|Capital world:||Oberon VI|
|Controlled system(s):||approx. 10|
|Head of State||King|
The Oberon Confederation was a Periphery nation, located on the coreward rim of the Lyran Commonwealth near the Draconis Combine and later Free Rasalhague Republic border and was thus directly in the path of the initial Clan Invasion. As a Periphery realm, it sits on the very fringe of the Inner Sphere's hyperpulse generator network. The only known Confederation world to feature a functional HPG was the fairly well industrialized capital world of Oberon VI, which held a class B ComStar station at least until 3045.
Alternating between obscure Periphery microstate and outright Pirate Kingdom at various points in time, the Oberon Confederation never technically ceased to exist as a political entity, with the possible exception of the period spent under Clan occupation (3049-3086), after which it re-formed following Clan Hell's Horses' abandonment of its coreward Periphery holdings.
- 1 History
- 1.1 The Rim Worlds Republic
- 1.2 Inception of the Oberon pirates
- 1.3 Jolly Roger Affair
- 1.4 Rebirth of Oberon Confederation
- 1.5 Rule of Hendrik Grimm III
- 1.6 Blackout
- 1.7 Clan Invasion
- 1.8 Clan Occupation
- 1.9 Rebirth
- 1.10 Dark Age
- 2 References
- 3 Bibliography
The Rim Worlds Republic
The first nation to bear the name of the Oberon Confederation was a small, three-world state consisting of the former Rim Worlds Republic worlds of Oberon VI, Crellacor and Sigurd. Born in the aftermath of the 2773-2775 war between the Lyran Commonwealth and the Rim Worlds Republic, this original Oberon Confederation kept the Republic nationalist cause alive for almost two decades. Attempts at further assimilation of ex-Republic worlds failed, however, and the three member worlds themselves declined as a result of isolation, repeated bandit raids and breakdowns in irreplaceable technology. By 2796 this Oberon Confederation had ceased to exist in all but name, as the dwindling level of technology available on each world meant that the only remaining settlements on the three worlds were isolated towns and villages.
Inception of the Oberon pirates
The first Colonel Hendrik Grimm was a Lyran Commonwealth officer in command of the Sixth Lyran Regulars regiment. Believing that the Lyran military high command had left them to die after the unit was battered by Free Worlds League troops on Graham IV, he and the surviving members of his unit deserted the Commonwealth and made for the Periphery in 2840, eventually settling on the temperate world of Oberon VI no later than 2855. Soon after, many deserting Inner Sphere soldiers who were weary of the endless warfare traveled to Oberon in search of an alternative.
During its early years, the people of Grimm's Oberon state conducted pirate raids against both the Lyran Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine, usually in search of spare 'Mech parts and electronics. For the most part, however, the descendants of Hendrik Grimm concerned themselves with the welfare of their subjects rather than with plunder for its own sake.
At some point, early mining efforts caused an ecological disaster which led to famine on Oberon VI. The JàrnFòlk (specifically, the Jespersen clan) brought food at cost to Oberon VI, which established trade connections that lasted until 2972. In that year, Oberon VI began another attempt at developing and industrializing their world and exploit its natural resources. In this endeavor, the Hanseatic League undercut the JàrnFòlk prices for goods and long-term services, allegedly because they would use slave labor and the JàrnFòlk would not.
Jolly Roger Affair
Starting in 3001, an influx of war matériel from an unknown source trickled into the general Periphery area beyond the Steiner and Kurita realms. During this time, several new bandit kingdoms sprung up, some of them operating from hitherto unknown bases or forgotten Star League sites. Pirate activity quickly soared to new heights all around Oberon until events wound down again after 3004.
Although the Oberon Confederation worlds are situated right in the middle of the region where the so-called (by those in the know) Jolly Roger Affair played out, there is no specific information about their involvement. It was noted, however, that the power of the Grimm family grew rapidly in the decades preceding the year 3025, i.e. around the time of this secret operation.
