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The One Elden Ring Character You Don't Want To Hug

"Elden Ring" is the newest game from the legendary developer FromSoftware — the creators behind "Dark Souls," "Bloodborne," and "Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice" — and people are loving it. Critics have had nothing but praise for the game (which currently has a 97 on Metacritic) and its launch set a series record for sales. There are a lot of reasons why this game is being received so well. Its open-world offers a gothic fantasy realm for players to explore that's on a scale unlike anything the studio has done before and every piece of it is chock full of unique monsters and interesting NPCs. Just like in most other "Soulsborne" games, however, these creatures aren't always what they seem. Much like Patches from "Bloodborne," there's one NPC that is much less helpful than she's letting on.

When players first attempt to approach Stormveil Castle, they will be confronted by a non-optional boss called Margit, The Fell Omen. After defeating this creature, players can meet Melina on the hill just past where the battle took place. There, she will invite the player to visit the Roundtable Hold. This is a sort of NPC hub where the player can shop for new items, upgrade equipment, and access various other services. This is also where players can meet an NPC named Fia, who might be a little too friendly for the player's own good.

Cursed embrace

While other characters in the hold might seem like they serve some purpose there, either to the story or by offering some service, players will find Fia sitting on a bed. After introducing herself, Fia makes a request of the player. "Great champion," she says, "would you allow me to hold you, but briefly? Perhaps you might share with me some of your lifely vigor and your stoutheartedness. Doing so will grant me the warmth of a champion, and you, I am sure, will bear a Baldachin's blessing." She then assures the player that this is nothing vulgar, but is in fact a sacred act. If the player accepts, they will get down on their knees where Fia will hug them to her chest and comment on their warmth. Getting some vampiric red flags? There's a reason for that.

Accepting does grant the player Baldachin's Blessing which is a consumable item that increases poise at the cost of magical energy, but it also comes with a permanent debuff that many gamers didn't know they were signing up for. Players who hugged Fia might notice a little red downward-pointing arrow under their health, magic, and stamina bars. This indicates a permanent 5% decrease in their health pool. The only way to deactivate it is to use the Baldachin's Blessing.