The Human Sphere is a BattleTech universe set in 3100. The Jihad has come and gone, leaving in its wake dozens of small realms in a perpetual cycle of raids and small wars. Will you seek money or defend your nation? Or both? You decide.
"When true giving occurs, you have more afterwards than when you started." - Peter Rengel
Clan Jade Falcon
After Clan Jade Falcon’s Pyrrhic victory over Clan Wolf in the so-called Refusal War of 3057, few expected the battered Clan to recover. Its Khan dead and its victory tarnished by dishonor, most expected it to stumble along for a time, and many suggested it was time to remove them from the Invasion completely. Granted, the most verbal proponents of that suggestion were the Steel Vipers, but the mere suggestion that an Invading Clan lose its status before the reformation of the Star League was a shocking symptom of how far they had fallen.
Under Khan Marthe Pryde though, the Jade Falcons recovered quickly and threw the Steel Vipers out when they attempted to force the issue of removing the Falcons from the Inner Sphere. Marthe also sent her touman out to gain experience against the Lyran forces, raiding above the Truce Line as deep as Coventry. That this raid resulted in the formation of the Star League was unfortunate from Clan Jade Falcon eyes, but they shed few tears when the Jaguars drew the ire of the Inner Sphere. Instead they continued to rebuild and prepare for the Invasion to continue. Their victory against the ComGuard in the Great Refusal was seen as a sign that they could continue their own Invasion of the Inner Sphere, even if the Clans as a whole were denied it. It was also seen as visible proof of the strength that still filled the Clan’s talons.
During the FedCom Civil War, Marthe sent her forces into Lyran space again, this time to claim systems rather than simple raid them for experience, and though some systems were lost the Falcon proved its strength again. Though Epsilon Galaxy was defeated in the Dark Nebula by elements of “Clan Snord”, it and many other Galaxies did well elsewhere against the Lyrans and Clan Wolf when they came raiding. In the end, Falcon troops blooded and Falcon territory expanded even if not as much as wished, Marthe agreed to a cease-fire with the Lyrans with the knowledge that her Clan was ready.
The passing of the Fifteen Year Truce won by the ComGuard and the beginning of the Jihad simply gave the Jade Falcons the opportunity they needed to show again their strength. In January of 3068 Marthe ordered her touman to attack the Alliance and the Tamar Pact, thinking to find them sufficiently distracted by the Word that the war would be relatively easy. Instead they found the Kell family, the Wolves-In-Exile, the Tamar Cavaliers, six full regimental combat teams and assorted other units of mercenary and Lyran origins who had declared for the Pact waiting for them. The forces arrayed against them along the Lyran border were less impressive but still showed potential. In Falcon eyes it promised to be a good war.
Gamma Galaxy hit Graus like a hammer, wiping out the Twenty-Third Arcturan Guards to a man, and pushing both Wolf clusters there back further into Tamar space in a heavy fight that held them for nearly a month. Meanwhile, Delta Galaxy shattered the Third Lyran Guard on Crimond in a lightning campaign but the Kappa Galaxy ran into the Tamar Cavaliers and Sixth Lyran Guard on Tomans. It was a long and hard fight but Kappa Galaxy was unable to push them off and was finally forced to retreat to make repairs and replace destroyed equipment. Omega Galaxy, tasked with taking Graceland, ran into the Eleventh Donegal Guard, First Kell Hounds, and Third Wolf Guards, and were soon pushed off, retreating to Pandora. The Spheroids followed them, starting a battle there that went on until 3074 and became the worst meat-grinder in the war. Other Jade Falcon provisional galaxies smashed into other worlds of the Tamar Pact and the Lyran Alliance, rolling up Spheroid defenders by the bushel as the Tamar and Lyran forces desperately tried to shore up their defenses.
A part of that defense was the use of Traitor Wolf WarShips to blunt the edge of the Falcon attack, hitting the flanks and taking out one ship at a time. In a period of mere months, the Jade Falcons lost the Aegis-class Gold Talon and Red Talon to Traitor Wolf boarding parties and the Black Lion-class White Aerie found itself surrounded and utterly destroyed. The Falcons destroyed a Traitor Wolf Black Lion and Aegis in return, but found the situation to be intolerable until they hit the Wolves’ secondary Naval Star and destroyed it. They captured the Vincent-class Valiant, destroyed another Vincent, and sent a Potempkin and an Aegis running for their lives.
