Legend says that the batlh 'etlh, or Sword of Honor, was created by Kahless fifteen thousand years ago, by dipping a lock of his hair into a volcano. Kahless used the Sword to defeat the tyrant Molor and went on to found the Klingon Empire. After Kahless' ascension to Sto-Vo-Kor, the Sword became a sacred relic and was preserved in an embroidered cloth known as the Shroud of the Sword. A thousand years ago, the Hur'q raided the Klingon Homeworld, carrying off anything they could, including the Sword of Honor. The Klingons have been searching for the Sword ever since, and any warrior who finds the Sword and returns it to Qo'noS will certainly gain great Honor. Many warriors have given their lives in the attempt.

This scenario involves eight Klingon warriors in a quest to find the greatest relic of Klingon history. The first part of the adventure is fairly straightforward--find the Emperor's Sword. Once the Sword of Honor is found, the main dilemma facing the characters is whether personal glory is more important than true inner honor. The four NPC crew members can be used to heighten or moderate the tension as required.

The Shroud
It is night in the capital city of the Klingon Empire. DaHar Elder T'Toq has gathered his friend and student Jo'Val, and several of the crew of Jo'Val's ship together to feast on heart of targ, drink bloodwine and recount tales of great Klingon heroes. Keh'Ress, T'Toq's housekeeper, draws him aside and tells him that there is someone at the door on an errand of great urgency.

A young warrior wearing the insignia of the House of Kor stands in the entrance of T'Toq's quarters, clutching a small flat bundle. He introduces himself as Kotal, a retainer of the late DaHar Master Kor. In the bundle is a large piece of cloth, faded and tattered with age, and a computer PADD. Kotal explains that he found the cloth and PADD while sorting DaHar Master Kor's personal effects. He has brought it here and so that T'Toq can bring it before the DaHar Council. "Elder T'Toq," he whispers, "can this be is the Shroud of the Sword of Kahless?"

The ragged scrap of cloth within the bundle is about a meter long when unfolded. The cloth matches descriptions of the Shroud of the Sword, but thousands of counterfeit Shrouds have been produced over the centuries. If this one is a fake, however, it is a very good one. It is finely woven and is covered in ornate markings. When new, it would have been a beautiful work of art, fit to hold the Sword of Kahless. Now it is torn and creased, and the crescent-shaped imprint of a bat'leth can be made out in the folds of the cloth.

The PADD which was found with the Shroud is a standard Federation data storage peripheral. It contains an analysis of the Shroud by Lieutenant Commander Jadzia Dax, a Starfleet officer. The analysis reveals that the cloth is a thousand years old, and there are traces of Klingon and Hur'q DNA on it. It also bears traces of alloys which can only be found in Klingon hand weapons of Kahless' time, four centuries earlier.

The DaHar Council
If T'Toq brings the Shroud to the attention of the DaHar Council, the assembled body of those holding the rank of DaHar Master, they summon the characters to appear before them. In a dimly lit chamber filled with the smoke from katha reed torches, the DaHar Masters solemnly charge the group to bring the Sword of Honor back to Qo'noS. Master Kroth, the head of the DaHar Council, stands before a statute of Kahless the Unforgettable with a cup and a d'k tagh. He cuts his palm with the knife and drips his blood into a cup of bloodwine. He passes the d'k tagh to each character for them to do the same, then passes the cup around saying, "May you bring honor to the Empire!" Once everyone has drunk, he finishes the wine and dashes the cup to the floor, shouting "Qapla'! Success!" The torches are all doused and the council chamber goes dark. When the door to the chamber opens, letting light in, the characters are alone in the huge room.

Ambassador Worf
Although Jadzia Dax was killed during the Dominion War, her husband Worf is now the Federation Ambassador to the Klingon Empire. He maintains offices in the Federation Embassy, in the capital city. The blue and grey color scheme of the tall glass and plascrete structure is in stark contrast to the dark reds and earth tones of the lower, more solidly built Klingon buildings surrounding it.

Inside, the Federation offices are bright and airy, with soft carpets and even softer chairs. Worf's secretary, a young blonde Human woman named Justine St. Cyr, informs the ambassador that the characters wish to see him. He refuses to see the characters unless they mention Kor, Dax, or the Shroud. Once they do, however, he sees them immediately. The office is a mix of Klingon and Federation decor, befitting his dual nature as a Klingon warrior and Federation diplomat. A bat'leth hangs on the wall, and a bronze statue of Kahless' struggle with his brother Morath sits on a low table, while the Federation flag stands behind his desk. A holocube on the desk shows Worf standing with a female Trill in full Klingon wedding regalia.

