|Also known as||The Bloody ilKhan|
|Died||29 July 3075|
|Affiliation||Clan Steel Viper|
Brett Andrews (trueborn 3028 – died 29 July 3075, aged 48 years) was a highly ambitious MechWarrior of Clan Steel Viper who would rise to the post of Khan by 3065, and later ascend to the office of ilKhan in 3071. As the twelfth ilKhan of the Clans, Andrews would become one of the most infamous figures in Clan history through his proclamation of the Reavings. Andrews died on board the McKenna's Pride over Strana Mechty in 3075, near the height of this period of unparalleled violence that he had helped to usher in. He was killed during a Grand Council meeting, at the hands of Clan Star Adder Khan Hannibal Banacek. His reign would earn for him the sobriquet "The Bloody ilKhan", due primarily to his role in bringing about the Wars of Reaving.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Operation REVIVAL
- 1.2 Viper politics
- 1.3 Refusal War
- 1.4 Inter-Clan relations and the Great Refusal
- 1.5 Hegira War
- 1.6 Homeworld conflicts
- 1.7 Khan of the Steel Vipers
- 1.8 Ejection of Clan Jade Falcon
- 1.9 Ravens and Sharks
- 1.10 Hidden perils and the Dogs of War
- 1.11 IlKhan and the Reavings
- 1.12 Wolf defiance and the Reavings unfold
- 1.13 Clan Coyote, The Society, and Caste Rebellion
- 1.14 Reaving the Ravens, Hellions, and Mandrills
- 1.15 Goliath Scorpion and Blood Spirit
- 1.16 Reckoning with Clan Coyote
- 1.17 Grand Council and death
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Title and Position
- 4 Game Rules
- 5 BattleMechs
- 6 References
- 7 Bibliography
Born during the late Political Century, in the decades leading up to the Outbound Light incident, Brett Andrews was said to be a highly contentious warrior and fervent Crusader who was quick to anger and seemed constantly at odds with everyone and everything around him. Described as broad-shouldered and of impressive stature, Andrews was noted for speaking his mind—and by extension—his penchant to argue with anyone, regardless of their rank. Marked by a near-constant scowl on his face, Andrews was also said to have greatly lacked in affability and social skills. However, he more than made up for these deficiencies by becoming one of the most skilled MechWarriors of his generation, capable of forcing many issues his way through right of battle in the Circle of Equals.
While serving as Steel Viper saKhan, he was noted to have often clashed with his Khan, Perigard Zalman, yet the two reportedly worked well together. Andrews' traits made for a very forceful supporter and enforcer of his Khan's will. Andrews also shared Zalman's negative view of freeborn warriors and his belief in the supremacy of trueborns over their freeborn counterparts. Zalman's influence on Andrews would later manifest itself in a more profound way, taking the form of the younger warrior's growing belief that Inner Sphere taint had corrupted many of the Clans from within, and that this taint was especially strong in the Invader Clans. Zalman, and after him, Andrews, claimed that only through the cleansing of that taint could the Clans hope to successfully renew the invasion first begun in 3050, an idea that would eventually bear dire consequences for all of the Clans of Kerensky.
Throughout his career, Brett Andrews was noted for his skills in the arena of Clan politics, aided as they were by his formidable combat prowess. He also possessed a canny ability to dodge blame and political fallout for the failures of units under his command, often by deflecting negative attention and consequences onto his subordinates. Though he was regarded as a harsh commander and leader, Andrews cultivated his political abilities enough to push his own agenda forward amid the competing agendas of his contemporaries. Strong oratory skills helped Andrews' political star to rise, though he lacked much of the acumen and patience of Khans like the Star Adders' Stanislov N'Buta or the Cloud Cobras' Khan Din Steiner. Regardless, Andrews' naked ambition and drive would fuel his rise to the highest office in Clan society, while many of his peers melted – often gladly - into his considerable shadow.
Already possessing a Bloodname, as well as the rank of Star Colonel in command of Alpha Galaxy's 4th Viper Guards by the time the Steel Vipers were activated for the fifth wave of Operation Revival in late 3051 and early 3052, Brett Andrews was considered by many to be a prominent ristar. Steel Viper Khan Natalie Breen and Alpha Galaxy Commander Christopher Ahmed—both known for their decidedly Warden politics—were said to have held back units with strong Crusader leadership during the invasion of the Inner Sphere, keeping Andrews and the 4th Viper Guards away from very many chances to earn glory. One exception was when they took part in a larger action with Alpha Galaxy on Jabuka against the Federated Commonwealth. Though their involvement was mostly second-line in nature, they did at least share in the honor of assisting with the seizure of a planet which represented the deepest into the Inner Sphere yet tread by any of the Clans.
Battle of Tukayyid
The Battle of Tukayyid would start out boldly enough for the Steel Vipers, who bid with great confidence at the prospect of victory against the forces of ComStar and Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht. The Steel Vipers slowly advanced toward their objectives, but literally became mired in the region known as Devil's Bath. After fighting off a sudden ambush by the Com Guards, and losing entire units to the viscous and broken terrain, Khan Breen ordered a full withdrawal while she still had 90% of the three Steel Viper Galaxies intact. The Steel Vipers had earned a loss for their effort, but fared far better than any other Clan. However, Khan Breen would step down from power feeling shamed by defeat, well ahead of the inevitable backlash of her warriors.
After Tukayyid, the Steel Vipers were active against the Jade Falcons throughout their shared Occupation Zone. On Blackjack and Graus, the 4th Viper Guards won against stiff opposition from the Jade Falcons, victories that helped to shape his career as a Steel Viper warrior. Having escaped any threat to his ristar status through these victories—as well as skirting blame for less-successful efforts, which was undoubtedly helped by the rise of Crusader Khan Perigard Zalman—Andrews retained his command while continuing his rise. At some point during these years, Andrews would also fight to become the master of his Bloodhouse. After a short rebuilding, the 4th Viper Guards became known for their quick reaction to any threat to the Steel Viper's Inner Sphere holdings, as well as serving as a quick-strike force. It was in this role that elements of the 4th Viper Guards failed to achieve any of their objectives in a raid on the Federated Commonwealth world of Cumbres in 3057. Forced to flee from the world with only a handful of survivors, Star Captain Dawn—a known Warden—was blamed for the failure and convicted in a Clan Council held on Jabuka. Andrews believed that the Wardens had weakened the Steel Vipers by their very presence, and that their losses could be traced to this weakness. Having spoken with many of the Bloodnamed warriors before the Trial of Judgement, Andrews made sure that Dawn would receive punishment: exile from the Clans. After several months in the Inner Sphere, Dawn would return with the head of Stefan Amaris VII, a descendent of the Usurper Amaris, and parlayed this gruesome prize for her reinstatement in Clan Steel Viper. Andrews' reaction to this turn of events was not recorded.
