Word of Blake
|Word of Blake|
|Time period:||3052 – 3081|
|Capital world:||Terra (formerly Gibson)|
|Military:||Word of Blake Militia|
The Word of Blake was a splinter faction of ComStar that was created in 3052 from a conservative backlash against the removal of ComStar's mystical and religious aspects. The Blakists initially took refuge in the Free Worlds League, but were able to move most of their operations to Terra after they conquered it in 3058.
The Word of Blake was initially accepted as a "competitor" to the secularized ComStar and established itself as a legitimate faction in the Inner Sphere. However the dissolution of the Second Star League in October 3067 resulted in the Word's extremist elements instigating the Jihad, which ended with the defeat of the Blakists in 3081 and the reintegration of the remaining Blakists back into ComStar. While officially destroyed, adherents to the Word of Blake's ideals existed within ComStar and terrorist groups well into the 32nd Century.
Upon the defeat of the Clans at Tukayyid at the hands of ComStar, Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht returned to Terra to confront the then-Primus Myndo Waterly about her Operation Scorpion, an attempt to turn the entire Inner Sphere over to the Clans. Focht shot Waterly in the back due to her perceived insanity. Focht later had ComStar archives say it was a cerebral hemorrhage. Word of Blake intercepts, however, truthfully state that Focht had her killed giving the reason he wanted to secure the power of her position. One week later, the First Circuit elected Sharilar Mori, Precentor Dieron, as Primus with Focht's backing. Mori strongly favored making ComStar a more open, secular organization rather than the quasi-religious order that it had been in the past.
In protest, Demona Aziz, Precentor Atreus and a member of the First Circuit during Operation Scorpion, under the perspective that Focht staged an illegal coup d'etat, left Terra with her staff and a cadre of followers that agreed with her traditional interpretation of Jerome Blake's works.
Meeting with Thomas Marik on Atreus, she convinced the Captain-General to grant her followers sanctuary in the Free Worlds League. Using ROM agents loyal to her, Precentor Aziz sent messages to every HPG station across the Inner Sphere, inviting all ComStar members who rejected the new ways in favor of the old to join her in exile. As ComStar refugees flooded into the Free Worlds League, Marik granted the Word of Blake splinter group a land hold on the world of Gibson.
The Blakists took over the administration of the HPGs in the League, as well as the Capellan Confederation a few years later. They used this considerable income from the stations, and the time, to train their forces.
Planning for the recapture of Terra began in 3057, when the Blakists sensed their opportunity due to the instability stemming from the Capellan-Free Worlds League assault into the former Sarna March. They were able to move their forces well within striking distance of Terra.
This preparation all paid off for them in 3058 when the Blakists conquered Terra in what they called "Operation Odysseus". This was achieved partially through trickery and partly through outright military force, as the Blakists had many sympathizers on Terra who covered up the Word's assault fleet until it was too late. In addition, the Blakists had managed to smuggle a sizable force onto the planet in disguise as the 21st Centauri Lancers, a mercenary regiment whom ComStar had just contracted. At the same time, the Word also dispatched forces to Venus and Mars. The conquest was complete months later when Precentor Klaus Hettig switched sides and brought the Titan Naval Yards into Blakist control. ComStar's Precentor Martial, Anastasius Focht, declined to attempt a liberation of Terra because he believed the Clans to be a greater threat.
After the conquest, the Word set about securing HPGs in the Chaos March, often engaging ComStar in running battles for the stations that resulted in the disruption of interplanetary communications. The Blakists generally took a propaganda approach that made sure of appearing to help the local communities, which in turn made the locals more receptive to the Word than to ComStar.
The Word of Blake took a real step toward legitimizing itself in the eyes of its detractors in 3064 when Thomas Marik nominated the Word for full Star League membership. They took this a step further in early 3066 with the creation of the Word of Blake Protectorate, a half-dozen Chaos March worlds that all banded together under the Word's aegis. They were contested, however, by the formation of the Allied Mercenary Command (AMC) on 07 March, 3066 by Jaime Wolf, whose implicit goal was stopping Blakist expansion in the Chaos March.
This situation came to a head in 3067 when the Word sponsored an insurrection of disaffected mercenaries on Outreach, led by Jaime Wolf's sworn enemy, Wayne Waco of the Waco Rangers. The early morning attack, which included the detonation of fuel-air explosives over the barracks of the Home Guard, took Wolf's Dragoons by surprise. Though they took a heavy toll, the Dragoons were able to rally and crush Waco's mercenaries. The Word also blockaded the Northwind Highlanders, another key member of the AMC, on their home world, Northwind.
At the Fourth Whitting Conference of 3067, the Capellan Confederation, Federated Suns, and Lyran Alliance all announced their intentions to withdraw from the Star League. First Lord Christian Månsdottir called for a vote of no-confidence, with the hopes that the measure would pass and they could force the dissenting member-states to stay. The vote failed however, even with the hasty admission of the Word of Blake and the Taurian Concordat. With the vote of no-confidence, the Star League disbanded. However, many Blakists believed in the interpretation of a prophecy that foretold they would come to power through the League, so they were understandably upset when it ceased to exist just as they were to have joined.
