Clan Hell's Horses

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This article needs to be updated with material from Historical: Operation Klondike, Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, Era Digest: Golden Century, Objectives: Clans, Wars of Reaving, A Bonfire of Worlds, Era Report: 3145, Field Manual: 3145, Test of Vengeance. Once this title clears the Moratorium period, or if it already has, please consider revisiting this article and updating it with the new material, removing this tag once all information has been added.

Clan Hell's Horses Logo
Clan Hell's Horses
Faction Profile
Time period: 2807 – Present
Classification: Clan
Controlled systems: 45? (3072)[1]
Capital world: Csesztreg
Ruler title: Khan
Military: Clan Hell's Horses Touman
Secret Service: Clan Hell's Horses Watch

Clan Hell's Horses is one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky, named for the Hell's Horses genetically engineered for the highland deserts of Circe. The Clan lives by the motto that "man comes before machine," a philosophy which values the individual soldier over whichever tool of warfare he uses. While this philosophy has resulted in some battlefield practices unique among the Clans, it also permeates other aspects of Clan Hell's Horses, such that all Clan members are treated as an integral part of the greater whole, regardless of their birth. Clan Hell's Horses are also famous for giving birth to what would become Elementals, genetically modified super-soldiers who have formed an important part of Clan warfare since their introduction. Despite being led by Crusaders the Clan did not take part in Operation Revival, though it managed to secure a number of Inner Sphere worlds in its aftermath.



Clan Hell's Horses was founded by Lieutenant General John Fletcher, commander of the 35th Infantry Division of the Star League Defense Force. General Fletcher, a staunch loyalist of General Aleksandr Kerensky, took part in the invasion to liberate Terra from Stefan Amaris during the Amaris Civil War. Fletcher's loyalty to Kerensky and the ideals of the Star League would inspire him to join the First Exodus from the Inner Sphere in the wake of that terrible conflict and settle on the Pentagon Worlds to start anew.[2]

However old divisions among the population soon festered into a new civil war, and despite gathering together like-minded soldiers to restore order in Kerensky's name Fletcher was unable to prevent the outbreak of warfare. When Kerensky died Fletcher accompanied his son, Nicholas Kerensky, on the Second Exodus to the Kerensky Cluster where the Clans were formed.[2]

For his loyalty Fletcher was made Khan of Clan Hell's Horses, and he chose Colonel Patricia Cobb, one of his most able 'Mech battalion commanders from the Thirty-fifth, as his saKhan. Together they forged their Clan into one which placed its focus first and foremost on its warriors. For this reason they requested a smaller share of BattleMech forces in return for a larger share of conventional armor and approval to train additional infantry from decommissioned WarShip crews. In short order they were able to put together an impressive combined-arms army, bucking current military orthodoxy that saw the 'Mech as the supreme battlefield weapon. While their critics foresaw the Clan's demise, the Hell's Horses' performance would eventually cast aside the myth of 'Mech dominance.[2]

Operation Klondike[edit]

During the trials for participating in the coveted Eden invasion part of Operation Klondike, the Hell's Horses won a surprise victory over Clan Ghost Bear.[3] For the most part the Horses were assigned auxiliary or rear-area duties, until Khan Fletcher convinced Nicholas to assign his Clan an independent operation, the conquest of the Purgatory Peninsula.[4] The peninsula, located in the western part of the continent of Irkutsk, was home to a collection of city-states locked in conflict. Of the city-states, the most important ones were Allah, Dante and Vesta.[5][2]

While the city-states were no friends of each other, they did unite against the invaders and put together a combined force which outnumbered the Hell's Horses six to one. After suffering from a series of ambushes that destroyed several Clan scout 'Mechs, Fletcher began looking for flaws in the enemy's strategy and realized that they fixated on targeting 'Mechs above "inferior" tanks and infantry. He put this knowledge to good use in the Clan's counter-insurgency strategy by using their 'Mechs as bait to draw out the rebels so they could be smashed by conventional forces. By the end of the two-week campaign the Hell's Horses had completely smashed all resistance on the peninsula, proving the success of their unorthodox tactics and suffering fewer equipment losses than other Clans which preferred to slug it out 'Mech-to-'Mech. Vesta, the largest and last city to fall, would be renamed Hades and transformed into the Hell's Horses' capital.[6][7]