When the Refusal War broke out between Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon, the Steel Vipers stood ready to pounce on the survivors of a conflict that was expected to nearly destroy both parties. But the Viper's Warden saKhan, Christopher Ahmed, had different plans in mind. Maneuvering both Wolf and Falcons against each other in an attempt to claim Wolf saKhan Phelan Ward for the Steel Vipers, Ahmed's gambit failed when both Ulric Kerensky and Wolf Khan Natasha Kerensky died unexpectedly soon. Later in 3058, the Steel Viper Clan Council would find him guilty of treason for having acted without the knowledge of his Khan. When Ahmed demanded a Trial of Refusal against the verdict, Perigard Zalman selected Brett Andrews as his champion in the matter. Andrews would go on to kill Ahmed in a Circle of Equals, and soon after, was elected saKhan in his place.
Inter-Clan relations and the Great Refusal
As noted, Andrews and Zalman's personalities often clashed, though they reportedly worked well together, each performing his best to lead the Steel Vipers to glory. The brash, younger Andrews was said to often criticize his senior Khan, arguing with Zalman about almost anything that he disagreed with. Zalman appreciated Andrews' willingness to fight for what he believed in, but was also well-aware of his saKhan's ambitious nature. Indeed, the two were noted to work well with each other politically and in the field.
|“||And what did he do? Split the Wolf Clan and defected to the Inner Sphere! There is no point in favoring a freebirth, ever!||”|
|— Brett Andrews to the Grand Council, regarding Phelan Ward and freeborn warriors.|
In the Grand Council, saKhan Andrews often backed up his Khan's policies and would at times speak during times when Khan Zalman felt the subject at hand was beneath his attention. The Jade Falcons were the targets of the Viper Khans' plan to increasingly engage their enemies, both on the political stage, and in their shared Occupational Zone. The events of the Great Refusal (which the Viper Khans opted to stay out of, leaving the matter for the Crusader Clans to handle) stalled the Viper plans for a time. Conflicts ignited in the Clan Homeworlds in the wake of the Smoke Jaguars' Annihilation at the hand of Task Force Serpent, the abandonment of the Homeworlds by Clan Ghost Bear, and Clan Nova Cat's apparent betrayal of the Clan way after siding with the upstart Second Star League. Aware of their past failures to capitalize on events and the apparent weakness of the Jade Falcons, the Steel Vipers used this chaotic time to their advantage, shifting to a position to assault the hated Jade Falcons.
|“||Excuse my bluntness, but with her you act like an apprentice to a master. You are the master now! Natalie Breen once held power, but no more. In freebirth life, when a master is retired, the apprentice takes over. He does not go running to the former master each time a nail is off center.||”|
|— saKhan Brett Andrews to Khan Perigard Zalman.|
One area in which the two differed was their feelings regarding former Khan Natalie Breen. While Khan Zalman had often sought her advice in various matter, Brett Andrews scorned her for having failed at Tukayyid, believing that she should have been eliminated from their ranks long before. Despite this feeling of distrust, Breen's encouragement to attack the Jade Falcons soon after found an eager listener in saKhan Andrews. All three leaders agreed that the time was right to begin moving toward a major attack, while the shock of the Clans' collective defeat by the forces of the Inner Sphere on Strana Mechty was still fresh, and the rest of the Clans were too distracted fighting for position amid the Homeworlds.
Assigned to see to the logistics and planning of their assault, Brett Andrews was confident of victory in spite of initial misgivings about deceptive troop movements. The first wave hit in early 3061, striking in a wave that hit from Toland to Quarell along the spine of the invasion corridor and the border with Clan Wolf. The first wave was accomplished with ease. Andrews prevailed on the more cautious-minded Zalman to prematurely launch a second wave of attacks under his command. The highly ambitious plan captured six more worlds, while cutting several more off to be taken later, but had one major flaw; it left worlds at the rear of the advance exposed and under-defended. Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde and saKhan Samantha Clees (who nursed her own smoldering hate for Andrews) returned from their less-hurried trip back along the Exodus Road and negotiated with Wolf Khan Vlad Ward for the right to use Wolf systems to launch their counter-offensive. This surprise attack saw world after world secured by the Jade Falcons, while forces already in the Occupational Zone rallied to drive the Steel Vipers into a confined area. At the key world of Waldorff—ironically, the Steel Viper's first possession in the Inner Sphere—the Falcons proved to be more than a match. The fierce battle raged for days, but the momentum remained with the underestimated Jade Falcon forces. After Perigard Zalman's shocking defeat at the hands of the very freeborn warrior he so often spoke out against, Diana Pryde, the Steel Vipers gathered their forces and escaped off world under Khan Pryde's offer of hegira. The 4th Viper Guards were reported to be completely destroyed in the conflict, with no effort put toward rebuilding the unit during the years afterward.
During the long and anti-climactic journey home, Khan Zalman was said to have faced many challenges to his leadership. Several warriors encouraged saKhan Andrews to take the Khanship from the elder Khan, but Zalman retained his office, though whether this was achieved by force of arms or by other less-combative methods remains unclear. What is known is that during this time Zalman convinced Andrews about his ideas regarding Inner Sphere taint that had long set in and had decayed many of the Clans from the inside. They agreed that this taint had especially permeated the Invading Clans. By the time they had neared the Clan Homeworlds, Brett Andrews firmly believed that this taint was to blame for the failures of the Clan invasion all the way through to the Great Refusal, as well as greatly contributing to Clan Steel Viper's woes. Once more, the two leaders were united in resolve.
Having been ejected from the Inner Sphere in an organized and ritual manner of a defeated Clan, and with most of their forces still intact and well-supplied, the Steel Vipers quickly found their mettle tested upon reaching the Kerensky Cluster. Clan Snow Raven, another hated enemy, launched assaults on several Viper enclaves through 3062 and 3063, but the focus of the struggle took place on Homer. A former holding of Clan Smoke Jaguar, the Steel Vipers seized upon Homer as a target for expansion soon after the Great Refusal and before their ejection from the Inner Sphere. Clan Cloud Cobra - who regarded Homer as their homeworld - secretly offered generous incentives for the Snow Ravens to strike the Steel Vipers, which they accepted gladly. The battle was prolonged and bitterly fought, but in the end, the Ravens were forced to withdraw. The Steel Vipers were forced back to their enclave, and later, were subject to an assault by Clan Cloud Cobra which ended with a settlement negotiated by Clan Star Adder. The three Clans reached an agreement that saw the Steel Vipers depart the world. Many analysts have speculated that during this meeting between their respective Khans, the roots were laid for what would eventually come to be called the Snake Alliance.
The Vipers struck at Lum in 3065, the Snow Raven's traditional homeworld, besieging it during a five week assault that greatly disrupted their enemy. During their occupation of several key enclaves, the Steel Vipers plundered a great deal of resources, and even took with them part of the Lum orbital yards. As the Steel Vipers finally withdrew from the surface of the world, in the face of fire and without benefit of hegira, Khan Zalman's DropShip was shot out of the sky by a fusillade from the Sovetskii Soyuz-class heavy cruiser CSR Avalanche, ending his life and reign.
Khan of the Steel Vipers
Brett Andrews was soon after elected Khan in Zalman's place. He was in turn succeeded in the role of Steel Viper saKhan by the fiery Nicole Hoskins, along with Arthur Stoklas continuing in the role of Steel Viper Loremaster. Though the Steel Vipers had considered their Clan honor sated by the time of their withdrawal from Lum, the death of Perigard Zalman at the hands of the Snow Ravens once more inflamed the Vipers against their traditional enemy. Using resources gained from dealings with Clan Wolf to repair and upgrade certain of their vessels in the main New Kent shipyards, as well as materials looted from the Snow Ravens, the Steel Vipers had a secret slip built further out into the star system. Using plans secured during their excursion on Lum, the Steel Vipers were set to work on their weapon of vengeance, a huge Leviathan Prime-class battleship, to be christened the CSV Perigard Zalman upon completion.
