- 1 History
- 2 Culture & Society
- 2.1 Castes
- 2.2 Bloodnames
- 2.3 Trials
- 2.4 Social Conduct
- 2.5 Entertainment
- 2.6 Language
- 2.7 Religion
- 3 Government
- 4 Technology
- 5 Politics
- 6 Military
- 7 Economy
- 8 List of Clans
- 9 Territorial Holdings
- 10 Critter-TEK parody
- 11 References
- 12 Bibliography
The Clans of BattleTech were originally the self-exiled remnants of the Star League Defense Force army, after Stefan Amaris brought about the downfall of the Star League. General Aleksandr Kerensky led his forces beyond the Inner Sphere because he believed that a terrible war was brewing between the Great Houses; a war that even the once mighty Star League army was powerless to stop. The exiles evolved into a warrior-based civilization that would sweep through the Inner Sphere like a whirlwind 250 years later.
Though the Star League officially disbanded in 2781, Kerensky would spend the next two years shuttling between the Great Houses in an attempt to salvage the situation. He finally abandoned this effort by August of 2783 and began work on a plan he hoped would at least preserve the spirit of the League. In February of 2784 he made this plan known to the rest of the SLDF: they would depart from the Inner Sphere and live in exile as the fires of war devastated it. Fully eighty percent of the SLDF agreed to this, and in November of that year they made their fateful departure. After years of traveling, the massive flotilla of Star League refugees came upon five marginally habitable worlds, the so-called Pentagon Worlds due to their near-pentametric relation to each other, in August of 2786.
There Kerensky's followers tried to forge life as they knew it once again and create a Star League in Exile. The early months and years of the colonization effort were tough, an estimated sixty-thousand perishing due to the harsh environment and deadly new diseases, however by 2794 prosperity had taken hold and colonization efforts had spread out to a group of nearby stars, the Kerensky Cluster. Unfortunately with this prosperity came greed, jealousy and other human failings, and soon old allegiances and prejudices were rearing their ugly heads. In 2800 the first of several small-scale clashes broke out on Eden between colonists of Capellan and Federated Suns origin; by May of next year full-scale rebellion broke out when the Capellan faction declared their independence. Kerensky proved unable to bring the colonists back in line, and indeed following the DeChevilier Massacre the violence spread to the remaining four Pentagon worlds. By June all-out war was raging on Eden, and Aleksandr was in the midst of planning an operation to end the fighting when on 11 June 2801 he died of a massive coronary while at his command post. So began the Exodus Civil War, which would eventually encompass all five Pentagon worlds and last nearly twenty years.
As Aleksandr's eldest son Major-General Nicholas Kerensky, commander of the 146th Royal BattleMech Division, was the designated heir to take command of the exiled SLDF. Though he had the loyalty of his own unit and most of the navy, the rest of the army rejected him due to his lack of combat experience and made their own attempts to assume command. Realizing that civil war was inevitable, Nicholas decided to take those loyal to him on a Second Exodus to Strana Mechty, one of the newly-founded colonies in the Kerensky Cluster. Over the next several months Nicholas' forces were able to evacuate nearly a quarter of the civilian population - roughly a million people - with the last transports leaving by the end of January 2802. While the majority of the navy had sided with Nicholas, only the 146th and 149th BattleMech Division left in full with him.
Nicholas soon came to the conclusion that eventually his exiles would succumb to the same failings as had taken over in the Pentagon worlds, and became determined to remodel society from the ground-up, one that eliminated all previous cultural biases and rewarded merit and ability. He borrowed ideas from the medieval Mongol hordes, Shogunate Japan and 20th Century China to create the twenty Clans, each one a reinforced battalion of forty warriors. Of the thousands of troops which had joined his Second Exodus rigorous testing was used to ensure only the best able, regardless of gender, race or any other quota, would have the honor of becoming among the eight hundred to join the Clans. Nicholas himself participated and passed the combat trials to prove his worth, and in June 2815 declared himself ilKhan, supreme ruler of the Clans. While the term Clans was originally suppose to refer only to the warriors, it would eventually encompass all of the civilians as well as a means to put a final end to old allegiances and affiliations.
By mid-2821, Nicholas had judged the time was right and unleashed Operation Klondike, the campaign to take back the Pentagon worlds. Success was finally achieved in May 2822 and at first the liberated populations were for the most part relieved: much of the civilian population was simply thankful for the devastating fighting to be over, while those who had exploited them were hunted down to be tried, convicted, tortured and executed as an object lesson. However the brutality of the post-liberation months prompted some within the Clans to begin questioning Nicholas' methods and even his leadership. Though the first rumblings of discontent would come from Clan Jade Falcon, whose Khans eventually purged themselves of this "cancer" in what became known as The Culling, opposition to the ilKhan's authority eventually coalesced around Clan Wolverine. This opposition came to a head when the Grand Council in August 2823 ordered that the Wolverines share their Brian Cache on Circe with the other Clans, an order they protested unsuccessfully first in the council and then in a Trial of Refusal in October. In her final Grand Council meeting, Khan Sarah McEvedy made the fatal error of not only insulting Nicholas, and by extension the other Clans, but declaring her Clan independent. The Wolverines' nuclear attack on Clan Snow Raven's genetic repository was the final nail in the coffin, and in the proceeding Trial of Annihilation Clan Wolverine ceased to exist; even their very name was stricken from the records, to be forever known as the "Not-Named Clan."
Opposition to his rule destroyed, the ilKhan set about restructuring society and laying the groundwork for future prosperity. New worlds were explored and colonized, industry rebuilt, and the population finally reached its pre-war levels in 2832 thanks to the eugenics program. Tragedy struck however just two years later during a Trial of Refusal between Clan Wolf and Clan Widowmaker, refereed by the ilKhan and the other Clan Khans. When the duel degenerated into a melee the ilKhan attempted to step in, but was accidentally fired upon and killed by the Widowmaker Khan. Incensed by the death of their leader the combined Clans laid waste to the Widowmakers, with Clan Wolf given the honor of Absorbing the remnants. A new ilKhan would eventually be elected, though through the years the position slowly lost its authority and prestige until ending altogether in 2947, and the remaining eighteen Clans would continue to develop and factionalize along different lines.
The next hundred years between 2830 to 2930 became known as the Golden Century, a time of immense prosperity and growth. The relaxation of social mores and taboos, which had been essential for survival during the early Second Exodus, became permanent fixtures in Clan culture. Much scientific and technological progress took place during this time, most notably when Clan Coyote fielded the first OmniMech in 2854, and the introduction of Battle Armor by Clan Wolf in 2868. The period also saw the Absorption of Clan Mongoose by Clan Smoke Jaguar, and the beginning of many long-standing feuds. Without a strong ilKhan to settle them these disputes would intensify until finally they became wrapped up in an overarching drive which was gripping the Clans: the Hidden Hope Doctrine and the return to the Inner Sphere.
During the Political Century Clan society coalesced around two competing viewpoints: Crusaders who believed it was their right to re-establish the Star League by force with themselves as leaders, and Wardens who thought it was their mission to protect the Inner Sphere from outside threats while maintaining their own distinct culture. The Jade Falcons would go on to first head the Crusader faction, their role eventually taken over the Smoke Jaguars, and were first to introduce a motion to the Grand Council to invade the Inner Sphere in 2980. Their motion was defeated by the heads of the Warden faction, Clans Wolf and Coyote, but the Wardens knew that public opinion was turning against them and it would only be a matter of time before the Crusaders could muster enough support to overrule them.
Debate would continue for decades, only interrupted in 2985 following the renaming of Clan Sea Fox to Clan Diamond Shark, and in 3000 the Clans were on the brink of invasion. In an attempt to buy more time Clan Wolf succeeded in brokering the Dragoon Compromise, reasoning clearly that the Clans needed a more accurate picture of the situation in the Inner Sphere. Comprised mostly of freeborn warriors, Wolf's Dragoons would present themselves as a mercenary force for hire while secretly reconnoitering the Successor States. Their mission started off to great success in the early years of the thirty-first century, granting an accurate picture of the many developments which had taken place in the Clans' absence, but that came to an end around 3019 when it became apparent that the unit had deserted. This only agitated the Crusaders even more, and when rumors of first the Fourth Succession War and then the War of 3039 reached them they put the invasion again to a vote, each time only narrowly defeated by the efforts of Clan Wolf.
