|Cover artwork||Swen Papenbrock|
|Publisher||Fantasy Productions GmbH|
|Product code||31019 (print)|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||29 June-30 September 3054|
|Series|| Classic BattleTech Novels|
|Preceded by||Katze unter Bären|
|Followed by||Mission Kiamba|
Clanwächter ("Clan Watcher", apparently in reference to membership in the Clan Watch organisation), by Arous Brocken, is the 12th of the German-language Classic BattleTech Novels published by FanPro. Set in 3054, it seamlessly continues the story of MechWarrior George from the previous novel, Katze unter Bären.
The story is not written in chronological order; rather George reminisces about previous battles on Mannedorf and Toffen just prior to the final battle on Setubal and how naive he was back on Mannedorf when he first realized that something was amiss.
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Clanwächter does not meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe. As an official product published under a valid license, it should be regarded as apocryphal.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“|| 3054: Through the death of his superior, George is promoted to Star Commander sooner than expected. He has to face may new challenges, his Trial of Position being only the first. Between battles against Inner Sphere mercenaries, training his new MechWarriors keeps him occupied. But soon he wonders what makes their opponents attack them with such suicidal fervor. His investigation unexpectedly puts him at odds with the Clan Watch.
Only at the last moment does he realize that he jeopardized his future as a MechWarrior in the elite 371st Assault Cluster, and that his real enemies lurk elsewhere.
Second Part of the Bear Cycle.
The Clan Watch has grown very quickly following the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere and the Clans' realisation that they are lacking in the intel field. In mid-June 3054 two Watch operatives, Alee and Igana, discuss the organization's division into Ops, who gather the data, and Intel, who evaluate the data. Igana is worried about subtle signs of "discrepancies" indicating a problem within the Watch and names one Star Commander Lara as the first person to have noticed them initially. One Star Captain Waltro Gurdel, head of the Watch's Disinformation section for the Draconis Combine, and one Harold are mentioned as possible suspects behind the opaque situation, though Igana does not consider the evidence sufficient to take action yet.
Meanwhile, George's Five-Bravo star of Clan Ghost Bear's 371th Assault Cluster is deployed to defend the isolated and ostensibly unremarkable HPG station on the north pole of Mannedorf. He begins to wonder why mercenaries from the Inner Sphere repeatedly stage unusually suicidal attacks against the station, and if they actually are mercenaries after all. Together with his starmate Mick, George secretly inspects the Star League facility below the station which is technically off-limits to him, and finds it to contain almost two hundred Star League era BattleMechs in good condition (identified 'Mechs in the cache include a Warhammer, Griffin, Enforcer, Vindicator, Wyvern and Phoenix Hawk LAM).
The Clan garrison at the distant space port is attacked in force shortly afterwards. On a hunch, George and Mick march their 'Mechs out for an unscheduled patrol and find tracks of an enemy 'Mech company preparing to attack the HPG compound from two sides. Their timely intervention allows the defenders to narrowly defeat the attackers with the help of the DropShip Tatzenkralle which lands at the perimeter to defend it with its guns. George's starmates Ulern and Sevenik are killed in the battle, and his starmate Tanja loses a hand. As the senior remaining Warrior, George suddenly finds himself in command of the station and overwhelmed by the various administrative tasks associated with it.
Thinking the situation over, George finds that the latest mercenary attack that sacrificed an entire company makes no sense at all; the enemy Victor that made it into the base could hardly have secured any salvage on its own. Also, this time nobody tried to disable the HPG dish like in the first attack. Responsibility for the disarrayed and nearly defenseless base keeps him occupied however, until it is reported that the mercenaries are withdrawing from Mannedorf. He reports his worries to Star Colonel Marsen Mitshan, but the Star Colonel cannot answer his questions and remarks he will have to confer with his Watch liaison Christopher. George is promoted to Star Commander.
Marsen Mitshan is to receive high praise for his successful defense on Mannedorf, which he privately admits to George was mostly because George's actions saved the polar station which was secretly considered as important as the starport for some undisclosed reason. En route to Alshain for the ceremony after a failed attempt to pursue the retreating mercenaries, George and Mick awaken violently sick and with hazy memories of being questioned by the two Watch operatives aboard the DropShip, Harold and Berias. Since Watch operatives are sacrosanct and cannot be challenged to a Circle of Equals, George and Mick break into their cabin and search their computer files. They find an order from Waltro Gurdel to Harold and Berias to question the survivors of George's star to verify accounts of the events at the polar station and "confirm the success of the planned attack operation", apparently confirming that the Watch orchestrated the battle.
