Ian Hawker

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Ian Hawker
Ian Hawker
Born 3000[1]
Died 3060
Affiliation Clan Diamond Shark
Khan of Clan Diamond Shark

Ian Hawker (born 3000[1] - died 3060) was Khan of Clan Diamond Shark during Operation: Revival. A staunch Crusader, he was known for combining brilliance in a 'Mech cockpit with incompetence as a statesman, strategist, and administrator. He attempted a restructuring of Clan Diamond Shark, attempting to curtail the traditional liberties of its lower castes while transitioning to a clan culture more like those of the crusader clans. After the fiasco at Tukayyid, Hawker ceded administration of the clan to saKhan Barbara Sennet and her ally, Merchant Factor Angus Labov. However, he continued to unsuccessfully pursue a Crusader agenda until his resignation and suicide following the Great Refusal.


Born of the conservative Mako Trinary sibko on Delios, the trueborn Ian Hawker was raised as MechWarrior with an extreme dislike of freeborns and a moderate adherence to the Crusader ideology. Steadily rising through the ranks, the tall, blonde, and extremely handsome Hawker won his Bloodname by 3025 and achieved command of the Shark's Beta Galaxy in 3032, his exemplary combat record marred only by occasional neglect of freeborn troops under his command. [1]

By the later years of the Great Debate Hawker was an outspoken Crusader and traditionalist-- an oddity in the normally pragmatic and wiley Diamond Sharks. He advocated a transition to a more Clan culture more like that of the Jade Falcons or Smoke Jaguars. He also favored an invasion of the Inner Sphere, and dreamed of conquering an occupation zone of his own. Finally, he favored what he considered the use of "Clan-like" tactics and strategies: no politics, no trickery, just challenges openly declared and fought through frontal attacks by trueborn warriors.

Ian Hawker came of age politically at a time when public enthusiasm for the Crusader movement was at its peak and became Khan in 3046. The Diamond Sharks were temperamentally a Warden Clan, but support for Crusaderism was expedient even for the Wardens. All saw the opportunity for prosperity in the rich worlds of the Inner Sphere, and even the Wardens didn't want to be left behind if an invasion was already inevitable. Many even sought to participate so as to limit the damage done by the militant Crusader Clans. [1][2]

Khan of Clan Diamond Shark[edit]

As Khan, Hawker immediately set to put his Clan on a war footing. While the Diamond Sharks had traditionally granted great freedoms to its lower castes, especially the merchants, Khan Hawker had these liberties sharply curtailed. Troops were stationed aboard all major merchant vessels, wardens were slowly cycled out of the front-line Galaxies, and freeborn troops were banned altogether.[2] This created a solid bloc of Crusader political power for Hawker in the Clan Council. Meanwhile, Hawker attempted to ingratiate himself with the Khans of the two strongest Crusader Clans, Leo Showers of the Smoke Jaguars and Vandervahn Chistu of the Jade Falcons. [1]

Hawker's vote to support the invasion was not unpopular among the Diamond Sharks, but the choice to vote "yes" without consulting his clan council or holding a vote of the lower castes was. Warriors openly discussed having their Khan removed from office, but Hawker argued successfully that, with the invasion now mooted, the loss of men and materiel to a Trial to remove him would detract from the Sharks' ability to win a place in the invasion. Ultimately the challenges never happened.[2]

While the unconventional nature of the Diamond Sharks made them unlikely participants in the invasion, Hawker's ideology, temperament, and personal prowess, when combined with this quick make-over of his Clan, made their participation conceivable. The Sharks finished sixth in the Trials; while this was not enough to win an invasion corridor, they fought a successful Trial of Refusal to participate as a reserve clan.[2] Hawker set out with a force, while the rest of the clan held its breath.

