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- This article is about the mercenary unit. For the scenario pack, see The Kell Hounds.
|Unit Profile (as of 3057)|
|CO||Lt. Colonel Daniel Allard|
The Kell Hounds are one of the most celebrated mercenary units in the Inner Sphere. Founded by the legendary MechWarrior Morgan Kell and his brother Patrick, the Kell Hounds have played pivotal roles in the history of the Successor States, from the Succession Wars to the Clan Invasion.
- 1 History
- 2 Organization
- 3 Other Appearances
- 4 References
In the Beginning
The Kell Hounds were born even before Morgan and Patrick had thoughts of running their own mercenary command. Arthur Luvon, future husband of Lyran Archon Katrina Steiner and Morgan and Patrick's cousin, dubbed the two brothers the Kell Hounds after witnessing them as young boys running around and terrorizing a neighbor's flock of sheep. Arthur drew up the Kell Hounds' crest and predicted that the two would grow up to become great MechWarriors. When Arthur died, Morgan and Patrick used the money left to them to form the Kell Hounds mercenary unit which they created in 3010. Though initially mocked as rich boys playing mercenary, the two made quite the impression with their surprisingly advanced grasp of strategy and tactics, as well as a top-notch technical support staff.
Third Succession War
During the Third Succession War, the Kell Hounds were sent to the planet of Mallory's World, where Prince Ian Davion of the Federated Suns was engaged in a running battle with Yorinaga Kurita and his Second Sword of Light regiment. Prince Davion was killed in a rear-guard action and would have been taken as a trophy by Yorinaga had not Morgan Kell intervened. In one of the most celebrated, and mysterious, battles of all time, Morgan challenged Yorinaga to a duel that would decide the victor of Mallory's World. The battle between these two elite MechWarriors became a deadly game of cat and mouse, with Morgan's more agile Archer feinting and striking against Yorinaga's more powerful Warhammer. Yorinaga seemed to gain the upper hand when a blast from his PPC destroyed the Archer's right arm. With the Archer on its knees, Yorinaga moved in to deliver the final blow. At this point, however, by all accounts Morgan's Archer disappeared from the battle computers of every 'Mech present; the computers would just not acknowledge the 'Mech as a target. Thus, at point-blank range, Yorinaga managed to fire, and miss, with all the weapons at his disposal. In disbelief Yorinaga fired again and again, each time missing the Archer which was just a few meters away. In the midst of this firestorm, Morgan managed to bring his 'Mech upright and bow towards Yorinaga. At this Yorinaga paused, uttered a haiku, and finally ordered his unit to pull back. The Kell Hounds had carried the day in a most extraordinary fashion.
The mysterious conclusion of this duel became known as the Phantom 'Mech, and became a legend throughout the Inner Sphere.
Following the campaign on Mallory's World, Morgan did the totally unexpected: He largely disbanded the Kell Hounds, sending off two-thirds of the regiment and leaving his brother Patrick with only a mixed battalion of 'Mechs and supporting vehicles. Morgan himself went into exile, hiding away on the religious retreat of Zaniah III. All of this without word or rhyme to any of the remaining Kell Hounds and, most cruelly in the eyes of those left behind, without any explanation to Patrick.
The Silver Eagle Incident
Reduced down to the level of a reinforced battalion after what the remaining Kell Hounds had dubbed "The Defection," the unit was entering its darkest days. But Patrick, taking the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel as he believed Morgan to still be the commanding officer of the Kell Hounds, was determined to make the new Kell Hounds the best battalion-level mercenary unit out there. Their next contract was a pirate-hunting mission on the fringes of the Free Worlds League. Eventually, the Kell Hounds found themselves employed by the Lyran Commonwealth again to garrison duty on the planet of Pacifica. When the Draconis Combine got word of this, a task force was covertly sent to destroy the Kell Hounds.
The Hounds beat off the first few attempts, though Patrick was critically wounded. Soon, however, they found their situation untenable. Getting off-planet and jumping into Combine space, the Kell Hounds found themselves at a former mining outpost called Styx. Unbeknownst to the Kell Hounds, the DropShip Silver Eagle, carrying Archon-designate Melissa Steiner on a covert mission to meet her future husband Hanse Davion, had been hijacked and taken to Styx by the local Heimdall cell. To make matters worse, the Combine had gotten wind of this and sent the newly formed Genyosha with Yorinaga Kurita at its head to capture Melissa. Only when lead elements of the Kell Hounds make their way partly through the Styx compound, and had come across Melissa themselves, did they come to understand the gravity of the situation.
Tricking the Kutritans into thinking that they had already taken Melissa off-planet, the Kell Hounds waited for Patrick's cue to engage the Genyosha, which came in the form of Patrick dropping his Victor right in the midst of the Kuritans despite his previous injuries. As the rest of the Kell Hounds attacked, Patrick made it his sole duty to reduce the numerical superiority of the Genyosha despite murderous fire coming from Yorinaga's Warhammer. The battle came to an end when Yorinaga destroyed Patrick's Victor, and in return Captain Daniel Allard rammed his Valkyrie into the back of Yorinaga's Warhammer. With the Genyosha in retreat, the Kell Hounds had saved Melissa Steiner but at a great cost: Patrick Kell died from his wounds, safe in the knowledge that he had done his duty.
