About Kainans

Kainans are a warp capable species of caninoids from the Federation planet Kainis. They have canine head and ears, strong muzzles filled with sharp teeth, long tails and fur-covered tall, well-muscled bodies. Unfortunately, this means their acceptance in Federation society has occasionally been hampered by the fact that their appearance sometimes triggers the images of ‘werewolf’ lurking in humanoid subconscious. Contrary to that image however, most Kainans are loyal, honorable and have a strong ethic of working for the common good.

They are quite intelligent with exceptional ability to concentrate on the job at hand. However, it should be noted that their personalities were described by the Federation First Contact survey as ‘digital’. ‘On-duty’, they’re extremely focused, dedicated and on-task. ‘Off-duty’ they’re fairly laid-back, fun-loving and can be real ‘party hounds’ Moreover, they can switch from off-duty to on-duty mode in a heartbeat.

Outside their homeworld, they’re often employed as guards and investigators due to their loyalty and keen senses, especially their sense of smell. They are also known to make excellent bounty hunters. However it is unusual to see a lone Kainan. More than a few days of solitary confinement would be considered torture on Kaina as they have a need for the company of others and their mental stability can decline rapidly when subjected to long term isolation.


Kainans are a hardy race who mature quickly, generally being able to care for themselves by age 5 and reaching full adulthood by age 7. Their average lifespan is about 80 years. By nature and breeding, they are very powerful physically. They range in height from slightly under six feet to just over seven feet, but there is a diversity of racial types ranging from the sleek short-coated fleethound-like types from the desert and plains regions to the thick furred, heavier wolf-like varieties from the northern climates. In all cases, their bodies tend to be long, with a flexible spine which allows for considerable ability to twist for their size.

Their fingers are well-developed and dextrous, but retain a small degree of normal canid webbing and are tipped by short sharp claws. They exhibit stamina and ability to absorb punishment well above human norms. They are also very fast both in reaction/reflex and land speed. While technically biped, they seem to be just as comfortable on four limbs as two and can reach speeds exceeding 35 mph when they fall to all fours, although such high speed can only be sustained for short bursts.

With a sense of smell 40 times greater than a human’s, Kainans are exceptional trackers and can detect approaching or hiding intruders unless they have disguised their scent extremely well. Their doctors have been known to diagnose illness by scent alone and members of the military are often trained to detect poisons or explosives by scent as well. They also possess acute hearing and due to the ability to orient their ears can pinpoint the origin of a noise with a high degree of accuracy. Like all canids they have 270 degree field of vision, however, they tend to be somewhat far-sighted and their visual cortex is attuned to motion, so that they are less likely than most humanoids to pick up on a static detail. While they can distinguish color, their accuity in this area is not also not as great as that of most humanoids.

Kainan have been known to the Federation since the early 2270s, but remained unaligned with any galactic power until the Valkurak aggression convinced them to ally with the Federation. The fought with the Alliance during the Dominion War, and afterward, they voted to join the Federation and were officially admitted in 2380. Soon after there was an influx of Kainan to Starfleet and other Federation service organizations. This in keeping with the character of the species, which tends to be initially distrustful of outsiders, but extremely loyal and devoted once those others are accepted as friends or allies.

History and politics

Their own society is both strongly communal and and an interesting mix of egalitarian and hierarchical, in that positions are never inherited, only earned. There is great respect for superiors, but position in their hierarchy is quite fluid, with individual members rising or falling depending on how the rest perceive their level of contribution to the good of the community as a whole. There is a strong ethic of working together and keeping personal ambitions secondary to the good of the pack.

Personal trust and honor are very important values since those are essential to a pack functioning well together. Misdirection is okay for hunting prey or fighting enemies, but within their own community, personal deception is considered particularly despicable. This is true within society as whole, but within a pack in particular. Kainan political views in this area may be summarized by the statement “We understand that you may have to lie to _them_, but lie to _us_ and we’ll have your throat out.”

Culture and Customs

Kainen ears and tails are very expressive and, among their own kind, they communicate by body language as much as by vocalization. Even among others they sometimes unconsciously fall back on body language, such as exposing the throat as a sign of surrender or deepest apology.

Society is organized primarily on family groups, known as dens and extended family, known as packs – although that term is often stretched to include whole communities, or even the whole of Kainan society. Females typically birth 2-3 pups at a time and it is common for the children of littermates and/or hunting pairs to be raised together and for unmarried aunts and uncles to help in raising them.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the importance of family, Kainans view marriage as an arrangement strictly for producing offspring and it is contracted for the span of time necessary to raise them to a certain stage, usually 5 – 7 years, with options for renewal. However, unmarried Kainans, for whom procreation isn’t an objective, can vary as much as humans in terms of taking romantic partners (i.e., everything from serial monogamy to ‘whoever’s available at the moment’). For Kainans, a truly lasting commitment is that made by the sworn companions of hunting pairs, who remain dedicated to each other for life. Such a commitment is taken very seriously and fewer than 10% of the population enter such an arrangement. Those that do are sometimes also mates, but more frequently they are not.

They enjoy games of skill and challenges to their skills. They also are very physical, valuing fitness, and particularly enjoy physical competition – especially hunting or coursing and Kainan grappling (Dalraw) which bears a certain resemblance to way non-sentient canids wrestle for dominance in a pack, but includes moves similar to various styles of humanoid jiu-jitsu except that mouths and tails can also be used for holds and attacks.

Kainan religion reveres the natural world. They believe there is a spirit to all things and the ultimate intention of the Creator is that all exist in order and harmony. Many, but not all, believe in some form of reincarnation, either full rebirth or the ability of ancestral spirits to temporarily join with those living to guide them or to accomplish some task unfinished in a prior life.

Key Facts