New Belt Pirates

The New Belt Pirates were a pirate group formed in the Coreward Periphery in the aftermath of the Clan Invasion.

New belt 200.jpg
New Belt Pirates
Unit Profile (as of 3064)
CO Morgan Fletcher II
Susie Morgraine-Ryan
JumpShips yes
DropShips yes
Aerospace yes
Armor yes
Infantry yes

History[edit]

Origins[edit]

The Belt Pirates of Star's End had been a plague to both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine for centuries, dating back to the Reunification War. The pirate band, commanded by Morgan Fletcher by 3025, took advantage of the natural defensive position of their world where an asteroid field, minefields and laser turrets that deterred retaliatory attacks. There were even facilities to repair and even construct new JumpShips. During Clan Wolf's conquest of the Periphery, two detachments of the Belt Pirates had twice engaged the Wolves, in one case being wiped out and in the other being forced to flee back to the safety of Novo Cressidas. The Wolves, for their part, proved to be as reluctant to face the asteroid belt of Star's End as the Successor States had been, and discounting the Belt Pirates as a threat, moved on with their invasion. Fletcher attempted to sent out retaliatory raids against the Clans, but the Wolves' garrison troops were more than up to the challenge of driving them off. Meanwhile, Susie Morgraine-Ryan was the daughter of Redjack Ryan and Maria Morgraine, two of the most infamous Bandit Kings of their era. Years earlier, the two pirate leaders had combined their forces and territory to form the the Greater Valkyrate, a minor Periphery State effectively serving as a pirate haven. When the Jade Falcons and Wolves destroyed Ryan's Rebels in 3049 and absobed the Valkyrate, Morgraine-Ryan and the remnants of her battalion were forced to flee. Eventually, in the aftermath of the Battle of Tukayyid, they reached Star's End, where they met with Morgan Fletcher II. All of Fletcher's efforts at striking back at the Clans had thus far ended in dismal failure, so after Morgraine-Ryan falsely claimed to have dealt a series of defeats to the Falcons, the two pirates agreed to combine their forces and thus the New Belt Pirates were formed.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Against the Clans[edit]

Surprisingly, the new pirate band recorded a series of successes against the Clans from well behind their lines, capturing supplies and even taking possession of a number of Clan OmniMechs. Other pirates and ex-mercenaries soon began flocking to the New Belt Pirates' banner. They were even able to obtain enough Elemental suits to outfit a squad of troopers.[10][11][12][13] By 3057, the New Belt Pirates had begun raiding Clan Wolf worlds in earnest.[14] ilKhan Ulric Kerensky was forced to take the situation seriously, dispatching Crusader and solahma warriors to answer the challenge posed by the bandits.[15][16] Kerensky was considering taking greater measures when the Refusal War broke out, forcing him to put all such plans aside.[17]

In the aftermath of the Refusal War, the New Belt Pirates began raiding planets in Clan Wolf's occupation zone with ever greater boldness, taking advantage of the weakened Clan Wolf Touman. One rumor even claimed the pirates had seized a Clan Ghost Bear WarShip, though this appears not to have been the case. They had several noted victories in 3058 and early 3059, but that was expected to change soon change as Khan Vladimir Ward devoted more forces towards neutralizing this threat as opposed to relying on his solahma units for pirate hungting operations.[18][19][20][21]

In 3060, Morgraine-Ryan led an attack on the world of Kore, a backwater Periphery world owned by the Alfin Mining Corporation. She was seeking a supply depot established by Clan Steel Viper years before. Elements of the Storm Riders mercenary unit managed to drive her off without her prize.[22]

Despite their continued successes, by 3064 both pirate leaders began questioning the wisdom of their partnership, as both began looking for ways to eliminate the other. Morgraine-Ryan, in particular, began launching independent raids against the Clans.[23][24] Fletcher, for her part, soon began to have private dealings with the Word of Blake, who were cultivating contacts with pirate kings throughout the Periphery.[25]

Facing the Wolves[edit]

In April 3064, Clan Wolf's Omega Galaxy finally launched a direct attack on the New Belt Pirates at Novo Cressidas on Star's End. The Wolves faced intense resistance both in orbit and on the ground, as the Loping Wolf, a Union-C-class DropShip was destroyed before making planetfall. By all accounts, the pirates gave a good accounting of themselves, taking full advantage of their knowledge of the terrain to cost the Wolves up to a Cluster worth of troops, though they reportedly lost 20 'Mechs in the process, along with much of their infantry. The New Belt Pirates were forced to abandon their main base, withdrawing into the local caverns. Satisfied with the damage they had inflicted and weary of further ambushes, the Wolves did not pursue them.[26][27][28][29]