Rebirth of Oberon Confederation
In 3012 "Oberon VI became the homeworld of perhaps the most infamous of all bandit kingdoms, the Oberon Confederation", from whence ex-Lyran Colonel Hendrik Grimm would lead raiding parties against unprotected targets. Combined with the fact that the Oberon Confederation was explicitly founded by the grandfather of later King Hendrik Grimm III this seems to establish that it was Hendrik Grimm II (grandfather of Hendrik III) who reinvented the Oberon Confederation—a political entity that had already existed for two centuries but was only a shell of its former self at the time—as his own pirate realm in that year. (The original Hendrik Grimm I would have been around two hundred years old in 3012, given that he was a Colonel in 2839.)
Rule of Hendrik Grimm III
Also in 3012, Hendrik Grimm III took over the rule of the Oberon Confederation from his father (who in turn must have succeeded Hendrik II in the same year); the exact circumstances are not known.
Where Grimm's grandfather had founded the state as a mockery of a government, and his father had simply continued the family business of brutality, King Hendrik III took the duties of his office much more seriously. He slowly changed the social and political reality of the Oberon Confederation and attempted, largely successful, to turn his realm into an increasingly stable and diversified state, securing trade deals with the Draconis Combine and the Lyran Commonwealth and even a cash grant from the latter. Tacitly recognizing the utility of stability on their borders, representatives from both House Steiner and House Kurita approached Hendrik III with offers of formal alliance. However, Grimm was reluctant to commit himself one way or the other, remaining cautiously neutral, negotiating a possible alliance with both and probably playing one Successor House against the other. As of 3025 he was said to be temporarily allied with House Kurita, but still negotiating with Steiner representatives.
Apparently seeking respectability through standard interstellar trade, Grimm forbade his forces to raid the nearby Elysian Fields. He managed to create cordial relations with the Elysian worlds and several trade and territorial agreements were made, the most important of which offered Grimm's navy docking rights in return for military protection against other bandit kingdoms in the area.
Unlike most other bandit kingdoms, the Oberon Confederation was largely self-sufficient. Most importantly, it possessed several water-rich planets besides the electronics industry on Oberon VI, making it independent from raiding its neighbors. Instead of sponsoring pirate raids, Hendrik III preferred to rent out his troops as mercenaries to the highest bidder. This gave the Oberon Confederation a veil of legitimacy, although slavery and piracy apparently still continued behind the scenes.
On a social level, a limited form of democracy brought about an educational system for the young, training facilities for MechWarriors, technicians, and even a modest pension plan for officers and enlisted personnel who had served the Confederation. The Confederation's technological level was above average (by periphery standards at least), and the population included many skilled scientists and technicians but also large numbers of slaves who were worked like beasts and severely mistreated.
By 3025, Hendrik III ruled over a loose coalition of twelve other pirate kingdoms, and his Oberon Confederation was on the verge of being accepted as a legitimate state. At this time, it included the worlds of Blackstone, Crellacor, Drask's Den, Ferris, Gustrell, Paulus Prime, Placida, Sigurd and The Rock, plus a varying collection of others most of the time including their "protectorate", the Elysian Fields.
The infamous Redjack Ryan was a renegade from the Oberon Confederation. He made his first appearance in the Inner Sphere as a lieutenant commanding one of Hendrik III's mercenary units. In 3017 his unit was hired out to occupy or garrison the world of Fianna, which at the time was contested between the Lyran Commonwealth and the Free Worlds League. Ryan and his men were unable to adequately deal with civil unrest and, in a vicious circle of escalation, wrought utter destruction on the world including, among other atrocities, the destruction of a chemical weapons depot and fusion power plant which led to contamination of the world's atmosphere. Before either Hendrik III or House Marik could assemble a force to deal with him, Ryan fled with his battalion of BattleMechs from the Oberon Guards and established himself as pirate leader on the world of Butte Hold, adjacent to the Oberon Confederation.
In the wake of Ryan's desertion, his lover Maria Morgraine, another lieutenant in Hendrik III's forces, also broke away from the Oberon Confederation in 3021 and founded yet another microstate, Morgraine's Valkyrate, which she ruled from the capital world of Götterdämmerung. Between 3021 and 3023 she extended her control over five ice worlds.
