Clan Diamond Shark
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|Clan Diamond Shark (Clan Sea Fox)|
|Time period:||2807 – 3100|
|Military:||Clan Diamond Shark Touman|
|Secret Service||Clan Diamond Shark Watch|
Clan Diamond Shark, originally named Clan Sea Fox, was one of the first twenty Clans created by Nicholas Kerensky. Its willingness to change its own name exemplified the Clan's flexibility and progressive thinking - it was the only Clan which permitted universal suffrage - and helped make it one of the strongest and wealthiest during the Clans' history. Known derisively as the "Merchant Clan" by their jealous rivals, they nevertheless took great pride in their accomplishments and their direct contributions to the creation of the Clans. The Clan's original totem animal, the Sea Fox, was chosen for it by Kerensky for the honor it showed its prey before striking. The Clan then took as their new totem the Diamond Shark, which nearly wiped out the Sea Fox when it was introduced to the oceans of Strana Mechty, as a sign of respect to a superior predator. After the Wars of Reaving, the Sharks would be abjured from clan space and depart to the Inner Sphere. They would later take part in the Jihad against the Blakists and reform back into Clan Sea Fox in 3100, after their censure and rumors of their original totem flourishing on other worlds.
- 1 History
- 2 Culture
- 3 Military
- 4 Inter-Clan Relations
- 5 Bloodnames
- 6 Era Specific Data
- 7 References
- 8 Bibliography
The Sea Foxes' most influential Khan was not their first. Karen Nagasawa, daughter of two members of the Star League Defense Force, spent her formative years hiding within a Castle Brian on Dieron while the Amaris Civil War raged on. Afterwards, when Aleksandr Kerensky called for the SLDF to leave the Inner Sphere and save itself, the Nagasawa family joined him and settled on Arcadia in the Pentagon Worlds. Karen would graduate from school and become a journalist, where she used her gifted writing skills in an ultimately fruitless attempt to stop the coming civil war. Her writings did bring her to the attention of Nicholas Kerensky and in a meeting between the two, Karen was convinced of Nicholas' vision for a better society. Working alongside Nicholas and Jennifer Winson, Karen was responsible for writing the speeches in which Nicholas proposed a Second Exodus.
On Strana Mechty, Karen would continue to work alongside Nicholas Kerensky, turning his grand ideas into eloquent and understandable words which would become a source of inspiration for the present and future generations, including The Remembrance. Feeling a need to have a greater role in the formation of this new society, she also began training to become a warrior, eventually achieving the rank of Star Colonel as an aerospace pilot. When Clan Sea Fox was formally created however, David Kalasa and Dianne Sennet would earn the right to be its first Khan and saKhan, respectively, and Karen Nagasawa was originally assigned to Clan Blood Spirit. However, David Kalasa agreed to take his new position only on the condition that Star Colonel Nagasawa was transferred to his Clan, arguing that the journalist-turned-warrior better exemplified the noble spirit of the Sea Fox. The Blood Spirits initially resisted this request, though only as a matter of form - Khan Colleen Schmitt thought some of Nagasawa's writings to be dangerously liberal - and ultimately approved the transfer.
A Rising Tide
The remarkable skills and leadership Karen Nagasawa displayed during the Babylon campaign would propel her to replace the deceased David Kalasa as senior Khan, helped in no small part by the recommendations of saKhan Sennet and Nicholas Kerensky himself. Once in a leadership role Khan Nagasawa began implementing policies based on what she believed had made the Star League so successful: material prosperity and individual liberty. While adopting the Clan Caste System as a way of giving every person a meaningful role to play in society, the "lesser" castes would not exist solely to support the warriors but all would be treated as equals. The bonds between castes would be further strengthened by allowing a level of freedom of information and association not seen in any of the other Clans.
These policies had an immediate positive effect on the Sea Foxes as they rebuilt in the wake of the war. Respected for their efforts, the civilian castes performed to higher standards than those in other Clans and the Clan as a whole profited. It was Sea Fox scientists who ultimately perfected the Iron Womb and genetic engineering technology which would play a pivotal role in the Clans' eugenics program. Sea Fox merchants turned information into a commodity with the creation of the Chatterweb, an information-exchange network which would spread to all of the Clans. Clan Sea Fox, working alongside Clan Nova Cat, continued to explore and exploit the Kerensky Cluster and worlds beyond, and developed an improved version of the Machine Gun in 2825.
These advancements directly translated to military advantage for the Sea Foxes. In a Trial of Possession for Delios, Sea Fox warriors used information obtained via the Chatterweb and sharp bidding practices to cause Clan Coyote to commit far fewer forces than they originally intended. Their victory established the Sea Foxes as tricky warriors, and even brought about a Trial of Grievance from Khan Jerome Winson of Clan Wolf. The Sea Foxes succeeded in fighting the Trial to a draw, establishing their right to bid as they saw fit and giving rise to a popular saying: "Do not place your foot in the water unless you are prepared to get soaked."
