I’ve talked a little bit about the great walled cities of the Arbor, the large city-states that formed the Confederation. While they dominate the dense wooded area, they aren’t the only thing there. Smaller cities and towns pop up in various clearings. One of them, even, takes a slightly different route.
Oberton isn’t quite a mythical city, but it’s a city with a lot of mythology around it. That’s pretty much par for the course when you build a city in the trees. Here’s Rurek, introducing Strefer to the mythos of Oberton:
“Oberton is a city in the Arbor…” he said, before Strefer interrupted with a wave of her hand.
“Hang on. I thought the names of all the cities in the Arbor ended the same way: Tomondala, Kerkondala, whateverdala,” she said, emphasizing the last two syllables before trailing off.
“Sort of,” Rurek said. “In the ancient tongue, ‘dala’ literally meant ‘walled city.’ So ‘Tomondala’ literally means ‘Walled City of Tomon.’ The seven city-states that make up the Confederation are all walled cities, so their names all end the same way. But there are lots of other cities and towns in the Arbor, Strefer. You didn’t think there were only the seven, did you?” he asked with the kind of grin that said he hoped she did, so he could hold it over her in the future.
“Pfft,” she said, waving off his accusation, “of course not.” She wasn’t so drunk to concede that she had never actually given the matter any thought.
“Oberton is a city that’s almost right in the center of the Arbor, somewhere between Maladondala and Vertidala,” he said.
“Somewhere?” Strefer asked.
“Nobody is quite sure where it is, to tell the truth,” he said.
“Wait, are you sure it really exists at all?” Strefer asked. “It sounds a little fishy.”
Rurek rolled his eyes, as if the existence of Oberton was a settled fact where he came from. “It’s not like the other cities in the Arbor, Strefer. It’s up in the trees, built along the tops of the massive trunks that have grown up there. They say you could be standing right underneath the town square and never know it.”
Strefer was not quite buying this, but he might as well continue, anyway. “Sorry to interrupt.”
Rurek took a drink and continued his explanation. “It’s renowned as a city of learning and history. Sort of like your people, Strefer, when the awakening came and the priests and monks of the various orders there put aside the gods and became scholars of history. They say Oberton has a great library that holds many ancient texts and great secrets. In Oberton, they treasure learning and truth above all else.” [/quote]
Hmm. A mysterious city in the trees where truth is valued above all else. A woman who needs to get the truth out whatever it takes. Wonder if those things might play well with each other?
NOTE: As it happens, the theme for this week’s edition of One Line Wednesday on Twitter is “up.” Look for more blurb about Oberton there using #1lineWed.