"Anything is possible, if you don't care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman
Mercenary Review and
Able's Aces, one of the hundreds of small-time mercenary commands, suffered through a bitter contract dispute with the Federated Commonwealth in the late 3040s. Unwilling to work for Houses Marik or Liao, and unable to get a contract from House Kurita, they moved into the Old Periphery. Ironically, this kept them from being sacrificed to slow down the Clans.
They found a young Rim Collection looking for military protectors and chose to offer the fledgling government their aid, effectively becoming the Rim's primary military force. They trained the Rim's militia units while staying out of the worst wars that waged in the Human Sphere, and helped protect the Rim as it expanded to cover more star systems. They are no longer the only, or even the heaviest, BattleMech force in the Rim, but they remained the most prestigious.
They have not forgotten their mercenary roots though, and send out a third of their force to acquire high technology designs through battlefield salvage or straight contract basis. Joining Able's Aces has become the most prestigious way for a young man or woman to travel beyond the borders of the Rim, and so only the best of the best are recruited into the unit.
Ace Darwin's WhipIts
The WhipIts resemble a club or fraternity more than a standard mercenary command. Ace Darwin taps his available friends after signing a contract, ensuring that the size and composition of the unit that shows up is designed for the mission at hand. This "grab-bag" unit usually does well, though they have defaulted on a handful of contracts over the years.
The WhipIts are most famous for their actions during the Jihad. One of Ace's friends, one-time Solaris co-Champion Elizabeth O'Bannon, asked the WhipIts to support Solaris against the Word invasion, and that five-year contract became the longest single contract the unit has ever completed. Ace's pink Panther became a common sight during the long resistance, and claimed more than a dozen kills while rarely getting so much as scratched.
After the war ended, the WhipIts returned to their adhoc nature, and have since worked for the majority of the nations in the Human Sphere. Ace spends most of his time on Solaris when not out on contract, and has actually earned a solid reputation on the Solaris Circuit with his pink Panther becoming a fan favorite.
Formed as a mishmash of SLDF and Rim Worlds regulars, the Always Faithful fought for every major House except Davion for three centuries. They shrunk from a full brigade to a mere regiment, but proved "always faithful" to their contracts. During the Marik-Liao Invasion of the Sarna March, Captain-General Thomas Marik handed their contract off to the Capellans, but they soon became disillusioned with the Confederation's tactics on Caph.
Then the Word of Blake conquered Caph, and the Always Faithful left in search of a new contract. They found one working for the Sarna Supremacy and helped them expand in exchange for first-rate medical care for the ailing Colonel Riel. There they proved instrumental in capturing several systems from the Confederation and the Syrtis Federation when that nation attacked St. Ives. In 3093, they became an official part of the Sarn army, and the aging Colonel Riel retired, handing command to his daughter, Rhonda Montog-Chandler-Riel.
Under Rhonda, they have held to their mercenary traditions, and one company from each battalion is sent out on mercenary contracts to bring in funds and to give the soldiers time to rest and relax from the constant raids plaguing the Supremacy.
Ambermarle's Highlanders first saw life when wealthy nobles from Aldebaran and Zurich chose to take advantage of the Capellan Confederation's need for troops during the Third Succession Wars. For years, they gained the reputation of taking safe contracts, and only taking dangerous ones if there was a very good chance of making a lot of money. These actions gave them a reputation for being weekend warriors, but the unit survived and thrived when other, bolder units died.
In 3061, Wendy "The Old Witch" Ambermarle took them into the Capellan Brigade, a force of mercenaries with Capellan sponsorship. They never worked for any other nation, so being a founding member of the brigade seemed a good idea. But the Jihad shattered the brigade as one unit after another left the Confederation before being labeled Toaster Lickers. The Highlanders chose to join the Styk Commonality, bringing Tsitsang with them.
The Highlanders have continued to garrison Tsitsang ever since. The pastoral world produces only food, and it is a fairly safe place for them to remain on contract. They do sometimes hire out lances and companies for small assignments, but can be counted on to avoid anything dangerous
Amphigean Agriculture Inc. was a leading agricultural company throughout the Star League, but the Succession Wars forced it to hire mercenaries to defend its installations. When they became too expensive, Amphigean formed their own Security Groups. When other corporations gathered around their factories, they charged a protection fee, and began to rent the Security Groups out to other corporations for punitive actions against debtors.