As the Vipers recovered their strength and built for the future (including plans to eventually take on the Snow Ravens in their home environment of naval warfare), Khan Andrews increasingly involved himself with the politics of the time. He had long since lost faith in the Grand Council as a ruling body, having learned about the ineffective nature of Grand Council justice and censure long before, while witnessing Clan Coyote's censure for the failed attack on the Babylon Diet of 3062. This attack that was aided by the Steel Vipers, who viewed the meeting as a dezgra venture, due to the attendance of religious figures from the Inner Sphere on a Pentagon World. Much later, in early 3068, a young Viper warrior named Paul of the mostly exclusive Mattlov line sought to compete for an open Bloodname through the Grand Melee, but was impeded in this endeavor at many steps by the Jade Falcons' various protocols. After missing the Trial of Bloodright due to errors and delays, the young warrior demanded a Trial of Refusal, and was subsequently blown up in what Andrews believed to be a faulty Linebacker OmniMech during his stand against the Bloodright results. When urged by saKhan Hoskins to take his outrage to the Grand Council, he declined, citing his disgust with the dwindling power of the Clans' primary political body. Events like this would further reinforce Andrews' belief that taint—as foretold by Ulric Kerensky, and later, by Andrews' own mentor, Perigard Zalman—had grown to corrupt even the Home Clans.
In the latter months of 3068, the Grand Council convened to discuss news of the recent dissolution of the second Star League. Khan Andrews called for a vote to elect a new ilKhan before any action was taken in refuting the Great Refusal. Clan Blood Spirit's saKhan Troy Boques nominated Garret Sainze of Clan Fire Mandrill, who was as surprised by the move as nearly everyone else gathered, and was unable to gain enough composure to capitalize on the event. Both Andrews and his ally Stanislav N'Buta of the Star Adders were also nominated by their own power blocs, deadlocking the vote and leaving the question of a new invasion hanging in limbo. Deeper into the session, many Khans were also shocked to learn of the nuclear attacks against former Star League signatory worlds like Tharkad, attacks that were perpetrated by the Word of Blake during the opening of their Jihad. Clan Snow Raven's Khan Lynn McKenna displayed her evidence and called for Clan intervention from the council. This measure was surprisingly doomed to fail. Khan Andrews and saKhan Hoskins voted against the measure, along with the Star Adders and—oddly enough—the Diamond Shark Khans, led by Barbara Sennet, among others who helped to deadlock and subsequently kill the measure. This was aided through surprising abstentions by the Wolf, Fire Mandrill and Jade Falcon Khans, as well as the complete absence of the Khans of Clan Hell's Horses from the session.
Ejection of Clan Jade Falcon
The enmity between the Steel Vipers and Jade Falcons reached new heights toward the turn of the decade. In 3069, the two Clans clashed on Marshall, where the Viper Fusiliers of Beta Galaxy squared off against the Jade Falcon's 2nd Falcon Velites in a Trial of Possession. After the Steel Viper force began to take control of the battle, the Jade Falcons called in the rest of their bid, including artillery fire. This shattered the Steel Viper Cluster, with scarcely a Binary surviving the Trial. Khan Andrews demanded that a Grand Council convene immediately to obtain justice in the matter – more justice than an ineffectual censure would provide. After a heated exchange between the leadership of both Clans, the vote was defeated, leaving the Viper Khans exasperated and further convinced of the increasing powerlessness of the Grand Council.
Deciding to wait patiently for the perfect opportunity to strike back and take their revenge, Khan Andrews would speak out against the Jade Falcons at a meeting of the Grand Council for the observance of Exodus Day, on 5 November 3069. After the bulk of the ceremonies had taken place, Andrews stood and declared the Jade Falcons corrupt with the taint of the Inner Sphere, and called for their expulsion from the Clan Homeworlds. The failure of this vote was not surprising to the Steel Viper Khans, who left the meeting vowing to take the matter into their own hands. Two days later, the Jade Falcon stronghold of Ironhold was under assault by Alpha Galaxy and a large contingent of Steel Viper WarShips. The Emerald Talon Naval Star was demolished during this and a later assault on the final Jade Falcon holdings in the Kerensky Cluster, and few Falcon warriors were taken as isorla during the fighting. At Marshall, Beta Galaxy destroyed the dezgra 2nd Falcon Velites to a man. At Eden, Tokasha, Huntress, Barcella, and Glory, the results were Steel Viper victories. Khan Andrews led the Triasch Keshik to Strana Mechty, killing every Jade Falcon warrior that would stand in defense of the enclave. Three months after it had begun, the Jade Falcons were driven from their final enclaves on the planet Lum. Their only possession in all of the Clan Homeworlds were the enclaves of Strana Mechty, as was the right of all Clans not Abjured or Annihilated.
|“||I alone had taken the Vipers into battle against three different Clans over the last two years, virtually evicting the Jade Falcons and Snow Ravens, and dealing serious hurt to the Diamond Sharks – all under our strictest honor codes of combat.||”|
|— Brett Andrews, 3072, Reflections on the Way of Kerensky|
Ravens and Sharks
The Steel Vipers were flushed with their success; they had ousted the Jade Falcons from their Homeworld holdings, defeating an Invading Clan, as well as a hated foe. By the Grand Council meeting of March 3070, they were ready to test their new political might. The Diamond Sharks had brought news to the Council regarding the destruction of Galedon V in the Draconis Combine by orbital bombardment. This act, which killed upwards of billions of civilians during the dezgra assault and afterwards, in the wake of what came to called the Curse of Galedon, inflamed many in the Homeworlds. After an eloquent speech by Star Adder saKhan Dante Truscott regarding the Raven's acting on poor intelligence and in dishonor of the memory of the Founder, saKhan Nichole Hoskins stood and ambitiously called for the Absorption of Clan Snow Raven by Clan Steel Viper. Their Star Adder allies were outraged at this sudden turn, and most of their power bloc voted with them to block the Steel Viper motion, along with abstentions by the Wolves, Fire Mandrills, and Cloud Cobras to help kill it through a locked vote. With the failure of yet one more motion that could have helped the Steel Vipers in some way, Khan Andrews called for a vote of no confidence in the Grand Council as a ruling body, which would force new elections of khans for all Clans. Though he was backed by the Adders, Cobras, Goliath Scorpions and Ice Hellions (Khan Raina Montose was said to have seconded the motion), this vote also failed to gather the necessary majority, with several key abstentions that sealed its doom.
Khan Andrews and his allies left the Grand Council in disgust, but were determined that they would mete out justice against the Snow Ravens for their apparent abandonment of the Honor Road. The Snake Alliance planned a massive strike that would hit every major Snow Raven Enclave except Lum. After bidding between the Clans, the Steel Vipers won the rights to assault Brim, Hellgate, alongside the Cloud Cobras, and Bearclaw in conjunction with the Star Adders. The Vipers took all of their objectives plus extra enclaves, such as a Summoner facility on Bearclaw that the Adders were unable to attempt, embroiled as they were with fighting against the Blood Spirits and their allies, the Fire Mandrills' Kindraa Sainze on Albion, Circe, and Arcadia.
