Talon Zahn

This article is about the character. For the DropShip in his name, see Talon Zahn (Individual Overlord-class DropShip).

Talon Zahn
Talon Zahn
Born17 January 3024[1][2][3]
AffiliationCapellan Confederation
Position(s)Strategic Military Director (Sang-jiang-jun)

Talon Zahn was made the Strategic Military Director (Sang-jiang-jun) for the Capellan Confederation on 28 December 3057, the youngest in Capellan history. In this position, he controlled all of the CCAF except the Warrior Houses and Death Commandos.


Early Life to Operation Gurerro[edit]

Born on Ares, the young Talon Zahn would attend and graduate from the Ares MechWarrior Academy before entering service in the Stapleton's Grenadiers. Showing a talent for command, Zahn would attend Officer Candidate School at the Sian University, posted upon graduation to a command position in the 2nd Confederation Reserve Cavalry and eventually promotion to executive officer of the entire Capellan Reserves brigade.[1][2]

As the CCAF prepared to retake the worlds of the Federated Commonwealth's Sarna March in 3057, Zahn prepared a report for then Strategic Military Director James Teng advising that Stapleton's Grenadiers would not be able to capture Sarna. When Teng ordered the Grenadier to proceed anyway, only to be repulsed by the Kaifeng SMM, Grim Determination and the Sarna Martial Academy Cadre and allowing the world to join with Sakhalin and Kaifeng to create the Sarna Supremacy[1][2]

Levelling a charge on insubordination against Zahn in the hopes of punishing the outspoken officer, Teng also hoped to bury his lack of attention to Zahn's report. Discovering the charge and Zahn's message when reviewing the Sarna Debarcle, an intrigued Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao ordered the Maskirovka to investigate further. Discovering the full story, it became clear the Zahn was suffering under officers more interested in protecting themselves and their positions than fulfilling the Chancellor's wishes. Quashing the charges, the Chancellor then proceeded to reward Zahn's honesty by including him in the strategy sessions for the remainder of the offensive.[1][2][4]

These sessions would prove the young and outspoken officer's uncanny knack for strategy and tactics as well as his refusal to back away from speaking out against poor decisions no matter the pressure. This was ably demonstrated when Zahn dared to flatly advise the Chancellor that reinforcing Nanking at the expensive of Zurich was a mistake, the Chancellor coming to appreciate the young officer's forthright manner when he was proven right, Sun-Tzu naming him the new Strategic Military Director of the CCAF on 28 December 3057.[1][2][4]

Xin Sheng Campaign[edit]

Talon Zahn was of great import during the Xin Sheng period given the deep military considerations that had to match the Chancellor’s political and economic goals. Furthermore, his insight was doubly important to the Chancellor’s post as First Lord of the Star League; avoiding military oversteps were just as important as fulfilling obligations of the office and Zahn’s attentions often had him coordinating SLDF garrisons in concert with Capellan units.

As the Capellan Strategic Military Director, Colonel Zahn was primarily concerned for several matters of national security, most which either supported or threatened Xin Sheng in their own way. His focus often included military efforts in the Chaos March, Disputed Territories, and the recently estranged St. Ives Compact. He also kept abreast of diplomatic engagements, such as the Detroit Conference and relations with the Tikonov Reaches, in the event his Chancellor desired military intervention in any of these areas.

An example of his quality of character was demonstrated during a tense conference between himself, the Chancellor, and the Maskirovka Director Sasha Wanli in February, 3060. Six months had passed since Victor Steiner-Davion had left the Inner Sphere to pursue a counter-invasion against the Clans. As First Lord, Chancellor Sun Tzu was furious at having been informed so late of the coalition commander’s departure. Yet while Director Wanli seemed to walk on egg shells during the meeting, Colonel Zahn was, as always, fearlessly direct and objective while guarding well against coming off as disrespectful. Indeed, it was equally to Colonel Zahn’s credit as was the Chancellor’s that the conversation came to focus on present opportunities despite its unfortunate genesis. [5]

It would not be long before Colonel Zahn’s performance would prompt his promotion to Jiang-Jun (General) in December of 3060; the first CCAF General since Jasmine Liao's decree of 2455 that limited Capellan officers to the rank of colonel. [6]

Even so, he was not privy to all relevant details of Sun Tzu’s schemes. In some cases, he was knowingly being kept in the dark due to the Chancellor’s farther reaching maneuverings which Zahn’s competence could have inadvertently spoiled. A significant example of this was the revelation that Major Trisha Smithson of the pro-St. Ives Blackwind Lancers was actually a Capellan agent placed years prior to instigate a conflict on the Capellan-Compact border. Had Zahn known of this, he likely would have prepared the CCAF to respond to the triggering event too well, threatening the Confederation’s appearance as a non-aggressor focused on internal stability.[7]


When the Forbidden City on Sian was bombarded on 7 October 3068 by WarShips believed to be a part of Duke George Hasek's Operation SOVEREIGN JUSTICE, Chancellor Sun-Tzu Liao was believed to have been killed; in response, Talon Zahn declared himself Military Regent of the Confederation as the CCAF rallied itself for a counterstrike against the Capellan March forces.[8]

Our unity is our strength. Our Chancellor is our will. These two things no army of men, or of BattleMechs, can ever deny. Though we may die this day, or the next, first, last, and always remember this: we are Capellan.

Sang-jiang-jun Talon Zahn, CCAF Strategic Military Director, Capellan statewide address, 3072.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Field Manual: Capellan Confederation, pp. 24–25: "Sword of the State - Influencing People: A Maskirovka Report on Talon Zahn"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Handbook: House Liao, p. 103: "Talon Zhan profile"
  3. Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 52: "House Liao Key Personalities"
  4. 4.0 4.1 Handbook: House Liao, p. 96: "Government - Capellan Nobility - Other Nobles in Government - Talon Zhan"
  5. Threads of Ambition, p. 1-10
  6. Threads of Ambition, p. 133
  7. Threads of Ambition, p. 178-180
  8. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 46: "The Jihad In Review"
  9. Dark Age: Touring the Stars (3130), p. 40: "Volume XX: From the Ashes – The Capellan Confederation Today"