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Special Era Report 3142 - Beyond the Looking Glass
Product information
Type Online Sourcebook
Author Big Steve
Captain Orsai
Publication information
Publisher (Fan-made product)
First published 2020
2022-2023
Content
Content Faction History
Character Profiles
Era Dark Age Era
Timeline 3142

Description[]

Special Era Report 3142 - Beyond the Looking Glass is a online guide to Waring states of the Inner Sphere set in an alternate universe of the BattleTech universe nicknamed Concertverse AU. Set up in a alternate universe where General Kerensky is killed on Terra instead of leading his people into the Deep Periphery away from Inner Sphere it's wars.


This Era report is in-universe report based on the Fan Story, Emergence - The Concert of the Sphere written by Big Steve & Captain Orsai. This is a what-if setting which was played out on the forums of SpaceBattles.com's Slacker's From the Ashes space Grand Strategy Role-Playing game, which one particular game was themed in the BattleTech universe.

This book highlights history of the settings and it's factions.

Map of the Inner Sphere, 3141

Fatal Expectations (Short Story)[]

Harlow's Wood
Umberland Continent, New Wessex
Vega Prefecture, Tok Do Military District
Draconis Combine
15th May, 3140


The flash of laser fire lanced through Harlow's Wood, cleaving burning trees along the beam's path. The contours of a Tengu OmniMech showed through the smoke lifting from the smoldering forest floor. Second Lieutenant Frederick Wolfe, Third Proctor Guards, flipped to magscan to get a better image of the Drac 'Mech before centering his crosshairs on the inhumanly-shaped bipedal 'Mech and squeezing his triggers. The extended range pulse lasers in the OmniPods fitted to his Cobra's right arm and chest flashed to life in twin beams of pulsing light. He held the beams as long as possible over the machine, drilling into the armor of the Tengu.

The Tengu pilot juked, throwing his aim off enough that his torso-mounted pulse laser drifted off target, leaving a glowing streak of molten material over otherwise-intact ferro-fibrous armor. The right arm weapon kept on target until the beam ended. A deep wound in the belly armor of the Combine pilot showed, though with no spike of heat or change in balance to indicate the engine or gyro damage he'd hoped to inflict.

Wolfe extended his Cobra's straight-jointed left leg to side-step in an evasive maneuver. It kept one of the sizzling particle bolts from the enemy machine from blasting his protective armor, but the other was a direct hit on his left side. The armor held but the sensors built into the plate flashed black on his warning screens. The armor plate itself was no longer intact. Another PPC hit to that section would wreck everything.

"Battalion Command, this is Charlie Company, I say again, we have Dracs in the woods," His Company CO, Captain Minissha Kaur, spoke with deceptive calm. "Our Recon Lance is reporting enough signatures to be a battalion."

"Impossible, Charlie Command," a voice from the 3rd Battalion's HQ replied. "We have confirmation that all Second Sword of Light battalions are accounted for. There's not supposed to be anyone else here. Can you make positive unit identification?"

Wolfe wasn't going to wait for someone else to do it. Despite the smoke he switched from magscan to normal spectrum and enhanced as best he could. The Tengu was still shrouded in smoke from the burning forest floor, but another of its type and a Tanto moving up behind it, were just far enough from the thickest plumes to get a visual ID. His left hand moved over and hit a quick sequence of keys. The paired RussTech targeting and comm systems built into the Cobra collaborated electronically to transmit the data in live tri-V to Battalion Command. "Charlie Bravo-Three sending visual data, Charlie Command, Battalion Command." he said.

The opposing Tengu's arm track Wolfe fired his pulse lasers once more. One beam was a complete miss and the other slipped off too quickly to penetrate armor, but the Tengu had to jerk in a way that caused their own PPC blast to miss Wolfe and blow up a tree behind him. Particle backwash rippled over the Cobra and distorted some of his electronic displays for a couple seconds. When the effect faded Wolfe still had his target in sight.

Before he could fire, the Drac Tanto rushed into view. Its black and red color scheme and the black dragon sigil of the Draconis Combine were prominent, as was another insignia that, even if he couldn't make out the detail, made his blood chill. Instead of the blazing sword he'd expected to see, it was a bi-colored square with a sword and numeral the smoke obscured.

They're not from a Sword of Light regiment! There's another outfit here!

The Tanto was a lighter machine than the Tengu, built like one of the classic Jenners, and armed like it too. SRMs corkscrewed from the mounts built into the chest of the armless 'Mech, eight in all. Wolfe twisted to his left to take the hits on the intact right side armor. In the same motion his leveled his right arm and triggered the pulse laser mounted beside the hand. Pulsing sapphire light flashed over the Tanto just as half its missiles slammed into his arm and torso section. The powerful warheads tore chunks from the armor but did not penetrate.

The Tengu's PPC fire did.

Dammit. Wolfe watched his right arm, and almost half his firepower, go flying off at the shoulder joint. The second PPC blast smashed through the armor on the right side entirely and wrecked the Defiance B6M laser built into the housing. Okay, make that over half my firepower gone.

Heavy autocannon fire tore into the Tengu the next moment, ripping through its heart and blasting the engine to pieces. A salvo of large missiles — VCTMs! — struck at the Tanto. Though only nine hit the torso the explosions blew through the 'Mech with enough power to tell him the shooter was using short-ranged HE warhead VCTMs. A pair of emerald pulse lasers finished it off.

The remaining Tengu faded back through the smoke and began evasive maneuvers. Freed from imminent danger, Wolfe's attention switched to the machines moving up beside him. One was a Cobra like his own, but with the right side of the torso dominated by the imposing sight of a Defiance Doomblossom VCTM-12, and the name of Lieutenant Yasmin al-Garoub now erased by a laser burn beside the cockpit. The other was Lieutenant Tristan MacDougal's Culverin, five tons heavier and built like the smaller, reverse-knee-jointed cousin of the legendary Hunchback. A few wisps of smoke still gently wafted from the barrel of the massive Kali Yama Deathhammer autocannon installed in the pod space within the bulkier right torso. The Culverin was missing one of its arms and the Cobra had plentiful laser burns with no visible damage.

"Bravo Three, this is why you don't ride out too far," said the soprano voice of his immediately commander, Lance Lieutenant Sandra Miller. Her low-built chicken-legged Sunhawk stomped up. Like his machine and the others it bore battle damage on the plates of silver, gold, and red. Underneath the beak-like cockpit over the central torso was an insignia not dissimilar to the Draconis Combine emblem, save for the hawk-winged silver sword plunging through the black dragon's chest. Six SRM tubes were still intact to either side of the beak-ish protrusion of the cockpit, as were the four extended range medium lasers built into the arms and below the SRM launchers. A blackened ruin of a lens marked where enemy fire had killed the Defiance LightSweeper micro-pulse laser mounted just to the right side of the chest. "Their skirmishers got past you. If we hadn't been in position you'd have been flanked by two more of the bastards."

Wolfe swallowed and nodded. "Apologies, Lance Loo. Won't happen again." He turned his eyes to the wider sensor display. Aside from the Tengu falling back, more amber lights were forming in the far distance. He brought up his magscan visuals and zoomed in. The magnetic sensors looked past the trees, smoke, and flames to seek out metals and electric emissions.

The sight made him swallow. There was another company out there. No, more than one. Sixteen. Twenty. Guess that's the battalion the recces spotted.

More icons showed on his screen. Blue ones, at least, coming up beside them. "Charlie Company, assume defensive positions," Captain Kaur said.

"Battalion Command here. Good work, Charlie Bravo-Three. We've made identification. It's the Ninth Galedon Regulars."

"Figures," MacDougal snorted in his Skye brogue. "Intel didn't warn us they'd be here."

"Cut the chatter, Bravo-Four," Kaur snapped. "Battalion Command, enemy 'Mech battalion is nearly on us. Orders?"

"Hold until relieved, Charlie Company. We're vectoring supporting armor and armored infantry units as quickly as we can, but the Dracs are hitting us all along the Wood and the artillery's already tasked. If you don't keep them out they're going to cut through the forest and hit our LZ."

Wolfe swallowed. Hold and die. His heart quivered in realization at just how long the odds were. So much for avenging the Dracs' border attacks, and so damn much for the bloody 'Concert of the Sphere' and their damned Peace. He brought in a breath and gripped his joystick tightly.

Movement showed ahead. The Dracs had regrouped. They were coming.

"Alright everyone," Kaur said over their company line. "This is the job. We're the Third Proctor Guards. They call us the Dragonslayers for a reason, and I see a whole lot of Dracs coming. We hold. For the Federation!"

"For Freedom and Federation!" one of the other company pilots called out.

"For God, Liberty, and House Proctor!" Lance Lieutenant Miller added.

Wolfe added his own cry, if just to break the icy fear filling his chest. "For Donegal and the Federation!"

The first Drac 'Mechs pierced the smoke and flames. Wolfe's joystick centered on another Tengu. His finger tensed on the trigger.

Harlow's Wood burned.


Introduction[]

Republic of the Sphere (Insignia) 2

****INTELLIGENCE REPORT - ULTRA PRIORITY - READ IMMEDIATELY****

FROM: Lady Janella Lakewood
TO: Exarch Jonah Levin
CC: Council of Paladins
RE: Timkovichi Event
DATE: 7 June 3143


By the time you're reading this, Exarch, I will have already shown you the news that Brigadier Huyten and his people delivered to us at Imbros two weeks ago. The miracle we were hoping for may have finally come in a form none of us could have ever imagined.

The Timkovichi Event on 15 August 3142 ended the threat Malvina Hazen posed to our Republic; frankly, to every soul living within the Inner Sphere. The formation and persistent existence of what has been dubbed "the Looking Glass" has also changed much of what we presumed true about the nature of reality or the functions of the Kearny-Fuchida Drive that makes interstellar civilization possible. It has enormously complicated the duties of our intelligence-gatherers now that we have to account for an entirely different Inner Sphere existing "beside" ours, one we have only limited access to at this time. We do have a starting point for that effort, at least.

Brigadier Huyten and his team compiled a lot of data for us on our cousins beyond the Looking Glass. The battleROM footage from the fighting on Timkovichi is of immense value to Paladin-Exemplar McKinnon's efforts in understanding the weaponry, machines, and fighting doctrines from the other side. Huyten also includes interviews he and his people had with the Arcadian personnel on Timkovichi, the reports through the Glass he obtained, and even some of the material Lady Trillian Steiner-Davion sent to the Kells from the other side. My staff and I have done what we can to compile it into the information within this document, which I expect to complement the personal briefing I've given you. Hopefully Huyten or one of his people will return with yet more information for us, but until then, this is what we have.

Everything has changed. And I think Huyten is right. This might just be the salvation we've been looking for.


Intelligence Briefing: Inner Sphere of the Looking Glass[]

The Points of Divergence[]

We're not sure precisely where the earliest divergence point is. It's possible, even likely, it was so small that it had no bearing on the flow of history. It may have been something as simple as a farmer in ancient Terra stubbing his toe on a stone in one Inner Sphere but not the other. Or Emperor Nero tried a different tune on his purported fiddle on some specific day. There is no way of knowing how many divergences exist, simply indicators that they did.

One significant example that we can confirm thanks to Arcadian records and modern news reports is that the Lyran world Gienah has a different history and culture. By the historical record there were fewer colonists of Scots and Indian extraction and more from the Middle East and North America. As a result the Gienah beyond the Looking Glass has the cities of Garvey and Armstrong on the Borealis continent at the spot where our Inner Sphere's Molfetta was built on the continent Carrobesto. The original planetary capital of Ooessay on Alliago Major is known there as Athanasius and the planet's capital is instead the city of Eilat on the coast. That city is near but not on the site of Alliago City on our side of the Glass. Alliago Major is not the name of the continent there either; the main continent of Gienah is called Tikvah, and our Alliago Minor is their Australis. The Shaltiel family have governed as Dukes since virtually the start of the Lyran Commonwealth, while in our timeline there are no records of a House Shaltiel ever holding even a barony on the planet. Each of these represents multiple, compounding divergences, and collectively are just one example of many that might exist once the records are thoroughly examined.

It is most likely one of these sorts of divergence points led to, or "butterflied", into the single most important historical diversion between our Inner Spheres. That came in early 2777 when Aleksandr Kerensky led the SLDF to Terra. During the early fighting in Eurasia Kerensky personally assumed command of the liberation of his hometown Moscow. On February 2nd, 2777, our history violently diverges from that beyond the Looking Glass. In our history nothing of special note occurred on that day. In their history the 33rd Amaris Dragoons detonated a fifty-five kiloton atomic device in the Kuntsevo District of the city. The blast inflicted serious casualties to elements of the 146th Royal BattleMech Division and destroyed their forward staff HQ. The divisional command staff were all killed, as was their visitor: Kerensky himself.

I have consulted a number of official records and historical accounts of Operation LIBERATION and the fighting against the Usurper. There are always allegations and reports that the 33rd Amaris Dragoons may have had atomic devices, and certainly Amaris would have ordered them used on Kerensky if at all possible, but in our history this obviously did not occur. Perhaps on our side a soldier was in the right place at the right time to thwart the weapon's activation, or a different junior officer made a choice the one on our side did not that saw the weapon's use. Maybe their Kerensky made his presence in Kuntsevo too obvious, costing him and many of his soldiers their lives. A more exhaustive examination of the historical record might or might not reveal the why. It does reflect the nature of these differences in history, as history is a continuing chain of linked decisions and choices. Change one link, no matter how small or insignificant, and the resulting cascade might end up with profound implications.

As we shall see, this divergence would cascade until it left the Inner Sphere beyond the Glass a very different place from our own.


Side Bar 1 : The Fateful Discovery[]


======================================================================================================

<RECORDING OF COMMUNICATION, 2 FEBRUARY 2777, 146TH RBMR S&R DETACHMENT, OA: KUNTSEVO DISTRICT, MOSCOW, EURASIA>

"Battalion Command to SR One. Verified enemy no longer present in your OA. Have you reached 146th PHQ?"

"SR Detachment entering the building now. *crackle* Not a lot of rubble. Blast blew the thing over and exposed the room. We definitely have remains. Checking for dog tags."

"How's your counter, SR One?"

"Crackling away. Rads are still evident and above recommended. Good thing we've got the suits. Didn't matter for the staff. Surprised there's enough of them left…"

"Can you confirm identity?"

"Uniforms are burnt to a crisp, no identifying rank insignia left intact. Looks like the dogtags didn't quite melt. I've got… Colonel Jerricks, looks like."

"SR Two here, tag for Major General Scott. Only thing we'll be identifying him with. Good God the Rimmer nuke did a number on them."

"Battalion Command here. I'll inform Lieutenant General Frantisek he's in charge of the division. Any other remains?"

"SR One here, on to my next— Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!"

"SR One? What is it?"

"Dear God, it can't… oh God…"

"SR One? SR Detachment, proceed."

<several second pause>

"SR Detachment, this is Colonel Primmon speaking at Battalion Command, talk to me. Are you having counter problems? Rads spiking? We need an answer."

<sounds of retching are heard>

"SR Detachment—"

"SR Two here, Battalion Command. No change to rads. It's… Good God, Colonel, it's him. It's the General!"

"You already accounted for General Scott, who are you—"

"It's the General, sir! It's… it's General Kerensky!"

======================================================================================================


After Kerensky's Loss[]

Kerensky's death did not significantly alter the outcome of Operation LIBERATION. Aaron DeChavilier and his subordinates took over and continued to execute the plans Kerensky laid out, and while Amaris' forces did attempt further atomic attacks, SLDF special forces and the loss of critical assembly facilities did little more than buy time. In 2780 Amaris' forces laid down their arms. DeChavilier, who had already found the rotting remains of the Camerons in Unity City, did not permit Amaris and his family even a day of captivity, ordering their executions the moment Amaris' Imperial Palace was taken.

The end of the Usurper brought DeChavilier to the same situation that Kerensky faced in our own. There were no legitimate claims to the Cameron throne. The other Council Lords all claimed they had the right to become First Lord and would not vote for another. The key difference was that DeChavilier, by himself, did not, perhaps could not, envision the Exodus as Kerensky did in our history. He focused on rebuilding the SLDF and securing the former Hegemony, but he could not stop the Houses from recruiting their citizens among his forces. The battered SLDF shrunk yet further, almost to the point it could not even defend Terra. As in our history, only Jerome Blake found any headway, being made Minister of Communications by the feuding Lords of the Council in an effort to rebuild interstellar communication.

At this point the divergences pick up. The ripples are now tidal waves. Their armies much enhanced, the House Lords were even less-inclined to a diplomatic solution, and in one final vote ordered the SLDF itself to disperse. DeChavilier was stripped of all commands. At this point, DeChavilier rebelled. He could not personally suppress the Houses, but he had the support of the remnant SLDF in refusing the dispersal. In 2784 the Commanding General issued the Emergency Defense Decree, ordering all SLDF units still existing to refuse efforts to disperse them and, where applicable, withdraw to Terra or surrounding worlds. The Council Lords were understandably irate, but by this point they were already preparing for the coming contest with their rivals and did not stop DeChavilier's actions, though they all made opportunistic grabs at the former Hegemony for territory.

DeChavilier did not retaliate because he could not with his existing forces, but he used the pretext to reform the Terran Hegemony as the Terran Union. To ease concerns from the populace he invited civilian leadership to form and constitute a legislature and government, which became the Terran Union Congress, while as Director-General of the new Union he would lead what he now called the "Terran Union Defense Forces". A number of worlds within one or two jumps of Terra acceded to the new Union and the new TUDF, formed as they were of Star League veterans, easily repulsed the House forces that tried to take their worlds. In 2784 the Titan Shipyards were re-opened and allowed DeChavilier's fleet to become active. They were, despite the hellish losses in the war against the Usurper, still the largest fleet in the Inner Sphere. The invasions ceased under their guns. The Terran Union borders were secure. Reportedly DeChavilier considered a proposal to intervene more forcefully, but with the state of the Terran Union's economy and industry and how thin his forces were, even his fleet, he lacked the means to forcibly suppress the remaining Houses. All he could do was stand on the defensive and hope they left him alone.

In 2785 the other House Lords gave a grudging, halting admission of the new Union's status, charging them as "protectors of Terra and the rightful holdings of the First Lord". DeChavilier accepted even with the implication he would be expected to defer to whichever Successor Lord prevailed. As he and his new associate, Jerome Blake, privately discussed, the situation was unlikely to see any of the contenders prevail, either through diplomacy or force. Staying out of the dispute to allow the rebuilding of Terra and adjoining worlds was the wise choice.

When Minoru Kurita declared himself the rightful First Lord and demanded the others accede to his wishes, DeChavilier still did nothing but declare that he would act to uphold the Ares Conventions and SLDF humanitarian guidelines against "excessive and gross violations by a belligerent". He and his forces would otherwise remain behind their borders as their worlds became the sole island of calm in the raging torrent of the First Succession War.


The Collapse[]

No one need speak of the horrific devastation that came with the First Succession War. The same conflict was even more bloody on the other side of the Glass, with more SLDF-trained veterans on all sides to intensify the fighting of the conflict. The threat of Terran naval intervention restrained the conduct that saw some of the more infamous massacres on our side, preserving New Dallas in one instance and constraining even the volatile Jinjiro Kurita at Kentares. As you might imagine, this had follow-on effects that intensified the war elsewhere. The Federated Suns, for instance, never had the rage of Kentares to boost their faltering morale from defeats. For much of the war House Davion's armies were desperately pressed on all sides and would barely hold in the heart of the Crucis March. At the same time, the successes Liao and Kurita enjoyed against the Davions further strained their own economies from the logistical demands and the continued raiding by the desperate Federated Suns. With similar strains and damage striking at the realms of Steiner and Marik as part of their conflict, all five Great Houses were burning their muscles and sinew, their very bones, to sustain the war effort.

By the 2820s this process was breaking them down. The final offensives petered out with all Houses having gained and lost worlds to the very end, but simply incapable of continued effort. The horrific damages being inflicted were undermining the integrity of their states. Piracy was on the rise and undermining public confidence in the Successor States' ability to protect them. Local planetary governments, expeditionary commanders, and nobles were openly or quietly clawing power away for themselves. Three out of five House Lords — Paul Davion, Jinjiro Kurita, and Ilsa Liao — were killed in action in 2827, and the sons of Thaddeus Marik were waging a quiet civil war against each other and their sister Jeanette, a reluctant Captain-General who had no ComStar to flee to in this history. Jeanette's contribution to history here was her reaching out to Conrad Toyama, Chancellor of the Terran Congress, to request Terran intermediation to end the war.

Much like our history, Toyama was an associate and close friend of Jerome Blake, but as his title indicates, ComStar was not the same organization that developed in our history. With DeChavilier and a functional Terran government in place, Blake never adopted the quasi-religious organization or ideology that ComStar came to be known for here. He founded ComStar as a communications company and a company it remained. Toyama had risen in the ranks of the organization before running for public office at Blake's recommendation. As Chancellor he served in conjunction with the Director-General as head of the military. After consulting with Director-General Sarah McEvedy, Toyama agreed to the proposal. The resulting peace talks were hosted in the rebuilt sections of Unity City. An early proposal by McEvedy to restore the Star League in part was soundly rejected and the Houses would only agree to a peace at the current lines. Everyone needed to rebuild, everyone still wanted more, and the First Succession War came to a stop much as it did in our history; an armed ceasefire instead of the badly-needed general peace that came into force in 2829.

Toyama and McEvedy did what they could to promote a more permanent peace. But the former lost a key vote in Congress promoted by an emerging political rival, Raymond Karpov, and was forced to resign. Karpov assumed the Chancellorship and began a twenty year long struggle for power with McEvedy and her successors while pressing for isolationism and self-interest for the Terran state. His control of Congress and the infighting took the intact Terran fleet and all of the Union's potential influence out of the issue of enforcing and promoting the peace.

The Great Houses should have stopped at this point. But none did. Just as in our history, the Second Succession War broke out a mere few years after the First ended. With Oskar Marik's death by assassination, Jeanette Marik was outmaneuvered by her surviving brother Charles and forced to flee to Terran exile. The war between the Steiners and Mariks recommenced. Michael Davion likewise ended the peace with Liao to reclaim the Capellan March, a campaign that cost him his life on Kathil but likewise tore the guts out of the Confederation's military command. Coordinator Zabu Kurita, more conscious of the toll the first war had left on the Combine, refused to be drawn in even with the Davions and Steiners' distraction. He paid for this when armed assailants loyal to Hoichiro Ueda, the Warlord of Pesht, broke into his rooms and slaughtered Zabu and his domestic staff. His son Yoguchi and daughter Rowena sought revenge. The resulting civil conflict with Ueda accelerated the breakdown of the Combine as a state while forces from the Isle of Skye and the Draconis March continued to engage Combine forces holding worlds taken from them..

Yoguchi was not willing to ignore the war, even if his conflict with Ueda drew much of his attention. In collaboration with the ISF he arranged the delivery of a bioweapon, a debilitating respiratory illness modeled on a Terran coronavirus sample, to Tharkad. The infectious disease lingered asymptomatically in some while being crippling, even fatal, to the respiratory systems of others. Its rapid spread across Tharkad panicked the court of Archon Marcus Steiner, who was stricken from the illness. His wife and sons fled at his command to Donegal while appeals were sent to Terra for assistance. The resulting loss of confidence in Steiner authority proved the final straw in Skye, which broke into open revolt. The dissolution of the Lyran Commonwealth had begun, with Tamar later breaking away and the former Rim Worlds rebelling in 2953. By 2960, Elizabeth Steiner made the change official by declaring herself Queen of Donegal and ruling the Archonship in abeyance. The first Great House had fallen.

The Draconis Combine followed through the middle of the century. To prevent the disloyalty that killed his father, Yoguchi placed most of his commanders under ISF control, angering both the DCMS and the ISF. The various Warlords and lower ranked officers started vying for influence among Kurita, Ueda, and each other. Rowena attempted to manipulate this for the benefit of House Kurita but repeatedly saw it backfire. The Warlords of Galedon and Rasalhague, Tadakatsu Honda and Frederik Gunnarson, remained loyal but faced internal revolts, as did the Warlord of Benjamin Marcus Tachibana, who sought power for himself. In 2850 a thoroughly frustrated Yoguchi Kurita led the Swords of Light to Pesht to personally destroy Ueda, but his own forced mingling of the ISF and DCMS left to his downfall. Numerous units of the Pesht Regulars turned on him and protected Ueda, turning a lighting bolt raid into a grueling campaign that killed both Ueda and Yoguchi. Rowena was disqualified from ruling so she supported her younger brother Miyogi as the new Coordinator, with the new Warlord of Pesht Jinchiro McAllister pledging his support. McAllister suggested that to consolidate the Combine's faltering gains in the Suns' Draconis March, Miyogi should gather the DCMS' reduced WarShip fleet and reduce New Avalon. To succeed where Jinjiro had failed a generation before would give Miyogi the legitimacy to crush his rivals.

After years of getting the fleet ready and marshaling the resources of a Combine disintegrating around him, Miyogi led the surviving Combine fleet to New Avalon. Like Jinjiro, he claimed the life of a Davion ruler, and like Jinjiro, he lost his own. The Davion defenders repulsed the Kuritan assault. Back on Luthien, McAllister promptly withdrew his support and ordered Roweena placed under house arrest. The resulting violence drove both off the world and led to such widespread devastation on the already-polluted planet that civil authorities eventually turned to ComStar for governance and support. McAllister focused on reform of the Pesht District and formed the McAllister Shogunate on the corpse of the broken Dragon. By 2860, the black dragon of the Draconis Combine no longer flew in pride, and House Kurita were broken exiles living on Terra or whichever other world would take them.

The Free Worlds League remained a fiction more than a reality under Charles Marik, who was never able to exploit the collapse of the Commonwealth or the Confederation's disintegration as he was more often trying and failing to compel obedience from his own provinces. The death of House Allison's main line plunged Oriente into a civil war that further undermined Charles' military efforts, while the cadet Allisons leading the invasion of the Confederation from Harsefeld were building themselves up more than they obeyed him. At the close of the 2840s resistance from Regulus rose to the state of open rebellion with the Cameron-Joneses declaring the Regulan Principality an independent state. Charles sent his son William with the Marik Guards to restore his authority. William's subsequent death in battle with the Regulan Hussars drove Charles to allowing atomic weapons to be used "in limited fashion" to compel surrender, and the local commander chose to obliterate the Hussars and half the cities of the planet upon the permission. The Regulan Massacre broke the League's political legitimacy and Charles' Captain-Generalcy. Not even the trial and execution of the commanders on site was enough. Marik-controlled worlds were cut off from the HPG system by ComStar and the victorious Marik forces were utterly crushed by the Terrans' 3rd Regimental Combat Team, the famous Eridani Light Horse. As with Tharkad and Luthien, as well as Kentares, control of Regulus passed to ComStar to help rebuild the damaged world. Restoring the HPGs required Charles to virtually bankrupt the Marik Commonwealth, with resulting heavy levies on the nobility that sapped at his support.

When Charles died in 2854, his son Gerald spent ten years trying to restore confidence and rally the populace with further assaults on the decaying Liaos and former Lyran states. Lack of funds and the general chaos caused several FWLM units sent on offensives to go rogue. Those sent towards the Confederation tended to be snapped by promises of pay fighting in Oriente's civil war or by joining the Harsefeld Allisons' forces. The rest, especially those dispatched towards Lyran space, became pirates contributing to the destabilization of many of the systems of the League. The Oriente Civil War, and social upheaval on Andurien, did little to restore confidence. More and more members of Parliament chose to simply adjourn year after year with little done. Finally, in 2864, a motion from Andurien spelled a final end with the Parliament voting, over Gerald's passionate objection, to dissolve the Free Worlds League. Shortly thereafter nobility on and around Atreus rose up in revolt against Gerald's taxation. Gerald was killed trying to resist the rebellion with what loyal forces he could muster. Much like House Steiner, House Marik fled their own capital for the safety of a more secure system, using their original throneworld of Marik as the new capital.

The Federated Suns and Capellan Confederation survived the 29th Century in name only. Though the Davions regained Robinson, they lacked the strength or resources to restore their Federation's authority in the long run. After Melissa Davion's death resisting Miyogi Kurita's descent on New Avalon, First Prince Zachary Davion struggled to reassure the distant Periphery worlds of coming aid that his faltering government simply could not provide. His diplomacy delayed the reckoning but did not prevent it. In 2873 Filtvelt and Kilbourne both declared independence, leading several local systems out of the Federation in a cascading reaction that broke away the entire Periphery region from the Outworlds to the borders of the Hindu Collective. On New Syrtis the Haseks followed suit, save for a loyalist branch that were compelled to flee to Wernke by their kin. Kathil and Robinson remained loyal for the moment, but it was not enough. Beset by crippling depression worsened by his helplessness, Zachary committed suicide on June 26th 2873. His younger sister Laura defiantly tried to maintain the Federated Suns even as more systems broke away or were taken by other states, including Kathil and Robinson. Finally in 2916 her son Julius declared the Federated Suns were gone. House Davion had been reduced to the Crucis Pact, though it had avoided the fates of Kurita, Steiner, and Marik in losing their capitals.

Smallest of the Successor States, the Capellan Confederation lasted the longest, though only out of pure stubbornness. Their disastrous invasion of Kathil in 2833 and a failed effort to dislodge the Allisons from Harsefeld and New Delos in 2835 broke the CCAF's officer corps. Infighting between House Liao, the Chamber of Scions, and other representatives of the sheng and the directorship broke the unity of the state. Ineffectual and incapable, Dainmar Liao spent his time alternating between factions trying to hold his throne. The collapse of the Free Worlds League and the Federated Suns and Draconis Combine breaking one another seemed to pave the way to safety, but Dainmar was charmed into what became a disastrous effort to reclaim Andurien. The Allisons, Haseks, and the Narayans of Jaipur struck at the Confederation from different fronts. To save their surviving mercantile interests the sheng of St. Ives declared themselves independent of the Confederation. Tikonov would follow suit and Dainmar, struck by nerves, surrendered power to his son Otto. Otto began a reform and buildup program to restore the CCAF and Liao authority. He promulgated a new series of harsh taxation decrees and compulsory relocation and labor orders, citing the usual Capellan ideology for justification.

Decades of suffering and pirate raids had eroded the national support to greatly for this to work. The orders instead triggered revolts on Sarna, Capella, and several systems at the heart of the Capellan Commonality. Otto briefly suppressed them but could not maintain the effort and throw back the assaults on territory. His angering of the House of Scions finally came back to haunt him. An open revolt on Sian itself saw Otto slain fighting intruders in the Forbidden City. His son Merlin was captured by the Scions' retainers and he was forced to agree to their terms to remain as Chancellor. Those terms allowed the Scions to recover their fortunes, somewhat, but it put an end to the attempt to suppress the anti-Confederation revolt in Capella. With the loss of these worlds, the rump remnant of the Confederation lingered on through the 29th and the 30th Centuries, bleeding system after system all the while, a pale shadow too stubborn to reform and too weak to reclaim its lost glory.

In the Periphery the brief elation of the fall of the Star League likewise gave way to economic catastrophe from refugees and the collapse of interstellar trade. The remnants of the Rim World were, like in our Inner Sphere, conquered by the Lyran Commonwealth, but with the Commonwealth's dissolution there was no accepted central authority to restore the old Republic. Likewise the economic catastrophe and raids from Kuritan and Davion commanders desperately looking for supplies hastened the retraction and then forced reform of the Outworlds, who had to abandon many colonized systems from the loss of the means to sustain them. Civil strife and conflict toppled House Avellar and forced social and religious reform upon the Omniss and other Outworlders, even as their territories were besieged by the growing numbers of pirates and warlords. The Taurian Concordat struggled through the 29th Century to rebuild from the collapse. A plan to reclaim the Pleiades from the collapsing Federated Suns instead turned into a brutal civil war that saw the ravaging of Taurus, the dethronement of the Calderons, and the Concordat's dissolution in the early 30th Century. Only Canopus weathered the storm intact, if reduced.

While the dates of their official ends stretch from 2860 to 3005, the plain fact is that the Second Succession War, such as it was, utterly broke the entirety of known space. Only the Terran Union remained intact. The Collapse was over; where five Great Houses had once ruled hundreds of star systems, now hundreds of star systems were left to fend for themselves in the chaos of an Inner Sphere teeming with warlords and pirates.


Sidebar 2: ComStar — A Different Path[]

(From the notes Lady Trillian wrote to the Kells that Evan Kell saw fit to share with me. — Brigadier Huyten)

Sometimes similarities can make the differences all the more stark. Traveling through the Royal Federation had been one thing. Changing JumpShips from time to time was no different, even if the number of them was greater than I was used to. Seeing at least three Olympus-class or similar-sized jump stations at every system jump point I moved through, that was the first sign I was in a completely different universe. But nothing compared to the shock I received once I was on Arcadia.

A few days after my arrival, I received a gentlewoman caller. She was a woman of fine and handsome features who came from the Flavian Principate's Kashamarkan worlds. Her clothing matched most fashions I'd seen for the business class on Arcadia and I assumed she was an executive from one corporation or another, perhaps a representative from one of the arms manufacturers I was contacting on behalf of the LCAF. Yet even then I noticed the familiar logo of ComStar on her lapels. When Lord Marienberg invited her to introduce herself, I was stunned to hear the answer: "Luz Yupanqui-Georgiu, Planetary Communications Manager for ComStar Communications".

Planetary Communications Manager. Not Precentor. Not Demi-Precentor. Just… "Manager". She was the woman in charge of all five (five!) HPG stations on Arcadia, a position that would have demanded a highly-ranked Precentor of our ComStar, but she might as well have been the arms manufacturer I took her for in her presentation, demeanor, and speech. Indeed, throughout our ten minute conversation she never once brought up a purported saying of Jerome Blake or referenced anything you or I would hear even the newest ComStar acolyte say. She was simply present to express support for my efforts and give me the finer details of the communications channel that High King Nathaniel was funding for my reports back to you.

It is not that I found Manager Yupanqui-Georgiu objectionable. I just wasn't prepared for the shock of the difference. Even today, with ComStar a broken organization on our side, a lifetime of interacting with robed acolytes and adepts and precentors left me conditioned to not conceiving of it being otherwise, not as it is on this side of the Glass.

The ComStar here never became the Order we know,. The Blakist ideology and ideals never developed. To these people, the very idea of ComStar as we know it is as surreal as if we witnessed Defiance Industries executives wearing robes and declaring House Brewer to be a source of spiritual wisdom. Jerome Blake is remembered solely as the Star League's last Minister of Communications and the founder of ComStar the corporation, as well as being a known political supporter of DeChavilier in the early decades of the Terran Union. His successors in our history, Conrad Toyama and Raymond Karpov, worked for ComStar at first, but they became politicians and are remembered as Chancellors of the Terran Union during the Succession Wars. They applied no mysticism or theology to ComStar's role. Karpov even threatened ComStar with nationalization due to violations of his strict isolationism policies.

It makes me wonder. Was the lack of a ComStar like ours a major contributing factor to the Collapse? I can't help but think about that matter, when I have time to anyhow.

It would be a mistake to think they're harmless though. While I've had nothing but amicable relations with ComStar here, there seems to be an uncertainty about them and their long-term goals. It's easy to see why. They were joined at the hip to the Terran Union when it tried to crush the Successor States, yet they not only survived the Terran War but have continued to be involved in all levels of diplomacy, interstellar finance, and communications. ComStar either directly runs or provides ready support for most HPGs in the Inner Sphere. They're arguably more influential now than they were before the Terran War. They had a direct hand in the Congress of Dieron and the peace treaty that ended the Fourth Succession War. They wield a lot of soft power and influence for a company that barely survived the fall of Terra. Is it just through being the honest broker? Or could they be playing some kind of long game?

As a final note, strangely there was at least one Blakist cult in the Cisglass Inner Sphere. It was founded by a distant descendant of Toyama on Drosendorf over a hundred years ago. When Arcadia captured the world in 3033 the cult led one of the insurgencies against them before being stamped out in 3034. If I have more time I might research that for the sheer familiar oddity it represents.


Sidebar 3: What about Kerensky's Children?[]

(Like Lady Trillian, I have no clue how or even if we can handle this, or if we'll need to. I figure that's well above my paygrade. — Brigadier Huyten)

FROM: Lady Trillian Steiner-Davion
TO: Archduke Martin Kell
CC: Colonel Evan Kell
RE: Nicholas Kerensky's Legacy

Martin, Evan, I'm sending this information to you first because you know more about your uncle's branch of the Wolves, and the Clans in general, than anyone else I know and trust. I don't know how they're going to take this, and I'd like to be ready for it in the event someone brings this information through the Glass.


======================================================================================================

<EXCERPT FROM HISTORICAL ARCHIVES, ROYAL UNIVERSITY OF ROSLYN LAUGHLIN COLLEGE OF GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL SCIENCE>

<COMSTAR BROADCASTING SERVICE FOOTAGE, "Union Affairs Weekly", 18 March 2820>

Figures Present:
John Cavanaugh, Presenter
Major General Sarah McEvedy, TUDF
Congressman Nicholas Kerensky, Moscow District

J. Cavanaugh: Welcome back, dear viewers. Once again, I am here with my guests, Major General McEvedy and Congressman Kerensky. We are discussing the ongoing Succession War between the Houses and government policy on the matter. Major General, before the break we were discussing the latest terrible developments in the conflict, so I may as well ask: as you are the leading candidate to replace Director-General Hazen, what are your thoughts on the subject of intervention?

S. McEvedy: It would be the greatest mistake we could make. There's a reason General DeChavilier kept us out and that has not changed. We would simply get sucked into the fighting and we lack the strategic depth to absorb losses like the Great Houses can.

J. Cavanaugh: So you would continue the policy of neutrality?

S. McEvedy: Definitely. We should only provide diplomatic mediation or localized intervention to prevent gross war crimes. Kentares remains the greatest example of that.

N. Kerensky: The General is correct in that matter and I support this policy myself.

<McEvedy casts an annoyed glance at her co-guest>

J. Cavanaugh: <cough> Yes, Congressman, I was about to ask you about that, thank you for the input. Does that mean you support General McEvedy's candidacy?

N. Kerensky: I agree with the non-interference but I cannot endorse General McEvedy. She lacks the vision to do what is necessary to safeguard the people of the Union.

S. McEvedy: Excuse me?

J. Cavanaugh: Can you specify what you mean, Congressman?

N. Kerensky: It is quite plain that our society, all human civilization, is collapsing. We cannot live as our ancestors did. We need to rethink how we govern ourselves, how we organize ourselves socially.

S. McEvedy: <groan>

N. Kerensky: Everything must change if we are to survive the Succession War and rebuild Humanity. Everything. My voters agreed with me on that and I intend to press this to the very limits of my strength. I will see the Terran Union transformed, the Defense Forces transformed, everything—

<McEvedy bursts out laughing, Kerensky glares hatefully>

J. Cavanaugh: General?

N. Kerensky: What are you laughing at?!

S. McEvedy: You. You're a sad joke and you continue to be. <Kerensky visibly seethes> You've spent years obsessing over these bizarre social transformation ideas. Wanting to put Terran soldiers through repeated, what did you call them, duels, trials? Constant conflict with each other to "prove" their worthiness to keep their position or advance. And all this stuff about re-organizing society into castes like the Capellans—

N. Kerensky: We need a change! Our society as it is cannot survive the collapse around us! This would make us stronger! <Gestures wildly towards McEvedy> This, Mister Cavanaugh, is precisely what I have warned you, your viewers, and my colleagues about. People who live off the glories of the past and won't let go! I— <McEvedy resumes laughing, this time harder> —would see us rejuvenated, see Humanity reach its full potent— Stop laughing!

S. McEvedy: You accuse me of living off the past? You only reached your rank because of your name and because your poor brother took pity on you! You got into Congress because, let's be frank, some people would vote for a ham sandwich if it was named 'Kerensky'! Your entire career is built upon being your father's son! At least Andery earned his way through the TUDF, and we feel his loss every day!

N. Kerensky: You shut your mouth!

S. McEvedy: Poor Nicky Kerensky, the mad one, that's what you've been since the first day you signed up! But you're so full of yourself you don't see it! Instead of seeking the help you need— <Kerensky gets to his feet, McEvedy does the same as he advances> —you wallow in your narcissistic pride and—

<Kerensky punches her in the face, McEvedy takes the blow with visible blood on her lip and throws a retaliatory punch, the two start grappling and striking one another>

J. Cavanaugh: Please, Congressman, General, please return to your chairs and— cut the feed, cut the feed, and get security! We need security in—

<END OF RECORD>
======================================================================================================


Chaos Reigns[]

The historians across the Glass refer to a Third Succession War that is an enigma. Nobody can agree on when it started, or who fought it, and most certainly not who won. The historical profession as a whole cannot even define when it ended or which battles were part of it. Much like our Third War became a catchall term for the persistent warfare of the 30th Century, theirs became the term to describe the utter chaos and warfare that gripped the Inner Sphere after the Collapse.

It is the same story that has plagued Mankind whenever civilization retracts and government authority collapses. Chaos breeds anarchy, and in the anarchy petty empires are born and crushed and born anew under a different name. This occurred on a vast scale across the Inner Sphere on the other side. With no Great House to call upon for economic aid or military defense, hundreds of star systems were left to fend for themselves. Some failed and were abandoned, much as in our history. Refugees from failed systems across the Sphere flooded the remaining systems, creating humanitarian crises that collapsed social support systems on the remaining worlds. Furthermore, with the House armies broken, the military units that once served to protect these worlds turned to brigandage or warlordism (or both) to provide for themselves. They either eradicated or subjugated the existing power structures for their own power or were suborned to the interests of existing nobility with the means to do so. The new governments were often autocracies of one form or another, led by pirate kings, warlords, or ambitious nobility. Most planets regressed socially and technologically as they suffered repeated raids from bandits and rogue units, their populaces often reduced to little more than serfs. Even the wealthier systems that retained their pre-Collapse political and economic systems were left scrambling to assemble defenses and build what they must for protection.

The suffering may not have matched the kind of wide scale destruction the House armies could visit on worlds in our Third Succession War, but it knew no borders. Even in the remnant states that initially arose from the Collapse pirate raids or other attacks were a part of life, whether you were from Argyle, Harbin, Avon, Atreus, or Donegal. A single light BattleMech may very well decide the fate of an entire community for better or for worse. For those that lost in these fights, the lucky ones only lost property looted by the victors. Those less fortunate were killed or carted away as slave labor for warlords desperately replacing myomer muscle with human muscle in their industries and resource operations.

A single light stood above this miasma of terror and pain: the Terran Union. They had rebuilt enough that at this point they were the one place in the Inner Sphere where citizens could sleep at night without wondering if pirates were going to jump into their system. While other worlds regressed to the point they could no longer produce myomer, fusion engines, or holography — sometimes not even industry at all — the Terrans not only kept the Star League's height of technology alive, they were steadily improving on it. From Terra ComStar and other agencies spread across the Sphere, keeping interstellar communications alive and making the C-Bill the preferred currency of choice (much like it was in our own Inner Sphere until very recently). For those pirate warlords or fallen Successor Lords who went too far in their raiding and pillaging, or the fanatic ideologues and demagogues who might come to power on a broken world through talk of genocide, the prospect of a visit from the Eridani Light Horse provided pause.

In truth, at this point the Terran Union might have decisively intervened to restore the Star League over the broken Houses. It's debatable whether they would have even been resisted. But they did not. Chancellor Karpov's reign had reinforced an isolationist streak in the circles of Terran power. Even his downfall in 2848 did not change that. Humanitarian interventions aside, the Terrans did not care for involving themselves with the broken Inner Sphere. The general attitude was that the rest of the Sphere were "getting what they deserved" for letting the Great Houses destroy the Star League. While individual Terrans, even those in leadership, often proved thoughtful and gave heart-rending appeals to intervene in one situation or another, the general culture of the Union shifted towards a sense of assured superiority. The peoples beyond their border were seen less and less as fellow Human beings struggling to regain normalcy and restore civilization and more as barbarian hordes of a sort. They were a mass of dirty, illiterate peasantry who bent over for whatever strongman took over their world on any given day. This attitude became more and more prevalent in Terran media and pop culture and induced apathy and distrust towards any effort to do anything more than the occasional intervention against mass-murdering forces. By 2905 even those interventions had become grounds for political debate and became reduced in frequency and intensity.

They did not, could not, end however. It was not humanitarianism that preserved them but economic necessity. The Terrans held the oldest settled worlds in the Inner Sphere, and that meant their resources were played out. Not in absolute terms, of course, but the easiest-to-reach deposits of valuable mineral, metals, and hydrocarbons had long been exhausted. More and more intensive methods were needed, at prices that were soon competing with the transport costs of more-easily-extracted resources from outside the Union. This meant the Union could not simply cut off from the rest of the Inner Sphere without pain for their own economy. Moreso, to keep their prosperity intact, the Union had to keep exporting finished goods that their own markets had no capacity for. And in the ruins of the Successor States, the most common and most desired export were armaments.

By the early 30th Century, the Terrans were, bar none, the arms suppliers for the remaining or extant states of the Inner Sphere. Factories on Terra, New Earth, and virtually every other Union world were producing standard components for Age of War-era weaponry and machines that would keep the broken down armies of the rest of the Inner Sphere fighting. To ease these efforts ComStar agreed to allowing Terran arms manufacturers to establish or rebuild armament factories on the former House worlds they held in trust. These facilities on Tharkad, Luthien, Regulus, and Kentares further expanded the reach of Terran arms merchants. Those worlds and governments that could afford the prices could even buy Star League-era material if they weren't on export control lists. While the TUDF did sometimes grumble about this trade, the economic logic made too much sense. Indeed the Terran Congress would even refuse to ban Terran engineers from helping to reactivate dormant Star League-era automated factories since said factories were reliant upon components and parts that were produced exclusively on Union worlds. Thus the Terrans were simultaneously easing the worst of the chaos while they profited from it as a whole. If they ever wondered if the chaos would end, and their actions might backfire on them, few spoke of it, and most seemed not to have considered the possibility that recovery would come to the rest of the Inner Sphere. History would prove them short-sighed.


Side Bar 4 : Dominion By Strength[]

(Got a digital copy of the autobiography of the founder of House Proctor from one of the Arcadian officers on Timkovichi. It made for some interesting reading on the way to Imbros so I figured I'd include some of it. This part especially. It shows just what our cousins across the Glass were going through after the Great Houses fell. — Brigadier Huyten)

The day finally came I could no longer silently endure the pain of my daily condition. Perhaps it was the way Tabot entered the stables, or how his eyes thoughtlessly passed over the remaining stain left when he murdered Sean. My guilt drove me, or fury, or maybe the hand of God stirring my soul for His unknowable purpose. Tabot barked an order at me to move a bucket of droppings from his path and I simply stood there, water bucket in hand, and glared. I remember the surprise on his face. He was used to my being meek and scared. After all he'd done to me, it was as if I was a mute and dumb creature to him, not a person. Not someone whom he had injured so greatly, had taken so much from.

"Move it yourself," I said to him. Words that might well have seen my brains decorate the wall as Sean's had… as mine should have, if not for his courage and love.

But I was not shot dead where I stood. "Well, someone woke up with a pair of balls today," the tyrant sneered.

"What gives you the right?!" I can still feel the fury that shook in my voice here, now, almost eighty years later. "We're people! We have feelings, we feel pain, what gives you the ****** right to use us like tools?!"

Something clicked behind Tabot's eyes. He laughed. He turned to his bodyguards who laughed as well. "She… she wants to know what gives me the right! Isn't that adorable? Isn't that just ****** adorable?!" He motioned to me with an amused glint in his eyes. "Bring the bitch to the 'Mech Bay. It's time she learned how the world works."

Two of his men grabbed me by the arms, knocked the bucket from my hands, and forced me ahead. We left the stable behind and journeyed through the halls. The other slaves averted their eyes wherever we came upon them. Even Ruthie. None dared seem in sympathy with me for fear of what I'd done to provoke Lord Tabot.

When we arrived at the 'Mech bay Tabot stepped forward to one of the tallest machines there was. It was painted in his preferred colors of gold and dark red, with the clenched fist sigil of his "house" on the chest. I was not familiar with BattleMechs, but he was happy enough to identify it. "The Zeus", he said. "ZEU-5T model. One of the last new 'Mechs made before the Great Houses started smashing themselves to pieces. You can't find these outside Terran space anymore, that makes it rare, makes it one of a kind, and this one is mine. You wanna know why you're my slave? Why I get to do what I want and you can't? Because of that!" He pointed his finger at while leaning toward my face. His breath was hot and stank of wine. "Because I'm a badass MechWarrior with a badass 'Mech. Eighty tons of heavy metal death, you little bitch, and she's mine! I could go to whatever shithole town you called home and level it in a couple minutes! I can wreck whole cities by myself if I wanted, and I have."

"It's not right," I said.

"Not right? Who gives a shit what's right? Nobody, sweetheart, nobody gives a shit. There's no right in this world. There's just the weak — that's you — and the strong. Me. My 'Mech, and the 'Mechs of my followers, let me do whatever I want. You're weak, so you do as you're told or you get the boot. Servitors, serfs, peasants, Unproductives, whatever the hell your type are called, that's what you're here for. You're slaves to anyone with the strength to take what they want. I'm just honest about it. And it's not like anyone's going to stop me." He tapped at the ring on his right hand's middle finger. It bore his signet, that cruel clenched fist, etched in stolen gold. "Dominion By Strength. My new family motto. That's the world in a nutshell, slave. I have the strength, I have dominion, and you obey. Nobody's going to change that."

An instinctive protest came to my lips. "The Terrans—"

"Oh please! They don't give a shit, they never have. We're just barbarian scum to them and we always will be. Hell, they sell me the parts for my 'Mech and weapons I've had Terran arms merchants here all the time and they don't blink at slaves. So no, the Eridani bloody Light Horse aren't riding in to save your ass, the Terran Navy's not showing up to free you. You are my slave and you always will be. And to hammer that point home…"

He punched me in the gut. I had been struck before, but never like that, and never with such force. I doubled over and fell to the ground. Once there he kicked me once, twice, three times. No, four. The pain was familiar, but as unpleasant as it had ever been. The last kick hit with enough force to turn me onto my belly. Before I could move Lord Tabot set his boot on the back of my head and neck. "This is your place. Remember that." I couldn't see if he turned his head to his men or not, but I imagine he did. He was posing, and beating me made him feel strong, I'm sure. "Now boys, have some fun. Nothing too saucy, she's going to need to be intact when I ship her to Mull. We'll see how long she lasts in the mines."

His throaty laugh still echoes in my mind He had just signed my death warrant. The mines in Mull provided the raw ores he exported to the Terrans and Hesperus. But they were in the continent's interior, that harsh high desert plateau everyone called "Leng". The mine slaves there died by the hundreds. The thousands, some whispered.

The beating began. It was the worst I would ever endure. But through the pain, I prayed to the Lord God for strength and wisdom, and I made my vow. For Sean, for our lost little one, for my parents and my cousins and all those I loved, I would not die.

I would live, and I would escape.

—Excerpt from The Life of Sara Elizabeth Proctor, in her own hand, privately published 2986, publicly published 3062, © House Proctor Trust

(It gives me great satisfaction to know how that son of a bitch Carl Tabot met his end two decades later. As it turns out, Sara Proctor was one hell of a natural MechWarrior. I'm pretty sure it was humiliating to lose to his own escaped slave. Serves the bastard right. — Brigadier Huyten)


A New Renaissance[]

Just as the Third Succession War has no agreed-upon start, the recovery that came to be called the Renaissance Era, or the Interstellar Renaissance, has a number of proposed starting points. Some date it to 2900, others to 2920, or 2930, or as late as 3000. The general consensus seems to have settled for a gradual start stretching the second quarter of the 30th Century and firmly setting in after 2950.

It seems inevitable to us that the Inner Sphere would recover, though for those suffering in the early 30th Century it might not have been so obvious. The remnant Successor States, while small, could more and more easily defend what they had left. Given time and opportunity, they would form islands of stability that might draw in other worlds not given over to warlordism. They would attract refugees from the worlds still being torn apart by pirate raiding and feudal conflict This process began in the first quarter of the 30th Century with many of the remaining or reformed states finally ceasing the bleeding of worlds from their holdings. This stabilization of their territorial control, with attendant political reforms, allowed a gradual re-establishment of their economies. From Inarcs in the former Rim Worlds to Islamabad in the United Hindu Collective, and from Tematagi of the Rim Commonality to Hartshill in the far Kuritan Periphery, small states started to form around the surviving regional governments or the new powers arising across the Inner Sphere.

An in-depth examination of those states would be exhaustive to cover. They included the Great Houses still holding onto power — excluding only Kurita at this point — and pre-existing regional authorities like the old Hindu Collective of the Crucis March, House Sandoval's Canaan Accord in the Draconis March, and the Skye Federation and Principality of Rasalhague. Galedon and Pesht, the old Military District Capitals of the Combine, likewise became the centers for Houses Honda and McAllister to claw back order among the "Warring Planets" of the ex-Combine. Tamarind and Bolan, Oriente and Andurien, St. Ives and Tikonov. From all of these natural centers of power new states would, in one way or another, begin the slow rebuilding.

Other states arose because of the actions of individuals or groups. On Tok Do the Rengo Social Restoration Movement successfully became the new Rengo Directorate, forming a new Japanese-speaking culture to unite the worlds of the Benjamin District. Johann Sebastian O'Reilly's discovery of the Alphard Trading Company's germanium wealth brought forth the Marian Hegemony out past the League Periphery. Sara Proctor and her Liberation Army, the Lexington Combat Group, House Brewer's Defiance Industries, all are examples of the forces creating new states within the chaos. From each of these points prosperity began a slow but steady return.

We should not presume it was a peaceful time. The Renaissance of ancient Europe was not peaceful, nor was this time. Civil wars and dynastic struggles continued to afflict a number of these states. Others waged wars with one another to claim territory and expand their resources. States like the Atrean Kingdom, the Rayhannid Sultanate, and the Duchy of Antares arose and fell. Mercenaries still plied their trade and often turned pirate on employers who could not pay or from lack of paying employers. Brutal raids by pirates afflicted worlds straight into the 3020s and some of the new states engaged in predation themselves to secure supplies, resources, or in some cases, forced labor. This was not a kind era, and the hope it presented for improvement was a faint one that only improved as the 31st Century came about and more worlds came under Successor State control.

Through it all the Terrans continued to watch and observe. Terran companies won favorable contracts and trade deals with the forming Successor States. Engineers continued to provide assistance in recovery. And the factories continued to deliver BattleMechs, vehicles, and fighters to any who would buy. When the Capellan Confederation finally dissolved in 3005 House Liao was so deeply in debt they were forced to accept ComStar control of Sian, giving the Terrans access to Sian's surviving Hellespont and Ceres factories to increase production and expand their markets in ex-Capellan territory. With the recovery came demand for ever more sophisticated products and the Terrans delivered, not only expanding their production of Star League gear but developing more of it. They also offered and sold the field upgrade module, a pre-packed set of components and instructions so MechTechs could upgrade designs of Age of War-era technology with Star League improvements. (Much like the field upgrade kits that the Free Worlds League provided the Federated Commonwealth and Draconis Combine ninety years ago, at the height of the Clan invasion — Lady Janella). Battle armor suits, a cutting edge technology during the time of the Star League, were sold in bulk for high prices.

The Terrans' monopoly would eventually be challenged. Thanks to their recovery the Successor States started to re-discover the means to manufacture these technologies themselves. It took them decades and it was not until the mid-31st Century they had finished recovering them all and improving upon them. By 3020 many Successor States were capable of not just designing their own BattleMechs but making Star League-level machines. The Arcadian Mad Cat, the Solar Union's Sunwalker, and the Harsefelder Guardsman all employed Star League XL Engines, Extended Range Lasers, and other similar technologies. New factories that once produced basic infantry gear were being engineered to produce battle armor suits of native design. The factories producing them couldn't meet the output of the Union's massive complexes yet and Terran imports were still vital. But given time and resources, these factories would eventually provide for a significant portion of armaments in the Successor States, reducing their reliance on the Terrans.

Terran naval supremacy was likewise fading. During the early Renaissance what shipyards existed were primarily building vessels for the rebuilding economies of the reforming Successor States. For military orders they were limited to DropShips given the lack of means or knowledge to make Compact K-F Drives and WarShip-scale fusion engines. These "pocket WarShips", or "pickets" as they would later be known, populated a number of Successor State fleets in the late 30th Century. But they were only the beginning.

Through the Renaissance a number of these states found some of the derelict ships of the Star League or post-Star League eras while the surviving states like the Crucis Pact and Marik Commonwealth had carefully preserved their League-era ships through the Collapse. With their recovered economies demanding more DropShips and JumpShips and bringing expanded capabilities to their remaining shipyards the Successor States started refurbishing these ships. Naval engineers went over recovered derelicts and surviving ships alike to learn the machinery. After the turn of the millennium the Terrans found the "neo-barbarians" beyond their borders were actually building new WarShips. Small corvettes, like the Arcadian Hawk-class, supplemented the refurbished ships of the past and could at least ferry fleet carrier or picket DropShips into combat at their side. Aerospace force doctrine evolved to meet this capability and "blackwater" naval warfare started to make a comeback, at least in wargames and training. Some of the Successor States prepared to build even larger ships as their resources expanded.

It was not that these developments posed a threat to Terran superiority, not immediately. As one would expect the Terrans had not remained idle through the centuries. Most of their armies were increasingly outfitted by superior weaponry developed during the 30th Century for TUDF expeditionary forces. Their weapons fired farther, took up less space, and weighed less. Their ferro fibrous armor and endo-steel bones took up half the space of the older Star League material. Their XL engines were smaller and just as efficient as the ones they were helping the Successor States man their armies with. This "Royal" technology, so-called because it was concentrated in the "Royal" divisions with SLDF lineages, was sold in some limited quantity through 3000 to 3020. The sheer price demanded and the parts costs meant most sales were to individual nobles, with state-scale buys being used to arm the most elite forces of a state. (In short, the Terran scientists and engineers followed the same developmental paths of the Clan scientist castes and produced weaponry of the same capabilities — Paladin Max Ergen)

The 3020 election of Chancellor Daniel Tiepolo brought with it a change in Terran politics. The Terran Union was still the strongest state in the Inner Sphere by all indicators. For Tiepolo and his supporters, however, the recovering Successor States were growing too powerful to simply continue arming them with whatever weapons they wished. Sales of Royal gear were curtailed by new arms control acts that made it impossible for the Successor States to field more units of such machines. No restrictions yet existed on Star League-age machines and equipment, but the export restrictions were tightened. Of greater influence was the ordered restructuring of the TUDF to expand the number of Royal-geared units, which in turn necessitated more factories devoted to producing these weapons and not the export versions. To Tiepolo and his supporters, this would gradually drive up the price on these weapons and restrain the Successor States' use of them.

It was too late to prevent it outright, however. Too many Successor States could produce their own Star League-era technology. The Renaissance had finally born its fruit and the Terrans could do nothing about it, not without more drastic measures that they, at this point did not wish to employ. But with the Arms Export Control Act of 3022 the Terran Congress signaled to their neighbors that a change had come, one they would need to heed in further dealings with the Terrans. Whether or not this had a hand in what came next remains a point of contention for historians, but it likely played some role in it.

After a century of slow, painful recovery, the Inner Sphere was the most peaceful it'd been in nearly three centuries. But this was the mere calm before the storm. The Successor States had solidified. Their economies were stable. Their armies, once collected formations of whatever 'Mechs and vehicles could be scrounged together and supported by meager supply systems, were now formed of organized regiments of BattleMechs, battle armored infantry, and aerospace fighters, all trained to fight with organized tactical doctrines backed by robust logistical organizations. Their combat DropShips and WarShips were small but efficient navies organized to support whatever campaigns might be ordered.

It should be no surprise that with this much power at their disposal, the Successor States would not remain idle. As the year 3030 came to the Inner Sphere, the quiet of the later Renaissance period ceased. A new age had come, and it was an age of war.


The Second Age of War[]

Unlike the previous ages mentioned, there is little dispute about the start of the Second Age of War. While some of the planning or intention likely dated through the prior decade, it was the 3030s that would be remembered for the profound and drastic change that decades brought to the Inner Sphere. For the next fourteen years, the political map of the Inner Sphere would change more rapidly than ever before.

The timing was such that one might almost think it was pre-arranged, or some sort of race that was suddenly declared among the Successor States. Historians have argued over which state set off the Second Age for over a century. The very question itself has become politically charged in some instances. What the historical record does show is that by the end of January, 3030, the armies of over half of the Successor States were on the move. Targeting one, two, a half dozen systems at a time, line regiments of BattleMechs with supporting forces overran the unaligned worlds over their borders, month by month. A multitude of reasons were given. Counter-attacks against pirate raiders, stabilization of faltering neighbors, humanitarian interventions, restoration campaigns to rebuild the fallen states of the past, all these reasons were asserted by various governments. Some just admitted it as open and naked expansionism. The end result was that some states literally doubled in size over the course of 3030 alone.

Given the hundreds of unaligned systems and worlds one might have imagined it would take time for the Successor States to begin conflicts with one another. But the opposite was proven true on a number of fronts, most notably in former Lyran space. Defiance-Hesperus and their allies, the New Dallas-based Interstellar Governments Council, ended the year with a massive invasion of the Skye Federal Republic, including a direct strike at Skye itself. The Second Age of War's first great conflict, the First Skye War, soon expanded to include over half a dozen Successor States in ex-Commonwealth and ex-League territory. Given the lack of strategic depth and the naval power the States could wield, no less than four capital worlds would be raided or invaded over the two year conflict, and when it came to an end, the Skye Republic and the IGC collapsed from the strain.

A host of other conflicts and campaigns likewise raged. The Marian Hegemony exploded into former League space and even Lyran space, striking at Kogl and Timbiqui. The pirate kingdom of the Brethren of the Stars, under the ruthless Long Tom Silver, struck out from St. Ives to conquer their own neighborhood of former Confederation and Federated Sun worlds. Harsefeld and the Capellan Hegemony went to war over the heart of Capellan territory. After Harsefeld's victory following a direct strike at Capella itself, they joined their allies in the Grand Duchy of Oriente in an invasion of the Peoples' State of Andurien that won them a number of key systems. The invasion of Andurien itself did not succeed due to intervention from other ex-League states backed diplomatically by the Marians, establishing a growing animosity between the Allisons and the O'Reillys.

Across the Inner Sphere, Prince Ian Davion started a campaign of mixed military and diplomatic initiatives to restore Davion and Crucis Pact control over the Crucis March and into the old Capellan March, including securing Kathil's admission by a marriage of alliance with Grand Duchess Maria VanLees of that world. Three years of victories regained a large number of worlds in the old Crucis and Capellan Marches that led to Ian completing the dream of his life. At his 3033 wedding to Grand Duchess Maria, Prince Ian declared his wedding gift to her and to their people to be the rebirth of the Federated Suns. The formal declaration came afterward and the legend of First Prince Ian Davion the Restorer was firmly set.

In the heart of Draconis space Director Masako Honda of Galedon declared her forces were pacifying their borders as justification for her expansion campaign. House McAllister, House Takeda-Suvorov of Hartshill, and the Rengo followed suit, followed aftward by the Azami securing their new Confederacy and advancing through the old Combine-Terran Hegemony border region.

Not every state joined the rush at first, but few who didn't survived. One state that came out ahead was the Rasalhague Commune based on Nox, under the bombastic but practical ex-mercenary Karl "One-Eye" Sleipson, who only commenced offensive operations in 3031 but quickly became a major power along the old Lyran-Combine border region. When the Rengo Directorate defied Rasalhaguan threats and attempted a large diplomatic charm offensive to claim five worlds that the Commune considered rightful Rasalhague systems, Sleipson invaded the worlds before they could officially join the Directorate. In an act that inspired shock and outrage in the Rengo and a number of other states, he had the Rengo diplomatic team on Paracale marched into the planetary capital's state house before having it demolished with Inferno missile barrages. The Terrans in particular reacted, imposing export list controls on the Commune so tightly that they were banned from getting any advanced or even Star League-quality gear, but it was a sign of the times that it did not lead to a descent on Nox by the Eridani Light Horse as would have happened a century or even half a century before.

Another fortunate latecomer was the Arcadian Free March of House Proctor, along the old Lyran-League border. March-Princess Sara-Marie initially held off on offensive actions, but as the First Skye War came to a close and it was clear her state's survival was dependent upon keeping pace with their neighbors, she relented to the pleadings of her generals. In 3033 the Arcadians surged into the unaligned systems between Hesperus, Bolan, and the Marik Commonwealth, doubling in size in the space of a year thanks to the aggressive campaign. While this guaranteed the Proctors would be courted by the Mariks and Brewers to join any future Skye War, it also placed them in the path of the Marian Legions overrunning Bolan. Not content to simply stand passively by, the Arcadians became the first organized Successor State to strike at the Marian advance, landing a heavy rescue force at Bolan to extract Grand Princess Gita Umayr and her family along with thousands of other refugees. "Die Rettungsaktion", as it came to be called, provided a rallying point for Lyran unity that would see the creation of the Lyran Alliance by year's end.

The Lyrans were only one of many such alliances to form. While House O'Reilly remained politically volatile — they would see four Imperators in the span of five years, three killed by internal violence — their alliance with House Yupanqui of Cajamarca and the House Ciftci-dominated Rim Commonality had already restrained the advance of Harsefeld and Oriente. The Allisons and Halas aligned more closely in response and, due to the diplomacy of Long Tom Silver, joined a wider bloc with the Brethren and other allies, including House Davion. This St. Ives Compact, as it came to be known, was challenged by the unlikely but tightly-held alliance between Director Masako Honda's Galedon and the mercenary-led Lexington Concord. During a wedding function on Terra in 3031 Masako forged a close friendship with General Penelope Reynolds of the Lexington Combat Group, effective ruler of the Concord. Their alliance, often referred to in chatternet lingo as "GaLexi" or "the Blood Sister Pact", dismembered House Lancaster's Lancaster Authority and became the dominant power of the Anti-Spinward systems of the Inner Sphere. Gothi Sleipson meanwhile forged an alliance with the Anarcho-Syndicalist government of the Communal League of Sudeten, COMINTERSTEL, to better secure his borders and deter Donegal and the other Lyran states from striking at Arcturus.

It would be a long volume in of itself to cover every conflict and every campaign of this decade. The map of the Inner Sphere changed so often that cartographers scrambled to keep up. Worlds across the Inner Sphere armed as heavily as they could to resist whatever came for them, but to no avail. Most were easily subdued, and even insurgencies typically failed to dislodge the invading states. On the occasions such worlds did regain their independence, it was only from the collapse of their invaders due to political upheaval or outside invasion, and their typical fate was to be invaded and taken by the next power to come along. The Terrans provided discreet aid to such worlds to try and stem the tide of the Successor State expansions, often marking down weaponry and gear for them to buy beyond their capacity to pay for, but it was never enough. Some rare worlds like Palladaine may bloody their invaders and hold out for months, but in the end they lacked the resources to sustain resistance. The era of independent worlds had ended with the coming of the Second Age of War. The Inner Sphere would once more be divided amongst interstellar houses.

The new conflicting blocs and territorial disputes kept the fighting going even as the remaining independent worlds submitted or were wooed by diplomacy. The Successor States started to consume one another in a series of escalating wars. The Outback Wars in the old Davion Periphery, the War of Rasalhaguan Unification, the Second Skye and Second Andurien Wars, and the Davion Wars of Restoration saw numerous states consumed by their stronger neighbors. Even the former Great Houses were not immune, as seen in the Second Skye War when House Marik's Commonwealth succumbed to the Lyran Alliance on one front and the ambitious Halas-Allison alliance on the other. Halas and Allison later acted to prevent a Canopian conquest of Andurien, escalating the Second Andurien War to a clash to decide the future of the former Free Worlds League that drew in the Lyran Alliance against them. In turn the Halas and Allisons, unified as the Oriento-Capellan Empire, would lead their Compact allies into an attempted intervention in the War of Donegalian Succession, changing the borders yet again. Every year the borders shifted somewhere in the Inner Sphere and, up into the 3040s, states were still being wiped from the map.

At the center of the Inner Sphere, the Terran Union observed the carnage with increasing concern. Chancellor Tiepolo began a ten year long campaign to further retract the arms export business in an effort to starve the Successor States of the hardware helping to propel their advance. He was opposed by the manufacturers themselves who were enjoying record profits with the vast expanse in demand. Repeated efforts to tighten the Arms Export Control Act failed throughout the decade. At the same time, Tiepolo himself had no desire to become interventionist like a number of parties called for. Through political machinations he ensured the appointment of a like-minded Director-General in 3032. A former TUDF regimental colonel known as a skilled MechWarrior who had been forced out of the 3rd RCT for repeated violations of the ELH's honor codes, Natasha Kerensky's rise to power was not greeted warmly by her former superiors. A number of the TUDF General Staff were incensed by the appointment of such a junior officer, but Tiepolo's control of the Congress was too firm to stop it. Kerensky's subtle threat of direct intervention in the First Skye War served to consolidate her support among the populace and brought about that conflict's end. Over the course of the decade Kerensky and Tiepolo consolidated their power over the TUDF and the Union as a whole, scaling back the Union's interventionism while greatly increasing its own military power.

When General Aaron Winston, Commanding Officer of the 3rd RCT, publicly protested the failure to intervene against Harsefeld and the Brethren for reported atrocities on Capella and Sarna, Kerensky sacked him and appointed a replacement from outside the unit. The following year, over seventy-five percent of the Eridani Light Horse personnel resigned, and most of them outright left the Terran Union to take up service with the Lexington Concord, where they reformed the unit under Concord service. Director-General Kerensky defiantly had the defectors stricken from the record as deserters, not resigned officers, and reconstituted the unit with the best and brightest personnel from Terran academies.

The decade did see occasional challenges to the Terrans but it was in 3038 that the Terrans found their neighbors were truly no longer frightened of the former hegemon. In May of that year a massive force of troops from the Oriento-Capellan Empire, the newly-formed union of Harsefeld and Oriente, arrived at the Regulus system. Tense negotiations followed with ComStar's control of the system being signed away in exchange for commercial rights and basing rights. The flowery language aside, the truth of the matter was plain: the Allison-Liaos and Halas had just used naked force to compel ComStar, and thus the Union, to cede a valuable star system. This became a political disaster for Chancellor Tiepolo given his previous anti-interventionism had been of clear benefit to the new Empire. A public demand for action was raised, but Tiepolo resisted an outright invasion. It would cost too much and, given the Empire's Compact allies surrounded most of Terran space, embroil the Union in a larger conflict. They would have to ally with other States first; an unthinkable prospect for the Terrans given their low opinion of "the neo-barbarian Successor States".

Kerensky proposed a limited reaction, a reprisal to embarrass and humiliate the Empire. The perfect prospect soon came with confirmation the Empire's agents had spirited away Frederick Steiner, a respected senior officer of the DefHes Consolidant, to be used as a rallying cry for anti-Brewer rebellions to break up the Consolidant state and weaken the Lyran Alliance. In November 3038 TUDF Military Intelligence commenced a successful extraction mission that intentionally inflicted severe losses on Steiner's minders on the way in and out, even injuring Steiner himself. It was not just a slap in the face, but an act of intimidation, a reminder that the Terran Union was still greater than any Successor State.

It backfired. The Empire was one of the largest Successor States and the inheritor to the Capellan national cause. They would not let the Terran provocation pass. In February 3039 the Empire's gathered forces fell upon Sian to reclaim the Capellan Confederation capital. This time no face-saving deal was offered and, after a fierce battle, the outnumbered Terran aerospace forces were pushed aside and a large army of Oriento-Capellan regiments started seizing the planet against the Terran Union and ComStar garrisons. The Terran response was swift. ComStar shut down the Empire's HPGs and a task force of troops were dispatched to invade Harsefeld, the Empire's co-capital system, with the reconstituted Eridani Light Horse leading the way. But where just twenty years ago such a force would have likely carried all before it, the Terrans found that even with their superior kit, the Imperial forces were refusing to break. Though it cost the life of the former ruler Alexander Allison, the Harsefelders managed to hold their capital city and several strategic points until Sian fell. Imperial possession of black box technology allowed continued interstellar command of the Empire's forces in defiance of the interdiction. Moreover, the Azami and Tikonov mobilized to support their ally against any further "Terran aggression". With Sian's capture Emperor Jonah Allison-Liao offered a peace that involved paying reparations but which would see Sian and Regulus remain his.

Tiepolo felt compelled to accept, as did Kerensky. It was a death blow to Tiepolo's control of Congress. The poor performance of the Terran units in comparison to expectations should have destroyed Kerensky too, but she proved wilier than Tiepolo. She provided evidence to his political enemies, materials and orders revealing his refusal to send the overwhelming forces she wished to dispatch, and recast the matter as Terran troops being betrayed by the civilian leadership. Tiepolo lost a vote of no confidence and was replaced, in quick succession, by four more chancellors over the following two years. The sundering of Tiepolo's political bloc, and the shock of the defeat at the hands of Inner Sphere barbarians, had disrupted the entirety of the Terrans' political spectrum.

