Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Clans of BattleTech were originally part of the Star League army, but after Amaris the Usurper brought about the downfall of the Star League, General Aleksandr Kerensky led his forces beyond the Inner Sphere, where they could not be used to wreak more destruction. From this Exodus, the Clans were born.
When the Exodus Fleet finally reached their destination, they rebelled against the leadership of Nicholas Kerensky (son of Aleksander) and he was forced to flee with 800 loyal followers to find safe haven once again. This 2nd Exodus reached another cluster of planets, and from there Nicholas devised the Clans. Using a combination of Spartan military lifestyle, advanced eugenics breeding program, and a fanatical devotion to a cause, Nicholas created the Clans.
In the beginning there were twenty clans, each with forty warriors. Overtime, three clans were Absorbed (Widowmaker, Mongoose, Burrock), two were Annihilated (Wolverine and Smoke Jaguar), one was Abjured (Nova Cat), another was split in two (Wolf), and two eventually merged with Inner Sphere nations (Ghost Bear and Snow Raven).
The Clans have adopted one of two philosophies. Some are Warden, believing their duty is to protect the Inner Sphere from outside aggression or from some internal disaster that warrants their intervention. Others are Crusaders and believe their destiny is to reclaim Terra and the Inner Sphere by force, re-establishing the Star League under Clan rule. The Clan Civil War separated the Occupation Zone clans from the Homeworld Clans.
Clan Blood Spirit
A small isolationist Crusader clan. Xenophobic and arrogant, the Blood Spirits disdain all the other Clans for "deviating" from the Way of the Clans. They deal with few Clans and revile the rest.
No longer in existence. Absorbed by Clan Star Adder after it became known that the Khans of the Burrocks had been secretly dealing with members of the Bandit (Dark) Caste for nearly a century. The Burrock Absorption was interrupted by a Blood Spirit Invasion, afterwards all surviving members of Clan Burrock joined Clan Star Adder. Before the absorption they were considered a Crusader Clan.
Clan Cloud Cobra
A Warden clan known for its spiritual leanings. Members of this clan are members of one of a number of Great Cloisters based on old Terran religions: Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Anasazi, and Zulu beliefs form the basis for the most powerful cloisters.
A tradition minded Warden Clan, once among the most powerful and largest of Clans. Inventors of the OmniMech (among other things), Coyote scientists are renowned for their brilliance. Steadfast allies of Clan Wolf, they fought against the Crusaders from the onset.
Clan Diamond Shark
Formerly Clan Sea Fox, they changed their name after it became known that the Sea Fox was becoming extinct due to the introduction of a new predator, the diamond shark. They were a reserve Clan during the invasion and only captured one Inner Sphere world, Nyserta, before being defeated on Tukayyid. Nyserta was then lost to the Ghost Bears, leading to a renewal of Warden sentiments in the Clan leadership. This Clan is mercantile in its dealings, an intermediary between many Clans and advancer of scientific and mercantile breakthroughs. A Warden clan, the Diamond Sharks are known for their liberal attitudes, toleration of freeborns, caste intermingling, and free-thinking ways that are unparalleled in the Clans. Clan Diamond Shark has recently changed its name back to Sea Fox, after the Sea Foxes were transplanted to, and flourished on, many new worlds
Clan Fire Mandrill
A fractured Crusader clan. The Fire Mandrills are divided into a number of Kindraa (Kindred Associations) based upon Bloodnames. Unlike the Cloud Cobras, this factionalism has cost the Fire Mandrills much and are often hard-pressed to deal with outsiders due to their internal strife. The Kindraas are: Kindraa Sainze, Kindraa Faraday-Tanaga, Kindraa Payne, Kindraa Mattila-Carrol, Kindraa Beyl-Grant, Kindraa Kline, and Kindraa Mick-Kreese (Goulet).
