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Nicholas Kerensky

This article is about the ilKhan. For the Texas-class WarShip, see Nicholas Kerensky (Texas).
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Nicholas Kerensky
Character Profile
Born 4 May 2764[1]
Died 7 October 2834[2]
Affiliation Clan Wolf
Profession Founder of the Clans
First ilKhan
Parents Aleksandr Kerensky (father)
Katyusha Lumilova (mother)
Siblings Andery Kerensky
Spouse Jennifer Winson

Nicholas Kerensky was the founder of the Clans and their first ilKhan. He was the elder son and designated heir of the legendary Aleksandr Kerensky, Commanding General of the SLDF.

Known and idolized as the "Great Father" of the Clans, Nicholas Kerensky is a revered, almost saintly figure in Clan history—much of which was forged, falsified, and warped by Nicholas Kerensky himself. In actual truth, he was a sociopath with a troubled childhood that had apparently left him emotionally scarred and with severe psychological issues; he may also have had a genetic disposition since his mother, too, had suffered from psychological issues.[citation needed]

Using deceit and propaganda as means of manipulation and positively embracing harsh dictatorial rule, he would stop at nothing to create what he felt was a perfect utopian society: The Clans.

History[edit]

Family[edit]

Nicholas' father was the revered General Aleksandr Kerensky, who passed away in 2801. His mother was Katyusha Kerensky. Nicholas had a younger brother, Andery Kerensky, who was later killed on Eden during Operation KLONDIKE in 2821 under unclear circumstances; some contemporaries felt Nicholas may have had a hand in his brother's death, either by recklessly putting him in danger or through outright plotting to kill him.

Nicholas married Jennifer Winson, ironically at a point where he already actively worked to purge family bonds from his Clan society.

Due to his genetic legacy, Nicholas Kerensky has numerous descendants among Clan Wolf and Clan Wolf-in-Exile. His Bloodname has never been Reaved. The Kerensky name and descendants from the Great Father are shared with a second Bloodname derived from his brother Andery. Nicholas' most famous descendants are Natasha Kerensky and Ulric Kerensky.

Founder of the Clans[edit]

Nicholas Kerensky was the man who formed the Clans between 11 June 2807[3] and 2810[4] from the remnants of the Star League Defense Force. When the warring factions on the Pentagon Worlds refused to follow Nicholas (then the Commander of the 146th Royal BattleMech Division), he led the Second Exodus to the future Clan capital world of Strana Mechty and founded the original twenty Clans.

Operation KLONDIKE[edit]

Main article: Operation KLONDIKE

When the Pentagon Civil War broke out, Aaron DeChavilier was deputy to Aleksandr Kerensky. DeChavilier led a regiment of troops to Eden and fell prey to a rebel ambush.[5] Less than a month later, Aleksandr Kerensky passed away. This left the leadership of the Star League-in-Exile in doubt: some followed Nicholas Kerensky, while others chose to join one of the warring factions or created their own. Abandoning the Pentagon Worlds, Nicholas led around a million people on the Second Exodus.[6]

Six years of building and testing later, Kerensky announced the birth of the Clans and the goal of returning to the Pentagon Worlds.[7] Preparations took years, during which new technologies were researched and radical changes made to the fabric of the new society.[8]

Operation SABLE SUN was launched to gather intelligence about the state of affairs in the Pentagon Worlds.[9] Using this information, Clan space forces jumped in and secured the jump points and naval caches and neutralized the hostile spacegoing vessels and stations in each system.[10]

Each world was to be invaded simultaneously by four Clans on 2 July 2821. Technical problems with a JumpShip delayed the Dagda operation until 22 July, however. Kerensky, now ilKhan, sent orders via HPG[11] and also traveled to observe the different campaigns. On Circe he oversaw a good-natured competition between Clan Mongoose and Clan Nova Cat[12], and he visited the siege of The Chosen by Clan Goliath Scorpion on Dagda.[11] He took personal command of the invasion of Novy Moscva on Eden, occupying his father's old command bunker.[13] After Eden was secured, he led Clan Jade Falcon and Clan Wolf to finish the assault on Dagda, taking to the field in his Atlas in the siege of the Black Brian.[14] On the day the Black Brian finally fell, he gathered the Grand Council of the Clans and declared Operation KLONDIKE concluded.[15]

The Culling[edit]

Clan Jade Falcon expected that the Kerensky Bloodnames would join with their Clan. Instead, the Kerensky names passed to Clan Wolf. Dissatisfaction with this decision grew into debates about Kerensky's agenda, and some even proposed secession. The Jade Falcon Khans executed the leaders of this movement and sent the others on punitive "exploration missions", quelling the discontent. But another problem arose very soon after, with a different Clan.[16]

