Earliest Klingon history consisted of legends and stories that dominated later generations. However, elements of these ancient myths had an element of truth in them not known to many. Whilst legends spoke of the gods of the Klingon race, the actual account was that their homeworld was once visited by an advanced alien race. Considered deities by the Klingon forebears, this alien race took control and abused their subject. They later were suspected in engaging in an experimental program or even interspecies breeding that introduced alien traits within the Klingon genome. Just as in the legend, however, these alien gods were defeated and slain though their legacy remained in Klingon biology which was hidden for the centuries that followed. (VOY novel: Full Circle) Like Humans and Vulcans, the early Klingons were dominated by the ancient Furies for an unknown number of years. (ST novels: First Strike, The Soldiers of Fear, Time's Enemy) The Klingons of the Zanxthkolt Dynasty practiced mummification. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
The origins of the Klingon Empire began in around 854 AD, the so-called "Heroic Age of Qo'noS", when Kahless the Unforgettable united the many warring tribes of Qo'noS. Under Kahless's leadership, the Klingons began to expand their empire across the planet and out into the galaxy following the development of warp drive in 922 AD. (TNG episode: "Rightful Heir"; TNG novel: Kahless; ST reference: Star Charts) However, the First Klingon Empire fell in around 972 AD after the Hur'q, a race from the Gamma Quadrant, invaded Qo'noS and pillaged many of the Empires treasures, including the Sword of Kahless. However, the will of the Klingons soon resulted in the Hur'q withdrawing from Qo'noS in around the 1300s. The Hur'q left Qo'noS resource-poor, and many departed the Klingon system to establish other colonies using seven great starships constructed on the order of Ch'gran. (DS9 episode: "The Sword of Kahless"; TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible; ST reference: The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor)
Later, in 2041 the Empire was engaged in several skirmishes with the Romulan Star Empire which lasted for the next twenty eight years. (Decipher RPG module: Player's Guide) This continued till the year 2069 when the Empire was devastated by the death of Emperor Koth. In order to not appear weak to their Romulan foes, the Klingon High Council decided to take control of the Klingon Empire when the imperial throne itself went vacant. (Decipher RPG module: Worlds) This led to a brief civil war amongst the Klingons which saw the rise in prominence in the High Council and thus began the age of the Second Klingon Empire. (Last Unicorn RPG module: All Our Yesterdays: The Time Travel Sourcebook) In the age of the Second Empire, Chancellor Mow'ga sent a fleet into Breen space to conquer the alien species. The fleet was never heard from again. (DS9 episode: "'Til Death Do Us Part")
By the 22nd century the Klingon Empire had grown to be one of the major powers in the Alpha and Beta Quadrant regions.
In this century, the Empire continued its border skirmishes with the mysterious Romulan Star Empire with both sides attempting to lay claim to the Gamma Hydra sector. The Romulans were known to have deployed gravitic mines in the region to prevent the Klingons from taking over that sector of space. (ENT novel: Kobayashi Maru)
Encounters with EarthEdit
Between the 2140s and early 2150s the Klingon Empire faced much internal strife which threatened civil war. Numerous strikes had occurred around the Empire which were being blamed on various Klingons factions. The attacks were in fact the work of the Suliban Cabal attempting to disrupt the Empire as part of the Temporal Cold War.
The truth of the attacks was learned in 2151 and a courier, Klaang, was sent to deliver this information to the Klingon High Council. Attempts were made on the courier's life and he crash- landed on the planet Earth. Klaang's injuries were treated and he was returned aboard the starship Enterprise to Qo'noS with his intelligence. This incident marked first contact between Humanity and the Klingon Empire. (ENT episode: "Broken Bow")
In 2153 the Enterprise once more became involved in Klingon affairs when it rendered assistance to a ship full of Arin'Sen refugees fleeing the planet Rha'darus in the Empire. Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise refused to give in to Klingon demands to hand the refugees back. He was eventually captured and tried on Narendra III, where he was sentenced to imprisonment on Rura Penthe. (ENT episode: "Judgment"; ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)Archer was rescued from Rura Penthe in a short time resulting in a price of nine-thousand Darseks being put on his head by the Klingons. Several attempts were made to recapture Archer including an attack on the Enterprise in Sol system but Archer remained a free man. (ENT episodes: "Bounty", "The Expanse"; ST reference: Federation: The First 150 Years)
The Augments CrisisEdit
In 2154 the Empire almost went to war with Earth when a Bird-of-Prey was captured and its crew killed by a group of Human Augments. The war was averted when the Enterprise destroyed the Bird-of-Prey, preventing it from destroying the Qu'Vat colony with a biogenic weapon. (ENT episode: "Borderland")
After seeing the strengths of the Augments, the Empire feared that the Humans were attempting to breed genetically engineered super soldiers for use against them. To counter this, genetic samples were recovered from the Augments destroyed Bird-of-Prey which were used to develop Klingon Augments. The experiments were successful in developing stronger more intelligent Klingons but had the unfortunate side effects of test subjects losing their cranial ridges and later dying when their neural pathways degraded. One of the test subjects was suffering from Levodian flu which combined with genetic modifications and began to spread as a deadly airborne plague among Klingon worlds.
