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USF Species Databank: The Klingons

An Introduction to Klingon Culture

qaleghneS (I am honored to see you). Welcome to Qo'noS, the Klingon Homeworld. This section of pages is part of the United Space Federation on the World Wide Web. These Pages I hope will help you become more familiar with Klingon Culture. And now for a little background information on the Homeworld of the Klingon people. Enjoy your stay on Qo'noS!

Introduction to Qo'noS:

Q'onosQo'noS, also called Klinzai by some of its inhabitants, is an M class planet which orbits the star Klingon and is found at galactic coordinates (-321.5, 48.6, -87.9). It is the second planet of the system and is nearly one and a half times the size of Terra. Qo'noS is the only world in its five planet system which was inherently capable of sustaining life. On all other occupied planets, Klingons had to use large amounts of relatively sophisticated technology to live there. The surface of Klinzai is almost entirely land mass, but there are many small bodies of water scattered around it. The largest 13 of these, the only ones that show up on a planetary map, are very salty. Klinzai is unique among class M worlds in that it has very little vegetation. This is not a geology course, so it will not get into the specifics here, but apparently, damage caused by a passing asteroid changed the level of silicates in the soil of the planet, thus making it less amenable to vegetation. This caused nearly every native species to be carnivorous and hostile in nature. Because of the small amount of axial tilt to the planet and because of the high carbon dioxide layer and the greenhouse effect that it creates, there is very little in the way of changes of season on Klinzai.


Geological information from Klinzai suggests that the world was once rather lush and wet, but suffered catastrophe due to the passing of a large asteroid which altered the orbit of the planet. This asteroid is also thought to have caused enormous pressure in the planet itself which led to disastrous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Fossilized remains in the underground water pockets and in the lava rock show that a form of Klingon existed before the time of the asteroid. These Klingons bear the same basic genetic markings as present-day Klingons, except without the Imperial mutations, which, as is well-known, bear no chemical resemblance to most of the rest of the life on the planet. It is for these reasons that it is thought that the Klingon people were seeded on Klinzai, possibly by The Preservers, when the planet was lush. It is unknown how some of the early Klingons survived the destruction wrought by the asteroid, but they did and they developed into the rich society that is on the planet today.

Anatomy of the Klingon

A Klingon maleThe Body is similar to the human. However it has twice the organs and bones. One is the skull cap which is visible by the raised forehead and is in different styles and sizes. Due to DNA, the brain is backed up with twice as many synopses. The neck is backed with a second bone around the spinal column. There are 44 vertebrae in the column which is useful in case of injury and strengths in the back. There are 4 more ribs two on the left side and two more on the right side with three lungs, two main lungs and a small lung between the two which powers breathing. The heart has 5 chambers, one extra is on the right ventricle which can backup in case of a heart attack. The shoulders are the same as a humans. The upper arms are backup with a long part of thin bone in the middle which is like a cushion on the bone. The elbow is the same as the humans. The lower arm is strengthen by double the size on the lower arm bones, making their lower arms a little larger then the upper. The waists have 10 more carpals. The hand is almost the same expect for reinforced thumb, middle, and index finger bones. The stomach is doubled the size and has a thick coat of muscle inside to hold their stronger foods and beverages like raw worm and Klingon firewine. The liver is has a backup with a smaller secondary liver. The pancreas is the same as a humans. There are four kidneys which gives great strength in a stomach injury. Their sexual organs are the same as humans (Of course). The hips are the same. The upper leg bone are twice the size in height giving them a average height of "6 '6, and the lower leg bones are reinforced also with secondary bone strips along them. The foot is the same as a humans expect with an reinforced ankle bone. (In more aspects the Klingon Body is the stronger,even female Klingons can precede the male in strength which in Klingon Society is accepted).

Klingon History

Klingon Bird of PreyApprox. 1300 years ago the first Klingon geographical states formed. Prior to this time the civilization of Klinzhai was a group of loosely assembled tribes held together by the strength of individual leaders. Some of these early states were sea based, hugh fleets of interconnected sea platforms, which eventually became submerged cities. Early on there began the rivalry between the land based dwellers (Komerex Klingon) and the sea based populations (Komerex dexiklingon). This rivalry continues today between the Naval and Marine forces of the Empire. The final war united the Klingon people when the Komerex dexiklingon set off it's single nuclear device against the Komerex Klingon. This so enraged the Komerex Klingon that they were able to rally and destroy the Komerex dexiklingon before it could build another warhead. This led to a coalition of military leaders that held power until approx. 300 years ago. At that time a science officer in the newly formed space administration proposed the development of a base station to orbit around Klinzhai. All other military leaders looked at each others planetary holdings for conquest, not into the stars. The other leaders laughed and ignored the scientist. However, by diverting his families funds, he was able to build the space station and place it in orbit. Next he had everyone involved in it's construction killed (over 2,000). Then he delivered his one demand to the military council. Make him sole Emperor or suffer the consequences of a matter/anti- explosion in close orbit. While the council members were willing to risk it, their subordinates were not. The people put their leaders to the sword and swore fealty to the new Emperor. What followed was one of the bloodiest purges in Klingon history. His original name was lost during the many "official" revisions of Klingon history. The name he took upon ascension of the throne has never been forgotten. He took the name of Kahless (Qey'liS), in Honor of the Greatest Klingon whoever lived. He died with his hand tied to his command chair two decades later in a fleet action that ended the first Klingon/Romulan war. To honor his memory the position of Emperor was replaced with that of High Council Leader.