In 2952, the Draconis Combine approached the company to form two Light Assault Groups. They performed so well that several more were commissioned, though the Dragon took full control of the units, stripping away their mercenary status. The new "Dragon Amphigeans" took horrendous casualties during the Clan Invasion and the Jihad, until their survivors finally left and returned to Amphigean.
Amphigean has rebuilt the Security and Light Assault Groups in the years since, and once again work with the survivors of the Fifth LAG, now known as The 48th. Each group is run like a corporation, looking to run a profit. The corporation owns all assets, though soldiers are paid well. The Groups are deployed in lance to battalion strength throughout the Inner Sphere.
The 48th began life as one of Amphigean Agricultural's Light Assault Groups, originally mercenary units and then House units, serving the Dragon for over a century. They were the last LAG formed, and heavier Lyran walls of battle defeated them again and again, until the Ghost Bears finally shattered them. The Draconis Combine wrote them off as dead.
When they finally escaped the occupation, the disillusioned warriors left the nation that abandoned them. The long occupation had distilled the survivors into a strong, tight knit unit that closely considered any contract and their ability to fulfill it.
Because of this mindset, and their strict adherence to both the words and spirits of their contracts, both foes and allies soon learned to respect them. They worked on Epsilon Eridani for a time, fought the forces of Small World, and were sent to fight the Word on Terra. There the impressed Wolf's Dragoons recruited them into the AMC.
They have since worked for Tikonov in numerous wars, from the invasions of the Combine and New Syrtis, and numerous smaller actions, sometimes beside the surviving Amphigeans.
Angels of No Mercy
The Angels are one of a small number of pure AeroSpace mercenary units. They originated as a Star League unit, that helped to maintain AeroSpace superiority over Terra during the final liberation.
The Angels remained in the Human Sphere and saw heavy action during the Succession Wars, losing their WarShips and most of their smaller craft. The Angels survived though, wandering from contract to contract, never remaining in one place for long. During the build up to the Jihad, they destroyed the anti-air defenses on Carver V, now called Liberty, and remained a force in the Chaos March after that. They continued with the small contracts during the Jihad, sometimes working for the Word, and other times working for the Star League states. In an ironic twist of fate, they helped enforce air superiority during the second liberation of Terra under contract to the AMC.
Since then, they have kept up with their nomadic lifestyle, rarely keeping to a contract for more than a year. Somehow, they managed to acquire one of the few remaining Okinawa 2 carriers and enough Nephilim OmniFighters to fill out the wing, though Solaris has emphatically denied selling anything to them.
Twenty senior Federated Suns field-grade officers retired in 3042, cashed out their pensions, and recruited more military friends to form the Arcadians. They soon worked for friends and contacts in Davion space, where they have remained ever since.
They started the Jihad on Acamar, protecting it from the Chaos March. Then New Syrtis seceded, taking the entire Capellan March with them, and the Arcadians left to fight the Word threatening their home. After five years of war, they finally helped to drive off the Word, and traveled with the Suns' fleet to meet up with the Star League at Outreach. During the long war for Terra, they fought alongside the Dragoons and the AMC, and finally learned just how good those commands were.
They joined the AMC, and the MRBC, because of that, though have taken few contracts through them. They instead became one of the few famous founding members of the Federated Suns Mercenary Corps, and have served in every FSMC action since then. They field an Omni-dominated force of the most advanced 'Tanks, 'Mechs, and 'Fighters, BattleArmor, LAMs, DropShips, and Frigates built anywhere in the Federation Expanse, making them a dangerous and fanatical foe.
42nd Armored Lightning Regiment
Originally a Star League regiment, the 42nd Armored Lightning went mercenary when the League fell. It survived well through most of the Succession Wars, working for the Draconis Combine, but the Lightning had a very rough 31st Century.
They lost their second battalion on Pike IV in 3012 when Hunchbacks and other heavy BattleMechs destroyed the majority of the light 'Mechs the Lightnings fielded. The Smoke Jaguars cut down first battalion nearly to the last man during the assault on Port Arthur. While they tried to rebuild, the Combine held them in a "company store" program and actively impeded their acquisition of the needed resources.
