Minnesota Tribe

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Appearing without warning just prior to the Second Succession War, the so-called Minnesota Tribe were a mysterious warband who fought a line of engagements across the Inner Sphere and then vanished. Long suspected to be remnants of Clan Wolverine following that Clan's purge, this connection, despite strong evidence, remains unproven within the BattleTech universe; out-of-universe, the connection to Clan Wolverine has been established through the novel Betrayal of Ideals and statements from Line Developer Randall N. Bills[1] confirming that the novel contains information about the Minnesota Tribe, marking as fact what is only presented as hints and evidence in the novel.


In 2825, a strange but highly skilled unit using SLDF tactics, painted in Regular Army colors and bearing the insignia of the North American state of Minnesota (associated with the SLDF's 331st Royal BattleMech Division, a unit that had joined Aleksandr Kerensky's Operation Exodus), attacked four Draconis Combine worlds, stole resources, and left.

The first target was Svelvik. The previously unknown army unit refused to communicate with the Draconis Combine militia, took what they wanted, and left the system.[2][3]

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 Coordinator Jinjiro Kurita, because he believed that they could be an advance unit for the return of Kerensky's troops, so he shifted forces to the Periphery borders of both his Pesht and Rasalhague Military Districts. This possibility also caused trepidation for Primus of ComStar Conrad Toyama, who feared ComStar's desired role as technological savior of the Inner Sphere would be undone, ordering ROM to shadow and attempt to discover the origins of the unknown unit. Led by Precentor Emilio Travis and equipped with a small quantity of 'Mechs and AeroSpace Fighters from the Blessed Order's SLDF stockpiles as a precaution, ROM dispatched a fleet of JumpShips to search for any trace of the unit or its likely direction of travel.[2][3][4][5][6]

The army unit, which had now been labeled the "Minnesota Tribe," attacked Jarett, this time using massed aerospace fighters to keep the Draconis Combine BattleMechs out of the fight.

The Tribe attacked for the last time on the planet Richmond. Here they freed a large number of political prisoners, though it is unclear whether they knew about the jail that housed the prisoners before they freed them. The Tribe loaded the freed prisoners up in their DropShips and left, never making their presence known in the Inner Sphere again.

ComStar continued to track the Tribe as it traveled through the periphery towards the Federated Suns, only to lose the trail near Valentina. While Primus Toyama relaxed after they disappeared, as the belief the Tribe were the forerunners of the returning SLDF began to spread through the civilian population of the Combine, Jinjiro was forced to step up his preparations for what would become the Second Succession War in an attempt to tighten control of his population.[2][3][4][6]

Clan Wolverine[edit]

The Richmond raid left at least one dead Minnesota Tribe MechWarrior behind. On his arm a tattoo was found that implicitly depicted the Clan Wolverine crest (a device unknown in the Inner Sphere). When the Explorer Corps found and superficially surveyed Barbados in 3041 they noted a 63% match of the dead MechWarrior's tattoo with an unknown crest found on an ancient wrecked 'Mech on Barbados—according to its description, the Clan Wolverine crest.

Though not realized until centuries later in the wake of the Clan Invasion, based on their use of combat tactics and equipment similar to the SLDF and coincidental timing of the Tribe's appearance in the very year of Clan Wolverine's Trial of Annihilation, many would openly suspect that the Minnesota Tribe were the unaccounted survivors of the Wolverines who escaped the Clan Homeworlds after the Clan Invasion of 3050.[7] The case was only reinforced after ComStar's public unveiling of much of its history in the wake of the Schism with the publication of a curious report penned by Emilio Travis on the clothing worn by a Minnesota Tribe MechWarrior killed in the fighting on Richmond. Piloting a pristine Lancelot, the warrior was clad in a more advanced version of the SLDF's full body coolant suits which displayed two patches, the Minnesota tribe's insignia with the numbers "331" stitched on it, appearing to be a revised version of the insignia of the 331st Royal BattleMech Division, and the other of a white Terran Wolverine with bloodied fangs.[8]

The Tribe's Fate - Conspiracies without End[edit]

