Betrayal of Ideals

Betrayal of Ideals
Product information
Type Novel
Author Blaine Lee Pardoe
Pages 231 total (BattleCorps PDF edition)
224 (Gen Con edition)
244 (regular print edition)
Cover Artwork Florian "SpOoKy777" Mellies
Matt Heerdt (design)
Publication information
Publisher BattleCorps
Catalyst Game Labs
Product code CAT36044
First published 25 October 2006 - 16 January 2007 (BattleCorps)
5 August 2016 (print edition)
ISBN-13 978-1520399621
MSRP $12.95
Era Succession Wars era
Timeline 5 July 2821 - 10 January 2840 (Epilogue: 25 May 3041)

Betrayal of Ideals is a novel by Blaine Lee Pardoe that narrates the "true" story behind the destruction of Clan Wolverine, making Clan founder Nicholas Kerensky appear in a more sinister light than in official Clan history and revealing many aspects of Clan history as revisionist falsifications, thereby incidentally explaining inconsistencies in previously published material.

From the back cover (print edition)[edit]


EVERY MEMBER OF MODERN CLAN SOCIETY KNOWS OF THE NOT-NAMED CLAN, the Clan that was erased from history for perpetrating acts of heresy against the Way of the Clans. But what truly happened to Clan Wolverine?
Long before the Clans invaded the Inner Sphere in 3049, their ancestors escaped the brutal Succession Wars by braving uncharted space and forming a new society, only to plunge back into the ravages of war once more.
The year is 2822. The Pentagon Civil War is long over, and Operation Klondike saw ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky's twenty Clans victorious over the petty warlords who had conquered the Pentagon worlds. But with no true enemies left to fight, the nascent Clans have lost their laser-sharp focus, and began straying from the ilKhan's vision.
Khan Sarah McEvedy, leader of the progressive Clan Wolverine, sees the dangerous path the ilKhan is steering his Clans onto, but she cannot follow them without compromising her beliefs or her honor. Unsure whom to trust among the scheming Clans, she must navigate the political waters of the Grand Council with caution and resolve, or suffer the deadly consequences. As her enemies seek to engineer her Clan into the ultimate scapegoat, Khan McEvedy must do everything she can to ensure her Clan survives, or they will all be hunted down and destroyed.
Written by
BattleTech veteran Blaine Lee Pardoe, Betrayal of Ideals tells the complete story of Clan Wolverine's true history.

BattleCorps teasers[edit]

Foundations of Fate[edit]

published on 25 October 2006
Clan Wolverine. The Not-Named Clan. In the years after their return to the Inner Sphere, Clanners were reluctant to discuss this period of their history. The constant struggle to mix the ways of the past and the ways of Nicholas Kerensky's vision of the future... a vision that seemed to constantly evolve and change. What happened to cause the destruction, the Annihilation, of Khan Sarah McEvedy and Clan Wolverine?

Treachery's Stage[edit]

published on 18 November 2006
In the darkest traditions of the Clans a decision can cost far more than prestige and honor. A decision can cost lives, and sometimes those lives are very dear indeed.

The Switchback Directive[edit]

published on 22 December 2006
Khan McEvedy's Trial of Refusal ended in a loss for the Wolverine Khan. Seeing that the way of the Clans is being shattered before her very eyes, McEvedy realizes that it's only a matter of time before Nicholas Kerensky comes for her and her Clan. It's up to her to do what she can to preserve the Wolverines — even if it means crossing the Grand Council. First, though, she needs time: time to prepare, time to act, and time to flee.


published on 16 January 2007
Wolverine Khan Sarah McEvedy is dead. Her Clan is on the run. As saKhan Franklin Hallis works to implement her Switchback directive, Nicholas Kerensky is gathering the Clans for a new purpose, a new Trial: Annihilation. The Clans have been torn asunder; what happens here will shape the Clans for centuries to come. This is the story of the Wolverines, of fate, and the Founder's hand...

Release versions[edit]

There are three different versions of the novel:

  1. It was first published in four parts as a BattleCorps serial in 2006/2007.
  2. At Gen Con 2016 a slightly altered version was released as a print novel, with the ISBN 978-1942487579. This 224-page print edition features an added prologue and additional epilogue plus updated author's notes, but lacks the original epilogues.
  3. Afterward, a thicker 244-page print edition with the ISBN 978-1520399621 was published (also in EPUB format) that included both the original epilogues and the new prologue/epilogue.

Plot summary[edit]

Prologue (added for 2016 re-release)[edit]

Fighting the Rasmussen Elite at Chamberlin's Crossing on Circe during Operation KLONDIKE, pragmatic Clan Wolverine Khan Sarah McEvedy liberally interprets Clan rules of engagement as laid down by ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky, using artillery and forgoing individual dueling to overcome a numerically superior foe and win a decisive victory. However, she is then reprimanded by Kerensky over a public channel for tainting a victory that he would otherwise have been proud of.

Main story[edit]

Clan Wolverine Khan Sarah McEvedy surveys the construction of the Great Hall of the Clans at the center of Katyusha, on Strana Mechty, on 12 June 2822. She muses on the changes she has seen begin to emerge in the Clans — once a brotherhood of warriors united under ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky's banner, and now beginning to form secret alliances and making backroom deals. She prides herself in having kept her Clan aloof from any such politicking. With the fall of the Black Brian on Dagda two weeks earlier, she notes that the Khans of the Clans have begun to chafe in the absence of the war they were engineered for — a warrior people without a foe. Though Nicholas has stepped into the role of "great father" once occupied by his father, Aleksandr Kerensky, McEvedy feels that the future has become harder to see since the death of Nicholas' brother Andery Kerensky on Eden during the mop-up against the Levic Ascendancy. She has nagging suspicions that Nicholas may have had something to do with Andery's death.

To replace battlefield losses from Operation KLONDIKE, the reconquest of the Pentagon Worlds, new warriors have been inducted into each Clan, and McEvedy finds that this new generation lacks the common bonds that knit the original Clans together.

She goes to the temporary command center to join Nicholas for dinner, and notes that the officers' mess this night hosts a number of other Khans: Jason Karrige of Clan Widowmaker, Franklin Osis of Clan Smoke Jaguar, and Joyce Merrell of Clan Snow Raven. McEvedy counts Merrell as a friend, but views Karrige as being unpleasantly extreme in his views. She recalls that relations between the Wolverines and Widowmakers have been strained since an unspecified incident during the Pentagon Civil War.

In the ilKhan's private dining room, McEvedy muses on Nicholas' numerous quirks — any violation of his protocols results in temper tantrums that proceed nearly to the point of requiring a Circle of Equals. Nobody is allowed to sit before he does, and he eats his steaks unseasoned, nearly raw. Conversation may not begin at the table until he finishes his meal and rests his arms on the table. Those close to him have learned his foibles to avoid setting him off.

This night, Nicholas has an agenda: He chastises McEvedy for allowing social mobility between her Clan's castes in the interests of efficiency. Though this has resulted in record productivity from the Wolverine enclaves, it undercuts Nicholas' goal of removing personal ambition by imposing rigidly defined caste roles and eliminating most opportunities for social mobility. McEvedy muses that many of Nicholas' extreme measures imposed during the crisis of the Pentagon Civil War and Second Exodus are now becoming permanent, and serving as the basis for even more extreme social engineering.

Regretting that Andery is no longer around to restrain Nicholas' impulses, McEvedy accedes to his demand that she undo her reforms and deal with any resulting social unrest — harshly, if necessary. However, to satisfy her own sense of honor, she demands to know which other Khans brought her reforms to the ilKhan's attention, so that she may challenge them to a Trial of Grievance. Nicholas denies her request.

