The Ventaxians were an intelligent humanoid race native to the planet Ventax II. Though once heavily industrialized, the Ventaxians embraced an agrarian society around the 14th century, with no interest in advanced technology and virtually no social problems.
Externally, Ventaxians were physically identical to Humans.
Before the 14th century, the Ventaxians were a highly advanced industrialized society, divided in numerous and overcrowded city-states constantly at war. These conflicts destroyed their planet's ecology with industrial pollution, resulting in frequent starvation and epidemics.
It has been suggested the Ventaxian leaders created the mythology of Ardra to convince their people to stop fighting, promising in the Contract of Ardra a millennium of peace and prosperity in exchange for the enslavement of the population at the conclusion. The population agreed to the contract, and was amenable to change. Scholars would later study the scrolls and incorporate their findings into Ventaxian theology, but otherwise they were of little interest until the 24th century.
One thousand years of peace
After the Contract, a council was convened to consider options for a new government. They drafted a new constitution, ratified by the people, which brought the various factions together. They signed a treaty of non-aggression in which weapons were ordered destroyed. They also drafted initiatives to purify the water and atmosphere as well as ecologically sound methods of waste disposal. With these in place, changes in the environment happened gradually over the next centuries.
The Ventaxians also welcomed Federation anthropologists, led by Doctor Howard Clark, to study their culture. While they interacted with space-faring races, Clark described them as showing no interest in advanced technologies.
The return of "Ardra"
By the mid-24th century, their planetary government's head of state was Acost Jared, who considered himself a friend of Dr. Clark's. For several years leading up to 2367, Jared became increasingly worried about the myth of Ardra, believing she would come back and enslave the population. He saw the signs laid out in the contract, including tremors and people having visions, which eventually resulted in rioting.
In 2367, when the contract came due, an impostor that had studied the myth posed as Ardra and attempted to take claim of the planet. The riots had resulted in a hostage situation at the Federation science station, which drew the attention of the USS Enterprise-D. While Jared was convinced the impostor was Ardra, Captain Jean-Luc Picard confronted her and used Ventaxian law to ask to call for an arbitration and argue his case. Picard, Clark and Geordi La Forge were able to expose the impostor's fraud, disable her ship, and proclaim the contract dissolved.
Society and culture
The cornerstone of Ventaxian theology was their version of the Devil known as Ardra, said to have appeared to the Ventaxians in the 14th century. It was even considered bad luck to speak her name out loud. After she agreed to the Contract of Ardra, promising one thousand years of peace, and she would own the people and their planet. Records indicate after agreeing to the contract, Ardra "left Ventax II."
Ventaxian law was particularly detailed, requiring time to interpret decisions. There was one case which involved an alien claimant. It involved a contract dispute over services rendered by a Klingon craftsman on the construction of a Ventaxian home. As the case was between an alien claimant and a Ventaxian, both sides decided that arbitration rather than courts should decide the case. Both sides were required to choose an arbiter.