The Linnik, also known as Fesarians, were a neotenous humanoid species of the same genus as the intimidating Dassik. A mutation, they hailed from the Dassik homeworld in the galaxy's Alpha Quadrant. 12,000 years ago, they became founding members of the First Federation. (TOS novel: The Face of the Unknown)
The Linnik were the result of a mutation of Dassik. Instead of growing up into the brute and predatory Dassik, the Linnik remained small and childlike even in their adult form. More significantly, the Linnik developed greater intelligence. The Dassik enslaved the Linnik and used their abilities to build an interstellar empire. By fomenting an alliance between the Dassik's victims, and mutating the Dassik so they became a neotenous species too, the Linnik overthrew their oppressors.
The Linnik and their allies considered themselves the original, "First", inhabitants of their region. Because the Dassik had rendered all their homeworlds uninhabitable, the newly formed First Federation began with the construction of the Web of Worlds sanctuary in the atmosphere of Cherela.
- TOS episode & Star Trek 12 novelization: The Corbomite Maneuver
- TOS novel: The Face of the Unknown
- TNG novel: Gulliver's Fugitives