The Clans of BattleTech were originally descended from the self-exiled remnants of the Star League Defense Force (SLDF), who had departed the Inner Sphere after Stefan Amaris brought about the downfall of the Star League. General Aleksandr Kerensky led his forces to a hidden destination far from the Great Houses because he believed that a catastrophic war was inevitable, one that even the once mighty Star League army would be powerless to stop. After much infighting between the members of the former SLDF, Aleksandr's son Nicholas Kerensky took command of the exiles, reorganizing them into twenty Clans of warriors leading and protecting their attendant civilian castes.
While the Inner Sphere was mired in the destructive Succession Wars, the Clans experienced a technological renaissance. When they returned to the Inner Sphere, 250 years after their ancestors' departure, the Great Houses were mostly powerless to stop the massive Clan Invasion. But after their loss at Tukayyid, internal tensions within the Clans and an alliance between the Great Houses drew the invasion to a standstill.
After the Truce of Tukayyid had dissolved along with the reborn Star League, the Clans would be permanently fractured as a whole. Instead resuming the rightful trek on Terra, a civil war based on territorial status and resentment was started among the Clan Homeworlds. This war would cause the remaining Invading Clans to be ejected out of the homeworlds as the Home Clans would abandon the old Crusader-Warden views for more brutal and self-protective ones instead, seeing the Inner Sphere as irredeemably tainted. With both sides swearing off all contact from each other, the hatred has now shifted from one of ideology to territorial.
|“||They were brothers and sisters to our own ancestors 250 years ago, yet have been tempered by a stronger flame. Now they are so utterly alien that it is hard to accept that they are human. They are still our brothers and sisters, but hardened to a point that we fear even in our nightmares.||”|
|— Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht, 1st December 3052|
Though the Star League officially disbanded in 2781, Aleksandr Kerensky would spend the next two years shuttling between the Great Houses in an attempt to salvage the situation. He finally abandoned this effort by August of 2783 and began work on a plan he hoped would at least preserve the spirit of the League. In February of 2784 he made this plan known to the rest of the SLDF: they would depart from the Inner Sphere and live in exile, denying the competing great houses the misuse of their military might during the coming conflagration which would soon engulf known space. Fully eighty percent of the SLDF agreed to this plan, and in November of that year they made their fateful departure. After years of travel coreward from the Inner Sphere, the massive flotilla of Star League refugees came upon five marginally habitable worlds, the so-called Pentagon Worlds (due to their near-pentametric relation to each other), in August of 2786.
Upon their arrival Kerensky's followers tried to reforge life as they knew it once again and create a Star League-in-Exile. By 2794 prosperity had taken hold and colonization efforts were directed to a group of nearby stars, the Kerensky Cluster. In 2800 the first of several small-scale clashes broke out on Eden between colonists of Capellan and Federated Suns origin; by May of next year full-scale rebellion broke out. Kerensky proved unable to bring the colonists back in line, and indeed following the DeChavilier Massacre the violence spread to the remaining four Pentagon worlds. By June all-out war was raging on Eden, and Aleksandr was in the midst of planning an operation to end the fighting when, on 11 June 2801, he died of a massive heart attack at his command post. So began the Exodus Civil War, which would eventually encompass all five Pentagon worlds and last nearly twenty years.
As Aleksandr's eldest son, Major-General Nicholas Kerensky, commander of the 146th Royal BattleMech Division, was his designated heir to take command of the exiled SLDF. Though he had the loyalty of his own unit and most of the navy, the rest of the army rejected him due to his lack of combat experience and made their own attempts to assume command. Realizing that civil war was inevitable, Nicholas decided to take those loyal to him on a Second Exodus to Strana Mechty, one of the newly-founded colonies in the Kerensky Cluster.
Nicholas soon came to the conclusion that eventually his exiles would succumb to the same failings as had taken over in the Pentagon worlds, and became determined to remodel society from the ground-up. He sought to create a new society which eliminated all previous cultural biases and rewarded merit and ability. He borrowed ideas from the medieval Mongol hordes, Shogunate Japan and twentieth century China to create the twenty Clans, each one a reinforced battalion of forty warriors. Of the thousands of troops which had joined his Second Exodus, rigorous testing was used to ensure only the best able, regardless of gender, race or any other quota, would have the honor of becoming among the eight hundred to join the Clans. Nicholas himself participated and passed the combat trials to prove his worth, and in June 2815 declared himself ilKhan, supreme ruler of the Clans.
By mid-2821, Nicholas had judged the time was right and unleashed Operation KLONDIKE, the campaign to take back the Pentagon worlds. Success was finally achieved in May 2822 and at first the liberated populations were for the most part relieved. However, the brutality of the post-liberation months prompted some within the Clans to begin questioning Nicholas' methods and even his leadership. Though the first rumblings of discontent would come from Clan Jade Falcon (whose Khans eventually purged themselves of this "cancer" in what became known as The Culling), opposition to the ilKhan's authority eventually coalesced around Clan Wolverine. This opposition came to a head in August 2823, and after various political and military clashes, the first Trial of Annihilation was carried out against Clan Wolverine.
Opposition to his rule destroyed, the ilKhan set about restructuring society and laying the groundwork for future prosperity. New worlds were explored and colonized, industry rebuilt, and the population finally reached its pre-war levels in 2832 thanks to the eugenics program. Tragedy struck just two years later however during a Trial of Refusal between Clan Wolf and Clan Widowmaker. When the duel degenerated into a melee the ilKhan attempted to step in, but was accidentally fired upon and killed by the Widowmaker Khan. Incensed by the death of their leader, the combined Clans laid waste to the Widowmakers, with Clan Wolf given the honor of Absorbing the remnants.
The next hundred years between 2830 to 2930 became known as the Golden Century, a time of immense prosperity and growth. The relaxation of social mores and taboos, which had been essential for survival during the early Second Exodus, became permanent fixtures in Clan culture. Much scientific and technological progress took place during this time, most notably when Clan Coyote fielded the first OmniMech in 2854, and with the introduction of Battle Armor by Clan Wolf in 2868.
During the Political Century, Clan society coalesced around two competing viewpoints: Crusaders who believed it was their right to re-establish the Star League by force with themselves as leaders, and Wardens who thought it was their mission to protect the Inner Sphere from outside threats while maintaining their own distinct culture. The Jade Falcons were at the forefront of the Crusader faction, their role eventually taken over by the Smoke Jaguars, and were first to introduce a motion to the Grand Council to invade the Inner Sphere in 2980. Their motion was defeated by the heads of the Warden faction, Clans Wolf and Coyote, but the Wardens knew that public opinion was turning against them and it would only be a matter of time before the Crusaders could muster enough support to overrule them.
The debate would continue for decades, and by 3000 the Clans were on the brink of invasion. When rumors of first the Fourth Succession War and then the War of 3039 reached them, they put the invasion again to a vote, each time only narrowly defeated by the efforts of Clan Wolf.
In the summer of 3048 the Outbound Light, a ComStar exploration ship, appeared in orbit of the Smoke Jaguar capital world Huntress and was quickly seized. Khan Leo Showers, an ardent Crusader, now had the perfect opportunity to force through his agenda. Holding in his possession the only source of current information on the Inner Sphere, he manipulated it to his advantage, and on 21 November convinced enough members of the Grand Council to pass a vote to invade the Inner Sphere. A month later Showers was voted ilKhan, the first in a century, to oversee the invasion effort. One year later Operation REVIVAL officially began, first by conquering the worlds along the Periphery and then, on 7 March 3050, invading the Inner Sphere proper.
Ill-prepared for an assault of this scale from an unexpected direction, the Inner Sphere's defenses swiftly collapsed in the face of the Clan assault. While the Clans achieved spectacular successes in the first two waves of their invasion, it was marred by their failure to capture or kill the heir to the Federated Commonwealth as well as their failure to realize they had captured the heir to the Draconis Combine. The invasion soon degenerated into a race to see who could conquer more worlds quicker, hastening the pace of the proceeding waves. Reverses were suffered by the Falcons at the Battle of Twycross and the Jaguars at the Battle of Wolcott, but it would take the sudden death of ilKhan Showers on 1 November 3050 to actually halt the invasion.
