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|Author|| Jochen Hahn|
|Cover artwork||Karsten Schreurs|
|Publisher||Ulisses Spiele GmbH|
|First published||18 November 2015|
|Era||Clan Invasion era|
|Timeline||ca. June - August 3053|
|Followed by||Kalkuliertes Chaos|
Der Erbe ("The Heir"), subtitled Adel vernichtet 1 ("Nobility destroys", a play on "Adel verpflichtet", German for Noblesse oblige), is the 29th in the line of original German-language BattleTech novels that was published originally by FanPro and then continued by Ulisses Spiele. Written by Jochen Hahn and Karsten Kaeb and published on 18 November 2015, it is the first book in the Adel vernichtet duology (subtitled in the imprint as "The Adventures of the Youngblood Renegades") and ends on a "to be continued" note.
Written in German and exclusively published in that language so far, Der Erbe does not meet the current criteria for Canon in the BattleTech universe. As an official product published under a valid license, it should be regarded as apocryphal.
From the back cover (translated from German)
|“|| The Federated Commonwealth has to cope with a serious loss. Hanse Davion, First Prince of the Federated Suns and one of the main architects of the unification between House Davion and House Steiner, is dead. New power struggles and new intrigues immediately erupt in the politically unstable Capellan March.
On the world of Cammal, the people place great hope in the arrival of a legitimate heir to the ducal throne which has been vacant since the Fourth Succession War. But instead of uniting the civil government and the Youngblood Renegades mercenaries, new rifts open up. Friends and allies find themselves in opposing camps as the planet tumbles ever deeper into a crisis.
During the Fourth Succession War, Capellan Confederation warlord Shang Tsung had launched a counterattack against the Federated Suns' Capellan March world of Cammal. Duke Manuel de Leon and his ducal guard, the Lionhearts, narrowly held the line together with the Youngblood Renegades mercenary unit (hired by Capellan March Duke Michael Hasek-Davion), with heavy losses. The Capellans, although ultimately repulsed, inflicted massive damage on Cammal and managed to destroy the duke's DropShip, killing him and his family and ending the line of House de Leon. Afterwards, many felt that House Davion had been suspiciously slow in sending reinforcements to Cammal.
After the war, the law firm representing the late duke and his House (Cummings Law-and-Justice) prevented the duchy from falling back to House Davion and kept searching for a legitimate heir for decades. The the power vacuum on Cammal was filled by a politically weak planetary government formed from the numerous different factions comprising the population. The Lionhearts became a mercenary unit. The Youngblood Renegades mercenaries received a continent on Cammal as fief for their service, becoming its de-facto rulers and thus one of the ruling factions on the planet.
The enigmatic Winterland Enterprises mega-corporation has since become the world's single largest employer. Researching into the corporation's background and dealings, the Youngblood Renegades find that Winterland Enterprises seems to possess far more money that it should, possibly from a group of nobles around the late duke Michael Hasek-Davion who might have been preparing a coup (putting a new spin on Hasek-Davion's purported hero's death on a "peace mission" to Sian in the war). Winterland Enterprises CEO Judy de Winter is the daughter of the duke of Corella who was associated with Hasek-Davion and also died under mysterious circumstances. The Renegades come to suspect she might possess information to blackmail House Davion into leaving her corporation alone. The corporation is very powerful on Cammal and involved in a broad field of activities including lostech and weapon research and manufacture (with a great share of their weapons production unaccounted for); unbeknownst to outsiders, they possess extensive surveillance capabilities and even at least one "weather satellite" capable of orbital bombardment.
In 3053 a Cummings lawyer named Richard Foster-Drake visits MechWarrior Lance Sergeant Michael Razza of the 1st Kittery Borderers in a hospital on Warren and informs him that he is actually a legitimate successor of Manuel de Leon and as such the inheritor of the title of duke of Cammal and substantial wealth. Razza, apparently born to a Youngblood Renegades nurse after his father's death and raised in secrecy, has recently lost all memories of who he is after suffering head injuries when ejecting from his Warhammer in a battle with periphery pirates. He accepts Foster-Drake as his advisor and right-hand man and travels to Cammal with him to claim his birthright, accompanied by his medical supervisor Dr. Anabel Faber.
