Clan Hell's Horses

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This article needs to be updated with material from Historical: Operation Klondike, Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, Era Digest: Golden Century, Objectives: Clans, The Wars of Reaving, Era Report: 3145, Field Manual: 3145, Test of Vengeance, Shattered Fortress, and IlClan (sourcebook). Once this title clears the Moratorium period, or if it already has, please consider revisiting this article and updating it with the new material, removing this tag once all information has been added.

Clan Hell's Horses Logo
Clan Hell's Horses
Faction Profile
Time period: 2807 – Present
Classification: Clan
Controlled systems: 53 (3151)[1]
Capital world: Csesztreg
Ruler title: Khan
Military: Clan Hell's Horses Touman
Secret Service: Clan Hell's Horses Watch

Clan Hell's Horses is one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky, named for the Hell's Horses genetically engineered for the highland deserts of Circe. The Clan lives by the motto that "man comes before machine," a philosophy which values the individual soldier over whichever tool of warfare he uses. While this philosophy has resulted in some battlefield practices unique among the Clans, it also permeates other aspects of Clan Hell's Horses, such that all Clan members are treated as an integral part of the greater whole, regardless of their birth. Clan Hell's Horses are also famous for creating what would become Elementals, genetically enhanced infantry who have formed an important part of Clan warfare since their introduction.

Despite being led by Crusaders, the Clan did not take part in Operation Revival, though it later managed to secure a number of Inner Sphere worlds during the 3070s. As a result of this exodus and the Wars of Reaving, Clan Hell's Horses was sundered from the Clan Homeworlds, with those who remained becoming Clan Stone Lion.

The Clan remained a minor power from the post-Jihad years until the 3130s, when the rise of Malvina Hazen and Clan Wolf's migration deep into the Inner Sphere saw the Hell's Horses expand their territory and serve as increasingly unwilling allies to Clan Jade Falcon. By 3147 the Horses had ended their alliance with Hazen and asserted their status as an independent power in their own right.



Clan Hell's Horses was founded by Lieutenant General John Fletcher, commander of the 35th Infantry Division of the Star League Defense Force. General Fletcher, a staunch loyalist of General Aleksandr Kerensky, took part in the invasion to liberate Terra from Stefan Amaris during the Amaris Civil War. Fletcher's loyalty to Kerensky and the ideals of the Star League would inspire him to join the First Exodus from the Inner Sphere in the wake of that terrible conflict and settle on the Pentagon Worlds to start anew.[2]

However, old divisions among the population soon festered into a new civil war, and despite gathering together like-minded soldiers to restore order in Kerensky's name Fletcher was unable to prevent the outbreak of warfare. When Kerensky died Fletcher accompanied his son, Nicholas Kerensky, on the Second Exodus to the Kerensky Cluster where the Clans were formed.[2]

For his loyalty, Fletcher was made Khan of Clan Hell's Horses, and he chose Colonel Patricia Cobb, one of his most able 'Mech battalion commanders from the Thirty-fifth, as his saKhan. Together they forged their Clan into one which placed its focus first and foremost on its warriors. For this reason they requested a smaller share of BattleMech forces in return for a larger share of conventional armor and approval to train additional infantry from decommissioned WarShip crews. In short order they were able to put together an impressive combined-arms army, bucking current military orthodoxy that saw the 'Mech as the supreme battlefield weapon. While their critics foresaw the Clan's demise, the Hell's Horses' performance would eventually cast aside the myth of 'Mech dominance.[2]

Operation Klondike[edit]

During the trials for participating in the coveted Eden invasion part of Operation Klondike, the Hell's Horses won a surprise victory over Clan Ghost Bear.[3] For the most part the Horses were assigned auxiliary or rear-area duties, until Khan Fletcher convinced Nicholas to assign his Clan an independent operation, the conquest of the Purgatory Peninsula.[4] The peninsula, located in the western part of the continent of Irkutsk, was home to a collection of city-states locked in conflict. Of the city-states, the most important ones were Allah, Dante and Vesta.[5][2]

