Clan Ice Hellion
|Clan Ice Hellion|
|Time period:||2807 – 3074|
|Military:||Clan Ice Hellion Touman|
|Secret Service:||Clan Ice Hellion Watch|
Clan Ice Hellion was one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky, named after the ice hellion found on Hector. A fiercely proud and quarrelsome Clan, in battle they favored speed over brute strength to win victories, a doctrine of "blitzkrieg" heavily influenced by their founding Khan, Stephan Cage. Staunch Crusaders, the Ice Hellions were fairly traditional in their distrust of the merchant caste and scorn for freeborn warriors. Bondsmen rarely became abtakha warriors as most other Clansmen had difficulty adjusting to the Hellion's esoteric battle philosophy idealizing speed above everything else.
Stephan Cage originally commanded the Third Battalion of the 200th Dragoon Regiment, participating in the conquest of the Rim Worlds Republic and the liberation of Terra during the Amaris Civil War. As commander of a recon unit Cage proved himself skilled at using light forces in an aggressive role, and was among those who followed Aleksandr Kerensky on the First Exodus, settling on the harsh world of Hector and becoming its leader. Cage would reaffirm his loyalty to Aleksandr's son Nicholas Kerensky and followed him after the Second Exodus to Strana Mechty, where he was chosen to lead the newly-formed Clan Ice Hellion.
When Nicholas said the fierce pride shown by those early Hector settlers matched the nature of the ice hellion, one of that planet's most tenacious predators, Khan Cage took his words as gospel and began seeing similarities between his Clan and its namesake everywhere, or creating them where he could. As the Clans' military assets were divided up for the planned return to the Pentagon Worlds, Khan Cage requested a preponderance of light and medium BattleMechs for the Clan in order to more closely emulate the predator's speed and grace. Though other regarded this lack of a balanced approach as a weakness Cage saw it as a strength; speed and maneuverability would become Clan Ice Hellion's key to survivability and prosperity on the battlefield.
Hellion Civil War
In the wake of the success of Operation KLONDIKE the Ice Hellions under Cage grew in size as inter-Clan raids and trials began in earnest. Eager to test his philosophy against real soldiers, rather than the pathetic rebels so recently conquered, he unleashed his Clan against the other Clans. Their foes, initially dismissing the lightweight Hellion units, were surprised by the flexibility and adaptability the Hellions displayed while their own units were still practicing old Star League tactics or experimenting in what would eventually become common Clan battle doctrine. In this way the Ice Hellions became powerful beyond all expectations within a decade of the Pentagon War.
Unfortunately the other Clans soon learned how to counter the Ice Hellion tactics and the Clan began suffering defeat after defeat as they came under attack from all sides. Only one Ice Hellion commander, saKhan Lucius Moore, still won more often than lost, and though Cage initially chalked it up to superior ability reports of a more sinister explanation began to filter regarding his success.
After the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine, Cage desperately sought out the secret behind Moore's success, fearful that his personal friendship with Khan Sarah McEvedy of the Wolverines would imperil his Clan. To his horror Cage found that Moore had been giving his warriors performance-enhancing drugs, provided to him by members of his own Clan's scientist caste. Such a dishonor, affecting nearly a fifth of their warriors, would taint the whole Clan and lead to its Annihilation just as the Wolverines were unless Cage acted quickly. Going before the Grand Council Cage presented this evidence and demanded a Trial of Grievance against Moore, pleading for a chance for Clan Ice Hellion to rid itself of the treacherous Moore and his followers. The plan was agreed to by the Council, undoubtedly because some saw it as a win-win situation: either the Ice Hellions would be annihilated or so weakened as to be easy pickings.
For the next three months Cage hunted down Moore and his followers, engaging in numerous pitched battles which saw heavy casualties. Eventually Cage emerged victorious over the drug-enhanced warriors, though his victory came at a high cost. Clan Ice Hellion had shrunk by nearly fifty percent at the end of the civil war, including many of the most brilliant scientists the Clan had, purged for their role in the conflict. Cage would also step down as Khan of the Ice Hellions in the hopes that new blood would speed along the Clan's rebuilding.