Wolverine Annihilation[edit]

After the dust had settled from Operation KLONDIKE and the Clans had settled into a period of relative peace - notwithstanding the accepted various combat Trials of one kind or another between and within Clans. As this time of peace dragged on, Kerensky noticed that Clan Wolverine and its Khan Sarah McEvedy had made a habit of 'expanding their interpretations' of the ilKhan's directives, both on and off the battlefield (for instance, by ignoring the rules of zellbrigen against non-Clan enemies when it was tactically expedient to do so,[17] and by relaxing the boundaries of the Clan caste system in order to increase productivity).[18] The Wolverines were enjoying considerable social, economic, technological and military benefits as a result of their self-determined policies, to the extent that they were reliably winning combat Trials put to them by other Clans.[19] However, by departing from the ilKhan's teachings to such extents, they were embarrassing him as well as causing agitation in other Clans' lower castes.[20] In response to pressure from other Khans, particularly Khan Jason Karrige of Clan Widowmaker, Kerensky agreed to establish an internal security organisation in order to monitor the Clans' behaviours.[21] This organisation would become known as the original Watch.

The Wolverines continued to prosper, however, and a conspiracy of other Clans including Clans Widowmaker, Coyote, Fire Mandrill, Smoke Jaguar and Wolf decided to commence their own espionage operations against Clan Wolverine. Aware that her Clan was being outmanoeuvred, Khan McEvedy sanctioned the Wolverines' own espionage operations, but this decision backfired when Khan Lisa Buhallin of Clan Jade Falcon discovered a Wolverine spy amongst her own Clan personnel.[22]

This would not be the last time that Clans Wolverine and Jade Falcon clashed - a fact that Nicholas Kerensky used to his advantage in his eventual project to use Clan Wolverine as a target for his scheme to solidify his control over the Clans. When a hitherto-unknown Brian Cache was discovered on the border between Wolverine and Jade Falcon territory in mid-2823, the Jade Falcons laid claim to the cache despite it technically lying within Wolverine territory.[23] After a perfunctory Trial of Possession ended in a decisive Wolverine victory, the matter was brought to the Grand Council - there it was discovered that the cache contained old, but functional, nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Kerensky ruled that the contents of the cache were too valuable to be owned by a single Clan and would be distributed equitably amongst all twenty.[24] When McEvedy protested the matter and called for a Trial of Refusal, Clan Widowmaker won the bid to represent Kerensky's ruling - the Widowmakers defeated the Wolverines, slaying Wolverine saKhan Dwight Robertson in the process.[25]

Despite her defeat, McEvedy continued to resist the decision to redistribute the contents of the Brian Cache at the next meeting of the Grand Council, even bringing up the activities of Kerensky's Watch, but her accusations fell on deaf ears and she walked out of the meeting in protest, to Kerenky's anger.[26] At the meeting after that, McEvedy introduced her new saKhan, Franklin Hallis, whose position Kerensky refused to recognise since he had not been elected through a formal combat Trial that the ilKhan had overseen - another breach of Clan customs that further sullied the Wolverines' reptutation with the other Clans. McEvedy walked out of that meeting as well, suggesting that Clan Wolverine would no longer heed the rulings of Kerensky or the Grand Council,[27] despite the warnings given to her by her friend Joyce Merrell, the saKhan of Clan Snow Raven.

Later, Kerensky spoke privately to McEvedy, admitting that he was aware that the other Clans were conspiring against the Wolverines and confessing that the real reason he was allowing the Wolverines to be made into the enemy of the Grand Council was in order to prevent the Clans' stagnation and to give them a common enemy to restore their sense of purpose, while simultaneously making an example of a Clan that presumed to ignore or change the ilKhan's laws as they saw fit.[28]

At the next Grand Council meeting, the other Khans accused McEvedy of ordering her warriors to kill anyone who came to claim the spoils of the Brian Cache, as trials had already been held to portion out the cache's contents. McEvedy did not deny the charge, instead accusing Kerensky of sacrificing the Wolverines in order to solidify and preserve his autocratic control over Clan society. She then went on to formally and publicly declare that Clan Wolverine was seceding from the Grand Council and establishing itself as an independent power, ignoring Kerensky's protests. After McEvedy left the Grand Council chamber, Khan Franklin Osis of Clan Smoke Jaguar called for a Trial of Absorption against Clan Wolverine, which Kerensky upheld.[29]

