- Your BattleTech News Roundup For August, 2021
- Sarna Interviews Ray Arrastia, BattleTech Line Developer At Catalyst Games
- Community Outreach - Converting HBS’s BATTLETECH Campaign To Tabletop With Riley Centrella
- Your BattleTech News Roundup For July, 2021
- Your BattleTech News Roundup For June, 2021
- Read more →
The Kokuryu-Kai, also known as the Black Dragon Society, was a hardline traditionalist group opposed to Coordinator Theodore Kurita's reforms of the Draconis Combine. Their intent was to overthrow the government of Theodore Kurita and return the Combine back to the traditional ways that existed prior to the 3030s and Theodore's rise to power. The Black Dragons reached the height of their power during the late 3060s and early 3070s, plunging the Combine into a civil war before their eventual downfall. Crushed both on the battlefield and in the purges that followed, the Black Dragon Society survived and continued to influence Combine affairs into the next century.
- 1 History
- 2 Known Members
- 3 Known Compromised Military Units
- 4 Notes
- 5 Reference
- 6 Bibliography
The Black Dragon Society appears to have existed in one fashion or another since the time of the Von Rohrs dynasty in the 25th century. How it originally formed or survived in secrecy down the centuries is unknown; only in the mid-31st century did the Society's existence and activities become public knowledge.
Following the capture of Hohiro Kurita on Turtle Bay, a group of Black Dragon members attempted to use Franklin Sakamoto, then part of the First Somerset Strikers, to overthrow the royal family. The resulting three-way conflict between the Black Dragon cell, ISF, and Strikers ended when Sakamoto renounced his claim to the throne.
3058 - 3062
The Kokuryu-Kai made several attacks against Theodore Kurita's authority during the 3050s, and even staged an assassination attempt on his birthday in 3058. Prior to Operation BULLDOG in 3059, three Kokuryu-Kai assassins also attacked Omiko Kurita and Victor Steiner-Davion, wounding the latter before they were all slain. The Black Dragons continued to gain influence and support throughout the Combine as conservative citizens reacted with hostility to Theodore Kurita's policies, particularly his alliance with the Federated Commonwealth and the creation of the Irece Prefecture for Clan Nova Cat.
FedCom Civil War
Black Dragon attacks on most worlds were usually made by gaining control of local militia forces and small mercenary units that fell outside the Mercenary Review and Bonding Commission. They were not above capitalizing on the confusion of the Jihad however, with Kokuryu-kai agents employing weapons of mass destruction on Philadelphia, Xinyang, and Luthien. The Society then tried to blame the Word of Blake for these atrocities.
The Black Dragon Society tended to focus attacks and infiltration efforts on the industrial arm of the Combine, meeting with particular success when infiltrating Luthien Armor Works; by the time the Jihad began the Kokuryu-kai were firmly entrenched in the heart of LAW, and this combined with the damage inflicted by the Word of Blake on the company left some of the largest facilities belonging to the Combine's premiere arms manufacturer in ruins. Such was the level of Black Dragon infiltration into LAW that the Combine had to actively divert resources destined for the company into a range of other manufacturers - including new start-ups - because LAW simply couldn't be trusted, and while other manufacturers benefited from this increase in supply, the active distrust with which LAW was treated made it unlikely that it would receive any substantial degree of funding or support in rebuilding.
Conversely, the Black Dragon Society made little effort to infiltrate the established training academies within Combine space. Despite this, the ISF actively increased the screening of recruits into training facilities, and by the end of the Jihad the checks and investigations that students seeking entry to certain academies such as the Pagoda for Luthien Officers closely resembled the interrogations ISF personnel subjected captured Blakists to.
On the 27th of January 3073 the Combine government executed a fresh purge against the Black Dragon Society, capturing a number of officials including some as highly placed as the Abbess of the Order of the Five Pillars.
The chaos of the Jihad also worked against the Black Dragons. With HPG communications interrupted the only way they could coordinate their efforts was through face-to-face meetings and via courier. These methods were slow and prone to error. As a result the ISF and O5P were able to infiltrate the organization and capture much of the Society's high-level leadership. This Misogi War, as the purification effort was known, took security teams from both agencies to nearly every world of the Draconis Combine. Even with these efforts the Black Dragon Society was only defeated, not destroyed outright.
Battle of Luthien
On 21 December 3067, Second Sword of Light forces sworn to the Society invaded Luthien in an attempt to seize the capital, capturing the Voice of the Dragon compound in the final week of the month. They had taken control of the planet by 30 December. On the morning of 01 January, 3068, the Sword and its mercenary allies, Sathen's Snipers routed the loyalist Sword members and the Otomo and Izanagi Warriors defending the Imperial Palace, capturing Franklin Sakamoto (who had since returned to the Combine) and killing Griffon Meshune in the process. 
