The Klingon Empire of the 2290s is the Imperial Klingon Empire. Born from the T'Kuvma-Kahlessian philosophy of the mid-2250s, this is the interstellar cousin to the Imperial Japanese Empire of the 1940s or the Soviet Union of the mid-1980s. The feudalistic Great Houses of the earlier times of the Klingon Empire have come together as a great Empire with ambitions of conquest. This is a unified Empire where the Great Houses fight as one. Admiral Kuri is the seniormost flag officer of the Empire, answering only to Chancellor Azetbur. Rivalries are smothered by regulations in this great imperial nation. The Imperial Klingon Navy is there to be a strategic force, a political force as well as a means to protect and expand the Empire; fly the flag, send envoys and deliver ultimatums. Intimidate opponents, resistence an rivals. As a dynamic nation, the words of Kahless and T'kuvma, along with L'rell, Sturka, Kesh and Gorkon have helped to shape a military nation that has proved successful.

The explosion of Praxis on stardate 9521 damaged Qo'noS and the central colonies of the Klingon Empire. This had been planned for by the Klingons in war planning for centuries; Qo'noS was always the primary target for enemies to damage or destroy. The need was to redistribute warships and personnel to secure the borders whilst repairs were done to the damaged worlds. The conflicts along the Klingon frontier had been all examined and updated: the cold war with the Federation, the border conflicts with the Romulans and Gorn, finally the military actions with the Sha'kurians and Kin'shaya. Of all of these rivals, it was planned that the best way to free up resources was to exploit the compassion of the United Federation of Planets. Gorkon, a former General in the Imperial Klingon Navy prior to becoming Chancellor, knew this battleplan well. As predicted, the Federation approached Gorkon to offer assistance in the form of Starfleet Captain Spock. This Vulcan was about to transfer to being an ambassador and was looking to make his first mark as such. Gorkon used the helpful Vulcan to get free aid to help speed up the repairs to Qo'noS, as well as giving the impression that the Empire was compromised. Lowering the readiness status on the Federation border and removing a cartographic political feature on a map, postponing the dispute of the border would buy time for the Empire. Such matters could wait.

Spock went to Starfleet Headquarters and said that the Klingon Empire has less than fifty Earth years left to exist. Two months of analysis by Spock and Starfleet Intelligence were sold as having predicted the collapse and implosion of the Empire within a half century. The Klingons would become refugees. This simply wasn't true. Over 95% of the Empire had been completely untouched by Praxis. The Imperial Klingon Navy still had over 14000 operational warships and reached into their extensive reserves to pull out D-5 warships, Raptors and earlier variants of Bird of Prey to supplement the shortfall. As per the plan to survive an attack on Qo'noS, Operation Rebirth would allow the Imperial Klingon Navy to carry on functioning. With the Federation border now a downgraded priority, forces could now be bolstered along the coreward Romulan border. For the Romulans always attacked an enemy at a perceived moment of weakness. The Khitomer Accords were sold to the people of the Federation as a peace treaty; the truth is that the Klingons had no word for 'peace' (and wouldn't have until Riva gives them the word in fifty years' time. The actual peace treaty doesn;t come until after 2344 and the Enterprise-C). The Klingon Empire was like post-Midway Imperial Japan or post-Chernobyl USSR: despite a perceived hammerblow to their nation, this was actually no more than a disaster for the Homeworld that was always half-expected from an enemy attack. Bad publicity on the Federation News Network. Whilst Qo'noS would takeuntil 2307 to be repaired, the Empire could operate seamlessly from Ty'Gokor.

Away from the ozone damage and destruction on Qo'noS, the shipyards and worlds elsewhere in the Empire stepped up production to fill the gaps. The Empire was never at risk of collapse. Spock oversold the disaster to the Starfleet top brass. Fifty years was always long enough for the Klingon Empire to develop or acquire the knowledge and technologies with which to rectify the damage to Qo'noS. If that wasn't possible, there was still time to evacuate and set up a new capital homeworld. Praxis gave the Klingons the same sort of timescale to rectify the damage as the people of Earth had to fight Climate Emergency after the COP26 climate meeting in Glasgow 2021. Fifty years would see a warrior from military academy to retirement or the grave. Praxis empowered rebels to declare independence and try to withdraw from the Empire. The Klingons would execute their own Soviet-style Hungary (1956), Prague Spring (1968) or Chinese-style Tian Nan Men (1989) crackdown with force. Operation Rebirth and the Khitomer Accords allowed the Klingons the militar resources to stabilse their Empire and repair the damage. Tractor beams and firepower would stop the threat of debris from Praxis; scientists, engineers and medics would repair the damage to Qo'noS and her people. Liebensraum or 'breathing room' could wait for a few years.

"Members of the Federation, what you call your most remote borders, I call too close to Klingon territory. You only live now to serve as witnesses of Klingon supremacy, to be my herald. We do not desire to know you. But you will know our great Houses, standing as one under Kahless, reborn in me, T'Kuvma"

"Whom do we seek?"
"How do we find him?"
"Give us light to see"
"Will he hide from us always?"

The Klingon Empire was created by the legendary Kahless the Unforgettable about 1500 years ago. The Klingons were left a planet and system ravaged by the Hur'Q, however they were also left the will to fight, and the warp drive technology to expand their Empire far beyond their own planet. After the first contact with the pacifistic Vulcans, they were shaken out of complacency by their first dealings with humans. For the first time, the Klingons saw a species who mirrored both their spirit and ambition. The humans were potential rivals, and this was borne out for them over the following years and decades. The development from warp one ships, the warp two Neptune NV class and warp four Franklin soon became the pioneering and successful NX Enterprise class with warp five. The Klingons watched as the experience with the Xindi forged the fledgling Starfleet into a force to be reckoned with. The Coalition of Planets then cemented the fear of the Klingons as even a war with the Romulans failed to break the Coalition, as it had matched the Klingons so many times in the past.

The 23rd Century saw the United Federation of Planets growing exponentially. The Klingon Empire found its feet with the unifying will of T'kuvma in the middle of the 2250s, who brought together Houses that had been fighting amongst themselves for decades. The Klingon Empire sparked off the Federation, enlarging itself to prove itself to be the primary superpower in the Beta Quadrant. Kol, leader of the House of Kor, was the 'Alpha Klingon' amongst the 24 leaders of the great Houses. His position of power was only threatened by the rise of T'kuvma.

The myth that the Klingon High Council likes to perpetuate is that the Empire has stood proudly since the time of Kahless, with 24 great Houses forming the High Council that has ruled over the Empire. The truth is that unity is a rarity in the Empire. Only two Klingons ever unified the Empire: Kahless and T'kuvma. The former created a legend that perpetuates to this day; the latter re-ignited the fire of the Beacon of Kahless to remind the people of the Klingon Empire of the way of Kahless. T'kuvma did not live to see the fruit of his quest.

Honour is everything to a Klingon; his House means more to him than his life. Every Klingon can bring glory or shame to their House. This quest for glory and honour has made the Klingon people more predictable, not less. The Klingons see it as their strength, but it is as much their weakness. Blood and honour dictate almost every action of a Klingon, especially a devout follower of Kahless or T'kuvma. Transgressions led to blood feuds, revenge follows bloody revenge, generation after generation. This blood feud, swearing revenge and House politics led to the Empire slowly degenerating into in-fighting and powerplay. T'kuvma kicked many of the Houses back to the way of Kahless and the Federation as the true enemy of the Klingon Empire.

The T'kuvma-Kahlessian philosophy that bound the Great Houses of the Empire created a Soviet-style unified nation. Comon warship designs of the Bird of Prey, D-5 and D-6 were joined by a new design, the D-7 K't'inga class battlecruiser in the late 2250s. The unified Imperial Klingon Navy was able to expand their borders and add worlds to the Empire in vast numbers compared to individual Houses. Common designs and unified Houses allowed a greater flexibility in the structure of the Empire; this also offered a better response to the Federation expansion elsewhere.

After the cold war of the 2260s, 70s and 80s, the Empire has slid back into the House in-fighting once more. Praxis is publicly quoted as the factor that will cause the Empire to crumble; truth is that it is the quest for blood vengeance and House powerplay that will tear the Empire apart. Author note: based on Starfleet Intelligence and Hawkins' thesis work. Both men and women rule Houses, indeed House D'ghor is a matriarchy.

Author's notes:

Ken Mitchell (Kol) revealed in a pre-series interview: "Well, he’s… the leader. You first meet him in holograph form, and he’s kind of an alpha Klingon amongst the house leaders, amongst the 24 house leaders. He has these disagreements and conflicts with T’Kuvma and his house, and it kind of launches that relationship throughout the rest of the season. Kol is on a bit of a path to power, and he also wants to protect his people, not only amongst the Klingon houses, but also amongst the Federation. I just really kind of clinged on to that."

"Heghmey DISIQpu'... 'a DIvI' Hegh vIthI law' Heghmaj vItIh puS. Devwl'pu', Qo'noS yIchegh. tlngvo' 'evDaq chanDaq De' ylmaq wo' tay' Daqa'taHvIS Suv thlnglhan Segh!" / "We have suffered losses... but the Federation has suffered far more. Leaders, return to Qo'noS. Declare far and wide that the Klingon race fights as a united Empire once again!" - T'kuvma in Star Trek Discovery.

The 2250s saw an encounter between the U.S.S. Shenzhou and the Klingons that sparked off the Federation-Klingon War, as T'kuvma sought a cause that would unify the disparate 24 great Houses. Also in that Century, clashes on the Klingon borders with the Romulans and Gorn, along with battles with the Kinshaya kept the Imperial Klingon Navy battle-hardened and the boundaries of the Empire fluid. The golden alliance that was forged in the 2260s between the Klingons and their Romulans was borne out of the fear of the Federation. Together these rivals would defeat the Federation. Ultimately, imperial rivalries and deception crumble this alliance as quickly as it formed. Bitter conflict erupted along the Romulan border and this stretched the Klingon Empire to breaking point.

Fear of the unified nation, the United Federation of Planets, on their border drove the Klingons to fear domestication and assimilation; the fire of Klingon spirit would go out as they were tamed. The successive Klingon leaders would fight against this. Human history had already shown how this had ended with the Native Americans and other First Nation cultures; information obtained via Klaang in 2151 had shown Imperial Intelligence that the humans could be just as ruthless as the Klingons. For the Klingons to stand disunited as 24 great Houses, they would surely fall just as the Cherokee, Lakota and others had centuries beforehand. T'kuvma had to bring the Houses together under one leader with vision, if the Empire was to last...

T'Kuvma called together the High Council and their 24 great Houses. The bringing togather of 25 Klingon warship was matched by 25 Starfleet ships (including U.S.S. Clarke NCC-1661, U.S.S. Dana, U.S.S. Earhart, U.S.S. Edison, flagship U.S.S. Europa NCC-1648, U.S.S. Kerala, U.S.S. Ride, U.S.S. Shran, U.S.S. Shenzhou NCC-1227, U.S.S. Sioux, U.S.S. T'Plana Hath and U.S.S. Yeager.) face off against an equal number of Klingon ships. Some of the Klingon ships have stealth cloaking systems, this cost the U.S.S. Europa. T'Kuvma the Unforgettable is killed in the encounter. The death of T'kuvma acts as a martyr to his people to unify them for the first time since Kahless.

The Klingon who moved quickly to fill the vacuum left by T'kuvma was the alpha Klingon in the High Council: Kol of House Kor. Kol used the message of T'kuvma to drive forwards his own agenda for power. Kol was also smart enough to know that the House of T'kuvma had the war-winning secret of both the ideology but also the cloaking stealth technology to give his warships - and those affiliated to his cause - the edge they needed for military supremacy. What Kol found was a barely-repaired warship that had a crew that had been starving for most of the six months of repairs. What Kol did simply was feed the crew and quickly gain their loyalty to his House. Kol ganed the ideology and technology in a bloodless coup completed in minutes.

Kol used the Houses of D'ghor and M'kai to lure in Federation Ambassador Sarek to capture him as a high-value prisoner. Logic extremist terrorists sabotage the mission and Admiral Cornwell assumed the role. The Admiral was captured and the two Houses showed their loyalty to Kol and his united Klingon Empire, gaining them a seat at his table and a share of the cloaking technology.

Author notes:

With the creation of the canon series ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ the previous Four Year War and Axanar chronological events have been cast as being non-canon and not in keeping with the ethos of Star Trek. The Klingons are involved in a war of unknown duration of months or years with the Federation. This, along with the physiological and cultural changes with the Klingons, will change history in subtle ways right up through 2293 to the present day 2312. The Interim Years will reflect these changes; e.g. Gorkon will no longer be Gorbachev meets Abraham Lincoln, instead he'll be more like Sitting Bull. Less a Chancellor, more a Chieftain of the most powerful of the 24 great Houses.

"They are coming. Atom by atom, they will coil around us and take all that we are. There is one way to confront this threat. By reuniting the twenty-four warring houses of our own empire. We have forgotten the Unforgettable, the last to unify our tribes: Kahless. Together, under one creed: Remain Klingon! That is why we light our beacon this day. To assemble our people. To lock arms against those whose fatal greeting is... 'We come in peace'."

- T'Kuvma.

