I wrote this story in November, 1998 as part of our (the IKV Raptor) performances in conjunction with
the premiere of Star Trek: Insurrection. I performed this as if I were a Klingon storyteller relating a tale
of history , perhaps at some festival or gathering.
So sit back, imagine you are looking at the bard illuminated only by the fire as he begins his epic tale of honor,revenge and glory.
The storyteller stood in the hall, bathlethl in hand, and his face illuminated by the smokin braziers. He waited for a moment and scanned his audience. He then held out the bathlethl and announced ''Do you see this blade?''. The last of the voices from the assembled group stilled . Now with their complete attention, he continued:
Do you see this blade? Do you know how it came to be? This weapon is much more than a tool of death; it is a symbol of what it means to be Klingon. That is why it is called bathlethl, the Sword of Honor.
This is story before the empire. The land was divided by tribes and the most powerful of these tribes was led by the tyrant, Molor. Through terror and ruthlessness he and his war bands subjugated the weaker tribes, seizing their lands and pressing their people to his service. Molorwished to unite the tribes under his domination.
Then came Kahless, son of Kanjis; a great warlord trained by Molor himself. Kahless realized Molor's goal and, in part, agreed with it. But he knew a leader must rule from a position of honor and respect, not fear and intimidation.
One evening Kahless sat by the fire with his brother, Morath. It had been a hard ride putting distance between themselves and Molor's outriders. Kahless and his band were outlaws; declared so by Molor who vowed to flay Kahless alive and feed what remained to the krawzamey. Many times had Molor's men come close to capturing them. This last time was the closest. Kahless could feel the hot breath of his enemies starakmey on his neck. He managed to escape only by passing through the solid stone of the mountains to arrive at the valley where they were resting
Kahless stared into the fire as if seeking answers to questions which weighed heavy on his mind. At last Morath broke the silence. ''What are you thinking, brother?''he asked.''What troubles the brow of the son of Kanjis?'' Kahless grunted and then spoke. '' I hear the men grumble, Morath. I hear them complain of their discomfort. I have heard their remarks that this has become a fool's quest. Fek'lhr is the most vocal of them.' Morath spat at the mention of the name. ''Fek'lhr is the fool'' he said. ''A fool, maybe..'' said Kahless ''...but he has the ears of his kinsmen. They listen to him.'' This troubled Kahless most of all. Though men from every region had rallied to his cause, they still thought in provincial terms. Their concerns were for their tribe and their region. '' I must find a way to make them see we are all Kllingons foremost'' state Kahless ''not Krotmarg, Tahk'ev or Morska. '' Morath nodded agreement. '' Each have their own reason for hating Molor.'' he said.''So what if they are motivated by self-interest. After all, the enemy of our enemy is our friend, teqbe'a'?
The truth was clear to Kahless. Unless his men could see themselves as part of the larger whole, their quest would be destroyed by factionalism. Even if they defeated Molor, a new despot would rise in his place. Fek'lhr had already shown such ambition, no doubt he would join their enemies if it proved advantageous. Morath could not disagree with his brother. He had already heard such rumors himself. They both stared at the fire awhile longer in silence until Kahless said he must get some sleep. ''Perhaps I may drream of the answer'' he said as he laid out his bedroll and settled down for a troubled rest.
The next morning, as Morath refilled his flask from a small waterfall, he saw his brother running quickly among the loose stones on the hillside. '' What is it brother? What has you so excited?' Kahless panted, '' I had a vision last night, brother. I had a vision of a sword unlike any other. With this sword we will conquer our enemies and unite our people.'' Morath snorted. '' How can a blade unite us?'' he asked. '' What do we need with a new sword? We have plenty.' Kahless responded that it did not matter. '' I must follow my vision, I must go into the mountains for it is there that I will find what I seek.'' Morath protested. '' You cannot leave now! These men need your guidance and leadership!'' Kahless shook his head. '' They will be in capable hands with you here. I shall not be gone long and when I return we will carve a new era for all Kilngons.'' Having said that, Kahless snatched up his knapsack and marched off towards the mountains on the horizon .
A full week had passed since Kahless left. Morath was becoming concerned for his brother and for himself. Fek'lhr chose this moment to confront Morath. '' Where is your brother, Morath?'' he demanded. ''Where is Kahless? Why has he deserted us?'' The other Fek'lhri joined their clan guardian with shouts of agreement. '' Kahless will return, '' announced Morath ''He promised such.'' Fek'lhr remained undeterred. '' I think Kahless is dead, or he has decided to sell us off to Molor in order to save himself''. Morath tried to rebut but Fek'lhr shouted him down. '' Molor closes in on us each day we remain here.'' he roared. '' I say we return home to protect our own!'' The Fek'lhri roared their approval, some shouting to give Morath over to Molor in order to
curry his favor and mercy.. Fek'hlr stood and basked in his power. Then a came from above and behind him . '' Any spineless petahk who attempts to leave must pass through me!'' Fek'lhr whirled around to see Kahless standing on a rock outcropping. He was silhouetted by the sun and held a large curved object in his hands.
'' I have returned as I said I would'' He boomed '' and I have brought the weapon which wil give us the advantage over our enemies.'' He held the sword high so it caught the rays of the sun off it's multiple edges.
Fek'hlr drew his blade, and with a toothy grin said '' I will test this new toy of yours, son of kanjis. ghiktal!'' Fek'lhr ordered his men to attack Kahless en masse. Kahless stood his ground like granite. '' Today is a good day to die'' he growled. As the first three Fek'lhri warriors drew within Kahless' reach, he quickly parried their blows and dispatched them effortlessly Kahless stepped back and began to twirl his blade. Though it was a large weapon, it was amazingly quick; it's multiple edges turned it into a windmill of death. Within ten minutes, twenty Fek'lhri warriors had fallen to Kahless, staining the stones with purple gore. Fek'lhr watched in horror as his kinsmen were cut down like so much grain by this devilish harvester. He found himself alone, surrounded by Morath and those who had remained loyal to Kahless. Fek'lhr dropped to his knees and begged for mercy, but Kahless had no mercy for this disgusting piece of flotsam. ''Defend yourself toD'shak '' bellowed Kahless as he brought his blade down, cutting through Fek'lhr's sword and cleaving him from neck to navel. The guardian of the Feklhri died in a lake of Fek'hri blood.
Kahless marched to his tethered steed, loosed the reins and mounted the beast. Holding his weapon high he announced '' Today is the day we take the battle to Molor. No longer are we men of Krotmarg or Morska. We are Klingon! Our people will be one. Fearless and honorable. This I vow !''
Morath took his place at his brother's side. '' Brother,'' he asked. '' Should we not have given Fek'lhr a proper burial?'' '' No!'' said kahless. '' Let him rot with his mutinous kin. He can be the guardian of his clan where he lies.'' Saying that, Kahless spurred his mount into motion, and the entire column rode forward, leaving the vale of Gre'thor behind them.
Copyright 1998 ,2000 Jim Colvill