As the war continued, the Traitor Wolf ships, supported by the Fox-class Robert Kelswa in Tamar hands, continued to raid the Falcon edges, but the Falcons did not flag in their ground war. Galaxy after Galaxy smashed into the lines of the Spheroid realms, and for a time it appeared as though the Tamar Pact and the Melissa Theatre would collapse completely. But reinforcements from Coventry and Skye arrived to hold them off, turning the war into a long hard war that spent years instead of weeks marching across worlds. Raids designed to disrupt defending forces and prepare for invasions, many of which never occurred, become common on either side of the border as the combatants settled down into a meat grinder.
September of 3070 saw the invasion of the Hell’s Horses against Clan Wolf, as well as a major Blood Spirit-led offensive against the Star Adders in the Clan Homeworlds. Former saKhan Timur Malthus informed Khan Marthe Pryde of the chaos beginning to engulf the Homeworlds, and the escalating destruction as the two coalitions of Home Clans began to hammer each other harder and harder. He suggested a general withdrawal from the Homeworlds, as the Hell’s Horses and some other Clans appeared to be performing, and Marthe agreed, giving him the authority to bring whatever he could with him.
The rest of 3070 and 3071 continued the slow burning war that seemed to be without end, and many began to wonder if Marthe had finally overstretched her hand. Falcon gains were minimal and the touman found itself bleeding faster than new trueborn could be grown, forcing her to continue recruiting freebirths into the touman to make up the losses. As 3071 came to a close, opposition to her command grew, many suggesting that if they ended their war with the Spheroids they could send their touman back to the Homeworlds to deal with the Blood Spirit and Star Adder war. A Trial of Grievance threatened to bring Marthe down in fact, but she won it easily and silenced her detractors for a time.
As matters went, it was only time that she needed. January of 3072 saw the best of the Traitor Wolves abandoning their Spheroid allies to save the crumbling Clan Wolf. And in March a major Word of Blake of assault on Coventry badly damaged the world and forced it to look to its own defense rather than help the Melissa Theatre against the Falcons. Marthe recognized the weakness and ordered an all out assault on the Lyrans that resulted in the capture of Melissa and the complete collapse of Lyran resistance. With that thorn removed, she redirected her forces to Tamar and Arc-Royal, smashing their defenses into gibbering hysterics.
The Falcons marched across the stars in an unstoppable wave until they hit Arc-Royal itself with Gamma Galaxy and nearly took it, but the Kell Hounds and several mercenary units pushed them off after taking heavy casualties. Gamma and Delta Galaxies then dropped on Bountiful Harvest where they faced the Twenty-Second Skye Rangers and the Tamar Cavaliers, dug in and ready for a fight. The Falcons advanced across the planet, destroying one defending fortification after another and bleeding the defenders white. But the Spheroids pulled every trick in the book and inventing new ones as time went on, making the Falcons pay for every meter they took. By 3073, more than three-quarters of the planet was under Falcon rule, most of it smashed flat by the fighting.
Through all of this though, Marthe realized that her detractors were correct on one level. Even with the redeployment of the Homeworld Galaxies and resources to stem the Hell’s Horses incursion, she was simply burning her military too hard in its push to destroy Tamar. The Jade Falcon troops were being pushed to the ragged edge where experience gained was topping out and where it would begin to drop again thanks to needing to push any warm body onto the line. She refused to allow her touman to be so weakened. Add to that the slow ratcheting up of “Clan Snord” raids and she simply had to make a choice about which war to fight.
The choice was easy. The Lyrans were shattered and no more glory or experience could be won there. Tamar was fighting a dirty war on the ground in which there could be no victors. The Hell’s Horses and their allies, as well as Clan Snord, were fresh however and fought more honorably. It would be possible to earn further experience and glory against them and so she sent out the orders to abandon any Tamar world not firmly in Jade Falcon hands.
In March of 3073, the Falcons left those worlds to deal with Clan Snord and the Clan Hell’s Horses. The Tamar and Skye forces began attacking and taking worlds Marthe didn’t accept as important, but she did not stop sending reinforcements to Pandora where Mu and Omega Galaxies continued to fight Tamar. Her other Galaxies and her naval forces moved to take care of the Hell’s Horses and Clan Snord however, hitting them hard. There they found the Hell’s Horses supported by Clan Steel Viper naval and ground units, and went into battle with a bloodlust to smash their sworn enemies.