On 28 November 3073, the Blakist 32nd Division pushed against Kokuryu-kai forces located in the vicinity of the Takashi Memorial Spaceport's customs annex, securing at least one ingress to the underground complex. By destroying the main headquarters compound located there, they forced the 40th Dieron Regulars and 2nd Sword of Light out into the local neighborhoods. The 32nd lost a Command Level II and an Overlord class DropShip to a booby-trap.
On March 14th 3074, the Word of Blake ROM had leaked information regarding the presence of Buda Weapons Chief Researcher Hideoshi Yamika and his prototype Large X-Pulse Laser to the Kokuryu-kai as a means of wearing down Loyalist defenders in Skytower City. The resulting battle ended with Yamika and his prototypes being hustled aboard a Blakist DropShip.
In December 3074, during the Clan Ghost Bear assault against the Blakist presence on Luthien, the Black Dragon-controlled 6th Benjamin and 40th Dieron Regulars combined their resources to attack the clan's Omega Galaxy. Though frustrated by not engaging the Word of Blake Militia, the Clan warriors devastated both regiments.
On the 24th of July 3072 the DCA Kirishima-class Warship the Urizen II, which had been co-opted by the Black Dragon Society, was destroyed in the Avon system by the Clan Nova Cat WarShip Severen Leroux.
Forces from the Kokuryu-kai tried to raid the Federated Suns border world of Bryceland for supplies on the 4th of June 3075. The raid was unsuccessful, as the commander of the AFFS forces on Bryceland ordered that the demolition charges in the underground bunkers storing the supplies be detonated, rather than allowing the Black Dragon forces to seize them.
Pesht Military District
The Black Dragon Society met with some success acting in the Pesht Military District of the Draconis Combine; in November 3077 a large cell seized oil fields and refineries on Qandahar, claiming to have defeated the local ISF forces in the process. The Black Dragon Society action on Qandahar also damaged the the important industrial city of Mistiq on the Cordell continent, damaging the Dow-Nexus Fusion Products plant there, which was still attempting to complete repairs to the damage inflicted on the plant when Blakist attackers breached the city dome in 3071.
This was followed on the 19th of December by the government on Slaithwaite publicly declaring in favor of the Kokoryu-kai, while other large Society cells rose up across the Qandahar Prefecture on the worlds of Ad Duwayd, Kamarod, Korramabad, Nowhere and Pusht-i-rud. The cell on Korramabad called for the deportation of the local Azami minority population, and despite an ISF covert operation in late December that decapitated the cell's leadership, on the 31st of December the cell executed more than 450,000 Azami.
Both the Combine and the Azami Brotherhood reacted swiftly to news of the massacre on Korramabad; the DCMS dispatched the 2nd An Ting Legion to restore Combine control over the world, while the Brotherhood dispatched the 1st Arkab Legion. The 2nd An Ting arrived first and Combine authority over Korramabad by late March, after a month of martial law implemented due to another wave of assassinations on the world. The 1st Arkab Legion arrived just two days after order was restored; the two units combined forces with the 10th Pesht Regulars to plan and mount an operation against the world of Slaithwaite, which began on the 30th of March 3078 and was complete by the 15th of April. During the Slaithwaite operation almost 300 Black Dragon Society leaders and sympathizers were executed.
Even as Combine and Azami forces assaulted Slaithwaite, the Black Dragon Society lost control of Qandahar to the Combine when a covert operation eliminated the key leaders of the Society present on the world on the 9th of April.
Dark Age Era
Despite the best efforts of the ISF and O5P, the Black Dragon Society remained active into the thirty-second century. They were known to be active on Awano, and the Ryuken-go was used to ferret them out. The DCMS purge of Black Dragon sympathizers resulted in the dissolution of two New Samarkand Regulars units.  During the Second Combine-Dominion War the Black Dragons also exacerbated tensions between the Combine and Clan Nova Cat; Ultimately these tensions would lead to the Cat's destruction.
