Clan Blood Spirit
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|Clan Blood Spirit|
|Time period:||2807 – 3084|
|Controlled systems:||6 (1 at 100%) in 3075|
|Capital world:||Haven; used to be York|
|Military:||Clan Blood Spirit Touman|
|Secret Service:||Clan Blood Spirit Watch|
|“||The Grand Council, in arrogance, gave their decree:
Blood Spirit, you must conform to the Way of the Clans.
Named for the esprit de corps that bound the original 800 Clan warriors, Clan Blood Spirit ironically became the most isolationist and bitter of the Clans. They believed that the other Clans had abandoned the way set down by Nicholas Kerensky, and events early in their history combined with a lack of allies ensured that the Blood Spirits would remain among the smallest and weakest of Clans. Thus the Blood Spirits did not participate in Operation REVIVAL, and while they survived the Wars of Reaving the Clan's destruction finally came about in 3084 at the hands of its greatest enemy, Clan Star Adder.
Clan Blood Spirit was unique in that it was named for an ideal rather than a totem creature. Its first Khan, Colleen Schmitt, and her warriors thus sought to remember the trust, honor and spirit that had bound the eight hundred warriors who had followed Nicholas Kerensky into exile.
Assigned to Arcadia during Operation KLONDIKE, the Blood Spirits' first Cluster favored no particular form of combat, and was most often paired with the Steel Vipers in hammer-and-anvil attacks. Khan Schmitt also attempted to fulfill her self-appointed role as peacemaker and keep her fellow Khans working together toward a common objective.
In the time following KLONDIKE the Blood Spirits attempted to maintain the esprit de corps that bound all Clans. To this end, Khan Schmitt created the post of ilChi; these nineteen ambassadors would maintain open relations and facilitate mutual aid between the Spirits and the other Clans.
Their dream did not live long. In 2823, Clan Wolverine was Annihilated for rebelling against Kerensky's vision; for expressing some sympathy for the Wolverines, the Blood Spirits found themselves a target as well. Burrocks called for the Spirits' Annihilation, and though the Grand Council voted down the measure, the Spirits were reprimanded and told to follow the Way of the Clans or else. Shocked, and realizing that the other Clans no longer respected one another, Khan Schmitt cancelled the ilChi program.
Following this, the other Clans, predominantly the Burrocks and Mongoose, targeted the Spirits with near constant raids, and the Spirits eventually lost their holdings on Albion and Homer. Reduced to a single planet—York—the Spirits' former regard for their fellow Clans was replaced with a bitter hatred.
Years of fighting had shattered the Spirits, but their isolation, small size and lack of any resources worth fighting over probably saved them from Absorption. The Spirits adopted a policy of near-total isolation, which had the effect of binding the Clan's members more closely together.
Expecting nothing but hostility from other Clans, the Blood Spirits were surprised when the Fire Mandrill Kindraa Smythe-Jewell approached them with an offer instead: OmniMech technology in exchange for territory on Foster. Though initially suspicious, the Spirits accepted the deal and thus gained OmniMechs. Shortly after, the Spirits found themselves unable to retain their holdings on Foster due to increased Burrock raids, and so ceded the enclave to Kindraa Smythe-Jewell. In return, the Fire Mandrills gave the Spirits battlesuit technology and the breeding material for Elementals.
In 2975, Fara Church became Khan of Clan Blood Spirit. With momentum building for a return to the Inner Sphere, Church realized that his Clan's touman was too small to be considered a viable member of any invasion. To counter this, the Blood Spirits contacted Clan Snow Raven and made an offer: the Blood Spirits would trade some of their excess WarShips for a large quantity of the Ravens' older, second-line BattleMechs. The deal benefited both parties immensely, allowing the Spirits to increase the size of their touman considerably, and led to the Spirits gaining a new ally of sorts.
Throughout the first half of the 31st century Clan Blood Spirit became an adherent of the Crusader philosophy, but nonetheless forsook nearly all interaction with other Clans. Aside from dealings with their few allies or occasional voting in the Grand Council the Spirits for all intents and purposes vanished from Clan civilization.
Although the Blood Spirits participated in the placement trials for Operation Revival, and achieved a first-round win against the hated Clan Burrock, they lost to Clan Nova Cat in the third round and thus did not participate in the invasion. When the invaders were defeated at Tukayyid, the Spirits felt some vindication of this view.
