- The character of Father Matan was based heavily on Father Matthias from the 2013 game Tomb Raider, by Square Enix.
Matan was originally a Gil attached to the Dominion expedition to Yamatai as a record-keeper. He arrived on the planet with the first of the expedition in early 2375 and continued to serve with them through the end of the war, hopeful that the Dominion's research into the source of the polaric ion energy on the planet and the ion storms in the surrounding Dragon's Head Nebula would turn the war around.
In 2376, the Dominion scientists had just discovered the possible location of the Star of Yamatai when they were attacked by Oni warriors. The attack caused confusion, which Matan at first believed was the result of a Tal Shiar assault. However, when he saw the Oni massacre his comrades, he realized this was not the case. Matan was terrified, but the Oni failed to kill him. This convinced Matan that some supernatural force had protected him.
When the Oni departed, Matan and the other survivors left in the research base refused to obey orders to attack the monastery on the main island, instead attempting to use a shuttle to escape from Yamatai. Two attempts resulted in disaster killing two of the survivors and mortally wounding a third. The remainder looked to Matan for leadership and he instructed them to make a third attempt, but did not join them, knowing it was suicide.
Founding the Solarii Edit
Matan struck out on his own and spent the next decade studying the planet alone. He became convinced of the reality of the Sun Queen Himiko as a powerful goddess had saved his life during the attack, brought new crashes to the planet, and prevented anyone from leaving with powerful storms. Matan became obsessed with finding out who Himiko was and what she wanted. In the end he convinced himself that he could discern her will and actually communicate with her.
For most of this time, Matan avoided or casually killed other groups of survivors, but starting in 2386 he began recruiting male crash survivors to follow him and adopt his beliefs about the Sun Queen, starting with a group of three Klingon brothers: Vamdar, Durtlhor, and Nikora. These three became his first lieutenants and he build the cult of the Solarii Brotherhood around them.
By 2389, the Solarii had become numerous and Matan decided to take them inland from their original camp near the old Dominion research base on the main island. He set up their headquarters in Himiko's old palace and directed them to build a shantytown of scavenged materials in the valley below.
Over the next eighteen years, the Solarii prospered under Matan's direction. Using a system of verdenicine gas taps, they were able to power and use much of the abandoned equipment on the planet, including the transporter and many of the other systems in a downed Romulan warbird neighboring their shantytown. They also restored the Dominion communications base, using it to coordinate a working communications network that included sensor stations spread out across the planet. Matan also occasionally used the communication base's long-range transmitter to lure ships in with false distress signals.
Finding the Chosen One Edit
In 2407, a Starfleet shuttle crash brought several survivors, including Samantha Hayashi to Yamatai. Matan investigated the group personally at first, following them and then posing as a harmless teacher stranded by a previous crash. He encountered Carlin Agran first and helped her treat her sprained ankle while learning more about her mission on the planet and her comrades. He showed special interest in Sam, and upon meeting her believed she might be the Key, the Chosen One he'd been looking for all these years. He waited until both Carlin and Sam were asleep, then abducted Sam and called in a hunting party led by Vamdar.
With Sam and Doctor Mor in custody, Matan questioned them for everything they knew about the Sun Queen's ancient rule on Yamatai. While Mor was unable to provide any new information, Matan was able to use him as a hostage to persuade Sam to tell him the story of the priestess Hoshi and Himiko's downfall, which helped Matan better understand how Himiko had become trapped on Yamatai and how to release her.
When a second group of Starfleet crash survivors was captured attempting to break Sam out, Matan realized he could use her as bait to lure the remaining survivors into an ambush. He directed Durtlhor to deliberately allow her to escape, then sent parties under Durtlhor, John Briar and Kowar Was to ambush anyone attempting to rendezvous with her. Unfortunately, only Carlin fell for the trap and she and Sam were able to kill Brother Kowar and his party and evade Durtlhor. Brother John was able to ambush them, but his entire party was wiped out by Oni for being too close to the monastery, which allowed the two Starfleet officers to escape.
John eventually recaptured Sam, but only at the loss of a second group of men and Sam subsequently tried to use him as a hostage to escape the Solarii. Matan executed Brother John for incompetence, then subjected Sam to the Solarii Ritual of Fire. When the flames were lit, a strong wind suddenly arose and extinguished them, which Matan believed to be a sign from Himiko that Sam was the Chosen One, who would free Himiko and the Solarii by becoming her next host. Matan tried to persuade Sam that this was a great honor, but she did not understand him and refused to believe him.
