Lucian Carns

Lucian Carns
Lucian Carns
Died23 April 3060[2]
AffiliationClan Nova Cat
ProfessionsaKhan of Clan Nova Cat

Lucian Carns was saKhan of Clan Nova Cat during the Clan Invasion era.


Early Life and Career[edit]

Lucian was born on Babylon[3] in the Clan Homeworlds in the year 2978.[1] Testing out at the top of his sibko with three kills during his Trial of Position, Lucian was assigned to the 25th Garrison Cluster as a Star Captain.[4][5]

Early in his career, Lucian participated in the defense of the Trial of Possession against Clan Steel Viper, who were challenging for the codex of Star Colonel Kerry Ward. Carns used a brilliant flanking tactic, concealing his 'Mechs in the forests and cutting the Vipers off from their line of retreat. When he forced the Steel Vipers to surrender, the victory gave him the recognition to spark his future career.[6]

In 3027, Lucian won the Bloodname of Carns.[7]

saKhan of Clan Nova Cat[edit]

In 3046, Carns was elected saKhan of Clan Nova Cat.[8] As saKhan, Carns took overall command of the Nova Cats' Alpha Galaxy,[9][10] and personal command of the Vision Keshik.[10][11] He reportedly had a strong rapport with Khan Severen Leroux.

Operation Revival[edit]

In 3048, the appearance of the Outbound Light, a ComStar Explorer Corps JumpShip, in the Clan Homeworlds sparked a new call for an invasion of the Inner Sphere.[12] Carns attended the session of the Grand Kurultai on Strana Mechty on 13 December, 3048, where Leo Showers was named ilKhan and the Clan Invasion was planned.[13] Engaging in the combat Trials to determine a place in the Clan Invasion, the Nova Cats disappointingly finished just out consideration, behind even Clan Steel Viper's reserve role as the "fifth Clan". Engaging in a Trial of Refusal, the Nova Cats successfully positioned themselves into a reserve role.[14] The Khans approached Nova Cat Oathmaster Biccon Winters for council with this outcome. Winters cautioned against this call, citing disaster foreseen in a vision. The Nova Cats fell within the Crusader faction at the time, however, and Carns and Leroux would not be denied, accepting the portion of the vision that supported their plans while ignoring the warning.[12][15][16] Both Nova Cat Khans and the Oathmaster accompanied the invading Clans along with their Nova Cat Keshik, aboard their WarShip True Vision.[14] They saw minor action during the campaign in the Periphery, and were chosen to serve as an escort to the Precentor Martial of ComStar, Anastasius Focht. When Oathmaster Winters saw the Precentor Martial, she interpreted from his white robes that he would be the cause of the Clans' destruction, and had to be restrained. When the Khans had Winters restrained, she challenged Carns to a Trial of Refusal. Carns was victorious, demonstrating his superior skill despite his advanced age.[17][18][19]

Like most Clan warriors, Carns was shocked at the apparent dishonor (by Clan standards) of Inner Sphere warriors. He quickly adapted, however, adjusting his stratagems and tactics.[20] Carns and Leroux learned a great deal from the opening phases of the invasion, observing the superior planning of Clan Wolf over the other invading Clans. In October 3050, they witnessed the death of ilKhan Leo Showers at the hands of Tyra Miraborg. They saw this event as the fulfillment of the Oathmaster's vision, and believed they were now safe to press on in the invasion.[21]

Back in the Clan Homeworlds, the Grand Council of Khans convened to elect a new ilKhan. Leroux and Carns both supported the election of Ulric Kerensky, not to force him out as Khan of the Wolves (as other Crusader Khans wished), but because of what they had seen of Kerensky in action firsthand, and recognized his strategic and tactical genius. Kerensky was elected and did call up the Nova Cats to join in the invasion, but then assigned them to share an invasion corridor with Clan Smoke Jaguar, with whom the Nova Cats had a long-standing rivalry.[22]

The Nova Cats were assigned several worlds previously captured by the Smoke Jaguars, and Carns personally attended the surrender of the world of Sawyer in November 3051.[23]