The invading Clans realized they would need to elect a new ilKhan to lead the invasion, but such a process could only take place with a vote of all the Bloodnamed warriors, forcing them to return to their homeworlds. This process took a year to complete and gave the Inner Sphere breathing room to rebuild and prepare. Now led by Ulric Kerensky of Clan Wolf, the fifth wave of the invasion began in November 3051 and again threatened to sweep through the Inner Sphere. However, it was also during this time that ilKhan Kerensky revealed to ComStar the goal of their invasion was Terra herself. Up to this point ComStar had been "neutral" in the conflict, even aiding the Clans in the administration of their conquered worlds. But with their seat of power threatened, Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht made a daring proposal. The Com Guards would fight the Clans at a neutral site to decide the fate of the invasion: if they won the Clans would agree to a fifteen-year long truce, if they lost then Terra was theirs. The resulting Battle of Tukayyid was a resounding victory for ComStar and brought about an end to Operation Revival.
Though still allowed by the terms of the agreement to attack those worlds which lay "above" the treaty line, the Truce of Tukayyid was a bitter pill for the Clans to swallow. Much blame was laid at ilKhan Kerensky's feet for the disastrous outcome, especially by those Crusaders within his own Clan. In the summer of 3057 they charged the ilKhan with genocide for denying their warriors the right to combat against the Inner Sphere. The ilKhan decided to bring these charges before the Grand Council, which by a narrow majority found him guilty. The result was the Refusal War, a conflict which saw both Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon devastated and the former split asunder, a Crusader-minded Clan Wolf and a Warden-minded Clan Wolf-in-Exile.
Each of the devastated Clans attacked their neighbors in a show of strength, the Jade Falcons penetrating into the Lyran Alliance as far as Coventry while the Wolves raided the Smoke Jaguars for more breeding stock. On 19 November 3058 the Clans met on Strana Mechty to elect a new ilKhan, Lincoln Osis of the Smoke Jaguars, who took it as his mandate for the resumption of the invasion. For the next six months, the Clans went about with their preparations - both the Jade Falcons and Wolves launching the Harvest Trials to rebuild their shattered forces. Finally, the Clans were prepared to attack, only to receive disturbing news: the Successor States had rallied under the banner of the Second Star League and launched their own attack, Operation BULLDOG, intended to drive the Smoke Jaguars out of the Inner Sphere. Thanks to their skill at arms, Clan Nova Cat switching sides, and the neutrality of Clan Ghost Bear, the Second Star League succeeded in completely reclaiming all of the conquered Smoke Jaguar worlds in a matter of months.
The second of the one-two knockout punch came in early 3060 when Operation SERPENT, which had been launched simultaneously with Operation BULLDOG, appeared in orbit above Huntress. Battle raged across the Smoke Jaguar homeworld from the first landings on 2 March until final victory on 7 April, by which point the Star League had achieved their goal of utterly destroying a Crusader Clan, which they hoped would give the Wardens more political power. On 12 April the reborn SLDF sent a delegation to Strana Mechty and before the Grand Council called for a Trial of Refusal against the invasion of the Inner Sphere. IlKhan Osis agreed, but both himself and the rest of the Council was blindsided when Clan Ghost Bear declared they would not take part in the Trials, and indeed had switched their allegiance to the Warden faction. The rest of the Wardens refused to take part as well, leaving only the Crusader Clans and the tattered remnants of the Smoke Jaguars to face off against the Inner Sphere forces in the Great Refusal. By a score of five victories, two losses and a draw the Inner Sphere won, and the Clans were bound by honor to adhere to the original Treaty of Tukayyid.
The Grand Council was left to absorb and debate what had happened in the preceding months during their meeting on 27 April. Due to their treachery in siding with the Inner Sphere, Khan N'Buta of Clan Star Adder called for the Nova Cats to be Annihilated, though the Wardens (led by Clan Ghost Bear) blocked that vote. Instead, Khan Ward of Clan Wolf called for their Abjuration, which achieved the necessary four-fifths majority, and the Nova Cats were given a month to evacuate their Clan holdings.
What followed became known as the Wars of Possession, as all of the Clans proceeded to fight amongst each other over who would take over the now-unoccupied holdings of the Smoke Jaguars, Ghost Bears and Nova Cats (though for the Cats in many cases the other Clans did not bother to wait for their departure), with the conflicts lasting into 3062.
Following the collapse of the Second Star League and dissolution of the Truce of Tukayyid in 3067, the Clans would elect a new ilKhan to resume the invasion of the Inner Sphere. However, this war would shift between the Invading Clans and the Home Clans in what would later become known as the Wars of Reaving. This war would permanently split Clan society in two, as the Invader Clans would be abjured from the Clan Homeworlds and start the Council of Six in the Inner Sphere, while the Homeworld Clans, believing that the Inner Sphere has tainted their culture through their brethren, would create and champion two new philosophies becoming known as the Bastions and Aggressors, effectively ending the Crusader and Warden divide.
Culture & SocietyEdit
Clan society has developed entirely separate from the Inner Sphere, and has a number of quirks.
Clan society is based on a strict caste system, the foundation of which is that one's genetic make-up predisposes them to a particular role. The five castes are the Warrior Caste, Scientist Caste, Merchant Caste, Technician Caste, and Laborer Caste, 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.
Ownership of property is considered unClanlike and punishable in accordance with Clan law. The ownership of weapons by non-warriors is a crime in Clan society. The only way to bypass this problem is the black market (ruled by the Dark Caste and a crime just to contact with them). Most clansmen will never go to such lengths.
Bloodnames are one of the more unique institutions of the Clans. When the Clans were founded and their breeding program started, surnames were done away with (after the first generation of warriors) and an ordeal called a Trial of Bloodright was established to allow eligible warriors to win the surnames of the original warriors that founded the Clans. The surnames were termed Bloodnames, and were traced matrilineally through mitochondrial DNA. Each Bloodname could be held by a maximum of 25 warriors at any one time, though some Bloodnames had fewer than 25 holders due to a process called a reaving.
Each surname has an organization called a Bloodname House. This represents each person who qualifies to hold the Bloodname or currently holds a Bloodname. They are responsible for electing or sponsoring a qualified applicant to earn an available Bloodname. Each Bloodname House has its own traditions which they keep to themselves to maintain the integrity of the Bloodname founder and their successors. Each House also has its own Blood Chapel which is located on Strana Mechty and surrounds the Hall of Khans. The Chapels not only serve to hold the DNA of all of its Bloodnamed members, living or dead, but also to memorialize the exploits of their founders and their worthy successors. Without exception, there is nothing more holy or sacred to the Clans than these chapels.
Although any form of surname outside the warrior caste is frowned upon, the scientist caste secretly assigns surnames (referred to as labnames) to people who make great scientific contributions. These surnames are named after great historical scientists (Newton, Watson, etc.) and have nothing to do with the person's genealogy.
A number of distinct elements exist in Clan psychology which informs how they conduct themselves, not just on the battlefield but in everyday life as well. Unsurprisingly, the concept of "might makes right" features prominently among the Clans, along with the view that the Inner Sphere was a "lost paradise" inhabited by barbarians, a den of corruption for whom the Great Houses were to blame for their culpability in the fall of the Star League. Likewise is the belief that, as the honest and noble descendants of the Star League, the Clan way of life is the true way, and any dissenting voice is considered treasonous. From an early age Clansmen are raised to be on the look out for "un-Clanlike" tendencies, viewing such acts as a matter of preserving the honor of the Clans and the common good. The reduction of waste and the reusing and recycling of materials is another tendency which permeates Clan society, though people are a notable exception. The worlds of the Kerensky Cluster and the Pentagon Worlds are barely habitable and lack easily reachable natural resources. Accordingly, the Clans adopted a lifestyle in which nothing is wasted. Recycling of garbage is standard and describing another Clan as wasteful is a deep insult. Clan Snow Raven's totem is even famous for not wasting anything. For example, it is known that if a member of Clan Jade Falcon dies, the still functioning inner organs are harvested for transplantation. 
The Clans as a whole adhere to a fairly strict honor system known as the Honor Road. This is especially true for warriors, where it is encapsulated in the rules of engagement 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.
An "honorable" mindset also permeates the lower castes, and has fostered a strong sense of honesty among most Clan members. If a Clansman says they will do something they will do it, as not keeping one's word not only slights their personal honor but that of their Clan's. This also means theft is less prevalent among the Clans than it is in the Inner Sphere (though a brutal law enforcement system plays some role in this regard) and if a person wants an item they will go through the proper channels or instigate a Trial of Possession. Though this trusting nature can occasionally leave a Clansman open to deception, it does not make them gullible. Certain Clans, particularly the Cloud Cobras and Snow Ravens, are positively Machiavellian and will do their utmost to keep to the letter of an agreement if not its spirit.
