Clan Goliath Scorpion
|Clan Goliath Scorpion|
|Time period:||2807 – 3078|
|Military:||Clan Goliath Scorpion Touman|
|Secret Service:||Clan Goliath Scorpion Watch|
Clan Goliath Scorpion was one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky, named after the Goliath Scorpions found on Babylon. Staunch Wardens, the Goliath Scorpions value precision over brute force, while believing strongly in visions and quests. They take Necrosia, a drug based on the venom of the goliath scorpion, to aid in these visions. This Clan believed in looking to the past in order to rebuild the Star League, piece by piece, though their obsession with this goal blinded them to outside events on occasion. The Goliath Scorpions famously provided Clan Wolf the deep-sea diving Exoskeletons which would serve as the progenitors for modern Battle Armor. After the Wars of Reaving they were Abjured and expelled from Clan Space. They then conquered Nueva Castile in the Deep Periphery and renamed it Escorpion Imperio.
The Scorpions' first Khan was Cyrus Elam, a former member of the SLDF Corps of Engineers, chosen to lead his Clan because of innovative tactics he demonstrated in training on Strana Mechty. His saKhan was Jenna Scott, a young infantry commander known for predicting her enemies' movements. Under their Khan's instruction, the fledgling Clan developed flexible combat tactics and fielded combined-arms forces. They would soon come to embody their totem animal and earn a fearsome reputation for swift and deadly strikes.
The Scorpions were assigned to retake the world of Dagda in Operation Klondike. The cluster made the first landing on Dagda, and faced off against the McMillan Collective, the best-equipped and best-led faction on the planet. They then faced The Chosen, a doomsday cult who thought to ride out the war in an upland mining facility-turned-monastery. They also cleared seaborne atolls and faced the Drakkars on the Tenno continent. The Scorpions' heavy losses ruled them out from participating in the final battles of the Dagda campaign.
The Goliath Scorpions would be awarded a portion of Dagda to settle, setting up along the rocky coasts and on the ocean floors to create their first enclave. Khan Elam utilized his skills as an engineer to construct extensive deep-sea mining facilities on Dagda. Similar resource-gathering efforts were started on Roche and Tokasha as territory was ceded to their control.
The Clan would play a role in the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine in 2823 and again a decade later in the Absorption of Clan Widowmaker. Although Clan Wolf had been given the right to Absorb the rebel Clan by themselves, both Khan Elam and Loremaster Moreau would take part in the last battle against the Widowmakers on Roche, where the Widowmakers had been pursued to their final stronghold of Porthos.
During the Golden Century the Goliath Scorpions would help revolutionize Clan society with the creation of underwater industrial exoskeletons in 2842. Known as "water elementals" to their laborer-caste operators, these suits allowed the Clan to harvest the mineral wealth buried beneath the planet's watery depths.
The Scorpions were just as surprised as everyone else when the Wolves unveiled their Elemental Battle Armor in 2868, though they quickly recognized where the technology had originated, and were equally impressed by their performance in battle. Petitioning the Wolves for a reciprocal trade, the Scorpions acquired the design plans and twenty of the new suits in exchange for breeding rights to the Collesano, Baba and Shaffer Bloodlines.
The Clan had much more trouble acquiring the technology behind OmniMechs, however, which Clan Coyote debuted in 2854. Three separate operations to seize the technology were frustrated as Coyote warriors would invoke zellbrigen to reduce the conflicts to a series of duels between warriors. Though easily winning each full-scale battle, the result would be nullified as the Coyotes' superior machines allowed them to handily defeat the Scorpions in single combat. It would take years before the Goliath Scorpions finally began fielding their own OmniMechs.
The Golden Century also saw the beginning of many other Goliath Scorpion traditions. Loremaster Moreau, having survived the effects of the goliath scorpion venom himself, petitioned Khan Dinour to institute a rite of initiation for young Scorpion warriors. Each recruit would allow a goliath scorpion to sting them, thereby proving their fortitude. The fatality rate from this rite, however, quickly became too much for the Clan to bear. In response, the scientist caste devised a drink called necrosia based upon the scorpion venom which, while safe to ingest in controlled quantities, kept the hallucinogenic side affects and allowed for "prophetic visions."
The new Loremaster, Lan Kirov, was inspired by Moreau to continue his brand of mysticism and quest for knowledge. Within the next two decades, Kirov created a special cadre of warriors called Seekers, charged with finding artifacts of the lost Star League scattered throughout the Pentagon and Kerensky Clusters and bringing them back to the Clan to serve as a basis for rebuilding the Star League. The Seekers quickly became a force throughout Clan space, discovering many forgotten caches of and winning many duels for Star League technology and cultural items, which the Clan dutifully collected in order to study and understand the League and its highest ideals.
