History of the Clans

This article details the history of The Clans. For more information, see The Clans.

Fall of the Star League[edit]

Though the Star League officially disbanded in 2781, Aleksandr Kerensky would spend the next two years shuttling between the Great Houses in an attempt to salvage the situation. He finally abandoned this effort by August of 2783 and began work on a plan he hoped would at least preserve the spirit of the League. In February of 2784 he made this plan known to the rest of the SLDF: they would depart from the Inner Sphere and live in exile, denying the competing great houses the misuse of their military might during the coming conflagration which would soon engulf known space. Fully eighty percent of the SLDF agreed to this plan, and in November of that year they made their fateful departure. After years of travel coreward from the Inner Sphere, the massive flotilla of Star League refugees came upon five marginally habitable worlds, the so-called Pentagon Worlds (due to their near-pentametric relation to each other), in August of 2786.[1]

Upon their arrival Kerensky's followers tried to reforge life as they knew it once again and create a Star League-in-Exile. The early months and years of the colonization effort were tough - an estimated sixty thousand perishing due to the harsh environment and deadly new diseases - however by 2794 prosperity had taken hold and colonization efforts were directed to a group of nearby stars, the Kerensky Cluster. Unfortunately, with this prosperity came greed, jealousy and other human failings, and soon old allegiances and prejudices began to rear their ugly heads. In 2800 the first of several small-scale clashes broke out on Eden between colonists of Capellan and Federated Suns origin; by May of next year full-scale rebellion broke out when the Capellan faction declared their independence. Kerensky proved unable to bring the colonists back in line, and indeed following the DeChavilier Massacre the violence spread to the remaining four Pentagon worlds. By June all-out war was raging on Eden, and Aleksandr was in the midst of planning an operation to end the fighting when, on 11 June 2801, he died of a massive heart attack at his command post. So began the Exodus Civil War, which would eventually encompass all five Pentagon worlds and last nearly twenty years.[2]

Founding of the Clans[edit]

As Aleksandr's eldest son, Major-General Nicholas Kerensky, commander of the 146th Royal BattleMech Division, was his designated heir to take command of the exiled SLDF.
Nicholas Kerensky
Though he had the loyalty of his own unit and most of the navy, the rest of the army rejected him due to his lack of combat experience and made their own attempts to assume command. Realizing that civil war was inevitable, Nicholas decided to take those loyal to him on a Second Exodus to Strana Mechty, one of the newly-founded colonies in the Kerensky Cluster. Over the next several months Nicholas' forces were able to evacuate nearly a quarter of the civilian population - roughly a million people - with the last transports leaving by the end of January 2802. While the majority of the navy had sided with Nicholas, only the 146th and 149th BattleMech Division left in full with him.[2]

Nicholas soon came to the conclusion that eventually his exiles would succumb to the same failings as had taken over in the Pentagon worlds, and became determined to remodel society from the ground-up. He sought to create a new society which eliminated all previous cultural biases and rewarded merit and ability. He borrowed ideas from the medieval Mongol hordes, Shogunate Japan and twentieth century China to create the twenty Clans, each one a reinforced battalion of forty warriors. Of the thousands of troops which had joined his Second Exodus, rigorous testing was used to ensure only the best able, regardless of gender, race or any other quota, would have the honor of becoming among the eight hundred to join the Clans. Nicholas himself participated and passed the combat trials to prove his worth, and in June 2815 declared himself ilKhan, supreme ruler of the Clans. While the term Clans was originally supposed to refer only to the warriors, it would eventually encompass all of the civilians as well, an attempt to put a final end to old allegiances and affiliations.[3]

Operation KLONDIKE[edit]

By mid-2821, Nicholas had judged the time was right and unleashed Operation KLONDIKE, the campaign to take back the Pentagon worlds. Success was finally achieved in May 2822 and at first the liberated populations were for the most part relieved: much of the civilian population was simply thankful for the devastating fighting to be over, while those who had exploited them were hunted down to be tried, convicted, tortured, and executed as an object lesson. However, the brutality of the post-liberation months prompted some within the Clans to begin questioning Nicholas' methods and even his leadership. Though the first rumblings of discontent would come from Clan Jade Falcon (whose Khans eventually purged themselves of this "cancer" in what became known as The Culling), opposition to the ilKhan's authority eventually coalesced around Clan Wolverine. This opposition came to a head in August 2823 when the Grand Council ordered the Wolverines to share their Brian Cache on Circe with the other Clans, an order they protested unsuccessfully first in the council and then in a Trial of Refusal in October. In her final Grand Council meeting, Khan Sarah McEvedy made the fatal error of not only insulting Nicholas, and by extension the other Clans, but declaring her Clan independent. The Wolverines' nuclear attack on Clan Snow Raven's genetic repository was the final nail in the coffin, and in the proceeding Trial of Annihilation Clan Wolverine ceased to exist; even their very name was stricken from the records, to be forever known as the "Not-Named Clan."[4]

