(References to Hesperus II)
Hesperus' neighbouring systems
|Recharge time||173 hours|
Note: X and Y are coordinates (light years on XY plane) relative to Terra at (0, 0)
The system is best known for the massive 'Mech factories on Hesperus II. Other named planets in the system include the barren Hesperus III and Hesperus V, which was mentioned to have several large, rocky moons including Hesperus V Gamma.
Because of its immense strategic value, the Hesperus system was the site many battles over the centuries. (See The Battles for Hesperus II below).
Flag of Hesperus II
| Jump point
|Moons||1 (Hesperus II-Alpha)|
|Atmospheric pressure||Standard (Breathable)|
|Equatorial temperature||85°C (Jungle)|
|Highest native life||"Reptile" (see text)|
|Ruler|| Duke Greydon Brewer (3025) |
Duke Daniel Brewer (3067)
|Population|| 55,000 (3025) |
|Socio-Industrial Levels|| A-A-A-A-B (3067) |
|HPG (Representative)||A (3079)|
- 1 Geography
- 2 Life
- 3 Era Specific Data
- 4 Planetary Garrison
- 5 Manufacturing Centers
- 6 History
- 6.1 Age of War
- 6.2 The Battles for Hesperus II
- 6.3 Sixteenth Battle
- 6.4 Post-Jihad Era
- 7 Owner History
- 8 Nearby Planets
- 9 References
- 10 Bibliography
Hesperus II has four major continents and innumerable small island chains and archipelagos in its shallow oceans. The landmasses offer extreme conditions, either untamed jungle or blasted wastelands noted as being extremely mountainous and crisscrossed with canyons. Only the North Whitman and South Whitman continents on the northern hemisphere offer tolerable living conditions, particularly at an altitude of 3000 or more meters where the atmospheric pressure is closer to 1 bar (as opposed to 3 bars and more in the jungles) and the ambient temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius (as opposed to 80 and more in the jungles). The other two continents, situated in the equatorial region, are collectively called the Barrens, or East Barren and West Barren. They are completely inhospitable, featuring both barren wastelands and jungles too thick to explore to this day.
The planet is home to the Defiance Industries BattleMech factory in the Myoo Mountains that dominate the South Whitman continent. This is the largest BattleMech factory in the Lyran Commonwealth, and is in fact the largest remaining BattleMech factory in the entire Inner Sphere. It has been attacked numerous times by the other Houses and other forces. Though damaged multiple times all but the Word of Blake have failed to actually take over and occupy the facilities. Not only do the attackers have to worry about the planet's defenders, but the terrain is unforgiving as well.
South Whitman features the Melrose Valley complex, stretching across nearly a thousand kilometers of the Sulden Uplands (with Doering Electronics), and the heavily terraced mountain slopes of Maria's Elegy, the capital largest city on Hesperus II and also the location of the spaceport, and the HPG station at the spaceport. These are the only regions with fertile soil suitable for cultivation, but more arable land is not needed considering the planet's tiny population. The city of Maldon is also nearby (although it was described as "on the far side of the planet").
The only notable site that is not located on South Whitman is the Kincaid Defiance Industries complex on North Whitman. A miniature fortress, Kincaid Defiance Industries is an ammunition and parts manufacturer of minor importance; the facility was briefly used as a manufacturing site for prototype Double Heat Sinks in conjunction with the NAIS in the late 3020s, until the Fourteenth Battle of Hesperus II in which the facility was attacked.
Fusion plant works are mentioned out on the Tatyana Archipelago.
In the 29th century an expedition into the Hesperan swamps set out north from Point Vallejo, never to return. It is unclear if 'Point Vallejo' is a minor town or just a landmark.
The population of the planet has always been small, mainly the employees working in either factory. It has been noted that this planet's population is mainly because of centuries of paranoid security and travel restrictions.
A clear sky on Hesperus II was said to be patches of violet sky showing here and there through roil of blue, purple, white and yellow clouds, and the sun is a dazzling pinpoint of diamond blue-white light. Hesperus II has a slower rotation than Earth. Local time has twenty-five hours divided into eighty minutes.
In the 26th century, terraformers had introduced genetically modified plants, animals and microbes to the planet but were only partially successful.
In the equatorial region, native sulphur-metabolizing life has adapted to living at over eighty degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure exceeding three bar. Xenobiologists arbitrarily classified the highest (known) native life forms as "reptilian" because of certain recognizable features—scaly hides, claws, flat heads with toothy jaws and questing, air-tasting tongues.
