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ER Shadow of the Erdtree Specimen Storehouse walkthrough

The Specimen Storehouse is one of the densest and most confusing areas in Shadow of the Erdtree, but also offers the best secrets!

The Tarnished overlooking a central pillar of stuffed monsters in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

The Specimen Storehouse is one of the densest and most confusing areas in all of Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, and you probably found it by accident.

All you did was wander down the wrong corridor, ride a sketchy elevator and suddenly you're in the labyrinthine nightmare known as the Specimen Storehouse beneath the Black Keep. I can only say I’m sorry. And no, it doesn’t get any less befuddling.

You might have taken some solace in the thought that this easily missed and well-hidden area would be completely optional? You were wrong.

Not only is the Storehouse home to a wide variety of vitally important items you need to collect, it’s also where you find one of the DLC’s required bosses, as well as many of the NPCs featured in side quests and the straightest path towards the Shadow Realm’s final area.

Once you start to unlock the many Sites of Grace scattered throughout the Specimen Storehouse, navigating its samey staircases becomes a lot easier since you can flit around between NPCs and remember the same routes to get to where you need to go.


Specimen Storehouse Walkthrough

When you first enter the Specimen Storehouse, you turn left from the elevator and are immediately met by a Site of Grace: the Storehouse, Back Section.

Walk straight west from the Site of Grace and across the bridge, ignoring the ladder for now, and engage the enemies on the other side. They’re relatively weak spellcasters, but the timing of their attacks is very strange and tricky to dodge. Basically, when it sounds like they’re shooting a spell at you they’re just summoning the fireball, which will then ping off a second or so later. Try not to get faked out by the sound cue.

The Tarnished sneaking up on a Fire Knight in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the dead end, there’s a disinterested Fire Knight who you can score a free backstab on for some easy damage. Their moveset is a lot to deal with, incorporating both the strangely-timed fireballs and strong melee as well.

I find it easiest to not give them too much room, because they really spam the fireballs to keep you at arm’s length. When they’re defeated, grab the super-cool item they were guarding: the Carian Thrusting Shield - a new weapon type in Shadow of the Erdtree. This enemy also dropped the exceptional Fire Knight Helm for me, but it’s unclear pre-release whether this is a random drop or not.

With those great baubles in-hand, return to the ladder you passed and climb up. At the top, there’s another Fire Knight in front of you. However they’re easily dispatched by a backstab which knocks them clean off the ledge. Clean up the shadows in this room, then head eastwards up the stairs.

The Tarnished climbing a staircase to escape a Fire Knight in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Look out behind you, as there’s another Fire Knight patrolling the balcony, but you can just run forward away from them since the item they’re guarding isn’t worth the hassle.

Grab the Fire Serpent spell from the next room, then turn back on yourself and look for a hole in the wall that leads to a wooden scaffold outside.

The Tarnished climbing a wooden scaffold on the outside of the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Climb the scaffold and you find another Site of Grace to rest and replenish your flasks!


Storehouse, Loft Site of Grace

From the Site of Grace, ride the elevator up into the rafters of the Specimen Storehouse.

The Tarnished casting a spell to attack a giant bat in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Go left at the top, then left again, then right. At this point a bat will swoop down and attack you, but if you keep running forward and take a right it gets stuck on the scenery and is much easier to handle without falling off.

The Tarnished collecting the Wrath from Afar Incantation in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Unless you’re particularly in need of Thin Beast Bones, the item around the corner isn’t worth messing around with two bats for, so climb the ladder and look to your left. There are a few items actually worth grabbing this way, so head anticlockwise around and snag the smithing stones before continuing anticlockwise to what would be 6 o’clock. Drop down to the gear below and grab the unique Incantation, then run and jump back to the rafters and climb up the nearby ladder.

The Tarnished running away from a fireball cast by a Fire Knight in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the top you see another elevator in front of you, but there’s a catch: a hidden Fire Knight will cast wind spells to try and knock you off the beams as you approach. Ignore them, and sprint as best you can into the elevator and ride it down.

In front of you there’s a Fire Knight engrossed in the tomes on the bookcase. Sneak past them and grab the plump Rune of the Unsung Hero on their right, then go back to the elevator and ride it up.