The prosperity Clan Sea Fox achieved in the aftermath of the Pentagon wars continued to grow in the years known as the Golden Century, and it can well be said that the century belonged to the merchant caste. With the merchant caste taking the lead Clan Sea Fox outperformed most of the other Clans in their exploration and colonization efforts, establishing profitable trade routes and strategically-placed colonies, and joined with the Nova Cats in adopting futures-trading. While the warriors still retained their leadership role, they were increasingly advised by the merchant caste on what actions to take and as often enough fought Trials for mercantile reasons as martial ones. Other Clans saw the rise of the Sea Fox merchants with both disdain and concern, but so long as the Sea Foxes continued to follow the Way of the Clans there was not much to be done.
It was because of their exploration efforts that the Sea Foxes first discovered a particular jelly-like substance on Strato Domingo, one which toughened into a hardened coating that could withstand the rigors of space. Clan Sea Fox would eventually refine this substance into HarJel and defend the planet so no other Clan could gain a foothold. This monopoly on HarJel gave the Sea Foxes a great military advantage and, even more importantly, a source of immense profit once they began trading it with the other Clans.
It was during this time that Clan Sea Fox became aware, via the Chatterweb, that Clan Coyote was developing what would become known as OmniMechs. Seeing the potential in this new development, the Sea Foxes approached the Coyotes about a possible collaboration, and Sea Fox scientists and technicians would prove instrumental in making OmniMechs a reality; Clan Sea Fox fielded their first designs less than a year after the Coyotes debuted theirs. Although winning some important battles with these new war machines Clan Sea Fox made sure to downplay their strengths so that the other Clans would concentrate on the Coyotes in their efforts to secure the technology.
The Clan also played a pivotal role in the refinement of Elemental Battle Armor. When Clan Wolf unveiled these new suits in 2868, Clan Sea Fox saw the potential of mating this technology with HarJel. They approached the Wolves with a preemptive batchall to arrange a trade, guaranteeing a continuous supply of HarJel at reduced cost in exchange for the suits, while both Wolf and Sea Fox technicians would work together via the Chatterweb to incorporate the two technologies together. Clan Coyote, offended that they hadn't received a similar preemptive batchall for their OmniMech cooperation, attempted to seize Strato Domingo in a Trial of Possession but were defeated by Sea Fox Elementals.
HarJel patching systems would be sold to the other Clans at a profit, although notably two were able to acquire them through other means. Clan Smoke Jaguar was the only one to win the technology militarily, bringing overwhelming forces to bear against the Sea Foxes in a Trial. While some outsiders thought the Sea Foxes hadn't fought nearly as hard as they could to defeat the Smoke Jaguars, in the end the Sea Foxes would exact a heavy price by charging a premium on HarJel purchases by the Smoke Jaguars. Clan Hell's Horses meanwhile had developed a breed of "super-warriors" which the Sea Foxes wished to acquire for their battle armor suits, but rather then fight it out they approached them with a resource-sharing arrangement: in exchange for allowing the Hell's Horses to set up a colony on Strato Domingo and limited rights to HarJel production, Clan Sea Fox would receive assistance in setting up their own Elemental breeding program. The arrangement would prove to be highly profitable for both Clans.
A Sea Change
It was in 2984, late in the Golden Century, that Damon Clarke was elected to be the Sea Foxes' new senior Khan, winning the election thanks to a recent string of military victories. A conservative-minded warrior, Khan Clarke believed in the primacy of the warrior caste and took an arrogant attitude towards the others. Many Sea Fox civilians feared he would undo most of Khan Nagasawa's more progressive policies and turn their Clan into something more akin to the Smoke Jaguars or Jade Falcons. Fate stepped in, however.
Months prior to Clarke's election, Khan Liam Howell of the Snow Ravens had become incensed at his Clan's recent defeat by the Sea Foxes for control of the oil fields of Priori. Having learned beforehand of the attack via the Chatterweb, the Sea Foxes defeated the Snow Ravens in battle, then proceeded to fill the Chatterweb with insults directed at the Snow Raven Khan and his fighting skills (or lack thereof). An insecure man, Khan Howell took the insults personally and privately vowed revenged. As it happened Snow Raven scientists had developed a genetically-engineered shark they believed to be superior to any other underwater predator. During a visit to Strana Mechty, Khan Howell stole one of these sharks and, transporting it by VTOL, dropped it into the planet's freshwater oceans.
After winning his election Khan Clarke undertook the customary ritual of honoring the Sea Fox as set forth by Khan Nagasawa, sailing out into the Strana Mechty seas to make an offering of fish to the noble predators. It took much longer than usual before the Khan and his party finally spotted their totem animal, and when they did they were caught off-guard as a strange shark attacked and killed the sea fox in a brief struggle by snapping its neck. Horrified, a meeting of the Sea Fox Bloodnamed was called and it was decided to capture this strange creature and discover from whence it had come. Two whole Points of Elementals were required to subdue the creature, which killed one of its captors, and Sea Fox scientists performed numerous tests on the subject. They eventually christened it the Diamond Shark on account of its unique spines and, after further study, determined the creatures had wiped out nearly 75% of the sea foxes on Strana Mechty; within the year the entire species would become extinct.
Using this information and after much deliberation, Khan Clarke came to a rather startling conclusion: the Diamond Shark had proven itself to be the superior hunter to the Sea Fox, and so his Clan ought to change its name in honor of this prowess. Khan Clarke called for a meeting of the Grand Council with a draft proposal of this name change, hoping to secure their support before approaching the rest of the Sea Foxes. The other Khans were very much surprised by this decision and responded to varying degrees: some agreed with Clarke's assessment of honoring the superior warrior by taking its name, however most were offended he would cast off the name granted to his Clan by the great Nicholas Kerensky.
