History of Oasis Lands Part II
Year 500 of the Great Migration
Too much prosperity breeds contempt and greed. The kingdoms of Oasis Lands flushed with life giving water and trade from the rich kingdoms of the North were soon at each other’s throats. 50 years of bloodshed and dirty politics brought ruin to the people of all the four cities but their kings refused to put aside their petty differences.
The bloodshed continued until the coronation of King Korish in Drish Barahir who was wise enough to see that the warring kingdoms will swallow one another before the desert. A brilliant tactician, he offered a truce to the remaining kings of the Oasis Lands. Known as the Charter of Bloodline brought the four Kingdoms together and decreed that every Kingdom in the Oasis Land will work in the unison to defend each other against any external threat, promote trade and safeguard the blessing of King Solomon that brought gave life to the region in the form of blessed Wells.
An arbitrary committee called the Council of Lineage was formed in each Kingdom that comprised of three wisest members from seven tribes that made the diaspora of the Oasis Lands. Every council was tasked with the protection and well-being of the blessed wells in their respective Kingdoms and to ensure that they do not get politically swayed, The Order of the Shepard Priests was formed. Every council member only answered to the Shepard Priests in the ancient tower of Solomon’s Throne situated at the crossroads of the four kingdoms. The Shepard Priests analyzed both internal and foreign policies of all the four kingdoms and ensured that the Kingdoms never go to war against one another ever. To ensure that waters of Oasis Lands never stop flowing; the blessed wells were hidden in a maze of aqua ducts which formed the stream of River Ahmer also known as the Red River because of the reddish hue it picked up from flowing over red sandstone of the Oasis Land’s stony basin. The location of the well was coded on a Stone Tablet and divided into four pieces given to each Shepard Priest who guarded it and passed it on to their successors.
The Council of Lineage and the Order of the Shepard Priests were autonomous bodies and answered to no King. Every King was bound to abide by their council and establish a healthy diplomatic relationship with them since they had the power to impeach any King had his policies posed a threat to the peace and prosperity of Oasis Lands or its sacred waters.
It all started with the pilgrimage. To remain pure and dedicated to their cause, every Shepard priest had to take a pilgrimage to the Sacred Borders; an obelisk erected by King Solomon after obliterating the Ifrits to mark the border between the world of man and Ifrit. An arduous journey through the blistering heat of the desert, a Shepard Priest was to find the Obelisk and spend time under its shadow to meditate about his place in the world and his sacred vows. 2300 years after the Great Migration, a Shepard Priest took the pilgrimage to the sacred borders. The silence of the Eternal Sands and the weight of his responsibilities broke the priest’s mind one moonless night in the desert and in his madness, he cried for help which was answered, not by someone……but something……….
An Ifrit whispered something in the ears of the broken priest; a promise to transform the water starved region of Oasis Lands into the lush green meadows of the Mesopirth and grant the Priest and his followers’ immeasurable power if they could destroy the Wells of Nephthys that were poisoning the land. On his return to the tower, the Priest founded the Order of Zaqoum a secret society with the agenda to transform Oasis Lands. Revered as a prophet, the Priest sowed the seed of chaos in the hearts of his followers that gradually multiplied over the course of seven centuries. Their aim was to replace the members of every Council of Lineage in each Kingdom with the members of the Order of Zaqoum and ultimately elect a panel of Shepard Priests that worshiped the Zaqoum doctrine. They got their chance in the year 2908 of the Great Migration…………………………..
To be continued