A characters sheet for BattleTech. So far we've only scratched the surface. With a backstory covering a thousand years, plus 150 years with more intense storytelling. Loads and Loads of Characters only begins to describe it.
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.
- Badass Army: The Star League Defense Force (SLDF) was the largest, most technologically advanced military of its time. This was very much by design, it needed to be to keep the competing Great Houses in line. Even after the bloody Amaris Civil War, the SLDF could easily outmatch any of the standing House militaries in a one-on-one war.
- The Empire: Under the rule of Stefan Amaris, though an argument can be made that this was also the case under the rule of House Cameron, especially considering the Reunification War.
- The Federation: The First Star League was, on paper, a federation of the Inner Sphere states with the Terran Hegemony and House Cameron taking a position as "first among equals." The reality, of course, was that the House Lords were subordinate to the First Lord whether they realised it or not. The Second Star League more closely resembles the federation it was supposed to be, but it was woefully inadequate compared to its predecessor and it was dissolved almost as quickly as it was formed.
- Irony: The Star League was created to unite the whole of human inhabited space into a peaceful federation that settled its disputes through diplomacy, not warfare. One of their first acts was to launch the largest interstellar war in human history in order to bring the Periphery nations into the League by force.
- The Remnant: After the fall of the Star League, what was left of the SLDF splintered into two main groups. The largest, over 80% of their surviving army and navy, followed General Kerensky into exile away from the Inner Sphere, settling worlds far beyond the Periphery and eventually becoming the Clans. The rest stayed behind, supporting Minister Of Communications Jerome Blake and became the core of the newly formed Church Militant ComStar and their military force, the ComGuards.
- Succession Crisis: The succession crisis of the BattleTech universe. With the extinction of House Cameron, and the refusal of Aleksandr Kerensky to take their place as First Lord, the rulers of the Inner Sphere Houses kicked off the Succession Wars that devastated the Inner Sphere.
- The War of Earthly Aggression: The Terra-centric Star League launched the bloody Reunifcation War to bring all of the far-flung, independent Periphery kingdoms into their alliance by force.
- We ARE Struggling Together: On the surface, the League was a unified alliance of nations working together in harmony. In actuality, there was constant politicking and bickering between Lords and Houses, and more than a few secret wars fought between the major powers during this era of "peace".
- 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
Director-General of the Terran Hegemony and founder of the 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
The most well-known figure throughout the Inner Sphere and beyond. Aleksandr Kerensky was the greatest General of the Star League Defense Forces, he is best remembered for liberating Terra from Stefan Amaris. But when the Star League begins to crumble from infighting among the great houses, Kerensky chooses not to get involved in the middle of it all, and took all those who are loyal to him and led the Exodus to escape the Succession Wars. The forces who followed him soon became the Clans under Nicholas Kerensky.
- Bald of Awesome: Official art shows 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.
- Fling a Light into the Future: The famous Voice of Kerensky, as quoted above. It was a message of peace transmitted via standard radio from the newly settled Pentagon Worlds by Kerensky himself, and it wouldn't reach the borders of the Inner Sphere for almost a thousand years (1500 years until it reached Terra itself). Ironically, the first people to hear it were the members of Task Force Serpent in 3060, on their way to attack Clan Smoke Jaguar in retaliation for the Clan Invasion.
- 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 after he died was placed in a crystal coffin...
- Lawful Good: He was a career soldier who followed orders and the rules of warfare to the letter. Even after defeating Stefan Amaris, he refused to oppose the House Lords or seize control of the Star League by force, viewing it as an act of treason.
- Loophole Abuse: The Crusader Clans took a passage from Kerensky's General Order 137, and turned it into the "Hidden Hope Doctrine", citing it as proof that the general wanted his followers to one day return to the Inner Sphere and restore the Star League by force.Kerensky: We shall live apart, conserving all the good of the Star League and ridding ourselves of the bad, so that when we return and return we shall our shining moral character will be as much our shield as our BattleMechs and fighters.
- Morton's Fork: After the civil war he was faced with two choices to decide the fate of what was left of the Star League: use his loyal SLDF army to take control of the council and declare himself the new First Lord, or sit back and let the rival House Lords fight each other for the title. Either option would trigger a massive war that would devastate the Inner Sphere. A conversation with a subordinate gave him a third option: Operation EXODUS.
- "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 to arrest Amaris at mech gun-point.
- Our Founder: The Clans call Kerensky the Great Father.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Almost singlehandedly kept the SLDF from running wild during their campaigns against the Rim Worlds Republic and the Terran Hegemony. He even treated the defeated Stefan Amaris and his family with due respect as prisoners of war, until he ordered their deaths by firing squad after seeing what they did to the Camerons.
- Rebel Leader: Kerensky led the liberation of Terra from Amaris. His wife and children also fought as rebels on Terra, having been there the entire time.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kerensky left the Inner Sphere as he didn't want to get involved in the power struggle between the great houses. Ironically, the SLDF leaving meant that there was really no major force left to stop the House Lords from each declaring themselves First Lord and starting the First Succession War.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: After leading the SLDF in a brutal 14-year struggle to liberate the Terran Hegemony from Amaris and his Rim Worlds Republic armies, Kerensky was forced to watch as the Council Lords immediately began arguing and plotting to make themselves the new First Lord of the Star League. When he tried to mediate a compromise, they stripped him of his position as Protector of the Star League, dissolved the High Council, and attempted to recruit the surviving SLDF troops into their own armies in preparation for the First Succession War.
- Then, 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.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Star League. Kerensky refused point-blank to declare himself First Lord and overthrow the other House Lords, and spent two full years shuttling between various worlds trying to get the House Lords to reconcile their differences after they dissolved the Star League. Kerensky got this from his men as well - when he gave every member of the SLDF a choice to leave with him, over eighty percent opted to go with him, some 113 divisions. Many of those that stayed behind still stuck together, joining the newly-formed ComStar with Kerensky's unofficial consent.
- Unwanted False Faith: After his death 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 followers from.
- We Can Rule Together: Stefan Amaris offered General Kerensky the chance to become his dragon, with power second only to his own, if he would "become [his] sword arm and help [him] impress [his] word and wisdom upon the other realms." Suffice to say, the good general was having none of it.
The erstwhile final First Lord of the Star League. He took the throne as a child, with Stefan Amaris as his Regent. Unfortunately for everyone, Amaris was a terrible advisor, manipulating Richard into becoming a brutal oppressor of the Periphery and directing him to weaken the Star League so that it would be easier to take over. Richard's legacy is one of brutality (in the Periphery worlds) and innocence (in the Core Worlds), with his memory polarized by those who forgive him for being manipulated by Amaris and those who curse him for the same.
- BrotherSister Incest: According to rumours started by Stefan Amaris, Richard engaged in this with two of his sisters. Whether or not there were any truth to the charges is unknown, but Amaris, naturally, was hardly an unbiased storyteller on the subject.
- Boom, Headshot!: Died by being shot in the head by Stefan Amaris point-blank.
- The Caligula: Between being all but raised by Stefan Amaris and the already almost unlimited power given to him as First Lord, it's unsurprising Richard didn't turn out well. His major 'accomplishments' before Amaris took over was to institute even heavier taxes on the Periphery and attempting to disarm the Great Houses. He was so unpopular that the Great Houses remained neutral even after Amaris publically declared he'd taken over Star League.
- El Cid Ploy: After killing Richard, Stefan Amaris claimed Richard had turned ill and had been hospitalized for his own good. It wasn't until after the Civil War was over that the truth came out.
- End of an Era: While Richard's death marked the start of the Amaris Civil War that would rip the Inner Sphere apart, Richard's rise to the throne ultimately marked the end of the Star League and the Golden Age that is represented (for most worlds).
- Entitled Bastard: Believed that as First Lord of Star League he could do whatever he liked. Naturally, he couldn't, and Kerensky pointing this out to him put him in Richard's bad graces.
- Unwitting Pawn: He took the throne of the Star League at the tender age of six, and grew up with Amaris guiding him. He trusted Amaris completely. This ended poorly for everyone.
- Your Head Asplode: Based on a grisly piece of artwork in the Historical: Liberation of Terra Vol. II sourcebook, when Stefan Araris shot him, there was nothing remaining of his head.
- "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
The man responsible for ending the Star League Golden Era and setting up the Inner Sphere's state of collapse during the Succession Wars Era. Hailing from the periphery Nation of the Rim Worlds Republic he set himself up has the best friend of the young, naive First Lord Richard Cameron and manipulated him into giving him and his followers power. Once all was set, he killed Richard and the rest of the Cameron family and took over the Terran Hegemony resulting in a brutal 13-year long struggle by Aleksandr Kerensky and the Star League Defense Force to oust the Usurper. During the war, he and his forces committed many atrocities against both Aleksandr Kerensky's forces and civilians.
At the end of the conflict, he was captured and executed, and his home nation and family were wiped out but the damage he caused to the Inner Sphere by his actions forever changes the inner sphere.
- 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".
- On a larger scale, he stripped his own Rim Worlds Republic of troops and ships, which he used in his overthrow of the Camerons and the Terran Hegemony worlds while the Star League Defense Force was busy in the Periphery, leaving his home kingdom nearly defenceless while he consolidated his hold on Terra. When the SLDF invaded the Rim Worlds in retaliation, only the most die-hard loyalists rose to resist them, as the bulk of the population realized their leader had essentially abandoned them.
- Boom, Headshot!: Killed Richard Cameron with golden laser pistol that he used to blow the First Lord's head off.
- The Caligula: To the point he made Hitler look like a schoolboy.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Befriended Richard Cameron and then betrayed him to become First Lord. Allied with Nicoletta Calderon to plan the New Vandenburg Uprising, and then sold out the other conspirators to Kerensky.
- Due to the Dead:
- Villainous version: He had all of House Cameron shot and piled their corpses in the First Lord's throne room together with Richard's headless body.
- 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 gravesite 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.
- The Emperor: Or so he claimed after his takeover, though such a claim wasn't recognised by the rest of the Star League, except in the Rim Worlds Republic. As far as his right of rulership went, Stefan was legally the President of the Rim Worlds and the Director-General of the Terran Hegemony, but that was about it.
- 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.
- Fat Bastard: Turned notably overweight in his later years.
- 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.
- Hypocrite: Admonished someone for failing to refer to General Kerensky by his proper rank, even though he called him 'Aleks' more than once. That said, he still saw Kerensky as a (rebellious) subordinate and felt that was his prerogative as his rightful emperor.
- 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.
- Not So Different: The SLDF resisted his takeover from the get-go, but most of the public just shrugged and went on with their lives because they didn't see much difference (at first, at least) between Amaris taking over the Hegemony and James McKenna's military coup that formed the Hegemony in the first place.
- Nuke 'em: Had various places nuked because of their resistance to him and his rule.
- The Purge: Had the rest of House Cameron executed following Richard's death to prevent any Cameron heirs.
- Sanity Slippage: His mental state deteriorated the closer the SLDF armies got to Terra. By the time of the liberation, it was said he couldn't even look up at the stars anymore, because all he could see was General Kerensky's face staring down at him.
- Satanic Archetype: To the Clans and ComStar, who hold an almost or actually religious devotion to the Star League, Amaris is basically Satan. During the Clan Invasion, Clan Steel Viper would devote resources to hunt down and sterilize someone they encountered during the Invasion, simply for being related to House Amaris.
- Small Role, Big Impact: While his role in the events immediately preceding 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."
- We Can Rule Together: After seizing Terra, he sent a message to Aleksandr Kerensky offering him a place as his number two man in the Amaris Empire and complete control over the unified Rim Worlds-SLDF army, if he swore fealty to Amaris. Kerensky didn't even bother to respond.
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 dominate 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 founder of the Terran Hegemony and its first Director-General.
- 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.
- The Dreaded Dreadnought: He was the push behind creating the first true WarShip, the TAS Dreadnought, which fit the trope at the time due to being the only WarShip in existence. While future vessels were more powerful, they all owe their existence to this class. A later class of SLDF dreadnought bearing a frightening array of naval PPCs would bear his family's name as well.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: Shares his surname with famous Canadian comedic actor Patrick McKenna, best known as Harold on The Red Green Show.
- 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 (to a lesser extent) Lyran Commonwealth 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-Coded for 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.
- Everyone Has Standards: Outside of some of the most fanatically loyal units, such as the Second Sword of Light, most of the DCMS on Kentares IV had to be actively bullied and threatened into committing the Kentares Massacre. Some DCMS troops committed suicide from guilt, while a handful even risked execution to shield civilians from death.
- Evil Reactionary: The Black Dragon Society is highly conservative and want the Draconis Combine to remain 'pure' and stick to Honor Before Reason and its warrior culture. Theodore Kurita and his family quickly finds himself on their bad side, to say nothing of his illegitimate grandson with Davion blood.
- 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 Counterpart 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.
- Politically, however, the Combine seems to be a Fantasy Counterpart Culture version not so much of Tokugawa-era Japan as it is of Imperial Japan of the 1930s-40s, given the pervasive State Sec, fanboy version of Bushido, and militarism/expansionism, including its own Once Done, Never Forgotten massacre, not to mention their emphasis on speed and close-in firepower.
- Foreign Ruling Class: Draconis Combine sets itself apart from the Successor States by its emphasis on their version of Japanese culture, which the largely-Japanese upper classes—though Africans, Indians, and other non-Japanese are included among them—tend to rule over the multi-ethnic populace with many policies on Japanization being implemented as well.
- Fragile Speedster: Kuritan doctrine places a high value on speed, and typically much less on armor, leading to their typical emphasis on light mechs, and many of their largers mechs mount over-sized engines to try and keep up, such as the Dragon and the infamously undergunned Charger.
- Galactic Conqueror: A stated goal of the Combine since its inception was to unite all of human-inhabited space under a single rule.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Well, "hero" is a bit strong, but they caught some flak during the Amaris Civil War for being the only Great House to not assist the SLDF, which actually got Kerensky to invade Combine space to access SLDF bases. Considering Amaris was holding a member of the Kurita family hostage (although they were dead the entire time), they had a decent reason.
- Honor Before Reason: One of their most consistent Achilles Heels, and one frequently exploited by their enemies to orchestrate their downfall. Notably, the Clans exploited this without even trying. Since the Clans hold honorable combat in similarly high regard, they had no problems answering formal challenges for single combat by Combine Warriors, where the Combine would be slaughtered by the Clans' technological superiority.
- Just the First Citizen: Despite blatantly ruling as The Emperor the rulers of the Combine label themselves Coordinators.
- 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.
- Proud Warrior Race: Tied for the Clans as the proudest in the setting.
- 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. He even employed a particularly apt Yakuza (one that still had all his fingers in fact) to be his son Hohiro's Hypercompetent Sidekick; Shin Yodama.
- 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.
- 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. Kurita MechWarriors will frequently issue one-on-one challenges on the battlefield, singling out an enemy MechWarrior and requesting an honorable one-on-one duel. This bit them in the ass hard during the Clan invasion, when the old hardliners refused to alter this way of thinking and issued formal challenges for one-on-one combat to Clan warriors...whose 'Mechs are, on average, half again as powerful as a comparable Inner Sphere 'Mech, and the Clans being just about the only faction who takes such duels as Serious Business as much as the Combine, so they're quite practiced at it.
- 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. A major conflict within the Combine around the time of the Clan Invasion was Theodore Kurita trying to push the Combine into being more Soldiers than Warriors, and resistance from the old-guard Warriors for whom "pragmatism" was a synonym for "dishonor."
- 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, there had been three women have served as Coordinator in the past, and two of themNote had exemplary reigns.
- 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
The founder of the Draconis Combine and its ruling House Kurita.
- 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.
- Assassination Attempt: According to Kuritan legend, Shiro spotted a particularly fine shoot of bamboo that he really wanted to make into a tea ladle while driving, and pulled over to get it. As he was doing so, his car exploded, a bomb having gone off while he was very luckily away. Shiro took it as a sign from god, that something as simply Japanese as getting nice bamboo for a tea ladle had saved him, and began the process of Japan-ifying the Draconis Combine.
- 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 more so.
- 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 reorganized 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 recognized 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 appearance 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.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
Coordinator of the Draconis Combine during the Third and Fourth Succession Wars as well as during the Clan Invasion, Takeshi Kurita was an unyielding traditionalist whose devotion to the old ways lead him to repeatedly clash with his son and heir Theodore.
- Abdicate the Throne: While still Coordinator, Takashi more or less abdicated day-to-day rulership of the Draconis Combine to Theodore after the War of 3039.
- Assassin Outclassin': He was attempted assassinated ten times, and personally fought off several of them.
- Honor Before Reason: Encouraged adherence to bushido in his troops and despised mercenaries. He was partially behind the actions that led to permanent bad blood between Wolf's Dragoons and House Kurita. He then doubled down by throwing unit after unit against the Dragoons in a meat grinder and instituting a "death to mercenaries" order that was only revoked when the Dragoons and the Kell Hounds landed on Luthien to defend it against the Clans on Hanse Davion's orders.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Initially saw his son Theodore as this for much of his career, but was only too happy to eat his words in the end when he realized he had been in the wrong.
- Last Stand: Attempted to do this during the Battle of Luthien, but found himself frustrated by his own son who locked his Battlemechs until he could be deployed to an actually useful position.
- The Purge: Started his career with a purge of his father Hohiro Kurita's Praetorian Guard, as a Bodyguard Betrayal had led to the latter's assassination.
- Old Soldier: Fought his last battle at the age of eighty-two, and would have fought a final Duel to the Death if he hadn't been persuaded otherwise.
- Seppuku: Killed himself rather than go through a rashly proclaimed Duel to the Death that would initiate a Cycle of Revenge no matter who won, putting the Combine's welfare over his personal honour.
- So Proud of You: To Theodore after the Battle of Luthien.
- Worthy Opponent: To Hanse Davion. The two corresponded regularly with well-wishes for their personal health, even as their realms remained at war.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, Jihad
Son of Takashi Kurita, the much more progressive Theodore spent much of his life battling his father over the future direction of the Combine. Takashi would lead the Combine to recovery after the disaster of the Fourth Succession War while still the Dragon's Heir, and in ensuring its survival during the Clan Invasion would become known as one of the Combine's greatest Coordinators.
- Batman Gambit:
- By recognizing the Free Rasalhague Republic as a legitimate state, he screwed the Lyrans out of all their territorial gains during the Fourth Succession War and scored high-end Mechs from ComStar as part of the deal. The only loss to the Combine was a handful of planets that (being on the border) were at risk anyway.
- Pulls a multi-leveled one on his father during the Battle of Luthien. He has his father and his bodyguard unit held as a final reserve while the main Combine units take the front line, while the Kell Hounds and Wolfs Dragoons act as a main reserve. He knows Takashi will take his unit into the fray at the first opportunity, so he programs their Mechs with a lockdown code so they'll stay put. He also knows that Takashi could order any member of the DCMS to just hand over the code, so he assigns his Yakuza Hypercompetent Sidekick Shin Yodama as the liaison, since Yodama's the only man on the planet who wouldn't obey Takashi. He also knows Takashi's technicians could figure out or bypass the code given time, so he provides a second code to Yodama that would self-destruct all of their Mechs and leave the capital open to attack if Takashi didn't sit tight. Takashi only cools off when Yodama reveals that Takashi's granddaughter Omi refused to evacuate the city, and they're the only thing standing between her and the Clans.
- Combat Pragmatist: He was one of the first to realize the weakness of the Clans in focusing on open, honourable combat, which he exploited during the Battle of Wolcott by bidding units of 'New Meat' against Clan Smoke Jaguar that in reality were elite Genyosha formations. The Jaguars, taking the bait, were pinned down in a swamp and destroyed.