Author's Notes:

EVERYTHING changes about the Klingons with the above quote, taken from the opening lines of the Star Trek: Discovery series, with the character for T'kuvma and explaining the Klingon motivation in a paragraph. Originally the Klingons were the Mongols in TOS (and certainly have those traits now) and later the Soviets. In TNG, DS9 and VOY they became the Vikings and the Russians with their corrupt government and Viking mentality of honour and battle. In The Undiscovered Country, Brigadier Kerla's speech at the Enterprise-A dinner table was the forerunner of Discovery's view on Klingons as a First Nation, such as Native Americans, Abourigine, Mouri, Nenets, or Inuit; a people who see the Federation horde coming in their ships, taking away their lands and traditions: condemning them to live on reservations or in zoos - "come look at the savages". The Klingons fear becoming tamed and losing their identity. Klingon leaders have therefore ceased being Soviet premiers or Viking leaders: they have taken on the personality of characters such as Red Cloud, Sitting Bull or Crazy Horse. These are leaders trying to preserve their people from the perceived threat that is not over the next hill but one, it is right on their doorstep, behind the Neutral Zone. And that Zone is now being dismantled and taken away from them.

Klingons are motivated by a trait not expected of them in the past: fear. The Klingons fear the inevitable and wish to die trying to preserve their race - again, another line from Star Trek VI. The Khitomer Accords has the Neutral Zone being dismantled to a timescale that is manageable: five years. I suspect that Houses that border the Zone will want to fight their 'true enemy', the Federation, they will not allow a treaty - or any number of Accords - to dictate the survival of their species. Klingons follow the survival of the fittest and the Kronosian Klingons and their High Council will not always be the driving force in charge. Klingons do not want to feel like a line has been drawn in the sand - this far and NO further, nor do they want their holy sites or other culturally important places to be taken away from them. The Federation challenges their beliefs and their culture - it is a clash of civilisations as to which one is right. Such clashes have historically ended badly on Earth with Native Americans decimated from 12 million down to 500 000 by 1840, Abourigine losing their lands in Australia, similar happenings with the Mouri in New Zealand etc.

Like the Native American Chiefs of the 1860 - 80s, the Klingon Chancellors have seen the United Federation of Planets created from the Earth Starfleet, and Coalition of Planets, becoming the foremost power of the Known Universe. The Chancellors have told their people that there is hope against this oncoming storm. The priests have always been right; they have retold the story of Kahless, the fool and the Oncoming Storm: the Storm does not respect the Fool and dashes him to pieces. Even a belief in Klingon values will not save them when the Federation has attractive values of its own and a population far larger. The Klingons must fight to keep the flames of their free spirit alive or they will surely be drowned in the tsunami of Federation domestication. This is a clash of civilisations. As with the Native Americans and the rifles they obtained through trade and capture, the Klingons have comparable firepower; this equality is threatened more than ever after the loss of the Tal'lhnor Gates and Praxis.

From Mary Chieffo interview on Star "What's been so beautiful is to have scenes where, yes, we're speaking Klingon, yes, we're in these full prosthetics, yes, we've got our armor on, and I would turn to my scene partner and I'd be like, "We're doing a scene. We're feeling feelings. We're getting to explore the intimate moments." That was a huge emphasis, too, with the language, that it's not just barking. It's got a fluidity and a nuance. I think that this exploration of “the other” is exciting, and I think that we really are going to get a great window into both sides. I'm speaking to this because it really did strike me, just like the other week, how the Federation perceives me, L'Rell is very different from how, say, Kol (Kenneth Mitchell), perceives me within the Klingon world. Who I am, to him, is very different. That’s something we haven’t seen. Usually, it's like all the Klingons are on the same side, and we don't like the Federation. Ultimately, we do unite against a common enemy, and that's the best way to get people together." What this says to me is that we're going to explore the personal side of the Klingons, not just the warriors. This is what I've wanted to do with Star Trek: The Interim Years from the start.

The re-designing or re-imagining of the Klingons and their Empire for Star Trek: Discovery must be taken into account for Star Trek: The Interim Years. The Klingon Empire modelled on the Mongol Empire or Vikings has a very different feel to Klingons designed modelled off Native Americans and First Nation cultures. If it were the former cultures then they would not fear the Federation and would fight until the stronger nation won. This isn't about the militarily stronger nation, if it were then the Klingons could well win; this is all about a clash of civilisations and a cultural war. The Klingon Empire consists of 24 great Houses that, like the Native American tribes in the 1880s, fail to work together against the Federation. They fight each other, like the families in Game of Thrones, for their version of the Iron Throne. The Federation, by comparison, is a unified entity that has assimilated cultures together to work to a common cause of democracy and unity; treating every citizen, species and culture equally no matter what their beliefs and ways. It is this unity that the Klingon Chancellor, High Council and Priests all fear. Praxis exploding will have brught things to a head, this is all about Chancellor Gorkon preserving his people - the Klingon species and its culture. This changes Gorkon from being Abraham Lincoln to being Sitting Bull. And that changes the dynamic of the Klingons entirely, as I started off by saying.

The viewpoint and map should be re-oriented to the Klingon Empire and Qo'noS. The Empire is surrounded by its enemies: Romulans to the coreward, Federation to the Spinward, Gorn to the Rimward and the Kinshaya Kingdom to the Driftward. The 24 great Houses have all got their own credo and agenda; their own priorities and beliefs. With Star Trek: Discovery, things have changed since the older Trek series of TOS, TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT; aspects of those shows will be incorporated, but in the same vein, they will be re-imagind and drive the stories as needed. Women can still serve on the High Council as the House of S'yrekka and Chancellor Azetbur show. With each of the 24 great Houses having their own fleets and ships, the Empire will be more decentralised away from Qo'noS and not be quite so crippled when Praxis explodes. It is more the disunity of the Houses that holds the Empire back from being all-conquering. The Houses all play their own version of Game of Thrones; the winning House has its leader as the Chancellor, the rest bend the knee to serve on the High Council or die. I deeply suspect Star Trek: Discovery was pitched as "Star Trek meets Game of Thrones", with the Klingon Empire perfect to take on the Westeros element.

John M. Ford's "The Final Reflection" has been cited more than once as 'required reading' for the Klingon actors on the new Star Trek: Discovery TV series. This is a far cry from when Gene Roddenberry and Pocket Books changed their admission rules for Star Trek novels to prevent any further books done in this style. Gene didn't like the Klingons being detailed, pulling the FASA gaming license when they used Final Reflection material for the Klingons and writing up the Gorn species in similar detail. The Romulan novels of Diane Duane tried to detail the Vulcan cousins in similar detail with language, being denounced by Gene Roddenberry for being a novel that could be for any generic sci-fi genre, rather than Star Trek. Again, the lack of use of the main Star Trek characters gave weight to Gene's point.

Art director for ST: DSC Matt Middleton said: "We also sought not just to have fun with the architecture, but also the details that spoke to the history and culture of the Klingon race. As a touchstone, we looked to John Ford’s THE FINAL REFLECTION which was a work really used as a launching-off point for the Klingons by Bryan Fuller.

There is Klingon text on the steps [inside the ship], we have a lot of ritual torches and sarcophagi and glyphs, and other details. For example, [one section of] the Klingon text… was all carefully researched and taken from transcripts from THE FINAL REFLECTION, and we made sure that we had accurate Klingon translation.

This one, says [speaks Klingon to audience] which reads: “‘I will go now to Sto’vo’kor, but I promise one day I will return.’ Then Kahless pointed to a star in the sky and said, look for me there, in that point of light.”

Which is a big promise from Kahless!"

"The Earth is Weeping", by Peter Cozzens, is an amazing book that gives both sides in the Indian Wars. It tlks bout the inter-tribal fighting, that there was NO unified Native American effort to stop the flood of white settlers. It also speaks of ther Treaties that were broken almost as soon as they were written, or broken when money and personal gain came into it. These factors have, I believe, a VERY strong case to be made in the Star Trek universe, particularly The Interim Years. Colonists/settlers, breaking the Organian Peace Treaty to settle in contentious space; an unenforceable Neutral Zone; Organians, who disappeared almost as soon as they'd made their point (see all the Klingon invasions and infractions of the Organian Peace Treaty that happened every few episodes in the Original Series); Treaties that swindled the Klingons out of territory, or that did not translate properly from Federation Standard into Klingon language/cultural models: all of these factors should flesh out the interactions of the Klingons with the Federation from 2250s to the present (2312).

"The Mongol History" by John Man describes in detail the coming of Genghis Khan and the unification of the Mongol tribes to form one of the greatest empires in history. This book also showed Kublai Khan was a second major leader that built upon his grandfather's empire. There are elements of this that can be seen in Klingon Culture with T'kuvma trying to unify the Klingons. There are also historical precedents that the Klingons ought to heed that after Kublai Khan the Mongols fell from greatness.

Another major influence on the Interim Years Klingons for me is the TV series "Vikings". Ronald D. Moore truly took Klingons as the Baddie of the week (or for me, story-wise, the baddie of the weak; if you don't relate to the antagonist then you don't care for them. They might even be the ones in the right and our heroes in the wrong) and gave them a purpose and a culture. Ron D. Moore made them Vikings. I live 20 minutes from York, so the Jorvik Viking museum is literally just up the road. Both Jorvik and the TV series Vikings help to being to life the Norse raiders from the 8th - 11th Centuries. The Prose Edda gives Norse mythology: Odin the All-Father, Thor the God of Thunder and Loki the Trickster to name but three figures. Klingons are a warrior race and, again, the Viking cultural comparisons gives them a culture and a reality that they need to have as antagonists to the Federation. The Bird-of-Prey analogy makes more sense as well, with Klingon Raiders reflecting the Viking ones; exploring and conquering new worlds for their House and the Empire, increasing their stock of honour and standing in the Empire. Honour is everything. This is a phrase that is bandied around about the Klingons but it LITERALLY is THE most IMPORTANT aspect of the Klingons. Honour determines a Klingon's actions; gaining honour is the goal of everythingand losing honour is worse than dying - hence discommendation is the worst form of punishment for a Klingon. Klingons live and die for honour and glory. Killing women, children and even the elderly and unborn is of no consequence where honour is concerned. Worf was offered the life of Toral, son of Duras at the end of TNG: Redemption part 2. For stealing his family's name and honour from him, Worf had the right - and obligation - to kill all of the House of Duras. All of them. They had committed the ultimate crime against the House of Mogh and they should all die for their crime, lest they come back - driven by honour - to seek revenge in 20 years or whatever.(Worf declined because it is the Klingon way, "...but it is not MY way"...)

Klingons are military, spiritual, explorers, conquerors and family members. They are loyal to their House, the Empire and the Chancellor. Every Klingon has been brought up with the teachings of Kahless and their House. The names of their forefathers and mothers are taught to them, as is the importance of honour. Especially honour. Blood oaths, blood feuds and vengeance all have their place. Dates and places of battles, victories and losses of the House are also important. This gives the Klingon the sense of where they are and who they are. A Klingon comes of age and as their House badge symbolically placed on their uniform. Klingon Academy is also a large influence on the Interim Years Klingons. Klingon Academy came out in 2000 after much delay. It tells the story of the Klingon Academy and the time just before Praxis through the eyes of candidate Torlek. General Chang is once again fleshed out by Christopher Plummer and David Warner reprises his role as Gorkon. Chang, to me, is the quintessential Klingon; he knows that war with the Federation is inevitable, not because he is a war mongerer but because he knows the Klingon heart and what Klingons stand for.

His lessons explain the Heart of Virtue, the tIq ghob, the symbol of the Klingon Empire from Kahless that is made up of Honour, Loyalty and Duty. The longest blade is honour, which separates a Klingon from being an armed savage. The story takes into account a civil war between the House of G'Iogh and the forces of Gorkon and Chang. The Academy simulations show the theory and the civil war the practical. What Klingon Academy did for me is to illustrate the driving forces for a Klingon as well as the sparring and powerplay between Houses - a disunity that Star Trek: Discovery spelt out with the line from Kol that the 24 Great Houses were only unified to fight the Federation. Then they would divide again. This informed my vision of the Klingon Empire as a divided entity, showing off unity where it really wasn't. Gorkon had killed Kesh; Gorkon was assassinated by Chang and those Klingons loyal to the Empire. Loyalists, not the traitors that Star Trek VI made them out to be. They were heroes to the Empire, not to the mission of Kirk and the Enterprise-A. Chang and the Generals with him were killed, which now left Azetbur - daughter of Gorkon - as Chancellor. There's NO WAY the Houses loyal to Chang and affiliates will accept Azetbur. This will be the beginning of factions in the Klingon Empire. Chang is the perfect archetype for Klingons, not Gorkon. Even if it cost the Empire its existence, he was loyal to his Heart of Virtue and the Empire.

"We have become complacent in the time since we last battled the Federation at Donatu V. Our Purity is a threat to them. They wish to drag us into the muck, where humans, Vulcans, Tellarites, and filthy Andorians mix." - T'kuvma, ST:DSC.

The Klingons were in disarray for generations prior to the 2250s, when a Klingon named T’kuvma moved to unite them to a cause. That cause was the United Federation of Planets; This played on the universal concern of the Klingons that their social Darwinian way of life was existentially threatened by the Federation. The Klingon people feared that their expanding neighbour was encroaching upon the Empire and would continue its mission to bring their teachings and way of life to the Klingons. This would amount to nothing less than the domestication of the Klingon people; Klingons would be placed into zoos and trained to behave in the Federation way in order to protect the flocks of colonial sheep that were placed ever-closer to the border of the Empire. This would amount to the destruction of the Klingon culture, fighting the natural Darwinian process of life that the Klingons accepted which would keep the weaker species in exchange for socially educating the Klingon people out of being the dominant apex predator their species had evolved into.