In the battles that raged, the Black Lion-class Blue Aerie, Texas-class Falcon’s Nest, and the Aegis-class Blue Talon died, but the Falcons broke the back of the Steel Viper fleet and allowed their galaxies to land and deal with the Viper and Hell’s Horses ground forces. The battles against Clan Snord were less expensive, following more standard Clan traditions that allowed either side to request hegira when a loss was inevitable, but the battle with the Hell’s Horses and their Steel Viper allies continued bloodily.
February of 3074 found Clan Wolf joining in the war and for the first time since the Jihad began, Khan Marthe Pryde began to wonder if she could win the war she had unleashed. She pulled her forces back from the fight with the Hell’s Horses, having suitably warned them of her strength, to deal with the Wolves and their Tamar allies again, but soon realized that holding onto Pandora and its region of worlds would be impossible. Rather than allow her Galaxies to be destroyed in a hopeless fight, she pulled them back to more defensible worlds. Though they chafed at the idea, they followed orders and began to fall back, holding onto worlds to buy time rather than simply to hold them. The Tamar forces were exhausted but determined to die if need be to take the worlds, and the Falcons slowly backed off, preferring to maintain their fighting edge while holding Tamar’s attention. The Wolves were more important, and dangerous, enemies after all.
Marthe ordered the bulk of her forces to hit them and attempt to slow their advance as well as she fortified Sudeten and the worlds around it. She also made certain that the Hell’s Horses paid for every world they captured in enough cold hard blood that they would decide the invasion wasn’t worth it. By April of 3075 the Hell’s Horses stopped the slow advance to consolidate their gains and to rebuild their damaged touman. Clan Wolf finally learned the same lesson later in the year and the Jade Falcons knew a measure of peace as 3075 came to an end. The first in eight years.
A truly massive number of trueborn and freeborn had been blooded, and it was time to rebuild and repair with that hard-won experience. Khan Marthe Pryde immediately set into motion her plan, using the numerous mobile factories brought to the Inner Sphere from the Homeworlds to begin revitalizing her touman. New technologies, many of them still bleeding edge, found themselves in testing, new and upgraded designs in naval and ground warfare saw the light of day or the darkness of space, and the battered but proud Jade Falcon touman began to look up.
The quarter century that has followed has seen Clan Jade Falcon raiding her neighbors with a continually more devastating military that has earned them respect and fear. No major war has erupted again though as the Falcons have limited themselves to “mere” raids or Trials. It is their job to blood their troops, not bleed them white after all. Khan Diana Pryde, having risen to the rank via a Trial of Position in 3080, has not set aside the final mission of conquering Terra, and has continued to label the Star League a sham. But the short-term goals of maintaining the strength of her Clan are decidedly more down to earth. Recent years have seen another major increase in Falcon weapon technologies, as well as troop movements throughout much of old Rim Worlds space. They are looking for something as they prepare for another major war that may or may not come. What it is they are looking for, and when they decide they are ready for another war is unknown. We can only hope that the Wolves decide they are ready first and hit the Falcons before they are ready.
The Jade Falcons make little use of vehicles, especially in a combat role, and leave them mostly to freebirth garrison units. What vehicles they build have proven themselves to be very effective in the hands of the right crews though. Freebirth garrison and provisional Galaxies mostly use standard BattleMechs as they are cheaper and the Clan does not begrudge their loss as much. The main frontline Galaxies on the other hand use as many OmniMechs as possible, only falling back on BattleMechs if they have no choice because of equipment malfunctions or combat damage.
In particular demand are the new Night Gyr and Fire Falcon OmniMechs. Using a new and powerful laser heat sink system that operates a 150% efficiency compared to standard freezers, though they take up the space of Inner Sphere freezers, these two OmniMechs have been used to devastating effect in raids in recent years and plans are being made to upgrade other production plants to add laser heat sinks to the other designs used by the Clan.