When the vote to invade the Inner Sphere was brought before the Great Council in 3000, it came as a puzzling surprise, though the Clan's leadership quickly rejected the idea. Siding with their close ally Clan Wolf and the Warden ideology, they believed the Inner Sphere was meant to be protected, not conquered and dominated. As an alternative, they backed Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward's Dragoon Compromise, sending a force of volunteer trueborn and freeborn warriors to scout the Inner Sphere and determine its military readiness. In an unforeseen move, the Scorpion's saKhan Ren Posavatz issued a batchall to train Wolf's Dragoons and won the bid unopposed.
The elite Heartvenom Cluster, the Clan's special forces unit, trained the Dragoons for two years in unconventional tactics. Drawing upon the Star League military doctrines and holovids stored within the Scorpion archives, they transformed the unit into an elite fighting force the equal of any front-line Cluster. Protestations against this methodology as being in opposition to Clan ideals fell on deaf ears, with Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward giving them his support and permission to depart in 3004.
In the Trials to determine who would participate in the invasion, Clan Goliath Scorpion was left out of the initial wave, although they were able to take advantage of the situation. With so many units away from the homeworlds on their Crusade, many Seekers began searching through areas previously considered too heavily-defended.
The years following the Truce of Tukayyid saw great fluctuation within Clan society. For their part, Goliath Scorpion strengthening their bond with Clan Wolf as, in the wake of the Refusal War of 3057, the Scorpions gladly bid away an entire Trinary of Crusader-minded warriors to the Wolves. Their part in the Harvest Trials was rewarded with the gift of an ancient Mackie from Galaxy Commander Katya Kerensky. The Scorpions stood by as Clan Smoke Jaguar was destroyed in the Great Refusal, and in the period afterwards that become known as the Wars of Possession - the Absorption of Clan Burrock, the defection of Clan Nova Cat and mass relocation of Clan Ghost Bear - the Scorpions played only a minor role and made few gains.
At some point in 3068, Clan Goliath Scorpion took part of the 71st Light Horse Regiment of the Eridani Light Horse Brigade as bondsmen. As living relics of the original Star League, the Light Horse have been the source of intense fascination to the Scorpions. When Clan Diamond Shark could no longer provide communications and provisions, Khan Ariel Suvorov authorized the Seekers to approach the Star League embassy and its ELH garrison. Subsequently, the Scorpion merchant caste was allowed to provide those services to the mercenaries while inculcating them on Goliath Scorpion culture.
When the Jihad plunged the Inner Sphere into chaos and destruction, some of the remaining Star League embassy staff chose to be evacuated by the Diamond Sharks back to the Inner Sphere. The 71st Light Horse and other staff did not share those sentiments. Colonel Sandra Barclay used her newfound knowledge of Clan customs to declare a Trial of Possession for the Scorpions' Huntress enclave. If they lost, they offered themselves up to be Absorbed by the Clan. The Trial was a hard-fought victory for the Scorpions, whereupon they took the light battalion that remained as abtakha in what could be described as a celebratory atmosphere.
The Scorpions emerged from the Wars of Reaving as the second most powerful Clan, having avoided much of the bloodshed and having Absorbed the last remains of Clan Ice Hellion. They had established forward outposts at Waypoint 531 and resumed the Seekers' operations.
In December 3078, the Scorpions defended Hector against a Clan Cloud Cobra assault. During the fighting at the Bright Ledge genetic research station, one salvo from a Scorpion 'Mech blew the main bridge dropping half of the 73rd Cobra Guards into the ravine; the Cobras declared the remaining Scorpions dezgra and crushed them. Upon claiming their isorla, they discovered that the Scorpion scientists, without authorization from the Khans or the Clan Council, had been experimenting with integrating Eridani Light Horse genes in the Clan legacies. The matter was brought to the Grand Council, and a Trial of Abjuration was immediately approved. Despite this, the Clans moved slowly to carry it out, and this allowed the Scorpions to evacuate much of their assets to Waypoint 531. The forces left behind fought valiantly, but were ultimately defeated. The survivors gathered at Waypoint 531, then moved on and conquered Nueva Castile forming the Escorpión Imperio.
Clan Goliath Scorpion culture is devoted almost entirely to rebuilding the shattered Star League. This obsession with searching the past to unlock the future is fulfilled through the use of necrosia and the Seeker tradition.
The use of goliath scorpion venom first began during the early years of the Golden Century, when candidates wishing to enter the warrior caste subjected themselves to a goliath scorpion's sting as proof of their physical and mental toughness. The result of these tests, however, left the Clan dangerously weak as far too many applicants died from the neurotoxin, while survivors reported intensely psychoactive dream-states, purportedly showing them glimpses of the future.
