"Collection of militaristic pseudo-tribal groups descended from military forces that fled the Inner Sphere hundreds of years ago. Technologically superior to the inhabitants of the Inner Sphere, the Clans have returned to 'liberate' the Inner Sphere from the 'barbarians' who rule it".

- MechCommander manual, FASA Interactive/MicroProse

To be more specific: Nicholas Kerensky's father, Aleksandr Kerensky, fled the Inner Sphere in late 2780s and the Clan invasion started in 3050.

The Clans are not exactly the "bad guys" of the BattleTech; They aren't more evil than anyone else in the universe, even if the Inner Sphere propaganda tries to hint that way.

They are just radically different from the world as we know it; They are conformists, they have a caste system, they breed their warriors artificially, they control their gene pools with stress on one's lineage (eugenics program), and have interesting honor ideals.

The Clans have two political factions - the Wardens that think they should protect the Inner Sphere from outside threats, and the Crusaders that think they should just invade the IS and liberate them.

The Clans:

The Fallen:

See also: BattleTech

Inner Sphere Classified Files: Brief Clan Overview

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The Clans

The Clans are playable forces in the games Mechwarrior 2 and Mechwarrior 3. The Clans were the single strongest military force in the history of mankind. Furthermore, they were the epitamy of civilized culture and highly advanced. They were mostly a unified force, right up until the Clan Invasion against the Inner Sphere. When the Clans invaded, the houses of the Inner Sphere faced a force that they could not defeat, and had the Clans maintained their momentum, Terra would have been within their grasp quickly, and the Inner Sphere would have fallen to the Clans. Many of the Clans were not major players in the Invasion, and many did not win a place in the Invasion. The following is a list of the Clans and a breif description:

  • Clan Wolf - Regarded as the "father" Clan, as it is the only Clan with the Kerensky Blood Name. At the commencement of the Clan Invasion, Clan Wolf was quite easily the largest and strongest Clan, and was expected to capture Terra and become the ilClan in short time. Clan Wolf was the strongest and of the most thoughtful Clans, however the Clan was always divided in opinion as to whether to Clans should have commenced the Clan Invasion so soon, or waited till a later date. Those for the Invasion were known as Crusaders, and those against it were known as Wardens. After the Trial of Refusal fought against Clan Jade Falcon, the Clan was greatly weakened, and the aforementioned Crusaders and Wardens split. The Warden Faction (Clan Wolf In-Exile) moved to the Inner Sphere and allied itself with the Lyran Commonwealth. The Crusaders continued with the Invasion, however Clan Wolf was insignificant after this division.

  • Clan Jade Falcon - The most swift and headstrong of the Clans, Clan Jade Falcon's strength and size was only superceded by Clan Wolf. They were the most adamant in ensuring the Clan Invasion went ahead and first to invade the Inner Sphere. Clan Jade Falcon's only weakness was the aforementioned headstrong attitude. Clan Jade Falcon fought an epic Trial of Refusal against Clan Wolf, spreading over a great many worlds. This Trial lasted many years and saw Clan Wolf decimated, but Clan Jade Falcon similarly wounded. Clan Jade Falcon now is stronger than Clan Wolf, though plays little part in the Invasion.

  • Clan Ghost Bear - The most patient and thoughtful of the Clans (and my personal favourite). Clan Ghost Bear was always considered the neutral Clan and often kept unbiased records of Clan disputes and helped to mediate such disputes. They were neither against nor for the Clan Invasion and, as always, Clan Ghost Bear chose to wait and see how the Invasion went, only joining in when the other Clans required assistance. Clan Ghost Bear's autonomy, thoughtfulness and unique warriors provided this Clan its strength. Once Clan Ghost Bear brought its production into full swing all other Clans were left behind.

  • Clan Smoke Jaguar - Clan Smoke Jaguar was the most impudent, vicious and aggressive Clan. Clan Smoke Jaguar was not as swift or headstrong as Clan Jade Falcon, as they often stopped to think on their actions momentarily, but when they did initiate their attacks they did so with great speed and verocity. Clan Smoke Jaguar's major weakness was their poor autonomy, which could not keep up with the Clan's speed.

