Clan Nova Cat
|Clan Nova Cat|
|Capital world:||New Barcella, Irece|
|Military:||Clan Nova Cat touman|
|Secret Service:||Clan Nova Cat Watch|
Clan Nova Cat was one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky. Named for the Nova Cat of Dagda due to its alert readiness towards danger, the Clan was known for its unconventional practices, including the use of mystical visions to guide their decisions.
Prior to the Clan Invasion the Nova Cats supported the Crusader cause and succeeded in earning a place among the Invading Clans, sharing an occupation zone with Clan Smoke Jaguar. Following their catastrophic defeat on Tukayyid in 3052 the Nova Cats not only changed to the Warden viewpoint but joined the Second Star League in 3060 in order to better protect the Inner Sphere. For this, the Nova Cats were Abjured by the other Clans and they subsequently settled within the Draconis Combine as rulers of the autonomous Irece Prefecture.
The initially warm relations between House Kurita and the Nova Cats cooled over time, with much of their touman joining the Republic of the Sphere after the Jihad and the remainder eking out a threadbare existence on reservations overseen by an increasingly hostile Combine government. Finally driven beyond endurance, Clan Nova Cat instigated a rebellion in 3141, joining with DCMS elements loyal to the deposed branch of House Kurita in exchange for having their own nation. The revolt failed and ended with the annihilation of Clan Nova Cat in 3143.
Only a band of warriors and civilians led by Mystic Kisho Nova Cat escaped, their fate a mystery. They, survivors who fled to the Free Worlds League from the Republic, and an ex-Republic splinter group, the Spirit Cats, are the remaining heirs to Clan Nova Cat's history and traditions.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Founding
- 1.2 A New Vision
- 1.3 Golden Century
- 1.4 Political Century
- 1.5 Clan Invasion
- 1.6 Post-Tukayyid
- 1.7 Jihad
- 1.8 Post-Jihad Years
- 1.9 The Republic and the Dark Age
- 1.10 Annihilation
- 1.11 Nova Cat Survivors
- 2 Culture
- 3 Bloodnames
- 4 Rulers
- 5 Inter-Clan Relations
- 6 Military
- 7 Era Specific Data
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
The Nova Cats are unique for being the only Clan whose founding Khan was not a former member of the Star League Defense Force. Major Phillip Drummond had been a member of the 832nd Amaris Dragoons and proud supporter of the Rim Worlds Republic and its leader Stefan Amaris. When the Usurper betrayed the Star League by murdering the First Lord and starting the Star League Civil War, Major Drummond's confidence was shattered and he willingly gave himself up to Aleksandr Kerensky when the SLDF invaded Apollo, spending the rest of the war fighting for General Kerensky against his former leader. At the same time a young Anna Rosse, orphaned during Stefan's attack on Terra and fleeing her home in Italy, was taken in by a highly spiritual, all-female resistance cell operating in Greece. The group helped Anna heal her emotional scars, and in return, Anna offered her services to hit back at the Usurper. Her contributions made a real difference and pretty soon she had become a prominent figure in the Terran resistance, traveling to different cells to offer her expertise in communications. As it was Anna Rosse was in Moscow when General Aleksandr liberated Terra, and it was here that she first met Captain Peter Karpov of the SLDF. The two fell in love and married shortly thereafter.
When Aleksandr Kerensky made his plea to the surviving SLDF to leave the Inner Sphere and save the heart of the Star League from the coming conflagration, Drummond and Rosse joined him, as did Peter Karpov. The young officer was soon disillusioned by the General's leadership and joined other officers in carrying out the Prinz Eugen Mutiny. Peter was executed for his role in the mutiny, an act which shocked Anna and caused a nervous breakdown. Once the fleet reached the Pentagon Worlds, a grief-stricken Anna joined several of Peter's relatives in settling on Circe, where she began a long healing period. Simple mental meditations drawing on memories of the love she felt for her late husband soon transformed into small personal rituals as she came to terms with her loss. It was during these months that she met and became friends with Phillip Drummond, who had tested out of a demobilizing SLDF and taken up work as a scientist. This friendship soon became something more and, while never officially marrying, the couple began a family together with three children.
Unfortunately, the Star League-in-Exile was starting to come apart at the seams as old hatreds reemerged. While trying to escape the escalating violence on their world, an attack on Marik nationalists by Lyran traditionalists killed two of their children, leaving Sandra Rosse as their only child. Caught between grief and rage the two joined the planetary government in fighting against the rebels as the Pentagon Civil War broke out. However, the sheer barbarity displayed by all sides sickened both Drummond and Rosse and when Nicholas Kerensky broadcast his call for those still loyal to join him on a Second Exodus the pair agreed.
Settled on Strana Mechty, Phillip used his combat skills to test into the Warrior Caste of the nascent Nova Cat Clan while Anna joined its Merchant Caste. Even during these early days, a proscription against intercaste relationships was taking form, however, the two continued to see each other and kept their relationship a secret while Anna raised Sandra. When it came time for the Clans to elect Khans to lead them, the Nova Cats chose Phillip Drummond as their senior Khan; Nicholas Kerensky may have used some of his influence to achieve this result, partly as a reward for Phillip's loyalty to his family and so the former Rim Worlds Army soldier could serve as a symbol for the erasure of past loyalties. Khan Drummond set about honing his skills and those of his Clan for their eventual return to the Pentagon Worlds.
