Originating from their homeworld Ab-Tzenketh in the Alpha Quadrant, the Tzenkethi are an advanced race of lizard-like humanoids. Significantly bigger and more brute-like than many other species, they possess four arms and naturally armoured bodies – their appearance is considered by some as dragon-like. Their skin comes in various different shades; it is possible that they can adapt this skin pigmentation in a similar manner to a chameleon.
Although their motivations and indeed a large part of their culture remains a mystery to many in the Federation, a number of Tzenkethi slaves have been recovered over time. As a physically capable race, they were particularly appealing to take as captives during raids and sold into servitude in various foreign powers. In a roundabout way, this has allowed Federation scientists an opportunity to study and understand their physiology to a much greater level.
What is clear from interrogating those ‘freed’ captives is that the Tzenkethi Autarch rules in a dictatorial manner; their culture is caste-based and those deemed genetically superior are intended to rule. This explains their intense dislike of the more egalitarian nature of the Federation.
Their territory borders onto the Federation frontier, with the closest Federation member world being Trill. They sit on the opposite side of the Badlands to the Cardassian Union, and almost certainly have borders with the Breen and other powers reaching further into that area of the quadrant.
Brief Canon History
Little ‘real’ canon information on the Tzenkethi exists, however what is known is that they are generally hostile to the Federation – in early talks held in the mid-24th century, negotiations were so bad that it led to a war between the two powers. During the Dominion War they remained a neutral power but the Founders did attempt to engineer further hostilities between the Tzenkethi and the Federation, but this resulted in failure.
Tzenkethi are proponents of protomatter technology and weapons; its use is evident in their weaponry, particularly protomatter explosives.
Proposed Post-War History
Immediately following the end of the Dominion War, the Tzenkethi set about securing their borders, fearing the increased battle-readiness of the Federation and her allies. Of particular interest to them was the now weakened Cardassian Union and her outlying interests. The Tzenkethi moved very quickly in an attempt to seize several systems from their defeated neighbour, however the intervention of the Federation almost triggered a further conflict. It was only the involvement of the Federation’s temporary allies, the Romulans, that dissuaded the Tzenkethi from pressing their claims into an armed conflict. Privately, the Romulans were believed to have been uncomfortable with the prospect of a renewed war with yet another major power and were extremely concerned that this would allow the Federation even more opportunity to grow its influence in the region.
The Tzenkethi later joined the Typhon pact, joining in 2382 after considering the risk of not joining the group to be tactically disadvantageous. Since the end of the Dominion War, their political position remained clear that the Federation were the true instigators of their conflict, having previously supported the Cardassians against Klingon invasion only to then turn and join the Klingons once the Dominion became involved. Their general feeling is that the Federation is untrustworthy and meddlesome.
With the Hobus supernova and the dissolution of the Typhon Pact, the Tzenkethi did attempt to maintain loose ties with the Gorn Confederation and the Tholian Assembly. The last hold-outs of the Pact, the three powers continued to share limited resources for several years. Federation analysis suggested that this semi-official relationship lasted until as recently as early 2396, and while the Gorn’s relations with them have cooled, the Tzenkethi and Tholians remain uneasy friends as they consider the potential threat of a resurgent Cardassian Union.
In 2394, following the discovery of Tzenkethi-supported smuggling operations in the Badlands, Starfleet Intelligence uncovered possible evidence of protomatter explosives being used in the bombing of a Cardassian shipyard. This, combined with increased rhetoric from Autarch Kar Rej Tov-A condemning Federation activities in the quadrant, led Starfleet to reinforce their taskforces operating in the region and designate Starbase-621 as one of their most key tactical assets in monitoring future Tzenkethi activity.
What is clear is that the Tzenkethi have an appetite for expansion and are keenly watching their neighbours for perceived weakness.
There are a lot of non-canon sources to pull from for the Tzenkethi and most of them are contradictory. For this reason this new canon leaves some open space for more individual elements – however the key points are that they are another antagonist, not only to the Federation but to neighbours such as the Cardassians. This should provide some clear motivation and intention for their activities.