The Order of the Bat'leth: founded after Kahless's ascension to Sto-Vo-Kor, the Order was tasked with rooting out dishonorable behavior and spreading the word of Kahless to the Klingon people. In the subsequent millennium, the Order has become more ceremonial, but now Chancellor Martok has called the Order back to its original function -- to preserve the cause of honor.
Captain Klag of the I.K.S. Gorkon -- the newest inductee into the Order -- has given his word to the Children of San-Tarah that the Klingon Empire will leave them in peace. But Klag's old rival General Talak has ordered him to go back on his word and aid Talak in conquering the San-Tarah's world. Now Klag must stand against his fellow Klingons -- but will even his fellow members of the Order of the Bat'leth, not to mention his own crew, follow him into disobedience? Or will they betray him to Talak?
The crew of the Gorkon faces its greatest trial in a glorious adventure that will be remembered in song and story throughout the Empire!
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Pocket Books/Star Trek
November 13, 2003
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Excerpt from Star Trek: The Next Generation: I.K.S. Gorkon: Honor Bound by Keith R. A. DeCandido
"I am Klag, son of M'Raq, captain of the I.K.S. Gorkon -- and I summon you, my fellow members of the Order of the Bat'leth, in a call to honor.
"When the Order was first formed, by the Lady Lukara after Kahless's ascension to Sto-Vo-Kor, its members were tasked with ensuring that the teachings of the divine one would continue after the teacher was gone -- to make sure that the Great Houses of the Klingon Empire remained on the path of honor, and to lead them back to that path if ever they strayed. Chancellor Martok has, in his wisdom, returned the Order to that original sacred purpose, and it is for such that I summon you now.
"Ten weeks ago, a dozen ships, including the Gorkon, were sent to the Kavrot Sector to find new worlds on which to plant the Klingon flag. A week ago, the Gorkon found one, in the system designated Kavrot loSmaH Soch. Called San-Tarah by its native population, the world's orbit is littered with subspace eddies. We have determined that it is the fallout from a battle with subspace weapons fought some time within the last two centuries. These eddies have played havoc with our technologies, hindering some, eliminating others. Energy weapons do not function on or near San-Tarah, and communications only in the short range. However, the planet itself is rich with such mineral resources as kellinite, koltanium, and uridium -- it would make a glorious addition to the Empire.
"The native population is a warrior culture. You may think that makes them like us, but they are different -- the planet is so abundant that they can afford a pure warrior ethic that Kahless himself would envy. The day-to-day compromises of life do not affect them. When we first beamed ground troops down, we surprised them, arriving at night by a method of transport far beyond their means -- and still they succeeded in driving us from their village.
"I had planned to beam down a larger force and take them, but then the leader of their Ruling Pack requested an audience. They wished to discuss how the battle might continue. They did not wish to speak of peace -- in fact, the translator did not render the word peace into one that they could comprehend. No, they were only interested in how best to continue fighting, for they, like we, value battle above all else.
"I learned something, speaking with the head of their Ruling Pack, a wise and powerful warrior named Me-Larr: We would not defeat the Children of San-Tarah. Oh, we might very well crush them, we could easily overtake them even with our curtailed weapons capability, but they would defy us from the oldest warrior to the youngest cub.
"They also offered us an alternative. They proposed five martial contests. If we defeated them in the majority of these contests, they would willingly cede themselves to the Klingon Empire. If they defeated us, we would go and never trouble their world again.
"I looked into Me-Larr's heart when he made this offer. I knew that these were honorable foes -- more, they were worthy ones. And so I agreed.
"In the end, we were defeated. More specifically, I was. We bested them in the hunt and in a seek-and-capture combat mission, while they got the better of us in marine combat and in a one-to-one contest of strength. In the end, it was left to me and my bat'leth to face Me-Larr and his sword. After many hours of glorious battle, I was finally defeated. Though Me-Larr spared my life, he did declare a just victory, which I conceded to him. I gave him my word that I would honor our agreement, and that the Klingon Empire would leave these fine warriors to their own planet.
"Only a few minutes ago, I received this message from General Talak."