Desperate to save the lives of quickly increasing number victims of the modifications the Klingons kidnapped Doctor Phlox of the Enterprise. Phlox and the Klingon Doctor Antaak successfully developed a cure which prevented the deaths of those who contracted the plague but prevented the development of augmented physical and mental abilities and left millions of Klingons ridgeless. (ENT episodes: "Affliction", "Divergence")
The Draylax IncidentEdit
In 2155, three Klingon battlecruiers were taken over by a new form of Romulan technology allowing them to remotely take over enemy ship systems. During border skirmishes with the enemy, the Klingon vessels fell prey to the telecapture systems of the Star Empire. Using these vessels, the Romulans attacked the planet Draylax which seemed to the Coalition of Planets as a new phase of Klingon aggression against them. After being alerted of this, Admiral Krell dispatched three cruisers to destroy the captured vessels but gave no explanation to the Coalition of its reasons for the attacks. This was because the Klingon government felt that the Romulans deceptive means of capturing any Imperial vessel was too great a dishonor to bear and decided to withhold this information from others. Such an action only heightened the suspicion of members of the Coalition Security Council who were pushing for an open declaration of war against the Klingon Empire. It was only after Captain Archer of the Starship Enterprise met Klingon Chancellor M'Rek and dueled Admiral Krell did he learn the truth of the matter. Using the information he had learnt, Captain Archer was successful in stopping the Coalition from declaring war against the Klingon Empire - a war which would have weakened both sides and would have left both nations easy targets for the hidden predations of the Romulan Star Empire. (ENT novel: Kobayashi Maru)
The Earth-Romulan WarEdit
During the Earth-Romulan War, the Empire was mostly an univolved observer. In 2156, Captain Archer asked the High Council to bring the Empire into the war, but he was turned down. Kolos told Archer that this refusal was due to the Empire entering a period of consolidation of conquests from which it couldn't spare resources. In the end, the Empire's only contribution to the war was a fleet of undesirables that Kolos led to the Battle of Cheron. The fleet helped turn the tide of battle against the Romulans, though Kolos's ship was destroyed. (ENT novel: To Brave the Storm)
- For relations between the Klingons and Federation throughout most of this century, see: Federation-Klingon Cold War.
Earth allied with Vulcan, Andor and Tellar in 2161 with the formation of the United Federation of Planets. The Klingons quickly came to see the Federation an opponent and by the 2220s the two states existed at the edge of war (TOS movie: The Undiscovered Country). One of the early conflicts with the Federation was the Battle of Donatu V in 2244. (TOS episode: "The Trouble with Tribbles")
In 2245 the Empire would made first contact with the Sha'Kurian Ducal Territories. They attempted to conquer the Territories but were repelled and ceased making active incursions in that region of space. (TOS video game: Klingon Academy)
The Empire's state of cold war with the Federation continued throughout the first half of the century with various brief skirmishes and battles such as the Battle of Caleb IV in the 2260s. (DS9 episode: "Once More Unto the Breach")
Finally in 2267 open war was declared between the states. The Klingons launched an immediate offensive, seizing many worlds including Organia. The occupation of Organia brought the war to short end when it was revealed the native Organians were not the primitive humanoids they appeared to be but in fact powerful non-corporeal beings who intervened and forced the two powers to agree to a peace treaty. (TOS episode: "Errand of Mercy")
The Organian Peace Treaty demanded the two states compete for new worlds by proving their ability to best develop planets to their agricultural and economic potential rather than simply fighting for them. Because they could not fight openly the Klingons were forced to take their victories by less obvious means, even resorting to dishonorable espionage. (TOS comic: "Beneath the Skin")