The Naked Stars...

Naked Stars: Since Klingons view themselves as the greatest lifeforms in the universe the concept of worship another entity is not very strong. Klingons control their own destinies and answer to no power (other then the Emperor) for their actions. The Empire acknowledges the power that religion has over other cultures but, it is not so prevalent or powerful in the Klingon experience. As close to religion as the Empire comes is the belief that the stars see all. This allows for a belief in a higher form of Justice and eventual reward/punishment that is sometimes lacking in contemporary Klingon society. Due to heavy cloud cover a clear night is rare on Qo'noS and the stars are held in a certain reverence. Part of the following poem gives an example:

... and though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife had found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
"Now you shall die, and none shall know."
And the fool looking down believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulder, the naked stars,
Each one remembering."

The Vengeance Flies at Morning

The guns are hot, the hull is ringing,
The engines sing the sound of triumph;
And every one aboard awaits
A prize upon the high horizon.
Hand and weapon! Heart and power!
Cry it with the voice of the Empire!
Victory and prize plunder!
Vengeance flies at morning!
And though the cold brittles the flesh,
The chain of duty cannot be broken,
For the chain is forged in the heart's own fire
Which cold cannot extinguish

Kahless the Unforgettable

Kahless the Unforgettable was a Klingon mythic historic figure, a great warrior who united the Klingon Empire some 1,500 years ago. The story of Kahless is the cornerstone of Klingon mythology and religion. Legend has it that the messianic Kahless fought the tyrant Molor, whom he killed with the first Bat'telh or sword of honor. Another of the epic tales of Kahless relates how he fought his brother, Morath, for twelve days and twelve nights because Morath had lied and bought shame to his family. Klingons believe that warriors who die honorably join Kahless, who awaits them in Sto-Vo-Kor, the afterlife. Just before his death Kahless pointed to a star and promised that he would one day return there. Klingon clerics established a monastery on Boreth, a planet orbiting that star, where they waited for centuries for Kahless to return. In the 24th century, the clerics of Boreth devised an elaborate scheme whereby preserved cellular material from Kahless was cloned to produce a replica of the original Kahless. The replica was programmed of with all of the ancient teachings and parables, and actually believed he was the real Kahless. The deception was quickly discovered, but Worf, son of Mogh, pointed out that the new Kahless could be considered the rightful heir to the throne. With support of High Council leader Gowron, the new Kahless was installed in 2369 as ceremonial Emperor of the Klingon people. Another copy of Kahless was created in 2269 when the Excalbians were attempting to study the human concepts of "Good" and "Evil".

The Bat'telh

The Bat'telh is the traditional sword of honor resembling a meter-long two-ended scimitar. The Bat'telh was carried along the inside of the arm and controlled by two handholds located on the outside edge of the weapon.

Oral history of the sword holds that it was forged when Kahless the Unforgettable dropped a lock of his hair in the lava from the Kri'stak Volcano and then plunged the burning lock into the lake of Lusar and twisted it into a blade. After forging the weapon, he used it to kill the tyrant Molor and named it the "bat'telh", sword of honor. The tale of the sword was never recorded in the sacred texts. Rather it was passed down verbally among the High Clerics. The retelling of the tale was to be test of Kahless's return, as only he and the High Clerics would know the story.

The Story of Promise

After he had united the Homeworld to form the Klingon Empire, Kahless one day said it was time for him to depart. When the people begged him not to leave, Kahless said he was going ahead to Sto-Vo-Kor, and promised to return one day. He pointed to a star in the heavens and told the people to look for him there "On that point of light." Klingon clerics later established a monastery on the Planet Boreth, orbiting that star, to await his return. The family is important mainly with the sons and the father. The rules for a family differ from the amount of sons in it has. One son is that son represents his family and his father in anything. If there are two, then the oldest son represents the family and the other one is recommended to be in the military so the family can have a standing.

