Shen-sè Tian

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Shen-sè Tian
Formed FedCom Civil War
Nickname The Dark Days Band
Affiliation Pirate
Parent Command

Originally formed around a core of Capellan Confederation and St. Ives Compact deserters and refugees, the Shen-sè Tian (literally "Dark Days") are a pirate band operating in the Rimward Periphery.[1]


As in the wake of any major Inner Sphere conflict, the Capellan-St. Ives War created a flood of refugees, deserters and down on their luck MechWarriors who drifted out to the Periphery either to become mercenaries, to find a quiet place to hide or turning towards piracy. The Shen-sè Tian was composed of a strong mix of Capellan nationals and St. Ives deserters who thanks to the efforts of Colonel Tori Eskins settled their differences and formed a unified regimental command.[1]

Finding a marginally habitable world or asteroid that had fallen off the maps located near the center of the New Colony Region and providing easy access to shipping between Fronc and Portland as well as Rockwellawan to Detroit, the Shen-sè Tian used their secret base of operations to strike NCR, Magistracy of Canopus and the Taurian Concordat worlds. The larger size of the unit and the large volume of Capellan BattleMechs of recent manufacture also gave them an advantage against isolated Colonial Marshals forces, triggering a strengthening of Magistracy forces in the region during the FedCom Civil War as a precaution, most often facing the First Raventhir Cuirassiers.[1][2][3]

Despite a strong initial showing, earning the attention of "Lady Death" Trevaline, the Shen-sè Tian soon began to suffer increasing losses and setbacks. In 3064 Shen-sè Tian made the ill-fated decision to raid the Capellan Confederation worlds defended by the green Fifth Confederation Reserve Cavalry based out of Zanzibar.[4][5] A battalion of the Shen-sè Tian struck Zanzibar itself looking to raid a storehouse of myomers only to encounter the newly formed and untried Lethal Injection mercenary unit. Striking from hiding the pirates were taken by surprise, finding themselves encircled when they attempted to retreat. The Shen-sè Tian were able to punch their way through and escape, but not before suffering major losses.[6]

Worse was to come when two battalions led by Pirate-Major Kerry Wung struck Muridox, defended by the Fifth Reserve Cavalry's third battalion. Despite their inexperience, the Reserve Cavalry's devotion to combined armed tactics allowed them to trap then divide the pirate forces into smaller more manageable pieces. Kerry Wung fell during this offensive, with three broken companies of the Shen-sè Tian withdrawing, having lost seventeen crippled or destroyed 'Mechs.[5] Reduced to a single strengthened battalion, observers from the Word of Blake considered the Shen-sè Tian was arguably now both suitable skilled and small enough to ensure a sustainable and viable long-term existence as a pirate command, though one that would avoid striking the Confederation for a while.[4]

One of many pirate bands aligning with "Lady Death" Trevaline at the behest of the Word of Blake, receiving resupply including a number of the Brigand BattleMech,[7] the Shen-sè Tian struck Canopian settlements along the border of the new Fronc Reaches defended by the Harcourt's Destructors mercenary unit. In mid-3068 the Harcourt's Aliens managed to intercept the Shen-sè Tian outside the Rumogo colony on Fronic and gave chase, only to be caught flatfooted when pirates led the mercenaries into the waiting arms of additional pirate forces commanded by Lady Death herself, inflicting over fifty percent losses on the Destructors unit.[8]

Angered by such heavy losses, Harcourt's Destructors swore revenge against the Shen-sè Tian, only to be kept back by Magistracy Armed Forces following the outbreak of the Word of Blake Jihad. By 3069 rumors abounded of alleged ex–Colonial Marshals being sighted among the Shen-sè Tian raiders operating in the Fronc Reaches, with Destructors CO Colonel Kamala Rahman petitioning the MAF to resume bandit hunting. Though initially refusing, the MAF eventually ordered the Destructors to reinforce the world of Fronc in March 3070 as the Fronc Reaches became a protectorate of the Magistracy. Incensed at this action, the Taurian Concordat hired numerous pirate bands including the Shen-sè Tian to strike the Reaches.[8]

