Dawn Moffat (born 3033 - died 30??) - called Dawn throughout most of her early career - was a MechWarrior and officer of Clan Steel Viper. She would rise to prominence after banishment to the Inner Sphere in the years after the Battle of Tukayyid.
Born during the decades leading up to Operation Revival, Dawn likely tested out into the warrior caste on the heels of the Steel Viper's involvement with the invasion of the Inner Sphere. She was known to possess strong but quiet Warden political leanings that at times caused tension with her peers, who often subscribed to the Crusader philosophy.
As part of Alpha Galaxy's 4th Viper Guards, Dawn saw action on a limited number of occasions, her Binary often having been bid away prior to battle by her commanding officer, Star Colonel Brett Andrews. Frustrated by this, and feeling underutilized, young Star Captain Dawn was eager to prove herself in the battle against the Com Guards on the world of Tukayyid in May of 3052. But instead of glory, Dawn and her fellow warriors met only defeat and withdrawal after the Com Guard ambush at Devil's Bath. Being the lone survivor of her binary, Dawn felt shame at having survived the ordeal.
Steel Viper Politics After Tukayyid
Blame that her commanders deflected fell onto warriors like Dawn, Wardens who were viewed as soft for their stance regarding the Clan Invasion. Having few chances at action during the years after Tukayyid because of this stigma, Star Captain Dawn was excited when her Trinary was selected for a raid on the Federated Commonwealth world of Cumbres in 3057.
|“||Hail and tremble at my batchall, for you stand against the Fourth Viper Guards and your destiny awaits you. Twenty-fourth Lyran Guards, this is Star Captain Dawn of the Steel Viper Clan, upholders of the true heritage of the mighty Kerenskys, keepers of the honor of the Clans. With what forces do you defend?||”|
Things did not go as planned when an unexpected force equipped with noticeably advanced 'Mech technology was encountered on the surface, in addition to the presence of an expected 24th Lyran Guards company. After surviving a fierce crossfire, Dawn escaped alongside two others, after having ordered a withdrawal back to their Dropships. This time, she had been commander of the operation as the ranking member of the raiding force.
Dawn was charged with incompetence and conduct unbecoming of a warrior, charges that she knew were false but felt somewhat powerless to refute in light of her life's events. She was to be tried before a Steel Viper Clan Council held on Jabuka. Dawn was unaware that her commanding officer, Brett Andrews, had spoken with and secured agreement to a verdict of guilty with many of the Steel Viper Bloodnamed warriors before hand. Andrews felt that Dawn and other Wardens like her were a weakness to the Clan and had led to the Steel Viper's defeats at Tukayyid and since. He sought to shift the Viper political balance toward the Crusader philosophy, while simultaneously deflecting blame away from himself as the over-all commander of his Cluster during many of these failures.
During the Trial of Judgement, Dawn felt no need to make excuses on her behalf, because she was a Clan warrior. Represented by Star Colonel Ivan Sinclair - who in spite of being a Crusader-minded Steel Viper genuinely argued in her defense against the Inquisitor, Star Colonel James Andrews - Dawn submitted her codex to the council and accepted judgement. Accused of bidding woefully under the strength required to take the objective, claims of an unidentified unit interfering were dismissed, and judgement fell against Dawn. Demanding a Trial of Refusal against the judgment to be carried out immediately, Dawn faced nine-to-one odds that were narrowed down to three-to-one, after bidding amongst the Bloodnamed warriors had commenced. Dawn's opposition was chosen by the Inquisitor, an Elemental Star Captain Stern Chapman and Mechwarrior Star Captain Mitch Thibaudeau. The duel was fought to the best of Dawn's ability, but she could not defeat Chapman, who was an experienced master of hand-to-hand combat. In the end, Dawn lay bleeding and beaten on the council chamber floor, and was soon banished to the Inner Sphere to serve the rest of her lifetime in exile.
Galatea and a New Life
Managing to make her way through the stars of the Inner Sphere to the world of Galatea in the Federated Commonwealth, Dawn became associated with a stable of MechWarriors called Mordoc's Minutemen, who fought in the small-scale warrior games for which the world was known. The stable owner, Edel Mordoc, approached Dawn, who initially rejected the offer on the grounds that it offended her sensibility regarding mercenaries. Not wishing to be like the money-soldiers spoken of in tales about Stefan Amaris and his lackeys, Dawn angrily rebuked Mordoc, who made a counter-offer to assist her by providing everyday needs and living arrangements, but never an exchange of currency. Both parties were pleased with the arrangement.
|“|| I accept, but I will have nothing to do with money. You will never offer me coin in return for fighting in your... stable. Do so, and I will leave. But not before we settle the matter in a Circle of Equals.
--Dawn to her new patron/employer on Galatea.
Comfortable that her new role would take her the closest that she could get to being a Clan MechWarrior, Dawn won the first duel in which she fought, piloting a Shadow Hawk to victory over her opponent. During the course of the match, Dawn had noticed that some form of electronic jamming - similar to that experienced during her fight against ComStar guerrilla forces on Tukayyid - was employed by the enemy in attempt to gain unfair advantage in their fight. Dawn was furious at the prospect of cheating, and killed the opposing pilot by stomping the cockpit of his Griffin. After the fight was over, Mordoc told Dawn that the opposing stable, Carmody's Cavaliers, would take grave exception and attempt to kill her in revenge for the death. This was an idea that Dawn was somewhat familiar with due to her Clan upbringing, though she noted that the Spheroid view of honor was very different from her own.
