Gorn Hegemony

From Bravo Fleet
This article is official Bravo Fleet canon.








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Gorn Hegemony
Basic Information
Major Species

Gorn

Homeworld(s)

Gornar

Founded

Mid-22nd Century

Warp Capable

Early-22nd Century

Political Information
Governance Type

Clan-based Feudal Hegemony

Leader

Arhigos Masarith

Military Branches

Gorn Space Command

Template:Government

The Gorn Hegemony is an interstellar government operated by the Gorn from the planet Gornar. Little is known about the Gorn, except that matters of territory seem to be very important since the hegemony reacts very forcefully to any incursion. The Hegemony lies at the Federation's "galactic south," at a position both rimward and spinward from the United Federation of Planets. They share borders with both the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

History

First Contact

The origins of the Gorn Hegemony remain unknown to the Federation. Examination of historic records suggests they have been warp capable roughly as long as humanity, but expanded more quickly from aggressive expansionism and what is suspected to be a high birth rate. Reports of hostile encounters from various powers imply the Gorn have always been territorial and uncommunicative on the galactic stage; many species have likely encountered Hegemony forces but never had the chance to identify their attackers - if they lived to tell the tale.

From the early 23rd century, the Federation had encounters with aliens it would later transpire were the Gorn. Colony ships went missing, border territories were raided, but there were rarely survivors and little information was known about the perpetrators. In the 2250s, Starfleet ships began to have more encounters with Gorn raiding parties, almost all of them violent and never including any substantive communication. At the time, too little was known of the Gorn to establish any formal policy.

This changed in 2267, when the Gorn attacked the Federation colony and outpost on Cestus III, which they viewed as their territory due to ancient traditions. This engagement was ultimately resolved in favour of the Federation, but it was the first demonstrable political act from the Gorn Hegemony, rather than violent encounters with small parties, and it determined relations for decades to come. The Federation had expanded through this rimward region with impunity, but now had some measure of these aggressive and territorial neighbours.

A Cold Front

While the Federation continued to colonise this frontier, they did not venture much further beyond Cestus. The demonstration of the Federation’s might opened diplomacy enough for both governments to to agree on formal borders, which have changed very little over the last century and a half. But formal communication remains incredibly limited.

The Gorn Hegemony have been an unreliable neighbour. A lack of diplomatic access makes their internal affairs opaque, but it is clear the Gorn go through periods of territorialism, aggression, and expansionism, sometimes with little warning. On those occasions Starfleet will reinforce the border, and have learnt that they need to meet strength with strength to rebuff the Gorn. Yet sometimes decades have gone by with almost no contact from the Hegemony.

It has been a particularly fraught fifteen years for Gorn-Federation relations. While there has been no further colonising to antagonise the Hegemony, the border has been left less-defended despite repeated protests by local Starfleet officers. There have been no formal conflicts with the Hegemony, but Starfleet report more military forces on the border, and skirmishes with opportunistic Gorn ships are not uncommon.

Political Structure

While the Gorn government does not seem to have any participatory system that is recognisable to outsiders, diplomats have insisted that the Hegemony is not simply an authoritarian dictatorship. What is known of Gorn civilisation suggests there to be a complex hierarchy in place based on age, fertility, physical prowess, and intelligence, and that while the most powerful may rule by decree, they are also subject to a myriad concerns, constraints, and expectations to keep their authority. The head of the Hegemony is known as the Arhigos, which roughly translates as 'leader' or 'chief'. The Federation has only known there to be female Arhigos, usually in a later stage of life and respected as wise elders.

The Gorn maintain a clan structure, with different clans responsible for different swathes of territory. Due to their position on the trailing border of the Hegemony, the Federation has most often dealt with the Black Crest Clan. It is not known how many Gorn clans exist, but clan leaders are known to answer to, advise, and perhaps keep in-check the Arhigos.

The Gorn view many neighbouring sectors as 'their' territory, though they will not necessarily act on this perspective. It is possible they take a long-term view, assuming all will eventually fall under the Hegemony's rule. There has been little expansion of the Hegemony in recent decades, and their complete uninterest in exploration has seen them rarely extend their interest beyond their region of the Quadrant.

Culture

On the surface, the Gorn are territorial, blunt, and prepared to use violence to get their way. They are prone to expressing their needs openly and appearing resistant to compromise. They clearly have a strong commitment to their culture and their species, and most Gorn encountered are committed to the interests of the Hegemony. They are highly community-minded, valuing strength among their citizens and in their enemies. While this is most commonly martial prowess, many have made headway demonstrating personal cunning, or keen diplomatic insight, or a dogged commitment to one's beliefs or goals.