In the summer of 3048 the Outbound Light, a ComStar exploration ship, appeared in orbit of the Smoke Jaguar capital world Huntress and was quickly seized. Khan Leo Showers, an ardent Crusader, now had the perfect opportunity to force through his agenda since he held in his possesion the only source of current information on the Inner Sphere. Manipulating it to his advantage, on 21 November he convinced enough members of the Grand Council to pass a vote to invade the Inner Sphere. A month later Showers was voted ilKhan, the first in a century, to oversee the invasion effort. One year later Operation Revival officially began, first by conquering the worlds along the Periphery and then, on 7 March 3050, invading the Inner Sphere proper.
Ill-prepared for an assault of this scale from an unexpected direction, the Inner Sphere's defenses swiftly collapsed in the face of the Clan assault. While the Clans achieved spectacular successes in the first two waves of their invasion, it was marred by their failure to capture - or realize they had captured - the heirs to the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine. Indeed the escape of Hohiro Kurita from the Smoke Jaguars on Turtle Bay would lead to the infamous orbital bombardment of Edo by that Clan's flagship. As well the cooperation between the invading Clans which ilKhan Showers had called for never materialized; indeed it soon became a race to see who could conquer more worlds quicker, hastening the pace of the proceeding waves. Reverses were suffered by the Falcons at the Battle of Twycross and the Jaguars at the Battle of Wolcott, but it would take the sudden death of ilKhan Showers on 1 November 3050 to actually halt the invasion.
It was eventually decided that the Clans would return to their homeworlds to elect a new ilKhan, a process which took a year to complete and gave the Inner Sphere breathing room to rebuild and prepare. Now led by Ulric Kerensky of Clan Wolf, the fifth wave of the invasion began in November 3051 and again threatened to sweep through the Inner Sphere. However, it was also during this time that ilKhan Kerensky revealed to ComStar that the goal of the invasion was Terra herself. Up to this point ComStar had been "neutral" in the conflict, even aiding the Clans in the administration of their conquered worlds, but with their seat of power threatened Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht made a daring proposal. The Com Guards would fight the Clans at a neutral site to decide the fate of the invasion: if they won the Clans would agree to a fifteen-year long truce, if they lost then Terra was theirs. The resulting Battle of Tukayyid was a resounding victory for ComStar and brought about an end to Operation Revival.
Though still allowed by the terms of the agreement to attack those worlds which lay "above" the treaty line (in addition to covert attempts to breach it, particularly by the Red Corsairs), the Truce of Tukayyid was a bitter pill for the Clans to swallow. Much blame was laid at ilKhan Kerensky's feet for the disastrous outcome, especially by those Crusaders within his own Clan. In the summer of 3057 they charged the ilKhan with genocide for denying their warriors the right to combat against the Inner Sphere. The ilKhan decided to bring these charges before the Grand Council, which by a narrow majority found him guilty. The result was the Refusal War, a conflict which saw both Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon devastated and the former split in sunder, a Crusader-minded Clan Wolf and a Warden-minded Clan Wolf-in-Exile.
Each of the devastated Clans attacked their neighbors in a show of strength, the Jade Falcons penetrating into the Lyran Alliance as far as Coventry while the Wolves raided the Smoke Jaguars for more breeding stock. On 19 November 3058 the Clans met on Strana Mechty to elect a new ilKhan, Lincoln Osis of the Smoke Jaguars, who took it as his mandate the resumption of the invasion. For the next six months the Clans went about with their preparations, the Jade Falcons and Wolves launching the Harvest Trials to rebuild their shattered forces, while the shocking discovery in February of 3059 that Clan Burrock had been allied with the Bandit Caste brought about the Burrock Absorption. Finally the Clans were prepared to attack, only to receive disturbing news: the Successor States had rallied under the banner of the Second Star League and launched their own attack, Operation Bulldog, intended to drive the Smoke Jaguars out of the Inner Sphere. Thanks to their skill at arms, Clan Nova Cat switching sides and the neutrality of Clan Ghost Bear, the Second Star League succeeded in completely reclaiming all of the conquered Smoke Jaguar worlds in a matter of months.
The second of the one-two knockout punch came in early 3060 when Operation Serpent, which had been launched simultaneously with Operation Bulldog, appeared in orbit above Huntress. Battle raged across the Smoke Jaguar homeworld from the first landings on 2 March until final victory on 7 April, by which point the Star League had achieved their goal of utterly destroying a Crusader Clan, which they hoped would give the Wardens more political power. On 12 April the reborn SLDF sent a delegation to Strana Mechty and before the Grand Council called for a Trial of Refusal against the invasion of the Inner Sphere. IlKhan Osis agreed, but both himself and the rest of the Council was blindsided when Clan Ghost Bear declared they would not take part in the Trials, and indeed had switch their allegiance to the Warden faction. The rest of the Wardens refused to take part as well, leaving only the Crusader Clans and the tattered remnants of the Smoke Jaguars to face off against the Inner Sphere forces in the Great Refusal. By a score of five victories, two losses and a draw the Inner Sphere won, and the Clans were bound by honor to adhere to the original Treaty of Tukayyid.
The Grand Council was left to absorb and debate what had happened in the preceding months during their meeting on 27 April. Due to their treachery in siding with the Inner Sphere Khan N'Buta of Clan Star Adder called for the Nova Cats to be Annihilated, though the Wardens led by Clan Ghost Bear blocked that vote. Instead Khan Ward of Clan Wolf called for their Abjuration, which achieved the necessary four-fifths majority, and the Nova Cats were given a month to evacuate their Clan holdings. It was also during this meeting that a startling truth became known: the Ghost Bears had in secret achieved a complete relocation of their Clan to their Inner Sphere occupation zone, renamed the Ghost Bear Dominion, with assistance from Clans Diamond Shark and Snow Raven. This revelation brought about another vote for Annihilation, this time brought forth by the Bears' old rivals Clan Hell's Horses, though this too was defeated by the Bear-Raven-Shark voting bloc.
What followed became known as the Wars of Possession, as all of the Clans proceeded to fight amongst each other over who would take over the now-unoccupied holdings of the Smoke Jaguars, Ghost Bears and Nova Cats (though for the Cats in many cases the other Clans did not bother to wait for their departure), with the conflicts lasting into 3062.
Culture & Society
Clan society has developed entirely separate from the Inner Sphere, and has a number of quirks.
- "Five, Nicholas proclaimed, was the foundation
- Upon which our true society was to be built.
- Laborers to till the land, to do the tasks:
- They shall have our undying gratitude,
- For they are the muscle behind us all.
- Merchants to buy and sell with fairness:
- They shall have our commerce and respect,
- For they are the bones upon which we are built.
- Technicians to build and fix the machines:
- They shall have our admiration,
- For they are the fingers with which we grasp life.
- Scientists to create and discover:
- They shall have our awe and our attention,
- For they are the mind of our society.
- And above all, the Warriors who protect:
- They shall have our cooperation and worship,
- For they are the blood and soul of us all."
- - The Remembrance
Clan society is based on a strict caste system, the foundation of which is that one's genetic make-up predisposes them to a particular role. The five castes are the Warriors, Scientists, Merchants, Technicians, and Laborers, with the Warriors being the most prestigious. Among other things, the Warriors act as the military, police force, and rulers of the entirety of Clan society. The only Clan where a different caste is held in esteem comparable or possibly even greater than the Warriors is Clan Diamond Shark (formerly Clan Sea Fox), where Warrior-Traders are fairly common and Merchants are now the de facto rulers.
Castes are further broken down into sub-castes. So, within the warrior caste are the infantry sub-caste, MechWarrior sub-caste and fighter pilot sub-caste, among others. This is important for the warrior caste, since each sub-caste requires different attributes and hence different gene-pools.
As "marriages" between members of a different caste are rare, most children born into the Clans will enter the same caste as their parents, i.e. the child of two technicians will become a technician. However the scientist caste, charged in part with Clan education, constantly assess each child's skills and aptitudes to determine whether an assigned caste is appropriate. Frequently this extensive testing merely reinforces their assignment and is used in directing the the child to an appropriate sub-caste, though children who perform better or worse than expected can be assigned to a new caste.
The warrior caste is the most powerful of the castes, the rulers of Clan society and for whom the lower castes strive to support. While distinctions exist between members of the warrior caste, the most noteworthy are between trueborns and freeborns. Trueborns are the product of the Clan eugenics program, warriors who can proudly trace their lineage directly to the 800 Bloodnamed. Warriors born naturally, or freeborns, are regarded as inferior to trueborns, though whether this has to do with their genetics or the generally poor level of training they receive is a matter of debate. Regardless they do not have the same rights as trueborns - they cannot vote on their Clan Council or be elected to the position of Khan - and they face discrimination from trueborn warriors, though the degree of discrimination varies considerably between Clans: Clan Smoke Jaguar allowed no freeborns to become warriors, while Phelan Kell would rise to become Khan of the Clan Wolf-in-Exile. Ironically it is the rare inclusion of freeborn warrior genes in the eugenics program which prevents stagnation in the warrior caste.