The Hidden War
In 3089, the Society triggered a hidden war between the Combine and the Republic of the Sphere by attacking former Combine held worlds that had joined the Republic of the Sphere. The conflict, simply known as the "Hidden War", was designed by The Black Dragons to destabilize the leadership of Luthien. The fighting continued until 3093, when RAF and DCMS forces joined forces once they realized who was behind the conflict. The joint effort resulted in an assault led by Kitsune Kurita upon the Society's stronghold on Shimonita. During the Al Na'ir campaign , Kitsune's performance in the conflict would inspire an offer of Knighthood from the Republic. It was Kitsune's acceptance of the award which would be the death-blow to the Society's plans. His condition of accepting Knighthood was that his "real" father, Victor Steiner-Davion would be the one to knight him. The Society had planned for Kitsune Kurita to act as a replacement for Coordinator Hohiro Kurita; the realization that they had in fact been backing a half-Davion scion caused many of its membership to commit seppuku. Although demoralized, enough Society members decided they could live with the shame and fight on.
- Hoek Botterfield, CEO of Luthien Armor Works ("Opal")
- Regis Ferward, Minister of Communications ("Pearl") (captured and interrogated in late 3072)
- Qan Hagatomi, Sipher Communications ("Diamond") (captured and interrogated in late 3072)
- Oda Hideyoshi
- Hohira Kiguri (rumored), commander of the DEST teams 
- Hajii Mara
- Kiyomori Minamoto (suspected) 
- Erik Nekatagu, Mangon Aeronautical Shipping ("Obsidian")
- Paul Omishita, DCMS Tai-sho ("Onyx")
- Matsuoka Renya (rumored)
- Hassid Ricol ("Ruby") (died of natural causes c. 3072)
- Li Sak To, CO of the 2nd Sword of Light ("Emerald")
- Tomade Yamiro, Abbess of the O5P ("Tiger's Eye") (captured and executed in January 3073)
Known Compromised Military Units
- Alshain Avengers Brigade (4 Regiments)
- 6th Benjamin Regulars
- 15th Dieron Regulars
- 40th Dieron Regulars
- 2nd Sword of Light
- 1st Proserpina Hussars
- 3rd Proserpina Hussars
- Kyushu-class DCS Galedon Explorer 
- Inazuma-class DCS Winds of Heaven 
- Kirishima-class DCS Urizen II 
- Essex-class DCA Sabre Cat 
- The Black Dragon ruling council used code-names that were similar to Council of Gem code-names. A similar system was also used by the Rasalhague resistance movement that attempted to assassinate Takashi Kurita in 3019. Hassid Ricol was part of that conspiracy, and also went by the name "Ruby". It may be possible it was his idea to adopt those names for the Black Dragons.
- The Black Dragon Society is likely related to the real Black Dragon Soceity.
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents, p.43
- 1st Somerset Strikers (sourcebook), p.41
- The attempt on Theodore Kurita's life is detailed in Black Dragon.
- Shattered Sphere, p.57
- Shattered Sphere, p.57-58
- Path of Glory, p. 245
- FedCom Civil War (sourcebook), p. 135
- Field Report: DCMS, p. 19
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 3, "Industrial Update"
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 3, "Strategic Update"
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 12, "Pagoda for Luthien Officers"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 51, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 26, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Field Report: DCMS, p. 20
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 11, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Blake Ascending, p. 171, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 8, "Traitor's Kiss"
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 10, "Tunnel Rats"
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, pp. 10-11, "Light Machine"
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien, p. 7, "Omega Galaxy [Clan Ghost Bear]"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076, p. 23, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, p. 17, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 54, "The Jihad In Review"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 58, "The Jihad in Review"
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 13, "Dow-Nexus Fusion Products"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 59, "The Jihad in Review"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 47
- Era Report: 3145, p. 48
- Era Report: 3145, pp. 90, 124
- Historical: Wars of the Republic Era, p. 18 The Powder Room - A small conflict that was triggered by Black Dragon Society members.
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072, p. 77, "Passing the Gem"
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 90, "Foreign Relations"
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade, p. 98
- Hearts of Chaos, p.??, "Black Dragon Society influenced Regiment attacks FedCom world of Towne".
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien - 2nd Sword loyalties sworn to Black Dragons, with few loyal to government of Combine.
- Objectives: Draconis Combine, p. 22
- Field Report: DCMS, p. 5
- Heir to the Dragon
- 1st Somerset Strikers (sourcebook)
- Black Dragon (novel)
- Blake Ascending
- Era Report: 3145
- FedCom Civil War (sourcebook)
- Field Report: DCMS
- Hearts of Chaos (novel)
- Heir to the Dragon (novel)
- Jihad: Final Reckoning
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3076
- Jihad Hot Spots: Terra
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Jihad Turning Points: Luthien
- Objectives: Draconis Combine
- Path of Glory (novel)
- Shattered Sphere
- Technical Readout: 3050 Upgrade