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Alshain culture was formed under an almost constant state of warfare with the humanoid Itrob species that occupied a neighboring continent on their home planet. For long stretches of Alshain history, the Itrob had enslaved the Alshain.
The Alshain eventually defeated the Itrob once they put aside their sept rivalries and united behind the Warring Lord Farda (the Unconquered).
Farda, and his heirs set up the First Dynasty of the Alshain Hegemony, which derived much of its uniting power from the belief that Farda and his descendants were the offspring of Garrm.
Alshain rulers, or Dynasts, were also religious leaders. They ruled by divine right, and the early Alshain Hegemony was a theocracy.
Under a succession of Dynasties, the Alshain subdued their planet and spread out into the stars. Their long struggle against the Itrob had taught them to strike first and without mercy. Part of their desire to extend their dominion was to prevent any alien power from subduing them as the Itrob had done. Ironically, the Alshain would often use their Itrob subjects to colonize worlds to take the brunt of any hostile actions from the aliens they encountered.
The female Dynast Frula popularized the concept of "Greater Alshain", which was similar to the old Earth term "Manifest Destiny". Frula prophesied that the Alshain were destined to rule the entire Beta Quadrant.
During this period of expansion, Alshain navigators even sought to conquer the vast, unstable expanse of space known as Klach D'Kel Brakt, or the Briar Patch, by the 24th century. Many of the few survivors of such endeavors likened the spatial maelstrom to Iblika.
Eventually, a fleet of ships, commanded by the intrepid Nauarch Balgar would travel around the expanse. The last communique the Hegemony received was Balgar's report describing his encounter with a prescient race known as the Yattho. The doomed expedition would become known as "The Lost Fleet" in Alshain lore.
The Menthar Ascendancy was the first major challenge for the Alshain Hegemony. The Alshain encountered the Menthar roughly around the Earth-date of 764 A.D. Both the Menthar and the Alshain competed for the resource-rich worlds of the Ebrel sector. The Alshain and the Menthar would fight three wars over a span of 400 years, with the end result being three largely bloody stalemates. The first war was fought with sub-light vehicles. The second and third were fought with warp-capable vessels. The last war took such a terrible toll on both powers that the Alshain went into a period of isolation and internal renewal. The Menthar gave up their ambition to conquer Alshain territory and turned to new targets. The Menthar would eventually destroy themselves in a war with the Promellians over Orelious IX during Earth's 14th century. Despite the bloody toll, the desire to defeat the Menthar had pushed Alshain scientists to develop warp technology as a military application. Both the Alshain and the Menthar stole technology and strategy from one another. The Alshain appropriated the famous Menthar Passive Lure and Kavis Teke stratagems, as well as the use of acetone assimilators.
In order to stand against the Menthar, the Alshain had reversed their long-standing imperialist policy and actually formed an alliance with the Plevlian League, a federation of several other Beta Quadrant powers, offshoots of the Iconian civilization. The League worlds were protected from assault by the Menthar or other hostile powers by elaborate global shields. However, the dominance of the Menthar space armada prevented the worlds from engaging in crucial trade. The Plevlians entered into an alliance with the Alshain because they needed their muscle. The Alshain hoped to acquire the technological trove they thought the Plevlian worlds possessed.
The last Menthar War left the Alshain Hegemony in shambles. The rebuilding effort forced the Hegemony to rely more on the Plevlian League. The exchange of commerce and ideas among the League worlds slowly began to turn the Alshain into a cosmopolitan people. The Alshain leadership even began sending their children to the Plevlian homeworld for education.
The Dynast Xochol (the Unwise), had spent his formative years more among the Plevlians than his on people. When he returned to Alshain Proper with a Plevlian bride, many Alshain were outraged but afraid to challenge the god-king. The birth of the hybrid Prince Nican, through genetic engineering, caused even more trepidation.
The infant Nican assumed the throne shortly after the mysterious death of Xochol. His Plevlian bride Calluna assumed the throne as Regent. The Alshain, led by the Syndics rebelled.
The Divine SynodEdit
The Alshain Syndics formed a theocratic junta known as the Divine Synod. They executed Calluna and the 'abomination' Nican. The Divine Synod also forced the Plevlian among them to give up the access codes to their defensive shield. The Plevlians were slaughtered, and the Divine Synod declared war on the other independent powers in the League. On worlds directly under Alshain control, the Divine Synod imposed harsh, reactionary religious rule, replacing Alshain Satraps (governors) with religious Proctors. The Satraps allied with the other League worlds to overthrow the Divine Synod.
