From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
An aggressive, passionate people from the frozen moon Andoria, the Andorians had been part of the United Federation of Planets since its foundation, having been firm allies of Humanity for several years beforehand. Their blue skin, pale hair, and antennae gave them a distinctive appearance.
Andorians were a curious blend of mammalian physiology with insectoid-like characteristics. They were humanoid in appearance with blue skin, white hair, and a pair of knobbed antenna that were unnervingly active during interaction with other people. They were a comparatively tall species, averaging between 1.7 and 2.1 meters in height. This often gave them a misleading appearance of fragility, which was belied by their remarkable physical strength. Due to the extreme density of bone and muscle tissue, the average Andorian was quite capable of lifting an object of twice his or her weight. With a higher metabolic rate than Terrans , Andorians were especially vulnerable to phase pulse infection; even minor phase injuries could prove fatal. However, they demonstrated resistance to a wide range of environmental conditions. Furthrmore, females (shen and zhen) enjoyed an equal position in Andorian society, and as soldiers were as capable as the males (thaan and chan).
- 1 Physiology
- 2 Psychology
- 3 Language
- 4 Home World
- 5 Culture & Customs
- 6 History
- 6.1 Ancient History
- 6.2 The Kieloth
- 6.3 The Age of Krotus - 1245AD-1284AD
- 6.4 Legacy of the Conqueror - 1245-1400 AD
- 6.5 The Industrial Era, Trade, and War - 1400-1600 AD
- 6.6 The Modern Age / The Age of Information
- 6.7 Geshev and Lor'Vela
- 6.8 New Hope and Sacrifice
- 6.9 A Time of Achievement
- 6.10 Hopes Lie Broken
- 6.11 First Contact and the UFP
- 7 Government & Military
- 8 Technology
- 9 Mythology
The most notable of the Andorian physical features were the antennae, which were set slightly higher on the head than ears on a human. These antennae were actually extensions of their sinus cavities, giving the Andorians a great sensitivity to minute variations in atmospheric pressure and temperature. They had an elevated aural sensitivity and an enormously enhanced sense of smell. The actual receptors were situated within the depressions at the tips of the antennae and were protected by the hard cartilaginous tissue that kept the antennae rigid. The proximity of hominids could produce a "pins-and-needles" sensation in the antennae.
The antennae also expressed emotion, far more than the facial muscles, and were the prime indicators of Andorian body language, such as:
- Polite interest by curving toward the object of attention,
- Fear or excitement by standing rigid and quivering,
- Weariness or depression by drooping,
- Confusion or upset by wringing and lashing,
- Sexual arousal by slow writhing,
- Intoxication by wobbling unsteadily in different directions,
- Rage by pressing back against the skull,
- Amusement or a shrug by facing each other. (The degree and intensity determined the intention.)
Because of the importance of the antennae, much of Andorian psychology revolved around these organs. Fear of damage to the antennae was deeper and more widespread than castration-anxiety in humans. Loss of antennae to an Andorian was the equivalent of deafness, muteness, castration, and mutilation of the face to a human, and few Andorian warriors would voluntarily choose to live after such an injury. However, the antennae could regenerate themselves in time, but the Andorian warrior would be at a major disadvantage during the ensuing nine months. The uninvited touching of the antennae was considered an unpardonable rudeness, and the threat of injury to antennae was legitimate grounds for assault and murder.
Their senses were also more acute than those of humans, partly due to the function of antennae in sensing the environment around them. Andorian visual acuity was well above human standards. They listened by slightly bowing their heads, which gave them a false submissive demeanor, but they were actually positioning their antenna to get a better "view" of surrounding occurrences.
The spectacular coloration of Andorians was the result of a proteinous dye, HZB-41, analogous to melanin in humans, which was produced by nearly all Andorian animal life. The dye-cells had a comparatively short life span and had to be produced constantly from protein sources in the diet. One of the most common symptoms of serious illness was insufficient dye production and a corresponding loss of skin color. Andorians blushed purple when embarrassed.
Like other mammals, they had an internal skeleton. However they also had plates of cartilage under their skin that acted as a partial exoskeleton, providing added strength to their muscles and additional protection to the compartmentalized vital organs. Furthermore, Andorians could subsist on three or four hours of sleep during the 32-hour Andorian day. They were neither diurnal nor nocturnal and could even eat comfortably at midnight and then attend to duties.
Four Genders, two superficially “male” and two superficially “female,” made up the Andorian species. These were thaan, chan, shen, and zhen. Sometimes it was difficult for an outsider to determine what gender an Andorian was on sight, as a chan could appear somewhat feminine and a shen could appear somewhat masculine. This was a very crude generalization, though, since any thaan and chan could be mistaken for being the other respectively, which also applied for shen, and zhen. All four genders constituted a bonding, equivalent of a wedding, and were also required for reproduction - the act known as shelthreth.
|Thaan||Internal testes, retractable penis||Produce sperm, fertilize shen|
|Chan||Internal Testes, retractable penis||Produce sperm, fertilize shen|
|Shen||Vagina, ovaries, uterus, average female breast tissue, retractable ovipositor||Receive sperm, produce egg, deposit egg in zhen’s womb, which dissolves there|
|Zhen||Vagina, more breast tissue than shen, womb with internal teats||Receive egg, nourish the embryo from the egg to term, gives birth vaginally|
When the fertile period was upon the bonded quadruple, they would emit certain pheromones that stimulated the gametes of the thaan, chan and shen. Meanwhile the zhen’s breasts and internal teats would begin to produce milk, awaiting the egg from the shen. The thaan and chan genders had internal testes and retractable penises. The gametes of each “male” gender contained one quarter of the number of genes necessary to produce offspring. The shen had an ovipositor.
During the fertile period, the shen produced a haploid (containing half the genes required to produce offspring) egg. The zhen lactated at this time and the shen drank the breast milk, which prepared the egg for fertilization. The egg - once fertilized by both a thaan and a chan - developed into a tiny immature morula, a protective pod-like egg.
During the second day of the shelthreth, the zhen’s vaginal passage was usually stimulated by her partners to open and receive the egg. By this time, the shen´s ovipositor would have become engorged enough to complete the shelthreth. The shen passed the egg through the ovipositor into the zhen’s waiting womb.
After a couple of days, the egg would dissolve and allow the embryo find a teat inside the womb. The yolk sac inside the shed egg was all that remained, and it was attached to the embryo's abdomen in the same area as the belly-button of a human would be. The yolk sac was usually shed before birth, but in some cases, as small as it might be, it could be removed after birth like any mammalian umbilical cord. The external breasts of a zhen would continue to lactate and only the zhen was capable of nursing the young.
Andorians were a hard-working and serious people, who were often but incorrectly viewed as humorless and irritable. The harsh history of early Andorian civilization left a strong taboo against the appearance of frivolity or wasted effort, but it was more easily acceptable when not enjoyed in public. Andorians often felt uncomfortable when invited to pursue purely recreational activities like parties or social games. Their curt refusals often made them seem prudish or unsociable, while in fact they simply didn't have a strong cultural reason for engaging in such activities. They also didn't engage in idle chit-chat. Conversations were to the point with introductions only given as a matter of courtesy.