- Deadpan Snarker: Towards his father when Takashi finds out that two mercenary units, including one that has a blood feud with Takashi, are on Luthien to assist them in the defense of the planet (despite Takashi's standing "Death To Mercenaries" order), Takashi remarks that at least Romano Liao had the courtesy to assassinate her father before destroying his nation.Theodore: If that is truly your mind, shall I get a gun and shoot you?
- Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Downplayed. He allowed Omiko to contact Victor and ask for help in rescuing Hohiro when he got trapped behind enemy lines on the condition that the two never speak again. Luckily, Takashi overruled him and allowed the two to keep in contact.
- Friendly Enemy: Going beyond his father, Theodore Kurita and Hanse Davion were practically friends.
- Internal Reformist: For the Combine's military at a whole, modernizing their doctrines and opening up positions to non-traditional warriors. Some of those reforms would be undone by his successors, to the Combine's detriment.
- The Needs of the Many:In matters of personal honor and duty, the needs of the nation must always take precedence over the needs of the individual. Even if that individual is the Coordinator.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Early on in his career, he got shunted into command of the Legion of Vega, a unit that was used as a dumping ground for malcontents, misfits, and troublemakers. Turns into a Reassignment Backfire when he uses the Legion to experiment with "dishonorable" tactics that happen to be very effective and turns them into an effective force despite their getting consistently screwed over on parts and pay.
- The Strategist: He was able to cushion a very bad situation in the War of 3039 with a number of aggressive bluffs on the Combine-FedSun front, successfully fooling Hanse Davion into backing down. He later became a linchpin in the Combine's defensive strategy against The Clans, as the traditionalist ways proved inadequate against them.
- Worthy Opponent: Considered Hanse Davion this for his early life, and later transferred it to his son Victor.
- "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
Omiko Kurita, also known as Omi Kurita, was the daughter of Theodore Kurita and Tomoe Sakade and the secret lover of Prince Victor Steiner-Davion.
- 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 the same man who killed Melissa Steiner on Katherine Steiner-Davion's orders, 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
The illegitimate son of Coordinator Theodore Kurita. When Sakamoto was arrested and his jumpship was impounded by FedCom security agents for smuggling weapons, Major Adam Steiner commandeered the impounded vessels and offered their crews amnesty and the eventual return of the vessels in exchange for providing transport for an intelligence-gathering mission behind Clan lines.
- 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 descendant, 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
The current (as of 3145) Coordinator of the Draconis Combine. Yori (born Yori Sakamoto) is the great-granddaughter of Theodore Kurita's illegitimate son Franklin Sakamoto, yet at the time of her ascension to the throne of the Draconis Combine Yori is the only heir despite her "illegitimate" status upon the assassination of Coordinator Vincent Kurita.
- 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-granddaughter 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 favor 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 afterwards, 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 (including taking New Avalon itself in 3150) and quelled a rebellion by Clan Nova Cat. Puppet or not, Yori is the strongest Coordinator the Combine has seen in decades.
- Era(s): Dark Age
The former Prefect of The Republic of the Sphere's Prefecture III and Duchess of Proserpina. Katana became the leader of the splinter faction known as the Dragon's Fury and, after her defection to the Draconis Combine, Warlord of the Dieron Military District.
- 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 like-minded 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.
- Undying Loyalty: Her most defining trait is her absolute loyalty to House Kurita, even when the Draconis Combine wanted nothing to do with her. This led her to declare her support for Emi Kurita and the Nova Cats during the rebellion.
- 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 reclaiming worlds in the Coordinator's name, nor did it stop Vincent Kurita from eventually taking her back and naming her the Warlord of Dieron.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Is imprisoned by Yori Kurita and left to rot after the failed Nova Cat rebellion.
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-Coded for Your Convenience: Always marked green on maps. Usually 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 speciality 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
Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation from the last years of the Third Succession War until his death following the Fourth Succession War.
- Body Double / Grand Theft Me: Tried this gambit to remove Hanse Davion from power. It didn't work.
- Evil Prince: He assassinated his father to gain control of House Liao.
- Red Baron: He was know as the Diablo. For his cunning political machinations in pitting his foes against each other, and his sinister plan in replacing Hanse Davion with a body double.
- Smug Snake: He constantly tried to outplay House Davion during his life as Chancellor, and practically all those schemes backfired. He was moderately more successful against House Marik by playing Anton Marik against his brother, but all he really managed was to leave the FWL more unified than it had been in centuries and set the stage for Thomas Marik's accession to the throne.
- 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 Succession 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
Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation between the Fourth Succession War until the early Clan Invasion. Even more bonkers than her father Maximilian.
- Comically Missing the Point: In the Blood of Kerensky trilogy, when most of the other Successor State leaders attending Jaime Wolf's great summit on Outreach had already picked up on the truth, Romano stated that the Clans were no threat because the long-lost SLDF would return and protect the Inner Sphere. Wolf had to tell her, specifically, to her face, that the Clans were the SLDF.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: At the same time, her assertion that the SLDF would return and defend the Inner Sphere in its Darkest Hour is pretty much exactly the Warden philosophy. Given that at the same moment she was saying this, back in Clan space Ulric Kerensky (a staunch Warden) was being maneuvered into the position of ilKhan, which he would shamelessly abuse to try and defend the Inner Sphere from the Crusader Clans. . . she wasn't entirely wrong.
- Daddy's Little Villain: As evil and insane as Max was, she was in many ways a fitting successor to her dad.
- Too Dumb to Live: Multiple times during the Warrior trilogy she attempts to have someone assassinated. Each time, it dramatically hurts the Capellan Confederation. First, she tries to have Quintus Allard assassinated while attending the wedding of Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner. While normally the head of the enemy's intelligence services would be an excellent target, they were all on Terra under ComStar's protection, and she very nearly got the CC placed under an Interdiction for violating the neutrality pact. Second, she tried to have Colonel Pavel Ridzik, leader of the Tikonov Commonality, killed, only for Davion agents to save his life and inform him of the perpetrator. He immediately secedes his territory from the Confederation and becomes an (unwilling) Davion puppet ruler. The third attempt succeeds in killing Justin Xiang Allard, but it results in her sister Candice returning to Sian and murdering her and her consort in cold blood.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Son of Romano and Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation from the latter half of the Clan Invasion onwards. Although still bonkers, Sun-Tzu had an excellent mind for politics (or was just insanely lucky) and reversed many of the losses under his predecessors and became the First Lord of the second Star League.
- Accidental Truth: Sun-Tzu manipulated Thomas Marik into thinking that Victor Steiner-Davion had replaced his son with a Body Double to drive a wedge between the League and the Commonwealth. Sun-Tzu was as shocked as anyone else to find out that Victor had actually done it, albeit not for the reasons that Sun-Tzu thought it would be.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Takes this to its conclusion. In the tests for the young royals on Outreach, specifically modeled on Clan Trials Of Position, Sun-Tzu is paired with his rival, Kai Allard-Liao. Sun-Tzu fires on one of Kai's targets, opening the Trial up into massive free-for-all, then ejects from his 'Mech, leaving Kai to face six assault-class 'Mechs piloted by some of the best veteran MechWarriors in the Inner Sphere. Sun-Tzu did this just in an attempt to make Kai look bad, as unlike real Clan Trials, the Outreach tests weren't full-on live fire exercises. Kai wiped the floor with most of his opponents.
- Famous-Named Foreigner: He's named after Sun Tzu even though "Tzu" is actually an honorific similar to "Master", not an actual name.
- Meaningful Name: Named after one of history's greatest military strategists, which is appropriate for the Battletech universe.
- Nonindicative Name: At the same time he's barely competent as a MechWarrior and lacks any real tactical or strategic military skills. He is, however, an exceptionally dangerous opponent in the realms of politics and intrigue.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Pretends to be just as off his rocker as his mother, but is actually completely lucid and extremely cunning.
- Era(s): Dark Age
Daoshen Liao, or Daoshen Liao-Centrella, is son of Sun-Tzu Liao and Naomi Centrella, and the current (as of 3145) Chancellor of the Capellan Confederation.
- A God Am I: Thanks to his aunt Kali, Daoshen saw himself as divine, and he also considered himself the Condeferation made flesh. Even members of his own family had to deal with him as the "God Incarnate."
- BrotherSister Incest: Was so convinced of his divinity, and that of his Liao ancestors, that conceiving an heir with someone not of "divine blood" was seen as diluting the Liao bloodline. In his mind, the only suitable vessel for producing said heir was his sister, Ilsa. Danai, their daughter, was raised as their younger sister.
- Empty Shell: Has been described as one of these by several people, including his own family.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor: Used these methods in order to see if Danai was worthy as his heir.
- The Royal We: He is prone to using this, most likely because he sees himself as the Capallan Confederation and not an individual, though he has on occasion slipped up and referred to himself in the singular.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Expected Danai to succeed both as a warrior and as a diplomat despite whatever disadvantages he had placed on her. For example, he tasked her to retake Aldebaran from the Republic of the Sphere with her regiment—and only her regiment—and wrote her efforts off as a failure the moment she asked for reinforcements.
- Era(s): Dark Age
Daughter of Chancellor Daoshen Liao and Canopian Magestrix Ilsa Centrella.
- Ace Custom: She pilots the infamous Yen-Lo-Wang, the customized Centurion once piloted by Kai Allard-Liao and his father Justin Xiang Allard before him.
- An Axe to Grind: After Yen-Lo-Wang was passed down to Danai, she had the 'Mech customised so that it wielded an axe and a shield.
- Ace Pilot: Made a name for herself on Solaris VII, just like Kai Allard-Liao.
- Ambiguously Bi: Danai has slept with one of her male subordinates and once flirted with Caleb Davion (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.
- BrotherSister 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.
- Child by Rape: Is led to believe that her father had raped her mother by her great-aunt. The reality, as it turned out, was that Ilsa had seduced her brother, playing on his need for a "divine" heir.
- Does Not Like Men: Which comes from her Canopian upbringing, and it comes out a little clearer after her rape.
- 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's heroism 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-Coded for 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 reunite it after it collapsed is the daughter of said imposter who has the Marik name only through a political marriage.
- Era(s): Succession Wars
Captain-General of the Free Worlds League for the Third and Fourth Succession War. His reign was mainly defined by his rivalry with his brother Anton, and his inability to effectively lead the FWL to greatness. Janos was assassinated alongside his heir by a car bomb following the Fourth Succession War, with his younger son Thomas barely escaping to lead the League.
- Cain and Abel: Much of the FWL's involvement in the Third Succession War was overshadowed by Anton Marik's unsuccessful rebellion against Janos. While Janos was hardly a saint, Anton was a backstabbing weasel and an ally of Maximillian Liao.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Noted for his short temper, and did not take his brother's betrayal well at all.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: His greatest fault was simply to lead a Succession State in an era where the other four all had more competent leaders.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Downplayed; he fought as a commander in the FWL military before becoming Captain-General, but was noted as an average commander and MechWarrior at best.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Captain-General of the League, which prospered under his reign. Early on, Thomas nearly died in the car bomb that killed his father and left crippled without the use of cybernetics. ComStar had him replaced on the throne by a body double who would go on to lead the League in his absence.
- Beware the Honest Ones: By far, one of his most effective strategies is to do exactly what he says he's going to do, no more or less. He does this repeatedly, yet nobody ever sees it coming.
- The Good King: Though he wasn't the real Marik, he was one of the best leaders the League ever had.
- Decoy Leader: He was actually body double that has taken the place of the real Thomas Marik, who had become a cyborg which the League is prejudiced against.
- Guile Hero: His actions between the Clan invasion and the Jihad speak very much to this, as his political moves seem intended for the benefit of not only his own League, but for the Inner Sphere at large.
- Meaningful Rename: Took the name Thomas Halas after the truth about his identity was revealed.
- Puppet King: Installed by ComStar.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Subverts this in-universe. At varying points in time, Victor, Katrina, and Sun-Tzu all woefully underestimate Thomas because they either think he's oblivious to their schemes, or wrongly assume ulterior motives on his part.
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.
- An Axe to Grind: The Lyrans invented the Hatchet, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a mech-scaled battleaxe that effectively doubles how hard a mech can swing, along with the first mech to wield it, the equally-unimaginatively named Hatchetman followed by the larger Axman, and even the hundred-ton Berserker are all products of Lyran engineering.
- 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-Coded for 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 than 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 afterwards to host an education vid on military affairs called "The Armchair General," apparently unaware of the irony.
- Germanic Efficiency: House Steiner, and much of the Commonwealth with it, has a very Germanic culture.
- Mighty Glacier: The Commonwealth armed forces as a whole are often stereotyped as this. They favour heavy 'mechs and overwhelming firepower, but due to its size it's often slow to respond strategically.
- 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): Succession Wars
Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth from 3007 to 3039, she forged an alliance with First Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns, ending the Third Succession War (and indirectly starting the Fourth). She later saw the full integration of her state with the Suns to form the super-state known as the Federated Commonwealth in the fires of the Fourth Succession War.
- 100% Adoration Rating: By the time of the Clan Invasion, is fondly remembered as the greatest Archon the Lyran Commonwealth ever had. Downplayed in that she had both enemies and rivals who have plans now that she's gone, but to the average Lyran citizen, Katrina is practically a saint. Katherine Steiner-Davion styles herself "Katrina Steiner" specifically to reap that goodwill.
- Iron Lady: She'd have to be to make the likes of Hanse Davion consider her a peer.
- The Red Baron: During a period of exile, she took on the moniker "Red Corsair".
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
Cousin of Katrina Steiner-Davion and Archon of the Lyran Commonwealth twice. He is best remembered in the animated series of Battle Tech.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Unlike most of the Lyran Social Generals, Adam is a highly competent strategic 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.)
- Four-Star Badass: As commanding general of the 14th Donegal Guards, was the only one of Katherine Steiner-Davion's generals to even draw even with Victor during the Fed-Com Civil War; and nearly managed to kill Victor when they clashed in the battle for Newtown Square.
- 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."
- Horrible Judge of Character: It took way more time and effort than it should have for Victor to convince someone as smart as Adam that Katherine Steiner-Davion couldn't be trusted.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Usually; his support of Katherine Steiner-Davion for most of the Fed-Com Civil War being a rare exception.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He actively serves as an Academy instructor and actively participates in the defense of the Inner Sphere during the Clan Invasion.
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.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: By law, one cannot be the First Prince of the Federated Suns without having served five years in a frontline military unit. All First Princes have been highly skilled MechWarriors.
- Color-Coded for 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 Beautiful bastion of liberty.
- 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.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: In 3025, the timeline of release BattleTech, the FedSuns were the strongest of the Successor States, and only got stronger once Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner married to form the Federated Commonwealth. Since their deaths and the break-up of the union, it's been nothing more than a slow and steady decline for the Davions, culminating in the fact that as of the Shattered Fortress sourcebook, the Draconis Combine has taken New Avalon from them.
- Hypocrite: The FedSuns preach liberty, equality, and tolerance, but their nation is unabashedly a feudal monarchy with hereditary lords holding all constitutional power and only the right to elect representatives to your planetary government- who is still technically subordinate to the nobles- enshrined in the constitution; and there's no national elected assembly AT ALL. When a ruler like Hanse Davion is at the helm, the system works. When some of his less able descendants take over, the veneer starts to come off and things start going very, very poorly.
- Moral Dissonance: Despite outward appearances, the ruling Davion family can be as utterly duplicitous, manipulative, and scheming as any other.
- In much the same way, the Suns as a whole pride themselves on openness and tolerance... yet many portions of the realm have an irrational hatred for anything Japanese, stemming from the absolutely brutal warfare that House Davion endured against House Kurita in the First Succession War. At best, it means an unofficial ban on Japanese language and culture on some planets (If you're an Otaku on Robinson or Kentares IV, you had best keep that interest to yourself...). At its worst, it has manifested in near-genocidal mob frenzies, most notably The Purge during the First Succession War. Then, anything Japanese was put to the torch and people of Japanese ancestry were assaulted or even killed, and people of other Asian descents were attacked by the mobs in their hysteria. It's recounted in official sourcebooks that Buddhism was almost completely eradicated in the Suns as a side-effect of the pogrom, which only ended after First Prince John Davion and the New Avalon Catholic Church belatedly stepped in. Even centuries after, Buddhism is only now starting to rebound in the Suns.
- 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 front-line 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 stop the Suns from being the definitive "good guys" - they thrive on the glories of war and will relish any excuse to participate in it.
- Warrior Prince: By law, anyone with a claim to the throne of the Federated Suns has to complete five years of active-duty miliary service in a frontline unit before they are eligible to actually take the title of First Prince.
- 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,
The most famous ruler of Federated Suns. Almost single-handily responsible for pre-Clan state of the Inner Sphere.
Died from a stress-induced heart attack during the Clan Invasion.
- Badass Boast: Delivers an internal one as he mounts his BattleMaster to defend the NAIS;They've brought the war to me because they've forgotten. They've forgotten that before I became Prince of the Federated Suns, a command couch was my throne, a neurohelmet was my crown, and the battlefield my domain. After tonight, no one will ever forget that again.
- Blood Knight: Has shades of this, as he was always happiest leading troops in the field and comes off as overjoyed at getting to actually fight when charging to the rescue of NAIS (in marked contrast to his older brother Ian, who has much more of a reputation as a Warrior Prince, but acutely loathed war).
- Chewing the Scenery: Started the Fourth Succession War during his own wedding with a bombastic speech: "Wife, in addition to this morsel, I give you an even greater gift. I present to you the Capellan Confederation!!"
- Crazy-Prepared: He was super ready to 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.
- Hollywood Heart Attack: Subverted hard. Victor walks in on him dying at his desk and thinks he's simply fallen asleep until he looks closely and sees his father breathing his last.
- Life Will Kill You: Fought in countless battles, ruled an interstellar nation, and guided billions through multiple wars. Goes down to a stress-induced heart attack.
- Magnificent Bastard: One of the most magnificent in the setting. Successfully played everyone like a fiddle in the Fourth Succession War; in particular, running just about every kind of gambit on Maxmillian Liao. Later, successfully thwarted ComStar's "Operation Scorpion" using pesticide trucks. They don't call him "The Fox" for nothing.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: His marriage to Melissa Steiner was totally political in its 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."
- The Strategist: One of the best operational thinkers and politicians in the Inner Sphere in his day, Hanse played Maximillian Liao like a fiddle with his left hand while deftly keeping the Combine occupied with his right.
- Warrior Prince: He wouldn't be the First Prince of the Federated Suns if he weren't this. Best exemplified when upon deducing that a DropShip that's about to land is a Trojan Horse filled with enemy 'Mechs that's going after the New Avalon Institute of Science, he immediately saddles up in his own Assault Mech and defends the NAIS alone until reinforcements show up.
- Worthy Opponent: Like his country, generally considered House Kurita to be this. Takashi Kurita considered Hanse to be one, but Hanse knew that Takashi's son, heir, and de facto regent Theodore was his. Maximilian Liao earned his attention by attempting a Grand Theft Me with a Body Double on him, but all that had really accomplished was making it personal between them, switching the main target of the 4th Succession War to the Capellans rather than the Combine.
- Era(s): Dark Age
The Prince's Champion under Prince Harrison Davion's rule, Julian is a noted Mechwarrior and also steadfastly loyal to the throne. As of 3145, Julian is now the First Prince of the Federated Suns.
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses a leg in 3147 during Operation: CERBERUS, where he fought to reclaim New Syrtis from the Capellan Confederation.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Has this kind of relationship with 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)
- 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.
