Gorn

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Gorn characters in Star Trek: Theurgy:

“…A Gorn… Large, repitlian. Like most humans, I seem to have an instinctive revulsion to reptiles. I must fight to remember that this is an intelligent, highly advanced individual, the captain of a starship, like myself, undoubtedly a dangerous and clever opponent.”

- Captain James T. Kirk, USS Enterprise NCC-1701, Year 2267


The Gorn, or Gornaran Archosaur (Homo Lacertae), were a brutish sentient reptilian race native to the planet Gornar (aka Agornu, S'Sgaron, Garag, Koreb, Shekkis) whose star was Tau Lacertae, a red giant supporting nine planets, of which Gornar was the ninth. They were known for their violent behavior and slow lumbering motions. They were around seven feet on average, their skin had green scales like a crocodile that walked on two feet. They hailed from the planet Gornar, which was located in the space between the Federation and the Klingon Empires, a space which was controlled mostly by the Orion Crime Syndicate.

The Gorn were a warp capable race at one point in their society. They were sentient and had capable thinkers among them.

Physiology

OVERALL BODY SIZE AND SHAPE
Gorn were large and powerfully-built, even more so than other tough species like the Klingons or Nausicaans. They were many times stronger than most humanoids and resilient enough to ignore massive blunt force trauma or even short periods in the hard vacuum of space. The Gorn averaged approximately two meters (7’3” feet) tall and weighed about 150 kilograms (331 pounds), with impressive musculature which gave them great strength for both lifting and throwing. Like many reptilians, Gorn had tails - thick, heavy appendages used to balance their muscular bodies. However, this appendage was removed as a Right of Passage upon reaching maturity and had to periodically be trimmed. Furthermore, their cells regenerated, allowing them to quickly recover from injuries with little scarring. Like certain terrain lizards, the Gorn could even regrow severed limbs excluding the head. The Gorn possessed sharp claws on all four limbs as well as an array of very sharp teeth set in powerful jaws. The Gorn would often use these natural weapons in combat. Though both hands and feet had claws, their hands had opposable thumbs, marking the Gorn as tool users.

Gornraces.jpg

BIOLOGICAL VARIATION
Unknown to many outside the borders of the Hegemony, the Gorn were actually not one, but several distinct reptilian species. While the Gorn evolved on three separate homeworlds, in truth they were the same species. Gorn from each of the three homeworlds could freely procreate, transfuse blood, and even provide organ donations. Most of the differences between the three races were purely cosmetic. Such things as the size of the nose and the shape of the head all of these vary in minor detail and even vary within each race. The most common difference seems to be in overall height and in the coloration of the scales. The Gorn from Ghdar tended to average 2.5 meters in height with scale coloration toward gray and off white edging. The Geydar tended to average 2 meters in height with scale coloration toward shades of brown and tan. The Gorn from Gihdahr towered at an average of 3 meters and had little in the way of edge coloration, they did tend to have a wider variance in the overall scale color, ranging from a dark, almost black green to much paler shades of green.

GENETICS
Genetically the three Gorn species were almost a perfect match. The fossil records on all three worlds, however, did not indicate that the Gorn evolved there. Major speculation supported the Gorn being a transplanted race. Maybe even of extra-galactic origin. Known subspecies of the Gorn included the Russeth from Geydar, the Ssessekh from Gihdahr, and the Gessustkh from Ghdar. Federation xenobiologists believed that the Lath, Skoleans, and Tressaurians were offshoots of the Gorn.

In cold environments, the Gorn were not especially agile or fast. They were ectothermic – cold-blooded – with their body temperature varying by external factors, and thus favored warm environments where they could be most active and effective. In warm humid environments, the Gorn benefited from both increased speed and great endurance.

Gorn Anatomy

EXTERNAL APPEARANCE
Just as all humans share many physical similarities among races, so do all Gorn share similar traits such as:

HEAD
The Gorn face was difficult for non-Gorn to read. Their heads were large, with the spinal ridge just visible above the browline.

EYES
Their large eyes appeared bulbous, sported small pupils, and enabled the Gorn to receive a great deal of visual information. The Gorn had binocular vision with a nictitating membrane that protected the eye. Their peripheral vision was almost 20% better than other humanoids however came with a drawback. The Gorn homeworlds were all in red star systems. This resulted in the Gorn developing under subdued lighting conditions. Almost a constant state of twilight for the day, as such the Gorn eye collected a lot of light, enabling better night vision. However, they found normal lighting with its whites and blues very glaring and in some instances painful. To combat this, the Gorn developed special silver compound lenses that protected their eyes while possessing spec ops functions.

EARS
Gorn ears were simple holes on the side of their skulls. Gorn hearing was almost similar to that of other humanoids except that the Gorn could hear at lower frequencies.

NOSE
The nose consisted of large, flaring nostrils. The Gorn sense of smell was highly evolved. It was supported by a forked tongue similar in many ways to snakes. The Gorn sense of taste doubled as their sense of smell. It was so highly refined that Gorn could taste pheromone changes in other Gorn around them. This dual sense was so accurate that in a room full of Gorn, each one could distinguish the smells of the others individually. This highly developed sense had a major impact on many aspects of Gorn society, even its language.

MOUTH
The Gorn snout-like mouths were wide and filled with sharp teeth, indicating that they were primarily carnivores. Gorn teeth consisted of a solid row of incisors meant to rip and tear meat from the bone. The bite strength of a Gorn has been estimated at between 5,000 to 6,500 psi. A fully-matured Gorn could easily kill a Klingon warrior with a single bite. Because they lacked any form of molars they could not effectively crunch and grind their food for easy passage and digestion. Once the bite was in his mouth the Gorn swallowed the bite whole. The Gorn throat was able to expand to almost half again its full size. As the food passed down the Gorn throat the muscles contracted on the food, crushing it and pulverizing it before it reached the stomach.

SKIN
Their skin had a dull sheen to it and served as armor, making them difficult to damage with blunt objects. It was durable enough that a phaser on medium stun would be more likely to annoy a Gorn soldier than hurt them.

Depending on species, their bodies were scaled ranging in color from a tawny brown to yellowish-green to dark green to greenish-blue. Their throats and abdomens were paler. The rarest was the blue/yellow-edged scales. Over time these came to denote royalty and were thus greatly revered and sought after. Scale color was hereditary and those with the rarest blue/yellow-edged scales were said to be spiritually pure and specially blessed by S’Yahazah. All members of the Royal Family had blue scales, as did the priests. Less than 1 in 10,000,000 percent of the Gorn population was born with a chameleon gene allowing their scales to change color.

Gorn scales were very dry on their own requiring the Gorn to live in more humid conditions than other races. They did not sweat, making it easy for Gorn to overheat but only at climates over 50 degrees Celsius. They conserved water internally, and their bodies used this to keep hydrated. Without humidity, a Gorn’s skin would dry out and painful cracks would form. These cracks appeared after or around the 17-hour mark of being in dry air, and they required six hours of rest a day in a humid climate to prevent this from happening.