The race had a genetic predisposition toward violent behavior. Imminent danger caused a biochemical reaction, resulting in either physical violence or an increase in sensory input levels, which, in turn, could enhance analytical and reasoning skills. Andorians did not succumb easily to pressure and actually got calmer in a crisis - until they got violent. Andorian history was one of conflict, though they did not battle without reason. The martial spirit was alive in Andorian culture. Andorians were extremely disciplined, possessing a strong sense of duty and personal honor, and so they made excellent military officers. Andorian commanders took the time to study pros and cons of strategy when conditions of battle permitted. However, in the heat of comba,t when Andorian lives were at stake, they would strike quickly and ferociously. This patience in a historically warrior culture was opposite from the mindset of warrior cultures like the Klingons and the Kazon, who embarked on a course of action before having all the facts.
An Andorian smile was a soft, liquid gaze. They adopted a tentative human-like smile because of familiarity with humans and would attempt the expression around other humanoids whose custom was to show friendliness by smiling. The Andorian equivalent of a handshake among themselves was touching palms, fingers up. It was not a casual greeting to be used with newly introduced acquaintances, but an acknowledgement of trust or mild affection between two Andorians. When introduced to strangers or greeting personages of title or of age, an Andorian would execute a small bow. The Andorian bow was made from the shoulders rather than the waist or the neck.
Andorian speech was often, but not always, soft and sibilant due to their differing hearing apparatus. Some undertones of their communication were not immediately perceptible to other races and cultures. The ability to sense vibration and pitch led to a cultural preoccupation with music, which was the original basis of the Andorian language. The universal translator, however, amplified their Federation Standard for ease of hearing.
The four Andorian genders were signified by prefixes used with the gender name, such as ch' and zh' for chan and zhen. The family name was prefixed with the gender of the individual and the given name could be shortened conversationally. For example, KevaLen ch'Rhane, was a chan which was represented by the ch', a member of the Rhane clan and he often shortened his name to Len. In contrast with other species, either the given name or the shortened version of it could be used in place of a surname, i.e. Lt. KevaLen or Lt. Len. Some Andorians who were exiled resorted to other naming conventions, like using their last name with their rank.
Andoridans had a plethora of pronouns, endearments, and titles for each gender:
|Apparent Binary Gender||Gender||Polite Form of Address||Bondmate Endearment||Parental Name||Offspring Name||Sibling||Parent by Marriage||Child by Marriage|
Here is a handy lexicon for Andorian words:
|kharakom||Often described to humans as "boxing"|
|hleshvalath||Most Andorian fighting styles employed direct force, with the exception of this wrestling style which emphasized grappling and restraint of the opponent - utilizing slams, joint-breaks, and bear hugs in a quick, brutal and efficient manner|
|alnaav||A rare and powerful martial arts style that required a level of discipline and dedication rare even among Andorians|
|shoshi||Equivalent of "cool" or "awesome", metaphorically swift/speedy (not slang)|
|hefflak||Literally "merriment" but used as the earth-equivalent term for "incest"|
|bouf||"Pink", refers to things that do not work or are non-functional (see: pink skin)|
|ishinan||A command to make an attack, "open fire" or "weapons free"|
|kelthreh||One's own family|
|zhavey||Mother, or eldest mother|
|xixu||A marine plant whose fronds may be mashed and used in baby food|
|klazh||An animal known for its careless way of moving|
|ishurni||Plural of ishur|
|shras||"Friend", which was significant enough to an Andorian, but ishurni may as well be siblings or spouses.|
|elta||A floral tree|
|vithi||An edible flower|
|gabavga||The full bladder and intestines of a "gabav." Best when served piping hot with a frosty mug of Andorian blue ale.|
|shola||Literally “the thing where/in which love is born,” also a synonym for “soul” or “spirit,” with many of the same poetic connotations of those words in English.|
|jath’shola||(A person who “is the essence” of shola) is a loving, “soulful” person|
|feli||Someone who was passionate in the more standard sense|
|zztann||No translation. More or less means "things are very very very bad." Phrases to follow are normally along the line of "now we're really fwarked!"|
|challorn||A sweet-smelling flower|
|ondara||Music (literally: the sound the world makes)|
|hrisal||(Plural: hrisalni) is an Andorian sword-weapon, whose name translated to "best killing tool."|
|shax||A poisonous Parasitic insect that nested under the skin of its host. Shanchen’s mantle is a salve that provides temporary relief.|
|dosalnar||An Andorian sword-like weapon, among the top chosen weapons in Andorian duels.|
|eth'la||Type of flower vine|
|shapla||A betrothal symbol; woven locks of hair from bondmates|
|schanchen||A type of medicinal plant|
|thasalla shiitar||An Andorian language term referring to a condition or situation where an Andorian's honor was obtained through combat, such as when a ship "goes down fighting".|
|miral(ni)||The Andorian word for their antenna(e), literally meaning "best identifying/labeling tool." Used metaphorically when "measuring up" with each other, as Ferengi did with their lobes, and Terrans did with their "guts." When using its colloquial meaning in Federation Standard, Andorians usually used the blunter term "stalks." Asking Andorians if they "have the stalks" for something is questioning (or prodding) their courage or fortitude.|
|katheka||A stimulant analogous to coffee|
|ushaan||An Andorian tradition which meant 'intimate' or 'private' combat that was developed in the planet's brutal violent past.|
|tezha||Sexual union outside the shelthreth|
|shelthreth||Ritual consummation of marriage for the purpose of conception.|
|alneesh||A type of marsh bison|
|chaka||(Plural chakani) an Andorian fighting blade weapon, similar to an over-sized Klingon d'k tahg with a sideways bat'tleh-style grip.|
|eketha||A type of hardwood tree|
|schnarzzed||Drunk, i.e. plastered out of one's freaking mind; see also fwarked or "fucked"|
|zabathu||A type of camel|
|shaysha||An edible beetle-like insect|
|shuralan||Gold; golden in color|
|shelat||Excrement, manure, defecation (aka shit)|
|rayth||A type of feline creature whose females are the dominant huntresses (quite like the Terran lion)|
|flabbjellah||A traditional Andorian sidearm that doubled as a musical instrument|
|cheldu||Refers to an ancient mystical art form of “healing touches”|
|tashrul||Archer; literally “person who injures from a distance”|
|shla’hlast||Infant; literally “the outcome of love: a living person”|
|shelnak||Andorian currency, roughly the equivalent of one strip of gold pressed latinum or twenty human dollars.|
|ushevaya||Slang term for 'prostitute'|
|ohlasa||Explosion; “the sign/sound of fire”|
|ceara||Traditional clothing among zhen|
|cor’sala||“Thrill of engaging the enemy”|
|dogra||Fertile soil; irrigated soil where food can grow|
|grela||“Messenger” or “courier”|
|lexu||“The touch of ice” or frostbite|
Home WorldVulcan, which led to a series of conflicts between the Andorian Empire and the Vulcans. Andoria was also relatively close to the Sol system and Regulus. Andorian cities were mostly underground except for the uppermost floors and derived their energy from geothermal activity. The cities were connected to each other by thousands of kilometers of tunnels. Only during rare heat waves would the average temperature on Andoria rise above freezing, and even then only for a few weeks at a time. During mid-summer, a temperature reading of minus 28°C was not uncommon. Laibok was the Capital City of Andoria. But most Andorians called it simply the Capital City.