The use of in vitro fertilization was also partially responsible for the casualness of love and relationships within Clan society, especially as the act of sex became divorced from reproduction. Whereas in the Inner Sphere such acts are considered a sign of intimacy in a relationship, among Clan warriors it is merely a normal part of friendship. The idea of sexual fidelity is completely lost on them as coupling with friends, usually members of the same sibko, is completely natural. They also see the act of courtship as completely unnecessary and, if they bother to perform any type of seduction, are as likely to simply walk up to a complete stranger and ask if they are interested in coupling. As per the eugenics program, civilians are matched together based on their genetic compatibility, though the only purpose of these sanctioned matches is for the production of children; as a result promiscuity is also prevalent among the castes. A blind eye is turned to these "unofficial" couplings so long as birth control is used.
While known for their utilitarian mindset, the Clans maintain a number of well-developed artistic traditions, much of it focused on their mythological past (especially the Kerenskys); other favorite subjects include major historical events, clan totems, and landscapes. The visual arts are the most common form of artistic expression and are widely practiced by members of every caste. Some crafts are more closely tied to certain castes, such as pottery being common among the artisans of the merchant caste, but any and all pursuits are practiced in all of the castes. Some artistic styles are also associated with certain Clans: in the field of architecture, though the majority of buildings are strictly utilitarian, for prestigious edifices the Wolf and Jade Falcon Clans both utilize dynamic construction techniques emphasizing strength and vitality, while the Smoke Jaguars love simplicity of form, clean lines and smooth walls. Considered time-consuming and "wasteful" by most warriors and scientists, the performing arts are dominated by and produced largely for the merchant and laborer castes, with an entertainment "super-caste" consisting of members from both having developed over the years. However, the control of information imposed by Clan leadership means literary traditions are all but extinct in Clan society, with oral traditions taking their place. Few books have been written since the Clans formed and those that were are heavily censored to ensure they uphold Clan ideals; while pre-Exodus books do exist, their access is tightly controlled and limited to a privileged few.
A wide variety of sports are practiced by Clan warriors, providing an outlet for their competitive spirit and promoting physical health, teamwork and mental dexterity. One of the two most popular team sports is lacrosse, played by warriors from Clans Wolf, Coyote and Fire Mandrill. While similar in many respects to the original sport, in Clan Lacrosse each team starts with one hundred points, each goal scored awards fifty and any player carrying the ball may be hit with the butt end of the crosse. The players' light armor incorporates sensors to register these hits, and any successful attempts within the designated target area subtracts one point from the team's total. The game ends when one team is reduced to negative points or after one hour of play, in which case the team with the highest score wins. Few Elementals play lacrosse, which is favored more by aerospace pilots (whose small size endears them to offensive positions) and MechWarrior pilots.
The other most popular team game is football, which in fact refers to three distinct variations. Rugby is principally played by Clans Steel Viper, Ice Hellion and Star Adder, and revolves around moving an ovid ball across the pitch to score one of three ways. While traditional methods of grounding it or kicking it through the goal posts still exist, a third way involves tackling the ball carrier and forcing them to drop the ball, which earns one point. Soccer is similar to rugby, with the two opposing teams attempting to move a spherical ball down the pitch and score a goal, though except for the goalie players cannot use their hands. Like lacrosse most soccer players are aerospace pilots and MechWarriors and its fast pace requires them to develop strategies on the fly. The third variant, "American" football, is played most frequently by Clans Ghost Bear, Hell's Horses and Smoke Jaguar. Focusing on the execution of preplanned plays and teamwork, it is played almost exclusively by Elementals.
Print and broadcast media is tightly controlled in Clan society, with a paltry few outlets compared to the thousands found in the Inner Sphere. However, exact attitudes towards the media differ between the Clans: at one extreme, the Smoke Jaguars had virtually no media industry and rarely allowed "non-essential" broadcasts within their territory, while at the opposite end, the Diamond Sharks pioneered the Chatterweb, sold media products to the other Clans, and maintain a media empire the rival of any within the Inner Sphere. Primarily a propaganda generator tending towards relaying information and indoctrination, Clan media censorship in many ways mirrors the type found in the Draconis Combine or Capellan Confederation (or even in some cases, the Federated Commonwealth), though Clansmen will say at least they are honest with themselves about such censorship. One of the biggest difference between Clan and Inner Sphere media is the lack of any commercials in Clan programs, a product of their need-based economy.
The type of media produced also depends on its target audience, though the promotion of the Clan lifestyle remains pervasive. While the three lower castes enjoy programming largely similar to that found in the Inner Sphere, including soap operas and cooking shows, scientist programming empathizes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, while warriors prefer material focusing on battles, Trials, military technology and great leaders. Children's programming also exist, with the most popular show among merchant caste pre-teens being The Adventures of Clan Spaniel, which focuses on a group of anthropomorphic warriors. Led by Khan Polly, each episode illustrates the positive virtues of an aspect of Clan life as the group seek to liberate their homeworlds from five tribes of evil monkeys, thinly-disguised stand-ins for the Inner Sphere Great Houses.
The Clans' language is rooted in Star League English, the language of government and commerce during the now-defunct Star League. This language is held sacred, as are many things dating back to the Star League, and as such is spoken with an emphasis on formality. Such is the reverence held for their language that Clan members view contractions as sloppy, ill-mannered and positively un-Clanlike. The exact origins for this practice are unknown: while it requires the speaker to think more about what they are going to say and its archaic-sounding form gives a sense of history and tradition, such a petty restriction on what people can say can be another form of control in and of itself. Despite such reverence the Clans have allowed their language to develop over the centuries to include many other words and phrases with no English equivalent. This includes the restoration of archaic English terms such as "rede" and "troth," the abbreviation of certain phrases, and influence of other languages (particularly Russian) in shaping new words, phrases and sentence structures.
For a complete list of Clan words and phrases see here.
Though in a sense Clan society is atheistic, and many Clansmen will say as much, in truth much of the spiritual aspects of religion have been supplanted by what is known as the "Cult of Kerensky." The Kerenskys, and indeed the founding of the Clans, is shrouded in mythology and superstition, thanks in part to the strict control of information. Like Moses, Aleksandr Kerensky is seen as a father figure who led his people into the wilderness but never saw the Promised Land, while his son Nicholas is the messiah who rescued his people from darkness. Central to this belief is the Hidden Hope Doctrine, that one day the Clans would return to the Inner Sphere and reform the Star League, which for many years provided a driving force in everyday Clan life.
Classic religions still exist in Clan society, none more so than in Clan Cloud Cobra where they formed the basis for the formation of Cloisters, whose differing traditions are covered by an overarching concept known as "The Way." Clans Coyote, Goliath Scorpion, and Nova Cat also practice different forms of mysticism, including the use of vision quests to guide their actions. The Coyotes' beliefs are based on a form of native American spiritualism, while the Nova Cats' are less clear in origin if not similar. Clan Goliath Scorpion meanwhile believe that taking the dangerous hallucinogen Necrosia grants them visions to the location of long-lost Star League artifacts. The recovery of these artifacts is the Clan's highest purpose, though the ingestion of necrosia is regarded by others as an insidious tradition and the main reason for the Scorpion's limited influence.
The lack of widespread belief in pre-Exodus religions has a number of reasons. First, organized religions provide an alternative power structure to the Clan hierarchy, threatening it with what some deem "poisonous" ideas which could lead to revolt. Religion also does not fit easily into the "waste not, want not" mindset of many and is likewise viewed as serving no useful purpose. Finally, among most trueborn warriors at least, the idea of worshiping an almighty God figure does not mesh easily with the fact that they were grown in a lab by decidedly un-Godlike scientists. Outright persecution of religious people is rare in Clan society and those who adhere to any particular faith are for the most part tolerated, with varying amounts of extra hardships.
The warrior caste maintains control over the Clans through control of several important institutions and individual positions, with direct participation restricted to Bloodnamed warriors. Each Clan is governed by a Clan Council, a collection of all of that Clan's Bloodnamed warriors, and have nearly absolute authority over all internal matters. Each Clan Council will also elect two of its members to serve as Khan and saKhan, the rulers of the Clan and nominally its best warriors. Traditionally the Khan serves as head of the Clan while the saKhan acts as the Clan's warlord, although these functions vary between Clans. The Council also elects a Loremaster to function as their Clan's arbiter and keeper of knowledge. By tradition Loremasters do not vote on the Council unless it is to cast a deciding vote.