  • Clan Nova Cat - A medium sized Clan, Clan Nova Cat was a highly religious Clan. Clan Nova Cat was an unusal Clan in that it mainly outfitted its Omnimechs with energy weapons. A prime example is the Nova Cat Mech, which has a standard layout of pure energy weapons. Clan Nova Cat did not fight well in the Invasion and was severely wounded as a result. They dishonoured their Clan when they surrendered to the Draconis Combine and joined the Inner Sphere.

  • Clan Steel Viper - One of the smaller Clans, Clan Steel Viper held no special traits which distinguished them from the other smaller Clans, other than the fact they fought independently and still managed to inflict major damage upon the Inner Sphere.

  • Clan Diamond Shark - Like Clan Steel Viper, Clan Diamond Shark was a smaller Clan with no special traits. They too, however, fought well and independently in the Invasion.

  • Clan Ice Hellion - Of similar size to Clan Steel Viper and Clan Diamond Shark. Clan Ice Hellion was an eccentric Clan with unique warriors which fought expertly in snow terrains and especially blizzard conditions. In this regard they were similar to Clan Ghost Bear, although they did not win the oppurtunity to join in the Clan Invasion.

  • Clan Cloud Cobra - Clan Cloud Cobra was a small, isolated Clan near Clan Nova Cat territory. The two Clans were very close in the respect that they both favoured energy weapons and they followed the Nova Cat's religion as loyally as they followed their own Khan. Clan Cloud Cobra participated in the Clan Invasion, joining Clan Nova Cat.

  • Clan Star Adder - One of the most loyal Clans. Clan Star Adder was formed by a close friend of Nicholas Kerensky, and as such were blindly devoted to Clan Wolf. They did not win a place in the Clan Invasion.

  • Clan Fire Mandrill - An extremely small Clan, Clan Fire Mandrill fought with pride and strength. Although they won a place in the Clan Invasion, they chose to fight independently and did not move far from the Outer Rim.

  • Clan Hell's Horses - One of the most elite, but also smallest, Clans. Clan Hell's Horses won a place in the Clan Invasion and did extremely well, however its size caused problems and when the Inner Sphere turned to the offense, Clan Hell's Horses took massive losses when rallied with wave after wave of Inner Sphere forces.

  • Clan Coyote - Also an extremely small, yet moderately strong, Clan. Clan Coyote had strong ties with Clan Wolf, although did not join in the Invasion as they lacked the size, strength or autonomy.

  • Clan Goliath Scoprion - One of the smallest and weakest of the Clans. They did, however, have supreme tactics and training, which Clan Wolf utilised when Clan Goliath Scorpion offered to train green Wolf warriors rather than join in the Invasion.

  • Clan Snow Raven - Clan Snow Raven was the second smallest Clan, and held virtually no Mechs. Their Mechwarriors were dismal, however their pilots were the best in the known universe. Clan Snow Raven concentrated on air power, and had the most disciplined and stongest air force of all the Clans. Althought the Ravens themselves did not participate in the Invasion, they did supply much air support to the invading Clans.

  • Clan Blood Spirit - The smallest and weakest of all the Clans. Clan Blood Spirit did not join in the invasion, and indeed did little to help the Clans, ever. They withdrew from the Outer Rim into unknown space well before the Clan Invasion, only leaving forces on Strana Mechty and York.

  • Clan Wolverine - A Clan that was insanely jealous of Nicholas Kerensky favouring Clan Wolf, and not allowing Clan Wolverine any of the Kerensky Blood Names. In the early days of the Clans, Clan Wolverine rebelled against the Clan Society and declared its intentions to break away. This sparked off civil war throughout the Outer Rim, and caused Clan Wolf to fight the only Trial of Annihalation ever fought in Clan history. Clan Wolverine, all its warriors and Blood Names were utterly annialhated. The Clans name was erased from Clan archives and no Clanner will even dare to utter its name any longer.

