Clan Smoke Jaguar

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Clan Smoke Jaguar logo
Clan Smoke Jaguar
Faction Profile
Time period: 28073060
Classification: Clan
Controlled systems:
Capital world: Huntress (formerly)
Ruler title: Khan
Military: Clan Smoke Jaguar Touman
Secret Service: Clan Smoke Jaguar Watch

Introduction[edit]

Clan Smoke Jaguar was one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky. Members of Clan Smoke Jaguar took fierce pride in their namesake, a predator descended from the Terran jaguar whose genes were altered in the laboratory to enable it to survive in a harsher environment and then imported to Strana Mechty. They were also every bit as feral as the smoke jaguar was, believing that the Clans' revered founder modeled all of Clan society on their totem animal and basing their argument on an oft-quoted journal entry of Kerensky's which they revered second only to The Remembrance. The Smoke Jaguar Clan began the Crusader philosophy and was one of the four original Clans to take part in Operation Revival, the Clans' attempted conquest of the Inner Sphere. However they were defeated at the pivotal Battle of Tukayyid and later Annihilated by the reborn Star League during Operation Bulldog and Operation Serpent. The Clan was also responsible for the creation of ProtoMechs, which quickly spread amongst the other Clans during the Wars of Possession.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

Franklin Osis, the first Khan of the Smoke Jaguar Clan, was born in the Federated Suns to parents who served in the SLDF 238th Armored Division. They followed Aleksandr Kerensky in his exodus from the Inner Sphere and over the years instilled in young Franklin the same blind trust in General Kerensky as they had. When the Exodus Fleet reached the Pentagon Worlds, the Osis family settled on Eden and turned to a life of farming. However, ancient prejudices and hatreds began to resurface and caused dissension among the colonists. Franklin's brother Simon joined a pro-Suns gang and eventually Franklin himself was forced to join for protection, though he always tried to avoid confrontations or end them bloodlessly. However in 2800 he was arrested and forced to perform hard labor on Circe. When he returned to Eden he was all but broken in spirit and the first battles of the Exodus Civil War had begun. The final straw for him came when General Kerensky ordered his troops to summarily execute all rebels in a final attempt to put down the revolt. Franklin lost all faith in his former idol and became convinced humanity could never escape the taint of war without rebuilding society from the ground up. When Nicholas Kerensky called for a Second Exodus, Franklin jumped at the chance, bringing with him his parents and brother.[1][2]

When they reached Strana Mechty Franklin found a measure of peace wandering the planet's lush jungles, taking an interest in the wildlife and particularly the smoke jaguar as a means to heal the mental wounds he had suffered. Unfortunately in the spring of 2809, while Franklin and Simon were observing a pack of smoke jaguars, one of them leaped down from a tree branch and knocked Simon to the ground. Franklin was frozen in terror and could do nothing as the animal savaged his brother. Finally, his brother's dying screams cut short as the animal tore out his throat. A berserk fury overcame Franklin; he leaped onto the animal, armed only with a small hunting knife, and slew it in a brief, frenzied butchery. As the smoke jaguar lay dead at his feet, for the first time in his life Franklin took pleasure in the violence, seemingly wiping away the stain of cowardice which had cost Simon his life.[1][2]

At Nicholas Kerensky's urging, Franklin went on to train as a MechWarrior, taking every opportunity to face danger and conquer it through combat. Soon he began to outmatch his trainers in both the ferocity and tenacity of his attacks which, while impressive, also worried Nicholas with the thought that he might become nothing more than a mindless killing machine. Thus Nicholas designated Franklin for officer training, hoping to temper his rage so that it may be controlled during battle. Within two years Franklin won command of a Trinary in the newly-formed Clan Smoke Jaguar. The ferocity and skill with which Franklin Osis displayed eventually won the admiration of the other Smoke Jaguar members, who elected him their Khan.[1][2]

Operation Klondike[edit]

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The Golden Century[edit]

Smoke Jaguars warriors embodied the ferocity of their totem animal in all aspects of life

Khan Franklin Osis had always acknowledged the value of the civilian castes, insofar as their efforts supported the warrior caste, and towards the end of his rule began to see the need for peaceful pursuits, if only so that warriors had some breathing space between battles. Unfortunately he was followed by a succession of short-sighted Khans who continued to glorify war and only war. While other Clans were taking advantage of the potential wealth gained through colonization and trade during what became known as the Golden Century, the Smoke Jaguars found themselves economically sidelined during these relatively peaceful years. They colonized fewer worlds than most other Clans, and what few worlds they did colonize were dedicated to military pursuits rather than resource extraction; ironically this deprived them not only of wealth but the military advantages they should have gained by exploiting it.[3]