The fierce fighting only relented when Snow Raven Khan Lynn McKenna presented the Grand Council with proof of Clan Diamond Shark's dealings with the Federated Suns. Gathered by the Outworlds Alliance intelligence service OAI, and the Snow Raven Watch led by Loremaster Klaus Harper, the evidence indicated an exchange of Clan technology to the Successor State for mineral resources and trade rights. Khan Andrews sought to deal with the Diamond Sharks in the same manner as the Ravens, but his support soon dwindled and disappeared. Khan Steiner and the Cloud Cobras, who fought hard to take all of their objectives against the Snow Ravens, opted to stand aside. And after taking several lightly defended enclaves on Barcella, the Star Adders also ceased their advances, offering the final honors to the Steel Vipers. Andrews was angered, and reprimanded Stanislav N'Buta for retiring from the fight early, but was determined to press the assault. He sent Gamma, Beta and Delta Galaxies to Babylon, Paxon, and Strato Domingo, where the Vipers had many initial success, but ultimately failed to take their objectives in several cases. Fighting was often marked by the Diamond Shark's use of physical attacks and other dezgra tactics, which Andrews would see as proof of their Inner Sphere taint. The losses sustained at Babylon were so terrible that Gamma Galaxy Commander and trothkin James Andrews was reported to have committed permanent surkairede after returning to the Viper homeworld of New Kent.
With stiff resistance from the Diamond Sharks and their naval forces, resulting in a shortage of material such as DropShips, Andrews and the Steel Vipers unveiled their secret weapon, the CSV Perigard Zalman. The massive battleship appeared at a Lagrange point within the Strana Mechty system on 20 September 3070, and immediately engaged the Diamond Shark's Black Diamond Naval Star, destroying the Carrack-class transport CDS Bloodletter and Lola III-class destroyer CDS Predator in its first pass. After a prolonged engagement, two more Diamond Shark WarShips were destroyed, before the survivors could jump out of system to safety. The Steel Vipers were exceptionally pleased by the results of the Zalman's performance on its maiden voyage. SaKhan Hoskins then led the WarShip first to Eden, to join the Steel Viper Naval Reserve, before jumping to Lum to face the elite Snow Raven fleet. The Snow Ravens were prepared and were aware of this new battleship's capabilities, with many WarShips on hand with which to defend, but were still unable to defeat the Viper fleet. Both sides sustained heavy damage, but the Raven presence in the Clan Homeworlds was shattered after a final counter attack five days after the first battle. Of the Snow Raven battle fleet, only the Aegis-class heavy cruiser CSR Lord Death escaped, and only then after sustaining severe damage.
Hidden perils and the Dogs of War
Faced with a critical shortage of DropShips after the intense rounds of inter-Clan warfare, the Steel Vipers were forced to halt to address their substantial losses. The Snow Ravens gathered their forces and were soon to depart the homeworlds forever. The Diamond Sharks were likewise evacuating. Brett Andrews was rising on the political wake of these victories, but his ambition did not go unnoticed. Andrews was understandably despised by the Snow Ravens, and the Blood Spirits most often worked against his schemes as well. He was almost universally hated by the Invading Clans, though their power in the Grand Council was waning. But not all of his enemies were known to him. Though Clan Coyote was never known to have gotten along with the Steel Vipers, Coyote Khan Silas Kufahl had taken notice of the Snake Alliance and their doings and was moved to take action against it. Recognizing Andrews as a rising political power of highly ambitious nature, the Steel Vipers secretly became the Coyotes' primary target in the years to come.
The Steel Vipers continued to rebuild the damage taken during the fighting at the turn of the decade. The Grand Council of February 3071 brought news of the nuclear attacks on the Clan Wolf world of the former Lyran Commonwealth world of Tamar. Initial Watch reports claimed the damage to be of moderate but recoverable nature. They were shown different by evidence presented by Wolf Khan Vlad Ward, who showed the gathering images of smoking ruins of factories and their capital city after the Word of Blake attack that took place only months prior. Left out was the damage to the Clan Wolf genetic repository, which was information that would have meant Clan Wolf's imminent death at the hands of her sister Clans. The response to the situation was astounding. After much political maneuvering by the Snake Clans and their opposition in the Grand Council, Khan Garret Sainze of the Fire Mandrills was elected ilKhan over Stanislav N'Buta of the Star Adders by one vote, that of Diamond Shark Khan Barbara Sennet. Furious that their ploy backfired, Andrews and the Snake Alliance power bloc denied a reopening of the Clan invasion, refusing to take war to the Blakists, and leaving the Great Refusal in place. Sainze was soon killed in a Trial of Refusal against his election, declared by Khan Ariel Suvorov of the Goliath Scorpions, whose victory gutted the Kindraa while proving Sainze unfit for office, but at the cost of Scorpion saKhan Nelson Elam and two elite clusters. The Cloud Cobras would soon call a Trial of Reaving on the Sainze Bloodname, though the embattled Kindraa Sainze would manage to stave off this trial after a hard fought battle.
|“||If these Khans could not see the inherent danger around us, stagnating in the Homeworlds with little hope of mastering our destiny as Kerensky’s children, it was worthless to decide upon a leader with no cause to follow. Sainze’s disgrace was proof of that.||”|
|— Brett Andrews, 3072, Reflections on the Way of Kerensky|
The Wolves, like the Diamond Sharks and Snow Ravens, began their own plans to depart the Kerensky Cluster and the Pentagon Worlds. Clan Hell's Horses likewise had been progressing with their own secret move to the Inner Sphere, though without as much notice by the other Home Clans. Clan Wolf's removal of their genetic legacies from the Strana Mechty Blood Chapels in early April of 3071 was done at first without the knowledge of—and later—against the will of the Grand Council, throwing the city of Katyusha into violent chaos. Steel Viper troops were amongst many that fought against the 1st Wolf Lancers. Steel Viper warriors, such as Star Captain Dale Hoskins, also participated in rounding up and executing all Clan Wolf lower caste members who were left in the wake of the Lancers departing with their precious cargo to the Black Lion-class battlecruiser CWS Stealthy Kill and the Wolf world of Tranquil. On 15 April 3071 the Wolves were Abjured by the Grand Council. When Khan Ward mocked the gathered Khans, Brett Andrews called for a Trial of Annihilation against the Wolf Clan. The vote failed, thanks to solidarity amongst the Spheroid Clans, as well as the Wolves' old allies, Clan Coyote. The Coyotes would bid for and defeat the Steel Vipers and the Goliath Scorpions for the right to carry out the Wolf Abjuration, though this would not stop Andrews from seeking to gain former Wolf holdings on Glory, Eden and Grant's Station. The Viper's plans were often interfered with by their fellow Clans, not all of whom bore the Wolves ill-will. These prolonged engagements would keep the Clan Steel Viper Touman busy as events came to a head in the Clan Homeworlds.