Golden Century[edit]

Their peculiar philosophy led most of the other Clans to dismiss them. The Hell's Horses tended to keep to themselves until the development of the Elemental infantry armor by Clan Wolf. Eager to obtain the Elemental armor, the Hell's Horses entered a series of trials with Clan Wolf where the armor was put up against the infantry breeding protocols that the Hell's Horses had developed. These gigantic warriors would be known as 'Elementals'.[8]

The Hell's Horses won one of the three trials and so obtained the Elemental armor. Other Clans challenged the Hell's Horses for the breeding rights, among them Clan Fire Mandrill. In 2870, Kindraa Smythe-Jewel of the Fire Mandrills used deceptive bidding tactics to give the impression of a much smaller force and won the trial. Kindraa Payne would take the brunt of the Trial of Possession, while the Smythe-Jewels walked away with new Elemental breeding protocols and Battle Armor.[9] The Horse's Khan Eric Amirault demanded a Trial of Annihilation but was denied by a Grand Council vote. As the Hell's Horses prepared to move against the Fire Mandrills, Clan Coyote's Khan Manfred Hollifield stepped in. They too had been cheated by Kindraa Smythe-Jewel in their bid for the OmniMech a few years prior.[10]

Seeing the wisdom in joining together, the Hell's Horses arranged for a contract bid to include the Coyotes in the Hell's Horses trial against the Kindraa. The combined Hell's Horses-Coyote task force descended on the Smythe-Jewel enclave on Foster and challenged them to a Trial that saw the death of the Kindraa Smythe-Jewel. Half the genetic legacies and most of the battle salvage was taken by the Horses and the Coyotes took the enclave, the bondsmen, and the rest of the legacies, with small shares of each going to Kindraa Payne, which had joined in the final stages of the battle, trapping the last Smythe-Jewels as they attempted to flee. The Clans each parted with great respect for one another. This action did much to win the Hell's Horses a good measure of respect from the rest of the Clans as well.[10][11][12][13]

For a time it looked as though the Hell's Horses might shift away from their combined-arms, heavy reliance on vehicle philosophy and more towards the use of BattleMechs. But all that changed when 'Mechworks Alpha on Tokasha, their primary 'Mech factory, was targeted by Clan Ghost Bear during a Trial of Possession. The Horses bid an entire Galaxy in its defense which the Bears matched. It was a fierce, pitched battle but seemed to favor the Hell's Horses until a stray shot slew the beloved Ghost Bear Khan Kilbourne Jorgensson. The outraged Ghost Bears tore into the Hell's Horses in a berserk fury, forcing them to withdraw.[13]


The loss of Metal Works Alpha and Kilbourne Jorgensson sparked a fierce feud between the Hell's Horses and Ghost Bears.[13] When the Ghost Bears launched a Trial of Possession for Industriplex Alpha on Niles (Clan planet), the Hell's Horses' homeworld, another fierce battle ensued. Though the Horses emerged victorious they lost their Khan, Lair Seidman. He was replaced by Malavai Fletcher, an Elemental who was horribly injured in that battle.[14]

Fletcher, a staunch Crusader, managed to appoint enough Crusaders in his Clan to leadership positions to push the Horses into the Crusader camp, despite the fact that many among the Horses' rank and file were Wardens. This political shift helped to make Operation Revival a reality after Comstar's Outbound Light appeared over the Smoke Jaguar world of Huntress in 3048. The Horses would be eliminated from the invasion early on, but this did not bother Khan Fletcher too much. His leadership during the invasion years kept his Clan out of much of the infighting in the Clan Homeworlds, instead keeping them focused on building their strength.[15]

The Invasion[edit]

When Clan Ice Hellion's Khan Asa Taney formed his Home Clan Coalition in the wake of Tukayyid, Khan Fletcher stood by him, supporting the effort to renew the invasion. Though they would not get the invasion they wanted, the Harvest Trials presented their own opportunity.[16]

Though the Horses did not win a place in the invasion, they did manage to find a way to obtain worlds in the Inner Sphere. When Khan Vladimir Ward of the Wolves started the Harvest Trials, Khan Fletcher convinced him to bid Hell's Horses units in contract bids (much as the Hell's Horses had done with the Coyotes) without first winning those units to the Wolves. Khan Ward agreed and ceded three worlds in the Clan Wolf Occupation Zone: Stanzach, Vorarlberg, and Engadin to Clan Hell's Horses.[16]

During the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty, the Hell's Horses fought against and lost to the Free Rasalhague Republic's Third Drakøns.

