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Xanthos (Individual Black Lion-class WarShip)

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Vessel Profile
Previous names Nelson
Type WarShip
Class Black Lion


The Black Lion-class battlecruiser[1] SLS Nelson was the winner of the Best WarShip category of the 2732 Martial Olympiad.[2]

In 2764 the Nelson was serving was the flagship of Vice Admiral Dudley Spencer, the commanding officer of 161st Line Squadron within the Star League Defense Force Sixteenth Fleet.[1]

The Nelson played a valuable part in the Amaris Civil War, taking heavy damage in the battle to liberate Oliver; the crew of the Nelson managed to nurse her as far as SLDF fleet station in the Castor system, only for the SLDF command to declare that the Nelson wasn't considered a viable candidate for repair. As a result of this decision the Nelson was scuttled and abandoned in a long elliptical orbit around Castor.[3]

While the Nelson's career with the SLDF was over, it wasn't the last time the doughty ship would see military service; after the fall of the Star League the Nelson was located by ComStar but was left where she had been found due to the amount of work that was believed to be required to return her to active service. The Free Worlds League later became aware of the location of the Nelson thanks to information provided by the Word of Blake, who had relocated to the League after the schism within ComStar and who had decided to assist the League in its WarShip rearmament program. The Blakists had helped the League locate twenty-two assorted derelict WarShips by 3059, of which the Nelson was one;[4] a salvage team from the Free Worlds League salvaged the Nelson in 3058 and moved her to Ionus, where she underwent more than two years of renovation work in the secret Illium Shipyards to return her to operational status.[3]

The Nelson represented the single greatest catch of the Free Worlds League's secret reclamation program, and went on to serve in the League's black water navy under the designation FWLS Xanthos.[3] As late as the eve of the Jihad in 3067 the Xanthos was still the only battlecruiser in service with the Free Worlds League.[5]

In 3068 the Xanthos was suborned by the Word of Blake, a fate that befell a substantial number of League WarShips; her true colors were revealed when the Xanthos was involved in a pitched naval battle in the Atreus system on the 25th of October, where loyalist and Blakist elements of the Free Worlds League navy turned on each other. The Xanthos joined the Thera-class carrier FWLS Corinth and one of her escorts, the Eagle-class frigate FWLS Mordred, the Aegis-class heavy cruiser FWLS Nueva Badajoz, the Agamemnon-class heavy cruiser FWLS Aeneas and the Impavido-class destroyer FWLS Impavido. The Blakist-aligned WarShips attacked the loyalist WarShips in the system, which were mainly lighter destroyers and corvettes, and which consisted of the Eagle-class FWLS Gawain, the Impavido-class FWLS Janos Marik, the Zechetinu-class corvette FWLS Sparta, the Zechetinu II-class corvettes FWLS Acari and FWLS Scorpion and the Essex-class destroyer FWLS Raven.[6]

The naval battle in the Atreus system was a victory for the Blakist forces; none of the Blakist WarShips were destroyed, although all of them had suffered damage, but of the loyalist forces, only the FWLS Acari and FWLS Raven escaped to seek refuge in the Duchy of Oriente.[6]

The Xanthos was subsequently destroyed in the Shiloh system in 3070 along with the the Aegis-class WoBS Impetuous by the Eagle-class frigates FWLS Galahad and FWLS Lancelot and the Agamemnon-class FWLS Menelaus.[7][8]



The SLS Nelson was a Black Lion-class. Field Manual: SLDF was in error.

Thank you,

Herbert Beas
Catalyst Game Labs

  — Herbert Beas, BattleTech Line Developer, 02 Oct 2012


  1. 1.0 1.1 Field Manual: SLDF, p. 198, "161st Line Squadron"
  2. The Star League, p. 135, "Martial Olympiad Champions 2640-2736"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 119, "Renovation/Construction"
  4. Field Manual: Free Worlds League, p. 116, "Aid From The Word of Blake"
  5. Field Manual: Updates, p. 144, "Ships Of The FWL"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jihad Turning Points: Atreus BattleCorps Exclusive Track, p. 2, "True Colors Revealed"
  7. Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, pp. 108-109 & Blake Ascending, pp. 268-269 "Fleet Advisory: Shiloh"
  8. Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 128, "Captured Ships"