During the Jihad, the last Lightning battalion fought with the Azami and the Nova Cats, becoming close friends with each. When Coordinator Ricol ordered the Nova Cats rounded up in 3087, the Lightning struck with their friends.
Best used on the offensive, performing hit and run raids with their light and medium BattleMechs, the Lightning have become one of the Azami's primary raiding commands. They rarely stay in one place for long, content to raid the Draconis Combine that cost them so many lives.
Arms of Thor
The Arms of Thor were formed by a collection of nobles with the resources to acquire and maintain BattleMechs, and in the beginning was little more than a club for the nobles for having fun while playing soldier. The playing ended in 2956 when a Marik unit went rogue and decided to run through Illyrian space, "resupplying" on their way. The Arms of Thor suffered heavy casualties in the fighting, but destroyed the invaders and rebuilt using their remains.
New recruits came flooding in, but the Arms of Thor accepted only those of noble birth, keeping their numbers low but influential. They defended the Illyrian systems from raiders for the next century, rotating through the systems to support the local militia, until the Marian Hegemony invaded. The Arms of Thor nearly rebuffed the invasion, but were destroyed in the end.
When the Illyrian Palatinate declared their sovereignty during the Jihad, a handful of surviving nobles reformed the unit. This time they kept it small though, accepting only the best noble from each house, whether the position be warrior, camp security, or ship crew. The Arms of Thor are the best, most noble, and most prestigious independent unit in the Palatinate space.
Formed as a sacrificial unit during the hard, trial-by-fire years of the Clan Invasion, the Angels were thrown into combat against superior foes time and again as regular forces retreated. Against all odds, the Angels survived as a smaller mercenary force, and began to gain fame during several contracts in the Chaos March, Astrokaszy, and then the assault on the Smoke Jaguars.
During the FedCom Civil War, they split up and raided both sides of the war while their commander and a small force protected his family interests in the Isle of Skye. After the war ended, they moved back to Canopian space. Despite signing up with the Allied Mercenary Command, they were never called to duty in the Terran corridor, as the Dragoons considered them more valuable watching the Old Periphery realms.
The Jihad finally rolled over them, nearly destroying the unit again, but through "cut and run" salvaging they kept themselves supplied. They have remained with the Trinity Alliance ever since, fighting both Liao and Davion troops during the St. Ives and Trinity Wars. They refuse garrison contracts, but excel in hitting hard and fading fast, a valuable ability to have in today's Human Sphere.
The Bad Dream
The Bad Dream started life as a Capellan unit assigned to assault the Draconis Combine during the First Succession War. The Confederation abandoned them, and the Bad Dream chose to accept the Combine's offer of a contract rather than the offer of an honorable death. During the Succession Wars, they rotated between the Combine, the Federation, and ended in Lyran space, caught by the dreaded "company store" situation.
They finally jumped to the Marik side of the border and a new contract that helped them recover their financial footing, but the Lyrans sued them. In 3062, the MRBC ruled the debt stood and they had to hand over their wing of AeroSpace fighters and several DropShips. Then the Jihad came and their armor assets and many MechWarriors left to form the Nightcrawlers. The surviving Bad Dream continued to protect Kendall and its manufacturing plants despite these losses, declaring Kendall a rare, neutral, island of calm in the League that sold to anybody.
Today, they continue to guard the Kendall factories, joined by FWL troops as the League does not trust them to fight a true invasion without "encouragement."
For a mercenary unit with a "questionable" name and symbol, the Bandits are an amazingly loyal force. When the Taurian Concordat hired them in 2997, the Bandits proved the worriers wrong. They have remained on MacLeod's Land ever since, so long that only a handful of people were alive when they were not stationed there, and even fewer remember that time.
Most years, and even decades, have been uneventful, though the Bandits have always trained hard, accounting for their impressive experience level. That training paid off in the few times they have been forced into fights. Despite this, they still lost their second battalion during the Jihad when the Word of Blake firebombed MacLeod's Land. The survivors held to the contract though, and managed to fight off the Word troops despite being heavily outnumbered.
