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Guest Blog: The Klingon Defense Force

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mataHmeH maSachnIS
To Survive, We Must Expand! 
– Worf, The Way of the Warrior

Qapla’ Warriors of the Empire! 

We have been tasked with giving an orientation to the new recruits who have decided to join the noble Klingon Empire. I’m Korrath, and these are my compatriots: G’hargh, Hauk, and Deyvid. We are the Warriors of Sto’vo’kor and have gathered you here today to familiarize you bekks with what it means to be a KDF warrior, and what you should expect when you fight for honor and glory. By the time we’re finished with you, you will be on your way to becoming honorable warriors of the Klingon Empire.

The Klingon Empire

The Empire is in crisis. With enemies like the Borg, the Undine, and so many others at our doorstep, we have consolidated our power, made new allies, and brought many worlds into the fold. We are proud to have the Orions, Gorn, Nausicaans, Letheans, Ferasans, Liberated Borg Klingons, a colony of Trills, and other alien species as our partners in this noble endeavor. Together, we will protect the Empire and all of the worlds that fall within its purview, as well as expand it. 

During your time as warriors of the Empire, you will see many worlds, including the heart of the Empire, Qo'noS. You will explore the streets and back allies of First City, train at the Klingon Military Academy, visit the orbiting Shipyard and travel to various other locations on and around the Klingon home world. From time to time, you will be expected to go before the High Council and speak with the Chancellor himself. You will also visit far-flung locales, such as Ganalda and Drozana Stations, Bajor, Deep Space Nine, and Defera, among others. You will be called upon to infiltrate enemy territory and even journey into the afterlife. I can’t speak for my compatriots, but I envy the journey you are about to undertake.

Whether it’s for official business or a variety of personal and social activities, you will spend a great deal of time at the First City. Warriors will find all of the standard amenities here, including mail, bank, and exchange services. First City also has a fine selection of vendors in the courtyard, and on the orbiting space port, offering a variety of equipment and gear. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, visit the Forge and craft it for yourself. The Barracks are where warriors will be able to obtain and train bridge crew, create and manage Klingon Houses (the KDF version of Fleets/ Guilds), visit the med-bay, and much more. After a long hard day in space, many warriors are free to lounge by the Fountain of Fire, visit the targ pens, watch a pair of warriors engage in honorable combat in the arena, or stop by the tavern for some fresh gagh and Bloodwine. Loresingers sing songs of the Empire’s glorious past outside of the Great Hall where the High Council and the Chancellor conduct court. Be sure to explore First City and discover everything that it has to offer; you could miss something interesting if you don’t. 

The Klingon Fleet

You may ask what good is it to command a crew without a ship. The Klingon Empire hosts some of the most formidable and diverse ship designs in the quadrant -- not to mention that the Empire possess highly-advanced cloaking technology and has equipped it on many ships. With several variants of classic designs for the Bird-of-Prey, Raptor, and Battle Cruiser, the Empire can bear down on any foe that attempts to violate our space. And then there’s the BortaS’qu: our newest and most powerful battle cruiser and flagship. Each of these enduring Klingon designs come equipped with standard cloaking devices, while the B’rel retro-fit and the Koloth Birds-of-Prey feature an enhanced battle cloak capable of firing torpedoes and activating some Bridge Officer powers while cloaked. However, it does not stop there. The KDF has also handpicked a selection of ships from our allies to augment our mighty fleet. These include: the Nausicaan Scourge; Garumba Siege Destroyers; and the Gorn Phalanx, Draguas, and Varanus Science and Support Vessels. Let’s not forget the Orions with their Dacoit, Corsair, and Marauder Flight-Deck Cruisers. I’m sure you will be able to find a ship that suits your needs.

The Federation may be proud of their new Caitian Atrox Carrier, but the Empire has had carriers in our arsenal for generations. These massive ships launch squadrons of fighters, drones, and other deployable craft, including Birds-of-Prey. With enough of these vessels swarming around, our enemies do not stand a chance. The Empire has two Klingon-designed carriers at their disposal: the Vo’Quv and Vod’leh carriers. Additionally, the Kar’Fi Battle Carrier was forged in the fires of Gre’thor itself and strikes fear into the hearts of all that see it. It is said that a warrior that serves onboard the Kar’Fi knows no fear, for they have stared into the face of death itself. Are you brave enough?

The Path of the Warrior

For warriors such as yourselves, just beginning your journey down the path of honor, the Military Academy is an invaluable resource. Explore the history of the Empire with Loresinger Ch’toh and test your knowledge. Once you’ve earned the respect of your superiors, and are able to command a crew, you can requisition new duty officers from various individuals scattered throughout the grounds. The assignments that these officers will undertake in the name of your House can earn you valuable experience, rewards, and insights into the cultures of the Klingon Empire.

