Clan Invasion

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A Timber Wolf, one of the first Clan OmniMechs encountered by Inner Sphere forces

The Clan Invasion (known to the Clans as Operation Revival) refers to the massive Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere, commencing with the arrival of Clans Jade Falcon, Wolf, Ghost Bear, and Smoke Jaguar in the near, coreward Periphery in August, 3049. The Clan Invasion would continue for two and a half years, and increase in scope to include three more Invading Clans, but would end with their defeat at the Battle of Tukayyid in May, 3052.

Background[edit]

The Star League Defense Force succeeded in overthrowing Stefan Amaris in the Star League Civil War, but their victory was bittersweet: House Cameron had been wiped out, and with it a clear successor to the position of First Lord of the Star League. Many hoped Aleksandr Kerensky, Commanding General of the SLDF, would take the throne, but the war-weary general refused. Instead, Kerensky and the bulk of the SLDF left the Inner Sphere to settle on a group of distant worlds and live in exile. It was not long before civil war broke out among the exiles, and Aleksandr's son Nicholas Kerensky led a Second Exodus of forces loyal to his father to Strana Mechty, where he created the Clans as a means to better control humanity's violent nature. The Clans ended the civil war and for the next two centuries developed into a highly ritualized, militaristic society.

In the meanwhile, none of the remaining Great Houses could agree on a suitable replacement First Lord, sparking the Succession Wars. The first and second wars were particularly brutal; indiscriminate use of nuclear weapons and other WMDs led to massive losses of life, destruction of vital infrastructure and the ruining of entire worlds. Much of the knowledge and technology of the Star League became lostech during this time, and many worlds which were not depopulated slid back centuries in their development. The Third Succession War was less intense than the previous two out of necessity in an attempt to preserve what little technology was left, but it ended just as inconclusively as the previous ones.

Prelude[edit]

Politics of War[edit]

Towards the end of its golden age, a desire to return to the Inner Sphere was beginning to take hold in Clan society. Within Clan mythology the worlds of the Inner Sphere, especially Terra, became paradises of Edenic proportions, lorded over by the greedy and corrupt Great Houses who had forced Kerensky's exile, and the Hidden Hope Doctrine spoke of an eventual return to the Inner Sphere by the civilizing Clans. Many believed the time for return was now, and calling themselves Crusaders began proselytizing others to their cause through the use of Kerensky's words and promises of the glory and great bounty to be found in returning to the Inner Sphere as conquerors. Entire Clans were eventually swayed to this philosophy, with Clans Jade Falcon and Smoke Jaguar coming to lead what quickly became a political bloc.[1][2]

Many others however believed it was not Kerensky's intention to return to the Inner Sphere but remain apart, developing separately and returning only in the event the Inner Sphere was threatened from external sources. These Wardens, led by Clans Wolf and Coyote, held sway during the early years of what later became known the Political Century, but their influence declined such that in 2980 the Jade Falcons succeeded in forcing a vote in the Grand Council over the issue. The vote to invade failed, but the Crusaders were clearly ascendant and the debate was far from over.[1][2]

In an effort to discover what had happened to the Inner Sphere during their exile, the Grand Council agreed to form Intelser, an intelligence service tasked with gathering data on the current situation. Its agents, masquerading as traders, managed to infiltrate a number of Periphery states outside the Inner Sphere. Relying on second-hand information what they reported back was confusing, but in broad strokes confirmed that the Inner Sphere had been devastated by the Succession Wars and was seemingly open to invasion. The Crusaders felt the time was right for their return.[1][2]

In 3000, Ghost Bear Khan Nadia Winson introduced a vote to invade in the Grand Council. Sensing victory, the Crusaders were stymied by Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward and his Dragoon Compromise. A group of largely freeborn warriors, masquerading as the mercenary unit Wolf's Dragoons, would infiltrate the Inner Sphere and bring back accurate information on all of the Great Houses. The unit left in 3004 and made its first return in 3009, bringing with it valuable intelligence of an Inner Sphere which had been ravaged by war but was slowly making a recovery. This only intensified the debate between Wardens and Crusaders as the Dragoons continued their clandestine mission, fighting for all sides in the Third Succession War and reporting back to the Clans. As the war began to wind down however, these reports became more infrequent in time, until 3019 when they altogether stopped.[1][3]

Sensing betrayal, the Crusaders lobbied immediately for an invasion. The Wardens succeeded in staving this off until news of the Fourth Succession War, and later the War of 3039, reached the Clans. To the Crusaders, the formation of the Federated Commonwealth suggested the Inner Sphere risked reconstituting the Star League on their own, without the guiding hand of the Clans, while for the Wardens the fact that Great Houses still fought among each other meant a new Star League was a long way off and an invasion would require a large-scale occupation of the entire Inner Sphere, something for which the Clans were ill-suited to undertake.[4][5]

