Elden Ring DLC: 'Somewhere, a great rune has broken' meaning in Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring
(Image credit: Windows Central)

During your initial expeditions towards northern Scadu Altus in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree, you'll hear what sounds like one of the action RPG's many rune consumables being shattered, followed by a rather ominous pair of messages that pop up on-screen: "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" and "And so too has a powerful charm". Clearly, this is an important moment, but what's going on isn't immediately clear since Elden Ring doesn't give you any additional information, and some players may even be concerned that they somehow did something wrong.

So, what's the deal? The first thing to know is that you definitely didn't screw anything up, as this is a scripted event that triggers whenever you ride in the direction of Scadu Altus' Shadow Keep Legacy Dungeon. Secondly, you may be able to deduce the meaning of the messages if you've been talking with Shadow of the Erdtree's NPC characters and have paid attention to their dialogue.

That's because at the Highroad Cross Site of Grace found after beating Rellana, Twin Moon Knight and entering Scadu Altus through Castle Ensis, Needle Knight Leda informs you that the followers of Miquella — Queen Marika's son that you're pursuing in this DLC — have been charmed by the Empyrean and his ability to compel affection from others. However, at each of the Miquella's Crosses scattered around the Land of Shadow, Miquella has been divesting himself of his power, one fragment at a time.

That's culminated in what just happened, with "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" referring to Miquella's great rune and "And so too has a powerful charm" referring to the spell he put on the NPCs. In other words, each of his followers now have their free will back, as he's no longer powerful enough to maintain his charm on them from afar.

Make sure you visit each of Miquella's followers after his spell on them breaks. (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Unsurprisingly, this event has progresses the questlines for each of the NPCs in Shadow of the Erdtree, and all of them now have new things to say — and in some cases, pieces of valuable information to reveal — now that they're of their own mind. They can be found in the following locations (use this Elden Ring DLC interactive map if needed):

  • Sir Ansbach and Moore: Main Gate Cross southeast of Belurat, Tower Settlement
  • Redmane Freyja: Three-Path Cross southwest of Castle Ensis and the Ellac Greatbridge
  • Thiollier: Pillar Path Cross southeast of Castle Ensis
  • Hornsent and Needle Knight Leda: Highroad Cross in southern Scadu Altus

Make sure you listen to each character carefully, as this is ultimately when you start to truly learn more about them, their past, and their affiliations. Understanding what drives each of them and what their goals are will be helpful when making certain story decisions later on, and you also might get an idea of where they'll head next in the Land of Shadow, too.

The Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree DLC is finally here, and it makes one of the best Xbox games and best PC games of all time even better. It's out now on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, and Windows PC for $39.99.

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree | $34.89 at CDKeys (Xbox)

Shadow of the Erdtree is Elden Ring at its most refined, with the base game's overly formulaic elements cut away and some of FromSoftware's best boss fights. The result is a 40-hour-long masterpiece of a DLC that's an absolute must-play for any Soulsborne fan.

Also see: Shadow of the Erdtree (PC, $37.09) | Deluxe Edition (PC, $90.89)

Collector's Edition: Bandai Namco Store (€249.99)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.