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Lanayru is a location from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It is a province of Hyrule, situated north of the Necluda province. It comprises the four Lanayru Wetlands, Lanayru Great Spring, Mount Lanayru and Lanayru Sea regions, as well as housing Zora's Domain which is located within Lanaryu Great Spring. Zora River is located within the Lanaryu Wetlands with its source being Ruto Lake located in the Lanaryu Great Spring.

History

Spoiler warning: Plot or ending details follow.

Spring of Wisdom

At some point in the distant past, the Spring of Wisdom was constructed on Mount Lanayru where the Spirit of Ice Naydra served the spring for untold millennia. The Dragon Spirit's scales became known as a miraculous panacea that could cure any sickness. The Princesses of Hyrule also came to the spring to train and pray to awaken the divine sealing powers passed down among the bloodline female members of the Royal Family of Hyrule. However ancient decree required the Princesses to be seventeen to train at the spring.

Foundation of Zora's Domain

Ten thousand years before Breath of the Wild, Zora's Domain was founded in the Lanayru Great Spring region by the Zora due to the pure fresh waters of the region. Utilizing Luminous Stones mined from Luminous Ore Deposits found within the region the Zora created a unique form of stonemasonry and constructed Zora's Domain which was essentially a giant sculpture that brought admirers from all over and became a source of pride for the Zora who built it.

However every decade the province suffered heavy rainfall which flooded Zora's Domain and Zora River causing natural disasters that effected both the Zora and Hylians living downriver in the Lanayru Wetlands region. It became such as serious problem that the King of Hyrule and King Zora of that period met to deal with the problem of flooding. They decided to build a dam and massive reservoir to control the flooding. With a combination of Hylian engineering and Zora architecture they constructed Rutala Dam and the East Reservoir Lake which put an end to the flooding that plagued the province. King Zora and his successors swore an oath to protect the dam and monitor to reservoir's water level to guard against future flooding which remained unbroken for over ten thousand years.

Ancient Battle with Calamity Ganon

Around the same time period the Sheikah constructed the Divine Beast Vah Ruta which was named after the legendary Zora Sage Princess Ruto and gave it to the Zora people. A unnamed Zora Champion was selected to pilot Vah Ruta in support of the Princess of Hyrule and Hero Chosen by the Master Sword as they fought to seal Calamity Ganon. Thanks the Sheikah technology the Zora Champion alongside their fellow pilots aided the hero in defeating Ganon who was sealed by the Princess. However in time the Hyrulean people began to fear the misuse of Sheikah technology which lead the Sheikah to bury their technology including Vah Ruta which was buried in the Lanayru Great Spring region near Zora's Domain.

Miracle of the White Scale

In an unknown time period before Breath of the Wild, Zora's Domain became threatened by an army of monsters lead by a cunning Lizalfos general resulting in a brief war in the Lanayru Great Spring region between the general's army and the Zora Knights lead by the King Zora of this period. However his Queen knew her husband had little skill in the art of war so she secretly sewed one of her white scales which are exclusive to female Zora into his armor in the hope her love would protect him. The King and his army mobilized to Zodobon Highlands where the Lizalfos general's forces had gathered. As his wife had feared the Lizalfos general proved to be a dangerous foe for her husband. As the Lizalfos general was about to deliver a deathblow, an errant sunbeam hit the scale sewn into the King's armor blinding the general allowing the King to rally his forces to slay the general and defeat his army in an event that became known as "The Miracle of the White Scale". It also lead to a tradition of Zora Princesses crafting Zora Armor for their future husbands inspired by the Zora Queen's act of love that lead to her husband's victory.