Clan Ghost Bear
Powerful Clansmen, the Ghost Bears are known for their conservative nature and their strong sense of family. They joined the original Clan invasion in 3050 and seized some forty worlds from the Free Rasalhague Republic and Draconis Combine. They won a minor victory against the ComGuards at the Battle of Tukayyid and bided their time since. During the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty, the Ghost Bears abandoned their Crusader beliefs and embraced the Warden Faction, leading them out of the Trial of Refusal being waged by the Inner Sphere. They subsequently relocated to the Inner Sphere, abandoning all their Clan holdings save for their enclave on Arcadia and their posting on Strana Mechty. They are a now a permanent feature of the Inner Sphere and have remained tranquil, save for a brief war with the Draconis Combine following the latter's attack on their capital, Alshain. Currently they have merged with the InnerSphere faction Free Rasalhague Republic to form the Ghost Bear Dominion. It was the first true merger between a Clan and an Inner Sphere nation where the citizens treat the Clan Warrior caste as the rulers but the ruling warriors give free reign to their Rasalhague citizens. The Ghost Bear Khan holds the main power and there is Prince voted by the people to control all matter concerning the population
Clan Goliath Scorpion
Staunch Wardens, the Goliath Scorpions value precision over brute force, while believing strongly in visions and quests. They take Necrosia, based on the venom of the goliath scorpion to aid in these visions. This Clan believes in looking to the past in order to rebuild the Star League, piece by piece. They are fiercely devoted to Clan Wolf. Many claim within the Clans if not for their visions and quests they would be an extremely powerful force to be reckoned with. Their unique organizational scheme within their touman (even more detailed than the Jade Falcons) and knowledge of the old Star League Defense Force strategy and tactics would make them a well-oiled engine of destruction. It was their Heartvenom Cluster (Cateran cluster formation with Command Trinary, two Specialist Trinary, Battle Trinary, and Striker Trinary) trained Wolf's Dragoons before they left the Inner Sphere and made them an elite unit capable of handling any operation.
Clan Hell's Horses
A mixed Clan led by Crusaders, but with a large Warden makeup, the Hell's Horses are unusual for their heavy use of conventional (non-'Mech) forces and their beliefs favoring men over machines. Passionate and brave, the Hell's Horses succeeded where others thought they would fail. Their toleration of freeborns is a rarity among the Clans, especially among Crusaders. Though they did not participate in the invasion, they were given three worlds by Clan Wolf along their border with the Ghost Bears, the Hell's Horses sworn enemies. The Hell's Horses attempted to invade the Ghost Bear Dominion while the Bears were busy fighting the Draconis Combine. The retaliation cost the Hell's Horses much, the three worlds given to them were lost and the Hell's Horses had to pull back from the Inner Sphere. After a tentative peace with the Ghost Bears, the Hell's Horses launched a successful invasion of Wolf and Jade Falcon occupation zones. Their plan to transplant their entire population, much like the Ghost Bear's shift was discovered and eventually led to the Clan civil war that separated the Inner Sphere Clans from their homeworld brethren.
Clan Ice Hellion
A fierce Crusader Clan renowned for their swift assaults, Clan Ice Hellion often grasps for prizes beyond their reach. Nearly destroyed twice by civil war, the Clan has never been as unified as their brothers. After failing to win a place in the invasion and having been defeated in the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty, some push for a return to the Inner Sphere while others wish to expand their holdings in Clan Space. The Ice Hellions attempted a foray into the Inner Sphere but were beaten off.
Clan Jade Falcon
The strictly traditionalist Crusaders of Clan Jade Falcon have long resented and been envious of Clan Wolf for their strength, holdings, and (most of all) possession of the coveted Kerensky Bloodname. The Jade Falcons participated in the initial invasion and seized many Lyran worlds from the Federated Commonwealth. Achieving a draw with the ComGuards on Tukayyid, they schemed and plotted to undo the Truce. They were nearly destroyed by their Refusal War with the Wolves in an attempt to do just that. They lost many units and both of their Khans in subsequent politicking. Their new Khan launched a daring strike at Coventry in the Lyran Alliance and managed to restore the Jade Falcons' strength by winning possession of other Crusader units in the Harvest Trials. The Jade Falcons beat the Com Guards during the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty and then pushed the Steel Vipers out of their Occupation Zone; after that, they seized several more Lyran worlds during the FedCom Civil War. They still eye Terra and have not given up all hope of claiming it. In 3132, seeing an opportunity caused by the collapse of the HPG network, the Falcons have made an incursion into the Republic of the Sphere.
Clan Jade Wolf
A short-lived Clan, the Jade Wolves existed briefly between the Absorption War between the Wolves and Jade Falcons, and when Khan Vlad Ward returned his Clan to full active status as the Wolves.
