The Watch is the intelligence agency of the Clans. Its most recent iteration is directly descended from Intelser and was loosely organized at the start of the Clan Invasion on the order of ilKhan Leo Showers. Though nominally the intelligence service for all of the Clans and headed by the Loremaster of the Clans, each individual Clan runs their own independent branch headed by their respective Loremaster.
A version of the Watch was first founded by Nicholas Kerensky to spy on Clan Wolverine and originally answered to the ilKhan only. The progenitor of the modern Clan Watch, Intelser, was formed in 2980 by order of the Grand Council as a means of gathering intelligence on the state of the Inner Sphere. Intelser however could only produce a fragmented and confusing picture of the Inner Sphere, composed as it was of washed-out warriors and lower-caste members whose intelligence-gathering efforts amounted to probing missions of the Periphery. What information they could provide sparked even more debate between the Crusaders, who demanded an immediate invasion of the Inner Sphere, and the Wardens, who argued more information was needed. The resulting Dragoon Compromise of 3000 was arguably the most successful intelligence gathering operation ever undertaken by the Clans, although the apparent desertion of Wolf's Dragoons many years later would again deprive the Clans of much-needed intelligence.
When the Clan Invasion began, the Watch was formed by order of ilKhan Showers as a blanket service for all of the Invading Clans, each one maintaining their own semi-independent branch, primarily as a counter to the activities of Inner Sphere operatives infiltrating their Occupation Zones; at the same time the Home Clans formed their own branches in anticipation of future operations. However, centuries of ritualized warfare had caused the Clans to regard covert operations as not only dishonorable but unnecessary given their clear martial supremacy. Thus the Watch was ill-trained, underfunded, and ill-equipped, staffed largely by merchants, technicians and the proverbial "bottom of the barrel" from the warrior caste. The infiltration of opposing factions was practically non-existent, intelligence-gathering operations usually little more than eavesdropping on local newsvids prior to an attack, and even what data was gathered could not be properly analyzed given the Watch's insufficient capabilities. The resulting intelligence failures, numerous and spectacular as they were, would only heighten the Clans' disdain for such cloak-and-dagger methods.
While some Clans, most notably the Wolves and Jade Falcons, took steps to upgrade their intelligence-gathering capabilities, the Watch as a whole would remain ineffective during the invasion and the years following the Truce of Tukayyid. The organization's greatest success came following the election of Kael Pershaw of Clan Jade Falcon to the position of Loremaster of the Clans, when in 3054 the Watch succeeded in a campaign of misinformation directed at ComStar's ROM, causing them to mistake the location and allegiance of many Clan units. Never formally abolished, the Watch and its component branches would diverge from their original mission until finally the invasion was ended in 3060 with the Great Refusal. Lacking any central authority, each Watch branch began to develop in different directions based on the needs and history of their parent Clan. Those with first-hand experience of the enemy's deceptions and subterfuges during the invasion attempted to adapt as quickly as possible to better match their Inner Sphere counterparts, while the Home Clans' programs remained woefully underdeveloped, stuck as they were in their ways and with little to worry about save other Clans.
By 3067, although no individual Clan Watch was a match for any of the Inner Sphere intelligence agencies, overall their capabilities had improved and many had achieved a measure of parity in certain areas.
Clan Watch CommandsEdit
The following lists the situation of all of the Clan Watchs as of 3067.
Clan Blood SpiritEdit
- Loremaster Bayle Campbell
The isolationist Spirits traditionally had a defensive-oriented Watch, content to gather information on other Clans through analysis of the Chatterweb or through their ilChis to the Fire Mandrills and Snow Ravens. In recent years however the Blood Spirits' thawing relations with the Cloud Cobras and Fire Mandrills has resulted in a more offensive course, including a closer cooperation with the Fire Mandrill's agents.
Clan Cloud CobraEdit
- Loremaster Eleni Riaz
While seemingly relegated to the normal intelligence gathering techniques associated with monitoring the Chatterweb and the occasional Trials due to their spiritual bearing, in truth the Cloud Cobras have a perfect avenue of infiltrating other Clans through their Cloisters. As these organizations extend beyond their own borders, so-called "religious agents" as able to disguise themselves as other followers of The Way and slip into other Clans. In addition contacts between the Cloud Cobras and the Tanite Worlds provide their Watch additional intelligence on the Periphery surrounding Clan space.
