The "Barrow Wight", a 'Mechwarrior's Legend (LONG)

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12/08/11 09:13 PM

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My Blurb: Inspired, believe it or not, by a story element from the "Pirates of the Carribean" movies, I decided to create a "legend" surrounding an oddball design. Since I'm too impatient to take the time to polish it up properly, I present it to you in rough-draft format. Enjoy (and please don't be too critical!)


On the grounds of the Johnson 'Mechworks primary Design and Testing Facility sits the charred remains of a truly unusual 'Mech. Not only does the configuration match no known production design, the 'Mech's physical components are a contradiction. While it clearly incorporates a great deal of cutting-edge technology (some modified in ways not yet in common use), carbon dating of various charred fragments indicate that the 'Mech was reduced to its current state sometime during the Second Succession War. When asked where it came from, JMInc.'s rep was unforthcoming, other than that it had been "found" during a "Salvage Hunt" in the early days of the company. Since the techs had been unable to get it operational, it had simply been parked and ignored for the past several decades. All they had was the name "Barrow Wight" etched on the side of the cockpit.

However, after our examination of the derelict, a somewhat inebriated senior designer encountered us in the local bar and introduced us to the Legend of "Barrow Wight".

Since first hearing the account, we embarked on a lengthy research tour to corroborate the story. While many details vary (primarily dealing with locations and allegiances, depending on the allegiance of the teller), we feel we have
cobbled together a tale as close to the original as possible. Fact or Fabrication? Who knows...


Yanna Mossberg was fourteen when her dad got the appointment in the spring of 2811. "Temporary Garrison Duty" on a well-established world far enough from Federated Suns/Capellan Confederation border to be an unlikely target of a planetary assault, yet close enough to be the target of significany raiding activity. This was a mixed blessing for the young aspiring 'Mechwarrior; garrison duty was unglamourous (the ultimate tragedy for a teenaged girl in any century) but it did allow her and her family to be with him on his posting. The posting was
mostly quiet, since even the occasional raids focussed on the world's primary settlement, not the smaller one, half a continent away, where Lieutenant David Mossberg was stationed.

That changed -- and Yanna's universe changed with it -- on the morning of her fifteenth birthday.

The raiders hit fast and hard. Mercenaries in the employ of House Liao, three Lances in strength. In the days and even years after, she could recall every detail of those twelve rampaging machines. Models. Modifications. Detailing. Emblems. Surprised, outmanoevered, and outgunned, the garrison force was wholly inadequate, and was efortlessly swept aside. Yanna watched, helpless, from her window as her father's Panther was cut down by the Merc commander's Enforcer, who then paused to fire both his lasers into the helpless Panther's head. As if to celebrate, the murderer then proceeded to lay waste to the surrounding residencial complexes.

Yanna woke up three days later in a mobile hospital unit. They told her a large section of the settlement had been demolished in a pointless rampage by the raiders. Over a hundred civilians had died, including her mother and older
brother. She had been one of the "lucky" ones, they said, to have survived the building's collapse. Lucky indeed.

It was two months before she was released from care; six months before she returned to her hometown. Neighbours discussed among themselves that the girl was different. Strange, even. After she returned, she could be seen almost every night heading off down the empty road out of town. Some said she would sit at a crossroad a few kilometers from town limits, with a single candle her only companion. Waiting, it seemed.

For months, Yanna waited. Until, six months after her return home, a year to the day after the attack, the night of Yanna's 16th birthday, the settlement was hit with a storm unlike any the residents had ever experienced; the worst in the recorded history of the colony. No one knows how Yanna survived on her own in the open, but the next morning a Battlemech unfamiliar to the locals was seen
heading for the Starport, where Yanna loaded "Barrow Wight" on a dropship and left, reportedly to enlist.

It was almost two years later when she finally found Marko Braun.