Before the Great Calamity

Before the Great Calamity, Zora's Domain was ruled by King Dorephan. His first child Princess Mipha was born with a powerful healing ability that became known as Mipha's Grace which she used to heal injured Zora Knights becoming beloved by them for treating their wounds. At one point a Hylian envoy arrived at Zora's Domain. The envoy included Link the four year old son of a Knight of Hyrule who served in Royal Family of Hyrule's Imperial Guard. The boy was a notable prodigy with a sword capable of besting experienced knights despite his young age. Link befriended several Zora children and even became a member of local group of children called the Big Bad Bazz Brigade. However Link was known to be courageous to the point of recklessness and Princess Mipha often healed his injuries and became smitten with the young blue eyed Hylian. However she was not the only one as another Zora girl Kodah also competed with Mipha for Link's affection. Meanwhile the Royal Family of Hyrule became aware of a prophecy foretelling Ganon's return and began excavation of buried Sheikah technology including Vah Ruta. After Vah Ruta was discovered Mipha went to see it and felt an immediate connection to it. Link eventually left Zora's Domain. Mipha grew older and became a big sister after her brother Prince Sidon was born. Mipha studied spearmanship from the legendary shock resistant Zora Knight "Demon" Sergeant Seggin while Muzu was her royal tutor. Eventually Link returned having grown into an accomplished Knight of Hyrule and Mipha was proud to learn he had been chosen by the Master Sword to be its chosen wielder. However she was surprised by his change in character as he became more silent and withdrawn. However they remained close and eventually Mipha's Hylian counterpart Princess Zelda visited Zora's Domain to recruit Mipha as Zora Champion and pilot of Vah Ruta. Knowing she could support her beloved Link whom she had fallen completely in love with, Mipha accepted. However Muzu and Seggin opposed her appointment though Mipha's father King Dorephan knew Ganon was a threat to everyone and had caused the Zora much suffering in the past. As a result King Dorephan felt the Zora must take a stand against Ganon and supported his daughter's appointment as he saw it as the work of fate even noting the similarity between Mipha and the legendary Princess Ruto.

Soon signs of Ganon's return was imminent increased such as a Lynel from Ploymus Mountain attacking Zora's Domain though fortunately Link drove to beast back to its mountain and was hailed as a hero by the Zora who enshrined the Zora Helm in Toto Lake in honor of his heroism. However the Lynel continued to plague Zora's Domain and when Link returned Mipha informed him of the problem. Link decided to hunt down and slay the beast to ensure his Zora friends safety. However Mipha followed him as Lynel are dangerous beasts and refused to leave his side despite his protests she return home. When they were attacked Link skillfully defended Mipha and slayed the beast with a Spin Attack which Mipha would later attempt to perform with her Lightscale Trident while training.

Mipha became adapt at controlling Vah Ruta and had little trouble compared to her fellow Champions. However Mipha did become slightly jealous when she learned Link was appointed to Captain of Zelda's Royal Guard detail and personal knight due to being envious of the time Zelda got to spend alone with Link. However Mipha planned to marry Link after Calamity Ganon's defeat and even began crafting Zora Armor for him in accordance with Zora Royal Family tradition. Mipha prayed to the spirit of a Zora Princess (implied to be Ruto) whom had fallen in love with a Hylian swordsman (implied to be the Hero of Time) for courage to confess her feelings. Meanwhile Zelda struggled to awaken her sealing power and after failing to awaken them at the Spring of Power and Spring of Courage, set her sights on the Spring of Wisdom on Mount Lanayru. However she was prohibited to train their until her seventeenth birthday by an ancient decree as only the wise are allowed upon the mountain. After finally turning seventeen, Zelda and Link journyed to Mount Lanayru with their fellow Champions accompanying them to Lanayru Road - East Gate. Zelda prayed at the spring but once again her powers failed to awaken. Urbosa consoled Zelda telling her she did all she could and that anything could spark her powers to awaken and not to give up hope. Mipha inspired by Urbosa's words attempted to explain what helped her focus when she was healing.

The Great Calamity

Unfortunately she was interrupted by the sudden appearance of Ganon attacking Hyrule Castle. Realizing Ganon had finally returned Daruk mobilizes his comrades to get to their Divine Beasts and tells Link he'll have their support while he should focus on defeating Ganon. Urbosa tries to take Zelda to safety but she refuses and decides to join the fight without her powers.

Unfortunately Ganon had learned from his previous defeat and created the Scourges of the Divine Beasts to kill the four Champions and imprison their spirits to corrupt the Divine Beasts. Ganon used his power to corrupt the Guardians. As a result, the four Champions and Zelda's father Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule were killed and Link was badly injured forcing Zelda who awakened her power while defending him to have her Sheikah allies place Link in the Slumber of Restoration to save his life before sealing herself and Ganon in Hyrule Castle causing the Divine Beasts to become dormant. These events became known as the Great Calamity. Countless villages and the Moor Garrison in Lanayru Wetlands were destroyed with only the Wetland Stable being the only surviving Hylian settlement in the region left intact. Monsters later set up camp in the Moor Garrison Ruins while Lizalfos and Wizzrobes patrolled to ruined settlements. A Guardian Stalker also began patrolling the wetlands though the roads remained relatively safe.

