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Star League (House Cameron/House Amaris)
The leading force of mankind's last golden age, the First Star League was a unifying political body lead by House Cameron, and managed to keep the constant infighting of the Successor States to their absolute lowest. Though leading the expansion of mankind's technology and being held up as a model of how the Inner Sphere should be unified by both the Successor States and Clans, the residents of the Periphery consider the First Star League to be one of the worst authoritarian and expansionist governments of human history.
- Written by the Winners: Centuries of rule made it possible for the Star League to influence how the Successor States view it as a pinnacle of human achievement and advancement. Compare this to most of the Periphery States, where the Star League is at best seen as harsh and expansionist.
- Era(s): Star League
- The Emperor: After all of humanity was under the aegis of the Star League (and some would argue before even then) Ian became this, although his official title was simply "First Lord".
- Founder of the Kingdom: Of the Star League.
- Hypocrite: Rescinded the Ares Conventions so that the SLDF could, "fight fire with fire," against the Periphery, even though the Periphery states were abiding by the conventions to the letter.
- Jerkass: He considered the people who lived in the Periphery "barbarians," and he was perfectly willing to launch a smear campaign against them. When he finally decided to invade the Periphery, Ian was also happy to declare their existence as independent nations "illegal," and conveniently ignore the rules of civilised warfare put in place by the rest of the Inner Sphere. Why would he do all this? The Periphery told him no.
- Mediator: His mother's Strategy of Aggressive Peacemaking policies were the foundation of his own future policies, and through diplomacy he managed to unite the Inner Sphere states into the Star League. All that went straight out the window after the Periphery decided they didn't want to be a part of his grand dream, and so he decided they were going to be a part of it whether they liked it or not.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Depending on what kind of view you have of history. By the 31st century, many even in newer Periphery states, like Kamea Arano, see Ian as an almost messianic figure, a legendary lord robed in white who united humanity and brought forth an age of unparalleled happiness. Periphery-dwellers of the Taurian, Canopian or other older persuasions, though, are much more likely to remember him as a brutal tyrant who made their stars run red with blood and in some cases almost snuffed out their states entirely.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ian wanted to unite all of humanity and guide it into an era of peace, but he didn't care about how many necks he had to step on to achieve that goal. Most notable were his decisions to invade the Periphery states after they each refused to join the Star League and to rescind the Ares Conventions, which were put in place to prevent loss of civilian life and banned such things as orbital bombardment and use of nuclear weapons.
- "To all citizens of the Inner Sphere do I, Aleksandr Kerensky, send greetings.""Know that I have taken the remnant of the Star League Defense Force which has remained true to its purpose beyond the boundaries of the Inner Sphere, beyond the Periphery. I have done this, neither out of disappointment with those whom we leave behind, nor out of spite or disdain, as some will say. No, we have left the Inner Sphere because we love it too much to see it destroyed. In the wake of the Usurper's coup, and the long, bitter fighting that came with it, I fear that my forces would do incalculable, possibly irreparable, harm to our society. We are sworn to ward the Star League and its subjects, not destroy it. Thus, we have left the only homes we have ever known to place the destructive capability of this armada beyond the reach of those who would use it, not for defense, but for conquest. Perhaps, with the might of our 'Mechs and ships out of reach, the leaders who now grapple with one another will relinquish their dreams of subjugating their neighbors and learn to live in peace with them. Perhaps, one day, should mankind step back from the brink of the abyss, we, our children, or our children's children will return, to once more serve and protect and guide the Star League in mankind's quest for the stars."—The Voice of Kerensky. His final message to the Inner SphereEra(s): Star League
- Bald of Awesome: Official art show the General has no hair.
- Big Good: Kerensky is the most beloved man in the known universe.
- Due to the Dead: After Amaris was executed for his crimes against humanity, questions arose as to what to do with his remains. Disposing of them ignonimously out of sight would engender doubts that he was truly dead. Burying him would result in his grave being a martyr shrine. A nameless SLDF officer suggested donating his body to science. Kerensky went with that, and the Usurper's mortal remains suffered the indignity of being a medical curio, and could be brought out for whenever doubts were raised about his fate.
- Four-Star Badass: Kerensky is considered the best military mind in history.
- Named After Someone Famous / Does This Remind You of Anything?: Aleksandr Kerensky the SLDF General was most likely named after Aleksandr Kerensky, the leader of the February Revolution in Russia that toppled the Czar. In fluff, after his death, the Clans took his body and placed it in a crystal coffin on a battleship in geosynchronous orbit over Strana Mechty's largest city, with floodlights illuminating it and a rotating patrol of guards from all the Clans standing watch over it. The historical Kerensky's main rival was Vladimir Lenin who...
- "Open!" Says Me: One of the most famous images of the Amaris Civil War was Kerensky's 75-ton Orion mech kicking down the gates of Unity Palace on Terra.
- Our Founder: The Clans call Kerensky the Great Father.
- Rebel Leader: Kerensy led the liberation of Terra from Amaris.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kerensky left the Inner Sphere as he doesn't wan't to get involved in the power struggle between the great houses.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: After leading his loyal SLDF troops out of the madness that would seize the Inner Sphere to prevent the devastation their skill and equipment would bring, his people too would soon fracture along cultural lines and start an internecine war. Then Kerensky died before he could reunite his mutinous troops. Furthermore his son Nicholas would start his father's last loyal followers down a path that would result in their descendants returning to the Inner Sphere as conquerors rather than protectors and saviours.
- Take a Third Option: Amaris was dead but war again loomed as each head of the Great Houses declared themselves the new First Lord of the Star League. Kerensky could either support one of them or declare himself First Lord. He chose exile instead.
- Tragic Dream: Kerensky envisioned recreating the Star League that would lead mankind into a new age of peace. He died on the eve of a war that would finish off what was left of the Star League. The Clans then later used his own words to justify invasion of the Inner Sphere.
- Unwanted False Faith: After his death and and the formation of the Clans, Aleksandr was virtually deified, with subsequent generations revering him. Additionally, the "Hidden Hope" doctrine, derived from a portion of one of his General Ordersnote would form the basis for the Clans' core belief that they must one day return to the Inner Sphere. Disagreements over exactly what this return was supposed to entail would also result in the same sort of infighting and factions that Kerensky sought to protect his folllowers from.
- "You will fight to the last soldier, and when you die, I will call upon your damned souls to rise and speak horrible curses at the enemy."—Emperor Amaris' Rousing Speech to the defenders of Terra.Era(s): Star League
- Bad Boss: He ordered the death of some engineers who designed a super huge mech for him, when it broke down on its first step, he charged them for "treasonal incompetence".
- The Caligula: To the point he made Hitler look like a school boy.
- Due to the Dead: Once General Kerensky and the SLDF finally had Amaris dead, questions arose as to what to do with the body. Do they dispose of it into space to never be seen again? That would engender doubts that he was dead. Do they bury it? The grave site would become a martyr shrine to his followers and elicit defacement by his far more numerous enemies. So what does Kerensky do? On the suggestion of one of his subordinates, he donates it to science. There, Amaris's remains can suffer the indignity of being a curio of the medically inquisitive, and the evidence that Amaris is well and truly dead is locked away in a freezer to be brought out if anyone doubts.
- Evil Chancellor / Treacherous Advisor / Big Bad Friend : He was all of these Tropes to Richard Cameron, all to help get him into the right position for his takeover of the Terran Hegemony.
- Godwin's Law: As a consequence for his utter depravity, his name alone amounts the same level as Hitler himself. He's actually consider a bigger villain in the setting that both Adolf Hitler and Judas Escariot.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair / Obviously Evil : Has a Fu Manchu mustache in all depictions of him and isn't really good looking in general.
- Make It Look Like an Accident: Heavily implied by a formerly sealed SLDF internal intelligence report that was later revealed by Clan Ghost Bear that he had a hand in the death of Richard Cameron's father Simon Cameron to make him take the duty of leading the Terran Hegemony before he was ready to lead it to make it more easy to manipulate Richard because of that.
- Nuke 'em: Had various places nuked because of their resistance to him and his rule.
- Small Role, Big Impact: While his role in the events immediately preceeding the fall of the Star League is not small, the event is so distant by the time most BattleTech fiction and games are set that he becomes this. The man is, basically, singlehandedly responsible for the entirety of the setting. Except for the 'Mechs themselves, but he supplies all the reasons for them to fight starting at the First Succession War.
- The Usurper: The most infamous example inverse. In fact, he's commonly known as "Amaris the Usurper."
