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By the 25th century, and probably millenia before that, the Iconians had evolved/altered themselves in such a way that they were partially energy beings, capable of using their own "essence" to power up different types of equipment, such as their Gateway technology. Despite this incredible capability, using their own energy for such purposes could be dangerous and even deadly. They were apparently immortal beings, not being affected by aging. However, time itself had a very unusual effect on their minds, as they were chroniton-based. This meant the Iconians themselves could not travel through time. If an Iconian traveled to the past, their mind would "reshape" to that time period, meaning that all the memories this individual had gained after their arrival would be lost. (STO video game: The Iconian War)
Before the fall of their empire 200,000 years ago, the Iconians — not just as a species, but the very same individuals — appeared fully organic. Instead of being able to generate energy blasts, they used weapons similar to the kinds they would later use to arm their Heralds. It was theorized that they altered themselves to become living weapons after their civilization fell.
Throughout their history, the Iconians were a small population (apparently only female, with parthenogenic children born rarely) and with lifespans that lasted millennia. At least three and probably all of the twelve survivors of the fall of their empire lived into the 25th century. Whether this was entirely due to natural lifespan or augmented by their medical technology is unclear.
What was unknown to many was that the Q Continuum had a certain fondness for the race and provided them the means to create gateways with the most casual piece of their technology in order for them to reach other worlds in the Milky Way galaxy. (VOY short story: "In the Queue")
Using this technology, they formed the Iconian Empire which spread across space. During the deployment of the network, they discovered the existence of a race of beings that dwelt within the Bajoran wormhole. Out of respect for these entities, the Iconians did not deploy any gateways within ten light years of the wormhole or those worlds that the entities watched over. (DS9 short story: "Horn and Ivory")
Always few in number, the Iconians uplifted a semi-sentient species from their planet and called them "the Heralds", using them as servants and trusted companions. The Heralds showed gratitude to the Iconians they served. Iconian civilization was believed to have reached its zenith around 200,000 years ago or more, when they had developed the technology to easily spread across the Milky Way. (Decipher module: Worlds)
The Iconians developed a philosophy resembling the Federation's Prime Directive, believing it dangerous to give certain technology to less developed species and also believing that each sentient species had its own destiny. Excessive interference in other species would mean denying them that destiny. Unlike with the Prime Directive, warp travel was not considered a sufficient cultural threshold to receive all advanced knowledge. This led to resentment from some of the less developed species they contacted. (STO mission: "Midnight")
The Iconian philosopher Senega warned her people that the disparity of technology between their race and others would become a source of conflict. Her words were proven true when suspicion and fear motivated other species to unite against the Iconian Empire, to whom they gave the nickname "Demons of Air and Darkness", due to their gateways. (TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)
Despite using their technology for benevolent purposes, the other races' fear motivated them to attack the Iconians, which meant that the gateways were the source of the downfall of their civilization. According to ancient stories, various worlds of the galaxy banded together in order to destroy the threat posed by the Iconians. These races journeyed to the homeworld of Iconia where they bombarded its surface, and it was believed that the "Demons of Air and Darkness" were finally destroyed. (Decipher module: Worlds)
During the last days of the Iconian Empire, a group used the Gem to activate the gateway network and take the remnants of their race to other worlds in order to survive. Thus, Iconian settlements were formed on the planets of DiWahn, Ikkabar and Dinasia. One of the last of the survivors was Kanda Jiak, who sought to take the Gem to safety, but after entering the gateway, she was instead transported to Vulcan, where she died and the stone passed to the Vulcan race. Around 200,000 years ago, the Iconians were supposedly wiped out following an orbital bombardment of Iconia. (TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)
At the same time, another Iconian, L'Miren, recovered the database of all Iconian knowledge, called the World Heart, with the aid of a 25th century time traveler from the Delta Alliance, who the Iconians would later call "the Other." However, just before L'Miren passed through a gateway to Dewa III, the time traveling former Romulan Empress Sela, seeking revenge for the Iconians' future destruction of Romulus, shot one of the Iconian survivors and took the World Heart. This led another Iconian, T'Ket, to swear vengeance against the Romulan people, leading to the Iconians eventually causing the Hobus supernova. After the surviving Iconians passed through the gateway, the Other took the World Heart from a distraught Sela and bore it through a time portal into the 25th century. (STO mission: "Midnight")
History later recorded that the Iconians were a race of brutal conquerors. Among the Iconians, it was believed that one of the things that doomed their civilization was that their gateway technology meant they could no longer actually travel and thus they had lost sight of the journey in their desire to reach their destination. (DS9 short story: "Horn and Ivory")
It was known that no other race had achieved the same level of greatness as the Iconian Empire. In fact, in over two hundred thousand years, no other civilization had come close to recreating the transportation system of the Iconians. (VOY short story: "In the Queue")
Though the Iconians were believed to have been extinct, the survivors who moved to various remote colonies had in fact survived and continued to live for thousands of years. A number of Iconians were able to escape to outposts on Ikkabar, DiWahn (also Dewa III), and Dinasia. The climate on Ikkabar proved too unstable to sustain a population, and all but one of the Iconians on Ikkabar died out. The DiWahn and Dinasian climates were more suited for settlement, and the claimed descendants of the Iconians survived on both worlds.(TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)
One of the last strongholds of the Iconians remained in the Alpha Quadrant, but had been reduced to a primitive state, and it was at this location where the Master Resonator keys were left behind. A faction of the race retained the use of their technology and had left known space in order to be on their own in order to pursue new interests and not to be bothered by other species. They, however, formed a group called the Sentries that were charged with watching over the gateway network. While they retained the use of the technology, these descendants of the Iconians were largely ignorant of their heritage or the workings of their equipment. (TNG - Gateways novel: Doors Into Chaos, DS9 - Gateways novel: Demons of Air and Darkness, TNG short story: "The Other Side")
The twelve Iconians who passed through a gateway to Dewa III adapted both themselves and their Heralds into beings specialized in war in order to defend themselves. They also acquired servitor races including the Solanae, the Elachi, and eventually the Vaadwaur. They created the Bluegill parasites as a means of controlling some of their servants, though they did not require all of their servitors to be possessed.
