Russ’lk VanVoreen is son of the 12th House, Holder of the Scrolls of Truth, and Heir to the Holy Fire of Betazed.
- Rank: Ambassador at Large, Starfleet Diplomatics, Headquartered on Betazed.
- Date of Birth: Stardate 234307.12
- Species: Betazoid
- Height: 1.828 meters
- Hair: Brown
- Eyes: Bright Green (a rare mutation in Russ’lk’s family line, passed down from male to male.)
- Parents: Palin and Saroma VanVoreen.
- Fiancee: T'Lara
Early Years and College
Russ’lk VanVoreen was born into the 12th House of Betazed, the House of Balance. It was only natural that this house produced some of the greatest Betazoid politicians. The VanVoreens were one of the first families to send members to the Federation once Betazed was accepted into the organization. His father, Palin, was a noted leader in Betazoid government.
Russ’lk showed an early interest in politics and law, having started coming around to watch his father work when he was just in grade school. In high school, he joined the debate team when just a first year student, and continued until he graduated with high honors.
In college, Russ’lk decided that his true calling was law, particularly in intergalactic trading and business. He knew that in order to get the best possible law education, it would be necessary to leave Betazed. When he graduated from University, Russ’lk bade goodbye to his parents and left for Earth, where he attended the prestigious Oxford University School of Intergalatic Law. Upon his graduation and the receipt of his Juris Doctorate, Russ’lk returned to Betazed. He joined his father’s law firm and began working as a negotiating lawyer.
Starfleet Diplomatic Corps
Russ’lk was not working very long at his father’s firm when family member and career diplomat Aaron VanVoreen told him that the Starfleet Diplomatic Corps was looking for someone with a strong background in Intergalatic Trade Law to join their ranks. It was an interesting offer: the position called for travel, but the main office was located in the Capital City of Mesara. Russ’lk quickly became interested in the position and reported to headquarters the next day to present himself to Yohgadata Bodishtara, a terran man from India, who was then head of the Diplomatic Corp’s trade law wing. With his background and Terran education, plus the VanVoreen family name, Bodishtara knew he would be hard-pressed to find someone more qualified for the position and hired Russ’lk the same day.
And he quickly made a name for himself, working mainly on trade negotiations with existing Federation members. As his reputation within the diplomatic corps grew, Russ’lk’s skills were demanded by an ever-increasing number of diplomats. He was made a chief negotiator and soon began working with post-First Contact teams, establishing relationships with new Federation members, traveling to a number of far-off worlds and working in a variety of conditions.
His work impressed the leaders of the Diplomatic Corps, and he was soon given the post of Ambassador At Large, his current position.
The house of VanVoreen and the house of D’Sani are both very important on Betazed, and while their families were familiar with each other, Russ’lk and T’Lara had never truly known one another. They had a passing familiarity when all the houses would get together for state dinners and ceremonies, but T’Lara frequently traveled to Vulcan with her father, and so she was not around many times when these occasions happened.
T’Lara and Russ’lk were formally introduced when she briefly joined Starfleet Diplomatic Corps as a consultant for a post-first contact mission. The new planet of Samedi was a lush and tropical world, much like their home planet. During their off time, Russ’lk sought out T’Lara, the only other Betazoid in the group, and they began spending an incredible amount of time together. Not only did they work closely during the meeting, but their relationship blossomed off-duty. They fell in love on the beaches of Samedi, both realizing after long last that they had each found their imzadi.
Following a short stint on the Kodiak, T’Lara developed Xanthi fever, which, while treated by the best medical team in Starfleet, reached a rarely-seen tertiary stage. This stage caused T’Lara to have an almost complete mental breakdown. During this time, Russ’lk took a leave from the Diplomatic Corps to help T’Lara recover. He was at the hospital every day, sometimes spending the night in her room with her, and helping her counselors nurse her back to the woman he knew and loved. During this time, he developed strong bonds with her teenaged twins T’Larien and John Graves Jr., as well as T’Lara’s family, including her parents Laria and Stelin, and her twin sisters Anastasia and Tatiana. They accepted Russ’lk into their household and became very fond of him.
It was a given after her recovery that T’Lara was going to go back to Starfleet, which she did. Russ’lk continued his work with the Diplomatic Corps, and it was during this separation that Russ’lk decided that he wanted T’Lara in his life for good. During her first leave from the Steadfast, at Starbase 118, he proposed and she accepted.
A Family’s Shame: Saroma VanVoreen
There were some members of the Family of the 12th House that were not enamored of the love match between the two. Saroma VanVoreen, Russ’lk’s mother, felt that T’Lara’s illness was deeper than simple Xanthi Fever. She developed a strong dislike for T’Lara based on what she had heard: the betrayal of T’Lara’s first husband, Xan Hebron, when T’Lara, under the influence of Xanthi Fever, slept with her first officer, Rhys Bejain; the nervous breakdown T’Lara suffered at the wedding of Solok and Sakorra Reed; the nasty divorce between Hebron and T’Lara, and eventually, T’Lara’s hospitalization.
Saroma was determined to do everything she could to break the couple up. She tried talking, but got no where, not with Russ’lk, nor his father Palin.
So, Saroma did what she felt she had to do: She joined Black Ops, a rouge band of Starfleet Officers, determined to take over and dismantle the Federation. And she did it all to purposely bring shame to the family so that T’Lara would have to break off her engagement.
It was all for naught. The group was caught and Saroma was sent to a rehabilitation center. Palin quietly divorced her.
The Dal’yn Ceremony
T’Lara and Russ’lk, while not yet officially married, underwent a little known Betazoid ceremony known as the Dal’yn. Similar to Vulcan bonding, the Dal’yn joins the two souls together, giving each other the sense of one another no matter how far apart they might be. This ceremony was done at the temple of Karawati in the city of Mestara, and was attended by many Betazoid noble families.