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.
"Man plans, God laughs." - John Perry Barlow
The Jihad brought a new future to the Davion Outback, though few can get away with calling it that anymore. Once the home of a Federated Suns military academy, Filtvelt was considered by the rest of the Federation to be on the back end of no where, and its graduates were not considered nearly as valuable as graduates from more gifted places, like New Syrtis or New Avalon.
For centuries the Outback lived alone, visited rarely by Federation JumpShips sent to teach their young and take the smartest of them away for the Davion military. The JumpShip schools fostered a long and bitter resentment that boiled over during the Jihad. Given the choice of dying under Word of Blake guns for the House Davion that had given them next to nothing and taken their best and brightest in exchange for what little they did give, the Outback happily used the excuse to give House Davion the collective finger.
And Filtvelt was the first. After the Filtvelt governor talked with Marshal Carrie Zetso on Broken Wheel, Zetso supported the plan and the entire Broken Wheel Combat Region left the Federated Suns as a generally organized whole. With Zetso supporting it, Filtvelt held onto power and organized the various military units that came over to them from nearby regions into a common defense of the new realm. But as the Jihad raged and pirates began to prey on their borders, Filtvelt soon learned that they would need some way to rebuild their diminishing armed forces. It was simple to build vehicles and recruit infantry. Even the most backwards Outback worlds could slap some weapons on a farm truck or AgroMech and turn it into fighting machine. But true BattleMechs were hard to come by, and as their losses mounted, especially against the organized Tortugan and Pirates Haven pirates, Filtvelt began looking around for help.
They found it in Crofton, a major supplier of BattleMechs and OmniVehicles for the Federated Suns and Federated Commonwealth before the Jihad. Crofton, surrounded by a Word of Blake fleet at the jump points and unable to defend itself with most of the Federation military pulled out of the Outback to protect the inner worlds, had quickly agreed to the Word of Blake demands and cut off all communication with New Avalon. The Federation had assumed it was destroyed and continued to fight on, but Crofton was perfectly fine, and when a Filtvelt recon force under the command of Major Erich LeBeau arrived to see if there was anything left, they found an ally that could rebuild their damaged BattleMech battalions.
Revitalized by the Sunder, Warhammer, Longbow, and Thanatos-class BattleMechs, as well as the Manteuffel-class OmniTank, coming out of Crofton, the Filtvelt Defense Forces began to drive the pirates out of the worlds they’d claimed for their own pleasure. While dominated by large and slow BattleMechs, generally topping at less than 90 kph, the growing power of the Filtvelt Defense Forces showed the pirates that Filtvelt could hurt them. Badly.
The pirates moved to easier prey after a particularly heavy loss on Eustatius, and the raids since then have been no more than the normal raiding all nations have felt. Filtvelt had proven it could stand up against anyone trying to take their land and people, so the pirates turned to stealing money and material. Though the odd person caught out on his or her own is still not out of the ordinary. Usually her.
The last major fight on Wedgefield, an unclaimed and lawless system between the two governments, in 3095 left the more advanced Filtvelt Battalion running with half its number down to a sneak attack. While the Federated Suns force found itself incapable of totally pushing Filtvelt off the world, that battle ended all hopes that Filtvelt could control the world in the foreseeable future.
Oddly, though Filtvelt has an off-again on-again understanding with New Avalon and the two governments rarely fight, the Filtvelt relationship with the Taurian Concordat is far friendlier. Seeing it as a fellow victim of Davion imperialism, President Carrie Zetso sent a delegation to Malagrotta, the nearest Taurian world, shortly after the war between New Syrtis, the various Capellan Rump States, and the Taurian Concordat ended in 3085. The last fifteen years have seen the two realms become friendlier with each other, and they have conducted numerous cooperative anti-pirate sweeps.
Part of the friendship is most likely based on their similar societies. Like Taurian space, the Outback was always an area of space where you looked out for yourself and where freedom was a handgun away. Or a rifle away in some areas. Most worlds in the Coalition lack high-end technology and luxuries, and seem willing to stay that way as long as other people leave them alone. The systems of Filtvelt, Crofton, and Broken Wheel are the center of Coalition technology and culture because of their positions of being the political, manufacturing, and military capitals. Outside of those systems where easy work is easy to find, the Coalition is a hard place to live, with fewer universal government-paid benefits than are seen elsewhere, but many find the openness of the Coalition brings opportunities.
Strongly believing in individual rights, the Filtvelt Coalition never wants to see the government stripping the best and brightest away from local systems like when they were under House Davion. They actually modeled many of their rights off the Taurian system, a fact not lost on Protector Erik Calderon. Chief among the notable system, and what possibly makes the Filtvelts unique, is the pure representative form of government they wield. The people of each system elect the system governments, and they elect the representatives to the central government on Filtvelt. And, unlike any other known government, the head of state, the President, is actually elected by the popular vote of the people.
Elected into her fifth consecutive term to the presidency, Carrie Zetso continues to bring resources into Filtvelt from all reputable nearby Inner Rim powers, and has sent numerous expeditions to the Tortugan realm to liberate the pirates of any spoils they may have. These actions have made her very popular throughout the years and all indications are that she will continue to be elected for as a long as she chooses to run, and perhaps even after that.
Most of the Filtvelt budget goes into the military, giving the Coalition a militaristic attitude not dissimilar to that taken by House Davion or the Taurian Concordat. The military is ever present on Filtvelt worlds, watching and waiting for enemies to strike.
The Filtvelt Defense Forces are a balanced military organization, with many heavy BattleMechs that move faster than the heavies of other realms because of the technological level that Crofton was able to maintain. The days of the Outback being derided as the hairy backside of the Federation are gone. The average Filtvelt lance is far more advanced than a Federated Suns lance, but the Suns military has still been able to hold its own easily with superior training most of the few times they’ve met in battle.
A production exchange program between the Taurian Concordat and Filtvelt has helped Filtvelt build their credible armed forces. Numerous lighter BattleMechs like the Locust, Wasp, Stinger, Griffin, Hatchetman, and even the venerable Marshal, all built in the Taurian Concordat, are seen in Filtvelt space sporting Filtvelt colors. In exchange, many Sunder and Thanatos-class OmniMechs are seen in Taurian colors, and the Warhammer factories on Pinard and Taurus now build the same Warhammers that come out of the Crofton factories. And Manteuffel OmniTanks built on Perdition are beginning to supplant many older vehicles as the primary Taurian battle tank. In addition, many Filtvelt JumpShips, and even the small WarShips they use to handle pirate incursions, come from the Taurian Panpour shipyard complex, the largest yard of its kind in the Periphery. The friendship seems to be mutually beneficial to both realms, and there are no signs that it will end any time soon.
Crofton – StarCorp Industries - Sunder, Warhammer, and Longbow-class BattleMechs; Thanatos-class OmniMech; Manteuffel-class OmniTank
Brockton – Filtvelt Training Center
Broken Wheel – Military headquarters. Third richest system.
Crofton – Richest system in Coalition
Filtvelt – Filtvelt Military Academy. Second richest system.
Zolfo – Schools for the people, and mines for the nearby StarCorp Industries in Crofton. The fourth richest system in the Filtvelt Coalition.