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Foreword:

This story is one of honour, glory and intrigue, as Major General Torpal attempts to uncover the truth behind the death of his father, in a mystery that could shake the Empire by its very foundation.

Author's Notes:
This story contains many inferences of the nuances of Klingon culture. Based upon what we see on-screen, the Klingons have a feudal society, so I take many cues from medieval England in combination with what we know of Klingon Culture.

This story also follows my own theories regarding Klingon history over the past 40 years.

And, no, I couldn't come up with a better title. It's quite descriptive of the story though!

Enjoy! Please comment on what you think!

The Game of Houses

Prelude.

Qo'nos, First City, The Great Hall. 243rd Day of Year of Kahless 1038.

"Torpal, Son of Megh'tor, Brigadier General of the Klingon Defence Forces and Commander of the I.K.S. Kahless, step forward."

The Klingon General, with his black hair tied back by dreadlocks, wearinga typical grey KDF uniform with the Imperial insignia on his left sleeve, stood from his knees and obeyed the command from his Chancellor, J'mpok, leader of the High Council by Rite of Combat.

"You have bought honour to your family name, and glory to the empire with your many victories. It is for this reason I hereby elevate you to the rank and status of Major General of the Klingon Defence Forces and induct you into the Order of Kahless!"

There is a thundrous applause throughout the Great Hall as J'mpok pins the Star of Kahless onto Torpal's left sleeve, below the crest of his House - the House of Megh'tor, and that of the Empire. J'mpok looks into his eyes, Torpal seeing the warrior spirit in his own.

"Glory to you... and your House. Qapla'!"

"Long live the Empire!" Torpal snaps his fist to his chest in salute, as the Council repeat his chant with near-fanaticism.

"Long live the Empire!"

Chapter One: Alliances.

Qo'nos, Invara Midlands, Home of the House of Morak. 92nd Day of Year of Kahless 1039.

Torpal is sat in the large lounge, the lighting brighter than what he had become used to aboard the Kahless. It still bears the red hues that are typical among warrior Houses, but it is not drowned in darkness like on Klingon ships. The wall behind the fireplace is decorated by the crest of the House of Morak, and the table situated next to Torpal bears a bottle of Blood Wine, circa 2309 - a good year.

Sat next to him, on his left, is an Orion women, in her mid-20s; Captain Sira T'lani of the I.K.S. Shar'tak. Unlike many of her species, Sira's hair is a natural green colour, as opposed to brown or purple or (maker forbid) pink. She wears a panelled Klingon Uniform, mainly black with grey side panels and olive green shoulder panels. Like Torpal, her left sleeve also bears the Imperial insignia and crest of the House of Megh'tor.

The two are sat, quietly, as the door opens and an old man, wearing a Klingon General's uniform, enters. He lets out a bellowed laugh as he sees Torpal, who quickly stands, as does Sira, before the man starts bellowing, "Torpal! It is good to see you again!"

The man pats Torpal on the shoulders with significant energy, as Torpal responds with equal excitement, "As it is to see you, Morak! It has been too long! But, I must know, why have you summoned me?"

"Can a gin'tak not summon the Regent Heir of the House of Megh'tor without good purpose?!"

"Not while so sober, he can't!"

Morak lets out a loud belly laugh, before his tone becomes much more serious. "You are right, of course, Torpal."

He walks over to the fireplace, placing a small disk-like object upon the mantlepiece as it begins to glow and release a dull hum.

"It pains me to take such measures within my own home, but these are dangerous times." He looks at Sira, showing a great amount of suspicion, before turning to Torpal once more. "Torpal, this matter is extremely sensitive. It can only be heard int he strictest confidence."

Sira quickly steps over to her defence, her tone betraying a hint of anger, "I am an honoured member of the House of Megh'tor, Morak! Torpal's father came to my rescue when I was a child, after the Gorn destroyed the transport I was on in the war! I may be Orion, but my lips, unlike D'ian's clothes, are about as loose as my uniform. If you doubt that..." she places a hand on her knife, staring Morak in the eyes, "then we can deal with it like any Klingons would."

Morak lets a smile creep onto his face, before bellowing out another laugh, catching Sira off-guard as he looks back to Torpal. "Your father chose well in accepting her into your House, Torpal!"

Torpal nods to Sira with a hint of pride, signalling her to stand down. "Indeed he did, gin'tak. I would trust Sira with my honour."

"Very well.

Torpal, you have won many battles in your name and brought great honour and glory to the House of Megh'tor. You are almost ready to take the Rite of Succession and take your late father's place as leader of your family. However... you must still complete one final task; the Rite of Vengeance."

Torpal and Sira look at Morak in surprise, before Torpal finally responds. "But, Morak, my father was killed by the Romulans in honourable combat. There is no precedent for the RIte."

"I thought so too, until two days ago.

Your father was betrayed, Torpal. Someone in the Great Houses gave the Romulans the B'Moth's transponder code, aiding them in locating your father's ship!"