Destruction[edit]

Although they survived the Wolves' attack, the heavy losses led to irreperable divisions between Fletcher and Morgraine-Ryan. In 3066, Morgraine-Ryan, holding Fletcher responsible for the crackdown by the Wolf Clan, finally ousted the other pirate in an action that cost the New Belt Pirates another company. Susie Morgraine-Ryan now had sole command of the New Belt Pirates.[30][31][32][33] The bandits now went to ground, keeping a low profile as they attempted to recover their strength.[34] At this time, the New Belt Pirates were at 60 percent strength of their two battalions, with a veteran rating and fanatically loyalty to Morgraine-Ryan.[35] One noteworthy member of the pirate band was Jason "The Clyde" Marshall, a company commander and Venom pilot who had previously supported Fletcher and had survived her fall from power, but whose own future was now in doubt.[36]

During the early Jihad, Clans Hell's Horses and Ice Hellion were in perpetual conflict in the rimward Periphery. The New Belt Pirates attempted to take advantage of the chaos in a new series of raids against the Horses. Though they were initially distracted by the Hellions and the Wolves, Khan James Cobb never forgot about the New Belt Pirates, and in 3074 he sent Beta Galaxy to deal with the bandits once and for all. Although their asteroid field had long since proved an impressive defense against incoming DropShips, against crack Clan ProtoMechs and Elementals, they proved easier game. Realizing her vaunter orbital defenses were on the verge of failing, Morgraine-Ryan attempted to make a run for it. This led to a complete collapse of the New Belt Pirates' defenses, as the Horses secured the shipyards and Star's End.[37]

A report in 3079 by David Lear for Devlin Stone confirmed the destruction of the New Belt Pirates.[38]

Officers[edit]

Both Morgraine-Ryan and Fletcher were both considered among the premier pirate queens of their time.[2][24] Fletcher was considered a stable bandit lord prior to the Clan Invasion,[3] but ultimately she proved to be no match for the skill and treachery of Morgraine-Ryan, who learned her craft from two of the best; her own parents.

Tactics[edit]

The New Belt Pirates were known to hit hard and then quickly pull back once they secured their objective, giving their foes no time to counter-attack. When forced into a stand-up battle, they hit hard then faded, repeating the tactic until they wore down the enemy.[39]

Composition History[edit]

3064[edit]

New Belt Pirates (2 Battalions/Regular/Fanatical)[40]

  • First Battalion
    • CO: Morgan Fletcher II
  • Second Battalion
    • CO: Susie Morgraine-Ryan

Susie's Valkyries (Wing/Elite/Fanatical)[40]

Star's End Armored Infantry (Regiment/Regular/Fanatical)[40]

The infantry regiment includes armored transports, jump infantry and a squad of Elementals.

3067[edit]

New Belt Pirates (2 Battalions/Veteran/Fanatical)[35]

  • CO: Susie Morgraine-Ryan

Apocryphal[edit]

Apocryphal Content Starts

The information after this notice comes from apocryphal sources; the canonicity of such information is uncertain.
Please view the reference page for information regarding their canonicity.

In the video game expansion MechWarrior 3: Pirates Moon Expansion Pack, Susie Morgraine-Ryan and the New Belt Pirates are the end-game antagonists, as they have been raiding the world of Veil for germanium in the aftermath of Operation Bulldog.[41]

Apocryphal Content Ends



See Also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • The New Belt Pirates emblem was a crowned skull against a circular black field.[42]
  • The "Morgan Fletcher" who was co-commander of the New Belt Pirates is referenced to as Morgan Fletcher II in Field Manual: Periphery [1], The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook) [5] and Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers [28], among other sources. This strongly implies she was the successor to the presumed "original" Morgan Fletcher, who led the Belt Pirates as of 3025. Other sources simply refer to her as Morgan Fletcher.[25][32]
  • It is strongly implied, though never explicitly stated, that Fletcher was killed when Morgraine-Ryan took command.
  • The Table of Organization and Equipment for Periphery Independents in The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook) erroneously lists the New Belt Pirates as Susie's Rebels as of 3058, with Colonel Susie "One-Eye" Morgraine-Ryan in sole command of two veteran battalions on Star's End.[43] The timing of this is contradicted by multiple sources.
  • In an apparent editiorial mistake, The novel Ghost of Winter, retelling the strory of Morgraine-Ryan raiding Kore in 3060, makes no mention of the New Belt Pirates, simply referring to the bandits as Ryan's Rebels.[22]

