Surak, the founder of Vulcan logic and modern society.
|Sibling(s):||At least one brother|
The Way of Kolinahr book states that Surak's father was Solek, a General of ShiKahr's army
Surak helped end the destructive wars on Vulcan and taught his followers to learn to embrace logic and control their emotions. This era became known as the Time of Awakening and saw Vulcans transform from violent savages and transcend into logical, ordered beings. Surak became the revered father of Vulcan logic and his teachings were still worshipped in the 24th century. (TOS episode: "The Savage Curtain"; TOS novel: Spock's World; and TNG episode: "Gambit, Part II").
One record states that Surak was born in the 279 A.D. (Earth relative date) during a time of war and suffering on his world. (Decipher reference: Player's Guide) He born to a upper class family in the city of ShiKahr. Even when he was born, he was known to resist the more warrior behaviours demonstrated by others of his kind which was a source of disappointment to his father. This was the cause of many arguments between between father and son which would eventually lead to them not speaking to each other. (ST roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans) He was the youngest of several brothers with one of his kindred being Surrel and at a time they resided in the settlement of Isk'Kahr. (TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)
As a child, Surak witnessed the aftermath of a battle on the Ishayas near his family's home. Several Vulcan clans had fought to their mutual destruction. Surak found his father moments away from death. In Stef's last moments, he revealed to Surak the Ko N'ya where he urged his son to use it to bring dominance to their clan. However, witnessing the destruction of the desire, the young Surak simply relinquished the stone to Garamond, the leader of the rival clan that had killed his father. Despite Garamonds claims on the stones power, Surak stated that it was desire that had led to senseless death and that he would seek to end desire before he departed which led to his first steps in seeking the philosophy of logic and peace. (TNG novel: The Devil's Heart)
Another tragedy that would strike the young Surak would be when his closest friend, Senet, joined the army to avenge the death of his father who was a general of ShiKahr. The death of his friend would have a profound impact on Surak who would begin to evaluate his life and the senseless carnage that engulfed his homeworld. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
At first, he was a noted computer scientist, however, his breakthroughs were used in conjunction with weapons of war that killed thousands of Vulcans. Distraught, he left the field of science and journeyed through the harsh deserts of his world where he met with the Adepts of Gol and the Adepts of Seleya in order to find a way to cope with the guilt he felt in helping bring about the deaths of so many people.
At the time, he was noted at being the head of his House before he disappeared. He also did have a nephew at the time. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus) At some point in his early life, Surak was fleeing from the armies of General Solon when his ship capsized. (TOS novel: Preserver)
By the 312 A.D., he adopted his philosophy of pure logic and helped lead the Vulcan people into a peaceful new age. (Decipher reference: Player's Guide). He had written many of his teachings down and was surprised at the clarity he had achieved when he began his belief in logic. However, when he spoke about his new beliefs to his circle of friends, they decided to abandon him as they believed that he had become a deranged after the death of his family. His teachings would aliennate more and more of his friends until a core group remained. These people would become future philosophers and included; Jarok, Nirak, T'Mor, and Vethek. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans).
It was known that five thousand years ago he came with a small band of followers to an oasis in ShiKahr in order to practice a new philosophy of nonviolence. Legend stated that a band of warriors approached and were seeking to seize control of the precious source of water. However, Surak simply welcomed them and bid them to drink as well as fill while he spoke to them of logic along with the peace that was found through emotional control. Despite his message, his small community was frequently attacked though he refused to fight back which was an attitude that warriors could not comprehend. As their code of honor did not permit killing unarmed people, they instead sought to enslave Surak and his followers. But Surak offered no resistance and instead spoke eloquently of his teachings at every opportunity. At some point, he simply disappeared out of the warriors camp despite being in chains and other restraints in order to rejoin his compatriots at the oasis in ShiKahr which became the location where the future Vulcan Science Academy was based. (TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders)
Though preaching this new found belief, he had many opponents that attempted to silence him for his thoughts. One such individual was the Kolinahr master Zakal. (TOS novels: The Lost Years, The Romulan Way). His message of peace would spread from his home town and face many violent attacks from numerous people which was a test of his pacifistic belief. However, his message of peace would never gain root among the people, many of whom lost loved ones during the wars against the 'barbarians' under the command of the warlord Sudoc. Sensing that the people would not listen through words alone, Surak and his followers began to preach to the members of other armies and enemies which formed the teachings of Tu-Surak.
Some of his noted accomplishments were traveling to the Plains of Blood where he soothed the hot tempers of his fellow Vulcan's by preaching his belief in logic. (ENT episode: "The Forge"). Another one of his accomplishments was the conversion of ten thousand warriors who stood down in the face of his logic which was one of the defining moments in the Time of Awakening. (TOS novel: The Covenant of the Crown). The mindlords of the Kolinahru were known to have converted to the teachings of Cthia after hearing the words from Surak himself and left the war that night. Other legends speak of the Four Hundred and Four, which tell of Surak's followers that would mysteriously appear in the camps of Sudocs armies and each time they would be executed. These tales had such an impact that Vulcan Masters for many years would remember the death speeches of these brave soldiers of peace. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
The spread of Surak's teachings would be so profound as they were willing to die for the spread of logic which demoralized their enemies. Many warlords would rebel against Sudocs rule. After Sudoc's death, many more would convert to Surak's teachings with such intensity that members would be converted without ever meeting Surak himself. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans) Over a period of centuries, Surak's philosophy of nonviolence and emotional control gained respect all across Vulcan until eventually it became the prevailing way of life for the Vulcan race. The Vulcan Science Academy itself grew up around the philosophers who followed Sureal and disciplines came her to learn from them leading to the first building being built out of desert stone. (TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders)
During his travels, he was considered a terrorist for his radical views though he still journeyed and spread his views to those who listened. However, he realized that the wars that engulfed his homeworld may very well destroy the Mother World and made attempts to ensure the survival of his species. To do this, he journeyed to ShiKahr to the Vulcan Space Institute where he swayed the mind of the young engineer Karatek and brought the idea to the scientists of the Vulcan Space Initiative to allow thousands of Vulcans to leave the world in sleeper ships in order to preserve their species should the wars finally extinguish life on Vulcan (planet).