For Operation KLONDIKE, Clan Nova Cat was chosen to invade the Pentagon World of Circe along with Clan Mongoose, Clan Snow Raven, and Clan Wolverine. Khan Phillip Drummond's knowledge of Circe's terrain made the Nova Cats a natural choice for this campaign, and his leadership helped the Nova Cats maintain a strategic, as well as technological advantage over their opponents during the campaign. It was during the Circe campaign that the Nova Cats' tendency toward marksmanship first made itself present.
Clan Nova Cat and Clan Mongoose forces were tasked with assaulting the southern portion of Circe. Their combined forces and preference for quick, aggressive attacks made short work of the Emerald Kingdom, the largest southern proto-state. For the second stage of the campaign, Nicholas Kerensky assigned each Clan its own target creating a competition between the two. The winner, based on a variety of metrics, would be the lead force for the final leg of the campaign. Though Nova Cats completed combat operations against the Gant Republic first, an extended policing campaign was necessary due to social unrest brought about by the Republic's collapse. In the end, Nicholas ordered both the Nova Cats and Clan Mongoose to conduct a joint assault against the Brotherhood of Fiana. Brotherhood leadership initially approached both Khans with the request for a peaceful transition of power with the provision that their members keep their weapons. However, events in the northern region caused the Clans to reject the offer. The Brotherhood, having sought to bring order and civility to the barbarism following the Star League-in-Exile's collapse, fought with honor and the two Clans returned the sentiment. The mutual respect shown led to an almost celebratory atmosphere when the Brotherhood finally capitulated in a ceremony on December 9, 2821. The Brotherhood of Fiana's attitude toward war would have a lasting impact on their Clan opponents, acting as one of the seeds that would produce the Clans' code of zellbrigen.
Shortly after Operation KLONDIKE, Phillip Drummond came to realize his time was almost up. A degenerative disease was eating away at his cognitive functions, making him slower to react and less sure of his decisions. He kept this information from both his warriors and Anna but became convinced his reign would end ignominiously as age chipped away his fighting edge. It was in these dark days that Khan Drummond received some welcome news from his wife: their daughter Sandra had fought victoriously in her Trial of Position and was now a Star Captain in the Nova Cat touman.
Khan Drummond chose to confide the truth of his condition to his daughter and of his fears for the future of Clan Nova Cat. Hearing this, Sandra retreated to her private sanctuary in her mother's home and for three days meditated and fasted until a vision came to her: she would solve her father's problems by replacing him as Khan. Having already achieved a command position Sandra began building a power base to support her nomination and successfully won the Rosse Bloodname in a Trial of Bloodright (though she took the Rosse name in honor of her mother the Bloodright technically belonged to Anne's cousin, Jason Rosse).
Within months of winning the Bloodname Sandra Rosse challenged her father in a Trial of Grievance, claiming he was no longer fit to lead the Clan. The two met in a Circle of Equals, but rather than fight to the death Sandra made the unorthodox decision to allow Phillip Drummond to voluntarily step out of the Circle and admit defeat. This decision greatly angered many of the assembled Nova Cat Bloodnamed, seeing this move as nothing more than sentimentality, and several challenged Sandra to a Trial of Position. She easily defeated her foes and her impressive combat skills were enough to win her the votes to become the new Khan.
A New Vision
Ways of Seeing
After accepting the Khanship, Sandra Rosse retreated to her sanctum for five days of meditating and fasting, seeking a new vision for how to lead. When she finally emerged, she offered what she saw to her Clan: the creation of a new society more perfect than what Nicholas Kerensky had already created. Even her staunchest supporters were somewhat wary of allowing mystical visions to guide the fate of their Clan, but with her most recent victories still fresh in everyone's mind none were willing to challenge her just yet.
Her first official act as Khan was the creation of the Oathmaster position. The Oathmaster had the job of ensuring all Clan members strictly followed the beliefs, practices, and rituals of the Clans; in time they would also become responsible for overseeing the spiritual well-being of the Nova Cat Clan. She named Lui Cheng, her most ardent supporter, to be the Clan's first Oathmaster, an act which greatly angered Nicholas Kerensky. In the Grand Council he denounced this as backsliding to the bad old ways and challenged her to a Trial of Refusal on behalf of all the Nova Cat warriors denied the chance to win the position fairly in a Trial of Position. Clan Wolf won the right to fight on behalf of the ilKhan and succeeded in defeating Khan Rosse's Nova Cat forces. While seemingly handing the young Khan a humiliating defeat so early in her career, Sandra Rosse instead saw it as confirmation of the importance of such a role. She graciously accepted Lucie Morris as the first true Oathmaster when the MechWarrior defeated all other challengers for the position.
