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I haven't been able to discern a pattern, but sometimes when I retrieve my bloodstain after dying, it holds roughly 20% fewer runes than I dropped when I died. I've seen threads elsewhere on the internet that say nearby enemies will pick them up - and I have come across mobs (both hostile enemies and non-hostile creatures) with glowing gold eyes that drop far more runes than their non-glowing counterparts. However, there doesn't seem to be any relationship between these mobs and my mysteriously light bloodstains: I've come across them seemingly randomly in the wild (including two enemies in a tomb I'd never visited before), and I've thoroughly examined the surrounding environments when I've noticed my bloodstain is smaller than expected and come up with nothing - so if there is a relationship between the two, it's not an obvious (or geographic) one.

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  • Just to know, are you by chance exploring a castle?
    – Ꮢedacted
    Mar 3 at 13:02
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    It's happened all over, inside and outside castles, in a number of different regions @Ꮢedacted
    – Mike G
    Mar 3 at 13:09
  • Golden eyed enemies are tougher versions of regular mobs that drop more souls upon defeat. They don't steal runes afaik. When you noticed your bloodstain had fewer runes than expected was it near a group of enemies?
    – fez
    Mar 8 at 10:42
  • @fez not always. I know it's happened during boss fights where there are no enemies between the nearest site of grace and the boss arena (the Four Belfries and the Chapel of Anticipation, for example)
    – Mike G
    Mar 8 at 22:58

1 Answer 1

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I was noticing this too, particularly in Stormveil Castle when I was fighting dying to Godrick. Each time I collected the lost runes, I was noticing a decrease of what seemed to be about a third of what I initially had. It turns out this loss is due to an NPC you meet at the very beginning, when you first ventured into Stormveil Castle, when you met Gatekeeper Gostoc.

Gatekeeper Gostoc is the NPC you meet just next to the main gate to Stormveil Castle. He'll explain to you that you shouldn't take the main gate as it's too dangerous, and you should instead take the side passage next to him. Per the wiki:

Gostoc at first may seem to want to help the player, although in a suspicious manner. This is however just a facade. He will actually steal 30% of your runes every time you die in the castle, even if you enter it through the main gate.

So, while Gostoc lives, each time you die within the castle, you will permanently lose 30% of the souls you originally had. Gostoc's influence also appears to extend to a difficult-to-measure area around the castle, as his influence appears to be a bit larger than just Stormveil Castle. This influence appears to extend to somewhere between Stormhill Shack and Warmaster's Shack.

Once I learned that this was occurring due to him, I went and killed him, and I noticed that since then I wasn't losing 30% of my runes upon death.

You can find Gostoc stalking you in certain locations throughout the castle, which I suppose from a lore perspective explains how he's able to steal your runes each time you die: He's always watching. According to the wiki, he's also the reason you're locked in the room that contains the Rusty Key, as when the cinematic plays you can hear Gostoc cackle as the door slams shut.

Killing him will also give you Gostoc's Bell Bearing.

It is possible that there are other NPCs that will also siphon runes similar to how Gostoc does in other places throughout the game, but I haven't noticed this effect elsewhere yet.

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  • Also good to know from the wiki: When you kill him, "he will also drop all of the runes he stole from you if you died."
    – Kagemusha
    Mar 10 at 5:46
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    @Kagemusha I cannot confirm or deny this statement, but some things I have read is that if you kill him after defeating Godrick he will not drop the runes Mar 10 at 13:28
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    The only thing about this is I've seen it happen outside the castle - I know it happened at least once in the boss fight at the Chapel of Anticipation (from the Four Belfries, not at the beginning of the game) and once from fall damage in Stormhill (falling into the ravine below the giant).
    – Mike G
    Mar 10 at 21:40
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    I just took another look at the map and the Chapel is clearly considered part of the castle
    – Mike G
    Mar 11 at 0:06
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    @Wondercricket I can confirm that Gostoc does not drop runes when killed after defeating Godrick. Defeated Godrick the other day and killed Gostoc after talking to him. Received way to few souls compared to how often I died.
    – Kagemusha
    Mar 18 at 8:15

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