The Natural Features of T’Khasi

Although much has changed on the planet T’Khasi (Vulcan) since Surak’s time, many of the natural features remain timeless. The air, soil, and water have been cleansed of toxins and pollutants, but the mountains, seas, and deserts would still be recognizable to Surak today.

Listed below are various natural features as Surak knew them. Click on the link to see the map rendering by artist T’Rel.

Map of Surak’s Vulcan

ah’Hrak1 This is an ancient name for the planet, meaning “The Forge.” Later it came to be used exclusively for any extremely inhospitable place in the deep desert regions. Today, as in Surak’s time, these places were used for the kahs-wan ritual and other survival training. There are too many ah’Hrak locations to mark on the map, but nearly every kingdom or nation-state had one.
Cheleb-Khor2 Today the desert region of Cheleb-Khor is locatd on the southernmost edge of the Province of Tat’Sahr. In Surak’s time, it cut across his homeland, the Kingdom of Lhai. Here Surak survived the kahs-wan, crossing the desert from east to west in about ten days, resting and recovering at the Temple of Anonak. The desert was named for the god of anger, Ket-cheleb.
Eiktra t’Plak3 Known as The Plain of Blood, these sun-baked highlands were the scene of an estimated 9,000 deaths not only in combat but in execution during the Sudocian wars. Many of the fallen were priests of Seleya who attempted to stave off the mindlords of Sudoc. After a lengthy period of meditation at Seleya, Surak set out across the plain carrying his message of peace to the Lords of Raal. Today a barefoot journey from Seleya to the PirAelim oasis is a common pilgrimage.
Eiktra t’Vel’Sor4 Located in central Shi’al halfway between Mt. Seleya and Shi’Kahr, this ceremonial land belongs to the House of Sekir, the dynasty to into which Surak was born. Ambassador Sarek family also belongs to this house. Here amidst the megalithic structure, Surak’s mother T’Leia bonded with Solek, Surak’s biological father.
Heya Kolinahr5 The highest peak in Gol, Mount Kolinahr is the home of Shi’Kohl t’Kolinahru, the Kolinahr Monastery.
Heyalar t’Akranna6 Stretching across southern Zhir’tan, the Mountains of Akranna are legendary for their fire and ice, the weapons of Akranna, an ancient goddess of war, consort of Khosarr.
Heyalar t’al-Stakna7 The al-Stakna Mountains formed the western border of the Kingdom of Irik and the eastern borders of  Duveh, Lassirihen, Mahn’hen, and Ovek. The volcanic peaks of T’Raan, T’Rian, and T’Regar lay at its southern end while the Valley of Nal’Shin cut through its northern end. The Temple of A’morak is located in its western foothills. Surak visited a hermit who lived by the Lesser Sea at the foot of the al-Stakna range.
Heyalar t’Arlanga8 The Arlanga Mountains stretch across equatorial Vulcan from Raal in the west to Kir in the east. Its eastern slopes step down to the Hills of Kerak and to the Caves of Culvir and Kolinahr. At its western end are spectacular views of the Fire Plains of Raal and the Womb of Fire. The Temple of Anonak is nestled on its northern slopes.
Heyalar t’Gol9 The Mountains of Gol separated the Kingdom of Gol from Raal, Zhial, and Shi’al. The range stretches from the Pa’Utra oasis in the west to curl around the Plateau of Tai-la on its southern edge until it joins with the L’langon Range in the east. Its highest peak , Mount Kolinahr, lies on its eastern edge.
Heyalar t’Khosarr10 This mountain range, located in northern Zhir’tan and named for the ancient war-god Khosarr, was and continues to be one of the most geologically unstable regions on Vulcan.
Heyalar t’L’langon11 Separating Shi’al from Khomi and Khomi from Gol, the L’langon Mountains have long harbored strings of monasteries and secret brotherhoods, the most famous of which is the Tinsha Monastery, located in Khomi. The Shrine of T’Vet is set up on its northern edge. The highest peak is Mount Tar’Hana in the east. Many of those who opposed Surak’s teachings left Shi’Kahr to establish communes in these mountains.
Heyalar Zadik12 East of the Kalrenta Plateau, the Zadik Mountains run through south-central Gol to the city of Zhen’tal in the east. Venturing into these mountains was forbidden for many centuries, for it was believed that Sudoc’s katra was kept here by a secret brotherhood of mindlords.
Ku-li t’Nal’Shin13 From time beyond remembering, the temperate Valley of Nal’Shin in the al-Stakna Range was a place of dispute between Iriki and Mahn’heh warlords. The cooler climate with above average rainfall was suitable for growing a number of crops and the surrounding mountains were rich in metals. Fort Aba’Kur guarded the valley in the Kingdom of Irik.
