One of the original five members of the United Federation of Planets, Andoria is a world of fierce, proud, and passionate warriors. Counting honor and valor as their highest virtues, the Andorians represent the noblest of the ideals upon which the UFP is based. A cold planet with a limited biosphere and relatively few natural resources, Andoria nonetheless gave birth to an advanced civilization (as well as the Aenar). They emerged from centuries of bloody intramural warfare with their warrior ethos almost intact, but also with a revulsion against war and a new dedication to peace.
Seven planets orbit the white giant star of Andoria. Of these seven, only the fifth planet in the system - the Andorian homeworld, properly referred to as Andor by the locals - is habitable.
The other six worlds, ranging from the Class F and D inner planets to two Class J outer planets, remain as they have been for millennia, in keeping with the Andorian dislike of terraforming. While these worlds are not habitable, Andorian colonies and outposts, as well as some Federation and Starfleet facilities, can be found on each of them. The most well known of these is the Andoria VII Observatory, one of the best known interstellar observatories in the Federation.
In an elliptical orbit beyond the furthest planet from the Andorian sun lies an asteroid field, rich in crystalline minerals. It is home to a small mining operation jointly run by the Andorians and the Dytallix Mining Corporation of Tellar. First established shortly after Andoria and Tellar signed the Articles of Federation, this mining operation served as an early example of the benefits of cooperation between Federation member worlds.
Andoria's central location deep within the Federation space would make it a prime target for an invading force. However, any such invader would find new planets a more difficult target than Andoria. The system is never without the presence of at least one starship, and usually hosts several ships at any given time. Most of these are of Andoria's home fleet, but numerous Starfleet ships are often found in the Andoria system as well.
Visitors to Andoria find it to be a cold world, with a climate similar to the region of Earth known as the taiga. Long cold seasons are interrupted by brief by warm summers. The heavy summer tourist population combined with the warmer than normal temperatures make the summers by far the least favorite time of year for most Andorians.
While humans can comfortably breathe the Andorian atmosphere for short periods of time, prolonged exposure to Andoria's thin air leaves many of them tired and fatigued. This is especially true when humans engage in strenuous physical activity, such as hiking, rock-climbing, or physical combat (all common activities on Andoria). To accommodate their "weaker" allies, Andorian architects and building engineers outfit most Federation and Starfleet buildings with atmospheric conditioners which create an Earth-like atmosphere and air. Andorians suffer no ill effects from breathing this thicker air, even for prolonged durations. Occasionally a brash young Andorian will comment on the "weaker" constitutions of his fellow Federation citizens, but this practice is looked down upon.
Andoria's landmass is divided into four continents, Issa, Ka'thela, Tlanek, and Voral. Issa and Tlanek are both frozen solid and utterly inhospitable, covered most of the year by glacial ice sheets hundreds of meters thick. All of Andorian civilization resides in Ka'thela and Voral, which are connected along a thin strip of land containing the Tharan Mountains. This, historically, has served as the planet's most important overland trade route. An estimated 85% of the planet's animal species live within 15 degrees of the equator, which tells you something about the hostility of Andoria's climate.
Dense forests cover much of the Andorian landscape. Trees similar to the redwoods and sequoias of the Pacific Northwest of North America on Earth are among the most prominent species of trees. Though deciduous trees can be found near the equatorial regions of Andoria, coniferous trees are far more common across most of the planet. The coloration of many of Andoria's trees, like that of its humanoid population, has a blue tint ranging in hue from the deep blue-green leaves of the deciduous trees of Andoria's equatorial areas to the vibrant blue of the mountaintop conifers found near Andoria's arctic region. The Andorian Blue Taiga, known for its brilliant azure hues, makes a popular tourist destination, rivaling the national parks of Earth in beauty and majesty.
The water on Andoria has relatively high concentrations of cobalt, a factor which contributes to the high levels of cobalt found in Andorian bloodstreams. The presence of the heavy metal in Andorian water makes it mildly toxic to humans unless purified first.
Andoria boasts a number of well known locations, including many tourist attractions, schools, and other institutions. Among the best known of these are the Andorian Military Institute, the Council of Clans Chambers, and the Andoria VII Observatory.