Kerensky stepped into the vacuum, finishing two centuries of consolidation to firmly place the Union state under the Director-Generalship. She used the Harsefeld and Sian fiascos as a pretext to clamp down on dissenting commanders, promoting those she felt best fit her vision of what was necessary for the future. Under her leadership plans were put into place that would take years to come to their fruition. In the short term, she expanded mercenary hiring and forced takeovers and pressed Congress to pass the Arms and Defense Coordination Act of 3040. With that law empowering her to directly assume control of the defense industries, Kerensky quickly suspended all arms exports to all of the Successor States, regardless of their previous stance with Terra. The factories would be overhauled and churn out weapons for just one buyer: the Terran Union Defense Forces. Much of these purchases were done secretly while publicly it was proclaimed armaments were being scaled back to avoid "fueling the suffering of this new age of war". Kerensky likewise struck at domestic dissent with investigations into purported corruption or support from foreign states. All the while, the frightened Congress became more and more of a rubber stamp. The Terran populace reeling from the shock of their obvious defeat repeatedly supported Kerensky in public polls and, at her insistence, a 3042 plebiscite to approve her proposed expansion of civil powers. The Terran Union was quickly transforming into a dictatorship.

But the Director-General's goal was not mere power. She had a wider agenda, one she had already placed into action. While the Inner Sphere's armies, now bereft of easily-available Terran imports, exhausted their resources in the struggles over the Donegalian throne or other local conflicts, the Terrans began quietly building up supply bases in uninhabited and dead systems across the Inner Sphere. The shipyards started expanding the fleet by reactivating the derelict Star League Warships long kept as a reserve. Regiment upon regiment of advanced BattleMechs covered in Royal technology marched from the factories on Terra, New Earth, New Dallas, Northwind, and a host of other worlds. Factories churned out infantry battle armor and new, light power armor capable of outfitting the Terrans with an army of armored infantry beyond anything the Inner Sphere had seen.

The Successor States understood that something was going on inside Terran space. But they were busy reorganizing and rebuilding. Their factories had to be greatly expanded to replace the Terran parts and components no longer flowing into their depots. Many states had new and sometimes troublesome worlds to integrate and a number of newly-fused governments had to finish the work of consolidating their institutions. The outcome of the War of Donegalian Succession, another compromise peace for ten years, had not satisfied the strategic goals of the Compact states. Yet their territorial gains had incensed the Lyran states. Hostilities between them were clearly not over. With this and other more immediate problems to deal with the Successor States were more inclined to "leave the sleeping dogs lie" when it came to the sudden Terran disengagement from their affairs.

Many even started to feel that the end to Terran arms shipments was a good thing. That with the Successor States having to scale back their expansion of armaments, they would be less aggressive, with the relative peace of the late 3040s bearing this perception out. The end of the independent systems, the sharp curtailment of piracy, and the complicated power balance of the competing blocs of states all prompted optimists to argue that the Second Age of War was already at an end. Peace had finally settled on the Inner Sphere.

They would soon find out just how wrong they were.


Operation REVIVAL: The Terran Crusade[]

The year 3050 started with relative quiet across the Inner Sphere. The news was focused on domestic issues and speculation on whether the sporadic raiding along the borders would continue to de-escalate or would intensify. New factories were churning out all sorts of advanced technologies not seen beyond Terran borders in two centuries. Some states had even successfully reverse-engineered Royal gear and were beginning mass production. Many had significantly increased naval spending through the 3040s thanks to expanded shipbuilding capacity, lack of reliance on Terran-based supply chains, and the lessons learned from the fighting up through the Oberon War and the War of Donegalian Succession.

The unsettling quiet from Terra itself persuaded many the Terrans were still upset over their humiliation at Sian and Harsefeld, but diplomats issued their usual confident proclamations that in private discussions the Terran Union was opening up once more. Everything seemed to be proceeding in such a way as to continue the quiet of the previous few years. 3053 was the year everyone was concerned of, and whether or not the Lyran Alliance and St. Ives Compact would commence hostilities once more when First Prince Ian's latest peace expired.

The first sign of trouble came on an otherwise auspicious holiday. On Valentine's Day 3050, over half of the HPGs in the Inner Sphere shut down without warning. Markets shook from the impact before swift ComStar reassurances came. A firmware update had been pushed that had an unexpected side effect. The restoration of communications would proceed soon. In most cases, it did, with most systems having their HPGs back up within 72 hours and every system online again within two weeks. ComStar offered refunds and paid reported damages with its usual calm reassurance. They resumed regular service and shuffled their personnel around, recalling some for "retraining" while new technicians were brought on site. Governments and populaces relaxed. Errors happened. Nothing was going wrong.

On July 4th, 3050, every HPG in the Inner Sphere went down. And this time, they didn't come back up.

Hours passed, then days, as governments, corporations, and private citizens waited patiently, then not so patiently, for ComStar to explain. But this time the explanations were terse and basic. An unknown error was at fault. Nothing more was known. ComStar personnel on Terra would deal with the problem. Nothing else could be done. As the days turned to weeks and these excuses continued, suspicious governments started investigating. Their intelligence services found a disturbing pattern in the reassignments. Experienced HPG technicians had been recalled to Terra and their replacements were overwhelmingly non-Terran and barely-trained, capable only of the most basic maintenance but lacking any higher technological knowledge. Those who did have such knowledge were uncooperative or had gone missing before or on July 4th. As August began a number of governments dispatched orders to their representation on Terra to insist on explanations. They began quiet preparations as best they could for whatever might be coming their way.

On August 15th, six weeks after the Blackout began, WarShips and JumpShips of the Terran Union conducted a massed, pre-planned operation. Every capital system across the Inner Sphere and Near Periphery found squadrons of ships and combat transports arriving, typically at pirate points. They sent messages to each government. It was an invitation to restore the peace lost three centuries before by adhering to a new Star League, under Director-General Kerensky as First Lord, with all who agreed to the terms for joining the new League promised Council Lordship seats and the support of the League against any state that refused. The terms amounted to complete naval disarmament and a strong restriction on the troops they would maintain, including the technologies they could field. All WarShips and DropShips above fifty thousand tons in mass and all war machines using Star League-era technology would be transferred to a reborn Star League Defense Force built around the TUDF. As a final condition, they would have to swear recognition of whichever Director-General the Terran Union chose to appoint as the new First Lord, acknowledging the Terran Union as the perpetual leader of the League. It was, in short, a demand to make the Terran Union the perpetual hegemon of the Inner Sphere and the Successor States its eternal subordinates.

This was the culmination of a decade of planning by Kerensky and the undoing of two centuries of Terran policy. In the near-century since it has been debated and discussed repeatedly, Some have dismissed it as egomania brought on by a wildly-successful early career as a MechWarrior and the cult of personality she built up among the Union's denizens, or of a reported fascination with her ancestor Aleksandr and an imagined sacred charge to restore what was taken. But there are clear indicators of how this was an obvious evolution of Terran attitudes and policy. The Terran mindset, for centuries, had been one of assumed superiority. They were the Cradle of Humanity, the root for all civilization, and they had a claim to the loyalty and support of every Human being. The fall of the Star League was from the betrayal of the Terran Camerons by those who owed them fealty, not just that of Amaris but of the House Lords that did not act to stop the Usurper. Since the later 29th Century the Terrans had been able to sit above the bloodshed and horror of the Collapse, letting this perceived injustice and their conceived superiority build and build in each generation. The rise of the Successor States, the defiance of Terran wishes, and the humiliating losses wrought on Sian and Harsefeld, they had all struck directly at that perception, and the resulting fury empowered Director-General Kerensky's militarization of the Union. The Successor States would either be brought to heel once more as subordinates in a reborn League, or they would be crushed and broken to reset the board.

It is quite clear that the Terrans did not accept submission from all. But they clearly expected they would get some supporters from those states recently injured or unwilling to risk their enemies submitting. It was a classic Prisoner's Dilemma situation that Kerensky thought she could exploit. But she did not account for a failure of the Successor Lords to calculate as she had. How pride, distrust, or insightfulness, from themselves or their advisors, might make them choose defiance. And here the Terran strategy failed, with long term consequences.

The vast majority of the Successor States chose resistance. Only pacifist Andurien and the outmatched United Hindu Collective accepted the terms. Suddenly the Terrans found themselves having to wage war against the entire Inner Sphere at once. It was a sobering task to handle. And it was one they quite nearly succeeded at. The refusals triggered Kerensky's fall-back plan of forcibly resetting the board. Most of the capital systems would be seized and the outermost capitals subjected to a heavy raid. Military production and advanced civilian production would be razed and every effort made to tear down the governments of each Successor State. Where feasible alternative claimants to thrones would be sought and installed to accept Terran control. One such example was used to justify the capture of Atreus, where Archduke Joshua Marik was forced to flee and hide among the population while a cousin, Alistair, was installed as Duke-General of a "restored" Marik Commonwealth. This attempt to rouse rebellion against the Arcadians and Oriento-Capellans only succeeded in spawning a few insurgencies, much to the Terrans' irritation.

The Terrans had learned many lessons from the debacle at Harsefeld. Multiple divisions and supporting brigades struck each world, with Royal-level technology giving them significant superiority over their foes' weapons. Their infantry forces were entirely in battle armor or powered armor that made them greater threats to enemy machines and absolute death to unarmored conventional infantry. The invasions were not uniformly successful, but even where Terran forces failed they inflicted significant casualties on Successor State forces and carried out their industrial razing with brutal effectiveness. While the Successor States battled to relieve or reclaim their capitals, Terran second wave forces commenced invasions across their frontiers. While these were not the elite royal units, their widespread use of power armor infantry and their mix of Royal and Star League-quality machines were more than a match for many units they faced. By the end of the year a number of major systems and former capitals had fallen, including Tikonov, Albalii, Harsefeld, Nox, Skye, and Atreus, though most of these worlds sustained significant insurgencies or local resistance, especially Harsefeld and Atreus. The Azami Confederacy was almost completely occupied, as was the Tikonov Union, and the Terran conquest of the Isle of Skye and systems near Hesperus through 3051 reduced House Brewer significantly. Much of the original Allison holdings around Harsefeld and Galedon's conquests in the former Rengo worlds likewise fell to the Terran advance.

Through 3050 and 3051 the focus of the Successor States was on fighting back. The wide scale use of "black box" fax machines enabled a degree of communication and common strategy from the start, but the early years of resisting the "Terran Crusade" was a disjointed affair. Marauding Terran naval units wreaked havoc on shipyards and facilities. Recharge stations were captured or demolished. The reformed Eridani Light Horse and similar striker and armored cavalry units frequently descended upon systems with modernized industry to destroy these factories. The Successor States scrambled to repair such damage and defend from new attacks even while trying to hold their worlds from the advancing Terran tide. On a few fronts they even managed offensive success, such as a surprise Compact attack in late 3051 that liberated Harsefeld and a thin salient of worlds connecting the Allison throneworld to the rest of Imperial territory. The last of the capital sieges, Galedon, ended early in 3052. Royal Federation forces reclaimed Tharkad from ComStar the same year, ending its use as a staging ground and, most vitally, preserving its industries to replace those the Terrans had razed on Arcadia and Donegal. Galedon completed a similar feat the same year, retaking Luthien and establishing a wider connection of systems to support Rasalhague's defense. 3053 saw a series of meeting engagements on all fronts that lasted through 3054, with Terran invasion waves being met by ever-increasing numbers of Successor State forces, now working in tandem with one another and counter-attacking wherever the Terrans made it possible.

Many volumes of material have been written on these decisive years and the major battles that raged in every corner of the Inner Sphere. To review them further in even minor detail would go beyond the scope of this document, so as a brief summation the strategic situation shifted gradually. The Terrans had indeed inflicted severe, even grievous, damage to the Successor States' capitals and other industrial worlds. But the failure to secure cooperation from more than a couple of the smallest states meant the Terrans were now a fine blade set against the grindstone. Their power-armored infantry might be using modified crew-served weapons to mow down ten times their number in conventional infantry, but another ten would simply hit them in the flanks with heavy weapons to bring them down. Their best 'Mechs were worth two or three of those the Successor States used, but as industry recovered, the Successor States could double that margin. On battlefields across the Inner Sphere, the finest and most powerful military since Aleksandr Kerensky's Star League Defense Force was being ground down by the rest of the Inner Sphere. The Terrans had, quite simply, waited too late to begin such aggressive actions, and their own sense of superiority had made the more reasonable alternative of equal alliances unthinkable. They had chosen to conquer before they might be overwhelmed; now they had to conquer or they would be overwhelmed.

It was the great and tragic irony that the state that had avoided the horrors of the Succession Wars now brought upon the Inner Sphere the most savage conflict since those wars. While the combatants bore the generational psychological scars of the Succession Wars and could not, would not, employ weapons of mass destruction to the same scale, for the first time in over a century atomic weapons were detonated in anger across the Inner Sphere. In most cases they were of tactical variety, with most Successor States using Alamo missiles and similar naval atomics on the Terran WarShip fleet and receiving the same in response. On a number of worlds the Terrans turned to tactical nuclear weapons to break enemy defenses when casualties grew too high, and were retaliated against in kind. That they petered out towards the end of the war was from an exhaustion of said devices' availability and a general unwillingness to escalate, though the Terrans would detonate nuclear mines to defend their systems in the final years. Yet even without atomics, the devastation of the war was widespread. The Terrans were out to reproduce the Collapse and targeted everything that provided for the recovery of the Renaissance. War factories were the priority targets, but civilian goods production was attacked as well, as were modernized hospitals and universities. It was as if the Terrans could not stomach that the "barbarians" might lift themselves out of barbarism, and in doing so, bring the Terrans down from their lofty perch.

By mid-3054 the TUDF Navy was reduced in strength enough that a summit was finally held by the Successor States, called and hosted by Lord Protector Jessica Sandoval of the Canaan Accord upon her battered capital world of Robinson. With a few exceptions the attendees were the actual rulers themselves, come to decide on how they would prosecute the war and how far. While Sandoval was the hostess, it was Commanding General Penelope Reynolds of the Lexington Concord who became the driving force of the summit. While usually not credited as a diplomat among her peers (though many historians hold she was woefully underestimated in her capacities there), the summit in Bueller was the proverbial woman and hour meeting. With passionate and forceful argument Reynolds stamped any thought of a negotiated settlement with Director-General Kerensky out of consideration. She argued this was not merely a single act of aggression by an ambitious woman with power but the culmination of "nine centuries of misrule, neglect, abandonment, and abuse" by Terra. The Terrans could not be allowed to rebuild or they would try again one day. Their power must be permanently, irrevocably broken. The other states agreed one by one, with varying levels of persuasion needed, until the matter was settled. A careful negotiation of spoils followed, with Reynolds again pressing forward for a united front and cooperation, until the Robinson Accords were successfully completed and signed. The Successor States, for the first time in centuries, were unified. As the year closed out, victories at Atreus, Axton, Franklin, and Sarna reflected the growing coordination between the Successor States. Furthermore, between internal political shifts or outright domestic revolt, Andurien and the United Hindu Collective broke with their Terran overlords. While Andurien initially sought neutrality, ultimately the diplomacy of Magestrix Emma Centrella and High Lady Kamea Arano brought them around to the necessity of a firmer stance. Like the Hindu Collective, they signed the Robinson Accords.

In February 3055 Director-General Kerensky transmitted a peace proposal. The fighting would end and the Terran Union would reclaim the historic borders of the Terran Hegemony and portions of the territories their forces still held. A new Star League would be formed under the basis of equality with a rotating First Lordship every three years. A vow of endless resistance, and further individual communications aimed at sowing distrust amongst the allied Successor States, accompanied the proposal. Given the holdings still under Terran control the offered peace line was a concession, but Reynolds rallied the others into a sound rejection. The Terrans could not be trusted and the new League would still be their tool to control the rest of the Inner Sphere. One by one, the other governments agreed. The war would continue through the year, with more worlds reclaimed. By year's end the Terrans had been forced out of the last deep salients and pockets lodged within the Successor States in the first year of the war. The battle would now turn into an advance towards Terra itself.

The Terrans reacted with the declaration of the Fortress Doctrine and the Reprisal Doctrine. The former was Kerensky's order that all worlds would be held tightly and all efforts made to bleed invading forces to death, even if a world could not be held. It was a signal to the Terran units on worlds like Skye, Tikonov, and Albalii to fight without regard for collateral damage and to use brutal methods to suppress domestic dissent. The Reprisal Doctrine was a suspension of all remaining laws of war, charging that by their conduct the Successor States had made this a war of annihilation against the Terran people and it would be responded to in kind. It was approval to the TUDF to expand upon collateral damage and conduct a war of terror on the Successor States. Terran raiding forces would not simply attack military targets, be they factories or power generation or industrial targets, but blatantly civilian targets like housing and commercial developments. Across the Inner Sphere the Terran Armored Cavalry regiments gained a reputation akin to Amaris' worse troops with the viciousness they employed. Their 'Mechs would spend hours leveling entire cities and industrial blocks just for being near a factory, on the grounds that they were eliminating the workers manning war material factories. Likewise the housing districts of military bases and facilities were targeted and the dependents of entire units sometimes slaughtered in rampages by light raiding 'Mechs. These two doctrines, and especially the latter, ended any remnant of humanitarian thinking in the conflict. Director-General Kerensky had ceded all moral claim to upholding the Star League and its ideals. This was to be a war of subjugation or annihilation; either Terra would be crushed and broken, or they would prevail and erase a hundred and fifty years of recovery from the rest of the Inner Sphere.

This caused a crisis in morale among some of the TUDF, including — unsurprisingly — the reconstituted Eridani Light Horse. They had loyally raided and bedeviled the Successor States for years at this point, but upon finding an attached armored cavalry regiment committing war crimes on the planet Corfu, the ELH turned on them and compelled the Terran force to submit. Director-General Kerensky replied not with approval but an order for the arrest of General Mikaela Hazen and her officers. The "New ELH" refused the orders and defected to Rasalhague. A handful of other TUDF units with prized Star League histories did the same, mostly to the forces of the Lexington Concord, or individual pilots deserting and defecting to join the remnant mercenary units like the Vegan Rangers or, for the more spiritually-inclined, the Warrior-Monks of St. Cameron.

3056 brought with it the liberation of the final occupied worlds, though Zion, Skye, and Tikonov were thoroughly wrecked worlds by the time the overwhelmed Terran survivors surrendered. The following year the invasions of Terran Union systems began. It took two and a half years of arduous fighting to push the Union back to Terra itself. With their war industries recovering every month and battle-tried veterans to lead the way, the superiority of the Successor States was obvious and the fate of Terra was clear. At Northwind in 3059, the gathered Successor Lords or suitable representatives had their final summit. A last desperate peace offer proposed by ComStar, which would have forestalled the invasion of Terra but left the Terran Union a mostly-disarmed rump state of systems only one jump from Terra, was rejected. So was the counter-offer proposed by the Robinson Accord states in general council: unconditional surrender, enforced neutrality and oversight of the same, and the relinquishing of their fleet, military hardware, and military factories as reparations to the Accord nations. Director-General Kerensky personally transmitted the rejection. Afterward General Reynolds provided a plan for the taking of Terra itself. "We will end this once and for all by striking the serpent in their lair" she told the assembled, and with those words, Operation: SERPENT was introduced, refined, and concluded.

On 28 November 3059, the largest gathered force since Kerensky's Operation LIBERATION jumped into Sol System. It consisted of over eighty percent of the Successor States' active WarShips, ninety percent of their available capital WarShips, and a mass of naval combat DropShips. Even with the battered armies of the Successor States maintaining occupations and campaigns on systems like Sirius, Caph, and Carver V, fifty-five BattleMech regiments and even more supporting units were part of the invasion's first wave. Another sixty were to follow in the succeeding waves. Divided into task forces to secure the Titan Shipyards, Mars, Venus, and Luna with a main force to begin operations on Terra itself. Wave One was under the command of a council of current or future Successor Lords; High King Thomas Proctor, Gothi Ragnar Magnusson, First Prince Ian Davion, and Consul Lucia O'Reilly-Logan, with the lead position held by General Penelope Reynolds herself. Admiral John Silver, son of the famed pirate Grand Admiral Long Tom Silver of the Brethren, oversaw the council commanding the Inner Sphere's combined fleet. Other leaders or senior commanders would lead the upcoming waves, with Wave Two directed by a council under Director Masako Honda and Wave Three's command overseen by Emperor Jonah Allison-Liao. (Reminds me of Stone and Operation: SCOUR —Lady Janella)

The Terrans did not go quietly. Half of the invading capital WarShips and over a third of the remaining number were destroyed or badly damaged in the fighting over Terra, Luna, and Titan that finally eliminated the once-almighty Terran Union Navy. Consul O'Reilly-Logan led I Legio and a ten regiment contingent in securing the valuable facilities and factories on Mars, prevailing despite bitter and savage resistance over four months of fighting into late March. As a preliminary strike, Reynolds personally commanded the combat drop that secured Luna's habitats and refineries, freeing the way for the landings on Earth after the start of the new year. Subordinate commanders oversaw the forces landing in Africa, Australia, and North America while the SERPENT Command Council brought the cream of their forces to Europe and the fight for Geneva.

In the following months of campaigning the TUDF was brought to ground in engagements across Terra. In some notable incidents the Terran defenders were fanatical enough to employ atomic mines against their foes, but in most cases the damages to come were from the sheer scale of conventional fighting. These campaigns continued on through almost to the end of the year, though it was in September that the climactic engagement was held in Geneva. Director-General Kerensky led the defense personally and inflicted serious losses on her opponents; as the fighting drew to the Palace of Unity in Geneva, she took to the field and led her troops in a final, desperate charge to take down Reynolds and the other commanders. Kerensky's Atlas II was a force on the battlefield and she scored numerous successful kills and cripplings, including High King Thomas' Black Knight. But even her legendary skill would not be enough to win the day. On the 16th of October 3060, the infamous Black Widow of Terra and would-be founder of a new Star League met her end under the boot of the Red Queen of the Lexington Combat Group.

Director-General Kerensky's death did not end the fighting. While it broke the morale of many units, the Terrans continued to put up ferocious resistance until the weight of numbers and the realization of doom became too much. Even as this violence continued, ComStar stepped in. For ComStar President Gabriel Deakins, the continued fighting was pointless destruction. Terra had lost and it was time to get on with the business of rebuilding the Inner Sphere and saving what his company could preserve. He harangued the Terran Congress, which had retreated to momentary safety in Cairo, into approving an unconditional surrender instead of attempting to inflict a nuclear holocaust upon the invaders, one that would only see the complete destruction of Terra. Three prospective Chancellors resigned rather than agree, but an aged and broken Daniel Tiepolo finally stepped up to accept "the painful inevitability". Assuming the Chancellorship one last time, Tiepolo signed the surrender order on November 8th. While not every unit obeyed, and fighting did continue for weeks in some areas, the majority of the surviving TUDF laid down their arms.

The Terrans had gambled and lost. The Terran Union, the great beacon of hope in the darkest decades of the Collapse, was itself now a broken ruin. The safety net they had provided against a wider collapse of human civilization was gone. The Inner Sphere would never be the same again.

[In many ways, although larger in scale than SCOUR was, the fighting in the other Inner Sphere’s SERPENT was much less vicious. The Terran Union was far less profligate in the use of WMDs than the Blakists were, and their troops generally more inclined to surrender over taking their opponents down with them — rare exceptions like Singapore, damn Hogarth to hell, aside. In many ways, I think that’s probably a good thing; if the Terran Union’s defenders had, at their twilight hour, been as committed to victory or death at all costs as many of the Blakists were, it’s questionable if Terra herself could have survived as an inhabitable world. I don’t intend this, of course, as any slight upon the men and women who extirpated that dark mirror of our own Republic; they did their duty, and did it well. And the worst of the fighting the Screaming Eagles saw in the tunnels under Geneva was as bad as anything I saw in Bratislava. - Paladin-Exemplar David McKinnon]


Sidebar 5: The Responses to the Terran Ultimatum of August 3050[]

"The choice is yours, my Lords. Either sit upon the Council of a reborn Star League as my closest advisors, or you will be destroyed by the Star League in the name of peace." —Natasha Kerensky, Director-General of the Terran Union and self-proclaimed First Lord of the Star League, pre-recorded message transmitted to Successor State rulers on 15 August 3050 when Terran Union forces arrived in their capital systems.

The responses were as follows:

Gothi Karl "One-Eye" Sleipson (Nox, Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague): "You think us beasts to be collared and leashed. Come then. Try to collar us. You will die with our fangs in your throats." (For the remainder of the Terran approach to Nox, Sleipson's military satellites transmitted archived footage of the immolation of the Rengo Directorate's diplomats on Paracale in 3032 and the orbital bombardment of McAllister Shogunate forces on Pesht in 3036)

Lawspeaker Haakon Magnusson (Rasalhague, Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague): "Better men than you have tried."

Director Masako Honda (Galedon, Galedon Mutual Co-Prosperity Sphere): (a bemused laugh fills the line) "You finally worked up the nerve to act then? The answer is 'No', of course."

Lord Protector Jessica Sandoval (Robinson, Canaan Accord): "After two hundred years of watching our worlds burn, now you come. (scoffing noise) You're no better than the Dracs. Come then, and face the Lions of House Sandoval!"

General Penelope Reynolds (Lexington, Lexington Concord): "Nuts!"

Chancellor Jonasar Yalos (Urich, Solar Union): "If you wish for our weapons, come and take them. You will not be the first bandits the Solar Legions have buried."

First Prince Ian Davion (New Avalon, Federated Suns): "Eat shit, you Terran bastards. You can pry my world and my Federation from my cold dead hands."

Grand Admiral Long Tom Silver (St. Ives, Brethren of the Stars): "Hang me, will you? Many have tried and many have failed, lads. Now come find out why."

High Lady Kamea Arano (Coromodir, Aurigan Coalition): "Our answer is the same as the Periphery's was five hundred years ago: No."

Duke Charles Humphries (Andurien, Peoples' State of Andurien): "We accept only because it is the lesser of evils. History will hold the new First Lord responsible for the blood she is about to spill."

Magestrix Emma Centrella (Canopus, Magistracy of Canopus): "It cost the Star League a million dead last time. Did you bring enough caskets, or do you just want shallow graves?"

Imperator Corvus O'Reilly (Alphard, Corvid Principate): "In view of your actions, I believe the words of an old Terran writer would explain our response best:

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the gate:
‘To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods,

‘And for the tender mother
Who dandled him to rest,
And for the wife who nurses
His baby at her breast,
And for the holy maidens
Who feed the eternal flame,
To save them from false Sextus
That wrought the deed of shame?'"

Empress and Grand Duchess Eris Halas (Oriente, Oriento-Capellan Empire): "If." (When the confused Terrans transmitted a request for clarification, Empress Eris responds with evident exasperation) "Is this the state of education in the Terran Union that you do not learn the classics? Our answer is 'No'."

High King Thomas Proctor and High Queen Johanna Steiner (Arcadia and Donegal, Royal Federation, transmitted from Halfway as final rejection): "The choice of war is yours. But know that it is not for glory or wealth or honor that we fight, but for freedom, which no honest soul gives up but with life itself."

President Duchess Jacqueline Brewer (Hesperus, Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant): "I would be a poor businesswoman indeed to accept such a one-sided contract. Bring me a better offer or get the hell out of my system."

Konig Francis Callahan of Mahone (Inarcs, Kingdom of Ghastillia): "Did you think we of Ghastillia forgot our history because we adopted a new name? We of the Rim Worlds remember the Star League and we want no part in it!"

First Speaker Manuel Diaz Azaña (Sudeten, Communal League): "¡No Pasaran!"

[None of this particularly surprises me, considering our own history. As Houses Liao and Kurita learned in the First Succession War, the Clans in REVIVAL, and the Word of Blake in their lunatic Jihad, one of the problems with relying on speed and intimidation is that some people simply don’t intimidate worth a damn.- Paladin-Exemplar David McKinnon]


Sidebar 6: Operation SERPENT[]

Without question, Operation SERPENT matched REVIVAL in organization and coordination, and was the single-greatest concentration of armed force in one place since Aleksandr Kerensky's SLDF jumped into Terra in 2777. Every Successor State contributed, ranging from the meager contributions of the Aurigan Coalition to the great armada of Galedon. Virtually every Successor State was represented among the Command Councils of the Naval Fleet and the three succeeding waves of troops. For one bright shining moment, the Terrans had indeed accomplished their claimed goal of unity among the Inner Sphere. Unfortunately for them, they were the much-deserving target.

Naval Fleet
WarShip Strength: 26 Capitals, 77 Cruisers, 15 Light Cruisers, 86 Frigates, 14 Carriers, 2 Light Carriers, 129 Destroyers, 94 Corvettes

Command Council:
Admiral John Silver - Brethren of the Stars (Council Chair)
Admiral Hassan bin Fahad - Azami
Admiral Mitsunori Ozawa - Galedon
Admiral Olga Kaganovich - Tikonov
Fleet Admiral Frederick von Istenberg - Ghastillia

FolksArme (Rasalhague): 2 Capitals
4 Cruisers
8 Frigates
6 Destroyers
6 Corvettes

AFAC (Azami): 2 Light Cruisers
2 Frigates
4 Destroyers
4 Corvettes

AFHFA (Hartshill): 1 Capital
3 Cruisers
4 Destroyers
4 Corvettes

GCSAF (Galedon): 5 Capitals
12 Cruisers
4 Carriers
8 Frigates
12 Destroyers
12 Corvettes

LCAF (Lexington):
3 Capitals
8 Cruisers
6 Carriers
2 Frigates
10 Destroyers
12 Corvettes

AFCA (Canaan Accord):
2 Cruisers
3 Frigates
4 Destroyers
4 Corvettes

AFSU (Solar Union): 1 Capital
4 Cruisers
6 Light Cruisers
6 Frigates
8 Destroyers

TUAF (Tikonov): 1 Cruiser
1 Light Cruiser
3 Frigates
3 Destroyers

KCAF (Kilbourne):
2 Cruisers
4 Frigates
8 Destroyers
12 Corvettes

AFFS (Federated Suns):
2 Capitals
6 Cruisers
8 Frigates
8 Destroyers
6 Corvettes

AFHC (Hindu Collective):
2 Light Cruisers
2 Destroyers
4 Corvettes

BTCF (Brethren): 1 Capital
4 Cruisers
8 Frigates
8 Destroyers
10 Corvettes

ACM (Aurigan):
1 Destroyer
2 Corvettes

APDF (Andurien): 2 Cruisers
4 Frigates
2 Light Carriers
4 Destroyers
6 Corvettes

MAF (Canopus): 1 Cruiser
4 Frigates
2 Destroyers
3 Corvettes

PAF (Principate):
3 Capitals
4 Cruisers
6 Frigates
10 Destroyers

RCAF (Rim Commonality): 4 Cruisers
2 Light Cruisers
2 Frigates
4 Destroyers
6 Corvettes

IOCF (Oriento-Capella):
4 Capitals
8 Cruisers
8 Frigates
12 Destroyers
6 Corvettes

AFRF (Arcadia-Donegal):
3 Capitals
6 Cruisers
2 Carriers
6 Frigates
10 Destroyers
7 Corvettes

AFG (Ghastillia): 4 Cruisers
4 Frigates
5 Destroyers

DISC (Defiance-Hesperus):
1 Capital
2 Light Cruisers
2 Carriers

CLAF (Sudeten):
2 Cruisers
2 Frigates
4 Destroyers

Wave One
Strength: 55 BattleMech Regiments (* notes less than one regiment)

Command Council: Commanding General Penelope Reynolds - Lexington (Council Chair)
Gothi Ragnar Magnusson - Rasalhague
First Prince Ian Davion - Federated Suns
Consul Livia O'Reilly-Logan - Principate
High King Thomas Proctor - Arcadia-Donegal

FolksArme (Rasalhague):
1st Einherjar
Knights of St. John 1st Regiment
Knights of St. John 2nd Regiment
2nd Berserkergang
4th Berserkergang
Tamar Dragoons
Steel Division
1st Snow Dragons

GCSAF (Galedon):
2nd Sword of Light
4th Sword of Light
4th Galedon Regulars
Barlowe's Raiders

LCAF (Lexington):
Lexington Combat Group, 249th Command Regiment
Lexington Combat Group, 10th Light Guards
Lexington Combat Group, 32nd Recon Regiment
Lexington Combat Group, 241st Battle Regiment
Lexington Combat Group, 38th Lancers Regiment
Lexington Combat Group, 187th Assault Regiment
Lexington Combat Group, 180th Dragoons Regiment
Screaming Eagles, 82nd Striker Regiment
Screaming Eagles, 101st Striker Regiment
Screaming Eagles, 75th Rangers
1st Lexington Minutemen
2nd Colchester Minutemen

AFFS (Federated Suns):
Davion Light Guards
Davion Heavy Guards
Davion Assault Guards
1st Davion Guards
3rd Davion Guards
1st Kathil Uhlans
1st Federated Suns Grenadiers
2nd Federated Suns Grenadiers
2nd Capellan Dragoons

PAF (Principate):
I Legio, I Cohors
I Legio, II Cohors
V Legio, I Cohors
V Legio, II Cohors
VI Legio, I Cohors
VI Legio, II Cohors
IX Legio, I Cohors
IX Legio, II Cohors
Black Warriors Auxilia
Pilpala Auxilia

AFRF (Arcadia-Donegal): Arcadian Guards
Lifeguards*
1st Royal Guards
Proctor Heavy Guards
Proctor Assault Guards
1st Royal Assault Regiment
3rd Royal Cuirassiers
5th Donegal Guards
2nd Donegal Grenadiers

CLAF (Sudeten):
1st Autonomous Assault Brigade
1st Shock Brigade
4th Jaegers
22nd Communal Regulars

Wave Two
Strength: 30 BattleMech Regiments

Command Council:
Director Masako Honda - Galedon (Council Chair)
Duke Harris Arseid - Kilbourne
Magestrix Emma Centrella - Canopus
General Manuel Cifti-Jimenez - Rim Commonality
High Queen Johanna Steiner - Arcadia-Donegal

AFHFA (Hartshill): The Queen's Own

GCSAF (Galedon): Galedon Otomo
Tok Do Otomo
1st Sword of Light
5th Sword of Light
6th Sword of Light
2nd Izanagi Warriors
4th Izanagi Warriors
1st Galedon Regulars
3rd Galedon Regulars
7th Galedon Regulars
11th Galedon Regulars

KCAF (Kilbourne):
1st Commonwealth Guards
3rd Commonwealth Dragoons

BTCF (Brethren):
Admiral's Guard, 1st Fist
The Red Rose Regiment
The Star Vixens
The Black Regiment

MAF (Canopus):
Canopian Lifeguards
1st Canopian Grenadiers
2nd Canopian Fusiliers
Arano Royal Guards Expeditionary Company*
Oliviera's Marauders*

RCAF (Rim Commonality):
2nd Kashamarka Dragoons
1st Rim Commonality Cuirassiers

AFRF (Arcadia-Donegal):
7th Royal Lancers
2nd Donegal Guards
4th Donegal Guards
2nd Donegal Cavalry
Concord Borderers

AFG (Ghastillia):
4th Ghastillian Grenadiers
2nd Winter Lancers

Wave Three
Strength: 30 BattleMech Regiments

Command Council: Emperor Jonah Allison-Liao - Oriento-Capella (Council Chair)
Lord Protector Jessica Sandoval - Canaan
General Malik Janos - Solar Union
Duke Cesar Steiner - Defiance-Hesperus
War Chairman Pawel Zuk - Sudeten

AFCA (Canaan):
1st Robinson Rangers
New Ivaarsan Chasseurs

AFSU (Solar Union):
1st Solar Legion, Light Regiment
1st Solar Legion, Flanker Regiment
1st Solar Legion, Heavy Regiment
1st Solar Legion, Assault Regiment

KCAF (Kilbourne):
2nd Commonwealth Guards
1st Commonwealth Dragoons

AFFS (Federated Suns): 1st Crucis Lancers
2nd Crucis Lancers
1st Avalon Hussars
4th Dragonlords

AFHC (Hindu Collective):
Defenders of Shiva, 3rd Regiment

IOCF (Oriento-Capella): Death Commandos*
1st Allison Heavy Guards
The Knights of the Shining Star
The Knights of the Rose
1st Knights of Liao
5th Free Worlds Guards
2nd Young Liao Guards
1st Sian Dragoons

APDF (Andurien):
2nd Defenders of Andurien

DISC (Defiance-Hesperus):
1st Wraith
Warguild Lyonnese

AFG (Ghastillia):
3rd Ghastillian Regulars
4th Ghastillian Regulars
10th Ghastillian Regulars

CLAF (Sudeten):
Communal Assault Brigade
2nd Communal Guards
3rd Shock Brigade
7th Jaegers


Terra's Fall and the Successor States' Stalemate[]

Two weeks into 3061, the leaders and representatives of the Successor States met in the hastily-repaired ruins of the Palace of Unity to sign the Treaty of Geneva. The broken Terran Union was officially dissolved as was the entire concept of the independent Terran state. The worlds that were once joined to Terra politically were apportioned to their neighbors, with all surviving industry to be divided among the Robinson Accord signatories according to that treaty's provisions. More importantly, while industrial toolings were limited and could not be given to everyone, the raw data to produce Terran technology was easily copied. Every Successor State now had the knowledge to reproduce Royal-quality weapons and machines. The effort effectively stripped Terra of its capability to support modern military forces, with over ninety percent of Terra's military industries gutted of valuable tooling and machinery. The Terrans would be, under treaty law, limited to a civilian economy only, with ComStar as guarantor of this status and an Oversight Force present composed of no more than one brigade each from the signing powers, and a minimum contribution of a combined arms regiment to include one battalion of BattleMechs.

The territorial division was not without issue. By common agreement the Tikonov Union received the largest share. Its armies had fought hard and well as exiles when the Union was mostly overrun, and they had the greater resource base to maintain control over their spoils. The Azami, their allies, were granted Dieron and neighboring worlds as compensation for their own efforts and suffering. This was the smallest of the apportionments but Dieron was a wealthy world and had come out more intact than others. It would provide for the rebuilding of the Confederacy.

The controversy came over the other two claimants. The Oriento-Capellan Empire was granted a swath of worlds from the Rimward Union, including Outreach, that was second only to TIkonov's in number, population, and wealth. Yet though these worlds had retained some of their pre-war economies and civilian manufacture, they had only a small portion of the surviving military factories. Their worlds would certainly aid in the Empire's economic recovery but not provide a solid addition to military production. Neighboring worlds that did retain military factories and trained personnel were those that were signed over to Defiance-Hesperus as the third of the worst victims of Terran aggression. New Dallas, Sirius, and Procyon were among the prizes awarded to the Brewers, as was the greatest prize of all; New Earth, the second world of the Union, and a major producer of many important military systems. The Empire protested this allotment, charging they had suffered grievously too and deserved a larger share. But under the Accord provisions, the Lyran forces taking Sirius and Procyon before the Empire ensured they were to keep them, so long as they maintained proper order. The protests were to no avail. But they planted the seed for what was to come.

For now ten years of war had left most of the Inner Sphere unwilling to face more. The Treaty of Geneva turned Terra into a neutral site for their diplomacy and a general truce was declared for five years, to be guaranteed by all signatories. With the treaties signed, the representatives and rulers of the Successor States returned home in exhausted triumph to rebuild their nations.

A sign of dashed hopes came with news from Lexington early in 3062. During a state meeting on reconstruction, Commanding General Penelope Reynolds collapsed at the table. The Champion of the Inner Sphere was soon diagnosed with having suffered a cerebral hemorrhage brought on by the damages of her long warfighting career. After two weeks of lingering she passed. As many Successor Lords as could make the trip attended her funeral at Fort Ballycastle to pay tribute to the leader of the resistance to Terra. With the living symbol of their unity gone, many wondered how long it would be before the old conflicts resumed.

The cracks were already widening. On Sudeten the Vanguardist movement were openly promoting rebellions and insurgencies against Ghastillia and the Royal Federation, defying the other political factions. The union by marriage of the Federated Suns and Brethren of the Stars heightened feelings among those outside the St. Ives Compact that the bloc might turn aggressive. This was born out the following year when mercenaries secretly under Maskirovka control started violent uprisings and disturbances on Sirius and Procyon. Before Lyran state reinforcements could aid the beleaguered defenders, Imperial forces swooped in and seized the systems, asserting the Consolidant had failed to provide proper security and that under the Accords they were taking control. At first diplomatic efforts were attempted at undoing this occupation, including revealing the connections to Maskirovka, but the Compact powers stood by their allies. An invasion by Arcadian and Defiance troops led to an Azami counter-invasion of Buckminster over "violation of the Robinson Accords", a war that expanded further in 3064 and 3065 when both sides commenced major offensives on one another with open intention to seize worlds as "sanctions for violation of the Accords". It took every iota of diplomacy First Prince Ian could muster to finally cajole the two sides into a delicate renewed peace in 3067, with both sides' territorial holdings roughly unchanged but Sirius and Procyon still decisively in Oriento-Capellan hands.

Ian had good reason to push for peace, as he had just negotiated another marriage alliance as a capstone to his dream of Restoration. His granddaughter Grace Silver-Davion was now betrothed to the son of Lord Protector Aaron Sandoval of the Canaan Accord, which would bring the heart of the old Draconis March into his Federated Suns. This proved controversial among the neighbors of both states, the Galedon Co-Prosperity Sphere and the Kilbourne Suns' Concord, a new union of the Kilbourne Commonwealth, the Solar Union, and the Lexington Concord. These states were, despite the losses against Terra, the mightiest of the Successor States and were already churning out multiple new machines and weapons of Royal quality. Ian was banking on the remaining power of the Robinson Accord and peace negotiations to maintain the post-Terran peace.

He failed to account for Director Masako's growing bitterness at an Inner Sphere that had, in her mind, squandered her beloved blood sister's victory and turned back to its divisive, chaotic ways. Masako wasted no time in preparing her forces and those of her allies for the struggle to come. She renewed her long-standing non-aggression pact with COMINTERSTEL and, in 3069, directly challenged Ian and his allies. The result came to be known as the Concord-Compact War, and to the rest of the Inner Sphere, it was seen as no less than a bid by Masako Honda and her ally , Chancellor Harris Arseid, to claim hegemony over the entire Inner Sphere. Her forces and those of the Concord swept over their former allies, invading the Federated Suns, the Canaan Accord, the Tikonov Union, and the Azami Confederacy in a wave of BattleMech regiments and WarShips. Within a year, all four states' capitals were under threat of invasion or already being invaded, and the last Compact member not fully engaged, the Oriento-Capellan Empire, refused to dispatch more troops. Nothing would be left to defend their worlds if they sent the requested forces. The increased urgent pleas of Ian Davion from his besieged capital were countered with the proof that the Lyran states were mobilizing. All parties expected the Arcadians and Hesperans to renounce the truce and support the Concord.

Instead, the Lyran Alliance pledged to uphold the post-Terran status quo. While they did not renounce the feud with the Compact outright, the Lyran states put it aside and threw into the war on the side of the Compact, not Galedon and the Concord. Over the next three years, until 3074, a bloody stalemate formed as Lyran and Compact forces threw back the Galedonian and Concord troops. New Avalon, Tikonov, and Albalii were all relieved and multiple systems recovered, at the cost of heavy losses for all concerned and the deaths of Ian Davion, Thomas Proctor, and Johanna Steiner. The rejoining of the United Hindu Collective to the Federated Suns further altered the war's balance and saw the Suns regain Filtvelt on the Periphery. But none of these victories was enough to forestall the fate of House Sandoval, whose survivors fled into exile at the end of 3073 after Robinson fell to the Compact forces. Finally, both sides were exhausted enough to heed Gothi Magnusson's call for mediation, and at Nox, the Peace of Nox ended the fighting. The Canaan Accord was swept off the map as conquests of Galedon and the Concord, with Galedon gaining captured worlds from the Azami as well, but the Suns and Canopians' Peripheryward gains were likewise accepted. By way of rewarding House Proctor for their aid, First Prince Victoria Davion ceded Sarna and adjoining worlds to the Empire in exchange for Emperor Jonah returning Stewart and its nearby worlds to the Royal Federation. A new truce was signed to maintain peace through 3080 and lasted until 3078 when fighting once more broke out on the long border between the two blocs.

The stalemated conflict had put a momentary end to the prospect of a Galedonian-Concord hegemony that had long cast a shadow over the rest of the Inner Sphere. It demonstrated that with the Terrans gone, a new status quo was emerging, one where the alliances and power blocs would fight for their claims but likewise were not out to overturn the board completely. The Second Age of War was still on, and over the decades it would continue to rage in a multitude of conflicts. The Third Outback War, the Vanguard War, the never-ending struggles between the Lyrans and the Compact along their mutual border, all of these conflicts saw occasional territorial changes but never permanent shifting. The era of Successor States being overwhelmed and consumed was over; the Later Second Age of War, as it came to be called, was a time of local invasions and counter-invasions, jockeying for control of vital border worlds, and above it all, the sustainment of the status quo.

The two greatest efforts to break this status quo, and which both failed, were directed at Lyran space. In 3081 a local political dispute on the major world of Odessa spiraled into open interstellar war between the Lyran Alliance and COMINTERSTEL. The Vanguard faction of Sudetener politics sought to break the economic and social structures of the Royal Federation and Ghastillia, believing their longstanding support for worker rebellions and activism had finally brought them to the point they could move and fulfill their revolutionary agenda. Fifteen years of fighting followed but did not end in the overthrow of the Lyran states, just a continuous stalemate that finally petered out into a low-level war by 3096.

At that time, the second great effort to shift the status quo came with the rise on Alphard of Scipio O'Reilly. Overthrowing his uncle Julius and declaring the state to now be the Scipian Dominate, Scipio sought a return to the conquering ways of the pre-Corvus O'Reillys. To fulfill his ambitions of conquest he decided to contest for the throne of Arcadia on the grounds of his Proctor ancestry. This conflict, the Dominate War, disrupted the entire balance in the old Free Worlds League, breaking the sixty year-old pact between Alphard and Arcadia and giving Halas-Liao a chance to gain at the expense of the Arcadians. In the end, intervention from the Federated Suns and the destruction of many of Scipio's most loyal legions on Arcadia itself put an end to his ambition. His cousin Flavius returned from Canopian exile and tore down the new Dominate, forcing through the last of Corvus' unrealized reforms to create the modern Flavian Principate. Save some worlds the Principate lost to the Federation, very little changed on the map. Even the most obvious change to the status quo, the end of the Principate-Arcadian alliance, was diminished by careful diplomacy and a continued understanding of mutual opposition to the ambitions of the Oriento-Capellan Empire. An Empire that, in turn, had seen its great moment of strategic opportunity yanked away by its own allies. The Principate-Arcadian alliance was gone, but now a gulf was forming within the Compact as well.

Almost unnoticed amongst these events was a slow change of matters inside Galedon's territory. Masako's passing brought to power her son Hoff, who died in 3092 from an accident. His daughter Yumiko Honda now claimed power. Throughout these events, the Black Dragon Society became a known fixture on many worlds, even with the Galedonian ISF acting vigorously to suppress it. Masako and Hoff had long despised the Kuritan restorationist movement as a threat to House Honda and Masako's vision of a more reformed, capable state. But unbeknownst to both, Hoff's younger daughter Kori fell in with the fanatics as she reached her majority in 3088. In 3095 she launched a palace coup that caused her sister's death. Assuming the Directorship, Kori began an open policy of "reconsideration" towards the Kuritan legacy, slowly relaxing the state's repression of the Black Dragons. She married Hidetada Kurita a year after assuming power and would have her first heir, publicly referred to as Yorinaga Honda to satisfy her advisors' concerns, before the century ended. In 3106 she made another milestone change, revoking her grandmother's security guarantee of the Hartshill Federal Alliance and demanding the isolated frontier state's submission to her authority. This was negotiated "peacefully" and the Hartshill state subsumed into Galedon's Co-Prosperity Sphere, along with its well-built armies and navies. In one swoop Kori Honda had become the single most powerful Successor Lord in the Inner Sphere, and her ambitions were not yet sated.

The order of the Inner Sphere by now hung by a tenuous thread. The fall of the Terran Union had ensured there was no power to compel the Successor States to remain peaceful or to unite for common defense. The outcome of the Concord-Compact War made clear that the Successor States, individually or in their competing blocs of interests, would not tolerate an effort by any one group to become hegemons by smashing the strength of another. The conflicts of the last quarter of the 31st Century became stalemates as all sides, their armies buoyed by Royal weaponry and expanded in size by their enlarged industrial bases, no longer had the means to quickly overwhelm one another. Through the first decade of the 32nd Century the conflicts of the Second Age of War seemed to abate. Nothing had been solved, but the clear stalemate discouraged further attempts to alter the status quo. A few optimistic voices spoke of a final end to the entire age and the start of a peaceful one, but for most, the sense was not one of optimism but of dread. The armies and navies of the Successor States had long been rebuilt from the war with Terra. Their troops were blooded and experienced. Their disputes were not settled. New war machines churned off the factory assembly lines and the dock spaces of the Successor States' growing war industries. This combination was a dangerous one, and it was increasingly clear that the status quo would not survive forever. Some action, any action, might start a chain of events that set off another large war. It was simply a question of when, where, and how.


The Fourth Succession War[]

The Second Age of War broke loose in 3110. After years of quiet frustration at the thwarting of their strategic opportunities and directives, House Halas-Liao started the plunge. Gregory Halas-Liao, heir and grandson to Jonah and Eris after their abdications at the turn of the century, struggled to balance the many differing factions of his Empire, particularly the vocal Liaoist and Capellan nationalist factions who had become increasingly discontent with the St. Ives Compact arrangement. For those who wished the Empire to restore the Confederation of old, continued hostilities with the Lyran states or the Principate was an unwelcome distraction; the hated House Davion, the enemies of old but now an alleged ally, were the foe they should be dealing with. Dowager Empress Eris maintained her own strong influence at the Imperial Court on Sian, however, and she continued to see the Proctors as the hated enemies of the Empire and the O'Reillys as a linked threat. Breaking with the Compact would leave the Empire friendless with these powerful states waiting to strike at the Grand Duchy.

In an effort to appease militants of both factions, Emperor Gregory seized upon a proposal. The continued independence of Andurien had long been an embarrassment to the Empire. A reminder of failure, military and diplomatic, for those from Oriente and Harsefeld, and for the Liaoists, Andurien remained a Capellan world that had likewise not been reclaimed (whatever the people of Andurien believed to the contrary). Gregory decided it was time to "lance the pimple on the face of the Inner Sphere", as he put it crudely. In February 3110, as Imperial forces quietly prepared and moved towards the Andurien border, Gregory issued his demarche to their ambassador on Sian. In this document he declared Andurien to be too weak to survive, therefore its continued independence was a threat to the Empire should the Principate or Canopus ever conquer them. Furthermore the document asserted that the new ruler, Duchess Karla Humphries, was a minor and her regency council "riddled" with Rim Commonality and Canopian agents. Andurien and their state must submit to the Empire or he would enforce the historic Capellan claim. The Regency Council begged a delay to the deadline of twenty-four hours but was only given twelve extra hours. Gregory feared not allowing any extra time might simply harden their resolve or cost him with his neighbors through being too blatant. He wanted the cover of being "reasonable". So little extra time would add to the tension Andurien had to endure, nothing more, he reasoned.

He reasoned wrong. The extra twelve hours proved vital, as it bought time for Andurien to ensure receipt of a warning to other states on what was going on. At the thirty-fourth hour the ultimatum was refused. The next day, February 18th 3110, the entire Young Liao Guards Corps and the four brigades of the Sian Dragoons became the first forces to strike at Andurien, one of many such strikes intended to overwhelm the small state quickly. With this act, Gregory had unknowingly knocked the first domino over.

Others followed. Canopus, in a reverse of the Second Andurien War, rushed troops and ships to Andurien's defense. The Principate and Rim Commonality sent forces to Canopus and on raiding strikes throughout the Grand Duchy. And as Dowager Empress Eris expected, High King Ethan Proctor-Steiner mobilized the AFRF and moved it up to the border. By mid-year, Arcadian and Hesperan troops were invading Imperial territory from New Olympia to Procyon. In defense of their allies, Tikonovite and Azami forces counterattacked into Lyran territory. First Prince Grace-Silver Davion ordered the AFFS to mobilize. What was being dubbed the Third Andurien War had commenced, but that name would fade in time.

(For those who know their Age of War history, you may be wondering about a 32nd Century "Third Andurien War" when that happened back in the 2500s. From what I've seen of materials those conflicts did still happen on the other side, but presumably commentators in the 3030s simply "reset" the numbers when the Second Age of War commenced. So what should have been the Fourth and Fifth Andurien Wars are known as the First and Second Andurien Wars on the other side. Given the Collapse and the shifting of historiographical focus in the Successor States, that should not be too surprising, though very confusing for historians of the pre-Star League era I imagine. - Lady Janella)

Complications soon arose. The Arcadians and Hesperans were committed, but as they were soon to unite under a single throne their double vote counted for less with the third member of the Lyran Alliance. Ghastillia's government had long tired of the Federation and Consolidant's continued fighting with the Empire, going so far as to refuse to deploy Ghastillian forces to the Isle of Skye without substantial financial support. Their state's energies were focused on their long-term colonization prospects and the continued fighting with Sudeten. A second faction that favored peace with Sudeten, the so-called Rim World Irredentists, had little appeal as an alternative for the Arcadians, as they wished to claim the rest of the former Rim Worlds from the Principate. To maintain the much-needed alliance, Ethan reluctantly committed to an open campaign against the Communal League in retaliation for their insurgency support. This now placed the Lyran Alliance into conflict with COMINTERSTEL, who fought viciously to protect their systems and launched counter-attacks into Lyran territory.

Nor did their mutual alliance against the Oriento-Capellan Empire prevent fighting between Arcadia and the Principate. While Imperator Flavius might be in accord with High King Ethan, their regional vassals were anything but. The new "KING of Pilpala", a vassal auxiliary who governed in the former Bolanese worlds still held by the Principate, openly desired to reclaim worlds lost a decade before when Scipio's armies fell away. The Grand Princess of Bolan, Amita Umayr, likewise harbored ambitions of reclaiming her family's old worlds from the O'Reillys, as did Gyanendra Shah, Archduke of Tamarind. While their respective rulers fought a common foe, these vassals began what came to be called "the Hidden Front fighting" of the war, sending mercenaries and their local forces in raids and invasions to jockey for position and provoke open conflict.

On Galedon Kori Honda watched with glee. Her moment had come. Coordination was arranged with her allies, who looked forward to the chance to smash the Compact as they'd desired to forty years before. In late 3110 the two states struck at the Azami, Tikonov, and Federated Suns once more, spreading the conflict to the other side of the Inner Sphere. It was no longer the Third Andurien War; after eighty years, the Second Age of War had finally culminated in the long-dreaded Fourth Succession War.

As 3111 dawned, the conflict continued to spiral. All sides suffered amazing victories and painful defeats. The Lyran thrust into the Empire was dampened; Andurien remained defiant under siege, supported by Canopian troops; the Hidden Front fighting spread to include Ghastillian noble houses seeking to reclaim old Rim Worlds territory while local legionary commanders supported the KING of Pilpala. Tikonov and the Federated Suns were fighting hard to hold their lines while the Azami, pressed on two fronts, were forced to abandon the core of their territory and relocate the Confederacy capital to Dieron. Their collapse seemed assured as the Lyran and Galedonian forces met on Vega, where Galedon's forces immediately engaged in offensive strikes on the Arcadian and Hesperan troops. Over the course of weeks it became abundantly clear Kori Honda had no intention to share her conquests or to stop at the Consolidant border. Lyran forces attempting to exploit the Azami near-collapse were themselves facing Galedon's forces. Further terrible news for the Lyran cause came as Ghastillia's invasion of the Communal League was repulsed with heavy losses at Antares. On the Oriente front, a counterattack at Nova Roma led to the mortal injury of High King Ethan in the field. He would be dead by year's end, his daughter — crippled in the fighting on Vega — would be High Queen, and Mathilde Brewer-Steiner would be rendered incapable between emotional strain and the worsening of her early-onset Alzheimer's. The Royal Federation's leadership was in shambles, their strategy a ruin, and their forces facing attacks on four fronts that cost them all their gains and, early in 3112, saw the capture of New Dallas by IOCF regiments.

What saved them was that COMINTERSTEL's situation was no better. In September 3111 Honda ordered a military offensive she termed Operation REBIRTH. Pesht, Avon, Irece, and a dozen other worlds were struck by three or more 'Mech regiments and attached forces. Other invasions occurred from Constance to Arkab. Galedon, still enmeshed fighting the Lyrans and the Compact, was now conducting a full-scale invasion of the Rasalhague Republic, adding COMINTERSTEL to their list of enemies. WIth most of their forces drawn off to save Sudeten from the Lyran states, Rasalhague found itself in a two-front war. The Director of Galedon made it publicly known this was not merely a landgrab, nor some reclamation of worlds once held by House McAllister. Her goal was complete conquest, of Rasalhague and every world within the Republic. Rasalhague was forced to divert most of their troops to meet the Galedonian wave, giving the Lyran states relief from their own woes. But even as their resistance increased, world after world fell to Kori Honda's forces. The collapse of COMINTERSTEL seemed inevitable as Lyran forces struck Sudeten itself in January 3112.

But while the Lyrans had recovered their poise with High Queen Jacqueline firmly in command, Sudeten's ferocious resistance became a trap that ground their armies down. For seven bitter months the pride of the CLAF held their capital against some of the best units that the Royal Federation and Ghastillia had available. In that summer COMINTERSTEL, with what Rasalhaguan units could be spared, struck at the Arcadian salient from Odessa. It came just after the diversion of forces to meet a Galedonian strike at Buckminster, leaving the Lyran units insufficient to hold. Ballynure, Pandora, and Graceland were all retaken. The Lyran strategic offensive on Sudeten had failed and the attack was abandoned. Over a dozen regiments worth of BattleMechs lost and many more losses in vehicles, ships, and lives bought the Arcadian-Donegalian forces nothing. They fell back on the defensive and diverted forces to drive the Empire from the beleaguered Principality of Atreus and the Isle of Skye. After harsh negotiations with her Ghastillian allies, High Queen Jacqueline began considering a new strategic direction towards COMINTERSTEL.

The warfare between the Compact states, principally the Tikonov Union and Federated Suns, and the Concord-Galedon forces was a rapid, vicious war along a vast front of systems. The AFFS was throwing everything into holding in the Crucis and Periphery Marches while preparing a strategic advance on Robinson. Tikonov used a series of spoiling advances and newer technologies from their research facilities to bedevil enemy units, with many worlds remaining contested. Like the Federated Suns they were forced to strip their units near Terra. Both states went so far as to remove all but a token infantry regiment from their occupation forces on Terra. To protect their vulnerable rear, the Compact states negotiated a limited truce with the Lyrans through their mutual forces on Terra, by which both parties agreed they would not conduct strikes that meant jumping "through" a circle around Terra of ten light years width. This effectively eliminated the risk of Tikonov or FedSun units striking New Earth and Arcadian forces going after Northwind or Caph. This did not go unnoticed by the other Compact states, but the Azami were in no shape to protest. The Empire did, strenuously. Between this and earlier points of dissension, a gulf was forming between the major members of the Compact.

As the war finished its third year, strategic stalemate continued on all but one front. Galedon may be holding on their front with the Lyrans, but they were advancing through Rasalhague steadily. Behind a line drawn from Holmsbu to Sulafat virtually every world had fallen to Galedon's forces, though some still had vigorous insurgencies resisting the imposition of Galedonian rule. Rasalhague's strategic situation worsened when Susquehanna fell in the first month of the year. Two months later, Galedonian invasion forces arrived at Rasalhague itself. The beginning of a fourteen month siege was under way. Sudeten vowed reinforcements to shore up their lines but could not send enough, not with the threat posted by the recovering Lyrans. The two allies faced their darkest hour since 3051.

But it was not an invasion from the Lyrans that came, but a surprising offer. High Queen Jacqueline, faced with her collapsing entente with the O'Reillys and a bloody stalemate with the Compact, had made her own strategic calculation. COMINTERSTEL's defeat, though longed for by Ghastillia, was not going to benefit the Lyran states. They had too many distractions, and had endured too many losses, to quickly overrun Sudeten and take enough of Rasalhague to offset the looming threat of a three hundred light year front with the Inner Sphere's mightiest military. After browbeating Ghastillia into agreement, Jacqueline submitted terms to Sudeten and Rasalhague for a territorial disposition. It would see Ghastillia keep a few of the worlds they had held from the League, return others, and to benefit both parties, the Royal Federation and Rasalhague would exchange Buckminster and the remaining portion of the old Duchy for Arcturus and a few of its adjoining systems, shifting their defensive burdens and smoothing out their borders. It took very little time for COMINTERSTEL to accept the offered terms despite heated opposition from the Vanguardists. The treaty was signed and enacted in May at Buckminster. The two blocs had become allies against the greater foe.

That threat did not remain common. Kori Honda had astonished the Inner Sphere once and she would do so again. With her forces poised to seize Rasalhague itself and Lyran forces not yet recovered from their defeats at Sudeten and Vega, Kori decided the time had come to advance on another front against a foe even less ready for her forces. She started with a demarche transmitted to Kilbourne that March, insisting that rightful claims to systems in the Outworlds should be transferred as payment for her forces supporting the Concord's advance on Tikonov. Chancellor Alistair Yalos rejected the proposal out of hand, pointing out he was being the loyal ally supporting her efforts, and the Concord had less to show for it, not Galedon. Sensing what was coming, the Concord ordered its militia and handful of minor units in the Outworlds to full alert, and orders to be cautious around the Galedonians went out.

It would not be enough. In April, across what had been the most peaceful border in the Inner Sphere for nearly a hundred years, Galedonian troops descended violently upon their one-time allies. On David, Kentares, and other worlds with joint forces cooperating, the Galedonians opened fire on their former allies and, even with forewarning, a number of Concord forces took losses out of sheer surprise. Kori Honda's fanatic dream to fulfill her vision of destiny had led her to break the most sacred of her grandmother's alliances. Given the power of her forces and the exposed strategic position they left the Concord in, there was nothing that Yalos could do but order a general strategic retreat. Robinson and the old Canaan Accord were abandoned to preserve the outflanked units of the Concord. New lines of defense were drawn up to protect the heart of the old Concord, though even there the Galedonians surged until they were besieging Lexington and had captured Colchester and Macomb. The Concord's situation was now dire. Galedon could not exploit this, however, as their push for systems brought them to grips with the classical foe. Invasions and counter-invasions of Robinson and other former Accord worlds would mark the next six years as the Federated Suns struggled to reclaim the birthright of First Prince Grace's children while the Galedonians fought to keep their ill-gained conquests.

Unsurprisingly this diversion proved a major setback for Kori's expectations elsewhere. Rasalhague did not fall. In September, Ghastilian and Sudetener forces landed on New Oslo to drive out the invaders while Nox saw the arrival of Arcadian troops to reinforce the garrison. Galedon's war against Rasalhague, once on the cusp of success, was now doomed to become a brutal slog. The vast superiority in armaments that Kori Honda had built since beginning her reign was being burned away in the fires of battles ranging from the Rasalhaguan Periphery to Kessel to the Outworlds. That the Galedonians still managed strategic advances and captured worlds is a testament to both their preparation and ferocity. Kori's treachery might have become legendary, but it did not seem as foolhardy as might be expected. Hartshill had turned the old Kuritan Periphery from a backwater to an armaments factory. Claiming it intact and adding to the already considerable strength of Galedon had given the Director the means to defy the entire Inner Sphere now that it was riven by war. The old Kuritan dream of universal hegemony over all Humanity seemed possible, even with the general stalemate forming. As in the Terran War, this would be a conflict of endurance, the victory to go to those who held out the longest. (It does seem a major strategic blunder to strike her own ally while she's fighting from Rasalhague to Lyons, but Kori Honda would not be the first megalomaniacal ruler to be taken in by Victory Disease and make too many enemies too quickly. The Blakists could've taught master courses on that subject; and hopefully it's a lesson we can teach Daoshen Liao before too long. - Paladin-Exemplar David McKinnon)

Volumes about the Fourth Succession War continue to be written. This section is already large and vast in covering the forces that brought it about and expanded it to cover nearly every corner of the Inner Sphere and Near Periphery so details will be kept sparing from this point forward. With one exception, the combatants were in place, the fronts laid. Campaigns continued to be fought and battles lost or won a thousand times over in hundreds of star systems across the Inner Sphere. The Terran War was the last conflict to have raged so hotly, and in many ways this war eclipsed it. Fears mounted that the Inner Sphere was about to repeat the senseless and deadly mistakes of the 29th Century. That it did not, that in fact this conflict saw almost no atomic weapons use even in WarShip combat, can be attributed to each combatant's belief they could prevail without such extreme measures. No state felt their very existence was so threatened the final measures must be taken, though some would come frightfully close to that belief.

As the decade drew into its final four years, the stalemate did not fracture so much as slip here or there. New diplomatic and military developments caused a change in strategy. The end of the Hidden Front fighting in 3117 allowed the Lyran states and Principate to redouble their efforts on other fronts. This opened the way for the continued pressing of the Galedonians back from Rasalhague and Nox and towards the old border, though Kori Honda would keep her forces launching offensive invasions despite being on the strategic defensive. Another major shift in the strategic situation came with the Oriento-Capellan Empire accepting its failure in Andurien. Repeated strikes at Andurien and outlying worlds had failed against fierce resistance. Emperor Gregory's gambit was over, and with it he faced a severe loss of authority over his Liaoist subordinates. This loss only intensified when he refused to approve their own shocking proposal in favor of his strategic plan against the Principate and Royal Federation. Regulus had fallen to the Rim Commonality and the Royal Federation was striking to reclaim New Dallas and take the Sirian Commonality. Rather then rush troops to fight the Arcadians, however, he ordered local forces to fight on the defensive and inflict maximum losses while gathering his naval and army resources for the Commonality front. A major victory at Kearny led to such extensive losses for the Rim Commonality and principate that the Empire was able, through 3118 and into 3119, to press on and capture Tematagi itself. Exploiting their local superiority, they also commenced another invasion of the Federation's Principality of Atreus, with all of Oriente's Knightly Orders landing to claim Atreus for Dowager Empress Eris. They were still losing ground towards their Terran holdings, but the AFRF was paying in blood for every step and, combined with their losses in the Atreus Principality and on the front with Galedon, the Royal Federation's armies (merged with Defiance's surviving forces in 3116) were being ground to a nub.

Yet Emperor Gregory's strategic vision was not enough to spare him the embarrassment of his own forces going rogue. Liaoist commanders of the Sian Dragoons and Young Liao Guards cared little for the victories in the old Free Worlds League. Rather, with the support of sympathetic figures in Maskirovka, they had learned of a once-in-a-lifetime strategic opportunity. Across their common border, the Federated Suns' St. Ives March had been stripped of almost all regular troops. Only their local militia and a handful of broken units rehabilitating from the savage fighting in the Draconis March defended key worlds like Grand Base and Bellatrix, even Victoria itself was lightly defended. In June 3018, while Emperor Gregory was at the front overseeing the plunge towards Tematagi, Strategos Lu Sen Wei dispatched the orders to those he knew would listen. Using WarShips fresh from the Boras yards or still only half-repaired for cover, and whatever civilian JumpShips could be commandeered to join their own, a scratch force of twenty regiments made up of devout Liaoist units descended upon the Federated Suns' Duchy of Victoria. The local march militia and supporting mercenaries were swept aside. The battle-hardened AFFS forces pulled from the active fronts bloodied the invaders where they could, but the invasion could not be stopped with the meager resources on hand. Secondary strikes were soon launched around Sarna, clearing worlds like New Sagan and Minnecora of their defenders. The Oriento-Capellans advanced clear to the Periphery at Renown and went after Victoria, where they would be repulsed as their forces were worn down and lacked the means to sustain their campaign.

Emperor Gregory was given a chance by First Prince Grace to renounce his forces and declare them rogues, but Gregory could not. He'd failed to secure Andurien and yet again devoted himself to fighting for non-Capellan worlds against states that were not enemies of the Capellan people. To turn on "loyal" Capellans on behalf of the hated "Fedrats" would destroy his legitimacy. Gregory instead declared the worlds former Capellan planets rightfully returned to House Liao and offered Grace a face-saving way of backing out. Instead, she expelled the Imperial ambassador from New Avalon and won the Empire's expulsion from the Compact by a vote of her allies. The last of the power blocs was now fractured, and the desperate need for troops to man defenses facing the Davions forced a transfer of troops that saw a successful Canopian-Andurien thrust that took Kearny, threatening the strategic flank of the Empire's lunge into the Rim Commonality. Surrounded by foes or potential foes, their armies hollowed and their once-mighty navy dwindling with every battle, win or lose, the Empire stared into the abyss of disaster.

The Federated Suns was likewise badly pressed, as were House Silver-Davion's foes. Under the leadership of Chancellor Joan Arseid, the Concord's forces were reformed and rebuilt with what resources they had left. In what was a desperate gambit to reclaim the resources necessary for the Concord to survive being surrounded by enemies, the Concord commenced a large-scale offensive into the Draconis March and Outworlds at the start of 3119. Their forces were spirited and organized, but they were all that the Concord had left. This offensive had no depth, only width. If they needed reserves, if they were held up, they would be stopped. But the six years of savage warfare in the Draconis March had left the AFFS and GCSAF too weak to resist the intact regiments sweeping over their ad hoc, loss-riddled units, especially with many AFFS units now rushing to Victoria and St. Ives to resist any further Imperial advances. In the span of ten months the Concord reclaimed virtually everything it'd lost in 3113. The process left their army a hollow shell that would collapse the moment any neighbor put pressure on it, but for the moment, they had succeeded.

Kori Honda raged at being driven out of the Draconis March, but Galedon's struggles likewise continued on other fronts. A strategic plan for a 3117 counter-offensive into the heart of Lyran territory was countered by an unexpected Arcadian-Rasalhaguan invasion of the marshaling world Tukayyid. The combined forces of COMINTERSTEL and the Lyran Alliance were pressing on, bleeding for every world they retook as they advanced through 3118 and 3119 against fanatical Galedonian defenses of their captured systems. Arkab, Schuyler, Luzerne, Itabiana, and a number of other systems were liberated, where tales of Kuritan atrocities spurred the enraged Rasalhaguans to burn their units down to their very cores if it meant saving more of their people. Kori, seeking to redirect the pressure, ordered a counter-attack that pushed the Arcadians back in the vicinity of Vega, reclaiming that system and several worlds. But her generals made clear this was their last gasp. The Co-Prosperity Sphere's economy was groaning from the strain of maintaining her armies. It lacked the power to rebuild the many regiments that were now broken husks. Their forces were already so thin that a determined Compact offensive had regained a portion of the Azami Confederacy, including beginning a siege to retake Albalii. With their forces fighting the Lyrans around Vega, manning the long front with the Concord, and trying to hold Rasalhague, Galedon did not have the strength to push the Compact out.

Their foes were in no better position. The Concord, as examined, had spent its last reserve in their great offensive. Tikonov's years of fighting and losses to Concord and Galedonian raiders had left their military as worn as any other. The Azami had a mere twenty BattleMech regiments on the rolls and half of them only consisted of a reinforced battalion backed by armored vehicle support. The AFFS was in shambles and unable to continue operations so far from their main lines of supply. The Rasalhaguan effort to advance on to Pesht failed, with a second forced retreat from Yamarovka spelling the end to the advance. While the Republic had endured, they and their COMINTERSTEL allies were a spent force and needed time to rebuild to effectively hold what they'd liberated.

In the Lyran Alliance, Ghastillia now faced tax revolts in a number of key systems and a peace movement was demanding they stop dying "for the benefit of Lyran pride". More Ghastillian forces were ordered on defensive action only. The Arcadians did not have this issue yet but even with the populace willing to fight on, the Royal Federation's need to fight on so many fronts had left even their most proud units reduced sharply in size. Entire RCTs and divisions were little more than brigades at this point, and in their desperation for line personnel eighteen and nineteen year old cadets were being called to the front as lieutenants where twenty-two year old breveted majors and twenty-six year old breveted colonels were leading them into battle. In a last gasp effort for 3119, the AFRF threw a relief force into Atreus that prevented the Marik throneworld's fall to the Dowager Empress' Knight Orders. Another force commenced invasions of Sirius and Procyon with the best remaining units. Their efforts prevailed on both fronts but at continued bloody cost, including a significant one with the death of Prince James Proctor, Prince of Atreus, on the battlefield at Sirius. A bereaved High Queen Jacqueline was left to mourn her eldest son and heir and the small family he left behind.

As the final quarter of 3119 came, the Inner Sphere's armies finally dropped in mutual exhaustion. Only a handful of offensive operations were launched, most notably the retaking of Tematagi from Imperial forces, failed Galedonian efforts to expand their salient at Vega, and a joint offensive by what was left of the Compact that finally regained part of the pre-war Azami-Galedonian border. After a decade of high-intensity warfare the militaries of the Successor States were bloodied and broken. It only remained to be seen if they were willing to end the war or if they would merely rest and prepare for more rounds of bloody fighting.


Sidebar 7: The Dragon's Contempt[]


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TRANSCRIPT FROM THE STATE CHAMBERS, GALEDON CITY, 11 SEPTEMBER 3111

Chamberlain: Presenting the Most Excellent and Noble Ambassador Naomi Minamoto of Rasalhague, Great Director.

Kori Honda: Ah. I had expected you an hour ago. I had my schedule clear then. You disappoint me with your lateness, Ambassador.