Terran Hegemony (House Cameron)
Ruled by House Cameron, the Terran Hegemony was an interstellar state located at the center of the Inner Sphere. Established after a military coup led by James McKenna overthrew the vestiges of the Terran Alliance, the Hegemony quickly rose to dominating positions in the realms of technology, military innovations, and diplomacy. The Hegemony's era of aggressive diplomacy eventually led to the creation of the Star League, and its destruction (as well as that of the Hegemony itself) in the Amaris Civil War that led to the Succession Wars. The Hegemony ceased to exist in 2767. However, the Republic of the Sphere that was founded in the wake of the Jihad in 3081 is considered by most to be the Hegemony's successor.
- Hegemonic Empire: Well, Hegemony is in the name, so...
- Hereditary Republic: The Hegemony was not a monarchy, as the position of Director-General was (technically) passed down through a limited form of democratic means. However, the vast majority of the Hegemony's rulers have been members of House Cameron. Michael Cameron, the first Cameron Director-General and the second ruler of the Hegemony, was the founder's cousin.
- Mediator: Throughout much of its history the Terran Hegemony played the role of peacemaker between the rest of the Inner Sphere states, to varying success. Enforced after Deborah Cameron assumed the office of Director-General. With her 'Strategy of Aggressive Peacemaking,' she relegated the military to a purely defensive role and made it her mission to ensure that the destructive effects of the Age of War are never felt again. Her strategy served as an adequate counter to the Ares Conventions.Deborah Cameron: "It's not Peace through Strength but Strength through Peace that will be our motto."
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: With roughly only ninety-five star systems under its control the Hegemony was the smallest interstellar state of its era. It was also the most powerful and technologically advanced nation in the Inner Sphere, as well as the inventor of the Battlemech.
- Vestigial Empire: The Hegemony was technically this to the Terran Alliance, as it controlled only a small fraction of its original territory.
- Era(s): Age of War
- The Big Guy: He was described as a tall, muscular man, and even in the one image of him he appears to be a large fellow.
- Canada, Eh?: He was a Canadian, who grew up in the Yukon Territories.
- Founder of the Kingdom: He is this for the Terran Hegemony.
- Military Coup: Fed up with the increasingly unstable Alliance regime, McKenna brought his ship into orbit of Terra, where he had his ship’s gunner target and destroy two uninhabited islands using the ship’s weaponry. These orbital strikes were the prelude to the ultimatum he made to the warring Alliance government to stand down.
- Never Learned to Read: He was not formally schooled until he was twelve years old. However, despite his late education, McKenna possessed a passion for learning, and hidden underneath his brusque exterior laid an intelligent man.
- Rags to Royalty: From a simple boy living in the Yukon, to an Admiral to the founding father of the Terran Hegemony.
- Space Navy: McKenna was an Admiral in the Terran Alliance's navy, and he was also responsible for the development of the Alliance's first true WarShip, the TAS Dreadnought, and its six sister ships. He also used the Dreadnought to initiate his coup of the Alliance.
- The Purge: After he took power, one of his first acts was to hunt down and destroy all members of the renegade political parties on Terra and other worlds and wrote in the Hegemony Charter that all political parties would be abolished.
Draconis Combine (House Kurita)
The Draconis Combine stands in stark contrast to the other great interstellar nations: from its inception in 2319, it expanded almost entirely through intimidation and conquest, enforced cultural conformity, and served as the personal domain of a dynastic family. While much of the same can be said of the other Great Houses at varying times, these are founding principles of the Draconis Combine, with only brief periods of variation.Through most of its history, the Draconis Combine would be an antagonist to almost every other faction within reach, employing the most skilled fighting force of the Inner Sphere to seize power from its rivals. It was the last of the Inner Sphere nations to join the Star League, and the first to attempt taking its place, launching three of the four Succession Wars. This aggression would soften somewhat in the wake of the Clan invasion and the ascension of the moderate Coordinator Theodore Kurita, but by the 32nd century, the Combine would largely resume its old ways of unity through domination.
- Arch-Enemy: Though both its neighboring Successor States have done well to repel its advances, the Combine sees the Federated Suns and House Davion as their chief rivals for conquest of the Inner Sphere. This becomes more true when both neighbors unite to form the Federated Commonwealth, combining Steiner industry with Davion strategy.
- Enemy Mine: The only time there was any relative peace or cooperation with the Federated Suns/Commonwealth was in the face of the Clan invasion. It also helped that Theodore Kurita and Victor Steiner-Davion were both exceptionally reasonable people.
- Arc Number: The number 5 shows up a lot in Combine political divisions and structure, by design. It's become prevalent enough that 5 is often regarded as a lucky number throughout the Combine.
- Blind Obedience: Often considered a virtue in the Combine. The Second Sword of Light regiment paints the flag of Kentares IV on their mechs in remembrance of their participation in the Kentares Massacre - not out of regret, but out of pride that they were willing to carry out such horrid commands.
- Culture Police: More than any other realm, the societies of the Combine are relatively homogeneous, and the Order of the Five Pillars serves to heavily reinforce its cultural doctrine. This extends to religion, where the higher classes are encouraged to follow Zen Buddhism, the lower classes are taught Shintoism, and other faiths are technically outlawed (though tolerated as long as they don't cause trouble).
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Primarily red (especially The Sword Of Light regiments), but also light grey is in common use in 'mech and vehicle livery. Always coded red on maps.
- Elite Army: The Draconis Elite Strike Teams are the single most formidable special forces unit throughout the Inner Sphere.
- The Empire: Pretty much this, both before and after the Star League.
- Fantastic Caste System: A five-tiered system that naturally puts the nobles and warriors at the top with the laborers and "unproductives" on the bottom, with little or no opportunity to move between them.
- Fantasy Counter Part Culture: Invoked early in the Combine's history, when early Coordinators saw the value of shared cultural norms in holding a realm together and chose Shogunate-era Japan. It's worth noting that there are still pockets of distinctly different cultures throughout the Combine that only pay lip service to Japanese trappings, including the Scandanavian worlds of the Rasalhague District (before becoming an independent republic), and the Muslims of the Azami worlds.
- Galactic Conqueror: A stated goal of the Combine since its inception was to unite all of human-inhabited space under a single rule.
- Just the First Citizen: Despite blatantly ruling as The Emperor the rulers of the Combine label themselves Coordinators.
- Samurai: They trade their horses, bows, and armor for giant war robots, but Combine mechwarriors otherwise deliberately invoke this trope nearly in full - bushido, katanas on their uniforms, writing poetry on the eve of battle, ritual suicide as atonement for failure, etc.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Probably the only reason the Combine failed to win the First Succession War. Its enacting of the Kentares Massacre not only galvanized Davion resistance, but was such a crushing shame to the warriors of the Combine that many of them simply lost the will to prosecute the war.
- Recruiting the Criminal: One of Theodore Kurita's more notable ideas was to employ "unproductives," including Yakuza, as irregular soldiers to test his new theories on leadership and military strategy. The Ghost Regiments formed from this process would go on to serve with great heroism and dedication to the Coordinator throughout the war with the Clans.
- The Remnant: The Black Dragon Society, a group of disaffected nobles and warriors who resent the sweeping political reforms of Theodore Kurita and seek to put a "true" Heir to the Dragon on the throne.
- Does This Remind You of Anything? — At least out of universe, both the Black Dragon Society and the Genyosha were named after ultra-rightist groups that were active in Imperial Japan, attempted to overthrow more moderate Japanese governments and informed many of the figures who were involved in waging The Pacific War and the Sino-Japanese War.
- Secret Police: Police? No, those heavily-armed men in their bright candy-striped uniforms are just the Friendly Persuaders of the Civilian Guidance Corps, a branch of the Ministry of Peaceful Order and Honor. Only a society of lawless degenerates needs police.
- Soldier Versus Warrior: The Warriors to the Federated Suns' Soldiers.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Depends largely on the current rulership, but women serving in positions of power throughout the Combine ranges from "somewhat uncommon" to "unheard of." Despite this, three women have served as Coordinator of the Combine, two of them being exemplary Note .
- War Is Glorious: Nothing more glorious, in fact.
- "I have chosen the dragon as our standard and our symbol, reflecting many facets of our existence. We must never forget the ancient Terran heritage of our line, with its samurai greatness. I remind you, too, that in many mythologies, the dragon is feared and respected for its strength, cunning, and willingness to destroy for the sake of its own power. Always keep the virtues of the dragon in mind, and use them to defeat your opponents.""Always preserve the dragon, and its magic will keep you strong."—Shiro KuritaEra(s): Age of War
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: When convincing a planet's leadership to join him, his MO was basically: "Join me or die." Very few chose not to take him up on that offer.
- Bad Boss: Shiro didn't worry so much about how much his people were suffering under his rule. As far as he was concerned, his cause was just and was far greater than their petty pain.Shiro Kurita: (in a letter to his brother) "I see you have found that the whip and the electronic bullhorn, when combined, make effective weapons of motivation."
- Blackmail: When he's not intimidating the natives with his army or straight-up conquering them, he's blackmailing their leaders into submission. Indeed, Shiro used blackmail and assassination just as much as he used armed force, perhaps even moreso.
