We have learned much over the years about the Iconians, but still know very little. History has described them as “Demons of Air and Darkness”, referring to the gateway technology which lets them appear seemingly anywhere in the galaxy, perhaps anywhere in the universe, with just one step. In their prime, the Iconians were an extremely advanced society whose technology must have appeared as magic to other races. Two hundred thousand years ago, their civilization was destroyed when a coalition of their enemies joined together to destroy their cities through orbital bombardment.
We now know that not all the Iconians were killed. Some escaped to the Dewan system for a time. Even today on what is now called New Romulus, we can still see their 6-eyed fauna still dominates much of the landscape. The Dewans worshiped the Iconians as gods, at least until they abandoned the Dewans to retreat further into space. The Dewans tried to follow, but their lack of knowledge of Iconian gateway technology proved fatal. Their experiments nearly tore the planet apart, and led to an environmental disaster that caused the extinction of the Dewans. Now the Romulan Republic lays claim to Dewa III as their new homeworld.
The Iconians never disappeared. They have been planning, quietly over the centuries. They have been building alliances with other races – some perhaps through cunning and guile, some through force, and, at least once through genetic engineering. We know the Elachi are the ruthless soldier servitors who brutally harvested the Romulan people and many others. But the first recorded encounter with the Elachi was in 2151, when the NX-01 Enterprise and Captain Archer first encountered this silent enemy.
We have also met the mysterious Solanae who are the Iconians' scientists. The Solanae live in subspace and have been using Iconian gateway technology to abduct people and experiment on them. Perhaps they are testing for weaknesses, or looking for a way to return to normal space. The earliest record of this is in 2369, when the crew of the Enterprise-D was abducted. There has been recent evidence that this has been going on for much longer. The Solanae also build the incredible Dyson Spheres. We have found two of these massive structures so far. Perhaps there are more. We know the Dyson Spheres use Omega Particles to “jump” to potentially anywhere in the universe. Their power seems limitless.
In Delta Rising, we encountered the neural parasites. These insidious creatures were first discovered in 2364, when they attempted to take over the Federation by infecting key members of Starfleet. Their conspiracy was thwarted by Captain Picard and Commander Riker of the Enterprise-D. Recently, we have learned the truth of the parasites. We have faced their Spawnmother and learned their complex lifecycle. We now know the neural parasites are genetically engineered biological weapons created by the Iconians.
We also know the Iconians have made deadly alliances with the Tal Shiar and, most recently, the Vaadwaur. With technology from the Iconians and manipulation from the neural parasites, the Vaadwaur nearly took over the entire Delta Quadrant.
Why the Tal Shiar and the Vaadwaur would align themselves with the Iconians is hard to say.
Perhaps they shared a common cause. Perhaps they were deceived.
Perhaps they had no choice.
The Elachi, Solanae and even the Dewans are Iconian servitor races. They follow the Iconians blindly and without question. Perhaps, in time, the Vaadwaur and Tal Shiar may also have worshiped the Iconians. Perhaps they already do. But none of these races are as unique, as powerful, and as devoted as what is coming next. The Heralds.
The Heralds are not a servitor race. They were not conquered, coerced, subjugated, bargained with, or grown. The relationship between the Heralds and the Iconians goes much deeper. The Heralds are children of Iconia. They are not the Iconians themselves, but they are native to Iconia and probably share a common ancestor with the Iconians. Like the Iconians and the natives of Tau Dewa, they too have 6 eyes.
They love the Iconians and the Iconians care for them in return. The Heralds are the personal guards and stewards of the Iconians and absolutely loyal. Perhaps the Heralds were a lesser species of Iconia – one who fell behind in technology. Perhaps they were pets at one time. Whatever they were, their relationship runs deep. It’s more symbiotic than master/slave. Although they are not the technological masters that the Iconians are, they are not dumb beasts. They are at least as intelligent as any space faring species we have met. They have been entrusted with the Iconian technology, weapons, ships and secrets. They may even be genetically enhanced by the Iconians.
Where the Iconians are few in number (possibly very few), the Heralds are many. There are probably billions of Heralds. The Iconians have had hundreds of centuries to breed them and build their army. Now the Heralds command the Iconians' powerful fleet. On the ground, they wield weapons empowered with gravitic forces and unknown energy. They can use these staff-like weapons like traditional energy based rifles, as well as melee weapons. The Heralds are powerful, completely devoted, and armed with technology that one might consider magic.
Constructs – The Constructs aren’t actually Heralds. They are automatons held together with sophisticated gravitational forces. When defeated, they fall apart – like a suit of armor without a knight. Constructs have been seen merging together and even being reconstructed by powerful Heralds.
Thralls – These Heralds are masters of gateways. Fast and deadly, Thralls can teleport at will and open Gateways behind their target for a deadly flanking attack. Destroy the portal or be prepared to deal with a Thrall in hand-to-hand combat.
Brute – The Brutes are massive powerhouses. Seemingly unstoppable, the Brutes wield a massive hammer-like weapon that can eject a powerful burst of energy that is best to be avoided.
Brutes can also reconstruct fallen Constructs.
Harbingers – There are at least two types of Harbingers. One is a master of gravity; the other is a master of gateways. No doubt these high ranking Heralds are the most trusted by the Iconians, and they wield much of the Iconians' power.
Harbingers can manipulate gravity and open gateways to summon reinforcements.
It has been said that some Harbingers can even open a portal that can unleash untold energy. Do your best to destroy the Gateways and stay away from the gravitic fields.
Mir Fighters – Like the Constructs, Mir fighters are unmanned. They are machines held together and controlled by gravitic forces. Mir Fighters can reinforce their hull and simply ram your ship, causing no damage to itself.
Baltim Raider – The Baltim is a small Iconian ship, if you can call any Iconian ship small. Like the Thralls on the ground, the Baltim can open a gateway to fly through. When it emerges, it will appear behind its enemy and ram them with devastating effect. Destroy the gateway before it enters, or try to outmaneuver the ramming attack.
Quas Cruiser – The foundation of the Iconian Army, the Quas can open energy gateways that can repair its shields – not unlike the Vaadwaur Shield Repair drones (undoubtedly a similar technology). The Quas can also launch Iconian probes that can shut you down pretty hard.
Vonph Battleship – These battleships are similar to the Quas, but much more powerful. Their probes are more advanced and deadly, and they can also open gateways that can bring in Mir Fighter reinforcements. They can also open a very nasty solar gateway.
On the other side of this gateway is a solar flare, and the Vonph can direct its energy directly onto its target.
Iaidon Dreadnought – Massive doesn’t begin to describe this terrifying ship. In addition to all the aforementioned gateways, the Iaidon can create an oblivion gateway. This gateway exposes the area to a pulsar. The massive burst of energy can destroy all nearby ships. If you see one of these, destroy it immediately or get away as fast as you can.
The Heralds will make their appearance in Season 10, and will be among the most challenging enemies captains have ever faced in Star Trek Online. They wield the full might of the Iconians, and stopping them is the key to saving the galaxy from subjugation. Be ready for anything.