Conrad Toyama

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Conrad Toyama (b. 9 September 2752 – 17 April 2837[1][2]) assumed control of ComStar, following Jerome Blake's death in 2819.[3]

Conrad Toyama


Early life to the First Circuit[edit]

Born and raised on the Terran Hegemony world of Styx, Conrad Toyama had a relatively mundane childhood, but his life immediately changed at age fourteen when Stefan Amaris launched his Coup. Described by his high-school classmates as something of a charming and fast talking rogue, the young Toyama prospered during the Amaris occupation as a fixer and fence, orchestrating black market deals and trading in valuable items, while bribing the AEAF troops to turn a blind-eye. Toyama's business suffered when the Draconis Combine took control of Styx in 2772, followed by the Star League Defense Force in August 2773. With both parties far less willing ignore to his shady dealings, the twenty-year old suffered beatings from the DCMS and stiff fines from SLDF forces.[2]

While the SLDF troops were disdainful of him, Toyama soon became invaluable to the Department of Communications team tasked with restoring Styx's disabled Hyperpulse Generator in 2774. His ability to acquire rare components and his notable skills at jury-rigging helped the team finish the work in half the expected time. While working with the team, Toyama's eyes were opened to a different life, and was seduced by the team's stories of danger and daring in the HPG restorations during Operation LIBERATION. He ultimately won a place in the Department, now led by Jerome Blake, in late 2780. Toyama's mix of commercial and technical knowledge, along with his natural charm, soon earned him the respect of Blake, who selected the young man for the important post of chief administrator of the restored Dieron Hyperpulse Generator in 2785. This earned him a position on Blake's newly created political First Circuit, the decision making council for the Department made up the HPG First Circuit's chief administrators. [2] [4]

Drawing from his trading background, one of Toyama's first actions in his new position was to suggest that a re-branding was in order to reflect Blake's efforts to reform the Department into an independent communications conglomerate. He suggested "ComStar", a combination of the names of two companies that formerly sold their services to the Department: Communications Enterprises Inc., and Starlight Broadcasting Ltd. Toyama would later claim his inspiration for the name came after he suffered a high voltage electrical shock while working on the Deiron HPG. After recovering from the shock he claimed that he was visited by the shade of Richard Cameron who whispered the name to him. No matter its origin, Blake backed the proposal and the Star League Department of Communications was thereafter known as ComStar. [2] [4]

At first one of Blake's many advisers, Toyama's talents and charm soon saw him become Blake's principal aide and confidant. Despite their differences in age and personality, the introvert Blake and extrovert Toyama saw each other as kindred spirits, united in the belief that ComStar could save humanity from the abyss. Never previously of a religious bent, Toyama was so impressed by the older man's steely drive to restore the HPG network (and make a profit while doing so), his manipulation of the Great Houses into signing the Communications Protocol of 2787, and the success of Operation Silver Shield, that he came to regard Blake as a kind of holy prophet. Toyama followed his every command with an almost religious fervor. [2] [4] [5]

While some on the First Circuit questioned his fanatical level of devotion, Toyama remained on the body for the remainder of the hard years of the First Succession War. By 2812 however that devotion began to weaken as the ideologies of Toyama and the aging Blake began to drift apart. In his attempts to preserve ComStar, Blake had openly borrowed aspects of the churches of old, trying to maintain the organization's purity by keeping it separate and neutral from the "outside world", while also protecting its assets and the technology it guarded. Toyama saw other aspects of the religious institutions of the medieval era as also worthy of emulation, and suggested that ComStar use its trans-national position to actively influence the secular world; he likened the organization's interdictions to religious excommunication, and promoted their use as a means of forcing events to ComStar's liking. Blake however believed staunchly in ComStar's neutrality, and was steadfast in the belief that such involvement in politics would threaten both ComStar's neutrality and its profitability. [2] [5]