- The Emperor: The first one the Combine has seen, though he and his descendants are emperors in all but name.
- Founder of the Kingdom: Of three kingdoms, in fact. Shiro was responsible for uniting his homeworld of New Samarkand, then he was responsible for founding the Alliance of Galedon, and then much later the Draconis Combine that came after it.
- Just the First Citizen: When he took over New Samarkand, Shiro labelled himself simply, the "First Citizen." When the Alliance of Galedon was founded, he became its "Director." Also technically true after he reorganised the Alliance into the Draconis Combine and chose the term "Coordinator," despite being an emperor in all but name by that point.
- Kick the Dog: Shiro enjoyed holding "audiences," in which he visited the natives of a world he'd vanquished so he can gloat and claim to have as many more soldiers available for each world that defied him.
- Samurai: Shiro's father was a strict disciplinarian and devout follower of the 17th-century Japanese samurai culture, and as such, much of Shiro’s upbringing reflected this structured spartan existence.
- The Rival: Though he never admitted it, Shiro considered James McKenna and his Terran Hegemony to be this. Except for one brief exchange of messages, Shiro never recognised the authority of the Hegemony and refused to communicate with it or McKenna any further.
- The Unfettered: Hoo, boy...
- We Have Reserves: Averted. Shiro gave the appearence that he had a vast army but the truth was he had 50,000 men, at most, and regularly selected planets with no military force to speak of to conquer.
- With Us or Against Us: As he famously screamed at the people of Sverdlovsk at one of his audiences: "Any government that does not side with me is against me! Any man who does not help me, hurts me! Anything that does not provide aid is in my way and must be destroyed! How many of you imbeciles must I kill before you begin to understand this?"
- Young Conqueror: He conquered his homeworld of New Samarkand when he was only twenty-six, and he didn't stop there.
- "The strength of the Dragon flows as deeply in her veins as in any warrior's."—Narimasa Asano, in regards to Omi KuritaEra(s): Clan Invasion
- Assassin Outclassin': When Victor visited Luthien in preparation for Operation Bulldog a number of assassins attempted to kill them during a private rendezvous. Omi managed to kill at least one of the assassins by decapitating him with a katana, although Victor was severely wounded. The next attempt on her life, however, was sadly successful.
- Death by Childbirth: She was assassinated by Katherine Steiner-Davion, actually, but because she died shortly after giving birth to her son this still applies.
- Driven to Suicide: Because of the assassination attempt on herself and Victor, Omi attempted public suicide in shame that her feelings for Victor had led to such opposition. Ultimately averted, as public support for her and her father's reforms made it unnecessary for Omi to proceed. Although the attempt was staged, had support not emerged she would have followed through.
- Smear Campaign: A posthumous victim of one. After Kitsune Kurita revealed himself as Victor Steiner-Davion's son with her, Federated Suns propagandists wasted no time turning Omi into a succubus who seduced Victor for nefarious reasons.
- Someone To Remember Her By: Kitsune, her son with Victor, whom Victor was not even aware of until their son had grown to adulthood and was already making a name for himself.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Victor Steiner-Davion, who was a part of both of House Kurita's mortal enemies. They were both aware that a marriage between them would be politically impossible, but nonetheless their relationship gradually became widely known and was somewhat accepted.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: This is basically Omi's job description, as she's intended to be Keeper of the House Honour. She fits the role to perfection and then some.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
- Arms Dealer: He was arrested by FedCom security for smuggling weapons into the Draconis Combine.
- Canon Immigrant: Like Adam Steiner, Franklin is originally from the short lived BattleTech Animated Series.
- Heroic Bastard: He is Theodore Kurita's illegitimate son.
- Offered the Crown: Dissatisfied with Theodore Kurita's rulership, the Black Dragon Society attempted to place Franklin, then part of the Strikers, on the throne. The resulting three-way conflict between the Black Dragons, the Combine and the Strikers ended when he renounced his claim to the throne. Almost a hundred years later his descendent, Yori, would take the throne after the rest of House Kurita is either killed or gone missing.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He didn't trust Adam Steiner or any of the FedCom members of the Somerset Strikers at first, though he eventually overcame his distrust of them to become one of the most valuable members of the team.
- Trading Bars for Stripes: After his jumpship was impounded and he and his crew were arrested, Adam Steiner gave them a choice to join the 1st Somerset Strikers (and be returned to the Combine as soon as their mission was completed) or be sent to a FedCom prison for smuggling. Franklin reluctantly chose the former, though after the Clans attacked the Draconis Combine the Coordinator made him and his crew an official part of the Strikers.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Bastard Bastard: Technically, Yori is only the descendant of a Kurita bastard, but she is still seen as illegitimate by many of the traditionalists within the Combine. Clan Nova Cat certainly saw her as one of these.
- Big Bad: Yori is certainly this for the Federated Suns, Clan Nova Cat and the Republic of the Sphere, and she is also arguably this for the Dark Age era as a whole.
- Heroic Bastard: Considering everything she has done since taking the throne everyone who isn't Clan Nova Cat or a critic of hers don't mind her "illegitimacy" so much.
- Last of Her Kind: After the Nova Cat rebellion and the deaths of Emi Kurita (the sister of the previous Coordinator) and her son, Daisuke, Yori is now the last remaining member of House Kurita.
- Puppet Coordinator: In addition to her being illegitimate (heroic or otherwise), Yori's critics also see her as merely a pawn of her mentor, Matsuhari Toranaga, and see his hand behind some of her decisions. Their belief is justified, however, as Toranaga groomed Yori for her position at a young age as soon as he learned of her lineage, and used his influence with her to promote himself. However, none of them could deny that with Yori on the throne the Combine would stay its course.
- Secret Legacy: Raised on a humble estate, Yori Sakamoto never dreamed to amounting to much in her life. She had no idea that she possessed Kurita blood until after her eleventh birthday, when agents of Matsuhari Toranaga revealed that she was Theodore Kurita's great-great-grandaughter through his illegitimate son. Because of this, Toranaga began grooming her for many years; which all of his plans came to fruition when the ruling Coordinator and the rest of his family (with the exception of Emi) were killed off in various methods. That allowed Yori to take the surname of Kurita and sit upon the throne.
- The Usurper: Clan Nova Cat saw Yori as a pretender to the throne and out of loyalty to Coordinator Theodore Kurita (the one who reigned during the Clan Invasion) they rebelled against the Draconis Combine in favour of placing Emi Kurita and her son on the throne, both of whom had a stronger claim than Yori anyway. Their rebellion was quickly quelled, however, and afterward, Emi took her own life as well as her son's.
- Worthy Opponent: Julian Davion, whom she fought to a stalemate in their duel.
- Young Conqueror: Is thirty-two years old (as of 3145) and ascended to the throne when she was twenty-four. Whether or not she is merely Toranaga's puppet Coordinator or truly her own person, in the eight years since, Yori has reclaimed the Republic of the Sphere worlds that originally belonged to the Combine, conquered a massive chunk of the Federated Suns and quelled a rebellion by Clan Nova Cat. Yori's reign as Coordinator is the strongest the Combine has seen in decades.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Death Seeker: An interesting variation. An entry in her journal points out that if the Coordinator wanted her to take her own life then she would happily do so, because that would mean that she finally belonged.
- Defector from Decadence: After the Blackout and the resulting chaos, Katana saw the Republic of the Sphere as weak and, correctly, believed it was only a matter of time before it collapsed. She began to think of the long-established Draconis Combine as a guarantor of stability, and she founded a splinter faction by secretly recruiting likeminded individuals and military units loyal to her command with the eventual goal of returning traditionally Draconian worlds to the Combine.
- Fighting for a Homeland: She formed the Dragon's Fury and defected to the Draconis Combine because she desperately wanted to belong to something greater than herself. It became a point of contention between herself and her mentor, who rightly pointed out that she already was a part of something: the Republic.
- Mildly Military: Sort of justified, considering the nature of the Dragon's Fury as a splinter faction made up from units from different regiments and pro-Combine militants.
- Military Maverick: She was known for her "non-standard training techniques."
- Mixed Ancestry: She is of Asian and African descent.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: The Dragon's Fury.
- Samurai: Katana represents the idea of the perfect samurai. She is a woman who eats, drinks, thinks and lives in the manner of the samurai. Emi Kurita compared her once to a religious convert in her zeal for the Combine.
- Straight Gay: Was in a relationship with Antonia Chinn, one of her Mechwarriors.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: Certain elements within the Combine saw her as a traitor because her father defected to the Republic. This didn't stop her from reclaining worlds in the Coordinator's name, nor did it stop Vincent Kurita from eventually taking her back and naming her the Warlord of Dieron.