Naomi Minamoto: Do not patronize me! I have received the official notification from ComStar! Pesht, Arkab, Irece, Avon! Over a dozen of our worlds have your forces on invasion approach, and you have not explained yourself!

K. Honda: I have no need to explain myself to the likes of you.

N. Minamoto: What are you doing, Director? Our nations have been at peace for decades. We have never threatened you.

K. Honda: Nor have you ever been capable of threatening my realm. As for what I am doing, I believe even for a mead-swilling dullard like you, it should be painfully obvious. I am undoing a great historical error.

N. Minamoto: What do you mean? What 'error'?

K. Honda: The error of a Rasalhague independent of House Kurita.

<At this point the Director nods to her bodyguards. Two power-suited Otomo wearing Black Dragon Society insignia step forward and grab Minamoto>

N. Minamoto: What is the meaning of this?! I am a diplomat!

K. Honda: So were the men of Rengo your Gothi One-Eye burned alive on Paracale back in 3032. And you are no diplomat. You are a rebel to the true rulers of your world, and Rasalhague is nothing but a rebellious province that we have humored long enough.

N. Minamoto: Director Masako vowed to support our existence! She gave her word!

<Director Honda approaches the woman, who still struggles. She smiles in amusement>

K. Honda: My grandmother ruled in a different time, which required her to be circumspect. I have been relieved of that need.

N. Minamoto: Rasalhague will not submit! We will fight! We will—

K. Honda: You will die. If I did not value the lives of my servants on your world I would take your head now. Instead you will be held and treated with the contempt a rebel deserves until ComStar comes to exchange you. <gestures to her guards> Take her away.

<Ambassador Minamoto is removed from the State Chamber, shouting insults and threats>
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The Congress of Dieron[]

As the bloody decade of warfare ended, the Successor States seemed no closer to peace. Their armies were broken skeletons of what they'd been at the start of the war and their fleets had been reduced by over half from battle losses and attrition. Yet for all it was clear a pause was needed, every side had advocates for pressing on. For all their own armies were swaying in the wind, so too were their foes. Just one more victory, just one more firm stand, might yet bring the decisive, absolute victory that had been denied them for those ten bloody years.

At this stage, ComStar stepped forward once more. Left as the custodians of Terra after the Terran War, the interstellar communications firm had regained some of its prestige lost in the Terran War through scrupulous business practices and improving the capacity and speed of the Inner Sphere's HPG network. They were either directly running or supporting HPG operations in over half the Successor States and had likewise become the organization of choice for delicate diplomatic arrangements, though never to the extent that our ComStar did in its history. The organization itself was multinational as well, only a quarter of its personnel hailing from Terra or former Terran Union worlds. What little remained of the ideals of the Star League was embodied here.

Thus for ComStar the ongoing Fourth Succession War was a disaster that needed to be halted. They had quietly promoted diplomacy throughout the war and now President Jason Hollings saw a brief window of opportunity to bring the bloodshed to an end before desperation drove the combatants to greater and more destructive efforts. As the final battles of 3119 were waged, he persuaded the Successor Lords to hear out his proposal and join in peace talks. Since a number rejected using Terra or any part of Sol System as a meeting place, Hollings suggested the ComStar facilities on Dieron in the city of Tahlwynn, where ComStar not only maintained the planet's new primary HPG but had established a technical and engineering university. While the planet was not a neutral site itself, the Azami Confederacy was one of the more desperate states and agreed to ComStar's proposed summit, including hosting bodyguard forces and withdrawing all Azami troops from the hemisphere.

At first only delegations were sent, mostly the diplomatic staff on Terra. This allowed the Dieron talks to commence in late January instead of later. In an early session Hollings proposed that a general ceasefire be observed for the duration of talks. Arcadia and Galedon protested initially but accepted in the end, as it would buy time to reform their ravaged units. The ceasefire declaration ended the fighting across the Inner Sphere for the time being, though a number of systems still bore contending armies who were not yet withdrawing. While that was the obvious next step in de-escalation, Hollings did not press it out of the reasonable concern it would derail the talks. Despite the danger of this continued contact of forces, he pressed on with the agenda of settling the mutual hostilities. He kept the delegates on track in establishing positions for peace while letting the ceasefire do the rest of the work. Commanding officers from all services noted the improving morale from an end to the warfare while warning their superiors of a growing discontent at the prospects of resuming the fight. A general feeling of not wanting to be the last person to die in a war that was about to end peacefully set in to varying extents. A similar desire for peace to last came from the civilian populaces of many worlds, further increasing the political pressure to protect the ceasefire.

As it became clear the talks were not going to collapse and that real pressure for peace was going, more and more of the Inner Sphere's leaders converged on Dieron. With a few exceptions due to distance or disinterest (Kori Honda was a noted no-show) by June Dieron hosted the greatest gathering of Successor Lords and leaders since Penny Reynolds' funeral in 3062. Even those who did not attend in person sent senior advisors to represent them. Negotiations for peace began in earnest. It is unknown how much of these negotiations were part of the main sessions of what was coming to be called the Congress of Dieron and how much of the handling was being done behind the scenes, likely with Hollings and other ComStar leaders quietly nudging terms around to create working compromises. There were many tight knots to untangle, particularly with the expansive claims of Kori Honda and her representatives' threat to walk out if they were not honored.

The knots started to break when the Rim Commonality and the Principate agreed to recognize the Oriento-Capellan Empire's capture of Grand Base, Bellatrix, and the other former Capellan worlds, and to their return to Sirius and Procyon. The Empire in turn agreed to accept the loss of Regulus and to withdraw back to their pre-war frontiers, effectively ceding over twenty systems captured during the course of the war. A similar agreement earned Andurien's support, including the cession of Kearny itself (reportedly a bitter pill for the Dowager Empress on Oriente), Mosiro, and a number of systems captured from Andurien in 3032. High Queen Jacqueline was furious when informed and accused the Rim Commonality First Minister Semiha Cifti and Flavius of treachery, declaring she would never accept returning Sirius and Procyon. In turn Semiha and Flavius bluntly informed her that if she did not agree to the cession they would sign a separate peace with the Empire, as neither state could fight on anyway. The legions were on the verge of revolt and the Rim Commonality's economy was disintegrating from the damages and the lost worlds vital to their internal trade network. With the Empire agreeing to recognize the loss of the Irian Province and the Marik system to the Federation, Jacqueline's own advisors counseled acceptance. In their state, to face the Empire alone while still fighting Galedon and the Azami would destroy the AFRF and cost them everything they'd gained. Given she was ceding the world her son died to take, it was a truly bitter pill for Jacqueline, and would forever cement her loathing for the war's outcome.

The Federated Suns was no happier. The Empire's diplomatic maneuver had ended any prospect of pinning them in a two-front war to reclaim the worlds lost to the Liaoist offensive. First Prince Grace consulted with her own Privy Council who pointed out the obvious, that the AFFS was badly in need of refit and re-establishment. Even storied units like the Davion Assault Guards had been completely destroyed in the fighting. A new wave of riots and dissensions was spreading through the Taurian March and Liaoist agitation was likewise undermining Silver-Davion rule in regions of Victoria and St. Ives. The Federated Suns, bluntly, needed peace, even at the cost of net territorial loss. After this consultation (and an alleged searing row with her disappointed husband Erik Sandoval), Grace conceded to terms on the grounds of the Empire supporting the few gains made against the Concord's forces, primarily in worlds lost in the Concord-Compact War. Emperor Gregory, after a personal and very tense meeting with Grace, agreed.

Emperor Gregory's role at Dieron is a subject of much debate. A number of observers (most of them FedSun or Royal Federation) attribute to him mere self-interest, trying to consolidate what gains his Empire could most likely hold at minimal cost. Others (especially Capellan) have argued there was a measure of personal responsibility at play. Gregory himself is purported to have been emotionally devastated by his responsibility for the conflict. The ten years of warfare had nearly destroyed the Empire his grandparents forged and his father died to defend. His own subjects had defied him, invaded an ally, and maneuvered him into a ex post facto justification of their defiance. Even if they survived, the Empire was now in dangerous territory, surrounded by enemies. To those who hold this interpretation, securing peace to end the war he foolishly ignited became almost an obsession given how actively Gregory pursued matters at Dieron. Their greatest evidence is arguably how he treated the final holdouts, the Concord and Galedon.

The Concord had been winner and loser. It had, despite its great territorial losses and suffering the most grave betrayal a state can suffer, regained most of what it lost. A mere half dozen systems had been lost to the Federated Suns and the exchange with Galedon was even. For Chancellor Arseid the primary need was to buy time for her forces to rebuild given how hollow the KSCAF were on the ground. But with her strategic isolation, peace was perilous. The Concord was now isolated and alone. Gregory provided her encouragement in ending the conflict, offering to mediate with Kori Honda's representatives. Arseid agreed to support the peace if Gregory secured her Concord's current border with Galedon, an impossible-sounding task given Honda's representatives would only loudly assert that every world captured was now rightfully Kori Honda's and must be returned for peace.

Yet even President Hollings would give credit to Gregory for talking Honda down, through her intermediaries. Whether he pointed out her impossible strategic position or made other promises, in August of 3120 the Galedonian delegation to the Congress agreed to a "status quo" border arrangement. Galedon would get to keep what they had held, would lose what they had not, and would support an end to the war. This was, understandably, not popular for Rasalhague or the Royal Federation, as it meant the loss of worlds they'd held or felt they had rights to. But with the rest of the peace forming, it was not enough to justify holding out. Despite all expectations that went into the beginning of the talks, Director Kori Honda had indeed agreed to make peace. Nobody wished to be the ones who continued to resist it given that fact.

The final dispensation was with the hosts. The Azami, with their allies' backing, pressed for the return of a number of occupied systems, but gradually accepted the loss of Sabik to the Royal Federation in exchange for the return of Kessel and its valuable shipyards. Likewise they accepted the terms laid out for Galedon. With not a world gained and several lost they were one of the undoubted losers of the conflict, but since their losses could have been far greater if not for the sacrifices of their allies, the Azami felt bound to honor them. They conceded to the peace.

As the final terms were drawn up, jubilation and frustration filled all involved. While some won or lost more than others, it was clear that everyone had reason to feel they had at least gained something and that further conflict would cost them far more than they might hope from further gains. Many bitter pills were swallowed, but with a couple exceptions, none were so bitter to indigestible. Even the exceptions needed time to recover and could not justify refusing the final agreement. When the Congress of Dieron held its final sessions, they were united in the sentiment that the peace, while maybe not desirable, was necessary and must be maintained. To protect it, many were openly willing to act in concert with even former foes.

On the 11th of November, 3120, the final session of the Congress was held. One by one the Successor Lords or their senior delegates cast their votes for the final document that came to be known as the Peace of Dieron. In a solemn ceremony, each thereafter signed the Peace. The Fourth Succession War was over. With it a new order arose in the Inner Sphere, and after the false starts of the Terran Export Ban, the Robinson Accord, and the Treaty of Geneva, many now wondered if at last they had brought an end to the Second Age of War.


The Concert of the Sphere[]

The Peace of Dieron ended the Fourth Succession War, despite all expectations the Congress would break up in the end or any peace would collapse immediately. The skepticism directed at the achievement did not end with the treaty. A year had already bought time for the armed services of the Inner Sphere to begin recovery. Certainly, after a few years, it was easy to imagine conflict breaking out once more. Some even refused to consider the Fourth Succession War truly over and fully expected this to be a mere lull. Yet, with few exceptions, the Peace held, backed by the concerted agreement of the Successor States.

Kori Honda was already en route to Luthien when word came the peace was signed. She declared January 1st to be the first day of a week of celebrations, with a work holiday and festivals across her realm. Many thought this to be in celebration of the peace, which publicly Kori took credit for no matter how much she is rumored to have seethed over it. But her true motive was revealed with the victory parade she held in the streets of Unity City. At the steps of the Unity Palace, with her husband and her son Yorinaga in attendance, Kori had a great covered banner hoisted and the cover pulled away. Underneath, in full view of the crowd, the black dragon of the Draconis Combine started to sway in a very timely wind. With that gesture a host of other banners were unfurled along the palace's wall and central structure and on the great buildings of Unity City, all bearing the Combine crest. Across the worlds held by Galedon, similar ceremonies were held at her instructions. Addressing the crowd, Kori announced the end of the Galedon Mutual Co-Prosperity Sphere that her grandmother Masako formed. She proclaimed herself to be Coordinator Kori Kurita of the Draconis Combine. The state was reorganized into new Military Districts based on Galedon, Tok Do, Pesht, and Hartshill, with Luthien as the restored Black Pearl of House Kurita. The ISF was charged with putting down any grumbling from those who honored Masako's work and were displeased by the transformation, and to ensure against the ISF sharing in that displeasure, Kori formally empowered the Black Dragon Society as the Order of the Black Dragon. Where the Order of the Five Pillars had failed, they would succeed, and ensure the Dragon never again succumbed to civil strife or enemy action.

The formal return of House Kurita and displacement of House Honda seemed a final stamp to the changes Kori had helped wrought upon the Inner Sphere. She had destroyed her grandmother's alliances and treaties and turned her new Combine into a pariah state, but it was a pariah to be feared given it retained all of Galedon's industrial might, empowered further by the captured worlds of Pesht District, the retention of Vega, and Hartshill's continued strength in production. Yet, surprisingly, she was not the first ruler to challenge the new status quo and reveal the surprising strength underlining it.

From the Royal Palace in Roslyn, High Queen Jacqueline of Arcadia held no more love for the peace than the Kuritas. Her son had died to reclaim a world she was forced to cede back. Sirius and Procyon's forced return became a sticking point in acceptance of the peace. Many in the AFRF especially felt that they had been on the cusp of final victory, that had they not been compelled to the ceasefire, one last push would have finished the Empire off and they could have regained everything. A deep resentment of the Principate and Rim Commonality formed, but even that paled in comparison to the hatred of the peace and devotion to claiming those worlds anyway. Senior planners shifted troops about quietly, moving broken units out of the New Earth March and bringing in those units fully rebuilt. With the High Queen's blessing the AFRF prepared for what was dubbed Operation MORNINGSTAR, an invasion to capture Procyon and Sirius quickly enough that they could be defended and the onus of starting a new war placed on Gregory Halas-Liao. They had their opening in January 3123 after a Liaoist cell on Irian blew up several power stations as part of a declared uprising. Though the Empire disavowed these actions and the cell was easily rounded up by local authorities, the invasions proceeded.

They were a disaster. Maskirovka had some indications of what was coming and the Empire had quietly reinforced the systems with WarShips and extra aerospace regiments. What was meant to be a swift and decisive orbital approach and landing became a ferocious naval battle. Four Federation WarShips, including a heavy cruiser, were lost breaking a hole through the Imperial orbital defenses, and those units that made planetfall found garrisons alerted and dug-in. In the resulting fighting the Empire very nearly drove the invaders back to their LZs. With casualties mounting the Royal Federation's troops held fast and pushed back, gaining some ground, but the rapid blitzkrieg capture had become a drawn-out fight. Instead of a fait accompli to present to her peers, High Queen Jacqueline had an active shooting war. Nevertheless she pleaded intently that those worlds were by rights the Federation's, stolen from her mother's Consolidant by Imperial avarice. She swore she had no further ambitions against the Empire, who predictably painted the conflict as a land grab in violation of the peace agreement. Emperor Gregory called upon his peers to censure Jacqueline and her Federation for disturbing the new peace. Much to Jacqueline's dismay, this was precisely what they did. Every government in the Inner Sphere, even her own allies, declared the Royal Federation in violation of the Peace of Dieron. They demanded Jacqueline withdraw from the worlds and make amends for the invasion, or the other signatories would use force to compel her to obey.

With the Federation Parliament in an uproar and a ministerial revolt gripping her Privy Council, Jacqueline succumbed to the pressure, though it did nothing but intensify her hatred of the Peace. The AFRF Command Staff protested bitterly, insisting that reinforcements would prevail and that the other Successor States were bluffing, that no one was currently able to actually attack the Federation. Jacqueline rebuked their protests and demanded their obedience. Many of the officers involved, from division commanders up to the Command Staff, resigned in protest or from the insistence of Parliament and the ministers. Under direct orders from the High Queen, the Arcadian regiments that landed on Sirius and Procyon departed along with their surviving naval escorts. Emperor Gregory, grateful to have avoided a resumption of the war, did not press the demanded reparations angle strongly. The Empire settled for the Federation paying for a care fund overseen by ComStar that would fix all damages to Sirius and Procyon and compensate the Empire for the pensions provided to the dead and wounded soldiers. For Gregory and most other rulers, the important thing was that the Peace of Dieron had faced its first test and survived. The unity with which the Inner Sphere stared down the Royal Federation prompted the first use of the term that has come to define this era of history: "the Concert of the Sphere".

With peace now enforced by common agreement the governments of the Inner Sphere turned to the rebuilding. Hundreds of worlds had been fought over at one point or another and recovery was expensive. The rebuilding of shattered armies was delayed to pay the necessary costs for these repairs. While a universal need not all states suffered equally. The Rim Commonality in particular had seen much of its economic heartland gutted by Emperor Gregory's offensives. A depression gripped that Successor State and caused the assassination of First Minister Semiha Cifti, bringing the Commonality to such a point of political deadlock and fear of collapse that they agreed to a unification offer from Alphard, joining the Principate directly before the decade was out. This has not been broadly popular and in the years since a persistent nationalism movement has resisted Alphard's control with rumored, though not proven, support from Maskirovka.

In 3126 a brief outbreak of fighting on New Aberdeen caused by Barlowe's Raiders proved the next challenge to the Peace. Like before the aggressor — Kori Korita this time — faced a united opposition that compelled them to back off. The difference was that Kori Kurita was willing to try again, elsewhere. Further raids were launched, this time along the disputed Outworlds border, and the Concord responded in kind. The Concert stirred enough that the two sides toned their fighting down. But it did not end entirely. The Outworlds were too far from any other interests to matter and the Concord, like the Combine, was strategically isolated. So long as a general war did not break out between the two former allies the Concert would remain undisturbed. So began a low-intensity conflict that has lasted since 3128 to the modern day, escalating to "proper" warfare on a number of occasions with both sides hiring mercenaries to supplement their forces and avoid stirring the Concert to action with further mobilization. Smaller petty raids by Azami Spahi regiments started up along both the Combine and Royal Federation borders, including ambitious company-sized strikes at the factories on Sabik. The Combine responded with retaliation strikes while the Arcadians, hoping to detach the lingering association between the Empire and Azami, refrained from retribution while improving their defenses. Again, the Concert stirred, but self-restraint kept the matter from becoming a crisis. The raids tapered off through the 3130s, though they never quite went away.

Given these raids the Arcadians soon took another lunge at a neighbor, but with a more restrained objective. Responding to a rebellion in Vega Prefecture in the early 3130s, the AFRF commenced Operation SOVEREIGN SON and sent a four-regiment force to extract the rebellion's leader: Chu-sa Musashi Honda, an officer of the 3rd Legion of Vega and revealed to be the son of Yumiko Honda, the slain sister of Coordinator Kori. Given the months of transit time the Vega system requires this could not be a quick affair, but Kori was too proud to react as Gregory or another ruler would have and ordered her local forces to crush the invasion. After two months of hit-and-run fighting and engagements, the AFRF withdrew with Musashi safe and sound on their ships. This humiliation infuriated Kori. Whether she planned a larger retaliation is undoubted, but before it could be enacted, Kori and her husband were killed in an industrial accident at Luthien Armor Works. Yorinaga Kurita assumed his mother's throne and decided on a delayed series of retaliations so as to not provoke the Concert. Only in 3139 did he give leave for a larger-scale strike, sending the 2nd Sword of Light to sack the planet Freedom in an effort to bring his cousin Musashi to ground. The attack inflicted significant losses on the planet's defenders, thousands of deaths, and billions of C-bills in economic damage before withdrawing without Musashi's location. This embarrassment was made up for the following year when the 2nd Sword, working with the 9 Galedon Regulars, inflicted severe losses on the 3rd Proctor Guards' retaliation raid on New Wessex.

Yorinaga's shifting of priorities showed in 3136 when the greatest battle since the end of the war was waged on Alpheratz, where a dozen regiments of mercenaries and regular DCMS forces attempted to conquer the former Outworlds capital from a mixed Concord/mercenary force. An eleven month campaign finally did win attention from the Concert. The Combine withdrew, having failed to take the world but leaving much of it in rubble. Further such attacks came yearly, at Sevon, Quatre Bell, even Bryceland in 3140. The Combine's intentions seemed to be more combat than conflict, though to the civilians caught in the war zone and the Concord forces fighting against them, it changed nothing concerning their suffering.

The Peace was still intact when, in 3137, Emperor Gregory Halas-Liao died. It was noted by many that he was a mere seventy-six years old, just a little over half the age of the still-living Dowager Empress Eris. That he died at such a relatively young age despite the best medical care in the Inner Sphere was a shock to the people of the Empire and many across the Inner Sphere, giving credence to the belief that his personal responsibility for the Fourth Succession War had left a deep wound on him. In what must have been bitter irony for those who remembered why Gregory invaded Andurien,he died with significant popularity among the Capellan people. Where in life Gregory had once been dismissed by ardent Liaoists and Capellan nationalists, in death he was fondly remembered as a champion of the Capellan people for recovering the "stolen worlds" and finally ending the hated alliance with the perfidious Davions. For a month the peoples of the Capellan portion of the Empire flew flags at half-staff and wore armbands of mourning to honor their fallen ruler. His grandmother Dowager Eris likewise ordered mourning among the Grand Duchy for her lost grandchild. Gregory's son and heir Robert assumed the throne, spending the rest of 3137 and 3138 attending coronation ceremonies at Oriente, Harsefeld, and Sian, where the new Celestial Wisdom was greeted with adulation. Robert responded to this with popular economic decrees to improve the quality of life for the subjects and expanded the ranks of the directorship to better process the citizenship applications of the casteless.

(Casteless? These Liao don't have servitors? —Paladin Max Ergren) <(Apparently not, as part of the Allison-Liao reforms before the Empire was formed. Though going by Huyten's interviews with the Arcadians, the casteless basically are the servitors. —Lady Janella Lakewood)>

The Empire's continued strategic isolation has remained an obvious thorn for Robert to deal with. Since rebuilding bridges with the Davions is impossible and his great-grandmother's iron grip on the Grand Duchy and sections of the sheng and directorate make reconciliation with House Proctor unlikely, Robert has attempted some diplomacy with the Principate, Tikonov, and the Azami. It is also rumored he has established direct communications with Coordinator Yorinaga, though ComStar will not confirm any special arrangements on the HPG networks and the is no evidence of this. On the military front he has resisted calls to accelerate 'Mech production but has invested in a significant naval arms program to counter House Silver-Davion's naval power. The Oriento-Capellan Empire has committed to a great long-term naval expansion program that will make them the strongest naval power in the Inner Sphere (bar perhaps the Draconis Combine, which maintains strict secrecy on its naval program but inherited Galedon's massive naval industrial complex). The Federated Suns has responded with its own expansion of its planned naval program, with a Concord commitment to a naval buildup made thereafter in a tight vote in their legislature. The Royal Federation has committed to a limited expansion but as of yet has not gone to the extent the AFRF and their supporting Defense Bloc in Parliament demanded. To many Assembly members and Senators, expanding the fleet or the armed forces runs the risk of emboldening the officers into trying another provocation like MORNING STAR. High Queen Jacqueline's growing detachment from governance exacerbated these issues and kept the controversy going. Her hatred of the Peace was known and could be counted upon to color her judgment, but without an engaged ruler, the Royal Federation's system leaned towards continued drift.

Things changed after Jacqueline's death by misadventure in May 3142 brought her grandson Nathaniel, only child of the dead Prince James, to the throne. At the age of 26 he is the youngest monarch the modern Royal Federation has known. Only Sara-Marie, as March-Princess, started as a younger ruler in the entire history of House Proctor. Released from field service with the AFRF, Nathaniel has taken charge in Roslyn and has brought a new energy to the Crown, asserting himself in a number of policy fields. Prominent among them is initiating a new peace policy towards the Empire, engaging Emperor Robert in bilateral discussions on reductions to their troops along the border systems. Where his grandmother's contempt for the Concert was plain to all, Nathaniel's support for it has been publicly stated. In many ways, his ascension has been both a disruptive element to Inner Sphere politics and a boon to the security of the Peace, with the Concert of the Sphere now into its third decade.

Undoubtedly very few realized how stable the Concert would prove. It has not stopped all conflict, as the ongoing Outworlds fighting regularly shows. Yet the Cisglass Inner Sphere of the last twenty years is seeing peace it has not known, arguably, since the second quarter of the 28th Century, if not the 27th Century and the noted "golden age" of the Star League. It was not known at the time but the Second Age of War ended when the Congress of Dieron agreed to sign the Peace. Conflict and dissension have been primarily expressed in the diplomatic and economic fields, not the battlefield. Yet the Peace was not a perfect settling of accounts, it was an acceptance of mutual exhaustion and the desperate need to end the bloodshed of the Fourth Succession War. It bandaged the wounds of the Inner Sphere, but underneath the dressings the injuries still seethe and ache. The Arcadians, the Sudeteners, the Federated Suns and Oriento-Capellan Empire, they all want more than the Peace gave, and given time their desires will place the Peace under greater and greater stress. It would be naive to pretend the Concert will last forever.

Yet, so long as it does survive, so long as no new age of war or succession war break out beyond the Glass, the Concert will continue to exercise a hold on the minds of those in power and the ordinary citizen, and there is no telling how long that hold will keep the Concert going, even in the face of the unexpected.

And by the unexpected, I mean the Timkovichi Event. Whatever our destinies would have been without the Event, whatever their destinies would have been, our futures are now linked. We have both diverged from the paths our Inner Spheres were walking. And only time will tell us where those paths will lead us.


Sidebar 8: A Hidden War in the Deep Periphery?[]

(You hear all softs of scuttlebutt from soldiers. Tall tales. The ones that got away, Chargers that fired five large lasers but still ran the 1A1's speed, all the usual. And nobody spins them like Intelligence officers, since they get to play with you and make you wonder. This is one I got late, from a Ghastillian intel liaison attached to the Arcadians' command on Timkovichi after they reopened the Glass. He showed me the article and made the usual pointed 'might just be true' remarks. I included it for your benefit since, if true (and I think it might be), it's one hell of a powder keg that might just blow up the Concert when we least expect it. — Brigadier Huyten)


======================================================================================================
Frontier News Network
10 June 3142 Edition
"A War Beyond the Rim"
By: Simon Weisman

Everyone knows the Concert of the Sphere hasn't kept the peace perfectly. The Dracs and the Lexis are keeping up their bitter divorce grudge match in the Outworlds. The Cadies keep growling at the Cappies, and the Davions are right there with them, and the Dowager Eris needs to start killing Proctors again if she's to gain another century for her life The Azami are raiding something in Skye every other week or something. The Flavian Legions are restless. The stories of all the places where the Concert is buckling and the next real war might break out keep coming, to the point you think some people want to see it.

But there's another place nobody's talking about. A war hidden from the eyes of the Inner Sphere but no less bitter and no less dangerous. It's so hard to find I can scarcely believe it exists too, but the evidence is there if you know what to look for and do some reasoning.

Over the last fifty years Ghastillia's been re-settling every world that can take a dome. Half the reason the Cadies are so pissed at us is because we're spending trillions of rands on the colonies and not the 'Mechs and ships they need us to have so we can bail them out when they fight their twentieth war to retake Sirius or Vega or whatever other world they want back today. But while there's always been some naval and ground troop presence in the Colonies, these past several years that presence has gone up. There seem to be more Ghastillian ships and troops moving through even though, by every public account I can find, they're not actually deploying more troops to those colonies. Pirate activity's not faltered at all either, so whatever they're doing, it's not hurting the pirates.

What's more is that you've got an uptick in sudden deployments of companies of Ghastillian Regulars who leave behind their families because they're being sent to "Temporary Duty Stations", and when they come back (or if they come back) they've lost people on "training accidents" or "pirate attacks" that nobody can find records of. Anyone who asks a lot gets a nice visit from some suited and uniformed people and suddenly they're happily accepting a larger pension for their dead family members. Sometimes the detachments can get pretty big. From 3137 to 3140 the 1st Winter Lancers literally dropped off the edge of the Inner Sphere, the whole brigade! "Training operations in Arcadian territory" or "joint training in the Principate" were given as reasons, with the usual spiel about "sensitive aspects". Why would you need to hide training missions?

And whatever's going on, Konigin Bradford's mixed up too. She ran in her '36 election on a campaign of focusing on domestic issues, armament cuts, all that fun stuff. Within a year she was approving the highest armament spending since the Peace of Dieron. She's added half again to the navy's orders for the next five years, even as she talks about the Arcadians needing to come to an arrangement with the Empire. "Why?" I ask, as should you. Just what is going on.

The answer is terrifying. They're fighting a war out there, somewhere beyond the Nyasa District, where there are no colonies and no known interstellar societies, just the usual Deep Periphery failed colonies that have gone caveman. But who against? Aliens? Some sort of Deep Periphery nation that's infringing on the Inner Sphere? An empire of mad clones preparing to conquer us? Does this have anything to do with the recent incident at Farcry where an unidentified 'Mech force came in and wrecked half the colony's production facilities for military-grade ores?

Until weeks ago I was at a loss. Then I noted something else peculiar. Our neighbors have been acting odd as well. No, I'm not talking about the Rome tribute cover band, they're the usual oddness, and the Cadies are doing their usual fussing. I'm talking about those damned Commies. The Communal League's always been annoying the crap out of everyone with their 'Vanguardists' going around raiding worlds, killing industrialists and financiers with raids by whole 'Mech companies, all that usual commie crap. But they've been sorta quiet lately. Then I notice some odd note in the Rim Worker's Daily published in that pirate press they keep in the old Rim Empire worlds. On May 1st, they published a tribute to "brave comrades of the Second Autonomous Brigade who gave their lives for oppressed workers". But that unit's position's been established by ComStar's ConcertWatch service. They're on Far Reach.

Something dawned on me when I read that. Far Reach. The Second Brigade. One of the most hardcore, in-your-face, 'grind those bourgeoisie oppressors slowly and painfully under your Guillotine's boots!' forces of the entire damn CLAF, are out on a damn colony world?! In the middle of nowhere?! What are they going to do, raid Snowdon? There's nothing there! The richest guy is the colony sheriff and even he's slumming it! So why would they be there?

So I checked. Turns out something like three quarters of the Autonomous units, pretty much all the CLAFers who are Vanguard types, stationed themselves around the Chaineline systems.

There can only be one answer to that, my dear readers. Somewhere out there, somewhere in the Periphery, there's some world, or maybe even group of worlds, where we and the Commies are having an actual, no shit, real life shooting war. Here we are, supposed to be living up to the Peace of Dieron, 'God save us from the Fifth Succession War ever happening' and all that jazz, and our government and their government are fighting an actual war!

Maybe I'm wrong. I want to be. It's all nice and easy to think that maybe it's just some skirmishing, and if they're not doing it here then it doesn't count… but what if it does? What happens if someone wins, or is about to win, and the loser decides to escalate it by going after their supply routes in the nearer Periphery. In the colonies, maybe? You can't hide a war in the colonies! Colonists will never shut up about it, just like they never shut up about water purifiers!

And if the war comes here… what will it mean for the Peace of Dieron? Can the Concert make them stop? Or might it just be the thing that causes the whole damn arrangement to blow apart? As my nine year old would put it… that would really suck.


======================================================================================================

(P. S. I figured I'd add something That Ghastie intel officer didn't just talk about this article. We'd been discussing the differences between our Inner Spheres and I mentioned merc stories I'd picked up on the Deep Periphery. Not just any, but stories about what's going on out beyond the Lyran Periphery in our Inner Sphere, with the Goliath Scorpions. He didn't blink at that, but he gave me an awful funny look when I mentioned the Hanseatic League as their next possible target. Then he starts talking about old legends of the Lyrans who settled the worlds that formed Ghastillia, and how not all of those Lyran refugees stuck around Inarcs but kept going out through the Periphery. Sounds awful familiar, doesn't it? Mr. Weisman here obviously doesn't know it, but I think I can guess just where this 'hidden war' he's talking about is being fought. Makes me wonder just what's going on out there and if it's going to blow up in anyone's face when we don't need it to.)


The Successor States of 3142[]

  • Royal Federation
  • Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague
  • Oriente-Capellan Empire
  • Flavian Principate
  • Kingdom of Ghastillia
  • Communal League of Sudeten
  • Draconis Combine
  • Kilbourne Suns' Concord
  • Free Traders' Union
  • Federated Suns
  • Peoples of Andurien

Summary of Succession States[]

As of today, fourteen Successor States continue to exist beyond the Glass, not including ComStar and Terra itself. Their Inner Sphere has, on the whole, been more peaceful than our own these past twenty years. They have fully recovered Star League-era terraforming technology that has allowed the restoration of many abandoned worlds and systems depopulated by the First and Second Succession Wars and the Collapse.

Additionally, as you can imagine, the systems we lost to the Blakist Jihad remain alive on their side. More than anything, the lack of a cataclysmic war like the Jihad explains the differing scale of our two Inner Spheres. Their economies are stronger and their capacity for production is sobering going by even the public statistics. Every state can produce Clan-equivalent technology at some scale, and Star League industries are widespread. The public figures for their armies would give even Daoshen Liao pause.

Most states on our side have only one or two JumpShip yards, and no one can afford a new WarShip. On theirs, even a small realm like the Azami Confederacy has eight yards of some size, although they seem to be an outlier. The Royal Federation has over a dozen. It is no surprise that one of the most significant threats to the Peace of Dieron is a growing naval arms race, and many of these states already possess fleets that would have crushed the Clans ninety years ago.

That peace's staying power has surprised many commentators on the other side given all of the tension points against it. For now the benefits of maintaining the Peace of Dieron outweigh the benefits of overturning it. Their Fourth Succession War may have lacked the mass slaughter of the Jihad, but the state it left their armies was similar. Many of these states have not rebuilt to their peak condition in 3110. I shudder to think of the carnage they will experience if the Peace fails spectacularly.

This section is not meant as a history of these realms but a summary of their current status, the challenges they face internally and externally, and an idea as to the character of their realms. The count of worlds under each state's control will be included, along with a rough known estimate of their BattleMech forces by regiment and their WarShip fleet by number. Since not every state uses the standard SLDF "triangular" 'Mech regiment, this figure does not necessarily conform to the listed units in other public materials, it is an estimate based on ComStar's ConcertWatch service and other information Brigadier Huyten compiled. I must stress this means we cannot be sure of the accuracy of some of these figures. The Draconis Combine in particular is suspected of hiding some of its rearmament, and other states may have as well. Likewise, the raw world count is not always a sign of economic or military power given the large-scale resettlement efforts throughout the Inner Sphere and Near Periphery. Some of these worlds still have populations numbering only in the low millions or even hundreds of thousands.


Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague[]

SER3142-0 Free Communal Republic of Raslhague Map

Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague

Ruling House: None
Capital: Rasalhague
Ruler(s): Gothi Haakon Magnusson and Lawspeaker Margrethe Maxwell
Worlds: 212
BattleMech Regiments: 200
WarShips: 104

The Rasalhague that broke away from the Draconis Combine almost three hundred years ago has evolved significantly in the centuries. Today it is a fusion of multiple influences and the legends that forged the modern state. The Republic has embraced a more revolutionary economic model than most Successor States without becoming as radical as its allies on Sudeten. It has expanded the idea of Rasalhague past the nationhood it once represented to draw in the more diverse populations like Arkab and Tamar and their own identities. The Districts of the Republic allow for these diverse populations to retain a measure of identity and self-rule, even as they and all other worlds send delegates to the Assembly to work under the direction of the Lawspeaker, the Assembly member selected to oversee the legislative process and oversee the civilian side of the government.

A state as diverse as Rasalhague cannot avoid partisanship and factionalism, particularly as the former Oberon world and restored Periphery colonies gain in economic power and influence. As a complement to the power of the Lawspeaker their political institutions have a strong anchor in the institution of the Gothi. Popularly elected and confirmed by the Assembly, by law the commander of the entire FolksArme, they are part ruler, part war chief, and are held as above petty politics by the nation. A sitting Gothi, once they accept the position, will never be allowed to hold another office in the Republic again, as a bar to the ruthlessly ambitious. The Gothi, more than any citizen, is expected to give everything for the cause of Rasalhague, even their life. Unsurprisingly, six out of eight Gothis over the past century were active duty military personnel when considered for election, and the two exceptions were retired from military service. The Gothi's badge of office includes the use, ceremonially or for combat, of the rebuilt STK-8Q Stalker of Karl "One-Eye" Sleipson.

Rasalhague's economic model is based off old Terran social democracy economic models adapted to local planetary conditions, with a strong socialist aspect. Where corporations exist, the majority owners are always the workers of said company as a collective whole. Corporate officers are all elected by the body of employees and subject to oversight. Corporate property rights are limited by law and tradition and wage guarantees and work conditions supported by collective bargaining with trade union associations backed by government law.

The Fourth Succession War brought Rasalhague to the brink of ruin. Reckless courage, stubborn defiance, and careful alliances saved the nation, but it walked away from the war with net territorial loss, and most of its districts having known brutal occupation that has left scars upon them as a people. The decades of assuming that the word of House Honda would be kept have cost them in blood and pain. Now their security partly rests in the hands of former enemies and an ally that has not always been understanding of Rasalhague's needs or desires. It is easy to understand their unease as the Concert persists year to year, and why they have been one of the quickest states to re-arm their forces since the Peace of Dieron. The people of their Republic do not need to voice their feelings about the Peace; it can be seen on every world still bearing the scars of Kori's invasion troops, on every defiantly-displayed map of the pre-war Republic, and in the speeches of furious Assembly Representatives voting more dollars to the FolksArme and the military industries for rebuilding.

It has not been an easy road and more challenges undoubtedly await in the future. The costs of maintaining defenses against House Kurita are significant. Their relations to the Royal Federation have solidified since the Peace of Buckminster in 3113 at the cost of strained relations with their oldest ally. The COMINTERSTEL alliance has lasted a century in spite of very real and sometimes deep differences between the Communal Republic and the Communal League. The latter state's makeup, and the resulting bursts off aggression against the Lyran states it sometimes causes, are a threat to the unofficial alliance with Arcadia to resist further Kuritan encroachment. Of all the potential breaking points in the Concert, Rasalhague may be the most unpredictable. For twenty years they have focused on defense and rebuilding, but the fury in their society is palpable, and one day it may erupt in a sudden and surprising fashion.

It was some of these sentiments that prompted a change with the retirement of Gothi Peter Lundsen in 3136. After a long line of former senior officers taking the post of Gothi it fell to a comparatively younger officer. The election brought into the position forty-three year old Haakon Magnusson, a grandson of Gothi Ragnar Magnusson of the Terran War, who was elected to serve on the strength of his war service with the Einherjar. Not a political man by most measures, Haakon is establishing a reputation for forthright honesty tempered slightly by a sense of tact. For the last six years his focus has been on reassuring the public that the FolksArme are ready to protect their nation and keep the Combine from ever following through on their threats against Rasalhague's independence. His speeches often contain blunt threats of the coming day when Rasalhague will "reclaim what was taken, and our dead will finally be avenged", and each time it has won him the acclaim of his bitter nation. It has also led to some tenuous relationships with the Assembly's senior members and the Lawspeaker. As it is generally accepted that a Gothi serves until they retire or are killed in combat, it is likely Haakon will serve as long a term as his grandfather, a prospect that has some fearing he might form a cult of personality among the FolksArme given how well his personality fits the ideal for a Gothi.

These internal issues have not kept Rasalhague from remaining aware of developments elsewhere. Recently they have joined the alliance to support the Lyran Commonwealth against the Clans. It cannot be certain they will provide significant forces, not with the Combine threat on their frontier, but it is known they have dispatched several 'Mech regiments to the Glass. And like their COMINTERSTEL partners, they are not bound by the truce Stephanie Chistu imposed as a condition for her agreement to duel for the fate of Timkovichi. By the end of summer 3143, it is expected the FolksArme will be engaged against the forces of the Jade Falcons. It is unlikely the Falcons will enjoy the experience. The greater question mark may be what will occur if the Republic advances to the Rasalhague Dominion border and meets their counterpart on our side of the Glass. Neither is entirely the same as they were a century ago, but for all the similarities they enjoy, the Clan influences on the Dominion might be the catalyst for bitter opposition.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 1st Einherjar
    Since Gothi One-Eye famously assembled his finest warriors to serve the cause of Rasalhague, the Einherjar have been simultaneously the most sought after and most demanding posting in the FolksArme. Today they are a corps of three combined arms brigades, each centered on a 'Mech regiment. Among them, the 1st Einherjar are the most prestigious, as they are the personal regiment of the Gothi of the Republic. Wherever the Gothi goes, whether it is to directly intervene in squabbles in the districts or to smash raiders on the frontier, the 1st are always with them, typically in gleaming 'Mechs and vehicles and battle armor replete with Terran-grade weaponry.

    During the Fourth Succession War, Gothis Fredriksson and Minamoto led the 1st into a number of the most significant battles of the conflict against the Lyran states and Galedonians. Many of the unit died alongside Gothi Fredriksson defending the Peoples' Assembly Hall in Asgard City from the First Sword of Light in 3113. The survivors rallied around Gothi Minamoto during her battles to save Rasalhague and to throw the invaders out of the Republic, including the major battle for Tukkayid and the later extraction of FolksArme, AFRF, and CLAF troops from Yamarovka. At war's end they were at twenty-five percent official strength and have been rebuilt since.

    Concerned about the state of the FolksArme and his unit in particular, Gothi Magnusson recently took the Einherjar on a rapid tour and series of war games across the Republic, including an anti-piracy campaign out on the Periphery and, it is rumored, a raid into the Hartshill Military District of the Combine. The unit sustained obvious losses during this time period and had only returned to Rasalhague to rearm and refit when word came of the creation of the Glass. By all reports, they are standing by for a final decision on whether Gothi Magnusson will join the expeditions through the Glass.
  • Eridani Heavy Cavalry 66th Cavalry Regiment
    When Director-General Kerensky reformed the Eridani Light Horse in defiance of the originals' defection to the Lexington Concord, she staffed the unit with the best and brightest from the Terran Union's Royal units. The spirit of the unit was greater than patriotism in the end, and the sight of other Terran units engaging in atrocities against the people of Corfu drove the new Light Horse into defection as well. In deference and newfound respect to their predecessors, they renamed themselves as the Eridani Heavy Cavalry and took on new unit designations.

    Among the new RCT, the 66th Cavalry gained a reputation for fearless tenacity in battle. On repeated occasions these daring light and medium 'Mech pilots and vehicle crews have exposed themselves to prolonged enemy fire to gain an advantageous position or storm an objective. The FolksArme has loyally kept them well-equipped despite their propensity for risking that equipment in battle.

    Nearly shattered in the Fourth Succession War in the battle for Schuyler, their reconstitution became a priority for the Eridani Heavy Cavalry. For the past ten years they have moved up and down the border with the Combine, waiting and hoping for the old foe to pounce. But so far they have only faced a few raids by deniable mercenaries or pirate groups, enough to get the unit some combat experience but nothing like the fight they long for. Some FolksArme commanders fear the 66th might just try a little deniable raiding themselves if the Combine's restraint continues for too much longer.
  • Knights of St. John 1st Regiment
    The Knights of St. John trace their lineage back to ancient Terra and the Crusades. The most recent incarnation were derived from ex-Terran Union troops who, hearing of the brutality their co-religionists on Rasalhague were suffering trying to break away from the collapsing Combine, departed the Union and served as mercenaries for the reborn Principality from the mid-29th Century onward. A cornerstone elite unit of the old Principality's KungsArme, the Knights enjoyed the respect even of Gothi One-Eye despite his embrace of the old Norse ways.

    While they hold equivalent ranks with the FolksArme and have the right to wear a FolksArme uniform, the Knights employ their own ceremonial and duty uniforms and their own rank system. They also make use of some independent sources of funding beyond FolksArme procurement and support chains, typically donations from supportive citizenry or particularly devoted recruits signing their assets over to the Order. It is not a required practice but many who join, especially those who become Knight, will sign their incomes, properties, even their personal 'Mechs over to the Order. They are a remarkably well-kitted outfit as a result.

    The 1st Regiment, the senior regiment of the Order, is currently deployed to the planet Buckminster to keep watch over the restive region of the Combine's Vega Prefecture and the ongoing skirmishing and raiding the Combine and Royal Federation have engaged in since 3134. In 3141 the Knights deployed to the Royal Federation world of Shionoha against orders upon learning of an imminent Combine attack. Their arrival might have caused a diplomatic incident if not for the arrival of the 9th Galedon Regulars on a major raid against guerrilla support networks on the planet. The 9th, only expecting light resistance from an outmatched Arcadian militia, quickly ran afoul of the Knights while raiding into a city and were soundly thumped. The Knights returned to Buckminster to face a formal reprimand and an informal congratulations from Grand Master Montelbano.
  • Takeda Cavalry
    This unit was formed from defecting officers and soldiers led by Princess Anastasia Takeda-Suvorova, all whom fled Hartshill when their nation submitted to Galedon in 3106. They faced immediate hostility due to the poor history between their realm and Rasalhague and concerns they would provoke animosity with House Honda. When Rasalhague faced invasion anyway and could no longer afford to distrust the Hartshill loyalists, the Takeda Cavalry proved their courage again and again on battlefields from Rasalhague to Itabiana. On several occasions they launched raids into their former homeland, departing with DropShip holds full of captured material and countrymen liberated from ISF holding facilities. Many would volunteer to serve with their liberators, allowing the unit to keep their manpower up even as they relied more and more on battlefield salvage rushed back to the field.

    The culmination of their raiding campaign came in 3119 and a seven month ride that brought them to multiple worlds, including Hartshill itself. While their raid caused some damage to the Galedonian war machine, it is long rumored Anastasia's real purpose was to raise the flag of revolt on Hartshill itself or persuade her niece Katarina to rebel. Anastasia notably went absent for a time during the Cavalry's strike into Nova Petersburg, long enough to have attempted a meeting with Katarina, but in the end the Takeda Cavalry were forced to withdraw after suffering severe losses at the hands of the Hartshill Otomo and the 1st Hartshill Regulars. They returned to Rasalhaguan territory just before the end of the year to begin rebuilding.

    The unit spent many years moving about the Republic until a long period away from public notice from 3135 to 3138. During this time the Cavalry were officially slated as in "sensitive training operations", though a number of intelligence services and ComStar's ConcertWatch service couldn't help but note that a sizable mercenary outfit called "Stasia's Cavaliers" were among the Concord-hired forces listed on Alpheratz during the Combine invasion and were later employed in numerous Concord counter-invasions and raids.

    Today the Takeda Cavalry are posted to Tamar, guarding the communities of Hartshill expatriates and defectors who grow with new refugees every passing year. They do not enjoy the same level of support of more elite or classically Rasalhaguan formations, but that has not dampened their keenness to prove their worth to their guardians, and they have won great support from the people of Tamar and their own Tamar Dragoons regiments. Princess Anastasia grows restless, it is said, wishing to be placed back on Schuyler or another world on the Hartshill border, but it is likely to be why Gothi Magnusson refuses the idea whenever pressed. It is probable that due to the unit's skill and desire for action they will be among those selected for service in the Transglass. How well they accept that alternative to a chance to face their homeland's oppressors, one cannot yet know.

Azami Confederacy[]

SER3142-1 Azami Confederation Map

Azami Confederation

Ruling House: None
Capital: Albalii
Ruler: Prime Minister Amir Khalid al-Abbas
Worlds: 58
BattleMech Regiments: 52
Warships: 48

Inshallah. "If God wills". This expression of hope is a common refrain among Muslims and Arabic-speakers in general across the two Inner Spheres, and no other word so easily sums up the experience of the Azami people. For centuries they have patiently abided trial after trial, and the past century is no different. Three times in the past ninety years the Azami Confederation faced conquest and each time it emerged alive. Never unbloodied, and with territorial loss twice, but the Azami state has survived despite the odds.

One of the few minorities to enjoy a certain degree of autonomy under the Draconis Combine, the Azami have adapted that lesson to their own state. Despite the fervent wishes of the most extreme clerics, Islam is not imposed upon the populaces of their worlds, though it is openly offered and encouraged. Non-monotheistic faiths endure some level of open scorn and derision among the more conservative, though planetary and confederal courts always side against any sign of discrimination. The monotheistic religions are given rights liberal enough that it offends the more traditionalist clerics. That said, non-Muslims are uncommon in the upper halls of power within the Confederation. Prime Ministers have been many stripes and combinations of ethnicity, culture, and gender, but they have always been Muslim, as have two-thirds of the AFAC's Mushirs (Marshals), and three-fifths of people appointed to the Council of Ministers. No law enshrines this apparent discrimination. A number of non-Muslims have been considered for the leadership and have even come within a vote or two of winning it. It is simply how it is. Or, as the Azami would put it, as God wills it to be.

But that should not be taken as an indicator that the Azami practice uniformity. Politically, the Confederation has a number of factions and debates in the Confederation's Chamber of Deputies have sometimes degenerated into fistfights. The Chamber of Notables maintains stricter decorum, but it speaks for itself that simulator pods are included in the recreational facilities for the Confederate Palace of Legislature. Whether it is over subsidies for their shipyard industry, the demand that easing tariffs on consumer goods should exclude alcoholic drinks as haram, or who should hold the Prime Ministership, the Azami people can and do argue vigorously over their principles and beliefs.

They have had much to argue about. Only the Rim Commonality and Andurien suffered greater proportional economic damage from the Fourth Succession War. Virtually every planet in the Confederation was invaded in the decade of conflict. Cities across the Confederation were rubble by the time the fighting stopped. While war factories were mostly untouched, the supporting domestic industries and services were severely disrupted between war damages and, on Galedonian-occupied worlds, conscription efforts and forced labor decrees. The Confederation came out of the war deeply in debt to a host of interstellar institutions and had to be bailed out by ComStar and the Federated Suns after the post-war Raisuli Government declared bankruptcy in 3122. After twenty years of rebuilding efforts the economy is again on stable footing, but vast debts are still owed to creditors. Paying down this debt has inhibited rearmament, especially naval armament, as the great majority of the Azami fleet is composed of corvette and destroyer-tonnage WarShips while their large shipyard industry — proportionately the largest in the Inner Sphere with eight prominent yard facilities in the Confederation — primarily produces transport DropShips and JumpShips for export. In light of the growing naval arms race this is of obvious concern to the Azami government, but the proceeds of their yard sales are too important to their debt repayment plans to shift more yard space to WarShip and assault DropShip production.

The AFAC has become notoriously frustrated with this state of events and it has created a culture of "I see nothing" towards aggressive commanders who raid their neighbors for looting or to capture supplies that the AFAC is short of due to the budget shortfalls. Likely due to their precarious situation during and after the Collapse, raiding is in some ways now a religious duty, at least to some Azami, as the survival and benefit of the Azami people and faith are the highest obligation of the Faithful. So long as the spoils are taken for the benefit of the Azami people as a whole and not for personal gain, it is not deemed a sin against Allah. Unfortunately this has not helped their position, as the raids undermine efforts to regularize relations with the Royal Federation and open up the Azami economy to the pounds and rands that Lyran investors have at their disposal. Furthermore, retaliations by the DCMS have prompted further economic damage to frontier systems and diplomatic vulnerability. As an alternative to raiding, some Azami units have been hired out as mercenaries to the Concord and other states, but the long border with the Combine and the Confederation's need for troops for self-defense limit how far this can go.

It is no surprise that Prime Minister al-Abbas has faced particular challenges since winning his appointment in the Chambers. With his military mutinously opposed to further budget drawdowns and his economy still climbing out of a debt hole, al-Abbas has had a further complication from advocates to changes in the Confederation's diplomatic alignments. Anger over the Royal Federation's claiming of Sabik at Dieron has maintained enmity towards House Proctor that the rest of the Compact does not share, and which is of particular frustration and embarrassment to the Federated Suns and First Prince Grace's efforts at closer ties with the Arcadian-led realm. A number of ranking government officials and military officers are believed to be agitating for a re-alignment of the Confederation towards the Oriento-Capellan Empire as their primary ally. If so it is certainly a minority view, and would be strategically disastrous, but it reflects the depth of Azami fury at those who seized worlds from them in the last war.

It need not be said that the Combine has earned even more fury. Pundits have noted it is virtually impossible to reprimand, much less court-martial, Azami officers who raid the Combine. The likelihood of a pro-Combine re-alignment seems very slim. But a handful of figures have mooted it delicately with a few articles postulating, "hypothetically", that the rebirth of House Kurita means the covenant with the Dragon made centuries ago should be honored. It remains a minority opinion and a dangerous one to hold on many worlds, but that it persists despite these contrary pressures gives some opening for future developments.

So far there are no signs the Azami have particularly noted the forming of the Glass, aside from theological debates by clerics. They have enough problems that getting involved in ours would seem ridiculous. But events can be unpredictable, and as the Arcadians shift troops to cover for their expedition against the Wolves, it is always possible the Azami will act.

If God wills it, of course.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Al-Murabutin
    Since the start of the Confederation the al-Murabutin brigade have a key force in the frontline. These flankers and raiders ride into combat with their battle armor-clad infantry comrades riding on their machines, often striking at identified weak points in enemy positions or in the cracks along a front. Too fast to be caught by line units and too strong to be dispatched by light cavalry, they have bedeviled many a foe in their centuries of existence.

    Assumed destroyed when Albalii fell to the Terrans in 3051, the survivors arose from hiding four years later to aid in the liberation of the Azami capital, and would land on Dieron with the rest of the Robinson Accord's forces to claim the world for the Confederation. In the conflicts since they have raided from Bolan to New Samarkand with unshaken devotion in their ability to fight their way around any enemy obstacle.

    Initially posted along the frontiers since the Peace of Dieron, the unit's whereabouts became unknown after 3138. In 3141 they were recently recalled to become part of Albalii's garrison, arriving on-world with holds full of foreign weapons and equipment and missing personnel. Amid Nyobe, their commanding officer, was recently in several classified meetings with Prime Minister al-Abbas and other ranking AFAC officers, but nothing substantive is known. The leading suspicion by commentators from ConcertWatch is that like other Azami units, the al-Murabutin hired out as mercenaries to the Kilbourne Concord and saw action in the Outworlds.
  • Azami Heavy Guard
    Even a nation of raiders can't go without a big hammer for targets too entrenched to outflank. The Azami Heavy Guard are that hammer. A collection of heavy and assault 'Mechs attached to equally heavy vehicles and battle armor troops, the Azami Heavy Guard have survived battles that crushed lighter formations. They were one of the few units to escape the Terran invasions, falling in with the Concord and Galedonian forces to fight as exiles until the liberation of Albalii in 3055. If not for their significant losses digging Terran defenders out at Dieron, they would have undoubtedly been assigned to Operation: SERPENT.

    The importance of Dieron to the Confederation can be rated to how often the Heavy Guard are kept posted to the planet. By the end of the Fourth Succession War their status as the defender of the ex-Terran world was made official, and unless needed for other operations, they are kept at dedicated sites around Dieron to ensure the world's protection.

    One of their rare excursions from Dieron came in 3138, when they were selected to participate in war games exercises on Tigress with the other members of the Compact. Any considerations that the unit had gone soft were lost in the simulated fighting along the approaches to the Four Cities. The Azami Heavy Guard repeatedly repulsed the 2nd Federated Suns Grenadiers and the 1st Kearny Highlanders. They were only considered dislodged when the Aggressor Force brought in the Davion Heavy Guards to finally crack their position, and the resulting engagement won them the accolades of that elite AFFS force.
  • 6th Spahi
    The 6th Spahi have been the most vigorous of border raiders over the past fifteen years, launching repeated heavy sorties into the Draconis Combine and the Royal Federation under the command of Amid Oleg Petrovsky. Their casualties have been commensurately heavy and the unit has gained a dual distinction; an outfit to avoid for those AFAC personnel who favor peace and quiet and the outfit to seek out for those who want to see action.

    Their earliest raids were likely due to their status as the last Spahi outfit to be rebuilt after the war. As late as 3135 the brigade was short its proper allotment of 'Mechs and vehicles, which were often filled out with "borrowed" material from planetary strategic stores or militia. This finally changed in their first heavy raid in 3133 when they struck the Combine at Proserpina. A diversionary raid drew the Proserpina Hussars out of their bases and into a pursuit through the wadis near Conquerer's Pride on the continent Bragadin, allowing the rest of the brigade to descend upon the Hussars' supply warehouses and capture nearly two thousand tons of hardware and munitions, including four newly-delivered Nekakami OmniMechs. The unit withdrew with minor losses sustained. Upon their return to Cylene, the command staff were briefly confined for the raid before popular fervor for their strike compelled the AFAC to give them a "misfiled" order for the raid.

    After a 3140 descent on New Earth and the capture of several hundred tons of material the 6th's activities finally brought a measure of retaliation on their heads. A counter-raid by elements of the 8th Skye Rangers against their base on Imbros led to the loss of a company of 'Mechs and vehicles and the recapture of the materials, as well as the theft of the DropShip they were still loaded upon. It remains to be seen if the 6th Spahi has had its enthusiasm for testing the Peace of Dieron dampened or not.
  • 2nd Arkab Legion
    The Arkab Legions were the Azami contribution to the Draconis Combine's military power before its fall in the 29th Century. They survived the Collapse as the armed force, such as it was, of the Azami people, and are the oldest units of the AFAC. The 2nd celebrates its battle records going back to the Age of War and remains a choice posting for many committed Azami.

    The 2nd Legion's more recent history is bloody. It has been reduced to less than twenty-five percent strength no less than five times in the past century and rebuilt each time. Even in defeat its reputation for hard, fanatical fighting has won it many accolades from friends and enemies and the love and admiration of the Azami people.

    The popularity of the 2nd and its fellow legions is not so universal among upper echelons, however, as the units tend to attract the most fanatical and aggressive Azami nationalists. Since early in the Second Age of War they have agitated for the forced recovery of their homeworld, now a part of the Rasalhague Republic, and no peaceful overtures from Rasalhague have dispelled this. One of the occasions of the 2nd's near-extirpations was the famous "reconquest" effort of 3088 when the entirety of the Arkab Legions strove to capture their old homeworld from Rasalhague. The invasion became a disaster and the 2nd was nearly destroyed saving the broken 3rd and 5th Legions from the Eridani Heavy Cavalry's counter-attack. The incident was a serious blow to Azami diplomacy and nearly saw the unit's dissolution. AFAC leadership is now very discerning in whom they appoint to be the Amids and Liwas commanding the Legions.

    In recent years the 2nd's only act of note was the 3138 strike at Sabik. Using heavy forces they roughly handled the defending Alarion Rangers and local security forces and struck multiple targets, looking to capture new examples of Arcadian weaponry. The Alarion Rangers rallied quickly with the aid of the mercenaries of Dumas' Musketeers, forcing the 2nd to abort from its most valuable targets. The AFAC considered the raid a partial success and commemorated the unit for upholding the Confederation's honor over "the stolen world".

Draconis Combine[]

SER3142-2 DC Map

Draconis Combine

Ruling House: House Kurita
Capital: Luthien
Ruler: Coordinator Yorinaga Kurita
Worlds: 303
BattleMech Regiments: 300 (estimated)
WarShips: 160 (estimated)

(ComStar's ConcertWatch service appears to be highly respected and accurate in tracking the number of standing units for each Successor State, but the Draconis Combine's strict secrecy and control of their own military HPG network severely restrict how well ComStar's people can follow the growth of the DCMS. I concur with remarks Huyten relayed from Arcadian and Ghastillian intelligence people that this estimate is conservative and the number of 'Mech regiments could be as high as 350. If another Glass forms along our border and the Combine the threat the Cisglass Kuritans pose to the Republic may exceed Daoshen Liao and the Wolf Empire combined. — Lady Janella)

The Draconis Combine is a name that has long struck fear and hatred in the hearts of peoples across the Inner Sphere. In recent years, we in the Republic have watched our Combine regress more and more towards their older state, but even the likes of Matsuhari Toranaga and Yori Kurita hold nothing to this incarnation. The Cisglass Draconis Combine is like one of those sequels to a holovid horror where the monster is brought back to life with even greater power and rage than it showed before, as if spurred by fury it had once been killed. Even with the secrecy covering their post-Dieron rearmament and rebuilding programs, it is still an accepted fact that they have the largest military of the Successor States, and it has been the most aggressive as well.

Of the three (arguably two) official Great Houses restored to their full pre-Collapse state (if not power), House Kurita's rebirth is the most recent. For over two hundred years the survivors of the fall of the Combine enjoyed shelter on Terra. Their return is through an old familiar name for those of us in the Republic tasked with observing the Combine: the Kokuryu-kai. A secret society outlawed by Galedon and most of the Draconis Successor States, their quiet patience brought them a recruit within House Honda itself. Masako Honda had been one of the most brutal and decisive enemies of the Black Dragon Society, but after her death, the Society managed a true coup in the recruitment of Masako's granddaughter Kori. Through her power they accomplished their dream of two and a half centuries with the restoration of the Combine. Now known as the Order of the Black Dragon, they are the eyes, ears, and voice of the Coordinator and House Kurita. Fanatics devoted to the success of the Combine's manifest destiny of domination of all Humanity.

There has always been a certain brutal honesty about the Draconis Combine. No Great House is innocent of aggression against neighbors or seeking domination. But only the Combine openly declares it as their mission statement. They intend to rule us all one day. That the Combine fell on the other side only to rise again has intensified their faith that this is manifest destiny while adding to their fury that their neighbors dare to defy them. For them the Peace of Dieron was a mere ceasefire with which to rebuild and retrench. While many states fear it will not last, the Combine often seems to be the most eager for it to end, but only if it does so in a way that benefits their expansion.

Kori's son Yorinaga governs now and has only slightly moderated his tone, though it has been noticeable, with a cessation of the weekly HPG broadcasts to Rasalhague and Albalii threatening punishment if their governments did not immediately submit to the Dragon. Yorinaga has also re-opened diplomatic relations in a few instances, with active embassies with the Oriento-Capellans, the Flavians, the Canopians, and Andurien, and they have remanned their Terran embassy as well as properly maintaining their treaty-required contribution to the Terran Oversight Command. But it is considered highly unlikely he has any intention to liberalize or soften the Combine as a whole. It was under his orders that the DCMS launched the greatest military operation in over ten years, the 3136 invasion of Alpheratz in the Concord, and he has greatly stepped up the fighting in the Outworlds with repeated raids and invasions across the frontier. Observers are still uncertain as to any wider strategic plan as the Combine, even when victorious, more often than not withdraws from a prostrate world instead of holding it. A leading theory is that Yorinaga is testing the Concert, picking up and dropping off his pace of strikes as the rest of the Inner Sphere reacts. He has been more circumspect on the other side of his frontier, holding back retaliations against Azami raids and showing similar restraint in the minor attacks into the Royal Federation's Arcturus Theater. There has been only one significant strike against the Arcadians under his rule.

Yorinaga has also done little to ease the burden of life for his people. The governments of House Honda had not been soft, but under his mother Kori and now his rule, the restored Combine has reimposed all the old controls. High taxation, forced labor for military projects, and compulsory military service are facts of life. The militarization of the Combine demands warm bodies for the military, and every conscript dreads the notice of "honorable retention" that turns a three year stint in a planetary militia regiment to a twenty year assignment to support of a regular DCMS unit. For either group, their greatest dream is the testing to determine worth in specialist fields like aerospace piloting or MechWarrior service, even if it means being assigned salvage yard-quality 'Mechs as part of the Dragon's Scales garrison regiments.

Civilian life is little easier. As with our Combine, work days can last upwards of sixteen hours depending on the industry and the management of the enterprise. While Yorinaga's "Sustenance Assistance Initiative" ensures no one starves, it is often provided in the form of excess nutrient pastes and not food that any palate might enjoy, just grumbling empty stomachs. Civilians must also be careful with what they do during their free time, as the Persuaders are out in force on every world to keep order. The penalties for even minor crimes can ruin a life. Better off civilians have more luxuries and entertainments to enjoy but are more likely to be directly pressured over missed production goals or budget shortfalls. The nobility are meanwhile expected to behave as samurai and show absolute loyalty to the Dragon in thought and deed. Those who meet these requirements enjoy greater power and a greater share of what luxuries do exist within the Combine. All of these classes are constantly watched by the ISF for disloyalty or corruption, especially the nobility and uppermost middle class, and the ISF are in turn watched by the Order of the Black Dragon to ensure their loyalty.

Yorinaga has reason to be paranoid. The Inner Sphere's newsvids and scandalvids are heavy with stories about his parents' death in 3135 in an industrial explosion on Tokyo Island. This was after the humiliating Arcadian victory on Vega and their successful withdrawal with Yorinaga's cousin Musashi Honda, who had prompted a rebellion among the Legions of Vega in the name of House Honda's old realm. The fact that Musashi's identity and relation were unknown for over forty years revealed that Honda-loyalists remained entrenched in the ISF and possibly other branches of the Combine government. Crackdowns and investigations have raged since, with two Warlords of Galedon District ordered to commit seppuku and another believed to have been assassinated. The current Warlord, Mitsuki Honda-Sakamoto, has faced significant curtailment of her authority by the OBD and the ISF, and many of the Galedon Regulars are assigned to other Districts to reduce Galedon's power base further. Some speculate the real reason for the higher tempo of operations against the Concord is not to hurt the enemy but to undermine Honda-Sakamoto, and her District, further.

The issue with Galedon District is a sticking point. For one, Kori relocated much of the government power base to Luthien, and the new Pesht Military District, when she reformed the Combine, including stripping two interior prefectures from Galedon's to Pesht's control. While traditionally Galedon and New Samarkand enjoyed prestigious roles in the old Combine, the centuries of being their own state had built a power structure that resented her relocation of the capital and taking their worlds for Pesht's benefit. Moreover, state propaganda aside, the state of House Honda had rarely evoked the old Draconic identity even if they employed Draconic elements like the Swords of Light and the ISF. Kori's obsession with restoring the Combine alienated many otherwise-loyal supporters of her House, including significant portions of the ISF that may or may not have been successfully purged.

The secrecy with which the Combine operates makes it difficult to accurately gauge internal matters, but this data suggests that for all their aggressiveness and strength, there may be internal dissension and weakness holding them back. This more than anything may explain why Yorinaga has not yet made greater moves to disturb the Peace of Dieron. Time will tell if he sees an opportunity with his neighbors' participation in conflict with the Clans.

Historical Profile: Director Masako Honda

In truth, Masako Honda had little nostalgia or love for the old Combine, and while as ruthless as the most infamous of Coordinators through its long history, she prided herself on the idea of forging a new order in the chaos of the Inner Sphere at the start of the Second Age of War, not simply recreating a failed state.  One of the key developments of her career came while attending a royal wedding between the Allisons of Harsefeld and the Halas of Oriente on Terra, where she befriended her avowed “blood sister”, General Penelope Reynolds of the Lexington Concord.  This created an alliance between the Galedon Directorate and the mercenary republic that would last the lives of both women, and turn their states into the leading powers of the Inner Sphere through much of the 31st Century. Throughout the early years of the Second Age of War, the two states gained much at the expense of their feckless neighbors. The Lancaster Accord was their first target and fell within the year, and in subsequent years the United Outworlds Republic, Rengo Directorate, McAllister Shogunate, and Filtvelt Coalition all fell to the alliance Masako co-founded.  Having reclaimed roughly half of the old Draconis Combine, Masako reformed her state into the Galedon Mutual Co-Prosperity Sphere.  But rather than continue a reconquista of the old Combine, Masako affirmed peace with her remaining neighbors and shifted the energies of her state to internal development, swiftly recovering many lost technologies and beginning the reclamation of worlds abandoned in the collapse after the Star League.  The forces of Galedon would only march again when the Terran Union’s Operation: Revival attacked Galedon itself in March 3050, leading to a decade of warfare that resulted in the destruction of the Terran state and its reduction to ComStar-ruled Terra.

While Masako was ready to accept the pre-war status quo, conflict over access to Terran spoils arose, and upon hearing that the Federated Suns was due to absorb the Canaan Accord by political marriage between the Sandovals and Silver-Davions, she agreed to act, resulting in the Concord-Compact War against the Federated Suns-led St. Ives Compact.  The surprise intervention of the Arcadian Royal Federation into this conflict prevented the complete victory that had seemed so likely when it started, although Galedon would still walk away with gained worlds at the expense of the broken Canaan Accord in the Peace of Nox in 3074.  Furious at what she regarded as “Lyran treachery”, Masako considered shifting to supporting the Oriento-Capellans and the St. Ives Compact, but complications from battle injuries during the Terran War finally finished taking their toll, as did the death of Penelope Reynolds in the victory on Robinson.  She died in 3076, leaving her realm to her son Hoff.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 5th Sword of Light
    While claiming the battle history of their ancestors this version of the 5th Sword only came into being in 3028 as part of Masako Honda's arms build-up at the end of the Renaissance. From the beginning the Swords of Light were formation of the best and most experienced pilots and the main striking corps of the Director. In the hundred and fourteen years since their founding they have waged numerous battles and won battle honors for everything from the defense of Galedon against Terra to the final victory of the Fourth Succession War with the bloody ejection of the Arcadian defenders of Vega in 3119.

    The unit's reputation and prestige took a savage blow in 3134. Assigned to the extirpation of the 3rd Legion of Vega and other formations that had joined Musashi Honda's revolt, the 5th were repeatedly outmaneuvered by Honda's forces. To make matters worse, Arcadian troops arrived and despite the long warning time from the system's notoriously-long burn-in time the 5th was not ready to receive their landings in the field. A two month campaign of missed opportunities and wasting battles, including raiding strikes that frequently dodged 5th Sword forces, allowed the Arcadians to spirit Honda and his surviving forces away.

    The humiliation was so severe that the entire unit was threatened with disbanding by Kori Honda and forbidden from earning any military commendation or wearing those they already had. Every command officer above the rank of Tai-i was ordered court-martialed en masse. Sentenced to be cast into the Unproductives, the officers were granted a reprieve and a fresh court-martial inquiry after by Yorinaga Kurita; only the senior battalion and regimental commanders had their sentences sustained, but they were offered the alternative of seppuku to save the honor of their regiment and their families. The offers were universally accepted and the sentences suspended. Yet even with this mercy, the 5th found itself cut off from the usual largesse of a Sword of Light formation, and replacements were few and unwilling.

    Transferred to the Concord front, the 5th was particularly vicious during the fighting on Alpheratz. They suffered enormous casualties in repeated battles with the Eridani Light Horse's 19th Striker Regiment while trying to capture industrial targets near Carolinas. Though they did not succeed, they did tie down the 19th long enough for other regiments to achieve similar targets. Yorinaga responded to their battlefield exploit by lifting the prohibitions on honors and approving several Bushido Blade and other awards. Through this success the 5th has begun recovering some of its shine and has received some new machines from the Procurement Department, which the unit has used in numerous strikes and raids into the Outworlds, particularly Morthac where they have engaged in multiple battles with the Warrior-Monks of St. Cameron's 2nd Regiment. These attacks recently abated and word is now that the unit is off the front. A persistent rumor is that they have been recalled to Vega Prefecture, though as of yet there is no firm intelligence of their whereabouts.
  • Barlowe's Raiders
    Originally a combined arms regimental combat team of the Lancaster Authority, Barlowe's Raiders came to the personal attention of Director Masako Honda of Galedon for their behavior during the overwhelming conquest of the Authority. Instead of fighting a pointless battle among civilians on Misery the Raiders challenged the 2nd Sword of Light to a duel of honor between the two units away from civilian centers. They had little hope of prevailing over the elite unit, but after the battle their conduct led to Masako offering to rebuild the unit as a regiment of Galedon's forces. Given the stark alternatives the regiment agreed.

    Since then Barlowe's Raiders have become the go-to unit for Galedon, and now the Combine, where their mix of combined arms tactics and raiding and interdiction operations is needed. From staying one desperate step ahead of roving TUDF hunters during the days of the Siege of Galedon to their famous raid on Defiance Industries' complex on Skye in 3116, Barlowe's Raiders are known for hitting where they're not expected and fading away before heavy enemy forces can interdict them.

    In one of the more daring acts to rattle the Concert of the Sphere, Barlowe's Raiders struck at Lexington in 3141, presumably as part of Yorinaga's intensification of the Outworlds campaigning. In an apparent attempt to draw defenders away from the Concord Combat Systems factories near Heath's Creek the Raiders set down in Parker River Valley State Park. Defenders from the 2nd Lexington Minutemen sortied to face them in the region, supported by elements of the LCG 32nd Recon regiment. This heavier-than-expected response appears to have caused the Raiders to call off the strike, costing them several pilots and machines before they retreated to the safety of their LZs. They escaped the system with the Lexington Combat Group's aerospace squadrons on their tails. Yorinaga has relocated the unit to Pesht District since, though whether to reward them for initiative or as a means of punishing them for failure remains to be seen. The only certainty is that the claim it is to "protect the Peace" is almost certainly a lie.
  • 9th Galedon Regulars
    The 9th Galedon Regulars have a long battle history under both the Combine and Galedon. Like all Regular brigades they are drawn almost entirely from Galedon District's worlds. It is the nature of these units that whatever their battle histories they will not gain the notoriety or fame of units like the Swords of Light, but compared to the Dragon's Scales they are taken care of with reliable equipment and weapons.

