From UFStarfleet LCARS
Orions usually project something between world-weary cynicism and rakish good humor. Sunnily self-confident at best, they can be brash and arrogant at their worst. Orions enjoy taunting helpless enemies, charming powerful friends and convincing both of them to fight each other.
They enjoy games of skill and intellect, especially when they know the rules and their opponents don’t – and a game of chance with an Orion usually turns out to actually be a game of skill and intellect. Orions are delighted to partake in any number of the civilized vices and eagerly pursue shady business ventures to afford more of them. Always glad to risk others in a good cause, Orions willingly run from any fight they can’t win, and plot ways to stab the victor in the back when he’s not looking.
Simultaneously overshadowed and liberated by their ancient, decadent culture, Orions feel life is too short for foolish morals or for other people’s nitpicky rules. Some Orions hold grudges; most Orions, however, treat vendettas as games rather than matters of life and death.
Physiology and Appearance:
Orions have the size and build of an average human, although their features tend toward aquiline noses and sharp chins. Orion gourmands, of course, often run to satisfied fat and no Orion really enjoys being underweight (as opposed to fashionably slender).
With copper-based blood like Vulcans, the Orion skin tone ranges from emerald green to a very dark olive. Some Orions paint their lips, eyelids or other conspicuous body parts. Orion hair dyes usually remain subtle highlights to bring out the proper glossiness of their black hair.
Orions enjoy jewelry, small daggers and other ornaments preferring those that combine elegance, flash, incredible value and tiny compartments for poison or blackmail tapes. No Orion dresses badly if they can help it.
Orions claim the warm, dry Class-M planet Rigel VII in the Beta Quadrant as their homeworld, although the planet cannot have existed long enough for Orions to have evolved there. Rigel VII holds decadent Orion kingdoms (the largest of them know as the Vaj, or “Empire”), dangerous nomadic tribes, fascinating ancient ruins and concealed shipyards for piracy or smuggling; all of them fighting, romancing and conspiring away under the purple skies and enormous moon of their dusty, spicy, exotic planet.
The first Orion civilization began exploring space 200,000 years ago and twelve successive Orion empires rose and fell across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants over tens of millennia. Lost, isolated, hidden or backward Orion cultures of any tech level may still remain undiscovered anywhere in this great swath of space, which some Orions refer to as “Thana Kolari (“Extended Orion”).
History and Culture:
Orion culture is cheerfully decadent and only loosely organized by a confederation of several large sub-entities as caj (large family groups), smugglers, mercenaries, privateers, pirates, cartels, free traders (etc..) known to outside governments simply as the “Orion Confederation”. The Orion Confederation acts as merchant houses, organizing trade networks, interclan marriages, funding explorers and hiring mercenaries for immediate crises.
It also utilizes ambassadors and sets up embassies with outside governments. The Orion Confederation more closely resembles loose patchworks of individual subcontractors paid by the individual sub-entities to negotiate with foreigners, build roads, run court systems and so forth. This tends to frustrate more tightly wound or hierarchical cultures like Starfleet.
Orions swear by the Thousand Gods, but seldom worship them, being too busy trying to corrupt some naïve planetary governor or move a shipload of Spican flame gems before the bottom falls out of the market. For millennia, Orions carried on a thriving trade in slaves their males as well as the women. For the Orion Confederation it is speculated that the courtesans are those giving the reputation of the Orion animalistic passion.
Orions will not be found in cramped dismal surroundings. Due to Orion law is it written that every slave is to be supported. The rights of slavery is often a choice for Orions and many have chosen to enslave themselves at least once in their life time. They are born free but the parents chose a schooling for them and receive substantial funding from the contract holder, who will then take the slave and begin to find out what the slave is capable of to commence training in set areas. Once the training is completed, it is then as the contract term comes to an end a given choice to be sold to another Master or Mistress, or to buy freedom.
Orion merchants, criminals, mercenaries, pirates, and settlers have carried Orions to worlds all across the Alpha and Beta Quadrants; everywhere they go, they nestle into (and sometimes co-opt) the local shady dealers, gray-market traders, and similar underworld types. Orion merchants consider Ferengi little more than ridiculous walking stereotypes with no sense of class and ludicrous habits to boot. No Orion would be caught dead obeying “rules of acquisition,” any more than an Orion willingly obeys any other inconvenient or distressing rules. Orion soldiers tend toward mercenary or pirate careers, having little patience for regimented life, taking orders, or wearing dull and unattractive uniforms. Telling an Orion pirate from an Orion merchant is often a matter of deciding which way the weapons are pointing – if you are armed, the Orion is a merchant.
Orion diplomats are usually playing a double or triple game involving their own profit. They might secure a monopoly on tulaberry wine, or capitalize on a breakdown in negotiations between Coridan and the Federation, seeing not a conflict of interest but rather an understandable compensation for their efforts. Many Orion diplomats do double duty as spies, dishing out real or invented secrets with casual aplomb; the omnipresence of Orion women in the chambers of power on frontier worlds gives Orion spies yet another inside edge. Any given Orion mystic might also be working an elaborate con game, with or without amazing powers (or advanced technologies) to grant verisimilitude to an otherwise bald and unconvincing narrative.
Although ancient Orion civilizations produced unimaginable scientific wonders, few Orions still practice the sciences. Some Orions are archaeologists, although most Federation archaeologists would call them tomb raiders – but these Orion relic hunters often have otherwise unobtainable information or artifacts from T’kon, Debrune or Iconian ruins.
Language and Names:
Orion (known as Kolari in Orion); most Orions also speak the dominant language of their sector, usually Federation Standard (but occasionally Cardassian, Klingon, Gorn, Tzenkethi, etc.). Many Orions also speak other trade languages such as Ferengi, Nybarrite Common and so forth. Some Orions also speak older, more antiquated or poetic versions of Kolari such as High Kolari, Imperial Kolari and so forth; they primarily do this to score social points with each other or to flummox non-Orions. In any language, Orions enjoy florid, ornate speech, biting repartee and veiled insults.
Not counting aliases, noms du amour, and whatever name unaccountably appears on their passport, Orions traditionally have only one name. However many Orions adopt two or more names based on local custom, their own whim, or the advertising needs of the moment.
Updated by Kermie Mistwallow