The new ilKhan approved a plan for both Clans Nova Cat and Smoke Jaguar to jointly strike at the Draconis Combine's capital of Luthien in January 3052. Smoke Jaguar Khan Lincoln Osis was granted overall command of the operation, despite the protests of the Nova Cat Khans. After a very tense meeting, a plan was finally approved that gave both Clans a reasonable autonomy.[24] The Battle of Luthien proved to be one of the largest and hardest-fought battles of the invasion. In addition to several of the best regiments the Combine could assemble, Luthien was defended by five regiments of Wolf's Dragoons and two regiments of Kell Hounds, the best mercenaries in the Inner Sphere. During the vicious battle, Khan Carns attempted to exploit an opening in the enemy's position when he ordered elements of Delta Galaxy to break with Osis' plan, driving directly into the city. One Trinary reached the city and inflicted some damage before they were driven off. The rest of Delta and Alpha Galaxies met elements of the Dragoons and Kell Hounds in the Kado-guchi Valley. Although some of the Cats broke through the mercenary lines, they found themselves running straight into the Izanagi Warriors, veteran Combine warriors commanded by Takashi Kurita himself. Trapped between the "Dragon's Claws" and the Kell Hounds, those Nova Cats were destroyed. With 60 percent of his original invasion force out of action, Khan Leroux ordered the retreat back to Avon.[25] It was later speculated by credible analysis that had the Clans implemented Carns' strategy, they might have taken the planet.[26]

The Cat lunges forward[edit]

In the aftermath of the loss, Leroux tasked Carns with rebuilding the Nova Cat units that had fought on Luthien while Beta Galaxy pushed ahead with the invasion. By absorbing the remnants of the disbanded Delta Galaxy, Carns was able to bring Alpha Galaxy back in line relatively quickly. His follow-up actions would bode well. He sent the 449th and 489th Assault Clusters to Teniente, where they not only took control of the planet, but they nearly captured Hohiro Kurita.[27]

Carns himself commanded on Kanowit in March, where he led much of Alpha Galaxy against the Eleventh Alshain Regulars and Twenty-Fourth Galedon Regulars. Dividing his forces in two so he could hit both defending forces at once, this strategy proved to be one of his few mistakes, as Carns and the First Nova Cat Guards were unable to directly assail the Eleventh Regulars from the plains they landed on. Meanwhile, the Galedon Regulars used the natural tunnel formation known as Theodore's Retreat to inflict serious damage on the 449th and 489th Assault Clusters. The 449th ultimately planted explosive charges in the tunnel and withdrew, collapsing the tunnels and destroying more than half of the Twenty-Fourth Regulars in the burial. Carns, meanwhile, adapted to the situation, recalling his DropShips to drop behind the Alshain Regulars. The inexperienced Kuritan unit broke and retreated in disarray. The surviving defenders ultimately retreated off-planet, though Carns himself considered it a pyrrhic victory.[28]


The Nova Cats won the right to land third for the Battle of Tukayyid after bidding Alpha, Beta and the previously held-in-reserve Gamma Galaxies. Facing the bulk of the Com Guard Seventh and Twelfth Armies for the cities of Joje and Tost, the Nova Cats experienced early troubles during their hover-drop when aerospace fighters of the 417th Division won air superiority and strafed the Cats' landing zone. A kamikaze attack by a Hammerhead on Alpha Galaxy's command DropShip resulted in the destruction of six Stars each of OmniMechs and Elementals. Carns questioned Alpha's ability to continue on in the campaign, but Leroux ordered the Cats to press on towards Joje. After three days of fighting, the Nova Cats had inflicted serious damage, but were critically low on ammunition. In one of his most brilliant maneuvers, Carns ordered the heavily damaged Gamma Galaxy to withdraw to their drop zone while advertising the move for the benefit of the Com Guards. When two divisions met at Lake Losiije to pursue, they were ambushed by Beta Galaxy, attacking from beneath the water. Both divisions were routed, and the Nova Cats captured a large quantity of supplies. Just when this success appeared to have turned the campaign in favor of the Cats, a massive predawn counterattack by the Ninth, 116th and 417th Divisions drove them back, recapturing the supplies and inflicting major losses. With Alpha Galaxy routed and with all units taking heavy damage, Leroux ordered a retreat. Gamma Galaxy attempted to cover the withdrawal, with all but a Trinary falling before the pursuing Com Guards. The Nova Cats had inflicted more damage on the defenders than any other Clan, but had themselves been all but shattered.[29]


Carns and Leroux began rebuilding their touman, even while secret negotiations slowly began with House Kurita. Carns was known to favor the elite First Nova Cat Guards, whom he had fought beside on Kanowit. The saKhan employed the elite Cluster to train other Nova Cat units in Inner Sphere tactics. Though capable, the Guards found this duty offensive, considering their frontline status.[30][31]

In a Grand Council meeting on 2 January 3058, Carns and Leroux voted in favor of Elias Crichell of Clan Jade Falcon to the office of ilKhan.[32] Crichell won the election, but his victory was short-lived as Vlad Ward of the Wolves challenged Crichell and killed him in hand-to-hand combat.

