A Keystone Arch

A Keystone Arch
Product information
Type Short story
Author Philip A. Lee
Pages 15
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
First published 20 October 2013
Era Clan Invasion era (see Notes)
Timeline 20 November - 28 December 3048

A Keystone Arch is a story by Philip A. Lee that was published online on BattleCorps on 20 October 2013.

Teaser text[edit]

On the eve of Operation REVIVAL, the Clans battle for the right to invade the Inner Sphere. Can Clan Fire Mandrill, the most divided Clan, unite long enough to stray from the path of self-destruction? Story by Philip A. Lee.

Plot summary[edit]

During a rare Clan Council session Loremaster Ethan Faraday and members of all seven Kindraa witness saKhan Naresh Sainze berate his bondsman Star Captain Carter Payne, holding Payne responsible for the loss of the Clan's Mount Lucca enclave on Dagda to Clan Burrock. Despite Khan Eudora Payne's protests, Sainze orders Carter Payne to commit seppuku, largely to humiliate Khan Payne who is his sibkin. Carter appears to go along with this before making a failed attempt to kill Khan Sainze and being beheaded by Sainze's katana, stirring uproar in the Council chamber.

In a subsequent unarmed Trial of Position Sainze defeats Eudora Payne and the two swap the positions of Khan and saKhan. Visiting her in hospital, Loremaster Faraday berates Payne for dishonorably orchestrating the attempt on Sainze's life and informs her that his first and foremost goal is to preserve balance within the Clan.

The Grand Council approves Operation REVIVAL, setting off internal strife within the Clan as all Kindraa fight one another, except for Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga at Loremaster Faraday's express order. Euroda Payne reclaims the Khanship from Naresh Sainze, but this does nothing to end the intra-Clan violence.

Faraday finally assembles the Kindraa leaders and quoting Jerome Winson's words from the Clan Remembrance tells them that together they make a keystone arch of the Clans, but allowing internal strife to go on will destroy them. Despite their threats and bickering he manages to forge an acceptable compromise: for the upcoming Trials over a place in the invasion force, three Trinaries drawn from across the Kindraa will represent Clan Fire Mandrill.

While the Mandrills manage to outlast some of the other Clans in the Trials, both the previous round of fighting and battling between Mandrill warriors leave their OmniMechs marked with damage when they turn up for the Trial against Clan Star Adder's pristine 'Mechs. In the battle the Mandrills' own self-sabotage leads to their defeat, with saKhan Sainze attempting to backstab Khan Payne during the fighting. Faraday defeats Sainze and kills him with the katana of the Clan's first Khan Raymond Sainze before breaking the blade.

Visiting Khan Payne in the hospital afterward, Faraday demands to know whether Sainze was correct in accusing her, a Warden, of sabotaging the Clan's chance of joining the invasion. Payne admits this, prompting a disgusted Faraday to reject the position of saKhan and place her under arrest for her actions, but he privately fears that his Clan's internal strife will lead to its destruction.

Featured Characters[edit]

Featured Places[edit]

Featured BattleTech Equipment[edit]


Aerospace Fighters[edit]


Though marked as set in the Clan Invasion era, this story technically takes place at the tail end of the Succession Wars era, set in 3048 and narrating events predating the actual Clan Invasion. (The Clan Invasion era is generally dated from 3049 onwards, when the Clan Invasion was first noticed on the fringes of the Inner Sphere.)