History of the Draconis Combine
- 1 Early History
- 2 Star League
- 3 First Succession War
- 4 Second Succession War
- 5 Third Succession War
- 6 Fourth Succession War
- 7 Reconciliation
- 8 Phoenix Rising
- 9 A Thousand Cuts
- 10 Jihad
- 11 Peace?
- 12 The HPGs Go Dark
- 13 References
- 14 Bibliography
The Draconis Combine may have been officially founded in 2319, but the history of the Combine begins before then, with its first ruler. Shiro Kurita was an ambitious man and sought control. At the age of twenty-six, he was able to unite all of his homeworld, New Samarkand, under his sole authority through a mix of diplomacy and force. Six years later, he concluded an alliance with the nearby world of Galedon V and became the Director of the Alliance of Galedon. Their first target was the nearby Ozawa Mercantile Alliance, and Shiro used the profits from their privateering to finance a growing merchant navy.
In the meantime, Shiro's brother Urizen trained the newly-equipped Galedonian militia on New Samarkand. Almost the entire force assaulted the world of Sverdlovsk and took it quickly and easily; the people of Sverdlovsk had no army of their own. Shiro implied that other worlds that refused his offer of alliance could meet similar fates, and the Alliance of Galedon grew. His fledgling empire almost doubled in size after he convinced nearby worlds that their neighbor was ready to attack, but that they could receive protection if they joined his alliance. They all agreed, though tensions quickly flared as some worlds realized that their enemies had been offered the very same deal. The army of the Kurita brothers met these challenges quickly and fiercely, quelling rebellions that sprung up haphazardly.
In 2319, Kurita dispensed with the formality of maintaining the Alliance of Galedon. In recognition of the fact that his nation now bordered the lifeless Draconis Rift, Shiro declared himself Coordinator of the Draconis Combine.
Shiro's nation had grown ever larger, beginning to abut upon neighboring powers, including the Terran Hegemony and Federated Suns. Kurita decided to assault the Principality of Rasalhague, a mostly peaceful but densely populated nation, in 2330. During this war, a new generation of Kurita leaders came to the fore. Urizen was replaced as Warlord by his son Adam, and Tenno took over for Shiro after his death in 2348.
In 2367, Tenno declared victory in the war against Rasalhague, but the Rasalhagians maintained their independence, albeit with brutal Kurita rule. Tenno was not the military strategist that his father was. His abilities were in administration, and it was Tenno that set down the system of districts and prefectures that is still in use. He encouraged large families and indoctrinated his subjects into the feudal Japanese culture that would come to dominate the Combine. He committed seppuku in 2376 after the assassination of his sister, paving the way for his son Nihongi and his descendants.
Nihongi's rule was ineffective and his untimely death in 2396 saved his son Robert the trouble of assassinating him. Robert Kurita joined in the Age of War happily, launching an invasion of the Lyran Commonwealth in 2407. He was assassinated, and his brother's reign was cut short by a coup in 2421 led by the bastard Nihongi Von Rohrs, who was the son of Robert's sister Marika with a stable hand. To cement his rule, he immediately exiled all other members of the Kurita family, excepting a few who supported him. The Von Rohrs dynasty ruled for eighty-nine years, amid a bizarre secrecy that left the Coordinator separated from his subjects. Only a few people knew who their leader was and when power changed hands.
In 2461, Combine agents were able to successfully steal the technology to create BattleMechs from their Steiner counterparts. Lyran leaders decided to press their advantage while they had it and launched a full-scale invasion, leading to the Battle of Nox in 2475, the first true 'Mech-on-'Mech engagement. The Lyrans were able to make gains, but once Combine BattleMechs entered full-scale production, the DCMS was able to recoup their losses.
The Combine went on to launch an invasion of the desert worlds of the Azami in 2497. The DCMS was unable to subdue the Muslim Azami because they lacked immunity to a native disease. Instead, they came to an agreement whereby the Azami swore fealty to the Coordinator but retained a degree of autonomy.
The Von Rohrs dynasty was brought to a violent end in 2510. Martin McAllister, one-time envoy to Rasalhague and the Captain of the Household Guard, colluded with Lord Blaine Sorenson of Rasalhague to engineer a coup. McAllister was actually a Kurita in hiding and, when Sorenson invaded, McAllister used his position to take advantage of the decrease in palace security to assassinate virtually everybody in the palace, a move that was necessitated by the fact that few people knew what the Coordinator looked like. With that, House Kurita emerged from the Age of War.
Martin ruled until his assassination in 2515. With no clear male heirs, his daughter Siriwan McAllister-Kurita was installed as "brevet" Coordinator until a suitable male could be found. She quickly married Warren Kurita, who succeeded her a month after she ascended. A year later Hehiro Kurita was born, and Warren named him as heir. Warren died almost two years later of mysterious causes, and Siriwan was again Coordinator, though technically as regent for her infant son. She maintained peace during her forty-year reign, cleverly playing court nobles off against each other. She finally allowed her son to become Coordinator when he was forty years old, though she stayed on as an adviser.
