PSA: Here's what 'Somewhere, a great rune has broken' means in Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree

Elden Ring Shadow of the Erdtree bosses - Messmer
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

So you were riding towards that forbidding looking shadow castle in the distance when suddenly you heard a sound like glass shattering. Two messages popped up on your screen in succession: "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" and then "And so too has a powerful charm". You were likely soaring high after successfully smacking about a Furnace Golem, and now this happens. What the heck?

Well, don't worry. This is a fixed event that occurs in Shadow of the Erdtree when you approach the Shadow Keep (even if you're not all that close, which makes it seem pretty random). In some ways, it's a point of no return, but it doesn't really lock anything or change much immediately. So, what does it actually mean? If you've been paying attention to NPC dialogue and spoke to Leda at Highroad Cross, she reveals that all of the Miquella companions—the collection of misfits you've encountered so far—have been charmed by Miquella.

That's right, they're not there of their own free will, but have been coerced through the Empyrean's supernatural ability to inspire devotion in others. If you've also been finding Miquella Crosses for Ansbach, you'll know that Miquella is abandoning parts of himself across the Land of Shadow, with each cross marking a bit of him that's dropped off.

Lore-wise, what "Somewhere, a great rune has broken" means is that Miquella has abandoned enough parts of himself that his connection to the Erdtree has broken, along with his great rune and its associated powers. What "And a powerful charm has been dispelled" means is that the charm that was cast on all of the Miquella companions has broken and they have their free will back.

Your next step, then? Head back and talk to all of the Miquella companions. This is the moment when their quests properly begin, so you'll want to catch them all before they run off in their respective directions. You'll find:

Leda, in particular, will help contextualise what's going on, and she'll ask you to make a choice, which we cover in detail in our Leda quest guide. You should also make sure to speak to Moore, since he poses a choice as well. 

As for the other companions, it won't necessarily fail their quests if you don't speak to them, but if you continue progressing they will start to disappear, and if you haven't talked to them you'll have zero clue where they're going next. Just as a reminder, we currently have quest guides for all of the NPCs except Moore, so if you are struggling to pick up the trail for one of the companions, please do take a look above.

So, while massive glass shattering noises that make you jump out of your chair and vaguely ominous messages may be scary, this one isn't as cataclysmic as you might think. Just be sure to check up on your good friends in the host of now-unbrainwashed Miquella companions.

Sean Martin
Guides Writer

Sean's first PC games were Full Throttle and Total Annihilation and his taste has stayed much the same since. When not scouring games for secrets or bashing his head against puzzles, you'll find him revisiting old Total War campaigns, agonizing over his Destiny 2 fit, or still trying to finish the Horus Heresy. Sean has also written for EDGE, Eurogamer, PCGamesN, Wireframe, EGMNOW, and Inverse.