Oberon Confederation

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Oberon Confederation Logo.png
Oberon Confederation
Faction Profile
Time period: 2775 - ca. 2795
3012 - 3049
3086 -
Classification: Periphery state
Controlled systems: approx. 10
Capital world: Oberon VI
Ruler title: King
Military: approx. 2 regiments, organized in planetary guards
Secret Service: unknown

The Oberon Confederation is a Periphery nation, located on the coreward rim of the Lyran Commonwealth near the Draconis Combine and later Free Rasalhague Republic border and thus squarely in the invasion corridor of the initial Clan Invasion. As a periphery realm, it sits on the very fringe of the Inner Sphere's Hyperpulse Generator network. The only known Confederation world to feature a functional HPG was the fairly well industrialized capital world of Oberon VI, which held a class B ComStar station[1] at least until 3045.

Alternating between obscure periphery ministate and outright pirate kingdom at various points in time, the Oberon Confederation never technically ceased to exist as a political entity, except arguably when it was under Clan occupation for a period of thirty-seven years only to reform immediately after the Clans abandoned the area again.

History[edit]

The Rim Worlds Republic[edit]

The first nation to bear the name of the Oberon Confederation was a small, three-world state consisting of the worlds of Oberon VI, Crellacor and Sigurd. Born in the aftermath of the 2773-2775 war between the Lyran Commonwealth and the Rim Worlds Republic, this original Oberon Confederation kept the Republic nationalist cause alive for almost two decades, before succumbing to a combination of isolation, repeated bandit raids and breakdowns in irreplaceable technology. While settlements survived on the three worlds as isolated towns and villages despite the dwindling level of technology available on each, the Oberon Confederation ceased to exist in all but name.[2]

Inception of the Oberon pirates[edit]

The first Colonel Hendrik Grimm was a Lyran Commonwealth officer in command of the 65th Lyran Regulars regiment. Believing that the Lyran military high command had left them to die after the unit was battered by Free Worlds League troops on Graham IV, the surviving members deserted the Commonwealth and made for the Periphery in 2840,[3] eventually settling on the temperate world of Oberon VI no later than 2855.[4] Soon after, many deserting Inner Sphere soldiers who were weary with the endless warfare traveled to Oberon in search of an alternative.[5][6]

During its early years, the people of Grimm's Oberon state conducted pirate raids against both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine, usually in search of spare 'Mech parts and electronics. For the most part, however, the descendants of Hendrik Grimm concerned themselves with the welfare of their subjects rather than with plunder for its own sake.[6]

At some point, early mining efforts caused an ecological disaster which led to famine on Oberon VI. The JàrnFòlk (specifically, the Jespersen clan) brought food at cost to Oberon VI, which established trade connections that lasted until 2972. In that year, Oberon VI began another attempt at developing and industrializing their world and exploit its natural resources. In this endeavor, the Hanseatic League undercut the JàrnFòlk prices for goods and long-term services, allegedly because they would use slave labor and the JàrnFòlk would not.[7]

The Jolly Roger Affair[edit]

Starting in 3001, an influx of war materials from an unknown source trickled into the general periphery area beyond the Steiner and Kurita realms. During this time, several new bandit kingdoms sprung up, some of them operating from hitherto unknown bases or forgotten Star League sites. Pirate activity quickly soared to new heights all around Oberon until events wound down after 3004.

Although the Oberon Confederation worlds are situated right in the middle of the region where the so-called (by those in the know) Jolly Roger Affair played out, there is no specific information about their involvement. It was noted, however, that the power of the Grimm family grew rapidly in the decades preceding the year 3025, i.e. around the time of this secret operation.[8]

Rebirth of the Oberon Confederation[edit]

In 3012 "Oberon VI became the homeworld of perhaps the most infamous of all bandit kingdoms, the Oberon Confederation", from whence ex-Lyran Colonel Hendrik Grimm would lead raiding parties against unprotected targets.[9] Combined with the fact that the Oberon Confederation was explicitly founded by the grandfather of later King Hendrik Grimm III[1] this seems to establish that it was Hendrik Grimm II (grandfather of Hendrik III) who reinvented the Oberon Confederation—a political entity that had already existed for two centuries but was only a shell of its former self at the time—as his own pirate realm in that year. (The original Hendrik Grimm I would have been around two hundred years old in 3012, given that he was a Colonel in 2839.)

