Thirat was the second planet in the Yuhso star system in the Orion Neutrality Area in the Alpha or Beta Quadrant. It was the only class M planet in its system, and it had no moons. It was home to an Orion Colony.
From space, Thirat appeared to be an inviting blue-green Class M world, but this hid a very harsh and unforgiving environment. The gravity was 1.7 g, and it had a 19-hour day. It had a thick class M atmosphere and a tropical climate: the average temperature could vary from 25° to 50° Celsius, and the humidity never dropped below 60%. The environment itself was largely swamp and jungle, densely inhabited by snakes, vicious insects, dangerous plants, and powerful animals.
The jungles hid and slowly revealed ancient ruins that told of previous failed attempts at habitation and exploitation on Thirat. The first slave colonists gradually learned to live with the harsh environment rather than fight against it, and their descendants became a hardy people, shrewd and canny, stronger than average, and skilled in jungle survival. It was even said they refused to die when any sane person would. As a result, they were used and prized as mercenaries for centuries. They were a proud people, so much so that they were known as Thiratins more than Orions, and they had little tolerance for outsiders.
After the Four Years War (c. 2250s), Thirat refused to accept Orion refugees, and this decision was respected by the Botchok Planetary Council and the Federation's Rigel Demilitarized Zone Commission. In any case, the refugees who had been selected to be sent to Thirat rebelled when they first heard the idea, unwilling to live amongst the Thiratins.
The de facto government was the Thirat Group, a loose confederation of local industries run by the ruling families of Teish, Nomab, Sohola, and Emark. However, law and order were mainly matters of protocol and politeness. No one gave orders; instead, they made suggestions.
With a strong tradition of self-reliance, all citizens were skilled in the martial arts, whether unarmed or with weaponry. Dueling was legal—if one was insulted before witnesses, a Thiratin of any social standing could challenge the offender to a duel, even to the death. Even members of the ruling families were not immune, nor were alien visitors, which led to a high mortality rate among offworlders, especially those not there for business. A highly respected Klingon captain was once slain in such a duel, and the Klingons made no retaliation for his death.
Thirat's economy depended on the jungle for everything, from lumber and fibers, to chemicals and petroleum, to paints and drugs, and a wide range of minor products. There were 271 cities on the planet, mostly concealed beneath the dense jungle canopy, and holding 1.7 billion people. Transport was by air; there were no roads and few open, cultivated areas.
It had a total surface area of 1,633,125,400 square kilometers and, with 25% land mass, a total land area of 408,281,350 square kilometers. About 28% of Thirat's makeup was normal metals, 9% was gemstones, and it had only trace amounts of radioactive elements, special minerals and industrial crystals.