Gray Death Legion

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Emblem of the Gray Death Legion
Gray Death Legion
Unit Profile (as of 3025)
CO Colonel Grayson Carlyle
JumpShips Yes
DropShips Yes
Aerospace Yes
Armor No
Infantry Yes
Unit Disposition - 3025
Full unit Trell I - Regular

The Gray Death Legion was the elite mercenary unit of military mastermind Grayson Death Carlyle and employed mostly by House Steiner. Starting as an offshoot of the Trellwan Lancers, an ad hoc militia unit set up by Carlyle for the defense of Trell I in 3024, the unit grew to regimental size. The Legion became famous for the discovery of the Helm Memory Core, which sets off a technological renaissance throughout the Inner Sphere, as well as for the most effective use of combined arms tactics, culminating in the development and production of own Battle Armor models. The unit was finally all but destroyed in 3065 during the defense of Hesperus II against Skye Rebels.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Founding

In 3024 the Planet of Trell I was garrisoned by the House Steiner unit of Carlyle's Commandos when forces on behalf of Duke Hassid Ricol of the Draconis Combine tried to seize the world. The invaders, mercenaries disguised as bandits of the Oberon Confederation, shattered the garrison and drove the survivors off planet. Grayson Death Carlyle, the son of the Commandos commander and the sole remnant of the unit left on Trell I, was hired by the planetary government to build a military force to defend the world against the bandits. Under his skilled command and because of his great knowledge about BattleMechs the new Trellwan Lancers achieved some astonishing victories and managed to capture several 'Mechs and MechWarriors from the enemy. One of these prisoners was Lori Kalmar, who Carlyle was able to recruit for his Lancers and who would be his future Executive Officer and wife. Furthermore he made friends with Renfred Tor, the captain of the bandits' JumpShip and DropShip. Both individuals were pressed into service by the Combine troops. Despite the victories the situation got even worse when Duke Ricol appeared personally with a whole company of heavy BattleMechs to "rescue" the planet and Trell I's government was overthrown from within, branding the Lancers a rogue unit. But at last Grayson managed to uncover Ricol's plot and inform the Commonwealth, forcing the Duke to leave Trell I after the Combine forces were unable to destroy Carlyle and his troops in a final battle. Carlyle took the remains of the Lancers, that swore allegiance to him, to create a new mercenary unit: The Gray Death Legion.[1]

[edit] Verthandi Campaign

Emerging from the campaign against Duke Hassid Ricol on Trell I with a small unit consisting of several 'Mechs, veteran ground troops and its own Jump- and DropShips, the Gray Death Legion traveled to Galatea, known as the Mercenary's Star, seeking employment. There they recruited new members and were hired by a representative of the Verthandi Revolutionary Council. The planet had been traded to the Draconis Combine several years earlier by House Steiner as part of a treaty obligation and many people were engaged in a guerrilla war against the Combine forces. The Legion was hired to provide training for the rebels, especially in anti-'Mech infantry combat. The contract was for 900 hours of training, but no combat engagements. The unit traveled to Verthandi and barely succeeded in running the blockade. The DropShip Phobos was severely damaged while trying to evade the blockade and was converted to a steam-powered ocean-going vessel and actually sailed on the Azure Sea to safe harbor for repairs. Two of the Legion's members - Captain Ilse Martinez and Davis McCall - were primarily responsible for enabling this transformation.

The unit soon began training the rebels. It quickly became clear to Carlyle that the Legion forces would not be able to simply train the rebels, but would need to participate to ensure that the rebellion was successful. Several members of the rebel council were against the Legion's participation (primarily due to concerns of their ability to pay the mercenary unit), but Carlyle succeeded in reassuring them that his forces were committed to fighting the injustices on the planet regardless of their mercenary status.