One of the most well known places on all of Andoria, the Andorian Military Institute plays a large role in the development of the Andorians' skills in the arts of war. Offering courses in all manner of combative skills, ranging from martial arts to beam weapons to starship tactical maneuvers, the Institute has a well earned reputation as one of the Federation's most elite military training facilities.
Starfleet cadets pursuing careers in security often spend a semester training at the Institute on Andoria, learning from masters of armed and unarmed combat rivaled perhaps only by the instructors of the Vulcan Institute of Defensive Arts. In addition, many Starfleet officers and crewmen attend the Institute as part of their ongoing training during their careers.
Though the Institute offers courses and training in virtually all known combat-related skills, perhaps the most well known of these is training in the use of the chaka, the Andorian dagger. This three-bladed weapon is difficult to wield effectively, but once mastered is among the most deadly hand weapons used in the Alpha Quadrant, surpassed only by the Klingon bat'leth. Advanced students learn to wield two chaka at once, one in each hand.
Since it is located in the midst of a vast coniferous forest on Andoria's largest continent, the Institute also includes wilderness survival and endurance training in its curriculum. Courses in hunting, tracking, and the use of primitive hunting weapons round out the outdoor training offered by the school. The culmination of this course is a week-long survival test during which students must survive in the Andorian wilderness with only a knife and two days' worth of water. Though many Starfleet cadets often balk at the thought of having to endure such training, rare is the student who doesn't acknowledge the benefit of his training after his first experience in being stranded in the wilderness on a strange, unexplored planet.
The Andorian Council of Clans Chambers, another well known site on Andoria, serves both as the center of Andorian government and as a monument to Andorian civilization. Exhibits and monuments devoted to notable figures from Andorian history since the time of Lor'Vela circle the Council Chambers, including a series of statues of Andoria's most famous and honorable leaders (such as Lor'Vela, the warrior-scholar who saved Andoria by devising the ritual duels used to settle disputes; Sheras, who represented Andoria during the Terran Conventions, which led to Andoria joining the Federation; and Tharan and Degras,w who battled their political opponents in the Council Chambers to ensure that Andoria would join the Federation).
Within this great ring of monuments and shrines sits the Council Chambers proper, sight of many bloody and historic duels over the last several centuries - including the duel fought to ensure Andoria's place in the Federation. The Chambers has a circular layout to ensure that no one seat take prominence over another.
Situated on the icy outermost world circling the star Andoria, the Andoria VII Observatory is an extremely sophisticated astronomy research station. It affords those scientists lucky (or resourceful) enough to earn the right to use its facilities access to some of the most powerful and precise stellar cartography equipment and computers in all of the Federation. Combining advanced holodeck technology with constantly updated astronomical data, the Observatory's facilities are capable of producing three-dimensional models of the galaxy accurate enough to chart the movements of stellar phenomena and solar systems.
Lor'Tan is Andoria's largest city and the center of its political, cultural and economic life. Visitors to Andoria with little time to spend go to Lor'Tan, knowing that there they can get both the highlights and an overview of what the planet has to offer. Andoria's finest museums, cultural institutions, and restaurants are based here, as well as most of the planet's largest industrial and commercial concerns. Lor'Tan is also the site of the Atlin Zoological Park, which opened in 2230 in the suburb of Atlin. The zoo is devoted entirely to animals with bioluminescence, and by the end of the 23rd century the curators has assembled over 500 different species from all across the Alpha Quadrant.
The Kethni Council meets in Lor'Tan, headquartered in the imposing palace from which the great conqueror Krotus once ruled the entire planet. When he built the Lor'Tan Great Hall, Krotus decreed that all of the city's main thoroughfares should converge on its grounds, making it the center of his capital and therefore, the known world. Subsequent development relegated the palace to the outskirts of the modern city of Lor'Tan.
As with the other founding members of the Federation, terrible violence in Andoria's past nearly led to its own destruction. Hundreds of years ago, from roughly the years 1600 to 1670 by Earth reckoning, Andoria experienced a time now known as the Age of Lament. Andoria's entire economy collapsed, starvation ensured, and each clan blamed the others for its troubles. Centures-long clan rivalries and blood feuds culminated in a series of clan wars and massive battles in which nearly one quarter of the Andorian population killed each other, leaving the Andorian civilization in ruins.
