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.
"Ninety percent of life is just showing up." - Woody Allen
The 3050s and 3060s saw the Capellan Confederation picking itself up by its bootstraps under the command of Sun-Tzu Liao, one of the most astute Chancellors in centuries. Operation Guerrero in 3057, the joint League/Confederation invasion of the Federated Commonwealth, was the first major sign of Capellan strength since before the Fourth Succession War. A generation accustomed to living under the shadow of the Davion family had finally found a reason to be proud of their people again.
As Sun-Tzu fanned the flames of Xin Sheng though, repeated attempts to gain an alliance with the Magistracy, most likely an attempt to prepare for the expected end of his close friendship with the Free Worlds League, were rebuffed. But the Capellan Confederation soldiered on, trying to reintegrate the remaining worlds of the new Chaos March, including the Sarna and Styk governments. It proved a difficult task though, and many wondered if the Confederation would be able to finish its plans when the St. Ives War fired up.
Forced to transfer all of its free forces, and many that weren’t, the Confederation responded to the attack of the Blackwind Lancers that nearly killed Isis Marik. The war that followed lasted over three years and brought the two nations to the brink of collapse. But in late 3063, Duchess Candace Allard-Liao, accepted the inevitable and brokered a peace deal with her nephew. Only the help of Anastasius Focht, Former Precentor Martial of the ComStar, made the final peace possible.
Sun-Tzu’s greatest concession was in allowing the Allard-Liaos to remain hereditary rulers of the St. Ives Commonality, while Candace’s greatest was in agreeing to sell the production of the numerous St. Ives factories to the Confederation at cost. The next few years saw the Confederation military rebuilding from the atrocious damage caused by the civil war, and attempting to take more of the Chaos March systems. But while the St. Ives military was willing to garrison worlds in the Chaos March, it refused to take the more drastic measures Sun-Tzu wished performed to give the local systems no choice but to return to the fold.
When the 3067 meeting of the Star League Council elected Thomas Marik to the position of Star Lord, the Confederation was still fighting to control the worlds of the Chaos March. Some like the planet Liao were happy members of the Confederation, but others were less joyful about giving up their newfound freedom from the Great Houses. Especially those that were once a part of the old Sarna Supremacy like Palos and Wei. The Word of Blake Jihad did not help matters.
As reports of the first battles over Atreus, New Avalon, Tharkad, Luthien, and Outreach wafted across the HPG networks, many wondered why Sian had been spared. As the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months with no sign of a Word of Blake assault on the Confederation, fifteen years of work by Sun-Tzu began to fall apart. Many wondered, especially in the newly re-acquired systems, if the Word of Blake had given Xin Sheng the power it needed to thrive. They were proud people, and many had been happy to return to the Confederation, but they’d lived a generation under the freedom of Houses Davion and Steiner, and the idea of being allied with a power who was destroying them was repugnant to many.
Entire military commands in the new territories began to leave the Confederation, removing their planets from Capellan control. The Sarna Supremacy and Styk Commonality happily snapped up any systems willing to come over to them, and the Confederation found itself splintering. Protests erupted across the Confederation, especially in the St. Ives Commonality, decrying Sun-Tzu’s support of the Word of Blake. Protesters in the core Confederation systems that had survived the Fourth Succession War were dealt with summarily, but the Allard-Liaos refused to do the same to their people.
Despite all his work, Sun-Tzu was losing control. And despite public opinion to this day, this author believes that Sun-Tzu truly was unaware of Word of Blake plans. Whatever the truth of the matter though, the secession of the St. Ives Commonality in 3069 finished the process of reversing all the gains made in the last 12 years. Back to its post-Fourth Succession War borders, and reeling from internal dissension, the Capellan Confederation was a remnant of the power it fielded a mere two years before. And the Word of Blake had not fired a single shot. In fact, it was the very fact that they didn’t fire a shot that tore the Confederation apart.
When they finally moved in 3070, the Confederation had little to fight them with. The Word of Blake destroyed their main fleet over Victoria and bombarded the factories from orbit. Most considered that Sun-Tzu had gotten what was coming to him. Most thought his allies simply backstabbed him once he was no longer useful, and most think that to this day. Those views were not softened when Kali Liao set off a chemical, nuclear, and biological war against the Word of Blake so atrocious that it even made them look civilized. The Capellan Confederation fought tooth and nail after that against the Word of Blake in a scorched earth campaign that, to this day, is compared to the First and Second Succession Wars. Dozens of worlds burned, and hundreds of thousands of men and women died under the guns of the Word of Blake. Millions more died as "collateral damage" to the assaults of either the Word of Blake or Kali’s cultists.