The Mongoose home planet of Shadow was also where the clan's name originated. The name was adopted from the animal that killed the dangerous Venom Worms which were a great threat to humans, and as such endeared the mongoose to the clan. No longer in existence. Absorbed by Clan Smoke Jaguar for attempting to use their words of Nicholas Kerensky to sidestep a Grand Council ruling that ran against them. Being then deemed unfit to rule, by the Grand Council, the Council called a Trial of Absorption. Already weakened by a conflict with the Star Adders, Clan Mongoose fell before the Smoke Jaguars and their genetic legacies were acquired by the Cloud Cobras. Approximately 11 genetic legacies were acquired by Cloud Cobra, but the exact number cannot be confirmed due to the disarray Clan Mongoose was left in after the Trial of Absorption by the Smoke Jaguars. This also left the Bloodnames of the Mongoose Touman in Cloud Cobra's hands, although insufficient records has left the legacies of Mongoose Touman identities questionable, even to the present day.
Clan Nova Cat
A Warden Clan, the Nova Cats are known for their mystic ways and are governed by visions. They ignored such visions when they joined the attack on the Inner Sphere and shared the Smoke Jaguars invasion corridor. They were defeated on Luthien, then on Tukkayid. This caused the Nova Cats to heed a new vision that encouraged them to join with the Draconis Combine and the Inner Sphere against the Smoke Jaguars. They joined with the new Star League in driving the Jaguars out of the Inner Sphere and joined them again on Strana Mechty during the Great Refusal. For this, they were Abjured by the other Clans and forced to leave Clan Space under fire and resettled in the Irece Prefecture of the Draconis Combine.
Clan Sea Fox
Original name of clan Diamond Shark. Clan Sea Fox and Clan Snow Raven had a falling out, and in response Clan Snow Raven created the Diamond Shark, a predator designed soely to hunt and kill the Sea Foxes in Strana Mechty's oceans. After most of the Sea Foxes had been killed, Clan Sea Fox petitioned the council to change its name to Clan Diamond Shark. Several Sea Foxes were preserved by the Clan and placed on other worlds, where they flourished. As a result, Clan Diamond Shark has recently changed its name back to Clan Sea Fox in 3100. Clan Diamond Shark has since its inception relied heavily on its Merchant caste, giving them more power than most clans. Though many believe them to be weak because of their democratic attitudes to their lower castes, the Diamond Sharks maintain one of the largest and most elite militaries among the clans. After the Jihad, the Diamond Sharks were forced to move to the Inner Sphere along with many of its fellow Clans, changing its name back to Sea Fox. Having few worlds of their own, Clan Sea Fox is a nomad trader Clan who all reside on giant ArcShips and CargoShips roaming throughout space.
Clan Smoke Jaguar
No longer in existence. They were a strong, aggressive Crusader Clan before their destruction. They led the first invasion of the Inner Sphere and its first ilKhan was a Smoke Jaguar. They conquered many Draconis Combine worlds, massacring the inhabitants of the city of Edo on the planet Turtlebay. They were beaten on Wolcott, Luthien, Tukayyid, and were marked for destruction by their weakened status and their shocking brutality, which alienated even their fellow clansmen. Clan Smoke Jaguar was exterminated by a task force sent from the Inner Sphere to halt the Clan Invasion This period of BattleTech history is the background story of the computer game MechWarrior 3 and MechCommander. Their invasion corridor liberated, and their homeworld sacked, the last Smoke Jaguars died during the Great Refusal. Whatever was left was seized by the other clans.
Clan Snow Raven
A nominal Warden clan known for their reliance on naval assets. They have a reputation for scavenging due to their limited resources. They do business with other clans, though the Diamond Sharks are considered the better merchants. Their politics are known for their Byzantine nature and are master politicians. However, a rogue Snow Raven Khan caused the extinction of Clan Sea Fox's totem animal by introducing a genetically modified shark into the sea fox habitat, causing the clan to adopt the name Diamond Shark. Clan Snow Raven also has the largest warship fleet, consisting of 40 ships, and has perhaps the best aerowarriors known. Its formerly small ground force has been growing, and while still small, is adding excellent equipment to its TO&E. Joined with Outworlds Alliance to form Raven Alliance.