While the city-states were no friends of each other, they did unite against the invaders and put together a combined force which outnumbered the Hell's Horses six to one. After suffering from a series of ambushes that destroyed several Clan scout 'Mechs, Fletcher began looking for flaws in the enemy's strategy and realized that they fixated on targeting 'Mechs above "inferior" tanks and infantry. He put this knowledge to good use in the Clan's counter-insurgency strategy by using their 'Mechs as bait to draw out the rebels so they could be smashed by conventional forces. By the end of the two-week campaign the Hell's Horses had completely smashed all resistance on the peninsula, proving the success of their unorthodox tactics and suffering fewer equipment losses than other Clans which preferred to slug it out 'Mech-to-'Mech. Vesta, the largest and last city to fall, would be renamed Hades and transformed into the Hell's Horses' capital.[6][7]

Golden Century[edit]

Their peculiar philosophy led most of the other Clans to dismiss them. The Hell's Horses tended to keep to themselves until the development of the Elemental infantry armor by Clan Wolf. Eager to obtain the Elemental armor, the Hell's Horses entered a series of trials with Clan Wolf where the armor was put up against the infantry breeding protocols that the Hell's Horses had developed. These gigantic warriors would be known as 'Elementals'.[8]

The Hell's Horses won one of the three trials and so obtained the Elemental armor. Other Clans challenged the Hell's Horses for the breeding rights, among them Clan Fire Mandrill. In 2870, Kindraa Smythe-Jewel of the Fire Mandrills used deceptive bidding tactics to give the impression of a much smaller force and won the trial. Kindraa Payne would take the brunt of the Trial of Possession, while the Smythe-Jewels walked away with new Elemental breeding protocols and Battle Armor.[9] The Horse's Khan Eric Amirault demanded a Trial of Annihilation but was denied by a Grand Council vote. As the Hell's Horses prepared to move against the Fire Mandrills, Clan Coyote's Khan Manfred Hollifield stepped in. They too had been cheated by Kindraa Smythe-Jewel in their bid for the OmniMech a few years prior.[10]

Seeing the wisdom in joining together, the Hell's Horses arranged for a contract bid to include the Coyotes in the Hell's Horses trial against the Kindraa. The combined Hell's Horses-Coyote task force descended on the Smythe-Jewel enclave on Foster and challenged them to a Trial that saw the death of the Kindraa Smythe-Jewel. Half the genetic legacies and most of the battle salvage was taken by the Horses and the Coyotes took the enclave, the bondsmen, and the rest of the legacies, with small shares of each going to Kindraa Payne, which had joined in the final stages of the battle, trapping the last Smythe-Jewels as they attempted to flee. The Clans each parted with great respect for one another. This action did much to win the Hell's Horses a good measure of respect from the rest of the Clans as well.[10][11][12][13]

For a time it looked as though the Hell's Horses might shift away from their combined-arms, heavy reliance on vehicle philosophy and more towards the use of BattleMechs. But all that changed when 'Mechworks Alpha on Tokasha, their primary 'Mech factory, was targeted by Clan Ghost Bear during a Trial of Possession. The Horses bid an entire Galaxy in its defense which the Bears matched. It was a fierce, pitched battle but seemed to favor the Hell's Horses until a stray shot slew the beloved Ghost Bear Khan Kilbourne Jorgensson. The outraged Ghost Bears tore into the Hell's Horses in a berserk fury, forcing them to withdraw.[13]


The loss of Metal Works Alpha and Kilbourne Jorgensson sparked a fierce feud between the Hell's Horses and Ghost Bears.[13] When the Ghost Bears launched a Trial of Possession for Industriplex Alpha on Niles, the Hell's Horses' homeworld, another fierce battle ensued. Though the Horses emerged victorious they lost their Khan, Lair Seidman. He was replaced by Malavai Fletcher, an Elemental who was horribly injured in that battle.[14]