The proverbial straw came in September 3048 when Outbound Light, a ComStar exploration ship, appeared suddenly over the Smoke Jaguar homeworld of Huntress. The ship was seized by the Smoke Jaguars, its crew interrogated and databanks sifted through, but Khan Leo Showers did not immediately bring the incident to the other Clans' attention. He waited until November to alert the Grand Council to what had taken place, presenting the information gained in such a way as to make several points: the Federated Commonwealth was growing in power and threatened to restore the Star League under their rule; the discovery of the Helm Memory Core and other Star League artifacts was helping the Inner Sphere to recover its lostech and erode one of the Clans' major advantages; and most distressingly, that ComStar was close to discovering the location of the Clan Homeworlds, leaving the Clans open to invasion.[4][5]

The thought of a reverse-invasion by the Inner Sphere was unthinkable and horrifying to the Clan Khans, and the vote to invade was passed by all but Clan Wolf. Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky demanded a Trial of Refusal, and though the odds were four-to-one the Third Battle Cluster nearly succeeded, but sheer numbers and the Council's will prevailed. Taking advantage of the wave of popular sentiment, Leo Showers succeeded in getting himself elected ilKhan, warlord of all the Clans, and set about planning the invasion of the Inner Sphere.[4][6]

Preparations for War[edit]

Elemental Battle Armor provided a martial and psychological advantage to the Clans

IlKhan Leo Showers, aided by the Jade Falcon Khan Elias Crichell, set to work crafting the invasion plan of the Inner Sphere. Its simplicity was indicative of the low regard with which the Clans held their Inner Sphere foes. Four Clans, with a fifth held in reserve, would invade the Inner Sphere along four separate 'corridors' labeled Alpha through Delta, slicing through the territory of the Federated Commonwealth, Free Rasalhague Republic, and Draconis Combine. Beta and Charlie corridors were centered on the Rasalhague Republic - the newly-independent nation not only being the closest to the Clan homeworlds but also militarily weak and unlikely to receive aid from hostile neighbors - while the outer corridors secured the flanks by invading the Commonwealth and Combine respectively. The initial goal was to conquer sufficient worlds as to serve as a springboard for the conquest of the Inner Sphere as a whole, but it was Elias Crichell who suggested an ultimate destination: Terra. Based on his interpretation of passages from Kerensky's memoirs, Crichell suggested that whichever Clan succeeded in capturing Terra earned the right to be ilClan, with it's senior Khan serving as ilKhan in perpetuity. When the plan was presented to the Grand Council, it was accepted enthusiastically with only minor variations; indeed many Crusaders thought the plan overkill.[7][8]

Determining which of the seventeen Clans would participate in the invasion was the next question, with one important exception. In the Grand Council there was a unanimous vote that Clan Wolf had to participate in this historic occasion. Ostensibly this was due to their historical descent from the Great Founder himself, but for the Crusaders, forcing the Wolf Clan to participate in an invasion it had fought so long to prevent was just retribution.[7][8] The process for who would assume the other three invasion corridors would take place over two full days of bidding - each Clan submitting the number of forces it planned to commit, with the goal of using the least resources necessary to achieve the objective and thereby maximize efficiency - broken up into three stages to allow the participates to study each others' wagers and modify their bids. In the end six Clans made it through the two days of bidding: the Smoke Jaguars, Jade Falcons, Ghost Bears, Diamond Sharks, Nova Cats and Steel Vipers. Combat trials were then held among the six finalists, with the Falcons, Jaguars and Bears earning the right to participate in the invasion while the Steel Vipers earned a place as the reserve Clan. As a consolation prize, both the Nova Cats and Diamond Sharks called for and won Trials of Refusal for the right to be "next in line" should additional Clans be required.[9]

A second round of combat trials took place to determine who would occupy which invasion corridor, though again an exception was made. IlKhan Showers decreed that Clan Wolf would be assigned to the Beta Corridor, which ran mostly through the Rasalhague Republic, and furthermore that he would operate his headquarters from the Wolf Clan flagship Dire Wolf. The insults were unmistakeable. Clan Wolf was denied the chance to operate on the flanks of the attack, a historical honor in Clan warfare, and straddled with fighting a weak opponent against whom little glory could be won in defeating. The ilKhan's presence on their flagship furthermore implied that Clan Wolf's loyalties were suspect, a notion which had been growing after Wolf's Dragoons turned traitorous, requiring his direct supervision. For the other three corridors, the Jade Falcons earned the honor of facing off against the Federated Commonwealth, while the Smoke Jaguars won the Draconis Combine.[7][8]

