- "Your world has food chains. Mine does not. Our species map is binary; we are either predator or prey. My people were hunted, bred, farmed... we are your livestock of old. We were biologically determined for one purpose, and one purpose alone – to sense the coming of death. I sense it coming now."
- —Saru, 2256[src]
Kelpiens were humanoid tall lanky beings. A unqiue characteristic they possessed were threat ganglia which allowed them to instinctively sense danger to an accurate degree. The ganglia only emerged when a threat was imminent. When adult Kelpiens underwent the process of vahar'ai, the ganglia would wither and fall off, and the Kelpien would lose their innate sense of fear. Also, a new organ would arise in the same space that the threat ganglia had been located. This new organ would give the Kelpien the ability to fire spikes at enemies when threatened.
In their distant past, the Kelpiens were vicious and warlike, and greatly outnumbered Kaminar's other major sentient species, the Ba'ul. The Ba'ul were almost driven to extinction until they used their advanced technology to make the Kelpiens their prey. The Ba'ul exterminated the remaining adult Kelpiens (the ones who had undergone vahar'ai) and established the Great Balance, under which any Kelpien showing symptoms of vahar'ai would present themselves for ritual sacrifice.
This system continued until Saru, a Starfleet officer who had undergone vahar'ai (and, to his astonishment, survived) returned to Kaminar to free his people. Saru used Ba'ul technology to send a signal across all of Kaminar, which caused every member of the Kelpien species to undergo vahar'ai. (DSC episode: "The Sounds of Thunder")
Earlier, in 2239, Federation Starfleet officers from the USS Archimedes rescued Saru from Kaminar when the Archimedes answered his distress call. Saru was the first of his species to join Starfleet. (DSC novel: Desperate Hours; DSC episode: "The Sounds of Thunder"; Short Trek episode: "The Brightest Star")
|stub relating to an intelligent species or civilization. You can help our database by expanding on it.|