The Secret Trial
By the end of the Golden Century the Ice Hellions had regained much of their former strength and successfully erased the stain of the Moore scandal. The Clan also became enthusiastic Crusaders, with Khan Jena Norizuchi eloquently leading the call to return to the Inner Sphere to reclaim it. The Wardens, led by Clan Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward, successfully held off the threat of invasion when they managed to pass the Dragoon Compromise in 3000. So furious was Norizuchi at "this disgraceful excuse for action" that she stormed out of the Grand Council chamber, after much admonishment and veiled threats.
In private she confided to saKhan Ernest Wick her intention to defy the Grand Council and lead the Ice Hellions in an invasion of the Inner Sphere by themselves. Wick begged her to reconsider, saying it would result in the Annihilation of their Clan, but she refused to hear his pleas and began preparations for the assault. In desperation Wick gathered the Clan's senior officers to relay to them their Khan's plans and his intention to challenge her to a private Trial of Annihilation, stressing its secrecy so that the other Clans would not learn of it and either Absorb or Annihilate their Clan.
With the backing of the Clan's Beta Galaxy Wick confronted Norizuchi and Alpha Galaxy on Hector, and for the second time in Ice Hellion history one Khan fought against the other. In the most commonly accepted version of what transpired, Wick challenged Norizuchi for the mantle of Khan. When she refused the challenge he warned her to defend herself regardless, and in the resulting bloodbath that followed Wick prevailed, though only a single Cluster of his survived. Less common versions of the story have Wick, accepting that he could not defeat Alpha Galaxy in open combat, launching a surprise attack in order to guarantee victory.
Regardless Wick moved quickly to seize control of the Clan and to hide the truth from the Grand Council, attributing Khan Norizuchi's death to a Bandit Caste attack and the weakening of Alpha and Beta Galaxies to retaliatory raids and extensive bandit sabotage. Some of the other Clans were skeptical of such claims but took no action, and the Ice Hellions were successful in hiding the truth from the rest of Clan society for nearly six decades.
Hellion's Fury and the Invasion
When the arrival of ComStar's Outbound Light in 3048 finally forced the go-vote for the Invasion, much to their shock and anger the Ice Hellions failed to win a place in the invasion force, being knocked out in the second round of the trials. With Khan Stephen Tyler concerned that this loss would result in renewed internal tensions, he responded by directing the attentions of his enraged warriors outward with a campaign against the other Clans. Called The Hellion's Fury, the conquest netted the Ice Hellions considerable territory and goods while Operation Revival was underway, although it would end poorly for the Clan's leadership. Khan Tyler was killed and saKhan Danielle Lienet was critically wounded during a bandit attack on Londerholm, where the Ice Hellions had captured a Clan Smoke Jaguar enclave. SaKhan Lienet was forced to step down and in their place was elected the ristar Asa Taney.
When news arrived of the Clans' defeat in the Battle of Tukayyid, Khan Taney sensed an opportunity for his Clan to benefit. Using the wealth gained in the Hellion's Fury campaign, he began to build a coalition among the Home Clans to either recall the Invading Clans or force them to accept Home Clan reinforcements. After the Refusal War and the ravaging of Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon by each other, Khan Taney made his move: in conjunction with Khan Ian Hawker of Clan Diamond Shark, he called for a Trial of Absorption of both depleted Clans and that fresh troops from the Home Clans replace those battered by the invasion.
However Khan Taney was thwarted when the Khans of the Invading Clans banded together and forced both motions to be withdrawn. Taney's efforts were further undercut when plans for the Harvest Trials were announced, allowing individual Clan units to "fight" a Trial of Possession and lose so that they may be absorbed into Clan Wolf or Clan Jade Falcon. Many hundreds of warriors chose to betray their Clans and seek glory for themselves in this manner including, much to Taney's anger, the Ice Hellion saKhan Weiland Cage. Cage's unit had recently lost a Binary in a Trial to the Jade Falcons, and so as punishment Khan Taney decided to replace those forces with Freeborns. Though they were the best freeborn warriors available, Cage was notedly biased against freebirths, and thus was not so appreciative of his Khan's efforts to replenish his unit back to full strength. Much to everyone's surprise though the freeborn Binary performed beyond expectation, including nearly defeating the Wolf Khan Ward himself in battle. Realizing he was about to lose Ward renounced his claim on Cage's unit and challenged instead five members of the freeborn Binary to face himself and five of his own warriors. In the resulting duel all five of Ward's warriors were defeated - their 'Mechs turned to scrap and two of them killed - before Ward was able to defeat the last freeborn warrior and claim the survivors as bondsmen.
