|Former Cardassian Union|
|Type of Government:|
|Head of State:||Klingon Empire|
|Ruling Body:||Detapa Council|
The Cardassian Union extends for about 210 millions of cubic light years in the Alpha Quadrant region of space, between the United Federation of Planets, the Breen Space and the Ferengi Alliance. It is an area of space unified under one government seated on Cardassia Prime, the capital world of the Union. Its inhabitants - Cardassians - are a militaristic race strongly devoted to the state. But while the Cardassian race has existed for thousands of years, the Union itself is new and has been established in the recent centuries.
The history of Cardassia is a tale of hardships and deeds of preservation done in the name of greater good. The planet was once inhabited by a Hebitian civilization, which ruins are considered one of the most spectacular archeological sites in the entire galaxy. The Hebitians were peaceful people, producers of great architecture and amazing works of art, of which the most priceless are the objects made of jevonite - one of the few precious gems native to the planet. The history of the Hebitians is not widely known, but their race has been extinct for millennia. Their burial vaults were discovered in the late 2160s. Hebitian descendants - Cardassians - followed the footsteps of their ancestors as a peaceful and deeply spiritual race, with a presence of strong religion.
Yet being poor in natural resources, the planet of Cardassia Prime was unable to support a growing population. Eventually, poverty ran rampant and a widespread disease and famine began claiming millions of lives. To alleviate the situation, the military took over the state and with its raise new territories outside the planet and new technology was acquired by violence, at the cost of millions of lives sacrificed to the war effort. In result, the Cardassians have turned their fate around, beat disease and eliminated famine from their world. Still poor in resources, they continued conquest and exploitation of alien planets. One of such planets is Bajor, which was claimed as Cardassian territory from about 2328. The Cardassians formally annexed Bajor and occupied the planet till 2369, till a controversial withdrawal.
The Cardassian Union is composed of two parties: civilian and military. For years, the military party was in power, led by the Central Command - a ruling admiralty body of the faction. There are abundant careers available in both branches, and upon choosing one of them many options are unfolded to a new recruit. Follow the below links for more information on each branch.
The Cardassian/Federation border has taken place after a war that has begun in 2355 and ended in 2367. The result was a fragile peace treaty and later a formation of the Demilitarized Zone which creates a blanket area of space owned by both governments in which military excursions are not allowed, while travel is permitted. The Cardassian Union is a highly militaristic society, where service to the Union is held in high regard. Politics, power and perfection are the main stimulants of the society that is unique among races of the universe. The Cardassians are respected and often feared... an uneasy neighbor to the United Federation of Planets and an aggressive, albeit reasonable government.
Recently, thanks to the Klingon invasion, the Union is in a shambles.
Cardassians are master architects. They have an obsession for elements in sets of three, and believe in honesty of design above its aesthetics, often bending the second to fit the first. Given that, all structural beams, supports and columns are not even remotely hidden, but left in full sight instead. Kinetic elements like doors and portals are almost never hushed and powered by fully audible hydraulic systems. Elevators and lifts are open, bearing no doors and simply traveling through levels in their open state. In design, balance is preferred to symmetry, ellipses to circles, angles to straight lines. Metallic surfaces with dark colors are preferred. Military installations are great examples of this building style, designed by renowned architects like Tavor Kell who is responsible for the design of Terok Nor.
Yet in this architecture order and importance still prevails. Important officers (like commanders or security leaders) have offices offset with decorated glassine doors, and important structures are elevated. In result, a Cardassian officer always looks up to his or her commander, in the literal sense. Lighting is dim in Cardassian installations, given their sensitivity to light, and often yellow or dark red in hue. The most used colors are dark browns, rusted yellows and grays, with an occasional dark red.
Art plays a fundamental role among all scholastic subjects among Cardassians. The centre of it is the famous Institute of Arts, and the names of renown writers or painters are quoted very often.
Literature is the gem of Cardassia. Among the most respected writers is Iloja of Prim, who wrote his serialist poetry during the First Republic, when the serialist movement flourished. Newer artists include Prelok, who wrote "The Never-Ending Sacrifice", a famous narration of seven generations of the same family, each of them dedicated to the State. It is a good example of a repetitive epic poem, which is considered the most elegant form of literature. The same author also wrote "Meditations on a Crimson Shadow", a science-fiction work, set in future in which Cardassians and Klingons are at war. We all know who will win, don't we?
Finally, in today's Cardassia, enigma tales are the most popular books. They are detective stories which always end with the suspects being guilty. The fun about them is guessing who is guilty of what. One of the most prominent writers of this type of books is Shogroth.
Painting is a highly respected Cardassian art form. While many styles have come to pass over the years, some are more memorable than others. Among them, the Velanon School on Cardassia was founded by Nanpok Melur, one of the greatest Cardassian painters ever.
- Kanar - dark, thick syrup-like alcoholic beverage, dark-brown and traditionally bottled in a spiral shaped dark brown bottle.
- Cardassian Ale - an equivalent to Earth's beer.
- Fish juice - often drunk hot for breakfast.
- Rokassa juice - a soothing infusion, similar to camomile.
- Languor - a "special" drink, favored for its unique taste.
- Red leaf tea - Cardassian tea, usually drunk hot.
- Regova eggs - greenish eggs, to be deviled and served with a sauce.
- Taspar eggs - boiled, they're a delicacy; raw, they're revolting.
- Yamok sauce - very popular foodstuff among Cardassians only. It's used as a condiment.
- Tojal - hot-cuisine delicacy, best served with Yamok sauce.
- Sem'Hal stew - stewed meat, best served with Yamok sauce.
- Zabu meat - common food, similar to Terran steak.
- Larish pie - a dessert.
- Yigrish cream pie - a dessert.
- Greeting: In the military, order and efficiency prevails. "Yes, sir!" and "Yes, ma'am!" are the standard replies, and exemplary soldier behavior is expected when addressing or being addressed by a superior. In non-military circles, a palm-to-palm contact is the most informal greeting. When welcoming or replying to people of status, a courteous nod of the head is required. Courtesy above all!
- Shri-tal: An ancient but still followed tradition in which a dying person reveals his or her secrets to a relative or a trusted friend, so they will be useful against his enemies.
- Funeral: Funeral rites are to be taken very seriously and kept very private. It is dishonorable to allow a non-Cardassian to see the dead body.
- Command: The commanding officer is the most respected person in a circle. On a ship, the commanding officer's duties include his guests' entertainment during the cruise.
- Trade: The commanders of transport vessels are entitled to a share of the wares they are carrying.