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History of Clan Blood Spirit

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Clan Blood Spirit Emblem
This article details the history of Clan Blood Spirit. For more information, see Clan Blood Spirit.
For the history of the Clans as a whole, see History of the Clans.

FoundingEdit

Clan Blood Spirit was unique in that it was named for an ideal rather than a totem creature. Its first Khan, Colleen Schmitt, and her warriors thus sought to remember the trust, honor and spirit that had bound the eight hundred warriors who had followed Nicholas Kerensky into exile. Unlike other Clan leaders, Schmitt refrained from filling the post of saKhan at this time, as she wanted a leader who had proven able to work not only with fellow Blood Spirits but also other Clans.[1]

Operation KLONDIKEEdit

Assigned to Arcadia during Operation KLONDIKE, the Blood Spirit's first Cluster favored no particular form of combat, and was most often paired with the Steel Vipers in hammer-and-anvil attacks. Khan Schmitt also attempted to fulfill her self-appointed role as peacemaker and keep her fellow Khans working together toward a common objective.[2] When a friendly-fire incident led to a near-state of war between Clans Star Adder and Ghost Bear, Khan Schmitt managed to cool the situation down and get the Bears to finally cooperate with the other Clans on-planet.[3]

In tandem with Clan Steel Viper, the Blood Spirits advanced upon the Ilkasur Shogunate[4], the Ravisham Collective and the Confederation of Arcadia[5], and then the continent of East Arcadia.[6] Often the Blood Spirits' more considered approach to warfare saved their reckless Viper allies from suffering heavier losses. It was during these battles that Star Captain Devon Boques proved himself able to work with other Clan warriors as well his own; this resulted in Boques becoming the Spirits' first saKhan following KLONDIKE.[7]

OstracismEdit

In the time following KLONDIKE the Blood Spirits attempted to maintain the esprit de corps that bound all Clans. To this end, Khan Schmitt created the post of ilChi; these nineteen ambassadors would maintain open relations and facilitate mutual aid between the Spirits and the other Clans.[8]

Their dream did not live long. In 2823 Clan Wolverine was Annihilated for rebelling against Kerensky's vision; for expressing some sympathy for the Wolverines, the Blood Spirits found themselves a target as well. Burrocks called for the Spirits' Annihilation, and though the Grand Council voted down the measure, the Spirits were reprimanded and told to follow the Way of the Clans or else. Shocked, and realizing that the other Clans no longer respected one another, Khan Schmitt cancelled the ilChi program.[8]

Following this, the other Clans, predominantly the Burrocks and Mongoose, targeted the Spirits with near constant raids, and the Spirits eventually lost their holdings on Albion and Homer. Reduced to a single planet - York - the Spirits' former regard for their fellow Clans was replaced with a bitter hatred. The death of ilKhan Kerensky in 2834 was blamed by the Spirits upon the other Clans, and a series of furious counterattacks ended the raiding but cost the Spirits Khan Schmitt and left them a small and weak Clan.[9]

IsolationEdit

Years of fighting had shattered the Spirits, but their isolation, small size and lack of any resources worth fighting over probably saved them from Absorption. The Spirits adopted a policy of near-total isolation, which had the effect of binding the Clan's members more closely together.[10]

When the OmniMech was first deployed by Clan Coyote in 2854, Khan Ceana Boques initiated several programs to counter this new technology. Spirit warrior training was toughened to the point where it produced fewer but better warriors than in any other Clan, while merchant and laborer caste members received rudimentary weapons training to serve as a militia in times of need. Blood Spirit technicians, many of them ex-warrior trainees, were also permitted to train and fight, with the winner of an annual Grand Melee granted another Trial of Position. Exploration and colonization of new worlds, first among them Foster, was undertaken, while the scientist caste was forced to improve its eugenics program and 'Mech designs.[11]

Expecting nothing but hostility from other Clans, the Blood Spirits were surprised when the Fire Mandrill Kindraa Smythe-Jewell approached them with an offer instead: OmniMech technology in exchange for territory on Foster. Though initially suspicious, the Spirits accepted the deal and thus gained OmniMechs. Shortly after, the Spirits found themselves unable to retain their holdings on Foster due to increased Burrock raids, and so ceded the enclave to Kindraa Smythe-Jewell. In return, the Fire Mandrills gave the Spirits battlesuit technology and the breeding material for Elementals.[12]

