Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
- Planet Name: Tellar
- Class: M
- Moons or Rings: One moon
- Gravity: 1.05 G
- Climate: 40% hydrosphere (surface), cool temperatures
- Demographics: Billions of humanoid natives
- Civilization: Agg ress ive and Scientifc, federal congress
- Resources: Industrial minerals, precious metals, gemstones, advanced manufactured goods, building materials, spring water
Tellar is the homeworld of the Tellarites, one of the charter members of the Federation. Coping with the planet’s unusual geology has molded the Tellarites into skilled engineers whose talents are admired throughout Alpha Quadrant. They have covered a substantial portion of the planet’s surface with massive irrigation and hydroponics projects so that Tellar could support a large population.
Tellar is the fourth planet in the Pangeos system, which is located in Alpha Quadrant.
Historically, Tellar has had an unusually dry and inactive climate for a Class M world. It’s sunny most of the time at all latitudes. The light, dry atmosphere doesn’t trap heat very well, so temperatures also remain cool year round. Very recently, however, scientists studying the planet’s climate have noticed a slight overall warming and increase in precipitation. They have determined that massive irrigation projects have increased the amount of water that enters the atmosphere through evaporation, and that this seems to be stimulating Tellar’s water cycle.
By Class M standards, water covers remarkably little of Tellar’s surface. Its oceans are a nothing more than a handful of large inland seas. By volume, however, Tellar has just as much water as most Class M planets. Due to a quirk of the planet’s geology, the continental shelf of its continents cantilevers over the ocean’s surface, rather than slopes beneath it.
The lack of ocean surface means that relatively little water evaporates into the atmosphere to fall back to the surface as precipitation. This explains why Tellar’s climate is so calm and dry. The planet’s water cycle instead enacts a unique variation on Class M norms. Seawater flows through subterranean streams and percolates through the rock and collects inland in vast underground reservoirs. This process filters out salt and other impurities, leaving the water fresh.
At first glance, the Tellarites were rather an unlikely candidate to become charter members of the United Federation of Planets, an organization dedicated above all to forging cooperation and respect between diverse races. They are a quick-tempered and impulsive race, and even their most skilled diplomats have a habit of speaking their minds with astonishing frankness. When the Tellar Ambassador Gav was assassinated while en route with other delegates to the Babel Conference in 2267, no one was terribly surprised.
Among themselves, however, Tellarites accept quarrelsome behavior simply as part of their nature, and they rarely think anything of it. In fact, outside observers have marveled at how little strife there is in Tellarite society given how much they remonstrate and argue with each other. World government on Tellar consists of a congress of delegates representing the planet’s traditional nation-states, and because there is no executive branch of government, all important matters are settled by simple majority vote by the delegates. Tellarite nature being what it is, no question ever comes to a vote without extensive debate before and even during the voting. These debates are usually loud, but never violent, and once a matter is settled all arguments are forgotten.
Tellarites are renowned throughout the Federation for their talent as engineers. They acquired their skills by necessity, having to drill deep into the ground for something as essential as fresh water. They constructed massive irrigation projects to increase the amount of arable land available to them, and later built vast hydroponic farms to augment their agricultural capacity and support large cities. The Tellarites also developed space travel at a relatively early point in their history.
Their engineering talents make the Tellarites skilled miners as well as builders. They can find industrial minerals, precious metals and even gemstones in ways and places that most Federation engineers couldn’t even imagine. Tellar marble is a prized building material throughout Alpha Quadrant. Bottled Tellar drinking water is also a lucrative export commodity, as the process of filtering that water undergoes as it passes from the ocean to underground reservoirs gives it an unusually clean taste.
The Tellarites developed space travel relatively early in their history. By the turn of the 20th century they were using impulse-driven ships to explore and exploit most of the Pangeos system. In 1967, Garas, then an obscure designer working for the Tellar space exploration agency, developed the first Tellarite warp engine prototype. Ever since then, the Tellarites have kept a place on the cutting edge of Federation propulsion technology, a distinction in which they take just pride.
Their leap into interstellar travel brought them into contact with other starfaring races, and in 2161 Tellar became a charter member of the UFP. However, the Tellarites also found themselves at the center of one of the most serious diplomatic incidents in early Federation history. In 2267, the Enterprise was assigned to transport delegates to the Babel Conference. Ambassador Gav, who headed the Tellar delegation, was assassinated, and initial suspicion pointed to the Vulcan ambassador Sarek, with whom he had quarreled in public. A diplomatic crisis loomed, one that threatened to break up not only the Babel Conference, but perhaps even the Federation (imagine a blood feud between two charter UFP members, one notoriously hot-headed). The crew of the Enterprise, headed by Captain James Kirk, defused the crisis by revealing that an Orion Syndicate assassin had killed Gav in an effort to sabotage the conference.
Since then, Tellar has been an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Federation, anxious to make contact with other races, even though they may be quick to take umbrage at foreign ways. Recently, Ferengi visitors have periodically shown up on Tellar, trying to recruit Tellarite mining specialists to help them search for new latinum deposits. Some of them are also convinced that vast deposits of the currency metal lie undiscovered on Tellar, and they use as many blandishments as they have at their disposal to convince the natives to give up their location. In truth, no such secret knowledge exists, because the Tellarites have never bothered to look for latinum. They themselves have little use for it, and they don’t much like pushy little Ferengi trying to badger them into searching for it.
Tellarites also volunteered in large numbers to staff the repair sections of Federation starbases to work on Starfleet vessels damaged in the Dominion and Empire Wars.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Eranas is the capital city of Tellar. The center of the city, known as the Old City, is enclosed by a massive fortified wall. It is a relic of the days when Eranas was the capital of the planet’s largest nation-state and felt the need to defend itself from envious rivals. Tellar’s seat of government, the Tellar Global Congress, is located here in the Old City.
Tellar’s largest irrigation project, the Bilav Fields, is located just outside Eranas, but it is large enough to spill over the border into neighboring nations. Bilav Fields draws its water from a network of pipes that taps a large underground reservoir directly beneath it. Land irrigated by the project grows enough food to feed 100 million Tellarites, and they like to boast that it is large enough to be seen from space.