In this Red Dead Redemption 2 guide, I will show you how to get your hands on the Old Brass Compass so you can craft the Raven Claw Talisman. The Raven Claw Talisman is a buff that decreases weapon degradation by 20%.
To get the Old Brass Compass, you need to complete a stranger mission in RDR2 that takes you across multiple locations to find 10 mysterious rock carvings.
RDR2 is known for its vast open world, the American Old West, and without proper guidance, you will surely get lost and abandon the stranger mission altogether.
And I recommend you do this mission because this mission contributes to the 100% completion of the game. You won’t just get an amazing Talisman, but you will also get closer to completing the entire game – a feat that can place you among the elites of RDR2.
So, let’s jump into the article and find the Old Brass Compass! 😃
What is Old Brass Compass in RDR2?
Old Brass Compass is a collectible in Red Dead Redemption 2. These collectibles are special items that can be looted from dwellings, lockboxes, corpses, and many other places in the American Old West.
The collectibles act as an ingredient to craft certain items. For example, you need the Old Brass Compass as an ingredient in your inventory to craft the Raven Claw Talisman. You can even sell the collectibles to a Fence or donate them to a camp.
How Do You Get the Old Brass Compass in RDR2?
As I mentioned, most collectibles are found in dwellings or dead bodies, but getting your hands on the Old Brass Compass requires you to complete a stranger’s mission called Geology for Beginners.
To start this mission, you need to go to a hut in the northwest Strawberry. In case you don’t know, Strawberry is a settlement in the Big Valley region of the State of West Elizabeth. I have pointed out the location on the map for you.
Once you are in the northwest Strawberry, find the hut, and you will see a man sitting on the porch. The man’s name is Francis Sinclair – an enigmatic and fast-talking bloke who will initiate the side-mission called “Geology for Beginners”.
Sinclair will show you his book with some rock carvings that he has collected. Furthermore, he will task you with discovering the 10 remaining rock carving locations and mail them to him.
Sinclair will offer you his card and go back inside the hut. If you decide to follow him inside the hut, the door won’t open, no matter how hard you try.
This is where the stranger’s mission, “Geology for Beginners”, will begin.
Fun Fact: If you carefully look at Frank Sinclair’s card, you will see an hourglass on it. This further adds to the speculation that he’s a time traveler. 😉
10 Rock Carvings Locations in RDR2
Francis Sinclair promises a handsome sum of money if you successfully find the 10 Rock Carvings. The carvings are located in various regions and can be found in any particular order.
This is a snapshot of all the 10 Rock Carvings in Red Dead Redemption 2. You need to discover these carvings and mail their locations to Francis Sinclair.
Since the carvings can be discovered in any particular order, let me take you to the nearest one from Francis Sinclair’s residence.
➡️ Location 1: Owanjilla Lake
Owanjilla Lake is quite an interesting location in the Big Valley region of the West Elizabeth territory. You will find the first Rock Carving on the south side of Owanjilla Lake. For reference, see the red mark on the map below.
You will see the carving on the rocks near the lake. All you need to do now is inspect the Rock Carving, and the coordinates will be stored.
Apart from being a Rock Carving location, Lake Owanjilla is a great fishing spot as well. You can fish on the eastern shore of the lake and catch the Legendary Smallmouth Bass. Or, you can find Whale Bones, the Ram Skull Mask, and Red Chestnut-Arabian – one of the most powerful and best horses in RDR2.
🔔 Note: The Red Chestnut-Arabian horse is only found near Owanjilla Lake in the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2.
➡️ Location 2: Mount Shann
For the second Rock Carving, head north of Strawberry, just near the T in WEST on the map. You will need to climb Mount Shann to find the carving.
Reach the summit of Mount Shann from the southeast, and you can see the carving from the edge. Inspect the carving and record the coordinates.
At Mount Shann, you don’t have other special items to collect, but there’s a strange incident that happens when you visit the place at approximately 2 AM. You will see a UFO floating in the air for a while, which will then ascend into the sky and vanish.
➡️ Location 3: Flatneck Station
The third Rock Carving is located between the Dakota River and Flatneck Station. To be precise, the north of the Flatneck Station.
You need to climb to the top of a mountain to see the Rock Carving. Inspect it and record the coordinates.
There is nothing much to do in Flatneck Station. However, you can play Poker here and also find a Dreamcatcher. Finding all the 20 Dreamcatchers contribute to 100% completion, so I recommend you get your hands on them.
➡️ Location 4: Mount Hagen
Now head to Mount Hagen in the Grizzlies West region (Ambarino territory) to find the fourth Rock Carving. You will need to reach the end of the road to find the carving.
Mount Hagen is a snowy mountain located southeast of Lake Isabella. It is also the highest point in the world of Red Dead Redemption 2. You will need to climb Mount Hagen to find the Rock Carving.
Mount Hagens also briefly features in the mission “Old Friends” when the gang is returning to the camp in Colter. The mountain’s slopes are steep, and the conditions are rough, so you better have a trench coat to maintain your health bar.
➡️ Location 5: Whinyard Strait
The next Rock Carving location is Whinyard Strait in the Grizzlies West region of the Ambarino territory.
On the northern side, you will find a wooden bridge. Just next to the bridge, you will find the Rock Carving on the surface of a rock facing the river.
This one reminded me of Titans from Attack on Titan, and I have no idea why! 😂
At the pass, just behind the waterfall, you can find a Nevada Hat. Along with the hat, you will find a Note from Robert Elliot Patchen. It’s not like they are crucial items, but just in case you want a new hat for Arthur. 🤠
➡️ Location 6: Cumberland Forest
Now, head south from Whinyard Strait to Cumberland Forest. Just near the Dakota River, you will find a cliff. Climb the cliff, and you will find the Rock Carving.
