Orion Colonies

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Free Orion Colonies


Year Founded:

200,272 BCE



First Contact:


Major Languages:

Orion Free Trade Tongue, Botchoki, Kolari, Ur'eon, Vondemese

Major Species:

Orion, Red Orion


Gold Pressed Latinum


None; Decentralized

Government Name:

None; each colony is independent

Government Type:


  • Plutocratic Merchant House Councils (Qaj)
  • Limited Monarchy
  • Theocracy with Qaj Council
  • Anarcho-Capitalism
  • Anarcho-Communism
  • Military Governors (Klingon-occupied)
Head of State:

None; each colony is independent

Fleets in Service:

Individual Qaj or Tahedrin forces


At a Glance

The Orion Borderlands

The Orion Colonies is a misleading term: there is no "united" Orion spacefaring empire or body politic. In the past, the Orions established broad trading consortiums and corporate empires (largely built on the backs of slaves) but those interstellar entities have not existed for at least four thousand years. Today, most Orion colonies are an independent body, an island unto themselves: the only act that the Orion people have jointly agreed to in the political arena is to declare themselves independent and neutral from the affairs of other galactic powers. Many (but not all) of the Orion Colonies agree, in principle, to allow less restricted trade and similar by-laws, as dictated by the Orion Free Traders Consortium.

The Orion planets correspond to a few dozen light-years of planets near the Federation-Klingon border. Other sentient beings have homeworlds in this area of space, but the region is noted for its longstanding Orion settlements as well as a number of "ghost worlds" with extensive Orion ruins. Three of the Orion Colonies fall under Klingon occupation. One has affiliated with the Federation. The rest of the Colonies are independent of any other group- including other Orion systems.

Extant Orion Colonies

In all, the Orions populate some fourteen star systems across the Borderlands, some of which have multiple colonies. Of the fourteen, eight are considered major and comparatively ancient. A ninth system is a re-population of a deceased colonial holding. Three extant Orion systems are occupied by the Klingon Empire- most pay tribute to generally keep the Klingons out of their day-to-day lives. One system has a split affiliation with the United Federation of Planets. The remaining systems are self-governing and hold little allegiance to each other.


Orion I (Ur'eon)

Ur'eon is believed to be the Orion ancestral homeworld though questions remain about how a sapient species could arise around such a large, hot-burning star (which usually burn out). The Orion people are notoriously apathetic about their ancestral genesis: most identify with their colony world. What seems to be accepted fact is that some 200,000 years ago, Orion's habitability was pushed to the limit and the Orions were facing a probable "Great Filter" type of extinction event. Climate change and resource depletion led to an event known as the Orion Diaspora: some Orion Caju left willingly, others were sent into exile. The poorest and some of the richest, landed Orion Qaj chose to stay. Over the last 200,000 years, Ur'eon has been a coveted jewel to a series of off-world Orion trade empires seeking legitimacy, a forgotten backwater, and a center of power.


Modern Tavar is a maximum-security prison called Shylf, and it is akin to the Orion version of Rura Penthe. Many of its inmates are those that have wronged the Orion Free Traders Consortium or the Bank of Orion. The moon relies on similar designs as Rura Penthe: no guard towers, no gates. It is a subterranean base with transporter deflectors with hatches from the prison to the surface. The Orions are gentler with their prisoners and seldom exile them to the surface for death. Instead, work crews in vac suits regularly head to the surface for water and hydrogen mining as the raw resources for the prison. Inside life can be luxurious for well-connected prisoners- and somewhat hellish for those who have wronged the powerful. Tatharoc matches are a common way to settle scores between the prisoners.