- Loremaster Clarissa Jericho
As is typical of other Home Clans, the Coyotes' Watch is staffed almost exclusively by failed warriors, given training considered sub-par even at Clan standards and assigned whatever shoddy equipment is left over. The extent of their intelligence-gathering operations amount to hearsay from Coyote merchants, monitoring the Chatterweb and buying information from Diamond Shark merchants. Actual Coyote covert operations amount to nothing more than specialized infantry actions.
Clan Diamond SharkEdit
- Loremaster Semi Kalasa
As the founders and administrators of the Chatterweb, the Diamond Sharks have put this cross-media network to good use as a means of gathering up-to-the-minute intelligence. Rather than failed warriors their Watch is also dominated by merchants, a fact which as proven useful as these traders use their contacts among the lower castes to monitor events taking place not only among other Clans but parts of the Inner Sphere as well. Thus while their abilities in espionage are lacking, in the fields of intelligence gathering and analysis the Sharks are a match for some Inner Sphere agencies.
The Wars of Reaving supplement is framed as a single large intelligence report to the Council of Six Clans. The book mentions the use of deep-cover penetration agents and signals intelligence (including some of the few remaining Bug-Eye warships) as part of their efforts to stay current on news in the clan homeworlds.
Clan Fire MandrillEdit
True to their nature the Fire Mandrill Watch is fractured along Kindraa lines, and what intelligence agents they have among the other Clans - captured Mandrill warriors being their typical uncooperative selves - report what they hear to their Kindraa only. Efforts by the Khan to centralize his Clan's Watch have failed despite direct orders, and not a single operation has been successfully carried out. Since the Fire Mandrill's alliance with the Blood Spirits, however, attempts have been made to reform their Watch. In a rare spirit of inter-Clan cooperation the Blood Spirts have become overall administrators for the crippled program, providing a reliable central command in exchange for greater access to the larger Clan society.
Clan Ghost BearEdit
- Loremaster Laurie Tseng
The Ghost Bear's policy of wining the hearts and minds of their Rasalhaguian populace, including a degree of semi-autonomy within the Ghost Bear Dominion, has greatly improved their Watch from ineffective to a potential threat. This has stemmed from a large number of native Rasalhaguians joining the Bear Watch, of which many are experienced resistors with a rich tradition of rebellion and guerrilla actions. The result is a dramatic improvement in all areas of covert operations.
Clan Goliath ScorpionEdit
- Loremaster Kyrie Ben-Shimon
In years prior the Scorpion Watch was almost completely limited to paramilitary scout missions, directed mostly in search of lost Star League artifacts, although from a certain point of view their most stunning intelligence-gathering success was the participation of some Scorpion units in the (in)famous Wolf's Dragoons. Recently however their Watch has taken a more overt approach, relying on their nomadic Seekers to gather information from all corners of known space. They have also formed a limited partnership with the Snow Raven Watch to facilitate this effort, and are rumored to be contact with the Blood Spirits.
Clan Hell's HorsesEdit
- Loremaster Temuchin Amirault
Though evidently possessing an inadequate Watch no better than that of any other Home Clan, in truth the Horses' organization are surprisingly adept at active operations. This was revealed during their failed invasion of Ghost Bear space in 3063, where squads of elite commandos managed to covertly infiltrate Bear worlds on specialized drop shuttles and carried out a series of strikes to disable key parts of the early warning grids. Unfortunately the Horses' intelligence gathering and analysis skills are quite wanting, a fact exacerbated during the invasion by their reliance on intelligence provided by Clan Wolf, which had goaded them into attacking the Ghost Bears for their own purposes.
Clan Ice HellionEdit
- Loremaster Jonas Cage
The Hellion Watch is plagued not only by typical Home Clan disdain for covert operations, but their own impatience and an over-reliance on technology. This manifested itself with the Clan took the extraordinary step of reactivating several outdated DropShips and fitting them with sensors and comm gear for intelligence gathering. The crews of these vessels are almost exclusively from the technician caste however, while their defense is provided for by washed-up Elementals.
Clan Jade FalconEdit
- Loremaster Kael Pershaw
In 3060, Loremaster Kael Pershaw was head of their Watch. In 3064, Khan Marthe Pryde used the Jade Falcon Watch to steal information about pirate jump points of Lyran systems. This knowledge was used in the assault on Melissia. Although the Jade Falcon Watch is among the best of the Clans - due to a progressive Khan and the genius of Kael Pershaw - their distaste for covert operations leaves the Watch with mostly intelligence gathering and analysis work through conventional sources and specialized scouting units drawn from second-line troops. The Falcon Watch also acts as a secret police observing the lower castes; Currently, lots of monitoring activity of the Jade Falcon scientists hints to some kind of an internal conflict.