IlKhan and the Reavings
On 1 December 3071 the Grand Council met on Strana Mechty. After discussing matters of business at hand, Khan Andrews took the floor and delivered a stirring speech about refuting the Great Refusal. Bringing the vote to the floor one last time—seconded by the Star Adders—Andrews promised the Council to let the matter lie dead if the vote should fail. The vote, which was more about the legitimacy of the Second Star League than the actual Great Refusal, passed with only the Diamond Sharks, Hell's Horses, and Ice Hellions opposing. The Great Refusal was refused. All of this had been carefully planned, including Stanislav N'Buta's declining his own nomination for the ilKhanship, deferring to Andrews. The vote was a success for Andrews, with only the Coyotes, Snow Ravens, Jade Falcons and Diamond Sharks against it. Khan Pryde and saKhan Clees of the Jade Falcons were said to have disconnected their feed in protest of the decision.
The new ilKhan proceeded to make his first declaration – one that would alter the Clans forever. Called the Reavings, this new proclamation was the culmination of Andrews' political beliefs regarding the Clans, who would later claim that the idea had been inspired shortly after the death of Perigard Zalman. Inner Sphere taint would have to be burnt from the Clans if they were to have success in a new invasion, the ilKhan essentially told the assembled Grand Council. Any Blood Heritage present in the Homeworlds associated with an Invading Clan could be subject to a Reaving – a short Trial called by a "pure" Clan warrior. The targeted warrior could be eliminated by any means at the Reaving warrior's disposal, and if successful, that Blood Heritage would then be owned by the Clan of the warrior who called the Reaving. The taint in question was to be eliminated by the Reaving process, subsequently reverting the genetic legacy to a pre-3050 state by eliminating all subsequent generations, before it could continue to be used in the warrior breeding program of its new Clan.
|“|| Putting the Clans into position requires extreme measures; we must remove the taint that has beset us, much as it beset our wayward brethren in the Pentagon worlds so many generations ago.
Reaving our impurities is the only answer.
|— IlKhan Brett Andrews, 3072, Reflections on the Way of Kerensky|
To demonstrate his new decree, ilKhan Andrews called a Reaving on saKhan Angus Labov, who was present. The angered Diamond Shark saKhan accepted, demanding that the Trial be carried out right away. Quietly reciting the ritual words of a Clan Trial, the ilKhan deftly threw a knife that had been hidden in his ceremonial garb, piercing the throat of saKhan Labov, who then bled to death on the Grand Council floor amid growing pandemonium. Khan Bjorn Jorgensson of the Ghost Bears declared the gathering beneath the attention of his Clan, departing soon after. The Steel Vipers called Reavings on several Bloodnames belonging to the Jade Falcons and Ghost Bears. Others, such as the Khans of the Coyotes and Star Adders, remained quiet, perhaps in realization of the full implications of what they had just witnessed. Many Invading Clans' genetic legacies were trialed for and were put into use with Home Clans of the time, both exclusive and those lines that are shared amongst many Clans. The declaration of the Reavings would have a crushing effect not only on the Spheroid Clans, but also several of the Home Clans.
Wolf defiance and the Reavings unfold
Two days after ilKhan Andrews' decree, two DropShips of the now-Abjured Clan Wolf swooped down over Strana Mechty, dropping two Clusters of the Wolves' new Omicron Galaxy, seizing the Kerensky Blood Chapel. Wolf Watch Star Colonel Ramil Kerensky issued a challenge to the rest of the Clans to take it back from them. Katyusha again erupted into violence. IlKhan Andrews issued a decree stating that any Clan that captured the legacies would become the permanent holders of the Founders' Genes. Clan after Clan vied to take back the genetic legacies of Nicholas and Andery Kerensky – often as much with each other as with the Wolves. Three days later, Star Colonel Kerensky's Dire Wolf finally collapsed. As he taunted his foes one last time, the Blood Chapel was ripped apart by an explosion from within, burying all underneath the rubble, and leaving everyone to believe that the Founder's legacies were destroyed. The Winson Blood Chapel was also burning, due to the work of Wolf Elemental saboteurs. During the chaos, the Wolves had also infiltrated the master repository under auspices of daily business, destroying all known copies of the Kerensky's genetic legacies, as well as that of Jennifer Winson. Only later in the Inner Sphere would Vlad Ward reveal to the Spheroid Clans that the legacies were safe and unharmed.
A Grand Council emergency session was called in the immediate wake of these events. Clan Wolf was put up for a Trial of Annihilation, though the Khans of the Ghost Bears, Jade Falcons and Hell's Horses were not present. IlKhan Andrews ordered Loremaster of the Clans Kael Pershaw to keep the results secret. The grizzled old warrior's loyalty to Clan law precluded this. After informing his counterpart in Clan Ghost Bear, Loremaster Laurie Tseng—as well as the Jade Falcon Khans—Pershaw began preparations to depart Strana Mechty with the remainder of Jade Falcon personnel in the Clan Homeworlds. The Steel Viper Watch spied on his conversation with Khan Pryde, and a Reaving call was issued for Pershaw soon after. Star Colonel Thomas Andrews confronted Pershaw and declared a Trial of Reaving, to which Pershaw bid simply himself and his prosthetic limbs. Seconds later, Andrews lay dead, shot by the laser pistol grafted to Pershaw's left arm. Pershaw departed the stunned gathering easily, the Trial's bid having not been violated. Hours later, latent anger would cause the Steel Vipers to order an orbital bombardment of the Jade Falcon compound, leveling it, but also setting fire to several other parts of Katyusha. The warriors and lower castes of the Clans were swept up in the flurry of uncounted Reavings that took place in the wake of the ilKhan's declaration, increasing the mayhem dramatically. The Jade Falcons and the Ghost Bears escaped off planet as WarShips from several Clans became distracted by each others' efforts to take part in the Reavings, many zeroing in on one another other as targets of opportunity. Amid the increasing tumult, both Spheroid Clans soon departed the Clan Homeworlds permanently.
|“|| I have no doubt there will be some that will fall by the wayside and be Absorbed, others may be outright destroyed. But I look to the future beyond: only the truest Children of Kerensky will remain, honoring the memory of his name even as we strive to find a way to rebirth it.
And I foresee the Steel Vipers leading the charge. We are the pure from our own practices, and we are destined to light the way.
|— IlKhan Brett Andrews, Musings|
Andrews felt that all Clans, Spheroid and Home Clan alike, would have to take measure of their own stock, in order to root out Inner Sphere taint. Bloodnames belonging to tainted Clans were but one example the reaving of taint. He specifically cited Clans like the Goliath Scorpions and their dealings with (and ultimate Absorption of) the Eridani Light Horse, as well as leaders like Karianna Schmitt of the Blood Spirits, and other Khans that had dealings in what he termed as the "False Refusal". Leaders judged weak were to be Reaved, in favor of new leadership for a new invasion of the Inner Sphere by Clans that had purified themselves of taint. But the concept of taint was often taken with widely varying interpretation by his fellow Khans. Taint, as a concept, was used to justify many acts of violence that would otherwise be viewed as wasteful, such as orbital bombardment and destruction of infrastructure.
