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Hira250
Hira
General information
Alternative name(s)

City of the Rats

Gem

Opal

Residents

Plains tribe (formerly)

Position

Capital of Opal territory

Status

In ruins

Physical information
Location

Centre of Deltora

Territory

Opal territory

Island

Deltora

Government
Head of state

Leaders

Chronological information
First appearance

City of the Rats

Last appearance

Secrets of Deltora

Location on map
Map of Opal territory
Marker
Hira, commonly known as the City of the Rats, was 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.[1]

History Edit

Tales of Deltora Edit

In the time of Opal the Dreamer, Hira was no more than a town, with no walls. It was capital of the Plains tribe, and was considered one of the greatest towns in the Land of Dragons. The great Opal was kept in the city's great meeting hall on a silver pedestal.

When the girl Opal the Dreamer had a vision that foretold the Shadow Lord's invasion of the Land of Dragons, she traveled to Hira to spread the word of her vision. However, nobody believed her. With time the town became a great walled city.

Years later, during the Shadow Lord's invasion of the Land of Dragons, Adin made his way to Hira to ask the city for the great Opal. On his way, he passed through the Place of the Spirits, which helped to convince the city leaders to give him the gemstone.

Battle hira

The Battle for Deltora was fought outside the city of Hira.

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 had its servants feed Reeah on rats and helped it grow larger in exchanged for service.[2]

Secrets of Deltora Edit

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.

On his way to Hira while writing his book, Secrets of Deltora, Doran met the opal Dragon Hopian. He told Doran that there was an evil lurking in the city, but he would destroy it once the humans had left and if the Ak-Baba hadn't killed him before then.

HiraAnime

Hira as seen in the anime.

During his last visit to Hira, he discovered that the city was infested with rats. Many of the citizens and leaders had already died from disease, and food was becoming scarce. The leaders became desperate, and their authority was passed on to the city's rat catchers 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.[1]

Some time after Doran convinced the last dragons to enter hibernation, the people of Hira finally abandoned the city. Under the leadership of the rat catchers, they founded the hidden city of Noradz. The Shadow Lord gave the now vacant City of the Rats to Reeah, who grew to enormous size on the bounty of rats.[1]

The Shadow Lord also placed the grey tide inside the city, should its plan concerning the Four Sisters fail.[3]

The Deltora Book of Monsters Edit

During his exile from the palace, palace librarian Josef wrote about Hira on his book, The Deltora Book of Monsters, under the Reeah section.[4]
Rats

Plains rats overtook Hira, turning it into what was known as the 'City of the Rats'.

The Forests of Silence Edit

After the Belt of Deltora was destroyed, one of the Shadow Lord's Ak-Baba dropped the great Opal into the City of the Rats. Reeah had it fixed into a massive crown to use its powers of foresight.[5]

The City of the Rats Edit

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.[6]

The Shifting Sands Edit

An Ak-Baba came to the city to investigate the fire. It almost spotted Lief, Barda, and Jasmine, but they were hidden by a school of Wise Fish.[7]

The Sister of the South Edit

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 as nothing but charred ruins.[3]

HiraLeaders250

The leaders of Hira during the reign of King Lucan. Drawing by the famous Deltoran artist Withick.

Government Edit

The city of Hira had been ruled by many leaders before it was abandoned. How these leaders are appointed is unknown, however one leader is named in Tales of Deltora, Fie.[2] When Doran visited the city in his time, he wrote in his travel journal, Secrets of Deltora, that what few leaders remained alive due to the rat plague had effectively lost their power to rat catchers whose word was law.[1]

Layout Edit

Hira was more like a huge, maze-like building than a city, and quite closed in, dim and airless. The city was lit by torches at every hour, even during the day. The city had many massive fireplaces, and was famous for its carved stonework, high arches and its Great Hall used for meetings.[1] The Great Hall was located at the centre of the city, and was supported by several columns and timbers at the top. The roof of Hira was supported by timbers. Hira was surrounded by a wall with a large iron entrance gate, however the gate rusted away with time, leaving only a gaping hole.[6] Hira also had a great feasting hall, where Adin and the rest of the Deltoran army celebrated their victory following the aftermath of the Battle for Deltora.[2] Today the city is no more, destroyed by the grey tide.[3]

Trivia Edit

  • 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 priest-like leaders of Noradz, who enforced their rules stringently and without lenience.
  • The architectural style of Hira is similar to that of the Gothic building style. Illustrator Marc McBride was most likely influenced by Gothic architecture when painting the pictures of the City of the Rats.

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Rodda, Emily. Secrets of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rodda, Emily. Tales of Deltora. Scholastic Australia. 2005.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Rodda, Emily. The Sister of the South. Scholastic Australia. 2004.
  4. Rodda, Emily. The Deltora Book of Monsters. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
  5. Rodda, Emily. The Forests of Silence. Scholastic Australia. 2000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Rodda, Emily. City of the Rats. Scholastic Australia. 2001.
  7. Rodda, Emily. The Shifting Sands. Scholastic Australia. 2001.

See also Edit

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