INTERNAL ARRANGEMENT
The Gorn internal physiology was roughly analogous to terrestrial reptiles, except they have two cloacal openings, one for reproduction, the other for waste removal. Their organs were large, proportionate to the rest of their bodies, but they lacked any redundancies. (According to one source, those of the Technical caste had multiple stomachs, but this was solely to aid in digestion.)

SKELETON

Gorn Skull

Gorn bones were hollow with a unique hex structure that made them incredibly strong. An average Gorn bone weighed about half as much as a normal humanoid bone but was almost 10 times the strength. The Gorn ribcage consisted of more bones than most humanoids. Because of these extra bones, Gorn had problems sitting but they could kneel, squat, or lie as long as necessary. Gorn skull capacity left space for a large brain. Their brains developed much like other humanoids and differ substantially from reptile brains.

HEART AND LUNGS
The Gorn required air to breathe. They had powerful lungs and three-chambered hearts.

NERVOUS SYSTEM
Their nervous system was also more efficient than those of known reptiles. They could, however, survive being frozen. Their bodies would shut down in low temperatures and they would enter a hibernation state where they could be thawed out at a later time.

PHEROMONE AND HORMONAL SYSTEM
One facet of their communication with one another seemed to involve the release of certain odors indicating their frame of mind and readiness to mate. Gorn possessed an extreme level of pheromone and hormone control. Gorn were able to elevate and lower their level of release so that their scent could be controlled to some extent.

REPRODUCTION
They were a paired race with male and female genders, though telling them apart would be difficult to an outsider. The Gorn male reproductive organ was retracted inside the male and only extruded during mating. The pale sensitive skin was protected inside of the male body of the Gorn until erect. A distinctive feature of Gorn anatomy was the crest, which in makes grew out into several head-spines reaching up to 16 cm in length. (the head-spines began growing when males reach sexual maturity.) The Crest was an erogenous zone for both genders and was very sensitive, particularly for young males while their spines were growing out following puberty and during female ovulation. Since the female lay eggs; there were no noticeable changes in the female anatomy to provide a way to feed the young. The female sexual organs were similar to that of a human female, save that their body would release several eggs for insemination at once. The eggs would then harden and grow inside of the Gorn for about three months, at which point they would be laid out as reptilian eggs. Gorn females had a limited fertility period, being able to lay eggs only twice per solar year. The period that the female could become pregnant was also limited to usually only for a 48-hour cycle. This resulted in very few Gorn females being pregnant at any one time. When a female laid eggs, she will typically lay 5-8 per clutch.

Gorn eggs painted with protective spell glyphs

LIFE CYCLE
The eggs would lay in a hatchery for about 180 days before hatching. When first laid the eggs had a leathery texture and were actually quite soft to the touch. During the incubation period, the eggs grew usually to almost 3 times their birth size. The shell hardened as the egg grew and was quite brittle when it was hatched. The baby Gorn that were produced stood about 2½” tall and were fully capable of walking and eating solid food. They were born with a full set of teeth, claws, and a tail. Gorn childhood was very short with a Gorn reaching puberty about the age of 10 solar years. At that age, the Gorn was typically 80% of his full size and had undergone an intensive education. At 14 a Gorn was considered an adult.

At this point, the Gorn aging process slowed a great deal. The middle of a Gorn’s life was between the age 15 to roughly age 100. During this time no signs of age appeared to slow down, weaken or in any way limit the activity of the Gorn. The next stage of a Gorn’s life lasted until the age of 200. This stage was signified by the loss of the ability to reproduce as well as a gradual decline in size and strength. From 200 to the end of a Gorn’s life, usually around age 300, the Gorn would gradually grow weaker and less active. The Gorn were extremely long-lived and it was not uncommon to find Gorn who had lived well over five centuries. Unlike many races, the Gorn mind did not deteriorate with age. All the wisdom and knowledge the Gorn had accumulated over his life remained intact.

DIET
The Gorn were primarily carnivorous but would eat almost anything. They generally were not averse to trying new things. They preferred non-replicated food, however. A particular Gorn delicacy was heart of pflaam, which was a Gorn plant that was shaped roughly like a colossal pineapple and was every bit as delicious.

Psychology

Most of what the Federation has learned about the Gorn came from the few ports in the Borderland Sectors that allowed for trade or slaves that have been taken in by either the Klingon Empire or the Orion Syndicate. The Gorn were a paranoid race, they harbored resentment towards all outsiders after years of suffering at the hands outside powers.

Their mindset made them isolationists denying anyone and everyone access to their territory, save for very few ports that had strict rules about trade. According to the Ferengi, it was impossible to make a profit with a Gorn. Their isolation and refusal to allow anyone to settle near their world also led to the Gorn being a mystery, with very few encounters outside of intrusions to their territory that always end one single way, with the destruction of the intruding ship.

What little contact the Federation had with the Gorn led most to think of them as an aggressive species, dominated by warriors. Further observation both reinforced and contradicted this. Individual Gorn exhibited aggressive, assertive, and determining behavior. They seemed set in their ways, and it was difficult to get them to deviate from their planned courses of action. While the interaction between the Federation and Gorn remained limited, some eventually worked together on Cestus III, and Federation xenologists hotly debated what they observed.

The Gorn were a paranoid race, they harbored resentment towards all outsiders after years of suffering at the hands of slavers from the Orion Syndicate and Klingon Empires. They came from a very tribal oriented civilization but were united by a common tragedy. Getting between a Gorn and his objective proved hazardous to one’s health. When on a mission, be it battling an arch-foe or slaughtering cattle for food, the Gorn pursued their goals with a single-mindedness second to none. Anything that tried to interfere with their duty was ignored, brushed aside, moved out of the way, or destroyed

The Gorn seemed to take a long time to make up their minds, almost ignoring a situation until they decided what they considered the best course of action. A Gorn did little until he believed he knew the right course - and then he let nothing stand in his way.

Gorn Demand Of Honor Motivates Their Every Action
Ussegssirr, most often translated as ‘Manifest Destiny,’ has long formed one of the basic tenets of Gorn philosophy. Since before the Gorn reached into space for the first time, it was believed that the strong had both the right and the duty to extend their dominion over the weak. It was considered wrong for the strong to be limited or denied.

Ussegssirr, balanced by Gessegrissgir and usually rendered as ‘Honor,’ was a complex code of behavior and thought understood by few non-Gorns. Basically, the weak were expected to serve the strong (in an almost feudal hierarchy of rising power beneath a single ruler), but the strong, in turn, were expected to adhere to the Warrior’s Code of Gessegrissgir. Superiors must be obeyed, inferiors treated with justice, and a complicated pattern of obligations and responsibilities must be followed governing all aspects of Gorn life.

“Gorn ‘Honor makes the giri and gimu of Old Japan look like something just short of sheer anarchy!”

