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.
"The mouth obeys poorly when the heart murmurs." - Voltaire
Long a close ally of the Marik family, the Halas family of Oriente were raised from being a “simple” MechWarrior family to the halls of Oriente after the previous ruling family, the Allisons, died in battle. The day that Thomas Marik and Sherryl Halas married two centuries later was considered a great day for the Duchy of Oriente, a culmination of centuries of close support, but as with many things it did not turn out as they wished.
After being proven a fraud and imposter, “Thomas” left Atreus with Sherryl and returned to Oriente where he continues to live to this day as Thomas Halas. The Free Worlds League demanded his return, and has continued to do so every year on the anniversary of his departure, for trial but Oriente continues to return the messages marked “opened by mistake”. That appears to be the sole position that Oriente takes in contravention of its common support of the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth, and one of the few against the League itself.
During the Jihad for instance, Oriente sent every Oriente Hussars formation into the Marik Commonwealth to support them against the Word of Blake, including the only two WarShips that swore fealty to Oriente, the Zechetinu-class Attica and the Impavido-class Impavido. The Hussars took terrible losses in the Commonwealth, and later on Terra, but they never stopped fighting and returned to Oriente with full honors when the war ended.
The Fusiliers of the Oriente were not so lucky. Losing most of their number to Tamarind when they defected from both the League and the Oriente because they felt betrayed at being placed under League command instead of their historical Oriente command, they were reduced to two formations without a shot being fired. Left behind to protect Oriente when the Hussars moved to support the Mariks, the Fusiliers felt the wrath of the Word of Blake without support. The Ducal Guard was decimated protecting the factories of Oriente, while the 4th Brigade all but ceased to exist in 3071 to another Word assault. Only the presence of three Marik Militia regiments, under the command of General Marissa Morgan who came out of retirement to help her homeland, in the Oriente kept the Duchy from collapsing completely, but it was a near thing and the scars of the war can still be found if you look for them.
Unlike Oriente, the Protectorate and the Duchy of Orloff remained neutral in the Jihad, not having the resources, they thought, to survive should the Word of Blake attack them. Because of that, they survived the Jihad nearly untouched, unlike the shattered Oriente. In 3078 in fact, the Orloff Grenadiers, spread around the three Orloff worlds equally, were the most powerful force left in the area of space that would later become the Oriente Protectorate.
But it was Christopher Halas that secured Emris IV, and StarCorp Industries, for Oriente and gained the resources Oriente needed to rebuild. Had Vanra been able to secure StarCorp’s support, the Oriente Protectorate in its current form most likely never would have been built. Using the profits of StarCorp, and promising eventual repayment of the debt, Oriente helped finance the rebuilding of their other factories, and the reestablishing of Garret SatComm and Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited factories on Oriente. Both companies had been all but destroyed by the Word of Blake, and would have been forced to declare bankruptcy if the Halas family hadn’t used every financial reserve they had to give them and other factories a chance to rebuild. Even with StarCorp’s help they nearly didn’t turn the corner into self-sufficiency before the money ran out, but by 3085 the painful rebuilding had begun to make its affects known.
By that time, the Protectorate was in all but name an Oriente possession, and in 3086 the Oriente Protectorate was officially formed. Rebuilding their military was still their primary concern, but aggressive Halas funding of any business venture had made them a favorite of the many mercantile regions of the new Protectorate. Because of that, the modern Oriente Protectorate is known across the Human Sphere for its excellent mercantile assets, and its aggressive traders. Clan Sea Fox actually maintains a permanent presence in the Oriente, one of the few places in the Human Sphere that has such an honor.
The Duchy of Orloff, unlike the Protectorate, maintained it independence, but was very friendly, from the Oriente for many years. They fought off Capellan raids without requesting aid, and even came to the Oriente’s aid from time to time. But they had grown to like independence and desired greatly to keep it. When the Trinity Alliance War between the Capellan Confederation and the Magistracy-Fronc-Taurian Trinity Alliance ended in 3093 though, the Earl of Orloff knew that Capellan raiders would be crossing the border in greater strength soon. Within months, negotiations to become an official member of the Oriente Protectorate were underway, and in June of 3094 the treaty was signed.
