Origin: Gamma Quadrant
A mighty planetary alliance or trading consortium in the Gamma Quadrant, at first unknown to most beyond the wormhole.
Composed of "hundreds" of dominated races, the major political, economic and military power in the Gamma Quadrant is led by the Changeling (shapeshifting) Founders, administered by the cloned Vorta, and defended by the Jem'Hadar storm troops.
Its age is unknown, but a female shapeshifter says her people began "many years ago" to impose order on their chaotic surroundings.
A toehold was gained in the Alpha Quadrant with Cardassia's joining, prompting a full-scale invasion in 2373-74 as the greatest threat to the Alpha Quadrant since the appearance of the Borg. The threat has since been met and subdued by the Federation.