The Blakists resorted to threats to cajole the former Federated Commonwealth states to rejoin the League. Blakist WarShips appeared in the Tharkad and New Avalon systems simultaneously on December 5th, 3067, bearing threats if the nations should not rejoin the Star League. When they refused, the WarShips opened fire and dispatched ground troops. The Blakists expanded their assault to include almost every power in the Inner Sphere. They attacked, and were responsible for some factions assaulting others, in an orgy of destruction that was their Jihad until 3081, when Devlin Stone's coalition was able to defeat the Word of Blake on Terra.
By 3132 the Word of Blake had long been eradicated as a major power in the Inner Sphere, but Blakist cells still remained active in ComStar, especially in ComStar's ROM espionage and clandestine operations wing. The most notable of these groups was a Neo-Blakist faction inside ComStar, who even built their own ComGuards, under the name of Buhl’s Blessed Order. These soldier-fanatics first revealed themselves on Wyatt in 3135 when they took HPG technician Tucker Harwell into custody during a four-way struggle for the planet.
After the establishment of Fortress Republic, the now-enclosed state hunted and destroyed every dissident group inside the walls. Among the first and most notable of these would be the renegade ComStar's elements. Elements of the Republic forces would end up pursuing ComStar forces to their hidden outpost on Epsilon Eridani and destroying them on their last stronghold in 3141.
Other "neo-Blakist" groups active during the 3130s included the Kittery Resistance, a terrorist group seeking vengeance for the Word's defeat in the Jihad, and the White Hand, a more organized group seeking society's collapse to bring about neo-Blakist rule.
The many opposing factions and sub-sects of the Word of Blake were far too factional to be able to unite behind the First Circuit system that ComStar used. Instead, the Ruling Conclave was composed of the heads of the four largest factions and the Precentor-Martial. 
All Word of Blake factions agreed on a few points. They decried ComStar and its members as heretics for defying the ancient doctrines claimed to be in the writings of Jerome Blake. They denounced as forgeries the recently discovered writings of Blake and mourned ComStar as being destroyed from within, claiming that salvation was only possible by fleeing from ComStar's "corrupted vision" and joining the Word of Blake.
In 3064, during the Third Whitting Conference, Thomas Marik and Precentor William Blane spoke openly about the relationship between the Free Worlds League and Word of Blake. Thomas Marik suggested an unofficial 3%-tip on all payments to the Word of Blake. William Blane used their friendship and allowed Word of Blake to charge an extra 5%. Unbeknownst to both, a third faction inside the Word of Blake regularly overcharged by 15% - and nobody knew where the money went. They concluded that the "real" Thomas Marik must have been responsible.
As of September 12, 3067, the Ruling Conclave of the Word of Blake consisted of the following members:
- Cameron St. Jamais, Precentor Martial, leader of the Sixth of June faction.
- Alexander Kernoff, Precentor ROM, leader of the One Voice movement of the Toyama faction.
- William Blane, Precentor, leader of the True Believers.
- Laura Chang, Precentor, leader of the Expatriates.
- Anuska Brezhnic, Precentor, leader of the Counter-Reformists.
The five factions significant enough to have earned a place on the conclave are as follows:
The smallest faction on the conclave, they felt that over time Jerome Blake's word had been corrupted and might need revision in some areas, though not to the same extremes that caused the Word of Blake to split from ComStar originally. They approached dangerous, even heretical ground with their beliefs in the view of the other members of the conclave. 
When Victor Steiner-Davion became Precentor-Martial of ComStar in 3062 many officers and officials who had remained in the order in the hopes of reversing the reforms carried out by Focht saw that the organization was unable to be redeemed. They left for the Word of Blake and became the Expatriates. The Expatriates often threw their weight behind the True Believers, until 3065 when many of its high-ranking members were unmasked as ComStar agents. In the light of this betrayal, the Expatriates effectively ceased to exist as the rank-and-file members of the sect switched their allegiance to other factions.
Named after the fanatical Conrad Toyama who triggered the religious transformation of ComStar, the Toyamas are the most radical faction on the conclave and among the most splintered. They believed that Blake’s truth must be spread to the rest of the Inner Sphere by any and all means available, openly launching terrorist attacks against the Inner Sphere and even targeting other factions to enhance their own position on the conclave. The bulk of the most fanatical and terrible acts of the Jihad were committed by the Toyamas.
One of the moderate factions on the conclave, most of the True Believers wished to come to an understanding with the rest of the Inner Sphere and Secular ComStar. Though generally non-violent, they were not pacifists. They felt that the Word of Blake should unify before it led the Inner Sphere to the truth, often attempting to play middleman in the struggle between Blakist factions.
