Betazed was the fifth planet in the Betazed system also known as the Beta Zeta system. The official name of the uniglobal government was the Fifth House of Betazed which governed this planet from the capital city of Rixx. It was admitted into the United Federation of Planets in 2273. In the census of 2370, there were 1.3 billion Betazoids living on Betazed. Betazoids had been warp capable since antiquity.
The system was named by the 21st century Human John Burke, chief astronomer of the Royal Academy. The star Betazed was a G class star with a magnitude of +5, which was the same brightness as Sol. Betazed was consistently described as a lush, beautiful world. The planet's climate varied from dense jungles to wide canyons and cliffs. Many of the major continents were dotted with lakes.
Major attractions on this world include:
◾ Lake Cataria
◾ Lake El'nar
◾ Janaran Falls
◾ Janaran Sanctuary
◾ Opal Sea
|Size||Slim / Medium|
|Skin Pigment||Tan / White|
|Distinguishing Features||Indistinguishable from Terrans, except by solid black eyes|
Usually tall, 5.5'-7.0', with slim-line appearance, and approximately 115-220 lbs on average, dependent on height.
As all Betazoids are telepathic, they usually do not need to vocalize their thoughts to one another in order to communicate, but can do so for the benefit of offworlders. It is a natural ability, and likewise the strength of the skill varies from one to another. Most develop the ability in adolescence, but a few have congenitally active telepathic abilities that may cause severe mental problems due to their inability to screen out other peoples minds. Screening is a skill that is absolutely necessary for the well-being of a Betazoid, particularly for those with keen telepathic sensory skills.
Externally, Betazoids are among the most humanoid species on record, and are indistinguishable from humans in every aspect. They can reproduce with humans, although this often dilutes the telepathic abilities of the offspring. The children of such a union often develop empathic rather than full telepathic abilities, though they can still communicate telepathically with their Betazoid parent and a bonded mate. Full Betazoids are unable to read the minds of Ferengi, Breen, Ullians, Dopterians, or Changelings due to their unusual brain lobe formations, but some half Betazoids have been occasionally successful in sensing the emotions of these species.
The telepathic and empathic abilities of Betazoids need strict discipline to control and confine to oneself. In more mature Betazoids, medical conditions such as "Zanthi fever" can occur and a breakdown of control mechanism allows empathic thought to influence surrounding people. For even the most disciplined Betazoid, the ability to feel what thousands of people are feeling can be too much, and a mental block must be firmly placed between the Betazoid and the outside sources.
There are also cases of over-empathic abilities, and those who suffer from such extremes must be counselled and trained to avoid insanity, but are almost always affected throughout their life. Betazoids are actually uncomfortable around those, like the Ferengi and Breen, whose minds they cannot read. Similarly, the minds of animals can be a bit frightening to them, and they tend to prefer smaller animals.
Their mind contains the paracortex, their telepathic lobe, which is highly capable of recovery from injury, and includes the "metaconsciousness," or a trauma filter; psilosynine is the neurotransmitter involved. In addition, their REM sleep frequency is different than for most humanoids.
Society and Culture:
Betazoid society, by nature of their telepathy, is very open, outgoing and friendly. They genuinely enjoy helping others. This, as well as their telepathic/empathic abilities, makes them excellent counsellors and diplomatic negotiators. They have very few prejudices, however they tend to dislike, or at least distrust, any race whose mind they cannot understand. Betazoids also have a strong dislike for liars, due to their own strong sense of honesty. They themselves seldom lie; after all, what is the point of telling a lie when your society around you can read your mind?
The Code of Sentience gives strict guidance on the use and treatment of a Betazoids telepathic powers, and because of this code, other races have no need to fear these powers. A Betazoid may not pry into another's mind unless it is with permission and absolutely necessary. It has been abolished for so long now, that it has actually become physically straining for a Betazed to use his or her powers in such a way.
The great noble houses of Betazed still maintain a privileged status on Betazed, even though their power has waned over the years. Their origins are intertwined with the inception of the priesthood and Betazed spirituality. A cultural distinction still exists on Betazed. While there are laws preventing discrimination based on lineage, a noble title still carries weight. Betazoid society is also matriarchal and matrilineal, though they do not discriminate based on gender. However some adhere to the old ways and prefer to wait for a daughter to give off inheritances and social standing.
The Betazoid people appreciate fine arts, literature, and philosophy. Their culture is one of great beauty and an ancient history, with family records up to 40 generations.
Museums and Natural Beauty
Betazoids treasure art and especially natural beauty, and they love to portray nature and their inner feelings through music, natural abstract, and massive museums with art. Betazoids also encourage artistry, and their museums are set up so that a constant stream of new age music plays in the background. Although, they call it 'soul' music. The paintings are hung on a flat wall bent slightly downward so that you can view it easily, and every portrait or so has a comfortable contoured bench for meditation. Certain pictures are seperated by certain themes.
