The Coming of the Mirz

I haven’t given an actual date to these events, but it was sometime early in Sheesania’s history.

A long time ago, in a small island country called Mirztieken, there was a great tribe called the Aved. The members of this tribe lived all over the island, from the great northern mountain ranges, to the wooded hills and plains in the south. But while they were all united, there were two distinct parts of the tribe: the Sohdi and the Tivrin. The Sohdi lived in the northern mountain ranges; the Tivrin lived in the southern lands. They spoke the same language, and had the same customs, but for some reason they had split themselves up into two groups with a larger group.

This was about to change.

Many, many miles away, across a large and dangerous ocean, there was another tribe. This tribe lived on what was called the Batri Coast, so they were known as the Batri. However, the Batri were not enjoying the same peace as the Aved were. A few rebels had begun to question the power of the supreme Batri king, and it was causing problems. A lot of problems. Neighbors got into fights, families split up in arguments, land was stolen, and worst of all, the king’s laws were openly disobeyed. So the king said that the rebels and their leader, Mir, had to leave. As the king had a bigger army than Mir and his followers, they decided to avoid a civil war and move away from the Batri Coast.

This relatively small group of rebels, which had begun to call themselves the Mirz after their leader, first tried to take some land away from the other tribes near the Batri Coast. This did not work, as the Mirz were not very skilled fighters and they weren’t large in number, either. So Mir suggested going far north, where there were rumors of a wonderful sunny land called Bradden Country. They attempted to reach it, but only managed to run into a large, dusty, dry desert where large numbers of the Mirz died. So they turned back. (Bradden Country does exist; they just happened to find the long way through the desert.)

Now one of the Mirz was a trader named Dusti. He had gone up and down the Batri Coast in many different ships, buying wares from the northern Batri and selling it to the southerners. As a sailor, he had heard many stories of what lay across the ocean, and so he suggested to Mir that they try a sea voyage. Dusti pointed out that nearly all of the legends implied that there were islands not too far off the Coast, and that they were mostly uninhabited. So why not try? They would die anyways if they stayed around too long!

Mir grudgingly agreed, and got his people together to go on the trip. He had Dusti buy a large ship that should carry all of them, but when he discovered that a big enough ship would be too expensive, he bought a smaller one and stuffed everyone inside. Dusti warned him that this wasn’t a good idea, but Mir wasn’t exactly the most teachable, so he ignored the merchant.

The voyage was rather unpleasant. Almost none of the Mirz knew how to sail a ship, they were cramped, there was too little food, and nobody had any idea where these mysterious islands could be. So while Dusti ran around all day and night trying to teach people how to drive the ship, Mir spent most of his time lazing around, insisting that he was sick. Dusti was not pleased, but he had sworn allegiance to Mir when he had joined the rebels, so he had no choice but to obey him.

Many, many miserable months later, Dusti got up early one morning to watch for land yet again. But this time he saw something. Up ahead, if his eyes weren’t tricking him, he saw a faint line of green that meant solid ground! “Tieken! Tieken!” he yelled, which was “land” in the Batri language.

Everyone was overjoyed that their voyage had finally come to an end – or so they thought.

They landed at the green line, which unfortunately turned out to be a marshy, muggy, wet, soggy land with no dry ground, period. Though everyone was glad to be on land again – it could hardly be called solidland, though – Mir was angry at Dusti for “leading them to this horrible place”. Dusti, who almost never got angry, pointed out coolly that perhaps not all of the island was an inhabitable marsh, and anyways they had managed to find it! So Mir grudgingly allowed Dusti to pilot the ship on an exploration trip down the coast.

The Mirz went on for quite a while before a sharp-eyed five-year-old named Brilka spotted a green, wooded coast that – wonder of wonders – didn’t look marshy! When Dusti landed and discovered that it was green, beautiful, and dry, he named it Brilka Point and suggested to Mir that they settle down there. Mir, who was very eager to stop their wanderings, agreed. And so the Mirz came to their new home, which they called Mirztieken – “Mirz land”.

But this is not the end of their story. Oh, no. There was still much to come.

Now the Aved (remember them? the great tribe that lived all over the island?) did not leave anything unnoticed for long, and so they soon discovered the scraggly settlement of refugees that had taken over their forest point. The Tivrin, who lived nearby, were friendly to the newcomers and helped them as best they could. Soon the Mirz learned the Avedi language and the Aved learned the Mirz language, Mirz women married Aved men and Aved women married Mirz men, and everything was friendly and happy.

However, the Sohdi were not so excited about these “intruders”. They were afraid that the Batri king would come after the Mirz to punish them (though if they had spoken to the Mirz about this, they would’ve come away with the definite answer that he would certainly not). And besides this, they were very protective of not only their country but also their customs, their language, and all the other things that made them unique. So they warned the Tivrin to not be so friendly with the Mirz, and actually went as far as to try to break up some relationships between the Mirz and Tivrin.

Time went on. No wars flared up, but there were a few skirmishes. The Tivrin and the Mirz blended into one, and the Sohdi drew away from them. Soon the great Aved tribe was no longer one big united group, and there were two tribes living together on the island. The Tivrin/Mirz still referred to themselves as the Aved, but the Sohdi began to call themselves the Sohdi instead of the Aved.

The united had split. War had not come yet. But…Well, that is another story.

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