|Official Name||Confederacy of Surak|
|Affiliation||United Federation of Planets|
|Orbital Period||250.1 days|
|Rotational Period||27.6 horus|
|Natural Satellites||None, but shared its orbit with T'Khut|
|Points of Interest||Fire Plains, The Forge, Mount Seleya, ShiKahr, Vulcana Regar, Vulcan Science Academy|
|Notable Species||Vulcans, Sehlats, Le-Matyas|
|Notable Individuals||Surak, Soval, Sarek, Spock, T'Lar, T'Lara|
|Notable Events||Time of Awakening|
The second planet orbiting 40 Eridani A in the Vulcan Sector (aka Sector 005) in the Beta Quadrant, and well known as a hot, desert world, Vulcan nevertheless became the cradle for not just one, but two major starfaring civilizations.
Vulcan—known as Ti-Valka'ain in the Vulcan language—is a hot, dense world with little water and a comparatively thin atmosphere. Vulcan's atmospheric pressure is only 74% that of Earth, and Humans engaged in strenuous physical activity require the aid of a medication, such as a Tri-Ox compound, to endure alongside their Vulcan companions. Temperatures are high on Vulcan; averages ranged from 50 to 60 degrees Centigrade.
Only 28% of Vulcan's surface area is covered by water, most of which is concentrated in two relatively shallow seas. Other bodies of water, such as rivers or lakes, are rare. While a few fertile areas dot the planet along the shores of the seas, and are home to virtually all of the planet's arable farmland, Vulcan remains primarily a desert world, marked by mountainous terrain, semi-barren plains, and many active volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and other geological phenomena.
In addition to Vulcan's farmland, the shores along the seas are also home to old-growth forests and jungles, which produce the planet's breathable atmosphere, as well as the animals that inhabit those areas. Many of Vulcan's cities are also located along these shores; the population in desert and mountain regions is, understandably, relatively light.
Vulcan's surface is divided into three continents—Na'nam, Han-shir, and Xir'tan—which are themselves divided by two relatively small and shallow bodies of water—the Voroth and Thanar seas, which are joined in the planet's southern hemisphere. Na'nam and Han-shir are immense land masses, each divided into several provinces, whose boundaries date back to the Age of Antiquity.
Na'nam is the home of Vulcan's capital, ShiKahr, as well as the planet's primary spaceport, Vulcana Regar, and several other important locations, including Mount Seleya. Han-shir contains three major cities—Kwil'inor, Vulcinis, and Da-leb—as well as the massive T'ralor Preserve, which is home to many examples of endangered Vulcan wildlife.
Vulcan's third continent, Xir'tan, is a massive island, much like Australia, but somewhat larger. Visitors to the planet are advised to give the continent a wide berth, as it is the most tectonically unstable area on the planet, to the point of uninhabitability. Xir'tan had more than 40 active volcanoes in the late 24th century, and is frequently wracked by seismic activity. As a result, it is sparsely populated, and most of that population consists of geologists, other scientists, and personnel from the Vulcan Mining Institute, academic institutions, or private companies.
Much of Vulcan's surface is covered in deserts and sharp mountain ranges. Perhaps one of the most famous of these areas is the Forge, which is home to powerful electromagnetic fields that can disrupt sensors and even cause electrically-charged sandstorms, known as "sandfires," with lightning discharges powerful enough to kill a humanoid.
History & Government
Vulcan was once divided among many nation states prior to the Time of Awakening, when Surak brought logic and reason to Vulcan. By Surak's time, the 15 nation states that existed at that time had allied into two opposing factions. As Surak sought to bring peace to Vulcan through logic, however, he was opposed by Sudoc, a tyrant from the city of Jaleyl who had conquered most of the planet. Sudoc's followers, who had resorted to nuclear strikes in their bid to conquer Vulcan, eventually were overwhelmed by the sheer number of Vulcans who had embraced the teachings of Surak. Disgusted, and unwilling to embrace a life without emotion, Sudoc's followers instead chose to leave Vulcan. They commandeered a fleet of primitive interplanetary ships, and set out to find a world of their own.
The existing city states became provinces in the new, united Vulcan government. Over time, the Vulcan High Command, which initially was tasked only with space exploration, took over all functions of the government. By the mid-22nd century, the Vulcans in charge of the High Command felt a sense of superiority to other races, and routinely lied, withheld information, and meddled in the affairs of other races. These Vulcans, particularly Administrator V'Las, were insular, suspicious, and not wholly devoted to Surak's teachings. Indeed, when the Syrranite movement arose, V'Las went to great lengths to try to discredit them, and even attempted to kill the group wholesale by bombing their encampment at the T'karath Sanctuary when they claimed to have found the Kir'shara, a lost, original copy of Surak's writings, as it could have turned Vulcan's population against a war that he intended to start against the Andorian Empire.