One of the great mysteries of the Succession Wars era, the ultimate fate of the so-called Minnesota Tribe has spawned a wide-range of explanations and theories:

  • Alien Protector Theory - A post-Clan Invasion mutation of a Succession War theory originally posited about the fate of the entire Exodus Fleet, some hold the belief the Minnesota Tribe are holding off an onslaught of alien marauders, protecting both the Inner Sphere and Clans. [9]
  • Kilisaka Theory - Part of a academic roundtable at the Pesht University of Military Science discussing theories as to what was occurring on the Clan Homeworlds during the Word of Blake Jihad, retired DCMS Tai-i Robert Kilisaka put forward the theory based soley around past excavations of that the Homeworld Clans were under attack by a resurgent and hyper-advanced Clan "Wolverine". Kilisaka's theory was largerly driven by his hatred of Clan Nova Cat elements within the Combine's borders, advocating their elimination to avoid earning the ire of the Tribe's descendants, totally unaware of the real reason of the Homeworlds silence. [10]
  • ComStar Hoax - Among the various pieces of information recovered from the secret journal of secular ComStar Precentor ROM Victoria Parrdeau secured by Chandrasekhar Kurita during the later half of the Jihad, was the claim the whole "Minnesota Tribe" incident was staged by militant elements of ROM within ComStar, pulling the wool over the eyes of both Jinjiro Kurita and Conrad Toyama. Parrdeau was apparently highly amused that Interstellar Expeditions was spending such time and money researching the hoax. [11]
  • The Tanites - A claim apparently forthcoming from Ivan Lier, a supposed former Loki member, was the claims that Minnesota Tribe/Wolverines made a complete circuit of the Inner Sphere, eventually settling on a former Rim Worlds Republic industrial system erased from the maps, before heading back to settle on the Tanite Worlds, using them as a base from which to destroy the Clan way of life from within. [12]
  • Deep Periphery Raiders - A StarCorps Industries review of the Deep Periphery states in the second half of the Jihad discussed the Hanseatic League and the Umayyad Caliphate increasingly encountering unknown forces, including the belief of some that were remnants of the Minnesota Tribe. [13]
  • Wolf's Dragoons - Rumors in 3008 suggested that Wolf's Dragoons were a part of the Minnesota Tribe, acting as a reconnaissance force for the Tribe.[14] The Clan Invasion showed that they were indeed a recon force, but for the Clans.
  • Clan Recon Mission - One of the intriguing theories Inner Sphere analysts came up with to explain the equally mysterious origins of the Clan Nova Cat developed Jenner IIC, with the original Jenner only just introduced as the Exodus Fleet fled the Inner Sphere, was that Tribe was Clan recon mission with Nova Cat warriors among their number capturing some of Combine 'Mech for study and spawning the IIC remake.[15]

The Uncle Chandy Document - The Blood[edit]

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Interstellar Expeditions[edit]

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  1. BattleTech Q&A] by Harebrained Schemes at Hyper RPG (12 October 2016), at 35:53
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 House Kurita (The Draconis Combine), p. 64 "History - Second Succession War - The Minnesota Tribe and the Chahar Profit"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Star League, p. 98 "History - Aftermath"
  4. 4.0 4.1 ComStar, p. 22 "History - A New Order - The Word of Blake"
  5. Field Manual: ComStar, pp. 11-12 "The Com Guards - History - Eye of the Storm"
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pp. 13-14 "The Secret History of the Clans - Wolverine Treachery"
  7. Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 21 "History of the Clans - Birth of the Clan - Clan Wolverine"
  8. ComStar, p. 23 "Who Were Those Masked Men?"
  9. Interstellar Players, p. 11 "The Darkness of Light"
  10. The Blake Documents, pp. 65-68 "Around the Sphere - The Clans - Homeworld: Theories"
  11. The Blake Documents, p. 115 "Through the Looking Glass"
  12. Interstellar Players 2, p. "Minor Players - The Tanites"
  13. Masters & Minions", p. 227 "Minor Powers - Deeper Secrets"
  14. Wolf's Dragoons (sourcebook), p. 13
  15. Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 108 "Clan “Phoenix” BattleMechs - Jenner IIC-4"


See Also[edit]