In the end, few cried any tears when Sun-Tzu and Kali Liao were captured and executed by Word of Blake in a live broadcast throughout the Word of Blake-controlled HPG network in January of 3071. In fact, in one of the few instances where the Word of Blake was almost welcomed, crowds throughout the former Capellan Confederation cheered at their deaths. It was little comfort for those killed by the Word of Blake in the core Confederation worlds, but the citizens living under Sarna, Styk, and St. Ives rule were just happy the traitor and his crazy sister had gotten what was coming to them. At the hands of his own allies. Justice was certainly poetic.
This author believes that the Word of Blake simply took the opportunity to vilify the single leader who was perhaps the best of his time, and one who could have hurt them badly in the Jihad. I have made my views clear in the best selling Sun-Tzu – Traitor or Patriot? The History of Xin Sheng historical holodocumentary. It is an easy record to find. Whatever the truth of his actions though, it was the death of Sun-Tzu Liao that ended the Word of Blake Jihad in Capellan space. With central authority gone, the Confederation simply ceased to exist.
At least that is what many assumed would happen. Some cried out for Candace Allard-Liao to take the office of Chancellor, but such was not to be. Treyhang Liao, leader of the Free Capella Movement, had been fighting along side the Ridzik brothers since 3067 against the Word of Blake. He’d made many waves in the populous of the Confederation when he sent the Blackwind Lancers from the battlefields of the Chaos March to fight the Word of Blake on behalf of the people of the Confederation. They pointedly refused to follow any commands of Sun-Tzu, but fought beside many Confederation units. When Word of Blake cornered and destroyed the Lancers in the ruins of Grand Base mere days before the death of Sun-Tzu, a wave of positive public opinion engulfed Treyhang.
He rode that wave to the Andurien border when the Duchy attacked in 3072, and it was Free Capella fighting beside the remnants of the Confederation military that stopped the Andurien thrust. After two years of fighting the Anduriens, Treyhang was a hero to a Confederation desperately in need of a hero. He road the wave of support to the ruins of Sian and crowned himself Chancellor in 3075.
He spent the next four years rebuilding the shattered armies and factories of the Confederation, while inviting military units back into the fold. Anyone who returned would be considered as loyal to the Confederation as the Free Capella Movement had been. Many returned, bolstering the strength of Confederation Armed Forces until they were powerful enough to defend the realm and retake territory lost during the Jihad. After taking numerous systems back, Treyhang began looking to St. Ives again. Sun-Tzu had considered St. Ives the center of power and the turning point for Xin Sheng nearly two decades ago, and Treyhang knew why.
St. Ives controlled one of the densest concentrations of industrial power in the Inner Sphere. A Capellan Confederation with St. Ives would be powerful enough to force Sarna, Styk, and even the long lost Tikonov worlds back into the Confederation. With St. Ives, the Confederation would be strong again. Chancellor Treyhang Liao wanted the Capellan Confederation to be strong again.
But Prince George Hasek of New Syrtis moved to assault St. Ives in 3079, before Treyhang could finish his preparations and gave the Chancellor two choices. Hit St. Ives in the back while Duke Kai Allard-Liao was fighting the Federation, or assault the Federation directly in support of St. Ives. Treyhang chose to support St. Ives and smashed into the Syrtis Federation with abandon. With the Taurian Concordat already involved, he didn’t have to worry too much about being hit with everything the Federation had after all. When Sarna and Styk jumped in as well, Treyhang knew he’d made the right choice.
It was Kingston’s Rangers that captured Mendham in 3080 and moved deeper into the Federation. And after fighting Syrtis Federation forces for three years, it was Kingston’s Rangers that had to return to Mendham in 3083 to stop the Trinity Alliance from taking it. The fighting on and around Mendham went on for ten more years, long after the St. Ives War ended with St. Ives keeping its freedom.
The decade of fighting against the Trinity Alliance pushed the Capellan military to the brink though, especially when the Duchy of Andurien added its power to the mix. Humbled by its defeat more than a decade before, Andurien forces spilled across the border later in 3085 and forced the Capellan Armed Forces to divide their forces still more. But while the Confederation had been through hell and back, this wasn’t the nearly dead Confederation Andurien and Canopus had fought after the Fourth Succession War. The Capellan Confederation of the 3080s was in bad shape, but they weren’t about to roll over and play dead.
Treyhang refused to use non-standard warfare, not wanting to follow Kali’s road to hell, as re-built factories pushed out a massive number of cheap but operational machines of war. During the darkest days of the war against the Trinity Alliance, the Capellans actually found themselves fighting designs more advanced than anything they could build. The very idea that the Periphery could be more advanced than one of the Great Houses was a shock, but Treyhang took it in stride and continued to send anyone he could to the front lines.
