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I'm a cartographer by trade, and I'm working on mapping this area right now. Would you like to buy a copy of my work so far?
-Cornifer
Dialogue Bottom

Cornifer is an NPC in Hollow Knight. He is a cartographer and is working on mapping the entirety of Hallownest.

Cornifer is first encountered in the bottom of The Forgotten Crossroads where he sells maps and advises the Knight to visit his wife Iselda's shop up in Dirtmouth, whose shop is unlocked when a map has been bought or False Knight has been defeated.

Cornifer can be found in every zone he sells a map for. Scattered papers on the ground lead to his location and his hum can be heard from a few rooms across. The only location where he does not hum is in the Deepnest, where he is visibly afraid for his life and does not want to give his location away to the beasts.[1] Upon listening to him within Ancient Basin after buying a map for that area, he states that he doesn't want to worry his wife, Iselda, and should head back up to the shop soon after a short rest.[2]

Once all maps are bought or once all his maps are available in the Dirtmouth shop, he will be found in the map shop, sleeping in a loft bed.


When Cornifer was first hatched, he wandered off right away, leaving his siblings and his mother behind.[3] He later moved to Dirtmouth with Iselda as soon as he could.[4]

Maps


He will leave after the Knight has progressed enough in the area (usually by defeating a boss) or has defeated all three Dreamers, and will leave a letter for the Knight stating that his map can be purchased from Iselda in Dirtmouth:
"Sorry I missed you! If you're feeling lost, why not pop up to our store in Dirtmouth and purchase a map of this area? Available now for an excellent price! - Cornifer"
Cornifer card

He cannot be met in the Resting Grounds and will always leave this letter in the Stagway Station of the Resting Grounds instead.

Dialogue

First encounter Hmm? Ah, hello there. Come down to explore these beautiful old ruins? Don't mind me... I've a fondness for exploring myself. Getting lost and finding your way again is a pleasure like no other. We're exquisitely lucky, you and I... I'm a cartographer by trade, and I'm working on mapping this area right now. Would you like to buy a copy of my work so far?
Refusing to buy Not interested, then? Yes, quite understandable. Exploring without a map, finding your own way through unknown caverns... All very nourishing for the soul... Perhaps we'll meet again on our travels.
Listening again after refusing Hmm? Have you changed your mind about buying a map?
Not enough Geo You don't have enough Geo? Ah, I understand. I'd give you the map as a gift, but I don't think my wife would be very happy if I did. "All our food is made of Geo", as they say.
Listening again Oh, by the way, I haven't introduced myself have I? Yes, I should apologise for that. When you spend a lot of time by yourself, with just your own thoughts, you forget the niceties of conversation.

My name is Cornifer, and I've always loved exploring the world. Why, when I was first hatched I wandered off immediately, leaving my brothers and sisters and poor mother behind! ... That's why as soon as I could I moved to Dirtmouth with my wife. A huge, unending Kingdom to explore right on our doorstep. Who could resist?... Anyway, I'll let you return to your travels. With a little luck, we'll meet again. Be safe and farewell!

Listening again, onward A map can be a useful thing, but it alone won't show you where you are. If you've not the head for directions, I suggest purchasing a compass from my wife, Iselda.

She's just now opening our new map shop in Dirtmouth, selling all sorts of useful things to wanderers like yourself. She'll even sell some of my old maps from time to time.
I pop back to see her whenever I finish mapping an area. She's always so excited to see me.

Dream Nailed ...To chart the world. What joy... If only Iselda could share the thrill...

Ancient Basin Greeting:
Old caverns these ones. Can't you just feel the weight of the kingdom above? It's a heavy thing alright. I reckon not many'd reach these depths. We're pioneers you and I, at least in recent history.

After buying the map:
It's a long trek back to the shop from here. I'll be resting my legs a little longer. Not too long though! It won't do to have Iselda worrying after me.

City of Tears Greeting:
Isn't this a change from those twisting natural caverns? The rain does cast something of a sadness upon it all but the architecture is simply splendid... Charting such a different space is quite the challenge, though one I've eagerly undertaken... Perhaps you'd care to purchase a copy of my achievements so far?

After buying the map:
We've both come far to reach this grand place. While I'm about these buildings, I must remember to collect a trinket or two for Iselda.

Crystal Peak Greeting:
Come to scale the mountain? I've heard tale of a summit way up there. Too far for me though and I'm not really one for heights.

After buying the map:
I jabbed myself on one of those crystals back there. Awful sharp they are and all over the place. You'd best watch yourself if you're heading up.

Deepnest Greeting:
This p-place gives me the creeps. Vicious little creatures burst out all o-over the place and the passages are a dark, twisting maze... Unless you're well prepared, I'd urge you to leave, though if you're feeling strong enough to descend, would you like to buy my map?

Greeting if never spoken to before:

Hh-hello. I'm Cornifer. I'm a m-mapper by trade. I've tried to chart the dense nest beneath here b-b-but it's proving too dangerous for a bug like me... Vicious little creatures burst out all o-over the place and the passages are a dark, twisting maze. Even with my good head for direction, I-I-I've had enough... Unless you're well prepared, I'd urge you to leave, though if you're feeling strong enough to descend, would you like to buy m-my meagre map?

Refusing:

N-not interested in the map?

Listening again:

Y-you want to buy a map after all?

Not enough Geo:

N-not enough Geo?