Ku-li t’TsaiKal14 In the Time of the Awakening, the Valley of TsaiKal lay on the northern border of the Kingdom of Shi’al. The valley separated the fortresses of Shi’Kahr, the capital of Shi’al, and de’Khriv, the capital of the Kingdom of Lhai. Each faced the other in stark defiance, but in Surak’s time, neither needed to guard against the other. Shi’al and Lhai had been in alliance for several hundred years, and the fruits of the valley were shared by both.
Kunellar t’Kerak15 The Hills of Kerak lay between the TsaiKal Valley in Shi’al and the Sas-a-Shar Desert stretching from southeastern Lhai to southwestern Kir. Kerak is thought to be the legendary priest-king of the First Dynasty, for whom the first ka’athaira was made.
Masu-Naflar t’Ha’zen16 The Straits of Hazen separate the continents of Na’nam and Zhir’tan.  Due to the constant shifting of the tectonic plates which meet beneath the channel, the straits are difficult to navigate to this day. Various legends make reference to violent maelstroms appearing without warning to suck down or sink large freighters. Ha’zen is the name of an ancient king of Gol who drowned in the channel, but the legend containing his story has been lost.
Masutra t’Thanor17 Thanor is one of two great seas on Vulcan. Far back in the history of the planet, both seas covered a third more land but burned away in the great cataclysm that turned Vulcan into a desert world. There is evidence to suggest that the Thanor Sea once stretched as far inland as the Shival Flats. Mount Tar’Hana was an island, and much of Khomi was under water. The old-growth forests in the fertile costs surrounding the sea were carefully guarded and tended in Surak’s time.
Mastura t’Voroth18 From the earliest times, the Voroth Sea carried trade ships launched from busy ports in Na’nam, Zhir’tan, and Han’Shir. Dzhaleyl in Na’nam and Kwi’Inor in Han’Shir were the busiest of these ports, followed closely by tu’Khrev. By Surak’s time, maritime trade had long been replaced by air transportation and the seaports became luxury resort towns. Like the Thanor Sea, the coastal perimeter of the Voroth boasted more temperate climate and arable land. Competition for it, as with inland oases, sparked many wars.
Pa Ut’ra “Where there was once a mountain, now there is insight.” So ends the fable of Pa Ut’ra, the “Place of Insight,” which was said to be a monastery to where 17 paths led. Anyone who examines themes of self-awareness and growth will notice that the number 17 is common in Vulcan art. Pa Ut’ra is thought by many scholars to be located on the windswept plains west of the Mountains of Gol. It continues to be revered by the adepts of Gol, although only desert remains there now.19
Pa’ash-Solektra t’Shvial The Shival Flats lie to the northwest of Shi’Kahr in Shi’al and provide one of the best places to view solar flare activity during the winter. During the summer, deadly lightning storms from the flares scour the flats, making travel impossible in the area.20 During Surak’s time, the flats created—at times – an effective barrier to Sudoc’s plans for expansion and conquest.
Pa’ash-Solektra t’Viltan Located in northern Tat’Sahr, the Viltan Flats are, as they were in Surak’s day, an area of vast hydroponic farming. The town of Ta’Vistar is located in the center of the flats.21
Pasutra t’Kalrenta The Kalrenta Plateau in southwestern Gol is home to adepts of the Path of Tas. Long before Surak’s time, these monks developed psychometry, the ability to detect psychic traces left behind on objects one has touched. Quite often, adepts can identify or describe the last person to touch an object and his/her emotional state. They may also receive vivid flashes of scenes from the “life” of the object.22 Today adepts of Kalrenta are assisting scholars in learning more about Vulcan’s ancient past. The Kir’Shara is now in their hands for analysis.
Pasutra t’Tai-la The Plateau of Tai-la is a desolate place outside the Kolinahru Monastery where the final ritual of Kolinahr takes place. Here, the acolyte carries only a robe and waterskin, alone, and enters a deep meditative trance, casting out all remaining emotion into the surrounding sands.23 The Path of Kolinahr was founded by Sanshiin in 319 about seven years of the Awakening of Surak. 24
Pilash t’Na’Ri The River Na’Ri runs through the heart of Raal form Lake Yuron. Here in the temperate valley, the Vulcan species (and later its culture) evolved. An early writing system developed by merchants in Dzhaleyl used red clay from the river as its medium. The river can be navigated as far up as Vulcinis Regar (or Regar, as it was known in Surak’s time) during the winter months. In the summer the water levels drop too low.25 Water levels were higher in the Time of the Awakening.