Fletcher, a staunch Crusader, managed to appoint enough Crusaders in his Clan to leadership positions to push the Horses into the Crusader camp, despite the fact that many among the Horses' rank and file were Wardens. This political shift helped to make Operation Revival a reality after Comstar's Outbound Light appeared over the Smoke Jaguar world of Huntress in 3048. The Horses would be eliminated from the invasion early on, but this did not bother Khan Fletcher too much. His leadership during the invasion years kept his Clan out of much of the infighting in the Clan Homeworlds, instead keeping them focused on building their strength.[15]

The Invasion[edit]

When Clan Ice Hellion's Khan Asa Taney formed his Home Clan Coalition in the wake of Tukayyid, Khan Fletcher stood by him, supporting the effort to renew the invasion. Though they would not get the invasion they wanted, the Harvest Trials presented their own opportunity.[16]

Though the Horses did not win a place in the invasion, they did manage to find a way to obtain worlds in the Inner Sphere. When Khan Vladimir Ward of the Wolves started the Harvest Trials, Khan Fletcher convinced him to bid Hell's Horses units in contract bids (much as the Hell's Horses had done with the Coyotes) without first winning those units to the Wolves. Khan Ward agreed and ceded three worlds in the Clan Wolf Occupation Zone: Stanzach, Vorarlberg, and Engadin to Clan Hell's Horses.[16]

During the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty, the Hell's Horses fought against and lost to the Free Rasalhague Republic's Third Drakøns.

During the numerous Trials of Possession that were launched following the Annihilation of the Smoke Jaguars, Abjuration of the Nova Cats, and relocation of the Ghost Bears, the Hell's Horses have managed to seize large portions of Bearclaw, Hoard, and Tokasha, pitting them against forces from the Jade Falcons, Ice Hellions, and Snow Ravens. The Horses also managed to seize the last portion of Kirin making it an exclusive Hells' Horses possession.

Not long afterwards the Horses raided the Ghost Bear Occupation Zone (renamed the Ghost Bear Dominion) while the Ghost Bears were at war with the Draconis Combine. However, after the war with the Combine ended, the Bears retaliated and seized all three of the Hell's Horses worlds, sending them back to Clan Space. Khan Malavai Fletcher's leadership was challenged and he was slain by James Cobb, a Warden, who assumed the Khanship.

Wars of Reaving and the Jihad[edit]

In 3070 Clan Hell's Horses would finally leave the Clan Homeworlds for good. Establishing an informal alliance with Clan Ice Hellion the Horses managed to secure multiple worlds from both the Wolves and the Jade Falcons before turning on Clan Ice Hellion. In the end, the Clan would be successful in gaining their own occupation zone, becoming members of the Spheroid Clan Council. They would join the other Spheroid Clans in cutting off all relations with their homeworld brethren and join with Devlin Stone's coalition.

Those Hell's Horses who survived the Wars of Reaving in the Homeworlds were accused by their brethren of being tainted due to the Horse's involvement with the exiled Wolves and Kell Hounds mercenary unit. Zeta Galaxy Commander Magnus DelVillar, the senior remaining Horses officer, countered these claims by pointing out that none of his warriors had actually been to the Inner Sphere themselves. After a hard fought Trial of Refusal, the Grand Council motion to Abjure the bulk of Clan Hell's Horses was upheld, as was the Absorption by Clan Star Adder of the 'untainted' Horses in the Homeworlds. However, Adder Khan Stanislov N'Buta was impressed enough with the Horses' conduct that he offered DelVillar an alternative, and in short order Clan Stone Lion was formed from those Horses remaining in the Clan Homeworlds.[17]

Post-Jihad Era[edit]

The Horses found themselves facing a number of problems in the wake of the Jihad. While the Clan was buoyant following their successes and enjoyed a touman larger than that of the Wolves and broadly comparable in size to that of the Falcons, their warriors were heavily committed. Internally, elements of both the intelligence organization Mimir and the Motstånd terrorist network continued to make life difficult for the Horses domestically, while the Rasalhagian population of the Ghost Bear Dominion continued to press Clan Ghost Bear to attack the Horses occupation zone and reclaim ethnically Rasalhagian worlds. Adding to the external threat from the Ghost Bears was the desire on the part of the Jade Falcons to reclaim the worlds that the Horses had opportunistically snatched during the incursion into the Falcon occupation zone by the Ice Hellions.[18]