Omnifighters are mainly used to protect the various naval stars that patrol the Falcon borders, as well as to support the ground forces as their secondary mission. Overlord-C DropShips are used in numerous configurations (from BattleMech transport, to fighter carrier, to cargo ship, and others) to support the naval stars and system pickets. Alpha and Bravo Naval Stars each have a large number of these DropShips in carrier mode, using the fighters to sweep space clear of anything short of an enemy WarShip. For those the Falcons use the most powerful remaining battleline in the known galaxy to do what they are supposed to do. Kill other WarShips. A large number of naval stars and trinaries made up of Great Falcon-class destroyers, Jade Lanner and Jade Hawk-class frigates, and the Vincent-class destroyers Valiant and Lightning Strike guard the Falcon’s borders and support local system defense networks.
Gamma Galaxy: Jade Falcon Galaxy
Delta Galaxy: Gyrfalcon Galaxy
Omega Galaxy: Tigerhawks
Rho Galaxy: Bloody Marauders
Mu Galaxy: Emerald Death
Lambda Galaxy: Black Death
Sigma Galax: Turkina’s Eyes
Zeta Galaxy: Turkina’s Beak
Alpha Naval Star
Nightlord-class dreadnaught Emerald Talon
Black Lion-class battleship Jade Aerie
Liberator-class battleship Gauntlet
Congress-class heavy cruiser Green Lantern
Whirlwind-class cruiser Emerald Tornado
Bravo Naval Star
Aegis-class battleships Jade Talon, Janice Hazen, Frost Falcon, and Hawk Eye
Carrack-class transport Ironhold Provider
Antares – Griffin IIC BattleMech; Anhur Transport
Barcelona – Jenner IIC, Phoenix Hawk IIC, and Rifleman IIC BattleMechs; Erinyes, Harpy, Centaur, and Gorgon ProtoMechs
Black Earth – Howler (Baboon) and Conjurer (Hellhound) BattleMechs; Indra Infantry Transport
Butler – Visigoth OmniFighter; Great Falcon (Fredasa) destroyer
Chahar – Trellshire Heavy Industries – Night Gyr and Fire Falcon OmniMechs; Jade Lanner frigate; Overlord-C DropShip
Devin – Huitzilopochtli Assault Tank; Bane (Kraken) BattleMech
Goat Path – Black Lanner and Turkina OmniMechs
Hot Springs – Von Jankmon Industriplex – Kit Fox (Uller) and Hellbringer (Loki) OmniMechs; Scytha Omnifighter; Jade Hawk frigate; Overlord-C DropShip
Melissia – Summoner (Thor) OmniMech
Roadside – Nova (Black Hawk) OmniMech
Sudeten – Olivetti Weaponry – Locust IIC, Pinion, Thunderbolt IIC, Spirit, and Warhammer IIC BattleMechs; J. Edgar IIC hovercraft and Hunter IIC LRM Carrier
– Trellshire Heavy Industries – Demolisher IIC and SturmFeur IIC Heavy Tanks
Aiyina – A world of verdant jungle, the 'brutto vapore,' or ugly vapor, is a major hazard to the unwary. These clouds of insects hit their victims with a narcotic sting, then implant their eggs. The victims generally remain unconscious for the two days it takes for the hatching, then the pupae leave for the swamp to continue their breeding cycle. Needless to say, the survival rate for hosts is not very high, although it has become a measure of courage in some circles for Jade Falcon elementals to purposefully become so infected to show their strength and ability to survive anything. Those that survive are either looked up to or considered completely nuts, depending on who is doing the looking.
Antares – Home of a major SLDF replenishment and resupply base, the Jade Falcons upgraded the base in the 3060s to support BattleMech construction. Now on the border between the Tamar Pact and Clan Jade Falcon it is raided often but is protected by a heavy force at all times. Efforts are currently underway to find a new location for the industries.
Baker 3 – Small and cold, Baker 3 is the only marginally terrestrial plant is a system populated by gas giants. Its twin domed cities house a modest population that serve's the 'Mech garrison and the administrative headquarters for a dozen orbital stations that mine the 'jovian' planets. The planet's thin carbon dioxide atmosphere gives the rocky wastes of the surface a distinctly orange hue.
Barcelona – Out on the edge of Jade Falcon controlled space, the vital industrial plants here are heavily defended from pirates at all times.
Black Earth – The sight of a Star League base, this world has become a major producer of war machines for Clan Jade Falcon is often the victim of raids by Clan Snord and pirates.
