Although it was expected to be a straightforward Trial of Absorption between Clans Star Adder and Burrock, interference by Clan Blood Spirit turned the conflict into a larger struggle. The outcome of the Trial left Clan Blood Spirit severely weakened while Clan Star Adder successfully absorbed Clan Burrock and became one of the most powerful of the Home Clans.
Origins of the Conflict
The roots of the absorption, and the reasons for the Blood Spirit's interference in it, go back to the earliest days of the Clans. Bitterness at the losses sustained by the Burrock Touman during Operation Klondike left a legacy of bitterness within the Clan, and in the 30th century over a thousand civilians and a Trinary of warriors defected to the Dark Caste (Cloud Cobra sources claim that two Trinaries of warriors defected). Both the Burrocks and Cloud Cobras were ordered by the Clan Grand Council to hunt these renegades down, but where the Cobras followed their orders, the Burrock Khan deceived his allies and the Grand Council, allowing his wayward brethren to live. Over the next century, Clan Burrock would use the Dark Caste as an underground source of labor and experimental test subjects, and as a means of avoiding merchant caste rules.
After the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine, several other Clans, including Clan Burrock, saw Clan Blood Spirit's then-extant philosophy of extending help to all other Clans freely as deviating dangerously from the Way of the Clans. This feeling came to a head in a December 2824 meeting of the Grand Council where Khan Seth Van Houten of Clan Burrock called for the Annihilation of Clan Blood Spirit. Although the motion was defeated, Clan Burrock chose to demonstrate the Blood Spirits' military weakness by relentless raiding of Clan Blood Spirit holdings. Ultimately, this created a deep-seated hatred between the two Clans.
Clan Burrock was able to successfully hide its ties to the Dark Caste for over a century. However, in 3058 shortly after the end of the Refusal War, Khan Cassius N'Buta of Clan Star Adder discovered this long-standing collusion, immediately bringing his evidence to the Grand Council.
Khan N'Buta presented his evidence to the Grand Council in early 3059 and proposed the Absorption of Clan Burrock as a means of delivering the warriors and civilians of that Clan from a treasonous leadership. The motion was backed by Clans Cloud Cobra and Blood Spirit. The magnitude of the Burrocks' crimes were such that ilKhan Lincoln Osis called for an immediate vote on the matter, and in February 3059, the Clan Grand Council awarded the right to absorb Clan Burrock to Clan Star Adder.
Clan Blood Spirit had expected to have been given the right to absorb their long-time rivals, and were outraged by the Grand Council's decision. Their Khans left the Grand Council meeting in a fury. They were encouraged by Loremaster Bayle Campbell to attack the Burrocks without Grand Council sanction.
Burrock and Star Adder Deployments
Clan Burrock formally bid their entire Touman of three front-line and four second-line Galaxies into the Absorption, choosing to concentrate their forces on their capital world of Albion and summoning reinforcements from off-world. By the time the Absorption battles got underway, Burrock forces on Albion included their Alpha and Kappa Galaxies.
Clan Star Adder created a strategic plan that would fulfill their goal of absorbing the bulk of the Burrock Clan intact while eliminating the treasonous element within. The plan called for the decapitation of those in the Burrock leadership identified as having been involved in dealings with the Dark Caste - Khan Jocelyn Siddiq, her saKhan and Galaxy Commander Seth Marghar. Since the majority of Clan Burrock members had remained unaware of their Clan's dealings with the Bandit Caste, it was correctly anticipated by Clan Star Adder that once the Burrock leadership was removed, the remaining Burrock forces would put up only half-hearted resistance.
Clan Star Adder dropped three Galaxies on Albion, including Alpha and Beta. The Adder Command Keshik was also part of this task force. In addition, a Star of Adder WarShips was assigned to this part of the operation.
Enter Clan Blood Spirit
As the official Absorption Trial got underway, Clan Blood Spirit launched its own attack on Clan Burrock forces, committing some seventy percent of their Touman to the conflict. Khans Schmitt and Keller expected the Trial to break down into a series of three-cornered contests that they could take advantage of. However, the Spirits had overlooked one important element in this plan: the Burrocks despised the Spirits with equal fervor, and so, with the exception of the action on Dagda, Burrock and Star Adder troops joined forces in the face of the new threat and defeated the Spirit units.
