Lieutenant Commander Vanora Stele

Name Vanora Samsoe Stele

Position Chief Strategic Operations Officer

Rank Lieutenant Commander


  • 225 Mission Posts
  • 65 News Items

Last Post

Tue Mar 22nd, 2016 @ 11:27am

Character Information

Gender Female
Species Elasian-Human
Age 31

Physical Appearance

Height 176cm (5'9”)
Weight 56kg (123 lbs)
Hair Color Brown
Eye Color Light Brown
Physical Description Vanora has dark skin, hair, and eyes, inherited from her Elasian mother. Her high cheekbones and almond shaped eyes are also inherited from her Elasian mother. As with all Elasian women, Vanora’s tear ducts produce a psychotropic biochemical that works by dermal absorption. For this reason, she is usually found with a smile on her face, a conscious effort to both keep herself happy and also to reassure fellow crewmembers that she is not a threat. She maintains high levels of physical fitness. In the Elasian tradition, Vanora openly wears blades as part of her attire.


Spouse Tang Stele (d.2391)
Father Bedwyr Samsoe, Xenoanthropologist, Elas
Mother Livia of Augusta, Federation Inmate, former Chief of the Augusta, New Zealand Penal Colony
Brother(s) Neil Samsoe, Xenobotanist, Elas (36)
Ajax of Augusta, Knight of Augusta, Elas (29)
Llwch Samsoe, Sergeant, SFMC (25)
Sister(s) Helen of Augusta, Chief of the Augusta, Elas (33)
Peridot Augusta Samsoe, DO, LTCDR, CMO, USS Curie (27)
Other Family Various Human relatives; other members of the Augusta tribe on Elas

Personality & Traits

General Overview Although Vanora is usually observed to be smiling, she is at her core a very serious soul. Partially raised in a militaristic society, she is very much focused on being perceived as strong and can be aggressive in her approach. Her youthful experiences also have made her somewhat of an adrenaline junkie, and she thrives on action. Vanora views her role as a Starfleet officer as helping those around her maximize their strength, and in so doing, making the crew and ship a more formidable adversary. She is extremely inquisitive.
Strengths & Weaknesses + Vanora was a civilian merchant starship captain, and in that role, she became a jack-of-all-trades. She has some level of experience as an engineer, pilot, and logistical manager. She is a practitioner of Elasian martial arts and kung fu.
- Vanora can be rash, preferring action to contemplation. She has also been known to be hot-headed, and despite her cheery expression, comes across as impatient or abrupt in her interactions with both patients and other crew. She suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and grief related to the loss of her husband. She is easily insulted and exhibits defensiveness when proven wrong.
Ambitions Current ambitions: To help anticipate and prevent threats to the Federation and its citizens. To support her siblings' efforts to reform the Elasian government. To deal with the grief of losing her husband.

Former ambitions: Vanora was a starship captain before joining Starfleet, and her ultimate ambition is to be a starship captain again. She enjoys exciting and stressful assignments, and prefers ships and assignments that put her in the heart of the action.
Hobbies & Interests High adrenaline sports (e.g., space diving, free solo rock climbing, snowboarding), kung fu, tea cultivation and art, piloting.

Personal History Vanora was born on the planet Elas (Tellun System), home of the Elasians, a Federation Member species in the Alpha Quadrant. Her mother, Livia, the chief of a large tribe, the Augusta, wooed and won the heart of Peri’s father, Bedwyr Samsoe, a civilian xenoanthropologist embedded on Elas to study the species cultural practices after more than a century of the union between the Elasians and their neighboring Troyians. Livia and Bedwyr had six children, three sons and three daughters. Vanora is the second daughter and third of the six Augusta Samsoe children.

In spite of Federation membership and a heavy Starfleet presence in the Tellun System due to the proximity to the Klingon Empire border and large dilithium deposits, the Elasians have maintained their semi-feudal, warrior mentality over the last hundred plus years. This was the culture in which the Augusta Samsoe children grew up, one that promoted martial skill, aggressiveness, and shows of strength. Other than the eldest son, Neil, who followed in his father’s footsteps, the rest of the children were undoubtedly molded by a culture full of duels, jousting, and tournaments of warriors, eventually becoming warriors or knights errant of one sort or another.

Bedwyr saw pride and ambition in his first two daughters, and though he did his best to provide all of his children with as complete a Federation education as he could on a world where such cerebral pursuits were undervalued, not all of them took to learning with the enthusiasm of his youngest daughter, Peridot, and her oldest brother, Neil. For Vanora, information was another tool, a weapon as any other with which a smart warrior could use to outwit opponents and with which a smart clan could use to outlast others. But she was not studious, nor did she have any interest in an academic career. She longed for excitement from an early age. Even before she was a teenager, she was running wild, breaking wild steeds and stealing small spacecraft for joyrides.

Vanora ran off and joined a merchant fleet when she was a teenager, after her sixteenth birthday. It was the quickest path to adventuring off in the stars. Her no-nonsense, assertive attitude got the attention of the various merchant captains that she worked for, and she quickly was given more responsibility, until she was finally the captain of her own civilian merchant ship, the SS Lady of the Lake. It was on the SS Lady of the Lake that she met her husband, Tang Stele, a charming and handsome mercenary who served as her muscle. They fell in love hard and quick, and eloped within months of meeting each other. It was Tang who introduced her to kung fu, a fighting style that melded well with the philosophies of Elasian martial arts. Together, they traveled the Alpha and Beta Quadrants.

