Matt Bird writes all sorts of nonsense, but he dedicates a large chunk of his time to writing game walkthroughs.
Located in the far, far north of Liurnia of the Lakes, the Grand Lift of Dectus is a curious puzzle for first-time visitors to the region. It's housed in an enormous temple, and given the troops out front, it's obviously important. But the Grand Lift of Dectus won't budge, and that's probably because you don't have the right items to make it move. And you must get to the top, because the Altus Plateau that the Grand Lift opens up is a vital area to visit.
This guide will help you get the Grand Lift of Dectus up and running again. You'll need to make two quick stops, hopefully in areas you've already explored. There's also an option to skip the Grand Lift of Dectus altogether, which we'll cover at the end.
The first item you'll need is in Fort Haight. Fort Haight is found in the southeast of Limgrave, just beyond the southern edge of the Mistwood and a short trek from the nearest Minor Erdtree. The Fort Haight West Site of Grace is just west of it if you want a place to refresh yourself.
Storming Fort Haight is a bit of a process, though it's not too bad. When you approach the Fort from the front you'll find a few Demi-Humans in front of a barricade, and you'll soon come under attack from above. Standing in front of the Fort's main entrance is a contingent of soldiers, along with a Pumpkin Head. Beat your way through them. Summons will help you handle the high numbers of enemies. Don't forget to grab the Golden Seed from the tree out front before you head inside.
Once inside the Fort you'll find it's filled with explosive barrels, and some unhelpful ghouls will hurl Firebombs to try and blow them up. Rush up to higher ground, snipe the enemies throwing bombs from the ramparts if you have ranged weapons, and watch out for rats that will gnaw at your ankles. Climb up onto the walls and you'll find a knight waiting with the Bloody Slash Ash of War.
Near the knight is a tower to climb. Up top is a chest, and inside the chest is the Dectus Medallion (Left). You need both pieces of the Medallion to make the Grand Lift of Dectus work, so you're halfway done. Now for the hard part.
The second half of the Medallion is located in Fort Faroth. This desolate place is found in Dragonbarrow, a dragon-filled landscape to the east of Limgrave and Caelid. It's possible to ride through Caelid to get here, though there's a faster route:
- Go to Summonwater Village. It's located in the northeast of Limgrave, not far from the border with Caelid. There's a Tibia Mariner to fight here, if you wish.
- Go southeast down the cliffs from Summonwater Villager to the Third Church of Marika. It's the set of ruins you'll see in the distance as you descend the cliffs.
- Check the bushes outside the church for a teleporter. This will shoot you to the Bestial Sanctum in the far northeast of Dragonbarrow.
- Ride south from the Bestial Sanctum, across the bridge guarded by Flying Dragon Greyll, west past the Minor Erdtree, and then take a left when the road forks. This road will take you to Fort Faroth. (Though you may want to carry on up the road a bit to get the map for Dragonbarrow first. It's not far from the fork in the road.)
- Beware of dragons on the rest of this trip. There's one enormous one ahead, in front of the Fort, and though it's not a problem the smaller dragons wandering around it definitely are.
The enemies in this area are extremely powerful, and can one-shot you if you're coming through Dragonbarrow early. Keep on your horse at all times, and run past everything you see.
Once you've activated the Fort Faroth Site of Grace you can head inside. The Fort is populated by enormous bats, and unless you're coming here at a high level you're in for a rough time. Run straight through the ruins and to the left, climb the ladder ahead, and pop open the treasure chest at the top. Voila, you've found Dectus Medallion (Right). Going back down will lead to a bad time, so hop onto the adjacent rooftop, run away from the phantasmal guards, and jump off the ramparts to escape.
Reaching the Grand Lift of Dectus
Once you have the two Medallion pieces you can head back to the Grand Lift of Dectus and ascend to the Altus Plateau. Assuming you haven't found the Grand Lift, however, here are some directions:
- First you need to get to high ground in Liurnia of the Lakes. There are a number of ways to do this, though the fastest - and ultimately most beneficial to you - is to gain access to the Academy of Raya Lucaria. Head north to the Academy.
- Skirt around the western edge of the Academy grounds, still down in the water, and you'll find the Temple Quarter. The Temple Quarter Site of Grace is on the northwest edge of the area, and just north of that is the nest of Glintstone Dragon Smarag.
- Ride north, around Smarag, and straight into its little nest. There's an Academy Glintstone Key on a corpse in the nest. Immediately gallop back to the Site of Grace or somewhere else safe, as Smarag is going to start attacking you. Escaping by horse is not that difficult so long as you gallop hard.
- If you enter the Academy grounds proper you'll find a barrage of enemies waiting. You can go in this way... or you can be sneaky and find a back door. Go north along the eastern shore from the Liurnia Lakeshore Site of Grace and you'll find the Purified Ruins. One of the northern buildings near the shoreline has a teleporter that will shoot you right to the South Raya Lucaria Gate. The Glintstone Key you found will get you inside.
- Once you go through the sealed gate, check the other seal on your right. This will take you the road to the Grand Lift of Dectus. It's heavily-fortified, so keep off the main road to arrive safely. Stick to the left side of the road to find the Bellum Church Site of Grace.
You've arrived! Good job. Head inside the building and stand on the circular plate that's up the stairs from the Site of Grace. If you have both pieces of the Medallion you'll be asked to 'Hoist Medallion'. Do so and you'll be lifted up to the Altus Plateau. Enjoy! Things only get more difficult from here!
Skipping the Grand Lift of Dectus
Want to avoid the Grand Lift of Dectus altogether? You can, and it will arguably be faster than using the Lift - though probably more difficult. If you go all the way north along Liurnia of the Lakes you'll eventually wind up in a small inlet. This misty area has some abandoned houses, as well as an elevator to the Ruin-Strewn Precipice. This minor dungeon will, eventually, take you up to the Altus Plateau. There are also some valuable Smithing Stones along the way.
Be warned, however! Before you reach the Plateau you'll have to face off against Magma Dragon Makar. While not the most difficult boss in the game, Makar is a vicious piece of work who can make your life miserable. The trip to Makar is no joke, either, and you'll be pitted against a slew of giant bats and some hairy pitfalls. The Grand Lift of Dectus is ultimately the easier way to go.