Nokstella, Eternal City is one of the hidden areas you can access in Elden Ring. Although completely optional, it’s a place you need to access if you’re to complete one of the most important side quests in the game.
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How to Get To Nokstella, Eternal City
There are two ways to get to Nokstella, Eternal City. The simpler way is to follow Ranni’s questline.
After you give Ranni the Fingerslayer Blade, the seal on Renna’s Rise will disappear. You’ll find a waygate at the top of this tower that will teleport you to Ainsel River.
From here, continue heading south and into the cave beyond the Malformed Star. Be mindful of this enemy. It will fire projectiles at you at a fast rate. Use the pillars and walls around the area as cover. You can either run past him or get rid of him to make exploring this area easier.
Simply make your way to the end of the cave and you’ll come out in Nokstella, Eternal City.
Alternatively, you can arrive at Ainsel River without doing Ranni’s questline by heading to Deeproot Depths.
From the Nameless Eternal City Site of Grace, keep heading west and you’ll find a lone coffin at the edge of the waterfall cliff. Interact with it and you’ll be teleported to Ainsel River.
From here, follow the direction mentioned previously if you were to follow Ranni’s questline and you’ll arrive at Nokstella, Eternal City.
There are two routes you can take once you’re at the Site of Grace. You can head up the stairs or you can take the route on the ground. Take the stairs for now.
Before heading up, head behind the structure that’s next to the Site of Grace and you’ll find three Magic Greases on the ground. After picking it up, continue towards the stairs.
After the first flight, enter the room on the left. You’ll face a Nox Swordstress here. Defeat her and loot the coffin to the far right corner of the room to obtain the Ant’s Skull Plate shield.
Head back outside and continue ascending where another Nox Swordtress is waiting for you. You’ll also find a corpse dangling over the railings to the right with an item you can loot. Pillage it to get one set of Fan Daggers.
Keep heading up and you’ll be greeted by multiple Electric Silver Tears. When you defeat one, it will burst with electricity, damaging you and forcing surrounding Silver Tears to burst as well.
Once at the top, make a left and enter the structure where there are shielded Silver Tears. Be sure to attack these enemies from behind. There’s a chest in this room that contains the Ghost-Glovewort Picker’s Bell Bearing .
After getting the bell bearing, exit the building and go around it by heading left. You’ll find the Archer Ashes at the end of this path.
Going Further Up
Make your way back to the top of the stairs and proceed to the north. Watch out for the Silver Tears that will drop from the ceiling here. You can also loot a Golden Rune  from the ground.
Keep an eye out on the building to your left. You’ll eventually find an open window you can jump into.
Head in and rush forward as a Silver Tear will immediately drop from the ceiling close to the open window. Defeat it and proceed to the chest at the end of the room to obtain a Somber Smithing Stone .
Head back outside and proceed onwards. You’ll find a corpse leaning on the ledge that has a Golden Rune  you can loot. Once looted, climb the stairs to proceed.
Continue onward and you’ll eventually come across a bridge to your right. Don’t cross this yet. Instead, proceed onward and head left to find the entrance to a building that’s blocked by a fog gate.
Enter this building if you have a Stonesword Key. Inside it, you’ll find two Nox Monks and a chest that contains the Nightmaiden & Swordstress Puppets Spirit Ashes.
Facing The Silver Spheres
With this looted, head back outside and cross the bridge. Be mindful of the massive Silver Sphere ahead. It will swiftly roll towards you, dealing massive damage. Defeat the ball as quickly as you can to prevent it from rolling towards you.
You can also run back to the structure you entered previously, luring the ball to the entrance. It won’t be able to fit through the entrance, allowing you to hit it without having to worry about being rolled over. Once defeated, the Silver Sphere will drop a Larval Tear.
Once the massive ball has been dealt with, continue onward. Before continuing up, proceed to the structure to the right of the end of the bridge. Be mindful, though. As soon as you enter it, the entrance will close and another Silver Sphere will drop from the ceiling. Defeat it as quickly as possible.
At the end of this room is a chest that contains a Great Ghost Glovewort. Loot it and head back outside. Proceed to the stairway and start ascending. You can also loot the corpse that’s dangling over the ledge to your left to obtain a Golden Rune .
Finishing Up The Upper Section of Nokstella
Once you reach the top of the stairs, you’ll immediately spot the entrance to a tall structure. Before entering it, turn to the right and onto the second structure. Outside its entrance, you’ll find a corpse on the ground that holds a Smithing Stone . Pick it up and return to the first structure.
Enter this building and keep walking while looking up. Press the lock-on button and you’ll spot a Silver Sphere dangling from the ceiling. Attack the Silver Sphere with a spell, bow, or any item you can throw to force it to drop. It will land on a few Electric Silver Tears, which will cause them to explode and damage the Silver Sphere.