Worf wears formal Federation clothing with a Klingon baldric bearing the insignia of the House of Martok. He is respectful of DaHar Elder T'Toq, and offers the group raktajino and blood wine. He listens patiently to their story. When they are finished, he confirms that Kor came to Deep Space Nine four years ago with the Shroud. A Vulcan mining team had discovered the Shroud in the Gamma Quadrant and had given it to Kor as a gift while he was the Klingon ambassador to Vulcan. Kor, Dax, and Worf took the runabout USS Rio Grande through the wormhole and found the Sword of Honor concealed in the Hur'q ruins the Vulcans had discovered. He warns them about the Sword's powers, and tells them of its effect on both himself and Kor, and how they fought and came to blows even over who would carry the relic. He also tells them of the attempt by the dishonored House of Duras to seize the Sword from them. He recounts how he, Kor and Dax finally released the Sword into deep space, and strongly advises the group to abandon their quest. "The Empire is not yet ready for the Sword's return," he finishes, "When the time is right for the Empire, the Sword will be returned to the Emperor's hand."

The Attack
Once the characters have questioned Worf, but before they leave Qo'noS, they are attacked by several warriors in an isolated alleyway or corridor. Each warrior wields a kut'luch (assassin's dagger), but if the characters are armed with anything heavier than a d'k tagh, the assassins also will be carrying equivalent weaponry. They do not have disruptors, even if the characters do. There is one attacker per character present, and they block all exits. If questioned, they are unable to identify their patron.

The nomghar
Jo'Val's ship is a raDwI' class corvette, the IKV nomghar, and the remaining characters form the bulk of the ship's crew. There are four other crew members already aboard the ship. Dokor is the youngest of the NPC crew, and is assigned assist the engineer. He has just completed his Rite of Ascension, and this is his first mission as an adult warrior. He is overawed to be in the presence of a DaHar Master. Ka'dek is the assistant gunner. She is in her mid-twenties, the youngest daughter of a minor House, and is determined to raise the name of her House to new heights. Bereth, the communications officer, is a few years older than Ka'dek and he competes with her fiercely. He can always be counted to disagree with whatever opinion she expresses. Koriss is a scarred old warrior in late middle age, with a piece bitten from his right ear and two fingers missing on his left hand. Koriss has known Jo'Val since the captain was a boy.

Deep Space Nine
The trip to the Bajor system takes about a week at standard cruising speed. The voyage is uneventful, aside from the routine Starfleet inspection upon entering Federation space. Once at Deep Space Nine, the characters can attempt to access the logs of the Rio Grande. They can do this in one of two ways; either by requesting formal permission from Colonel Kira Nerys or by breaking into the docking bay and hacking the runabout's navigational log. Colonel Kira is hot-tempered, even for a Bajoran, and does not particularly like Klingons. If the characters are diplomatic, she grudgingly makes the data available to them, but if they are belligerent she refuses, and they must find another way to get the information they seek.

One choice is to sneak aboard the Rio Grande and take what they want. If they do so after being refused permission, station security is alerted and the break-in is more difficult. Kira posts guards at the doors to the Rio Grande's docking bay. The guards are Bajoran Militia and Starfleet Security, and each is armed with a Phaser II set on heavy stun (3). The Jefferies tubes to the docking bay are not guarded, but Security (Security Systems) task rolls will be required to get in that way. Alternatively, they can approach some of the station's less savory inhabitants and pay them to acquire the data. Quark can sell them the access codes to the docking bay. Attempting to bribe the one of the guards only gets them arrested.

The runabout's logs list a trip to the Gamma Quadrant at the time of Kor's quest. The logs show that on the way back from the planet where the Sword was found, an object was beamed into space. This information matches Worf's story. Starfleet never seems to run out of computer space, so the coordinates are still in the ship's memory banks and can be recalled by anyone with Computer (Hacking).

If the characters get the data from Colonel Kira, or if they have avoided detection while stealing the data, they simply take a turbolift to the nomghar and enter the wormhole. If they have been detected, they'll have to find another way off the station. They cannot steal the Rio Grande, because station security will have locked the docking bay lift. Beaming to the nomghar is their best bet. The runabout has only two transporter pads, so it will take four cycles for everyone to beam out. If they contact the nomghar, their comrades can beam them all out at once, but the station's Op's crew will be able to detect the communication and may lock the docking clamps before the nomghar can depart. If they have to leave in this manner, Kira orders the station's three runabouts to pursue the nomghar–the U.S.S. Defiant is not presently at the station. The nomghar is capable of outrunning and outfighting the runabouts, and its cloaking device renders it invisible to their sensors.