This fear of losing their way of life, being tamed by the Federation drove the Klingon people to war. The Starfleet starship Shenzhou attempted to last-ditch mission to stop T’kuvma in unifying the Klingon great Houses. This was the signal that lit the fire for war. A war for the very survival of the Klingon people and their Empire. The Romulans had been cowed into submission for nearly a century, leaving the Klingon Empire as the only nation strong enough to draw a line and stop the Federation in its tracks. Individual Houses needed to stop thinking small and attacking other Houses or raiding Federation colonies along the border; they needed to gather into a single armada to face the Starfleet warships in a glorious war that would cripple Federation ambitions and bring honour and glory to the Houses and warriors of the Klingon Empire.

Even after the Klingon-Federation war in the 2250s, it was this fear of being enslaved and humiliated by the Federation that would act as the primary motivator to the Klingon Empire. The subsequent Cold War and aggressive posture across the border, later the Neutral Zone, was all because of this clash of civilisations. The Federation emissaries would talk of Klingon aggression when it was in fact the shameless expansionist credo of the Federation that brought the two cultures into conflict. The Federation did not understand that the Klingons were following the true way of nature, to be the strongest species and earn the dominance the universe through success in battle. It was only after the explosion of Praxis that this cultural statement had to be compromised...

Author notes:

The above material comes from Sarek’s revelation that T’kuvma is a great leader attempting to unify to a common cause. Page describes Klingons as being apex predators through evolution and it makes sense that the Klingon way is justified to them as obeying the Darwinian laws of nature, that the strongest survive. This explains their way of the warrior and why the Federation, who care for the weak, helpless and powerless species they encounter out of compassion, have a way of life that is incompatible with Klingon culture. This existential threat is what drives the Klingons to fight for their very survival and to “die trying” if they need to. Their view is that Starfleet doesn’t explore and learn, they colonise, educate and domesticate the species they encounter, brainwashing them into joining the pacifistic Federation to waste manpower and resources supporting species that nature has obviously selected for extinction.

(left) New Klingon designers Neville Page and Glenn Hetrick. The Klingon species can be traced to the evolution of an apex predatory race on Kronos, leading to the development of a civilisation that would become the Klingon Empire. The Klingon physiology is well-suited to fighting and hunting, possessing armoured skulls and spines and redundancy in their bodily systems in case of serious injury. The skull ridges of a Klingon contain senses and pheromone glands that aid both in self-awareness and in bio-chemical communication.

Klingon biology is very different to human. The natural base stimulation level on a Klingon is significantly lower than for humans. As a result, Klingons look to greater stimulus. A good example of this is Raktajino - Klingon coffee - which is far stronger than that found on Earth. Klingons need that extra kick to achieve the stimulation normal coffee gives humans. Author note: DS9 drink of choice.

Klingons are passionate, to a level only matched in Deltans, Vulcans and Betazoids. Thispasion is expressed both in terms of love and violence - and often both together. Sex between Klingons is initiated by the male actually striking the female in the face; the pain and subsequent stimulation of the adrenal system kickstarts the Klingon fight, flight and f-lovemaking system. Even the sexual activities of Klingons are more violent than humans - again for the stimulation level. Arousal is the primary Klingon psyche as a leftover from them being primary predators. Klingons fear being domesticated and tamed as this wildness and arousal is what makes them feel alive.

Sado-masochism plays a role in Klingon sexual play activity; these are considered the norm. Bondage, torture and physical pain are all part of the mating pattern of Klingons. Human ideologies such as 'safewords' are non-existent in Klingon culture. Danger, pain and fear all run as part of the same path of stimulation to raise the arousal levels and to really feel alive as a Klingon. Author's note: Kruge commenting on self-destructing Genesis as "Exilarating, isn't it?. Klingons thrive on high stimulation of their adrenal levels, boosting their strength and combat performance: especially in situations where they may be injured. The need for stimulation in sexual play extends to the presence of bladed weapons in the domestic situation.

Klingons deal in death and glory. Where humans fear death, Klingons embrace it on the provision of the manner of the death being in glorious battle. Dying of old age or disease is scorned upon.

The Klingon Empire is run via the 24 great Houses, who form the High Council. The leader of the High Council is the Chancellor. The Houses traditionally have their own ideologies and variations. House Mo’kai is a matriarchal and specialises in espionage and spying. Klingon Houses place high importance on their individual appearances in clothing, facial and body markings, weapons choice and styling. All Klingon society is influenced by the teachings and actions of Kahless the Unforgettable, the founding father of the Empire. Each House interprets these teachings differently, influenced in part by the different worlds in the Empire that these Houses reside on.

The Klingon Empire fought a war against the United Federation of Planets in 2255; T’kuvma fought to bring the 24 great Houses together in a common unifying cause to preserve their culture. After the war this resulted in decades of Cold War until the explosion of Praxis in 2292 and the signing of the Khitomer Accords the following year.

Author Notes:

The Klingons are primarily designed from the Mongols, with similarity of history pre-Genghis Khan and the disorganisation, the rise of a unifying leader (Genghis Khan) and the subsequent creation of the Mongol Empire. When the Mongol Empire lacked a solid leader, this soon resulted in fierce in-fighting and the self-destruction of the Empire – the Klingon Empire being much the same.

The canon great Houses mentioned so far are: T'kuvma, Antaak, D'Ghor, Duras, Kozak, Konjah, Kor, Korath, Martok, Mo'Kai, Mogh and Noggra. (Twelve so far and another twelve to name in canon). The idea of Houses is said to come from Dune. Japan had Houses and the Mongols had clans, so any and all of these could be seen as inspiration.

The variations in the Houses is very reminiscent of Game of Thrones with the different families with their crests, mottos and dress code – the Lannisters with their lion and gold and the Starks with their wolves and wolf pelt shawls. With Star Trek: Discovery the House T’kuvma wears gold and House Kor has animal pelt capes as a sign of leadership.

Neville Page describes the Klingon biology: "Being that the Klingons are an apex predator the design for their anatomy assumes they have highlighted senses, specifically extra sensory receptors running from the top of their heads to their backs. This was the “impetus” with Page and Fuller for the shape of the heads. They started with designing Klingon skulls."

Neville Page describes the brief he got: "The words that he used were “The Klingons are self-ware estheticians, and I want them to appear less brutish and more conscious.” He made references [to] baroque and samurai [styles] in terms of armor because there is this whole suit [Torchbearer]."

Importantly, Page said: "The empire is very big. They don’t all grow up on Kronos. They don’t all live on the same planets and certainly those different planets would have different environments. So how would the cultures have evolved differently?…We tried to come up with cultural axioms for each house so each looks different and they bear a cultural patina like our cultures do here on Earth."

Kenneth Mitchell on Kol: "He is very complicated. He leans more towards some of the Klingons we are familiar with. He is very powerful. He does have a line I can paraphrase which does explain some of these things. He says “All I see is another attempt by humanity to rob us of our identity.” Then he adds: "The images that you have seen so far are one house led by T’Kumva. Today you just saw the first image of [Kol]. So even in the wardrobe it is starting to venture to the more traditional Klingons. More leather and a different set of armor. And the series itself is going to explore 24 different houses and the leaders among them. And you will find different complexities and different ideologies amongst those houses. And so what you have seen already in these images is mostly just from one house. You are going to start to explore further into the Klingons, and each of those houses has a different set of physical looks and variations as well as ideologies." Adding "I have a fur cape, which distinguishes my position as the leader [as like] a status symbol."

From Mary Chieffo: "Obviously the hair was the biggest thing people noticed, or the lack thereof. And I will attest to the fact there is a reason my ridge goes back the way it does. There are sensors and pheromones…There is a whole reasoning behind it that is adhering to what has always been true in Klingon canon…So I deeply believe we are in line with what has come before but is also adding a new kind of nuance." Adding later "...her father was House T’Kuvma, but her her mother was House Mokai, which is this matriarchal Klingon house that is known for being spies."

From what Mary is describing, it seems that the Klingons not only have senses along their head spines but also pheromone emitters. This would seem to be taking aspects of the Deltans and adding it to Klingons. The helmet with imaging technology on that folds away seems very Predator; finally the Klingons are entering the 23rd Century with some weapons technology in ST: Discovery.

Klingon Heart copyright Neville Page. Neville Page posted on his Instagram page a picture of a Klingon Heart from season one of Star Trek: Discovery. The biological sense and intricate thought and detail that went into this design is one of the reasons I admire the work of Neville Page so highly. From the man himself: " is a heart. Specifically, a Klingon heart. Seen in season one during a surgical procedure, this heart is based on the canon that Klingons have redundant/double organs. Rather than just mirror a heart, I thought it biologically appropriate to supercharge the Klingon heart. This “second” heart (on the right) acts as an overdrive pump when more oxygenation of blood is required and thus facilitating greater success in battle. I included an NOS (nitrous oxide system) booster on that second heart (seen at the lower center of the image) in the form of an additional adrenaline gland. Excite a Klingon and...well...good luck with that??"

"Oh yes, cities, homes in the country, ...your woman at your side, children playing at your feet. And overhead, fluttering in the breeze, the flag of the Federation. Charming." - Commander Kruge, ST:III.

The 2280s had one final moment of imperial greatness for the Empire with the attacks on the starships Grissom and Enterprise. Klingons like Chang and Kruge argued for 'breathing room' for the Empire, just like the Liebensraum the Nazi Germans wanted in the late 1930s on Earth. Gorkon, freshly back from his pilgrimage to Boreth, put the Chancellor and High Council onto a road for negotiations with the Federation, buying time to develop new warships and new defences. Klingons like Chang and Kruge argued for a swift strike like in 2256 that showed that the Federation COULD be defeated and that it SHOULD be defeated; a rival taken off the Klin Zha board to clear the way for the Empire gaining new resources, attaining supremacy in the Beta Quadrant.

Chang and Kesh sought to build new warships like the Accuser class dreadnought that entered service in 2282. Once this colossus of a battleship entered service the L-24 Komo Val was pushed to compete against the Federation Excelsior class as a techical and strategic innovation that would beat the Federation at their own game. To add to this, the B-12 Sword of Kahless class superbattleship was designed to surmount even the abilities of the Accuser class to be the biggest and most powerful battleship even seen in the Beta Quadrant. Whilst the Federation dug in with policies of ENGAGEMENT, INTELLIGENCE, DETECTION and DETERRANCE, the Klingons looked to design a warfleet that would smother those defences, sweep aside those deterrants and, even as the Federation Council baulked at the requests by Starfleet for more capable tactical assets, so the Klingon High Council pressed on to have the most powerful warfleet in known space, able to take on wars on any two fronts of the Empire. Simultaneously.

Chancellor Kesh dispelled the fears of Kruge to say that they did not have to fear the Federation expanding into Klingon space and swamping them; it was the Federation that should fear THEM. Bird of Prey warships with new cloaking technologies were being developed for special forces-style raids on the Federation to take down key strategic locations. The warfleet guided by the Warrior's Anger class command cruisers will guide the bulk of the Klingon armada into Federation space, with the Accuser and later Sword of Kahless class battleships to obliterate any opposition. There would be no repeat of the Pahvo defeat of 2257 with their cloaking technology, this would be a glorious war to destroy the united Federation of Planets once and for all. Cold War was merely stalling until they were ready to wage the hot war that they desired.

The cracks, however, were beginning to show with the Klingon Empire as an economic designed to run a planetary Empire had been stretched to the stars and now was reaching too far. The model of building an armada, conqueuering worlds, using their resources to feed the Empire and build a new armada required continuous growth. The boundaries with the Federation, Romulans and Gorn had caged in this ambition. The ever-growing debt had come in to be paid. The Empire had a history of turning in on itself when it stagnated and the civil war of the early 2290s deprived the Empire of one of its best sources of energy and Praxis was pushed to take its place.

The subsequent explosion of Praxis changed the Empire forever.

Author notes:

The role model for the Klingon Empire was the Soviet Union, and later Russia. Whilst the Vikings, Samurai and Biker Gangs have inspired the culture of the Klingons, the roots are firmly in the Russian camp. The 1980s was a period in Russia of renewed Cold War, ending in detente and finally in the loss of East Germany, Poland, Hungary and the Baltic States.

In truth the role model for the Klingons is the Native American nations in the 1880s. The Klingons fought for their freedom in the 2250s, 2266 almost saw a resumption of hostilities. The Organian Peace Treaty necessitated a Cold War of spies and proxy wars. The absence of Organian interference led to a clashes in the 2270s. By the 2280s the Klingons were fighting to keep their lands and traditions alive by both sending emissaries to negotiate with the Federation and also by deniable surgical strikes. By taking out both the Enterprise and Hood, the Klingons were able to give the Federation a moment of pause.

The Klingon military worked on two different schools of facing up to the Federation; the Accuser class dreadnought was their answer to the Federation and Ascension class dreadnoughts of Starfleet in the 2280s. To counter the rumoured Excelsior class, the L-24 Komo Val class was developed by the best scientists and engineers of the Klingon Empire. This revolutionary warship used experimental technology and rare minerals to produce a militarised rival to the new NX-2000. The Klingon Empire launched Komo Val first and lit the fires under the Federation to launch the own ship. Klingon prestige was on the rise and, for the first time in decades, there was hope in the Klingon Empire that the spread of Federation democracy could be halted with the new warships.