PirAelim This series of fresh-water springs offered an oasis to nomadic tribes from the earliest times in eastern Raal. The pools vary in source water, temperature, and drinkability. Some contain phosphorescent phytoplankton. Many of the springs are surrounded by thickets of kamor trees, which can reach over a thousand years in age and a spread of a hundred meters.26 PirAelim has survived countless battles and attempts to claim it. Surak rested here a tenday after crossing the Plain of Blood.
Sas-a-Shar27 This eastern equatorial desert stretching from the Arlanga Range in the north to the L’langon Mountains in the south was Surak’s home. Here he lived, taught, and died. For this reason, the Sas-a-Shar region became the heart of Vulcan civilization after the Awakening. The desert was tectonically more stable than others and cities grew up around its oases in Shi’al and Kir. Hundreds of te-Vikram clans roamed the Sas-a-Shar in Surak’s time.
Shi’Yon T’Raan Mount T’Raan is the northernmost of the trio of active volcanoes in the al-Stakna Mountains on the northern fringe of the Fire Plains of Raal.28 In Surak’s time it lay within the territory of the Kingdom of Duveh and was heavily mined for valuable metals and minerals.
Shi’Yon T’Regar The southern- and westernmost of the three active volcanoes in the al-Stakna Mountains, Mount T’Regar overlooks the Fire plains of Raal.29 In Surak’s time an ancient brotherhood of sword-smiths still lived here. It is believed that the original honor blades carried offworld in the Rihannsu generational ships were forged in the fires of Mount T’Regar.
Shi’Yon T’Riall Located in the Kingdom of Irik on the edge of the al-Stakna Range, Mount T’Riall is the easternmost of the three active volcanoes near the Fire Plains of Raal. 30The volcanoes have been active, though not violent, for many thousands of years and are believed to have been named for a trio of fire-goddesses worshipped by the te-Vikram.
Shi’Yon Tar’Hana Mount Tar’Hana lies to the east of Shi’Kahr at the edge of the L-langon Mountains. Its tall peak is recognizable from the city, although it lies nearly 300 miles distant. It was active throughout Surak’s lifetime but lies dormant now. Although it occasionally returns to life, there have been no violent eruptions for over 8,000 years. The first settlements in the valley below lie buried in ash.31
Sudef t’Yon The legendary Womb of Fire is often described as a region more desolate than the Forge. It lies east of the Fire Plains of Raal on the equator in what was technically the Kingdom of Lhai, Surak’s homeland, but the only folk who ever ventured there were the nomadic te-Vikram clans, who prided themselves on their ability to survive in the harshest wasteland of all Vulcan. For the te-Vikram Brotherhoods, it was holy ground ruled by the Old Mother of Fire, and their chief shrine lay within.32
Suk’Erg The Great Erg is a vast expanse in central Zhir’tan, rich in kevas deposits. Great chunks of the ore could be collected from the surface in Surak’s time.33
Suk’Muzh t’Yuron Located at the western end of the Arlanga Mountains, Lake Yuron is the headwater of the River Na’Ri.34 It is not know if Surak traveled this far into Raal, but today the lake is a popular destination for those wishing an introduction to Surak’s teachings, especially offworlders. Here one can enjoy leasurely seminars and lectures on various topics at the Kol-Ut-Shan retreat.
Tauklar t’Kolinahr35 These ancient caverns were renamed The Caves of Kolinahr by followers of Surak towards the end of his lifetime. Legend has it that Surak sheltered here during an airstrike on the Kingdom of Lhai. It is one of many sacred places today where Surak is said to have found enlightenment and taught pupils.
Tauklar t’Kulvir The old lava tubes known as The Caves of Kulvir were used to tunnel foot-and-pack-animal traffic from de’Khriv to the Temple of Anonak and the desert beyond. The intriguing rock formations and the ruins of an ancient temple destroyed by lava make the caves a popular tourist destination for day-hikers.36
Weh-pi’Masutra There is a little-known story about Surak visiting a hermit who lived on a small lake near The Lesser Sea.37 This inland sea is at the foot of the al-Stakna Mountains in what would have been the Kingdom of Irik at that time. The lesser Sea has grown and shrunk over the millennia with solar flare cycles. It is 31.7% larger today than it was in Surak’s time. The lake by which the hermit lived was likely a part of the sea in its evaporating phase.