Instead the Clan used their military assets to seize what they needed from others, fighting countless Trials of Possession over everything from Brian Caches to genetic bloodlines, winning enough to support themselves and maintain their prominence. In this manner the Smoke Jaguars were one of the first Clans to gain possession of OmniMech technology from Clan Coyote.[3] They were also one of only two Clans, the other being Clan Hell's Horses, to win possession of Battle Armor technology from Clan Diamond Shark without resorting to bartering. This had come after several unsuccessful attempts to win the technology from Clan Wolf, and though they had seemingly accomplished this task without much of a fight the Smoke Jaguars ended up paying a hefty premium for HarJel.[4]

This effort to take what they could from others especially became the case during their Absorption of Clan Mongoose. Despite being well-known for their casual brutality, surprisingly the Smoke Jaguars were not the most aggressive Clan during the Golden Century.[5] That distinction belonged to Clan Mongoose, driven by Khans who mortally feared showing any martial weakness to their competitors; they were almost as infamous for their incessant attacks on many of their neighbors as they were for their constant political maneuvering, which had over the years earned for their Clan the nickname "the Weasels".[6] The result of this raiding and politicking meant the Mongoose Clan had made many enemies, and in 2868 as they launched an attack on the Smoke Jaguar world of Atreus their bitter rivals Clan Star Adder simultaneously launched their own multi-world assault on the Mongooses. In the Grand Council the Mongoose Khans pleaded for censure of the Smoke Jaguars, but their effort backfired and Khan Theodore Osis successfully won the right to Absorb them. The resulting conflict saw the Smoke Jaguars win nearly all Mongoose planets and materiel, though they refused to make use of the captured genetic legacies, instead preferring to let them fade into obscurity; Clan Cloud Cobra would end up fighting Trials of Possession for many of these bloodlines and utilize them, much to the chagrin of the Smoke Jaguars.[3][7][8]

Khan Theodore Osis' rage would not be easily abated, and it would next be directed at the Star Adders. Though some sources claim the Jaguars were mollified about the Adders' independent assault just before the Trial's initial engagement in space above Circe,[9] other sources indicate that it was not fully resolved until some time after the Absorption had ended.[7] Either way, Khan Osis would next bring somewhat dubious charges against the Star Adders in the Grand Council. In these charges, Osis claimed that the Star Adder's reconquest of multiple planets previously taken from them by Clan Mongoose robbed his warriors of their "full measure of victory",[7] charges that the Star Adder's Khan Banacek would seem rather indifferent toward.[10] The fact that Khan Osis had known of the Adder attacks before he asked for the rights to Absorption did not seem to matter. He would go so far as to call for punishment of the Star Adders. These charges would be brushed aside by the Grand Council, with acknowledgement of the Star Adders' right to revenge in the matter. But the subsequent feud would not end between these two Clans for a long time to come.[7]

The success of the Smoke Jaguars' military endeavors only furthered the discrimination the ruling warrior caste directed towards not only their own civilians but freeborns as well, until even their very existence was scorned. Though all Clans valued the warrior caste above others and directed some measure of contempt towards freebirths, the Smoke Jaguar Clan took this to an entirely new level, leading to much greater resentment among those ostensibly meant to support the warriors' ability to fight. The merchant caste in particular found their treatment vexing, as the warrior's disdain for economic activity saw countless opportunities for profit wasted and their control of the Clan Council left little chance for a fair hearing. The merchants' response was to skim profits from those ventures they were allowed to pursue, an decision which resulted in the Londerholm Revolt. In the wake of that bloody massacre Khan Ian Moon formally removed what little measure of self-governance the civilian castes had, placing absolute authority in the hands of the warriors.[3][11]

The Political Century[edit]

Though their military successes had managed to keep the Clan relevant, the Smoke Jaguars were inexorably falling behind the other Clans in political and economic terms throughout the twenty-ninth and thirtieth century. Only a constant turnout of highly-skilled warriors allowed the Smoke Jaguars to keep pace, and even here their military strength was being outstripped by the technological breakthroughs pioneered by other Clans. Even the Clans' system of limited warfare soon became a liability as it deprived the Smoke Jaguar warriors sufficient opportunity to gain glory in combat.[12]

As the early decades of the 30th Century wore on the Clans began to turn their attention back to the Inner Sphere and the Hidden Hope Doctrine, the belief that one day they would return and rebuild the shattered Star League by destroying the decadent Great Houses. With their deteriorating situation and eyes fixed on the one challenging target left to them, Clan Smoke Jaguar was the first to shape this spreading idea into a specific, immediate call to arms, publicly claiming that the Clans had successfully purged themselves of the Inner Sphere's taint and that their return which both Aleksandr and Nicholas Kerensky had foretold was at hand. This call for invasion immediately split the Clans politically, the Smoke Jaguars and their supporters taking the title Crusaders while their opponents took on the moniker Wardens. That Clan Wolf became the leader of the Warden movement helped the Jaguars gain the enthusiastic support of Clan Jade Falcon, and during the last decades of the 30th Century both Clans' pro-invasion propaganda efforts gained enough converts that by 3000 not even the Wolf Clan could prevent a vote in the Grand Council.[12]