There would be no active war between the Empire and the Federation at this point as the Klingons feared the retribution of the Organians for breaking the peace treaty. Despite this, numerous small skirmishes would continue with the Federation for sometime. The two side attempted to cooperate in peaceful negotiations by participating in diplomatic relations at the Nimbus III outpost in 2267. (TOS movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)
In order to secure some advantage against the Federation, the Empire formed an unlikely alliance with the Romulan Star Empire in 2268. The Klingon-Romulan alliance resulted in an exchange of technology with the Klingons receiving newly developed cloaking devices in exchange for Klingon starships. (TOS episode: "The Enterprise Incident")
The Klingons engaged in a brief alliance with the rogue Vulcan T'Uerell in 2270 who aided them in developing an energy beam weapon for use against the Federation. In exchange for minerals mined by the Klingon colony at the Kathra system, the Vulcan departed whilst the prototype was under construction. A Starfleet infiltration team on a captured Klingon Bird-of-prey discovered the weapon and the alliance whereupon they contacted Starfleet command who assembled a strike force under the command of the USS Enterprise. This fleet struck at the Klingon system where they succeeded in destroying the prototype weapon before it could pose a threat to the Federation. (ST video game: Legacy)
Meanwhile, the alliance with T'Uerell came to an end by 2272 when the rogue Vulcan abandoned her allies and used cybernetic creatures to assimilate Klingon vessels for her own use before escaping. (ST video game: Legacy)
In 2285, Klingon leader Emperor Kahless IV was taken over by Excalbian mind-control, appearing in communications denouncing the Federation and inciting a brief war. In an early strike against Starfleet, Koloth was placed in command of a Klingon starbase with the ability to generate wormholes that led to Federation space. After the destruction of Captain John Bearclaw's USS Gallant, Koloth's fleet was targeted for attack by Grand Admiral Stephen Turner, who was similarly being puppeted by the Excalbians. Shortly after granting command of the late Captain Spock's USS Enterprise to Rear Admiral James T. Kirk, Turner sent Kirk to pursue the Klingon marauders. Upon defeating a surprise attack and discovering the wormholes, Kirk led a boarding party to the starbase, destroying it. Kirk took on a Klingon refugee, Klingon Defense Force Lieutenant Konom, Koloth's helmsman. Konom, ashamed of the unjust killings he had participated in, had devised a plan to warn the next Federation starship that Koloth attacked. Kirk received Konom's warnings, giving him the upper hand through the whole affair. In gratitude, Kirk granted Konom an ensign's commission in Starfleet and appointing him as an Enterprise bridge officer. When Kirk became aware of the subjugation of leaders of both the Federation and the Klingon Empire, he went against orders to lead a mission to Organia, where he battled and captured Klingon Admiral Kor and crew. The Excalbian Yarnek appeared to Kor and Kirk and revealed the nature of their test of good and evil being performed by their subjugation of the rival governments' leaders, and explained that the Organians were unable to interfere because of Excalbian occupation of their planet. The brief war ended when Kirk appealed to the Excalbians, although many starships on both sides were lost, including the USS Gallant and the USS Valor. (TOS comics: "The Wormhole Connection", "... The Only Good Klingon...", "Errand of War!", "Deadly Allies!", "Mortal Gods")
Diplomacy after the Federation-Klingon War of 2285 was restored, with heated negotiations at Starbase 19 between Ambassador Robert Fox and Klingon emissary Kalor nearly breaking down on several occasions. Due to poor security control by Starfleet Commodore Bendict, the Federation and Klingon diplomats alike were nearly assassinated by an agent of the Orion Victory League. (TOS comic: "Who Is... Enigma?")