Opposition to the name change was led by Khan Howell, incensed that his revenge plot might be turned on its head, and during a heated moment in the debate let slip the fact he was the one responsible for introducing the Diamond Shark to Strana Mechty. Outraged and ashamed at his behavior, Snow Raven saKhan Niamh Sukhanov immediately challenged him to a Trial of Grievance and killed him on the spot. However the opposition was severely weakened by this revelation, and so the final vote was only nine to eight against allowing the name change. This meant that, in the Trial of Refusal he called for, Khan Clarke would only have to face one Cluster reinforced by a single Star against one Cluster of his own. With the Snow Ravens winning the right to fight on behalf of the Council, Damon Clark commanded his forces personally and put on a masterful show, achieving a kill ratio of three to one and defeating the Snow Ravens handily after just 45 minutes. In the aftermath of this the Sea Foxes would seek their own revenge on the Snow Ravens by targeting Liam Howell's loyal supporters with Trials of Grievances in what became known as the "Month of Grievances."
Having won the right to change his Clan's name through combat, Damon Clarke then went into seclusion for two days to decide how he would approach his own Clan about the change. His conservative leanings would have him limit the vote to only the Bloodnamed as was traditional in Clan society; allowing the lower castes to have a say in the matter might also set a dangerous precedent and undo his attempts thus far to reshape the Clan. At the same time not allowing the entire Clan to vote could also lead to a serious backlash, even widespread unrest, and his own reforms thus far had resulted in mixed results at best. Seeking inspiration, he turned to the writings of Khan Nagasawa, and found himself converting to her viewpoint by her reasoning and logic. On the third day he emerged from isolation and announced a vote would be held on September 2985 in which all members of the Clan would be allowed to vote. This decision wasn't universally celebrated by all Sea Foxes though: many warriors felt betrayed by Khan Clarke's change of heart, and Beta Galaxy commander Brett Leroux along with seven other Bloodnamed warriors would challenge their Khan in turn to Trials of Refusal, though all would lose.
When the vote was finally held on 30 September, 50 million people cast their votes in order of precedent of their caste. The warriors went first, voting largely in favor of the change, while the scientists voted against it. This was repeated again when the merchants voted in favor and the technicians against, and after the four castes had voted the count was 51% against the change. The labor caste, in gratitude to Khan Clarke's new-found liberalism, voted 95% in favor of the change, and Clan Sea Fox officially became Clan Diamond Shark. The Diamond Sharks' strength would be immediately tested when Clan Smoke Jaguar launched a Trial of Possession for Priori with overwhelming force. Giving his commanders free reign to prosecute the battle as they saw fit, Khan Clarke trusted in his warriors to use their flexibility to the fullest and was rewarded with a great victory. The Diamond Sharks had fought with greater unity and sense of purpose than expected, and this validation of the progressive ideals Karen Nagasawa first espoused inspired the Diamond Shark Khan to reverse all his previous attempts at reform.
Blood in the Water
During the first decades of the Political Century, Clan Diamond Shark tried to stay neutral in the growing debate between the Wardens and the Crusaders. Initially the Clan leaned slightly Warden, viewing the Inner Sphere and its peoples with less hostility than the Crusaders. As the years wore on though the Diamond Sharks found themselves drawn more and more to the Crusader camp until eventually becoming wholly a part of it, though not for the same reasons. Seeing the invasion as an inevitability, they decided it was best to try and influence it from the inside, turning what they saw to be a bloodbath instigated by the Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars into an actual liberation. They also saw their liberal ideas as more reflective of the Star League they wished to recreate, and thus made them the most qualified Clan to accomplish this task.
Clan Diamond Shark voted in favor of the Dragoon Compromise of 3000, seeing it as eminently wise to gather as much information about the Inner Sphere as possible before attempting to liberate them. The information they received, especially regarding the totalitarian Great Houses like the Capellan Confederation, convinced the few remaining Wardens in their ranks as to the righteousness of their cause. It did however cool their relationship with the other Crusaders, and when a new vote was held in 3029 they abstained rather than lend support to the new Smoke Jaguar Khan, Leo Showers.
In 3046 a moderate Crusader, Ian Hawker, was elected to be senior Khan of the Diamond Sharks and immediately made policy changes which, in his explanations, were required to prepare the Clan for the imminent invasion. These changes resulted in curtailing many of the privileges the civilian castes had enjoyed, the most obnoxious of which were the posting of warrior representatives on all merchant vessels, the vetoing of future exploration missions, and the banning of all freebirths from front-line duties. These repressive measures would be justified as necessary when in 3048 Leo Showers brought forth evidence extracted from the Outbound Light and called for a new vote to invade, which Khan Hawker cast in favor.
Reaction to this vote by the Diamond Sharks was immediate, widespread and largely hostile. The civilian castes felt their rights had been violated when Khan Hawker failed to include them in on the vote for invasion. Even the Bloodnamed warriors felt slighted that their Khan hadn't at least consulted them first before he cast his vote. Loud noises were made about a possible challenge to his leadership, but Khan Hawker was able to remind them the Clan would need all of its warriors in fighting shape for the upcoming campaign and so head off any attempts.