After McEvedy departs, Nicholas informs Widowmaker Khan Karrige that he has dealt with the Wolverine situation of which Karrige had complained. However, he criticizes Karrige's use of intrigue by placing a spy in another Clan, a major breach of etiquette by Nicholas' standards. Karrige expresses gratitude for Nicholas' assistance, and takes another tack, characterizing the Wolverines as demonstrating a pattern of violation of Nicholas' regulations that encourages competition among the lower castes, rather than leaving the resolution of all conflicts exclusively to the Warrior caste. Karrige and Osis tell Nicholas they are worried that their own lower castes will demand reforms similar to those enacted by the Wolverines. Nicholas tells them that, should any disputes arise, the Circle of Equals is the proper venue for their resolution. He tells the two disgruntled Khans to step up their Trials against the Wolverines and prove the rightness of their claims on the field of battle. However, given a spate of defeats in the Circle at Wolverine hands, Karrige instead suggests that Nicholas authorize enhanced monitoring of the Wolverines, to better detect further violations of Clan ideology.

Nicholas agrees, though he specifies that such a new intelligence gathering organization will monitor all the Clans for violations of his doctrine, and bring them to his attention for proper resolution in a Circle of Equals.

A month later in the city of Bearcat, Wolverine Star Colonel Franklin Hallis puts a newly made Pulverizer through its paces, noting its superior performance over his previous ride, a cobbled-together FrankenMech (a Shadow Griffin). He takes it into combat against Star Colonel Ferris Ward from Clan Wolf, who has come to challenge for the Wolverines' Bearcat genetics repository and research facilities. Khan McEvedy warns Franklin that a spate of recent challenges have set the stakes to be as economically damaging as possible to the Wolverines, suggesting ulterior motives beyond simple demonstration of combat prowess and inter-Clan bragging rights. Despite the Wolves breaking their bid and calling in their entire pre-cutdown force, Hallis and his lance (including Star Captain Trish in an Exterminator) manages to take them out by setting the tar swamps ablaze and forcing the Wolves to shut down.

Khan McEvedy ponders the aggressive Wolf Trial, and worries that this means that Nicholas' Wolves have joined the Widowmakers and Smoke Jaguars in the list of Clans conspiring to weaken her Wolverines. Determined to take the offensive in this growing shadow war, she announces her intent to launch some challenges of her own against the Widowmaker enclave on Dagda, and tasks Hallis with rooting out the spies that have been leaking confidential Wolverine information to outsiders.

On 15 July 2822, a conclave of anti-Wolverine Khans holds a strategy session at the Widowmaker enclave. Widowmaker Khan Karrige chews out Khan Jerome Winson of the Wolves for having lost the latest challenge against the Wolverines. Khan Osis of the Smoke Jaguars argues that the Wolverines have only won by using new technology not available to other Clans. Clan Coyote Khan Kesar Jerricho (Dana Kufahl's replacement, following her recent self-exile) semi-innocently inquires whether the ilKhan has sanctioned this anti-Wolverine working group, much to Karrige's annoyance. The Clan Fire Mandrill Khan suggests something more aggressive, but subtle. Inspired, Karrige says that he has something in mind that will cause the Wolverines to harm themselves and expose themselves as betrayers of the Clans.

The Widowmakers' mole inside the Wolverines is a technician named Karl. As a member of a lower caste he was largely overlooked by the warriors. However, now that Khan McEvedy's tracking method has led back to Karl, Hallis and Trish have been shadowing him, hoping to learn his techniques. After Hallis determines that they have learned as much as possible from observation, they detain Karl and take him to a padded interrogation chamber, where Trish sets to work with relish. After five days of "enhanced interrogation," Hallis reports to McEvedy that Karl was a Widowmaker civilian who retained his old loyalties when absorbed into Clan Wolverine after the 2817 Trial of Possession. He volunteered to become a mole for Khan Karrige, and has been building a network of informers among lower castemen originating from other Clans, showing that a widespread attempt to infiltrate Clan Wolverine is underway. Hallis advocates purging the Wolverines of all inductees from other Clans, purifying the Wolverines and thereby rooting out the infiltrators. Those purged would be consigned to the Bandit Caste. McEvedy concurs, and informs him that she is also stepping up production of the newly designed, cutting-edge Stag and Mercury II BattleMechs, as well as expanding the Clan's transport assets and accelerating sibko training programs.

Almost a year later, in June 2823, McEvedy reviews intelligence reports regarding the ilKhan's new spy agency, The Watch. Hallis' purge of Watch agents from the Wolverine Clan has been highly effective. Some were reassigned to roles with no access to data, some detained, and some executed. A few have been turned and used to send disinformation. Hallis estimates that the Wolverines will have their own "Watch" network up and running within a few years. However, with a growing list of enemies, McEvedy worries that the Wolverines won't have years left before the mounting series of combat trials becomes a full-fledged civil war. Clans Wolf, Jade Falcon, Smoke Jaguar, Coyote, Ghost Bear and Widowmaker have all stepped up their attacks on Wolverine holdings, demanding Wolverine resources and technologies. With attempts to obtain cutting-edge Wolverine technology such as a more powerful ER PPC through Trials faring poorly, McEvedy notes that other Clans have started designing their own next-generation 'Mechs, and worries that her efforts to improve her Clan have touched off an arms race and upset the balance of power.

Meanwhile, Widowmaker Khan Jason Karrige meets with Ghost Bear Khan Hans Jorgensson and tries to get him to sign on with his anti-Wolverine coalition. But Jorgensson sees Karrige's concerns about the Wolverines trying to establish dominance over other Clans as a nonissue, and calls him out on his hypocrisy in complaining about Wolverine technological advances while his Widowmakers work on their own. Karrige grudgingly admits that he has no evidence of Wolverine impropriety, but promises that the Watch will deliver it soon. The Widowmaker Khan realizes that he will need more than just arguments and half-truths to enlist more supporters for his coalition against McEvedy.

On 20 July 2823 Trish wins the Ebon Bloodname, succeeding the deceased Foster Ebon who recently died in a Trial of Possession on Eden against Clan Smoke Jaguar (who pressed their attack despite grievous losses on both sides). Hallis congratulates Trish on her win, and on her recent work in developing the Wolverine Watch — particularly her idea to patch into other Clans' satellite networks and use them for covert intelligence gathering, while safeguarding the Wolverine sat-net against similar intrusion. He also authorizes her to receive a new Pulverizer off the production lines, this one equipped with enhanced "Gutbuster" ER PPCs.

Two days later, Wolverine Point Commander Cale (Beta Galaxy, 102nd Strike Cluster, Bravo Trinary Striker, Third Star) investigates a Jade Falcon incursion into the Wolverines' Tiki Province on Circe. The Wolverines had secured control over the province by taking it from the Fire Mandrills near the end of the Pentagon Wars, and it now borders the Jade Falcons' Uthar Province and the Ghost Bears' Ta'Kal Province. The Falcons insist that the Wolverine maps are wrong, and that they have come to defend a hidden Brian Cache that lies in the territory. The Wolverines declare the heretofore unknown cache their property and call in to Zypher City for an HPG linkup to Khan McEvedy, preferring to let her make the decision rather than simply ripping into the Falcons. Star Colonel Franklin Hallis arrives four days later to resolve the question of ownership of the cache. He proposes to Falcon Star Colonel Phillip Buhallin that they resolve it through a Trial of Possession, implying that the Grand Council would order such a resolution in any event, if the matter were brought before them.

