From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
With gleaming skin, glowing in the dark and reflecting beautiful rainbows in the light, the T'fanrell were one of the most visually interesting races native to the Alpha Quadrant. They were also one of the very few non-humanoid races to achieve warp flight. Their unique “lighter-than-air” biology also meant that they were one of the only races to quite literally swim through the slightly denser air on humanoid star ships. Their alien physiology also meant that despite lacking fingers they had many soft short tentacle like appendages with which to interact with technology and other pieces of their environment.
It should be noted that the T'fanrell were not a member race of the Federation, due in part to their first contact with the Federation taking place during the Dominion War and the Race's views on pacifism. Only recently was there even talks among the Houses about opening diplomatic relations, though the race's extremely long lives meant they never rushed into anything.
The T’fanrell had little to no interaction with other races and until recently there was never any face-to-face contact. The first incident of anything similar was that of F’Rell and the crew of the USS Resolve.
T'fanrell were basically made up of three parts: a long soft body, tapering to a tail at the end, numerous soft short tentacle like appendages, and a triangular head with a long pair of whisker like tendrils. Because of the density of their bodies they were, in fact, slightly lighter than normal humanoid breathing air. This unique bit of their biology meant they are able to swim through the air with ease, almost ignoring gravity altogether.
This was achieved by their body being a mixture of lighter than air gases and fragile skin that kept it all together. The result was that they were easily injured, be it by phaser blasts or bladed weapons. Though because of their cellular structure such injuries were almost never fatal. Any injured area quickly became isolated and new tissue would grow underneath it. This prevented the damage from spreading or of them “bleeding out”.
Despite the skin of a T'fanrell being thin, it was very complex. It contained a biolumenecent element that absorbed light when able and gave it off in low light environments. These elements gathered and formed leopard-like spots on the sides moving along the entire length of the body. These spots also contained a secondary element which provided an iridescence. The colors conveyed by both the bioluminescence and the iridescence were used to not only convey mood, but also sexual desire.
T'fanrell did not have blood, nutrition was spread through the body via a complex system based in osmosis. In fact, most digestion was done this way. T'fanrell did not eat much beyond airborne organisms and, when in their native water, phytoplankton. When on board spaceships, they ate a single meals consisting of a lightweight form of algae. Their body converted almost 99.9% of what they ate into either energy or new cells to recover from injuries.
Their soft, short, tentacle-like appendages grew to a maximum length of about 2 feet, the longer and stronger ones tended to grow toward the front of the body where they received the most nutrients. These appendages were soft enough to easily mold around solid objects and “grip” them for ease of carrying or manipulating. By controlling the amount of pressure inside each appendage, it allowed a greater amount of surface area to cover and “grip” the item, preventing it from being easily pried loose or dropping from their “grip”.
The long whisker-like tendrils were a unique sensory organ. They could pick up even the slightest vibrations, temperature variations, and air pressure. It was these that acted as their ears and even allowed them to compensate for air pressure and temperature to remain airborne. They allowed the T'fanrell to “hear” conversations and even feel the airflow and compensate with their swimming.
T'fanrell had a small, triangular mouth at the front of their head. It was there that, like most humanoids, they ate and breathed. Not having tongues or vocal chords, they communicated in a number of different ways. Indirectly, the colors of their markings could say much about the inner mind. However, they used their tendril-like whiskers to communicate more directly. By vibrating them, they created a wide range of frequencies, their language taking on a more melodic tone that sounded not unlike a bowed instrument.
T'fanrell began life as a roughly 4-inch wide egg. They were laid in clusters of 6 or 7 in a secure location in the deep waters of their home world. Their biological father than inseminated the eggs by giving off a small cloud of seminal fluid. During a three week gestation, the young T'fanrell grew and, by the end, absorbed the egg. At that time, they were roughly a foot long (about 30 centimeters). They swam in a close pack, usually with their parents until they were both old enough and experienced enough to swim on their own. As with sexual maturity and growth rates, this could vary widely between individuals, some taking only a short two decades, some up to four decades.
They continued to grow for much of their first century of life, reaching a maximum length of around fifteen feet (about 4.5 meters). Though this took a great deal of time, most did not reach full size until they were about 60 Earth years of age, though for some it took much longer.