Wishing to cut down on the fatality rate while retaining its mystical properties, Goliath Scorpion scientists created necrosia, an indigestible, luminous-green cocktail made from the venom. This complex mix of proteins and enzymes reduces the levels of histamine and alkaloids naturally present in the venom, while the hue is a result of the electrical milking process inadvertently capturing the florescent chemicals contained within the animal's tail. When consumed in controlled quantities, necrosia is safe to drink and induces the same type of hallucinogenic visions as the natural venom, though whether these visions are actual glimpses of the future is a matter of disagreement between the Clan's warrior and scientist castes.
Unfortunately, many Goliath Scorpion warriors became mentally and physically addicted to necrosia, a fact not least of which made them very unsuitable as bondsmen to the other Clans. Many also had the habit of imbibing the drink shortly before entering battle. Besides potentially inducing fantastical visions, the drink sometimes heightened senses, improved the warrior's resistance to pain, or even cause them to enter a state of zen-like focus which actually improved their accuracy. More often, the drink had no effect or caused moderate intoxication. In rare cases, the drink could cause the warrior enter a berserker state wherein they lash out at everyone around them, slip into a coma, or even die.
The Seeker movement was created by Loremaster Lan Kirov as a means for the Clan to fulfill its self-appointed goal of looking into the past to rebuild the future. Seekers were independent nomadic warriors, operating outside the bounds of normal military hierarchy and charged with finding lost artifacts of the destroyed Star League. It is by this method that Clan Goliath Scorpion has one of the largest collections of Star League knowledge, safely stored within the Temple of the Nine Muses beneath the fortress Spiderholm on Roche. Permission must be granted for a warrior to embark on one of these quests, often the result of a necrosia-induced vision granting them the supposed location of an item, and prior to leaving they must take an oath known as the Rede of the Seeker. If they failed to return to the Clan, the Seeker would be branded a bandit. If they succeeded, particularly if their quest was of a novel or lengthy nature, a Seeker's return would win them immense recognition, potentially proving their suitability for a particular Bloodname or nomination to a command position.
Each Seeker, much like the knights-errant of medieval Europe, was allowed their own personal retainers, known as charges. These personal bondsmen could be drawn from any of the Clan's castes through the use of standard Clan Trials, which themselves became something of a spectator sport within the Clan. Potential charges for their part were motivated to excel in their duties and so possibly catch the eye of a Seeker. In keeping with Clan cultural norms, it was considered highly dishonorable for a Seeker to acquire more charges than necessary, forcing them to strike a balance between quality and quantity. In addition to charges, a Seeker could also fight Trials for supplies they might need, such as food or vehicles, taking these items as isorla.
Within a Seeker's retinue each charge had a specific role. Warrior-caste bondsmen, given the title of Yeomen, performed the same tasks as normal bondsmen. The title of Tinkers were given to technicians charged with vehicle maintenance and battlefield salvage. Laborer bondsmen, or Footmen, were charged with taking care of the Seeker's pets, known as familiars. The less-common Sutlers and Sages were merchant and scientist caste bondsmen who acted as advisers for Seekers on particularly lengthy quests. Most significant of all though were the Harbingers, artists who acted as each Seeker's chief chronicler and artisan. These artists, rarely praised within normal Clan society, could gain nearly the same respect as that of the warrior to whom they were bonded. These charges and familiars created a "living heraldry" that was used to recognize the warrior, even when they are veiled behind the standard Scorpion uniform, and became almost like an external Codex.
Familiars were pets originally associated with the Seeker movement. Essentially living trophies, a familiar could represent a characteristic which was admired by the warrior or represent a far-flung world she had visited in her travels. Eventually certain familiars also became associated with specific Bloodlines, such as the graceful swans with the Dinours. By the time of the Clan invasion the practice of keeping familiars had spread to other members of the warrior caste, and even among some members of the scientist and merchant castes.
When saKhan Scott fought Loremaster Kirov for control of the Seeker movement, she wielded a pair of sharp knives similar in form to the zulfiqar carried by the ancient Terran prophet Muhammad. In honor of her sacrifice, the Clan's leadership instituted the custom of carrying paired daggers modeled on Scott's weapons called zulkari. One zulkari is traditionally black-hilted with a golden tassel, while the other reverses this color scheme.
Dance of the Scars
This ritualized form of combat traces its lineage directly back to the infamous knife fight between saKhan Scott and Loremaster Kirov for control of the Seekers. A modified Circle of Equals, the dance of the scars requires the combatants to strike each other in a precisely-defined series of cuts. The first two cuts must be made across each shoulder, followed by cuts across each wrist, and a final cut across the center of the chest. The warrior to make the fifth and final cut on his opponent is declared the winner. While normally conducted unarmored, a number of Scorpion warriors began challenging others to "dance the scars" while piloting 'Mechs in the years following the Clan invasion, considering these fights to be the ultimate show of honor.