Game Notes[edit]

When rolling to determine lance composition, a result of "2" or "12" may substitute a roll on the corresponding weight class column of any Clan Random 'Mech Assignment Table. When using MechWarrior, Third Edition rules, any New Belt Pirate Character gained +6 points to their survival skill.[44]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", the origins of the New Belt Pirates
  2. 2.0 2.1 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", Susie Morgraine-Ryan's parentage
  3. 3.0 3.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Fletcher was considered a stable pirate king of the Belt Pirates
  4. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "Origins", the origins of Susie Morgraine-Ryan
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "The Clan Invasion", Clan Wolf forces batter the Belt Pirates during the invasion
  6. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "The Clan Invasion", Clan Wolf rebuffs the Belt Pirates easily
  7. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "The Clan Invasion", Morgraine-Ryan and Fletcher combine forces
  8. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", the shipyards at Star's End help the Belt Pirates remain viable
  9. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", the Clans initially bypass Star's End
  10. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", the New Belt Pirates begin successfully raiding the Clans
  11. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", Clan OmniMechs can be found among the New Belt Pirates circa 3064
  12. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", TO&E - Elementals
  13. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "Current Situation", the New Belt Pirates recruit other pirates and small mercenary groups
  14. Era Report: 3062, p. 27, "Timeline of Events (The Rimward Periphery)", "3057", the New Belt Pirates raid Clan Wolf Worlds in 3057
  15. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 82, "Current Situation", Ulric Kerensky begins sending units to hunt down the pirates
  16. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", Ulric sends solahma troops to deal with the New Belt Pirates
  17. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 83, "Current Situation", the Refusal War prevents the Clans from acting against the New Belt Pirates
  18. Shattered Sphere, pp. 123-124, "Bandit Activity", the New Belt Pirates in 3058 and 3059
  19. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 80, "New Belt Pirates", the New Belt Pirates take advantage of the disarray in Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon
  20. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 83, "Current Situation", the New Belt Pirates take advantage of the post-Refusal War environment
  21. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 83, "Current Situation", rumors that the New Belt Pirates captured a Ghost Bear WarShip
  22. 22.0 22.1 Ghost of Winter, Susie Morgraine-Ryan attacks Kore
  23. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", division within the New Belt Pirates
  24. 24.0 24.1 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", Morgraine-Ryan's actions lead to tensions with Fletcher
  25. 25.0 25.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Morgan Fletcher makes connections with the Word of Blake
  26. Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Clan Wolf sends a full Galaxy on a pirate-hunting mission, destroying one battalion of New Belt Pirates
  27. The Price of Conviction, pp. 17-20, Omega Galaxy assaults the New Belt Pirates at Star's End
  28. 28.0 28.1 Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", Vlad Ward sends a full Galaxy to deal with the New Belt Pirates
  29. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", Omega Galaxy fails to destroy the New Belt Pirates
  30. Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Morgraine-Ryan blamed Fletcher for drawing the Wolves upon them, despite her own raids
  31. Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Morgraine-Ryan ousts Fletcher as leader of the New Belt Pirates
  32. 32.0 32.1 Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 11, "Pirates", Morgraine-Ryan takes sole command of the New Belt Pirates, blaming Morgan Fletcher for the losses to Clan Wolf
  33. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", the divisions between Fletcher and Morgraine-Ryan prove fatal
  34. Field Manual: Updates, p. 199, "New Belt Pirates", Morgraine-Ryan and her forces went to ground to recover and plan revenge
  35. 35.0 35.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 204, "Periphery TO&E: Pirates", the New Belt Pirates composition in 3067
  36. Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade, p. 26, "Notable MechWarriors", Jason Marshall is a member of the New Belt Pirates
  37. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 144, "Star's End (Novo Cressidas)", the New Belt Pirates interfere with Clan Hell's Horses, are destroyed in turn in 3074
  38. Field Report: Periphery, p. 17, "Pirate Forces", the New Belt Pirates are confirmed destroyed
  39. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", "Tactics", the New Belt Pirates tactics
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", Table of Organization and Equipment of the New Belt Pirates
  41. MechWarrior 3: Pirates Moon Expansion Pack
  42. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 129, "New Belt Pirates: Harassing the Clans", the New Belt Pirates Crest
  43. The Periphery, 2nd Edition (sourcebook), p. 78, "Periphery Independents (Deployment as of 3058)", the New Belt Pirates are listed as Susie's Rebels
  44. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 155, "Bandit Kingdoms: New Belt Pirates", the New Belt Pirates special rules

Bibliography[edit]