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Elden Ring Black Knife Catacombs guide

Find every item, Stonesword Key, treasure chest, enemy, defeat the bosses and collect items, loot, and drops

Riding Torrent to Black Knife Catacombs’ location in Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Black Knife Catacombs is dungeon in Elden Ring’s Liurnia of the Lakes region, where you will find multiple bosses, powerful weapons, a Deathroot, and some powerful ashes. In this Elden Ring Black Knife Catacombs guide, we’ll tell you where to find the dungeon, what loot to expect, enemies you’ll encounter, and how to handle the bosses.

Black Knife Catacombs location and enemies

Elden Ring’s map, showing the location of Black Knife Catacombs’ location. Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

You will find Black Knife Catacombs near the northeast corner of the Liurnia of the Lakes, not quite due east from the Frenzied Flame Village Outskirts site of grace. The common approach is to travel north along the main road leading in that direction from the Eastern Tableland site of grace.

A knight glowing gold and white, standing outside of the entrance to Black Knife Catacombs in Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

As you arrive near the Uld Ruins, veer right and follow a cliffside path past dangerous enemies to reach the cave near the end, which is guarded by a powerful knight. Roll clear of his attacks and strike with decisive melee blows to make short work of him.

Black Knife Catacombs loot, Stonesword Key

Pillaging a body next to a coffin for loot in Elden Ring’s Black Knife Catacombs Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The most valuable treasures you can acquire during your visit to the catacombs are the Rosus’ Axe, the Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger talisman, the Black Knifeprint key item, a Deathroot, and the Twinsage Sorcerer Ashes. With the exception of the axe, which is sealed away behind some mist not far from the entrance that you can only pass through using a Stonesword Key, the area’s best loot is acquired by felling the two separate area bosses.

Skeletons and guillotines on the rise

Black Knife Catacombs Skeletons in Elden Ring
Black Knife Catacombs’ dreaded skeletons.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

In the catacombs, your main enemies are skeletons and their masters. The skeletons move faster than the Liurnia variety did, and they revive indefinitely unless you kill the necromancers that control them.

Avoid fighting more than one enemy at once by using the environment to your advantage. Cramped quarters make the fights more difficult than necessary. Don’t be afraid to fall back to more favorable conditions. If you prefer, you may instead run and roll past the skeletons to find their leader and take it out first, which causes the skeletons to collapse to dust on their own.

Black Knife Catacombs Guillotines in Elden Ring
One of Black Knife Catacombs’ guillotines.
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

Besides the skeletons, you will deal with three enormous guillotine blades in one chamber. Let them drop, then quickly step on top of the middle one as it rises to catch a ride to a higher ledge where a necromancer waits. Jump to the ledge and defeat him.

Next, work your way along that chamber and swat away the illusory wall at its end to reveal a wall of mist leading to the chamber with the Black Knife Assassin. Ahead of that chamber, veer right to find a chimney shaft you can drop down to reach a lower room with levers that open the locked doors near the entrance to the catacombs. Watch out for the giant crab that emerges from the soil to attack in this general area. When that occurs, you can back through the narrow metal door and pelt the monster with magic from relative safety.

Black Knife Catacombs bosses

The Black Knife Catacombs Lever in Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

There are two boss encounters in this area: a fight with the Black Knife Assassin near the catacombs’ depths, and a fight with a powerful shade closer to the entrance (which you can only access once you have pulled the levers near the chamber where you fight the assassin).

Black Knife Assassin boss

Before you enter his chamber, touch the golden summoning sign on the floor to bring along D, Hunter of the Dead.

Black Knife Catacombs’s boss, the Black Knight Assassin, in Elden Ring Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The Black Knight Assassin moves quickly and has a powerful jump attack you can roll out of the way to avoid if you see it coming. Then you should counter with some attacks of your own.

If you put some distance between yourself and your foe, he fires a red projectile weapon instead. As long as you keep an eye on your target, he shouldn’t catch you by surprise.

Unfortunately, he moves around the chamber with sufficient ease to prevent you from backing away long enough to safely gulp down a healing flask or two.

Victory over your adversary nets you the Assassin’s Cerulean Dagger talisman and the Black Knifeprint key item, along with some runes.

Cemetery Shade boss

Black Knife Catacombs’ boss, Cemetery Shade, in Elden Ring.
Cemetery Shade
Image: FromSoftware/Bandai Namco via Polygon

The Cemetery Shade brings along some skeletons and attacks from a distance with projectile magic while you are occupied battling its cohorts. Keep stone columns between yourself and your main antagonist, so that the architecture protects you from that sorcery. Then move in close when you can to land an attack before you retreat once again. Your reward for victory is the Twinsage Sorcerer Ashes item and some runes.

Once you defeat the shade, check a nearby chest for a Deathroot before you exit.