Duncan's Demons and an Old Threat Returns
Later that evening, Dawn was assailed by several ruffians associated with the Cavaliers. While handily fighting them off in the streets of Galaport, she met the acquaintance of Hermann Bovos, who assisted her in the fight, but against her will. After the brawl, Dawn also met Duncan Kalma and Knight of the Inner Sphere Rod Trane, in addition to FedCom Hauptmann Garth Hawkes. Kalma and Trane were from the Free Worlds League, and had been on-world investigating the trail of a unit that was using the color schemes of the Knights of the Inner Sphere to raid several worlds in recent months. Posing as mercenaries (while recruiting others to fill out their "company"), they gave Dawn much of the information that they had gained - including information that the unidentified unit which had been responsible for interfering with her raid on Cumbres was recruiting from mercenaries on Galatea. After several more matches against angered Cavaliers, and an off-handed suggestion courtesy of the arena master, Dawn would rename the unit Duncan's Demons in honor of their tenacity for the hunt.
A Free Worlds nobleman named Count Sessa Lottimer invited Duncan's Demons to meet him on the world of Kyeinnisan. After a deteriorating situation that saw most of their weapons seized, the Demons were captured by armed agents while at a casino to which they had been invited. Narrowly escaping with the help of sympathetic local citizens, Dawn and the rest of the Demons were able to catch a glimpse of something not seen in hundreds of years: Soldiers wearing the colors and markings of the Rim Worlds Republic. Quickly figuring out that their host was not innocent, the Demons confronted Count Lottimer about the situation. The Count attempted to persuade the mercenaries by promising them a place in a new empire that would be ruled by MechWarriors. Further investigation revealed that this new empire to be would actually be the Rim Worlds Republic reborn, and that it was in fact controlled by a descendant of the Usurper, known as Stefan Amaris VII, a minor Periphery despot who had made great strides to become a force in a short amount of time. This small polity of mercenaries and privateers had been staging raids designed to throw the Inner Sphere into chaos, in order to prepare the way to take control of a reborn Star League.
Facing this threat together, the Demons chose to go to what all signs pointed to as the heart of the matter, New St. Andrews. Once in-system, Dawn and her compatriots moved under pretense of being mercenaries sent from their forward hiring base in the Free Worlds League. Many different bands of mercenaries and pirates had assembled from all across the anti-spinward Periphery, making this task easier. Dawn helped to prepare a ramshackle collection of older 'Mechs for the Demons' use, including an Orion for her own purposes. She felt confidence in this choice stemming from its use by the Great Father, Aleksandr Kerensky, in the final battle to retake Unity City from the Usurper Amaris. Once on the ground on New St. Andrews, Dawn was the first of the Demons to down an enemy when she destroyed a Rim Worlds Republic Archer while covering for the rest of the company near their initial landing zone.
In a battle that was joined by the Knights of the Inner Sphere, Duncan's Demons spearheaded the assault to break this upstart threat to the stability of the Inner Sphere. At a key point in the battle, Dawn detached from the rest, seeking to find Amaris by herself. Duncan Kalma and Rod Trane followed her, both having a good idea of what Dawn had planned. After an engagement with several Light 'Mechs belonging to the Black Warriors, Dawn again made a mad dash for her target, vocally demanding over the radio her right to take Amaris herself. Under a hail of SRM and laser fire, Dawn's Orion exploded. Soon after, the battle wound down enough for the surviving members of Duncan's Demons to investigate on the ground, where they found the Rim Worlds soldiers had been busy destroying records of their doings. Dawn, meanwhile, entered Amaris' command compound under stealth. She located her prey just as a subordinate was about to turn on him, saving his life only to execute him herself in an impromptu duel. Before she could do this, Amaris tempted Dawn by offering her power second only to his own, an offer she ultimately denied. After a heartfelt farewell to her comrades Duncan and Trane, Dawn parted ways, taking with her little more than a gruesome trophy of her exploits.
|“|| Behold! This is the man I killed, spawn of the greatest enemy humanity has ever known.
--Dawn, presenting her trophy to the Steel Viper Clan Council.
Dawn returned to Jabuka on August 30th, of 3057, and intruded upon a Clan Council that had gathered there to discuss strategy regarding the recent removal of Ulric Kerensky from the office of ilKhan. There amongst the shocked bloodnamed warriors - none more astonished than Khan Perigard Zalman - she presented the severed head of the descendent of Amaris the Usurper. Though her arrival was not welcomed by the assembled warriors - indeed, many were openly skeptical of her offering - her prize would eventually restore her honor and her position as a proud warrior of Clan Steel Viper.
Steel Viper Warrior and Fate
Dawn's homecoming was not easy. Returning to a spot in the Viper Fusiliers of Beta Galaxy, she would face many duels and trials revolving around her time spent in the Inner Sphere. She survived these and prospered, holding the rank of Star Captain. In 3062, Dawn fought for and won the Bloodname of Moffat, expunging much of her past. She took part in the battles against Clan Snow Raven on Homer in the Kerensky Cluster, gaining fame for her role in the Raven's expulsion from that world.
Throughout events of the novel Star Lord, Dawn piloted a variety of 'Mechs, but mainly a Shadow Hawk that was said to be minimally upgraded by Inner Sphere standards, and an Orion with no mentioned upgrades.
- Era Report: 3062, p. 99 - "Dawn Moffat"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 58, 59 - "Clan Steel Viper"
- Era Report: 3062, p. 63 - "Clan Steel Viper"
- Star Lord, chapters 3 and 5
- Star Lord, Chapter 3
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 142 - "saKhan Brett Andrews"
- Star Lord, chapter 11
- Star Lord, chapter 13
- Star Lord, chapters 15, 18, and 19
- Star Lord, chapters 20 through 26
- Star Lord, chapters 29 through 31
- Star Lord, chapters 32 through 34
- Star Lord, epilogue
- Star Lord, chapter 29
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade, pp. 182-183