The Business of War
Unfortunately for Khan Ian Hawker, his internal troubles would continue during the Trials to determine which Clans would have the honor of conquering the Inner Sphere. Although his was one of the six Clans to make it to the final rounds, the Diamond Sharks placed dead last behind the Nova Cats. Hawker was able to salvage something from the disaster by winning a Trial of Refusal guaranteeing his Clan would be among the first to reinforce the invasion should it be required, but his warriors were less than impressed. Publicly none were willing to challenge their Khan, aware of his warnings that infighting might weaken them too much, but in the background political maneuvering towards this goal intensified. In response, Khan Hawker sought political aid from wherever he could, including the one Crusader Clan he considered the most powerful. While Khan Vandervahn Chistu of the Jade Falcons was skeptical of Hawker's overtures, saKhan Elias Crichell saw an accomplice he could manipulate to his own ends and agreed to an alliance.
As a minor consolation, ilKhan Leo Showers would allow the non-invading Clans to send representatives along with the invasion to act as observers, limited to no more than a Trinary's worth of troops along with whatever WarShips and DropShips were necessary. Khan Ian Hawker and saKhan Barbara Sennet would accompany the senior Khan's command Trinary, Diamond Keshik, which Hawker would command personally. Rather than just stick with any one Clan, Hawker at first was determined to move between the invading Clans in order to observe as many battle sites as possible and, hopefully, be allowed to participate in some. The Diamond Shark saKhan meanwhile had more mercantile thoughts on her mind: she was determined to visit as many worlds conquered by the Clans as possible, take note of what supplies they needed, and report back this information to the rest of the Clan so profitable trade could commence.
A few days away from reaching the outskirts of the Periphery, ilKhan Showers proclaimed that these worlds were open to bidding from any of the Clans regardless of the prearranged invasion corridors. Khan Hawker immediately became excited at the prospect and bid his command Trinary to invade Blackstone, only for his effort to be shot down by the ilKhan who rudely explained his proclamation applied only to the four official invading Clans. In a patronizing move he invited the Diamond Shark Khan by himself to join Smoke Jaguar forces in their future conquests, an invitation he stiffly declined, and instead took up an offer by the Jade Falcons for the entire Diamond Keshik to accompany them instead. The Diamond Sharks joined the Jade Falcons in their conquest of Last Chance, performing admirably in their first fight against the Inner Sphere "barbarians." Although this pleased saKhan Crichell, many of his subordinates looked down on the Diamond Sharks and their "freebirth ways" towards combat, viewing their excellent performance on a Jade Falcon battlefield as an insult.
In the meantime, having studied the conditions in the Periphery, saKhan Sennet returned to the homeworlds and began building support among the merchant caste to send a trading fleet. In order to smooth over any objections, the saKhan proposed the merchants be allowed to keep 90% of all profits they made in the Inner Sphere. Faced with the prospect of so much wealth, the merchants overwhelmingly agreed and began preparing eight merchant JumpShips for the journey. This course of action infuriated many warriors though, resenting the fact mere traders and peddlers would set foot on the "lost paradise" before they could, and a few unsuccessfully challenged the junior Khan's decision with Trials of Grievances.
By the time the merchant fleet had reached the Inner Sphere the First Wave of Operation Revival was nearing its end, during which they first approached the Jade Falcons. As it happened their first attempt at business was with the Jade Falcon's Beta Galaxy commander, Mar Helmar, who had earlier been disgusted by the inclusion of the Diamond Sharks during the Last Chance conquest. In the most insulting of terms Galaxy Commander Helmar refused their wares and began agitating other Bloodnamed warriors to drive the freebirths back to Clan space. Although most Jade Falcon warriors were more concerned with the upcoming second wave, the Diamond Sharks took no chances and began plying their trade elsewhere.
As it was none of the other Clans' front-line troops were willing to buy from the Diamond Sharks either, even as their supply problems began to grow; when questioned many felt it to be a matter of honor, that to buy from a Clan's lower caste which had traveled to the Inner Sphere before their own warriors had would be an unacceptable stain. A far more practical mindset was to be found among Clan garrison forces however: lacking sufficient supplies to effectively combat the growing resistance movements on their worlds, these forces chose practicality over honor. Within weeks of the start of the second wave the Diamond Sharks had begun to finally turn a profit.
Unfortunately this put the Diamond Sharks in direct conflict with the ilKhan, whose own Smoke Jaguars were having difficulties pacifying their conquered worlds. To add insult to injury, many Smoke Jaguar garrison commanders had bought desperately-needed supplies from the Diamond Sharks, putting his Clan in debt to them. The ilKhan argued heatedly with both Diamond Shark Khans about whether their merchants were allowed in the Inner Sphere, to which saKhan Sennet noted by the terms of the pre-invasion Trials only Diamond Shark warriors had been forbidden to enter the Inner Sphere in force, not Diamond Shark merchants. Ian Hawker backed his junior Khan by observing the ilKhan seemed too eager to change the rules and that a less fickle commander might be needed to lead the invasion. The ilKhan was forced to back off, but in retaliation ordered a Smoke Jaguar Provisional Garrison Cluster to invade Delios. The Diamond Sharks' Alpha Galaxy saw off this attempt and in response attacked Vinton, capturing a number of key Smoke Jaguar industrial sites and disrupting their flow of supplies until eventually being forced to retreat.