Capellan Confederation (House Liao)
The Capellan Confederation is the weakest of the Successor States, founded in 2310 as a loose alliance of worlds seeking mutual protection. Always struggling to survive, the Confederation's desperate need for stability and security saw it gradually evolve into a communist police state, with a centralized government owning all the property and dictating the lives of the people. At the head of state is a ruling family proven to be highly unpredictable, sometimes dangerously so.The Confederation was a constant loser in the Succession Wars, lacking the resources of its aggressive neighbors and forced to adopt unconventional tactics to maintain what little it owned. After the Fourth Succession War and the secession of the St. Ives Commonality, the Confederation appeared to be on the brink of a final collapse. The rise of the ingenious Sun-Tzu Liao to the Chancellorship quickly reversed the Confederation's fortunes and brought it to new heights, making it a force to be reckoned with for perhaps the first time in its history.
- Arch-Enemy: While the Confederation certainly had plenty of conflict with the Free Worlds League, it has a serious hate-on for the Federated Suns, which never passes up an opportunity to shave off more Capellan territory every chance it gets.
- Band of Brothers: The Warrior Houses are elite battalions of special forces infantry and mechwarriors, recruited as children from aspiring volunteers, then living and training together through monastic traditions as vast extended families. They stand apart from the regular armed forces and answer only to the Chancellor.
- Born into Slavery: By default, commoners aren't citizens, and are required to earn citizenship through some form of civil service or contribution immediately after completing their childhood educations. Those incapable of doing so (or unwilling to) are basically treated as indentured servants throughout their lives.
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Always marked green on maps. Ususally uses predominant green or red livery (excepting the Death Commandos, who are painted black).
- Combat Pragmatist: Despite lacking the resources to fend off a military machine like the Federated Suns, or an arms factory like the Free Worlds League, the Confederation survived the Succession Wars by taking unconventional approaches to strategic doctrine and battlefield technology.
- Fantastic Caste System: Though in fairness, the Confederation does permit people to attain a higher caste level through excellence and service, and actively encourages its citizens to advance themselves.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Initially, the realm was flavored by Soviet-era communist states like the USSR and Red China, but still featured a range of local cultures. In the later 31st century however, Chancellor Sun-Tzu launches the Xin Sheng reformation to help foster unity, including "encouraging" the adoption of Chinese culture, no matter where your world's founders came from.
- People's Republic of Tyranny: As the name implies, the Confederation was initially an alliance formed for mutual defense against the Free Worlds League and Federated Suns. Over time, it all became the personal domain of whichever member of the Liao family sat on the throne (though the "tyranny" part comes and goes, depending on who's in charge).
- Police State: Even at its most benevolent, the Confederation wants to make sure its citizens have "correct thoughts."
- Praetorian Guard: The Death Commandos, granted the honor of guarding the Chancellor as the Confederation's most prestigious black ops and mechwarrior unit.
- Royally Screwed Up: Yeah. The Liao family tends to swerve between the cruelly insane to cunningly brilliant, and occasionally finding middle ground - the cunningly insane.
- State Sec: The Maskirovka are the most feared Secret Police and intelligence service of the Inner Sphere. Which still gets infiltrated by double agents who walk in like its a revolving door.
- Stealth Expert: The Confederation's technological specialty by the end of the 31st century, as it developed the Inner Sphere's most sophisticated tactical sensor packages, electronic countermeasures, and battlemech stealth armor.
- Welcome Back, Traitor: The Confederation's attitude toward the St. Ives Commonality after it briefly enjoyed independence as the St. Ives Compact. Though there was a great deal of suspicion toward St. Ives, Chancellor Sun-Tzu was determined to look as magnanimous as possible in embracing and forgiving his "temporarily misguided citizens."
- Xanatos Speed Chess: A recurring skill among the saner Liaos, and perhaps exemplified by Chancellor Otto Liao in the Third Succession War. His "elastic defense" doctrine concentrated power on a few key worlds and depended on rapid responses to enemy advances - a terrible strain on personnel and resources, but it did allow the Confederation to survive long enough to recover.
- Yellow Peril: Comes in varying degrees throughout the ruling Liao family, who have a knack for being shady and sinister. Even Sun-Tzu Liao, a generally benevolent leader and dedicated servant of his people, was deeply deceptive and manipulative to the point where many of his citizens believe he ascended to godhood upon his death.
- Era(s): Succession Wars
- Body Double / Grand Theft Me: Tried this gambit to remove Hanse Davion from power. It didn't work.
- Villainous Breakdown: Twice — after Hanse declared war on the Confederation during his marriage to Melissa Steiner, Max went berserk and started to gather up the wedding china service and hurl it in all directions. Later, once he realized he had not only been the victim of a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle in the form of the Fourth Sucession War, but had also been the victim of an intricate plot by Hanse Davion to hobble his war effort, he went irrevocably insane and was sent to the loony bin.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
- Daddy's Little Villain: As evil and insane as Max was, she was in many ways a fitting successor to her dad.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Ace Custom: She pilots the infamous Yen-Lo-Wang, the customised Centurion once piloted by Kai Allard-Liao and his father Justin Xiang Allard before him.
- Ace Pilot: Made a name for herself on Solaris VII, just like Kai Allard-Liao.
- Ambiguously Gay: Danai has rebuffed unwanted attention from guys on at least two known occasions (the latter with tragic consequences), and it has been said that her friendship with Nikol Marik is a little too close for them simply to be just best friends, especially considering that Houses Marik and Liao are traditionally enemies.
- Brother–Sister Incest: Danai is the daughter of Daoshen Liao and his sister Ilsa Centrella. This information was kept from her until she was in her late twenties. Until that time, she believed she was the third child of Sun-Tzu Liao and Naomi Centrella.
- Family Relationship Switcheroo: Danai was raised with the belief that her grandparents were actually her parents, and that her true parents were her siblings. Which they are, but still.
- Legacy Character: A case could be made that Danai is this for Kai Allard-Liao.
- Majorly Awesome: She is a Mechwarrior who holds the rank of Sao-Shao in the 2nd McCarron's Armored Cavalry. Sao-Shao roughly corresponds to the rank of Major.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Saved Caleb Davion from the battlefield during a three-way fight between the Capellan Confederation, Republic of the Sphere and the Federated Suns. Caleb then repaid Danai by raping her.
- Passing the Torch: From Kai Allard-Liao, after a fashion. He met the young Danai when she was only three years old but despite that he sensed a form of kinship with her, so much so that he left his Battlemech, Yen-Lo-Wang, to her in his will. Danai would follow in Kai's footsteps as a Mechwarrior on Solaris VII, before being recalled back to Sian to join the CCAF.
- Raised by Grandparents: Well, by her grandmother's sister, anyway. Though at the time she believed that she was Naomi's daughter, rather than her granddaughter.
Free Worlds League (House Marik)
The Free Worlds League, the oldest of the Successor States and the first large interstellar nation to rise among the colony worlds, was formed between three smaller realms with the signing of the Treaty of Marik in 2271. As one of the earliest such powers, forged from very disparate members, the League maintains strong democratic and representative principles, and a broad spectrum of cultural diversity, despite being ruled by a single family wielding extraordinary executive powers.Despite its potential, the League dwindled in significance by the end of the Succession Wars, plagued by internal disputes, civil wars, weak leadership, and a lack of direction. Shortly after the Fourth Succession War, Captain-General Thomas Marik broke tradition by stripping power from member states and consolidating it on himself. Though his detractors saw him as a power-mad autocrat, the League prospered under his focused effort, but it wasn't enough to stop the League from dissolving in the wake of the Blakist Jihad, and becoming a region of chaos until it was reestablished a half-century later.
- Arms Dealer: Particularly during the Clan invasion, when its chief mercantile rivals in House Steiner were busy fighting to defend their worlds.
- Balkanize Me: Formed from a rag-tag coalition of smaller nations and many, MANY independent worlds, the League was prone to internecine conflicts and secession right up until it finally collapsed in the late 31st century.
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Always marked purple on maps. Their signature units use either a mix of purple and white (The Free Worlds Guards) or an allover purple (The Marik Militia)
- Democracy Is Flawed: While most other states abandoned democracy on an interstellar scale, the League desperately holds on to a parliamentary system (though it's only when a strong-willed Captain-General takes the reins that anything actually gets done).
- Divided We Fall: By far the most fractious of the Successor States, and the first to fall - not by conquest, but under the weight of mounting internal disputes.
- Fantastic Racism: Ethnically and culturally, the League is the most diverse of the Successor States, but if you have any bionic prosthetics, you'd best keep that to yourself.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Deliberately invoked by Thomas Marik when he created the Knights of the Inner Sphere, elite regiments of mechwarriors that would fight with the strictest adherence to classical European chivalry, nobility, and honor. The horrors of the Jihad cut them down before they could make much of an impression, however, though Devlin Stone's later Knights of the Sphere would attempt to carry on their ideals.
