Short Fiction: Nirala – A Brief Historical Overview

Try to cram all of human history into a few paragraphs, and you’re going to leave out some major details.

This excerpt from Niralans: An Overview does the same. But it gets the major periods pretty much right.

Nirala: A Brief Historical Overview

From Niralans: An Overview, by Makkarah Tomorah (Atalanta University Press, 2350).

Niralans do not have a written history, preferring to transfer historical data via oral, aural, and epigenetic means. The following are major periods in Niralan history.

All dates are given in Earth Standard calendar. Calculations are performed in base-10.

Pre-Imperial Period (ca. BCE 1400 – CE 1200; approx. 1717 Niralan years)

The Pre-Imperial Period is also known among Human and Devori exohistorians as Nirala’s “Golden Age,” and is dated from the creation of the earliest extant Niralan literature and musical compositions to the arrival of the first Imperial invasion (also Nirala’s first contact with any non-Niralan species).

First Viidan Empire (CE 1200 – 1775; approx. 152 Niralan years)

The first Viidan Empire on Nirala coincides with Viidans’ initial development of sub-light space travel and the first Alashkani attempts to colonize societies and territory not on Viida.

The stories of Li Nesenda’s attempts to organize a rebellion and her subsequent martyrdom are central to Niralan mythology and, as near as I have been able to tell, historically consistent with the end of the First Empire. (Alashkani historian Revenva the Red’s chronicles of this time period are worth reading for their attempt at a multiperspective Viidan retelling of the era.)

La’Eikoriron (CE 1775-2000; approx. 59.3 Niralan years)

Literally “without the Empire,” the La’Eikoriron period is passed over by most exohistorians as a relatively dull “interregnum” period. Population surged due to access to off-world food, medicine, and other supplies, as did general health and overall average lifespans. The first schools were established on Nirala.

Second Viidan Empire (CE 2000-2135; approx. 36 Niralan years)

In Niralan terms, the Second Empire was short-lived. Nevertheless, it was particularly brutal, decimating the Niralan population through a combination of genocidal Tishkani/Kolmanbotic policies, disease, and regular impressment of Niralans to serve on Imperial warships.

The Second Empire ended with total surrender by the Viidans after a reactor accident at the Tishkani military headquarters at Tabviel resulted in near-total destruction of the base and the death of its 3,000 inhabitants, including the Niralan ambassador, Anha Nesenda, and her staff.

While the historical existence of the secret espionage/assassin clan known as the La’Isshai cannot be verified, stories of their exploits were widespread and appear to have played a key role in demoralizing Viidan occupiers.

Senarie (CE 2135-present; approx. 57 Niralan years as of publication date)

After the fall of the Second Empire, Nirala took a more assertive stance. Key developments included the creation of a governing body known as the senarie, formalization of the Ambassador’s role, and significant investments in research and development of defensive capabilities consistent with the senarie’s staunchly isolationist policies.

Populations began to grow once again, straining Nirala’s resources; in response, Niralan society adopted a “one child” policy, with social discrimination and marginalization enacted both on parents who had more than one child and on the later-born children themselves. Known collectively as the Deneve (“Seconds”), these second- or third-born Niralan children left Nirala in droves, making their way as cargo haulers and entertainers (nearly all Niralan “popular” music is produced by the Deneve or their descendants). A Deneve colony at New Barrow on Mars was founded in 2152.

Nirala’s isolationist policies were not universally popular, and not only among the Deneve: a cadre of scientists opposed to them during this period also developed Nirala’s first superlight space vessel, the Saya, and launched a deep-space expedition, resulting in Nirala’s official first contact with non-Viidan species. (See The History of Interstellar Science, vol. 3.)

As of this writing, Nirala remains an isolationist and autonomously-governed place. Since so few Niralans ever leave – the total number of native-born Niralans who have set foot off the planet since the formation of the senarie is estimated at less than a hundred – what non-Niralan species know of Niralans is as much myth as it is fact.

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