Clan Star Adder
The most powerful Home Clan (Clan that did not participate in the Inner Sphere Invasion), the Star Adders are among the three most powerful Clans, rivaling the Jade Falcons and Wolves in the Clan hierarchy. While they espouse a Crusader philosophy, the Star Adders stress the need for inter-Clan cooperation and a tolerant attitude for freeborns that is more commonly found among Warden clans. Strategists rather than tacticians, the Star Adders are unusual for their meticulous nature, though their successes speak for themselves. With their Absorption of the Burrocks, they gained an incredible boon as other Clans were falling in size and stature.
Clan Steel Viper
A perplexing Clan that is overall considered Warden, but is home to some of the staunchest Crusaders and anti-freeborn warriors in the Clans. They have a brutal training course and a strange belief that the Star League will be re-established through cooperation with the Great Houses. Regardless of this, they participated in the invasion force, shared the Jade Falcon's invasion corridor, and were defeated on Tukayyid. They were eventually forced out of the Inner Sphere all together by the Jade Falcons.
No longer in existence. Absorbed by Clan Wolf for a brutal crackdown on dissenting merchants that proved their inability to rule. During their Trial of Refusal against the Absorption, the Widowmaker Khan slew ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky, which lead to a grueling trial of Absorption that spelled the end of the Widowmakers.
The most powerful clan, the heirs of Kerensky, the Wolves have been the dominant force in the Clans since their beginning. They Annihilated the Wolverines, Absorbed the Widowmakers, and proved themselves expert warriors. They also perfected the Elemental body armor. They led the Wardens in the Grand Council and were the only Clan to oppose the Invasion in 3050. Though they lost the trial of refusal, they participated and soon outdid all other Clans in seizing the most worlds, mostly from the Free Rasalhague Republic and the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth. Their capture of Rasalhague cemented their leadership in the Invasion and after the original ilKhan died, a Wolf replaced him. The Wolf ilKhan orchestrated the Trial of Tukayyid and was the only Clan to prevail. Nevertheless, they were the ones who forced the other clans to adhere to the terms when the Trial was lost. They all but destroyed themselves in preventing the Jade Falcons from destroying the truce by launching a Refusal War against them. The Wolves split into two factions, the Crusader Wolves and the Warden Wolves-in-Exile. The latter went to Arc-Royal in the Lyran Alliance and guarded the border against any Clan incursions. The other Wolves remained, despite a Jade Falcon attempt to Absorb them. The Crusader Wolves rebuilt their strength and have declared themselves the only Crusader Clan not bound by the Crusader's defeat during the Great Refusal. Once the Fifteen-Year Truce of Tukayyid expires in May of 3067, the Wolves will be on the prowl once more. Details before and during the Jihad state that Rasalhague was taken from the Wolves by the Ghost Bears some time before the Jihad forcing a relocation to Tamar. It was the scouring of Tamar that made the Clans realize that they too would come under attack by the Word of Blake fanatics and had to fight back. During the Jihad the Wolves leapt across Jade Falcon borders to assist worlds under attack.
The Warden faction of the old Clan Wolf was led into the Inner Sphere of then saKhan Phelan Ward during the Refusal War with Clan Jade Falcon. When the Exiles were abjured the Ward bloodname of Phelan, he took the bloodname of Kell since ilKhan Ulric Kerensky used his authority to create it before being ousted. They came to Phelan's original homeworld of Arc-Royal where his father was the Grand Duke and had created the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon which the Wolves-in-Exile helped to garrison. During the Jihad the Wolf-in-Exile forces took in Wolf's Dragoons whose home planet, Outreach, was annihilated by the Blakists.
No longer in existence, Clan Wolverine was Annihilated by Clans Wolf and Widowmaker for transgressions(Using nuclear weapons against a genetic repository. About as evil as you can get amongst Clanners in BattleTech.) against the Clans as a whole. They were erased from Clan history and are referred to only as the Not-Named Clan. It is suggested by some that the survivors fled to the Inner Sphere and raided the Draconis Combine as a group now known as the Minnesota Tribe.
Clan society has developed entirely separate from the Inner Sphere, and has a number of quirks.
