The Dominion comprises hundreds of Gamma Quadrant races, but all are under the absolute control of the Founders. To enforce their dictates through military force, the Founders, also known as Changelings, send their Jem`Hadar troops to put down any resistance. But when the situation calls for a political strategy, the Founders call upon the race known as the Vorta.
The Vorta are a humanoid race of similar height and build to the many humanoid races of the Alpha Quandrant. They have dark hair and long, pointed ears, which are ribbed. Their eyes are gray.
They possess limited telekinetic powers; they can generate blue-white energy spheres which are able to thrust an adult human approximately tow meters backward.
The Vorta are the voice of the Founders throughout the worlds of the Dominion. They are the Dominion`s managers and administrators, the only conduit through which the other races can gain access to the Founders. It is a lofty position, and one that the Vorta earned the hard way.
Centuries ago, the Vorta homeworld, Kareel, was `offered` admittance into the Dominion. But the Vorta, a proud and self-reliant race, refused the offer, not realising they could ill afford to do so.
The Founders sent the Jem`Hadar to persuade the Vorta to reconsider. The Jem`Hadar acted swiftly, and their attack forces destroyed Kareel`s communication center. Then, showing no mercy, they executed all of the Vorta leaders, and seized control of the entire planet.
But, rather than subjecting the defeated Vorta populace to a future of slavery, the Founders made the Vorta serve the Dominion in another way, the Vorta were to become the link between the founders and the rest of the Dominion.
Throughout their history, the Vorta have been self confident, even arrogant, in their dealings with other races. They are flexible and quick to react to changing situations, enabling them to create a strong self-reliant empire that became the envy of neighbouring star systems.
Other races have tried to imitate the Vorta and to usurp their position, but the Vorta are always one step ahead. Most attempts to seize their empire are thwarted before they even begin. Even out of total defeat at the hands of the Jem`Hadar shock troops, the Vorta have rebounded to become a significant player within the Dominion.
Perhaps their most powerful position comes from their relationship with the Jem`hadar. Although the Founders genetically-engineered soldiers defeated the Vorta, the soldiers enjoy no mastery over this race of wily administrators, The Jem`Hadar are the slaves and the lapdogs of the Dominion, and this is reinforced by the current relationship between the two races; the Vorta enjoy a position similar to army officers, while the Jem`hadar are the enlisted men under their command. Jem`Hadar groups nearly always travel with a Vorta administrator who gives the orders and, more importantly, keeps and distributes the ketracel white on which the Jem`Hadar depend. This helps to ensure that the Jem`Hadar know their place, and continue to obey the Vorta, who they do not consider to be gods in the same way that they do the Founders. The Jem`Hadar have little respect for the Vorta, and are not afraid to kill them, when they step too far out of line.
There is always one Vorta in command of a Jem`Hadar warship, usually in charge of more than 40 Jem`hadar soldiers. But while they accompany the Jem`Hadar into the front lines, their lives are not as expendable as those of the soldiers, Vorta bodies can be cloned and, if one is lost, the personality lives on in another. Weyoun, who often accompanies Gul Dukat on official business, is on his fifth body. Whether this is an ability the Vorta have always possessed, or whether it ha been passed to them by the Founders, is unknown.
Many Gamma Quadrant traders who have had dealings with the Dominion communicate only through the Vorta, and have no idea who they report to. When the Jem`Hadar make their first threat against the Federation, the Dominion attempt - unsuccessfully - to place a Vorta spy, Enis on Deep Space Nine.
When Starfleet attempts to contact the Founders to let then know that they mean no harm, a Vorta male named Borath claims he is a Founder and plays out an elaborate hoax on the crew of the USS Defiant before the truth is revealed.
To date, Starfleet has encountered only a
personally; none of them appear to