Also in 2285, the Klingon Kruge received intelligence on the Federation's Genesis device and, perceiving it as a most deadly weapon, attempted to steal the technology, attacking and destroying the USS Grissom over the Genesis Planet. Kruge's crew were later tricked into boarding the USS Enterprise moments before it self destructed and Kruge himself was killed on the planet below having failed to obtain the Genesis technology and leaving his ship in the hands of James T. Kirk. Despite the defeat, Kruge's actions successfully destroyed Kirk's longtime command, and cost the lives of the Grissom crew, of which Kirk's son, David Marcus, was a part. (TOS movie: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)
Kirk's capture of a Klingon bird-of-prey brought diplomatic outcry from the Empire who wished Kirk to have been arrested and tried for crimes against the Klingon people with the Klingon ambassador to the Federation, Kamarag, declaring "there shall be no peace so long as Kirk lives!". The Klingon government was not satisfied with the Federation Council's verdict in the charges against Kirk, which only included one punishment, a demotion in rank from rear admiral to captain. (TOS movie: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Though still hostile to the Federation, diplomatic contact would still be maintained. When a Federation starship, the USS Zephyr, was hijacked by mercenaries and used to destroy several Klingon ships and outposts, a Klingon captain, Kron, was assigned to work alongside Captain Kirk's crew on the USS Enterprise-A to find the culprit. (TOS - Who Killed Captain Kirk? comics: "The Stars in Secret Influence", "Aspiring to be Angels", "Marriage of Inconvenience")
Klingon Captain Klaa of the IKS Okrona attempted to initiate hostilities with the Enterprise-A in 2287, but again diplomacy won out, with General Korrd ordering him to stand down and serve as the Enterprise-A's escort at Sha Ka Ree. Klaa would make further attempts to attack Kirk's Enterprise-A in the name of glory, although none were successful in starting a major battle. (TOS movie: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; TOS comics: "The Sentence", "Death Before Dishonor")
One notable diplomatic encounter was a meeting at the Korvat colony in 2289 with Curzon Dax meeting Kang in order to form peaceful relations between the Empire and the Federation. Nothing came of this but the encounter did make Dax a respectable opponent in the eyes of the Klingon people. (DS9 episode: "Blood Oath")
In 2291 when power struggles engulfed the Empire with an attempted coup against Chancellor Lorak by Kalnor. This ended when General Chang engaged in a blood duel against Kalnor preventing a possible civil war. However, Lorak died of old age and his successor, Chief of Staff Gorkon was next in line to the Chancellorship but was blocked by Melkor who started the Klingon Civil War.
The war was secretly aided by the Romulan Star Empire and resulted in huge damage to the Empire with the destruction of one of their chief energy production facilities, Tal'Ihnor Gates, before Melkor was killed. Even after Melkor's death loyal factions continued to fight but were unable to conduct their planned coup and Gorkon was installed as the new Chancellor. After taking stock of the Empire's current state, it became painfully obvious that the war had crippled the Klingon people and new drastic action was needed in order to survive. (TOS video game: Klingon Academy) In addition to this, the Klingons were greatly threatened by the Federation's deployment of the Genesis Weapon and thus began attempts at a possible war which resulted in increased mining of the moon of Praxis. (TNG novel: The Genesis Wave, Book 1)
In 2293 the Empire suffered a massive crisis with the destruction of Qo'noS's moon of Praxis. The moons destruction caused huge environmental damage to Qo'noS and with the Empire's disproportionate spending on military the Klingons could not afford the expense of recovery. The disaster prompted Gorkon to propose peace with the Federation and the dismantling of military facilities along the border which the Empire could no longer afford.
The move was controversial, resulting in Gorkon's assassination en route to talks on Earth. Gorkon's daughter Azetbur was appointed the new Chancellor and, despite the best efforts of a conspiratorial group trying to prevent the talks, decided to continue her father's plans for peace. The peace talks went ahead at Khitomer resulting in the signing of the Khitomer Accords, laying the foundations for peace between the two powers after seventy years of continued hostilities. (TOS movie: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)
23rd century (alternate reality)EditDuring this time the Klingon Empire conquered and occupied planets and fired on a dozen Federation ships. They were seen as a violent, expansionist race. (TOS movie & novelization: Into Darkness; TOS - Countdown to Darkness comic: "Issue 3")
In 2233, the Klingon empire then sent a fleet under Commander Kor to investigate the appearance of a ship near the Federation/Klingon border. Kor's fleet then captured a advanced Romulan mining vessel, the Narada and its crew following its attack on the USS Kelvin. The Klingon empire then had the Narada, its captain Nero, and his crew imprisoned on the penal mining colony of Rura Penthe. In that time the Klingons tried to discover where Nero came from and how the Narada worked. (TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek; TOS comic: "Nero, Number One")