The Clans as a whole adhere to a fairly strict honor system, encapsulated in a set of rules known as Zellbrigen. While some Clans are far more strict and conservative than others, all Clans follow this concept of Honor to some extent. Among other things, this code exhorts personal ability and efficiency above all. It formalizes most combats and many decision-making processes into a set of Trials, such as Trials of Position to earn rank, Trials of Possession to claim a resource held by another, and Trials of Refusal to legally refute the order of a superior officer or ruling body. It also encourages proxy battles and token fights in the form of a bidding process to minimize the forces involved in combat, and duels to minimize actual fighting while again emphasizing individual combat prowess. The Clan Honor rules also discourage any type of involvement of non-combatants in combat, and strongly discourage wasting resources (such as urban areas, factories, and starports) in combat.
The Inner Sphere's typical lack of adherence to honor, and willingness to go to almost any lengths to win, are the primary reasons the Clans declared them to be "Barbarians". Many Clans now refuse to follow the rules of honor against Inner Sphere foes, or even against the "rebel" Clans (Wolf-in-Exile and Nova Cat) that "betrayed" the Clans as a whole by defecting to the Inner Sphere.
Clan society is based on a strict caste system. The five castes are the Warriors, Scientists, Merchants, Technicians, and Laborers, with the Warriors being the most prestigious. Among other things, the Warriors act as the military, police force, and rulers of the entirety of Clan society. The only Clan where a different caste is held in esteem comparable or possibly even greater than the Warriors is Clan Diamond Shark (formerly Clan Sea Fox), where Warrior-Traders are fairly common and Merchants are now the de facto rulers.
Washing out of warrior training, or failing the initial Trial of Position, that does not result in demotion to conventional infantry or a similar position will instead result in assignment to a secondary caste. MechWarriors, pilots, and cavalry are often assigned to the Technicians, because of their familiarity with the equipment; infantry are more often assigned to the Laborers.
The unofficial "Sixth Caste" is the Dark Caste, or the Bandit Caste. This group is composed of those who have been exiled, have fled punishment, or have become disillusioned with Clan society but not made it to the Inner Sphere, and their lives are typically fraught with difficulty and severe shortages in all types of supplies.
The Clans typically speak a dialect of Terran English; however, they disdain and avoid the use of contractions and similar practices in speech.
Words from their dialect include:
- A warrior captured but then accepted into his new Clan as a warrior.
- The process or ritual by which Clan warriors issue challenges to combat or Trial.
- Much-coveted symbol of martial prowess, awarded based on matriarchal lineage and success in a Trial of Bloodright. No more than 25 people can hold a single bloodname at one time.
- A woven cord worn on the wrist to indicate the wearer's status as a bondsman. The color and highlighting indicate the Clan to which the wearer is bound and the capturing unit.
- A prisoner taken during combat, of any caste or rank. Considered a member of the Laborer caste until freed or promoted back to active service. Custom indicates that any prisoner remain a bondsman for at least a token amount of time, even high-ranking and Bloodnamed warriors. Some Clans do not free bondsmen to certain castes, especially the Warrior caste.
- Adjective referring to the disgraced state of the subject, such as a Dezgra unit that disgraced itself in battle. Also the noun referring to a ritual by which a unit is marked as Dezgra and punished.
- Pejorative version of "Freeborn". Considered an insult and curse.
- A person born naturally, as opposed to a lab-raised Trueborn.
- A DNA sample taken posthumously from a warrior who died honorably in battle. Considered by custom superior to previous samples taken, and more likely to produce superior warriors.
- The spoils of battle taken by warriors. Includes Bondsmen as well as any military supplies, lands, or equipment taken.
- The unit which provides a Khan's bodyguard.
- Used to query the subject's agreement, but specifically with an expected affirmative answer ("Aff"). Often used rhetorically.
- Used to query the subject's agreement, but specifically with an expected negative answer ("Neg"). Often used rhetorically.
- A promise or oath that reflects on the swearer's honor is considered a Rede. Breaking a rede is considered extremely serious, and is sometimes punishable by death.
- A Clan epithet.
- A word uttered only in the most sacred and respective of manners. The origin is unknown, but it works like "Amen"
- A group or "batch" of Trueborn people born from the same genetic makeup; also the smallest element used for early training above a single person. Usually separated only by death until testing decides final placement in Clan society. Bastardized form of "SIBling COmpany".
- A Clan epithet.
- A member of the same sibko or a respectful name.
- A lab-raised result of the Clan selective breeding program, coming from gene pools modified to accentuate positive attributes and eliminate negative ones.
- The body of rules defining dueling behavior and honor in combat.
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