2259, USS Enterprise
Klingon Subject Species
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The Hefestians are a cousin race to the Vulcan people who left at the Time of Enlightenment, similar to the Romulans and Remans however, the Hefestians are much more militaristic and warlike
The Time of Awakening
The Hefestian people trace their lineage back to the Time of Awakening, a period in Vulcan history when violence and war nearly consumed the Vulcan people sometime during the fourth century of the Earth calendar. A Vulcan named Surak began preaching a philosophy of using logic to control emotions as well as total pacifism. He was effective in spreading his teaching across Vulcan, though he encountered heavy resistance from many Vulcans including "those who marched beneath the raptor's wings". Surak died of radiation sickness at Mount Seleya shortly before the last battle against these factions or the realization of his vision.
Several splinter factions eventually left the planet of their own free will or out of fear for their lives. One of these splinter groups would eventually go on to become the Romulan and Reman peoples of the Romulan Star Empire. There were others, however, who did not want to join their Rihannsu brothers and sisters. These ancient people were warriors bound by a code of honor and united under T'Planna the Great. They left Vulcan in three generational starships in search of a world to make their own. All but one of the generational vessels eventually made their way to the far side of what is now territory of the Klingon Empire near Galdonterre.
First Contact with the Federation
The Hefestians practiced extreme isolationism from the galactic community for nineteen centuries until they were discovered by Captain Christopher Pike and the starship Enterprise. First contact between the Hefestians and the Federation could hardly have been considered a success, however, as it nearly ended in disaster when the Hefestians attempted to kill Captain Pike and his away team.
Rejoining the Galactic Community
Hefestian isolation was broken again nearly a century later when the Dominion launched a surprise attack in hopes of circumventing the Federation Alliance front lines. The Hefestians decided to rejoin the galactic community after witnessing the great honor and courage of the Klingons who defended Hefesti from Dominion attack. Not long afterward, the Hefestians willingly became members of the Klingon Empire.
The Hefestian government is classified as a representative monarchy in which an elected parliament serves as advisor to the king or queen who rules the Hefestian people. Since their formally becoming members of the Klingon Empire, the Hefestian government has voluntarily subjected themselves to the ruling of a Klingon governor who acts on behalf of the Klingon High Council. This relationship has had little impact on general Hefestian society other than the ocassional instance in which the Klingon governor informs the Hefestian government what must be done to appease the Klingon Empire.
As descendants of the ancient Vulcan race, the Hefestians bear a striking resemblance to their Vulcan brethren. They are humanoid in appearance with males reaching an average of six foot height and females averaging around five feet, eleven inches in height. Their hair color ranges from light brown to black while eye color can appear black, brown, blue, or green. Hefestian ears are pointed and their eyebrows are upswept. Skin color is normally similar to a Caucasian human except for a slight greenish hue attributed to their copper-based blood. They are not as telepathically gifted as their Vulcan cousins, though experience telepathic abilities more frequently than either humans or Romulans.
Culture of the Honorable Warrior
The Hefestian culture centers around their code of honor laid down by T'Planna the Great during the Time of the Awakening on ancient Vulcan. Seeing outsiders as less honorable than themselves, the Hefestians went to great lengths in order to separate themselves from the galactic community. This led to a long period of isolation which lasted until first contact was made with the Federation in the late twenty third century. The Hefestians wanted nothing to do with Captain Christopher Pike, the Enterprise, or the Federation because they viewed the culture of these outsiders as being far less honorable than their own. It wasn't until a century later during the Dominion War that the Hefestians were able to find a respectable ally and kindred spirit in the Klingon Empire.
Hefestians also pride themselves on their warrior culture. The ability to live, fight, and die as warriors is held nearly equal to the importance of honor. While this worldview led to several conflicts amongst the early Hefestians, they eventually developed the ability to become better at serving in times of peace.
