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Should you assist Leda or Hornsent in Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree?

Here are all outcomes for choosing between Leda and Hornsent in the Shadow Keep

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree screenshots of Leda (left) and Hornsent (right), two new NPCs in the DLC.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

Wondering if you should assist Leda or Hornsent in Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree? Leda's story in Shadow Of The Erdtree is one of the most complicated sidequests in Elden Ring and includes all NPCs in the DLC in one way or another.

During this quest and as you advance through The Shadow Keep in Scadu Altus, you'll find two summon signs, one red and the other gold. The game will ask you to assist either Leda or the Hornsent in their fight. This choice has several outcomes and impacts later scenarios in Elden Ring.

For a list of all outcomes so you can make an informed choice between the two NPCs, and for additional information regarding Leda vs Ansbach afterwards, see our full rundown below.

Should you assist Leda or Hornsent?

As stated, these summon signs should be located within the Shadow Keep (opposite the stairs to the lift that leads to the Specimen Storehouse) after you have made your choice between Thiollier and Hornsent.

Leda is convinced that without Miquella's charm pacifying everyone, the Hornsent will threaten Miquella on his quest for vengeance. But the question remains, should you side with Leda or Hornsent?

See the following outcomes and beware of spoilers for the future story threads of this quest.
Map image and gameplay screenshot showing where to find the Leda and Hornsent summoning signs in Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree.
This is the location where you will find the Leda and Hornsent summon signs in the Shadow Keep. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

Assist Leda

If you choose to assist Leda, Hornsent will die. However, some players have reported him reappearing in a future fight within the Enir-Ilim region as an enemy. Once defeated here, he should drop his weapons and armor, namely the Falx, Hornsent's Braided Arm Wraps, Braided Cord Robe, Soiled Loincloth, and Caterpillar Mask.

Once you have rested at a Site Of Grace, you can return to Leda at the Highroad Cross where she will reward you with the Lacerating Crossed-Tree Talisman (which enhances dash attacks) and will set her sights on a new adversary. This time it is Ansbach, the former soldier and follower of Mohg. You may choose to assist either Ansbach or Leda again for this fight, but it is later on in the questline.

Assist Hornsent

If you choose to assist Hornsent, Leda will temporarily die and will disappear from the map until the Enir-Ilim fight later on. Presumably, this automatically protects Ansbach from being targeted.

In choosing this, you will receive Leda's Rune (worth 40,000 Runes) and the Swift Slash Ash of War. You may receive Hornsent as an optional summon in the future Enir-Ilim fight. Don't worry too much though, regardless of your options you should receive a summon for this fight, your choices will just depend on who it is.

Choosing not to assist either Leda or Hornsent

If you ignore the signs, Leda will naturally transfer her attention to Ansbach. In my case, I initially chose to target Hornsent, but didn't receive the summon signs at the Shadow Keep. Whether that be intentional or not, in avoiding making a choice between the two, both Hornsent and Leda survived past this point in the quest.

You can then summon Hornsent during your fight with Messmer. Here, he will be able to join the fight and deliver his vengeance whilst also offering some powerful dialogue that gives you additional background story in regards to the conflict between Messmer and the Hornsent's people.

After this, when speaking to Leda once more at the Highroad Cross, she will ascertain that the Hornsent is no longer a threat and will move on to Ansbach as the next target. Hornsent will disappear shortly afterwards and his part of this quest will conclude as he sets out to travel and bring punishment to Marika and her offspring.

Note: If you choose to ignore the signs or assist Leda, you will still get the chance to acquire Leda's Rune with future quest choices. See below for a rundown of the Ansbach vs Leda choice.

Should you assist Leda or Ansbach?

Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree screenshot of Sir Ansbach, a retired Knight and follower of Mohg, standing in the Gravesite Plains Region of The Land of Shadow.
Unless you choose to assist Hornsent in the above choices, Leda will most certainly go after Ansbach next. | Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Bandai Namco

Unless you have completely sided with the Hornsent, Leda will inevitably turn her attention to the retired knight and ex-Mohg follower, Sir Ansbach. You may remember Ansbach from first meeting him at the Main Gate Cross Site Of Grace, along with Moore.

Once Miquella's charm is lifted and he regains his independence, Ansbach moves to the Specimen Storehouse in The Shadow Keep (to a room adjacent to the Storehouse First Floor Site Of Grace), where he endeavours to unveil Miquella's plot and discover what has become of Mohg's body.

Once you have helped Ansbach uncover the truth and delivered the Secret Rite Scroll to him, he will disappear from his room and in his place, will be red and gold summon signs. Similar to the Leda vs Hornsent fight, you will have to choose between the pair. The outcomes of which, will vary.

We have a step-by-step walkthrough on retrieving the Secret Rite Scroll in our Leda quest guide but essentially, it is in a room above the Fourth Floor Site Of Grace. Here are all known outcomes to picking between Leda and Ansbach in this questline.

Assist Leda

Ansbach will die, leaving you with his Longbow and armor. When the Enir-Illim fight triggers (further into this sidequest) you will receive the Sanguine Noble Nataan as an optional summon in the fight.

You will also receive the Retaliatory Crossed-Tree Talisman from Leda as a reward, which enhances attacks executed after rolling or backstepping.

Assist Ansbach

Leda will temporarily die, leaving you Leda's Rune (worth 40,000 Runes) and you'll also receive Ansbach's Longbow.

Ansbach will be available as a summon option in the Enir-Illim fight, after which, you will receive dialogue from him before you advance to Miquella.

Ultimately, the main difference these choices determine is who will appear against you and who will be available to support you in the Enir-Ilim fight. This fight is unavoidable and takes place during the end-game of the DLC, on the route to Miquella.

If you'd like to even the odds against you and thin down the list of enemies in the fight, Moore can be dealt with much earlier in his questline, and you can avoid Redmane Freyja from joining the fight if you decide to wait when giving her Ansbach's Letter until after the fight in Enir-Ilim.

See our full Leda quest walkthrough for more information on this fight and all steps needed to get there.

That rounds off our guide to assisting either Leda or Hornsent in their fight in Elden Ring: Shadow Of The Erdtree and the later choice between her and Ansbach. For more Elden Ring tips and tricks, check out our best weapons, best armor, Talismans, builds or boss locations guides. If you need more help with the DLC's quests, head to our guides on the Thiollier questline and the Ymir questline.

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