|Also known as||Tassa Kay|
Alpha of the Wolf Hunters,
saKhan of Clan Wolf
Anastasia Kerensky was a MechWarrior of the Dark Age era. During her career she would lead the Steel Wolves, invade both Northwind and Terra, found the Wolf Hunters mercenary company, and rise from bondsman to saKhan of Clan Wolf. She was an enigmatic character described as "strikingly beautiful", with red hair and green eyes. She spoke with a slight German accent.
Anastasia was trueborn and originally from Clan Wolf-in-Exile. She was decanted on Arc-Royal in late 3105. Her genefather is unknown but her genemother is Natasha Kerensky. It is a heritage that has certainly influenced Anastasia's career.
In her youth on Arc-Royal, Anastasia was branded a rebel. Her Crusader sentiments, disregard for Clan protocol, and confrontational style did not endear her to leadership. She would go on to obtain the rank of Star Colonel but her reputation banished her to second-rate commands. Galaxy Commander Baldric Kell, described her as "impulsive and impatient", and she was passed over for a front-line command, and records show she was defeated in at least one Trial of Grievance fought over the matter. These traits are emblematic of an internal struggle in Anastasia; one part of her believes in the ascendancy of Clan culture, the other is frequently ensnared by it.
The death of Star Colonel Sidonia Kerensky during a Clan Jade Falcon raid in 3129 gave the 24-year-old an opportunity to win a Bloodname. Lacking any sponsor because of her behavior, she was forced to win first the Grand Melee and then every challenger afterward, until she finally won the coveted Kerensky Bloodname in the final round of the Bloodright Trial.
But when events turn against her, Anastasia can become frustrated, impulsive and prone to dark moods. It was during one of these dark episodes that she decided to leave Arc-Royal and strike out on her own.
To escape the burdens of the Kerensky Bloodname and Clan ways, Anastasia created the persona of Tassa Kay. Where Anastasia is the expression of all things Clan, Tassa is her personal Spheroid, an alter ego unbound by rules and capable of fulfilling whatever urges she desires. She would come to use this alias on many worlds, sometimes exclusively, forgoing any pretense of being Anastasia.
During her late twenties and thirties Anastasia would serve in conflicts on numerous Republic worlds after the collapse of the HPG network. The chaos worked in her favor and it did not take long for Anastasia to start building a fearsome reputation. On Dieron and Achernar she acted as a free agent and aligned herself with Republic of the Sphere forces, engaging in a firefight to assist the Exarch personally on Dieron and helping to turn back a Steel Wolves incursion on Achernar. But, before long, she returned to her roots and joined the Steel Wolves on Tigress. There her reputation and character would take a darker turn. She would brutally wrest control of this faction away from Kal Radick in May of 3133. She would sanction the murder of innocents, strike fear into those around her, and execute those who betray her. She would then tear apart the Steel Wolves in 3135 to form the mercenary Wolf Hunters. With her bloody and callous actions, Anastasia effectively becomes one of the first villains of the Dark Age.
What follows is a synopsis of Anastasia's actions during the Dark Age era. The timeline for some of these campaigns are not especially clear. They are assembled here in loose chronological order.
According to her military codex Anastasia was involved in a military operation on the Republic world of Marfik before she arrived on Dieron. She was last seen in the vicinity of Wolf holdings in August of 3132 so it is likely that this conflict occurred later that year. Little else is known about this event or why Anastasia was involved.
Anastasia was on Dieron sometime between August 3132, when she was last seen in Wolf occupation zones, and 11 February 3133 when she arrived on Achernar. Her purpose for being on Dieron are not known. She does provide a vague account of what occurred. She landed on Dieron in the middle of a broad multifaction conflict, involving, "Dracs, Fists, Foxes, pro-Republic and anarchists" forces. She reports spending the "first week" with a hastily pieced-together mercenary company in order to survive. Amidst the fighting they encountered the Republic Exarch Damien Redburn. Anastasia and the Exarch made an agreement in which she would help him retake a local spaceport. She promptly left afterwards, headed for Northwind before arriving at Achernar. In return for her service, it seems she was awarded a "verifax," a note with the Exarch Damien Redburn's holographic seal woven into it. This note, addressed to Tassa Kay, allows her and her BattleMech to travel with "all possible courtesy".