The Great Refusal
The outraged Hellions threw themselves into the various Trials of Possession for former Nova Cat, Ghost Bear, and Smoke Jaguar worlds, winning portions of Barcella, Hoard, Atreus, Londerholm, and Huntress. However, all five worlds remain contested. With the Hellion touman stretched to its limit, the Clan may have to abandon some of its new gains.
The Ice Hellions are torn between continuing the traditional Crusader dream of returning to the Inner Sphere and a new Crusader vision of enhancing the Ice Hellion's strength in Clan Space, possibly setting the stage for a third Ice Hellion civil war.
Wars of Reaving
In the spring of 3071 the Ice Hellions attempted a major foray into the Inner Sphere, attacking the coreward end of the Jade Falcon occupation zone with almost their entire touman. Known both as Operation Ice Storm and (to the Falcons) as the "Hellion Tantrum", fighting was fierce, with the Hell's Horses entering the conflict on the side of the Falcons during the latter half of the war to turn the tide finally against the Hellions. The Ice Hellions were shattered, withdrawing with only 3 Clusters of Beta Galaxy remaining of their invasion force. Subsequently they are known to have been active in the Deep Periphery, launching piratical resource raids upon the Ghost Bear Dominion.
A few elements of the Hellions under the leadership of Connor Rood were able to make it back to Clan space and were absorbed by Clan Goliath Scorpion.
The desire to emulate the Clan's totem animal, particularly its speed, colored all aspects of an Ice Hellion warrior's life: snap judgments were actively valued above slow consideration, and first impressions counted for everything. While beneficial in certain circumstances, such a mindset often led to rash decision making by the warriors, which made forming alliances and cementing trade deals difficult. Bondsmen in particular had much difficulty in adapting to this lifestyle, though the Hellions were always eager to capture as many as possible as a sign of their military prowess. In comparison, Hellion civilians were far less caught-up in this need for speed, if only for practical purposes: a hasty repair job could be far more debilitating than a hasty battle plan.
The pack mentality of their totem animal was another trait strongly associated with the Clan. Whether it was a work crew, family unit or military outfit, the appreciation and recognition of others' abilities within the "pack" created strong ties between the group's members. When threatened from the outside the Clan could quickly pull together and demonstrate strong unity, and caste relations were generally even-keeled, for the most part. The warriors' distrust for the merchants' inherently corrupt ways caused them to assign troops to every trade missions, while the laborer and technician castes, feeling their skills undervalued by the rest, were strongly supportive of each other. However, intense differences of opinions between packs, combined with a quickness to anger and need to find quick solutions, often had destructive and self-defeating outcomes.
Technology was also prized by the Clan, especially its warrior caste, who were willing to do anything in order to enhance their speed and reaction time, including the use of Enhanced Imaging implants.
Ice Hellion military doctrine emphasized fast thinking, hand-eye coordination and rapid reaction above all else; a warrior who hits first was prized over one who took time to think over her course of action. While allowing them to win many battles, this philosophy also cost the Ice Hellions just as many defeats, with warriors making hasty decisions only to see them backfire. Though they acknowledged this deficiency, the Ice Hellions believed the advantages they gained from taking the initiative outweighed the flaws. Ice Hellion tactical doctrine was relatively sound, based on swift attacks and the agility necessary to respond to a changing battlefield. Coordination between units was also emphasized to avoid confusion during combat, although in high-pressure situations some Star Captains and Star Commanders had a propensity to make poor decisions.
Ice Hellion warriors often practiced the philosophy of 'first-strike victory': in a Trial of combat, whoever landed the first blow won. Even in cases where a Hellion was too slow on the draw but succeeded in destroying their enemy, such a victory was tainted by the knowledge they had been bested at the outset of the fight. Since this same mindset wasn't shared by the other Clans, such a practice was largely limited to internal Trials between Hellion warriors.