Khan Kerlin Ward of Clan Wolf however managed to stymie the Crusader's first vote with the famous Dragoon Compromise, an agreement that sent a unit of freebirth warriors to secretly reconnoiter the Inner Sphere in the guise of a mercenary unit. For the Smoke Jaguars the only thing more offensive than the fact that Clan Wolf had proposed the idea was that, for a mission of such importance, it would be carried out by "dirty freebirth" warriors liable to turn traitor. Regardless the Grand Council approved the measure and the Smoke Jaguars' dislike for the Wolf Clan grew into open hatred.[12]

Unbeknownst to many, as Wolf's Dragoons left in 3004, the future leader of the Clan's Inner Sphere invasion was born on the Smoke Jaguar capital of Huntress. Leo Showers not only distinguished himself as a MechWarrior from an early age, rising quickly through the ranks and gaining his Bloodname, but also became the most eloquent and prominent advocate for the Crusader philosophy. In 3029 by dint of his combat skills and political acumen he was elected Khan of Clan Smoke Jaguar, and for the next twenty years slowly and relentlessly tipped the Grand Council in favor of invasion, redoubling his efforts after every setback imposed by his hated rival the Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky.[12]

Fortune finally favored Khan Showers in 3048 when the ComStar Explorer Corps starship Outbound Light appeared in orbit above Huntress. The ship and its crew was quickly seized, giving the Smoke Jaguars the only source of current information on the Inner Sphere after the Wolf's Dragoons' apparent desertion. With no contradictory information to challenge his claims the astute Khan Showers put this information to good use, with no small amount of manipulation and doctored evidence. In arguments before the Grand Council he referenced the creation of the Federated Commonwealth, implying that the Inner Sphere was rebuilding the Star League on its own without their influence, and that the ship's unexpected appearance in Clan space was a prelude to invasion. The Grand Council was won over by his arguments and not only voted to invade the Inner Sphere but elected Leo Showers as ilKhan. Jubilant Smoke Jaguar warriors celebrated their victory with parades and feasts, confident that they had finally achieved their rightful glory. Taking Leo Showers' place as the Smoke Jaguar Khan was Lincoln Osis.[12]

Bidding and trials were held to determine which Clans would be granted the honor of invading the Inner Sphere, and to their delight the Smoke Jaguar warriors performed well enough to be among the four Clans chosen to spearhead the assault, joined by Clan Wolf, Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Ghost Bear. IlKhan Showers, working in conjunction with Jade Falcon Khan Elias Crichell, devised the basic outline of the invasion by assigning each Clan an "invasion corridor," with the Smoke Jaguars winning the honor of attacking the Draconis Combine, supposed allies of the hated Stefan Amaris. They also revealed an obscure passage from one of Nicholas Kerensky's diaries which they interpreted to mean whatever Clan captured Terra would become the ilClan.[13]

Operation Revival[edit]

The first planets to feel the wrath of the Clans were those located in the Periphery, backwater worlds which happened to lay within the Clans' line of advance. Here the Smoke Jaguars fought a number of battles for control of these poorly-defended planets, with none save Santander's World putting up any kind of hard-fought or costly resistance. Indeed by January 3050 the Smoke Jaguars had conquered all of their targeted worlds, their only annoyance being that Clan Wolf had been quicker to complete their conquests, and looked forward to facing more challenging opposition.[14]

With the start of the First Wave the Smoke Jaguar warriors fought their first battles against what was hoped to be more challenging and honorable opponents. To their dismay they cut through the opposing DCMS troops like a hot knife, facing only significant opposition on Richmond. What stung more was their apparent inability to deal with Kurita partisans, as the people rose up to fight their new oppressive overlords. Even with the assistance of ComStar administrators Smoke Jaguar warriors proved incapable of managing the masses, instead resorting to wholesale butchery in response to any resistance. This flaw was no more apparent than on the planet Turtle Bay, where the Smoke Jaguars had unknowingly captured Hohiro Kurita, son of Theodore Kurita, only to discover his identity after he had escaped during a jail break. Their search to recapture him was hamstrung by local Yakuza resistance, until finally Smoke Jaguar troops were withdrawn from the capital Edo and the city was leveled by the WarShip Sabre Cat. Even the most hardline Crusaders saw the orbital bombardment as an act of cowardice and Clan Wolf took the opportunity to swear it would bid away all naval assets for the rest of the campaign, forcing the rest of the Clans to follow suit to keep their honor.[15]

