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Antonius Zalman (b. January 14th 2727 - d. January 16th 2809, aged 82 years) was a soldier and officer of the Star League Defense Force who fought during the bloody Amaris Crisis. He would go on to eventually become the founder of Clan Steel Viper as well as their first saKhan.
Described as the epitome of the common man, Antonius Zalman was born on Terra at the height of the Star League into a middle class family. An officer in the SLDF reserve with the rank of Major, Zalman taught history and literature to school children in São Paulo, Brazil, when the Usurper Amaris launched his coup.
Hero of the SLDF
By 2773, Zalman's battalion had been reduced to a small resistance cell due to traps set for them by the Rim Worlds Republic troops, but Zalman and his men vowed to keep on fighting the Usurper in any way that they possibly could. When Zalman found out that the immoral Amaris had ordered the use of Star League citizens as human shields to keep SLDF soldiers at bay on the planet York, Zalman decided to rescue the hostages. Zalman and select members of his cell covertly traveled to York, where he had heard that Amaris planned to use Terran citizens as human shields against the impending invasion by the Regular Army. After secretly slipping away from the other hostages gathered on York, Zalman and his small band killed everyone at the unguarded command control center and stole the BattleMechs contained in the facility. They began to fight a guerrilla campaign against Amaris' Republican Guards. By the time SLDF forces reached York, Zalman and his men had already freed many of the hostages and destroyed much of the Republican Guards' supplies. Without the supplies necessary to fight a protracted battle against the SLDF troops, the Republican Guards surrendered.
For his heroism on York, SLDF Commanding General Aleksandr Kerensky personally decorated Zalman for actions above and beyond the call of duty. He would be attached to Kerensky's HQ from that point onward, commanding first General Kerensky's bodygaurd unit. He was quickly promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, commanding the operation to retake South America during the Liberation of Terra, utilizing his numerous contacts within the resistance to achieve his goals.
The Exodus and Clan Steel Viper
|“||Nicholas is the only answer. He may not have the seasoning of age and he has an air about him that makes many people uncomfortable, but he is a division commander. He has something that no one else does—the Kerensky name.||”|
Zalman accompanied Aleksandr Kerensky in his Exodus and later followed Aleksandr's son Nicholas in the Second Exodus to Strana Mechty. Regarded as a friend and supporter of both Kerensky generals, when Nicholas founded the Clans in 2807, he nominated Zalman to become the first Khan of Clan Steel Viper. The 80-year old Zalman turned down the honor, citing his advanced age and failing health. Zalman then asked Nicholas to endorse his Lieutenant, Ellie Kinnison, of the 131st BattleMech Division for the position of Khan, who was subsequently elected. Kinnison then stated that she would only serve as Khan if Zalman would accept the position of saKhan and continue to serve as her mentor.
SaKhan Zalman was instrumental in the training of the Viper Touman, as he urged Kinnison to teach the Viper warriors the same values of loyalty and flexibility of thought and action that had kept Zalman alive during his campaign against the Usurper's forces. Due to his ill health, his offspring were some of the first trueborn warriors to be decanted in the nascent Clans' eugenics program, his legacy immortalized within his lifetime.
Death and Legacy
Antonius Zalman served as saKhan of Clan Steel Viper for only two years, but helped prepare his Clan for the violence of Operation Klondike in 2821. Long before that time, he was killed in a training accident, in 2809 - though certain sources maintain that the "Trial" he faced was created to reward him with his wish for an honorable death in combat. Zalman was replaced as saKhan of the Steel Vipers by Star Colonel Steven Breen. Due to his genetic legacy, all Steel Viper warriors with the Zalman bloodname are his descendants, starting with his granddaughter, Shandra Zalman, who took his place in the operation to retake the Pentagon Worlds. His most famous descendant is Perigard Zalman, a Khan of the Steel Vipers during the years after Operation Revival.
Title and Position
|SaKhan of Clan Steel Viper
2807 – 2809
| Succeeded by|
Due to his advancing age, Antonius Zalman receives a - 2 to-hit modifier to all physical skills. Also, he will be unavailable for assignment 25% of the time. Roll 2d6; if both dice are three or less, then he is unavailable at that time. However, he has a vast body of experience, imparting that to his Steel Vipers and sometimes to other Clan warriors as well. For this he receives a +1 skill roll modifier for any social dealings within the Clans.
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 121, "Antonius Zalman"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 134 - "Founding and Treachery"
- Invading Clans (sourcebook), p. 80 - Wolfnet Archive File
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 22 - "The Second Exodus" and Antonius Zalman, Personal Journals
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 30, 31 - The Fallen
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 153 - "Antonius Zalman"