Once in command of a good ship that is staffed with the best officers and crew you can find, it’s time to venture away from Qo’noS and defend the Empire against all that oppose you. Kahless knows where the adventure will lead. You may uncover a conspiracy between a rival House and the Romulans, plunge deep into the very heart of Federation space to deliver a crippling blow to Starfleet, discover the fate of a lost vessel, or face off against demons from Gre’thor with the hopes of earning enough honor and glory to ensure your admission into Sto’vo’kor. Expect to encounter resistance from the Federation, the Romulans, the Cardassians, the Breen, and even the Dominion. Never forget our true foes: the Borg and those shape-shifting monsters, the Undine. They have a habit of turning up when you least expect them, so be prepared at all times!

Expanding the Empire

Space is big. In the Klingon home-sector of Omega Leonis alone, there is the Azlesa Expanse, D’Kel Star Cluster, and the T’ong and Eridon Nebulas. However, there is much more of the galaxy to explore than just the sectors at our door step. The Empire must continue to expand and seek out new allies for our defense against a galaxy gone mad. In order to take the fight to our enemies, we must venture out and obtain resources and build new relationships with species all over the quadrant, including those in Federation, Romulan, and Cardassian space. Songs will be sung about the glory to be had!

Speaking of resources, the Empire has been monitoring Federation cargo and ship movements in the Pi Canis Sector for quite some time -- we have realized that there is a wealth of valuable resources just waiting to be taken. Raids on these Federation facilities have spurred a boon in the Empire’s starship construction, which has led to great advancements in our ships and the unique technologies they employ. Some of these include Graviton Pulse and Magnetometric Generators, Subspace Jump, and the Theta Radiation Vent consoles (found in the C-Store on select Klingon ships). 

Whenever you’re in the Pi Canis Sector block, be sure to send Starfleet warm greetings from me as you separate them from their goods. After all, the Federation and the Klingon Empire are at war. The bulk of the frontlines are scattered all over the Eta Eridani Sector. The true measure of any warrior is determined by what they do in battle. Fight honorably with your fellow warriors and sing songs of the glories of battle while you share a barrel of warnog. Fail, and the dishonor will follow you for the rest of your days. 

Hmm, Starfleet… although we are at war against the Federation, we do have an agreement to work together against the common Borg threat. The Borg occupy the Gamma Orionis sector block and use transwarp technology to call upon reinforcements from the Delta Quadrant. It is from this location that they launch their seemingly random and relentless attacks. As you venture into this part of the quadrant, be prepared to face them in an attempt to drive them from the sector. As of late, they seem to have a significant interest in the Defera Sector, so keep an eye out for ground invasions in that sector. However, if you’re up for a real challenge, volunteer to join one of the Special Task Force missions to help overcome the growing threat in a few key systems and force them to recede. After all, if they gain a foothold anywhere in the quadrant, all worlds will lose. It is in our best interest to work with the Federation against the Borg. However, once the emergency has been dealt with, all bets are off.

So, that’s it. What do you bekks think? Do you have what it takes to be a Warrior of the Empire? Do you seek to earn honor and glory? Or are you just looking for a good fight? Whatever the reason, it’s time to take the first steps into becoming a warrior. 

For the Empire!

Becoming a Warrior

The Empire seeks experienced officers, and as such, we don’t consider candidates that have not yet reached the age of 25 (upon reaching level 25 on a Federation character, Klingon gameplay is unlocked). Once you have reached this milestone, the option to apply to the Klingon Defense Force (KDF) will become available upon logging into the Imperial Data Network. By choosing to join the Empire, the application process begins with the selection of which career option you seek to follow. The available career tracks include Engineering, Science, and Tactical. The next step in the application process is to register your species and gender, and is followed by an opportunity to identify the traits and areas of expertise that you bring to the Empire. I’m a stickler for recordkeeping, so the next few screens of the application process require you to submit holos for our files, including the selection of your uniform. Finally, provide the Empire with your name, the preferred name of your vessel and any other details that you wish to share with us. Your application will be reviewed and if accepted, you will begin your career as a respected warrior of the Empire. It’s that easy.

Tips for a Glorious Battle

As a potential warrior, one of the greatest tools in our arsenal pertains to the proper use of our cloaking devices -- it comes equipped on select ships designed by our master shipbuilders. The cloaking device must be used wisely, for decloaking procedures require all shield power to be diverted to weapons, leaving you vulnerable. This allows you to deliver a powerful, first strike. One of the maneuvers that Bird-of-Prey captains should learn to master is the Targ Pack maneuver. Essentially, you will cloak and stalk your opponent. Once you have the proper angle for attack, you’ll close to within 10 kilometers, reduce speed, decloak, and unleash everything you’ve got, keeping them in your forward firing arc for as long as possible. Once you move past them, or they retreat, cloak and set up the maneuver again. We suggest that you practice it until you can do it right. There are no second chances in battle.

Until next time, warriors, venture out and bring honor and glory to your House and the Klingon Empire!

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Gates of Sto’vo’kor is a Klingon audio drama and podcast taking place within the Star Trek Online Universe. Join Korrath, G’hargh, Hauk, and Deyvid as they tell stories of honor and glory while showing their listeners what it means to be Klingon. Visit them at www.gatesofstovokor.com and check out their latest episode: Safari So Good, which was inspired by a foundry mission by Meth_Shadowstorm.

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