Hehiro was the last Inner Sphere leader to join the Star League, having signed the Treaty of Vega in 2569. Hehiro joined his nation to the other five Star League members primarily to gain access to scientific data they had collected, though his decision to join left him with a reputation as a calm peacemaker. The Director-General of the Terran Hegemony served as First Lord, while the other five members received seats on the Council. While the Star League did enable the Combine to achieve technological parity with their neighbors, it also thrust the DCMS into the Reunification War. From 2577 until 2597, the DCMS fought the Outworlds Alliance and Rim Worlds Republic in a blatant war of conquest. Ironically, this gave the DCMS an outlet and allowed the people of the Combine to display their martial prowess in a way they had not been able to do in decades.
Hehiro's death in 2591 revealed a problem in the succession: his son Leonard. Leonard was a notorious playboy who was more at home in brothels than at court. His death was another of the mysterious kind, after his inebriated fits of rage called out the Terrans, who were more than willing to use force to ensure they were not attacked. 2605 saw two new Coordinators as Leonard's sickly son Blaine took power, but died a few months later. His great-grandmother Siriwan was again inaugurated as coordinator in October of that year. Siriwan stepped down in 2607 because, at over 100 years of age, she did not have the energy to counter the court nobles any longer. However, she named her granddaughter Sanethia coordinator so that she could still rule from behind the scenes until she died in 2632 at the age of 136.
During the Star League years, the DCMS became bored as they had no enemies to fight, so they turned to the Star League Defense Force. MechWarriors of the DCMS and the SLDF fought duels to satisfy Combine aggression. In this vacuum, Sanethia came up with a novel solution. In 2617, she announced that the capital was moving from New Samarkand to a resource-poor and largely agricultural world, Luthien. The state poured its resources into constructing a new capital and the people were happy as this massive spending created an economic boom. Sanethia resigned in 2620 and Urizen II oversaw the construction of the new capital. He resigned in 2691 in favor of his eldest son, Takiro, but he left the Combine a changed place. No longer was the Draconis Combine a realm of melded cultures and regional identities. Urizen imposed the culture of feudal Japan upon his people, whether they wanted it or not, and the powers of the Internal Security Force (ISF) were greatly expanded to enforce this imposition. This restrictive society placed greater emphasis on the distinction between noble and commoner and stifled technological innovation, even as Urizen expanded the Combine's industry and made the nation more competitive economically.
First Lord Simon Cameron died in 2751, leaving his eight year-old son Richard as heir. The Star League Council appointed SLDF Commanding General Aleksandr Kerensky his regent, though Kerensky was reluctant to use the power of First Lord. Takiro Kurita is credited with convincing his fellow Council members to pass two controversial laws. The first allowed the members to double the size of their militaries (which was really only a formality as most were secretly built up to begin with), while the second raised the taxes on the conquered Territorial States and distributed that wealth to the Member States. Three of the Periphery nations finally revolted in 2765 because of the higher taxes, but the leader of the Rim Worlds Republic, Stefan Amaris, was close to First Lord Richard Cameron and had a different plan in mind. Amaris had befriended Richard as a child and continued this friendship as Richard grew embittered at the bickering Council and the revolting Territorial States. Cameron sent much of the Hegemony Armed Forces to the Periphery to deal with the revolts when Amaris' plan was executed. He loaned troops from the Rim Worlds to garrison the Hegemony and, when his troops outnumbered the Terrans, he seized power in the Hegemony and executed Richard and every other Cameron. At the same time, he had secured Drago Kurita, Takiro's grand-nephew, along with the rest of the ambassador's family. Takiro died at the age of 121, leaving his son Minoru as coordinator. Minoru was afraid to act against Amaris, so he denied Kerensky entry into the Combine during the General's war against Amaris. Despite that, Drago and his family were killed sometime before Kerensky liberated Terra and executed Stefan and every Amaris he could find.
First Succession War
The five Council Lords were finally able to reconvene on Terra in 2780. There, they stripped Kerensky of his title as Protector of the Realm and appointed General Jerome Blake Minister of Communications and charged him with rebuilding the damaged HPG grid. The Council Lords did nothing to attempt to come to any kind of an agreement that would have allowed the Star League to live, so, when General Kerensky led eighty percent of the SLDF into exile in 2784, he had also removed any impediment to outright warfare. Minoru Kurita declared himself First Lord in 2786, once his assault was underway. Using a diversion, Minoru was able to drive the Lyran Commonwealth back. In fact, the Lyrans seemed so weak that Minoru did not even believe them to be worth his time, so he shifted his attention to the Federated Suns.
Coordinator Minoru and his son Jinjiro launched their assault against the Federated Suns in 2787 and gained territory quickly because the Suns had shifted most of their troops to deal with the Capellan Confederation. By 2792, the DCMS had punched through the Draconis March and was assaulting the Crucis March. A successful guerrilla operation threatened the Kurita rear, so Minoru took his own 6th Sword of Light to secure Kentares IV. There, Minoru was assassinated in 2796. Jinjiro secured the world for the Combine, then ordered his troops to "kill them all." It took five months, but DCMS troops massacred ninety percent of the population of Kentares, some fifty-two million individuals. The effect of the Kentares Massacre was to galvanize the Davion troops, while demoralizing the Kurita forces. Indeed, many DCMS troopers committed seppuku rather than face the shame of living. The Davion forces were able to push the Combine back to the pre-war border by 2821.
The First Succession War saw the Ares Conventions being ignored for the first time on a widespread basis. The war was brutal and savage, as forces on all sides attacked civilian population centers and JumpShips, targeted factories and scientists, and engaged in a level of total war not seen in centuries. The 1st War was the beginning of mankind's backward slide.