- Kicked Upstairs: What his original assignment to the 1st Davion Guards was supposed to be, as he was in his uncle and then-First Prince Harrison's bad books due to getting declared persona non grata in the Lyran Commonwealth, and the 1st Guards were considered the poor relation of the Guards Brigade at the time; Julian turned it into Reassignment Backfire by treating it as a real job rather than just a sinecure posting for the First Prince's no-good nephew.
- 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.
- Julian's entire time at the Nagelring qualifies, since Callandre references a number of incidents of misbehaviour there (including a time that they hijacked a Zeus Assault 'Mech for unspecified reasons (an incident that Julian had actually forgotten, showing how wild his and Callandre's time at the Nagelring was)).
- 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.
- 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
First Prince of the Federated Suns during the Dark Age era, and a noted tank commander. Caleb ruled the Federated Suns until his death in 3144.
- 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.
- OOC 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 fulfil 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 ultimately 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?"
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
Son of Quintus Allard, to his first wife, a Capellan woman. One of the major characters of the Warrior Trilogy of novels, detailing his defection to the Capellan Confederation, his efforts as a spy (allegedly) against the Federated Suns. Later returns, succeeds his father as head of MIIO, and sits in that role during the Blood of Kerensky Trilogy, detailing the Clan Invasion. Husband to Candace Liao, and father to four children with her, most notably Kai Allard-Liao.
- Ace Custom: He picks up an old Centurion Mech and crams a AC-20 into it, then names it Yen-Lo-Wang. That same Mech would be handed down to his son Kai, upgraded repeatedly, and still active over a century later.
- Ace Pilot: He runs a 30-ton Valkyrie against a 60-ton Rifleman and holds his own. It's only a tricky move from the Rifleman's pilot that winds up in his losing.
- Anti-Villain: Despite him throwing in with House Liao against the (mostly) good guys in House Davion, it's hard, given the horrific racism he endured at his trial, not to sympathize with him. Except at the end, it's revealed he was never a villain at all.
- Artificial Limbs: He picks up a prosthetic arm early in his career. He can use it to pilot a Mech, which is impressive on its own, but it also has a laser built into it.
- Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Subverted in that he was never a bad guy. During his meteoric rise in the Solaris games, he takes out multiple Federated Suns-affiliated fighters that were regarded as troublemakers and problem cases by the Suns, but were too popular in the ring to get rid of. He's also the one to execute Michael Hasek-Davion on Sian.
- The Cameo: Appears in the Harebrained Schemes video game BattleTech, hiring you in one of the flashpoints added in the Flashpoint DLC to deal with some mercs who are making his life more difficult. In the finale, he mentions he's being stationed to Kittery to help bridge relations between the Capellan natives and their new FedSuns overlords. The Warrior Trilogy of novels shows what chain of events that sets off for Justin.
- Career-Ending Injury: Subverted. He loses an arm on Kittery, which would normally spell the end of a Mechwarrior's career, but he's given an advanced prosthetic that he learns to use to pilot a Mech.
- Cruel Mercy: Subverted. After he calls out the sham trial and Hanse Davion himself to his face, Hanse calmly tells the court to hand down whatever sentence they will against him, because he'll commute it to exile. It's all part of the plan to place him as a spy in the Maskirovka.
- Disney Death: Falls victim, along with his wife, to an assassin sent by his sister-in-law, Romano Liao, though not before killing the assassin in turn. Only for a mysterious figure to appear that was strongly hinted to be Justin, pledging vengeance against Romano for killing their spouse. It wasn't him; it was his wife, Candace.
- Foreshadowing: If one pays close enough attention, there's some foreshadowing of Justin's Fake Defector status. Only three people know about it: Justin himself, his father, and Hanse Davion. Hanse and Quintus are never shown discussing it alone, and every time they're demonizing how terrible Justin is, it's always in the presence of other people- usually, a servant of Duke Michael Hasek-Davion, Hanse's primary challenge to the throne and a (rightfully) suspected Liao collaborator. That said, the trilogy ALSO establishes that Justin's chief aide is ALSO a Davion spy (Justin knows, but Alex/Alexi doesn't know Justin is), so most of the foreshadowing could also apply to Alex as well. Also, Justin pointedly spares Kym Sorenson, who had been spying on him for the Suns - if he was really on the Capellans' side, he would have had her shipped back to New Avalon in a box.
- Gone Horribly Right: Justin was not supposed to be ambushed, nearly die, and lose his hand, and the investigation into the attack uncovers all the proof that he was in direct contact with known Liao operatives before he can "defect" from the FedSuns. Instead, Justin, Quintus, and Hanse all work it into their plans; let Michael Hasek-Davion run his racist Kangaroo Court, have Justin point out how horrible his treatment is, send him to Solaris VII, and fight his way into House Liao's admiration until they scoop him up as a spy.
- Good Is Not Nice: As Gray Noton, Philip Capet, and Michael Hasek-Davion discover the hard way, screw with Justin Xiang Allard, and he will have no qualms about killing you.
- Kangaroo Court: There's ample proof of Justin actually being a Capellan spy, but it's pretty obvious that the trial to determine that is in no way fair (the prosecutor literally goes on a racist rant towards him, calling him the "lying son of a Capellan slut") and only Hanse Davion himself showing up to call them on this puts an end to it. But by that point, Justin's had enough with so-called Federated Suns "justice", and when informed Hanse would not stop them from stripping him of his command, goes on a rant of his own that leads to Hanse exiling him.
- Love Across Battlelines: Toyed with. It doesn't initially seem as such, but while with the Capellans, he falls in love with Candice Liao, and she willingly goes with him when his spy mission ends and he returns to the Federated Suns. Bonus points for the two having actually fought each other while on opposite sides over a decade before having properly met. He's actually the result of a technical one himself, as his father was serving as an ambassador on Sian and had a brief marriage with a Liao noblewoman.
- Right for the Wrong Reasons: Is accused of being a Capellan spy working to sabotage the defenses of Kittery to hand it back over to House Liao. Though there is proof of that, the accusations are based more on the horrifically racist assumptions that he's half-Capellan so therefore MUST be a spy. That said... Justin really WAS setting up to defect to House Liao. Sort of.
- The Spymaster: Becomes this to the Federated Commonwealth after the War of 3039.
- Too Dumb to Live: Though the driving force behind the trial is racism against Justin being half-Capellan, they have a mountain of evidence indicating that Justin actually was a spy, from a codename being very close to his middle name, from his 'Mech activation phrase being Liao-loyalist criminal Tong catchphrase, to detailed records of his numerous forbidden meetings with Tong leaders. The prosecution even manages to get Justin's own father to admit that he can't say for sure his son isn't a spy and Quintus Allard is the FedSuns head of espionage.
- We Used to Be Friends: With Andrew Redburn, who served with him on Kittery and never believed that Justin was truly guilty of the charges against him, until they faced off against each other on Bethel. Justin wrecked Redburn's Mech but spared him, and Redburn was ready to kill him when they met on Sian. Redburn was thrilled to find out that Justin was a spy for the Suns.
Federated Commonwealth (House Steiner-Davion)
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 worlds. 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.
- Divided We Fall: Even Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner, both very skilled, talented, and popular rulers, were having severe difficulty keeping the FedCom together until The Clans appeared. Paired with this and Victor's missteps after taking the thrones when both die mean that his sister is almost effortlessly able to seize half the realm, setting the stage for the FedCom Civil War that resulted in the final breakup of the union.
- 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
The firstborn of Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner and the symbol of FedSun/Lyran union, Victor is a main hero of the Clan Invasion and Civil War eras.
- 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.
- Bash Brothers: With Galen Cox, his aide and later best friend. Galen would be his brother-in-law if Katherine hadn't turned out to be a murderous sociopath who was willing to let Galen walk into a bomb blast. Taken literally when Galen has to knock Victor out to get him off of Trellwan ahead of the advancing Clans.
- 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.
- Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Has a genuinely hard time comprehending just how utterly malignant a person Katherine is.
- He Knows Too Much: Victor winds up being assassinated at the age of 104 after discovering a plot to overthrow the government of the Republic of the Sphere.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Frequently, considering how ham-handed he was at political leadership. While he did improve, it came too late to do him or the Fed-Com much good.
- Katanas Are Just Better: He receives one as a gift from Theodore Kurita, which he later uses to kill Lincoln Osis.
- 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.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
- After his mother is assassinated on his sister's orders, Victor manages to have the assassin apprehended. Rather than simply have the man executed, Victor has him rehabilitated and used to assassinate a political rival he believes was involved in his mother's murder, offering him the opportunity to escape. That same assassin later kills Omi Kurita, Victor's love interest.
- Victor's father Hanse had taken Thomas Marik's son, Joshua, to the New Avalon Institute of Science (the single best research and development institute in the Inner Sphere) to treat his leukemia, in order to secure the Free Worlds League's industrial base making upgrade kits for Inner Sphere forces fighting the Clans. Hanse also instituted Project Gemini, a plan to replace Joshua with a Body Double should he die to keep those upgrade kits coming. Despite his misgivings, Victor approved Project Gemini when Joshua did eventually die, mostly to keep Sun-Tzu Liao from marrying Isis Marik a little while longer and thus being a heartbeat away from the throne of the Free Worlds League in addition to his own Capellan Confederation. When Thomas found out he was understandably furious, and together with Sun-Tzu, launched an assault that undid nearly all the gains the Federated Commonwealth had made in the Fourth Succession War. Katherine Steiner-Davion, feigning shock that Victor would do such a thing, took the Lyran half of Commonwealth independent under her rule, setting the stage for the FedCom Civil War.
- 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.
- Spanner in the Works: Repeatedly to Katherine. Letting the Jade Falcons withdraw with honor from Coventry prevents his being conveniently killed in the fighting and inspires the founding the Second Star League. Katherine tries to manipulate her way into First Lordship by nominating Sun-Tzu Liao, expecting Victor to rail against him and inadvertently set her up as a compromise candidate, but Victor figures her gambit out and casts the deciding vote for Sun-Tzu. She thinks she's rendered him irrelevant when he returns from Clan space to find she's taken over both halves of the Federated Commonwealth and the post of First Lord comes up again, but he takes up the position of Precentor Martial and casts the deciding vote against her.
- 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.
- Tangled Family Tree: Victor, with his parentage and progeny, is a particularly ironic knot in the family trees of four of the five Great Houses that lead the Successor State superpowers. His parents are Hanse Davion, Prince of the Federated Suns in the former half of the 31st century, and Melissa Steiner, daughter and heir of Archon Katrina Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth in roughly the same time period. His first (technically illegitimate) child is with Omiko Kurita, daughter of Coordinator Theodore Kurita of the Draconis Combine, an ancestral enemy of his father's family and realm. His second love and wife, Isis Marik, is the sole surviving child of the infamous "Real" Thomas Marik who is of the ruling house of the Free Worlds League (making her a true Marik in blood unlike the doppelganger that Thomas installed), making his wife by law and his legitimate children members of the ancestral arch-enemy house of his mother's side.
- 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. He figures it out after the FedCom Civil War, where one of his first acts is to resign and passes the two thrones off to two of his siblings.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Downplayed. Hanse was always proud of him, but after taking the throne of the Federated Commonwealth Victor learned the hard way that he has to think like Victor-Steiner Davion, not like Hanse Davion.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Civil War, Jihad, Dark Age
The main antagonist of the FedCom Civil War. Not content to live her life as a second fiddle to Victor, she manipulated the Federated Commonwealth to remove her brother from the throne and take it for herself, sparking the Civil War that she would lose.
Was last seen as a "guest" of the Crusader Faction Clan Wolf.
- Color-Coded Characters: 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.
- 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.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: She genuinely can't seem to understand that Victor (among many, many others) doesn't do things because he thinks they'll make him look good, he does them because he believes they're the right thing to do.
- I Have Many Names: Katherine Steiner-Davion, Katrina Steiner and, later, Katherine Wolf.
- Informed Ability: Never actually shows her supposed political and PR skills, with every action she takes on-screen being injurious to what she claims to want (like her refusal to honour the Federated Commonwealth's mutual defence treaty with the St. Ives Compact, which arguably started and certainly made sure she lost the Fed Com Civil War).
- 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".
- Karma Houdini: For all the trouble she caused her only punishment is pretty much being exiled to a Gilded Cage, at first. Then Vlad Ward comes around threatening invasion with his Crusader Clan Wolf if she's not given to him, his demands are met and she gets to start a new life with the Clans. She outlives her brother Victor and even has a son...although said son was conceived using the Clans Super Breeding Program tech using Katherine and Victor's genes, and she intended to groom him 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.
- Light Is Not Good: Blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin, white clothes, black heart. She's fully aware of the trope, and deliberately cultivates her bright image to invoke Light Is Good and, to some extent, Beauty = Goodness.
- Manipulative Bitch: Not nearly as good as the thinks she is...but still really damn good. She has her mother assassinated, implicates her brother, and when Victor's Body Double ploy comes to light, she secedes the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth and leaves him in the lurch by commandeering all the JumpShips available and ordering all Lyran forces to abandon Federated Suns space. She starts a secret alliance with Clan Wolf that ties into her later Karma Houdini escape to the Clans. Then, while he's off fighting the Clans during Operation BULLDOG and the Great Refusal, she cons her other sibling Yvonne into handing over the Federated Suns, letting her reunite the two realms without firing a shot.
- Matricide: Conspires with Ryan Steiner to have her own mother Melissa Steiner assassinated, and sets up evidence to make it look like her brother did it. When certain parties (such as the Kell Hounds) friendly to Melissa find out, they are horrified and immediately begin opposing her.
- Is herself a victim of this, though in this case it was because she was a rabid wolf that her son realized needed to be put down.
- 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.
- Also done for merely political reasons; her brother Victor (the rightful Archon) is not popular (mostly thanks to her propaganda), her mother Melissa was popular but was dragged down by her support for the FedCom, but everyone still remembers and loves Katrina Steiner, and she does this to practically weaponize the nostalgia.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Well, Womanchild. Manipulates those around her with the skill of a true sociopath...and throws a temper tantrum when she meets someone who resists her charm. Of course, her tantrums have the power to shatter realms.
- 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 five 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.
- 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. Even earlier, she had withdrawn 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 Kell Hounds and Clan Wolf-in-Exile to form the Arc-Royal Defense Cordon, the Lyran people would have been left unprotected after being abandoned by their own Archon.
- Warrior Prince: Her NOT being this was used by Victor as a legal reason to go against her.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Civil War, Jihad, Dark Age
The son of the infamous Justin Xiang Allard and Candace Liao (the only sane one between herself, her father, and her sister), Kai is arguably one of the most skilled and deadly MechWarriors ever. Despite his name, he was a loyal officer in the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth, and of Prince Victor in particular.
- The Ace: He doesn't fully realize it until Star Captain Taman Malthus, a Jade Falcon elemental infantry garrison commander on planet Alynia, in all seriousness 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). See Worthy Opponent for the details.
- Ace Custom: Pilots Yen-Lo-Wang, a Centurion formerly used by his father that has seen extensive modifications over the years. Ironically, the combat action he's most famous for, the Battle of Twycross, had him using a random Hatchetman because he and his Mech got shipped separately.
- Failure Hero: Firmly believes himself to be this. At the start of the Clan invasion, he's crippled by self-doubt, the weight of all the responsibilities he has to live up to, and the belief that anything he accomplishes is due to dumb luck, is bound to be undone, and he's going to fail so badly he'll take everyone else down with him. It isn't until the very end of the invasion that he realizes he's not only genuinely as good as everyone says he is, he's actually even better. Even among Clan Jade Falcon, the most zealous of Crusaders who hold the Inner Sphere and freeborns in utter contempt, Kai's skill and tenacity earns him genuine and sincere respect, even admiration, nothing "grudging" about it.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Repeatedly subverted. The Spheroid troops aren't sure he survived his epic You Shall Not Pass! moment on Twycross at first. Then, on Alyina, he takes out an entire Star of Clan Mechs to rescue Victor, which results in his Mech appearing to sink into deep water with him in it. Luckily it gets caught on an underwater shelf and is retrievable.
- I Have Your Wife: His uncle Tormano Liao sets this up with his former lover Deirdre, who unbeknownst to him was also the mother of his child, to keep him from intervening in Tormano's plot to start a war between the Federated Commonwealth and the Capellan Confederation. Luckily, Kai had arranged to get several Jade Falcon Elementals on the planet...
- Tsundere: Not him specifically, but the woman who eventually became his wife and mother of his children, Deirdre 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. Before Deirdre learns who he is, they share an attraction that's not quite Love at First Sight. Once she does know who he is, she's torn between her initial attraction, hating him because his father "murdered" her father (and the bullying she got once it came out that Justin wasn't the typical treacherous Capellan, but loyal to the Federated Commonwealth and linchpin in Hanse Davion's plans for the Fourth Succession War), and being even more attracted to Kai as she gets to know him as a person.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: His performance isn't shown, but he's said to have eked out a draw if not a technical win on one in his first appearance. He faces another on Outreach after Sun-Tzu Liao turns a double one-on-three into a one-on-six against some of the finest living Mechwarriors in the Inner Sphere - including his own father, Hanse Davion, and Jaime Wolf - in a version of the Clan Trial of Position. Kai takes out five of them. By Clan rules, that would make him a Galaxy Commander.
- Why Won't You Die?: He just refuses to die during his time on the planet Alyina.
- 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 fully-armed Elementals to go after him. That's twenty five musclebound Super Soldiers clad in Powered Armor specifically designed to kill 'Mechs. After Kai expresses incredulity at that claim, Taman amends it to two Stars (and one of his warriors dejectedly amends it to three Stars as another of Kai's impressive deeds comes out). 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. They become fairly good friends later on, to the point that Malthus and a handful of his fellow Elementals were willing to risk re-starting a war to rescue Kai's lover and child.
- 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.
Free Rasalhague Republic (House Magnusson)
The Free Rasalhague Republic is made up of the former Rasalhague Military District of the Draconis Combine, a collection of heavily Scandinavian-dominated planets originally conquered by the Combine during the Age of War. It functioned as a neutral buffer state between the Combine's anti-spinward flank and the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth, until it was conquered by Clans Wolf and Ghost Bear during the Clan Invasion. Although initially under Clan rule, the Republic would see itself partially reborn as the Rasalhague Dominion after its Ghost Bear rulers increasingly went native.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Suffered the worst at the hands of the Clans by far. Because of its size and its nature as a Truce Zone, the Republic's military had no realistic chance of defending it from an Inner Sphere invasion, nevermind an Outside-Context Villain like the Clans. They also had the great bad luck to be directly in the invasion path, getting their territory whittled away by Clan Wolf and Clan Ghost Bear.
- Elective Monarchy: The head of the Republic's executive branch was known as an Elected Prince, though in practice it was not so much a royal title as simply a way of saying 'president' that sounded better to the Republic's feudal neighbours.
- Feudal Future: Averted. The Rasalhague Republic was Exactly What It Says on the Tin and functioned more like The Federation than a feudal nation, though it took on some trappings in order to avoid upsetting the neighbours.
- Foreign Ruling Class: Both as the Rasalhague Military District (the Combine) and under Clan Wolf and Clan Ghost Bear.
- Going Native: Ultimately Clan Ghost Bear would be integrated into their subjects rather than the other way around.
- Team Switzerland: Kept their neutrality fastidiously and refused to directly ally with any of the Great Houses. This also meant no-one came to aid them against the Clans.
- Norse by Norsewest: Generally Scandinavian in character, with both Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish note being spoken within its borders.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: The Tyr Resistance Movement spent 700 years battling Combine occupation of the Rasalhague worlds, and the Motstånd movement became its Spiritual Successor under Clan Ghost Bear. Ultimately, Motstånd overplayed their hand when they killed a former war hero and Prince of the Republic and lost all popular support.