Subdivisions within the warrior caste is based upon the warrior's role, with the four major being MechWarrior, aerospace pilot, Elemental and paramilitary police. Some castes maintain small numbers of other specialized sub-castes, including WarShip command staff, conventional infantry, vehicle crews and military intelligence. Despite their preeminence the warrior caste is one of the smallest: in 3062 there were an estimate 110,500 warriors, accounting for .01% of the total Clan population. They also had one of the shortest life expectancies, living for an average of 45.2 years.
The scientist caste has two responsibilities: continued technological development and genetic control of the population. The warriors' eugenics program naturally occupies a place of prime importance in their work, and the scientists' control over such a cornerstone of Clan society has also given them considerable unofficial power and freedom of action compared to other castes; indeed due to the nature of their work under specific circumstances the scientist caste is allowed to overrule the warrior caste. On occasions when their actions have gone too far though the warrior caste has been required to put the scientists back in their place.
Scientists are also responsible for running the education and health-care systems with a number of different sub-castes including teachers, doctors and development teams, though the most prestigious sub-castes remain those tied to the eugenics program. Many scientists are also "test-downs" from the warrior caste. Many failed aerospace pilots will generally join the scientist caste, though their distinctive appearance will often cause them to be shunned. Compared to total Clan population in 3062 the scientists accounted for just 6.41%, or around 73,820,500 but enjoyed the longest life expectancy, averaging 79.6 years.
Technicians serve everywhere in Clan society, including in front-line combat, to maintain the machinery, weapons, computers and vehicles that the other castes use. The majority work with the warrior caste, and fulfilling the role of crews for most JumpShips, DropShips and WarShips is one of their most important sub-castes. Other sub-castes include armorers, electrical engineers, computer programers and similar specialized fields. The technician caste is also a prime area where many failed aerospace pilots "test-down" to, though their distinctive appearance still causes them to be shunned. In 3062 there were approximately 90,635,000 technicians, accounting for 7.87% of the total Clan population, and their average life expectancy of 62.7 years.
The merchant caste is charged with the acquisition and/or manufacture of the raw materials and tools necessary for a Clan to function. Free-traders, machinists, artisans and a wide range of other sub-castes all serve to make their Clan wealthy, for a Clan with a strong economy tends to have a strong military (though as was the case with Clan Diamond Shark too much emphasis on mercantile pursuits can result in their influence overshadowing even the warrior caste).
In general the warriors maintain control over the merchants through interstellar travel. While the merchant caste maintains their own nonmilitary vessels, including technician and laborer crews, they are often pressed into military service, with a warrior captain placed in command of the ship. Likewise any vessel traveling outside Clan space is supposed to be accompanied by a warrior observer with the power to overrule the merchant captain's decision. Since the Clan's expansion into the Inner Sphere though a lack of warriors trained for the task means the requirement is often ignored. The merchant caste was the second-largest caste in 3062, accounting for 18.58% of the total Clan population with 213,976,500 members, and enjoyed an average life expectancy of 71.9 years.
The laborer caste is both the largest and lowest-level caste in the official Clan hierarchy. Primarily geared towards physical labor, its sub-castes include farmers, miners, dockworkers, cleaners, builders and other specializations. They lack the formal education given to other castes but are, nevertheless, highly skilled workers. Elementals who test out of the warrior caste often end up as laborers, where their physical strength and endurance is put to good use. In 3062, 67.12% of the total Clan population, or 772,979,000, consisted of laborers, and their life expectancy was little better than warriors' at an average of 57.8 years.
This caste is not recognized by Clan society, yet it exists. Referred to as either the dark caste or bandit caste, it supports the failures of Clan society, the unwanted, and the rejects. The dark caste has no voice in Clan affairs because their group is not sanctioned.
Bloodnames are one of the more unique institutions of the Clans. When the Clans were founded and their breeding program started, surnames were done away with (after the first generation of warriors) and an ordeal called a Trial of Bloodright was established to allow eligible warriors to win the surnames of the original warriors that founded the Clans. The surnames were termed Bloodnames, and were traced matrilineally through mitochondrial DNA. Each Bloodname can be held by a maximum of 25 warriors at any one time, though some Bloodnames have fewer than 25 holders due to a process called a reaving.
Each surname has an organization called a Bloodname House. This represents each person who qualifies to hold the Bloodname or currently holds a Bloodname. They are responsible for electing or sponsoring a qualified applicant to earn an available Bloodname. Each Bloodname House has its own traditions which they keep to themselves to maintain the integrity of the Bloodname founder and their successors. Each House also has its own Blood Chapel which is located on Strana Mechty and surrounds the Hall of Khans. The Chapels not only serve to hold the DNA of all of its Bloodnamed members, living or dead, but serves to memorialize exploits their founders and their worthy successors. Without exception, there is nothing more holy or sacred to the Clans than these chapels.
Although any form of surname outside the warrior caste is frowned upon, the scientist caste secretly assigns surnames (referred to as labnames) to people who make great scientific contributions. These surnames are named after great historical scientists (Newton, Watson, etc.) and have nothing to do with the person's genealogy.
Nicholas was determined that civil war would not claim his new society. Instead of banning warfare, which he considered part of human nature, he decided to control conflicts through regulations and rituals. Thus, the Six Trials of Combat were established.
Most trials begin with a ritual challenge called a Batchall, where the challenger declares his/her name, the type of trial and other parameters depending on the type of trial. In most trials, the challenger and the challenged then perform bidding for the forces each will use in the battle. Each bid is less than the previous bid, causing both parties to keep undercutting each other until they reach the minimum amount of force. This is partly because to win with fewer forces is more glorious, but also minimizes the military waste created by the trial.
The trial is fought in a circle of equals. The circle is an area that the combat occurs in while peer warriors encircle the perimeter. During the trial no warrior can enter the circle of equals. The circle is usually a circle or sphere that has a radius of about five to ten meters for melee combat, two to five kilometers for ‘Mech combat and about a hundred kilometers for aerospace combat. The circle of equals ensures no non-combatants are caught in the conflict, and in larger battles, there is no collateral damage to surrounding building and equipment.
In individual trials, such as a personal conflict between two warriors, there is no batchall. The warrior who is being challenged will decide if the fight will be augmented, meaning that two MechWarriors will fight in their 'Mechs, or un-augmented, meaning a person to person fight using no weapons. The warrior who calls the challenge is allowed to choose the location of the fight. This may take place anywhere from a parade ground to a dropship. One example was when Phelan Ward, of Clan Wolf (a bondsman taken in battle, formerly known as Phelan Kell of the Kell Hounds) fought un-augmented against an elemental. He called for the challenge to take place in zero-g aboard a dropship in orbit.
Trial of Grievance
When disputes arise between individual warriors that neither they nor their immediate superiors can resolve, both warriors must petition to have their differences heard by the Clan Council (or the Grand Council if the opponents are Bloodnamed or hold important rank). If the issue is not resolved by the council, the parties may then call for a Trial of Grievance. The rules governing the trial are many and strict.
Trial of Position
Trials of Position are used to determine career advancement. There are three types of this trial: Training Trials, The Blooding, and Promotion Trials.
Trial of Bloodright
Trials of Bloodright determines the assignment of Bloodnames. Being a descendant of a Bloodnamed warrior gives a warrior the right to participate in the trial to earn the Bloodname (and due to the Clan eugenics program, there are a lot of potential warriors for a particular Bloodname at any given time).
By Clan law, at any one time there are up to 25 active warriors with the same Bloodname (there can be less due to Reavings). When one dies, a Trial of Bloodright is held to determine who should replace the Bloodnamed warrior.
Trial of Possession
Trials of Possession are between Clans over particular assets. This trial allows Clans to perform raids on each other while minimizing the military assets wasted in raids and eliminating collateral damage and danger to non-combatants.
Trial of Refusal
The Clan Council makes many decisions and laws using an internal vote. After a vote, the council member can challenge the decision to a Trial of Refusal. A council member with a losing vote fights a member with a winning vote. The forces applied in the Trial depend on the importance of the decision.
Trial of Annihilation
A Trial of Annihilation is the most extreme punishment the Clans can declare. It goes beyond the question of right and wrong. A Trial of Annihilation virtually guarantees that the warrior will die and that his genes will be eliminated from the Clans' gene pool. This trial can only be invoked by a unanimous vote of the appropriate council, and only for the most heinous crimes against Clan society.