She also began espousing a new way to view life to her fellow Clansmen, one in which they were encouraged to explore the mystical side of existence and use this knowledge to improve themselves and the Clan. She wrote and distributed a spiritual guide called Ways of Seeing - a collection of her and her mother's mystical experience - which included rituals that both warriors and civilians could use to center themselves, expand their awareness, and visualize their victory. Many of these rituals, in particular, the Oathmaster Grand Melee and the Chronicle of Battles, became an important part of every Nova Cat's life. The other Khans were dismayed to see these developments but could not find sufficient evidence that such practices were genuinely un-Clanlike enough to warrant interference. In fact, rather than getting in the way of their daily lives, these rituals became an important way for the Nova Cats to focus their mental and emotional energies towards self-improvement, and thus help the Clan keep pace and actually exceed the other Clans in several endeavors.
Romance of the Two Khans
During one particular day Sandra Rosse found herself unexpectedly thinking of Liam Ismiril, saKhan of Clan Smoke Jaguar. While he was an attractive specimen, Khan Rosse soon realized her feelings for the saKhan went beyond simple friendship or lust. Unsettled by such un-Clanlike feelings, she nevertheless reached out to Liam in the hope her passions would settle down. When Liam indicated that he too had an interest in her, the two Khans became lovers.
For a time the two were happy together, but Sandra couldn't help but notice her love for Liam was only growing deeper. Nor could she ignore for long the sheer philosophical differences between their two Clans. Seeking answers to her dilemma, Khan Rosse retreated to her sanctum. When a vision finally came to her she was both shocked and chastised: she saw the nova cat had become a savage beast, an insatiable killer no longer recognizable and with no regard for any danger to itself. She brought her vision of Clan Nova Cat's destruction to the attention of the Clan Council and broke off her relationship with Liam Ismiril, claiming only their two Clans' ideological divergences as the reason for her decision.
Liam Ismiril's reply was short in coming: within a week of the decision a Nova Cat Bloodnamed warrior died in mysterious circumstances during a Trial of Position, and a dead nova cat was found in one of the iron wombs of the Clan's birthing centers. No proof could be found that the Smoke Jaguar saKhan was behind these events, but the message was clear. Clans Nova Cat and Smoke Jaguar became hated enemies of each other, their feud fed throughout the years by grievances both real and imagined.
Return of the Founder
Although Khan Sandra Rosse's visions had given her Clan a newfound purpose, they would also prove to be her ultimate undoing. It was while guided by one of these visions that Khan Rosse supported Clan Wolverine when it refused to hand over a Brian Cache it had claimed for itself. The Wolverines lost the vote in the Grand Council and in the subsequent Trial of Refusal over that decision, but still persisted in denying the cache to the rest of the Clans. The actions of the Not-Named Clan so angered Nicholas Kerensky that he successfully called for their Annihilation, and the Not-Named Clan was destroyed by Khan Jerome Winson and the Wolf Clan. Once he was finished with them, Khan Winson then turned on the other Clans who had provided support for the Not-Named Clan, challenging them to Trials of Grievances. Khan Rosse led her Nova Cats against the Wolves in one of these Trials and was close to victory when a lucky shot by Khan Winson disabled her 'Mech's main weapon. Unwilling to yield, she continued to fight and was killed in combat.
As it happened Phillip Drummond was still alive when news reached him of his daughter's death. After stepping down Phillip had been secreted away by Anna Rosse on a merchant vessel to an isolated medical facility on Circe. There his condition had been successfully diagnosed and treated, and the aging former Khan was kept abreast of his daughter's rise to power by his wife. When he learned of Sandra Rosse's fall, Phillip knew that only he was capable of continuing the Nova Cat Clan down the path his daughter had started them on. To the dismay of the Grand Council Phillip Drummond returned from exile to succeed in several Trials of Position and speak with such eloquence before the Nova Cat Clan Council as to win back his former position with virtual unanimity.
Khan Drummond led the Nova Cats well into the Golden Century, dying in 2858 at the age of 112 and the oldest Khan to ever live. Under his influence, the Nova Cats made great strides in both the scientific and economic fields. Nova Cats scientists were responsible for perfecting Extended-Range Laser technology, introducing the Clan-spec ER Large Laser in 2823. The Nova Cats would maintain a preference toward energy weapon-based designs throughout their existence.
More impressive than their scientific achievements were their economic ones. Thanks to the policies set in place by Khan Sandra Rosse, Clan Nova Cat merchants were given an unmatched degree of freedom compared to most Clans. It was Nova Cat merchants who reintroduced the concept of futures trading among the Clans. After stockpiling certain materials and equipment, they approached Clan Sea Fox, one of the Clans most involved in exploring and exploiting their surrounding territories. Clan Nova Cat offered to supply Clan Sea Fox with all the material it needed to use these worlds, and in return, the Nova Cats would receive a percentage of the results.
While initially suspicious, the Sea Foxes agreed to the deal and both Clans reaped the rewards. Clan Sea Fox was able to gain more resources than any one Clan would have been able to by itself, while Clan Nova Cat managed to achieve necessary raw materials and other essentials at a relatively small cost and effort. It also created a bond between the two castes which would last well beyond the Golden Century.