-- Psychobiologist Kemmli of Rigel, Institution of Human-Gorn Relations, Cestus III

Language & Names

The Gorn's highly developed sense of smell/taste, as well as their natural ability to control the release of pheromones/hormones, led to a fascinating language being developed. The Gorn language was actually two separate languages, a spoken language, and a written language. The reason for this was that in the spoken language not only was sound and body language used, like in all other languages, but also scent.

It was the element of scent that had worked to create some interesting aspects in Gorn society as well as their language and it explains early misunderstandings between the Gorn and Humans. In the case of first contact with the Gorn, the universal translator had trouble with the Gorn language and human linguists could not understand why. Words that seemed to have no meaning or a twisted meaning would pop up and throw the entire translation into a tailspin. This stemmed from a problem the Gorn had in the development of their language.

When the Gorn developed a spoken language the use of scent was a natural thing for them, and so it was added without thought. The spoken language’s hissing, guttural tongue unnerved many who heard it for the first time, but some colonists on Cestus III claimed to enjoy it. A few even began singing with the Gorn, making for some bizarre duets. While the Gorn did have a few dialects, they lacked the range of disparate languages shown by Humans; presumably, the lengthy debates and need for idea exchange had caused Gorn language to evolve naturally into a common direction.

Gorntranslator2.jpg
However, as progress began the Gorn sought ways to record their language for future generations. So a second language was born, new words were created to describe the scent element that was missing and this new language was used for written material. As technology marched on and transmitted information was more common the written language was further adopted to allow it to work for voice transmissions. It was the extra words that described the scent element that caused the confusion in early attempts to translate.

Because of the sharp teeth lining their large, snout-like mouths in addition to their forked tongue, Gorn attempts to speak most Federation languages were difficult. Conversely, most humanoids found it equally difficult to correctly pronounce many Gorn words. Their voices often sounded raspy, though the most obvious vocal difference was the way all their sibilant sounds came out in a hiss.

However as any linguist can explain language is more than a way to communicate, it can also define many aspects of a culture, and in the case of the Gorn, it did lead to some interesting social conventions. The most well known was that Gorn did not lie. This was not a social or moral decision. With a language where the body chemistry of the speaker can easily be determined the ability to lie was greatly curtailed. Even with their excellent control over the scent release, a Gorn was unable to exercise total control and as such lies would be easily detected. So over the centuries, the concept of deception disappeared. To a Gorn, a lie was the withholding of information. This particular attitude led to some interesting situations when diplomatic relations were held with the Gorn.

The lack of deception in their society also led to an attitude of handling things head-on. When you do not like something you don’t skirt it, you fix it. When something threatens you, you don’t scare it off, you kill it. This has led to a great deal of confusion on the Gorn part, where human handling of race relations was concerned. The Gorn felt that a problem should be dealt with directly. The attitude of saber-rattling or long diplomatic discussions seemed a waste. Especially when they looked at Human history and saw that in most cases the end result was not a solution at all and the problem eventually had to be dealt with anyway. So the Gorn were extremely straightforward and totally truthful. However, the Gorn could also be tight-lipped. Their use of scent in their language led to a great deal of interest in privacy. This extended not only to their personal lives but to their society as well. Early encounters with alien races did not go well. To date the Gorn have encountered different species in their exploration, wars have been fought with all of them. One race was even destroyed due to these wars. This left the Gorn feeling threatened when combined with their limited resource availability for their area of space. When added to their direct approach to life, the Gorn were extremely protective of what was theirs. (A good analogy is to compare the Gorn to 1980s Israel, Earth. Threatened on all sides and willing to do whatever it took to survive.)

A final area that the Gorn language made an interesting impact in was the area of entertainment. Most races gradually developed recorded and mass broadcast entertainment, the Gorn did not. They felt that by losing the scent element the entertainment was shallow and empty. As such the live arts thrived on Gorn worlds and starships. Every Gorn ship actually had a small amphitheater built within it for entertainment. Gorn plays and concerts were major events, held regularly. The Gorn had nothing that equated with recorded music or movies. Gorn technology did develop a holographic projection system that included scent within it as well as using force fields to make objects solid.


Names

Gorn generally only went by their given names; this was because historically the entire Gorn tribe/clan cared for hatchlings. Some added a faction or tribal name onto their own, but this was the exception, not the rule.

Male Names: Feerten, Gesst’r, Illrezach, Rheuzz’r, Tazket
Female Names: Churreen, Herenna, Leeska, Silandras, Urska

Astrography

Heading directly rimward from Deep Space Station K-7 for nearly 80 light-years will bring you to the Gorn Hegemony border. This course would take a ship close to Klingon space which extended westward in this area, nearly to the Alpha Quadrant. The Hegemony’s territory was “taller” (core-edge extension) than it was “wide” (circumference extension), lying just short of the border with the Alpha Quadrant and was approximately 50 light-years wide at its widest point.

The Gorn Hegemony had a closed border; they tolerated no incursions of any kind into their space. Their fleet regularly patrolled the borders, and any attempt to penetrate the territory would be intercepted quickly. Vessels were warned away and any that ignore warnings were fired upon. The isolationism of the Gorn was so complete that if a border patrol vessel detected an attempt to scan across the border, they would project extremely powerful electromagnetic interference to jam the scan. Even with this secrecy, persistent study and monitoring over the decades uncovered some details about Gorn astrography.


TauLacertae.jpg


Gornar (Tau Lacertae IX)
As stated previously, little was known about the Gorn worlds, as the Hegemony had a closed border and permitted no incursions into their space. Over the years, however, Starfleet pieced together bits of information about the capital of the Hegemony, the Gorn homeworld, Gornar.

Gornar from orbit

The Gorn evolved originally on the planet Gornar, a class M, tropical jungle world larger than earth with a gravity of 1.4 G, a normal atmosphere, and a land percentage of 45%, and the rest covered by swamps and oceans. Each Gorn species had their own language, and so it took some time for Federation scientists to realize that references to Gornar, Agornu, S’sgaron, Garag, Koreb, and Shekkis all referred to a single planet, the capital of the Gorn Hegemony. Gornar was the ninth planet of what Earth astronomers named the Tau Lacertae system.

Gornar was only a little closer to its sun than Earth was to Sol, and it had less of an axial tilt. This resulted in a fairly uniform high temperature planet-wide. Mammals never rose to prominence on Gornar, and few ever grew bigger than possums. Instead, dinosaur-like creatures roamed the wild areas. That the Gorn managed to compete with their much-larger Saurian cousins speaks volumes of the benefit of brains over brawn. The Gorn able to domesticate one, the Saur, a reptilian, quadrupedal whose behavior and strength was much like other quadrupeds like Jackal Mastiffs and Warriguls.

Gornar was a hot swampish world with vicious bugs and diseases. The Gorn evolved on this world due to the harsh climate their bodies acclimated making them harder and more durable. Much of the deadliness of Gorn warriors came from the harsh marshland of Gornar. The wetlands made them partly amphibious, and they adapted to the constant moisture and heat of their world. The planet’s orbit was locked with no seasonal changes. Day lasted 19 hours’ Federation time, and night lasted equally as long.

