The Trabe were a highly civilized race who throughout their region of space were highly regarded. However, Trabe society also had a dark side to them. On their homeworld, the Trabe kept the Kazon as subjects and slaves who lived in absolute poverty, while the Trabe enjoyed luxuries. To keep the Kazon in line, the Trabe often encouraged fighting between the various sects. This came to an end in 2346, when Jal Sankur united the Kazon in overthrowing their Trabe masters.
The Trabe were defeated and banished from their own homeworld; much of their space fleet and technology were also captured by the Kazon and the Trabe were forced to find another homeworld. However, every time the Trabe located a new homeworld, they were attacked by the Kazon. Even though the fighting amongst the sects had been reignited, the sects were still unified in the decision that the Trabe can never find another homeworld. (VOY episode: "Maneuvers")
In 2372, Captain Kathryn Janeway and the USS Voyager attempted to forge an alliance with the Kazon so that the starship could gain safe passage through Kazon space. However, when those attempts failed, Voyager was met with the Trabe fleet led by Mabus. Mabus proposed an alliance with Janeway to help each other travel out of Kazon space, but also make peace with the Kazon sects. However, once a diplomatic conference with Janeway, Mabus, and the First Maje's of the Kazon sects were arranged, Mabus attempted to assassinate the Kazon leaders, and the alliance was called off. (VOY episode: "Alliances")