Perigard Zalman (Individual Leviathan-class WarShip)
Constructed in secret by Clan Steel Viper, the Leviathan Prime-class battleship Perigard Zalman became the new flagship of the Steel Viper touman when it was launched in September 3070. The Perigard Zalman had been constructed in a large slip that the Steel Vipers had constructed at the edge of the New Kent system in secret, using a combination of resources obtained from materials and resources obtained in payment from Clan Wolf and Clan Coyote from 3061 onwards - the payments being made in exchange for both Clans gaining access to the existing, expanded New Kent shipyards to upgrade their WarShips - and material obtained from the Steel Viper assault on the Clan Snow Raven world of Lum in 3065. This new slip, named the Masters Shipyard, was located near a little used LaGrange point, and was serviced by a small, carefully selected group of Steel Viper vessels to keep its existence secret.
At the time the Perigard Zalman launched the Steel Vipers had been engaged in a gruelling series of battles with Clan Diamond Shark, who were resisting efforts by the Steel Vipers to absorb or destroy their holdings in the Clan Homeworlds. Working against the Steel Vipers was the Diamond Shark refusal to grant safcon in any trial, and the skilled Diamond Shark naval contingent who took full advantage of the opportunity to strike at forces on approach to Diamond Shark worlds and enclaves. The Steel Vipers decided to deal with the Diamond Shark threat by revealing the existence of the CSV Perigard Zalman for the first time.
In orbit above Strana Mechty was the Diamond Shark Black Diamond Naval Star when the Perigard Zalman made its appearance. The Steel Vipers immediately attacked the Diamond Sharks, with the Perigard Zalman quickly destroying the Carrack-class transport CDS Bloodletter and the Lola III-class destroyer CDS Predator in the first pass alone. As the Diamond Shark civilian vessels frantically jumped out of the Strana Mechty system the Perigard Zalman continued its attack, destroying two more Diamond Shark WarShips before the Fredasa-class corvette CDS Swift Strike managed to jump out of the system, taking word of the Perigard Zalman's existance to the other Clans.
The Steel Vipers gathered together the remainder of their Naval Reserve and struck at Lum within days of their assault on the Diamond Sharks, eager to test the abilities of the new flagship against the elite naval forces of Clan Snow Raven. Warned by the Diamond Sharks about the existence of the Perigard Zalman, the Snow Ravens gathered the bulk of their remaining Homeworld naval assets at Lum, where they were gathering a huge convoy of vessels together, destined for the Snow Raven holdings in the Outworlds Alliance. The Snow Ravens had gathered together the remains of both the Brim Naval Assault Star and the Circe Battle Star, stripping the convoy of its escort vessels to assemble an impromptu naval flotilla.
When saKhan Hoskins of the Steel Vipers declared his batchall for the entire system, the Ravens declared all they had to defend. The resulting battle pitched three naval stars on each side against each other, making the naval engagement far larger than that at Lum in 3069. While the Snow Raven fleet was by far the more experienced, their level of skill was counterbalanced by the sheer firepower brought to the battle by the Perigard Zalman and her escorts. The battle lasted for seven hours before the last four surviving Snow Raven WarShips - the Fredasa-class CSR Black Beard, the Aegis-class heavy cruisers CSR Black Justice and CSR Lord Death and the Carrack-class CSR Venture Star - forfeited the Trial by jumping out of the system, leaving Lum a Steel Viper holding.
By the time the surviving Snow Raven vessels jumped out of the system, the Potemkin-class cruisers CSR Rook and CSR Snowflake and the Lola III-class CSR Vision of Terra had effectively been destroyed, although a covert Watch team from the Diamond Sharks would salvage the Snowflake several years later with assistance from the Snow Ravens. The Steel Vipers immediately landed ground forces on Lum, but faced little organised resistance and discovered that the Snow Ravens had been in the midst of a mass evacuation of their holdings, with large quantities of supplies and materiel partially loaded onto DropShips at the two main DropPorts. The Steel Vipers gleefully seized the former Snow Raven resources, preparing to absorb the lower castes left behind as the Steel Viper WarShips began repairs in orbit.
The Snow Ravens were not done with Lum or the Perigard Zalman, however. Five days after the naval battle in the system, all four Snow Raven ships that had fled the battle returned to the system, launching a ferocious attack against the Perigard Zalman without bothering with a batchall; the Snow Raven vessels simply closed into range and opened up on the Steel Viper WarShips, with Steel Viper technical and laborer personnel continuing to work on repairs to the Perigard Zalman up until seconds before the first Raven blows hit the Leviathan Prime.