New business deals from the Protectorate mercantile committees flooded into the three worlds of the Duchy of Orloff, and within months the flagging economy of Orloff began to rise up as the Grenadiers, Hussars, and Fusiliers began to formally train together. That training came to great use when the Capellan Confederation attacked the Free Worlds League border between the Protectorate and Andurien in 3097. Though the war was short, the Protectorate forces were pushed to the limit to defend their territory, and in the end the Free Worlds Guards with League fleet elements had to be called in to stop the tide of Capellan forces. A swath of former League systems still cuts the Protectorate off from Andurien though, a constant reminder of the Capellan threat.
The Oriente Protectorate of 3100, ruled by Duke Christopher Halas, is first and foremost a traders’ realm. They will sell anything to anybody, though weapons sales to the Capellans are greatly frowned upon for obvious reasons. Sporting the liveliest economy in the League, the Protectorate is a bustling hive of economic activity and scientific development. Most of the new developments are civilian in nature, but they have rebuilt enough of their military establishment to make them generally self-sufficient in that regard.
Current Protectorate relations with other realms are a mixed bag. Generally happy to be in the League, and one of the three realms that remained in it throughout the Jihad, they are not so happy with all of the members of the League. They are least supportive of the Anduriens and consider them to be provokers of the Capellans. The Protectorate believes that Andurien is responsible for the Capellan attack in 3097 and lays the blame for their dead on the head of the Humphreys. This had sparked many an argument in the League Parliament as the two realms “debate” over whose fault it was and what should be done to rectify the situation.
They are on lukewarm terms with the Regulans, only that good because the Regulans also supported them during the Jihad, and on very good terms with the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth, despite their continued obsession with protecting Thomas Halas from the League and Commonwealth, and are happy neighbors with the Zion Protectorate. They have sold many BattleMechs and DropShips to that small realm, helping them to hold out against the aggressive Sarna raiding fleets. They are also on friendly terms with the Styk Commonality and continue to send aid to that beleaguered realm in hopes that it can survive against its many enemies and friends. The last thing they want is the Sarna Supremacy on the Protectorate border after all.
The Protectorate Navy is dominated by the very common Gryphon-class assault DropShip, a redesigned version of the Condor that Nimakachi has built since 3087. Mass-produced to give the Protectorate a powerful defensive line, many Gryphons fought the Capellan fleet, supporting larger Eagle II frigates and Impavido cruisers purchased from Imstar Shipyards of Atreus, where they proved their worth to the Oriente. Admiral Tania King, looking only 30 years of age thanks to improved anti-aging treatments she took after the Fourth Succession War, commands the Protectorate Navy and often takes to space in the Impavido, flagship of the fleet. Escorted at all times by the Attica, these two ships have been through more chaos in their short lives than many Star League ships have ever dreamed of. Cheetahs purchased from the Marik-Stewart Commonwealth or the Free Worlds League make up the vast majority of Protectorate fighters.
The central Protectorate Army, commanded by General Marissa Morgan who has benefited from anti-aging treatments as well, is composed entirely of BattleMech formations, with individual planets tasked with forming vehicle and infantry formations to support the BattleMechs as needed. Because of this, there is no single organized vehicle or infantry formation in the Protectorate, but they have taken great care to assure that their BattleMechs are well drilled and made up of some of the best MechWarriors in the Human Sphere. Shipped via Condor DropShips, long since redesigned to carry BattleMechs, the Fusiliers, Grenadiers, and Hussars can move quickly to respond to a threat. Stingers make up nearly all of their light lances, while Shadow Hawks are the primary medium BattleMech of the Army. Warhammers are the standard battle line unit, and are the most prestigious rides in the Army. MechWarriors that can claim one of those powerful BattleMechs are honored throughout the Protectorate. Massed lances of Archers and Longbows are often used to support the other lances with indirect or long-range fire, but such postings are not nearly as honored and so are not pursued as rigorously. Hence, their performance is not as good as it could be.
Fusiliers of Oriente
Ducal Guard – Enlightened Valor – Oriente
1st Brigade – Avenging Angels – Calloway VI
4th Brigade – Death or Glory – Oriente
9th Brigade – The Hospitallers – Emris IV
1st Hussars – Allison’s Hope – Oriente
2nd Hussars – The Crazy Second – Fletcher
3rd Hussars – Perseverance – Les Halles
4th Hussars – Voice in the Dark – Fujidera
5th Hussars – The Gunslingers – Anegasaki
6th Hussars – The Steadfast – Dayr Khuna
1st Grenadiers – Soldering in Purple – Vanra
6th Grenadiers – The Lucky Sixth – Carbonis
8th Grenadiers – Capella’s Scourge – Hassad
Calloway VI – Earthwerks, Incorporated – Stinger, Shadow Hawk, and Archer BattleMechs.