The Absorption then began, as each of the other Clans was eager to punish the Wolverines out of resentment for that Clan's earlier ascendency. The fighting was initially conducted with honour, but after a nuclear detonation destroyed the Wolverine capital city of Great Hope, nearly killing Kerensky himself, he determined that McEvedy had destroyed her own capital city and killed thousands of her own citizens (this was supported by the fact that some of the nuclear warheads from the Brian Cache were missing and unaccounted for). In truth, Widowmaker Khan Kerrige was responsible for the explosion, having ordered two of his warriors to steal the warheads and plant them in Great Hope in order to decieve Kerensky into believing that the Wolverines had obliterated the city.[30]

In response, Kerensky declared that Clan Wolverine was to be Annihilated. He ordered all traces of and references to Clan Wolverine to be destroyed, and when a refugee column of Wolverine survivors from Great Hope presented themselves to him as his loyal subjects, he had the Warrior Caste members executed and the rest chemically sterilised and given as isorla to other Clans. He also ordered the rubble of Great Hope bulldozed into the sea, claiming that the city "never existed."[31] Later during the protracted Trial of Annihilation, an accident caused the detonation of another nuclear weapon over the Clan Snow Raven capital of Dehra Dun - after McEvedy was captured by Clan forces, Kerensky personally told her that the Dehra Dun catastrophe would be blamed on Clan Wolverine.[32]

The remainder of Clan Wolverine fled, but the Grand Fleet of the Clans caught them at Barbados and they were defeated by Clan Wolf. Franklin Hallis, now Khan of the Wolverines, was cornered and summarily executed, but not before Kerensky allowed Hallis to personally kill Widowmaker Khan Karrige for his role in the Great Hope incident, which Kerensky had discovered the truth of from McEvedy.[33]

On the way back from Barbados, Kerensky orchestrated a grand revision of history, manipulating and in many cases outright fabricating evidence in order to give the impression that the Wolverines were a dangerous menace to Clan society, that McEvedy was planning to assassinate Kerensky, and that the Wolverines were responsible for the destruction of Dehra Dun (Great Hope was purged from historical record, as Kerensky did not want the place to become a symbolic rallying point for resistance to his leadership.) Even afterwards, Kerensky slowly began to introduce some of the social reforms that the Wolverines had originally implemented, since they were proven to increase stability and productivity.[34] He also, with her consent, promised to Joyce Merrell that he would alter the records to show that she died during the Pentagon Civil War, preventing her from being associated with the demise of her close friend's Clan - Merrel knew the truth of Dehra Dun, and while she was unwilling to go against the ilKhan's revision of history, she felt such extreme regret over the coverup that she suffered repeated and intense nightmares of Dehra Dun's destruction.[35]

Viper treachery[edit]

Shortly after the founding of Clan Steel Viper, the first Khan of that Clan, Ellie Kinnison, hatched a mad plot to assassinate ilKhan Kerensky's wife, Jennifer Winson.[36] Kinnison, known to be mentally unstable and fanatically obsessed with Kerensky, reasoned that once Jennifer was dead, a grieving Nicholas would have no choice but to turn to Kinnison for comfort and love.

Kerensky and Winson decided to take a vacation on Arcadia, but also intended to investigate accusations made against the Vipers, particularly Khan Kinnison's policies. When the ilKhan and his wife disembarked from their DropShip, Viper saKhan Steven Breen, who had discovered his Khan's insane plan, opened fire on Kinnison, who had come to greet the ilKhan. During the resulting confusion, only Breen and Winson saw Kinnison draw her own sidearm and aim it at Winson. Breen's next shot killed Kinnison.

For his heroism, Steven Breen was elected as the second Khan of Clan Steel Viper. On ilKhan Kerensky's orders, Ellie Kinnison's name was stricken from all Clan records, and her genetic legacy was destroyed.[37]

Death[edit]

Nicholas was killed on October 7, 2834, during the Clan Widowmaker Trial of Absorption by Widowmaker Khan Cal Jorgensson in what was an apparent accident. Clan Widowmaker had called for a Trial of Refusal against their absorption by Clan Wolf, and during the fighting Cal Jorgensson wound up dueling Wolf Khan Jerome Winson. Winson was on the verge of winning when a Star of Widowmaker 'Mechs violated the Circle of Equals. As Nicholas Kerensky, piloting his Atlas II, stepped in, his cockpit was incinerated by a stray shot from Jorgensson's Highlander. When his body was extracted from the cockpit, he was already dead.[citation needed][38]

Legacy[edit]

The death of the ilKhan enraged the warriors of Clan Wolf, who proceeded to wipe out the remaining Widowmaker warriors and absorbed the rest of their Clan. Jorgensson claimed the ilKhan's death was an accident, but was executed anyway.