The honeymoon period did not last long, however. Barely a year into their marriage, the SS Lady of the Lake was attacked by Ferengi marauders, and the ship was nearly destroyed. To Vanora's dismay, her husband vanished during the conflict. His body was never found, and he was presumed dead. Vanora and her crew survived only by the intervention of a Starfleet vessel, the USS Bouzid, under the command of Captain Keval P'Trell. Her ship rendered unnavigable, Vanora stowed away on the Bouzid and entered a period of grieving.

Soon after she took refuge on the Bouzid, the ship was attacked by a rogue Romulan Warbird, and the Chief Operations Officer was killed. Vanora jumped in, and with her experience as a civilian captain was able to help the Assistant Ops Officer keep the ship in one piece during the conflict. The Captain P'Trell was impressed, and gave Vanora a field commission as an Ensign. With no time or desire to go through the Academy, Vanora instead completed the intensive four month Starfleet Officer Candidate School, and upon graduation was awarded her official commission. The P'Trell promoted Vanora to Lieutenant Junior Grade following her completion of OCS.

In 2390, Vanora transferred to the USS Gladiator as Chief Operations Officer, under the command of then-Commander David "Helaku" Hawkins and then-Lieutenant Mercia Kavi. She found an immediate connection with the Chief Engineer, Khelev ch'Koro, and the two began a courtship during the ship's first mission. The Gladiator's captain promoted Vanora to full Lieutenant for her leadership and initiative on the Bridge during an attack by raiders on the Gladiator, SS Wasp, and Durrighash vessels (Stardate 67254.18).

Also during 2390, the USS Gladiator's holographic computer core, known as the Phantom Core, was sabotaged by the terrorist group C.O.I.L. As a result, the artificial intelligence of the Emergency Tactical Command Hologram (ETCH) named Elian gained sentience. Near the end of 2390, Elian took over the ship and used the transporters, holoemitters and environmental controls to put each crew member into a sleep-like state, during which they each encountered their worst nightmare. Vanora was freed from the state by Khelev, and together the pair managed to destroy the Phantom Core.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the Phantom Core, Khelev and Captain Hawkins were targeted by a JAG inquiry, and both put on indefinite administrative leave. The Gladiator's XO (and Vanora's close friend), Mercia, was promoted to Commander and given command of the Gladiator. Hawkins and Mercia convinced their friends in the Admiralty to make Vanora the acting Executive Officer, which was accompanied by a field promotion to Lieutenant Commander.

In 2391, Mercia and Vanora led their first mission as commanders of the Gladiator, when they were ordered by Starfleet to track down and stop a mysterious cult who had been attacking ships near the Romulan Neutral Zone, torturing and murdering the crews in some sort of grizzly rite.

Later in the year, Vanora led a covert operation into the Neutral Zone. Under the guise of a medical mission, the USS Banting made contact with a hidden Tal Shiar asteroid base, and gathered valuable information about the cult known as the Unholy Trinity. Upon returning from her mission, Vanora met the bounty hunter Kanoa Tiamat, who gave her information about the possible whereabouts of her long lost husband, Tang. Vanora went AWOL, attacking her best friend, Mercia, and stealing a ship, in order to track down the rumor. Vanora located Tang, who had been abducted and tortured by her mother, and then locked away on Beta Base, a secret, unsanctioned prison run by the covert branches of the Elasian paramilitary organization, the Timariot. With the help of Starfleet Intelligence officers Lieutenant Aleixo and Lieutenant Cassandra Melik, as well as other prisoners, Vanora and Tang were able to escape. While Aleixo and Cassandra were filling in Starfleet on the existence of the prison, Vanora confronted her mother in a duel. Before Vanora's sister Helen and Starfleet Security intervened, however, Vanora's mother managed to fatally wound Tang, who passed away at the local Federation Hospital.

Melik accompanied Vanora back to the Gladiator, which was on its way to rescue several crewmembers, including Commodore Hawkins, from the Unholy Trinity. Vanora's shuttle was ambushed by an agent of the Unholy Trinity, the former COIL operative named Lion. She was tortured and then joined the other Gladiator prisoners as would-be sacrifices in the Unholy Trinity's temple; her tears were an ingredient in an ancient ritual that would start to kill most Alpha Quadrant races and require submission to the Unholy Trinity for survival. She and the others, except Hawkins, managed to escape, and Task Group 47-A defeated the Unholy Trinity fleet and rescued the Commodore, escaping the system right before one of the Trinity ships formed a black hole that destroyed the entire system.

After these incidents, Vanora's outlook and motivations shifted to a desire to anticipate and prevent these larger threats to the Federation and its citizens. After discussions with Admiral Grayson and Commodore Hawkins, she accepted the offer to head up the Task Group's new Strategic Operations department.
Service Record 2387: Granted field commission as Ensign, USS Bouzid
2388: Completed Starfleet Officer Candidate School, received official commission as Ensign.
2389: Promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade, Operations Officer, USS Bouzid.
2390: Transferred to USS Gladiator, Chief Operations Officer.
2390: Promoted to Lieutenant, USS Gladiator.
2391: Granted field promotion as Lieutenant Commander and Acting Executive Officer, USS Gladiator. Returned to post as Chief Operations Officer and 3XO upon return to duty of CO and 2XO. Formally promoted to Lieutenant Commander.
2391: Accepted transfer to new post, Chief of Strategic Operations, USS Gladiator.