  • Clan Widowmaker - Clan Widowmaker was always opposed to Clan Wolf, and tensions between the Clans were high. When the Khan of Clan Widowmaker ordered atrocities against his own citizens, Clan Wolf earned the right to absorb them in a Trial of Absorption.

  • Clan Mongoose - More a political caste than a warrior caste. Clan Mongoose used political maneuveuring to escape retribution of every wrong act they made, until they attempted to escape a Grand Council ruling and were deemed unfit to rule, Clan Smoke Jaguar won the right to a Trial of Absorption.

  • Clan Burrock - Clan Burrock dealt with breakaway bandits from the Clans, creating a Black Market and selling armanents to these bandits. When this defiance was discovered, Clan Star Adder won the right to a Trial of Absorption.

Clan Society

The Clans had a very honourable and militaristic society. It was extremely brutal and conformist - those who defied were eliminated. Such a society over many years, however, created an extremely civilized, controlled and powerful society. The Clans used Trials to settle all disputes, from a matter of honour to a matter of life. Six Trials (and one variant Trial) were used, and all Trials were conducted in a similar matter. The parties involved first had to petition their Clan Council or, if the matter was serious enough, the Grand Council. When the matter was allowed the appropriate preceedings were carried out. Both parties had to announce the forces they intended to use, and for honour's sake, the Clans always used the smallest forces possible. The battleground(s) were designated by the warrior or Clan who called for the Trial. The following is a brief description of these such preceedings:

  • Trial of Position - A Trial of Position was used to decide the rank of the warrior in question. The warrior enters a Circle of Equals (a circle that only the parties involved may enter) and three warriors lay idle at the edge of the Circle of Equals. At the same time, another warrior is carrying out their Trial. The warriors survey the Mechs at the edge of the Circle of Equals, and may either leave the circle in shame (should they believe they cannot win, though this rarely happened) or they may fire upon one or more of the Mechs. Whatever Mechs they fire upon shall power-up and commence attack upon the warrior in question. If no Mechs are destroyed, the warrior fails and does not advance rank. If one, two or three Mechs are destroyed, the warrior gains one, two and three ranks respectively. If a warrior destroys all three of his Mechs they may request another Mech from the other warrior fighting his Trial at the same time. If the other warrior concedes a Mech then the warrior may fire upon him and initiate another battle to gain another rank.

  • Trial of Grievance - A Trial of Grievance was used to settle small disputes of honour. If one warrior dishonours another, either of the warriors may call for a Trial of Grievance. The two warriors are both assigned Mechs/Vehicles of equal tonnage, which they are unfamiliar with, and are allowed one week to become accustomed to them. They then enter the Circle of Equals, and only the two warriors may enter. The fight is designated to the death, although the warriors often cease before then and save the Clans from losing a warrior. Winning this Trial procures nothing other than regained Honour - which was more important than anything else in Clan Society.

  • Trial of Possession - When two warriors or Clans laid claim to the same object (whether it be a planet, a Blood Name, information, the right to a Trial etc.) a Trial of Possession is fought. Trials of Possession were large and as such were fought on battlegrounds, not in Circles of Equals. The loser of the Trial had to concede the object to the winner without further objection.

  • Trial of Refusal - This Trial could be initiated at anytime before a Trial is fought. For example, if the Grand Council ruled that Clan Wolf could absorb Clan Wolverine, Clan Smoke Jaguar may call for a Trial of Refusal before the Trial of Absorption commences. In the reverse, if Clan Smoke Jaguar won a Trial of Possession then Clan Wolf could not call for a Trial of Refusal on the Trial of Possession as the Trial of Possession had already been fought. If the winner of the Trial was for the disputed matter, then the matter would proceed as before, however, if the winner was against the disputed matter, then the matter would not proceed and new arrangements had to be made. Trials of Refusal were also large battles fought only by Clans and were fought in battlegrounds, not Circles of Equals.