As the elderly Blake began to increasingly withdraw from the day to day running of his organization as his health declined from 2814, despite the increasing gulf between them, Toyama would continue to visit him regularly, most frequently at Blake's private retreat in the foothills of Green Mountains. Toyama's hero worship of Blake would shatter permanently however in 2819 when the Prime Administrator proposed to the First Circuit that ComStar contract with the New Earth Trading Company to sell low-grade non-military goods taken for granted prior to the maelstrom of the First Succession War to now desperate and depleted Great Houses, leveraging ComStar's technological advantage for financial gain. Toyama considered this a betrayal of all Blake had once professed to uphold, with some circumstantial evidence indicating he may have worked to hasten what came next. [2] [6]

Less than a week later, on May 11th Blake collapsed and fell unconscious during a meeting of the First Circuit, though initially there was only mild concern, particularly as the workaholic Prime Administrator seemed to recover swiftly. Four days later on 15 May however he collapsed again and it was discovered Blake was in the terminal stages of Ultorson's Disease, a rare and fatal genetic disorder. Little could be done save to ease his pain as one by one the members of the First Circuit met with Blake on his deathbed, the last one being Toyama. Taking steps to muffle listening devices and block the security cameras hidden in Prime Administrator's bedchamber, Toyama spent three unmonitored hours together before emerging to announce that Jerome Blake had died at the stroke of midnight and bearing a writ naming him as successor to the position of Prime Administrator. None questioned Toyama's claims and the First Circuit confirmed him immediately. [2] [5]

Assumption of Power and The Purification[edit]

Toyama took over the leadership of ComStar following Blake's death in 2819, replacing the previous corporate structure with a hierarchy based upon religious trappings and mystic rituals. Along with the change came a new title for the highest authority within ComStar: Primus. Toyama's intent behind the cultish change was to encourage the belief that the future of humanity lay in technology and communication between the realms and that only ComStar could presently provide that protection. By bestowing the employees of ComStar with a mythical aura of knowledge, Toyama hoped to protect the organization's control of the technology. If only ComStar's adepts could operate ComStar's technology, then even the "greedy" states would work to protect his people. The Star League's legacy would then be safe under ComStar's aegis.[3]

By 2820 and content with his full control of the Order, Toyama embarked on a public tour of the capitals of the Great Houses to meet with each of the leaders of the Inner Sphere. While the professed goal was to explain ComStar's new religious based organization and structure, it also allowed Toyama to explain personally how he had prevented Schwepps' renegade First Circuit from launching attacks against the Great Houses at a heavy cost, requiring a 15 percent increasing in transmission rates to rebuild the organization's damaged infrastructure. [7]

Save for Archon Richard Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth, the other house lords grudgingly accepted the increase with minimal resistance. The Archon however refused to make public appearances with Toyama and only agreed to new terms after what he claimed amounted to diplomatic blackmail. Tensions between the Commonwealth and the Blessed Order only increased after this, with the Archon often openly questioning ComStar's neutrality and Toyama's motives, hinting that he suspected the organization was a front for an eventual take-over of the Inner Sphere. [7]

Matters reached a head when Richard's son Marcus, convinced the Lyran Estates-General to pass his father's Reclamation Act of 2823, which required that ComStar's profits and property be taxed like any other business operating in the Lyran Commonwealth. Toyama knew he had to act swiftly to ram home that ComStar was not just a business, and lest any other leaders decided to follow suit. Calling a special session of the First Circuit, Toyama convinced the body to pass the Exclusion of Tharkad Act, ComStar's first Communications Interdiction against one of the Successor States.[7]

Shortly before the first tax bill was due, on October 3rd 2823 a copy of the act was transmitted to Tharkad and delivered to the Archon, followed by the shutdown and disabling of the capital's Hyperpulse Generator. [7] Before the Archon could even respond, all ComStar personnel were safely evacuated off world. In one fell swoop Toyama had shown all the House Lords that he was not afraid to use ComStar's power. The Interdiction lasted almost a full year with little communication between the Commonwealth and ComStar before Marcus eventually bowed to public pressure in the fall of 2824 and asked the Estates General to rescind the Act. Within 72 hours of the announcement, the Tharkad HPG was again active processing.[8]