The Second Wave was far less successful as the local populaces continued to resist the Smoke Jaguar's iron grip, requiring more troops be held back to keep control. Matters were helped less by the fact that Clan Wolf was once again outpacing the Jaguars, causing many to vent their frustration on the increasingly poor and hungry civilians. The Clan eventually brought forth Provisional Garrison Clusters, second-line units with inferior equipment, to garrison their conquered territory and free up front-line units for the Third Wave. Unfortunately these PGCs were ill-prepared for the wave of rebellions which sprung up around them, supplied in secret by Theodore Kurita, while the so-called Paradise syndrome struck the warrior caste, causing many to fight Trials of Possession with each other over the rich bounty they beheld. IlKhan Showers was forced to intervene personally in the matter, even leading Smoke Jaguar units in battle, in order to overcome the Third Wave's bad start. The Jaguars managed to finish ahead of the other three Clans, but were still overshadowed by Clan Wolf's capture of more planets and the capital world of Rasalhague.[16][17]

The Fourth Wave saw the heaviest fighting since the start of the invasion as fresh, well-equipped DCMS units appeared on the front lines, freed from patrolling the borders of FedCom space. It also saw the Jaguar's first true defeat during the attempted conquest of Wolcott, where Hohiro Kurita laid a trap for the attacking Jaguars and captured several OmniMechs and two dozen Elemental suits. The shock of this defeat paled in comparison when it was learned that ilKhan Showers was killed during the battle of Radstadt. Both Jaguar Khans remained oddly silent as the Clans debated and agreed on returning to Clan space and elect a new ilKhan, their shock and grief finally broken when the Jade Falcon Khan suggested they turn their rage on Clan Wolf. A conspiracy to blame the former ilKhan's death on Wolf Khan Kerensky failed thanks to the bondsman Phelan Kell's testimony, as did a second to elect Kerensky as the new ilKhan and allow a more Crusader-minded Khan to lead Clan Wolf when Natasha Kerensky instead took his place. IlKhan Kerensky "thanked" the Jaguars by assigning as a supporting partner their rivals Clan Nova Cat, though the Jaguar Khans managed to sidestep this somewhat by simply handing over their most rebellious worlds for the Nova Cats to deal with.[18]

The Smoke Jaguars were determined to capture a capital world, seeing it as a way to regain the necessary clout to challenge Ulric for the position of ilKhan, and for the Fifth Wave they set their sights on Luthien. When Theodore Kurita learned of the Clans' target he began preparations to defend the world, only to be surprised when he received unexpected help. Though Hanse Davion, Prince of the Federated Commonwealth, had sworn to Theodore that no AFFC forces would invade Combine space for the duration of the hostilities, he conceived of an alternative and managed to convince the Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons to assist House Kurita in the Battle of Luthien. The appearance of the two elite mercenary units was just enough to secure victory and deal the Jaguars a devastating and humiliating blow, one which they took out on their Nova Cat allies and subjugated population. It took over a month for them to recover their losses, and another month to finish their Fifth Wave conquests, taking heavier than expected losses and losing all hope of catching up with Clan Wolf. Eager for a chance to redeem themselves in the eyes of the other Clans, the Jaguar Khans overcame their instinctual distrust of ilKhan Kerensky and took heart from his announcement that the fate of Terra would be decided in a proxy battle on Tukayyid.[19]

Tukayyid[edit]

Main article: Battle of Tukayyid

In the bidding for the Battle of Tukayyid the Smoke Jaguars won the honor of being the first Clan to land and having to capture the most prestigious targets, simultaneously successfully conspiring to have Clan Wolf land last and capture the least prestigious targets. Unfortunately they had done so while bidding away an entire Galaxy, leaving them with the least amount of forces, and took little note of their supplies or the supposedly weak Com Guards. In the disaster that resulted both Khan Osis and saKhan Sarah Weaver were defeated, leaving the Clan leaderless, while both Alpha and Beta Galaxy were savagely mauled, many refusing ilKhan Kerensky's order to retreat in order to go down fighting. The losses suffered at Tukayyid would not be easily repaired and, eventually, proved to be the downfall of Clan Smoke Jaguar.