While the Legion trained the rebel pilots and infantry, Governor-General Masayoshi Nagumo struggled to locate the mercenary unit. His lord, Duke Hassid Ricol (the same Duke that Carlyle had beaten on Trell I) was pressuring him to crush the rebellion. Through the capture of Sue Ellen Klein, one of the two Gray Death aerospace pilots (the other was killed while running the blockade), Nagumo learned of the location of the rebel stronghold. He arranged a Draconis Elite Strike Team (DEST) raid on the complex which resulted in many of the rebels being killed or captured, including rebel leaders and the Legion's technicians. The Legion 'Mechs were on a raid elsewhere when the base was attacked and avoided the ambush relatively unscathed. They then launched a prolonged, yet accelerated, guerrilla campaign, increasing their attacks on outposts whenever possible and encouraging outright rebellion by the populace.

The rebellion was concluded successfully when Carlyle led a raid to free Lori Kalmar who had been captured by the Kuritan forces. The raid freed Kalmar and several of the rebellion's leaders. During the raid, Carlyle was able to secure a Marauder which later became strongly associated with him. The Legion forces caught the Combine 'Mechs in a cross-fire during the final moments of the rescue and, despite heavy casualties, the rebel forces emerged victorious. The Governor-General was presumed dead following the raid though his body was never recovered.[2]

[edit] House Marik

After the Verthandi campaign, the Legion signed on with House Marik. The unit performed admirably during several operations and was well-respected within the Free Worlds League. Following a successful campaign on the planet of Sirius V, the unit planned to return to its landholding of Helm[3]. A rogue ComStar Precentor named Rachan created a byzantine plot involving a Free Worlds League noble whereby the Legion was framed for the merciless slaughter of the planet's inhabitants. Once the Legion had left Sirius V, 'Mech forces disguised as the Gray Death Legion and under the command of Lord Garth, Duke of Irian, destroyed domes protecting the cities on Sirius V and killed millions of inhabitants. The unit was kept uninformed about the atrocities committed following their departure, yet, sensing something amiss and despite orders from the Duke to go to Marik, Carlyle instead led the Legion back to Helm. The general outrage produced by repeated airings of holovids of the massacre resulted in the Legion being declared as outlaws.

[edit] Helm Memory Core

While the unit was off-world, Free Worlds League militia units had invaded Helm, believing the story of the atrocity at Sirius V. They killed or captured many of the unit's dependents who had remained, believing them to be members of an outlaw unit. When the Legion returned, they found themselves under constant attack from League forces. They learned about the possible existence of a Star League cache on the planet. Carlyle determined the likely location of the cache and led his forces on an expedition to secure the site. The League units attacked in force, but the Legion secured the BattleMech stockpile and, more importantly, the Star League library core and got off planet through the unlikely assistance of Duke Hassid Ricol. They copied the core and gave one to Duke Ricol who promised to copy and disseminate it; the Legion retained the other. More copies were made and one eventually made its way to the New Avalon Institute of Science.[4]

[edit] War of 3039

[edit] Altais

The LCAF had special interest in Altais, as a staging point for further invasion and also to block any counter strikes from the DCMS. The task force invading the planet consisted of the 8th Donegal Guards supported by two mercenary commands, 1st Dragonslayers and the Gray Death Legion. Official reports suggested that the planet should be undefended despite rumors of two unknown formations on planet. The 1st Ghost were tasked with the defense of vital space ports. That was also the target of the Gray Death Legion who landed as second unit of the task force on the world. The mercenaries staged simultaneous strikes at the two space ports. The first combat drops were uncontested but the second were difficult for the Steiner force. The 1st Ghost started 3 assault on that position in short order but were alway beaten. The other half of the mercenaries traveled over 150km from their landing point to support their beleaguered comrades. Unexpected by the 1st the flanking raids were devastating. The Legion pursued the Ghost forces and barely three companies could retreat off planet. [5]

[edit] Clan Invasion

When the Clans appeared in 3050 and rolled through any and all opposition, the Gray Death Legion were one of the units to fight them. The Legion suffered heavy defeats on Sudeten where they had been stationed prior to the Invasion, losing that world to Clan Jade Falcon, but on Pandora, despite having to disobey orders to succeed, managed to defeat the Clans for the first time ever. With severe damage to the Legion and having acquired substantial salvage of lostech, or, as the Legion call it "Foundtech", they became very famous as one of the premier mercenary units in the Inner Sphere.