- Hereditary Republic: On paper the League is governed by a parliament, but a certain emergency powers clause puts near-dictatorial power in the hands of the Captain-General... who's always been a member of the Marik family... in a "state of emergency" that's lasted a couple centuries.
- Hufflepuff House: The League is easily the most ignored of the Successor States, partly from suffering under weak leadership, partly because it's too busy fighting amongst itself to cause much drama with its neighbors, and partly from not being in the path of the Clan invasion. This changes drastically between the ascension of Thomas Marik and the offer to shelter to the Word of Blake, however.
- Loophole Abuse: The resolution that gave the Captain-General dictatorial powers was intended to be for emergencies only. However, nowhere in the law does it put a time limit on the emergency, and so at the new Captain General's accession to power, he or she asserts that the emergency is still ongoing.
- Right Hand vs. Left Hand: Almost all of the League's military answers to regional powers, causing a great deal of distrust as units may find themselves working together toward conflicting goals. A few elite units are sworn to the Captain-General personally on behalf of the entire League, which makes them distrusted by everybody else.
- Royally Screwed Up: The Marik family will happily kill each other to take the Captain-General seat, only to be completely ineffectual while awaiting their own assassination. It's worth noting that the most capable leader among them in centuries was an impostor, and the one to re-unite it after it collapsed is the daughter of said imposter who has the Marik name only through a political marriage.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Lyran Commonwealth/Alliance (House Steiner)
The Lyran Commonwealth was the last of the great interstellar nations to form, as a merger of three large merchant-states in 2341. As a nation run by habitual deal-makers, the Commonwealth has ample wealth and resources, and excels at political maneuvering and bargaining, but lacks decisive and civic-minded leadership. Much of the reason it survives intact is due to the sheer firepower at its disposal, making the negotiation table a more attractive option.Appropriately enough, it would be deal-making on the part of the Commonwealth that nearly toppled the balance of power across the Inner Sphere. After the Third Succession War, Archon Katrina Steiner extended a peace proposal to the other house lords, answered only by House Davion. The secret arrangements that followed eventually merged their realms into the Federated Commonwealth, a superstate powerful enough to establish a new Star League under its own aegis - at least until the invasion of the Clans, with consequences that would break the two nations apart once more.For a brief period, the Commonwealth would rename itself the Lyran Alliance after the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth broke away.
- Bigger Is Better: Though the "Steiner Scout Lance" of four Atlases is a bit of an exaggeration, it is true that Commonwealth commanders prefer to employ a slow-moving avalanche of the heaviest machines available. The Commonwealth (and later Lyran Alliance) is also the state that saw the debut of some of the biggest guns around - the Autocannon/20 and Heavy Gauss Rifle.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Federation of Skye, one of the three founding states of the Commonwealth, always seemed to be at opposition to the central government, and made multiple attempts at secession throughout the 31st century.
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Always marked blue on maps. Their signature unit (the Lyran Guards) use blue and white livery.
- Deadly Decadent Court: With more emphasis on "decadent" than the others.
- General Failure: The Commonwealth's senior officers are easily the least respected anywhere in the Inner Sphere, as many of them gain their positions by maneuvering through politics and bureaucracy rather that battlefields. Referred to as "social generals," they are at best talented with logistics and administration, and at worst a bunch of oblivious screw-ups with endless excuses. The union of the Federated Commonwealth did reverse this trend somewhat, favoring more capable field officers and NCOs.
- The most legendary of these may be Thomas Hogarth, an officer more interested in organizing celebratory balls instead of defensive operations, and who kept getting promoted by a combination of fortune and charisma. Deployed to join the liberation of Terra from the Word of Blake, his tactics at the battle of Singapore were so reckless and indiscriminate that the Blakists tried to surrender in order to spare the city's civilians and historical heritage. (Yes, the insane religious genocidal zealots were horrified by this man's incompetence.) He retired afterward to host an education vid on military affairs called "The Armchair General," apparently unaware of the irony.
- Mighty Glacier: The Commonwealth armed forces, as a whole and often as individual units.
- Mega Corp.: The leadership of which comprises much of the Commonwealth aristocracy, and frequently has deep connections with its military.
- Proud Merchant Race: With the most resource-rich worlds of the Inner Sphere and the most manufacturing infrastructure to survive the Succession Wars, business is the primary means of exerting power throughout the Commonwealth.
- Reluctant Warrior: Throughout the Inner Sphere, the Commonwealth's citizenry and enlisted military are among the least interested in the "glory" of warfare, seeing it purely as a means of self-defense and the practical enforcement of policy and property. Only the nobles and high officers show much favor for war, and for them it's usually more about prestige or plunder than any kind of idealism.
- Socialite: Both the government and military are positively swimming in them.
- We Have Reserves: Granted, the "reserves" refer more to materiel than personnel, but the Commonwealths's abundance still encourages lazy, simplistic strategies, successful only through sheer firepower. House Davion's efforts at shaking Steiner out of its complacency was one of the greatest threats the Federated Commonwealth presented to the other Successor States.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Unlike most of the LyranSocial Generals, Adam is highly competent stratigic leader and a real badass mechwarrior.
- Canon Immigrant: Like Franklin Sakamoto, Adam was originally from the short lived BattleTech Animated Series. While the series itself isn't canon outside of existing as a propaganda-holovid in canon, Adam and a few other characters from the show became canon after the show finished airing. Adam is probably the most visible of them, not because of his jump to becoming the Archon of the Lyran Alliance, but because he survived to die of old age after the Jihad.
- Doomed Home Planet: The planet he was born and raised on (Somerset) was taken over by the Jade Falcons although he did win the planet from them in a trial of possession. However, the fifth wave of the Clan invasion was underway, leaving Somerset deep enough in the occupation zone that the Federated Commonwealth couldn't get a garrison there to protect it. Adam was forced to abandon the planet, which was promptly re-conquered by the Jade Falcon. The cartoon adds the insult of the Falcons making off with the entire planetary population as a result of the villain's Loophole Abuse. (Actual canon, however, notes that the Falcons ignored the population.)
- Guile Hero: Adam considers accurate intel to be the most powerful weapon around and isn't above manipulating rival clans into fighting each other while his crew quietly escape.Adam Steiner: "Information is ammunition."
- Reasonable Authority Figure
- Royals Who Actually Do Something
Federated Suns (House Davion)
The Federated Suns was formed from a handful of Terran Alliance worlds in 2317, after the Alliance withdrew its border and abandoned all the worlds beyond to their fates. Envisioned as a constitutional monarchy nearly from the beginning, recognizing the difficulties of interstellar democracy, the Suns would grow to become the largest interstellar nation, and the most powerful after the Terran Hegemony itself.Though the government like to boast its cherished civil liberties, the fact is that the Federated Suns' power rises from its military, boasting an unmatched combination of skill, strategy, resources, and initiative. Under the leadership of First Prince Hanse Davion, the Suns and their new Lyran Commonwealth allies devoured half the Capellan Confederation and threatened the Draconis Combine on all fronts. Only the Clan invasion could cause the Suns to yield ground to their traditional enemies as their new Archon Prince, Victor Steiner-Davion, set off to fight new ones.
- Arch-Enemy: Though the Suns sees its Inner Sphere neighbors as oppressed people in need of a healthy dose of freedom, existing in a near-constant state of war with both, only the Draconis Combine has been able to give back as good as it gets.
- Enemy Mine: The only time there was any relative peace or cooperation with the Draconis Combine was in the face of the Clan invasion. It also helped that Victor Steiner-Davion and Theodore Kurita were both exceptionally reasonable people.
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Marked either yellow or orange on maps. Their signature units use either blue with red and white stripes (The Davion Brigade of Guards) or olive drab (the Crucis Lancers) in their livery.
- Eagle Land: Despite its feudal political system and the fact that its culture and governmental system are inspired by the United Kingdom and France, the Suns definitely think of themselves as a Type I.
- The Federation: Generally depicted as such, even if it's a federation run by noble autocrats and showing a distinct preference for military aggression. Still, more so than the other Successor States.
- Moral Dissonance: Despite outward appearances, the ruling Davion family can be as utterly duplicitous, manipulative, and scheming as any other.
- Moral Myopia: The Suns don't "conquer." They "liberate." Totally different.
- Pragmatic Hero: Particularly with the nobles along the Draconis and Capellan borders. They often raid across the borders while pitching the propaganda of liberation, when they often just want to expand their personal dominion and prestige.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: One of the secrets to the Federated Suns' general success. The Davion family shows a distinct lack of incompetence and megalomania compared to the other ruling houses. The fact that the Davions were the only Great House to accept House Steiner's peace proposal after the Third Succession War speaks to this as well.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: As befitting such a militarized nation with vestiges of noblesse oblige, the title of First Prince can only be inherited after serving five years with a frontline combat unit.