In early 3059 the Spirits' longtime foe, Clan Burrock, became the target of a Trial of Absorption, and the Blood Spirit Khans made a rare appearance at the Grand Council to support the measure. The Spirits were shocked and furious when the honor of Absorption went to the Star Adders and decided to take unilateral action; they launched their own attacks against the Burrock enclaves on Priori and Albion. This anger-fueled decision to interfere in the Burrock Absorption would cost Clan Blood Spirit heavily.
In the end fewer than eight Spirit Clusters survived to withdraw when the fighting was over. Although they had destroyed seven Galaxies of Star Adder and Burrock troops, the Blood Spirits had lost almost five Galaxies for no effective gain. In addition, their feud with the Burrocks had transferred over to Clan Star Adder, who in the long run would prove to be a far more dangerous enemy. As a response to her Clan's defeat, Khan Karianna Schmitt called for and received a mandate to isolate the Spirits as much as possible from the corrupting influences of other Clans. They withdrew from their enclave on Arcadia and retained their holdings on Strana Mechty only to deny the Clans' birthworld to the "traitors" of Kerensky's vision.
This new isolationist policy of the Blood Spirits did not last long. A year later, when the reborn Star League challenged the Clans to a Trial of Refusal over the Clan Invasion, the Blood Spirits were one of the Crusader Clans to square off against the Star League Defense Force during the Great Refusal. Pitted against the Draconis Combine's 1st Genyosha in the Coldrill Valley, the Spirits lost their trial shortly after Khan Schmitt's 'Mech was knocked out.
Clan Blood Spirit discovered the Colleen system in 3067, when the situation in the Clan Homeworlds was rapidly degenerating and ultimately set off in the Wars of Reaving. The Spirits were under increasing pressure from other Clans, in particular from Clan Star Adder, and they needed to start a new colony unbeknownst to the other Clans. To offset their losses against the Adders, saKhan Troy Boques initiated a Trial of Possession for Clan Snow Raven's Zeta Galaxy and won it. With these additional assets, the Spirits recaptured most of York but at the same time they exhausted themselves.
Haven and Honor grew rapidly in the years after their discovery, the Spirit leadership well aware of their importance especially after the destruction of their capital world York. Haven became the home of the Spirits' genetic repository, while Homer received a Chrysaor ProtoMech facility. In 3069 the Spirits voted to Abjure those Clans that participated in Operation REVIVAL. They also worked with Clan Snow Raven to take over some of their holdings as the Ravens departed Clan space.
The Spirits sent forces to Arcadia to seize enclaves from other Clans in 3073. What they found instead was a barren world, stripped of nearly all usable material, stacked with civilian bodies and home to only a few humans who wandered the wastes. These people were largely insane. (Later investigation suggested that these unfortunates were the survivors of testing by The Society.)
When Bryce Schmitt was elected as saKhan, the Clan leadership made the hard decision to withdraw from all their enclaves in Clan Space to Colleen, except from Strana Mechty, their main genetic repository having already being relocated to Haven in 3070. Progress was slow but steady and the Clan began to rebuild in complete isolation, the system still being secret to other Clans even if they known the Spirits had withdrawn somewhere but were too busy with more pressing concerns.
Finally in 3082 a Clan Stone Lion vessel arrived in the Colleen system, and Khan Troy Boques immediately prepared his Clan for the inevitable conflict over these worlds. The first to arrive was Clan Cloud Cobra, which respectful of previous dealings trialled for and won the right to establish two enclaves on Honor's southern continent, centred around strip-mining the nearby mountains of ore. They were in process of building an OmniFighter factory when a cataclysm nearly split the planet in two in March 3083.
By the end of June, Blood Spirit Khan Boques was dead, their last factory lost, and their touman now consisted only of the remains of Alpha Galaxy. The Stone Lions with their Psi Galaxy captured several agricultural enclaves and two ProtoMech factories near Lovell, as well as the Spirit ProtoMech warrior phenotype. The Coyotes with their Nu Galaxy captured three newly built BattleMech factories, and prepared for the inevitable counterattack.
