The Triangle is an unclaimed region of space falling between the territory of the United Federation of Planets, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Republic. With no one power exerting influence over the region, and with the benefit of local phenomena such as the Azure Nebula that make monitoring difficult, it has historically been a hotbed of criminal, insurrectionist, and clandestine activity. This has only become worse with a reduced Starfleet presence in the area this past decade and a half.
The Triangle has been something of a naturally-occurring buffer as the Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Old Romulan Star Empire all expanded their borders. The Azure Nebula provided a barrier for the Klingons and the Federation, while Romulan expansion would have required renegotiation of the Romulan Neutral Zone. As each government reinforced these borders, it became apparent that further expansion would require an expenditure of political capital none of them were prepared to pay.
This has made the Triangle and its borders a fraught and tense region, depending on political dynamics of the time. In times of conflict it has seen mobilisation from all powers as a point to secure and to advance from, and a prime area from which to conduct espionage and launch clandestine operations. But some worlds of the region, such as Khitomer and Nimbus III, have become synonymous with projects and negotiations of peace, as they are located in regions where all relevant governments have felt secure without needing to extend themselves. While the Federation and Klingon borders in particular have been fluid over the past two hundred and fifty years, they have often reverted to their current state as conflict abates. The breakdown of the old Romulan Star Empire and establishment of the Romulan Republic has significantly altered the Romulan presence in the region, as the Republic is eager to develop relationships and has been far more engaged with matters of the Triangle.
The delicate balance of power has allowed other factions to seize influence. Organised crime has thrived here over the centuries, specialising in smuggling operations across all three borders, often able to mask their activities with the Azure Nebula. Such organisations have always been subject to their own in-fighting and vying for power, and many have risen and fallen over the years, no single group achieving lasting dominance. In recent years, rogue Klingon factions such as the insurrectionist House of Mo'Kai and the dangerous raiders, the Hunters of D'Ghor, have seeped in influence and forces into the Triangle, and the latter in particular are one of the biggest dangers of the region.
As the Federation has turned its focus inward since the Attack on Mars, the region has received far less support from Starfleet than in centuries past, relying on the peace with the Klingon Empire and the weakness of the Romulan factions. While the major powers are indeed stable in their relations, this has made life much harder for anyone in the Triangle who benefited from Federation resources, or the stability and security Starfleet could provide on both sides of the border.
The Triangle is dotted with independent worlds of failed colonies or dissatisfied citizens from any local government trying to break out on their own. Pirate gangs and smugglers maintain hideouts on planets, in asteroid bases, or wherever they can cobble structures together. A variety of stellar phenomena plague the Triangle, poorly-understood as Starfleet has conducted little scientific study within the region. Few people within the Triangle are abandoned, as someone once chose to live there, but over the centuries there has sprung up something of a desperate community of colonists trying to eke out an independent existence, and the predatory smugglers and criminals who exploit and yet rely on them for supply and trade.
Acamar is the closest inhabited Federation system to the border of the Triangle. The Acamarians of Acamar III have only been a Federation member for 20 years, joining shortly after the Dominion War, over a decade after Starfleet officers aided in the reunification of a fractured culture. But since the Attack on Mars, Federation support for the region in general and the Acamarians in particular has been reduced, exposing Acamar to the threats of the Triangle. This has led to renewed tensions between the historic clans, who differ in opinion on the best way forward for their people. While Acamar does its duty in supporting Starfleet operations with supplies and information, Acamarians are increasingly suspicious and uncooperative as they feel there is less and less in their relationship with the Federation for them. Worse, Acamar has become a key point for smugglers to cross the border into the Federation.
Nimbus III was established as a "Planet of Galactic Peace" in 2267 after the Federation-Klingon War, where the two powers and the Romulan Star Empire agreed to mutually develop the planet. As a joint colony, it was intended to foster cooperation and serve as a model for a new age of peace and understanding. In practice, Nimbus III has become a rough frontier world, with little development beyond its capital settlement, Paradise City. While the Klingons and Federation maintain representatives there, there has been no formal representative from the Romulans since the collapse of the Star Empire - though the Republic keeps an informal delegation who tried in vain to improve the planet's lot. Nimbus III's strength is that all are welcome and no major power will exert undue influence there, which has of course led to the planet becoming a hot spot for illegal activity.
