Ensign Joran Tavex discusses the Trill. The story includes an interview with and sim from Idril Mar.
Trill, or Trillius Prime, is located in the Alpha Quadrant; in the Kalandra Sector. Its official name is Trill Symbiosis. Trill is an M-Class planet orbiting two stars (one a white, dim dwarf; the other a blue, bright dwarf); both are in close orbit of each other, with planets orbiting the centre of their mass. Trillius is the sixth of nine planets: the planets being largely rocky worlds in the close orbits (classes D- and F-) and G-Class “sludge balls” in outer orbits. It has a slightly higher gravity than earth weighing in at 1.1G (earth being 1.0G), 70% water, and a familiar atmosphere of oxygen-nitrogen composition.
Purple oceans grace its surface due to the waters unusual chemical composition. Trill is, on average, a balmy 30 degrees Celsius, about 86 degrees Fahrenheit. The landmasses are mostly covered by densely packed forest, with widespread ice fields existing in the Polar Regions. Some Points of interest are the Caves of Mak’ala, Tenarian Ice Cliffs, and the renowned Hoobishan Bathes.
Trills have had warp capability for antiquity, and were admitted to the United Federation of Planets in 2285. Trillius has a population of 650 million Trills and 11 million Symbionts. A part of their government, organized in ministries, resides with a Legislature which no female ever held a position in until Lela, Dax’s first host, around 2100 A.D.
Trills have no personality stereotype. Their society seems to bring up negative extroverts, to positive introverts. All Trill have a universal concern for the Symbionts, their society revolves around them. Joined Trills are especially outgoing and curious. The children are not beyond throwing rocks in windows and the fruitful society is
still yet raising murderers. Like Humans and other Federation members they are generally optimistic, open to new ideas, and willing help those in need. Trills seem more attracted to the sciences, medical fields, mediating, and counseling than any other profession. They are distinguished by two columns of dark brown spots running down their sides starting from their foreheads running all the way down to their
heels. Though there seems to be a sub-species with slight forehead ridges and when joined are totally over taken by the Symbiont. Trill stand anywhere from 1.5 meters tall to 2. Most Trills have hair and eye color that is brown, black, and other darker shades. However, some Trills are blue-eyed and have lighter hair. Internally, joined Trill are distinguished by the blind, vermiform creature that they host in a special `pouch’ above their stomach where they have many neurological hookups to connect. The Symbionts themselves are approximately half a meter in length. Once joined the two become one persona and under Trill law they are a new entity; the host’s favorite book might change, food, place, handedness, etc. The host gains the memories and experiences of the symbiont’s past lives. Joined Trills are very susceptible to insect bites.
An un-joined symbiont (Kalash) resides in the breeding pools, in Mak’ala. It is commonly believed that only one in one-thousand Trills are eligible to be joined, while the fact is, that over half the population could be joined; the SC has hidden this information from the public for decades. The Symbiosis Commission (SC) is located in the capital city of Mak’ala amid towers and park land. The SC is an influential government agency, with awesome power. The SC is in charge of selecting capable hosts through a long, rigorous, and often tedious process. First, a Trill most be considered eligible to even apply (though most who apply are turned down) then, once accepted they go through a rigorous training and preparation program to prepare them to be joined. Towards the end of an initiate’s training a final step is taken to insure for a proper host: field decanting. A field docent is a joined Trill who takes a prospective host under their wing. The docent will test them to their limit; if the field docent does not think the initiate has what it takes to be joined s/he can expel the
candidate from the program. Both mental and physical stamina are required to be joined; also well roundedness will help.
The Trill own a rich mass of literature, art, music. Thanks to the symbionts and joined Trill, they have comprehensive historical accounts dating back to the original joining. While most Trill do not follow a religion, they give tribute to their ancestors during
specific festivals and have a deep handle for the value of history and tradition.