In a subsequent Grand Council called by Khan Leo Koga, the Coyote Khan called for the Abjuration of Clan Blood Spirit. But Clan Star Adder, longtime enemies of the Blood Spirits, called for their Annihilation over the reports of such flagrant unClanlike activity. In lieu of this, a Trial of Absorption was passed by the Grand Council, granted to the Star Adders, who immediately set about landing their forces as soon as the Stone Lions and Coyotes withdrew in deference to the Adders, taking all the isorla they could with them before leaving. They immediately attacked and quickly overrun the enclave on Strana Mechty, killing saKhan Lucas Campbell.
With their leadership and touman destroyed, the remaining armed civilians ambushed the Star Adders in the city of Lovell, taking down Loremaster Fletcher Daniels. The Adder response was brutal, gunning down anyone in sight and systematically burning and destroying buildings. They then loaded as much isorla as they could onto their DropShips and retreated to their landing zones.
The Adders never wanted to really absorb the Spirits, knowing they would have never integrated with such a longtime deeply hated foe. Their goal was Annihilation, and they carried it out in the following weeks, starting heavy orbital bombardment on Haven, targeting key infrastructure locations at the Spirit holdings. Any resistance put up by the survivors was intercepted and crushed by the Adder forces.
By mid-December every holding on the planet had been destroyed, and the Adders moved to Honor to repeat their actions. The seismic activity had not ceased yet, and the 17th Crimson Guards (Clan Blood Spirit), which had managed to survive so far after being stuck on the planet after its evacuation, was all that remained of the Spirit touman. The Adders destroyed them from orbit.
By July 3085, Haven emitted only minimal signs of life, while Honor had completely gone dark. The Adders recalled their ship but made irregular surveys the system in the following months. In October 3085 the Adders targeted the side of Mount Schmitt, near Glasgow, and buried the Blood Spirit genetic repository under rock and ice rubble.
With its legacy destroyed forever, the annihilation of Clan Blood Spirit was now complete.
A small, close-knit society, relations between the various castes of Clan Blood Spirit were harmonious and generally free of the intercaste difficulties that arose within most Clans. All the castes were bound by common training, recreating the sense of brotherhood the Clan once had with the others. While this did not prevent the ubiquitous trueborn-over-freeborn bias, freeborn warriors who had proven their worth to the Clan did not encounter additional obstacles.
All members of Clan Blood Spirit were protective of their privacy, and most had some form of hobby, often artistic, that served as a diversion from the routine of their lives. The Khans and the caste leaders encouraged the practice, as it appeared that by granting individual Spirits time to "be themselves" they only strengthened the Clan's internal bonds.
In contrast to their internal harmony, the Blood Spirits were possibly the most isolationist of the Clans. Other Clans were regarded as traitors to the Way of the Clans and Kerensky's vision, and thus corrupt influences to be shunned. They rarely took bondsmen, and often attempted bondsref rather than be captured by other Clans. Those rare bondsmen successfully taken from the Spirits rivaled the Fire Mandrills in their lack of cooperation with their new Clan. Towards the Inner Sphere the Spirits felt only contempt and hatred, regarding its inhabitants first as uncouth barbarians and later as rabid despoilers.
Their isolation restricted the Blood Spirits' access to modern technology, and what technology they managed to obtain was acquired through indirect routes, usually through their few allies. Perhaps to compensate for this, the Spirits emphasized their abilities over technology, while also shunning the use of cybernetics and related systems. Until the Burrock Absorption, no Blood Spirit warrior had Enhanced Imaging implants; since that conflict, a small number of the more aggressive warriors adopted them.
The Blood Spirits rigidly followed the organizational doctrine laid down by Nicholas Kerensky: (three 'Mech trinaries, one infantry trinary and one vehicle trinary per Cluster) rather than the modified form used by most other Clans. They deployed aerospace assets from the naval reserve as needed. Only Clan Hell's Horses made more widespread use of conventional troops.
Training for Blood Spirit warriors was perhaps the toughest in the Clans, making up for the small number of graduates with their quality. However, while individual warriors were unparalleled in their abilities, Blood Spirit units suffered from a lack of initiative. Star Captains and Star Colonels were too accustomed to acting on the orders of their superiors, leading to a rigidity that wily opponents were able to exploit.
The Clan took the unusual step of training all its personnel in basic combat techniques. This gave the Spirits a massive, if low skilled, reserve to fall back upon in the event of an attack on their capital. This reserve also had the effect of binding the civilian and warrior castes together, the bond of common training creating the espirit-de-corps they no longer had with the other Clans.
