His name was Kahless, but he was known as Kahless the Unforgettable even then. Those were the days when Klingon savagery was unchecked, those the days of endless bloodshed, endless civil war, endless random and meaningless existence.
Kahless was a warrior, just like every other Klingon, every one of them bred for war, for combat, for the deadly arts. If there was a culture at all, it was truly a culture of death. Klingons knew of no other beings in the universe. They had never left Qo’noS, didn’t know what starships were, never looked up at the stars, had certainly never heard of humans before.
He knew the art of war better than any other Klingon. His days were filled with endless glory, his record spotless, never having lost, actually inspiring those around him. No Klingon had ever led another before him. There were certain rules, and there were castes, and vicious injustice on every conceivable level, but there were no leaders before Kahless. That was the first mark he made among his own kind. He made it okay to acknowledge the existence of someone else. He was humble, too, rarely spoke, much less boasted of his own achievements. He didn’t have to. They spoke for themselves. He was Unforgettable because it was impossible to ignore him.
And there grew great jealousy of Kahless, and it coalesced in the form of Molor, who was called the Tyrant, since he acted with greater cruelty and greater disregard than any other Klingon, and so lorded over all creation that he did not seem to know there was anyone or anything else beyond him. Until he learned of Kahless.
And that was when the two met on the field of battle. Neither could continue to exist while the other lived.
When Kahless defeated Molor, as anyone but Molor knew was a foregone conclusion, his legacy was cemented among all Klingons. His principals, insofar as he had any at all, became the principals of all Klingons, and the way of the warrior was born, the way of honor above all else, cherished above all else, and the need to be more than what they had always been. Thus the first ships, thus the empire, thus the stubborn pride that nearly caused the Klingons to betray themselves in conflict with the humans, when they poisoned the ideals of Kahless, corrupted them…for a time. But he was called Unforgettable for a reason.
And thus did Kahless the Unforgettable undertake the reformation of an entire species, for he took a lock of his own hair and forged a blade in molten fire, just as he shaped the Klingon people, tamed the savage, gave it purpose and direction. He did not a vision. Kahless the Unforgettable was his own vision.