Ranni the Witch Lore: The Empyrean Rebel – Elden Ring

Ranni the Witch, with a full moon on the background

Today we tackle the story of the most important Elden Ring characters we can come across in the game: Ranni the Witch. 

If Queen Marika the Eternal represents Elden Ring’s past events, Ranni the Witch represents Elden Ring’s present: her actions have led the world to be in the state it is now.  
Starting with her origin as a child of Rennala and one of the Empyreans, all the way to becoming a God-slayer, here’s the lore of Ranni for you. 

As always, get some comfy soundtrack and a cup of something hot, and let’s begin! 

Lunar Princess Ranni of the Carian Royal Family 

Ranni’s lore begins in the Carian Royal Family, daughter of Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon, and Radagon of the Golden Order. She is the youngest of three children, the others being Radahn and Rykard. 
Yeah, you probably know them since they are two very epic bosses in the game! If you want to know more about them, I have articles about Starscourge Radahn’s lore HERE and Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy lore HERE

Ranni grew up close to her mother Rennala, who guided young Ranni in her quest to discover her own Moon. Unlike her mother’s, Ranni’s Moon was characterized by a cold and dark nature. 
Ranni had also another mentor, a snow crone from whom she learned cold sorceries and, most importantly, to fear her dark moon.  

Everything was going great up until Queen Marika decided to change husband: she banished Godfrey to distant lands and took Radagon as second Elden Lord. Rennala was broken by this news and would never recover. We will discover her fate in-game, alive but not in great mental shape.  

Here, get this article about Rennala’s Lore!  

After Radagon married Queen Marika, his children were elevated to statuses of demi-godhood, becoming even more powerful than before. Ranni, though, was even more special than her brothers. 

Ranni the Empyrean candidate 

While all Rennala and Radagon’s children were very powerful and unique in their own way, Ranni was innately different: she was an Empyrean.  
The Empyrean status is quite tricky to explain since, as much as any FromSoftware games, the lore is fragmented and scattered all over the place… but I’ll try to explain as easily as possible.  

An Empyrean is somebody that is chosen by a Two-Fingers, a vassal of the Greater Will, to replace Queen Marika as God and leader of the Golden Order. Up until here, the concept is quite straightforward! Empyreans even get badass bodyguards called Shadows (short for Shadowbound beasts), which are humanoid wolves. Ranni’s Shadow is Blaidd, the Half-Wolf, which we can find in the game… and ultimately kill if we follow through Ranni’s quest. Sad. 

What is confusing is how Empyreans are chosen. In the Remembrance of the Rot Goddess (an item that you obtain after defeating Malenia, Blade of Miquella), it is stated that children of a single god are automatically Empyreans.

Miquella and Malenia are both the children of a single god. As such they are both Empyreans, but suffered afflictions from birth.
One was cursed with eternal childhood, and the other harbored rot within.


– Remembrance of the Rot Goddess

Malenia and Miquella are born from Queen Marika and Radagon, who we come to discover are just two sides of the same God… so that empyrean description works great. But Ranni? Ranni was not born of a single God and yet she was one. This makes me understand that, while children of a single God are automatically Empyreans, that is not necessarily the only way to be one. 
I hope that we will obtain more insights with the upcoming DLC, which will most probably be based around Miquella! 

So, why did I spend 247 words talking about this Empyrean status? Because this is the reason that led Ranni to steal the Power of Death.  

Ranni the God-Slayer: The Night of the Black Knives 

If you read other articles that I’ve written about Rennala and her family, you should be familiar with the events of the night of the Black Knives. If you didn’t, don’t worry, I’m going to sum it up for you. 

Ranni was not really into the idea of replacing Queen Marika as Goddess. You may think she just threw a tantrum like a spoiled brat and that was it, but no. We are talking about people with immense powers, here, so a much more intricated plan was thought of. 

Being Empyrean seems to be very dependent on the body more than the soul itself, so killing herself would be a plausible solution. 
There are two problems with this solution, though: Ranni didn’t really want to die in order to be free, and, as I wrote in my article explaining the Elden Ring, after Marika removed the Rune of Death from the Elden Ring nobody believing in the Golden Order can really die.  

But what if, and pay attention here, she was to steal just enough of the Rune of Death to kill a Demi-God and kill only her body and somebody else’s soul?  
That is exactly what happened: Ranni stole a fragment of the Rune of Death from Queen Marika’s Shadow, Maliketh, and sent assassins with death-imbued blades to kill her stepbrother Godwyn’s soul. Subsequently, she chose to end her own body’s life, transferring her soul into a doll bearing the likeness of her former mentor, the snow crone. 

Can we just praise a second how creative the whole plan was? Wow. 

After Godwyn death, Marika shattered the Elden Ring and fragments of it went to her children and stepchildren, becoming shardbearers, and most of them battled each other to rule the Lands Between.  

Ranni’s Lore after the Shattering 

Although Ranni inherited a fragment of the Elden Ring, she cast it aside, as she was not interested in ruling the Lands Between nor she was interested in the Golden Order at all.  

Ranni guided her loyal followers during intermittent deep slumbers, since she faced limitations with her new doll body, which unfortunately had its constraints. 
Another quest started and another plan was devised: Finding a weapon capable of killing her Two-Fingers, which still sends assassins trying to kill her after her betrayal. 

Of the demigods, only I, Miquella, and Malenia could claim that title.
Each of us was chosen by our own Two Fingers, as a candidate to succeed Queen Marika, to become the new god of the coming age. Which is when I received Blaidd, in the form of a vassal tailored for an Empyrean.

But I would not acquiesce to the Two Fingers. I stole the Rune of Death, slew mine own Empyrean flesh, casting it away. I would not be controlled by that thing.
The Two Fingers and I have been cursing each other ever since… And the Baleful Shadows… are their assassins. I turned my back on the Two Fingers and we each have been cursing the other since. The Baleful Shadows… are their assassins.

– Ranni in Nokstella

With the help of our main character, we can acquire said weapon and help Ranni kill her Two-Fingers. She will reward us by giving the main character the opportunity of becoming her consort. After finishing the game and finally slaying the Elden Beast, we can unlock an alternative ending where Ranni indeed ascends to Godhood. That doesn’t necessarily mean to become also the ruler of the Lands Between… actually, quite the opposite for her! 

She decides to rid the Lands Between of the Greater Will’s influence, giving its inhabitants free will over their own actions. She will then go on a journey through the stars accompanied by our main character.  

Conclusion 

Understanding Ranni’s lore is crucial for anyone seeking insight into the world of Elden Ring, as it stands as one of the most captivating and significant pieces of information we have. I hope that thanks to this article, dear reader, you are now a bit closer to fully appreciating the game’s extensive world. 

I know, there is still a lot to cover, but I promise you: I’ll try my best to cover more and more about this fantastic masterpiece!  
If you are interested in something different from lore articles, what about an article about badass video game soundtracks, or one about the most iconic things in video game franchises?  

Well, I kept your attention long enough! I wish you a great day and, as always, I’ll see you in the next article! 

4 thoughts on “Ranni the Witch Lore: The Empyrean Rebel – Elden Ring”

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