Though most of Lanayru's water avoided being corrupted into pools of Malice, Naydra the Spirit of Ice was effected and became weakened by Malice growths though it survived by resting on top of Mount Lanayru at the Spring of Wisdom though eventually became too weak to leave the mountain where it remained waiting patiently for Hylia's Champion to recover and cleanse it of Ganon's Malice.

Age of Burning Fields

King Dorephan and Prince Sidon survived grieving Mipha's death along with their people. They attempted to bring peace to Mipha's spirit by sending her Lightscale Trident downriver. However Mipha's voice spoke through the trident ringing out loud for all Zora to hear and told them not to grieve her passing but to simply remember her. As a result the Zora came to venerate her trident building a memorial statue in Zora's Domain and creating the Champion Festival to be celebrated on the anniversary of Mipha's death. Over time Seggin retired with his son Bazz becoming a knight and eventually Captain of Zora's Domain Royal Guard. Both he and Muzu became members of the Council of Elders that served as royal advisors and administrators. As a result of Mipha's death, the Council of Elders blamed Link and the Hylians for the Great Calamity though fortunately King Dorephan, Prince Sidon, Link's childhood friends, and the younger generation did not. However they believed Link and Zelda had perished. On the 100th anniversary of King Dorephan's reign a Guardian wondered into Lanayru Great Spring via Upland Zorana. The Zora Knights valiantly defended Zora's Domain but their weapons proved ineffective. Without any concern for himself, King Dorephan confronted it by himself in single unarmed combat. Using his supernatural strength to lift the Guardian and throw it down a ravine destroying it receiving only a scar on his forehead. However the roads leading to Zora's Domain became dangerous for travelers and Hylian tourism to Zora's Domain became rare to the point the Zora had to shut down the Zora's Domain armor shop. Prince Sidon grew into a strong prince whom became quite popular with female Zora some of whom formed Prince Sidon's Fan Club. King Dorephan later commissioned Jiahto to crave the Zora Stone Monuments throughout Lanayru Great Spring to record Zora history as told by King Dorephan himself who was knowledgeable of Zora history.

Return of Vah Ruta

A century are the Great Calamity, Vah Ruta reappeared and took up residence in the East Reservoir Lake. It then began shooting water from its trunk which produced torrential rain that threatened to flood the reservoir threatening the entire Lanayru province with flooding. Prince Sidon and Seggin tried to shutdown the water by attacking Vah Ruta's weak points which they knew thanks to Princess Zelda's research on Vah Ruta. Unfortunately Seggin could not fire enough Shock Arrows forcing him and Sidon to end their attack. Prince Sidon decided they needed help. Eventually Sidon settled on seeking Hylian assistance to the outrage of Seggin and other Elders save for Kapson who was not bias towards Link and the Hylians. However the younger generation and King Dorephan supported Prince Sidon's decision. Prince Sidon visited the Riverside Stable where he met a Hylian hunter and bowman Quince and tried to recruit him. Quince wanted to help but was forced to decline as he refused to leave behind his dog Satty. Sidon later approached the travelling Hylian journalist Traysi though she doubted his claims of royalty and disliking his personality refused though she wouldn't have been much help as she had no archery experience.