‘Rogue Klingons’ and ‘Rogue Houses’ are a feature of both the 2280s and 2290s as a means of striking targets in the Federation without the political fall-out of a sanctioned military assault. This is the Klingon version of the Russian policy of ‘Little Green Men’ in Crimea in 2014. After the loss of three major starships in 2285, the Federation council was beginning to tire of the ‘Rogue Klingon’ explanation. These strikes continued even to 2298 and beyond when Starbase 11 (located in Federation space near Benecia) was hit by a Klingon Bird of Prey. Despite only one fatality, this was a symbolic strike to restore pride in the Empire.

The movies IV and V showed a thaw in the relations with the Klingons that mirrored the Soviet Union under Gorbachev – perhaps implying that Gorkon was Chancellor at this point, as per Dayton Ward’s novel ‘In the Name of Honour’. This would make more sense than having Kesh continue as chancellor into 2291 as he was portrayed as anti-Federation. The events of Klingon Academy don’t sit too well with the novels as Chancellor Lorak doesn’t appear anywhere else and the rapid succession of challengers to the Klingon throne mean working out continuity is difficult if incorporating Kesh from the novels still being in power in 2291 and Gorkon perhaps from as early as 2287. B’rak from Federation: The First 150 Years needs to be ignored as adding unnecessary complexity to a difficult situation.

Klingon worlds and Kronos need that Soviet industrialised image with foundries and mines. This is an Empire that needs to build an armada to conquer and rule an Empire. Whilst Kronos lacks minerals now, the Hur'Q exploited the planet and have left empty mines and barren scenery. Klingon cities are very practical and not all as glamorous as the First City.

Praxis was the key energy production facility of the Klingon homeworld. Ever since the destruction of the Gates of Tal'Ihnor, more pressure than ever was put onto Praxis to keep up the dilithium mining and refining operations; the largest and most important in the Empire. On Stardate 9521, at the end of 2292, those pressures resulted in a lapse of the safety systems at Praxis and the ignition of the dilithium ores. The science of dilithium and subspace is a complex one best left for physicists. In simple terms, the dilithium transformed the explosive energy into subspace energy - a shockwave at warp speeds. This both shielded Qo'noS from being obliterated like an egg next to a hand grenade, yet it spread the deadly effects of the explosion over lightyears and many worlds and warships. Another lethal effect was to create delta radiation in amounts seldom, if ever, seen. For the biological life on the side of Qo'noS facing Praxis, and the workers on Praxis itself, it was a death sentence. Like Chernobyl and Pripiat, two towns irradiated for centuries by the fire and explosion at the nuclear power plant in Ukraine, so the delta radiation killed many of the Klingons sent to deal with the aftermath of the explosion. Most of them reduced to little more than organic soup. The remaining Klingons from the moon and Praxis-facing hemisphere of Qo'noS, radiation scarring and other effects were rife.

Author's notes: The 2019 HBO masterpiece series Chernobyl shaped much of my thoughts on the explosion of Praxis. The psuedo-physics of subspace and dilithium, along with this year's depiction fof the irradiation of Christopher Pike in Discovery season 2 also fuelled the thoughts in me of the negative aspects of subspace and dilithium. Delta radiation would seem to be linked with it all as Pike's accident was in engineering. this would be delta radiation Pike to the max: Klingon soup for those brave Klingons fighting the fires and lethal effects of the dilithium energised and emitting delta radiation.

The Explosion of Praxis hollowed out the Klingon Empire. No exact figure was ever reached as to how many Klingons died or how many warships were lost. The best estimate was that over 4 billion Klingons were killed across the Empire and over 3000 warships were unaccounted for by intelligence sources after the explosion. Whilst the frontier forces had to keep the illusion up of the mighty Klingon Empire, the truth was that they had lost a substantial amount of their central Command and Control facilities. The construction and repair facilities of the Empire had also been degraded and destroyed, leaving thousands of warships with no facilities to repair them. Whilst the Klingons had almost recklessly charged into battles before and repaired the damage afterwards, the Praxis destruction removed this option. General Gorkon had assumed command of the Klingon Empire to deal with the destruction but was assassinated when he met with the Enterprise-A. His daughter Azetbur took over his legacy and signed the Khitomer Accords to warm relations with the Federation and cool the hostilities they could not afford on all borders.

Qo'noS, the capital world of the Klingon Empire has almost a third of the surface scoured clean of cities and life. The once green planet now has a blackened half. Billions of lives were ended in an instant as the flare of Praxis swept away the clouds and azure blue of the atmosphere in a fraction of a second. The remaining power of the subspace shockwave scorched the facing side of Kronos like a blowtorch, blasting the rubble of the cities and carbon residue of the trees and other lifeforms around the remaining atmosphere and into space. The tsunami of oceans and chaos of falling debris from both Praxis, and the broken tectonic plates of Kronos itself, smashed up the First City and other population centres across the capital planet. For days it was not known who had survived and who was dead. Several great Klingon Generals and leaders of Great Houses, indeed Houses themselves, were wiped out of existence. Temples, statues, sacred lands and sacred places had been obliterated in the Praxis blast.

Author's Note: I really want Praxis to be the Hobus supernova event of the Klingon Empire. Like the HBO series Chernobyl, I want a Star Trek: Praxis miniseries that shows the run up to Praxis, the explosion in detail and the aftermath for decades. he science of subspace, dilithium and delta radiation all needs to flesh out in a way that makes this all seem realistic and horrific. Ths scars the Klingon psyche for decades to come. Gorkon has been Chancellor since 2287 and now he has to make the toughest of decisions to deal with Praxis. Harder than any he had to make as a General. I want the Soviet-era Klingon Empire to be shown as a rival to the Federation, spreading T'kuvma-Kahlessian theory across the stars as an alternative to the Roddenberrian philosophies of the United Federation of Planets. Like the Soviets, the Klingons are desperate to keep up with Starfleet in every aspect. It comes with a price; tjhis price of death and destruction.

The planet looks like a blowtorch has been taken to one side, wiping out the life, cities and culture on that side. This event, although small compared to the size of the Empire, must be apocalyptic in scale enough to bring the Klingon Empire to its knees. I always felt that the explosion of Praxis was played down; Star Trek VI has the event as pivotal and yet by TNG there is absolutely no sign of any legacy - which is partly because this was filmed around the time of season 5 TNG. If the explosion rocked the hell out of Excelsior from light years away, then Kronos should be seriously trashed. Which my version is. Any ships in shipyards or spacedocks were obliterated, which includes many prototypes and dreadnoughts like the Sword of Kahless class, that were limited-build homefleet ships.

From the time of the Praxis explosion, Chancellor Gorkon knew that he had to act fast. He immediately ordered the Imperial Klingon Navy to deploy all engineering assets to the Qo'noS system. their orders were to stabilise Praxis and the home world; they were to assess what was destroyed and start to rebuild the lost, vast shipyards formerly in the system. Gorkon knew the fleet had suffered severe localised losses and most of the finest shipyards were in the Qo'noS system. It would take a decade to rebuild them. Many advanced prototype warships were also lost; they would be rebuilt once the shipyard factories were once again functioning at full strength. There were thousands of Klingon warships that would be in dire need of refit before the orbital factories were reconstructed. Gorkon's former military career came in handy as he knew all of the right facilities, ships and generals to call on to get this great reconstruction work done fastest. Then a curious message came from a Vulcan ambassador.

Author notes:

Praxis was to the Klingons like the fall of the Soviet Union was to Russia. A disaster without comparison of size. Gorkon, a former general, would have been the one to have tackled the disaster with the military might of the IKN. Whilst the Klingons couldn't deal with the ecological disaster, they could deal with the matter of destroyed ships and shipyards; a vital factor in keeping the Empire secure. Whilst Qo'noS and the surrounding systems had been devastated, plenty of the Empire still worked. Gorkon would pull the engineer Klingons and the military construction assets to rebuild the planetary systems and orbital factories as a priority. This is a major reason why the Klingons wanted the Federation to send aid to starbase 101 and not to Qo'noS directly: they didn't want Starfleet to see the orbital factories and warships being rebuilt along with the orbital defence grid. The Klingon Empire recovers like post-USSR Russia but without the sanctions. Russia was militarily capable again by 2007, so the Klingons should be up and running by 2312 easily. Only inter-House feuding and fighting would slow this down.

From her selection as Chancellor, Azetbur had a balancing act to both get the supplies that the Empire needed to rebuild its core worlds and facilities, yet still appeal to the Klingon people and show the independence of the Empire. The United Federation of Planets feared a break-up of the Empire and distribution of the weapons and soldiers as mercenaries-for-hire across the quadrant (especially a concern along the Borderland region with the Orion Syndicate). The Empire did start to crumble along the fringes. Verbal assurances had been given to Azetbur that the Federation would not attempt to assimilate any colonies leaving the Empire. This changed briefly with the Ch'ramaki in 2294. The resulting fallout (see elsewhere in the Klingon History page) both cooled the euphoria between the Federation and Klingon Empire as well as stung Starfleet into avoiding any repeating intervention.

With Azetbur, daughter of Gorkon as not only on the Klingon High Council, but ruling it as Chancellor, many both in the High Council and in the Klingon Empire did not like this break with tradition; this was spitting in the face of Kahless and urinating on his words. Some even took this act as a reason for civil war - House Amar and others took the selection of Azetbur - a woman selected more as the daughter of an Emperor would have been, rather than a Chancellor - and the peace overtures to the Federation as a diluting of the Klingon spirit. This would be the beginnings of a decade of in-fighting and chaos that would spread over the border to the nearby colonies of the Federation. Only careful diplomatic moves by Azetbur and the Federation President managed to keep hot heads cooler and avoid conflict.

"In any case, we know where this is leading. The annihilation of our culture." - Brigadier Kerla, ST:VI.

In the time of Azetbur ther were several rival camps that rapidly appeared as the Empire fractured. J'bok, son of Kalnor. Head of the House of G'Iogh. This boy was one of the few to survive the massacre of members of his House who tied to flee to Romulan space. One of the greatest myths of Klingon culture is that discommendation throws warriors and their families out into exile. The truth was that the House of G'Iogh was too powerful, with allies like the House of Duras. Whilst the boy was too young to fight himself, he had allies and mentors to lead for him until he was of age. Brigadier, later General, Gorak - head of one of the most powerful Great Houses in the Empire. A popular Klingon with his soldiers. He spent much of the 2290s fire-fighting breakaway worlds in the Empire. A leader of men, Gorak would often face the head of the opposition, fighting them and defeating them to show the strength of the Empire. Waurg of the House of Kesh, embittered by the challenging and defeating of his father by Gorkon but unable to avenge his honourable defeat due to the laws of Kahless. Waurg is based in the Kin'skoja system in the driftward end of the Empire.

Author notes: Think of this as the period of 1989 - 1992 with the crumbling of the Soviet Union and the assimilation of the East Germany, Baltic States and Poland into the European Union.

The break-up of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact saw a rapid loss of Empire in the first couple of years. The loss of East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Georgia and the ‘stans regions meant that there was both a loss of territory and of prestige. Russian nationals living outside Russia were suddenly foreign nationals, some of whom were in unfriendly nations. Places like Nirophia are the 'stans region of the Klingon Empire, Whereas Terajun is more like Georgia and, of course, Ch'ramak is Chechnya.

For the Klingon Empire post-Praxis there needs to be a similar reduction in area. All of the Star Trek maps brought out recently (Star Charts and Stellar cartography) are all Klingon Maps from 2245 or 2287, not covering this 2280s/2290s period of unrest. The outer edges of the Empire will become a patchwork of loyalties and independents, some leaving the Empire and others actively opposing the Chancellor – especially in light of breaking the tradition and having a female, non-military Chancellor. During the reign of Azetbur there are about half a dozen other rival camps.

"One day, there will be a war with our true enemy, the Federation. There are those who disagree, but it will happen." - General Chang, Klingon Academy.

Following a reign of 18 years, Chancellor Azetbur was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in the dying days of 2311. The assassin was named as General Gorak, unhappy with the liberal policies of Azetbur and unhappy with the decline of the Klingon Empire as a result of those policies. Gorak himself was also slain by one of the chancellor's guards, the chancellor dying of her wounds afterwards. As a result, the Great Council of the Klingon Empire was placed in the position of having to choose a new leader for the Klingon Empire. Normally the transition is smoothly achieved through the challenge of the current chancellor by a challenger, the winner being declared the successor chancellor. Gorkon was the last Chancellor to be selected by the challenging of Kesh in 2291; Azetbur was selected by the High Council after succeeding in a duel for the post, following the assassination of Gorkon.

Author's Notes: Azetbur was, of course, assassinated by Ditagh - disguised as her bodyguard - in the hopes that Kaarg would be selected as the natural successor. The Federation is currently unaware of Ditagh's involvement in the death of Azetbur, a situation bound to change eventually.