The rule of Hendrik Grimm III[edit]

Also in 3012, rule of the Oberon Confederation fell to Hendrik Grimm III.[1]

Where Grimm's grandfather had founded the state as a mockery of a government, and his father had simply continued the family business of brutality, King Hendrik III took the duties of his office much more seriously.[1] He slowly changed the social and political reality of the Oberon Confederation and attempted, largely successful, to turn his realm into an increasingly stable and diversified state, securing trade deals with the Draconis Combine and the Lyran Commonwealth and even a cash grant from the latter.[1] Tacitly recognizing the utility of stability on their borders, representatives from both House Steiner and House Kurita approached Hendrik III with offers of formal alliance. However, Grimm was reluctant to commit himself one way or the other, remaining cautiously neutral, negotiating a possible alliance with both and probably playing one Successor House against the other.[1] As of 3025 he was said to be temporarily allied with House Kurita,[8] but still negotiating with Steiner representatives.

Apparently seeking respectability through standard interstellar trade, Grimm forbade his forces to raid the nearby Elysian Fields. He managed to create cordial relations with the Elysian worlds and several trade and territorial agreements were made, the most important of which offered Grimm's navy docking rights in return for military protection against other bandit kingdoms in the area.[1]

Unlike most other bandit kingdoms, the Oberon Confederation was largely self-sufficient.[6] Most importantly, it possessed several water-rich planets besides the electronics industry on Oberon VI, making it independent from raiding its neighbors. Instead of sponsoring pirate raids, Hendrik III chose to rent out his troops as mercenaries to the highest bidder.[8] This gave the Oberon Confederation a veil of legitimacy, although slavery and piracy apparently still continued behind the scenes.

On a social level, a limited form of democracy brought about an educational system for the young, training facilities for MechWarriors, technicians, and even a modest pension plan for officers and enlisted personnel who had served the Confederation.[6] The Confederation's technological level was above average (by periphery standards at least), and the population included many skilled scientists and technicians[1] but also large numbers of slaves who were worked like beasts and severely mistreated.[10]

By 3025, Hendrik III ruled over a loose coalition of twelve other pirate kingdoms, and his Oberon Confederation was on the verge of being accepted as a legitimate state.[8] At this time, it included the worlds of Blackstone, Crellacor, Drask's Den, Ferris, Gustrell, Paulus Prime, Placida, Sigurd and The Rock, plus a varying collection of others most of the time including their "protectorate", the Elysian Fields.

Redjack Ryan[edit]

The infamous Redjack Ryan was a renegade from the Oberon Confederation. He made his first appearance in the Inner Sphere as a lieutenant commanding one of Hendrik III's mercenary units. In 3017 his unit was hired out to occupy or garrison the world of Fianna, which at the time was contested between the Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League. Ryan and his men were unable to adequately deal with civil unrest and, in a vicious circle of escalation, wrought utter destruction on the world including, among other atrocities, the destruction of a chemical weapons depot and fusion power plant which led to contamination of the world's atmosphere.[11] Before either Hendrik III or House Marik could assemble a force to deal with him, Ryan fled and established himself as pirate leader on the world of Butte Hold, adjacent to the Oberon Confederation.

Maria Morgraine[edit]

In the wake of Ryan's desertion, his lover Maria Morgraine, also a lieutenant in Hendrik III's forces, also broke away from the Oberon Confederation in 3021 and founded yet another ministate, Morgraine's Valkyrate, which she ruled from the capital world of Gotterdammerung. Between 3021 and 3023 she extended her control over five ice worlds.

Trellwan[edit]

see: Decision at Thunder Rift

Mercenary forces from the Oberon Confederation, including Sigurd native Lori Kalmar, carried out the dishonorable sneak attack that destroyed Carlyle's Commandos on Trellwan in 3024. In this action, the Oberon mercenaries pretended to have been hired by the Lyran Commonwealth but actually acted on orders from Duke Hassid Ricol, the infamous Red Duke from the Draconis Combine, and attacked their Lyran employers upon arriving to ostensibly reinforce the garrison.

Although these mercenaries were drawn from, and posed as, Oberon Confederation troops, they were in fact drawn together by a rogue faction within the Confederation and sent on a what amounted to a suicide mission; Hendrik III apparently had no part in the plot.[12]

The Greater Valkyrate[edit]

In 3028 Hendrik III set Redjack Ryan and Maria Morgraine up to wipe each other out. However, the plot backfired when they instead reunited and married,[13] merging their domains to create the Greater Valkyrate, a Periphery power strong enough to curb the Oberon Confederation. Presumably as a reaction to this new threat, the Oberon Confederation built up its military beginning around 3035.[14] Instead of attacking the Valkyrate, however, the Confederation began raiding the Lyran portion of the Federated Commonwealth, Free Rasalhague Republic, and Draconis Combine.[14]

Blackout[edit]

In 3045, ComStar lost all contact with Oberon VI as well as the Elysian Fields, Oberon's protectorate,[14] but that was not considered very unusual in this unstable region and thought to be a consequence of an internal coup, or simply an equipment failure.