[edit] First Skye Secession

The Legion was gifted with the world of Glengarry in a political move by Victor Steiner-Davion, but they immediately had to defend the world against Skye Separatists who did not want them there. The defensive guerilla campaign was led by Alexander Carlyle, the son of Grayson and Lori Kalmar Carlyle. The younger Carlyle held out until the unit could return home to take care of things, though the forces on the planet suffered heavy losses and and Alexander lost his best friend, Davis Clay, who was the son of one of the original members of the Legion.[6]

[edit] Second Skye Secession

The third most senior member of the Legion, Davis McCall, received word from his estranged family that atrocities were occurring on his homeworld of Caledonia, three jumps from Glengarry, and he went, with Alexander Carlyle, to investigate in the event that the Legion were deployed there as per rumours that were heard. This was all part of an elaborate plot by Marshal Brandal Gareth to discredit and disband or destroy the Legion as part of his plot to carve an empire for himself centred around Hesperus in the Skye March. After a failed assassination attempt by Gareth on Grayson and Lori, elements of the Legion deployed to Caledonia and were ordered by the government to fire on civilians, leaving them with the option of either causing atrocities and breaking interstellar law, or refusing to obey and breaking their contract with the Federated Commonwealth. With the previous intelligence gathered by McCall and Alexander Carlyle, Grayson sided with the rebels and, even though outnumbered two-to-one by elements of the Third Davion Guards, defeated them in combat. However, a traitor planted within the unit by Gareth ambushed Grayson Carlyle and crippled him, including damage to his inner ear that would prevent him from ever piloting a BattleMech again.[7]

Meanwhile, Gareth moved against Glengarry in an attempt to destroy the Legion in response to their breaking of the contract with the Federated Commonwealth. Lori Kalmar-Carlyle managed to hold the attacking force at bay until the rest of the Legion arrived from Caledonia and Gareth retreated off-world, leaving the battle to be fought in the courts. The senior staff of the unit were summoned to the capital world of Tharkad just as Katherine Steiner-Davion announced the separation of the Lyran Alliance from the rest of the Federated Commonwealth and the Legion were found guilty of breaking their contract, though Grayson Carlyle resigned from the unit in order to absolve them of blame, citing his personal choice as the deciding factor in the crime. From there, he left the unit and went to work with Gareth on Hesperus, though he was secretly an agent for the Lyran Alliance, attempting to ascertain what Brandal Gareth had planned. He agreed to side the Legion with Gareth in whatever plot was being hatched, pretending to not have any loyalty with the Steiners after their handling of his court-martial. Gareth then declared an independent state called the Free Star Republic, having gotten the young, impressionable Daniel Brewer, CEO of Defiance Industries to support his grab for power. The Legion were deployed to support Gareth on Hesperus, but instead turned around and took over the BattleMech factories for House Steiner. Defending them against Gareth's forces while Grayson Carlyle led a daring commando raid to capture a JumpShip and go for help from other House Steiner forces. After these actions, both Grayson and Lori were awarded the McKennsky Hammer by a grateful Katherine Steiner-Davion and re-awarded Glengarry as a home.[8]

[edit] Destruction

In 3065 they recieved orders to reinforce the defenders of Hesperus II against possible invaders, whether they might be Victor Steiner-Davion's forces or Skye rebels (at this time, the Gray Death Legion consisted of two 'Mech battalions, one tank battalion, one battle armor battalion and one aerospace wing). There, they fought alongside the 15th Lyran Guards and 36th Lyran Guards against the 4th Skye Rangers, 17th Skye Rangers and 22nd Skye Rangers. They were able to defend Defiance Industries. The victory of the Lyran forces essentially spelled the end for the rebellion, though it came at a heavy cost to the Legion. They ceased to exist as a combat command. What remained of the unit was folded into the Defiance security forces, as the highest-ranking surviving officer Daniel Brewer was also chief executive of Defiance Industries. The Defiance security forces were annihilated during the Jihad.