    The 9th's profile rose in recent years. Assigned to New Wessex to help suppress Arcadian-supported rebels, the 9th's arrival actually went unnoticed by the Royal Federation's SIS. When the 2nd Sword of Light were posted to the planet to recover from the damages incurred on Freedom, they were brought under attack by the 3rd Proctor Guards. The 9th, seeing a chance for glory and greater respect, enthusiastically rallied to the battle zone and struck the Arcadian forces in their flank at Harlow's Wood. Though their optimism did not bring them the glory of throwing the invaders into their DropShips by themselves, their aid allowed the 2nd to counter-attack and accomplish the deed, and only heavy artillery support spared the 3rd Proctor Guards long enough to manage a retreat.

    The 9th was awarded handsomely for the deed, with a shipment of the newest generation of OmniMechs from the Combine's factories delivered the following year, and several officers and the best MechWarriors granted assignment to the 2nd Sword of Light to replace losses. As part of the anti-insurgency campaign elements of the 9th were sent on strikes at Baxter and Phalan that succeeded. A later raid on Shionoha was thwarted by the unexpected intervention of the Knights of St. John from Rasalhague.

    Through these events, the 9th has remained posted to New Wessex to finish rooting out the insurgents. ConcertWatch has confirmed several reports of human rights violations with the killings of refugees. After one scathing report in June 3142 was broadcast to the entire Inner Sphere, the 9th's directing commander Tai-sho John Ballymont personally recommended every MechWarrior, vehicle crew, and armored infantrymen mentioned for the Bushido Blade. In July he gave out the approved awards in a mass ceremony, praising the 9th's devotion to the Dragon in a deliberate snub to ConcertWatch and the Royal Federation. The 9th's loyalty was bolstered. A few wonder if Ballymont may have hoped to provoke another Arcadian attack on the planet, but if so, he has been disappointed so far.
  • 4th Legion of Vega
    There are a number of bizarre connections linking our Inner Spheres that one might not expect. The Legions of Vega existing in both is one of those, even if a century and a different role separate the two. The Legions of Vega in the Cisglass were spawned from the Tok Do Regulars after Vega was secured in 3115. They have over time taken on more Vegans but they remain unpopular on the planet, to say the least. The brigade did come under scrutiny when Musashi Honda emerged from their ranks to lead his 3rd Legion, and contingents of the others, on the ill-fated rebellion for Vega. The 2nd Sword of Light and other formations defeated them, though not before being embarrassed by the Arcadian intervention that saw Honda and many of his supporters successfully flee.

    Since then the 4th Legion has become the stand-out among their compatriots. Though little better equipped than the other Legions, they are veterans of the 3134 fighting and hone their talents in mock battles. Elements of the 4th have been employed in company-sized mixed arms formations to raid suspected communities on nearby Arcadian worlds. They might rate higher if not for so many of their most blooded troops getting much-sought-after re-assignments to the Tok Do Regulars or other line formations.

    The ISF attention to the unit is particularly direct given the potential discipline issues among the soldiers. More surprising are recent reports of OBD members interviewing ranking officers among the 4th. The Order of the Black Dragon tends to overlook units like the Legions, so their possible involvement with the 4th has Combine watchers wondering just what might be happening. Is this a part of the quiet power struggle between the ISF and OBD or has the 4th been tapped for some yet-unknown purpose?

Grand Union of Tikonov[]

SER3142-3 GUT Map

Map of Grand Union of Tikonov

Ruling House: None
Capital: Tikonov
Ruler: Premier Martina Nikolayevna Timoshenko
Worlds: 110
Battlemech Regiments: 84
Warships: 72

Tikonov's history goes back to the first settlement waves from Terra in the 22nd Century. There appears to be no divergence between their Tikonov and ours until the Collapse. The failure of the Confederation in the mid-28th Century brought back the pre-Confederation Tikonov Grand Union, which enjoyed relative stability compared to other formative Successor States in the Collapse era due mostly to their proximity to the Terran Union. Their eventual absorption of a plurality of the Union's former worlds after the Treaty of Geneva have turned the Grand Union into a polyglot culture, even if the Russian origins of Tikonovite culture remain the strongest influence and maintain Russian as the second primary language of the realm (along with the ubiquitous Star League English).

Gaining so many universities, research labs, and educated populations also ensured Tikonov's pre-Terran War reputation for technological rediscovery, refinement, and advancement would have plenty of raw material to expand upon. Tikonov in the 32nd Century has been called "the Brain Trust of Human Civilization" due to its government-backed focus on research and scientific endeavors. A shift away from aristocratic governance that started from Terran influence during the 29th Century has seen what little remains of the old aristocracies replaced in esteem by people of learning. "Earning a doctorate gets you more respect than becoming a duke" has become one way of explaining Tikonov's current culture. Tikonovite scientists and engineers have been at the forefront of the efforts to redevelop the advanced terraforming technologies and techniques of the Star League. Colonies from the old Rim Worlds of Ghastillia to the Federated Suns' Periphery March are growing thanks to the efforts of Tikonovite geo-engineering colleges. Their purifiers are now working on cleansing atmospheres across the Inner Sphere that are choked with particulates or toxic byproducts from First Succession War battles. These vital technologies are produced with the active economic and political support of powerful industrial trade unions that jealously guard their rights and privileges. The research and manufacturing unions cooperate on most levels, economically and politically, and wield sufficient power to restrain the remnant nobility. The Grand Union is, in short, a "research-industrialist complex oligarchy", as one Communal League pundit put it.

There are disadvantages to their wealth, technology, and central position, however. While once they needed only worry about the frontiers with the Concord and Galedon, a severe enough threat, Tikonov now faces potential hostilities on her three longest borders. The Draconis Combine makes no secret of coveting the Union's worlds and the Kilbourne Concord maintains a frosty distance from the Compact states given all the blood spilled between them. Now their opposite frontier needs protection as well. The expulsion of the Oriento-Capellan Empire from the St. Ives Compact in 3118 ended the security of that border, and the cause for that expulsion — the strength of Liaoist irredentism and expansionism in the Empire — compounds the need. Though diplomacy from Sian and Oriente has been cordial, there is no doubt that the Empire's Liaoists wish for Tikonov's return to the fold of the Capellan State, seeing them as Capellans despite the wishes of Tikonovites to continue being their own people. Facing these threats has mandated the maintenance of an army of some size, with a large force of Prefecture Militia Brigades and a smaller core of frontline units that can counter-attack invaders. The Northwind Highlanders provide a further boost to this strong inner core, with at least half of their regiments retained in the Union for defensive purposes under the common agreement with the unit and the Union government. On the diplomatic front it makes continued relations with their remaining Compact allies, the Federated Suns and the Azami Confederation, all the more important, as well as other potential strategic partners like the Royal Federation and Rasalhague Republic.

There are indications the Empire's long-term threat is not military, however, but in civil matters. For a century, "pan-Capellan" groups have agitated on Union worlds for a "return to the glories of our Capellan past". While a number of these groups have remained peaceful and primarily just involve themselves with typical civil affairs and promotion, the militancy of some has raised suspicions of Maskirovka involvement, and several of the depowered nobility on ex-Capellan worlds are particularly connected to these movements. Their activity has only intensified since Tikonov stood with the Federated Suns and voted to expel the Oriento-Capellan Empire from the Compact. While not a significant political force yet, the sentiment of promoting Capellan identity has increased since the war. Counter-intelligence has found few signs of any major assistance from the Empire, just civilian-level "promotion aid", but even that has led to both diplomatic tension with the Halas-Liaos and legal efforts to interfere that have prompted counter-protests. The Pan-Capellan movement may be a future threat to the Grand Union, either as an internal foe or a means by the Empire to justify aggression.

Given the Concert's surprising strength, the TUAF has not had to fight battles since the War. Even the Combine has primarily focused its aggressions elsewhere. Keeping their 'Mech regiments sharp has fallen to new and improved war academies and war game simulators and repeated yearly war games with their allies, with assistance from the Northwind Highlanders from the regiments that have fought outside the Union. But Tikonov's true military might isn't just in well-trained 'Mech regiments with the highest concentration of Terran-grade weaponry in the whole Inner Sphere, or the vast factories of Tikonov, Northwind, and Quentin that produce them. Their research includes new systems and equipment for their war machine, and over the decades since Terra's fall they have pushed the boundaries further in military technology. New, improved Cellular C3 systems, Streak-tech Mixed Missile Launchers, endo-composite structural alloys, improved fire control systems for DropShips and WarShips, and more efficient K-F drive cores are all coming on line thanks to the ingenuity of Tikonovite engineers and the discoveries of their scientists. Enemies fighting the forces of Tikonov will need to be wary for unexpected surprises that may yet lie in store in the research labs and test ranges of the Grand Union.

Though it has pressed forward with military development, Tikonov remains one of the most committed adherents to the Peace of Dieron. Prime Minister Timoshenko holds to continued efforts to negotiate the ongoing disputes with neighboring states and her allies. In recent years she has made slight progress with the Concord, but the Combine remains deaf to her concerns, and the Azami recalcitrant to settle problems with the Arcadians. Emperor Robert Halas-Liao and First Prince Grace Silver-Davion have been partly supportive even in public, but until the Federated Suns recognizes the Empire's claims Robert asserts he cannot agree to a long-term settlement. Nor did Timoshenko get much support from the Royal Federation under High Queen Jacqueline. Her successor, High King Nathaniel, has given her hope of a change from that direction as well, though whether or not Nathaniel could ever dare to agree to an unalterable Azami term — relinquishing Sabik — will remain a block to a permanent settlement. Timoshenko's ability to support Nathaniel's efforts to settle disputes with Robert Halas-Liao are likewise limited, though for a more practical reason: the injury to the Compact as a whole if the Empire were to gain security from Arcadian intervention against Liaoist aggression on other fronts.

So far Tikonov's response to the formation of the Glass has been the dispatch of advisors and scientific teams to examine the stable jump field. There are no signs of wider intention to intervene in the situation in Lyran space. Some news service reports relayed through the Glass hint that the Tikonovites are not merely studying the Glass but may be experimenting with JumpShips to determine more about what caused it. This has fueled speculation that they are not merely looking to examine the process scientifically but seek to duplicate it, but this seems an uncharitable line of thought for a state known for its scientific interests and a strained strategic situation.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 1st Tikonov Lancers
    One of the premiere units of the TUAF, the 1st Lancers have existed since the late 29th Century to be the tip of the Union's offensive spear. Fighting pirates and neighboring warlords to stabilize the Union through the 30th and early 31st Centuries honed them for the battlefields of the Second Age of War. They were pivotal in the captures of Summer in 3041 and Gladius in 3042 and very nearly preserved Summer's conquest in the Lyran Alliance's final counter-offensive in 3043. It is no surprise they were the only Lancer formation to effectively survive the entire Terran War.

    In the Fourth Succession War the Lancers were supporting the Azami invasion of the Isle of Skye when the Concord-Galedon invasion of the Compact states commenced, giving them experience in fighting on every front Tikonov faced in the war. Their peak effort came in 3118 when they led a joint TUAF-AFFS task force in an offensive that brought them to New Aberdeen and saw its capture.

    After the war the 1st Lancers have been primarily assigned to Tikonov itself, guarding the beating industrial heart of the Grand Union. They are always the first regiment to receive new weapons or equipment, and put it to work in the countryside and the rest of the system in vigorous wargames meant to keep their edge. The Compact's Operation TRISTAN wargames in 3139 saw their most impressive success, going three out of five in engagements with the Davion Heavy Guards.
  • Arcadian Cuirassiers
    Students of the history of the Federated Suns undoubtedly recognize the Arcadian Cuirassiers of Demeter. Like the regiment in our history, the Cisglass Cuirassiers have a history going back to the 23rd Century. One of many Federated Suns regiments destroyed in the Collapse, the unit made a surprising comeback in 3044 when Prince Ian Davion, in an effort to further consolidate friendly relations in the Compact, provided the funding and machines for the people of Demeter to reform the famed unit of their ancestors as a TUAF brigade. "A symbol of the friendship between the peoples of the Federated Suns and the Grand Union."

    The symbol barely survived the decade. Believed destroyed when the 89th Mechanized Infantry overran Demeter during REVIVAL, during the planet's liberation in 3055 Brethren and Tikonovite troops found their invasion aided unexpectedly by the surviving remnants of the Arcadian Cuirassiers. Through the remainder of the Second Age of War and the fires of the Fourth Succession War the Cuirassiers showed similar pugnacious survival against significant odds, emerging intact enough to be kept on the rolls during the post-Dieron restructuring and rebuilding.

    The new developments since the Peace of Dieron make the Cuirassiers' homeworld a vital point on a now-unsecure border. The Oriento-Capellan Empire is no longer an ally and the stronger Capellan half of that state has a long-term goal of restoring the Grand Union to Capellan rule. This combination of security issues ensures the Cuirassiers enjoy the very best in support from the TUAF's quartermasters, and the unit has put such largesse to proper use in arranging their defenses and deployment plans. If the Empire starts a fight, they are prepared to renew their predecessors' long grudge with the Liaos.
  • Northwind Highlanders - MacLeod's Regiment
    The Northwind Highlanders of the Cisglass followed a history much like our own Republic's Highlanders, up until the 1st Succession War anyway. Without Northwind falling to the Federated Suns, there was no exiling of the remaining Highlanders to the Confederation where they were serving as mercenaries. MacLeod's Regiment came about earlier in this history, still formed under the command of the same family but done for mercenary service in the collapsing Inner Sphere as the crumbling states of the Great Houses and their former vassal leaders tried and failed to hold on. MacLeod's fought in a number of conflicts through the years when they weren't part of the rotation of Highlander formations contracted to protect ComStar's protected worlds. When the Terran War came MacLeod's Regiment, and the Highlanders as a whole, fought with distinction across the Inner Sphere, ultimately laying down arms in a negotiated surrender of Northwind itself in exchange for being permitted to remain active as a mercenary command so long as they never accepted contracts against the Grand Union.

    For the remainder of the century MacLeod's Regiment and other formations were hired out, typically to the Compact governments though not always. MacLeod's Regiment joined Marion's Highlanders for service with the Royal Federation during the 3092 campaign on Lyndon, and would later fight for the AFRF again in protecting Alarion from the IV Legio and Pilpala Auxilia in 3099. Their mercenary days came to an end with the Emergency War Act of 3112. Under the Act, the Grand Union effectively nationalized the Highlanders to ensure their service. MacLeod's Regiment won permission to finish their term with Rasalhague in 3114 before returning to Northwind. They were resting and refitting on Radstadt when the Galedonian invasion struck the world, thwarting the Galedonians' hopes of a quick seizure with the Amphigean Light Groups and Barlowe's Raiders. Outnumbered, the Highlanders and the Radstadt Landgruppe fought delaying actions until 3114 and their relief. Saving Radstadt cost MacLeod's Regiment severely and they were forced to return to Northwind to recruit and rebuild. Due to a variety of factors, MacLeod's remained at half-strength for the rest of the war, and became a training unit for fellow Highlander regiments until the Peace of Dieron.

    Since the end of the war and the repeal of the Emergency War Act, MacLeod's Regiment has gone back to mercenary life, serving with the Federated Suns, the Magistracy of Canopus, and the Kilbourne Concord, where they repulsed the 3rd Amphigean Light Group in a raid on the Outworlds planet of Sevon. In 3139 they returned to Northwind for replenishment and rest. Sevon has made them the most battle-hardened Northwind regiment today, and it is likely that the Grand Union is going to request their assignment to the Highlander contingent under TUAF contract to further dispense their hard-earned battlefield wisdom to the rest of the TUAF.
  • 7th Kentares Guards
    The Kentares Guards were formed after ComStar assumed custodianship of the planet in 2802. After the Terran War, they were re-established as a frontline force of combined arms regiments for the Grand Union's depleted army, including receiving BattleMechs for the first time. The 7th made their names during the Concord-Compact War as the only Kentares Guard formation not to surrender during the long Galedonian occupation of Kentares. For three years the 7th fought the occupiers in the bush, supported by the population and occasional supply efforts by the rest of the Compact. When a task force of the 2nd Azami Confederate Brigade, the 3rd Tikonov Grenadiers, and the 5th Donegal Guards arrived to liberate the planet, the 7th arose in support of the effort, cementing their renown to the rest of the Inner Sphere.

    During the Fourth Succession War the 7th Kentares were called upon again to fight to defend their homeworld after their failed defense of Exeter. Heavy Concord forces attempted to seize the world starting in September 3111, backed by Galedonian regiments. When Galedon betrayed the Concord two years later the 7th and their fellow Guards formations on-world exploited the fighting to counter-attack and reclaim New Derry and its vital factories, giving them the means to continue resistance until 3115 when Compact troops landed to claim the world. Exhausted by the fighting, the 7th Guards were kept on-world to rebuild. In 3118 a raid by the 2nd Amphigean Light Group was repulsed with modest losses and minor damage to the Ceres Metals factory in Edgars, showing the 7th's remaining forces were still capable combatants even after three years of garrison duty. The Peace of Dieron would nevertheless be welcomed among the 7th Guards' survivors as it was other units.

    Since the war the 7th Guards has been singled out for assignment to other systems as needed, seen (understandably) as the best of the Kentares Guards formations. They are the typically among the first to receive the latest technologies developed for the TUAF. Their participation in Tikonov's TRISTAN war games, where they debuted the first sets of Improved Cellular C3 systems, and the WALLACE war games of 3141 on Northwind have been the main highlights of the 7th's history of the last two decades.

Kilbourne Suns' Concord[]

SER3142-4 Kilbourne Suns' Concord Map

Map of Kilborne Suns' Concord

Ruling House: None
Capital: Kilbourne
Ruler: Chancellor Milos Cavanaugh
Worlds: 323
BattleMech Regiments: 250 (estimated)
Warships: 76

(Like the Combine, Kilbourne plays its forces close to its chest, though its open society somewhat limits the secrecy and gives ConcertWatch extra data. The real issue with the data isn't secrecy on their building levels so much as uncertainty about the duration and status of their mercenary contracts. Twenty-two BattleMech regiments worth of mercenaries openly serve under the KSDF but there may be just as many as that figure working for Concord Combat Systems, Helios Industries, and Arseid MechWorks, as well as other major industrial concerns. ConcertWatch usually does not list such units as under a Successor State force given they're typically only used for anti-piracy defense and security, but there is suspicion the Concord has secret clauses with its defense industries to allow it to employ these units directly. Even not counting the uncertain status of some of their forces, this creates some uncertainty as to the exact scope of the KSDF's 'Mech forces. — Lady Janella)

Much like our common Age of War, or the First Age of War as those across the Glass call it, the other Inner Sphere saw many states unify to meet the threats and dangers off the tumultuous age. In many cases this was by marriage, as seen in the merger of the Federated Suns and the Brethren of the Stars or the union of Arcadia and Donegal in the Royal Federation. Yet no fusion was a more ambitious affair that that of the three organized states that formed the Kilbourne Suns' Concord. Their unique political and economic systems seemed to argue against a successful merger, or simply the absorption of the two weaker states with the strongest. Yet the end result has been a true union of the characters of the three states. The end result of the effort blends the brash assertiveness and high Star League ideals of the Lexington Concord, the ruthless military mindset of the Solar Union, and the flexible pragmatism of the Kilbourne Commonwealth into one of the most unique Successor States of the Cisglass.

The Concord has no ruling house. The traditional nobility of these worlds have either been cast down or transformed into de-politicized military families providing their children to the maintenance and leadership of the Concord's powerful armed might. The combination of the Solar Union's state-directed mixed ownership companies and the Lexington Concord's social-democratic focus have turned the Concord into a vast social democracy with large-scale business and manufacturing under public trusteeship or ownership. A social safety net as extensive as the best the Lyran Commonwealth ever developed provides for the average citizen, along with a robust education system that mocks our Federated Suns' noted Vagabond schools by comparison. After decades of development the "Outback" as we call it does not exist on the other side of the Glass. Politically a bicameral Congress meets on Kilbourne and elects a Chancellor to govern the Concord, as this parliamentary model is seen as preferable to any formalized head of state, even an elected one, who might be enamored of refounding formal nobility. The Chancellor holds control of the executive branch and is the civilian leader of the military, appointing with Senate approval the Commanding General of the Kilbourne Suns' Defense Force or KSDF. The average citizen of the Concord votes on their world's delegation to Congress in democratic fashion. With a safety net and plenty of opportunities, Concord citizens live by their own conscience, though never being allowed to forget the duties they owe to their fellow citizens or the benefits of mutual action and support. Civic duty is the calling of every citizen of the Concord, whether it be voting by genuine conviction and not mere personal gain, respect for the rights of other citizens, or by accepting calls to service in the military or civic branches of the government such as the Civic Works Administration that builds, maintains, and repairs civil infrastructure. For inspiration, Concord media and education praise Penelope Reynolds and a number of other figures of the past as examples of selfless greatness and paragons of civic virtue all should aspire to emulate.

If one reads this and sees them as a natural counterpart to our own Republic, then I must warn you to temper such thoughts, or perhaps be chilled by them. While they were the leaders in the war against Terra, since then the Concord has become a society embittered by the aftermath of that conflict. They are a people who feel betrayed by the entire Inner Sphere, a sense that has only grown and festered since Kori Kurita's invasion in 3113. While they continue trade with their neighbors they are, with a few exceptions, contemptuous of the other Successor States as opportunistic world-grabbers or power-mongers who fail to live up to the example of the Terran War and the Inner Sphere's unity there.

Their immediate neighbors they harbor the harshest feelings for. For all their democratic mindset, Davion Restorationism and any hint of support for the Federated Suns is repressed with ruthlessness in the Concord, with the support of the populace on a number of worlds practicing immense social pressure against holdout Davionists. For the same reason the former Canaan Accord still lives under what is essentially a military occupation due to the persistent (if now finally waning) support for House Sandoval and its dynastic merger with the Davions. As far as the majority is considered, they owe no allegiance to House Davion for its abandonment of their worlds to the chaos of the 29th Century, and the Davions' Restorationist movement is nothing more than power mongering. They still openly desire to recapture, or in their phrasing "liberate", Filtvelt and Malagrotta from the Federated Suns and to break House Davion's power permanently.

The hatred for House Kurita is a newer one, but no less potent. The sheer violation of the treachery that tore asunder what was the most powerful alliance in the Inner Sphere has tremendously soured the Concord's denizens and, regrettably, serves to intensify their disdain for the rest of the Inner Sphere. When it comes to the Kuritans, the warfare in the Outworlds is a two-sided affair, and even if the Dracs relented it is likely the Concord would maintain an aggressive posture on that front, to regain worlds not reclaimed at Dieron if not to just get a chance to fight and kill the thralls of the reborn Dragon.

One of the exceptions to their distrust of non-Concord forces is mercenaries. The Lexington Concord had always recruited from mercenary commands, especially those of Star League vintage, and the Solar Union had its own history of appreciating professional, capable mercenary forces. The costs of rearmament after Dieron and the devastation wrought on so many worlds in the war has prompted the hiring of many mercenary outfits at one time or another, including House units masquerading as mercenaries for a chance to hone themselves on the distant battlefields of the Outworlds. The latter are sometimes regarded with suspicion but the Concord has never denied them the chance to work nor attempted to cheat them of rightful salvage and bonuses. This has permitted some slack in the Concord's economy that allows them to maintain their cherished social systems. The most accepted foreign troops are those from COMINTERSTEL, particularly Rasalhague, who are the one Successor State the Concord still retains warm relations with despite having their greatest foe in the way. Occasionally rumors arise that the Concord is secretly considering signing into COMINTERSTEL, but so far there has been no confirmation of this and it may simply be rumor.

Given distance and their current issues, the Concord has shown no reaction to the Glass that is discernible from public sources. Of course, this does not mean they aren't intending to react. They have their own research and scientific base, and if a method of intentionally forming a Glass is ever devised, they have the means. But while this would be undoubtedly unsettling to the state of affairs between the Combine, Federated Suns, and Raven Alliance, this is not the source of my unease about the Concord. I see in them a potential, sad future for our Republic. If we survive this dark age, will our people look back and feel the same bitterness that the Concord feels towards its neighbors? Will the ideals of the Republic be submerged under the rancor of betrayal by the neighbors we sought to help keep the peace for? Every House snapped at our worlds, every House and the Clans alike have sought to take their piece of our Republic. It is understandable we would resent them, hate them, for this. And that, I fear, would be a tragedy for us all.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Lexington Combat Group, 249th Command Regiment
    The 249th Command Regiment may sound like it is some form of specialist unit from the SLDF days, but it is anything but. Long nicknamed "Big Red" but now just as likely to be called "Penny's Fists" or "the Reynolds Regiment", the 249th are one of the Cisglass Inner Sphere's best fighting forces and with little dispute are considered the most potent assault drop forces available, providing the model for the Arcadian Royal Assault Regiments, the Oriento-Capellan Empire's Dynasty Guards, and the Combine's Ryuu-no-tekken. They are a collection of assault and heavy 'Mech pilots trained in combat drop tactics and warfare, with a near perfect record.

    In the Concord-Compact War they were responsible for the capture of Robinson's Fort Masada and the combat death of Lord Protector Aaron Sandoval, bringing victory to the long war with the Canaan Accord that ensured the absorption of that nation into the Concord. The Fourth Succession War saw the 249th tasked with a defensive brawl, fighting to save their headquarters of Fort Ballycastle on Lexington from repeated assaults by both Davion and Galedonian forces. Despite horrible odds at times, the 249th never wavered nor broke under siege, and by 3117 had driven both foes from the planet. They would return to Robinson in 3119, replicating their prior feat in seizing the planet and completing the annihilation of the Davion Assault Guards attempting to hold the Sandovals' old throneworld.

    Given the 249th's storied legacy, it took little time to replenish them to full strength. In 3137 they participated in the counter-attack at Alpheratz in their typical style, conducting a combat drop right on the planetary command HQ for the entire DCMS force and wrecking the 2nd Izanagi Warriors in a vicious fight. Three years later they struck Dnieper as part of a Concord spoiling offensive, catching the Ryu-no-tekken-go and the 13th Tok Do Regulars by surprise and inflicting major casualties on the 13th especially. The destruction of supply depots on Dnieper contributed to the nullification of the Combine's 3141 offensive plans. They returned to their traditional posting on Lexington and await the call to pummel the Concord's enemies once more.


  • Eridani Light Horse, 71st Light Horse
    The Eridani Light Horse is a name respected and admired on both sides of the Glass. Though the SLDF's 3rd Regimental Combat Team's history diverged with Kerensky's death on Terra, both could claim to legendary status through their accomplishments in combat. On the other side of the Glass, the 3rd RCT became the humanitarian fist of the Terran Union, crashing down on those leaders who were most vicious and cruel during the Collapse. When the Terran Union slid into cruel indolence and then open hostility to the old ideals they defected to the Lexington Concord, and when REVIVAL came, they fought their old comrades in the name of the Star League ideal against the Terrans' corrupted replacement.

    The 71st Light Horse started as a heavy cavalry formation, but has since adapted to become a regular cavalry outfit with primarily medium-weight machines. Excelling at raiding enemy supply lines with quick and deadly combat deployments from their DropShips, the 71st acquitted themselves in the Concord-Compact War by demolishing Federated Suns supply lines within the Crucis March to support the efforts to capture New Avalon. Their August 3071 raid on Galax itself, supported by Concord naval forces, led to the destruction of the half-completed FSS Julian Davion and severe damage to multiple planet-side sites before outmaneuvered FSN assets could force the unit's withdrawal. The Fourth Succession War saw numerous similar raids that were used to undermine the AFFS and GPSAF forces before the Concord's DYNAMO offensive reclaimed the lost worlds of the former Draconis March.

    In recent years the 71st has been particularly active, striking across the Galedon Military District to lessen pressure on the ongoing fighting in the Outworlds. Strikes at Brasha and Zlatousi during 3141 are reported to have severely undermined the Combine's invasion of Morthac and prevented a wider Combine offensive. ConcertWatch has the 71st on De Berry in September of 3142, reportedly undergoing unit refit and rest in preparation for more Combine strikes.
  • 1st Solar Legion
    The pride and joy of Urich, the 1st Solar Legion were the heart and core of the Solar Union's armed forces for decades before the Union expanded its military in the late Renaissance. Even as other Legions came into service, the 1st maintained a primacy of place in leading the Union to victory after victory over Vicente, the Outworlds, Filtvelt, and Terra itself, their record for victory lead to the unit's prized nickname "Sol Invictus", "The Unconquered Sun". They proved this most of all in the brutal war to defend the Solar Union's capital of Urich against the Terrans' Operation: REVIVAL, taking seventy percent equipment and sixty percent casualties in the effort of preserving the Union capital from conquest.

    The 1st Solar Legion contributed to the invasions of the Canaan Accord in 3070 through 3073, prevailing on every world. In the Third Outback War they participated in both the 3090 and 3094 invasions of the Periphery March, reclaiming Broken Wheel, Lackland, and Memphis for the Concord. For the long period of the Fourth Succession War they fought on the Filtvelt Front, trading worlds with the Filtvelt Guards as part of the greater struggle. Towards the end of the war they were the spearpoint of SWORDBREAKER, part of the DYNAMO offensive meant to finally isolate and take Filtvelt. The 1st Legion landed on Baranda to secure it and cut the main lines of supply to Filtvelt. They took most of the world and were on the outskirts of Vilareal when a staunch defense from the remnants of the broken 4th Filtvelt Guards held them long enough for the 2nd Messengers of Shiva and the Islamabad PMM to join the defense. With both sides in rough stalemate, the offensive halted to wait for reinforcements that would never come. The Congress of Dieron convened and the 1st Legion would leave Baranda on the 29th of November 3120, unbeaten if not victorious.

    Since the War the 1st Legion has returned home. Reforms under Commanding General Jonasar Yalos II have ended the Legion's old brigade-sized strength of four "Mech regiments. It has been re-organized as a combined arms force, a heavy unit with a regiment of mostly assault and heavy 'Mechs with attached heavy armor, light vehicle, and armored infantry regiments. Though slimmed down to fit the needs of the post-war KSDF, the 1st Solar Legion is as potent as ever. They reconquered the world Niles from the Combine in 3138 and formed part of the defense of Bryceland when it was subjected to heavy assault. Even if the Solar Union they once served are now part of a greater whole, the Legio Sol Invictus remains unconquered.
  • 5th Concord Guards
    The 5th Concord Guards spent many years as the 5th Commonwealth Guards of Kilbourne before being renamed for their new state. Hardened veterans of the Terran War who had fought on battlefields from Sakhara to Caph, the 5th were the premiere unit from the old KCAF to become part of the new KSDF in 3066. They were part of the advance into the Crucis March during the Concord-Compact War, conquering Cahokia and Coloma before joining the invasion of New Avalon. They'd nearly secured the Rostov continent when Arcadian relief arrived and broke the Concord's blockade over the planet. Faced with the 1st Atrean Dragoons and the 2nd Free March Cavalry Brigade, the 5th fought a strenuous defensive battle before retreating, battered but having damaged the two formations enough that they were withdrawn for rebuilding back in Arcadian territory.

    During the 4th Succession War the 5th Guards were part of the advance into Tikonov, landing on Kentares and pressing on to Edwards in the effort to capture Tikonov itself. It was on Edwards that the unit was one of many to fall prey to treachery, as the 8th Galedon Regulars and 9th Izanagi Warriors struck at the 5th Guards from behind and inflicted heavy losses before withdrawing from the planet. Forced to retreat, the 5th Guards ultimately joined the stand at Quincy that put an end to the Concord's retreat in 3113-14 and held the line against repeated Davion and Galedonian assaults, enduring colossal losses that left them relegated to the reserve for most of the war. In 3119 they were rushed back to the front to exploit the collapse of Galedon and the Federated Suns in the Draconis March, reclaiming Exeter in a landing in December 3119 just before the Congress of Dieron was convened.

    The 5th Guards have remained on duty in the Robinson State of the Concord since the end of the war. Rebuilt to full strength, they have not faced combat directly, though in keeping with Commanding General Tostig's policies, the unit has received a number of transferred pilots and personnel from units that have fought the DCMS in the Outworlds, allowing them to pass their knowledge and hard-won experience on to their new comrades in training. They are currently on Corydon and have gained some attention for repeated disturbances with the domestic population, who remain fervently Restorationist in sentiment and see the Concord troops as occupiers, not defenders. The recent use of 5th Guards armored infantry to secure the arrest of a Restorationist planetary councilwoman on charges of inciting riots and sedition against the Concord is unlikely to calm matters.

Free Traders' Union[]

SER3142-5 Free Traders' Union Map

Map of the Free Traders' Union

Ruling House: None
Capital: Wynn's Roost
Ruler: President Duane Sandusky
Worlds: 12
BattleMech Regiments: 5
Warships: 2

During the Collapse, the Outworlds Alliance retracted, abandoning dozens of star systems colonized after the rise of the Star League. While many of these systems had their populations evacuate or die off, a few persisted, scraping together limited technology and mechanical knowhow to maintain a scant handful of JumpShips and DropShips to maintain trade with one another. These hardscrabble worlds, bolstered by fortunate refugees from the Outworlds that found them, gradually came together under the government at Wynn's Roost to form the Free Traders' Union as a central government to manage life-sustaining trade among these frontier systems. The government is elected in theory though in practice it is controlled by about three dozen major families who control the most productive industries and agricultural properties. Minor squabbles cause violence all of the time but the Traders' Militia and supporting Union units, mostly mercenaries, ensure such squabbling never damages the valuable properties involved. A small but politically active middle class provide managers and skilled personnel for these landowners. The majority of the population remain rural and urban laborers with only the figleaf of political representation, with even the best worlds having only an early twenty-first century level of every day technology. Only recently have their energy needs been fully met by the use of protium fusion reactors, as for centuries fission and hydrocarbon power were the only means available technologically. The worst-off worlds have remaining pre-industrial communities, especially Omniss who refuse to use higher technology and eke out a living in agricultural communities, selling the produce of their farms for the raw materials used by their cottage industries for tools and non-technological luxuries.

The Union must be careful given how precarious their position is now, a dozen worlds with a combined population not even reaching a billion souls bordering two of the Inner Sphere's strongest military powers. For centuries they were able to avoid the attention of conquerers because they were believed to be dead or pre-industrial systems. Since their revelation to the Inner Sphere in the Terran War, their strongest defense has gone from being unknown to not being worth conquering. Given their remoteness and the primitive conditions of many of these worlds, the Concord and Galedon, then the Combine, have mostly left them alone. Only occasional trading missions came by to purchase ores and rare agricultural goods in exchange for the industrial toolings, parts, and luxury goods the Union cannot produce locally. Such trade is vital to maintaining what defense forces they do have. They are the minnow trapped between two whales, trying to avoid being eaten.

One of the few items in abundance for the Traders' Union is land. While they only control a dozen systems, and not all are the best worlds for agriculture, the prospect of mineral wealth draws just enough external investment to keep the economy thinly connected to the wider Inner Sphere. The three systems closest to Wynn's Roost — Vangburg, Zebuluraski, and Renorsal — have known quantities of various rare earth minerals that make them the second worlds of the Union. These worlds and a few others also have widespread tracts of actual arable land attractive to mercenary units willing to settle down and permanently bind themselves to the Union, the most prominent of these being Castro's Cowboys, who represent roughly half of the Union's strength in BattleMechs with two regiments' worth and have been given their own continent ib Renorsal. Other smaller mercenary commands contribute another regiment of 'Mechs and attached forces that give the Union a decent anti-pirate force, though they would not be a major deterrent against a determined Combine or Concord invasion. The mercenaries, especially Castro's cowboys, have become a formidable political bloc within the Union, having gained the adherence of several leading families and in virtual control of at least five systems within the state.

In addition to the mercenaries, refugees from the Terran Union have become an outsized political force thanks to their control of the smattering of high technology in the Union. Their main enclave, McEvedy City on Wynn's Roost, even boasts a decent factory capable of producing power armor suits, Patton tanks, and by some reports, a special variant of Wolverine BattleMech with Terran-grade ferro-fibrous armor and lasers. The city is also home to the McEvedy Technical College, the sole institution of higher mechanical and engineering education in the entire Union. As indispensable as this makes them, they do not hold a greater proportion of political power than the mercenaries or the traditional families. The Terran expatriates' political power is restrained not so much by their minority of population but by the very real threat that assuming greater control of the Union will bring the Kilbourne Concord or the Draconis Combine down upon them.

Recently elected by popular vote, President Duane Sandusky has embraced continued neutrality and a policy of slow, grinding expansion of influence into neighboring worlds. Their primary threats tend to be pirates, and that is enough of an issue with a military of just five regiments worth of active duty BattleMechs and two dilapidated old Terran corvettes. This state of affairs is unlikely to change given they also lack more of a military industry, though that is to their benefit. The survival of the Union demands caution that restrains them from greater efforts, or they will undoubtedly bring down the DCMS or the KSDF (or both) on their hopelessly-outmatched forces.

Given the distance there is no indication that the Glass has even been heard of in the Free Traders' Union, much less that they will act upon it. Their most likely influence on events will be if Sandusky or one of his subordinates miscalculates and finally triggers an invasion by their vastly more powerful neighbors. The Peace of Dieron has survived the Combine and Concord conflict so far, but any escalation may yet prove too much, and that would have ramifications for us as well.

(A part of me also wonders just how this place would deal with it if the Ravens showed up through another Glass, should one ever form in the vicinity. Given how remote they are, any party from our side could take them over and cause a mess in the Outworlds. — Paladin Maya Avellar)

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Traders' Militia 1st Brigade
    The 1st Brigade are assigned to the capital and are the trouble-shooters of the Union Militia. They are the only unit to possess assault-capable DropShips and a dedicated squadron of aerospace fighters with which to protect their ships, and are often deployed with the rechristened TUS Wynn's Aegis, the larger of the two Terran WarShips that remain in service. The brigade is primarily armor and armored jump infantry with a battalion of BattleMechs as their heaviest firepower.

    Their combat history is wholly one of fighting pirates, a foe they are quite capable of handling. When word comes of heavy pirate attack upon the Union's worlds they are typically the force sent, if just to ensure the pirates do not set up shop on the more sparsely-inhabited Union worlds. When they're not enforcing the Union's sovereignty, they are assigned to Wynn's Roost and the capital Turnerville to protect the Union government.
  • 3311th Armored Cavalry
    The 3311th Armored Cavalry Regiment are something of a mystery that has brought closer attention to the Trader's Union over time. Assigned to Wynn's Roost, they are the primary defense unit for McEvedy City, a mixed regiment with two companies of maintained Terran BattleMechs and a multitude of vehicles and armored infantry, and while ostensibly part of the Traders' Militia they have only ever answered to the Mayor of McEvedy City in practice. The unit recruits primarily from the Terran refugees and their descendants, with a handful of local Trader Union residents having been accepted with sponsorship from officers of the regiment.

    The mere presence of one of the hated Terran Armored Cavalry would argue for a descent by the Concord upon the Union, but the records show the 3311th was not an active unit during the Reprisal campaigns of the Terran War. At one point a regiment of the Star League 331st Royal BattleMech Division and then the Terran continuation of that formation, they'd been deactivated in 3042 when they protested the imprisonment and court-martial of their commanding officer Brigadier Harland Fetladral by the Director-General. Many of the personnel were assigned to various units outside the 331st as punishment and so were not with the unit when it was annihilated on Galedon by the defenders' orbital bombardment in February 3052. The common theory, and the one that the KSDF announced publicly during a political debate on whether the Union should be compelled to disband the 3311th, is that survivors who had once served with the unit were among the emigrants. Since the 3311th had not been active in the war crimes the other Armored Cavalry regiments were notorious for, the Concord let the matter drop.

    The 3311th's combat record is not known on any available public record. But the mystery of the unit deepens from recordings taken of a recent reported skirmish with pirates attempting to raid McEvedy City. A lance of traditional SLDF-era 'Mechs wore not just the 3311th's insignia but the famed outline of North America's Minnesota region attached to the number "331". Famously this was the 331st Royal's chosen insignia while under the command of James McEvedy during the Amaris War, but in more recent history, it was also known as the insignia of a Periphery-wandering mercenary band called the 331st who were famously wiped out during the Hyades Rim Republic's conquest of Bellatrix in the early Second Age of War. Given the 'Mechs in question used the mercenary 331st's color scheme and that the 'Mechs match public records of machines in the 331st and not more unique Terran designs, it has left many conspiracy theorists and military history enthusiasts alike scratching their heads.
  • Wynn's Aces
    Wynn's Aces are the sole dedicated aerospace formation of the entire Traders' Union. Assigned to protect Wynn's Roost, they number just a couple dozen aerospace fighters and pilots, with most of their craft First Age of War-vintage machines constantly in need of repair and refit. Yet they remain a potent unit regardless, arguably the epitome of the Outworlds cultural influence on the Traders' Union.

    Formed in the 29th Century during the Collapse, Wynn's Aces have been the first and often last line of defense against pirate raiders and other forces looking to strike at Wynn's Roost. The pilots are often drawn from the ruling families or other dynasties of the unit's most successful fliers. Training is almost entirely by experience behind the controls and the machines are far more valuable than the pilots flying them. While not to the standards of the Inner Sphere's flight academies, Wynn's Aces' continued survival and function argues their approach may work, at least for them.

    Despite the technological inferiority of Wynn's Aces and their obvious deficiencies in training, a recent report indicates they are not to be underestimated. A ConcertWatch update on the DCMS indicates the aerospace contingent of the 4th Galedon Regulars had suffered evident losses when the unit was inspected at Dnieper by Tai-sho Fukuyama. Though the Combine has refused to comment, news reports relayed via the Concord indicate the 4th had attempted to raid Wynn's Roost in March 3142. A Leopard CV DropShip assigned to the unit was reported nearly-crippled and its entire complement of fighters lost, and a Yamashita-class DropShip for armored infantry likewise reported significant damage. The 4th Galedon's aerospace wing CO was recently replaced and the prior commander is no longer listed on any active duty rosters, at least according to ComStar.
  • Castro's Cowboys
    Both Inner Spheres have their history of odd mercenary bands. Our own had Snord's Irregulars, for instance, while for the Cisglass inner Sphere, one such group is Castro's Cowboys. Raised on the former Free Worlds League world of Antipolo by a local noble family. The Cowboys were on contract to the Grand Duchy of Tamarind when, in April 3030, their world fell to the Grand Duchy of Oriente. Rather than transfer his allegiance, Lord Castro signed on his cattle-rancher pilots, picked up his herds, and used his remaining wealth to hire the necessary DropShips to transfer it all to whichever employer would give him a permanent or temporary land grant to mind his herds.

    Despite such an odd requirement the Cowboys frequently found contracts due to their piloting skill, if not their fighting prowess, and would participate in many campaigns of the Second Age of War. Service to the Oriento-Capellan Empire during the Terran War briefly regained them access to their homeworld, but a dispute over the inheritance led Juan Pedro Castro to take his share of the herd, all the willing pilots, and depart yet again. The Cowboys would thrive in the stalemate of the late Second Age of War, growing to three regiments of 'Mechs and two attached regiments of vehicles and infantry at their peak strength. They commanded a high price on the mercenary market by 3110. Despite the lucrative officers he received, Count Castro was unsettled by the outbreak of what became the Fourth Succession War. He decided to find a permanent home on the unaligned Periphery with which to keep his herds. His ships traveled to the Trader's Union and offered the perpetual service of his 'Mechs and forces in exchange for a continent on one of their resettled worlds. Renorsal's Andalusia Continent was offered and accepted, as the mineral-rich world needed some defense against pirate forces and had a suitable biosphere for the herds. To raise funds to help build up his new demesne, Juan Castro reluctantly hired out the 3rd Cowboys regiment to the Concord. His misgivings proved fruitful when the 3rd Regiment was virtually wiped out by Galedon in the fighting on Sevon in 3116. The handful of survivors eventually returned to Renorsal with their broken machines and were absorbed into the other regiments, their combat pay having been spent on the needed materials to fully exploit Andalusia.

    In recent years Lord Castro, who has been adopted as Renorsal's "El Jefe" even if he is only one of three governors of the planet, has relinquished command of his Cowboys to his son Fidel Raoul Castro. "Prince Castro" has been mostly staying on Wynn's Roost, politicking with Militia leaders and other Union officialdom and by reports growing restless with the thought of returning to his father's rugged home compared to the higher technology and comfort available in Turnerville. Rumors are Fidel may seek the Presidency and has been approaching the Terran expatriates of McEvedy for their political support in exchange for greater consideration of their position in the Union. These political games are seen by many as coming at the expense of the Cowboys themselves, though the unit are currently content to use their 'Mechs as AgroMechs in maintaining the herds of fenreeroceroses and other cattle creatures that populate the Castro ranches.

(What in blazes is a 'fenreeroceros?!' I can't find any record of such a thing! — Paladin Max Ergen)
<Quite possibly another of the divergences between our universes, though maybe it's just a rare species?
— Lady Janella>


Federated Suns[]

SER3142-6 FS Map

Map of Federated Suns

Ruling House: House Silver-Davion
Capital: New Avalon
Ruler: First Princess Grace Silver-Davion
Worlds: 455
Regiments: 137
WarShips: 178

The Federated Suns of the Cisglass can seem much like our own at first glance. The same iconography, the same values, the same names for the great families appearing in its ranks. It is the largest Successor State in terms of the worlds flying the Sword-and-Sun banner while still having the hardscrabble nature of the frontier on many of them. It is when you examine the finer details that the differences become apparent. Given the bitterness many of us feel over Caleb Davion's callous disregard for the long alliance between the Federation and the Republic, it is best to focus on those differences, and remember we are not dealing with the same people.

[With all respect to Lady Lakewood’s analysis, I feel that we do need to look at the facts. I have no love for Aaron Sandoval — the man has the morals of a Lyran banker, and the effrontery of a dockside rat; we should have arrested him the instant he set foot in Terran space, Jonah, and you know it — but considering the fate of all but one of the buffer states we tried to establish outside the Fortress, the question isn’t whether those worlds remaining independent or being annexed by the Federated Suns was preferable, but a matter of choosing between a Davion or Liao takeover. And accounting of how badly we already underestimated House Liao’s rearmament, I can’t say I like the idea of them adding Tikograd’s arsenals to their industry. At least Sandoval has some principles. — Paladin Exemplar David McKinnon]

They retain many similar principles of local rule and a combination of economic and social systems upon their worlds. On the one hand you have the feudal domains like those overseen by the Narayans of Jaipur, the Gutierrezes of Filtvelt, the VanLees of Kathil, and the Haseks of Wernke and New Syrtis, not to mention the Davions' own holdings, while you also have the democratic presidencies of Point Barrow, Novaya Zemlya, and New Vandenburg among others. Yet this Federated Suns has something ours did not quite develop: an empowered, democratically-elected legislature. Formed from Julian Davion's 29th Century reform of the Crucis Pact and refined by the union with the Brethren of the Stars, the Federated Suns of the Cisglass is governed by a law-writing body called the Assembly of Worlds which decide upon the laws that impact the entire Federation, replacing the long defunct rubber stamp High Council from the pre-Star League era. From their number the Assembly elects a leader, the First Minister, who leads the Privy Council and functions as a head of government that even the First Prince must heed the opinions and decisions of.

This injection of democracy has been undoubtedly invaluable to preserving the Suns against their neighbors, giving individual citizens on every world the feeling their voices are being heard on New Avalon and that their concerns carry weight at the highest level. It is not a perfect feeling, of course. Nor has it silenced those on the worlds reclaimed at Dieron who tout the Concord's democratic model as superior, pointing out the tremendous powers still held in theory by the First Princes and House Davion. On the opposite border, worlds in the St. Ives March have Liaoist and Capellan unificationist movements of varying extents and political power, who dismiss the Suns' government system as a weak sham compared to the strength and purpose of the Oriento-Capellan Empire. The representatives elected by these opposition groups provide for a number of headaches in Assembly meetings, fully employing the Six Freedoms against House Davion's authority and interests.

Yet neither of these groups produce the singular headaches that the Taurian March does. The Taurian nationalism suppressed by the Hyadian regime on New Vandenburg rebounded in full vigor after the Hyades Rim Republic's fall, and for the last century have been a near-persistent pain in the rear for every First Prince and First Minister to govern. Only the cause against the Terran Union quieted agitation for Taurian independence from the Federated Suns. Insurgencies have relented somewhat since the marriage of Nicoletta Calderon to Vincent Davion, a grandson of Prince Ian the Restorer, and the granting of the Arch-Ducal title to their eldest son Brian. But having a "puppet" Calderon on the throne has not stopped the most fanatical, and many others seem to only wait patiently to jump on the slightest sign of "Davion oppression", as was seen in 3119 when rioting broke out on every world following the transfer of Taurian March Militia troops to reinforce the new war front with the Capellan Empire. The rioters shut down AFFS recruiting stations, offices for various ministries, and on Taurus four planetary administrators were held and nearly lynched. For two months it seemed like the Taurian nationalists might actually succeed in their aims, but the Capellans' failure to capitalize allowed the AFFS to rush troops back to restore order. While the moment was lost and the Riots of 3119 have not been repeated since the Peace of Dieron, but it is likely this region will be a sore point in the politics of the Federated Suns for generations to come. (The fact that AFFS troops haven't been hit by suitcase nukes yet makes these Taurians sound far more reasonable than our own, especially with how freely Tharn and Urratia handed out the damn things. Hell, we found some in the ComStar arsenals on Epsilon Eridani. — Paladin Max Ergen)

It is no surprise these internal threats are linked to external ones. On one border, the Kilbourne Suns' Concord has vowed to reclaim Filtvelt, Malagrotta, and other worlds reclaimed by the Federated Suns, and have made clear that a permanent peace would also require House Davion to relinquish power and the Restorationist movement be disavowed. On the other border, the Oriento-Capellan Empire continues to promote Capellan reunification and eyes the conquest of St. Ives March. Along with these threats looms the ancient foe, the reborn Draconis Combine of House Kurita, who threaten the Suns' remaining allies. For all their strength, the Federated Suns of the Cisglass are still in a highly precarious position.

In facing these threats, the AFFS has developed in lines ours has not gone in. The army of the Federated Suns has never been fully rebuilt from its peak strength in 3110, instead reformed as a sharpened spear of elite units with the best equipment backed by other line, regional, and militia that prefer easier-to-maintain Star League-era equipment. Unlike the post-Jihad AFFS’ emphasis on the mobility of Light Combat Teams backed up by the hammer of the Crucis Lancers and Davion Guards RCTs, the Cisglass forces have maintained as many full-scale RCTs as possible, and seem to lack any equivalent to the LCT. However, they share the same professionalism and faculty, and the result is a force that has shown capability in a handful of skirmishes since the Peace of Dieron and the annual war games held with Compact powers.

The real strength of the AFFS lies in its mighty navy. The Federated Suns is the strongest Navy in the other Inner Sphere by all accounts, with four surviving capital WarShips backed by a powerful force of battlecruisers and other WarShips. The influence of the Brethren is on full display with this strategic approach, reinforced by First Prince Grace herself, an experienced naval officer and the first non-MechWarrior ruler of House Davion since the 25th Century. The FSN suffered the least of all navies of the Inner Sphere during the Fourth Succession War, though not for lack of trying on the part of their foes, and has built to maintain its edge. Training for the Navy takes high priority and the social standing of naval officers ranks rather higher there than it does in our Federated Suns. The fleet is set to expand further in the coming years, particularly in light of the Capellans' recent naval programs, and the FSN is slated to become the first of the Successor States to return to a force strength of two hundred WarShips by 3145. While some have questioned the expansion of the program as further destabilizing the Peace of Dieron, the Imperial program and the lingering political logjam in the Royal Federation leaves the Suns little choice in the matter.

(I feel I must stress a caveat here in that the numbers on the Draconis Combine Admiralty are only estimates. While they are only generally estimated to have a hundred and sixty WarShips, the more pessimistic estimates may have the DCA as larger than the FSN. - Lady Janella)

So far the Suns have shown little reaction to news of the Glass. At least, little public reaction, but recent shifts of troops and ships towards the Capellan border show they have a concern. Though whether it is a defensive maneuver to meet an Imperial attack while the Arcadians are engaged or a more proactive readiness to keep the Empire honest during the same, one cannot say. A greater question on my mind is how much First Prince Grace and her Privy Council are saying behind closed doors and what kind of involvement do they have with their Tikonovite allies' investigation of the Glass's formation? If there is a plan to form their own Glass, will it be to support First Prince Caleb or to promote a different agenda? We will have to observe carefully. So will Daoshen Liao, I believe.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 3rd Davion Guards
    It should be no surprise that the AFFS of the Cisglass maintains the Royal Brigade of Guards. One of the most prominent and capable in their number is the 3rd Davion Guards, all from their association with First Prince Ian, the greatest member of the Cisglass Davions since Alexander himself. They were Ian the Restorer’s unit prior to his ascension to First Prince. The 3rd remained the unit he fought with in his infrequent deployments to the front during the Restoration and, more prominently, during the Terran War, when they fought at his side from Avalon City to Geneva. The prestige of being associated with him has raised the profile of this already famous unit to the same tier as the Davion Heavy and 1st Davion Guards, and they shed their old nickname, "Don’t Tread on Me" for "The Phoenix” for the way the unit came back from impossible situations in the Terran War. By the end of that conflict, they’d actually been reinforced with so many odds and ends that the unit was split into two, the newly formed Sixth Davion Guards taking on the moniker of “Prince Ian’s Own” in recognition of their origins.

    Both formations were part of the desperate fighting of the Fourth Battle of New Avalon, facing an assortment of some of the best units of the KSDF on fronts across Albion, including Avalon City itself, where in defense of his capital the elderly Ian was mortally wounded by MechWarriors of the Screaming Eagles' 101st Striker Regiment. The 3rd held fast despite the odds and prevented the collapse of the front until help arrived from the joint AFFS/AFRF relief force burning in, and the 3rd was finally pulled from the line after a counterattack led by the Proctor Heavy Guards and the 4th Skye Rangers cleared the Davion capital of the enemy. The survivors were personally thanked and congratulated by First Prince Victoria, though the loss of their leader was a sore point for many. Their indebtedness to the Arcadians was repaid a quarter century later when the 3rd Davion Guards smashed XII Legio outside of Jonesburgh on Arcadia, contributing to the defeat of the wild ambitions of Imperator Scipio O'Reilly. Battered but unbroken by the 4th Succession War, at its end they had played a critical role in thwarting the Concord's SWORDBREAKER offensive by holding Eustasius and preventing the strategic isolation of Filtvelt, though their fierce battle with the 4th Solar Legion left the unit a shell of its formal strength.

    Rebuilt to full strength after the Peace of Dieron, with a full complement of heavy and assault BattleMechs that gives them the mass of a heavy line unit, the 3rd continues to be one of the most elite, best equipped units in the AFFS. Currently deployed to the world of Homestead on the OCE frontier alongside the 1st Kathil Uhlans and Redfield’s Regulars, two more elite units, they serve as a dagger pointed at the worlds captured by the Empire in the Fourth Succession War, ready to liberate them if the call comes.
  • Sharpe Rifles
    The Sharpe Rifles are a regiment of storied lineage spanning back to the original formation of the St. Ives Mercantile Association. A core element of the St. Ives Armored Cavalry, they were part of the nation’s conventional defense forces during the reign of Long Tom Silver before (quietly, happily) integrating into the AFFS along with the rest of the St. Ives Royal Corps.

    Veterans of the harshest fights of the Federated Suns post-merger, the Sharpe Rifles made their fame in the Third Outback War, defending Filtvelt from the 3088 and 3090 invasions and serving in the task force that reclaimed Broken Wheel from the Concord in 3093. In the Fourth Succession War they fought in a dozen major campaigns against the Concord and Galedon. One of the most notable was the liberation of Robinson from Galedonian occupation in 3115, where newly-graduated Leftenant Arthur Silver-Davion, Prince Imperial of the Federated Suns, fought with distinction to reclaim his father's homeworld. In 3117 the Rifles' participation in Operation FORTITUDE led to severe losses against the 4th Sword of Light on New Ivaarsen. Pulled back to rebuild in the Crucis March, they were rushed to defend the St. Ives March when the Empire betrayed the Federated Suns in their infamous XIN SHENG offensive, and held Harloc against several determined assaults until the Congress of Dieron's ceasefire that brought the fighting to an end. Down to only twenty-percent material strength, the Rifles were retained on the roster and rebuilt following the end of the war.

    Today the Sharpe Rifles are a capable heavy weight assault unit, equipped on par with the remainder of the Royal rated units. They have a multi-century track record of quiet, unflashy competence and professionalism. They are notorious for combat flexibility, able to adapt on the fly to changing battlefield situations, and it is perhaps not a surprise they utilize almost entirely OmniMechs and similarly podded support equipment. They are currently stationed on their homeworld, as the Prince Imperial has moved onto helping with the immense administrative workload required of the royal family, refitting after an intensive period of training on Novaya Zemlya intended to keep their edge.
  • 2nd Victoria Rangers
    Formed after the retirement of Long Tom Silver out of a cadre of surviving Brethren mechwarriors personally loyal to the Silver family, the Victoria Rangers are some of the best combat-drop capable troops in the Inner Sphere. This unit trains extensively in ‘beachhead’ operations, seizing planetary defense batteries, spaceports, and other targets of vital interest that require capture in the earliest stages of a planetary invasion. They are both extremely heavyweight, but all of their mechs are equipped with jump jets, and both the logistical burden and the turnover in both regiments is exceptional.

    The 2nd joined their brethren in defending their new capital as part of OpForce Excalibur's AFFS contingent in 3071, landing on New Avalon to secure Brunswick's valuable factories from the 2nd Solar Legion and the 3rd Concord Dragoons of the KSDF. The two Victoria Ranger regiments commenced beachhead assaults to secure critical regional positions that forced the KSDF to disperse, buying much-needed time for the 22nd Avalon Hussars to regroup and force the invaders away from Archenar's facilities. Through the coming weeks the Rangers contributed with repeated aerial drops on KSDF positions until the units pulled out as part of the general Concord retreat.

    After further service in the Fourth Succession War, the 2nd is considered the more elite of the two Victoria Rangers divisions. Both are now deployed to their homeworld of Victoria, able to burn out for an assault with ten days of notice. Victoria’s position on the front line both demands a strong standing garrison and gives the AFFS the opportunity to threaten forward Imperial positions with a strong force known for the ability to smash aside defenders at will.
  • 1st Robinson Avengers
    The former unit of Consort (and recently retired Prince’s Champion) Erik Sandoval, the Robinson Avengers were formed from the survivors of the Canaan Accord’s military after that state’s fall in the Concord-Compact War. Fanatically loyal to the royal family, and also fanatically opposed to the Kilbourne Concord, the Avengers made several strikes into the former Accord during the Third Outback War to tie down KSDF forces and keep them from shifting towards the main campaign around Filtvelt.

    The 1st Avengers truly proved their mettle in the fires of the Fourth Succession War, fighting the defensive campaigns of the early war and participating in the liberation of Robinson. Their early jubilation at their successful return proved sadly ill-fated and as Concord forces overwhelmed the AFFS forces on Robinson in 3119, they were forced into the cruel choice of obeying orders to retreat and survive or die against the irresistible revenge of the Lexington Combat Group. They demonstrated their loyalty when they agreed to pull out, saving the unit from annihilation.

    Now deployed at a slightly different portion of the Concord border, the Avengers are a hard hitting medium cavalry unit that excels at making use of air support and combined arms to confuse and blind an enemy before smashing isolated detachments with overwhelming local superiority. They showed their capabilities well in both the GALAHAD exercises of 3137 and the WALLACE wargames in 3141, where they won half of their engagements against the visiting AFRF's elite 2nd Royal Lancers.

Oriento-Capellan Empire[]

SER3142-7 OCE Map

Map of Oriento-Capellan Empire

Ruling House: House Halas-Liao
Capitals: Sian and Oriente (traditional investiture on Harsefeld)
Ruler: Emperor Robert Halas-Liao
Worlds: 277
BattleMech Regiments: 230
Warships: 138

Of all the states to exist in the Glass, the Oriento-Capellan Empire stands out as one of the most unbelievable. Oriente has traditionally been one of the most anti-Capellan of the Free Worlds League states in our history. I would as soon accept the idea of a Confederated Suns and House Liao-Davion as I have imagined House Halas-Liao being in any way stable. Yet, even with the similarities in our histories up to the Succession Wars, the other side's Oriente remains joined at the hip with the reborn Capellan State, and while not a smooth union, it has survived war, invasion, and dissension for the past century.

The key to the Empire's survival, its very existence, is arguably found in the third family name that is rightfully born by the ruler, if largely unused. House Allison, the original rulers of Oriente, survived on the captured world Harsefeld and in seeking to rule conquered Capellan worlds ultimately chose to assimilate into the Capellan nation. They waged war after war to get to their current position, and to secure it, forged a marriage alliance with their successors on Oriente, House Halas. These changed circumstances do much to explain this unlikely pairing. The rebirth of House Liao by two of her former foes has done much to shape the current Empire, for better and for worse.

The Empire is a dual state, not dissimilar to the Austrian-Hungarian state of Terra's Industrial Revolution era in that the two halves are governed by separate laws but have a common government for defense, foreign exchange, and diplomacy. The Grand Duchy of Oriente is governed by a confederal system, with planets maintaining a degree of local autonomy and self-rule much like they enjoyed in the Free Worlds League, with regional economic interests and trade regulated at the province level. The now-larger section, the Imperial Capellan State, operates under a reformed version of the Capellan ideology we are more familiar with. Before the formation of the Empire, King Alexander Allison of Harsefeld and his half-brother and co-ruler — the future Emperor Jonah Allison-Liao — decided to govern their reclaimed Capellan worlds by the old system, with modifications to undermine rebellions from those worlds that had ended the caste system. The servitor caste was done away with. Those without citizenship are now considered casteless, an unenviable position compared to the others but lacking the status of state property that so many find detestable in the Capellan system on our side. Citizenship in the Imperial Capellan State is more easily attained as well and on many worlds the casteless are a minority, not the plurality or outright majority their servitor counterparts often are in the Capellan Confederation. To ease awkwardness between the two halves, a citizen of the Grand Duchy dwelling in the Imperial State is given an honorary rank of associated citizen; they do not enjoy the full range of citizenship benefits, but they are not considered casteless. They must go through a naturalization process if they decide to emigrate permanently.

As one can imagine, these two systems do not dwell in perfect harmony. Among the people of the Grand Duchy any hint of encroachment by the Capellan State is vigorously, even violently resisted. Maskirovka has little sway in the Duchy for enforcing any sort of loyalty to the Empire, their role is strictly counter-intelligence against enemy action in association with the IOCF's Military Intelligence Command. Instead national loyalty is encouraged by internal propaganda and popular broadcasts, lionizing House Halas and especially the Knightly Orders of Oriente. Founded during the later Renaissance period to live up to ideals of chivalric behavior and honor so as to limit the Succession Wars' devastation, the Knightly Orders are widely respected among the Duchy's population for their courage, tenacity, and skill. They have often fought in the most desperate and most savage battles to preserve the Grand Duchy from her external foes and, while tied to IOCF command structure, maintain an independence that makes them the core of the Grand Duchy's personal troops. Legally they are under Emperor Robert's command, in his capacity as Grand Duke of Oriente, but unofficially many still hew to the desires and orders of their old liege lady, the one hundred and twenty-eight year old Dowager Empress Eris Halas, who despite her abdication in 3103 still wields significant soft power across Oriente and the Empire as a whole.

This has not gone unnoticed on Sian and among the sheng and directorship of the Imperial Capellan State. Many among the Empire's leadership are said to be jealous and fearful of the Dowager's lingering grasp, especially as she has opposed the Liaoist Restorationist movement and its goals of reclaiming the Confederation's old borders, preferring instead to focus on her own bitter foes, House Proctor of Arcadia, and her ambitions to seize the rest of the former Marik Commonwealth from them. For the Capellans this is an unwanted distraction and part of a larger problem with what many quietly feel is an unequal partnership. A common joke among Capellans is that they labor "for the greater good of the Capellan State… oh, yes, and for those lazy Orienters too". The Grand Duchy is seen as not pulling its own weight, with its spoiled citizenry lazy and aloof of the needs of the Empire while Capellans labor vigorously and honestly for the greater good of all.

It is important to note that the lack of a servitor caste, and the (relatively) easier life of the casteless, does not diminish the strength of the Capellan State over their lives. A Capellan citizen earns their place, joins a caste as best fits their talents, and is reminded at all times of their duties to the Greater Good of Humanity as laid out in the Korvin Doctrine and of the need to obey their superiors as the Sarna Mandate decrees. Any worlds captured and folded into the Imperial State are subject to a Maskirovka-observed process to incorporate their populations into the caste system. This process proved particularly dangerous during both the integration of captured Terran worlds in the 3060s and the worlds seized from the Federated Suns in 3118 and 3119. While some of the more ardent Liaoists wished to further impress the Capellan system on these worlds, the Emperors have been more lenient, to the point that the Sirian Commonality is observed to have almost no casteless and an abnormally smooth process for caste assignments, and the Victoria Commonality (based on Bellatrix, though the name makes very clear the aspirations of the Empire in that direction) has run along similar lines. This has born fruit in that both are integrating very smoothly compared to the retaken worlds attached to the Sarna Commonality, where local directorship and sheng have proven more stringent in allowing citizenship. Make no mistake, though, that the Capellan State is not as domineering as the Confederation is. The Maskirovka has full authority to investigate and detain and the Emperor wields power close to that of the Chancellors of the Confederation. Loyalty to the State is enforced on the populations of every world.

If one wonders how these two systems can survive under the same government, one answer is found in the Imperial Oriento-Capellan Forces. The IOCF are the largest and most prominent institution of the Empire in the everyday life of citizens of the Grand Duchy and the Imperial State. They recruit from both halves and while local units do exist, by practice Ducal soldiers are assigned to Capellan units and vice versa, and a number of corps and brigades such as the Harsefeld Lancers and the Allison Heavy Guards intentionally maintain as much equality as possible when it comes to staffing from both halves of the Empire. While it is not immune to the occasional demonstration of bias by either side against the other, the officer corps and NCOs work to clamp down on this so that the units of the IOCF, wherever their origin, can function together on the battlefield. Overall the IOCF's culture is one of teamwork and a feeling of Imperial citizenship, whether a soldier is from the Oriente Fusiliers or the Sian Dragoons. "Two Nations, One Cause" is their most common slogan, and they do generally try to live up to it even if, on occasion, the nationalist sides do make themselves known. The most obvious example of this was the Liaoist strike against the Federated Suns in 3118, betraying an ally they despised to reclaim worlds they believed rightfully Capellan.

The IOCF's prominence comes in part from size. The Empire boasts one of the larger remaining navies from the Fourth Succession War and over two hundred regiments of BattleMechs. It is one of the more heavily garrisoned Successor States, and for good reason. While for much of the 31st Century it was an active member in the St. Ives Compact, the Liaoist betrayal of the Federated Suns ended that forever. Now the Empire remains isolated and surrounded by active and potential enemies, with only the Azami having any real warmth for their state. Their ancient foes in House Davion and the Dowager's hated enemies in House Proctor include factions openly eager for the suspension of the Peace of Dieron to strike at the lonely Empire, and the legions of the Flavian Principate burn with fury to avenge their humiliation at Kearny in 3118. To protect against this multitude of threats, the Empire has been transformed into a garrison state in many respects.

In light of their strategic isolation Emperor Robert is reputed to have opened talks with Yorinaga Kurita for closer ties to the Draconis Combine, the other pariah of the Inner Sphere, while simultaneously seeking an understanding with the Kilbourne Concord, a dicey prospect at best. He has also, since his rise to the throne, agreed to an increase of peacetime naval spending not seen in a century, with a crash naval construction program rivaling the Empire's efforts during the Fourth Succession War. Over the next several years the Empire is building enough ships that it will be able to challenge the Federated Suns directly, wielding a fleet that could overpower the Royal Federation and the Flavian Principate combined. This bold move, proclaimed as necessary to secure the Empire from attack, is the proximate cause of the growing naval arms race that threatens the Peace of Dieron. A bitter irony indeed given Robert's father caused the Fourth Succession War for similar motivations. (And as a failed attempt to placate the rabid Capellan nationalists, the ones who later caused this very isolation through their attack on their own ally. Whatever the reality, Capellans love to dig knives into the backs of their neighbors. — Paladin Max Ergen)

For those accusing Emperor Robert of plotting aggression, it is worth noting that after High King Nathaniel rose to the Liberator's Throne on Arcadia, he openly welcomed Nathaniel's peace overtures and has agreed to mutual force drawdowns across the Arcadian-Imperial border. This may simply be a maneuver to placate one foe so he can improve his position against the Principate and Federated Suns, of course, but it may also indicate a genuine desire to avoid a repeat of his father's actions and to preserve the Peace of Dieron. Of greater relevance to us, while little is said from news sources of the Imperial reaction to the Glass (An ominous silence if you ask me! — Paladin-Exemplar David MacKinnon), Emperor Robert's official response to Nathaniel's coronation address was "The Empire applauds the High King for his commitment to fighting such debased savagery, we wish him good fortune in battle against these Clans", and further IOCF announcements of drawdowns on the Arcadian border systems. Again, it is impossible to tell the motivation here. The Emperor may be genuinely sympathetic to Nathaniel's crusade to stop the aggressive Clans, or he may be cynically promoting Nathaniel's war efforts in order to weaken the Arcadians' position against the Empire in the short term. Ultimately, the only person who knows for sure is Emperor Robert Halas-Liao himself..

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Death Commandos
    The refounding of the Death Commandos came with the return of former Capellan leading families to the Harsefeld state in 3035, eager to join in rebuilding the Capellan nation as they believed it should be. They have been the bodyguard regiment of the Emperor since 3040, participating in the Terran War from the siege of Oriente to the conquest of Terra and on through the remaining Second Age of War.

    Wherever an enemy of House Liao goes, the Death Commandos are ready to slay them if given the order. During the fighting in the 3060s they came within moments of killing Archduke Joshua Marik in the Imperial invasion of Atreus and briefly conquered and held Atreus City itself before relieved. They head-hunted and killed Aaron Winston, the Commanding General of the KSDF, on Robinson even while the planet fell in 3073, and added Defiance President Jacqueline Brewer and Legate Siobhan O'Reilly-Proctor to their kill list during a Lyran-Principate defense of New Earth in 3082. During the Fourth Succession War they would claim half of the Regency Council of the Peoples' State of Andurien before being brought to ground and nearly destroyed by the elite mercenary force of Arano's Marauders. As always they were rebuilt, though their bodyguard duties to the Emperor demanded no more use as a killing force for the remainder of the war.

    As always, they are a combined arms regiment of BattleMechs and battle armor infantry with some vehicular and aerospace support. Their training is legendary and their loyalty to the Capellan cause without equal. Bodyguard units for state leaders across the Inner Sphere train exhaustively simply to have a hope of stopping the Commandos should they ever come for their charges. They remain on Sian at this time, protecting Emperor Robert, and no one knows when or if he will send them forth to strike at an enemy.
  • The Order of the Red Sword
    One of the Knightly Orders of Oriente, the Order of the Red Sword can trace their history back to Rico Halas' initial formation of the Knightly Orders. A half dozen Dispossessed families of nobility provided some of the initial recruits for the Red Sword and the Grandmaster has often come from these families, especially the Hawkwoods of Fletcher. They are steadfastly loyal to the Grand Duchy, more so than to the Empire, it has long been said and suspected. Their battle histories are a long and bloody road of the greatest victories and most bitter defeats in service to House Halas.

    Yet the Red Sword, like their peers, regret their greatest disappointment keenly. Throughout the decades the Order has always come close, sometimes extremely close, to seizing the former League capital of Atreus from their liege lady's hated enemies of House Proctor. In 3041-42, 3065, 3097-98, 3113-15, and 3118-19, the Red Swords fought valiantly to capture House Marik's glittering prize and finally punish the Arcadian rulers for the perceived vile insult they had offered to Eris Halas in 3037. In 3119 they came extremely close to this victory, with most of the world having fallen and Atreus City itself on the verge of defeat. Yet for all the sacrifices the victory was again denied by enemy reinforcements and the Orders were forced to pick up their wounded and dying to live on for greater service.

    The Peace of Dieron has left the Red Sword to fulfill the other obligations of their service while rebuilding from the terrible losses endured on Atreus. The Orders have since started to face other foes as well, with their growing rivalry with the Capellan Warrior Houses and the manner in which Capellan units fight that does not fit the honor code of the Knightly Orders. The Red Swords have become leaders in trying to keep these relations smooth, including sending their former Grand Master, Ser Jonathan Hawkwood, to represent the Orders and Dowager Empress Eris at the Celestial Court on Sian. While he will serve his liege lady as well as he can, his known desire to try for Atreus again and avenge the century-old insult against Eris may or may not make him foes among the Liaoists of the Celestial Court.
  • Warrior House Aquila
    The Warrior Houses were refounded by Harsefeld during the early Second Age of War, combining some of the traditional Capellan units with new Warrior Houses, mostly formed from foreign troops who pledged permanent loyalty to House Allison-Liao. One of the newest such Houses, House Aquila are renegades and refugees from the Principate, the survivors of Imperator Scipio's most devoted and ardent followers. After the other legates murdered Scipio on Tamarind and the 1st Proctor Guards drove his legion from Loric, Legate Horatius Humphreys of IV Legio decided not to return to Alphard with his peers. Having lost his brother to an Arcadian head-hunter team during the battle for Arcadia and believing (accurately) that the Dominate would be pulled down by Flavius O'Reilly, Humphreys made contact with Maskirovka and asked for asylum in the Empire in exchange for service. Gathering other broken cohorts and maniples fleeing the vengeful Arcadian advance to Tamarind and Bolan, Humphreys brought them with him to New Olympia where they became the founders of Warrior House Aquila.