A number of distinct elements exist in Clan psychology which informs how they conduct themselves, not just on the battlefield but in everyday life as well. Unsurprisingly the concept of "might makes right" features prominently among the Clans, along with the view that the Inner Sphere was a "lost paradise" inhabited by barbarians, a den of corruption for whom the Great Houses are to blame for their culpability in the fall of the Star League. Likewise is the belief that, as the honest and noble descendants of the Star League, the Clan way of life is the true way, and any dissenting voice is considered treasonous. From an early age Clansmen are raised to be on the look out for "un-Clanlike" tendencies, viewing such acts as a matter of preserving the honor of the Clans and the common good. The reduction of waste and the reusing and recycling of materials is another tendency which permeates Clan society, though people are a notable exception. The worlds of the Kerensky-cluster and the Pentagon-worlds are barely habitable and lack easily reachable natural resources. Accordingly, the Clans inhabited a lifestyle in which nothing is wasted. Recycling of garbage is standard and describing another Clan as wasteful is a deep insult. Clan Snow Raven's totem is even famous for not wasting anything. For example, it is known that if a member of Clan Jade Falcon dies, the still functioning inner organs are harvested for transplantation. 
The Clans as a whole adhere to a fairly strict honor system, especially for warriors where it is encapsulated in a set of rules known as Zellbrigen. While some Clans are far more strict and conservative than others, all Clans follow this concept of honor to some extent. Among other things, this code exhorts personal ability and efficiency above all. It formalizes most combats and many decision-making processes into a set of Trials, such as Trials of Position to earn rank, Trials of Possession to claim a resource held by another, and Trials of Refusal to legally refute the order of a superior officer or ruling body. It also encourages proxy battles and token fights in the form of a bidding process to minimize the forces involved in combat, and duels to minimize actual fighting while, again, emphasizing individual combat prowess. The Clan honor rules also discourage any type of involvement of non-combatants in combat, and strongly discourage wasting resources (such as urban areas, factories, and starports) in combat.
An "honorable" mindset also permeates the lower castes, and has fostered a strong sense of honesty among most Clan members. If a Clansman says he will do something they will do it, as not keeping one's word not only slights their personal honor but that of their Clan's. This also means theft is less prevalent among the Clans than it is in the Inner Sphere (though a brutal law enforcement system plays some role in this regard) and if a person wants an item they will go through the proper channels or instigate a Trial of Possession. Though this trusting nature can occasionally leave a Clansman open to deception, it does not make them gullible. Certain Clans, particularly the Cloud Cobras and Snow Ravens, are positively Machiavellian and will do their utmost to keep to the letter of an agreement if not its spirit.
The use of in-vitro fertilization has also gone some ways towards the casualness of love and relationships within Clan society, especially with the act of sex divorced from reproduction. Whereas in the Inner Sphere such acts are considered a sign of intimacy in a relationship, among Clan warriors it is merely a normal part of friendship. The idea of sexual fidelity is completely lost on them as coupling with friends, usually members of the same sibko, is completely natural. They also see the act of courtship as completely unnecessary and, if they bother to perform any type of seduction, are as likely to simply walk up to a complete stranger and ask if they are interested in coupling. As per the eugenics program civilians are matched together based on their genetic compatibility, though the only purpose of these sanctioned matches is for the production of children; as a result promiscuity is also prevalent among the castes. A blind eye is turned to these "unofficial" couplings so long as birth control is used.
While known for their utilitarian mindset the Clans maintain a number of well-developed artistic traditions, much of it focused on their mythological past (especially the Kerenskys) with other favorite subjects including major historical events, clan totems and landscapes. The visual arts are the most common form of artistic expression and widely practiced by members of every caste. Some crafts are more closely tied to certain castes, such as pottery being common among the artisans of the merchant caste, but any and all pursuits are practiced in all of the castes. Some artistic styles are also associated with certain Clans: in the field of architecture while the majority of buildings are strictly utilitarian, for prestigious buildings the Wolf and Jade Falcon Clans both utilize dynamic construction emphasizing strength and vitality, while the Smoke Jaguars love simplicity of form, clean lines and smooth walls. Considered time-consuming and "wasteful" by most warriors and scientists, the performing arts are dominated by and produced largely for the merchant and laborer castes, with an entertainment "super-caste" consisting of members from both having developed over the years. However literary traditions are all but extinct in Clan society, a result of the control of information imposed by its leaders, with oral traditions taking their place. Few books have been written since the Clans formed and are heavily censored to ensure they uphold Clan ideals; while pre-Exodus books do exist, their access is tightly controlled and limited to a privileged few.
A wide variety of sports are practiced by Clan warriors, providing an outlet for their competitive spirit and promoting physical health, teamwork and mental dexterity. One of the two most popular team sports is lacrosse, played by warriors from Clans Wolf, Coyote and Fire Mandrill. While similar in many respects to the original sport in Clan Lacrosse each team starts with one hundred points, each goal scored awards fifty and any player carrying the ball may be hit with the butt end of the crosse. Players' light armor incorporates sensors to register these hits, and any successful attempts within the designated target area subtracts one point from the team's total. The game ends when one team is reduced to negative points or after one hour of play, in which the team with the highest score wins. Few Elementals play lacrosse, which is favored more by aerospace pilots (whose small size endears them to offensive positions) and MechWarrior pilots.
The other most popular team game is football, which in fact refers to three distinct variations. Rugby is principally played by Clans Steel Viper, Ice Hellion and Star Adder, and revolves around moving an ovid ball across the pitch to score one of three ways. While traditional methods of grounding it or kicking it through the goal posts still exist, a third way involves tackling the ball carrier and forcing them to drop the ball, which earns one point. Soccer is similar to rugby, with the two opposing teams attempting to move a spherical ball down the pitch and score a goal, though except for the goalie players cannot use their hands. Like lacrosse most soccer players are aerospace pilots and MechWarriors and requires them to develop strategies on the fly. The third variant, "American" football, is played most frequently by Clans Ghost Bear, Hell's Horses and Smoke Jaguar. Focusing on the execution of preplanned plays and teamwork, it is played almost exclusively by Elementals.
Print and broadcast media is tightly controlled in Clan society, with a paltry few outlets compared to the thousands found in the Inner Sphere. However, exact attitudes towards the media differ between the Clans: at one extreme, the Smoke Jaguars had virtually no media industry and rarely allowed "non-essential" broadcasts within their territory, while at the opposite end, the Diamond Sharks pioneered the Chatterweb and still maintain a media empire the rival of any within the Inner Sphere, selling their products to the other Clans. Primarily a propaganda generator tending towards relaying information and indoctrination, Clan media censorship in many ways mirrors the type found in the Draconis Combine or Capellan Confederation (or even in some cases, the Federated Commonwealth), though Clansmen will say at least they are honest with themselves about such censorship. One of the biggest difference between Clan and Inner Sphere media is the lack of any commercials in Clan programs, a product of their need-based economy.
The type of media produced also depends on its target audience, though the promotion of the Clan lifestyle remains pervasive. While the three lower castes enjoy programming largely similar to that found in the Inner Sphere, including soap operas and cooking shows, scientist programming empathizes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, while warriors prefer material focusing on battles, Trials, military technology and great leaders. Children's programming also exist, with the most popular show among merchant caste pre-teens being "The Adventures of Clan Spaniel" which focuses on a group of anthropomorphic warriors. Led by Khan Polly, each episode illustrates the positive virtues of an aspect of Clan life as the group seek to liberate their homeworlds from five tribes of evil monkeys, thinly-disguised stand-ins for the Inner Sphere Great Houses.
The Clans' language is rooted in Star League English, the language of government and commerce during the now-defunct Star League. This language is held sacred, as are many things dating back to the Star League, and as such is spoken with an emphasis on formality. Such is the reverence held for their language that Clan members view contractions as sloppy, ill-mannered and positively un-Clanlike. The exact origins for this practice are unknown: while it requires the speaker to think more about what they are going to say and its archaic-sounding form gives a sense of history and tradition, such a petty restriction on what people can say can be another form of control in and of itself. Regardless the Clans have allowed their language to develop over the centuries to include many other words and phrases with no English equivalent. This includes the restoration of archaic English terms such as "rede" and "troth," the abbreviation of certain phrases, and influence of other languages (particularly Russian) in shaping new words, phrases and sentence structures.
For a complete list of Clan words and phrases see here.
