Hello, and welcome back to Tuesdays at Quark’s! This month we’ve been looking at time travel as a theme and today I’d like to bring up an often-overlooked time travel connection in Star Trek. Sure Q jumps in time a lot and the Vorgons and Na’khul are classic temporal villains, but then there’s the El-Aurians.
One of my favorite parts of The Next Generation (and this is saying a lot) is the slow burn of Guinan‘s backstory. First you’re like “Oh, Whoopi Goldberg’s in this.” Then she keeps dropping hints and Captain Picard obviously values her opinion and wait she knows Mark Twain?!? By the time her species if finally named in Star Trek Generations and you get more examples it’s clear that the El-Aurians occupy a fairly special place in Star Trek‘s universe.
I especially like the inclusion of Malcom McDowell’s character in that movie as it changes the El-Aurians from a Star Trek “Magical Negro” trope to a more interesting part of the canon. I’ve tried to do that with this character as well, not just in terms of skin tone but also by making him fit another archetype: the crazy conspiracy theorist who turns out to be right. Havral is a mysterious figure who the crew will probably not have much insight into but he has a dire warning. Establishing who he is and what he does can be a big part of any adventure he is part of and once he’s introduced feel free to keep pulling him in as your ship’s version of Guinan.
There are certainly some plot hooks built into this character but here are a few more to get you started.
- One of the people Havral talks to about his concerns is a former mentor of Captain Viromm. Rather than wait for orders, Viromm trusts his gut and tries to investigate the situation. By the time the crew enters the scene, with orders to stop and question Viromm, the situation has become a web of mysterious clues and revelations.
- When the crew gets information about Havral’s concerns, some investigation reveals that it is connected to an infestation of neural parasites. This is an alternate introduction to the campaign in the Star Trek Adventures Starter Set which is focused more on Star Trek lore than standard RPG fare.
- Looking into Havral’s concerns reveals that the El-Aurian actually knew the admiral he was concerned about, though several decades ago. He didn’t bring this up before, he says because he didn’t want to cause people to doubt him, but can they really trust the rest of what he is saying now?
Click on the image below for the PDF.