The Gorn built their cities on the edges of great swamps, and these lied as much underground as they did above it. These cities covered much of the planet, though a casual examination made the planet appear dotted by small communities. The interconnected municipalities primarily lied under the earth. Transportation between the cities was almost always via underground transit systems, to maintain as much as possible of the surface of Gornar as pristine jungle.


Plantes & Systems Inhabited by the Gorn
PLANET DESCRIPTION
Axelot II Gorn Colony
Cenotaph Gorn Cemetary World
Bygoth Uninhabited star system housing a shipyard for the Gorn Space Command
Inner Eliar Name for Gorn minor colony on Cestus III
Garag Uninhabited star system housing a shipyard for the Gorn Space Command
Geslok Gorn minor industrial planetary system
Geydar One of the original Gorn homeworlds
Ghdar One of the original Gorn homeworlds
Gihdahr One of the original Gorn homeworlds
Gijard III Gorn minor industrial planetary system
Gila III Gorn colony
Gistardistang Gorn minor industrial planetary system
Golgotha Gorn minor industrial planetary system
Gornar Capital of the Gorn Hegemony
Gorngella Gorn colony
Gyrennia Gorn minor industrial planetary system
Hokan Gorn mining colony
Hranar Undiscovered planet with native species called the Hranrarii
Karazek Gorn colony
Koreb Unihabited star system in Gorn space
Maltharin II Gorn dilithium mining and cracking station
Meridor Gorn colony that produces some of the finest Gorn alcohol
Ozannot Location of Ozannot Station
Paravia Former homeworld of the Paravians
Rogg Unihabited star system, location of Rogg Shipyard
Sazssgrerrn Home of the sole hatchery belonging to the Gorn warrior caste, Warrior-Caste Hatchery Créche P152
Seudath Gorn border planet just inside the Gorn-Klingon Border, the only free port of call allowing other races within the Hegemony
Skoleos Federation planet, home of the Skoleans some who serve as Gorn mercenaries
S'Snagor Gorn colony
Talgat Uninhabited star system housing the Talgat Station shipyard for the Gorn Space Command.

Culture & Customs

A strong, hardy race, the Gorn developed a culture which, by and large, stressed the virtues of strength and courage, as well as the natural dominance of those who demonstrate their fitness to rule through those virtues. Gorn society was a meritocracy, with leadership positions going to the Gorn who demonstrated themselves as the most capable within a particular field, regardless of their gender, family, or political association. The Gorn long-lived lifespan contributed to a culture that values considered, deliberate decision-making. The meritocratic culture was a result of this tendency to think things through.

A Gorn wishing to be considered for a particular role in society would formally present themselves and recite a litany of their qualifications. This had been likened by Federation xenoanthropologists to the ancient Norse practice of ritualized boasting. Other candidates presented their qualifications, and a decision was debated and arrived at within the group affected, or by the potential superiors of the candidate. A side effect of this meritocracy, however, was a near-zero tolerance for failure. If a Gorn failed in their assigned task, they were, at minimum, removed from their position. In the Gorn military the penalty for failure, depending upon the severity of the situation, could range from demotion to execution.

Female Gorn

Gender Roles

Our reports indicate that the Gorn also possessed a matriarchal society, ruled by females who acted as the thinkers, planners, artists, teachers, and philosophers. Males did most of the exploration and trading, though those females who desired to travel often held high positions aboard ships as well. Observers have noted that male Gorn engaged in ritual combat to win desired females for mating, a practice that prepared them for real combat when necessary. Though usually confined to ritual, it was not unknown for both male and female Gorn to engage in challenge fights to the death over slights and insults.

Gorn life was to be dedicated to the prosperity of the fellow Gorn. The family structure of the Gorn was very loose. Because a single female could lay more eggs than she could care for, the state was involved in raising Hatchlings and giving them a role in life. Once the eggs were laid the female would move on to other pursuits and the community raised her young. For a Gorn it was commonplace not to truly know who your parents were, with the exception of the royal family. The family units a Gorn grew to know were very broad consisting of three parts, the Clutch, the Clan, and the Brood.

The Clutch was the group of Gorn born within the same community within about a month of each other. They hatched from eggs into one of three biologically distinct castes (see The Castes). These were the Gorn the child spent most of its first 10 years with and was the closest thing to family a Gorn knew. The Clan, however, was the community a Gorn grew up in. These were its teachers and its early role models. They shaped the ideals of the Gorn child. The Brood was the selected Gorn in society that the Gorn grew up and worked with. They could be shipmates, school chums, or co-workers in a factory. A Gorn dedicated its life to its Broodmates.


The Clan

Clansymbols.jpg

Clan and status symbols were a combination of sophisticated geometrical shapes and colors. There was no blue in the Gorn scale because they didn’t recognize the color blue. The more important the clan the more perfect the shape of the symbol. On the other hand, the older the clan, the simpler the symbol. A renegade clan existed that used a red glyph as a symbol.

The Clan educated the Gorn child until the age of 10. In that time the young Gorn would receive the equivalent of a college education and have a good sense of what he wanted to do with his life. At the age of ten, the Gorn was put through the Rite of Passage. This ceremony marked the end of his childhood and the beginning of being an adult.

The first step of the Rite was the removal of the tail from the Gorn. It seems that the Gorn decided long ago that the tail was a sign of their animal roots and childhood. Hence at the age of 10, the Gorn had the tail removed. However, a small trend surfaced, where some females decided that the tail would be left on. This was looked down on by the Gorn as a society, seen as an attempt to keep childhood. However, another aspect less spoken of was the vulgarity of the tail. It seemed that in an adult female the tail was actually a part of the anatomy that a male Gorn found most arousing.

Once the tail had been removed the Gorn picked his adult name. Until then any name used for him was considered that of a child. His first decision as an adult was to identify himself with all others. He must do this as the Gorn felt it was not their right to choose the path or the person another Gorn should become. Now the young Gorn determined his path, be it more schooling to be a scientist, entering the labor force, joining the space command, or entering the political arena. The Gorn’s life was now his own and his path was totally his choice.


The Brood
In Gorn customs, a hatchling was born into one of three biologically distinct castes (warriors, intellectuals, or technicians) and from that caste and the hatchlings around you, you would form a Brood often these were strong kinships that would last a lifetime. Being expelled from a Brood was a very rare punishment and ex-communication was a punishment that was even rarer. When in a brood, it was a bit like the adjacent Klingon system of houses. One could move their brood upwards in renown, earning them more of a voice in the Hegemony, and likewise, a Brood could be taken down or even disbanded if they were accused of a great crime.

If a Brood was disbanded, the surviving members of the brood would be separated and drawn into other families usually of a lower class, but on rare occasions, if a member was seen as valuable, it was actually possible for disbandment to land you in a more powerful brood then the one where you first came from. Marriage to another Brood would mean the joining of two families to create a larger one, but all children were given to the state to raise.

