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The Watraii (Meaning "betrayed" in the old High Vulcan language) are, like the Romulans and the Remans, an off-shoot of the Vulcan race. The Watraii Hegemony lived a private and isolated existence on a harsh world near the Romulan Neutral Zone in the Beta Quadrant. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novels: Exodus, Exiles, Epiphany)
In 2382, Anlikar Ventel expressed his concern to Gell Kamemor that if the Watraii ever obtained slipstream technology, it would destabilize the region near Romulan space. (ST - Typhon Pact novel: Plagues of Night)
For a long time, the true face of the Watraii was not known as they wore a dark green mask that almost appeared black with zig-zag lines present at the bottom and top parts of it. Only the eyes were visible. They also appeared to wear loose fitting robes that disguised the Watraii's gender.
When Spock first observed an adult Watraii at close range in 2377, he noticed the points on their ears, and deduced their true origins as being a Vulcanoid species; one of the survivors of the Sundering. (TOS novels: Vulcan's Soul, Epiphany)
All Watraii appear to possess blue eyes with the only distinction being evident is the slight changes in height and weight.
- Spock suggested that this might be the work of inbreeding and that the Watraii suffer from a small gene pool.
The Watraii have forged themselves into a military force whose only goal is the destruction of the 'murderer' Romulan species that usurped their homeworld. As such, it seems that luxuries are somewhat neglected amongst their species as well as concepts such as affection. The only one one common factor that is evident is their discipline as well as coordination which is said to rival that of the Borg, even though they are not a hive-mind species. Military formations, which can consist of children, move with quiet formation and with such control that it has been stated that it rivaled a Vulcan's.
Ground based military training operations seem to be another aspect practiced in their culture with teams given different 'colors' to distinguish themselves in battle. However, unlike more civilized societies such as the Federation, the Watraii make use of live ammunition which means that there is the very real possibility of death among the training teams. Should a Watraii be killed in these battles, their mask is removed along with their weapons while their body is disposed of through disintegration by an energy weapon.
Capital punishment is another factor present within their society. This consists of a prisoner, which can be a member of their own species, being chained onto a metallic pole that is present on the surface of their hostile homeworld. The form of execution becomes evident as the high number of electrical storms means that a bolt of lightning will strike the pole and thus kill the prisoner, who dies a horribly painful death.
All Watraii wear masks as this is due to the belief that the murderer Romulan species appear as they do and that, in order to hide their shame, they would wear masks to conceal their features to outsiders. Certain high-ranking Watraii wear white masks, unlike the majority of the population. These 'officers' attend the executions where they ceremoniously remove the mask of a Watraii prisoner.
- Spock speculated that these Watraii were either a form of religious police or a type of priest.
The Watraii as a people are known to only speak to those they find worthy. Furthermore, they show a sign of respect to elderly individuals even among their enemies so old age is something that rarely happens among the Watraii.
Furthermore, despite their damaged genome due to inbreeding and the losses of life due to their own culture as well as homeworld, the Watraii were known to accept death. This resulted in the very real possibility of the species being rendered extinct as they fanatically attempted to destroy their enemies, the Romulans. The race had devoted themselves to seek vengeance on these betrayers for what they did to their ancestors that any price seemed acceptable to accomplish that goal. Despite this, their leader Suwarin was known to be compassionate and concerned about the survival of his people.
The Watraii were a small group of Vulcan slaves that lived on Remus who managed to escape their imprisonment in a stolen Romulan supply ship and were led by Sarissa, daughter of Karatek. They managed to arrive on this new world through an unstable wormhole.
The Watraii settled on a harsh barren planet that would serve as their new homeworld though they would consider it nothing more then a fortress world as shelter for their kind until they would gain their vengeance on the 'murderer' race. The planet was barren in its entirety and covered by constant harsh storms with high speed winds along with dangerous electrical activity that produced lightning strikes across the planet's surface on a regular basis. Very primitive forms of vegetation have only been noted which led to the belief that either the planet is very young or so hostile that no other form of life could develop on its surface. Furthermore, the planet possesses no forms of heavy or exotic metals on its surface.
The Watraii, upon settling this planet, seemed to only have a single large settlement that is visible.
- It has been speculated that underground sources of water exist and that the Watraii's primary food production facilities would be present in such installations.
Aside from a brief encounter with Captain Pavel Chekov of the USS Undaunted several years prior, the first contact with the Watraii Hegemony began in the year 2377, after the Dominion War, when representatives from the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire attended a unified peace conference on Earth. While this occurred, alien ships passed the Romulan Neutral Zone and approached the Romulan colony world of Nemor. The orbiting Romulan fleet hailed the intruders and received weapon fire in return which destroyed the defenders, after which the aliens attacked the colony itself. A message from the planet's Proconsul, Terik, was sent and received on Earth before the colony was destroyed by powerful green colored weapon fire.
Once the destruction of the colony was achieved, a visual transmission was received from a member of the alien race who identified himself and his race as the Watraii. They claimed that the Romulans were murderers who had usurped the Watraii homeworlds of Romulus and Remus. They then declared open hostilities between themselves and the Romulans.
Along the Romulan Neutral Zone, a mixed armada consisting of Federation, Romulan, and Klingon ships joined in a combined attack against a fleet of Watraii warships. After a brief battle the two fleets reached a stalemate until Spock and Ruanek beamed aboard the lead Watraii starship and captured a power converter. However, the Watraii attempted to recapture the device with the boarding party consisting of a single warrior. This warrior faced opposition in the form of Admiral Pavel Chekov and the two were engulfed by a transporter beam which destabilized. It was presumed that both the Admiral and the Watraii died in the transporter beam due to incompatible energies.
This border skirmish put an end to the Watraii aggression on a temporary basis as they did not strike for two months. What many did not know, however, was that the Watraii had managed to capture Admiral Chekov and detain him on the Watraii homeworld.
The next military engagement occurred when the USS Alliance, along with two ships belonging to Klingon privateers, infiltrated Watraii space and arrived at their homeworld where they engaged in a covert action to retrieve the Coronet and rescue Admiral Chekov. During this time, Spock of Vulcan would meet with the Watraii leader and the two developed a form of mutual respect before Spock managed to escape. The Watraii would attempt to capture the Alliance, however it managed to escape their grasp. The Watraii then would make a protest to the Federation government for the attack after becoming aware of the Federation's goals as well as their nature.
During this time, the Watraii engaged in a covert operation that made use of a captured Romulan Warbird which they enhanced and used to infiltrate Federation space and attack a fleet that was escorting the Praetor of the Romulan Star Empire Neral. A Watraii fleet would also arrive on the border to Vulcan space where they engaged in battle against a Romulan fleet under the command of Commander Tomalak. Diplomatic negotiations were commenced again with the Watraii leader where a compromise was reached with the Federation accessing the information of the Coronet and serve as a neutral third party.
Once this was accomplished, the Watraii ceased their hostile behavior and accepted the friendship of the Federation to aid them.
Not much is known about Watraii technology beyond the fact that its very powerful in nature as a Watraii warfleet managed to effortlessly destroy a Romulan colony with little apparent damage. This is believed to have been done through a power converter device that is present on the lead Watraii starship. This ship channels additional energies to weapons and shields which makes the Watraii more effective in battle.
The Watraii are known to possess a form of phase shield technology and they are known to be skilled in the manipulation of energy. They were also known to have improved upon a Romulan cloaking device to make it far more efficient.
- Spock speculated that either the Watraii are somewhat primitive in their construction techniques or prefer to use a minimalist approach in starship construction in order to preserve resources.