Even before the Age of Lament, for thousands of years, the story of Andorian civilization was a chronicle of wars fought by regional and local warlords against each other as they jockeyed for political or military advantage, but also out of personal grudges and sheer pique. These wars shed much blue, cobalt-based blood. They also established the eminent role that warriors and the warrior virtues of courage, personal honor and skill with arms have always played in Andorian society.
The long centuries of constant intramural warfare seemed to come to an end in 1284 when Krotus, a local warlord who rose from relative obscurity to unite the entire planet under his rule, completed his conquests and settled down to reign. Krotus was not only Andoria's greatest military leader, but a wise statesman and a capable ruler. Under his guidance, the entire planet entered the Industrial Age, and knew unprecedented peace and prosperity during his reign. This all too brief golden age came to an end, however, in 1332 when his daughter assassinated him. Without his strong hand to hold it together, Andoria began to fray politically even as it continued to advance technologically.
In 1597, a dispute between local warlords over control of the trade routes through the Tharan Mountains set off a return to the constant tribal warfare that Krotus' conquests had temporarily ended. Now, however, the warrior chieftains had at their command weapons as deadly as those developed on Earth in the late 20th century, and the results were truly terrible. Thus began the Age of Lament.
After years of chaos and continued struggles between the clans, Lor'Vela, leader of one of the strongest clans on all of Andoria and , proposed the use of ritual duels instead of outright warfare. She was the 14 year old daughter of a clan leader when, one day in 1692, she fell ill. She was literally sickened by the sight of a battlefield on which her mother had just crushed a rival clan. While in a fever, she has a vision of Andoria restored to the glory it had known under Krotus, but through cooperation between the clans instead of conquest. When she recovered, she challenged her mother to a duel and slew her to take control of her clan. Immediately, Lor'Vela sent ambassadors to the remaining clans and summoned them to a conference of peace in the city of Tarsk.
At the Council of Tarsk, as it came to be known, Lor'Vela persuaded the other clan leaders to swear off war against each other and re-establish enduring peace. As a gesture of good faith, she released all the clans that her mother had subdued from any fealty to her, leaving them free to decide their own allegiances. She then retired from leadership of her own clan, effectively dissolving it. Stunned into cooperation, the remaining chieftains crafted the laws and single world government under which Andorians would continue to live even after they became part of the Federation.
The Andorian people could settle their disputes without clans and nations going to war against each other. Rather than entire armies or clans battling, disputes would be settled by ritual combat between single combatants. Lor'Vela's proposal was accepted by a people sick of the horrors and agonies of war. The ritual duels she created allowed the Andorians to survive the Age of Lament and, eventually, to live in peace with one another. The current Andorian calendar begins at the time when Lor'Vela burned the written histories of her world in Earth year 1692, seeking to prevent old feuds from surviving in the minds of the new generation born after the adoption of the ritual duels. Though this still seems odd for a race who hold to the proverb, "A man is no more than the sum of his memories, a culture no more than the sum of its history."
Roughly one hundred years after the end of the Age of Lament in the late 18th century by Earth reckoning, the Andorians developed their first spacecraft and took their first steps outside their world. These early space expeditions, which involved different clans competing to be the first to make major discoveries, triggered a rapid expansion period during which the Andorians established colonies throughout their home system. Once they had completely colonized their own system, the Andorians looked towards the stars. Early interstellar travel made use of impulse-drive sleeper ships, 19 of which were launced, which carried hundreds of cryogenically frozen Andorian colonists to nearby star systems. Most of these ships malfunctioned and never reached their destinations, but a few made it through safely and their inhabitants were able to establish Andorian colonies in a handful of solar systems. Once established, these colonies sought support from Andoria. Robotic ships made the years-long journeys from Andoria to the colonies, bringing much-needed supplies.