The Khan and saKhan also serve as their Clan's representative on the Grand Council, the governing body of all of the Clans. While in most cases unable to interfere in the internal matters of a Clan, the Grand Council is charged with overseeing issues which affect all of them, particularly as it also serves as the highest court in Clan space, and its proceedings are managed by the Loremaster of the Clans. In times of war and emergency the Grand Council also elects an ilKhan to serve as the Grand Council's head and the supreme commander of all Clan military forces. The ilKhan's powers are varied and many, though not absolute, and their position is a temporary one.
Each of the civilian castes include their own council - such as a science council, merchant conclave, technician's guild, and laborer assembly - charged with organizing caste members to execute tasks assigned by the Clan Council. However, due to the sheer size of the civilian castes, additional councils are organized at the planetary and regional level. When charged by the Clan Council to deal with a non-military matter (often at the prompting of the civilians themselves), the caste councils can directly assign individual teams to the task or delegate the matter to a lower council, which does the same. These teams vary size and workload involved depending on their caste and what task they are assigned, though for many this is a routine and often permanent job (i.e. grow food); some teams though are given a specific assignment for a limited time, and so frequently move between different tasks.
Given the fact that civilian castes contain more grades of responsibility than the warrior caste (25 vs 7) and subsequently improving levels of work-credit for food, accommodation, and other amenities, ambition plays a driving force in improving a Clansman's livelihood. The use of so-called "dirty tricks" in order to get ahead is thus more prevalent among the civilians than it is in the warrior caste, and the most senior member of each caste has an authority potentially rivaling that of the Khans. With the exception of the Diamond Sharks, most are too involved in their own power politics to meddle with overall Clan affairs, while the threat of bloody reprisals and occasional concessions by the warriors keeps them in line.
Day-to-day administration is carried out by a multi-tiered bureaucracy organized from the Clan level down to individual cities, consisting of many self-contained cells of administrators gathered into multi-caste councils known most commonly as assemblies. As each cell is largely self-sufficient for carrying out their function in Clan society, they can easily be swapped out, minimizing the effects of any transfer in power. Thus if the ownership of a facility, city or even planet changes from one Clan to another, the work carries on just as before, with little more than the civilian reporting structure actually changing.
Law and OrderEdit
The Clan system of justice heavily favors the warrior caste, not least because they largely staff it. The military police are a little-known warrior sub-caste, almost exclusively composed of test-downs and freebirths, and are poorly regarded by mainstream warriors. Rather than solve crimes, Clan police's primary duty is discouraging them through brutal, authoritative measures; physical beatings also help serve to vent their anger. Those not patrolling the cities or performing compound security will be formed into small detachments charged with investigating crimes, but such duty is not highly regarded and Clan investigative standards fall below those in the Inner Sphere.
Once a trial is underway, an inquisitor will be assigned to investigate the circumstances of each case. A cross between a detective and a prosecutor, inquisitors are warriors who have received special training in the law and investigative techniques; most are active duty warriors, though some may come from the non-combatant Supply and Support command. In matters involving a warrior, the inquisitor supports the prosecution while an advocate, also a law-trained warrior, supports the defense. In purely civilian trials, the inquisitor plays "devil's advocate" and works to uncover the truth.
The composition of the jury depends greatly on the magnitude of the crime. Petty crimes might involve the accused person's immediate peers, while more serious crimes require high-ranking officials of the same caste, whether from their city or military unit. In more serious matters, the caste's ruling council may serve as jury, while the Clan Council automatically handles the most heinous crimes and serves as the court of highest appeal for all warriors of that Clan.
The jury is directly involved in the trial's proceedings and may ask questions via the inquisitor. While this can be helpful in getting to the bottom of the matter, it also allows them to hinder the process; in trials involving members of the warrior caste a Loremaster will sit in as judge to ensure fair play, though the civilian courts will rarely receive such supervision. Once the jury has reached a verdict, only warriors may appeal by fighting a Trial of Refusal while civilians must accept their punishment. The severity of punishment depends heavily on the nature of the crime committed: minor offenses will involve some form of community service or perhaps public humiliation while a reduction in grade or short-term imprisonment are reserved for more serious offenses. Crimes which might result in long-term imprisonment in the Inner Sphere are normally handled through physical punishment such as flogging, the individual's Abjuration or their execution. Only in rare cases will they be sentenced to serve time aboard the Prinz Eugen, the Alcatraz of the Clans, whose cells are reserved predominately for civilian caste members too influential to execute or exile.
On the face of it, the Clans are leaps and bounds more technologically advanced than the Inner Sphere, helped in no small part by the fact that their knowledge and industrial base was not ravaged by the Succession Wars as was the Inner Sphere. The truth however is that much of this advancement was focused entirely in areas either directly or indirectly combat-related, such as weapons, computing, and material chemistry. Civilian technology advancements which aren't simply spin-offs from military developments are far fewer, while a fixation on the Star League also played its part in technological stagnation, with many civilian items little more than exact duplicates of what was available during that era. The result is that the general technology level in the Clan homeworlds differs very little from that of the Inner Sphere and in some areas even lags behind.
A few exceptions to technological stagnation do exist, the most visible of which are Clan military systems. However even in this area most of their advancements have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary. A Clan 'Mech might have lighter, more compact and more efficient components but it is still recognizable as a 'Mech. The concept of OmniMechs was based on technology first introduced in the Mercury, with the first OmniMechs reaching service in 2854. Likewise the Clans' trademark advanced weapons and electronics weren't available until just before the thirty-first century. Even ProtoMechs were largely based on 'Mech technology which was simply scaled-down in size. The only truly revolutionary concept pioneered by the Clans was Battle Armor, introduced by Clan Wolf in 2868, which combined previously available elements such as Exoskeletons into an entirely new form with no direct Star League lineage.
In the fields of molecular and chemical engineering, the Clans were also able to make a number of developments to produce material stronger and lighter than normal for use in both military and civilian application. In addition to retaining the ability to produce Endo-Steel, Ferro-Aluminum, and Ferro-Fibrous they also developed memory metals, compounds which "remember" their shape and return to it when subjected to an electrical current. An example of these types of compounds is known as Clan copper, which is used to construct helmets and body armor. The use of memory metals and similar compounds, along with sophisticated computer systems, allowed for the creation of adaptive architecture or "smart buildings." Able to adjust their shape and rigidity based on environmental conditions, such as tectonic activity, these buildings could not only be built in previously inhospitable regions but also larger and taller than normal: Clan Steel Viper's Mercer Building on New Kent is over one kilometer tall with 211 stories.
Medical/GeneticsEditThe one area where Clan technology really took off however was in the medical field, a result of heavy investment due to the Clan homeworlds' harsh nature and the need for a large military. Advanced life support and regenerative techniques means the Clans can sustain an injured warrior indefinitely and regrow nearly any body part. Genetic modification techniques are similarly advanced and are responsible for the creation of some of the Clans' totem animals, such as the Smoke Jaguar.
Ironically, while the Clans' eugenics program is the centerpiece of their society, in many ways it is the least technologically advanced. The birthing chambers known as Iron Wombs are based on technology over a thousand years old, little different from the life-support systems used to save premature babies first pioneered by Jutendo University on Terra. Ethical concerns kept these artificial wombs from being used for any other purposes, concerns discarded by Kerensky and his scientists in their need for a larger population.
The eugenics program proper began in 2819, though it wouldn't be until 2858 that the three distinctive phenotypes associated with modern-day trueborns first emerged. Surprisingly, scientists associated with the program take a hands-off approach to their work, preferring for the most part to let nature take its course. Genetic modification to alter physical or mental traits is used only sparingly beyond correcting adverse recessive traits or ensuring an equal balance of males and females to each Bloodhouse. This latter reason remains more for the sake of tradition than any true need, as it is relatively easy to take DNA from two individuals and splice them into sperm and ova gametes, creating a zygote irrespective of the donor's genes: theoretically a male warrior can be a "gene-mother" and vice versa, though again this is a rare occurrence. Another theoretical yet rarely occurring practice is the ability to create clones, known as a "retread." Simply replicating an individual however implies stagnation and goes against the Clans' belief in evolution and natural selection. Lastly Clan law discourages the combining of genes from related warriors, usually within three generations of each other; despite genetic screening incest remains a taboo.