They rebuilt the battalion after that war ended, using the best new technology the Taurians had access to. When the Syrtis Federation attacked St. Ives, the Bandits moved out in support of the war, where they performed well in fast strike missions. They took heavy casualties in the meat grinder of Mendham though, and have only been rebuilt to one battalion in strength. They are still considered a reliable part of the Concordat's defenses though, and resources are being funneled to their rebuilding effort.
Barber's Marauder IIs
Twelve jump-capable assault-class war machines. Twenty-four Black Widow particle cannons, twelve Red Guard autocannons, more tonnage of flying BattleMechs than some DropShips-The reborn Barber's Marauder IIs are the nightmare of any battalion alive.
The original Marauders died during the FedCom Civil War at the hands of the Jade Falcons, trapped and shattered nearly to a BattleMech. Only two Marauders limped onto the DropShip that took them off world and they soon disappeared into another unit.
History never would have seen them again if Major Barber hadn't sent her daughter to Arc-Royal to train with the Wolves. "Bouncing" Betty Barber vowed to rebuild the unit, and continued her training with renewed vigor. On graduation day, she called a Trial of Possession for every Marauder II on planet. By days end, all nine belonged to her and Barber's Marauder IIs was back. The Marauders fought against the Falcons throughout the Jihad, time and again their arrival turning the tide of a close battle.
Afterwards, they returned to Davion space and became one of the few units in the AMC, MRBC, and FSMC. They are also the only FSMC unit the Dragoons sell their Marauder II Cs to, and to Blackwell marketing's delight, the Marauders upgraded to that deadly design, giving them access to a treasure trove of victorious Tridee footage.
The Fusiliers first formed over a century ago when their commander left Lyran service to go independent. They worked for the Lyrans at first, then accepted a contract with the Free Worlds League after the Fourth Succession War.
They proved their professionalism during the years that followed, and were assigned to the Capellans during Operation Guerrero. There they fought well, until their commander died. Nikita Barrett, a graduate of the Orloff Military Academy, took over and pulled them through the loss, holding them together through sheer strength of will. When the invasion ended, he took them back to League space and the Zion Protectorate.
The Third Free Worlds Guards declared for the Word in the opening stages of the Jihad and shattered the Fusiliers, pushing their survivors deep into the mountains where everybody thought they would die. They survived though, hiding their machines, and waited for three years as the Word's puppet governor arranged for equipment to be "lost" to them. When the time came, they struck out of the mountains and helped shatter the Word occupiers, bringing freedom to the Zion Protectorate.
The Fusiliers have remained under Zion contract since that day, effectively joining the state's military, but they send one battalion onto foreign contracts to keep their experience high and money flowing in.
Battle Corps Legion
The Battle Corps was formed in 3065 by warriors hailing from nearly every nation between the Taurian Concordat and the Clan homeworlds. The eclectic group was victorious in multiple contracts, and even a firestorm legal battle when charged with war crimes that another unit performed.
At the beginning of the Jihad, they were on Alula Australis, near Terra. The Word-dominated news services spun the news so well no one knew what was going on, until the Battle Corps were ordered to perform a "targeted assault" that would guarantee heavy civilian casualties. Colonel Nichole refused and the Word declared them rogue, targeting them for extermination. They ran until Alys Rousset-Marik contracted them to defend Augustine while she led the war against the Word. They took heavy losses, but held the line until the Word was eradicated in League space.
In 3073, their Alpha Battalion joined the AMC forces at Outreach. They fought the long campaign to liberate the Terran system, and then Terra herself, from the Word. They deployed with the other mercenary forces in South America before marching to North America. Reduced to little more than a company of combat effective BattleMechs by liberation's end, they returned to Augustine to rebuild.
Their two reinforced battalions now give them the combat power of a regiment. Beta defends their landhold on Augustine, while Alpha pays the bills. Having suffered numerous headhunter attacks, the Battle Corps command lance is now composed of four pink Banshees, with no markings to show which one Colonel Nichole pilots.
In 3047, 'Mech Magic Incorporated opened up shop on Outreach. They specialized in refitting and modifying designs, and the group soon became known for providing superior technical support.