- She Is the King: The rulers of the Federated Suns are titled First Prince and are addressed as such, regardless of their gender. The sole exception would be Katherine Steiner-Davion, who titled herself First Princess, but she was never a legitimate ruler of the FedSuns anyway.
- Soldier Versus Warrior: The Soldiers to the Draconis Combine's (and later the Clans') Warriors.
- War Is Glorious: One of the big things that stops the Suns from being the definitive "good guys" - they thrive on the glories of war and will relish any excuse to participate in it.
- White Man's Burden: A prevailing attitude among the Suns and its overall western European-style society (and their lily-white ruling family) is that their conquests bring a higher standard of living to the uneducated and unwashed masses neighboring them.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion,
- Crazy-Prepared: He was super ready face any tricks his foes he was up against, including ComStar. He had secretly commissioned development and made use of a previous Subspace Ansible technology abandoned by the Star League that was independent of ComStars HPG stations when they cut him off from the HPG network during the Fourth Succession War.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Hanse wears a prominent one on his face, a souvenir of a battle he was involved in.
- Guile Hero: One of the setting's textbook examples.
- Large Ham: Started the Fourth Succession War during his own wedding. And with the words "Wife, in addition to this morsel, I give you an even greater gift. I present to you the Capellan Confederation!!"
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: His marriage to Melissa Steiner was totally political in it's reasons, but they did make it work and they did love each other.
- Red Baron: He is well known among allies and enemies alike as "The Fox."
- Warrior Prince: He wouldn't be the First Prince of the Federated Suns if he weren't this.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- The Champion: A Prince's Champion serves basically as the First Prince's second-in-command in the AFFS. Julian is the youngest Champion in the history of the Federated Suns.
- Four-Star Badass: As the Prince's Champion he is for all intents and purposes one step down from being the AFFS's supreme commander. He gets relegated to Colonel Badass after he is stripped of the position, however.
- Lantern Jaw of Justice: It needs to be seen to be believed.
- Noodle Incident: Got into one of these with Callandre Kell while he trained at the Nagelring as part of a foreign exchange program. Whatever the incident was it got him expelled not only from the Nagelring but from the Lyran Commonwealth, too.
- Offered the Crown: Or he would have been, had not his cousin dropped the First Prince off a balcony. Then he was offered the throne for real after the death of Caleb, which he was reluctant to take.
- One True Love: Callandre Kell. It's a rather...''energetic'' relationship.Julian Davion: "And do you know what I'd really like to do?"Callandre Kell: "Bust a chair over my head?"Julian Davion: "After that."Callandre Kell: "Ain't love grand." (Callandre punches Julian in the face)
- Reassigned to Antarctica: After his cousin was sworn in as the First Prince, Caleb stripped Julian of his position as the Prince's Champion and placed him in command of the 1st Davion Guards on Terra...where Caleb was quick to abandon them.
- Unexpected Successor: It was expected that his cousin Caleb would succeed his father as First Prince. The Prince, however, had other ideas.
- Warrior Prince: He wouldn't be the First Prince, otherwise.
- Worthy Opponent: Yori Kurita, whom he fought to a stalemate in their duel.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Affably Evil: While he can be friendly and a bit of a playboy, Caleb is a murdering rapist.
- Always Someone Better: He sees his cousin Julian Davion as this. Julian, after all, was literally everything that he wasn't. He was a Mechwarrior, a brave leader whom people loved and also (in a sudden decision from Harrison Davion) the First Prince's heir.
- Dirty Coward: He prefers to have other people fight his battles. Case in point, he once goaded Yori Kurita into a duel for honour, only to have his cousin Julian fight said duel for him.
- Expy: A cowardly ruler who killed his father after he was passed over as heir in favour of someone better suited for the job, an argument could be made that Caleb Davion is this for Commodus.
- Insistent Terminology: It's Caleb Hasek-Sandoval-Davion, thank you very much.
- Hearing Voices: Caleb developed paranoid schizophrenia at a young age which caused him to hallucinate a best friend, Mason Lambert, who acts as an impulse for all of Caleb's baser instincts.
- Not-So-Harmless Villain: He's a cowardly schizophrenic, but he does manage to kill his own father and rape Danai Liao-Centrella.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: To House Davion as a whole. The Davions are, for the most part, generally portrayed as good, strong and (to varying degrees) ethical leaders of the Federated Suns. Caleb Davion is none of those things.
- Poisonous Friend: Has one in Mason Lambert.
- Self-Made Orphan: He kills his father, Prince Harrison, after he had informed Caleb that Julian would be his heir instead of him.
- Stalker with a Crush: He holds an obsession with Danai Liao-Centrella, with tragic consequences.
- Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Threw one down to Yori Kurita. Then he made Julian fight in his stead.
- The Usurper: Technically. Caleb was the First Prince's son but after the Prince declared for his cousin Caleb was no longer his heir.
- Warrior Prince: Traditionally, Davion Princes served in the AFFS as Mechwarriors, but Caleb failed to become one. In order to fulfill his military role to gain the future title of First Prince, he was accepted into combat vehicle training and became a tank commander instead.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Downplayed, in that Harrison truly did care for his son. However, he was a little disappointed that Caleb wasn't suitable for Mechwarrior training, and he also chose Julian as his heir instead of Caleb, a decision which ultimate led to his death.
- Wham Line: Just before he kills his father, Caleb speaks with Mason and enters into a diatribe that he was the heir because he was Harrison's son, not Julian. After he is done Harrison delivers this line, and thus revealing that Mason existed only in Caleb's head:Harrison Davion: "Caleb, who are you talking to?"
A state formed from the Federated Suns and the Lyran Commonwealth after the marriage of First Prince Hanse Davion and Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner as well as several conquered Capellan Confederation and Draconis Combine. The state eventually collapsed in the FedCom Civil War between siblings Victor Steiner-Davion and his sister Katherine Steiner-Davion.
- Altar Diplomacy: The nation is created through a marriage between House Davion and House Steiner.
- Cain and Abel: The new nation falls apart in a war between brother and sister.
- Leonine Contract: Most of the folks on either side of this union though that this arrangement heavily favored the other side over them, and it is said that if the Clans didn't appear and became their common enemy when they did, the FedCom would have collapsed much earlier.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Civil War, Jihad, Dark Age
- Authority Equals Asskicking: He has been the leader of the Star League forces against the Clan Invasion, the Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth, and the Precentor Martial of ComStar.
- Big Good: Of the Clan Invasion and Civil War eras, as he is one of the few Inner Sphere leaders to consistently work for the good of the Inner Sphere as a whole, instead of just the Fed-Com's benefit.
- Broken Pedestal: This probably started during the Civil War, but during the Jihad people stopped blindly idolizing him.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Frequently, considering how hamhanded he was at political leadership. While he did improve, it came too late to do him or the Fed-Com much good.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Was on the receiving end of this. When Kitsune Kurita revealed his parentage to the Inner Sphere, a conspiracy of reactionary Draconis hardliners called the Black Dragon Society who intended to make him a Puppet King were reviled to learn that he was "tainted" with Davion blood, resulting in a number of them committing Seppuku. Conversely, several FedSun traditionalists painted Kitsune's mother Omiko Kurita as a harlot who tried to corrupt gallant Victor. Vic himself? He was just glad that there was some tangible legacy of his romance with Omi.
- Second Love: Victor has a habit of becoming romantically entwined with daughters of both his parentage's ancestral enemies. In this case, it was for his maternal Steiner heritage: Isis Marik, truly of the Marik line (since she's the illegitimate daughter of the "Real" Thomas Marik), pulled him out of despair after his first love, Omiko Kurita, was assassinated. The two eventually married and had several children.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: And for his paternal Davion heritage, he had a clandestine affair with Omiko Kurita, daughter of Coordinator Theodore Kurita. The affair bore a son, Kitsune, whom Victor was not even aware of until the boy had become a man and was already making a name for himself.
- Warrior Prince: A bit of a deconstruction: While he is an eminent leader of armies, he is rather lacking in political savvy. His treacherous sister exploits this for all it's worth to arrogate power from him.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Civil War, Jihad, Dark Age
- Entitled Bitch: Full stop. As becomes increasingly clear during the Civil War, she expects her whims to have the force of natural law. She also expects all her citizens,both Lyran and Davion, to adore her despite her actions, and is genuinely (and angrily) surprised when little things like her machinations killing their loved ones disrupt that.
- I Have Many Names: Katherine Steiner-Davion, Katrina Steiner and, later, Katherine Wolf.
- Karma Houdini: For all the trouble she caused her only punishment is pretty much being exiled to a Gilded Cage, at first. Then when Vlad Ward Comes around threatening invasion with his Crusader Clan Wolf if she's not given to him, his demands are complied and she basically gets to start a new life as a member of the Crusader Clan Wolf, outlives her Brother Victor and even has a Son..although said Son is actually a artificially conceived person with her and her brother Victor's genes that she intended to groom for her revenge on the Inner Sphere.
