Clan Steel Viper

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Clan Steel Viper
Faction Profile
Time period: 28073075
Classification: Clan
Controlled systems: 5?
Capital world: New Kent
Ruler title: Khan
Military: Clan Steel Viper Touman
Secret Service: Clan Steel Viper Watch

Clan Steel Viper was one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky, named after the Steel Vipers found on Babylon. Their beginnings were marked by treachery due to the actions of their founder, now simply known as the Traitor Khan, and are regarded as other Clans as self-serving. However the Steel Vipers would find their calling in espousing the recreation of the Star League, not through conquest but cooperation with the Inner Sphere. Despite this decidedly Warden philosophy many warriors within the Clan hold to the Crusader viewpoint, and the Steel vipers took part in the Clan Invasion.


Clan Steel Viper had one of the rockiest starts of the Clans of Kerensky as its first Khan, Ellie Kinnison, attempted to murder Nicholas Kerensky's wife Jennifer Winson in the hopes that Nicholas would turn to Ellie in his grief. She was killed by her saKhan before she could carry out her plot. Her name was stricken from all records, hereafter known only as the Traitor Khan, and her genetic legacy was stricken from the Clan gene pool.

The most influential Steel Viper Khan was Sanra Mercer. She claimed that she was privy to a conversation with Nicholas Kerensky where he laid out his vision to restore the Star League with the cooperation of the House Lords. The Vipers established a brutal training course that is among the toughest in the Clans. They also completely prohibited the use of freeborns in the Steel Viper touman in any capacity.

Sanra Mercer was killed by Clan Jade Falcon and the ensuing Steel Viper retaliation laid the basis for a fierce feud between the two clans.


The Golden Century[edit]

Operation Revival[edit]

The Steel Vipers were made the Reserve clan in the invasion force and were first activated by the Ghost Bears to help garrison their worlds. After the death of ilKhan Leo Showers and the election of Ulric Kerensky, the Vipers were activated as a full invading Clan and assigned to share the Jade Falcon Occupation Zone.


Assigned the targets of Kozice Ranch Station and Kelly Springs during the Battle of Tukayyid, the Steel Viper Khans bid three Galaxies, the front-line Alpha and Gamma with the second-line Zeta Galaxy held in reserve. Setting down en masse on the open expanse of the Kozice Plains, Alpha and Gamma Galaxies both advanced via the Devil's Bath, a horrific combination of geysers, boiling mud and narrow paths walled by massive granite columns, stretching for dozens of kilometers between the Viper's dropzone and their target cities. [1] [2] [3]

With the tight paths negating the Clan's weapons superior range and missteps losing entire Stars to the bottomless pools of boiling mud, Khan Natalie Breen realized too late her troops had stumbled into a massive trap. Attempting to pull back and go around the Devil's Bath, a desperate Precentor Beeshor Yekel of Com Guard 6th Division issued an insulting public challenge to goad them into continuing their attack via the Bath. Enraged by the insult, the Vipers redoubled their advance, pushing the 6th and 78th Division through Devil's Bath. While ultimately obliterating both divisions, both Alpha and Gamma Galaxies had used up their ammunition in the process, with elite 1st Division blocking Zeta's attempts to resupply them.[1] [2] [3]

With Zeta reinforcing the virtually unarmed Alpha and Gamma as they reached the far-side of the Bath, the Steel Viper advance met the fresh and untouched 321st and 401st Divisions who stalled the Vipers until the 1st and 386th Divisions could enter the fray and finally drive them back. Recognising her blind rage had doomed her forces and with the defeat of several other Clans freeing up other Divisions from other fronts that could be redeployed against them, Khan Breen ordered her warriors to board their DropShips in defeat, ultimately stepping down and allowing Perigard Zalman to become Khan.[1] [2] [3]

Aftermath of the Invasion[edit]

Like many Clans the Steel Vipers hoped to take advantage of the power vacuum on the Homeworlds caused by the withdrawal of Clan Ghost Bear, the Abjuration of Clan Nova Cat and the Annihilation of Clan Smoke Jaguar. Unfortunately the Vipers gained little success, Clan Cloud Cobra repulsing their Trial of Possession for former Jaguar holdings on Homer while the Snow Ravens gained a foothold on Hellgate to enhance their efforts to retake their former world. [4]

In 3061 they struck at the Jade Falcon worlds in the Occupation Zone and attempted to drive them out. Though initially successful, Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde rallied her forces, winning the pivotal battle of Sudeten. Ultimately, the Vipers' attempt completely failed and they were forced to accept Hegira, driven out of the Inner Sphere entirely. Khan Zalman faced numerous challenges to his position during the voyage back to the Clan home worlds, ultimately prevailing.