In most cases, sexual maturity was achieved around the fifth decade of life, though this number was known to widely vary from person to person. At such time, the females of the species started the process of egg laying at anytime. This was done by consuming a unique species of flower (or in some cases consuming a nutrition supplement) that contained an enzyme that began the process. It took only a few days for the eggs to form and roughly an hour per egg to push out of the mother's body. Then, the male was required to cover the eggs in his seminal fluid. As the eggs were usually laid in the light weight water of their home world, all he had to do was cover them in a cloud of said fluid. If the eggs were successfully fertilized, they would begin development shortly thereafter. Males could begin to produce seminal fluid relatively early in their lives, within the first fifty years in most cases, though it was not truly fertile until they reached sexual maturity, which happened at about the same time for both genders.
For the T'fanrell, all was liquid. They adapted when they needed to, which wasn't nearly often enough for some. They adored peace and abhorred violence, though this could be looked at as an adaption due to their rather frail bodies. Any aggressive or even territorial tendencies died out before they ever even had a written language. As such, they very seldom had any idea how to react to a threat, often times not being aware of one until they were wounded, in which case they usually fled as they were not strong enough to fight back. There were some bold examples of T'fanrell, though these were not very common.
Though they only bred with a single other individual, T'fanrell tended toward polyamorous relationships, forming close bonds with a number of individuals, engaging in sexual activity as long as it did not cause offspring. These relationships ranged from close friends to what could have been viewed as “friends with benefits”. T'fanrell tended to build these relationships before selecting a mate with which they would breed. As such, their breeding was not viewed as a sexual practice; sexuality was strictly an activity done for pleasure and to strengthen relationship. In addition, because of the non-sexual form of reproduction, homosexual relations were no more stigmatized than any other relationships.
Because of the none-sexual form of reproduction, sexuality was expressed through intimate touches, usually around the area of the long whisker like tendrils which were extremely sensitive. But as with many things, the T’fanrell were quite creative in methods of being sensual.
The language of the T'fanrell was highly complex. Not only did they communicate via precisely controlled vibrations of their whisker-like tendrils, they also communicated through the various colors and shades of their bioluminescence and iridescence. Though to members of other races, the subtle color changes were all but meaningless. So for this, we will focus most strictly on the vibrations.
The sound produced by these vibrations resonated through the whole body of the T'fanrell, producing all sorts of otherworldly sounds. They tended to sound not unlike a electric bass being bowed. The range of sounds was comparable to the instrument, though the unique resonance of the body must also be taken into account. As such, their language could often sound like a bizarre form of classical music to the untrained ear. They thus became dependent on universal translators to communicate. Though they did attempt to learn the language of other races so that when a universal translator was not handy they could understand what was said to them and write a response in the correct language.
The surface of the T'fanrell home world was at least 95% water, though the water was substantially different from the water of Earth, being much less dense. In fact, the highest elevations of their oceans was less dense than most air on a star ship. This had the functional effect of allowing any species that lived in these oceans to quite literally float in mid air.
The water had many levels of density, ranging from gaseous to something like a low density oil. The beings that lived in the deeper and denser waters tended to be stronger, with tougher skin. It became customary for any T'fanrell who planned on leaving the planet to spend a full year in deeper water to develop tougher skin, something that aided them in dealing with more solidly built humanoids.
These gaseous oceans also held in much of the warmth of the planet, this heat coming from thermal vents deep under the water. This was useful as that, due to its distance from its star, it did not get much light or heat from it. Life on the planet evolved around this, most developing forms of bio-luminescence and iridescence for when there was light.
Culture & Customs
For the T'fanrell, all of life was fluid. Their culture was based off of this idea. Like the Klingons, the society was made up of clan-like Houses. The Houses were usually ruled by the oldest and wisest members of said House. In times of trouble, each House selected one of their own to join a counsel which would deal with the trouble before it disbanded. At the time of first contact with the Federation, a more temperament counsel was decided on, one that would handle all negotiations with the alien governments.
Gender played little role in T'fanrell politics, though it was not uncommon for members of each gender to seek guidance from wiser members of the same gender. Thus, there tended to be an oldest and wisest male and female for each House.
Houses were not made up of blood relations, but rather, upon reaching maturity, the individual T'fanrell lost their house and was expected to spend time with members of each house and in the end decide on which house they would most like to join. Thus, houses were usually made up of individuals of a like mind. This aided in avoiding disputes and, in the event of a dispute, the matter was handled by the older and wiser members of the house.
