I am Olach, and I tell the stories of the Lochuum Ushen. My life was, is, and always will be lived in these oceans of grass that are called the Lochuum Plains. I listen to the sounds of the many winds that live with us on these lands. I listen to the grasses and land itself as they speak, without words. And I listen to my kin, the ushen who live alongside me in this place.
I know many stories. Today I will tell one. It is the story of Annaudia. You who come from other places call it a city. We call it by the brutach1 word, habach, meaning a place where many live.
Habach Annaudia is very old. As time is measured on Tamarra it began in the year SP~524, very early in the years of our current era of the world. Now our time is the year SP~5,018, so you can see we ushen have lived in this place for thousands of years. For several hundred years now, a very short time, two or three thousand ushen souls live in this place, with some several hundred brethren of other races. There are no other habach on the Lochuum Plains. All other places where ushen live together are small, only several hundred people or fewer, and remain where they are for only a few years.
Habach Annaudia is centered on the top of the Estherauch Hills, dozens of which run for over a hundred miles west to east across the middle of the Lochuum Plains. The Estherauch are the tallest hills of the Lochuum Plains, and Annaudia is on the westernmost, Estheria Hill, which rises almost 700 yards above the plains.
Habach Annaudia was formed when the ushen sisters Annak and Chaudia and their small tribe of ushen came to the top of Estheria Hill and felt it to be their home. They decided it must be their home forever, and so they gave the place a name. The name of the habach came from the names of the two sisters. The name they chose was Annaudia.
Habach Annaudia, is where we, the ushen people, come to celebrate that which makes us ushen. Every year thousands and tens of thousands of ushen come to Annaudia for festivals and celebrations. At these times Annaudia grows in size to cover Estheria Hill and the hills and plains surrounding it. Every four or five years comes the festival called Achantoch, which means the Harmony of Every Ushen. During this time the Habach Annaudia reaches a size of many more than 100,000 folk.
When standing on the Plains a few miles from Estheria Hill, Habach Annaudia appears to be a yellow grassy covering that surrounds and caps the upper parts of the hill. But Habach Annaudia is made up of many dwellings, almost all of which are dommach. The dommach are made by the ushen craft of weaving together the tall grasses of the Lochuum Plains into domes of many shapes and sizes. Some of the dommach are fortified by those who wield Spirit Energy to make them most sturdy. With this blessing, these dommach may endure even the harshest winds of Lochuum.
As folk get closer, and walk through the Habach, those who are not ushen are surprised that it is actually a “city” with no streets. Their eyes do not detect the worn paths that cross the hill and wind through the grasses that cover it. These paths mark the frequently traveled routes through Annaudia, which change as the traffic of the city changes.
Annak and Chaudia, with their long, beautiful, shimmering red hair, are a part of ushen legend, and their story is its own telling. It is a long telling, with many trials, but with an ending of great joy. This story will be told elsewhere and not here. Because of their lives, Habach Annaudia has prevailed in this place and has endured as the heart of ushen life on the Tamarran Continent.
— Olach, Elder of Stories of the Ushen People
1 Brutach is the ushen language.