- Karma eventually catches up to her: The very same recombinant-genome "son" eventually sees her for the dangerous monster she is, and kills her himself.
- Manipulative Bitch: Not nearly as good as the thinks she is. . . but still really damn good.
- Meaningful Rename: Signifying her rapidly inflating ego, Katherine took up the name of her illustrious maternal grandmother "Katrina". She uses it as a simple loyalty test: call her "Katrina," you're loyal to her. Call her "Katherine," you're loyal to Victor.
- Spare to the Throne: And she didn't like it. Interestingly, she wasn't even being groomed as heir: under the laws of the Federated Suns, one has to serve a minimum of give years in the military before they are eligible to take the throne (See Warrior Prince, below). The most Katherine was ever going to be was a regent or advisor to one of her siblings who had completed the requisite military service.
- The Starscream: Her entire character arc (from the second she actually gets one) is all about taking everything Victor has for herself.
- It's All About Me: *Very* self-serving in her actions. She even fancies herself equal to her illustrious maternal grandmother, as evidenced by evoking her name in being nicknamed "Katrina".
- Light Is Not Good: Blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, white clothes, black heart.
- Warrior Prince: Her NOT being this was used by Victor as a legal reason to go against her.
- Woman in White: Favors white clothes and decorating her spaces in bright, white colors. When she picks up Tormano Liao as an advisor, he notes that while she probably intends it to reflect purity and goodness, in Tormano's Chinese-influenced culture, white is the color of death.
- Too Dumb to Live: Non-lethal example. Several of her actions could have easily caused more harm to her nation than good if not for other things going on at the time that made them work to her favor. For example, sending an assassin after her brother Victor's girlfriend Omiko Kurita. Said girlfriend is a princess of sorts for long-time Lyran enemy/rival the Draconis Combine. If it weren't for troubles going on that required more attention elsewhere, the death of such a figure would had been a major event; chances are she wouldn't had just had Victor coming down on her. She followed this up by withdrawing Lyran units from planets whose leaders opposed her, leaving them vulnerable to invasion by Jade Falcon forces. Had it not been for some units defying her orders and joining with the Wolves in Exile to form the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon, the Lyran people would have been left unprotected after being abandoned by their own Archon.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Civil War, Jihad, Dark Age
- The Ace: He doesn't fully realize it until Star Captain Taman Malthus, a Jade Falcon elemental infantry garrison commander on planet Alynia, half-jokingly talks about the extreme means he would have enacted if he knew who Kai really was at the time (and if they weren't both ensnared by Comstar treachery).
- Ace Custom: Pilots Yen-Lo-Wang, a Centurion formerly used by his father that has seen extensive modifications over the years.
- Tsundere: Not him specifically, but the woman who eventually became his wife and mother of his children, Dierdre Lear. She was the daughter of a Solaris VII combatant who was killed by Kai's father, and held a long grudge against him, but eventually warmed up to him.
- Why Won't You Die?: He just refuses to die during his hiding on the plant Alyina.
- You Shall Not Pass: The epic battle of Twycross. A plan to trap an entire cluster of Jade Falcon forces in a narrow pass and bury them under explosion-induced rockslides goes awry. With a Hatchetman mech with a busted laser and an empty autocannon(so pretty much down to two lasers and the axe), he goads the cluster into the pass, dances a bit with the cluster's commander (the predecessor in the subsequently stigmatized bloodname seat of the aforementioned Taman Malthus)... and then blows his mech up, escaping in a full-head ejection system with Lear, and detonating the explosives and burying the Jade Falcon cluster, leaving few survivors.
- Worthy Opponent: Taman Malthus considered him one, detailing that if he truly knew who Kai was (instead of by the pseudonym he was using before that point), he would have bid an entire star of Elementals to go after him. That's twenty five musclebound Super Soldiers clad in Powered Armor. After Kai expresses incredulity at that claim, Taman amends it to two stars. Since they were both beset by Comstar's "Operation Scorpion", this made Taman amenable to a temporary alliance with Kai to oust the Comstar usurpers in exchange for Safconnote off of the planet.
Your friendly neighborhood phone company. Operates all of the Inner Sphere's Subspace Ansible stations. Not a cult.A NGO Super Power, ComStar was established around the time of the First Succession War and used a fleet of mercenaries to take over Planet Terra. Originally set up as a trans-national corporation intended to maintain the Hyperpulse Generator network to prevent a total breakdown in communication, it soon morphed into a pseudo-religious and extremely secretive organization.Secularization after the Clan Invasion caused a schism, resulting in the religious elements breaking off and forming the radical Word of Blake.
- Cargo Cult: Averted; Com Star wanted to become the sole proprietors of technology through the Inner Sphere, but the reality was that no one running the Successor States had any doubt that they were just playing at being mystics to control the fact that they controlled the most valuable communications technology in the Inner Sphere.
- Color Codedfor Your Convenience: Marked white on maps (though rarely, because their sphere of actual territorial control is the Sol system), uses an allover white livery for their combat units.
- Cult of Personality: Formed one to its founder Jerome Blake, thought this is after his death. Under Blake ComStar was mostly run in a corporate style organization, but later followers turned it into a pseudo-cult like order with him being its revered founder.
- Lost Technology: ComStar spent most of the Succession Wars helping to perpetrate technological decline; murdering scientists, sabotaging factories, and stealing blueprints.
- N.G.O. Superpower: Nominally controls a single solar system, but like the Papal States in feudal Europe, held ultimate political sway; one order from the Comstar Primus could shut down every HPG station in a successor state, leaving their government blind.
- Subspace Ansible: Their effective monopoly on the Hyperpulse Generator Network established by the Star League is their primary power in the politics of the Inner Sphere.
- Superweapon Surprise: Comstar had entire regiments of Star League-era battlemechs hidden throughout Terra, which were put to use in holding off the Clans at the Battle of Tukayyid.
Word of Blake
A breakaway sect of ComStar that formed in opposition to Anastasius Focht and Primus Sharilar Mori's secularist reforms.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
- Character Tic: Frequently adjusts his Eyepatch of Power.
- The Chessmaster: Excels at outmaneuvering his opponents in warfare.
- Eyepatch of Power: Lost an eye as part of his mysterious past.
- Meaningful Rename: In another life, he was Fredrick Steiner, a member of the royal house that leads the Lyran Commonwealth.
- That Man Is Dead: Considers himself a completely new person after his conversion to ComStar, even counting himself as nearly a quarter of his chronological age because of his "rebirth."
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Yes he would, Myndo.
The Master/The Real Thomas Marik
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Jihad
- The Man Behind the Man: The real leader of Word Of Blake being both the person who masterminded the Jihad and who was giving them their funding in the early years of the Word Of Blake existence after their split from Comstar.
- Evil Is Hammy: How could this be anything other than high-grade Prosciutto?◊
- Eye Scream: The bomb described above apparently destroyed the real Thomas marik's right eye in it's place is a cybernetic replacement.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: the bomb also heavily scarred his face and body and well he's one of the biggest villains the inner sphere had faced since Stefan Amaris.
- Karmic Death: He and the Word of Blake have nuked dozens of worlds into submission, in the end he was nuked on the planet he was hiding.
- Knight Templar: His doppelganger that he sent to pose as him to lead the Free Worlds League said that he made Myndo Waterley (who probably would have found the Word of Blake appealing had she lived) look like a "bleeding heart liberal" in comparison.
Having fled from the dissolution of the Star League, Aleksandr Kerensky's SLDF Exodus fleet settled several resource-poor planets in 2786, far beyond even the Periphery states. Kerensky hoped his loyalists could one day reinstate the League to its former glory, but further conflict and rebellion drove his son Nicholas and his most faithful followers to another group of worlds now called the Kerensky Cluster. Nicholas returned in 2822 to quell the rebels and establish the Clans, an idealized society he devised in his exile. Though the Clans prospered for a time, their isolation and unique societal norms twisted Aleksandr's vision, leading to their 3049 invasion of the Inner Sphere to restore the Star League by conquest.The Clans are a culture born from desperate necessity, aimed to promote excellence and create the greatest good at minimal expense. Fundamentally, they are communist meritocracies - everyone and everything is Clan property, honor is given to those who best serve the Clan, and disputes are resolved through personal challenges. Unsurprisingly, this system regards warriors as the most elite citizens, with voting rights belonging exclusively to warriors, and authority granted to reflect combat skill rather than any talent at strategy, negotiation, or administration. While this often results in myopic leadership that favors brute-force solutions, some genuinely shrewd individuals rise through the ranks from time to time.
