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. 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 within a slave shield as a Fallow Slave, or to serve the Ur-Quan as a Battle Thrall.
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.
After the success of the Ur-Quan slave revolt, the Ur-Quan found themselves 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 was now fully unleashed and stained by the traumatic memories of ultimate enslavement under the Dnyarri. Thus, all Ur-Quan became convinced of the absolute necessity of maintaining their dominance and freedom at all costs, by acting 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.
They therefore developed the slave shield technology as the ultimate means of imprisoning and neutralizing possible threats, and proceeded to use it on the Faz, one of the few surviving races of the Sentient Milieu.
However, the Path of Now and Forever developed by the Kzer-Za was rejected by a charismatic Black Ur-Quan fleet officer, Kohr-Ah, who formulated the Eternal Doctrine, that all other sentient life must simply be completely destroyed. The Black Ur-Quan unanimously accepted the new philosophy, going as far as to rename their species "Kohr-Ah", in the honor of the founder of their Doctrine, and incinerated the Yuptar homeworld, afterwards proceeding towards the last remaining free world, the planet of the Mael-Num. The Kzer-Za were unable to accept such a gruesome conduit and confronted the Kohr-Ah in orbit above that world, initiating the Doctrinal War.
After discovering the Sa-Matra and subsequently defeating the Kohr-Ah, their high regard for the Ur-Quan species as a whole, coupled with their willingness to accept that they might have been in the wrong, 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 anti-spinward without it, agreeing to fight a ritual reenactment of the War once they met again and award the Sa-Matra to the next victor.
Since then the Kzer-Za have conquered thousands of species throughout a large portion 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 Ur-Quan Kzer-Za are not willing to accept the murderous Eternal Doctrine of their Kohr-Ah cousins, whom they view as "the only real devils". However, just as the Kohr-Ah, they also have a moral justification for their doctrine — they believe that a sentient species left to its own devices is likely to eventually annihilate itself, either through nuclear war or gaian collapse, a situation whose results they claim to have observed on countless worlds; thus, the "boon of slavery" they impose upon their slaves actually is considered a necessary evil, since by accepting the social framework set by the Kzer-Za, sentient species will finally find peace. The Kzer-Za state that although, today, they are the enemy, in time, the Humans will come to respect and love them for this gift, of salvation of their entire species.