It wouldn’t be a FromSoftware game if there weren’t NPCs with cryptic dialogue and interactions that make almost no sense. Elden Ring has the most NPCs of any Souls game yet, and offers way more opportunities to actually speak with and learn about them. But that doesn’t mean some aren’t still needlessly obtuse or downright confusing. That goes double for all the characters who have some sort of quest associated with them. While a patch did make some quests easier to track and complete, there’s one NPC you meet in Roundtable Hold that might be affecting your game far more than you expect.
Fia the Deathbed Companion can be found in a cozy bedroom, sitting on a bed beside a crackling fire in the Roundtable Hold. By speaking to her, she will offer to embrace you for a while. You can choose to let her hold you or reject the offer, but most people — at least at first — will feel tempted to let this kind woman hold our tired warrior for a brief moment of respite. If you do, or did, then you will also realize that you gain a special item for letting Fia hold you called a Baldachin’s Blessing. She will even say that you can always go back to her to get another if you use yours. Sounds like a good deal, right? Maybe not. Here’s what letting Fia hold you in Elden Ring really does.
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So, let’s start with the less-obscure effect of embracing Fia the Deathbed Companion. When you do, a Baldachin’s Blessing item will be added to your inventory. When used, this item will boost your poise, meaning you won’t get staggered as easily, for 15 seconds at the cost of 10 FP. That might not sound like much — and for most players it probably isn’t — but it can help you power through some encounters if you just need to swing and not care about tanking hits.
On the other hand, there’s a not-at-all-conveyed negative to getting the Baldachin’s Blessing. You may never realize it because Elden Ring never explains what any of the icons under your status bars mean. This is where buffs and debuffs show up as icons, but they’re hardly helpful based just on their images. When you embrace Fia, a new icon will appear there that is simply a red square with a little black arrow. What this means is that your maximum HP is decreased by 5% as long as you have this debuff, which is a steep price for an item most players won’t use or even find useful. Plus, the debuff is on you all the time, while the extra poise only activates when and if you use the item. At the start, 5% of your max HP is a small amount, but will only be more noticeable as you get further into the game, increase your HP, and face boss battles that come down to the final hit.
Thankfully, this debuff is by no means permanent and is in fact very easy to get rid of and restore your HP to full. All you need to do is use the Baldachin’s Blessing item, wait for it to run out, and the debuff will go away on its own. You can still go get your hugs from Fia if you want, but just make sure to use those blessings before resuming your adventure so you don’t handicap yourself.
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