- Animal Motifs: Nearly every Clan is named after some kind of animal. The only exception is Clan Blood Spirit, named after the esprit de corps.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: One of the core pillars of Clan society. Not only is the warrior caste in charge, but nearly all leadership positions - and even whether an individual may be part of the warrior caste - are determined via Trial by Combat.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Subverted for the Clans. Unlike the Successor State military commanders who have to deal with managing logistics and planning strategic movements across entire sectors, the Clan trials only emphasized martial prowess. This meant that the best pilots and soldiers rose without any consideration for their leadership skills.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: All over the place depending on the particular Clan. While each has a signature color used on maps, some have a particular favored color for units, most notably the Jade Falcons, who heavily use a green livery with yellow accents (Funny, that...). Others may have a color they might slightly favor, but routinely go off in different directions depending on the particular unit's preference.
- Defector from Decadence: Aleksandr saw that the Successor States were eyeing the seat of First Lord hungrily, and decided to take his most loyal subordinates and get the hell out before the fighting started.
- Fantastic Caste System: The Clans have five castes: Warriors, Scientists, Technicians, Merchants, and Laborers. The castes are theoretically equal but Warriors are the most powerful and prestigious.
- Fantastic Racism: All Clans use genetically engineered "trueborn" warriors but each Clan has different policies on admitting "freeborns" (people born through normal sexual intercourse) into the military.
- Fictional Political Party: The Clans are divided into two factions: The Crusaders and the Wardens. The Crusaders believe that the Clans should invade the Inner Sphere as soon as possible while the Wardens believe the Clans should not invade unless to protect the Inner Sphere from a severe threat. Warden Clans end up invading the Inner Sphere anyway just to minimize the damage the Crusaders might do.
- Honor Before Reason: The main reason the Clans' invasion failed was because they were used to fair, ritualized combat and unprepared for the "dishonorable" tactics of the Inner Sphere
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The Clans follow a code of honor called "zellbrigen", which emphasizes fair combat. The code was formed to minimize loss of life and resources after the SLDF fled known space and settled on resource-poor planets.
- Might Makes Right: The Trial of Refusal permits a warrior to overturn any vote, so long as they can win in combat against forces representing the majority.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: The Clan's biggest and proudest hat. Subverted, however, in that the Clans centuries of ritualistic trials and combat training made them easy to strategically outmaneuver and wear down before they could even reach Terra.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: Clan Wolf has one in Clan Wolf-in-Exile, who continue to uphold the Warden traditions of their forebears despite the rest of Clan Wolf's adoption of the Crusader philosophy.
- The Scottish Trope: The Not-Named Clan (Wolverine). Even centuries after its annihilation, mentioning the Clan by name is forbidden, and Clanners will still go to any length to eradicate any traces of the Clan they discover.
- Super Breeding Program: "Trueborn" Clan warriors are created in batches of siblings, with any washouts being relegated to the appropriate civilian caste. The process is practically sacred to them - every dying warrior hopes his or her genes will be worthy of contributing to future generations, and references to the process as "genetic engineering" are considered an insult.
- Token Good Teammate: The Warden Clans, who preferred to protect the Inner Sphere as opposed to the Crusaders, who wanted to return to (read: conquer) the Inner Sphere and reestablish the Star League under the ideals of their founder, Nicholas Kerensky. Warden Clans of note include Clan Wolf, Clan Ghost Bear (who were staunch Crusaders until the Great Refusal) and Clan Nova Cat (who were also Crusaders until the end of the Clan Invasion). By 3145, Clan Nova Cat has become all but extinct and the only noteworthy Warden Clans that remain are the Ghost Bears and the Renegade Splinter Faction that calls itself Clan Wolf-in-Exile.
- Trial by Combat: Virtually all decisions made in Clan Society are either this or subject to overruling by this. Combat trials are used for everything from determining an individual warrior's status within their Clan to the settling of personal or property disputes. Any legislative or judicial decisions made by the Clans may also be overruled if their proponents are defeated in combat by the opposing side.
- Un-person: The harshest Clan punishments involve removal of individuals, bloodlines, or Bloodnames from Clan lore and their eugenics program. At the extreme, entire Clans have been erased from history.
- Verbal Tic: Members of the Clans, particularly Trueborn warriors, do not use contractions.note
- Era(s): Succession Wars
- Founder of the Kingdom: He is the founder and creator the original 20 Clans and their way of life.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Formed the Clans in this fashion.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The novel Betrayal of Ideals, as well as the Operation: Klondike sourcebook, do quite a bit to tarnish both the man and his motivations, making him seem less like the heir to his father's dream and more like a narcissistic Blood Knight who wanted to play First Lord. The novel even ends with him declaring his intent to rewrite Clan history to suit his purposes.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
- Ace Pilot: Only a few could match her in skill, like the The Bounty Hunter (with whom Natasha has a rivalry) and Kai Allard-Liao (though they never personally met each other).
- Blood Knight: As per Clan traditions, though she takes it a bit further.
- Death Seeker: After her lover Joshua Wolf died, she became a lot more reckless.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: During Anton Marik's revolt in 3015, Wolf's Dragoons had been fighting on Anton's side until the last days of the war. In the end The Dragoons single-handily ended the war by The Black Widows destroying Anton Marik's palace personally with Kerensky herself dropping the roof on his head. This was in revenge both for betraying the Dragoons by trying to force them to disperse and merge into the remnants of the rebels, and by using Joshua Wolf, Jamie Wolf's wife and daughters and a number of other Dragoon noncombatants and dependents as hostages to secure Wolf's good behavior, and slaughtering them all when Wolf refused to comply.
- Generation Xerox: Her Trueborn gene-daughter Anastasia.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: "The Black Widow".
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: After her return to the Clans, she continued to use contractions, which is considered crude amongst the Clans. And she doesn't care.
- Younger Than They Look: Had extensive cosmetic surgery while in the Inner Sphere to hide her true age, adding to her mystique. (The Clans weren't fooled).
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
- Batman Gambit: Most of his gambits involved exploiting the proud warrior mentality of the clans, especially the "proud" part.
- Reassignment Backfire: Being forced to take part in the invasion actually gives him the chance to stop it, even more so when he is promoted to IlKhan after Leo Showers got kamikazed.
- Xanatos Gambit: Alongside his Batman Gambits, Ulric frequently maneuvers his opponents into positions where no matter what they do, Ulric, the Wolves, and the Wardens come out on top.
- Era(s): Dark Age
- Chaotic Neutral: She'll be fighting against one faction, only to join them in a later time.
- Fiery Redhead: She is described as having red hair and green eyes.
- Heel–Face Revolving Door: She has been a heroine and an enemy to the Republic in a short span of time. She aided the planet Archernar against the Steel Wolves only to join them later, then took control of the unit forming the Wolf Hunters.
- Legacy Character: To her blood mother Natasha Kerensky.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How else would a Freebirth Bondsman like Phelan be nominated Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile?
- Badass Family: The Kell family are this in their capacity as high-end mercenaries. Also of note are the sibko children born from his genetic material and any Wolf Clanner who take on the Kell Bloodname.
- The Exile: He is the Khan of a whole Clan of them.
- Going Native: Occurs during his captivity by Clan Wolf. As a Bondsman to the Clan, he became a strong believer in the Clan Warden political perspective. He was described as having taken to the Clan lifestyle like a convert to a new religion.
- Meaningful Name: Phelan is Gaelic for Wolf.
- Meaningful Rename: In a full-circle kind of way, Phelan went from calling himself Phelan Kell, then he was given the name Phelan Wolf after he joined Clan Wolf. Then he earned the Ward Bloodname for himself, and thus he took on the name Phelan Ward (ironically, his mother's name was also Ward). And then, after he became the Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile, he went back to using the Kell name.
- One True Love: He has one in Ranna Kerensky, though there is no such thing as marriage in Clan society. Instead, Phelan withheld his genetic legacy from the Clan's Super Breeding Program until Ranna earned her Bloodname, so that they would achieve 'immortality' together by creating a sibko from their genetics.
- Raised by Clanners: An interesting variation, in that Phelan spent a portion of his early life living with members of Wolf's Dragoons in a sibko-like environment. It likely led to the ease in which Phelan went native and joined Clan Wolf outright during his capture.
- Repetitive Name: A Classic Kurashikku variation. For a time he was known as 'Phelan Wolf,' so until he took on his first Bloodname his name directly translated to Wolf Wolf.
- Era(s): Jihad, Dark Age
- Young Conqueror: From a minor rebel leader to Sphere-wide Coalition leader to the ruler of the defacto reborn Terran Hegemony.
- Wild Mass Guessing: in-universe there are all kinds of rumors on his actual origins, ranging from the mundane guesses of being a former member of one of the more moderate (read: not nuke em all happy) Wo B factions to outlandish of actually being Arthur Steiner-Davion, who was supposedly killed a few years before the Jihad.