General Kaarg was selected by the High Council as the most worthy successor as Chancellor; he had defeated General Klaa for the position by traditional duel. Amongst the Chancellor's first decrees, in his opening speech to the High Council, Kaarg denounced the actions of Azetbur as Chancellor. In a surprise move, he forbade any woman from ever serving on the High Council - a move which saw a couple of the High Council members evicted from the chambers - and established a move back towards the greatness of the Klingon Empire. A closer sociological study for the decision determined that the reasoning was that Azetbur was a politician more inclined to be ruled by the Khitomer Accords, aiding the Federation against the Romulans under Article III. Kaarg was the first General to become Chancellor in 18 years; Azetbur showed she had little understanding of the true importance of the Klingon Navy, choosing to restore Kronos rather than follow strict military reasoning and abandoning the planet. Had Kaarg been Chancellor at the time, there is no doubt that Kronos would have been abandoned and one of the other Klingon worlds would have been chosen to be the new Homeworld. Analysis has shown the Klingon Navy would have fared better against the Kinshaya campaign and would have come out far stronger than now. Kaarg would NEVER have approached the Federation for aid; his father, Kesh, only sent envoys to appease General Gorkon. Chang denounced the peace overtures as a sign of Klingon weakness, Gorkon countered by saying that the cold war with the Federation had stalled and that intelligence showed a hot war against Starfleet was unwinnable.

Klingon values were to be reasserted in an empire which had become soft under the liberal tones of the former chancellor. This had happened before with his own father when he was Chancellor; Kaarg would not repeat this mistake. This denouncing of Azetbur was a shock to analysts who had until then listed Kaarg as one of Azetbur's strongest remaining supporters. The only reasoning for this was the aforementioned fact that Azetbur was never in the Klingon military and the military was starved of resources as a result. Kaarg soon showed himself to blame the Federation and its aid for making the Klingon Empire look weak to both its friends and its enemies. Colonies broke away from the Empire as they saw the Klingons exposed as being second tier to the Federation. Terajuni voted to leave the Empire and, despite assurances by President Ra-Ghoratreii to Azetbur at Khitomer, the Federation made overtures to the colony to join them for protection. Relations with the Federation chilled dramatically and quickly. Kaarg refused to see the Federation diplomats and ambassadors and only a request by Federation President Aowr Sh'ghee was seen as a request by an equal. Kaarg allowed a meeting, if only to set down his own position.

A second move by the new Chancellor Kaarg was the formation of the 'Children of Kahless', a movement designed to reinstill Klingon values into the youth of the Klingon Empire. Traditional songs, combat forms - both armed and unarmed - would be taught, alongside traditional Kahlessian philosophy. The liberal views of Azetbur, tainted by the presence of the Federation aid convoys to Qo'noS, would be eliminated from Klingon society. Colonies that had either shown signs of wanting to leave the Empire - or those that had - would be secured by force. And any mewling protests from the Federation would be ignored.

Kamarag and Kerla, Camp Khitomer on stardate 9529.Kaarg wasted no time in ordering the Klingon Navy to engage on a new mission: the securing of new sources of dilithium and minerals for the Empire. Recently the planet of Ch'ramak had been resecured after seperatist elements had attempted to remove the Klingon occupying forces from the planet. Despite destroying the Governor's residence on more than one occasion and destroying a Klingon flagship, the recent forces sent by General Gorak in 2310 had managed to crush the rebellion. House loyalties and alliances are what determine the strength of a Chancellor or House. Kaarg wanted to quickly determine who was loyal and who needed to be brought into line. As per tradition, individuals and families swear their allegiances to Houses and Houses swear their ships and fleets to the Klingon Navy. The largest of the Houses form the High Council, although lands and ships are technically assigned by the Chancellor and can be taken away as easily. In reality the more powerful Houses influence the council and temper the Chancellor's decisions due to their power and influence. Family ties have a big influence on assignments, although the Head of a House decides the captain and crew of the ships of the House. The IKN is NOT a centralised organisation like Starfleet, but it is commanded ultimately by the Chancellor and the High Council.

Ch'ramak was inspired from a number of sources including: Chechnya, Tibet, Iraq, Nigeria, Xinjiang and the Terajuni from 'Starfleet Command 2' extra disk. The notes of the Klingon Navy NOT being a centrally administered and controlled fleet system like Starfleet or the Romulans comes from the Haynes Bird of Prey manual.

Klingons at Camp Khitomer, stardate 9529.The D-8H K't'inga strike version of the battlecruiser is the latest version of the venerable design. This D-7S is a deep refurbishment or new-build version of the D-8 with many of the systems and weapons of the L-24 Komo Val pocket battleship. Houses G'Iogh, Koryak, L'mak and Duras are amongst the first to receive this new design by Kaarg's decree. Those who show loyalty to the Chancellor are favouredwith new and better ships. This way it always ensures the Chancellor generally has the most powerful fleet in the Empire at his command, formed as a power block from Houses loyal to him: the Klingon Navy. That does not mean that there are not other power blocks of House fleets that oppose the Chancellor. All House fleet swear alegiance to the IKN, but are always loyal to the House FIRST. Warship designations such as D-7N, D-7S and D-7X ar artificial filing terminology used by Starfleet Intelligence to log the appearance of warship designs that are significantly different from others. Thes are NOT designations used by the Klingons. With each K'T'inga, Komo Val, Bird of Prey and Death Boot being ordered individually, only the hull and major systems are mass produced, the internal systems are unique to each House and their philosophies. This makes every ship individual.

"You are all Klingons. You carry a legacy in your blood that lends strength to your deeds and strikes terror in the hearts of your enemies. The hope of every Klingon is to die in the service of the Empire. There is no dishonour in dying before a superior foe, if your heart is pure, your actions forthright! What you have been taught will serve you throughout your battles to come, until one day, you earn an honourable and glorious death." - General Chang, Klingon Academy.

House of Duras, Y'rag and the Romulan border:

Toral, son of Duras, is the current leader of the House of Duras. Members of this House can be immediately spotted with their burgundy sleeves and neck pieces on their uniforms. Traditionally the burgundy is a symbol of the blood that the House shed in the name of Kahless. Their garrison world is on Y'rag in the coreward end of the Empire. The traditional conflict zone is along the Romulan border with their former allies. Back in the 2250s and 2260s there were diplomatic relations, with the symbol of the Romulan Star Empire spotted in the Orion camp on the former site of the Shrine to Molor. These relations soured around the turn of 2270, with the Klingons the Romulans in the Briar Patch and even Romulus. Whether it was Romulan treachery or Klingon imperial ambition that wrecked the alliance has yet to be known.

To understand the House of Duras you need to understand their enemies. The House was in 2152 by Jonathan Archer, which took the House decades to recover from. The proximity of the Romulan border – and the need for Romulan transports to pass through their space - allowed the House to trade with the Romulans and build up their fleet once more. Following the way of Kahless, the House prepared for in times of peace; Y'rag, the garrison world, had its defences modernised and the primary designs of their variants of warships were optimised for Federation, Orion and Romulan The House played an active role in the of 2256 – 57, many Starfleet ships and rebuilding the reputation of the House in the eyes of Kol and the later leaders of the High Council.

By the 2280s the House of Duras had commissioned technology and warships to counter the Romulan along the border. Cloaking technology was the principal technology to beat and this developed into the L-24 Komo Val class pocket , a technologically advanced vessel that would even the odds against the Romulan ships. The difficulty with the ship is the reliance on rare minerals that the Empire had in short amount. The House of Duras used explored every avenue to get the minerals including invasion, assault and deals with the Orions. General Toral has a fleet of warships including destroyers, Birds of Prey, L-24 Komo Val and D-7 class warships. The border also has classified listening posts and sensor nets for detecting cloaked vessels from the Romulan side crossing the border.

The House of Duras has with the bordering Houses of G’Iogh and Mogh. In the early 2290s the House of G’Iogh made a play for power against Chancellor Kesh. The coup failed twice and the House was and the members . The House of Duras swept up most of the colonies and resources left intact after the action, consolidating their position of power. This tipped the balance of power for the House of Duras, although the House of Mogh remained close . Fortunately Colonel Worf was not as wise in his decisions at running the House of Mogh, being after defending Kirk and McCoy after the of Gorkon. The House of Duras was quick to take advantage of this good fortune.

Author notes:

I really wanted to defy expectations with the House of Duras. We all ‘know’ they were the 'villains' in Enterprise and also mentioned as (at Khitomer and with assassins on Qo’noS) in the excellent arc of Sins of the Father, Reunion and the two-parter Redemption 1 and 2 in TNG. I wanted to show a time before Ja’rod when the House of Duras rebuilt their reputation and had some resemblance of honour. I even took the burgundy sleeves they had and gave an honourable explanation that it is the blood they shed in honour of Kahless in battle. The House borders the Romulans so their weapons and ships need to reflect the need to fight the cloaking and sneaky approach of the Romulans. Seems the House of Duras mirrored their enemies too closely, taking on their traits themselves.

Quzu Qonn, the Citadel and the Kinshaya Occupation:

Quzu Qonn is the driftward sector command for the Klingon Empire that controls the Kinshaya occupation. A jungle world with Quch Ha' and older D-7 Koro class warships and a sprinkle of D-8 K'Tinga class. D-9 Warrior's Anger class command cruisers are deployed from this planet to control Klingon colonial and military operations in Kinshaya space. A Klingon Governor contrls each occupied Kinshaya world and colony. Quzu Qonn is a closed military planet and is kept a military secret by the Imperial Klingon Navy. The main body of the driftward armada is based and controlled from here. Due to its excessive distance from the United Federation of Planets, Starfleet Intelligence is only dimly aware of this planet and its forces.

Quzu Qonn also controls Klingon operations in the driftward region. To prevent a backdoor invasion by the Kinshayas, Quzu Qonn has a permenant dreadnought assignment to the base. General S'yrekka is the commander-in-chief of the Quzu Qonn forces. S'yrekka was born as daughter to General H'vakia. Long jet black hair and cruel eyes. A few scars on her face and muscular arms. Wears same 'kleavage' armour as the Duras sisters. She defies the convention of men being generals on the High Council. Rumours abound of her keeping 'trophies' from her male victims as a reminder of her strength. Lost her male siblings from conflicts on the nearby Kinshaya region. She is a mistress of the mekleth and d'ktahg. She has the D-7 battlecruiser K'hemdar as her flagship. As S'yrekka lives on the frontier of the Klingon Empire she has no time for the male-dominated rules of Kronos. Her brothers and father were weak and killed by the quest for glory against the Kinshaya. General S'yrekka fights along the Kinshaya border as well as against the Kinshaya. A Klin Zha master, she has kept the Kinshaya admiralty off-balance. His D-7 Koro class has acted as her flagship for all of this time, being constantly upgraded and repaired. The patchwork armour and older appearance belies a 1st rate warship with an elite crew.

The Klingons have a forward-operating base in the Kinshaya Kingdom referred to as the Citadel. This location is a well-protected one, with a concentration of warships and logistical vessels. The Kinshaya Navy has tried to locate the Citadel on many occasions but the number of Klingon capital ships has kept them away. Brigadier Koovis is the commanding officer for the Citadel and answers to General S'yrekka regarding Kinshaya operations. Koovis, a short-haired ridged Klingon in the 2273 style, has spent his entire career fighting in Kinshaya space. It is said he has spent more time in Kinshaya territory than Klingon space. Koovis comands a D-9 Warrior's Anger class command cruiser and uses it for meetings with senior commanders away from the Citadel. It was thought that the Klingons would withdraw from Kinshaya space following Praxis and Khitomer. The need for independence and the Terajuni Incident both highlighted the need to increase the presence in Kinshaya territory.

The stalemate in Kinshaya territory has persisted for decades. The frontlines have moved over time, but the Klingons have kept the Kinshaya Navy at bay with their combined forces and numerical superiority. Governor Vaxriz is the current ruler of the Kinshaya homeworld and operates as the authority controlling Kinshaya. The Governor also represents the Chancellor in abstantia. With Praxis, Azetbur reassigned the bulk of the Imperial Klingon Navys to replace the Gates of Tal'lhnor and Praxis as primary energy production facilities. Kinshaya space became the proving ground for all new Klingon warships and technology. Ber'taa and Komo Val classes were tested with differing results.

"Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay. The worst is death... and death will have his day." - General Chang, Klingon Academy.

V’stok and the Gorn border conflict:

Having done a small piece on the garrison world of Quzu Qonn for the Kinshaya front, so this is V’stok that deals with the Federation and Gorn borders in South-Western Klingon Empire. This is a base like the Russian namesake of Vladivostok with a concentration of warships, construction and repair facilities and everything you need for the autonomous operation of this section of the Empire. Self-sufficiency is important to battle-harden the Empire against the effects of invasion, sabotage or surprise attack. To centralise the factory facilities and fleets, as Starfleet Battles suggests, would be strategic suicide. An enemy would have to split their forces to defeat all of the facilities in the Empire that are scattered around; there are sufficient forces and defences to protect each base.

V’stok, one of the principal garrison worlds of the Klingon Empire. This world has both the facilities to construct and repair all variants of Klingon warships and is designed to operate autonomously as required. The Klingon Empire and Gorn Hegemony have clashed over their common border for decades. The Gorn claim that many of the Klingon colonies on the border are historically Gorn worlds that they are reclaiming. The Klingons state that the region was colonised over 200 years ago and there has been no evidence of a Gorn claim to the worlds. The Klingons have responded in force to all of the Gorn attempts to take the worlds in question and the Klingons have even pro-actively attacked Gorn facilities, citing they are acting on intelligence to prevent attacks on Klingon space.

