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The Bajoran civilization arose approximately around 28,000 BC according to some records, and by 18,000 BC had established most of the cultural institutions that would remain prominent well into the 24th century. Aggressive, passionate, and often fierce, the Bajorans organized themselves into kingdoms and principalities based around powerful, popular rulers. These realms often fought each other for land, resources, or simply for the joy of fighting. Other Bajorans channeled their passions into art, creating a body of cultural works that most worlds could only envy.
In approximately 13,000 BC, the first unification of Bajor occurred. A powerful young king, Tellan Jora, conquered each of his neighbors. Then, he expanded outward, conquering kingdoms beyond his immediate region until he ruled first a continent, then two, and finally the entire planet. Declaring himself Emperor Jora I, he founded what Bajoran historians would refer to as the First Empire. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
First and Second EmpiresEdit
The First Empire endured for 8,000 years. A succession of over a dozen dynasties ruled it during that time, for periods ranging from three millennia to less than three decades. Bajorans viewed this time as a golden age, with food plentiful and suffering nonexistent. Archaeological relics from the First Empire period, especially the first three thousand years, remained quite rare and valuable.
The First Empire finally crumbled due to neglect on the part of its rulers, who were more concerned with their harems and other personal pleasures than the duties of office. Powerful regional warlords began fighting for the pieces, the victors setting themselves up as localized kings or princes. This period of balkanization and constant strife lasted for a millennium before one of the kings, Kelmet Chonar, defeated his rivals and once again unified the planet.
Scientific and technological advancements in many fields marked this period, the Second Empire. The emperors' feared secret police quashed dissent, forcing the aggressive Bajorans to channel their energy into work, sports, and art rather than warfare. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
In the 16th century, the Bajorans made first contact with the Cardassians when several Bajoran lightships, which were designed to explore the space surrounding Bajor, reaching Cardassia after being propelled there by tachyon eddies in the Denorios Belt. In the 24th century, this fact was frequently mentioned in the propaganda broadcasts of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance as evidence of the historic bond between the peoples of Bajor and Cardassia. (TNG - Mirror Universe novel: The Worst of Both Worlds)
Conquest by the Terran EmpireEdit
In 2255, the Bajorans made contact with the Terran Empire when vessels of the Imperial Starfleet first reached the region the Empire would eventually christen Bajor Sector. While the Bajorans did possess advanced energy weapons and warp capability, their space fleet and organized military remained much smaller than those of the Imperial Starfleet, making them ripe for Imperial conquest.
After assessing the situation covertly, the first Imperial exploratory vessel sent a subspace transmission to Imperial Starfleet Command. In response, a fleet of warships commanded by Admiral Gorek of Andoria arrived to take possession of the planet Bajor. The steadfast Bajorans greeted the admiral's arrival, and the accompanying show of Imperial might, with outrage and refusal. The stubborn Bajorans refused to capitulate even after a minor planetary bombardment rendered one area of the planet, which became known as the "Bajoran outback," uninhabitable by Humanoid species.
The Bajorans fought back, but their efforts met insurmountable resistance. Within a week the Imperial warships had demolished the Bajoran "fleet" and taken possession of the planet. Imperial forces rounded up and disintegrated all Bajorans who fought against the Imperial forces, or who had publicly opposed Imperial rule in any way. In all, over 125 million Bajorans were killed during the conquest. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
The Bajoran religion was suppressed and driven underground by the Terran Empire. The Terrans killed all of its priests and destroyed its icons such as the Orbs of the Prophets. Centuries prior to the Terran conquest, Kai Dava Nikende foresaw the destruction of the Orbs and preserved fragments known as paghvarams from each of them. Enclaves of worshipers would still exist on Bajor in 2377. (DS9 novels: Fearful Symmetry, The Soul Key)
The Empire soon found that it had taken a rich prize indeed. Bajor was a paradise, a lush planet with a wealth of mineral assets, including uridium and plenty of people to mine it. The conquerors quickly installed a colonial government, headed by Elthur of Vulcan. The Emperor issued a clear and concise edict to the new governor ordering him to squeeze as much wealth out of Bajor as possible.
Seeing the population more as beasts of burden than individuals, Elthur established a series of labor camps in key mining areas and brought in advanced Imperial mining technology to crack open the planet and extract its minerals. Over the next 40 years, tens of millions of Bajorans met their deaths in the labor camps, executed for crimes ranging from insubordination to resistance activities. Others succumbed to the many epidemics that the Empire permitted to rage unchecked among them. Gallitep quickly gained a reputation as the worst of the labor camps, "disciplinary cases" and other agitators arrived there to face their final punishments. Forced to work in the most dangerous jobs, and subject to the harshest of punishments for even minor rules infractions, Gallitep's inmates experienced the worst oppression and degradation the Empire could devise.
