Chapel. You can see it from the site of grace to the left of what looks like the main road. In there you'll first find the Black Whetblade - neat - and then a Fog Wall. Behind it we find the Mimic Tear Ashes. And what always gets me is that you have to hit [triangle] to make that message disappear before you can use the attack buttons.
Then, outside of that room, back to the main building, to the left is a window you can get through. Going that way will take you to an otherwise inaccessible part of the building, one also closer to the exit down below. If you want to deal with seemingly sentient boulders and other enemies - like if you wanna see what you can get - you're free to do so. Otherwise - or for safety - take the safe route and activate the Site of Grace you'll find there. From there we only have to make our way down the road to reach out target. Some of the Metallic Slimes will turn into Silvertears - three to be precise - one of which is a larger enemy. So, perhaps try to pick them off one at a time.
In the building you'll find a chest you can only open once you accepted Ranni's quest. The protal will take you back to the Grace above; But we want to teleport right back to Ranni. Talk to her and then perhaps best teleport to the Arena you fought Loretta. Or maybe better, first teleport to the Roundtable hold.

As for upgrades - we definitely want Latenna to be on +10. We'll get enough Large Ghostwarts to upgrade three Unique Ashes to +10, but possibly not enough of those in-between. The Mimic here doesn't take priority - but it should perhaps be on +3. Maybe also save the rest of the Runes and put them into Levels. If your Vigor isn't at 22 yet, you should probably bring it up there. But on the other hand, if you got this far like that - you might not need the Mimic for the next step.

So, from the Arena - just exit to the towers and the one straight ahead should be open now (may be closed until the area is updated). Up that tower you may find the Snowwitch set (turn around after getting up the ladder) - and on top you'll find a portal to Nokstella.

Or ... its outskirts. Ainsel River. If you want the map for this area, you have to make your way to East Liurnia. There (on the map, on the surface level (press [R3 (that's pushing the right stick in)]) south of where we spawned in you'll find a round structure) you find an Elevator. You'll have to fight your way past some stuff until you reach a room with a Merchant. The map is in the same room.

Anyhow. Right ahead you can then find a Ranni Doll, this is required if you want to finish her questline, and then a site of Grace. Our main goal here is to sure pick up what we can or at least need - the main target however being that Malformed Star. The creature hanging from the ceiling firing rocks at you. Behind cover you can summon the Mimic, heal back up to full and after it's done firing rocks just attack it. I recommend poking its head with the Helice. It should be relatively easy. Probably you don't even need the Mimic, but well ... it's certainly less stressful this way. From it we get a Somber Smithing Stone [7] - and then we can upgrade our Helice to +9. With the Malformed Star out of the way you can also explore the area in peace; With a lot of Ghostwart's to be found. But ... maybe spend all your runes before walking down that narrow path.
Or, make sure you got everything - because that's the way onward. Past some Ants lurking on the ceiling you'll get into a room where Assassin's step may come in handy - and past those you'll find a Ghostwart [6] near a wall; And to the left a door that takes us into Nokstella.

The things we can find here: Along the water, up some stairs on the left (not the ones right at the start) you'll find a chest with a Ghostwart [9]. Out the door, looking down, you'll see a Ghostwart [8]. Another one is right below, counting in pillars you can see along the rampart: Past the second one. But I don't recommend jumping down as there's a lot going on. Further I'll assume you have an easy time with the dudes on the Ants - implying you're not getting yourself in a bad position. However - if you have troubles, perhaps try jumping hard attacks ... . Get them off those Ants and try not to get hit by their whips.
So, running along the water to the left comes a building with an Elevator going down. Down there is another Grace and beyond that a passage to the lake of Rot. Also somewhere down there is another Ghostwart [9].

Back at the "entrance" however, going up the stairs right ahead, on the second level, in a room filled with those Silver Jellies, you'll get the Bell-bearing [2] for Ghostwarts. So ... yay!
Higher up, accross a bridge, on the right is a building. In there is a Large Ghostwart. Beware of seemingly sentient Boulders. So, get out the Helice and ... poke them. Hard attacks will push them back somewhat, sometimes you get the opportunity for a charged one. By the way: Every room on this side is basically a trap.
Up the stairs, to the right in a niche on the left you'll find a Smithing Stone [6] - which you're, I suppose, looking forward to at this point.
In the room left thereof you'll find another Somber Smithing stone [7]. The best deal to deal with the nonsense in here is to run through, take the exit on the left and deal with all the stuff from there.

And with all that in the bag, we can leave this place.

