|Born||13 October 2756|
|Affiliation||Clan Blood Spirit|
- 1 History
- 2 Death and Legacy
- 3 Notes
- 4 References
- 5 Bibliography
Colleen Schmitt was the granddaughter of Colonel Hanni Schmitt, the last Commander of the Royal Black Watch Regiment of the Star League Defense Force. Colleen and Hanni Schmitt's ancestors came from the country of Wales on Terra. The name "Colleen" translates as "girl" in Irish Gaelic.
Early Life and Star League Service
Growing up steeped in her grandmother's tales of service with the Royal Black Watch, Colleen Schmitt was deeply influenced by the stories of camaraderie and the tremendous sense of belonging to an entity greater than oneself. The ideals of integrity of service and loyalty also figured prominently in Schmitt's young psyche. She would carry these influences with her throughout her life.
After the Usurper Stefan Amaris seized control of Terra in 2766, Colonel Hanni Schmitt and the remnants of her Black Watch were destroyed in a nuclear strike. Young Colleen and her family went to ground in the Cascade Mountains of North America, joining the resistance that was already gathering. Colleen would be active in the resistance, which was operating out of various locations in the mountains, and after the SLDF landed on Terra Colleen and another resistance fighter were dispatched from a resistance base deep in the mountains to make contact. It took days of hiking, wearing rad suits for at least a part of the journey, before Colleen and her companion made contact with an SLDF patrol, and they were nearly captured twice. Despite that, Colleen and her companion Coop made contact with an SLDF patrol before reaching the SLDF front lines proper.
Having made contact with the SLDF Colleen furnished them with a variety of intelligence including the location of the bodies of Republican officers the resistance had killed and then hidden, details of Republican units and routes through the mountains. Colleen would survive to the end of the long struggle, and eventually joined the SLDF as a MechWarrior without her parents' approval or even knowing of her decision.
After the defeat of Amaris, she was faced with a difficult decision: whether or not to accompany the bulk of the SLDF and General Aleksandr Kerensky for Operation Exodus. Torn between loyalty to her home and the rebuilding process and loyalty to her new Star League "family", Schmitt eventually decided to depart with Kerensky into the Deep Periphery, her loyalty to the general prevailing.
Founding of the Clans
Schmitt's role during the colony years on the Pentagon Worlds is not specified, though it is noted that she felt disconnected from events for many years until the Pentagon Civil War. At that time, she would rise from her depression and throw her full support behind Nicholas Kerensky and his plan for a Second Exodus to newly discovered Strana Mechty. Her loyalty and support - as well as her skill at piloting a 'Mech - earned for her a high place in Kerensky's new society: a Khanship over Clan Blood Spirit, one of twenty new Clans founded after 2807. Unlike her peers in the other Clans, Khan Schmitt stressed teamwork, and especially inter-Clan cooperation, training her warriors to work with each other to achieve their goals.
One of their first acts together as a Clan was to pledge to always remember the spirit that brought the 800 loyal warriors along on the Second Exodus. Through the early years of intense training, the warriors of her Clan were forged into a unit that could not only fight, but would also work well with other Clans. She refrained from choosing a saKhan at this time, instead choosing to wait until the conclusion of the looming operation that would see the nascent Clans return to conquer the rebellious Pentagon Worlds.
By 2821, preparations were deemed complete, and Operation KLONDIKE began in earnest. Clan Blood Spirit was chosen to invade Arcadia, along with Clan Ghost Bear, Clan Star Adder and Clan Steel Viper. Khan Schmitt and her warriors would get their first chance to practice their doctrine of cooperation by working closely with Khan Ellie Kinnison and Clan Steel Viper throughout the campaign. At one point, she even took it upon herself to mediate problems that had risen between the Star Adders and Ghost Bears, helping both Clans to smooth over differences that were detrimental to the mission, as well as helping to avoid the attention and wrath of ilKhan Kerensky.
Arcadia: Landings and Ilkasur Shogunate
In the wake of the disastrous landings by the Star Adders and Ghost Bears, Clans Blood Spirit and Steel Viper shifted their landing zones 100 km south of their originally planned positions. The Blood Spirits' first action was to mop up a retreating column of Ilkasur Shogunate forces, which was easily done, as the Star Adders had already depleted much of their ammunition and was in pursuit just behind the Shogunate forces.
