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A Brief Introduction to the Klingon Empire

A proud, tradition-bound people who value honour, the aggressive Klingon culture has made them a military power to be respected and feared throughout the quadrants.

The Klingon Homeworld is referred to by many names: Klinzhai, Kling, Klingon, or Qo'noS (Kronos). This M-class planet is the second in the Klingon Star System. It is about 1.5 times the size of Earth. On Qo'noS, there is only few water, except for some saline lakes, which is why the climate is hot and the vegetation meager. The biggest city on the planet is The First City (veng wa'DIch), the center of the Klingon Empire


Medical Data

Klingons are classified as "humanoid", since they roughly follow the designs and symmetry of the humanoid body form shared by most of the races in the Alpha Quadrant. However, there are some differences. The most striking characteristic of a Klingon's appearance is the sagittarean crest on their forehead. Every Klingon forehead has its own unique pattern, much like a fingerprint, however certain similarities can be found within family lines.

The Klingons have a body structure that is partly exoskeleton, meaning their resistance to physical force is far greater than mere flesh, and they have a higher muscle mass ratio than most humans. This system is especially suited to protecting the interior organs from damage caused by fighting. Heavy chest plates, a heavily-armored back (including spinal cord), and a pronounced brow ridge (to protect the brain) are common features. Klingons are capable of comparably greater physical strength and endurance than Terran humans. The Klingon body incorporates multiple redundancies for nearly all vital bodily functions. This characteristic, known as brak'lul, gives Klingons enormous resiliency in battle. Despite the considerable sophistication of Klingon technology, significant gaps exist in Klingon medical science, in part due to cultural biases that injured warriors should be left to die or to carry out the Hegh'bat, a ritual suicide. Klingons have no tear ducts. The blood of Imperial race Klingons is a lavender-colored fluid, while the various genetic fusions exhibit other colour characteristics.

The olfactory sense of a typical Klingon is typically very keen. It is theorized that since the initial stages of the mating ritual involves much "sniffing" of the potential mate, it is possible that this is an alternative way of identifying a Klingon's emotions or intent through their pheremones.

Klingon Society

Klingon society functions through a system of family reputation and honor. Tradition is an integral part of their lives and breaking from observances is considered a grievious insult to society that is not forgotten easily: bringing shame to the offender's name for several generations.

Klingon society is hierarchically organized. Status is generally a matter of descent and relations, although it can occasionally be earned or improved through notable battles or victories. Higher classes consist of the Major Houses or family lines, most of whom are quite wealthy and own vast lands guarded by armed forces that are loyal to their house. Others have less influence and often enter into an alliance with the more powerful houses to be able to survive; they are often referred to a Minor Houses.

Bloodlines and relations are also taken very seriously by any true Klingon. Lines comprise of more than mere family members. It is more like a network of mutual obligations and defense agreements. Deeds done beyond living memory can indebt one family to another for generations, such is their emphasis on repaying debts. In this way, there comes a time when the line is too massive to maintain, and some line-founders must split off to form a new name. For a Klingon to join a family, it must be done according to the rite of R'uustal, after approval by the matriarch or patriarch of the family house.

Each House is usually led by the eldest male descendant of the first head of the house, however there is a growing acceptance of the oldest daughter becoming head of House under certain circumstances. Although lower-class Klingons do not necessarily consider themselves members of a House, they have normally pledged allegiance to a particular House. They usually work as servants or belong to the House's armed forces. If a Klingon behaves dishonorably, his shame reflects on the whole House.

(For more information, visit our sections on: Klingon Family Lines)


Klingon Rituals and Beliefs

An integral part of tradition is the various rituals that mark milestones in a Klingon's life or the history of the Empire. Most notable of the rites is the Rite of Succession, which a future leader of the Empire must complete with a valid Arbiter of Succession (Captain Jean-Luc Picard in the case of Gowron) overseeing the proceedings. Before the Rite can begin, there's another elaborate ceremony needed to confirm the death of the previous leader. This is known as the Sonchi Ceremony. For individual Klingon warriors, they are expected to go through the Rite of Ascension to be recognized as a full adult.

The most famed and prestigious warriors receive the honour of induction into The Order of The Bat'leth. This elite group has a long tradition, and the Chancellor himself will oversee the inaugaration ceremony which normally takes place in the Hall of Warriors at Ty'Gokor. This structure houses the bones of Klingon heroes and legends, honouring them with statues and stone tablets detailing their illustrious deeds. 

In Klingon society, the death of a warrior is not mourned, especially a warrior who has died honourably, as in battle or the line of duty. In such cases, the survivors celebrate the freeing of the spirit. Although Klingons believe in an afterlife (traditionally Sto-Vo-Kor, or an alternative version called "The Black Fleet"), but there is no burial ceremony. They dispose the body in the most efficient means possible.

There is no equivelant to the devil in Klingon mythology, although a beast known as Fek'lhr is believed to guard the underworld of Gre'thor.  According to myth, ancient Klingon warriors slew their gods a millenium ago. They were apparently more trouble than they were worth.

Klingon tradition holds that "A Klingon is a man the day he can first hold a blade". Another Klingon ritual is the R'uustai, or bonding ceremony, in which two individuals join families, becoming brothers and sisters.

Klingons believe that they have the instinctive ability to look an opponent in the eye and see the intent to kill. Klingon tradition holds that a Klingon who dies by their own hand will not travel across the River of Blood to enter Sto-Vo-Kor.  If a Klingon warrior strikes another with the back of his hand, it is interpreted as a challenge to the death.  Klingon warriors speak proudly to each other - they do not whisper or keep their distance.  Standing far away and whispering are considered insults in Klingon society.

(For more information, visit our sections on: Klingon Rituals & Ceremonies)


Klingon Government

The Klingon Empire is governed by the Klingon High Council which consists of about two dozen members from the most honorable Major Houses, meeting in the Great Hall in their capital veng wa'DIch ("The First City"). The Leader of the Council is referred to as the Chancellor, who is, at the same time, head of government. At the moment, this office is held by Martok, the successor of Gowron. Since 2369, there is also an Emperor, an office that has not been filled for centuries: the clone of Kahless the Unforgettable . He has practically no political power, however, he serves as an important religious and ceremonial leader in Klingon society.

Klingon Military

The Klingon military is called tlhIngan hubbeq or Klingon Defense Force. It consists of the fleet and the ground troops, both of which are commanded by the Klingon Supreme Command. In the fleet, there are nine different ranks: Admiral, General, Fleet Admiral, Brigadier General, Captain, Commander, Lieutenant, Ensign and Yeoman.


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