Second Succession War
After the end of the 1st War, Jinjiro nationalized all the heavy industries in the Combine to ensure that the nation was reconstructed in exactly the way he wanted. Jinjiro also formed the People's Reconstruction Effort, led by his half-brother Zabu, who was more an intellectual than a soldier. Arguably the crowning achievement of the PRE was the establishment of the PRE Academy on Dover, which would come to be known as the Dover Institute for Higher Learning. Jinjiro was slowly descending into madness, but, after studying himself and the records of a "secret" doctor visit that the loyal ISF acquired, he discovered that, even in his less-than-sane moments, he was still a brilliant strategist. He decided to do what would give him the most chance of success by using all of his faculties. Jinjiro went to war.
One of the first actions of the Second Succession War was Jinjiro's use of the so-called Chain Gangs. The DCMS equipped effectively three regiments worth of misfits, convicts, and Unproductives with BattleMechs, gave them only the most rudimentary training, and dropped them onto neighboring industrial worlds to wreak havoc. Though this was a rather costly mission, it did have the intended effort of slowing down reconstruction in the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns.
In the latter part in 2825, a strange unit using SLDF tactics and bearing the insignia of the former American state of Minnesota attacked Svelvik. The army unit refused to communicate with the Combine militia, took what they wanted, and left the system. They next attacked Trondheim, where the 20th Rasalhague Regulars were stationed. They defeated the regular unit, again refusing communication, even to the extreme of committing suicide before they could be captured. This scared Jinjiro, because he believed that they could be an advance unit for the return of the Kerensky's troops, so he shifted troops to the Periphery borders of both his Pesht and Rasalhague Military Districts. The army unit, which had now been labeled the "Minnesota Tribe," attacked Jarett, this time using massed aerospace fighters to keep the Combine BattleMechs out of the fight. The Tribe attacked for the last time on the planet Richmond, though it is unclear whether they knew about the jail that housed political prisoners before they freed them. The Tribe loaded the freed prisoners up in their DropShips and left, never overtly making their presence known in the Inner Sphere again.
2830 saw the true beginning of the 2nd War, as Jinjiro launched assaults against both of his Great House neighbors. In 2835, Jinjiro was driven truly insane by the gift of a perfectly angelic doll, dressed up like an SLDF soldier. He hung himself in 2841. Jinjiro was succeeded by his nephew Yoguchi, who placed the ISF under the command of the DCMS. The ISF, incensed at what they perceived as an insult, began a shadow war that severely hampered Yoguchi's offensives. While Yoguchi had limited success along the Steiner border, a powerful Davion counterattack threatened the Kurita positions along that border.
At home, Yoguchi made the mistake of appointing his sister Roweena coordinator of the PRE. She saw how the ISF was disaffected and began a tenuous alliance between the PRE and the ISF. Despite this, she organized a rescue effort when it became clear that Yoguchi was trapped, not dead, on Tishomingo. Yoguchi had decided to lead the defense of planet himself, but the force he led was vastly outnumbered by the invading Davion troops. Roweena had effectively taken control of the Combine by virtue of he position as leader of the PRE, and she honored her brother's actions by extracting him. Yoguchi did not live to see Luthien for long, as he was assassinated by a mysterious Lyran Intelligence Corps agent known only as Snow Fire, who had been undercover and became Yoguchi's favorite concubine. Yoguchi was succeeded by his brother Miyogi.
Miyogi launched more limited assaults than his predecessors had, leading to more limited gains. The Combine did manage to score a major victory with the capture of Robinson, the capital of the Federated Suns' Draconis March in 2858. Largely because of equipment breakdowns and a lack of spare parts with which to affect repairs, Coordinator Miyogi called for a halt to all offensives in 2862.
The Second Succession War saw more of the same as civilian targets were fair game and the Inner Sphere found it increasingly difficult to maintain their technology base. WarShips were the rarest of lostech, the vast majority having been destroyed in the first two Succession Wars. The Successor States now had to face the fact that ComStar was the only power that still knew how to use HPGs, thus all interstellar messages had to be passed through the Order, including military orders.
With the cessation of warfare, Miyogi turned his attention to Roweena and the PRE. His aunt had gained much power and her popularity threatened Miyogi. He directed a group of ISF agents known to be loyal to him to investigate her activities, which touched off a hidden war within the ISF. Because she allowed the ISF to use PRE channels, she wielded a large amount of influence over the spy agency. The DCMS attempted to remain neutral, but when it looked like foreign powers were gearing up to take advantage of the situation, the DCMS High Command decided to pick a side. After an impassioned speech by Taragi Kurita in favor of the Coordinator, the High Command swiftly intervened and the DCMS defeated the PRE. Miyogi eliminated the PRE, secure in his power.
Third Succession War
The Third Succession War saw an informal return to the Ares Conventions as the Successor States collectively realized that they were soon on the brink of being unable to fight their interstellar war for dominance. JumpShips and cities were again off limits, factories were fought over instead of destroyed, and raiding took the place of assaults. Losing defenders did not destroy their charges, instead they had to console themselves with the hope that their side would retake their lost territory in the future. Ironically, the return to the Ares Conventions ritualized warfare in a sense, devaluing it of its horrific connotations. This led to the idea, much as it had during the Age of War, that war was an acceptable method of political expression. This low-level war dragged on for over a hundred years and whole generations were born and died believing that a constant state of war was the natural order of humankind.