Post-Tukayyid[edit]

With the apparent deaths of both Khans new leadership was desperately needed, and Star Colonel Brandon Howell was elected as Khan shortly after Tukayyid. However whilst Khan Howell began the struggle to rebuild the Smoke Jaguar touman Lincoln Osis suddenly returned, having been apparently rescued during salvage operations on Tukayyid. Howell accepted the former leader's return and took up the position of saKhan instead with good grace. Unfortunately Khan Osis' attempt to rebuild were constantly frustrated not only by rebellions on their Inner Sphere holdings, but by constant raiding from the Combine and from other Clans.[20] These included attacks by the Nova Cats,[21] as well as a deep-strike raid launched by Clan Wolf while passing through the Ghost Bear Occupation Zone en route to Clan space to elect a new ilKhan.[22]

Khan Lincoln Osis was able to quickly rebuild Beta and Delta Galaxies with reinforcements from the homeworlds. But, the two Galaxies have spent the last few years in almost constant combat as the DCMS and Clans Wolf and Nova Cat staged numerous raids on the Jaguars. No sooner would the Jaguars replenish and refit one Cluster than another Cluster would take heavy damage in a raid.[citation needed]

In an attempt to regain lost honor, Khan Osis split his resources and ordered the reformation of Alpha Galaxy and the creation of Tau Galaxy. The reemergence of Alpha Galaxy and its centerpiece unit, the Sixth Jaguar Dragoons, was critical for Osis's personal honor. Tau Galaxy was formed to destroy Nova Cat forces in the Inner Sphere in reprisal for the recent losses the Jaguars had sustained at their hands. The Galaxy was lost, however, when the Northwind Highlanders regiment, Stirling's Fusiliers, landed on the planet Wayside V where Tau Galaxy was based in preparation to invade the Nova Cat worlds in the Inner Sphere. Tau Galaxy's three Clusters pursued the main body of the Fusiliers in a running battle across Wayside V. Unbeknownst to the Jaguars, the Fusiliers had one trump card to play. The Fusiliers sent a small unit, disguised as Smoke Jaguars, to stage several attacks against the Nova Cats in an attempt to goad the Nova Cats into following them back to Wayside V. After four such attacks, the Nova Cats khans sent two Clusters to Wayside V where they found Tau Galaxy engaged in a pitched battle with the remnants of Stirling's Fusiliers. In a fierce battle to the death, the Nova Cats destroyed the remaining elements of Tau Galaxy, but allowed the surviving Fusiliers to live. The loss of Tau Galaxy further deepened the hatred the Smoke Jaguars felt towards the Nova Cats.[citation needed]

The Annihilation of the Smoke Jaguars[edit]

Operation Bulldog[edit]

Main article: Operation Bulldog

In 3059, Khan Lincoln Osis was elected ilKhan and he immediately began planning the continuation of the invasion of the Inner Sphere. Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward and Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde foiled this plan by forcing him to give the other Clans nine months to earn slots in the invasion force. Although deeply angered by their ploy, Osis had little choice but to accede to their demands. IlKhan Osis also used this time to order the formation of several new front-line Clusters as well as increasing the flow of supplies to the Clusters already in position in the occupation zone.

In May of that year, the Smoke Jaguars were shocked to find that the Inner Sphere, under the banner of the Second Star League, launched an offensive into their occupation zone. The first wave targeted only five worlds, but all fell quickly under the Second Star League Defense Force's enormous firepower. The Jaguars fared little better in the second wave, losing eleven worlds but managing to cripple two SLDF regiments on Luzerne.

During the short lull between the second and third waves, the Jaguars launched a counteroffensive aimed at weakening the SLDF support structure and forcing it to pull units back to deal with the counteroffensive. The plan quickly fell apart when it became apparent that the targeted worlds were more than capable of defending themselves. Again, the Jaguars sustained heavy losses with little to show for the effort.

The third wave signaled the end of the Smoke Jaguar presence in the Inner Sphere. What few units that remained retreated after putting up token resistance. The fourth wave finished the Jaguars as those garrison Clusters stranded fought until forced to surrender or, in some cases, fought to the death. By the end of August, the Jaguars were beaten and in retreat.

Battle for Huntress[edit]

Main article: Operation Serpent

In late 3060, an Inner Sphere task force, code-named Serpent, struck at the Smoke Jaguar homeworld Huntress. The Jaguar garrison commander, Russou Howell, had only two Provisional Galaxies to withstand the onslaught of ten elite Inner Sphere regiments. Both sides wreaked enormous damage upon another. Howell used the opportunity to unleash a deadly new war machine. Dubbed ProtoMechs, these miniature 'Mechs were piloted by washed-out aerospace pilots using the new Enhanced Imaging system. The EI system coupled with the improved armor and weaponry allowed the ProtoMech pilots to wreak considerable damage on the Serpent forces before they were destroyed. After several days of almost non-stop combat, Task Force Serpent crushed the last of the Jaguar garrison forces.