Two centuries later, in a museum in Strana Mechty dedicated to the Pentagon Wars was preserved a coolant vest of Nicholas Kerensky. As it was bloodstained, it may be assumed it was the one he was wearing when he was killed.[39] His diaries, relating to the Exodus and Clan's foundation, were held still by Clan Wolf in the 31th century.[40]

BattleMechs[edit]

Nicholas Kerensky was known to pilot an Atlas II, and was piloting one during the Trial that resulted in his death. But in the battle of Barbados, during the Clan Wolverine annihilation, it appears he piloted a Highlander.[41] The Atlas II, which he named Unity, was put in a place of honor after his death, the annex to the Great Hall of the Khans, watched by the Ebon Keshik, and remained there as a sacred relic, despite numerous Trials of Possession by Clan Goliath Scorpion Seekers desperate to add it to their Temple of the Nine Muses.[42]

Quotes[edit]

We will purge our old ideals and ethics; those belong to the corrupt stars of the Inner Sphere, and will not serve as we begin anew. Now, while our minds are open and yearning for new insight, we must remold them and fill them with the truth of our destiny. For we are destined not only to be different from those we left behind, but also better. My father knew this, and saved us from the holocaust of the Inner Sphere. I accept it as truth, and have returned to lead you, the survivors of this most bitter trial.
  — Nicholas Kerensky to his loyalists on Strana Mechty, 2802[43]


True warriors do not follow paths, they make them. It is not just their desire, it is their nature.[citation needed]


A magnificent beast, the smoke jaguar. It is ferocity unbound, tenacity without limit. Once it locks its powerful jaws around the throat of its prey, it never lets go. The greatest of warriors might be shamed by comparing himself to such fierce courage...

My Clans might learn much from this beast. Like us, it came from Nature, but has been improved by human hands. And now the great cat born on Terra thrives on a world so many light-years away from the planet of its birth that the human mind shudders to contemplate it...as we must. As we will...

The smoke jaguar fights like a true warrior. No deceit, no subterfuge – a single, brutal assault, both open and deadly. A powerful spring from above, a slash of its huge claws across its victim's throat, and its prey lies dead before it. So should all of us fight our enemies – openly, but with overwhelming force. Thus we may win true glory, by defeating the foe in honorable combat. Truly, this great cat is a finer warrior than any human being I have ever seen on the field of battle...!

  — From Birth of a New Society: The Collected Writings of Nicholas Kerensky, Strana Mechty Press, 3025[44]


A truly fearsome beast, the great viper of Arcadia possesses strength and tenacity unmatched by any other predator on that world. It coils around its prey in a crushing embrace, then finishes its kill with a deadly poison. The warriors of the Clan I name Steel Viper show remarkable tenacity in battle and in their service to our great mission. May they continue to serve with unshakable faith, and may their opponents learn to fear the fangs of the Steel Vipers.
  — From Birth of a New Society: The Collected Writings of Nicholas Kerensky, Strana Mechty Press, 3025[45]


It seems inconceivable that everything we have accomplished can be threatened by the actions of individuals within our highest ranks. Khan Kinnison acted against everything the Clans represent and all we strive to achieve. ...It is just such aberrations that Clan society will prevent and control. Fortunately, the Steel Viper ranks also produced an individual capable of seeing and believing in the evil harbored in another's heart, and who acted selflessly to dispense proper justice to such a traitor. Count yourselves fortunate, Steel Vipers, that your Clan survives by virtue of a pure majority. ...I nominate Star Colonel Steven Breen as Khan of Clan Steel Viper. ...As your ilKhan, I claim the right to strike the name Kinnison forever from all records past and present. The tainted genes of that accursed line shall be cast out and destroyed as well.
  — Origin of the Trial of Abjuration, after an assassination attempt on Nicholas Kerensky's wife, Jennifer Winson[46]


Our victories here have proved the rightness of the Way of the Clans; let it always be so among those of the True Faith. Let these few words always announce our coming and portend our victory.
  — Speaking on Clan Liberation Day, May 26, 2822


Kerensky [ilKhan]: My honorable friend, the Khan from Clan Wolverine, continues to ignore the decisions of this body as verified by the recent Trial. I do not care that the cache is of the 331st Royal Division, her father's command. This body is agreed that the caches are a resource belonging to the Clans as a whole. In the old order, her paternal loyalty would be commended, but this not the old order. We are the Clans. We stand on our own merits, not those of our ancestors.

