|Died||May 25 3151|
|Affiliation||Republic of the Sphere|
Much of his origins unknown, Devlin Stone came to prominence during the Word of Blake Jihad, forming the coalition that ultimately defeated the Blakists, going on to become the founding Exarch of the Republic of the Sphere.
There are many theories concerning Stone's origins. Since he appears to have amnesia of his life prior to his actions on Kittery, and "Devlin Stone" is confirmed to be an alias he was using before his capture by the Blakists, it is possible even he does not know his own origins.
One theory advanced on the interweb on Robinson in 3071 was that Devlin Stone is actually Arthur Steiner-Davion, citing the circumstances of Arthur's alleged death, Devlin's abrupt resurfacing on Kittery without a known past, and the relative alacrity with which he was able to organize an anti-Jihad resistance and a post-Jihad Inner Sphere nation.
Evidence gathered by Chandrasekhar Kurita's head of security Peter Abdulsattah suggested that his parents were likely Blakist technicians who defected from the Order at some point, so his distrust and hatred of the Word was likely family-rooted. He seemed to have been active in an anti-Blakist resistance movement called "Jerome's Truth" in 3067, and the few remaining members of that organization claimed he came to them soon after graduating from an unspecified military academy in the Federated Suns. It is likely that was when he started going by "Devlin Stone," though his reasons for doing so are unknown.
Gordon Yang of SBC on Sian expounded the theory that Devlin Stone was a cat's paw of the Word of Blake on his recurring show, Enemies of the State. Yang postulated that the Word of Blake was achieving what it wanted through Stone, namely domination over the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere. Yang also claimed to have evidence of a genetic link between Devlin Stone and Hanse Davion. In contrast, the Victoria News Network issued a broadcast on the 14th of December 3077 arguing that the Jihad in its entirety was a Steiner-Davion plot, with Devlin Stone either a puppet intended to put Victor Steiner-Davion on a throne on Terra as a new First Lord, or to rule in Victor's name.
StarCorps Industries' intelligence elements indicated that while the computer core of the RBMU 105 camp was destroyed during Stone's uprising, a sizable portion of the camp's personnel rosters had been recovered. Among them were at least four men that roughly matched Stone's vital statistics:
- James Pervu - a construction foreman from Gei-Fu
- Christopher Sheldon - a lance commander in the Kittery Planetary Militia
- Saul Miller - an AFFS administrative assistant last stationed on Tikonov
- Jahn Prowell - a shipping captain from Sian
But even StarCorps admitted it was just as likely he was yet another unknown, his identity among the records lost.
Little is known about the early life of Devlin Stone. ComStar had no records of his existence until the early 3070s, when he led an insurrection at a Word of Blake reeducation/prison camp (RBMU 105) on the world of Kittery. It is in that prison camp that he came into contact with David Lear, son of Kai Allard-Liao. Through David, Devlin met many of the leaders of the Inner Sphere and some of the Clans. Stone prosecuted a hard-fought military campaign that culminated in the liberation of Terra in the 3080s. After the Word of Blake's Jihad was defeated, Stone struck a bargain with all of the Great Houses except the Capellan Confederation to cede control of some of their worlds nearest Terra so that Stone could create his own nation, the Republic of the Sphere. He proved that he had no problem using military force when he took the planets from the Capellans that they had refused to hand over.
A new movement
In October of 3073, Stone met with ComStar Precentor Martial Victor Ian Steiner-Davion on Tukayyid, in a meeting arranged by David Lear. At that meeting, he and Lear laid out a philosophy which Victor would privately describe as "militant socialism keyed to altruism". Officials and authorities would have their assets placed in a blind trust. Public service would be rewarded. Greed and corruption would be punished. All weapons would be placed under the government control. They mutually agreed that the approach would be most effective on worlds liberated from the Blakists, where the preexisting authority and structure had been all but completely eliminated, as was the case on the worlds of the Kittery Prefecture. Eventually, Victor agreed to help them by encouraging his allies - Peter Steiner-Davion, Yvonne Steiner-Davion and Hohiro Kurita among others - to flock to his banner.
There were two social programs that would become historic to the Republic and Stone himself:
- The Resettlement Act of 3082, in which through various incentive programs tried to mix the variety of cultures that existed within the Republic's claimed space, erasing old hatreds and biases by resettling key elements of the population from one world throughout the towns and cities of several others. The program took decades, but brought about the end of the factionalism so often thought responsible for outbreaks of war within the Inner Sphere.
- The Military Materiel Redemption Program, which grew out of the Citizenship Priority Decree of 3083. This plan worked to decommission BattleMechs and other tools of warfare, downsizing armies and removing any such matériel from the hands of private individuals, in exchange for the rights of citizenship and other socioeconomic incentives.
During these early years, Senator Leslie Brahe tried to organize a holiday in celebration of Stone. While Stone resisted, refusing to officially recognize it as a Republic-wide holiday, Freedom Day, commemorating Stone's Kittery escape, spread widely throughout the Republic.
Stone benevolently led the Republic of the Sphere as its Exarch until 3130, when he stepped down and handed rulership to Damien Redburn. He mysteriously disappeared soon after, promising to return again should he be needed. Shortly thereafter, the HPG network was knocked out, leading to Sphere-wide chaos.
In fact, it was revealed that on August 11, 3130, Stone had been placed in cryogenic suspension on Terra. Stone had expected to be suspended until 3180, but was prematurely awoken by Tucker Harwell after uncovering details regarding CLARION CALL, the plan to bring down the HPG network. Assuming the Blackout was the work of Stone, Harwell had ascertained his location, and on April 1, 3145, awoke him. Stone denied responsibility for the Blackout, however, and managed to convince Tucker to work for him as his assistant, a position formerly filled by David Lear.