The Clan invasion[edit]

In 3049, the worlds of the Oberon Confederation were quickly overrun by the Clan invasion. Forces from Clan Wolf defeated the defenders in short order, their technology ahead of the defenders by centuries. Because of the Hyperpulse Generator blackout, only rumors of the invasion reached the Inner Sphere at first, barely ahead of the invasion; contact with the periphery region of the Oberon Confederation had not yet been re-established properly since the blackout when the Clan invasion struck.

In the same year, the Kell Hounds conducted a punitive raid against Kenny Ryan's pirates on the asteroid Sisyphus's Lament in the Oberon Confederation system of The Rock. They witnessed the pirates getting brutally defeated by an unknown third party, then came under attack themselves. Phelan Kell ordered the Hounds to withdraw but his own Wolfhound was destroyed and he was thought killed (in fact he was captured and made a Bondsman by Clan Wolf). The remaining Kell Hounds aborted their mission and fled from the superior unknown enemy, providing their employers with first-hand information about the invaders where previously only sketchy rumors had been known and widely dismissed as Periphery gossip.

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.

According to the game storyline from MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, a small group of mercenaries and Oberon bandits managed to escape from Clan captivity in Oberon Confederation territory during the first wave of attack aboard the DropShip FireStalion {sic} and flee to the Free Rasalhague Republic, where the Oberon crew was summarily executed for piracy—Oberon Confederation forces had reportedly murdered the inhabitants of Last Hope on New Caledonia over a year before, earning the ire of the Free Rasalhague Republic.

Apocryphal Content Ends


Hendrik Grimm III reputedly died by his own hand when his Oberon Guards were defeated, choosing suicide instead of surrender. Other sources claim Grimm and his men were captured and executed by the Clan invaders.

Clan Occupation[edit]

Although the Clans came as conquerors, many in the Oberon Confederation hailed them as saviors and were rather happy to be free of Hendrik Grimm and his ilk, cheering when Hendrik III's head was paraded through the city on a pike.[10]

As of 3054, a ComStar report listed a unit called the "Oberon Guards (Disarmed by Clans)" as an independent regular military unit based on Oberon VI, with "Reliable" loyalty and under the command of General Johann Grimm, previously the CO of the 3rd Oberon Guards regiment on Crellacor,[14] and implicitly a son of Hendrik III. Although the unit is presumably only a planetary militia used to garrison the planet for the Clans, the report prominently features the crest of the Oberon Confederation (a lizard's eye).[15]

One company of Oberon 'Mechs had been on a raiding mission abroad when the Clans invaded. By 3057, this homeless unit had joined the ranks of Stefan Amaris VII in his bid for power. Most of their 'Mechs were destroyed by Duncan's Demons in the final battles on New St. Andrews between 11 and 13 July 3057.[16] Subsequent mop-up operations carried out with extreme prejudice by the Knights of the Inner Sphere suggest that the former Oberon unit was obliterated.

Later, Clan Hell's Horses would take control. During this time a horse breeder from Placida named Benjamin Wright gained influence in the Clan's civilian administration, which he leveraged into outright rule.[17]

Reformation[edit]

After the Clans withdrew, leaving the periphery area to become The Barrens, the Oberon Confederation immediately formed anew in 3086.[18] The driving force was Benjamin Wright, building off the latent nationalism fostered by the successful rule of Hendrik III and the vision and foresight shown by General Hendrik Grimm IV in the diplomatic relations he forged.

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Periphery, p. 149
  2. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 37, "The Republic-Commonwealth War"
  3. Handbook: House Steiner, p. 41
  4. based on the note that the Grimm family had been ruling over Oberon VI for "over 170 years" as of 3025, according to the Battledroids rulebook, p. 5; reproduced verbatim in the BattleTech 2nd Ed. rulebook
  5. House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 56 - "Tales of Grimm"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Periphery, p. 148
  7. Godt Bytte
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Writeup on Hendrik Grimm III in the Battledroids rulebook, p. 5; reproduced verbatim in the BattleTech 2nd Ed. rulebook
  9. The Periphery (2nd Ed.), p. 79
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Periphery (2nd Ed.), p. 79 - "Tough Love" sidebar
  11. Trial of Faith
  12. Decision at Thunder Rift; also, BattleTechnology Issue 0102 (Hassid Ricol writeup)
  13. Unholy Union
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 20 Year Update, p. 76
  15. Objective Raids, p. 49
  16. Star Lord, p. 276
  17. Interstellar Expeditions, p. 42
  18. Interstellar Expeditions, p. 43 - "Formation of the Barrens: A Timeline"

Bibliography[edit]