At the start of the third wave of the invasion, the Diamond Sharks had brought an additional six merchant JumpShips into the Inner Sphere, making handsome profits selling not only to supply-starved garrison units but trading non-military goods directly with native bushiness which had managed to stay afloat. Unfortunately these good times came to an end when, in June 3050, a Diamond Shark merchantman operating near Brocchi's Cluster vanished without a trace; shortly thereafter resistance movements on Clan-occupied worlds in the area suddenly spiked. Galaxy Commander Mar Helmar saw a connection between the two and publicly accused the Diamond Sharks of aiding the enemy. With the support of a few other Jade Falcon warriors and before the Grand Council Helmar called for a Trial of Annihilation against the "Merchant Clan" for the traitorous actions of their merchants.
Unwilling to lose a potential ally, saKhan Crichell brokered a compromise between his Clan and the Diamond Sharks. He challenged Helmar to produce evidence confirming Diamond Shark treachery; when the Galaxy Commander failed to do so, he convinced the Diamond Sharks to open their books and provide complete access to their records about all transactions with non-Clan traders. This further confirmed the Diamond Shark merchants had only sold military goods to Clan forces. He then argued the Diamond Shark merchants should leave the Inner Sphere and not return until the invasion had been completed, to which the Grand Council agreed. Happy to have avoided a potential Annihilation both Diamond Shark Khans consented to these terms, although their merchants were less accommodating: after having transmitted information back to the homeworlds, the Diamond Shark merchant caste held a vote and chose to stay in the Inner Sphere. Angered by this defiance, Khan Hawker ordered the Diamond Keshik's WarShip to destroy one of the merchantmen. Cowed by this display, the remaining merchants agreed to head home.
Jade Falcon saKhan Crichell also took note of this act, viewing it as Ian Hawker being serious about reforming his Clan along more traditional lines. He invited both Khans and the Diamond Keshik to join the Jade Falcons in combat again at the start of the fourth wave. The Diamond Sharks fought alongside the Jade Falcons on seven of the worlds they targeted, during which the Diamond Sharks performed admirably, eventually winning the Jade Falcons' grudging respect. It was after combat on Leskovik that both Clans received the ilKhan's summons to join him on the Dire Wolf in Radstadt. When they finally arrived, the frantic battle between the Dire Wolf and Rasalhagian forces was already over, and the ilKhan was dead.
A Pound of Flesh
Khan Hawker and Sennet agreed the invasion force needed to return to Strana Mechty and vote for a new ilKhan to lead the liberation. However, when the other Crusaders tried to blame the Wolf Khan Ulric Kerensky for Leo Showers' death and charged him in the Grand Council, the Diamond Sharks voted heavily against these false accusations. When it finally came time to elect an ilKhan they also voted heavily in favor of Ulric, albeit for different reasons: Hakwer in order to curry favor with his Jade Falcon allies, Sennet because he had been the most fair in dealing with the occupied populations of worlds conquered by the Clans, and thus keeping to the traditions of the Star League. Both hoped Ulric would reward their Clan for their support when he won the election.
Ulric Kerensky did activate the Diamond Shark Clan after achieving the post of ilKhan, although only to serve as the designated "reserve" Clan behind the Steel Vipers and Nova Cats. This turn of events was bitterly received by many Diamond Shark warriors, and the two Khans petitioned Ulric for them to reinforce the Ghost Bears in the same manner as the Steel Vipers and Nova Cats had done for the Jade Falcons and Smoke Jaguars. The ilKhan refused, but instead allowed them to fight a Trial of Possession over a single Ghost Bear world to serve as their future base of operations. The Diamond Sharks chose Nyserta, and in March 3052 they succeeded in capturing the planet.
Overjoyed to have finally scored a major victory after all their previous setbacks, Diamond Shark warriors began planning their next conquest while the merchants began to assemble another trading fleet. Both Diamond Shark Khans now appealed to the ilKhan to lift the previous ban on Diamond Shark merchants, arguing their presence was necessary to build sufficient supply lines and allow the invasion to continue forward. The ilKhan granted their request, over the objections of others including the Jade Falcon Clan, and the order was transmitted for the merchant fleet to depart. They would arrive over Nyserta little more than a day before Ulric Kerensky announced his plan for a proxy battle with ComStar over the fate of the Inner Sphere.
A Different Tack
The Diamond Shark warriors lost most of their forces and much of their pride after the stinging defeat of Tukayyid, with both Alpha and Omega Galaxies seriously depleted and an entire Cluster of Omega Galaxy wiped out. The disaster was compounded when the Ghost Bear Clan retook Nyserta shortly after Tukayyid, further gutting Omega Galaxy as a fighting force. Ejected from the Inner Sphere, the Clan retreated back to the homeworlds in order to defend their extensive holdings against any other Clans attempting to exploit their weakness. Such was the nature of the Diamond Sharks that Khan Hawker began allowing freeborn warriors into front-line units.