Andorian oceans were rich sources of food, industrial energy, and scientific inquiry, not recreation. In spite of the cold climate of Andoria, large portions of the oceans remained open due to their salt content. These cold waters were fertile with sea life. In spite of its inhospitable surface, Andoria supported over 30 million people. At one time, Andorians numbered in the billions, but declining birthrates reduced their numbers to 90 million in all of Andorian space. Andoria supported a thriving tourist industry. Its rugged terrain featured several famous mountain ranges and spectacular glaciers. The view of the planet Andor in both the day and night sky was astounding, even to a space traveler.
Culture & Customs
Andorians serving in the military wore their hair short. Civilians wore their hair long, usually braided in a mass of braids and pinned up or hanging loose as suited the wearer. During sacred ceremonies, the hair could be worn unbraided and loose down the back.
The Andorian family included all relatives of the four bondmates (one of each gender) and was called the Clan, or a Keth. A Keth could have been quite extensive and number in the thousands. Keth inhabited the underground caves (keeps) of their ancestors. A Keth would gather in a dedicated meeting hall known as the Sanctuary. The meeting itself was called an Enclave. When the term was used, it indicated to all participants that ceremonial protocol must be observed.
Keth traditionally lived and held clan meetings in keeps, huge underground fortresses, most of them natural caves formed from volcanic or water action. The underground keeps took advantage of both subterranean heat and hot water to provide the hot and humid atmosphere that Andorians preferred. The meeting room of a clan had a large pool of naturally heated water in which those present immersed themselves.
All who were invited to the clan meeting (Enclave) divested themselves of all clothing and donned a provided one-piece garment called a shield, basically an oval of cloth with an opening for the head and something to tie the shield around the body like a poncho. Considered a courtesy, changing into a shield garment was a carryover from clan warfare days when visitors had to divest themselves of all armor and weapons. Attendees entered barefoot, then slipped into the pool, clothed in their shields.
All Andorians were screened from birth by the Keth for genetic fitness. This information was used to select the best four youth for marriage and procreation. A genetically inferior Andorian was not likely to be chosen for shelthreth. They engaged in shelthreth as long as they were together and only as a four-some. Engaging in sex for pleasure without the participation of all four was thought to be selfish, not living for the Whole.
In the few short years of fertility, Andorians would try to conceive as many children as possible to replace those who died. Unfortunately, fertile periods became shorter and fewer viable offspring were born. The declining birthrate forced the Andorians to arrange bondings among genetically strong members rather than let the young people choose their own love matches.
Andorians were renowned for their artistic talents in both two and three-dimensional art. They also expressed themselves in literary and performing arts such as poetry, literature, and music.
Andorians were a race of artists, which was largely tied in with their natural tendency towards violence and aggression. They were not Klingons, but in some ways they resembled Klingons in that they always had this anger just beneath the surface that could break out at any moment. They didn't lash out often but you could see when they were angry and when they were holding back from punching someone right in the face. However, unlike Klingons, Andorians kept their anger in check. No matter how badly they wanted to throw a punch, they held back, largely because their culture, legal system, and unwritten code of behavior was based upon obedience - following and upholding the rules as all costs. They were taught to do this from an early age. How an Andorian led their daily life was to not suppress their emotions as Vulcans did, but to store them. Every annoying thing that happened, whether it was as tiny as getting a stone in your shoe or someone looking at them the wrong way, or as terrible as finding out your lover cheated on you, is was filed away to deal with later. You could see when they were angry but they held it back as best they could and usually, they succeeded. Later, they let out that anger all at once at a time that, according to their rules and their code of behavior, was right. It helped make guardsmen into strong warriors.
But not every Andorian could be a soldier or an engineer. Many civilians threw themselves instead into the creative arts. Be it paintings, sculptures, or music, they stored up their anger and their need to expel violent energy, and used it as fuel not to do battle, but to create beautiful things. Art was not a hobby to any Andorian. It was something that many of them needed.
The first Andorian cities were founded underground where they could take advantage of geothermal activity. ‘Dwellings’ were hollowed out from rock and earth. In the stone age, the towns consisted of primative tunnels made simply by digging and shifting earth and stone about. As time went on, ancient Andorians gradually learned ways to create better and more comfortable dwellings for themselves, using more advanced tools to create their homes and the connecting tunnels. It was known that plant life (i.e. vegetables) bloomed in the summer (which occured once every ten years), so tunnels to the surface were dug. Over the centuries, Andorians learned how to farm vegetables, but their diet, early on, consisted primarily of meat and fungi (mushrooms). Andorian fungi was rich in nutrients, so it was suitable to their needs.
The oldest town was Rhi, built underground on the continent of Ka'Thela. Ka'Thela had three inland seas, and Rhi was built close to one of these seas, where fishing provided a source of food. [Note that Andorian fishing was somewhat different to Earth fishing] Over time, as Andorians spread out and explored, neighboring towns were built in Ka'Thela, with each of the three inland seas becoming the center of distinct cultures, trading with each other, warring with each other, and expanding only as rapidly as a careful web of agriculture and trade could be built to ensure that outlying mountain or coastal settlements did not starve or freeze. Surviving architecture* depicted several emperors and grand wars, and contained many well-preserved ancient structures (the twin guardians of Thalassa, statues of early Andorian warriors 70 metres high, were a particularly impressive and often photographed tourist sight).
The three seas were named Thalassa, Kal'Sun, and Voral.
- The Thalassan Andorians, with their distinctive high, knobby antennae, eventually became the dominant Andorian race.
- The Talish Andorians (from Kal'Sun, distinguished by their greater variety of skin hues and forward, tendril-like antennae) emerged some time after the Thalassan.
- The Bish'ee Andorians, from Voral (distinguished by their richly blue skin and savage (even by Andorian standards) ways, interrupted their fighting long enough to build settlements. Bish'ee dominated cultures fractured in later ages. Apart from rich hoards of ancient weapons and tools, the only remnant of the Bish'ee was their descendants in Voral, sporting the 'diminishing’ antennae which stood straight out from the head.
Since only a thin strip of Andorian latitude provided coastline that wasn't blocked by ice or threatened by deadly icebergs year-round, and since they did not have the materials to build boats (no trees, therefore no wood) Andorians avoided the oceans. Thus, civilizations moved and changed more slowly than on worlds with more water traffic. Glacial growth stretched over many centuries for even small changes, as day to day Andorian life featured desperate battles with each other and with the elements for survival, comfort, and warmth.
Despite the climate-induced stagnation, the early centuries of Andorian civilization were still a kind of 'golden age’, producing Andoria’s earliest ventures into music, art, philosophy, civil engineering, and other trappings of a young sentient species. The li-mi'sha texts penned by a scientist/philosopher/rebel living near Thalassa were one of the most complete sets of written history available from ancient history. They painted a stunning picture of a world driven by passion and frequently torn apart by it. (Obviously, they were written on parchment, because the materials to make paper or papyrus were not available.)