Hylian Champion Awakens

Meanwhile Link having awoken after a century healing in stasis and activated the Great Plateau Tower causing the buried Lanayru Tower to rise out of the ground restoring power to the Shrines of the Lanayru province. The Zora Gruve climbed the tower while assisting Sidon in his search and saw a Hylian traveler named Eryck whom he called out to but Eryck could barely hear him and soon left the area. In Kakariko Village in West Necluda, Link was told by Impa that Zelda wanted him to free the Divine Beasts telling him to seek out King Dorephan in Zora's Domain to learn more about Vah Ruta. Link encounters Eryck on Rabia Plains who mentions he thought he heard a voice coming from the tower and tells him how to reach Zora's Domain. Learning Prince Sidon was looking for a Hylian from Gruve and other Zora recruited by Prince Sidon in aid his search, Link met the Zora Prince though Sidon did not recognize him though was happy to have found a Hylian willing to help. Link arrives in Zora's Domain though due to his amnesia fails to recognize his old friends and has no idea who Mipha is. Several of Link's old friends recognize him though warn him to be weary of the Elders whom are outraged to learn of Link's survival and treat him with utter contempt save for Kapson. Bazz, Rivan, and Gaddison are happy to learn of Link's survival as is Kodah who had since married the innkeeper Kayden and had a daughter named Finley. King Dorephan is also pleased to learn of Link's survival and reveals his identity to Sidon. Link informs King Dorephan of Zelda's survival and orders for Link to free Vah Ruta while also informing Dorephan of his amnesia. Dorephan explains the situation with Vah Ruta and seeing Link's return as the work of fate requests his aid in subduing Vah Ruta before it floods the Reservoir. King Dorephan gives Link the Zora Armor Mipha crafted for him to the outrage of Muzu who was unaware of Mipha's feelings for Link. Muzu storms off causing Sidon to follow him in order to reveal Mipha's true feelings to Muzu as King Dorephan tasked Muzu with acquiring Shock Arrows to confront Vah Ruta. Link finds Muzu and Sidon at Mipha's statue. Sidon points out how the armor fits Link perfectly and Link recalls a memory of Mipha while looking at Mipha's statue. Eventually they convince Muzu to let go of his hatred. Muzu then tells Link he can acquire Shock Arrows on Ploymus Mountain but warns him of a Lynel living there.

Freeing Vah Ruta

Link collects the Shock Arrows and meets Sidon at the Reservoir. Riding on Sidon's back, Link attacks Vah Ruta's weak points shutting down the water. Sidon decides to leave freeing Vah Ruta to Link and wishes him luck before returning to Zora's Domain to report their recent success. Link navigates Vah Ruta and encounters Mipha's killer Waterblight Ganon. After an epic battle, Link slays Mipha's killer avenging her death and freeing her spirit. Mipha reveals her true feelings to Link and grants him the power of Mipha's Grace before retaking control of Vah Ruta to support him against Ganon.

Link returns to Zora's Domain and is hailed as a hero once more with Seggin and the other Elders letting go of their hatred. King Dorephan awards Link his daughter's Lightscale Trident as thanks for freeing Mipha's spirit.

Cleansing the Spirit of Ice

During his travels, Link heard stories of the Spring of Wisdom and its Spirit. While exploring the mountain, Link found the spring and discovered the weakened Naydra. Guided by a mysterious voice which Link discovered was Hylia communicating to him via the Spring's Goddess Statue, he is tasked with removing the Malice growths on Naydra's body as it flies around. After cleansing Naydra, Link is directed to shoot an Arrow at Naydra's body to receive one of its scales and offer it to the spring which reveals the hidden Jitan Sa'mi Shrine. Afterwards Naydra flies off to travel freely through the Lanayru province once more allowing Link to acquire its Dragon Parts by shooting its body.

Victory of the Champions

During Link's battle with Calamity Ganon, Mipha supports him along with the freed spirits of her fellow Champions firing a combined attack at Ganon which weakens him allowing Link to defeat him. After Link defeats Dark Beast Ganon, Zelda seals Ganon truly restoring peace to Hyrule after a century. Following their victory, Link and Zelda travel to Zora's Domain to meet with King Dorephan and Prince Sidon to begin the process of rebuilding the Kingdom of Hyrule with the assistance of their old allies the Zora.

Spoiler warning: Spoilers end here.

Ecology

Lanayru province is home to a variety of species and wildlife. Water Buffalo, Ducks, and Herons thrive in the wetlands. Lanayru Great Spring is home to a variety of species thanks to its fresh clean water including Armored Carp, Blue Sparrows, Bright-Eyed Crabs, Deer, Grassland Foxes, Hot-Footed Frogs, Mighty Carp, Sneaky River Snails, and Tireless Frogs. Lanayru Sea is home to Armored Porgy, Hearty Blueshell Snail, Mighty Porgy, and Seagulls. Mount Lanayru is home to Cold-footed Wolves and White Pigeons adapted to its cold climates. Bright-Eyed Crabs, Hot-footed Frogs, and Tireless Frogs tend to appear more often when it rains. Water Octorok are known to prey of fish, crabs, and snails native to the regions of Lanayru where they live. Lizalfos and Bokoblins hunt and fish in the region as well. The Zora also hunt fish while Hylian travelers occasionally hunt and fish in the province.