Following the discovery of the Kir'shara and V'Las' removal as head of the High Command, the Syrranite leader T'Pau was named as the new head of the Vulcan government. One of her first acts was to disband the High Command, and she began a top-down review of the High Command's actions over the previous decades.
The new government instituted in the wake of the Syrraninte reforms was the smallest in the Federation, which was formed less than a decade later. Seven members make up the Vulcan Council: the Ministers of State, Defense, Security, Trade, Thought, Science, and Health, each elected for ten-year terms. While anyone is able to run, the system—like the High Command before it—is essentially a meritocracy, with only the best and wisest being chosen. Each seat is elected separately, and every eligible Vulcan citizen votes when an election is held. The Minister of State, while officially equal to the other ministers on the Council, is generally regarded as the "leader" of the council. Passage of new laws or revision of existing laws is relatively uncommon (discounting the Syrranite reforms that instituted the Council), as the laws are rigorously and logically debated, and thus require little revision once enacted.
Vulcan's most enduring conflict has been with the Romulans, who were descended from the followers of Sudoc, or "those who marched beneath the raptor's wings," who left Vulcan during the Time of Awakening. During the V'Las administration, the Vulcan High Command was infiltrated by Romulans. Vulcan was allied with Earth and the other members of the Coalition of Planets during the Romulan War, but the genetic link connecting Vulcans and Romulans didn't become general knowledge until 2266. By the late 24th century, a Romulan Reunification Movement began to grow on Romulus; it advocated a reunification of the Vulcan and Romulan peoples, allowing the Romulans to reclaim their Vulcan heritage. Although its goals were noble, the Romulan Star Empire's government tried to use the movement for an attempted invasion of Vulcan in 2367. Some Federation leaders, as a result, were justifiably concerned that reunificationists might have secretly been controlled by Romulan agents.
The Vulcan High Command came into conflict with the Andorian Empire for more than a century, as their two home systems wre very near one another. This conflict came to a head in the 2150s, ending with the Syrranite reforms, the formation of the Coalition of Planets, and the subsequent foundation of the Federation following the Romulan War several years later.
Vulcan Isolationist Movement
A small group of radicals, the Vulcan Isolationist Movement believes that contact with alien cultures has polluted Vulcan culture and destroyed the Vulcan way of life. While widely regarded as a fringe movement, the group's membership grew in the late 24th century. Some Federation officials were concerned that the group may have had ties to the Romulan government. Regardless, group members showed that they were willing to employ terrorist tactics to further their cause.
Notes and References
- Mandel, Geoffrey. Star Trek: Star Charts. Pocket Books, 2002.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "The Cage." Star Trek, Season 0, Episode 0. Directed by Robert Butler. Written by Gene Roddenberry. Desilu Productions, 1965 (Released 1986).
- Cambias, James, Dakan, Richard, Hannes, Jeff, Heckel, Harry, Hite, Kenneth A., Isaacs, Ross A., Johnson, Sam, Long, Steve, Moore, Christian, Prosperi, Lou, Schmid, Justin, Snead, John. Planets of the UFP. Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game, Supplement 25102. Original Art by John Bridges, Joe Corroney, Andrew Currie, Mark Forrer, John Grigni, Pia Guerra, Steve Kurth, Terry Pallot. Last Unicorn Games, Inc., March 1999.
"Planets of the UFP: A Guide to Federation Worlds." Star Trek: The Next Generation Roleplaying Game, book 25102. Game. Last Unicorn Games. 1999.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "Amok Time." Star Trek, Season 2, Episode 5. Directed by Joseph Pevney. Written by Theodore Sturgeon. Desilu Productions, 15 September 1967.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "The Enemy Within." Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 4. Directed by Leo Penn. Written by Richard Matheson. Desilu Productions, 6 October 1966.
- Scheimer, Lou & Prescott, Norm (Producers). "Yesteryear." Star Trek: The Animated Series, Episode 3. Directed by Hal Sutherland. Written by D.C. Fontana. Filmation Associates, 15 September 1973.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Producer). Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Directed by Robert Wise. Story by Alan Dean Foster. Screenplay by Harold Livingston Paramount Pictures Corporation, 7 December 1979.