During his trip, he faced many attacks on his life by members of the Vulcan High Command, the Te-Vikram Brotherhood and even members of his family, who had disowned him. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus) As Vulcan science advanced to the point where their technology meant that self annihilation was becoming more likely, Surak began to lead a number of Reforms. One of these involved adapting the old rite of opposing nations in taking a valued member of their opponents and in case of war, kill them if the other side initiated hostilities. Whilst considered barbaric in other socieites, Surak sought to adapt this tradition and used the gifts of the High masters to create a procedure where an undestructible capsule containing nuclear launch codes was implanted within a persons chest. Through this, he created the Warrantors of Peace which sought to prevent a possible global conflict as the leader of the nation had to with their own hand cut out the heart of their child or closest friend in order to launch their weapons . This served as a deterrent for the war mongers and led to the first millennium of peace being ensued. (TOS novel: Dwellers in the Crucible)
Though his teachings would spread across the globe, many Vulcan's would still attempt to cling to old martial beliefs. One such group would consist of a cadre of Sudoc's followers who were led by Tellus and formed the Children of Ket-Cheleb. This group would attempt to leave Vulcan on generation ships and despite all of Surak's attempts at convincing them otherwise, this group of Vulcan's left the homeworld. Surak's failure in this task would haunt him for the rest of his life and would be a source of animosity between him and Jarok. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
Despite his message of peace, it is said that Surak passed away at Mount Seleya from radiation poisoning from the weapons of mass destruction used in that era. (ENT episodes: "Awakening", "Kir'Shara"). One source states that this was in the Vulcan year 481. (LUG roleplay module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
Though his physical form died, Surak's Katra was preserved through the ages. It was later discovered in 2137 by a Vulcan known as Syrran who stored it within his body. Seeing how his teachings had become distorted, the two minds formed the Syrrannites movement which attempted to recover the Kir'Shara and bring the true way of Cthia to the people.
During this time, the Vulcan High Command atempted to frame and destroy the Syrranite movement. On this journey, Syrran himself was gravely wounded but passed the katra of Surak to a Human known as Jonathan Archer who managed to bring a new age on the Vulcan homeworld by toppling the corrupt rule of the High Command.
Surak's katra would be embedded within the Hall of Ancient Thought and deny the chance of being released from the burdens of the world as he decided to continue to serve his people by the 24th century. In the 23rd, residue of his katra still causes the volcanic rock statues to glow from inside on the Kolinahr plains of Vulcan. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Epiphany; TOS movie: The Motion Picture)
The engineer Karatek described Surak as being ruthless in his use of logic but was never cruel. And even though he was a believer of Cthia, there were rare moments when he did display a sudden 'flash' of emotion which he immediately suppressed. This was noted only once, when his student Skamandros was killed in a sudden attack by Surak's enemies. (TOS novel: Vulcan's Soul)
Many credit Surak for starting the movement that would alter the Vulcan species for all of time and start their path down the ways of logic as well as peace. This would result in the Vulcan race being given the opportunity to step away from the violent conflicts that threatened to destroy the Vulcan homeworld.
Most modern Vulcans adhered to Surak's original philosophy of emotional control. Some time after this way of logic became widespread, certain philosophers felt that it was necessary to further refine these teachings to include the complete rejection of emotion rather than emotional control. Followers of these stricter philosophies remained even to modern years where they practiced the Kolinahr discipline. These individuals removed themselves from ShiKahr and instead resided in the harsh volcanic areas of the planet which were forbidden to offworlders and even to Vulcans curiousity seekers. There, the Masters of Gol continued their practice of rejection of emotion. (TOS novel: The Vulcan Academy Murders)
During his life, Surak created a great many pieces of work that the Vulcan people would adhere to in their belief of Cthia. This would include his original writings which were present on the Kir'Shara that would be lost initially (ENT episode: "Kir'Shara"). Another accomplishment was his Analects which were a collection of writings made by him which sparked much controversy when first written (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus). His Tenets of Discipline were also an important piece of work known to many Vulcans (TOS novel: Killing Time). In addition to this, his Irreducible Foundations of Logic would spark the basic framework for Vulcan forsensic work which preached a "degrees of harm" test which essentially meant that the "needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few... or the one." (TOS novel: Captain's Peril)
Other races, such as humans were also exposed to Surak's teachings when his writings were translated into other languages. The Vulcan Skon was the first to translate some of these teachings into English. Skon's grandson in 2273; ironically a Vulcan/human hybrid was shuttled in a courier with Surak's namesake to his eventual first contact with not only V'Ger, but arguably to some degree, the Borg. (ENT episode: "Two Days and Two Nights", TOS novel: The Return , TOS novelization: Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
Another legacy that affected the Vulcan people was the adoption of names beginning with the letter 'S'. These disciples did such a task in honor of Surak. At the time of his preaching, appoximately 28.6 percent of the population did so. In addition to this, the logic seeking Vulcans abandoned the need for the consumption of meat and became strict vegetarians. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus)