The Dominion is controlled by the Founders, an ancient race of shape-shifters who are determined to impose order on the Galaxy around them, whatever the cost.
The Founders, or Changelings, are a race of shape-shifters who control the Dominion, an interstellar empire that spreads over a massive area in the Gamma Quadrant. Eons ago the Founders were normal humanoids who were restricted to one form, but they evolved the ability to change shape. Today the Founders' natural form is liquid, but they can assume any shape they choose and take the form of space-borne life forms that can travel at great speed. The Founders greatly enjoy adopting various shapes; in their minds 'to become a thing is to know a thing." Once a Founder has adopted a shape, its true nature is almost completely undetectable. The Founders somehow seem able to access their subjects’ memories and experiences and can produce convincing biological readings that will fool a tricorder. The easiest way to detect a Founder is to separate a part of its substance from the main body; if this happens the isolated part reverts to liquid form. The Founders' ability to hold a shape can be disrupted by a phaser set on 3.5. The Founders may also find it difficult to change shape ii they are injured. When a Founder dies its body turns to a black, ash-like substance.
The Great Link
Because they are liquid, the Founders can literally merge their bodies; they call this pooled state the Great Link. While Founders are linked they share an extremely intimate bond, and can sense one another's thoughts. For the Founders, entering the Link is the natural way to communicate; it is the foundation of their society. The exact nature of the Founders' individuality is difficult for non-Changelings to under-stand. Individual Founders do not have names, and do not differentiate themselves from one another. When a Founder is in the Link its thoughts are clearly combined with the other Changelings, but the Founder car still separate itself. There is no evidence that the Link can act as one being, but all the Founders who belong to the Link have a unified purpose. Because of this there is no crime in Changeling society; until 2371 no Founder had ever harmed another. The Founders spend the vast majority of their time in the Link, but occasionally separate them-selves in order to exercise their shape shifting abilities and experiment with taking on the shapes of other life forms or objects. The experience of being in the Link is very pleasant and if a Founder has to spend time away from the Link it will actively seek out other Changelings to link with. The Founders are very long-lived the exact extent of their life spans is unclear, but it is certainly hundreds of years - and because of its ability to combine thoughts, the Great Link provides them with extensive knowledge about their history.
According to the Founders, they were once a peaceful race that set out to explore the Galaxy. However, their shape shifting abilities frightened many of the solid races they encountered. The 'solids' hounded the Changelings, forcing them to retreat to a world in the Omarion Nebula. Two thousand years ago, the Founders decided to take the offensive and formed the Dominion. Their empire has continued to grow and the Founders now dominate hundreds of races. The Dominion is a brutal organization, and the Founders have no compunction about ordering the destruction of entire races. They believe that their actions are justified because they are protecting themselves.
The Founders have used advanced genetic engineering techniques to alter some of their subject races. On a day-to-day basis the Dominion is actually run by the Vorta, who have been designed to serve as politicians and administrators; order is kept by the Jem'Hadar, who are the Dominion's soldiers. Both races have been implanted with a genetic belief that the Founders are gods. The Dominion is an extremely expansionist power, and historically the Founders have been determined to bring order to every race they encounter by conquering them.
The Founders played an important role in the Dominion's attack on the Alpha Quadrant. In the early stages of the conflict, several Changelings used their shape-shifting abilities to replace important figures in the major powers, and used their influence to try to disrupt political alliances and to gather intelligence. The Founders have an extremely strong sense of order, and are repelled by the chaos they see in the Galaxy around them. They are completely convinced that they are superior to the solids. Whenever possible they avoid contact with the solids and go to great pains to conceal the location of their home-world. As a result, few of the alien races that comprise the Dominion have ever seen a Changeling.
The Founders still take an interest in exploration, and many years ago they sent out 100 infants to explore the Galaxy, genetically implanting them with the desire to return to the Great Link and share the knowledge they had gained. At least two members of the 100 found their way to the Alpha Quadrant. One, Laas, made his home on Varala, where he tried Unity. When the Founders link, they literally merge their bodies into one form to live among the solid life forms that were native to the planet. Although he took a mate, he eventually decided that it was impossible to live among the solids, whom he regarded as intolerant, and set off to find other members of his species.
