|Dissolution year:||Wars of Reaving|
|Parent Organization||The Clans|
|“||Since you have never listened to reason and deigned to banish me to the dregs of space between our Homeworlds and the gardens of the Inner Sphere, I now speak to you in terms you understand. Surrender your position, stand down the warrior caste, and allow the true caretakers of Kerensky’s vision step forward.||”|
|— Etienne Balzac|
The Society was a secret cabal of Clan scientists who held a deep resentment toward the warrior caste's hegemony over Clan culture — and in particular — the warriors' dictates regarding the work of the scientist themselves. Eschewing the general culture of the Clans in favor of devotion to science and itself, The Society worked toward their own ends whenever possible, with little or no regard to Clan law or custom — and often — little regard for ethics or the sanctity of basic human rights. Members of the Society tended to view their roles and responsibilities as all-important to the Clans' very existence. They saw Nicholas Kerensky's true vision as being completely in accordance with the laws of science, and as such, many Society members were known to actively weave carefully disguised plots through their work, in preparation and anticipation of the day when they would force the warrior caste from power.
To maintain their secrecy over the centuries, The Society's scientists ostensibly worked toward the goals set for them by the warriors of their individual Clan Councils, pursuing a warriorcentric agenda consisting primarily of genetic research and arms development. But behind the scenes, the Society's scientists were deliberately impeding the warriors by slowing the pace of this research and hiding many of their breakthroughs. Research projects ordered closed and shelved by the warriors often continued in secrecy, by scientists who did not wish to listen to the orders of those whom they felt held no understanding with regard to the nature of their work. The Society's own endeavors often ranged from a liberal approach to genetic manipulation and the trading of Bloodname legacies across any and all Clan lines, to secret weapons development programs, to the creation of computer viruses that could paralyze communications and even war machines. Experiments with advanced gene therapy and research into chemical enhancement techniques (both of which often utilized human guinea pigs) and biological weapons that could target specific groups of people or even individuals by their genetic codes were all within the scope of their ambitious research programs. The full extent of their efforts may never be fully known.
The ultimate goal of The Society was to supplant the warrior caste as the leaders of the Clans, though their primary plans to achieve their ends were not known by most Society cells. Only the highest-ranking members knew their true goals throughout most of their history. Dominance over the warrior caste was worked toward slowly and with great patience over the centuries. Representation in the Society was not equal across the Clans; some Clans with more rigid scientist castes (such as Clan Steel Viper) — or those with especially overbearing warriors (like the Smoke Jaguars) — had very little representation. But in Clans that gave more of a free hand to their scientist castes, the Society grew amid their highest ranks, and often held a great deal of power. Tamaron was said to be the main control center for the Society, though Ironhold, Tokasha and Circe were also important worlds. Operation REVIVAL gave some Society members in certain Invading Clans more room and freedom to experiment and further their plans, as the warriors were kept busy elsewhere, consequently paying much less attention to their scientists than at any previous point in Clan history. The Society took advantage of this lapse by spreading to certain Inner Sphere worlds where their research could continue mostly unfettered.
The Society stood back from events in the Clan Homeworlds, watching the shifting of power after the demise of Clan Smoke Jaguar and the Great Refusal. The event that drew them from cover was when ilKhan Brett Andrews issued his 3072 decree regarding the Reaving of Bloodnames, essentially stripping the scientists of the one realm in which they were granted ultimate control by Nicholas Kerensky. In doing this, the warriors were unwittingly destroying all of the scientists' carefully planned work, all in what the scientists viewed as arbitrary quests for dominance between warriors. The Society decided that this was the time to act. Striking during the ensuing Wars of Reaving, they and reborn Clan Burrock along with Dark Caste allies caused a great deal of chaos in the Clan Homeworlds, as well as in certain parts of the Clan-occupied Inner Sphere. Their efforts ultimately fell short of their goal of subduing the warrior caste. Once the warriors had finally recognized their enemy, they began to systematically hunt down and eliminate every Society cell on every world of the Kerensky Cluster and Pentagon Worlds, a task that took decades to completely finish. Similar Annihilation also took place (to greater and lesser extents) on every planet in the Inner Sphere and Periphery regions that belonged to the affected Clans. Most of the Clans' collective scientist castes were decimated by Annihilations that took place. Some Clans were less affected than others — such as the Ghost Bears, whose extended family philosophy would never allow for the growth of an anti-establishment movement. Other Clans were forced to eliminate all of their scientists in the bloody effort to purge themselves of the rebellious faction.