Types of Betazoid Art
Types of Betazoid art include natural beauty art, abstract natural beauty, empathic abstract, and plain abstract. Natural abstract is a mixture of natural tones that make out a discernable picture intermixed with a theme. Empathic abstract is art that displays very abstractly emotions and strong empathic fields. Plain abstract is just a free-for-all abstract painting iscerning anything from life to trees. Sculptures are also there, and many of them are also abstract.
Music of Betazoid
Music of Betazoid is very calm and soothing, and very surreal. It is a light mix of today's New Age, but with an organ sounding chime to it. The only true way to understand its music is to experience it.
Why That Kind of Art/Music
Betazoids thrive on inner thoughts and meditation, and usually that art can be soothing, calming, and very pleasing. They also express themselves through this kind of art/music, and it allows for creativity and originality in their culture. The music of Betazoid is flowing and simple, most calling it 'soul' music or just music. They have chants in ancient Betazoid language of course, complete with flowing melodies and soft tunes and beats.
Social Practices, Banquets, and Feasts
Betazoids love large crowds, and most banquets and socials held have large crowds. This is especially common amongst the noble classes and Houses. Regular Betazoids tend to prefer intelligent talk, and most don't engage in heavy joking and humour. They enjoy enlightening conversations also, and they often come out as quiet when really they are just talking through telepathy. Food served at banquets and feasts are supposedly very sundry and varied, allowing for many choices and preferences.
Food Consumption and Relevance
Food consumption is usually conducted in groups, and Betazoids usually never eat alone. If it is a richer family, the Betazoid family will have many banquets and social gatherings, sometimes inviting an excess of hundreds of guests. The sharing of a meal is considered sacred, and is marked with the constant ringing of a background Betazoid Chime, and marks great friendship with well-being.
This small crystalline object is sometimes shaped like diamond or a triangle, and it is chimed against a small glass-like chalice or bowl filled with water during meals. It is supposed to mean thanking the gods for the meal and good fortune.
Types of Food and Uses
Betazoid food is varied greatly, and there are many different sources. They have breads, vegetation, berry and fruit-like sweets, and various meats. Betazoids tend to be more herbivorous then carnivorous, as large animals can be intimidating to kill.
This category is much like Earth food, containing breads and wheat's. Betazoids have a special spaghetti-like dish called Raixen
This category includes leafy morsels and sometimes even flowers. An example is Oskoid, a favourite dish of many Betazoids, and is a delicacy.
Berry and Fruit-Like Sweets
Uttaberries and swix are berry-like items found in jungles and some in fields. Uttaberries are red, and swix are purpleish. Swix can cause an allergic reaction in some Betazoids.
Meats included in the diet of Betazoids can sometimes range from small aves meat to large swine-like meat. There are a few carnivorous predators that have supposedly superb tasting meat, but can only be obtained in jungles.
Usually, when a Betazoid gives an elaborate gift to someone that is very special to them, they will place it into a special box and give it to them in that. The box usually has a face on it that can show emotion, and it can sometimes be very elaborate and expensive. This is especially associated with Genetic Bonding.
Painting of Ancestors
As the generations of a Noble Household progress farther and farther in lineage, each daughter is painted at the age of 40 in a painting a little larger then the last predecessor. This shows how the past becomes less and less memorable, yet will always be there. Some of the ancient paintings are extremely large, some taking up entire rooms and even houses themselves.
Preservation of Body
Only recently, in the past 600 years or so, have Betazoids taken the practice of preserving deceased loved ones in special chemicals that help the body last for generations. This is most common in the Houses, as few lower level citizens have the room to hold such sacred items.
These are a series of remembrances that take place after the death of a family member and friend. Those that are closest to the dead person gather at a series of meetings, one held at six weeks after the death, another after the sixth month, and another for every three years afterwards. During the ceremony, the participants remember the deceased and share strong telepathic fields with each other.
Betazoids meditate often, and use a focal point to focus their energy. The benefits of this can be extreme immunity from pain or even death, and it allows for more bodily control.
Love and Marriage
The Betazed view on marriage also differs dramatically form other cultures, in that the wedding ceremony is conducted in the nude, during the exchanging of vows. This is seen as an outward expression to the open nature of the Betazoids telepathic society, both partners coming to each other in a open and honest fashion.
Children from Betazoid families are genetically bonded at birth, often for political relations between two families to become more amorous, the children of those families will be bonded for marriage. A suitable genetic partner must also be chosen, in order to produce healthy children who can contribute to society. It is somewhat of a genetic selection mechanism, which cuts down on the possibility of genetic mutations, meaning learning and medical disabilities on Betazed are extremely rare. Traditionally, love and marriage are considered as two separates in Betazed culture.
