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Elden Ring fans speculate on purpose of the Scadutree Chalice in Shadow of the Erdtree

First off...?

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree story trailer screenshot showing figure holding golden threads with flowing hair in front of golden light
Image credit: FromSoftware

FromSoftware is well known for adding seemingly useless items or places in its games to get fans speculating about lore and Elden Ring DLC Shadow of the Erdtree is no different.

But there's one particular location that has fans stumped: the Scadutree Chalice.

This is a named location found after beating a specific boss, but it appears to serve no purpose. What could it be? Spoilers follow.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree | Official Gameplay Reveal TrailerWatch on YouTube

The Scadutree Chalice is found in an area behind the Shadow Keep. Players will need to beat Commander Gaius first - he's the armoured boar-riding boss who reminds me a little of that orc in Twilight Princess.

Afterwards, players can wander into a new area which leads up to an archway and a precipice overlooking the Scadutree that dominates the skyline. Here players will find an enormous unlit stone chalice with five fragments scattered around it.

Now, on a basic level, those fragments are incredibly useful as they're used to level the player's Shadow Blessing. But finding five in one place? That's definitely unusual.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing mounted player character riding up to giant stone archway
Image credit: FromSoftware / Eurogamer
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing player character pondering next to giant stone chalice
Image credit: FromSoftware
Riding up to the archway and pondering the purpose of this chalice

So what is it for? My first thought was this would be the location to use Messmer's Kindling, but soon found a use for this elsewhere.

My own, loose theory is that the chalice relates to the Scadutree fragments. That's obvious considering the name and the fact it overlooks the tree. But is this where fragments are formed or their power distilled? Or were fragments used here in some sort of ritual, hence so many being scattered nearby?

The item description for the fragments reads: "A splinter of the Scadutree that contains golden brilliance...It is said that when the Scadutree crumbles from its core that it will scatter across the entire realm of shadow. The people of the Erdtree collect the splinters and use them in prayer." Is that prayer only at Sites of Grace, or this chalice too?

Eurogamer's Katharine Castle has also been investigating, testing out multiple poses or wearing Gaius' armour, considering the nearby Albinauric drops his greaves. But so far, all to no avail.

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing armoured character inside stone chalice t-posing
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing player character throwing fire pots into stone chalice
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing armoured character posing inside stone chalice
Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree screenshot showing player character lying on the floor of a stone chalice
Katharine tried multiple methods, but was left exasperated | Image credit: FromSoftware / Eurogamer

Players on reddit have also been speculating, following a post from XSidsgothemX. They suggest it could relate to the Albinaurics, hence the shack nearby, perhaps hinting at how they're made, or that their blood is required?

"There's just no way its useless. I'm hopeful there's a secret quest we haven't discovered that allows interaction with the Scadutree," one reply reads.

Others have tried lighting the chalice with different pots, but with no effect.

Another user, Rockerode, suggests the chalice could also relate to the Suppression Tower - this is found in the first area but serves no purpose beyond housing a chest. "I think between Scadutree chalice, suppression tower, and the trailer showing a scene none of us have unlocked there's something going on here," they propose, perhaps linking to some sort of quest to perform a ritual and cleanse the Scadutree. Is there a secret ending somewhere yet to be found?

Or maybe, just maybe, the chalice has no purpose beyond those five fragments. And that, certainly, is reward enough.

Do you have any theories on what the Scadutree Chalice is for, or represents?

Scadutree Fragments are integral to the Shadow of the Erdtree DLC as the primary method of character progression. Earlier today, a new patch for the game was released which re-balances the scaling of their Blessings.

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