The Lionhearts, under their old Colonel Santini who already served under Manuel de Leon, quit their mercenary assignment in the Free Worlds League to become the ducal guard again. This provides Razza with a considerable private army, although he installs an external commander, one Colonel Lee, as his military advisor on Foster-Drake's insistence.
At the welcoming reception on 1 July 3053, Razza alienates the planetary gentry by meeting with Colonel Youngblood first. Razza explains that he is a soldier first and foremost and concerned about the planet's security, but there are still some ruffled feathers. Also, Razza happens to develop a crush on one of Youngblood's twin daughters, Robin, a MechWarrior whose relationship with elite Renegades MechWarrior Marco di Vega is in decline since Judy de Winter set her sights on Marco.
On 18 July, unidentified attackers ambush the Renegades' training cadre during a training exercise but the attack fails when the Renegades respond in an unorthodox fashion. Razza and the Lionhearts happen to arrive on-scene and Razza instinctively jumps into battle, forcing his unit to follow suit, which results in the attacking 'Mechs being destroyed or driven off and their DropShip leaving them behind. Razza's popularity soars, but both his camp and the Renegades are alarmed by the unexplained attack and its implications.
Duke Razza meets Robin Youngblood on a night out in what may or may not be an arranged meeting. Although she is uncomfortable with the situation, they talk and he confides to her that he has no memories of his past. Since his late mother was a Youngblood Renegades member before she quit service and returned to her homeworld, Razza asks Robin to provide him with any information the Renegades may still have on file. Meanwhile, the Renegades find that they cannot seem to confirm the existence of one Lance Sergeant Michael Razza with the Kittery Borderers, casting doubt on the duke's backstory.
Foster-Drake, Dr. Faber and Colonel Lee are behind the developing situation on Cammal. They had hired the mercenaries who ambushed the Renegades (Harker's Wölfe), and they are actively stirring up trouble such as preparing highly unpopular laws to be signed by Razza. Foster-Drake, the mastermind, decides that the failed attack on the Renegades and its unexpected outcome can be turned into an advantage but Harker and his mercenaries are now a liability and have to be wiped out; however, they must be found first. Another ruthless unit of mercenaries who ask no questions is hired through middle-men on Galatea. In order to weaken the Youngblood Renegades on Cammal, "pirate" forces are hired to attack their garrison detachment on Lindsay. Worried by the strange events happening on Cammal, Colonel Youngblood divines that this is an attempt to draw forces away from Cammal. He orders a great charade to give the impression that of most of the Renegades' assets are moved away to Lindsay when in truth only a tank detachment is really sent.
The remains of Harker's unit are hiding in the outback. One of their MechWarriors meets with their employers about evacuation off-world, but she is abducted and later tortured to death. A street urchin who happens to witness her capture is shot on the spot, but his younger friend Vance escapes from the murder scene. When the woman's mutilated corpse is later found by chance the local inspector dutifully reports to the Youngblood Renegades. As it so happens, one Renegades MechWarrior is also active as something of a social worker. Vance, after finding that he is now being hunted by some powerful underground agency, contacts her and tells his story. He also identifies the corpse as the woman he saw when his friend was shot. Evidence from the dead woman's body leads the Youngblood Renegades to the mercenary hideout in the everglades region, where they ambush and vanquish the remains of Harker's Wölfe; however, Harker himself is still on the loose and plotting his revenge against Duke Razza, who he thinks has betrayed him...
- Grand Dragon
- Phoenix Hawk
- Shadow Hawk
- Titan (custom built)
- Warhawk (Masakari) (mentioned)
- Ghost stealth aerospace fighter
- Chaparral (mentioned)
- Ferret VTOL
- Karnov VTOL
- Kestrel VTOL
- LRM Carrier (modified to carry Arrow IV launchers)
- Padilla (mentioned)
- Sprint VTOL
- Warrior H-7 VTOL
- Monarch (Bright Star)
- Overlord (Yorktown, Intrepid)
- unspecified DropShips John B., Proud Mary, Mendelon, Rubikon, Rio Grande
- unspecified JumpShip Delphi I