- "Home." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 79. Television. 22 October 2004.
- "The Forge." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 83. Television. 19 November 2004.
- Bennett, Harve (Producer). Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Directed by Leonard Nimoy. Written by Harve Bennett. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 1 June 1984.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer) & Berman, Rick & Hurley, Maurice (Co-Executive Producers). "Coming of Age." Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1, Episode 19. Directed by Mike Vejar. Written by Sandy Fries & Hannah Louise Shearer (Uncredited). Paramount Pictures Corporation, 14 March 1988.
- Abrams, J.J. & Lindelof, Damon (Producers). Star Trek. Directed by J.J. Abrams. Written by Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 8 May 2009.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer/Story and Teleplay) and Freiberger, Fred (Producer). "The Savage Curtain." Star Trek, Season 3, Episode 22. Directed by Herschel Daugherty. Teleplay by Arthur Heinemann. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 7 March 1969.
- Berman, Rick & Braga, Brannon (Executive Producers). "Broken Bow." Enterprise, Season 1, Episodes 1-2. Directed by James Conway. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 26 September 2001.
- "Awakening." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 84. Television. 26 November 2004.
- Hite, Kenneth (Line Developer). "Core Rule Book." Star Trek Roleplaying Game, Book 45000. Designed by Christian Moore, Ross Isaacs, Kenneth Hite, and Steven S. Long. Written by James L. Cambias ("Space," "New Life," "Menagerie," and "New Civilizations"), Jackie Cassada and Nicky Rea ("To Boldly Go," and "Where No Man Has Gone Before"), Kenneth Hite (passim), Robin D. Laws ("Federation," "Starfleet," and fictional vignettes), Steven S. Long ("Character Creation," "Characteristics," "Action," "Rewards," "Starships," and "Starship Combat"), S. John Ross ("Constructing an Episode"), and John Snead ("Starship Locations," and "Technology"). Editing by Janice Sellers. Original Art by Randy Asplund (ships), Joe Corroney (creatures), Gordon Purcell (archetypes and adventure), and Walter Velez (Yorktown crew). Last Unicorn Games, Inc., 1999.
- Heinig, Jess (Line Developer). "Worlds." Star Trek Roleplaying Game, Book 7. Written by Burns, Eric, Hite, Kenneth A. and Sun, Doug. Original Art by Blake Beasley and Kieran Yanner. Decipher, Inc., 2005.
- "Vulcan's Forge." Star Trek. Novel. Pocket Books. August 1997.
- "Spock's World." Star Trek. Novel. Pocket Books. September 1988.
- "Kir'shara." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 85. Television. 3 December 2004.
- Berman, Rick & Braga, Brannon (Executive Producers). "The Andorian Incident." Enterprise, Season 1, Episode 7. Directed by Roxanne Dawson. Story by Rick Berman, Brannon Braga & Fred Dekker. Teleplay by Fred Dekker. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 31 October 2001.
- "United." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 89. Television. 4 February 2005.
- Berman, Rick & Braga, Brannon & Coto, Manny (Executive Producers). "These Are the Voyages...." Star Trek: Enterprise, Season 4, Episode 22. Directed by Allan Kroeker. Written by Rick Berman & Brannon Braga. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 13 May 2005.
- Roddenberry, Gene (Executive Producer). "Balance of Terror." Star Trek, Season 1, Episode 8. Directed by Vincent McEveety. Written by Paul Schneider. Desilu Productions, 15 December 1966.
- "Terra Prime." Star Trek: Enterprise, episode 97. Television. 13 May 2005.
- Martin, Michael A. The Romulan War: Beneath the Raptor's Wing. Star Trek: Enterprise. Pocket Books, October 2009.
- Martin, Michael A. The Romulan War: To Brave the Storm. Star Trek: Enterprise. Pocket Books, October 2011.
- Roddenberry, Gene & Berman, Rick & Piller, Michael (Executive Producers). "Unification I." Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 5, Episode 7. Directed by Les Landau. Story by Rick Berman and Michael Piller. Teleplay by Jeri Taylor. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 4 November 1991.
- Roddenberry, Gene & Berman, Rick & Piller, Michael (Executive Producers). "Unification II." Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 5, Episode 8. Directed by Cliff Bole. Story by Rick Berman and Michael Piller. Teleplay by Michael Piller. Paramount Pictures Corporation, 11 November 1991.
- "Gambit, Part I." Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 256. Television. 11 October 1993.
- "Gambit, Part II." Star Trek: The Next Generation, episode 257. Television. 18 October 1993.