The first well-defined stage in Andorian history was the Kieloth, what Federation historians often referred to as the Andorian ‘medieval’ period, ranging approximately from the years 600BC to 1200AD on the standard Federation calendar. It began with the reign of a great Bish'ee King, Ankord of Jonava, who through force of will, gave western Voral a sense of unity that it would spend the next 1800 years trying to live up to. It ended with the global changes brought about by the conquests of a Ka'Thelan, Krotus, who exceeded Ankord’s achievement by doing the same thing for (or at least to) the entire world (well, the main continent of Ka'Thela and some of its surrounding islands, anyway).
Many Andorian traditions, such as the ornate leather-tabard-and-chainmail garb still used as ceremonial dress, originated here, as did the concept of the keth (clan). The small and numerous Andorian kingdoms of the Kieloth touched on (for the first time) nearly every habitable point on the continent of Ka'Thela. The slow underground migrations of previous centuries had finally resulted in widespread mixing of the three principle Andorian races, and established trade routes stretching from Jonava (in west Voral) to Kal'Sun - a remarkable achievement, considering some of the terrain and weather that the caravans dealt with on their year-long journeys. The legends of the previous eras fueled the poets of the Kieloth, and it was a time of artistic growth, urban squalor, and armored warriors astride zabathu (Andorian camel). Rare instances of developed psionic talent seemed to have first appeared shortly before this period (thought to be the result of the telepathic Aenar traversing the lands, though evidence was circumstantial and these stories could just as easily have been attributed to mythology and colorful, imaginative story-telling) and Andorian 'sorcerer kings’ battled for control of the lives of a terrified peasantry on the eastern shores of Voral.
In the underground villages huddled in the shadow of great halls, minstrels kept history alive in the form of song and plucked the strings of metal-forged, harp-like instruments, fitted with blades, in case audiences proved less than appreciative of the tale-teller’s interpretation of events.
The players in this period were many, and the roster shifted chaotically from decade to decade throughout most of the period. Study of the Kieloth would reveal the many stories of the rise and fall of everything from humble houses of worship to mighty military empires.
Life in the Kieloth was hard and brutal, but many romanticized it, painting the squalid cities as quaint and colorful, bloody wars fought over a sagging great hall as honorable and vital, and people who were very possibly savage, psychopathic butchers as heroic defenders of some particular symbol, banner, or keth. Many humans, in particular, were captivated by this period, since it seemed to have been closer to the heroic images of Earth’s own Middle Ages than the Earth’s really was, even when accounting for the hyperbole and obvious distortion. The Kieloth was many unpleasant things, but it was, indeed, a time of adventure, extraordinary romance, and mystery. It was a time when a common burglar, like Ankord of Jonava, could become king simply by stealing the correct sacred spear and sleeping with the right group of influential princes and princesses, and when a madman, like the infamous Ulicri, could become king by smashing Ankord’s elderly skull with a clay pot of liqueur. From the cave of the average peasant Andorian however, it couldn't have been very pleasant, since life on Andoria was a game of survival to begin with, and keeping warm and fed whilst those who owned the land are distracted by lust and murder was a game more often lost than won.
After the death of Ankord of Jonava, the kingdom of Voral crumbled, those faithful to Ankord slowly migrating, dying, and/or changing allegiance, until eventually his kingdom was left a ruin. (The ancient kingdom of Voral would later be built over, during the renaissance period.)
Historically, the Kieloth was overshadowed by what followed, and was studied primarily for the things that it produced that were still beloved in present times (such as Andoria’s hundreds of distinct forms of bladed weaponry). The Kieloth laid the groundwork for the arrival and achievements of the mighty Krotus, the Ka'Lethian conqueror.
The Age of Krotus - 1245AD-1284AD
Krotus, the conqueror of Andoria (that is, the main continent of Ka'Thela and its surrounding islands), was arguably the greatest leader in galactic history, if for no other reason that his profound adaptability. When his career began, his small armies were equipped with swords and spears, speaking a minor dialect of an obscure language, and travelling on foot or by zabathu (Andorian camel). By the time he conquered his world, his armies (massive, and led, in part, by the survivors of those earliest campaigns) were equipped with maces, spearguns, catapults, and later, cannons, and had fluently adopted a newly rising language (Graalen) that would become the standard, and traveled by machines (the first primitive vehicles). Krotus could seemingly bring a thousand soldiers into a city like a whisper, and could humble a nation and bring it a renaissance in what looked like a single stroke. “Andoria,” it was said, “is a world tamed by Lor'Vela, but fathered by Krotus.”* Of the great minds and wills of the Age of Krotus, nearly everyone was either discovered, rescued, encouraged, inspired, given patronage, or murdered by the conqueror. His footprint on the snows of Andoria was doubtless eternal. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)
Legends sung of Krotus’ youth as a Talish fur-trapper, leading his band against a nameless warlord beneath the Enessi Mountains. Economists pointed to his enforced food and fur exchanges saving tribes from starvation and laying the groundwork for trade routes that would endure. The Andorian military institute - the Imperial Guard - studied the lightning series of marches, diplomatic triumphs, intelligence coups, and brutal displays of power that brought all of Andoria under his sway in just under forty years.
Ethnologists described the marriage of Krotus and his trusted lieutenant Belcorus to a Thalassan zhen and shen as the core of Andorian racial unity. Moralists sermonized on Krotus’ fate, slain in his dotage by his own daughter as his empire eroded. The stories of the many battles, allegiances, vendettas, and friendships along the way could have filled (and did fill) hundreds of volumes, some of them possibly true.
Legacy of the Conqueror - 1245-1400 AD
In the two hundred years that followed the conquest, Andoria matured and advanced more rapidly than it had ever done before - and along with the advancement came war, as chunks of the culture that had been held together by the will of Krotus fought for independence. Eventually the ancient kindom of Voral, left in ruin after the death of its leader, Ankord of Jonava , was recolonized, the ruins built over with new and improved dwellings and structures and much of the history lost as slowly, ancient structures and artifacts were covered and overshadowed by the homes and structures of the new population. In the meantime, Andorian engineers and scientists began to experiment with creating more advanced technology - finding other ways to achieve feats that they had previously been unable to achieve due to a complete lack of trees and therefore wood and paper on their world. Records were made on parchment. The streets were being lit by oil lights, goods were being moved more quickly across continents using early machinery, and communication seemed to advance almost as rapidly as it tended to break down - for once the cultures broke free of the empire, they began to fight among themselves. The Andorians were able to destroy one another more violently, defend themselves more cleverly, and survive climatic extremes that had previously defied settlement. Some built entire cities within the mountains, others braved epic journeys across the ice-topped oceans; others wrote novels or ate well or danced the cold nights away. Increasingly, most woke up threatened by the specter of war and took up arms to fight wars tangled in the clan lines that were a source of honor, pride, and hatred.
During this period, the divide between rich and poor gradually became more pronounced - largely due to the movements of parchment. Parchment was harder to come by than paper would have been (if paper had ever existed on Andoria, which it didn’t), because it required the killing of animals for their skins plus the skilled crafting of that skin into a writing material, and the impoverished could neither afford to obtain enough quantities of parchment to make detailed records on, nor could they even learn to read in the first place due to the lack of material to read. Parchment, and therefore books, were a luxury of the rich, and used largely to broaden their knowledge and the education of their children, keep records, and keep the rich rich and the poor poor, by manipulating the movements of trade and currency. The poor kept their own records mostly by memory, word of mouth, drawings and paintings, and (for those few that did manage to learn how to read and write), writing on walls, stones, and in some rare instances, making carvings in clay. (Rare, because pottery, or at least well crafted pottery, was also a thing of the rich - but some peasants did work as potters and could therefore obtain their own hand-crafted pottery by that means.)