General Qo'mar leads the Gorn border fleet and has fought against the Gorn since the 2260s. His B-11 Accuser class flagship is the IKS TukbaH. This is the latest in a long line of flagships including the D-7 B’kala and the D-10 J’lok. V’stok has a mixed fleet of D-9 Warrior’s Anger class command cruisers, the longer range Emperor class and a full range of D-7 and D-8 K’T’inga class. Larger capital ships of Accuser class and assault ships and carriers can also be found at V’stok. In the 2290s there were mothballed examples of the older D-5 and D-6 class warships; these have been reduced in number as they are rendered obsolete by progress.

Since the explosion at Praxis, the facilities along the frontier have been denied resources in order to restore the home world of Kronos. The foundry worlds of the KorbeQ system and facilities such as V’stok had raw materials diverted to Kronos and warships re-allocated to the home fleet to replace those destroyed or badly damaged in the Praxis shockwave. The lack of resources meant that ships such as L-24 class Komo Val and the resident B-12 Sword of Kahless were mothballed as the resources and rare materials required to maintain and operate these warships was in short supply.

Relentless class light cruisers and Insurrection class destroyers patrol the border with larger cruisers supporting them. All operations are guided by Warrior’s Anger class command cruiser and the Accuser class flagship. Suspicious class frigates and science vessels officer an enhanced battlefield picture to allow better strategic and tactical appraisal of the border. The Klingons are known to share the battlefield picture across warship and battle station assets. This allows them to co-ordinate their response to the enemy.

"Better that fate than a future where we become Federation slaves!" - General Chang, Klingon Academy.

KorbeQ system and the Klingon working class:

The foundry worlds of the KorbeQ system developed and produced the alloys for the armour of Klingon warships. The Federation sent starships such as the Miranda class U.S.S. Courageous to monitor the activities of the V’stok base and the foundry worlds to anticipate the protection on Klingon warships. Away from the mineralogical desert of Kronos, the foundry worlds show what the Klingon Empire could achieve had it got the supply of minerals that it so badly needs. KorbeQ is a world that consists of mining and foundries, representative of the majority of the Klingon Empire away from Kronos.

These Klingon Houses are of a minor nature that have achieved nothing, are unknown to the High Council and have nothing to do with fighting battles. Here the glory and honour of Kahless' words have little meaning on a world far from the frontline and distant from the political peacocks of Kronos. The environmental condition of the planet is a disaster, with no consideration given for the impact of city-sized foundries and giant mineralogical mines. A scientific research facility works on devising new alloys and armour for the Klingon warships. These scientists are treated to a higher standard than the workers, but still not as privileged as Governor PuH'PeB or the priests of the local temples.

Planets like KorbeQ have over 12 billion Klingons working on them. These working class Klingons have n oportunities to join the Imperial Klingon Navy. They are trained in the local public dojos and after their education there by the priests, they have a choice to either join the miners digging for minerals and metal ores, or work in the city-sized foundries to smelt the metals into the armour of the Empire. The average male Klingon soon loses his combat edge and fighting arts, developing a strong upper body strength for either digging in the mines or carrying the heavy equipment that both career options demand. The Klingons have a Calvinist-style work ethic, working very long shifts (over 12 hours for most) in order to fuel and drive the Empire forwards to Glory.

Author's Notes:

Inspired by the industrial scenes at Norilsk in Russia and the art of the industrial revolution in the UK, KorbeQ is designed to show the average pleb Klingon. Not the warrior officers and politicians that most of the Star Trek tv episodes and movies have shown but the Average Joe Klingon. No battle honours, a House no one has heard of and no honour and glory. Just a job down t' pit or in the foundry. Alcoholism is rife as is the Cult of Fek'lhr and other movements recognising Worker's Rights. The High Council is something these Klingons see on their newscasts - something far off and distant that drains the resources from your world and makes you work even harder for longer hours to fight yet another war, in places you've never heard of and can never gain glory from.

I created the House of Chit'Q to be that unknown House that has worked in the mines and foundries. They have no family battle honours, weapons bought from the Primark of the Empire and never wear armour. They only have the rags and basic clothes of a Klingon civilian and eat third or fourth-rate food and their Blood Wine is certainly not a vintage year. The Temples and Governor provide the guidance and moral messages that work equals honour for the Houses. This message goes up against the Cult of Fek'lhr and the Worker's Rights movements in the Empire. The latter has certainly gained traction after Kronos steals all of the resources to rebuild after the explosion of Praxis.

"We stand at the brink of a difficult new future. This future will discard its old heroes and raise new ones." - General Chang, Klingon Academy.

GloMM and the Klingon agricultural class:

GloMM is the agricultural version of KorbeQ. GloMM is the planet that mass-produces the Blood Wine and Klingon cuisine for the workers in the colonies of the Empire to eat and drink. The Blood Wine is not a vintage product, more a mass-produced vintage. Think more Carling, Carlsberg or Coors than vintage Laurent Perrier champagne. This is not a drink for a discerning pallet, this is a beverage for the working class - a thirst-quencher after a hard day in the mines, factories or foundries.

The super-factories of GloMM have much on common with the foundries of KorbeQ - they work very long shifts to produce the food and drink for the masses of the Empire. The factories have a combined slaughter house facility and reception for the crops from the vast fields on the planet. The blood wine breweries ensure fresh products for the production of the wine. The wine is not allowed to mature for as long as vintage breweries as there is not the time. This is mass-production to get the product to an acceptable standard and get it out in quantity. The Klingon Empire does not use replicators, when the time-honoured and efficient method of manpower gets the job done better. There is also the propaganda tool of saying that it is Klingon pride that helps to feed and water the Empire.

Author's Notes:

This is all about the food and beveridges that drive the Klingon Empire. This is not champagne, caviar and fois gras; this is McDonalds and Carling lager. The workers of the Klingon Empire are fed by mass produced gagh and other Klingon delicacies - especially for the frontline warriors who have to have ration packs in their trenches and fox holes. A Klingon officer or member of the High Council would throw this across the room and ask what the hell it is. For the majority of Klingons, this is the reality of living in the Empire. Bland food and drink, crowded accomodation and long working hours to drive the Klingon war machine forwards.

Imperial Klingon Navy 2312:

Klingon warships are designed at the Klingon Naval Academy at Dek'Go'Kor. The facility is responsible for the design of the major systems such as warp and impulse drives and spaceframe design. When a House requires a new warship, they order the basic shell from Dek'Go'Kor. The internal arrangement, weapons and defensive systems are designed and fitted by the House yards. The Naval Academy yards are also responsible for the mass production of warships; part of the fear associated with the Klingon fleet is their ability to rapidly build-up ship numbers. As of the landmark speech by Chancellor Kaarg, a rapid build-up to 18000-strong fleet is underway. The Klingon culture thrives on war; peace breeds only stagnation and corruption.

Chancellor Kaarg inherited a make-do and mend fleet from the Azetbur era. For the past decade and three-quarters the policy has been to scavenge parts from one or two warships to keep a third up to top form. A warship operating with plated over torpedo launchers is not an uncommon site. Kaarg's philosophy is to reverse the decline of the navy and to reclaim the number one position in the Beta Quadrant. With the Romulans hiding behind their borders and the Kinshayas having repelled them and stated to rebuild a fleet of their own, to the embarrassment of the High Council. Chancellor Kaarg wants to reassert the martial superiority of this warrior race.

With limited resources, the plan is to build smaller, tactically able warships such as the K'teremny and Insurrection class. The legendary D-7 class is to be fully stripped to the frames and rebuilt with new armour, sensors and weapons systems as a strike cruise variant. Time and resource shortages mean a quick and dirty refurbishment version has been commissioned as a stop-gap, with the remainder turned into cargo and tanker variants. Spearheading the Klingon fleet are the Emperor, Accuser and Riskadh classes. Whilst the refit programs are slower for these larger ships, the emphasis is on full refits rather than stop-gaps. The sluggish sword of Kahless class revealed its weakness on the Kinshaya battleground.

The Suspicious, Insurrection, B'rel and Relentless classes make up the bulk of the scout, patrol and escort aspects of the Klingon fleet. Construction and refurbishment programs continue afoot. The Insurrection frigate and cargo/science versions continue to provide sterling service and along with the B'rel class they allow the fleet to expand their search for new sources of minerals for the empire; a priority after the explosion of Praxis. The future for the Imperial Klingon Navy is one of smaller, agile and more sophisticated warships. The proving ground of the Kinshaya Kingdom will test the wisdom of this philosophy. With rumoured further refits of the existing ships and prototype variants ready for the next generation.

Accuser battlegroup.

"Shooting space garbage is no test of a warrior's mettle. I need a target that fights back." - Captain Klaa, Star Trek V.

Klingon subject races:

subject race name Image Notes
Arin'Sen The Arin'Sen were a pale-skinned humanoid species with a ridge running along their necks, vertical stripes running along their heads and two circular parts of the head next to the ridges.
Ch'ramaki From Ch'ramak. Invaded 2285 after suplying the Klingons and surrounding area with their agriculture. They have rejected integration and their resistence has now become a fuly-fledged terrorist organisation, assassinating and bombing the Klingons off their world.
Ferasan Members from the Patriarchy. Star Trek IV, V and VI all featured feline characters. In Star Trek IV these were Caitians as in the Animated Series. In Star Trek V it was a Kzinrett - named for the Kzinti from the Slaver Weapon episode of the Animated Series. Rura Penthe in STVI featured two felines. If they were Caitians they'd be Federation members, so these were most likely Kzinti. Due to legal issues, they're referred to here as Ferasans.
Kriosian Conquered in the mid-23rd Century.
Nirophian Theocracy. Now independent and in charge of the Nirophian Corridor.
Xarantine Not much known about them.

Relentless class light cruiser

The Arin'Sen:

The Arin'Sen were a pale-skinned humanoid species with a ridge running along their necks, vertical stripes running along their heads and two circular parts of the head next to the ridges.

In 2153, the starship Enterprise NX-01 encountered a severely damaged Arin'Sen vessel in a star system just outside Klingon territory. The surviving Arin'Sen told Captain Archer that, several years previously, their colony, Raatooras, had been annexed by the Klingon Empire. The Klingons had offered them protection, but abandoned the colony after stripping it of all valuable resources. Short on food and fuel, the Arin'Sen fled the colony, pursued by Captain Duras of the IKS Bortas. Having branded the Arin'Sen refugees as rebels, the Empire sent Duras to retrieve them, but Captain Archer refused to hand them over. After engaging in battle with the Bortas, Enterprise managed to evade Duras, and relocated the Arin'Sen refugees on a planet unknown to the Klingons.

The Kriosians:

In the 22nd century, the Kriosians were ruled by the Sovereign Dynasty of Krios Prime. They had a royal guardsmen: the Sovereign Guard. Their leader was known as the First Monarch. In September 2152, the future First Monarch Kaitaama was returning from a diplomatic mission when the Retellians attacked her transport. They killed her guards, placed her in stasis, and attempted to hold her for ransom. En route to their destination, the stasis pod in which she was held aboard the kidnappers' ship began to malfunction. They were assisted by NX-01 Enterprise, which later discovered the truth behind the kidnapping when their own chief engineer, Charles Tucker III, was himself kidnapped. Both Tucker and Kaitaama were later rescued, and the First Monarch was transported back to her homeworld. Kaitaama later ascended to the throne around May 16, 2153.

Sometime between the mid-22nd and mid-24th century, the Klingons established a colony on Krios and subjugated the Kriosians under their rule.

Author Notes:

In 2367, the Kriosians began fighting for independence from the Klingon Empire. During the revolt, the rebels hid in the Ikalian asteroid belt, where they used the actinides in the asteroids to hide from sensor scans. The rebels later attacked a Ferengi freighter and a Cardassian freighter, in the belt.

For the most part, the Klingons tolerated the rebellion, until Vagh, the Klingon governor of Krios, charged the Federation with supplying the rebels with phaser rifles. Upon further investigation by Starfleet, it was discovered that the suppliers were, in fact, the Romulans, who were planting the evidence in attempt to drive a wedge between the Klingons and the Federation, and to jeopardize the Treaty of Alliance.

Kamala was the first female metamorph born on Krios since the mid-23rd century, was bred for mating to Chancellor Alrik, the leader of Valt Minor. The date from which there were no metamorphs is the opne that makes sense for when the species were annexed.

The Xarantine:

The Xarantine were a spacefaring species near Klingon space. The Klingons considered the Xarantines to be "no match" for them.

In 2151, the Klingon vessel IKS Somraw raided a Xarantine outpost and looted Xarantine ale to celebrate the victory. However, unknown to the Klingons, the ale was poisoned. Falling ill and attacked by Xarantine ships, the captain of the Somraw eventually decided to retreat into a Q'tahL class gas giant's atmosphere.

"Even as our emissaries negotiate for peace with the Federation, we will act for the preservation of our race! We will seize the secret of this weapon. The secret of ultimate power!" - Commander Kruge, Star Trek III.