The site of Camp Khitomer, where the Khitomer Accords were born. A neutral world, it briefly passed into Klingon hands with the agreed settlement of a colony that was destroyed by Romulans in 2346. After the Federation Alliance of the Dominion War, it became the site of an annual peace conference intended to maintain relations between the three major powers of the Beta Quadrant. Even with the breakdown of the Romulan Empire the conference has continued, with repeated Republic representation and occasional attendance by the new Romulan Star Empire and the Romulan Free State. This conference was attacked in 2394 by Klingon insurgents, with the House of Mo'Kai as Starfleet Intelligence's leading suspects. While the world remains formally neutral, responsibility for its security has fallen primarily to the Klingon Empire, which maintains a zero-tolerance attitude to suspicious activity.
The Azure Nebula plays a large part in keeping the Klingon and Federation borders in the Triangle separate. A class 11 nebula, it blocks most sensor technology, and its high levels of sirillium and numerous asteroid clusters make travel through it potentially dangerous. For these and political reasons it remains ill-charted. As such it has often been used by governments, criminals, and insurgents to hide clandestine operations, smuggling, or secret bases of operations.
Once a Romulan station, Jaressi Centre was abandoned by the Star Empire after the Earth-Romulan War. Since then it has become the closest thing to a truly neutral location in the Triangle, completely untouched by any of the major governments. In practice, this has made it a thriving hotspot for smugglers and local organised criminals for meetings, negotiations, and resupply, though bold civilian traders may pass through. All take a dim view of Starfleet or other organisations visiting, though it has happened if they let Jaressi Centre's operations continue unimpeded; that is the one thing to see these disparate criminals cooperate. They are similarly uncooperative with the House of Mo'Kai and other political movements. Over the centuries, Jaressi Centre has become near-unrecognisable from its Romulan construction, maintained and expanded by whatever scrap or salvage could be acquired; it is an ugly, hodge-podge of a station. As all business transactions arranged or passing through Jaressi must give its director a cut, its leaders have historically been powerful members of what passes for the Triangle's community. Its current director is an ambitious Betazoid male named Starric, who has attempted to build a coalition of cooperation among local criminal gangs in the face of the House of Mo'Kai and the Hunters of D'Ghor.
The Raeyan System is an old Federation protectorate, and is one of the few to has ever build and retain wealth and security against the predations of the factions of the Triangle. The Federation is presently lobbying to bring Raeya III in as a member world, though the limited resources dedicated to this effort and a developing anti-Federation sentiment among the Raeyans have both been obstacles. At the invitation of the Raeyan government, and in spite of this opposition among the populace, Starfleet maintains a small base of operations of Hawkeye Island on Raeya III.
- The Triangle is a bit of a wretched hive of scum and villainy. No major government has any real influence there, and a variety of minor criminal gangs and smugglers have for centuries used it to launch smuggling operations, piratical raids, or just as a hideout for their operations. Phenomena like the Azure Nebula mask activity, and have been poorly-charted or explored. Starfleet ships entering the region should tread lightly.
- This danger has grown worse with the rising threats of the Klingon House of Mo'Kai and the Hunters of D'Ghor, pursuing their political interests and launching their raiding parties respectively. The only good news about this is that local criminals often see especially the Hunters as a greater evil than Starfleet.
- Most settlements are old smuggling bases that have expanded, or originated centuries ago as colonies long-since failed. Life there is hard, but the people there have to be hardy and independent to thrive. Starfleet will not be welcomed with open arms, even if their help could make a difference.
- There is no one leading criminal organisation in the Triangle. The Orion Syndicate has struggled to establish a permanent foothold, and rival groups vie for influence and often rise and fall over time. Groups which survive have to know the area, know the people, and cooperate as much as prey on the local community. Jaressi Centre has been a neutral hub for these activities for centuries.
- The Klingon Empire limits its activities in the Triangle to countering the House of Mo'Kai and the Hunters of D'Ghor; they are ill-suited to countering piracy.
- The Romulan Republic have taken some interest in the Triangle, or at least have tried to help keep the area as peaceful and as little a problem as possible. Starfleet ships may find useful and keen allies among Republic envoys they encounter.