- Patriotic Fervour: The Rasalhague worlds kept a national identity going for almost a millennium under the combine, and were able to unify under a single political banner remarkably painlessly once the Republic was declared.
- Spanner in the Works: For the Crusader Clans. The conquest of Rasalhague indirectly lead to the death of ilKhan Leo Showers, which lead to a temporary stop in the Invasion and the election of Warden Ulric Kerensky as the new ilKhan. Later, the Rasalhague world of Tukayyid became host to the famous battle that ended the Clan Invasion.
- Truce Zone: Made as a buffer state to keep the Draconis Combine from sharing two fronts with the FedCom.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
First elected prince of the Free Rasalhague Republic, Magnusson was a former resistance fighter before the Combine and ComStar blinked him out as an ideal candidate to sell the idea of the FRR to its population. Father of Ragnar Magnusson, who would later integrate the Republic with Clan Ghost Bear. His princeship would be defined by the Clan Invasion, which all but destroyed the Republic.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Regent for the second elected prince of the Free Rasalhague Republic and third (and last) Lord of the Second Star League, Månsdottir was a former soldier of the Tyr Resistance Movement.
- Batman Gambit: Called for a vote of no confidence in his own leadership in an attempt to keep the Second Star League together. The gambit failed as the measure passed, forcing Månsdottir to dissolve the Second Star League and directly setting off the Jihad.
- Dark Horse Victory: Like Sun-Tzu Liao and Theodore Kurita before him, he ended up ruining Katherine Steiner-Davion's attempt at becoming First Lord and was elected to the position instead as a compromise candidate.
- Gender-Blender Name: His surname 'Månsdottir' is Patronymic, and means 'daughter of Mån' in the same way that 'Magnusson' means 'son of Magnus'. Explainable by the Republic likely having abandoned actual patronyms centuries agonote and the surviving ones were converted into 'regular' family names.
- Inspirational Martyr: Was assassinated by the Motstånd movement in a car bomb alongside hundreds of other citizens during the Jihad. The death of someone so well-loved by the Rasalhague citizenry all but destroyed the resistance movement overnight and ended up aiding Clan Ghost Bear's rulership more than anything.
- Rebel Leader: Was a commander in the Resistance Movement prior to the formation of the Republic, and continued his guerrilla warfare against the Clans.
- We Can Rule Together: Ulric Kerensky offered him the post of governor of the Republic worlds Clan Wolf had conquered if he could make the resistance movement stand down. Månsdottir refused.
A Rasalhagian AeroSpace fighter pilot who basically singlehandedly turned the tide of the Clan Invasion.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Via 65-ton fighter smashing into WarShip at ludicrous relative velocity.
- Ramming Always Works: With her crippled Shilone fighter, rammed the bridge of the Clan Wolf flagship Dire Wolf, killing ilKhan Leo Showers and bringing the invasion to a complete halt for nearly a full year.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Only appears in the first book of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy, and her only real action of note is the aforementioned ramming. But that removes Smoke Jaguar ilKhan Leo Showers from power, which paves the way for Ulric Kerensky to be nominated ilKhan (in a blatant power play to minimize his ability to spread his Warden philosophy), and that allows basically the entirety of BattleTech history after that to happen. Because of Ulric becoming ilKhan, we get the Battle and Truce of Tukayyid (which leads to the Word of Blake and thus, the Jihad), the Refusal War, Clan Wolf-In-Exile, the Great Refusal, and so on.
- Worthy Opponent: The Clans added a whole verse to The Remembrance honoring Tyra's Heroic Sacrifice, and Clan Smoke Jaguar (the Clan of the ilKhan her action directly killed) named a DropShip class after her. Her Remembrance verse specifically calls out that, while an enemy, the Clans still respect her courage and will.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Son of Haakon Magnusson, second elected Prince of the Rasalhague Republic (in absentia) and [saKhan] of Clan Ghost Bear after having been taken as a bondsman by Clan Wolf (and later Ghost Bear) during the Clan Invasion. His dual nature as both a Clan Warrior and a Rasalhague noble allowed him to peacefully integrate the remaining Rasalhague worlds into the Ghost Bear Dominion, and founding the Magnusson bloodname.
- Child of Two Worlds: Served as a bridge between the Rasalhagues and Clan Ghost Bear, having been born in the former and spent most of his career in the latter.
- Going Native: Going both ways. Like Phelan Kell he became deeply enmeshed in Clan society and rose to the rank of Star Colonel (and later saKhan) on his own merits despite being an Inner Sphere Freeborn, but he was also instrumental in turning Clan Ghost Bear from a Foreign Ruling Class into a synthesis of the Clanners and the Rasalhagues.
Taurian Concordat (House Calderon)
Founded as a constitutional monarchy under the leadership of House Calderon, the Taurian Concordat is one of the oldest surviving realms since the collapse of the Terran Alliance. The Taurian Concordat has had an antagonistic relationship with the Inner Sphere, particularly against the Federated Suns, and is driven by a desire to expand its borders through colonization and protect its hard-won freedoms from outside aggression.
- Combat Pragmatist: As shown in both the Reunification War, the Vandenberg Uprising and the Jihad, the Concordat fights dirty. They were one of two nations who refused to sign the Ares Conventions in the first place, because they were being invaded by the Capellans (who had called for the Ares Conference) while the negotiations were taking place.
- Conscription: Two years of national service is mandatory for every Concordat citizen. Similarly to the Capellans, this service to the state is a point of national pride for Taurians.
- Eagle Land: Much like the FedSuns the Concordat see themselves as Beautiful defenders of freedom and liberty. The truth is they are probably closer to a Boorish (or at least Mixed) society; Taurians are proud to live in not only one of the oldest but what they see as the freest society in known space, and with that pride comes certain implications about said society. The ugly part happens when they started nuking worlds in Federated Suns during the Jihad.
- The Federation: While headed by a 'Protector of the Realm', the Concordat is a constitutional monarchy where the monarch's powers are heavily limited and its member planets have a high degree of autonomy. Most of the Concordat's worlds are democracies.
- Feudal Future: Defied; the Concordat takes it as a point of national pride not to have a feudal system. Noble titles in the Concordat are awarded for services to the state (usually by buying them) and are non-inheritable.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Concordat began in the Hyades Cluster, a group of star systems shrouded by dense gas and dust clouds and immense asteroid fields. Thanks to the this navigational nightmare, the early Concordat enjoyed a long period of isolation from the rest of human-controlled space, until it expanded outside the cluster and encountered the Inner Sphere.
- National Animal Stereotypes: Taurians are considered to be brave, stubborn and fairly unflexible, i.e. bull-headed, by outsiders.
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: At its height the Concordat was without a doubt the greatest military power in all the Periphery. Of course, compared to even the smallest of the Successor States, that's a bit like saying a Xenophyophore is really big for an amoeba.
- Occupiers Out of Our Country: The New Vandenburg uprising was this towards Star League, and severely blooded Kerensky before Amaris drew his attentions elsewhere.
- Patriotic Fervour: The Concordat has the closest thing to a national identity as can be found in the Battletech-verse, to the degree that Pleiades independence movements wanting to rejoin the Concordat (which were lost to the FedSuns in the Reunification War) were still active at the time of the Word of Blake Jihad 400 years later.
- The Rival: To the Magistracy of Canopus, having fought multiple wars and border skirmishes over worlds in The Capellan Marches.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Concordat could trace its beginnings to a woman (Samantha Calderon) who gathered up what volunteers she could and went out to find a planet far from the Terran Alliance. She did this because her whole family was murdered by the Alliance and she found herself under dire straits when the Alliance eventually collapsed.
- Settling the Frontier: After losing a full third of its worlds to the FedSuns during the Reunification War, the Concordat began actively settling new worlds as a way of expanding their territory. This tendency ended after the Far Lookers movement ran afoul of Thomas Calderon in the mid-31st century.
- Shocking Defeat Legacy: The loss of a third of their territory during the Reuinification War and being subjected to Star League rule came to define much of the Taurian national character. Although previously suspicious of the Inner Sphere due to frequent aggression in the form of raids, being outright subjugated turned the Concordat into a nation based on Never Be Hurt Again.
- The Dog Bites Back: The Taurian Concordat invaded the Federated Suns with some success during the Jihad, re-conquering several worlds lost during the Reunification War. Ultimately, the gains wrought were far outweighed by the negative consequences of joining the Word of Blake and the Concordat collapsed not long after as numerous worlds left in protest.
- Toros Y Flamencos: The Concordat is lead by a Spanish-descended Great House whose symbol is a bull.
- Unknown Rival: The whole Inner Sphere in general, but the Federated Suns in particular, have been this for the Taurians for around 300+ years if not longer. All in all it's a pretty one-sided rivalry, as the Taurians lack the strength and political will to project force into the Inner Sphere, and the Inner Sphere considers the Taurians Beneath Notice.
- Vestigial Empire: While it was never a large nation, by 3145 the Concordat has become a shadow of its former self, its former worlds either joining Erik Martens-Calderon's Calderon Protectorate or declaring independence. What remains of the Concordat are those worlds that lie within the Hyades Cluster.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
Lord Protector of the Taurian Concordat until his death halfway through the Clan Invasion. While mentally unstable due to rampant paranoia, his policy of non-interference in the latter Succession Wars and the Clan Invasion kept the Concordat stable for most of his tenure.
- Adult Fear: Two of his children predeceased him, a third caught a virus that crippled her for life and the fourth disappeared in what was believed to be a [JumpShip] accident. The death of his heir-presumptive Edward in a DropShip accident particularly unbalanced him.
- The Coup: Was eventually deposed by his youngest son for abusing Concordat conscription law and keeping the nation on permanent war-footing.
- General Ripper: Against the Federated Suns (and later the Federated Commonwealth), seeing their hand in everything that was going wrong in the Concordat and believing they were always plotting to invade.
- The Paranoiac: A prominent part of his latter rule. Seeing the threat of imminent invasion and plots against the Concordat's stability everywhere, Thomas ended up breaking the Taurian constitution left and right.
- Unknown Rival: He considered Hanse Davion his arch-enemy for most of his life. Hanse, on his end, probably never noticed his existence.
Magistracy of Canopus (House Centrella)
One of the largest and richest Periphery states, The Magistracy of Canopus is a matriarchal society led by a Magestrix, an elected position open to any woman but largely controlled by House Centrella due to the family's popularity. Disparaged by some for promoting a hedonistic lifestyle, the Magistracy supports an open society and the personal freedom of all citizens and their right to live their lives as they see fit. As such, it is a popular destination for those fleeing persecution or looking to satisfy their discerning tastes.
- Deadly Decadent Court: With more emphasis placed on the "decadent" part, for sure.
- Free-Love Future: This can be discerned from the Canopians' openness toward anything and everything. Indeed, the Magistracy boasts a thriving adult industry, for which tourists come wishing to partake in the many delights the realm has to offer, or catch a showing of the travelling "pleasure circuses."
- Hereditary Republic/Elective Monarchy: Skirts between the two. The Magistracy is a democracy that elects an autocrat who serves until death or if they have been deemed unfit to hold office. The 'hereditary' part comes from the fact that while the position of Magistrix is open to any woman in the Magistracy, the position has largely been filled by members of House Centrella. Interestingly, it's because they keep getting voted in by their subjects, and doing so has largely become tradition by now.
- Matriarchy: If the name of the nation wasn't an indicator, the Magistracy is a state that was essentially founded by feminists. Every high-ranking position (except for perhaps in the military) is held by women, and only a woman can serve as the Magistracy's head of state. It is only in recent decades that something resembling gender equality is rearing its head. But still, most in the Magistracy still naturally assume that women are better at certain jobs than men.
- The Medic: While their entertainment industry is their most well known industry, they also have one of the more advanced medical industries, post Star League, and many of their tourists are wealthy individuals from other areas who travel there for specialist treatments they can't get as reliably locally.
- Reluctant Warrior: War is in opposition to the Magistracy's national character, as most of their industries are based around leisure and peacetime industries. Although they have a standing army, it is heavily mercenary-based and they prefer to settle matters diplomatically if possible. During the Reunification War, the Canopians all too eagerly agreed to Marion Marik's suggestion to mutually obey the Ares Conventions, despite Ian Cameron's decree.
- The Rival: To the Taurian Concordat, having repeatedly clashed with the latter over worlds in the Capellan Marches.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Kossandra Centrella, the Magistracy's founder, was once an officer in the Free Worlds League Military whose unit was left behind enemy lines during a general withdrawal. While she managed to save her unit from destruction, she became disillusioned by the incompetance of the FLWM and the patriarchal systems that dominated the Inner Sphere so she gathered many like-minded people and fled the Free Worlds.
- Vice City: A Vice Nation, more like. Much of their economy is tourism and entertainment-based, and the Canopians themselves have a reputation that leans toward the hedonistic. Hell, a case could even be made that a decent sized chunk of its money is made from porn.
- Then again, what would you expect from a faction that has planets named "Hardcore" and "Westheimer"?
Outworlds Alliance/Raven Alliance (House Avellar/Clan Snow Raven)
A loose association of worlds on the border of the Draconis Combine, the Outworlds Alliance banded together as a mutual defence pact to avoid being annexed by House Kurita and has more or less stayed that way ever since. After allying with Clan Snow Raven following the Great Refusal, the Outworlds Alliance changed its name to the Raven Alliance and remained in the same irrelevancy.
- The Alliance: Says so in the name. The Raven Alliance is in itself an alliance between the Outworlds and Clan Snow Raven, though that Alliance is a little one-sided in favour of the Snow Ravens.
- Butt-Monkey: Let's see...
- First, the Star League garrisons the Alliance "for mutual defence and protection" without the President's approval.
- Then there's the "Santiago Massacre," after a Kurita Mechwarrior tossed coolant in a child's face for throwing snowballs at him. That was an incident that went straight to hell from there.
- Then there was the sadistic SLDF General Amos "Baby-Killer" Furlough, who made the Alliance his personal chew toy during the Reunification War, proceeding to kill around 12 million of its civilians and burning most of its cities to the ground before he was redirected to the Taurian front.
- Constantly suffered from weak governments, and their Presidents often either died in office or went off the deep end.
- Has gradually deteriorated since the fall of the Star League in many ways, and a lot of its worlds are just one bad day away from armed rebellion.
- Then comes Clan Snow Raven. Yep, the Outworlds Alliance is cursed, alright.
- Crapsack World: Worlds, plural. Since the beginning of the 31st Century, the Alliance has become a pretty grim place to live. Planetary populations have declined, as has literacy levels, and many of its planets are unable to feed its own people. Also, by 3145 it is suggested that it is only Clan Snow Raven that is keeping the Alliance together.
- Democracy Is Flawed: It's one of the most openly democratic societies in the Periphery, and one of the most ineffectual.
- Hufflepuff House: The least characterized of the major Periphery nations, with even the Rim Worlds Republic (which was effectively destroyed following the Star League's fall) having a more characterized backstory. The most notable thing to happen to them since the end of the Reuinification War was their alliance with another Hufflepuff House from the Clans.
Marian Hegemony (House O'Reilly)
The Marian Hegemony is a small but highly aggressive Periphery state. Founded in the mid 2900s as little more than a mining colony and bandit kingdom, the original Hegemony was set onto its current path during the Fourth Succession War when Marius O'Reilly, a fanboy of the Roman Empire, crowned himself Imperator and led his new state onto a path of conquest over neighbouring worlds.
- The Empire: The Hegemony is quite small even by Periphery standards but the Hegemony is highly aggressive and expansionistic.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: If the name didn't give it away the Marian Hegemony is one of these for the Roman Empire.
- Gratuitous Latin: Latin is one of the Hegemony's official languages, and on their banner are the words, "Pax Mortis," or "Peace of Death." Their head of state is even called a Caesar.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: While the Draconis Combine has its Unproductives and the Capellan Confederation has its Servitors, the Marian Hegemony is the only Periphery State note that has a culture of outright chattel slavery.
Aurigan Coalition (House Arano)
A young, small and fairly prosperous Periphery state, the Aurigan Coalition formed through an alliance of several mercantile houses in the Aurigan Reach after the Capellans, Taurians and Canopians all withdrew from the area during the Succession Wars. Due to overlapping claims to several of its worlds by the Capellans and Taurians, the Coalition remains an unrecognized state to the Inner Sphere at a whole.
- Canon Immigrant: Originally made by Jordan Weissman for the 2018 BattleTech video game, the Coalition was canonically added in the House Arano handbook.
- The Coup: House Arano was temporarily ousted by House Espinosa as leaders of the Coalition in 3022. Following a Civil War between 3025 and 3027, House Arano has returned and House Espinosa has gone practically extinct.
- Elective Monarchy: Ruled by a First Lord or Lady, who is elected by a council made up of the seven founding houses of the Coalition and elected officials from each of its member worlds. The council maintains veto power and the ability to remove the First Lord, though due to its short history the latter has yet to occur.
- The Federation: Originally founded a mercantile alliance between seven noble families.
- The Good Kingdom: Small and generally inoffensive, the Coalition was formed through alliances and peaceful annexation and lacks the power to do much beyond internal matters.
- Truce Zone: The Coalition is recognized and partially backed by the Magistracy of Canopus for this reason, who wish for it to serve as a buffer between them, the Capellans, and the Taurians.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Having so far only been canonically introduced in the 3025 timepoint, the fate of the Coalition after the Fourth Succession War is unknown.
- Era(s): Succession Wars
Current High Lady of the Aurigan Coalition after defeating her uncle in a Civil War for leadership.
See here for tropes specifically regarding her appearance in the Battletech video game.
- Last of His Kind: She is both the last blood-heir of House Arano and the closest possible heir to the now-defunct House Espinosa, being the niece of its former head.
- Rightful King Returns: A legal heir of the Coalition, Kamea was ousted by a military coup and re-took the kingdom (with some Canopian backing). She is currently the only thing keeping the Coalition together.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Fought as a Frontline General for much of the Aurigan civil war, personally liberating most of the major planets during the campaign.
- Superweapon Surprise: Accounts of the re-taking of Coromodir claim Kamea was piloting an Atlas of unknown class and make during the battle. The 'mech's existence has not been confirmed by any subsequent reports but is presumed to still be present in the Coalition's arsenal note
- Weapon of Choice: Her 'mech of choice is House Arano's KTO-18 Kintaro.
- Young Conqueror: She re-conquered her entire realm from an usurper at the age of 25.
Rim Worlds Republic (House Amaris)
The Rim Worlds Republic was a major Periphery power until it was destroyed by the SLDF under Aleksandr Kerensky during the Amaris Civil War. The majority of its worlds were later claimed by the Lyran Commonwealth, and the remnants of the Rim Worlds Republic broke into smaller states, bandit kingdoms, became independent systems, or simply disappeared from star maps altogether.
- The Empire: As a part of the Amaris Empire, after Stefan Amaris took over the Star League.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: The Republic was one of these for Ancient Greece, at least in its earlier years. Interestingly, their head of state was known as a First Consul (later President), which is a reference to the Roman Republic.
- Hereditary Republic: Officially it is a republic, though power had often traded hands through military coups until House Amaris came into power, and by then power stayed solely on House Amaris and its heirs. One Amaris ruler tried to initiate reforms that would establish democracy in the Republic, but they never really took.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: The Rim Worlds Republic relied on a 'Helot' slave class during its early years, and until the rise of the Marian Hegemony (centuries after the fall of the Republic) was the only Periphery state that practised slavery.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilised: The founders of the Republic began as a student group gone militant against the Terran Alliance, and they went from piracy and slavery from there. Also, the first few of the Republic's leaders had a habit of being deposed in violent coup d'etats.
- Era(s): Age of War
The founder of the Rim Worlds Republic.
