Star Trek: Deep Space Nine brought a myriad of adventures to life and explored numerous cultures during its seven-year run. While fans might primarily associate DS9 with Bajorans, Cardassians, Ferengi, and the Dominion, the series presented a magnificent bounty of missions undertaken by bands of Klingons and their allies. Since our tale will center on escapades spearheaded by small numbers of Klingons, we must, unfortunately, leave out more grandiose exploits, such as the invasion of Cardassia and the assault on Deep Space 9 depicted in “The Way of the Warrior.” Nevertheless, our parameters still leave plenty of glorious Klingon quests for us all to examine.
10. Infiltrating the Empire in “Apocalypse Rising”
Like any honorable Klingon, we are going to start by slightly bending our own rules. Under the assumption that Chancellor Gowron had been replaced by a Changeling who sought war with the Federation, Worf joined several Klingons to locate the Founder. Okay, those “Klingons” actually happened to be Captain Sisko, Odo, and Chief O’Brien disguised as Klingons. The cadre managed to bravely make their way into a secure facility… only to realize that Martok was the shapeshifting spy. Once exposed, the Changeling faced down a room full of angry warriors, only to be blasted away by disruptor fire. Despite the mission’s success, the Federation-Klingon War continued to rage on.
9. Rebuilding a House in “The House of Quark”
Following the accidental death of her husband Kozak during an argument with Quark, Grilka recruited her advisor Tumek to assist in marrying her to the Ferengi so that Kozak’s rival D’Ghor could not establish a claim on his fallen enemy’s lands. Calling upon his accounting skills, Quark determined that D’Ghor had manipulated Kozak’s holdings in a dishonorable attempt to put Kozak in debt and weaken his House.
Of course, financial figures never swayed the High Council, and Quark was inevitably forced to stare down D’Ghor in personal combat. Quark’s way with words finally paid off, as he posited that a fight between him and D’Ghor could never truly be fair. D’Ghor’s decision to try to execute Quark bolstered the Ferengi’s case, so the Chancellor awarded Grilka control of her own House. Quark received Grilka’s heartfelt thanks, as well as an immediate divorce.
8. Making Amends in “Sons and Daughters”
Assigned as the lone escort for a dangerous cargo mission to Donatu V, the Klingon vessel Rotarran welcomed a batch of new troops that included Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko. Martok encouraged Worf to speak with the boy, but tensions continued to rise as Worf believed Alexander was not fit to serve in the Klingon Defense Force. A Jem’Hadar attack disrupted the familial troubles, yet the Rotarran emerged victorious under Martok’s command. Alexander even earned his father’s respect when he volunteered to fix a plasma leak during the battle. In the wake of the bloodshed, Worf opted to make peace with Alexander, offered to stand by his decisions, and welcomed him into the House of Martok.
7. Restoring Honor in “Tacking Into the Wind”
With Chancellor Gowron wasting Klingon soldiers and ships in reckless offensives intended to position himself above Martok in the eyes of their people, Worf failed to convince the general to challenge the head of the High Council. During a strategy session, Worf confronted Gowron and defeated him in combat, thus earning the right to become chancellor. The Starfleet officer declined the honor, insisting Martok should be the one to rule Qo’noS. Although Worf challenged Gowron alone and without Martok’s blessing, the general accepted the mantle of leadership and can be considered a late addition to Worf’s quest.
6. Besting the Jem’Hadar in “By Inferno’s Light”
Imprisoned by the Dominion in the Gamma Quadrant, Worf met the real General Martok who had previously been replaced by a Changeling infiltrator. Along with Doctor Bashir, Garak, two Romulans, and a Breen, the Klingon duo manifested an escape plan. While Garak worked to send a beam out signal to their abandoned runabout, Worf endured round after round of hand-to-hand bouts against Jem’Hadar soldiers. The former Enterprise-D security chief refused to yield, even when the senior Jem’Hadar repeatedly knocked him down. These trials impressed Martok and forged his initial bond with Worf that carried over into later seasons, and Worf’s heroism also bought enough time for their jailbreak to succeed.
