Lanafir, or Lal Canal, (ラル・カナル) is a country at the far southern end of the known world in Dark Souls II. That we learn so little about this far-off land can largely be attributed to its policy of isolationism. Unlike most nations, Lanafir has cut off any political and economic relations with foreign states, leaving little room for culture exchange. This segregation from the rest of the world and the resulting independence have seemingly been enforced through Lanafir’s military prowess. Blue-Eyed Durgo is a local hero known for protecting his homeland along with his brother-in-law in battles so legendary that his name and skill with a bow is known even beyond his birthplace’s borders. His success is credited to the “divine protection” of the Hawkeye Ring previously owned by Gough, (ゴー) who serves as an obvious inspiration for Durgo’s original name Dolgough. (ドルゴー) How Durgo came by this ring is never specified, but it may have to do with Lanafir’s culture.
Ring with a hawk seal carved into it. Extends bow range.
The nomadic bowman Blue-eyed Dulgough was bequeathed heroic success in many battles due to the divine protection of this ring.
While most of the world consider the eagle to be a symbol of martial fortune, hence it being emblazoned on military equipment like the Silver Eagle Kite Shield, Lanafir instead views it as a symbol of monetary fortune. It is for this reason that the traveling merchant set originating from the far southern land includes an eagle as a wooden shoulder ornament. Since the Hawkeye Ring naturally has a hawk as its seal, the ring could have feasibly found its way to Lanafir and into Durgo’s possession before the country stopped foreign trade. And after they did, Durgo emerged as a hero in defense of his nation’s sovereignty. With this ring extending the hit range of his bow, it is easy to imagine this human becoming a legendary sniper like Gough. This effect would’ve only been enhanced by his unique hat, which was strapped to a monocle functioning as a targeting scope. But given the fact that this sniping scope is red, it isn’t the origin of Durgo’s blue-eye moniker. So, why is this hero known by this name?
Coat of a merchant of Lal Canal. The eagle is considered a symbol of martial fortune, but it is considered a symbol of monetary fortune in Lal Canal.
Lal Canal, which is at the southern end, has a national policy of isolationism and severs exchanges with foreign countries. Thus, travelers from there are nothing but eccentrics.
Magerold, original name Magherald, (マグへラルド) has blond hair and blue eyes, giving us our only insight into the traits of Lanafir’s populace. If Durgo also had blue eyes, then his monocle scope would leave just the one visible. Add to that his skill as a sniper, and it is reasonable to believe that he would earn such a nickname. His ability to spot and accurately hit targets may even be the reason why blue symbolizes knowledge in Lanafir, hence the blue hats worn by its traveling merchants — the monocle they use to better find items certainly suggests some cultural connection between the two. However, blue is also commonly associated with sorcery, which has a huge presence in Melfia. Since both countries lie south of Drangleic, it is possible for Lanafir to have been influenced by relations with the land of magical wisdom before isolationism became the national policy. If so, then this would imply that this policy only went into effect well after Melfia’s Magic Academy was established. However, this seems unlikely in light of the estimated lifetime of Blue-eyed Durgo.
The description for the Hawkeye Ring describes Durgo as nomadic, indicating that he left his native land after the war to travel around the outside world. And this wandering hero seems to have had ultimately ended up in Eleum Loyce where we can acquire his hat from a chest, with another containing the Twin-headed Greatbow. Its description suggests that the greatbow originates from Lanafir due to its delicate craftmanship, though it is uncertain of why it incorporates animal bones. This strange appearance is unlikely to have some ritual significance, as it is ultimately an ordinary weapon. However, using it for intimidation is equally odd given that it has the longest range of any greatbow in-game, making it more conducive to sniping from a distance. But who else from Lanafir would use this giant long-range bow to ward off enemies except Durgo? Just one more parallel to Gough, and one that reaffirms the man’s apparent end in Eleum Loyce and thus Drangleic.
Greatbow using animal bone. With its extraordinarily delicate making, it was likely made in Lal Canal, wasn’t it?
Its strange appearance is probably something used in rituals or for intimidating enemies.
This makes sense since the Hawkeye Ring is contained in a chest in the Forest of Fallen Giants, indicating that soldiers of Drangleic had acquired it from either Durgo himself or the frozen city that the kingdom once visited. Either way, this sequence of events implies Durgo to have been contemporary to Drangleic at the latest, meaning that Lanafir would have already been isolated by the time Melfia had a magic school to influence its culture. Why Durgo chose to leave the nation he had so vigorously defended is anyone’s guess, but it might be because of his country’s commitment to total economic and cultural isolation. Despite Lanafir’s apparently high level of artisanry and by all accounts stable society, there are still a number of natives who choose to leave their homeland and become traveling merchants or the like. This suggests a curiosity concerning foreign cultures and perhaps dissatisfaction with the limited scope of their home. These Lanafirians want to see the world and all it has to offer.
The description for the traveling merchant set indicates that travelers from Lanafir are always eccentric due to that national policy, which is certainly true for Magerold. The merchant collects all sorts of curios to sell as part of his love to explore the world and hunt for treasure without once considering the monetary value of his wares or whether he actually enjoys treasure hunting in itself. Between personalities like these and their unique icons and customs uniquely preserved by their longtime isolationism, and it’s no surprise that most of the world considers them weird. Durgo had probably also been consumed by an insatiable curiosity after facing foreign invaders. For so long he had merely watched them from afar. How did they live? What did they eat? Where did they call home? These questions could only be answered if the sniper got up close and personal with these foreigners, leading to his nomadic future. While his loss has left Lanafir seemingly no worse for wear, it is proof that life in a gilded cage can be suffocating for some of the populace and a reason to abandon the nation they are trying to preserve.