With the big picture in place, a few final details were worked out between the command staffs of the four Invading Clans. The invasion would be executed in 'waves,' each lasting two months with a two week rest-and-refit period in between, for a total of fifteen waves in all ending at Terra. Worlds which lay along the border of two invasion corridors would be open to bidding from either Clan, and Inner Sphere forces would be granted the chance to fight with honor through the batchall. Beyond that, each Clan was responsible for planning and executing all combat operations within their corridor.[10] Additionally, the remaining Clans not participating in the invasion were invited to send observers along with the invasion force, consisting of no more than a Trinary-sized ground contingent but any number of WarShips and other interstellar craft. All of them choose to send both of their Khans to serve as witnesses.[11][12]

The plan originally was for the full invasion fleet to depart in mid-June 3049. Many Clan warriors, lacking in patience and eager for their return to the Inner Sphere, challenged their Khans to trials for the right to leave in mid-February. These units offered to operate as the vanguard of the fleet, clearing the way through the Periphery of bandits and providing valuable intelligence to the invasion fleet, before stopping at the borders of the Inner Sphere and awaiting the main force to arrive. After some debate this modification was allowed, and a small number of elite units from the four invading Clans left on 21 February.[13] By June the rest of the invasion fleet was ready and assembled in orbit above Strana Mechty. Many inspirational speeches were given, by the ilKhan, the Loremasters and others, until finally the order to jump was given and the invasion begun.[10]

The Invasion[edit]

Periphery Action[edit]

At the insistence of the other Khans, ilKhan Showers declared the Periphery open territory, allowing any Clan to attack any world. In truth though there was very little worth attacking: with most Periphery worlds being sparsely populated (if populated at all), few if any could put up any sort of military challenge. Many worlds were defended by "errants," solitary 'Mech or aerospace fighter pilots who, regardless of their actual skill, typically had only dilapidated machines with which to fight. Most such fights only served to confirm the Clans' preconceptions that the conquest of the Inner Sphere would be a cakewalk.[10]

As the Clans moved closer to the Inner Sphere there appeared some exceptions to this trend. Clan Wolf in particular was running into more organized opposition, and most importantly against Inner Sphere mercenaries. These opponents put up stiffer resistance, and provided valuable information on Inner Sphere martial technology and tactics. Clan Wolf offered to share this information with its fellow Clans, but most scoffed at the idea of the Inner Sphere being anything more than pushovers and ignored their advice. Perhaps the most important development to come from the war in the Periphery was the capture of a young Phelan Kell, a mercenary of the famous Kell Hounds, in August 3049, though the relevance of this would not be felt for some time.[14]

By January 3050 all the Periphery targets had been taken. Debriefings and resupplying took place, as did communication between the Clans and ComStar. Though the Clans had been quick to jam all communications and destroy all ships attempting to escape their conquered worlds, ComStar was able to learn of their existence through ROM emergency transmissions. After much debate within the First Circuit, Primus Myndo Waterly sent exploration teams to attempt contact with the invaders. As it was, the Clans had much respect for ComStar - a living legacy of the old Star League, committed to its eventual restoration - and hoped the organization could help them in their purpose. ComStar for its part also believed the Clans could help them in their purpose, and sent Precentor Anastasius Focht to conduct formal negotiations with the Clans. Eventually terms were finalized: ComStar would suppress all communications coming or going to worlds targeted by the Clans, and in certain instances pass along military information to them, in exchange for the Clans not meddling in ComStar affairs and allowing it to administrate worlds conquered by them. Some in the First Circuit, as well as Focht himself, were uneasy with these terms, but Primus Waterly agreed to them, cementing an alliance between the two groups.[15]

First Wave[edit]

On 7 March 3050, the first wave of the Inner Sphere invasion began. By the end of the month, all four invading Clans had already conquered multiple worlds within the Combine, Republic and Federated Commonwealth. Never expecting an attack of such magnitude to come from the Periphery, the Inner Sphere was caught completely off-guard. Thanks to the Clans' superior technology, they were almost always able to avoid electronic detection and enter into orbit above a planet without warning; often the first the defenders knew they were under attack was when the Clan forces issued their batchall. In battle, the Clans' superior martial skills and technology were unparalleled, and even veteran units able to mount a resistance were swept aside with seemingly little effort. As each world fell, panic and rumor spread among the populace, including the idea that the Clans were alien invaders.[16][17]