It was the constant warring that brought about a boom in technological growth. The ever-present threat of war inspired and/or frightened scientists and engineers to work harder and faster than ever before, groups of visionaries and inventors faithful to particular clans pooling their resources to invent better weapons, better travelling machines, better methods of storing their food and maximizing their profits, and so on, for the sake of protecting their clans and homes. Each clan, or each group of 'allied’ clans, knew that their enemies were doing the same, so coming up with new technology and implementing it became a race against time. It was this boom in technology that brought about the industrial era.
The Industrial Era, Trade, and War - 1400-1600 AD
By about 1400 AD on the Federation calendar, Andoria had largely become an industrialized world - or at least, the main continent of Ka'Thela, the most heavily populated area, had. The transition process was a gradual one, so cataloging the era by date was not easily done and historians and keth'rasi argued over the finer details. During the late Renaissance period voyages across the seas had begun and colonization of distant lands was slowly taking place, but due to the lack of boats (no trees, therefore no wood to build boats) progress on this front was extremely slow. Ka'Thela remained the major and most heavily populated and powerful continent in the world.
Thara, a confederation of nations occupying a full third of the Ka'Thela continent and most of the land connecting the major cities, had grown wealthy in the two centuries following the conquests of Krotus, as it occupied a front-row seat for two of the most important trade arteries on the planet - the tunnels through the Thara mountain ranges, and the rivers connecting the three inland seas. At this time, Keth Utarsk was the ruling family of Thara (and remained the most influential keth (clan) in the city named for them). At least twenty other kethri were involved with and remained loyal to Keth Utarsk.
It is important to remember that gathering and storing food was a constant struggle for Andorians - much more so than it ever was on Earth. In the summer, the surface would become warm enough to walk on (though still dangerous due to cold weather) and plant and animal life would flourish, whilst in the winter, food production would stagnate, and the surface of the world would become completely uninhabitable. With summers that occurred only once every ten years, Andorians had to make use of what short time they had to farm, catch, and gather as much food as possible, and then decide what they wanted to stockpile and what they wanted to trade.
Fishing and capturing enough fish to sustain a population, and then distributing fish by small river boats about that population, during the short summer period, required great manpower, as well as great dedication and organization, and with both war and devastating weather conditions constantly upon the horizon, many fishermen and traders had to travel far afield and frequently perished while they worked. Storing food that would last from one summer until the next being a constant difficulty faced by all Andorians, it was not uncommon for those who were unable to farm, catch, or buy their own food to steal it from others. The life of a river trader was a difficult and often dangerous job. Many who worked in this capacity, chose to do so either for the thrill and the challenge, or the ridiculously high pay (which was seen as adequate to account for the danger factor).
The reason why river trading was done at all (considering how dangerous it was) was that travelling by river was infinitely faster than doing so by underground caravan. People wanted their food, and they wanted it fast, and would often be willing to pay greater quantities of currency to those that could get it to them quickly. So fish (and other food, but primarily fish) was frequently transported by many small canoe-like boats that would brave the river rapids in order to deliver these goods. Of course this could only be done in the summer, so in more ways than one it was a race against time to get the job done.
By the time of the industrial era, tunnels dug through the rocks and caves connected each town and city with every other town and city, and throughout the winter years, caravans maintained regular travel and distribution of goods. In the renaissance period, carts were towed by zabathu (Andorian camel) - by the industrial period, machines began to gradually replace the zabathu, enabling traders to travel more quickly and safely. They were, initially, something like trucks or cars, but with a larger, more robust structure suitable for getting along the rocky tunnels. They were frequently preyed upon by raiders, pirating thieves who would ambush a vehicle and steal the goods, often killing the travelers in the process.
The truck-like vehicles did not last long. About 20 years after they had begun to fall into use, and before zabathu caravans had fallen out of use (because the switch was not immediate; there was an overlap) they began to be replaced by the next thing.
The next thing was underground rails that would take carriages through the tunnels even more swiftly, built in a manner similar to that of Earth's underground trains. The invention of underground trains made what had once been a dangerous process into one that was, for the most part, safe, and was probably the single most important invention in the history of modern Andoria, revolutionizing trade and making it possible for food, medicines, and other materials to be distributed far more quickly and in greater quantities than ever before. Faster trade meant faster overall production (with not only consumable goods but also raw materials being transported back and forth more quickly), so the rails were directly responsible for a boom in public health, cultural growth, and population.
The invention of the railway was a direct response to the violence and danger of war. Those loyal to Thara and Utarsk, in an attempt to keep their trade routes from breaking down, invented the railways in order to ensure the safety of their traders and goods, protecting their own from thieves and pirates, as well as maximizing profits at the same time. (As mentioned above, the recipient would often pay more for something that could be delivered quickly, and whereas journeys made by zabathu caravans could take weeks or months, and journeys made by truck typically took 1-4 weeks depending on the distance, railway travel could get from one end of the continent to the other in under 5 days. Over time and as technology improved, the speed of the railways gradually increased, cutting that time frame down to 2 days or less).
The Modern Age / The Age of Information
Due to constant skirmishes and wars fought during the industrial period, Andorian technology began to advance more quickly as governments demanded new and better ways of ensuring their continued power, putting scientists and engineers to work on inventing underground railways, weapons, and electronic communication methods, among other things. Radio and computer technology and internet communication sprung up during the late industrial era. It was the refinement of these inventions in the mid 1600’s, that heralded the modern age.
Computers and telephones were originally intended for use by the Andorian military in fighting their many wars and skirmishes. But as time wore on, this technology began finding its way into civilian businesses, and with it, possibly the single most important invention in the history of Andoria: The PADD.
PADDs were invented on Andoria a great deal earlier (relative to the technology of the time) than their Earth equivalent (the Kindle and the iPad). Originally they were extremely primitive. About as big as a suitcase, with minimal options and only two colors on the screen - black and white. When you wanted to use it, you would have to set it down on a hard surface, open it up, then wait for 20 minutes while its systems churned into action. An incredibly clunky and inconvenient thing, it was exactly what the Kindle would have been like if it had been invented in the 1960’s, if you could imagine such a thing. The reason why Earth did not invent this device as early in its people’s history as the Andorians did, was because we had little need for such a thing - we had our old-fashioned books and magazines: on Andoria, where there was no paper and the only thing that could be used for writing on was an expensive luxury item available only to the very wealthy, PADDs had a great deal more demand and use.
Once PADDs began finding their way into businesses, where managers and staff would use them to help organize their finances and the goings-on of working life and business, they gradually became popular, and around their growing popularity, society on the whole began to experience a gradual change. Andorians who previously had never had the opportunity to obtain parchment or learn to read and write, could use PADDs to educate themselves.
As the decades went by, computer technology, telephones, and the all-important PADD’s were refined, eventually becoming accessible (both in regards to physical size and cost) to all but the poorest of the poor.