The 3rd War began when Miyogi and Taragi (who had been promoted) decided to punish the Lyrans for their involvement in the struggle between Miyogi and Roweena. They targeted the industrial worlds of the Isle of Skye in 2866 and found great success. This success was marred by the successful advance of House Davion. Davion troops constantly pushed the Kurita defenders back, thanks in part to Taragi's manipulation of supply routes to make his own victories look even better. Miyogi appointed his son Jon to head the Davion front, an act that deeply insulted Taragi, who had been carefully manipulating the situation to ensure that the position would go to him. He then approached Roweena Kurita to secure her aid in become Coordinator. She offered the help of a few ISF agents that remained loyal to her. Using them and his own abilities, Taragi ensured that the Suns reclaimed Robinson in 2879, a move that embarrassed Jon and, by extension, Miyogi. When the military called for Jon's removal, Miyogi balked. Unwilling to stand his dishonor, a member of the unit that defended Robinson executed a suicide bombing of Miyogi while he was holding open court. Taragi and Roweena arranged for a trumped-up trial that implicated Jon in his father's death, leading to his execution a week later.
Taragi's only real achievement was an unsuccessful assault against Skye. He died in 2907, leaving his son Shinjiro to succeed him. The Combine's slow push into the Lyran Commonwealth brought it within striking distance of Tamar. The Combine attacked Tamar, but found themselves unable to take it, so they abandoned the world in 2916. The Lyrans then reassigned those forces. The Combine honor did not allow them to remain stoic in the face of such an insult, so they attacked it again. The Lyrans reinforced the world and successfully defended it. This scenario then played itself out over and over again as the Lyrans were able to make limited gains because they forced the DCMS to focus on Tamar.
The suddenly stiff Steiner resistance forced the DCMS to devote more resources to that front, leaving the Davion front less secure, and even invited raids from bandit kings along the edges of the Periphery. In 2925, Coordinator Shinjiro died, leaving his son Hugai as the Coordinator.
2931 saw the beginning of an odd international incident play out. Coordinator Hugai's oldest sister Necess, who was an intellectual and traveled to other states researching medicine, joined ComStar. A Kurita had never before joined the Order, and Hugai was determined not to let his sister be the first. He discovered that she was working at a hospice on Luthien and sent a team of ISF agents to return her to Imperial City. It was only with the threat of a full communications interdiction and military intervention from The Bandersnatches that Hugai agreed to release Necess.
The loss of both Hugai's mentor and his sister threw him into fits of melancholy and he withdrew from participation in the governing of the Combine in 2953, crippling the ability of the military to wage war. He died in 2963, leaving his son Hohiro to succeed him. Hohiro attempted to strengthen his grip on the nation, but efforts were rebuffed at almost every turn. ComStar opposed his attempts to close down their clinics, the ISF audaciously demonstrated when he attempted to renegotiate Coordinator Shinjiro's agreement with them, and the masses rose up when he attempted to make Japanese the only language that could be spoken legally. His largest failure came when he tried to seize power from merchants and industrialists. They closed down as many factories as they could, forcing Hohiro to back down. Hohiro's reign became increasingly tyrannical, even by Kuritan standards, so it was not much of a surprise when he was assassinated by a member of his own household guard, the Otomo, in 3004.
Hohiro's son, who had been the commander of the Otomo, came to power. Takashi Kurita quickly set about reversing many of the ultra-repressive edicts his father had passed, though he proved just as ruthless silencing opposition to his rule as his father had been. Takashi devoted more resources to the Davion front than many of his predecessors had, leading to the reclamation of worlds that had been under Davion control. Katrina Steiner circulated her now-famous peace proposal to her counterparts in 3020, an offer that Takashi flatly refused, but he became concerned when Hanse Davion reacted affirmatively, leading to an alliance between the Combine's two neighboring Great Houses. He sent a delegation to both Maximilian Liao and Janos Marik to forge an alliance between them. Negotiations almost derailed when each ruler discovered the other was present, but ISF Director Subhash Indrahar managed to forge the Concord of Kapteyn, a loose alliance between Houses Kurita, Liao, and Marik. There was never an official end to the Third Succession War, so much as it simply bogged down to the point that all five Great Houses stopped launching attacks, though local treaties also helped slow the momentum of the war. The 3rd War's official ending date is considered 3025.
Wolf vs. Dragon
In 3023, the Combine became the last Successor State to employ Wolf's Dragoons. They were placed under the command of Grieg Samsonov, the Warlord of the Galedon Military District. The Dragoons chafed under his command and, in 3026, decided they would leave Combine employ when their five-year contract expired. Takashi did not want to be without their services, so he tasked them with training a unit to fight like them. Jaime Wolf took to the task, training the Ryuken under Minobu Tetsuhara. Takashi had originally planned on leaving the unit as one regiment to contain their mercenary-like ideas, but the training went so well that the regiment was broken into its nine companies, with each tasked to build itself up to a regiment. The Ryuken were ordered to stop the Dragoons from leaving when they attempted to do so in 3028. The Ryuken were well-trained, but no match for their teachers. The Dragoons smashed four of the nine regiments on Misery, breaking through to the Federated Suns. Even though he was not allowed to command the unit, Tetsuhara was asked to commit seppuku, which he did while Jaime Wolf acted as his second. The Dragoons left the Combine in 3028, but that was not the last the time Takashi and Jaime would square off against one another.