She had repeatedly requested transfer, at least seven times over a period of ten months. Had seen disciplinary action twice, for growing belligerent when denied; the second time she had flown into such a rage that she had broken several pieces of furniture in her CO's office. He likely granted the transfer at last simply to be rid of her. Her new unit accepted her with the distant curiosity and wariness typical when an unproven newcomer joins a tight-knit group, but there was no attempt on either side to bridge the distance, and so they were completely unprepared for the mood that came over her when they first saw action together.

It was a small skirmish; her lance was positioned to head off a raiding force trying to flank the main defending force. When the word came that the enemy was approaching, Yanna's response was brief, but cryptic.

"Braun is mine," she stated, just before climbing into "Barrow Wight's" cockpit. Her lancemates looked at her in confusion; it was almost the first words she had volunteered towards any of them since her arrival. "Marko Braun," she repeated in answer to their uncomprehending stares. "The Shadow Hawk. No one touches him but me." There had been no report as yet of the makeup of the
approaching force, let alone names of individual pilots. The others shook their heads and prepared for battle.

To their surprise, their was indeed a Shadow Hawk among their adversaries, and to their consternation Yanna seemed to ignore the larger battle, barely even returning fire as she tracked the elusive Medium across the terrain, until finally it lifted into her sight with a burst from its three jump jets. Almost two fast to follow, "Barrow Wight's" left arm swung up as Yanna snapped off a pair of Autocannon shots at moderate range. The shots struck the floating 'Mech squarely in the chest, and the Shadow Hawk crumpled to the ground on landing, immobilized by a wrecked gyro. To her stunned lancemates, the scene took on the slow grace of an underwater ballet as her mysterious machine picked its way across the terrain, pausing by the fallen 'Mech as if in deep conversation. At
last, to the shock of the observers, Yanna crushed Braun's cockpit with a savage kick, and returned to the battle at large. Braun was the first.

Her first court-martial as well, it turned out. As the military court decided her fate, her exchange with the late Marko Braun ran through her head on endless repeat:

"Marko Braun. You are the first. Where are the others?
"Your old merc company Marko. There were twelve who raided that day. You are the first. Where are the others?"

They had disbanded. Scattered across numerous other units. Some Capellan Regulars, some to other mercenary groups. He had not been very helpful, but at least he had given her a place to start her next search.

She had three more such encounters before the end of the Successioon War and her discharge from the Federated Suns' military. They seemed far too happy to see her gone. Partly for the deliberate kills: two had at least been "clean" kills, a shot in open combat igniting an ammo bin, or smashing the cockpit with a fluke shot to the head. Vera Chang, however, had been blatant like Braun. A
destroyed leg had left her Cicada trapped in thick spring mud, and Yanna had ended her with a burst of aimed laser fire from a range of only 10 meters. That shot had resulted in suspension for several months.

The end of the Succession War and her House Military career brought about it's own opportunities, however, as there was a steady demand for those willing to "get their hands dirty" for fun and profit. The demand was soon met by one of the most mysterious merc units ever. Mossberg's Mercs reached full srength at a single lance, four 'Mechs only, and they were regarded as odd for two reasons. First, their taciturn commmander's highly unusual 'Mech (many had asked "What the hell kinda 'Mech is that?" which was answered by a terse "It's mine and a steely glare that deterred any further inquiry) as well as her habit of requesting work on specific worlds, or against specific forces. While her aggravation grew with each denial, nine years took five more names off her list.

The others would talk among themselves (never to her) about the eerie mood that would occasionallycome over their commander just before a battle, as she'd declare with
iron-clad certainty that a certain 'Mech with a certain pilot was out there. Each time, Yanna would drift into battle with a brilliance far beyond her usual skill, bringing down her targets with lasers that never seemed to miss, and
Autocannon shots that seemed not to care whether their target was armoured or not. Each such battle, however, seemed to make her stranger, with odd moods, and often nightmares. Her Second once told of Yanna sitting bolt upright out of a sound sleep, yelling "Six more for three! More time!" No one dared ask her what it meant.

