The Duchy of Fourland (フォーランド侯爵領?) (also improperly translated as ['Duchy' is used for geographical locations, while 'dukedom' refers to the family ruling the duchy.]) is one of the five territories of the Yamato server in Elder Tale. It is the only territory without an Adventurer City. Nowadays, it is more commonly known as Fourland Island (フォーランド島?).
Fourland Island corresponds to the real-life island of Shikoku.
Long ago, the Duchy of Fourland was ruled by a duke of the Westelande Imperial Dynasty. However, both the dukedom and the imperial dynasty fell into ruin, several calamities befell the island, and Fourland was quickly run over by monsters. It remains in this state to this day, with little traces of human or even Adventurer life there.
Fourland Island corresponds to the island of Shikoku in the real world. It is separated from the mainland by sea, and all the bridges that exist in the real world have long fallen into ruin, so there is no longer a way to get there by foot. Before the Catastrophe, it was possible to teleport there via Fairy Rings, but with the convoluted structure of Fairy Rings, such a method is too uncertain now.
Of course, with the Half Gaia Project, the distance isn’t too great in the world of Theldesia, but venturing there is still a dangerous prospect. Many dangerous monsters roam the ocean, and the eastern side of Fourland is completely impassable because of the Maelstrom that blocks the passage of ships. There are a number of raid-rank monsters prowling the sea as well.
Even if one manages to pass through the obstacles and step foot onto land, the environment is very harsh: thick forests and steep mountains have made the land nigh uninhabitable.
The eastern part of Fourland corresponds with the real-world Kagawa, Tokushima, and eastern Kōchi Prefectures. With the exception of the plains near Lost Bridge and the estuaries of the Sando River, most of Fourland consists of dense forest and steep mountains. Such areas are known as the Sword of Fourland.
Eastern Fourland's climate is generally mild and moist. Because it receives heavy rainfall, plants grow quickly there, covering the mountains in forest. Without people to work the land, the soil has remained rich. In stark contrast, northern Fourland receives little rainfall, and summertime may bring droughts. In the northern plains, it is easier to spot signs of life and habitation, as there are no giant trees to obscure your vision. Occasionally, Black Raccoons can be seen using the remains of reservoirs, something that was common knowledge before the Catastrophe.
However, since the Catastrophe, a large change has occurred in the center of Fourland Island. A large volcano suddenly formed, and has been spewing magical smoke. From mainland Yamato, Fourland Island is now almost completely obscured. It is said that as a result of this smoke, the vegetation and wildlife on the island has begun to change. Reptilian and dinosaur-like monsters, which didn’t exist on the island before, have started emerging as a result of the changing environment. With Fourland Island as difficult to access as it is, however, this information cannot be confirmed.
Back in the days of the Duchy of Fourland, this island held a large population of people under the rich blessings of nature. However, calamity after calamity has driven almost all traces of the Eight Good Races away from the land. Since then, powerful and dangerous monsters have taken over, and few Adventurers dare to venture within.
Of its ruins, the Lost Bridge is the most well-known, but its ports have since dilapidated. In the hands of Adventurers, though, there is a chance that they can be restored to their original purpose.
After the Catastrophe, gathering information about the island has become very difficult. Because the Homesteading the Noosphere expansion added some new areas and monsters, though, there are some brave souls willing to venture into the area.
Fourland Island is a dangerous area completely overrun by monsters. Many of them are akin to the Japanese "youkai," with different kinds ruling over various sections of Fourland. While the majority of Fourland consists of hills and mountains, in the plains to the north, ruins like Cianu Ruins stand where the Good Races once lived. Nowadays, those areas are dominated by the humanoid Black Raccoons, who have repurposed the ruins. In the mountainous regions, the east is teeming with Tengu, while the Gozu control the west.
Since the Catastrophe, there have been reports of lizard-like and dinosaur-like monsters that seem to be completely unlike the monsters that have inhabited Fourland before. They are rapidly expanding their habitat, and the balance of power on Fourland is rapidly changing.
Before the Catastrophe, Fourland Island didn’t receive much attention, as no Landers lived there and Adventurers would just use the Fairy Rings to teleport to dungeons. However, with its obscurity after the Catastrophe, many rumors about it have sprung up.
One rumor claims that in the deepest depths of Qunpearl Remains, there is a Tengu that is the key to a secret raid. Others believe that a large-scale event will someday initiate around "Rightsword" Tarogue.
Another famous rumor is the [This rumor is based on the real-life Shikoku Pilgrimage.]. It is said that by traveling to 88 different power spots located throughout Fourland, you will be granted tremendous power and magic. The 88 locations were supposedly created in the Age of Myth. On top of this rumor, there are further rumors that suggest further "bonuses," like getting even more power if you visit the locations in a particular order.
But with the number of monsters in Fourland and the extreme terrain, just getting to all 88 places is a challenge in and of itself, never mind the fact that nobody actually knows where exactly these places are. Furthermore, there are reports that never-before-seen monsters have appeared throughout Fourland, and nobody knows whether the reward—or even the quest—really exists. Everything is covered in the shroud of legend.
- Lost Bridge: Known as the Great Seto Bridge in real life, this bridge connects Shikoku and Honshuu; in the world of Theldesia, this bridge is known as the Lost Bridge. It has long fallen into disrepair and ruin, and is no longer passable, making it impossible to travel between the two islands by foot. Of course, if you can travel by sea or by air, it is possible to make it to Fourland if you’re willing to enter combat with monsters.
Close to the Lost Bridge is the San'nou Archipelago. It is a relatively safe way to get to Fourland for those who are familiar with the route, so there are groups who are investigating the inland sea. They’ve stumbled upon undiscovered dungeons and treasures in unexplored islets and villages that had little known information.
Still, there are few Adventurers who head for the monster’s den of Fourland Island itself. Naturally, there are a brave few who are willing to venture there to ascertain each and every rumor that comes up about it, or to acquire new intel. Regarding the status of the bridge, before the Catastrophe hit, there was an event planned pertaining to "the reconstruction of the 'Lost Bridge'." However, before any details were released, the Catastrophe struck.