    While many of the Warrior Houses have fought in the Grand Duchy before, Aquila has become the only one permanently assigned to Oriente's half of the Empire, and through the Fourth Succession War they served as defense for New Olympia as well as providing troops to invade the hated Arcadians. They fought a number of battles with the 1st Proctor Guards and would participate in the 3113-15 invasion of Atreus and the 3118 attack on Bainsville. Though neither of those worlds fell and Humphreys himself would die battling the 5th Royal BattleMech Regiment in the 3118 campaign, House Aquila acquitted itself well and won numerous engagements through ferocity and discipline.

    The Peace of Dieron has seen Aquila's assignment to New Olympia remain constant. By special Imperial charter they are permitted to raise families and have dependents, and their settlement of Nova Islington on New Olympia has become a land holding for the entire unit. A trickle of patrician dissenters has bolstered the House's depleted ranks since the war, though they remain at eighty percent strength compared to their preferred size. There are rumors that House Master John Finney may accept offers from non-descendants of Alphardians to join the House so long as they adopt the neo-Roman customs that still guide the unit, if the Emperor approves of the change to their charter.
  • 1st Sian Dragoons
    The 1st Sian Dragoons are a legacy unit from the times of House Allison's Harsefeld, despite their name. The first Capellan nationalist unit recruited for the armies of Harsefeld, the 1st Dragoons were one of the trouble-shooter units of the realm, fighting in invasions from the First Andurien War on through the Terran War.

    The 1st Sian Dragoons were one of the first units to hit dirt on Andurien at the start of what became the Fourth Succession War. For seven long years they fought bitterly to reclaim the planet for the Capellan State, being replenished in the field from the battered remnants of their fellow Sian Dragoon formations and other broken units. They alone remained on the front of the entire invasion, not being rotated on and off world as other units were whenever the naval standoff over Andurien allowed. They captured the planetary capital of Jojoken in 3112, overcoming the 1st Defenders of Andurien, lost it to a counterattack four months later, reclaimed it in 3113, and lost it once more in 3114. In 3115, they held half of Baroda before the Canopian Highlanders and the Arano Royal Guards pushed them out. On every front on the planet the battalions and companies of the 1st fought, and it was bitter indeed when Emperor Gregory abandoned the invasion in 3117. This bitterness goes far to explain the unit's willing mutiny in 3118 when they joined Strategos Lu Sen's plot to seize the traditional Capellan worlds held by the Federated Suns. On Grand Base they destroyed the battered 8th Crucis Lancers RCT, forcing the entire unit's surrender before they could even flee off-world, but were nearly destroyed themselves trying to capture Menke from the 5th Syrtis Fusiliers RCT when the 1st Taurian Volunteers arrived to reinforce the broken Davion formation. When the Peace of Dieron came, the 1st was nearly a spent force rebuilding back on Grand Base.

    Since the war, the 1st continues to enjoy pride of place with the IOCF, though there are many indications that Maskirovka are paying far closer attention to its command staff since their mutinous invasion of what had, at the time, been an ally. The unit has notably been moved well out of the new Victoria Commonality, and even saw combat as part of the defense of Procyon against the Arcadians' Operation MORNING STAR in 3123. Today they are assigned to Sian itself and are part of the defense units assigned around the Imperial City. They have been granted a further honor, as upon her graduation from the Sian University's Hen gao Xiao-Iu courses, Princess-Imperial Xiaoli Halas-Liao was assigned to the 1st Dragoons as a MechWarrior. Being the chosen unit for the future Celestial Wisdom has brought yet more Mask scrutiny upon the 1st Sian Dragoons, but also signals that Emperor Robert has forgiven the unit for its mutiny, and its pride of place in the IOCF will only increase.

People’s State of Andurien[]

SER3142-8 PSA Map

Map of People’s State of Andurien

Ruling House: House Humphreys
Capital: Andurien
Ruler: Duchess Karla Humphreys
Worlds: 76
BattleMech Regiments: 34
Warships: 40

The People's State of Andurien is an example of how the different histories influenced peoples in the Inner Sphere down different paths. While it was torn from the Capellan Confederation in the First Succession War just as ours was, the following Collapse period left the state alone to develop free of both Capellan and Leaguer sentiments. The surprising result was an avowed socialist constitutional monarchy under House Humphreys that, unique among Successor States, forswore the use of military violence to capture worlds for itself. Any new world added to the People's State would come voluntarily by diplomatic initiative and invitation, or not at all.

Yet Andurien prevailed long after other such passive states, or even aggressive ones, were destroyed or otherwise absorbed by their neighbors. It has retained independence against the repeated invasions of other powers through both passive and active diplomatic efforts, turning their small state into a natural buffer state among the powers surrounding them. The Andurien People's Defense Forces, APDF, maintain a capable force for defensive fighting and safeguarding the People's State's Frontier Region from piracy. Andurien supplements its own small but capable military industries with imports from neighbors, primarily the Federated Suns and the Royal Federation, and provides various materials and unique goods for export. Enterprises are collective by mandate of the law, which has led to some emigration to other neighboring states from those wishing for greater individual control over their ideas. It has also seen immigration from others seeking sanctuary from the disfavor of their worlds' rulers. Casteless and dissident Capellans, disaffected Rim Commonality denizens, and others go through the naturalization process every year to become part of the People's State.

Pacifist as it is, Andurien is not a fully stable place, and there are many forceful arguments and debates on its future. The culture encourages political involvement from all walks of society, with public participation in elections and even plebiscites on a multitude of issues. Andurien, in collaboration with ComStar, has pushed HPG networking towards greater efficiency and lower costs to improve communication flow between worlds. Initially inaugurated in 3138, Project: SpeechWeb holds the goal of allowing regular real-time chat messaging between all worlds of the People's State by 3150, with plentiful investment from a number of government and communal enterprises in support of the mission. This readiness to discuss and debate maintains a constant ferment of clashing ideas and dissent. Indeed, the annexation of Kearny, Antipolo, and a handful of other worlds captured in 3119 remains a volatile topic in everything from school debates to online messaging communities to the People's Assembly, with some arguing it as appropriate compensation, a regrettable necessity for security, or an unconscionable violation of the People's State's governing principles.

That they took such a measure as to annex worlds that did not willingly agree to join is an understandable measure given what they suffered. The People's State of Andurien was nearly consumed during the Fourth Succession War. Only a handful of systems never saw violence by invasion or raid. From 3110 to 3117 Andurien itself was a battleground, the APDF and their Canopian allies fighting a long and terrible struggle to repel the Empire's invasion. The entire capital world was engulfed in the carnage and not a single city or settlement escaped the violence, while its economy collapsed under the intermittent Imperial blockade or raging naval battles. Many other worlds were invaded and even occupied for varying amounts of time. It is a mark of the resiliency of Andurien's people and their unshakeable faith in their government, run in the name of a child ruler through much of the war, that they did not crack under the bloodshed and economic collapse the conflict wrought upon them. The Peace of Dieron was only the start for Andurien, which suffered for fifteen years of economic depression and sovereign bankruptcy. Prosperity has only recently returned and the State remains fiscally shaky, such that the APDF is dependent upon mercenary commands to ensure the defense of their worlds, having become in recent years the most extensive employer of mercenaries in proportion to their size and an attractive employer for struggling commands looking for quiet garrison life and a chance to replenish their ranks. The APDF has no shortage of volunteers, though, as their people never wish to suffer such invasion again. The scars of that horrible decade of invasions remain visible, physically and emotionally, to the extent that commentators have referred to the Andurien generation that came of age at the start of the century as "Andurien's Lost Generation". Given all they suffered, that they still debate the worlds taken as compensation is inspiring, perhaps even intimidating.

While the wounds of the Fourth Succession War have healed and scarred over time, time alone will tell how greatly Andurien was changed, socially and politically, from the impact of the conflict. Though she was just a child when the IOCF descended upon her world, Duchess Karla Humphreys has lived up to the title "The People's Duchess" bestowed upon her at her majority. Her popularity is great enough that it has invited seething commentary from their fellow socialists in Sudeten, and there are concerns that a cult of personality has been built around her. Duchess Karla herself has been circumspect in her public interactions, primarily leaving governance to her Council of Ministers and the Board of Trade Workers while focusing on supporting public works with the family's strained wealth and making public appearances with her family. Even if a cult of personality were to fully form, it is uncertain if she would embrace it or shun it. Some commentators speculate that the harsh violence she saw during the war, including the deaths of over half of the adult figures in her life, have left her as traumatized as her people.

Given their distance and attitude, there is no sign that the Glass has garnered much attention among the people of Andurien, though their scientific community is reportedly abuzz with curiosity of both the phenomena and our side's HPG Blackout. Aid packages to Lyran worlds struck by the fighting are reportedly being discussed and processed by various worlds and communal groups, though nothing significant has yet to come through the Glass. For the moment, Andurien seems content to focus on its own affairs.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 2nd Defenders of Andurien
    The Defenders of Andurien take pride in their command's legacy of fighting at all costs to protect the Andurien people. The 2nd Defenders have one of the more colorful backgrounds, having absorbed Mosiro guerrillas after that planet's loss in the First Andurien War of 3032. The guerrilla force, though a minority, influenced the rest of the brigade until the entire unit was known as the Ghosts of Mosiro. Their prominence was solidified by the choice to make them Andurien's contribution to the ground elements of Operation: SERPENT in 3060, where they suffered significant casualties in subduing elements of the 39th Royal BattleMech Division in the Amazonas district of South America.

When Andurien's fifty years of peace was shattered by the Oriento-Capellan Empire's invasion, the 2nd Defenders were the garrison assigned to Kanata. Facing all six of the Oriente Fusiliers brigades, the 2nd refused an offer of surrender and began a fight to the death to hold the world. They were extracted by the arrival of a Rim Commonality naval task force that drove the Empire's fleet away long enough for the 2nd to heed retreat orders, as they were desperately needed elsewhere. From 3111 to 3113 they were part of the defense of Villaneuva from OCE invasion troops. In 3114-17 they were part of the desperate defense of Andurien. Despite being at only forty percent strength after the Andurien campaign they joined the Canopian Chasseurs e Chauvel and the Gray Death Legion in retaking Kanata in 3118 and, in a fitting climax to their part in the war, joined the capture of Mosiro in 3119.

With seventy percent personnel losses and only twenty-five percent material strength left, the 2nd met the Peace of Dieron with pride and relief that the long nightmare was over, their duty done. They have since been assigned to garrison Mosiro and slowly rebuild to regular strength over the following twenty years of economic destitution and hardship. Recently they had an opportunity to display their capabilities when an apparent pirate band struck at Mosiro. The attackers seemed more interested in hitting government buildings, the homes of government leaders, and local media than regular pillaging, especially concentrating on targets associated with supporting Free Capella dissidents, but the 2nd quickly put an end to this by driving them off-world, catching the pirates by clear surprise with their capable tactics and fighting prowess. After the invasion the State Security Service investigated captured machines and remains and found some hints of connections to Warrior House Fujita, which has strenuously denied involvement in the attack and insisted it was a false flag operation. So far the Andurien government has not pressed Emperor Robert any further on the subject.

  • Chamberlain's Fusiliers
    The Fusiliers were formed in 3039 by Lady Janice Chamberlain, an exiled noblewoman of Kearny. Using every scrap of her family's fortune she could lay hands on, the unit was just large enough to win the attention of the desperate Hyades Rim Republic, who hired Chamberlain's Fusiliers on in an attempt to stop their conquest by the Brethren of the Stars and the Federated Suns. The choice proved a disaster as the Republic, true to their prior form, threw the Fusiliers and other mercenary commands into a counterattack at MacLeod's Land and promptly abandoned the mercenaries when Brethren forces arrived in great force. The Brethren was merciless and Lady Janice herself was nearly killed leading her mercenaries in a fighting retreat. Saving her command came down to accepting a Brethren offer of conditional surrender that compelled the Fusiliers to hand over half of their remaining equipment but would let them keep their DropShips and depart the system.

    This would have spelled the end of the unit if not for its next misfortune, as the Fusiliers were given a generous loan by the TUDF's Mercenary Relations Department in exchange for contracting with the TUDF. Faced with the dissolution of her unit and being left penniless, Lady Janice accepted grudgingly, and soon found her Fusiliers and dozens of other mercenary forces effectively dragooned into the TUDF's "Auxiliary Divisions". When Operation: REVIVAL launched the Fusiliers were assigned to support the second wave of the Galedon invasion force. For four months they fought in that bloody siege until they were useless in combat. The TUDF's local commanders decided to ship them back to Union territory for refurbishment, but they were instead relayed to be a garrison force in Andurien. Here the unit's fortune changed, as Lady Janice decided she'd had enough of the Terrans' abuse of her forces. When Andurien ordered the Terrans expelled in 3054, Lady Janice openly supported the People's State and offered her unit's services to assist in their expulsion. In thanks, Duke Charles approved citizenship for Lady Janice and her Fusiliers, and they became a standing force of the APDF, ultimately serving with distinction in protecting Andurien itself from the Empire during the long invasion of 3110-3117.

    Since the Peace of Dieron the Fusiliers, or at least the Chamberlains, have come home. Lady Janice passed on before the war started, but her granddaughter Joanna won permission for her unit to be assigned to her family's homeworld. Made a Lady of Andurien for her battlefield courage in preserving the People's State, Joanna has at last regained the family home as personal property and serves as the Brigadier of the Fusiliers. She was offered a chance to run for the Kearny Governing Committee but turned it down; like many of her fellow exiles living in Andurien, Joanna has embraced the Andurien way of life and eschews wielding any political power, even elective, in favor of serving the people of Kearny as their defenders.
  • 3rd People's Defense Brigade
    The 3rd was formed as one of the first People's Defense Brigades in 3039 during Duchess Elise's reformation of the old AAF to the APDF. The 3rd, like its sibling formations, is made of three combined arms regiments that includes a 'Mech battalion per regiment. It effectively forms a 'Mech regiment in this fashion but in tactical operation the formations are strictly combined arms. The 3rd was drawn from volunteers of Villaneuva and are assigned to the defense of that world and its valuable naval industries.

    They rallied the moment the invasion warning went out, and were in their trenches when the Imperial forces jumped into Villaneuva. By all projections the 3rd should have been shattered by the invading forces, led as they were by the crack 1st Dynasty Guards, but they proved tenacious even as battalion after battalion was smashed by orbital drop operations and punishing air strikes. By April 3110, their defeat seemed assured even with their hard fighting, but at that moment they turned the tables when the survivors of the 3rd Brigade's 2nd Regiment threw themselves into a surprise spoiling offensive. They were annihilated, but not before killing the command staff of the invading troops, delaying the Imperial clearing operation long enough for rescue to arrive in the form of the Gray Death Legion. With the help of Roland Carlyle's elite mercenaries the 3rd held the critical facilities until the Empire was forced to withdraw in 3111. For the next four years the 3rd rebuilt on their homeworld, repulsing occasional raids from the Harsefeld Lancers and Capellan Imperial Cavalry, until desperation forced the APDF to send them to Andurien when the planet was on the cusp of falling in 3115. After losing a quarter of their number to the Imperial blockade, the 3rd proved vital to the defense of Jojoken while other counter-attacks freed Baroda and a number of critical cities and facilities. When the Empire finally retreated in 3117, the 3rd were among those who could celebrate the victory, even if they'd lost two thirds of their comrades to wounds and death. They returned to Villaneuva as heroes of the People's State.

    The time after the Peace of Dieron has been a struggle. The 3rd Brigade has spent most of its time slowly reactivating destroyed formations as trickles of machines and manpower arrived through the 20s and 30s. For the most part their service has been civil, with 3rd Brigade 'Mechs and troopers helping with the Pineda River Valley Flood of 3125 and rescue and restoration efforts when a 8.8-scale earthquake devastated the city of Roanapur. In recent years the efforts of General Jacob Chamberlain to bring the APDF back to a minimal readiness level have seen the 3rd's war-game exercises pick up, with the unit getting special support by sparring with and learning from the mercenary Victors of the Ludus Magnus as the battle-hardened veterans recover from the fighting on Morthac in 3141.
  • Lancaster's Filibusters
    The Filibusters, like a number of mercenary bands formed in the Second Age of War, started as the exiles of a fallen Successor State. When the Lancaster Authority was conquered in 3032 by its neighbors, a force of its surviving aerospace arm was trapped in Solar Union territory. The Union leadership gave them the choice of being taken prisoner and handed over to the conquerors of their homeland or organizing as a mercenary force and accepting work with the Union. They accepted and became a prized mid-tier mercenary force known for professionalism and a deep, bitter grudge against Galedon and the Lexington Concord. They ultimately left the region, particularly after their first employers allied with their oppressors, accepting work with a number of other Successor States, all the while investing in growing their forces from their starting roots as an aerospace force with raiders in 'Mechs to a full-sized aerospace group and optimized 'Mech assault force. Where possible they recruit from the former worlds of House Lancaster, despite legal interference from Concord authorities that sometimes exceeds the Concord's own laws.

The Filibusters fought under contract with the Federated Suns during the Terran War and the Concord-Compact War, where they relished the opportunity to avenge their homeland's fall. During the Third Outback War they specifically turned down a renewal contract with the Rasalhaguans for the chance to return to House Silver-Davion and fight their old enemies once more, though they suffered extensively during the recapture of Broken Wheel in 3094 and were forced to rebuild under a garrison contract in Aurigan territory. When the Fourth Succession War came they were contracted to Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant and would participate in the short-lived victories of the Sirian Commonality campaign before the IOCF counterattacks resulted in significant losses. They joined the defense of Stewart in 3113 and participated in the breaking of both blockades of Atreus in 3115 and 3119.

At the war's end they were reduced to a company of 'Mechs and a wing and a half of exhausted aerospace pilots in a fleet of banged up DropShips, having lost their JumpShip contingent to the IOCF's navy at Atreus. When their contract with House Proctor ended in 3122, they worked briefly with Ghastillia against pirates in the Rim Frontier before accepting a contract to support defense of Andurien's own Frontier Region. For fourteen years the Filibusters have maintained this contract, agreeing to renewals as they slowly rebuilt their forces, and are much respected in the APDF for their anti-piracy effectiveness. Now up to their preferred strength of three aerospace wings backed by a combined arms regiment of 'Mechs and armored jump infantry, the Filibusters have virtually ended piracy in the Andurien Frontier systems. With their contract due to expire or renew in 3143, there is uncertainty on whether the APDF will succeed in securing a renewal or, even better, finally convince the unit to settle down and accept Andurien citizenship. For the time being, pirates give a wide berth to the frontier for fear of running into the golden-winged fighters of the Filibusters.


Magistracy of Canopus[]

SER3142-9 MoC Map

Map of Magistracy of Canopus

Ruling House: Centrella
Capital: Canopus
Ruler: Magestrix Kamea Centrella
Worlds: 131
BattleMech Regiments: 76
WarShips: 26

The Magistracy of Canopus has endured much in its history, on both sides of the Glass. As with our own, the Cisglass Canopians suffered the economic collapse of the end of the Star League, worsened with the following dissolution of the Free Worlds League. The resulting chaos saw the state forced to retrench, withdrawing its battered forces and power from the furthest frontier worlds to protect the core, only to reclaim their former frontiers in the Second Age of War. Yet this was not done easily, and for a time, the gamble at Andurien seemed destined to cause the destruction of the Magistracy and the toppling of House Centrella, with Magestrix Kyalla killed in battle and Canopus itself subjected to its first military occupation since the Star League fell. Surviving this changed the Magistracy in a number of ways that are still rippling to our modern day.

Canopus itself is the world where almost anything is allowed and the pleasures of life are celebrated with virtually no inhibition. From this world the pleasure circuses make their rounds, inside and outside the Magistracy, spreading the message of their libertine way of life to those from more restrictive cultures and societies. The healers of Canopus likewise have their reputations for excellence that has few, if any, equal even in the central Inner Sphere. The only significant change for the Canopians as a people was from the height of the Terran War when Magestrix Emma, citing the loyalty of the common folk against the blandishments of Terran propaganda, formally signed the legislation eliminating the last vestiges of indentured servitude in 3053. The Canopian people would be truly, completely free, and no fiscal debt could ever restrict that again. Emma and her successors have also worked to eliminate the remaining misandrism of Canopian culture with increasing success, though holdouts remain on a number of worlds.

Politically the Canopus on the other side has a system much like our Canopus, save that the Crimson Council was expanded by Nicoletta to take on the duties equivalent to the old Taurian Privy Council, making them a Council of Ministers as well as the overseers of Canopian nobility and the rules governing them. Their new institutional purpose has greatly superceded their old in the last few decades, especially when the strains of the Fourth Succession War demanded streamlining the advice governing the actions of the Magistracy.

Like all realms on the Periphery, Canopus has a frontier society of some renown. Emma and her successors - Nicoletta, Keona, and now Kamea - have invested significantly in restoring habitation to systems lost when the Star League fell. The decades of investment and effort, supported by hiring the finest geo-engineers from Tikonov, the Federated Suns, and elsewhere, have seen this effort blossom to fruition with the last worlds to be re-colonized considered properly resettled as of 3132. Magistrix Kamea has more recently approved the settlement of completely untouched systems between the Magistracy proper and the Aurigan Reach, although it will likely be another one or two decades before these potential colonies are established. The Special Colony Regions meanwhile operate under special legal regimes with very little in the way of customs or trade duties, encouraging commerce and settlement for those willing to face the uncertainties of the frontier. The SCRs have even been granted their own defense forces, the Colonial Marshals, who operate as part anti-pirate military garrison, part law enforcement, with individual marshals often maintaining law and order from their BattleMechs among the bustling frontier towns of the distant systems.

The MAF maintains a respectable force of seventy BattleMech regiments. Their remaining strength is found in the mercenary commands hired to help the Colonial Marshals deal with pirate incursions, while the bulk of the MAF remains on and around Canopus to deal with any conflict breaking out in the region. The naval force has a small WarShip fleet of twenty-six vessels, backed by a proportionally larger force of Picket WarShips and Fleet Carriers for border defense and supporting MAF's ground troops on campaign. A quarter of the MAF's 'Mech and naval strength is drawn from the Aurigan Reach, with their regiments and ships providing defense for Coromodir and other systems. This is as much a deterrent to the Empire as it is to the Federated Suns. Diplomatically, relations with House Silver-Davion have improved over the past half century, starting with the marriage of Vincent Davion to Nicoletta Calderon, Magestrix Nicoletta's namesake niece, in 3094. The Fourth Succession War ended this progress for a time, with a Federated Suns offensive into the Reach that was forced back, but the Suns' needs for manpower on their long front with Galedon and the Concord brought an unofficial ceasefire that the Magistracy was just as desperate for. Since the war the Suns have become a friendly state to Canopus. Likewise Andurien, once a foe, has had its friendship guaranteed by the mutual sacrifices to stop the Oriento-Capellans.

Relations with the Empire remain frosty, given Canopus' role in thwarting their conquest of Andurien and older disputes stretching back to the asylum Kyalla granted to the survivors of the anti-Liaoist Capellan Hegemony in 3036. Canopus remains a key center of support for the Free Capella movement as the homeland for the descendants of the defeated Hegemony. It is rumored that the MIM and Maskirovka continue to wage a clandestine shadow war over the latter's efforts to destabilize and undermine the movement and their support in Canopian society.

The diplomatic arrangements with House O'Reilly remain the oldest, yet also the most uncertain. Kyalla's early agreements with Sean O'Reilly undoubtedly ensured the near-disaster of the Second Andurien War, and even though the Principate would fight for their partners and help bring Emma back to Canopus, Emma would never again let her state's foreign policy be determined by alliances alone. For much of the Later Second Age of War she and her daughter maintained their ties but never devoted everything the MAF had to the interests of the Principate. Everything from their choosing of Flavius over Scipio to their post-Dieron partnership agreements has been directed by the principle that nothing will be pursued that does not benefit the Magistracy's interests, and that the survival of their state will not be jeopardized. Indeed, as of late this relationship has grown strained with the tragic death by illness of Flavius and the rise of Julia O'Reilly as Imperatrix; Julia is seen as too ambitious by many advisors in the Crimson Council, and too closely linked to the annexation of the Rim Commonality in 3126. An annexation, it is noted, made possible by the assassination of First Minister Semiha Cifti, both of which the Crimson Council and the Ebon Magistrate are said to harbor very strong views over.

Despite such reservations the Magistracy maintains ties with her neighboring Periphery power, and it was due to such ties that their flagship, the Emma Centrella, and the Canopian Highlanders brigade were dispatched to the far end of the Inner Sphere in early 3142. Together with a force from the Principate, they were due to conduct war games with the Lyran states at the Lyran system of Timkovichi, and so were a mere jump away when Training Force SIEGFRIED misjumped into our Timkovichi and forged the Looking Glass. The Canopians' naval forces burned immediately for the jump point to join the investigation. They jumped just before the Arcadians returned through the Glass, allowing their engineers to help examine and repair the jump engines of the Arcadian 1st Battle Fleet, giving them key data on the creation of the phenomena. With the war games canceled the Canopian expedition started jumping back towards home, where the Magistracy approved a humanitarian aid package that has only recently been dispatched. Other than this, no other response has been given, which is no surprise given the distance. From the point of view of the Arcadians and our own, the MAF's value is greater in keeping the Oriento-Capellan Empire honest, not trying to maintain a five hundred light year supply line through the Glass.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Canopian Lifeguards
    The Canopian Lifeguards were formed from survivors of the Canopian 1st and 2nd Royal Guards and other formations devastated by the Second Andurien War. Tasked with the protection of the Magestrix or whatever military missions she deems of high importance to the Canopian state, they are often posted to Canopus unless desperately needed at the front, though a detachment is always kept to guard the Magestrix's person. The stellar performance of their oversized battle armor battalions, primarily male due to the institutional biases of the MAF during the 3020s and 3030s, did much to contribute to the erosion of misandrism in the MAF through the Second Age of War. Rigorously trained and often with the best gear the MAF can hope to procure, the Lifeguards are an elite fighting force not to be taken lightly, as their enemies have long learned the hard way throughout the Second Age of War.

    The Fourth Succession War saw the Lifeguards at their peak, fighting to hold Andurien under the command of the heiress Keona Centrella-Arano. Repeated battles ground the unit down, but with their future Magestrix in her 'Mech and at their side, the Lifeguards rebounded from every setback and frequently made the Empire pay in blood for every centimeter of Andurien soil. They liberated Jojoken twice in the company of the 1st Defenders of Andurien, shattered the 2nd Allison Heavy Guards in the Bhutal Heights, and broke the 3115 offensive of the Warrior Houses before they could outflank the defenses of Jojoken. Combat losses forced them to withdraw from Andurien after that desperate battle, returning to Canopus with their wounded and bleeding commander in tow. Before they could return to the front Magestrix Nicoletta's death forced Keona to assume the throne. She chose to keep the Lifeguards out of the fighting unless forced to join as a strategic reserve. That moment came in 3119 when they joined a joint APDF/MAF/mercenary force in capturing Kearny from the Empire, the most important offensive victory on that front and a contributing factor to the mutual exhaustion that enabled the success of peace at the Congress of Dieron a year later.

    Since the Peace of Dieron the Lifeguards have rebuilt to their full strength. They remain posted on Canopus to fulfill their primary mission, the defense of the Magestrix, who has not seen fit to deploy them since the Peace. As with her mother, command of the Lifeguards fell to Kamea Centrella-Arano, until Keona's death in 3139 led to Kamea's ascension to the Crimson and Cormorant Thrones. The Lifeguards were called upon to fulfill the somber duty of attending their commander's funeral ceremony and impressed many with their bearing and skill in the affair. Now under the command of Auli'i Centrella-Arano, the younger sister of the Magestrix, the Lifeguards remain at their stations for the day when they might be needed in battle once more.
  • 4th Canopian Grenadiers
    The 4th Grenadiers are hailed as "The Magestrix's Own", a title they proved in a proud if painful fashion in 3036 when they died alongside Magestrix Kyalla in resisting the Harsefeld invasion of Canopus. A few survivors took to the brush and maintained an insurgency for nearly a year before the arrival of Kyalla's daughter Emma and a task force of Canopian and Principate troops arrived to reclaim the planet. With the war ended before either side could finish the other off, the 4th were reformed around these hardened survivors, and would serve proudly as heavy forces throughout the remaining Second Age of War.

    In the Fourth Succession War they were among the first regiments to hit the ground in the Relief of Andurien, though they lost a third of their number on the way through the Imperial blockade ships. They would fight on that world for three years until their losses and the need to reform the MAF's formations saw their withdrawal with the rest of their assigned MAF Army formation. Returned to service in 3117, they saw to the Third Battle of Lopez and would support the capture of Shiro from Oriento-Capellan forces late the following year. The final battles were ferocious and the unit was back to forty-percent strength when the Peace of Dieron ended the war.

    As part of the 4th Army Group formation of the MAF, the 4th Grenadiers are responsible for the defense of the border area meeting the Principate and Andurien, meaning they would be the first to the line should the Empire ever attempt to reclaim Kearny. Moving worlds every three to four years, they train with the rest of their comrades to maintain cohesion in the event the Peace of Dieron fails.
  • Canopian Highlanders
    The Canopian Highlanders are the trouble-shooter regiment of the MAF, without permanent assignment to local army commands so that they can move to whichever area needs a force of shock troop 'Mechs and armored infantry or raid freely as the strategic circumstances demand. The unit is organized for flexibility and to meet multiple tactical needs simultaneously with whatever forces they have available, with command officers chosen to best employ this approach. They have gained a reputation for taking in officers considered trouble-makers in more orthodox regiments, making the Highlanders unpredictable and, for a number of outside officers, harder to work with. Under Magestrix Emma's reorganization of the 3040s the Highlanders became the model for the Canopian Raider Regiments, which emulate the Highlanders' tactics albeit with a greater focus on speed and striking capability over the shock elements.

    The Fourth Succession War saw the Highlanders rushed to Andurien with a scratch naval force that sacrificed itself to insert the regiment onto the embattled capital without losses. That began the first of three two year tours on Andurien for the Highlanders, each campaign seeing a mix of success and defeats against the IOCF troops trying to secure Andurien for the Imperial Capellan State. Their final tour saw their greatest triumph in liberating the city of Baroda alongside the Arano Royal Guards, driving the 1st Sian Dragoons from the second city of Andurien with significant losses to both. When the Empire withdrew from Andurien in 3117, the Highlanders were down to barely two-fifths of their regulation strength, and the hardened veterans were exhausted. They would sit out most of the following campaigns before commencing one final strike in 3119, landing on Casleraigne to secure the planet for Andurien as part of the final offensives of the war.

    With the Fourth Succession War over, the Highlanders returned to their typical duties of moving about the Magistracy, dealing with local troubles or helping to repulse rampaging pirates trying to exploit the broken forces of the former combatants. In 3130, they were assigned to the Aurigan Reach and stopped cold an effort by the 4th Capellan Chargers to seize the new colony on Midthun, one of the few times the Empire's forces were the instigators of a threat to the Peace of Dieron. When Magestrix Kamea agreed to a series of wargames with her Principate allies to be held with the Lyran Alliance, she picked the Highlanders to be the land force contingent, sending them to far off Timkovichi for the SIEGFRIED war games. Reportedly the unit was very disappointed when they were given the orders to return instead of getting to join the Arcadians in "smashing those bird people flat". They are now en route to Saonara to take up new duty stations in the region.
  • Arano Royal Guard
    The bodyguard unit of House Arano has undergone many changes from its humble roots. At one point reduced to a mere company of MechWarriors fighting alongside the Canopians during the Terran War, the Arano Royal Guard today is a brigade-sized force and the elite unit of the Aurigan Reach's contribution to the Magistracy. Typically assigned to Coromodir they are forward deployed where necessary, much like their Canopian counterparts.

    The Fourth Succession War would see the unit initially held down protecting the Reach from the nearby might of the Federated Suns, particularly in the first months of the war. They led the repulse of the 3rd Taurian Volunteers RCT from Mechdur in August 3110 and counter-raided to Larsha, where they provided surplus armaments to local Taurian nationalist insurgents. In 3111, the 5th Federated Suns Grenadiers RCT met the Royal Guard in a spirited battle on Guldra that saw the Guard triumphant but badly battered. After two more years of rebuilding and protecting the Reach, an unofficial truce agreement between the Federated Suns and the Magistracy saw the Royal Guard freed to face its greatest test. They were dispatched with a relief force to the embattled world of Andurien, where they lost a tenth of their number just burning in-system against ferocious Imperial naval and aerospace interdiction. Once planetside they became part of the ongoing campaign to expel the Empire from the planet. In 3115, they joined the Canopian Highlanders in expelling the 1st Sian Dragoons from Baroda. The following year they were successful in holding Callan from the 3rd Dynasty Guards in the Empire's last gasp effort to break the resistance around Jojoken. When the IOCF finally abandoned the invasion in 3117, the Royal Guard were down to half their manpower in active personnel and forty percent of their material strength. They were rebuilt to two-thirds strength before being employed to seize Repulse from the Empire, utterly destroying the surviving units of the 3rd Knights of Liao in a two week campaign where the Liaoists asked no quarter and gave less.

    With the Peace of Dieron signed the Arano Royal Guard returned home. These past two decades they have rebuilt to full strength and have regained as much of their wartime edge as the peace allows. The old days of skirmishing with AFFS forces are over, and the IOCF has with few exceptions remained quiet as well. After the attack on Midthun, Regent Mateo Arano in defiance of his instructions from Canopus, dispatched the Royal Guard to Renown with a strong naval and aerospace force and utterly destroyed the 4th Chargers in their base, a retaliation for the attack. On the Regent's orders the Guards forcibly freed the prisoners of all the planet's state-run prisons and Maskirovka holding facilities. Many of the political dissidents chose to return with the Royal Guard to Coromodir while those that didn't started an insurgency against the Oriento-Capellans that still lingers to this day. Regent Arano was harshly rebuked and had his command authority suspended in favor of a general dispatched from Canopus, but the Aurigan Council in turn backed Mateo and ultimately prevailed in compelling the Crimson Council into backing off on the matter. Since that time no further IOCF forces have struck at Aurigan worlds and the Royal Guard have remained in their bases on Coromodir, training for whenever the Reach and the Magistracy may next need them.

Flavian Principate[]

SER3142-10 Flavian Principate Map

Map of Flavian Principate

Ruling House: House O’Reilly
Capital: Alphard
Ruler: Imperatrix Julia O’Reilly
Worlds: 240
BattleMech Regiments: 160
WarShips: 98

The Marian Hegemony's reputation has always been a sinister one for those of us in the Republic; a brutal, aggressive empire on the Periphery, openly practicing slavery and raiding their neighbors for forced labor. Yet they have never achieved the heights of the other side's Marians, the most successful Periphery-based Successor State either Inner Sphere has ever known. They were the great terror of the early Second Age of War, an army of brutal and efficient legions advancing from the dark to enslave worlds for the glory of their reborn Roman society. The propaganda of many Successor States made slavering monsters out of them as worlds like Cavanaugh, Timbiqui, Bolan, Tamarind, and Buena fell to their armies, and the Terrans would single them out for the most voracious propaganda in their attempts to split the Successor States during the Terran War. Yet with their expansion came much-needed social and economic reform, including the repudiation of the very slavery that drove their need for expansion in the first place.

The Principate is a semi-republican imperial monarchy, as the Senate has a number of powers that in conjunction with the ministers and judiciary can restrain the ruler, who holds the titles of Imperator and Princeps, representing military and civilian authority. While Imperator has long been the title of the ruler of House O'Reilly, Princeps came into use under Corvus O'Reilly when he reformed the Hegemony into the Principate, with the Imperator title going to whichever of his chosen heirs or trusted advisors needed to wield powers over the military. In more recent years, this practice has ended, with Flavius and his daughter Julia holding both titles and Julia publicly favoring the Imperatrix title over Princeps, a commentary on her harsher world view over that of her father.

The Patrician class remains as a nobility that has seen much retraction of its power this past century, typically escalating every time they attempted to roll the process back and restore their powers and their right to hold slaves. Failed coups in 3040 and 3069 led to nothing but executed patrician leaders and their most successful moment, the rise of Scipio O'Reilly's Dominate in 3095, was lost to Scipio's ambition to conquer the Royal Federation and his failure on Arcadia. The restoration of the Principate in 3100 broke the class's remaining brakes on political reform and they are today a much-weakened noble caste, reliant upon manipulating the factions of the Senate to achieve any goals. Yet the surviving patricians remain wealthy and influential in business and industry and their views must still be weighed at the Imperial Court.

Socially the legacy of the past continues to drive the dynamics of Alphard's "new Rome". For those from Alphard and the core of the old original Marian state, the years of rapid expansion and conquest are still called the Anni Gloriae. The various legions proudly bear the battle honors and standards they won on their advance into the Inner Sphere and the warriors of that era are considered the great heroes of the modern state. While contradictory reports are not outright repressed, it is not welcome to speak of the "other side" of those conquests among the conquerors. The accounts of suffering from both war and the families destroyed by the seizure of captives for the slave trade are dismissed as overwrought if not dangerous to the "dignity of the State", an attitude that is found even among those who claim descent from the victims given how well they have assimilated. Pride in the Principate's victories and great empire is widespread and entrenched and nothing will be allowed to sully it, not even the truth. This pride was best demonstrated when the centennial of the conquest of Bolan saw a spike in anti-Arcadian sentiment from the memory of Die Rettungsaktion, with Arcadian MechWarrior gladiators booed in the colosseums and widespread memorials to the fallen gladiators of the Gladiator Auxilia. During the commemoration a series of Senate speeches repeated old claims of House Umayr's responsibility for their own conquest as part of new thundering denunciations of the Bolanese and their "plots against our Principate", joined two years later by similar remarks about House Shah of Tamarind. The KING of Pilpala, the local dynastic ruler in charge of captured Bolanese worlds and an advocate of resuming conquest, was quick to support this action, and the speeches coincided with suspected raids against the Royal Federation by Principate forces that were disavowed but quietly celebrated by many on Alphard. Given the Imperial Court's continued focus on the Capellan threat, the populace's willingness to support attacks on a natural ally against the Empire is an ongoing frustration.

Criticisms of the Years of Glory are rather more accepted in other parts of the Principate but to varying degrees of annoyance for bringing up such a divisive issue when it is a history many wish to put behind them. With a hundred years now separating most of these worlds from their pre-Principate past the sting has been lost and generations that have only known O'Reilly rule have led to a degree of assimilation, with many worlds' cities now boasting public forums for local debate, Latin a common language for instruction alongside Star League English, and recruitment to the legions touted as a way to advance for all citizens regardless of background. The respecting of local customs by officialdom from Alphard has greatly benefited this process, allowing for a joint identity between one's locality and the Principate as a whole to form for many. Only along the borders to older loyalties still hold sway, particularly around Tamarind, Bolan, and along the Ghastillian border in the Rim Worlds, and in the former Bolanese worlds, the KING of Pilpala has often overstepped his legal bounds to punish and abuse dissidents against Principate control, causing more headaches for the Imperial Court.

Yet the greatest exception to this assimilation are the worlds of the newest province of the Principate. The Rim Province, as it is called, is made up of the worlds of the Rim Commonality at the time of its merger into the Principate in 3126. The plebiscite approving the merger won narrowly and dissent against the loss of their independence remains steady. Some among Alphard grumble at the "Commonals' ingratitude" given the horrible shape of their economy at the time of merger which cost many trillions of denarii and has held back the Principate's recovery from the Fourth Succession War. In recent years incidents with the legions assigned to Tematagi and other worlds in the area have escalated and sparked alarms of an insurgency led by the most prominent opponent of the merger, Halime Cifti, who has since emigrated to the People's State of Andurien and used that nation's open debate laws to maintain harsh invective aimed at the Principate for the annexation. Publically many have accused Cifti of becoming an Maskirovoka agent, including the Imperatrix Julia who has made clear Halime Cifti's arrest for sedition would be carried out immediately upon her return to any world held by the Principate, even if it would undoubtedly inflame the situation.

To enforce her will anywhere in the Principate, Julia has the same tool all Imperators have enjoyed: the Legions. Trained in strict, sometimes brutal discipline, the Principate Legions have rebuilt their formations from their desperate situation after the defeat at Kearny and the loss of many formations during the Empire's offensive to Tematagi. They employ a unique organizational structure for combined arms warfare, with each legion built around two or three regiments worth of BattleMechs as the core of individual cohorts. The scope of warfare in the Cisglass means each legion is most often assigned to a planet together, though on some fronts they are assigned by cohort depending upon the importance of the worlds and the threat on those fronts. Supporting the frontline legions are the Feoderati, the Auxilia, and the Limitanei. The former are typically units of great renown from conquered worlds who, despite being conquered, impressed the legions that faced them, but they also consist of local province-based formations or the personal forces of local subordinate rulers like the Prince of Regulus, the KING of Pilpala, or the Director of the Niops Associated Province. Most of the surviving RCAF units were folded into the Foederati upon the merger due to their regional character, though individual officers of great talent were inducted into the legions where possible (that is, where they did not resign rather than accept the reassignment). The Auxilia are of comparable quality but tend to be legionary formations raised as support forces for the BattleMech legions or by specific groups, the most famous of these being the Gladiator Auxilia, With some exceptions like the Gladiators, the Auxilia favor vehicle and infantry units over BattleMechs with usually just a battalion worth of 'Mechs per cohort. The final force, the Limitanei, are formed from local militia volunteers as garrison troops, organized primarily as planetary cohorts built around battalions of older BattleMechs. While these forces, especially Limitanei, do not serve under legionary discipline, they are respected regardless and have been employed offensively since the campaigns of the Anni Gloriae.

As with all the Cisglass Successor States, the Principate enjoys a powerful navy, indeed it is one of the strongest with nearly a hundred WarShips in service backed by a powerful support fleet of DropShips. While initially not a naval power when they began their expansion the needs of the fighting with Oriente's mighty navy compelled Imperator Corvus to serious investment into the naval strength of the Principate, and his successors followed suit. Losses in the Fourth Succession War have yet to be fully replaced due to the economic issues in the former Rim Commonality, but in light of the recent Oriento-Capellan naval buildup the Senate has approved more denarii for naval construction, and efforts are underway to finish restoring the shipyard facilities of Tematagi and Karachi for expanding the Principate's Navy.

The same naval buildup led to the Principate's agreement to participate in the planned Lyran Alliance war games on Timkovichi in 3142. A mixed detachment of WarShips led by the Corvus O'Reilly and III Legio were dispatched on the long journey, putting them in place when the Glass was formed one system over. The engineers of the naval element were invited to assist in the checks to ensure the Arcadian 1st Battle Fleet and the Ghastillian Woden Battle Group were fit for further jumps, giving them a chance to learn more of the phenomena and how it afflicts JumpShips and WarShips. This information has already been relayed to Alphard for study and the SIEGFRIED contingent are returning to Principate space. By all accounts Imperatrix Julia has no interest in joining the effort against the Clans, though publicly has voiced support for Arcadian intervention. Some speculation from Alphard watchers believe this is a mere diplomatic gesture and the Imperatrix is not happy with Nathaniel for the distraction from the threat of the Empire. It is clear nothing is to be expected from the Principate when it comes to supporting Nathaniel's intervention. They have other matters they wish to focus on.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • IX Legio
    The ninth of House O'Reilly's legions has a unique history to go with its extensive battle honors. They were exiled along with their commander, Lucius O'Reilly, in the early 31st Century and would become the famous mercenary band Boyz Movers, a highly prized and sought group. After coming to power Corvus revoked Lucius' exile and formally restored the unit to the rolls. A few of its remaining members formed the core of a new IX Legio that, starting with the relief of McAffe in 3042, would go on to become one of the top legions of the PAF.
    Along with VI Legio, IX Legio remained loyal to the Principate when Scipio took over, joining Flavius O'Reilly in Canopian exile and repulsing Scipio's loyalists in their invasions of the Magistracy. They were particularly thorough in clearing Alphard of the patricians' forces in 3100 to the extent Flavius had to order them to stand down. In the Fourth Succession War they captured Aitutaki and participated in the Fifth Battle of Nullarbor in 3114, losing their entire III Cohors to the Oriente Fusiliers and Free Worlds Guards but prevailing with their comrades in driving the IOCF from the system. In 3116 they participated in the greatest victory of the war, the conquest of Regulus, capturing the Palace of Mirrors in Regulus City and forcing the surrender of the 3rd Regulan Hussars of the IOCF. Given their losses through the conflict they were left on Regulus as the core of the defense forces, sparing them from the disaster at Kearny. Through 3118 and 3119 they dug in and repulsed repeated attacks by the IOCF's Regulan Hussars and the 1st Allison Heavy Guard, maintaining the Principate/Rim Commonality grip on the planet and ensuring that at the Peace of Dieron it was kept as the trophy of the Principate.

    Despite their losses IX Legio was the most intact frontline legion at war's end. This made them perfect for the role of troubleshooter and IX Legio was given priority for transport assets to allow them to deploy wherever necessary to meet trouble, whether it was to stare down the KING at his palace on Binyang or to reinforce systems near Tamarind against rumored insurgencies backed by House Shah. Among the ranks of IX Legio today are some of the most promising junior officers from the Collegium Bellorum Imperial, the most prominent of them being Cohors I's newest commanding officer, Legate Mark O'Reilly, the great-grandson of Lucius O'Reilly and one of the Principate's preeminent MechWarriors and field commanders. Should the Peace of Dieron fail, it is expected Legate O'Reilly and IX Legio will be prominent in whatever new glories are claimed by the Legions.
  • Gladiator Auxilia (Gladiators Legion)
    The Gladiator Auxilia were formed in 3032 from a surplus of old worn-down 'Mechs that came into the possession of the MHAF. The unit's core came when Richard Cox of the infamous Solaris Roadshow gifted the contracts of his active MechWarriors to the Imperator Sean who elevated the most promising to suitable ranks, made Cox their (honorary) Prefect, and employed them for the conquest of Bolan. They did better than expected and pleased their skeptical MHAF comrades during the first phase of the campaign, but nearly met their end when they were confronted by the elite Arcadian Rangers at the start of Die Rettungsaktion in 3034. They fought back tenaciously before being swept aside As a matter of pride, the furious Imperator ordered their reconstitution with the best gear the Hegemony could afford, and they would be returned to the rolls as a frontline-quality formation.

    By the Fourth Succession War the Gladiators were legends to the people of the Principate and had become something akin to the French Foreign Legion of ancient Terra, with Solaris and other centers of gladiatorial combat often seeing recruiters for the Gladiators' Legion gaining their pick of desperate and determined fighters from every Successor State with the promise of Principate citizenship upon a five year term of service in the Legion. They played roles in the Fifth and Sixth Battles of Nullarbor and the capture of Camlann and were part of the second wave that hit Regulus in 3116. Their relative lack of losses in the Regulus victory proved their undoing as they were selected for the first wave of Principate and Rim Commonality forces that hit Kearny in early 3118. This spared them the ambush in space but left them to fight a long, bitter, and ultimately unsuccessful campaign that saw the surrender or death of over nine-tenths of the legion after several weeks of brutal conflict. A small band of MechWarriors and infantry fighters organized by Centurion Lupe Zari fled into the bush and maintained a small-scale guerrilla resistance. Despite dwindling supplies and constant losses Zari's troops continued to fight, salvaging whatever they could when necessary and waging hit-and-run strikes on the IOCF units hunting them. Their war ended when their positions were relieved by the 5th Andurien Rangers when Canopian-Andurien forces took Kearny. Imperator Flavius ordered them returned to Alphard as heroes and declared games to be held in their honor, at which he decorated Centurion Zari and the survivors with the Order of Corvus for their actions.

    In the years following the Peace of Dieron the Gladiator Legion has rebuilt. The legend continues to attract numerous recruits who are looking for adventure, resulting in many being turned away from lack of billets or failure to prove gladiatorial background. The people of Alphard and other Principate worlds continue to glorify the unit as a symbol of the martial greatness of their civilization and ensure its continued support by less-admiring superiors in the PAF, who are compelled by the Senate and popular demand to ensure the Gladiators are outfitted with gear befitting the Principate Legions and not Foederati. In recent years the Gladiators have been employed on security duties in the Tematagia Province and are currently posted on Camlann, a move that has certainly drawn the eye of the Maskirovka.
  • Pilpala Foederati Legio (The KING of Pilpala's Legion)
    Among the stories of the early Second Age of War, this unit's foundation is one of the stranger. The ruler of Pilpala in the 3030s was a vainglorious but effective maniac who affected a persona based off a 20th Century Terran musician and referred to himself as "the KING of Pilpala". He attempted to carve his own small statelet out of the People's State of Andurien in the First Andurien War. When that war ended with an intact Andurien state, the KING was forced to back down, choosing to flee to the Marian Hegemony with his troops and everything he could loot from his conquests. After fighting for the Hegemony in the conquest of the Bolan Principality he was granted holdings from the fallen nation as a vassal ruler of the Marian Imperator. From there the KING would grow his forces to their legionary status of today and remain one of the more controversial and colorful figures of the Second Age of War.

    Though welcomed by Imperator Sean, the KING would prove a nuisance to Corvus and his Principate, often rallying other regional leaders against the reforms Corvus sought. In his final years the KING enthusiastically embraced Scipio's Dominate and dispatched his legion to aid the conquest of the Royal Federation, participating in the captures of Bolan and Kitzingen. Tasked with conquering Senftenberg and the 'Mech factories of that world, his forces and supporting Auxilia were in a hard fight with the 4th Dar-es-Salaam Cavalry and the mercenaries of the Gravediggers in 3099. While the planet was nearly taken Scipio's defeat at Arcadia forced the Principate to pull back, beginning a retreat that saw all of the Pilpala Legion's victories undone and cost him the planet Ellijay, one of his original holdings. The KING passed his lands and title on to a son in 3101 who would be a costly thorn in the side of both Imperator Flavius and the Royal Federation, being a primary instigator in the Hidden Front fighting of the Fourth Succession War and deploying his Foederati against Arcadian forces repeatedly. This included three battles for Ellijay, a defense of Binyang, and raids as far as Zvolen before the 3116 Truce of Tamarind was signed and imposed on the KING by Flavius' local commanders. As part of this effort the Pilpala Legion was redirected to the Imperial front where it would fight to hold Norfolk from the Empire in a successful twenty month defensive campaign. They returned with plentiful Imperial salvage to rebuild their severe losses from.

    During these quiet decades the KING has kept his legion fighting strong, often lending his cohors formations to the Circinian Foederati to fight pirates. There are rumors he has done far more, as during the 3133-3137 time period a series of raids struck worlds across the Royal Federation's Principality of Bolan. Though they were fought off they succeeded at times in capturing new equipment and materials from Federation factories, also occasionally head-hunting and killing senior Principality officials. The attacks ceased after the Bolan Heavy Guards caught and smashed a raiding force on Finsterwalde, destroying the better half of a battalion-sized formation. Though they had no markings it was reported they fought in Principate-style as a coherent century and ConcertWatch records showed losses recorded for the Pilpala Legion's II Cohors of similar scope, though they were stated to have been destroyed protecting Althastan from a major pirate attack in late 3136. It is no surprise that Flavius, in one of his final acts before his death from illness in 3137, dispatched II Legio to Binyang to "observe" the border. It remains in the region today and the raids have ceased since its arrival. The Pilpala Legion is now concentrated on Binyang as well and the two formations are rumored to have deteriorating relations over these past few years. Time will tell if an incident occurs or if the KING finally manages the influence on Alphard to force Imperatrix Julia to recall II Legio from his lands.
  • I Rim Foederati Legio (1st Rim Commonality Cuirassiers)
    The Rim Commonality Cuirassiers were the main frontline force of their armies and the 1st Cuirassiers the elite spear of that force. Before and during the Second Age of War the 1st Cuirassiers participated in some of the Commonality's greatest victories and even in defeat made their enemies, typically the IOCF, bleed.

    In the Fourth Succession War they were often at the front and, in raw numbers, were completely rebuilt twice over. They fought multiple battles for Camlann, Nullarbor, and Ngake, endured losses in the failed offensive toward Shenwan in 3113, and participated in the triumph on Regulus in 3116. When the Kearny disaster occurred they were dug-in on Camlann, but forced to retreat as the IOCF crashed over the border in great numbers. Called back to defend Tematagi, they struggled for months to hold what they could of the capital but ultimately, with over sixty percent losses, retreated to protect First Minister Semiha Cifti on her own withdrawal to Karachi to keep the government of the Commonality functioning. Rebuilt from what scraps could be gathered of the 2nd, 4th, 7th, and 9th Cuirassiers and the 11th Commonality Uhlans, the 1st Cuirassiers were at full strength for the last gasp effort to reclaim the capital in 3119. Nearly a fifth of the brigade were destroyed piercing the Imperial blockade squadrons. Once planet-side the 1st and their comrades quickly struck the IOCF forces and eliminated the remnants of the 8th Capellan Chargers in the field. This early victory prompted the IOCF to withdraw for strategic considerations, allowing the 1st Cuirassiers the repayment of their shame for directly contributing to their world's liberation and likely allowed for the concessions offered by the Empire at Dieron.

    The 1st Cuirassiers endured the following years of economic depravity as best they could, but it was not easy. Cuts in soldier pay were mandated by the government's bankruptcy. The collapse of the Commonality lira destroyed the value of their remaining pay. Yet they soldiered on until after the assassination of First Minister Cifti and the historic plebiscite to join the Flavian Principate. The 1st, as with most of the RCAF, voted in the majority against the union, but despite the protests of Halime Cifti and her refusers the 1st accepted the results. They were folded into the the legions as the First Rim Foederati Legion, absorbing more of their fellow units to fit the multiple-regiment organization of the PAF. As a burden this was accepted, but trouble came in 3132 when the PAF ordered transfers of several top-performing MechWarriors into the rebuilt XI Legio. Only one quarter of the two companies of Commonality MechWarriors accepted the transfers outright; the remainder submitted requests to remain with their unit. The PAF personnel department on Alphard refused and mandated the transfers. All eighteen MechWarriors instead tendered their resignations. An infuriated military bureaucracy stripped them of their pensions as punishment and sparked a fresh wave of resignations and growing public protest inside the former Commonality. Imperator Flavius intervened and ordered the pensions be honored, which halted the crisis and smoothed the issue. I Rim Legio has been transferred to Regulus as of 3141, seen by some as punishment for the unit by pulling them out of the old Commonality, though also explained by the withdrawal of VI Legio from the border as a gesture of reassurance to the Oriento-Capellan Empire. If anything, while the Cuirassiers' loyalty to Alphard can be considered shaky, they will still stand to protect their worlds from the common foe.

Royal Federation[]

SER3142-11 Royal Federation Map

Map of Royal Federation

Ruling House: House Proctor
Capital: Arcadia
Ruler: High King Nathaniel Proctor
Worlds: 300
BattleMech Regiments: 173
WarShips: 110

The Royal Federation of Arcadia and Donegal, sometimes called "the Arcadian Federation", is currently the most prominent of the Cisglass Successor States to become involved in our Inner Sphere. Given its control of much of the heart of the old Lyran Commonwealth, the massive factory complexes of Hesperus, the Isle of Skye and New Earth, and some of the most developed regions of the former Free Worlds League, it is not surprising that economically the Federation is one of the leading Successor States. However, it is not any Lyran or Leaguer enjoyment of trade and commerce that drives their interventionist impulse. That comes from the same influence that allows Houses Marik and Steiner to co-exist in the same political framework.

As its name implies, the Federation is not a unitary social body. Much like other large Successor States it has a number of regional and planetary cultural influences, and these are balanced politically by representation in the Parliament on Arcadia. For those familiar with our Inner Sphere, the idea of one insignificant border world being a major capital over that of Tharkad or Atreus may seem to solely come from its rough mid-point position between the two, or some other form of compromise. But the Arcadia of the Cisglass was a world very much transformed by its experiences in the Collapse. The defeat of the powerful warlords controlling the planet and the rise of House Proctor led to an economic and political renaissance that set Arcadia on the path to becoming the capital of a new Successor State; the Arcadian Free March, which through diplomacy, conquest, dynastic merger, and internal reform became the Royal Federation of today. While Donegal, Hesperus, Skye, and Atreus have all contributed their own influence to the Federation's character, the Arcadians and their culture provide the binding that fuses these disparate pieces together. It is no mere blend of bordering cultures either but a unique construct born from the ideals of Sara Proctor and the Liberation Army she led. The Arcadians' society is driven by concepts of human dignity and the role of what they often call Providence: a divine influence (the character of which varies by one's own religious faith) that has shaped them and their expectations towards themselves and others. They fervently believe in natural rights for all Mankind and that the Crown and other government is tasked with defending and upholding those rights, but not in granting them, as it is through the divine alone that rights are bestowed. It is a principle they have fought for in the past, often cited in their opposition to the reborn Capellan State and the Draconis Combine.

That is not to say the Royal Federation are simply zealous crusaders or moralizing aggressors. They have been both, but they have also shown a capacity for shrewd statecraft and pragmatism in their interactions with the other Successor States. Nor are they a unified bloc of purpose, not with the disparate interests and needs of all their constituent pieces. The Parliament has seen its own share of heated debates on many key issues and one of the greatest challenges that House Proctor(-Steiner) faces is balancing the component regions of the Federation and their disparate interests. Parliament and the Crown, which expresses the authority of the executive through the Privy Council and the Ministries that make up His or Her Majesty's Government, often squabble over matters even as the Crown mediates the disputes between the regional and policy-driven parties elected to Parliament. Unlike the old Free Worlds League institution it shares a name with or the Commonwealth's Estates General, the Federation Parliament is a bicameral body with an Assembly of delegations by world apportioned by population and a Senate that gives each world two votes. The resulting legislature is rather large, with six hundred Senators and over thirteen hundred Assemblypersons, who often vote in company with others of their region or policy bloc.

Militarily the Armed Forces of the Royal Federation are closer to what we would expect from a Lyran or Davion military, based upon combined arms formations of Divisions or slightly smaller Regimental Combat Teams. Their most particular characteristic is their use of square divisions instead of the standard triangular formations born from SLDF practice. Every regiment of armor, infantry, or BattleMechs has four, not three, component battalions. An Arcadian BattleMech regiment has an official field strength of over one hundred and seventy BattleMechs, providing their regiments a good deal of extra combat power at the cost of increasing regimental command structures by a third the size of other formations. An additional quirk is the widespread embrace of OmniPod technology such that Arcadian formations are those of the Cisglass that most resemble a Clan frontline touman, including use of a variety of OmniFighters and OmniVehicles. This comes at a cost of expanding their logistical train and required technical support personnel, but given the variety of foes the AFRF has faced on the battlefield through the Second Age of War, it is understandable this doctrine became so dominant.

The recent decades have been particularly fraught with political difficulty as most of the legislators have feuded openly with the Crown over the expansive rearmament proposals of the AFRF. Operation MORNING STAR and the debacle at Sirius and Procyon created a wedge between the military and Crown, who plotted that invasion, and Parliament, who opposed it when it came and have since been tight-fisted with arms expansions. Because of this the Royal Federation has never undone its post-Dieron retraction, merely filling out its surviving units, with only one new RCT added to their ranks since Dieron. The naval rebuilding program has likewise been parsimonious, repairing existing hulls and filling out the authorized squadrons but with no significant new construction. With the exception of the Defense Bloc, many members of Parliament deeply distrust the AFRF Command Staff and argue expanding the military would lead to more adventurism against the Concert of the Sphere. A slight reversal of this policy came in the 3140 elections where the Defense Bloc overpassed the pro-Dieron Concert Bloc in seats, so now neither side holds a plurality in either of Parliament's chambers and the balance is decided by the Labour and Corporate Blocs. A new expanded naval program was pressed through Parliament in the following session and efforts began to expand the ground forces as well. Yet even there the regional interests restrain the Defense Bloc as many of their new seats come from Arcturus, Alexandria, and Porrima Marches. Those voters are more worried about the violent actions of the Draconis Combine, not the threat of the Oriento-Capellans. Efforts in Parliament to press the AFRF Command Staff's anti-Capellan positions have thus faltered.

Besides the difficulties between the AFRF and Parliament the Federation has suffered from a lack of strong direction in leadership. High Queen Jacqueline's hatred of the Peace was unmistakable and her bitterness towards the failures in 3123 and the political situation threw the entire Crown Government apparatus into a deep malaise. She withheld any activism or direction, only following through on the required ceremonial duties of her position and leaving whomever she had as Lord of the Privy Council to set agendas. Her energies were diverted towards seeing to her orphaned grandson Nathaniel's upbringing and pushing herself in 'Mech simulators and with disarmed 'Mech battles. In the resulting drift the regional interests have pulled the weakened administration in various directions. The Lyrantreu, a political movement devoted to transforming the Federation into a restored Lyran Commonwealth (and to the promotion of House Steiner alone as the ruling house), have become a visible political and institutional force, particularly in sections of the AFRF, with attendant institutional pushback against any blatant "Lyran nationalist" displays that have caused public scandals and, from the non-Lyran-identifying worlds, constant outrage. Skye and Tamarind separatism have likewise cropped up, citing the perceived failure of the government on Arcadia to see to their defense. In the Principality of Atreus, the Fortress Party took third place in the Principality's legislative elections of 3140 and advocate a curtailing of domestic liberties and a strong military expansion to counter the threat of Maskirovka subversion and Imperial invasion. At all points, Jacqueline rebuffed requests for her to more directly involve herself and continued to focus on her 'Mech duels and related entertainment. This led to her premature death in May 3142 in an accident that saw her cockpit crushed.

With Jacqueline gone, her twenty-six year old grandson Nathaniel ascended to the throne, and with it the Royal Federation's political system shook once more. Nathaniel appointed his grand-uncle Prince Peter to lead the Privy Council and immediately pressed his own agenda of reinforcing, not challenging, the Concert of the Sphere. Over vigorous protest from members of his Command Staff Nathaniel negotiated directly with Emperor Robert Halas-Liao for mutual drawdowns of their border troops. He has turned down desired appointments to key military positions and promoted his own picks, typically officers accepting of the Peace of Dieron. In his addresses to Parliament he stated his opposition to significant rearmament, citing the growing naval arms race as "a threat not just to our peace and tranquility, nor just to our unprecedented prosperity, but to all of Humanity". Nathaniel openly backs the expansion of the Rural Medical Service and the formation of the proposed Federal Health Service and the Higher Education Initiative, all opposed by the Defense Bloc as distractions from rearmament. While there is nothing unique or new about this activity, as prior monarchs publicly voiced support for civic legislation or social improvement movements, the Royal Federation's political system is undergoing the equivalent of shock therapy as two decades of neglect from the Crown left many institutionally unprepared for Nathaniel's activity. The Federation's economic strength is providing the necessary weight to keep the state's balance, at least, otherwise the situation would likely be socially volatile as well as unsettling.

It was in this environment that the Timkovichi Event brought its own shockwave. The possibility of any Clan coming through the Glass is a strategic complication the Royal Federation, at this time, can ill-afford. Nathaniel was quick to assert that something needed to be done about the Clan threat and approved his troops' raids on Great X and Morges and reinforcements to guard Timkovichi. He was publicly supportive of Lady Trillian Steiner-Davion's mission to Arcadia. Unsurprisingly he has met stern, almost extreme resistance from various quarters, especially among those favoring harsher stances against the Empire or the Combine, with their publications excoriating him for "fighting the wrong enemy". Even his allies in the Concert bloc have been critical for his shift into supporting armaments expansion. His strongest support has ironically come from two normally-opposed blocs, the Corporate and Labor Blocs, out of economic and ideological concerns. In many ways he was fortunate the Falcons attacked Timkovichi again. The Clans' aggressiveness could no longer be ignored by the rest of the government. Between that strike and the footage from Morges Nathaniel finally won the votes to secure his alliance with the Lyrans. In the coming months, Federation forces will be the most numerous of those powers intervening through the Glass. All that remains to be seen is if they will beat the Wolves to Tharkad and, either way, if they can finally stop the Clan advance into the Commonwealth or turn it back.

(I have another concern. Nathaniel is leading his army. If he falls like Thaddeus Marik, what will that mean for the Royal Federation's intervention? We need more intelligence on the figures in the line of succession to judge. — Lady Janella)

<{What I want to know is why the AFRF's naval contingent at Timkovichi was so anemic. The Lyrans had an accurate count of the Falcon WarShip fleet and we know they shared their intelligence. The Federation's Command Staff had to know that a cruiser wouldn't be enough. Was it some sort of trap by Nathaniel, to goad the Falcons into trying something so he could use it politically? Or was it his own subordinates undermining him by withholding necessary forces? If the high officers on Arcadia are sabotaging him it might turn his expedition into a disaster. — Paladin Heather GioAvanti}>

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Proctor Heavy Guards
    The Proctor Heavy Guards were formed as part of the establishment of the Household Guards Corps in 3041. The Proctor Heavy Guards would by far become the most successful of the new formations, an elite heavy force that continues to field only the finest pilots, infantry soldiers, and tank crews with the best 'Mechs and fighting machines the Royal Federation's industries can provide. High King Ethan Proctor-Steiner, his younger sibling Nathaniel, and a number of other members of House Proctor have served with the unit over the decades, tying the Heavy Guards extensively to the ruling family. It remains the most sought-after posting in the entire AFRF.

    As one might expect they had an extensive list of campaigns during the Fourth Succession War. High King Ethan led them in his invasion of the Grand Duchy of Oriente after the Empire attacked Andurien. After early victories they were met by the entire complement of Oriente's Knightly Orders on Nova Roma in 3111, suffering a reversal due to the enemy concentration. Ethan's wounding in battle would prove mortal and the Heavy Guards were forced into a retreat that caused them extensive losses. They would be rebuilt to participate in the defense of Campbelton, the liberation of Tongatapu, and the 3115 relief of Atreus. In 3116, they joined an attempt to take New Olympia that ended in a staged withdrawal from the arrival of heavy Imperial reinforcements diverted from Regulus. With losses mounting across the AFRF they were rotated to Arcadia for a time to prepare for a final strategic push and were dropped on Sirius in 3119, where they prevailed at the cost of a third of their manpower and two-fifths their machines. The entire unit was shaken as among the slain was the Prince of Atreus, James Proctor-Steiner. After the Peace of Dieron they withdrew as their final victory was undone by the diplomacy at Dieron.

    The loss of the Royal Heir and having their victory snatched away made the Heavy Guards all the more willing to fight hard when MORNING STAR was launched in 3123. The IOCF being ready for the attack did not stop the Guards from inflicting severe losses on the 2nd Sirian Lancers in their efforts to capture Gyn City. The order to withdraw caused several resignations across the Division's command staff in protest. The unit's shaken morale took years to rebuild from and they have not seen combat since. Now under the veteran command of Major General Katherine Tremaine the Heavy Guards have by all accounts recovered from their disappointments of the recent past.. A long tour in the Atreus Theater was due to end with rotation to Arcadia for capital defense duty, but the Glass changed those plans. High King Nathaniel has mobilized his father's old unit to join him on the expedition to the Lyran Commonwealth and they will soon be seeing action against the Wolf Clan's victorious warriors, a battle many of their number are said to be eager for.
  • 8th Strikers
    The Striker Corps grew out of March-Prince William Proctor's need to counter House Rayhan's capable raiding units during the Arcadian-Rayhannid War of the 2990s. Initially a collection of raiding 'Mech battalions with VTOL support, the most famous of these skilled formations was the 8th Striker Battalion, the legendary Sunhawks. Reactivated as a full regiment in 3035 due to the pressing needs of the Free March, the 8th lived up to their reputation. From the morale-raising cavalry raid on Coventry in the War of Donegalian Succession to the raid on New Earth in 3055 that damaged multiple Terran war plants, the 8th Strikers could be counted upon to hurt the enemies of the Federation at any point.

    They were active on both fronts of the Fourth Succession War, with repeated raids on Imperial targets in the early years, including a descent on Regulus in 3113, then their transfer to the Rasalhaguan front later that year that saw their successful support of the defense of Buckminster, their raids on Benjamin, Cadiz, and Mersa Matruh in 3116, and their role in thwarting the Galedonian buildup on Tukayyid in 3117. Despite their combat losses they were shifted to the Imperial front once more and joined the reclaiming of Irian in 3118, successfully hitting several command posts of the 2nd Irian Hussars and the 5th Sirian Lancers that enabled the success of the invasion. By the end of the war the Sunhawks were exhausted but intact, having maintained one of the most active battle histories of all AFRF units in the entire war.

    They have also been the most active combat unit in the AFRF since the Peace of Dieron, participating in Operation MORNING STAR in '23 and Operation SOVEREIGN SON in '34. The latter saw the Sunhawks at their best, bedeviling the 5th Sword of Light and other DCMS units during the entire campaign on Vega. Since those operations the 8th has primarily remained in the Donegal and Arcadia Theaters as a strategic reserve, rotating between worlds and conducting war game training with other line units. They were the natural choice for the SIEGFRIED war games and were the first Arcadian unit on the scene when the Timkovichi Event happened. Their victory over Malvina Hazen and her Golden Ordun, and the holovids of the event spreading across the Inner Sphere, has made the Sunhawks the most prominent face of the AFRF in our Inner Sphere. They remain on our side of the Glass and will undoubtedly play some role in the Arcadian intervention campaign, though we cannot be sure what role it will be at this time.
  • 4th Skye Rangers
    The Skye Rangers have a long and storied history on both sides of the Glass. Forced to leave by a failed revolt against the Teutonism of the Federal Skye Republic, Defiance CEO Greydon Brewer convinced them to return to Lyran territory and serve the Consolidant, which they did on the condition that House Brewer commit to a liberation of Skye from the Teutonists. The fulfillment of this promise in the First Skye War won the Rangers' loyalty permanently. While they were effectively destroyed three times during the earlier part of the Second Age of War, the 4th was repeatedly re-activated to maintain loyalty on Skye. The bonds of loyalty were strengthened by the assignment of two generations of heiresses for Defiance-Hesperus, with Mathilda Brewer-Steiner and her daughter Jacqueline Proctor-Steiner serving in the 4th through their military careers.

    The 4th Succession War saw the 4th Rangers winning early victories, capturing Marfik and Cebelrai before being committed to the invasion of Azami-held Vega. The arrival of Galedonian forces and their direct assault on the Hesperan and Arcadian forces saw the 4th nearly destroyed yet again and their commander, Princess Jacqueline, permanently crippled and sent home to take her father's vacant throne. As High Queen Jacqueline insisted upon their reconstitution and they would be brought back into service for the fighting on the Galedon and Azami fronts, playing a key role in the taking of Kessel and extracting the 17th Skye Rangers from utter destruction on Dromini. In 3119, they landed on Procyon and succeeded in their objectives, just to be required to hand the world back over in the Peace of Dieron. It was a sour ending to a difficult war.

    It is no surprise the 4th Rangers happily participated in a return to Procyon in 3123, and were even more upset by their forced withdrawal, with wide scale resignations in their command staff over the decision. Being High Queen Jacqueline's former unit, and enjoying the AFRF Procurement Department's largesse at her command, ensured they have not seen the same resurgence in Skye nationalism that other Ranger units have. Their ongoing trouble with Azami raiders had an unexpected repercussion two years later when the 4th Rangers were one of the units sent to Northwind for joint exercises with the Compact militaries in the WALLACE war game series. While planners attempted to keep the formations part, a mistake in scheduling saw the 2nd Azami Confederation Cavalry and 4th Rangers crossing one another's paths during trips to the field. This should not have been a problem since all the 'Mechs were loaded with dummy ammunition rounds and depowered energy weapons, but the two formations quickly came to blows regardless in what was described as "a scrum" by observing Davion troops. Nearly three hundred BattleMechs began a vicious melee brawl that resulted in several severe injuries and millions of C-Bills worth of damages to both sides until the Davion Heavy Guards and their own commanders broke the two sides up. The units were confined to barracks and kept out of future exercises for the duration of the war games. The AFRF made a serious effort to punish the 4th Skye over the affair but were undermined by High Queen Jacqueline's initial response quickly becoming known across the service: "Did we win?" The 4th are currently posted to guard CBM-Lockheed's Glengarry factories from any further Azami raids or Combine attack. Their loyalty appears to remain steady in comparison to the other Ranger units' dislike of Nathaniel and his "distance" from the people of Skye.
  • 1st Atrean Dragoons
    Destroyed by the fall of the Atrean Kingdom in the 30th Century, the Atrean Dragoons were brought back to service by the Marik Commonwealth as a personal unit of the Duke-General. The unit was one of many utterly destroyed when the Commonwealth collapsed in the Second Skye War. In 3040, they were reconstituted by the AFRF and would soon win distinction fighting to hold Atreus from the near-overwhelming invasion of the Oriento-Capellans in 3041. They quickly became the standard-bearing formation of House Marik and the Principality of Atreus and often get the best recruits and machines to come from the academies and factories of the Principality.

