Rykard Lore: The Blasphemous Serpent – Elden Ring

Today we keep focusing on Rennala and Radagon’s happy little family, and we are going to explore more specifically Rykard’s lore. 

Let’s just say something before getting too serious: Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy is a disgusting individual. I mean, the dude is a snake with a human face.  
That being said, and in order to not throw my professionality out of the window, let’s discover dive right into Rykard’s lore. From his beginning as a Carian’s royalty newborn to the shady owner of the Volcano Manor.  

As always I advise you, dear reader, to put some cozy music in the background and to grab something hot to drink. I really hope you will enjoy the complete story of Rykard, Lord of Blasphemy.  

God, I hate snakes.  

Rykard’s Lore Origins: From Caria Manor to Leyndell

As hinted before, Rykard’s lore began in the Carian Royal Family, born from Rennala, Queen of The Full Moon, and Radagon of The Golden Order.  
He was one of the three children of said union, the others being Starscourge Radahn and Ranni the Witch. If you have played the game (which I suppose, since you are researching the lore of one of the game’s characters) you most probably know how important and somehow problematic the whole family is.  

By the way, I have written an article on both Rennala and Radahn lore, if you are interested! 

The lands between were in the process of being unified by the Golden Order led by Queen Marika the Eternal and her husband Godfrey, the First Elden Lord. They ended up succeeding and, for reasons which I am not going to talk about here (since it is going to be probably one of my next articles), Marika banished Godfrey and took Radagon as her new Husband and second Elden Lord.  

Since Marika was in fact a goddess, Rykard and his sibling inherited the status of demi-gods and gained tremendous power. They moved from the Caria Manor in Liurnia to Leyndell, the royal Capital. 

Rykard’s Ruthless Justice: The Justiciar’s Role in the Golden Order 

I highly believe that Rykard has always been a twisted individual with a huge need for opposition to others. Sir Gideon Ofnir, who our main character encounters in the Roundtable Hold, tells us that: “Praetor Rykard is […] a ruthless justiciar who commands a company of inquisitors”. 

The use of the word “ruthless” perfectly fits the entirety of Rykard’s lore, and we can find further proof in his time as a Justiciar for the Golden Order. He is thought to be behind the design of some of the most dangerous automatons in the game: the Abductor Virgins.  
While I did not find a clear and official statement that links these automatons to Rykard, I deducted it by one of his inquisitor’s weapons, Ghiza’s Wheel, which states to be inspired by the Virgin’s design.

Rykard’s Serpents and Women 

Rykard spent some time on Mt. Gelmir (where the current Volcano Manor is located), and later found the relics of an ancient civilization who worshipped a serpent, which was considered blasphemous by the Golden Order. I really advise keeping this part in mind, because as you may have guessed, this serpent is the elephant in the room. 
I don’t think this analogy works, but you got the point.   

Rykard also traveled to an unspecified distant land, where he met his future consort, Tanith.  
She was a dancer, but later joined Rykard as the Lady of the Volcano Manor, in his quest to destroy the Erdtree. 

Why did a Justiciar of the Golden Order want to destroy the Erdtree, you ask? I can say that they had their reasons… but if you want to discover more, you better keep reading! 

The Night of Black Knives: Rykard’s Involvement

At a certain point, Rykard’s sister, Ranni, decides to do the unthinkable: in order to free herself from her destiny of Empyrean, she planned her half-brother Godwyn the Golden’s murder. In a night called the “Night of the Black Knives”, Ranni stole the Rune of Death from Maliketh and sent assassins wielding this power to kill him, and she also killed herself.

It is stated that Rykard has helped in this act, though we do not know how. What we should focus on is actually “Why”. The causes can be several, ranging from a general malcontent growing within the Golden Order, to his aforementioned attitude for defying the order of things, to a simpler reason being helping out his blood sister.
We do indeed know that he highly values family.

EDIT: After reading the description for the “Blasphemous Claw”, which is an item we can acquire after finishing the Volcano Manor questline, we can assume that Rykard was in charge of using it to challenge Maliketh in case the plan was to be discovered.
The Blasphemous Claw is an item engraved with traces of the Rune of Death, that can withstand Maliketh death-imbued attacks.