Volunteers from every world in the Confederation streamed to the recruiting offices, ready to fight their enemies with anything they could get. Shipped to every border of the Confederation, but mainly to the Andurien and Periphery borders, those volunteers paid in blood for their willingness to protect the Confederation, and while their BattleMechs, vehicles, AeroSpace Fighters, DropShips, and even WarShips held little in the way of advanced technologies, they made up for that in pure old fashioned bloody mindedness.
They forced the Trinity Alliance and the Anduriens to pay in blood for any world they wanted. By 3092, even the Taurians were ready to stop, but Protector Erik Calderon wanted Mendham and its advanced factories that were still being passed back and forth as each side won or lost a battle. The arrival of a Raven Alliance WarShip squadron over Mendham in 3093, in company with a Trinity Alliance WarShip squadron, broke the back of the Capellan Second Fleet and sent them packing back to Sian in disarray.
The Trinity Alliance and Duchy of Andurien, as weary of the war as the Capellans were, did not follow up their victory with an assault. Instead they sent in a diplomat, Janice Calderon, to speak with Treyhang Liao and secure peace. On December 3rd, 3093, the Trinity War was over.
The last seven years have seen the Confederation rebuilding again, buying production from St. Ives now that the war with the Taurians is over, and reincorporating more advanced technologies into their lower technology designs. A short war in 3097 against the Oriente and Andurien tested those technologies and showed that the Confederation was a foe to be respected, adding several systems to its domain.
Chancellor Treyhang Liao, still in command of the Confederation after a quarter century, is no longer the young man he once appeared to be. With graying hair and worry lines etched into his face, he is the vary image of the concerned leader, exactly what his people need in modern times. He has built up generally friendly relations with Duke Kai Allard-Liao of St. Ives, and has managed to pull back the worst of the fighting against the Trinity Alliance. The Confederation and the Periphery will never be friends, but at least they are not fighting tooth and nail any longer. The Andurien border on the other hand is in constant turmoil, with raiding going on at all times. The border with the Syrtis Federation is mostly quiet now outside of low-level raiding, but the borders with the Oriente, Styk, and Sarna governments are also on the more hot side.
Like many other nations in the area, Treyhang also uses his many contacts to funnel aid to the Chesterton Worlds, hoping to keep them out of the hands of the Tikonov Free Republic, as well as to weaken the Styk Commonality. It will be interesting to see what Treyhang will do if the Chesterton Worlds become independent.
The current CCAF still has many of the Trinity War-era designs in their militias, but their front-line battalions see many of the technologies seen before the Jihad. Stingers and Wasps make up many of their lightest lances, often supported by Men Shen and Duan Gung OmniMechs. Other heavier designs continue to be built as quickly as possible as well. The Emperor is the primary assault BattleMech of the Confederation, while the lighter Ti Ts’ang is one of the shining stars of the Confederation. Seen often during the dark days of the Trinity War, even the lower-tech versions of this design seen then found themselves in up close and personal combat against the Periphery or Andurien forces. Following the example of Ti Ts’angs during the Jihad, they fought to the death and made their enemies pay in blood for anything they wanted. Piloting a Ti Tsang in the modern CCAF is one of the greatest honors a Capellan can receive. Many Phoenix Hawks and Valkyries, designs built on the Chesterton World of Demeter, are seen in Confederation and many believe they come from Demeter rather than from the Ozawa-Addicks Mercantile Alliance.
The Transit and Transgressor AeroSpace Fighters, as well as the Defiance OmniFighters, dominate the AeroSpace forces of the CCAF. Like most of the BattleMech and vehicle designs, the more advanced units have versions mounting Stealth Armor, making them difficult to find. More than once a raider has thought he or she was home free until a squadron of Liao fighters came out of nowhere and taught them the meaning of fear.
The Feng Huang-class Aleisha Kris commands the CCAF navy, and is escorted at all times by several Impavido cruisers and Lungchuan escort frigates. The majority of the frigates however are seen scattered throughout the Confederation watching and waiting for enemies to strike either from within or from without. The Mandarins especially see frequent action on patrol duty against raiders coming in from all directions.
Bithinia – Bithinian Ballistics – Various autocannons and machine guns
Capella – Ceres Metals Industries – Vindicator, Ti Ts’ang,
Thunder, and Marauder BattleMech. Transit ASF and
Grand Base – Earthwerks, Incorporated – Stinger, Cataphract, and Archer
Information to be compiled