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Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree: "A great rune has broken" explained

Here's what this cryptic message about Miquella's Great Rune means in Shadow of the Erdtree.

A warrior rides towards the Shadow Keep in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, with the message 'Somewhere a great rune has broken, and so too has a powerful charm' across the screen.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

If you're wondering what the phrase "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" means in Elden Ring's Shadow of the Erdtree DLC, we've got the answer. You can trigger this phrase in a variety of different ways when playing Shadow of the Erdtree, but at first it's not entirely clear what it means, or what the consequences are for triggering it.

We explain all below, telling you what "A great rune has broken" means, whose great rune it actually is, and how this moment will impact your NPC questlines and the neighbouring environments.

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"A great rune has broken" explained

You'll encounter the "A great rune has broken" message as part of playing Shadow of the Erdtree's main storyline. You can trigger it in three different ways:

  1. Approaching the Shadow Keep front entrance for the first time
  2. Going beyond Bonny Village in east Scadu Altus for the first time
  3. Entering Rauh Base for the first time

We triggered it by riding toward the Shadow Keep for the first time. A great bell sound rang out as we approached the front entrance, and the message: "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" appeared onscreen. It was then followed by another message: "And so too has a powerful charm".

A knight rides across Scadu Altus in Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree, with the message 'Somewhere a great rune has broken' on screen.
Image credit: Eurogamer/FromSoftware

This signals that Miquella has abandoned his Great Rune as part of his ongoing quest to divest himself of his body and powers in order to become a god. You'll have seen similar messages about Miquella disposing of certain parts of himself at the Miquella's Cross locations you come across, and divesting himself of his Great Rune is another step on this journey.

This has two important and immediate effects on the game:

  • The seal across the entrance to Stone Coffin Fissure will disappear
  • All NPC questlines will progress now Miquella's charm on them has been lifted

The first thing you should do is revisit every NPC you've come across, as they will all have new dialogue and things to say about the Great Rune being broken. Here's where you can find them all, in case you've forgotten:

  • Needle Knight Leda: Highroad Cross (Scadu Altus)
  • Hornsent: Highroad Cross (Scadu Altus)
  • Ansbach: Main Gate Cross (Gravesite Plain)
  • Moore: Main Gate Cross (Gravesite Plain)
  • Thiollier: Pillar Path Cross (Gravesite Plain)
  • Redmane Freyja: Three-Path Cross (Gravesite Plain)

Once you've spoken to all of them, this is the point where they will all start moving about the map, so in the case of Moore and Thiollier, make sure you buy what you need to from these merchants, as it may be some time before you find them again.

Finally, it also means you can now get to Stone Coffin Fissure, whose entrance can be found on the very southern peninsula of the Cerulean Coast. You'll need to go here as part of Thiollier's questline, so it's well worth making the journey down south to get to Cerulean Coast once he's moved on from the Pillar Path Cross.

Where is Miquella's Great Rune?

Even though Miquella's Great Rune has been broken, you can still get it by following the following steps:

  • Enter the Shadow Keep's Church District on the east side of Shadow Keep.
  • Drain the area by using the wheel mechanism at the end of the rooftop area.
  • Drop down to the 'Sunken Chapel' Site of Grace and use the door at the end to reach the Tree-Worship Passage
  • Beat the Scadutree Avatar.

After defeating the Scadutree Avatar, you'll be able to claim Miquella's Great Rune for yourself.

Need more help? Improve your stats by finding all of Shadow of the Erdtree's Scadutree Fragment locations and Revered Spirit Ash locations. Alternatively, see which Erdtree bosses you've still got left to beat, and track down some great new early weapons to help you on your adventure.

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