This article is about the Clan term. For the short story, see Surkai (short story).


Surkai is the Rite of Forgiveness, a ritual undertaken by a member of the Clans. When two parties disagree, or when one offends the other, Clan society expects the wrongdoer to undergo surkai, admit their mistake and accept punishment from those they've insulted. Typically surkai is invoked when a subordinate disagrees with a superior, not only on an individual level but as a group (e.g., an entire Caste asking surkai of their Clan Council).[1][2]

As a matter of honor and pride, a Clansman is expected to have the strength to admit when they are wrong and accept the consequences. Likewise the wronged party is expected to accept surkai and move on from the original offense. The Clan views those who do not honor surkai as a divisive influence and finds another way to deal with such members. However, for some actions which are too severe to be excused by surkai, the wronged party is able to demand a Trial of Grievance.[1][2]

It is possible that this term originates with Andery Kerensky as the name of one of the SLS Prinz Eugen mutineers was a Lieutenant Colonel Surkai and would be the first mutineer that Andery would execute via jettisoning out of an airlock. Surkai spoke only briefly to Andery and did so in a tone that suggested that the young Kerensky should be asking for forgiveness and not him. Andery swore that he would always remember the name.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 43, "Rituas, Trials and Traditions"
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 121, "Glossary"
  3. Fall From Glory, p. 56-57