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The Illician Lancers brigade was formed in 2572 by members of the Illician Order, an ancient military brotherhood based out of Illicia on the island of Sicily. The Lancers were notable in that the majority of those who went on to form the Lancers left the service of their state voluntarily, rather than through being cashiered; when the brigade mustered, it took less than six months for the Lancers to reach the same size and strength as an oversize 'Mech division.
The Lancers worked for every Star League member state and also for the SLDF over the next two centuries and saw their reputation grow to the point that applications for membership in the Illician Order vastly outstripped the available spaces and allowed the Lancers to charge a premium for their services. When the Amaris Civil War erupted, the Lancers continued to serve the SLDF, generally in a support capacity, although two regiments, the First and Seventh Illician Rangers, were destroyed during the final assault on Terra. Those who survived the campaign journeyed to Illicia to pay their respects to the fallen, only to discover that the home of their order had been completely levelled.
During the Succession Wars, the Lancers' numbers were reduced further, first to half their original strength and then in the Third Succession War the Lancers found themselves having to sell most of their JumpShip assets for normal operations to avoid bankruptcy after a disastrous contract with the CCAF. After leaving Capellan employment, the Lancers were employed by the AFFS and subsequently the AFFC.
The Illician Lancers began their service to House Davion operating on the Draconis Combine border, but after some initial successes suffered a series of defeats that caused the High Command to redeploy them to the Capellan March. After the death of Duke Michael Hasek-Davion, the Lancers found allies in Duke Morgan Hasek-Davion and his son, who gave the Lancers a much-needed opportunity to rebuild. This relationship later allowed them to gain access to more advanced technology, including the occasional item of Clan equipment.
The Lancers were heavily involved in Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE, the military campaign against the Capellan Confederation launched by Duke George Hasek during the opening stages of the Jihad. Fighting initially on the offensive, the Ninth Illician Rangers were responsible for capturing Sendalor from St. Cyr's Armored Hussars, taking less than ten percent losses in the process; the remaining three regiments of the Lancers launched as part of the second wave of attacks, with the Fourth and Twenty-first forming half of a four-regiment mercenary strike force that captured Gei-Fu, crushing the Third Capellan Defense Force in the process; the other mercenary units involved in the assault on Gei-Fu were identified by some sources as being the First Federated Suns Lancers and the First Kittery Borderers. The Fifty-ninth Strike Regiment also faced little resistance when it captured Tsingtao.
The war with the Confederation began to turn against Duke Hasek's forces with the third wave; while the Twenty-first Rangers managed to take Imalda and the Ninth Rangers captured Homestead, the Fourth landed on Hexare and quickly found themselves battered as the planet's defenders were reinforced with the arrival of Renshield's Dragoons. The Fourth found itself in dire straits because of the superior air support enjoyed by the Dragoons. This forced the Fourth into a defensive stance that became increasingly costly as Capellan forces increased and became more aggressive, culminating in Major "Rawhide" Francis leading his battalion to cover the retreat of the remaining Fourth Rangers' forces to Uravan after the command company broke in the final days of 3068.
The Ninth Rangers found themselves facing a counteroffensive led by two Capellan regiments on Homestead, while Vong's Grenadiers landed on Tsingtao and established a beachhead from which the Fifty-ninth couldn't displace them. General Bradley managed to hold the Grenadiers back, but the battles between the two forces became a grinding war of attrition that reduced both commands to half-strength before the AFFS supply line to Tsingtao suddenly dried up, leaving General Bradley and the Fifty-ninth with little choice but to retreat to Redfield. The Twenty-first Rangers landed on Imalda and were forced to fight a guerrilla campaign against elements of the Death Commandos and the Fifth Confederation Reserve Cavalry until lack of supplies forced the Twenty-first to retreat just as the Fifty-ninth had, falling back to Sendalor and then Ikast.
Trying to rebuild in the aftermath of Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE, all four commands of the Lancers faced difficult circumstances. The Ninth Rangers had been reduced to just two companies, leading to speculation that the Ninth would be folded into one of the other regiments; Major Francis of the Fourth had adopted a take-no-prisoners approach to combat after the grueling battle for Hexare, although the tenacity he inspired in his troops suffered from Francis' difficulty in dealing with complex strategical issues, while both the Fifty-ninth Strike Regiment and the Twenty-first were undergoing changes at the command level after various resignations and reassignments.