Fourth Succession War
While the Kurita leadership knew that a Steiner-Davion alliance was forthcoming, they had no idea of its scope. The Federated-Commonwealth Alliance Document that was signed by Lyran Archon Katrina Steiner and Suns Prince Hanse Davion in 3022 included a secret provision that called for the betrothal of Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner to First Prince Davion. Thus, their firstborn child would become the ruler of both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns. Preparations for the war began in 3026, when the two nations held joint war games in the Terran Corridor. Their opponents, including the Combine, became used to large troop movements. When all of the leaders of the Inner Sphere and their aides met on Terra for the historic wedding, Prince Davion launched a sneak attack against the Capellan Confederation, touching off the Fourth Succession War.
House Kurita was caught unawares when House Steiner stirred up and armed Rasalhague secessionists, a group that had been little trouble since the 26th century. Most Rasalhagians from the Combine, like Haakon Magnusson, were trying to attain their independence peacefully, while the Lyran Rasalhagians decided that it was time to fight. Led by Christian Mansdottir, the commander of the First Tyr, these Rasalhague patriots sought to force the Combine to recognize their independence. The Lyrans used these forces to liberate world after world in the Rasalhague Military District.
At the same time, Hanse Davion contracted Jaime Wolf and Wolf's Dragoons to tie up his Combine front. With most of the AFFS fighting the Capellans, Davion's border with the Combine was woefully under-defended. Luckily for Hanse, Jaime had insulted Takashi during the wedding reception by challenging him face-to-face over the fate of Minobu Tetsuhara, going to so far as to hurl Tetsuhara's daisho at the Coordinator's feet. The Dragoons requested a posting on the Combine front, which Hanse was only too happy to grant them. Takashi's descent into madness became apparent as he hurled unit after unit at the Dragoons, most of which the mercenaries chewed up and spit back out. Despite that, the DCMS was able to make inroads into the Draconis March, capturing the so-called Galtor Thumb.
That success was marred by the Combine's losses on the Lyran front. The one bright spot on that front was Takashi's son Theodore. Theodore advocated a reform of bushido that included not always attacking the strongest part of any enemy's line and retreating when obviously beaten. Many die-hard samurai rejected these ideas. This created a rift between father and son that saw Theodore posted to the scorned Legions of Vega, a sinkhole for misfits and malcontents, in 3024. Theodore took to reforming the regiments immediately, and they displayed remarkable skill during the 4th War. Their shining moment was when Theodore was able to defeat the 10th Lyran Guard and captured its commanding officer, Frederick Steiner. Other DCMS forces struck out at Skye, retaking worlds that put them one jump from the important regional capital. With the LCAF unable to retake those worlds and unwilling to press an offensive that would further jeopardize Skye, the Lyran invasion ground to a halt.
Hanse Davion officially called for an end to the 4th War in 3030, decreeing that the war had met its objectives, but the ramifications of the war did not stop there. First, Theodore Kurita essentially ran the Lyran front while the Warlords of Dieron, Rasalhague, and Benjamin failed. While Takashi did not want to, he had to acknowledge that Theodore was becoming very popular, so he resurrected the title of Gunji-no-Kanrei (Deputy for Military Affairs) for him. Theodore leaped at the chance to reform the DCMS in his image, much as he had done with the Legions of Vega. Takashi disbanded the Genyosha and Ryuken, but doing so only disseminated Theodore's ideas more quickly throughout the units those soldiers joined. In addition, Theodore contacted those within the yakuza who would help him. Beginning in 3033, the DCMS fielded BattleMech regiments comprised wholly of yakuza members. These regiments became known as the "Ghost", since they did not officially exist.
Second, the Duke of Tamar, Selvin Kelswa, decided that the Rasalhagian people would not be given their independence because many of their worlds, including Rasalhague, were still a part of the Combine. This angered many Rasalhagians, who began to see the Lyrans as oppressors, just as the Draconians were in the past. Into this void stepped Theodore Kurita and ComStar Primus Myndo Waterly. They negotiated a deal with Haakon Magnusson that granted the Kurita Rasalahagians their independence. ComStar saw this as a chance to gain more power with smaller states, so they gave the DCMS incentives in the form of 'Mechs that incorporated Star League-era technology. By this action, Theodore shamed the Lyrans into giving up the dozens of worlds they had conquered from the Combine to the nascent Free Rasalhague Republic. This action also created a large buffer state between the Combine and the Commonwealth, though this action was not without its own consequences.
Haakon Magnusson's surprise announcement of the success of his negotiations propelled him to election as the first Elected Prince of the Free Rasalhague Republic in 3034. The Warlord of Rasalhague was assassinated before he could cause any problems, but the Warlords of neighboring Dieron and Pesht used their forces to try to make the Republic stay, against the wishes of the Coordinator and Kanrei. Theodore branded them ronin, then swiftly intervened with units loyal to him, destroying many elements within the DCMS that were obviously disloyal. The Ronin War was quick, but it also impressed the Rasalhagians that the Kuritas would still fight for them. With the loss of the Rasalhague Military District, Takashi used portions of others to create the Alshain Military District, a narrow strip of worlds that bordered the Republic and existed more to keep the balance within the DCMS High Command than for any other reason.