The Klingon empire then, in 2239, then supported the genocidal Shadow Phaedans as part of their plan to conquer Phaedus IV. However they met resistance from the non-shadow Phaedans and Section 31 associative, Robert April. The Klingons continued to support the Shadow Phaedans for the next 20 years. (TOS - Countdown to Darkness comic: "Countdown to Darkness, Number Three")
In 2258, the Narada, Nero, and his crew then escaped Rura Penthe. The Klingon Empire then sent Warden Koth and a fleet of 47 Klingon ships, to kill Nero and recapture the Narada. However the Fleet was wiped out in matter of minutes. (TOS - Nero comics: "Number Two", "Number Four"; TOS movie & novelization: Star Trek)
Following the destruction of Vulcan, the Klingon's moon Praxis was then destroyed by Starfleet's Section 31 agent, Lieutenant John Harrison. This crippled the Empire's ability to make war on the Federation. (TOS - Khan comic: "Issue 4")
In the following year, 2259, the Klingon Empire was continuing its support of the Shadow Phaedans despite the resistance from Capt. April and the non-shadow Phaedans. The Klingon Empire was then contacted by April who wanted make a deal with them; in exchange for making him the colonial governor of Phaedus, he would give the Empire the USS Enterprise. The Empire then sent Kor to take the Enterprise. Just as Klingons were about to board the ship, the Enterprise escaped. However, Phaedus became part of their growing empire. (TOS - Countdown to Darkness comics: "Number Three", "Number Four")
A Klingon patrol then discovered a small team of Starfleet officers in the Ketha Province looking for the fugitive "John Harrison". The entire patrol was then killed by Harrison and was then taken starfleet officers. (TOS movie & novelization: Into Darkness)
Following the attack, the Klingon Empire believed that the Federation had violated their territory and was bent on their destruction. The Klingons also confirmed the identities of the Starfleet officers, one of them being Captain James T. Kirk. Seeing that the humans were begging for, the Klingons decided to give them one. Thus the empire sent Kor to prepare for the first surprise assault with new D7-class battlecruisers. (TOS movie & novelization: Into Darkness; TOS - After Darkness comics: "Part 1", "Part 2")
In 2261, the new Klingon colony on Khitomer and its warships came under attack by Romulan warships and were completely destroyed. The USS Enterprise then arrived to investigate a distress call sent from Khitomer, seeing it as chance to be a Olive branch to establish peace with the Klingons. However, after Capt. Kirk and a landing party beamed to the surface, the Enterprise were then surrounded by the Klingon's new battlecruisers. On the surface of Khitomer, the Klingons then captured Capt. Kirk and his landing party were then captured. They were then taken to Commander Kor's command ship as prisoners. They were then taken to Qo'noS after the USS Enterprise retreated. Qo'nos then came under attack by a Romulan/Section 31 force. Following the attack, the High Council and it's chancellor had been taken hostage by the Romulans and Section 31 agents who planned to use the Red matter to destroy the First City. However, Section 31 betrayed the Romulans, killed them and took the red matter. However, the Chancellor and the High Council were spared.(TOS - The Khitomer Conflict comics: "Part 1", "Part 2", "Part 3", "Part 4")
In 2262, General Chang of the IKS Muqtovor caught up with Kirk to bring him to justice, hunting since Kirk violated the Empire's territory. Chang was then chosen by the Yellow Lantern ring. With his new power, Chang was to create a Muqtovor to attack the Enterprise. After the Enterprise retreated, Chang returned to Qo'nos to the Great Hall to meet with the High Council. There, he killed their guards and the council members. He then met Sinestro. Despite claiming the title of Emperor of the Klingon Empire for himself, Chang agreed to assist Sinestro in defeating the other lanterns. Chang then fought Red Lanterns Atrocitus, Glocon and the Enterprise during their attack Starbase 12. He then fought against Orange Lanterns Decius and Larfleeze until Sinestro surrendered. The battle between the lanterns ended when the rings went to Commander Spock in order to defeat Nekron with Life Entity on newly resurrected Vulcan. Chang died in space and the Empire was leaderless. (TOS - The Spectrum War comics: "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3", "Issue 4", "Issue 5", "Issue 6")
The Klingons under Commander Sho'tokh of the IKS Chonnaq then claimed a planet. Sho'tokh then had the native population enslaved and children killed, despite his crew's protest. Sho'tokh then set up a trap for the Enterprise in the Artel system. As the Enterprise's landing party investigated the distress beacon, the Chonnaq attacked the Enterprise. The Chonnaq's crew then boarded the Enterprise. At first, Sho'tokh was succesful in taking the Enterprise's bridge. However, his first officer, Subcommander Divash and most of the crew planned to mutiny against Sho'tokh with the help of Dr. McCoy and the rest of the Enterprise's landing party. After taking control, Divash was able to use Lt Sulu's tactic in disabling the Enteprise. Sho'tokh and what was left of his men that were loyal to him attempted to escape. However, he was subdued by Kirk. Sho'tokh was then taken to the Klingon High Command. Divash suggest that Kirk leave the sector before more of their ships arrived.(TOS - Manifest Destiny comics: "Issue 1", "Issue 2", "Issue 3", "Issue 4")