After the Night of the Black Knives, Queen Marika shattered the Elden Ring and all her children (including the stepchildren), now Shardbearers, inherited parts of it in the form of Great Runes. She and her husband were imprisoned inside the Erdtree for this grave sin, and the throne of the Golden Order was left empty.  You can read more about what exactly is the Elden Ring HERE!

In that very moment, the Shardbearers began waging war with each other, in order to reunite the runes and claim the throne.  

The Recusants’ Rebellion: Rykard’s Radical Shift and The Serpent Alliance 

Rykard was not happy with this war. The idea to endure all of this to become the new lord of the Golden Order sounded to him like the Gods were toying with him. He radically changed his perspective on the Order and turned to the biggest heresy: he swore to destroy the Erdtree. 
Surprisingly enough, many inhabitants of The Lands Between echoed Rykard’s feeling, and joined him in the Volcano Manor. This newly formed force was named “The Recusants”. 

Now, do you remember that ancient civilization who worshipped a serpent? Turns out that said serpent is alive and well. After an unspecified period of time in Rykard’s lore where his forces battled the Golden Order in terrible fights, he came in contact with this Serpent, who is considered to be a traitor to the Erdtree. Unfortunately, we do not know exactly why the Serpent is a traitor, but there is a great post on Reddit about it that you can read HERE

You would expect Rykard and the Serpent to form an alliance against the Erdtree, but they went much further than that: Rykard let the Serpent eat him whole, and they became one. 

From Demigod to God-Devouring Serpent: Rykard’s Horrifying Transformation 

Turns out that when you get eaten by a giant serpent, you kind of lose sight of your goals and ambitions. As a Serpent, Rykard was ravenous. He believed that by eating people, their bodies and souls would join his family. He started eating the strongest of his Recusants, after they proved their skills in battle.  

At the same time, Rykard started creating a new race of half-serpent people through a horrendous ritual that, I quote: “can never be accepted, not by men, nor serpent”. Nasty stuff. 
These were the words of one of Rykard’s offsprings, Rya the Scout, which we meet for the first time in Liurnia of the Lakes disguised as a normal woman. However, we manage to see her true form in Volcano Manor. An interesting fact is that she does not really know her true origins, since Tanith kept that a secret from her.  

She still can hear slithering sounds behind the walls of the manor and will eventually discover the truth when advancing her questline. 

Rykard acknowledged his terrible state and actions: He tried to offer Tanith, his consort, the Tonic of Forgetfulness in order to erase any memory of him. She, however, refused to drink it because there was nothing worse than forgetting her loved one.  

The Serpent-Hunter’s Revolt

Rykard’s men are fed up with their lord eating them and sending them to useless battles, so they start devising a plan to kill him, but there is a little bump on the road: Rykard is a giant serpent with the power of a demi-god. They couldn’t simply fight him head on. 

Or could they? The Recusants conveniently found a weapon, the Serpent-Hunter, with the power to kill Rykard. This weapon was historically used to hunt an immortal serpent, and perfectly fits the job-description for slaying another one with a human face. 
Still, Rykard is incredibly strong, and all the attempts to use the weapon against him failed. 

During our journey as the Tarnished, we are going to be recruited by Rya and will be offered the chance to join the Recusants, and after killing several other Tarnished, we will have the opportunity to meet with the Lord of Volcano Manor.  
In this last part of Rykard’s lore, he will try to eat us to “join the family” but we can loot the Serpent-Hunter before the boss fight and kill him with it. 

Once Rykard is dead, Tanith will thank us for the service and will call his late husband a weakling. She tells us that she will leave the Manor, but in truth she goes where we killed Rykard and SHE START EATING HIM SO THAT THEY CAN THEN DEVOUR THE GODS TOGETHER.  

What the hell, man. 

Conclusion 

That’s it for Rykard’s lore! I hope you, dear reader, had fun while reading the article! It surely was fun writing it!  

I still have to recover from that Tanith eating Rykard thing. I really don’t like snakes at all. At least From Software didn’t do a Bee or Wasp boss, because I’ll tell you now: I am not going to write about it. 
Bees are even worse than snakes for me. 

Enjoy the rest of your day, and I’ll see you in the next article! 

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