"It has always been too closed in, too dim & airless, for my liking, being mostly roofed & more like one huge, mazelike building than a city."
— Doran in Secrets of Deltora
Hira, commonly known as the City of the Rats, is the capital of Opal territory at the centre of Deltora. Once a great city, it was abandoned and became known as the City of the Rats after being overrun by a plague of rats.
Hira was the capital city of the Plains tribe, and was considered one of the greatest cities in Deltora.
In order to force the Shadow Army to fight, Adin ordered the North Bridge, a bridge that crossed the Broad River and connected Hira to the southern part of Opal territory, to be destroyed. This forced the Shadow Army to take control of Hira and its boats if they wished to continue their southern march without delay. The Battle for Deltora was subsequently fought outside the walls of Hira.
After the unification of Deltora, the Shadow Lord sent its servants to infect the city with a plague of rats to drive the population away. The rat population became so massive within the city that the king at the time ordered the Broad River widened to contain them.
During this time, a serpent named Reeah was discovered living in the city. The Shadow Lord gave it control over the city once the people fled, and it grew to a massive size, well-fed by rats.
Doran described the city of Hira as once being a huge, maze-like building, and quite closed in, dim and airless. The city was lit by torches at every hour, even during the day. It was once well known for its great cooks and the food they produced, as well as many gem traders and jewellers. The city's carved stonework, high arches and Great Hall were also of interest to many. During his last visit to Hira, the city had been plagued with huge, red-eyed rats, which ate their food, destroyed their belongings, attacked their children and spread disease, with many citizens and even leaders dying due to these rat-borne diseases. The leaders became desperate, and their authority was passed on to the city's rat catchers (who turned out to be Shadow Lord servants, ordered by their master to create the rat plague), and their word became the law. Hira's people believed that their city was cursed, and in time it became the City of the Rats.
During the battle against Reeah, Lief threw a jar of fire beads into one of the support columns inside the great hall. This resulted in a massive fire that razed half the city before being extinguished.
After Lief and Fidelis destroyed the Sister of the South, the grey tide began to rise from the ruined city. The dragons were collectively able to destroy the Grey Tide with the might of their dragon flame, leaving Hira in nothing but charred ruins.
The descendants of the people of Hira are the citizens of Noradz. It was because of the rat infestation that many of their strange and strict customs came to be, as well as their fear of rodents and other vermin. The rat-catchers of Hira evolved into the Ra-Kacharz, the priests of Noradz, who enforced their rules stringently and without lenience.