Among the solids
Another of the infants that made its way through the Bajoran wormhole was found by the Bajorans, and given the name Odo by the Cardassian occupiers. Odo eventually made his way to the Founders' then home-world, but was repelled by his people's contempt for other races and turned his back on them. In the following years the Founders devoted a considerable amount of effort to persuading Odo to join them. During the war with the Alpha Quadrant, Odo actually killed a Changeling. After much deliberation, the Founders forced him to return to the Great Link and suppressed his ability to change shape as a punishment. However, they later decided to forgive him.
During the Dominion war a rogue division of Starfleet, Section 31, developed a virus which was designed to kill the Founders. On Stardate 49419, they managed to infect Odo with the virus while he was under-going a routine examination at Starfleet Medical. During the Dominion invasion and occupation of Deep Space Nine, Odo remained on the station as part of the Bajoran administration. He linked with the Founders' leader, passing the virus on to her as Section 31 had planned. The virus rapidly infected the entire Link, and within a few months all the Founders in both the Alpha and Gamma Quadrants were seriously ill. In the early stages, the progress of the virus accelerated when the infected Founder changed shape. As the disease progressed, the Founder's form began to desiccate and it became intolerant of heat. Eventually, the virus made it impossible for the Founder to change shape at all. The Founders ordered the entire Vorta medical staff to devote themselves to finding a cure. The Dominion scientists met with little success, even though the Founders' leader in the Alpha Quadrant ordered the death of an entire generation of Vorta doctors in the Alpha Quadrant and their replacement with new clones. Ironically, a cure was actually developed by a Federation doctor. In late 2375, Deep Space Nine's chief medical officer, Dr. Julian Bashir, accidentally discovered Odo's condition, which at that point had not manifested itself in any obvious way. Using information he extracted from a Section 31 operative, he managed to develop a cure and restore Odo to health. By late 2375, the Dominion forces in the Alpha Quadrant had been driven back to Cardassia Prime. The Founders' leader was ready to order the Jem'Hadar to fight to the death in the hope that this would inflict massive damage on the Federation-Klingon-Romulan alliance, making a future Dominion attack on the Alpha Quadrant more likely to succeed.
Change of heart
However, Odo was given permission to visit her, and when they linked it cured her of the disease and had a profound affect on her attitude. She ordered the Jem'Hadar to stand down and handed herself over to her enemies to face trial for war crimes. Odo then returned to the Gamma Quadrant, where he rejoined the Great Link. He was confident that by doing so he could have a similar effect on the rest of the Founders. It remains to be seen what affect this will have on the Dominion.
A powerful alliance of peoples, mostly in the gamma quadrant, the Dominion was created 2,000 years ago by a shape-shifting species called the Founders. The Founders remain hidden from view, but their policy is exercised by the Jem'Hadar, their warriors. Jem'Hadar are known to be ruthless with those who do not comply. In one example, the inhabitants of a planet from the system Taplon was stricken with a disease called the blight and caused generations of suffering.
At one point, the Founders created the Jem'Hadar, a genetically-engineered species of fighters, to enforce the Dominion's will. The Jem'Hadar have a low life expectancy, and require an isogenic enzyme called ketracel-white, or simply "white." White is provided to them by the Vorta, a race belonging to the Dominion. Since Jem'Hadar deal strictly through the Vorta, few have actually seen Founders. They are seen among the Jem'Hadar as legends or gods. When the Bajoran wormhole was discovered in 2369 by the Federation, many people from the alpha quadrant began establishing themselves in Dominion space. Among these Starfleet exploration teams, Bajoran settlers and Ferengi traders. The Dominion sent a definite message by taking out the New Bajor colony. The Dominion sent agents to infiltrate alpha quadrant governments, many of them Founders. These agents, such as an imposter of Klingon General Martok, attempted to destabilize the politics in the quadrant, to make them more susceptible to a Dominion takeover. In 2373, the Dominion made a pact with the Cardassian Union, clearly establishing themselves in the alpha quadrant.