Mercenary forces from the Oberon Confederation, including Sigurd native Lori Kalmar, carried out the dishonorable sneak attack that destroyed Carlyle's Commandos on Trellwan in 3024. In this action, the Oberon mercenaries had been hired by the Lyran Commonwealth but actually acted on orders from Duke Hassid Ricol, the infamous Red Duke from the Draconis Combine, and attacked their Lyran employers upon arriving to ostensibly reinforce the garrison.
Although these mercenaries were drawn from, and posed as, Oberon Confederation troops, they were in fact controlled by a rogue faction within the Confederation and sent out on what amounted to a suicide mission; Hendrik III apparently had no part in the plot.
In 3028 Hendrik III set Redjack Ryan and Maria Morgraine up to wipe each other out. However, the plot backfired when they instead reunited and married, merging their domains to create the Greater Valkyrate, a Periphery power strong enough to curb the Oberon Confederation. Presumably as a reaction to this new threat, the Oberon Confederation built up its military beginning around 3035. Instead of attacking the Valkyrate, however, the Confederation began raiding the Lyran portion of the Federated Commonwealth, Free Rasalhague Republic, and Draconis Combine.
In 3045, ComStar reportedly lost all contact with Oberon VI as well as the Elysian Fields, Oberon's protectorate, but that was not considered very unusual in this unstable region and thought to be a consequence of an internal coup, or simply an equipment failure.
Hendrik III had—or so he believed—subverted Precentor Rodrick who subsequently pretended to ComStar that the HPG could not transmit messages anymore, though it could still receive. The HPG was in fact perfectly able to send messages, as demonstrated by Hendrik Grimm III's final message to his daughter. (It should be noted that the fact that the message was received from an ostensibly broken HPG, relayed through the ComStar network and delivered to the intended recipient strongly indicates that ComStar were fully aware of the precentor's spiel and playing along. Hendrik III, like almost all people outside of ComStar, would only have a very basic, if any, understanding of how the HPG network works, and thus would not necessarily have realized this.)
In 3049, the worlds of the Oberon Confederation were quickly overrun as the Clan Invasion tore through them. Forces from Clan Wolf defeated the defenders in short order, their technology ahead of the defenders by centuries. Because of the ostensible hyperpulse generator breakdown, only rumors of the invasion reached the Inner Sphere at first, barely ahead of the invasion; contact with the periphery region of the Oberon Confederation had not yet been reestablished properly when the Clan Invasion struck.
In the same year, the Kell Hounds conducted a punitive raid against Kenny Ryan's pirates on the asteroid Sisyphus's Lament in the Oberon Confederation system of The Rock. They witnessed the pirates getting brutally defeated by an unknown third party, then came under attack themselves. Phelan Kell ordered the Hounds to withdraw as he fought as rear-guard, resulting in his Wolfhound being destroyed and him listed as killed in action. It was later discovered that he was actually captured and made a bondsman of Clan Wolf. The remaining Kell Hounds aborted their mission and fled from the superior unknown enemy, providing their employers with firsthand information about the invaders where previously only sketchy rumors had been known and widely dismissed as Periphery gossip.
According to the game storyline from MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, a small group of mercenaries and Oberon bandits managed to escape from Clan captivity in Oberon Confederation territory during the first wave of attack aboard the DropShip FireStalion [sic] and flee to the Free Rasalhague Republic, where the Oberon crew was however summarily executed for piracy because Oberon Confederation forces had reportedly murdered the inhabitants of the city of Last Hope on New Caledonia over a year before, earning the ire of the Free Rasalhague Republic.
Hendrik Grimm III had tried to kill himself when his Oberon Guards were defeated, but survived and was taken captive. Together with his sons Karl and Johann he staged a prison breakout and managed to coerce Precentor Roderick into sending an HPG message to his daughter Ella Grimm, who was living off-world under another name at the time.