A few months later back in the Clan Homeworlds, Carns successfully reaffirmed his place as a warrior when all the Khans were called upon to take part in Trials of Position, to confirm their fitness to lead. Carns' own victory, like Leroux's, was stunning enough to impress even his enemies.[33]

During the meeting of the Grand Council on Strana Mechty in November 3058, Carns voted in favor of Lincoln Osis, Khan of the Smoke Jaguars, as the next ilKhan of the Clans.[34] Osis easily won the election, and preparations for a renewed invasion began.

On 9 December, 3058, Carns attended a ceremony on Wayside V in the aftermath of the destruction of the Smoke Jaguars' Tau Galaxy at the hands of Star Colonel Santin West, two Clusters from Sigma Galaxy and Stirling's Fusiliers of the Northwind Highlanders. Carns proposed retaking Wildcat Station from the Inner Sphere forces, but Leroux declined, satisfied that the mercenary action had been solely against the Jaguars.[35]

The Second Star League[edit]

In 3058, the Successor States formed the Second Star League, a collective alliance against the Clans. Minoru Kurita, the son of Coordinator Theodore Kurita, who had been sent to serve as an emissary with the Nova Cats, persuaded Leroux and Carns to ally with the new Star League against the other Clans. Based on another vision of Winters', the Nova Cat Khans were eventually inclined to agree.[36]

Carns attended the meeting of the Grand Council on 1 July, 3059. There, ilKhan Osis accused the Nova Cats of aiding the Inner Sphere offensive. Severen Leroux effectively rebuked the ilKhan, pointing out the Nova Cat troops attacking the Smoke Jaguars had been taken as isorla by the Star League Defense Force.[37]

On 13 March, 3060, Carns was again in attendance when Osis called on the other Clans for aid against the invasion of Huntress by Task Force Serpent.[38]

Grand Refusal and Death[edit]

On 10 April, Carns was present at the Hall of Khans when a wounded Osis returned in defeat. Once again, Osis requested aid and levelled accusations at the Nova Cats, and once again he was rebuffed.[39] He further attended the Council meeting where the terms of the Great Refusal challenge were agreed to.[40] On 19 April, Carns and Leroux approached the SLDF Expeditionary Force Headquarters and petitioned Prince Victor Steiner-Davion to fight Clan Ice Hellion in the Great Refusal on the Star League's behalf. Victor ultimately agreed to their claim.[41][42][43] So it came to pass that Carns and Leroux led the Nova Cats against the Ice Hellions. The two Khans, ancient warriors by Clan standards, took the bulk of the fighting on themselves, and both were ultimately killed leading the Nova Cats to a resounding victory.[44][45][46][47]

Leroux and Lucian Carns were honored and revered by the Nova Cats in the aftermath of their deaths, and their continued alliance with the new Star League and Draconis Combine. Sacred ceremonies in their honor would take place in the Nova Cats' new enclave in the Combine's Irece Prefecture.[44][48]

Personality and Traits[edit]

Carns was considered an extraordinarily flexible commander, adapting his tactics to the opponent and situation rather than taking the dogmatic approach of other Clan leaders. In battle against the Inner Sphere, he often ordered his troops to abandon zellbrigen entirely to response to the actions of their foes. He had an excellent working relationship with Khan Severen Leroux, his tactical brilliance executing Leroux's vision. Unlike Leroux and other Nova Cats, he did not, apparently, rely on any visions or prophecies of his own, and instead was willing to follow others in that vein.[49] According to Oathmaster Winters herself, despite her personal disagreements with her Khans, Carns was described as a perennial Nova Cat warrior, worthy of holding his position.[16] In addition, Carns possessed an incredible sixth sense, and was ambidextrous besides.[50] He was also known to carry a Vibroblade and a Blazer Pistol in the field.[50]