A Draconis Combine armored column falls prey to Smoke Jaguar OmniFighters

Though victorious in their conquests, the Clans were also experiencing difficulties of their own. Some Inner Sphere commanders were able to catch on to the Clans' strange adherence to zellbrigen and exploit it, if only to preserve more of their forces in the face of this onslaught. On Trell I, the Jade Falcons failed to capture the heir of the Federated Commonwealth, Victor Steiner-Davion, who despite protestations to stay and fight with his men managed to escape.[18] On Turtle Bay, the Smoke Jaguars had succeeded in capturing Hohiro Kurita, heir to the Chrysanthemum Throne, they just didn't realize it. Once the truth was discovered, Hohiro had already escaped thanks to the local yakuza. Enraged, the Smoke Jaguar commander had the capital city Edo wiped out via orbital bombardment. The sheer barbarity of this action shocked even the most hard-line Crusaders, and when Clan Wolf announced it would bid away all naval assets for future battles, honor forced the other Clans to accept the same condition.[19]

The first wave came to an end in April, with thirty-five worlds under the thumb of the Clan invaders. Many Clan warriors felt a sense of euphoria, finally stepping foot on worlds not seen in generations, though some were less than reverential to the people living on those worlds.[16][20] In fact, many people on these conquered worlds had the temerity to keep resisting Clan occupation after the battle had been declared won. A few officers noted this, along with their surprisingly depleted supply stores, but such concerns were not shared by those in command.[20][21][22] When it came time for the command staffs to debrief each other what had transpired, both Jade Falcon and Smoke Jaguar Clans submitted wildly inflated reports of their successes to the ilKhan, while the Ghost Bears and Wolves were more truthful.[20]

Second Wave[edit]

The second wave of the invasion began on schedule in May. By this point, the governments of both the FedCom alliance and the Draconis Combine had recovered somewhat from their earlier shock and began to mobilize a response, moving fresh supplies and units into the expected path of the invaders. Recognizing the danger these invaders posed to both of them, the two governments also agreed to a level of cooperation unheard of since the start of the Succession Wars. The Draconis Combine made the first shocking move, pulling its elite units off of the FedCom border and redeploying to face the Clans, followed by similar FedCom movements.[23]

Unfortunately, the Free Rasalhague Republic was hamstrung by internal division between it's Elected Prince, Haakon Magnusson, and Överbefälhavare Christian Månsdottir. The latter wanted to redeploy the KungsArmé to form a defensive perimeter around Rasalhague and seek help from the Combine and FedCom, while Prince Magnusson wanted all units to remain in place and refused to ask for outside assistance. Unable to come to terms, the two took their argument to Parliament, where precious weeks were wasted in debate. In the end, units stationed in the Rasalhague Province were ordered to stand their ground while those in the Radstadt and Skandia Provinces would reinforce the capital.[23]

Jade Falcon troopers stand guard. Many Clan units became bogged down in garrisoning rebellious planets.

Clans Ghost Bear and Smoke Jaguar faced significant difficulties during the second wave, having underestimated the level of supplies needed and the Inner Sphere's willingness to resist occupation. Fewer worlds were targeted, and front-line units which could have been in the vanguard were forced to put down rebellions popping up in their rear.[24] Aided by the Republic's infighting, Clan Wolf faced little significant resistance during its second wave, while the Jade Falcons were helped by the FedCom leadership's decision to hold back direct reinforcement of targeted worlds until more information could be gathered.[23][20] By the end of June, another twenty-seven worlds were now under Clan control.

Third Wave[edit]

The third wave of the invasion would represent the beginning of a dramatic change in the fortunes of the invading Clans. Prior to it's start, Ulric Kerensky unveiled a revised plan of attack, amounting to a near doubling of the number of worlds originally targeted. The Wolf Clan's intent was clear: if it was forced to participate in the invasion, then it was very well going to win it. The other Clans, beset with logistical problems and rebellious populaces, were both dismissive of the Wolves' seeming overreach and worried it's failure would jeopardize the invasion.[25][26]

Thanks to thorough planning, the Wolf Clan's attacks met with stunning success when the third wave began in June, and it was well poised to begin the invasion of Rasalhague itself. However, the capital planet lay along the border between the Wolf and Ghost Bear corridors, allowing the ilKhan to conspire with the Ghost Bear khans to contest the right to invade it.[25] Much to the chagrin of Clan Wolf, internal strife within the Ghost Bear leadership delayed the bidding until 4 July, where it took place aboard the Dire Wolf between Ulric Kerensky and Bjorn Jorgensson. When the bidding was over, Kerensky had won, but only by agreeing to invade Rasalhague with just three Clusters - a force many times smaller than the defending KungsArmé units.[27][28]

The Wolf Khan had an ace up his sleeve though. After being taken as a bondsman many months ago, Phelan Kell had risen up to become something of an adviser to Kerensky. Using his knowledge of the planet and its defenders, Kell was able to help plan an attack which would exploit their weaknesses and achieve victory while (hopefully) lessening the collateral damage. The resulting Battle of Rasalhague was a great success for Clan Wolf, capturing the capital of the Republic and forcing the Elected Prince to flee into the void.[29] The third wave ended in July with Clan Wolf having captured all eleven of its targeted worlds, nearly half of the twenty-five lost in total to the Clan invasion.