5. Rescuing Warriors in “Soldiers of the Empire”
Given command of the I.K.S. Rotarran to search for the Klingon cruiser B’Moth near the Cardassian border, General Martok requested Worf as his first officer. Jadzia Dax accompanied them, soon realizing that the Rotarran’s lack of victories had fostered a demoralizing atmosphere. The crew noticed that Martok seemed unwilling to engage the Jem’Hadar, nor would the general risk crossing the border once sensors detected the B’Moth. Worf openly challenged Martok, hoping the fight would reinvigorate the general’s warrior spirit. The plan proved triumphant, and a confident Martok guided the ship as it defeated the Jem’Hadar and rescued the B’Moth’s survivors. The general appreciated Worf’s actions and invited him to join the House of Martok.
4. Seeking an Artifact in “The Sword of Kahless”
When Kor returned to Deep Space 9, he enlisted Worf and Jadzia Dax to partner with him in his pursuit of the Sword of Kahless, the bat’leth which belonged to the legendary Klingon. The excitement over the mission faded when thieves led by Duras’s son Toral intercepted Kor’s band, as well as when Kor and Worf began to clash over ownership of the mythical weapon. Once Kor, Worf, and Dax realized that returning Kahless’s blade might fracture the Empire, the group decided to beam it into space… leaving the relic to once again be lost among the stars.
3. Clearing a Path to Sto-vo-kor in “Shadows and Symbols”
Since Jadzia Dax died from Gul Dukat’s treachery rather than in a glorious battle, Worf was unsettled by the notion that she had not been granted entry into Sto-vo-kor, the hallowed Klingon afterlife. To remedy this, Worf knew he must win a great battle in Jadzia’s name, and just such an opportunity arose when Martok asked him to be his first officer during a dangerous mission to destroy the Dominion shipyards at Monac IV. Bashir, O’Brien, and Quark elected to go on the voyage with the Klingon crew to honor Jadzia. In a heroic effort, the Klingon vessel dodged Jem’Hadar fighters, flew perilously close to Monac’s star, initiated a solar plasma ejection that eradicated the shipyards, and granted Worf the victory that he hoped would welcome Jadzia into Sto-vo-kor.
2. Wreaking Havoc in “Once More Unto the Breach”
Even with his gaze set on leading five Klingon ships on a daring raid behind Dominion lines, Martok still could not let go of the resentment he felt toward Kor for hampering his early career. Worf pressed the issue, so the general eventually authorized the elder Klingon to serve as his third officer. A battle left Martok and Worf incapacitated, but Kor’s aging mind prevented him from acting as a suitable commander. Pursued by a fleet of Jem’Hadar fighters, the Dahar Master chose to take Worf’s place on a Bird-of-Prey and distract the enemy long enough so that the rest of Martok’s forces could get away. Kor’s skill proved up to the task, prompting Martok to toast the fallen legend and honor his memory.
1. Exacting Vengeance in “Blood Oath”
As the godfather to Kang’s son, Curzon Dax took a blood oath to avenge his godson after a marauder known as “The Albino” murdered the firstborn sons of Kang, Koloth, and Kor. When the three Dahar Masters showed up on Deep Space 9, Jadzia Dax felt a responsibility to uphold the oath made by her previous host. Dax devised an ingenious strategy to bombard their foe’s compound with tetryon particles to neutralize the energy weapons held by the guards patrolling the surface. In a hand-to-hand melee filled with bat’leths and blood, the quartet overwhelmed their enemies in glorious fashion. Koloth and Kang perished, but not before the latter killed “The Albino.” Thus ended an epic Klingon quest worthy of song and drink. Qapla’!
Jay Stobie (he/him) is a freelance writer who has contributed articles to the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine, as well as to Star Wars Insider and the official Star Wars website. Jay also serves as a part-time assistant and consultant advising many actors and creatives who work on his favorite sci-fi shows and films. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @StobiesGalaxy.