Though in a sense Clan society is atheistic, and many Clansmen will say as much, in truth many of the spiritual aspects of religion have been supplanted by what is known as the "Cult of Kerensky." The Kerenskys, and indeed the founding of the Clans, is shrouded in mythology and superstition, thanks in part to the strict control of information. Like Moses, Aleksandr Kerensky is seen as a father figure who led his people into the wilderness but never saw the Promise Land, while his son Nicholas is the messiah who rescued his people from darkness. Central to this belief is the Hidden Hope Doctrine, that one day the Clans would return to the Inner Sphere and reform the Star League, which for many years provided a driving force in everyday Clan life.
Classic religions still exist in Clan society, none more so than in Clan Cloud Cobra where they form the basis for the formation of Cloisters, with their differing traditions covered by an overarching concept known as "The Way." Clans Coyote, Goliath Scorpion and Nova Cat also practice a form of mysticism, including the use of vision quests to guide their actions. The Coyotes' beliefs are based on a form of native American spiritualism, while the Nova Cats' are less clear in origin if not similar. Clan Goliath Scorpion meanwhile believe that taking the dangerous hallucinogen Necrosia grants them visions to the location of long-lost Star League artifacts, the recovery of which is the Clan's highest purpose, though it is regarded by others as an insidious tradition and the main reason for the Scorpion's limited influence.
The lack of widespread belief in pre-Exodus religions has a number of reasons. First, organized religions provide an alternative power structure to the Clan hierarchy, threatening it with what some deem "poisonous" ideas which could lead to revolt. Religion also does not fit easily into the "waste not, want not" mindset of many and is deemed to serve no useful purpose. Finally among most trueborn warriors the idea of worshiping an almighty God figure does not mesh easily with the fact that they were grown in a lab by decidedly un-Godlike scientists. Outright persecution of religious people is rare in Clan society and those who adhere to any particular faith are for the most part tolerated, with some amount of extra hardships.
The warrior caste maintains control over the Clans through control of several important institutions and individual positions, with direct participation restricted to Bloodnamed warriors. Each Clan is governed by a Clan Council, a collection of all of that Clan's Bloodnamed warriors, and have nearly absolute authority over all internal matters. Each Clan Council will also elect two of its members to serve as Khan and saKhan, the rulers of the Clan and nominally its best warriors. Traditionally the Khan serves as head of the Clan while the saKhan acts as the Clan's warlord, although these functions vary between Clans. The Council also elects a Loremaster to function as their Clan's arbiter and keeper of knowledge. By tradition Loremasters do not vote on the Council unless it is to cast a deciding vote.
The Khan and saKhan also serve as their Clan's representative on the Grand Council, the governing body of all of the Clans. While in most cases unable to interfere in the internal matters of a Clan, the Grand Council is charged with overseeing issues which affect all of them, particularly as it also serves as the highest court in Clan space, and its proceedings are managed by the Loremaster of the Clans. In times of war and emergency the Grand Council also elects an ilKhan to serve as the Grand Council's head and the supreme commander of all Clan military forces. The ilKhan's powers are varied and many, though not absolute, and their position is a temporary one.
Each of the civilian castes include their own council - such as a science council, merchant conclave, technician's guild, and laborer assembly - charged with organizing caste members to execute tasks assigned by the Clan Council. However, due to the sheer size of the civilian castes, additional councils are organized at the planetary and regional level. When charged by the Clan Council to deal with a non-military matter (often at the prompting of the civilians themselves), the caste councils can directly assigned individual teams to the matter or delegate the matter to a lower council, which does the same. These teams vary size and workload involved depending on their caste and what they are assigned, though for many whatever job they have is routine and often permanent (i.e. grow food); some teams though are given a specific assignment for a limited time, and so frequently move between different tasks.
Given the fact that civilian castes contain more grades of responsibility than the warrior caste (25 vs 7) and subsequently improving levels of work-credit for food, accommodation, et cetera, ambition plays a driving force in improving a Clansman's livelihood. The use of so-called "dirty tricks" in order to get ahead is thus more prevalent among the civilians than it is in the warrior caste, and the most senior member of each caste has an authority potentially rivaling that of the Khans. With the exception of the Diamond Sharks most are too involved in their own power politics to meddle with overall Clan affairs, while the threat of bloody reprisals and occasional concessions by the warriors (dressed up in more palatable terms) keeps them in line.
Day-to-day administration is carried out by a multi-tiered bureaucracy organized from the Clan level down to individual cities, consisting of many self-contained cells of administrators gathered into multi-caste councils known most commonly as assemblies. As each cell is largely self-sufficient for carrying out their function in Clan society, they can easily be swapped out, minimizing the effects of any transfer in power. Thus if the ownership of a facility, city or even planet changes from one Clan to another, the work carries on just as before with little more than the civilian reporting structure actually changing.
Law and Order
The Clan system of justice heavily favors the warrior caste, not least because they largely staff it. The military police are a little-known warrior sub-caste, almost exclusively composed of test-downs and freebirths, and are poorly regarded by mainstream warriors. Rather than solve crimes Clan police's primary duty is to discouraging crimes through brutal, authoritative measures; beatings also help serve to vent their anger. Those not patrolling the cities or performing compound security will be formed into small detachments charged with investigating crimes, but such duty is not highly regarded and Clan investigative standards fall below those in the Inner Sphere.
Once a trial is underway an inquisitor will be assigned to investigate the circumstances of each case. A cross between a detective and a prosecutor, inquisitors are warriors who have received special training in the law and investigative techniques; most are active duty warriors, though some may come from the non-combatant Supply and Support command. In matters involving a warrior the inquisitor supports the prosecution while an advocate, also a law-trained warrior, supports the defense. In purely civilian trails the inquisitor plays "devil's advocate" and works to uncover the truth.
The composition of the jury depends greatly on the magnitude of the crime. Petty crimes might involve the accused's immediate peers, while more serious crimes require high-ranking officials of the same caste, whether from their city or military unit. In more serious matters the caste's ruling council may serve as jury, while the Clan Council automatically handles the most heinous crimes and serves as the court of highest appeal for all warriors of that Clan.
The jury is directly involved in the trial's proceedings and may ask questions via the inquisitor. While this can be helpful in getting to the bottom of the matter it also allows them to hinder the process; in trials involving members of the warrior caste a Loremaster will sit in as judge to ensure fair play, though the civilian courts will rarely receive such supervision. Once the jury has reached a verdict only warriors may appeal by fighting a Trial of Refusal while civilians must accept their punishment. The severity of punishment depends heavily on the nature of the crime committed: minor offenses will involve some form of community service or perhaps public humiliation while a reduction in grade or short-term imprisonment are reserved for more serious offenses. Crimes which might result in long-term imprisonment in the Inner Sphere are normally handled through physical punishment such as flogging, the individual's Abjuration or execution. Only in rare cases will they be sentenced to serve time aboard the Prinz Eugen, the Alcatraz of the Clans, reserved predominately for civilian caste members too influential to execute or exile.
On the face of it the Clans are leaps and bounds more technologically advanced than the Inner Sphere, helped in no small part by the fact that their knowledge and industrial base was not ravaged by the Succession Wars as was the Inner Sphere. The truth however is that much of this advancement was focused entirely in areas either directly or indirectly combat-related, such as weapons, computing, and material chemistry. Civilian technology advancements which aren't simply spin-offs from military developments are far fewer, while a fixation on the Star League also played its part in technological stagnation, with many civilian items little more than exact duplicates of what was available during that era. The result is that the general technology level in the Clan homeworlds differs very little from that of the Inner Sphere and in some areas even lags behind.
A few exceptions to technological stagnation do exist, the most visible of which are Clan military systems. However even in this area most of their advancements have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. A Clan 'Mech might have lighter, more compact and more efficient components but it is still recognizable as a 'Mech. The concept of OmniMechs was based on technology first introduced in the Mercury, with the first OmniMechs reaching service in 2854. Likewise the Clans' trademarked advanced weapons and electronics weren't available until just before the thirty-first century. Even ProtoMechs were largely based on 'Mech technology which was simply scaled-down in size. The only truly revolutionary concept pioneered by the Clans was Battle Armor, introduced by Clan Wolf in 2868, which combined previously available elements such as Exoskeletons into an entirely new form with no direct Star League lineage.
