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The Naked Stars
By
Qaw'Hoch sutai-Let
The First Keeper of the Warrior Flame

The Klingon Bird of Prey
Part 2

In the days when mighty sailing ships roamed the ancient seas of the Klingon Home World, klingon warriors would carve the heads of fearsome predators onto the prow of their ships to strike terror into the hearts of their enemies. But these carvings had another purpose, as well. It was thought that the spirit of the beast thus captured within the ship would help to guide the ship and its crew through the dense fog and terrible storms that were so prevelent on the rough seas of Qo'noS, especially in the Northern Hemisphere .

One of the most dangerous and most feared predators of the ancient world was a huge bird called a HoHpach, or sometimes Heghpach, which translates to "killing claw" or "death claw". It was the largest winged predator on the planet and if one of thes birds attacked a remote village, it easily carry off a young klinon child within the grasp of its huge talons and occasionally even snatched up an older adult. The normal habit of the HoHpach was high in the mountain wilderness, but its hunting range was so large that it frequently would attack low-lying villages for food and with only spears and arrows to defend themselves against this powerful beast, the HoHpach was a constant threat to every klingon on the planet.
Though feared and even hated by the early klingons, these great birds were also deeply respected, as klingon warriors have always respected power, strength and skill when it comes to an adversary, or another hunter. Consequently, many early warships had the proud and fearful head of a HoHpach carved onto the prow of their ships, both for protection from the elements--as the bird's eyesight was known to be extremely acute--and with the hope that some of the skill and power of this mighty hunter would be infused into the ship.
Now hunted to extinction with the advent of more powerful weapons, this gigantic bird of prey was well remembered when technology moved the klingons into the space age. The sight of that great bird, soaring through the cloud covered skies brought fear and awe to the people below, knowing it was only a matter of time before it swooped down on them, bringing death within its grasp. Wanting to convey that feeling of fear and awe to their enemies, the klingons not only named their fleet of space-going warships after this bird, they even painted the underside of the ship's wings to resemble feathers, to further the image of a giant bird of prey.

The Klingon toQDuj is now well known throughout most of the galaxy and as intended, the very sight of this flying predator strikes terror and not a little awe into the very heart of its enemies.

Qapla'

The Naked Stars

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