Carbonis – IMB Systems – Various targeting and tracking systems
Emris IV – StarCorp Industries – Warhammer and Longbow BattleMechs.
Fletcher – Flame Tech – flamers and other energy weapons
Oriente – Oriente Weapon Works – various missiles and autocannons.
– Garret SatComm – various communications and targeting and tracking systems
– Nimakachi Fusion Products Limited – Condor, Dove, and Gryphon DropShips
Calloway VI – The business acumen of the merchants of this planet has made it a rich system. It also has the rare “honor” of having a permanent Clan Sea Fox contingent, something very few planets have. Because of that presence and the high level of biotechnology they sported, the Calloway Wildebeests, hunted into extinction by the 24th century, once again roam the plains of this world. One of the most unusual aspects of life on Calloway VI is that there is no true night. The three large moons that circle the planet reflect so much sunlight that nowhere on the planet has it been necessary to install streetlights. Natives who visit other worlds tend to be inordinately afraid of the dark.
Dayr Khuna – Home to Metamorphosis Inc., a company that remains consistenly at the cutting-edge of biotechnology, its once-sideline in replacement body parts is its most lucrative field now, especially after they obtained biotechnology from Clan Sea Fox that augmented the abilities they had developed. Now Dayr Khuna is the final destination of many people looking to regrow lost limbs or other body parts.
Fletcher – Home to the head offices of Free Flight, Ltd, another of the many shipping industries in the Oriente Protectorate, this company reportedly has many business dealings with Clan Sea Fox and often contracts them to transport goods to other nations on the far side of the Human Sphere.
Kyeinnisan – Also known as the Gambler's World, it offers a wide-open society where every pleasure, both imaginable and unimaginable, is for sale. Not surprisingly, it is the destination of many travelers who do not wish to travel all the way out to the Magistracy of Canopus, especially since this world maintains a long-term contract with a Canopian Pleasure Circus.
McKenna – A cold, barren world, its weather patterns produce almost continual snow for virtually 11 months of the year. First colonized early in the 28th century, during a massive rush for mineral rights, McKenna remains an important world for the Oriente Protectorate to this day.
Les Halles – The major port of entry for traders entering Protectorate space along the Capellan border, the starport cities on this world contain magnificent bazaars, teeming with merchant houses, wholesalers, and speculators who can find a profitable market (legal or otherwise) for virtually any commodity. Clan Sea Fox makes periodic trips to this world as well.
New Delos – The homeworld of Sir George Humphreys, the architect of the Free Worlds League itself, the site of the conference that ended the Second Andurien War in 2531, the place where the last member of House Allison, Harlan Allison, was killed in 2845, and the spot that the falling-out occurred between Anton Marik and Jamie Wolf that led to Anton's Death at the hands of Wolf's Dragoons, New Delos is chock full of history. It is also, for the first time in history, able to take advantage of those historical footnotes to make itself a veritable haven of tourism. Much of this is the result of HighPoint Traders, a corporation old enough to have a Star League trading license. Owned by the Chang family, HighPoint has been accused of smuggling, piracy, and operating unsafe vessels, and there is little doubt that these charges are true; but the locals don’t care because their passenger liners bring in foreign monies that make life on New Delos comfortable.
Nova Roma – Settled during the good years of the Star League by the Indrus Corporation, the planet remained a modestly successful, rather sleepy agrarian world for four centuries, until the Marik Civil War devastated. Since then it has avoided notice, even in the Jihad, and is once again a quiet agrarian world with little need for outsiders. After all, outsiders only bring trouble.
Oriente – Home of the Princefield Military Academy, premiere academy of the Oriente Protectorate, this world is also one of the shining jewels of the Human Sphere. Beautiful landscapes that rival Terra itself have been left untouched by nearly a millennium of wars and raids, and the populace itself is very well educated, favoring science, the arts, industry, and commerce. It is perhaps no surprise that the factories on Oriente sell much of their production to other Free Worlds states, especially the nearby Zion Protectorate and Marik-Stewart Commonwealth.
Vanra – The Orloff Military Academy on Vanra provides some of the best-trained MechWarriors in the Protectorate, if not the entire Human Sphere. Students enter the academy at the age of twelve and receive extensive conventional schooling prior to beginning military training at age sixteen. Most cadets graduate at age twenty, after four years of study. Orloff City also houses the only Order of the Saber chapter house to survive the Jihad.