Our conflicts have ceased. While we may have not settled all of the differences between our peoples, it is folly to squabble amongst ourselves as death approaches.
The Iconians are coming. We saw them on Qo'noS, and felt the agony of their terrible power. They warned us not to oppose them, and yet in campaign against the Vaadwaur in the Delta Quadrant that is precisely what we did.
We can no longer pretend that war is not upon us. What we can do is arm ourselves with knowledge for the battles to come.
The Iconians are among the most ancient civilizations of which we know. More than 200,000 years ago, their empire covered vast areas of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants. While their homeworld of Iconia, in what is now Romulan space was the heart of this empire, there were dozens of colony worlds, and Iconian technology has been found in both the Gamma and Delta quadrants.
From what we know, the Iconians were despots. Known as "Demons of Air and Darkness," the Iconians ruled by the force of their technology, which was far beyond anything seen before, including a network of gateways that allowed them to transport vast distances in an instant.
There have been some recent scholars who have disputed this. They say history is written by the victors, and it is true that 200,000 years ago the races enslaved by the Iconians rose up against their masters and destroyed the Iconian civilization in a cataclysm of fire.
These scholars think history should regard the Iconians more kindly. I say their actions speak louder than any fragments or relics left behind.
The U.S.S. Yamato and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D found the remains of Iconia in what was then the Romulan Neutral Zone in 2365. It was only by quick action that the crew of the Enterprise managed to save their ship, but the Yamato was lost. Curiously, the commander of the Romulan warbird sent to investigate Starfleet's incursion into the Neutral Zone was Taris. It may have been this incident that sent her along her dark path to obsession and destruction.
We know the Iconians prefer to act through servitor races. Some, like the Undine, have been manipulated into doing the Iconians' bidding. Others, like the Solanae, the Elachi and the Vaadwaur, have willingly surrendered. The Iconians control these races, their servitors, through a variety of means, including the biological weapons known as neural parasites.
There is another species that serves the Iconians. These are their Heralds. Believed to be survivors of the carnage at Iconia, the Heralds are a lesser race that the Iconians raised up to sentience, much like the Founders of the Dominion did with their Vorta servants. The Heralds worship the Iconians as their gods, and have served as their personal servants and shock troops for eons.
We know little about these Heralds, but we see the marks of their power upon the galaxy. Beware their arrival, because chaos and destruction will follow them.