Klingon Law is mainly based on honor and the laws are fair but punishments are harsh and tough. Klingon Government is a good deal democracy with some socialism. The government is split into the Klingon High Council, the Klingon Military Council, the People's Council. The Klingon High Council is made of 9 members which are 3 of Military, 2 of Science, 1 of the People's Council Leader, 1 is the ambassador, 1 is the Vice Leader, then the last one is the Empire Enforcer which is like the police leader. The government is peaceful mainly with a very loyal society and empire. The Klingon High Council Leader is the head of the empire, but he must have the support of the empire and of the council. The leader must be a male, he must have a 4 year service in the military with at least 100 battles to his name. They can be wins or looses but requires the majority of them be victories. The Klingon Military Council is made of 3 members. The head which is also a member of the High Council and a head of the left half of the defense The other high council member is head of the right half of the defense. Then the People's Council is like a senate with 3 members from each city with a population of 100,000 or more. The senate number is about 2000 members. The senate meets once a week on the fourth day. The head of it is also a member of the High Council. Citizens are allowed to give limited comments and suggestions not referring to a person's decisions and referring to something else like a thing.

There are many Klingon Ceremonies, a lot for both sexes. The two most important male ones are the Age of Ascension which is at 13 years of age. This is when the person is known as a man and is allowed to service in military or any other services. At that time his battles are then recorded. The one part is the birthday which is celebrated in about 3 hours with presents and a toast by the father and a honored guest. One thing about the honored guest is the higher rank of the person. Gowron is liked due to he has many times been invited to these ceremonies. The second part is that the person is put in a extremely hot place (110 F) for about 2 hours. Ten the person is suppose to have a vision. The vision is important. Sometimes it is of a memory of a vision of a long dead person. Some of the lucky ones have had visions of Kahless. Then the last part is the hunt which a party of 3. The person, the father and the honored guest go and the male hunts with the Klingon short spear. It does not matter what animal, but the time is important. The limit is 2 and a half hours. Then the second important male ceremony is the Age of Induction which is at 18 years of age which means you are allowed to enter a council or become the leader of the high council. It is celebrated by the commanding officer. Then his the family's honor is induced into him.

The first important female ceremony is the Age of Mate which is at 15 years of age. The female is given a golden necklace to wear and show that she is ready to take a mate. Then the second one is the wedding which almost everywhere is more important with the female. The wedding is a little different. The wedding is at the home of the Bride's Father. There is the groom whom wears the Military Uniform or a brown robe if not in military. The bride wears a bridal dress with it in two parts. There is no need for a required clergy or captain to conduct it. Only the male needs to say in Klingon "I take you :The Bride's Name: for my mate for life I shalt honor and love you". Then if the bridge accepts then she says"I accept to be my mate for life and death I join to your honor". Then the male and female join hands and widen their arms out and press chests then yell in victory and then kiss. The wedding band is a gold ring with the male names' name on the female's middle finger. If the male is in the military a small medal with both the female's and male's name on it. If not in the military he wears a silver ring on the middle finger with the female's name on it. Since the female is usually as strong as the male. The male knows not to cheat, because the female has the right if she chooses to kill or hurt him physically and fight. The female whom he cheated with and is required to wear the wedding band. The wedding can be dissolved by death of the other member. Then the second wedding is the wedding band as a bronze ring or copper medal meaning the first marriage, being the most important. The other way is by having the medals removed by Gowron, but most matings stay together due to it is required to have the rules known to both.

A Klingon Death is rejoiced as being happy due to they believe that their spirit goes to Greath Hal which is for the dishonored. The funeral is only the person is next to the death The person at least 10 minute after death then hits the body. If honored it goes to Beher which is through once ruled by Kahless. Then the person yells which is a warning to the death, that a warrior is arriving to join them. Then body is considered empty.

The Klingon nation, founded some 1,500 years ago by Kahless the Unforgettable, who first united the Klingon people, by killing the tyrant Molor. First contact with the Klingon empire and the Federation took place in 2218, a disastrous event that led to nearly a century of hostility between the two powers. In 2267 negotiations between the Federation and the Klingon Empire were on the verge of breaking down. The Klingons had issued an ultimatum to the Federation to withdraw from disputed areas claimed by both the Federation and the Klingon Empire or face war. The hostilities came to a head at a planet Organia, the only class M planet in the area. Unknown to either combatants, the Organians were incredibly advanced noncorporeal lifeforms who imposed the Organian peace treaty on both parties, thus effectively ending armed hostilities.

The Klingons entered into a brief alliance with the Romulan Star Empire around 2268, when an agreement between the two powers resulted in the sharing of military technology and spacecraft designs, providing the Romulans with Klingon battle cruisers. By the mid-2280's, Klingons were using ships described as Birds-of-Prey that were equipped with cloaking devices.

