Player Race: No.
Relation to UFP: Peace treaty signed.
- Besides having just lost a war to the Federation, this race would be too powerful to have as a player race.
Ancient civilization of shapeshifters, the architects of the Dominion in the Gamma Quadrant. Long ago, the Founders explored the galaxy, but found themselves to be feared, hunted and killed by the solids, their term for non-shapeshifters. Out of self-defense, the Founders retreated to a planet in the Omarion Nebula. From this location, the Founders established the Dominion, through which they controlled hundreds of planets throughout the Gamme Quadrant, imposing order through ruthless violence and fear. Although isolated, the Founders did not lose their curiosity about the universe. They sent a hundred infant members of their species across the galaxy, implanting in each a powerful desire to return home, so that the Founders could learn about distant places. Deep Space 9 security chief Odo was one of these infants. The Founders had a strong family link to each member of their species, and it has been said that no shapeshifter has ever killed another (The Search, parts 1 and 2 -DS9). Another of these changeling infants ended up on Deep Space 9 in 2373. Odo began to rear the infant, until it died of radiation that it had been exposed to while in space (The Begotten -DS9). The Founders' ability to assume the shape of an object is so complete that a Founder in the guise of an individual of another species is virtually undetectable, even with sophisticated scanning equipment. Should, however, a piece of a Founder's body be separated from the main body mass, the separated piece reverts to its normal gelatinous state (The Adversary -DS9). Starfleet phasers set to a force of 3.5 were sufficient to force a Founder to revert to a gelatinous state (Homefront -DS9). Founders also revert to a gelatinous state upon death (Apocalypse Rising -DS9).
The Founders used a warrior species called the Jem'Hadar to force compliance of the various members of the Dominion (The Jem'Hadar -DS9). The Founders maintained control of the powerful Jem'Hadar through the use of genetic engineering, altering Jem'Hadar physiology to be dependant on ketracel-white (also know simply as white, an isogenic enzyme), a drug that only the Founders could supply, through their agents, the Vorta (The Abandoned -DS9). Some Vorta agents suspected that even this extreme measure may not have been sufficient to control the Jem'Hadar's powerfully violent tendencies (To the Death -Ds9). Most Jem'Hadar spent their entire lives without meeting a Founder. To them, the Founders were thought of as myths (Hippocratic Oath -DS9) or even gods (To the Death-DS9). On stardate 50049.3, a Founder was mortally injured when a Jem'Hadar ship crash-landed on planet Torga IV. The Jem'Hadar that came to rescue him, having failed in their mission, committed suicide for letting the Founder die (The Ship -DS9).
In 2371, the Founders learned of Enabran Tain's scheme to attack the Dominion. They took advantage of the situation, staging an ambush in the Omarion Nebula that virtually annihilated the armed forces of the Obsidian Order and the Tal Shiar. The incident substantially reduced the ability of the Alpha Quadrant powers to resist a potential Dominion invasion (The Die is Cast -DS9). The Founders also tried to initiate a war between the Federation and the Tzenkethi, hoping to make the Alpha Quadrant more susceptible to Dominion attacks (The Adversary -DS9). Sometime before 2373, the Founders replaced Klingon General Martok, in hopes the Dominion could gain control over the Klingon Empire. In order to reduce suspicions of the ersatz Martok, the Founders, through the Great Link, caused Odo to believe that Gowron, not Martok, had ben replaced by a changeling (Apocalypse Rising -DS9).
In 2373, the Founders entered into an alliance with the Cardassian Union, giving the Dominion a significant foothold in the Alpha Quadrant. The agreement was a source of great concern to many Alpha Quadrant powers, and resulted in the reinstatement of the Khitomer Accords (By Inferno's Light -DS9).
Star Trek: The Encyclopedia (1999 edition)
Civilization in the
Gamme Quadrant, founders of the Dominion. Eons ago the Founders were solid beings,
but they eventually evolved into shapeshifters (Behind the Lines -DS9). Whent he
Founders ventured into space, they found themselves hated by nonshapeshifters, which the
Founders called solids. Eventually, the Founders enlisted the service of a people
known as the Vorta to help them run the Dominion. The Vorta, who had been
genetically engineered by the Founders, worshipped the Founders as gods (Treachery, Faith,
and the Great River -DS9). While on their homeworld, the Founders preferred to exist
in the Great Link, but the occassionally took other forms. The Founders don't use
proper names when referring to each other because they don't consider themselves to be
individuals (Behind the Lines -DS9). In early 2375, an epidemic befell the Founders,
causing all in the Great Link to fall seriously ill (Treachery, Faith, and the Great Link
-DS9). The epidemic was caused by a morphogenic virus that was developed by the
Federation's shadowy Section 31 (When It Rains... -DS9). The genetically engineered
disease was regarded as incurable and probably would have resulted in the extinction of
the Founders if not for the efforts of Dr. Julian Bashir, who extracted information from
the mind of a Section 31 operative, making a treatment possible (Extreme Measures
-DS9). Nevertheless, the use of such a genocidal weapon reinforced Founder fears
that they could never trust any solids. It was not until Odo returned to the Great
link at the end of the Dominion war that the Founders understood that peace was possible,
despite the differences between them and the solids of the galaxy (What You Leave Behind
Star Trek: The Encyclopedia (1999 edition) -Supplement.