The Sword of Honor
Once the nomghar has passed through the wormhole and arrived at the coordinates from the Rio Grande's navigational logs, the characters can plot the probable trajectory of the Sword using Space Sciences (Astrogation). They can also use the chemical composition from the PADD to reduce the difficulty of sensor scans. Even so, the task is still Difficult, and may take more than one skill roll. Eventually, sensors reveal a small metallic mass drifting in space. On screen, the Sword is a gleaming crescent reflecting the starlight (yes, in real life the stars would not be bright enough, but there always seems to be enough light in Star Trek to see in interstellar space). Play up the drama of the moment--this is an historical event. The names of the characters will be revered by all Klingons and their statues will stand in the Hall of Heroes.

The Sword of Honor is an ancient bat'leth, slightly heavier and more complex in pattern than modern Klingon weapons. The surface of the metal has an ornate pattern of folds similar to Earth's Damascus steel, and the Klingon imperial insignia is engraved on the blade. Although the sword is a millennium and a half old, it is razor sharp and the leather grip bindings are still supple. Simply holding the Sword fills the characters with a feeling of power and the conviction that their cause is just. Klingons have been raised from birth for centuries to believe in the Sword as a holy item and this has a profound psychological effect on any warrior who holds the weapon.
Size: 122 cm x 50 cm x 2 cm
Mass: 5.5 kg
Accuracy: 6
Block: +2
Damage: 6+2d6

When the characters lower their shields to beam the Sword aboard, a ship decloaks behind them. The ship hails them and orders them to cut all power. The man on the screen is a hard-faced young Klingon with a phaser scar on his cheek. He identifies himself as Toral, son of Duras. The Duras family is responsible for much of the strife which has fallen the Klingon Empire in the past decade. Toral hopes to use the Sword to take over the Empire. He tried to take the Sword from Kor when the DaHar Master originally found it and was seriously wounded in the attempt. He has spent the time since his recuperation plotting his revenge on Worf and trying to find the Sword. He is the man behind the assassination attempt on the Homeworld.

In the true tradition of Star Trek villains, Toral is arrogant and overconfident. He boasts that he'll kill anyone who stands between him and the Emperor's crown. The Empire, with him at its head, can then take its rightful place as the dominant power in the Alpha Quadrant, crushing the weak Federation petaqs and the decadent Romulans. He offers them positions of great power when he becomes Emperor, if they hand over the Sword. If, however, they resist, he threatens to destroy their ship and take the Sword from the wreckage. He gloats over the position the characters are in, giving them long enough to formulate a plan. He does not fire until they attempt to bring up their shields or cloak, power their weapons, or maneuver.

Toral's ship is a B'Rel class Bird of Prey, equal in firepower to the nomghar. When he does attack, he uses disruptors, targeting their warp and impulse drives, attempting to disable the ship without destroying it and its cargo. The characters are, of course, under no such restrictions, and may use both disruptors and torpedoes to defend themselves. Whatever the outcome of the battle, the Narrator should arbitrarily disable the nomghar's warp drive, or have it fail after they escape Toral. This keeps them from returning through the wormhole until after the debate over what to do with the Sword has taken place.

Once the players have defeated Toral or driven him off, they must decide what to do with the Sword. When the Sword was initially found, Worf and Dax convinced Kor that the Empire is not ready for the return of the Sword With the end of the Dominion War and the rise of Martok to the Chancellorship of the High Council, things have changed, but there is still strife within the Empire.

The Narrator should play up the differences in the players' attitudes. The NPC crewmen on the nomghar take sides with the characters, each one supporting a different point of view. Dokor will support T'Toq and Koriss will support Jo'Val. Bereth and Kadek support the two player characters with the most divergent views. Each is willing to fight for his or her view, but once all the player characters decide on a course of action, the NPCs agree with it, so long as no one suggests destroying the Sword. All four NPCs automatically disagree loudly with any such proposal. They say such Klingonesque things as "This is unthinkable," "I will kill you before I will allow it," and "You are without honor," and become violent if the matter is pressed.

Whatever choice they make, they should be aware that it is a pivotal moment. On one hand, they may gain great honor but in so doing risk causing a schism within the Empire. On the other hand, they may go home without the Sword, with only the personal knowledge that they have done the right thing for the Klingon people.

The players may decide that it is now time to take the Sword back to Qo'noS. If they do, there are a number of choices available.

They can give it to its rightful owner, Emperor Kahless.
They can turn it over to Chancellor Martok.
They can give it to the High Council.
They can allow the DaHar Masters to have the Sword.
They can place it in the care of the monks on Boreth II for safe-keeping.

The players may decide that the Sword must remain hidden. If so, they must then decide where and how to hide it.

They can release it back into space.
They can take it back to the Hur'q museum.
They can hide it elsewhere, on a planet or asteroid, or even in the Bajoran Wormhole.

This page ©2004 Owen E. Oulton