Draconis Combine Civil War
The Draconis Combine Civil War, also known as the Nova Cat Rebellion, was a short-lived military conflict fought between 3141 and 3143 in which Clan Nova Cat and elements of the Dieron Military District under Katana Tormark staged a rebellion against the Draconis Combine's rulers Coordinator Yori Kurita and Kanrei Matsuhari Toranaga. Fought with the overt goal of restoring Emi Kurita and her son Daisuke to the throne - and, for the Nova Cats, the covert objective of regaining their independence from the Combine - the civil war ended in total victory for Yori Kurita's forces, the imprisonment of Katana Tormark, and the destruction of Clan Nova Cat.
Though rooted in a succession dispute within House Kurita, the Nova Cat Rebellion was primarily fueled by massive resentment from Nova Cat warriors and lower castes towards the Draconis Combine following the Second Combine-Dominion War. During that conflict, the Nova Cat Touman had been decimated, its manufacturing capability destroyed, and millions of its civilians massacred, either by the Black Dragons or the enraged Ghost Bears. Following the war, the Draconis Combine re-established garrisons on planets in the Irece Prefecture, and limited Clan Nova Cat to 'reservations' on the planets they had formerly ruled. Clan Nova Cat was also severely limited in rebuilding their manufacturing, and when they were allowed to rebuild it was often under Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery standards, resulting in subpar 'Mechs and weaponry such as the Avalanche.
These humiliations, coupled by feelings of betrayal and xenophobia from the average Combine citizen, drove a wedge between Nova Cat warriors and their supposed benefactors. The rise of the Kesari faction also fomented secession, as members of the Kesari began to turn their backs on the traditional visions that had guided Clan Nova Cat in the past, including those visions that had led the Clan to join with the Draconis Combine in the first place. The election of Kesari-aligned Jacali Nostra to the Khanship in 3120 cemented Clan Nova Cat's plans to secede from the Combine.
Elsewhere, efforts had been made by the Warlord of the New Samarkand Military District, Matsuhari Toranaga, to replace the Kurita royal family with a pawn of his own choosing. Having groomed Yori Kurita since her early childhood, Matsuhari orchestrated a series of assassinations following the accidental death of the heir to the Dragon Throne, Theodore II Kurita in December 3136. Coordinator Vincent Kurita and his son Ryuhiko Kurita were killed along with several court members by a bomb planted in a gift presented to the Coordinator by an unwitting Ryuhiko. This murder had been immediately preceded by a brutal assassination of Chomie Kurita, pregnant wife of the deceased Theodore II.
With the death of nearly the entire royal family, and the supposed death of Emi Kurita, the only daughter of Vincent, on February 28th, 3137, the Coordinatorship fell to Yori Kurita, the great-granddaughter of Theodore Kurita I's bastard son Franklin Sakamoto. Yori then appointed Matsuhari Kanrei, effectively making him co-ruler of the Draconis Combine. Though many suspected Matsuhari to be responsible for the 'Birthday Massacre' and recognized that Yori was effectively his puppet, few saw any hope of challenging his rule without a legitimate claimant to the throne.
Unbeknownst to the Kuritan public, Emi Kurita had survived and with the help of the Order of the Five Pillars had escaped to Irece, headquarters of Clan Nova Cat. There, Emi conceived and bore a son whom she named Daisuke. The Nova Cats also found a staunch ally in Katana Tormark, Warlord of Dieron Military District. Tormark owed her position to Theodore Kurita; suspicious of Yori and Matsuhari, she remained hopeful that Emi had survived. The Warlord had also established a rapport with the Nova Cats during the fighting in the 3130s that saw her District re-established, when a Nova Cat Galaxy had been instrumental in securing much of the ex-Republic territory that made up the District. In exchange for this aid, Tormark had secretly pledged her support for Khan Nostra's goal of an independent Nova Cat realm.
The Dragon Distracted
Kanrei Matsuhari had long desired to leave his mark on the Inner Sphere in a way he believed the former Coordinator Vincent Kurita never had. By 3139, Matsuhari contracted the Wolf's Dragoons mercenary command for fighting in the Draconis Reach, a no-man's land of space between the Federated Suns and the Draconis Combine. From March to December of that year, the Dragoons in conjunction with several Kuritan Regiments, conquered the Draconis Reach. In response, Duke Corwin Sandoval of the Draconis March launched a counter-attack. Despite repeated pleas to New Avalon, First Prince Caleb Davion refused to provide material or military support, and Sandoval's new offensive quickly bogged down after the first three months. With the Dragon and Sandovals locked in a bitter stalemate, Khan Jacali Nostra decided to make her move.