For all of the ferocity displayed by the Ravens, they were unable to destroy the Perigard Zalman. The four-ship squadron managed a number of successes - the Vincent-class corvette CSV Coiled Serpent was destroyed, along with three quarters of the Steel Viper AeroSpace Fighters in the system and almost all the Steel Viper DropShips. However, three of the four Snow Raven WarShips were destroyed; the Perigard Zalman destroyed the Black Beard and the Venture Star, while the Black Justice broke apart against the atmosphere of Lum after a failed ramming attack on the Steel Viper flagship. Only the Lord Death survived to escape the system, and did so with a heavily damaged main drive and while leaking atmosphere. The Snow Ravens had exacted a heavy price on the Steel Vipers, and while the last of the Snow Raven forces to escape the Homeworlds did so rapidly after the defeat at Lum, the lack of response from the usually-bellicose Steel Vipers indicated as to the amount of repairs needed following the last battle in the system.
After the battles in the Lum system, the Perigard Zalman was next in action during the beginning of the Wars of Reaving; in the wake of the call to Reave all of the Bloodnames associated with the Invader clans issued by the newly-elected ilKhan Brett Andrews in December 3071, the site of various Blood Chapels on Strana Mechty - including the Kerensky Blood Chapel - became the site of a sprawling fratricidal conflict between all of the Clans. The fighting in and around the Blood Chapels ranged into the city of Katyusha as various Clans fought each other, with the conflict escalating steadily after the destruction of the Kerensky and Winson Blood Chapels. The peak of the conflict came when forces from Clan Fire Mandrill fared badly when attempting to seize the McKenna and Clearwater Blood Chapels, resulting in Star Colonel Abraxas Mick of the Fire Mandrills ordering the Potemkin-class CFM Jungle Heat to destroy the Chapels by orbital bombardment.
The resulting orbital bombardment razed both Blood Chapels as well as the Ben-Shimon Blood Chapel, and as a side effect destroyed a Binary of Clan Star Adder forces and set several fires burning in Katyusha. The Star Adders and Clan Goliath Scorpion were outraged by the Fire Mandrill's actions, but it was the Sovetskii Soyuz-class heavy cruiser CSV Sanra Mercer and the Carrack-class CCS Solar Blaze that Reaved the Jungle Heat, destroying it completely.
The Perigard Zalman was directly involved in the efforts by the Steel Vipers to remove the Clan Jade Falcon presence from Strana Mechty completely in the wake of Loremaster Kael Pershaw's actions in disclosing the results of the call for Trials of Annihilation against the Clans with an Inner Sphere presence. The Steel Vipers directed the Perigard Zalman to bombard the Jade Falcon positions from orbit, but the crews lacked the experience or training to deliver pinpoint accuracy, and as a result a number of the shots fired fell outside the intended target area. These set more fires burning in and around Katyusha, and these fires resulted in the planetary HPG complex being razed because the local civilian population were unable to douse the fires due to the drain on the firefighting systems in place around the city caused by the intense conflict between various Clans.
When the Steel Vipers made an opportunistic move against the last Snow Raven convoy to try and leave the Homeworlds, the Perigard Zalman was one of the Steel Viper WarShips directly involved. The Snow Raven convoy consisted of the Hellgate Battle Star and no less than one hundred and nine JumpShips all travelling slowly away from Hellgate. Anticipating that the Snow Ravens would move via the Snow Raven guidepost at Ghent, the Steel Vipers arranged to work with Clan Star Adder to seize or destroy the convoy.
On the 29th of July 3072 the Steel Viper force, consisting of the the Perigard Zalman escorted by the Essex-class destroyer CSV Martial Legacy and the Potemkin-class CSV Serpentes jumped into the system, arriving in the middle of the vast Snow Raven convoy, and announced their Trial of Possession for the entire fleet, declaring all of the forces at the disposal of Star Commodore Terrence Moffat as their bid.
Star Admiral Anta McKenna accepted the Viper bid as-was and declared all of her forces in defence. What Admiral McKenna hadn't realised was that Clan Star Adder had assigned a naval Star of their own to the command of Commodore Moffat, a naval Star consisting of the Black Lion-class battlecruiser CSA Admiral William S. Preston, the Fredasa-class CSA Arcadian Asp, the York-class destroyer CSA Exodus Crusader and the Lola III-classs CSA Hagar and CSA Warlock. Moffat neglected to inform McKenna of the additional forces, communicating their presence less than a minute before the Steel Viper vessels began firing on the Ravens.
Moffat didn't limit his targets to the four Raven WarShips defending the convoy and their attached escorts; instead, he had the Perigard Zalman open fire on whatever targets were in range, with the first Raven ships destroyed being fifteen JumpShips before the Ravens could close. The Martial Legacy proceeded to work in tandem with the Serpentes against the Ravens, first targeting and destroying the Lola III-class CSR Sagitta, which had still been carrying the damage inflicted on it from the Trial of Possession in which the Ravens had acquired the Hellgate Battle Star from the Goliath Scorpions. In response, the Potemkin-class CSR Enceladus managed to inflict some damage on the Serpentes before the Perigard Zalman blocked both the Serpentes and the Martial Legacy from fire from the heavier Raven ships.
