Elden Ring: Thops Questline [Complete Guide] + Maps

Written by Jazz Andrews

Hey there, I'm Jazz! a marketing specialist, crochet enthusiast, meditation enjoyer, beginner rock climber and fellow human being, just like you. I don't play video games anymore, but I'm keeping this guides up for anyone they may be useful for. Have fun out there 🙂

March 20, 2022

If you’re playing Elden Ring’s “main story” in the way FROM Software intended – or at least designed to be the most obvious – you’ll likely encounter the forlorn Sorcerer Thops relatively early on in your playthrough.

That being said, the beauty of Elden Ring (one of its many beauties) is the freedom the game gives you to explore the Lands Between however you please. So maybe you’re like me, and you bumped into Thops much later in your adventure. Either way, when you do find him, you may have some questions.

Questions like, how do you get to the Raya Lucaria Academy? How do you get one of the Academy Glintstone Keys to actually get inside the academy? And once you have the key, you may be concerned about giving your only copy to Thops and not having your own copy to keep. Is there a second Academy Glintstone Key? Where is it? Fear not my fellow tarnished. This step-by-step guide will answer all those questions and more.

Table of Contents

  1. How To Find Sorcerer Thops
  2. How to Find the Academy Glintstone Key
  3. How To Get Inside The Raya Lucaria Academy
  4. How To Get The Second Academy Glintstone Key
  5. Where to Find Thops After You Give Him The Academy Glintstone Key
  6. What Items Do You Get From Thops?

How To Find Sorcerer Thops

This guide assumes you’ve already made it through the Stormveil Castle legacy dungeon and defeated Godrick the Grafted. If so, simply fast travel to the Godrick the Grafted site of grace, walk outside, turn left and you’ll soon find the Church of Irith, inside which you’ll discover Sorcerer Thops.

If you haven’t made it through Stormveil Castle yet, you can still get to this area by walking up the path to the right of the castle that leads to the nearby Lake-Facing Cliffs site of grace. If that’s the case you can just travel West a short way from the Lake-Facing Cliffs site instead.

You can easily reach the Church of Irith from either the Lake-Facing Cliffs or Godrick the Grafted sites of grace.

How to Find the Academy Glintstone Key

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To find the Academy Glintstone Key you need to travel to a small isle West of the Academy. The first step is to jump on Torrent and run down the cliff face from the Church of Irith (there’s a path leading down near the church that you can find, don’t just jump off the edge or you’ll die).

Continue running down the hill past the small village-like structure with flame priest dudes until you reach the lake area. You’ll find the Liurnia Lake Shore site of grace and a merchant right at the start of the lake. This is a good site of grace to attempt your key retrieval run from.

The Liurnia Lake Shore site of grace is a short ride downhill from the Church of Irith.

You can see the location of the Academy Glintstone Key in the map below. If you haven’t collected the map fragment yet, a good way to find the Academy, and from there place the location of the small isle with the key is as follows: from the Liurnia Lake Shore site of grace, head directly north until you hit the cliff wall on the other side of the lake. Follow this cliff wall North-West until you get to a raised roadway cutting perpendicular in front of you, sloping downwards to your left. If you now follow this raised road and the ruins around it, they will lead you to the Academy Gate Town site of grace. Explore around this area to find one of the map fragments for the zone, which should make putting a marker on the isle with the key much easier.

The Academy Glintstone Key is on a small isle West of the Raya Lucaria Academy.

One important note is that there are some fairly high level enemies around the key’s location, including poisonous plants that shoot both poison and magic attacks at you. Not to mention the giant dragon slumbering right in front of the key. You can get by all these enemies fairly easily. Just make sure to stay on Torrent and keep riding!

You can see a demonstration of the run in the video at the start of this guide.