A selection of Klingon worlds:

Quzu Qonn Forward operating base for rimward border.
V'stok Forward operating base for Gorn border.
Y'raG Forward operating base for Romulan border.
Sk'Angel'Ak Forward operating base for Federation border, under the House of Amar.
Kat'va Repair facility located here. Belongs to House of G'Iogh. Mentioned in Klingon Academy.
Ch'ramak Attempting independence.
Terajun Declared independence 2294.
Sk'molen Resource-rich world exploited by the Klingons - think Mirny diamond mine in the former Soviet Union. Big cities next to huge bore holes.
Kakov'Shay Forward operating base for the Kinshaya region. General S'yrekka commands this world after her male siblings were killed by the Holy Order of the Kinshaya. S'yrekka has become cruel and efficient in dealing with the Kinshaya and any opposition to her leading her House and fleet. Another notable female leader in the Klingon Empire. The Jennifer Garner-like tall General is symbolic of how not all Klingon are alike. The brutality of neighbouring the Kinshaya has twisted her into cruelty and brutality.
KorbeQ Foundry worlds that forge the armour for Klingon warships Subject of the U.S.S. Courageous study following the construction of modern Klingon warships by following the foundry world activity.

"I've come a long way for the power of Genesis. And what do I find? A weakling human, ...a Vulcan boy, ...and a woman!" - Commander Kruge, Star Trek III.

Author's notes:

24 Houses. We have 24 Houses in the Empire; I think they need to clarify if these were 24 GREAT houses or just 24 in total. I’ve got the feeling that it’s the latter. Each House has a specialisation and a credo that they live by and prism that they see the words of Kahless through.

  • House of T’kuvma are the religious ones.
  • House of Mo’kai are the spies.
  • House of Kor are the political regal ones.
  • House of Mogh is Worf’s
  • House of Duras are the treacherous ones.

    And so on. Of the CANON ones.

    House Qo'mar and the 24 Houses. (T'bok name rejected as too Romulan/Vulcan).

    Now 24 seems like a big number, but can soon run out. With Houses being discommended, new ones rising and Houses being renamed by their new leader, this allows a fluid change of House names. The way I’ve run round this with the one House I’ve created is that it’s a new post-2293 House that rose to power after the discommendation of the Generals from Star Trek VI. House Qo'mar is the House that faces the Gorn and they’re a whole new twist on Klingons. They’re weapons, clothes and tactics are geared to fighting Gorn. Their major bladed weapons are a modified armour-piercing tajtiq and backed up by a dk’tahg that’s more akin to a medieval rondel knife (again, armour piercing for the Komodo-like Gorn skin). The House has the attitude that they don’t sneak or hide but kick down the front door. Their young must face a gorn in single combat to earn the right to be a warrior. Pain sticks are seen as more of a Worf-Starfleet substitute for the warrior spirit Kahless wants. The weak die and their seed will not contaminate the future gene stock. As it should be; the weak make way for the strong. This is Darwinian biology in action. House Qo'mar are all like big rugby players – 6 ft 4+ males and 6 ft+ females. These are the big Klingons. They don’t care for the politics and intrigue. They would just pick up a lesser Klingon and smash their head into the wall (GoT Mountain-style). Their actions speak louder than words.

    Their warships are more of the armoured-D7 bulked-up with firepower and armour over cloaking and sneaking. That isn’t their way. They aren’t Romulans. Again, they focus on the Gorn as their territorial enemies of the Empire, not the Federation. And why not? Discovery showed the Klingons were going to win the war (33% of Starfleet destroyed and 20% of the Federation occupied), Yesterday’s Enterprise showed that by Picard’s time this fact is still the same. The Klingons have our number. T’kuvma may have portrayed them as a First Nation people fearful of being civilised, but in truth they’re more like the Mongols, Vikings or even Soviets – more than capable of obliterating the United Federation of Planets. House Qo'mar studies their enemies and learns about them (e.g. Federation exchange school or science vessels), from this they develop the strategies, tactics and weapons to defeat their enemy. House Qo'mar D-7 are more like a cross between a K’T’inga and an Accuser class: a really beefy version of Kronos One/IKC Amar. The lighter ships the House has are more like destroyers and light cruisers in size, given their beefy armoured make-up. They don’t sneak’ they crash through your front door and end you.

    General Qo'mar is head of this newly ascended House and his son: L’mak. Qo'mar is the veteran of several campaigns against the Gorn but has been drawn into the court of Azetbur, much to his chagrin. He’d far rather be fighting Gorn. His son is now the head of leadership in the new campaign against the Gorn. He’s got the facial and upper body scars that proudly show him to have earned the mantle of warrior to the standards of House Qo'mar. House Qo'mar are different to many of the Klingon Houses in not having medals and ribbons to celebrate victories – scars and markings on their bodies and warships are the proof of victory. House Qo'mar does not venerate old age as they revere combat and a glorious death in the name of the House and Empire. There are no Worf-ian watered-down adaptations of the words of Kahless, this is about warfare and victory. Blood and blood wine. House Qo'mar has a focus on the Gorn as their enemy as the Gorn have fought over the traditional lands of the House for centuries. To lose focus would be to lose everything. Politics and squabbling amongst the Houses holds NO interest to House Qo'mar. Besides, they’re very big Klingons; it’d be a short fight.

    A selection of Klingon Houses:

    House Qo'mar

    This is a newly-minted Great House that has a seat on the High Council. Based on the colony world of Kin'skoje, House Qo'mar gained in status from the discommendation of Houses Chang, B'oeke and Grokh after the Battle of Khitomer. An Accuser class dreadnought, Warrior's Anger command cruisers and various K'T'inga class battle cruisers are given to General Qo'mar as a sign of the House being elevated by Azetbur to the High Council. Qo'mar has little regard for High Council politics and only attends the High Council chambers when necessary; he is a warrior first, a politician second. The High Council and great House 'obsession' with Qo'noS and the Federation is little understood by House Qo'mar. This House has traditionally fought the Gorn and been well-removed from the clashes with Starfleet. Even during the Federation-Klingon War of 2256, the House was little involved directly.

    The lands of House Grokh on Kronos are also gifted to Qo'mar both as punishment to the disgraced fallen Great House as much a reward for the newly promoted one. General Qo'mar has proven hiself in battle many times, rising through the ranks to General through fighting the Gorn, amongst others. Now House Qo'mar has been selected to support Chancellor Azetbur and defend the Empire from enemies ot foreign and domestic. Qo'mar is loyal to the Empire and has no time for political scheming; the House has always focussed on fighting the enemy and not politics. This is how they interpret the ways of Kahless. Like other Klingons, they call a boy a man when he can hold a blade, but he is only a warrior in this House when they earn scars from fighting their traditional Gorn enemies. House Qo'mar Klingons can be identified from the heavy armour they wear for fighting Gorn and the beaten, scarred faces they have from Gorn claws. All this in addition to their height and muscular build.

    The House of Qo'mar comes from the genetic pool of the 'South West' region of the Klingon Empire, near the Gorn border. Combat and natural selection has resulted in these being large, tall, strong Klingons that are suited to fighting these powerful lizard enemies. The House of Qo'mar comes from being the House of Qo'mar that was an established medium sized House. Qo'mar soon found himself to be at the front of fighting ther Gorn. His father, Colonel L'sark had taught him the ways of Kahless and how to fight. Qo'mar took what his father had built and went to the next level, battling the Gorn Hegemony to gain territory for the Klingon Empire. Qo'mar has gained many scars from his battles but these act as badges of honour and sources of stories in the taverns of Kin'skoje. His successes and leadership soon earned him a small fleet of warships to command and his name was known of by the time of Chancellors Kesh and Gorkon.

    House Qo'mar acts as a counterbalance to the axis of Houses Duras, G'Iogh and Amar on the Klingon and Romulan borders of the Empire and also allows Azetbur unfettered access to the Federation border. L'mak is the sole heir to Qo'mar and was sent to the new Klingon-Federation Exchange School in Ka'Hat on Sherman's Planet. As Kahless taught us, "To defeat an enemy you must first learn about them; also it is wise to learn from a worthy enemy, to take what is better about them and their ways to make you stronger."

    Qo'mar took Grokh's old lands, personally seeing off any challengers with his mighty 6 ft 7 inch frame. Qo'mar is a member of the Order of the Bat'leth and through his successful battle campaigns has earned himself bladed weapons from the famed House of Kihreg. His Bat'leth ("Lizard-slayer"), Mek'leth ("Limb-cleaver") and d'ktahg are all custom-made and personalised for him. They have been stained with the blood of his enemies many times and have never let him down. Some of the established Great Houses look down on House Qo'mar and its alien presence on the High Council. The House of Qo'mar is rare that it is not based on Kronos and cannot be traced directly back to regal bloodlines. This is new blood, forged in the fires of battle and some of the older Great Houses fear the ambitiousness and strategic skills of the General.

    The status of House Qo'mar as a newly minted Great House acts as a beacon for the average House that they can ascend to the High Council and Great House status. Qo'mar now commands a sizeable portion of the main Imperial Klingon Navy fleet and is a force to reckon with. Qo'mar has no desire to become Chancellor; he wants to fight and bring glory to his House and the Empire. Rivals for the Chancellory therefore have no desire to kill Qo'mar or destroy his House as he poses no challenge to their ambitions. They would rather gain favour with the General. Qo'mar has no time for treachery and challenging Azetbur. Being Chancellor means sitting on the throne and spending your days doing politics. Qo'mar would rather be defeating enemies and facing death to live another day; to feel alive.

    House Qo'mar has bladed weapons and tactics geared towards fighting the Gorn. The bladed weapons are shorter and armour-piercing to stab through Gorn hide. Typical tactics are to use a disruptor to break up or damage the hide and finish off at close-range with a bladed weapon like a tajtiq (knife sword). The typical weapons are a dk'tahg like a Rondel knife with a diamond cross-section blade for stabbing through the reinforced Gorn skin. The larger weapon of House Qo'mar is a tajtiq or knife-sword in the style of a yoroi-doshi Japanese Samurai sword - a 'mail piercer' weapon usually wielded with the left or reins hand. This is a shorter weapon than a Bat'leth, more like a Mek'leth. This brings the members of House Qo'mar close-quarters with Gorn and this is why their rite of passage is to fight a Gorn one-on-one. The gene pool is kept strong as the Klingons who are not strong enough are killed in the encounter and do not spread their weak genes. The House Qo'mar bat'leth is like an Uruk-Hai sword from the Lord of the Rings movies, with a crooked, heavy tip that helps to pierce armour. Again, this is a concession to fight the Gorn. In practice, the shorter tajtiq is more the weapon of choice.

    Winston Duke, the Mountain Chief M'Baku in Black Panther (and a good visual role-model for L'mak), sums up the approach of House Qo'mar in a Vanity Fair interview: "We don't hide, we don't sneak. We come through the front door." In the same way, the House Qo'mar does not use cloaking devices, they're more geared to full-on frontal assault against the Gorn. Good honest combat in the spirit of Kahless.

    The House has a selection of 86 mostly larger cruiser sized ships: 1x B-11 Accuser, 1x D-10 Riskadh, 1x D-9 Warrior's Anger, 8x D-8 K't'inga, 13x D-7 Koro, 9x D-6 and 25 B'rel Bird of prey.

    Author's Notes:

    I wanted to have a Klingon 'hero family' as a counterpoint to the Hawkins family and House Qo'mar is it. This is a Klingon House that has just achieved the big time as a Great House through hard fighting and gaining a lot of scars. Qo'mar has elevated himself from soldier up to four-star General by fighting Gorn. To put that in perspective, that is like the late, great Jonah Lomu (see right) taking on a walking - 7 foot tall salt-water crocodile walking on man-sized legs with a gun. Qo'mar may be an awfully big Klingon but Gorn are naturally huge. The Klingons of the South-West (or Spinward Rimward corner) have grown huge out of necessity fighting the Gorn. Smaller, lesser built Klingons just simply die.

    Qo'mar renamed the House after himself when they achieved Great House status. He already earned a collection of prestigious blade weapons from the famed House Kihreg and now is on the Klingon High Council. He is a traditional fighting Klingon - he's no desire for a boring throne to sit on and would far rather be fighting, singing songs and telling tales of his glorious victories. He's a philosopher too with knowledge of the teachings of Kahless, this leads to him sending his only son - L'mak - to Ka'Hat on Sherman's Planet exchange and learn with the Federation and there he meets Hawkins. The rest is story.

    Qo'mar has a named set of swords - just like Excalibur and the Valyrian steel swords in Game of Thrones. Lizard-slayer was an apt name to say this is a Klingon who doesn't have stories of fighting weedy human Starfleet captains but powerful Gorn ones. The House gains from the lands and ships of House Grokh after it is discommended - just like the House of Mogh after the events in DS9 'Way of the Warrior' when Worf sides against Chancellor Gowron. Older, more traditional Great Houses resent this fledgling Great House and how it has grown even more from acquiring lands and ships without a fight. Of course, none would say this to Qo'mar as he'd kill them where they stand. No Worfian idle threats here. Qo'mar is Klingon.

    House Qo'mar - as House J'tal - had many minor House enemies. Now that they are the great House Qo'mar, these threats have evaporated. Qo'mar's fleet has now become the property of his House. Some of the minor Houses that had feuded with his now must bend the knee to serve a great House of the High Council. Qo'mar has the ear of the Chancellor; that is power on a whole new level. I wanted House Qo'mar to have its own feel - fighting Gorn does this. This House does not just consider a boy a man when he wields a blade, when he earns scars from fighting a Gorn, that's when he is REALLY a warrior - marked in scars. This is not a House of models and pretty boys. Their armour was another thing I thought of - if you're fighting Gorn then you need high-grade heavy armour, not just body armour to stop knives and the likes.