    The unit's Fourth Succession War history is, like many, one of conquest, retreat, and defense. The spearhead of the Royal Federation's "Right Hook" into Oriente in 3110, they helped secure Aitutaki and Harmony early in the war, but after new year they were stopped in a bitter fight on Tiber against the Fusiliers of Oriente and the Knights of the Red Sword. The Imperial counterattack reclaimed those lost worlds and starting in 3113 the 1st Atrean Dragoons were compelled to fight hard to hold their homeworld against a determined Imperial invasion of twenty months' duration. Battered by this experience they were kept in reserve for rebuilding. The AFRF's final effort against the Empire started in 3117 and the 1st Atrean Dragoons were tasked for the third wave, but the great Imperial victory at Kearny and following invasion of the Rim Commonality and Principality of Atreus saw the 1st instead fighting to hold Atreus City itself from the combined might of Oriente's Knightly Orders. The months of desperate struggle saw the unit on the verge of utter defeat when relief forces finally pushed through the Imperial blockade and compelled the withdrawal of the enemy. When 3119 ended barely a quarter of the 1st Atrean Dragoons remained intact, with many of their best and brightest among the slain.

    Rebuilding from the Fourth Succession War was a matter of pride for House Marik. Archduke Kenneth applied every lever of power he had on Arcadia to secure the financial and industrial resources to restore the Atrean Dragoons, with the 1st receiving reinforcement first. Today they are an elite force who are dedicated to protecting Atreus and its Principality. Their loyalty to the Federation as a whole can be more measured although, unlike Skye and Tamarind, Marik Commonwealth or Atrean separatism has not become a major issue. It is more the point that the 1st will fight best if they are fighting for their homeworld and House Marik. High King Nathaniel's final statements before departing for the Glass made clear his own confidence that they will safeguard the Atrean people from any Imperial attack, a measure calculated to reassure the 1st and their comrades of Nathaniel's understanding of their position and support for their efforts.

Kingdom of Ghastillia[]

SER3142-12 Kingdom of Ghastillia Map

Map of Kingdom of Ghastillia

Ruling House: None
Capital: Inarcs
Ruler: Konigin Gerda Bradford (of Coventry)
Worlds: 243
BattleMech Regiments: 110
WarShips: 78

Despite its unfamiliar name the Kingdom of Ghastillia is a recognizable consequence of the Collapse, from a historic and sociological perspective. Part Rim Worlder, part Lyran refugee, the Königreich Ghastern is a blend of cultures molded by being on the fringes of the Inner Sphere during its darkest time. The most prosperous worlds came together as a necessity with an ever-increasing amount of pirate activity in the region to balance out each other’s weakness. Initially the House of Evrjois held the sole claim to the throne. This nearly led to the collapse of the fledgling nation which turned to an elected model as a means to ensuring political stability among the noble houses, with the capital shifted to the valuable industrial world of Inarcs as part of this reform. They are for all intents and purposes a Periphery power and retain a certain ruthless streak of pragmatism from that.

The Kingdom's system is fairly confederal on most matters, especially local ones. Each world is considered its own component politically, with the ruler of that world represented directly on Inarcs' Parlament der Planeten by a chosen delegate (though sometimes an elected one, if the local world's government is democratic in nature). The only divisions in the Kingdom are the GAF's system of Military Districts and Local Defense Commands or LDCs. Though civil law is often world by world, the central state maintains strict authority on all matters of security or "vital economic matters" as well as a modest baseline of laws to adhere to. The major corporate bodies like Blackstone on Inarcs have been effectively turned into state ventures with private investments treated akin to state bonds. The legislature on Inarcs primarily exists as a council to advise the König or Königin and to elect a new ruler whenever the prior ruler dies or retires. The election is not a democratic one by any means, as only planetary rulers are considered and whoever wields the greatest influence in Parliament becomes the new ruler. The ruler's power can be restrained by legislative majorities on many issues but has the power to direct the military and foreign policy as they please. All rulers so far have been nobility if not noble-born, given the opportunity for elevation to the nobility extended to those who serve in the Ghastillian military or civic services. As with most Successor States on either side of the Glass, most commoners will never be elevated nor have much opportunity to be.

Maintaining the safety and security of the populace is the highest duty of the monarch. As commander of the armed forces and director of foreign policy the Königin is responsible for war and peace and the ultimate arbiter of all military affairs. Alliances are made or ended on their authority. Ministries overseen by the Königin administer the realm and ensure that the planets of the Kingdom provide their yearly tax dues, allowing the ruler to focus on the most important issues. In recent years that has been the restoration of Ghastillian arms to their full might as it was in 3110 and completing the remaining phases of the Rim Resettlement Initiative. The restoration of habitation to all former systems of the Rim Worlds within reach has greatly expanded the size of the Kingdom at the cost of significant economic investment that restrained any idea of swiftly rearming following Dieron. Yet this use of the peace dividend is due to have profound economic effects as more and more migration, including from other states, fills the restored worlds and expands the manpower and tax base of the Kingdom. The GAF has begun expanding, re-activating units left off the rolls since the losses of the Fourth Succession War, and their Navy is beginning heavy ship construction after years of focusing on the corvettes, destroyers, and DropShips needed to fight pirates in the Rim Resettlement Zones. After years of staying with more standard Inner Sphere practice, many of the Ghastillian Grenadier Regiments are returning to their old organization of a hexagonal formation, with six Battle Groups focused around a battalion of BattleMechs in each regiment. This makes them as heavier in 'Mechs than any other formation short of a Principate Legion but with an approach to combined arms closer to that of the RAF's formations.

The frontier itself has become virtually its own society. A melange of peoples from across the Inner Sphere have turned worlds like Farcry into melting pots. The frontier colonists are assertive, loud, and willing to make demands of Inarcs and back them up with action. Ghastillian troops have occasionally been forced to compel colonial authorities into obeying the Kingdom's instructions. Piracy remains a recurring issue given how wide open these systems are and probable bases on systems not yet surveyed and resettled. Recent escalations in piracy have compelled the assignment of growing numbers of GAF regiments and naval assets. The proximity to forces in the Principate's Circinius and Pilpala Provinces and the Communal League's border systems have caused no end of incidents and arguments over pursuit of piracy, including mutual accusations of attacks disguised as pirate strikes. On one front it is often in conjunction with activity by Rim World Irredentists on both sides of the border, on the other, Communal League Vanguardists launching "liberation" raids or "retaliation attacks" with attendant reprisals. Hasty negotiations by Arcadia and Rasalhague backed by Concert pressure have relaxed the issues on the League border, somewhat, but Ghastillia's troops in the region are on alert for further problems.

Ghastillia's ability to focus its forces on its far borders and the frontier is greatly aided by its long-standing alliance with the Royal Federation. For a century, since Ghastillia's intervention into the War of Donegalian Succession, Inarcs and Arcadia have maintained the Lyran Alliance despite the occasional disagreement. That their long frontier with one another can be left thinly garrisoned allows both states to focus their troops on more dangerous sectors. Military hardware and technology are widely shared; Ghastillia's Improved Heavy Gauss Rifle is found in Arcadian armories just as Federation Variable Focus ER PPCs are found in Ghastillian units, and a number of 'Mech and vehicle designs are likewise shared. Economically, the Royal Federation has been the greatest foreign investor in Ghastillian colonial efforts with many companies and interests involved in the expansion of the Rim Resettlement worlds.

Yet there are cracks in their alliance. Ghastillian expansionists bitterly resent the Arcadians pressing the Peace of Buckminster upon them in 3113 instead of winning them a better border with the League. Economic competition sometimes brings trouble to the diplomatic situation. The Kingdom is also vigilant for any further rise in influence by the Lyrantreu faction in Arcadia. Said movement is seen as a threat to the Kingdom's future given their avowed desire to restore the old Lyran Commonwealth and, given the number of ex-New Commonwealth worlds under the Kingdom, they already have a native spring of potential support for any Lyran restoration. Continued Arcadian animosity with the Azami and Oriento-Capellans are resented and not of concern to the Kingdom, which would rather see its ally ready to fight COMINTERSTEL or the Principate. That the alliance continues shows how minor these points are, or more precisely, how minor they appear to be against the century of economic and military cooperation. With the Lyran Alliance states' economies so tightly inter-linked, an end to their alliance would be a disaster for both.

It is undoubtedly for this reason that Königin Bradford agreed to host the SIEGFRIED war games on her territory at Atocongo and Timkovichi. The Timkovichi Event has had its own disruptive effect upon the Ghastillians. While the Arcadians have been the most assertive in intervention, the Clan threat against Atocongo has seen Ghastillian support for at least some intervention grow steadily despite Königin Bradford's noted lack of enthusiasm. Ghastillian troops participated in the crushing of the Hell's Horses Beta Galaxy outside Greyholm and the tactical observations are being circulated among those Ghastillian forces slated to join the intervention through the Glass. It is yet uncertain if they will be fighting the Falcons, the Wolves, or the Horses, though it is Huyten's estimate the Horses will be their focus. If anything, it will keep them separate from the Communal League and reduce the risk of blue-on-blue fire incidents.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • 4th Ghastillian Grenadiers
    The Grenadiers are the shock troops of the GAF and the Fourth have long stood out as among the best of them. During the Second Age of War, the 4th were pivotal in many engagements and led the charge in expanding the Kingdom's territory and securing its frontier with the volatile Communal League. They would be effectively destroyed in the opening battles of the Terran War, defending Blackstone Industries' main 'Mech plant on Inarcs to the very last, and were reconstituted swiftly to prosecute the war with the Terrans, culminating in isolating and compelling the surrender of the Terran Union's Eleventh Royal BattleMech Division while operating in the Indus River Valley. They would be the Ghastillian unit to advance the furthest from their borders in the Concord-Compact War, assisting in the recapture of Chesterton from Concord troops but at significant cost that caused political ramifications back on Inarcs.

    Called to the front in the Fourth Succession War and the Lyran Alliance's GAUNTLET invasion of the Communal League, the Grenadiers were triumphant on Kikuyu and Alyina before joining the invasion of Antares. They would be called upon to hold the line against the First Communal Guards and Fourth Autonomous Shock Brigade when those elite formations nearly broke into the retreating GAF's LZs. They held the line and ensured the escape of their comrades, but most of the unit was either destroyed in orbit or forced to capitulate. Rebuilt partially the Fourth would see action across the Rasalhague front after the Peace of Buckminster, ultimately meeting the Peace of Dieron as at fifty-percent material and manpower strength.

    The need to deal with the domestic upheaval from the war and the costs of the renewed colonization program delayed the Fourth's restoration into the 3130s. This did allow for the unit to be the first to be returned to the traditional flexible GAF unitt style compared to the hodgepodge war losses left them in after the Peace of Dieron. An engagement on Kikuyu in 3140 against suspected members of the Second Autonomous Brigade of the CLAF resulted in the repulsion of the raid and a demonstration the Fourth was back in form. This undoubtedly led to the unit's inclusion in the SIEGFRIED war games that resulted in their participation in the Timkovichi Event. The Fourth's assault companies conducted a textbook assault landing right on the Hell's Horses Beta Galaxy, smashing up the Six Hundred and Sixty-Sixth Mechanized Assault Cluster in a sharp firefight. They have been posted to Atocongo since the Event, but are undoubtedly on the short list of units the GAF will send to fight the Clans now that they have formally allied with the Lyran Commonwealth.
  • First Winter Lancers
    As the name suggests the First Winter Lancers were founded on the planet of Winter. Initially as a means of scrapping together whatever was available to defend the planet from pirate attacks, the Lancers became the standard for Ghastillia’s mobile light forces. They specialize in raiding and counter raiding strikes with the First being the premier example in the entire Ghastillian Armed forces. There is little in the way of official information on the First Lancers' known decorations given the nature of some of their operations, presumably because it would undermine the Ghastillian government's diplomatic efforts or internal issues. The First started to truly gain their fame during the Terran Crusade after rebuilding from initial losses and beginning repeated long raiding campaigns against enemy targets deep into Terran-held territory.

    In the Fourth Succession War the First Lancers became a prominent GAF force from the start of GAUNTLET, winning a key victory on Babaeski and maintaining deep raids that tied down multiple CLAF Communal Militias and other forces to prevent their reinforcing the front. After Buckminster they were unleashed on Galedon, launching deep raids through occupied territory to cut up Galedonian garrison forces and seize supplies, most of which they distributed to active Rasalhaguan partisans. In 3114 the First was part of WINTER DRAKE and landed with their erstwhile CLAF enemies to clear the Galedonians from Rasalhague itself. They joined the Arcadian Eighth Strikers for a deep raid on Pesht in 3116 and would provide strategic support for the Tenth Strikers' descent on Tok Do by raiding Mersa Matruh and Benjamin. These engagements gradually took their toll and by the Peace of Dieron the First were at forty-five percent strength despite absorbing the shattered pieces of the Eighth, Tenth, and Eleventh Winter Lancers.

    Since the Peace of Dieron, the Winter Lancers have again become a ghost. Their postings are seldomly publicly noted, though never outright hidden, allowing for the unit to disappear for months, even years, with less fuss than if their postings were made public. While ConcertWatch has proven adept at discovering the unit's position anyway, the time frame of 3137 to 3140 remains an enigma, and upon their noted return to Winter itself for a "garrison cycle" ConcertWatch noted the unit had several changes in command that included new officers and the official records noting a number of former personnel having been listed as KIA during the missing time period. The most obvious answer is the First were up to their old tricks of launching deniable strikes. The only question, and one likely to never be known, is just where they fought and what causes they died for.

    (Materials discovered by Huyten strongly imply the First Lancers were involved in some sort of campaign in the Deep Periphery, most likely in what we call the Hanseatic League. But we have no way of knowing just who they were fighting, and why. — Lady Janella)
  • Second Ghastillian Regulars
    The Ghastillian Regulars can be considered the building blocks around which other units get added depending on the mission requirements, switching from offensive to defensive assignment as needed. While not the most well known unit of the GAF the Second Regulars have a storied history across the Second Age of War, waging successful defensive battles from the First Skye War straight through to the Vanguard War. They are often seen as the epitome of the Regulars brigades of the GAF in their solid battle history holding the line against COMINTERSTEL, Terrans, and Concord forces throughout the Second Age.

    During the Fourth Succession War the Second Regulars were flank guards for the main offensive, striking along the Peripheryward flank of the thrust at Antares and spared involvement in the disaster there. The Second would be the anchor on which the GAF held firm on Kikuyu in 3112. With their losses easily replaced the Second were one of the earliest units sent to the counterattack against Galedon following the Peace of Buckminster., supporting the relief of New Oslo, a victorious campaign marred by several incidents of friendly fire with the CLAF's Fourth Autonomous Brigade. These incidents would be a hard lesson learned and result in the future division of GAF and CLAF units in other supporting operations through the rest of the war. Late in the war the liberation of Schuyler saw the Second Regulars suffer their highest losses of the war in plunging through the lines of the Ninth Izanagi Warriors and the Twelfth Hartshill Regulars to relieve an ISF prison camp upon reports of the impending slaughter of the captives. Though several hundred Rasalhaguan civilians lost their lives in the executions, the Second's charge liberated the camp before the thousands of hostages and captives could be killed. The Second managed to hold the camp from counterattacks until the Fourth Snow Dragons and the Tungsten Division arrived to support them. Their losses left them at forty percent strength in material and at nearly half their manpower, resulting in their withdrawal from the front and a hero's welcome on Inarcs.

    Since the Peace of Dieron the Second Regulars have been deployed to Melissia as a mobile counterforce in case of Communal incursions. They were the first Regulars formation restored to their official paper strength after the war and often circulate personnel in and out of other Regular brigades due to their pivotal position. The unit has seen little action these past twenty years, but there has been combat. In 3136, they they deployed a Battle Group to the Snowden system to fight pirates. Most notable was the 3138 raid on Melissia by the Fifth Autonomous Brigade. The latter battle caused significant material losses among one of the battle groups that got exposed while repulsing the Communalist forces, but the Communal raid was compelled to retreat before reaching their target. The Second was thanked by the Duke by having Blackstone assume the costs of their replacements and provide two companies of top-quality BattleMechs and OmniMechs for their line formations. The GAF shows no indication of changing their assignment soon, even with the formation of the Glass.
  • Twenty-Fifth Ghastillian Heavy Defense Brigade "Mangeurs de Feu"
    The GAF's heavy defense brigade formations were formed in response to increasing raids by the Communal League in the early Second Age of War. The Twenty-Fifth has become the most respected of these formations for their history of defiant stands against even the greatest odds. The GAF's noted disapproval of official unit nicknames has been waived given their war record, particularly their famous defense of Timehri's military industries in 3050 when Terran forces employed tactical-scale nuclear weapons on the Twenty-Fifth and only managed to bend their defensive lines. Since that engagement the Twenty-Fifth has been known to all as the Mangeurs de Feu: "The Fire Eaters."

    Their Fourth Succession War record reflects similar tenacity. The Twenty-Fifth was deployed to Kooken's Pleasure Pit as a defensive force after it fell to GAF units in GAUNTLET. After the setback at Antares the planet was hit by a counter-invasion of the Thirtieth and Forty-Ninth Communal Workers' Brigades, the Ninth Communal Guards, and the Eleventh Shock Brigade. The Twenty-Fifth managed to escape after repeated bloody stands against the odds, though between battlefield losses and interceptions in space they lost over half their number, including all of their wing of aerospace fighters and supporting DropShip gunships. They were posted to Timehri for rebuilding before being rotated to shore up GAF defenses along the Principate border, where they repeatedly engaged mercenaries and auxilia as part of the Hidden Front conflict. They would be returned to the front in time to join the Fifth Battle of Buckminster and hold off the last-ditch Galedonian invasion of that world in 3119, ending the war as damaged as they'd been after Kooken's Pleasure Pit.

    Following the Peace of Dieron the Twenty-Fifth was rebuilt to full strength and was returned to defensive service on Timehri. While they have not seen action since Buckminster their commanding officers frequently train the unit to maintain them at a higher fighting standard than other Defense Brigades, such that ConcertWatch rates them as the only Heavy Defense Brigade at Veteran quality. Once the Glass was formed and the nature of the Clan threat made known the Twenty-Fifth was deployed to Atocongo to support the Fourth Grenadiers' defense of that world. The Arcadians proposed that the Twenty-Fifth be deployed to Transglass Timkovichi alongside the Second Royal Cuirassiers, but this was refused by direct order of Königin Bradford. Many feel this reflects her true disapproval of intervention even with the current alliance being signed, though it may simply be concern for her worlds being struck through the Glass. Undoubtedly had the Twenty-Fifth been deployed on Timkovichi the second engagement with the Falcons might have gone very differently. (Brigadier Huyten's report makes clear that had they participated, Chistu would have had a far more difficult time trying to conquer the planet. Though that might have been to everyone's detriment if it led to the Mongols seizing command and committing the Falcons' WarShips. — Lady Janella)

Communal League of Sudeten[]

SER3142-13 Communal League of Sudeten Map

Map of Communal League of Sudeten

Ruling House: None
Capital: Sudeten
Ruler: First Speaker Karl Luvacs
Worlds: 116
BattleMech Regiments: 86 (estimated)
WarShips: 73

(Much like the Combine and Concord the official ConcertWatch count is considered conservative, though for wildly different reasons. The truth is the Communal League military is a strange creature by the standards of regular House militaries or even Clan toumans. One result of their unconventional structure is that BattleMechs are widely dispersed to their equivalent of local planetary militia, the kind that our analysts and those of ConcertWatch never count since they rarely have BattleMechs in strategically-significant numbers. Yet with the League, Arcadian, and Ghastillian military intelligence estimate that ConcertWatch's official figure may be as low as half the actual count of BattleMech regiments available for service given how dispersed the machines are among the Communal Militia forces. — Lady Janella)

<(Would be like fighting a Caledonian porcupine, I imagine, if you're fighting significant 'Mech forces on every single planet. — Paladin-Examplar David MacKinnon)>

The Cisglass Inner Sphere has a number of states that would be outliers by our standard. But for scale of sheer difference from the norm, only the Clans can match the Communal League for variation from the norm. They began as a local revolt on Sudeten against a tyrannical noble oligarchy on Antares and became the bogeyman and nightmare for every major corporate CEO and noble family in the Inner Sphere. That they have survived so long despite this reflects the sheer passion their system of governance has inspired in many of the peoples in the League, though their alliance with Rasalhague has certainly helped.

While both Inner Spheres have known "socialist" agitation for over a millennium, and a number of worlds in multiple Houses maintain local economies that broadly conform to the theories of Marx, Bukanin, and other anti-capitalist economists across the centuries, the League is an entire interstellar state built upon the more libertarian wing of anti-capitalist economics. The League itself claims ideological descent from the Catalonian wing of the 20th Century Spanish revolutionaries, incorporating the three-pointed red star of the Spanish Popular Front in their national insignia along with the green star flag of their chosen national language, the constructed language Esperanto. Much like Andurien their society is in a state of constant churn, with direct democracy, no nobility, and a distrust for any government concept that doesn't involve democratically-elected officials and officers. Each planet of the League enjoys tremendous local autonomy with collective assemblies governing each world. Regional Councils elected by the planetary populations likewise oversee local interstellar governance, primarily in matters of interplanetary trade and commerce, and the League Communal Assembly in Hamarr on Sudeten serves as a central authority to guide the League as a whole, electing from their number the First Speaker and the Chairpersons of the League's Commissions of Governance, including the powerful War and Economic Commissions that overseen the CLAF on one hand and cooperate with the powerful labor groups and trade unions on the other. They are often influential in their own right, the most prominent example being War Chairman Pawel Zuk, who remains the longest-serving War Chairman due to his service from 3051 until his (some say forced) retirement in 3075. Yet such longevity is by far the exception to the rule; few hold a Commission Chair for longer than a year due to the tug-of-war that is Communal politics. It is not unknown for politicians to retire from public service after a few short years of significant office-holding.

While this is similar to Andurien, what is not is their outlook. The League's central premise is that the rest of the Inner Sphere, with little exception, toils under hideously oppressive socio-economic systems rooted in the inequities of monarchism and capitalism. They consider expansion to be a revolutionary duty to not only strengthen the League by gaining new pools of manpower and resources but to free the peoples of captured worlds from the grip of their oppressors. Andurien and Rasalhague are outliers in the respect they are shown (and among the most extreme even that is not universal) and other states considered inherently illegitimate for their institutions. Only "revolutionary prudence" restrains the League in this respect and sees them exchange ambassadors with other non-socialist states. It is nevertheless their sworn intent to see all traces of aristocracy and capitalism wiped from the Inner Sphere, a cause that their population seems to wholly embrace and which has won them many converts from every corner of the Inner Sphere.

The question of how vigorously to press revolution into the rest of the Inner Sphere has long been a cleavage point in League internal politics, and while not the only matter of note, is one of the most acute. The Vanguards are the most aggressive of the factions, arguing that the League should always be fomenting revolution on its borders and wrenching populations away from their neighbors in lieu of the day of a final grand assault to smash capitalism and feudalism. The Unionists tend to be less aggressive though still supporting pressing ahead where "local conditions" allow, with a greater focus on internal development and preventing the rise of "socialist authoritarianism" that they see the Vanguardists as prone to. The third major political force, the Communalists, are determined to avoid centralization of political power in favor of the continued authority of local communes and councils and the Communal Militias. They are not so much against expansion as they are fearful of the government power effective expansion may entail.

The defense and expansion of the League's revolution is the task of the Communal League Armed Forces. As a military service they are as revolutionary as their society, with only senior field and flag officers having official military officer commissions and academy education and the smaller field units under the command of NCOs. The Communal League Army and Navies are as one would expect, with an emphasis on aggressive firepower-based warfare, logistical support, and the commanders on the scene having great leeway to follow their initiative even if it contradicts those in higher authority. They are joined by the Militia as its own branch, responsible for protecting worlds and varying from the sort of green planetary militia our analysts would barely recognize exists to semi-professionally-drilled divisions of BattleMechs, armor, and power-armored infantry that are closer to the Triarii than the old Standing Guard of the Republic. They are likewise the strongest concentration of Communalist political power in the CLAF. The League Corps of Engineers, the Unconventional Operations Group, and the Carabineers all operate to perform other tasks involving the League's mission, including roles in inducting newly-acquired worlds and securing (and enforcing) the loyalty of their new citizens. Separate but linked to these forces are the Autonomous Brigades, who effectively operate on their own and cooperate with the Army and UOG as befits their own elected commanders and command councils' plans and interests. They are not simply an elite force, the League's equivalent to Stone's Brigade, but a self-governing force. Most, but not all, of these units are the flag-bearers of the Vanguardist cause and usually cooperate with the UOG on promoting revolution outside the league.

In terms of wider society only broad strokes are feasible within the scope of this report. Local planets enjoy wide latitude for most measures of self-rule, including local cultures and ways of life being protected and defended under League communalist principle. Esperanto is the language of interplanetary and interstellar government but League law requires local language be respected when officialdom print new laws, regulations, or acts. Star League English remains a popular trading tongue along the borders of the League and retains some traction in the interior. State-supported public education reinforces language education and ensures the League remains one of the most polyglottic societies in the Cisglass.

The obvious exception to the laws and rules allowing wide latitude in local rule is that all local governments are required to adhere to revolutionary principles and do not act to undermine the League as a whole. As one might imagine this can be a tricky distinction and there is often fierce debate about where a local community's obligations to the collective whole begins and their autonomy ends. The Communalist faction are the champions of the local governments while the Vanguardists the most ready to declare "parochialism" a threat to the League's revolutionary mission. The Unionists likewise strain against the Communalists even if they too act to restrain Vanguardist excess and aggression. This has arguably kept the League from following the path of many revolutionary ideological governments in placing steel boots to the necks of their own populaces, but it makes for ferocious and unstable political infighting.

Much like our Republic, League citizenship, or at least voting citizenship, requires service — either in the CLAF or civil or public service groups like the Communal Civic Corps and Kuracistoj sen limoj (Doctors without borders) — that can vary from a standard five year term to ten years for those who seek and complete MechWarrior training in the CLAF. Immigrants to the League are particularly valued for CLAF duty, especially with the UOG, as they make useful analysts on their worlds and states of birth and can form cadres of ready-made Communal-style local government and militia in the event their worlds are targeted. Beyond such military service, regular citizens work their jobs, vote for the policies of their specific farm or mine or factory or shop, vote for their political representatives, and enjoy holidays and entertainment, most of them communal. Public theaters, musical performances, and sporting events are preferred over private at-home tri-vee and HV broadcast, though the latter are not banned. The ideology of the League is the extolling of individuals working willingly as part of the greater whole while gaining their fair share of the products of their labor. Syndicalist and anarchist theory predominate over more rigid, command economy ideologies, ensuring choice if causing occasional collisions of interest or problems with those looking to capitalize on the system. That is not to say there is not push back for those who argue for greater individual gain or anything that might be seen as "counter-revolutionary" thought or action, and too much of the latter will see the Carabineers or other forces coming into play if the individual is seen as actively disturbing the League's peace or militantly supporting "counter-revolution". But the League does not have match the stereotype of other "socialistic" states like the perception of the Capellans, with the Communalists and most Unionists breaking down every attempt at forming anything approaching a powerful interior secret police force. Social shunning and being overlooked for any positions of responsibility are the usual methods of dealing with those who dissent from the communalist model their locality employs, with encouraged emigration to other communities, or even outside of the League entirely, the usual remedy if reconciliation proves impossible. There is a steady trickle of such "anti-communalists" emigrating to Ghastillia, Rasalhague, and the Royal Federation along with returning migrants disillusioned for one reason or another.

Those who instead seek to violently resist the communalist way will find the Carabineers and Communal Militias more than ready to enforce the law with armed might. Tolerance for dissent in the League is one thing, but trying to undo their revolution is cause for immediate and judicious violence, as a number of insurgents have learned over the last twelve decades.

It should be no surprise that the proximity of the League to the Timkovichi Event swiftly won their attention. At first they were highly suspicious, having protested the SIEGFRIED war games happening so close. The withdrawal of the Arcadians' First Battle Fleet and increasing communication through the Glass soon shifted this attitude, and with the release of news from Morges and elsewhere, the entire League is up in arms over the wanton brutality of the Jade Falcons. The League is not bound by the Falcon-Arcadian truce and several brigades are now en route to the Glass with their alliance with the Lyrans already signed and ratified by the Assembly. Given their track record, it is unlikely many Falcon warriors in Mongol black will be taken prisoner, and with Rasalhague's expedition the future of the Jade Falcon Clan is in serious doubt. But while the League has committed itself to no territorial gains in the Clan OZs, it is unlikely they will assist a capitalist monarchy like the Commonwealth's without serious concessions in one manner or another. The Lyrans may find the price they pay for COMINTERSTEL's support to be quite steep in the end.

(The Lyrans are really desperate to accept help from people like this. Especially in their weakened state. What odds are there the League won't simply look to convert the population in the JFOZ to their system, whatever the Lyran Commonwealth wants? — Paladin Heather GioAvanti)

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Second Autonomous Brigade
    y some respects the best of the Autonomous Brigades, the Second has a long and distinguished combat history dating back to the early Second Age of War. It is also known for being primarily a Unionist formation instead of Vanguardist in its sympathies. Through the history of the League the Second has often been the Autonomous unit most likely to accept direction from the First Speaker and War Commission. They were instrumental in thwarting the Terrans' efforts to destroy the 'Mech factory complexes on Rastaban in 3051, preserving League military industry that proved vital after the widespread destruction on Sudeten in the initial Terran strike.

    During the Fourth Succession War they held the inner flank against the AFRF's strike towards Sudeten in the GAUNTLET offensive, preventing Kandersteg's fall and, on their own initiative, reclaiming Hamilton in a surprise strike that nearly destroyed the Fifth Donegal Cavalry. In 3112 they participated in the RIKOTILO counter-offensive and landed on Graceland and then Grunwald to reclaim them for the League. They captured Surcin before the Peace of Buckminster ended the COMINTERSTEL-Lyran Alliance fighting, returning the planet (despite some protests from the rank and file) before heading off to join the FolksArme in fighting Galedon's invasion. Through the rest of the war the Second was repeatedly instrumental in liberating worlds from Gunzberg to Arkab. They ended the war at thirty-five percent material strength following a failed effort to liberate Minakuchi in the final months of the war.

    The allure of the Autonomous Brigades for committed revolutionaries ensured a quick recovery post-war. They have become somewhat controversial to the Vanguardists, who have accused the Second Brigade of undermining "special operations" that the other Autonomous units were slated to commence, in line with the Unionists' current support for the Peace of Dieron. Some time ago they traveled up to Far Reach in the Chainelaine Cluster, a curious posting for such an outfit. Reported losses indicate the Second's recent engagements have been against far stronger adversaries than regular pirates, adding credence to claims that the Ghastillians and League are waging a war in the Deep Periphery. Neither the unit nor the War Committee on Sudeten have been forthcoming in public sources and the intelligence sources we received have shed little light on the truth.

    (This report does seem to contradict the article Huyten provided which claimed the Second as an aggressive unit more in keeping with Vanguardist sentiment. It is important to recognize that the Unionists are not immune to desire to destroy those they consider oppressors. Furthermore, and I say this as someone who spent hours reading the raw materials while imbibing copious amounts of coffee, I am not at all surprised that a Ghastillian journalist would confuse them for Vanguardists. League factional politics are a complicated web of theories and practices, and the factions are not significantly different from one another outside of those few points where they do differ. — Lady Janella)
  • First Autonomous Wing
    Starting as a collection of Vanguardist-aligned pilots seeking to operate separately of direct navy or army control, the First Autonomous Wing are more appropriately considered a large aerospace group or brigade formation. They operate their own DropShip carriers and JumpShips and travel the League's spacelanes honing their skills and those of other CLAF aerospace units in constant drills. Like many Autonomous units they are noted revolutionaries with an almost religious devotion to the League, a devotion that saw the unit's most famous act on February 7th 3051 when they jumped into Sudeten's pirate point to confront the Terran blockade of the League capital. The pilots loaded up their fighters with heavy anti-ship munitions, including atomic weapons, and conducted a direct strike on the Terrans that broke the blockade decisively at the cost of eighty percent personnel and eighty-five percent material losses, including all of their JumpShips and all but one carrier. The survivors provided a core for the Wing's resurrection and they would deploy in Operation: SERPENT as part of the war fleet that finished off the Terran Navy.

    The First Autonomous Wing joined the First Autonomous Brigade in invading Odessa in 3081 to support a pro-League government facing a political dispute and occupying Arcadian troops, turning the affair into a planetary civil war and starting the Vanguard War. For two years they were the focal point of the COMINTERSTEL blockade preventing Royal Federation reinforcements to their planetside troops and would fight vigorously, if unsuccessfully, to prevent the breaking of that blockade in the Royal Federation's 3083 counterattack. Twelve years later the Wing was instrumental in the ejection of the Royal Federation's troops from Lyndon, their final action of that conflict. They would prove of equal importance in the Fourth Succession War, spearheading the CLAF's great victory at Antares and tying down significant Arcadian naval resources in the months leading up to RIKOTILO in 3112. Despite not recovering from previous losses the pilots of the First threw themselves into the gauntlet of the Galedonian blockade of Rasalhague to blast a hole for the CLAF/GAF relief forces that broke the ongoing siege of Asgard City, suffering such significant losses the unit would not be ready for offensive action again for years. In 3116 they voted to return to the front and aided the liberation of several Rasalhaguan worlds before sacrificing most of their number to extricate the FolksArme-AFRF forces from Galedon's counter-attack at Yamarovka. By the end of 3119 the Wing was down to a third of its regular strength and had lost one of its carrier ships to enemy fire.

    In the years since the Peace of Dieron the First Autonomous Wing has rebuilt to its regular strength. Its makeup continues to be that of the most devoted, fanatical revolutionaries of the CLAF. Their devotion to revolution burns unabated and they have made multiple incursions into both Lyran states' systems, typically escorting arms to communalist guerrillas on worlds from Kelenfold to Mogyorod. During July 3133 to August 3134 ConcertWatch was unable to track the formation, but due to reports that slipped out of the Combine rated a high probability they were involved in a series of deep strikes to arm rebellions on Gravenhage, Bjarred, and Sawyer. They disappeared from view once more in 3139 and only resurfaced in mid-3141. ConcertWatch has yet to determine where they might have been. For the moment the unit remains on Newton Square. Reportedly a vote on whether to join the conflict with the Jade Falcons was narrowly defeated but a second consideration may yet see them decide to deploy through the Glass.

    (Their most recent disappearance was almost certainly participation in whatever Deep Periphery conflict the League and Ghastillians are waging. — Lady Janella)
  • Communal Assault Division
    The Communal Assault Brigade is a specialist unit meant to provide the CLAF with siege-breaking assault-grade firepower. Combining assault-weight BattleMechs and tanks with assault and heavy battle armor infantry, copious artillery, and highly-trained jump infantry, the Assault Brigade has been overstrength as a brigade for much of its existence. From smashing the Oberon Confederation's fortified defenders on Gotterdammerung to the capture of the Terran Union's Fort Pinochet in the Chilean Andes in August 3060, they have repeatedly proven their ability to smash even the thickest enemy fortifications. The specialized needs of siegebreaking, including engineering work and artillery direction, makes the Communal Assault Brigade a rare force in that they employ junior officers instead of higher ranks of NCO. To serve in Communal Assault Brigade's officer ranks, personnel are required to have finished combat engineering courses at one of the League's handful of officer academies or to have similar education from the FolksArme or other Successor State militaries.

    The Assault Brigade was busy through both the Vanguard War and the Fourth Succession War. They aided in the capture of Surcin in 3089 and the reclaiming of Cumbres in 3092, recaptured Kikuyu from the Ghastillians during the RUGA STORMO campaign of 3104, and smashed an entire Grenadier brigade of the GAF on Antares. In 3112 they provided pivotal to the defense of Sudeten by reclaiming Fort Bukanin from the AFRF's Fourth Royal Guards, causing the flank of the Arcadian attack on Hamarr to crumble and pressing them back from the League's capital city. Landing on Rasalhague in 3114 the Brigade recaptured Fort Sleipson from the Ryuu-no-tekken-hachi, opening a land route to besieged Asgard City. They would be called in to aid the liberation of numerous Rasalhaguan systems during the remainder of the Fourth Succession War before the thrust at Irece in 3119, where the Brigade suffered extensive losses against the Ryuu-no-tekken-ichi and the Sixth Sword of Light during a failed bid to claim the Galedonian fortifications on the great mountain Tengoku. The arrival of Galedonian naval reinforcements compelled the abandonment of the Irece operation. In a display of their unwavering devotion, the Brigade volunteered to be the rearguard for the evacuation, repulsing multiple strikes by Galedonian troops until their allies were clear while suffering significant losses to airstrikes and Galedonian artillery. Only half of the unit's survivors made it to their DropShips and escaped to orbit, with several ships being shot down by Galedonian aerospace wings. For their bravery the survivors were decorated by Rasalhague and the lost personnel were granted the Valkyrie's Mark by the People's Assembly on Rasalhague.

    After the Peace of Dieron the Communal Assault Brigade was stationed on Antares for rebuilding, a slow process due to the specialization of the formation that only finished in 3128. The Brigade has had a peaceful time since the end of the Fourth Succession War. While the unit itself is stationed and headquartered on Antares, individual companies and battalions have deployed across the worlds of COMINTERSTEL to support civil works projects and rebuilding from the war. A contingent of engineers and company of support vehicles even traveled to the Royal Federation to help rebuild the cities of the Dumfries Valley on Cameron after the catastrophic earthquake of March 31st, 3138, having won support from the brigade command and the Antarean assembly for the humanitarian gesture. The unit is currently said to be in the midst of mobilization for service through the Glass, though the CLAF has not formally announced what forces it intends to deploy to drive back the Jade Falcons.
  • Seventh Jaeger Brigade
    The Seventh Jaeger is considered a standout among this corps of fast raiding formations not so much for their skill but for their noted ferocity. By proportion the Jaegers have the most OmniMechs of any formations of the CLAF due to the myriad needs of their primary tactical purpose, raiding and headhunting. While most Jaeger formations rely heavily, if not entirely, on energy weapons, the Seventh is known for occasionally bringing cannon and heavy SRM batteries into their fights, using limited ammunition to inflict swift heavy blows before following up with energy armament, a technique they used effectively on the Pampas of Argentina while scything through the Terrans' 432nd BattleMech Brigade as part of Operation: SERPENT.

    In the Vanguard War, the Seventh was deployed in the most ambitious League operation, the 3087 Operation REGICIDE strike at Donegal itself to kill High King Ethan Proctor-Steiner. Working alongside several Autonomous formations and the Third and Fifth Shock Brigades, the Seventh, and their comrades in the Fourth landed near Marsdenville to disrupt local communications and make an early bid to kill the King. This proved fruitless as Ethan had already deployed with his main units, but the Seventh was able to temporarily seize part of Marsdenville and leveled part of the Donegal Stock Exchange and Lockheed-CBM's headquarters before withdrawing to the main fight around Fort Marsden. After successful strikes on two regimental HQs of the AFRF forces the the two Jaegers nearly broke into Fort Marsden before running afoul of the Tharkad Rangers and First Royal Cuirassiers. With the Fourth coming under an encirclement, the Seventh drove home a direct strike on the Tharkad Rangers and forced them to fall back, opening a hole for the Fourth to retreat back to friendly lines. Despite losses the two units would make a number of repeated efforts to pierce the lines to kill High King Ethan, but AFRF reserves were too numerous to penetrate deep enough into the lines. The CLAF force ultimately withdrew without their sought-after political stroke, but satisfied in having broken up Ethan's impending offensive against the League.

    Through the Fourth Succession War the Seventh drove home its customary deep strikes on every foe CLAF faced, culminating with the campaign on Idlewind in 3119. When the war ended they were recalled to Sudeten for rebuilding. The allure of the unit ensures a steady stream of recruits eager to "ride with the Seventh" and they remain a favored posting among the Jaegers. Their reputation explains their deployment to Bountiful Harvest in 3142 when the CLAF was informed of the SIEGFRIED war games, putting them in place to rapidly react to an incursion. By all evidence they remain prepared for deployment, likely as a measure against a Jade Falcon strike through the Glass. This would make them the Jaeger unit most likely to be attached to whichever CLAF force transits the Glass to bring the war to the Falcons, though their participation remains unconfirmed.

ComStar[]

ComStar (Insigna)

Insignia of ComStar

SER3142-14 CS Map

Map of ComStar's Holdings

Ruling House: None
Capital: Terra
Ruler: President Evelyn Katanga
Worlds: 1

For three and a half centuries ComStar was the last vestige of the Star League to affect the everyday lives of either Inner Sphere. Yet the similarities end there as the ComStar of the Cisglass Inner Sphere was, at the end of the day, a Terran company with mandatory ties to the Terran Union's government. That they survived the Terran War was by the choice of the victors, not their own doing. An administrative authority was needed for Terra that would not require a larger occupation for the war-damaged Successor States and ComStar was the only organization left standing that could fit the role. With their HPG network seized and a sullen population facing military occupation and an uncertain future, Jerome Blake's successors had a task no less daunting than he had faced, and their future was very much in doubt.

The turnaround of the last eighty years was wrought by patience and careful economic dealing, and today ComStar again enjoys a degree of soft power influence in the Inner Sphere. The ability to provide research and diplomatic support services have made the organization allies and supporters in the various Successor States. While not initially successful, ComStar's arbitration efforts gradually built up enough trust that they became an acceptable diplomatic broker on matters such as POW exchanges and commercial arbitrations. Their role in hosting the Congress of Dieron became a crowning achievement that reflected their newfound prestige and opened the way for ComStar to regain support among the peoples of the Inner Sphere. Their technological developments, including the construction of more power-efficient and lighter HPGs, gave them an opening in many states to regain a share in interstellar communications. In nearly half of the Successor States ComStar-run HPGs are providing services at competitive, if not superior, rates, though they remain subject to state controls and regulations to prevent them from weaponizing their share of the market as was done before the Terran War.

Not that all is forgiven. A number of Successor States still refuse to permit ComStar any significant role in their HPG networks, most prominently the Draconis Combine and Kilbourne Concord. Even in states where they are welcome there are those who continue to mistrust the corporation, seeing any gain it makes as a sign of corporate or government corruption. Ninety years on the memories of the Terran War die hard, and the concept ComStar may one day respark Terran nationalism is a fear held across the Inner Sphere and Periphery. The corporation promotes widely outside of the Terran population for this reason, but with one quarter of their personnel and over forty percent of their upper management still Terran-born, the association continues to stick.

ComStar's role on Terra has also undergone reformation and complicated changes since the Geneva Treaty. Bitter Terrans, especially surviving TUDF personnel, saw Gabriel Deakins as a traitor and ComStar as collaborators in the despoilment of Terra, and early on ComStar was as despised among the people of the Terran system as they were in the rest of the Inner Sphere. With thousands of survivors put out of work as entire factory complexes were stripped down and taken away as reparations, economic loss added to their fury, and the 3062 Boston-Washington Riots and the resulting occupation force intervention betrayed their lack of power to protect the Terran populace from Successor State occupiers. It took decades of rebuilding for these perceptions to shift and ComStar's role as trustee over Terra to be accepted. The establishment of a formal parliamentary republic for the system's governance went far in easing ComStar's job, as it handed most civil and criminal law matters over to the new state. They retained power solely in the field of upholding the Geneva Treaty terms. This has left them a target for furious Terran nationalists, but the majority of citizens now see ComStar as a symbol of pride, the last institution to bear lineage from the great Star League of the past, and their representatives to the Inner Sphere as a whole.

Of course, soft power has limits. The Geneva Treaty strictly forbids ComStar from raising troops, even from hiring mercenaries. Defense of ComStar property is solely at the discretion of Successor State troops. Even corporate security is limited in the self-defense arms and measures they can employ and in several states ComStar is required to accept local contractors. ComStar's once vast fleet of DropShips and JumpShips is long gone. ComStar personnel have but a few DropShuttles they can deploy from JumpShip to JumpShip on voyages across the Inner Sphere, assuming they don't take regular passenger service. Terra remains a disarmed state save for the regiments of troops the Successor States maintain in-system, numbering thirteen brigades or regiment-sized detachments that include over six regiments worth of BattleMechs. Without any remaining armament factories the Terrans are reliant upon imports for even police-scale armaments and most jurisdictions rely on old pre-Terran War weaponry, some stretching back to the First Age of War. A fresh effort was made to relax this situation with a 3138 request by the Terran Parliament to relax the ban on armaments to allow weapons "suitable for planetary police forces", but the request was denied by a veto from the Kilbourne Concord. For the time being, Terra's main defense from attack is that no one Successor State will ever be permitted by the others to lay claim to the world.

In recent years ComStar has turned what soft power it does enjoy to the maintenance of the Peace of Dieron. A subdivision of the ComStar Corporation, ConcertWatch, has taken the lead on this effort. Founded in 3128, ConcertWatch publishes weekly lists of the known troop dispositions and strengths of every Successor State as a means to keep the public aware of new military moves. Andurien is one of a handful of states that have openly supported this operation, but many others are opposed. This has made working for ConcertWatch in any capacity dangerous in a number of Successor States. One prominent example came in 3130 when Coordinator Kori Kurita had a dozen ComStar officials arrested as spies for their affiliation with the organization. Eleven were turned to Terra unharmed but the twelfth, Administrative Officer Paul Eidings, was executed for his role as a direct publisher in ConcertWatch. The Kilbourne Concord has arrested and sometimes expelled ConcertWatch personnel for reporting positionings they deemed "injurious to state security". In 3133 they tried a ConcertWatch analyst, Gerard Lu, who was a citizen of the Concord from Macomb. Deemed a traitor and operative for a foreign power, Lu was convicted of espionage against the Concord and incarcerated for twenty years. Appeals for his release are ongoing but have so far been rejected. These individuals, and others who have been imprisoned, harassed, or killed, have become martyrs for peace among other states in the Inner Sphere. Supporters of the Peace have embraced ConcertWatch's role in protecting that peace. For those more concerned with the defense of their states or even the end of a Peace they loathe, ConcertWatch are distrusted and seen as a threat to state security.

In 3140, ComStar made a milestone decision with the elevation of Chief Operating Officer Evelyn Katanga to the position of Corporate President. While she was not CEO, Katanga's contribution to ComStar's improving position was noted by the whole Board of Directors and the Stockholder's Association. She is the first non-CEO to win the appointment in thirty years. But the true milestone is that she is the first non-Terran born President ComStar has had, born to war refugees from the Communal League. While this has been lauded by some publications as a sign of ComStar becoming a truly interstellar body, many critics and wits note that Katanga was still a very small child when she arrived on Terra and is, despite her birth, a woman of Terran upbringing. So far she has done little truly revolutionary as head of the company, maintaining the policies of her predecessors while promoting new research on hyperspace and the HPG technology as a means to improve "the human condition".

Since the creation of the Glass ComStar has been quietly supportive of the Royal Federation's efforts, though not at the cost of their own neutrality. Lady Trillian Steiner-Davion was able to secure a generous loan from ComStar to purchase much-needed war material for the beleaguered Lyran Commonwealth. Given their limitations there is little more they can feasibly do to support the cause. Scientists and researchers have been dispatched to Atocongo and Timkovichi to observe the Looking Glass and learn more about how the phenomenon was formed.

(Maybe if we're lucky they'll crack what's behind the Blackout too, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Even with the information we pulled from Buhl’s “Blessed Order” — what we could salvage after that spiteful jackass’s viral failsafes were finished — I’m afraid SUNLIGHT just isn’t getting anywhere, Jonah. Every avenue we explore just raises more questions as to how the hell the Blackout works. Tucker Harwell's been helping mine and Dr. Song's teams as much as he can, but with the damage Buhl’s thugs did to Harwell’s mind … If there’s anything in Stone’s private files that might help, we need it, now. — Paladin Kaffyd op Owens)

<(Exarch, we should consider making contact and seeing if they've got anyone like Harwell that we can put into a room with him to figure things out. Given they didn't experience the technological loss our Inner Sphere did, and everything we've got on their knowledge of the physics behind HPG technology, it might be the best chance for a solution sooner rather than later. — Paladin-Exemplar David MacKinnon)>


Side Note 9: The Terran Oversight Force[]

Since 3061 the Successor States have maintained an occupation force on Terra. By the terms of the Treaty of Geneva no one signatory was to commit less than a combined arms regiment to include at least forty BattleMechs, and no more than a brigade with a maximum strength of two hundred BattleMechs. These units are spread across the system as the Terran Oversight Force. The TOF is overseen by a Command Council modeled on the Robinson Accord Command Council system, with each occupation force's senior officer a member and the Council Chair rotating every year. The TOF has been maintained to varying extents over the decades, reaching its nadir during the most brutal fighting of the Fourth Succession War when broken and exhausted units were rotated in save for the Galedonian and Concord contributions, which were seen to by a succession of mercenary formations hired for the purpose. The use of mercenaries was previously seen as unacceptable but was not explicitly forbidden, and it remains so. The Combine continues to hire mercenaries for the duty but the Concord has resumed regular assignment of their House units to the job.

Here are the listed contributions to the Terran Oversight Force.
(* marks a unit that has not deployed in full force or does not include a full BattleMech regiment)

Terran Oversight Force
CO: Colonel Hermione Brock, Brock's Bulldogs (3142-43 Term)

Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague
Sixty-Fourth Landgruppe*

Azami Confederation
Seventh Confederation Cavalry Brigade Combat Command Tah*

Draconis Combine
Brock's Bulldogs*

Grand Union of Tikonov
Third Chesterton Regulars

Kilbourne Suns' Concord
Fourth Concord Dragoons*

Federated Suns
First Axton Rangers

Oriento-Capellan Empire
Third Sirian Lancers*

Peoples' State of Andurien
Ninth Andurien Rangers*

Magistracy of Canopus
Second Chasseurs e Cheval*

Flavian Principate
II Rim Foederati Legio, III Cohors*

Royal Federation
Second Donegal Guards*

Kingdom of Ghastillia
Seventh Ghastillian Regulars*

Communal League of Sudeten
Tenth Autonomous Brigade


Mercenaries[]

Merc (Insigna)

Insignia of Mercenary Bonding and Contracting Board

The mercenary trade is one of the oldest professions in our collective human history, so it is no surprise they continue to ply their trade in the Cisglass. Much like our own Inner Sphere, the Cisglass saw mercenaries rise in prominence through the Succession Wars and the Collapse. The latter event would see them gain a checkered, mixed reputation, however, as in many cases merc units became virtually indistinguishable from pirates in the chaos of the late 29th and early 30th Century Inner Sphere. It was not until the Terran-supported Mercenary Review Board came into being that this distinction started to reform, as legitimate mercenary formations had to retain standards of behavior to maintain their MRB ratings.

As with many things associated with Terra the MRB was done away with, as their growing abuse of mercenaries' trust and forced dragooning of multiple commands into the TUDF for REVIVAL destroyed the trust they'd long built up. Their replacement was the Mercenary Bonding and Contracting Board, sponsored by General Penelope Reynolds and the host of ex-SLDF-aligned mercenary forces that were associated with the Lexington Concord. Since its founding in 3040, the MBCB has become a cellular structure built around regional hiring halls on various worlds across the Inner Sphere. The central board does not have a primary location but rotates clockwise around the Inner Sphere every three years among the A-tier Hiring Halls; Galatea, Nox, Lexington, St. Ives, Canopus, and Coventry. These Halls are the largest complexes with representatives from the mercenary relation departments of Successor States on hand, ready to negotiate lucrative multi-year contracts with the hired representatives of all the major mercenary organizations. The A-tier Halls are likewise host to educational facilities for mercenaries, training and recruitment centers, and connections to the Inner Sphere's arms industries for contracting leases or purchases of new equipment. Communities of dependents for large merc formations often fill entire neighborhoods around the Halls, and whatever may happen in the field elsewhere with the units themselves, their dependents provide mutual protection and support to one another more often than not (and outside of outlier cases).

The B-tier Hiring Halls tend to be located on Successor State capitals and major regional centers, complementing the A-tier halls with similar facilities and often the point where the majority of regimental and brigade-sized formations will negotiate contracts with states and major industrial or commercial enterprises for their services. They tend towards a greater emphasis on training and recruitment than the A-tier halls and also see plenty of dependent housing about.

The C-tier Halls are the most plentiful, with over one hundred across the Inner Sphere, typically handling the business of smaller mercenary formations contracting with local lords, governments, or organizations. Many a small mercenary outfit gets its start at a C-tier hall, hiring local talent and finding short-term and sometimes risky contracts to get their start. Their arms markets are shady affairs run by local sellers who provide gear that can be a mix from pricey new weaponry of Royal manufacture to ramshackle machines barely held together by rigged plate and wiring. Fewer facilities exist for supporting training or dependents. Recruiting often occurs at street level, in the bars or pubs or other seedy establishments that cater to mercenaries.

So-called "D-tier" halls exist, but are not officially recognized or supported by the MBCB, and they are often mixed in with black markets, pirates, and "unlicensed contracts" that only the desperate or the criminal are willing to turn to. They primarily exist in the Near Periphery and, unsurprisingly, are co-located with a number of confirmed or suspected pirate holdings.

Major merc commands only interact with the C-tier (and if desperate enough, even "D-tier") Halls when they are looking for quick replacements of battlefield losses. On a number of occasions they will actually contract with smaller local units as loss-replacement troops. Unwary merc bands may find themselves being recruited into oblivion or used as cannon fodder by a larger formation, but it can also lead to a "farm team" scenario where smaller merc commands form lasting associations with the large ones, who cycle fresh talent through the smaller units for seasoning and pay in both currency and new gear.

Until recently, mercenaries in our Inner Sphere primarily traded in the C-bill. In the Cisglass, the Terran War put an end to the C-bill's primacy for sixty years. The late 30th Century was a particularly chaotic time for mercenary units as without a stable central currency with a value they could count on Sphere-wide, a merc band could find their contract's value decline due to domestic financial policy, an unexpected economic slump, or simple exchange rate issues. Merc bands of wide scope typically negotiated for the strongest currency within a region or insisted on greater salvage rights or the provision of supplies and gear that could offset their costs. The Hesperan dollar gained a particular value for mercenaries because Defiance fixed a specific value to the dollar by weight of their military hardware, making the Consolidant's official union with the Royal Federation in 3116 particularly painful as the dollar ceased circulating and had to be exchanged for Federation pounds. The MBCB briefly flirted with an "M-bill" in the 3080s backed by the Board and the good faith of the best merc bands, but the concept swiftly collapsed. After the turn of the century, ComStar's expanding HPG network allowed the C-bill to return as a prominent and accepted currency of exchange, though it still has not regained the primacy it once enjoyed. It is rather closer in use to that the Fox-bill has currently attained in our Inner Sphere. <<(I can imagine that Khan Hawker is positively salivating at the prospect of his Clan's currency gaining traction on the other side of the Glass. - Lady Janella)>>

Questions of pay aside, mercenary life is no easier in the Cisglass than it is in our Inner Sphere. While there are no Clans to ban them or treat them as dishonorable sellswords to be disposed of, the acceptance of mercenaries and their treatment varies by state and individual world. They are spat on or saluted depending on such moods and the history of specific worlds. Their money is often freely taken, sometimes excessively so. Mercenaries have few opportunities to set down roots as the next contract can see them sent clear across the Inner Sphere. Nor is it a very safe life. Most are fated to die in combat, by insurgent or guerrilla action, or any number of mishaps common to the life. But the legends of figures like Karl "One-Eye" Sleipson continue to draw ex-military and civilian hopeful alike into the mercenary lifestyle.

As a whole, the perceptions vary. Mercenaries are either barely better than pirates, hired thugs for oppressive rulers and companies, soldiers of fortune prone to wanton destruction and lacking in battlefield ethics, or professionals paid to do a dirty job. These perceptions are just as varied as the truth that each merc unit can fit into any of these categories, sometimes more than one. It is a lifestyle apart from any Successor State military force, and often just as bloody.

Yet mercenaries defy easy classification. They can be many different things, depending on a host of factors. New formations are often little more than collections of former soldiers working together for a payday, with rank structures borrowed from whatever manual the founder wishes to draw from. Older units have long established their own cultures, uniforms, unique rank systems, and traditions. New or old, mercenary units form their own combat styles and develop unique tactics for operations in the field. They are small companies of infantry and 'Mechs who raid for hire, or vast brigades equal to the finest units in the Successor States' armies. Some are semi-House units with special customs, arrangements, or connections to specific Successor States, others are complete free agents. They may continue to bear grudges based on past defeats and incidents or they might see it all as "just business".

They are heroes, villains, rogues, enforcers, cutthroats, and knights-errant. There is only one thing you can, in the end, count on when dealing with a mercenary: if you can pay them, they will fight for you.

Noted Military Commands[]

  • Dumas' Musketeers
    It was early in the Second Age of War that Terran nobleman Count Jean-Paul Dumas, witnessing the growing bloodshed outside the Union's borders, decided to make his own statement on the new status quo. Using his family's vast wealth and contacts with the MRB, Dumas recruited a host of mercenary and ex-TUDF personnel to form a new mercenary company that would not only increase his family's prosperity but, in his words, "remind the Successor States that even in the flames of war, the virtues of Humanity will endure". Citing his family's believed descent from 19th Century author Alexandre Dumas, the Count Dumas named his mercenaries "Dumas' Musketeers" in honor of the chivalric and heroic duelists of the older Dumas' works. Officially joining the MRB ranks in 3036, the Musketeers were hired by the Solar Union, just to evoke their contract clause for "Good Morals Violations" and terminate the contract over the Union's violation of a peace treaty with the Outworlds.

    The Musketeers would fight through the Second Andurien War and the Compact-Hyadian War before the MRB recalled them for "consultations" in 3046. Back on Terra Count Dumas was explicitly ordered by Director-General Kerensky herself to sign an exclusive contract seconding his troops to the TUDF. Dumas responded by fleeing the Union for sanctuary in Tikonov, where he was assassinated by Terran agents. The Musketeers, to a man, vowed to avenge their founder's murder and refused the MRB's recall, signing on instead with the new MBCB. When Operation REVIVAL came in 3050 they were in the employ of the Kilbourne Commonwealth and would fought tenaciously to protect Farnsworth from the initial Terran raids. Throughout the Terran War they fought under Kilbourne contract, and though denied a role in SERPENT due to their losses on Northwind, the Musketeers would return to Terra in 3061 to bury the remains of Count Jean-Paul.

    The outbreak of the Fourth Succession War found the Musketeers between employers and enjoying their pay amid the pleasures of Canopus. When word came of the Empire's ultimatum to Andurien, Count D'Artagnan Dumas immediately offered the Musketeers' swords to Andurien, who with the aid of Canopus hired the Musketeers for the duration of the war. From Leyda to Andurien to Mosiro III the Musketeers fought the Imperial invaders of Andurien, suffering losses along the way until the Inner Sphere settled into the Peace of Dieron. Since the Concert they have moved between employers every few years, only seeing action in their 3136-3139 service with the Royal Federation. In 3138 they fought the Second Arkab Legion's raid on Sabik and, the following year, joined the relief forces sent to save the world of Freedom from the Second Sword of Light's rampage. Following the end of the contract in 3140, the Musketeers were immediately hired by the Federated Suns to provide a veteran presence in the Crucis March, where they currently defend the world of El Dorado.
  • Gray Death Legion
    A familiar name for many of us, this Gray Death Legion was likewise a creation of the Carlyles, though with different circumstances in the late Renaissance era. Hired by the Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant for the First Skye War, Grayson Carlyle and his legion fought a number of notable battles that included an infamous descent upon Donegal. Towards the war's end they would assist Arthur Luvon and Katrina Steiner in leaving Donegal and forming a new state, the New Commonwealth, on Coventry, with the Gray Death Legion as the core of the new NCAF. This period of House unit living lasted for a decade before it all ended with the War of Donegalian Succession. Carlyle's Legions would fight ferociously on Donegal, Tetersen, Porrima, and Coventry itself, where Carlyle was wounded by the Arcadians' Eighth Strikers. When Archon Katrina and her family were killed by Rim Republican Army insurgents in 3042 and the New Commonwealth collapsed, Carlyle chose to return to the mercenary life and led the Gray Death Legion away from Lyran space.

    During the Terran War the Legion were under contract with the Lexington Concord. They would defend Macomb from Terran raiders and join the reinforcements sent to relieve Lexington itself, then be among the troops that lifted the Terran siege of Robinson. In the Concord-Compact War they were vital to the campaign for New Ivaarsen and would be second wave forces in the conquest of Robinson itself. Through the rest of the century they were often under Concord contract, until Grayson's heir and son Ronald decided the Legion needed to move on or risk being absorbed into the KSDF. He took a contract with the Federated Suns in 3098 and then the Flavian Principate in 3104, spending four years putting down patrician revolts and suppressing legionary rebels. The Legion, seeking a quiet contract after Ronald was killed fighting patrician rebels on Kogl, took a five year contract with Canopus in 3109 to give time for Ronald's son Roland to gain valuable experience in managing the family unit. Instead the Fourth Succession War would be the unit's greatest test, starting with the relief of Villaneuva in 3110, insertion onto Andurien in 3112 and the fight for that world through 3117, and their taking of Kanata a year later. Each each regiment down to half strength or worse, the Legion was quite ready to see peace when the Congress of Dieron finished its work.

    In the years since the war Roland has rebuilt the family unit to its greatest height. Perhaps most importantly, he has ended the long feud with the Steiners and Proctors left by the War of Donegalian Succession, embodied by his accepting a five year contract with the Armed Forces of the Royal Federation from 3137 to 3142. The Legion spent the time period stationed to Glengarry and Carnwath in the Skye Theater, taking advantage of their contracted access to Defiance Industries to finish rebuilding the unit from their losses in the war and to expand to a fourth 'Mech regiment. Now one of the largest mercenary brigades in the business, Roland turned down the AFRF's renewal offer and is said to be considering contracts elsewhere. (There are rumors that Carlyle has, in fact, been contracted to the Lyran Commonwealth and will be coming through the Glass, though Lady Trillian's loans and grants could not come close to funding the costs of such an outfit. At least, not without help.)
  • The Gravediggers
    Veteran mercenary commander Colonel Christopher Hoyal founded the Gravediggers in 3034 after recuperating from traumatic injuries he received in the First Skye War. Using the generous cash grants awarded by House Brewer to its victorious forces he financed a full strength brigade and recruited with a promise to provision any five year veteran of the Gravediggers with solid identification in a new identity, a way for anyone willing to serve through the Second Age of War to reinvent themselves. Taking his first contract with the Arcadian Free March to fight in the Second Skye War, the Gravediggers would become a tough and respected unit across the Inner Sphere. No job was too dangerous or too quiet, and as the name implied, Hoyal fully expected his mercenaries to be burying their dead wherever they went.

    He would be among those buried when the unit was nearly broken on Albalii by the Terran Union. Unable to even negotiate a proper surrender and withdrawal due to the TUDF's declaration of all MBCB-aligned units as "unlawful", the Gravediggers fought with the shattered survivors of their Azami employers until a Galedonian-Concord raiding force broke the Terran fleet presence enough for them to escape in 3052. As their contract with the Azami was up the Gravediggers, now under Christopher's son Adam, retreated to a hiring hall to rebuild. Ultimately they would end the Terran War in Federated Suns employ, having played a role in the liberation of Tikonov.

    In the decades after the Terran War the Gravediggers remained in demand, as did their pledge to provide fresh ID for their recruits. Their missions were often deadly, like a strike on Stewart in 3080 under Oriento-Capellan employ that claimed Adam's life and sixty-percent of the brigade while inflicting significant damage on the Corean Enterprises factories, or Adams' son Wallace losing his left arm and half the unit in the successful defense of Dixie in 3098-99 against the Scipian Dominate. Wallace's son Christopher inherited what was left of the brigade in 3117 after the First Regiment was compelled to surrender in a heavy raid on Luthien and every survivor, including Wallace, was executed by the Order of the Black Dragon. The much-reduced Gravediggers, still under Rasalhaguan contract, joined the Fourth Drakøns and the Third Autonomous Brigade of the CLAF in a revenge assignment that struck once more at the Black Pearl. Christopher personally led the battle from his Atlas III and fired the shots that leveled the Black Dragons' headquarters, where his infantry rounded up and executed every surviving OBD member. Reportedly he left a message for Kori Honda-Kurita and her fanatical followers written in blood, reading "Payback's a bitch". Now at a large brigade centered on two 'Mech regiments, the Gravediggers have recently left Concord employ and the hot war in the Outworlds for a three year defense contract with the Royal Federation and posting in the Stewart March along the Federation-Imperial border. Some observers have noted the contract allows for the AFRF to convert their mission to offensive operations, but there is no sign they are considered for duty through the Glass.
  • Black Pants Legion
    Known for fairly plain and regular uniforms, uniform use of black trousers, and speaking in a Periphery drawl, the Legion has moved about the Inner Sphere for the past ninety years, working five year contracts with one employer or another, then going quiet for a time before returning to a Hiring Hall to accept a contract with a new employer. For a very long period of time their leader has been a grizzled one-eyed veteran known and identified only as "Professor Tex" or "the Professor", the pilot of a standard AWS-8Q Awesome who by all accounts is still taking down newer BattleMechs challenging him on the battlefield. Their contract terms always stipulate significant salvage rights from the battlefield, and they are one of the few merc bands to own their own JumpShip fleet which, during garrison work, they often make use to take on local transport work to supplement their contract income.

    The Black Pants Legion first appeared during the height of the Terran War, a unit with a battalion of Royal-grade BattleMechs and two more regiments worth of Collapse-era machines in Collapse-era technology. While most of their machines would have difficulty on the battlefields with the Terran Union, the Magistracy of Canopus tendered a bid as the need for fresh units and more metal outweighed any concern of their suitability for the fight. Their combat record has shown the wisdom of that choice, with more victories than defeats and a solid set of tactics taking advantage of what heavy firepower they do have. The liberation of Kyrkbacken and New Aragon in the Terran War under Canopian colors were their first major actions. In the Concord-Compact War they were under AFFS contract and would participate in the failed defense and reclaiming of Point Barrow. Under Rasalhaguan contract they fought in the final years of the Vanguard War on the Ghastillian front, including a fight where they stalemated the Kell Hounds on Timkovichi before being ordered off-world. They would start the Fourth Succession War under Principate employ, fighting in the Fifth Battle of Nullarbor before withdrawing from service in 3114. In 3117 they resurfaced and accepted a contract with Andurien, ending the war supporting the reclamation of Mosiro from Imperial control. When the bankrupt state had to practice early termination following the signing of the Peace of Dieron, the Legion disappeared once more, resuming the cycle. As of 3140 they have a contract with the Grand Union of Tikonov and are posted on Nanking, where they have had success in rooting out a Liaoist insurgency movement alongside the Fourth Woodstock Regulars.

    To this date the Black Pants Legion has worked for virtually every Successor State, with the noted exception of the Oriento-Capellan Empire. This is not for lack of trying as the Empire has repeatedly offered lucrative contract terms only to be bluntly rebuffed. The unit itself has changed slightly over the years, though not as much as would be expected given the quantity of hardware they have claimed with salvage rights. Typically their re-appearance at the Hiring Halls sees the unit once more with a battalion of Royal-quality machines and the other five a collection of carefully refurbished but definitely not pristine Succession War-era weapons. What is also notable is that their Royal-quality machines are usually older designs with upgrades, in the style used by the TUDF in the 30th and 31st Centuries, with newer production never returning with them between their trips to the Hiring Halls. The MBCB has not pressed them on this but reportedly an effort was made by the Kilbourne Concord to find out more, with rumors abounding that the Concord tracked their JumpShips into the Deep Periphery past the Free Traders' Union before losing contact. Only one clue has ever surfaced about any sort of home base for the Legion, found by the Kell Hounds after overrunning a Legion fire base on Timkovichi: a tattered flag bearing a seal for the "Free State of Van Zandt". The provenance of this is disputed given there is no world of that name to be found in records. Many conspiracy theorists latch onto the flag for some of the more outlandish theories regarding these mercenaries, by far the most popular being that they are scouts for a Deep Periphery state plotting an invasion of the Inner Sphere. <<(That sounds awfully familiar, doesn't it? — Lady Janella)>>

Author's Notes[]

  • Draconis Combine
    Author desires to return to this at a later time for re-editing. However the player who controlled Penny Reynolds and the Lexington Concord requested it remove them from the setting and so the author must do some re-writing.

Major Personas[]

There are a number of prominent figures among the many Successor States on the other side of the Glass. I met a couple during my time on Timkovichi and learned of the rest through casual conversations with AFRF personnel or whatever newsvids they relayed through the Glass. I tried to be as thorough as I could but mercs usually don't ask incisive questions about other realms. At least, the ones they're not contracting with or about to fight.


Free Communal Republic of Rasalhague - Personas[]

Haakon Magnusson
Rank/Title: Gothi of the Communal Republic
Born: 3092 (50 in 3142)

Born to Sigurd Magnusson, youngest son of Gothi Ragnar Magnusson, Haakon was named for his great-grandfather and lived in the shadow of Ragnar his whole life. Besides ol' One-Eye Sleipson himself, Ragnar is the most remembered and most beloved Gothi in the nation's history, and Haakon took that to heart as he enlisted in the FolksArme as soon as they would take the teenage man. A natural talent in a 'Mech cockpit, he was given an emergency commission when the Galedonians launched Operation REBIRTH. Meritorious conduct during the retreat to Rasalhague brought him into the Einherjar, and he would first become known to the populace for bravery under fire during the siege of Asgard City, winning comparisons to his grandfather's conduct during the Terran attempt to conquer Rasalhague.

Ending the war a Major in the Second Einherjar Regiment, Haakon was one of the heroes of the war. He was invited to run for the Assembly but declined, insisting his place was with his unit and that "the battlefield of politics does not interest me". This did not stop him from making several statements in public on the need to re-arm and prepare for a war to liberate the lost worlds. He was transferred back to the First Einherjar by Gothi Lundsen in 3132 after a promotion to Brigadgeneral. Despite greater scrutiny by FolksArme authorities Haakon would make several more comments over the intervening year encouraging ever greater rearmament efforts, though never venturing so far as to endorse one political candidate or another. When Gothi Lundsen decided to retire in 3135, Haakon filed to become a candidate for Gothi despite his relatively young age and rank. The rearmament parties quickly supported his candidacy, as did many of his old comrades. This widespread FolksArme support made Haakon an early favorite and ensured he scored high in the preferential voting for the position, winning over his opposition by the strength of war veteran and serving personnel votes.

Gothi Haakon has spent his time in office promoting the expansion of the FolksArme and preparation for any future conflict with the Combine. His requests for funding have put him in repeated clashes with blocs in the Assembly; for all of his comments about "the coming day" of retaking what was lost, the Revanchists believe he is insufficiently zealous while the peace advocates worry he will start a war that would devastate the Republic. Despite some expressed fears Haakon, while a blunt speaker, has not directly challenged the Assembly or performed any act that might be construed as seeking to gain greater power. He is, by all indications, a fervent believer in the Communal Republic's system and remains within his defined constitutional role. This has eased, though not softened, his prickly relationship with Lawspeaker Maxwell, who has criticized his public speaking at times and has thwarted his more expansive rearmament plans. They have found accord on the matter of the Glass, however, and by reports the Gothi may personally lead the FolksArme's expedition through the Glass despite the Lawspeaker's protests.

Margrethe Maxwell
Rank/Title: Lawspeaker of the Assembly
Born: 3084 (58 in 3142)

A citizen of New Bergen, Margrethe followed her parents into the FolksArme's Aerospace forces. She proved a skilled survivor as a pilot and served through the Fourth Succession War with a number of squadrons as losses mounted. She would reach official ace status in 3119 with her fifth official solo kill while flying with the Sixth Drakøns. Following the war Margrethe retired from the FolksArme. After four years of service as a civilian DropShuttle pilot she began her political career as a representative of New Bergen's division of the Rasalhague Aerospace Crew Association, elected to the organization's Central Council in 3125. In 3128 she stood for election for the union's seat in the Communal Republic Assembly. Once in the Assembly she served a two year term, then after two years out of office she was elected by her homeworld to be their new representative as an advocate of the Fair Republic Party.

In 3134 then-Representative Maxwell was chosen as a compromise candidate for a seat on the Republic's Committee of Ways and Means. This provided her start into the upper echelons of the government as she used the Committee's prestige to network with senior officials in her own party and a number of others. Margrethe proved a vital vote in getting the 3137 Colonial Redevelopment Act passed that increased support for colonial settlements in the Periphery, and would support and promote several central government efforts on restoring lost industry that the Galedonians had looted during the war. The tide of popularity and connections ensured her elevation to Lawspeaker after the 3140 elections.

As Lawspeaker Maxwell's policies have been the maintenance of COMINTERSTEL, expanding Rasalhague's resettlement initiatives for all the populations that fled the lost worlds after Dieron, and maintaining the detente with the Royal Federation as a means to focus Rasalhague's military resources upon the Combine threat. The Revanchists have made two attempts to unseat her but both have failed, as their political pull remains too weak and Gothi Magnusson, despite pleas from that quarter, refuses to employ his popularity against the Lawspeaker as a matter of constitutional propriety. Yet the relationship between the Gothi and Lawspeaker, while a proper one, is still a strictly professional one and there are known differences between the two. Margrethe has been critical of his tendency to speak without consulting her or the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Gothi has criticized (in mild language by his standards) the defeat of the expanded armaments programs his supporters have proposed. As things stand, Margrethe remains more committed to the Peace of Dieron, and more to the point, has made it repeatedly clear she will not tolerate even a hint of the Gothi stepping outside his bounds, undoubtedly why she has reportedly insisted he not join High King Nathaniel beyond the Glass for the war with the Clans.