While the eugenics program is popularly associated with trueborn warriors, it also applies to the civilian freeborn castes as well. Officially the scientist caste is responsible for pairing individuals based on their genetic compatibility, but in practice most "marriages" are given approval after the fact. These pairings are mandatory, however, for the production of many children, and individuals caught "eloping" as it were faced severe punishment for interfering with the eugenics program. Such punishments are left up to the individual Clan to determine, but can range anywhere up to chemical reprogramming or execution.
The greatest philosophical divide to emerge during the Clans' history was that between the Wardens and Crusaders, at its heart a debate over how the Clans should interact with the Inner Sphere. The Wardens believed that it was their duty to serve as protectors of the Inner Sphere until the Star League could be reborn naturally, while the Crusaders believed they needed to conquer the Inner Sphere and reform the Star League with the Clans at its head. Both sides used the writings and sayings of Nicholas Kerensky to justify their position, though it was not until the middle of the thirtieth century that the Crusader creed began to gain strength. It was actually the demands of the civilian castes, whose hard existence on the Clan homeworlds made the Inner Sphere seem like a "lost paradise," which helped lead to its rise, until even staunchly Warden Clans began to succumb to the call of the Crusaders.
The failure of the Clan invasion, along with the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar and the Crusader's defeat in the Great Refusal on Strana Mechty did cause a serious setback to its adherents and saw a resurgence in Warden ideology. In the wake of those events the Warden Clans dominated the Grand Council which, while seeing an end to large-scale operations, did not prevent the Clans from prosecuting "brushfire wars."
Another political divide developed after the Clan invasion between the Invader Clans, those which took part in Operation Revival, and the Home Clans, those left behind in Clan space. The Clans which took part in the invasion were able to gain tremendous prestige as their warriors proved the strength of their bloodlines in combat and, more importantly, gained tremendous wealth as they conquered dozens of resource-rich systems. While some of this prestige was lost in the wake of their failure, the power amassed by them nevertheless made the Home Clans extremely jealous, such that Clans of both Warden and Crusader ideologies worked together to stem the power of the Invaders, albeit for different reasons. Likewise Invader Clans of different ideologies also banded together to ensure their dominance and exclude the Home Clans from the Inner Sphere, whether to ensure their place in rebuilding the Star League by force or reign in the invasion's excesses.
That division would become permanent in the wake of the Wars of Reaving as the Home Clans and Invader Clans became separated permanently. The Home Clans adopted the Bastion ideology, isolating themselves from their 'corrupt' Spheroid brethren, while some within their ranks generated the more brutal Aggressor philosophy. The Invading Clans formed the Council of Six and forswore any further contact with the Home Clans.
The pinnacle of Clan society, and indeed the entire reason for its existence, Clan military forces diverge sharply from their Inner Sphere counterparts thanks to a variety of factors. While the warrior caste is the most visible part of a Clan's military, or touman, it also includes members of the other civilian castes in a supporting role. The technician caste in particularly features heavily in military forces, handling duties such as maintenance and communication, and make up the bulk of crews on DropShips and WarShips. The merchant caste is also heavily involved, responsible for handling all matters of military logistics.
After being born into a Crèche Clan trueborn warriors are then assigned to a sibko, or "sibling company," composed of children from the same geneparents. These cadets are raised and trained together, indoctrinated into Clan lore and prepared for the day when they must complete their first Trial of Position and earn their place as warriors.
The exact nature of warrior training differs from Clan to Clan, though in general sibkos will spend their time at either a primary or secondary training facility. Primary facilities are geared around training front-line units only, offering the best training possible and are richly endowed with resources. Primary facilities can generally handle over eight sibkos at a time and graduate a new one every three to six months, depending on the particular Clan's training style. Depending on the needs of the Clan secondary facilities, also known as satellite facilities, handle the training of moderately-successful trueborns, freeborns or specialized types of warriors. Secondary facilities can train four sibkos at a time, on average graduating one per year. Some share resources with primary facilities, although the latter always takes precedence.
Ritual of AdoptionEdit
Freeborns can also enter in the warrior caste without being captured by the Clan. It would take the form of a Trial of Position known as "The Blooding". In this trial, the warrior would have to face one warrior of each type: Mechwarrior, Elemental, and Aerospace fighter. If the warrior wins the bidding, they will receive an Honorname based on the Clan they are in, such as: Barry Wolf, Allen Ghost Bear, or Linda Jade Falcon for example.
Ranks and OrganizationEdit
In comparison to the militaries of the Inner Sphere, the Clans have no distinction between enlisted and officer ranks; in effect all warriors are considered "officers" with rough parallels to Inner Sphere ranking systems, though such comparisons break down below the rank of Point Commander. Likewise its units, organized around a base-five system, differ in several regards to classic Inner Sphere military structures.
|Squad Commander||Squad||5 Warriors|
|Point Commander||Point||1 'Mech, 2 Aerospace Fighters, 2 Combat Vehicles, 5 Elementals, or 5 squads.|
|Star Commander||Star||5 Points|
|Nova||1 'Mech Star and 1 Elemental Star (10 Points)|
|Star Captain||Binary||2 Stars (10 Points)|
|Trinary||3 Stars (15 Points)|
|Super Nova||2 'Mech Stars and 2 Elemental Stars (20 Points)|
|Super Nova Trinary||3 'Mech Stars and 3 Elemental Stars (30 Points)|
|Star Colonel||Cluster||2-5 Binaries, Trinaries, Super Novas and/or Super Nova Trinaries (20 to 150 Points)|
|Galaxy Commander||Galaxy||2-5 Clusters (40 to 750 Points)|
|Point Commander||Commands a section or a work crew on a vessel.|
|Star Commander||An executive officer or a department head on a vessel.|
|Star Captain||Commands a DropShip or a JumpShip.|
|Star Commodore||Equivalent to a Star Colonel, commands a squadron of DropShips or JumpShips, or a single WarShip.|
|Star Admiral||Equivalent to a Galaxy Commander, commands either a major WarShip, or a star of WarShips.|
The Clans rank their units into a series of categories based on intended role, skill and equipment level. Front-line units, always composed of trueborns, are the primary assault forces of the Clans. They utilize the best resources the Clan has, organized into combined-arms formations - OmniMechs, OmniFighters and Battle Armored Elementals - and assigned the most important missions in a campaign.
Second-line units are a Clan's reserve and garrison force, used to hold ground taken by front-line units or to attack secondary objectives. These forces typically consist of trueborn warriors less skilled or who have aged past the point where they are still worthy of serving in front-line units, and while not given the latest equipment many still possess Omni technology and given good logistical support. A step down from second-line units, though in the same category, are provisional garrison units. These forces are held in the rear to clean up after front- and second-line units and hold less-important targets. Such units rarely use Omni technology or battle armored Elementals, instead making do with conventional BattleMechs and aerospace fighters, along with combat vehicles and unarmored infantry. Some Clans make no distinction between second-line Clusters and Provisional Garrison Clusters (PGCs), leading to a larger reserve force with admittedly greater inequality between units. Freeborns, regardless of skill, are assigned to second-line units if a Clan allows them to serve as warriors.
Lastly are solahma units, the proverbial bottom of the barrel. Equipped primarily as infantry units, occasionally with outdated vehicles or 'Mechs, they are given the least prestigious assignments like bandit hunting. Consisting of aged or disgraced warriors these units may occasionally be ordered, in the face of overwhelming odds and near-certain death, to hold a location or attack an enemy as part of a major campaigns. A Clan planet's defense militia force will consist of solahma units.
The Clans utilize a strong centralized economic system dedicated to supporting their military forces, with a heavy focus on efficiency and recycling even in daily life. The merchant caste oversees all aspect of economic activity, from the running of major industries like manufacturing, farming and mining to the monolithic trading houses which control the distribution of goods within each Clan and the transactions of goods between them. Elements of high finance such as futures speculation do exist but again these are dedicated to providing the essential needs of the Clan; the concept of acquiring wealth simply for the sake of it is an alien concept to Clansmen.
Goods and ServicesEdit
Clan society is largely moneyless, with the average Clansman being "paid" in electronic work credits. These credits can be used to purchase standard items from official stores, bars and other establishments, with a record of these transactions kept and examined to determine an individual's socioeconomic profile. However, all goods are officially the property of each Clan which, along with any unused work credits, can be redistributed at will by the leadership. These measures also help serve as a means of exerting control over the general population.