Go left, then right, then left and climb down the ladder, watching out for the swarming bats which swoop down for a sweet taste of Tarnished blood.

The Tarnished walking towards an elevator outside the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the bottom, go under the rafter to the north and climb down the next ladder. This leads outside, where another elevator awaits. Would you believe it, there’s then another elevator which leads down and to the back door of the Black Keep where a few fun things are waiting for you.

First is a Site of Grace then, on the right, a Scadutree Fragment and a statue you can perform the “O, Mother” emote in front of to access the secret passage to the Hinterlands where you complete Count Ymir’s quest.

Finally, out of the back door, you stand face to tusk with Commander Gaius, an optional boss with their own weapon, armor set and 5 more Scadutree Fragments if you can beat them.

Ultimately though, this is a dead end. So you will need to return to the Storehouse, Back Section Site of Grace to explore the lower floors of the Specimen Storehouse.


Storehouse, First Floor Site of Grace

The Tarnished dropping down to the lower level in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

From the Storehouse, Back Section Site of Grace, walk to the west and look for a small table you can use to hop over the bannister, onto the top of the bookcase below, then drop down to the waiting Site of Grace. This is the Storehouse, First Floor.

The Tarnished riding an elevator down to a basement to retrieve the Iris of Grace in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

From the Site of Grace, go to the left and look for the well-lit room there. There are a couple of aggressive spellcasters, but if you’re fast you can sprint straight through and down the elevator on the other side without coming to harm.

At the bottom, at the far end of the hall you can see a small room with an item (a gold-pickled fowl foot), but what you can’t see is the living jar waiting on the left to ambush you inside. Decide whether the bonus runes you could get with the fowl foot are worth it to you, then stride over there (or not).

The Tarnished navigating a storehouse to find the Iris of Grace in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

To continue, go through the door next to the elevator. As you walk down the hall another living jar will spring out from the left, leaving the unique Ash of War: Wall of Sparks for the taking once you’ve dealt with them. If you have any ranged options, against the living jar insides is when to use them, since they have a barf attack that does a truly ridiculous amount of damage.

Over the balcony’s edge, you can see what you’re getting into downstairs, so prepare for battle and return to follow the previous corridor. In the next hall, the insides of another jar will stagger up the stairs like a drunk at a provincial nightclub. Pop them like a meat balloon, but don’t go down the stairs yet.

Down the corridor to the left of the stairs is an illusory wall you can dispel with a swing of your weapon or a well-placed roll. Inside is a crafting cookbook to add to your collection.

Now, head down the stairs and get ready to run. There are so many enemies in this main hall that it’s not worth trying to take them all out.

The Tarnished sneaking past a living jar to collect the Iris of Grace in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the bottom of the stairs, sprint past the living jar and go around to the left. Grab the hefty pot from the bed on your right, then snatch the Iris of Grace the jar insides are worshipping at the end of the room. This is a really important item that’s used in both Fire Knight Queelign and Count Ymir’s quests.

Now turn back on yourself and run to the other end of the room. Go through the small door, around the wall and down the stairs, then you’re nearly home free. Just in front of you is the West Rampart Site of Grace.

Rest here to reset the aggro of any enemies chasing you, but you’ve reached another end of the Black Keep. If you keep following this path you’ll reach the Ancient Ruins of Rauh, which is the final main area of the Shadow Realm. Now that you have this fast travel point, you’ve saved a lot of headache in the future. But there’s still a lot more to see in the rest of the Specimen Storehouse!


Storeroom, First Floor Part 2

Return to the Storeroom, First Floor Site of Grace, because it’s time to hunt down the required boss of this area.

The Tarnished sneaking up on a Vulgar Warrior in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Walk forward from the Site of Grace, around the left-hand side of the Divine Beast statue, but be mindful of the Vulgar Warrior lying in wait to pop out from the right.

Go around the back of the Divine Beast statue, watching out again for another Vulgar Warrior appearing from the right around the corner. Then go straight forward and up the stairs.

The Tarnished speaking to Ansbach in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

From the top, take a left, then an immediate right, then forward down the stairs towards the skeleton on the pedestal. Behind it, if you’ve advanced his quest to this point, you’ll find Ansbach, who you can speak to again to take his storyline forward.

