“The Black Rune” begins after “The Sickness,” and the next step along God of War’s main story Journey is finding the travel rune for Jotunheim. It’s a quick trip to get back to Tyr’s vault, but there’s a couple of things to do on the way.
Table of contents
The Witch’s Cave Legendary chest
Items in this area: Legendary chest (Rampage of the Furies light runic attack)
Now that you can open Winds of Hel-locked doors and the Hidden Chambers, there’s a couple more things to take care of before you leave the Witch’s Cave.
When you exit Freya’s house, walk down the ramp and turn left. Walk past the lift and head over toward the well you climbed up earlier, then take a right. There’s an active Wind trap where you found that Legendary chest earlier.
Run back and put the Wind in the trap in the middle of the cavern.
Move to the right a bit toward the path that leads to the Nornir chest and the hidden chamber — you need to move the Wind down here, but it’s kind of a long trip, so every little bit helps. Before you drop off the ledge, grab the Wind and turn around. As soon as you drop down, turn left and run out onto the stone pallet from your first trip here. Throw the Wind into the trap across the gap.
Back up and follow the path that runs past the Nornir chest and up into the room with the hidden chamber door. Turn left, go through the doorway, and turn left again — you’ll end up on the other side of the Wind trap.
Grab the wind again, then turn around. Above the Hel’s bramble, there’s another trap. Stash the Wind there, then burn the bramble.
Before you climb up, continue to the left and move the stone pallet to the middle of the gap between the platforms — you need to be able to jump across it. Run back and climb up onto the ledge you exposed and grab the wind. Turn left and jump across the gaps.
On the other side, turn right to find one final Wind trap that will open a door and reveal a Legendary chest. Open it to pick up the Rampage of the Furies light runic attack for the Blades of Chaos.
On your way back out, you can open the hidden chamber you found earlier. Ride the elevator down to unlock the Mystic Gateway and, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, take on the Valkyrie Kara.
River Pass Nornir chest
Items in this area: artifact (Faces of Magic), Nornir Chest (Symbol of Heart)
From the Witch’s Cave, head back to that well that leads up to Freya’s front yard.
Walk down the hill and climb up the chain in the distance. To your left, you’ll see a Nornir chest locked with runes.
Turn around and walk along the left edge of the area. On your left, you’ll find the final Faces of Magic artifact and complete the set. (It’s super hard to see, so don’t be surprised if it takes you some time to find it.)
Turn around, and you’ll see two devices. The upper one has runes on it. The lower one doesn’t. You’ll also find an Odin’s raven raven sitting on a ledge there (if you didn’t get it earlier).
Climb back down the chain, and turn right at the bottom. On the right side of the structure your raised to solve the sand bowl puzzle earlier, you’ll see some Winds of Hel Energy. Retrieve it with your Blades of Chaos and run to the other side of the same structure. Put the Winds in the ball at the top. (It’s at the top on the opposite side, closer to the cliff.)
Climb back up the chain, and go to the edge of the cliff. Retrieve the Winds from where you just put it, turn around and place the Winds in the pedestal that doesn’t have runes on it. Now take it out of there, and run to the chest, placing the winds on the pedestal behind it. It’ll light up, showing you the runes you need to show.
Go back to where you first put the flame before you brought it to the chest, and throw your axe at the higher contraption. The idea is to get all three kinds of runic Bs, one for each of the symbols on the chest.
Return to the Nornir chest, and open it for the Symbol of Heart, a Legendary enchantment with boosts to Strength and Defense.
You can either take a Mystic Gateway or a canoe back to Tyr’s Vault — it’s really up to you.
When you’re back inside, have the boy use the sand bowl — the answer to its riddle is right there on the wall. When the elevator gets to the bottom, push open the doors and enter Tyr’s Vault.
There’s a three-part Wind Trap puzzle to solve before you can get to the eponymous Black Rune, though. Turn to the right and find the first tunnel. You can’t do anything here yet, but you need to know where it is for the next step.
Turn toward the spinning rings in the middle of the room. Follow the largest ring until you can snag the Winds of Hel out of its gem. Turn around and run into the open hall you found. Throw the Wind into the trap in the middle of the room at the other end.
The trap and the roots will disappear and a wheel will take their place. Spin the wheel to open a hallway to the next area.
The hallway is, of course, full of spinning blades. Dodge and roll past the first two pairs of blades. When you come to the third pair, one of them will have a freezable gear. Hit it with your axe when it’s on either side of the hall near the top. Wait for the other blade to move in front of it and dodge past.