To complete our collection of Ghostwarts, our next Goal is the Grace behind the walls of Leyndell - the one up north. From here we can make our way back out, picking up a Golden Runes, picking off some soldiers for a bit of extra Runes, and in a tower there you can also find a Greatbow. Right north of the Grace is a plateau with a shack on it. You'll find a Merchant and a Grace there. The Merchant sells arrows and the Sentinel Torch. That torch can reveal invisible enemies. It's useful if you want to visit the Haligtree lateron.

    Undead: If you haven't strayed far from the path you might not know this yet. Some creatures don't die once you kill them. Instead they put themselves back together. Either kill them once they're in that state to get rid of them for good - or use Holy Damage, like Sacred Blade. It'll prevent that. The Buff from Sacred Blade also does the trick. Merely having the weapon also do holy damage however isn't enough.
    By the way: Some of those you'll find here can fly!

    Anyhow: For this next bit it's worth putting Sacred Blade onto our Twinblade.

To the east you'll find a lesser Erdtree. It isn't guarded by an Erdtree Avatar - so you can just snatch some tears there. However ... on the other side of that plateau are Golems shooting arrows. Anyhow, we want to go south of the lesser Erdtree, so - make sure you find the way down there; And that'll also take you out of harms way. Below, beyond the bridge, you'll find the entrance to a dungeon. We want some stuff here, but these Chariots have a way of making lives miserable, so - perhaps don't carry Runes you'd miss lateron far beyond the Grace down there.
Also, we'll get back here once we want to get into the Capital proper - so here it's best to keep the Elevator down. In front there's also a Statue. North of this area you'll find a Rune-bear scratching a tree. You can lure him to that statue and get him into attacking it to get the Smithing Stone [6] hidden in there.

So, down into the Tomb of the Hero of Auriza. Here you'll find more undead - at least one group you'll run into. Namely in the first alcove you'll run into to avoid the Chariot. So, get ready to Sacred Blade them. Further down you'll get to a bridge. Here we jump down. Down there are Frogs. They don't do damage on their own, but fumes they exhaust build up ... what'sitcalled ... "curse" - and when full, that's an instant death. So, be weary. Down here you'll find a Ghostwart [6]. Following the path to an exit you'll find two Ghostwart [5]s. And ... careful entering the slope as there are chariots on both sides. Facing out from the exit, left of it there's another alcove with a Ghostwart [6]. And that's all there is to this. You can now try to make your way back out. The boss of this dungeon ... well. Its two Crucible Knights. You can get the sword and if I'm not mistaken also the armor of the Sword Version of them here. But it's a pretty tough fight.

Try finger, but Hole

Our next stop is back at Liurnia. If you've talked to Varre, the guy that stood by the first Grace we encountered on the Surface of Limgrave, he's now at the Church of Roses. The Church Ruins south of Raya Lucaria. If you talk to him there (and say that something was off about the Two Fingers?) he'll give you an item and ... suggests ... you try using it. Now, I don't mind dabbling a little in the PvP of this game. Since Patch 1.06 there's however also an offline way to complete this quest. Before that however, we'll enter Raya Lucaria. If you make it up to its front gate (from the south) - and step through the seal (if you picked up the Key) - you'll first find a Grace and two Bridges behind seals. You can actually just go there. One has a lot of Trees on it. Down there are a bunch of wolves; And at the end there's a Merchant and a Bloodhound Knight trying to get a jump on you. Down the other you'll find a Golden Seed. Down that same bridge, just before the first break, you'll find a red sign on the ground. If you've talked to Yura before. The dude that helped us beat the guy with the Knife. If you haven't, you can either find him below that Arch next to where we got the Twinblades; Or below the underpass through which we got to the fight with the Knife dude. And since he helped us, I think it's fair to also help him here.
Btw.: You can use Torrent here.

After the fight you can find Yura near where we return to our world. Talking to him will further proceed his Quest; And reward us a Smithing Stone [5] and an Ashes of War. Both of which is ... not exactly stunning. But ... hey.

Anyhow. Now we're on to the Second Church of Marika. That's the one near where we picked up the Map for Altus Plateau. The one we passed by on our way to get the Bloody Helice. Now we'll find Yura on the ground here - essentially taking his last breaths. Sad, but it is what it is. After that we get invaded by the bitch he was talking about. And by defeating her, we get a Tear for our Physik Flask that we'll need - and also a weapon that ... you might want to play with. You can get it to +9 - at which point it should be a lot stronger than our current Twinblade ... but it doesn't apply Bleed as quickly. But it also does Fire Damage. So ... [shrugs].

Moving on we can now make our way to the ruins where we found the Bloody Helice. But instead of the South-Eastern building, we're now looking for a red sign in the North-Eastern building. It's an Invasion - so, in a sense us being the Bad guys; And it'll complete Varre's quest for us. So, once defeating him we're back to Varre.