The Trial commences with a Star on each side. The Wolverines claim victory with a well-placed ambush followed by a grand melee, throwing the traditionalist Falcons for a loop. Buhallin acknowledges defeat, but says that the Falcon Khan will raise the issue of the cache before the Grand Council, and that the matter is far from over.

The Jade Falcons do bring the issue of the Tiki Cache before the Grand Council (still in temporary quarters as work continues on the massive Great Hall). The Khans sit around a massive table engraved with each of their emblems, not unlike the Knights of the Round Table. IlKhan Kerensky sits next to the Wolf Khan, reinforcing his ties to the Clan that holds his genetic legacy. McEvedy feels tension in the room as the other Khans file in, and muses that Nicholas has taken a tight-knit band of equals and turned them against each other.

Falcon saKhan Lisa Buhallin opens the session with a formal protest that the Wolverine claim to the cache has no basis, and that the Trial of Possession was contrived and unjust. Buhallin notes that the cache contains weapons of mass destruction, which have in the past been carefully controlled by the Grand Council. McEvedy ponders how Buhallin could have this information when the Wolverines have barely begun to catalog the cache's contents. McEvedy responds that the Trial was legitimate, and that the Falcons intentionally created the incident. She questions, if the Falcons knew about the cache when it was on their territory, why they failed to report the WMDs to the Council immediately? McEvedy proposes that the Council postpone a decision on the cache until its contents can be properly inventoried.

After the session, McEvedy confronts Buhallin and asks her what has caused the Falcons to become so hostile to the Wolverines. Buhallin says that the Wolverines have been spying on the Falcons and other Clans in an effort to become the dominant ilClan. The Falcon saKhan also chastises McEvedy for not thinking of the wider ramifications when she tried to liberalize her civilian caste strictures. She tells McEvedy that the internal unrest sparked by rumors of Wolverine reforms forced the Falcons to put down labor unrest by force. She also expresses resentment that the Wolverines have been keeping their new BattleMech and weapon system designs to themselves, rather than presenting them to the Grand Council.

Star Captain Trish Ebon oversees the cataloging of the Tiki cache. It consists of two large rooms filled with BattleMechs and gear, as well as access tunnels to a number of exit points that had been obscured by forest growth decades earlier. Trish is impressed with the amount of history on display — uniforms from the 82nd Royal Jump Infantry Division, the 29th Royal Dragoon Regiment, and the 331st Royal BattleMech Division. She recalls that Khan McEvedy's father commanded the 331st, and that the Wolverine touman includes a 331st Battle Cluster. Trish notes that the 'Mechs are in good shape, but the stored munitions have deteriorated, and spilled solid rocket propellant mixed with water leaking into the cache (due to clumsy Jade Falcon excavation attempts) have made recovery operations in the cache dangerous. The real prizes in the cache, in Ebon's opinion, are six nuclear-tipped Killer Whale missiles, specialized ship killers. The missiles have become useless due to age and corrosion, but the warheads were carefully stored and are still active.

In the woods outside, two Widowmaker warriors named Driss and Arvin are hauling a nuclear warhead to a concealed cargo truck, dressed as Wolverine technician caste members. So disguised, they managed to sneak the warhead out under Ebon's nose. As they reset the warhead's detonation code, Driss and Arvin debate the honor of the mission, with Arvin complaining that stealing is more for bandits than warriors, while Driss reminds him that they are serving their Clan, and were promised advancement if successful.

Reviewing Trish Ebon's preliminary assessment of the cache's contents, Khan McEvedy thinks back to her father, the 331st's final commander, Major General James McEvedy. She recalls him as a kind, gentle and caring man, and finds Nicholas a poor father figure by comparison. McEvedy worries about one discrepancy: Ebon's report lists six nuclear warheads, whereas Buhallin claims her search team found seven. She hopes it is just an oversight.

McEvedy reports the wrecked state of the 'Mechs, and says that only the nuclear warheads are worth discussing. Nicholas suggests equitable disposition of the cache contents, to prevent shifting the balance of power, with possession determined by Trials of Possession for the nukes and 'Mech Stars. McEvedy objects, noting that the Wolverines defeated the Falcons for the cache, and that the other Clans have no claim to it. Nicholas takes this as grounds for a Trial of Refusal. The Widowmakers win the right to defend the Council decision, pitting two of their warriors against the Wolverine Khan and saKhan.

The Trial goes against the Wolverines when the two Widowmaker King Crabs team up against Wolverine saKhan Dwight Robertson, forgoing Clan customs again in an attempt to inflict as much damage as possible. They also come close to killing McEvedy. Khan Joyce Merrell of the Snow Ravens visits McEvedy after the fight, informing her of Robertson's death. Merrell expresses relief that the inter-Clan dispute has been resolved, but McEvedy says that it won't end so easily — the Widowmakers won't rest until the Wolverines are absorbed or crushed. McEvedy tells Joyce that she is considering secession in the hopes of being able to live independently. Merrell responds that the ilKhan won't stand for it, but acknowledges that the Snow Ravens, Goliath Scorpions and Ice Hellions have been entertaining similar thoughts of late.

McEvedy's next visitor is Franklin Hallis, whom she appoints as the new Wolverine saKhan to replace Robertson. She tells him that she is contemplating a secession from the Clans, and expects the others to come after the Wolverines in full force. She asks Hallis to begin to work with the leaders of the castes and begin to concentrate all the civilians in order to facilitate the Clan's wholesale departure from Clan space, as well as visiting the fleet caches and preparing transports.

The Grand Council reconvenes on 8 October 2823 in the wake of the Wolverines' defeat in the Trial of Refusal. McEvedy, though still recovering from her wounds, attends and notes that the Khans, once united as a family, are now filled with hatred. As Nicholas makes a motion to begin planning the redistribution of the Tiki cache contents, McEvedy levies a fresh protest, that the Grand Council's interference with internal Wolverine affairs violates Clan law and sets a dangerous precedent for the future. Laying everything on the table, she tells the Grand Council that other Clans have been spying on the Wolverines, as has Nicholas' "Watch" organization. She claims that her failure in the Trial of Refusal might be a direct result of such espionage. Nicholas answers that the Watch, which answers to him alone, had no bearing on the outcome of the combat trial. While the Smoke Jaguars and Widowmakers speak in support of Nicholas, claiming that the Wolverine path of action threatens rule of law within the Clans, McEvedy warns that they would think differently if they were facing the threat of being stripped of resources.

McEvedy realizes that she cannot win this debate in the Grand Council. The other Clans have turned on the Wolverines, either out of fear of being dominated by them or desire to claim such advantages for themselves. What few allies she might have (Snow Ravens, Goliath Scorpions, Ice Hellions) are unwilling to speak up. She rises and announces her withdrawal from the Council session, rejecting Snow Raven Khan Merrell's attempt to help her save face. Nicholas asks her not to let matters end like this, and McEvedy responds that the matters are, in fact, just beginning.

On the same day, SaKhan Hallis leads a Wolverine team to the Norfolk Boneyard in the Strana Mechty system, using scientist caste software to neutralize automated sentry satellites and gambling (successfully) that no aerospace fighters or WarShips regularly patrol the cache. With the intent of reactivating enough ships to evacuate Clan Wolverine from Nicholas' regime, Hallis begins aboard the Texas-class Bismark [sic]. Despite having languished in the caches for a generation, regular maintenance has ensured that the ships are in good condition, and the work to get them jump-ready is easier than expected.