The Satrap Vyras took over after disposing of the Divine Synod. Vyras, not being of royal blood, took the title of Exarch and the Hegemony was renamed the Alshain Exarchate. Religion and government were given strict zones, with the Exarchate codified as a secular institution. Syndics would only address spiritual concerns.
The Plevlian League was disbanded. Some of the worlds were allowed to remain independent though many fell under the Exarchate's sphere of influence and became vassal/subject worlds.
During this new phase of rebuilding, the Exarchate encountered the Hur'q. The nomadic marauders had already laid waste to the nascent Klingon Empire by the time they invaded Alshain space. In fact, the Alshain had heard of them and was prepared to meet them. The Alshain were responsible for driving the Hur'q from the Beta Quadrant.
The Exarchate met its first significant defeat against the Tholians and their insectoid Chakuun shock troops. The Tholians were effectively able to stop the Alshain tide of expansion, the first power to do so since the Menthar centuries earlier.
The Tholian defeat led to a long period of isolation and soul searching. Many Alshain Exarchs turned inward, seeking to maintain the imperial spirit they felt flagging in their people. While Alshain reformers argued that the constant wars were the real cause of malaise.
The Klingon Empire, on the other side of the Briar Patch, had recovered quickly from the Hur'q invasion and was amassing military and political power. The Alshain were wary that the Klingons could one day pose a threat and sought to build up their resources to give the rapacious Klingons pause.
The Alshain conspired with the Valtese to take over the Kriosian system as part of their strategy. The Alshain needed the resource-rich system to build up its war machine to keep the Klingons at bay.
The Klingons, eager to fight the feared Alshain, used the pretext of liberating the Kriosians from Valtese oppression to invade the Kriosian sector. The Alshain retreated, leaving the Valtese to be slaughtered by the Klingons. The Alshain sought to study Klingon tactical expertise and prowess during the decimation of the Valtese. What they saw left them extremely concerned. The Klingons quickly set up control over the Kriosian sector, and now were within striking distance of Alshain space. The Alshain found themselves sandwiched between the Tholians and now the Klingons.
The First Alshain-Klingon WarEdit
The Exarchate hatched a plan to send Alshain forces through the Briar Patch to attack Qo'noS, the Klingon homeworld in the early 21st century. The Alshain ships, now protected with modified Plevlian shielding, cut through the heart of the Briar Patch to strike at the Klingon homeworld. (Unfortunately for the Alshain, the planetary shielding used by the Plevlians was too radioactive. The Exarch and Starforce were less sanguine about using modified Plevlian shields on their vessels though)
Alshain forces were routed in the preemptive attack by a Klingon fleet at the edge of Klach D'Kel Brakt. The First Battle of Klach D'Kel Brakt ignited a thirty-year between the Exarchate and the Klingon Empire. The Alshain were eventually defeated. Klingon forces even briefly occupied Alshain Proper before the legendary Polemarch Kourd rallied the Alshain forces to drive the Klingons back from the Alshain origin sector. Kourd's courage was so renowned among the Klingons, that some warriors named their children after the Alshain warrior. (One famous example was the great 23rd century Klingon general Korrd).
The Klingons were never able to gain purchase in Alshain territory again. However, the Alshain weren't able to muster up enough momentum to build on Kourd's victory. Many of the Alshain subject worlds rebelled, and their 'allies' stayed neutral during the conflict. The treaty imposed on the Alshain by the victorious Klingons effectively erased their empire.
The Second Alshain-Klingon WarEdit
The Alshain seethed under the harsh reparations and tributes the Klingons demanded of them. Another period of isolationism began for the Alshain, but this time it wasn't for soul searching, but to build up their military power. The Klingons, the new Beta Quadrant masters, felt powerful enough now to conquer and hold the Alshain homeworld and launched their own preemptive war in the mid-21st century. The second Alshain-Klingon War was shorter but more brutal. It ended with another slaughter at Klach D'Kel Brakt, the decisive end to the war.
The second war with the Klingons totally dismantled what remained of the Alshains' empire. It left the Alshain in possession of only a few systems, in addition to their origin sector. Some of their former subject worlds came under the control of the Klingons or other rising Beta Quadrant powers. Other subject worlds became independent.
The Alshain Exarchate shrunk even more in battles against the Balduk and the Gorn in the 22nd and 23rd centuries. Another long period of isolationism began in the mid-23rd century.
By the 24th century, only the Itrob and the Grund remained under the Alshain umbrella.
The Kachada had been completely removed from Alshain Proper and the origin sector. They subsisted on the remaining string of frontier colonies in reservation-style dwellings.
