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Triskelion was the second planet in the M24 Alpha star system, a trinary star system located in the space of the galaxy's Alpha or Beta Quadrants. At coordinates 0.75N 0.19E, Triskelion lay in an otherwise unpopulated sector, 11.63 light-years from Gamma II. (TOS episode & Star Trek 12 novelization: The Gamesters of Triskelion, Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
History[edit | edit source]
Triskelion was the homeworld of the Providers' civilization. The origins and history of both Triskelion and the Providers were unknown to Federation historians, not how long they'd been there nor where they'd come from, or how. What was known was speculation drawn from the available clues. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds, ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation)
- Worlds presents its theories about the origins of Triskelion and the Providers as supposition, while Star Trek Maps and The Worlds of the Federation state that the Providers, called "Triskelions", were in fact native to that world, in a brief account that follows some of Worlds's theories.
It was highly unlikely by known astrophysics that Triskelion could have developed as a class M planet in orbit of a trinary system like M24 Alpha, prompting theories that the Providers moved the planet into its present orbit by their technology or their mental power. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Triskelion was once home to an intelligent civilization with highly advanced technology. Their ruins revealed their great knowledge of architecture and physics. (ST references: Star Trek Maps, The Worlds of the Federation)
The ruins suggested that the world had either been abandoned by its original inhabitants or that it was the Providers' homeworld. It was thought that the force of the relocation destroyed the surface structures, but the Providers subsequently adapted it to their requirements. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
An ancient disaster struck the planet and destroyed the native humanoid race of Triskelion. Those who remained survived as disembodied brains kept alive by life-support machinery, deep in their subterranean vaults (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation).
The Providers themselves claimed that, after ages focusing on purely intellectual pursuits, their bodies became weak but they evolved into their brain forms and developed their great mental powers. (TOS episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")
In any case, at some point, the race that became known as the Providers developed incredible mental abilities and advanced technology, and with it evolved into higher life forms. But with their power and immortality, they lacked purpose and grew bored. They found themselves most stimulated by violence, and so they began kidnapping people from other worlds to entertain them with physical contests. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
After the 4th century, the Providers captured Vulcans to be their thralls, taken from scouting parties from the Great Ships fleet of Exiles. Several died in gladiatorial combat until Rovalat, a Vulcan elder, infiltrated their base, aided by Providers betting on his success. He then threatened to destroy their life support equipment unless the Vulcan prisoners were released. After defeating the Master Thrall and threatened by drill thralls, Rovalat then threatened to use a fusion grenade instead. The Providers agreed to release the Vulcans on the condition that Rovalat stayed as their thrall. He agreed, but once the prisoners were released, he detonated the fusion grenade anyway. The events were relayed by Rovalat's image caster to the Shavokh, showing that the Providers survived the blast. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exiles)
In the early 23rd century, Triskelion traded crystals and fissionable materials to the Klingon Empire in exchange for kuve gladiators. For one shipment (circa reference stardate 1/65, or 2230) they paid 2.6 million (units unknown), though this was down 20% from the previous year, as the Providers were growing bored of the alien races that were delivered. (TOS - Worlds Apart novel: The Final Reflection)
In 2268, the Providers collected three particular new thralls: Captain James T. Kirk, Pavel Chekov and Nyota Uhura of the USS Enterprise, kidnapping them via their advanced teleportation technology. After the trio endured Triskelion training and punishment, and Kirk both entertained and annoyed the Providers, he bet that he could beat three thrall warriors in combat. If he lost, the Enterprise crew would become thralls. But he won the contest, and by the terms of the wager, the thralls were to be freed and educated instead. (TOS episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
The Providers kept their word and freed the thralls, allowing them self-governance, education and training in areas other than battle. They also began developing Triskelion's environment, giving it a more natural weather system that included rainfall, so that it could support agriculture. However, it was feared that the Providers would switch to kidnapping teachers to educate their thralls instead. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Sometime after this, the Romulan Star Empire attacked Triskelion, under the command of Commander Dosean, attempting to acquire Provider technology. Providers 2 and 3 had left Triskelion by this time. In 2293, Triskelion sought membership of the United Federation of Planets. Spock met with their representative, Shahna, aboard the USS Excelsior, and subsequently attended a meeting on Earth with Admiral Beckett, Dosean, Romulan Ambassador Renzel and Klingon General Korrd. The meeting led to the signing of a non-aggression pact between Triskelion and the Star Empire. (TOS short story: "The Lights in the Sky", TLE novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)
A century after being given their freedom and receiving training and education, the former thralls began to venture out into space and make contact with other races, by their own efforts, albeit under the oversight of the Providers. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
During the 2360s and 2370s, Triskelion traded with the Cardassians and the Bajorans, during and after the Occupation of Bajor, with their freight passing through Deep Space 9. (DS9 episodes: "Necessary Evil", "Favor the Bold")
- This is not mentioned on screen, but containers bearing the Triskelion logo appear in a number of DS9 episodes.