Some common names are —
Symbiont Names: Dax, Kahn, Lex, Par, Ren, Rox, Tav, Tel
Male Names: Ahjess, Arjin, Bejal, Curzon, Hanor, Joran, Malko, Selin, Timor, Tobin, Torias, Verad, Yedrin, Yolad
Female Names: Audrid, Azala, Emony, Ezri, Jadzia, Kareel, Lenara, Nilani, Reeza, Zharaina
Family Names: Belar, Otner, Peers, Pren, Tigan
Interview with Idril Mar
1. What made you want to play a Joined Trill?
I was a big Dax fan during the run of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. It was interesting to watch how each of the very distinct hosts affected Jadzia and later Ezri and made them who they were.
2. What makes playing a Joined Trill so special? Different from Humans, etc?
There is an almost infinite possibility for character development. You have not only your own character’s life to draw from, but those of all the hosts that came before them. In my own case, that’s four additional lifetimes to draw from and expand on. I’ll have more than enough to write about for the next decade or so.
3. What are some challenges in playing a Joined Trill?
Power-gaming is a big temptation and one that, I admit, I fell into early on. After pulling myself out of that pit, I think I can honestly say that Joined Trill have advantage of having past lives to develop, but it is a disadvantage when you are trying to sim weaknesses. With so much experience at your proverbial fingertips, you can conceivably have a little (or a lot) knowledge about everything and not be too out of sorts in any situation. You have to make sure to leave weaknesses in the character you are playing and not give them knowledge of everything and everyone.
4. What are some highlights of playing a Joined Trill?
The highlight of playing my character is when I had to opportunity to explore her, with the help of four extremely talented crewmates, through the Zhian’tara Ritual. If you don’t know what this is, it is the ritual where a host can meet and interact with the previous hosts of the symbiont by transferring the personalities and memories of each into another person’s body. If you’re still lost, see the DS9 episode “Facets.” By giving up control of the previous hosts to Alana Devar, Kare’en, Danny Wilde and Caleb Zaahn (within some loose guidelines), I think I learned more and developed the previous hosts more than I had thought about myself. Something about letting other people take and develop parts of my character was just so exhilarating and it helped me feel much closer to my crewmates as well.
5. What are some things that make playing a Joined Trill not so fun?
I find myself constrained sometimes with regards to actions that I feel are appropriate for my character. For two or three missions I was playing a completely antagonistic borderline psychotic who was having problems integrating the memories of one of her former hosts and it was affecting how she acted in a serious way. I had to work very hard to not write the character worse than she was; figuring out a way to not beat Lt. Commander Taboo into a pulp in one situation was challenging to say the least. The concern became the character writing her self and running away from me. I found myself having to put a lot of out-of-character notes on my posts for a while stating that I wasn’t really upset with people personally, despite my in-character actions to the contrary.
Other than that, I haven’t really found any major dissatisfaction
with playing a Joined Trill.
A Sim Which Best represents Trill as a character:
This is an *old* sim, from the first mission I did with the Independence in late 2002. It does, however, explore through a dream parts of Idril’s previous lives.
Fletcher: In your line of work you may get hurt. If you faint every time you see your own blood, it could cause problems when we’re in sticky situations…
::Idril knew she wasn’t going to get anywhere with the doctor. She rubbed her neck and blinked hard a couple times.::
Mar: Be that as it may, I’m going to try to catch up on some sleep. Do you mind, sir?
Fletcher: No…go ahead.
::Erik turned around and walked back toward his office as Idril lay back down on the bio-bed. She closed her eyes and was asleep almost immediately. However, her dreams were haunted with images and voices of her past lives, both good and bad.::
Voice: Rumina, you need to rest…you are running yourself ragged to be doing these things so soon after your Joining.
