The Furies—so named by Commander Spock after the mythological figures meant to punish sinners—are a collection of incredibly powerful, non-humanoid races from another galaxy. These races, of which there are 666, make up a collective known as the Host. (VOY novel: The Final Fury)
The Furies are well-regarded by many species as one of the most terrifying races in existence and as one of the greatest threats to the galaxy. Furies appear horrifyingly ugly and as hideous demons or nightmarish creatures, although some Furies resemble mythological creatures from the myths and legends of other races, such as the Human Devil and Medusa, and the Klingon Fek'lhr. Furies are naturally adept at striking fear deep into other races and they use this to their advantage.
Fury vessels wield powerful weapons and are constructed with extremely dense outer hulls, making them resilient to most conventional weaponry. In the Twenty-Fourth Century, the Furies developed basic shielding for their vessels and the devastating fear weapons, where they manipulated interspace to enhance the fear they already naturally inspired in others to debilitate their enemies through terror.
As a race, Furies have a deep and complex culture, bound by loyalty, duty, pride, honor, and remembrance, considering it impossible for the past to change and believing that all races will retain their original nature. Their focus on remembrance and the past is the main reason for their conflict with the races of the Alpha Quadrant, as they regard Starfleet and other races as the 'heirs' of the Unclean who banished them from their original home. This is despite the fact that nobody alive had any memory of that long-ago war with the Furies when they finally returned. (Captain Kirk compared the Furies' actions to him insisting that he was entitled to a particular area of Britain simply because his distant ancestors had lived there before they were kicked out by the Romans.)
Each Fury possess a small doll made of strange fabrics, which they carry with them at all times (Doctor McCoy compared it to the Druidic practice of keeping poppets). Within each doll, a Fury stores the memories they have accumulated over a lifetime. The Furies regard their dolls as their greatest artifacts and most important treasures, and will always place the safety of their dolls above their own lives. If a Fury ever lost their doll, their memory and all of their accomplishments would be lost and forgotten. It is traditional for a defeated Vergo to destroy their vessel and place the dolls of their crew within an escape pod. Furies do not burn their dead as in some other cultures, but respect them and burn only the living, seeing burning as a punishment for criminals.
The singular leader of the Hosts is known as the Autarch.
The Starfleet Corps of Engineers believes that the Tellarite colony of Kharzh'ulla may in fact have been the original homeworld of the Furies, if not a key shipyard. The Ring, an orbiting superstructure connected to the colony by space elevators, shares the same structural and design techniques as Fury ships such as the Rath as well as the cruisers fought by the USS Enterprise-D at Brundage point. (SCE eBook: Ring Around the Sky)
History of the Furies
The Furies originally ruled the Milky Way Galaxy until they were defeated in a long war that took place in the Alpha Quadrant against the Unclean, an equally powerful, non-humanoid race. After their defeat, the Furies were driven and exiled from their territories in the Alpha Quadrant and Beta Quadrant, never to return. (Although it has been speculated that some hid among the more primitive races and developed a reputation as gods and creatures of myth, inspiring most old tales of magic and the supernatural on various worlds.) The Furies were banished to the Delta Quadrant region of the galaxy where they supposedly remained for millennia, developing a way to travel beyond the immense distances from their exiled home to return and reclaim their former territories.
Somewhat paradoxically, it was later revealed that their banishment was partly caused by a subspace explosion triggered in the 24th century when the Prophets of the Celestial Temple attempted to save the Bajoran wormhole after the surviving Unclean tried to pass through it by expelling the energy they had absorbed into the past. (DS9 - Invasion! novel: Time's Enemy)
The First Strike (2267)
In 2267, the Furies breached the Alpha Quadrant using a form of artificially generated wormhole travel, believed to have been the device that originally banished them in the first place. (Although they later discovered that it had actually been built by early leaders of their race before internal conflict drove them apart). First contact with the Furies was made by General Kellen of the Klingon Empire shortly after their emergence. Captain James T. Kirk, commanding the USS Enterprise, was summoned by General Kellen to aid in dealing with the Furies.
Although efforts were made to establish friendly relations with Vergo Zennor of the Fury vessel, Rath, vast differences in cultures finally ignited hostilities between the Furies and the Federation and Klingons. These began when Doctor Leonard McCoy faced execution for his accidental dissection of a doll belonging to a Fury that Kellen had killed, with matters escalating further when the Furies acquired data pads that Spock had been studying, revealing the existence of their various mythological counterparts and seemingly confirming their original residence in this space.