McEvedy checks in, gets a status update, and transmits a secured file with the details of Operation SWITCHBACK. Hallis is impressed by the plan's scope, which goes well beyond Admiral Votok's "cut and run" plan for the Prinz Eugen revolt. McEvedy notes that she has already prepositioned command circuits of JumpShips to take Hallis where he needs to go to set SWITCHBACK into motion. She tells Hallis that SWITCHBACK is just a contingency plan, and that she still hopes to head off the coming catastrophe, but that if it goes badly, the Wolverines will need to move very quickly if they are to survive.

Hallis and McEvedy meet again at the Wolverine enclave on Strana Mechty, where Hallis can see that the Clan's castes are already beginning to mobilize. McEvedy has been busy while he was out at the naval cache. So far, Hallis and Ebon's anti-Watch security protocols seem to have kept other Clans from noticing the Wolverines packing their bags. McEvedy lays out the full scope of SWITCHBACK:

Six Wolverine enclaves on five worlds cannot be defended, so four will be abandoned and destroyed (so other Clans won't gain the resources), and their inhabitants concentrated on the two main enclaves on Strana Mechty and Circe. The Wolverine touman will launch an attack on Strana Mechty to draw the others' attention to the Clan capital while the fleet evacuates the civilians from Circe. A fleet will then extract the surviving Wolverines from Strana Mechty. McEvedy expects any Wolverines that choose to stay to be Absorbed into other Clans. Those that cannot get to the transports in time will be instructed to disperse and blend into the Dark Caste or try to infiltrate the castes of other Clans.

McEvedy doesn't want to repeat Votok's mistake by making a beeline to the Inner Sphere. She plans to take a circuitous route out of the Clan Homeworlds, allowing pursuers to get ahead of the Wolverine ships, and then rendezvous at the Barbados system, halfway to the Inner Sphere. Without time to properly supply the ships, the Wolverines will need to restock food and water there. McEvedy speculates that the Wolverines may be able to link up with whatever portion of the Star League Minister of Communications Jerome Blake managed to preserve, if any. McEvedy expects Nicholas to come after the Wolverines with everything he has — all Clans — without mercy or pity. She reminds Hallis that Nicholas was the driving force behind the Prinz Eugen incident.

Meanwhile, in the Widowmaker enclave, Khan Karrige reviews the progress of his own plans. He had hoped McEvedy would die in the Trial of Refusal, and her continued existence irks him. However, his manipulations have generally borne fruit — Nicholas and McEvedy are at each other's throats, and the ilKhan now sees the Wolverines as an existential threat to his society. Karrige's plans depend on the Wolverines overreacting and launching an unprovoked attack. However, if they fail to rise to the bait, his agents and their purloined nuclear warhead on Circe can manufacture the necessary "overreaction" that will bring Clan Wolverine to its untimely end.

The Grand Council convenes again on 10 October. McEvedy introduces Hallis as her new saKhan. Nicholas is suspicious, since he normally attends the Trials of Position to select new Clan leaders. The other Khans find McEvedy's appointment of Hallis to the role a dishonorable breach of Clan tradition. Nicholas refuses to allow Hallis to sit on the Council, since his elevation to saKhan was not presided over by the sitting ilKhan — a rule he just made up on the spot. McEvedy calls him on it, and he falls back on claims of tradition. Franklin departs, and the other Khans berate McEvedy. As Nicholas brings up the distribution of the Tiki cache, McEvedy announces her intent to fight any Clan that tries to take possession. Nicholas appears gracious and conciliatory, and asks McEvedy to stay and discuss the matter, but instead she rises and makes to depart. She asks the other Khans to recognize Nicholas' offer to discuss matters as a farce, and invites them to leave with her. None do. She departs, unmolested, despite Franklin Osis' call to arrest her.

McEvedy resolves to try one last time to head off disaster by confronting Nicholas personally. However, she has little hope of success, and instructs Hallis to tell Trish Ebon to strip the Tiki cache bare except for the nukes, and defend the facility. She meets with Nicholas aboard the McKenna's Pride, in the former officers' mess where Aleksandr Kerensky has been entombed. The ship remains ready for action, with engines and weapons fully functional, though only a skeleton crew of honor guards remains aboard. McEvedy chose the venue, knowing that memories of his father will unsettle the ilKhan. Without the interference of the other Khans, McEvedy addresses Nicholas as an old friend, asking for advice on how to avoid the coming conflict. Nicholas tells her that Wolverine technological advances and combat prowess are admirable, but has also made her Clan a threat to the rest. He says that he is aware of the manipulations of other Khans, but assures McEvedy that he has not been guided by their actions. He tells her that the Clans are stagnating without enemies, that peace has led to calls for a relaxation of the caste system. In his view, the Wolverines represent a possible future, but one that does not fit into his vision for his ideal society. He goes on to tell McEvedy that other Clans will move against her in an attempt to absorb the Wolverines, and that he intends to grant such an action legal authority, and, in the process, teach the other nineteen Clans the folly of defiantly straying from rigid adherence to his will. When McEvedy tells Nicholas that she cannot accept that, and will fight back, he answers that he is counting on just that. A new war against a dangerous foe will unify his people behind him. She suggests that she could resign as Khan, but Nicholas counters that such a lesson must be reinforced through pain, suffering and war.

McEvedy tells the assembled Khans what Nicholas told her aboard the McKenna's Pride in a Grand Council meeting on the next day, that the Wolverines have been set up for destruction as a cautionary example against disobeying the will of the ilKhan, who plans to use a war against the Wolverines as a unifying measure for the remaining Clans. She announces that the Wolverines are seceding, and invites any others who desire freedom to join them. None do. She goes on to warn them that the Wolverines will use any and all means at their disposal to defend themselves. The Grand Council erupts in an uproar. The Ghost Bears call her a traitor, and the Smoke Jaguars call for a Trial of Absorption, which Nicholas moves to consider as McEvedy walks out of the chamber.

A subsequent Clan Mongoose attack on Williamsport, the Wolverine enclave on Lum, finds it abandoned. Pro-McEvedy graffiti hailing her has a hero has begun to appear among other Clans.

On 22 October Khan McEvedy supervises the evacuation operations in the main Wolverine enclave on Circe — the city of Great Hope in the Tiki Province. She notes that many of her Clan have informally renamed the settlement in her honor, calling it the city of McEvedy. Wolverine WarShips maintain positions in orbit overhead, and twenty-four DropShips currently ring the settlement to facilitate rapid loading.

Meanwhile, on Circe's Rooster Plains, Khan Breen leads the 80th Fang (Clan Steel Viper) in an assault a Wolverine sibling company in the midst of a thunderstorm, but the attackers end up on the defensive after running afoul of a minefield and the Wolverines' more powerful new 'Mechs. The Wolverine sibcadets abruptly withdraw, and the Vipers pursue them through the grounds of their training facility, just as the facility itself detonates. In the resulting chaos, the Wolverines maul the 80th Fang, and the Viper Khan signals a retreat. As the Vipers face defeat, the Widowmakers begin an attempt to capture Wolverine mines in the Tiki Province, on the outskirts of Great Hope. The siege is complicated by the threat of orbital bombardment from the Wolverine ships in orbit, and only a grant of safcon allowed his force to land at all, while hit-and-fade Wolverine attacks have kept the Widowmakers from gaining the initiative since departing their LZ. As insurance, however, Karrige had his agents secrete the purloined nuclear warhead inside Great Hope, and has rigged up a remote detonator from his 'Mech's cockpit.

