By Derek Tyler Attico, contributing writer to Star Trek Adventures
If Vulcans are Star Trek’s logical and intellectual side, then Klingons represent its raw emotion and heart.
These unapologetic warriors don’t ask for forgiveness or permission. And yet, in their own way, Klingons wear their hearts on their sleeve and will rip yours out of your chest, without thinking twice.
When I was invited to write the Worlds and Locations chapter for Modiphius’s upcoming Star Trek Adventures core rulebook centered on the Klingon Empire, I leaped at the opportunity to represent the Klingon people in their own voice. I’ve always felt an affinity for the warriors who hold nothing back and value honor above all else.
Most Star Trek fans are familiar with the Klingon warrior’s lust for battle, and their endless pursuit for honor. But I’ve always seen this as just one facet of the Klingon dichotomy. Writing this chapter gave me an opportunity to deliver a rare glimpse into the unspoken history of the Empire and, perhaps, the psychology of the Klingon mind.
As I started to write, I found myself thinking a lot about the differences between what is written down as history, and what actually happens. So much of Klingon canon has been viewed from the Starfleet perspective––from that of the outsider. I felt it necessary to revisit certain pivotal events dealing with Klingon worlds, completely from their point of view.
These characters that I’ve watched for nearly my entire life began to speak to me. They told me of their triumphs and their tragedies, their passions, and their pain. I listened to their rebuke of the Starfleet planetary classification system and created one for them that was proudly Klingon. When I heard them whisper in the shadows of my mind about the Unseen, I remembered all they said, but revealed little. When they drank bloodwine and spoke to me of battles won and friends lost––I rejoiced with them in the honorable deaths and grieved for a time before peace.
As my chapter began to take shape, I felt an unshakeable desire to delve even deeper into my understanding of Klingons. I went beyond watching every Star Trek episode and film that represented them. I watched every interview and read every book I could find by Marc Okrand—the linguist that developed the Klingon language. When I discovered there was no Klingon translation for the term “Unseen” (which made perfect sense), I contacted the Klingon Language institute and asked them to create a translation.
Participating in this project has been quite simply, an honor. The Klingon Empire Core Rulebook is not something that will be found on the shelf of a Federation library, because it doesn’t belong there. This book was written for Klingons, by Klingons!