When Kindraa Smythe-Jewell was destroyed in 2872, Clan Blood Spirit resurrected the ilChi office and dispatched an emissary to the rest of Clan Fire Mandrill offering military aid. Though rejected, the offer improved the tentative ties between the two Clans and lead to an informal alliance. The success of this new compact and the Spirits' resource deficit later prompted Khan Boques to accept limited trade offers from Clan Sea Fox.[12]

In 2975 Fara Church became Khan of Clan Blood Spirit. With momentum building for a return to the Inner Sphere, Church realized that his Clan's touman was too small to be considered a viable member of any invasion. To counter this, the Blood Spirits contacted Clan Snow Raven and made an offer: the Blood Spirits would trade some of their excess WarShips for a large quantity of the Ravens' older, second-line BattleMechs. The deal benefitted both parties immensely, allowing the Spirits to increase the size of their touman considerably, and led to the Spirits gaining a new ally of sorts.[13]

Operation RevivalEdit

Throughout the first half of the 31st century Clan Blood Spirit became an adherent of the Crusader philosophy, but nonetheless forsook nearly all interaction with other Clans. Aside from dealings with their few allies or occasional voting in the Grand Council the Spirits for all intents and purposes vanished from Clan civilization.[14] [13] Like nearly everything else in Clan life, this state of affairs changed forever with the surprise appearance of the Outbound Light in 3048.

Although the Blood Spirits participated in the placement trials for Operation Revival, and achieved a first-round win against the hated Clan Burrock, they lost to Clan Nova Cat in the third round and thus did not participate in the invasion. The Spirits consoled themselves by claiming that this loss merely confirmed their belief that the time for an invasion had not yet arrived.[15] When the invaders were defeated at Tukayyid, the Spirits felt some vindication of this view.[16]

The Burrock AbsorptionEdit

In early 3059 the Spirits' long-time foe, Clan Burrock, became the target of a Trial of Absorption, and the Blood Spirit Khans made a rare appearance at the Grand Council to support the measure. The Spirits were shocked and furious when the honor of Absorption went to the Star Adders and decided to take unilateral action; they launched their own attacks against the Burrock enclaves on Priori and Albion.[13] This anger-fueled decision to interfere in the Burrock Absorption would cost Clan Blood Spirit heavily.

In total, the Blood Spirits committed seven Galaxies in fighting across five worlds. Their deal with Clan Snow Raven allowed them to field a larger touman than other Clans expected, and the Spirit Khans believed that the battles would be three-way struggles that would end in victory for them. But more often than not the Burrocks instead joined forces with the Adders; their hatred of the interlopers burned so fiercely that they willingly allied with those who were trying to Absorb their Clan in an effort to punish the hated Spirits.[13]

In the end fewer than eight Spirit Clusters survived to withdraw when the fighting was over. Although they had destroyed seven Galaxies of Star Adder and Burrock troops, the Blood Spirits had lost almost five Galaxies for no effective gain. In addition, their feud with the Burrocks had transferred over to Clan Star Adder, who in the long run would prove to be a far more dangerous enemy. As a response to her Clan's defeat, Khan Karianna Schmitt called for and received a mandate to isolate the Spirits as much as possible from the corrupting influences of other Clans. They withdrew from their enclave on Arcadia and retained their holdings on Strana Mechty only to deny the Clans' birthworld to the 'traitors' of Kerensky's vision.[13]

The Great Refusal and the Wars of PossessionEdit

This new isolationist policy of the Blood Spirits did not last long. A year later, when the reborn Star League challenged the Clans to a Trial of Refusal over the Clan Invasion, the Blood Spirits were one of the Crusader Clans to square off against the Star League Defense Force during the Great Refusal. Pitted against the Draconis Combine's 1st Genyosha in the Coldrill Valley, the Spirits lost their trial shortly after Khan Schmitt's 'Mech was knocked out.[17]

During the first two years of the subsequent Wars of Possession, Clan Blood Spirit remained aloof from the fighting. In early 3063, Clan Star Adder began raiding York, and gradually increased both its presence in the York system and the frequency of its raids. The Spirits finally struck back at the Adders when in 3066 they regained a foothold on Arcadia, destroyed the WarShip CSA Vritra and hit the Adder enclave on Tathis in conjunction with their Fire Mandrill allies.[18][19] In 3062 the Spirits supported Clan Cloud Cobra's plan to bring Inner Sphere religious delegates into Clan space for the Babylon Diet.[20]

Wars of ReavingEdit

Clan Blood Spirit discovered the Colleen system in 3067, when the situation in the Clan Homeworlds was rapidly degenerating and ultimately set off in the Wars of Reaving. The Spirits were under increasing pressure from other Clans, in particular from Clan Star Adder, and they needed to start a new colony unbeknownst to the other Clans.[21] To offset their losses against the Adders, saKhan Boques initiated a Trial of Possession for Clan Snow Raven's Zeta Galaxy and won it.[22] With these additional assets, the Spirits recaptured most of York but at the same time they exhausted themselves.[23]