Back in Great Hope, the last of the Wolverine DropShips are preparing to depart. With the city having been burned to the ground, McEvedy's command post is aboard the bridge of the Overlord-class Huron. Zeta Galaxy has been serving as the evacuation's rear guard, harassing the Widowmakers with gusto. Most are SLDF veterans who fought in Operation KLONDIKE. 10,000 civilians chose to stay and remain loyal to the ilKhan.

Karrige detonates the hidden nuke, destroying the already devastated City of McEvedy/Great Hope and vaporizing his hapless agents in the process. When Nicholas asks him for a sitrep, Karrige tells him that the Wolverines must have detonated a nuke, killing those citizens who opted not to leave and suggesting it must have been a nuke from the Tiki cache. Kerensky, stunned that McEvedy would do such a thing, announces that the Trial of Absorption will be changed to a Trial of Annihilation in order to purge the Wolverines from the Clan gene pool.

Aboard the Clan Snow Raven WarShip Avalanche in high orbit over Dehra Dun, Circe, Khan Merrell is horrified by the images of the nuclear devastation where Great Hope once stood, and cannot understand what drove her former friend McEvedy to do such a thing. Nicholas orders the Snow Ravens to retaliate for the Wolverines' use of WMDs, and has formally characterized the conflict as a war rather than a Trial. She dispatches a flight of fighters to nuke the stubborn Wolverine sibko that had been thrashing the Steel Vipers on the Rooster Plains. However, as the fighters launch, the battleship SLS Bismark, now in Wolverine hands, jumps in at a pirate point and dispatches DropShips to retrieve the sibko. Detecting the radiological emanations from the Raven nuclear payload, the Bismark engages the Avalanche, then tries to shoot down the Snow Raven fighters and damages the one carrying the nuke. With horror, Merrell's crew reports that the Raven nuke went off target and hit forty kilometers away from the Rooster Plains, almost dead center over the Snow Raven capital of Dehra Dun.

A short while later at Strana Mechty, Franklin Hallis has captured the McKenna's Pride. His forces use the WarShip for orbital bombardment, obliterating Smoke Jaguar forces who were threatening to overrun Trish Ebon's forces on the ground. While Trish's troops move to nearby plains for extraction, Hallis directs the Pride's batteries to annihilate the Grand Council meeting hall, and the Halls of the Widowmakers, Smoke Jaguars, Snow Ravens, Ghost Bears, and Jade Falcons. Hallis has seen media reports of nuclear detonations in Dehra Dun and Great Hope, both of which are being blamed on the Wolverines. He knows that they are innocent, and has decided to exact revenge now that, as far as he knows, McEvedy died in the nuclear fires of Great Hope, making him the Wolverine Khan. As Clan interceptor forces scramble towards the Pride, Hallis departs the ship, berating Aleksandr Kerensky's corpse (entombed aboard the Pride) for his son Nicholas' actions and calling Nicholas an "evil man".

Khan Karrige and ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky survey the irradiated ruins of the former Wolverine city of Great Hope. Nicholas uses the scorched waste as a backdrop for a holovid broadcast to the rest of the Clans. He calls the Wolverines a threat to the Clan way of life, and says that their rebellious spirit has been corrupted by ego. He tells the Clans that the Wolverines announced their independence and punctuated it by attacking both Nicholas (unsuccessfully, obviously) and Dehra Dun with nuclear weaponry.

Karrige chortles at Nicholas' masterful manipulation of the facts in his disinformation campaign, and notes that all the members of the Grand Council are complicit in the deception, well aware that the destruction of Dehra Dun was an accident caused by the Snow Ravens themselves.

Nicholas decrees that the Wolverines are to be annihilated as a Clan, and carrying their blood will be a death sentence. The Wolverines' lands, properties and lower castes are to be seized, and their symbols scoured from all displays. Their warriors shall be given no quarter, no honor, and no peace until they are run to ground and killed.

The assembled Khans congratulate Nicholas on his speech and report a string of successful operations against the Wolverines on Brim and Lum. However, Nicholas says that the Wolverines have fled with thousands of people and much of their equipment, and that they surely intend to seek sanctuary in the Inner Sphere, gather allies, and return before the Clans are ready to invade/liberate the Inner Sphere. He orders the Grand Council to gather their WarShips into a Grand Fleet, which will set out in pursuit of the Wolverines along the Exodus Road (leaving a reserve in the Clan Homeworlds in case the Wolverines double back).

A small band of Wolverine loyalist refugees approaches the assembled Khans, pledges loyalty to the ilKhan, and asks for medical assistance. Nicholas orders the warriors executed immediately, and tells the Jade Falcons to take the civilians as isorla and then have them chemically sterilized. He wants all traces of the Wolverines expunged from the Clan Homeworlds within a generation.

On 5 November, Khan Franklin Hallis reviews the Wolverine situation as he shepherds a small fleet of ships through an unoccupied system. He split the evacuation fleet in the hopes of allowing more to escape — having each sub-fleet proceed separately and then rendezvousing at key systems to recalculate routes, switch up the mix of ships, and proceed along separate routes to the next rendezvous. He knows that the ilKhan's charges were baseless, but also knows that neither Nicholas nor the other Clans will listen to his protestations of innocence — especially since one of the last JumpShips to join the convoy brought a copy of the ilKhan's declaration of a Trial of Annihilation. Khan McEvedy remains missing and presumed dead in the aftermath of Great Hope's destruction, but Hallis is committed to carrying out her Switchback plan — waiting until the Nicholas' pursuit force races ahead, then following behind them unnoticed. He is fairly confident that his anti-Watch efforts have ensured operational security.

Aboard the flagship Rough Rider, Nicholas Kerensky commands the pursuit fleet as it sweeps back along the Exodus Road route in pursuit of the vanished Wolverines. The ilKhan visits the ship's brig, which has been outfitted to hold a special prisoner that only Nicholas and a few scientists specializing in radiation sickness know about. Nobody but Nicholas and his wife know that the prisoner is actually Sarah McEvedy, who has been undergoing regular chemical interrogation as well as medical treatment for the injuries she suffered when Karrige detonated the purloined warhead at Great Hope. Nicholas tells McEvedy he is keeping her alive in the hopes that she will break under interrogation and lead him to her surviving people. He does not care about their innocence, but greatly values the fact that their defiance has united the Clans behind him against a common foe, allowing him to push through societal change even faster than he had hoped. In the course of pressing for information about the Wolverine route, he and McEvedy discuss the false assignation of blame for the Dehra Dun nuclear attacks onto the Wolverines. McEvedy argues that if she had been willing to use nuclear weapons from the beginning, the Widowmaker enclaves would have been the first target instead of Great Hope or Dehra Dun. However Nicholas seems deaf to her reasoning. In Nicholas' view, the concepts of "right" and "wrong" are irrelevant. To him, the important thing was that McEvedy forgot to show him the respect he was due as the Great Founder. All human concerns must be sublimated in the name of unity of thought and action for the sake of the newborn Clan civilization, directed by his will alone. Nevertheless, her remarks plant a seed of doubt in Nicholas’ mind on who is the ultimate culprit that detonated the nuclear warheads at Great Hope and escalated the conflict.

On Liny, one of Arcadia's moons, Star Captain Amon wonders about the strange lights he's been seeing in the rocky, airless hills on the outskirts of the Ghost Bear uranium mining outpost on 16 January 2824. Amon is frustrated that he's been left out of the Wolverine extermination, especially now that the Ghost Bear genetics repository on Brim has been destroyed. He expects that any intruders on Liny would be Dark Caste bandits, but as he approaches, he sees that they are spacesuited Wolverine children (Sibling Company Gamma), stealing supplies from the outpost. Amon challenges them, and they tell him they are taking supplies back to their DropShip. The sibko leader, Francis, rejects Amon's attempt to arrest them, and debates the Ghost Bear about the veracity of the claims of Wolverine perfidy. Francis admits Wolverine responsibility for the attack on Brim, but says that the warrior there was striking a blow for her people. He tells Amon that his intention is to leave Clan space and find his vanished people. Amon feels that killing innocent children would be a stain on his honor, and reluctantly allows the Wolverines to depart.