Alexander Carlyle, who had been serving in the LAAF in the 1st Royal Guards on Tharkad, had intended to rebuild the Legion, but was prevented by several factors. First, he was not allowed to leave his unit in midst of the FedCom Civil War. In the aftermath of the war, his family was stripped of its holdings on Glengarry, and the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission indicated that because of the Legion's spotty track-record with turning on their employers, they could not be appropriately graded.[9]

Some of the surviving support staff would return to Glengarry to form Gray Death Technologies, to continue to manufacture and market the Legion's unique Battle Armors, the Gray Death Standard and the Gray Death Scout.[10]

[edit] Composition History

[edit] 3040

Gray Death Legion (Regiment/Elite/Fanatical)

Contract: AFFC[11]

[edit] 3054

Gray Death Legion (Regiment/Elite/Fanatical) [12]

Contract: AFFC
  • CO: Colonel Grayson Carlyle [12]

[edit] Individual Unit Components

[edit] 3039

Gray Death Legion

Command Lance
- Colonel Grayson Death Carlyle - Marauder
- Sergeant Delmar Clay - Wolverine
- Sergeant Davis McCall - Rifleman
- Thomas Reid - Griffin
Fire Lance
- Lieutenant Hassan Ali Khaled - Warhammer
- Sergeant Charles Bear - Crusader
- Sergeant Sharyl - Shadow Hawk
- Francis Bowden - Assassin
Recon Lance
- Lieutenant Gomez Christobal de Villar - Griffin
- Sergeant Tracy Maxwell Kent - Phoenix Hawk
- Phillip Ashburn - Vulcan
- Winston Royale - Commando
  • Infantry Support Company (Reinforced Company)
- 1 Foot Rifle Platoon
- 1 Foot SRM Platoon
- 1 Foot Laser Platoon
- 1 Anti-'Mech Commando Platoon
  • Aerospace Support Company
Transport Lance::
- Union-class DropShip Phobos
- Union-class DropShip Deimos
1st Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Joshua Diskin - Corsair
- Ensign Carla Staedler - Corsair
2nd Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Harold Lockhart - Sparrowhawk
- Ensign Larry Quil - Sparrowhawk

[edit] 3050

Gray Death Legion

  • 1st BattleMech Company
  • Command Lance
  • Fire Lance
  • Lieutenant Hassan Ali Khaled - Warhammer
  • Sergeant Rachel Nolans - Catapult
  • Paul Hansen - Archer
  • Wayne LeMat - Centurion/Killed in Action at Vandmaal
  • Combat Lance
  • Lieutenant Gomez Christobal de Villar - Griffin
  • Sergeant Charles Bear - Crusader
  • Mai Li-Fong - Vindicator/Killed in Action at Hammarr
  • Dimitri Oretsov - Enforcer


  • 2nd BattleMech Company
  • Command Lance
  • Captain Davis McCall - Rifleman
  • Lieutenant Delmar Clay - Wolverine/Killed in Action at Hammarr
  • Sergeant Sharyl - Shadow Hawk
  • Francis Bowden - Assassin
  • Medium Lance
  • Sergeant Tracy Maxwell Kent - Phoenix Hawk
  • Phillip Ashburn - Vulcan
  • Thomas Reid - Griffin
  • Winston Royale - Commando
  • Fire Lance
  • Sergeant Thomas Devin - Archer
  • Martha O'Dell - JagerMech
  • Craig Priestly - Dervish/Killed at Action on Hammarr
  • Daniel Romig - Rifleman/Killed at Action on Vandmaal


  • 3rd BattleMech Company
  • Command Lance
  • Lieutenant Brian Scully - Hatchetman
  • Walter Llandaff - Clint
  • Regis Matriesse - Phoenix Hawk
  • Teresa Stauble - Panther/Killed in Action at Needgate
  • Close Combat Lance
  • Sergeant Rebekah Frye - Hunchback/Killed in Action on Killiring Crossing
  • Alexandr Ivorlaw - Firestarter
  • Charles Lovell - Centurion/Killed in Action at Hammarr
  • Santon Lynn - Javelin/Killed in Action at Killiring Crossing
  • Recon Lance
  • Sergeant Israel Curry - Phoenix Hawk
  • S.C. Auten - Wasp
  • Geno Ferruza - Valkyrie
  • Albert Siegel - Valkyrie