Stone returned to find the worlds of the Fortress Republic on the verge of collapse, with protests and unrest becoming commonplace under Levin's policies. With The Wall effectively ceasing trade outside of the Fortress Republic, the threat of ComStar purges within, and no end in sight, many believed the dream of the Republic was dead. Stone's return reinvigorated the peoples' hope and was seen as a turning point towards return of the Republic as an ideal. In 3146, after hearing of Federated Suns' First Prince Julian Davion's return to Federated space, Stone sent an invitation to the Fortress, and Julian agreed. On May 6 of that same year, Stone met Julian at Geneva, with Tucker at his side. Devlin made a deal with the Prince: provide a full regiment of troops, the Dawn Guards, and distract Daoshen Liao with an attack, in exchange for the latter's promise to both assist in lifting the siege of Robinson, the capital of the Draconis March, and cut off the Draconis Combine's supply chain. At that same meeting, Julian agreed to uphold Harrison Davion's previous mutual defense pact with the Republic.
On January 6 3149, Stone first made good on his promise with Julian, retracting the protection of The Wall to cover only Terra itself. Then on March 5th, Stone launched Operation ERUPTIO, sowing chaos in Combine space and liberating Robinson alongside the Federated Suns. Upon hearing reports of the Wall no longer preventing JumpShips from accessing the worlds of the Fortress, Clan Jade Falcon, the Wolf Empire, and the Capellan Confederation and Draconis Combine under Operation TIAMAT, began making incursions into Fortress space.
By 3150, the Wolf Empire, Jade Falcons, and the combined CCAF and DCMS forces under TIAMAT had made significant inroads into the former Fortress Republic, leaving very little room between them and Terra, and by extension, Stone himself.
Stone sent Clan Wolf the means to cross the Wall, expecting to defeat the Wolves first, and later the other Clans, but that plan backfired when Alaric Ward shared the information with the Jade Falcons. Stone's health quickly deteriorated in the following weeks, due to the mounting tension and loss of his friends -- such as Damien Redburn. Ultimately, all his efforts and strategies failed; finally, on April 14, he was forced to admit defeat and disband the Republic.
On May 25th, with the former Exarch on his deathbed, Stone claimed to have been created by the Word of Blake, who imprinted all what he needed to know about military and political strategy and tactics into his brain, a procedure that almost drove him mad. He also revealed how in his prior identity, he claimed to be a nobody, a Federated Suns grunt captured, which was a dubious claim that he told Alaric. Stone explained later to Alaric how he had manipulated him, and the problems he would face as First Lord. Chance Vickers immediately suffocated him with a pillow to silence him.
Devlin Stone was known as the “Hero of the Jihad”, able to organize a resistance to defeat the Blakists Jihad and unite the Inner Sphere and Clans. He would create an empire while weakening the military strength of the various Houses and Clans, while leaving his Republic as a powerful nation for 66 years. Stone's empire would begin to crumble due to his disappearance and the Blackout, causing the Fortress Walls to rise up. This was the writing on the wall for the Republic along with Stone's old age and (failing) health, contributing to his empire's destruction. With his death, the Republic of the Sphere would die along with him.
- Devlin Stone was created for the MechWarrior: Dark Age setting, where he was introduced as a largely absent messianic figure whose return was eagerly awaited. His character was subsequently retroactively fleshed out as the Jihad era that preceded the Dark Age era was explored in greater detail for Classic BattleTech.
- In the February 20, 2021 "Hour of the Wolf" AMA BattleTech Art Director Brent Evans, who had worked on the MWDA line and later, after the MWDA and CBT lines had merged back into one, had served as BattleTech Line Developer for a time, said that the original plan for the Devlin Stone character when he was created for MWDA had been that he would have suffered from "freeze burn" altering his mind after waking from cryostasis, and turn into the setting's main villain. The battle for Terra would have come down to Alaric Ward vs. Devlin Stone. However, as the storyline was plotted out the team had doubts whether that was even a story worth telling, and changed the story to how it played out. In Evans's words, having the Republic of the Sphere crumble around Devlin Stone while he was still alive to witness it was one of the darkest and most mature storylines in BattleTech.
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 115: "Through the Looking Glass - Arthur Steiner-Davion: The Truth?"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 80: "Biographies - Devlin Stone"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 41: "Stone: Another Word for "Blake""
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 43: "Public Enemy"
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, pp. 227–228: "Other Realms and Powers - Key Personalities of 3076 - Devlin Stone"
- Dark Age: Republic of the Sphere, p. 27: "Devlin Stone"
- BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction, pp. 227–233
- Dark Age: Republic of the Sphere, p. 1: "Laying the Foundations"
- Dark Age: 3132-3134 INN, p. 129: "Prayers, Pageantry Mark Freedom Day Celebrations"
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 7
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 11
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 136
- Shattered Fortress, p. 5
- Shattered Fortress, p. 62
- Shattered Fortress, pp. 66–67
- Shattered Fortress, pp. 68–69
- Shattered Fortress, p. 93
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 366
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 199
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 217
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 588
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 591
- Technical Readout: 3075, p. 184: "AS7-D-H Atlas II"
- BattleTech: 25 Years of Art & Fiction
- Dark Age: 3132-3134 INN
- Dark Age: Republic of the Sphere
- Field Manual: 3145
- Hour of the Wolf
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers
- Rock of the Republic (novella)
- Shattered Sphere
- Technical Readout: 3075