The Empire made extended contact with the Cardassian Union in 2328 when the IKS Wo'bortas shadowed a Cardassian vessel into the Betreka Nebula and discovered the remains of one of Ch'gran's starships on the planet Raknal V. This was the start of the infamous Betreka Nebula Incident which lasted eighteen years. The source of the dispute was a matter of Klingon honor and part of the ancestry of high ranking Klingons which threatened to destabilize the quadrant. The Romulans attempted to ignite the conflict while the Federation worked hard to find a peaceful resolution to the dispute. The incident finally came to an end in 2346 when the Empire decided to abandon the find and colony to the Cardassians. (TLE novel: The Art of the Impossible; DS9 episode: "The Way of the Warrior")
Despite the Khitomer Accords tensions remained high between the Empire and the Federation. During the early 2340s the states were on the brink of war. However, the actions of the USS Enterprise-C answering a distress call from the Klingon colony of Narendra III which was being attacked by the Romulans renewed the peace. Despite being outnumbered, the Enterprise fought for the defense of the colony and was lost in battle. The heroism and honor of the Federation crew had had a lasting impression on the Klingons. Eventually resulting the signing of the Treaty of Alliance. (TNG episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise"; DS9 episode: "The Way of the Warrior")
After the destruction of numerous Federation and Romulan outposts along their border by an unknown force, later revealed to be the Borg Collective, the Empire was one of the four major powers that attended a secret conference in 2364 held at a hollow asteroid within the Romulan Neutral Zone. As part of the Empire's friendly relations with the Federation, they provided cloaked transportation for the delegates to the secret meeting. (TOS novel: Exodus)
- See main article: Klingon Civil War.
Peace within the Empire came to an end in the 2360s. Two rival factions developed, one led by Gowron and the other by Duras, son of Ja'rod. In 2367 when Chancellor K'mpec died after a long reign, slowly poisoned by his opponents. Before his death, he appointed as the Arbiter of Succession Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship USS Enterprise-D, a Human which was an unprecedented move in Klingon history. His duty was to decide on who would become the new Chancellor of the Klingon Empire. It was learn that Duras was conspiring with the Romulans to collapse the Federation-Klingon alliance and before Picard made his decision Duras was killed by Worf in an act of revenge. Gowron was subsequently installed as the new chancellor. (TNG episode: "Reunion")
Duras's sisters Lursa and B'Etor continued to fight for the role of the house and presented Duras's son, Toral as a candidate for Chancellorship to Picard. Picard ruled in favor of Gowron's continued Chancellorship and so the Empire divided as those in favor of Duras prepared to fight.
The war was brought to an end when the Federation discovered the House of Duras was being supported by convoy's of cloaked Romulans ships under Commander Sela so blockaded the Klingon-Romulan border cutting of Duras's supplies. (TNG episode: "Redemption")
Despite Gowron's successful ascent into the Chancellorship, there would be numerous small scale conflicts that threatened to destabilize the Empire. One, the Gonraii Rebellion were neutralized by the military loyal to the Chancellor. (TNG novel: Kahless)
An assassination attempt was also made on Gowron's life by factions loyal to the House of Duras which worked in secret to take control of the empire. The assassination was prevented by the Honor Guard after discovering one of its own was involved in the attempt. (TNG video game: Klingon Honor Guard)
The biggest test to the relations of the Federation came in the Year of Kahless, 998 the after the discovery of the Dominion in the Gamma quadrant whose Founders made it clear that they would attempt to impose order on the Alpha and Beta quadrant powers to ensure that they never threatened the Great Link (DS9 episode: "The Search"). In order to accomplish this, they abducted General Martok and replaced him with a Changeling who advocated more aggressive action against their neighbors in an attempt to weaken the Empire for the Dominion to conquer. (DS9 episodes: "Apocalypse Rising", "In Purgatory's Shadow")
This, along with internal pressures of the Empire and a recent civilian uprising against the Central Command of the Cardassian Union, resulted in the Klingons believing that the Cardassian government had been infiltrated by the Dominion. Using this excuse, the Empire prepared for war and used Deep Space 9 as a staging post for the initial invasion. This draw protest from the Federation which created a rift between the two powers to the point that diplomatic contact was broken off and Federation citizens were expelled from the Empire. Finally the Klingons withdrew from the Khitomer Accords and ended the long peace with their former allies.
