Horse (Clan Jade Falcon)
|Also known as
|Clan Jade Falcon
Horse was a freeborn Clan Jade Falcon MechWarrior and Star Commander of the elite Jade Falcon Cluster Falcon Guards. He was later reassigned to create and lead a Trinary of elite freeborn warriors. In this process he was awarded the rank of Star Captain. This unit received its orders directly from Khan Marthe Pryde.
Horse is most notable for his constant service to the Jade Falcon leadership and for his role in the career of Aidan Pryde; arguably Clan Jade Falcon's most legendary MechWarrior.
Horse's real name is Tyle (after his father), but he dropped the use of this when he received the nickname "Horse" because of his interest in horses.
Horse is honored by several lines in the Remembrance (apparently relating to his role on Tukayyid). It is also possible that he is mentioned in the lines referring to the historic battle on Waldorff against the Steel Vipers, where freeborn Jade Falcon forces held out against the elite of the Steel Viper touman, eventually defeating its Khan.
Horse, being a freeborn, was discriminated against by the trueborns that dominated the Clan leadership. Regardless of this, he attempted to join a freeborn training sibko, and was successful in his efforts. During his training, he met Aidan Pryde for the first time on the field of "battle", in the course of which he almost killed Aidan with a knife. Horse, however, lost the battle and went back to training.
Horse was successful in training, having remained in the sibko to a point where only four members were left. However, the normal arrangement was complicated by the entrance of a freeborn warrior called "Jorge". Jorge was actually Aidan in disguise, having been given an illicit second chance by his sibko commander Ter Roshak at a Trial of Position. In marked contrast to their first meeting, the two of them quickly came up with a strategy for passing their Trials. They both succeeded, and were made full MechWarriors of Clan Jade Falcon.
Horse and "Jorge", after various dull assignments, wound up on the planet of Glory, a desolate planet with strange topography. On-planet, however, the Jade Falcon base was attacked by Clan Wolf forces in an attempt to seize the legacy of then-Star Colonel Kael Pershaw. The Falcon defenders nearly fell due to sheer numbers brought down by the 16th Battle Cluster, under the command of Star Captain Dwillt Radick. Horse and Aidan, however, served in the defense, and came up with the winning strategy that left the Wolves in a shambles. Aidan used his sudden good-standing to declare himself a trueborn, and therefore eligible for a Bloodname Trial for the name of "Pryde". An investigation soon mounted, however, and Horse got subpoenaed for testimony on the planet of Ironhold. While facing a hostile Clan Council, Horse was forced to admit that he knew Aidan Pryde was receiving a false Trial of Position by masquerading in the place of a freeborn warrior, though his testimony would affect little in the Clan system of justice, which was largely stacked against Pryde to begin with. After the Trial and vote in Council, Aidan, his commanding officer Joanna, and Ter Roshak fought a Trial of Refusal against the verdict, and were ultimately successful against great odds. Aidan went on to win his trial for the Pryde Bloodname.
In the years after Aidan won his Bloodname, Horse still served under him. As part of a Trial of Refusal against Clan Wolf (during an unspecified year), Horse would save the life of then-Star Commander Sentania Buhallin while in battle. The surprisingly grateful officer swore an oath to assist Horse in some future event, should the need arise.
Tukayyid and Beyond
Horse continued to serve under Star Colonel Pryde during Operation Revival. As part of the reborn Falcon Guards, Horse stood by his commander as the only freeborn warrior in the reconstituted frontline unit. Though trueborns were assigned to the command, their quality was often lacking for various reasons. Star Colonel Pryde would use commander's prerogative to bring in Star Commander Joanna, who, with the assistance of Horse and MechWarrior Diana, brought a sense of discipline to the unit. Horse was there by his commander's side throughout most of the fighting on Tukayyid. His role, though a quiet one, did not go unnoticed; Horse would win mention in the Jade Falcon Remembrance and promotion to Star Commander after the fighting. But it came at the cost of losing his commander in battle. Aidan Pryde had made a bold last stand against the encroaching Com Guard forces, saving the warriors that they could, while defending the Jade Falcon retreat off world after helping his Clan to achieve a draw for the engagement. Horse bequeathed Aidan's collection of print-on-paper books to Diana, Aidan's freeborn daughter, a fact he learned only at the last moments of his friend's life, though he claimed to have always somehow known when asked by Diana.
After the failed campaign on Coventry in 3058, Horse was promoted to Star Captain and received orders from Khan Marthe Pryde to create a 'Mech Trinary with elite freeborn warriors. Khan Marthe Pryde said this would be a special unit, receiving direct orders from her. The warriors should be freeborn, as trueborns would protest in some situations, that this or that action would mean a loss of honor. Freeborns are much more pragmatic.