Fourth Wave[edit]

The fourth wave was one of momentous change for the invading Clans and the Inner Sphere. Clan Wolf continued to surprise its rivals by launching its fourth wave early and targeting even more worlds than before. IlKhan Showers attempted to slow the Wolves down, such as trying to deny them the use of PGCs, but was stymied in his efforts; the ilKhan could not simply force their progress to halt just because they were succeeding where others failed. By the time their fourth wave attacks ended in October, the Wolves had captured another sixteen planets.[30] Clan Ghost Bear, after extending their refit time to better reorganize their forces, did not launch their attacks until late August, but would succeed in capturing eight worlds, exceeding the poor performance in the last two waves.[31]
Elementals swarm over a Wolverine 'Mech

For the Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars, the fourth wave would prove to be disastrous as the Inner Sphere finally succeeded in defeating the Clans in battle. In the Battle of Twycross, FedCom forces launched a counter-attack to retake the planet; thinking it was only lightly held by garrison forces, they were surprised to find the Falcon Guards, crack front-line troops, defending it. Nevertheless, the FedCom attackers were victorious, and the Falcon Guards wiped out thanks to the bravery of Kai Allard-Liao.[26] In the Battle of Wolcott, the attacking Smoke Jaguars fell for Theodore Kurita's deceptions and were outmaneuvered by the elite Genyosha regiments. The victory netted the Draconis Combine valuable examples of Clan technology and a guarantee that Wolcott would not be attacked again by the Smoke Jaguars, allowing it to serve as a base of resistance within their Occupation Zone.[32]

Leo Showers was furious at the failure of his Clan and the wild success enjoyed by the Wolves. Determined to salvage the situation, he ordered for a Grand Kulturai to take place aboard the Dire Wolf on 1 November. Ulric Kerensky agreed to attend, so long as none of the other khans arrived in ships larger than the Dire Wolf and that the meeting take place in the newly-conquered system of Radstadt. However, when the Dire Wolf arrived in system on 31 October, it was surprised by the sudden appearance of a small Rasalhagian fleet. Elected Prince Magnusson had also fled to Radstadt after the fall of Rasalhague, and as his ship desperately made its escape the Flying Drakøns made a suicidal attack against the Dire Wolf. One of the last surviving pilots, Tyra Miraborg, succeeded in ramming the flagship's bridge where Leo Showers and Ulric Kerensky were located. Phelan Kell, assisted by Anastasius Focht, was able to save the Wolf Khan before the bridge suffered total decompression, but not the ilKhan.[33]

When the khans did finally meet on 1 November, it was to decide what to do next. After much debate, it was decided that the invading Clans desperately needed a new ilKhan, if only the maintain the tenuous cooperation which still existed between them. However, the election of an ilKhan required the participation of all Bloodnamed warriors, which would require a return to the Clan homeworlds. With some trepidation, the khans agreed to this course of action, and on 1 December they departed for home. Non-Bloodnamed warriors would remain behind to guard what had already been taken, assisted by ComStar as needed.[34]
Tyra Miraborg's kamikaze run into the Dire Wolf

The leaders of the Great Houses became partly aware of these developments but remain guarded, expecting a new offensive from a different direction. When none came, they decided against any attempt at a counter-attack and began the long process of rebuilding their shattered armies. Finally, in January 3051, Wolf's Dragoons contacted the Great Houses and, in a meeting on their planet Outreach, told them everything they knew. Armed with this new information, the Inner Sphere would be ready for the Clan's return.[34]

Year of Peace[edit]

En route to Strana Mechty, a conspiracy was plotted by the Jade Falcon, Smoke Jaguar and Ghost Bear khans to undermine Ulric Kerensky: first by charging him with responsibility for the ilKhan's death, a crime punishable by death, but if that failed then electing him as the new ilKhan. Though a position of great power and authority, as ilKhan Ulric would be honor-bound to follow the directives of the Crusader-controlled Grand Council, which was sure to continue to support the invasion beyond the Wardens' objections, and prosecute the invasion to his fullest abilities. His departure would also open up a position in the Wolf Clan leadership, which would most likely go to a Crusader-minded individual. Shortly after their return in February 3051, the Crusaders set their plans in motion with the formal prosecution of Ulric Kerensky, though they were undone when they allowed Phelan Kell to testify on the Wolf khan's behalf and successfully argued for Ulric's innocence. When it came time to elect a new ilKhan, the Crusaders' succeeded, and Ulric Kerensky was voted in as the new supreme warlord of the Clans.[34][35][36][37]