Battles of the Absorption Campaign
A Star of Adder WarShips prevented Burrock reinforcements from reaching the planet, crippling their transports and leaving them stranded in space. The four Burrock Galaxies already on-world fought hard against the three Adder Galaxies, but Khan N'Buta's plan to decapitate the Burrocks succeeded; within two days both Burrock Khans and Galaxy Commander Seth Marghar were dead. The surviving senior Burrock officer, Star Colonel Carlos Hutchinson, then offered to face N'Buta in single combat to preserve the rest of the Burrock forces. Before the fight could take place, however, three of Clan Blood Spirit's Galaxies dropped onto Albion.
The furious Adders hurled themselves against the interlopers, with the Burrocks joining them. The joint Adder/Burrock forces smashed the Blood Spirits, and after five days of fighting only two Spirit Clusters survived to retreat off-world. N'Buta and Hutchinson then proceeded to duel one another for most of a day. In the end, N'Buta was victorious, and Albion and everything that remained of Clan Burrock was firmly under Clan Star Adder's control.
In retaliation for the Blood Spirit attacks elsewhere, the Star Adders' Mu Provisional Galaxy assaulted the Spirit enclave on Arcadia. Mu Galaxy and the Spirits' Omega Galaxy battled one another for a week and a half, with neither side gaining the upper hand. By the end of the fighting both units had been reduced to less than a Cluster.
Expecting an easy victory, the Adders' Epsilon Galaxy instead found that two of the three Burrock Clusters on Dagda steadfastly obeyed their Khans' orders to hold at all costs. Then the Blood Spirits' Delta Galaxy made their own surprise assault upon Dagda. The Adders eventually triumphed, but only after the gutted Epsilon Galaxy was reinforced with the Adders own Delta Galaxy.
The Adders' Sigma Provisional Galaxy dealt with the small Burrock force on Hoard swiftly. The Burrock Galaxy Commander there felt so disgraced by her Clan's dishonor that she bid herself against the entire Adder force to prevent any of her warriors dying in defense of their Clan. The fighting ended in a single day, with no losses on either side.
Xi Provisional Galaxy defeated the sole Burrock Cluster on Paxon in an unusual fashion: a game of golf on the airless moon. The Burrock commander, Star Colonel Hoyt Marghar, had been unaware of his Clan's crimes, and so agreed to facing Galaxy Commander Malachi Reisch in a golf match. Reisch won the game and Marghar's unit became the first Burrock force to be integrated wholesale into the Star Adder Touman.
The Star Adders' Gamma and Delta Galaxies found themselves fighting alongside the Burrocks they had come to absorb, with the newly-organized Tau Provisional Galaxy arriving to reinforce them. Delta Galaxy lost only one Cluster in the fighting, but Gamma Galaxy was mauled, losing over half of its strength before the Spirits were finally driven off.
Outcome and Aftermath
Mostly because of Clan Blood Spirit's interference, Clan Burrock lost four full Galaxies and Clan Star Adder lost almost three Galaxies, while the Spirits lost nearly five Galaxies. The two surviving Clans disbanded or reassigned multiple units in the wake of these losses.
The remnants of Clan Burrock were swiftly incorporated into Clan Star Adder, however. Significant portions of the surviving Burrock Touman were quickly made Abtakha to compensate for the casualties caused by Blood Spirit interference. Thus, despite suffering heavy losses the Absorption made Clan Star Adder one of the strongest of the Home Clans, with a significant increase in the size of its territory and Touman.
Clan Blood Spirit on the other hand lost well over fifty percent of its Touman, and gained nothing. The Spirits consolidated their forces on York, becoming even more isolationist. Their interference in the Burrock Absorption earned the Blood Spirits the enmity of Clan Star Adder; the furious Adders would adopt the Burrocks' feud and in the future punish the Spirits at every opportunity. In the end, its ill-advised intervention cost Clan Blood Spirit its very existence, as the Adders would prove to be a more deadly enemy than the Burrocks, and by 3084 would succeed in wiping out the Blood Spirits completely.
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 123, "Clan Burrock"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 21
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 29, "The Dark Caste"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 21-23
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 114
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 25
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 123, "Alpha Galaxy: Old Blood and Guts"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 124, "Gamma Galaxy: Blood Feud"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 125, "Delta Galaxy: Thunderstrike"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 133, "Tau Provisional Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 126, "Epsilon Galaxy: Night Terrors"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 137, "Xi Provisional Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 140, "Sigma Provisional Galaxy"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 31, "Alpha Galaxy: The Blooding"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 30
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 132, "Omega Galaxy: The Sanguine Reavers"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 115
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, various Galaxy descriptions from the Blood Spirit and Star Adder chapters
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 155-156