Half a year after their departure, Hallis and Trish Ebon discuss the status of the refugee fleet aboard the flagship SLS Michigan. Having been elevated to Khan by McEvedy's apparent death, Hallis decides to raise Trish to be his saKhan. She asks about a Trial of Position, and Hallis assures her that they don't need to follow Nicholas' rules anymore, following McEvedy's precedent. For logistical purposes, Trials have been banned during the flight from the Clans.

Having found evidence that the Clans are several jumps ahead of the Wolverines (per the Switchback plan), the Wolverine flotillas are proceeding cautiously. However, their pace is creating new problems — they are running out of supplies. Hallis tells Trish that he plans to split the fleet into four groups, with the largest proceeding to Barbados that has edible native fruits and vegetables, along with uncontaminated fresh water. The original Exodus fleet used it as a resupply point on the way to the Pentagon worlds. Hallis plans to land all the DropShips on Barbados to give the Wolverine civilians some time in the sun and fresh air after more than six months aboard the ships. The other three fleets will act as scouting groups to watch for signs that Nicholas' Grand Fleet has doubled back.

IlKhan Nicholas Kerensky is growing increasingly frustrated as months of frenzied pursuit of the Wolverines down the Exodus Road trail has revealed no trace of them. Snow Raven Star Admiral Amanda Lankenau reports that all garbage dumps found so far have proven to be from the original Exodus fleet, when it was going the other direction. Nicholas knows (from his chemical-assisted interrogation of Sarah McEvedy) that the Wolverines are headed for the Inner Sphere. He is sure that, given the number of ships he has out looking for them, there is no way they could have stayed completely ahead. Equipment failures and misjumps would have left stragglers for the Grand Fleet to find by now. Musing on the last such pursuit along the Exodus Road — the coursing of the Prinz Eugen — he hits upon the Wolverines' true stratagem. He orders the Coyote, Burrock, Goliath Scorpion and Smoke Jaguar flotillas to continue down the Exodus Road as far as Wayside, then return if they've found nothing. The rest of the Grand Fleet will reverse course and resume the search along the Exodus Road towards the Kerensky Cluster. He expects to intercept the Wolverines trailing behind the Grand Fleet or, if they somehow slip past, have the Wayside flotilla catch them.

On 27 June 2824, SaKhan Trish Ebon's flotilla jumps into the Gamma 25098 3W system just as a Grand Fleet detachment jumps out. Either the Wolverines are catching up to the Grand Fleet, or the Grand Fleet is doubling back. SaKhan Ebon's scouting group is only one jump from Barbados, where the main Wolverine fleet plans to resupply. She orders the Saratoga to jump back to Barbados as a messenger ship to warn Hallis (per his orders), but the Saratoga experiences a drive failure. Khan Hallis had issued standing orders to leave no ship behind, yet following that command would prevent Ebon from sending Hallis any warning. She opts to remain, with all ships hot-charging their drives, hoping that this was just a near-miss with Grand Fleet stragglers.

At the same time, Franklin Hallis enjoys the sun and gravity of Barbados as his refugees work to replenish their supplies. He has put most of the Wolverine warriors on the surface, since they will be no use if a space battle erupts. His wrist communicator chirps, and he receives a report from Star Admiral Bremman that Snow Raven WarShips have appeared at the zenith jump point and crippled one of the Wolverine transports. Another flotilla emerges at the nadir jump point moments later.

Hallis orders Bremman to have all DropShips return to their JumpShips and for transport JumpShips to jump out as soon as possible. WarShips are ordered to provide cover for transports until their DropShips are ready to go, while Hallis oversees the evacuation of Wolverines from the surface. Bremman requests permission to engage the enemy WarShips with his nuclear arsenal, but Hallis refuses on moral grounds.

The McKenna-class WarShip Zughoffer Weir and two other Wolverine ships (of unspecified type and class) manage to escape the bloody space battle that evolves. The rest of the Wolverine fleet is either destroyed or captured. After the space battle Nicholas' Grand Fleet lands its ground troops on Barbados to engage the Wolverine touman there. The Khans of the Widowmakers, Wolves, Ghost Bears, and Jade Falcons begin to bid for the right to face the remaining Wolverines. Karrige bids only three Clusters, challenging Wolf Khan Jerome Winson's honor and pushing him to bid just seven Trinaries, well below the level required to safely engage the remaining Wolverine ground forces.

Wolverine Khan Hallis leads his remaining troops in a hopeless battle against the Wolves, hoping to damage Nicholas' troops and delay them on Barbados long enough for Trish Ebon, the other two scout flotillas, and the Zughoffer Weirs squadron to escape. He knows there is no chance of living as a bondsman, and the Wolverines have resolved to go down fighting. They give a good accounting of themselves, but the Wolves are fresher and fight with great skill. Star Colonel Ferris Ward, whom Franklin had earlier defeated in a Trial of Possession in Clan space, challenges Hallis to a rematch. Hallis ignores Ward and leads his command group towards his true target — ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky.

Meanwhile, the Wolverine 444th Cluster engages the Wolves in rough terrain, hoping to give their lower castes time to scatter and hide in the thick jungles of Barbados. However, the Wolves outmaneuver the Wolverine Cluster and lure them into a trap, dooming the Wolverine civilians. As Hallis' warriors are waylaid and slain, he proceeds alone to track down the ilKhan to seek answers to how their fate had come to this. In the meanwhile, he is stalked by Ferris Ward.

Coming upon the ilKhan's position, Hallis finds him surrounded by the 'Mechs of the other Khans, including Nicholas' custom Highlander. However, he realizes that the Highlander was unoccupied while each Khan's BattleMech locks their weapons on him. He debates trying to kill Nicholas once he emerges, but hesitates, feeling that such an attempt would be contradictory to McEvedy's wishes. Nicholas still refuses to recognize Hallis as a true Khan. In reply, Hallis responds that he is the leader of the last vestige of the Star League Defense Force and that vengeance is all he has left to pursue. Nicholas denies Hallis' demands for vengeance, but then offers him a chance for "justice" instead. IlKhan Nicholas Kerensky tells the assembled Khans that he has learned of another betrayal. After secretly talking with McEvedy, he had the nuclear blast's radiation signature at Great Hope tested, and then reviewed Tiki Cache security monitor footage for the past few months; tying the Widowmaker Khan to the destruction of the Wolverine capital.

Nicholas places exclusive blame for the Wolverine genocide on the Widowmaker Khan; since he had only planned for Clan Wolverine's punishment to be an Absorption, prior to the nuclear attacks escalating the Trial's severity. Karrige attempts to defend himself by portraying his actions as a necessity to prevent the Wolverines' ideology from infecting them all. He also insinuates they each are just as guilty of duplicity for blaming the Wolverines for the Dehra Dun disaster. The Khans and Nicholas retort that while the Wolverines were defiant, they were still acting honorably like the rest of the Clans. And unlike Karrige, the Wolverines were never despicable to the point of deliberately detonating a nuclear weapon on innocent civilians over personal grudges. Disgusted, the assembled Khans turn their backs on Karrige, and Hallis reduces him to a smoking stain with his particle cannon. Moments later, Ferris Ward opens fire on Hallis' 'Mech from behind and kills the Wolverine Khan. Knowing that he was never going to leave the Khans' encirclement alive, Hallis found closure with being acknowledged by the Great Founder as a more honorable Khan than Karrige in the end. Having avenged the Wolverines' destruction by executing the genocide's mastermind on McEvedy’s behalf, a vindicated Franklin smiled as his last thoughts confirm that honor had indeed been served.

