Gray Death Legion
- This article is about the mercenary unit. For the sourcebook/scenario book, see Gray Death Legion (scenario pack).
|Gray Death Legion|
|Unit Profile (as of 3025)|
|CO||Colonel Grayson Carlyle|
|Unit Disposition - 3025|
|Full unit||Trell I - Regular|
- 1 Unit Description
- 2 History
- 3 Composition History
- 4 Individual Unit Components
- 5 Uniforms
- 6 BattleMech Gallery
- 7 Other Appearances
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
The Gray Death Legion was the elite mercenary unit of military mastermind Grayson Death Carlyle. Starting as an offshoot of the Trellwan Lancers, an ad hoc militia unit set up by Carlyle for the defense of Trell I in 3024, the unit eventually grew to regimental size. The Legion became famous for the discovery of the Helm Memory Core, which set off a technological renaissance throughout the Inner Sphere, as well as for the most effective use of combined arms tactics, culminating in the development and deployment of their own Battle Armor models.
- see also: Decision at Thunder Rift
In 3024 the planet Trellwan (Trell I) was garrisoned for House Steiner by Carlyle's Commandos when forces working for Duke Hassid Ricol of the Draconis Combine tried to seize the world. The invaders, elements from the Oberon Confederation, shattered the garrison and drove the survivors off planet. Grayson Death Carlyle, the son of the Commandos' commander and the sole remnant of the unit left on Trell I, was hired by the planetary government to build a military force to defend the world against the bandits. Under his skilled command and because of his great knowledge about BattleMechs the newly formed Trellwan Lancers achieved some astonishing victories and managed to capture several enemy 'Mechs and MechWarriors including Lori Kalmar, who Carlyle was able to recruit for his Lancers and who would be his future Executive Officer and wife.
Carlyle also met and befriended Renfred Tor, the unlucky starship captain who had been forced to bring the bandits to Trellwan. With the help of Tor and his JumpShip Carlyle, after uncovering Ricol's plot, managed to inform the Lyran Commonwealth of the developing situation, forcing the Duke to leave Trell I after the Combine forces were unable to destroy Carlyle and his troops in a final battle. Carlyle took the remains of the Lancers to create a new mercenary unit: The Gray Death Legion.
- see also: Mercenary's Star (novel)
The newly formed Gray Death Legion traveled to Galatea, known as the Mercenary's Star, seeking employment. There they recruited new members and were hired by a representative of the Verthandi Revolutionary Council. The planet had been traded to the Draconis Combine several years earlier by House Steiner as part of a treaty obligation and many people were engaged in a guerrilla war against the Combine forces. The Legion was hired to provide training for the rebels, especially in anti-'Mech infantry combat. The initial contract was for 900 hours of training, but no combat engagements. The unit traveled to Verthandi and barely succeeded in running the blockade. The DropShip Phobos was severely damaged running the blockade; converted to a steam-powered ocean-going vessel it was actually sailed across the Azure Sea to a safe harbor for repairs. Two of the Legion's members - Captain Ilse Martinez and Davis McCall - were primarily responsible for enabling this transformation.
It quickly became clear to Carlyle that the Legion forces would not be able to simply train the rebels, but would need to participate to ensure that the rebellion was successful (which, without the DropShip, was their only chance to leave the planet and evade the cruel House Kurita). Several members of the rebel council were against the Legion's participation, primarily due to concerns of their ability to pay the mercenary unit, but Carlyle succeeded in reassuring them that his forces were committed to fighting the injustices on the planet regardless of their mercenary status.
While the Legion trained the rebel pilots and infantry, Governor-General Masayoshi Nagumo struggled to locate the mercenary unit. His lord, Duke Hassid Ricol (the same Duke that Carlyle had beaten on Trell I) was pressuring him to crush the rebellion. Through the capture of Sue Ellen Klein, one of the two Gray Death aerospace pilots, Nagumo learned of the location of the rebel stronghold. He arranged a Draconis Elite Strike Team raid on the complex which resulted in many of the rebels being killed or captured, including rebel leaders and the Legion's technicians. The Legion 'Mechs were on a raid elsewhere when the base was attacked and avoided the ambush relatively unscathed. They then launched a prolonged, guerrilla campaign, increasing their attacks on outposts whenever possible and encouraging outright rebellion by the populace.
The rebellion was concluded successfully when Carlyle led a raid to free Lori Kalmar who had been captured by the Kuritan forces. The raid freed Kalmar and several of the rebellion's leaders. During the raid, Carlyle was able to secure an enemy Marauder which later became strongly associated with him. The Legion forces caught the Combine 'Mechs in a cross-fire during the final moments of the rescue and, despite heavy casualties, the rebel forces emerged victorious and the Combine forces abandoned the planet.