When you reach the top of the cliff, inspect the carving and record the coordinates.
You can spend some time around the Dakota River and do some fishing. After all, that’s what these games like GTA are all about — open-world exploration. Not fishing, but exploring the world!
➡️ Location 7: Bacchus Station
Now, head to the northwestern part of the Cumberland Forest to Bacchus Station to find the next Rock Carving.
Approach the mountains from the south and look for a passage between the trees. You will find this carving resembling an Angel. Inspect the carving and record the coordinates.
If you want to do some hunting, head east of the Bacchus Station. You will find Legendary Elk in the area. You can also find a dinosaur bone and Dragon’s Mouth Orchid in the areas near the station.
➡️ Location 8: Moonstone Pond
In the Grizzlies East region of the Ambarino territory, near the Moonstone Pond, you will find the next Rock Carving. The carving is in the south of Moonstone Pond.
Looking towards the Heartlands, on a huge rock face, you will find this pyramid-like carving. Inspect it and record the coordinates.
If you intend to explore, go to the southern side of Moonstone Pond, where you can find a weapon called the Hewing Hatchet. Also, nearby, you can see the Flattened Cabin, where you will find a large jewelry bag in the nightstand’s top drawer.
➡️ Location 9: Elysian Pool
The next Rock Carving is on the eastern side of the Elysian Pool, located in the Roanoke Ridge region of the New Hanover territory.
Just north of where the Kamassa River connects to the Elysian Pool. On the eastern side is the large Rock Carving, up high on a rock face.
After recording the coordinates of the Rock Carving, you can spend some time fishing around the Elysian Pool and try to catch the Legendary Perch.
Also, the cave behind the waterfall is the final location for both the Poisonous Trail Treasure Map and Dreamcatchers questlines. So, if you are doing those quests, the Elysian Pool is a must-visit place.
➡️ Location 10: Deer Cottage
Now, head to Roanoke to find the last Rock Carving. The carving is located near Deer Cottage near the “Roanoke” name on the map.
You will find the last Rock Carving on a large rock.
There is nothing much to do in this area, so I recommend you head to the nearest post office to mail the coordinates of the carving locations to Francis Sinclair.
➡️ Mail the Rock Carvings to Francis Sinclair
Visit the nearest post office to mail the coordinates. Since you are in Roanoke, you can visit the Van Horn Depot in the Roanoke Ridge region. It is located on the waterfront at Van Horn on the shores of Lannahechee River.
You will find Horatio, the station master, inside the post office. Mail the carving locations to Sinclair and then wait 48 hours (in the game) to receive a reply from him.
Rewards for Completing the Mission
The Old Brass Compass is not the only reward you get for completing the “Geology for Beginners” mission. Once you have found the Rock Carving locations and mailed them to Francis Sinclair, you can collect your rewards.
If you mail 1 location, you get a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon and $10. If you mail 5 locations, you get a rock statue. And, if you successfully mail all 10 locations, you will get an invitation from Francis Sinclair.
You can do something else for 24 to 48 hours (game time) till you receive a notification to pick up some mail at the post office. This is when you can collect an invitation from Francis Sinclair.
In the invitation, Francis will invite you to visit his hut, where you started the mission. When you enter his hut, you will see a cutscene. When the scene ends, you will be outside the hut, but without the Old Brass Compass.
Turn back and re-enter the hut; the Old Brass Compass will be lying on the table. Make sure you grab the compass before you leave, or you’ll miss it entirely.
Now that you have collected the rewards for the “Geology for Beginners” mission and the Old Brass Compass, let’s head to a Fence to craft the Raven Claw Talisman.
How to Craft Raven Claw Talisman from the Old Brass Compass?
You can go to any Fence that’s near you. You can fast travel to the place. I decided to visit Emerald Ranch.
When the cutscene ends, hop on your horse and head to the Fence in Emerald Ranch.
Talk to the Fence, and you can see you have enough ingredients to craft the Raven Claw Talisman. This Talisman helps you permanently decrease weapon degradation by 20%.
I thought finding the Rock Carvings and mailing the locations to Francis Sinclair was the only way to get the Old Brass Compass, but I was wrong!
RDR2 players have found a glitch that lets you collect the compass without scavenging around for the carvings. It is the fastest way to collect the Old Brass Compass and save you hours.
How to Get the Old Brass Compass FAST?
If you want to follow the shortcut method and get the Old Brass Compass fast, then go to Sinclair’s hut and trigger the cutscene where Sinclair assigns you the stranger mission.
After the cutscene ends, try to open the door. You will find it is locked.
Come to the porch of the hut and save the game.
After saving the game, go to settings and load the saved game.
You will be spawned at Hawk’s Eye Creek. From here, you need to go back to the Francis Sinclair’s hut.
Hop on your horse and start treading to the location. You can also do this on foot, your choice.
When you are at the Sinclair place, open the door and visit the hut.
You can simply collect the Old Brass Compass that’s lying on the table.
After collecting the compass, you can either look for other items inside the house or move on to the next mission.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is an icon already in the gaming world. It is one of the best-selling and most expensive games of all time for a reason. And the biggest thing RDR2 is known for is its vast open world.
That’s why I recommend you find all the Rock Carvings and then collect the Old Brass Compass instead of going for the FAST method. That way, you can get the best of the American Old West and complete the mission too.
What next to do in RDR2? Read this step-by-step guide to catch the Longnose Gar.