Several religions existed on Vulcan during the Time of the Great Awakening and they each played a significant role in the turmoil of that period. T'Planna the Great recognized this and created a single, unified religion for the Hefestian people known as the Way of Festi. Festi was a god of war on ancient Vulcan who reveled in the carnage of battle and gloried in the carousing that followed. He even drank wine mixed with the blood of his enemies from a skull. The name 'Hefestian' literally means 'Followers of Festi'.
There were those who felt the selection of such a deity was an unwise choice on the part of T'Planna, but the early Hefestian leader had every confidence in her decision. She believed those who lived honorably would earn an eternal life of glorious combat and celebration similar to the afterlife of some ancient Earth religions. Those who did not live honorably, however, would receive an eternal torment of torture, mutilation, and rape. Such a drastic shift in the image and worship of Festi caused many to begin referring to her as T'Planna the Great.
T'Planna had a thorough understanding of both theology and anthropology which meant she knew well what it would take to keep their warrior culture intact without becoming a people others would hate. Over time, Festi became gentler, approachable, and more sympathetic to his followers. They would bring offerings of food to his temples in hopes he might accept their offering and perhaps give them the blessing they sought. Little was changed in terms of the more desired afterlife experience, though the fate awaiting the dishonorable slowly took on more specific meaning. Those who failed to show honor before Festi were given a torture that related directly to their dishonor. A man who refused to help hungry relatives would be placed before a table of food, yet be unable to eat or drink. A man who murdered another in dishonor would be forced to watch the death of those whom he held most dear over and over for all eternity. The purpose was clear: if a man won honor and lived honorably towards those around him, he would live with Festi; if he did not live honorably, he was punished.
One of the highest holy days in the Hefesti religion is the Time of Judgment. Every year, before the first spring crops have yielded their harvest and befor it has become clear whether Festi will chose to bless their village, the warriors conduct a ritual fast. this ritual fast not only includes the fasting of food and drink, but also foul language, sexual behaviors, and even negative thoughts. Those who successfully fast from sunrise to sunset are said to bring blessings upon themselves, their family, and their village. Those who do not are said to bring curses.
The Hefestian native tongue evolved from Old High Vulcan and has since evolved into an entirely new language. It wasn't until after their entrance into the Klingon Empire and the greater galactic trading community that Hefestians adopted Klingonese as their standard tradespeak. This has allowed most translators to more easily pick up and convey the dialect during inter-cultural relations.
Science and Technology
Hefesti is similar to the Vulcan homeworld in many respects including large expanses of desert as well as frequent dust and electrical storms. It is a mineral-rich world with large planetary rings and several orbiting moons. Hefestian mining technology has advanced quite considerably since their arrival in order to take advantage of these abundant mineral resources. Successful mining operations which were originally used to fuel massive infrastructure and architecture in Hefestian cities have also played a major role in Hefestian entrance into the galactic trading community.
The three generational starships that left ancient Vulcan during the Time of Awakening were considered to be extraordinary feats of engineering designed to carry the entirety of what would become the Hefestian people to new life elsewhere in the galaxy. Two of these massive engineering marvels were successful in their purpose and were eventually deconstructed to form the groundwork of Hefestian infrastructure which can still be seen in some parts of the Hefestian capital. The third vessel was lost during the journey due to an unknown design flaw which succumbed to the elements and stresses of prolonged spaceflight. This led to an extreme caution on the part of Hefestians when developing future construction efforts which has produced many structures and projects that have lasted the test of time.
They have a combination of warriors and space navy similar that of the Klingon Empire that share the same rank system. The warriors are used as ground troops and the space navy commands the ships.
br> The rank system is as follows:
E-2 Private First Class
E-3 Senior Private
E-6 Staff Sergeant
E-7 Technical Sergeant
E-8 Sergeant Commander
E-9 Chief Sergeant Commander
E-10 Sergeant Commander of the Warrior Corps
O-1 Under Lieutenant
O-3 Under Commander
O-5 Under Captain
G-1 Under General
G-2 Commander General
G-3 Lieutenant General
G-5 General of the Warrior Corps