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Service with ComStar
Serving alongside the young Thomas Marik first as an Adept and later as Precentor, Blane would establish a life-long friendship with the Marik scion and future Captain-General of the Free Worlds League during his time with ComStar.
Blane became Precentor of the Gibson HPG station thanks to his formidable political skills. He was a firm believer in the religious aspects of the ComStar order and fled the Reformation in the wake of Operation Scorpion, though he was not as fanatical or militant as others like Demona Aziz.
Formation of the Word of Blake
While it was Aziz who established the initial agreement with "Thomas Marik" to allow the nascent Word of Blake sanctuary in the Free Worlds League, when the Captain-General expressed dismay at the sheer volume of refugees he organized a meeting with each of the defecting Precentors (who essentially each led an individual faction of the Word of Blake) to determine the best course of action. Thanks to his friendship with the Captain-General and his more moderate style of leadership, Blane gained Thomas Marik's open support and thus became the Word of Blake's ad-hoc leader and spokesperson. This infuriated former First Circuit member Aziz who felt that her prominent rank on the First Circuit had been usurped.
(The "Thomas Marik" with whom Blane arranged these deals was in fact not his old friend, but a double acting with the consent of the real Thomas Marik who had become a religious extremist and had withdrawn to the shadows, becoming the mysterious "Master" behind the Word of Blake. Though it seems likely that Blane was aware of the double, it is ultimately unknown if or to what extent he was aware of the Master's shell game, and how much the real Thomas Marik was involved in the process.)
On Gibson, the planetary government and nobility (Principal Hsiang and Countess Dystar) had been fighting a civil uprising for some time already, a fact which they had kept secret from the Free World League's government and apparently even from Precentor Blane.
The relocation of tens of thousands of religious zealots fanned the fires of the ongoing civil war on Gibson as the previously warring factions turned against the Word of Blake whom they regarded as intruders, and whose religious attitude they disliked. Many Word of Blake members were veterans of the Battle of Tukayyid or Operation Scorpion and the Word of Blake took up the gauntlet, escalating the civil war.
Concerned about what was going on, Blane contacted Thomas who then sent Sir Paul Masters of the Knights of the Inner Sphere back to Gibson with Blane to evaluate the situation in early 3055. Masters discovered gruesome guerrilla fighting going on, and eventually vanished after having a falling-out with the Word of Blake 'Mech lance he had been assigned—he had previously witnessed them slaughtering civilians for no good reason and had intervened, which prompted the Word of Blake field commander to issue an arrest warrant because Masters had "interfered in an operation". Blane, who was apparently not informed of the details, truthfully reported Masters' fight with his own lance and subsequent vanishing to the Captain-General. Shortly afterwards, Assistant Precentor Starling assumed command over the Word of Blake on Gibson and had Blane arrested. In the subsequent chaos, Blane was freed by Masters with the help of local rebels, concurrently with the arrival of the Captain-General in person and a strong military force. Order on Gibson was restored by installing Paul Masters as the world's new noble ruler, and the Word of Blake were reminded that they were guests on Gibson, not rulers. It is unknown if Blane was reinstated as Precentor on Gibson.
Jihad and Death
While both Blane and Cameron St. Jamais would attend the ill-fated Fourth Whitting Conference, Blane's disappearance after the Word of Blake's initial assault on Tharkad and St. Jamais' increasing prominence raised numerous questions as to his whereabouts. An Interstellar News Network report on 25 October 3068 openly wondered if Cameron St. Jamais had had Blane killed to take full control of the Ruling Conclave, an assertion that an unnamed Blakist rejected to claim Blane had merely "retired to write his memoirs", while a later INN report on 1 November 3070 raised Blane as a prime candidate to be the Word of Blake's shadowy "Master".
It was ultimately confirmed that Cameron St. Jamais had indeed put Blane to death, having him "Spaced over Tharkad" (implied to be on or around 5 December 3067, one of the opening shots of the Jihad), though this information is not publicly known within the BattleTech universe.
- Shattered Sphere, p. 111 - "William Blane"
- ComStar, p. 96 "Word of Blake Personalities - Precentor Blane of Gibson"
- Era Report: 3062, pp. 80-81 "Major Personas - William Blane"
- ComStar, p. 91 "The Marik Alliance"
- Ideal War (novel), see plot summary
- Dawn of the Jihad, p. 40 "On the Red Carpet"
- Dawn of the Jihad, p. 128 "William Blane Missing?"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070', p. 127 "Who is "The Master"?"
- In an official in-character chat that took place on 10 July 2011, "The Master" answered a question about Blane's fate with the words "Spaced over Tharkad". The veracity of this statement was confirmed in an official chat with Line Developer Herbert A. Beas II on 22 October 2011, who added that "Cameron" (presumably Cameron St. Jamais) had had enough of him. The fact of Blane having been spaced was once more confirmed by Herbert Beas in an official answer on the BattleTech forum, with the added notion that it happened off-camera, i.e. the event was not detailed in any published material so far.