With the Wolverines destroyed, Nicholas then addresses the remaining Khans. If knowledge that this tragedy was caused by the perfidy of not one but two Clans' betrayal of their rede was spread, it would irreparably tear all of Clan society apart. So a necessary cover-up would be conducted. As far as anyone besides the Grand Council or Ferris Ward will ever know, Karrige died with honor; facing the Wolverines in battle. However, his bloodline will be terminated (effectively Reaved). Any inquiry by the Widowmakers would be cryptically answered with the saying that Karrige "betrayed the honor of a Khan." The Khans assent, though Snow Raven Khan Joyce Merrell wonders exactly where Nicholas got his advice about Karrige's scheme months earlier.

On 11 July, Nicholas stands over Khan Hallis' grave following the completion of mop-up operations against the Wolverines. All resistance was crushed, and no Wolverine warriors remain. Hallis' grave bears a stone labeled "Khan Franklin Hallis" at Nicholas' command, granting in death the honor Kerensky had denied him in life. Another gravestone lies adjacent on undisturbed earth, labeled "Khan Sarah McEvedy". Alone, Nicholas gives a private eulogy that grudgingly acknowledges the Wolverines' prowess while asserting their defiance had led to their ruin.

Though his followers rejoice in having taken as isorla the Wolverines' Pulverizer and Mercury II BattleMechs, Nicholas laments the death of the Wolverines; for they truly did show the promise of true greatness, but were undercut by their arrogance. He hears Sarah accuse him of genocide, and she promises that the Wolverines' growl will haunt his dreams (it is ambiguous if Sarah is really present in secret, or just in his mind). Scattering a handful of dirt on Franklin's grave, Nicholas turns and walks away, never looking back.

Epilogues (omitted in first print edition)[edit]

In the aftermath of the Wolverine genocide, ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky enacts a massive cover-up, including purges and falsification of historical data. It is forbidden to show symbols of or even mention Clan Wolverine, thus making them the Not-Named Clan. Reforms to Clan society are made, ironically to some degree along what the Wolverines did or demanded, though the power structure is made more rigid. The data purge includes the locations of several star systems, Barbados among them, on all Clan ship databases and hardcopy star maps. Also, the return route to the Inner Sphere, the Exodus Road, is broken up into individual data pieces, one of which is given to each surviving Clan to ensure that no single Clan can go this route again without the others' consent.

By 20 August 2824, Trish Ebon's flotilla arrived in Barbados at a pirate point long after the fighting ended and found debris from a space battle in orbit, while the hulks of the main Wolverine fleet litter the surface of the planet, having been deorbited by Nicholas' Clans. She managed to link up with one of the other two screening task forces, but the third has vanished. They recover a handful of survivors from the WarShip Rickenbacker, which had retained atmosphere on two decks and been left adrift, and find a few survivors on Barbados' surface who had managed to evade the Clan sweeps through the jungles. The Wolverine touman, as far as she knows, now totals a mere two Clusters.

Trish is mystified by the scene around Franklin's grave. She surmises that his death was an execution, rather than a battle, but cannot puzzle out the scorched bone fragments ingloriously covered with a Widowmaker cloak (Karrige) or the grave marker for McEvedy without an actual grave. A distraught Trish asks Hallis what she must do now that he's dead. A Wolverine survivor, who Trish disbelievingly recognized as a fellow warrior, comes out of the jungle and approaches her as she stands over Franklin's grave and wonders what to do. The woman is heavily scarred, and hobbled badly from her injuries. Reassured by the warrior that their people would survive so long as a single member lives, Trish hugs the survivor and finds renewed hope.

As the pitiful remnant of Wolverine survivors resumes their trek towards the Inner Sphere, by astounding coincidence they are joined by the SLS Yukon in September 2824, crewed by the Wolverine sibko that the Ghost Bear sentry allowed to escape. Trish Ebon welcomes them and declares that the Wolverine family is finally complete, and that they can now move forward on their mission.

On 28 January 2825 Snow Raven Khans Merrell and McKenna supervise the rebuilding efforts in Dehra Dun. While McKenna is throwing himself into the reconstruction of the Snow Raven capital, Merrell's feelings of guilt about her role in its destruction and the resulting bloodbath make her hate the sight of it. Merrell is joined by the ilKhan, who assures her that the city will be fully restored, better than before. Merrell questions that assertion, since the lives lost cannot be replaced as easily as the buildings, and the cover story has done nothing to erase her personal guilt about the true events as they played out. Nicholas answers that "there is no lie if we all believe it." In that context, he asserts that "Barbados never happened," that the Wolverines were entirely at fault at Dehra Dun for refusing to conform, and that the genocide of the Wolverines alongside the execution of the true culprit was akin to a surgeon removing cancerous cells from the whole body. He tells Merrell that he is not twisting history; just giving Clan society a sense of meaning in the events of the Wolverine annihilation and a feeling that their cause was right and just. The details are irrelevant to the outcome — passing key messages and lessons to future generations and establishing their moral code. So long as the lesson on how selfishness, arrogance, and nonconformity leads to society's ruin was passed down, it did not matter if the stories laid the blame on Jason Karrige or Clan Wolverine.

When Merrell says that her conscience will not let her live with the changes, and the denial of what has been done, Nicholas amiably tells her that after her death, he will alter the historical records again to show her as having died in the Pentagon Civil Wars. In his mind, such changes will exonerate her from culpability. Merrell, stunned, tells the ilKhan that his methods still cannot bring back the dead.

Fourteen years later, Khan Hans Jorgensson of the Ghost Bears furiously interrogates Scientist Parker about his troubling findings. It seems that former Wolverine Scientist Vaun was adopted into the Ghost Bears and became a leading expert in the Bear genetic manipulation program. He successfully inserted Wolverine genetics into the Ghost Bear gene pool: "contaminating" two generations of Warriors. Per Nicholas' edict of Annihilation, all Warriors who bear Wolverine genes must die. Knowing what would happen to the Ghost Bears if this taint was exposed to the outside, Jorgensson resolves to carry out the law. On 9 January 2840, the "contaminated" Warriors are assembled before Khan Jorgensson at the Pennes Sibling Center on Arcadia in full parade dress. He solemnly informs them that they come from genetic material contaminated by the Not-Named Clan — either as a Ghost Bear-Wolverine mix or as pure Wolverines. While he confesses that he would've been honored to lead them, he tells them that they must die per Nicholas' orders. They are given the choice of suicide or painless lethal injections; else they must be hunted and killed if they run. He also asserts that this sacrifice is an honorable act for each individual as adopted Ghost Bears and for their surrogate Clan as a whole by ensuring its continuation. First one warrior, then dozens more, draw their sidearms and shoot themselves in the head within the span of a minute. From the eldest ristar to the youngest sibcadet, all lie dead to honor the posthumous wishes of the Great Father, Nicholas Kerensky. Jorgensson feels great sorrow for what needed to be done, but is soon preoccupied with thoughts of the strategic weakness caused by the loss of Warriors, the need to maintain a low profile while rebuilding, how to orchestrate the cover-up to keep this out of the Clan's Remembrance, and how to exact revenge should any of the Wolverines who escaped ever be found.

