The Tzenkethi are a proud, noble race, from Tzenketh spreading to the stars like wolves expanding their territory. While not innately warlike, the Tzenkethi are fiercely territorial, and protect their space diligently, preferring that other galactic powers not even cross through it. Tzenkethi are shorter than humans, but very wiry. They have manelike hair sweeping back along their backs, and dark brown, tan or mustard colored skin. Their eyes resemble cat eyes.
Tzenkethi bear 2-3 children per pregnancy, on average, but two out of three children born to Tzenkethi are female. As a result, upon reaching maturity, the Tzenkethi form a family group called a tzeu. Each tzeu centers on a single male and several female Tzenkethi. Male Tzenkethi are physically weaker and less robust, but organize the activities of the tzeu as a whole, as well as caring for the children after baby Tzenkethi wean. The women of the tzeu are the warriors, the workers and the doers of society. Tzeui do all things collectively. Individual Tzenkethi do not take jobs or serve aboard starships. Instead, entire groups of tzeui join new endeavors or organizations together. Their workplaces become their homes, their territory, and the source of their pride. Education is equal for both sexes, and authority is vested in a tzeu, not an individual. Each tzeu makes its decisions based on the type of choice being made and the expertise of their Tzenkethi members.
Their clan-based government is officially recognized as the Tzenkethi Coalition by most galactic powers, but not the Tzenkethi themselves.
The Tzenkethi began to expand into space in 2002, having developed early warp drive. However, the racial tendency to expand into and claim new territory proved to be a governor on Tzenkethi expansion and exploration. The Tzenkethi only expanded out to find what territory it could hold, never overextending themselves. As a result, they were largely unknown to other galactic powers. They did come across some pre-warp civilizations in their sector of space. Most of these civilizations joined with the Tzenkethi willingly enough, given the technological superiority of the Tzenkethi.
The first major power the Tzenkethi encountered were the Cardassians, in 2107, followed by the Bajorans in 2114. Recognizing that these races had territory of their own, the Tzenkethi fortified their territorial borders, but put their expansion and exploration into other directions. Though there were some incidents, particularly in the 23rd century, when a ten year Tzenkethi-Cardassian war was fought, the Tzenkethi had a moderately peaceful expansion into space.
This changed in 2353, when U.S.S. Rickover penetrated deeply into Tzenkethi territory without realizing what they were doing. The Tzenkethi overreacted to this seeming invasion of their territory, striking at the Rickover with three escort vessels, in an effort to drive it from their territory. The Rickover responded in kind, withdrawing but destroying two of the escorts. The Tzenkethi immediately massed vessels and followed, attacking Federation starbases and starships in retaliation. The resulting Federation-Tzenkethi War lasted eight years. The U.S.S. Okinawa—commanded by Captain Robert Leyton, with a young Benjamin Sisko in his first command position in Starfleet as his first officer - was instrumental in resolving the conflict and negotiating the Federation-Tzenkethi ceasefire.
In 2371, the Dominion attempted to ignite tensions in the Alpha Quadrant by setting off a new Tzenkethi-Federation war. A Founder masqueraded as Ambassador Krajensky of the Federation, on a mission with the U.S.S. Defiant, under the command of then-Captain Benjamin Sisko. The Founder took control of the Defiant, heading into Tzenkethi space to launch an unprovoked attack on Tzenketh itself. The Tzenkethi, being so territorial, would almost certainly respond in kind, taking Federation focus away from the Gamma Quadrant and potential war, and sowing the seeds for a Dominion invasion. Captain Sisko and his crew managed to stop the attack and leave Tzenkethi space before the Founder’s plan could bear fruit.
Tzenkethi have technology on a par with the Federation or Romulans. They use disrupter style weaponry and were the first race in the Alpha Quadrant to have quantum torpedo technology. This advantage helped level the playing field during the Federation-Tzenkethi War. However, their life sciences technology has lagged behind, in part because of their natural rapid healing. The prospect of improved medical technology opened the door to negotiations for peace with the Federation.
Tzenkethi use proper names, as well as a family name joined to ‘tseu’ to represent their home tseu. So, a typical male might be named Shenti Fep’tseu, and he may have two wives named Eshti Fep’tseu and Bethti Fep’tseu.
- Burns, Eric, Kenneth A. Hite & Doug Sun. Star Trek Roleplaying Game Book 7: Worlds, Decipher, 2005. ISBN: 1582369097.