|There is a monastery on Q’o’nos, in the “Spine of the Fehk’lhr” mountain range, where the Order of Rurh’vash’toq has laired for over a thousand years. This all-female order of Klingon Warrior-Nuns, known in the common parlence as “The Daughters of Gre’thor”, dedicate themselves two-fold: to their spiritual development as monks and adherants to an obscure sect of the wider Klingon faith; and also to their more material duties and function: as assassins with a most peculiar method of killing.
Instead of a knife in the dark (though such methods could be used for infiltrating to get to their target), the Daughters of Gre’thor would use infiltrate and stealth their way through their target’s layer of defenses…and then announce themselves to their target and challenge them in the open to a mortal duel…often after manipulating the situation as such, so the target must accept or loose face.
If the target accepts, than their almost inevatible death in combat by the Daughter would be an honourable one and hence found (at least in public) agreeable to both the target’s house, and the Daughter’s shadowy patron for the hit (suprisingly enough, in more than half of the rare instances of a Daughter being employed, the patron was the target’s own house, in an attempt to restore honour after being disgraced by a cowardly family member).
If the target refused, than death was just as swift as the Daughter would cut them down for cowardice: their dishonour however, would be their own to take with them to the gates of Gre’thor (the mythical Klingon “hell”), and would stain not the house they had belonged to.
Payment for such things was rarely as base as monetary currency or credit: instead, access to a resource of some sort was more often the cost: raw materials for the Daughters’ monastic artisans, repairs for the old fortress abbeys and outposts, weapons…most importantly of all, female klingon children…after all, it was rare that the isolated nuns would actually reproduce themselves.
It was by this method, that the albino klingon baby who would become known as “Q’orvha”, gained entrance to the monastery. An unwanted mutant child, to pay for an unknown hit, upon a dishonoured target.
Growing up on the harsh tutledge and discipline of the Monastery priestesses, Q’orvha learned how to fight, how infiltrate, and how to beguile. She learned mediation, pain management, and underwent extensive conditioning training for her mind and body. Being a monastery, all this was balanced with suprisingly scholarly pursuits. Klingon “Theology”, philosophy, studying the dichomoty between Honour and Glory…as well as more technical skills: strategy and tactics, basic medicene and triage, survival training, botany, targ husbandry, xeno-biology (to know a thing is to know how to kill a thing)…and the area where Q’orvha quickly proved herself to adept with: technology and maitanence.
When not training, studying, or at rest, Q’orvha worked under an Abess on maitenance duty, repairing and replacing the various utilities and systems throughout the monastery…an ecletic mix of technology acquired during various centuries and integrated (somewhat haphazardly at times) into the fortress monasteries, shrines, and outposts that the Daughters of Gre’thor held sway over.
Q’orvha proved to be a quick and adaptable learner, and soon ended up carrying out maitenance duties in the Armories and vehicle bays as well.
To gain a broader perspective, more technical experience, and to test out her infiltration skills, Q’orvha was entered into the Klingon Imperial Academy system under an assumed identity. She studied starship engineering, computer systems, and warp physics; before being signaled out for advanced training in intelligence gathering techniques, primarialy because of her noted attention to details, quick memory, and displayed cunning.
This worked a little too well, as being noticed for Klingon Intelligence brought greater scrutiny, and after a month the contacts that Q’orvha maintained to the Daughters forced her to flunk out of the Intelligence training, and back into more mainstream areas of service. This actually a slightly bitter taste in her mouth, as Q’orvha had enjoyed the intelligence training (it reminded her of home), and the type of person selected to be a Klingon spook, was also the type of person who were generally more receptive to an albino in their ranks. Returning to the mainstream courses meant dealing with the standard cadets and instructors, who were far less tolerant of her “defect”.
Nethertheless, she graduated as a full warrior and served for 4 years on a Klingon cruiser as an Engineer before leaving the service to return to her life in the shadows of the Monastery, completing her training and ascending to being a full fledged Daughter of Gre’thor…a graduation ceremony that was only conducted after she completed her first contract: slaying the commander of the cruiser she had once been assigned to.
This mission itself was completed rather deftly, as Q’orvha knew the target, knew the ship, and still had access to working codes and security details for the ship’s system. She applied her technical know how to spirit herself onto the ship undetected, and then into the Commander’s quarters…where she ambushed the commander and forced a duel (she had also lain out several contingencies, such as using a dampening field to render disruptors useless and comms blocked).
The duel itself was brutal and quick, with the only snag in the execution coming from Q’orvha’s own bat’leth getting stuck in the cieling bulkhead while trying to use a long downward strike. This was remedied by a switch to using her dagger, and the Commander was soon slain. A memento mori record was left to declare the nature of his death as being in honourable combat to wash away sins left on his house by his actions, and then Q’orvha utilized site-to-site transporters to make her escape, deploying a self-annihilating virus into the Cruiser’s computer banks to wipe any records of her visit beyond the memento mori.