Blackjack – Home of the rebuilt Blackjack School of Conflict, commandant Mark Harris continues to train new warriors for Jade Falcon touman despite his advanced age and inability to serve the Clan as a warrior.
Blue Hole – The surface of Blue Hole is dotted with small clear-water ponds of surprising depth, and many of the pools are connected by deep channels.
Bone-Norman – A defense outpost against pirate raids, the wind-carved badlands have hosted numerous battles over the last decades.
Butler – The home of a major orbital dry-dock and construction facility, the slow Hell’s Horses advance has left this world barely under Jade Falcon command on the border. Clan high command is looking for suitable systems deeper in Jade Falcon space to relocate the facility but have had little luck at this time. In the meantime it is heavily defended at all times.
Chahar – The capture of this world in 3064 proved a boon to Clan Jade Falcon. The headquarters of Dobless Information Services, the local information database was captured without any damage and has proven to hold information even the Clan’s Star League-era databases lacked. Also sporting numerous heavy industries, this world has become a major platform of Jade Falcon war production, notably the Night Gyr and Fire Falcon OmniMechs that use the new laser heat sinks which have proven deadly in combat operations in the last two years.
Devin – Severe electrical storms and high winds rage across this desert world. The Boneyard, the crash site of an old SLDF Texas class battleship destroyed by Stefan Amaris' navy is an area of huge craters and mountains of wreckage. The Boneyard is used as a giant salvage yard for the local industries, having accumulated a mass of metal that rivals Ishiyama Arena on Solaris VII. Rendering radar and magnetic-anomaly detection devices worthless, numerous mock battles are performed here.
Goat Path – Goat Path's terrain is comprised of abrupt peaks and chasms, making conventional vehicles almost useless, and making defense of the factories the Jade Falcons have moved into position relatively easy.
Graus – A pacifistic world with beautiful vistas and light industries, it hosted a Kit Fox OmniMech factory for a time, but as the Tamar Pact and the Wolves have pushed the border back to it, the Jade Falcons moved this valuable factory deeper into their territory for safe keeping.
Hot Springs – First colonized for its vast mineral deposits and metal ore veins, Hot Springs became famous for its rich mineral water and therapeutic hot springs. The Jade Falcons conquered it because the founder of their Von Jankmon Bloodname was born there, and it now hosts a prolific industrial center thanks to their influence.
Kikuyu – A desert world rich in radioactive ores and rare metals, it has proven a valuable world for any nation that controls it and is often on the receiving end of raids for its riches.
Melissia – This world’s single continent covers it from pole to pole and is half as wide as its height. Sporting rich veins of Titanium, this world was a rich world under Lyran control and commanded an entire theatre defense region. Its collapse and capture by the Falcons shattered Lyran resistance during the Jihad and factories have been moved their since, pulling them out of more threatened systems.
Mogyorod – Mogyorod is a temperate world of rolling mountains and wine-dark seas.
Newtown Square – The Plains of Culd extend over some two-thirds of Newtown Square's primary continent. Actually a savannah, with pale sword grass and good soil, Clan Jade Falcon took advantage of its long growing season and began growing numerous foodstuffs here. These crops have made it a target for food raids from pirates in recent years.
Parakoila – A primary source of gold and heavy metals for Clan Jade Falcon, the Clan has moved the small manufacturing center here into worlds considered to be more secure from Tamar and Wolf assault.
Roadside – Full abundant and fertile soil, this world sports a number of microbes that have proven exceptional at fighting various cancers and other illnesses. It is also home to a major factory complex and Clan leadership is currently looking at it as a place for moving more production to in the near future.
Somerset – Home to the Military Academy of Somerset, this world on the edge of Jade Falcon control has been the victim of numerous pirate and Clan Snord raids in recent decades.
Sudeten – The capital of Clan Jade Falcon, this world is constantly under attack by raiders from the Tamar Pact and their Wolf allies. Hosting massive ore and petroleum deposits, as well as old Star League BattleMech factories, this world is the most heavily protected of the Jade Falcon worlds but they have been quietly preparing a fallback capital should they be forced to abandon it. Unlike modern Clan factories though, they are unable to simply move the old Star League factories and so have left them where they are and have continued to hold the world with a defiance that has proven capable of holding off Tamar and the Wolves since the Jihad.
Waldorff – A major source of munitions for the Jade Falcon touman, this world is heavily defended at all times.