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Elden Ring Hornsent quest guide

Hornsent is one of the most mysterious NPCs in the Elden Ring DLC, and so is his quest. Here’s everything you need to know to complete it.

a closeup of hornsent from elden ring

How do you complete Hornsent’s quest in Elden Ring? There’s a lot of new NPCs in the Land of Shadow, and every single one of them is as mysterious as they are esoteric. Completing their quests takes a lot of guesswork, and this is also true of Hornsent (or “the hornsent” as some other NPCs refer to him as). Luckily, we’ve gone ahead and compiled all there is to know about his quest for revenge.

The other major sidequest in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree involves Needle Knight Lena with a branching path in Hornsent’s quest, so be sure to take a peek at the Leda quest guide. Otherwise, you’re going to want to read the Golden Hippopotamus boss guide and the Messmer the Impaler boss guide, as Hornsent can assist with both if you play your cards right.

the player from elden ring using an emote near hornsent

Where to find Elden Ring Hornsent

Hornsent is found in a handful of locations throughout the Land of Shadow, the area entirely set within the DLC. You will meet Hornsent fairly early on and he will make an appearance before the final boss – if you didn’t kill him, that is. Here are his locations:

  • Three-Path Cross Site of Grace. This Site of Grace, directly north of the first Gravesite Plain one, is where you’ll first find Hornsent.
  • Highroad Cross Site of Grace. This Grace is north of Castle Ensis.
  • Shadow Keep Main Gate Site of Grace. You can summon Hornsent to assist you against the Golden Hippopotamus after you enter the Shadow Keep’s main entrance.
  • Shadow Keep. If you’ve progressed both his and Leda’s quest, you will find a summon sign near a set of stairs leading down to the Main Gate Plaza Site of Grace.
  • Shadow Keep. If you sided with him over Leda, you will find a summon sign in Messmer the Impaler’s boss room.
  • Messmer’s Dark Chamber Site of Grace. After defeating Messmer the Impaler, you will find him standing before Messmer’s throne.
  • Church of the Bud. Hornsent will invade you before the Romina, Saint of the Bud boss fight.
  • If you miss the invasion, Hornsent will invade you in Etir-llim at the end of the game.

summoning hornsent during the messmer boss fight in elden ring

How to complete Elden Ring Hornset’s quest

You’ll first meet Hornsent at the Three-Path Cross Site of Grace, near a massive stone archway and one of Miquella’s glowing crosses. Redmane Freyja is also nearby. Hornsent will give you a Cross Map, which reveals the location of known Miquella crosses in the Gravesite Plains area; however, finding them all isn’t necessary to advance his quest.

Once you clear Castle Ensis, which is across the large bridge northeast of Three-Path Cross (or skip it entirely by going through the Fort of Reprimand to the east of it), Hornsent will move to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace. Speak to him here to receive the New Cross Map, which will reveal the location of three more of Miquella’s crosses.

Approach the Shadow Keep directly north of the Highroad Cross Site of Grace. You will hear a shattering sound and the message “Somewhere, a great rune has broken…” will appear. Return to the Highroad Cross Site of Grace and speak to both Hornsent and Leda. Leda will vow to destroy those who stand against Miquella, and her first target is Hornsent, regardless of what you choose when she asks you who you might suspect.

Continue through the main entrance to the Shadow Keep, which is past the large Furnace Golem in the distance. There is another way to enter the Shadow Keep from going through Bonny Village in the east; however, this route mirrors Hornsent’s quest more closely. At the Main Gate Site of Grace, you will find both Redmane’s and Hornsent’s summon signs on either side of the massive door to the boss room for the Golden Hippopotamus. It doesn’t matter if you choose him.

Defeat the hippo and head east from the boss room, winding your way up until you reach an area with boat-like structures with small Vulgar Militia enemies guarding them. Near stairs leading down to a shortcut to the Main Gate Site of Grace, you’ll find two summon signs: one to help Leda and one to help Hornsent. See the image below for the exact location:

an orange arrow showing the location of leda and hornsent summon signs

If you choose to help Leda, the following occurs:

  • You will kill Hornsent and end his questline, earning his items:
    • Falx curved sword
    • Caterpillar Mask
    • Braided Cord Robe
    • Braided Arm Wraps
    • Soiled Loincloth
  • Leda will give you the Lacerating Crossed-Tree talisman at the Highroad Cross Site of Grace. It enhances dash attacks.

If you choose to help Hornsent, the following occurs:

  • Leda will disappear until near the end of the DLC.
  • Hornsent will gift you Ash of War: Swift Slash
  • Leda will drop Leda’s Rune.
  • Hornsent becomes summonable in the Messmer the Impaler boss fight.
  • You will not be able to help Leda kill Ansbach.

Do note that if you side with Hornsent, you can obtain Leda’s Armor and Leda’s Sword later. You can also obtain his armor and sword as he will invade you as well. However, you cannot get the Lacerating Crossed-Tree Talisman and the Retaliatory Crossed-Tree talisman. You will not get the Ash of War: Swift Slash if you side with Leda.

If you help Hornsent, he will become available to summon for the Messmer the Impaler boss fight. His Falx swords can help you build up the bleed status on this difficult boss. After that, you won’t see him again until you reach the Church of the Bud. Before the Romina, Saint of the Bud boss fight, Hornsent will invade you. Hornsent isn’t a formidable foe; however, he can stack bleed on you fairly quickly if he gets a chance so do your best to avoid getting hit too much. Once you defeat him, you will gain his armor, weapon, and his quest will be completed.

However, if you skip fighting Messmer and head to the Church of the Bud first, you can avoid fighting Hornsent here. He will instead invade you during the boss fight against Needle Knight Leda near the end of the game, making this confrontation more difficult.

In our opinion, both Leda and Hornsent aren’t very nice people, but the rewards for keeping him alive are better than killing him. Whichever you choose, you’re certain to need a lot of help to get through this ultra-difficult DLC. Foremost, you should check all Scadutree Fragment locations to make sure you’re the best you can be. And if that’s not enough, check out the best Soulslikes on PC for a bit more tame alternative.