- "Never turn your back on a Breen."
- —A Romulan saying
The Breen are a mysterious, ethnocentric, warlike and extremely reclusive species. Their homeworld is referred to simply as "Breen" by outsiders, and is located deep in their space within the Alpha Quadrant. Until 2375 they were mostly seen as pirates, slavers, merchants, and troublemakers. That changed when the Breen Confederacy announced its alliance with the Dominion by successfully attacking Earth itself, something not even the Klingons ever dared to do.
The current head of the Breen Confederacy is Domo Sar.
The reclusive nature of the Breen has meant that they have not shared their historical databases; most of what is known of them comes from the species they have fought wars or conducted slave raids against, and thus does not portray them in a flattering light.
It is known that the Breen economy has been based around the enslavement of aliens since at least their first encounters with the Ferengi in the twenty-first century, when a Ferengi colony world was raided by them. This was the start of the Raiders' War, which devastated both powers and was only brought to a close by an alliance between the Ferengi and the rising Cardassians.
The Breen found their most persistent enemy in the Lagashi. Throughout the twenty-third century the two powers fought five separate wars, each one long and incredibly brutal. With both the Breen and the Lagashi on the edge of political and economic collapse from the century of costly fighting, a non-aggression pact was at last signed in 2311.
The Breen also fought a series of wars over the course of fifty years against the Tzenkethi, whom they made a habit of raiding for slaves. These wars tended to be short, and the two powers were considered by the Ferengi to be relatively evenly matched. The war was ended by simple cease fire rather than treaty with neither side recognizing the territorial claims of the other, and border raids continued in both directions until the Dominion War. This would serve to help the Federation during the Tzenkethi War as it prevented the Tzenkethi from being able to commit the entirety of their military force to the conflict.
The Dominion War
2372 saw the first dealings between the Dominion and the Breen. As part of their efforts to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant, the Founders secretly funneled money to various pirate and privateer groups, ordering them to attack vulnerable targets and, hopefully, pin down part of Starfleet in a fruitless attempt to keep the quadrant peaceful. One of the rogues they used was Thot Graal, a powerful Breen military leader who frequently masqueraded as a mercenary. The Dominion hired Graal and his band of “pirates” to attack targets throughout the border regions.
While the Breen raids were relatively minor incidents, the contact between the Breen and the Dominion was anything but. Both parties recognized in the other a potentially useful resource and potent ally. The Founders admired the efficiency, ruthlessness, and lack of scruples with which the Breen undertook any task assigned to them; the Breen, for their part, respected the wealth and power possessed by the Dominion. The Founders took care to remain in contact with the Breen and learn as much as they could about them.
During the early stages of the Dominion War however the Breen were remarkably quiet, their raiding activities far lower than would be expected with their neighbors so fully occupied with the Dominion and the machinations of the Founders. It was not until after the war that the reason for this was revealed - once the conflict started in earnest, the Breen were waiting for the best time to approach the Dominion. Always careful to perserve the strength of their position, the Breen looked for a chance to gain the most favorable terms.
In 2375, with the Bajoran Wormhole closed off by the wormhole aliens and the resolve of their Cardassian allies slipping, the Dominion made the offer that the Breen sought, granting them notable systems within Cardassian and occupied space in return for their participation in the war. The Breen made their presence felt immediately, with a bombing raid on Earth and a counterattack in Chin'toka. It was at Chin'toka that the most important piece of Breen technology made its debut - the Energy Dampening Weapon. This weapon forced the Klingons to spend weeks facing the Dominion alone, as only their vessels could withstand this powerful weapon, against twenty-to-one odds.
However, a countermeasure to the weapon was eventually devised which could be used aboard Federation and Romulan ships, and the war again turned against the Dominion. In the final hours of the war, the Breen earned an enemy that would hate them even more thoroughly than the Lagashi did - the Cardassians, who they willingly joined in the attempted genocide of ordered by the Founders.
