A major spacefaring race, native to the planet Qo'noS.
The dentition pattern of Klingons indicates recent descent from carnivores, rather than Humanity’s recent descent from omnivores, thus requiring a heavier bite. In some older Klingons, a minor bone ailment causes small protrusions to grow from the ridge (a sort of cranial bursitis), causing some amount of discomfort at first, comparable to teething in a child. These bone spurs rarely, if ever, exceed 5 or 6mm in size.
Both males and females produce large quantities of Qul’Iw, a hormone chemically similar to Human testosterone. Large areas of the Klingon brain are given over to receptors that identify and process this chemical. A wide range of experiences stimulate the production of Qul’Iw: the threat of physical danger, sexual arousal, the visual image of a predatory animal, failure to succeed at a task, sensory experiences evocative of combat, or close proximity to another Klingon producing the hormone. Qul’Iw dissipates much more slowly than it permeates the brain and body; as a result, Klingons are swiftly moved to anger, and forgive only with time and effort. Presence of the hormone in the brain not only sharpens reflexes, ramps up the veK’tal response, and shuts off pain receptors; it increases by 13.9% the brain’s ability to reason and process sensory input. Thus a Klingon mathematician benefits as greatly from a surge of Qul’Iw as a warrior, provided he’s sufficiently angry and frustrated. When a Klingon enters puberty (jak’tahla), his or her glands produce incredible amounts of Qul’Iw. The Klingon adolescent experiences mood swings and heightened aggression, as well as break-outs of gorch (the equivalent of pimples). This can be a difficult and embarrassing time for Klingon teens.
Whispering, failing to make eye contact, and standing aloof from others all trigger the release of Qul’Iw. A Klingon finding someone hiding, eavesdropping, or spying also undergoes the response. In order to avoid such triggers, Klingons developed a forthright manner of speaking. A Klingon must appear to be giving voice to his feelings; if he seems to be holding back, his fellows assume he’s planning something sneaky and threatening. On the other hand, he must also avoid insulting or menacing the person he speaks to, because that triggers the Qul’Iw response, too. The Klingon speaker walks a tightrope between boldness and discretion, choosing words carefully but speaking with no hesitation. It’s difficult to do this well, which in part explains the Klingon penchant for brawling. A Klingon who wants to take offense can always find an insult in another’s words. In their aggressive society, where arguments can easily lead to fights, phrasing an opinion correctly increases one’s chance of survival. While Klingons do not shirk from battle, it’s important that not every disagreement or divergence of opinion lead to bloodshed. Klingons hone their skills at rhetoric, to stay out of pointless fights. Like other species, Klingons treat honesty as a cardinal virtue and seldom lie. Rather, they leave thoughts unspoken.
Where Human senses perceive any event taking less than a fifteenth of a second as instantaneous, Klingons can discern events as brief as one thirtieth of a second.
The Klingon Imperial Calendar is based on the cycles of Qo’noS. Although the Klingons use a stardate system similar to that of the Federation, to account for temporal and spatial distortions involved in warp travel, the Imperial Calendar remains in common use throughout the Empire. The Klingon year, known as a DIS or “turn”, is 384.2 days long. It is divided into eight jar, or months, of 48 days each. Each month is divided into six Hogh, or weeks of 8 days. The Klingon year begins with the Kot’baval festival, celebrating Kahless’ victory over Molor. The months of the year are A’Kahless, Maktag, Merruthj, Soo’jen, Lo’Bral, nay’Poq, Doqath, and Xan’lahr. Every five years, the Klingons add an additional day to the Kot’baval festival, to balance out the calendar. Such “festival years” are considered particularly auspicious. The Imperial Calendar begins with Kahless’ victory over Molor as year 0, and the founding of the First Empire as year 1. Since their year is slightly longer than the standard Earth equivalent, the Imperial Calendar tends to lag behind the Terran Calendar. This often causes confusion when Klingons speak in terms of “years” or “centuries”, since they may be referring to Klingon measurements, Terran, Federation, or some other system.
Food and DrinkEdit
Perhaps the most representative Klingon food, and certainly the one best known outside the Empire, is gagh (or, in Klingon, qagh). The meal consists of serpent worms, also called qagh, in a thick sauce called ghevI’. Prior to the preparation of the dish, the worms are fed only ‘Iw puj (“diluted blood”; literally, “weak blood”). The creatures find this unappetizing, and therefore consume it only when nearly starving. The type of animal from which the blood has been taken has a great deal of influence on the eventual flavour of the qagh, and individual cooks, as well as individual eaters, have their own preferences. As the final step in preparing the dish, the worms are poured into a bowl filled with the ghevI’, which contains, among other ingredients, pellets of an extremely flavourful herb that the hungry worms quickly ingest, even though it is toxic and kills them within minutes. Since qagh is considered best if consumed while the worms are still alive, it is important to keep them out of the sauce until just before the dish is served. For the same reason, it is customary to eat qagh as quickly as possible. If, for some reason, the qagh cannot be consumed before they all die, the entire mixture of qagh and ghevI' is saved, and later heated up as a sort of stew (the general term for which is tlhIq; thus, qagh tlhIq may be translated as “qagh stew”). Although not as desirable as live qagh, this is a common way to serve leftovers.
Like qagh, other small animals are eaten whole, in great quantity (by the handful if possible), and ideally alive. Among these are various bugs (collectively, ‘hew). Large animals are usually chopped into pieces, sometimes with attention paid to which piece is which, and sometimes not. Thus a tIq - “heart” - might be served as a dish in its own right, while the ghab, for example, is just a chunk of the midsection of an animal, including any organs that may have remained attached after the carving. Meat of any kind is called Ha’DIbaH, which is also the normal term for “animal” (and an insult when used in reference to a person). Often the DIr (“skin”) is still attached when Ha’DIbaH is served, though sometimes it is removed and prepared as a dish in its own right. More sophisticated Klingon food preparation involves keeping anatomically identifiable parts separate. Some of the commonly eaten parts include the lem (“hoof”), namwech (“paw”), pach ("claw"), gham ("limb"), tagh ("lung"), burgh (“stomach”), luH ("intestines"), chej (“liver”), and other internal organs not likely to be familiar to non-Klingons. There is also the jet (“tongue”), mIn (“eye”), qogh (“ear” - the external part, if there is one; the actual organ of hearing, the teS, is usually considered too small to bother with), wuS (“lips”), qevpob (“cheek or jowl”), ghIch (“nose”); Hugh (“throat”), Somraw (“muscle”), QoghIj (“brain”; another word, yab, also means “brain” as an organ, but in addition it means “mind or intellect” and is not used in reference to food), to’waQ (“ligament, tendon”), tlhuQ (“tail”), Hom (“bone”), ghISDen (“scales”), veD (“fur”), and ‘aD (“vein”).Sometimes an animal's entire head is served to each diner. A mixture of animal parts is Daghtuj, regardless of whether the parts are from the same type of animal. Curiously, eggs (QImmey) do not play a large role in the Klingon diet as food items in their own right, though they are mixed into many sauces. Pieces of shell (pel’aQ) are often included for flavour and texture. The small eggs of the Tokvirian skink (toqvIr lung) are however often eaten whole, shell and all, and usually by the handful.