After a pretty heavy cutscene, look on the left side of the room for a gate you can open. This will return you to the main room. You just have to repeat the same steps here with the new trap.
Walk out toward the spinning rings, then clean up the draugr and nightmares that have popped up. After you handle the ones in the main room, check the second room — the one with the Wind trap — again for a few more nightmares.
When you’re sure they’re all gone, grab the Wind from the middle ring, run back into the second tunnel and deposit the Wind in the trap.
You’ll get another wheel. This one opens two tunnels — one with spiky panels moving up and down ahead of you and one with panels moving side to side on your right. Focus on the up-and-down tunnel — we’ll come back for the other one later.
Freeze the first section of stomping ceiling in the up position with the gear on the left. Stand under it, then look to the right side of the tunnel. You only have to worry about the middle section right now — there’s an alcove on the right where you’ll be safe. Get into the alcove, continue to the far side, then avoid the third and final section of ceiling.
You’ll end up in another Wind Trap treasure room. Look for another gate to open back to the main room.
To get the third Wind from the rings, you’ll need to get above them. Look to your right for a crack in a column you can climb up to the balcony.
Handle the draugr and nightmares waiting for you, then head to the left and kick down the shortcut chain — you don’t have to go down to the floor yet, though.
Head back to the right to the next outcropping from the balcony. You can grab the Wind out of the smallest ring here. Don’t take it anyway, though. Instead, just throw it into the largest ring.
Head back to the chain and drop to the ground.
Find the tunnel and Wind Trap room you need — it’s opposite and a little right from the chain. Grab the Wind out of the largest ring and run it down to the third Wind trap. You’ll get one more wheel to use, but this one doesn’t go quite as expected.
Escape the Trap
The trap you spring is more than a little stressful, so we’re giving it its own section.
You need to rearrange the symbols on the wall to show, from left to right, the moon (crescent), Midgard (green shield) and the sun (yellow and red with rays on the top and bottom). You rearrange them by telling Atreus to pull one of three chains.
The order is middle, left, middle, right, left, middle, right. That should mostly free you. All that’s left to do is hit Square when prompted.
After you’re free, kick open the gate and take the chain down from the balcony to the main room’s floor. Approach the cloud in the middle to retrieve the rune.
And then you just calmly walk out with your reward. Just kidding! Now you have to fight two trolls at the same time.
Grendel of the Ashes and Grendel of the Frost
After you grab the rune stone, you’ll get attacked by a pair of trolls both named Grendel. Obviously, you have to defeat them both to move on. Also obviously, you’re fighting two trolls at once, so this is a bit of a challenge.
It’s intimidating and they’re strong enemies, but this is an entirely manageable fight. Both Grendels are pretty slow and take long breaks between their attacks. More importantly, like their names suggest, they each have an associated element — and an opposing weakness. As luck would have it, you’ve got two weapons that deal those types of elemental damage.
Focus on the trolls one at a time as much as you can. Use your axe against Grendel of the Ashes and use your Blades against Grendel of the Frost. Once you fell one of them, you can turn all of your attention to the other.
After they’re both dead, grab their drops — a ton of hacksilver, some hardened Svartalfheim steel, a Chaos Flame the Tartarus Rage heavy Runic attack.
Tyr’s Vault Nornir Chest
Items in this area: Nornir chest (Symbol of Bounty)
Before you leave, there’s one more puzzle to solve down here. Head back to the second treasure room — the one with that tunnel we skipped over earlier. It’s the one directly across the main room from the tunnel back to the sand bowl, just to the left of the chain up to the balcony.
When you get in, turn to the right and look in the alcove there for the first rune seal (for a Nornir chest you haven’t seen yet — we’ll get there).
Step back into the hallway directly ahead of the wheel — the one with the up-and-down spiked panels. Look at the right side of the hallway and up toward the ceiling. When the first ceiling drops, you’ll see the second rune seal sitting on the top of its rail.
Now, turn to the right and (finally) go into the unexplored hallway with the side-to-side spikes. Watch along the left side of the hallway and freeze the second panel when it is retracted (to the left). Run past both spiked panels to (finally) spot the Nornir chest. After the panels, turn around and face back the way you came.
The final seal is riding along on the back side of the first panel. Instead of recalling your axe, just switch to your Blades and smash it. Open the chest for a Symbol of Bounty enchantment.
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