Each Clansman receives work credit on a monthly basis, the exact amount determined by their grade. While the warrior caste consist of seven grades and for the most part can requisition whatever they need, among the civilian castes there are a total of twenty-five grades, from the lowest Grade One to the highest Grade Twenty-Five. Besides determining how much each person is paid, grades also determine an individual's access to other amenities including housing, transport and health care. For example, higher graded personnel are given more spacious and luxurious housing, though all but the most senior individuals live in apartment blocks. In addition, sub-categories exist within each grade depending on the individual's role which allow for additional amenities: a strenuous job involving hard labor requires a higher caloric intake, and thus that person is granted larger food allowances than someone with a sedentary position, or someone whose work schedule is not easily accommodated by public transportation will be given a personal form of transport, ranging from a simple bicycle to motorized vehicles.
Civilian caste members are organized into work teams - their size depending on their caste and job - and given a task to perform known as a "work target." Representing a full day's work, work targets are based on age, skills and caste, and can be as simple as producing a given number of products in a day or involve more long-term and complex projects. Exceeding one's work target can be rewarded with an increase in grade, while consistently failing to meet it can cause a loss in grade or even banishment. Given the fact that there are limits to the amount of work to be done, this puts a ceiling on the amount of work credits available. Work teams not only compete with each other to achieve or exceed their work target, they also seek to maximize their limited resources by getting rid of any "dead weight," reporting any Clansman who fails to meet their work allocation or impedes the efforts of others. Everyone is expected to work - even school-age children take apprenticeships and vocational training to supplement their education - and if they cannot they starve. This helps explains why the mortality rate is much higher among the Clans than in the Inner Sphere: besides the harsher conditions, medical attention is more likely to go to highly-skilled individuals who contribute most to society rather than low-skilled and easily-replaced workers or those whose injuries or old age prevent them from working.
For transactions between different Clans, the merchant caste makes use of a form of currency known as the Kerensky (KE). This "macro-currency" allows financial institutions to operate and for the smooth transfer of goods without having to barter materials. Largely electronic, physical forms of Kerenskies do exist for limited use: small coins two centimeters across represent denominations of 1, 5, 10 and 20 KE, while larger two-by-four centimeter rectangular blocks represent larger values of 100, 1,000, 100,000 and 1,000,000. Both coins and blocks are minted in gold and contain ID chips and chemical compounds to prevent forgery.
Most profits made by the merchant caste come from traditional exchange of materials, however several also put emphasis on futures trade. Clan Diamond Shark was the main proponent of these ventures, as was Clan Nova Cat before becoming outcasts. By buying up the necessary equipment one Clan can underwrite another Clan's mining or exploration effort in exchange for a percent of the profit. If successful profit is made at minimal effort, while failure means the Clan must absorb the expense.
Maintaining and tracking the flow of work credits and Kerenskies is the job of each Clan's "central bank," in truth a series of institutions associated with major mercantile concerns. Besides working with the civilian administration to arrange the transfer and remuneration of funds, they also serve to provide loans, especially by those with the most assets. The borrower must pay a fee determined by the duration of the loan and sum involved, and must put up collateral equal in value to the loan. A default on the loan results in ownership of the collateral passing to the institution, even in the rare cases when the loan is made to another Clan. Refusing to honor the deal is possible but such a thing happens just as infrequently. The Jade Falcon Clan in particular earned a reputation for their banking practices, giving rise to the phrase "as sharp as the talons of a Falcon banker."
Black Market & Inner SphereEdit
Despite restrictions, a substantial black market exists within Clan society. Largely centered in Katyusha City on Strana Mechty, it primarily revolves around the buying and selling of nonstandard goods and uses Kerenskies to facilitate transactions. For this reason any nonmerchants found to be in possession of hard currency are considered racketeers and punished with a two-step reduction in grade and public flogging.
Contact between the Clans and the Inner Sphere has resulted in little change to the Clan economic system as the Spheroid's capitalistic ideas find little purchase in this cashless society. Financial transactions between the two are difficult as the exchange ratio of the KE and C-Bill is hard to peg down due to differing levels of the availability of goods. At best guess one KE is roughly equivalent to five C-Bills, and in large part merchants barter for any goods needed. A trickle of luxury items from the Inner Sphere has begun to appear within Clan space, but for the average Clansman such frivolities are little used and not valued. Still, some observers believe that consumerism will soon spread into Clan society and bring about its downfall from within.
List of ClansEdit
At the time of the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere, seventeen of the original twenty Clans were still in existence, one of whom had changed its name (Clan Sea Fox had become Clan Diamond Shark). The "Not-Named Clan" had been Annihilated shortly after Operation Klondike, while Clan Widowmaker and Clan Mongoose had been Absorbed by Clan Wolf and Clan Smoke Jaguar, respectively, during the Golden Century.
The invasion of the Inner Sphere resulted in a radical series of changes amongst the Clans, which saw their numbers reduced dramatically over the next thirty-five years. Clan Wolf split into two factions in the Refusal War: The Clan Wolf-in-Exile under Khan Phelan Kell, who fled into the Inner Sphere, and the reformed Clan Wolf that was created by Khan Vladimir Ward out of the short-lived Clan Jade Wolf, the successor shattered remnants of the Jade Wolf Clan under Clan law. Between 3059 and 3085, no less than eight Clans were Absorbed, Annihilated, or Abjured, while one entirely new Clan (Clan Stone Lion) had been created. Around the year 3100, Clan Diamond Shark reverted their name back to Clan Sea Fox.
In addition, all of the Invading Clans were formally expelled from the Homeworlds by their Home Clan brethren.
|Clan Blood Spirit||Crusader||One of the smallest of the Clans, the Blood Spirits were also the most tradition-minded and isolationist, defined by a sense of esprit-de-corps for which they were named. Though producing excellent warriors, the Blood Spirits were weak militarily and survived over the years in part by having nothing worth fighting over. Their bitterness towards the other Clans for abandoning what they saw as Kerensky's vision ensured they had few friends. The Wars of Reaving cost the Blood Spirits heavily, and in 3084 they were destroyed by the remaining Home Clans.|
|Clan Burrock||Crusader||Clan Burrock was heavily associated with the Dark Caste, a link dating back to shortly after the Pentagon Civil War and which they successfully hid from the rest of the Clans for centuries. When the truth about their dealings with the Dark Caste was revealed, the Clan was Absorbed by the Star Adders in 3059. After their attempted resurrection in 3072, the remnants of Clan Burrock were thoroughly destroyed over the next two years.|
|Clan Cloud Cobra||Warden, Bastion after 3075||The only Clan defined by its incorporation of organized religions, Clan Cloud Cobra's warrior-priests were organized into Cloisters and dedicated themselves to an overarching concept known as "The Way." One of the smaller Clans, they were also the most cunning, save perhaps the Snow Ravens, and placed a heavy emphasis on their aerospace forces.|
|Clan Coyote||Warden, Bastion after 3075||The Coyote Clan was responsible for the invention of the OmniMech and throughout history was one of the strongest of the Clans, though their opposition to the invasion of the Inner Sphere caused them to be the target of Crusader attacks and their strength and influence diminished. The Coyotes were also known for their mystical beliefs, based on native American religious practices, which bound its warriors together in brotherhood. During the Wars of Reaving, the Coyotes were found guilty of supporting the Society becoming severely weakened and shamed in the aftermath.|
|Clan Diamond Shark||Warden||Originally known as Clan Sea Fox, and often referred to as the "Merchant Clan," the Diamond Sharks were among the most powerful and progressive of the Clans. The only Clan where the merchant caste's influence exceeds that of the warriors, they were also the only one to allow warriors to voluntarily step down to join another caste, with many choosing to join the merchants as Warrior-Traders. The Clan took part late in the Clan Invasion when they were assigned as a reserve force and participated in the Battle of Tukayyid. Immediately following the Wars of Reaving, they became a nomadic Clan based in the Inner Sphere. After the Jihad, Clan Diamond Shark petitioned the Grand Council successfully to change their name back to Clan Sea Fox.|
|Clan Fire Mandrill||Crusader||In many ways a unified Clan in name only, the Fire Mandrills divided themselves into groupings known as Kindraa and fought with anyone, especially each other, to resolve any issues. This fractious nature kept the Fire Mandrills from becoming a powerful force in Clan society, including participation in the invasion of the Inner Sphere. As one member put it, "to fight against their equals, the Kindraa of Clan Fire Mandrill are forced to fight among themselves." This fractiousness eventually led to the Mandrills' downfall; by the end of the Wars of Reaving, Clan Fire Mandrill had simply disintegrated.|