Dark Age[edit]

During the Dark Age, a tactical doctrine was born inside the Horses: the so-called "Mongol Doctrine". The doctrine was used as a light cavalry tactic among Horses, but a more radical interpretation used by Clan Jade Falcon, lead by Galaxy commander Malvina Hazen enraged some Horses: in 3136, a Horse Galaxy commander, the ristar Tristan Fletcher, traveled to the planet Skye, announcing a Trial of Position with Malvina for the Mongol Doctrine. Both commanders fought in tanks, and Fletcher was defeated and slain by Malvina.[19] Some weeks later, a galaxy of Horses, the Fire Horse Galaxy led by Galaxy commander Manas Amirault, joined Malvina's forces, helping her in the fight against Falcon Khan Jana Pryde. After defeating Pryde and taking her place, Malvina destroyed the Jade Falcon capital. Horrified by the evil of his ally and lover, Manas attempted to leave her, but she killed him in a Trial of Position, taking his galaxy.[20] The same year when Clan Wolf left their occupation zone, the Horses managed to take twenty-two of their former worlds, including the old capital, Tamar, greatly expanding their occupation zone. In November 3139, Malvina Hazen's forces staged a Trial of Possession for the agricultural worlds of Romulus and Harvest, accidentally starting fires at great expenses to their lands, threatening the Horses' worlds with the prospect of famine, forcing the Horses' Khan to form an alliance with the Falcons, named the Golden Ordun.[21] The Horses' Khan Gottfried Amirault, sent only parts of his Touman to fight with the Falcons, keeping their losses low, but helping them conquer a large swath of the Commonwealth.[22] In 3145, after the Ordun's attack on planet Hesperus II failed, both Clans suffered heavy losses. As a result the Horses' Khan dissolved the Ordun, returning to their Occupation Zone.[23]

In 3151, during an assault on planet Shaula, in Jade Falcon space, Khan Amirault uncovered information that Jade Falcons forces were on their way to Terra. The Horses Khan had his own plan to conquer that planet too. However, since Khan Amirault and his clan didn't know how to breach the Fortress Republic, they decided to take what they could from the Jade Falcon Clan's Occupation Zone with Operation Stampede out of retaliation for their manipulation of them and their Mongol Doctrine.[24] When the Wolves had succeeded in taking Terra, a delegation of the Horses arrived shortly, lead by the Clan's Khan and SaKhan. Angry at the Wolves for denying his clan the opportunity to fight on Terra (as well as Alaric's truthfully-veiled insults), Amirault demanded a Trial of Refusal against Alaric Ward, but he refuted it.[25]


Clan Hell's Horses' philosophy of valuing the individual's role in the greater whole permeates all levels of society. While caste and birth prejudice still exists within the Clan, it is kept in check by ongoing efforts which extol cooperation among and within all Clan castes. This unity extends from the lowliest laborer toiling in the factories to the Khans themselves, and none are held in less esteem than is earned. Even freeborns and solahma warriors are given respect where other Clans would tolerate or mistreat them; only dezgra warriors are exempt from this rule.[26][27]

Politicking is mostly shunned by the Hell's Horses, even at the Grand Council level where the Khans see their duty in leading their Clan as more important than backroom bargaining. As far as Clansmen go the Hell's Horses are seen as docile and unswervingly obedient to the chain of command, making their Clan far more stable than others where internal power plays are the norm, though this lack of personal initiative has hampered their efforts to expand beyond their already-considerable homeworld enclaves. Their use of contract warfare, allowing warriors of different units or even Clans to include each others' forces in a single bid, would seem to run counter to this idea, however the Hell's Horses view it as a strategic matter to ensure victories that go beyond the Clan's own concerns.[26][27]