A water world with only a small molten core and no landmasses, Prelinam was a mostly failed experiment. The oceans of Prelinam are exceptionally violent except at the poles. Several enterprising Tha'qadi went to Prelinam to manufacture floating pleasure cities- done in an incredibly tone-deaf era of the Orion Diaspora. After 200,000 years, Prelinam has changed allegiances several times. The bulk of the bathyscaphe outposts in the temperate zones are loyal to the Kolari Vaj, but the polar outposts are loyal to Ur'eon. Today, Prelinam is useful primarily for aquaculture- Prelinam Black Pearls and Prelinam Razor Clams are prized luxuries, both controlled by the Kolari.

Moons of Prelinam

Pax, Tendari and Jeysar are the three moons of Prelinam- though Pax dominated the intra-orbital space. The varying sovereignty of orbital space is further complicated by Prelinam's dual allegiance. The Smuggler's Moon of Pax is a Xo-a Kulkaadi nest in the middle of Vondem, Orion and Kolar territory- and a minor thorn in the side of the Federation. Pax is dangerous for non-Orions unless the alien in question has proven themselves to be loyal to the Xo-a Kulkaadi. As the largest moon- and one that is a smaller clone of Prelinam, the Pirates use the base mostly for smuggling but also use it to cultivate knockoff Prelinam Black Pearls. Jeysar is owned by a wealthy Vondem corporate magnate and the moonlet is little more than his personal pleasure palace. Meanwhile, the small moon of Tendari is under Ur'eon control but serves very little purpose aside from being an off-world port for Orion's contributions to the Orion Free Traders Consortium. Pax also allows the Trade Consortium access to some of its bases, but likes to give Kolari and Vondemi ships a hard time for ancient transgressions.


The first colonial enterprise undertaken by poorer Orion Qaji and free traders was Orion III, now known as Vondem (literally: "alien place"). Vondem was an "interface world" meant to allow alien merchants and supplicants to visit the Orion system without coming to the Orion homeworld itself. The reason was one of ethnocentricity- some of the oldest, most conservative and most secure Caju had no interest in allowing foreign, alien influences on the homeworld. Today Vondem is the most alien-friendly and open of the Orion Colonies- and often looked down on in perpetuity by the rest of the Orion Colonies.

Vondem Moons

Vondem's three moons of Speer, Unlam and Vinzai lightly inhabited. Speer, the largest, has the most population but also little distinct purpose. It does sell back to Vondem, the power it generates from its dark side solar cells. Unlam is a commercial waypoint and quarantine zone for goods from off-world which could damage the local Vondemi ecology. It is the only moon with a notable Federation Merchant Marine and Earth Cargo Service presence. The Interstellar Trade Alliance also has a small footprint. Vinzai, which is slightly larger than Unlam, is privately owned by a Vondemi Oligarch-D'shai Pana of the Jeycidari are magnates over a casino, spa and pleasure ship empire.

Of the moons, only Unlam has an appreciable lineage going back some 2,000 years, and for largely the same purpose- as trading docks. Vinzai has passed through several Caju dynasties and repeatedly been populated, abandoned and repopulated. But its current period of habitation era is only around 800 years. The Ninth Thakolarivaj attempted to terraform Speer tens of thousands of years ago but abandoned the idea when a Thakotahedri was assassinated and the next Thkaotahedri saw no purpose in the program.



A tribute world of the Klingon Empire, Botchok was one of the original colonies settled after the Orion Diaspora. Botchok is the third-place jewel of a five jewel crown that became the central Orion Colonies- and one that was often more hands off and isolationist in terms of broad Kolari politics. Colonized by poorer equatorial Qaju from Orion, Botchok's culture is distinctly more relaxed while still maintaining many pan-Orion philosophies. Being founded by those Caju that were heavily affected by resource wars and climate change by larger, more powerful groups, the Botchoki were more mindful of destroying their new homeworld.