- see also: The Price of Glory
After the Verthandi campaign, the Legion signed on with House Marik for a prolonged series of campaigns against House Liao. The unit performed admirably during several operations and garnered a good reputation. Following their successful capture of Sirius V in early 3028, the unit planned to return to its landholding of Helm. One of the terms of the contract with House Marik stipulated that the Gray Death Legion would be granted an extensive fief on the planet. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to either the Gray Death Legion or Janos Marik, that fief held an ancient Star League weapons cache including a field library.
A rogue ComStar Precentor named Emilio Rachan created a byzantine plot involving a Free Worlds League noble whereby the Legion was framed for the Tiantan massacre, the destruction of the domed city of Tiantan on Sirius V which killed between 12 and 17 million people. The unit was kept uninformed about the atrocities committed following their departure, yet, sensing something amiss and despite orders from the Duke to go to Marik, Carlyle instead led the Legion back to their landhold on Helm. The general outrage produced by repeated airings of holovids of the massacre resulted in the Legion being declared as outlaws.
Helm Memory Core
While the unit was off-world, Free Worlds League militia units had invaded Helm, believing the story of the atrocity at Sirius V. They killed or captured many of the unit's dependants who had remained. When the Legion returned, they found their strongholds devastated and were themselves under constant attack from League forces. They eventually learned about the possible existence of a Star League cache on the planet; as it turned out, none other than Duke Hassid Ricol had come all the way from the Draconis Combine following the same leads as Rachan and his Marik conspirators. Carlyle struck a deal with Ricol, managed to find the cache, and realized the library to be the true target of Rachan's machinations. Besieged and attacked by pursuing Marik forces, Ricol and the Gray Death Legion narrowly managed to secure a copy of the Helm Memory Core and a small fraction of the cache's extensive treasures before the entire facility self-destructed.
Carlyle subsequently felt that the memory core was too valuable for humanity at large, and too big a blood price had been paid for it, to keep it for himself. He made sure that many copies were created and disseminated throughout the entire Inner Sphere, an action that made him and his unit extremely famous and popular.
Fourth Succession War
The unit returned to Galatea to refit. The Legion were actively involved in Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG, the major Lyran Commonwealth offensive of the Fourth Succession War. During the opening wave of attacks in August 3028 the Legion captured Shionoha. During the exploitation phase launched on the 21st of October following the successes of the first wave of Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG the Gray Death Legion captured Hainfeld, in what was a significant emotional victory for the Commonwealth, as Hainfeld was formerly a Lyran world that had been conquered by the Combine. The Legion was subsequently hired by a faction within the Lyran Commonwealth in 3029 and tasked with several raids into Kurita space as part of House Steiner's Orestes campaign, including savage fights on Caldrea and Otho, a delaying action on Trolloc Prime and leading the assault on Baldur. In 3030, the unit allowed Steiner forces to disengage on Lothan, disrupted an invasion fleet at Nox, and captured a vast store of supplies and equipment on Darius, growing to regimental size.
Because of his attitude and the experience with Marik, Carlyle would subsequently not consider contracts from Houses Kurita, Marik or Liao.
War of 3039
The LCAF had special interest in Altais, as a staging point for further invasion and also to block any counter strikes from the DCMS. The task force invading the planet consisted of the 8th Donegal Guards supported by two mercenary commands, the 1st Dragonslayers and the Gray Death Legion. Official reports suggested that the planet should be undefended despite rumors of two unknown formations on planet. The 1st Ghost were tasked with the defense of vital space ports. That was also the target of the Gray Death Legion who landed as second unit of the task force on the world. The mercenaries staged simultaneous strikes at the two space ports (Willas and New Ross). The first combat drops were uncontested but the second were difficult for the Steiner forces. The 1st Ghost launched three assaults on that position in short order but were always beaten. The other half of the mercenaries traveled over 150km from their landing point to support their beleaguered comrades. Unexpected by the 1st, the flanking raids were devastating. The Legion pursued the Ghost forces and barely three companies could retreat off planet.
When the Clans appeared in 3050 and rolled through any and all opposition, the Gray Death Legion were one of the units to fight them with some success. The Legion suffered heavy defeats on Sudeten where they had been stationed prior to the Invasion, losing that world to Clan Jade Falcon, but on Pandora, despite having to disobey orders to succeed, managed to defeat the Clans for the first time ever. On Pandora they used modified battle armor suits and other upgraded technology. With severe damage to the Legion and having acquired substantial salvage of lostech, or, as the Legion call it "Foundtech", they became very famous as one of the premier mercenary units in the Inner Sphere.
