The Preservers are an ancient race (or group of races), known for transplanting humanoid people-groups from their indigenous planet to remote locations, to prevent "cultural extinction."
They placed several tribes of Native Americans on the world Amerind (Epsilon Aurigae IV), who were discovered by the USS Enterprise in 2269. The Preservers, known as the "Wise Ones" to the transplanted tribes, also left behind an obelisk, which emitted a tractor beam, deflecting asteroids from the planet.
The name "Preservers" was coined by the Vulcan Science Academy or others in the Federation sometime prior to 2269. It is unknown what their indigenous name was, however their language may have been musical in nature, since musical tones were used to operate controls in the obelisk. (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome"; Orion Press: "The Beggar's Tooth")
It was theorized that the Preservers were responsible for transplanting ancient Romans from Earth to Magna Roma, where an alternate version of the Roman Empire flourished well into the 24th century. (TOS novel: Ex Machina)
Other races that may be Preserver transplants include the inhabitants of Alpha Centauri VII, Miri's world, Omega IV, and several "duplicates" of Vulcan, Qo'noS, and Andor. (Reference book: The Worlds of the Federation, TOS novel: Preserver)
The planet Altair VI may once have been a Preserver world. (FASA RPG: The Federation) Likewise, the Anu'anshee, one of the first warp-capable societies in the galaxy, may have been the Preservers. The name Anu'anshee translates to "those who preserve" in the ancient Cyrean language. The Anu'anshee left artifacts on several planets, including Ondahar, Kandoge and Camus II, and throughout the Eris Alpha sector.(ENT novel: What Price Honor?)
Artifacts dating back billions of years have been attributed to the Preservers, further strengthening the theory that they and the ancient humanoids are one and the same. (TOS novel: Federation, Preserver)
During the incident between the Borg and Delcara in 2367, Jean-Luc Picard theorized that the Preservers may have created the doomsday machines in order to combat the Borg Collective. (Vendetta, TNG novel: Before Dishonor)
- Picard's theory was simple speculation, and there was no conclusive evidence to connect the Preservers and the doomsday machine.
Life on the planet Vulcan may have come about as part of a "seeding" program by the Preservers, Sargon's race, or the Vhorani. All three races may in fact be related, or the same. (LUG RPG: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans) In 2266, a month after the Romulans were visually identified as resembling Vulcans, the Vulcan Science Academy issued a theory postulating the Preservers as responsible for the two races' shared heritage (to obscure the knowledge of the Sundering). (FASA RPG: Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update)
In 2410, a team discovered a vault of living Preservers preserved in cryogenic stasis on Lae'nas III, which proved for certain that the Preservers were indeed the ancient humanoids. Unfortunately these Preservers were killed later that year by an Iconian orbital bombardment to prevent the nations of the Alpha Quadrant from using their knowledge to fight the extragalactic invaders. (Star Trek Online)
After the first crossover into the mirror universe in the 23rd century, Starfleet established Project Sign to guard against future incursions. Project Sign eventually discovered that without the Preservers' influence on our reality, it would be exactly like the mirror universe. (ST novels: Spectre, Dark Victory, Preserver (novel))
There was a temple of the Preservers on Tyra III. In 2374, the Jem'Hadar used the temple as a base of operations following their battle with the Seventh Fleet. Lt. Commander Kate Sheridan led a raid on the temple to rescue officers being held captive by the Jem'Hadar. (Star Trek: The Adventures of Argus: "Trial By Fire")
The original Preservers were the last members of the race of Ancient Progenitors that seeded humanoid life throughout the Milky Way. Over the eons, they watched over the development of their progeny species, leaving many artifacts behind. Eventually, they faded from the galaxy -- through interbreeding with their "genetic descendants," war, plague and other causes -- but not before passing the mantle on to the more advanced of those races. The Vhorani were one, and they spread throughout the near side of the galaxy, seeding life on Vulcan, Mintaka III and other worlds. Milennia later, they would be remembered in the Romulan myths of Vorta Vor. (Star Trek: Pendragon: "Starkindler", et. al)
Other offshoots of the Preservers included the Anu'anshee, and the group known as the Aegis. The Aegis would take special interest in the people of Earth, and established a line of "Watchmen" to observe and defend the human race. Akharin was descended from this line. Among the Preserver artifacts they left on Earth was one that would eventually become known as the Holy Grail. (PDN: "The Once and Future King, Parts I & II")
The Preservers transplanted numerous cultures from Earth, including the Romans, to Magna Roma, and the Greeks to Alpha Centauri VII and Betazed. The latter group developed advanced telepathic abilities, possibly through genetic manipulation. Corresponding to the artifact left on Earth, they placed the Sacred Chalice of Rixx on Betazed. (PDN: "Broken Destiny", et. al)
The influence of the Preservers even spread as far as the Delta Quadrant, where they visited the Ocampa homeworld before the time of the Caretaker. They transplanted several thousand Ocampa to an isolated planet in the Beta Quadrant, hidden by a nebula near the galactic barrier. Eventually the Beta Quadrant Ocampa would develop longer lifespans, and increased psionic capabilities. (PDN: "Sanctuary")
In the mid-24th century, several Preserver artifacts were brought to Enclave J-12 on Titan, where they were studied by young Timothy Sinclair, under the guidance of Dr. Robert Blaisdell. Sinclair grew to become a "Preserver chaser," and when he left the Enclave in 2355, he followed their trail towards the galactic rim. He would later write several papers on the Preservers' influence on the galaxy, most notably When the Stars Changed: The Truth Behind Common Myth, which was published after his disappearance in 2386. (PDN: "Air and Darkness", "Odyssey, Parts I & II", "Camelot's Ashes", "Another Time, Another Place", "Above the Wrecks of Time", "The Hand of God", et. al)
The Preservers took dozens of beings from various worlds and various time periods at the moments of their death. These people -- "The Chosen" -- were cryogenically frozen, and awakened in 2455, five years after a great cataclysm decimated the galaxy, in the hopes of restoring civilization.
The study of the Preservers was an obsession of Lieutenant Samok, an archaeologist aboard the USS Odyssey. He became interested in the subject during his days at Starfleet Academy, after discussions with his roommate, Tyler Sinclair, whose father was an archaeologist.