While it's not a traditional RPG experience, NPCs are a big part of the world of Elden Ring. If you're inclined towards getting immersed in the story, it's easy to become attached to these various characters, their goals, and their lives.
The trouble is some of them are carrying really nice items. So if you happen to be absolutely heartless and in the mood to turn on a few innocent NPCs, decided to embrace a forbidden flame and take it to its logical conclusion, or whether you just have a brutally efficient means of cleaning house before moving to the next NG+, it can be useful to know who you need to be going after.
10 Old Knight Istvan – Scaled Set, More Volcano Manor Contracts
One of the few Tarnished to reach old age, Old Istavan helped many of his younger brethren. Unfortunately for him, he's first on the murder list you are given by Lady Tanith. If you feel entirely comfortable with running up to an elderly man and beating him to death with a heavy metal object, you can get his gear as a reward.
The Scaled Set is a versatile armor that isn't too heavy, has nice all-around protection, and looks pretty great. Murdering Istvan also opens up more Volcano Manor quests, letting you go after more undeserving Tarnished to loot the clothes from their backs.
9 Great Horned Tragoth – Bull-Goat Set
Great Horned Tragoth, a stalwart and reliable Tarnished who goes out of his way to help others of his kind. This isn't only rumored but actively demonstrated by how many of your fights he's willing to assist you in. His signs can be found at Magma Wyrm Makar, The Draconic Tree Sentinel, and even Starscourge Radahn.
While Tragoth has helped any number of Tarnished, he's not gone without attracting bad attention. Patches will ask you to kill him to relieve him of a task given to him by the Volcano Manor. Invading and murdering the kindly warrior will yield his trademark armor. The Bull-Goat set is an impressive heavy armor, with an impressive amount of poise if weighing as much as a semi-truck doesn't bother you. It's nothing compared to the weight of your sins anyway.
8 Millicent – Millicent's Prosthesis
Millicent, the mysterious one-armed woman is a fascinating individual. Afflicted with the deadly scarlet rot, she still sets out to try and take control of her own destiny. Despite being disfigured by the rot, she is even able to take up a sword again and assist you in battle, with the help of a prosthetic arm.
Indeed, if you happen to be the treacherous type and decide to turn on Millicent after helping her replace her arm, you'll receive Millicent's Prosthesis, which not only boosts your dexterity but grants a damage boost on subsequent hits. The downside obviously is you just murdered a sick amputee and stole her possessions. How could you?
7 Iron Fist Alexander – Shard Of A Warrior Jar
Alexander, the jolly old fighting jar who you can find stuck whilst on his way to fight Starscourge Radahn. Whilst a fighter by nature, and a living jar that eats dead people, he is nothing but flawlessly polite and courteous towards you. In fact, he may eventually ask you to fight him, which is honorable enough.
If you decide to smash the jar man before then, you will receive a piece of a warrior jar, which boosts damage from skill use by 10 percent. You lose out on a boosted version of the talisman, but you can get the shard far earlier in the game, when its power gives you a lot more to work with.
6 Sellen – Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone
Sorceress Sellen, your teacher in the art of sorcery. Sellen is a tireless and protective tutor, who supports your goals to become Elden Lord, but would even promise you a home with her at the academy should you not succeed in your quest.
Sellen isn't without enemies though. As you progress her quest, you get the opportunity to side with Witchfinder Jerren, betray your mentor, and kill her as she is on the verge of achieving her dream of pushing the limits of glintstone sorcery. Doing so will award you an Ancient Dragon Smithing Stone, which lets you level a weapon to +25. This might tempt some of Sellen's less academically-aligned students into betrayal.
5 Blackguard Big Boggart – Blackguard Mask, Iron Ball
Blackguard Big Boggart may seem like a surly fellow at first glance, but if you buy from his seafood boil he'll soon warm to you. He'll even warn you of potential threats like the Dung Eater. He'll also start selling delicious and useful boiled crab. Boggart will even help you out with Magma Wyrm Makar. Obviously, the big fellow is just misunderstood.
If you, like another he mentions, have nothing but ill intentions toward your prawn-loving buddy, you can slay him for his fist weapon, the Iron Ball, and his mask. Even worse, you could free the Dung Eater and let him get to Blackguard first. Compared to that, dispatching him with a sword is practically charitable.
4 Nepheli Loux – Nepheli Loux Puppet
Nepheli Loux is a triumph of good-hearted determination. She takes a stand against cruelty and injustice, even if doing so comes at a great personal cost for her. While killing her yields her Stormhawk Axes, there's arguably a fate even worse you can inflict upon her for your own benefit. Seluvis, up at Three Sisters, will ask you to give her a potion.
Handing the potion over to Nepheli will result in her getting turned into one of the sorcerer's mindless puppets. If Seluvis is removed from the picture, you can use her enslaved form to help you in battle as a summon. From a moral standpoint that is probably far, far worse.
3 D, Hunter of the Dead -Twinned Set
D is an NPC you're likely to run into fairly early on. He hunts the undead and deals in miracles. He introduces you to Gurranq, the Beast Clergyman, and sets you on a path of fighting skeletons in canoes. He'll also jump in to assist with the Black Knife Assassin and one of the Mariners.
While D obviously has good intentions, he also wears really cool-looking armor. If you want to get your filthy hands on the Twinned Set, D has to die. This is accomplished either by jumping him on the first meeting, or following an errand for Fia that involves giving him an item that'll have dire consequences for his health.
2 Kalé And The Merchants – Bell Bearings
One of the first few people you're likely to run into in the Lands Between is Merchant Kalé, a man with goods and a donkey, who seems rather surprised that you're not about to attack him. Kalé's people, as it turns out, were discriminated against horribly, and nearly wiped out entirely. This has driven them to set up in remote locations, struggling to survive.
Killing the merchants yields their bell bearings, which can be given to the Twin Maiden Husks in the Roundtable Hold to allow you to do all of your shopping in one place, if you're fine with exterminating the last members of an entire culture just to save yourself extra loading screens.
1 Blaidd The Half-Wolf – Royal Greatsword
Poor Blaidd. This one is possibly the least morally questionable, and yet it hurts the most. Blaidd will help you through a number of fights should you decide to assist his mistress Ranni, though there may come a time when it is expedient for you to give him the Old Yeller treatment. You could probably avoid him and never have to do such a thing of course, but if you do put the dog down, you can get his equipment.
In addition to his armor set, you will get your hands on the Royal Greatsword. The colossal sword class weapon scales well on strength and intelligence. It even has a unique weapon skill that hits twice with frost damage, so you can feel as cold outside as you do on the inside after what you did.
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