Official Lore Office post from Bravo Fleet: Sundered Wings

Children of the Empire

The Klingon-Romulan border
June 2400
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‘Oshesh, this is madness-’

‘No, Mother.’ Oshesh, daughter of Atumeht of the House of Wov’Sech, swelled with pride as she stared down the viewscreen. ‘This is what our people need. This is what you lack the courage and conviction to do. This is for the Empire.’

Across even all the tens of light-years, her mother’s furious glower was powerful enough to fill the gloom of Oshesh’s quarters and ready room aboard her bird-of-prey, the Hoskahk. ‘The High Council has not reached a decision. Until they have, you cannot cross the borders.’

‘The borders are nothing. The Romulan Star Empire has collapsed,’ Oshesh pointed out. ‘The longer the High Council bickers, the longer the Romulans have to rally, the Federation has to seize the opportunities we squander. Riches and glory are at our fingertips, Mother; all we need do is seize it.’

‘And you can make that argument on Qo’noS,’ came Atumeht’s exhausted reply.

‘So I can be ignored?’ Oshesh half-rose from her chair in anger, and would have stood if that wouldn’t have just moved her out of view of the screen. ‘Old men sit on Qo’noS, resting on their laurels from the glory days of war, and deny the young the chance to outpace them. My siblings understand this.’ She jabbed a hand at nothing. ‘From Wov’Sech to K’Var to Ha’Tor to even Kuura, children of the Houses are rallying to my banners. Now is our time, Mother, and nobody – not the Chancellor, not you – will stand in our way.’

Atumeht’s lip curled. ‘And when all you win is fleeting glory to be followed by strife and chaos, who will tidy affairs so you are free to wander and fight again? I and those old men.’

‘You sound like the Romulans we should be putting on pikes,’ Oshesh sneered. ‘Not the leader of a Great House of warriors and heroes. You will see – when we claim territory and wealth, expand the Empire’s borders by conquest as has not happened in decades, bring back plundered resources and tales of battle to make your old bones creak with envy. You will see.’

There was likely more to say. More boasting. More she could inveigle from her mother’s tired threats, more Atumeht would likely imply of the High Council or the Federation’s response in her warnings. But it was also the time to end the call and get the last word, and Oshesh did so with an imperious slam of her palm on the controls.

Then she was not the firebrand young warrior, leading her brethren to a new wave of glory, but an anxious daughter sitting in the dark and wondering, in her hearts of hearts, if she was biting off more than she could chew.

Which was of course when the voice from the corner spoke, low and measured. ‘You will show them all,’ said T’jow. He was thin like a dagger but twice as good at sliding through the chinks in armour by word or by blade. ‘This is a once in a century opportunity. Our old enemies are turning on themselves, and the Chancellor would have us sit and wait lest we offend the Federation?’

‘The Federation will stand against us. They have responded to the pathetic Romulan mewling for help.’

‘They ask us politely to leave.’ T’jow rolled his eyes. ‘When we do not, they will taste Klingon mettle for the first time in a generation. They have forgotten the bite of our blades. Bloody them hard and bloody them early and they will flee – let the diplomats sit at their tables and worry about upsetting our neighbours, while we bathe in the glory of battle.’

‘You would say anything,’ Oshesh said cautiously, ‘if it justified your family’s interests.’

T’jow stood, moving with all the poise of a jungle cat as he advanced on her desk. ‘You do not represent your family’s wishes. Why assume I am different?’

‘Because it would benefit the Mo’Kai for us to succeed. It would prove the weakness of Qo’noS. It would prove that a golden age of conquest lies before us, if only we’re bold enough to take it.’ She watched him, her jaw tight, as ever feeling the double-edge of his guidance – how it benefited her, how it benefited what she thought of as the good of the Empire, and how it benefited the dissident factions she did not trust.

‘That’s what you want,’ T’jow pointed out. ‘I’ve not been sent here. I’m here – I’m one of the scores of younger children of Great and Lesser Houses flocking to your banner for the coming conquest – because I believe in the cause.’ He stopped before the desk, but instead of looming, bent deep before her. ‘Because I believe in you.’

It was a curious thing to know one was being manipulated, and yet to accept it. But accept it Oshesh did, rising to put a hand on his shoulder. ‘Then let us forget the weeping of my mother and the complaints of the decrepit rulers of Qo’noS. Even forget the machinations of your family. We have conquest before us.’

All eyes fell on them both as they entered the Hoskahk’s bridge, but it was on her they remained as she advanced to seize the centre seat. Long nails fingers curled around the armrest as she sat, straight-backed, but though she knew she was the focus of all attention, she could feel T’jow at her back, her shadow with a knife shrouded in there somewhere.

‘The House of Wov’Sech has refused my call to arms,’ she said in a loud, clear voice, aware she needed to give her warriors more than words – she had to give them certainty. ‘Qo’noS continues to crawl. They say we are alone in this conquest – I say we are many.’ She turned to her communications officer, a rangy youth who needed seasoning in combat, and so was best-suited to such a post. ‘Are all our ships gathered?’

A moment’s check, a curt nod. ‘All warships assembled, Captain.’

Oshesh sat back in her chair, straight and tall. ‘Transmit our heading. For the first, we move as one. Then we fall into our lances and act as opportunity allows, as deep into enemy territory as we can. Make ready to get underway.’

The bridge fell into a hum of activity and anticipation, and in the noise, T’jow leaned in closer. ‘When you win,’ he breathed, all promise and blood, ‘Qo’noS will say they always backed you.’

‘When I win,’ she replied evenly, ‘I won’t have to care what Qo’noS says.’ But then came the flurry of reports, of affirmations, and Oshesh looked at the sensors to see what she expected: dozens of Klingon warships, almost all of younger members of the Houses, thwarted in their hunger for honour and glory and battle by tired Imperial rule, eager to follow her to seize the opportunities ahead.

‘Signal the fleet to go to warp,’ she said, chin tilting up. ‘We march on the Romulans.’

 

Sundered Wings Phase 2:

  • A faction of independent Klingon warriors has joined the chaos in the Romulan Star Empire. Some of them will find their way to the Velorum Sector.
  • Most of the ship captains and group leaders are the younger children of the Great and Lesser Houses, seizing the opportunity to make a name for themselves. They are not acting on behalf of the Klingon government, but in these early days they have not been formally rebuked or declared renegade by the High Council.
  • The majority of them seek conquest – to seize territory the Romulans cannot defend, and claim it for the Empire. But there are other opportunities to raid for resources, or simply to glory in battle in a way these warriors have not enjoyed for years.
  • They are not afraid to fight Starfleet, though it may not be their first option, and they are here to fight Romulans, after all. They expect the Federation to back down in the face of Klingon force, or possibly to withdraw rather than fight their closest allies. Some may expect what happens in the chaotic Velorum Sector to be lost in fog of war, and others may simply not care.
  • But these are not bloodthirsty, mindless brutes. They are not the D’Ghor the Fourth Fleet fought in the Archanis Campaign. While they are young and impetuous and eager for glory, they still have a sense of honour and a belief they are doing the right thing for the Empire by forcing the High Council’s hand.
  • The Klingons will not be everywhere. You can incorporate them into your story as a new obstacle if you want, but they do not have to feature in your Sundered Wings plot.

Comments

  • This adds a new and exciting challenge. Look forward to incorporating this in and seeing how others do.

    June 13, 2022