|Clan Ghost Bear||Crusader, became Warden in 3060||Among the most powerful of the Clans, the Ghost Bears were defined by their conservative "wait and see" nature and their deep familial relationship with each other. Though they were less quick to adopt new technologies or concepts than other Clans, their approach to life also ensured their survival and growth over the years. Originally of the Crusader mindset, they were one of the four Clans to first invade the Inner Sphere and blazed an invasion corridor which included the Free Rasalhague Republic and the Draconis Combine. During the Wars of Reaving, they fled the Homeworlds and settled into their Ghost Bear Dominion in the Inner Sphere. Ultimately, they would merge it with the remnant of the Free Rasalhague Republic to form the Rasalhague Dominion, a powerful Clan/Inner Sphere hybrid state.|
|Clan Goliath Scorpion||Warden||The Goliath Scorpion Clan was obsessed with recovering any and all lost artifacts of the fallen Star League, sending Seekers far and wide to recover them. Such roaming knights-errant were often inspired by the use of Necrosia, a dangerous toxin produced by the Goliath Scorpion species which induces "visions" of where these items could be located. Among the Clans, they were the strictest adherents to zellbrigen and valued strength, speed, and precision in every action. A token few joined Operation Revival as a reserve clan. A Trial of Abjuration was declared upon the Clan, and they fled to the Inner Sphere, where they conquered Nueva Castile, renaming it Escorpion Imperio.|
|Clan Hell's Horses||Mixed||Known for their prominent use of combat vehicles in front-line forces, the Hell's Horses lived by the motto that man came before machine and all members were valued as being part of a greater whole, including freebirths. While not the most powerful of Clans, the Hell's Horses were among the most stable and held their own against others. The majority of Clan Hell's Horses were of the Warden mindset while its leadership were ardent Crusaders. They gradually moved into their Inner Sphere holdings over the course of the Wars of Reaving. A remainder stubbornly held out in the Clan Homeworlds during the carnage and became recognized as a new Clan, Clan Stone Lion.|
|Clan Ice Hellion||Crusader||A fierce, quick-handed Clan bordering on reckless, the Ice Hellion Clan often grasped for prizes beyond their reach and could be their own worst enemy. Ice Hellion warriors prized the ability to strike first above other considerations, though members of the civilian caste were more even-paced in their dealings. Denied a chance to participate in the Clan Invasion, they lashed out at the other Clans during The Hellion's Fury (ridiculed as the "Hellion Tantrum" by the other Clans). With almost their entire touman destroyed during their ill-fated Operation Ice Storm, what little remained was absorbed into Clan Goliath Scorpion in 3073. Other fragments turned to pirate attacks upon the Ghost Bear Dominion.|
|Clan Jade Falcon||Crusader||Staunch traditionalists and aggressive fighters, the Jade Falcons were central in the creation of the Crusader philosophy and considered Clan Wolf their enemy. Despite their martial "might makes right" mindset the Clan treated their civilian castes well, though with a firm hand, and their mercantile efforts were second only to the Diamond Sharks, leading to an above average standard of living. The Jade Falcon Clan was one of the four original participants in the Inner Sphere invasion and confronted the Federated Commonwealth. Abjured from the Homeworlds, they moved into their Occupation Zones in the Inner Sphere. In 3151, they would participate in the ilClan Trial only to lose in the process. Following their defeat, Clan Jade Falcon would become a bodyguard clan.|
|Clan Jade Wolf||Crusader||Following the sundering of Clan Wolf into two factions during the Refusal War and the escape of Warden-aligned Clan Wolf-in-Exile, Crusader-minded Vlad survived the final defeat of the original Clan Wolf at the hands of Clan Jade Falcon. Unwilling to accept defeat and capitalizing on unusual circumstances, legal loopholes and with shrewd bargaining, he managed to gain a bloodname, overturn the Absorption, and reinstate "his" Clan as Clan Jade Wolf, with himself elected its Khan. This was achieved by legally subdividing Clan Jade Falcon to form the new Clan, disassociating the Jade Wolves from the Grand Council's ruling against the old Clan Wolf. However, after only nineteen days Vlad Ward brazenly killed the Jade Falcon Khan and newly elected ilKhan Elias Crichell and announced that Clan Jade Wolf was now the reborn Clan Wolf.|
|Clan Mongoose||(n/a)||Another Clan known for their aggression, Clan Mongoose has been known to clash with other clans and use politics to side-step various rules of the clan. They would later incur the wrath of Clan Smoke Jaguar after they had been voted to be absorbed by them after a dispute. Although the Mongooses were absorbed, Clan Smoke Jaguar refused to use the genetic legacy of the clan, letting them fade into obscurity. However, to the dismay of the Jaguars, Clan Cloud Cobra would fight (and win) for the right to adopt 11 Mongoose legacies that the Cobras continue to use.|
|Clan Nova Cat||Crusader, Warden after 3052||A Clan marked by their own unique brand of mysticism, the Nova Cats were guided by visions and portents, especially through the use of pyromancy, and even its Khans first consulted with the Oathmaster before undertaking any action which could affect the Clan. Following through on these visions tended to cause conflict with other Clans though, and only through the strength of their warriors was the Nova Cat Clan kept safe over the years. During the Inner Sphere invasion, this Clan was brought in as reinforcements to assist the Smoke Jaguars in their fight against the Draconis Combine. After siding with the Second Star League and against the other Clans in 3060 following a vision, the Nova Cats were formally Abjured from all the Clans and settling in the Draconis Combine, though neither culture sought to integrate the other. In 3143 they backed the wrong side of a rebellion within the Combine, and were subsequently destroyed.|
|Clan Smoke Jaguar||Crusader||Clan Smoke Jaguar was among the most aggressive and warlike of the Clans, even at the expense of more peaceful endeavors, and were early supporters of the Crusader philosophy. Though all Clans prioritized the warrior caste, the Smoke Jaguars took this approach to another level and were severely repressive of their civilian castes. One of the four original invading Clans, the Smoke Jaguar Khan Leo Showers was given the honor of leading the Clan invasion and his Clan directed their fury against the Draconis Combine. Following the creation of the Second Star League, Clan Smoke Jaguar was singled out by the Star League for a Trial of Annihilation and was destroyed as a show of force. Following the Great Refusal, survivors were reformed as the Fidelis fighting for the Republic of the Inner Sphere. They would later server these ties and fight for Clan Wolf as bondsmen on Terra against Clan Jade Falcon in exchange for their reformation. In 3151, after Clan Wolf's victory on Terra, they would be reconstituted as a clan once more.|
|Clan Snow Raven||Warden||Masters of compromise and manipulation, Clan Snow Raven were opportunists of the highest order, possessing an almost un-Clanlike sense of self-preservation and a willingness to sell their services to the highest bidder. The Clan placed a heavy emphasis on aerospace and naval forces, such that for many years they possessed the largest WarShip fleet and produced the finest naval officers bred from dedicated naval bloodlines, though this came at a cost to their ground forces. Forced from the Clan Homeworlds during the Wars of Reaving, they moved to the Inner Sphere's periphery border, merging with the Outworlds Alliance (another state noted for a heavy emphasis on aerospace assets) to become the Raven Alliance.|
|Clan Star Adder||Crusader, Bastion after 3075||A conservative Clan, known for their pragmatism and their strategic (rather than tactical) view towards battle, as well as treating freeborns that proved themselves as equals. Though they failed to secure a place among the invaders of Operation Revival, they made great gains in the homeworlds during that time, and would go on to Absorb Clan Burrock. Following the Wars of Reaving, the Star Adders would gain dominant leadership among the remaining Home Clans as champions of the Bastion philosophy.|
|Clan Steel Viper||Warden/Crusader||Clan Steel Viper's early history was marred by the acts of the Not-Named Khan, causing the Steel Vipers to enact a form of isolationism (though not to the same extreme as the Blood Spirits). They also had the toughest training regime of any Clan save the Blood Spirits, graduating fewer but more elite warriors, and were more discriminating against freebirths than other Clans. Straddling the fence between Warden and Crusader, the Clan participated in the Inner Sphere invasion first as a reserve force before being brought in to assist the Jade Falcons. Attempting to dominate the Home Clans, the Steel Vipers instead instigated the Wars of Reaving and were themselves Annihilated in 3075.|
|Clan Stone Lion||Bastion||Named from the feline inhabiting the northern mountains of Tokasha, Clan Stone Lion was created from the remaining Homeworld members of Clan Hell's Horses after the Abjuration of their Inner Sphere portion in 3075.|