Operation Revival[edit]

For all its drama, the invasion was largely uneventful for the Diamond Sharks. Despite his support for the ilKhan's faction, neither Showers nor Chistu respected the Sharks or their Khan, and both used every opportunity to humiliate the Clan, which was essentially side-lined.[2]

The Sharks were permitted to bring one Trinary to act as observers in the event that they were activated. Hawker chose to go himself, bringing the command Trinary of the Diamond Keshik. He spent much of the invasion attempting to convince a contemptuous ilKhan to let him accrue glory in battle. ilKhan Leo Showers offered to allow Hawker-- and only Hawker-- to assist in a single Smoke Jaguar attack, an insulting offer Hawker refused. In Elias Crichell, Hawker finally found an ally; the Shark force participated in the Jade Falcon conquest of Last Chance. Their performance was was excellent, and the Falcons used the Diamond Keshik alongside their own forces on seven worlds during the fourth wave of the invasion.[2]

The Diamond Sharks were also eager to begin commercial operations in the occupation zones, efforts which Hawker left almost entirely to saKhan Barbara Sennet. Each of the Invading Clans scorned the "merchant clan" and their Khans gave strict instructions not to trade with the Sharks. But while the front-line clusters had the luxury of turning away the Sharks, the second-line and garrison forces faced a major insurgency problem. Under-supplied to begin with, and facing a major counterinsurgency challenge, the Sharks offered supplies they desperately needed and were in no position to refuse. [2]

While not activated as a reserve clan, the Diamond Shark merchants pointed out that only their Warrior caste had been banned from fighting in the Inner Sphere; by trading with Invading clans in their own territory (which just happened to be in the Inner Sphere occupation zones), the merchants were simply doing their traditional duty.[2]

Showers and Chistu were outraged, and sought a solution to the Diamond Shark problem. Even Hawker's Crusaders resented sitting idle on their ships while lesser castemen walked the hallowed ground of the Inner Sphere. The highly profitable enterprise ground to a halt when accusations were made that Diamond Shark merchants were selling arms to Inner Sphere insurgents. The ilKhan seized on the opportunity and banned the Sharks from conducting merchant operations in the Inner Sphere. The merchants were eager to defy the ilKhan, but Khan Hawker responded destroying a merchant JumpShip. Chastened, the merchants finally complied. [2][1]

For Khan Hawker, the election of Ulric Kerensky to ilKhan was a chance to support Hawker's ostensible allies, but the move to promote the Warden was widely hailed by the rank and file in the Diamond Sharks as well. This appeared to pay off when Ulric announced the activation of the reserve clans, but only the Steel Vipers and Nova Cats were given occupation zones. The Shark warriors were forced to continue sitting on their hands, but the ilKhan did re-authorize Shark merchant activity in the Occupation Zones, and permitted them to take a single periphery world, Nyserta, from the Ghost Bears as a staging area. The Sharks fought and won the Trial of Possession for this planet, earning wild celebrations from civilians and warriors back in the Kerensky Cluster.[2] While Khan Hawker and his clan assumed that this was at last the first in a series of victories, it was actually the high-water mark of their adventure in Operation: Revival.


When ilKhan Ulric negotiated a proxy battle on Tukayyid to take Terra, Khan Hawker joined his fellow Crusaders in strongly supporting the decision. They considered it inconceivable that the pseudo-mystical technicians of ComStar would have any chance at all against hardened Clan warriors. On the other hand, the ilKhan's recommendations that the clans bid conservatively and watch their logistical train was ignored. [3]

The Battle of Tukayyid should have been the perfect forum for Diamond Shark tactics, with a reputation as famously sharp bidders well-schooled in combined arms and unconventional tactics. Their grasp of the importance of supply lines and logistics was in many ways the defining feature of the Clan. But Khan Hawker was determined to change Diamond Shark culture, and wanted to use Tukayyid as a showcase for his own vision of clan-like strategy. [4] [2] [3] [5]