- Badass Bookworm: You'd probably have to be to go from an undergraduate student of history to a leader of a militia group to the founder of a nation.
- Driven to Suicide: Hector took his own life within months of being ousted from his position as First Consul.
- Jerkass: Torturing soldiers to death, hijacking JumpShips and taking their crews and passengers as slaves... Yeah, Hector didn't take getting booted off his homeworld very well.
- Kangaroo Court: Was very fond of these in the years before he founded the Rim Worlds Republic. Notably, he caught a 350-strong Terran Alliance regiment by surprise and executed the officers before organising kangaroo courts for the surviving soldiers...who were then promptly tortured to death.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Had no trouble with taking slaves to help build his new Republic. He even established a whole social class of slaves.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilised: Was deposed by his own son...who was then deposed by his own daughter...
- Era(s): Age of War
An intelligence operative for the Terran Hegemony, sent to the Rim Worlds Republic to investigate an attempted poisoning of the Director-General. She later became the First Consul of the Republic, and is the founder of House Amaris.
Your friendly neighborhood phone company. Operates all of the Inner Sphere's Subspace Ansible stations. Not a cult.
An 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; ComStar 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.
- Church Militant: ComStar secretly possessed one of the largest, most technologically advanced armies in the Inner Sphere during the Succession Wars, though few outside the order knew it. That all changed during the epic Battle of Tukayyid.
- Color-Coded for 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 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 and a prophet.
- Fictional Currency: ComStar produces their own currency, the ComStar Letter of Credit, which eventually evolved into the C-Bill. The other Successor States also produce their own currency, but their value can waver based on that House's fortunes. The C-Bill is considered a reliable secondary currency.
- Godzilla Threshold: Finding out that the final target of the Clan Invasion was Terra, ComStar's homeworld, was enough to bring them out of the shadows and fight openly in defense of the Inner Sphere.
- Les Collaborateurs: ComStar was secretly working with the Clans during Operation REVIVAL, supplying information on defenses, blacking out communications from planets under assault, and helping administrate conquered planets in exchange for the Clans leaving them alone. The Clans actually respected ComStar as a relic of the old Star League. It was only when Ulric Kerensky let slip that the Clans were aiming for Terra that ComStar realized that they were on the target list too.
- Lost Technology: ComStar spent most of the Succession Wars helping to perpetrate technological decline - murdering scientists, sabotaging factories, and stealing blueprints - to ensure that they would be the only holders of advanced technology, in anticipation of the Successor States coming to ComStar and asking them to lead the Inner Sphere that the NGO would unite. It didn't exactly work out that way, as all the Successor States were more than happy to keep punching each other to death while ComStar watched.
- Man Behind the Man: How ComStar (and its secret intelligence agency ROM in particular) preferred to operate during the Succession Wars, manipulating other Houses or hiring mercenaries to do their dirty work. The few times they were forced to act openly, they made sure to conceal the identity of their troops so none of the Successor States knew who was attacking them.
- 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.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: When the setting was more blatantly futuristic medieval, ComStar was basically the Roman Catholic Church in space: the one organization with the power to yank the choke-chain on the feuding nation-states if they got too far out of line.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Primus Adrienne Sims had horrible nightmares of beasts from beyond the Periphery coming to attack the Inner Sphere, and her successor founded the Explorer Corps, which both looked for lost Star League caches and tried to figure out where the massive army that was the Exodus Fleet had gone. They found out...and the SLDF, now the Clans, used that to justify an invasion of the Inner Sphere from beyond the Periphery.
- State Sec: ROM, ostensibly ComStar's intelligence branch, functioned as this when they transitioned from their secular, corporate structure to a machine-worshiping cult.
- 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: When they realized that the Clans intended to capture Terra as their ultimate objective in the Clan Invasion of 3050, ComStar realized they could no longer stand on the sidelines of the war and had to act. They responded by calling the Clans out with a batchall (battle challenge) with the fate of Terra on the line. The Clans answered, and ComStar brought out twelve armies, most armed with tech that the Inner Sphere hadn't seen in hundreds of years. Even though the ComStar armies had a lot of unseasoned soldiers, and even though the resulting Battle of Tukayyid resulting in 30% fatalities (and worse casualties) for the ComGuard, the Clans were savaged so badly that they were never able to invade the Inner Sphere again. And the rest of the Inner Sphere got the message: don't fuck with ComStar.
- Wrongfully Attributed: Invoked. ComStar credit a lot of suitably wise quotes or statements from various historical works or figures to Jerome Blake to make him seem more of a paragon of wisdom. The Word of Blake got in on it even more.
A breakaway sect of ComStar that formed in opposition to Anastasius Focht and Primus Sharilar Mori's secularist reforms.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Their Manei Domini troops were fanatics even for Blakists, and were modified with cybernetics to a nightmarish degree.
- Evil Reactionary: Formed as an objection to the secularization and wanted ComStar to return to their original religious dogma.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: They start out as a splinter faction of ComStar that protests the secularization movement, taking control of some of the HPG stations. Then they start the Jihad and start nuking and bombarding places from orbit.
- Machine Worship: The Word wished to preserve this while ComStar sought to move away from it.
- Nuke 'em: Got a bit happy with assorted weapons of mass destruction during the Jihad. They came to regret it as just about every faction in the setting came down on them, hard.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: To ComStar.
- The Unfettered: Noted to have ignored practically every surviving law and custom of war in pursuit of their dogma. This saw them all but eradicated when the rest of the Inner Sphere responded in kind.
- Era(s): Star League, Succession Wars
Minister of Communications for the Star League and Founder of ComStar
- Badass Bookworm: He's just a technician, not a warrior, general, or politician. However, he managed to conquer Terra and manipulate all the Successor States into recognizing its neutrality, protecting the HPG network. Without him, the Crapsack World of the Inner Sphere would've been even worse.
- Cult of Personality: Done to him by both ComStar and the Word of Blake.
- Dead Guy on Display: Done to his body after his death, despite his wish to be cremated.
- Married to the Job: He survived the Amaris Coup because he was taking his first vacation in three years. He had no family so, when he died, his will discussed only the future of ComStar
- Era(s): Star League, Succession Wars
Blake's successor as head of ComStar.
- Ambiguous Situation: Toyama was the last person to visit Jerome Blake on his deathbed. All microphones and cameras were deactivated. When Toyama left, Blake was dead and Toyama had a statement naming him Blake's successor. It is unclear if this statement is authentic or if Toyama had anything to do with Blake's death
- Friend in the Black Market: He was ComStar's in his youth.
- Meaningful Rename: He suggested the name ComStar after Blake turned the Department of Communications into an independent corporation. It is a combination of Communications Enterprises Inc., and Starlight Broadcasting Ltd., two of the Department's biggest contractors. He claims he got the idea after being electrocuted while working on an HPG generator and the ghost of Richard Cameron whispering it in his ear.
- Tyrant Takes the Helm: He is the one primarily responsible for turning ComStar from a secular corporation to a quasi-religious cult and purging any employees who objected.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Jihad
Precentor-Martial Anastasius Focht was the commander in chief of the once-secret ComStar army known as the Com Guard. He is the architect of the Battle of Tukayyid, an arranged proxy battle over the ownership of Terra between ComStar and the Clans, where the Clan invasion in the early 3050s was temporarily halted for 15 years if the Com Guard won. Since achieving victory on Tukayyid he became increasingly prominent in the affairs of the Inner Sphere as a whole. Also responsible for thwarting a power grab by Primus Myndo Waterly. Being more secular and moderate, his actions within ComStar politics would result in the schism that created the Word of Blake splinter faction.
- Character Tic: Frequently adjusts his Eyepatch of Power.
- The Chessmaster: Excels at outmaneuvering his opponents in warfare. He is the architect of the Battle of Tukayyid, a proxy battle for Terra, where he exploited the Crusader Clans' Blood Knight propensities to have them drop woefully unprepared for battle with what they considered inferior foes.
- Eyepatch of Power: Lost an eye as part of his mysterious past.
- Eye Scream: Lost his eye by surviving a point-blank Boom, Headshot!.
- Meaningful Name: In conjunction with Meaningful Rename. "Anastasius" is Latin for "reborn," "Focht" is German for "(he who) Fought." Ulric Kerensky notes that a man capable of choosing such a name for himself is a very dangerous man.
- Meaningful Rename: In another life, he was Fredrick Steiner, a member of the royal house that leads the Lyran Commonwealth.
- Mysterious Past: Before he became Precentor Martial, there are no records or information available about Anastasius' Focht's life. Because "Anastasius Focht" didn't exist before he was named Precentor Martial.
- Secular Hero: Though ardently ComStar, Focht has a more secular belief in the importance of ComStar's mission, not buying much into the pseudomysticism. His actions to that end catalyzed the schism of the more zealous elements of ComStar into the splinter Word of Blake.
- 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."
- Underestimating Badassery: Everyone. Most dismiss Focht as little more than a bureaucrat with delusions of warriorhood, since there are no records of him ever attending any of the Inner Sphere's assorted military academies, or even recieving any formal military training at all. What these people don't know is that Anastasius Focht isn't his real name; he's actually Frederick Steiner, one of the top military minds the Lyran Commonwealth ever produced (and despite the Commonwealth's reputation for military ineptitude, he's on par with any Inner Sphere legendary commander you care to name). Even Myndo Waterly, well aware of Focht's past, underestimates how much he has changed, how little Anastasius Focht has in common with Frederick Steiner, and this miscalculation ultimately costs her her life. The only one to suspect something about Focht's Mysterious Past, to look into it and learn to respect both the man Focht used to be and the man he is now, is Ulric Kerensky, and even he underestimated just how hard Focht and his ComGuards were willing to fight.
- You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Officially, Primus Waterly decided to step down and retire after the Battle of Tukayyid, and sadly died of a cerebral hemorrhage 4 days later. Unofficially, when Waterly revealed the details of Operation Scorpionnote to Focht, Focht called Waterly an idiot, revealed that the plan had failed, and then shot Waterly in the back of the head with a needler pistol when she turned her back on Focht in a brazen insult.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Jihad
The Man Behind the Man for the horrible events during the Jihad was once the real heir to the throne to the Free Worlds League. A bomb from a relative seeking the throne (something common in the family) killed his father and one of his brothers as well as almost killing him too. However, he was resuscitated by ComStar but he was horribly scared and required cybernetic implants to save him. The League has a heavy anti-cybernetic stance so a body double was put in his place by ComStar. Said double would go on to be the best leader the Free Worlds League ever had while the real Thomas would become the fanatical mastermind and bank-roller of the Word of Blake and the planner behind the Jihad.
Killed at the end of the Jihad when the planet he was on is scoured by nukes to ensure no Word Of Blake members escape.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: After the bombing attempt on his life, he needed cybernetic implants to survive. His role as Captain-General of the Free Worlds League was taken by a double, while he went on to become the leader of the Word of Blake and lead them in starting the Jihad.
- 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 its place is a cybernetic replacement.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: The bomb also heavily scarred his face and body and he's one of the biggest villains the Inner Sphere had faced since Stefan Amaris.
- Karmic Death: He and the Word of Blake nuked dozens of worlds into submission, and 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.
- 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.
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 world called Strana Mechty. 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.
Originally, there were twenty Clans as envisioned by Kerensky, but disagreements between them saw one clan (the "Not-Named") exterminated by the rest almost immediately, and several weaker clans were conquered and absorbed by the lesser. At the time of the Inner Sphere invasion seventeen Clans remained, and the events of the invasion would lead to a second extermination and subsequently to the Wars of Reaving that permanently split the Clans in half: By the time of the Jihad there are seven Clans permanently exiled to the Inner Sphere and only four remaining in Clan space.
The Clans are a culture born from desperate necessity, aimed to promote excellence and create the greatest good at minimal expense. Fundamentally, they are a society on permanent war-footing - 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. (Clan Burrock then created an animal and named it the Blood Spirit as a Take That! to the Clan).
- 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. They get bit hard by the downside of this trope. 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, tactical, strategic, logistic, or political skills.
- Broken Pedestal: Many citizens of the Inner Sphere (including, most notably, Romano Liao) believed that, when humanity got to its darkest time, the SLDF would return from deep space and bring justice and peace back to the Inner Sphere. When their descendants returned as the Clans, it did not sit well, and popular opinion of the SLDF turned ugly.
- 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. As a for instance, Clan Wolf 'Mechs are described as painted exclusively in mottled grey, but light brown is their official color on maps and used in most of their now-canon paint schemes.
- Crippling Overspecialization: During their time apart from the rest of human society in the Inner Sphere, the Clans' concept of warfare evolved into a more duel-based method of fighting over territory, resources, or even decisions and rank. These principals were codified in the zellbrigen honor code, which Clan warriors adhere to religiously. Even at the strategic level, the Clans focus on only using the bare minimum of military assets to claim an objective, sometimes at the expense of operational effectiveness, in order to secure more honor by winning more with less. This is due to the harsh conditions of the original Clan homeworlds, and the devastation brought by the Exodus Civil War and Operation KLONDIKE. As a result, in a one-on-one fight Clan warriors will often come out on top, but they ultimately failed in their goal of conquering the Inner Sphere because only a handful of Clan commanders could adequately plan and execute large-scale strategies against the more pragmatic armies of the Inner Sphere. In other words, the Clans too often focused on winning the battle, not the war.
- Many Clans focus their toumans on one specific kind of combat vehicle or type of warfare, at the expense of all other branches. For example, Clans Star Adder and Snow Raven focused heavily on space combat, Clan Cloud Cobra focused on aerospace fighter combat, and Clan Smoke Jaguar focused almost exclusively on BattleMechs. In general, the Clans see BattleMechs as the ultimate combat machine, as they are well suited to one-one-on confrontations (aerospace fighters are the second largest element, for the same reason). Only Clan Hell's Horses still practice proper combined arms warfare between BattleMechs, combat vehicles, infantry, artillery, and aerospace assets.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Toyed with. Most of the Clan cybernetics or organ or limb replacements are just fine, and better than what the Inner Sphere has to offer. But their Enhanced Imaging implants, that let warriors control their Mechs without the heavy neurohelmet and are necessary to control ProtoMechs at all, tend to make the user go insane quickly, to the point of being unfit for duty within three years.
- Death Seeker: Clans have solahma units made up of old or dying warriors who go on suicidal missions in hopes of getting an honorable death.
- 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.
- Designer Babies: "Trueborn" Clan warriors are created in batches of siblings from Uterine Replicators and ruthlessly competed against each other, with any washouts being relegated to the appropriate civilian caste. The process is practically sacred to them - every warrior wants to acquire a Bloodname so their genes will be worthy of contributing to future generations, and references to the process as "genetic engineering" are considered an insult. And it isn't really "genetic engineering," in the way most people think of it, but more eugenics. The warriors of one generation are bred from the very best of the previous generation (with matches carefully considered for what traits they want to pass on or improve), so each generation of warriors starts as good as the best of the last, and only gets better with training. In theory, anyway. Proof that the Clan breeding program works as advertised is found in the Elementals: hulking, eight-foot-tall, supremely muscled men and women designed for the rigors of infantry combat in their suits of Powered Armor. Proof that it perhaps doesn't work as well as intended is found in the AeroPilot phenotype, small and slight to better handle G-forces and with enlarged eyes and craniums for superior reaction time, they nevertheless rarely outperform Inner Sphere AeroPilots.
- Enemy Civil War: Lucky for the Inner Sphere, the Clans were too busy with the Wars of Reaving to invade again during the Jihad, when they would have stood a fairly good chance of taking over.
- 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. The Warriors do hold the only political power in the Clans and are intended to lead their Clan (and in Grand Council, the Clans as a whole), but this is intended as a "First Among Equals" sort of thing. Some Clans do it that, but in others, the Warrior Caste are just a particularly weird flavor of Aristocrats Are Evil, and even the other castes fall into a strict hierarchy of power, prestige, and social standing. The Laborer caste pretty much inevitably hits rock-bottom in any Clan going this direction.
- The Dark Caste, or Bandit Caste, is an unofficial sixth caste made up of pirates, criminals, or renegades who refuse to integrate into Clan society.
- 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 warrior caste.
- Many Clanners, especially the Crusaders, view "Spheroids" (the people of the Inner Sphere) as violent, undisciplined barbarians.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: For the Mongol Empire during its invasion of Europe.
- 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. The Clan Invasion happened when the Crusaders finally came to dominate the vote, and they promptly gave Clan Wolf, the most powerful Warden Clan, the 'position of honour' during the Invasion.
- Following the Wars of Reaving, the Crusaders were essentially banished or eradicated from Clan society and the Wardens split into the Bastion and Aggressor factions. The Bastions want to keep the Clans pure from the 'taint' of the Inner Sphere and forbid all contact with the Inner Sphere or with anyone who has been in contact with the Inner Sphere. The Aggressors also want to keep the Clans pure, but believe the Inner Sphere will continue to taint them by its continued existence and as such want to invade and burn it to the ground.
- Final Solution: A Clan that is marked for Annihilation will be erased from existence. This has only happened twice in Clan historynote , and both left a notable mark on Clan society. The Inner Sphere intentionally treated the destruction of Clan Smoke Jaguar as close to Annihilation as possible to traumatize the Clans.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Clans settled behind a giant nebula that made it impossible for them or the Inner Sphere to see or contact each other from the other side (given the stellar distances between the two this was mostly academic anyway). The Warden philosophy wished for the Clans to remain there, apart from the Inner Sphere except for when the need was direst. Following the Wars of Reaving, all Clans deemed 'tainted' by contact with the Inner Sphere were banished from Clan space and the remaining Home Clans have created the Bastion Philosophy to ensure it stays that way.
- Honor Before Reason: The main reason the Clans' invasion failed was because they were used to small-scale, ritualized combat and unprepared for a large-scale strategical campaign against a foe with no concept of 'fair play'. ComStar ended up stopping the entire Clan invasion for fifteen years by convincing them to a large-scale Trial by Combat (with Earth as the prize if the Clans won) and then fortifying the planet that the battle would take place on and fighting as ruthless and dirty as possiblenote .
- Hufflepuff House: Any Clan not named Wolf, Jade Falcon, Ghost Bear or Smoke Jaguar is essentially this, having limited effects on the Battletech-verse outside a few fluff pieces in the sourcebooks. It's telling that the majority of the non-Invading Clans were wiped out (and the survivors went into permanent isolation) pretty much the moment after the Great Refusal ended their threat.
- I Am Not Left-Handed: Toyed with. With the technology advantage the Clans have, the only reason that the Inner Sphere even stands a chance during their initial invasion is because only four (later six) of the eighteen Clans in existence at that point took part in the invasion, and even then they were losing badly until ComStar made their play at Tukayyid despite the Clans only bringing the minimum amount of force they think they need to win to a battle. However, the Clans that did come were apparently the best of the best, using their best equipment, while their second-line units were typically equipped with mildly upgraded Star League designs (which were still better than most of what the Inner Sphere had in use). Task Force SERPENT found out the hard way that when the Clans stop screwing around, even a large force of elite troops will still get devastated. If the Clans had all come and fought as a single unit (instead of trying to outperform one another), the Inner Sphere would have lost.
- Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: The Clans follow a code of honor called zellbrigen, which emphasizes fair combat, from hand to hand duels all the way up to the conquest of entire planets. The code was formed to minimize loss of life and resources after the SLDF fled known space and settled on resource-poor planets.
- Make an Example of Them: The ultimate fate of Clan Smoke Jaguar. The Inner Sphere knew they had to send a very clear message to the Clans that the Second Star League was not to be trifled with, and chose to single out the Jaguars for outright Annihilation.
- Many suspect this was the real reason for the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine during the early days of the Clans. They're right.