|Clan Widowmaker||(n/a)||The second Clan to fall, Clan Widowmaker gained a reputation for undue aggression during Operation Klondike, especially following the assassination of their saKhan Mariel Sanders, to the point where they were removed from the battle on Dagda by ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky and replaced by Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon. This created an enmity between Clan Widowmaker and Clan Wolf. In the summer of 2834, the Widowmakers massacred their own merchants during a caste dispute. Though the Widowmakers blamed the Wolves of stirring up the merchants, the Grand Council agreed with Khan Jerome Winson of Clan Wolf to question their right to rule and gave the Wolves the right to absorb them. During the subsequent trial, Widowmaker Khan Cal Jorgensson accidentally killed ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky; the backlash turned the Trial of Absorption into a de-facto Trial of Annihilation, leaving few Widowmaker warriors alive.|
|Clan Wolf||Warden, Crusader after 3057||The chosen Clan of Nicholas Kerensky, the Wolves have dominated Clan society since their inception. Less formal and more flexible than others, Clan Wolf emulated its namesake by blending caution with decisiveness to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Clan Wolf also led the Warden effort to oppose the invasion of the Inner Sphere, but were nevertheless forced to participate as one of the four original invaders. Their invasion corridor encompassed territory from the Federated Commonwealth and the Free Rasalhague Republic. Though destroyed in the Refusal War, after a brief period as "Clan Jade Wolf" Clan Wolf was reborn with a decisively Crusader mindset. They later fled to the Inner Sphere during the Wars of Reaving, taking the only copies of the Founders' genetic legacies with them. Under the leadership of Alaric Ward the Wolves would successfully claim the title of ilClan and reunify with Clan Wolf-in-Exile in 3151.|
|Clan Wolf-in-Exile||Warden||The Refusal War against Clan Jade Falcon was a calculated move by ilKhan Ulric Kerensky to pit his own Clan's strong Crusader elements against Clan Jade Falcon, another prominent Crusader, so that they would wipe each other out and weaken the Crusader camp among the Clans. Though this effectively meant sacrificing Clan Wolf, he tasked Phelan Ward with gathering the Warden-minded elements of the Clan and escape to the Inner Sphere, as Clan Wolf-in-Exile. They found refuge on Arc-Royal. After taking heavy losses against the Jade Falcons during the Dark Ages, the exiled Wolves would return to Clan Wolf to fight one final battle on Terra. Following the Wolf Clan's victory in 3151, the exiles were successfully integrated back into the Wolf Clan's fold, reunifying the fractured clan.|
|Clan Wolverine||(n/a)||Official Clan history holds that Clan Wolverine was annihilated in 2823 for heinous crimes against the Clan way, including using a nuclear device to destroy a Clan Snow Raven city and genetic repository. All references to Clan Wolverine were purged, and they are now only known as the Not-named Clan.|
The actual historical truth, which has been covered up with forged or falsified records and fabricated history, was that the progressive and successful Clan Wolverine began questioning ilKhan Nicholas Kerensky. Kerensky subsequently allowed a coalition of envious Clans under the leadership of Clan Widowmaker Khan Jason Karrige to plot the downfall of Clan Wolverine. This served Nicholas Kerensky in two ways: It would unite his Clans and give them a new enemy to fight; and it would make the Wolverines an example for everyone else not to cross him. Although Karrige went further with his vindictive treachery than Kerensky had foreseen, Kerensky willingly sacrificed Clan Wolverine to further his own agenda and had them hunted down to the last man, warrior or civilian.
- Clan Fox and Clan Punisher - Placeholder names from a time when the names of the existing Clans were not set in stone yet, Clans Fox and Punisher were among the selectable factions in an advertisement for MechForce North America, "the official BattleTech player's organization" that was printed on page 104 of FASA's sourcebook Day of Heroes, and elsewhere.
The list carried 22 different Clans including even Clan Wolverine. Clans Fire Mandrill and Ice Hellion were mentioned as Clans "Mandrill" and "Hellion", respectively. It is possible that Clan Sea Fox, the original and later re-adopted name of Clan Diamond Shark, evolved out of "Clan Fox" in a similar fashion.
- Clan Snord - Descendants of Clan culture through Wolf's Dragoons, Snord's Irregulars under Rhonda Snord called themselves "Clan Snord" during their mission to Camelot Command. While Clan Snord was not an acknowledged Clan by any means, the calculated provocation served not only to enrage the Clan Jade Falcon elements opposing the Irregulars, but also allowed Clan Snord to bid and fight in the Clan style. This netted them large amounts of Clan technology, including OmniMechs, five Broadsword-class DropShips and even Clan bondsmen when the irate Jade Falcons were lured into accepting a trial over Camelot Command where they bid an entire Dark Wing (solahma) Cluster's equipment should they lose.
- Clan Spaniel - A fictitious Clan featuring in media for children in Clan space.
|Planet||Blood Spirit||Cloud Cobra||Coyote||Diamond Shark||Fire Mandrill||Ghost Bear||Goliath Scorp.||Hell’s Horses||Ice Hellion||Jade Falcon||Snow Raven||Star Adder||Steel Viper||Wolf|
|Strana Mechty||all clans have equal territory|
In Critter-TEK (a cartoon-style baseball parody of BattleTech), the Clans are pictured as the Crans, descendants of "Krewzinski, the great slugger who led the Big League lineup out on strike". By "strapping together 2 of a weapon and claiming it is a SUPER weapon" and generally "clever cheating", they badly waxed the Infield Franchises "in exhibition games played in the off-season".
"They are a whole bunch of teams, loosely called the Crans, after their own name for a Franchise. They use Aluminum Bats and Big League equipment. They play by weird rules and customs, like the Designated Hitter. They have a weird concept of "Wa" which unites the team. They throw a lot of breaking balls, and they tend to play for one run at a time. They almost never steal bases. And they hate each other almost as much as they hate the infield. (...)"
- Wolf Clan Sourcebook, p. 14, "Clan Society"
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 7-8
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 8-9
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 9-11
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 11-13
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 14
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 15-16
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 16-17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 17-18
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 18-20
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 20-21
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 22-23
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 24-25
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 25-26
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 189
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 20 "The Perils of Property"
- Path of Glory, p. 99
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 41
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 144, "Species Profile"
- Way of the Clans
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 89
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 42
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 70
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 52
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 193
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 48
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 49
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 68
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 51
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 69
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 47
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 191
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 72
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 71
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 58-59
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 73
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 74
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 192
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 77
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 68
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 78
- Classic BattleTech Companion, p. 144
- Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 39-40
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p.36-37
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 76
- MechWarrior's Guide to the Clans, p. 75
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 18
- Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 17
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pg. 46
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 201
- The rank the warrior holds is used as their title unless they hold the lowest rank (for example, Star Commander Zane). If they are warriors, they have a title denoting their sub-caste. E.g. a warrior who pilots a vehicle will be called ‘crewman’, and aerospace pilot will be called ‘pilot’ and so-on (for example, MechWarrior Aidan). Technically all MechWarriors are Point Commanders, commanding a Point of one, though only the vainest would use this title.
- A Cluster or Galaxy is considered to be Under-Strength with 2 Units, Regular with 3 Units, Reinforced at 4 Units and Strong at 5 Units. Because a Unit in a Cluster can vary in size from 20 to 150 Points, this has a considerable effect on the range of sizes a Galaxy might be.
- In Clan Coyote and Clan Hell’s horses, commanders of a Nova have the rank Nova Commander, which is one rank higher than Star Commander.
- In Clan Coyote and Clan Hell’s horses, commanders of a Super Nova have the rank Nova Captain, which is one rank higher than Star Captain.
- Classic BattleTech RPG, p. 200
- Field Manual: Crusader Clan, p. 10
- Field Manual: Warden Clans, p. 12
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 66
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 67
- The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, pp.70-101
- Field Manual: Update, p. 39