There remain encounters with Gorn breeding parties that are uniformly violent. These groups of Gorn seek out lifeforms in which they can lay their eggs and either establish a nest or bring them back to a breeding planet. This is the Gorn at their most aggressive and intractable, wholly opposed to communication and only seeking violence to secure and protect their broods. Sometimes, but not always, the ships leading or protecting these breeding parties are clearly and formally part of Gorn Space Command, and it is unclear where the Hegemony stands politically when these parties attack the Federation.

Some Gorn have ventured and built lives beyond the Hegemony this past century, including settling on Federation worlds. They remain tight-lipped about their home or their species, and often live in small enclaves with other Gorn. But they are always noted as hard workers, finding a niche they can contribute to the wider community, and committing whole-heartedly.

The vast discrepancies between Gorn behaviours, both individually and over political history, has been the subject of much conjecture by the Federation. One theory is that different clans hold different attitudes, that the Arhigos may be from any clan, and that changes in leadership explains sudden shifts between diplomacy and aggression. Another, not necessarily incompatible theory, is that individual Gorn go through great changes over their lifespan. There is much evidence for this, such as the wholly violent nature of Gorn hatchlings, the intense and aggressive nature of breeding adults, and the fact other Gorn have engaged with and even lived in the rest of the galaxy.

It is possible that Gorn fulfill very different societal roles in different phases of their lives. Perhaps a single Arhigos will push different policies at different ages, perhaps the Arhigos will change across clans or age or both depending on the needs of the Hegemony. Perhaps young warriors aggressively protect breeding parties, but mature to become the engineers or leaders of society, or become those who venture beyond the Hegemony’s borders.

There is a lot the Federation does not know about the Gorn.

Military

Dubbed by outsiders the "Gorn Space Command", the Gorn's stellar navy is not large, estimated to be less than a fifth of the size of the Federation fleet, but Hegemony vessels are a match for most alien designs in the Quadrant. Like most major powers, the Gorn deploy scouts, frigates and cruisers throughout their space, as well as special envoy ships and colony vessels.

Gorn military technology remains surprisingly sophisticated and the drive for these reptilian beings to keep up with Federation and Klingon technology is poorly understood. Gorn vessels, even in 2399, are the equal of Federation technology. The power output and the robustness of Gorn reactor cores suggests they can maintain maximum warp for longer periods than equivalent Federation designs.

Gorn weapons and shield technology are a match for Federation armaments and they possess a superior ablative armor analog. Once described as, "like phasers but worse," by one Human, Gorn energy weapons are similar to disruptors, yet are obviously of their own design. Their ships have more primitive sensors and communications systems, and their transporters are unusually rudimentary, and their computers are basic compared to Federation systems.

The Gorn navy is deployed throughout its space in what appears to be a preventative measure - they are constantly scouting their perimeters and reinforcing their listening outposts. When an interloper has been identified - especially when it is a large force - the Gorn react with massive numbers. But the navy has also been seen engaging in frequent battle simulations with itself - even on a fleet-sized scale. This suggests they are committed to keeping their combat skills sharp, and their captains show all the hallmarks of a tactical mind at work, demonstrating that the Gorn are immensely clever. They further demonstrate a collective spirit where victory is more important than the individual.

Not all militarised Gorn ships are part of the navy. This is seen most clearly in the breeding parties, which are sometimes led and protected by unmarked Gorn ships. These parties venture outside of Hegemony space to hunt down humanoids in which they can lay their eggs. They then steal these people back to breeding planets or remain in territory they think they can hold. These are the most common encounters with the Gorn by outsiders, and they remain brutal and dangerous.

In Play

  • Diplomatic relations with the Gorn are limited, and have been even more so these past fifteen years. The Gorn are territorial and guard their borders jealously, but are also unafraid to send breeding parties against their neighbours.
  • These breeding parties are bands of warships seeking weak targets where they can abduct humanoids in which to lay their eggs, and either bring them back to breeding planets or hold the territory long enough for the hatchlings to be born. They are deeply aggressive groups of Gorn, and often the only solution is escape of violence.
  • Some Gorn have left the Hegemony and built lives elsewhere, including in the Federation. They do not discuss their species much, but tend to be committed members of whichever community they are a part of.
  • Above all, the Gorn are poorly understood by the Federation. They can seem inconsistent, violent one moment and cooperative another. The full cultural context of these shifts is unknown even after a century and a half of contact.
  • With new canon about the Gorn emerging in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Bravo Fleet has updated fleet canon accordingly. However, Trek canon has given us a variety of Gorn depictions, from the violent breeding parties in SNW to background Gorn living their lives in the Federation in Lower Decks. The Lore Office currently uses the explanation that Gorn differ greatly depending on the phase of their life and perhaps their clan. However, we advise limiting interactions with Gorn, and absolutely avoiding sweeping generalisations or advancing political storylines. Individual Gorn or groups of Gorn can be very different, while the Hegemony has minimal political contact with the wider quadrant.

External Information