Due to the extreme conditions which are intolerable for humans, the jungles and swamps can only be accessed in special exploration vehicles such as ExplorerMechs, though fewer than thirty percent of those venturing there ever returned. The expedition that had set out from Point Vallejo in the 29th century was described as the last one (as of 3057). Consequentially, the biosphere in the deep valley, equatorial region and oceans remains largely unexplored.
Era Specific Data
- Political Leader: Representative Dena of Hesperus II
- ComStar Representative: Precentor Hjalmer Curtis
- - At this point in time the Fifth operating at 60% of full strength, with 75% of their equipment featuring upgraded technology.
- Planetary Militia
- - Given the capture of Hesperus II by the Blakists during the Jihad and the many close calls that the various industries have had throughout history, the local defending LCAF forces and the Defiance Self-Protection Force on Hesperus II are augmented by elements of the militia from Hesperus III. Based out of the Melrose Valley on South Whitman, the militia contingent from Hesperus III is deployed on a rotating basis; the inhospitable environment makes it difficult to deploy infantry in anything other than battle armor or heavy exo-suits, and as result the militia forces serving in each rotation are invariably vehicle-based. This places the militia close to the Doering Engineering plant.
Age of War
- (7 Feb 2459) Operation Prometheus - After six years of repeated attempts to infiltrate Defiance Industries, the Lyran Intelligence Corps is able to get one agent on the inside. This agent acquired maps and pictures of the assembly lines, though failed to acquire Mackie schematics. Colonel Simon Kelswa uses the maps and pictures to lead 25 Lyran commandos to specifically steal the Mackie plans. The mission is a success, allowing the Lyran Commonwealth to be the first House outside of the Camerons to have BattleMech technology.
The Battles for Hesperus II
Renowned as an essentially unassailable fortress, the factories of Hesperus II have seen numerous famous battles:
The first attack came in 2787, when House Kurita launched Operation Broken Blade, a massive attack that destroyed the orbiting shipyards but failed to overcome ground defenses. The attackers withdrew in January, having suffered more casualties than they had dealt out.
In April 2788, light and fast forces from the Federated Suns attempted to rush the factories, raid them for supplies and destroy as much as they could. They were spotted in time for the defenders to repulse them.
In March 2789 the Free Worlds League attempted an attack with WarShips, using an unusual approach vector. However, the Lyrans had reinforced the planetary garrison with two cruisers, the LCS Granite and Endeavor, just days before. A naval battle evolved where the heavily damaged Granite wound up ramming the FWLS Devastator, causing both ships to crash on the planet. The remaining Marik fleet, including the cruiser FWLS Skulker, withdrew.
In 2837 House Kurita attacked Hesperus II yet again, while its veteran defenders had been replaced with inexperienced units due to an upcoming offensive against House Marik. The Kurita attackers easily pushed the defenders back to the 'Mech factories, but could not overcome the fortified defensive positions and pillboxes there. After two weeks, the Steiner defenders broke the siege with 'Mech reinforcements fresh off the production lines and forced the Kurita invaders off-world.
Sixth, seventh and eighth battle
House Kurita laid siege to Hesperus II and attempted to destroy the Defiance 'Mech factories in 2853 in what is often regarded as a revenge for the death of Coordinator Yoguchi Kurita at the hands of a Steiner assassin; however others point out that the massive and intricately planned operation must have been prepared long before.
The first part of the offensive saw Hesperus II blockaded by a massive fleet of WarShips, heavily armed DropShips and aerospace fighters that encircled the planet and blocked main jump points, preventing supplies or reinforcements from being shipped in.
Five months later they launched a ground offensive that aimed at wearing down the cut-off defenders in a war of attrition. House Steiner managed to break the blockade by re-activating the LCS Invincible from Tharkad. An unexpected battalion called "The Force of Last Resort" raised from barely-trained recruits in 'Mechs fresh from the production lines stalled the Kurita advance on the factory site and set them up for orbital bombardment from the Invincible, vanquishing the Kurita attack force.
The entire campaign became known as the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Battle for Hesperus II. House Kurita lost more than half of their ground units, fighters and DropShips and all of their blockading WarShips. House Steiner suffered massive losses, too: The 10th Skye Rangers and the 9th Arcturan Guards regiments were permanently disbanded and the LCS Invincible was lost to a misjump when it tried to return to Tharkad. One 'Mech assembly line had been destroyed, but it was back to working order within a year.