Task Force Serpent's respite from battle was short-lived when the remnants of the Smoke Jaguar Inner Sphere forces returned to Huntress for repairs and refitting. Shocked at finding their homeworld in the hands of Inner Sphere troops, the Smoke Jaguars, led by Galaxy Commander Hang Mehta, launched a brutal counterattack. With barely two Galaxies of troops, the Jaguars hammered mercilessly against the elite Serpent troops. Several days into the battle, ilKhan Lincoln Osis and his bodyguard unit arrived on Huntress to coordinate the counterattack. Both sides sustained losses in excess of sixty percent, with many pilots dead and hundreds of 'Mechs lain strewn across the battlefields.

The Jaguars launched one final counterattack with their remaining forces. The battle was almost lost for the Inner Sphere if not for the skill and valor of the Eridani Light Horse. The ELH troops held the line but at a tremendous cost. Their leader, General Ariana Winston, was killed in the final moments of the battle. Winston's death marked the turning point for the campaign. Prince Victor Steiner-Davion, leading another task group to Huntress, arrived in-system just before the final battle began. The fresh troops he led quickly hunted down and eliminated all Jaguar resistance within a few days. Unfortunately for the Inner Sphere, ilKhan Lincoln Osis was able to escape with a handful of warriors to Strana Mechty.

War's End[edit]

Main article: Great Refusal

Following the battle for Huntress, Prince Victor led the SLDF troops to Strana Mechty for a final battle with the Clans, a Trial of Refusal against invasion of the Inner Sphere. The Grand Council accepted his challenge, though due to politicking the challenge would be met only by the eight Crusader Clans, which agreed to each send a Binary of troops to face off against an equivalent SLDF company.

IlKhan Lincoln Osis led his remaining troops (9 Omnimech Points and an Elemental Point) in battle against Prince Victor and the Tenth Lyran Guards. The Jaguars fought with all the ferocity of their namesake, but were ultimately crushed by the Guards. In the end ilKhan Osis challenged Prince Victor to a personal duel, taking off his Elemental battle armor. Victor climbed out of his 'Mech with his katana at his side, but declined the challenge. Instead he declared that Clan Smoke Jaguar was destroyed and that none of his warriors had to die anymore, announcing that any survivors would be welcomed to the Star League. Realizing that his Crusader beliefs had been wrong Lincoln Osis broke down and muttered, "What in the name of Kerensky we done?" Not wishing to outlive his Clan or be a bondsman he asked Victor to kill him, but the Prince refused and turned his back on the ilKhan, saying that the last Smoke Jaguar warrior had died today. When Osis attacked him anyways Victor instinctively drew his sword and beheaded the warrior. With a tear in his eye he spoke, "The invasion started with a Smoke Jaguar, and now it has ended with one. The last Smoke Jaguar warrior did die here today. May he rest in peace."[23]

With the death of Lincoln Osis, the Smoke Jaguar Clan effectively ceased to exist. Its holdings on Huntress were either destroyed or under Star League control and its entire fighting arm crushed by the SLDF. The SLDF declared Lootera, the capital of Huntress, a neutral zone and Victor Steiner-Davion appointed Colonel Paul Masters, commander of the Knights of the Inner Sphere, as the Inner Sphere's first ambassador to the Clans. An attempt was made by Galaxy Commander Brendon Corbett to resurrect the Clan, but Operation Damocles put an end to that effort.

The Smoke Jaguars' possessions and enclaves on Huntress, Londerholm, Vinton, Homer, Kirin and Tranquil were seized by the other Clans.

The Jihad & The Wars of Reaving[edit]

While Clan Smoke Jaguar as an entity ceased to exist following the Great Refusal, a number of Smoke Jaguar warriors were discovered on the world of Yorii during the Jihad. Discovered by members of Devlin Stone's allied coalition in November 3076, the warriors had evidently been captured by the Draconis Combine, either during Operation Bulldog or on Huntress, and interned on Yorii. When the Word of Blake incorporated Yorii into the Word of Blake Protectorate, re-education camps were established on the planet, and it was from two of these camps that the Smoke Jaguar warriors had liberated themselves when found by the allies.[24][25]

Dark Age[edit]

In the MechWarrior: Dark Age universe it has been revealed that the last of the Smoke Jaguar warrior caste were later brought to the Inner Sphere by former Star Colonel Paul Moon, and re-crafted into a secret fighting force known as the Fidelis (meaning "faithful" in Latin.), a force held in reserve for use under catastrophic times for the Republic of the Sphere in a fashion similar to which ComStar hid the Com Guard. At the end of the events, 21 years after establishment of Fortress Republic, it was judged by Exarch Jonah Levin that they had fulfilled their debt to the Inner Sphere and they were freed to once again establish themselves as they chose. They have not been heard of since this revelation.