The Golden Century would eventually give birth to the Political Century and the creation of two philosophical movements, Crusaders and the Wardens. The Nova Cats, supported by their merchant caste's readiness to exploit new worlds, fell solidly into the Crusader camp. While firm Crusaders, the Nova Cats felt that only a Nova Cat ilKhan could properly lead an invasion of the Inner Sphere and did not trust any other Clan's leadership as they lacked the necessary spiritual guidance.
When Clan Ghost Bear Khan Nadia Winston tried to force the issue in 3000, the Nova Cat Khan Severen Leroux and saKhan Lucian Carns voted instead for the Dragoon Compromise and the creation of the reconnaissance unit that would become known as Wolf's Dragoons. A similar invasion proposal by Khan Leo Showers, years later, was also voted against by the Nova Cat Khans. It was only after a second proposal by Khan Showers, bolstered by evidence taken from the ComStar ship Outbound Light, that the Nova Cat Khans would support the invasion.
During the Trials to determine which Clans would invade the Inner Sphere in Operation REVIVAL, Clan Nova Cat placed fifth, just behind Clan Steel Viper. Although denied a chance to participate in the invasion both the Nova Cat and Diamond Shark Clans won Trials of Refusal guaranteeing they would be next in line to invade, if deemed necessary. Additionally, the Nova Cats and other Clans were allowed to send observers with the invasion force. Both Khans Leroux and Carns would travel to the Inner Sphere, along with Oathmaster Biccon Winters, aboard the True Vision with the Nova Cat Keshik as their escort.
Prior to setting off Biccon Winters attempted to warn the Nova Cat Khans of a vision she had received, foretelling that the invasion of the Inner Sphere was doomed to failure. Both ignored these warnings, instead focusing on the part of her vision that showed Clan Nova Cat was destined to take part in the invasion as full members. As the invasion force reached the outskirts of the Periphery the observers were allowed to participate in minor actions during this phase of the invasion. The Nova Cat Keshik accounted well for itself fighting alongside the Wolf Clan on Drask's Den, but after returning from their victory Oathmaster Winters had only more dire warnings of the invasion's failure.
Due to their limited role in the invasion, Clan Nova Cat was chosen to be the escort to the ComStar ambassador Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht, transporting him to the Clan flagship Dire Wolf via the True Vision. Oathmaster Winters, seeing Focht as a threat, attacked the Precentor Martial, claiming he represented the doom of the Clans' invasion she had foretold. She was finally restrained and only conceded to allowing Focht to live when she lost a Trial of Refusal to SaKhan Carns. As a result of the ambassador's efforts the Clans would go on to ally with ComStar in a limited role.
Taking their role of observers seriously, the Clan Nova Cat Khans learned many lessons from the initial invasion waves. Chief among these was the importance of secure supply lines. An offer to sell the invading Clans matériel from the Nova Cats' own stockpiles was soundly rejected by all involved. Additionally, the Nova Cats contrasted the reactions of occupied planets to the planets' treatment by their new masters. Forbidden by ilKhan Leo Showers to participate in any more combat past the Second Wave, the Nova Cat Khans were content to travel with Clan Wolf and simply observe. They were impressed with Clan Wolf's progress compared to the other Clans and admired Khan Ulric Kerensky's tactical abilities, inventiveness, and personal integrity. This would have later ramifications.
When Tyra Miraborg's fighter crashed into the Dire Wolf, killing ilKhan Showers, the Nova Cat Khans voted to return to Strana Mechty to choose a new ilKhan. Sickened by the other invading Clans' attempt to blame Ulric Kerensky for ilKhan Showers' death, and further vowing to oppose any policy set by the Smoke Jaguars, the Nova Cats voted a resounding "no" against this measure. On the other hand, a measure to vote Ulric Kerensky into the position of ilKhan was supported by the Nova Cats. This was due to their respect for Kerensky rather than the other Crusaders' attempts to hobble Clan Wolf's leadership.
Ulric Kerensky was voted in as ilKhan and activated Clan Steel Viper and Clan Nova Cat as full members of the invasion. While this news pleased the Nova Cats, this was soon mellowed by the fact they would share an invasion corridor in the Draconis Combine with their traditional rivals, the Smoke Jaguars. As it was the Smoke Jaguars had no desire to fight it out with the Nova Cats, and choose to hand over several worlds to them without a struggle. That these worlds were among the most rebellious in their Occupation Zone was of little comfort to the Nova Cats.
When the Fifth Wave of the invasion finally began, they spent a great deal of time trying to repacify those planets handed over to them by the Smoke Jaguars. Once successful, they proceeded with laying the groundwork for the joint Smoke Jaguar-Nova Cat conquest of Luthien, capturing several worlds which would serve as potential staging grounds for the invasion. When it came time though, the Battle of Luthien was a disaster for both Clans, with the Nova Cats effectively losing an entire Galaxy. Rebuilding their forces, the Nova Cats continued on to conquer several other worlds during the rest of the Fifth Wave. Further gains were halted when the Battle of Tukayyid was announced.