Despite holding office as the ilKhan of the Clans, Andrews was unafraid to force most issues with the efficient application of brute strength. Keeping his role as Khan of Clan Steel Viper throughout his reign, Andrews used the Steel Viper Touman to enforce his decrees, often to the gain of his Clan. Early on, Clan Fire Mandrill's Kindraa Mick-Kline-Kreese-Sainze became a target, after Star Colonel Abraxas Mick ordered an orbital bombardment that went astray, destroying swaths of Katyusha and the surrounding countryside. Steel Viper and Coyote vessels Sovetskii Soyuz-class CSV Sanra Mercer and Carrack-class CCS Solar Blaze Reaved the Potemkin-class cruiser CFM Jungle Heat, destroying the vessel in a brief but deadly naval engagement. The Reaving call would be placed on the rest of the Kindraa soon after. Wishing to delay the spread of news about the Annihilation vote and the subsequent chaos on Strana Mechty, Andrews asked Star Adder Khan N'Buta to see to the severing of communications between the Homeworlds and the Inner Sphere. During this time, he would likewise order the complete destruction of the final Clan Wolf holding in the Homeworlds, the world of Tranquil, a task that was completed by December of 3071. Scenes like these would become common throughout the homeworlds in the years to come.
Clan Coyote, The Society, and Caste Rebellion
While many Clans took advantage of the reavings to execute their own agendas, as the Star Adders would do in their war with Clan Blood Spirit, Clan Coyote quietly chose to stand against the the ilKhan. The decision to take the one true power of the scientists—as the field of genetics was viewed—and give it to the warrior caste to arbitrarily decide upon through wars and politics was viewed as the destruction and desecration of Nicholas Kerensky's true vision of society. Many of these vocal critics were later found to belong to a secret cabal of scientists called The Society. Using the proclamation of the Reavings and the ensuing mayhem as their sign to act, the Society and their allies in the Dark Caste, as well as the recently reborn Clan Burrock, struck in a wave of assaults across the Homeworlds. Assisting this was the sudden collapse of the HPG grid and failure of JumpShip assets caused by infection from carefully crafted electronic virii and other weapons of informational nature. Across the Clan Homeworlds, the scientists encouraged lower caste citizens to rise up, but were met with only marginal success; the Clan way was too well ingrained upon the populace of most enclaves for this to be effective. Still, it was often enough to supply their forces with troops who were eager to fight. Most were drawn from amongst the trueborn populace of the lower castes, and sometimes against their will, for purposes that ranged from fighting in the rebellion against the warrior caste, to becoming unwilling subjects of experiments by the rogue scientists.
Many worlds disappeared from communication in late 3071, and more in 3072. Invasions by large forces of varying origin were executed across the Kerensky Cluster. A large part of the enemy force were of Bandit Caste origin, aided by the scientists and—as often as not—bolstered and led by Clan Coyote. Entire worlds fell into the control of the chalcas rebels over the next two years.
On the Fire Mandrill world of Shadow, warriors of Clan Coyote were reported to have turned against forces from the Steel Vipers and the Goliath Scorpions after carrying out the reaving of Kindraa Mick-Kline-Kreese-Sainze and their leader, Mandrill saKhan Dakar Mick. The Steel Vipers' entire Omicron Galaxy was eventually wiped out by the Coyotes, and word of the massacre was not heard for years due to the HPG blackout. The Steel Vipers would lose communication with most of their enclaves on Ironhold, Tokasha, Circe, Marshall, Atreus, and Barcella, amongst others. And without communication, most Clans were left to deal with similar situations on their own.
Reaving the Ravens, Hellions, and Mandrills
During this time, Andrews and his Steel Vipers chose not to reach out to anyone beyond contacting allies for information, leaving many worlds to sink under the tide of darkness while the Vipers sat defensively. He declared that any Clan citizens found to be supporting the rebellion were to in turn be subjects of instant Trials of Annihilation, though he was not yet in full understanding of the threat that the Clans were facing. Their own scientist caste was close-knit and seemed virtually unaffected by the scientists' cabal, and as a consequence, the Steel Vipers could not readily understand what was happening to the rest of the clans. Still, some actions took place during the next few years that reportedly allowed the Steel Vipers to gain a better view of the depth, and eventually, the nature of the unfolding crisis.
Atrocities were increasingly common throughout the Wars of Reaving, as the period would come to be known. Yet like many other things, only those events that either aided or impeded the Steel Vipers were of importance to ilKhan Andrews. When opportunity was sensed, the Steel Vipers would strike, such as against the Snow Ravens at Ghent in 3073. The CSV Perigard Zalman was again spearheading the assault. Star Commodore Terrence Moffat also held command of the Star Adder's Beta Naval Reserve for the duration of the battle, but kept them out of the initial fighting through shrewd bidding. The appearance of said unit was in time to break the back of the Snow Ravens' WarShip defenders, destroying or capturing all but sixteen of the Snow Raven's JumpShips out of a convoy that had numbered over a hundred vessels. The attack shattered the Ravens' last major convoy to the Inner Sphere while gaining a great deal of isorla for both Clans. Andrews was also pleased to have hindered any effort the Snow Ravens might undertake to aid the Inner Sphere against a future Clan invasion.
In August of 3073, a Clan Coyote fleet led by Khan Silas Kufahl appeared at New Kent, where the Coyote leader issued a Reaving call against Brett Andrews for doing nothing to help the Clans during the mounting crises that gripped the Homeworlds. Andrews killed Kufahl in a Trial fought on the Steel Viper Clan Council floor, a duel that reportedly lasted for no more than five minutes. The ilKhan ordered his intelligence network, headed by Loremaster Stoklas, to find the extent of the damage – which was found to have affected many worlds throughout the Kerensky Cluster. Finding the Ice Hellions to be a particularly weak target, Andrews ordered seizure of many of their holdings on shared worlds such as Hoard, Atreus, and Foster after a hasty vote and agreement between the Steel Vipers and the Snake Alliance to quietly Absorb Clan Ice Hellion. At Londerholm, the Steel Vipers found easy pickings, but ran up against forces of Clan Coyote and the Society. After a prolonged battle, the Steel Viper's Gamma Galaxy emerged victorious, but at woeful cost. The populace was found to have been subject to experiments by the scientists, and sometimes showed physical signs of genetic tampering and mutation. Finding that the impoverished enclaves were decimated by neglect, plague and the incessant warfare of the time, Andrews would often order the populace abandoned, if not to Annihilated outright as was often the case, taking only what could be brought with them and leaving many enclaves abandoned. On Barcella, the Steel Vipers crushed the meager defenses of the Ice Hellion enclave, as well as the 61st Firestorm Cluster of the Mandrills' Kindraa Mattila-Carrol. And on Hellgate, enclaves that once belonged to Clan Snow Raven were now the domain of several small the Society Cells. After fighting off the Coyotes in orbit, the Steel Vipers would find stiff resistance from the citizens on the ground, cutting off all avenues of approach with a tremendous rock slide, stymieing the efforts of Alpha Galaxy to subdue the enclaves. Galaxy Commander Kimberly Hoskins ordered an orbital bombardment from the recently arrived Congress-class frigate CSV Snake Leader. Before the close of the year, a plague struck dead saKhan Hoskins and several other Steel Viper warriors from the Hoskins, Tamm and Mercer genetic lines, eventually causing the deaths of ninety thousand lower caste citizens and roughly three clusters of warriors. She was soon after succeeded by Boyle Grimani in the role of Viper saKhan.