In the fields of molecular and chemical engineering the Clans were also able to make a number of developments to produce material stronger and lighter than normal for use in both military and civilian application. In addition to retaining the ability to produce Endo-Steel, Ferro-Aluminum and Ferro-Fibrous they also developed memory metals, compounds which "remember" their shape and return to it when subjected to an electrical current. An example of these types of compounds is known as Clan copper, which is used to construct helmets and body armor. The use of memory metals and similar compounds, along with sophisticated computer systems, allowed for the creation of adaptive architecture or "smart buildings." Able to adjust their shape and rigidity based on environmental conditions, such as tectonic activity, these buildings could not only be built in previously inhospitable regions but also larger and taller than normal: Clan Steel Viper's Mercer Building on New Kent is over one kilometer tall with 211 stories.
The one area where Clan technology really took off however was in the medical field, a result of heavy investment due to the Clan homeworlds' harsh nature and the need for a large military. Advanced life support and regenerative techniques means the Clans can sustain an injured warrior indefinitely and regrow nearly any body part. Genetic modification techniques are similarly advanced and are responsible for the creation of some of the Clans' totem animals, such as the Smoke Jaguar.
Ironically while the Clans' eugenics program is the centerpiece of their society, in many ways it is the least technologically advanced. The birthing chambers known as Iron Wombs are based on technology over a thousand years old, little different from the life-support systems used to save premature babies first pioneered by Jutendo University on Terra. Ethical concerns kept these artificial wombs from being used for any other purposes, concerns discarded by Kerensky and his scientists in their need for a larger population.
The eugenics program proper began in 2819, though it wouldn't be until 2858 that the three distinctive phenotypes associated with modern-day trueborns first emerged. Surprisingly scientists associated with the program take a hands-off approach to their work, preferring for the most part to let nature take its course. Genetic modification to alter physical or mental traits is used only sparingly beyond correcting adverse recessive traits or ensuring an equal balance of males and females to each Bloodhouse. This latter reason remains more for the sake of tradition than any true need, as it is relatively easy to take DNA from two individuals and splice them into sperm and ova gametes, creating a zygote irrespective of the donor's genes: theoretically a male warrior can be a "gene-mother" and vice versa, though again this is a rare occurrence. Another theoretical yet rarely occurring practice is the ability to create clones, known as a "retread." Simply replicating an individual however implies stagnation and goes against the Clans' belief in evolution and natural selection. Lastly Clan law discourages the combining of genes from related warriors, usually within three generations of each other; despite genetic screening incest remains a taboo.
While the eugenics program is popularly associated with trueborn warriors, it also applies to the civilian freeborn castes as well. Officially the scientist caste is responsible for pairing individuals based on their genetic compatibility, but in practice most "marriages" are given approval after the fact. These pairings are mandatory however for the production of many children, and individuals caught "eloping" as it were can faced severe punishment for interfering with the eugenics program. Such punishments are left up to the individual Clan to determine, but can range anywhere up to chemical reprogramming or execution.
The greatest philosophical divide to emerge during the Clans' history was that between the Wardens and Crusaders, at its heart a debate over how the Clans should interact with the Inner Sphere. The Wardens believed that it was their duty to serve as protectors of the Inner Sphere until the Star League could be reborn naturally, while the Crusaders believed they needed to conquer the Inner Sphere and reform the Star League with the Clans at its head. Both sides used the writings and sayings of Nicholas Kerensky to justify their position, though it was not until the middle of the thirtieth century that the Crusader creed began to gain strength. It was actually the demands of the civilian castes, whose hard existence on the Clan homeworlds made the Inner Sphere seem like a "lost paradise," which helped lead to its rise, until even staunchly Warden Clans began to succumb to the call of the Crusaders.
The failure of the Clan invasion, along with the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar and the Crusader's defeat in the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty did cause a serious setback to its adherents and saw a resurgence in Warden ideology. In the wake of those events the Warden Clans dominated the Grand Council which, while seeing an end to large-scale operations, did not prevent the Clans from prosecuting "brushfire wars."
Another political divide developed after the Clan invasion between the Invader Clans, those which took part in Operation Revival, and the Home Clans, those left behind in Clan space. The Clans which took part in the invasion were able to gain tremendous prestige as their warriors proved the strength of their bloodlines in combat and, more importantly, gained tremendous wealth as they conquered dozens of resource-rich systems. While some of this prestige was lost in the wake of their failure, the power amassed by them nevertheless made the Home Clans extremely jealous, such that Clans of both Warden and Crusader ideologies worked together to stem the power of the Invaders, albeit for different reasons. Likewise Invader Clans of different ideologies also banded together to ensure their dominance and exclude the Home Clans from the Inner Sphere, whether to ensure their place in rebuilding the Star League by force or reign in the invasion's excesses.
That division would become permanent in the wake of the Wars of Reaving as the Home Clans and Invader Clans became separated permanently.
The pinnacle of Clan society, and indeed the entire reason for its existence, Clan military forces diverge sharply from their Inner Sphere counterparts thanks to a variety of factors. While the warrior caste is the most visible part of a Clan's military, or touman, it also includes members of the other civilian castes in a supporting role. The technician caste in particularly features heavily in military forces, handling duties such as maintenance and communication, and make up the bulk of crews on DropShips and WarShips. The merchant caste is also heavily involved, responsible for handling all matters of military logistics.
After being born into a Crèche Clan trueborn warriors are then assigned to a sibko, or "sibling company," composed of children from the same geneparents. These cadets are raised and trained together, indoctrinated into Clan lore and prepared for the day when they must complete their first Trial of Position and earn their place as warriors.
The exact nature of warrior training differs from Clan to Clan, though in general sibkos will spend their time at either a primary or secondary training facility. Primary facilities are geared around training front-line units only, offering the best training possible and are richly endowed with resources. Primary facilities can generally handle over eight sibkos at a time and graduate a new one every three to six months, depending on the particular Clan's training style. Depending on the needs of the Clan secondary facilities, also known as satellite facilities, handle the training of moderately-successful trueborns, freeborns or specialized types of warriors. Secondary facilities can train four sibkos at a time, on average graduating one per year. Some share resources with primary facilities, although the latter always takes precedence.
Ranks and Organization
In comparison to the militaries of the Inner Sphere, the Clans have no distinction between enlisted and officer ranks; in effect all warriors are considered "officers" with rough parallels to Inner Sphere ranking systems, though such comparisons break down below the rank of Point Commander. Likewise its units, organized around a base-five system, differ in several regards to classic Inner Sphere military structures.
|Squad Commander||Squad||5 Warriors|
|Point Commander||Point||1 'Mech, 2 Aerospace fighters, 5 Elementals, 5 squads.|
|Star Commander||Star||5 Points|
|Nova||1 'Mech Star and 1 Elemental Star (10 Points)|
|Star Captain||Binary||2 Stars (10 Points)|
|Trinary||3 Stars (15 Points)|
|Super Nova||2 'Mech Stars and 2 Elemental Stars (20 Points)|
|Super Nova Trinary||3 'Mech Stars and 3 Elemental Stars (30 Points)|
|Star Colonel||Cluster||2-5 Binaries, Trinaries, Super Novas and/or Super Nova Trinaries (20 to 150 Points)|
|Galaxy Commander||Galaxy||2-5 Clusters (40 to 750 Points)|
|Point Commander||Commands a section or a work crew on a vessel.|
|Star Commander||An executive officer or a department head on a vessel.|
|Star Captain||Commands a DropShip or a JumpShip.|
|Star Commodore||Equivalent to a Star Colonel, commands a squadron of DropShips or JumpShips, or a single WarShip.|
|Star Admiral||Equivalent to a Galaxy Commander, commands either a major WarShip, or a star of WarShips.|
The Clans rank their units into a series of categories based on intended role, skill and equipment level. Front-line units, always composed of trueborns, are the primary assault forces of the Clans. They utilize the best resources the Clan has, organized into combined-arms formations - OmniMechs, OmniFighters and Battle Armored Elementals - and assigned the most important missions in a campaign.
Second-line units are a Clan's reserve and garrison force, used to hold ground taken by front-line units or to attack secondary objectives. These forces typically consist of trueborn warriors less skilled or who have aged past the point where they are still worthy of serving in front-line units, and while not given the latest equipment many still possess Omni technology and given good logistical support. A step down from second-line units, though in the same category, are provisional garrison units. These forces are held in the rear to clean up after front- and second-line units and hold less-important targets. Such units rarely use Omni technology or battle armored Elementals, instead making due with conventional BattleMechs and aerospace fighters, along with combat vehicles and unarmored infantry. Some Clans make no distinction between second-line Clusters and Provisional Garrison Clusters (PGCs), leading to a larger reserve force with admittedly greater inequality between units. Freeborns, regardless of skill, are assigned to second-line units if a Clan allows them to serve as warriors.