Ulric had seen through the Crusaders' intentions though and was more than willing to "thank" them for this honor. In his first act he nominated Natasha Kerensky, late of Wolf's Dragoons and a Warden like himself, to assume his position as senior khan of the Wolf Clan. The surprise and shock of this nomination was only exceeded when Natasha blew through her Trial of Position with flying colors, assuming leadership of the Wolves and dashing the Crusaders' hopes of turning Clan Wolf to their camp. Next, the new ilKhan activated Clans Steel Viper and Nova Cat as full invasion members, assigning them to operate within the Jade Falcon and Smoke Jaguar corridors respectively, and brought on Clan Diamond Shark as the new reserve Clan. The ilKhan's intentions were clear: beyond the shame of suggesting they needed help, the Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars were partnered with hated enemies, as likely to attack them as the Inner Sphere and thereby slow down their advance towards Terra. Using lessons learned from the previous waves, the seven invading Clans made their preparations, and by July they departed back for the Inner Sphere.[34][35][36][37]

The Great Houses also used this year of peace to make their own preparations for the Clans' return, cooperating together to a level that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. The Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine re-positioned units to face the renewed Clan assault, leaving their borders with each other stripped bare, and worked together to help shore up the rump Free Rasalhague Republic. Untouched by the Clan Invasion, the Free Worlds League became the arsenal of the Inner Sphere, ramping up production of war materiel and supplying it to the combatants. Even the Capellan Confederation, a shadow of its former self after the Fourth Succession War, made contributions to the war effort. Factory refits of existing designs and brand new 'Mechs utilizing lostech began appearing in the armies of the Inner Sphere, chipping away at the Clans' technological advantage.[38] This included efforts to copy the Clans' vaunted battle armor, with early designs like the Infiltrator and Sloth giving way to the Inner Sphere Standard.

ComStar's apparent non-involvement in resisting the Clans also made the Great Houses even more suspicious about the secretive order. While openly cooperating among themselves, the Great Houses did their best to hide their movements from ComStar and restrict the order's access to sensitive information. Publicly, ComStar asserted it's historically neutral position and that it was only trying to help those populations living under Clan occupation. The truth about ComStar's cooperation with the Clans would not become public knowledge during the Clan Invasion.[38]

A Nova Cat Summoner stands over its fallen opponent

Fifth Wave[edit]

The Clans returned in October, though it would not be until November when the Inner Sphere realized this, and by then the fifth wave of the invasion started with Clan Wolf getting a head start. The Wolves threw themselves against the most heavily-defended FedCom worlds, and though the defenders had improved much since the early waves Clan Wolf prevailed. They would go on to capture the most worlds of any Clan during the fifth wave, reducing the Rasalhague Republic even further and capturing the important FedCom world of Tamar.[39] The Jade Falcons and Steel Vipers were at each others' throats before the invasion even began, and once it started this constant infighting stymied the offensive in their shared invasion corridor. The fewest number of worlds would be captured along their corridor by the end of the fifth wave.[40][41] The Ghost Bears enjoyed the most success after Clan Wolf, capturing a number of important Combine worlds including the district capital of Alshain.[42]

Clans Smoke Jaguar and Nova Cat came to a mutual understanding before the fifth wave, avoiding the troubles which plagued the Jade Falcon-Steel Viper corridor and allowing them to concentrate fully on the invasion. Resistance from the Combine was stiff, but nevertheless the two Clans punched through their defenses, opening the way to the very heart of the realm: Luthien. The Draconis Combine pulled out all the stops to defend their capital world, including the extraordinary step of asking the Federated Commonwealth for help, which sent Wolf's Dragoons and the Kell Hounds to assist. The Battle of Luthien was the second-largest ever of the Clan Invasion, and resulted in a stinging defeat for the Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats.[43][44]

Though the Great Houses were achieving great successes, world after world was still falling before the might of the Clans, and it appeared there would be no way to stop them. In the midst of the fifth wave, Precentor Focht met with Ulric Kerensky in late January 3052, where the ilKhan finally revealed that Terra was the Clans' ultimate goal. Focht immediately returned to the First Circuit to relay this information; for the Clans to seize ComStar's homeworld was unacceptable, and a new plan would have to be formulated. It was decided that the Com Guards would challenge the invading Clans for a Trial of Possession over Terra, with the Trial taking place on a proxy world. ComStar announced to the Great Houses that it would no longer remain "neutral" in the conflict and began supplying information to them, while preparation and study of Clan tactics increased among the Com Guards. By February, Focht had located the perfect world for their purposes - Tukayyid, a backwater agrarian planet within the Free Rasalhague Republic - and overtures were made to the Clans about bidding for Terra.[45]

