The Cardassian Union,The Gorn Alliance, The Organians, The Orions, Q, The Tholian Assembly, The Magicks of Megas-Tu, New Vinland
The Cardassian Union:
The Cardassians were, until the end of the Dominion War, a warlike race as described by one (retired) diplomat, "with the deviousness of a Romulian and the subtlety of a Klingon!" The planet Cardassia itself actually has a culturally rich history. Classical Cardassian architecture is considered by some to be the best in the Quadrant (on another note, an Internet search revealed people whom were interested in Cardassian architecture were also interested in Gothic horror stories, fashions involving dark clothes, and vampire RPGs). But when the world was hit by a famine, supposedly caused when a government program paying farmers not to farm worked all too well, the desperate populace put their military in charge. Resources that once went into things such as city architecture went instead to campaigns of invasion and conquests (the style had fallen out of favor with the public anyway).
Cardassia did not achieve as strong an empire as the Romulans or Klingons. One major setback for them was Bajor. The Cardassians occupied the planet on the grounds
it was a "backward" world that needed civilizing (that Bajoran civilization developed earlier and achieved space travel earlier as well had curiously been omitted from
Cardassian history books). For several decades Cardassian forces fought with a local resistance movement and failed to either end it or
win over the population, "We offered them a place in our great Union, how can it be they would refuse?" They eventually had to abandon the world, "Oh well, we didn't want it anyway."
When it was revealed the area had a stable wormhole to the Delta Quadrant, the Cardassians answered, "Oh well, we didn't want it anyway." "Isn't that what you told us about the
loss of Bajor?" "Um ... did we say that?"
While the Cardassians were struggling with Bajor, they also ended up fighting with the Federation. The Cardassians accused the Federation of starting the fight, citing numerous intrusions into their space by Federation ships. As it turned out, the Microsoft 66.6 Spellcheckers that Starfleetused to correct the spelling on their maps kept replacing "Cardassian" with "Courtesan." This probably explains the final moments on one ship's bridge from recordings in an intercepted black-box, "Ship approaching captain." "They're sending the hookers to us? Talk about service! Oh boy, here come the babes! Lower shields and prepare for beamover." "Sir, they're firing!" "What the -" (explosions, followed by silence).
A truce was finally agreed to, one with a new border that gave the Cardassians a number of Federation-settled worlds (no doubt the result of the numbers of Federation warships that were lost to the "Courtesan Union" map glitch). The people of these planets resisted their new owners, much to their surprise, "We offered them a place in our great Union, how can it be they would refuse?" "Isn't that what you told us about the Bajorans?" "Um ... did we say that?"
With their defenses going bad after a Klingon invasion (perhaps the result of trying to be sneaky like Romulans but being no less subtle than their attackers), the Cardassians responded by joining the Dominion. To their surprise, the war did not make life easier for the Cardassian people, but more and more found themselves subjugated by their "partners." A resistance movement formed with the help of former Bajoran Resistance leader Kira, an irony that was many the butt of jokes on late-night Bajoran TV.
The end of the Dominion war left Cardassia in ruins and the Union in tatters, but was left in peace to slowly recover over time.
Cardassians are humanoid with white skin, with a limited exoskeleton that is most notable on their faces, making them somewhat resistant to damage. Cardassia's reddish sun produces less light but more heat than Terra's, the result being the people are uncomfortable in brightly-lit, cold places. Media of Terran children playing around in the snow on a sunny day tends to confuse most people there.
Before the end of the Dominion war, Cardassians were trained from a young age in a military program that stressed they were better than all other races. Needless to say, Superman "Bizzaro" episodes tend to be popular with Cardassian audiences, though are edited and dubbed so he sounds smarter and wins.
The Gorn Alliance:
The Gorn are a reptilian race bordering the Federation. They nearly went to war with them upon first meeting them when Federation colonists settled the planet of Cestus III, which the Gorn considered their territory. The Gorn responded by massacring the inhabitants, only one survivor remaining when the USS Enterprise under Kirk entered orbit to investigate the lack of communications. The details of Kirk and the Gorn's negotiations remain unclear, although a quote was attributed to Kirk as saying, "It was a blast."
Both sides exchanged diplomats, but due to lingering bitterness over the massacre by Federation citizens relations were poor for many years. A number of remarks by Gorn leaders have been of no help, "Yesss, we mentioned our sssoldiersss ate the bodiesss. Why would that be ssso bad? Ssso much flesssh gone to wassste. You ssshould be pleasssed we sssaved you the expenssse of burying them."
