Memory, History, and Perception


In my researches I have come upon the Land of Orth which was fabled for the Tall Walls with which it was surrounded. I have found references to them in not less than a score of chronicles, histories, legends and the like.

The Four Books, for example, mentions the Walls no fewer than eight times, The Lost Art, eleven times, while The Hammer  possesses five such references.

Quantitatively, its height, width and other dimensions will never be precisely ascertained but it is generally agreed that the Land of Orth was rhomboid in shape and stretched from the shores of the Silver Sea to the Foothills of the Soundless Mountains. In contemporary reckoning, this would make it twice as large as the Empire of the Third Symbol, a size almost beyond comprehension .

Its population at one point touched eleven billion. The Walls, themselves. were said to range in height to an extreme of eighteen kilometers and a width of thirty, but sources vary widely. The method of construction by all accounts was said to be manual, aided only by primitive tools when available. It has been sung in ballads that the Tall Walls were constructed of silver, tin or lead but those claims have never been substantiated and seem unlikely in any event.

At the other extreme there are a few references to ‘earthworks’ and ‘towers of mud’.  However, no  less an authority than The Hollowed Moon specifically states that ‘cubes of granite’ a kilometer to a side were quarried out Of the mountains of the Eternal Night and literally dragged by the People of the South Wind to their intended resting Place. Every so often, one of these fabled quarries is said to  be rediscovered and the histories of the South Wind deal in great detail with their captivity and subsequent enslavement.

Throughout this disquisition I have purposely refrained from mentioning the often stated fact that The Walls have never been found, nor the slightest trace thereof. The usual argument that in the ensuing ages they have crumbled and eroded away due to a wide array of environmental and historical forces does not hold sway for me.

Am I to believe that this massive structure carried some fifteen miles in height and, perhaps, ten thousand in length and not a pebble of it yet remains? This I find to lie beyond the realm of rational thought!

To my knowledge, it has never been suggested that, in fact, they never even existed. I postulate this theory now: the Tall Walls were merely psychological barrier of existing only in the memory, history, and perception of the populace.


Author’s note:

An Empire Hidden in Words:                     

I discovered the civilization in the usual manner — through a thorough examination of Proto-lndo-European etymology.






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