Haven and Honor grew rapidly in the years after their discovery, the Spirit leadership well aware of their importance especially after the destruction of their capital world York. Haven became the home of the Spirit's genetic repository, while Homer received a Chrysaor ProtoMech facility.[24] In 3069 the Spirits voted to Abjure those Clans that participated in Operation REVIVAL.[25] They also worked with Clan Snow Raven to take over some of their holdings as the Ravens departed Clan space.[26]

On August 6 3072, Clan Star Adder sent several WarShips to York. They began an orbital bombardment that lasted for more than three weeks. At the end of it, York was in shambles with ninety percent of industry destroyed and three quarters of its civilian population dead. The debris and ash thrown into the atmosphere resulted in a "nuclear winter" that began to destroy the biosphere.[27]

The Spirits sent forces to Arcadia to seize enclaves from other Clans in 3073. What they found instead was a barren world, stripped of nearly all usable material, stacked with civilian bodies and home to only a few humans who wandered the wastes. These people were largely insane. (Later investigation suggested that these unfortunates were the survivors of testing by The Society.)[28] After being ambushed by a few Steel Viper positions, the Spirits bombarded those locations by WarShip and left the remaining parts of Albion to Clan Cloud Cobra.[29] Also in 3073 the Spirits hit Niles and took Clusters from Clan Hells' Horses and Clan Fire Mandrill as isorla.[30]

The Blood Spirits took control of Tokasha factories. In 3074 forces from Clan Steel Viper arrived and challenged for the entire world. The fighting was intense, with Omicron, Omega, and Zeta Galaxy facing off against four Viper Galaxies. Though they fought well, the Spirits lost. The ilKhan then announced that the surviving Spirit warriors could join his touman or die. Most chose to die.[31]

During the Trial of Annihilation against Clan Steel Viper the Blood Spirit's Alpha Galaxy dropped on Circe with the Cloud Cobra's Delta Galaxy.[32] They then moved on to New Kent, where they lost part of Beta Galaxy.[33] After Clan Steel Viper was annihilated in 3076 the Spirits were in shambles, having suffered greatly from the invasion of Circe and New Kent which much of their touman and industry on Albion destroyed.[34]

When Bryce Schmitt was elected as saKhan, the Clan leadership made the hard decision to withdraw from all their enclaves in Clan Space to Colleen, except from Strana Mechty, their main genetic repository having already being relocated to Haven in 3070. Progress was slow but steady and the Clan began to rebuild in complete isolation, the system still being secret to other Clans even if they known the Spirits had withdrawn somewhere but where too busy with more pressing concerns.

At the beginning of the Jihad the Blood Spirits were one of four Clans to support the Inner Sphere forces against the Word of Blake. However, this came to nothing.[35]

The Last StandEdit

Finally in 3082 a Clan Stone Lion vessel arrived in the Colleen system, and Khan Boques immediately prepared his Clan for the inevitable conflict over these worlds.

The first to arrive was Clan Cloud Cobra, which respectful of previous dealings trialed for and won the right to establish two enclaves on Honor's southern continent, centered around strip-mining the nearby mountains of ore. They were in process of building an Omnifighter factory when a cataclysm nearly split the planet in two in March 3083.

Soon after Clan Stone Lion and Clan Coyote arrived on Honor and trialed for almost every colony on the planet.

By the end of June Blood Spirit Khan Boques was dead, their last factory lost and their touman now consisted only of the remains of Alpha Galaxy. The Stone Lions with their Psi Galaxy captured several agricultural enclaves and two ProtoMech factories near Lovell, as well as the Spirit ProtoMech warrior phenotype. The Coyotes with their Nu Galaxy captured three newly built BattleMech factories, and prepared for the inevitable counterattack.

New Khan Bryce Schmitt unleashed the traditional Blood Spirit response to assaults on their homeworlds, hoards of armed civilians who stormed the Coyote-occupied city of Glasgow, nearly a Cluster in number. Khan Leo Koga of the Coyotes conferred with the leader of Stone Lion forces in the Colleen system, Loremaster Jackie Ravenwater, both agreeing that the Blood Spirits were now to be considered dezgra. Also the Lions were having problems with their isorla, although not at the level faced by the Coyotes. Civilians refused assimilation and kept on attacking the Clan forces.