Founders are an ancient civilization that explored the galaxy. In their
voyages, they were found to be feared and hunted by the solids
(non-shape-shifters). They retreated to an uninhabited planet in the Omarion
Nebula. There, they could meld together in liquid forms to create was is called
the Great Link - a collective of matter and thought. From this remote location,
they created the Dominion. They sent many of their own kind throughout the
galaxy as infants, expecting that one day they would return to the homeworld and
report their experiences abroad. Among these was Deep Space Nine's chief
security officer, Odo.
The Dominion is only created for the Founders. So they have the absolute
rule. The dominion has a lot of races, if one of these doesn't do the Founders
say to do, the Jem'Hadar will come for a visit. The Vorta are the
administratives, they have contact with the members and with the Founders. The
members can act independent but they have to follow certain guidelines. Like the
Karemma, they can decide with who they trade and what kind of stuff they trade.
The members have contact with the Vorta through an unmanned relay station.
The Dominion are very advanced in genetic engineering. The Federation
doesn't even know how to create the enzyme. In the beginning Dominion weapons
were able to penetrate the Federation shields. At the moment the Federation has
found something for that. The transporters are very advanced. They can beam at
very long distance. They can even beam persons from the station directly to
their ship without that the crew noticed it. The shield are also better than
Federation shields. Federation can't penetrate them and a tractor beam can't
lock to it. After a Call to Arms the Federation can penetrate the shields,
because they learned from the ship that they captured. Jem'Hadar are able to
ignore containment fields, probably a result of the shield technology as well.
Dominion can detect cloaking ships.
the Bajoran wormhole was discovered in 2369 by the Federation, many people from
the alpha quadrant began establishing themselves in Dominion space. Among these
Starfleet exploration teams, Bajoran settlers and Ferengi traders. The Dominion
sent a definite message by taking out the New Bajor colony. The Dominion sent
agents to infiltrate alpha quadrant governments, many of them Founders. These
agents, such as an imposter of Klingon General Martok, attempted to destabilize
the politics in the quadrant, to make them more susceptible to a Dominion
takeover. In 2373, the Dominion made a pact with the Cardassian Union, clearly
establishing themselves in the alpha quadrant.
the discovery of the wormhole
prior 2000 years ago, the Changelings lived with other people in the Gamma
Quadrant. But they were hunted and killed because they are Changelings. They
isolated themselves and 2000 years ago created the Dominion. The Dominion
expanded everyday and also included races like the Karemma.
the discovery of the wormhole
the wormhole was discovered, people entered the Gamma Quadrant continuously.
They were violating Dominion space.
The Grand Nagus Zek learns of the Dominion. The Ferengi established a trade agreement with the Karemma. The Karemma delivers Tulaberries. The Tarogarans are beaten by the Jem'Hadar. The Skreeans were slaves of the Tarogarans and are free now. The Jem'Hadar destroys the Bajoran colony New Bajor and all ships from the Alpha Quadrant are destroyed. The Dominion warns the Alpha Quadrant and arrested two people from the Alpha Quadrant. The Federation sends a Galaxy class ship into the Gamma Quadrant. The ship encounters three Jem'Hadar ships and is destroyed.
Callinon VII - There's a subspace relay station on this planet.
Karemma - Homeworld of the Karemma. It's a world of mercantilists. Tulaberries are the most produced on Karemma and there are also weapon factories. It's about half a light year away from the worm hole.
Kareel Prime - This is the Vorta homeworld.
Kendi System and Obata Cluster - Nothing is known about these two star systems.
Omaria - This is one of the Founders homeworlds. It's a class M planet without a sun. It's in a Nebula. A part of the Great Link was there before.
Taplon - The Jem'Hadar destroyed this planet. They also left a virus there. The population had to suffer for 200 years.