Trial of Reaving
A Trial of Reaving, or more commonly, a Reaving, is the practice of trimming down the amount of Blood Heritages associated with a given Bloodname. It was once a tool of the eugenics program, but became a punishment and eventually would evolve into a political weapon, used especially in conflicts amongst the Home Clans that culminated in the Wars of Reaving.
Reaving was originally a formal practice that involved the leaders of the associated Bloodname Houses, the scientist caste and their respective Clan Councils as a way to help control the quality of the gene pool. If a Bloodline under-performed, it could be subject to a Reaving, in order to eliminate excess mediocre blood heritages. Most commonly, a given Bloodname could be lowered from the standard Bloodcount of 25 Blood Heritages to 20 or 15, but in cases of more pronounced mediocrity the Bloodcount might be lowered to 10, or even 5, for the poorest quality lines. Rarely have many of the exclusive Bloodnames suffered Reavings, while the most successful Bloodnames have never faced one.
Trial of Reaving
Quite naturally, Reaving would become a punishment, as well as a political tool, as the less Bloodnamed warriors a Bloodname House has, the less votes they have in their Clan Council. If a Bloodnamed warrior dies, a Bloodnamed warrior of another Bloodname House from any Clan (though it may also be a Clan that calls the Reaving) may call a Reaving on the vacated blood heritage, which will effectively put the Bloodname Trial on hold until the issue is resolved. The Grand Council then weighs the case, though in certain internal cases―such as with Clan Coyote in the 30th century―individual Clan Councils will make the ruling. Most often, a Trial of Refusal (in this case called a Trial of Reaving) is called by the Bloodname House in question, with the Bloodname House that called the Reaving cast as defender of the decision. If the House that called down the Reaving fails in this matter, then the Reaving is truly reversed. The next time a Bloodname Trial is to be held in their Bloodname House, they suffer the Reaving. This caveat ensures that the decision to call a Reaving is most always a calculated one. The opposite of this Trial is called a Trial of Propagation, whereby the Bloodcount is raised.
The ilKhan can decree the cancellation of a Bloodright Trial, which though not technically a reaving, it reduces the Bloodcount until the ilKhan or the Grand Council allows it to be reactivated. Ulric Kerensky applied this to Conal Ward's legacy.
As stated, the practice of Reaving would be used as a punishment to certain Blood Houses. After the infamous Clan Steel Viper Khan Ellie Kinnison died while attempting to assassinate Jennifer Winson in 2824, her entire Blood Heritage was Reaved by order of ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky.
That same year, Clan Widowmaker Khan Jason Karrige died amid swirling rumors about some level of involvement with the Not-Named Clan. Like Kinnison before him, his Bloodline would be Reaved, though official records from this chaotic time claim only that his blood heritage was "lost" in a lab accident.
Many years later, in 2976, Clan Coyote was forced to Annihilate eight entire Bloodname Houses in the wake of the Blood Scandal. After the mass executions of the guilty warriors as well as their offspring (It is not clear if there were any Refusals fought over the ruling, though there was likely some amount of violent resistance), Coyote Khan Tatiana Steele called down a Reaving on the Bloodname Houses, effectively Annihilating them as well. Though the many loyal warriors born to these eight Bloodname Houses who had fought and died for Clan Coyote in the past were still honored and remembered, the traitors would all be stricken from history, and their Bloodlines with them.
Reavings would continued to be called from time to time, though they were an uncommon measure. Most notably, a Reaving was called after the death of ilKhan Garret Sainze in a Trial of Refusal over his election to the high office. Clan Cloud Cobra would call a Reaving on his Bloodline, claiming his failure to both command order and respect in the Grand Council, and his failure to begin preparations for a new Inner Sphere invasion―for which he had ostensibly been elected to do―were due to the weakness of his Blood heritage. Clan Fire Mandrill would successfully fend off the Reaving call, but events would continue to spiral out of the control of Kindraa Sainze's new leadership, leading the rest of their Clan into eventual ruin.
Wars of Reaving
Elected later that year in 3071, ilKhan Brett Andrews of Steel Vipers would turn Reavings into a very powerful political weapon to be used for the gain of stronger Clans who had the power to take advantage of the situation, while simultaneously removing the "taint" of the Inner Sphere from the Clans. By the ilKhan's decree, a Reaving could now be called for any name associated with the Spheroid Clans, on warriors living or dead. All subjects to these Reaving calls could be eliminated by any means at hand. He would demonstrate his decree by killing Clan Diamond Shark saKhan Angus Labov in full view of the Grand Council quite suddenly by way of a deftly-thrown knife moments after declaring a Reaving on his Bloodname.
While this event shocked the Grand Council, it would also motivate them toward a process that culminated several years later in the total destruction of several Clans―including the Steel Vipers―and the near death of the Clan Way in general. Presumably, Reavings were returned to their pre-3071 form by succeeding ilKhan Hannibal Banacek.
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 40 - "Bloodcount and Reaving"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 254 - "Reaving"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 42-43 - "The Blood Scandal"
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 65 - "The Reaving"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 134 - "Founding and Treachery"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 111-112 - "Jason Karrige, Profile"
- Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 101 - "Death and Rebirth"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 63-64 - "Machinations and Manipulations"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 78 - "The Reaving of the Blood"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 150 - "Focused Aggression"
- The Wars of Reaving, p. 183 "Hannibal Banacek Profile"