Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
- Planet Name: Trill
- Class: M
- Moons or Rings: One moon
- Gravity: 1.1 G
- Climate: 70% hydrosphere (surface), warm temperatures
- Demographics: Billions of humanoid natives
- Civilization: Diplomatic and Academic, technocratic meritocracy
- Resources: Metals and heavy ores, tourism, educational facilities
Located relatively near the heart of the Federation in the Alpha Quadrant, Trill is a geologically active planet with rather extreme climatology. The native Trill have performed minor modifications to their world in order to make it safer and cozier as a home, but overall the planet poses few natural hazards.
Trill lies in the Alpha Quadrant, within only a few days’ journey from Earth at high warp. The planet orbits a binary star system – a dim white dwarf and a bright blue dwarf. As the sixth planet in the system, Trill lies far enough away from its primaries to avoid excessive radiation or gravitic turbulence. In the 24th century, Starfleet has established a starbase in orbit around the ninth (and last) planet in the system for system defense.
Thanks to a strong axial tilt and pair of primary stars, Trill experiences frequent weather changes and warm, tropical weather. The Trill maintain a simple weather control system in place to influence disastrous storm fronts or disperse sudden dangerous weather, but generally prefer to leave the weather to its natural course.
A combination of algae and unusual salts gives Trill’s oceans a pleasant purple color.
Due to its tectonic instability, Trill experiences occasional quakes and plate shifts, although volcanic activity is rare (the planet has a relatively cool core). As a result, the planet tends to have stark mountains and hilly terrain, but these all erode quickly under the onslaught of the changeable weather. The Trill themselves use a system of tectonic sensors and release stelae to help keep the quakes manageable in populated areas.
Most of the planet sprouts tremendous, green forests; under the canopies, the warm weather and winds are a bit more tolerable. At the poles, though, the planet still boasts permafrost icecaps. Thanks to the quakes, cave complexes are common among the mountains.
The Trill have a civilization marked by a decided lack of conflict. The combination of environment taking off population pressures, crossed with the stabilizing influence of the peaceful symbionts, helped to make the Trill into intellectuals instead of warriors. Their war was not to subdue other cultures for resources, but rather to tame the environment.
By the 22nd century, Trill had largely tamed their world, and engaged in rudimentary space travel and contacts with other cultures through subspace radio. The close of the 22nd century saw the Trill invention of warp drive, and by the 23rd century Trill warp engines were on par with most Starfleet designs; Trill travelers became a common sight throughout the Alpha Quadrant, although their symbionts remained secret and the Trill had little desire to colonize or conquer other worlds.
Two major factors contributed to the rise of Trill technology: the memories of symbionts, and easy access to ores and heavy metals. The symbionts could communicate with the Trill through Joining, although the ways and means of the first Joining remain shrouded in secrecy by the Trill symbiosis commission. Symbionts passed from host to host but retained their memories and friendships, and kept Trill society centered on a long-term view. Geologically, the planet’s heavy tectonic activity led to the formation of quakecaverns and eroded tunnels, through which the Trill could easily gain access to deposits of iron, aluminum, and other useful metals. The combination of the two factors led to the rapid rise of technology.
As Trill society grew, their governments adopted a system influenced by the symbionts. The symbiont populations grew much more slowly than the Trill humanoid populations, so many Trill competed to have the right qualifications to be selected as a host. This general competitiveness showed through academic achievement and philosophical development – the symbionts made it clear that they would reject violent individuals who tried to become hosts by force. As a result, all Trill civilization stressed a high level of education and ethical personal responsibility. By the time they’d covered all of their planet’s landmasses, the Trill already had a unified world government, a meritocracy run through systems of examinations and scientific appointments. This system was well in place by the time the Trill met the Federation, but matters were still cool between the two powers. Trill valued their independence and their position as a neutral party. Over the exchange of several decades, though, it became clear that the Federation stood for the same high values that the Trill society encouraged – and that the members of the Federation had embraced those values due to long years of struggle and learning, having worked hard to establish what came naturally to Trill culture. Eventually, the Trill applied for and received Federation membership in one of the fastest turnaround times from application to completion.
With the recent move by the Federation towards becoming a more militaristic power, there has been discontent amongst the peoples Trill.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Outside visitors almost never visit the cave complexes where the symbionts reside, but on rare occasions a science or medical team will gain permission from the Symbiosis Commission to perform examinations. On rare occasions a disaster may require investigation (such as a joined Trill in Starfleet needing to commune with other symbionts about some hidden event in the past), and in such circumstances an outsider might gain a rare glimpse at the milky pools amid the crested outcroppings where the symbionts swim and play when they are not Joined.
Visiting engineers (especially Tellarites) almost always take a trip to the central mining operations ringing the planet’s equatorial mountains. The Trill advances in tectonics, while stark and functional, are also scientifically impressive. Tremendous hydraulic stelae allow plate shifting without creating massive upheavals, and narrow vents release the toxic gases or magma from underground pressure. While such mining is a difficult venture, it also shows off the Trill appreciation for protection of life as well as their superlative scientific design.