In 3039, Archon Melissa Steiner and Prince Hanse Davion decided to launch the assault the Inner Sphere was waiting for: the invasion of the Draconis Combine. The differences between the Combine in 3039 and the Capellans in 3028 were legion, however. Hanse's initial assault was quickly faced with a counter-assault that captured Quentin, among other worlds. Hanse was surprised at the advanced technology BattleMechs the DCMS was fielding, as well as the strength the DCMS must have had to launch a counterattack. In 3040, Hanse called an end to the War of 3039. It would be eleven years before he would find out that he fell for Theodore's bluff. Immediately prior to the war's end, Constance Kurita (the Keeper of the House Honor) had Takashi examined, and the doctors found that he had suffered a stroke that had been responsible for much his instability. In time, they were able to rid him of the blood clots in his brain, restoring his mental health.
The Inner Sphere continued on more or less peacefully until 3049, when rumors of a large force invading the Periphery made themselves known. In 3050, the Clans crashed into the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth, the Free Rasalhague Republic, and the Draconis Combine in what was simply termed the Clan Invasion. The Clans were, at first, somewhat alien in their ways, and they fielded 'Mechs vastly more powerful than anything the Inner Sphere had, even at its height. They also fielded battle armor, a technology that was unknown to the denizens of the Combine. It was believed that one of the earliest casualties was Theodore's son Hohiro Kurita. Hohiro was, in fact, captured and held on Turtle Bay. With the help of Shin Yodama, however, Hohiro escaped, though Clan Smoke Jaguar razed the city of Edo in response.
As Clans Smoke Jaguar and Ghost Bear continued through the Combine, Theodore hit upon a plan to slow their advance. He placed Hohiro at the head of the Genyosha, which he renamed so he could honorably forward the "new" unit's blank history to the Clan leader. Believing he was facing a new unit, he committed little to the assault. Without knowing they were using the Clans' honor against them, Hohiro convinced the leader of the invasion of Wolcott to give him Clan-tech OmniMechs and battle armor, as well as a promise that the world would never be invaded again if the Combine won. The DCMS forces had already planned an elaborate series of traps in a swamp that negated the Clan Warriors' range advantage. With the Combine victory, they gained valuable pieces of equipment to study for the purposes of retroengineering, as well as a secure forward base. Despite this one victory, it took the ultimate sacrifice of a Rasalahagian pilot to bring a temporary respite to the invasion.
In 3051, the leaders and scions of the Inner Sphere traveled to Outreach at the request of Jaime Wolf. Despite the fact that Takashi had issued his infamous "Death to Mercenaries" order that included Wolf's Dragoons, he allowed Theodore and his children to attend the summit. Here, Wolf revealed that the Dragoons were actually a reconnaissance force sent by the Clan leaders to determine whether or not to invade the Inner Sphere, but that they were ordered to defend the Successor States and never to return to the Clan homeworlds. Theodore and Hanse came to agree upon a truce that freed up many of both states' best units to be used against the Clans. Hanse and Melissa's eldest son Victor and Theodore's daughter Omi quickly started a romantic relationship, much to her brother Hohiro's dismay. For his part, Hohiro placed second out of the noble scions in a Clan-style Trial of Position, which Jaime rewarded by gifting him a powerful Daishi OmniMech.
When the invasion resumed in 3052, the DCMS was more prepared to deal with the attack, but they also found that the new ilKhan of all the Clans had added Clan Nova Cat to help the Smoke Jaguars. Together, these two Clans attacked Luthien. Theodore alerted Hanse to the coming battle, who responded by ordering the Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons to help, even though both mercenary units were under a death sentence for entering the Combine. Along with a handful of Kurita regiments, the mercenaries helped to hold the line against the Clans, prompting Takashi to rescind his "Death to Mercenaries" order. The additional fact that Takashi was no longer suffering from brain clots also helped to further reconcile his with his son, as both traditional samurai and warriors born out of Theodore's reforms had helped to save the Black Pearl of Luthien. In May of 3052, ComStar fought a proxy battle for Terra on the Rasalahagian world of Tukayyid. ComStar's victory in this battle secured a 15-year truce, during which time the Clans could not advance beyond Tukayyid. This left many Combine worlds, including Luthien, vulnerable to attack, but the massive losses inflicted at Tukayyid combined with the pause in the Clans' invasion allowed the Combine to take a breather.
The Clan invasion had clearly inflicted massive losses on the DCMS. Many regiments were total losses and many more were badly damaged. Except for a few worlds, the entire Alshain District had been conquered by Clans Ghost Bear and Smoke Jaguar, prompting Takashi to fold those worlds into other districts, but leaving the Alshain leadership intact and labeled them "in exile." In 3054, Takashi Kurita committed seppuku and Theodore became Coordinator. He immediately began a crash program to rebuild his shattered military. This included recruiting from unorthodox sources, such as the yakuza and women. Theodore also began to rebuild the gutted forces in the Dieron District, as many of those units had been transferred to the Clan border, but the Federated Commonwealth remained an ever-present threat. The Combine mostly stayed out of the chaos in 3057, remaining focused instead on the threat the Clans still posed, but some of their units were posted in the Lyons Thumb as peacekeepers under ComStar's aegis.
