By Jonathan Wojcik and Rev Storm


Today's "creature," or whatever it is, was one of the earliest known from Elden Ring's promotional teasers; a stone building, still attached to a rocky chunk of Earth, plodding along on four gigantic rocky legs with a huge bell hanging from its underside. From the start, it felt like it communicated a much lighter game than Sekiro, Bloodborne or Dark Souls, something a bit more "fairy tale" than "gothic horror," but Elden Ring is still a very grim game, and we're still talking about a walking mausoleum; a place built to house the dead.

Accessing the interior of a Mausoleum means not only defeating the creature without getting stomped to death, but usually fending off spectral warriors that seemingly exist only to protect it. Once you've managed all that however, you'll find a single emaciated, headless body lying on a stone altar, and it's at this altar that you can duplicate a remembrance - a "soul" you can collect from each of the game's bosses. The significance of this is that a remembrance can be exchanged for one of two completely unique pieces of equipment, so you'll need to duplicate one if you want both of its items. Unfortunately, there are fifteen remembrances in the game to only seven mausoleums, so you can never really complete an entire set on a playthrough.

What really makes these creatures or constructs intriguing though, at least to me, is the nature of their "weak points."

You can't kill a rock, but to bring down a Mausoleum, you must attack what resemble clusters of dimly glowing barnacles encrusting its stones. Many of these barnacles are clumped together in threes, some older specimens fused into what almost resemble moaning faces with a gaping mouth and eye sockets, wile still others are shaped perfectly like human skulls protruding from the rock.

This ties in well to nautical imagery throughout Elden Ring, which in turn ties in with a figure we'll be discussing later, but it's interesting enough that these barnaskulls seem to be what's actually animating the mausoleums at all. What I wonder is if these crustacea are expressing the presence of innumerable human souls, perhaps once buried in a surrounding cemetary. This would make these creatures more than just a walking mausoleum, but a whole legion of ghosts bringing their entire grave site to life.