Clan Jade Wolf

A short-lived Clan, the Jade Wolves existed briefly after the Refusal War between the Wolves and Jade Falcons. Clan Jade Wolf was in existence for only 19 days (14 Dec 3057 - 2 Jan 3058) before Khan Vlad Ward rechristened the Clan to full active status as the new Clan Wolf after killing the newly elected ilKhan Elias Crichell[1]

History[edit]

In the closing days of the Refusal War a battle took place on Wotan between both Clans, with Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky seeking to engage saKhan Vandervahn Chistu of the Jade Falcons in single combat. However, Chistu laid a trap for Ulric, and when the final confrontation took place on 10 December 3057 the Wolf Khan was killed in via artillery bombardment. Having secured the "honor" of killing the Ulric Kerensky, Chistu knew he would be in a good position to win the next ilKhan election. With both Clans badly hurt and both Ulric and Natasha Kerensky dead, Chistu made overtures to the remaining Wolf warriors, arguing that when their entire Clan was bid into the Refusal War it had become a Trial of Possession and they were now members of Clan Jade Falcon. The survivors, seeing some logic in his statements and knowing that only together could the two depleted Clans survive, accepted this pronouncement. Only those Wolves who had followed Phelan Kell to Morges remained defiant, but in this matter Chistu again worked quickly to initiate the Ritual of Abjuration against them and (against the objections of his senior Khan) sent forces to destroy the exiles.[2][3]

Unfortunately, Chistu had not counted on Vlad, a member of Ulric's command Star, surviving the bombardment. Trapped and injured in his damaged Timber Wolf, Vlad would finally be located by salvage crews on 13 December and learned of what had transpired since his Khan's death. As the only Wolf who had neither accepted Chistu's offer or fled with Phelan, Vlad was the only one in position to challenge the Jade Falcon saKhan over the Absorption. He would need some assistance in the matter and sought an audience with Elias Crichell the next day, confronting Crichell with the truth about Ulric's murder, and offered the Falcon Kahn a way to counter his subordinate's maneuverings. Vlad intended to challenge Chistu over the details of Ulric's death but because he lacked a Bloodname Vlad would need the permission of a Khan to sanction this honor duel. In exchange for giving his sanction to legally kill a political rival, Crichell would only have to honor two requests of Vlad: the granting of a Ward Bloodname, and another favor to be carried out after Chistu's death.[2][3]

Seeing the wisdom in such a bargain and thinking the second favor would only be to take Chistu's place as saKhan, Crichell agreed. Later that afternoon Vlad met with Chistu in Crichell's office with the senior Khan, Kael Pershaw and Marthe Pryde present. Vlad issued two challenges to Chistu, not only over the killing of Ulric Kerensky but on the entire matter of the Absorption itself. Crichell reeled at this alteration of their deal, realizing what the second favor Vlad intended was for Clan Wolf's absorption to be reversed, and revoked his permission. Chistu saw it differently however: even the act of fighting a duel over the conduct of his "slaying" of Ulric could besmirch his standing within such an honor-bound Clan, but a challenge over the Absorption was more a technical dispute over legal interpretations. He accepted Vlad's second challenge and, as the challenged party, chose to fight an augmented duel in BattleMechs, with Vlad choosing Government Hill (the site of Ulric's ambush) as their battlefield.[3] In the duel which followed Vlad, piloting a borrowed Warhawk, succeeded in defeating Chistu and rendered his Gargoyle helpless. On a personal radio frequency Vlad began to mock the fallen saKhan and promised the rebirth of Wolf Clan. Chistu for his part pleaded that he survive and be made a bondsman to help Vlad confront Crichell in turn. Disgusted by such willing treachery, Vlad's answer was to fire his Large Pulse Lasers into the stricken 'Mech's cockpit.[4]

On 15 December Crichell honored the first part of the deal by officiating over Vlad's Trial of Bloodright, held in his grand hall on Wotan and in front of former members of Clan Wolf, however it was a trial in name only: none of the members of the former Clan Wolf's Ward Bloodhouse were willing to seriously contest Vlad's claim, not after his duel refusing an Absorption they had meekly accepted. In a largely symbolic fight Vlad won his Trial, but instead of accepting Crichell's initial offer of Conal Ward's Bloodheritage he took that of Cyrilla Ward's, which had formerly belonged to his now-Abjured rival Phelan. Vlad Ward then confronted Crichell about the second favored he was owed and Crichell agreed. The Jade Falcon Khan renounced the Absorption of Clan Wolf, but rather than the former Wolves reconstituting their fallen Clan they would create a new one: Clan Jade Wolf.[5]

Vlad was initially furious at this seeming betrayal, but quickly saw the logic in it. Clan Wolf had lost the Trial of Refusal, and so they had assumed the guilt the Grand Council had pronounced on Ulric; it was well within the Grand Council's right to now pronounce punishment on the guilty party, up to and including extermination. With Clan Jade Falcon technically subdividing itself to form a new Clan, an ancient provision never used before, the Jade Wolves would not be associated with that guilt, while those exiled Wolves currently fighting on Morges were sill Abjured. For his part Crichell saw it as excising people who would never have fully embraced Clan Jade Falcon, maybe even subvert it from within, and hoped to use his "saving" of Vlad and the Wolves for future advantage. Immediately after the announcement the 200 Bloodnamed of Clan Jade Wolf met and voted Vlad Ward as their new Khan and Marialle Radick as saKhan.[6]

Crichell requested a meeting of the Grand Council to take place at Wotan on 2 January 3058. When he submitted a motion to elect the new ilKhan there was some initial objections by the other Khans at first, but Vlad Ward, just two weeks now as Clan Jade Wolf Khan, argued persuasively that it should go forward. Lincoln Osis was the first to nominate Crichell to the position, and in the vote that followed the Falcon Khan won 17 to 15. Before he had a chance to enjoy his newly-won position though, ilKhan Crichell was immediately challenged by Vlad Ward as unfit to command.[7] Though revealing the fact that Crichell was aware Chistu had killed Kerensky through treachery but failed to report it, his most serious charge was against Crichell's ability as a warrior, revealing his own investigation which suggested the ilKhan had been faking his annual Trial of Position to maintain his position. With his suitability as ilKhan challenged, Crichell had no choice but to answer the challenge personally and, as ilKhan, would have it randomly decided whether the duel took place augmented or unaugmented. When the result came up for the later, Vlad declared the duel would take place right then and there and charged the ilKhan. A brutal hand-to-hand contest ensued which Vlad won and, with his foe lying on the ground, he applied his boot to Crichell's neck until it finally snapped. Before the rest of the assembled Khans, Vlad Ward declared Clan Jade Wolf no more and was now a "reborn" Clan Wolf.[8]

References[edit]

  1. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 32
  2. 2.0 2.1 Malicious Intent, Ch. 1-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Malicious Intent, Ch. 5
  4. Malicious Intent, Ch. 6
  5. Malicious Intent, Ch. 7
  6. Malicious Intent, Ch. 8
  7. Malicious Intent, Ch. 10
  8. Malicious Intent, Ch. 11

Bibliography[edit]