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Tall Tales (Chapter Cover Art)


Story By JA Baker[]

Honour Of The Regiment
Facts
Author JA Baker
Series Name Tall Tales
Alternate Universe Name
Year Written June 30th, 2020
Story Era Dark Age Era





The Fenshire Silver. I don't expect many of you have heard of it, so for the sake of those who haven't, allow me to educate you.

The Royal Fenshire Dragoons was a Terran Hegemony unit that could trace its lineage back to the British Isles of pre-diaspora Terra. Back then, they were simply the Fenshire Regiment, an infantry formation that served in the first two World Wars, and countless other smaller conflicts in the service of their homeland before being amalgamated with other units. This hardly sets them apart from countless other units, some of which are still in existence, in one form or another, to this day.

What makes them special is a possibly unique aspect of their regimental history: the long and complex path taken by their Regimental Silver.

For those of you not so versed in ancient military traditions, the regimental silver collection was considered by some to represent the honour of a unit, with special pieces being added to commemorate battle honours or other significant moments in their history. The Fenshire Regiment had the misfortune of having almost their entire collection stolen during a raid while stationed in a relatively lawless part of their empire, and it would pass through the hands of several nations, until a chance encounter during the Second World War saw a mission launched to recover the missing pieces, therefore restoring the regiments honour.

The decades that followed the end of the Second World War would see a downturn in the fortunes of the British Empire, and as their territory shrunk, so did their need for such a large army, and the Fenshire Regiment was eventually reduced to a single battalion, and eventually folded into another unit. The regimental silver, along with the regiments colours and other paraphernalia, was carefully packed away and placed in storage at a museum that found itself with a far larger collection then it could ever hope to put on public display.

Fast forward several centuries, and the ascendant Terran Alliance found itself in need of an expanded military in order to adequately garrison the myriad of world's it now controlled. In order to try an add some legitimacy to these new units, the Alliance gave many of them the names and legacies of a number of previous formations, one such example being the Fenshire Regiment, which was reborn as the Fenshire Dragoons, a mechanized infantry unit, in 2236, at the beginning of what would become known as the Outer Reaches Rebellion.

The Fenshire Dragoons would be one of the few units remaining outside of the 30-light year limit set by the Demarcation Decoration, and they found their base on Towne besieged by local forces seeking to take possession of the base and the equipment held there. The entrenched Dragoons would hold out for six months before eventually managing to find a JumpShip willing to take the survivors and their dependents across the boarder into Alliance space. They left countless spoiler charges behind, making sure that their enemies gained nothing of any military value.

And, it goes without saying, they took their regimental silver with them.

Embittered by their experiences, the Fenshire Dragoons would be one first units to throw their support behind Admiral James McKenna during his campaign to take control of the Alliance in the wake of the Zoli Affair. This loyalty to the new regime would later be rewarded by the regiment being awarded the 'Royal' designation, finally making them the Royal Fenshire Dragoons in 2351. The Dragoons would remain a mechanised infantry unit, even after the development of the BattleMech, maintaining a strong pride in their long 'history' of service. Equipped with light, mobile units, they would often be deployed as scouts, harassing the enemies flanks, earning them several additional battle honours during the Hidden Wars and the later Reunification War.

However, it is a different war that would birth the legend of the Fenshire Silver.

Call it the Amaris Civil War, the Amaris Crisis, the Amaris-Kerensky Civil War, the Star League Civil War, or the Amaris Coup, one of the first act of the Usurper was to strike at all remaining THAF and SLDF garrisons remaining in the Hegemony at the time. The Royal Fenshire Dragoons had been relocated to New Florence, the First and Second battalions being sent to the Periphery in support of General Kerensky's campaigns, while the Third remained behind to help form and train a Fourth, reserve battalion intended to act as a ready reserve for losses. A regiment of Rim Worlds Republic backed mercenaries, McGregor's Marauders, had already arrived to take over regular garrison duties, and indeed had set up their base inside the Dragoons own base.

According to surviving contemporary reports, relations between the two units had been nothing but cordial. With the command staff of the Marauders being invited to the Dragoons Christmas Ball in 2766, where their commander, Colonel Marcus McGregor, was shown the by then extensive collection of regimental silver. McGregor commented that it would be nice if his own command was able to acquire such a collection, stating that it would be far easier to simply take the Dragoons once they left.

This was apparently seen as a joke at the time.