This closed the gap between the rich, educated, and noble born Andorians, and the poor, uneducated, peasant classes. But Andorians from traditionally wealthy and privileged families did not take this lightly. Feeling threatened, they refused to allow those from the common and humble clans to raise themselves too high, and did what they could to keep the class system in place. Since Andoria was not a democracy but worked on a political system that was more like a monarchy (political power being something that largely inherited - the children of the leaders becoming the next leaders, and so on) this was not so difficult to do.
Despite the technological and sociological advancements, Andoria still suffered from many wars - often short lived ones that were fought over politics and the trafficking of goods (and in particular, food). War and the distribution of wealth was largely responsible for keeping the poor in poverty and for the wealthy maintaining their empires. The poor fought back in their own small ways, but the governments kept them down in their own ways, much as the governments of Earth did in the 21st century.
Geshev and Lor'Vela
Today, it is popular to say that as Lor'Vela came to adulthood, Andoria was dying and tired of war. This is a convenient image, but not entirely true.
Andoria was suffering. At the height of the wars, when modern technology had advanced to a degree that weapons of mass destruction were available, atomic weapons had scoured seven major urban targets, engineered diseases ran rampant, and simple starvation and exposure - natural conditions that were exacerbated by these wars - swelled the river of death twofold.
There were those, however, who were just getting warmed up.
In the Dharan uplands there lived a woman named Geshev, a warlord Atlolla of a powerful keth. Geshev was busy seizing power through treachery. Taking advantage of the weariness and broken hopes of her neighboring clan chieftains, she called a meeting meant to begin talks of peace - and slaughtered those who attended, leaving their heads in a bloody circle in the snow. With centralized power and communications now dying in Dhara, Geshev was able to seize control of three rival clans in one day, and the surviving victims of her treachery, broken and helpless, turned to her for what cold mercies they might be granted in order to survive. Those who didn’t immediately recognize her rule went into a vengeful rage - which Geshev cleverly manipulated to her own ends, fostering conflict on the battlefields that had seemingly exhausted their potential for war.
Geshev conquered by guile and force with equal handiness. Within three years, the uplands of Dhara were hers, and her clan was among the most powerful on a dying world. Geshev’s clan became a source of cheap weapons and slaves, feeding the tiny fires that flared up regularly in the surrounding lands, and Geshev grew powerful, riding a wave of death and misery. Geshev was not a destroyer on the same level that Hitler was - the scale of her power did not stretch so wide or ravage as many lands. But it was an important piece of Andorian history, because it marked one of the darker eras of Ka'Thela, and more importantly, eventually became the catalyst for change.
Geshev had built a minor empire on her ability to divide those who desperately needed unity. Her daughter, who was known by the name ‘Lor'Vela’, determined to reverse that trend and end the misery her keth was responsible for, called her mother out to fight in 1678. Lor'Vela was 14 years old, clumsy, awkward, and determined to kill.
The duel was not the ritual of skill and sport that Lor'Vela would later introduce to her weary world; it was a savage battle fought around a snow-crusted creek in Dhara one summer, as dozens or hundreds looked on. Poets and artists depicted it as a sad occasion, with both combatants tearful and bitterly regretting where events had taken them, but grimly determined nevertheless, though historical records of the event are patchy, so we cannot know for certain what it was really like. Geshev lost, her body slashed and punctured by the furious young girl determined to undo what her mother had done. Lor'Vela herself was wounded but able to walk, and able to scream to all those assembled that her mother’s keth was now hers.
In a matter of years, the Tharan and even east Ka'Thalan clans had begun to take notice of what was happening in Dhara. A young girl had risen to command a powerful clan that had been built out of other clans by treachery - and had turned that wicked creation into a kind of federated force for rebuilding their land. The Dharans were still starving, sick, and struggling to live, but they were no longer at war - not with one another and not with their neighbors. Their laws were strict, written by the young woman and her remaining three parents, and dictated that matters of pride and anger would be settled by formal duel of chakani. Soon, clan chieftains even from distant Voral had visited the young and remarkable woman, to speak with her and learn the secrets of Dharan peace. Andoria had found hope again, and the young woman was named by all as Lor'Vela, literally “the woman who brought the laws”.
New Hope and Sacrifice
In 1692, after several false starts and delays caused by skirmishes and the worst weather in anybody’s memory, clan leaders from every surviving keth on Andoria gathered in a rebuilt hall in the city of Tarsk. Lar'Vela addressed them all, and for sixty days they spoke, and debated, and some even dueled - some clans resolving issues then and there that would have otherwise blocked the proceedings. In the end, laws had been written, decisions had been made, a government sketched out, and a great sacrifice was placed on the alter of time.
Lor'Vela herself made the sacrifice. Her own clan, a patchwork of might assembled of lies and cowardly murder, the deeds of her mother, was to be dissolved, with the conquered bloodlines set free to find their own ways again and determine their own chieftains. Lor'Vela gave up her position as leader entirely, to step into the ranks of society, and to live with her family in peace.
A Time of Achievement
With a new council of 300 in place, the Andorians rebuilt their home over the next few decades. They restored major rail lines and trade began to flourish again. The first few years still saw military flare-ups, border disputes, and passion-driven assassinations, but few armies were mobilized, and no towns were besieged. Lor'Vela herself, perhaps ironically, died in a duel at the age of 59, defending the honor of her wife and husbands against a scandal engineered by a jealous rival.
Prosperity paid many dividends for the Andorians, who again embraced the pursuits of fine art, stirring music, good food, and meaningful literature. A spirit of adventure and vigorous commerce prevailed. Andorians were even able to finally conquer the oceans, when Keth Ortharnu launched ironclad explorers designed for cutting through the ice. When the first of these shrugged off a collision with an iceberg on a long run along the northern shore of Voral, it was as if the Andorians had cast off an ancient demon, and could look upon their seas with a sense of possibility instead of dread. The first ironclad ice cutter to circumnavigate the globe was the Kumari.
In 1734*, Andoria took her historic first steps into the galaxy around her, on a tiny manned rocket called the Lolis Canir. Launched by Keth Ivari from their homegrown facilities in Jonava, this primitive single-stage rocket set off a brush fire of progress as engineers from across the globe joined Keth Ivani. Every Andorian watched or contributed, awaiting the day they could step out among the stars. Andorians constructed the first permanent colony on one of their neighboring moons (on the site of modern city of Eghar) by 1805. Within four decades, Andorian zeal for space travel placed scientific colonies on other worlds in their own solar system and the time seemed ripe for even bolder adventures.
Hopes Lie Broken
The early years of in-system colonization led to the discovery that not all habitable worlds are like Andoria, and early expeditions into space taught the first Andorians - who traveled at pre-warp speeds, that in fact, a great many worlds were out there that were not like Andoria at all, and a great many stars were not like Andor. Up until this point, Andorians - or at least, those Andorians that believed in life on other worlds - assumed that all worlds would be like their own. They were surprised when first they learned of the existence of deserts, woodlands, and forest.