On Alshain, three new recruits including a freeborn are assigned to George's star and they also receive replacement 'Mechs. The inclusion of his star within the 371st Assault Cluster leads to rejection and hostility from some other officers, most notably Marsha. Following a difficult but ultimately successful Trial of Position to confirm his new rank, George tries to confront Watro Gurdel, but is received by Harold instead who refuses to give him any information.
After only a brief stay on Alshain and winning a trial against another unit for the right to pursue the mercenaries, the 371st Assault Cluster sets out. The mercenary JumpShip is evidently equipped with an Lithium-Fusion Battery and stays one step ahead of the pursuing Clan troops. Before long, the unusually long stay in space, frequently at battle stations, and the frequent jumps take their toll on the MechWarriors who become increasingly sick. Marsen Mitshan hints that he also distrusts the Watch, and George gets to talk to Lara of the Watch who, being of Intel herself, hitched a ride because the 371st was headed in the same direction as she had to go for her duties. Only later does George realize that this means she knew where the bandit hunt would lead.
At Toffen, an uprising prompts the local governor to request aid from the 371st as they are moving through. While their JumpShip is recharging, the DropShips deploy 'Mechs to subdue the uprising. During a patrol on 24 August 3054, Mick encounters what may be enemy BattleMechs. George moves to support him and encounters a suspect hovercraft; he thinks he saw Berias piloting it. As George tries to stop the hover-van, a missile from a concealed launcher covers his Horned Owl with a special net that temporarily disables the 'Mech, and the van escapes. A massed attack on the spread-out 371st forces them to retreat in a running battle.
Back at the DropShip, George knocks Berias out cold and reads the files on his computer, but they make little sense to George. He is interrupted by Christopher, who suggests that the clandestine operation like the false reports about a Star League depot here on Toffen to sow unrest, allowing the Clans to keep their warrior skills honed to a fine edge and also providing a reason and an excuse to transfer additional troops into the occupation zone. He produces a gun to make George leave. Shortly afterwards it turns out that the hovercraft incident was purged from the BattleROM on George's BattleMech, but he had already made a copy and entrusted it to Mick. However, Marsen Mitshan will hear nothing of it.
On 27 August, George's star repels a rebel attack against their bivouac. George and his subordinates trace the attackers' tracks to their camp, where they manage to secure maps showing the resistance bases. The subsequent counterinsurgency successes prompt a desperate all-out attack by the rebels against the 371st, and on the following day George's 'Mech is downed. He ejects, but breaks a leg in the process and has to kill two local children who attack him with a spiked club, but not before suffering further damage to his wounded knee.
George's inquiries have piqued Marsen Mitshan's interest, and he orders the unit back to Mannedorf to inspect the polar station once more. Recuperating from his leg injuries, George gets to talk to Lara once more. She admits that she suspects Christopher of hatching some plan. Talking openly to one another, George and Lara determine that Christopher has a third operation going besides Mannedorf and Toffen, and is trying to deflect attention away from that third theater by trumping up the relevance of the other two. Before even setting foot on Mannedorf again, the 371st are called to Setubal where George and Lara manage to intercept a Watch courier. Another uprising is brewing on Setubal, and the intercepted data indicates where the mercenaries will strike next.
Operating from the DropShip Titanklinge, George's understrength star face an entire Overlord-class DropShip. The Titanklinge is destroyed before it can launch, and George's unit is overrun. He survives the destruction of his 'Mech and is captured by the enemy mercenaries.
- Battle Cobra
- Dire Wolf
- Fire Moth
- Hermes II
- Horned Owl
- Jenner IIC
- Kit Fox
- Mad Dog
- Marauder IIC
- Mist Lynx
- Phoenix Hawk
- Phoenix Hawk LAM
- Scorpion (BattleMech)
- Shadow Hawk
- Timber Wolf
- UrbanMech IIC
- Vapor Eagle
- Wolf Trap
- The cover image depicts the scene where George's Horned Owl is disabled by a net fired from Berias' hovertruck; however, in the scene, no other 'Mech nor helicopter was within direct visual range. Also, the Phoenix Hawk on the novel cover is a Project Phoenix design which did not yet exist in 3054; the nearby Phoenix Hawk would have been a standard (unseen) design.
- The pursuit of the mercenary unit violates established canon at two points: It is not possible to track an outbound JumpShip's destination by analyzing its jump signature (as it is done in the book), and the ships make more jumps in a short timespan than should be possible even with a K-F battery and frequent quickcharging. The novel seems to imply the Clan JumpShips can recharge for a full two jumps within 36 hours. This, too, cannot be reconciled with established canon.