Anastasia was on Archernar between 11 February 3133 and 18 March 3133. She joined the Achernar militia to help repulse the Steel Wolves invasion but had an ulterior motive. The novel A Call to Arms suggests that she had prior knowledge that the Steel Wolves would be on Achernar. Anastasia says, "I wanted to test the Steel Wolves, and test myself against them". How she anticipated the Steel Wolves' arrival on Achernar is a mystery. Anastasia played a key role in defeating both the Wolves and Swordsworn forces on Achernar. In the process she acquired one bondsman, Yulri, from the Steel Wolves after she disabled his Black Hawk in battle. Finally, after forfeiting her verifax to Raul Ortega, she strong-armed the Steel Wolves off planet by revealing her military codex to Star Captain Nikola Demos. The codex included her genetic history, rank as Star Colonel and the record of Anastasia winning the Kerensky Bloodname.
Anastasia arrived on Tigress in April of 3133 but her reputation had already preceded her. Despite being a newcomer, she demanded and received an audience with Galaxy Commander Kal Radick, leader of the Steel Wolves. Her testing of the Wolves on Achernar taught her two things: the Wolves would serve her against the failing Republic but Kal Radick would not be leading them.
Her rank of Star Colonel gave Anastasia a place in Radick's command structure but it did not guarantee her acceptance inside it. Similar to her experiences on Arc-Royal, Anastasia found herself an outsider. She would participate in three batchalls but was outbid every time by Radick's loyalists who were allowed to bid recklessly low in order to defeat her. As a result, all three of these attacks which occurred between April and May of 3133, would require reinforcements from Radick who was quick to bail out his Colonels. Two of these operations would succeed but the third, an operation on Quentin, resulted in an embarrassing rout for the Steel Wolves. It is not clear if Anastasia was a combatant on any of these worlds but she resented Radick's favoritism, cautious leadership and his attempts to undermine her efforts.
She quickly decided to change the course of events and align them in her accord. On 10 May 3133 she charged into a fourth batchall and challenged Radick to a Trial of Possession for the Steel Wolves. He accepted and was subsequently killed by Anastasia who taunted him as he took his last breaths. With the Wolves now hers, she set their sights on a bold prize: Northwind.
Anastasia and the Steel Wolves arrived on Northwind in June of 3133. Anastasia was determined to make the Wolves a force to be reckoned with. An attack on Northwind would weaken one of the Republic's strongest allies, provide an avenue to attack Terra and greatly enhance the reputation of the Wolves. She planned a quick strike on Northwind's capital of Tara in an effort to neutralize the planet's defenses and win a quick victory.
Landing in a salt flat a day's journey north of Tara, she dispatched a column of tanks to charge through the Rockspire Mountains. She and a second wave of Wolves would follow as the tanks advanced. In the mountains this tank detachment would defeat a combined-arms force of Highlanders in the battle of Red Ledge Pass.
In an effort to stall the Wolves march on the capital, Countess Tara Campbell and Paladin Ezekiel Crow contacted Anastasia and requested a face-to-face meeting. All three would meet outside Tara. Campbell made two requests. The first was an offer for Anastasia to retreat, but with the Wolves closing in on Tara, this was quickly denied. The second was a thirty-six-hour ceasefire to accommodate an approaching storm. Anastasia also denied this request, stubbornly refusing to be slowed by the weather no matter the danger it presented. When Ezekiel Crow then accused her of being in open rebellion against the Republic, Anastasia turned to leave and ordered the final assault on Tara.
The battle for the Plains of Tara took place north of the city as the Highlanders made a final stand. During the battle Ezekiel Crow in his Blade dueled with Anastasia until her Ryoken II was struck by a bolt of lightning disabling the machine. Soon after the Wolves were overcome and were forced to retreat off-world.
The Highlanders soon receive intelligence reports that Anastasia and the Wolves had not returned to Tigress. Even more disconcerting, more Steel Wolves DropShips have been leaving Tigress for parts unknown. As it turned out, Anastasia was not done with Northwind. Details of her initial withdrawal are sketchy but by November of 3133 Anastasia and the Wolves were back on Northwind. This time they eschew a frontal assault for a covert operation. Just off the Oilfield Coast of Kearney, Anastasia hid a number of modified DropShips underwater in preparation for a second assault on Tara. Utilizing a captured offshore oil rig as a base of operations, Anastasia plotted her assault on Tara and dreamed of capturing Castle Northwind.
In February of 3134 a Highlander air patrol spots a Steel Wolf helicopter off the coast and follows it back to the oil rig. Discovered, Anastasia is forced to launch her assault. Her DropShips launch from the depths and make their way to the spaceport just outside the capital of Tara and begin their attack. Caught unprepared, the Highlanders are successfully forced out of the capital. Seeking to fulfill her dream of capturing Castle Northwind, Anastasia dispatches a unit of tanks into the Rockspire Mountains to take it. Via a remote video feed back in Tara, she watched as her forces capture the castle and raise the Steel Wolf flag above it. Moments later victory is snatched from her grasp as the castle explodes from within. Highlander infantry had rigged the castle with explosives rather than see it fall into Anastasia's hands. With her plans spoiled, Anastasia orders her forces inside Tara to "set fire to everything that can burn." Leaving the ruins and the rubble for the Countess of Northwind, Anastasia set her eyes on the impossible: Terra.