Some of these early space travelers planned to colonize these worlds, believing that they would be the answer to many of the problems they faced on their own homeworld. With surfaces that were habitable year-round, and enough warmth for farms and plantations to flourish, this could be the end to hunger and starvation for the Andorians. Dreams of colonizing beyond the rim of their home star system manifested as a reality in 1822 when a team of Andorian scientists working in the orbital colony Ashalni'han announced a perfected form of cryogenic suspension. Working with Keth Ivari engineers, they drew up the plans for the Andorian ‘sleeper ships’ that would define an age of excitement and terrible tragedy for their world.
Of course, there were some that opposed these plans. Many Andorians believed that colonization was a mistake, and that moving their people to worlds that were different to their own ice moon would result in a loss of the identity and heritage of the Andorian people. The ice was where they were born and where they had lived for millions of years, and the ice, they felt, was where they should stay. It might not always have been pleasant, or convenient, but it was what made the Andorians strong, and what made them who they were. The overall result was a widespread excitement for the project, dappled with a great deal of discomfort and public unrest.
Despite the protests and occasional rioting and vandalism, the plans went ahead. Keth Ivari and their associates constructed and launched nineteen vessels, beginning in 1830, aimed at stars both near and distant. Robotic vessels launched at two-year intervals followed each ship, carrying additional emergency supplies and equipment to help build the colonies and make it possible to send word back home. Thousands of Andorians (an average of 720 per sleeper vessel, each one hand-picked from thousands of applicants from which 'the best of the best’ were selected - scientists, scholars, artists, philosophers) boarded the vessels, and thousands died, or were simply lost in the blackness of space.
Fifteen of the ships simply failed. They malfunctioned, or were struck by meteors, or were diverted by unexpected gravity wells, or were destroyed by ion storms. In later centuries, the Andorians (with the help of their Federation allies) sent out expeditions to find these lost vessels, to bring them home, to give proper respect to the dead. Three of the ships remained missing - lost in the vastness between the stars. If their systems were still operating, the hundreds could still be revivable, but as none of the twelve vessels recorded by 2360 were operational, such hopes seem romantic at best. Of the nineteen ships launched, only four found destinations at nearby stars and brought their passengers to colonize new worlds.
The colonies, sadly, became mass graves. Unfortunately, the Andorians were unaware of the effects that UV radiation emitted by these stars would have on their bodies - not to mention disease and other problems that occurred when visiting alien worlds. And so for a time, the attempt to build an off-world colony seemed far away, the hopes of the people dashed. Meanwhile, those who had opposed the project from the start harbored a sort of grim satisfaction over it - the tragedy proved that they had been right all along (or at least, that was what some chose to believe.)
First Contact and the UFP
First contact between the Andorians and the Vulcans took place 1953, leading to a prolonged period of hostilities. Their first contact with the Vulcans was promising, but relations soured in time. The threat of mutual annihilation existed as early as the 1950s. In the 2060s, the two species held eight-year-long territorial negotiations. At year 2105, the Vulcan and Andorians finally agreed to a territorial compromise. Despite the agreement, tensions remained high and the two sides almost went to war twice over the next 92 years.
The immediate result of such thinking was that a planetary government consisting of a council of representatives, one from each major clan, became feasible. Thus did Andor jump from a fragmented, clan-based monarchy to a fairly unified, planetary parliament, without going through the stage of nationalism. This unique case of rapid social evolution proved remarkably successful for the Andorians, although it did cause some problems with early contacts between the Andorian Empire and the other Federation co-founders (Earth, Alpha Centauri, Vulcan, Tellar).
Government & Military
At first glance, one might wonder how such an aggressive species managed to keep from destroying itself when technological progress made super-efficient weaponry possible. Surprisingly, Andoria never suffered what humans would term a major civil war. The fact was that ancient Andorians placed stringent restrictions on their fratricidal weaponry, as well as on their inter-tribal aggression. Andorians always restricted their weaponry with their practical attitude toward warfare.
Specifically, they never lost sight of what they were fighting for: hrashklain (food-land). Being painfully aware of their dependency on their herds, and the herds' dependency on the fat-grass, Andorians were much more solicitous of the welfare of their beasts and lands than they were of each other. They were, by nature, the most passionately concerned ecologists in the Federation and not even Vulcans outdid them. In fact, the Andorian word for "criminally insane" was derived from the words for destroyer of grasslands.
To an Andorian, the whole point of warfare was to seize the prize, which prolonged the life of the victor; therefore, nothing could be more insane than to destroy or injure the prize. As a result, all weapons that could in any way damage the lands or herds were fiercely banned. This was why, despite their warlike nature and long technological history, Andorians still fought duels with spear, sword, axe, knife, and bow.
In an Andorian city, a social gaffe was cause for assault, murder or ritual suicide. This was understandable when one considered that the breaching of custom was the equivalent of declaring war upon members of one's own clan, and hence too dangerous to excuse.
Andoria was legally a constitutional monarchy, in spite of the fact that no single ruler had reigned over the planet in centuries. The last ruler, Thalisar the Last, deliberately died childless and abolished clan warfare. She brokered peace on the site of The Plaza of Freedom in Andoria's capital city. This was an octagonal public space that contained fountains, towering leaves of translucent green mica from the Archipelago, and a cerulean blue obelisk to the memory of Shran. During her reign she instituted the parliamentary system that would succeed her, and which governed Andoria ever since. However, her throne “The Empty Throne” remained in the room in which parliament met, an honored relic of the Andorians’ past.
Am Tal was the Andorian equivalent of Section 31 of Earth and the V’Shar of Vulcan. Their operations were not confined to Andoria and were known to engage in black ops. They sometimes provided vital information that advanced the interests of Andoria through “anonymous sources” to Starfleet Intelligence.
The Imperial Guard
The Andorian Imperial Guard was the primary military force of the Andorian Empire, and maintained both starships and infantry. It had ranks of general, captain, commander, and lieutenant, and was staffed with both male and female personnel. The standard sidearm issued to Imperial Guardsmen was an assault-rifle-sized weapon that fired blue energy beams. It did not have a stun setting. When a Guardsman died far from home, it was his compatriots' duty to take a piece of the fallen back with them to Andoria (e.g. a vial of their blood). This item was to be taken to the Wall of Heroes. Commanders who lost ships under their command were seldom reassigned to the command of another starship. After the founding of the Federation, many Andorians served in Starfleet, although Andoria continued to support its own military forces for the protection of Andorian space.
Andorian military theories and practices differed significantly from those of Starfleet. Unlike Starfleet, a scientific and exploratory organization, the Imperial Guard was, first and foremost, a military force intended to protect the Andorian people, territory, ships, and trade routes. The IG left exploration to the Andorian Astronomical Study (an entirely separate organization.)
The Imperial Guard believed in taking an aggressive stance when facing problems, and its military doctrine reflected this strategy. While it wouldn't, to use a colloquial Earth term, 'pick any fights’, it didn't hesitate to respond with whatever means were necessary to finish them. To use the Andorian phrase, “The first strike is to the enemy, the duel is to the death.” Anyone who threatened Andorians anywhere would find themselves subject to multistage retaliation from the Imperial Guard. The standard attack pattern involved wings of fighters supported by squadrons of larger ships. While the smaller ships used their maneuverability to attack enemy ships from above and below, the larger ships made direct attacks, catching a target in a withering crossfire.