On June 16th, 3141, Clan Nova Cat announced that Emi Kurita was alive and well, and challenged Yori Kurita's right to the throne. The first real military engagement, between Nova Cat Warriors and the Combine garrison on Irece, quickly became a slaughter, as decades of pent-up frustrations were unleashed by the Nova Cats on the hapless Combine soldiers near the Reservation. Despite pleas by Khan Jacali and Emi Kurita, the slaughter did not end until all the Combine soldiers on-planet were dead.
The Nova Cats quickly spread their rebellion beyond the Irece Prefecture. In the Dieron District, many planets that had been conquered by the Nova Cats in the name of the Combine became Nova Cat possessions in name as well as fact. Several critical planets, such as Al'Nair and Xinyang. During the first 2 months, Khan Jacali deliberately avoided antagonizing Warlord Tormark's Dieron Regulars Regiments, and in August of that same year, the effort paid off, as Katana declared for Emi Kurita, and sent her forces against the Benjamin District, to secure the Nova Cat's flank. By February 3142, the Nova Cats controlled a stretch of territory from Dieron all the way to Irece. This would be the high point of the rebellion for them.
The Dragon Retaliates
Kanrei Matsuhari pulled back all his forces from the Draconis Reach with exception to the Wolf's Dragoons and the Ryuken-Go Regiments. These units had been in preparatory stages for a full-fledged invasion of Davion space, but Toranaga could not enact that plan without first dealing with the Nova Cats. Despite Yori's shaky claim to the throne, and the suspicion other warlords had of Matsuhari, the bulk of the DCMS stayed loyal to the Combine, with only 3 of the 4 Dieron Regular regiments defecting. In February of 3142 Matsuhari went on the offensive, striking primarily at the Dieron District, where Matsuhari correctly had identified as the weakpoint of the rebellion. Despite the onslaught of the Combine forces, the Nova Cats continued to win some victories, including capturing Prosperina in July. Still, the tide was turning in favor of Yori.
A strike into the Irece Prefecture itself caused Khan Jacali Nostra to reverse her earlier decision not to immediately attack Luthien. Jacali had worried that an immediate attack on the capital of the Combine might bring the entire might of the DCMS down on the Nova Cats. With that already happening, Jacali decided there was no better time to strike. She ordered the withdrawal of all Nova Cat forces to several staging worlds in the Irece Prefecture. One Cluster however, decided to desert instead, attempting to flee to Rasalhague Dominion space in October. Clan Ghost Bear, never fans of the Nova Cat Clan, exterminated the deserters without quarter. Though Katana Tormark protested the move, by early December, all Nova Cat forces had withdrawn to the planets Leiston, Avon, Cyrenaica, Irece, and Kagoshima. Total Nova Cat strength at this point was barely two Galaxies of warriors.
Realizing the futility of their situation, Khan Jacali called for a Clan Council and offered them her resignation as Khan. Without a single dissent, all the gathered warriors rejected her resignation, and swore to fight to the death for their freedom. Their deaths came on December 29th, as Combine forces landed on Irece and after two days of battle, annihilated the remnants of Alpha Galaxy under Jacali's command. The Nova Cat genetic repository on Irece was wiped out by a nuclear device. Prior to the Battle of Irece, the forces on all but Kagoshima had already been defeated and hunted to the last warrior. Rather than face humiliation and certain death, Emi Kurita gave her son poison, before downing the vial herself. Their bodies were later found in Irece City following the battle.
A single Cluster of warriors remained on Kagoshima, and in January of 3143, the 1st Amphigean Light Assault Group engaged the Nova Cats there and wiped them out. With the death of the Nova Cat warrior caste, only Katana Tormark's rebellious Dieron Regulars remained. Katana assembled her remaining forces on Piedmont and Chichibu in preparation for a last stand. In the same month as the Battle of Kagoshima, Combine forces landed on these two planets and attacked. Katana's forces were able to hold out for five weeks before finally surrendering. Katana was taken to Luthien in chains and imprisoned; her final fate remains unknown.
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. Of the Nova Cats, the only known survivors of the Combine's purge are those in the Clan Protectorate in the Free Worlds League, and 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 founded 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 war resulted in the de-facto annihilation of Clan Nova Cat, as Combine soldiers were merciless in their extermination of any warriors they encountered. The Irece Prefecture returned completely to Combine control, though this has weakened the Combine's border with the Rasalhague Dominion, as now the Combine must defend this stretch of space entirely with their own military. As of 3150, Clan Ghost Bear has not seemed inclined to take advantage of this fact.
- Era Report: 3145, p. 90-91, "Jacali Nostra"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 20-21, "Dragon Rising"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 21, "Dragon's Passing"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 91, "Emi Kurita"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 20, "Dragon's Passing"
- Technical Readout: 3150, p. 154, "Nebula"