"Why?" Sira is now speaking, puzzled. "What would the Nobles Houses have to gain?"

"While our two Houses might by small Houses, our historic alliance with the House of Mogh, and Torpal's recently forged alliance witht he House of Martok, combined with many further alliances with other small houses means our word carries great influence." He returns his attention to Torpal, "Your father was not at the Romulan border by chance, Torpal. Your father and I had long had suspicions that J'mpok's rise to power was not so honourable as the official record claims.

We believed that there was a third person in the Great Hall the day Martok was slain."

Torpal begins to raise his voice, "But that would invalidate the challenge! Who would have aided him in this?!"

"J'mpok is allied with the House of Duras and the now-defunct House of Torg! Both Houses have allied with the Romulans in the past!"

"What you say is treason, Morak."

"If your father was correct, then there is a traitor on the throne, Torpal!"

"Do you have evidence?"

"I believe your father ventured to Romulan Space in order to find the Romulan assassin who killed Martok. He told me he was going to find the truth before he left. All I know is that 3 days later, the Romulans located his ship while it was cloaked and destroyed it. That convinces me all the more that our suspicions were correct!"

"If that is so... then either the Duras or the Torg betrayed him."

"Or one of their allies. That is why I've summoned you here, Torpal! Together, we shall find the truth and avenge your father's death!"
My Fan Fictions

"Logic and War are old enemies"

Vice Admiral Soval - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Bunker Hill

Last edited by ryan218; 03-30-2014 at 02:33 PM. Reason: Note to self: New forum look makes red extremely hard to read!
Captain
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# 2
03-30-2014, 02:44 PM
Looking good, I'll be following this with interest
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# 3
04-05-2014, 10:32 AM
Chapter Two: Secrets.

I.K.S. Shar'tak, 5 hours later.

Sira is sitting in her quarters, waiting for Torpal to call her and her crew in. Torpal and Morak are on the planet making preparations, with her crew on standby in case anything goes wrong.

Of course something will go wrong, she thinks to herself, something always goes wrong.

She stands from her chair, walking over to the console on her desk, thinking back to the conversation she'd had with Torpal just 2 hours prior.

"Torpal, you know I can be more use to you using my contacts" she'd said. After a few minutes of arguing, Torpal had finally closed the matter.

"No klingon would conduct themselves in such an underhanded manner. Is that understood?"

Oh, it was understood, alright. Fortunately, Sira wasn't klingon. A fact Torpal was happy for - having someone who could point out flaws in klingon strategy was helpful from time to time.

Sira taps a contol on her console, bringing up a list of her contacts. She then looks in mild surprise, seeing that one of them, a Nausicaan Mercenary named Takrot. In all her dealings with him, Sira was now 90% certain that it was a cover name, considering how he wasn't on any intelligence files, though his actions were, and attributed under a different alias. Furthermore, a nausicaan mercenary used yet another name to take credit for those actions. Whatever Takrot's name really was, SIra had to give him this; he had the Klingon Intelligence services running in circles.

She initiates a communique with him, sitting in the chair situated just behind her desk as his less-than-pleasing mug appeared on the screen. His raspy voice soon emits an annoyed sequence of words, "Took you long enough!"

"Nice to see you too, Takrot." Sira gave him a teasing smirk, before continuing, "what did you want?"

Takrot let out an irritated snarl, "I wanted to let you know that someone put out a hit for your boss."

"If you took it..."

"Didn't get a chance. It was a one-off contract. No name, just an account full of latinum."

"Who accepted the job?"

"That's what I was calling you about. I'm here to collect."

Sira remained silent, confused, before asking "...excuse me?"

"Kori T'lani was the one who took the hit."

Sira suddenly switched from her typical well-controlled demeanour to one exhibiting more anger. Kori, she thought to herself.

Kori was her sister, her twin sister. Worse, instead of throwing out the stereotype about Orion females, Kori used it in a manner even her own people didn't agree with; for assassination.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Kori was one of the best assassins in the Beta Quadrant. Sira only knew what she was doing from Tokrat, until she finally caught Kori in the act, killing Sira's lover.

Immediately after that, she took steps to make sure that in the criminal world, the hunter became the hunted. She put out a reward for anyone who told her where to find Kori and directly asked Tokrat to let her know if he heard anything.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, right after she put up the appeal for information, there were a bunch of dead thugs and mercenaries in the First City's red light district.

Sira let a trace of fury enter her voice, "thank you, Tokrat. I'll send the latinum your way."

"A pleasure doing business with you, Captain. I'll let you know if I here anything else."

Sira cut the channel, resting her closed fists on the desk. At last, she thought to herself. "I finally have you, dar*.

Author's Notes:

*Dar - the Orion word, meaning 'sister'. (Note: non-canon!)

So, tell me what you think!