Opposition to his rule destroyed, the ilKhan set about restructuring society and laying the groundwork for future prosperity. New worlds were explored and colonized, industry rebuilt, and the population finally reached its pre-war levels in 2832 thanks to the eugenics program. Tragedy struck just two years later however during a Trial of Refusal between Clan Wolf and Clan Widowmaker, refereed by the ilKhan and the other Clan Khans. When the duel degenerated into a melee the ilKhan attempted to step in, but was accidentally fired upon and killed by the Widowmaker Khan. Incensed by the death of their leader, the combined Clans laid waste to the Widowmakers, with Clan Wolf given the honor of Absorbing the remnants. A new ilKhan would eventually be elected, though through the years the position slowly lost its authority and prestige until ending altogether in 2947, and the remaining eighteen Clans would continue to develop and factionalize along different lines.[5]

Golden Century[edit]

The next hundred years between 2830 to 2930 became known as the Golden Century, a time of immense prosperity and growth. The relaxation of social mores and taboos, which had been essential for survival during the early Second Exodus, became permanent fixtures in Clan culture. Much scientific and technological progress took place during this time, most notably when Clan Coyote fielded the first OmniMech in 2854, and with the introduction of Battle Armor by Clan Wolf in 2868. The period also saw the Absorption of Clan Mongoose by Clan Smoke Jaguar, and the beginning of many long-standing feuds. Without a strong ilKhan to settle them these disputes would intensify until finally they became wrapped up in an overarching drive which soon gripped the Clans: the Hidden Hope Doctrine and the return to the Inner Sphere.[6]

Crusader/Warden Split[edit]

During the Political Century, Clan society coalesced around two competing viewpoints: Crusaders who believed it was their right to re-establish the Star League by force with themselves as leaders, and Wardens who thought it was their mission to protect the Inner Sphere from outside threats while maintaining their own distinct culture. The Jade Falcons were at the forefront of the Crusader faction, their role eventually taken over by the Smoke Jaguars, and were first to introduce a motion to the Grand Council to invade the Inner Sphere in 2980. Their motion was defeated by the heads of the Warden faction, Clans Wolf and Coyote, but the Wardens knew that public opinion was turning against them and it would only be a matter of time before the Crusaders could muster enough support to overrule them.[7]

The debate would continue for decades, only interrupted in 2985 following the renaming of Clan Sea Fox to Clan Diamond Shark, and by 3000 the Clans were on the brink of invasion. Trying to buy more time, Clan Wolf succeeded in brokering the Dragoon Compromise, reasoning that the Clans needed a more accurate picture of the situation in the Inner Sphere. Comprised mostly of freeborn warriors, the Wolf's Dragoons would present themselves as a mercenary force for hire while secretly reconnoitering the Successor States. Their mission started off to great success in the early years of the thirty-first century, painting an accurate picture of the many developments which had taken place in the Clans' absence. However, the apparent desertion of the
ilKhan Leo Showers
Dragoons around 3019 only agitated the Crusaders further. When rumors of first the Fourth Succession War and then the War of 3039 reached them, they put the invasion again to a vote, each time only narrowly defeated by the efforts of Clan Wolf.[8]

Operation REVIVAL[edit]

In the summer of 3048 the Outbound Light, a ComStar exploration ship, appeared in orbit of the Smoke Jaguar capital world Huntress and was quickly seized. Khan Leo Showers, an ardent Crusader, now had the perfect opportunity to force through his agenda. Holding in his possession the only source of current information on the Inner Sphere, he manipulated it to his advantage, and on 21 November convinced enough members of the Grand Council to pass a vote to invade the Inner Sphere. A month later Showers was voted ilKhan, the first in a century, to oversee the invasion effort. One year later Operation REVIVAL officially began, first by conquering the worlds along the Periphery and then, on 7 March 3050, invading the Inner Sphere proper.[9]

Ill-prepared for an assault of this scale from an unexpected direction, the Inner Sphere's defenses swiftly collapsed in the face of the Clan assault. While the Clans achieved spectacular successes in the first two waves of their invasion, it was marred by their failure to capture - or realize they had captured - the heirs to the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine. Indeed, the escape of Hohiro Kurita from the Smoke Jaguars on Turtle Bay would lead to the infamous orbital bombardment of Edo by that Clan's flagship. As well, the cooperation between the invading Clans which ilKhan Showers had called for never materialized; the invasion soon degenerated into a race to see who could conquer more worlds quicker, hastening the pace of the proceeding waves. Reverses were suffered by the Falcons at the Battle of Twycross and the Jaguars at the Battle of Wolcott, but it would take the sudden death of ilKhan Showers on 1 November 3050 to actually halt the invasion.[10]

Tukayyid[edit]