"It is his burden to see too much, and mine to see too little. What I do see is this: the Nova Cats pledge themselves to the Star League, We will devote a Binary to this fight, then the rest will be for you to command, Victor. When you use them, use them wisely."
  — saKhan Lucian Carns, to Victor Steiner-Davion before his death[41]

Portrait Gallery[edit]


Up to the Battle of Luthien at least, Carns piloted a Gargoyle OmniMech.[51]

At the time of his death in 3060, Carns was piloting a Shadow Cat Prime.[52]


  • Carns' origins are somewhat in dispute. In none of the various publications is it stated or implied that he was born to a Clan other than the Nova Cats. However, it has been firmly established in multiple sources that the Bloodname "Carns" is native to Clan Wolf. As of this writing, the developers have indicated that Carns should be assumed to have been taken as a bondsman from the Wolves before eventually rising to the rank of saKhan of the Nova Cats.[53] While there is no other explicit evidence that Carns originated with Clan Wolf, his personal abilities and flexible tactical doctrine seem to reflect qualities espoused by the Wolf Clan at the time. In addition, the Luthien clearly states he was fighting to defend a Trial of Possession for the codex of Star Colonel Kerry Ward.[6] Ward is also a Clan Wolf-specific Bloodname.
  • Carns' first name is erroneously listed as Lucien in several novels, including Grave Covenant,[37]Shadows of War[38] and Prince of Havoc.[39][41][44] More reliable and recent reference works consistently name him as Lucian Carns.
  • The Luthien states that Lucian Carns was 50 years old at the time of the Battle of Luthien,[54] which would have placed his birth year at approximately 3001. This information is contradicted by more recent material.[1]
  • Likewise, the Invading Clans sourcebook states that Leroux and Carns were already serving as Khans of the Nova Cats in 3000 when the Dragoon Compromise was proposed, with both Khans supporting the proposal in light of their desire to delay their return until a Nova Cat was elected ilKhan.[55] Although both Khans were of advanced age at the time of their deaths, based on sources from multiple other publications they could not have been in office at that point.

Game Notes[edit]

Under the A Time of War rules, Carns was an Elite MechWarrior with skill modifiers of +7 in Leadership and Tactics/Ground. He also possessed the Combat Intuition special ability and, while Carns is active, his command Star may use the Off-Map Movement special command ability. Finally, Carns' forces may adapt to his opponents' tactics, and may entirely disregard zellbrigen when fighting Inner Sphere troops.[56]

Under the MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game, Second Edition rules, Carns was a formidable warrior at the time of the Battle of Luthien, with 'Mech Piloting and Gunnery skill levels of 5, and scores of 4 in Strategy, Tactics and Interrogation. Carns also had an Edge rating of 4 with the Extra Edge advantage (one point). His Sixth Sense and Ambidextrous qualities were also considered advantages.[50]