However, the Clan Wolf garrison vanquished the 'Mech company Grimm and his followers had taken from a secret cache. Johann Grimm turned against his father and chose to cooperate with the superior foes, leading to Hendrik Grimm III being recaptured and Karl Grimm being killed. Hendrik III was subsequently sentenced to death and publicly beheaded with a sword. Although the Clans came as conquerors, many in the Oberon Confederation hailed them as saviors and were rather happy to be free of Hendrik Grimm and his ilk, cheering when Hendrik III's head was paraded through the city on a pike.
As of 3054, a ComStar report listed a unit called the "Oberon Guards (Disarmed by Clans)" as an independent regular military unit based on Oberon VI, with "Reliable" loyalty and under the command of General Johann Grimm. Although the unit is presumably only a planetary militia used to garrison the planet for the Clans, the report prominently features the crest of the Oberon Confederation (a lizard's eye).
One company of Oberon 'Mechs had been on a raiding mission abroad when the Clans invaded. By 3057, this homeless unit had joined the ranks of Stefan Amaris VII in his bid for power. Most of their 'Mechs were destroyed by Duncan's Demons in the final battles on New St. Andrews between 11 and 13 July 3057. Subsequent mop-up operations carried out with extreme prejudice by the Knights of the Inner Sphere suggest that the former Oberon unit was obliterated, but no details are known.
Later, Clan Hell's Horses would take control of the periphery area encompassing the occupied Oberon Confederation. During this time a horse breeder from Placida named Benjamin Wright gained influence in the Clan's civilian administration, which he leveraged into outright rule.
After the Clans withdrew from the coreward periphery area, leaving it to become The Barrens, the Oberon Confederation immediately formed anew in 3086. The driving force was Benjamin Wright, building off the latent nationalism fostered by the successful rule of Hendrik III and the vision and foresight shown by General Hendrik Grimm IV in the diplomatic relations he forged.
During the 3140s an unknown supplier provided the New Oberon Confederation with BattleMechs that allowed the Confederation to make gains at the Republic of the Barrens' expense. This upset to the local balance of power left the Hell's Horses Omega Galaxy with a choice between risking a strengthened and hostile Confederation on the Horses' coreward border or leaving the Jade Falcon border unprotected while dealing with the Oberon resurgence.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Periphery, p. 149
- ↑ Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 37: "The Republic-Commonwealth War"
- ↑ First Succession War, pp. 99–100: "The First Oberon Confederation"
- ↑ Handbook: House Steiner, p. 41
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Battledroids rulebook, p. 5; reproduced verbatim in the BattleTech Second Edition rulebook
- ↑ House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth), p. 56: "Tales of Grimm"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Periphery, p. 148
- ↑ Godt Bytte
- ↑ The Periphery (2nd Ed.), p. 79
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 The Periphery (2nd Ed.), p. 79: "Tough Love" sidebar
- ↑ Trial of Faith
- ↑ Touring the Stars: Butte Hold, p. 5
- ↑ Decision at Thunder Rift; also, BattleTechnology, Issue #0102, pp. 4–7: "Hassid Ricol: The Red Duke"
- ↑ Unholy Union
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 20 Year Update, p. 76
- ↑ MechWarrior, 2nd Edition, p. 136
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Grimm Sentence
- ↑ Objective Raids, p. 49
- ↑ Star Lord, p. 276
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3, p. 42
- ↑ Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3, p. 43: "Formation of the Barrens: A Timeline"
- ↑ Field Manual: 3145, p. 155: "Omega Galaxy"
- 20 Year Update
- Battledroids rulebook (reversible sourcebook section, p. 5)
- BattleTech, 2nd Edition rulebook
- BattleTechnology, Issue #0102
- Decision at Thunder Rift
- Field Manual: 3145
- First Succession War
- Godt Bytte
- Grimm Sentence
- Handbook: House Steiner
- Handbook: Major Periphery States
- House Steiner (The Lyran Commonwealth)
- Interstellar Expeditions: Interstellar Players 3
- MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game
- MechWarrior: The BattleTech Role Playing Game, Second Edition
- MechWarrior II: Mercenaries (apocryphal)
- Objective Raids
- The Periphery, First Edition
- The Periphery, Second Edition
- Star Lord (novel)
- Touring the Stars: Butte Hold
- Trial of Faith
- Unholy Union