This article contains SPOILERS regarding the NPC “Sellen”‘s questline in Elden Ring. Please stop reading now if you have not played through this part and want to experience it for yourself.
Elden Ring is my first game from FromSoftware, mainly because I was never too interested in those types of games. Hack n’ Slashers like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta fit my sensibilities more with their over-the-top action and stylized approach to combat. However, I quickly fell in love with the game after my bestfriend offered to share it with me, thus I became a fan. During the game you are given many quests that center around particular NPCs, and while I killed nearly every NPC and merchant I came across, I spared Sellen because I loved her character.
If you are unfamiliar with the character, you find her pretty early within the Waypoint Ruins in Limgrave. After defeating the Pumpkin Head boss, there’s a door where you’ll meet the Sorceress Sellen, a practitioner of magic who was kicked out of Raya Lucaria Academy due to her ambitions. She offers to teach you magic, and has you running a variety of quest to find other exiled Masters.
Sellen is a personal favorite of mine because she follows her own path and simply does not digest whatever she is told. Going against the grain despite what consequences may lie because she follows what is true to her. Also, she shows her fondness for you by lovingly saying “My Apprentice“, and even trusting you with her very essence. I am incredibly drawn to people who are kind and gentle, trusting, but have the force of will to follow their own beliefs and do things their own way despite the hardships and problems such trails could lead to. I was more than happy to help her do what was needed, even finding her a new body instead of the shackled one that was left in a state of impending death. All-in-all, I was ready to do whatever my Master asked of me in order to see her liberated.
After regaining Sellen’s new body, she wanted to head to the Raya Lucaria Academy where she was expelled; and of course I was going to assist her. While there, you have to either aid Sorceress Sellen in defending herself against Witch Hunter Jarren (the enthusiastic announcer who rallied everyone before your fight with Starscourge Radahn) or aid him in killing her. This was a no brainer; my Master must be protected! Jarren was slain without any mercy whatsoever.
After he was swiftly dealt with, you come inside to see Sellen standing where Queen Rennala of the Full Moon (or as I call her, “Moon Face”) was. There, she simply thanks you and swears that Raya Lucaria will back you whenever you rise to the rank of “Elden Lord”. You can tell there’s love for you there, as even if you fail she says there will always be a place for you; this is comforting and welcoming. I had no idea what would happen if I needed to reallocate my stats since Moon Face was no longer present, but I wasn’t too worried since my darling Master had a great ending.
I was wrong. I was so wrong.
You come back and see that Queen Rennala is back where she originally was, holding that odd looking baby-thing in her arms that looks straight out of Death Stranding, and it immediately posed the question “Where is Sellen?!”. You run over to the side and see an absolutely disgusting pile of heads, a ball formed of various Glintstone Crowns that sorcerers wear, and you hear it struggling to say “My Apprentice…“. My heart INSTANTLY broke in two. For all of her ambitions, for all of her love for wanting to pursue the ways of magic in her style and to free it for everyone to do the same…she was only mortal in the end. Going up against the Demi-God of Rebirth probably meant she needed to seal her away, as killing her is probably neigh impossible.
For a while I was upset with the game, and honestly lost a lot of my passion to continue. I still don’t want to go to Raya Lucaria Academy to respec, and I would love if DLC could be released where you stripped away Rennala’s powers and gave them to Sellen instead. Alas, I plan on doing Sellen’s playthrough up to the fight with Witch Hunter Jarren, and then simply leaving the questline uncompleted. I’m just…completely mad I gave her a fate worse than death. I wish Sellen would’ve been happy with her new body rather than opposing Moon Face, but she sought it through to the end. At the very least I wish they would’ve given her the lines “Kill me” so she wouldn’t have to suffer like she does; as an example, as a reminder.
This is just a reminder that life is cruel sometimes.