Sarah McEvedy [Wolverine]: Except you.

Kerensky [ilKhan]: I beg your pardon?

McEvedy: I said, except you. You seem perfectly happy to bask in your father's achievements. He was a visionary who sought justice and peace for all. You seek control.

Mitchell Loris [Mongoose]: Khan McEvedy, you go too far.

McEvedy: Do I? I know many of you in this chamber found our ilKhan's actions to secure control of the Pentagon population offensive. The Star League did not believe in torture and brutality. Those are the tools of power hungry madmen. Is that what you have become, Nicholas Kerensky? A power hungry madman?

[Raised voices from all parties]

Kerensky: SILENCE! McEvedy, Khan of Clan Wolverine, I, Nicholas Kerensky, ilKhan of the Clans, do call for a Trial of Grievance. By our law, you may...

McEvedy: Hang your laws. Does the truth hurt so much, Nicholas?

Kerensky: Fellow Khans, our colleague is clearly overwrought. I call for a vote of censure. Loremaster Ward, please...

McEvedy: Don't bother, Nicholas. I'll leave. In fact, we'll all leave. Clan Wolverine no longer recognizes the authority of the ilKhan or the Grand Council. From this point forward, we are an independent power. We decide our own fate, fairly and according to the morals and standards of the Star League.

Kerensky: You cannot do this.

McEvedy: I can and I have.

[McEvedy moves to leave.]

Kerensky: Arrest her!

[McEvedy draws her pistol; the Khans and security guards back off. A detachment of Wolverine troops arrives.]

McEvedy: If you want to face us, fine. But we will not hold back. Prepare to reap the whirlwind.

[McEvedy storms out]

Kerensky: My Khans, we face a serious decision...

  — Excerpt from Grand Council security tape (uncensored version), October 8, 2823, as recorded in Clan Wolf records and reported by Phelan Kell.[47] (Note: Official record was doctored on orders of Nicholas Kerensky.)


Those who break faith with the Unity shall go down to darkness.
  — The Grand Council votes for a Trial of Annihilation against Clan Wolverine, October 11, 2823


The darkness is behind us, the light is ahead.

Strive toward it, for it is the way."
Said our Founder, Nicholas.
"Be ever vigilant
and rely on your strengths:
Faith, which preserves us;
Knowledge, which gives us power;
Understanding, which lets us know our foes;
Courage, which lets us face the darkness without fear.

  — The Remembrance (Clan Wolf), Passage 10, Verse 9, Lines 1-10

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 104 - "Nicholas Kerensky Profile"
  2. OTP: Widowmaker Absorption, p. 1
  3. Historical: Operation Klondike, p.103 - "Timeline"
  4. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p.30 - "Comparative Timeline"
  5. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 20
  6. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 22
  7. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 27
  8. Historical: Operation Klondike, pp. 29-37
  9. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 40
  10. Historical: Operation Klondike, pp. 41-46
  11. 11.0 11.1 Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 82
  12. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 77
  13. Historical: Operation Klondike, pp. 95-96
  14. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 86
  15. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 87
  16. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 99
  17. Betrayal of Ideals, p.8
  18. Betrayal of Ideals, p.17
  19. Betrayal of Ideals, p.22
  20. Betrayal of Ideals, p.21
  21. Betrayal of Ideals, p.28
  22. Betrayal of Ideals, p.71
  23. Betrayal of Ideals, p.58
  24. Betrayal of Ideals, p.77
  25. Betrayal of Ideals, p.87
  26. Betrayal of Ideals, p.99
  27. Betrayal of Ideals, pp 113-5.
  28. Betrayal of Ideals, p.120
  29. Betrayal of Ideals, p.128
  30. Betrayal of Ideals, p.144
  31. Betrayal of Ideals, p.165
  32. Betrayal of Ideals, p.177
  33. Betrayal of Ideals, pp.209-10
  34. Betrayal of Ideals, p215.
  35. Betrayal of Ideals, p.225-6
  36. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 113
  37. Invading Clans, pp. 80-82
  38. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 101
  39. Forever Faithful p. 58
  40. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky p. 6
  41. Betrayal of Ideals, p. 206
  42. Battletech: Legends p. 71
  43. Touring the Stars, p. 11, "Trials and Glory" – Ways of the Wolf Clan
  44. Invading Clans, p. 47
  45. Invading Clans, p. 79
  46. Invading Clans, p. 82
  47. The Clans - Warriors of Kerensky, pp. 13-14

Bibliography[edit]