    House Qo’mar is geared for the Gorn front.

    Their age of ascendance ritual is very different to the one seen with Worf. No pain sticks. This is a one-on-one duel with a Gorn. If you are worthy, then the scarred victor is a true Klingon warrior. If they lose, they die at the hand of the Gorn and the weak genetic material is eliminated from the gene pool. This is how it should be. Post-Discovery, I’m not sure the PG rated pain stick version is appropriate for a warrior race. This harsh initiation rite has resulted in large-build warriors more akin to quarterbacks and ice hockey enforcers in size.

    Even their targs are bred to bring down Gorn and are a larger breed – more like a Wolfhound, Rottweiler or Alsatian than a smaller breed. Klingons don’t live long. Kang, Koloth and Kor seemed to live until their 130s – very unlikely for a race that pride themselves in combat. Death before 70 is likely. Better to burn out, than to fade away.

    Fighting style

    The House of Qo’mar use armour-piercing bladed weapons, more akin to an ice pick than a knife. The fighting style is accordingly geared for precision stabbing attacks to the eyes, neck and heart. Slashing attacks are shunned as a blade generally will not slice through the bone-chainmail of a Gorn hide.

    Kahless interpretation

    For House Qo’mar the emphasis is Kahless the warrior-king. The interpretation is about fighting to earn glorious victory and to honour the Empire and your House. This is a version full of bloodshed, strength and sacrifice. No hiding, no sneaking, this is about looking the enemy in the eye. And ending them. House Qo’mar hold the gate against the invaders (Gorn and Federation) and traditionally hold territory that the Gorn fight them for.

    House Bora'DoK

    This is a minor House that specialises in border patrol. This House is based on one of the outer colonies and they swear a duty to protect the boundaries of the Empire. They have a small collection of 23 ships, with a handful of battlecruisers acting as a command ship for a mixture of D-18 Gull and B'rel patrol ships. The House has: 1xD-10 Riskadh, 1xD-8 K't'inga, 6xD-18 Gull, 7x B'rel and 8x Suspicious class.

    House G'Iogh

    This is a major player in Klingon politics from the 2290s. They were discommendated by Gorkon after the Civil War, but despite being hunted down and several members being killed in Romulan space, J'bok son of Kalnor survived along with assets protected by the powerful House of Duras. Despite Gorkon's best efforts, Houses Duras and G'Iogh had too many ships; taking them out would have torn the Empire apart at a critical time. There are rumours that Kaarg signed a pact with the House for their support in return for their reinstatement upon his crowning as Chancellor (Author's note: just like what Gowron did with Worf and the House of Mogh in the 2360s). The House has indeed now been reinstated into the Empire and their name can once more be spoken. The House specialises in large warships which are used to crush the opposition. They devised the Sword of Kahless battleship which was shown to be a sluggish failure. Now they have amassed 238 ships including: 1x L-24 Komo Val, 4xD-9 Warrior's Anger, 10xD-10 Riskadh, 28x D-8 K't'inga, 4x T-5 Throne Seeker, 4x Accuser and 98x B'rel.

    House Amar

    The House of Amar gained notoriety in 2294 for the Terajuni Incident, in which they tri-ox bombed Terajun itself. Previously a great House under Captain Mak'Len of the IKS Amar, lost with all hands against V'ger in 2273. Current head of the House is Brigadier L'nek. Azetbur tried to discommendate the House in 2294, but the popularity and power of the House made that option unwise. The attempt created a rivalry between this House and Azetbur.

    If Azetbur was the Queen Elizabeth of the Klingon Empire, the House of Amar was Mary, Queen of Scots in terms of rivalry.

    The House of Amar has a seat on the depleted High Council. They have supporters and a vast fleet of warships including B-11 Accuser class and Behemoth carriers. Whilst the House of Amar faced off against the Terajuni and Federation ships on stardate 9702, Azetbur privately supported their actions whilst publicly condemning their actions. To keep the Federation on-side for their aid.

    Ever since the Terajuni Incident of late 2293, Brigadier L'nek has been building up the power base of the House. An open opponent of having a woman on the High Council, let alone leading it. L'nek has forged close ties with House Duras and beyond it to the remnants of House G'Iogh. L'nek is looking to gain promotions and power but is foiled by the selection of General Qo'mar onto the High Council. Qo'mar exemplifies the best of Klingon culture and has the battle strategies and personal strength that L'nek lacks. The Brigadier can only hope to gain the support of other High Council members to boost his standing that way, before Azetbur can be challenged and removed.

    House N’reden

    Minor House in the driftward region of the Empire. Acquired assault ships from House MoraKh from a blood debt dating to the ISC war. This minor House is looking to build up its stature in the Empire after losing much of their forces and lands during the Kinshaya invasion. G’loth, head of the house, secured the blood debt from fighting bravely with the forces of House MoraKh. So impressed was General MoraKh that he pledged to honour the smaller house for showing more courage than most warriors.

    Previously the House N’reden had supplied cruisers, destroyers and frigates to defend the assault ships of house MoraKh. During the Kinshaya war these ships put themselves into harm’s way to defend these larger capital ships. As a result, House N’reden’s forces were annihilated by the onslaught of the Kinshaya with the PPD weapon. With the gift of assault ships, the role of House N’reden has begun to evolve.

    House O'giak

    This is a minor House with a background in workers and the occasional warrior. The fleet of this House has a mixture of D-7, D-6, D-5, T-5 and T-3 all converted into tankers, freighters and supply ships. This House has a glorious heritage of supporting the warrior fleets in their great battles and campaigns.

    House Koryak

    This is a faded minor House that fell from greater House status in the 2250s/60s. Their fleet consists of outdated and refurbished warships from the time of Garth, Pike and Kirk. This House dreams of redemption, but failed campaigns in the 2270s and 2280s cost further lands and property. The decline of the Empire in the 2290s after Praxis, and the later occupation of their region of the Empire by the Interstellar Concordium, means the House has few assets left; all that remains is a hunger to regain their honour and glory. A failed delaying action meant the better Emperor, D-10, D-9, and D-8 ships were destroyed by the Kinshaya fleet. Only the more numerous, older ships are now left.

    All this failure has left the House now eager to sense which way the political wind is blowing. To his end, they sided early with General Kaarg for his succession and his policies. House Gorak was discommendated after the assassination of Chancellor Azetbur, the lands and ships from that House are now being distributed by Kaarg to his loyal followers. House Koryak hopes to benefit from this generosity.

    House V'rokian

    This House has a proud tradition of being there for Day One combat of special forces-style fleet that operates Supression of Enemy Astro Defences (SEAD) missions. The House also has VoDIeh class vessels for deep space penetration missions to cripple the enemy in Day One operations (D1 Ops). The rest of the fleet consists of B'rel class and Suspicious class science vessels used for jamming sensors.

    House MoraKh

    Assault specialist Great House that has designed the latest designs of assault ships for the Empire. This House has a collection of T-5, T-12 and T-15 assault ships, along with D-11 command cruiser and a B-11 capital ship. This House has always stood by the Chancellor and is seen as the powerhouse for any Chancellor to secure their loyalty.

    House Stex

    Great House of General Stex, who heroically lost his right arm in the assault on Kronos One. This House has a mix of a B-11 with D-11, D-10, D-8. Azetbur rewarded this House for his valiant attempt to stop the assassination of her father.

    House Klaa

    General Klaa, a personal friend now to Kaarg after their fight for the leadership, Klaa has been built up to the position of Chief of Staff by his mate, Vixis. This Great House is now in a position to cement their place on the High Council for generations to come.

    House B’oeke

    From the General that insisted to Azetbur to attack or be slaves in their world. Ignored by Azetbur, B’oeke continued to oppose Azetbur’s policy of engagement with the Federation. Named for Jim Boeke who played First General in ST:VI.

    House of Grokh

    Discommended for treason along with General Chang. This House looks to be revived with the death of Azetbur. Named for Matthias Hues’ character Second General from ST:VI, named in the novel.

    House R’shar

    Minor House based entirely on one T-12G class assault ship, the IKS R’shar. Alliances with other Houses allow them access to shipyards and training facilities off-ship. Their resources are turned over back into the ship, ensuring it is the most advanced of its type in the fleet.

    House P’tookH

    Minor House operating in the Kinshaya Sector, looking for the big win of minerals to earn their way to greater things.

    House Kihreg

    Honoured Great House of the Klingon Empire. This House specialised in making weapons, especially bladed weapons, for the best of the Empire. Bat'leths, Mek'leths and D'ktahgs customer made to order for the greatest Houses and warriors. These weapons cannot be bought, they have to be earned. Each weapon is etched with the markings for the House receiving the weapon and the owner. The weaponsmith also leaves their personal marking on the weapon and every weapon is unique. They are also all named. Like Excalibur and Robin Hood's sword Albion, each bladed weapon from the House of Kihreg is named. Heart Cleaver, Blood Seeker, Lizard-slayer and other descriptive, snappy names. These are prestigious weapons, reliable blades and to own one is to have a social standing. This House is in high demand, but only serve those worthy of their craftmanship.

    The Klingons aren't necessarily the tallest Klingons in the Empire, their build being more suited to forging and weapons manufacture. Large upper body musculature with clothing of leather designed to withstand the fierce heat of the forge. House Kihreg designs swords, daggers, knives, spears, axes, throwing stars and other weapons. Inspiration from Danny Trejo's "Man At Arms: Weapons of War" series with Chinese weapons like the Sun and Wind stars and the Ji spear, indian weapons like the Urumi whip sword and the Haladie tri-blade dagger, finally the Egyptian weapons like the Khopesh sword. Also the "Forged in Fire episode with the Sword-breaker.

    Author's Notes:

    The Klingon Empire - devised as a cheaper alternative to using the Romulan make-up. The Soviet analogy of the original series and movies, with a Japanese Samurai element added from Star Trek III and Viking elements from TNG, DS9 and Voyager onwards.

    Qo'noS First CityOne of the first thoughts I had for the Interim Years was about the races that the Sheffield would examine and detail. The Klingons would be the obvious choice - Hawkins notes that the Starfleet has been obsessed with the Klingons for over one hundred and fifty years. This was bourne from the appearance of the Klingons in virtually all the Star Trek series and movies from their first appearance in 'Errand of Mercy' right up to an appearance in the new film 'Star Trek'. I wanted to go back to the basics: what are the Klingons? how do they describe themseves and their government? what does this mean?

    The Klingons are an empire - this means that they conquer other planets and cultures to assimilate their mineral resources, technology or peoples into their realm to improve the state and culture as a whole. Klingons are warriors, at least that is the way they see themselves now. ST: Enterprise episode 'Judgement' descibes how the Klingons were descending from being a culture of artists etc. to a military-industrial culture. This fits in to the Soviet model of the soldier, the farmer and the factory worker. I envision that the Klingon Empire once had a balance between these three elements and that the warriors eventually push things to benefit them, rather like the Grey Council of the Minbari in Babylon 5.

    I wanted to go back to basics; if you are an empire then you are not nice. Lesser cultures are dominated for the benefit of the empire; history shows this to be the case with the British, Soviet, Romans and many others who had empires. The Klingons were shown in ST: Enterprise 'Marauders' for what they are - after dilithium and resources to build up the empire. 'Trouble with Tribbles' showed how this approach was refined in the 2260s with propaganda and a promise of improvement under the Klingons (rather like the Soviets promising improvements in the 1960s). Gorkon and his daughter Azetbur had taken the empire away from these militaristic, aggressive roots and the empire was seen to stagnate. This would be when plans to assassinate Azetbur would be made, just as the plans to kill her father were made for the same reason.

    As with Russia over the last decade from 1998 - 2008, I wanted to show how the empire had fallen into hard times. Without conquering new worlds and without the ability to keep a tight rein on the conquered worlds, not only was the empire not getting the new resources they needed, but some of the colonies would be leaving the empire. To quote General Gogol from 'View to a Kill' - No one ever leaves the KGB. Just as with the break-up of the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact from 1985 - 1992, the Klingon empire was predicted to break-up from that famous Starfleet briefing at the beginning of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. With the Interim Years I wanted to show that this was happening; they just got the timing of events wrong: This was no sudden splintering, more a gradual glacier-like break-up.

    I have had e-mail conversations with quite a few of the Star Trek novel authors such as Keith R A DiCandido and David R George III to ask their opinions on the Klingons and such individuals as Azetbur and Kaarg. Keith's novel 'Art of the Impossible' and David's 'Serpents among the Ruins' paint a picture of the Empire in decline after Praxis. With this basic in mind, I then turned to Russia - the traditional analogy of the Klingon Empire. There were events in Russian history since 1992 which I felt the Klingons should also go through as this would lead nicely into the events of TNG - they would also keep the Klingons relevant to present day Russia - something I felt was highly important.

    As a sort of blueprint for the Klingon Empire of 2312 onwards, I examined the modern history of Russia. This shows the highs and lows of the recent history of the country, and gives an idea of the direction of the Klingon Empire. A new cold war? Perhaps; or certainly a change in relations. 'The art of the impossible' describes in detail the conflict between the Cardassian Union and the Klingon Empire, as with the events of 'Serpents among the ruins', I intend to stay faithful to established history.

    "The above artwork is © Interplay Productions. All rights reserved"

    Interplay Productions

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