The mysterious beginnings of the Society are shrouded by layers of deception and misdirection. Born of Clan Coyote's scientist caste, their beginnings could go all the way back to the city of Versailles on Babylon during Operation Klondike. In 2822, a deal for the surrender of the scientific enclave was worked out between the Tchernovkov brothers, Star Captain Gerek and engineer Richard. Few details exist about the specifics, but it was known that the enclave surrendered to the Coyotes without a shot being fired, in return for a guarantee that they would be treated as equals. Khan Dana Kufahl accepted the deal, and little else was said regarding the incident. In time, the Coyotes would become well known for their warriors' close relations with the scientist caste. Richard Tchernovkov became known as Scientist Richard (Remer), and would go on to dominate his field of study; his engineering research led to the long and painstaking invention of the OmniMech, unveiled in 2854. Though very little about these events hint at what would one day come to be known as The Society, its roots were able to spread deep and quietly thrive during the Golden Century, hidden and protected by the trust of the very well-armed Clan Coyote touman.
Though the Society grew along with the Clans through the ages, no information is available on its doings during the rest of the Golden Century, or during the following Political Century. Clues to the cabal's existence were not noticed again until the years after Operation REVIVAL, when evidence pointing to highly un-Clanlike genetic experimentation across Clan lines came to the surface. While on duty for her Clan's Watch in 3057, Clan Jade Falcon Star Commander Joanna uncovered evidence of an illegal trade in genetic materials between Clan Wolf and the Jade Falcon scientists. Joanna came into contact with several lower level operatives during her mission to a solahma garrison on a small and uncharted mining planet called Dogg, a rumored hub of strange activity centering on the scientist caste. Thinking it was a Clan Wolf plot to ruin the Jade Falcon genetic legacies with the genes of dead techs stored in vats labeled with the names of warriors, the greater significance would take some time to come to set in. After confronting a Watch operative of Clan Wolf named Alvar, posing as a Jade Falcon solahma, more information came to light. He illuminated Joanna regarding what he knew, which his superiors had felt was a Jade Falcon scheme. In reality, these were the first hints about a conspiracy regarding the scientist castes of several Clans. Jade Falcon Star Colonel Ravill Pryde knew of his own heritage — mixed Wolf and Falcon legacies — and let that information be known to MechWarrior Diana through his personal files while she served as his coregn, who in turn told Joanna about this unheard-of lineage. As more information was uncovered, Jade Falcon Watch Commander and Loremaster Kael Pershaw was able to put together a basic picture of the conspiracy. Though he had suspected much about the conspiracy for some time, only now was proof beginning to surface.
Clan Jade Falcon had long held a tight rein on its nonwarrior castes, but among genetic scientists, there was quite a bit more freedom. In this environment where the gene pool and those who tended it were held in reverence, The Society flourished. Centering on the rise of a trueborn warrior caste washout who excelled within the ranks of the scientists named Etienne (Balzac), the Jade Falcon Society cells worked towards many of the same ends as their counterparts on Tamaron. Those scientists who were not part of the Society were often in the dark about the experiments and official plans of their superiors, as was the case with Jade Falcon Chief Scientist Peri (Watson) of the Falcon Eyrie research enclave on Huntress. She could not help but notice the many experiments she was denied access to in regard to the notes and results, many of which were under the name of Scientist General Etienne. Peri's notes and observations about the mysterious dealings of the scientist caste confirmed much of what Kael Pershaw had suspected, but went much further in detailing the specifics of some of their doings. As she uncovered more of their machinations, Etienne would attempt to block her investigations, leading Peri to be placed in the backwaters of the Clan Homeworlds, and away from much of the Society's business. This only served to increase her curiosity about the secret society.
