Still imprisoned in a Romulan camp inhabited by Klingons, and having learned that his father is truly dead, Worf asks L'Kor and Gi'ral, the Klingons leading the group, how they can live as prisoners — the ultimate disgrace In their culture. They explain that after they were captured during the Khitomer massacre, the Romulans kept them from committing suicide. As a result they voluntarily remained to preserve the honor of their families, who believe they died heroically.

Later, Worf meets with Tokath, the Romulan leader, and is unable to understand why he has provided this peaceful home for his sworn enemies. Worf finds out that, not only are the Romulans living together with the Klingons in harmony, Tokath himself married a Klingon woman. He warns Worf to not test his tolerance.

Seeking escape from the compound Worf is tackled to the ground. He is stunned to see he has been attacked by Toq — a fellow Klingon! Tokath injects the captured Worf with a pellet that will enable guards to track him and puts the young Toq in charge of him. Frustrated, Worf controls his energy by performing an ancient Klingon martial arts exercise, attracting the attention of Toq, Ba'el, and the rest of the younger generation of Klingons. Worf sparks their interest in their heritage, something their parents have kept from them - and gladly assumes the role of teacher, filling them in on the legends and customs he grew up with. As he does, the attraction between him and Ba'el grows stronger, which her mother, Gi'ral, senses and tries to discourage. However, just at the moment he is giving in to the attraction, he sees that she has pointed ears — like a Romulan.

During a hunting trip, Worf is able to teach Toq that the blood of a warrior runs through his veins. Worf's words also begin to affect Ba'el, who, while the entire group is assembled in the meeting hall to dine, asks her father If she is free to leave the planet to travel. Things reach a head when Toq enters the hall, triumphantly carrying an animal he killed in the hunt. He is a warrior inside, he proudly proclaims. He then leads the Klingons in an old hunting song. It appears Worf has won.

Tokath has had enough and faces Worf in a final confrontation. He argues that losing one's heritage is a small price to pay for peace, but Worf disagrees. When Tokath tells the Klingon he must accept life in this peaceful society or die, Worf chooses an honorable death. Ba'el offers to help him escape, but Worf refuses, determined to face his destiny with honor.

When the ritual execution is about to take place, Toq stands between Worf and the line of fire of Tokath's guards, and insists that if Worf dies, he will die as well. One by one, the rest of the Klingons take their place in front of Worf and Toq. When Tokath's own daughter, Ba'el, finally takes her place in the front of the line, Gi'ral has Tokath stop the execution. Worf takes the young Klingons who wish to start life over as true Klingons back on the Enterprise with him. Ba'el, knowing she would not be accepted by other Klingons because of her Romulan blood, stays on the planet with her parents. However, Worf protects the honor of those who remain behind by telling Picard that the young Klingons are a group of crash survivors, and that he found no prison camp during his visit to Romulan space. The captain understands, silently keeping Worf's secret.