Basking in the success of his political showdown with the Commonwealth, in the fall of 2824 with several members of the First Circuit in tow, Toyama made another series of diplomatic visits to the governments of the Inner Sphere. This time the goal was much simpler, a recruitment drive to counteract the massive decrease in applications triggered in response to ComStar's transformation into a quasi-religious organization. While few in the Inner Sphere proper and even Terra itself were willing to make a lifelong commitment to what many saw as a mystic cult, [8] Toyama had much more success on the more marginal worlds of the Periphery, the year and half trip being considered a great success.[9]

Operation Divine Intervention and the ComStar War[edit]

With only low level rumbling of armed conflict as the Great Houses hurriedly attempted to rebuild, an increasingly dismayed Toyama saw no way for ComStar to reach its full zenith of power unless the Successor States went to war again. To this end when Jinjiro Kurita launched his Chain Gang missions, Toyama ordered the ComStar News Bureau to sensationalize the damage and losses hoping it would escalate matters. Unfortunately save for Chancellor Ilsa Liao's death during a thrust into Federated Suns, the tensions never reached the point of open warfare and Toyama's patience ran out. Recognizing he would have to more overtly force the matter, Toyama proposed Operation Divine Intervention to the First Circuit in early 2827. [10]

At Toyama's direction, ROM began to filter information with regards the inner workings, composition and movements of both the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery and the Internal Security Force to agents of Loki, the Lyran Commonwealth's intelligence agency, while the ComStar News Bureau played up the extent of the raids and tension along the Free Worlds League and Lyran border. With the LCAF consistently outmaneuvering the Combine thanks to the leaked information, by 2830 an enraged Jinjiro launched an all-out offensive against both the Commonwealth and the Federated Suns to restore the honor of his troops, marking the formal start of the Second Succession War [10]

The master-stroke of Toyama's efforts to expand the conflict would prove to be the ComStar War. When Captain-General Charles Marik attempted to overcome intelligence blind-spots due to the poor condition of SAFE by asking his sister to use her ComStar ties to provide Lyran and Capellan military in 2830, he didn't realize that Jeannette would immediately inform the Primus of his request.[11]

Recognizing he had an opportunity beyond merely dragging the League into the Second Succession War, Toyama provided her with a document supposedly from the Lyran high command containing plans for the invasion of Graham IV, Castor and Callison. Jeannette passed on the seemingly important transmission to her brother in mid-June, never questioning its authenticity Charles refused to accept Lyran denials that such attacks weren't planned and ordered his troops into a state of readiness to launch his own attack against House Steiner, forcing the LCAF to respond in kind and create the threat the faked documents claimed. [11]

Thrilled at the success of this plot, Toyama revealed to the First Circuit his eventual goal. With their shattered intelligence network, the Free Worlds League would be desperate for the secret intelligence ComStar could provide, and Toyama believed this could be used to damage the FWLM and Charles to the point where Jeannette would again be the only choice for the Captain-Generalcy, making the Successor State a defacto ComStar protectorate.[11]

Between 2831 and 2836, House Marik won a series of grand military campaigns against Houses Liao and Steiner thanks to information supplied by ComStar, but also a number of setbacks and losses which Charles realized could only be due to his enemies receiving similar leaks. Suspecting ComStar was providing similar aid to his enemies, Charles leaked intel about an SLDF base discovered on Cursa via ComStar and directly to his sister in an effort to expose the Blessed Order's duplicity.[11]

When Capellan troops attacked the unimportant and deserted Cursa with three crack regiments searching for the non-existent storehouse in early 2836, an enraged Charles responded by ordering a WarShip strike force to destroy the hyperpulse generator on Oriente and kill all ComStar personnel, including his sister. Caught completely by surprise, the First Circuit was appalled that instead of breaking the League that their actions had triggered Marik into open war against the Order. Safe nobody save Charles suspected their double game, Toyama refused a military strike against the League, instead choosing to play the wronged party and order a complete Communications Interdiction of the Free Worlds League until it admitted its crime and paid three times the cost of rebuilding the station.[11]

Sending a message publicly confirming the Interdiction was sent to every station in the Inner Sphere, Toyama followed this with a private message to all ComStar personnel in the Free World League, ordering them to selectively cripple their HPGs and go into hiding. As SAFE and ROM engaged in a desperate shadow war to capture or protect ComStar personnel, House Liao and House Steiner mounted full offensives against the hamstrung Free Worlds League. [11]