- 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. Downplayed in that the odds for the Trial are equal to the odds by which the vote succeeded by. Lose a vote by two-to-one or less, and you have a decent shot at your Trial. Lose by four-, five-, eight-, sixteen-to-one, on the other hand...
- Not So Different: Pretty much the entire second book of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy is pointing this out between the Clans and the Inner Sphere. While the Inner Sphere leadership on Outreach is engaged in petty political bickering and infighting fueled by centuries of bad blood as they try to come together and defend against the Clan Invasion, back on the Clan homeworld of Strana Mechty, the Clans...are engaged in petty political bickering and infighting fueled by centuries of bad blood as they try and come together to renew the invasion.
- Only One Name: The vast majority of Clan society. Only the few trueborn warriors can take the Trial of Bloodright to gain the right to use the surname of a genetic ancestor.
- Planet of Hats: Each of the twenty clans had its own gimmick and position in Clan society, explained In-Universe as a result of the quirks and outlooks of its founding Khan. Diamond Shark are the Proud Merchant Race, Hell's Horses are the only ones left in the Clans who believe in combined arms tactics, Ghost Bear are the Mighty Glacier Clan, Smoke Jaguar The Berserker, Jade Falcon Honor Before Reason Up to Eleven, Clan Wolf the (comparatively) Combat Pragmatist Clan, and so on.
- 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.
- Clan Hell's Horses winds up with one in Clan Stone Lion after the Horses are Abjured by the Homeworld Clans.
- Rite of Passage Name Change: The Bloodname, a rite by which a Clan warrior can take on the surname of their genetic ancestornote . Bloodnames are required to vote in Clan matters and is the only way a warrior's genes will be stored for further use in their eugenics programme, and so competition for a Bloodname is fierce amongst candidates.
- 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. And woe betide anyone who even uses the word "wolverine" innocently in conversation in earshot of a clanner, or even worse, tries to compliment a clanner by comparing them to a wolverine. Did we mention that one of the more common, above-average medium 'mechs is the WVR-6R Wolverine? (What the Clans would otherwise call the Wolverine IIC, a version of the Inner Sphere 'Mech updated with Clan technology, they instead call the Conjurer.)
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: In the lead-up to the Wars of Reaving, most of the Invader Clans (those that invaded the Inner Sphere during Operation REVIVAL) moved as much of their military and civilian assets as they could to the Inner Sphere. Clan Ghost Bear in particular managed to covertly move almost their entire civilian population out of Clan space in secret before their rivals even realised it. Those that remained were eventually driven out or Absorbed by the Homeworld clans.
- Shocking Defeat Legacy: The Battle of Tukayyid was this for the Crusader clans, followed by the Great Refusal (which Annihilated Clan Smoke Jaguar and saw the Clans defeated by the Inner Sphere on their home turf) for the rest of the Clans. The Smoke Jaguar Annihilation and the defeat during the Great Refusal directly lead to the banishment of all the Invader Clans from the Clan homeworlds, the Wars of Reaving and the surviving Home Clans permanently cutting themselves off from the Inner Sphere, convinced that nothing good can ever come of it.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Clans often take bondsmen (prisoners used as indentured servants) from other Clans or the Inner Sphere. Sometimes those bondsmen are inducted into the Clan that captured them.
- Token Evil Teammate: Very few Clans have much good to say about Clan Smoke Jaguar, even in a society so focused on internal war, battle, and rivalries. Extremely aggressive and focused only on martial pursuits, the Jaguars raided practically all other Clans for the resources and equipment needed to keep their war-machine going instead of producing anything of their own. During the invasion of the Inner Sphere the Jaguars crossed a line when they ordered the civilian settlement of Turtle Bay eradicated by Orbital Bombardment, causing the other Clans to immediately bid away all their WarShips for use in planetary warfare. As for the Inner Sphere, this conduct was so shocking that it galvanized most of its nations against the Clan invaders, and they later subjected the Smoke Jaguars to a Trial of Annihilation in all but name through Operation BULLDOG and by invading the Jaguar homeworld of Huntress.
- 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 Ghost Bears have Gone Native; the only 'Wardens' left are 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. The Trials typically have a ritualized structure: for many, the challenger chooses the means by which the fight will occur (Augmented or Unaugmented, i.e. with 'Mechs/BattleArmor//AeroSpace fighters/etc. or hand-to-hand), while the challenged chooses the location of the battle. In the Trial of Bloodright, it is randomly decided which warrior will choose to how to fight and which will choose where to fight. Trials of Absorption and Annihilation are as close to "real" warfare as the Clans typically get (and these have sometimes spilled over into "real" warfare, usually with devastating results). There are seven types of Trials:
- Trial of Grievance: Basically a duel. Two warriors with a dispute enter a Circle of Equals and duke it out. The size of the circle varies based on the rules of the duel, which can be anything from a fistfight to an aerospace dogfight. A Trial of Grievance is technically a Duel to the Death but deaths are actually rare; the rule is only to discourage unnecessary Trials. Technically, Trials of Grievance are reserved for highly-placed Warriors, and only occur after all other attempts to resolve the dispute (up to and including bringing the matter before the Grand Council) have failed. In reality, "unofficial" Trials of Grievance happen routinely, especially among particularly prideful Clans like Jade Falcon, as warriors constantly insult each other and demand satisfaction in the form of duels. These unofficial Trials are technically illegal and thus practically never to the death.
- Trial of Position: Used to determine career advancement.
- Trial of Bloodright: Used to determine which Clan warriors are allowed to use a Bloodname (basically a surname taken from whichever one of the 800 original Clan warriors they're descended from). Only twenty-five warriors are allowed to use any Bloodname at a time. When one dies, others of the bloodline compete to take their place.
- Trial of Possession: Used to settle disputes between Clans over ownership of assets. This can include land, weapons, genetic material, etc. Typically fought by the aggressor stating their intention to claim a certain objective, the defender allocating forces to defend it and informing the attacker what the defenses will be, then the attacker bidding a force to attempt to take the objective. Rarely, Trials of Possession can be determined by alternative means: single fistfights, wrestling matches, and even arm-wrestling matches have been used among the Clans at various points, Phelan Wolf was bid alone to take the world of Gunzberg by essentially negotiating the terms of its surrender, Clan Nova Cat defected to the Inner Sphere settling Trials of Possession with a coin toss (and calling "edge"), and memorably, the Rasalhague world of Sheliak challenged Clan Ghost Bear invaders to a game of American Football as the Trial of Possession (see Funny for how that turned out).
- Trial of Refusal: When the Clan Council or Grand Council votes on a matter, the losing side can declare a Trial by Combat against the winning side. However, the forces fighting in the Trial will be proportionate to the number of votes on each side. If a Clan is outvoted two-to-one, they face a force twice their size. If they're outvoted ten-to-one, they face a force ten times their size.
- Trial of Absorption: When a Clan is deemed to be unfit to continue on its own, a Grand Council or ambitious rivals may declare a Trial of Absorption, fighting for the right to fold all of that Clan's assets into another Clan. A Clan might be Absorbed because of huge losses in battle, or simple failure to expand their territory, resource base, and personnel levels to a point where they are considered viable by the other Clans.note The Trial of Absorption is pretty much equally a tool of political threat and (usually) the ultimate means by a which a Clan might deal permanently with a hated rival Clan.
- Trial of Annihilation: A punishment only for the most extreme crimes. A person is erased from Clan history entirely through the destruction of their genetic legacy. Warriors are killed while non-warriors are sterilized and Absorbed by other Clans. This Trial has been leveled against individuals, units, and even entire Clans. This punishment is so severe it can only be approved by a unanimous vote.
- 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
Every Clan has its own unique culture, attitudes, and history. Here are tropes associated with specific Clans.
- Action Politician: While all Clans are led by the Warrior castes, Cloud Cobra and Snow Raven are particularly well known for being politically savvy.
- Adventurer Archaeologist: The Seekers of Clan Goliath Scorpion combine this with Knight Errant and Vision Quest. They travel the galaxy seeking lost Star League artifacts and fighting Trials of Possession against other Clans for those artifacts.
- Battle Couple: Clan Ghost Bear was founded by two married warriors. Hans Ole Jorgensen and Sandra Tseng were ordered by Nicholas Kerensky to join separate Clans. They refused and fled into the antarctic of Strana Mechty. They nearly died but were saved by a family of ghost bears. When they returned, Nicholas was so impressed he allowed them to stay together.
- Church Militant: Clan Cloud Cobra's first Khan was a military chaplain and its Warrior caste is trained in religion and theology.
- Cult of Personality: Averted with Clan Star Adder. They respect Aleksandr and Nicholas Kerensky as great leaders but avoid the quasi-deification that other Clans give them.
- Fragile Speedster: Clan Ice Hellion favors aerospace fighters and light, fast Mechs. This emphasis on speed pervades their culture as well, preferring quick thinking and impulsiveness. This can be advantageous in battle but less so in politics or business.
- The Fundamentalist: Steel Vipers view themselves as the only Clan following Nicholas Kerensky's true vision. They are reluctant to induct bondsmen from outside the Clan but will sometimes do so, welcoming the wayward Clansman "back" to the true ways of the Clans.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: Clan Goliath Scorpion once used the venom of its namesake animal to induce Vision Quests. However, since this was often lethal, they invented necrosia, a chemical derived from the venom to induce a similar state without its deadly effects.
- I Shall Taunt You: Ice Hellions are famous for tough talk. Other Clans, especially Wolf, love goading them into this.
- Interfaith Smoothie: Clan Cloud Cobra's religion, the Way, is made up of several Cloisters based on various Earth religions. Even members of other Clans are allowed to join. Their first Khan was a SLDF military chaplain who was focused on smoothing over cultural and religious differences among his troops.
- Ironic Name: Zig-Zagged. Clan Blood Spirit, named for esprit de corps, is the most xenophobic and isolationist of the Clans. However, they strongly promote this spirit within their Clan, with members of all castes getting some combat training alongside Warriors.
- Knight Errant: The Seekers of Clan Goliath Scorpion, independent nomadic warriors often on a Vision Quest.
- Magical Native American: Clan Coyote's first Khan was a Native American and her culture influenced its various mystical and religious rituals.
- Proud Merchant Race: All Clans have a Merchant caste but Clan Sea Fox/Diamond Shark fit this trope better than all the others. It is common for older Warriors to retire and join the Merchant caste. They lean toward the Warden philosophy but supported the Crusader clans as they thought the invasion would open up new opportunities for business in the Inner Sphere.
- Quality over Quantity: Steel Viper's tough training results in a higher-than-average dropout rate, giving them a smaller force of highly-skilled Warriors. But, in a case of Reality Ensues, this actually makes them the weakest invading Clan.
- Super Serum: Used by some members of Clan Ice Hellion, on the saKhan's orders. Others viewed this as an insult to Clan eugenics and resulted in a destructive civil war within the Clan.
- Take a Third Option: Steel Viper supports neither the Warden nor Crusader factions. They believe in reconquering the Inner Sphere but only if they get to lead.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Clan Fire Mandrill is split into several factions that often fight amongst themselves. The only thing holding them together is the knowledge that none of these factions could take on another Clan on their own.
- Throwing the Fight: Clan Nova Cat chose to join the new Star League Defense Force. So they could switch sides without loss of honor, they set up a series of mock battles so that they could lose and join the SLDF as abtakhanote warriors.
- Training from Hell: Steel Viper Warrior training is especially harsh, even by Clan standards. This results in a larger than average proportion of trueborns in non-Warrior castes.
- Vision Quest: Both Nova Cat and Goliath Scorpion make use of this.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Clan Blood Spirit is the only Clan not named after an animal. Their rivals, Clan Burrock, would create a genetically modified white vampire bat and name it the Blood Spirit as an insult. Clan Star Adder, who absorbed Clan Burrock, would create a Battlemech named the Blood Asp for similar reasons.
- Era(s): Succession Wars
Aleksandr Kerensky's son and founder of the Clans.
- The Caligula: Displays hints of this after forming the Clans, as detailed in Betrayal of Ideals. Besides making up the social structure of the Clans on his own, he changes the rules whenever he feels like it. Any violation of his protocols results in temper tantrums that proceed nearly to the point of requiring a Circle of Equals. At meals, nobody is allowed to sit before he does, and he eats his steaks unseasoned, nearly raw. Conversation may not begin at the table until he finishes his meal and rests his arms on the table.
- Due to the Dead: Perhaps surprisingly, he engages in a bit of this in Betrayal of Ideals. First, he has tombstones made and placed on Barbados, one marking the grave of Khan Franklin Hallis (whose ascension to that rank Nicholas had rejected while Franklin was alive), the other for Khan Sarah McEvedy, though her body was not buried there. He also had oak trees planted at the site of Great Hope, one for each Wolverine civilian who'd perished when Khan Karrige nuked the city. Erasing Barbados, Great Hope, and Clan Wolverine from history, these are the only memorials for those who fought and died to cement Nicholas' vision of the Clans.
- Founder of the Kingdom: He is the founder and creator the original 20 Clans and their way of life.
- Genghis Gambit: The real reason behind the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine. Nicholas had created a warrior society, but warriors need enemies to fight. He didn't single out Clan Wolverine, but once it became apparent other Clans were already aligning against them, Nicholas was perfectly happy to use them as the enemy to point the Clans as a whole at.
- Glad I Thought of It: Sarah McEvedy and Clan Wolverine first drew Nicholas' ire when Sarah allowed "migration" between her castes, letting people switch to Laborers to ensure a bountiful harvest, then go back to their original caste or become a Scientist or Technician if that better suited them. Nicholas was further offended when Sarah presented her new saKhan, Franklin Hallis, because as ilKhan, Nicholas had to oversee all Trials of Position for such an important rank, and flatly refused to recognize Franklin's promotion on the basis of such unClanlike things as leadership ability, strategic and logistical skill, and efficiency as Sarah's XO. After the Wolverines were Annihilated, Nicholas began allowing reassignment of caste based on testing (most notably, the ability for freeborns to test into the warrior caste on the same standards as trueborns) and did away with Trials of Position for the ranks of saKhan, Khan, and ilKhan, making them the only elected positions in Clan society. Naturally, no one pointed out these ideas had their origins with The Not-Named Clan.
- Morality Chain: His brother Andery was regarded as one for him by his detractors. Which made some suspicious that Nicholas had something to do with Andery's rather suspicious death.
- Pet the Dog: Despite Annihilating Clan Wolverine largely for his own personal ambitions, he does offer Wolverine Khan Franklin Hallis one small piece of justice. Nicholas had uncovered Khan Jason Karrige's role in the nuking of Great Hope, and exposed his crimes, offering Hallis the right to execute Karrige. Which Hallis did. Via 'Mech-mounted Enhanced PPC. He also had Franklin buried (the rest of the Wolverines were left to rot where they fell), and a tombstone set marked "Khan Franklin Hallis," despite Nicholas not acknowledging the validity of Franklin's rank while he was alive, because it had not been won in a Trial of Position.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Formed the Clans in this fashion.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Nicholas created Clan society from whole cloth based on his "visions" of a perfect warrior society, and became the first ilKhan. As such, especially during the early years of the Clans, he had pretty much absolute freedom to modify or invent things as needed to keep his new society functioning. Notably, he invented first the Trial of Absorption when Clan Wolverine grew too troublesome, then the Trial of Annihilation when even Absorption was too good for them.
- 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
Possibly the deadliest Mechwarrior in history of BattleTech. Introduced as a mercenary working for the Wolf's Dragoons, both of whom are rumored to have ties with the self-exiled Star League Defense Force, she is infamous as a captain of the Black Widow Company, an elite Dragoon unit comprised of most unsavory types of people you can find in Inner Sphere.
When the Clan Invasion begun, it was revealed that the Wolf's Dragoons were the Clan reconnaissance force who have gone rogue, and that Natasha was one of the few trueborn warriors who joined it since her impatience for politics prevented her further rise in Clan society.
When the recall order from Clan Wolf arrived, she returned to help Ulric Kerensky to crush the Crusader Clan ambitions.
She died in rear guard action during the Refusal War, the wreck of her Dire Wolf Widowmaker left by the Jade Falcons where it fell as a monument to her skill.
Out-of-Universe, she was the FIRST named character in the game, back in the first boxed set.
- 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). She's the only known Clanner to ever take out four enemies in a Trial of Position.
- Ace Custom: Downplayed since it's a Clan OmniMech and designed to be customized by its pilot, but she favors a unique combination (known as "Widowmaker") on her Dire Wolf.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: She was no slouch among the Dragoons, commanding a semi-independent company that later grew to battalion size, but she rose to the rank of Khan after her return to Clan Wolf.
- 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.
- Hot-Blooded: Fully intends (and succeeded) in dying guns blazing in a fight for glory and honor, and stuff your politics and intrigues and "you're-too-old-for-this" bullshit, thank you very much.
- Ms. Fanservice: She has her moments.
- 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.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: How the Clans view her tendency above.
- The Remnant: Her preference for spider-related imagery (calling herself Black Widow, naming her 'Mech Widowmaker, calling her Clan Cluster the Wolf Spiders) indicates she's aware she's descended from remnants of Clan Widowmaker (named after an even deadlier version of a black widow spider), who were Absorbed by Clan Wolf some time ago.
- Token Evil Teammate: To the Dragoons. The Dragoons pretty much set the standard for efficiency, skill, and professionalism in mercenary units. Her Black Widows were skilled, but definitely known to be cruel and dishonorable fighters. Natasha herself is the only named Dragoon to have returned to the Clans when the Invasion began and the recall order came.
- 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
Khan of Clan Smoke Jaguar in the years leading up to the Clan Invasion. A highly charismatic and visionary leader, Leo Showers was a staunch Crusader and repeatedly sought to bring the Clans to war against the Inner Sphere. When the ComStar survey vessel Outbound Light chanced upon the Clan Homeworlds, Showers knew he'd found his casus belli and selectively used knowledge of the Inner Sphere taken from the ship to convince the Clans to invade in Operation REVIVAL, becoming the first ilKhan of the Clans in centuries and overall leader of the invasion. He would be killed early on in the Invasion when a Rasalhague fighter rammed the bridge of his ship.
- Big Bad: As the direct cause of the Clan Invasion and the overall leader of the Invading Clans, he served as this to the Inner Sphere during the first year of the Invasion.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- He forced Clan Wolf into the 'position of honour' during Operation REVIVAL. Ulric Kerensky would use this position to frustrate the Crusaders at every turn by not having to worry about bidding and deciding to Beat Them at Their Own Game.
- As ilKhan, he favoured Clan Smoke Jaguar during the Invasion. The Jaguars, wanting to live up to his expectations, decided to take on the positions of greatest Honor. They quickly ended up overextending themselves and throwing themselves into self-destructive battles that exhausted and ultimately saw the Clan wiped out a few years later.
- He stayed on the Dire Wolf to oversee Clan Wolf. This meant that upon his death, Ulric Kerensky was the closest possible scapegoat, and the Crusader Clans decided to punish him by making him the next ilKhan. To say this ended up biting the Crusaders in the ass would be an understatement.
- Keeping the Enemy Close: He spent the Invasion aboard the Clan Wolf flagship Dire Wolf, both as a way to appear impartial and to keep the Wolves under close scrutiny.
- Let No Crisis Go to Waste: The sudden appearance of the ComStar JumpShip Outbound Light over his capital world Huntress in 3046 gave Showers the perfect opportunity to break the decades-long stalemate between the Wardens and the Crusaders. By using knowledge gained from the ship and its crew, he convinced his fellow Khans that the Inner Sphere was on the verge of discovering the Clan Homeworlds, and that the Clans might be the ones in danger of invasion. His arguments swayed 15 of the 16 Khans, only Ulric Kerensky of Clan Wolf objected, and after a failed Trial of Refusal planning for Operation: REVIVAL began with Showers elected ilKhan to lead it.