Clan Nova Cat's performance was ruled a loss. While they had inflicted more damage on the Com Guard defender than any other Clan, they failed to take any of their objectives. Clan Nova Cat's Alpha and Beta Galaxies, as well as the newly introduced Gamma Galaxy, were effectively shattered.
The invasion was effectively over, Clan Nova Cat was left to lick its wounds. Its touman seriously depleted, and its means for offensive operations curtailed, the Nova Cats would concentrate on rebuilding and reinforcing their forces in the Inner Sphere. This would include building up the infrastructure to produce Clan equipment in the Inner Sphere.
Following the advice of their Oathmaster, the Nova Cats opened up a dialogue with the Draconis Combine. During the invasion, the Nova Cats were impressed with the Combine's warrior spirit and with the similarities in warrior philosophy. Informally coming to an agreement, both the Draconis Combine and Nova Cats would concentrate their raids on the Smoke Jaguars. These talks would later have future repercussions
Operation BULLDOG and the Great Refusal
In 3058, Inner Sphere leaders cooperated to form what would become known as the Second Star League. While the other Clans saw this new Star League as a sham, the Nova Cats saw it as a fulfillment of destiny.
The Second Star League decided that the complete elimination of a Clan was necessary to end the war between the Inner Sphere and Clans. Due in part to the Nova Cat talks with the Draconis Combine, the new Star League decided that this target Clan would be Clan Smoke Jaguar. This operation was known as Operation Bulldog. In a series of mock Trials, Clan Nova Cat forces would become abtakha to the Star League forces and themselves join in the fight against the Smoke Jaguars.
In 3060, with the goal of removing the Smoke Jaguars completely, the Star League would issue a Trial of Refusal against the entire Clan invasion. Now called the Great Refusal, it pitted the best of the Inner Sphere forces against the might of the Crusader Clans. To the surprise of everybody, the Clan Nova Cat Khans fought directly on the side of the Inner Sphere rather the sit on the sidelines with the other Warden Clans. Clan Nova Cat forces, led by their two Khans, defeated Clan Ice Hellion to secure another victory for the Inner Sphere, at the cost of the lives of Khan Severen Leroux and saKhan Lucian Carns. While the Inner Sphere won the Great Refusal, this did not shield the Nova Cats from retribution.
During the subsequent Grand Council meeting, Clan Star Adder called for a Trial of Annihilation against the Nova Cats. While this was voted down by the Warden Clans, a subsequent call for the Nova Cats' abjuration passed without contest. The Nova Cats were given three months to vacate their holdings in the Homeworlds.
Many of the Crusader Clans attacked prematurely, catching Nova Cat forces off guard. In a series of desperate holding actions, Nova Cat forces held off attacking Crusader forces to allow time for their civilian castes to escape. While several Clans, notably Clan Diamond Shark and Clan Snow Raven, would help in the evacuation, the Nova Cats were mostly left to fend for themselves. Less than three Clusters of troops would manage to escape the Homeworlds and reach the Nova Cats' Inner Sphere holdings, and their actions allowed numerous civilians to survive, but millions more Nova Cat civilians left behind would be killed.
In the Inner Sphere, the Nova Cats were granted control of the Irece Prefecture by the Draconis Combine. In exchange for helping to defend the Draconis Combine against attack, they would be allowed to govern these planets in the Combine's name. Once again, the Nova Cats would be forced to rebuild, this time with the open support of the Draconis Combine.
To show their support of the Inner Sphere and the new Star League, the Nova Cats would adopt a new symbol incorporating the Cameron Star
Combine-Ghost Bear War
Spurred into action by the attack of the rogue Alshain Avengers, Clan Ghost Bear invaded the Draconis Combine in 3062. Clan Nova Cat would serve a vital part in this war, helping to drive the war into a ceasefire and giving their lives for the Draconis Combine. Clan Ghost Bear would refuse the rights of zellbrigen to the Nova Cats during this conflict, promoting feelings of resentment toward the Ghost Bears.
Following the Combine-Ghost Bear war, the Draconis Combine and Nova Cats would undertake joint exercises to foster continued goodwill. In 3065 and 3067, several units would be assigned, temporarily, to the command of the other.
Resentment against the Ghost Bears would culminate in the largest naval battle to occur since the early Succession Wars. With the goal of restoring their honor and eliminating the Ghost Bear fleet, elements of the Nova Cats' naval fleet challenged Clan Ghost Bear to a Trial of Possession on 08 May, 3067, for the Leviathan class WarShip, Rasalhague.
While Clan Ghost Bear defenders initially refused the batchall, fighting the Nova Cat forces without honor, a second batchall was accepted. While the Ghost Bears won this Trial, their naval fleet suffered heavy losses. The Nova Cats lost seven of their own vessels but forced the Ghost Bears to fight them honorably and salved their own pride in the process.
The dissolution of the Second Star League would shatter the Nova Cats' resolve. Confused by the turn of events, Clan Nova Cat would remain inactive during the early phases of the Jihad as they debated their future actions. At some point during this time, they would revert to the use of their original Clan Nova Cat symbol.
