The Kingdom of Orr – 1/5
To fully comprehend the events of Prince Ayron’s life, I must begin with a brief history and geography of the kingdom of Orr. The first inhabitants of the land of Orr came from the Valley of Lolaville. They had become too numerous for their own land, so Orr and his followers sought a new land to dwell in. All the cultivated lands they came to were occupied and the people there did not welcome them. The only unoccupied land they found was the Forest of Ash, because it’s beasts were too fierce for the surrounding people to drive out. Orr and his followers saw the rich soil of the forest and they settled there. They, being a strong and powerful people, felled the trees of the forest and built houses along the rivers. They hunted the wild beasts for food and used their skins for clothing. Little by little, they turned the wilderness into a cultivated land and called it the kingdom of Orr.
The people of Orr followed the commandments of their God closely. They respected nature and took only what was needed. Therefore, God blessed them with a bountiful land. It was spring time all year round, and the trees that were left behind provided shade for them. The land was irrigated bountifully by two rivers, the Terra River and the Ring River. The former slithered like a snake from north to south and its tail flowed into the sea. The latter was shaped like a ring and intersected the Terra River four times. They both came from the fresh springs of Mount Ross, in the northeast region of the land.
These two rivers sustained the lives of the people of Orr. They drank from them, bathed in them, washed their clothes in them, commuted in them, and transported cargos in them. They built houses along them and used them to irrigate plots of farm land. The tradesmen transported crops and goods from one end of the kingdom to the other through the two rivers. Therefore, the people of Orr did not build roads for horses and carriages, for the two rivers were like roads for them. And they were proud to be the people of the waters.
The land was not only bountiful in richness of soil, it also abounded with wealth. The people dug up gold and precious stones in the rocky places of the land, near Mount Ross and the eastern border of the land. They traded the gold and precious stones with nearby kingdoms for anything their hearts desired: crops, livestock, silk, fur, cedar wood, wool, incense, and all other precious things. Their wealth quickly spread around the world.
During the reign of King Alphesis, the ninth king of the kingdom of Orr, the people grew proud of their abundance and became haughty in their conduct. King Alphesis spent thirty years of his reign invading the kingdoms northward and southward of Orr, and took pieces of their land as his own. He captured the native inhabitants of those regions and made them slaves to the people of Orr. He taught the people of Orr to oppress their male slaves and take advantage of their female slaves. The people of Orr suffered much afflictions during the reign of King Alphesis because of the evil deeds they committed. There was war between the people of Orr and the surrounding regions for as long as King Alphesis lived.
In the thirty-first year of Alphesis’ reign, God struck the males of the kingdom of Orr with a severe plague, known as the Plague of Sons. Only males were affected because the plague inflicted boils and sores in the male genital, which often led to death. Nine out of ten males in the kingdom perished over a span of two weeks. There were more corpses in the land than those who could bury them. When the surrounding kingdoms heard the loud cries of wailing and lamentation in the land of Orr, they feared the plague greatly and stayed far off.
The youngest grandson of Alphesis, Renan, was the only surviving male of the Royal Family. He summoned all the surviving leaders of Orr and proclaimed a fast of repentance throughout the kingdom. They put on sackcloth and pleaded with God for mercy, to heal their diseases and to preserve them as a people. Prince Renan freed all the slaves and made those who wished to stay rightful citizens of Orr. He returned all the land his grandfather had taken by force to the surrounding kingdoms. Thus the anger of God was appeased and there was peace in the land of Orr.
When Prince Renan became king, he divided the land of Orr into thirteen regions. Their names from north to south were: Zeltz, Ouro, and Aranie, which were north of the Ring River; Urea, which was encircled by the Ring River; Gula, Okaro, and Galie, which were in the regions intersected by the two rivers; Koura, Aurie, Wuruse, and Zahava, which lay east of the Terra River; and Vena and Deheva, which lay south and west of the two rivers. The king set a leader over each region to rule over them and as representatives to the king.
In the fortieth year of King Renan’s reign, the land of Orr was restored to its former bounty and the people soon forgot the plague that had struck the previous generation. The king constructed a Royal Trading Market in the region of Urea, in the centre of his kingdom. It was made with cypress wood and coated with pure gold, and had the appearance of a royal palace. He decreed the market to be open from dawn until dusk daily, to welcome merchants from all nations to carry out fair trade. The price was set by the local merchants of Orr, who were eager to gain more riches. And the king himself collected taxes.
The merchants and tradesmen from foreign kingdoms marveled at the wealth of the kingdom of Orr. They spread its fame all around the world, as far as the lands of Finola in the North, and Kapilon in the South. Some of the people in faraway lands envied the riches of Orr and they said to one another, “Although our land is not poor compared to our neighbours, it is dull in comparison to the land of Orr. Why should we long after a shadow? Come, let us move to the land of Orr and dwell there, so that we can also become rich like the people of Orr. And our children will inherit the same rich land with the people of Orr.”
Thus the people who desired riches in their hearts in all the world migrated to the land of Orr. First arrived the people who dwelt in the nearby kingdoms, then came those who travelled from distant lands. They each arrived with their own language and customs, and settled in the land of Orr. The people of Orr welcomed the first wave of immigrants with open arms and an open heart, for they were well pleased by their flattery. And their hearts desired the riches of the foreign merchants.