A Betazoid can form a telepathic link with another with whom he or she is close, and this individual is referred to as Imzadi, or beloved in Federation standard. The tie between a Betazoid and their Imzadi is difficult to understand, but it goes beyond mere closeness and an understanding of one another's mind, and it is a bond, which lasts for a lifetime. Many young Betazoids are now marrying their Imzadi, as opposed to those who were chosen for them at birth, this has caused much unrest in the noble houses.
The Betazoids are a highly spiritual people. Their mythology centres around the Four Deities, which also represent four aspects of Betazoid life. These four deities are not anthropomorphic, but rather spiritual concepts that they worship and adhere to.
The Four Deities are named after the Betazoid words for the spiritual concepts: Altha (Peace/Stability), Imza (Love/Compassion), Fana (Nature), Tholta (Truth/Honesty). While all four have equal 'weight' as deities, there exists a structure to them in a diamond shape.
At the top is Altha. Imza and Tholta are the middle points of the diamond, for without Truth and Love, there can be no peace and stability. The bottom point is Fana, or Nature, symbolizing the roots of the faith. Two central points represent the 'base' of the Betazoid civilized society. The bottom point of the diamond's association to the natural is a reminder that it is something that is often a delicate balance.
Thirteen Houses of Betazed
The Houses of Betazed is the top most social class of Betazed society. All of the individuals in this class are considered to be actual descendents of ancestral Betazoids. The Houses of Betazoids are numbered, and they can also be classified in the qualities that the Houses are supposed to hold. There are a total of about 13 seperate houses, based on ancestor and qualities.
First House – House of Honesty and Truth
Second House – House of Love and Compassion
Third House – House of Health
Fourth House – House of Natural Art
Fifth House – House of Nobility
Sixth House – House of Poetry
Seventh House – House of Courage
Eighth House – House of Stability
Ninth House –House of History and Knowledge
Tenth House – House of Perseverance
Eleventh House – House of Spirituality
Twelfth House – House of Balance
Thirteenth House – House of Peace and Protection
The Ruling Council of Betazed is a democratically elected body from the thirteen high houses, which governs Betazed. Within the Council Hall, all debate and discussion is conducted telepathically. Although council members may shield their thoughts, it is frowned upon. Betazoids see their legislature as sacred and believe that complete openness allows the best decisions to be reached. Failure to participate fully means that a councillor is shirking his duty to his constituents.
Unlike other planets, Betazed has no single leader, instead it has a vast bureaucracy which serves under the ruling council, this is divided into many departments known as Relzari, such as the High Office of Defense, which commands the Betazed Defence Force; High Office of Finance, which handles planetary economics; Office of Domestic Affairs, which works to maintain the quality of life for all Betazoids. The council itself is responsible for appointing its ambassadors. Below the planetary level, Betazed is organised into provinces which each are run by governors, who handle affairs on a day to day basis, and ensure that the rules passed down by the council are implemented.
Ancient relics like the holy rings of Betazed and the Sacred Chalice of Rixx are important symbols to Betazoid society. For most, they represent a touchstone to the past, or a symbol of office. A small group of Betazoids, however, believes these sacred relics possess true power.
Whether simply antiques of great historical value or enchanted relics capable of fanciful feats, not all Betazoid relics are accounted for. Certainly, such relics would be highly sought after, should there whereabouts become known. Some of these lost relics include, but are not limited to, the Mighty Spear of Vard, the Sword of Lexx, the Blessed Lantern of Javv, the Righteous Staff of Gand, and the Virtuous Wand of Kazz.
History and Culture
The earliest Betazoid legends tell the story of their struggle with mysterious enemies, an evil race of beings known as the "demons of pain and anger." These entities floated through walls and barred doors. When these entities descended upon a community, they brought with them anger and strife. Said to be able to make primitive weapons appear out of thin air, whole villages would be found to have massacred each other. An orgy of violence spread across the land.
The mystical hero Khrysaros used her great mental powers to defeat these flickering, ghost-like enemies. While it appears as though all Betazoids possessed some rudimentary form of telepathy, Khyrsaros found a way, according to the stories, to develop this potential. She gathered several acolytes and trained them to battle the entities. They, too, developed incredible telepathic powers. The greatest among them was Rixx, who banished hundreds of these demons.
As the Betazoids ventured out into space, they eventually came into contact with other sapient beings. Among the first to be encountered, the Terabians were at first fascinated by Betazoid telepathy. The two peoples became fast friends, fostered ties between the two peoples, and many Betazoids and Terabian emigrated to each other's worlds.
