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|Intelligent Lifeform Index|
|Four Letter Code||RIGL|
|Planet of Origin||Rigel V|
|Encountered||TOS: Journey to Babel|
|Current Tech Level||N|
|List of Named Rigelians|
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The Rigelians are a vulcanoid species inhabiting Rigel V. They are the namesake species of the Rigelian Assembly - however, they are not technically the first Rigelians to exist, nor are they the “face” of the Rigelian Assembly, despite their being a founding member.
- See also: Rigel V
Rigel V is home to just over 13 billion Rigelian people, and is capital of the Rigelian Assembly.
The Rigelians were once known as the V'gelnians, and were a splinter civilization, separate from the Vulcans and Romulans. Their history stretches back generations. Around 500 AD, a V'gelnian fleet approached Rigel V, it's commanding officer expressing high hopes that he and his people could conquer the planet, of which was home to the Kalar, and rule over it.
However, the invasion did not go according to plan, as the Kalar were armed due to previous efforts by Orions, and fought back against the expansionist empire. The two factions fought for a century, but the V'gelnians succeeded in claiming the southern continent, of which they named Han-shir. Negotiating new trade deals with the Orions, the V'gelnians spent the following decades forcefully removing the Kalar from their planet and relocating them to what would eventually be known as Rigel VII.
Throughout the next few generations, the vulcanoids would struggle with their own identity as a people, alternating between being known as V’gelnian, or the Zami. Ultimately however, they would abandon both names, and call their star system "Rigel" - thus becoming the Rigelian people.
In the early 10th century, the Rigelians had conquered the native Rigel III race known as the Chelon, forcing them to conform to Rigelian way of life, and effectively branding them under the Rigelian moniker.
By the 11th century, Rigelian civilization was at its height, represented by the city of Ancient Grace, which had great many-storied buildings with huge white columns and porticos standing upon its hills. But the Rigelians of this time were described as being distrustful, possessive, and highly competitive. The numerologists warned the Rigelian race to change their ways.
Subsequently, a plague spread through the population and decimated their number, leaving the cities in ruins while the native plant life flourished. After the plague had run its course, the survivors formed a new society that was more rural and decentralized, with new family units that possessed many members, to prevent them from being so decimated again. In addition, their culture shifted to living in the present, rather than focusing on the future or the past. Rigelian society became less inclined to violence as they further adapted to their homeworld.
This shift to a near-agrarian lifestyle meant that the Rigelian people remained poor compared to other worlds, though their forests gave them some biological and medical products which they sold.
The Rigelians would begin the first steps towards the Rigelian Assembly when the Jelna, newly space-faring, initiated first contact with the Rigelians. The two would negotiate trade deals, subsequently boosting the economy of the two Rigelian cultures as they formed the Rigelian Trade Commission, and the Jelna would adopt the Rigelian name.
In the mid-23rd century, doctors on Rigel V developed an experimental drug, a stimulant that increased production and replacement of blood in Rigelian test subjects, though it strained the spleen and liver. A Starfleet doctor successfully utilized this drug on a Vulcan crewmember in 2268.
In 2293, a Rigelian trade delegation representing the Heart Clan were involved in negotiations with the Federation on Earth, due to them being suspected of being involved in illegal activity such as prostitution and animal skin trading. This round of discussions took three weeks before the members of the clan were collected by a Starfleet vessel and escorted back to Rigel V. However, during this time, Rigelian Ambassador Denker was assassinated by criminal elements and the truth of the event was revealed, through a mind meld with Teska, who served as a witness.
This led to the revelation that there was a wide spread criminal element actively engaged in many criminal acts, the worst being child slavery on Rigel V. As a result the Federation council held a discussion and a vote that resulted in the Rigelians being expelled from the Federation. This resulted in a series of reforms in order for the Rigelian government to comply with the Federations laws. Once they had managed to make the changes needed and were able to prove that they were complying with all Federations laws they were allowed to apply to be readmitted to the United Federation of Planets.
The Rigelians don't have many governmental bodies, but instead make use of local prefects. The legal system is based around a Citizen's Court, an inquest where a panel of twenty six men and twenty six women are entitled to ask questions and serve essentially as prosecutors.
The vulcanoid Rigelians are indistinguishable from their Vulcan and Romulan counterparts, as they are a splinter society from the two. To avoid confusion for others, officers may shave their heads or grow facial hair.
Primitive equipment may be unable to determine a Rigelian from a Vulcan, as the two share almost identical physiologies. However, certain medications and treatments cannot automatically be assumed to work on both races, likely attributed to their evolution on Vulcan and Rigel V respectively. They have the same physical features, copper-based blood, and similar levels of strength. Rigelians, like Vulcans, are also susceptible to Tuvan syndrome.
The Rigelians are a charismatic bunch. They do not repress their emotions, and over time, their own society developed a peaceful lifestyle. They enjoy the outdoors, discouraging advanced technology and weapons for many centuries just prior to their introduction to the United Federation of Planets.
They also believe in the importance of exercise of the entire body for optimum health. A central part of their “exercise” may be regular sexual activity, which they believed reduced their destructive urges, resulting in their people being happier and healing faster. Therefore, they typically added sex to therapy to help the healing process and consider it unnatural to go without. Sex also helps them grow their clans and create new ones.
Rigelian society was arranged into clans. Clans were families consisting of a large number of individuals, though when a clan grew too large to sustain, it typically split into two separate clans. Rigelians also once practiced group marriages – centuries ago, a woman could possess multiple husbands, even as many as sixteen.
However, due to their large families and high birth-rates, Rigelian communities produced more children than they were capable of supporting. To lower numbers and prevent inbreeding, they sold children to other clans, which typically resulted in them marrying adults. Lone and clan-less children were in danger of being kidnapped and sold. Laws were eventually put into place limiting the amounts of unions between couples, restricting a Rigelian to wedding just two partners - though today, having more than one partner is rare.
A superstitious people, numerology plays an important part in Rigelian culture, with many number-based rules and guidelines enshrined in the Doctrine of Lollo. These rules determined the structure of government, number of spouses and children in each clan, practices involving food, specified colors and styles of dress, and various omens of ill fortune. Rigelians swore to truth on the primary numbers or wished good tidings by informing another that they had good combinations. Numerologists were an important class in Rigelian society, and even used their techniques to investigate crimes.
Unlike their vulcanoid kin, the Rigelians do not repress their emotions, lack the discipline common to both Romulans and Vulcans, and aren't afraid to look foolish, making them somewhat similar to Humans. Rigelian children do not undergo the deep studying that Vulcan children faced and even made physical displays of affection to their parents. In fact, the Rigelians are noted to be culturally more similar to the Romulans, but they are not as warlike and lack the restrictive aspects of that society.
Where Vulcans controlled their violent urges by suppressing emotion and Romulans surrendered to them, the Rigelians instead expended their energies with physical exertion. When a Rigelian was upset, they typically either fought or engaged in sexual encounters. This leads them to experience the grief frenzy, such as when mourning the death of loved one, in which they fight another until the frenzy burns out the grief. It is possible to hire another to battle for this purpose.
Rigelian commerce is regulated by the Rigelian Trade Commission.