With the touman understrength and political upheaval amongst the ranks, the Diamond Shark Khans were forced to give effective control of the Clan to Angus Labov, a retired warrior and trueborn leader of the merchant council, with the mandate to rebuild the Diamond Shark military at any cost. Under Labov's leadership, the merchant caste flooded into the Clan Occupation Zones and stepped up their efforts in Clan space, driving hard bargains to gain major concessions (or driving the competition out of the market with attacks on other Clans' merchant lanes). Labov activated the Diamond Sharks' reserve system for the first time and instituted the 'Minus-One Testing' program to quickly fill in gaps in the Diamond Shark touman. Thanks to the miracles Angus Labov worked - and distractions elsewhere in Clan society - the Diamond Sharks were able to quickly regain much of their strength.
Not everyone was keen to these developments though, driven as they were by a lowly merchant. Star Colonel Jeremy Hawker, a subordinate in Khan Hawker's Alpha Galaxy, challenged Angus Labov to a Trial of Grievance over the power he had accumulated. Labov agreed to the Trial and, using a Glass Spider loaned to him by saKhan Sennet, defeated his opponent in under two minutes. Thanks to a quirk in the Sharks' military reserve system, Labov's victory allowed him to return to active duty immediately with the same rank as his defeated opponent. Star Colonel Labov, with the help of saKhan Sennet, was able to assume one of the positions which opened up following the loss of many Crusader-minded warriors in the Harvest Trials, though it would take a couple more challenges before he finally quieted any further opposition and cemented his standing in the Clan.
Seeing his control of the Clan slipping away from him, Khan Hawker made one final push to regain power during Operation Bulldog, the Second Star League's assault on the Smoke Jaguar Clan. Hoping to gain prestige and a new alliance, Khan Hawker assembled a strike team to go to the aid of the beleaguered Jaguars on Huntress. Unfortunately, Khan Vlad Ward of the Wolves got wind of this plan and forestalled it by challenging Hawker to a Trial of Possession for his genetic legacy. Caught unawares, Khan Hawker was defeated, though out of spite the Wolf Clan refused to take him as a bondsman. While Clan Smoke Jaguar was dying, Khan Hawker was preoccupied with launching several military expeditions to regain his lost heritage, all of which ended in defeat.
Humiliated and thwarted at every turn, Ian Hawker saw the writing on the wall. When the Star League arrived on Strana Mechty and initiated the Great Refusal, he bowed to the will of his Clan and voted along with the Wardens to not participate in the Trials. Hoping for a Clan victory, the peace won by the Inner Sphere was the final nail in the coffin for the disillusioned Khan, who chose to take his own life. Barbara Sennet became the new Khan of Clan Diamond Shark and Angus Labov won the election to replace her as saKhan.
In the immediate aftermath of the Great Refusal, with the complete destruction of Smoke Jaguars, the surprise relocation of Ghost Bears, and the Abjuration of the Nova Cats, an immense void had been opened up in the Clan power structure, one which the survivors rushed to fill in. The Wars of Possession were largely profitable to the Diamond Sharks, who were gifted a number of Ghost Bear enclaves for their support in the Grand Council. The Diamond Sharks largely eschewed any attempt to seize former Smoke Jaguar territory, although they were quick to take the Jaguar enclave on Vinton, instead moving to secure former Ghost Bear assets. Extensive gains were made on Paxon, though when they realized trying to hold onto Tokasha would be too costly the Diamond Sharks voluntarily withdrew.
The Diamond Sharks also took advantage of the Nova Cat's dire predicament, offering their services in exchange for immense profit. On Delios, the Diamond Sharks agreed to allow the Nova Cats to withdraw with most of their equipment in exchange for their territory. At Barcella, the Nova Cat capital, the Diamond Sharks leased a number of Potemkin troop transports to move the Nova Cat population and offered Beta Galaxy under contract to shore up the beleaguered defenders. The deal netted the Diamond Sharks most of the Nova Cat's assets and large tracts of their territory, along with the enmity of the Jade Falcon and Ice Hellion Clans, who would continue to challenge the Diamond Sharks for control of the world.
Diamond Shark activities at this time were not just limited to Clan space either. In the summer of 3061, the Diamond Sharks entered into formal negotiations with the Draconis Combine for the sale of Ha Otoko BattleMechs, an event which brought about an immediate challenge from Clan Jade Falcon. Arguments that selling the stripped-down 'Mech to the Inner Sphere would not constitute a threat to the Clans fell on deaf ears in the Grand Council, so the Sharks announced that the resulting Trial of Refusal would be fought with second-line 'Mechs. Though the Jade Falcons won the right to a Trial, they lost in the subsequent fight, allowing the sale to go forward.
The Diamond Sharks' pivot from the homeworlds, which were increasingly seen as a liability, towards the rich markets of the Inner Sphere continued at an accelerated pace. In 3062, they sold their enclave on Priori to Clan Star Adder in exchange for new weapons technology and a twenty-year lease on the Renown; in 3064 they put their Eagle Crater enclave on New Kent up for auction by Clans Ice Hellion and Coyote, which the Coyotes won. Finally, later that year, the Diamond Sharks struck a deal with the Jade Falcons, exchanging their assets on Lum for the right to settle Twycross. The Jade Falcons believed they had finally gotten the better of the Diamond Sharks until 3065 when it was revealed that Jonah's Reach, a near-lifeless planet in the Twycross system, was a second source of HarJel. This turn of events caused no small amount of insults and threats between the two Clans on the Chatterweb.