Relations with the Gorn made a brief improvement when one Federation official made a reference to one of their powerful but outdated ships. They took his comment as a grand compliment, much to his surprise. It wasn't until later that they learned it was hardly a good thing when a human calls something of yours a "dinosaur."
Gorn are physically stronger than humans, and their scaled skin acts as a partial armor. They prefer warm climates with slightly lower gravity than Earth. They are very territorial, and do not usually give quarter in battle, or expect to receive it. They prefer to eat their food alive, eating raw meat only if nothing live is available. Needless to say, the position of food server at the Gorn Embassy has a high turnover rate.
The Orginians are a race of beings made up of pure energy. Some say they evolved beyond the need for physical bodies. Others point to an ancient media tape found near their planet, containing an ad for an energy drink that promised to "energize peoples' spirits." Looks like it worked all too well.
First encountered by Captain Kirk of the Enterprise - A in their system, the Organians took it upon themselves to stop a war between the Federation and the Klingons. It mattered little to them the Klingons had opened hostilities, feeling both "lesser beings." After some time, they expressed less and less interest in acting as peacekeepers, and soon were not heard from at all or ever seen again. Recently, a stone tablet was found on Organia, "We are departing this universe as there are too many omnipotent beings here and "Q" is giving us all a bad name."
Long before the Ferrengi, the Orions were the most ambitious merchants in the Quadrant. Because of their sponsorship of piracy and the Green Slave trade, however, they were even less trusted than their present-day counterparts.
The Orion colonies, later known as the Orion Free States, did not develop a centralized political authority. Rather than develop a corporate structure as on Earth, Orion business practices remained under the mercantile guild system, steering wealth to the established families, whom had the political power. Contact with other races gave the families an opportunity to quiet their more ambitious underlings, "All profits from trading with these outsiders go to us, of course. But if you happen to, say ... collect anything else along the way from vessels, what's the word, more than willing to trade goods for your momentary 'protection,' the money you make is yours ... after our cut."
The Orions quickly established trading ties with the Federation, but no political ones. When the Federation and Klingons went to war, they just as quickly declared neutrality and traded to both sides. Orion pirates sometimes posed as Klingon raiders, and vice-versa. One attempt by the Orions at deception though was foiled when the derelict Klingon ship left behind after a major raid was found to have aboard perfumed soap, waterbeds, velvet robes, plush carpeting, etc.
Besides pirates, Orions were infamous in trading Green Slaves. Their image was an exotic one, filled with tales of "animal women" with inexhaustible appetites. Most of these women were trained in dancing and other skills, and the sight of a Green Orion woman dancing was a feature often seen at private parties in some border areas of the Federation. The Orions bribed local officials with cash and sometimes "companionship" with the women themselves. It came to an end after a woman reporter had a mishap with green paint after doing an article at a factory, and on the way home to wash up she was nabbed by the Orions for being a runaway. Keeping her recorder on and hidden, she played along until she was alone with a corrupt official and gave him the choice of busting the Orions or her turning a certain part of the tape over to his wife.
The resulting wave of arrests results in the Federation council declaring a boycott on Orion worlds and companies. The boycott resulted in a recession, until the Federation lowered the 90% tax on money made by its own interstellar merchants. Trade then boomed, and the Orions eventually ban the Green Slave trade, "We thank the Federation for bringing this great evil to light. ..." "Sir, I thought you said they were nothing but Denebian Slime Dev-" "Shut up!"
The piracy problem continued for some time afterward. The Orion corporations and families denied all knowledge of their attacks. Their most ambitious one was an attempt to unravel the Federation itself when a disguised Orion ship attacked the USS Enterpirse-A, under the command of Kirk, when it was hosting the Babel Conference. This and other attacks that backfired further discredited the Orions. "It was clearly your ship that attacked." "How can you possibly say that?" "Well for one, the word 'Orion' painted under the Jolly Roger symbol ... "
Two things led to the decline of the Orions. One was the rise of buisiness-friendly factions in Federation politics, which then eased restrictions on Federation citizens establishing and developing their own trading companies, aming them better able to compete with the Orions. The second was the Orion practice of a ship committing suicide rather than risk the exposure of a piratical operation. Although it worked at first, developments in Federation technology made it easier to mark attackers as Orion, and ships found themselves having to blow themselves up before a final analysis could be made. It is unclear why they never got rid of the Jolly Roger flags with the word "Orion" under them.
