The NPC quests have always been a highlight in FromSoftware games. That is, in part, due to how cryptic they can be, yet they’re satisfying and illuminating when you manage to actually follow one all the way to the end. In the original Souls trilogy, NPC quests had to be solved just by talking to them and either deciphering what they were saying to figure out what you needed to do, not do, or where to go in order to progress the quest. Elden Ring is much the same, but with a few small quality-of-life improvements that make completing them a bit more manageable now that you’re exploring the extremely vast Lands Between.
Your hub area in Elden Ring, the Roundtable Hold, is where a majority of the main NPCs of the game will show up. They may not stay there forever, and some never appear there at all, but a good number of them will begin their quests from this safe location. This is also true for the unappealing character who shows up in a red phantom form, stinking in a pile of trash and disgusting rotting armor, known as Dung Eater. Other NPCs will warn you to steer clear of him, but this welp does have an entire questline to follow that can even lead to a new ending. If you want to know how to complete the Dung Eater’s quest in Elden Ring, here’s a step-by-step guide.
Dung Eater doesn’t show up for quite a while, depending on your speed through Elden Ring. You will notice many doors are closed and cannot be opened in Roundtable Hold, but different events and triggers will gradually open them up. For Dung Eater, he will show up in the room beyond the Twin Maiden Husks merchant only after you’ve made it to the Altus Plateau and reached Leyndell, Royall Capital. Once you have, you will spot the new red figure sitting in a trashed room beside tons of corpses.
Even though he appears as a red phantom, you can’t fight him, though it is a pretty obvious bit of foreshadowing. Talking to him doesn’t reveal much, but the next step in getting more out of him involves finding your first Seedbed Curse.
There are a total of six Seedbed Curse items in Elden Ring, one of which can be completely missed if you progress too far. Thankfully, only five are required to finish this entire quest. For now, though, we just need to get one to kick things off.
We got one of the Seedbed Curses in Leyndell, Royal Capital since it was most convenient to where we were, but you can look below for where the others are if you’d rather grab one of those. For this one, go to the Fortified Manor. This location is the real-world place the Roundtable Hold was based on and has the exact same layout, though with a few tweaks. If you exit the Fortified Manor, go east around the building and climb up some shacks on the side so you can reach the second floor. From here, simply go into the same room you would find Dung Eater in at Roundtable Hold, only now there will be a body with the Seedbed Curse item you can loot.
With your first Seedbed Curse, travel back to Roundtable Hold and talk to Dung Eater again. You’ll get some more dialogue, so exhaust it all until he gives you the Sewer Gaol Key. This will need to be taken back into Leyndell, Royal Capital to find the real, non-phantom version of Dung Eater. Knowing Leyndell, especially the sewer area, this won’t be easy to find.
To start off, go to the Avenue Balcony Site of Grace and head to the northwest, down the stairs, and jump over the railing to the left side to a small cluster of ruined buildings half-buried in snow or ash below the dead dragon’s wing. Search around here for an old well you can climb down. Carefully make your way through this tunnel area, making sure to make a pit stop at the Site of Grace, and then take your next left to fall down an open grate on the floor.
At the bottom, go right and avoid the poison flower enemies until you reach a ladder. Don’t stop to take in the sights, because there’s an ambush waiting if you linger before taking the ladder. Once at the top, examine the cells on the right side of the wall until you find the one with Dung Eater inside and the prompt to open it. This will use the key and let you inside to talk with the real man in all his disgusting glory.
Go through his dialogue until you get the choice to say either, “Leave your gaol!” or nothing. Choose the former option to progress his quest. Finally, you can leave these sewers and go back to the Roundtable Hold. In Dung Eater’s former room, his red phantom version will no longer be there, but he did leave you a message you should read. It is clearly a challenge and one you should happily accept.
As per Dung Eater’s note, you need to find him next at what he simply called “the outer moat.” This isn’t a real, named location in Elden Ring, which can make it rather confusing since there are plenty of castles and moats in the game. The one he’s referring to, though, is the one around Lyndell, Royal Capital. Specifically, you want to go to the Capital Rampart Site of Grace and head northwest around the wall into the first body of water on the map. Once you wade into these waters, Dung Eater will invade you and the battle begins.
Waste no time taking down this mess of a man and you will claim his sword called the Sword of Milos, but the story doesn’t end here. If you go back to Roundtable Hold yet again, Dung Eater has returned to his old room once more and asks you to “defile” him by giving him the remaining Seedbed Curse items.
Now we need to gather up the remaining Seedbed Curses to fully “defile” Dung Eater. Here are where you can find the other Seedbed Curses, excluding the first one we got in the above section.
Back in Leyndell, Royal Capital, because you are likely quite familiar with that location by now, start at the East Rampart Site of Grace and enter the city. Go forward until you have the option to take an elevator on your right side and ride it down. Fight through the next room and climb the ladder inside, going all the way to the top floor. In this big round room, there will be a single body in the center with a glowing item. Loot it for a Seedbed Curse.
Taking a major detour now, make sure you have a Stonesword Key ready if you haven’t fully explored the Volcano Manor area already. Start at the Temple of Eiglay, go up the elevator, and look off the cliff for a ledge you can fall down to go partway back down. Kill or avoid the enemies here until you make it inside the manor and climb the stairs. Do a 180 at the top and go into the room behind you using the Stonesword Key. Fall down the pit beyond the gate and carefully drop from cage to cage all the way to the bottom. It is a tricky bit of platforming, so be careful, but the next curse is waiting for you at the very bottom.
Our last two Seedbed Curses are in probably the most difficult areas in the game: The Haligtree.
First, start at the Prayer Room Site of Grace and head northeast until you reach a set of stairs you can take up or down. Choose to go down and hop onto the bit of architecture just before an unaware enemy on a balcony. From here, make another jump toward a scarab, but don’t bother risking chasing it right now. Walk up this next slope to a ledge where a corpse with the item is waiting to be collected.
Reset back to the Prayer Room Site of Grace, repeating your steps to the stairs, but now go all the way down to the end where two knights guard a room. Ignore that room, and instead jump off the right side onto a roof below. Turn around, and you’ll see a path leading under the area you just came from. Follow it down the stairs and into a room leading to yet another corpse at the edge of a balcony. Pick up the final curse here to bring back to Dung Eater.
Once you find at least five total Seedbed Curses and return them to Dung Eater, he will give you one final prize: The Mending Rune of the Fell Curse. This is a key item that will be used, unless you also meet the requirements for other endings, once you beat the final boss of Elden Ring. If you do, you will get the Blessing of Despair ending, which is considered one of the worst endings for the state of the world, but it’s still fun to see for anyone who wants to get every ending available.