This article is Part 3 in a series on the Clans. The ongoing series attempts to cover the impact that the Clans, both as a society and as individual entities, have had on the Inner Sphere, since their arrival in 3050 to the present year of 3145.
The series began with Part One: Rise of the Clans and continued with Part Two: Crucible of Gold.
The Great Debate
At the close of the Golden Century, the Clans found themselves increasingly divided along the ideological lines that separated the Crusader philosophy from the Warden mindset. As all of the Clans eventually declared for one philosophy or the other, a growing call in the Grand Council from the Crusader Clans necessitated constant delaying actions from the Wardens.
Crusader Clans insisted that a return to the Inner Sphere was imminent and unavoidable. They wanted to bring the rule of the Star League back to the Inner Sphere, once again uniting all of mankind under a single banner. While the idealism that existed within the Crusader Clans might have once come from a good place, which is known as Aleksandr Kerensky’s Hidden Hope Doctrine, the Crusaders had taken the vision of their Founder and crafted from it a call to arms to conquer and subjugate the “barbarians” of the Inner Sphere who has turned their backs on the Star League as the shining hope for mankind.
In direct opposition, the Warden Clans instead took the Hidden Hope Doctrine as a call to be the watchful guardians of mankind, always ready to intervene should a catastrophe such as an external threat or a shattering of the Houses endanger the very existence of our species. Acting in concert against the Crusader Clans, the Wardens began a campaign to stop the Crusaders’ inevitable invasion of the Inner Sphere. Through careful navigation of both the Grand Council chamber and the battlefield, the Wardens, championed by Clan Wolf, Kerensky’s own chosen Clan, were able to forestall any aggressive move to invade until just prior to the dawn of the thirty-first century.
For most of the last quarter of the thirtieth century, the Clans discussed the matter of the invasion. Other problems, such as the feud between Clans Snow Raven and Sea Fox which resulted in the renaming of Clan Sea Fox to Clan Diamond Shark, stalled meaningful debate. In 3000, finally garnering the support she felt sure would bring the Crusaders victory in the matter, Ghost Bear Khan Nadia Winson called for a vote in the Grand Council for an invasion of the Inner Sphere. Only Clan Wolf Kahn Kerlin Ward’s suggestion that they first send a team of freeborn warriors to gather intelligence on the state of the Inner Sphere kept the Clans from voting to invade.
The Dragoon Compromise
Even the staunchest of Crusader Clans like the Smoke Jaguars and Jade Falcons agreed that Khan Ward’s plan had merit. In what became known as the “Dragoon Compromise” Clan Wolf would raise a unit comprised completely of freeborn warriors that would travel to the Inner Sphere and infiltrate it, posing as a mercenary unit. Jaime Wolf was the man elected to lead the mission, and naming his unit what is now a legendary name across all the Inner Sphere, Wolf’s Dragoons.
Clan Goliath Scorpion helped Clan Wolf train Wolf’s Dragoons in Inner Sphere tactics that were used by the Star League Defense Force. The Clans rightly surmised that a mercenary unit fighting with Clan tactics would draw too much attention and cause people to ask questions. In 3004, Wolf’s Dragoons was deemed fit to proceed on its mission, and Jaime Wolf’s unit departed from Clan space.
From the Clans’ perspective, all went well for most of the first decades of the Dragoons’ mission. After a resupply run back to the Clan Homeworlds in 3019-20, the Clans never again received a report from Wolf’s Dragoons, and the plans for invasion were made using the reports they did receive from the Dragoons and what little other information the fledgling networks of Clan intelligence branches could muster.
Little did the Grand Council know, Khan Kerlin Ward had sent instructions back with the last Dragoon resupply run, telling Jaime Wolf and the Dragoons to prepare for an invasion.
Back in the Homeworlds, the debate raged on about when to invade the Inner Sphere. Clan Wolf and the other Warden Clans were slowly losing the arguments against invading. The matter came to a final showdown when the Comstar Explorer Corps vessel Outbound Light arrived in Clan space. This resulted in an immediate invasion vote in the Grand Council, a vote that swayed to the side of the Crusaders thanks to the knowledge that the Inner Sphere now had the capability to find the Clans. Clan Wolf challenged the result in a Trial of Refusal. The Crusaders won the day, though it cost Clan Ghost Bear both of their Khans.
Immediately following the Trial of Refusal, the Clans began a bidding and Trial process to determine which four Clans would earn the immeasurable honor of invading the Inner Sphere. The Grand Council unanimously voted to award one of the four invasion corridors to Clan Wolf, making it the sole Warden Clan amongst the four invading Clans. The Wolf Khans took advantage of their position as Kerensky’s chosen Clan and believed that the best way to ensure that the invasion did not destroy either the Inner Sphere or the Clans was to be on the front lines of the war, helping to shape and guide the invasion.
Clans Ghost Bear, Jade Falcon, and Smoke Jaguar were the three other Clans that won a spot as an invading Clan. Clan Steel Viper won the secondary honor of being the reserve force, its warriors traveling with the primary invaders in case any Clan ran into trouble.
As 3049 dawned, the Clans stood on the doorstep of the Inner Sphere, ready to light the galaxy aflame.
For further reading on this time period in Clan history, check out the following products from Catalyst Game Labs.
Operational Turning Points: Revival Trials on BattleCorps or DriveThruRPG
Field Manual: Warden Clans on BattleCorps or DriveThruRPG
Field Manual: Crusader Clans on BattleCorps or DriveThruRPG
The Continuing Series
This brings to an end the third volume in The Clans of Kerensky series, completing the shared history of the Clans as a whole. The rest of the series will concentrate on the history and the fate of a single Clan, from the time of Operation Revival through 3145.