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Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki
Memory Beta, non-canon Star Trek Wiki

A Painstik (tlhIngan Hol: 'oy'naQ[1]) is a type of weapon used by the Klingons. The weapon is mainly used for ceremonial purposes for a number of important Klingon ceremonies.


The average painstik measures three 'ujmey in length, which comes out to slightly more than one meter. When activated, the painstik delivers a jolt of electricity from its tip which is powerful enough to cause severe pain to Klingons, Humans and members of many other humanoid species. (ST reference: Klingon for the Galactic Traveler; SkyBox trading card S32)


Some members of the Klingon Imperial Guard on Qo'noS carried bright green painstiks while on duty. (KE novel: A Burning House)

During his trial on Narendra III, Captain Jonathan Archer was punished with painstiks for speaking out of turn. (ENT episode: "Judgment")

Miles O'Brien once remarked to Wesley Crusher that he saw a painstik used against a Rectyne monopod, causing the animal's head to explode. (TNG episode: "The Icarus Factor")

Ceremonial use[]

The painstik is part of a Klingon expression which stresses the importance of adhering to the particulars of any procedure, regardless of how painful it may be: 'oy'naQ Dalo'be'chugh not nenghep lop puq. ("If you don't use the painstik, the child will never celebrate his Age of Ascension."). (ST reference: The Klingon Way)

Painstiks played an important role in the Rite of Ascension ceremony, in which a Klingon who has reached the age of 13 begins the process to become a warrior. In this ceremony, the youth will walk between two rows of Klingons, who will each strike the youth with painstiks. At the 10th anniversary of a Klingon's participation in the Rite of Ascension, a similar ceremony takes place. (TNG episodes: "Firstborn", "The Icarus Factor")

The Ritual of Twenty Painstiks was one activity that celebrants might participate in during the Day of Honor celebrations. (VOY episode: "Day of Honor")

After the death of a Chancellor of the High Council of the Klingon Empire, the Sonchi ceremony is held to verify the chancellor's death. In this ceremony, the deceased is struck by the Arbiter of Succession and the two strongest candidates to succeed the deceased Chancellor. Since the pain inflicted by such a device is such that it's guaranteed to provoke a reaction, a lack of reaction is considered to be a sign of death. If the deceased does not respond, the declaration of Sonchi, or He is Dead is then given. (TNG episode: "Reunion")



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