- "We are the only true Klingons left in the Galaxy today. All others have sold out their birthright, their heritage, their right to kill - and for what? For a household and a smile." - IKS propaganda broadcast (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
The Imperial Klingon States is an independent splinter-state of the Klingon Empire, one which by location and circumstance was never re-absorbed by the Empire (as of 2364). Its name is commonly abbreviated as "IKS", much as the Federation's full name is often abbreviated "UFP".
During the Four Years War (2194 SFC-2198 SFC, or early 2250s in the standard timeline), an influential and politically ambitious Klingon admiral named Kamato tried to use the disruption in fleet deployments cause by the war as cover for an attempt to seize control of the Empire. Such a ploy was anticipated, and the coup d'etat failed. Kamato retreated with his large but badly damaged fleet and withdrew to the frontier zone known as the Triangle. This was far enough to discourage active pursuit but close enough to maintain some communication with loyal contacts still within the Empire. Kamato planned to use his exile in the Triangle to refit and resupply his forces, and bide his time until another opportunity to seize power presented itself.
Kamato found what seemed to be a perfect base on an obscure human colony named Patterson's Place. The colonists were independent isolationists with no contact or ties to family back in the Federation, and so were in no position to raise any alarms when Kamato's fleet swept in and imposed the Admiral's rule by force. His one setback was that the colonists chose mass suicide to Klingon slavery. Despite this, the Klingons at least had the physical infrastructure of the small colony (fields prepared and sewn with crops, mining begun of needed metals, etc.) on which to build their own. Kamato renamed the world K'Linsann, and set two-thirds of his force towards providing those basic necessities. The remaining third was tasked with repairing the fleet as best it could, and with raiding other systems for needed equipment.
Less than six months after seizing K'Linsann, Kamato was itching for expansion. His staff argued against spreading their resources too thinly -- which only resulted in the execution of Kamato's Chief of Staff. With dissent thus stifled for a time, Kamato's rule was extended to a neighboring uninhabited world, named Kinarra after an old friend of Kamato.
On Kinarra Kamato met with his staff to found a new empire to replace the one he felt had been denied him on the homeworld. He envisioned his new empire would expand as a rival to the home empire, and that he would unite with other Klingon splinter groups to build a force many times the size of his original one, with which he would return to the homeworld and take power in a second, successful coup.
- Given subsequent events, it might also be inferred that Kamato was unreasonably "optimistic" about the timetable needed to successfully achieve such goals.
During this meeting sharp arguments broke out over the deployment of raiding forces, and Kamato's new Chief-of-Staff, Admiral Kepel, stormed out with his followers. Shortly thereafter, an explosion and fire claimed the lives of eight persons at the meeting, including Kamato. The convenient timing of Kepel's departure caused some to accuse him of being responsible for the explosion. Kepel ended speculation in a typically Klingon fashion (killing his accusers) and took control of the fleet and its conquests. On reference stardate 1/9709.1 (circa 2253 in the standard timeline, give or take a year) Kepel formally established the Imperial Klingon States.
Kepel remained in control of the IKS for several decades, shrewdly managing its resources to appear more powerful than it actually was, leveraging the IKS' position at the juncture of Klingon, Romulan, and Federation space to prevent any of them from taking overt action against it, and gaining the loyalty of his subordinates so that none dared challenge him. In that time, rather than overextend its resources trying to play politics with the Empire, the IKS expanded slowly and carefully, totaling five worlds by 2197 SFC/the 2280s. A small but steady stream of immigrants from the Empire (with various motives) (plus some imported slave laborers) eventually laid the foundations for continued success. (FASA RPG module: The Triangle)
A Place for the "Untamed"
Following the Empire's alliance with the Federation, the flow of Klingons to the IKS skyrocketed. Many of these "refugees" arrived not only with their persons, but with ships and spare parts as well. Over the next few decades twenty more worlds were brought under the States' banner, successes which also reduced conflicts between older IKS citizens and well-heeled newcomers. The IKS' continued hostility toward the Federation made it a powerful draw to many Klingon "renegades" dissatisfied with the alliance and its restrictions. Indeed, its leader in the 2360s was a member of the influential Reshtarc Line, exhorting that the IKS was the home of the "true Klingon spirit". (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
On reference stardate 2/9208.12, a three-way battle ensued in the Triangle sector, circa 5 parsec from the space of the IKS. An Imperial L24-class battleship fought the Federation Excelsior-class starship USS Enterprise-B and a Romulan Z1-class battleship. The Enterprise defeated both battleships but suffered critical damage . The upshot of the encounter was the end of IKS activity in the area, as the rebel government could not afford to lose any more capital ships after two large-scale vessels were claimed by the Enterprise-battle. (FASA RPG module: Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual)
- 20 more planets (particulars unspecified)