What followed became known locally as the Night of the Long Knives. Having traded duty shifts with members of Dragoons, the Marauders managed to easily take control of the bases command center, guard house, motor pool and armory. Happy that they had the upper hand, McGregor acted upon the orders given to him by Amaris. He then ordered his troops to slaughter the Dragoons on base, while teams sort out those elsewhere. Officers and enlisted alike were dragged from their beds and butchered. Often in front of their families, many of whom suffered the same fate. In a little over six hours, 400 people lost their lives, less than a dozen members of the Dragoons on New Florence surviving by vanishing into the general population. One of McGregor's first acts after the massacre was to appropriate the regimental silver, only a single item, claimed by many to be the same ashtray that had alluded the raiders almost eight centuries prior, evading his grasp.

But more on that later.

While the surviving battalions of the Royal Fenshire Dragoons would go on to fight during the rest of the conflict. It is the story of the stolen silver that we're interested in. The haul would remain with McGregor for less than a year, before a night of drunken gambling would see it lost to the commander of a Rim Worlds unit, only days before McGregor was killed in a training accident. The Rim Worlds Republic Regiment would take it with them to Towne, then Van Diemen. There the unit was completely destroyed by vengeful SLDF forces in September of 2772. The silver, however, was not recovered, as it had been stolen by an officer in the FWRA and used in a bid to buy protection from the local government. The silver was taken, then the officer was handed over to the SLDF and executed for crimes committed during the occupation.

The fate of the silver during the First Succession War is somewhat hazy, mainly due to the lack of surviving records from that time, but by 2838 it had come into the possession of the planetary Lord, only to be taken by the Capellan Confederation when they captured the world, destroying several League regiments in the process. It would spend several decades travelling around the Confederation, somehow always remain intact, until it was captured by the Federated Suns on Woodstock in 3030, crushing the Capellen garrison.

However, by this point, the legend of the Fenshire Silver had started to grow, and it was moved around between several units before eventually being "Gifted" to the 3rd Lyran Guards shortly before the start of the War of 3039. In a show of pure bravado, the 3rd would take the silver with them during the invasion of Vega, the commander stating that he wanted to be sure of "Finding decent cutlery when we get there".

It is a historical fact that the Fenshire Silver had been on display in the briefing room where the commander of the 3rd was killed by a DEST planted bomb shortly before the world was retaken by the Draconis Combine. During the hurried evacuation, the silver was left behind by the 3rd,and was captured by the 14th Legion of Vega as spoils of war.

For the next ten years, it seemed that the supposed curse placed upon the Fenshire Silver had been broken... until March of 3050, when Clan Smoke Jaguar attacked the world of Turtle Bay and effectively destroyed the 14th Legion of Vega. The few survivors being folded into the 16th. Upon exploring the former DCMS headquarters, the Smoke Jaguars were surprised to discover a collection of silver bearing the crest of a SLDF unit. Jaguars took it as a sign that their invasion of the Inner Sphere was destined to succeed. Galaxy Commander Cordera Perez ordered ordered the silver to be sent to Khan Lincoln Osis, who would show it off to the assembled Council of Khan's shortly before the Battle of Tukayyid.

After the defeat at Tukayyid, the Fenshire Silver would be sent back to the Clan Homeworlds, eventually ending up on Kirin. There it would remain until 3057, when Operation Bulldog and Taskforce Serpent would see the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar by the Second Star League. In the scrabble to take former Smoke Jaguar holdings, Clan Hell's Horses would retake complete control of Kirin, and possession of the Fenshire Silver.

Here, however, is where the missing ashtray comes back into the story.

According to the Hell's Horses Remembrance, the ashtray had been saved by a loyal member of the Royal Fenshire Dragoons named Leslie Murphy. Who would go on to join an anti-Amaris resistance group on New Florence. This soldier would survive the war, and go on to join the Exodus, eventually becoming a founding member of Clan Hell's Horses. The ashtray, the only surviving relic of the Royal Fenshire Dragoons to survive as part of the Clans, had been in their possession ever since. Upon discovering that they had uncovered the rest of the regimental collection, the Horses immediately had it shipped to Niles, where it was reunited with the long absent ashtray.

It is perhaps interesting to note that, since that day, there have been no further reported defeats or disasters linked to the Fenshire Silver, and many now believe that the curse has finally been broken, how the collection is whole again.

Me? Let's just say that there are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-Starling

The End



Notes from the Author
With special thanks to Thors_Alumni, for the unintentional inspiration
Notes from the Wiki Editor
The inspirational origin of the story can be found in the old comic book named "Commando", Issue 2097"

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