Dissatisfaction with the current regime led to the emergence of the Kokuryu-kai, also known as Black Dragon Society, a widespread conspiracy against Theodore and his policy of détente with House Kurita's traditional rival, House Davion, as well as his promotion of the "new bushido" that included the use of new tactics. This organization's influence made itself felt when they launched an unauthorized invasion of the Federated Commonwealth's Towne system. Thanks in large part to Camacho's Caballeros, a mercenary unit under contract to Chandrasekhar Kurita of Tanadi Computers, the invasion was foiled. The Kokutyu-kai made their widespread presence known again in 3058 when members of the Otomo, the Coordinator's bodyguard, attempted to assassinate Theodore at his birthday celebration. Again, Camacho's Caballeros stepped forward to stop the plot, saving their employer in the process.
3058 also saw the historic Whitting Conference, wherein the Star League was reformed, with the stated goal of eliminating the threat the Clans posed to the Inner Sphere. They began this process with the brutal Clan Smoke Jaguar. An alliance of League member-states sent military forces to the Draconis Combine to assault the Clan and force it out of the Inner Sphere, codenamed Operation Bulldog. The Combine was greatly helped by Clan Nova Cat, whose visions convinced them to submit to the Combine and become a part of the budding Star League Defense Force. At the same time, a secret force called Task Force Serpent left Defiance to travel to the Jaguar capital world of Huntress to defeat them there. While many foreign units assisted, the DCMS provided the single largest contingent to Bulldog. The assault, which was led by Anastasius Focht and Victor Steiner-Davion, succeeded beyond anything the League could have hoped for and the Jaguars were routed from the Inner Sphere. It was quickly realized, however, that these forces would return home to find Task Force Serpent, so Victor assembled an elite force and headed off to Huntress to aid them, including Hohiro Kurita and the 1st Genyosha. While Theodore worked to reintegrate the conquered worlds, Hohiro and his Genyosha unit destroyed their opponents on Huntress, then traveled to Strana Mechty and defeated the Clan Blood Spirit contingent in a Trial of Refusal against the Clan Invasion in 3060. With the Clans and the Star League officially at peace and the Dragon regaining its strength, the citizens of the Combine believed they could relax. This sentiment was only reinforced when Theodore was elected First Lord during the 3061 Whitting Conference.
A Thousand Cuts
3062 saw the first in a multitude of conflicts that slowly bled the Combine. In that year, the Kokuryu-kai again flexed its muscle and convinced the four remaining regiments of the Alshain Regulars (renamed the Alshain Avengers) to launch an unprovoked attack on Alshain itself. What they did not know was that Alshain had become the new capital of Clan Ghost Bear, which had relocated almost all of its assets to its Inner Sphere Occupation Zone (which it had renamed the Ghost Bear Dominion). One regiment was destroyed by Clan Nova Cat before it could head off to Alshain, as a result of a vision one of their warriors had. The rest of the Alshain Avengers reached Alshain, but they further lost half a regiment to the WarShip orbiting Alshain, before reaching the surface. They were virtually annihilated and the survivors fled into the wilderness, fighting a desperate guerilla war. The Ghost Bears retaliated by launching an invasion of the Combine. This invasion was incredibly successful, in part due to the fact that Theodore was in the process of relocating his Ghost Regiments to the Federated Commonwealth border to protect his nation from any spillover from their looming civil war. He was forced to bring the Ghosts back to the Ghost Bear border, only to have the Draconis March launch an invasion of their own. This invasion was also successful and captured important worlds such as Al Na'ir, Proserpina, and Ashio. Around the same time, Clan Hell's Horses invaded the Ghost Bear Dominion, so both the Bears and the Combine were looking for a way to honorably extricate themselves from the fight. Theodore offered up the world of Courchevel for a Trial in 3063. Both sides agreed to give up their conquered worlds, and the winner of the Courchevel Trial would keep the world. The Ghost Bears won the Trial, but the real prize was the cease fire that followed.
The FedCom Civil War touched the Kuritas in a very personal way in 3064. An agent hired by Katherine Steiner-Davion assassinated Theodore's daughter and the Keeper of the House Honor Omi Kurita as a way to attack her brother Victor's psyche. With the Trial of Courchevel settled, Theodore was free to turn his military against the Draconis March troops in his nation. The DCMS ejected all of the March invaders, then followed up with punitive raids of its own. Some of the forces were defeated, but the Combine netted two worlds while the two halves of the former Federated Commonwealth were involved in their civil war.
December of 3067 saw the Fourth Whitting Conference. Here, three of the members announced their intention to pull out of the Star League. Despite Lord Kurita's support, the Star League officially disbanded under the watch of First Lord Christian Mansdottir. The Word of Blake was in disbelief, as they believed that their pending membership was the be the fulfillment of a centuries-old prophecy that described the way in which the quasi-mystical order would come to power.
Shortly after this, the Kokuryu-kai attempted to actually seize power while Theodore was away by shutting down the Luthien HPG and using military units loyal to them to take control of the capital. Blakist forces soon descended on the world, using vague language to indicate that they were attempting to help the "rightful" rulers of the Combine, sparking a three-way battle for control of the world. Other uprisings took place across the Combine.
