Sellen is an NPC in Elden Ring that develops a close kinship with you. When you follow and finish her questline, she transforms into a giant ball-shaped creature. Her transformation is both terrifying and mysterious. Why exactly does she transform?
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The Story of Sellen
To understand why Sellen transforms in Elden Ring, you must first know her story and motivations.
Sellen is a sorceress who used to study in Raya Lucaria. She was lucky enough to have been taught by one of the academy’s most prominent sorcerers: Master Azur.
As it turns out, learning under Azur will end up being the reason why she’ll be exiled from the academy later on.
Master Azur was Sellen’s first teacher. He was a grandmaster in the academy, a title reserved only for the most powerful and knowledgeable of the glinstone arts. However, Master Azur had another fascination: the primeval current.
What Is the Primeval Current?
The primeval current is where glinstone sorceries draw their power from. It’s magic and power that hails from the vastness of space. It’s powerful and magnificent. However, it is also dark, terrifying, and mystifying.
Although it is indeed the source of glintstone sorcery, which is one of Raya Lucaria’s most practiced magic, the pursuit of the primeval current itself is forbidden.
Master Azur, along with another grandmaster, Master Lusat, were both fascinated by the primeval current. When they beheld the primeval current for the first time, they both got entranced and terrified of its nature. However, this didn’t stop them from pursuing it and creating magic spells from it.
Master Azur and Master Lusat created the Comet Azur and Stars of Ruin sorceries, respectively, from the power of the primeval current. Interestingly, these two are some of the most powerful sorceries in the game.
It wouldn’t be long before the academy found out about both sorcerers’ pursuit of the primeval current. This led to the exile of both grandmasters.
Sellen’s Banishment From Raya Lucaria
When Sellen was studying at the academy, she too became fascinated with the primeval current. Either she was inspired by Azur or personally driven by him to restore the primeval current of glintstone sorcery.
Sellen ended up learning about this forbidden tradition. So much so, in fact, that she managed to bear something out of it: the Primal Glinstone.
The Primal Glintstone allows a sorcerer to place their soul into it. They can then transplant the Primal Glintstone into a new body after their original one dies, essentially giving them new life.
This practice is considered distasteful by many. Even Sellen herself acknowledges this fact. It is also a mere glimpse of what a sorcerer can be capable of if they learn how to control the primeval current of glintstone sorcery.
Much like her predecessors, the academy eventually caught up to Sellen’s practices. She too was eventually exiled from the academy because of this.
Meeting the Tarnished Warrior
After Sellen got exiled from Raya Lucaria, she aimed to seek out her powerful predecessors. Unfortunately, she’d be unable to do so due to her physical form being bound by the academy’s shackles.
You first meet Sellen in the basement of the Waypoint Ruins. You can start learning sorceries from her here, becoming her apprentice.
Sellen will eventually warm up to you after you discover Master Azur’s body in Mt. Gelmir and acquire the Comet Azur spell. Once you return to Sellen after this, she’ll tell you her story.
Sellen will tell you that she got exiled from the academy for attempting to restore the primeval current. She’ll also tell you that she’s still set on that path. As her apprentice, she asks, yet doesn’t force, you to take that journey with her.
Upon accepting it, she’ll tell you to seek out Master Lusat and to seek out her physical form. You then obtain the Primal Glinstone from her physical body and implant it on another, freeing Sellen from the shackles of the academy.
With her freed and the bodies of Masters Azur and Lusat found, Sellen can return to the academy with the bodies of her former masters. All this to expel the Carian royal family and restore the primeval current, accomplishing her original goal.
After defeating Jerren with your help, Sellen will finally make it to the Raya Lucaria Grand Library. She’ll tell you that the Queen of Caria is no more, referring to Rennala, and that the academy can now begin honing the primeval current.
She’ll also ask you to stay with her at the academy, but knows that it is impossible for your calling to be the next Elden Lord. Instead, she asks you to become the Elden Lord and promises that the academy will swear allegiance to you.
The practice of primeval current, as it turns out, was forbidden for a very good reason.
When you return to the Raya Lucaria Grand Library, you’ll find Rennala in her usual position, and Sellen nowhere to be found.
That is until you look to the side of the room where you’ll find a giant ball of masks that are clumped together. Once interacted with, you’ll realize that this giant mass of abomination is none other than Sellen herself.
What Sellen transforms into is known as a “School of Graven Mages.”
What Is a School of Graven Mages?
A School of Graven Mages is what happens when one uses the primeval current to bring the bodies of sorcerers together, fashioning them into a seed of stars. It is a nightmarish creation that haunts the academy to this day. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons why the academy forbade the practice of primeval current in the first place.
This is what Sellen does when she brought in the bodies of Master Azur and Master Lusat.
Upon looking closely at the School of Graven Mages, you’ll find Sellen’s mask clumped together with the masks of Lusat and Azur, and presumably with other sorcerers as well.
Sellen sought out enlightenment and power from the primeval current. Instead, it showed her why something so endlessly unknown should be feared.
Sellen used the power of the primeval current to become a seed of stars along with her former masters. What she ended up being is a magical abomination.
It is unlikely that Sellen expected this to happen. Her goal was to lead the academy and hone the primeval current. It instead left her incapacitated, incapable of speech, and perhaps, in time, incapable of consciousness.
In the end, Sellen learned why the academy forbade the pursuit of primeval current. She learned it first-hand, and she learned it all too late.