The Blood Spirits had no official alliances with other Clans, but the continued posting of ilChis to Clans Fire Mandrill and Snow Raven ensured that these Clans were de facto allies. In addition, These relationships continued into the Wars of Reaving, and the Abjurement of the Ravens and Sharks left the Spirits isolated and lacking any allies at all.
|Clan Fire Mandrill||Ally||It was this Clan's Kindraa Smythe-Jewell that gave the Blood Spirits OmniMech Technology. Because of this, the Blood Spirits would become allies of Clan Fire Mandrill until their destruction.|
|Clan Snow Raven||Ally||The respect that the Ravens had shown the Spirits as well as their naval asset production, made them allies they could respect. Exchanges of war matériel with Clan Blood Spirit between 2980 and 3010 inaugurated limited dealings with that isolationist Clan until the Ravens' Abjuration from the Clam Homeworlds and the Blood Spirits' destruction.|
|Clan Diamond Shark||Ally||The Blood Spirits had a relationship of convenience with the Diamond Sharks, using them as brokers and suppliers from the 29th century onwards until their abjuration from Clan Space.|
The Spirits regarded most of the other Clans with disdain or hatred, but they singled out four with particular vitriol.
|Clan Burrock||Enemy||Clan Burrock was responsible for making the Blood Spirits who they currently are. The Burrocks feuded with the Spirits almost since Operation Klondike ended, and following that Clan's Absorption the Adders inherited this hostility. The Spirits' hatred was so strong that not even the Burrock Absorption could contain their rage, thus weakening the strength of this Clan after the latter was absorbed.|
|Clan Star Adder||Enemy||After evidence was found that the Burrocks were working with the Dark Caste for centuries, Clan Star Adder won the rights to Absorb their mortal enemy. The Blood Spirits would intervene in the battle only to be defeated and severely weakened by the two Clans. Following their Absorption, the Blood Spirits would shift their hatred from Burrock to Star Adder, ultimately causing their destruction in 3085.|
|Clan Hell's Horses||Enemy||Clan Hell's Horses were condemned for orchestrating the joint assault with Clan Coyote that destroyed the Fire Mandrill Kindraa Smythe-Jewell.|
|Clan Coyote||Enemy||Clan Coyote were regarded as treacherous for their joint assault that destroyed the Fire Mandrill Kindraa Smythe-Jewell, the association that gave the Spirits OmniMech technology.|
The Blood Spirits never held significant territory. At their greatest extent, they spanned five worlds, and for much of their history they had only their enclaves on Arcadia and Strana Mechty, as well as dominant (but not absolute) control of York. Since the Absorption War, they enacted a deliberate policy of isolation, taking the extreme step of withdrawing their people from Arcadia to York. Furthermore, they seized complete control of their capital, forcibly ejecting the Jade Falcons and persuading Clan Snow Raven to withdraw.
Over the next fifteen years, the Spirits expanded again somewhat, regaining an enclave on Arcadia and establishing two new colonies (Honor and Haven) in the Colleen system. By the end of the Wars of Reaving the Spirits held enclaves in six systems, but abandoned these in favor withdrawing entirely to Colleen and keeping only their enclave on Strana Mechty. This remained the total extent of the Blood Spirits' possessions until their final destruction in 3084.
On Strana Mechty, their holdings were always distinct from those of other Clans, isolated by distance from their neighbors. Since the Absorption War, the Spirits enacted strict controls on passage through their territory, further reducing the already minimal contacts.
- Blood Spirit (species): The genetically modified animal named after the Blood Spirit Clan as an insult.
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 156
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 248
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 154
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 19
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 20
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p.49, "Clan Blood Spirit Cluster"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 21
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 22-23
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 5
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 24
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 25
- Operational Turning Points: REVIVAL Trials, p. 1, "A Call for Unity"
- Operational Turning Points: REVIVAL Trials, p. 14
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 70, "Clan Blood Spirit"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 25, "The Great Refusal"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 14
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 35
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 44
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 33
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 46
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 54
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 122
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 32, 77
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 70-71, "Clan Blood Spirit"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 71, "Clan Blood Spirit"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 248, "Political Balance Table, 3075"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 155-156, "Clan Blood Spirit"