During the Jihad, the Ninth Rangers were completely destroyed. The Fifty-ninth Strike Regiment and Fourth Rangers lost half their troops in combat before beginning to rebuild. In 3079, the Illician Lancers were stationed along the Federated Suns/Taurian Concordat border to supplement that area's defenses.
The Lancers continued serving the Federated Suns during the Dark Age era. They participated, under orders from First Prince Julian Davion, in the liberation of New Syrtis, but suffered heavy losses, including Colonel Ryan Bradley, commanding officer of the Fifty-ninth.
The dawn of the ilClan era found the Lancers stationed in the quietest sector of the Capellan March, on Kafr Silim. By 3151, they had been ignored for years, and Julian Davion clearly didn't trust them to participate in the liberation of New Avalon, probably due to their actions on New Syrtis.
A conclave on 25 May 3151 didn't solve the problem. The Lancers were divided into three camps: one which wanted to ask for a better posting from Julian Davion, one which wanted to follow Duke Alexander Hasek on his invasion of the Taurian Concordat, and the last, which was happy to remain where they were and await a change. On 17 June, a Clan Sea Fox DropShip arrived in system. Aboard it was saKhan Ya'el Labov, who asked to meet with Colonel Luciana Araya Morales, the leader of the first faction. Labov had a very daring offer for her: he want her to become general and contract the Sea Foxes as mediators, replacing the MRBC. He offered the Lancers a gift: the keystone of the original Illician Brotherhood on Sicily, and the promise that, if they accepted, they would be given the monastery and the surrounding land in perpetuity. After a new conclave, and a heated debate, Luciana was chosen general and accepted Labov's offer.
Labov succeeded, as the Lancers were relocated to the Dragon's Tongue area, playing some part in its reconquest. In early 3152, the Lancers' Twenty-first Rangers were stationed on Brundage when they were attacked by the Forty-fifth New Samarkand Regulars in a three-week campaign which forced the Lancers to retreat, leaving the world to the Combine.
Soon before, Julian moved the Fifty-Ninth Striker to the Capellan border, to prevent an possible Capellan attack.
|Commanding Officers of the Illician Lancers|
|General||Brenda Bradley||circa 3029–3050|
|General||Luciana Araya Morales||3151 - present|
The Lancers were an atypical group who kept their traditions for centuries. The choosing of leadership was a key matter—every few months, all high-ranking officers held a meeting, called a conclave, where a group of elders selected an officer as leader and give them the title General. The general could be reelected after a six-year term. Colonels were also elected by this group. The officers may be re-elected any number of times, provided they still had the necessary skills.
In the conclaves, the Lancers kept an arch of stones said to come from their destroyed monastery on Sicily. The arch was incomplete, missing the keystone with the Illician Order's seal, but around it there were regimental sashes honoring the long-destroyed Illician regiments. Under the arch, every new Lancer is sworn in, and every potential elder meditates under it before their solemn vows.
The unit owns one Star Lord-class and one Invader-class JumpShip and must hire additional assets for the transportation of the entire brigade. The brigade has enough DropShips to support their full range of operations.
Units of the Illican Lancers
- First Rangers
- Fourth Rangers
- Seventh Rangers
- Ninth Rangers
- Twenty-first Rangers
- Fifty-ninth Strike
- plus three other regiments.
- Mercenaries Supplemental, p. 39: "Illician Lancers"
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries, p. 46
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update, p. 73: "Illician Lancers"
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p. 17: "Operation Sovereign Justice"
- Field Report: AFFS, p. 20
- Field Manual: 3145, p. 182: "Notable Mercenary Forces"
- Dominions Divided, p. 69
- Dominions divided, pp. 53
- House Davion (The Federated Suns), p. 136: "AFFS Deployment Table - 3025"
- 20 Year Update, p. 21: "AFFC Deployment Table - 3050"
- Combat Manual: Mercenaries p.46