After buying the map:
W-w-what a horrid warren of angry beasts. It's going to take a whole lot of effort to climb out of this dark pit. I think I-I'll hide here a little longer.

Fog Canyon Greeting:
Ho ho! As odd as much of Hallownest can be, there's a whole new level of strangeness about these caves... Did you see that dark gate below? It's quite unsettling to be near. I did my best to avoid it... Fortunate for me, I found another route in, though I did end up a little singed after wading through some acid.

After buying the map:
There's a large building just below here, out in the middle of a lake and a marvel to observe... I tried to head in, but it's become a nest for those slimey, see-through creatures... Ugh. They're just so... gross, and they give a nasty shock to touch.

Forgotten Crossroads Greeting:
Hello again! Still winding your way through these beautiful highways? Just imagine how they must have looked during the kingdom's height, thick with traffic and bustling with life! I wish I could have seen it... Oh, and I suppose I should ask... are you interested in buying a copy of my map for this area...?

After buying the map: How are you finding my map? I've tried to fill out as much as I can, but every map is a work in progress... If you'd like to fill out some of the map yourself you can purchase some mapping supplies from my wife up in Dirtmouth. We've set up a little store to help make ends meet.

Fungal Wastes Greeting:
Ahh my short friend, you've caught me at the perfect time. I'm just about finished charting these noxious caverns... Very territorial types make their homes within this area. I'd suggest avoiding them where possible... Further below some strange thin creatures gave me quite a scare. They seemed an intelligent bunch... In my youth I'd have braved their caves but I fear my matured physique wouldn't be able to outrun them where they to turn violent.

After buying the map:
There's a potent odour about these caverns and far worse for me I suspect. My trunk is quite sensitive whereas you don't seem to possess a scent organ of any kind... Is it that you cannot smell at all?

Greenpath Greeting:
Isn't this a contrast from the Crossroads? Such a humid, lively place. The roads twist and turn in the most wonderful ways... I've done my best to chart the area ahead, though I must admit some of the area's inhabitants proved quite a nuisance.

After buying the map:
I ran into another traveller as I made my way down here. I tried to call out to her as she dashed past but she barely even glanced in my direction. Not an appreciator of maps like you and I, obviously.

Howling Cliffs Greeting:
Enjoying the bracing air? We're quite close to Hallownest's borders and those desolate plains that surround it... In this direction, I'm about as far as I'm willing to go, though it's been a pleasant change from the tight confines of the caverns... I've drawn out a small map for the area. It's a simple one and more for completion really. Not knowing the full extents of a region can be quite frustrating.

After buying the map:
I chanced upon a strange bug atop these cliffs. His house isn't far from here... A very imposing figure he was and no doubt lethal with a Nail. I suspect you two might share more in common than him and I.

Kingdom's Edge Greeting:
Isn't this a cozy hole? I've been venturing about that wilderness beside here and thought a moment's break was well called for... The landscape's all rather serene this side of the city, though the inhabitants are as ferocious as ever.

After buying the map:
Judging by this wall, the city's folk seemed hesitant to build further into these caverns. I wonder what kept them at bay?

Queen's Gardens Greeting:
Have you heard of Hallownest's Queen? Apparently these gardens were once her retreat... Now some vicious types are crawling all over the place and the plants have grown wild... As inhospitable as it is, I've enjoyed my travels here. Care to see my efforts?

After buying the map:
There's a Stag Station at the heart of these gardens. I would've taken my rest there if someone hadn't gone and locked the door.

Royal Waterways Greeting:
Ho ho! Aren't these waterways thrilling? A labyrinth of pipes and tunnels... I couldn't have asked for a better place to employ my talents. It's all so orderly, so considered, nothing like the crude irregularity of those caverns... Ahh but so sad, my trunk is telling me those Fungal Wastes are close and I sense my damp adventure may have reached its end. Guess I'll be calling this map done.

After buying the map:
I'd wager these pipes and chambers were once used to carry the city's waste. Would've been a horrid stench down here. Thankfully that constant rain has flushed them clean.

Locations

Cornifer can be found in nearly every area, selling his maps. He permanently moves to Dirtmouth after every map is bought or once all maps are available in Iselda's shop.

Gallery

Achievements

Achievement Cartographer Cartographer
Acquire a map of each area

Trivia

  • Cornifer can be found in two different locations within Deepnest, depending on which entrance the Knight has entered from.
  • He has a unique greeting dialogue if he is listened to in Deepnest for the first time.
  • Cornifer's namecard will not appear, not even in subsequent encounters unless he is listened to again after his initial dialogue. Doing so, he gives his dialogue on introducing himself and whereas his namecard will appear.
  • Iselda refers to Cornifer with the personal nickname of "Corny".[5]
References
  1. Cornifer: "I've tried to chart the dense nest beneath here b-b-but it's proving too dangerous for a bug like me... Vicious little creatures burst out all o-over the place and the passages are a dark, twisting maze. Even with my good head for direction, I-I-I've had enough..."
  2. Cornifer: "I'll be resting my legs a little longer. Not too long though! It won't do to have Iselda worrying after me."
  3. Cornifer: "My name is Cornifer, and I've always loved exploring the world. Why, when I was first hatched I wandered off immediately, leaving my brothers and sisters and poor mother behind!"
  4. Cornifer: "That's why as soon as I could I moved to Dirtmouth with my wife."
  5. Iselda: "Corny keeps asking me to join him on his adventures and I've always declined."
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