Early attempts at creating warp-capable ships resulted in explosions or the disappearance of the ships, none of which were ever heard from again. The explosion of the New Andoria, a warp-capable ship built through the combined efforts of many clans, triggered the end of Andoria's first period of space travel. The explosion tore open a wormhole at the edge of the Andoria system and also created a number of violent ion storms throughout the system, making space travel more hazardous than ever. For over one hundred fifty years, Andorians abandoned space. They lost contact with their colonies and focused their efforts on domestic matters. On several occasions during this period, factions more concerned with local affairs proposed that the Andorian spaceports, which had become largely unused since the explosion of the New Andoria, be dismantled. Though it could not have been known at the time, the Council of Clans saved Andoria by defeating these proposals. A few short years later, the ion storms moving through the Andorian system triggered a new ice age on Andoria, and it was only by using the spaceports to construct and launch a weather control satellite system that Andoria saved itself from almost certain destruction. The significance of the spaceports in the salvation of Andoria reminded the people of the time before the destruction of the New Andoria, when they had begun to reach out to the stars.
The collapse of the wormhole and the dissolution of the ion storms led to a renewed interest in spaceflight, which resumed with efforts to discover the fate of the Andorian colonies of over a century before. Reestablishing contact with their colonies revealed that only one of four, Cimera III which had made contact with Vulcanoid Rigellian traders, had survived. The Andorians rebuilt two of their lost colonies (Thalassa, which had been destroyed by a devastating series of seismic quakes, and Quardis, where the colonists had died of starvation due to lack of supply shipments). However, they chose not the rebuild on Trilith VII, where they was no apparent explanation for the colony's failure - it simply had vanished. The mysterious disappearance of the Trilith VII colony convinced the Andorians to leave well enough alone, and to focus their efforts on the other three colonies rather than risk further resources on a planet which was apparently afflicted with an unknown danger of some sort.
Having learned much about astrophysics from study of the wormhole, the Andorians also resumed their research into warp drive, and within a few years a new vessel, the Lor'Vela, engaged its warp engines for the first time in 2118, heralding a new era in Andorian spaceflight. Shortages in natural dilithium forced Andorian engineers to seek out innovative solutions to the problem of powering their warp drives. One such solution was the development of one-shot warp-capable ships, used primarily as transport to and from the Andorian colonies, and only very rarely for true space exploration.
The Andorians made first contact with the humans in 2151, at the Vulcan monastery of P'jem. The crew of the NX-class Enterprise inadvertently stepped into the middle of a territorial dispute, where Andorian operatives were trying to uncover a (correctly) purported Vulcan intelligence-gathering outpost at the monastery. While the initial contact between the humans and Andorians was violent, human forthrightness and willingness to risk alienating the Vulcans in the interests of uncovering the truth led to a grudging respect for the "pinkskins." Eventually this respect, combined with human diplomacy and tenacity, led the three groups to put their differences aside in the later formation of the United Federation of Planets.
Trade agreements with their new allies soon followed, providing the Andorians with the dilithium they required to upgrade their warp-capable starship fleet. During the Earth-Romulan War, in the days before the formation of the Federation, the Andorians constructed a fleet of ships to aid Earth in its struggle against the Romulans. By the time they were ready to enter service, the war ended and these ships were refit as merchant vessels after the war.
The fourth of the five founding worlds to sign the Articles of the Federation, Andoria delayed its entrance into the Federation until it was assured that it (and other members) would be allowed to maintain its own military forces in addition to contributing to the proposed Starfleet, and after its concerns regarding equal representation within the Federation Council were answered to its satisfaction. Those concerns having been responded to, Andoria signed the Articles and became an enthusiastic participant in the Federation.
Although their influence in the Federation waned as UFP membership expanded, Andoria has always been steadfast in its support of the organization. Andorians have always served with distinction in Starfleet, especially in its early days. Igrlian Kor was the most famous Starfleet officer of this early period and served as Captain of the all-Andorian crewed starship U.S.S. Eagle from 2247, during which time his ship and crew earned more commendations than any starship crew before or since.