First Skye Secession
In 3056 the Legion was gifted with the world of Glengarry in a political move by Victor Steiner-Davion, but they immediately had to defend the world against Skye Separatists who did not want them there. The defensive guerrilla campaign was led by Alexander Carlyle, the son of Grayson and Lori Kalmar Carlyle. The younger Carlyle held out until the unit could return home to take care of things, though the forces on the planet suffered heavy losses and Alexander lost his best friend, Davis Clay, who was the son of one of the original members of the Legion.
Second Skye Secession
The third most senior member of the Legion, Davis McCall, received word from his estranged family that atrocities were occurring on his homeworld of Caledonia, three jumps from Glengarry, and he went, with Alexander Carlyle, to investigate in the event that the Legion were deployed there as per rumors that were heard. This was all part of an elaborate plot by Marshal Brandal Gareth to discredit and disband or destroy the Legion as part of his plot to carve an empire for himself centred around Hesperus in the Skye March. After a failed assassination attempt by Gareth on Grayson and Lori, elements of the Legion deployed to Caledonia and were ordered by the government to fire on civilians, leaving them with the option of either causing atrocities and breaking interstellar law, or refusing to obey and breaking their contract with the Federated Commonwealth. With the previous intelligence gathered by McCall and Alexander Carlyle, Grayson sided with the rebels and, even though outnumbered two-to-one by elements of the Third Davion Guards, defeated them in combat. However, a traitor planted within the unit by Gareth ambushed Grayson Carlyle and crippled him, including damage to his inner ear that would prevent him from ever piloting a BattleMech again.
Meanwhile, Gareth moved against Glengarry in an attempt to destroy the Legion in response to their breaking of the contract with the Federated Commonwealth. Lori Kalmar-Carlyle managed to hold the attacking force at bay until the rest of the Legion arrived from Caledonia and Gareth retreated off-world, leaving the battle to be fought in the courts. The senior staff of the unit were summoned to the capital world of Tharkad just as Katherine Steiner-Davion announced the separation of the Lyran Alliance from the rest of the Federated Commonwealth and the Legion were found guilty of breaking their contract, though Grayson Carlyle resigned from the unit in order to absolve them of blame, citing his personal choice as the deciding factor in the crime. From there, he left the unit and went to work with Gareth on Hesperus, though he was secretly an agent for the Lyran Alliance, attempting to ascertain what Brandal Gareth had planned. He agreed to side the Legion with Gareth in whatever plot was being hatched, pretending to not have any loyalty with the Steiners after their handling of his court-martial. Gareth then declared an independent state called the Free Star Republic, having gotten the young, impressionable Daniel Brewer, CEO of Defiance Industries to support his grab for power. The Legion were deployed to support Gareth on Hesperus, but instead turned around and took over the BattleMech factories for House Steiner. Defending them against Gareth's forces while Grayson Carlyle led a daring commando raid to capture a JumpShip and go for help from other House Steiner forces. After these actions, both Grayson and Lori were awarded the McKennsky Hammer by a grateful Katherine Steiner-Davion and re-awarded Glengarry as a home.
- see also: The Dying Time
In 3065 they received orders to reinforce the defenders of Hesperus II against possible invaders, whether they might be Victor Steiner-Davion's forces or Skye rebels (at this time, the Gray Death Legion consisted of two 'Mech battalions, one tank battalion, one battle armor battalion and one aerospace wing). There, they fought alongside the 15th Lyran Guards and 36th Lyran Guards against the 4th Skye Rangers, 17th Skye Rangers and 22nd Skye Rangers. They were able to defend Defiance Industries. The victory of the Lyran forces essentially spelled the end for the rebellion, though it came at a heavy cost to the Legion. They ceased to exist as a combat command. What remained of the unit was folded into the Defiance security forces, as the highest-ranking surviving officer Daniel Brewer was also chief executive of Defiance Industries. The Defiance security forces were annihilated during the Jihad.
Alexander Carlyle, who had been serving in the LAAF in the 1st Royal Guards on Tharkad, had intended to rebuild the Legion, but was prevented by several factors. First, he was not allowed to leave his unit in midst of the FedCom Civil War. In the aftermath of the war, his family was stripped of its holdings on Glengarry, and the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission indicated that because of the Legion's spotty track-record with turning on their employers, they could not be appropriately graded. Still a LAAF officer, Alexander Carlyle was on Tharkad when it was bombed from orbit at the onset of the Jihad.
Some of the surviving support staff would return to Glengarry to form Gray Death Technologies, to continue to manufacture and market the Legion's unique Battle Armors, the Gray Death Standard and the Gray Death Scout.
