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Colonel Eric McClair is the current Commanding Officer of the mercenary unit known as the Black Knight Legion. McClair was once a Armed Forces of the Federated Suns Lance Commander who disobeyed a direct order from his superior officer. Using his influence with the local magistrate, the Davion officer had McClair brought up on a trumped-up charge of insubordination and thrown out of the AFFS.
Court-Martial and Appeal
Excerpted from the Black Knight Legion Field Manual:
Date: 4 September 3070
To: Eric McClair (claimant) S.N. 046-3039-K9889
From: Veterans Affairs Dept.
Subj: Military Discharge Review Less Than Honorable
Pursuant to House Davion Court of Military Conduct, your application for review of dismissal from the Davion armed forces was taken under advisement by the Discharge Review Board and Board for Correction of Military Records.
This court finds no basis to overturn the decision to discharge the claimant as LESS THAN HONORABLE resulting from the actions described in issues (below). Further, reinstatement of benefits incurred as a result of active service is denied.
Issues: Claimant disobeyed a direct order by a superior officer to retreat, instead choosing to advance behind enemy lines to rescue a critcally injured pilot, who later died from his injuries (ref: death certificate 3069-0172). The claimant's actions were a clear violation of the chain of military command and shall not be tolerated.
Note: The dates in this letter are incorrect. According to the Black Knight game background, the events on Kentares IV depicted in MechWarrior IV took place in late 3062-early 3063, which means McClair was court-martialed sometime prior to 3063.
Service with the Black Knight Legion
After his discharge from the AFFS, McClair was hired by Colonel Michael Lawhorn, CO of the Black Knight Legion. Recognizing McClair's leadership qualities and his superior skill in operating 'Mechs, Lawhorn appointed McClair as Lance Commander of Alpha Lance. McClair proved his loyalty to Lawhorn and the Legion and was promoted to the unit's second in command.
Initially, McClair led his lance against pirates attempting to confiscate mineral and ore shipments belonging to the Corvatti Corporation at a Steiner-held backwater mining outpost. After successfully crippling the pirate operation, the Legion was approached by a Lyran mercenary liaison, Major Clarissa Dupree, and offered a contract to recapture the Davion-loyal world of Kentares IV. Colonel Lawhorn accepted the deal and McClair and his lance were sent in for initial recon.
After McClair and the Legion swiftly took out Duke Ian Dresari's initial defenses and personally killing Ian's best friend Casey Nolan, Dupree ordered her Loyalist forces to double-cross the Black Knight Legion and wipe them out. Dupree quickly blamed Duke Ian for the betrayal, claiming that he had thrown in with the Lyrans out of desperation. Colonel Lawhorn and his tactical officer were killed, leaving command of the Legion to McClair and instilling a deep hatred for Dresari, swearing revenge for Lawhorn's murder. McClair immediately adopted Lawhorn's callsign of "Black Knight" as well as accepting Lawhorn's rank of Colonel and recovered Lawhorn's namesake Black Knight BattleMech, refitting the 'Mech for his personal use.
McClair threw in with the rebel Kentares Free Army in order to unseat Dresari, who was pursued all the way to his Ducal Palace, destroying much of Duke Ian's Kentares DMM in the process. Literally on the front steps of the palace, McClair and his lancemates confronted Dresari and his lieutenants, Jules Gonzalez and Jen McQuarrie, destroying their 'Mechs and proclaiming Duke Ian dead. McClair then swore vengeance upon Major Dupree for her betrayal.
The Legion tracked down Dupree to the Lyran Alliance moon of Voltrat III and proceeded to eliminate the training battalion stationed on-world. After Dupree ambushed and destroyed the 'Mechs piloted by McClair's lancemates, Dupree faced McClair in a final showdown. As Dupree attempted to flee in an escape pod heading for a Steiner dropship in orbit of Voltrat, McClair personally shot down the pod, killing Dupree. The Legion then claimed Voltrat as their property and base of operations.
It can be assumed that the Legion and House Steiner blacklisted each other after the events on Kentares and Voltrat. The holovid advertising the Black Knight Legion to potential clients prominently features Legion 'Mechs "liberating" Kentares and footage of McClair gunning down Dupree. The end of the holovid refers clients to contact Colonel Eric McClair at Harlech on Outreach.
- MechWarrior IV: Black Knight Expansion Pack