In 2957, units from two Kurita regiments dropped directly on top of the 'Mech production facilities, bypassing most of the defending forces. Although more than half of the dropping 'Mechs were destroyed on mountain slopes and most were scattered in the mountainous terrain, a sufficient number of attackers landed within the industrial complex to cause considerable damage and slash production capacity by half. Those who died in the raid were posthumously awarded the Glory of the Fallen Samurai banners. The damage would take 20 years to repair. This caused a severe lack of spare parts and hampered the LCAF considerably for years.
In 2997 Marik forces raided an isolated supply depot on the planet, but were repulsed by the 15th Lyran Guards under the command of then-Colonel Katrina Steiner. This attack was Janos Marik's first military adventure, conceived to test the strength of the reinvigorated FWLM against the Lyrans. Althought the attack was repulsed, the FWLM was noted for markedly improved overall performance.
Relying on the Tenth Battle for Hesperus II indicating that no other attack was to be expected soon, House Steiner drew three defending regiments from Hesperus II for an attack on Kalidasa which got bogged down. House Marik seized the opportunity to launch another attack on Hesperus II with four 'Mech regiments. They were (narrowly) repulsed by the Eridani Light Horse, but only after the Light Horse's 21st Striker Regiment purposely disobeyed orders from their incompetent ranking Commonwealth officer.
The near-loss, combined with the unsuccessful and bogged-down offensive against Kalidasa, was a political disaster for Archon Alessandro Steiner and set him up for being ousted by his niece Katrina.
In early 3000, House Kurita stepped up its efforts again and dropped three 'Mech regiments and support on Hesperus II. It fell to the 1st Support Company of the Eridani Light Horse to hold open a space port so that Steiner reinforcements could be deployed.
Although the attack was repulsed, the Eridani Light Horse felt they had finally suffered enough from incompetent Lyran officers. When their contract ran out later that year, they went to work for the Federated Suns instead.
In 3019, House Marik sent Wolf's Dragoons on a deep penetration raid that eventually aimed for Hesperus II. Lyran intelligence learned of the plan through a traitor, and reinforcements were rushed to Hesperus, including the then-veteran 24th Lyran Guards, the 3rd Royal Guards, and the Hsien's Hotheads and Hansen's Roughriders mercenary commands. Initially, the Lyran troops tried to separate Wolf's Dragoons. When Colonel Jaime Wolf ordered his orbital reserves into action, the Lyrans consolidated their forces along a river line. Despite several attacks (including a night attack), the Dragoons could not break the strong positions of the Steiner defenses and were thrown back every time. However, Natasha Kerensky of the Dragoon's Black Widow Company discovered a weak point in the Steiner defenses. She advanced along a seasonal river, which was guarded only by a single lance of 'Mechs. Their path was blocked just in sight of the Defiance Industries 'Mech-factories by Hansen's Roughriders. Even the arriving reinforcements of the Dragoon's Delta and Gamma regiments failed to dislodge the Roughriders' heavy 'Mechs.
Wolf's Dragoons and the defending Steiner forces suffered tremendous losses during the campaign. The Dragoons were forced to make yet another supply run. However, due to their professionalism during the campaign and their fierce determination, their reputation grew further, convincing Archon Katrina Steiner to negotiate a contract with the Dragoons.
In 3027, Barton's Regiment of the McCarron's Armored Cavalry mercenary unit staged a quick and narrow objective raid against the Kincaid Defiance Industries plant on the North Whitman continent of Hesperus II that was successful despite heavy resistance from the Blackhearts and the 26th Lyran Guards, combined with relentless aerospace fighter attacks. The official version was that KDI's owner Simon Kincaid was a black market dealer who had taken several millions C-Bills from McCarron's Armored Cavalry but failed to deliver the promised goods, invoking the wrath of the notorious mercenary unit and thus provoking this grudge raid against his firm. The truth, which is not publicly known, is that Kincaid's firm (KDI) was secretly building prototype Double Heat Sinks for the Federated Suns (made possible by the FedCom Accords). Kincaid had embezzled a significant share of the production and sold it to the Capellans. When the Lyran Intelligence Corps threatened to uncover his activities, he delayed their investigation long enough to arrange for his safe extraction in a staged raid, providing the Confederation with the blueprints in return. It is implied that Kincaid provided the means by which the attacking DropShips could safely approach the heavily guarded world.