Lastly are solahma units, the proverbial bottom of the barrel. Equipped primarily as infantry units, occasionally with outdated vehicles or 'Mechs, they are given the least prestigious assignments like bandit hunting. Consisting of aged or disgraced warriors these units may occasionally be ordered, in the face of overwhelming odds and near-certain death, to hold a location or attack an enemy as part of a major campaigns. A Clan planet's defense militia force will consist of solahma units.
The Clans utilize a strong centralized economic system dedicated to supporting their military forces, with a heavy focus on efficiency and recycling even in daily life. The merchant caste oversees all aspect of economic activity, from the running of major industries like manufacturing, farming and mining to the monolithic trading houses which control the distribution of goods within each Clan and the transactions of goods between them. Elements of high finance such as futures speculation do exist but again these are dedicated to providing the essential needs of the Clan; the concept of acquiring wealth simply for the sake of it is an alien concept to Clansmen.
Goods and Services
Clan society is largely moneyless, with the average Clansman being "paid" in electronic work credits. These credits can be used to purchase standard items from official stores, bars and other establishments, with a record of these transactions kept and examined to determine an individual's socioeconomic profile. However all goods are officially the property of each Clan which, along with any unused work credits, can be redistributed at will by the leadership. These measures also help serve as a means of exerting control over the general population.
Each Clansman receives work credit on a monthly basis, the exact amount determined by their grade. While the warrior caste consist of seven grades and for the most part can requisition whatever they need, among the civilian castes are a total of twenty-five grades, from the lowest Grade One to the highest Grade Twenty-Five. Besides determining how much each person is paid, grades also determine an individual's access to other amenities including housing, transport and health care. For example higher graded personnel are given more spacious and luxurious housing, though all but the most senior individuals live in apartment blocks. In addition sub-categories exist within each grade depending on the individual's role: a strenuous job involving hard labor requires a higher caloric intake, and thus that person is granted larger food allowances than someone with a sedentary position.
Civilian caste members are organized into work teams, their size depending on their caste and job, and given a task to perform known as a "work target." Representing a full day's work, work targets are based on age, skills and caste, and can be as simple as producing a given number of products in a day or involve more long-term and complex projects. Exceeding your work target can be rewarded with an increase in grade, while consistently failing to meet it can cause a loss in grade or even banishment. Given the fact that there are limits to the amount of work to be done, this limits the amount of work credits available. Work teams not only compete with each other to achieve or exceed their work target, they also seek to maximize their limited resources by getting rid of any "dead weight," reporting any Clansman who fails to meet their work allocation or impedes the efforts of others. Everyone is expected to work - even school-age children take apprenticeships and vocational training to supplement their education - and if you cannot you starve. This explains why the mortality rate is much higher among the Clans than in the Inner Sphere: besides the harsher conditions, medical attention is more likely to go to highly-skilled individuals who contribute most to society rather than low-skilled and easily-replaced workers or those whose injuries or old age prevent them from working.
For transactions between different Clans the merchant caste makes use of a form of currency known as the Kerensky (KE). This "macro-currency" allows financial institutions to operate and for the smooth transfer of goods without having to barter materials. Largely electronic, physical forms of Kerenskies do exist for limited use: small coins two centimeters across represent denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 20 KE, while larger two-by-four centimeter rectangular blocks represent larger values of 100, 1,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. Both coins and blocks are minted in gold and contain ID chips and chemical compounds to prevent forgery.
Most profits made by the merchant caste come from traditional exchange of materials, however several also put emphasis on futures trade. Clan Diamond Shark was the main proponent of these ventures, as was Clan Nova Cat before becoming outcasts. By buying up the necessary equipment one Clan can underwrite another Clan's mining or exploration effort in exchange for a percent of the profit. If successful profit is made at minimal effort, while failure means the Clan must absorb the expense.
Maintaining and tracking the flow of work credits and Kerenskies is the job of each Clan's "central bank," in truth a series of institutions associated with major mercantile concerns. Besides working with the civilian administration to arrange the transfer and remuneration of funds, they also serve to provide loans, especially by those with the most assets. The borrower must pay a fee determined by the duration of the loan and sum involved, and must put up collateral equal in value to the loan. A default on the loan results in ownership of the collateral passing to the institution, even in the rare cases when the loan is made to another Clan. Refusing to honor the deal is possible but such a thing happens just as infrequently. The Jade Falcon Clan in particular earned a reputation for their banking practices, giving rise to the phrase "as sharp as the talons of a Falcon banker."
Black Market & Inner Sphere
Despite restrictions a substantial black market exists within Clan society. Largely centered in Katyusha City on Strana Mechty, it primarily revolves around the buying and selling of nonstandard goods and uses Kerenskies to facilitate transactions. For this reason any nonmerchants found to be in possession of hard currency are considered racketeers and punished with a two-step reduction in grade and public flogging.
Contact between the Clans and the Inner Sphere has resulted in little change to the Clan economic system as the Sphereiod's capitalistic ideas find little purchase in this cashless society. Financial transactions between the two are difficult as the exchange ratio of the KE and C-Bill is hard to peg down due to differing levels of the availability of goods. At best guess one KE is roughly equivalent to five C-Bills, and in large part merchants barter for any goods needed. A trickle of luxury items from the Inner Sphere have begun to appear within Clan space, but for the average Clansman such frivolities are little used and not valued. Still, some observers believe that consumerism will soon spread into Clan society and bring about its downfall from within.
List of Clans
At the time of the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere, 17 of the original 20 Clans were still in existence. The Not-Named Clan was Annihilated shortly after Operation Klondike, while Clan Widowmaker and Clan Mongoose were absorbed by the Wolf Clan and Smoke Jaguar Clan respectively during the Golden Century.
|Clan Blood Spirit||Crusader||One of the smallest of the Clans, the Blood Spirits were also the most tradition-minded and isolationist, defined by a sense of esprit-de-corps for which they were named. Though producing excellent warriors, the Blood Spirits were weak militarily and survived over the years in part by having nothing worth fighting over. Their bitterness towards the other Clans for abandoning what they saw as Kerensky's vision ensured they had few friends.|
|Clan Burrock||Crusader||Clan Burrock was heavily associated with the Dark Caste, a link dating back to shortly after the Pentagon Civil War and which they successfully hid from the rest of the Clans for centuries. When the truth about their dealings with the Dark Caste was revealed, the Clan was Absorbed by the Star Adders in 3059. After their attempted resurrection in 3072, the remnants of Clan Burrock were thoroughly destroyed over the next two years.|
|Clan Cloud Cobra||Warden||The only Clan defined by its incorporation of organized religions, Clan Cloud Cobra's warrior-priests were organized into Cloisters and dedicated themselves to an overarching concept known as "The Way." One of the smaller Clans, they were also the most cunning, save perhaps the Snow Ravens, and placed a heavy emphasis on their aerospace forces.|
|Clan Coyote||Warden||The Coyote Clan was responsible for the invention of the OmniMech and throughout history was one of the strongest of the Clans, though their opposition to the invasion of the Inner Sphere caused them to be the target of Crusader attacks and their strength and influence diminished. The Coyotes were also known for their mystical beliefs, based on native American religious practices, which bound its warriors together in brotherhood.|
|Clan Diamond Shark||Warden||Originally known as Clan Sea Fox, and often referred to as the "Merchant Clan," the Diamond Sharks were among the most powerful and progressive of the Clans. The only Clan where the merchant caste's influence exceeds that of the warriors, they were also the only one to allow warriors to voluntarily step down to join another caste, with many choosing to join the merchants as Warrior-Traders. The Clan took part late in the Clan Invasion when they were assigned as a reserve force and participated in the Battle of Tukayyid. After the Jihad, Clan Diamond Shark petitioned the Grand Council successfully to change their name back to Clan Sea Fox. Immediately following the Wars of Reaving, they became a nomadic Clan based in the Inner Sphere.|
|Clan Fire Mandrill||Crusader||In many ways a Clan in name only, the Fire Mandrills divided themselves into groupings known as Kindraa and fought with anyone, especially each other, to resolve any issues. This fractious nature kept the Fire Mandrills from becoming a powerful force in Clan society, including participation in the invasion of the Inner Sphere. As one member put it, "to fight against their equals, the Kindraa of Clan Fire Mandrill are forced to fight among themselves."|
|Clan Ghost Bear||Warden||Among the most powerful of the Clans, the Ghost Bears were defined by their conservative "wait and see" nature and their deep familial relationship with each other. Though they were less quick to adopt new technologies or concepts than other Clans, their approach to life also ensured their survival and growth over the years. Originally of the Crusader mindset, they were one of the four Clans to first invade the Inner Sphere and blazed an invasion corridor which included the Free Rasalhague Republic and the Draconis Combine. During the Wars of Reaving, they fled the Homeworlds and settled into their Dominion in the Inner Sphere.|