Khan Schmitt committed herself and her Clan to work alongside the Steel Vipers from the very first. The plan to take Arcadia - drawn up by Khan Absalom Truscott of the Star Adders, who died on the first day of fighting - was thrown mostly to the wind, though the basics of the plan were kept in place. Their primary target was the Ilkasur Shogunate, located in the southern reaches of West Arcadia. Working with intelligence gathered from captured Nation of Hastur and Shogunate soldiers, the Blood Spirits, along with the Steel Vipers, set about taking the outlying Shogunate outposts and settlements. The two Clans often bid amongst themselves for the honors of taking specific targets, and the samurai-influenced culture of the Shogunate encouraged this practice, as battles were often marked by forces pairing off to fight one-on-one duels. Khan Schmitt had her forces slow their advance slightly, taking targets bypassed by the Vipers, and even intercepting several Shogunate counterattacks against the Vipers before they could do damage to their intended target. Within another week, the final battle took place for Kito, the capital of the Shogunate. Two Stars of Blood Spirit 'Mech forces took part in the battle, which had been negotiated by Steel Viper saKhan, Steven Breen.
Arcadia: The Confederation
Khan Schmitt and her Blood Spirits would next coordinate attacks with the Steel Vipers against the Confederation of Arcadia. Located on the far eastern edge of the continent, this loose collection of city-states and smaller towns fell piecemeal. Again, both Clans bid for the rights to take each target, though the Clan that lost the bid stood ready with the difference in case reinforcements were needed. Though the Confederation had a relatively large force with which to defend itself, after several months of fighting the land was conquered and divided between the Spirits and Vipers. In time, the process used by both Khans would become the Clans' standard bidding practice.
Arcadia: Advance into the East
Having completed their part of the conquest of West Arcadia, Khans Schmitt and Kinnison turned their respective Clans to Eastern Arcadia, a smaller continent, to finish the taking of the planet. Though the major powers on Arcadia had been subdued, the three remaining factions would put up a stiff resistance. The Capellan loyalist state called the Democratic Republic of Rand was first on the list, and a cooperative Spirit/Viper effort took the objective capital of Rivera easily. Rand forces mustered a large-scale counterattack that nearly succeeded in taking back the city and spaceport. The actions of Blood Spirit Star Captain Devon Boques helped to defend the two Clans' DropShips, fending off three waves of attackers as well as pushes by rebel forces from Rivera itself until Viper saKhan Breen arrived with reinforcements. The battle would last for three more days before the last rebels had fled, were rounded up, or were destroyed. Rand would resist for another six weeks, as the final seven major objectives within its border fell to the Clans. Khan Schmitt later selected Boques as her endorsed candidate for the post of saKhan due to his outstanding leadership and ability to work well with other Clans.
The Davion-leaning Helgren County was the next target, led by former SLDF Captain Tiberius Reed. His troops were reputed to be some of the best on Arcadia, giving the Blood Spirits a hard fight, and defeating a Steel Viper attack. As the Blood Spirits began to apply more pressure on Reed's forces, he would negotiate a one-on-one battle with a MechWarrior Zoltan Osborne, losing the fight in a reported 90 seconds. Surviving Helgren forces surrendered en masse to the Blood Spirits. Both Clans would race to claim targets, but the turn of events angered Khan Kinnison, opening a rift between the Vipers and the Blood Spirits that festered until Kinnison's death.
Though the Kingdom of Surev collapsed as a political entity as the Blood Spirits' advance encroached upon their borders, rebels would resist for several more weeks of fighting, concluding the Blood Spirits' and Khan Schmitt's involvement with Operation KLONDIKE.