How To Get Inside The Raya Lucaria Academy

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To get into the Raya Lucaria Academy you need to reach the South Raya Lucaria Gate. The pathway up to this gate is a little way North-East of the Academy Gate Town site of grace and directly North-West of the Fallen Ruins of the Lake site of grace. You’ll know when you’ve reached it when you see wooden barricades and soldiers manning a pathway that goes uphill.

A couple of things to note here. You don’t have to fight anyone on the path up to the gate. You’re able to summon your horse Torrent here and can use the double jump to leap over the barricades and simply run all the way up to the gate. For a demonstration of how to do this see the video at the top of this guide.

The other option is to fight your way up. This isn’t a bad idea, as there are items laying around and an NPC you can meet on the way – Finger Reader Crone. If you want to take this route, please note that you can use your spirit summon in this area, if you’re struggling. And torrent can still be quite useful as you can use the double jump to clear barricades, after which you can dismount again for combat, or simply stay on and fight while mounted.

When you get to the upper section of this area, you’ll find a giant skull on wheels contraption that spits fire at you. No fun at all if you’re caught in front of it. The best way to deal with it is to sneak around to the left hand edge of this area, once you’re past the initial ramp up. If you follow the left hand side railing past the first large building, you’ll get to a gap between buildings. This alley will lead you to the giant skull, but importantly, to its backside. 

From this angle you’ll be able to see that the contraption is driven by a semi-concealed regular enemy crouched down inside the machine, vulnerable to attack from behind. You can even sneak up to him close enough from this angle to land a critical back stab. Just be careful of all the other soldiers standing around who will swiftly retaliate. 

Keep moving up, past the plateau with the giant skull and the mob of soldiers and you’ll find the South Raya Lucaria Gate site of grace, and the gate itself. You’ll find a map on a corpse next to the gate showing you the location of the Academy Glintstone Key, which we’ve already collected. Now all you need to do is “examine” the gate and you’ll be able to pass through it, and teleport to the main academy entrance on the North side of the building.

You’ve made it to the South Gate of the Raya Lucaria Academy!

How To Get To The Debate Parlor Site of Grace in the Raya Lucaria Academy

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After you pass through the South Gate you’ll arrive at the Main Academy Gate site of grace. If you turn right here you can use the small glowing seal to travel to the East Raya Lucaria Gate, further North-East in the map. We’ll leave that for now as it leads further into the game and get into the academy you need to turn in the opposite direction, left. 

Before you do head left, you can walk past the seal to your right and continue walking down the raised road. At the end of it you’ll find a Golden Seed. Run back to the Site of Grace, and this time head towards the academy, where you’ll find a lift waiting for you. Ride the lift up. At the top of the lift you’ll be greeted with a magical sight. You’ll be looking up at the impressive outer facade of the Academy which has a decidedly Hogwarts-esque feel.

What a magical sight.

Walk up the path towards the castle, being careful to dodge roll past the magical projectiles shot by the two Raya Lucaria Sorcerer‘s standing at the top of the staircase. Open the door behind the sorcerers and you’ll find yourself in the Church of the Cuckoo. This is an interesting room as it’s both the first proper room with enemies that you visit in the dungeon and also potentially the last. If you look above you, you’ll see beams and candelabras. It’s above one of these candelabras that we’ll drop down onto from the roof later in this guide to claim the second Academy Glintstone Key.

For now though, a much more immediate concern is the potentially lethal combination of two Marionette Soldiers coming at you with melee combat while another Raya Lucaria Sorcerer shoots barrages of magic at you from the front of the chapel. You’ve got a couple of options here, you can defeat the three enemies. Or, if you’re feeling a little under-leveled, you can make a run to the next site of grace which is very close by.

To get to the next grace, run to the exit which is midway down the room on the left hand side. If you make sure to string some rolls together as you flee you might be able to dodge the magic and avoid the melee attacks and make it to the next site of grace alive. Once you exit the room to the left, turn left again straight away and you’ll find the Church of the Cuckoo site of grace. 