Diamond Shark advancement into the Inner Sphere continued unabated, winning control of Trondheim and Itabaiana from the Ghost Bear Dominion and Draconis Combine respectively to serve as trading hubs. The Chatterweb was subsequently expanded to cover the Inner Sphere, with safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the homeworld network. Additionally, through their contacts with the Nova Cats and Clan Wolf-in-Exile, the Diamond Sharks began selling their Twycross-produced HarJel to the Combine and Lyran Alliance, stamping "Made in the Inner Sphere" on their products to fend off any formal challenges but nevertheless causing an uproar. Their most controversial move though came in 3066, when they unveiled the Mad Cat Mk II and intended to sell it (along with a lucrative service contract) to the Inner Sphere. Unlike the Ha Otoko, the Mad Cat Mk II contained advanced Clan components (albeit older models taken from their Brian Caches), which seriously threatened the technology advantage the Clans had heretofore enjoyed. This action later lead the Diamond Sharks to a scandal where they were censored by the Grand Council for selling Clan equipment to the Inner Sphere.
The Jihad and Beyond
The Diamond Sharks joined the allied coalition assembled by Devlin Stone to fight against the Word of Blake on the 20th of February, 3076, offering their transport services to the coalition. A few months later, the Diamond Sharks challenged Clan Ghost Bear for the right to set up a trading enclave on the former Free Rasalhague Republic world of Tukayyid. The trial took place on the 7th of May, 3076, with the Diamond Sharks the victors.
On the 11th of May 3080 Star Admiral Naomi Nagasawa succeeded Barbara Sennet as Khan of the Diamond Sharks, Sennet having stepped down from the position. Two months later, Diamond Shark WarShips would successfully defend Tukayyid from an attack by a Word of Blake flotilla of nuclear weapon-equipped fighters and Pocket WarShips.
In the wake of the Jihad the Diamond Sharks' presence in the Inner Sphere began to steadily increase, with the Sharks' larger WarShips becoming noticeably more active, leading numerous trade missions to the various capital worlds. While the bulk of the Diamond Shark touman continued to remain on the major trade worlds controlled by the Sharks, each trade mission was commonly accompanied by a cluster of troops, although Inner Sphere intelligence agencies were confounded by being unable to find any sign of half of the Diamond Shark units known to exist in 3067.
In the late 3070s or early 3080s the Diamond Sharks also established an enclave on the Lyran Alliance world of Halfway, marking a new level of interaction with the nations of the Inner Sphere for the mercantile Clan. The enclave on Halfway allowed the Sharks to gain influence as far away as Sian as they built and maintained connections with major Inner Sphere corporations.
Wars of Reaving, the Diamond Sharks were abjured from clan space by their homeworld brethren, leaving their holdings and equipment controlled by the other clans.
Clan Diamond Shark changed its name back to Sea Fox in 3100, after the events surrounding their censure by the Grand Council, and their relocation to the Inner Sphere during the Blakist Jihad, which resulted in the development of autonomous trade fleets, known as Khanates, and a new chapter in the history of the Clan began.
Clan Diamond Shark née Sea Fox was the most egalitarian of all the Clans created by Kerensky. From the start Khan Nagasawa wanted all castes to be treated as true equals and to enjoy freedoms denied to members of other Clans. Respected for their work and given a relatively free reign, the civilian castes helped catapult the Clan to the forefront in economic and scientific endeavors. For example, while other Clans may have restricted use of their communication networks for purely utilitarian purposes, the Diamond Sharks were encouraged to communicate freely so long as military secrets or treasonous material was not transmitted. Out of these freedoms the Clan created the Chatterweb and a media empire the rival of any within the Inner Sphere which sold their entertainment products to other Clans.
The pursuit of material wealth was another defining trait bestowed upon the Clan by their founding Khan. Given the freedom to act as they saw fit in making their Clan strong, the merchant caste was instrumental in the prosperity enjoyed by the Diamond Sharks. They were at the forefront of exploiting discovered worlds, developing profitable trade routes, and practicing elements of high finance such as futures-trading. In time the merchant caste came to directly advise the warrior caste, blurring the distinction between economic and military matters. Even if an operation was being fought primarily for martial goals, the merchant caste would often include secondary and tertiary objectives with economic value. In this way even if the main battle was lost, achieving these objectives could mitigate or even result in a net gain for the Diamond Sharks. This seeming domination of a "lesser" caste was a source of consternation to the other Clans, yet the Diamond Sharks remained true enough to the Clan way of life to stave off any interference for much of their history.
Khan Nagasawa was also responsible for starting the ritual of honoring her Clan's namesake every time a new Khan was elected. A decade into her rule, Khan Nagasawa realized that the dumping of pollutants into Strana Mechty's rivers was threatening the sea fox's habitat. She took to the Chatterweb to personally raise awareness and even filmed a documentary highlighting the problem, all of which resulted in ending the dumping and saving the sea fox. To ensure future generations would continue to safeguard their totem animal, she decreed that every new Khan would have to present a gift of fish to the sea fox at the beginning of their term. This tradition continued with the Diamond Shark name-change, though where formerly the Khans honored their namesake's honorable demeanor they now honored its perfectly-timed ferocity. While criticized for such a relatively "tame" ceremony involving their totem animal, the Diamond Sharks view other Clans' willingness to put themselves in mortal danger with theirs as idiocy.
