Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah
Second Doctrinal War
|Kzer-Za • Kohr-Ah|
|Path of Now and Forever|
Ur-Quan Hierarchy • Battle Thrall • Fallow Slave • Oath of Fealty Doctrinal Conflict
|Dreadnought • Marauder • Sa-Matra|
|Excruciator • Slave Shield • Talking Pet|
The Eternal Doctrine is the interpretation of the Path of Now and Forever favored by the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah. It states that the obvious, simple corollary of reserving free status for only Ur-Quan, and stipulating that all threats to Ur-Quan freedom must be stopped as effectively as possible, is that all non-Ur-Quan sentient species are to be exterminated from the galaxy.
The Black Ur-Quan, perhaps lacking the subtlety of thought of the Green Kzer-Za caste or perhaps simply finding the Dnyarri-created administrative hierarchy inherently untrustworthy or distasteful, found themselves unable to accept the Path of Now and Forever created by the Green following the victory of the Ur-Quan Slave Revolt. A charismatic leader, Kohr-Ah, stepped forward to declare a new interpretation of the Path of Now and Forever that renounced the Kzer-Za's plan to mimic the Dnyarri in becoming slave masters, which the Black Ur-Quan saw as despicable. Instead, seeing the Kzer-Za's altruistic concern for the inferior races as weakness, they would take the bold step of simply destroying sentient life where they found it.
The first race they destroyed was the Yuptar, a former Sentient Milieu member race, only just freed from the Dnyarri Slave Empire by the Ur-Quan's revolt. After burning the Yuptar homeworld from orbit, they traveled to the homeworld of the last remaining Milieu race, the Mael-Num. However, the Mael-Num, having learned of the Kohr-Ah's intention and unable to resist them, broadcast a single, plaintive plea for an explanation. The Kohr-Ah, still emotionally vulnerable and uncertain in their resolve, were so moved by this helpless gesture that they felt compelled to halt their advance and argue the case for their beliefs to the Mael-Num. While they were thus detained the Kzer-Za intercepted their advance and began contradicting their argument, making a case for the original Path of Now and Forever and stating their absolute opposition to the crime of genocide. In the confusion, the two opposing factions broke out into the first Doctrinal War, and the Mael-Num escaped.
This became a defining moment for the two parties, and both saw the Mael-Num's plea, known to them simply as the Words, as a fundamental challenge of legitimacy to the two doctrines that both sides were obligated to respond to. Such was the emotional attachment to the Words within the two Ur-Quan cultures that many generations later, any repetition of the Words — usually translated in English as "Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why are you doing this thing?" — was enough to force the Ur-Quan to halt their actions and justify them, though the Kohr-Ah's emotional reaction to the Words were far more intense than the Kzer-Za's; indeed, their duty to respond to the Words appears to be the only reason they bothered maintaining communication with other species through the Talking Pets at all. (The Words, however, had to be "properly phrased", as the plaintive cry of a helpless inferior species for a simple explanation; most appeals by other species instead held the Ur-Quan responsible to some higher moral principle or authority, which the Ur-Quan moral system unqualifiedly rejected and felt free to ignore.)
After the Kohr-Ah lost the first Doctrinal War, they were forced to give up their claim to the Sa-Matra and let the Kzer-Za pursue their Path of Now and Forever on a spinward path through the galaxy without interference, while they traveled antispinward pursuing what they themselves refer to as the Path of Now and Forever but the Kzer-Za refer to only as the Eternal Doctrine. Pausing only to give the barest of warnings to each species they encounter, giving them an opportunity to invoke the Words and hear an explanation of their deaths beforehand, they have ruthlessly slaughtered civilizations throughout one whole half of the galaxy before they were stopped at the Battle of the Sa-Matra in the Second War by the New Alliance of Free Stars. What form the Eternal Doctrine now has, given the crushing and disorienting defeat of the Ur-Quan race and unseating of their place as the galaxy's dominant life form, is unknown.
The Kohr-Ah's Eternal Doctrine was always much simpler and less subtle and nuanced than the Path of Now and Forever; the Kohr-Ah prided themselves on the straightforwardness of their policy toward alien races compared to the byzantine Hierarchy system established by the Kzer-Za, and prided themselves on remaining the proactive, clearminded and uncontaminated Effectuators they had been in the Dnyarri Slave Empire, as opposed to their "effete" brothers. They roundly countered the Kzer-Za's philosophical objection to their philosophy — that it could not be the proper destiny of any living species to be utterly destroyed — with an odd belief system similar to certain religions. They believed in transmigration of souls, that all sentient races were but manifestations of a universal consciousness, and that the existence of consciousness in Ur-Quan shape was its only proper manifestation. All other forms of life were but imperfect manifestations of life, and purifying the universe of them so that their souls might have another chance to become Ur-Quan was in fact a sacred duty.
However, these religious speculations appeared to occupy a small space in the Kohr-Ah's thoughts. Indeed, compared to the Kzer-Za's Path of Now and Forever the Eternal Doctrine was almost instinctive in its simplicity; the Kohr-Ah simplified their philosophy to almost nothing but a kneejerk urge to destroy, expressed in their terminology as the high duty of "Cleansing" the galaxy of "Filth", a worldview rivaling the Mycon's in its singlemindedness. The more thoughtful Kzer-Za, though their own culture could not allow them to conceive of the Kohr-Ah as anything less than their brothers worthy of full respect as Ur-Quan, seemed nonetheless to deem them quite incurably insane, seeing them as an enemy to be contained rather than peers to be reasoned with.