Post-Migration to the Inner Sphere[edit]

Following their migration into the Inner Sphere, the Horses managed to establish good relations with the native Spheroid populations of their worlds. Ruling with a lighter hand than the Wolves and Jade Falcons, the Horses tend to keep to their "DropShip cities" (semi-permanent camps) and turn a blind eye to the sizeable black market in Spheroid luxuries in exchange for their authority remaining unquestioned. While thus effectively separate societies, the Clan and its native Spheroid subjects work together as partners in keeping their 'nation' running smoothly. However this leniency has also been taken advantage of by disaffected natives, particularly in the former Wolf-controlled worlds.[28] [29]


The Horses' spirit of cooperation is a large part of the Clan. Warriors and lower-caste members work well together to accomplish their goals. As for warriors, freeborns and solahma can also work together on the field. Their spirit of cooperation is no more apparent in their ritual known as the Branding Ritual. In this ritual, warriors are required to work in groups of six while hunting for their totem animal on the world of Niles. Success in doing so will give the warriors the Mark of the Horse. Failure due to a lack of cooperation will result in being branded with the Mark of Hell, where people will be noted of their shame.[30]

Trial of Renewal (August 22)[edit]

Before Founding Day happens, the Alpha and Omega Keshiks meet in mock combat against each other. This holiday goes with the shifting of other Keshiks on Strana Mechty. The event is broadcasted on Niles, where other clans may watch the trial ensue. The winner of the trial will be selected to lead their clan's delegation for Founding Day.[31]


Hell's Horses Warrior with tank

Clan Hell's Horses incorporate a number of unique features into their military doctrine which sets them apart from other Clans, most notably their use of conventional infantry and armor even in front-line units. Their model of combined-arms warfare means roughly two-thirds of all 'Mech Stars are part of a Nova formation, while all vehicle Stars contain an equal number of infantry Points. As a result their touman numbers fewer 'Mechs than normal but make up for it in a disproportionate amount of infantry and support.

The Clan is also unique for instituting the official ranks of Nova Commander and Nova Captain to command Novas and Supernovas. The existence of such ranks also means more positions for warriors to fight over in a Trial of Position and means many more warriors are found in the middle ranks than in other Clans.


Founding Bloodnames:[32]
Allychuk Amirault Anu Bolt Brown
Budõlin Burns Camejo Cobb Cooper
DeLaurel Dudzinsky Dwelley Fletcher Grimheald
Houan Iler Johnston Kebede Lassenerra
Liang Mazzoni Mendoza Mitchell Moiseyev
Murphy Neely O'Reilly Peck Priddy
Purchase Ravenwater Rickard Robinson Rowbotham
Seidman Steding Thompson Weißenborn Zuijdweg
Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Operation REVIVAL:[33]
General MechWarriors Elementals Aerospace Pilots ProtoMech Pilots
Cobb Amirault Cooper Bourjon
DeLaurel Lassenerra Fletcher Dudzinsky
Mitchell Houan Dwelley
Ravenwater Seidman Johnston
Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Wars of Reaving:[34]
General MechWarriors Elementals Aerospace Pilots ProtoMech Pilots
Cobb Amirault Cooper Dudzinsky Grimheald
DeLaurel Mitchell* Fletcher Dwelley* Johnston*
Ravenwater Houan*
Shared Bloodnames Post-Wars of Reaving:[34]
(Column titles signify the other Clans with which the Bloodnames are shared)
Diamond Shark Ghost Bear Dominion Jade Falcon Snow Raven Wolf
Hawker Hawker Icaza Lassenerra Hawker
Vewas Icaza Mehta Vewas Lankenaux
Lankenaux Mehta

* This signifies a Bloodname with a Bloodcount of five or less active Bloodrights
x This signifies a Bloodname with genefather rights only

Inter-Clan Relations[edit]