Society[edit | edit source]
Triskelion's government was a monarchy, ruled by three disembodied brains called the Providers. The Thrall Master, Galt, interacted directly with the thralls and administered punishments. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
- The sources offer very different populations. The ST reference: Star Trek Maps states a population of only 480, c. 2270. The FASA RPG module: The Federation gives an estimated population of 10 million mixed species as of stardate 2/2306.1 (c. 2287). The Decipher RPG module: Worlds says tens of thousands, possibly in the late 24th century.
This population was all thralls. They were an assortment of sentient races from all across space, either recently kidnapped by the Providers or the descendants of earlier victims. They included races such as Andorians, Humans, Kaylar, Nausicaans, and many others that were unidentified. (TOS episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
- Though not identified by race, the character of Kloog closely resembles the Kaylar seen earlier in the TOS episode: "The Cage".
Prior to the thralls being given independence and education, Triskelion had no agriculture or industry. Its primary resources were its gladiators (Decipher RPG module: Worlds), and valuable crystals and fissionable materials that the Providers sometimes traded for their thralls (TOS novel: The Final Reflection). However, by the late 24th century, the world was exporting cargo as far as Deep Space 9. (DS9 episodes: "Necessary Evil", "Favor the Bold")
The quatloo was originally the standard currency of the Providers' homeworld, but eventually became nothing more than a way of keeping score. The Providers exchanged quatloos to "vend" thralls and bet their quatloos on matches. In this way, they regulated how many thralls each could possess at a time. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Culture[edit | edit source]
Prior to their liberation, the thralls were treated as little more than animals, domesticated and bred for sport and battle. They were divided into "herds" and wore color-coded collars according to the Provider that owned them. True to their name, the Providers supplied them with food, clothing and shelter, and the minimum education necessary for proper communication and training; this did not include anything that might distract or rouse them. Thralls were also mated together, in a manner akin to animal breeding.
Training was simple but brutal form of positive and negative reinforcement. Good behavior was rewarded with food or breeding partners. Punishment could involve the thrall being bound and used as target practice, or was redirected at their friends. They were enslaved via their collars as well, which the Thrall Master could use to inflict great pain on a disobedient slave.
The sole aim of this training was athletic competition, which entertained and stimulated the otherwise bored Providers. These included races, sports and tests of endurance, but the most stimulating sport was gladiatorial combat in which the thralls were made to fight each other. The duels were typically non-lethal to avoid decimating the herds, but Providers sometimes demanded lethal matches for maximum stimulation (Decipher RPG module: Worlds).
The number three had great symbolic importance on Triskelion, with three Providers, three stars in the M24 Alpha system, and its own name, "triskelion" was a word for a three-branched symbol. Triangles and other representations of the number 3 formed the basis of thrall architecture. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Environment[edit | edit source]
Triskelion was a Class M world, with a standard atmosphere and a warm temperature. The climate was managed by the Providers, so it had few weather effects or cycles, as there was no need for such things without agriculture. Days were constantly dark and grey, the nights constantly clear and starry. However, after thrall independence, the Providers developed a more natural weather system, including rainfall. It only had a 5% hydrosphere, with no major bodies of water; the water for the rain with came from a hidden source or was created for the purpose. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
The surface was nearly totally barren (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation). The terrain was rocky and mountainous. The planet had very little vegetation, only a few trees and bushes. They survived on moisture extracted from the air instead of relying on rain. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Locations[edit | edit source]
Choosing not to construct shelters or buildings on the surface of Triskelion, the Providers carved caves inside the mountains in which their herds of thralls could live. Their own cavern was around one kilometer underground, and contained themselves and their life-support equipment, their power source and all their technology. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
A number of ancient ruins were found across Triskelion's surface. These were once whole cities and other impressive structures, but by the 23rd century, only a few walls and spires remained partially intact. The Providers had little interest in maintaining them. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds)
Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]
Appendices[edit | edit source]
Appearances and references[edit | edit source]
- TOS episode: "The Gamesters of Triskelion"
- TLE novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire
- TOS short story: "The Lights in the Sky"