During the numerous Trials of Possession that were launched following the Annihilation of the Smoke Jaguars, Abjuration of the Nova Cats, and relocation of the Ghost Bears, the Hell's Horses have managed to seize large portions of Bearclaw, Hoard, and Tokasha, pitting them against forces from the Jade Falcons, Ice Hellions, and Snow Ravens. The Horses also managed to seize the last portion of Kirin making it an exclusive Hells' Horses possession.

Not long afterwards the Horses raided the Ghost Bear Occupation Zone (renamed the Ghost Bear Dominion) while the Ghost Bears were at war with the Draconis Combine. However, after the war with the Combine ended, the Bears retaliated and seized all three of the Hell's Horses worlds, sending them back to Clan Space. Khan Malavai Fletcher's leadership was challenged and he was slain by James Cobb, a Warden, who assumed the Khanship.

After a tentative peace with the Ghost Bears, the Hell's Horses launched a successful invasion of Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon Occupation Zones, making their capital on Csesztreg. Their plan to transplant their entire population, much like the Ghost Bear's shift, was discovered and eventually led to the Clan Civil War that separated the Inner Sphere Clans from their homeworld brethren.

Jihad Era[edit]

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Post-Jihad Era[edit]

The Horses found themselves facing a number of problems in the wake of the Jihad. While the clan was buoyant following their successes and enjoyed a touman larger than that of the Wolves and broadly comparable in size to that of the Falcons, their warriors were heavily committed. Internally, elements of both the intelligence organization Mimir and the Motstånd terrorist network continued to make life difficult for the Horses domestically, while the Rasalhagian population of the Ghost Bear Dominion continued to press Clan Ghost Bear to attack the Horse occupation zone and reclaim ethnically Rasalhagian worlds. Adding to the external threat from the Ghost Bears was the desire on the part of the Jade Falcons to reclaim the worlds that the Horses had opportunistically snatched during the incursion into the Falcon occupation zone by the Ice Hellions.[17]

Wars of Reaving[edit]

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Clan Hell's Horses' philosophy of valuing the individual's role in the greater whole permeates all levels of society. While caste and birth prejudice still exists within the Clan, it is kept in check by ongoing efforts which extol cooperation among and within all Clan castes. This unity extends from the lowliest laborer toiling in the factories to the Khans themselves, and none are held in less esteem than is earned. Even freeborns and solahma warriors are given respect where other Clans would tolerate or mistreat them; only dezgra warriors are exempt from this rule.[18][19]

Politicking is mostly shunned by the Hell's Horses, even at the Grand Council level where the Khans see their duty in leading their Clan as more important than backroom bargaining. As far as Clansmen go the Hell's Horses are seen as docile and unswervingly obedient to the chain of command, making their Clan far more stable than others where internal power plays are the norm, though this lack of personal initiative has hampered their efforts to expand beyond their already-considerable homeworld enclaves. Their use of contract warfare, allowing warriors of different units or even Clans to include each others' forces in a single bid, would seem to run counter to this idea, however the Hell's Horses view it as a strategic matter to ensure victories that go beyond the Clan's own concerns.[18][19]


Hell's Horses Warrior with tank

Clan Hell's Horses incorporate a number of unique features into their military doctrine which sets them apart from other Clans, most notably their use of conventional infantry and armor even in front-line units. Their model of combined-arms warfare means roughly two-thirds of all 'Mech Stars are part of a Nova formation, while all vehicle Stars contain an equal number of infantry Points. As a result their touman numbers fewer 'Mechs than normal but make up for it in a disproportionate amount of infantry and support.

The Clan is also unique for instituting the official ranks of Nova Commander and Nova Captain to command Novas and Supernovas. The existence of such ranks also means more positions for warriors to fight over in a Trial of Position and means many more warriors are found in the middle ranks than in other Clans.