When the Second Succession War erupted in 2830, the Mercs were brought back into steady duty. By then, Yanna looked nearly unfit for active duty; her health had been
deteriorating along with, reportedly, her sanity, ever since her father's death. It seemed now that she was carrying on through sheer determination alone. A few years later, after a fierce battle with mercenaries on the Kurita front, a haggard Yanna Mossberg declared firmly to her companions, "One more!" before collapsing on the spot. The following day she began requesting action against the Free Worlds League.

The end came when Mossberg's Mercs were supporting Lyran forces in an assault on a Marik world. Yanna looked like death. She was always pale, her breath rasped in her throat, and at times she seemed too weak to stand. But she repeatedly refused medical aid, insisting in her typically cryptic fashion, "It's nearly over." Her moods, however, were deteriorating even faster than her health, as she repeatedly badgered her the Lyran commander to press the assault in a specific zone. Her nightmares grew increasingly violent as well, as she woke nearly every night screaming, "More time!" and her "suggestions" to the
Lyrans edged closer to becoming demands. At last, as if in answer to her pleading, the orders came. The assault would occur, and her unit would take point.

The target was a Water Farm, an essential installation on desert worlds, as the abundant solar energy provided the power to obtain water from the air much more cheaply and conveniently than from ice asteroids. Yanna led her tiny force forard at speed, soon outdistancing the main force, but she seemed not to care.

Abandoning all semblance of tactics, she marched "Barrow Wight" boldly up in front of the facility, and broadcast on all frequencies and loudspeaker, "Major Yuen, I call you out!"

A challenge! A Company of defending 'Mechs, along with an assortment of vehicles and infantry filed out through the gate. The tension could be cut by a knife as a lone Battlemaster stepped forward, halting cautiously about 60 metres out of range of a 2-class Autocannon. "I am Major Yuen. You challenge me?"

Yanna's voice grew flat, emotionless. Her tone robbed her words of all inflection. "Major Charles Yuen. I am Yanna Mossberg. You are the last. Do you know me?"

The Major's voice seemed puzzled. "Have we met before, Ms Mossberg?"

"Long ago you led a Mercenary company. There were twelve. You are the last. Do you know me?"

"I don't --"

"Twenty-five years ago today you raided my home. You are the last. Do you know me?"


Yanna's voice was barely more than a slur, her tone so flat that the phrases all ran together. "You gunned down civilians in the streets you are the last do you know me?"


"You piloted an Enforcer. You fought my father's Panther. After you beat him, as he was helpless, you murdered him in his cockpit. You are the last do you know me?"

Deafening silence.

"I know you Charles Yuen. I have followed you. I know what you've done."

Her voice rose sharply, becoming crisper as she gained strength. "Every helpless pilot you've murdered. Every civilian you've butchered. I know you. There is one other who knows you as i do. We spoke of you for a long time that night. And as we speak he is waiting to welcome you to hell."

"If you speak truth Mossberg, I'm sure I'll be seeing you there."

"You will indeed Major Yuen. That was the deal. I have no regrets. Can you say the same?"


"I didn't think so," she hissed, as she cracked off twin Autocannon shots at ridiculous range. One shot slammed into the head of Yuen's Battlemaster, piercing the armour and smashing directly into the cockpit. The second shot
fragmented in flight, one shard finding a flaw in the Assault 'Mech's chest, inflicting catastrophic failure of the engine's shielding; for good measure, the other fragment pierced the armour of the left torso, igniting all three ammo bins. the Battlemaster tore itself (and the remains of Maj. Charles Yuen) apart from the inside less than a second later.

After a brief, stunned silence, the bulk of the defending force rushed forward to rain down devastating firepower on Yanna's lance. Yanna, however, calmly powered down "Barrow Wight" and dismounted from the cockpit. Witnesses claimed to have seen her strolling off into the desert, but at that point chaos reigned as not only did the main Lyran force arrive at that moment, so did a massive, unforecast sandstorm. By the time it had passed, no trace of "Barrow Wight" or its pilot could be found. It's assumed that Yanna was lost in the storm.