The ilKhan agreed and in mid-April Ulric and Focht met to hash out the details: the seven invading Clans would face off against the entirety of the Com Guards for possession of the twelve major cities on Tukayyid. If the Clans captured the most, Terra was theirs as was ComStar, but if the Com Guards won the Clans would agree to a fifteen-year truce. When the deal was presented to the other Clans, feelings were mixed among the khans, but eventually all saw the wisdom of the idea and approved it, and in the event of victory whichever Clan performed the best would win the right to be ilClan. The fate of the invasion would now be decided in a single, epic confrontation.[45]

Tukayyid was the greatest battle of the invasion, and the ultimate defeat of the Clans

Battle of Tukayyid[edit]

The Battle of Tukayyid was the significant turning point and largest battle of the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere. On the First of May, 3052, the Com Guards and the Clans met in what would turn out to be twenty-one days of vicious fighting. The Smoke Jaguars were the first to land, but worn down by hit-and-run attacks they were lured into a Com Guards trap and nearly destroyed. The Steel Vipers were more cautious after witnessing the mauling the Smoke Jaguars suffered, but were nevertheless forced to retreat as well with heavy losses. The Diamond Sharks and Nova Cat were also defeated, though the Nova Cats took solace in the fact they inflicted more casualties on the Com Guards than any other Clan. The Ghost Bears achieved a moderate victory by capturing and holding one of their two target cities, but agreed to withdraw when it became apparent they had not the strength to continue. The Jade Falcons also captured one of their cities but could not hold on to it, earning a draw based on their performance. Only Clan Wolf achieved a complete victory by capturing both of its target cities, but by that point both the ilKhan and Precentor Martial Focht agreed the battle had come to its conclusion and declared a victory in favor of ComStar.

Aftermath[edit]

Tukayyid was one of the bloodiest battles of the invasion - the Com Guards having suffered 40% casualties, with many Clans equally battered - but it guaranteed fifteen years of relative peace between the Clans and the Inner Sphere.[46] By the terms of the Truce of Tukayyid, a line was drawn across the Inner Sphere along the planet's location: worlds which lay "below" the line could not be attacked by the Clans, while worlds were were "above" it were still vulnerable. Even with these terms, many Clans were furious with the Truce and made efforts in the years since to void it, whether by official channels through the Grand Council or covertly as with the Red Corsair incident. Eventually this anger directed itself towards Ulric Kerensky himself, and efforts to have him executed on charges of treason would lead to the Refusal War. This devastating conflict between the Wolves and Jade Falcons would lead to the sundering of Clan Wolf and creation of Clan Wolf-in-Exile.[47]

Coinciding with the Battle of Tukayyid, Primus Waterly attempted to carry out Operation Scorpion, a bold ploy to seize control of the entire Inner Sphere. Despite minor victories the operation failed stunningly, especially within the Clan Occupation Zones, and Primus Waterly was deposed by Precentor Martial Focht in favor of Sharilar Mori. Focht's further attempts to reform ComStar however led to the ComStar Schism and creation of the Word of Blake.[48]

The Clan Invasion also brought the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere together in a way which had not happened since the fall of the Star League. The Jade Falcon Incursion of 3058 was put to a halt thanks to a joint task force put together by the Great Houses and led by Precentor Martial Focht and First Prince Victor Steiner-Davion. Building on this victory, the leaders of the Great Houses agreed to meet in October 3058 and formally announce the creation of the Second Star League, voting to elect Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao as its new First Lord.[49]

Invasion Corridors[edit]

Invasion Waves[edit]