The Tarnished climbing a staircase to reach the second floor of the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

With his dialogue exhausted, leave his room and take a left, then a right to go up some stairs. There’s yet another Vulgar Warrior waiting in ambush here, so it’s a good thing they’re relatively squishy - even if they can be annoying to hit without lock-on.

The Tarnished using a small table to climb a gap in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the top of the stairs, take a left and go up the second set of stairs in front of you. Then at the top of those, run forwards until your way is blocked by bookcases then use the table on your right to hop up onto the balcony above.

Bear left and you’ll be rushed down by a gaggle of Vulgar Warriors. Deploy any wide-area Ashes of War or spells you might be packing, but otherwise your next destination is right in front of you.

The Tarnished climbing across the back of a suspended statue in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Hop up on the stuffed, suspened giant and walk along its body. At its head you can then leap across to a new balcony, only this one has a load of goodies to snuffle up, including a Scadutree Fragment, a message, a Cross of Miquella and a Site of Grace.

Now that you have the Site of Grace unlocked, you can quickly retrace your steps back to the suspended giant, but instead of jumping to the balcony you can drop down onto the Divine Beast statue and collect a Revered Spirit Ash.


Storehouse, Fourth Floor Site of Grace

From the Fourth Floor Site of Grace, go outside onto the balcony behind you and turn left.

The Tarnished running towards some stone stairs outside the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

The spell-slinging Fire Knight is incredibly annoying, so I just tend to sprint past them, using the glowing boats as cover to block their magic before rolling past them and dropping down the stone staircase behind them.

The Tarnished collecting the Secret Rite Scroll in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the bottom of the stairs there’s another library room. Go around the bookcases to the corner next to the ledge and you find the Secret Rite Scroll. This is the knowledge that Ansbach is searching for, so you can take it back to him whenever you like to progress his quest.

Back outside, climb back up the stone stairs and follow the path further east, either evading the two bats or knocking them for six, whichever comes more naturally to you.

Duck into the new door you find on the left, then turn right inside. Keep running straight, past a lurking Fire Knight on your right about half way down (just keep running, those guys suck), until you reach a long set of stairs with an item at the top.

The Tarnished climbing a staircase to the seventh floor of the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Turn back on yourself and climb up the next two sets of stairs behind you. It’s here that you then find another Site of Grace and another NPC. This time it’s Redmane Freyja, who’s also looking for something. She laments that she never spoke to Ansbach about he misgivings, but lucky for her, you know that he’s close by.

You can advance both of these NPCs quests by giving Ansbach his scroll, exhausting his dialogue and waiting. He’ll eventually give you a letter for Frejya which wraps up her quest, while she’ll also have a message for him.

However, there’s still some way left to climb in the Specimen Storehouse and this Site of Grace makes for the perfect base!


Storehouse, Seventh Floor Site of Grace

From the Seventh Floor Site of Grace, go forward down the stairs and keep going straight, past the Vulgar Warrior and into the next room.

The Tarnished pulling a lever to move the central pillar in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

At the end of the path is a lever, which you can’t help but pull, right?

The Tarnished jumping across a gap to reach the central pillar in the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

Go back along the balcony a little, then hop across to the new bridge that the lever made for you. This gives you a path you can climb up to a new room, which you reach by jumping off the head of the statue.

Through the door that leads outside, turn right and go up the stairs. On this bridge, there’s one last regular Fire Knight to take on. Or not.

The Tarnished squaring off against a Fire Knight at the summit of the Specimen Storehouse in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree.
Image credit: FromSoftware/VG247

If you don’t feel like slamming your head against this frustrating foe, tease them forward with a ranged attack and lead them over towards your side of the bridge. Then sprint past the Fire Knight and open the door behind them - you’re invulnerable after you start this animation.

Inside the door, you find a Scadutree Fragment and a narrow staircase up to the left. At the top of the staircase is a Site of Grace you can use to reset the aggro on the Fire Knight as well as an ominous Fog Gate.

Who could be behind it? I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s the main boss of the Specimen Storehouse and the last major point of interest within this area!

After you’ve defeated the boss, you can take the item they drop and take it to the area past the West Rampart, the Ancient Ruins of Rauh.



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