Bernahl's quest is one of the many NPC storylines you can explore in Elden Ring. You can meet him very early on in the game, but his quest won't really kick off until you reach Volcano Manor (opens in new tab) in Mt. Gelmir. Even then, it's easy to miss if you get ahead of yourself and progress the game too far without speaking to him first.
This isn't a particularly long quest—when compared to someone like Ranni (opens in new tab), anyway—but you could miss out on one of the legendary weapons (opens in new tab) and a couple of smart-looking armor sets if you skip it. It does take you into one of the last areas of the game though, so don't expect to finish it quickly if your Tarnished is just setting out. Here's how to complete the Elden Ring Bernahl quest.
Elden Ring Bernahl quest: First location
You can meet Bernahl pretty early on, at the Warmaster's Shack in Limgrave where he'll offer to sell you Ashes of War (opens in new tab). He also has a dialogue option which only seems to change his next response, as far as I can tell, so you're free to choose whichever option you want.
This step isn't required to start his quest at Volcano Manor, later on.
How to get the Letter to Bernahl
Note: You won't be able to complete this step if you've killed Rykard or Maliketh: Rykard because the NPCs in Volcano Manor disappear afterwards, and Maliketh because you will no longer be able to access the Fortified Manor. The Crumbling Farum Azula steps are unaffected, however.
You won't meet Bernahl again until you reach Volcano Manor in Mt Gelmir. You can reach this area soon after arriving in Liurnia, either by getting an invitation from Rya (opens in new tab) or by getting killed by an Abductor Virgin enemy at the bottom of Raya Lucaria Academy. Of course, you can just walk through the front door, if you're in no real hurry.
However you choose to get there, you'll find Bernahl in the room with Rya and Diallos (opens in new tab), which requires the Drawing Room key to access. You can speak to Bernahl at this point, but his quest won't start until you've completed the second assassination, Rileigh the Idle, in Altus Plateau as part of the main Volcano Manor quest. When you return to the manor with this step completed, talk to Bernahl and he'll hand over the "Letter to Bernahl" item.
Bernahl has been instructed to assassinate two targets in Leyndell, Royal Capital and suggests you go along to help him. The targets are Vagram the Raging Wolf and Errant Sorcerer Wilhelm and their summon sign is found on the ground floor of the Fortified Manor, in the main entrance hall.
Once you've defeated both NPCs, you'll receive the Raging Wolf armor set as a reward. You can then return to Volcano Manor and speak to Bernahl to get the Gelmir's Fury sorcery (opens in new tab).
You're now free to complete the rest of the Volcano Manor questline and defeat the boss of the area. Like other NPCs, Bernahl will leave the manor after this, but you can still access his shop by interacting with his sword in his previous location.
Bernahl's invasion in Crumbling Farum Azula
Elden Ring quests guide (opens in new tab)
- Elden Ring: Blaidd's quest
- Elden Ring: Millicent's quest
- Elden Ring: Sellen's quest (opens in new tab)
- Elden Ring: Nepheli's quest (opens in new tab)
- Elden Ring: Fia's quest
- Elden Ring: Irina's quest (opens in new tab)
- Elden Ring: Varre's quest
- Elden Ring: Hyetta's quest (opens in new tab)
- Elden Ring: Thops' quest (opens in new tab)
Bernahl's next stop is Crumbling Farum Azula. You can find his summon sign outside the Godskin Duo boss room and he is a huge help when dealing with this potentially tricky fight. It's also worth noting that you don't need to complete the Volcano Manor step to make him available as a summon here.
Continue to work your way through the area until you unlock the Beside the Greatbridge Site of Grace. From here, proceed up the stairs, but instead of going straight on up the road to Maliketh's boss room, turn around and head in the opposite direction.
Follow the road, but veer to the right at the end to avoid the broken section. Now, take the stairs on the left leading down. Head through the door on your right at the bottom and you'll find yourself on a balcony. You should find a ladder that leads down to a relatively narrow walkway below.
Climb down the ladder and head east towards the building at the end. Before you reach it, Bernahl will invade you. There are a couple of beastman enemies in the area, too, so be careful you don't aggro them and make the fight more difficult for yourself. Once you've defeated him, you're rewarded with the Devourer's Scepter, Blasphemous Claw, and the Beast Champion armor set.
Originally, killing Maliketh before Bernahl could invade you would lock you out of this final step, but it appears to have been patched to allow the invasion, regardless of area progress—I was able to trigger Bernahl's invasion after completing everything else in Farum Azula at time of writing.