|Library Data Index|
Eventually, the client races themselves explored beyond the local sphere, contacting and trading with still more races. These new races gained their technology without being assimilated into Vilani culture; the resulting increased friction eventually resulted in a series of wars beginning in about -5400.
In response to the threat, Vland began tightening its control of its trade sphere, and finally organizing it into a centralized state in -5273. This marked the beginnings of the First Imperium, although there was as yet no emperor. During the thousand year period of the Consolidation Wars, Vland conquered and absorbed its enemies until there were no longer any civilized states on its borders (except for a portion of the Vargr Extents, isolated from the Imperium by the Great Rift).
The last war ended in -4045, and the Vilani declared the establishment of an interstellar empire to govern all Vilani territory. Known as the Grand Empire of Stars or Ziru Sirka, Vilani dating begins at this point. With no exterior threats, the Ziru Sirka lasted for nearly 1200 years; at its height, which was attained soon after the end of the wars, the First Imperium contained 27 sectors and over 15.000 worlds.
However, the cost of maintaining centralized control over this vast expanse was cultural rigidity; exploration had ceased with the beginning of the wars; now scientific research slowed to a halt, and the beginnings of a hereditary caste system began to emerge. Civilization was in decline.
As long as there was no exterior threat, the Grand
was safe; but gradually, despite all efforts, technology leaked across
the borders. New interstellar states arose, and the Imperium could no
afford to absorb them. Gradually, the Imperium lost territory along its
coreward and trailing
marches. Then, in -2422, the Imperium was contacted along its rimward
border by the Terrans, who
recently emerged into space. Terran expansionism led to a series of
wars, which ultimately resulted in Terran conquest of the Imperium in
and the founding of the Rule of Man. -ld