On the 21st of December 3067 Nova Cat forces began withdrawing from their assorted garrisons and locations throughout Combine space and returned to the Irece Prefecture; not only did the various Nova Cat ground forces begin moving, including their Tukayyid garrison, but their naval assets also left.
The Nova Cats would end up being the first Clan to heed the call of Devlin Stone. Flocking to his banner, Clan Nova Cat helped the rest of the Inner Sphere to throw off the Word of Blake's rule. Though the Nova Cats initially attempted to commit the entirety of their forces to Stone, at the end three front-line Galaxies served in the Coalition forces as part of Operation SCOUR as well as nearly all of the Nova Cats' WarShip fleet. Alpha Galaxy fought on the Free Worlds League front with Khan Santin West acting as the second-in-command for all Coalition forces in the theater. Delta and Sigma Galaxies were part of the Coalition forces committed to the Federated Suns front. Alpha Galaxy was also selected to take part in the ground assault on Mars. Eleven Nova Cat WarShips participated in the final battle over Terra, more than any other Coalition member. The Nova Cats paid a heavy price for the honor gained in defeating the Word of Blake. New Home was especially devastating seeing over 70% of Sigma Galaxy lost and the sacrifice of the NCS Promise to protect Devlin Stone from a brutal Blakist counterassault. The Cats' flagship, the Black Lion-class NCS Severen Leroux, as well as the Vincent-class NCS Spirit Vision were lost over Bryant engaging the planet's SDS systems which threatened the landing.
The Nova Cats found themselves divided after the Jihad; while the Nova Cats had weathered heavy combat for the better part of a decade, the bulk of the touman came through the Jihad intact, and as of 3079 was comparable in size to their Clan rivals at a total size of twenty-seven Clusters. However, the best of those Clusters comprised Alpha, Delta, and Tau Galaxies, all of whom joined the Republic of the Sphere. This left the rump of the Clan still in the Irece Prefecture, but missing the best and brightest of the current generation of warriors, along with the best of their equipment. The remaining Nova Cats could muster thirteen Clusters of troops and proved in the battle against the Ghost Bear Dominion that they were capable of defending the Irece Prefecture, but the prospects for the depleted Clan within the Draconis Combine seem grim, with questions about their loyalty and capabilities likely to increase in future years.
Following the end of the Jihad, and the birth of the Republic of the Sphere, the Nova Cat's Alpha, Beta, and Delta Galaxy, led by saKhan Karl Devalis, would settle in the Republic's borders.
The Republic and the Dark Age
In the late 3090s, events set in motion by the Second Combine-Dominion War would result in Clan Nova Cat losing control of the Irece Prefecture. Draconis Combine troops would defend these worlds directly. Clan Nova Cat would continue to exist in enclaves on the worlds they formerly governed. While still beholden to provide for the defense of the Combine, these "reservations" would remain under the control of Clan Nova Cat and include their population centers and industry.
In 3132, the Blackout would result in Delta Galaxy completely breaking away from Clan Nova Cat, forming the Spirit Cats. When Spirit Cat leader Kev Rosse was killed, a significant number of Spirit Cats would formally rejoin Clan Nova Cat.
In 3137, Emi Kurita would fake her death in the wake of an assassination attempt, and secretly seek asylum with the Nova Cats. This would lead the Nova Cats to support Emi Kurita and Katana Tormark against Yori Kurita during the Draconis Combine Civil War, but Emi's supporters were crushed, and the Nova Cats warriors were annihilated, with their desperate defense in the Battle of Irece (3142) failing, with all warrior's survivors annihilated by a tactical nuke.
The civilians of Clan Nova Cat were gathered up and forcibly sterilized, before being dispersed throughout Combine space as members of the unproductive castes. Many civilians refused to accept such a fate and committed suicide instead.
Nova Cat Survivors
Of the Nova Cats, the only known survivors of the Combine's purge are a band of warriors and civilians who escaped Irece under the care of Kisho Nova Cat, the last Mystic of their Clan, before the penultimate battle. Kisho and his band's whereabouts are currently unknown, although his BattleMech Nebula, a Wendigo, was found on the planet Almunge in late 3147. Analysis of the machine and surrounding area ultimately turned up no solid information on Kisho or his group. The Spirit Cats in the Clan Protectorate in the Free Worlds League are another group of survivors. The Protectorate also became a haven for Nova Cats fleeing the Republic's collapse, forming the First Nova Cat Provisionals. However, the integration of the Cats wasn't perfect, as many of them don't fully trust the Spirit Cats, whom they view as fanatical cultists, or the League's government.
While technically atheistic, the Nova Cats followed a very spiritual way of life which had many religious overtones. This mysticism was heavily influenced by Khan Sandra Rosse and her writings in Ways of Seeing, a guidebook that described the spiritual events she and her mother Anne Rosse had experienced. This book also contained rituals that could be used to achieve inner peace and clarity of purpose. Concurrent with these writings was the creation of the Oathmaster position, a Nova Cat warrior charged with overseeing the Clan's spiritual well-being and accurately interpreting visions. While not an official, government-sponsored religion, this brand of mysticism became widespread throughout the Clan and was practiced by members of all the castes.