Also in keeping with the pack mentality of their totem animal, many Hellion warriors engaged in group attacks when fighting the enemy; as many as a Star of 'Mechs facing off against a single opponent. Such an attack would continue until the group had "drawn blood," after which they would withdraw and bid amongst themselves for the right to finish the opponent off. Warriors traded away their ability to use individual weapons and systems to attain this honor, with the winner fighting the enemy in a one-on-one duel to the death. This practice was controversial many other Clans - and some Hellion warriors as well - given its seeming violation of zellbrigen. Those who did engage in group attacks believed it to be honorable only so long as it was a group of light and medium-weight 'Mechs attacking a heavy or assault-weight opponent.
Training of Ice Hellion warriors was equivalent to that of other Clans without being exceptionally brutal. Prospective candidates first traveled to the coldest regions of Hector's frozen plains to pass a series of tests. Those who succeeded were transferred to one of three facilities in the planet's warmer regions; it was also at this point that members of a sibko are broken up, depending on which camp they are sent to, as the Ice Hellions placed less emphasis on keeping these companies together. The first camp was primarily for trueborns (theoretically a freeborn could seek a Trial to enter the camp, though it rarely happened) and conducted a final Trial of Position per standard procedures. This included forgoing the Ice Hellion practice of a first-strike victory, forcing the cadet to kill at least one enemy 'Mech so as to gain experience fighting against other Clan forces. The third camp was solely for freeborn warriors and produced most of the Clan's garrison forces; its status also made these warriors the butt of most jokes by their so-called betters, a reputation both cadets and trainers fought hard to overcome. Third camp cadets also fought a standard Trial of Position to earn their position, though they used standard 'Mechs instead of OmniMechs. The second camp, technically subordinate to the first one, was unusual both for the fact it accepted trueborns and freeborns and that cadets were given two Trials of Position. The first Trial was the same as the one fought by those in the first and third camps, but the second Trial had them leading a Star of fellow cadets against a Star of their superiors, with success or failure determined by whether they could achieve an objective set for them by their instructors. A second camp cadet could achieve their rank through success in either the first or second Trial.
The universal view of the Ice Hellions by their fellow Clans is that while they have perseverance and drive, they constantly grasp for prizes beyond their reach. They are never really taken seriously by other Clans; even the Hellion's Fury campaign was seen as more of a temper tantrum to be weathered rather than a serious military campaign. Khan Asa Taney is also universally derided for his constant scheming, none of which has borne him any fruit. It is generally believed that his Clan would be better off without him. The Ice Hellions in turn look down on the rest of the Clans. They have no real allies among the Clans, but few real enemies either. The upside to being dismissed as unimportant is the lack of sincere foes; only the Wolves have earned the Hellions' enmity.
|Exclusive Bloodnames Post-Operation REVIVAL:|
|General||MechWarriors||Elementals||Aerospace Pilots||ProtoMech Pilots|
Era Specific Data
Ice Hellion Demographics [when?]
Clan Space Worlds:
Atreus (35 percent)
Babylon (23 percent)
Barcella (38 percent)
Foster (30 percent)
Hector (100 percent)
Hoard (40 percent)
Huntress (8 percent)
Londerholm (68 percent)
Marshall (9 percent)
New Kent (6 percent)
Tathis (30 percent)
Population (Clan Space): 101,309,000 (3060)
Population growth rate: 3.1 percent (82/51)
Self-Sufficiency Index: 91 percent
Khan: Asa Taney
saKhan: Sellen Cage
Loremaster: Jonas Cage
Scientist-General: Ken (Pascal)
Merchant Factor: Martine
Master Technician: Lukas
Senior Laborer: Lew
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 129
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 74
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 75
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, pp. 76-77
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 77 "Hellions' Fury - Calm After the Storm"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 78 "Dream Destroyed - Wolf Trap"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 88-89
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 24
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 78
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 80
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 79
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 81
- Historical: Operation KLONDIKE, p. 34, "Origins of the Bloodnames: The Clans' Founders