As more and more of the Terabian became familiar with telepathy, however, they came to fear unwanted intrusions into their private thoughts. Betazoids on Terab IV were rounded up and sent to internment camps to protect them from paramilitary groups roaming the streets and assaulting Betazoids. The Betazoids who avoided incarceration increasingly turned to violence to protect themselves; conflict erupted between rival Betazoid and Terabian gangs.
Betazed sent diplomats to resolve the situation. After lengthy negotiations, they won the freedom of interred Betazoids, persuaded the Betazed terrorists to lay down their arms, and orchestrated a mass exodus from Terab IV. The Ruling Council of Betazed promulgated the Code of Sentience in response to this disastrous event, to guide Betazoids in their conduct among alien species. As a result, Betazoids prefer not to use their telepathy on a non-telepath without permission.
With careful adherence to the Code of Sentience, the Betazoids have avoided a repeat of the Terabian situation and wide-scale persecution on other worlds. In fact, Terab IV eventually joined the Federation, their delegates requesting seats alongside Betazed's representatives, as a testimony to how far the two peoples have come.
Betazoid telepathic abilities are a genetic trait. The Betazoid brain possesses an area called the paracortex, which is the site for their mental abilities. A chemical called psilosynine controls the operation of this area of the brain. Additionally, the Betazoid possess a metaphysical boundary known as the metaconscious (similar to the unconscious mind in most humanoids). This shields the Betazoid mind from unwanted telepathic transmission and creates mental defences if necessary. Some medical conditions can affect Betazoid mental abilities, for example, the Psi-2000 virus, Zanthi fever, and "the phase".
Betazoids are able to communicate non-verbally with each other and with other telepathic species (telepathy). This capacity can be used to detect the thoughts and intentions of others (receptive telepathy), or to send out thoughts and signals (projective telepathy).
Also, Betazoids can communicate via emotion (empathy). Empathy is described as the ability to detect another being's emotional state (receptive empathy), and the ability to signal ones own emotional state to others (projective empathy). The thoughts and/or emotions received or sent can be anything from shallow, surface thoughts to deep, subconscious states.
Betazoids can forge extremely strong telepathic links with each other, and with many other telepathic species, and so communicate with them in a totally non-verbal way. Some species, notably humans, can forge a partial mental link to a Betazoid or half-Betazoid. This normally requires a strong emotional involvement. There are many species that are resistant to Betazoid telepathy, notably the Ferengi, Dopterian, and the Breen. The Ferengi and Dopterians are resistant to telepathy due to their four-lobed brain, while the Breen have a completely different brain structure to the Betazoids and most humanoids. Also, Betazoids cannot "read" the minds of animals, because animals have highly chaotic and random minds.
Betazoids can use their mental abilities without touching their target. They can also use their abilities without seeing their target, but in this case the telepathic contact is not as good (the readings are confused, or contact is only temporary etc.) There are also several factors that can reduce or incapacitate the ability of Betazoids to "read" others. Some of these factors are:
1. Environmental interference
2. Strange energy fields
3. Using mental abilities through large amount of substance, like rock
4. Trying to read large number of minds at once
5. Injury or illness in the Betazoid
6. Combat or highly stressful situation
7. Extremely strange, bizarre, or unusual minds
Betazoid culture prizes honesty and ethical values. Betazoids, much like Vulcans, do not lie. They also consider it unethical to read other people's minds unless invited to do so, Betazoids do not pry into people's minds unasked. Unasked, the most they would normally do would be a light empathic probe, which would detect another beings surface emotions. Anything more than that must be done for a very good reason, and, if at all possible, with the consent of the target.
Full Betazoids are both telepathic and empathic. Half-Betazoids are not telepathic, they can only use empathy.
Telepathy is the central organizational theme of Betazoid society. Among their own people, Betazoids communicate telepathically. Betazoid towns and cities are filled with an undisturbed (some off-worlders may say eerie) silence. Many resort to speech among non-Betazoids, out of respect, though this isn't universal. Betaoids dislike species whose minds they cannot read, such as the Ferengi, Breen, and Dopterians, feeling uncomfortable in their presence; this remains their only unresolved prejudice. Betazoids who lose their telepathic ability feel handicapped, frightened, and alone, with many choosing to lead their telepathically mute lives off-world among other non-telepaths.
Code of Sentience
The Code of Sentience guides Betazoids in their use of telepathy among non-telepaths. Individual Betazoids follow it to a lesser or greater degree, each according to his or her nature. Like any social code, it outlines what is acceptable, proper behavior, to both reassure non-telepaths and safeguard Betazoids:
- Reading the mind of another without his/her knowledge is taboo.
- Even when permission has been granted, the code forbids reading thoughts separate from the purpose of the mind reading.
- The code discourages a Betazoids from divulging what he reads to another without permission.
- It is considered rude for Betazoids to communicate telepathically with each other in the presence of non-telepaths.