Clan Diamond Shark military commanders gave their subordinates a measure of flexibility when making their battle plans. Allowed to conduct themselves based on the changing situations on the battlefield, this gave the Diamond Sharks an advantage over opponents who were more rigid in their thinking and chain of command. Once battle commenced the Diamond Sharks searched for their opponent's weaknesses and attempted to exploit them fully. They viewed zellbrigen as more a polite suggestion than hard-and-fast rule. If an enemy warrior called out his counterpart to engage in single combat, they would comply, but if a battle could be won by bombing or capturing an enemy's supply cache rather than a frontal assault on their main force they would do so with no compunction. Such a victory would be viewed as conforming to Clan ideals of avoiding unnecessary waste.
The Clan also believed highly in the value of accurate intelligence before starting a military endeavor, though not to the exclusion of making a quick strike when necessary. In addition to their role of controlling the Clan's logistics corps, the merchant caste was also responsible for gathering intelligence via the Chatterweb and other means. So good were the merchants in this role they even outstripped the Star Adders and their dedicated intelligence service in acquiring accurate information. This intelligence was necessary for the Diamond Shark's sharp bidding practices against other Clans. The Diamond Sharks became masters of making the cutdown appear more or less than it truly was, forcing an opponent to bid too few forces to take the objective or give it up to the Diamond Sharks. They also practiced the "dive bid", making an initial offer well above the cutdown then dropping it to just below. This gave them a wide margin to work with should they win while narrowing their opponent's if they tried going lower.
Due to the equality between the castes, the Diamond Sharks practice a unique reserve system for replacing military losses. Rather than remain warriors until death, Diamond Shark warriors could voluntarily "retire" to a lower caste - almost always the merchant caste - with very little loss of honor. In fact if the warrior had earned their Bloodname and so secured their genetic legacy there was no loss of honor at all. This was because these 'warrior-traders' remained part of the Clan's reserve system and could be recalled at any time to service. Bloodnamed warriors who fought an annual Trial of Position were allowed to remain part of the active reserves while the rest were considered inactive. For this reason the Clan had very few solahma units, composed of warriors too stubborn to leave or disgraced in some way and seeking honor in death.
This reserve system was used for the first time after Tukayyid, but even so rebuilding their shattered forces proved to be too slow, and so the 'Minus-One Testing' program was instituted. An active reservist could immediately fill an open position within a second-line or garrison unit by willingly taking a demotion to one rank below what they'd earned: if in their last Trial of Position they had earned the rank of Star Colonel they could instead resume active duty as a Star Captain. Those on inactive duty would fight a new Trial of Position with the same terms of enlistment, and both would be allowed to advance back to their former positions through the normal methods once they were warriors again. This swelled the ranks of those units responsible for defending the Diamond Sharks' vast holdings while the best warriors were able to quickly fight their way back to front-line units. Additionally, in the rare case of a reservist being challenged to a Trial by an active-duty warrior and winning, they were allowed to assume that warrior's rank and position.
The Diamond Sharks have mercantile relationships with all Clans, though few real lasting friends or enemies. They are notably one of the few Clans that deals with the Blood Spirits, and they were close enough to the Ghost Bears and Nova Cats to be granted territory when they left Clan space. Historically, the Sharks have had good relations with Clan Wolf, and these continue with Clan Wolf-in-Exile.
The Diamond Sharks harbor a grudge against the Snow Ravens for their role in the death of the Sea Fox, but this mostly takes the form of besting them in mercantile transactions.
During the Trials of Possession for Ghost Bear, Nova Cat, and Smoke Jaguar holdings, the Ghost Bears ceded Tokasha and Paxon to the Sharks, though they withdrew from Tokasha to hold onto Paxon. They also gained Barcella through the friendship of the Nova Cats, as well as Vinton from the late Smoke Jaguars.
As the originators of Iron Womb technology, Clan Diamond Shark had one of the best breeding programs of any Clan. This included a willingness to experiment with new techniques and technologies even with the knowledge most attempts would not pan out. It was the Diamond Sharks, building upon the Hell's Horses efforts, who helped solve many the problems which caused high attrition among the Elemental phenotype, and as such had an edge over Clans with their proven and exclusive Elemental Bloodlines.
Era Specific Data
Diamond Shark Demographics
Population (Clan Space): 67,859,000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 2.8 percent (72/54)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 88 percent
Clan Space Worlds
Capital: Strana Mechty
Babylon (24 percent)
Barcella (47 percent)
Delios (64 percent)
Lum (18 percent)
New Kent (9 percent)
Paxon (62 percent)
Priori (52 percent)
Strato Domingo (65 percent)
Tathis (50 percent)
Vinton (100 percent)
- Invading Clans, p. 131-132
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 57
- Invading Clans, p. 133
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 58
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 5-6
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 59
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 60
- Invading Clans, p. 134
- Invading Clans, p. 135
- Invading Clans, p. 136
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 61
- Invading Clans, p. 137
- Invading Clans, p. 138
- Invading Clans, p. 139
- Invading Clans, p. 140
- Invading Clans, p. 141
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 62
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 63
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 64
- Invading Clans, p. 26
- Invading Clans, p. 28
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 58
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 20, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 55, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 21, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 61, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 112, "Clan Diamond Shark"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 114, "Clan Diamond Shark"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 61
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 49
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 67
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 66
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 65