Because Bajor's atmosphere and environment closely resembled those of Earth, the Empire forcibly relocated millions of Bajorans to make room for Terran colonists. Faithful Imperial officers were rewarded with homes on Bajor, where Bajoran servants catered to their desires and made their lives truly enjoyable. The world's most picturesque regions saw the establishment of vacation resorts for Imperial officials, with average Bajorans forbidden to enter those regions except as workers.
However, the Bajorans did not suffer such misery quietly. An aggressive, often fierce people, they fought back whenever possible. After the conquest of their planet was complete, they immediately established an underground resistance movement. Using weapons and equipment smuggled to them by other Bajorans or purchased on the galactic black market, members of the resistance waged a lonely war to free their planet from Imperial domination. They sabotaged mining equipment, damaged and destroyed the homes of Imperial citizens. In one daring assault in 2283, they even vandalized the Governor's Palace itself. They also detonated bombs in areas frequented by Imperials and conducted raids on labor camps to free prisoners.
At first, Governor Elthur, and later, his successors, considered the resistance little more than a ragtag group of guerrillas who would soon be captured and executed. However, as the years passed and the resistance grew and became more daring, Imperial officials realized they could no longer ignore the problem. In 2286, in an effort to provide an example and cow the rest of the rebels, Imperial soldiers executed 42 resistance fighters captured in the Kendra Valley. Far from having the desired effect, the "Kendra Valley massacre" only further enflamed the Bajorans, as it gave the resistance its first true martyrs. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
Joining the Klingon-Cardassian AllianceEdit
When the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance freed Bajor from its Imperial shackles, it immediately joined the Alliance and fought to destroy its former oppressors. Bajoran soldiers took delight at avenging their peoples' treatment at the hands of the Terrans and their allies. They desecrated the tomb of Elthur of Vulcan, their first colonial governor, and paraded the head of the last governor, a Terran named Nathan Kwan, through the streets of Theladria, the Bajoran capital.
Following the Alliance's final, decisive victory over Imperial forces in 2305, Cardassian and Klingon forces had been significantly depleted due to war casualties. As a result, other species belonging to the Alliance, especially the Bajorans, stepped forward to assist with that stage of the consolidation. The Bajorans saw an opportunity not only to gain influence within the Alliance, but to pay back the hated Terrans for forty years of misery, oppression, and exploitation. Many Bajorans made their way into key positions of authority throughout the former Empire, from which they grounded the Terrans down with a ruthless and unyielding fist.
The Bajorans found that a place remained for slave labor, specifically Terran slave labor, on their world. Slaves from the former Terran Empire arrived on Bajor to restore the planet they had once looted. Slave labor made ruined areas green and beautiful again, cleansed polluted rivers, and rebuilt fallen structures.
The Bajorans recognized that rich mineral resources still lay beneath the surface of their homeworld that, if properly exploited, could bring them great wealth without damaging the planet the way the Terrans had. Beginning in 2343, working in conjunction with Cardassian designers, Bajoran engineers constructed Terok Nor, a multi-level, tri-radial structure resembling a vast "wheel in space" with elongated structures projecting upward and downwards from the outmost ring where it met the three "spokes." The station's purpose was to act as an ore processing and refining facility so that the pollutants from such activity would not affect Bajor itself. To the Alliance, it also served as an important prison camp for recalcitrant Terrans.
After several years of joint effort by the Bajoran and Cardassian construction teams, the station entered service in 2349. The ore processors, manned by Terran slaves, went online almost immediately, and, from then on, would only stop functioning for repairs. The station would earn a reputation among the Terrans as a "death camp," a place where slave laborers died in droves due to the harsh conditions and harsher overseers.
Once again, the Bajorans took advantage of the relative weakness of the chief partners of the Alliance, seizing the opportunity to extend their growing influence throughout the quadrants. Where Cardassian or Klingon officials had been killed during the war, Bajorans stepped in to take their places. Where other officials had shown incompetence by allowing resistance movements to grow, Bajorans killed them and took their jobs. By the beginning of the 2350s, the Bajorans had achieved a position of substantial political power throughout the Alliance. (Decipher RPG module: Through a Glass, Darkly)
In 2374, Intendant Kira Nerys and Bareil Antos planned to steal an Orb from the primary universe which they planned to use to unite their people against the Alliance. Their plans came to an abrupt end when Bareil turned on the Intendant. (DS9 episode: "Resurrection")