Culture[edit]

Hard-hitting and totally unforgiving of the weakness of others, the Smoke Jaguars quickly established themselves as the most brutal and aggressive of the Clans. Originally led by their founder, Khan Franklin Osis, the Smoke Jaguars' leadership would continue to set extreme standards for members of their warrior caste throughout their history. Khan Osis' lust for battle led the Jaguars to many victories in the Clan's early days; his vision of the Jaguars being the ultimate warrior Clan inspired his troops to greater feats of prowess on the battlefield, assuring their prominence amongst the Clans.[5]

During the campaigns of Operation Klondike, Khan Osis' savagery and sheer fighting prowess set the pattern for Clan Smoke Jaguars' future. However, the warrior caste's view that they are the epitome of Clan society and all others are beneath them has caused numerous problems with the lower castes over the centuries. While all Clans give preferential treatment to its warrior caste, they still acknowledge the debt they owe to the civilian castes; the Smoke Jaguars took it to the extreme, valuing them less and less as the years went on until they scorned their very existence. The harsh discipline maintained by the warrior caste meant that any transgression by the lower castes would be dealt with severely, as would infamously happen during the Londerholm Revolt during the Golden Century. The disdain they showed the lower castes would have its own negative effect on the Clan as civilian pursuits such as trade and resource extraction went underdeveloped; only by constantly raiding other Clans were the Smoke Jaguars able to maintain their prominence.[3]

Clan Smoke Jaguar was easily the most violent and aggressive of all the Clans. They were, however, not as brash and headstrong as Clan Jade Falcon; they were quicker to battle, but also quicker to think before acting. This made for a deadly combination.[citation needed]

Military[edit]

The Smoke Jaguar touman was similar to how most other Clans organized their military - several front-line Galaxies organized into Clusters with OmniMechs, Elementals and OmniFighters, while second-line units provided support.[26] The Smoke Jaguar training regime was also the strictest of any save Clan Steel Viper; while this produced a steady stream of highly-skilled warriors it was also the most deadly for any unfortunate to fail.[27][28] They were infamous for the use of frontal assaults to smash through and obliterate an opponent,[29] counting on aggressive tactics and overwhelming numbers of heavy- and assault-weight 'Mechs to achieve victory.[30] Aerospace forces were used to attack the enemy and provide air cover for ground forces, while Elementals supported the 'Mechs and provided overwatch for ambushes.[31] The Smoke Jaguars were also known for their strict chain of command and rigid adherence to prearranged battle plans, a trait which made them vulnerable to a force which was more flexible and willing to adapt to a changing battlefield.[32]

While obligated to follow Clan honor rules during combat, the Smoke Jaguars reacted poorly to an opponent who broke them: such was the case on Idlewind where, after surviving a booby-trapped ambush, Smoke Jaguar forces rampaged through the nearby capital city, killing civilians and razing buildings in a search for the "cowardly" militia.[33] In such cases Elementals were also used to form "headhunter" units whose goal was to seek out and destroy the enemy's headquarters, killing the offending unit's commanders and leaving them leaderless.[34]

As was the case with the civilian castes, the Smoke Jaguars' view on freebirths was also the extreme of Clan norms, permitting even fewer than normal the chance to become warriors. Within a century of Khan Franklin Osis' death the Smoke Jaguar Touman had practically no freeborn warriors at all, a situation which lead to a precipitous decline in manpower. Rather than reverse their position on freebirths, the Smoke Jaguar leadership instead instituted the controversial step of allowing trueborn warriors the chance to fight two Trials of Position to earn their place.[35]

Despite this ruling freebirth warriors were never totally removed and still fought in the Touman. The 22nd Freebirth Cluster participated in the Battle of Luthien, [36] freebirth warriors often raided the Draconis Combine border worlds between 3053 and 3059 [37] and Clusters of Inner Sphere Bondsmen were being raised prior to Operation Bulldog. [38]

Rulers[edit]

Khans[edit]

saKhans[edit]

Loremasters[edit]

Bloodnames[edit]

Founding Bloodnames:[47]
Bes Bowen Canto Chrisholm Corbett
Corral DesCastris Dimitrov Freelander Furey
Fürste Hoff Holmet Hoyt Hyon Suk
Ismiril, Karavaeva Kirketerp Kotare Levi
Lovonski McCaig Montizima Moon Nevversan
Osis, F Osis, T Ott Perez Rakhmatulina
Rippon Schipper Sharrete Showers Stiles
Sykora Weaver Wimmer Wirth Yoshida
Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Operation REVIVAL:
General MechWarriors Elementals Aerospace Pilots ProtoMech Pilots
Furey Osis Moon Chrisholm
Kotare Showers Nevversan Stiles
Wimmer Perez
Wirth


Notes[edit]