 SOURCES

1Duane, D. (1988). Spock’s world. New York: Pocket Books, p. 161.

2The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 46.

3 Reeves-Stevens, J & Reeves-Stevens, G. (Writers), & Grossman, M. (Director). (2004). The Forge [Television series episode]. In Star Trek: Enterprise. Hollywood, CA: Paramount Pictures; Martin, M.A. (2009). Beneath the Raptor’s Wing. (The Romulan War). New York: Pocket Books, p. 240.

4George, D. R. (2006). The fire and the rose. (Crucible: Spock). New York: Pocket Books, p.355.

5The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 49.

6These mountains are pictured but not named on the map in The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 92.

7 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (1997). Vulcan’s Forge. New York: Pocket Books, p. 151.

8The official Star Trek cooking manual.

9The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 92.

10These mountains are pictured but not named on the map in The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 92.

11The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 50.

12These mountains are pictured but not named on the map in The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 92.

13The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 58.

14Orion Press lexicon.

15 ibid.

16The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 48.

17ibid, p.42-43.

18ibid, p. 43.

19Perry, S.D. & Dennison, B. (2010). Inception. New York: Pocket Books, p.62.

20The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 53.

21ibid, p. 59.

22ibid, p. 89.

23ibid, p. 50.

24ibid, p. 17, 19.

25ibid,p. 53.

26Bonanno, M.W. (2010). Unspoken truth. New York: Pocket Books, p.350.

27The official Star Trek cooking manual.

28The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 52.

29ibid.

30ibid.

31ibid; Martin, M.A. (2009). Beneath the raptor’s wing. (The romulan war). New York: Pocket Books, p. 240.

32 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (2004). Exodus. (Vulcan’s soul, book one). New York: Pocket Books, p. 106.

33 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (2006). Exiles. (Vulcan’s soul, book two). New York: Pocket Books, p. 137.

34 Martin, M.A. (2009). Beneath the raptor’s wing. (The romulan war). New York: Pocket Books, p. 240.

35The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 93.

36ibid, p.53.

37Duane, D. (1988). Spock’s world. New York: Pocket Books, p. 251.

Vulcan Shrines and Monastic Sites

Below is a listing of shrines and monastic sites known to exist at the Time of the Awakening. Click on the link below to view the accompanying map.