She was part of a coalition of troops fighting against the invasion of former Prefecture IX by Clan Wolf. During this time she captured Star Colonel Alaric Wolf, keeping him as a bondsman for one month. There she briefly made him her student until she allowed herself to lose in a trial, thus releasing him to a rival star colonel. She wanted to instill fear of her into Alaric.
On 17 February 3143, Alaric would return the favor. On the planet of Smolnik in the Buena Military Province of the Lyran Commonwealth, both warriors would meet again; Alaric leading his Shadow Wolves of Clan Wolf's Beta Galaxy and Anastasia Kerensky her Wolf Hunters. After invoking zellbrigen, Alaric defeated Anastasia Kerensky and made her his bondsman. In 3145 she appears to be a full-fledged warrior in the new Wolf Empire.
Anastasia originally piloted a customized Ryoken II she obtained from somewhere within the Lyran Commonwealth. As "Tassa Kay" she had her 'Mech customized. Her version utilized twelve tons of Ferro-Fibrous armor, the most the design can mount. Two ER PPCs provided long range damage capability, while a pair of ER Medium Lasers and Streak SRM-6s can exploit the holes the PPCs makes in an enemy's armor. Fifteen double heat sinks keeps the 'Mech relatively cool, while jump jets enable her to vault up to 150 meters at a time. The weapons loadout bears a great resemblance to the Warhammer her genetic mother Natasha Kerensky piloted as a member of Wolf's Dragoons.
She later piloted an MNL-V1-H Mangonel that was affectionately named Alpha. There is little information on this model. It is a version seen only in MechWarrior: Age of Destruction sources. The model number matches that of other Mangonels from the MechWarrior collectible miniatures game.
After the formation of the Wolf Hunters, she would acquire a Mad Cat Mk IV from Clan Sea Fox. Anastasia is among one of the first MechWarriors to ever use one. On Smolnik the 'Mech was described as having a Wolf Hunters paint scheme; gunmetal gray, with a red cockpit and matching red paw print on the chest. It also had a red Alpha symbol on its right leg and an Omega on its left.
- Era Report: 3145, p. 107, "Anastasia Kerensky"
- A Call to Arms, p. 23
- A Call to Arms, p. 204
- Dark Age: Republic of the Sphere, p. 30 - "Anastasia Kerensky"
- Mechwarrior: Dark Age, Dossiers And Pilot Cards, p. 258
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p.19
- Technical Readout: 3145, p. 152, "Notable Units"
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p. 19
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 95
- A Silence in the Heavens, p.76
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 116
- Truth and Shadows, p. 9
- Truth and Shadows, p. 78
- Truth and Shadows, p. 134
- Historical Wars of the Republic Era, p. 16
- Truth and Shadows, p. 96
- A Call to Arms, p. 295-296
- A Call to Arms, p. 13
- A Call to Arms, p. 108-109
- A Call to Arms, p. 25-26
- A Call to Arms, p. 289
- A Call to Arms, p. 140
- A Call to Arms, p. 120
- A Call to Arms, p. 293
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 77
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 80
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 87
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 94
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 106
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 153
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 124
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 267
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 293
- A Silence in the Heavens, p. 286
- Truth and Shadows, p. 24
- Truth and Shadows, p. 132
- Truth and Shadows, p. 86
- Truth and Shadows, p. 178
- Truth and Shadows, p. 293-294
- Era Report: 3145, p. 106 - "Alaric Ward"
- A Bonfire of Worlds, ch. 14
- Era Report: 3145, p. 107-108 - "Anastasia Kerensky"
- Record Sheets: MechWarrior Dark Age I, p. 66
- A Call to Arms, pp. 22, 58
- A Call to Arms, p. 267
- Blood of the Isle (novel)
- A Bonfire of Worlds (novel)
- A Call to Arms (novel)
- Children of Kerensky (novel)
- Dark Age: Republic of the Sphere
- Divided We Fall (novella)
- Era Report: 3145
- Flight of the Falcon (novel)
- Hour of the Wolf (novel)
- Masters of War (novel)
- Mechwarrior: Dark Age, Dossiers And Pilot Cards
- Service for the Dead (novel)
- Shattered Fortress
- A Silence in the Heavens (novel)
- Truth and Shadows (novel)
- Wolf Hunters (novel)