As the invasion began, the Furies quickly proved much more fearsome and powerful than the Alpha Quadrant races could have ever imagined. The Rath quickly crippled the Enterprise and several Klingon vessels with its superior weapons. Although the Furies lacked the knowledge of shields, their vessel was composed of an extremely durable hull that proved resilient to phasers, disruptors, and even photon torpedoes. Captain Kirk managed to defeat Vergo Zennor by using a tractor beam to tear off the outer hull of the Fury ship and expose its vulnerable inner hull. A combined volley from the Enterprise and the Klingons, as well as at least one Klingon cruiser sacrificing itself in a kamikaze charge against the Rath's hull, finally succeeded in destroying the Fury vessel. With the destruction of the Rath and the collapse of the artificial wormhole, the terrifying galactic threat of the Furies seemed to have ended, but Spock detected a transmission sent back to the Fury homeworld confirming that this was 'their' space. The system of first contact was later named the Furies Point by the Federation, who established a space station there to serve as a warning if the Furies ever returned. (TOS - Invasion! novel: First Strike)
Second Strike (2371)
The Furies eventually returned to the Alpha Quadrant in 2371, this time with a fleet of five ships that passed into Furies' Point, quickly mentally and physically torturing the crew of the space station that had been established to monitor their wormhole using their new fear weapon, which manipulated interspace to stimulate terror in the minds of those within its vicinity; those with particularly traumatic moments in their past—such as Lieutenant Commander Geordi La Forge's memory of being trapped in a fire—would relive the terror they had felt at that moment, while those without specifically terrifying memories would simply feel generally shaken without experiencing flashbacks. However, although the weapon affected the crew of the Enterprise-D when it came to confront them, the presence of Data—a naturally emotionless android—on the crew, combined with their strength of will being greater than the Furies were expecting, allowed the Enterprise crew to resist the Furies' influence long enough to destroy one ship, their new shields having replaced the original armour that they had used in the previous battle. La Forge was subsequently able to identify shield frequencies that would block the interspace effect, while Doctor Beverly Crusher was able to limit its effects on the crew by introducing a mild Theragen gas to the air filters. With a small fleet of two Federation and two Klingon ships, the Enterprise was able to keep the Fury ships occupied long enough to destroy the wormhole-generating apparatus on the other side with a shuttle's photon torpedo, although Lieutenant Sam Redbay was apparently killed when he was forced to go through the wormhole and was left stranded in the heart of Fury territory. (TNG - Invasion! novel: The Soldiers of Fear)
The Final Fury
The Furies decided that a full scale invasion would now be necessary in order to reclaim their former territory. In order to accomplish this, they created a powerful energy collector that surrounded their exiled home's star. This energy collector was intended to cause the sun to go nova, which would transmit a great deal of energy to an artificial moon built in orbit above the Fury planet. After receiving the energy, this moon would have created a wormhole that would have sent the home world back to the Alpha Quadrant.
However, the Furies did not plan on a lone Federation starship—the USS Voyager—interfering with their plans. After discovering what the Furies were up to, Captain Kathryn Janeway sent Lieutenants Sam Redbay (who had remained alive in Fury captivity, although driven to the brink of insanity) and B'Elanna Torres on a mission to destroy the moon. Despite being exposed to the Fury terror-inducing weapon, both gathered the strength to continue their mission. When the two realized that even a small change to the alignment of the Fury transmitter would keep the Furies from jumping into the Alpha Quadrant, they managed to perform this adjustment, although a subsequent attack left them both exposed to the vacuum of space, Redbay dying quickly while Torres only just survived due to the additional strength provided by her Klingon half. When the transmitter activated after the sun went nova, the wormhole formed and enveloped the Fury planet, but the Furies did not jump into the Alpha Quadrant as planned, having gone somewhere else entirely. The crew of the Voyager did not know for certain where the Furies wound up afterwards—if the Furies had wound up in the Gamma Quadrant, the Lesser Magellanic Clouds, or if they had jumped into inter-galactic space. The fate of the Furies after this event remains unknown. (VOY novel: The Final Fury)