How to Reach the Starting Location in Elden Ring

How to reach the starting area in Elden Ring

Just like with the Vanguard from Demon Souls and Genichiro from Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, Elden Ring expects you to die from the game’s first boss. 

There aren’t any weaker enemies for you to get the grips of the game’s combat before this encounter. Instead, you’ll immediately face the intimidating Grafted Scion—a durable enemy that can close the distance and unleash a flurry of attacks.

Additionally, you haven’t learned the controls yet, and you have no flasks to heal up. It’s like FromSoftware pushed you into a scalding hot spring while you were still cautiously dipping your toe in the water. As a result, the odds are severely stacked against you, and you’ll most likely lose (unless you’re one of those hitless speedrunner types).

When you die, a cutscene plays, and the game properly starts. But hours later, you may be wondering how to reach the starting area in Elden Ring to enact your revenge on that bloated corpse. 

If so, this guide has you covered. I’ll show where to find the Chapel of Anticipation, how to defeat the Grafted Scion, and what extra rewards you can loot on that isolated island.

Returning to the Starting Island

The starting area is called the Chapel of Anticipation. In-game, you can find this island to the southwest of Stormveil Castle. However, the view is clearer from the western edge of the Lake-Facing Cliffs Site of Grace, right after the castle.

As you may have noticed, the island is isolated, and there’s no way to travel there on foot. Instead, you need to use a Waygate to reach the starting location in Elden Ring.

The Chapel of Anticipation Waygate is found at the Four Belfries, on the western portion of the Luirnia of the Lakes. You can access the Lurinia of the Lakes region after completing Stormveil Castle or take the shortcut at the side to skip the area entirely.

The Four Belfries is on the very top of the hill. You can start your trek either to the west of Temple Quarter Site of Grace, near Glintstone Dragon Smarag. Or, the west of Testu’s Rise.

First, take the Site of Grace at the Foot of the Four Belfries. It’s just north of Cuckoo’s Evergoal, right before wreckage, where you can pick up the Jellyfish Shield.

A bandit camp and numerous headless Troll Spirit Knights patrol the area leading up to the Four Belfries, so that Site of Grace is a great safety net in case you die. Once you’re ready, head into the bandit camp, and follow the winding path upwards.

There’s a Site of Grace at the peak of the hill, near the fourth belfry. Activate that as this will be your respawn point if you lose to the Grafted Scion, or against any of the enemies there. Then, open the chest under the belfry to find an imbued sword key.

Each of the three belfries has a corresponding Waygate, leading to another remote location. In addition, there are white message marks on the ground giving you hints about what’s on the other side.

To reach the starting location in Elden Ring, find the one that says “Precipice of Anticipation.” That Waygate will teleport you to the Chapel of Anticipation.

By now, you’ll notice that there are Imp Statues that seal regular access to these Waygates. You’ll need to commit one Imbued Sword Key to break the seal. After you use the key item on the imp statue, you can then use the Waygate.

There are three Imbued Sword Keys that you’ll only use for these special Waygates in the Four Belfries. There’s another one found nearby at the Raya Lucaria Academy, and the last one is at Sellia, Town of Sorcery, over at Caelid.

The other Waygates take you to different locations. For example, one leads you to a remote location in Nokron, Eternal City. You can get the Mottled Necklace talisman, which boosts Robustness, Focus, and Immunity.

The last Waygate teleports you to the Crumbling Farum Azula. From here, you can find the base variation of the Pearldrake Talisman, which helps negate non-physical damage.

How to Beat Grafted Scion

After you use the Waygate to reach the starting location in Elden Ring, you’ll be teleported to the other side of the door after Grafted Scion.

Do not turn around towards the cliffside; you’ll fall to your death and respawn at the Site of Grace at the Four Belfries. That death is intended for the minority of players who defeat Grafted Scion during the tutorial phase.

Go towards the boss for your rematch after Grafted Scion. You would have had some practice against the Grafted Scion underneath Stormveil Castle or the heart-attack-inducing one that sprung from the lobster. However, it’s much easier this time since you’re all geared up, and you have a wide-open space to fight it.

Since this is your second time meeting it, don’t expect the dramatic entrance like the first time around. Be prepared for a Lunge of Jump attack.

In general, Grafted Scion has a long recovery time between each moves and you should seek out these windows to retaliate. If you’re using melee weapons, this is a perfect time for a charged heavy attack, as you’ll soften it up for a stagger.

Meanwhile, you could opt for the longest or hardest-hitting attack for spell casters. For example, I was able to charge the whole duration of Ekyzyke’s Decay Dragon Incantation after its jump attack, which trivialized my fight.

For those who level up Faith as I do, Honed Bolt is a great incantation to beat Grafted Scion. Since the lightning comes from above, it will bypass its shield. Overall, it’s one of the best incantations in Elden RIng, and an incantation I frequently use when I have enough breathing room for multiple casts.

When you’re near it, it will likely open with an attack where it raises two limbs on its right side (your left) before swiping and rolling away. Dodge or walk to its right side to duck under the swing, then don’t panic roll and dodge towards its sword-wielding limbs for the follow-up attack. If you dodge away from it, you’ll most likely get hit because of the attack’s range.