You can just run through this room if you’re not confident with defeating the enemies.

Head away from the site of grace down the hallway in front of you and turn left at the end to exit out into a spooky graveyard area (do any gamers from the PSX era get reminded of the game MediEvil in this bit?). You’ll see the shadowy figure of a skeleton straight ahead as soon as you step out into the graveyard. Be careful running straight for it though. He has a friend waiting off screen to your right ready to jump onto you and carry out a painful latching manoeuvre which can easily drain a good chunk of your health, even at higher levels.

Like elsewhere in the game, this trick of luring you into an attack with a seemingly isolated enemy only to ambush you with multiple foes is repeated frequently throughout this graveyard segment. To get to our goal of the second Academy Glintstone Key you can just run through here, ducking and weaving to avoid enemies. But I recommend coming back later and exploring the area thoroughly as there are a number of secret areas and hidden goodies to find.

The section after the bridge can get a bit hairy due to the large number of dogs. Keep an eye out for the tombstone icon on the left of the screen which should pop up midway up the second graveyard section after the bridge, showing you that you can now summon a spirit buddy. With all the dogs and skeletons hanging around you might do well to use the help.

Don’t forget to use your spirit buddies if you’re struggling with the dogs.

Once you’ve made your way past the skeletons and dogs, you’ll find yourself in a small room next to a giant water wheel. We’ll be riding that water wheel up to the next section of the dungeon. If you were to walk past the water wheel you’d find a tall lanky guy with a magical sword (the same sort of dude that you find on the beach back in Limgrave, which we wrote about in our article: Elden Ring: How To Make It Safely Down to Limgrave Beach and Find The Haligdrake Talisman). If you defeat this guy you’ll get the Gravity Well sorcery. Then you can jump up on the monument behind him to nab a Somber Smithing Stone 3.

What is it with these tall lanky fellows and their gravity magic?

Once you’ve caught a lift up with the giant water wheel, jump off at the platform above and make your way inside at the nearby doorway to rest your weary bones at the Schoolhouse Classroom site of grace. The next section is going to involve a fair bit of combat, a lot of it with magic being thrown at you, so you might want to shift your gear around a bit to ensure you have the best magic protection you can muster. At the end of this next area you’ll also be facing the first boss of the Academy, and it will use physical attacks, so you may need to experiment with getting the right load out here.

Time for a well earned rest before you challenge the first boss of the area.

Fight your way up through the hallways, heading to the right. You might want to lure the enemies out from the room at the end of the hallway as there’s also a giant pot man in addition to the sorcerers. So if you can it’s best to aggro them one at a time and draw them back into the hallway. When you’ve cleared out that area, turn right and head up the stairs. There’s a couple more enemies on your way up two sets of stairs. At the top of these stairs you’ll find large doors that lead into the first boss of the area –  the Red Wolf of Radagon.

There’s not much special advice I can give here. Other than to have a shield that has good physical blocking as that’s what most of his attacks are. He tends to attack in moves that group in two or three hits, so wait for at least the second hit of each attack group before jumping in. Other than that it’s pretty much like any other combat. Just block, dodge and roll (parry if you’re a better gamer than me), and whittle down his health.

Once you’ve defeated him, you’ll gain access to the site of grace in the room, and congratulations! You’ve made it to the Debate Parlor site of grace. It’s from this base that we’ll now be making a run for the second Academy Glintstone Key.

How To Get The Second Academy Glintstone Key

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Having now activated the Debate Parlor site of grace, you’re in a good position to travel to both the boss of the area – Rennala, Queen of the Full Moon – and to the chandelier with the second Academy Glintstone Key. As we’re focussing on Thops’ questline at the moment, we’re going to leave the boss fight for now, and instead head straight for the second key. 