Clan Nova CatEdit
Devastated in the attacks which resulted from their relocation to the Draconis Combine in 3060, the Nova Cat Watch has been in a state of repair and reorganization. Through their new Oathmaster the Nova Cats have received a boost in intelligence operations which, given Minoru's spiritual bent, is most likely a result of the Watch's cooperation with the Order of the Five Pillars. In 3056 the Nova Cat Watch sent two lances of dezgra warriors to Parma posing as mercenaries. This was a training mission.
Clan Snow RavenEdit
- Loremaster Klaus Harper
Their domination in the naval field gives the Ravens an unique insight view in the strength, political orientation and future developments of other Clans. This has come largely through renting out their naval assets as the Raven Watch maintains few field operatives. The Machiavellian maneuvering in which goes on in Snow Raven politics makes their operatives adept at negotiations and blackmail, although as a result of internal rivalries a propensity to turn these special skills on each other sometimes prevents their own success.
Clan Star AdderEdit
- Loremaster Dagmar Lahiri
The absorption of Clan Burrock not only increased the size and resources of the Star Adder Watch but also gave them a deeper look inside the workings of the Dark Caste. As a result their anti-bandit missions are more successful and more effective, while at the same time their program is disproportionally staffed by Burrocks to the point of outnumbering "native" Star Adders. In operations outside bandit hunts however the Star Adder program is no better than any other Home Clan's.
Clan Steel ViperEdit
- Loremaster Artrhur Stoklas
The Steel Vipers are traditionalist in every way and as a result put little resources in intelligence operations, despite participating in the invasion and experiencing first-hand Inner Sphere covert warfare. This refusal to adopt "barbarian ways" lasted long enough for the Steel Vipers to be ejected from the Inner Sphere in a Jade Falcon surprise attack, whereupon Khan Perigard Zalman ordered a restructuring and strengthening of all aspects of his Clan, including the Watch. Despite this however the Viper Watch remains little better than other Home Clan programs, its field agents solahma or abtakha warriors supported by similarly ill-equipped and ill-trained technicians.
- Loremaster Katya Kerensky
As the only Clan to actually respect its intelligence community, it comes as no surprise that the Wolves have one of the strongest Watch programs of any Clan. Hardened by years in the Inner Sphere, the Wolf Watch is experienced in information gathering and analysis by technicians and strategists of its analysis branch, and commando-style operations carried out by specialized teams of warriors in the active operations branch. The majority of its activity is focused on observing the Lyran Alliance and Jade Falcons, with the rest directed to keeping an eye on the Ghost Bears and their own Rasalhagian populace. During the Jade Falcon Incursion of 3064 Khan Phelan Kell of Clan Wolf-in-Exile recognized a Clan Wolf Watch agent and sent through him a message to Vlad Ward.
Clan Wolf (In Exile)Edit
- Loremaster Daphne Vickers
During the Jade Falcon incursion of 3064 their Watch cooperated with the Lyran LIC and ComStar's ROM to deliver the best possible intelligence to the defenders of the Lyran Alliance. Since Khan Phelan Kell brought a sizable part of the already very able Clan Wolf watch to Arc-Royal and used his family contacts to augment it further, the Exile Wolf Watch is considered the strongest Watch agency and is schooled not only in infiltration, intelligence gathering, and analysis but also counter-intelligence work and even commando missions, though Clan honor forbids assassination and espionage. The Watch is also rumored to be in partnership with Wolfnet and Heimdall.
Clan Smoke JaguarEdit
- Their Watch was fully aware of the growing WarShip-construction programs of the Successor States and the re-fitted WarShips of ComStar, but for unknown reasons the warrior caste simply discarded this information and were caught off guard in 3060 when major Inner Sphere naval forces showed up during Operation BULLDOG and Operation SERPENT.
- In addition, the Watch of the Jaguars seemed completely oblivious to the reformation of the Star League Defense Force, despite the fact that the proceedings on Tharkad were all but open to the public. The Clans as a whole seemed oblivious to the massive troop movements in the build up to Operation Bulldog.
- The Smoke Jaguars also used clandestine forces, such as the Jaguar's Swords Cluster, but it is unclear if these were attached to the Watch.
- A Guide to Covert Ops, p. 81
- Betrayal of Ideals, "Book I: Foundations of Fate"
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 98
- A Guide to Covert Operations, p. 82
- A Guide to Covert Ops, p. 83
- Hot Spots, p. 37
- Sword and Fire, p. 176