There were no courts and next to no agreed upon laws from House to House. It was believed that, like marks in the sand, all offenses tended to disappear in time and damage done by one member of a house would heal. If one member acted out, they were shunned by their house. They would either live on their own or be forced to seek reconciliation. Thus, there was no need for any sort of capital punishment for a very long time. Rather, the mental health of outcasts was looked after until they could rejoin their House, or in some cases, another House.
Finally, it should be noted that in preparation for leaving the home planet any member or any House must first spend a full year in the deeper water. This was done to not only allow them to develop tougher skin, it also allowed them to get used to no longer living with as many T'fanrell as were usually found in the living conditions of a House.
As more Houses were founded, the violence all but disappeared and within a few generations the violent times were all but forgotten. With the new social structure art and science flourished. The already highly intelligent race grew smarter and very quickly, at least for the T'fanrell, they worked out how to slip the bounds of their home planet and began to explore space.
Yet they did their best to avoid contact with outside races, viewing themselves as not ready for that just yet. They did not even seek out contact once they had broken the light barrier. Instead they listened. They watched the events of the galaxy and waited to decide when would be the right time to go out and join the other galactic powers. They would send ships out to explore and to learn about other races, but they did their best to avoid direct contact.
A wing of Dominion Attack ships had found its way into their system and, fearing that they would either try and subjugate the planet or attempt some sort of violence the Houses convened a special counsel to decide what to do. It was at last decided that the T'fanrell could not handle the threat of the Dominion. They would need outside help. So a message was sent to the Federation, allowing a fleet of Starfleet ships to ambush Dominion ships.
Seeing the violence that happened as a result of the two fleets of ships clashing left of bad taste in the mouths of the T'fanrell and it was decided to avoid contact even more so. In the years since initial contact, there was little to no diplomatic contact. Though there was some discussion of opening diplomatic talks, no agreement was reached. In the meantime, to continue observation, a number of small single-person shuttles were sent out to study the various races of the Alpha Quadrant.
Government & Military
T'fanrell were ruled by a number of Houses, each was in turn ruled by the oldest and wisest members. The houses were made up of like-minded individuals and not blood relatives. In times of great trouble the elders of each House selected a member of their House and they joined a counsel. The counsel lasted until the time when the trouble had passed at which time it was disbanded until there was more trouble, at which time a new counsel was formed. Though it was not uncommon for the same members of the House to be sent to every counsel, this was by no means common.
Since first contact with the Federation there was a more permanent counsel in place. Members of this counsel were swapped out every year. The counsel was responsible for all diplomatic relations with other races. Though there has yet to be much in the way of diplomatic talks. The counsel hadn't agreed on the correct time to make formal contact.
The T'fanrell never developed a formal military. By the time they were in a position to develop one, the planet had known peace for a number of years. Thus, it was decided to do away with weapons and violence altogether. In the events of natural disasters, the houses helped each other rebuild. Any inter house conflicts were usually handled by a counsel and not by violence.
Despite their usually slow pace, the speed in which the T'fanrell caught up with the Federation was nothing short of remarkable. Within a few short years of developing faster than light travel, they had engines that could propel ships at a speed that reviled that of even the Federation flagship. In addition, they had worked to develop new medicine to make sure they could heal injuries caused by interaction with other races, something they believed would inevitably result in violence.
Yet, as they had no interest in aggression, they did not develop weapons. Their ships were unarmed and had no weapons which they carried on their person. It should be noted they were working to understand such weapons in order to develop shields and resistances to them. It was rumored among some Federation Officials that the T'fanrell shields could resist almost anything any of the various powers of the galaxy could throw at them, though it was unknown if this was true or not.
MythologyAlpha Quadrant, the Milky Way Galaxy, or even this universe. The legend said that, long ago, ancient gods came to the first T'fanrell and brought it through a great gate to a whole new place. In the new place, they weighed oddly less and could float and swim in the clouds. Though not many actually believed this story, there was some evidence in the oldest ruins of their civilization that showed there were once very different constellations in the night sky.
There was no official contact between the T'fanrell and the Federation. Any contact was through audio-only communications. Thus, their actual appearance is, as of yet, unconfirmed by either the Federation or Starfleet.