Elden Ring takes place in the Lands Between, a new world created by FromSoftware and George R. R. Martin. The Lands Between consists of 6 distinct regions as well as a few sub-regions—all of which are linked by deep lore.
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Where Are the Lands Between?
The Lands Between has a thought-provoking name. “What are they between?” you might be wondering—and for good reason. Neither FromSoftware’s game director, Hidetaka Miyazaki, nor George R. R. Martin has explained the name of their collaborative world, albeit on purpose.
In an IGN interview, Miyazaki claims that the name “the Lands Between” is meant to be mysterious. In the same interview, Miyazaki also mentions that it was Martin who came up with the name as well as the world’s history.
The Lands Between’s Name Lore Speculation
However, despite the purposeful mystery, there seem to be sensible reasons for the name of this magical land. If you’ve played or are currently playing Elden Ring, you’ve likely gathered that the world is vast. However, the Lands Between is not simply a horizontal expanse of 6 major regions, as there is some vertical geography as well.
Both above and below the Lands Between are other areas that you can visit, such as Crumbling Farum Azula and Nokron, Eternal City. As such, you can think of the Lands Between as being the place between upper and lower realms.
This world layout is seen in other fantastical settings—including real-world mythologies. For example, if you take a brief look at Greek mythology, you’ll see that there’s an upper realm for the gods, a middle realm for the earth, and a lower realm for the afterlife.
Although, there could be even more reasons for the name of the Lands Between than just being a middle realm. In the center of the Lands Between lies a colossal Erdtree. However, despite other minor Erdtrees being present, there only seems to be a single main one. All of the minor Erdtrees reside on the different regions of the Lands Between, but none are seen beyond.
There are seas on all sides of the Lands Between and no indication of other landmasses or Erdtrees beyond the waves. In this manner, the Lands Between can be considered the lands between the main Erdtree and a void of eternally-stretching oceans.
What Are the Different Regions of The Lands Between?
The Lands Between is divided into 6 main areas:
- The Weeping Peninsula
- Liurnia of the Lakes
- The Altus Plateau
- The Mountaintops of the Giants
Although you start the game in Limgrave, you’re allowed to explore wherever you want. Elden Ring is very much an open-world game that rewards exploration. Additionally, you can explore the early regions in any order. Each area has its own unique challenges that will test your mettle—some areas moreso than others.
Is There a Specific Progression Path?
There is a loose progression path that you’ll need to follow in order to face foes at similar levels to your character.
- The Weeping Peninsula/Caelid/Liurnia of the Lakes
- The Altus Plateau
- The Mountaintops of the Giants
You start in Limgrave, indicating that it’s the region you’re meant to explore first. However, after that (or even before you’ve beaten the region’s main boss), you should head to one of the surrounding regions next. These surrounding regions are the Weeping Peninsula, Caelid, and Liurnia of the Lakes. Many players seem to progress through these 3 regions based on their size. As such, after clearing Limgrave, most explore the Weeping Peninsula next. Afterward, they seem to explore Caelid and then Liurnia of the Lakes.
The Barriers Between the Early-Game and Late-Game Regions
When you’ve explored the first 4 areas of the Lands Between, you’ll then be expected to make your way up to the Altus Plateau in one of the few different possible methods. Although, you don’t need to actually explore all of the first 4 areas to reach the Altus Plateau. You technically only need to explore some of Limgrave and Caelid for the 2 pieces of the Dectus Medallion. This will let you easily ascend to the Altus Plateau upon the Grand Lift of Dectus, which is in the north of Liurnia of the Lakes.
Alternatively, you can ignore the Grand Lift of Dectus entirely and scale the cliffs to the Altus Plateau the hard way. For this, you’ll need to go to the north of Liurnia of the Lakes and climb the Ruin-Strewn Precipice. Although, after that, you’ll need at least 2 Great Runes to get much further. This means that you’ll have to take out at least 2 of the 6 major demi-god bosses.
The Sub-Regions Not Within to the Main 6 Regions
- Crumbling Farum Azula
- Underground Areas
You can find the floating city of Farum Azula during the later parts of Elden Ring. You’ll need to reach the Mountaintops of the Gods and do some story-related tasks to be transported to Crumbling Farum Azula. This is an area with high-level threats. Therefore, you’re not intended to come here until you’re near the end of the game. Although, you can sneak your way into a corner of the flying ruins via a teleporter in Liurnia of the Lakes.
At the Four Belfries, you can use an Imbued Sword Key to enter any of the 3 special teleporters. The first of these will bring you to a small area of floating debris just outside Crumbling Farum Azula. Here, you can fight a couple of beastmen and find the Pearldrake Talisman. The Pearldrake Talisman, which increases all physical damage reduction, is the only reason to come here.
Furthermore, there are many underground areas that you can explore. This includes places like Nokron, Eternal City, and Nokstella, Eternal City. The surreal underworld beneath the Land Between is fairly expansive. You can reach underground areas from different special lifts that you can find throughout the Lands Between.
For example, for a part of Ranni’s questline, you’ll have to descend the special lift in the Mistwood area of Limgrave to find a way into Nokron, Eternal City. There are a few more such lifts throughout the game that will lead you to different underground areas connected to the stars below the world. You’re meant to explore these underground areas during the middle and later portions of your Elden Ring adventure.