The Seheik Settlement is a community located in the Shadows of the Shoals and the home of the Reya-Laialara. Due to powerful tetryon fields, direct communication with the settlement is impossible, and the exact location remains a mystery.
The details of the settlements founding are unknown, and not widely discussed, even among the Reya-Laialara. What is known is that the founders of the the Reya-Laialara movement made contact with the native Ohanze species in the late 23rd Century, and successfully negotiated for access to a class M world. It is unclear what the Vulcans offered in exchange, however, reports indicate that regular patrols of Ohanze ships enforce strict limits on where the settlers may go on the planet. It has also been reported that dilithium and benamite ore shipments are periodically transported to orbiting patrol ships.
In addition to the nebulous relationship with the Ohanze, Seheik also heavily relies on trade with the local pirate factions for news, communication, and supplies from the rest of the galaxy. To keep a healthy relationship with the pirates, the settlers offer a neutral safe harbor for these groups, while the Council of Elders turns a blind eye to non-violent criminal activity. As a result, Seheik is often used by these factions as neutral territory, where ships can safely trade goods, parlay, or otherwise participate in such activities well outside the jurisdiction of the Colonial Coalition.
Initially, the settlement was comprised of only a few dozen Vulcans and their families. Over time, however, the settlement has grown to include families, new converts to the "way" - known as pilgrims to the people of Shadow's Edge - and refugees. Since the mid-24th Century, the settlement has also been the home of a growing population of Romulan reunificationists and refugees, many of whom would be unwelcome in Federation or Romulan territories due to alleged criminal pasts.
As of mid 2393, the population of Seheik Settlement was estimated to be just over 10,000. Of those. More than 90% of the population is at least half Romulan or Vulcan, and most are believers of the Reya-Laialara ideology.
Seheik settlement is largely governed by the Council of Elders - all senior members of the Reya-Laialara. As the settlement's population has grown, the council recently conceded to hold democratic elections for a mayor position. The mayor handles all internal policies that affect the day-to-day operations of the settlement and its population, and also has the authority to delegate his responsibilities by nominating new government officials, such as the settlement's sheriff. All matters that may affect the settlement's relationship with the outside world must still go through the Council of Elders.
Because the settlement is almost completely defenseless, the Reya-Laialara is extremely protective of the settlement. All first-time arrivals must arrange entry by seeking out one of the local pirate groups and paying the "pilgrim's price" - that is, they must give up any belongings on their person and make the entire journey to Seheik while sedated or in stasis. This process ensures that new arrivals who have not been vetted do not have the opportunity to learn more about the settlement's location. Those who wish to leave the settlement for any reason must receive permission from one of the Elders, or risk banishment.