In addition to creating the ritual duels which saved the Andorian clans from destroying each other during the Age of Lament, Lor'Vela also instituted the council government that still holds power on Andoria. The Andorian Council of Clans that still holds power on Andoria. The Andorian Council of Clans, composed of the leaders of the three hundred largest and most influential clans on the planet, rules Andoria just as it has since the time of Lor'Vela.
Officially, each of the clan leaders who sits on the Council of Clans is equal to every other leader, with none having any more power or influence than any other. In practice, however, several clan leaders wield more influence in the Council due to the strength and influence of their clans, the alliances they share with other clans, and their experience and age. Fortunately, the strong sense of honor and valor for which Andorians are known usually counteracts this imbalance of power in the Council, as any true clan leader would sooner face death than act in a dishonorable fashion by abusing his position. Currently the most powerful member of the Council is Trallex Kor, the eldest clan leader in the Council and leader of Clan Kor, the strongest and most powerful clan on Andoria.
Because Andorians are experts at organization, their government serves as a prime example of the efficient bureaucracies for which they are known. Though the Council of Clans administers virtually every aspect of government on Andoria, including commerce, domestic affairs, and diplomatic relations offworld, a number of committees and subcouncils sit below the Council in Andoria's governmental hierarchy. These groups oversee specific responsibilities of importance to the government, such as the Commerce Committee (which regulates trade) and the Federation Advisory Council (which acts as a liaison between the Council of Clans and the Andorian Delegation to the Federation Council). Clan leaders sit on these committees, though many also include lower-level functionaries and officials.
Though Andoria currently faces no external conflicts, internal conflicts, such as those which faced Andoria when it first joined the Federation, flare up from time to time in the Council of Clans. Recently, voices of dissent concerning the Federation's stance against its enemies, most notably the Romulans but also the Borg, have echoed through the Council Chambers. As reports of increased activity along the Romulan Neutral Zone continue to be heard, many of the clan leaders wish for a more aggressive response on the part of Starfleet and the Federation. These leaders urge the Andorian representatives on the Federation Council to push for an expansion of Starfleet's military strength. Refusing to wait for Starfleet to acknowledge the true threat these enemies pose, the Andorian military recently began construction on a new warshipof its own, code-named the Cor'sala-class ship.
Since the days before the founding of the Federation, Andoria has profited from its role as a center of interstellar trade and commerce. As one terminus of the well known, and oft-traveled Rigel-Andor trade route, Andoria is ensured of a steady supply of non-replicatable goods and merchandise. The kossos, the currency of Andoria since ages past, is valued at roughly half the Federation credit. It serves as the preferred currency in many parts of Andorian space. Among Andoria's most common export goods are Andorian ale (a popular drink throughout most of the Federation), Andorian silk, Andorian tuber roots, and hand-tailored leather goods.
Andoria's ecology shares many characteristics with that of both Earth, the most noted distinction being the slightly different atmosphere and the presence of the heavy metal cobalt in the world's water. Andoria's cold climate restricts the types of animals which can thrive in its forests, most being warm-blooded and sporting fur, with a slightly higher percentage of carnivores than might be expected.
Two of the most recognizable of Andoria's indigenous creatures are the Andorian forest spider and the blue bear. The former closely resembles the tarantula of Earth, but shares the blue coloration of much Andorian life. Covered with thin light blue hair, Andorian forest spiders often strike their prey without warning, taking full advantage of their natural camouflage. The forest spider's bite injects its victim with a powerful paralytic poison - in fact, it's strong enough to affect an Andorian, and is used as a weapon by some of the more primitive and violent clans who make their homes in Andoria's nortern regions.
The Andorian blue bear is aptly named - it's a large bear with blue fur and claws. Blue bears are extremely territorial and aggressive, and many students at the Andorian Military Institute encounter these dangerous creatures during their week-long wilderness survival and endurance exercise. It is a credit to the Academy's thorough instructors and training regimes that only a few students who have encountered blue bears have not survived the ordeal.
- Burns, Eric, Kenneth A. Hite & Doug Sun. Star Trek Roleplaying Game Book 7: Worlds, Decipher, 2005. ISBN: 1582369097.
- Cambias, James, et al. Planets of the UFP: A Guide to Federation Worlds, Last Unicorn Games, 1999. ISBN: 0671040065.