The 'Mech apparently lay hidden under the sand until shortly after the Third Succession War, when it was at last stumbled upon by a JMInc. "Materials Acquisition Team." Unable to repair it, or even identify much of the heavily damaged equipment, they simply stored it "for later examination." The 'Mech's true origins may never be known.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
12/08/11 09:26 PM

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Barrow Wight

Mass: 50 tons
Chassis: Unknown
Power Plant: Unknown 250 Light
Cruising Speed: 53.75
Maximum Speed: 86
Jump Jets: none
Jump Capacity: none
Armor: Unknown with CASE
2 LB 2-X ACs
2 Medium Lasers
2 Machine Guns
1 ER Large Laser
1 Medium X-Pulse Laser
Manufacturer: Unknown
Primary Factory: Unknown
Communications System: Unknown
Targeting and Tracking System: Unknown

On the grounds of the JMInc. primary design and testing facility
sits a truly unique 'Mech...or rather, the remains of one. A cursory
examination of the tortured hulk revealed two intriguing details.
First, the 'Mech is unlike any other ever produced. There is no
record of any manufacturer building so much as a prototype to those
specifications. In and of itself, that fact is not too unusual,
especially since the 'Mech incorporates a few pieces of cutting-edge
technology -- first assumption is that it is an as-yet-unrevealed
JMInc. prototype . However, a more detailed examination carried out
with special permission from JMInc. revealed that the wreck is
old. Carbon-dating of some of the charred components revealed
that the 'Mech took its apparently fatal damage roughly 75 years
after the fall of the Star League, long before the invention of the
technology used in its construction. When asked about the origin of
the specimen, the JMInc. spokesman simply said it had been "found"
during one of the company's early scavenging runs in search of
salvage. Repeated attempts had failed to get the 'Mech functional,
so it had been set aside and essentially forgotton for decades.

However, one of the senior designers did later come forward
(under the influence of numerous strong drinks) saying he had
information about the 'Mech. It's name, he said, was "Barrow Wight",
and he then related a story about the 'Mech's history. Entertaining,
but so far-fetched as to be unbelievable. Still...

It is unclear whether "Barrow Wight" was the name of the model,
or simply the moniker of the specific 'Mech, but since it appears to
be one-of-a-kind, I suppose the point is moot. Whatever the case,
"Barrow Wight" is a very interesting specimen, no doubt.

First off, the 'Mech's Light Engine, Extra-Light Gyro,
Composite Structure, Double Heat Sinks, LB-X Auocannons, X-Pulse
Laser, and Heavy Ferro Fibrous armour were all unheard-of
technologies at the apparent time of the 'Mech's destruction. That
in itself is noteworthy, but on top of that, the "Barrow Wight's"
configuration is...bizarre. The LB-2X pair in the Left Arm seem
about to overbalance the 'Mech, and in spite of their
nearly-worthless appearance, they seem to be the primary focus of the
design. The cannons themselves seem to be non-standard, with each
slightly modified to handle only one type of ammunition, rather than
being able to switch between Cluster and Slug. The upper cannon
feeds only from the Cluster ammo bin, while the lower fires what
appears to be a modified Slug shot, which actually resemble modern
Armour-Piercing rounds as much as regular LB Slugs. Furthermore, the
cannons are mechanically fire-linked, meaning they must always be
fired together at the same target. A truly unusual setup.

In the "Barrow Wight's" Right Arm, balancing the Autocannons,
is a true relic: an antiquated, genuine Star League-Era Extended
Range Large Laser. The standard lasers in the torso show telltale
signs of being from the same era, while the X-Pulse Laser, while
clearly as old as the 'Mech it sits in, is just as clearly of modern
manufacture. An effective, yet inexplicable, collection of weaponry.
One cannot help but wonder how it came to be...

Notable 'Mechwarriors:
Only one name comes up when anyone has a tale to tell about "Barrow Wight", and that name is Yanna Mossberg. Whie most details vary widely, the heart of the story is that after her father was killed in a raid, Yanna swore vengeance, and on the night of her 16th birthday, she made a deal with the Devil (or whatever dark power you wish to reference) in which she was granted "Barrow Wight" and a period of 25 years to accomplish her goal. She also was reportedly granted the ability to sense where her targets might be found, as well as extraordinary skill whenever she faced them. While most details of the story cannot be confirmed, the details of the final encounter are clearly documented.