The Alshain had had a long tortured history with the Son'a. After leaving Ba'ku in the late 23rd century, the Son'a sought to carve out an empire for themselves along the Alshain border. Knowing they couldn't match the Alshain military at the time of their expulsion, the Son'a hatched an insidious plan that played to the Alshain nobility's weaknesses and decadence.
The Son'a introduced the Alshain nobles to ketracel-white, and a long parasitic relationship was forged. The Exarchate weakened under a succession of drug-addled leaders until the ascension of Jedalla in the 2360s.
Exarch Jedalla wanted to recreate Greater Alshain and knew he would have to free his people from the grip of the Son'a to do it. He saw the Dominion War as a great opportunity to do so after the Son'a joined the Dominion.
Initially the Alshain were neutral, but Jedalla acceded to the entreaties of the Federation in mid-2375 in a deal brokered by Captain Monica Covey of the starship Chevalier. In exchange for significant financial and military aid, the Alshain opened a new front in the war, helping stretch the overburdened Dominion forces even further.
After the war, the Federation Alliance awarded the Exarchate control over captured Son'a territory. During the war, Jedalla had encouraged the Tarlac and Ellora, both servitor races of the Son'a, to rebel with the promise of supporting their independence movements. Jedalla reneged on that promise after the war. Instead, the Alshain Starforce began a pogrom of ethnic cleansing in former Son'a territories as part of Jedalla's desire to remake Greater Alshain.
The Federation Council condemned Alshain atrocities but were largely powerless to stop the Alshain due to the Federation's weakened post-Dominion War position and the surging Cardassian insurgency against the Federation's occupation of Cardassian territory.
Alshain males are lupine in appearance, similar to werewolves of Human legend. Alshain females are smaller and more vulpine in appearance. The Alshain are covered in fine pelages of fur that range in color from black, gray, brown, red, and white.
The Alshain have razor-sharp claws, along with a heightened sense of smell and hearing. They are natural born predators. Alshain generally prefer to walk on two legs, though they can walk/run on all fours.
The Alshain Exarchate was a rigid class-based system, governed by a small group of clans called Septs. The Septs were similar to the Houses of the Klingon Empire. The ruling Exarch was chosen from among the Septs, shedding his or her surname when they ascend to the throne. The shedding of the surname in theory was supposed to symbolize that the Exarch represents all Alshain, but which reality had historically contradicted. The relatives, or Bloodlings, of the reigning Exarch used their familial ties to extract all manner of government contracts, bribes, and tributes.
Traditions and cultureEdit
The Alshain as a whole were a very ritualistic people; however the nobility had taken on more refined, cultured, and imported airs, in part to combat the quadrant-wide perceptions that the Alshain were as savage as their appearance, and as a large part of their ancient history would suggest.
The nobles worked hard to dispel the old stereotypes, often overdoing it in the process and come off as snobbish, arrogant, pedantic, and rude to many off-worlders who visited the Exarchate. Though the nobles had disavowed much of the Alshain ancient beliefs, many still believed in Iblika, "The Desolate Plain", their version of Hell. Many Alshain also believed they would find ample hunting grounds in "The Great Terrace" if they live a notable life. They had an ancient practice of writing official decrees in blood.
Much of the Alshain sense of innate superiority came from their belief and reverence in Greater Alshain, an ancient empire said to encompass much of the Beta Quadrant. However, the Alshain Starforce had dwindled significantly over the centuries and the Alshain found themselves hemmed in by the Klingons, Gorn, Tholians, and Son'a.
Having descended evolutionarily from pack hunters, the Alshain lived in a hierarchical society strongly dependent on symbolic displays of dominance and submission. This behavior extended to war in that Alshains require surrendering prisoners to bare their throats in a symbolic gesture of submission upon surrendering. Alshains also required prisoners of war to repeat this gesture of submission in various circumstances such as when encountering a guard or official for the first time or when the Alshain official felt the need to impress upon the prisoner the inferiority of his or her position.
The Alshain were an intensely spiritual people though they never shared their religious fervor with outsiders. Public religious ceremonies were very sedate and filled with elaborate rituals, in keeping with the refined image the Alshain wished to portray to offworlders. The private ceremonies were much more feral affairs, with occasional bloodletting. The most worshiped god in the Alshain pantheon is Garrm, god of war.
The Alshain practiced a strict form of separation of church and state. The Alshain faithful were led by a Synod of religious authorities, called Syndics. The Alshain church, or religious community, was collectively known as the Cenobium.
- Exarch Jedalla
- War Minister Orthlin C'Oemnm
- Envoy Tinjan G'Tan
- Nauarch Yol A’Yaud
- Sutahr Shir T'Shing
- Lieutenant Seb N'Saba
- Sutahr Vacquin R'Vor
- Sutahr Vlask R'Voss