Over the next few years, Q’orvha was deployed on many such kill missions throughout the Empire, and the work even started to become routine…until she was assigned to assassinate the head of House Ruq’vha, who had become indulgent and slothful. This was during the Klingon Civil War between Gowron and House Duras, and the Ruq’vha leader’s behaviour had brought shame and dishonour, resulting in a loss of face with both sides.
Q’orvha killed the head of the house with ease, but her attempts to return home to the Daughters of Gre’thor were foiled by the Daughters of Gre’thor no longer existing in any meaningful way.
While she had been working her way into Ruq’vha’s inner circles of power to close in on her target, the Civil War had reached the remote monasteries…and even the Daughters of Gre’thor had not proven immune to Imperial political scheming. Sides were drawn, and a quick war of shadow and terror had consumed the Daughters from the inside…what few survivors of this burtal conflict remained at the end, decided to disband the order: an honourable death for a group that had dishonoured themselves.
Q’orvha found herself essentially cut loose, in the middle of a war, still within the powerbase of House Ruq’vha…and she had just killed their patriarch.
It took two days for the agents of House Ruq’vha to find her, and another three to take her down…suprisingly though, Q’orvha did not find herself killed in retaliation for her murderous act.
Instead, she was spared by the new patriarch who had taken his father’s place after the latter’s death. In the time since then, he had regained Ruq’vha lost honour and sided with Gowron to secure it and relief pressure on Ruq’vha holdings from one of the two sides in the conflict.
He was a young and forward thinking patriarch and spared Q’orvha’s life not out of an attempt to dishonour her for taking her alive, but because he had learned of the Daughter’s end: after all, he had been the one to request the hit out on his father. He instead offered Q’orvha a new opportunity to remake herself…this time as Q’orvha, gin’tak to House Ruq’vha.
A position of advisor and guardian, Q’orvha would bring her experience as a killer to safeguard House Ruq’vha itself against other killers. With Ruq’vha joining Gowron’s side, it had invited the shadowy knives of the Duras, who were not above such tactics that other Klingons would balk at.
Unsure what to do with herself, Q’orvha agreed and began to apply herself to the position of gin’tak with extreme efficency and professionalism. She helped strengthen and fortify the house’s fleet and holdings, uncovered several assasination and spying plots, and at the apex of the combat, even participated in the fleet movements against House Duras from the command chair of a Bird of Prey.
After the civil war, Q’orvha carried out several operations to secure House Ruq’vha’s post-war position and standing within the Empire…including the securing of claims made on assets won from Duras-supporting houses, and the foiling of several resulting repraisal plots.
The result several years of relative quiet and peace for House Ruq’vha…though things heated up again, once the Dominion Crisis resulted in the Klingon Empire declaring war on the Cardassian Union. Q’orvha was given command of the QIb’Heh once again, and flew as part of the larger KDF formations during the initial invasion of Cardassian Space, splitting off after the main push to harry fleeing Cardassian vessels.
When the Klingon Empire made it’s push to secure the Bajoran Wormhole, the QIb’Heh participated in the attack on DS9, though it’s impact was neglible.
Afterwards, the QIb’Heh operated much like an ancient privateering vessel, targetting Cardassian shipping lanes, trade routes, and raiding economnic targets.
When full scale war broke out between the Federation and the Klingon Empire, the QIb’HeH acted in much the same way…though of note, the QIb’HeH was credited with the disabling and capture of a cruiser, the Steamrunner-class USS Mercutio, after the QIb’HeH used a trick of warp physics to appear to be in two places at once. This cunning and devious victory earned the QIb’HeH and her commander, the moniker of “The Ghost of Gre’thor”…in part because Q’orvha had a momentary slip of memory and announced herself as “Commander Q’orhva, Daughter of Gre’thor” when she hailed the disabled Mercutio.
This was a significant prize for House Ruq’vha and the prisoners of war that resulted from the Mercutio’s surviving crew were used in negotations for concessions from the Federation for House Ruq’vha’s interests…though these negotiations were cut short by the end of the war and the restoration of the Klingon-Federation alliance…at which point, the POWs were released back to the UFP as a sign of “good will”.
The end of the Klingon-Federation conflict also led to the reveal that General Martok had been replaced by a Changeling Founder. This resulted in Q’orvha being given a new mission from her House and a new role for Ruq’vha’s gin-tak: Protect the House and prevent infiltration via these insidious shapeshifting curs.
Q’orvha operated as an “inquisitor”, prosecuting blood screenings and carrying out investigations into any suspcious activity…it didn’t earn her many warm smiles from her adopted family, nor did it result in the detection of any changelings…but it did result in the discovery of suspicious Breen activity and execution of two House retainers for dishonourable conduct and treasonous actions against the Empire for personal gain.