On the Black Seam they dance,
moonlit steel gleaming in the twilight.
Black and gold, red and silver,
their clothes stir the still night air.
Five steps taken, five cuts drawn,
the Scars of Moreau's tribulation.
These pay heed to our debt, to our past,
reborn with the death of our Mother.
- -The Remembrance (Clan Goliath Scorpion), Passage 316, Verse 12, Lines 1-8.
Goliath Scorpion's Touman was surprisingly regimented, especially given the solitary nature of their Seeker tradition. Each Cluster and Trinary was a mixed forced composed of varying levels of BattleMechs, Aerospace Fighters and Elementals. 'Mech Stars were typically light to heavy-weight machines fast enough to envelop the enemy's flanks while providing the main knockout punch during ground assaults. Aerospace Stars were dominated by heavy fighters for ground-support missions, while Elementals were trained to act in concert with 'Mechs and fighters, as well as perform paradrops into contest combat zones. The newly-developed Undine Battle Armor also allowed the Clan to combat enemies in underwater environments.
Laser weapons were prized by the Clan, both for their precision and lack of ammunition requirements (qualities also useful for the nomadic Seekers), while missile weapons were seen as the tools of the unskilled. Targeting Computers were used extensively as well, though warriors would often disable parts of these systems in order to showcase their true skill. This display of a warrior's skill was highly prized within the Clan, especially in the honor duels governed by zellbrigen. Goliath Scorpion was stricter in upholding zellbrigen than even Clan Jade Falcon or Clan Blood Spirits, in spite of the lessons learned during the Clan Invasion.
For all its strengths, Goliath Scorpion military doctrines were predictable and focused entirely on ground operations. While enjoying a respectable number of WarShips and similar craft, they lacked the experience or assets to combat against an opponent challenging their control of the aerospace realm. Perhaps the biggest flaw in their doctrine, contrary to the individualistic nature of their Seekers, was the tendency of Galaxy Commanders to micromanage their forces, resulting in a lack of initiative among the lower ranks.
Clan Goliath Scorpion had relatively few friends or enemies for most of their history. In part this was due to the fact their nomadic nature left their territory relatively underdeveloped by Clan standards. While this caused them to be seen as backwards economically and militarily by the other Clans, it also meant there were much fewer targets to fight over and so less inclination to raid their space. Prior to the schism, the Goliath Scorpions were loyal allies of Clan Wolf, although this was very much a one-sided relationship. The sundering of the Wolves and creation of Clan Wolf-in-Exile did cause the Goliath Scorpions to start second-guessing this state of affairs. Clan Ice Hellion was considered one of the few mortal enemies of the Goliath Scorpions, although Clan Fire Mandrill was also hated for the brutal murder of their first Loremaster. Ironically, they dismissed Clan Nova Cat's version of mysticism as nonsense.
Leaders of Clan Goliath Scorpion
- Cyrus Elam, 2802-2823 (Killed during the Widowmaker Absorption)
- Shandra Dinour, 2823-???
- Nikolai Djerassi, ???-3052 (Stepped down after the Battle of Tukayyid)
- Ariel Suvorov, 3052-3079 (Died in the Trial of Refusal against the Scorpion Abjurement)
- Colin Yeh, 3079-??? (Became the first Khan of Escorpión Imperio)
- Jenna Scott, 2807-2875 (Died after Trial against Loremaster Lan Kirov)
- Ren Posavatz, ???-3052 (Disappeared during the Viper campaign on Tukayyid)
- Nelson Elam, 3052-February 3071 (Died during Trial of Refusal against ilKhan Garret Sainze)
- Kelton Myers, February 3071-March 3074 (Died during Trial of Absorption of the Ice Hellions)
- Connor Rood, March 3074-??? (Became the first saKhan of Escorpión Imperio)
- Ethan Moreau, ???-2845 (Killed by Clan Fire Mandrill)
- Lan Kirov, 2845-???
- Kyrie Ben-Shimon, ???-March 3073 (Killed covering the withdrawal of Gamma Galaxy from Foster against Clan Coyote)
- Colin Yeh, March 3073-3079 (Promoted to Khan after the loss of Khan Suvorov)
- Sargon Ben-Shimon, 3079-??? (Became the first Loremaster of Escorpión Imperio)
Era Specific Data
Population (Clan space): 67.238.000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 2.4 percent (84/60)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 91 percent
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 80 -- "Clan Goliath Scorpion Cluster".
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 101
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 103
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 104
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 105
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 106
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 107
- Blake Ascending, p. 288
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 128
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 82-83
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 182
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 109
- Field Manual: Updates, pp. 62-63
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 109-110
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 164