In 2254, the natives were at a Bronze Age of development. They hunted with bows and arrows, and had some rudimentary agriculture. Their species was divided into a number of tribes, such as the Villagers and the more nomadic Hill People, all of whom got along peacefully. They spoke Neuralese. Female shamen were known as kahn-ut-tu. (TOS episode & Star Trek 10 novelization: A Private Little War)
In early 2267, their natural development was interrupted by the arrival of the Klingon Krell, who had been assigned to turn the world into a useful resource for the Klingon Empire without violating the new Organian Peace Treaty. Krell located a suitably ambitious Neuralese whom he could manipulate. Krell gave the merchant Apella a Klingon flintlock musket. Krell would return several times over the next ten months to secretly arm Apella and his tribe, motivating them into becoming cruel warriors. (TOS - Klingons: Blood Will Tell comic: "The Order of Things")
By December 2267, the Hill People struggled against the armed, aggressive Villagers. Captain James T. Kirk exposed the Klingon influence on the planet, prompting Krell to depart. Kirk broke the Prime Directive by giving the Hill People equivalent weaponry to equalize the balance of power, in hopes that the Hill People would be able to survive. (TOS episode & Star Trek 10 novelization: A Private Little War)
Eventually Krell returned and established a small base on Neural with a spaceport to export leutrinium metal. Apella's influence expanded as his advanced technology encouraged 20 tribes to join his village, which grew into the regional city of Victory. Governor Apella maintained a production quota for mining the ore by capturing Hill People and other tribesmen for slave labor, allowing the tribes to continue to exist only as fodder for the mine. Seven tribes banded together with the Hill People, fortifying their former camp into the settlement of Freehold.
In spring of 2273, Rear Admiral Kirk returned to Neural to investigate the renewed Klingon activity. He was able to convince Apella to abandon the Klingons and reclaim the resources of the planet for Neuralese. Apella joined with Freehold Chief Tyree to call a truce and order the Klingons off their planet. They agreed to use the leutrinium as a resource for interstellar trade for the good of all the people. (TOS novel: Serpents in the Garden)
Prior to the end of the 23rd century, the tribes went back to war. This resulted in an arms race, leading to a civil war in which a large portion of the population was killed. (TOS video game: Starfleet Academy)
- Alta • Bardee • Elanna • Endel • Enjara • Gayan • Joslen • Kenomo • Keran • Meena • Nok • Nona • Nyran • Renaya • Salree • Selanee • Turan • Tyree • Yutan