Also, I'm considering pulling the Victorious and the Darwin into the story if I can find a way to make it fit. Depends on what the next literary challenge is.
My Fan Fictions

"Logic and War are old enemies"

Vice Admiral Soval - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Bunker Hill
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Posts: 5,050
# 4
04-05-2014, 11:50 AM
Very nice. Better than your LC entries; I think that you do better with more space.

Some suggestions regarding Klingon culture, based on canon statements about Klingons and Qo'noS: Klingons are descended from a clan-based, hunter-gatherer culture with a very strong oral tradition. Unlike most feudal cultures, they are mostly gender-egalitarian, because the harsh environment of Qo'noS does not support half of the population being kept hidden and meek.

Klingons like opera, poetry, drinking, epics, and other things that mesh well with their culture. Feudlalistic houses are most likely primarily based off of more primitive clan groups. Strength, determination, and honor are valued, because strength and determination are very useful traits in a food provider in a hunter-gatherer culture, and honor because dishonorable behavior can break up a clan (which is bad, on Qo'noS).

I think that you've been doing a really good job capturing the essence of Klingon culture so far, which is nice because too many people either write them like boors or make them all mincing gentlemen. I'm excited to see where you take this!
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# 5
04-05-2014, 11:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by worffan101 View Post
Very nice. Better than your LC entries; I think that you do better with more space.

Some suggestions regarding Klingon culture, based on canon statements about Klingons and Qo'noS: Klingons are descended from a clan-based, hunter-gatherer culture with a very strong oral tradition. Unlike most feudal cultures, they are mostly gender-egalitarian, because the harsh environment of Qo'noS does not support half of the population being kept hidden and meek.

Klingons like opera, poetry, drinking, epics, and other things that mesh well with their culture. Feudlalistic houses are most likely primarily based off of more primitive clan groups. Strength, determination, and honor are valued, because strength and determination are very useful traits in a food provider in a hunter-gatherer culture, and honor because dishonorable behavior can break up a clan (which is bad, on Qo'noS).

I think that you've been doing a really good job capturing the essence of Klingon culture so far, which is nice because too many people either write them like boors or make them all mincing gentlemen. I'm excited to see where you take this!
Thanks! The Klingon episodes in TNG and DS9 were always my favourites, and Martok was my favourite Klingon other than Worf.

What do you think of my extrapolations of Orion culture (I know there isn't much of it yet, but...)?
My Fan Fictions

"Logic and War are old enemies"

Vice Admiral Soval - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Bunker Hill
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 5,050
# 6
04-05-2014, 11:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan218 View Post
Thanks! The Klingon episodes in TNG and DS9 were always my favourites, and Martok was my favourite Klingon other than Worf.

What do you think of my extrapolations of Orion culture (I know there isn't much of it yet, but...)?
Not bad, not bad. I don't know much semi-canon stuff about the Orion, though.

Also, Worf and Duras are good starting molds for Klingon heroes and villains, respectively.
Founder and Grand Vizier of the Sovereign Ba'al joke. Hail Ba'al!
My official eternal issue: Why no muscle definition slider? Let's have some equal-opportunity sexiness, Cryptic!
PWE: NO to mandatory ARC! At least make it optional!
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# 7
04-05-2014, 12:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by worffan101 View Post
Not bad, not bad. I don't know much semi-canon stuff about the Orion, though.

Also, Worf and Duras are good starting molds for Klingon heroes and villains, respectively.
Me neither. To my knowledge, they've never been developed in any Star Trek novels. This is all my own extrapolation based on what (little) we see in the shows and how I envisage a society like that would work.

Most of this is the Orion culture I developed for the RP thread I participate in, since I had an Orion as an antagonist for a while in that thread. I had to come up with some backstory and idea of Orion culture, and that led to me creating a fully-blown head-canon of Orion culture.

Although I took some inspiration from Marcus' klingon fan-fic (at least I think it was his...) to get a start on it.
My Fan Fictions

"Logic and War are old enemies"

Vice Admiral Soval - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Bunker Hill
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# 8
04-05-2014, 04:03 PM
It's coming along nicely, I like it I believe the Klingon fanfic you may be thinking of, was written by ambassadormollari... The only piece I've written which heavily featured Klingons, was The Brig LC, where ToS-era Klingons assassinated the Emperor of the Pentaxian Dynasty (leading to over a century of ill-feeling towards the Federation, and a continuation of their hostilities towards the Klingon Empire... )
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# 9
04-05-2014, 04:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusdkane View Post
It's coming along nicely, I like it I believe the Klingon fanfic you may be thinking of, was written by ambassadormollari... The only piece I've written which heavily featured Klingons, was The Brig LC, where ToS-era Klingons assassinated the Emperor of the Pentaxian Dynasty (leading to over a century of ill-feeling towards the Federation, and a continuation of their hostilities towards the Klingon Empire... )
Yeah, that's probably it. I'll check the fanfic thread.

There it is; 'A family matter', by patrickngo.
My Fan Fictions

"Logic and War are old enemies"

Vice Admiral Soval - Commanding Officer, U.S.S. Bunker Hill
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