Lars Skafte
Rank/Title: General, Military Advisor to the Gothi
Born: 3080 (62 in 3142)

A native son of the world of Rasalhague, Lars Skafte is from a military family and the grandson of one of the Einherjar slain on Nox fighting for Gothi One-Eye. He attended the Sleipson Military Officers' Academy on Nox and graduated in 3102 a solid tenth in his class. After a series of assignments to the Landsgruppe and the Metal Divisions he would be placed in the Fifth Berserkergang in time for the outbreak of the Fourth Succession War. He won his first battle honors in the Rasalhaguan capture of Lucianca in November 3111 and served on the Lyran front up through the RIKOTILO offensive that broke the Arcadian invasion of Sudeten. It was on Rasalhague that Lars made his fame, as his assault company was one of the first to break through the Galedonian siege lines around Asgard City and link up with the city's defenders. His combat ability impressed Gothi Magnusson, who ordered Lars assigned to the First Einherjar, where he would serve out the rest of the war. Among his battle honors he also became known as one of the FolksArme officers best able to liaise with their former foes in the AFRF, and he would indeed lead his fast assault battalion into battle alongside the AFRF's famed Eighth Strikers in the defense of Buckminster and recapture of Tukayyid.

An Överstelöjtnant at war's end, Lars convalesced from his severe wounds inflicted at Yamarovka by taking an assignment to Rasalhague's embassy on Arcadia. What was meant to be a one-time two year tour as a military liaison officer became a long-term assignment as he spent much of the time between 3121 and 3134 in Rasalhague's military mission to the Royal Federation at the request of Gothi Minamoto and her successor, Gothi Lundsen. This made him something of a suspect figure among the more radical elements of the FolksArme and the Communal Republic due to his obvious pro-Arcadian positions but ensured continued support from the government for his work to maintain the post-Peace of Buckminster unofficial alliance with the Arcadians.

In 3134, a promotion to Generallöjtnant saw his return to Rasalhague to assume command of the entire Einherjar Corps, at the personal request of Gothi Lundsen. When Lundsen announced his retirement the following year, Lars made himself a candidate alongside his subordinate Haakon Magnusson. The endorsement of surviving prior Gothis was insufficient to overcome Haakon's popularity or the dislike of the more-devoted communalists and he would finish second-to-last in the voting tally. The new Gothi had fought at his side, though, and Haakon quickly made clear his appreciation for Lars' viewpoints and leadership by elevating Lars to full General and naming him Military Advisor in 3138. This has cemented both Haakon's popularity in the FolksArme and the support of the senior commanders who had looked askance at the election results. Lars has become Haakon's trusted right hand and undoubtedly enjoys influence, particularly as Haakon's support for the Arcadian detente has markedly increased since the appointment. If Haakon relents to the Lawspeaker's demands to remain in Rasalhague, there is little doubt it will be General Skafte who leads the FolksArme into battle with the Jade Falcon Clan.

Anastasia Takeda-Suvorova
Rank/Title: Generalmajor, Takeda Cavalry
Born: 3083 (59 in 3142)

Anastasia was born to King Nikolai Takeda-Suvorov in his final years, a product of his second and controversial marriage to holovid starlet Anna Beauchamp. Her older half-brother Mikhail would allow for her education in the royal family and ensured she was raised to consider it a duty to serve the Federal Alliance and House Takeda-Suvorov by joining the AFHFA. She would blame the Black Dragons, and Kori Honda, for his tragic death by accident in 3102, and redoubled her martial studies for the inevitable war of national defense that she and her teachers believed inevitable. Said war did not come, however, as her niece Katarina, born the same year she was, chose to submit in 3106 rather than see Hartshill violently subjugated. Furious, Anastasia revolted openly and joined Colonel Karamanov's rebellion. When it became clear that the rebellion lacked the popular or institutional support to succeed, Karamanov ordered Anastasia to join the fleeing rebels as a surviving member of her House. Anastasia obeyed, reluctantly, and would be among the Hartshill troops and refugees seeking refuge among their old enemies in Rasalhague. She was among those who were provided refuge on Rasalhague itself in what was clearly a bid to keep an eye on those most likely to lash out at Galedon. Anastasia would make repeated public appeals to be wary of Kori Honda's Kuritan ambitions, but they were dismissed and criticized. She was ordered to cease or to lose her FolksArme commission. By some indications she was urging her fellows to leave the Republic and find more friendly exile among the Compact states, but her superiors among the exiles overrode her.

Kori Honda's REBIRTH proved Anastasia right to the Rasalhaguans. When the Swords of Light jumped in-system to conquer Rasalhague she led the exile forces into the campaign. It was a formative experience and Anastasia was nearly killed several times, having two BattleMechs shot out from under her. She was convalescing from severe injuries when the Fifth Sword of Light's Second Battalion sacked Aleksandrograd and killed nearly half of the exile civilian population. As soon as she could climb into her cockpit Anastasia gathered her troops and stormed the Second Battalion's field base; despite losing a third of her MechWarriors, she succeeded in killing the responsible MechWarriors to the last man.

After the Galedonians were driven off Rasalhague Anastasia found herself a thirty-two year old överste commanding the entire Takeda Cavalry 'Mech regiment. With the support of Gothi Minamoto she led a repeated raiding campaign into Galedonian territory, descending upon Hartshillian worlds to open the ISF re-education and detainment centers and extract vengeance upon the Galedonians and whatever collaborators they had among her people. Her campaign culminated in 3119 with a descent upon her former homeworld. The reports are sparse on her activities during the fighting, but there are indications she might have personally met with her niece, undoubtedly to urge her to rebel against Kori Honda. If so she was to be disappointed, as the First Hartshill Regulars aided the Hartshill Otomo in repulsing the Takeda Cavalry, including slaughtering an entire convoy of freed prisoners from the ISF detainment center outside Nova Petersburg. The need to evade Galedonian naval patrols ensured Anastasia did not return to Rasalhaguan territory until after the Congress of Dieron was already in session. The war was over.

Since the war's end Anastasia has remained with the Cavalry, rising to her current rank of Generalmajor in 3127. For fifteen years she has remained at that rank, turning down promotion offers from the FolksArme until, by her words, "such a time that the Takeda Cavalry have enough material and personnel to be expanded". She married after the war, to fellow veteran and exiled noble Dmitri Oyakawa, and has provided three children — Nikolai, Aleksandra, and Valentin — to continue the "free Hartshill" line. In the mid-3130s she and her unit were missing from public records though, as noted elsewhere, it is strongly suggested they masqueraded as a mercenary unit called "Stasia's Cavaliers" to fight for the Kilbourne Concord. Anastasia is a proponent of improving Rasalhaguan relations with the Concord wherever possible and, it should be no surprise, openly advocates for a fresh attempt to break the reborn Combine and restore her nation's independence. This has made her a popular figure among Revanchists and, arguably, does much to explain why Gothi Magnusson has been lukewarm towards supporting the expansion of the Takeda Cavalry. His recent decision to commit them, and Princess Anastasia, to the campaign against the Jade Falcons has reportedly infuriated Anastasia, but by all indications she is dutifully obeying.

Tristan Denaro
Rank/Title: Knight-Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John; Generalmajor, Knights First Division
Born: 3088 (54 in 3142)

The scion of a line of Knights stretching back to the Order's withdrawal from Terra to Rasalhague, Tristan Denaro was raised in the Order, steeped in its faith, its mission, its purpose. At a young age he showed some proficiency in BattleMechs but truly excelled as armored infantry, resulting in his joining the Order's battle armor forces upon reaching his age of majority.

Tristan fought with distinction through the Fourth Succession War, losing an arm in the defense of Nox and half his leg in the liberation of Mannedorf, and rising through the ranks with each successful infantry assault or defensive stand. He showed a quickness of thought that saw him elevated to the Knighthood in 3116 after commanding a combined arms force in the relief of Utrecht, leading form a field base while in full armor and joining a pivotal assault against the Tenth Galedon Regulars that broke their lines. By war's end he was the hero of the Order's retreat from Teniente, the Överste of the Second Regiment, and a Knight-Commander of the order.

In the years since his star has risen further from his part in the rebuilding of the Order's ranks following their terrible losses on Irece and Teniente. He married fellow Knight-Commander Frederik Lansing in 3122 after the two adopted three war orphans to continue their family names in the Order. Family life and peace have proven a greater challenge for the veteran though, with a very public spat at an Order ceremony resulting in a trial separation for two years that ended with formal reconciliation in 3131. The Order, as always, remains quiet about such internal matters, and has dismissed (though not denied) speculation that Tristan had to seek psychological counseling for both parenting issues and post-traumatic stress disorder. It is clear that whatever mental or emotional scars remained on Sir Tristan, he was still a capable leader in the Order's eyes, winning a final promotion to Knight-Master in 3138 and command of the Knights' First Division. Grand Master Montelbano is reported to be favoring Tristan as her successor and thus forgave his unauthorized deployment of his 'Mech regiment to Shionoha when learning of an imminent DCMS attack upon the Federation world. Sir Tristan, in keeping with his personality, remains quiet about the possibility. What he has not remained quiet about is the matter of the Glass, as he was the first major figure in the FolksArme to promote intervention even before High King Nathaniel's passionate Coronation Address. Tristan has echoed the Arcadian monarch's call to arms as a "holy crusade" and, unsurprisingly, has been named to provisional command of the Order's contribution to the FolksArme's expedition.



Azami Confederation - Personas[]

Khalid al-Abbas
Rank/Title: Prime Minister; Amir of Algedi
Born: 3063 (79 in 3142)

Khalid al-Abbas is one of the older leaders of the Successor States. As with all Azami nobility he served a term in the AFAC as an armored infantry officer in the Confederation Cavalry, including combat duty in the fighting around Vega with the Lyran states in the 3080s and 3090s. He mustered out in 3099 to serve as his ailing father's delegate to the Chamber of Notables. By the time of his elevation as Amir of Algedi he enjoyed growing political influence and has often chose to serve in the Chamber of Notables himself rather than appoint a relative as a delegate.

This preserved his life when the Galedonians invaded and captured Algedi. Fleeing with the rest of the Confederation legislature to Dieron, al-Abbas joined a number of other exiled nobles and leaders in throwing all of their remaining available wealth into supporting the remaining Azami defenses. In 3115 al-Abbas even provoked ire among the Compact states by promoting a separate peace with the Royal Federation so that AFAC's surviving troops could focus on the greater foe. When IOCF forces launched XIN SHENG in 3118 al-Abbas immediately threw his support behind the Federated Suns' demand for the Empire's expulsion from the Compact, using his influence to secure the vote despite furious efforts by Amir Hekmatyar of Sabik to support ongoing Imperial connections. This won him his first appointment to the Council of Ministers, ultimately seeing his appointment to Foreign Minister in 3119 in time for ComStar to make the proposal for what became the Congress of Dieron. Placed in charge of those negotiations, al-Abbas argued strongly for the retention of Sabik but was ultimately swayed by First Prince Grace Silver-Davion into accepting its loss in exchange for the return of Kessel.

This cost al-Abbas significantly and Amir Hekmatyar soon employed the fury from the cession of his homeworld to effect, having al-Abbas cast from the Council of Ministers in March 3121 as a condition for his votes. Beset by infuriated Azami nationalists for his "disgraceful" surrender of Sabik and the Minakuchi Prefecture, al-Abbas spent ten years focusing on Algedi's rebuilding. His remaining political connections, including the friendship of House Davion, provided economic opportunity that helped Algedi rebuild faster than many other worlds. With the political situation in the Confederation still uncertain, in 3134 he returned to the Chamber of Notables to assume his seat and parlayed his economic success and political affiliations into a return to the Council of Ministers. Ultimately in 3138 he made himself a compromise candidate for the Prime Minister's seat, securing a majority of Council votes and defeating a determined nationalist effort to stop him. Under his government the political direction of the Confederation has remained the same as always. Al-Abbas has reinforced the Compact, resisted all calls to promote a separate, anti-Arcadian alliance with the Empire, and continued the recovery from the war. But his past has left him with an uncertain relationship with the AFAC and its leadership, and so far he has been unable to rein them in. His authority is likewise challenged by the new Lord-Speaker of the Chamber of Notables, Sheik Hekmatyar, the son of his old foe and a formidable noble politician, forcing al-Abbas to rely upon his pull in the Chamber of Deputies to maintain his grip on the government.

Yasmin Rashid
Rank/Title: Mushir, Chairwoman of the Command Staff; Amira of Alya
Born: 3077 (65 in 3142)

The matron and latest leader of House Rashid, Amira Yasmin has followed her family's tradition of military service to the letter. After attending the Azami Academy of Martial Sciences on Albalii she joined the prestigious First Arkab Legion as a MechWarrior. When the Fourth Succession War broke out she was already a battalion commander and survived the terrible defeats and desperate campaigns that marked the AFAC's experiences in the war. After surviving a savage three-way engagement with the Seventh Skye Rangers and the Fifth Izanagi Warriors on Marfik in 3111, she made Aqid.

After several engagements at the head of her often-reduced unit, including raids to oppose the brutal Galedonian occupation of Alya, Fariq Rashid would see to her homeworld's liberation at the head of the First Arkab Legion and the Fifth Federated Suns Grenadiers. She was badly wounded in this final battle by a Galedonian air strike on her command post and forced to accept a non-combat posting following her recovery. By then the Congress of Dieron was in session and she would end the war at the rank of Fariq within AFAC's military administration.

While furious at the loss of combat command status and mourning the deaths of her daughter Fatima and son Abdullah, Yasmin settled down to the twin duties of maintaining the AFAC and supporting the rebuilding of her homeworld. The death of her father Ahmed in 3125 saw her elevated officially to Amira. She turned down a retirement, however, appointing her husband Tariq and surviving daughter Samira to see to Alya's restoration and represent her in the Chamber of Notables while continuing her military career.

That the AFAC has maintained some discipline these past ten years is undoubtedly due in part to Yasmin Rashid's efforts. With every step up the rank ladder she took, she restored greater and greater discipline to the AFAC's bureaucracy and field commands. Economies were found to spare every dinar for the delayed re-establishment program. Her efforts did not go unnoticed and fueled her rise through the ranks. The cost of those efforts was Rashid's grudging acceptance of the raiding issue. While supporting, and eventually ordering, the court-martialing of officers who launched attacks without authorization, she has rarely allowed actual prosecutions. This infuriates a number of her peers but has arguably kept the AFAC's mutinous attitude in check, especially when you account that those she selects for prosecution are convicted of the offense nine times out of ten. A rumor has spread that in response to protests from a Federated Suns attache over the raids on the Royal Federation, she replied, "When you ride a tiger, the important thing is to not fall off", fitting speculation that the limited prosecutions are being used to ensure the raiding does not exceed specific levels and that Amira Rashid is trying to slowly regain control over her angry soldiers.

Nasruddin Hekmatyar
Rank/Title: Lord-Speaker of the Chamber of Notables; Sheik
Born: 3089 (53 in 3142)

The younger son of Abdulhamid Hekmatyar, Amir of Sabik, Nasruddin was raised as the scion of one of the Confederation's wealthiest noble families. Sabik's industries, long cultivated despite its status as a border system with the Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant, ensured House Hekmatyar a hefty income beyond their ever-expanding economic interests. Gaining a reputation as something of a dandy in his early teen years, Nasruddin was shipped off to the Dieron War Institute at age 17 to fulfill the Azami nobility's habitual duty of military service. He had a mixed educational career, nearly getting kicked out on demerits but showing great potential as a MechWarrior.

He was graduated early upon the outbreak of what would become the Fourth Succession War. His demerits disqualified him from a line regiment regardless of his family's status and resulted in assignment to the Second Dieron Regulars. The Regulars would quickly be sent into the fighting, joining an Azami invasion of New Earth in July 3110 that gave Nasruddin his first taste of war, and very nearly his last. In an engagement outside Boone Nasruddin's company was caught in a flanking attack by the Fifth Wraiths. He would be badly injured and barely eject before his 'Mech's destruction. Returned to Dieron for recuperation, he was initially slated to return to service with his unit when his brother's death against Galedon prompted his father to personally demand his assignment to the Sabik Sentinels, a House Hekmatyar-governed unit under AFAC command. Nasruddin would spend much of the war as one of his father's bodyguards. This kept him out of the worst fighting, though it did not spare him the rest of the war as he would see combat again during the fall of Sabik in 3116 and when the Sentinels were employed in the liberation of Albalii in 3119. Nasruddin would be mustered out after the Sentinels were stood down following the Peace of Dieron; the loss of his family's demesne to the Royal Federation ensured the unit could not be maintained.

Like his father, Nasruddin delved into politics. With House Hekmatyar given a compensatory holding on the resettled world of Lone Star they retained a right to sit in the Chamber of Notables. In 3128 Nasruddin succeeded to the House's seat and continued his father's political ambitions, all centered around one unwavering goal: the recovery, by war or diplomacy, of Sabik. Yet where Abdulhamid often bullishly charged forward and considered it a point of honor to never yield on the matter, Nasruddin has shown a surprising - some would say worrying - propensity for dissimulation on the matter. He shocked many by voting for a trade treaty with the Lyran states in 3129 and would later confirm appointments to the Council of Ministers with only cursory checks on their support for reclaiming his homeworld. This has left the most committed revanchists uncertain of his loyalties but made him many friends and political allies, whom he cultivates extensively through hosting parties and other gatherings at the Hekmatyar estate outside New Kokand on Albalii. A number of deadlocks in the legislature broke after such engagements. In 3136 he would be forced to return to Lone Star for sixteen months, replaced as his House's delegate by a cousin who lacked his style and caused headaches with less-politic maneuvering and votes for revanchist causes, but upon Abdulhamid's death in 3138 Nasruddin quickly returned to the capital to hold the family seat for himself. Re-establishing his political ties quickly, he would win a vote in 3140 to become the new Lord-Speaker of the Chamber of Notables. He has become the effective head of the Opposition to Prime Minister al-Abbas and has undone a numberr of al-Abbas' political triumphs in recent years, though unseating his father's old enemy has not yet become possible. Many note that his attitudes on Sabik seem to be hardening, though he maintains his flexibility of old. He remains of great interest to both MIIO and SIS due to his position on Sabik and rumored contacts with the Oriento-Capellan Empire.


Oleg Petrovsky
Rank/Title: Fariq, al-Nair Prefecture
Born: 3090 (52 in 3142)

Oleg Petrovsky hails from Lapida, the son of a local mine administrator and a geo-engineer from Tikonov who works to restoring Lapida's poisoned atmosphere from the era of Combine rule. The influence of the elder Stepan Petrovsky bent Oleg towards a hostile view towards warfare as a scourge that repeatedly brought Mankind to the brink of civilizational collapse. Originally intending to attend the prestigious Dobrinov College of Planetary Engineering on Tikonov, his father's alma mater, Oleg was still pursuing undergraduate education on Lapida when Galedon's invasion of the Confederation began and the government decreed conscription on every world. Due to his education Oleg was assigned as an assistant engineering officer to a combat engineering squad and badly wounded in the failed defense of Aiga-i-le-Tai. He was evacuated from the planet along with other wounded, leaving behind his parents and everything he knew.

Whatever he might have been planning for his life, the Fourth Succession War set Oleg on the path of being a soldier. He remained in the combat engineers and found an assignment to the First Spahi's Armored Infantry Regiment. Over the next decade Oleg rose through the ranks while the First Spahi, like many of the surviving Azami units, conducted repeated raids and counter-attacks into their occupied worlds. The sight of Galedonian abuses turned the formerly pacific engineering student into a warrior further and further from his father's vision of what he should become. This turn was made permanent when Lapida was eventually liberated in the final year of the war and the Petrovskys were nowhere to be found, having disappeared in ISF custody two years before. The Peace of Dieron brought no peace to Oleg Petrovsky who felt only rage at the Galedonians, now the reborn Combine, for what they'd done.

The AFAC was not an easy place to be in the 3120s. Pay or supply could be irregular as the Confederation struggled out of sovereign bankruptcy and the need to repay war loans took precedence over rebuilding. Yet Oleg persevered among the Spahi, bringing him to the attention of succeeding ranks of higher officers until he became CO of the Sixth Spahi Brigade in 3131. Amid Petrovsky honed their skills to execute the daring raid on Proserpina in 3133 that kicked off the Azami Confederation's raiding campaigns of the remaining decade. Petrovsky was nearly court-martialed before popular support amongst the rank and file, and the populace, swayed his commanders. He was rewarded with a promotion to Liwa and vice commander of the Spahi brigades, a position from which he pushed further raiding, principally against the Draconis Combine. In 3138 he would be promoted again to Fariq and placed in charge of al-Na'ir Prefecture, a fairly desired post given the system's importance in manufacturing, but bringing him away from the frontlines. Oleg has accepted his administrative post with discontent, but he performs his duty regardless. Like many, he believes the Peace of Dieron will not last forever, and he will be ready to assume a higher command in any renewed war with the people who ravaged his world and took his family from him.

Maryam Nyobe
Rank/Title: Amid, al-Murabutin Brigade
Born: 3096 (46 in 3142)

Maryam Nyobe hails from the Azami enclaves established on Dyev. Her father Nasser was a religious scholar aligned with the Azami survivalists and she was raised to consider the maintenance of their people and faith as a moral calling second only to worship. When the Fourth Succession War broke out young Maryam volunteered for the Dyev militia but was turned away on account of age. Joining the planet's Youth Scouts was her chosen alternative, especially as they were employed frequently in supporting military efforts by organizing supplies or running donation drives for the war effort. With the Confederation's survival in question in 3114, Maryam volunteered for service on her eighteenth birthday and was initially rejected until her father, far from disapproving as the recruitment officer expected, joined her at the station and berated the entire office staff for denying Maryam and others the chance to serve their faith and nation in its time of need.

Maryam was shipped off to an AFAC processing center and training, which would see her placed into the Confederation's MechWarrior Training Battalion system in 3115. She would graduate with high marks as a prospective MechWarrior after a grueling eighteen month course and be assigned to the Fourth Confederation Lancers. For the final years of the war she fought bravely and with noted skill, making the rank of Naqib before the end of the war.

The tattered state of the AFAC and a lack of commands affected Maryam's prospects like any other officer, but she retained a steady ascension through the ranks. In 3132 she became Muqaddam in the storied al-Murabutin Brigade, making Amid by 3138. Like her unit, her public profile vanished for a time, and she was only seen and noted again when her brigade arrived at Albalii to become part of the capital's garrison in 3141. Though there is no official confirmation, it is commonly held that Amid Nyobe led her unit into a sanctioned period of mercenary work, most likely fighting for the Kilbourne Concord in the ongoing Outworlds conflict between their forces and the Draconis Combine. Her return has led to much speculation on her future as one of the more dynamic and devoted commanders in the AFAC.



Draconis Combine - Personas[]

Yorinaga Kurita
Rank/Title: Coordinator of the Draconis Combine
Born: 3097 (45 in 3142)

The son of Director Kori Honda and Hidetada Kurita when he was born the heir of Galedon in 3097, Yorinaga's entire life was molded by his mother to prepare him to be the Coordinator of the restored Draconis Combine. His upbringing was seen to by members of the Black Dragon Society to instill in the young child the destiny, and burden, that awaited the living incarnation of the Dragon. As he grew he was tutored to be a warrior and ruler in the Kuritan mold. His adolescence and youth were spent watching his mother make war on all of her neighbors, indeed on virtually the entire Inner Sphere.

The war lasted through the decade. Upon his graduation from the restored Sun Zhang Military Academy, Yorinaga was assigned to the Seventh Sword of Light, an elite unit that was tasked with holding the conquered world of Dante in the Outworlds. In 3119 a force from the Concord arrived to reclaim the world. The outnumbered Seventh held ferociously and Yorinaga participated in the harsh fighting. He proved a capable warrior and officer but was severely wounded by armored infantry troops swarming his Kanabo. The head injury cost him an eye and left him seriously injured, enough that his superiors had him shipped back to Galedon to recover. He would not return to the field before the ceasefire was announced at Dieron, allowing him to join his mother and father for the trip to Luthien and the proclamation of the rebirth of the Draconis Combine.

In the years since the war Yorinaga continued to train as both a warrior and a future ruler, often journeying to the other military districts to appraise local conditions and promote loyalty to the reborn state. State broadcasts were understandably positive about the speeches and actions he took in his mother's name. Foreign pundits believe he may have ensured the fall from grace of Gunpo Rhee, Warlord of Tok Do, in 3130, and some sources that fled Hartshill District in the early 3130s implied his presence was used to compel greater obedience from Warlord Takeda-Suvorova. This left him well-placed to assume the Coordinatorship after his parents' death in 3135. Those foreign dignitaries who do meet with him and speak publicly about it remark that he is a very different figure from his aggressive, domineering mother, projecting stern control and typically speaking calmly but firmly. His re-opening of diplomatic relations with other states and restraint towards most of his neighbors is contrasted by the escalation of hostilities with the Concord over the disputed Outworlds and the savage sacking of Freedom in the Royal Federation, leaving many to wonder just what the new Dragon has in store for the Concert of the Sphere.


Ichiro Tetsuhara
Rank/Title: Grand Master of the Order of the Black Dragon
Born: 3078 (64 in 3142)

Born to lower nobility on New Samarkand, Tetsuhara's parents were secret members of the Black Dragon Society who survived Masako Honda's many purges of the Kokuryu-kai. By the time he came of age he was indoctrinated in the Society's message and able to publicly identify himself as one thanks to Kori Honda's support. As a loyal samurai seeking to restore House Kurita he dutifully entered the Galedonian military, winning assignment to the Fourth Izanagi Warriors and later the Second Sword of Light.

During the Fourth Succession War Tetsuhara rose the ranks of the Galedonian military, a resolute if stiff commander on the field who showed no mercy to enemies or allies. Upon achieving a battalion command after seeing to the capture of Sakhara in 3115 from the Federated Suns, he was likewise formally inducted into the Black Dragon Society and set on the path to rising in its ranks. The war ended on a sour note for Tetsuhara, however, as his victories over House Davion were undone by the KSDF's Operation DYNAMO counter-offensive. Even worse, his parents were among the slain when the Black Dragon Society's new Luthien headquarters were sacked by Rasalhaguan forces and mercenaries. Tetsuhara was chosen among a number of officers to replenish the leadership ranks.

Following the Peace of Dieron and the declaration of the Combine's rebirth, Tetsuhara focused on establishing the Order of the Black Dragon in its new role within the Combine. While details on the situation are sketchy, he is reputed to have played an instrumental role in a 3124-25 purge of the ISF's Galedon offices. For much of the latter decade he was in charge of all OBD efforts on Galedon proper, a time when many Galedonian officials were committing seppuku or dying in accidents or "misadvanture". He likewise assisted in removing Warlord Rhee of Tok Do before moving into the Order's upper echelon. In 3140 he was, at Coordinator Yorinaga's insistence, made the Grand Master of the Black Dragons, and has since served as one of Yorinaga's closest advisors. Many intelligence services in the Inner Sphere would pay handsomely to know more about Tetsuhara's plans for the Order and his advice to the Coordinator, but as of yet there is precious little data oon the matter.

John Ballymont
Rank/Title: Tai-sho, Vega Prefecture
Born: 3087 (55 in 3142)

Of all the senior commanders in the current DCMS, John Ballymont of Chatham has become one of the most noted in recent years for his fanatical loyalty and the brutality with which he governs the restive worlds of the Vega Prefecture. The son of a shopkeeper's family, John was a rare prodigee who earned a spot to the Galedon Military Academy due to testing during his time as a planetary force conscript. He graduated as a MechWarrior and field officer a year before the outbreak of the Fourth Succession War.

Assigned to the First Sword of Light, Ballymont would fight on the Rasalhague and Azami fronts for most of the war. Battlefield success as a commander brought honors and promotion, though his noted intolerance for anything but the most rigid devotion to the war and duty caused him some pointed rejoinders by commanding officers. A reassignment to the Fifth Sword of Light in 3114 put him on Arkab in time to participate in the infamous Awjilah Massacre, where he commanded a company of 'Mechs to open fire on crowds resisting the ordered mass arrest of the local religious council. This would only be the first time that Ballymont would show a penchant for enforcing his rulers' will with an iron fist, and by the end of the war, he was known as one of the officers the ISF could turn to if it needed a military response to domestic resistance.

A brigade commander in the Tok Do Regulars at the end of the war, Ballymont publicly hailed the reformation of the Draconis Combine and showed energy in adapting to the restoration of Japanese feudal aesthetics. He spent spare time learning kendo and other Japanese martial arts and studying samurai culture. His wife and children were likewise enjoined to do the same, in line with Kori Kurita's wishes. These acts of devotion won Ballymont promotions into the upper field ranks that escalated with the purging of remnant Honda sympathizers, culminating with his appointment to the rank of Tai-sho in 3131 and taking command of the Vega Prefecture.

He nearly lost all of this with Musashi Honda's rebellion and the Arcadian invasion that allowed Honda's successful escape. In view of his failure he asked Coordinator Kori for permission to commit seppuku and was denied; by all reports, that he was not arrested and dishonored like the Fifth Sword of Light's officer corps is down to how well he suppressed the wider rebelliousness Honda provoked in the Prefecture (some have added the vid-recorded mass executions of captive Arcadian troops contributed as well). While it may have saved his rank for the moment, Ballymont's behavior on Vega and nearby worlds led to furious Arcadian public opinion naming the Tai-sho "Butcher Ballymont", a reputation that only grew in monstrous proportions after the Second Sword of Light's sack of Freedom in 3139 and his suppression campaigns on Vega. Ballymont publicly approves of this nickname and his reputation among "the enemies of the Dragon" and has only intensified the orders for brutality against anti-Kuritan dissent. In 3141 he declared "those who oppose the Dragon are a cancer to be cut out, and it is a poor surgeon whose scalpel does not take everything touched by the disease". If Arcadian SIS is accurate, only restraints from Tok Do and Luthien have kept Ballymont from ordering more sacks like Freedom to hunt down Honda and his rebels. Instead his forces remain fully engaged crushing dissenters on New Wessex and Cebelrai, and Ballymont shows no signs of letting up on his crusade to "cut out the cancer".

Katarina Takeda-Suvorova
Rank/Title: Warlord of the Hartshill Military District
Born: 3083 (59 in 3142)

Katarina was born to be a ruler in her own right as the daughter of Crown Prince Mikhail Takeda-Suvorov, who became King of the Hartshill Federal Alliance when she was still very young. Has the heiress to her father Katarina was raised in the Hartshill royal court and imbibed the lessons of harsh practicality that dictated her isolated nation. Her father's death in 3102 put her on the throne before her nineteenth birthday in the middle of a growing existential crisis. After decades of having their independence honored scrupulously by House Honda, the Galedonians were now pressing the Federal Alliance for "greater unity". This came to a head in 3106 when Katarina was presented with a blunt ultimatum by Director Kori Honda: Hartshill's independence was no longer acceptable, and she would either govern as Kori's vassal or have her nation subjugated. With Rasalhague unfriendly and distracted, Katarina chose voluntary subjugation, and negotiated the terms to ensure House Takeda-Suvorov would remain hereditary rulers of the Hartshill worlds.

As history showed, by her actions Katarina ensured Galedon's aggressions that expanded the Fourth Succession War. Her armies and warships buttressed Kori's forces and allowed her to enjoy success on all fronts of the war, a war Katarina could do nothing but observe from afar as her people fought to conquer all in the name of Kori's Kuritan ambitions. Towards the end of that conflict Katarina, by some reports, had some chance to rebel, when her aunt Anastasia arrived with the Takeda Cavalry, the dissident troops fighting under Rasalhaguan colors. While there is no firmm confirmation, some sources hint the two had a final meeting during the fighting where Anastasia pleaded for Katarina to raise the banner of the Federal Alliance once more. If so, Katarina stuck with her path. The Cavalry were driven off Hartshill. When the Peace of Dieron came and the Combine was declared restored, Katarina was officially recognized as Warlord of the new Hartshill Military District.

There is very little news out of Hartshill these days. The Combine-Rasalhague border is effectively a cordon, with very little traffic through the area due to the severance of economic ties during the war, and the Periphery is empty beyond Hartshill's immediate borders. Katarina's public appearances are all clearly staged; she has eschewed the old Russo-Japanese fashions of her family for the strictly Japanese fashions demanded of a Kuritan warlord, and her speeches conform to obvious state scripting. Some commentators remark she seems more like a hostage than a high-ranking Tai-shu of the Draconis Combine. Some of the intelligence the Royal Federation and Ghastillians have passed on hint to a deeper, more complex interaction between the Kuritas and the Takeda-Suvorovs, however. Katarina retains powers no other warlord enjoys, all by the treaty in which she submitted to Kori Honda, and has stymied some initiatives and directives from the ISF and OBD. Diplomatic observers who have arrived since Yorinaga took the Chrysanthemum Throne note that tension is evident whenever the two are in proximity. Katarina, it seems, may be playing a deeper game than her angry aunt Anastasia gives credit for, pushing her power and daring Yorinaga to provoke her worlds into rebellion. There is no doubt this is a very dangerous game, but given her situation, it is one Warlord Katarina has to play if she is to be more than a puppet vassal to House Kurita.

Musashi Honda
Rank/Title: Chu-sa, Third Legion of Vega (Former); Heir of the Galedon Directorate
Born: 3094 (48 in 3142)

The circumstances of Musashi Honda's birth are about all that can be easily confirmed of his early life. His mother, Yumiko Honda, was the Director of the Galedon Mutual Co-Prosperity Sphere, only recently elevated from the death of her father Hoff. His father is presumed to be Alphonse Richaud, Yumiko's husband. His birth was announced with great fanfare in late 3094 as a guarantee of Masako Honda's continued bloodline. The following year Musashi disappeared from the awareness of the Inner Sphere before he reached his first birthday after the Dragon Coup of the Sixth of July. By the time that day ended on Galedon, his parents and many of their closest attendants and political advisors were dead at the hands of the Black Dragons' nekokami. Musashi's aunt, Kori, seized the Directorate. Musashi was presumed dead as well.

The threads of his history resume in the personnel record of Private-Recruit Musashi Toyotomi. The son of free tenant farmers on House Honda's estates on New Samarkand, Musashi enlisted in the GCSAF in 3115 for militia duty. With the Fourth Succession War raging he was tested for and proved capable of MechWarrior piloting and was assigned to a crash training course with the "Dragon's Scales" program. Following his graduation in early 3117, Musashi was assigned to the Twenty-Fifth Galedon Regulars and served on the Azami front. He showed promise for his rank and was granted a battlefield commission while fighting an Azami raid on Cylene in 3118, taking part in the fighting retreat from that world when the Compact forces liberated it the following year. He was decorated for heroism and the battlefield commission finalized into a regular one following the Peace of Dieron.

Given his middling posting and commoner background, his record was not so stellar as to win Musashi a posting to a major unit. He was kept with the Galedon Regulars for several years until an appointment to one of the new Legions of Vega in 3132. This may have provoked the rebellion he would launch two years later. While the Arcadians have not provided data on his motives, and they may not even know them, ithe re-assignment may have forced Musashi's hand from a larger planned rebellion among the Galedon Regulars. Whether some force in the Combine government pushed the transfer out of suspicion or he had simply experienced poor luck, it's fairly clear the Legions of Vega were not his planned tool, and the uprising most likely in response to increasing danger of detection under the loyal Tai-sho Ballymont. Whatever the reason, in 3134 Musashi seized a broadcast station with his most loyal forces, connected to the HPGs, and revealed his parentage while calling for the restoration of the Co-Prosperity Sphere and an end to "dishonorable Kuritan treachery that my great-grandmother and her line are shamed by". Most of the Third Legion of Vega and many of the other Legions, as well as local militia and other forces in neighboring systems, rallied to his support and kept Tai-sho Ballymont's forces off-balance for weeks. During the fighting on Vega itself Musashi proved a more capable commander and MechWarrior than had appeared in his record, repeatedly launching hit-and-run operations and surprise attacks on the Fifth Sword of Light and other formations that kept his forces operational and field-ready. Nevertheless a wider rebellion failed to materialize and his fate would have been sealed if not for the Arcadians' Operation SOVEREIGN SON, which allowed Musashi and his mutineers to escape to the Royal Federation rather than be hunted down and destroyed by Ballymont's forces.

Since the Rebellion, Musashi has remained mobile within Federation territory. His forces launched several raids on the Vega Prefecture up through 3138 but have gone silent since. The Arcadians remain tight-lipped on whether they forced this upon him due to the Combine retaliation attack on Freedom in 3139 or if other factors have come into play. Wherever he is, Musashi remains a significant internal threat to Yorinaga Kurita's rule of Galedon and the heart of the old realm of House Honda.


Tikonov Grand Union - Personas[]

Martina Timoshenko
Rank/Title: Prime Minister of the Grand Union
Born: 3077 (65 in 3142)

Martina Timoshenko was born on Demeter to a family of Terran refugees who took up living on the planet following the Terran War. She went into academia during her college years and spent her first quarter century of adulthood in political science teaching and research, culminating in producing a definitive account of Terran-Tikonovite relations from the Collapse era to the Terrans' fall from power. Published in 3113, "A History of the Relations of Independent Tikonov and the Terran Union" won accolades from many in the political science and historical community for her exhaustive work with primary sources.

A planned follow-up study of the Terran War-era was shelved due to timing. Martina found the Fourth Succession War to be a cataclysmic, almost apocalyptic event, and it inspired her towards political participation. She became a moderate member of the Peace Restoration movement and ran for office in 3114. She would lose her first election, but in 3116 won a by-election. She sided with the Just Peace portion of the Peace Restorationists' factional split in 3118, supporting Prime Minister Oberth's push for the restoration of Compact worlds as a condition for peace. She only narrowly missed a chance to join the Grand Union's delegation to Dieron at the start of 3120. Since the resulting peace treaty had little to be controversial among the Union, her vote for it was part of a landslide majority.

In the years since the war Martina's career started sluggish. She lost a re-election bid in 3124 but delayed a return to academia to accept a position in the personal staff of Prime Minister Albert Roche. Roche's endorsement brought her back into the Union Assembly in 3128 and saw her first appointment to a government post as a vice-minister under the Foreign Ministry. She helped shepherd through the Assembly new trade treaties with the Lyran states and the Principate and even secured most favored trading status with the Kilbourne Suns' Concord in 3131. That success brought her to the Foreign Minister's chair the following year, along with her widest re-election margin yet. The retirement of Prime Minister Rogachev in 3135 opened the way for Martina's elevation to the leadership of the Union, where she continues to pursue a Union-wide popular policy of regulated trade, technological investment, and diplomatic engagement to prevent any full break in the Peace of Dieron.


Alvin Rozhenko Rank/Title: Commanding General, TUAF
Born: 3068 (74 in 3142)

Alvin Rozhenko hails from Woodstock, the son of a TUAF military family who resettled there when his grandmother and father were assigned as part of the new garrison forces. He grew up in the culturally bruising post-war era where remnant Terran sentiments still conflicted with their new political alignment, including social conflicts with children who saw him and his family as "invaders". It left him with a resentment of "Terran nationalism" and a drive to leave Woodstock for Tikonov as soon as he was of age. His parents initially hoped he would get a civilian education to join the Grand Union's burgeoning research-industrial complex, but Alvin sought a military life due to influence from his Tikonovite relatives and a desire to become a MechWarrior.

After two decades of meritorious service during the Later Second Age of War, he was a Colonel and commanding the regiment of BattleMechs in the Third Tikonov Lancers when the Fourth Succession War started. The war led Alvin through a series of campaigns and battles, each more harrowing than the last as the years passed and Tikonov's armies were ground down in the fighting with the Lyrans, Galedon, and Concord. His rise through the ranks continued until the end of the war, when as a major general he commanded the Third Woodstock Regulars. In the final months the third suffered heavy casualties during an invasion of Woodstock by the Fourth Young Liao Guards. Rozhenko's leadership saw the unit through that struggle and preserved his homeworld for the Grand Union, but it levied an emotional cost and a growing bitter grudge against the Liaoists. He received a further blow when his son Sergei succumbed to mortal wounds suffered in the liberation of Ashio.

Following the war Alvin chose to accept reserve status and spent time in counseling to come to grips with the carnage he'd survived and the losses he and his family endured. The counseling proved a mixed success but enabled his return to service in 3125 at his former rank. Alvin has spent the post-Dieron period as an advocate for the "limited rearmament" concept; while he does not embrace full-scale rearmament and a return to pre-3110 force levels, he believes the post-war TUAF remains too small to face the myriad threats on its borders, especially in light of the "nightmare scenario" of a two-front war with the Concord and the Empire. While this has led to repeated arguments with the Union's civilian leadership, it has not prevented General Rozhenko's climb to the highest rank in 3139. As Commanding General of the TUAF his calls for limited rearmament have made him a political foe of Prime Minister Timoshenko. Despite this opposition the two enjoy a cordial, if cool, professional relationship, bolstered by Alvin's own spin on her peace politics and the prospect of a permanent alliance of some form with the Lyran states that would reduce his fears of facing a two front conflict. Under the law Alvin has two more years left until a mandatory stepping down and retirement from the Commanding General post and, by all indications, he intends to keep to his work through that period. His post-service career is still a subject of much debate and consideration by political watchers on Tikonov. He would not be the first former Commanding General to enter politics, but he has disavowed all interest in further office for the time being.

Tanya Campbell
Rank/Title: Colonel, CO Marion's Highlanders BattleMech Regiment; Countess of Northwind
Born: 3104 (38 in 3142)

The younger daughter of Count Malcolm Campbell of Northwind, Tanya was raised to be a MechWarrior and commander first and foremost. Command of the Northwind Highlanders would be her ultimate destiny, in conjunction with her older brother David's inheritance of the family titles and lands and what small political power they retained under the Grand Union's laws. It was not an easy life but was the cost of position and heritage for the young woman, who struggled early on due to her bookish and shy demeanor. By the time she was in adolescence, a gulf was clearly forming between the now-rebellious young woman, who despite talent clearly despised her appointed role and sought more intellectual pursuits for her life, and the father and older brother whose expectations she was letting down.

The Fourth Succession War made it all the worse. Regiment after regiment of the Highlanders went off to the battlefields and came home in ruins. Malcolm and then David went off to war with their warriors, their messages home reproachful as they received continuing reports of Tanya's defiance. When Malcolm was killed by Galedonian forces on Raman in 3117 and David left a brain-damaged cripple from injuries in the fighting on Cartago, one might have expected Tanya to seize the chance to secure her own future and take her own path as Countess-to-be.

She embraced her family's desired path instead, or at least, ceased resisting it. As the future Countess of Northwind it was her responsibility to serve and to lead and, whatever her prior disputes over her desired life, Tanya accepted this. The war would end before she reached age to fully serve but upon her seventeenth birthday she dutifully signed on to become an officer of the Highlanders. A three year martial education at the Campbell College of Military Science revealed her as a fusion of the path she'd sought and that her father and brother demanded, her intellect turned to a strong grasp of not only battlefield tactics and strategy but the logistics vital to maintaining forces in the field. She served with the Kearny Highlanders and MacLeod's Regiment as a junior officer before taking a company command in Marion's Highlanders in 3134. A year later David passed on from a hemorrhagic stroke brought on by his wartime injury and Tanya became the Countess of Northwind. She appointed a regent and remained with her regiment, citing her duties to the Highlanders for not taking on wider political power. She currently serves as a full bird Colonel and regimental commander of the Marion Highlanders' 'Mech regiment.

Mikhail Kamenov Rank/Title: Science and Technology Minister of the Grand Union
Born: 3088 (54 in 3142)

The son of a pediatrician and a pharmaceutical researcher, Mikhail is a native-born TIkonovite whose family can trace its roots back to the original colonists and through generations of Capellan intelligentsia and sheng caste status. He was raised to take pride in the Kamenov family's long history even if they were, by law, only regular citizens. From the start he was raised to join his parents, uncles, and aunts in the ranks of the Grand Union's research-industrialist unions and technocracy.

The Fourth Succession War nearly derailed his plans. As world after world fell to or was threatened by the Concord and Galedon through 3113, Kamenov was issued a draft notice. At first he won deferment on the grounds of being in doctorate studies, but the fall of Towne in April 3113 led to the War Emergency Decree and the suspension of such deferments. Mikhail was ordered to report for service with the TAUF and, due to his education, was assigned to serve as quality control officer inspecting medical equipment procured for the military. This included trips to other worlds in the Grand Union, Federated Suns, and the Oriento-Capellan Empire for production site inspections. He was on Capella when, in 3118, Operation XIN SHENG commenced. Upon the Empire's expulsion from the Compact he, other officers in his entourage, and other nationals of the Compact states were interned by Maskirovka order until their exchange, in 3119, with Imperial officials and citizens held in internment in the Federated Suns. The fighting was over by the time Mikhail returned to Tikonov just after New Year's, 3120. Following the Peace of Dieron he was released from TUAF service with an appropriate pension and bonus for his time.

Seven years of compelled military service and his internment produced changes in outlook. Mikhail returned to university to finish his doctorate, but upon the acceptance of his doctoral thesis in 3124 he went to work in politics and government, seeking and winning a position in the Science and Technology Ministry after openly joining the Human Advancement Party. A pacifist technocrat by his own profession, Mikhail worked within the bureaucracy and outside of it to direct resources from military research to civilian. He served as project manager in the 3128-3132 Biological Restoration Initiative that developed several new cutting edge methods of cleansing polluted biospheres of bioweaponry or excess chemical and radiological contamination. His role in similar initiatives won him greater influence and a spot to run for a Tikonovite seat in the Union Assembly in 3134. With his party in the governing coalition, he was selected to be a Vice-Minister for Science and Technology. Coalition shuffles saw his party out of the ruling coalition in 3138-3140, but election results in 3140 ensured that in 3141, the party was able to win his appointment to being Minister for Science and Technology, a position from which Mikhail continues to promote the advancement of "peaceful" scientific endeavor over "military". His views are highly welcome in Prime Minister Timoshenko's government. Other parties are not so admiring, with his background and reputed statements of "Capellan sympathy" leading many anti-Liaoists (and, some whisper, Federated Suns MIIO) to believe he may be a Capellan agent of influence, though conspiracy mongers' assertion he was made into Maskirovka agent during his internment is often and easily dismissed by most parrties.

Joseph Dresari
Rank/Title: General, CO Kentares Guards, TUAF (ret.): Duke of Kentares
Born: 3070 (72 in 3142)

House Dresari has governed Kentares in one form or another since the Star League. The Grand Union's rule over the world saw the Dresaris stripped of most of their authority, but as with other remnant nobility regardless of origin, they are permitted and even encouraged to pursue careers in the TUAF. Joseph, the son of Duchess Joanna Dresari, was born expecting to fulfill just such a role, and enrolled in the Grand Union University's Suvorov College of Military Science at the age of seventeen. Upon graduation in 3091 Dresari was briefly assigned to the First Kentares Guards before taking a chance to performed advanced tactical studies at Albion on New Avalon as part of a cross-Compact program. Following his second graduation from Albion in 3095 and gaining the rank of Captain he rejoined the First Kentares Guards for their assignment to the Outback and the defense of Broken Wheel. Upon rotation home Joseph married and fathered a new generation, Ian and Joanna, to continue the family. In 3109 he made Colonel and held a regimental command in the First Kentares.

The Fourth Succession War was as hard for the Dresaris as many other major families that had their worlds invaded. From 3111 to 3114 Kentares was a war zone with strong Concord and Galedonian invasion forces very nearly destroying Joseph's unit and their sister regiments. Joanna would be severely wounded in the retreat from Carinda City and Joseph himself nearly killed when his command post was bombed. Though the war ground on for six years after Compact forces landed with enough power to sweep both foes from the planet, Joseph remained on his homeworld for the remainder, recuperating from his injuries and managing TUAF logistics efforts. He would be promoted to Lieutenant General the month before the Peace of Dieron was signed.

For the first decade after the war Joseph focused on his military efforts, ultimately gaining a promotion to full general and becoming CO of the entire Kentares Guards Command. In 3132 he retired from service to, in his words, "focus on my family and my world". Joseph has not limited himself to mere civil duties and family life, however, but remains a political force on Kentares and Tikonov itself. He is a proponent of stronger ties with the Concord, if the Concord will accept such, and the continuation of the alliance with House Davion. Most controversially, in 3140 he signed the Compact Federation Petition, a document generated by a number of planetary and regional governors across the Compact states that calls for the alliance to become a formal political union, much as the Kilbourne Suns' Concord formed. Prime Minister Timoshenko rebuked Dresari publicly for his act and the Assembly formally voted, by a 3-to-1 majority, to reject the Petition, though they failed a censure vote against Duke Joseph by a margin of 3 to 2 and resoundingly rejected without consideration a motion to compel his abdication. For more nationalist-minded Tikonovites - and especially for Capellan sympathizers - the proposal "betrays the Duke's Restorationist sympathies", as Minister Kamenov thundered when calling for Joseph's censure. Duke Joseph has refused all demands to retract his signature, insisting he signed as a private person, not as a political figure, and that the affair has been "exaggerated by Capellan agents". The controversy has regrettably marred his reputation among the people of the Grand Union, if not those of his world's prefecture.


Kilbourne Suns' Concord - Personas[]

Milos Kavanaugh Rank/Title: Chancellor of the Concord
Born: 3091 (51 in 3142)

Milos was born to a family of middle-class professionals on Bryceland. Most of his young life was spent preparing to enter a suitable college to follow that path in life. Yet by his teen years the prospect of a life of white collar office work as an architect or engineer no longer appealed. Milos took to piloting as a skill and not just a step towards aerospace engineering and design work. When the Concord enacted widespread conscription following Galedon's betrayal in 3113, Milos was picked up and trained to pilot VTOL craft for the KSDF.

Where others in his position might have faltered, especially during the horror of the Fourth Succession War, Milos excelled. By 3115 he'd been posted as a volunteer to the Lexington Combat Group's Tenth Light Guards' air assault contingent, flying attack VTOLs into severe fighting along the Federated Suns front. In the process of having four craft shot out from under him over the next two years, Milos rose in rank to XO of the Tenth Light Guards' aerial battalion, winning numerous decorations in the process. In 3118, he was critically wounded in a fifth crash from enemy fire and pulled from combat duty due to the extent of his injuries. The surgeries and rehabilitation that resulted kept him out of the remainder of the war.

The Peace of Dieron brought an end to his military career. Milos accepted the medical discharge and briefly returned to civilian piloting before a comrade suggested he run for Bryceland's planetary legislature. Milos' initial election in 3122 was followed by a proposal to run for the Concord House of Representatives on Kilbourne in 3124. He ran against an incumbent who was, in mid-campaign, brought down by corruption charges, giving Milos an unexpected victory. This proved a surprising boon in his early career, as many political analysts - and politicians - did not expect much from a neophyte. Milos proved more capable than expected and used his committee assignments and floor time to gain a reputation as a capable speaker and quick thinker. This was bolstered by his popularity among the war veteran demographic, a demographic he courted by promoting their interests over many others. After spending much of the 3130s as a rising star in the political world, Milos prevailed in the 3140 elections for the Chancellorship, aided greatly by the increase in Kuritan aggression and Milos' support for increased arms expenditure to fight it. As Chancellor Milos has embarked on continued rearmament towards the Concord's formidable 3110 forces while showing some willingness to crack open the doors on his state's continued isolation, expanding diplomatic missions to COMINTERSTEL, the Lyran states, and the Oriento-Capellan Empire. Yet he is committed to the Concord's position when it comes to their neighbors. Milos remains opposed to any reconciliation towards the Federated Suns that doesn't involve the restoration of Filtvelt and Malagrotta and likewise shows little interest in any lessening of hostilities with the Combine.

Joan Arseid
Rank/Title: Chancellor of the Concord (former); President of Arseid MechWorks
Born: 3062 (80 in 3142)

Joan Arseid was the last of the main Arseid line to be born while they ruled as Dukes of Kilbourne. Her grandfather Harris would relinquish the family's hereditary rule over their homeworld when the Commonwealth merged with its neighbors into the Kilbourne Suns' Concord, yet she was still raised in a traditional Arseid manner in terms of politics, duty, and military service. In 3080 Joan entered the Kilbourne Military Academy and graduated four years later as a MechWarrior and Lieutenant in the KSDF. She gave a quarter century service to the military, seeing action in the Third Outback War with the Second Concord Dragoons and First Concord Guards in the process with several decorations to her credit. In 3109 she resigned to battle with colon cancer, an ailment that left her stricken and unable to return to service when the Fourth Succession War broke out.

The War cost Joan, and House Arseid, greatly. Her sons Harris and Donald were both killed as a result of Galedon's betrayal in 3113, two of an entire generation of the family that were heavily reaved by the fighting. Since her condition forbade military service she focused on the political and economic spheres, serving time as Chief Operating Officer of Arseid MechWorks before winning a Senate seat in 3114. Her military background gave weight to her many criticisms of the Concord's strategy in the war, enough that Chancellor Felsner brought her into the Government as Defense Secretary to join in overseeing the conflict. She was primarily responsible for the appointment of Jonisar Yalos II to the post of Commanding General of the KSDF and supported his risky Operation DYNAMO counter-offensive to the utmost, eventually green-lighting it upon her ascension to the Chancellor's seat in 3118. That offensive was an astounding success for the Concord, leading to the recovery of all but a handful of worlds lost to the Federated Suns and Galedon Co-Prosperity Sphere through the war, but ultimately a dangerous victory as it left the KSDF hopelessly overextended. The gamble paid off as no enemy offensives came and the Peace of Dieron secured the Concord's recovery.

Through much of the post-war period Joan has remained a force in the politics of the Concord. Her Chancellorship lasted over a decade, during which the Concord rebuilt its forces and consolidated its isolated position. The highlight of Joan's diplomatic overtures came with a treaty of military assistance with Rasalhague in 3128 and a summit with First Prince Grace a year later, though the latter failed to do more than normalize economic relations given the great gulf between Concord and FedSun diplomatic positions. In 3131 Joan resigned due to another battle with cancer. Shortly thereafter a surgical complication left her near death and it would take heroic efforts by the Concord's finest doctors to preserve her life. By 3136 she was recovered enough to assume leadership of Arseid MechWorks; as President of her House's 'Mech-production company, Joan has continued influence in the KSDF and government, making her a wild card factor in politics. She has, in recent years, voiced her consideration for a "detente" with the Federated Suns, in sharp contrast to Chancellor Kavanaugh's avowed support for the liberation of Filtvelt and Malagrotta from "Davion domination". There is some friction between the two as a result, off-set by her full-throated encouragement of the Concord's ongoing conflict with the Draconis Combine.

Lawrence Avellar
Rank/Title: Senator from Alpheratz, Concord Congress; Colonel, KSDF (Res.) Born: 3088 (54 in 3142)

In the centuries since House Avellar lost its grip on power, the family has nevertheless remained a potent political force on Alpheratz, and maintained some degree of wealth and influence even after the conquest of the Outworlds Republic by the Lexington Concord and Solar Union. As with his forebearers, Lawrence was born into the family under the expectations that he would serve in the KSDF, the one route for old noble families to avoid losing their final vestiges of political power. He attended the Alpheratz Flight Academy from 3107 to 3111 and joined the KSDF as an aerospace fighter pilot.

As with many of the Cisglass Inner Sphere's current leadership cadre, he made his name Concord-wide during the Fourth Succession War, flying for the Alpheratz Guards Aerospace Group. His unit was fighting on Point Barrow against the Federated Suns when Galedon's treachery saw his own homeworld fall to a blitz assault in 3113. After retreating from Point Barrow the following year the Alpheratz Guards were kept on defensive duty along the Federated Suns front, an act that caused increasing frustration that approached fury amongst its ranks, particularly as scant word from home confirmed the brutality with which the Galedonian occupation troops were behaving on their homeworld. In 3117 Lawrence was among the officers of the brigade who signed a petition demanding the Concord act to liberate their homeworld; by the following year, KSDF Internal Security had him flagged as the ringleader of a potential mutiny. Joan Arseid's rise to the Chancellorship cut short a plan to break the unit up and saw its employment in the Outworlds section of the 3119 DYNAMO offensive. The Guards landed to liberate their homeworld; Lawrence flew through the first three weeks of the fight until he was shot down on a bombing run and taken prisoner by Galedonian forces. After brutal interrogation and the lack of treatment for his crash injuries, Lawrence was rescued by Alpheratzian insurgents and smuggled to friendly lines. He spent the rest of the war recuperating.

Following the conflict Lawrence was honorably discharged with an increase in rank due to his wartime service. Unsurprisingly he immediately went into politics, running for planetary government before making a Senate bit in 3130. As a scion of House Avellar he already had a strong place in local politics, but his war record and anti-Combine rhetoric clinched a strong victory at the polls. Lawrence's time on Kilbourne saw little controversy until 3135 when he shocked many by refusing a procedural vote on funding for a Filtvelt exiles' group. "The Federated Suns are our natural ally against the Dragon's inhumanity" was the soundbyte that set off the trial of his career, costing him most of his war veteran advocacy endorsements and furious denunciation across the political spectrum of the Concord. Lawrence went from a war hero to a Davion apologist in the eyes of many, with some angrier voices calling for investigation into his having become an MIIO plant. His re-election appeared deeply uncertain.

Yet he was re-elected, thanks to his own hated foes. The invasion of Alpheratz by House Kurita in January 3136 shocked many for the sheer scope of it. The Concord scrambled to break the blockade of the world and provide further reinforcements, mercenary and KSDF, while Lawrence seized the political opportunity presented. Denied permission to return until the Combine withdrew, Lawrence invested everything into pressing the Concord government for more troops, more action, more everything. He publicly agitated for and secured the hiring of the Kell Hounds and a number of "foreign" mercenary troops that would help turn the tide, ordered Avellar estates handed over to the planetary government to provide shelters and support for the defense, and made a barnstorm tour of multiple systems to promote resistance and the need to fight the Combine harder. By the time the Combine invasion ended that November, nobody on battered Alpheratz could doubt Lawrence Avellar's dedication to saving them from Kuritan conquest, and he crushed the opposition candidates set against him despite their own vigorous campaign against his "Davion apologism". Returned to the Senate, Lawrence has rebuilt some ties with his old allies, but many remain wary of him for continuing to support a pro-Davion alignment. The charge that he is a Davion agent of influence persists in many Concord worlds' media circles and he was notably snubbed by Chancellor Kavanaugh during several sessions they mutually attended. Some note his current 3142 election campaign has seemingly orientated him towards Outworlds sectionalism, and he faces a strong challenge against the Social Democratic Party's chosen candidate, Yvette Simmons. It is doubtful the Combine will aid him with another invasion, but it remains to be seen if the people of Alpheratz are as disturbed by his willingness to work with the Davions as peoples in the other states of the Concord are.

Harris Tostig
Rank/Title: Commanding General of the KSDF
Born: 3079 (63 in 3142)

Harris comes from a family long associated with the Lexington Combat Group. Most of his family have served as generals in the LCG, his father Wilson included. He grew up on KSDF bases with other dependent children of the LCG regiments. While some children in this situation, including his own younger siblings, eventually rebel for at least a time, Harris made the KSDF his life. He attended military preparatory school throughout his adolescence and teenage years and won admission to the Penelope Reynolds Military Academy at Fort Ballycastle in 3096, a year earlier than most. He proved a capable student and graduated eighth in the Class of 3100, "the class the stars fell on" from the number of successful officers to come from its ranks.

By the time of the Fourth Succession War, Major Tostig was the new XO of a battalion in the LCG' 187th Assault Regiment. He was awarded the Silver Star for his role in the combat drop on Markesan that shattered the Fifteenth Avalon Hussars and secured the planet for the Concord. He won further accolades, and a promotion to battalion XO, in the fighting on Strawn on Argyle, where he suffered his first significant wounding of the war and was evacuated. After several months in recuperation he was assigned to an open battalion command billet with the Fourth Concord Dragoons, where he would serve with the Concord's Seventh Army Command during the long fighting of the Outer Crucis front. He returned to the 187th as its CO in 3115 in time to command the unit in its defense of Lexington from a succession of Galedonian and FedSun invasions through 3117. His role in command staff-level decisions prompted recognition from General Jonasar Yalos II, who made Tostig his aide-de-camp and kept him on after his elevation to Commanding General in 3118. Tostig was part of the final stage planning for Operation DYNAMO and rejoined his unit for the drop on Robinson in 3119, where the LCG virtually annihilated the AFFS defending units and reclaimed House Sandoval's throneworld for the Concord. The Peace of Dieron saw Tostig overseeing the defensive planning for the counterattacks the KSDF anticipated.

After the years of fighting, the end of the war was welcomed by many of the KSDF's officers. Tostig was not one of them. He mourned his lost comrades, but he held bitter thoughts about the Peace and what the Concord had been forced to give up despite DYNAMO. More to the point, he recognized the Concord's strategic position was irrevocably transformed by Kori Honda — now Kori Kurita — and her megalomaniacal treachery. There was no safety in the peace and he immediately agitated for the KSDF's restoration to pre-war strength in several articles to media sources. Ultimately this put him at odds with both Commanding General Yalos and Chancellor Arseid who promoted a slower rearmament for restoring the economic health of the Concord. In 3123 Yalos personally ordered Tostig to cease his media activities. Harris reportedly offered his resignation and was rebuked by his old superior; in the end, he was placed on reserve by mutual agreement, a time in which he became Commandant of the Fort Ballycastle Military Preparatory Academy and finally married to continue the Tostig family. In 3136, in response to the Combine invasion of Alpheratz, Tostig was reactivated and made XO of the entire LCG. He oversaw the relief of Alpheratz and the following campaigns in the Outworlds with much acclaim from the press and other officialdom. This made him the obvious candidate for Chancellor Kavanaugh when Commanding General Malik retired in 3140. He is the fourth Tostig to hold the rank and the third to hold it since Penny Reynolds' long tenure, and given his record, the Concord is in capable hands.

Shlomo Rubenstein
Rank/Title: General, KSDF, CO Lexington Combat Group
Born: 3085 (57 in 3142)

Shlomo Rubenstein hails from the New Orthodox Jewish community of Cohenburg on Lexington. The son of a rabbinical scholar and a pediatric psychiatrist, he grew up in an intellectual household. A period of uncertainty about the direction of his life turned him towards the KSDF in his late teens. He signed up for a term in 3103, much to the consternation of his parents, looking to complete his education on KSDF money.

He was in chaplain training when the Fourth Succession War broke out. For the first few years his service remained in the support field, but Galedon's betrayal of the Concord and the desperate retreat from the Robinson State region changed his life. Due to the dire need for combat officers, Shlomo was reassigned to the infantry and posted to the Second Lexington Minutemen brigade. Despite his personal reservations — his record states he was cited for disrespect to a superior officer over an argument about his combat assignment — Captain Rubenstein proved to have a knack for armored infantry tactics during the siege of Lexington. Fighting for his homeworld, and seeing his hometown of Cohenburg nearly destroyed by fighting, changed Shlomo's perception of his role and his future course. He devoted himself to the military arts, turning his natural intuitive skill into formalized understanding, and won commendations and accolades for his performance as an armored infantry officer through the rest of the war, culminating with the Concord Star of Valor for defeating Galedonian 'Mech forces on New Aberdeen in 3119. By the Peace of Dieron, he was a colonel and commander of the Second Lexington Armored Infantry Regiment.

Once peace was won, he was offered a return to chaplain services, but Shlomo refused. Whatever his prior life's path, he felt his role in life was to be a protector of his people, and all those peoples within the Concord, in the uniform of a KSDF officer. While remaining faithfully observant of New Orthodox practices, including growing out his beard to military regulated length and dutifully marrying in 3122, Rubenstein has devoted much of his energy to the rebuilding of the KSDF's spent strength and reinforcing their hold on the worlds nearly lost in the war. Much to his consternation he was assigned as Commander of Military Defenses on Robinson in 3132, a posting he felt was more due to his religion and a mistaken understanding of Jewish identity by some authorities in the KSDF and Concord government. He nevertheless succeeded in establishing easier relations with the Robinson population, primarily by encouraging a relaxing of the military governance that Robinson's persistent support for House Sandoval had engendered among the KSDF and Concord authorities. His own success ensured his removal from the post after just two years of a four year assignment, as a number of authorities were frustrated by his "toleration" of "Davion Restorationism" among the Robinson populace, a charge that Rubenstein took personally given his public stance against the Federated Suns (rivaled only by his open hatred of the Draconis Combine). After a period of time on Kilbourne as a command staff officer, Shlomo was a dark horse candidate for one of the most prestigious posts in the KSDF, CO of the Lexington Combat Group. When the leading candidate, LCG XO Lt. General Joanna Hawkins, was killed by Combine forces in the Outworlds fighting, and the other — LCG Operations Commander Major General Norton Gephardt — was implicated in a procurement scandal, Rubenstein proved the most viable for the posting despite his lack of service with the LCG. He was elevated in 3140 and has spent the prior two years smoothing out ruffled feathers among his new subordinates and winning the respect and acceptance of the LCG's rank and file. KSDF estimates as to their improving morale indicate he has proven successful in that regard, or that at the very least the LCG is "tolerating" the "outsider" they've been saddled with until his inevitable promotion and elevation out of the post.


Free Traders' Union - Personas[]

Duane Sandusky
Rank/Title: President of the Union
Born: 3085 (57 in 3142)

Duane Sandusky comes from a middle tier trading family on Wynn's Roost. While not one of the wealthier oligarchical groups, the Sandusky holdings are enough to make them a political force of some weight whenever they operate in the margins of the power coalitions within the Union Congress. Duane's father Eugene was one such figure, considered a "gray eminence" of the administrations of the 3090s and early 3100s. He saw to it his son was raised to understand the delicate economic and political situation of the Union and ensured his education at the highest centers of learning, at least those outside of the Terran enclave.

During the Fourth Succession War Sandusky made a name for himself by opening accounts in the Concord for purchasing war bonds and shares in the Concord's defense industries. For a time this seemed a disastrous use of the family money as the Concord's situation through much of the war seemed dire. A number of investors pulled out and nearly bankrupted Duane's brokerage. Yet he proved triumphant at the end of the war as the Concord's recovery, and the Peace of Dieron's confirmation of their near-restoration to their original borders, rapidly expanded the value of the bonds and shares and provided a hefty profit.

Through the 3120s the resulting interest and dividends financed Duane's burgeoning political career. While a man of Wynn's Roost, he gained significant support in the outer worlds through both loans to local magnates and business operations and personal visits to dispense aid and largesse following local disasters or pirate attacks. After years of raising his profile among the Union Congress and as the Union's Minister of the Interior, he made his bid for government in the 3140 elections. A strong campaign by Renard Schmidt, the former Vice President, left the issue in doubt until the returns from the outer worlds came, but his popularity there and his votes in the inner worlds placed Duane in the Presidency. With his retired father's continued support and careful balancing of various competing interests in the Union, Sandusky is openly planning his re-election bid and has proposed further investment in the outer worlds to expand the Union's meager economic base. This will certainly cement his popularity in those worlds, but his political rivals can be counted on to use this against him in politics on Wynn's Roost itself.

Fidel Raoul Castro
Rank/Title: Commander of Castro's Cowboys Brigade
Born: 3098 (44 in 3142)

Eldest surviving son of Lord Juan Pedro, Fidel Raoul was born on a JumpShip in the middle of Lyran space. The first twelve years of his life were spent on a variety of worlds in the Inner Sphere, including stops at Coventry, Galatea, and Lexington and their MBCB Hiring Halls. This would have a later impact on Fidel given his father's decision in 3110 to flee the expanding Fourth Succession War, turning down lucrative contract offers from half of the belligerents in favor of a settlement offer from the Union and a permanent demesne on Renorsal. For Fidel, this meant going from living among the luxuries and higher standards of the Inner Sphere to the rough frontier of the Union.

By the time he came of age Fidel's contempt for Renorsal was clear. His father tired of his complaints and questioning by sending him to Wynn's Roost to attend the McEvedy Technical College, the Terran expatriate-run engineering school and the highest institution of learning in the Union. Fidel excelled more at socializing with the other children of elites and pursuing dalliances with local men and women his age, including fathering a reputed three children (court records are sealed). He graduated with a degree in mechanical sciences and, after repeated pleadings, finally returned home a year later after his father threatened to cut off his accounts.

Fidel's time on Renorsal in his 20s is not widely known, unsurprising given the remoteness of the Castro ranches and estates. In 3133 an announcement came that he had been made commander of the family mercenary brigade. It was another two years before he returned to Wynn's Roost on a temporary basis for contract negotiations with the Union government. In 3138 he returned again and has not left since. While his father remains the official holder of the family ranches and estates, as well as keeping political authority on Renorsal, Fidel has seemingly won independence for himself. He ostensibly looks out for the Castro family interests but many point out he seems more interested in living the high life in Turnerville and promoting himself for political office. Rumors abound that he intends to run for the Union Presidency in 3144 and is courting a number of interests to that effect, including the Terran enclave and the inner worlds dissatisfied with Sandusky's policies. In the meantime Fidel continues to live off his family largesse and win the attention of the scandalvids within the Union due to his free-living ways.


Gerard Fetladral
Rank/Title: Mayor of McEvedy City
Born: 3090 (52 in 3142)

Gerard Fetladral's exact birth is unknown. A foundling at McEvedy City Orphanage, he was adopted as a baby by Constance Fetladral, a ranking member of the Terran expatriates who had just lost her only child to a pirate raid on Salvende. Gerard's early life was one of comfort and stern responsibility, a given considering the Fetladral family's long history. When he came of age he immediately enlisted in the Union military, serving as a MechWarrior in the First Brigade very briefly before being transferred to the 3311th Armored Cavalry.

Given the size of the Union the unit is a small world and promotion is delayed. Gerard was in his late thirties when he was made the major and executive officer of the 3311th's Heavy Battalion, a prestigious post making him second in command of the unit's 'Mechs and heaviest vehicles. Shortly thereafter he rose to command of the battalion and, by 3131, the entire regiment, an unusually rapid rise brought on by the resignations of his superiors and no other candidates being considered. For the rest of the decade he served as CO of the 3311th, pitting the 3311th into repeated fights with mercenary and pirate raiders looking to loot the city's high technology and showing a ruthless streak in destroying any such foes, especially the pirates, often refusing surrenders. "Attacking the people of McEvedy City is a death sentence" he declared on one vidnews broadcast. "And the 3311th are the executioners."

Upon Mayor Winston's retirement in 3140, Gerard chose to run for the office. With his adopted mother rallying support among the Terran upper crust and his popularity among the populace for his victories, Gerard's victory was obvious to observers even before the polls opened. Only one opposition candidate rose to face him, Jason Metaxis, who ran a campaign spent mostly attacking Gerard as "non-Terran" over his unknown parentage. After Metaxas' crushing defeat he made complaints in both municipal and Union judiciaries charging Gerard with voter fraud and "intimidation tactics". While the Union courts are still considering the charges, observers in Turnerville believe them unlikely to be substantiated for lack of evidence, even if they have proven politically useful for President Sandusky given his administration's policies. Gerard has found his own ally in the Union government circles in Commander Castro, who has hosted Gerard and other senior Terran dignitaries numerous times in his Turnerville mansion and publicly mocked Metaxas on his judicial efforts to overturn the mayoral election.

Metaxis' charges have led to a bizarre addition, from the Kilbourne Concord-based "Anti-Terran Vigilance Group". While they show little love for a Terran-supremacist like Metaxas, the ATVG's extranet pages include articles debating the significance of a pin visible on Mayor Fetladral's suit lapel in all his public appearances, even found on his uniform during his command of the 3311th. The pin depicts the number "331" over an outline of the Terran-based geographical region of Minnesota; the famed logo of the long-destroyed Periphery-wandering mercenary band that called itself "the 331st". As this logo is also present in what little footage exists of the 3311th's 'Mechs, most commentators dismiss it as Fetladral displaying pride in his former command, but some of the ATVG's more extreme members believe it a sign of membership in a secretive organization based around the supposedly-dead mercenaries. "He may even be born from the 331st," one article alleges. "He's adopted, after all. Nobody knows who his real parents are, or if he even has real parents. He might be a tube baby of some kind!" It remains to be seen if any of these views will percolate into Union politics, or if even Metaxis might find them too bizarre to employ.


Federated Suns - Personas[]

Grace Silver-Davion
Rank/Title: First Prince of the Federated Suns
Born: 3062 (80 in 3142)

Grace Maria Silver-Davion was born not just to rule, but to unify. As the oldest child of Princess Victoria Davion, heir to the Davion throne, and Admiral "Roaring" John Silver, Grand Admiral of the Brethren, she was the heir to two realms and by her first breath initiated their planned unification. Being the granddaughter of Ian Davion the Restorer and "Long" Tom Silver placed great expectations upon her. Grace's formative years were spent in the initial burst of cautious optimism for lasting peace in the post-Terran War Inner Sphere, that gave way to the conflict that eventually formed a crucial role in her young life. The Concord-Compact War saw Grace lose her beloved grandfather Ian and very nearly her home on New Avalon to the Concord's invasion. Though the war ended in a stalemate and New Avalon was preserved from conquest, Grace's sense of security was blasted apart. She enthusiastically signed up for the AFFS when her time came and, to the surprise of several, embraced Roaring John's field by attending the Armstrong Aerospace Academy on Galax as a naval cadet.