As Houses Davion and Kurita also entered the fray and Charles lost all internal support, Toyama was overjoyed when the Captain-General finally caved in 2838 and sent his youngest son Garth to Terra to discuss terms. Unfortunately despite Primus Toyama's hopes that the League was on the verge of a complete collapse and would request direct ComStar aid, Garth was simply ordered to communicate that Charles was ready to accept responsibility for destroying the Oriente HPG and pay damages. Even with Toyama's best efforts to force matters to ComStar's benefit and secure a "victory", House Marik merely agreed to pay costs. [11]

Death and Legacy[edit]

As the ComStar War concluded in compromise and his support on First Circuit suffered, Primus Toyama gave consideration to retirement and hand-picked Raymond Karpov as his successor. Karpov was named Primus upon Toyama's death from a massive stroke in April 2837, his first act was to name Toyama a saint of the Blessed Order.[12] Toyama's death, so soon after he named Karpov as his successor, led some to believe he had perhaps hastened the older man's demise, a belief that was only fuelled when Karpov proved to be even more extreme than Toyama. [13]

The Toyama BattleMech used by the Word of Blake was named in his honor.

Philosophical and/or political views[edit]

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"The truly ambitious do not seize the throne; they push others to do so and then rule from the shadows."
-Excerpt from "Commentaries" by Conrad Toyama[14]
In many ways, we must fear what we have sworn to promote. Even though we fervently pray for the candle of knowledge to relight our dark souls, we must all be well aware that it would mean the end of ComStar, unless we manage to control the spread of knowledge, unless we can control the light and on whom it fails.
-From the private journals of Primus Toyama[15]
The Free Worlds League has been placed under a full Communications Interdiction for violating the terms and agreements of the Communications Protocol of 2787. Until the League admits its violation and makes proper reparation to ComStar, in an amount equal to treble the cost of rebuilding the Oriente relay station, all communications into or out of the Free Worlds territories or protectorates are hereby suspended. So it is done in the name of the blessed Blake.
  — Public message to all ComStar HPG stations, late March 2873.[16]
This is a dark hour to test our souls and the belief in our blessed Order. All ComStar personnel in the Free Worlds League are ordered to shut down HPG transmissions immediately. Remove all key holy software and data dumps and extract the principal communications code boards from their transmitters. These devices and software will be passed on to Precentors, who will assign the proper agents to conceal the items. All personnel will abandon their stations and travel to the appointed safe houses established in Emergency Protocol 201 A. Remain hidden until further notice. Consult the Word of Blake and seek his divine guidance against any evil that seeks to corrupt and destroy our Order. The Peace of Blake be with you.
  — Private message to ComStar Precentors operating in the Free Worlds League, late March 2873.[16]


Preceded by
Jerome Blake
Primus of ComStar

Succeeded by
Raymond Karpov



  1. ComStar, p. 27
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, pp. 25-26 "Personalities - ComStar - Conrad Toyama"
  3. 3.0 3.1 ComStar, p. 4
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 ComStar, p. 11 "The Birth of ComStar - The First Circuit"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 ComStar, p. 18 "A New Order - The Death of Blake"
  6. ComStar, p. 17 "The Birth of ComStar - Creation of ROM"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 ComStar, p. 20 "A New Order - The Word of Blake"
  8. 8.0 8.1 ComStar, p. 21 "A New Order - The Word of Blake"
  9. ComStar, p. 22 "A New Order - The Word of Blake"
  10. 10.0 10.1 ComStar, p. 23 "The Word of Blake"
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 ComStar (sourcebook), pp. 24-27, "ComStar War"
  12. ComStar, p. 27
  13. ComStar, p. 28
  14. Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 4
  15. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 133 "Sociopolitical Structure - Interstellar Relations - ComStar and the Lyran People"
  16. 16.0 16.1 ComStar, p. 26 "History of ComStar - The ComStar Wars - Dark Hours, Dark Deeds"