The Wars of Reaving[edit]

The Wars of Reaving were initiated by the new ilKhan Brett Andrews under his rule he declared reavings on the Clans to remove "the Inner Sphere taint." The Vipers were annihilated during the conflict.


Early in their history the Steel Vipers adopted a form of self-enforced isolation, though nowhere near as extreme as practiced by the Blood Spirits, which led to their unique philosophical position among the Clans. Depending on one's viewpoint they can be regarded as Crusading Wardens or Warden Crusaders. The Clan's central tenet, instilled in them by Sanra Mercer, is the restoration of the true Star League through cooperation with the Inner Sphere rather than total subjugation like other Clans. Of course this would take place under the benevolent guidance of the Steel Vipers, following the complete destruction of the Inner Sphere's military forces, so that the misguided Spheroids may be led onto the path of truth by the rightful ilClan. However efforts at enforcing this policy within their Occupation Zone were less than satisfactory. While they blamed their failures on the previous Jade Falcon mismanagement and extremists who do not wish to be liberated, the Vipers failed to realize it was largely their low view of freeborns that would forever doom their efforts. [5]

Mirroring the views of more fanatical Clans such the Smoke Jaguars, the Steel Vipers' views regarding freeborns relegate them to the lower rung of society and as such are treated poorly. This policy extends into martial matters, and save for a brief period under Khan Perigard Zalman, freeborns are generally barred completely from serving in the Steel Viper touman.[5]


The command structure of Clan Steel Viper's touman emphasizes a clear delegation of authority and well-defined areas of operations. The Khans lay out the grand strategy of a campaign, enacted by Galaxy Commanders who form the strategic command of each operation and delegate tactical responsibilities to Star Colonels. The effect is that individual commanders are given considerable leeway in how they complete their objectives. However, cooperation between Steel Viper Galaxies is poor, as each commander recognizes only the authority of the Khans and the Clan Council, and even within a Galaxy the Cluster commanders will only accept orders from their immediate superior. For large-scale operations then one of the Khans must be present in order to coordinate multiple Galaxies, with a similar problem for multi-Cluster operations. This heavy reliance on senior officers renders the Steel Vipers especially vulnerable to headhunter operations; as happened on Tukayyid, should senior command be incapacitated then cooperation breaks down and individual units can be isolated and destroyed in force.[6]

On the tactical scale Steel Viper units rely on maneuverability and firepower, with many battle plans centered around these concepts. One of them, known as the Viper's Fangs, is a Trinary-scale operation which uses two columns of 'Mechs, or "Fangs", to attack at separate points along the enemy's line using krait and boa Stars supported by Elementals. When either one or both "Fangs" break through the Elementals rush through to exploit the hole and another 'Mech group known as the "Maw" moves in to pin down the defenders. The defenders then must either continue facing this new threat, allowing the Elementals to run roughshod through their rear, or turn to chase after them, exposing themselves to the Maw as they withdraw. A second tactic known as the Coil involves a smaller force of two or three Stars, one half of which pins down the enemy while the second flanks and envelops their position. Once in place the entire force begins circling the enemy, slowly reducing the size of the envelopment and restricting not only the enemy's ability to maneuver but to concentrate fire on a specific target. The Coil only works on units of smaller size though and, because each MechWarrior is forced to change their targets in violation of zellbrigen, generally suitable only for Inner Sphere and dezgra forces.[7]

The Steel Vipers' attitudes towards zellbrigen however is one of pragmatism and adaptability, a fact which has ensured success over the centuries. Against a respected Clan foe the rules of honorable combat will be staunchly followed. For those considered dishonorable such as Inner Sphere forces or a mortal enemy like the Jade Falcons, whatever is deemed necessary to ensure victory is permitted.[7]

Inter-Clan Relations[edit]

The Steel Vipers, again despite their talk of cooperation, were almost completely at a loss for allies among their fellow Clans. Their self-serving politics alienated both Warden and Crusader Clans and their arrogant attitude towards others had not served them well. The Steel Vipers had feuds with the Fire Mandrills, Blood Spirits, Snow Ravens, Jade Falcons, and Ghost Bears.

Leaders of Clan Steel Viper[edit]



Era Specific Data[edit]

Steel Viper Warrior


The Steel Vipers have five worlds in Clan Space. Their capital is on New Kent.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tukayyid, pp. 79-88 "Campaign: Clan Steel Viper"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Invading Clans, pp. 86 "Tukayyid"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 136, 143, 145-146
  4. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 137 "Clan Steel Viper - The Viper's Tale - Shattered Dreams (3056-3060)"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 138
  6. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 139
  7. 7.0 7.1 Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 140


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