Map of Surak’s Vulcan

 

Oshi t’S’vec1 The Shrine of S’vec marks the place where one of the first adepts to be taught by Surak was executed by a warlord of Tat’Sahr named Lhai. By bringing Surak’s teaching to Tat’Sahr, S’vec ushered in a period of peace between the warlords there. While his defenses were down, Lhai was attacked by his rival Zhi’rev (sometimes spelled Xi’rev) and suffered heavy losses. Lhai accused S’vec of spying for Zhi’rev and executed him and his companions to discredit Surak’s movement. The commune where S’vec had taught was sealed by the sons of Lhai and Zhi’rev, whom he’d converted before his death. While the erected shrine was later destroyed in the uneasy times that followed, scholars hope that archaeological excavations may locate additional writings by Surak.
Oshi t’T’Vet Located at the foot of the L-langon Mountains in Shi’al, the Shrine of T’Vet marks an ancient tradition from before the time of Surak. T’Vet was the revered goddess of the warrior clans; her face, they believed was reflected in T’Kuht, Vulcan’s sister planet. Because the warrior way of life was threatened by Surak’s teachings, many of the attacks on Surak and his followers were carried out in her name. To this day, there are no computers or advanced technology permitted at the shrine, which is closed during times when T’Kuht is shining – a sacred time of meditation. 2 The worship of T’Vet was carried to Romulus by the te’Vikram.3
Akrelt4 In a canyon on the eastern arm of the Mountains of Gol lies the Akrelt Refuge, a retreat the followers of Surak established in a cavern with an underground spring. For many years they hid here from those who persecuted them and continued to train and teach the adepts of Gol. Today the monastery is a place to petition to enter the path of kolinahr.
A’morak5 The Temple of A’morak was established on the edge of the Nal’Shin Valley in the nation of Mahn’hen by Surak’s followers in an attempt to bring peace to the region. The monastery took its name from the a’morak bush, which provides a soft fiber for weaving and grows nowhere else on Vulcan. A’morak grew in reputation over the centuries as a place of wisdom, rehabilitation, healing, and training in the telesper arts.
Anonak6 In the foothills of the Arlanga Mountains on the edge of the Cheleb-Khor Desert, the Temple of Anonak offered rest and healing to boys who endured or were injured in the kahs-wan ritual. Each evening, the monks ventured out to search for the lost and bleeding. Today, search and rescue are still a part of the duties of the priests of Anonak. It continues to be a place of meditation and study open to all.
Kolinahru7 A cleft on the highest peak in Gol, Mount Kolinahr, is the home of the adepts of Gol known as the Kolinahru. Before the Time of the Awakening, they were the cruelest and most powerful of Vulcan’s mindlords who had the ability to make their victims’ blood boil by pyrokinesis. Their High Master listened to Surak’s teachings and became a follower, bringing the order along with him, and changed his name to Sanshiin. He returned the order to a simple, austere way of life. The Kolinahru to this day use no electricity or advanced technology and require guests to leave personal devices and vehicles behind. Beneath the monastery are the hot springs and the Hall of Ancient Thought.  The Hall is only open to members of the order and contains the katras of former High Masters. Since the Time of the Awakening, the Kolinahru have followed the path of kolinahr as outlined by Sanshiin.
Kul’Cha’Vir8 Ancient manuscripts refer to the Brothers of Fire and their secret retreat located in Tat’Sahr. While the Vulcan Science Academy has pinpointed the location of the monastery to central Tat’Sahr, to date the site had not been excavated. As the name suggests, The Brothers of Fire were skilled at pyrokinesis and in Surak’s time, their stronghold was positioned near the borders of Tat’Sahr, Irik, and Lalirh. Scholars believe they defended the territory of Tat’Sahr warlords, perhaps at exorbitant prices.
Seleya No other place on Vulcan is better known to offworlders than Mount Seleya and the temple complex at its summit. Very little has changed here since the Time of the Awakening. The priests of Seleya, whose traditions have always involved meditation and studies of the mind-body-katra connection, were the first to accept Surak’s teachings. Studying with the adepts of Seleya, Surak learned the mind-meld technique, a practice that was later banned in most Vulcan nations out of fear that it would lead to Sudocian-like mind control. But at Seleya, the mind-meld continued to be used in discreet healing techniques and in non-public rituals. Pilgrims journeying to Seleya approached on foot, as they still do today, from the well-travelled road leading from Shi’Kahr. The most devout will climb the 1,001 steps to the summit barefoot. Some make the entire journey unshod. Reaching the temple complex requires crossing a narrow bridge – a natural rock formation – over a yawning chasm without the assistance of railings. The temple itself is an ancient fortress, which has withstood numerous battles, including the most famous – the Battle of Seleya – in which the warlord Sulen attempted to capture the daughter of T’Vhet. Many precious katric arks are kept here, including Surak’s for a time. Most of the public ceremonies at Seleya take place in a natural stone amphitheatre at the base of the mountain in a grove of spindly trees surrounded by a ring of stone monoliths.9
T’Karath Fewer places have been more important in Surakian history and philosophy than the T’Karath Sanctuary. Located 37 kellicams south of Mount Seleya in the foothills of the Mountains of Gol, it was here that the Kir’Shara was discovered by Captain Jonathan Archer in 2154.10 The archaeologist Syrran, determined to locate a copy of Surak’s teachings as they were originally set down, traced the Kir’Shara from the Ulann Monastery to the T’Karath Sanctuary. Once his quest was known – and that he harbored the katra of Surak – he gained a substantial following. He perished in an electrical storm before the artifact was located. The Syrranites used T’Karath as a refuge from persecution by the Vulcan High command. Much of the sanctuary was destroyed by bombing ordered by V’Las that same year. The sanctuary was founded by T’Klaas, who was one of Surak’s first students and one of the first Kolinahr Masters.
T’Shen11 Famous for its instruction in the methods of healing, including the healing trance, T’Shen is one of the few monasteries on Vulcan to traditionally accept outsiders. Some scholars believe that the monastery is the birthplace of Surak and it was here that he learned to use the healing trance to recover form the many injuries inflicted upon him and to endure the fires of plak-tau. The monastery is located about ten kilometers east of Shi’Kahr.
Tinsha The Tinsha Monastery was founded in the L-langon Mountains in Khomi near the end of Surak’s life by the followers of Hakihr. Their work and research in biofeedback training centers around of Surak’s most famous sayings: “The mind controls the body; control the mind and the body will follow.”12
Ulann On a hillside overlooking the Thanor Sea in Kir, the Ulann Monastery is home to an order of silent monks who stress the importance of deeds over words. Long before Surak’s time, the place was referred to as the Guiding Light in reference to the fact that the monks operated a lighthouse. It was here that the Kir’Shara was hidden for many centuries before it was moved to rest in the tomb of T’Klaas in the T’Karath Sactuary. The publishing house located on the lower floor of the sanctuary produces 99.5% of all current editions of Surak’s works, along with the monks’ own teachings.13

