Upper Yard (神の島 Kami no Shima, literally translated as "Island of God") is an island in Skypiea that is solid land, unlike other sky islands which are made up of clouds. It was part of Jaya in the past, until it was pushed up by the Knock Up Stream. It was only mentioned during the New Birka Arc but it is where the majority of the Ten Trials Arc.
Upper Yard was once the part of Jaya that was sent up in the sky centuries ago by the Knock Up Stream. Its former inhabitants, the ancient Shandians, were driven out by Birkans, after they took over Skypiea.
Upper Yard had become home to the rulers of Skypieans, who bear the title of God of New Birka. Jarilo, after his invasion to Skypiea, made it his residence and instituted total control over the island. Apart from him, only the five Priests, which run their respective Trials there,and the Enforcers. For everybody else it was forbidden to step onto Upper Yard, as it is considered "holy land".
All of Skypiea (New Birka) is comprised of floating Islands but the upper yard is completely made of solid land, with large tree's and vegetation. Angel Island's beach leads directly to the Upper Yard through various Milky Roads that travel all throughout the Upper Yard.
Most of the Upper Yard is covered in thick vegetation including Tree's larger then buildings in the Blue Sea. Throughout the forest are several milky roads that one can travel throughout the forest using dial based travel.
After passing through the Entrance Trial, any invader into the Upper Yard will arrive at the sacrificial altar. A sacrifice must be placed there for the four portals to be openened, which leads to the rest of the trials. Anyone placed on the Alter will be constantly struck by lightning until it's destroyed, which will close the portals to the trials.
Shandora is the ancient city of the Shandians, their most treasured land. It has been rebuilt from the Ruins into a fine land, now controlled by God Jarilo. At its center it features a giant beanstalk where at its top, God's Shrine resides.
By God Jarilo's order, the Upper Yard is protected by a system of Ten Trials hosted by his five Preists and the Enforcers.
Trial of Invasion - 90% Survival Rate
Anyone who enters the Upper Yard must navigate their way throughout the forests of giant tree's and mysterious creatures that lurk about. This trial is unhosted, and has a ninty percent chance of sucess.
Trial of Endurance - 75% Survival Rate
Apon completing the first trial, the invaders will arrive at a sacrificial altar. It is a large altar surrounded by water where one must be placed ontop as "the sacrifice". The sacrifice must remain their in order for portals to the next trials to open. Even after their comrads have moved on past through the Portals, in order to return they must pass through the portals again. This requires the sacrifice to remain on the altar while being constantly struck by Lightning.
Trial of Perception - 70% Surival Rate
Depending on which portal one passes through, they arrive at different Trials. If one ends up at the Trial of Perception, one of the three senses have been taken, either sight, smell or hearing. They must natigate their way to the next trial in complete silence and darkness while combating the Enforcers. The successful completetion of this trial leads one to the Trial of Calculations.
Trial of Texture - 60% Survival Rate
If one travels to the Trial of Texture, they are met bya forest of limp tree's unnaturally proportioned vegetation that gives way when stepped on. One can easily be trapped within an object and left open to an attack from the host Enforcers. The successful completetion of this test leads to the Trial of Liquification
Trial of Calculations - 41% Survival
After completing the Trial of Perception, they are met by Nobu on a straight path with trees on each side. After announcing the test, several markings appear all over the tree's then the trees themselves transform into paper and scatter all throughout the sky. The goal of the trial is to rearrange the papers back with the correct symbols. Having pre memorized where each symbol goes where, Nobu clearly has the advantage and will do anything to stop one from arranging the tree's correctly. If a tree is assembled incorrectly then it will deotnate back into a flurry of papers that furiously slash whoever incorrectly assembled it.
Trial of Liquification - 33% Survival Rate
After completing the Trial of Texture, the invaders are met by abnormally limb tree's and various milky roads that travel through them in a very unorthodoxed pattern. At the start of the trial a timer goes off, set for ten minutes in Birkan's numerals. Trance beens to slide away on his chest with the "key to shandora" which is needed to get into God's shrine where Jarilo hides. The goal of the trial is to catch Trance before he time runs out. The disadvantage of this trial is the difficult navigation through the several routes that he's set and the fact that many of the tree's give way and can be liquified at any time by Trance. One also requires dial based transportation to catch him and even with that he is very difficult to keep up with.
Trials of Terror
After the Trial of Endurance, there are five portals that lead to different trials. It is said that the lucky ones end up with the Trials of Perception and Texture while those destined for death end up with the triple Trials of Death lead by Anya, Earl and Dante which all have of Survival rate of under ten percent.
Trial of Personas - 9% Survival Rate
If one is unlucky enough to find themselves in the Trial of Persona's they will arrive in a rainy, flat plain surrounded by trees. Although it is hosted by Earl he is no where to be found, infact only his voice can be heard. Once he commenses the trial, his puppets launch a surprise attack and anyone caught in it has instantly failed the Trial. These individuals are then transformed into the "puppets" themselves and manipulated by Earl. They will fight against their comrads and anyone who falls in battle are also turned into puppets, making this trial a battle royal that simply waits for everyone to fail.
Trial of Angels - 3% Survival Rate
If one arrives on a bed of solid clouds, they have arrived at the Trial of Angels. Once the Trial commences, they fall through the clouds hundreds of meters down into Shandora itself. Whilest in Shandora, the ground are laced with dial based bombs and the invaders are stuck navigating their way throughout Shandora where the buildings can be moved, creating a maze like enviroment. While above them they are constantly being hunted by Anya and her "Angels".
Trial of Destruction - 0% Survival Rate
If the invaders arrive at a forest burning, with molten lava clouds flowing throughout it, it is said that they have arrived at deaths door. The Trial of Destruction has a 0% survival rate, which will result in the absolute death of anyone who stumbles apon it. The temperature of the area is very high and it makes for very difficult breathing and the immediate zap of anyone's energy. The area itself is hostlile enough to kill of the majority of the those who navigate through it. There is only one safe zone which is the area center of the molten forest, where one is put in a deathlock cagematch with the Devil himself, Preist Dante.