There’s another variation of this attack where it performs its rising slash, then holds a standing position. Afterward, it will unleash a deadly flurry of spinning attacks. Fortunately, it isn’t mobile in this state so it’s another free opportunity for ranged playstyles.

There’s are two huge openings that you should look out for to rack in the tons of damage. 

First, when it jumps up into the air to slam its great shield down, you can easily walk behind it to charge another heavy attack. For spellcasters, I also recommend dodging behind it rather away from it because you’ll bait out the easier attacks to dodge.

Second, during its shrieking attack. When it rears its head inwards, immediately dodge away. As a spellcaster, take this time to pelt a few spells toward it. For the melee players, get ready to use a heavy jumping attack aimed and its head as soon as the animation ends.

This roar quickly builds up madness when you’re hit by it so make sure that your timing is perfect. Madness is a new status effect that stuns you, deals a good amount of your HP, and depletes all of your FP. Ergo, if you’re having trouble with the timing it’s better to not risk it.

On the contrary, there are three normal attacks you should seek to avoid. In general, stick to the Grafted Scion’s sword-carrying hand, so you don’t get hit by the lingering hitbox when you dodge.

First, a fast combo wherein it swipes twice, followed by a delayed thrust. Second, a rising slash that propels it forward and into the air, then it quickly turns around to strike twice. Third, a charged attack where it uses its great shield. 

The two combos it has are particularly nefarious because Grafted Scion can hit you when you think it is safe to do so. You can sneak a hit before the delayed attack if you have a fast weapon, but it’s better to dodge it. But, the attack with its great shield is so slow and telegraph that you can treat this as another opportunity to attack.

A shield with the Barricade Shield Ashes of War does wonders in creating more opportunities. You can interrupt the Grafted Scion’s momentum and strike back with a Guard Counter, depleting its stagger meter.

Again, bait out its jump attacks when you’re away from it. It’s easily avoidable and creates a large window to charge up a spell.

If you’re keeping your distance it has a few quick attacks like swiping or thrusting its sword. These prevent from you rushing in to attack it for free. Don’t commit too hard on an advance and be ready to back away at a moment’s notice.

When it reaches half health, it will start to imbue its sword (with holy magic, I presume) and glow yellow. Generally, in TV shows, a character can get away powering up in the middle of the fight, complete with a lengthy monologue. Thankfully, that doesn’t apply here—as you can start whacking at the Grafted Scion risk-free during this state.

It will now have more dangerous attacks on its disposal and a few variations on its regular moveset.

The most significant attack to note is when it starts slamming all its weapons down while simultaneously walking, ending with a jumping slam. While dangerous, this provides ample opportunity to attack if you spot it early.

This move is free for you as a spellcaster since Grafted Scion isn’t using its great shield. Circle around it and prepare for the slam if you’re in melee range. It’s vulnerable after that attack.

When the Grafted Scion starts strafing, watch out. Be prepared for its delayed swipe. You could sneak in another attack if you managed to dodge this.

If you’re playing from a distance, be wary of its Lunge attack where it stabs multiple times. Don’t try to block this as it will crush your endurance. It comes at lightning speed so don’t prime a spell or incantation when you see this. Dodge away first before firing back.

There’s a large window to dodge because it raises its hands to both sides before executing multiple lunges. It has a long reach so it’s better to dodge to the side, than away.

Lastly, when it takes both of its swords to the other side, it’s priming a two-part swing. First, starting from the bottom then slashing upwards, then from the top, slashing downwards.

The first part is easily dodgeable, and you can do so early, as it doesn’t extend to its right side, and instead goes up from the center. However, wait for a second before dodging again, as there’s a slight delay.

The Grafted Scion is a bit tricky, but most of its attacks are clearly telegraphed, with ample time to strike in between. Stay safe and attack when its safe to do so, and you’ll eventually beat Grafted Scion.

Chapel of Anticipation Rewards

Congratulations on your well-earned revenge! Defeating the Grafted Scion rewards you with 3200 runes, and its armaments: the Ornamental Straight Sword, and the Golden Beast Crest Shield.

The Ornamental Straight Sword requires 10 Strength and 14 Dexterity to wield it. It comes with a unique skill called the Golden Tempering. After using the weapon’s skill, your strong attack becomes a combo attack imbued with a holy essence.

The Golden Beast Crest Shield is a greatshield that required 24 Strength to use. It’s a light greatshield weighing only 12.5. Admittedly, it isn’t the sturdiest greatshield and you won’t find a good use for this. But, it’s a good way to test out greatshields without a massive commitment into strength.

At least, you’ll learn more about its wielder through reading its note and item description.

Now, cross the bridge and return to starting area, the eponymous chapel. There’s a small path you can near the chapel hidden by debris.

Here, you’ll find the the Stormhawk King key item. It may look like a summon but it’s actually needed for a quest. You can give this item to Nepheli Loux at the Roundtable Hold during the Seluvis’s Potion quest.

Finally, there’s one more item you can get once you reach the starting location in Elden Ring. Continue inside the chapel and there’s a treasure chest at the end. You’ll find the Stormhawk Deenh spirit summon.

Personally, Stormhawk Deenh is one of my favorite summons. For the low cost of only 47 FP, you’ll have an agile bird that can take aggro away from you well and is hard to pin down. Additionally, it gives a great attack buff for you and anyone else in your party.

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