Downfall and Death Edit
Later that evening, Carlin rescued the other Starfleet survivors from the caverns beneath the Solarii palace and set off a series of verdenicine gas explosions which devastated the complex above. Matan set out to find her and in the confusion Sam escaped and was rescued by Carlin. Matan attempted to stop them from leaving the palace by turning the ship-mounted disruptors of the downed Romulan warbird on them but they were beamed away by the OSS Cluros. Matan then attempted to use those same weapons to shoot down the Cluros, but as the warbird's disruptors were operating at only eleven percent power, they were unable to penetrate the bird-of-prey's hull, despite the fact that the Cluros had not yet raised its shields. The Cluros then launched a retaliatory strafing run of the warbird and surrounding Solarii shantytown, completely destroying both. Matan and a number of Solarii managed to beam out at the last second.
Matan then managed to locate the command section of the Cluros, which had crashed nearby. He led a group of Solarii in an attack on the surviving Orion crewmembers and the Starfleet survivors they'd beamed up. He successfully killed Antori Drel, but was injured in the process by a Jem'Hadar rifle blast, which he knew would eventually cause him to bleed out. Matan hid this knowledge from the Solarii, and after their retreat he divided them into two groups: one to remain near the crash site in hopes of tracking down and finding the Chosen One and the other going to the old Dominion research base in order to track down the location of the Chamber of the Sun, where the Ascension Ritual to free Himiko would have to take place.
Matan went with the second group. Along the way, he persuaded Doctor Mor to join him, promising him leadership of the Solarii after he died. Once at the research base, Matan used Mor to discover that the Chamber of the Sun was located at the top of the Oni-controlled monastery on the main island. He then attempted to wipe the research base's memory core and sent Mor to infiltrate the Starfleet and Orion survivors, betraying their position with a tracking device. Matan followed the tracking device to the excavation site for the tomb of the Stormguard general. There he divided his men into two forces, one ambushing the survivor's shuttle on the surface while the other entered the tomb and ambushed the remaining survivors there. Matan used the crew of the shuttle as hostages in order to force Sam to surrender herself. He then took her and all remaining Solarii to the monastery.
At the monastery, Matan sent his men in a frontal assault as a diversion while he snuck in through the servant's entrance with Sam and Mor. Matan tricked Mor into thinking that the Oni would welcome him as a hero in order to use him as a diversion for the remaining Oni guards, killing Mor in the process. Matan then took Sam to the Chamber of the Sun, prevented her attempt to destroy the Star of Yamatai and began the Ascension Ritual that would make her Himiko's next host.
Unfortunately for Matan, Carlin Drel arrived before the ritual was complete. Matan attempted to kill her in single combat, but failed. He was hit with multiple phaser blasts and fell down a cliff to his death. ("Survivors of Yamatai")
Personality and Beliefs Edit
By the time of his death, Matan earnestly believed that the Sun Queen was a goddess, that he could communicate with her, and that he would be supernaturally rewarded if he set her free. At the same time, Matan did not see himself as anything more than a man who was willing to do whatever it took to survive, and teach others to do the same. Matan was manipulative of those around him and dismissed the importance of anyone's survival but his own, not hesitating to kill others--even his own men--or to send them to their deaths on suicide missions. ("Survivors of Yamatai")
- "While I may not be harmless, I am a teacher. I teach the crash survivors the Sun Queen brings to this planet. I teach them how to survive. I give them organization, unity, and purpose. Most importantly, I teach them to serve the Sun Queen Himiko--I teach them to see the light!"
- — Matan, explaining his role among the Solarii
- "You are Starfleet. Your mission is ostensibly to seek out life, and you value all life. You are duty bound to protect the innocent. I, however, have no such compulsion."
- — Matan, just before using Mor as a hostage
- "Brothers, listen to me! Out in the galaxy, we were nothing, but here...here we are the Solarii: the children of the Sun Queen. She brought us here for a reason! I know that you want your freedom. I know you want to leave this world, but we are all prisoners here. Only the Sun Queen has the power to set us free! In order to free ourselves, we must first release our Queen. Like us, she is a prisoner here, but unlike us she has true power. When we free her, we free ourselves! She will reward us and release us: we will be reborn! This girl is human, and she carries the blood of this land. She may be the Key. The Ritual of Fire will reveal the truth. ...Himiko, you are the first and the last! Speak to us now! Speak to us through the flames!"
- — Matan's sermon to the Solarii at the Ritual of Fire
- "And do you think you're a hero, Samantha? Everything I've done, I did to survive. How many lives have you taken to do the same? There are no heroes here, only survivors."
- — Matan to Sam Hayashi