The K'Vin are a humanoid civilization with thick gray skin, small eyes (with at least one member having green eyes), and a pair of small tusks that jut out of the jawbones. They are a slow-moving species of predators with a noticeably predatory nature, making them a force to be reckoned with. Their culture is very orderly and cumbersome with bureaucracy, as strict adherence to rules is important to K'Vin people. K'Vin do not build towering buildings, as their people prefer to remain near ground level. Their government is known as the K'Vin Hegemony. The K'Vin were once part of the United Federation of Planets.

During the 23rd century the K'Vin joined the Federation but never accepted the ideals of the union. The K'Vin were too fierce, with too great an appetite for interfering in the affairs of other worlds—including those protected by the Prime Directive. For nearly a hundred years the two powers had constant disagreements until they became too numerous and the Hegemony rescinded their membership and severed all ties with the Federation, except for a single gesture, the maintenance of the planet Kirlos where each state established an embassy. For 35 years each government worked without incident to maintain diplomatic ties with each other and to research and explore the artifacts of the world of Kirlos. On Kirlos, the K'Vin employed members of other cultures as their functionaries, including Sullurh.

In 2367, Federation archaeologists requested assistance from Lieutenant Commander Geordi LaForge, and his VISOR, to assist them in their scientific research, which caused significant concern for the K'Vin Hegemony. The introduction of the Starfleet starship Enterprise-D, the most powerful and the flagship no less, ignited concerns of a possible invasion. The two ambassadors were quite convinced that no such event would take place, considering the insignificance of the planet, but K'Vin superiors maintained their wariness.

They also had a blood feud with the ancient Ariantu species, coming into conflict with them many times in the distant past. (TNG novel: Doomsday World)

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Known K'VinEdit