Before long, the Orions found themselves shorthanded on both ships and men, and Federation trade companies soon drove them under. After the Orion companies folded and Federation shipping found themselves unchallenged, socialists factions within the Federation began to impose more regulations and higher taxes, making their economy more and more nationalized. The factions insist the removal of the Federation's fiercest economic competitors before their "reforms" was a mere coincidence.
By the time the Ferrengi appeared in Federation space, only one single Orion pirate base remained. Hearing the Federation had located them, they were packing up to evacuate when a Ferrengi vessel appeared and offered to trade. The Orions promptly offered them their "rights to piracy within Federation space" for a coathanger and a few stones. When the Federation ships arrived and stormed the base, they were greeted by the Ferrengi whom cheerfully stated they were the new pirates - and then were handcuffed on the spot.
All that was left of the once great Orion trading empire was a single criminal mob - the Orion Syndicate.
"It's not fair! Why do the Vulcans get to go to the next era, and we can't!"
Q is one of a race of beings with seemingly limitless power of the same name. Almost every time one of these beings is encountered - it's him. In front of humans and other ordinary beings, he is often arrogant, haughty, and all too eager to remind his reluctant audience of his godlike power. On the positive side, he does sometimes lend a helping hand or give some useful information.
In the words of one researcher, "He's like an evil GM from those old-time Dungeons and Dragons games."
The Tholian Assembly:
They exist, their ships spin webs, that's all you need to know.
The Magicks of Megas-Tu:
The Magicks are a hunamoid race with strange powers that they simply call, magic. They inhabit a planet in a pocket universe outside our own, which has it's own laws of physics that make their powers possible. Although thought to have originated here, a few eccentric historians claim to have traced their orgins to the descendants of attendants of the American "Mega-Stew" Fantasy RPG/LARP convention who stumbled upon the original "Necromicon" being passed around as a fake, and a reading of the spells while under the influence of alchohol and drugs sent them millenia into the past onto the world.
The Magicks are able to travel into this universe and explore it's worlds, able to tap into their home's power. This led to a number eventually reaching Earth and settling in Europe and the American colonies. They lived peacefully for a while, using their power in secret, although sometimes using it to benefit the locals. Trouble began when some offered their services to local rulers, saying their spells could help with famines and epidemics. Instead, the kings and princes were more interested in love potions for their lovers and themselves and curses for their rivals. The Magicks resisted, and when a mold in their ingredients got into the food supply and caused halucagenic effects on some unfortunate commoners, the rulers quickly put the blame on the Magicks and turned the masses of peasants they once helped against them, "Kind of like some of your Third World interventions in the late 20th and early 21st Centuries." After an unfortunate few dozen had been killed, the remainder left Earth and returned to Megas-Tu, vowing never again to trust "human savages." It was the old suspicion that led to some problems when the Enterprise under Kirk made contact, but thanks in part to the efforts of the Magick Lucin, peace was made.
Unfortunetly, the feelings of goodwill did not last. Old suspicions returned after the Magick playwright Mikhal Boor did a stage play docudrama, "Federation 9-11," which claimed the overtures of peace were nothing more than "human lies" and the Federation was little more than a front for a "Terran Empire" where humans were the real rulers and secretely dominated all other races. Despite that the world had been made easer to reach, ships began to find themselves turned away, and even those with nonhuman crews were not permitted to orbit and send visitors unless they had something of value to the Magicks. Since technological items can't work there (at least not without magical power), and the world is self-sufficent and doesn't need to import anything, they generally accept only a few curiousities on a case-to-case basis, such as water from the springs of Planet Junkeskyo. With many traders being turned away from what they thought were sure deals, travel to the world has become sparse. And apparently that is how the Magicks as a whole would prefer it.
Overview of TAS Episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu"
images of TAS Episode "The Magicks of Megas-Tu"
New Vinland is a Class M planet with an overall cooler temperature than Earth, resulting in smaller tropical areas and greater regions of polar ice and tundra forests. It is populated by humans, the descendants of Scandinavian colonists. The planet has one moon and no spaceports.