The report of Breen activity was handed over to Klingon Intelligence, but beuracratic shuffling and politics pervented it from being of any real use…the Breen joined the Dominion.
Q’orvha returned to the frontlines shortly thereafter, taking part in several fleet engagements as well pursuing independant operations as a raider. On no less than three seperate occassions during the war, the QIb’HeH was assigned to work for Klingon Intelligence, and even ferry’d Starfleet Intelligence operatives behind enemy lines via cloaking device.
The QIb’HeH took part in the final battle of Cardassia that ended the Dominion War, scoring several kills on Jem’hadar Fighters and working with a Romulan warbird to take down a Breen battlecruiser. As the fighting moved to the planet itself, Q’orvha beamed down with a House Ruq’vha-led war-party, shadowing the house patriarch and acting as a “bodyguard in the dark”.
In the aftermath of the Dominion War, House Ruq’vha had collectively gained quite a glorious battle-record and the rewards that came with it…
…but had also gained the ire and envy of other houses who did not Ruq’vha rapid ascendancy from such a minor family to within striking distance of a high council seat.
Q’orvha spent the post-war years countering assassination attempts, serving as a second or champion in duels of honour, and getting her hands dirty in more political intrigue than she would have liked.
Eventually, a plot to assasinate the Patriach’s young child and heir was uncovered, and Q’orvha was given command of the QIb’HeH again, this time to hide the child-heir away while the truth of the plot was brought to light.
…this unfortunately, coincided with the Hobus Supernova, which spread chaos across the Beta quadrant as the Romulan Star Empire reeled and bucked from the decapitation of it’s twin capitals. During the ripples that were felt in the Klingon Empire, where induvidual houses made opportunistic moves against the Romulan Borderworlds and the Great Houses were roused to political infighting over what the Empire’s offical stance to this crisis would be, the daggers that were out for House Ruq’vha were drawn.
The records from this period are sketchy, but House Ruq’vha was accused of dishonourable actions taken against refugees from the Star Empire, suprisingly serious crimes in the Klingon Empire. This resulted in the discommendation and exile of the entire house from the Empire…and open season for rival houses to seize Ruq’vha territory and assets. Several members of the House committed ritual suicide rather than accept this discommendation…
Q’orvha and the QIb’HeH dissapeared into the lawless area of space known as “The Triangle” during this time, leaving only a final report of failure in their mission: The Heir to House Ruq’vha had been killed.
Many considered Q’orvha and the QIb’HeH crew to have taken a similar suicidal path in the face of the discommendation and stripping of honour…or leave a bloody self-destructive trail of vengeance against the rival houses. Typical klingon psychology would have all but demanded either course.
Instead, Q’orvha and the QIb’HeH reappeared within six months, attacking a transport vessel and securing a cargo-hold worth of resources and goods bound for a Yridian-run sub-space listening post. Q’orvha reffered to herself when demanding the transport’s surrender, as “Daughter of Kortar” during this engagement, the first instance of such a moniker being used: Kortar was a mythological figure in Klingon religous stories: the first Klingon who was damned for killing his gods, to shepard the souls of the dishonoured on a boat to Gre’thor.
Several follow up actions would be recorded to various authorities in the coming months, making it clear: The QIb’HeH had gone pirate.
Eventually, this spate of attacks would die down as the QIb’HeH established itself with various underground organizations and (relatively) more legitimate work would open up. Mercenary work, privateering actions (piracy with an employer), escorting transports and providing security against other pirates (sometimes little more than an extortion/protection racket), smuggling, and even slave trading.
In 2388, the QIb’HeH went quiet again and didn’t reappear until 2389, when it was discovered drifting into Federation space by the USS Ajax.
Q’orvha was the only survivor on board and swore a new gin’tak-esq “life-debt” oath to her rescuers, to serve in whatever capacity was required.
The granting of a provisional rank would follow, as her experiences and knowledge of the underworld groups and players that operate along the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan borders would be invaluable, as would her experiences in the long-term operations of small scout vessels and patrol escorts like the Ajax.
An albino former pirate captain and mercenary commander who was raised by the warrior-nuns known as the Daughters of Gre'thor and would later serve as "gin'tak" (advisor, guardian, retainer) to the House of Ruq'vha before it's mass discommendation and exile from the Klingon Empire, Q'orvha now serves her rescuers with an oathsworn life-debt; As staff engineering officer with a provisional rank and a close observance from Starfleet Intelligence. She brings an experience and perspective that is radically different from the rest of the Ajax's assigned crew and has the inside track on many of the pirates, smugglers, and ne'er-do-wells that infest the near-lawless frontier worlds. She does not handle bright lighting well.