Tirina (person)

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Tirina was the first sarda of the Garsenian Confederation, the predecessor state to the modern nation of Sanmra. Under her rule, the confederation expanded to encompass dozens of settlements and thousands of dalar, forming the basis for the first stable, long-lasting dalar nation on Alpa in hundreds of years.

Historicity and myth

There is little doubt that Tirina was a real historical personage. While the Tirina language was not yet written at this time, an elaborate system of symbolic art was used to commemorate major events. Tirina herself mandated standardization of this system and commissioned records of her military victories. Oral history also recounts many details of Tirina's life. However, while the woman certainly existed, specific details of her life are more difficult to separate from fiction. Veneration of her as a patron spirit or ancestor of all Sanmrans became popular several centuries later, obscuring what may have been more accurate earlier stories; while direct worship is less common in modern times, the special position she holds in Sanmran history complicates historians' efforts to untangle the truth.

Birth and early life

Tirina was born sometime between 500 BCE and 480 BCE. While many accounts claim her birthplace was the shores of Lake Ani, long considered the ancestral homeland of the dalar, more credible stories place it in one of the many Garsenian settlements along the Dera River, toward the Dragon Sea. From a young age, Tirina showed aptitude for the arts of war and quickly rose to prominence as a local military leader with many successful raids against humans encroaching on dalar territory. Many myths describe her as a deeply spiritual person, frequently communing with local spirits and invoking them against her enemies, but her actual religious beliefs are unclear; naturally, later worshippers wished to view her as having a unique and powerful tie with the spirit world.

Leader of the Garsenian Confederation

Under constant pressure by neighboring human groups, the Garsen villages and neighboring settlements formed an alliance to withstand them, the Garsenian Confederation, ruled by a council of elders from each settlement. Around 450 BCE, the council agreed that they would be more effective if they joined their military forces under a single leader. While Tirina was still young--some stories claiming she was barely an adult, i.e. 30 years old--her victories and general popularity made her a natural choice. The election was an immediate success, with Tirina and her equally military-minded husband, <name goes here>, winning victory after victory, pushing humans out of territory they'd controlled for years.

Tirina's prowess extended beyond the military realm to the political. Under her leadership, many groups of dalar voluntarily joined the confederation, recognizing it as a powerful force for defense and prosperity. Over time, Tirina's ambitions grew, eventually coalescing into a desire to unite all dalar into a single nation that would drive humans from Alpa--or at least from the surrounding region. To further this goal, she used a combination of economic enticement, military superiority, and cultural pressure to encourage new settlements to join what could no longer be described as a true "confederation".

Sole leader of Garsen

Around 400 BCE, the nation now known simply as Garsen implemented thorough government reforms, turning the council of elders into a mere advisory board while Tirina became the ultimate authority. It is difficult to know what prompted this transition of power; it seems to have occurred suddenly, but without notable civil unrest. Most historians agree that the nation had simply outgrown the old council system; with representatives from each settlement or cultural group, the council had become so large that even simple decisions would have been bogged down in lengthy debates and votes. Yielding direct decisionmaking to a single, very effective leader may have seemed the best option. It is also possible that this decision was prompted by new additions to the nation--their representatives may have had only limited authority in government and could have preferred to appeal to a single leader rather than struggle against dozens of opposing factions in the council at large. Finally, some have suggested Tirina seized control of the military, her strongest supporters, and simply took power by force, though the apparent lack of protest or rebellion indicates it could not have been too controversial.

Whatever the cause, Tirina was indisputedly in control by 396 BCE, when <something really notable happened, like killing a bunch of humans or trading with Atsiq or idk>.

<i'm tired of writing at the moment but basically: bunch of cultural reforms, increasingly passive-aggressive hints that she May Not Have Been A Good Person Actually, etc. Gets badly injured, succession scare, yadda yadda, husband dies, old and crotchety but not willing to give up power, then she dies goodbye>

<needs a section on like, how she's viewed by different people: there was a bit either right before or right after Sanmra was formed where she was HEAVILY worshipped, like full on cults dedicated to her, but that's less of a thing these days. southern/central sanmrans tend to love her and think she was totally great and never did anything wrong ever, northern sanmrans are like "actually she may have only been okay". some minority groups are like "no she was 100% evil, the fact that she possibly singlehandedly saved the Alpan dalar from dying out is irrelevant" but don't say it very loud because the rest of sanmra hates them enough as is. for their part the tuanmali probably have really old myths that don't mean much on their own but when you put them in context you notice an awful lot of them features an evil leader trying to control everything>