Because the path to the key involves a fair bit of parkour across rooftops and dealing with a number of annoying enemies, it’s likely that you’re going to die a few times while attempting it. So to make things just a tiny bit easier, we’re going to start off by opening  a shortcut door near the start of the run, that allows you to skip a couple of enemies. It’s not a big shortcut (one of the smallest in the game actually), but when you’re doing the same run over and over, even a few seconds that you don’t have to repeat is a god send.

Before making the run for the key, it’s a good idea to open the shortcut door.

So to open that shortcut here’s what you need to do: Leave the Debate Parlor and you’ll step out into a large open space. Directly to your left is a collapsed wall. You can walk up that rubble onto an elevated balcony area with several enemies. Head up the rubble and dodge past the first few enemies you see. You don’t want to engage with these initial melee fighters as there are two sorcerers standing on the next level up who will bombard you with ranged magic if you do. Your best bet is to dodge and roll up to that next level, via the short staircase on the left, and take out the sorcerers first. You can then turn back and fight the other enemies if you want.

Instead of bothering with the enemies behind you, you can also just keep running. After you’ve defeated the sorcerers on the higher level, you’ll see a hallway ahead of you. To the left of the hallway is a bannister. Jump over this bannister onto the rooftop below. 

It’s time for some parkour.

Ahead of you, you’ll see stairs going upwards. It’s in this direction that we’re going to travel to reach the second key. But before we do so, spin around and face back in the direction you just came from. You’ll see a sorcerer waiting to attack. Take out this sorcerer waiting for you on the stairs, continue down those stairs and open the door at the bottom. Look familiar?

You’re back on the lower level where the Debate Parlor entrance is. Now if you die, you can resurrect at the Debate Parlor site of grace and head straight for this door. This will allow you to skip the enemies on the rubble and the stairwell and instead run straight back to this point.

To continue on to the second key. Head back up from the door you’ve just opened and deal with the second sorcerer at the top of the next staircase. Then turn left and you’ll see what appears to be a dead end. You’ve probably guess what’s coming next. Time for some more parkour. Jump over the bannister at the end of this section down onto another rooftop.

Jump down onto the rooftops from here.

You’ll soon come across one of the four-armed melee dudes as you make your way across the rooftop. Be careful with this guy as running towards him will reveal he has a crossbow wielding friend waiting further along to your left in the shadows. Once you’ve taken out these two guys, climb up the ladder to your right (pro tip: holding down B on the controller helps you climb faster as well as descend faster).

Elden Ring is always trying to lure you into an ambush.

When you reach the top of the ladder you’ll find yourself at the head of a long open corridor with a sorcerer waiting for you at the end. Resist the urge to run forward and attack the sorcerer as there are actually three more enemies waiting in the corridor if you look closely. Hunched over sitting on the top of large poles are three weird bird men, ready to fly down and mess you up. The easiest way to get past this section is with a bow. You can aggro the bird men one at a time and either draw them to you to finish off with melee, or if you have a good enough bow, to shoot to death before they reach you. Once you’ve defeated the bird men, the sorcerer shouldn’t pose much of a threat by himself.

It’s a lot easier to aggro these bird men enemies with a bow and fight them one by one than to just charge in.

Walk past the defeated sorcerer and you’ll get to a large building with a thin ledge running around its perimeter. Walk to the right around this building and then drop down to the roof below. (If you get confused with any of the descriptions of roof dropping and jumping in this article you may find it easier to just watch the youtube video at the start of this guide which shows the path to the key).

Walk to the right across this rooftop and then drop down four times from rooftop to rooftop in a clockwise direction. See image below for a visual of this. The last drop you make will be onto a narrow roof section that has an enemy standing to your right. Take out the guy on the narrow roof ledge you dropped onto, and then drop down again to the right.

Jump carefully from rooftop to rooftop.
Drop down to the right of the narrow roof section, close to the wall.

You’re now on a ledge running around the perimeter of another building. Walk to the right around this building. You’ll soon come to a ladder going down. Ignore this ladder and keep walking to the next corner. You’ll know you’re at the right place because there are some fern like plants growing out of the cracks in the concrete here. This is the next jumping down spot.

