Duras, sonchi ceremony

Gowron, during K'mpec's Sonchi

The Sonchi ceremony was the first part of the Rite of Succession of the Klingon chancellorship, performed to confirm the death of the extant leader. The contenders for the position and the Arbiter of Succession shock the body with Klingon painstiks, declaring to the deceased, "qab jIH ngIl" ("Face me if you dare"). Painstiks give such intense pain that even a strong Klingon would react to it, and no honorable Klingon would refuse a challenge to combat. A lack of reaction was considered confirmation of the death, whereupon the pronouncement "Sonchi" ("He is dead") was given.

Jean-Luc Picard, acting as Arbiter in the succession of 2367, carried out the Sonchi ceremony of Chancellor K'mpec aboard his cruiser, along with Gowron and Duras, the only two challengers. (TNG: "Reunion")

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