Gornfashion.jpg


Fashion
The Gorn do not share the humanoid notion of modesty. (Probably because like terrestrial reptiles their genitalia was completely internal unless they were suitably aroused.) The Gorn walked around in clothes. They developed their fashions for practical reasons first and foremost. They wore clothing that denoted function, status, or rank. Most Gorn wore a sleeveless tunic with a tight collar that descended to mid-thigh, with a belt around the waist. Tunic fabric varied from simple brown leather to patterned gold silk.

Members of the warrior caste however needed protection from weapons, and since they preferred combat at close range, their armor was designed to tangle or snag an opponent’s sword or spear. The elite warriors liked to keep it very traditional. Every piece of their uniform was handmade and unique. Mass production was for lower classes. The Gorn fancied bright colors. The reason for this was their vision. As with most lizards and frogs, the Gorn reacted to bright colors. Yes. they could smell each other, but this was kind of tricky because of the way their society was organized.


Architecture
Gorn were top metallurgists, known all around the universe for their skills. The rankings around their arms and necks, for example, were made of a light, phosphorescent alloy - one more consequence of their weak eyesight and gloomy environment. Metal played a big part in their architecture as well. Their basic buildings were made generations ago, carved from rock and giant stalactites. All later development was made of metal: bridges, roads, terraces, elevators, etc. Their main energy came from electricity and gases (volcanic heat and lava give them endless sources of both). They used different systems of monorails (electric and magnetic).


Art
The Gorn’s favorite entertainment was theater, especially comedy. They could laugh, but their sense of humor was highly incompatible with ours. The sound laughing Gorns produced with their throatbag was a deafening roar.

In addition to bright visual arts, Gorn enjoyed poetry-dances, music with and without poetic-dance accompaniment, and olfactory media arts. Gorn musical styles tended toward deep, thumping, bass rhythms that would often be below the range of hearing for humans. It would be safe to say the Gorn preferred music that could be felt as well as heard. This was likely because the Gorn, being evolved from lizards, would have used vibrations in the ground to alert them to danger or the approach of prey, especially when their other senses were inactive. The indigenous art form of painted-smells has long been a Gorn mainstay and no museum of Gorn art was considered complete with a broad sampling of the works of the great painters-of-smells.

The Caste System

The Gorn were divided into three biologically-distinct castes: the Soldiers, the Intellectuals and the Technicals.

The castes were considered “separate but equal” with an emphasis on “equal” in Gorn society (hence, Gorn Hegemony,) as every caste was acknowledged to fill a vital role within the society at large. Interbreeding between castes was not only genetically possible but actually encouraged as hybrids provided much-needed diversification of skills. Gorn hatchlings were always born into their father's caste. Children undergo caste-specific secondary education (somewhere between high school and college-level; think military academy or trade school) in order to prepare them for any career available to their caste.


Warriors
These were the warriors of the Hegemony. To serve as an officer in the Gorn Defense Command or any enlisted combat role you must have been born into the Warrior caste. Conversely, every Soldier was required by Gorn law to either enlist in the GDC or apply to a War College by their 30th birthday. Many Gorn soldiers, especially those from poorer families, would enlist straight out of soldier school before they reached the Age of Maturity. Enlisted Soldiers were required to serve for at least ten years, and then may re-enlist for a five-year period. Officers had to serve no fewer than fifty years. After one hundred years of service, both officers and enlisted became eligible for pension benefits. Retired Soldiers often started second careers in police forces, colonial militia, or consulting and managing jobs in the defense industry. Soldier hybrids could also become very successful scientists, surgeons, engineers, or executives. This caste was physically the largest and the population size was quite large as well, but nowhere near as large as the Technicals.


Intellectuals
Despite their name, the Intellectuals were only marginally more intelligent than the other castes. They were the least populous and were physically midway in size between the Soldiers and Technicals. Intellectual families tended to be at least upper-middle-class, and most of the wealthiest families and all of the families involved in Gorn politics (including the Royalty) were headed by Intellectuals. They were required to attend a university by their 30th birthday. They followed careers in politics, education, science, medicine, business, commerce, clergy and the arts. Hybrids could also serve as administrators, executives, engineers or architects.


Technicals
Though less prestigious than the other castes, the Technicals were arguably the most necessary for the Gorn society to function. They handled everything from common labor and mining to infrastructure support and raising crops and livestock. Consequently, they were the most numerous caste as well as the smallest in stature. Hybrids made excellent supervisors, engineers, or filled support roles in the GDC. The only specific legal requirement for the Technical caste was that they must either begin a career or pursue higher education by their 30th birthday.


Hybrids
As mentioned above, a Hybrid was the offspring of parents from two different castes, and such pairings were encouraged for the diversification of skills that resulted. The six hybrid types were as follows:

Science-Soldiers: these resulted from a Soldier father and an Intellectual mother. They made excellent commanding officers, medical officers, and obviously science officers. They also made outstanding tacticians and strategists; GDC HQ was stacked with these hybrids, many of which were more Intellectual than Soldier in terms of heritage.
Engineer-Soldiers: the offspring of a Soldier father and a Technical mother. Difficult to produce, but not as difficult as the converse. It was made easier if one or both parents were hybrids themselves. Obviously these hybrids mad excellent combat engineers and engineering officers, and skilled commanders as well thanks to the “I can fix this” mindset of the Technical.
Warrior-Intellectual: the progeny of a Soldier mother and an Intellectual father. Politics, education, administration, business and medicine were all among many valid career paths for these hybrids. The Royal Family line was made up entirely of Warrior-Intellectuals. (This led to an interesting case where, due to the fathers of the line always being Warrior-Intellectuals and their mates (the mothers of the Royalty) always being of the Soldier caste to produce Warrior-Intellectual offspring, the Intellectual blood in the line had been diluted out to the point where the Royalty was actually more pure Soldier than most Soldier-caste families.)
Techie-Intellectual: the child of an Intellectual father and a Technical mother. Most of these ended up being engineers, architects, educators, merchants or public administrators.
Military-Technical: as mentioned the coupling of a Soldier mother and Technical father was not usually practical unless the parents were hybrids themselves. These hybrids were highly sought-after as non-combatant non-commissioned officers and especially as shipboard engineers. They also often served aboard commercial shipping and not uncommonly commanded civilian cargo vessels.
Poly-Technical: an Intellectual mother and a Technical father would produce this common hybrid, which forms the bulk of the Gorn industrial workforce.

As mentioned, hybrids often produced other hybrids, but since all Gorn default at hatching into the three castes, there was no further breakdown of hybrid pairings like Warrior-Intel-Poly-Technical.