The North European Terrans who settled the world were unhappy with how their people had been treated by much of the rest of the world, "We gave those desert Bedouins billions in aid, and a few lousy cartoons in our papers poking fun at their prophet is all it takes to get them to forget it, boycott our Legos, and bomb us." Seeing themselves as appearing weak and pushed around, some began looking back at the ways of their Viking ancestors and desiring to bring back some of the old lifestyle, "Let em have their 72 virgins, I want a Valkyrie!" After warp drive developments made colonization practical, a number of them packed up and headed for the stars, "We shall sail to new worlds as our ancestors before us!" "Weren't our ancestors the ones who stayed behind?" "Shut up!"
They founded an initial colony world, New Scandinavia. But after a few generations many felt threatened by increasing ship traffic and tourism, "How were we supposed to know the place would be on the space lane to and from Orion?" So many moved on, settling on a cool Terrestrial world far from trade routes and inhabited worlds. Many say they got lost after leaving New Scandinavia, and refusing to ask directions, landed where their ship broke down, but no one says this where they can hear it.
The society of New Vinland is based in many ways on the Medieval Viking lifestyles, with masculinity and physical strength valued, especially among the men. They adopted the pagan religion of their ancestors, "though their real temple seems to be their local tavern." There are no large cities, and most people live in towns ruled over by a lord in a stronghold or farming villages.
The towns are centers of bustling commerce where merchants ply their trade, mostly the ransoming of goods stolen from other towns in raids. Here too the lords plot against each other from their castles, raise armies, and ransom other lords taken in the same raids. The merchants also occasionally make goods when they are too drunk, it’s too cold, or they are too tired to go on a raid.
Use of higher technology tends to be discouraged, especially for young adult males, for fear of making them soft. Most have little problem with medical technology though, especially male and female "enhancements."
Fighting on the world has always been common, though their culture strongly encourages the use of traditional weapons. The primary reason is their militaristic society, though their accepted practice of polygamy and promises of 72 valkyries for brave warriors in the afterlife added fuel to the fire. This belief started when the first lord of Storholmen was heard to shout as he lurched drunkly into battle “Virgins? By Odin’s hairy nostrils I want a Valkyri! NO make that 72 valkyries!” just before falling from his horse and being trampled by his own army.
Throughout most of it's history, women in New Vinland communities had a more equal status that what might be expected. Most town halls valued the opinions of all adults regardless of sex, and women enjoyed the financial power of the purse (not to mention they make most of the liquor). In some communities, particularly athletic women became fighters as well, known as "shieldgirls" or "shield-maidens." "No, our ancestors were NOT from this 'East Germany.' "
Although marriages were arranged, a woman could divorce her husband with the blessings of the community, "When they become fat couch potatoes, they are no longer good warriors." The practice of arranged marriages began with the necessity of populating the planet with no additional settlers coming in, and needing young adults to start having families as soon as reasonably possible. There was also this telling entry in one of the journals of the original colonists, "not to mention courting is easy, dating is HARD. Takes forever for a girl to make up her mind what kind of guy she wants, more often then not he turns out to be a jerk, and some girls who see the flunky social lives of others decide to forget all about getting a guy, ever."
With arranged marriages however came the practice of polygamy, which over time became more common as raiding between villages increased over time. "We need our women married to strong men so they can be protected from marauding raiders." "Don't you think numbers of men with little prospect for marriage and saying that warriors who die in battle get 72 valkyries in the afterlife has something to do with it?" "You DARE question our ways?"
The New Vinlanders were cut off from contact with the Federation until fairly recently when a science ship stumbled across them by accident. The nearest settlements reacted at first by attacking, but the contact team managed to arrange a truce, "With our replicators, we could give them an endless supply of booze and porno."
Contact, however, accelerated an increasing debate among the New Vinlanders about what direction their society should take. Some favored peaceful relations with the Federation and slow adaptation to it's ways (especialy in the manufacture of liquor). Some wanted the expulsion of all outsiders and no change at all to their traditions, "They want to turn us into pathetic little girly-men like they are." A third faction, dominated by the followers of "The Brotherhood of Odin," sees change not as a way to peace but to further "glory" by more or less uniting themselves and using technology almost exclusively for military-related purposes to raid and plunder the Federation. "Does this prove the outsiders are superior in their warmaking?" "Shut up!"
Currently, the planet is in a state of uneasy peace as its lords debate (sometimes with duels of honor) what to do about the Federation and form new alliances, with only occasional flare-ups of violence between small parties. While many feel that perhaps this is a prelude to a lasting peace, many think this is simply the quiet before the storm. It is unclear if the Federation can help avert a full-scale war, "or simply make it more destructive if you involve those fools on the USS Freedom."
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Last Updated: July 29, 2006