Barrow Wight

Technology Base: - Inner Sphere - Level 3
Equipment Mass
Internal Structure: - Composite 2.5
Engine: 250 Light 9.38
Walking MP: 5
Running MP: 8
Jumping MP: 0
Heat Sinks: 11(22) - Double 1
Gyro: - Extra-Light 1.5
Cockpit: 3
Armor Factor: 151 - Heavy Ferro-Fibrous 7.61

Internal Armor
Structure Value
Head 3 9
Center Torso 16 22
Center Torso(rear) 8
R/L Torso 12 17
R/L Torso(rear) 7
R/L Arm 8 15
R/L Leg 12 17

Weapons and Ammo Location Critical Tonnage
LB 2-X AC LA 4 6
LB 2-X AC LA 4 6
LB 2-X AC Ammo - Cluster LT 1 1
LB 2-X AC Ammo - Slug LT 1 1
Machine Gun LT 1 0.5
Medium Laser LT 1 1
CASE LT 1 0.5
Machine Gun RT 1 0.5
Medium Laser RT 1 1
Medium X-Pulse Laser RT 1 2
ER Large Laser RA 2 5
Machine Gun Ammo (1/2 ton) H 1 0.5
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
12/15/11 10:40 AM

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To be honest, the eerie, creepy, sold-your-soul-to-Satan story has never been one of my favorites. However, that was a very well told and structured story. You just gave someone the outline for a Holovid series. Very well done. I really liked how you tied together the use of old and new tech in the mystery of the legend. The only problem I see is the heavy ferro fibrous armor. That is going to have to take battle damage and need repair over the course of 25 years, let alone maintenance on the other stuff. But it can be use to the legend, since her repair tech must have been some evil sprite sent to keep an eye on and influence over her, and perhaps provide that special intel about the enemy.

As far as the mech goes - mystery? Bah! Its a JMInc. original. You can tell because it has class 2 autocannons and an illegal ammo type (AP LBX shells in the fluff). ACs aside, it still hits pretty hard. The ER is hot but a solid gun with a nice assortment of medium lasers. Anti-infantry is covered too. It looks like it would be a fun mech to play with using the rules to link the ACs. And I'd allow the AP-LBX just to see what happens. Have you tried it against a Shadow Hawk and Battlemaster or any others?

12/15/11 12:23 PM

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The nice thing about legends is they don't need to be based in reality.
Why argue if the glass is half full or half empty, when you know someone is going to knock it over and spill it anyways.

I was a Major *pain* before
But I got a promotion.
I am now a General *pain*
Yay for promotions!!!
12/15/11 04:04 PM

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Exactly...the idea was that she could get a floating crit whenever it really of those freaky fluff special abilities that heroes usually have. It also makes the concept of a 'Mech built around twin-AC/2s somewhat reasonable.

More importantly, it was fun to design and fun to write
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
12/15/11 04:31 PM

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As far as repairs, I did mention in the fluff how she never allowed a Tech to touch her 'Mech (at least I meant to include that) After all, it was a gift from the devil, must have come with a service package

Are you trying to say JMInc. designs unusual 'Mechs?
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
12/16/11 12:24 AM

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Are you trying to say JMInc. designs unusual 'Mechs?

Would I not be insulting you if I suggested anything less?
12/16/11 01:23 AM

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I'd probably be forced to send my WTF Water Fork after you.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
12/19/11 05:30 AM

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I'd probably be forced to send my WTF Water Fork after you.

That sounds wrong on so many levels...
Evolve or DIE!
01/13/14 12:39 AM

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Bumping up perhaps one of my most unusual designs. Definitely one of the most fun to design, and I really enjoyed writing the fluff.
Peace is that glorious moment in history when everyone stands around reloading.
--Thomas Jefferson
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