  • Infantry/Armor Support Battalion
  • 1st Infantry Company
  • 1 Foot Rifle Platoon
  • 1 Foot SRM Platoon
  • 1 Foot Laser Platoon
  • 2nd Infantry Company
  • 3 Foot Anti-'Mech Commando Platoons (later Gray Death Armored Infantry)
  • 3rd Infantry Company
  • 1 Mechanized Laser Platoon
  • 1 Mechanized Rifle Platoon
  • 1 Mechanized Machine Gun Platoon


  • Armor Support Company
  • 1st Tank Platoon
  • 2nd Tank Platoon
  • Sergeant John Wilke - J. Edgar
  • Corporal M'Dahlla - Harasser
  • Glenn Kellum - Harasser
  • Emma Watts - Harasser
  • 3rd Tank Platoon
  • Sergeant Harry Zasada - Drillson
  • Corporal Diana Norelli - Condor
  • Mark Piros - Scimitar
  • Donald Lauth - J. Edgar


  • Aerospace Support Battalion
  • Aerospace Transport Company
  • 'Union-class DropShip the Phobos
  • Union-class DropShip the Deimos
  • Leopard-class DropShip the Io
  • Aerospace Fighter Company (Reinforced)
  • 1st Fighter Lance
  • Lieutenant Joshua Diskin - Corsair
  • Ensign Carla Staedler - Corsair
  • 2nd Fighter Lance
  • Lieutenant Harold Lockart - Sparrowhawk
  • Ensign Larry Quil - Sparrowhawk
  • 3rd Fighter Lance
  • Lieutenant Thomas Narci - Seydlitz
  • Ensign H.W Iriti - Seydlitz
  • 4th Fighter Lance
  • Lieutenant Ryonosuke Shioya - Lucifer
  • Ensign Patrick Garrity - Lucifer

[edit] 3056

Gray Death Legion

  • 1st Battalion
  • 1st BattleMech Company
  • Command Lance
  • Alexander Carlyle - Archer
  • Major Davis McCall - Highlander
  • Sergeant Dallas McKensie - Trebuchet
  • Caitlin DeVries - Centurion
  • Davis Carlyle Clay - Shadow Hawk
  • Fire Lance
  • Lieutenant Andrei Denniken - Cataphract
  • Paul Hansen - Archer
  • Erica Carver - Dervish
  • Stanley Lowdowski - Shadow Hawk
  • Recon Lance
  • Lieutenant Frieda Bergstrom - Valkyrie
  • Sergeant Michael McGuire - Wasp
  • Christine Welleman - Stinger
  • Alton Caen - Stinger

[edit] Uniforms

[edit] BattleMech Gallery


[edit] Other Appearances

  • The Gray Death Legion appear in the MechWarrior IV: Mercenaries PC game as potential sponsors. Due to the timeline the game is set in, the Legion is described as rebuilding after their decimation on Hesperus II. This was not considered canon by the writers of the BattleTech gameline. The Legion was also portrayed as being very loyal to House Steiner, a sentiment which is echoed in the BattleTech novel Tactics of Duty. Units sponsored by the Gray Death gain earlier access to Lostech weapons.

[edit] References

  1. This is described fully in the novel Decision at Thunder Rift.
  2. This is described fully in the novel Mercenary's Star.
  3. One of the terms of the contract with House Marik stipulated that Helm would be the permanent home for the Gray Death Legion.
  4. This episode is described more fully in Price of Glory.
  5. Historical: War of 3039 p.29-31
  6. This episode is described more fully in the novel Blood of Heroes and scenario pack Day of Heroes
  7. This episode is described more fully in the novel Tactics of Duty
  8. This episode is described more fully in the novel Operation Excalibur
  9. Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade page 22
  10. Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade page 22
  11. Historical: War of 3039 , p. 140
  12. 12.0 12.1 Objective Raids, p. 22


[edit] Bibliography