 

 

SOURCES

 

 

1 The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 59.

 

2Lorrah, J. (1984). The Vulcan Academy murders. New York: Pocket Books, p. 116, 226.

 

3Martin, M.A. (2011). To Brave the Storm. (The Romulan War). New York: Pocket Books, p. 148.

 

4George, D. R. (2006). The fire and the rose. (Crucible: Spock). New York: Pocket Books, p.171, 236).

 

5Bonanno, M.W. (2010). Unspoken truth. New York: Pocket Books, p.19, 310.

 

6Taylor, J. (1998). Pathways. New York: Pocket Books, p.372, 378-379.

 

7 The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 49.

 

8ibid, p. 58.

 

9ibid, p. 61.

 

10Reeves-Stevens, J. & Reeves-Stevens, G. (Writers), & Grossman, M. (Director). (2004). The Forge [Television series episode]. In Star Trek: Enterprise. Hollywood, CA: Paramount Pictures; Moore, R.D. & Shankar, N. (Writers), & Singer, A. (Director). (1993). The gambit, part II [Television series episode]. In Star Trek: The Next Generation. Hollywood, CA: Paramount Pictures.

 

11 The way of kolinahr: the Vulcans. (1998). Culver City, CA: Last Unicorn Games, p. 53-54.

 

12ibid, p. 17.

 

13ibid, p. 51.