In a subsequent Grand Council called by Khan Leo Koga, the Coyote Khan called for the Abjuration of Clan Blood Spirit. But Clan Star Adder, long time enemies of the Blood Spirits, called for their Annihilation over the reports of such flagrant un-Clanlike activity. In lieu of this position, a Trial of Absorption was passed by the Grand Council, granted to the Star Adders, who immediately set about landing their forces as soon as the Stone Lions and Coyotes withdrew in deference to the Adders, taking all the isorla they could with them before leaving.

They immediately attacked and quickly overrun the enclave on Strana Mechty, killing saKhan Lucas Campbell.

On the 5th of October, 3084, CSA Sovereign Right and Absolute Truth crippled the last remaining Blood Spirit naval assets, the CBS Karianna Schmitt and the Stooping Kite, landing their Gamma, Epsilon and Xi Galaxies on Haven, while the Blood Spirit response to the landings was ineffectual. Khan Schmitt unleashed four more Clusters of armed civilians in an ambush of the Star Adder forces as they crossed the Sidhe River, sending two Broadsword Dropships on strafing runs over the assembled Adders. Khan Schmitt would lead a desperate stand through the most vicious fighting since the fall of York, but to no avail. He would eventually fall to the Star Adder saKhan Wyatt Talasko, with his few remaining Blood Spirits following soon after, fighting until the end in the city of Glasgow.

With their leadership and touman destroyed, the remaining armed civilians ambushed the Star Adders in the city of Lovell, taking down Loremaster Fletcher Daniels. The Adder response was brutal, gunning down anyone in sight and systematically burning and destroying buildings. They then loaded as much isorla as they could onto their DropShips and retreated to their landing zones.

AnnihilationEdit

The Adders never wanted to really absorb the Spirits, knowing they would have never integrated with such a long-time deeply hated foe. Their goal was Annihilation, and they carried it out in the following weeks, starting heavy orbital bombardment on Haven, targeting key infrastructure locations at the Spirit holdings. Any resistance put up by the survivors was intercepted and crushed by the Adder forces.

By mid-December every holding on the planet had been destroyed, and the Adders moved to Honor to repeat their actions. The seismic activity had not ceased yet, and the 17th Crimson Guards, which had managed to survive so far after being stuck on the planet after its evacuation, was all that remained of the Spirit touman. The Adders destroyed them from orbit.

The Sovereign Right was left in the system to watch for any activity, and a month later it destroyed some DropShips that were trying to escape. By July 3085 Haven emitted only minimal signs of life, while Honor had completely gone dark. The Adders recalled their ship but made irregular surveys the system in the following months.

In October 3085 the Adders targeted the side of Mount Schmitt, near Glasgow, and buried the Blood Spirit genetic repository under a rumble of rock and ice.

With its legacy destroyed forever, the annihilation of Clan Blood Spirit was now complete.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 20
  2. Historical: Operation Klondike, p.49, "Clan Blood Spirit Cluster"
  3. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 53-54, "Bear Baiting and Snake Charming"
  4. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 54-55, "Opposites Complement"
  5. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 55-58, "Minors Powers, Major Roadblock"
  6. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 58-59, "East Arcadia"
  7. Historical: Operation Klondike, p. 58
  8. 8.0 8.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 21
  9. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 22-23
  10. Era Digest: Golden Century, p. 5
  11. Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 23
  12. 12.0 12.1 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 24
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Field Manual: Crusader Clans, p. 25
  14. Operational Turning Points: REVIVAL Trials, p. 1, "A Call for Unity"
  15. Operational Turning Points: REVIVAL Trials, p. 14
  16. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 70, "Clan Blood Spirit"
  17. The Clans: Warriors of Kerensky, p. 25, "The Great Refusal"
  18. Field Manual: Updates, p. 36
  19. The Wars of Reaving, p. 16, 17
  20. The Wars of Reaving, p. 24
  21. The Wars of Reaving, p. 14
  22. The Wars of Reaving, p. 35
  23. The Wars of Reaving, p. 44
  24. The Wars of Reaving, p. 33
  25. The Wars of Reaving, p. 46
  26. The Wars of Reaving, p. 54
  27. The Wars of Reaving, p. 105
  28. The Wars of Reaving, p. 122
  29. The Wars of Reaving, p. 123
  30. The Wars of Reaving, p. 133
  31. The Wars of Reaving, pp. 138-139
  32. The Wars of Reaving, p. 150
  33. The Wars of Reaving, p. 151
  34. The Wars of Reaving, p. 154
  35. The Wars of Reaving, p. 32, 77