The Dark Nova in Barrens' End | World Anvil

The Dark Nova

The Dark Nova struck the An-sarra home system of An-mul on the first of Elu-ri, 1 AN. The star gave no warning signs or hints that it threatened to blow. In the early morning, the star exploded, killing the Emperor, the Royal Court, the Parliament, and the entire population of An-uras. To this day, no one knows the cause of the nova which is why it has taken on the name Dark Nova.  


The first recorded mention of the dark nova called it the Ki-dul gul, in An-eme, the official language of the An-sarra, which literally means secret fall, but gul was all used to describe novas, so it could also have meant secret or hidden nova. The record is cryptic:
The Ki-dul gul struck home and spreads, send help.
Because of the lack of records from the time, it is hard to know the precise meaning of the phrase in its original use. As the idea passed from language to language it took on different meaning and connotations.  

The Event and its immediate aftermath


The Nova

  What we know for sure is that in was a normal day on An-uras. There were no warnings or signs of danger. An-mul was a binary star system, with a red giant (Sa-ada, "Red Father") and a white dwarf (Bar-Ama, "White Mother") locked together. The red giant suddenly expelled its external layers, killing almost everyone in the system. A few survivor reports exist from ships that escaped the system before the ejection hit.    
We were in orbit above home. The light vanished as though the suns were eclipsed. Then everything flashed red. Warning sirens howled. We raced to our posts to escape. We hit the jump gate before we set a course.
— Arishaka, a freighter pilot
We had just jumped into the system and set course to our destination which would take us on a close pass by mother and father. Our light screen dulled the light from the stars but they shone so bright I couldn't look directly into them. Red Father flashed. The light almost blinded me, then we realized it had shed its outer layer and was about to explode. We quickly turned around and raced to the gate to escape. I am not sure how we reached the gate first, but by all that is holy, we survived.
— Erishti-Aya, an An-sarra navigator
  When the signal from the An-uras Jump Gate died, a signal or surge rushed through the network destroying, crippling, or blinding ships, stations and worlds throughout the empire. Most computer systems were either wiped or corrupted beyond repair. Ships fell from orbit. People died from lack of oxygen and heat. The Empire was not only crippled, but died in a single day.


The AES Velun-arath investigates the Dark Nova (8 - 27 AN)

  In response to the Dark Nova, the AES Velun-arath, or "Eternal Explorer" led by Captain Kaela Mireth, embarked on a mission to the An-uras system. The destruction of the Inarsha jump gate necessitated a month-long journey via FTL, leading to startling discoveries upon arrival.   As the scale of tragedy became clear, Captain Mireth was promoted to the rank of Fleet Admiral, helming a formidable fleet of 250 ships divided into five specialized taskforces:   Taskforce Nebula: This team delved into the mysteries of the nebula's expanding cloud, studying exotic particles and unexplained energies, challenging existing supernova theories.   Taskforce Hyperspace: Their focused on the chaotic hyperspace disturbances that paralleled the Dark Nova, probing whether these anomalies were a consequence or a cause of the incident.   Taskforce Network: Tasked with understanding the technological repercussions, this group investigated the severe communication system failures experienced upon encountering the Dark Nova, aiming to identify the root cause.   Taskforce Ruins: Responsible for examining the remnants within the nebula, this team cataloged debris, conducted salvage operations, and estimated the catastrophic death toll.   Taskforce Nova: Integrating data from all fronts, they concentrated on pinpointing the precise origin and nature of the Dark Nova event.   The official report, issued on the 5th day of the 5th month in 27 AN, estimated a staggering loss of over 13 billion lives in the An-uras system. Remarkably, the investigation found no concrete evidence of a natural disaster or deliberate act behind the Dark Nova, leaving its cause shrouded in mystery.  


  Since the An-uras system was irritated, it wasn't possible for people to investigate on site for centuries, which caused many versions of the story to arise.  

The An-sarra Myth theory

  Within a decade of the catastrophe, concentric outer rings appeared around the burgeoning planetary nebula. Astronomer around the galaxy calculated that it would have taken around 14,000 years for these rings to form, and they would have formed from earlier ejections from the red giant. That would mean that it would have been impossible for the system to have harbored the seat of a mighty empire at the time of the dark nova.   Many groups presume that either the An-sarra never existed and the An-ki is nothing but a legend to prop up the Shinari, Sen, and Mulin. Any evidence of the An-sarra is hand-waived as forgeries or misattributions. While this theory does not have wide spread acceptance, it is common enough to be heard in the taverns and caravansaries of the galaxy.  

The Missing Time Theory

  On account of the outer rings of the planetary nebula, some have speculated that the calculated date of the Dark Nova is wrong. After the event, a dark age covered the galaxy, called The Years of Chaos. The Shinari measured a hundred years of galactic chaos, but this theory states that it actually more like 14,000 years.   Numerous reasons are put forward to explain such a discrepancy in dating, from a mathematical error, to an orchestrated coverup.  

Shinari Reconstruction

  The Shinari believe that Dark Nova was a punishment sent by Nídinyirak, their high god, to punish them for their decadence and lack of devotion. They believe that Menidah descended into the world and cursed the star to drive the people from their holy land. The Prophet Lagar recorded the judgment in their scripture, Ershemma, before he led his followers away from their home world to escape judgement.  

The Sen Account

  According to the Sen, the An-ki were in a cold war with a mysterious people called the Lu-kurra. They believe the Lu-kurra launched a preemptive strike against An-uras. Their weapon worked too well and not only destroyed the system, but took the galaxy offline for decades. Neither the An-sarra nor the Lu-kurra survived the event.  

The Phersu Theory

  Because of their connections to the sisters of fate Nortia and Thesan and the fact that Neevh Tiar mentions the Dark Nova in all of his earliest books, the Phersu are often blamed for the cataclysm, leading to numerous persecutions directed at them.

Cover image: by C. E. Dorsett


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