During an assignment as a naval Leftenant to the FSS Daring Grace saw her first combat during the Third Outback War, an indecisive action in Lackland system. During the course of the conflict she received a number of commendations for her handling of crew operations in both engineering and operational departments. While being the Princess-Imperial was certainly going to boost her career either way, there is little doubt her rise through the ranks during the conflict was primarily by merit (if offset by her later maternal leaves bearing the next generation of Silver-Davions). This culminated with her 3098 promotion to captaincy of the FSS Temeraire, one of the Federated Suns' capital-weight flagship WarShips. In her role as Temeraire's captain she joined her mother in the expedition to Arcadia and the Federated Suns' intervention into the Dominate War, where FSS Temeraire would lead the decisive action against Scipio O'Reilly's naval squadrons at the Battle of Duncan Station. After two full tours as Temeraire's CO, Grace stepped down from field service after her father was diagnosed with Type II brain cancer. From 3105 to 3107 she served as the Minister of Ways and Means as a means to prepare Grace for her birthright, and in August 3107 Victoria abdicated and Grace became First Prince of the Federated Suns.

Three years later, disaster struck with the commence of war over Andurien. The Federated Suns was obligated by treaty to support their Compact allies against the Lyran states and the Flavian-led Spinward Pact. Publically Grace was a loyal ally, immediately ordering troops into commencing offensive operations into the Aurigan Reach and to the support of Azami defenses against the Lyrans, but by many reports she privately fumed at Emperor Gregory for lighting the fire with his invasion of Andurien. Her worries proved justified in October of 3110 when the Kilbourne Concord and the Galedon Co-Prosperity Sphere launched a massive invasion of the Federated Suns, the Tikonov Grand Union, and the Azami Confederation. Grace was faced with the repeat of her childhood nightmares and scrambled the AFFS to meet the onslaught. Years of careful application of military power preserved the Suns' position and, after Kori Honda's betrayal of the Concord, the Federated Suns was able to go on the offensive, reclaiming lost worlds and pushing into the former Canaan Accord to begin a brutal six year long war with the Galedonian forces in the heart of the old Draconis March. The casualties endured in this long conflict meant Grace was left with little to do but curse when the final year saw disaster on two fronts; the Concord's last ditch DYNAMO offensive that cost her control of her husband's long-lost worlds and nearly saw the fall of Filtvelt, joined by the betrayal by the Oriento-Capellan Empire, where Emperor Gregory embraced the Liaoist renegades who invaded and seized many worlds from the St. Ives March.

Grace accepted her losses in the Peace of Dieron as a necessary evil. Her time since has been spent working to patch up the wounds that the Suns suffered in the long conflict. With the help of her surviving mother and other advisors like her husband, Prince Erik, Grace was able to stabilize the shaky state of the Davion treasury. Diplomatically she tacked onto a new course, pursuing a careful truce with the prickly Concord while looking to expand ties with other anti-Liao states, especially the Royal Federation and the Magistracy of Canopus. On the military side, Grace has pursued a reorganization of the AFFS to focus their strengths and support the wider Concord as best as her resources allow. She is one of the rulers who has not overtly challenged the Peace of Dieron, but there is no doubt she intends to be ready should it ever falter.

Erik Sandoval
Rank/Title: Prince's Champion (former); Privy Council Member; Duke of Robinson and Arch-Duke of the Draconis March (exiled)
Born: 3062 (80 in 3142)

Born the heir to the Canaan Accord, Erik was still a child when his future family was decided for him by his father Aaron with a betrothal to marry Princess Grace Silver-Davion, bringing about the reunification of the Canaan Accord to the Federated Suns. Erik spent his childhood preparing for this future and the need to protect his homeworlds, but it was for nothing. His nuptials played the pivotal role in sparking the Concord-Compact War. Erik was not yet twelve years old when he saw his father die at the hands of the Lexington Combat Group's forces and was himself whisked away to live on in exile in the Federated Suns, his beloved homeworld Robinson and the entire Accord the conquests of the Concord and their Galedonian allies. Masako Honda's non-Kuritan assertions aside, Erik would be one of many such exiles to harbor a deep, bitter grudge over the "Drac conquest", with the Concord being seen as nothing more than "Drac agents" due to their close alliance to Galedon.

The loss of his nation did not see the betrothal called off, however, and any remnant concern was lost when it was clear Erik and Grace would make for a working political power couple given their interpersonal dynamics and chemistry. While Grace pursued a naval career Erik entered the AFFS as a MechWarrior, and after a short early career with the Fifth Avalon Hussars he would join the First Robinson Avengers and remain with them for the rest of his military service. During the Third Outback War he won several commendations during raids into the old Accord, where the Avengers and other formations often armed local resistance movements and freed imprisoned Sandovalists from Concord jails. Erik pushed with his mother-in-law to approve a full-scale invasion to reclaim the Accord, but she refused on the grounds of risking escalation and a lack of troops due to the ongoing Compact warfare with the Spinward states. This eventually strained relations between Erik and First Prince Victoria.

The Fourth Succession War nearly killed Erik several times but brought him his dream. In 3115 AFFS troops liberated Robinson from a brief, but brutal, Galedonian occupation. Erik was crowned Lord Protector of the Canaan Accord the following year and signed the official restoration of the Accord to the Federated Suns as the Draconis March. This made it all the more bitter three years later when the Concord's Operation DYNAMO washed over the exhausted, undermanned AFFS forces trying to hold the region while their comrades raced to confront Capellan aggression. Robinson again fell and Erik had to be begged by his son Tristan to join the retreat. The Peace of Dieron would confirm the loss of Robinson to the triumphant Concord. Disgusted and disappointed by the Suns' strategic defeat in the war, Erik resigned his AFFS commission, though he remained Prince's Champion until 3134 at his wife's pleading. Many who see him socially are surprised at how jovial and kind he seems, but a number of reports in various sources hint that beneath that calm surface lies a festering bitterness and utter hatred for the Concord and Draconis Combine.

Arthur Silver-Davion
Rank/Title: Major General, AFFS (Res.); Minister of Ways and Means; Prince Imperial
Born: 3093 (49 in 3142)

Arthur holds the unique distinction of being the first heir to the Davion throne to be born in space. His mother Princess Grace was on her way home for maternity leave when early complications prompted a forced delivery aboard the military transport Paul Cunningham. Arthur's survival was uncertain for several days as the ship reduced thrust to sub-1 gee to ease the newborn's medical complications. While some were worried this early delivery might in some way have impacted the heir's health, his childhood quickly proved otherwise as Arthur proved an energetic child. He would pick his father's military path over his mother's and attended NAMA. Upon graduating as a MechWarrior Arthur was assigned briefly to the First FedSuns Grenadiers before war losses saw his reassignment to the Sharpe Rifles, a unit he would remain linked to for the rest of his military career.

This placed Arthur among his father's troops when the AFFS landed to claim Robinson in 3115, a campaign where Arthur would be slightly wounded and show repeated acts of courage under fire. Following the Galedonian retreat Arthur was formally recognized as the next Lord-Protector of the Accord (though not the next Duke of Robinson, a title due to go to his younger brother Tristan) before joining further operations with the Sharpe Rifles. He made Captain after the New Ivarsaan campaign in 3117, suffering severe wounding and nearly losing a leg and an eye when his cockpit was nearly destroyed by enemy fire. In 3119 he took emergency command of his battalion following battlefield losses against the Second Young Liao Guards on Harloc during the Oriento-Capellans' XIN SHENG offensive, playing a pivotal role in ensuring the success of Harloc's defense despite significant casualties. By the signing of the Peace of Dieron, though he was not yet thirty, Prince Arthur was a hardened veteran of dozens of ferocious engagements.

With Robinson lost in the Concord's 3119 DYNAMO offensive Arthur's birthright was stripped from the Federated Suns' control, more importantly, it rendered many of the sacrifices made during the course of the war moot given the worlds liberated had been lost. Like his father, Arthur has been left intensely bitter by this outcome, though much of his anger seems directed at the betrayal by the Empire which he blames for the AFFS lacking the means to repulse the Concord invasion of 3119. When he married in 3121, he chose Lady Ursula Buyanska, then the heiress to the ducal throne of Harloc, whom he had fought beside during the latter years of the war and who is staunchly (some would say viciously) anti-Capellan. Their first son and the next heir after Arthur, Prince Michael, was born in Avalon City in July 3122, and they have dutifully provided two more children since, Princess Jessica and Prince Zane. For several years Arthur continued AFFS service and reached general rank, ultimately making Major General in 3134 and serving two years as CO of the Sharpe Rifles. At his mother's request he stood down from active service in 3136 to become the Minister of Ways and Means in the Federation's government, allowing First Prince Grace to see to his preparation to assume the throne upon her death or abdication in the near-likely future. How Arthur will govern is considered something of a question mark to many, with some rumors among Avalon City watchers holding that he is even more bullish towarrds the Empire than his mother and will likely orientate the AFFS to consider the Empire their primary foe.

Victor Silver-Davion
Rank/Title: Prince's Champion, Colonel, CO First Davion Guards BattleMech Regiment, AFFS
Born: 3098 (44 in 3142)

Victor Thomas Silver-Davion was born to Prince Jonathan Silver-Davion, the younger brother of First Prince Grace. While he was considered to be fairly average as a student and athlete when young, by the time he reached adolescence Victor's skills became more evident. Given the vicious fighting of the Fourth Succession War he was admitted to Albion early, in 3114, and would graduate in 3117 near the top of his class and widely considered the best MechWarrior of that class. He joined his father's unit, the First Davion Guards, and departed for the front.

The fighting on Sakhara V through 3117 and 3118 was a trial by fire in which Victor's skill became evident; despite his age he was made a temporary lance commander before combat losses forced the evacuation of Sakhara. He remained with the unit for its trip to Filtvelt for reconstitution and to buttress the defenses of the Periphery March, placing Victor square in the center of some of the fiercest fighting in the final year of the war when the Kilbourne Concord's Filtvelt Dragoons and the Blue Star Irregulars landed to seize the planet in the Concord's secondary SWORDBREAKER offensive. Victor would see repeated combat actions through the remainder of the war. In November 3119, after the First Davion Guards' successful defense of Olafberg despite crippling losses, Victor was breveted to Captain to assume command of his shattered company.

Following the Peace of Dieron Victor has remained active in the AFFS, securing permanent promotion to Captain in 3122 and gaining a promotion to Major in 3124. After the unit's two year tour as part of the Terran Oversight Force in 3126-3128 Victor was promoted to Lt. Colonel and command of the First Battalion, First Davion Guards 'Mech Regiment. In 3132, when it was clear there was no billets available, he took assignment to the AFFS Reserves and married his long-time comrade and lover Major Leslie Tran, taking the time to be with her after complications in her GRS operation prompted a prolonged hospitalization. Victor spent his spare time tutoring Prince Michael, his cousin and Arthur's heir, in martial studies in 'Mech piloting. This changed in 3134 and Erik Sandoval's full retirement. First Prince Grace, after consideration, asked Victor to take the position of Prince's Champion. Victor accepted the post and an attendant promotion to Colonel. As part of his duties the First Davion Guards are permanently assigned to him, to travel with Victor wherever Grace might bid him to go to be her voice and eyes in local issues. After eight years it is clear Victor is serving well in the role; he is also now widely held as the best MechWarrior House Davion has produced since Ian the Restorer. Politically he remains distant, insisting he is a soldier following orders, but it is remarked he has proven quite capable of defusing local political issues in Grace's favor. He is a lukewarm supporter of the Peace of Dieron and has made several public assurances the Federated Suns is out to adhere to the treaty.

Bao Chen Luo
Rank/Title: First Minister of the Federated Suns
Born: 3079 (63 in 3142)

Bao Chen Luo was born to a storekeeper and librarian in the village of San Wai on St. Ives. A child prodigy, his family moved to Tian-tan when he was ten due to a grant from the Federation government for education. Chen attended the University of St. Ives and completed dual degrees in business management and administrative sciences. In keeping with the ideals and culture of St. Ives' population, Chen joined the civil service for the planetary government and served in the Bureau of Industry. By the time he was thirty Chen was serving with the Bureau's Armaments Office and would gain the prestigious position of Interagency Liaison with the Federated Suns' Ministry of Industry and Development. This resulted in extensive contact with the major armaments manufacturers with plants on his homeworld as well as bringing Chen into the social circles of the Federation bureaucracy.

Through the Fourth Succession War Chen remained with the civil service, receiving the commission of Major in the AFFS in 3112 after completing an officer commissioning course and continuing to work in managing St. Ives' major military industries for the war effort. For most of the war he served quietly and capably but with little public fanfare. The Liaoist invasion of St. Ives March provided the means for Chen to gain greater influence. He oversaw emergency mobilization procedures to prepare for any attacks by IOCF forces and became the face of pro-Davion-Silver sentiment on St. Ives news, often providing public announcements on planetary defense and denouncing the Imperial betrayal of the alliance.

Following the Peace of Dieron Chen was released from AFFS service. He temporarily took up a local position with the Ministry of Industry and Development, but in 3124 he resigned to run for the Assembly of Worlds with the All-Federation Party. His victory was part of a general sweep of the AFP across the St. Ives March as a result of post-XIN SHENG domestic political shakeup. Chen spent his first two terms promoting the post-war rebuilding plans of his party and forging the All-Federation Party's alliance with the Social Democratic Party. His knowledge of the Federated Suns' civil service protocols and machine led to key committee assignments. Following his 3132 re-election he was invited into the government of First Minister Allen Forsyth as Minister of Industry and Development. Given his St. Ives and Capellan heritage, Chen's role in the government gained greater public attention than might have otherwise been the case.

In 3136, he faced his first major political challenge with the St. Ives Mercantile Party's rise in local politics. They ran a campaign casting Chen as a "New Avalonized" man no longer interested in the needs of his homeworld and early polls indicated weakness. Chen returned home and ran a vigorous counter-campaign on his policies' benefits to St. Ives. While some commentators thought his charges that the Mercantile Party were "Liaoists in wool covering" was unfair, it stung hard given the Mercantile Party's uncertain stances on the Empire and likely contributed to Chen's seven point electoral victory. He returned to New Avalon strengthened, and when Forsyth chose to retire due to illness in 3138, Chen was handed the reins of government.

Electoral victory in 3140 confirmed Chen's political program and strengthened him in reigning in some of the more aggressive desires of the Privy Council. Chen remains the strongest supporter of the Peace of Dieron in the Federated Suns' leadership. But he is not a dove; Chen openly supports the vigorous naval programs First Prince Grace insisted upon once Emperor Robert's enlarged naval plans were made public, and has shown great political acumen in keeping the Social Democrats in the government coalition despite their anti-military buildup stances.


Oriento-Capellan Empire - Personas[]

Robert Halas-Liao Rank/Title: Emperor of the Oriento-Capellan Empire
Born: 3099 (43 in 3142)

Robert was the first child of Prince-Imperial Gregory Halas-Liao, ensuring he would inherit the Imperial-Grand Ducal title in due time. HIs birth was a great relief to Gregory and his family as at the time Gregory had tried and failed for ten years to have a legitimate heir. Robert spent his earliest years on Oriente but would be the first Halas-Liao heir to be raised on Sian, moving to the planet in 3103 with his parents. This made him the first future ruler who would grow up among the Capellan people and not the Orientan. This improved his popularity among Capellan worlds but at the cost of distrust or uncertainty from sections of Orientan society.

While still just a child when the Fourth Succession War broke out, Robert played a role from the beginning. When in public he was often wearing a special IOCF uniform and met with returning war veterans and bereaved civilians. In 3115 he started martial studies at the Allison Royal Academy on Harsefeld and was elevated to field service in 3117 under war emergency protocols. Emperor Gregory ensured his assignment to the Dynasty Guards; Robert took part in the smashing victory over the Principate and Rim Commonality at Kearny and the capture of Tematagi before returning home to Sian in early 3119 to be wed to Dana Rivoli, heiress to Ceres; his eldest child, Xiaoli, was born near the end of the year. Robert was confirmed as a lance commander during the period the Congress of Dieron met.

Robert remained in active IOCF service for the requisite six years before going into the reserves and focusing on domestic matters at his father's behest. He worked in the Imperial Restoration Bureau, overseeing the "reintegration" of the Capellan worlds of the Victoria Commonality. At his father's behest Robet spent four years, 3128 to 3132, touring the Empire with visits to major provincial and commonality capitals, including six months on Oriente, as a means to tighten the bonds of the two-sided state. This placed him, for the first time in his life, into extended contact with his great-grandmother, the Dowager Empress Eris, with the two reputed to have some difficulties in their relationship by non-state sources. His marriage, while arranged, is considered a stable one, and after Xiaoli's birth Robert has had two more children by Lady Rivoli. His eldest remains his heir despite a somewhat tempestuous relationship given her known willfulness and a rebellious streak concerning the expectations placed upon her.

With his father's death in 3137 Robert ascended the throne. Once in power he was quick to deal with the Empire's precarious strategic isolation through expanding contacts with the Draconis Combine and ordering a massive expansion of the IOCF's WarShip fleet to be a defensive force against the Empire's many bordering enemies. While initially kept as a state secret, ConcertWatch revealed the extent in a special report in early 3140, a jolt that sparked similar naval armament programs from the Empire's neighbors and has done more damage yo the Peace of Dieron than anything since the Arcadians attacked Sirius and Procyon in 3123. Robert continues to insist his intentions are defensive and that the Empire will only build enough to forestall attacks. He has backed this somewhat with mutual drawdowns with the Arcadians following High King Nathaniel's succession to the throne, earning the ire of the Dowager on Oriente. These gestures aside, Emperor Robert nevertheless remains committed to his naval expansion as vital to Imperial security.

Eris Halas
Rank/Title: Dowager Empress of the Oriento-Capellan Empire
Born: 3013 (129 in 3142)

Eris Halas is living history by any measure of the term. Born to Persephone Halas as the niece of Grand Duke Rico Halas in 3013, she was named the childless ruler's heir and raised by Rico until his death. At that point she rose to the throne at the cusp of the Second Age of War as a sixteen year old prodigy who quickly put Oriente on a path of rebuilding its power. She started an initiative to rebuild the Free Worlds League as a diplomatic organization and aligned with her neighbors in House Allison's Harsefeld. An assassination attempt in 3032 nearly killed her and left her comatose for three years. Upon awakening with the aid of extensive restorative surgery and therapy, Eris quickly reconsolidated power. Recognizing her nation's strategic situation, she pursued the marriage with Jonah Allison-Liao that unified Harsefeld and Oriente. She would co-rule this empire for well over half a century, surviving the Terran Invasion of 3050-51 and living through the Terran War and the conflicts of the later Second Age of War. Finally, after the turn of the century, she and Emperor Jonah abdicated in favor of their grandson Gregory, and while Jonah passed away within the decade she has lived on with the aid of the very cusp of medical technology.

Given her long life and rule, it is no surprise that Eris still wields enormous influence in the Empire, particularly in the Grand Duchy of Oriente where she is seen as the power behind the throne of the Duchy's institutions given Gregory and Robert have ruled exclusively from Sian. To the people of Oriente she is a living institution, a champion of science and the arts that turned their world into one of the great centers of learning and advancement in the Inner Sphere. She followed in her uncle's footsteps of promoting measures to protect civilization despite the warring of the Inner Sphere, forming and supporting Knightly Orders that insist on the highest standards of conduct on and off the battlefield. In 3060, Eris led the opposition to Masako Honda and Penelope Reynolds' desire to forcibly de-industrialize Terra completely and donated significant wealth and personal property to assisting war refugees; to this day numerous charities continue to operate on the generous endowments granted to them by Eris from House Halas' deep treasury. By all accounts, she will be remembered as a great humanitarian figure… at least, if not for her other known quantity.

In 3037, Eris was among the attendees at the reformation of the Arcadian Free March into the Royal Federation and Sara-Marie Proctor's re-coronation as High Queen. She saw this, and Sara-Marie's previous attendance of her wedding to Prince Jonah, as a sign of peace between the realms. Yet even as she was whisked home on a command circuit, her former hosts' armies were also burning towards their JumpShips; within the month Arcadian troops, and the other Lyran states, were invading both Oriente and Harsefeld as their intervention into the Second Andurien War. This action was, to Eris, an unconscionable betrayal of her offered hand of peace, and in the years since she has harbored a notorious grudge against House Proctor. She promoted the invasion of the Royal Federation during the War of Donegalian Succession and began a lifelong campaign to forcibly conquer and integrate into the Duchy all of the former worlds of the Marik Commonwealth, which she had split with the Arcadians in the Second Skye War. Sara-Marie's abdication in 3044 and death in 3055, as well as the drastic needs of the Terran War, saw this grudge buried for a time, but when the fighting over Sirius and Procyon in the 3060s saw the Arcadian invasion of New Olympia and the combat deaths of her son Prince Alexander and her closest advisor (and reputed lover) Ser Arthur Klaes, the grudge renewed itself and has not abated since. Eris has become one of the staunchest foes of House Proctor and disapproves of Emperor Robert's policy of peace with High King Nathaniel. Conversely, she has made herself despised among the Arcadian-loyal portion of House Marik for the repeated invasions of Atreus and their other worlds.

Whether she is a noble humanitarian or a hateful warmonger, one thing is certain of Eris Halas; she will leave a mixed legacy for historians to debate about when she finally draws her last breath.

(Nothing gets an Arcadian officer more furious than bringing up "the Dowager". Especially if they're from the Principality of Atreus. I heard officers I'd taken for the soft type openly declaring toasts "to the bloody Dowager's bloody death, long is it overdue"! Apparently there's even some dark humor about her long life being sustained by the deaths of the Proctor family. "For every Proctor who dies, the evil old woman gets another five years." — Brigadier Huyten)

Xiaoli Halas-Liao
Rank/Title: Lieutenant, First Sian Dragoons, Princess-Imperial of the Oriento-Capellan Empire
Born: 3119 (23 in 3142)

Xiaoli Eris Halas-Liao was born prematurely in early December 3119, just as the Fourth Succession War's final shots were being fired, as a precaution due to her mother contracting a brain fever that might have damaged the unborn heiress in the womb. Early in life she was closely monitored for any signs of abnormalities in mental or physical development, but by 3134 it was evident Princess Xiaoli was as healthy as would be expected. Indeed, she was proving a bright (if willful) child and her education bore fruit quickly, particularly during the two years of her adolescence spent on Oriente where her great-great-grandmother, Dowager Empress Eris Halas, took personal interest in her education.

Xiaoli's first year at the University of Sian saw her elevation to Princess-Imperial by her father Robert's ascension to the Celestial Throne. At first this seemed to evince little change in matters, but as time passed reports grew of Xiaoli becoming rebellious and acting out against the expectations of her station. Her grades suffered, she was defiant of the military discipline in the Hen gao Xiao-Iu classes, and she spent most of her time enjoying nightlife and partying atmospheres among other young sheng and director caste students. A scathing Maskirovka report of her conduct, including taking multiple lovers, leaked to the press in Oriente and resulted in the forced expulsion of a Grand Duchy news journalist from the Capellan half of the Empire.

Finally the Emperor stepped in. It's unknown what measures he took to secure his daughter's obedience, but her grades recovered sufficiently for graduation. Under his command, she committed to finishing her Xiao-lu course and was inducted into the IOCF as an officer, a MechWarrior assigned to the First Sian Dragoons. By reports she has occasionally been spotted among the clubs and nightlife centers of Imperial City, but her behavior is more befitting a young military officer and not her student days. The Maskirovka and state media refuse to corroborate any of the rumors of more extreme behavior. But there is no mistaking the quiet frustration in her eyes during public appearances with Emperor Robert. It is entirely possible the Emperor's heiress will yet cause him significant headache, or heartache, in the near future.

Daniel Hawkwood
Rank/Title: Knight-Commander of the Knights of the Red Sword
Born: 3094 (48 in 3142)

Ser Daniel was born on Fletcher to House Hawkwood, the second of three sons of Ser Jonathan Hawkwood and Ser Ursula Assad of the Knights of the Red Sword. With his parents off in service young Daniel was raised by family retainers and older cousins. Early in life he learned the costs of his family's duty when his mother was slain in the Red Swords' failed bid to capture Atreus. As with his brothers and older sister, Daniel spent his adolescence in military education, devoted to joining the Order along with his father. He attended the Rico Halas Memorial Academy on Oriente from 3106 to 3110, then spent two years as a Squire-at-Arms in the Red Swords before reaching his majority and swearing his oath of fealty. He was named a Man-at-Arms of the Red Swords in 3113 and sent into combat as a MechWarrior.

The Fourth Succession War was no less a trial for Ser Daniel and his family than it was for any others. His father was badly wounded on Atreus in 3114. His older sister, Ser Livia, was left in a near-vegetative state by head wounds in the fighting on Nullarbor two years later. By the time the Red Swords and their fellow Orders made their second attempt at Atreus in the war, Ser Daniel had been knighted and commanded a company of his fellow Red Swords in the fierce fighting for House Marik's throneworld. This campaign cost him an arm and his younger brother, Roderick, who was slain in fighting with the First Atrean Dragoons while trying to capture Atreus City itself. Triumph came very close and the Atrean defenses had nearly crumbled when the AFRF broke the orbiting blockade and landed relief troops. The wounded Ser Daniel joined the retreat with a bitter heart.

After the Peace of Dieron Ser Daniel turned his attentions towards rebuilding the Order. He briefly hoped for a command to seize Atreus during the Arcadian invasion of Sirius and Procyon in 3123, but the end of fighting precluded any such attack. In 3125 he married Ser Jacinda Gallagher, an aerospace fighter pilot of the Red Swords, and would have his eldest son, Roderick, two years later. He climbed through the ranks towards the end of the decade as the Red Swords began expanding back to their proper size, becoming a Knight-Captain in 3128 and ascending to Knight-Colonel in 3134. He was becoming known across the Empire as a fierce advocate of punishing the Arcadians for their aggressions; he was also critical of the Liaoists and their "foolish treachery", holding them responsible for the failure to capture Atreus due to the Capellans' devotion to the XIN SHENG attack.

In 3139, Ser Daniel was nominated by the Order Council to be named Knight-Commander; the following year Emperor Robert, as Grand Duke of Oriente, approved the promotion, though only after insistent lobbying by Ser Daniel's father within the Celestial Court. Appearances aside, this was not so much from nepotism as it was that the post was vacant and needed filling. Robert neglected to do so until reassured that Ser Daniel would not "provoke" the Arcadians without Imperial authorization. Rumors abound that at least one member of his entourage may be an agent of the Mask, though this is judged unlikely by most veteran observers of the Empire. It is known, however, that wherever the Red Swords go, the Fifth Allison Guards tend to follow; it is clear Emperor Robert is not about to let Ser Daniel remain unobserved.

Salma Chen
Rank/Title: Mandrissa, Head of the Maskirovka
Born: 3092 (50 in 3142)

Salma Chen was born into the sheng caste of nobility as a member of a family of significant prestige and history. The Chens of Bandora are a family of long-standing devotion to the Capellan State and ideology, even while living in exile on Harsefeld during their world's rule by the hated democratic regime of the Capellan Hegemony, and were restored by the victory of House Allison over the Hegemony in 3035-56. Salma was raised to govern and serve the Capellan State and promote her family's position within it. She attended the Allison Imperial Officer Academy on Harsefeld starting in 3108 and graduated four years later, during the height of the Fourth Succession War.

After brief war service with Imperial troops garrisoning Irian Salma was transferred to special operations training to become part of the military intelligence service of the Empire. In 3116 she won the Cluster of Conspicuous Heroism and Grand Cordon of Merit for ensuring the destruction of intelligence files on Regulus before that planet's fall to enemy forces. Two years later she commanded the battle armored infantry team that captured the Royal Federation's SIS branch headquarters on Atreus' moon of Wendigo during the 3118-3119 invasion of that system, then successfully held it from counterattacks until ordered to withdraw following the breaking of the Imperial blockade of Atreus. At the end of the war, Emperor Gregory personally awarded her the Imperial Order of Halas-Liao, First Class, for wartime service, and she would be assigned to his staff at Dieron as an intelligence analyst during the Congress of Dieron.

The 3122 death of her older brother Alexei from complications of his war wounds changed Salma's career. No longer was she just a member of the sheng; she was now heiress to the Chens. She resigned her IOCF commission and returned to Bandora to be trained by the Chen diem in running her family's holdings and estates. In 3124, she married Samanthan Armstead, a younger son of the Duke of Bandora, and bore her first child nearly a year later. At her father Norman's death in 3129, Salma was elevated to the sheng peerage as Mandrissa.

In 3133 Mandrissa Salma claimed an opening to re-enter her preferred field when Emperor Gregory invited her to join the directorship of the Maskirovka. Salma jumped at this chance and moved to Sian, where she became a force in the House of Scions and a prominent member of the Imperial Reformers and their Capellan restorationist supporters. Yet she has refused to commit fully to their political cause, arguing the Empire's current situation does not allow for an aggressive campaign to reclaim the Confederation's unrestored territories. This relatively moderate position won her the support of Emperor Robert upon his ascension; in 3140 Robert appointed Salma as head of the Maskirovka, making her one of the leaders of the Celestial Court and one of the most powerful figures in the Empire. She promotes the continued reforms of the Empire, including greater centralization of intelligence and military authority, and the maintenance of the Peace of Dieron, but has managed to avoid making enemies with the Orientian side of the Court and Empire despite her Liaoist views. Observers cannot help but notice that following her elevation the scope and frequency of Rim Commonality separatism has grown, and there are indications from the Federated Suns of improved organization among Taurian nationalists as well as the Capellan groups there. Altogether Salma is proving an effective — and dangerous — leader for the Imperial Maskirovka.


People’s State of Andurien - Personas[]

Karla Humphries
Rank/Title: Duchess of Andurien
Born: 3102 (40 in 3142)

Karla Humphries was born to Andrew Humphries and his wife Drusilla Adamcyzk as the future Duchess. That future came far faster than many expected when her parents were killed in a DropShuttle crash in 3106. At the age of four Karla inherited the leadership of the People's State. The Regency Council, led by Chairman Gan Ninghua of the Board of Trade Workers, easily fended off a brief push by the most radical political movements to dissolve the Ducal institution and settled into governing in her name while Karla was educated.

She was only seven years old when the February Ultimatum of 3110 was transmitted by Emperor Gregory. It demanded the effective dissolution of the People's State into the Oriento-Capellan Empire and arranged for her eventual marriage to his son and heir Robert Halas-Liao, the Prince-Imperial, to solidify Andurien's "return to her proper place in the Capellan State". The rejection of this demand, after a pledge of support from the Magistracy of Canopus and the Flavian Principate, precipitated the Oriento-Capellan invasion that would shape Karla's life and herald the Fourth Succession War. For the next seven years Karla would spend her remaining childhood and adolescence effectively on the run as Imperial forces, led by the feared Death Commandos, sought to capture her and systematically slaughtered her Regency Council. Attempts to slip her offworld in 3112 and 3114 failed due to Imperial intelligence capabilities. That she came out of the invasion of her homeworld without once being captured was due to the tremendous courage of her people, with communes and towns across Andurien hosting and sheltering their fugitive Duchess while the APDF and their Canopian allies fought to hold the world. A number of communes would become battle zones or destroyed in reprisal for keeping her from the Empire. This prolonged experience only ended in 3117 as battlefield defeat and the strain on Imperial resources finally compelled the Empire to withdraw from Andurien. Karla was left as a fifteen year old girl who had lost over half the adult authority figures in her life and seen her people bleed and die to protect her.

After these years of horror Karla finished her education while her people finished the war in triumph, even reclaiming a number of worlds lost to the Empire's constituent states in the 3030s. As the Congress of Dieron codified the peace to end the fighting Karla began courses in the partly-rebuilt halls of the People's University of Andurien. She graduated in 3125 with a master's degree in political science and a bachelor's in economics and formally assumed her full powers. The following year she married John Pickering-Wu, a prominent member of the Free Capella movement whom she'd met as a fellow student. Children — Andrew, Ninghua, and Alicia — would follow in 3128, 3130, and 3135.

While she has now directly ruled for nearly twenty years, Duchess Karla has rarely been more than a rubber stamp for the Board of Trade Workers and the Council of Ministers. Most of her efforts, public and private, are in the field of public works and promoting charity drives and rebuilding from the war. House Humphries' coffers are reputed to be nearly empty (relatively speaking) from all of Karla's efforts. The net result has been a solidification of the institution she represents through the Andurien population's near-universal love for her (one of the few things the population agrees upon so widely, it can be noted). Yet for all this wide popularity, it is widely hinted — if not acknowledged — that the emotional costs of the war never went away for Karla, and that to this day she suffers night terrors and other traumas indicative of PTSD, a condition that many in what is widely called "Andurien's Lost Generation" know all too well.

Jacob Chamberlain
Rank/Title: Defender-General of the People of Andurien
Born: 3073 (69 in 3142)

Jacob Chamberlain of House Chamberlain was born the younger son of Andrew Chamberlain, heir to Janice and the family. Like his older sister Joanna Jacob was raised on Andurien and saw the people of that world as his own, just as those on Orientan-controlled Kearny were. He joined the APDF at age 17, studied at the Andurien Defense Force Officer College, and joined the Fusiliers as a MechWarrior in 3094. He proved a capable commander during campaigns against pirates in the Frontier Region and made Lt. Colonel in 3109, becoming XO of the Second 'Mech Battalion of Chamberlain's Fusiliers. By this point he had married a fellow Fusilier, Henrietta Tombay, and had two children; Janice and Desmond.

The Fourth Succession War was a brutal time for Jacob and his unit. The seven year struggle to hold Andurien from Imperial invasion destroyed the Fusiliers twice over, with survivors from shattered APDF units reinforcing the units. Jacob would be severely wounded in fighting near Baroda in 3113. A year later, Henrietta was killed in one of the many struggles for Jojoken, and barely a day after Desmond would be lost to an Imperial artillery shell that struck the civilian bunker he was sheltering in. The loss nearly broke Jacob, but the situation did not allow for him to grieve. Not until 3117 and the Imperial withdrawal did his bereavement finally overwhelm him. In July of that year the APDF relieved Jacob of command and listed him as a psychiatric casualty. He was sent to counseling along with his surviving daughter.

In most cases such spells the end of a military career. In 3119, however, the need for troops in the final push and Jacob's partial recovery saw him re-instated, and he joined his older sister in the Fusiliers' triumphant return to House Chamberlain's ancestral homeworld. The coming of the Peace of Dieron and the relinquishing of Kearny to the People's State saw a new purpose arise for Jacob, who stood as his sister's loyal second-in-command as the Fusiliers worked towards the integration of their homeworld into Andurien's state. He remarried in 3124 to a fellow veteran, Tamara Gupta, and left the Fusiliers to take administrative commands within the APDF. A pair of children, Vishay and Javier, would be born by the end of the decade, while his eldest joined the Fusiliers as a MechWarrior in the family tradition.

When not seeing to this family Jacob worked towards the re-establishment of the APDF to pre-war levels. He promoted the new Brigade Combat Teams that were to provide the APDF rapid reaction forces to incursions and proved a force in the debates in Jojoken over funding for the APDF. This long service was rewarded with repeated promotions culminating in his recent 3141 appointment to the post of Defender-General, the highest military command post in the People's State, cementing the career of a man who was once rated a high suicide risk for his suffering. Jacob is held by a number of commentators as a living symbol of the resiliency of the Andurien people and the costs of war they were forced to bear. He has insisted in repeated interviews he does not wish to be held as a hero. "I was one of the lucky ones", he said in a recent address. "I got to come home in the end. So many of our loved ones did not."

Rama Choudhuri
Rank/Title: People's Minister of Communications, Council of Ministers; PhD in Sociology and Psychology
Born: 3079 (63 in 3142)

Rama Choudhuri of Kanata was born to Divija Singh and Phanesh Choudhuri, serving administrative officials of the Kanata Mutual Trade Association. Rama was identified early for intelligence but struggled in his education. As he was quickly bored with the schoolwork he absorbed so quickly, Rama expended his energies in pursuing friendships with fellow students, a practice that did not always work given his reputation as the "smart one". The struggle to communicate his desires with some of his peers would prove the foundation for a lifelong devotion (some would say obsession) with communications. Rama went on to higher education in his teenage years, spending four years at preparatory academies before attending the Kanata People's University of the Sciences in 3097. He achieved a Master's Degree in Sociology in 3103 through a thesis on the importance of more sophisticated networking and mass communication in encouraging "social cohesion and healthy human interaction". which he expanded upon in his doctoral thesis three years later at the People's University of Andurien. Upon the award of his initial PhD, in Sociology, Doctor Choudhuri pursued postdoctoral studies at Ambedkar University on Terra.

He was still in the process of developing a postdoctoral study on mass communications when the Fourth Succession War broke out and cut him off from returning home. Doctor Choudhuri made himself publicly known among the Terrans when Imperial representatives circulated a missive calling upon Andurien citizens on Terra to accept the Empire and urge their government to surrender. Choudhuri wrote a response directed at both his Terran neighbors and his fellow Andurien citizens denouncing the Empire's aggression and refuting the Capellan claim to their loyalty. While no public response was given later admissions revealed the Empire placed him upon an arrest list and held the response against his parents, who were confined during the nine year occupation of Kanata for "anti-Imperial activities". A sister, Kamala, was killed as an insurgent in 3115. Some Imperial expatriates on Terra, particularly Capellan ones, made public attacks on Doctor Choudhuri, including two assaults in 3112 and 3114. Yet this case, more than any, prompted local opposition and hostility towards the Empire, enough that Imperial expatriates complained to ComStar about "abuses" by the population in Delhi.

During the conflict, Doctor Choudhuri continued his studies, attending the Subhash-Adhikari University of Technology from 3111 to 3116 that saw him achieve a Master's in Interstellar Communication. When the war ended he was finishing his second doctoral thesis, this time in psychology, on the psychological impact of communication technology. A month before the Peace of Dieron was signed, Ambedkar University accepted the thesis and he was named a PhD in Psychology. Multiple institutions on Terra offered him chairs and professorships. Instead, Doctor Choudhuri bid Terra farewell and returned to Kanata.

Rama returned to a world still wounded by the war and the long occupation by Imperial troops, embraced his parents, mourned his sister, and set about on his new mission; accomplishing the democratic dream of the People's State by facilitating democratic debate and conversation across the entire nation in real time. For the next decade his efforts were primarily waged as a researcher while Andurien rebuilt from the war and the economic ruin it brought, but in 3130 a paper on the prospect of his "SpeechWeb" concept saw Doctor Choudhuri invited to Jojoken to brief the Council of Ministers. Andurien's economy was still recovering and the treasury was painfully low on funds for such speculative projects, but the idea of real-time interstellar communication for every citizen was broadly popular for how closely it fit the Andurien ideal. Doctor Choudhuri was invited to run for the People's Assembly and won a seat from a constituency on Kanata. In 3136 a formal Assembly vote and the assent of Duchess Karla elevated Doctor Choudhuri to Minister of Communications. In 3138, after exhaustive negotiations with ComStar and the Board of Trade Workers, a formal agreement was signed to bring the SpeechWeb into being, a momentous undertaking that has brought the name of Dr. Rama Choudhuri to the attention of the whole Inner Sphere.

His project is not universally popular, primarily due to cost, and the 3140 votes for the Council posts saw him win a narrow victory over his opponents; many charge him with a monomania on the subject that is bankrupting the People's State. But the doctor remains unswayed. "The SpeechWeb will bring the peoples of the Inner Sphere together like never before," he proclaimed to the Assembly. "We may be the start of it, but the day will come when a worker of Sudeten might call a citizen of Taurus as he would call his next door neighbor. When that day comes, peace shall gain a new tool in its eternal struggle with war, and we will all be better off."


Halime Cifti
Rank/Title: Lady of House Cifti-in-Exile, First Minister of the Rim Commonality-in-Exile
Born: 3088 (54 in 3142)

A daughter of Tematagi's own House Cifti, Halime was born to the effective ruling family of the Commonality during its twenty year interregnum under First Minister Rodrigo Alba. She grew up in an increasingly-militarized Commonality which had an influence in defiance of the typical Cifti reserve towards the military. Despite her mother's reservations Halime attended several military prep schools before attending the Commonality Military Officer Academy in 3107.

Halime graduated in the first years of the Fourth Succession War. She became a MechWarrior and officer of the Third Commonality Hussars and fought in numerous engagements and raids across the front. In 3116 she took over her company while fighting on Regulus, leading them to a series of tactical victories against the Imperial forces and assisting in the claiming of the planet. During the final phase of fighting Halime would suffer major wounds after ejecting from her 'Mech. She nearly died on the operating table and was ruled medically unfit for frontline service. After fighting in the evacuation from Tematagi, Halime won a temporary return to frontline duty and led a battalion of the First Commonality Cuirassiers in the liberation of Tematagi in the final months of 3119.

The Rim Commonality's sorry state after the Peace of Dieron saw the Commonality army cut down to size to save the state from bankruptcy. Her lingering war wounds and her mother's pleading to take up political work saw Halime relinquish her commission. She ran for office in 3122 for a constituency on Tematagi and, to the surprise of many, lost a narrow election to an opponent from one of the social radical parties. Undaunted and defiant, Halime ran for a second time in the 3123 emergency election and won. Her mother saw to Halime's assignment as a parliamentary secretary to the Defense Minister, a first step on Halime's intended path to the First Ministership.

It was not to be. In 3126, the assassination of Halime's mother plunged the Commonality into an economic and political tailspin as public confidence in the state dropped. Halime tried to assume control of her family's traditional bloc, but she was seen as too young and politically inexperienced (not helped by her military brusqueness). Some reports indicate she flirted with calling up the military itself to impose martial law and an emergency government; what is known is that when the proposal to be absorbed into the Principate came, Halime's reaction was palpably violent. She gained prominence as the most bitter and vitriolic critic of the proposal and voted against it at every turn, but to no avail. The Treaty of Karachi was signed and the resulting vote provided a bare majority despite Halime's best arguments (and, some suspect, a failure to secure the military overthrow of the government). Regardless of her stance, Principate officials welcomed her to the rank of the patrician class and Imperator Flavius formally asked her to join his cabinet as a member of the Senate.

Halime chose resistance instead. She and the most devoted opponents of absorption fled into exile in the People's State of Andurien. On Kanata a "rump parliament" of Commonality die-hards held a vote and declared Halime the First Minister of the Commonality Government-in-Exile, and she has spent the years since using House Cifti's remaining resources and donations from supporters to promote civil and legal resistance to the Principate annexation. She is often on Andurien, Mosiro, or Kanata, promoting her cause to the people of Andurien and propagandizing every case of accused Principate abuses in the Commonality. She has yet to be received by Duchess Karla, however, nor to win recognition for her government from any governmental body above sympathetic communes among the People's State.

Imperator Flavius seemed intent on diplomacy, but since his death the Principate government has become increasingly hostile. Most of House Cifti's assets on Tematagi have been frozen or placed under trusteeship to prevent Halime from using them and an active warrant for her arrest on sedition charges was announced in 3139. The Principate and the old anti-Cifti bloc have levied the counter-charge that Halime is a Capellan agent looking to sell her people to the Empire, a charge Halime fiercely denies but which grows in strength as she continues to rely on donations over the exiles' dwindling resources. Halime's continued presence in Andurien has likewise strained relations between the People's State and the Principate as the Council of Ministers refuses to intervene against her on legal grounds. Time will tell whether or not the war of words between Halime Cifti and the Principate will force Andurien to act.

Wiki Notes[]


Terran Union[]

This was a nation once center in the Inner Sphere, center around Terra. The Union was governed by descendants of the SLDF.
At the height of the nation's existence it had achieved same technology levels as the Clans.


Concertverse Timeline 2777-3142[]

2777
SLDF assaults Terra.  During operations to secure Moscow, Amaris forces set off tactical-scale atomic devices that destroy several SLDF units and claim the life of Commanding General Aleksandr Kerensky.
2777-2820
DeChavalier completes the liberation of Terra, executes Amaris and his family.  Council Lords refuse to recognize him as Kerensky's successor, summon their troops in the SLDF home.  Appoint Jerome Blake as head of communications.  Remnant SLDF forces secure Terra and the core of the old Hegemony, Terran provisional government names DeChavalier as Director-General of the Terran Hegemony against his preference.  SLDF skirmishes with House armies, forced to withdraw to inner defense lines, repulse House Kurita invasion of Dieron.

1st Succession War breaks out toward end of late 2780s.  DeChavalier declares neutrality and focuses on continued rebuilding.  Not wanting to provoke his skilled remaining forces, House Lords leave him alone.

Terrans reorganize state into Terran Union; Director-General firmly military-only rank, but can effectively become dictator if needed (or if not).  Jerome Blake organizes ComStar to provide continued HPG operation to rest of the Inner Sphere, becomes major supporter of Terran government.

  • 2821-3029 - Not Detailed At this Time -
3030
Second Age of War begins as Successor States commence expansion into unclaimed systems.  First Skye War begins with surprise attack by Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant and Interstellar Governments Council against Skye itself.
3031
First Skye War escalates and expands with Kingdom of Donegal intervening on behalf of Skye Republic, invading Consolidant.  The Gray Death Legion, hired by the Consolidant, launches an attack on under-defended Donegal in reprisal, sacking key centers on the planet.  Sensing weakness, the Kingdom of Cajamarca (former FWL state) and Marik Commonwealth both commence invasions of Consolidant worlds.  By the end of the year the Kingdom of Ghastillia joined forces with Skye and Donegal while the Communal League of Sudeten became an associated co-belligerent of the Consolidant and IGC, invading Donegal's systems.  In keeping with the theme of sudden descents upon capital systems, Ghastillian and Donegal forces struck at Hesperus directly in the final months of the year.utgoing Mail to be Processed by JLS
  • 3030-3032 - Not Detailed At this Time -
3033
First Skye War ends.  Interstellar Governments Council and Federal Star Republic of Skye destroyed.  Terrans force ceasefire on belligerents.  Marik Commonwealth considered the main winner, having seized a slice of important worlds from the Consolidant and much of the former IGC, as well as detaching a client state at Zion.  Marian invasion of Bolan, First Outback War.
3034
Fall of Bolan and Bolan Rettungsaktion. First Outback War Ends with destruction of Duchy of Vicente and negotiated peace among other participants.  War of Rasalhaguan Unification begins with Hartshill Federal Alliance and McAllister Shogunate invasion of Principality of Rasalhague, including naval strike and blockade of Rasalhague itself.

Second Skye War: Azami and Marik forces invade Consolidant, besiege Summer, Skye, and Marik sweeps up multiple Consolidant worlds.  New Commonwealth forces move forward to assist.  After invading Zion and making a diplomatic deal, Harsefeld and Oriente betray planned partition of Zion with Marik Commonwealth, launch naval attack on Atreus shipyards and full-scale invasion of Marik worlds.  Diplomatic efforts result in formation of Lyran Alliance: Arcadian Free March invades Campbelton, Coriscana, Midkiff, and Autumn Wind, Arcadian/Consolidant/Commonwealth naval units smash Marik destroyers at Campbelton.  Donegalan and Ghastillian forces surprise Marik by siding with new Lyran Alliance.
3035
Concord continues Periphery campaign, overwhelms Tortuga Dominions.

Rasalhague War/War of Rasalhaguan Unification:
COMINTERSTEL intervenes in Rasalhague war, launches invasion of McAllister Shogunate, Rengo Directorate interferes and sustains naval damage interfering in Rasalhague Commune invasion force, but the Gothi of the Commune continues the invasion anyway while the damaged Rengo fleet returns for repairs.  Galedon commences full-scale invasion of Rengo Directorate, taking advantage of Rengo naval losses.  Invasion of McAllister fails due to reinforcements, leads to loss of invading COMINTERSTEL forces, but Shogunate and Federal Alliance are forced to give up many Principality of Rasalhague worlds they'd conquered.

Second Skye War:

Marik morale collapses, the Azami sue for peace and gain a few worlds on strength of new diplomatic alliance with Federated Suns, Tikonov, Brethren of the Stars, and Harsefeld.  Lyran troops pour into Marik Commonwealth while Arcadian, Marian, and Rim Commonality forces seize parts of collapsing Kingdom of Cajamarca.  By the end of the year the Marik Commonwealth is broken down to just Atreus and Solaris holdouts.

War of Capellan Unification:

With the Mariks broken, Harsefeld and the Brethen of the Stars commenced a full-scale invasion of the Capellan Hegemony.  The Capellans, knowing their state was doomed, nevertheless inflict serious damage on the Brethren by destroying their naval yard complex at St. Ives in a daring raid.  Capellan democrats and Hegemony loyalists prepare to flee into exile as an alternative to surrender or capture.
3036

Ex-Free Worlds League Space


The Second Skye War draws to a close in the early months as the remaining Marik Commonwealth holdouts on Atreus and Solaris succumb to overwhelming force.  The remaining worlds of the Commonwealth declare for one or another of the victorious states.  Dickinson goes to Oriente, Bedeque ultimately picks the Free March (after numerous bribes), and the worlds around Atreus not yet occupied by Arcadian troops accept Free March control with the fall of Atreus.

At the same time, with Corvus O'Reilly having become Imperator after a sudden riot turned into an outright rebellion against his tyrant nephew Sean, the Marian Hegemony invades the Grand Duchy of Tamarind, the last remaining minor power in League space.  Using recently-recovered "black box" technology to execute a coordinated campaign without HPG use, the Hegemony swiftly overwhelms the Duchy in a six month campaign.  Arcadian troops fresh from the conquest of Atreus rush to Labouchere which, confronted with the imminent fall of Tamarind, agrees to transfer to Arcadian sovereignty along with the 3rd Tamarind Guards, whom are redubbed the Tamarind Rangers under Arcadian command, and the WarShip Arjun.

With this success giving him needed prestige, Corvus pursues a reformation of the Hegemony, transforming it into the Corvid Principate, with one reform in particular that barely passes the Senate and enrages many of the patricians as well as Niops' scientist class; the outlawing of all forms of slavery.  Though it passes by only one vote Corvus' control of the state is sufficient to begin immediate abolition enforcement.  While this does not defuse all dislike and suspicion of the reformed Alphard state, it removes the singlest strongest element of contention that drove hostility with Arcadia.  Corvus moves to regularize relations with the Arcadians, and for good reason.

By this point, warfare breaks out at the other corner of former League space in the following quarter with a massive Canopian surprise attack on Andurien, destroying or capturing several constructing Andurien ships and landing significant forces on the capital itself while other outlying worlds fall.  Andurien, having spent years recovering from its near conquest in the First Andurien War, appeals for aid.

It comes from a surprising quarter; their former would-be conquerers.  Harsefeld, Oriente, and the Brethren throw their support to Andurien, despite Oriente accepting two worlds from Canopian control as part of a partition deal negotiated secretly before the attack.  The three powers openly intervene on Andurien's side with the Harsefeld war fleet arriving at Andurien to force the Canopian ships away and blockade their troops on-planet for reinforcements to smash.

But the Compact powers don't stop there.  As the Canopians were newly aligned with the Hegemony-turned-Principate, Grand Duchess Eris Halas, her groom-to-be King Jonah Allison-Liao, and Jonah's half-brother King Alexander Allison (Harsefeld held a dual monarchy at this point, though Jonah was due to inherit due to his Liao heritage) decided it was time to decisively deal with the threat they felt from Alphard's alliance.  Oriente's fleet did not go to Canopus or to Andurien but to Tematagi, the capital of the Rim Commonality, where in a fierce battle the battlecruiser Golden Apple, Eris' recently completed flagship, and her escorts broke the Rim fleet, destroying multiple destroyer and frigate-sized WarShips and the incomplete cruiser in the Rim shipyards, as well as severely damaging arriving Principate WarShips, the bulk of the Principate's own fleet being out of position to give any aid due to hunting down Tamarind's last destroyer.  Though the Apple itself was severely damaged and would spend months in repair yards, and most of her escorts were lost, the Battle of Tematagi dictated the pace of the rest of the war, giving naval superiority to the Harsefeld-Oriente alliance across the entire front.

Following this outcome, Oriente troops launched several offensives into Rim territory to conquer worlds and break Rim troop formations, so as to prepare for the coming onslaught of Principate Legions fresh from the conquest of Tamarind.  The Legions did indeed arrive, a number of them bypassing the front to strike at New Olympia, Nova Roma, and Asellus Australis, seizing all three major worlds from Oriente by the end of the year due to the relative paucity of their garrisons.

Canopus' marshaled naval forces manage to counter-attack in the Andurien-system long enough to extract their troops, which commence raids on Harsefeld and Oriente targets.  Their foes have a greater prize in mind, though; under the guns of Harsefeld's cruisers, Andurien's remaining regiments land on Canopus itself and, by the end of the year, overwhelm and conquer the planet.  Magestrix Kyalla Centrella is killed in a last stand, and her daughter Emma, away with the army lifted from Andurien, is named Magestrix.  Canopus' bid to break Andurien power and grow stronger at their expense was a failure.

Outside of the war, at the end of the year Grand Duchess Eris Halas and King Jonah Allison-Liao wed on Oriente, establishing the basis for the future union of their realms.


Lyran Space

Queen Rachel Steiner of Donegal undergoes tests that confirm the reoccurence of her cancer.  With doctors affirming remission is unlikely and that her life span will not last much longer, she begins quiet consideration for the future while allowing her cousin, Klaus Steiner of the Cameron-Donegal Steiner line, to assume duties as regent.  Klaus completes Donegal's diplomatic absorption of the Duchy of Buckminster, which is divided with the Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant.
Archon Katrina Steiner recalls her troops from the front and continues consolidation of her borders up to the Rift Republic, where Loki and Lohengrin operatives quietly begin undermining local political institutions to pave the way for Commonwealth conquest.
The Rim Empire collapses into civil war.  Ghastillia moves in to seize control, but Sudeten-backed revolutionaries resist and declare the formation of the Peoples' Republic of the Rim.  Threatened with COMINTERSTEL intervention Ghastillia agrees to accept only the former capital of Kwangjong-ji and a couple other worlds by plebiscite and permit the Republic to remain intact.
The Arcadian Free March, having peacefully annexed by treaty the key worlds of Dixie and Loric, and with the Marik Commonwealth collapsed and breaking apart, commences negotiations for a major constitutional reformation, as its current government structure is too overburdened by the tripling of its size in the span of less than four years.  The reformation created the Royal Federation, with March-Princess Sara-Marie proclaimed High Queen of the Federation (after extensive disputes and debates about the monarchial title to be adopted).


Rasalhague/Kuritan Space:

With Galedon having knocked the Rengoites out of the war, Hartshill and McAllister were facing gradual defeat at the unified armies of COMINTERSTEL, Tamar, and the Rasalhague Principality.  Fighting delaying actions, and drawn into a major battle on Avon, they countered by allying with the United Outworlds Republic, pledging support should the UOR be invaded by Galedon in exchange for a major UOR commitment to the war.  With a command circuit formed from Quatre Bell and Alpheratz to the front, sixteen UOR 'Mech regiments and attached brigades smashed a counterattack in Hartshill space flat and opened the way for the Shogunate and HFA to commence major countermoves of their own.

Galedon put an end to their plans.
To secure UOR support, the Shogunate offered a similar pledge against Galedon to the Solar Union in exchange for not exploiting the situation to invade the UOR.  Instead of accepting, the government of Chancellor Cavanaugh revealed the offer to Director Masako.  Enraged at what she saw as a betrayal of her pledges of non-involvement to the Shogunate, Masako decided to unleash her forces on them instead, while her Concord allies would attack the UOR alongside the Solar Union, now offered a part in their alliance.  She signaled her intentions to Hartshill, offering them a chance to survive if they stood down and left their allies to die.
They did more than that.  As a means to show support for the Galedon-Concord alliance, the HFA's fleets signaled an order to the admiral of their forces escorting the UOR troops.  Upon their return to their JumpShips to rush home to defend their worlds, the Hartshill ships opened fire; in the space of but minutes, the cream of the Outworlds' army was annihilated helplessly in space, dooming the UOR to conquest by their neighbors.  Aghast at the scope of this betrayal, the Queen of Hartshill had her Prime Minister arrested for going behind her back, but she did not repudiate the agreement.  Hartshill would live, at the sufferance of Director Masako Honda; their Shogunate allies would die.
And die they did, as Galedon invaded and overwhelmed them on multiple worlds, using their powerful fleet to blockade the Shogunate's troops on Avon for an inevitable Rasalhaguan counterattack to obliterate them.  The Shogunate's leadership, not wishing to suffer Masako's wrath, opted to flee with all they could save, and in a daring naval strike, sacrificed their remaining WarShips to extricate their surviving regiments from Avon, succeeding in the operation (and causing the public, personal execution of the commanding admiral at Masako's own hand).

The Rasalhague Commune completed its victory on Avon, destroying the remaining Shogunate troops, and went on to invade the Shogunate capital of Pesht once more.  Mistaking militia positions for dug-in elite troops, the Rasalhaguan naval commander unleashed an orbital bombardment that utterly annihilated the militia and caused extensive damage to the planet, shocking and disgusting the Inner Sphere at the callousness of the act.  The Commune made some public commitments to rebuilding, though privately many held it a fitting end to punish those who sought to conquer Rasalhague.  Meanwhile every effort was made to locate the surviving Shogun and his troops and wipe them out to the last.  By the end of the year they were located on Irian, where they'd been given sanctuary by Harsefeld in exchange for service in Harsefeld's armies.  Preparations were made to send the fleet and troops to extirpate the Shogunate.

Davion Space:

With the Solar Union's decision to back the powerful Galedon-Concord bloc, with Kilbourne's reluctant acceptance, and the following choice to partition the United Outworlds Republic, the truce that ended the FIrst Outback War was broken.  The resulting conflict was some bloodshed, given the defensive efforts of the surviving UOR forces, but with their best troops slaughtered by the very nation they'd gone off to aid, the UOR had nothing but to die hard.  Their advanced corvettes and an incomplete cruiser rushed from the shipyard managed to bloody the nose of the Concord, but the outcome of the war was not in doubt.  At year's end the Concord offered a generous rebuilding package and mercy if they would surrender, a surrender that would be accepted at the start of the following year.

Capellan Space:


Rogue Brethren pirate troops, enraged at the Capellan Hegemony's audacity to hit St. Ives and their resistance, launched a brutal sack of Sarna that devastated the world before departing with stolen loot.
While the Second Andurien War broke out, the Brethren and Harsefeld continued their conquest of the Hegemony.  They learned, too late, of the Hegemony leadership's evacuation of their capital, and an effort to find the fleet failed before their WarShips were re-devoted to other tasks.  Capella itself fell last, a campaign that took the entire year as the Capellan Hegemony's remaining troops and diehards fought savagely to resist the Harsefeld troops and the reimposition of the caste system and other old Capellan systems on their democratic world.  Harsefeld's fleet suffered damage from ground-based fire but managed to secure the landings, though they came under scrutiny yet again for a missed bombardment shot that atomized a town of tens of thousand of residents. At the end of the year, the Hegemony's capital finally fell after fierce urban fighting, and Harsefeld was free to redeploy its troops to the Second Andurien War, having successfully completed the destruction of the anti-Liaoist Hegemony and asserted the Royal Protectorate as the one true successor state of the old Capellan Confederation and of Capellan nationhood.  All that remained of the old leadership were those who fled successfully to, as it turned out, Canopus, though they lost much of their material on the way, including one of their prize cruisers, due to wear and tear and battle damage.

3037

Lyran/League Space:


Just after New Year's, the formal coronation of Sara-Marie Proctor as High Queen of the Royal Federation was held, with Grand Duchess Eris Halas, Consul Livia O'Reilly, and First Prince Ian Davion among attendees.  Sara-Marie would meet with a number of the visitors before they departed.  As they did so, all noted that the military units that participated in the coronation parade were burning out as well.
For good reason.
By the end of January 3037, the armies of the Lyran states were in motion. Troops and ships from the Royal Federation and Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant, with backup from the Kingdom of Donegal, launched Operation INGRATITUDE, a large-scale invasion of the Royal Protectorate of Harsefeld and the Grand Duchy of Oriente.  They swept through the former Marik Commonwealth worlds held by both states, seizing many of them and blockading the newly-arrived Shogunate survivors on Irian.  Arcadian ships, combining with the Principate's cruiser and other forces, launched a deep raid on New Delos in the hopes of catching the Golden Apple there, but it had already been moved, and all they could accomplish was the seizing of the shipyards.
Harsefeld, in the middle of transferring troops to the Rim front, adjusted swiftly with interior lines, dispatching the bulk of their armies towards the Lyran front instead while relying on Brethren naval forces to help pin down Principate/Rim forces.  This adjustment also led to the capture of two raiding Canopian commands, though the others continued to smash garrisons and topple worlds across the rear areas.  Meanwhile Harsefeld and Oriente leaders sounded out the Principate for a truce and an offer to jointly attack the Lyrans, but it was soon clear this was not simple opportunism; the Lyran states were openly siding with the Principate in the war, a strategic shock to the Compact leadership who had counted on continued Lyran, and particularly Arcadian, animosity towards the Principate to keep the Periphery power strategically isolated.  Indeed, to ensure the loyalty of Arcadia's Bolanese exiles, a territorial exchange was negotiated, with Bolan and Tamarind being turned over to the Royal Federation in exchange for Cajamarca, capital of the Principate's fallen allies.

Meanwhile the Harsefeld counterattack landed squarely on the Consolidant, pinning several key units on Marik and destroying a Consolidant destroyer-carrier in orbit, as well as taking out an Arcadian 'Mech regiment on Surundo.  In the following months the overwhelming force on Marik would destroy the Consolidant units, including leaving Royal Black Watch CO Frederick Steiner MIA, as reinforcements were not forced through due to the Harsefeld-Oriente alliance's returning cruisers making a naval action at Marik too great a risk by the judgement of commanders.  Their fleet forces were freed up, at least, as by arrangement, the Rasalhaguan forces arrived at Irian and completed their revenge, utterly destroying the Shogunate survivors before withdrawing from the planet, which would fall shortly thereafter to the Consolidant.

The arrival of Ghastillia's restored Star League cruiser, the Maeve, to support the joint Lyran-Principate fleet restored some naval power balance.  Lyran forces were too late to catch Harsefeld's troops on Marik, who evacuated before the counterattack could land, though the planet fell quickly.  Harsefeld turned to mobile ops, using their naval assets to ensure local superiority on two or three worlds to crush Lyran units, refusing to attack where they could not gain such superiority.
This only staunched the bleeding slightly, however.  The Principate, using its large transport fleet, flooded Oriente territory with its reservist Limitanei troops. While garrison quality themselves, these legions had the mass to smash Oriente and Harsefeld garrison units, and did so repeatedly, their capture of Oriente worlds creating a crisis for Grand Duchess Eris.  The Compact's naval power, though superior, couldn't be everywhere at once, and for every Limitanei legion caught in space and forced to surrender at gunpoint, two or three would seize another world.
The Brethren fleet expanded the naval superiority of the Compact by providing critical reinforcements to allow a tactical victory at Nullarbor, leaving the bulk of the Commonality army pinned for destruction by Compact troops.  They settled for evacuation, however, as warning came from Harsefeld intelligence that the Principate-Lyran fleet assembled on that front were descending on Nullarbor and would overwhelm them, thus preserving the Rim Commonality's army.
With Canopus' insurgents only months from defeat, Magestrix Emma meanwhile convinced her allies to commit to a dangerous gamble, and with what naval forces could be scrounged up and her remaining troops, they returned to Canopus, blasted through the now-thin naval defenses of the Compact, and gained enough of a hold on the world to bring the insurgents back into line service and threaten Andurien's army with destruction.  Further up on the Lyran front, Principate and Arcadian forces secured New Delos itself and seized several other worlds in the heart of Harsefeld space, though without naval cover an assault on Harsefeld itself, or Oriente, was deemed too dangerous.
Two members of the Lyran Alliance, the New Commonwealth and the Kingdom of Ghastillia, had yet to be involved in the war (outside of the Ghastillians hiring out the Maeve and her battle group), as they were busy conquering the Rift Republic.  The campaign went as many did when two stronger Successor States descended upon a weaker, and the Rift's pleas for aid went unheard; all it could do was die hard, and it fought to do so.
Aid for the Compact came from their remaining allies, however: the Azami and Tikonov conducted major invasions of Donegalian and Consolidant territory, striking at Summer, Skye, and Vega, and Buckminster.  Vega fell and the other worlds resulted in vicious fights, with the 4th and 17th Skye Rangers destroyed in the ransacking of Summer and Skye likewise suffering damage, though TIkonov's forces endured significant losses on both worlds.  With this new front opened, Donegal and the Consolidant rushed troops back, and the Arcadians prepared to withdraw to former Marik Commonwealth territory, though not before wiring the extensive shipyards of New Delos for demolition.
This fact was not lost on Harsefeld.  Nor could the Compact ignore that in the coming year Principate naval forces would be reinforced by new construction back at Alphard, as well as repairs completed on the former Capellan cruiser in Canopian hands and captured Andurien ships.  In short, the naval balance would start shifting in the coming year once more, and with the Rift Republic almost conquered, the troops of the New Commonwealth and Ghastilia would be coming up as reinforcements. Oriente's economy was suffering from all the lost worlds as well.
On the other hand, the Compact had a number of advantages.  They still held naval superiority, Canopus' stability as a government was reeling, and the Azami and Tikonov were primed to commence a larger campaign in Lyran space.  The Federated Suns was likewise free to get involved with their victory over the Peripheral Union, and neither of the other blocs were threatening them to stay out, at least for now.  And Arcadia's troops were now vulnerable to destruction as their naval cover was either rushing towards Skye or towards Nullarbor.  Additionally the Golden Apple's repairs were mostly complete and she was free to return to the front, throwing ever more naval power back on the Compact's side for the time being.
With the war poised to escalate, and both sides having reason to worry for how things might go, Prince Ian Davion stepped in to suggest a truce and a peace.  Negotiations via ComStar were carried out and the result was a three year peace treaty, with minor territorial concessions by the Compact in exchange for the Lyran and Principate withdrawals from several dozen captured worlds, one world transferring to the Azami, and Andurien's neutrality and protection being pledged.  Oriente would, however, regain all the worlds lost to the Arcadians, but as Arcadia suffered the least of the Lyran powers, it accepted no official gain, though it would take control over Marik, Irian, and other nearby worlds ceded on behalf of the Consolidant, which was dealing with political fallout from the perceived abandonment of the troops on Marik.
Thus the Second Andurien War ended, with a major political shift as the Lyran and Principate-led alliances were clearly unified in limiting the power of the Compact… and Grand Duchess Eris left with a permanent, life-long hatred for the "perfidious" Proctors.

Davion Space:


The Federated Suns executed Operation TITAN, invading the pariah state of the Peripheral Union, starting with a large scale operation to reclaim the former Capellan March capital of New Syrtis along with other border systems and find and destroy the Iron Maiden, a former SLDF battleship that was the focus of the Union's navy and responsible for the bombardment of Birqash in 3033.  The Union, led by a militant anti-Davion government, ordered the battleship to respond to the attack by bombarding Wernke and Talon, current home of the exiled Haseks, but the Federated Suns fleet caught them and with long range fire wore down the ship enough that a daring boarding mission allowed its capture.  The Hyades Rim Republic executed its own nearly-bloodless invasion, having tricked their former allies into focusing everything towards FedSuns territory and letting them hire the mercenary garrisons for the worlds on their common border, whom promptly surrendered the worlds to the HRR upon contact.
Though they defiantly held some worlds, the Union was doomed, and by October it had surrendered completely, a couple of its worlds falling to the United Hindu Collective but most going to the Federated Suns or Hyades Rim Republic.
Meanwhile, the Filtvelt Coalition suffered the fate of their former allies in the United Outworlds Republic, being invaded and partitioned by the Concord, Solar Union, and Kilborne Commonwealth.  The Guitterezes and their surviving ships and troops fled to the Federated Suns, who made the family rulers of the new Periphery March out of the former Union capital of Warren, a spit in the eye at their aggressive neighbors as relations between the Concord and Federated Suns continued to sour.

3038
With Prince Ian's Peace and the fall of Filtvelt and the Union, peace was maintained across the entirety of the Inner Sphere… mostly, as the Rift Republic breathed its last.
Given the new strategic realities faced, and the damage from the war, Oriente and Harsefeld stepped up their timetables for union.  Their realms were declared merged, forming the Oriento-Capellan Empire, with Jonah and Eris declared Emperor and Empress.  As a form of celebration for this, they ordered their forces to Regulus, where at the threat of attack they compelled ComStar to cede the world to the Empire in exchange for local concessions.  This was a shock to the rest of the Inner Sphere; while there were rumors ComStar was considering allowing local Successor States to reclaim the worlds they administered by purchase (the remaining being Kentares, Luthien, Sian, and Tharkad), this blunt aggression seemed a calculated slap to the face of the Terran Union.
Nor did the new Empire forget the stinging insult of the Lyran intervention.  Maskirovka hired the legendary Bounty Hunter to find and extract Frederick Steiner from Marik, intending to foment anti-Brewer rebellions and enable the easy conquest of the Consolidant once the peace had run its course.

They soon found another front to strike at.  Faced with threatened uprisings against their rule in the former Kingdom of Cajamarca, the Royal Federation decided to consolidate by releasing the worlds, although secretly it made a deal with the Principate, who would absorb the planets and relinquish a like number of Bolanese systems.  While four were taken this way, three suddenly requested admission to the Empire before any legions could arrive, and the Empire immediately accepted, warning that it would regard any attack on these worlds as a breaking of the peace treaty and all penalties demanded be enacted.  In one stroke they had three worlds astride the lines of communication between their enemies, and while they were barred from sending troops to them, they arranged mercenary garrisons and made preparations to rush troops to the worlds when the treaty expired.

Developments in Donegalian politics opened the possibility for the marriage of Prince Thomas Proctor to Lady Johanna Steiner, of some potential controversy given that Johanna was one of the few disinherited Steiners whom were believed to be on Queen Rachel's list of approved heirs, though due to her lifelong fears of acknowledging an heir (as she was infertile due to medical condition) leading to civil war, Rachel was still refusing to revoke the disinheritance decree she'd forced on all her relatives.
Nor was peace going to last elsewhere.  With the Shogunate destroyed, the two Rasalhaguan states committed to unification, and with Sudeten and Tamar, resumed planning to assault the Oberon Confederation.  Likewise the Brethren and the Federated Suns made ready to attack the Hyades Rim Republic and their minor ally, the Jaipur Empire, due to the HRR's attempts to undermine them in prior campaigns and to complete FedSun Restorationist aims.
But the most unexpected threat to peace came in Lyran space.  Klaus Steiner, consulting the dying Queen Rachel, agreed to approve the long-awaited march of Lady Johanna Steiner to Prince Thomas Proctor of Arcadia.  While this alone would not have caused such controversy (though it was still quite a shock and provoked anger), Rachel made a private decision to reinstate Johanna's inheritance rights, allowing her to legally become Queen of Donegal.  A decree was drawn up to that effect and signed, but in November Rachel died from a complication of her cancer, and the posthumous revelation of the decree was angrily opposed by partisans of exiled Arthur Luvon, husband to the New Commonwealth's Archon Katrina Steiner and head of the dreaded Loki intelligence organization.  Luvon declared the decree suspect and his wife accused the Arcadians of forging it to secure Donegal for themselves, while the Arcadians strenuously denied this allegation.  As the year ended, grins were certainly in season on Oriente and Harsefeld, as the Lyran Alliance was coming apart.

3039

On 14 February Prince Thomas Proctor wedded Heiress-Designate Johanna Steiner on Donegal.  Shortly afterward, upon winning a close vote in the Estates-General, Johanna was crowned Queen of Donegal.  The New Commonwealth withdrew its ambassador in protest, but has more in mind to deal with the situation.

On 15 March 3039, Johanna and Thomas present themselves to the Estates-General for a general session.  The meeting proceeded swiftly, as a Legitimist ally failed to provide a desired objection to delay them, which means the two left the chamber a mere two minutes before bombs planted by Loki agents could go off, killing many of the assembled delegates and visitors including Thomas' father Consort-Prince Thomas.  Within the hour system defense officers reported emergence signatures at two pirate points, and soon it was confirmed as an invasion force: the Gray Death Legion and Kell Hounds leading an NCAF task force to seize and consolidate control of Donegal in Arthur Luvon's name.  Thomas rallied the Arcadian Guards, on-world to participate in ceremonies for his marriage, and Johanna won over the Defenders of Donegal brigade despite their disenchantment with House Steiner, while her loyalist forces of the reformed 2nd Donegal Guards surged from their bases.  The NCAF forces landed under a hail of fire, commencing the start of the War of Donegalian Succession and splitting the Lyran Alliance apart.

The Defiance-Hesperus Consolidant and Kingdom of Ghastillia declared neutrality swiftly, though the former extracted the restoration of Marik, Irian, and the other worlds taken in the Second Andurien War in exchange for continued purchasing rights from Defiance.

On the other side of the Inner Sphere, the Federated Suns and Brethren of the Stars invaded the Hyades Rim Republic and Jaipur Empire.  Shortly thereafter, as punishment for Regulus the prior year, the Terrans snatched Frederick Steiner from Oriento-Capellan custody with an intelligence operation.  The Empire retaliated two months later by invading Sian, prompting a Terran counter-invasion centered on Harsefeld before the year was out.


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