The Betazoids are a humanoid civilization originating from the planet Betazed, and are members of the United Federation of Planets.
History and Politics
Betazed has enjoyed a relatively untroubled history for the last few centuries. This peaceful existence came to a halt in 2374, when the Dominion invaded and occupied the planet. It is probable that the Dominion occupation ceased after the end of the Dominion War.
Most recently, Betazed has been occupied by troops loyal to Admiral Doenitz.
Externally, Betazoids are among the most humanoid species on record and are outwardly indistinguishable from Humans in every aspect but one, the irises of their eyes are completely black. Betazoids are natural telepaths; most develop this ability in adolescence, but a few are born with their telepathic abilities already active. Unable to screen out the noise of other peoples minds, these individuals generally suffer mental problems of varying severity depending mostly on when the problem was diagnosed.
Betazoids can cross-breed with Humans, although this often affects the telepathic abilities of the offspring - most commonly the children of such a union develop empathic abilities as their primary psionic talent, while their telepathic abilities, though existing, are rather below average for Betazoids. Usually the telepathy of these half-breeds, without extensive training, is limited to communication with other empaths or telepaths and full telepathic contact with emotionally very close persons (Imzadi). All full Betazoids are unable to read the thoughts of Ferengi, Breen, Ullians or Dopterians, but some half Betazoids have been occasionally successful in sensing the emotions of some of these species. Additionally even full Betazoids seem to be able to psionically influence some of these species.
Most Betazoids have telepathic capabilities, and most are from weak to medium power. There are, however, a few especially strong telepaths. The capabilities develop in adolescence, and most receive formal training for their power based on strength. They are all different, and sometimes a Betazoid can be born with full capability. This poses strong problems, and often the individuals are hospitalized and even isolated.
Betazoids reach rapid eye movement (REM) sleep at a different frequency from other humanoids.
In mid-life, Betazoid females undergo a physiological change known as "the Phase" where their sex drive quadruples or more.
Mature Betazoids can also suffer from Zanthi fever, that causes the Betazoid to loose control over the projective aspect of his/her empathy. That can result in people around that Betazoid acting as if they'd experience the same general emotional state as him/her, though they are directed by their own subconscious desires, fears etc.
Culture and Tradition
Betazed has a complex hereditary nobility; prominent Betazoid diplomat Lwaxana Troi, for example, is "Daughter of the Fifth House, Holder of the Sacred Chalice of Rixx, and Heir to the Holy Rings of Betazed." Betazoid tradition has children genetically bonded to a future spouse.
In the Betazoid wedding ceremony, all participants are traditionally naked, not only the soon to be wed, but the guests also.
At one time, it was fashionable for Betazoid women to wear elaborate wigs that encaged small animals. The practice, which was cruel to the animals, was stopped when one (unknown) woman stood up against it.
It has been speculated that Betazoid society in the past was matriarchal.
First Liberation of Betazed
In the darkest hours of the Dominion War, as the Federation's downfall seemed ever more certain, Jem'Hadar and Cardassian forces conquered Betazed, the homeworld of Deanna Troi. Their victory sent shockwaves through the Alpha Quadrant, and put the Dominion within striking distance of Vulcan, Andor, Tellar -- and possibly Earth itself.
To secure their position in the very heart of the Federation, the Cardassians begin constructing space station Sentok Nor in orbit of Betazed. The station is to serve as both the seat of Dominion occupation, and the site of horrific experiments by Cardassia's foremost exobiologist, the infamous Dr. Crell Moset.
With Starfleet's forces spread too thinly in the ongoing struggle to retake Betazed outright, the USS Enterprise-E, along with some old and new friends, wasdeployed to carry out a dangerous and desperate plan. But no matter what the outcome, the consequenes could alter Betazed irrevocably, forcing Deanna to choose between her world's survival, and its very soul.
A battle in which the Betazoids liberated their planet from the Dominion and Cardassian oppressors. During this battle, the infamous Crell Moset, Cardassia's foremost biologist, conducted tests on Betazoids and Jem'Hadar. Many Betazoids were pulled from their homes and sent to Sentok Nor, a Cardassian Space Station, for experiments and labor. The leader of the Resistance was Lwaxana Troi, of the Fifth House of Betazed. Though it took many lives and a lot of time, the Betazoids won the battle via invasive telepathic means. Deanna Troi also participated and stayed strong throughout the whole ordeal, when even full Betazoids died from the mental strain. The Betazoids needed help from Hent Tevren, a Betazoid serial killer, who used ancient psionic techniques to murder.