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The Solarii Brotherhood was a violent, oppressive religious organization that existed on the planet Yamatai in the Dragon's Head Nebula during the late 24th and early 25th centuries. (Star Trek Online: Valkyries)
The Solarii traced their earliest origins to the conversion of Matan. Formerly a Gil working as a record-keeper for the Dominion expedition on Yamatai, Matan became convinced that supernatural forces were at work on the planet after he survived the Oni attack on the Dominion research base. Giving the other survivors of the expedition suicidal orders and leaving them to their fate, Matan began an obsessive quest to learn the truth about the island, becoming convinced that the polaric ion energy being trapped on it was the Sun Queen Himiko, that she was a goddess, and that she could be released by selecting a new Chosen One to be her vessel.
The Solarii Brotherhood was founded in October of 2386 when Father Matan, the cult's founder and leader, rescued three Klingon brothers who had survived a devastating crash on the planet, but been left reeling by it. Matan easily convinced them to serve him, and through him the Sun Queen Himiko. These Klingons--Vamdar, Durtlhor, and Nikora--became Matan's first lieutenants and formed the core around which the Solarii Brotherhood was built up.
By 2389, the Solarii had grown numerous by capturing and converting other crash survivors. Matan moved the group from the old Dominion research base by the coast of the main island to the ancient ruins of the royal palace further inland. The palace formed the Solarii's headquarters while the scavenged remains of numerous ships were used to build ramshackle housing for the Solarii in the valley below the palace.
By the early 25th century, the Solarii possessed an impressive-if-improvised network controlling most of Yamatai's land area. They used verdenicine gas taps to power equipment all over the planet, including the transporter of a small Romulan warbird, modified to work in a high polaric radation environment. They also occupied the communication base the Dominion had build on the main island and got it operational again. They used it's terawatt-range transmitter as a booster for their communicators, allowing them to coordinate their activities and even operate a sensor network across much of the planet. Matan would also occasionally use the long-range transmitter at the base to lure ships to Yamatai, where they would crash.
Very few crash survivors were able to evade the Solarii. Possibly the only one able to do so for an extended period of time was Chawera Glott, a Bolian and former member of the cult who hid out in the sea caves on the main island. All others were caught and either killed or thrown into the Pit in preparation for their recruitment into the Solarii Brotherhood. The only exception was human women, who were always subjected by Matan to the Ritual of Fire in hopes that they would be the Chosen One. For twenty years, none of them were.
Final Days Edit
In May of 2407, a Starfleet shuttle crash brought a whirlwind of changes to the Solarii. First, two of the Starfleet survivors, Carlin Agran and Antori Drel, managed to evade capture by a hunting party led by Vamdar. In the process, they killed a number of Solarii, including Vamdar, which enraged his brothers. The next day, these same officers attacked the Solarii-controlled Dominion communications base, killing more Solarii, temporarily disrupting Solarii communications, and sending a distress call which resulted in a second shuttle bearing four more Starfleet personnel crashing on the main island.
The Solarii managed to kill one member of this second shuttle's crew and restored their communications network by routing it through the systems of the Romulan warbird in the Solarii shantytown. They were just in time to capture three members of the second shuttle's crew attempting to break out Lieutenant Samantha Hayashi--a human survivor from the first crash that the Solarii were holding for the Ritual of Fire. Matan decided to try to use this drive to rescue their comrades against the Starfleet survivors and intentionally allowed Sam to escape, hoping she would lead Carlin and Antori into a trap. He succeeded in leading Carlin into a trap, but the Solarii force, under his lieutenant Brother John Briar, was too close to the Oni-controlled monastery on the main island and came under attack. Briar's men were wiped out and he alone managed to escape with the help of the Starfleet survivors. He later managed to recapture Sam, but Matan executed him for his incompetence.
That night, Sam was subjected to the Ritual of Fire. Carlin attempted to interrupt the ritual, but was captured by Durtlhor and Nikora, the surviving Klingon brothers. When the flame was lit, a wind immediately blew it out and Matan announced that Sam was the Chosen One they'd been waiting for all these years. He tried to explain to her the importance of her position and how she would set the Solarii free by undergoing the Ascension Ritual, but she didn't understand him and rejected him.
Meanwhile, Carlin managed to escape from Durtlhor and Nikora by going through the Pit. She also managed to free, Sam and the other Starfleet survivors from the Solarii, setting off the verdenicine gas taps underneath the palace and causing massive damage to the Solarii headquarters in the process. In the confusion, Sam killed Durtlhor and Nikora. The Starfleet survivors escaped, despite Matan turning the ship-mounted disruptors of the downed Romulan warbird on them, but were beamed up by an Orion-operated bird-of-prey, the OSS Cluros. The Cluros then proceeded to strafe the Solarii shantytown, destroying the Romulan warbird and with it the Solarii's ability to coordinate communications and use transporters.