The least vocal but most-unified faction, the Shunners interpreted the Schism and works of Jerome Blake to indicate the destruction of the Inner Sphere was imminent. They believed the Blakists had to isolate themselves and ride out the destruction. Already openly critical of the Word's relationship with the Free Worlds League, the faction's members moved en masse to a refuge dome on Venus in 3059 (after the seizure of Terra). The bulk of the Shunners were killed after another faction sabotaged the machinery maintaining the dome's atmosphere. While a few survived, the faction no longer had the numbers to remain on the Conclave and its position was taken by the Expatriates.
The Word of Blake Militia began its life at slightly more than four divisions of troops, the Blake Guards, which retained the standard Com Guard numbering and were primarily tasked with defending Gibson. The Militia was twice that size in 3058, when the Word took Terra from ComStar and added another two divisions shortly thereafter. By the beginning of the Jihad in 3067, the Militia is rumored to contain over forty divisions.
With the formation of the Word of Blake Protectorate, Cameron St. Jamais established an additional series of units to garrison the worlds. The Protectorate Militia members were drawn from local worlds to free up the Word of Blake Militia divisions for offensive operations. These troops were later part of an uprising against Terra, apparently at the instruction of the Master.
The third armed force available to the Word of Blake consisted of the Manei Domini-led Shadow Divisions. These thirteen divisions were led by Precentor Appollyon and answered directly to The Master. Their appearance was totally unexpected and their tactics threw the armies of the Inner Sphere into serious confusion.
- See for further Information: Word of Blake Protectorate Militia
Word of Blake ROM CommandEdit
Precentor ROM Alexander Kernoff
|The ROM stands under the authority of the Precentor Martial. Each of the nine departments answers to their own Precentor who in turn reports to the ROM Director. It is believed that the Sixth of June movement has great influence on them.|
Precentor Mu/Delta III Lydia Julia Halloway
|Charged with the elimination of all non-Blakist agents within the Order. They are known for their brutal and inquisitional work. It is assumed that CI agents have infiltrated the governments of the Free Worlds League, Capellan Confederation and neighboring Periphery realms such as the Circinus Federation.|
Precentor Rho/Gamma VII Melva Kingman
|Their main goal is to improve the relations between Word of Blake and other states. Operatives work to placate the population of the near Chaos March and Terra itself. On the other side, agents are also adept at in-depth intelligence through blackmail and coercion.|
Covert Operations (Rho/Rho):
Precentor Rho/Rho III Richard Mullaney
|The agents perform "dirty" work like assassination, espionage and misinformation directed against ComStar, House Kurita and the former FedCom states. It is double - or even triple - the size of its ComStar counterpart.|
Information Analysis (Mu/Mu):
Precentor Mu/Mu V Clive Reordan
|Through upgrades with Clan technology at the facilities on Terra, this branch can now operate at 100% efficiency.|
Light of Mankind (Delta/Epsilon):
Precentor Delta/Epsilon VII John Christopher
|These troops are on par with other elite commandos like the DEST. At the moment many units are active in the Chaos March. Their goal remain a mystery.|
Purifying Light (Delta/Xl):
Precentor Delta/Xi IV Tatyana Corsairre
|The Blakists' special aerospace division. Their missions include counter-WarShip combat and they have support from Warships also. Several units of this branch are deployed at a unknown location in the IS at the moment.|
Word of Blake Security (Mu/Iota):
Precentor Mu/Iota VII Takaeo Yamashi
|This division is a combination of Internal Obedience and Counterintelligence branches. Operatives maintain an "active defense" to thwart internal threats. They act independently or in conjunction with other ROM branches. Their traditional role was to protect HPGs and personnel.|
Internal Obedience (Rho/Omicron):
Precentor Rho/Omicron XI Carmaine Juliana
|This department is charged with maintaining fanaticism and devotion in the order at all levels. If one member is too critical with their opinion, they may draw the attention of the Internal Obedience and Counterintelligence.|
Spiritual Enlightenment (Mu/Psl):
Precentor Mu/Psi IX Garin Klien
|Responsible for organization-wide indoctrination and training. Each subdivision has its own SE branch. It ensures that all members work towards the same goal.|
A detailed list of some WoB manufacturers and company centers.
- The original version of this article was found on the former BattleTech 3056 MUSE and written by an unknown author. It has been since updated by BattleTechWiki Editors and is considered a different effort of work.
- ComStar, p. 74
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 10, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Blake Ascending, p. 170, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 11, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Blake Ascending, p. 171, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- Era Report: 3145, p. 13 "History and Review - The Fall of Darkness"
- Field Manual: 3145, pp. 135-138 - Republic's forces history in Fortress Walls, Origin of the technology of the Fortress, hunt for the renegade ComStar Forces.
- Era Digest: Dark Age, p. 22
- ComStar p. 93 "New Orders - Word of Blake - Organization - Splinter Groups"
- Storms of Fate, p. ??
- Dawn of the Jihad, pp. 6-10, "Shadows of Faith"
- Field Manual: ComStar, p. ??
- Masters and Minions: The StarCorps Dossiers, p. 223
- Strategic Operations, p. 17
- Tactical Operations, p. 17