Some speculation was held on whether the Guardian of Forever was a product of Iconian technology. Hundreds of worlds hold traces of Iconian influence, or visits, with legends showing their kind as being a conqueror, as well as warmongering, people. However, very little was actually known of the species as their actual history was almost inseparable from folklore. Hundreds of planets held legends of their almost magical technology, and stories painted them as being a warlike species. Some theories, however, held that the Iconians may have been a peaceful race, but were in fact victims who were attacked by those that feared their advanced technology to the point that these other races destroyed what they could not understand. Some even speculated that the descendants of the Iconian race still wandered the galaxy though the identity of them was unknown. By the 24th century, the United Federation of Planets had discovered only a few remains of the Iconian race, though their empire remained an enigma. (Decipher module: Worlds)
In the year 2365, the planet Iconia was discovered by the crew of the USS Enterprise-D who destroyed the gateway on the world as well as disputed the characterization of the species as being Demons of Air and Darkness. (TNG episode: "Contagion")
During the Gateways Crisis of 2376, the Petraw species masqueraded as the Iconians and activated the gateway network as part of a demonstration in order to sell the technology to the highest bidder. This led to a number of disasters such as the dumping of Theta radiation by a Malon freighter which threatened the Europa Nova colony that was accomplished through a gateway linking the world to the Delta Quadrant. It was only the effort of Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-E, who met with the Sentries did he find a means of shutting down the system by locating the thirteen resonator keys and deactivating the network. (TNG short story: "The Other Side")
By the early 25th century, the Iconians were responsible for crossing into Fluidic Space where they attacked the native Undine race. This chain of events saw the Undine being provoked into believing that they had faced hostility from the other universe. As such, the tripedal aliens began a campaign of infiltration and destabilization of the Milky Way Galaxy. Unknown to anyone, this all went in line with the Iconians' plans to set the various races against one another in order to keep them all divided. (STO mission: "A Light in the Dark")
In 2409, an investigation was conducted into the Hobus supernova, which led to a trail to Iconia itself. A Romulan Republic captain, following clues from classified Tal Shiar files, discovered a base in the remains of the Hobus system, where Taris was discovered. (STO mission: "Revelation")
Although she escaped from Hobus through an Iconian gateway, a Starfleet vessel working with a Republic agent tracked a Reman commander in Taris's employ from Hobus to a facility on Iconia, where the Starfleet captain captured Taris, and discovered evidence linking her to the Hobus supernova. (STO mission: "Taris")
Obisek, who headed the Reman Resistance, also learnt that the Tal Shiar had allied themselves with the "Demons of Air and Darkness". He believed that this threat remained in the shadows and intended to get revenge on those that had driven them from their homeworld. (STO mission: "Frozen")
After Hakeev's death, a battle erupted at Brea III where Empress Sela's flagship, the IRW Leahval, was seemingly captured by an Iconian ship that had emerged from a gateway. (STO mission: "Cutting the Cord")
In 2410, when the Federation and Klingon Empire agreed to cease war after the Undine attacks on Earth and Qo'noS, a female Iconian came through a gateway to give a cryptic warning to the Federation, Klingon Empire and Romulan Republic about things that would happen if they drew the Iconians' attention again. (STO mission: "Surface Tension")
While following a lead by Sela, who had escaped capture, members of the Alpha Quadrant Alliance entered a Dyson sphere hidden in the Andromeda Galaxy, where they discovered a massive Iconian invasion force inside. The members escaped, though not before the Sphere jumped to a location near the Iconia system. During this mission, Sela revealed that the Iconians themselves cannot travel through time. The arrival of the Alliance and Sela, however, was the last straw, an Iconian warning them that their galaxy was now forfeit. These events would lead to what became known as the Iconian War. (STO mission: "Uneasy Allies")
At the war's end, the Other, newly returned through time from the day Iconia fell, offered the World Heart to the Iconians in return for peace. All the Iconians, save for T'Ket, agreed, taking their Heralds and weapons to Iconia. They demanded to be left alone for at least a millennia before being contacted again. (STO mission: "Midnight")
|Gamma Quadrant races and cultures|
|Aarruri • Alorex • Amaralan • Anndii • Aresai • Argrathi • Ascendant • Bekkir • Calligar • Changelings • Cheka • Chiaran • D'Naali • Dosi • Drang • Eav'oq • Ecocid • Errikang natives • Eunacian • Groxxin • Horgin • Hunters • Iconian • Inamuri • Innerol V natives • Jem'Hadar • Karemma • Kendarayan • Kendo • Lampusan • Merakordi • Nyazen • Ourentia • Overne • Parada • Prentara • Rakhari • Rindamil • Saltah'na • Sen Ennis • Skrreea • Stakoron • T-Rogoran • Teplan • Thepnossen • Tosk • Trelian • Uradi • Vahni Vahltupali • Vanton • Verathan • Vorta • V'Xaji • Wadi • Yaderan • Yentis • Yrythny • Zarian • unnamed Gamma Quadrant races and cultures|