Khan Rosse was also responsible for granting the Nova Cat merchant caste a degree of independence unknown in most other Clans. Allowed to operate freely, the merchant caste contributed much to the Nova Cats' power before their Abjuration. Together with the Diamond Sharks the Nova Cats had the largest number of Carrack vessels, which they modified to serve the purposes of their merchants. The Nova Cats also treated the other lower castes in a manner described as "fair-handed", especially compared to other Clans. Post-Abjuration, this treatment of the merchant and other civilian castes continued.
After their Abjuration the Nova Cat Clan also created a new holiday unique to them. Homecoming Day, held every year on 1 May, celebrates Clan Nova Cat joining the Inner Sphere as fellow citizens rather than as invaders. It is also a time of reflection to honor the memories of those who fell fighting to safeguard the Clan as it left Clan space.
Rite of the Vision
One of the most honored and mysterious of the Nova Cats' rituals, the Rite of the Vision was a form of pyromancy or divination via fire. An important component of the ritual involved a warrior's vineers, tokens from their past battles (e.g. a unit patch seized from an enemy warrior) which were kept in a leather pouch and held in the same regard as the warrior's Codex. After a self-determined period of fasting and meditation, the warrior would sit themselves in front of a bonfire with all of their vineers laid out. As they contemplated the past and the future, the warrior would stare into the fire and slowly feed their vineers into it, seeking a vision. There was no shame if a warrior did not receive a vision - the simple act of sacrificing a vineer was itself praiseworthy - but if it occurred the Oathmaster would be on hand to help in its interpretation. No recorded instances of a warrior lying about a vision exist, although a warrior could perform the rite multiple times if they did not receive a vision or required further clarity - so long as their supply of vineers held out.
Oathmaster Grand Melee
The Oathmaster Grand Melee was the contest for choosing a new Oathmaster to guide the Nova Cat Clan. Open to every member of the Clan regardless of caste, the Grand Melee was held once a year - on the longest day of the year - and involved two contests. The first was a test of martial skill, as all entrants entered an immensely large Circle of Equals and engaged in unaugmented combat until there was only one victor. The second was the Forum of Law which tested wisdom and intelligence. The victor from the Circle of Equals had to demonstrate his or her knowledge of the laws and traditions of the Clans and the Nova Cats in particular, including all exceptions to those laws and traditions, to the satisfaction of both Nova Cat Khans and the other applicants. If they failed this second test, the last person they defeated in the Circle of Equals was given a chance to prove themselves. If they failed as well, the reigning Oathmaster retained their position until the next Grand Melee.
Chronicle of Battles
The Chronicle of Battles was an important bonding ritual practiced by Nova Cat warriors. The ritual took place on a monthly basis, preferably at midnight and at an outdoor location when groups of warriors would gather around a large bonfire above which was placed on a raised platform. The ceremony began with a drum beating out once for each of the twenty original Clans created by Nicholas Kerensky. After the last drumbeat, the highest-ranking warrior would ascend the platform and engage in the ritualistic storytelling of the Clan's most impressive past battles and victories. The purpose of these tellings was not only for inspiration but also for educational purposes, enlightening current warriors about how to achieve victory based on the examples of past heroes.
For security purposes, it was difficult for the entire Nova Cat touman to participate in a single Chronicle of Battles. Often the rituals were arranged on a Cluster basis and spaced out accordingly. Only four times in the Clan's history had there been such a Clan-wide gathering: the last occurred when the last Nova Cat warriors and civilians arrived in the Draconis Combine on 1 May 3060.
A variation of the Chronicle of Battles was carried out whenever possible by Nova Cat warriors prior to engaging in combat. This Ritual of Battles also took place around a bonfire and included the telling of past glories but was more involved by the participants. In addition to drums, a band with various musical instruments was set up on a separate platform and the assembled warriors created a circle around the bonfire, some wearing their Elemental armor or piloting their 'Mechs. At the start of the ceremony the drums and band would begin to play, the rhythmic drum beats playing in direct opposition to the cacophony of noise created by the band (which was often staffed by bondsmen). Aerospace fighters would perform a flyover and release fireworks if available. With the music playing the warriors began an intricate dance around the bonfire and a live nova cat was released into the middle of the circle. The warriors often danced for hours in an attempt to become one with each other and the nova cat; most would also fast for days prior to the ceremony in hopes of catching a vision in the bonfire as well.
