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A caj, or "great family" (plural caju), was a key element of Orion society, and provided it with a loose organization (Decipher RPG module: Aliens).

Orion society consisted of sizable clans of many families and thousands of members, all joined by marriage, alliances and business dealings, forming an interdependent network that wielded significant strength and influence and formed a relatively close-knit economic, political, and social unit (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, Orion Ruse).

At the head of a clan sat a powerful and successful family (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge), the caj, which functioned as a merchant house, operating primarily around trade but also managing Orion governments and various aspects of their civil life, such as organizing trade networks, inter-clan marriages, explorers, and mercenaries. Local Orion governments closely resembled loose patchworks of individual subcontractors paid by the local caju to negotiate with foreigners, construct public works, run court systems and so on. The caju took care of their own (Decipher RPG module: Aliens).

The great merchant clans and houses dominated local Orion politics, running the culture as a sort of plutocratic republic. Linked together, they formed an extensive trading network, larger than an empire, but often warred with each other for possession of markets and trade routes (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Original Series Core Game Book). Entire planets were governed by one or a handful of ruling families whose name and word was law (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, (Last Unicorn RPG module: Star Trek: The Original Series Core Game Book). Where government, law and other institutions were weak and disrespected, families were flexible and personal, and Orions admired individuals with authority and personality. The tahedri ("patriarch") or tabadi ("matriarch") of a ruling family was well known, much-loved, and close to his or her people.

They were also the prime drivers of colonization, with the sons of powerful families gathering ships, settlers and goods to trade, and venturing into space to find a new world upon which they could found a new Colony. In its early years at least, the family would manage the Colony and the immigration of settlers, and generally protect the people against whatever threatened them, including the efforts of a rival family to displace them. Many of the outermost Colonies remained fully in the control of a single family. (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge).

Hierarchy and status in the family was determined by seniority and gender, as well as wealth and birthright. Members directly descended from the founding members through the eldest male line were superior to relatives from cadet branches (that is, from younger sons) and associated clans (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, Orion Ruse). A retiring or dying tahedri appointed his successor, usually his eldest son or otherwise the oldest, most closely related male family member, preferably from amongst his descendants. However, depending on the size of the family and the capability of the immediate candidates, he could instead appoint a woman, a younger person, or even multiple replacements. However, no matter the respect for the previous tahedri, almost every new leader abandoned his predecessor's plans and style and chose a new path.

A tahedri took pride in a happy, healthy, prosperous, and unified family. Such a state did not come easily; maintaining a family over the generations meant never-ending struggle, compromise, and continual readjustment against constant changes. Most importantly, news of internal conflict could never reach the ears of outsiders. In divided families, members plotted to get around a still-respected tahedri's commands. In the worst and rarest cases, children rebelled against parents, and even violence broke out. However, one's own family was the very last place an Orion could expect to be betrayed (FASA RPG modules: The Orions: Book of Common Knowledge, The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge).

A ruling family and its tahedri and tabadi could go by a number of titles, running the gamut with no consistency. Some acted as royalty, adopting titles such as king and queen, duke and duchess, lord and lady (for example, Lord Gundin or Lady Katam, earl or baron (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge), and even chief or chieftain (TOS novel: Crossroad, TLE novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire). More commonly, they went by nicknames, honorifics, and unofficial titles, such as "Boss Agachi" or "The Juruh", just like ordinary Orion men. But with their fame, everyone knew the nickname and how they acquired it, bringing increased familiarity and significance (FASA RPG module: The Orions: Book of Deep Knowledge).

Families generally each had their own insignia or sign, which they used to mark their facilities and the uniforms of their representatives and family members (FASA RPG module: Orion Ruse).

The records of Orion families were stored in the Great Hall of Family Records. (FASA RPG module: The Klingons)

ConnectionsEdit

Orion caju
families AlthoriBalunBeldavBenaraBilatCholifirEmarkFaktimGamashesGlachiesHeilenHjulahHolcombIgnatinJuruhKeravKerosLifaqLiktorMozinpharNomabOfishOtramProchemSimriSoholaTeishThentakThylasterTumbelU'taliisVoltabWalYungots OrionEmblem-color
Kelvin timeline Hexis-Kyse
groups Five FamiliesThirat Group
corporations Duraba CorporationFlagine CorporationFlugol CorporationSyrenya Development CompanyThe Star GroupVolgas Food and Transport

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