Fourth Succession War
Following the death of Patrick Kell, Morgan returned from exile and recalled those former Kell Hounds that he had previously sent away. Back up to regimental strength, Morgan set the Kell Hounds on a path of vengeance against Yorinaga Kurita even as the Fourth Succession War broke out across the Inner Sphere. The first meeting between the Hounds and Yorinaga's Genyosha was technically on the planet of Northwind. Major Scott Bradley, one of those Kell Hounds who left under Morgan's orders, petitioned Morgan to fold his Bradley's Bravos into the Kell Hounds and was thus allowed to designate his unit as the Kell Hound's Third 'Mech Battalion. Thus when the Draconis Combine launched an invasion of Northwind, the Genyosha was among the invading forces.
While the Genyosha were on Northwind Morgan took the Kell Hounds proper to Nashira, the homeworld of the Genyosha. Not finding them there, Morgan instructed the civilians to vacate the Genyosha's command post and to take as many of the Genyosha's personal effects along with them before his Hounds leveled the command post. In this way Morgan sought to distinguish this fight as one between him and Yorinaga alone. To arrange a proper meeting between the two, Morgan created a large star map out of the rubble of the command post, indicating that Morgan and Yorinaga should decide their fate on the planet of Ryde.
The Kell Hounds were one of the first House units (contracted by the Free Rasalhague Republic) to face the Clans. In 3049, the Kell Hound's Third Battalion fought a running battle with elements of Clan Wolf on The Rock while hunting pirates who used the planet as their base of operations. Though the Hounds fought with their typical skill and tenacity, they were no match for the superior weaponry and skill of the Clan pilots; eventually the entire battalion was destroyed. However, Phelan Kell, son of Morgan, would be taken captive by the Wolves and rise through the ranks of the Wolf Clan to eventually stand as one of their Khans.
Despite their initial losses, the Hounds would participate in two major victories against the Clans. The first was in the liberation of Twycross, when they and elements from the Federated Commonwealth wrested control of the planet from Clan Jade Falcon. Though a costly battle, it served as a great moral boost for the entire Inner Sphere as it proved that the Clans could be beaten. The Hounds also played a crucial role during the Battle of Luthien, where Clans Smoke Jaguar and Nova Cat attempted to decapitate the Draconis Combine in one fell swoop. During that battle, the Hounds along side Wolf's Dragoons and elite units of the Combine helped turn the invaders from the Draconis Combine's capital. Following that battle, Coordinator Takashi Kurita rescinded his "Death to Mercenaries" order.
Clan Wolf-in-Exile and the Arc Royal Defense Cordon
When the Wolves-in-Exile, led by former Kell Hound Phelan Kell, arrived in the Inner Sphere in 3057, they were eventually allowed to set up in Arc-Royal by Morgan Kell. The Kell Hounds also formed a core contingent of the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon (ARDC) under the command of Morgan Kell shortly after Katherine Steiner-Davion seceded the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth and re-named it the Lyran Alliance. This placed them in a position to defend Lyran space from Clan incursions, more specifically the Jade Falcons, but also the Crusader Wolves.
FedCom Civil War
In February 3072 the elements of the Kell Hounds participated in the liberation of Donegal from the Word of Blake. On Arc-Royal, the Kell Hounds' independent company, Crescent Hawks re-formed under command of Captain Jeremiah Youngblood. The unit contracted as part of Uncle Chandy's allied forces.
On August 28th, 3073, 1st Regiment was attacked on New Exford by WoB's 50th Shadow Division. The unit aerospace assets were not adequate enough stop them from landing. The 2nd Battalion attempted to flank incoming force, but was themselves annihilated to last man. Leave the remaining two battalions to defend the their base. Regiment's temporary commanding officer, Christian Kell was killed by head hunter units sent from the 50th, causing the remaining hounds to fall back. The unit suffered from 70% losses, by the time the unit able retreat.
The Kell Hounds have two reinforced 'Mech regiments, each with their own complement of AeroSpace Fighters and infantry. The Hounds also employ a command lance for the entire unit, which is never included in any contract; however, the Kell Hounds reserve the right to deploy the command lance with any of its units in the field.
Though Morgan is officially retired, he is still regarded as the supreme commander of the Kell Hounds; as such, Daniel Allard (overall unit commander), Akira Brahe (First Regiment commander), and Scott Bradley Jr. (Second Regiment commander) have taken the rank of lieutenant-colonel out of respect for Morgan.
The Kell Hounds appear in the MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries PC game as potential sponsors, employers (New Exford), and allies (Tharkad). Units sponsored by the Kell Hounds have earlier access to Clan tech, though not as early as Wolf's Dragoons who start the game with it.
- Blood Legacy
- Grave Covenant
- Lethal Heritage
- Lost Destiny
- Field Manual: Mercenaries
- Field Manual: Mercenaries, Revised
- Field Manual: Update
- Mercenaries Supplemental Update
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents
- Warrior: Coupe
- Warrior: En Garde
- Warrior: Riposte
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072 page 85 - Corporate Ties scenario - Kell Hounds part of ally liberation force.
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3072 page 113 - Crescent Hawks fly again! - Crescent Hawks deployed for locals unknown.
- Jihad Secrets: The Blake Documents page 37 - Christian Kell is killed WoB head hunter units of the 50th Shadow Division. Kell Hounds survivors suffer 70% losses.