Even after being Abjured by the rest of Clan society, the Nova Cats still maintained the tradition of Bloodnames and exerted control over specific Bloodlines. In the early 3140s, the Nova Cats chose to back the wrong side in a Kuritan rebellion and were annihilated as a result. The Spirit Cats and Nova Cat refugees in the Clan Protectorate are now all that remains of that once mighty Clan.
|Clan Wolf in Exile||Ally||Following their abjuration, the Nova Cats have no official allies, save for their fellow bandit Clan in the exiled Wolves.|
|Clan Diamond Shark||Ally||Clan Diamond Shark would hold close relationships throughout their abjuration, even giving the Sharks their own former worlds as a sign of their friendship.|
|Clan Smoke Jaguar||Enemy||Clan Nova Cat had friendly relations with Clan Smoke Jaguar due to the close relationship between their two Khans. When the relationship ended, the Jaguar saKhan would retaliate in a brutal manner. This feud would last for generations, until the Jaguars' destruction.|
Clan Nova Cat's touman remains in a state of flux. Hampered by resource shortages, front line Galaxies are increasingly replacing losses with non-OmniMech Clan designs, mothballed Star League Defense Force units, and even Inner Sphere units. The Nova Cats still maintain standard Clan rank and unit structure, even if the unit composition is less uniform than it has been in the past.
Era Specific Data
- Clan (Caste Driven, Warrior dominant hierarchy)
- New Barcella, Irece
- Socialist Market
- Combine ryu
- C-bill Exchange Rate
- 4 to 1
- Dominant Language
- English (Official)
- Dominant Religion
- None (Nova Cat Mysticism)
- Center of Innovation
- Scientist Caste
- Major Military Academies
- Clan Sibko System
- Major Naval Academies
- Clan Sibko System
The Nova Cats currently occupy the Irece Prefecture, a swath of worlds in the Draconis Combine's Pesht Military District. The Nova Cats have been granted control of these planets in exchange for a pledge to support the Draconis Combine if attacked.
The Nova Cats have control over several manufacturing centers. While not close to the level of production they once enjoyed, these facilities grant the Nova Cats some level of self-sufficiency.
|Avon Alpha||Avon||Huntsman, Sphinx|
|Barcella Battle Armor Facility||Irece||Clan Battle Armor, Thunderbird Battle Armor|
|Barcella Alpha||Irece||Griffin IIC|
|Barcella Beta||Irece||Ishtar Heavy Fire Support Tank, Joust Medium Tank, Shadow Cat, Shoden Assault Vehicle|
|Irece Alpha||Irece||Arbalest, Conjurer, Griffin IIC, Huntsman, Jenner IIC, Nova Cat, Ocelot, Supernova|
|LAW-Barcella||Irece||SM1 Tank Destroyer|
|Matabushi Incorporated||Avon||Overlord, Union|
Constructed by Luthien Armor Works through duplicitous means, the Nova Cats were given ownership of the Coudoux facility after LAW's illegal act was discovered. LAW's personnel originally told Clan scientists and technicians the remote island where the facility was being constructed was located on Mualang.
- Founding Year: 2807 (initial Clan founding), 3060 (abjured from Clans, resettled in Irece region)
- Capital (City, World): New Barcella, Irece (Draconis Combine)
- National Symbol: A snarling, black nova cat, superimposed on a Cameron Star
- Location (Terra relative): Central region, Combine border with Rasalhague Dominion, Coreward
- Total (Inhabited) Systems: 13
- Estimated Population (3130): 12,040,000,000
- Government: Clan (Caste-driven, warrior-dominant hierarchy)
- Ruler: Khan Jacali Nostra
- Dominant Language(s): English (official)
- Dominant Religion(s): See Volume XXXIX for an explanation of Nova Cat spirituality, Shinto and Buddhism also supported.
- Unit of Currency: Ryu (1 ryu = 0.94 C-bills)
- Invading Clans, pp. 101–103
- Field Manual: ComStar, pp. 104–105
- Invading Clans, p. 104
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 106
- Invading Clans, p. 105
- Invading Clans, p. 106
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 107
- Invading Clans, p. 107
- Invading Clans, p. 108
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 111
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108
- Invading Clans, p. 109
- Invading Clans, p. 110
- Invading Clans, p. 111
- Invading Clans, p. 112
- Invading Clans, p. 116
- Invading Clans, p. 117
- Field Manual: Updates, p. 95
- Field Manual: Updates, pp. 13–14: "3067"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 44: "The Jihad in Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58: "The Jihad in Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 112: "Clan Nova Cat"
- It Ends in Fire
- Technical Readout: 3150, p. 154: "Nebula"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 109
- Technical Readout: 3057 Revised, p. 198
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. 113
- Era Report: 3145, p. 183
- Total Warfare, p. 17: "Clan Nova Cat"
- TechManual, p. 17: "Clan Nova Cat"
- Tactical Operations, p. 17: "Clan Nova Cat"
- Strategic Operations, p. 17: "Clan Nova Cat"
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 14: "Feline Shell Games"
- Touring the Stars, p. 83
- Era Digest: Golden Century
- Field Manual: ComStar
- Field Manual: Updates
- Historical: Operation Klondike
- Invading Clans
- It Ends in Fire in Shrapnel Issue 12
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien
- Technical Readout: 3055 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3058 Upgrade
- Technical Readout: 3060
- Technical Readout: 3067
- Technical Readout: 3075
- Technical Readout: 3085
- Technical Readout: Project Phoenix
- Total Warfare