Botchok's foundation was done by the triad allies of teh Sirrudi, Bilati and Tilari Qajus but they did not expect to encounter a pre-industrial people living in the lowlands- Botchok is the homeworld of the Red Orionss, or Ruddy Orions. Initially wondering if they had stumbled upon the legendary Alnilam or some kind of "lost tribe" based on equatorial myths of a "red-skinned, lost tribe," the reality quickly hit home. The new Orions were forced to share a world with a hostile native population, and one decimated by Orion viruses. The two species would eventually learn to co-exist and share the planet- until the Klingon Empire invaded in 2257 of the Human calendar. Today the two species still live apart, though Red Orions have expanded into the local systems.


Though to the Red Orions Gothei was a moon, the enormous body is a trojan planet to Botchok. And, like Botchok, it was home to a native species- the Etoshan. The Tilari Caj colonized Gothei and again, the tragedy of unknown viruses decimated the Etoshan. Unlike the Red Orions, the peace-loving, early Iron Age Etoshans went extinct as a civilization, though the numbers lived on for several centuries within Tilari cities as second class laborers. They were extinct by the era of the Second Thakolarivaj. Today the Tilari Orions dominate the planet with their unique, both decadent and martial culture. Like Botchok, Gothei is a Klingon tribute world.

Chi Orionis VI

Fel Tulnam, Fortulan, Krelinam- Chi Orionis VI had several iterations of names across Orion history. Now known as New Raatooras for the Arin'Sen and possessing several thousand Botchok refugees, Chi Orionis was founded as a colony out of desperation. The Caju settled it during the Diaspora, and had been split from their main colonial convoy. The Fallendi and For'tuli Caju were Jeyci allies and had once been indentured retainers of the Qolaadi. Once liberated after the Qolaadi Exile, they found themselves quickly outmaneuvered by other powerful Caju who wanted to occupy former Qolaadi and Partreidi lands.

Fel Tulnam (or Fortulan) was never the most successful of colonies. The Caju there were never able to expand upon the resources of the system, and the planet itself is somewhat unpleasant by Orion standards- it is tepid in heat (Humans would say its warm), and it is quite arid. Because of its three suns, the planet is somewhat dim and has no real "nighttime." By the eighth Thakolarivaj and its subsequent Interregnum, Chi Orionis was abandoned. Centuries later, the Earth Starfleet relocated Arin'Sen refugees from their Klingon-occupied homeworld to this world. A hundred years later, some Botchoki Caju would flee here as well, again to escape the Klingon Empire.




Thaspa, one of the two moons of Kolar is a world of pleasure with a very light population. Thaspa is somewhat equivalent to an Orion version of Risa though it seldom welcomes outsiders with the same free abandon. If Risa were corporate-owned and had a strict guest list then, perhaps, the comparison would be valid. Thaspa is the headquarters of the Kolari Courtesan Houses and almost certainly has Orion Syndicate influences. The Qaj of Thaspa are independent of Kolar, but on welcoming terms. On Thaspa, a person who has enough latinum can pay for any pleasure or thrill no matter how illegal, decadent, or depraved.


Rastacine Moonlets




Velod is known as the "Heretic Moon" and is the only Orion body in militant opposition to another Orion power. Velod was once a colony of Kolar but the Partreidi Qaj, once the staunchest allies of the Qolaadi, rebelled and established themselves as a separate empire of the Thakolarivaj six thousand years ago. Since that time, Velod has technically been at war with Kolar. Velod is a heavily industrialized and militarized Orion culture that does not welcome any outsiders. The Velodi consider themselves to be the "Last True Orions." They are not part of the Orion Free Traders Consortium but had agreed to the Orion Neutrality Pact before its nullification. Velod may be the only power believed to be mostly free of the influences of the Orion Syndicate because they are so isolationist.

Verex III

Verex III is a central marketplace, the headquarters of the Bank of Orion and, if the Orion Free Traders Consortium had any kind of headquarters, Verex III would be it. In the ancient, post-Diaspora space of the Thakolarivaj, Verex III was neutral ground for the Orion Qaj to negotiate political and trade deals. Verex III is and was independent of all other Orion colonies but it has only a small permanent population. In the past, Verex III was one of the central hubs for the Orion slave trade and was a safe port for Orion Pirates. Today the latter is not sanctioned officially, but many of the dockmasters and government officials look the other way with a little latinum. Many of the cargo inspectors are on the dole of the Orion Syndicate as well.

