By the mid-23rd century, the Elasians had been waging a long war with the neighboring Troyians, from with both sides shared extreme prejudice towards the other. By 2268, both civilizations had achieved the capability of mutual destruction, by means of nuclear weapons. Some hope for peaceful coexistence began when elements of both governments supported an arranged marriage between Elaan, the Dohlman of Elas, and the ruler of Troyius.
In addition to the neighboring Troyians, the Elasians had made outside contact with both the United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire, both of which claimed jurisdiction over their star system. The Federation served as an intermediary and acting as a courier for the Elasian bride to Troyius via Captain Kirk and the USS Enterprise. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius"; TNG: "Relics")
With the assistance of Kryton, who opposed the wedding and sold out to the Klingons, the Klingons had arranged to have Kryton rig the matter-antimatter pods to explode if the Enterprise engaged its warp drive. The Klingons made this attempt as a means of ending their dispute with the Federation and finally taking possession of the star system and its abundant supply of dilithium. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")
Philosophy and society
Federation scientists described Elasian males as "vicious and arrogant" in initial reports. The females, while equally savage, were stated in the same reports as "supposed to be something very special" having "a kind of subtle, mystical power that drives men wild." During Kirk's encounter with Elaan, he went as far as to describe her as being "an uncivilized savage, a vicious child in a woman's body, an arrogant monster!"
The Elasians considered themselves a warrior people, and held little regard for the relatively gentle culture of their neighbors, the Troyians of Troyius. They prided themselves on their interrogation techniques, describing them as "more excruciating than what [the Federation was] capable of," due to the fact that they were "trained to resist any form of physical torture." In fact, the Elasians were considerably more aggressive than most species and almost vicious, the Dohlman suggested that Kirk use the Enterprise's advanced weapons to wipe out all life on Troyius, the same Dohlman could not understand why the captain wanted to run from battle, or to let a weakened ship escape the battle. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")
On average, males were about a head taller than most other races, such as Humans and Vulcans. Females had the ability to produce Elasian tears, a biochemical compound transmittable to males (including Human men) upon contact that acted much like a love potion. The affected man became romantically infatuated and somewhat enthralled to the woman who infected them. Over centuries, men of Elas tried to overcome the tears' power, without success. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")
Elasians possessed relatively primitive sublight spacecraft technology that were powered by nuclear propulsion units. While visiting the USS Enterprise that year, they were more interested in "how the ship is used in combat, not in what drives it." (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")