His low initial bid was intended to secure a glorious place early in the landings; instead, the bid of five Clusters left him with little room to make concessions, and the Sharks landed second to last. He dropped with few supplies and using OmniMech configurations that required copious ammunition. Hawker insisted on using direct frontal assaults, and the battle quickly devolved into a stalemate. Eventually, ComStar was able to secure reinforcements from other battle zones, and a daring combat drop by the Com Guards Fifth Army left the Sharks surrounded and cut off from their landing zone and supplies. Only the intervention and sacrifice of the reserve Third Shark Regulars -- the freeborn troops Hawker so despised that he had fought a Trial of Refusal against their inclusion -- saved the force from total annihilation. At that, the Diamond Sharks took the highest losses in the battle, having been virtually wiped out.[4][2][3][5]

Weeks later, sensing weakness, the Ghost Bears staged and won a Trial to re-take Nyserta. While the base had already been emptied replacing losses in the aftermath of Tukayyid, the Sharks had lost their only holding in the Inner Sphere. With widespread assets in the Clan Homeworlds to protect and a grievously weakened touman, the Diamond Sharks' time as an Invading Clan was over. [4][2][3][5]

Aftermath and Rebuilding[edit]

Tukayyid was a turning point for the Diamond Sharks. For most Sharks, it was a vindication of everything the Clan had ever stood for, and everything Khan Hawker stood against. Hawker's power base was also eroded directly: the losses weren't just front-line troops, but Crusader votes in the Clan Council. In practical terms, Tukayyid promised to be the first of many setbacks: the Sharks had accumulated many hungry rivals at precisely the time when the Clan had a gravely weakened Touman to protect their considerable wealth. Hawker was forced to rely on his second-line Spina Galaxies to stop the depredations of other clans, especially the opportunistic and well-armed Star Adders. Only the distraction of the Refusal War and its aftermath gave the Sharks the breathing room they needed to recover.[3]

At this point, the merchant caste re-asserted itself. Under Merchant Factor Angus Labov, a retired warrior with a distinguished military record, the merchants began an aggressive campaign to rebuild the Clan Diamond Shark Touman. The traditional hierarchy is challenged as merchants identify targets for Trials of Possession by their warriors, and demand (and get) increased military escorts to defend their trade routes, even going so far as to trade extensively in the Invading Clans' occupation zones. Meanwhile, the Sharks replenished their touman by activating their reservists for the first time in the Clan's history, including many Wardens. Freebirths were again permitted to serve in front-line Galaxies, officially in recognition of the sacrifice of the Third Shark Regulars, but also to alleviate their shortage of manpower.[3]

The effort was wildly successful, but while Khan Hawker did nothing to stop them, these accomplishments were almost entirely the work of Labov and saKhan Barbara Sennet. To other clans' eyes, it appeared as if the merchant caste had actually taken control of the clan.[6] The reason for Hawker's inaction is unclear. He continued to fend off challenges to his position, and appeared to have a mostly free hand in the Grand Council. Whether chastened by defeat, uninterested in administration, occupied by other concerns, too weak politically to risk a showdown, or simply willing to abandon his scruples in exchange for a rebuilt touman, he adopted a laissez faire domestic policy that restored their military, boosted their economy, and saved the Clan.

During this period, Hawker joined forces with Asa Taney's Home Clan Coalition. Its goal was to either replace an Invading Clan or add new ones from amongst Home Clans eager to take part in the Inner Sphere invasion. Taney and Hawker demanded the Absorption of an Invading Clan as an opening move to replacing them. As with many of Taney's schemes, the coalition was dead on arrival. In this case, thwarted by an unprecedented alliance of convenience between Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon in the Grand Council. The two clans resisted calls for Absorption, and then countered by declaring the Harvest Trials. The Harvest Trials drew off many of the staunchest Crusaders from the Sharks, especially since saKhan Sennet quietly facilitated many of the challenges. Not only would Hawker be denied the occupation zone he so desperately wanted, his power base was once again being depleted. [3][6]

The Great Refusal[edit]