When you land on the roof below, be wary of the four armed guys and the weird flying guys prowling around. Head to the right around the side of the building in front of you, taking out the couple of guys you find. Now you’re almost there. If you look to your left, you’ll see that the windows into the building are open. You can very carefully jump through onto the criss crossing beams.

The building that you’re now standing in the rafters of is the Church of the Cuckoo that we entered right at the start of our adventure in the Academy. If you look down you should see the telltale glow of an item on top of one of the chandeliers. If you carefully make your way to this chandelier, dropping down from the top level of rafters onto the next level of rafters and then jumping into the chandelier, you can finally claim the second Academy Glintstone Key.

Where to Find Thops After You Give Him The Academy Glintstone Key

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Now you have the second Academy Glintstone Key you can fast travel back to either Godrick’s site of grace or the Lake-Facing Cliffs site of grace and walk over to the Church of Irith. Give Thops one of your keys and he will thank you by giving you the Erudition Gesture. Apart from being a gesture you can use in multiplayer, this one also opens up certain sections of a tower puzzle elsewhere in the game.

Once you leave the area and rest at a site of grace, Thops will leave for the Raya Lucaria Academy. If you return to the Church of Irith after he’s left you’ll find a Teardrop Scarab which awards you the Ash of War: Thops Barrier when destroyed.

To find Thops again, ready your tissues (spoilers ahead), and fast travel to the Schoolhouse Classroom site of grace. From here just head outside and turn right and you’ll find Thops sitting in his final resting place. It appears he did make it back to the academy but died sometime after that. At least he died doing what he loved. Loot his body to discover some valuable items.

Poor old Thops :'(

What Items Do You Get From Thops?

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Items you can buy from Thops

You can buy one copy of each of the following items of Thops. If you accidentally kill him, or loot his body after his quest finishes, you can recover his bell bearing which will allow you to buy the items from the Twin Maiden Husks, if you missed out on buying them while he was still alive.

Glintstone Pebble (Sorcery)“Fires magic projectiles from glintstone.”
Glintstone Arc (Sorcery)“Fires a horizontally-widening magic arc.”
Starlight (Sorcery)“Creates star light to illuminate surroundings.” 

Items you can loot off Thops if you kill him before completing his quest

If you kill Thops, apart from being a monster, you’re also going to get less of a good deal as you’ll miss out on his special sorcery that you would otherwise get by completing his questline. In addition you’ll get a meagre 500 runes for his life.

Thops’s Bell Bearing: Sorcerer Thops’s bell bearing, found upon his perished flesh. Offer to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold to gain access to new items.

Academy Glintstone Staff: Staff of the Academy of Raya Lucaria, embedded with a turquoise glintstone.

Thops’s Bell Bearing“Sorcerer Thops’s bell bearing, found upon his perished flesh. Offer to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold to gain access to new items.”
Academy Glintstone Staff“Staff of the Academy of Raya Lucaria, embedded with a turquoise glintstone.”

Items you can loot off Thops if you complete his quest first and then find him in the Academy

If you do complete his quest, the first two items you receive will be the same as if you just killed him outright. It’s the third item that you can only get by following the quest through to the end.

Thops’s Bell Bearing“Sorcerer Thops’s bell bearing, found upon his perished flesh. Offer to the Twin Maiden Husks at the Roundtable Hold to gain access to new items.”
Academy Glintstone Staff“Staff of the Academy of Raya Lucaria, embedded with a turquoise glintstone.”
Thops’s Barrier (Sorcery)“Erect a magic forcefield to deflect spells”

A sad bit of lore here, if you read the description on Thops’s Barrier, you’ll see that the spell was his life’s work and that while he was ridiculed in life, the quality of this spell actually deserves great respect in his death. May we help Thops to live on through his work.

Thops’s life work.

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