  • Trial of Absorption - A very serious Trial. This Trial can only be allowed by the Grand Council. If a Clan is seen as unfit to rule, then another Clan may call for a Trial of Absorption. If the Grand Council rules the Trial to commence, then the Clan to be absorbed is not allowed to act until the Trial, and all other Clans must fight Trials of Possessions to see which Clan will win the right to absorb the Clan in question. Once the Clan has been decided upon the Trial commences. If the Clan to be absorbed wins, then the absorption is called off, if the Clan to be absorbed loses then the absorption continues. When a Clan is absorbed into another, the Clan being absorbed loses all its ruling caste and its resources, Blood Names, territory, warriors, Mechs etc. are all surrendered to the Clan that won the Trial of Absorption.

  • Trial of Annihalation - The most serious Trial, and only used once in Clan history. This trial can only be allowed by the Il-Khan after the Grand Council has allowed it. If a Clan is so radical in defiance then a Clan can call for a Trial of Annihalation. The Clan that nominates the Trial usually wins the right, as nothing is gained from the Trial other Clans are not interested in the right. If the clan to be annihalated wins, the annihalation is called off, if, however, they lose then every warrior, politician, citizen and Blood Name is destroyed and all records of the Clan erased from the Archives; territory of the annihalated Clan is divided equally among the remaining Clans. This is such a severe action that the Clans are very reluctant to use it, and always prefer to nominate a Trial of Absorption.

  • Trial of Blood Name - This Trial is a simple variant to a Trial of Possession mixed with a Trial of Grievance. There are fourteen slots for this Trial. Thirteen warriors are nominated for the first thirteen slots, and the last slot is reserved for a warrior which wins the right to compete in the Trial of Bloodname through other Trials of Possession. All fourteen warriors are given Mechs of equal tonnage and given a month to prepare for the Trial. A Circle of Equals is drawn and the fourteen warriors enter a melee. The last standing warrior wins the Trial and the right to add his genetics to its Clan's Blood Name.

Clan Eugenics

When Aleksander Kerensky initiated the Exodus, he brought with him 800 commanders. Those 800 commanders were the finest in the Star League Defence Force (S.L.D.F). As such, when Kerensky made his 20 Clans, he extracted the DNA from each of these 800 commanders and gave 20 to each Clan. He ordered these Clans to use this DNA to breed all its warriors with, so that the greatness of the original 800 commanders was carried throughout the generations. Each year the Clans held 20 Trials of Blood Name (one for each of its Blood Names), and the winning warrior added his genes to the Blood Name. This was the highest possible honour within Clan society. Over the generations, this mixing of the "elite of the elite" meant that every True-Born (a warrior born with a Blood Name) was an extremely deadly opponent. With genes for fighting, and brought up from day one only knowing war, True Born warriors were the greatest in the universe. As war was such an important aspect in Clan Society, True Borns were revered while Free-Born (born without a Blood Name) were reviled and discriminated against. True-Born were placed in its Clan's warrior caste by default, and although the Clans used Free-Born in their armies, it was not an easy task. A free-born first had to endure training from a disgruntled Free-Born trainer (being a Free-Born trainer was a great demotion and a dishonour to the trainer's name) and then the Free-Born had to face three True-Born in a Trial of Position. As long as the Free-Born managed to destory one Mech then he gained Mechwarrior status. Free-born occassionally won Trials of Blood Name and were long revered aftwerwads.


The Clan Invasion

The Clans invaded the Inner Sphere in 3050. As mentioned above, the Clans should have won the Invasion. Below is a list of reason why the Clans should have, and why the Clans did not, win:

  • Factors that helped the Clans:

  • Factors that both helped and hindered the Clans:
    • Honour bound society

    • Great speed.
      • Took the Inner Sphere by surprise.
      • The Clans moved faster than their supply lines could, causing supply problems.

    • Fanatical devotion to their goal.
      • Caused the Clans to fight with ferocity.
      • Caused the Clans to make brash moves in foolish attempts to achieve their goal.

  • Factors that hindered the Clans:

So there you have it, a relatively short (yes, that's right short) analysis of the Clans. Hope you enjoyed it.

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