Operation Bulldog and Task Force Serpent marked the end of Clan Smoke Jaguar, and also of Khan Ian Hawker. Driven out of the Inner Sphere, the Jaguars found themselves invaded by a joint task force of all the Great Houses under the reborn Star League. During the Annihilation, Khan Hawker attempted to form a coalition of his own to relieve the Smoke Jaguars. He was stopped by another steadfast Crusader, Wolf Khan Vlad Ward. Ward challenged his fellow Khan to a Trial of Possession for his own genetic heritage. Khan Hawker fought and lost, but Khan Ward scornfully refused to take Hawker as a bondsman. Though the Diamond Sharks expected to regain exclusive rights to the Hawker lineage, they never managed to do so. [3][7]

Meanwhile, Task Force Serpent finally arrived at Strana Mechty, having nearly eliminated Clan Smoke Jaguar, to demand a Trial of Refusal against the invasion itself. Though ilKhan Lincoln Osis accepted the challenge, the Ghost Bears provided a formula that allowed the Sharks to extricate themselves from the situation. Declaring that the Refusal was against Crusaderism itself, they announced that they considered themselves a Warden clan and declined to participate. The other Warden clans followed suit, including the Diamond Sharks. [3]

Following the defeat of the Crusaders in the Great Refusal, and believing the age of warfare to be over forever, Khan Hawker stepped down from his post and ended his own life. His last words were, "I might have led my Clan to victory, but I do not know how to lead it through peace". He was succeeded by Barbara Sennet. [3]


It's hard to overestimate Hawker's incompetence as Khan. At his most influential in his early years as Khan, he successfully rode a wave of fervor not to be left behind in the long-awaited invasion, and was able to use the upcoming invasion to justify sidelining the Wardens and freeborn and curtailing the influence of the other castes. Winning the Trial of Refusal to be declared a reserve Clan marked the high water mark of his power, and is his sole lasting contribution to Clan Diamond Shark.

Hawker's support began to ebb almost at once, and declined throughout his tenure. While his prowess as a warrior and repeated appeals to "wartime necessity" kept him in power, the disaster at Tukayyid and the loss of Nyserta effectively ended his control over the Diamond Sharks. These defeats gutted his own Crusader faction, and ultimately all of Hawker's early changes to the Clan and its sociopolitical structure were undone.

In the Grand Council, he tied his political fortunes to Clans that he looked up to, but who in return despised him. His later alliance with Asa Taney was on more even terms, but in a cause doomed to failure. The attempt to send a relief force to save the Smoke Jaguars resulted in his other lasting contribution to history: the loss of Diamond Shark exclusive control over his own Hawker bloodline.

Apart from these fitful gaffes in the Grand Council, Hawker had become irrelevant to his own Clan's operations, except possibly as a distraction. His own combat prowess was proven during Operation Revival - pursuing glory for the Jade Falcons and his own Codex, rather than his own Clan - but largely forgotten. Ironically, his decision to resign and kill himself to avoid the new era of peace meant that Hawker missed out on some of the bloodiest fighting in the clan's history: the Wars of Possession, Jihad, and the Wars of Reaving. He is best remembered as a foil for Khan Barbara Sennet, and later saKhan Angus Labov, rather than for his own accomplishments.

Title and Position[edit]

Preceded by
Khan of Clan Diamond Shark
3046 – 3060

Succeeded by
Barbara Sennet


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Era Report: 3052, p. 95 "Major Personas - Clan Diamond Shark - Ian Hawker"
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Invading Clans, p. 141 "Baptism of Fire"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 61-62 "Summer Storms: Invasion and Upheaval"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Tukayyid, pp. 69-77 "Campaign: Clan Diamond Shark"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Era Report: 3052, pp. 62-63 "Factions - Clan Diamond Shark"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky "Clan Diamond Shark"
  7. The Wars of Reaving, List of Shared and Exclusive Bloodnames

See Also[edit]