Former Orion Holdings

Ajilon Prime



Hoan, the farther of the two moons of Kolar, has been abandoned by the Orions for 320 years. The moon, smaller and only able to be populated by pressure domes, had precious minerals and dilithium. It was populated mostly by slaves and Orion masters. 500 years ago, Hoan's supply was largely exhausted, except for veins that ran too deep to profitably excavate. Hoan hung on as a colony for another 180 years as the Kolari masters gradually withdrew, leaving the slave population to their own devices. It served briefly as a dumping ground for convicted criminals.

The slaves, having little to offer as a sustainable colony or nation, quickly resorted to piracy, smuggling, and harboring those criminal elements. It eventually became an intolerable nuisance for the Orion Free Traders Consortium which decided to interdict the moon. Now, watcher stations detain any craft entering or leaving Hoan space.


Rigel IV

Rigel VII

Rigel X

Legendary or Mythical Holdings


Alnilam is the Orion equivalent of Atlantis or Mu: a mythical Qaju left Orion when the Orion people were still pre-industrial and founded a world of trade, pleasure, and enlightened anarchy. No evidence of this world's existence has ever been found inside the Orion Colonies, but myths and legends persist in children's stories.

Political Structure

Pan-Orion Government


The Qaj/Caj

Qaj-Based Feudalism

Democracy is a quaint idea to most Orions outside the Xo'a Kulkaadi, especially the Kolari. The Orion Empires never embraced notions of the idea, preferring a clan-based system similar to the Roman paterfamilias. Orion society is highly stratified into what Humans would recognize as Feudalism. Local Caju (clans) hold land and power over their clan members. Those Caju form coalitions and confederacies under regional Caju, often forming either urban (city-state) or rural Caju-alliances. A particularly powerful regional Caju may control an entire city or region but it is more common for councils of Caju to form.

Absolute Loyalty



The Kaheedi best translates as "Matriarch," because she does not need to be related to all of the Caju. The Kaheedi is the Tahedrin's chief concubine or wife, or in some instances the Dowager Mother of the Tahedrin. In truth, the Kaheedi is the power behind the throne and almost always the one pulling the strings of the Tahedrin. Tahedri are as easily swayed by the power of Orion women as anyone else, though in general, his advanced age has made him less susceptible. Nonetheless, the Kaheedi exerts massive influence upon the Caju as is every bit the equal of the Tahedrin. Orions know when they pledge to the Caju, they are pledging to the Kaheedi just as much as the Tahedrin.

Though equals, the Kaheedi's job within the Caju is to run the Caju's home ground while the Tahedrin focuses on business and broad political matters. In truth, the Kaheedi influences where she wishes and deploys herself at will to advance any case that she shares an interest in with the Tahedrin. Many Kaheedi have their own "side-hustles," particularly those who are ambitious and want power beyond simply that owed her by the Caju. Though rare, a surprising number of Kaheedi work as the eyes, ears, and contacts of the Orion Syndicate.

The Kaheedi's traditional powers also arrange marriages for her male and female clans people, with or without the younger's consent. Marriage is purely a political arrangement- both sexes are expected to take concubines and lovers outside of their "official marital duties." It is the Kaheedi who gets to select which concubines get to stay or go within her clan holdings.


Racial Identity

Orion Slavery

The Dark Side of Xo-I

Slavery as Protectionism

An Institution in Decline

Orion Interstellar Relations

Orion Free Traders Consortium

Main Article: Orion Tree Traders Consortium

Orion Neutrality Pact

Main Article: Orion Neutrality Pact

Main Goals


Diminished Membership