  • There are two Osis bloodnames, the first a MechWarrior phenotype that originated with Frankiln Osis [48] and the second, a presumably Elemental phenotype, originated with Terrisa Osis. [49] The second is the bloodline of Lincoln Osis.
  • Some time between 2830 – 2854 two Fire Mandrill Kindraa traded genetic stock with the Jaguars. [50] Also Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga of Clan Fire Mandrill share a minor Blood name with the Jaguars. [51]
  • In 2868 Clan Mongoose and all its assets were absorbed into the Smoke Jaguar Clan. This brought an enormous amount of genetic legacies, which the Jaguars chose to not use. The Cloud Cobras launched Trials of Possession for just over 70 legacies from 11 Mongoose Bloodhouses during 2868 to 2871. [52] Despite this the Jaguars maintained control of the Bloodnames, as Khan Phellan Kell testifies that only 3 Mongoose Bloodnames are still in use in 3060. [53]

Quotes[edit]

... A magnificent beast, the smoke jaguar. it is ferocity unbound, tenacity without limit. Once it locks its powerful jaws around the throat of its prey, it never lets go. The greatest of warriors might be shamed by comparing himself to such fierce courage...

My Clans might learn much from this beast. Like us, it came from Nature, but has been improved by human hands. And now the great cat born on Terra thrives on a world so many light-years away from the planet of its birth that the human mind shudders to contemplate it...as we must. As we will...

The smoke jaguar fights like a true warrior. No deceit, no subterfuge - a single, brutal assault, both open and deadly. A powerful spring from above, a slash of its huge claws across its victim's throat, and its prey lies dead before it. So should all of us fight our enemies - openly, but with overwhelming force. Thus we may win true glory, by defeating the foe in honorable combat. Truly, this great cat is a finer warrior than any human being I have ever seen on the field of battle...!

-From Birth of a New Society: The Collected Writings of Nicholas Kerensky, Strana Mechty Press, 3025[54]
Like a favorite dish, war loses its flavor when tasted too often.
-Khan Franklin Osis, attributed[55]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 117 - "Franklin Osis Profile"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Invading Clans, p. 48, 49 - "Making of a Khan"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Invading Clans, p. 49, 50 - "Golden Century"
  4. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 59 - "The Golden Century"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 92, 93 - "A Legacy of Violence: The Jaguar pounces"
  6. Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 11, 12 - "Life as a Mongoose"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Field Manual: Crusader Clans p. 112, 113 - "Into the Golden Century"
  8. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 21, 22 - "Maturation Amid the Renaissance"
  9. Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 7,8
  10. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 112 - A Lesson In Politics
  11. Invading Clans, p. 50, 51 - "Golden Century"
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Invading Clans, p. 51, 52 - "Rise of the Crusaders"
  13. Invading Clans p. 53 - "Operation Revival"
  14. Invading Clans, p. 53, 54 - "Into the Void"
  15. Invading Clans, p. 54-56 - "First Wave: The Jaguar Pounces"
  16. Invading Clans, p. 54-56 - "Second Wave: Silent Fury"
  17. Invading Clans, p. 54-56 - "Third Wave: Chasing the Wolf"
  18. Invading Clans, p. 57-59 - "Fourth Wave: The Jaguar Stumbles"
  19. Invading Clans, p. 58-61 - "Fifth Wave: All-Out War"
  20. Invading Clans p. 62 - "Aftermath"
  21. Field Manual: Comstar, p. 108 - "Future Paths"
  22. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 137 - "The New Breed"
  23. Prince of Havoc, Ch. 14
  24. Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 23, "Timeline of the Jihad"
  25. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 56, "The Jihad In Review"
  26. Invading Clans, p. 70-72 - "Front-Line Unit Summary"
  27. Invading Clans, p. 49
  28. Invading Clans, p. 51
  29. Invading Clans, p. 54
  30. Invading Clans, p. 57
  31. Invading Clans, p. 55
  32. Invading Clans, p. 136
  33. Invading Clans, p. 54
  34. Invading Clans, p. 60
  35. Invading Clans, p. 50
  36. Luthien, p. 27
  37. Hot Spots, p. 46
  38. The Dragon Roars, p. 15
  39. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 90, 117 Founder
  40. Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 7, 8 Mongoose Absorber
  41. Invading Clans, p. 50 Londerholm Revolt, executed merchants
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 42.4 42.5 42.6 42.7 Era Report: 3052, p. 89 Operation Revival
  43. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 90
  44. Luthien, p. 20
  45. Clan Troops, p. 22
  46. Era Report: 3052, p. 32 Killed on Tukayyid
  47. Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p. 36, "Origins of the Bloodnames: The Clans' Founders
  48. Invading Clans, p. 47
  49. Prince of Havoc, p. 129
  50. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 39
  51. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 43
  52. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 22
  53. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 38
  54. Invading Clans, p. 47
  55. Invading Clans, p. 49


Bibliography[edit]