::Mar turned around and saw her husband. He had a look of concern on her face and was holding their youngest son, a squirming three-year-old ball of energy. The two older children, a daughter who was twelve and another son, nine, were playing in the yard outside their home. She looked down at herself, and saw documents in her hands and strewn all over the desk in front of her. The Federation treaty…she was working on getting Trill into the Federation…it was…what was it? Her mind was a little fuzzy, probably a left over from the Joining with a new symbiont. She had been told to expect some disorientation.::
Mar: Maybe you’re right…but this is important. This is the future of our world we’re negotiating here.
::She put her hand on the draft of the treaty.::
Mar: I need to work on this. There is an important negotiating session I am planning on attending tomorrow.
Moudan: You don’t have to explain that treaty to me. I was in the diplomatic service a lot longer than you have been. Between the children and the treaty, you would be running yourself ragged in any normal time. When you consider this treaty in the mix, it worries me. The doctors at the Commission told you that you should take it easy for at least 8 weeks. I’m worried that you’re going to collapse.
::Rumina began to answer, but the image of her husband swirled and faded. She reached out for him, but he disappeared into the darkness. The next thing she sensed was the heavy odor of smoke, sweat, and stale Klingon wine.::
::Azulay Mar looked around him. He was sitting at a bar on the Klingon home-world. He knew this bar; it was only about 3 blocks from where he lived and had lived since he had come to Qo’noS to study the warrior culture last year. The Klingon he was sitting next to, Kell, had befriended the Trill man upon his arrival and they had taught each other numerous things. Azulay had learned much about self-defense. In exchange, he had taught Kell much about the cultures of the Federation.::
Kell: Quv-jup, are you listening to me?
Mar: Yes, yes, go on.
Kell: As I was saying, you need to be more aggressive.
::The Klingon slammed his fist down onto the table to punctuate this point.::
Kell: They will not respect you if you approach them like a sniveling p’tah. You must vaj Duj chIj.
Mar: I know very well that I must have a warrior’s instinct, my friend.
Kell: Then do not fall apart every time they confront you. You must resist the weakness inside of you and find the steel of the warrior that we have shown you here.
::Azulay took the statement as the compliment that Kell intended it to be. He knew what he would have to do the next time fights broke out in the bar. He would have to stand up and join, rather than trying to get out of the bar. Otherwise, he would never gain the trust of those around him, the trust he wanted so that he could learn more about this honor-bound warrior culture. A Nausicaan bumped into his chair from behind, reeking of blood wine.::
Nausicaan: Get out of my way, weakling! Your kind sickens me.
::Azulay bit his lip as he stood up slowly and turned around. In a smooth movement he emptied the contents of his half-full tankard into the taller Nausican’s eyes, then smashed the vessel into the side of the alien’s skull. A wild melee ensued, it seemed to get further and further away, fading.::
::Idril Mar stood alone atop of the cliff that overlooked the city where she lived. From here, she could see the apartment building where she lived. Tears filled her eyes today, so that she couldn’t see much of anything. She sat down hard in the grass. At the top of her lungs, she screamed out her pain.::
::She collapsed in on herself, sobbing. She had been going out with him for almost a year and was really in love with him. Tammain didn’t feel the same, however; the changes that had taken place after her Joining had turned their relationship cold, at least from his end. She still felt deeply for him. When he had left her there with those harsh words, she was hurt, devastated. The tears began to flow again. She whispered to herself, unable to manage a stronger voice.::
::She felt herself being gently shaken and a familiar male voice called softly to her.::
Voice: Idril. Idril, wake up. You’re having a bad dream.
Mar: Wha? Huh?
::The young Trill ensign blinked sleepily, her eyes full of. tears? Through the fog she could see a face. Who was it. There were spots, it had to be a Trill…::
::She mumbled softly, guessing hopefully that he had returned to apologize. She blinked again. The smells, the sounds, she wasn’t on Trill. Wait. Who? She rolled over onto her back and rubbed her eyes. It certainly couldn’t be Tammain. He had left her almost two years ago and, knowing how provincial he was in his mind-set, he wasn’t likely to be off Trill itself. She looked up at the person who had shaken her shoulder.::