Despite the best efforts of the Ravens, the battle was effectively a foregone conclusion once the Star Adder forces jumped in. The Ravens still managed to cripple the Serpentes when the Congress-class frigate CRS Garlon intercepted the Serpentes as it attempted to close on a group of JumpShips. The Potemkin-class CSR Prometheus was destroyed quickly by the Star Adders, although her sister vessel the Enceladus worked with several Raven DropShips to gut the Admiral William S. Preston before being destroyed in turn by the Asp, and the Perigard Zalman accounted for the Garlon. None of the Raven AeroSpace or combat DropShip forces answered Moffat's single call to surrender, instead fighting until they had all been destroyed.
Moffat's actions secured the Steel Vipers and the Star Adders a total of fifty Raven JumpShips and almost eighty full DropShips of cargo as isorla; at least sixteen Raven JumpShips managed to escape, although only thirteen were eventually reclaimed by the Ravens. The Serpentes was scuttled, although the Vipers claimed the Garlon as salvage; the Star Adders tagged the various other Raven hulks and marked their courses with a view to later stripping the hulks for materiel. The Star Adders and Steel Vipers then spaced any Raven civilians considered unnecessary before moving their booty back to their holdings.
In November 3073 the Perigard Zalman joined a task force being assembled by ilKhan Brett Andrews to deal with the Society and Bandit Caste problems affecting numerous Steel Viper holdings during the widespread HPG blackout across the Clan Homeworlds. Joining the Perigard Zalman as the core of the task force was the Lola III-class CSV Anaconda, the Sanra Mercer and the Martial Legacy. These WarShips provided transport and support for an assembled ground force consisting of the entire of Alpha, Beta and Delta Galaxies.
The task force was responsible for relieving the beseiged Steel Viper enclave at Station Zebra on Grant's Station; the other enclaves on the world had been conquered by Bandit forces in a campaign launched by the bandits in January 3072. The Martial Legacy and the other vessels in the task force provided support during the ground campaign and subsequent investigation, only to then find themselves having to support internal Reavings when a mysterious plague swept through the population on the planet, including some of the warriors who had fought or been stationed on Grant's Station.
The last battle for the Perigard Zalman came a scant four years after the mighty battleship had first launched. With Clan Coyote linked to the Society and the two years of chaos that had engulfed the Homeworlds as a result of their actions, the Coyotes were singled out as the next targets by the Steel Vipers, flush from their victories over various other Clans. The Coyote stronghold of Tamaron was selected as the primary target, and the Steel Viper force attacking Tamaron consisted of most of the Steel Viper touman, spearheaded by the Perigard Zalman. The Steel Viper flotilla in the Tamaron system on the 7th of December 3074 and immediately began to fight it's way towards the planet in what became the largest naval battle in the Pentagon Worlds since Operation KLONDIKE.
With the Perigard Zalman leaving a slew of broken and destroyed Coyote WarShips in its wake, the Texas-class battleship CCS Ancestral Home launched a counterattack against the larger Steel Viper ship even as Viper DropShips were descending to the surface of Tamaron. The Ancestral Home had been modified substantially over the years, after a K-F Drive accident had left the battleship unable to jump; with Clan Coyote modifying the Ancestral Home to become a system defense vessel and training ship, substantial quantities of additional armor and weapons had been added to the vessel.
Cutting across the front of the Perigard Zalman, the Ancestral Home launched a strike against the Steel Viper battleship and then shrugged off the return fire from the Steel Viper flagship. Whatever modifications had been performed to the Ancestral Home to allow it to fight so effectively drew the attention of the Perigard Zalman, which turned to focus on the Coyote battleship. Both ships launched devastating broadsides at each other, with the Ancestral Home taking more damage than it inflicted; despite the punishment, the Ancestral Home continued to stay at close quarters to the bigger WarShip.
Within seconds of the Steel Viper personnel aboard the Perigard Zalman recording a massive power spike emnating from the Ancestral Home, the Ancestral Home opened up a hyperspace bubble that engulfed half of the Steel Viper vessel. The failed jump caused massive feedback, and that feedback caused the Ancestral Home to implode, collapsing in on itself. As catastrophic as the damage was to the Coyote battleship, the damage was worse for the Perigard Zalman; half of the Leviathan Prime was ripped free from the rest of the ship and then flattened as the hyperwave collapsed in on itself. With no way of recovering from this mortal wound, the remains of the Perigard Zalman began a tumble towards Tamaron and finally settled into a high, slowly-decaying orbit.
- Wars of Reaving, p. 51, "Closing the Net"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 22, "Crashing Home"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 52-53, "Closing the Net"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 80-82, "The Wolf At The Door"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 102-104, "Raven's Dirge"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 116-117, "Infestation"
- Wars of Reaving, p. 142-143, "Viper's Venom"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 48, "Naval Assets"