The invading Clans realized they would need to elect a new ilKhan to lead the invasion, but such a process could only take place with a vote of all the Bloodnamed warriors, forcing them to return to their homeworlds.
Aftermath of Tukayyid
This process took a year to complete and gave the Inner Sphere breathing room to rebuild and prepare. Now led by Ulric Kerensky of Clan Wolf, the fifth wave of the invasion began in November 3051 and again threatened to sweep through the Inner Sphere. However, it was also during this time that ilKhan Kerensky revealed to ComStar the goal of their invasion was Terra herself. Up to this point ComStar had been "neutral" in the conflict, even aiding the Clans in the administration of their conquered worlds. But with their seat of power threatened, Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht made a daring proposal. The Com Guards would fight the Clans at a neutral site to decide the fate of the invasion: if they won the Clans would agree to a fifteen-year long truce, if they lost then Terra was theirs. The resulting Battle of Tukayyid was a resounding victory for ComStar and brought about an end to Operation Revival.[11]

Refusal War[edit]

Though still allowed by the terms of the agreement to attack those worlds which lay "above" the treaty line (in addition to covert attempts to breach it, particularly by the Red Corsairs), the Truce of Tukayyid was a bitter pill for the Clans to swallow. Much blame was laid at ilKhan Kerensky's feet for the disastrous outcome, especially by those Crusaders within his own Clan. In the summer of 3057 they charged the ilKhan with genocide for denying their warriors the right to combat against the Inner Sphere. The ilKhan decided to bring these charges before the Grand Council, which by a narrow majority found him guilty. The result was the Refusal War, a conflict which saw both Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon devastated and the former split asunder, a Crusader-minded Clan Wolf and a Warden-minded Clan Wolf-in-Exile.[12]

Each of the devastated Clans attacked their neighbors in a show of strength, the Jade Falcons penetrating into the Lyran Alliance as far as Coventry while the Wolves raided the Smoke Jaguars for more breeding stock. On 19 November 3058 the Clans met on Strana Mechty to elect a new ilKhan, Lincoln Osis of the Smoke Jaguars, who took it as his mandate for the resumption of the invasion. For the next six months, the Clans went about with their preparations - both the Jade Falcons and Wolves launching the Harvest Trials to rebuild their shattered forces - while the shocking discovery in February of 3059 that Clan Burrock had been allied with the Bandit Caste brought about the Burrock Absorption.

Operation BULLDOG and Task Force Serpent[edit]

Finally, the Clans were prepared to attack, only to receive disturbing news: the Successor States had rallied under the banner of the Second Star League and launched their own attack, Operation BULLDOG, intended to drive the Smoke Jaguars out of the Inner Sphere. Thanks to their skill at arms, Clan Nova Cat switching sides, and the neutrality of Clan Ghost Bear, the Second Star League succeeded in completely reclaiming all of the conquered Smoke Jaguar worlds in a matter of months.[13]

The second of the one-two knockout punch came in early 3060 when Task Force Serpent, which had been launched simultaneously with Operation BULLDOG, appeared in orbit above Huntress. Battle raged across the Smoke Jaguar homeworld from the first landings on 2 March until final victory on 7 April, by which point the Star League had achieved their goal of utterly destroying a Crusader Clan, which they hoped would give the Wardens more political power. On 12 April the reborn SLDF sent a delegation to Strana Mechty and before the Grand Council called for a Trial of Refusal against the invasion of the Inner Sphere. IlKhan Osis agreed, but both himself and the rest of the Council was blindsided when Clan Ghost Bear declared they would not take part in the Trials, and indeed had switched their allegiance to the Warden faction. The rest of the Wardens refused to take part as well, leaving only the Crusader Clans and the tattered remnants of the Smoke Jaguars to face off against the Inner Sphere forces in the Great Refusal. By a score of five victories, two losses and a draw the Inner Sphere won, and the Clans were bound by honor to adhere to the original Treaty of Tukayyid.[14]

After the Great Refusal[edit]

The Grand Council was left to absorb and debate what had happened in the preceding months during their meeting on 27 April. Due to their treachery in siding with the Inner Sphere, Khan N'Buta of Clan Star Adder called for the Nova Cats to be Annihilated, though the Wardens (led by Clan Ghost Bear) blocked that vote. Instead, Khan Ward of Clan Wolf called for their Abjuration, which achieved the necessary four-fifths majority, and the Nova Cats were given a month to evacuate their Clan holdings. It was also during this meeting that a startling truth became known: the Ghost Bears had in secret achieved a complete relocation of their Clan to their Inner Sphere occupation zone, renamed the Ghost Bear Dominion, with assistance from Clans Diamond Shark and Snow Raven. This revelation brought about another vote for Annihilation, this time brought forth by the Bears' old rivals Clan Hell's Horses, though this too was defeated by the Bear-Raven-Shark voting bloc.[15]

What followed became known as the Wars of Possession, as all of the Clans proceeded to fight amongst each other over who would take over the now-unoccupied holdings of the Smoke Jaguars, Ghost Bears and Nova Cats (though for the Cats in many cases the other Clans did not bother to wait for their departure), with the conflicts lasting into 3062.

References[edit]

  1. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 7-8
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 8-9
  3. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 9-11
  4. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 11-13
  5. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 14
  6. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 15-16
  7. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 16-17
  8. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17
  9. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17-18
  10. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 18-20
  11. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 20-21
  12. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22
  13. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22-23
  14. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 24-25
  15. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 25-26