Longtime Souls series dataminer Lance McDonald has uncovered the initial phases of a cut NPC questline (opens in new tab) in the Elden Ring build from the game's console network test in November 2021.
The Stormhill Shack (formerly Scavenger's Shack) where you meet Roderika in the finished game is empty in the network test build, but Lance was able to re-implement the NPC who was once intended to live there: Monk Jigo.
Jigo has been "seduced by the good lady alcohol" and requests your help in securing the ingredients of "Dreambrew," a legendary liquor with magical properties. This quest ties into another curiosity from the network test: non hostile, slumbering animals hidden throughout the world. They were meant to give off "Dream Mist" which you would then collect for Jigo with the help of St. Trina's Crystal Ball. St. Trina is a cryptic character in Elden Ring's lore associated with sleep and dreaming, and it seems like they were initially planned to have more of a presence in the game.
Lance also supplied a glimpse of Dreambrew's eventual use: gifting it to NPCs for bonus dialogue. Lance gave his first Dreambrew batch to Merchant Kalé in Limgrave's Church of Eleh. This put Kalé to sleep, and while the proceeding in-game audio is just the merchant's snoring, the subtitles briefly describe his nightmare of being tortured by the Frenzied Flame.
This seems to have been intended as a long-running quest, with Dream Mist supplying another collectible to hunt for in the Lands Between, and the subsequent NPC conversations providing more context to Elden Ring's story.
In the finished game, players are able to fight an optional boss in a character's dream at the end of Fia's questline (opens in new tab). It's unclear at the moment if the Dreambrew questline would have eventually featured similarly involved gameplay, jumping into characters' dreams, or just the bonus dialogue. We can likely expect further investigation into this abandoned storyline and gameplay mechanic in future videos by Lance.
For his part, Lance has also covered the strange giant heads (opens in new tab) which appear in distant scenery in the network test, but are absent in the final game. Fellow Souls series dataminer Zullie the Witch (opens in new tab) has also been keeping up a steady stream of insightful Elden Ring videos.