Founding Bloodnames:[20]
Allychuk Amirault Anu Bolt Brown
Budõlin Burns Camejo Cobb Cooper
DeLaurel Dudzinsky Dwelley Fletcher Grimheald
Houan Iler Johnston Kebede Lassenerra
Liang Mazzoni Mendoza Mitchell Moiseyev
Murphy Neely O'Reilly Peck Priddy
Purchase Ravenwater Rickard Robinson Rowbotham
Seidman Steding Thompson Weißenborn Zuijdweg
Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Operation REVIVAL:[21]
General MechWarriors Elementals Aerospace Pilots ProtoMech Pilots
Cobb Amirault Cooper Bourjon
DeLaurel Lassenerra Fletcher Dudzinsky
Mitchell Houan Dwelley
Ravenwater Seidman Johnston
Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Wars of Reaving:[22]
General MechWarriors Elementals Aerospace Pilots ProtoMech Pilots
Cobb Amirault Cooper Dudzinsky Grimheald
DeLaurel Mitchell* Fletcher Dwelley* Johnston*
Ravenwater Houan*
Shared Bloodnames Post-Wars of Reaving:[22]
(Column titles signify the other Clans with which the Bloodnames are shared)
Diamond Shark Ghost Bear Dominion Jade Falcon Snow Raven Wolf
Hawker Hawker Icaza Lassenerra Hawker
Vewas Icaza Mehta Vewas Lankenaux
Lankenaux Mehta

* This signifies a Bloodname with a Bloodcount of five or less active Bloodrights
x This signifies a Bloodname with genefather rights only

Inter-Clan Relations[edit]

The Hell's Horses' primary enemy is Clan Ghost Bear, who returns the Horses' enmity in full. However, even though they consider each other their sworn foe, they still respect each others' abilities as warriors. The Hell's Horses also maintain a standing grudge against the Fire Mandrills, though they respect Kindraa Payne.

The Hell's Horses still maintain respect for Clan Coyote and consider them comrades (which the Coyotes return in full) even despite their philosophical differences. However, the Horses' closest ally is Clan Wolf.




Era Specific Data[edit]


Hell's Horses Demographics
Affiliation: Crusader

Clan Space Worlds:
Bearclaw (30 percent)
Eden (31 percent)
Hoard (10 percent)
Kirin (100 percent)
Strato Domingo (35 percent)
Niles (Clan planet) (100 percent)
Tiber (Clan planet) (50 percent)
Tokasha (13 percent)
Capital: Niles

Population (Clan Space): 95,317,000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 2.1 percent (71/50)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 93 percent

Khan: Malavai Fletcher
saKhan: Tanya DeLaurel
Loremaster: Helena Fletcher
Scientist-General: Mohamed (Kepler)
Merchant Factor: Sonja
Master Technician: Amanda
Senior Laborer: Jan

Clusters: 37
WarShips: 10


  1. Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 31
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 53
  3. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 89
  4. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91
  5. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91-92, 138
  6. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91-92
  7. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54
  8. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54 - "Golden Century"
  9. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 39 - "Striking from Solitude"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54, 55 - "Hell's Fury"
  11. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 39 - "Death of a Kindraa"
  12. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 41, 42 - "Righteous Vengeance"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 9, 10 - "Bad Blood"
  14. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 56, 57 - "The Horse and the Bear"
  15. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57 - "Crusader's Call"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57 - "Current Events"
  17. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 111, "Clan Hell's Horses"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 58
  19. 19.0 19.1 MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 23
  20. Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p. 35, "Origins of the Bloodnames: The Clans' Founders
  21. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 53, "Clan Hell's Horses Exclusive Bloodnames"
  22. 22.0 22.1 Wars of Reaving, p. 195, "Bloodnames of the Council of Six Clans"
  23. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 89
  24. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 56
  25. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 56
  26. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
  27. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
  28. Masters and Minions: The Starcorps Dossiers, p.138
  29. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
  30. Masters and Minions: The Starcorps Dossiers, p.138
  31. Field Manual: Updates, p. 44
  32. Wars of Reaving, p.175
  33. Wars of Reaving, p.174
  34. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 89
  35. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
  36. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
  37. Wars of Reaving, p.174