History

Early History
In ancient times (500,000+ years ago) the Gorn ancestors ruled a large swath of the Beta Quadrant and the fringes of the Alpha Quadrant. Then for some unknown reason, they regressed technologically until they lost the ability for space travel and the Gorn territory shrank until they inhabited only 3 planets (and the Paravian homeworld). Some Gorn mythology speculated that they were transported to their homeworlds and the Paravian homeworld by an unknown race designated the "Lizard Kings." Gorn historians, however, believe it was the powerful Metron that robbed them of their technology and transported them.

At some point in Gorn early history, an asteroid impacted and devastated the Paravian homeworld. A few Gorn there survived and evolved into the Paravian. Over later centuries, the Paravians would find fossils of the earlier Gorn and assumed they were demons.

The Gorn were at first three war-hungry races on three planets. They would kill themselves again and again in feudal struggles over their land and resources for ages. Their attacks would be based on their families and clans. But eventually, the Gorn on at least one of these planets rediscovered warp drive and set out to explore space. The three Gorn homeworlds would soon come into contact with each other. (Despite some evolutionary divergence, they were fundamentally genetically identical. This may have been the genesis of the Gorn Caste System.) The reunited Gorn were able to determine that none of their worlds was their true homeworld. Soon the three unified into the Gorn Alliance, a single, though stratified, society and went in search of it. What they found was Gornar (or S'sgaron in their language) which had fossil records establishing that their ancestors had lived there for millions of years.

The Gorn reestablished their homeworld and set out to recolonize the surrounding space, claiming any planet that had evidence of prior habitation by the Gorn. Apparently, they spread out rather slowly, since they were still trying to reclaim lost worlds in 2381.


22nd Century

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By 2140 the Gorn had encountered the nearby Paravian species. This encounter led to hostilities between both civilizations and eventually led to the extermination of the Paravian people by the Gorn. Shortly after contact with the Paravian, the Gorn encountered the Romulan Star Empire. The Gorn Alliance and the Romulan Star Empire battled in multiple wars to claim the resources on the few planets they managed to secure. The Gorn achieved several victories but each was costly and bloody. This resulted in a constant state of conflict between the two races. Both sets of hostile encounters clouded the Gorn’s view of other races. Fueling their growing territorial and xenophobic nature.

The Gorn originally lacked warp technology and was limited to only sub-light travel. They were among the last in the Borderland Sector to develop warp capabilities. Their introduction to this technology came when the Orion Syndicate member Harrad-Sar first discovered them. Their warlike nature and brutal tendencies made them natural slaves, and their durability meant that on any warm world, they could not only fight wars for the Syndicate but often win them.

The Orion invasion of the Gorn was the first real threat to their people. When they realized that the skies contained more enemies than they originally thought, they re-organized themselves. Since the Orions would take children and drive them into slavery, no one family could securely protect the children, so the first heavily protected breeding grounds were formed along with the brood system. The parents would give their hatchlings up to the state to assure that the one new unified Gorn government could protect them, and those children would grow up to form families within their ranks. Eventually, they would grow up to protect the next generation, and so on.

This was the birth of the Hegemony, a singular power created to stop the advancement of aliens against the Gorn, who over time would become increasingly paranoid and determined to defend themselves. The Gorn managed to steal some of the slavers' ships and learn from them. Their own re-designs - compared to the Orions - were brutish, preferring more weapon mounts, and speed over shields. The Gorn designed their fleet to be as armored as they were, with just as many teeth and claws.

These ships helped the Gorn win additional conflicts with Romulans and others but would not help them protect their home system when a Sunsnake plunged into Tau Lacertae causing it to go nova in 2199. (Modern historians believe that the Sunsnake was actually lured to Tau Lacertae by the Romulans as an attack during the Third Gorn-Romulan War). The expanding star devoured the inner planets and solar winds effectively destroyed Paravia and the Paravian race. Overcome with shock, shame, and guilt, the surviving Gorn refugees resettle and begin terraforming Paravia; renaming it Gornar.


23rd Century

Gorn for the kill, following the Cestus III Massacre

Federation First Contact with the Gorn officially happened on stardate 3045.6 in the year 2267 after the Federation had settled on Cestus III five years earlier. The Gorn saw this act as an invasion into their territory by unknown aliens. They dispatched a battlecruiser to the planet, which promptly attacked and obliterated the outpost on Cestus III without warning or diplomacy. When the USS Enterprise came to investigate the attack, a mysterious advanced race called the Metrons intervened and forced Captain James T. Kirk and the Gorn captain to fight to the death to settle the dispute. When Captain Kirk refused to administer the coup de grace to his fallen foe, this gesture opened the way for peaceful relations between the two sides.

Lengthy peace talks followed. The Clanhaven Conference as it was called lasted two years following the Cestus Massacre. According to lead Ambassador Shras of Andor progress on the peace conferences were slow. Gorn culture was aggressive, expansionistic, and keyed to values quite unlike the basic roots of Federation philosophy and thought. Just understanding the Gorn (and getting them to understand the Federation) took quite some time. Problems in translating concepts and ideas led to several near-breakdowns in the negotiating process.

However, an agreement was reached and the Frontier Accord of Stardate 8873.3 (2268) was signed restricting the buildups of military shipping within the disputed space between the Gorn and Federation, with all armed vessels of greater than 100,000 tons kept out of the area entirely. A joint commission drew up an agreeable boundary that still stands today.

Subsequently, the Federation negotiated an indefinite lease with the Gorn Hegemony, under which the UFP would have the right to settle Cestus III in return for 10% of all export revenues from the colony. Though the Gorn allowed the settlement of Cestus III, they still regarded the outsiders as intruders. So they stayed behind their walls and attempted to crack down on any and all enemy ships that they found.


24th Century
As the new century dawned the Federation reached an era of unprecedented expansion. New members joined with each year and the Federation borders grew farther and farther out into the frontier. The Gorn noticed this and in 2345, The U.S.S. Stargazer (NCC-2893) en route to Alpha Pensura receives a priority message from a Gorn ship and diverts to Vontalimar IV. There Captain Picard meets with the Gorn Leader Keeyah who declares war against the Federation on the account of the Federations expansion across the galaxy. Picard, not wanting to begins a war with the Gorn challenges Keeyah to negotiate instead. The war was prevented or at the least delayed.

Captain Juan-Luc Picard, the only diplomat who managed to temper Gorn aggression, not once but twice

Twenty-five years later, there was growing unrest within the Gorn Hegemony from a more militant faction, The Black Crest, seeking to undermine the dominant government and declare war against the Federation for their continued expansion. Peace talks were again made through the efforts of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Gorn Leader Keeyah at the Gorn Summit.

The Black Crest continued to grow their resources and in 2372, several of them visited Quark's on Deep Space Nine. What was not known at the time was that the true purpose of this trip was to sign a non-aggression treaty with the Dominion.

Two years after meeting with the Dominion, The Black Crest toppled the Gorn government in a coup d'etat and launched a new offensive against Cestus III and the Delbald Fortress Outpost under reinforcement by the Federation/Klingon Alliance on Elkauron II. A halt to these hostilities was negotiated once more by Captain Jean-Luc Picard, who also managed to persuade the Gorn to break their non-aggression pact with the Dominion and join the Federation Alliance in the war against them.