The Breen have been characteristically tight-lipped as to their reasons for wanting to work with the Dominion, but information from the Dominion archives released by the Cardassians after the war suggest that a major motivation for this willingness was the admission of the Lagashi into the Federation. The hatred between the Breen and the Lagashi runs deep, and the Breen may have feared that the Lagashi would bring Starfleet into the long regional conflict. It is also possible that the Breen simply saw the opportunity to destroy their old enemies once and for all - an opportunity that would seem all the more appealing after the Dominion effortlessly destroyed the Maquis who had been giving the Cardassians such trouble at the outbreak of the war.
The Treaty of Bajor was particularly punishing to the Breen. While Romulans and especially the Klingons demanded blood and treasure in punishment for the horrible harm both suffered as a result of the war, the Dominion still held the incredible bulk of its power in the Gamma Quadrant and the Cardassians were thoroughly devastated and had little of either left to give. This left the Breen to bear the brunt of the wrath of the Alpha Quadrant powers. Their military power was severely limited, and brutally steep reparations were ordered to be paid. Breen resources funded the rebuilding of Betazed and Cardassia Prime, as well as a large portion of the rebuilding of the Klingon fleets devastated by the months that the Klingons stood alone.
The limits on shipbuilding ended in 2380, and in 2384 the Breen unilaterally ended reparations payments, citing difficulties on their homeworld. Starfleet, wishing to avoid another costly war, negotiated modifications to the Treaty of Bajor's sanctions, limiting Breen imports of weapons technology. This turned out to be a mistake - the Breen had the technology they needed in the form of the old Dominion shipyards built within their space, and stepped up military vessel production to a high rate. By 2385, they had recovered to 75% of their pre-war ship numbers, with a number of new technologies fielded on their spaceframe designs. While it is not believed that they have managed to adapt their energy dampening weapon to bypass the countermeasures developed during the war, and while the Dominion's polaron beam weapon technology has proven incompatible with the power generation systems used aboard their cruisers and frigates, they have made significant strides in adapting Dominion shield, armor, and structural integrity technology for their ships, making them far more resilient than before. They have also begun to field space superiority fighters, believed to be a countermeasure to the attack fighters used by the Lagashi.
Crisis At Valoris
A portion of the border between the Breen Confederacy and the United Federation of Planets is defined by the Valoris Nebula, a class 4 nebula. While the nebula was considered stable at the time that the Treaty of Bajor was signed, a subspace singularity in mid-2385 caused it to rotate with relation to the surrounding stars. This moved several inhabited systems across the border in both directions, placing Federation colonies into Breen space and worlds raided by the Breen for slaves into Federation space. Both governments, in an effort to protect their own interests, laid claim to the entire contested region.
Several battles ensued, though there was no formal declaration of war. This conflict cumulated in the Battle of Garen Epok. Whatever the Breen had rebuilt, it had been largely reduced by its conflicts with the Federation. The Breen reluctantly agreed to a truce with the Federation, with both sides granting the other safe passage across borders to aid and supply their colonies that had moved.
A New Crisis
In October of 2388, the Cardassian Union unexpectedly reached beyond their border and claimed four systems, including Dozaria and Portas, which had been gifted to the Confederacy by the Dominion. The Confederacy acted quickly, and sent two fleets to retake these systems. Unfortunately, this attempt was thwarted swiftly by the Cardassians, who responded by taking additional systems from the Breen.
On the other side of the Confederacy, the mysterious Ravagers, fresh from destroying Deep Space 7 in the Inconnu Expanse, began to tear away at the Confederacy's borders, exerting their rage and revenge from centuries of enslaving their peoples. The Confederacy is concerned, its ability to remain on the intergalactic stage has been threatened, and the only power capable of coming to their aid is the one they've alienated the most, the Federation. The leadership of the Confederacy met in secret and decided to reach out to the Federation for help, sending Thot Senn in secret to Starbase 72 in the Minos Korva system to meet with a Federation delegation. The meeting played out as expected, and the Federation promised to send only humanitarian aid to refugees, but would do nothing to help the Breen regain what was lost to the Union.
Thot Senn, instead of returning directly to the Confederacy, travelled through the Inconnu Expanse to the Alrakis System where delegations from the Tzenkethi Coalition, Talarian Empire, and Ravagers awaited. The four powers agreed to band together not for war, but for survival against the ever-expanding Federation or else face eventual domination and a fate akin to the Orion Syndicate or Ferengi Alliance.