Rykard is one of Elden Ring’s many characters and though he isn’t as popular or as important as characters like Radahn or Ranni, he does have an intriguing backstory. Here’s everything you need to know about Rykard, the Lord of Blasphemy.
Rykard was a child of Radagon and Queen Rennala. He, along with his brother Radahn and his sister, Ranni, was elevated to demigod status after their father left their mother to be Marika and become the second Elden Lord.
He served the Golden Order by leading a group of inquisitors who persecuted and tortured those they considered heretics, like the Albinaurics.
While in the volcanic Mt. Gelmir, Rykard stumbled upon ancient magma hexes that were of a forgotten native religion that worshiped a serpent and began using them.
He also constructed automatons called the Iron Virgins which were used on the battlefield and also to abduct victims and transport them to his Volcano Manor on the mountain.
At some point, he traveled to an unknown foreign land where he meets a dancer named Tanith who he eventually married.
The Night of the Black Knives and the Shattering
Rykard assisted his sister Ranni as she plotted and carried out the Night of the Black Knives where Godwyn the Golden was assassinated. He was given a slab of rock that had traces of the Rune of Death so that he could challenge Maliketh, the Black Blade, should the occasion demand it.
Following the Night of the Black Knives, Marika shattered the Elden Ring and her defendants obtained the great runes. The power of these runes drove them to wage war against each other to become the ruler of the Lands Between. This event came to be known as the Shattering.
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Why he came to be known as ‘Lord of Blasphemy’
Rykard felt that being forced to battle other demigods over minuscule pieces of power was degrading, so he challenged the Erdtree and the Greater Will itself. Rykard, despite committing blasphemy, garnered many followers who admired his courage and ambitions.
He along with his armies known as the Recusants fought a brutal war against the forces of the Lyndell which would become known as the most appalling battle of the Shattering. The war seemed to have no end and participants on either side began cannibalizing each other and some succumbed to the Frenzied Sickness.
After some unknown amount of time, Rykard fed himself along with his Great Rune to the traitor of the Erdtree, the serpent that resided at Mt Gelmir. Moments before he was devoured he sees a vision of a future where the whole world is being devoured by the serpent. When he was consumed by the serpent, man-serpents came into existence as the result of a birthing ritual.
Rykard merged with the creature and began feeding on his greatest warriors, who along with everyone else he consumed became his family in the serpent’s belly. Appalled by their master’s descent into depravity, Rykard’s men abandoned his cause and stopped fighting in his name.
Some looked for a weapon that was capable of bringing him down and were successful as they discovered a spear called Serpent-Hunter which was designed to slay an immortal serpent in the past. One of his followers left the weapon in his chambers hoping for a capable warrior to discover it and bring use it to bring an end to his master and stop Rykard from further tainting his legacy.
Tanith was offered a Tonic of Forgetfulness by Rykard before he was consumed by the serpent so that she could lose all her memories of him. She declined it, however, claiming that forgetting him would pain her more than anything.
Tanith then began recruiting Tarnished champions and those who were deemed worthy were then fed to the serpent.
Encounter with the Tarnished
A Tarnished champion manages to reach Rykard’s chambers, defeats the serpent, and claims the Great Rune. Rykard awakes after this and begins battling the Tarnished champion to join him. Literally.
However, Rykard is slain by the Tarnished. While dying he says, “A serpent never dies”, and Tanith, devastated begins to feed on the regenerated corpse.