Should you join Volcano Manor in Elden Ring?

Gone are the old ways of covenant systems in previous FromSoftware titles. Near-forced PvP-based content or extensive item farming are things of the past. In Elden Ring, players have the opportunity to join or associate with different groups that are essentially hybrids between the Dark Souls covenants and standard NPC questlines.

When players encounter these groups or entities, it can impact and influence their playthrough in different ways. This could involve eventually receiving a unique weapon or armor set to an alternative game ending.

Naturally, it can be concerning for players that don’t want to drastically change the way their character is progressing in the Lands Between. In Elden Ring, the Tarnished’s choices are important and have an impact on the world in that particular playthrough. One of these groups or entities that players are trying to better understand is the Volcano Manor.

Volcano Manor

The Volcano Manor is one of the main legacy dungeons in Elden Ring. Players can access this area at the top of Mount Gelmir next to the Altus Plateau.

Upon entering the manor, players will speak with Lady Tanith. Tanith is the head of the Volcano Manor. Eventually, she will ask the player if they wish to serve the manor and team up against the Fingers, which will start a player-hunting questline. This will also continue questlines from Patches, Rya, and Bernahl. These three NPCs are found in different areas of the Lands Between before arriving at the manor.

Agreeing to serve Volcano Manor

Those who wish to serve Volcano Manor will be able to progress different questlines with various rewards. Lady Tanith’s story falls in line with Bernahl’s questline in that they both involve hunting down other Tarnished. In this assassination-based questline, players will travel around the Lands Between and invade the worlds of other Tarnished characters. But they’re NPCs and not players.

When players pledge allegiance to the manor, Lady Tanith will give them the Drawing Room Key. From here, there are a couple of options to progress through the legacy dungeon.

The first involves continuing, and eventually finishing, Lady Tanith’s questline. When players have completed all of Tanith’s assassinations, she will offer to take the player to meet the Lord of the Manor, Rykard. This is a shard-bearing boss at the end of the dungeon.

The other option is progressing through the dungeon without participating in the questline. Two rooms are unlocked with the Drawing Room Key. One is a bigger room with a few NPCs in it. The other room is at first empty, but upon further thorough inspection, players will find an illusory wall that will lead deeper into the lava-filled manor. As players progress through this multilevel dungeon, they will eventually dead-end at a portal that will take them to the area where Rykard is found.

Not serving the manor

Players who do not want to serve Volcano Manor must find a different way to reach the end of the dungeon. It is possible to enter the manor without the Drawing Room Key mentioned above, but it may be a longer route to get there.

To get in without serving, players must get captured by an Abductor Virgin at the bottom of the Raya Lucaria Academy. A Glintstone Key is required to access this legacy dungeon and can be found to the west of the academy behind the Glintstone Dragon, Smarag.

Progressing through the base of the academy, players will come across a turning lift. The standard path will lead players to follow the lift upward. But in this case, taking the lift down to the bottom will lead players to the Abductor Virgin necessary for reaching the Volcano Manor. To be teleported to the manor, players have to be captured by the Abductor Virgin. This enemy has a grab attack in which it will capture the player and put them into its chest cavity. Players have to die during this attack to be taken to the manor.

Upon arriving at the manor via the Abductor Virgin, there is a small lava-fall or cliff that players need to fall down to access the main legacy dungeon. It may appear to be instant death jumping into lava, but in Elden Ring, players are safe to traverse and walk across lava, unlike previous FromSoftware titles. Players walking across or standing in lava will gradually take damage and suffer from a movement penalty that prevents quick rolling. Using a dagger with the Quickstep or Bloodhound Step Ashes of War can bypass this penalty and rapidly shuffle through the lava.

Which path to take

Whether one chooses to serve the manor or not, it’s not known to affect the ending of the game. But if players complete the dungeon without finishing the dungeon-related questlines, they will have to complete them in the next playthrough since they lock upon defeating the area boss. Players can serve the manor and seek out other Tarnished to go against the Fingers and the Erdtree. They also can say yes to get the Drawing Room Key, not kill any other Tarnished, and progress through the dungeon. Or, they can avoid saying yes altogether by getting abducted at the Raya Lucaria Academy.

The choice is open and non-locking.