Merchant Kale was supposed to have a more significant role in Elden Ring than being a General Goods Shop NPC. What was the original story behind the merchant?
Elden Ring has a lot of exciting lore available to their player base. From facts about Elden Ring weapons to stories about characters, there is always some tale to be told in many aspects of the game. However, some quests detailing information about specific characters never made it to the final cut. One of these NPCs is Merchant Kale, who had somewhat interesting lore before removing this quest chain. Fortunately for fans, data miners have uncovered the secret of the scrapped concepts from this merchant.
Who is Merchant Kale?
Kale is one of the first NPCs players can encounter in The Lands Between. After finishing the “The First Step” quest, the Tarnished can head towards the building at the North in Limgrave, which is the Church of Elleh. The NPC is found around the Site of Grace at the church.
Kale is a General Goods Shop merchant who will offer players tons of Elden Ring items. This merchant is static and will not leave his spot if he is not aggroed. However, gamers can choose to fight the NPC since he can drop loots such as Elden Ring Runes, the “Finger Snap” gesture, and Kale’s Bell Bearing. The motion can still be acquired after visiting the Mistwood Ruins if the Tarnished chose not to fight the shopkeeper.
Kale’s lore details that he is a member of a nomadic group in the Lands Between. He, later on, reveals that he is acquainted with Blaidd. The merchant describes the half-wolf as boorish and blunt.
Datamined Details from Merchant Kale
A data miner named Sekiro Dubi was able to dig out some information about the supposed quest and lore related to Kale. Instead of being a static NPC who stays in the Chruch of Elleh, the merchant would have been a wandering General Goods Shop vendor. Players can encounter him in areas between Limgrave, Liurnia, and the Shunning Grounds.
The cut quest involving Kale has the Tarnished being asked to look for the nomadic group he is a part of, the Grand Caravan. After Godrick the Grafted has been slain, players would meet the merchant in Liurnia and then eventually end up in Leyndell.
Upon finishing a series of quests involving a letter and a cryptogram, players will eventually meet Kale at the Subterranean Shunning Grounds, where they discover the fate of the Grand Caravan. The Golden Order buried the clan alive along with the Three Fingers, thinking the nomads worshiped the crazed deity. While most of them died, some merchants are still, albeit just husks of their former selves.
The state he found the Grand Company drove Kale to the path of vengeance. He initially rebuffs the Tarnished, stating he is tired of the world and his kind. He will eventually try to absorb the Flame of Franzy to take revenge against the Order and unleash chaos into the world. Unfortunately, Kale is not a suitable host and passes it on to the players.
Kale’s original lore seems to be the initial starting point for the “Lord of the Frenzied Flame” ending. However, it is never clear why the quest chain never made it to the final cut. The most straightforward answer would be that the devs decided to remove the mission sequence to reduce development time.
Another Datamined Questchain
Aside from Merchant Kale, another supposed NPC originally had a much more significant role in the game. Vyke, Elden Ring’s front cover model, had more screen time. In the current version, the knight can be encountered twice at the latter stages of the game in an invasion and as an Evergaol boss. However, in the uncut version, Vyke was supposed to appear in another place.
Data miner Sekiro Dubi found traces that Vyke was supposed to be in Stormveil Castle. A cut dialogue from Gostoc describes a repulsive-looking knight. It can be speculated that Vyke would have been a summon for the boss fight in Stormveil due to the character’s spawn location.
There would have been other character quest chains or lore that would have been removed during the game’s development stage. Many contents did not make the final cut, including Elden Ring weapons and items. The developers would have had multiple legitimate reasons why they needed to change the original concept. Gamers will just have to enjoy and explore the current version they have right now.