The USS Defiant under the command of Captain Benjamin Sisko orchestrated an attempt to save the newly formed civilian leadership of the Union by evacuating them to Deep Space 9. The Klingons pursued them and launched an assault on the Federation station. Sisko convinced Gowron a destabilized Alpha Quadrant was exactly what the Dominion desired, prompting Gowron to call off the siege of DS9. (DS9 episode: "The Way of the Warrior")
However hostilities were not at an end. The Federation had siding against the Empire in battle, tense relations continued. The Klingons used this time to gain more Cardassian territory through raids and became increasingly aggressive to the Federation over the next year. (DS9 episodes: "Sons of Mogh", "Rules of Engagement")
The Martok Changeling continued to goad the Klingons into further offensives and advised Gowron that the Empire should lay claim to territories that were in dispute since before the Khitomer Accords. Tensions continued to build until war broke out between the powers in 2373. The Federation-Klingon War of 2373 was short but brutal, brought to an end after the discovery that Martok was in fact a Changeling who had been engineering the entire conflict. (DS9 episode: "Apocalypse Rising")
The Dominion WarEdit
- See main article: Dominion War.
In mid-2373 the Dominion annexed the Cardassian Union. Jem'Hadar forces quickly retook Cardassian territory and expelled the Klingon presence from the captured worlds. Seeing the threat posed by the Dominion, Gowron reformed the alliance with the Federation to work together once more to fight the renewed shared threat. This also saw a detachment of Klingon forces stationed at Deep Space 9 under the command of the real General Martok. (DS9 episode: "By Inferno's Light")
In 2374, a Klingon war fleet was sent to destroy a heavily guarded Dominion supply outpost on Oroan IV. The fleet was massacred by the Jem'Hadar. Only one ship the, IKS Gar'Tukh, survived, but was disgraced for missing the battle.(TNG comic: "The Gorn Crisis")
Many statues were erected for the fallen warriors who fought in the Dominion War in the Hall of Warriors.(ST reference: The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor)
Though the Klingons and their allies were victorious in the battle against the Dominion, peace would not remain within the Empire. In 2376, Toral of the House of Duras instigated a new rebellion that divided the Empire once more and challenged the forces loyal to Chancellor Martok which began a new Klingon Civil War. The House of Duras was once again secretly supported by the Romulans. However, power was returned to the loyalist forces when Worf returned with the Sword of Kahless. The rebellious forces were crushed though Toral escaped and ended his alliance with the Romulans.
After discovering the Romulan's part in the Civil War, the Klingons engaged in hostilities with the Star Empire. At the same time, the Klingons were also fighting an attempted invasion by the Borg Collective into the Alpha and Beta quadrants. A renewed alliance formed between the Federation, Klingon and Romulan governments to fight the Borg which drove the collective back out of the region. (TNG video game: Armada)
- In an alternate timeline, the Borg had succeeded in their invasion and assimilated Earth. Presumably, in this timeline, they had also assimilated the Klingon Empire.