Dawn of the Golden Century and the Spurning
Khan Schmitt oversaw the brief period of growth for her Clan after the war, directing them to explore and colonize several worlds in the Kerensky Cluster. She would also continue to extol her Clan to reach out and assist their brother and sister Clans after the conclusion of Operation KLONDIKE. A prime example of this was creation of the post of ilChi, or official ambassador. In the wake of the Annihilation of the Not-Named Clan, Schmitt felt that this would go a long way toward fixing some of the cracks that began to form in the new society. One ilChi was assigned to each of the other 18 Clans, and would work toward building relations with that Clan. Though many Clans accepted the Spirits' aid for a time, their attitude of cooperation and brotherhood would later become viewed as unClanlike. Khan Schmitt had also expressed sympathy for the Not-Named, which contributed to an increasingly negative view of the Blood Spirits. Clan Burrock in particular called for the Spirits' Annihilation due to this association, and though it would fail in the Grand Council, the Blood Spirits were still censured by the other Clans for "straying from the path". Even ilKhan Kerensky took a negative stance against them, engendering a feeling that he had betrayed the ideals that he had originally set down for the Clans.
As Clan Burrock, Clan Mongoose, and others began to prey on the Blood Spirits, Khan Schmitt had her people withdraw from the other Clans. She canceled her ilChi ambassadorial program, feeling bitter and betrayed by the other Clans, for whom she and her Blood Spirits had done so much. Hatred would eventually blossom from the roots laid during this time. As Khan Schmitt grew despondent and depressed through the early years of Clan history, her realm was picked apart. Soon, they were left only York, which they shared with small colonies possessed by Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Snow Raven. Their enclaves on Arcadia and Strana Mechty were relatively isolated, a condition that was increasingly to Khan Schmitt and her Blood Spirits' liking.
The death of ilKhan Kerensky at the hands of Khan Cal Jorgensson of Clan Widowmaker was the final betrayal by the Clans, the one that would finish the long estrangement of Colleen Schmitt from Clan society. Never again would she trust the other Clans, claiming that only she and her Clan had held to Kerensky's true dream.
Death and Legacy
Khan Schmitt died several years after the death of ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky, while fighting off Burrock invaders on their new homeworld of York. It is said she screamed vile curses at her enemies all during the fight, her hatred driving her to fight to the very end, with her life given in the defense of what she felt to be her only family and their home.
The Schmitt Bloodname and genetic legacy are highly revered by the Blood Spirits; leaders of the Clan have often hailed from her line. Colleen Schmitt's most famous descendant was undoubtedly Karianna Schmitt, Khan of Clan Blood Spirit in the mid thirty-first century. In her wake, her Clan continued to feel betrayed by the other Clans at nearly every turn of events. They would take the idea of isolation to great extremes. In their hatred they would depart from the ways of the Clans, eventually seeking to escape them completely, inevitably leading to the Spirits' demise during the latter half of the thirty-first century.
Historical: Operation Klondike and Field Manual: Crusader Clans both state that Colleen Schmitt was the "granddaughter of the commander of the Royal Black Watch Regiment". This is contradicted by multiple other sources which list Colleen Schmitt as Hanni Schmitt's daughter. Since these printings, Line Developer Ray Arrastia clarified that Colleen Schmitt is Hanni Schmitt's granddaughter.
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 119 - "Colleen Schmitt Profile"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 19 - "Inception"
- Technical Readout: 3067, p. 38 - Welsh heritage noted in fluff
- Historical: Liberation of Terra Volume 2, p. 103, "In The Night"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 19, 20 - "Despair"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 20 - "Rekindling" and "Reclamtion"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 49, 50 - "Arcadia"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 53 - Bear Baiting and Snake Charming
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 51 - "Battles on the Plateau"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 54 - "Sprint Headlong..."
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 54 - "...To the Finish"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 57, 58 - "South by Southeast"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 58 - "Taking Down the Big Boy"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 58, 59 - "Honor and Principle"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 59 - "Kingdom Gone"
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 21, 22, 23 - "The Spurning" and "Final Blows"
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 10 - Early Clan History: A Comparative Timeline, cont.
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 28 - "Khan Karianna Schmitt"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 155 - "Founder's Future, Clan Blood Spirit"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 119, "Colleen Schmitt", Schmitt is named the granddaughter of the commander of the Royal Black Watch Regiment
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 19, "Inception (2756-2822)", Colleen Schmitt is named as the granddaughter of Hanni Schmitt
- https://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php?topic=68382.0 Line Developer clarifying the relationship between Hanni and Colleen Schmitt