What happens here might be important to some, so I'll do my best to walk you through it:
Varre tries to recruit us as a Bloody Finger subservient to "the Lord of Blood" - Mogh. If we agree and pass the test, he'll do something that looks like putting a sign onto one of "our" hands. The right one. To pass the test, we'll have to soak a piece of cloth in the Blood of a Maiden. Because we're Maidenless, anyone will do.
And some might ... read some stuff into this. Something something ... mark of the Devil. And yea, what would an Arcane run be without even a little bit of edge?

This way we can get to Mogh fast - else we'd have to beat Morgott and then get to Castle Sol and do the Boss there to then make our way through the Consecrated Snowfield. You can do that, if you will.
However, if you went to the Chapel of Anticipation - the starting area - through the Four Bellfreys, we already have access to a dead Maiden. I wonder what the Lore is - that there just so happens to be a dead Maiden right next to where we originally spawned. It seems to have been like ... her will. It's a twisted World after all. But whatever the case: Going there and soaking the cloth in her blood - which for some reason is still fluid enough - will solve that part of the quest.
From what I understand - the marking "we" receive is on our finger. And it'll make our finger so that we can invade other worlds without needing that consumable item. So, we get infinite invasions. Represented by an item we get.
We'll also get another item we're asked to not use - but we'll use it. That's the whole reason we're here. To say, we're betraying him. Not only him, we've got our mind set on Killing the Lord of Blood himself. With the very weapon his own Goons get at us with. So ... it's all good in the end.

The true Danger with this kind of stuff is I'd say really just in your head. If you think that this is somehow the - or "a" mark of the Devil; And you then get all Moody and Depressed over this or that - and you then start to believe that it's all over or too late or something along those lines - you make it so. But nothing stops you from saying "Fuck it" - repenting if you so will - trying to do right by yourself. "Young Tarnished".

Anyhow - with the item we receive we can Teleport to Mogh's Palace.
Here you should first go up the stairs, pick up the Map, then up some more stairs and activate the Grace. From here there are two ways. One is further upstairs - and the one is down into some Forrest. In that Forrest are red Albinaurics - or as I'd like to call them "Chubbynorics" (I don't know why they're called the same) - that summon a large ghostly skeletton you may have encountered. If not ... you might do so here. The idea here is to first hop onto Torrent (once down on the ground) and make our way through the forrest. Sticking to the left, picking up all the Golden Runes and Smithing Stones and stuff, until you some bit up some hill find a site of Grace.
This ... is a popular End-Game Rune-Farming spot. The Chubbynaurics here drop like 2000 Runes or so each. You may seem some Ghosts as they go through the motion. But that's not why we're here. Or, maybe that's why we're here. Who knows? I mean, on an Arcane Run we're like too edgy from the get go to be absolved from the stigma that is implied - and maybe there's some irony in it that the prime weapon used to farm here is actually a Faith weapon. Anyhow ... there's a saying ... . I think. What was it ... ?
It ... fits the bill. If you catch my drift. We're not here to farm Runes ... we're here to ... uhm ... explore the swamp you can see once looking down from the cliff. And because we're very underlevelled for this area, I suppose, we think it's a good idea to get rid of that Bird down there. Not that we couldn't fight it - but once we die past it we ... do actually still want our Runes. And to make that easier, we'll ... first try to hit it with an arrow from up here so it'll run down the cliff. A neat side-effect is that it happens to be worth 11k Runes. The best way to do this, I think, is to take the Bow two-handed and use [L1] to manually aim the arrow.
Well - anyway ... we need to now get Latenna up to +10; And having the Mimic up to +8 or so would also help us with the next segment. The items there in the swamp ... well. There's a stonesword Key. Other than that, well. The items in this area are overall a bit mixed ... but ... anyhow. To get to the swamp, head down the hill and on the left somewhere is a small passage. You can however also take the way around.

Once you've ... uh ... satisfied your curiosity it's back to the initial grace and up the stairs. The Zombies here are best left alone. Once killed they explode and cause bleed ... which is nasty without a simple way to get rid of them from afar. So, just run past - and be careful of the suicide bomber versions of them.

