Path of Now and Forever
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 Path of Now and Forever is the guiding philosophy of the culture of the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, so called because it provides not only a blueprint for current Kzer-Za policy but is their guiding vision for how the whole universe should be for the indefinite future. In short, it dictates that all other forms of sentient life have the potential to one day enslave the Ur-Quan as the Dnyarri did. To solve this problem, the Path of Now and Forever calls for all sentient life to be either imprisoned in their homeworlds by way of a slave shield, or to serve the Ur-Quan by subjugating other races. Strangely, the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah use the same name to refer to their alternative philosophy. This may be a communication error (i.e. accidental mixup in writing the game dialog) or may indicate that the phrase can be broadly applied to the Ur-Quan philosophy of dominance. However, it is general practice to follow the example of the Kzer-Za, the Melnorme, and Human sources, using the name to refer specifically to the Kzer-Za philosophy.
To understand why they follow such a doctrine, one must examine the history of the Ur-Quan. After the success of the Ur-Quan Slave Revolt, the Ur-Quan were left in an extremely vulnerable psychological position, having seen the entire context of their culture, their place in the Sentient Milieu, completely destroyed and having been forced to suffer the unspeakable torture of living in the Dnyarri Slave Empire. Their natural xenophobia and distrust of other sentients, kept under control during their time in the Milieu by the Taalo, was now fully unleashed and stained by the traumatic memories of ultimate enslavement under the Dnyarri. Moreover, their favored position in the Empire and their key role in the final defeat of the Dnyarri left them in an unquestionably dominant position to the rest of the galaxy. Thus, all Ur-Quan became convinced of their status as the only deserved masters of the universe and the absolute necessity of maintaining dominance and freedom at all costs. However, interpretations of how to implement this imperative differed.
The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za caste determined that the rightful means of maintaining this dominance was to hold a place analogous to that previously held by their Dnyarri masters, retaining the place they had previously held as the Dnyarri's deputized administrators, as rulers of the lesser sentient races; all races that were not immediately useful to their goal of subduing other races would be kept alive but in as harmless and confined a position as possible, a system which was later formalized in the distinction between Battle Thralls and slave-shielded fallow species. They therefore developed the slave shield technology as the ultimate means of imprisoning and neutralizing possible threats, and used it on the first available race, a former member of the Sentient Milieu and Dnyarri Slave Empire known as the Faz.
Unfortunately, the Path of Now and Forever developed by Kzer-Za philosophers was restated by the great leader of the Black Ur-Quan, Kohr-Ah, in another form, stating that the preeminent importance of the Ur-Quan species mandated that all other sentient life be completely destroyed as soon as it appeared. Kzer-Za philosophy was unable to accept that other life could exist for no purpose but to be destroyed, and refused to allow the newly named Kohr-Ah caste to carry out their version of the Path of Now and Forever, commonly termed the Eternal Doctrine. Their conflict with the Kohr-Ah over this issue led to the system of the Doctrinal Wars. After discovering the Sa-Matra and subsequently defeating the Kohr-Ah, their high regard for the Ur-Quan species as a whole left them unable to destroy or enslave their Kohr-Ah brothers. Instead, they agreed to pursue the Path of Now and Forever in their travels spinward around the galaxy with the use of the Sa-Matra, while the Kohr-Ah pursued the Eternal Doctrine in their travels antispinward without it, agreeing to fight another Doctrinal War once they met again and award the Sa-Matra to the next victor.
Since then the Kzer-Za have slave-shielded a huge number of species throughout one whole half of the circumference of the galaxy, before finally being defeated by the New Alliance of Free Stars during their second Doctrinal War with the Kohr-Ah and being forced into flight. The destruction of the Sa-Matra, symbol of the legitimacy of the Path of Now and Forever, most certainly will have an enormous effect on Ur-Quan self-perception; in what form the Path of Now and Forever continues to exist, if indeed it does, remains unknown.