Despite their reputation for ferocity and bravery, Andorian military personnel weren't fools- they didn't fight without reason or when better options presented themselves. They also knew that even retreat had its strategic value; aggressiveness didn't mean pressing an attack which had no hope of success or fighting until the last Andorian died. Besides, when better than a retreat, to spring an ambush on an unsuspecting foe?
After the Federation was formed and Andorians began joining Starfleet, which now protected what was once known as only 'Andorian Space’, the Imperial Guard remained only in their own region, as a home guard, protecting against threats that Starfleet could not protect them from (such as for example, the Klingons in the 23rd Century, and the Dominion in the 24th Century. Starfleet did not always have enough ships to spare, or could not mobilise ships fast enough when they did.) Even in the 24th Century, Andoria did not wish to give over complete and utter faith that Starfleet would always be there for them no matter what. Andorians were proud and patriotic people, and the Imperial Guard was considered the last line of defense that protected Andoria from any invasion force. After the fall of Betazed to the Dominion in 2374, the Imperial Guard experienced something of a 'revival’ on Andoria, where suddenly the number of potential recruits doubled, almost overnight.
Joining the Imperial Guard
Joining the Imperial Guard was not easy; there were strict mental and physical requirements (the entrance examination was one of the toughest tests in the Alpha Quadrant!) Prospective cadets had to meet rigorous standards of physical fitness, intellectual determination, and personal fighting skill. Roughly one Andorian in five who sought admission to the Imperial Guard succeeded in ‘breaking in’, to use the Andorian term.
Those who managed to pass the entrance exams attended Chekthora, the prestigious Andorian Military Institute on Andoria. Tathrev Asiva, now one of Andoria’s most revered visionaries, revived the AMI two centuries ago. After the Andorian unification and before the development of space travel, Andorian military schools had withered to nothing more than duelling academies, since nations no longer had to train soldiers to fight other nations. The challenges and dangers posed by the exploration of space, and the potential of encounters with strange (possibly hostile) alien races, prompted the young officer Tethrev Ivari to propose the restructuring and revival of an ancient school, to train Andoria’s space-based military forces. He worked and dueled long and hard to convince other Andorians of the need for such an institution, and ultimately succeeded.
Admittees to the AMI were known in Federation Standard [English] as 'cadets’, but most Andorians referred to them as thras'chaaki (“they who seek knowledge of the processes of war”). A thras'chaak studied at the institute for four years in a program that Starfleet later (from the early 23rd Century) modeled some of its curriculum on, in part. In the first year, an intensive exercise program (including several months of wilderness survival exercises) whipped the cadets into shape physically while grindingly harsh courses turned Andorian military doctrine and procedure from theory to instinct. Most importantly, cadets adapted to Andorian military culture – specifically, they learned to control and restrict their natural tendency towards ritual dueling. Imperial Guard officers had to channel their dueling instincts into their performance; career service in the Imperial Guard was sometimes called Kashuunavek, “the twenty year duel”. Over a quarter of the cadets dropped out in the first year, many were booted out for frivolous dueling.
The second and third years of study focused on advanced military instruction. In their second year at the Institute, cadets studied further into Andorian tactical and strategic doctrines. In the third year, cadets had to make the difficult choice of specialized training. They then attended classes in special 'schools’ within the Institute which prepared them for careers in those fields. A cadet who proved unsuited to a particular course of study could transfer to another one, but this usually required them to remain at the Institute for a fifth year and marked them as a lightweight to the other, properly focused, soldiers.
The fourth and final year of the Imperial Guard study was a 'practicum’ in which the cadet received the rank of Chaken (Ensign [provisional]) and an assignment to a ship to gain hands-on experience in their chosen field. Most cadets, while very excited at the prospect of finally getting out into space on a ship, quickly learned that it’s not all glory– they worked hard and spent more time studying than getting into space battles or emergency situations. Still, more than one cadet distinguished themselves with heroics during the fourth-year training course.
The Institute’s graduation ceremony took place in the Rotunda of Generals, where the graduating class was flanked by statues of Tathrev and other Andorian military heroes. At graduation they not only received their diploma, but learned which ship or base the Imperial Guard had assigned them to. They departed Andoria the next day for life on their first ship.
Andorians were fond of technology, but they insisted on its use with respect for nature. For this reason, their early wars of conquest were fought with a regard for planetary environment, and so the Andorians avoided much of the ecological devastation suffered by other cultures.
A commonality in Andorian myths was that Andorians lacked a piece of self-knowledge, which made them unworthy of evolving beyond who or what they were. Nothing in the natural animal or plant biology, or fossil record, of Andoria indicated an origin for sentient Andorians' unique four-gender paradigm. Until recently, a growing number of theorists speculated that Andorians might not have evolved on the planet they considered to be their home world. Were they originally space-faring refugees from a dying planet?
Belief in the First Kin permeated all of Andorian culture and was especially important in the family.
The Star Guardian guided and protected the thaan gender. The Guardian’s attribute was Wisdom. The thaan was the member who initiated the consummation of the shelthreth with the shen. It was highly symbolic that a deceased Andorian’s soul and body were offered to the stars at the Sending. The soul was on a journey to the wisdom beyond.
The chan gender was guided by the Fire Guardian. The Guardian’s attribute was Passion. It was the chan who completed the shelthreth with the shen after a good deal of foreplay among all four bondmates. Passion within the shelthreth was as sacred as the begetting of offspring.
The shen gender was guided by the Water Guardian. The Guardian’s attribute was Blood. The shen was the giver of life, the gender that produced the egg from which the Andorian was formed. During the season of the worst storms, the shen would paint the icon of “her” gender on the gates of Clan Keep in “her” own blood as a sacrifice to the Water Guardian and in preparation for the Spring Water Festival. This period of prayer, fasting, and sacrifice was to plead with the Guardian for protection against the storms. Once this rite was performed and the Andorians were assured of the Water Guardian’s protection, feasting, dancing, and celebration followed.
The zhen gender was guided by the Earth Guardian of the zhen gender. The Guardian’s attribute was Strength. It was the zhen that nurtured the infant Andorian to independence and guided the young child in the ways of the people and the clan. Once the children were grown, the elder zhen of the clan often assumed important political and societal roles, such as Clan leader, Party chieftain, Counselor to the Federation, or Priestess of one of the guardians or deities. This is not to say that other genders did not take on some of these roles, but zhen were particularly suited for these professions.
Each gender took its duties within the bond very seriously. The attribute became a spiritual path, but of course not all thaan were wise, not all zhen had inner strength, etc. After the first shelthreth, the members of the bond become very close emotionally and spiritually, each gender a part of a spiritual Whole within each of the other bondmates. Andorians believed that in the bond, the Whole became greater than the four of them singly. One’s life belonged to the Whole and the lives of the Whole belonged to the one. Wisdom, Strength, Blood, and Passion. Without all Four, the Andorian was incomplete.
To lose a member of the bond to death was like losing a part of one’s soul. The surviving members were no longer Whole and soon after the Sending they looked to replace the lost member. To live for the Whole extended into Andorian society. Reminders of the First Kin were everywhere, represented by symbols, carvings, and statues. It was with these reminders that Andorians approached their meetings, whether of the Keth or of the Parliament, with ritual and respect so that nothing they did or said will harm the Whole.