By 2379, the Gorn Hegemony had established normal diplomatic relations with the Federation, and even maintained a diplomatic mission on Earth. That year, Federation President Min Zife of Bolarus found the Gorn Ambassador Zogozin very intimidating.

Government & Military

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The Gorn Hegemony was the state government of the Gorn and was a Parliamentary Monarchy ruled by the Imperator of the Gorn Hegemony. Whilst many other civilizations have called it by a variety of names in the past - Gorn Alliance, Gorn Kingdom, Gorn Empire, and Gorn Confederation amongst them - the Gorn Hegemony was the proper name for the organization.

The Gorn Hegemony was the most remote and isolationist power in the Beta Quadrant. It had the single founding principle that the Gorn needed to be of a single mind, with no outsiders being allowed to have sway in their policies or world. The Gorn seldom interacted with the other species and preferred to stay within their borders, as relations with warm-blooded species were often influenced by most mammals’ unconscious fear of reptiles. The few interactions between the Hegemony and the Quadrant’s other powers have been marked by distrust and conflict.


Political Structure
The Gorn Hegemony was an alliance among several distinct species. The various Gorn species evolved on Gornar, and all those species eventually moved out from their homeworld to set up independent colonies on other planets. Each of these Gorn worlds was essentially self-governing, but all were considered member worlds of the Hegemony, and they all provide a delegation of representatives to the center of the Hegemony government on Gornar.

At the local level, each Gorn planet was divided into provinces. Each province had an Overlord. Each city (clan) within the province sent a representative to a council that the overlord resided over. This planetary council then decided events for their planet but tended to stay out of provincial matters. In turn, this planet sent representatives to the Gorn Assembly. The Assembly attempted to stay out of planetary affairs.

The rule of the Assembly was considered absolute as it was created to look after all Gorn interests, and thus controlled every aspect of Gorn life from early education, to breeding grounds, to rituals presiding over death. What that meant was that the Imperator still held some power but the Hegemony Assembly limited his power. The actual power of the Imperator was based on his popularity and personal power.


The Assembly
Basically the Assembly’s job was to govern over the resource abundance that each system provided and distributed it as needed within Gorn space. The Assembly also handled dealings with other races and provided control over Gorn space defense and policing.

The Assembly was composed of two groups. Overlords from each Gorn world served as delegates to the Hall of Worlds and each Province from each Gorn world sent an elected delegate to the Assembly to represent them in the Den of the Folk. Each delegate had several ambassadors with individual areas of expertise. They were available for debate and deliberation when the Assembly was called to address a particular topic. Each delegation voted among their own members to designate a leader, known as a Speaker, who addressed the Assembly on their behalf.

Both parts of the government then came together and elected a Lord of the Assembly to oversee the government. This had, on occasion been the Imperator, but it could be anyone, including non-Assembly members. Members of the Den of the Folk served 10-year terms, the Planetary and Provincial Overlords all served lifetime terms.

By the late 24th Century, the Assembly included over 60 delegations, one from each of the major Gorn planets. Smaller settlements, like space stations, moons or newly-established colonies, were considered to be represented by the delegation of their parent planet.

In 2381 the Gorn Assembly sent Zogozin to serve as the Gorn Ambassador to the Federation.


The Imperator
Once every 25 years, the Assembly votes on the position of Imperator: the executive of the Assembly and the ruler of the Gorn Hegemony. Any member of a delegation may put forth their qualifications and be considered for the role, including the current Imperator. After deliberation, the Assembly votes, and the Imperator takes office.

The duty of the Imperator was to serve as Lord of the Assembly, to administer the meetings, propose topics for deliberation, and call for votes. They were the ultimate authority of the Gorn Hegemony. The Imperator may, according to the law, override a decision of the Assembly, overturning the result of a vote, but to do so would represent an extreme risk to their position. If the Imperator’s decision leads to a failure, they would be removed from office. As a result, a reversal of the Assembly’s decision has seldom happened in the history of the Hegemony. Instead, Imperators rely upon their influence within the Assembly itself to sway votes toward their preferred outcome.

In 2381 Sozzerozs served as the Gorn Imperator.


The Royal Family
As was mentioned, the Gorn had a Parliamentary Monarchy, but the royal family was not a traditional family. Any Gorn born with a Blue/Yellow coloration was considered a member of the royal family. The positions of Overlord and the monarchy were all held by Gorn with this particular trait. Since the trait does not seem to be hereditary there was little in the way of a consistent bloodline for the throne. When a King dies or steps down the royals all hold a council to vote in a new monarch. This has actually worked quite well. The royals understood the limits to the monarchy’s power and tended to try to position a new King that would gain power, thus helping them gain power. Yet at the same time they did not want one so powerful as to overrule them, nor did they want a monarch that was not sympathetic toward their own planetary needs. On the whole, this system of checks and balances looked to have worked well. This system for deciding the new king was in use by the Gorn for close to a millennium and there has NEVER been a war to dethrone a king.

The ruling female was known as the Effri’a, which roughly translates to “Empress.” She was attended by a council of matrons and a lesser council of important males.

In 2381, King Xrathis wore the royal crown of the Gorn.


Division Among Decisveness
Many different factions split Gorn society, though most Gorn did not view these as divisive factors. Since Gorn leaders took a long time to reach any decisions, these factions filled a vacuum until they made an official judgment. Even an individual took a long time to make a decision, but the minor factions and individuals took up sanctioned action within broad boundaries while awaiting a final judgment. The Gorn deliberated for more than a year before attacking the Federation settlement on Cestus III and the debate about how to deal with Humans has continued ever since.

The Black Crest Glyph

Of course, even the Gorn considered this long a debate out of the ordinary, but Metron involvement makes everything more difficult. The Metron, a race of incredibly powerful beings, sought to avoid interstellar war between the Federation and Gorn by having representatives of the two groups battle for supremacy. When things didn’t quite go according to the Metrons’ plans, they allowed both races to coexist on Cestus III, though Humans ostensibly dominated.

Several factions wanted to see the Federation driven from Cestus III and the Gorn borders expanded. Since nothing officially precluded them from instigating hostilities (as long as they did not kill anyone on Cestus III), these Gorn created problems. Two well-known renegade factions were the Crimson Talons and the Black Crests. In 2269 the Crimson Talons tried to provoke a war with the Federation by disrupting the Clanhaven Conference and in 2374, the Black Crests staged a successful coup d’etat of the Gorn Assembly.


Military

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Aggressive and warlike, the Gorn evinced cunning and ingenuity rather than mere brute strength. Willing to kill to protect what they considered to be their territory. Federation analysts concluded that the Gorn received training in primitive weaponry as well as more advanced armaments. Further, they exhibit knowledge of tactics and hand-to-hand fighting.