In 3059, the first mission of Khan's Irregulars was to inspect the Jade Falcon scientific installation on Huntress, the Clan Smoke Jaguar homeworld. It was a very small installation, where dual-cockpit LAMs were being developed. Though Jade Falcon ships have gained the right to land in that installation, Horse's DropShip was shot down. He and his warriors were taken prisoner and their 'Mechs were seized. Galaxy Commander Russou Howell took an immediate dislike of Horse, assigning him to numerous demeaning tasks, tormenting him with a Ceremony of Kinship (an invention of Howell's) among many other cruel humiliations and tortures. Ultimately, he used Horse to provoke and shame his own substandard warriors, culminating in Horse's killing of Star Colonel Logan Wirth in a duel, after throwing the unconscious Wirth from the Pyramid-shaped genetic repository of Mt. Szabo in Lootera. Howell tried to convert Horse into a Smoke Jaguar, but Horse resisted as much as possible given the circumstances. The solahma Star Commander Sentania Buhallin visited Horse on several occasions, and on one of them, the two infiltrated the Smoke Jaguar Genetic Repository. Star Commander Buhallin showed him a room containing a sample of Aidan Pryde's genetic legacy, which Horse did his best to destroy, and killing the head Jaguar Geneticist, called the Keeper of the Jaguar Kin. Buhallin later freed Horse in a Trial of Possession for his Codex, as his genetic legacy could not be an object, using the two stolen LAMs and with the assistance of Chief Scientist Peri (Watson). Russou bid himself and Horse to fight against the Jade Falcons. That meant, that Horse had to fight with all his skills in order to remain a prisoner, or he would lose his honor. Horse fought with anger and ferocity, giving himself to the Jaguar spirit of aggression out of a feeling that he was lost to his former Clan. In spite of his efforts, he lost honorably, after a collision with an experimental Phoenix Hawk LAM disabled his Summoner, and was finally set free. Horse's fellow warriors and 'Mechs were freed in a prisonbreak shortly thereafter. Horse later issued a report to Khan Pryde, recommending the closing of the installation, and canceling its LAM-program.
|His death or mine was destined, right from the challenge. I could not accept Logan's offer of a draw. A draw is a loss. Proof lies only in victory. That is the way of the Clans.
|— Horse Jade Falcon
Against the Vipers
In 3060 the Steel Vipers tried to annoy and provoke the Jade Falcons by claiming that the freeborn Jade Falcon warriors were essentially weakening their touman. Viper Khan Perigard Zalman taunted Marthe Pryde in the Grand Council, until she lost her temper and challenged him to a trial. Kael Pershaw reminded both Khans, that Khans were no longer allowed to fight directly against each other. Both had to choose a champion, who would fight for them. Perigard Zalman chose Star Colonel Ivan Sinclair. Marthe Pryde made a choice that would make a Steel Viper loss even more shaming. She chose the best freeborn warrior she knew: Horse. Horse won a narrow victory against a wily opponent who even attempted to use the backdrop of a freeborn village near the battlefield against Horse, forcing him into being very careful with his shots. Later that year, Horse helped Diana in her bid for a Bloodname by assisting Joanna in training her.
Steel Viper-Jade Falcon War
Clan Steel Viper had secretly shipped reinforcements to its occupation zone in the Inner Sphere and used them to conquer 13 worlds of the Jade Falcon occupation zone in early 3061. Khan Marthe Pryde arrived troops in mid-3061, among them Horse and his trinary.
Slowly, world by world, the Steel Vipers were defeated. The final battle took place on Waldorff, where several elite clusters of both sides fought against each other. Through a clever maneuver by the Steel Vipers, the Falcon Guards and Horse's unit were first separated from the rest of the Jade Falcon forces and then split into smaller elements. Horse's trinary and elements of the Falcon Guards were ambushed by the Triasch Keshik. Among them was Ivan Sinclair, who challenged Horse to a duel one on one, separate from the rest of the battle. They fought and finally both their 'Mechs ended up disabled. They left them and went on with a fistfight which also ended with a draw.
In 3069, Joanna and Horse apparently saw action on Marshall in the Kerensky Cluster, though not in BattleMechs. The exact opponents they fought and even the circumstances are unknown, however it is common in Clan tradition to use aged warriors as cannon fodder in battle, using them as unarmored infantry with little chance to survive. Despite this, there is no actual mention of Horse's death.
Horse generally piloted a Summoner with some exceptions, including a Viper at one point during the battle of Tukayyid, a Marauder at some indeterminate point during the Clan Invasion, and an old Star League-era Mackie which Russou Howell forced Horse to pilot in the fight against Logan Wirth.
- Freebirth, ch. 2–4
- Way of the Clans, ch. 33
- Way of the Clans, ch. 1–18
- Way of the Clans, ch. 19–40
- Bloodname, ch. 4–20
- Bloodname, ch. 21–35
- Freebirth, ch. 7
- Falcon Guard, ch. 1–20
- Falcon Guard, ch. 21–37
- Falcon Guard, Epilogue
- I Am Jade Falcon, ch. 29–32
- Freebirth, ch. 15–18
- Freebirth, ch. 20–37
- Falcon Rising, ch. 1–20
- Falcon Rising, ch. 21–39
- Face in the Viewport