The Factions: LOW FACTION NIRAI
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LOW FACTION NIRAI
Emblem: The Voidmoth
Motto: Every sky is full of stars
Colors: Black and silver
Center of Government: Station Mavi 514-11
The Nirai are the hexarchate’s engineers, scientists, doctors, and, occasionally, applied mathematicians. Alone of the six factions, the Nirai are headed by a false hexarch, who provides cover for the true hexarch; even most Nirai aren’t aware of the latter’s existence. The true hexarch is a recluse who prefers to allow the false hexarch to administer the faction on his behalf so that he can pursue private research projects. Nevertheless, he does pay attention to what’s going on. High-ranking Nirai who displease him have been known to disappear.
The faction as a whole tends to be apolitical, as they select for technical ability rather than belief in Doctrine. Professions aside, the Nirai are the most heterogeneous in outlook.
The mothdrive is one of the best-known Nirai technologies, as it permits fast travel between star systems. Unfortunately, it relies on exotics for its operation, so voidmoths are also equipped with more conventional maneuver drives for travel in hostile territory. The voidmoths are biotechnological in origin, and the Nirai are engaged in a long-term breeding/genetic engineering project to create ever more powerful drives.
Another Nirai innovation is psych surgery, which is used to alter people’s personalities. The technique has limitations; drastic personality changes require the work of a skilled psych surgeon and take correspondingly more time. It can also be used to suppress memories. Kel formation instinct is an outgrowth of psych surgery designed to work on masses of soldiers predisposed to obedience rather than being tuned to the individual.
The Nirai work well with the Kel and Shuos, who have an unquenchable thirst for new weapons, cryptosystems, and other such technologies. They also maintain ties to the medical branch of the Vidona. They don’t interact much with the other factions. The usual attitude is something like “Please leave us alone so we can attend to our experiments, thank you very much.”
Heptarch Nirai Esfarel
Esfarel started out not as a Nirai but a Rahal. However, as a cadet he attended Nirai Academy Prime for a year to study under one of the instructors, a renowned mathematician. By then he had begun to chafe at the overly legalistic mindset of most Rahal. In his last year, he transferred to Nirai Academy.
Esfarel’s combination of brilliance and administrative ability meant that he rose quickly among the ranks of the Nirai. When he was appointed to succeed as heptarch, few objected. For three decades, the Nirai flourished under his guidance: the first mothdrives came into being, and the resulting wave of expansion contributed greatly to Nirai prestige. The high calendar in its modern form first appeared under his reign, although it is not now clear which researcher or researchers were responsible for the system.
Heptarch Esfarel developed the immortality device known as the black cradle and was the first to test it. Unfortunately, a flaw in the device resulted in his death, and leadership of the faction passed to his protégé, who vanished shortly afterward.