The Pillars of Heaven
Orach, the City of the Lash, is an oasis of calm and order in the midst of the chaos that is Cheold. Where the autochs and desert creatures prey and stalk one another in the wastes, Orach is a place of gardens and art, of beauty and tranquility. Marble fountains burble with clear water. Statues of the gods of order decorate the piazzas and temple gateways. The city, built into the side of Mount Kindumos, ascends to dizzying heights, and the elite forces of the city guard its high walls against any and all intruders.
But the tranquility and beauty of Orach comes at a price. Order is strictly enforced by the law. Resources are rationed in an orderly and bureaucratic manner. Rules and regulations are plentiful and ornate, and punishment by exile, equivalent to death, is alarmingly common. The limited resources of the city mandate thrift, recycling, and civil obedience. Disrupting the orderly operation of the city is a dire crime, and political dissent is strongly discouraged.
The voors rule Orach, the Tribunal of the Lash under the potentate Rani Tonarqua. All assets of Orach are owned by the Tribunal, and private ownership of land or business is forbidden. Licenses are granted to merchants and vendors only after exhaustive bureaucratic procedures, and are often passed down through families. Arranged marriages and mandatory education are common.
The class system of Orach is highly stratified. The vast majority of the wealth and comfort go to the most “productive” classes, while extensive welfare programs take care of the poor, disabled, and disenfranchised. Tonarqua’s edict is stern and direct: none will go hungry or sick in Orach. The poor are well-cared for, but still enjoy fewer rights, liberties or comforts than those at the higher echelons of society. Upward economic mobility tends to be rare.
Proper citizenship in Orach is expensive and difficult to acquire, but Tonarqua does not turn down refugees or expatriates. Those who come to Orach willing to live by its rules will find a home, even if they should find their rights restricted and their social roles (and spouse, and profession, and worship) chosen for them. Dissent and disobedience are punished with exile. The masses are soothed with roash, a numbing opiate provided freely by the city.
Still, Orach remains an oasis of comfort and plenty in the midst of chaos and ruin, and has so far survived.
The mandatory diety of Orach is Inadan.