Epilogue (added for 2016 re-release)[edit]

Two centuries later, on 25 May 3041, a ComStar Explorer Corps team under Precentor Barton Bixby is investigating the grave site on Barbados, finding a grassy clearing with a stone arch built over two tombstones, ringed by sixteen stone seats and hulks of long-destroyed BattleMechs. There are clear signs of an ancient battle, and remains of at least two unknown BattleMech designs. The tombstones have been decorated with (now dried) eight-month-old flowers, indicating that someone is still looking after the ritual site alongside the presence of a landing zone with DropShip burn marks.

Nineteen animal images, masterfully etched but crossed out, are found on the stone arch. But none of them matches the "animal head with claw marks in the background" (Clan Wolverine) from one of the destroyed 'Mechs. It is determined to be a 63% match to a tattoo found on the arm of a dead Minnesota Tribe member recovered from Richmond with discrepancies plausibly traced to the warped nature of the pilot's skin.

Noting the martial nature of the title, Khan, on the two tombstones and unwilling to risk a hostile encounter, Bixby decides against any intrusive investigations. He then gives the archaeologists five days to explore the site, map it, and take photos to report their findings before continuing their mission to search for Aleksandr Kerensky's Exodus fleet. He also decides to leave the planet and its caretakers in peace by not leaving a message behind to contact them.

Featured Characters[edit]

Featured Places[edit]

Featured BattleTech[edit]






  • Tying into one of BattleTech's longest-running mysteries, the novel offers tantalizing hints that up to three distinct groups of Wolverine survivors may have existed:
    • It is expressly mentioned how equipment from the cache that arguably started the entire affair (implicitly, the Tiki cache which contained equipment from the 331st Royal BattleMech Division) survived with Trish Ebon's group, strongly suggesting that they became the Minnesota Tribe. This is further reinforced by the print edition's epilogue.
      Incumbent Line Developer Randall N. Bills, when prompted for "anything you care to share about the Minnesota Tribe" in a BattleTech-themed online Q&A session,[1] explicitly said people should go read Betrayal of Ideals as it contains information about the Minnesota Tribe, thereby officially confirming the connection as fact.
    • The battleship Zughoffer Weir would reappear in Word of Blake hands more than two hundred years later, giving credence to the theory that this group of Wolverine survivors may eventually have made contact with ComStar as originally planned, may have been the true source of the information behind Primus Adrienne Sims' "visions" (suspiciously accurate descriptions of the individual Clans) that in turn led to the formation of the Explorer Corps, and according to a canon rumor may even have formed "The Blood", a secret cabal within the ComStar leadership.
    • A third group may have been a Wolverine scout detachment that made contact with Nueva Castile and became the Umayyads. However, the recorded first appearance of the Umayyads does not precisely match the Wolverine timeline, and Nueva Castile would have been a considerable detour in a wrong direction for the scout fleet to go. Additionally, the source, Touring the Stars: Granada, suggests another alternative origin for the Umayyads' ancestors. Ultimately, there is some evidence but no proof linking the Umayyads to the Wolverines.
  • The fully canonical dates and events from this story do not match up with the chronology of the "Wolverine Diaries"[2] from Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, marking that particular canon rumor document false, though apparently written by someone with at least a partial knowledge of the real events despite the cover-up.
  • At one point[3] Sarah McEvedy reminisces in internal monologue about Jason Karrige being "still bitter over that loss in battle", explicitly referring to an incident during the Pentagon Civil War. She had put it behind her while he had taken it personally. Later[4] it is explained that Karrige and McEvedy were friends until Karrige "misinterpreted matters" during the Pentagon Civil War. The exact nature of the incident/battle is not elaborated upon. Clan Widowmaker was assigned to Dagda during Operation KLONDIKE and interacted mostly with Clans Goliath Scorpion and Burrock, while Clan Wolverine was on Circe sharing an operational area with Clan Snow Raven. Historical: Operation Klondike repeatedly states that the purging of Wolverine-related records made it difficult to determine their exact actions during KLONDIKE, but it does say that the Wolverines were not considered as reinforcements for the Widowmakers on Dagda (in the siege of the Black Brian). As their Clans apparently were on different worlds throughout the campaign, the incident between Karrige and McEvedy probably stemmed from something that happened between the Widowmakers and Wolverines on Strana Mechty, while the Clans were staging for KLONDIKE.
  • Although a Khan of Clan Fire Mandrill appears in this story, his or her name is not given in the text, leaving it open if it is supposed to be Raymond Sainze or Laura Payne.
  • Historical data was not only purged to cover up the truth, but also edited, falsified and fabricated to fill in the gaps, as shown in the epilogue. The recordings of the pivotal Great Council sessions on 10 and 11 October 2823 where Sarah McEvedy announces her Clan's secession were recut and had parts added to become the recording of an alleged session on 8 October that Phelan Kell presented some 250 years later in the Warriors of Kerensky document, which gives a distinctly different impression of what really happened.
  • The story was controversial with some BattleTech fans[5] because Pardoe wrote the story of Clan Wolverine's annihilation differently from how it had been presented in the past (especially Phelan Kell's aforementioned report): The reviled "Not-Named Clan" was revealed to have actually been acting in a noble and honorable way in this story. In contrast to the official record, they were singled out by Nicholas Kerensky as an example for those who would oppose his vision. And while the Absorption had been escalated into an Annihilation by Karrige's personal grudge, Kerensky still turned a blind eye to the other Clans' weariness of the Wolverines’ growing power and prideful independence. In Nicholas' mind, this served to make them a lightning rod against which he could rally the other Clans behind him to remove the risk of nonconformity shattering the unity his newly created Clan culture achieved after the Pentagon Civil War.
    This was not entirely new information though. It should be noted that then-Line Developer Randall N. Bills had previously written the first two parts of the Founding of the Clans trilogy which already portrayed Nicholas Kerensky as a manipulative sociopath who built a personality cult around himself and was readily prepared to kill or instigate civil war among his people to further his agenda of creating an all-new society. However, initially only the German translations of these two novels saw publication. Fall from Glory, the first part, was finally published in English until November 2007, long after Betrayal of Ideals. Following the success of the 2019 Clan Invasion crowdfunding campaign, the first two books revised and expanded and the third completed and the entire trilogy finally saw publication in English.
  • Blaine Pardoe has written extensively about the American Civil War, and has been known to frequently insert references to the Civil War into his works. The shuttle Shelby Foote from this story (in the BattleCorps edition's epilogue) was apparently named for real-world historian Shelby Foote, who rose to prominence with a work on the American Civil War and passed away in 2005. Another nod to the Civil War era seems to be the WarShip named General Stuart.
  • The fighting over the Tiki cache on Circe extends to "Wombat Ridge", and a similar terrain feature is later named on Strana Mechty. This is apparently a shout-out to prominent BattleTech Forum user "Wombat". Similarly, the "Rooster Plains" on Circe are apparently a shout-out to prominent forum user "Roosterboy".
  • According to the author in his postscript to the story (BattleCorps edition), the historical annihilation of the order of the Knights Templar, who were later exonerated, served as an inspiration for the story.


  1. BattleTech Q&A] by Harebrained Schemes at Hyper RPG (12 October 2016), at 35:53
  2. See Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents: "The Not-Named", in particular pp. 121–125
  3. Part 1 (Foundations of Fate), PDF document, p. 5
  4. Part 2 (Treachery's Stage), PDF document, p. 5
  5. See BattleCorps discussion thread about the series (dead link)

External Links[edit]