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The Tarn were a Reptilian humanoid species native to the Alpha or Beta Quadrant and the founders of the Tarn Empire. (TNG novel: The Forgotten War)


Male Tarns can be two meters in height. Tarns have a prehensile tail and taloned hands. Their face contained functional lips and a forehead. With some Tarn, a tattoo representing their circle could be place on the forehead. There are spikes on the back of the Tarn head that can prickle in emotional response. Like other cold-blooded races, the Tarn prefer hot and dry environments. They are quick and dexterous in combat.


Young Tarn are called hatchings, thus The Tarn race are egg producing.

Food and Drink[]


Exhaling noisily is a greeting gesture that was used at one time to reveal that the one who stood before you had the same scent as the others of your hunting circle. It is the Human equivalent of shaking hands and known as the Harma. A lower ranking Tarn would perform the Harma with a bowed head to acknowledge the higher rank of the Tarn they are greeting. A Tarn verbal greeting is "(title & name), I greet you into our circle as if you are of our blood." The proper response would be "I accept the greeting as if I am returning to those of my blood." According to Tarn diplomatic protocol a greeting must be first performed by another of equal rank. After the greeting a Tarn can be introduced to a higher ranking official without "loss of face". The Human custom of shaking hands is seen as an aggressive move by a Tarn because they would be too close to a foe.

The Tarn language can be spoken by Humans, but is rough. Riker's attempt to speak it was atrocious in the mind of Karish.

To the Tarn, admission that a family line had descended from slaves was something to be ashamed of. A slave (or his descendant) who has defeated a former master can regain his honor by killing the master or one of his descendants.

Circles (or clans) are considered family. The Kala circle is a royal line. The Karuuki is another royal circle and is otherwise known as the First Circle and is currently in control of the Tarn Empire. The Karuuki are rivals of the Kala circle. The Kala were willing to make alliances with powers opposed to the Federation. When a circle is defeated it is without honor until it has fought to redeem itself. If a circle is defeated again, it is cast out forever. It is similar to in some ways to the traditions of the Klingon honor code. The outcasts are called the obduli in the Tarn language. They become outcasts for bringing shame on their race and are not considered Tarn. A member of a broken circle cannot allow his shadow to touch a Tarn and may beg for forgiveness from the hell of forgotten names. The Tarn would adopt someone into their clan by wiping some blood of a clan member on the forehead of the adoptee. That person would then share their blood in the same manner with a clan member.

A ceremonial kill is performed with a Tarn Ceremonial Dagger. A lighting quick slash at the nape of the neck drawing blood is required for the ceremony. This removes the onus for a Tarn to speak to a member of an unbroken circle.

Captain Jean-Luc Picard observed that paranoia seems to be part of the psychological makeup of the Tarn.

The ritual of the word challenge was a time-honored tradition with the Tarn.

The Tarn have two conditions in war, return with victory or die.

The Tacig, or 'Chosen ones of Glory', are warriors who are set to die in glory of the Tarn. It can only be named by an unbroken circle.

Losing a commission in the Tarn Imperial Fleet would usually require the use of one's own ceremonial dagger in a ritual suicide.


The world the Tarn evolved on was a carnivorous nightmare. The Tarn were a smaller species nearly hunted to extinction by another species. The Tarn came back and wrested the planet away from their foes. Then the Tarn turned on each other when there was nothing left to fight. They learned to trust absolutely no one but their own particular clan. The Tarn are only one of five species that were still at war with themselves and still gained the power of interstellar flight without then using that power to destroy themselves.

Prior to their encounter with the Federation, the Tarn were permitted the honor of exploring new territories, mapping out sectors of unclaimed space and attaining glory for their circle. Some Tarn viewed that a war with the Federation was merely an extension of this.

In the 2160s the Tarn Empire participated in an undeclared war with the Federation. The settlement of the conflict in 2165 resulted in the establishment of the Tarn Neutral Zone. The Federation wanted a permanent treaty, however by 2367 a treaty had not been established. Only the past several years before 2367 have the Tarn wanted to develop open communications with the Federation.

The Tarn respect the Klingons as worthy enemies. They enjoyed fighting them and one known battle was held at Garamora. However it is not known when they first encountered the Klingon Empire.

In 2367 the Tarn Neutral Zone was opened to ships from both sides and the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) under command of Captain Picard was sent into the area for exploration. There they discovered the battle site of the USS Verdun and Tarn vessel Rashasa in the Torgu-Va system. The survivors of the two vessels had landed on the planet Torgu-Va and continued with the Federation-Tarn War unaware of the cease-fire that had been declared in 2165. The discovery of the two warring factions caused some additional tension between the Tarn Empire and the United Federation of Planets. Luckily the actions of Captain Picard and Admiral Jord alleviated the issue.

Beliefs, Religion and Mythology[]

The Tarn had an ancient play called the Thirty Outcasts that taught about the Tarn concept of honor. During this play the group of Thirty disgraced Tarns had disguised themselves as Holy Ones.

The Tarn also have a prayer for the dead. Circle members lower their heads and place a hand on the dying or dead comrade.

A quote from Tarn sacred text "I wanted a war, and for my sins the gods gave it to me."

Known individuals[]

Known Circles[]