In the same year, a coup was engineered by Morjod and Gothmara which was designed to throw the empire into chaos and allow the two Klingons to become the new rulers of the Klingon people. This coup against Martok was ultimately unsuccessful. (DS9 - The Left Hand of Destiny novels: Book One, Book Two)
Later while the Federation fought of a second Borg invasion, with much of the Federation fleet temporarily in the Delta Quadrant the Klingons came to the aid of their allied when a Cardassian force under the command of Gul Kentar launched a sneak attack on the remaining Federation forces. The Klingons cut Kentar's supply lines and fought several battles against Kentar's forces. The conflict was ended when the Klingons assaulted Cardassia and Kentar's secret base in the Hubrik system. The Klingons also fought minor battles with Species 8472 vessels making incursions into the region at the time. (TNG video game: Armada II)
The alliance with the Federation continued to prosper. In 2379 the two worked together in the construction of the Unity One station. However, tensions would erupt when sneak attacks were orchestrated by the Romulan Star Empire which sought to end the alliance and destroy both of their sworn enemies. (TNG video game: Starfleet Command III)
In the same year, the Empire faced hostility from the planet Tezwa which resulted in the death of thousands of Klingon warriors and nearly started an interstellar war. (TNG novel: A Time for War, A Time for Peace)
Later that year the Klingons accepting the Remans as a protectorate of the Klingon Empire, resulting in Klingon vessels entering Romulan space. Over the next year Klingon forces were involved in a number of skirmishes within Romulan space. After continued attacks and the failure of the Remans to successfully settle on the Ehrei'fvil continent of Romulus the Klingons allowed the Remans to settle on a planet within the Klingon Empire. (TTN novel: Taking Wing; ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
Later in 2380, Chancellor Martok attended a conference with the Federation President and the Romulan Praetor on Grisella regarding the founding of the Imperial Romulan State. Rather then denounce the new government of Commander Donatra, now Empress of the Imperial Romulan State, Martok instead gave his approval to the new state, recognizing its sovereignty. (ST novel: Articles of the Federation)
Alternate timelines/Possible futuresEdit
In an alternate timeline where Humanity never developed (a reptilian species whose dinosaur ancestors had been in the process of gaining sentience at the time of the mass extinction but was removed and resettled by the Preservers used the Guardian of Forever to destroy the asteroid responsible and allow their race to develop on Earth), the Klingon Empire were engaged in several wars with the Vulcan government and the Romulan Star Empire. The wars against the Vulcans resulted in numerous defeats for the Empire and the Klingons attempted a diplomatic alternative which brought about the creation of a peace initiative which took hold which in turn resulted in an attempt to form a lasting peace with the Romulans. However, the Klingons were betrayed apparently by the Vulcans - in actual fact, an altered Romulan spy - which resulted in massive amounts of damage to Klingon colonies and to a single continent of the Klingon homeworld. The Klingons were outraged by this and declared the Vulcans as deceivers and traitors. Fortunately, a treaty was established that confined the Vulcans to their territory as well as made them neutral during the Klingon-Romulan war which devastated both parties. The Vulcans convinced the Klingons to make use of suicidal tactics which gave a slight advantage to the desperate Klingon forces. During the course of the war, several species were wiped out for not supporting the Klingon war effort or for their neutrality or for siding with the Romulans. This timeline was erased when Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise went back in time to ensure Humans developed on Earth. (TOS novel: First Frontier)
In another alternate timeline created when the Enterprise-C did not participate in the defence of the Narendra III colony by escaping into a temporal fissure history was changed for the worse. This single event altered the course of history and in an alternate 2366 a state of active war was present between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. During this war, the Klingons were winning and it was projected that the Federation would eventually lose the war. This timeline was averted when the Enterprise-C was sent back through the rift where it fought against the Romulans at Narendra III and secured the Klingons as allies. (TNG episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise")
In yet another alternate reality where Bajor was never liberated from the Cardassian Union, the Klingon Empire found one of their colonies to be under attack from a rogue Romulan vessel. This prompted those Klingon houses that suffered from the attack to retaliate and brought about a war between the Klingon Empire and Romulan Star Empire. Chancellor Gowron later brought the Federation to aid them in the conflict between the two powers which weakened all three interstellar governments. It was later revealed that the Founder's had covertly made an alliance with the Cardassians and had infiltrated high ranking leaders of the Klingon, Romulan and Federation governments in order to spark wars that would weaken those factions. After this discovery, the Founder's dispatched a small fleet of Jem'Hadar ships to Qo'noS whereupon they bombarded the planet with lethal radiation thus killing everyone on the Klingon homeworld except for small pockets of people consisting of only a thousand survivors. (DS9 novel: A Gutted World)
In one possible future that Jean-Luc Picard saw while suffering from temporal jumps to the past (2364), present (2370) and future (2395) due to Q, it was revealed that the Romulan Star Empire was conquered by the Klingon Empire. The Empire would also be hostile to the Federation of this era. This particular timeline was brought to an end when the anti-time anomaly at the centre of events was destroyed. (TNG episode: "All Good Things...")
By the year 2400 in the alternate timeline generated by the War of the Prophets, the Klingon Empire was no more as all its colonies were destroyed by the Grigari and the Bajoran Ascendancy. Those few Klingons who lived went on a murderous suicidal rampage to avenge their race and died in the attempt while the remaining had been converted to the religion of the Ascendancy. This timeline was reset due to the efforts of Benjamin Sisko who prevented the opening of the red wormhole. (DS9 novel: Millennium)