The Fifteenth Battle of Hesperus II was the pivotal battle of the Third Skye Rebellion, during the FedCom Civil War. Representing the Free Skye forces were the 22nd Skye Rangers, the 4th Skye Rangers, the Warships LAS Illustrious and the FCS Indefatigable. Defending the planet on behalf of the Lyran Alliance were the Gray Death Legion, the 15th and the 36th Lyran Guards, and the Defiance Self Protection Force, a corporate military unit. In orbit was the Warship FSS Simon Davion. Early in the campaign, the Illustrious was destroyed but the Simon Davion was captured by the Free Skye forces, giving the invaders a decisive advantage in orbit. After initial skirmishing, the two Skye regiments lifted off the planet, only to drop directly on the target factory, leaving the divided defenders in a desperate position. Orbital bombardment by the Free Skye forces destroyed an HPG Station, killing hundreds of civilians, and dealt tremendous damage to the 15th Lyran Guards. When the 32nd Lyran Guards joined the attack in support of Free Skye, the campaign appeared lost for the loyalists. The Gray Death Legion spent itself holding off the Rangers, losing most of its troops and its commander, Colonel Lori Kalmar Carlyle. The 32nd Lyran Guards had lost their own commander, however, and were now plagued by dissent. The 22nd Rangers were shattered, while the 4th and 17th Rangers were mauled. The pro-Skye 14th Lyran Guards arrived with Maria Esteban in command, inflicting heavy losses on the 32nd Guards. Despite all of this, the loyalists still held the massive Defiance Industries factory while the rebels had been ravaged, demoralized and had lost the element of surprise. The 4th Skye Rangers abandoned the battle, returning to Skye. Esteban made one last push for the factory, neutralizing much of the Defiance SPF and reaching the gates of the legendary facility. Loyalist Battle Armor units, however, managed to regain control of the situation, and the Free Skye forces, facing a suddenly resurgent SDF and 15th Lyran Guards, were forced to retreat. When General Caesar Steiner arrived with the pro-Lyran 2nd Donegal Guards, Esteban and her forces surrendered. 
From March 3068 until early 3070 the Word of Blake ran Operation Steel Hammer, a series of heavy raids against the planet's defenders. The first raid fell between the 14th and 17th of March 3068, coinciding with raids on Coventry and Donegal; the three raids all featured support from Blakist WarShips or Pocket WarShips. Unknown to the defending Lyran forces, commando forces were seeded onto Hesperus II during each of these raids from the beginning. In early 3070, Hesperus II fell into enemy hands for the first time in its long history to a Word of Blake invasion force. 
During the Word of Blake occupation, the Word upgraded and improved factory production on Hesperus II, and used the planet as a resupply/refit stronghold and a base for forces conducting strikes into their the Lyran Theaters of operations. In the first two weeks of November 3074 Coalition forces lead by Devlin Stone launched an assault against the defending Word of Blake forces, determined to recapture the planet after the successful defense of Skye earlier in the year. The coalition forces, which included elements from Skye, ComStar and Clan Wolf, took on three Word of Blake Divisions; the battle for Hesperus II lasted for weeks, with the last Blakist fortifications around Maria's Elegy finally being shattered on the 20th of December. However, the Word of Blake rendered many of their improvements to the factories unusable through sabotage before leaving.
Despite the damage inflicted on Hesperus II by the Blakists during the final battle for control over the planet, the Defiance Industries plant remained the largest single military producer for the Alliance in the years immediately after the Jihad. The Lyran government was keen to rebuild the industrial capacity of the plants as the Jihad closed, and opened up Hesperus II by encouraging what may be the first population boom via immigration in the history of the world. While this was still accompanied by tight security controls, the restrictions were nothing like the paranoid security measures and travel restrictions that had served for most of Hesperus II's history.
- 2340 - Federation of Skye 
- 2341 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2571 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2596 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2750 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2765 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2822 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2835 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2864 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 2957 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 3025 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 3030 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 3040 - Federated Commonwealth 
- 3050 - Federated Commonwealth 
- 3052 - Federated Commonwealth 
- 3057 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3063 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3067 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3070 - Word of Blake Protectorate (from February)
- 3075 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3079 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3081 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3085 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3130 - Lyran Commonwealth 
- 3135 - Lyran Alliance 
- 3145 - Lyran Alliance 
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 28, "Hesperus II"
- The Dying Time, chapter 5 (PDF edition p. 50; page numbering for print edition may differ) - Hesperus V is described as the system's "fifth, outermost planet."