Battle Magic is a technological showcase of that company, filled with technicians, instructors, and some of the most advanced weapons platforms in the Human Sphere, much like the old unit commanded by Doctor Banzai. Battle Magic has proven in the past that it can fight well, holding the attacking Tiger Sharks at the Harlech Interplanetary DropPort until reinforcements could arrive in the first battle of the Jihad. They also fought beside the Dragoons through the end of the Jihad, wherever the Dragoons traveled.
Since the Jihad ended, Battle Magic has returned to Outreach, where they upgrade other mercenaries' units with new technologies and, more importantly, teach the techs how to maintain them. They have not left Outreach since the Jihad, only helping those mercenaries that travel there. They have a landhold on Remus where their families live and where they perform research into new and better weapons of war.
The Bombardiers have gone by many names since the fall of the Star League, changing with their commanders. The current commander, Bert Rogers, took over in 3048, shortly before the Clan Invasion. They cut their teeth on that conflict, learning how to fight in the new age the hard way. They took their lumps, lost many battles, but their cool professionalism kept them retreating in good order no matter how difficult the fighting.
After the Invasion ended, the Bombardiers began performing raids against the Clans. Over the next decade, they began to make a name for themselves, sneaking in and out many times with unsecured supplies, and sometimes smashing isolated Clan units. They even destroyed a few garrison clusters that weren't prepared for their arrival.
When the Jihad began, they became a hunter-killer unit for the AMC, tracking down Word of Blake forces throughout the Human Sphere. They claimed a half-dozen Blakist flags by the time the Jihad ended.
Since then, they have returned to their raiding ways, hitting the Clans or any other nation with equal capability. While they have many losses on their record, few ever forget fighting the Bombardiers.
Black Angus Boys
The Black Angus Boys formed after a Free Worlds League militia company performed a string of bank robberies. The company moved to "sunny Herotitus" where they used their ill-gotten gains to have fun and attract new recruits.
After doubling their size, the new Black Angus Boys signed on to protect governmental property on the Canopian world of Booker. When pirates came, the Boys carefully only defended government property. The enraged Magistracy fired them, and the Boys found a more carefully worded contract with the Concordat.
When the Jihad came, the Boys jumped contract to work for the Word of Blake. They had much fun robbing banks, casinos, and such throughout the Trinity Alliance, helping keep them out of the greater war. When it became clear that the Word was falling, the Boys acted as normal.
They looked after themselves and jumped contract again, disappearing into unclaimed regions of the Federation Expanse. The Boys have remained their ever since, taking small contracts from desperate individuals and staying one step ahead of those who want them dead while having fun, making enemies, and influencing people.
The Black Cats are one of the very rare pure-infantry units to remain in business for over a century. The reason for their survival in a dangerous universe is simple. They take themselves as seriously as the MechWarriors take infantry.
They are famous for defeating a DropShip Irregular lance inside a bakery. The lard coating the floor turned it into an ice skating arena, bringing the 'Mechs down in a tangle of limbs, and then the Black Cats set it on fire. The remaining Irregulars fled.
The two units became friendly rivals after that, and when elements of the Irregulars moved to fight the Word on Solaris, they asked the Black Cats to come as well. Shortly after smuggling themselves on planet in a pizza-delivery craft, the Black Cats organized a particularly humiliating rescue of Solaris Champion Kelly Metz that involved an industrial vat of custard and a semi load of goldfish treats. The Word troopers involved were summarily executed for embarrassing the entire Order.
They earned a landhold for that and many other actions during the Jihad. They now live on Solaris, planning new ways to humiliate and defeat their enemies, friends, or those who "were just in the way."
Black Heart Roses
The Black Heart Roses traces its lineage back to the Stone Hearts BattleMech and the Briar Patch Guard infantry units, combined by marriage in the young Arc-Royal Defense Cordon. It happened to save the Briar Patch from an impressive debt, but as with many marriages of convenience, it did not survive. A decade later on Niops, Johann Rose found a new plaything, and Sara Heart-Rose took her BattleMechs, and daughter Scarlett, out of the Association.
They returned to the Inner Sphere in the middle of the Jihad, where they ended up working for just about every side. Sara Heart-Rose had a passion for collecting rare BattleMechs, and would take a contract from anybody willing to part with a rare one. They fought competently but avoided the truly deadly conflicts, preferring to perform garrison duties for rich nobles. They still follow those ideals when negotiating new contracts.