If the Silver Sphere is still alive, run back outside and the Silver Sphere will get stuck at the entrance. Attack and defeat it from here. Once defeated, proceed onwards and defeat any remaining Silver Tears in the room.
There’s a chest at the end of this room. Open it to obtain a Somber Smithing Stone .
Take the exit to the left and proceed onward. At the stairs, you’ll encounter a Scarab. Defeat it to obtain a Somber Smithing Stone .
At the top of the stairs is another structure. Inside it are two Silver Tears and a Nox Swordstress. The two Silver Tears will transform into humans, one of them wielding a great shield, and the other wielding a great sword.
You can summon a Spirit Ash here to level the playing field. Deal with the two Silver Tears first, then work on defeating the Nox Swordstress afterward.
Once the enemies have been taken care of, proceed to the small room at the end of this structure to find a chest. Loot it to obtain the Moon of Nokstella, a legendary Talisman.
Take the southern exit and enter the structure ahead to your left to find an elevator that will take you down. After reaching the bottom, proceed onward and you’ll immediately spot an Erdtree branch with a Golden Seed below it. With this looted, you’ve obtained everything there is to get at the upper parts of Nokstella.
You can immediately proceed to the next area from here by going down and entering the building to the south. Or you can travel back to the Nokstella, Eternal City Site of Grace to explore the rest of this area.
Exploring The Lower Section of Nokstella
Turn to the east from the Site of Grace and you’ll spot a Glovewort ahead, beyond a roaming Nox that’s riding an ant.
When fighting them, be sure to target the ant first as it will cause the Nox to fall down once the ant perishes. Once dealt with, pick up the Ghost Gloveworth (7) ahead.
Proceed then to the ruins to the north. You’ll find two Nox Monks stationed here. Defeat them and loot the item under the archway to get a Smithing Stone (6). You can also pick up two Drawstring Holy Greases if you turn back from the archway, on a corpse leaning on a wall.
Proceed to the northwest and you’ll eventually find a couple of Serpent Snails surrounding a corpse with an item on it. Loot it to obtain a Celestial Dew.
Continue westward while sticking close to the structure to the right. You’ll find more Serpent Snails here. At the western end of the building is a corpse on the ground with a Smithing Stone  you can loot. Be careful, though. If you stand next to the corpse, a Serpent Snail will fall on you.
Look to your south and you’ll find a flight of stairs that leads to a bridge, which then leads to a small room. Proceed to this area and defeat the Nox Swordstress here. Inside this room is a chest that contains a Ghost Glovewort .
Make your way back down and continue heading west still. To your right, you’ll find a corpse on the ground, at the base of a cliff. Loot it to obtain a Golden Rune . To its left is a Ghost Glovewort . Turn to the north and you’ll find another of the same glovewort.
This area is littered with multiple electric Silver Tears. There are also two ant-riding Nox enemies here. Eliminate them if you want to. Do so carefully, though. There are more Silver Tears on cliffs above you that will throw silver spikes at you.
Proceed forward then. To your left, approach the structure that has three Silver Tears in it. Defeat them and you’ll find a corpse behind them that holds a Somber Smithing Stone .
From here, turn around and head to the north until you spot a couple of red ants. Close to the edge of the cliff beyond them is a corpse on the ground. Approach it and loot the item it’s holding to get a Stonesword Key.
From here, head to the building to the south. This structure has an elevator that takes you to the next area below. There are multiple enemies outside it, including several electric Silver Tears and an ant-riding Nox. Defeat them if you want, or simply run past them.
There’s also a gazebo to the right of this structure that’s loitered by three electric Silver Tears. There’s a Celestial Dew here you can pick up.
Return to the building and ride the elevator down. Once at the bottom, you’ll find the Nokstella Waterfall Basin Site of Grace ahead.
The Baleful Shadow
Take the cave beyond the Site of Grace and you’ll find three Basilisks. Be very careful of these little creatures. They inflict death blight, which will immediately kill you once the status gauge is filled. Behind them, you can loot a Smithing Stone  and a Smithing Stone .
Proceed onwards then and you’ll arrive at an open area where the Baleful Shadow will be waiting for you.
The Baleful Shadow will only appear in this area if you’re doing Ranni’s questline. Otherwise, this area will just be an open space for you.
Defeating him is quite simple. The Baleful Shadow is strong but he also telegraphs most of his attacks. His most dangerous aspect is that he also inflicts death blight, similar to the Basilisks prior to this area.
Once defeated, you’ll officially have progressed Ranni’s questline. If you’re not doing the quest, you can simply enter the structure to the south to find an elevator. This will take you out of Nokstella, Eternal City and onto the Lake of Rot.