The Hell's Horses primary allies are Clan Wolf and Clan Coyote. Clan Hell's Horses was one of the first clans that befitted from Clan Wolf's Elemental Battle Armor, while Clan Wolf would prosper from the Hell's Horses super-soldier infantry phenotype for the Clan's gene-pool. As with Clan Coyote, their alliance would grow when the deceit of Clan Fire Mandrill's Kindraa Smythe-Jewel was exposed. It was found out that the Kindraa had used dishonorable tactics against the Hell's Horses and Coyotes to gain a hold of both the Elemental gene-type and Omnimech technology respectively. This would call for both clans to create an alliance to punish the Kindraa, ending in their destruction. Both clans gain the Smythe and Jewell bloodnames and grew into a long-lasting friendship between the two. Though the Coyotes and Hell's Horses have different philosophies, they still respect each other and call themselves "honored comrades". These relations would change in the mid 3070's after the clan civil war that separated the clans as a whole. The Horses would server all ties with the Home Clans (which the Coyotes were apart of), while the Coyotes would switch their friendship to Horses' counterparts, the Stone Lions.

When it comes to enemies, only two would claim the spot: Clan Fire Mandrill and Clan Ghost Bear. Clan Fire Mandrill views the Horses in full contempt for the death of Kindraa Smythe-Jewel (unaware of Kindraa Payne's involvement). This feud would last for generations until their destruction in the Wars of Reaving. As for the Ghost Bears, the Horses were responsible for the death of Ghost Bear Khan Kilbourne Jorgensson, which sent the Ghost Bears into a fury. Ever since then, the Horse-Bear feud would last until the early 3070's when the Hell's Horses and Ice Hellions invaded the Inner Sphere. They would broker a peace between the Ghost Bears to end all hostilities between the two clans.




Era Specific Data[edit]


Hell's Horses Demographics
Affiliation: Crusader

Clan Space Worlds:
Bearclaw (30 percent)
Eden (31 percent)
Hoard (10 percent)
Kirin (100 percent)
Strato Domingo (35 percent)
Niles (Clan planet) (100 percent)
Tiber (Clan planet) (50 percent)
Tokasha (13 percent)
Capital: Niles

Population (Clan Space): 95,317,000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 2.1 percent (71/50)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 93 percent

Khan: Malavai Fletcher
saKhan: Tanya DeLaurel
Loremaster: Helena Fletcher
Scientist-General: Mohamed (Kepler)
Merchant Factor: Sonja
Master Technician: Amanda
Senior Laborer: Jan

Clusters: 37
WarShips: 10


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  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 53
  3. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 89
  4. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91
  5. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91-92, 138
  6. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 91-92
  7. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54
  8. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54 - "Golden Century"
  9. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 39 - "Striking from Solitude"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 54, 55 - "Hell's Fury"
  11. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 39 - "Death of a Kindraa"
  12. Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 41, 42 - "Righteous Vengeance"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 9, 10 - "Bad Blood"
  14. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 56, 57 - "The Horse and the Bear"
  15. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57 - "Crusader's Call"
  16. 16.0 16.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57 - "Current Events"
  17. The Wars of Reaving, p. 146-149
  18. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 111, "Clan Hell's Horses"
  19. A Rending of Falcons p. 28
  20. A Rending of falcons p. 308
  21. A Bonfire of Worlds p. 65
  22. Field Manual: 3145 p. 154
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  24. Hour of the Wolf p.98
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  26. 26.0 26.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 58
  27. 27.0 27.1 MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 23
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  30. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, pg. 63-62
  31. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pp. 7-8, 50
  32. Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p. 35, "Origins of the Bloodnames: The Clans' Founders
  33. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 53, "Clan Hell's Horses Exclusive Bloodnames"
  34. 34.0 34.1 The Wars of Reaving, p. 195, "Bloodnames of the Council of Six Clans"
  35. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 89
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  42. Masters and Minions: The Starcorps Dossiers, p.138
  43. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 57
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  45. Field Manual: Updates, p. 44
  46. The Wars of Reaving, p.175
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  48. 48.0 48.1 Era Report: 3145, p. 100, "Gottfried Amirault"
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  54. Shattered Fortress, p. 44, "The Silence of the Clans"