The surviving Solarii regrouped under Matan and attacked the Orions as soon as the Cluros crashed. Both sides took casualties and the Solarii retreated after Father Matan was wounded. Matan then split his forces, leaving one group to attempt to hunt down the Starfleet survivors and any remaining Orions while he lead a second group to the Dominion research base to look up the location where the Ascension Ritual needed to take place: the ancient Chamber of the Sun. Without their communicaitons network, however, Solarii activities were uncoordinated. The Starfleet and Orion survivors easily evaded the hunting party at the crash site of the Cluros' forward sections, then took a group of Solarii that was attempting to scavenge the engineering section completely by surprise, wiping them out. The crash survivors then made their way to the Dominion research base as well.
When they arrived, Matan took the opportunity to place Doctor Mor, whom he had convinced to act as his agent, aboard their shuttle. He tracked the shuttle to the excavation site for an ancient tomb and split his men into two groups, one attacking the shuttle on the surface and the other going down to ambush the remaining Solarii in the tomb. Matan was able to use this to force Sam to surrender herself. He took her and all remaining Solarii to the Oni monastery, where the Chamber of the Sun lay. Matan sent the Solarii on a frontal assault of the monastery, drawing the Oni out to meet them, while he snuck Sam in through the servant's entrance and brought her to the Chamber of the Sun where he began the Ascension Ritual.
End and Final Fate Edit
Unfortunately for the Solarii, the Ascension Ritual was never completed. Carlin Drel managed to sneak into the monastery behind Matan and killed him, then used an ancient sword to destroy the Star of Yamatai, thus killing Himiko. A few minutes after her death, the planet's polaric ion energy was released in a tremendous explosion that killed all life on the surface of Yamatai and tore open subspace ruptures throughout the surounding Dragon's Head Nebula. An Solarii who had been lucky enough to survive the past few days were instantly incinerated. Nothing survived of the cult, not even a relic. ("Survivors of Yamatai")
Beliefs and Practices Edit
The Solarii worshiped the Sun Queen Himiko of ancient Japanese lore, believing her to be a goddess. Many Solarii prayed to Himiko or maintained shrines in her honor. Such shrines typically consisted of a statue or crude limewash painting of Himiko surrounded by candles or food offerings. The exact extent of the powers they ascribed to Himiko varied among members, but all agreed that Himiko controlled the ion storms and atmospheric storms that brought down ships on Yamatai.
The Solarii believed that Himiko had become somehow imprisoned on the planet and that if they could set her free, they would all be rewarded, specifically by being allowed to leave the planet themselves. In order to set her free, they subjected all human women they captured to the Ritual of Fire. This ritual involved attempting to burn the woman at the stake. If the flames were extinguished by an unusually strong gust of wind, then the woman was deemed to be the Chosen One of Himiko and would be taken to the Chamber of the Sun to undergo the Ascension Ritual to free Himiko. If the flames were not blown out--as was almost always the case-- they were allowed to consume and kill the victim.
Individual levels of piety varied greatly among the Solarii in 2407, with many of them--even among the lieutenants--merely paying lip-service to the beliefs of the cult. However, after Sam was discovered to be the Chosen One and the Solarii were devastated by the loss of their main base of operations, many of the surviving Solarii became more faithful. ("Survivors of Yamatai")
Composition and Organization Edit
The Solarii cult was composed entirely of survivors of the various ships that had crashed on Yamatai. It contained members of all major and many minor Alpha and Beta Quadrant races, but only male members of those races. Women who were captured by the Solarii were either executed or subjected to human sacrifice in the Ritual of Fire.
Men who were to join the Solarii were first imprisoned for days or weeks in a sealedcavern known as the Pit. While there, they were referred to as the "Unholy Ones" and were regarded as little more than animals by the Solarii. The Unholy Ones were starved into submission or else driven mad by the isolation. Many resorted to cannibalism.
Those that survived the Pit and swore loyalty to the Solarii and the Sun Queen were welcomed as Brothers: full members of the cult. While the rank of Brother was the highest openly spoken of among the Solarii's membership, other ranks existed as a matter of practicality. There were a number of lieutenants entrusted with the leadership of teams of Brothers, often assigned to a particular task, such as operating a communication or sensor station or hunting for survivors from recent crashes. These lieutenants, in turn, took their orders directly from Father Matan, the founder of the Solarii as well as its practical and religious head.
Discipline among the Solarii was harsh and often brutally violent. It was not at all uncommon for a lieutenant to execute a Brother on the spot for displeasing him. Father Matan was known to execute rank-and-file members and even lieutenants for disobedience or failure to live up to his expectations. The victims of these executions were sometimes hung up as a warning to others. ("Survivors of Yamatai")