Kerlin Ward (born 29?? - died 30??) was the Khan of Clan Wolf during the later years of the Political Century. He would stall the looming invasion of the Inner Sphere by successfully proposing the Dragoon Compromise.
War on the Horizon
As the Political Century wore on, the debate between the Crusader Clans and Warden Clans would heat up dramatically. After many years of keeping the issue at the level of debate, Khan Nadia Winson of Clan Ghost Bear finally forced the issue in the Grand Council. The Wolves were officially non-committal, though when pressed, they sided with the Warden point of view. While the Wardens initially held the numerical advantage in the Grand Council, that gap was dissipating as the years passed by. It was soon obvious that invasion and war were inevitable. It was only a matter of when the crusade would finally begin.
In 3000, Khan Ward would cite the Clans' lack of reliable intelligence as a primary reason to not rush into an attack. As a compromise, he suggested that the Clans send a large force to covertly scout the military dispositions of each of the Great Houses. Posing as a mercenary unit, the force would work for each house, determining their various strengths and weaknesses, reporting their findings back to the Clans. This proposal passed the Grand Council, and Nadia Winson, as chairperson of the Grand Council charged Kerlin Ward with assembling the unit. Clan Goliath Scorpion's saKhan Ren Posavatz offered a batchall to assist in training the unit in Star League-era tactics and strategies, offering up the services of the Scorpion's elite Heartvenom Cluster to test against the unit. Assembled from volunteers and headed by freeborn brothers Jaime and Joshua Wolf, the scouting unit was mostly comprised of other freeborn warriors, though several trueborn warriors also offered their service to the unit. Training would last for two years, after which the unit - christened the Wolf's Dragoons - were approved to depart Clanspace for the Inner Sphere in 3004 to begin their long mission, entering Federated Suns space on 11th April, 3005.
Later in 3012, Khan Ward would approve a Trial of Possession for Star Colonel Vlad Dinour, the commander of the Heartvenom Cluster, in order to permanently add his knowledge of mixed Trinaries and tactics to their already strong Touman.
The New Orders
The Dragoons made their way through the Inner Sphere on a circuit that saw them enter service to each Great House for five years at each stop. During what they termed "supply runs", the unit would report its findings back to the Clan Homeworlds, as well as renew their supplies of Star League 'Mechs and other equipment. After the Marik Civil War and the death of Joshua Wolf, the unit undertook what became the last of these runs to the Clan Homeworlds in 3019. Khan Ward would swear his unit to an oath to only follow his orders and those of no other Khan. He also ordered them to cease reporting back to the Clans. Instead, he had them surreptitiously prepare the Spheroids for the eventual Crusader onslaught which he considered a distinct, yet still distant possibility, orders that the Dragoons would proceed to carry out as instructed, even after the eventual invasion became a reality.
In time, the defection of the Wolf's Dragoons would become obvious to the rest of the Clans, with only Natasha Kerensky returning upon the recall order issued by ilKhan Leo Showers during Operation Revival. The Wolf's Dragoons would turn from hidden preparations to active overt involvement during the year of peace, after the death of Leo Showers, and subsequent election of Ulric Kerensky (Kerlin Ward's direct successor as Khan of the Wolves) to the post of ilKhan.
Titles and Positions
|Khan of Clan Wolf
3000 - 3029
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 136, "The Call to Invade"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 106, "Seeking the Past"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, pp. 24-25, "Dragoon Compromise"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 104, "Star Colonel Charles Dinour"
- Blood Legacy, Chapter 7
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17, "The Compromise"
- Blood Legacy, Chapter 1
- Era Report: 3052, p. 82, "Ulric Kerensky, Profile"