Clan Periphery Action
(August-September 3049)
Wave 1
(March-April 3050)
Wave 2
(May-June 3050)
Wave 3
(June-July 3050)
Wave 4
(July-October 3050)
Wave 5
(November 3051-January 3052)
Clan Wolf Blackstone
Butte Hold
Crellacor
Drask's Den
Ferris
Gustrell
Oberon VI
Paulus Prime
Placida
The Rock
Sigurd
Alleghe
Balsta
Chateau
Icar
New Caledonia
Outpost
St. John
Skallevoll
Svelvik
The Edge
Cyrenaica
Leoben
Lovinac
New Bergen
Rodigo
Verthandi
Bruben
Feltre
Harvest
Hermagor
Kirchbach
Liezen
Mozirje
Planting
Rasalhague
Ridderkerk
Vantaa
Basiliano
Dawn
Dell
Engadin
Ferleiten
Hohenems
Kandis
Kufstein
Moritz
New Oslo
Radstadt
Skokie
Stanzach
Svarstaad
Unzmarkt
Vulcan
Altenmarkt
Bessarabia
Biota
Carse
Cusset
Diosd
Domain
Galuzzo
Gunzburg
Hainfeld
Heiligendreuz
Hyperion
Karston
Kobe
Laurent
Lothan
Maestu
Memmingen
Nox
Ramsau
Rastaban
Satalice
Sevren
Shaula
Skandia
Suk II
Tamar
Thannhausen
Thun
Volders
Vorarlberg
Weingarten
Wheel
Clan Jade Falcon Botany Bay
Erewhon
Gotterdammerung
Lackhove
Last Chance
Von Strang's World
Anywhere
Barcelona
Bensinger
Bone-Norman
Here
Persistence
Steelton
Toland
Trell I
Winfield
Apollo
Black Earth
Butler
Derf
Evciler
Golandrinas
Maxie's Planet
Romulus
Seiduts
Somerset
Twycross
Wotan
Beta VII
Hot Springs
Malibu
Roadside
Waldorff
Antares
Apolakkia
Baker 3
Blackjack
Colmar
Denizli
Devin
Dompaire
Goat Path
Graus
Leskovik
Parakoila
Sudeten
Twycross (Phase II)
Zoetermeer
Alyina
La Grave
Quarell
Sudeten
Pandora
Clan Ghost Bear Elissa
Manaringaine
Nyserta
Porthos
Constance
Damian
Holmsbu
Pinnacle
Thule
Jarett
Susquehanna
Trondheim
Last Frontier
Polcenigo
Radlje
Casere
Goito
Jezersko
Pomme De Terre
Predlitz
Soverzene
Spittal
Vipaava
Alshain
Ardoz
Eguilles
Halesowen
Kaesong
Kempten
Krenice
Mannedorf
Marawi
Maule
Rubigen
Setubal
Sheliak
Sternwerde
Thessalonika
Tinaca
Toffen
Utrecht
Clan Smoke Jaguar Santander's World Almunge
Bjarred
Idlewind
Richmond
Rockland
Schwartz
Stapelfeld
Tarnby
Turtle Bay
Virentofta
Brocchi's Cluster[50]
Chupadero
Coudoux
Garstedt
Nykvarm
Sawyer
Albiero
Hanover
Jeanette
Kabah
Savinsville
Schuyler
Bangor
Byesville
Courchevel
Jeronimo
Luzerne
Wolcott (defeated)
Asgard
Avon
Hyner
Kiamba
Labrea
Luthien (defeated)
Marshdale
Outer Volta
Port Arthur
Tarazed
Yamarovka
Clan Nova Cat Worlds Ceded
to Clan Nova Cat:
Bjarred
Chupadero
Courchevel
Jeanette
Sawyer
Tarnby
Avon
Caripare
Cyrenaica
Irece
Itabaiana
Juazeiro
Kanowit
Luthien (defeated)
Mualang
Teniente
Clan Steel Viper Worlds Ceded to
Clan Steel Viper:
Twycross
Waldorff
Benfled
Blair Atholl
Jabuka
Montmarault
Orkney

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 24
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 17
  3. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 18
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 25
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 19
  6. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 20
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 21
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 26
  9. Invading Clans (Sourcebook), p. 18
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 27
  11. Invading Clans, p. 109
  12. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 39
  13. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 18
  14. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 29
  15. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 30
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 31
  17. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 24-25
  18. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 26
  19. Invading Clans (Sourcebook), p. 56
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 27
  21. Invading Clans (Sourcebook), p. 20
  22. Invading Clans (Sourcebook), p. 56
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 32
  24. Invading Clans (Sourcebook), p. 21, 56
  25. 25.0 25.1 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 33
  26. 26.0 26.1 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 28
  27. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 34
  28. Invading Clans, p. 22
  29. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 35-36
  30. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 37
  31. Invading Clans, p. 24-25
  32. Invading Clans, p. 57-58
  33. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 39-40
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 41
  35. 35.0 35.1 Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 29
  36. 36.0 36.1 Invading Clans, p. 35-36
  37. 37.0 37.1 Invading Clans, p. 58-59
  38. 38.0 38.1 Technical Readout: 3050, p. 44-46
  39. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 42-44
  40. Jade Falcon Sourcebook, p. 30
  41. Invading Clans, p. 86-88
  42. Invading Clans, p. 28
  43. Invading Clans, p. 60-61
  44. Invading Clans, p. 112
  45. 45.0 45.1 Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 46-47
  46. Tukayyid, p. 109
  47. Invading Clans, p. 5-6
  48. ComStar (sourcebook), p. 72-76
  49. The Dragon Roars, p. 4
  50. http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,15510.0.html

Bibliography[edit]

Dates[edit]

  • Start Date - August 3049
  • End Date - May 21, 3052