Gray Death Legion (Regiment/Elite/Fanatical)
- Contract: AFFC
Gray Death Legion (Regiment/Elite/Fanatical) 
- Contract: AFFC
- CO: Colonel Grayson Carlyle 
Individual Unit Components
Gray Death Legion
- 1st Company
- Command Lance
- - Colonel Grayson Death Carlyle - Marauder
- - Sergeant Delmar Clay - Wolverine
- - Sergeant Davis McCall - Rifleman
- - Thomas Reid - Griffin
- Fire Lance
- - Lieutenant Hassan Ali Khaled - Warhammer
- - Sergeant Charles Bear - Crusader
- - Sergeant Sharyl - Shadow Hawk
- - Francis Bowden - Assassin
- Recon Lance
- - Lieutenant Gomez Christobal de Villar - Griffin
- - Sergeant Tracy Maxwell Kent - Phoenix Hawk
- - Phillip Ashburn - Vulcan
- - Winston Royale - Commando
- Infantry Support Company (Reinforced Company)
- - 1 Foot Rifle Platoon
- - 1 Foot SRM Platoon
- - 1 Foot Laser Platoon
- - 1 Anti-'Mech Commando Platoon
- Aerospace Support Company
Gray Death Legion
- 1st Battalion
- 1st BattleMech Company
- 2nd BattleMech Company
- Command Lance
- Captain Davis McCall - Rifleman
- Lieutenant Delmar Clay - Wolverine/Killed in Action at Hammarr
- Sergeant Sharyl - Shadow Hawk
- Francis Bowden - Assassin
- Medium Lance
- Sergeant Tracy Maxwell Kent - Phoenix Hawk
- Phillip Ashburn - Vulcan
- Thomas Reid - Griffin
- Winston Royale - Commando
- 3rd BattleMech Company
- Recon Lance
- Sergeant Israel Curry - Phoenix Hawk
- S.C. Auten - Wasp
- Geno Ferruza - Valkyrie
- Albert Siegel - Valkyrie
- Infantry/Armor Support Battalion
- 1st Infantry Company
- 1 Foot Rifle Platoon
- 1 Foot SRM Platoon
- 1 Foot Laser Platoon
- 2nd Infantry Company
- 3 Foot Anti-'Mech Commando Platoons (later Gray Death Armored Infantry)
- 3rd Infantry Company
- 1 Mechanized Laser Platoon
- 1 Mechanized Rifle Platoon
- 1 Mechanized Machine Gun Platoon
- Armor Support Company
- Aerospace Support Battalion
- Aerospace Transport Company
- Aerospace Fighter Company (Reinforced)
- 1st Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Joshua Diskin - Corsair
- Ensign Carla Staedler - Corsair
- 2nd Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Harold Lockart - Sparrowhawk
- Ensign Larry Quil - Sparrowhawk
- 3rd Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Thomas Narci - Seydlitz
- Ensign H.W Iriti - Seydlitz
- 4th Fighter Lance
- Lieutenant Ryonosuke Shioya - Lucifer
- Ensign Patrick Garrity - Lucifer
Gray Death Legion
- 1st Battalion
- 1st BattleMech Company
- Fire Lance
- Lieutenant Andrei Denniken - Cataphract
- Paul Hansen - Archer
- Erica Carver - Dervish
- Stanley Lowdowski - Shadow Hawk
- Recon Lance
- Lieutenant Frieda Bergstrom - Valkyrie
- Sergeant Michael McGuire - Wasp
- Christine Welleman - Stinger
- Alton Caen - Stinger
- The Gray Death Legion appear in the MechWarrior IV: Mercenaries PC game as potential sponsors. Due to the timeline the game is set in, the Legion is described as rebuilding after their decimation on Hesperus II (instead of being destroyed). This was not considered canon by the writers of the BattleTech gameline. The Legion was also portrayed as being very loyal to House Steiner, a sentiment which is echoed in the BattleTech novel Tactics of Duty. Units sponsored by the Gray Death gain earlier access to Lostech weapons.
- This is described fully in the novel Decision at Thunder Rift.
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 49
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 51
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 44-45, "Operation GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG"
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 51, "Other Early Action"
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1, p. 59, "Follow-up Invasions"
- Gray Death Legion sourcebook, pp. 7-8
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 42
- Historical: War of 3039 p.29-31
- Era Report: 3052, p. 41
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055, p. 52
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade page 22
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade page 22
- Historical: War of 3039 , p. 140
- Objective Raids, p. 22
- Blood of Heroes
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries
- Dawn of the Jihad
- Day of Heroes,
- Decision at Thunder Rift
- The Dying Time
- Era Report: 3052
- FedCom Civil War
- Field Manual: Mercenaries
- Gray Death Legion (scenario pack)
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Historical: War of 3039
- Mercenary's Handbook 3055
- Mercenary's Star (novel)
- NAIS The Fourth Succession War Military Atlas Volume 1
- Operation Excalibur
- The Price of Glory
- Tactics of Duty