- Operation Excalibur, p. 177 (PDF edition; page numbering for print edition may differ)
- Operation Excalibur, p. 220 (PDF edition; page numbering for print edition may differ)
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 88-89, "Planet Profile"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 170, "Planet Guide"
- Jihad Turning Points: Hesperus II, p. 4
- Operation Excalibur, pp. 148-150 (PDF edition; page numbering for print edition may differ)
- The Dying Time, chapter 5 (PDF edition p. 45; page numbering for print edition may differ)
- Proprietary (short story)
- Operation Excalibur, p. 155 (PDF edition; page numbering for print edition may differ)
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 119, "Unit Deployment Table"
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p.44, "Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 136, "Deployment Table"
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 137, "Deployment Table"
- 20 Year Update, p. 27, "Federated Commonwealth Deployment Table"
- Objective Raids, p. 19, "FedCom Deployment Table"
- Shattered Sphere, p. 48, "Lyran Alliance Deployment Table"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 177, "Lyran Alliance Deploment Table"
- Field Report: LAAF, p. 12, "Regimental Status"
- Objectives: Lyran Alliance, p. 29, "Hesperus II"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 107, "Deployment Table - 3085"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 133, "Lyran Commonwealth Armed Forces - Donegal Province"
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 48, "Attacks on Hesperus II"
- Broken Blade
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 58
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 57. "Military Realities"
- Handbook: House Steiner, pp. 62-64
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 75
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 84, "Decline and Fall"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 78
- Brush Wars, p. 9
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 79
- Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook)
- McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack), p. 9
- BattleCorps short story Proprietary
- FedCom Civil War, pp. 146-147, 163-164, 177-178
- Handbook: House Steiner p. 68
- The Dying Time (novel)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 45, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 24, "Operation: Steel Hammer" - History of Hesperus occupation up to 3074.
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 48, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 55, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 53, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 85, "Bolan Province"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 85, "Coventry Province"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 13, "Federation of Skye world within the Lyran Commonwealth befor  and after at their founding in "
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 25, "Lyran Commonwealth after Age of War "
- Historical: Reunification War, p. 158, "Inner Sphere Map "
- Era Report: 2750, p. 37, "Inner Sphere - 2750"
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1, p. 11, "Inner Sphere - 2765"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 36, "Lyran Commonwealth after First Succession War "
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 64, "Jinjiro's last years"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 40, "Lyran Commonwealth after Second Succession War "
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 47, "Lyran Commonwealth after Third Succession War "
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 56, "Lyran Commonwealth after Fourth Succession War "
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 59, "Lyran Commonwealth after War of 39 "
- Historical: War of 3039, p. 133, "Inner Sphere - 3040"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 11, "Inner Sphere - 3050"
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 61, "Lyran Commonwealth after Clan Invasion "
- Era Report: 3052, p. 23, "Inner Sphere - 3052"
- Era Report: 3062, p. 11, "Inner Sphere Map "
- Era Report: 3062, p. 29, "Inner Sphere Map "
- Handbook: House Steiner, p. 70, "Lyran Commonwealth after FedCom Civil War "
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 24, "Operation: Steel Hammer" - Blake Occupation from 3070 to November 3074.
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 64, "Inner Sphere "
- Field Report: LAAF, p. 19, "Lyran Alliance Deployment Table "
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 63, "Inner Sphere Map - [March 3081]"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. vii, "Inner Sphere Map - [October 3085]"
- Map of the Inner Sphere 3130
- Era Report: 3145, p. 11, "Inner Sphere - 3135"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 39, "Inner Sphere - 3145"
- 20 Year Update
- Broken Blade
- Era Report: 2750
- Era Report: 3052
- Era Report: 3062
- Era Report: 3145
- FedCom Civil War (sourcebook)
- Field Manual: 3085
- Field Manual: 3145
- Field Manual: Updates
- Field Report: LAAF
- Handbook: House Steiner
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 1
- Historical: Reunification War
- Historical: War of 3039
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Jihad Turning Points: Hesperus II
- Map of the Inner Sphere 3130
- McCarron's Armored Cavalry (scenario pack)
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1
- Objective Raids
- Shattered Sphere
- The Dying Time