Knowing that the Shen-sè Tian often hit Fronc and would be unlikely to pass up another attempt to humiliate the mercenaries, Harcourt's Destructors made themselves highly visible as they laid a trap for the ex-Capellan pirates. Sure enough the Shen-sè Tian struck Fronc in February 3071, with Harcourt's Aliens allowing the pirates to plunder an ammunition storehouse before chasing the withdrawing raiders like they had done back in 3068. Unbeknownst to the Shen-sè Tian, the Destructors had packed numerous crates in the storehouse with command-detonated explosives which the mercenaries triggered when the pirates reached Sharzavan Pass, where Drummond's Destroyers lay hidden in ambush. The Shen-sè Tian lost almost two full companies of vehicles and 'Mechs before they could disengage and scatter into the surrounding countryside, while the Destructors focused on capturing the pirates' DropShip.[8]

Despite losing their ride off-world, Harcourt's Destructors where not able to capture the remains of the Shen-sè Tian, strongly suggesting they had help on Fronc. Though hearing reports since the ambush of Shen-sè Tian attacks against other colonies implying the pirates had expanded beyond the battalion sized force they mustered in 3068 which Colonel Rahman forwarded to the Magistracy Intelligence Ministry,[8] intelligence available to Devlin Stone's Coalition indicated the humiliated pirates had been reduced to barely a company, citing that although their base of operations within the Fronc Reaches was still a secret that the survivors might have fled the Fronc Reaches entirely in favor of striking other easier targets.[9]


Rank Name Command
Commanding Officers of Shen-sè Tian
Colonel Tori Eskins 3064 - 3067[1][10]


Shortly after their formation, the larger size of the Shen-sè Tian compared to Colonial Marshalls gave them a good advantage, superior numbers allowing them to overwhelm defensive efforts to strike multiple targets at once and gather widespread resources in a short amount of time. Against larger commands such as the Red Chasseurs the Shen-sè Tian use knowledge of their usual tactics to their advantage, giving the appearance of splitting up but in fact hiding their forces to flank their foes when engaged with main Shen-sè Tian force.[1]


At the time of their formation, the Shen-sè Tian boasted a large number of Capellan and St. Ives BattleMechs of recent vintage. Though initially giving them an advantage against lower-tech Periphery forces, by 3064 a fourth of each of the band's battalions were down for maintenance and repair at any given time, an issue compounded by the lack of supplies, as very few targets contained parts for such newer 'Mechs. The band's aerospace fighters however do not suffer this lack and parts are more easily found to keep them in operation.[1]

Composition History[edit]


Shen-sè Tian (Regiment/Regular/Questionable)[1]

  • CO Colonel Tori Eskins
  • 1st Battalion - Major Kerry Wung
  • 2nd Battalion - Major Hap Tu Ling
  • 3rd Battalion - Major Sanya Yess

Shen-sè Tian (2 Squadrons/Green/Questionable)[1]


Shen-sè Tian (Battalion/Veteran/Regular) 90% strength[10]


Shen-sè Tian (Battalion/Veteran/Fanatical) 25% strength | 5% Upgraded[9]

Game Rules[edit]

Lance composition of the Shen-sè Tian is determined by rolling on the Random 'Mech Assignment Table from Field Manual: Capellan Confederation using either columns B or C up to three times per lance.[11]


  • The crest displayed by Shen-sè Tian consists of a man-dragon hybrid with bloody barbels, green scales and a mouth of sharp teeth, the figure set on an ivory field edged in red. The pirates paint their machines a tan brown with green trim.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Field Manual: Periphery, p. 131: "Pirate Units - Shen-sè Tian: The Dark Days Band"
  2. Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 100: "The Fronc Reaches - Marshals and Mercs: The Fronc Reaches Military"
  3. Field Manual: Updates, p. 91: "The Periphery - Magistracy of Canopus"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 199: "The Periphery - Pirates - Shen-sè Tian"
  5. 5.0 5.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 22: "5th Confederation Reserve Cavalry"
  6. Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised, p. 86: "Lethal Injection: Inauspicious Beginnings"
  7. Technical Readout: 3067, pp. 47–48: "LDT-1 Brigand"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Mercenary Supplemental Update, p. 66: "Harcourt's Destructors"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Field Report: Periphery, p. 17: "Pirate Forces"
  10. 10.0 10.1 Field Manual: Updates, p. 199: "The Periphery - Periphery TOE - Pirates - Shen-sè Tian"
  11. Field Manual: Periphery, p. 155: "Rules - Bandit Kingdoms - Shen-sè Tian"