The Hegemony’s member worlds maintained local militias of differing strength, depending upon the policies of that particular world. By Gorn law, a certain percentage of planetary militia personnel were sent to serve in the main military force of the Hegemony, the Gorn Space Command.

The Gorn Space Command was smaller in size than either the Federation Starfleet or the Klingon Defense Force. They did not appear to emphasize any scientific duties, as was the case with Starfleet, or raiding or expansion outside of their territory, as was the case with the Klingons. The sole duty of the Gorn Space Command was the defense of Gorn space and worlds and maintaining patrols of the Gorn border.

Gorn who demonstrated particular competence while serving in the Space Command was chosen to remain in service, rather than returning to planetary militia duty at the end of their allotted term. As such, the caliber of personnel serving aboard Gorn vessels was very high, and they were comparable to Starfleet personnel. Even within the high standard of the Gorn Space Command, however, there was an elite unit, composed of the very best the Space Command has to offer. The Black Crest was a squadron tasked with the defense of Gornar, the Imperator and the Assembly, and with occasional special operations, as ordered.

The Gorn military would often destroy any and all outsiders, but eventually - at the insistence of the Federation - some ports, like the one on Seudath, were opened along the Gorn border to allow for trade and an exchange of ideas. The fact that the Federation knew so little of the Gorn scientifically was fascinating, but in truth, these were more for show than actual trade. The Gorn that served these ports did so under several large books of rules on everything from how to speak to how to act while in the presence of a foreign power.

The biggest buy and sell in Gorn space was weapons, which they would eventually turn on those they bought from; because after all, they were still part of the Badlands Sector.

Technology

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It was a mistake to assume that the Gorn were simply large, strong reptiles, but that was often an instinctual reaction when they were encountered. They were, in fact, highly advanced, and in some areas even more advanced than any other Alpha or Beta Quadrant power.

The Gorn had their own innovative technology. The ship which the USS Enterprise pursued showed an amazingly high rate of acceleration, pushing the Federation starship to its limits to maintain pursuit. Evasive actions occurred at high rates of speed, showing a level of maneuverability not then attainable by Federation craft. Shield capabilities and weapons appeared to be technologically commensurate with the engine design. Whether they continue to surpass modern Federation craft remains undetermined.

Considering Gorn technological achievements, one question has plagued Federation analysts. If the Gorn possessed superior weaponry, why did they flee the Enterprise? Damage to their ship was minimal. Why did they not turn and fire, utilizing their greater maneuverability to best the Federation craft? Several theories have emerged to explain this curious phenomenon. Some argue that the Gorn were cowards, relying on tricks and surprise to overcome their foes. Others maintain that they fled from a craft whose technology they didn’t understand, fearing other more potent innovations. One academician has suggested that the Gorn were actually a servitor race for the Metrons and that when the Federation entered space claimed by those beings, they sent the Gorn to lure a starship into range so the Metrons might test them and judge their worthiness. Yet another proposal maintains that the Gorn may have had impressive technology, but didn’t have much of it. What little they had was too precious to risk against a ship with the firepower of the Enterprise. Observation of the Gorn since the Treaty of Cestus III seems to indicate that all of these theories may have had some merit (with the exception of the theory of Gorn as servants of the Metron, for which there was no evidence.)


Gorn Varanus Battleship

Gorn Starships
The starships of the Gorn Space Command had a higher power output than those of their closest neighbors. Gorn vessels featured a quad-nacelle design, yet despite the additional power generated, the ships featured roughly the same speed performance as those of other species. The surplus power was used primarily for charging extremely potent shields. The Gorn dropped the use of polarized hull plating in favor of reinforced duranium composites, which in combination with modern shields, made Gorn vessels extremely tough and hard to damage. Even with the high-power demands of their defensive systems, Gorn vessels still supplied enough energy to power disruptors and their powerful sensor-jamming gear.


Gorn Disruptors

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Gorn weapons were described by a survivor of the Cestus III attack as “like phasers, only worse.” It was soon discovered that the Gorn used disruptors as well as phasers, both more powerful than those used by the Klingons or Romulans, although their targeting systems were far less precise.


Gorn Jammers
Gorn sensor technology was slightly less effective than that of the Federation, but their ability to disrupt sensors was the most advanced technology they possessed. Every Gorn vessel was outfitted with a jamming device that could disrupt active scanning at extreme range. This device drew a great deal of power, which made it unsuitable for combat operations, as it could render a Gorn vessel nearly defenseless. There were rare engagements, however, were a pair of Gorn vessels operating together used the jammer on one vessel to blind an opponent, while the second went in for the kill. This maneuver had a high risk of failure as it left the jammer defenseless. The Gorn were unlikely to use such a chancy tactic except in the most extreme circumstances.

Beliefs, Religion & Mythology

Gorn mythology stated that the founders of their species consist of the Mistress of Fertility S'Yahazah and a figure known as the "Great Father". Emphasis would be placed on the Great Egg Bringer S'Yahazah, for she saved the young Gorn eggs from being devoured by their father. The Great Father would be banished into space and never be worshipped again.

The mythology of the Gorn was also tied closely with one of their other neighbors. The Metrons, a race of cosmic beings who have interfered with the Gorn on more than one occasion. The Metron’s were considered a karmic force in most Gorn stories about them and weren’t so much revered as gods as seen as world makers and breakers. The Gorn had several legends that warned of cosmic beings that would trample over and destroy those they saw as lesser.

The favored mythology of the Gorn was one of Cosmic horror, everything bad came from the skies and the lands beyond their own, it fuelled their paranoia. To them, Gornar was as close to paradise as they could ever hope to achieve and they had to defend it against entities like the Metrons or other more horrific cosmic beings. Exploration and discovery were against most of the beliefs of the Gorn. Preferring solid defendable borders over venturing far into space where children could be born and die in the vacuum never knowing a proper brood.

The Gorn viewed themselves as small, as victims, and their belief was often one of fear-mongering. Their stories almost always ended with the destruction of Gornar or those closest to the narrator since they believed in world-devouring cosmic horrors from beyond time and space.

Among Gorn, there existed a rare coloration of the scales which was blue-yellowish in hue. These Gorn were believed to be protected by the Mistress of Fertility, for they were nobles and spiritually pure. Those hereditary families that had a large number of blue-yellow scaled Gorn were considered blessed with a symbol of Gorn strength.

Ussegssirr was a concept roughly translated to mean "manifest destiny", and it forms one of the basic tenets of the Gorn philosophy. Their race, long before they had attained space travel, believed that the strong have the right and the duty to extend their dominion over the weak. It was thus considered wrong for the strong to be limited or denied. This combined with gessegrissgir forms the baseline of Gorn honor.

Special Notes

Gorn born outside the Hegemony in slavery would die outside the Hegemony in slavery. No outsider once taken or leaving had ever been allowed back inside the Hegemony. They were considered classless, having no brood and no way into one they were the refuse those forgotten, and while it was a sore spot, there was no hope to reclaim someone who had been taken for fear that they might invite more outsiders.