Rite of Absorption
The Rite of Absorption, also known as a Trial of Absorption, is a combination of the Clan Trial of Refusal and Trial of Possession. This Rite allows the Clans to effectively "destroy" a Clan that is not worthy of continuing but does not warrant a Trial of Annihilation. The Grand Council can vote to allow one Clan to absorb another, but only by a unanimous vote (excepting the Clan being Absorbed, which cannot vote). If approved, the accused is done with the pre-trial motions. They cannot Refuse or appeal the decision. The remaining Clans will then begin a bidding process to see which Clan will face the Absorbed Clan. (In the past, the council has determined which Clan will benefit from the Absorption, as in the case of the Absorption of Clan Burrock by Clan Star Adder.) The Clan chosen to absorb the weaker Clan may also be challenged by others in a Trial of Refusal even before battling the Clan to be Absorbed. The resulting trials can last for years. Clan Wolf won the right to Absorb Clan Widowmaker in 2834, for example, but had to defeat three other Clans for that right.
The Absorbing Clan then attacks the Absorption target's touman with the force it bid. If the Absorption target successfully defeats the Absorbing Clan's forces (something that has never happened), the Rite of Absorption ends as if a Trial of Refusal had been successful. If the Absorbing Clan is successful, all the property, personnel, and other assets become part of the Absorbing Clan. It is not unheard of for individual warriors and commanders putting up either no resistance or token resistance when they think their Clan is in the wrong. (This happened several times during the Burrock Absorption.) The Absorbing clan is usually much stronger in assets than it was before, but usually militarily much weaker due to the difficulty in subduing an entire clan, not to mention the losses that may have occurred in Trials of Refusal before the Trial of Absorption.
These are examples of Clans who have undergone a Rite of Absorption for various reasons:
- Clan Burrock: In the late 3050s, a scandal was discovered by Clan Star Adder that the Burrocks were working with the Dark/Bandit Caste. As a result, the Adders declared a successful Absorption of the Burrocks, leaving an angry Blood Spirit Khan to leave the Grand Council. The Burrocks and Adders fought a tense battle between their two clans, until the arrival of the Blood Spirits. Both the Star Adders and Burrocks were surprised by the attack from Clan Blood Spirit. The two sides decided to put their differences aside and punish the Blood Spirits for their interference. The remaining Burrock warriors decided to surrender without fighting and accepted their new captors, taking their bloodnames with them. Although some former Burrocks had problems integrating into Star Adder ranks, they planned to reform their fallen clan. In the mid-3070s, there was a brief revival of the Clan, but it was quickly destroyed during the Wars of Reaving.
- Clan Ice Hellion: After Clan Ice Hellion's failed invasion into the Inner Sphere, the Clan found itself fragmented. The few survivors who were in the Inner Sphere conducted pirate raids on the Ghost Bear Dominion while the others decided to depart to the deep periphery. The remnants who fled to the periphery were later absorbed by Clan Goliath Scorpion, where their bloodnames and warriors lived on. Eventually, the Grand Council would later accept the Hellion's Absorption by the Goliath Scorpions.
- Clan Mongoose: Clan Mongoose was always known to be an aggressive and manipulative clan. They drew the wrath of Clan Smoke Jaguar when they attacked their worlds. This was to be their downfall as they tried to sidestep an absorption call for the Smoke Jaguar's rights to do so. Although the Jaguars had absorbed the remaining Mongoose warriors and assets, they refused to use the bloodnames of those "schemers". Therefore, Clan Cloud Cobra took the remaining bloodnames and legacies from the Jaguars to their ire.
- Clan Widowmaker: After claims of Clan Widowmaker's mistreatment of their civilian caste reached the ears of Wolf Khan Jerome Winson, he asked ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky for the right to absorb the clan. The trial would be fought between the Widowmaker and Wolf Khans with the grand council members ensuring fair play. During the battle, the Widowmaker Khan inadvertently killed the ilKhan sending the Wolves in a fitting rage, turning it into an "Annihilation". In the aftermath, the remaining Widowmaker bloodnames would be absorbed into Clan Wolf.
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 13