In March of 3073, Andrews assembled a large war fleet. New Kent was still in shambles, so Steel Viper command structure was moved to the CSV Perigard Zalman. Their mission was to regain contact and control of all Viper holdings, and take other enclaves as opportunity presented itself. At Grant's Station, Alpha, Beta, and Delta Galaxies overtook defenders form Clan Coyote's Nu Galaxy and significant elements of the Dark Caste. Less fighting greeted their forces at Marshall and Atreus, but similar scenes of total destruction and desolation were to be witnessed. In most instances, ilKhan Andrews had the enclaves stripped of value, ordering the entire populace annihilated, if not abandoned to fate completely.
Goliath Scorpion and Blood Spirit
Battles with Clan Goliath Scorpion would also raise the ilKhan's ire, such as on Foster, in June 3073. Andrews increasingly viewed the Scorpions as a tainted lot, a perception that seemed vindicated when a warrior known to have been part of the Eridani Light Horse Mercenary band fired at point blank into the cockpit of Steel Viper Star Colonel Ollos during a Trial of Possession for two Steel Viper enclaves. This incident would come close to forcing the Goliath Scorpions to undergo a Reaving call, though it would fail narrowly in the Grand Council when brought to a vote. In a battle on Foster later in October of 3073, the Goliath Scorpions would lose a great deal of their naval power, as well as several clusters of troops, including the life of saKhan Kelton Myers (and that of erstwhile ally Khan Amanda Carrol of the Fire Mandrills). IlKhan Andrews and his staff would decide on the Goliath Scorpions as their next target to be Reaved, citing their embrace of Inner Sphere forces and use of orbital bombardment as markers for the depth of taint within their Clan.
In 3074, the Steel Vipers landed at Tokasha, another world that had been lost to the blackout years earlier. Finding that it surprisingly was held almost entirely by Clan Blood Spirit—though vestigial remnants of Hell's Horses and Goliath Scorpions enclaves were also on the embattled world—ilKhan Andrews himself led the Steel Vipers in a Trial of Possession. He would declare the Blood Spirits dezgra and unclean due to their Absorption of diseased populaces at Tokasha, Marshall, and Atreus, eschewing zellbrigen often during the battle. After crushing most of their on-planet forces, Andrews called out Khan Troy Boques, often through insulting his lineage amongst his many taunts. Boques responded by meeting Andrews in the field of battle, though the Bloody ilKhan would win the trial in a Circle of Equals. After the battle, the ilKhan led his forces in slaughtering the few remaining Hell's Horses and Goliath Scorpions left on the planet, claiming all of it for Clan Steel Viper.
Reckoning with Clan Coyote
As the HPG grid came back online towards the end of 3074, Andrews was finally able to put together enough information to have a clear picture of what had taken place. Evidence from across the Kerensky Cluster showed that one Clan in particular—Clan Coyote—had betrayed them all, and was in fact supporting the Society and the caste rebellion. Amassing the majority of the Clan Steel Viper Touman at Strana Mechty, Andrews then ordered his forces to go on and assault Tamaron.
In what would become the largest naval engagement in Clan-held space since the days of Operation KLONDIKE, Clan Steel Viper's fleet emerged at a point near the planet, in the midst of the formidable defenses amassed against invaders. Star Commodore Terrence Moffat kept the fleet out of reach of Tamaron's advanced Space Defense System, picking apart the Coyote fleet and other defenses as they cautiously approached. As ilKhan Andrews and the Steel Viper DropShips began their descent toward the planet's surface, the Texas-class CCS Ancestral Home moved to directly engage the Perigard Zalman. The Ancestral Home shook off several fusillades, and yet turned to deliver multiple devastating close-range broadsides to the Zalman. Both vessels were heavily damaged in the exchange, but before they could part ways, the Ancestral Home suddenly engaged its KF drive. A partially formed hyperspace bubble collapsed the Home in upon itself, but also ripped away half of the Perigard Zalman, destroying both vessels. After about a week of battling in space, the CCS Midnight Star and the Solar Blaze escaped to Kirin, as the Nightlord-class CCS Great Coyote Spirit surrendered.
The fierce fighting on the ground would take only a little longer to resolve. Andrews commanded his force—comprised of six Galaxies—to advance on the capital of San Mateo, while securing several major production facilities along the way. The Coyotes lost Epsilon and Lambda Galaxies during the initial stages of fighting, and later would add Delta and Rho Galaxies to this list. Conversely, the Steel Vipers would lose Delta, Nu, and Rho before the fighting was done. One odd sign that the ilKhan noticed came from reports that the Coyote's Zeta Galaxy had launched attacks against the remnants of their own Delta Galaxy. Noting that the Coyotes had more forces hidden in the dense urban setting of their capital, ilKhan Andrews stopped, deciding to call out the Coyote Khans. Meeting in an area called Founder's Park on 16 December 3074, Andrews and saKhan Grimani would later emerge victorious. The deaths of both Coyote Khan Elliot McKibben and saKhan Raven Clearwater signaled the end of the struggle on Tamaron.
Grand Council and death
The Grand Council reconvened in the early months of 3075, aboard the McKenna's Pride, due to damage to the Hall of Khans on Strana Mechty. Quickly recognizing Clan Fire Mandrill and Clan Ice Hellion as no more, ilKhan Andrews motioned that Clans Jade Falcon, Diamond Shark, Ghost Bear and Snow Raven be Abjured due to their silence and absence throughout the crisis in the Clan Homeworlds. He also reminded all those present that Reavings would be carried out on all tainted Bloodnames, though he once more did not define the term "taint", instead leaving it to interpretation. This motion found support across the council, and the Clans present voted in favor of the measure. SaKhan Grimani brought forth the next motion, demanding that the Goliath Scorpion warriors who had contact with the Eridani Light Horse be Reaved. Khan Suvorov argued strenuously against this with a measure of success, as the motion died without support from the rest of the Council. She then informed the Council regarding their absorption of the final vestiges of Clan Ice Hellion. Though this would anger the Steel Viper Khans, Star Adder Khan N'Buta defended the decision, and it was ultimately approved by the Grand Council without a challenge.
The next order of business were accusations of Clan Coyote's perfidy and collusion with the Society and the caste rebellion. Many of the Clans present brought forth evidence of the Coyotes' actions during the past three years. The first resolution was the proposed complete Annihilation of the Clan Coyote scientist caste. The second resolution was not quite so simple; those Coyotes who were known to have collaborated with the Society were to be Reaved, but those who fought against their own Clan's machinations would be saved. The great majority of Coyotes fell somewhere between. IlKhan Andrews proposed a Trial of Cleansing, whereby a warrior in question would face a trial against a warrior deemed "clean", with success being the determining factor of guilt. Though Coyote Khans Leo Koga and Laura McTighe argued against the Annihilation of their remaining scientists, the measure was passed and would be carried out in within a month.