- Metaphorically True: Showers very selectively used the knowledge gathered from the Outbound Light, conveniently ignoring or not mentioning several signs that the ship had chanced upon the Clans by accident and was not the vanguard of an invasion.
- The Rival: Of Ulric Kerensky, the two spending nearly two decades as leaders of opposite factions before Showers got the upper hand.
- The Social Expert: What Showers lacked in foresight and planning, he more than made up with using words and passion. The Wardens drastically lost power during his tenure as Khan, and the Outbound Light incident ended in a 16-1 landslide decision in favour of Operation REVIVAL. The death of Showers fully threw the Clans into Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: His ultimate fate, courtesy of a hull breach on the bridge of the Dire Wolf. In a somewhat more realistic version than normal, several other people on the bridge at the time, including Ulric Kerensky, evacuated safely even as the atmosphere was lost: Showers was simply standing too close to the windows to get clear in time.
- Visionary Villain: A very straight example, wanting to lead the Clans into glorious combat and subdue the Inner Sphere with the ultimate goal of ruling as ilKhan of a reformed Star League.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
The Khan of Clan Wolf. As a follower of the Warden philosophy, Ulric protested against the invasion of the Inner Sphere and declared the Trial of Refusal, but with odds stacked against him he lost, and as a punishment he and his clan were to take part in invasion.
Not to be discouraged, he intentionally sabotaged the invasion by out-crusading the Crusader clans, by making fast progress towards Terra while the rest of the clans were falling behind, thus spurring them to actnote . But while the Wolves were prepared for the war, the other clans, expecting easy victory, were logistically unprepared and spread themselves thin trying to outperform the wolves. This eventually resulted in the battle of Tukayyid, where the Clans suffered defeat.
Years later Ulric was court-martialed for the failure of invasion, but he and his retinue led a successful defense by pointing out that while he and Clan Wolf performed excellently, it was the other Clans that failed to achieve desirable results. The discussion shifted to the idea of restarting the invasion, and in order to thwart this he declared the Clan-wide Trial of Refusal against the leader of Crusader clans and long-time rival of Wolves, Clan Jade Falcon, starting what would be known as The Refusal War.
Ulric died during the war, but still managing to cripple the Falcons and uphold the Truce of Tukayyid.
- Batman Gambit: Most of his gambits involved exploiting the proud warrior mentality of the Clans, especially the "proud" part. Most notably, he warns the Crusader Clans not to underestimate ComStar or Precentor Martial Anastasius Focht, and advises them to bid conservatively and prepare for a drawn-out campaign. But the Crusaders have no intention of listening to their Warden ilKhan, and Ulric knew it.
- Cassandra Truth: He was one of two Khans who saw Operation REVIVAL for what it was: A long-running grind against an entrenched enemy with enough territory to require massive logistical support and planning to accomplish. No-one outside of Clans Wolf and Star Adder (who weren't allowed to participate anyway) listened to him. He later attempted to warn the other Clans how the Battle of Tukayyid would be fought by ComStar, and none of them (outside the Falcon Guards and parts of Clan Ghost Bear) would listen to him then either. As seen above, Ulric more less counted on this happening.
- Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Or Clan and Grand Council as the case may be, and repeatedly. The political factions in the Clans are eternally hauling Ulric up to explain himself and trying to oust him from power, but he's as capable a political warrior as he is a MechWarrior.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Dies in one at the order of Vandervahn Chistu, the Jade Falcon Khan. Notably, this was a complete violation of the Clan's honor code, which wound up biting Chistu hard later on.
- 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. As ilKhan, he not only blunted the attempts to fill his now-vacant seat as Clan Wolf Khan with a Crusader, but "accidentally" let slip to ComStar that Terra was the invasion's ultimate goal, and then negotiated the proxy Battle of Tukayyid.
- The Rival: He had multiple. Khan Leo Showers was his political rival for decades before the Clan Invasion. After Showers' death, his main rival became Khan Elias Crichell of Clan Jade Falcon.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He hinders the Invading Clans by pairing them with the other Clans they hate. The Smoke Jaguars were paired with Nova Cats, when they failed to take the Draconis Combine's capital they pinned the blame on each other, and the Nova Cats decide to defect to the Second Star League in their annihilation of the Smoke Jaguars.
- 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.
- By out-Crusading the Crusaders (thanks to superior understanding of and planning for the tactical, strategic, logistical and political realities of the invasion), he gets the Wolves advancing faster and farther than anyone else. Either the other Clans overextend themselves and become open to defeat by Inner Sphere forces, or the Wolves win the race to Terra, become the ilClan, and can enforce their Warden philosophy on the rest of the Clans. Either way, Ulric wins.
- The Battle of Tukayyid was a twofer. Either the other Clans listen to Ulric's advice about preparing to fight a real, ugly, brutal, no-holds-barred war instead of their ritualized Trials, in which case the Clans will likely realize exactly how unprepared they are for actual warfare, or they ignore him and ComStar curb-stomps them. Either way, Ulric wins. If the Clans win the battle, then Terra is ceded to their control, a major objective of the invasion is attained with relatively little bloodshed, and invasion more or less ends. If ComStar wins, there's a fifteen year truce, during which the Inner Sphere will narrow the technology gap between them and the Clans, and prepare to defend themselves effectively when the invasion begins anew. Either way, Ulric wins.
- Even him being charged with conspiracy to commit genocide on the Clans via the truce is one for Ulric. Either he's allowed to remain in office and the truce stands, or the Crusaders oust him, he declares a Trial of Refusal on that and as many other decisions as possible, and throws the entirety of Clan Wolf into them to bleed the Crusaders both from his own Clan and whichever Clan brings the charges (the Jade Falcons, as it turned out), inflicting enough damage on the Crusader movement overall they'll need time to rebuild before renewing the invasion. Either way, Ulric wins.
- Era(s): Dark Age
One of the most prominent characters in the Dark Age. A Clanner born from Clan Wolf-in-Exile with ambitions to conquer Terra.
- 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.
- HeelFace 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
Phelan Kell, also known as Phelan Wolf and Phelan Ward, is the Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile. Born the son of Morgan Kell, leader of the Kell Hounds mercenary group, Phelan was captured by Clan Wolf during the Clan Invasion. While in captivity, Phelan became the Bondsman of Khan Ulric Kerensky, who taught him all about Clan life.
- Ace Custom: Before his capture by the Clans, he piloted a Wolfhound he called Grinner, after a family dog. Ulric had it rebuilt and upgraded with Clan technology, the only known one of its kind.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: How else would a Freebirth Bondsman like Phelan be nominated Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile? Notably, Phelan did not do well in the Inner Sphere, being hotheaded and caring less about rules and regulations and more about what he thought needed to be done in a given moment. One would think this would make him a poor fit for the rigid, honor-bound Clan society, but the Clans (Clan Wolf in particular) view results as the most important thing, and Phelan gets results. His bending (and occasional breaking) of the Clans' rules of honorable combat occasionally gets him in trouble, but much less so than it did in the Inner Sphere, because his actions bring victory.
- Audience Surrogate: In the Blood of Kerensky trilogy, he serves as one for the Clans.
- 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.
- Bavarian Fire Drill: Unintentionally. Phelan takes command of the damage control team at the bridge of the Dire Wolf after it got rammed by a fighter because he was the only one willing to start barking orders at people.
- 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 (his mother's maiden name was Ward, which allows Phelan to compete for the Bloodname, being related to the originator of the Ward Bloodname on his mother's side). And then, after he became the Khan of Clan Wolf-in-Exile, Ulric used his power as ilKhan (posthumously) to create the Bloodname Kell and award it to Phelan, so he went back to being Phelan Kell.
- 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. And it's subtly implied Phelan may not actually be freeborn, as a mention is made early in the first book of the Blood of Kerensky trilogy that Morgan Kell and his wife Salome are coming to Outreach, the homeworld of Wolf's Dragoons, in part because they have a fertility problem that Jaime Wolf has offered to help them with. Wolf's Dragoons being from Clan Wolf, they in theory have access to the same technology used in the breeding program...
- 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.
- Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated: The Kell Hounds believed him killed in action by the Clans early on. Instead, he's captured, interrogated, and made a bondsman. He later befriends Anastasius Focht, who passes a cryptic message to his father that name-drops the trope to tell Morgan Kell that his son isn't as dead as he thinks.
- The Rival: Vlad (later Vlad Ward, Khan of the Crusader Wolves in an ongoing bit of symmetry) was his main rival for the Ward Bloodname and the man who captured Phelan in the first place.
- Star-Crossed Lovers: With Tyra Miraborg.
- To Win Without Fighting: Phelan becomes nigh-legendary among the Clans for capturing the planet of Gunzburg. Alone. Specifically, he talked to the defending commander and convinced him that while the defenders might be able to put up a fight, they would ultimately lose even a battle of attrition, and that his people would suffer. This realization touches the defending commander, who turns over the world peacefully for the sake of not bringing war to his people.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion, Wars of Reaving
Posthumously dubbed "The Bloody ilKhan", Brett Andrews of the Steel Vipers became ilKhan of the Clans in the years following the Great Refusal. Instituting the Wars of Reaving both to benefit his own Clan and to 'purify' Clan society, Andrews would go down in history as the most destructive leader the Clans ever had and the greatest upheaver of the Honour Road since its creation by Nicholai Kerensky.
- A Day in the Limelight: He represented Clan Steel Viper at its most important, and in turn caused the ascendance of Clan Star Adder to the most powerful Home Clan.
- Ace Pilot: Andrews was one of the finest MechWarriors of his generation, and would frequently settle with force what he (all too often) failed to settle with diplomacy.
- All for Nothing: He engineered the Wars of Reaving to wipe out or weaken the Vipers' rival Clans, expel the original Invader Clans from the homeworlds, and put the Steel Vipers on track to lead a renewed invasion of the Inner Sphere. But by the time the wars reached their conclusion, Andrews was dead on the floor of the Grand Council chamber, the Steel Vipers were Annihilated, and the Clans as a whole were so weakened from infighting that another invasion was all but impossible.
- Ambition Is Evil: Driven by the ambition to strengthen Steel Viper, to take revenge on the Clan's traditional enemies of Clan Snow Raven and Jade Falcon and to obtain his vision of a 'pure' Clan society that could take over the Inner Sphere, Andrews comitted atrocity after atrocity to reach his goals.
- Blood on the Debate Floor: Both how he died, and why — first using a throwing knife to kill the Diamond Shark saKhan Angus Labov in a "Trial of Refusal," then shooting Star Adder Khan N'Buta with a forbidden weapon for the same reason. Both took place right on the floor of the Grand Council, one at the start and one at the end of the Wars of Reaving. The second murder proved too much for the Clans to take, and they voted immediately and unanimously to strip Andrews of his power. Andrews declared his own Trial of Refusal and, showing the exact same level of reverence for Clan procedure as Andrews himself had, Star Adder saKhan Hannibal Banaceck beat Andrews to death with Banacek's ceremonial mask.
- The Caligula: Hooo boy. Andrews made Leo Showers look sensible by comparison.
- Due to the Dead: Clan Steel Viper's Superweapon Surprise during the Wars of Reaving was the Perigard Zalman, the absolute deadliest WarShip ever designed (so much so offical stats for it have yet to be released). Perigard Zalman was Khan before Andrews, Andrews served as saKhan under Zalman, and much of Andrews' "taint doctrine" had its origins in Zalman's post-Tukayyid reflections on Operation REVIVAL.
- Fantastic Racism: As a Steel Viper trueborn, Andrews hated freeborn."And what did [Phelan Kell] do? Split the Wolf Clan and defected to the Inner Sphere! There is no point in favoring a freebirth, ever!"
- Honest Advisor: Became known as this during his time as Steel Viper saKhan, with his Brutal Honesty and confrontational nature tempering Khan Zalman's more cautious approach.
- Hoist by His Own Petard:
- By turning the Trial of Reaving into a political tool against 'tainted' clans, he opened his own Clan to being targetted as well (Clan Steel Viper had participated in the Jade Falcon Invasion Corridor). Which indeed, they were once his erstwhile allies had had enough of him.
- His Loophole Abuse of Clan law saw Clan Steel Viper go from being Reaved to being outright Annihilated.
- Laser-Guided Karma: His blatant, dishonourable murder of Khan N'Buta right in front of the rest of the Grand Council resulted in them all turning on him, with saKhan Banacek literally beating him to death with the Star Adder ceremonial mask while the rest just watched.
- Loophole Abuse: Was very, very good at this.
- Liberally interpreted the wording behind Reavings to use it as a political tool against his opponents, allowing for Reaved bloodnames to be taken by the winning Clan and thus adding to their genetic material.
- 'Won' a Trial of Refusal against Diamond Shark saKhan Labov by quietly whispering the ritual words of the Trial and killing his opponent with a throwing knife. Even if technically within the rules, this breach of honour led to the Ghost Bears abandoning the Grand Council alongside the Diamond Sharks.
- Subverted when Andrews 'won' a Trial of Refusal against Star Adder Khan N'Buta with a laser blast between the eyes. This breach of honour was more than the surviving Khans would stand for (nevermind that they had already voted to Reave the Steel Vipers), and Andrews quickly found himself beaten to death by Star Adder saKhan Banacek while the other Clans stood aside and watched.
- Power Trio: The 'Snake Alliance' between Clans Steel Viper, Star Adder and Cloud Cobra was the main power block in the Clan Homeworlds at his ascendance and during the wars he initiated.
- The Purge: Instituted the Wars of Reaving to rid the Clan Homeworlds of 'taint'. In the end, the Wars of Reaving would reduce the number of Clans in Clan Space from seventeen to four.
- Satanic Archetype: He ended up becoming more loathed by the surviving Clans than Stefan Amaris.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: As ilKhan he made up or liberally interpreted a lot of rules in order to justify the Wars of Reaving, and reacted very poorly to anyone attempting to apply them to himself or the Steel Vipers.
- Social Darwinist: An outlier even amongst the Clans, seeing the Wars of Reaving as a means to outright remove the 'weak' Clans. Given how he reacted when directly challenged, he was very much a Straw Meritocrat and a Sore Loser.
- Straw Hypocrite: All his talk and rhetoric about Clan honour and the dangers of Inner Sphere "taint" amounted to nothing when he pulled out a pistol and shot a rival Khan in the head in the Grand Council chamber, rather than fight him hand to hand as the terms of the Trial demanded.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He was abandoned by Clan Star Adder, who turned his own words against him to have Steel Viper taken out of the picture, once their mutual enemies had all been decimated.
- Visionary Villain: Downplayed; his own writings present a very strong case for a desire for 'purity', yet his conduct made clear it was equally for material benefits to his Clan and the settling of old blood-feuds.
- Era(s): Clan Invasion
A Trueborn Mechwarrior of Clan Jade Falcon, Aidan is best known for his unconventional - and extremely controversial - path to becoming a Bloodnamed warrior. Born into the same sibko as future Jade Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde, Aidan would fail in his Trial of Position, only to be offered a second chance by a sympathetic instructor - one that involved posing as a Freeborn.
After succeeding in his second Trial, Aidan, now known as Jorge, would go on to the sorts of menial assignments and postings typically given to even the best Freeborn Mechwarriors. There his career would have stalled, but the allure of a Bloodname was too great. Despite warnings to never reveal his true identity, when a Trial of Bloodright for the Pryde name was announced, he cast aside his Freeborn persona, in so doing incurring the ire of the vast majority of Jade Falcon Warriors. While nominally vindicated by a Trial of Refusal and subsequently earning the Pryde Bloodname, he was still shunned by much of his warrior brethren. It would take the Battle of Tukayyid for their opinions to change.
- Cloning Blues: Clan Smoke Jaguar attempts to breed sibkos consisting solely of his genetic material.
- Colonel Badass: Is a Star Colonel at the Battle of Tukayyid.
- Cultured Warrior: Is known to have practiced falconry, and to have kept a collection of Terran books.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Pretends to be the Freeborn Mechwarrior candidate Jorge after Ter Roshak arranges for the real Jorge to be killed in a training accident, along with the rest of his unit.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Continued to be posted to menial assignments, even after earning a Bloodname.
- Duel to the Death: Aidan's Trial of Bloodright. While not a requirement of the Trial, all of the other participants swear an oath to kill him if they end up facing him. None succeed, though his final opponent comes close.
- Due to the Dead: After his heroic sacrifice during the Battle of Tukayyid, the Jade Falcons honor him with a passage in The Remembrance and by fast tracking his genetic material into their breeding program.
- Explosive Decompression: The final duel in his Trial of Bloodright ends in this for Aidan's opponent, thanks to a lucky autocannon shot.
- Fantastic Racism: Was on the receiving end of the typical Clan prejudice against Freeborns while posing as one. He also noted how much more extensive training was for Trueborn versus Freeborn cadets, having experienced both.
- Generation Xerox: Ter Roshak notes several times how much Aidan reminds him of Ramon Mattlov, the male geneparent of Aidan's sibko and Roshak's former comrade. The resemblance even plays a role in Roshak's decision to offer Aidan a second chance - at their trial, he states that he believed Aidan might even be Ramon Mattlov, reincarnated.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dies holding off a Com Guard assault so that the rest of the Falcon Guard, including his daughter, can retreat to their DropShips.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Horse, the Freeborn Mechwarrior he befriended as Jorge and with whom he would continue to share assignments even after becoming Aidan Pryde.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Initiates a general melee during his first Trial of Position, hoping to score two kills - and be automatically promoted to Star Commander - in the confusion. His sibkin Marthe takes advantage first by shooting him, earning the same promotion for herself while causing him to fail the Trial.
- Honor Before Reason: By the Clans' concept of honor, at least. Aidan abandons a guaranteed, if unspectacular career as a Freeborn Mechwarrior for even the slimmest chance at being permitted to compete for a Bloodname. Later, during the final matchup of his Trial of Bloodright, his opponent foregoes a chance to claim victory when Aidan's 'Mech is effectively knocked out, just to fulfill the oath he swore to kill Aidan. A lucky shot costs him the match... and his own life.
- Luke, You Are My Father: Learns Diana, a young Mechwarrior under his command, is his daughter just prior to his death.
- Meaningful Name: Pryde is an apt surname for someone whose ambition sometimes got the better of him.
- Meaningful Rename: Averted with his winning a Bloodname, which does not earn him the level of respect it usually would in Clan society. Played straight with the Falcon Guard, who earn the nickname "Pryde's Pride" under his command - a sign that they are no longer a disgraced unit.
- Outside-the-Box Tactic: A hallmark of Aidan's, though it sometimes backfires on him:
- Initiates a general melee during his first Trial of Position.
- Uses cooperative tactics with Horse during his second Trial of Position.
- Plans an ambush against Clan Wolf while stationed on Glory.
- Uses Joanna's crippled 'Mech as a makeshift bomb during his Trial of Refusal.
- Uses a number of 'Mechs to form a makeshift dam/bridge during the Battle of Tukayyid.
- The Phoenix: Metaphorically. The trilogy in which he stars is titled "Legend of the Jade Phoenix," representing the "death" of his warrior dreams, his "rebirth" as a Freeborn warrior, another "death" as he reveals his true identity and faces being executed for it, another "rebirth" as he wins his Bloodname, and finally his true rebirth as a respected and admired Jade Falcon Trueborn Warrior coninciding with his physical death at the battle of Tukayyid. Some Jade Falcons who particularly idolize Aidan and his story refer to him as "the Jade Phoenix."
- Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Falcon Guard, a disgraced and decimated unit that Aidan is assigned to rebuild, is replenished largely with Freeborns and other equally undesirable warriors.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: Is relegated to the Technician caste after failing his first Trial of Position. He lasts a month before going AWOL. His assignment to the obliterated Falcon Guards is also this: the unit is a storied one in the Jade Falcon touman, so they can't just retire it, but the disgrace of their defeat by Kai Allard-Liao is so great no one expects the Falcon Guards to ever accomplish anything noteworthy ever again. On paper, assigning Aidan Pryde is recognition of his honor and service as a Bloodnamed Trueborn warrior. In practice, it's handing him the absolute dregs of the Clan warrior caste in terms of both personnel and equipment and practically daring him to make something of it. He does.
- Someone to Remember Him By: A non-fatal example. Sires a child with his sibkin, Peri, while on the run. Though both survive to see their daughter reach adulthood, Aidan and Peri never see each other again.
- Surprisingly Elite Cannon Fodder: Aidan and Joanna manage to train the disgraced Falcon Guard back to elite status just in time for the Battle of Tukayyid.
- Teacher/Student Romance: Not really romance, but Joanna favors calling Adian to her quarters for "coupling" frequently while she's his falconer (read "drill instructor.") This isn't exactly encouraged among the Clans, but isn't frowned upon to the point where Joanna faces discipinary action for it.
- Too Clever by Half: His penchant for unorthodox tactics sometimes backfires, most notably during his first Trial of Position, when Marthe takes advantage of the chaos he created to score a kill... against him.
- True Companions: His former sibkin Marthe Pryde is among the few to support him (albeit secretly) on his path to redemption, advising him during his Trial of Bloodright, and volunteering her unit to fight alongside his on Tukayyid. Horse and Joanna as well, though Joanna would sooner die than admit it. Diana as well, during the brief time she and her father worked together.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, possibly beyond?
Clan Wolverine, the first Clan subject to the Trial of Annihilation.
- Arch-Enemy: Khan Jason Karrige has an unspecified grudge against Clan Wolverine, and Khan Sarah McEvedy in particular.
- Battle Cry: WOLVERINES! Sometimes done as a call-and-response, with a warrior making a disparaging comment about their opponents, then asking "And what are we?" with "Wolverines!" being the response, frequently broadcast in the clear so they enemy can hear it.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Downplayed. The SLDF had only arrived at the Kerensky cluster less than forty years previously, but the Wolverines broke several WarShips out of mothballs to get their people out of Clan space. Most notably, saKhan Hallis temporarily hijacks the McKenna's Pride and uses it to bombard several Clan halls, presumably just to piss off the other Clans who had wronged them.
- Combat Pragmatist: The Wolverines did such things as combine fire on targets as they presented themselves (called out by saying "pell-mell"), use artillery to flush out enemies, and take advantage of terrain to defeat their enemies. Nicholas Kerensky was already pushing the Clans deeply into Honor Before Reason, so this tendency put the Wolverines in poor standing with the other Clans.
- False Flag Operation: Khan Jason Karrige has a nuke stolen from the recently-discovered Brian Cache on Wolverine land and smuggled into the Wolverine city of Great Hope. Karrige detonates the nuke as his Widowmakers advance on the city, supervised by Nicholas Kerensky himself, making it look like the Wolverines nuked their own city and hundreds of thousands of their own civilians in an attempt to kill the ilKhan. This cements that the Wolverines will be Annihilated.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: According to Clan history, The Not-Named Clan are complete monsters who ignored the ilKhan's authority and nuked the Snow Raven capitol For the Evulz. The truth is rather a different story.
- Last Stand: The bulk of Clan Wolverine makes one on Barbados, a tropical planet on the Exodus Road where they stopped for rest and resupply, but were cornered by Clan forces. A handful survived by hiding in the jungle, and a few small scout fleets were not present, but for all practical purposes, the Trial of Annihilation against Clan Wolverine concluded on the surface of Barbados.
- Noodle Incident: It's never explained why exactly Clan Widowmaker's Khan Karrige has such a grudge against them.
- The Scottish Trope: It's right there in their name. Well, actually, it isn't, but you get the picture. There's such a strong taboo against The Not-Named Clan that even the word "wolverine" in an unrelated context is forbidden. Even what would otherwise be called the Wolverine IIC, a Clan 'Mech clearly based on the chassis and loadout of the Inner Sphere's Wolverine medium 'Mech is known as the Conjurer. Even the Inner Sphere isn't dumb enough to call it the Wolverine IIC, identifying it by the Reporting Name of Hellhound.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Once it becomes clear that there's nothing she can do to save her Clan (and that Nicholas is intent on allowing their destruction to cement his vision of and control over the Clans), Sarah initiates Operation Switchback, a plan to get as many Wolverines as possible out of Clan space and back to the Inner Sphere.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: By allowing caste "migration" and other reforms, Clan Wolverine excelled beyond the other Clans in the period of peace after the Pentagon Civil War. They claimed an abundance of food and other resources (which they were willing to barter or share with other, less-fortunate Clans), fielded the first new 'Mech designs (including the venerable Pulverizer), and developed the Enhanced PPC, the precursor to the dreaded Clan ER PPC. This drew the ire of the other Clans, especially Clan Widowmaker.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: As the Trial of Annihilation proceeds, Wolverine warriors cut off from evac points and knowing surrender is not an option focus on hurting their enemies. While they do nothing on the scale of the nuclear attacks they were accused of, they do things well worthy of the label "atrocity."
- A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Immediately after witnessing the nuking of Great Hope, Nicholas orders Khan Joyce Merrell of Clan Snow Raven to retaliate by dropping a nuke on some troublesome Wolverines hiding in the wilderness. A Wolverine WarShip shoots down the fighter carrying the bomb, which airbursts over the Snow Raven capitol.
- Uncertain Doom: While a huge chunk of Clan Wolverine was successfully Annihilated, an unknown number managed to flee Clan Space. What became of them is unknown, though in-universe speculation is that the "Minnesota Tribe" who raided through Combine space the same year as the Annihilation of Clan Wolverine were Wolverine survivors, and has been confirmed by Word of God. But the Minnesota Tribe likewise vanished from history, leaving the ultimate fate of Clan Wolverine unknown. The novel Betrayal of Ideals includes in its epilogue ComStar's Explorer Corps finding Barbados and a shrine erected around the tombstones of Franklin Hallis and Sarah McEvedy, and evidence the site is visited routinely by those paying respects, indicating something of Clan Wolverine exists at least into the year 3041. The shrine also has a stone arch with the symbols of the other nineteen founding Clans on it, a deep X etched over each, indicating the Wolverines remember what happened to them, and they're not happy about it.
- Era(s): Succession Wars
Founder and first Khan of Clan Wolverine.
- Amazonian Beauty: Andery Kerensky thinks she's one of the most striking women he's ever seen, and her official images give her sharp but very attractive features. And she's one of the most competent warriors in the Founding Clans, being named Khan of Clan Wolverine by Nicholas himself.
- Batman Gambit: Operation Switchback calls for the Wolverine evacuees to jump out of Clan space, but not along the Exodus Road to the Inner Sphere. While Nicholas rallies every Clan and ship he can into a pursuit force, the Wolverines lurk in the uncharted systems, before traveling the Exodus Road behind their pursuers. This fools Nicholas, but only temporarily.
- Depending on the Writer: Fall From Glory describes her as having short brunette hair, while Betrayal of Ideals describes her with short, brilliant blonde hair staring to come in gray.
- Hope Bringer: If the scarred warrior with the agonized voice (see Uncertain Doom) is indeed Sarah McEvedy, then she is this to the surviving Wolverines.(Wolverine Khan Trish Ebon) looked at the woman that had emerged from hiding, and knew that there was indeed hope for the future.
- Made of Iron: Survives a Sniping the Cockpit from a King Crab's AC/20 (something which, under tabletop rules, should be instantly and irrevocably fatal), and not long after being way too close to the nuking of Great Hope, and still doesn't buckle under chemical interrogation. She is even recovering from injuries that should guarantee a slow, agonizing death.
- A Mother to Her Men: Is consistently described as such by the Warriors of Clan Wolverine. For her part, Sarah calls the Clan a family, and no one fights harder to protect it than she.
- Uncertain Doom: She's last seen recuperating from the nuking of Great Hope in the brig of Nicholas Kerensky's flagship, having partly resisted his attempts to interrogate her, her survival known only to Nicholas himself. Nicholas has a tombstone placed for her on Barbados, though both his inner monologue and that of surviving Wolverine Khan Trish Ebon note no grave was dug to accompany it. As she contemplates the tombstone, Trish is spoken to by a scarred female warrior with an agonized voice, who she hugs "as a child would cling to its mother," though in that moment she doubts her sanity and if "the warrior" is really there, but it is a hint that Sarah survived on Barbados, perhaps being marooned there in secret by Nicholas.
Maybe half of all military forces in the Inner Sphere belong to mercenary units, large and small.
- Era(s): Late Succession Wars, Clan Invasion, Jihad
The Commander of the Wolf's Dragoons. No mere mercenary, Jaime is actually a Clan warrior, though freeborn, and his Dragoons were an intelligence gathering force deployed to the Inner Sphere in preparation for an invasion. Being Wardens, they had no interest in actually helping the invasion succeed.
- Deep Cover Agent: The entire Dragoon force was meant to be a deep-cover unit spying on the Inner Sphere. They didn't quite go native, but only one named character who's part of the Dragoons returns to the Clans when they invade, and the Dragoons go so far as to train the heirs to the Inner Sphere's Great Houses in anti-Clan tactics and fight against the Clans on more than one occasion.
- Defector from Decadence: Along with most of Wolf's Dragoons, ignored the recall order given by Clan Wolf at the start of the invasion, and stopped sending back intelligence reports well before that. In reality, he and the Dragoons were following orders from Ulric Kerensky's predecessor as Khan, to prepare the Inner Sphere to fight off the Clans.
- The Dreaded: Jaime in particular, and the Wolf's Dragoons in general, quickly earn a reputation as the last mercenary company in the Inner Sphere you want to get on the bad side of. Both House Kurita and House Marik learned this lesson the hard way, to their misery.
- It's Personal:
- Jaime did not take the honor-driven seppuku of Minobu Tetsuhara well, going so far as to call out Takashi Kurita to his face in front of the other House Lords on Terra and then declare war on the Draconis Combine, an interstellar empire. The Dragoons fighting against several times their number of Combine forces tied up parts of the Combine military that really should have been fighting the Federated Commonwealth, which was actively invading the Combine at the time.
- Jaime was the subject of this from Wayne Waco, whose son was crushed by a Dragoon Mech (possibly accidentally) after ejecting. Wolf didn't take the feud too seriously until Waco accepted a contract from the Word of Blake and attacked Outreach. Their duel ended in a Mutual Kill.
- Mysterious Past: Him, and the Dragoons as a whole, at least until the Clan Invasion reveals where they came from. They show up with five regiments of pristine Mechs, some of which were rare to begin with even before the Succession Wars, when most reasonably successful mercenary units can scrape together maybe two or three battalions of salvaged Mechs. After they take severe losses on more than one occasion, they mysteriously vanish into the Periphery (actually returning to Clan space) and reappear at full strength later. Most people who bother to think about it simply reason that they found an SLDF cache and are using the equipment there. Those people are not entirely wrong.
- Outliving One's Offspring: He loses two of his three children from his first marriage to the betrayal from House Marik, and his son Mackenzie dies suspiciously years later. He remarried and had three more kids before his death.
- Secret Test of Character: It was presumably discontinued as his face became better-known, but relatively early on in the Dragoons' career they had a habit of greeting new liaison officers by not supplying photos of the officers, then putting the entire command staff together in a room and seeing who the officer assumed was Jaime. Tetsuhara gets it right. His replacement, Jerry Akuma, did not.
- Worthy Opponent:
- To Takashi Kurita. After Hanse Davion's death, Takashi said "The Fox is dead. All I have left is The Wolf."
- He seemed to look on the Kell Hounds as a potential instance of this trope - the two forces never wound up on opposite sides, but when they met on Terra Wolf mentioned to Morgan Kell that he would have liked to pit the Hounds against one of the Dragoon's regiments.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Not them, but multiple House Lords try to rope them into becoming part of their regular military at one point or another. It never works.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
Founder of the Kell Hounds.
- Achilles in His Tent: After the fight on Mallory's World, he reduces the Hounds to a third of their strength, then abruptly retires to a monastery without explanation. Most of his former subordinates come back to the unit when he comes out of exile, but the ones who stuck around were not entirely happy about his leaving in the first place, calling it "The Defection."
- An Arm and a Leg: Loses an arm in the same bomb blast that kills his cousin Melissa and his wife Salome.
- The Cameo: In the 2018 Battletech game. His former lover Tempest is kidnapped by a disgruntled former member of the Hounds, and he secretly comes out of exile temporarily to ask for the player's help.
- Colonel Badass: Later in life he technically has higher ranks as he rules a planet, but his official rank as the leader of the Kell Hounds was Colonel.
- Defector from Decadence: Well, "defector" is a bit strong, but he essentially took over several worlds along the Lyran-Clan border to guard against Clan aggression while Katherine was busy with political maneuvering. He signs up with Victor's side in the FedCom Civil War because he knows Katherine killed Melissa.
- He's Back: He comes out of exile after his brother is killed fighting Yorinaga Kurita. Ironically, he thought Dan Allard was coming to the monastery where he was staying to tell him that Yorinaga had come out of exile. Instead, Dan tells him his brother was killed in action, then gives him a serious What the Hell, Hero? for basically firing two-thirds of the Hounds and then bailing on them.
- Neck Snap: He casually lays one down on a ComStar mook who's trying to kill Yorinaga's son for finding out about ComStar's hidden stash of Mechs.
- Only I Can Kill Him / The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The Kell brothers and Yorinaga Kurita all exhibit the legendary and highly contentious Phantom Mech ability, which makes them basically impossible to target. The end effect is that the only one who can land a hit on either Kell is Yorinaga, and the only one who can take Yorinaga is Morgan. Yorinaga even enforces it - when a Panther pilot objected to Yorinaga walking away after their first fight, Yorinaga destroys the Panther in a single salvo.
- Sheathe Your Sword: He does this to Yorinaga both on their first fight and when they have their final showdown, using Yorinaga's own code of bushido against him and acknowledging him as the better warrior.
- The Strategist: He's no slouch in a tactical fight, but he helped plan the campaigns for Victor's side in the FedCom Civil War and took over as allied commander when Victor was in his Heroic BSoD after Omiko's murder.
- Era(s): Succession Wars, Clan Invasion
Founder of the Gray Death Legion
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Seriously, could that name get any cooler? Decision At Thunder Rift reveals the middle name was originally a case of It Is Pronounced "Tro-PAY" by an ancestor. Doesn't make it any less cool.
- Can't Stop the Signal: When he finds out why his unit got framed for war crimes - a Star League memory core on the planet his unit was supposed to be given - he downloads it, makes a bunch of copies, and gives them to anyone who will take them because ComStar proved they weren't to be trusted. The Helm Memory Core was basically the key to reversing the Lost Technology trend that was killing the Inner Sphere, turning a lot of old factories and equipment from barely if at all understood and maintained mostly by hope and luck to properly understood.
- Career-Ending Injury: In his last combat action on Caledonia, he loses his left arm, his left eye, and his ability to pilot a Mech after his Victor is sabotaged.
- Combat Pragmatist: Pioneered the use of trained anti-mech infantry teams that would emerge from cover when a 'mech approached, sling satchel charges at exposed joints and other weak spots and then run away again, a tactic he himself employed a few times.
- Enemy Mine: Teams up with Duke Ricol on Helm after the Legion is framed for mass murder.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Goes from having little experience in a Mech at all and zero combat experience to retaking a planet.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: The Legion wound up framed for over twelve million deaths on one occasion and over the years gained a reputation for turning on their employers.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Also a very frightening name.
- Training the Peaceful Villagers: The Legion was contracted to train some locals in resistance tactics (but not to fight, the locals couldn't afford that) against Kurita oppressors. Things go off the rails and the Legion winds up basically liberating the planet themselves out of necessity.
- Vehicular Turnabout: The first few Mechs he ever piloted or commanded were either stolen by him or stolen back by him after being stolen from him in the first place.
- You Killed My Father: Held a massive grudge against the Draconis Combine in general and Duke Hassid Ricol in particular for their involvement in the sneak attack that killed his father on Trellwan. Decision at Thunder Rift, the novel that introduces Carlyle is essentially a one-man Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Ricol and his agent Harimandir Singh. Ultimately defied in the third Gray Death Legion novel, as the Gray Death and Duke Ricol part on friendly terms and Grayson himself acknowledges that the sneak attack on Trellwan, had it worked as intended, would have been a relatively bloodless takeover with minimal impact on the civilian population.
- Era(s): Succession Wars (I, II), Clan Invasion (II, III), Jihad (III, IV), Dark Age (V, VI)
The most famous freelancing mercenary of the Inner Sphere, The Bounty Hunter is famous for two things: Their secret identity, and having been present for every known era of the Battletech-verse. Being a legacy character who passes on their 'mech and reputation to a chosen successor, each new Bounty Hunter's former identity becomes mostly obscured whenever they don the mantle, and each incarnation dons the signature green, identity-hiding armour that has been passed down through every incarnation of the character so far.
- Ace Pilot: All incarnations of the Bounty Hunter have, without fail, been extremely skilled MechWarriors. The first Bounty Hunter made a rival out of Natasha Kerensky and battled her on several occasions, and the third Bounty Hunter is one of very few people to have ever gotten the better of Kai-Allard Liao in a 'mech duel.
- Black Knight: Well, green, but because of the Knight Errant or Ronin aestetic of MechWarriors in early editions, the original Bounty Hunter had many trappings of this trope, being a skilled mystery knight clad in body-covering armour.
- Bounty Hunter: Natch. Due to working only alone or with a small set of companions, those who hire The Bounty Hunter do so to take out specific targets of their choosing, not to turn the tide of battles like with mercenary companies.
- Captain Ersatz: Of Boba Fett. Entertainingly, the Bounty Hunter being a Legacy Character pre-dated Jango Fett's existence by a decade. The in-universe holovision show The Bounty Hunters resembles The A-Team, complete with giving the teams an identical backstory.
- The Faceless: Due to their armour.
- Legacy Character: Six people have been known to have been the Bounty Hunter so far, though not all of those successions are known in-universe.
- Living Legend: Aided in part by having their own in-universe drama series called The Bounty Hunters, a heavily fictionalized account of their career.
- Mysterious Past: Holovid show aside, the origins of the first Bounty Hunter is unknown.
- Only in It for the Money: With the exception of the second Bounty Hunter (whose career was fairly brief), every incarnation has worked as a merc-for-hire for whoever is willing to pay.
- The Rival: The original Bounty Hunter had a long-standing blood feud with Natasha Kerensky, and was a good enough MechWarrior to keep the feud going for a decade and change with neither being able to kill the other.
- Secret Identity: The original Bounty Hunter's identity was never revealed, in-universe or out of it.
- Weapon of Choice: The original Bounty Hunter was famous for their green Marauder, which they stole from Natasha Kerensky. The third Bounty Hunter used a Mad Cat for much of his career.
- Era(s): Jihad, Dark Age
The main hero of the Jihad. Nothing is really known about him besides wild rumors.
- King in the Mountain: He steps down as Exarch of the Republic of the Sphere, promises to return if needed, and then vanishes. Two years later, the HPG network goes down, all hell breaks loose, and he's nowhere to be found.
- 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) WoB factions to outlandish of actually being Arthur Steiner-Davion, who was supposedly killed a few years before the Jihad.
- Young Conqueror: From a minor rebel leader to Sphere-wide Coalition leader to the ruler of the defacto reborn Terran Hegemony.