Under the BattleTech board game rules, Carns possessed Piloting and Gunnery scores of 2 at the time of his death.[52]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", Lucian Carns was born in 2978
  2. Twilight of the Clans, p. 38: "Situation", date of the Great Refusal and Carns' death
  3. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns was born on Babylon
  4. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns earns the rank of Star Captain
  5. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns was assigned to the 25th Garrison Cluster
  6. 6.0 6.1 Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns defeats a Steel Viper Trial of Possession
  7. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns wins his Bloodname in 3027
  8. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns ascends to the post of saKhan
  9. Invading Clans, p. 122: "Front-Line Unit Summary": "Alpha Galaxy (Victory Over Delusion)", Carns commands Alpha Galaxy
  10. 10.0 10.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 110: "Khan", the saKhan previously commanded Alpha Galaxy, as well as Alpha Galaxy's Keshik
  11. Invading Clans, p. 122: "Front-Line Unit Summary": "Galaxy Command Supernova (The Vision Keshik)", Carns commands the Vision Keshik
  12. 12.0 12.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108: "Operation Revival", the arrival of the Outbound Light and Winters' protests
  13. Operational Turning Points: REVIVAL Trials, p. 2: "A Call for Unity", Carns is named as an attendee at the Grand Kurultai in December 3048
  14. 14.0 14.1 Invading Clans, p. 109: "Operation Revival", Nova Cats win a place as a supporting Clan
  15. Invading Clans, p. 109: "Operation Revival", Nova Cat Khans seek Winters' counsel
  16. 16.0 16.1 Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108: "Operation Revival", Winters describes Leroux and Carns, their refusal to heed her warnings
  17. Invading Clans, pp. 109–110: "Invasion", Winters assaults Focht
  18. Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", Lucian Carns' confrontation with Biccon Winters
  19. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108: "Operation Revival", Carns defeats Winters in a Trial of Grievance
  20. Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", Lucian Carns adjusts to the Inner Sphere
  21. Invading Clans, p. 109: "A Learning Experience", Nova Cat Khans learn from watching the other Clans and witness death of ilKhan Leo Showers
  22. Invading Clans, p. 111: "Year of Peace and Preparation", the Nova Cats are activated and assigned
  23. Invading Clans, p. 118: "Occupation Zone (As of June 3052)": "Sawyer", Carns attends Sawyer's turnover
  24. Invading Clans, pp. 114–115: "Irece", the Battle of Luthien is planned
  25. Invading Clans, p. 115: "Luthien", the Nova Cats on Luthien
  26. Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", speculation Carns' plan could have succeeded
  27. Invading Clans, pp. 115–116: "The Cat Leaps Ahead", Carns' forces attack Teniente
  28. Invading Clans, p. 116: "The Cat Leaps Ahead", Carns leads Alpha Galaxy to victory on Kanowit
  29. Invading Clans, pp. 116–117: "Battle of Tukayyid", the Nova Cats on Tukayyid
  30. Era Report: 3062, p. 66: "First Nova Cat Guards", Carns has the First Guards train the rest of the Nova Cats' touman
  31. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 116: "Alpha Galaxy: Victory over Delusion": "1st Nova Cat Guards (Hand of Fate)", Carns orders the First Guards to train other units in Inner Sphere tactics
  32. Malicious Intent, p. 73: Carns and Leroux vote in Crichell's favor
  33. Grave Covenant, p. 123: Both Nova Cat Khans win impressive victories
  34. Grave Covenant, p. 162: both Nova Cat Khans vote for Lincoln Osis
  35. Impetus of War, pp. ??: Carns appears in the aftermath of the fighting on Wayside V[citation needed]
  36. Shattered Sphere, p. 92: "Clan Nova Cat", Minoru convinces Carns and Leroux to side with the Star League
  37. 37.0 37.1 Grave Covenant, pp. 279–280: Carns attends the Grand Council meeting where the Nova Cats defend themselves against Osis' accusations
  38. 38.0 38.1 Shadows of War, pp. 11–21: the other Khans vote against Osis call for help, the spelling of Carns' name
  39. 39.0 39.1 Prince of Havoc, pp. 34–35: Carns sits beside Leroux as the oppose ilKhan Osis on 10 April 3060
  40. Prince of Havoc, pp. 46–53: Carns attends Council session where the terms for the Great Refusal are agreed to
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Prince of Havoc, pp. 58–63: Carns and Leroux petition to fight for the Star League in the Great Refusal, quotation
  42. Shattered Sphere, p. 16: "On to Strana Mechty", the Nova Cats fight on behalf of the Star League
  43. Shattered Sphere, p. 93: "The Great Refusal", Carns and Leroux go to the SLDF Field Headquarters and ask to fight Clan Ice Hellion
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 Prince of Havoc, p. 136: Carns is killed fighting in the Great Refusal
  45. Era Report: 3062, p. 100: "Severen Leroux", Carns and Leroux die in the Great Refusal while fighting for the Star League
  46. Shattered Sphere, p. 93: "The Great Refusal", Carns and Leroux are killed in the victory over Clan Ice Hellion
  47. Field Manual: ComStar, p. 108: "Future Paths", Carns and Leroux are killed fighting the Ice Hellions
  48. Path of Glory, pp. 203–204: Leroux and Lucian Carns named and honored during the Ritual of Battle on Yamarovka
  49. Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", Lucian Carns' personality and traits
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns: MechWarrior Data", Carns' MechWarrior statistics
  51. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns pilots a Man O' War
  52. 52.0 52.1 Twilight of the Clans, p. 38: "Attacker", Carns' 'Mech and BattleTech statistics
  53. Lucian Carns' origins
  54. Luthien, p. 22: "Lucian Carns", Carns' age is listed at 50
  55. Invading Clans, p. 108: "The Golden Century: Political Maneuvering", Leroux and Carns vote to postpone the invasion
  56. Era Report: 3052, p. 94: "Lucian Carns", Lucian Carns' "A Time of War" rules