Eventually you'll get to a dark room. And you may notice that Summoning Spirits is possible here. This is where the Mimic comes in. It'll make this next bit a lot easier. If you listen for it - you can hear some splatter sound, indicating one of those things that have a Bloody Helice and a Knife spawning in. Some like to spawn behind you. Up the slope to the left there's a Merchant - and on your way back one will pop in somewhere. That sort of thing. It might be best to try to first make it to the other end. That's the right at the first fork - and then effectively left and then right up a slope. You should there also be able to see the exit. On the way there you may pick up a Ghostwart [9]. From there you can see a Large Ghostwart ... and your Mimic might already be down there slashing away at the Zombies down there. That's certainly a safe way to do it. Anyhow. Out the exit you'll find a grace - and further up you'll see a bunch of Chubbynorics and one of those Bloody Helice dudes standing in front of a chest. There's an Ancient Somber Smithing stone in there. With it we can upgrade our Bloody Helice to +10. To get it, you might have to clear out the whole group first. Try to lure them to the Grace to pick them off one by one. One charged hit from the Helice should stun them.
Behind the statue you'll also find a Golden Rune [13].

All in all, we've collected like 120k worth of Golden Runes here. That may get you to or beyond 60. Vigor at 22 and Dex+Arcane at 50 - say ... 20 Dex and 30 Arcane should be a comfortable lower margin to go for. Back at the site of Grace, make sure you put the Tear we got from Eleonora into your Physick Flask (Purifying Crystal Tear) - and for the other I recommend the Stonebarb Cracked Tear.

So - next to where we got the Ancient Somber Smithing stone we find an Elevator that takes us up to the fight against Mogh. And the Purifying Crystal Tear's effect prevents us from taking a LOT of damage from one of his "attacks". Effectively he puts a stack of a curse on us - and once he did that three times he uses some "skill" to damage us and heal himself.
Now - for the fight:

Once entering the Arena, immediately summon Latenna. Then restore your Mana (though, we kind of don't need it - but we're also in no hurry) and walk up. There should be a spot on the ground that does stand out. It's one bright tile surrounded by darker/dirty ones. Wait here until Mogh is close enough for a charged attack. The reasoning behind this is this, that after the attack Mogh will apply a stack of the curse, rather than doing an attack. He only does that once we dealt enough damage - and giving Latenna time to hit him a few more times does the trick. Provided she's on +10 and you deal enough damage.

Once he does apply a stack, we can go for another charged attack. Be careful about the swipe he does after that. Then we need to hit him with one more charged attack to stagger him. This we follow up with another charged attack (ideally following the one we just did up with a second one) before going for the crit. After that he'll - if we did enough damage - move on to do his Curse thingy twice and move right on into doing his heal nonsense. So, we can get another charged attack in, heal and use the physik. Once he's doing his Nihil - just stab him a few times. Once he did the third Nihil do charged heavy attacks instead. Eventually you'll thereafter just have to ding him a few times to stagger him once more. Ideally also doing a charged attack before going for the crit. And after that ... the fight continues until either one is dead.
Well, he'll probably prioritize going after Latenna because she consistently deals damage. That gives you some air to breathe. So, the two reason to upgrade her to +10 is 1) That she has more health and 2) That she does more damage.

The reason Latenna is so good here is because she consistently deals damage to him. That damage also applies poise damage. So, the poise damage we deal by charged attacking him doesn't get lost. That allows us to consistently stagger him with our third hit. Well, unless he hits her and thus knocks her out of dealing damage. Or something. It wasn't 100% consistent - but generally consistent.
Maybe there's some timing issue - but, anyhow.

Two things to watch out for: 1) His vomit attack. Mogh will either spray some fire accross the map, or practically below his feet; Depending on how close you are to him. If you're close you only need to walk away; And if he vomits at you you best dodge towards him. That mainly matters for the second phase. Once he's in the air and about to vomit at you, you can consistently avoid it by dodging towards him. And ... once he does the vomit thing after he applies the stack, it's probably better to not attack into it. Just stay away and wait for the next opportunity.
The other thing is his fire burst attack. He'll pull back his hand and then swipe forward. The important thing is to not dodge his swipe - but the explosion that comes out at the end. It takes some getting used to, but eventually is easy to dodge. He also does it often enough to get used to it. He does however two versions. You'll eventually notice that he can charge it - so the swipe will take a little longer to come out. Once he does that, he will also follow up with a big swing. There may be a safe-zone, but just standing behind him doesn't do the trick. So, it's best to dodge the swing and then go for a charged attack.

The rest is basically just the usual boss shenanigans - although he has a really mean moveset. And that's what you'll have to get used to to take this home.

And that'd be that!
420k Runes ... that's - assuming you're Level 60 - 15 Levels. And ... at this point, there aren't any specific requirements/goals. But, if you throw it all into Arcane ... you get to or close to the soft-cap of 45. The Tree Sentinel guarding access to the Capital should be a piece of cake at this point. Goldfrey is ... anyway rather simple. Morgott ... I don't know. Eventually however there should be enough to also take Vigor up a bit. So ... whatever.
I guess we could next go to complete Nepheli's Quest.