At the same time, Theodore and Hohiro attempted to return to their nation, only to be beset by both Blakists and Black Dragons. Both leaders were incapacitated, Theodore by a stroke and Hohiro when he was captured by Blakist forces, so the path was open for Warlord of Pesht Kiyomori Minamoto to seize power. Minamoto was known as a staunch traditionalist and likely a Black Dragon when he declared himself Gunji-no-Kanrei. Minamoto temporarily moved the capital of the Combine back to New Samarkand to avoid the chaos of Luthien.
The Blakists launched assaults against Combine worlds to damage their infrastructure, while Draconis March troops again took advantage of the Dragon's distraction to initiate attacks of their own. One of these battles, the one for Galedon V, unleashed a biological agent that rendered the world uninhabitable. This was exacerbated when Clan Snow Raven naval assets appeared in orbit and announced their intention to decimate the world. Refugees fled as fast as they were able, spreading the disease that came to be known as the Curse of Galedon.
In mid-3067, the Combine earned the ire of Clan Snow Raven by destroying one of their most prized WarShips as it attempted to dock with a Combine recharge station after having won a Trial of Possession for a recharge. The Snow Ravens, following a biological attack that devastated their fleet, attacked the Draconis Combine world of Galedon V before learning that the attack had been orchestrated by the omnipresent Word of Blake.
The years after the Jihad were marked by a resistance to Hohiro's rule, which forced him to roll back some of the reforms his father had initiated. The Combine lost many of its worlds as well. Some were voluntarily ceded to the Republic of the Sphere, while others fell into a buffer state that sprung up between the Combine and the Federated Suns. Both the Kurita and Sandoval families continued to pour money and resources into the low-level conflict that persisted in that region. Perhaps the most devastating effect of the Jihad was the decentralization of power that allowed the three remaining Warlords to become very powerful, especially compared to Hohiro's successor.
At some point during this era of relative peace there was a Second Combine-Ghost Bear War.
The HPGs Go Dark
In 3132, the HPG network suffered a serious blow as unknown forces took down a majority of the stations. The Republic of the Sphere that was formed by Stone in 3081 descended into chaos as the loss of interstellar communications brought the fears the integrated society had simmering below the surface. One such member of this society, Prefect Katana Tormark, formed the Dragon's Fury, a group that wanted to return traditionally Draconian worlds to the Combine. Tormark continually called out Coordinator Vincent Kurita and asked for his support, but the Coordinator refused to involve himself in Tormark's land grab until some of his Warlords decided to seize more power for themselves by invading the Republic. Tormark secured the aid of Clan Nova Cat forces to secure his territory, and was named Warlord of Dieron (a world and district that was under the control of the Republic), earning her both a title and a mandate.
The mid-3130s were a time of utter chaos, as Vincent Kurita was assassinated along with his eldest son, after his son and heir Theodore's ship suffered from an apparent mis-jump. With his daughter Chomie missing, the only Kurita left was the descendant of Coordinator Theodore's illegitimate son Franklin Sakamoto, Yori Kurita.
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 22-23
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 23-26
- Inner Sphere, p. 24
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 26-29
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p 30
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 30-31.
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 34, 36
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 37
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 202, "Sabaku Kaze Heavy Scout Hover Tank"
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 100
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 38-39
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 39-41
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 42-43
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 43-44
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 46-48, 50
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 50-52
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 53-55
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 11, "A Historical Survey of the Modern DCMS"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 55-61
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 12
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 61, "Blown Back to the Stone Age"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp 62-63
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p 64
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 64
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 66-68
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 68-70
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 58-59 & House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p 73
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 73
- Inner Sphere, p. 12, "Centuries of War"
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 74-75
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 76-79 & Handbook: House Davion, p. 71
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 81, 83
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 82-83
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 84-85
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 86-88 & Succession Wars Era Timeline
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), pp. 88-92
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 69, 71
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, pp. 125-126
- Handbook: House Davion, pp. 73-74
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p 121
- Handbook: House Davion, p 74
- 20 Year Update
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, pp 112-113
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p 35
- Lethal Heritage
- Blood Legacy
- Lost Destiny
- Grave Covenant
- Prince of Havoc
- Field Manual: Updates
- FedCom Civil War
- Field Manual: 3085, pp. 9-10, "Dawn of the Jihad"
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 13, "Misguided Opportunities"
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 10
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine, p. 87
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, pp. 17-18, "Kiyomori Minamoto"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Field Manual: Updates & Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Field Manual: 3085, p. 14
- Daughter of the Dragon
- Dragon Rising
- 20 Year Update
- Black Dragon
- Blake Ascending
- Blood Legacy
- Daughter of the Dragon
- Dawn of the Jihad
- Dragon Rising
- Grave Covenant
- FedCom Civil War
- Field Manual: Draconis Combine
- Field Manual: Updates
- Ghost War
- Handbook: House Davion
- Hearts of Chaos
- Heir to the Dragon
- House Kurita (The Draconis Combine)
- Inner Sphere
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Lethal Heritage
- Lost Destiny
- Path of Glory
- Patriots and Tyrants
- Prince of Havoc
- Storms of Fate
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Warrior: En Garde
- Warrior: Riposte
- Warrior: Coupé
- Wolves on the Border