|Clan Goliath Scorpion||Warden||The Goliath Scorpion Clan was obsessed with recovering any and all lost artifacts of the fallen Star League, sending Seekers far and wide to recover them. Such roaming knights-errant were often inspired by the use of Necrosia, a deadly toxin which induced "visions" of where these items could be located. Among the Clans, they were the strictest adherents to zellbrigen and valued strength, speed, and precision in every action. A Trial of Abjuration was declared upon the Clan, and they fled to the Inner Sphere, where they conquered Nueva Castile, renaming it Escorpion Imperio.|
|Clan Hell's Horses||Mixed||Known for their prominent use of combat vehicles in front-line forces, the Hell's Horses lived by the motto that man came before machine and all members were valued as being part of a greater whole, including freebirths. While not the most powerful of Clans, the Hell's Horses were among the most stable and held their own against others. The majority of Clan Hell's Horses were of the Warden mindset while its leadership were ardent Crusaders.|
|Clan Ice Hellion||Crusader||A fierce, quick-handed Clan bordering on reckless, the Ice Hellion Clan often grasped for prizes beyond their reach and could be their own worst enemy. Ice Hellion warriors prized the ability to strike first above other considerations, though members of the civilian caste were more even-paced in their dealings. Denied a chance to participate in the Clan Invasion, they lashed out at the other Clans during The Hellion's Fury. With almost their entire touman destroyed during Operation Ice Storm, what little remained was absorbed into Clan Goliath Scorpion. Other Fragments turned to pirate attacks upon the Ghost Bear Dominion.|
|Clan Jade Falcon||Crusader||Staunch traditionalists and aggressive fighters, the Jade Falcons were central in the creation of the Crusader philosophy and considered Clan Wolf their enemy. Despite their martial "might makes right" mindset the Clan treated their civilian castes well, though with a firm hand, and their mercantile efforts were second only to the Diamond Sharks, leading to an above average standard of living. The Jade Falcon Clan was one of the four original participants in the Inner Sphere invasion and confronted the Federated Commonwealth. Abjured from the Homeworlds, they moved into their Occupation Zones in the Inner Sphere.|
|Clan Nova Cat||Warden||A Clan marked by their own unique brand of mysticism, the Nova Cats were guided by visions and portents, especially through the use of pyromancy, and even its Khans first consulted with the Oathmaster before undertaking any action which could affect the Clan. Following through on these visions tended to cause conflict with other Clans though, and only through the strength of their warriors was the Nova Cat Clan kept safe over the years. During the Inner Sphere invasion, this Clan was brought in as reinforcements to assist the Smoke Jaguars in their fight against the Draconis Combine. This Clan was formally Abjured from all the Clans.|
|Clan Smoke Jaguar||Crusader||Clan Smoke Jaguar was among the most aggressive and warlike of the Clans, even at the expense of more peaceful endeavors, and were early supporters of the Crusader philosophy. Though all Clans prioritized the warrior caste, the Smoke Jaguars took this approach to another level and were severely repressive of their civilian castes. One of the four original invading Clans, the Smoke Jaguar Khan Leo Showers was given the honor of leading the Clan invasion and his Clan directed their fury against the Draconis Combine. Following the creation of the Second Star League, this Clan was chosen by the Star League in a Trial of Annihilation.|
|Clan Snow Raven||Warden||Masters of compromise and manipulation, Clan Snow Raven were opportunists of the highest order, possessing an almost un-Clanlike sense of self-preservation and a willingness to sell their services to the highest bidder. The Clan placed a heavy emphasis on aerospace and naval forces, such that for many years they possessed the largest WarShip fleet and produced the finest naval officers bred from dedicated naval bloodlines, though this came at a cost to their ground forces. Forced from the Clan Homeworlds, they moved to the Inner Sphere, merging with the Outworlds Alliance, becoming the Raven Alliance.|
|Clan Star Adder||Crusader||A conservative Clan, known for their pragmatism and their strategic (rather than tactical) view towards battle, as well as treating freeborns that proved themselves, as equals. Though they failed to secure a place among the invaders of Operation Revival, they made great gains in the homeworlds during that time, and would go on to Absorb Clan Burrock.|
|Clan Steel Viper||Warden/Crusader||Clan Steel Viper's early history was marred by the acts of the Not-Named Khan, causing the Steel Vipers to enact a form of isolationism, though not to the same extreme as the Blood Spirits. They also had the toughest training regime of any Clan save the Blood Spirits, graduating fewer but more elite warriors, and were more discriminating against freebirths than other Clans. Straddling the fence between Warden and Crusader, the Clan participated in the Inner Sphere invasion first as a reserve force before being brought in to assist the Jade Falcons. The Steel Vipers were annihilated during the Wars of Reaving.|
|Clan Stone Lion||Warden||Named from the feline inhabiting the northern mountains of Tokasha, Clan Stone Lion was created from the remaining Homeworld members of Clan Hell's Horses after the Abjuration of their Inner Sphere portion in 3075.|
|Clan Wolf||Warden||The chosen Clan of Nicholas Kerensky, the Wolves have dominated Clan society since their inception. Less formal and more flexible than others, Clan Wolf emulated its namesake by blending caution with decisiveness to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Clan Wolf also led the Warden effort to oppose the invasion of the Inner Sphere, but were nevertheless forced to participate as one of the four original invaders, their invasion corridor encompassing territory from the Federated Commonwealth and the Free Rasalhauge Republic. Divided in half during the Refusal War, Clan Wolf fled to the Inner Sphere during the Wars of Reaving, taking the only copies of the Founders' genetic legacies with them.|
|Planet||Blood Spirit||Cloud Cobra||Coyote||Diamond Shark||Fire Mandrill||Ghost Bear||Goliath Scorp.||Hell’s Horses||Ice Hellion||Jade Falcon||Snow Raven||Star Adder||Steel Viper||Wolf|
|Strana Mechty||all clans have equal territory|
In Critter-TEK (a cartoon-style baseball parody of BattleTech), the Clans are pictured as the Crans, descendants of "Krewzinski, the great slugger who led the Big League lineup out on strike". By "strapping together 2 of a weapon and claiming it is a SUPER weapon" and generally "clever cheating", they badly waxed the Infield Franchises "in exhibition games played in the off-season".
"They are a whole bunch of teams, loosely called the Crans, after their own name for a Franchise. They use Aluminium Bats and Big League equipment. They play by weird rules and customs, like the Designated Hitter. They have a weird concept of "Wa" which unites the team. They throw a lot of breaking balls, and they tend to play for one run at a time. They almost never steal bases. And they hate each other almost as much as they hate the infield. (...)"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 7-8
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 8-9
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 9-11
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 11-13
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 14
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 15-16
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 16-17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17-18
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 18-20
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 20-21
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22-23
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 24-25
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 25-26
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 189
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 34
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 37
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 36
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 82
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 72-73
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 81
- Path of Glory, p. 99
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 41
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 144, "Species Profile"
- Way of the Clans
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 89
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 42
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 70
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 52
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 193
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 48
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 49
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 68
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 51
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 69
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 47
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 191
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 72
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 71
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 58-59
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 73
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 74
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 192
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 77
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 68
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 78
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 144
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 39-40
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 76
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 75
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 18
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 17
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 201
- The rank the warrior holds is used as their title unless they hold the lowest rank (for example, Star Commander Zane). If they are warriors, they have a title denoting their sub-caste. E.g. a warrior who pilots a vehicle will be called ‘crewman’, and aerospace pilot will be called ‘pilot’ and so-on (for example, MechWarrior Aidan). Technically all MechWarriors are Point Commanders, commanding a Point of one, though only the vainest would use this title.
- A Cluster or Galaxy is considered to be Under-Strength with 2 Units, Regular with 3 Units, Reinforced at 4 Units and Strong at 5 Units. Because a Unit in a Cluster can vary in size from 20 to 150 Points, this has a considerable effect on the range of sizes a Galaxy might be.
- In Clan Coyote and Clan Hell’s horses, commanders of a Nova have the rank Nova Commander, which is one rank higher than Star Commander.
- In Clan Coyote and Clan Hell’s horses, commanders of a Super Nova have the rank Nova Captain, which is one rank higher than Star Captain.
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 200
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 10
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 12
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 66
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 67
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pp.70-101
- Field Manual: Update, p. 39