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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Leda quest guide

Hornsent or Thiollier?

The Tarnished speaks with Needle Knight Leda in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree has a fair few notable characters to introduce yourself to, and the first one that you will meet is Needle Knight Leda. First found at the Cocoon of the Empyrean, Leda is a very important character in the Realm of Shadow, and someone you ought to regularly check in with.

That said, Leda’s quest can be a tad confusing. There’s decisions to make that, of course, impact later-game events, so to help you out with acquiring the best outcomes or simply grabbing all of Leda’s gear, here’s how to complete Leda’s quest in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.

There are spoilers ahead for Needle Knight Leda’s quest and the end-game events that are a part of it. There are also spoilers for the quests of some other NPC’s.


Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree Leda quest guide

  1. Speak to Needle Knight Leda at the Cocoon of the Empyrean in the base game, then enter the DLC
  2. Visit Belurat Tower Settlement and Castle Ensis, then speak to Leda at the Highroad Cross following Castle Ensis' boss
  3. Explore Scadu Altus, and after the shattering, speak with Leda again. Tell her to pick either the Hornsent or Thiollier, it doesn't matter which
  4. After defeating the boss at Shadow Keep's main gate, advance to the plaza of burning boats to find two summon signs at the top of the stairs. Help Leda invade the Hornsent
  5. Speak to Leda again and she is now headed for Ansbach. Visit Ansbach on the first floor of the Specimen Storehouse, accessible from Shadow Keep Church District
  6. There are two summon signs in Ansbach's room. If you want to complete both Leda and Ansbach's quests, ignore them or invade Leda. To complete only Leda's quest, invade Ansbach
  7. Speak to Leda again, and then beat Messmer the Impaler in Shadow Keep
  8. Head to Ancient Ruins of Rauh and beat Romina, Saint of the Bud, then burn the sealing tree
  9. Advance through Enir-Ilim to reach your final meeting with Leda

Needle Knight Leda Location 1

First things first, you’ll meet Needle Knight Leda at the Cocoon of the Empyrean in Elden Ring’s base game, where you enter the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC.

After hearing what she has to say here, enter the Realm of Shadow and explore! We do, however, recommend going north to Three Path Cross, and then west to Main Gate Cross, to meet more of Miquella’s Followers.

Needle Knight Leda Location 2 - Thiollier or Hornsent?

You’ll next meet Leda at Highroad Cross, which is found behind Castle Ensis (where you will fight Rellana). You can access here early via the Fort of Reprimand if needed, though.

The location of a Scadutree Fragment at the Highroad Cross of Miquella is marked on the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree map
Here's where you'll first find Leda in the Realm of Shadow. | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Ask Leda about the Hornsent while you’re at it, and then continue your exploration. We recommend heading east of Highroad Cross to speak to Dryleaf Dane and explore Moorth Ruins.

Eventually, you’ll encounter an event known as ‘the shattering’. This is nothing to worry about and is meant to happen, and you’ll notice that Miquella’s Followers all change their tone following it.

After the event, speak with all the NPCs again including Leda. Leda will be the only one who seemingly remains loyal to Miquella and she then decides to ferret out those who are disloyal.

She will then pose a question, asking you who she should investigate first: Thiollier, or Hornsent. Your answer doesn’t matter here as Leda will have her sights set on the Hornsent either way, and will advise that she is following him to Shadow Keep.

Needle Knight Leda Invasion 1 - Help Leda or Hornsent?

At Shadow Keep’s main plaza, where the burning boats are, you’ll find two summon signs: one for helping Leda invade Hornsent, and one for helping Hornsent invade Leda. Ideally, help Leda invade the Hornsent. Though, if you skip this invasion or help the Hornsent, the ending of Leda’s personal quest is not impacted.

The Tarnished stands between two summon signs for Leda and the Hornsent in Shadow Keep's main plaza in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree
Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

Needle Knight Leda Invasion 2 - Help Leda or Ansbach?

Speak to Leda again following the fight and she will now have her sights set on Ansbach. Later, on the Specimen Storehouse’s first floor, you’ll find Ansbach studying, but you’ll also find two more summon signs: one to help Leda, and one to help Ansbach.

The location of the First Floor of the Specimen Storehouse is marked on the Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree map
Here's where you'll find the next set of summon signs. They're in the same room as Ansbach. | Image credit: VG247/FromSoftware

To get to the room Ansbach is in, go left of the Specimen Storehouse First Floor and through the library ahead. Up the stairs, take a left and the room is just on your right, down some stairs.

Help Leda fight Ansbach to receive his armor and his bow. He will also not appear later on. Much like Hornsent, you can skip this fight - or invade Leda - to keep Ansbach alive and this does not impact the end of Leda’s quest. You can speak to her at Highroad Cross again following this.

Needle Knight Leda's Location 3

Now, you mainly just need to advance with Shadow of the Erdtree’s story, but be sure to explore as much as possible along the way; there’s plenty to see, do, and loot. On the Fourth Floor of the Specimen Storehouse, you’ll find a message from Ansbach.

After this, you want to beat Messmer the Impaler (found in Shadow Keep’s Dark Chamber) and then make your way to the Ancient Ruins of Rauh, where you’ll find a message from Dryleaf Dane about a nearby sealing tree.

Explore Rauh thoroughly and you’ll run into Romina, Saint of the Bud in the western half of the region sooner or later. After defeating her, you can use Messmer’s Kindling to burn the sealing tree behind her arena, revealing the jaw-dropping Enir-Ilim area attached to Belurat Tower Settlement.

Advance through Enir-Ilim to eventually come to a large group-fight, kicked off by Leda. Depending on how you handled the quests of Ansbach, Hornsent, Thiollier, Freyja, and Moore, you’ll have a mixture of enemies to go up against.

Ansbach is always an ally in this scenario, unless you killed him. Thiollier can also be an ally if you finish his quest before reaching Enir-Ilim. Otherwise, he won’t be present. Moore, Freyja, and the Hornsent all have a chance of being an adversary or not appearing at all, depending on your decisions during their quests. Dryleaf Dane and Leda, however, are always destined to fight against you.

Following the fight, you’ll be able to grab the gear and weapons of anyone you fought against. Leda’s armor is just around the corner from everyone else’s, though.


That’s it for Leda’s quest, but for more on Shadow of the Erdtree, be sure to check out Igon’s quest and the Realm of Shadow’s anti-dragon katana. It’ll help you out with it!

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