On 30 April 3075, the Grand Council met again. IlKhan Andrews pointed out that there was but one more tainted Clan among them, the Hell's Horses. Hell's Horses Galaxy Commander Magnus DelVillar stood in place of his Khans and Loremaster, refuting the charges. Andrews presented evidence of the Hell's Horses dealings with the Exiled Wolves, and in turn, the Kell Hounds mercenary band. DelVillar's only reaction was to point out that the Hell's Horses in the Homeworlds had never even been to the Inner Sphere. The ilKhan then changed his tack, calling for the Abjuration of all Hell's Horses currently in the Inner Sphere, a vote that passed the council by a slim majority. The Trial of Refusal was fought against Clan Star Adder, who accepted all of the Hell's Horses' assets in the Homeworlds after their victory. But in a surprise twist, Khan N'Buta declared the existence of a new Clan, called Clan Stone Lion, bequeathing them with the former Horse assets and legacies left behind.
On 29 July 3075, the Grand Council met again aboard the McKenna's Pride. IlKhan Andrews used the meeting to lay out his agenda for the upcoming years. Suggesting an accelerated rebuilding program, as well as a moratorium on the Clan eugenics program for at least five years, Andrews ordered all Clans to take stock of their legacies and screen them for further signs of tampering by the Society. In addition to these precautions, the stoppage would allow scientists to determine if the environment was safe to even restart the eugenics program, in case of latent virii or other dangers. He would likewise call for greater security within the breeding program, citing the Wolves' destruction of the Kerensky legacy years earlier.
For the next item of business, Star Adder Khan Stanislov N'Buta stood and delivered an eloquent speech where he accused the Steel Vipers of being the final representation of Inner Sphere taint among the Clan Homeworlds. He ended his monologue by calling for a Reaving against Clan Steel Viper. Star Adder saKhan Hannibal Banacek seconded the motion, and a quick vote showed that all present were in favor except for the Khans of Clan Blood Spirit. IlKhan Andrews' rage bubbled to the surface; after demanding a Trial of Refusal (which N'Buta accepted, offering to fight unaugmented), Andrews produced a small laser pistol and shot Khan N'Buta between the eyes. This violation of the Council's rules and traditions was the final straw. Cloud Cobra Khan Hollyann Kardaan rose and condemned the act as evidence of the Steel Vipers' corruption, calling for an Annihilation of Clan Steel Viper. As he was stripped of office, Andrews demanded another Trial of Refusal. In response, saKhan Banacek grabbed the former ilKhan, wrestled him to the floor and beat him repeatedly with the Star Adder's enameled ceremonial mask. The powerful force of the blows shoved shards of bone into Brett Andrews' brain, killing him instantly on the council floor.
Though he would not live to see it, Brett Andrews' actions condemned his Clan to oblivion. The Annihilation of the still-powerful Steel Vipers would be opened up for all of the remaining Home Clans. Differing from past Annihilations, many of the assets of Clan Steel Viper were claimed by the Clans that took part in destroying them. The Andrews Bloodname would be claimed by Clan Star Adder.
Andrews was observed by sources to have exhibited increasingly erratic behavior toward the end of his life, said to verge at times on schizophrenia. His decision to often flout the rules of Grand Council decorum and tradition by carrying weapons into meetings of that body was but one sign of this purported mental instability. His call for the Reavings—thereby sanctioning the ensuing years of violence in the name of remolding the Clans to eliminate Inner Sphere taint—is often seen as yet another sign of possible madness. Regardless of his mental state, Brett Andrews' vision of the Clans was one that was clearly marked by ambition and cold calculation, and has forever altered sociopolitical dynamics amongst the Clans.
Title and Position
|saKhan of Clan Steel Viper
3058 – 3065
| Succeeded by|
|Khan of Clan Steel Viper
3065 – 3075
| Succeeded by|
|ilKhan of the Clans
3071 – 3075
| Succeeded by|
Considered to be an elite MechWarrior, Brett Andrews is most comfortable when the rules of combat are dictated by zellbrigen. As such, as long as combat maintains proper decorum, all forces under Andrews receive a +2 to initiative rolls while he is in the field. He also benefits from the Dodge and Marksman special abilities. However, Andrews also has a great deal of trouble communicating with anyone outside of his Bloodhouse, and so receives a -2 penalty to all negotiation rolls with anyone not of the Andrews Bloodhouse.
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 181-182 - "Brett Andrews"
- The Wars of Reaving Supplemental, p. 7 - "Political Boundaries"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 183-184, "Hannibal Banacek"
- Falcon Rising, ch. 5
- Era Report: 3062, p. 98 - "Brett Andrews"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 142 - "saKhan Brett Andrews"
- Star Lord, ch. 3-4
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 39 - "Patience of the Cobra"
- Invading Clans, p. 94 - "4th Viper Guards"
- Invading Clans, p. 88-89 - "Occupation Zone"
- Era Report: 3052, p. 58-59 - "Clan Steel Viper"
- Invading Clans, p. 86-87
- Era Report: 3052, p. 63-64 - "Fourth Viper Guards"
- Era Report: 3062, p. 63 - "Clan Steel Viper"
- Era Report: 3062, p. 99 - "Dawn Moffat"
- Star Lord, ch. 3-4, epilogue
- Era Report: 3052, p. 92-93 - "Christopher Ahmed"
- Falcon Rising, ch. 20
- Falcon Rising, ch. 28-31
- Prince of Havoc, ch. 3-15
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 12 - "What Came Before"
- Falcon Rising, ch. 28
- Era Report: 3062, p. 98-99 - "Perigard Zalman"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 12-13 - "Armed Politics"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 66-67 - Clan Steel Viper
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 54 - "Clan Cloud Cobra"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 21 - "Rising Viper"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 22 - "Crashing Home"
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 64 - "Clan Snow Raven"
- The Wars Of Reaving, p. 24 - "Coyote Diet"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 40-41 - "Preening the Scales"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 31-32 - "Cracks in the Foundation"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 45 - "Viper and Falcon"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 46-48 - "Exodus Requiem"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 75 - "Viper Ascendent"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 48-49 - "The Raven Absorption"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 51 - "The Raven Absorption"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 51, 52 - "Closing the Net"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 53 - "The Coyote Prowls"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 63-64 - "Machinations and Manipulations"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 65-67 - "Merges and Moves"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 76-78 - "The Reaving of the Blood"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 81 - "The Plan Unfolds"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 78-80 - "Wolf at the Door"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 68 - "Return of Orbital Bombardment"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 81-83 - "Wolf at the Door" and "Success"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 91 - "Death Rides Forth"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 93 - "The First Strikes"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 97 - "Equipping the Invisible"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 94 - "Trials of the Viper"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 95 - "Sandbagging the Breach"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 102, 104 - "Raven's Dirge"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 106-107 - "The Viper Uncoils"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 111-112 - "Constriction"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 116-117 - "Infestation"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 138 - "Death of a Kindraa"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 124-125 - "Scorpion Gambit"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 138-139 - "Fall of Tokasha"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 142-143 - "Viper's Venom"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 146-147, 149 - "Reconvening the Council"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 149-150 - "Viper's End"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 150 - "Focused Aggression"
- Era Report: 3062, p. 160 - "Major Personalities of the Late Clan Invasion"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 224 - "Notable Personalities"