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The planet was originally a small and mostly forgotten Orion Colony. During the Four Years War (circa 2250s), the retreating Klingons captured the planet. T'Vam was fortified, but eventually fell to the Federation's Task Force Thonat in reference stardate 1/9708. The remaining 2,000 Orion inhabitants quickly elected to join the Federation, which resulted in the arrival of new colonists. Two Federation colonies were established on the planet's surface, but both failed, with every one of 30,000 settlers left dead.
The third group of settlers were accompanied by a Starfleet cruiser and research team who discovered T'Vam's secret. In the spring, almost every flowering plant across the planet released a dangerously hallucinogenic pollen. The effects of the pollen varied by race, but included nausea and disorientation (occasionally permanent), wild mood changes, impaired higher reasoning abilities, hallucinations and a violent homicidal mania in about 10% of cases. Over half of those afflicted remained violent and murderous even after being removed from the planet's surface; decontamination and psychological reconditioning provided some aid to the sufferers. After a brutal process of natural selection, the small number of Orion colonists who remained were those largely unaffected by the pollen, bar some bizarre hay-fever.
- This pollen is very similar to that of Archer IV.
Starfleet prohibited the planet, such that only those with special clearance or on the authorized research team were allowed to land. However, a lucrative trade in drugs derived from T'Vam's hallucinogenic plants emerged in the late 23rd century, despite the best efforts of Starfleet. An unknown party, with native Orion help, extracted the dangerous chemicals and smuggled them to criminal organizations on over a hundred other worlds, who had a high demand. Starfleet smashed several smuggling rings, but more appeared to replace them. Orders from the Federation Security Council specified that any smugglers caught within the vicinity of T'Vam were to be intercepted in space, and never on the planet's surface.
- It should be noted that the Cultural Attitude Index of 0 here corresponds to Anarchy.
It was a Class F planet with no moon and a warm temperate climate, a thick atmosphere and a 30-hour-long day. With the low population, the environment was untouched and unpolluted. It had a total surface area of 385,682,010 square kilometers and, with 25% land mass, a total land area of 96,420,502 square kilometers. T'vam had a gravity of 0.9 g, a diameter of 11,080 kilometers and an equatorial circumference of 34,810 kilometers. About 35% of its makeup was normal metals, 7% was radioactive elements, 2% was special minerals, and the planet had trace deposits of gemstones and crystals. (FASA RPG - The Orions module: Book of Common Knowledge)