On Huntress in 3059, events surrounding the crash landing of a Jade Falcon Trinary led by Star Captain Horse Jade Falcon, and their subsequent capture by Clan Smoke Jaguar forces under Galaxy Commander Russou Howell, more would come to light. On one occasion during his captivity, Horse and solahma Star Commander Sentania Buhallin were able to infiltrate the Jaguars' Mt. Szabo genetic repository. Horse was shown to a room in the sprawling complex that contained several genetic legacies, and noticed that one of the samples was a copy of Jade Falcon hero Aidan Pryde. Enraged at the idea of what he had just discovered, Horse wreaked havoc on that area of the facility, destroying what he could with the cylinder containing his dead friend's legacy, and killing the Smoke Jaguar Chief Geneticist (called the Keeper of the Jaguar Kin), who attempted to intervene. The conspiracy widened. Peri was transferred out of the facility when the weapons research program — centering on the ill-fated Dual Cockpit LAM concept — was canceled. Back on Ironhold, Peri investigated a secret scientist-run sibko training camp that was using Aidan Pryde's genes to produce a sibko of near clones of the heroic warrior. She informed her Clan superiors about the discovery of this un-Clanlike experiment, and further attempted to confront the Jade Falcon Scientist General, Etienne (Balzac), who had total knowledge of the facility and the experiment. Validating the veracity of her claim by his next actions, Etienne sent two Bandit Caste thugs under his command to kill Scientist Peri, whom they accidentally left alive after a severe beating. The tenacious scientist was sent under order of her Khan, Marthe Pryde to spy on her Scientist General. Peri successfully ingratiated herself to Etienne, and managed to gain an assignment to the secret facility. After gathering hard evidence and transmitting it to the Jade Falcon Watch, she narrowly escaped capture and death at the hands of agents assigned by Balzac to watch her doings for suspicious behavior.
This failure to recognize or capture a spy in their midst precipitated the first true attempt by a Clan to disrupt the activities of The Society. Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde banished Etienne from the Homeworlds to the Inner Sphere in 3062, removing him from the office of Scientist General, while "shaking up" the rest of the caste. While this did force an impediment into the communications between Etienne and his counterparts on Tamaron and other worlds, both sides would still cooperate on goals and share information, research and intel whenever possible.
Jihad and the Reavings
The Society's military arm was founded in a system known as Prime. The base formation of the military was the Un, consisting of a single BattleMech or three battle armor, infantry platoons, ProtoMechs, aerospace fighters, or seven combat vehicles. The next formations were the Trey (consisting of three Uns) and the Sept (two Treys with an Un commander).
The quality of the warrior varied due to the unit. As most of the warriors were failures of the Clan Trials of Position, they were generally assigned to pilot BattleMechs, aerospace fighters, battle armor, and as infantry. The infantry were used to quell local populations and, as the first defense, utilized berserker tactics. Combat vehicles were operated from the lower castes and had a basic understanding of tactics.
Unlike Clan civilization in general, The Society's members were ranked not by occupation but by their scientific discipline. Geneticists held the highest place in The Society's hierarchy, followed by weapons researchers, then Humanities, Space and Conventional Sciences. Military-sounding ranks such as Scientist-General, Control Commander and the like were used to denote seniority, with age and experience also playing a role in determining status.
For most part, while Society members publicly upheld Clan conventions, in secret they felt the strongest ties not with their Clan of origin but with fellow members of their scientific discipline. The highest proportion of Society conspirators were drawn from the genetic subcastes of various Clans, with Armaments members also playing a key role in ensuring that the Society would have the weaponry needed to overwhelm the Clan warriors who would oppose the Society's goals.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Interstellar Players 2, p. 32: "Signs of Conspiracy"
- ↑ The Wars of Reaving, p. 99
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 The Wars of Reaving, pp. 152–153: "The Society"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Interstellar Players 2, p. 37: "Gamemaster's Section"
- ↑ Interstellar Players 2, pp. 33–34: "Playing Gods?"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Interstellar Players 2, pp. 34–35: "Society Operations"
- ↑ Historical: Operation Klondike, pp. 67–68: "Celebration Day"
- ↑ Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 40–41: "Birth of the Titans"
- ↑ Field Manual: Warden Clans, pp. 41–42: "Crusade of the Valiant"
- ↑ The Wars of Reaving, p. 85: "End of an Era"
- ↑ I Am Jade Falcon, ch. 13–28
- ↑ Freebirth, ch. 15–18
- ↑ Freebirth, ch. 20–37
- ↑ Falcon Rising, ch. 1–14
- ↑ Falcon Rising, ch. 20–23
- ↑ Falcon Rising, ch. 24–38, epilogue
- ↑ Falcon Rising, epilogue