A new chapter in relations between the Klingons and the Federation was opened in 2293 when a catastrophic explosion on Praxis caused serious environmental damage to the homeworld. In the economic disarray that followed, the Klingon chancellor, Gorkon, leader of the high council, found that his empire could no longer afford its massive military forces. Gorkon therefore launched a peace initiative, offering to end some 70 years of hostilities with the Federation. Just prior to a major peace conference, Gorkon was murdered by Federation and Klingon interests who sought to maintain the status quo. Gorkon's successor, his daughter, Azetbur, continued her father's work , and successfully concluded the Khitomer accords with the Federation later that year, ending nearly a century of hostilities.

The Klingon High Council was a hotbed of political intrigue that nearly plunged the Empire into civil war in 2367 when council leader K'mpec died of poison. This murder, viewed as a killing without honor under Klingon tradition, triggered a bitter struggle to determine K'mpec's successor. K'mpec had taken the unorthodox precaution of appointing a non-Klingon, Jean-Luc Picard, as his Arbiter of Succession. Under Picard's mediation, political newcomer Gowron emerged as the sole candidate for council leader. Forces loyal to a powerful Duras family unsuccessfully attempted to block Gowron, plunging the Empire into a brief but bitter civil war in early 2368. Though their nation was called an Empire, it had not been ruled by an emperor for more than three centuries. This situation changed rather dramatically in 2369, when clerics of Boreth produced a clone of Kahless the Unforgettable. Although their initial claim that the clone was actually Kahless was quickly disproven, this clone was regarded as the rightful heir to the throne and with the support of the high council leader Gowron was installed as the ceremonial Emperor of the Klingon people.

Klingon High Council

The Klingon High Council is the ruling body of the Klingon Empire. The council was composed of about two dozen members and met in the Great Hall of the First City of the Klingon Homeworld. The High Council has a long history of political intrigue and power struggles. When council member Duras attempted to unjustly convict the late Mogh of having betrayed his people at Khitomer, the council, led by K'mpec, was willing to let the accusation stand fear the powerful Duras family would plunge the Empire into civil war. K'mpec held the position of council leader for longer than anyone in history, until his death in 2367. His successor, Gowron, successfully fought off a challenge by the Duras family to place Duras's illegitimate son, Toral, as council leader. The struggle culminated in a brief but bitter civil war between council factions in 2368. Gowron's victory was in part achieved by his promise to restore rightful honor to the Mogh family in exchange for military support by the sons of Mogh. d'k tahg was once a member of the council.

Honorific & Family Lines


Tai, Vestai, Sutai, Zantai, Epitai

The Honorific in a Klingon's name (eg. Kahless Vestai-d'k tahg) is an indication of how well thought of that person is within their family line. If there is no Honorific then the person is probably to young to have done anything noteworthy. Any ships officer would be "tai". Perhaps "vestai" if highly placed. A captain of a major vessel would be "sutai" or if they had done something famous or distinguished "zantai". An Admiral would be "zantai" certainly. "epitai" is very rare and would only be used for the leader of a family (large and powerful) line.

Family Lines

Family Lines: Klingon lines are more than families and less then the great dynasties of old Earth. They are more like vast networks of mutual obligations and defense agreements. Lines rarely feud because this usually weakens both to the point of destruction. There comes a time when a line becomes so big that some members adopt a new name and become line-founders. Most fail because their first act, in order to become recognized by the High council, is usually something foolishly bold. Still, all potential founder's are still well respected in the Empire.

And though the cold brittles the flesh,
The chain of duty cannot be broken,
For the chain is forged in the heart's own fire
Which cold cannot extinguish

Yet if my line should die,
It dies with its teeth in the enemy's throat,
It dies with its name on the enemy's tongue.
For just as mere life is not victory,
Mere death is not defeat;
And in the next world I shall kill the foe a thousand times,

Klingon Quotations

  1. "Only a fool fights in a burning house."
  2. "The weak enslave themselves and justice belongs to the strong."
  3. "A friend may become a enemy in the time it takes to draw a dagger."
  4. "If it is not Komorex (the structure which grows) it is Khextorex (the structure that dies)."
  5. "Mere life is not a victory, mere death is not a defeat."
  6. "Survive and Succeed."
  7. "Darkness will fall. Enemies will circle us 'round and 'round, their swords as numerous as the trees of the forest. But we will not yield. We will wear faces of fire."
  8. "When one's emperor commands, all other loyalties become secondary. When one's emperor commands, no sacrifice is too terrible, no price to great."
  9. "It's easier to defend oneself with two hands than with one."
  10. "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
  11. "Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man."
  12. "Always trust your instincts."
  13. "No matter where you go, there you are."
  14. "If there are gods, they do not help, and justice belongs to the strong: but know that all things done before the naked stars are remembered."
  15. "Negotiation may cost far less than war, or infinitely more: for war cannot cost more than one's life."
  16. "It takes two to make peace, but only one to declare war."