The modern Black Heart Roses, under Scarlett, resembles a roving museum of long-lost or rare BattleMechs rather than a normal mercenary unit. The technicians and MechWarriors are very good at keeping the eclectic collection online, operational, and in authentic paint schemes.
Black Knight Legion
The infamous Black Knight Legion has a long history of taking any mission, for any employer with the money, at any time. They have toppled planetary governments, saved royal families, engaged in industrial sabotage, and far more.
During the FedCom Civil War, they worked for Katherine Steiner-Davion, sowing discord and destruction on any world that sided with her brother. They fought on Kentares IV, shortly after the Drescari family reclaimed their throne, waging a lightning campaign that slashed the still-recovering Drescari guard and militia. A Kurita attack nearly captured the weakened world, but the Drescari family drove all of the invaders from their world, and the Black Knights withdrew to lick their wounds.
The Word quickly hired them, and the Knights levied their special brand of death and destruction on any target they were aimed at during the Jihad. As it came to an end, they moved on again, avoiding the Word's fate by helping Nashan Diversified take care of a business competitor.
The Black Knights continue to earn their infamy, loyal as long as they receive payment, and no job too dirty if C-Bills are waiting for them at the end of the day.
During its long and checkered past, the Black Omen has worked as corporate security, garrison, raiding, and recon forces, and any other "small time" contract it can get its hands on. Despite, or perhaps because of, their "dishonorable" conduct and tactics, they have proven to be an effective unit, surviving battles that would have destroyed a more "honorable" force.
The Black Omen is famous for their many conflicts with the Wolves, Ghost Bears, Nova Cats, and the Smoke Jaguars, and their long experience facing the clans on the Omen's terms makes them a sought after reinforcement for any unit planning to raid the Clan regions. From the original Invasion, to the Jihad, to the Dominion/Combine Wars, they raided and sucker punched the Clans again and again, never letting their claws lie still for long.
They are currently based out of abandoned Wolcott, hitting the Nova Cats, Jaguars, and Dominion with masterful hit and run tactics. Ironically, even though the Combine labels them questionable, and the Clans call them dishonorable, they have all learned to respect the small command that has danced in and out of the Clans' grasp so many times over the years.
The Black Outlaws
First named the Outlaws as a joke by a Rasalhague representative in 3039, the new unit became one of a relatively rare number of mercenary units that had good relations with the young Republic. They remained in the Republic, protecting its Periphery border from the pirates that plagued that region, until the Clan Invasion destroyed most of their force. They retreated into the Republic and linked up with the Black Omen for a time. After splitting up again, the Outlaws became the Black Outlaws in recognition of their friendship.
They still worked for Rasalhague when the Jihad began, and were one of the first units to, once again, face the firepower of an invading Clan Wolf. Once again, the invasion nearly destroyed the Outlaws, but the intervention of the Ghost Bears resulted in saving both Rasalhague and the Outlaws.
The Black Outlaws remained on Tukayyid, and under contract through the formation of the Rasalhague Dominion and beyond to the present day. They have been caught up in the pecking war between Trueborn and Freeborn militaries, Military and Civilian governments. Through all of that, they still survive as one of the very few mercenary units employed by Rasalhague.
The Black Thorns
A native of Northwind, Jeremiah Rose joined ComStar after his mother died fighting for House Davion in 3039. He learned to hate the Clans when they killed his entire unit on Tukayyid, and he returned home to build an anti-Clan unit. His father, then-patriarch of the Rose clan, spoke against him and Northwind refused to support Jeremiah's bid.
Jeremiah was forced to recruit MechWarriors from Solaris and Outreach to join his sister and cousin, and formed the Black Thorns on his own. The Thorns then moved to fight the Clans, and remained on that front until the Jihad began. The Thorns then left the Clan front to protect Northwind and joined the AMC effort in the region. They fought with the Highlanders throughout the Jihad, finally allowed to draw replacement recruits from Northwind.
After the Jihad ended, the Black Thorns returned to the Clan front and have remained there ever since, only returning to Northwind to rest and refit. Jeremiah is now the patriarch of the Rose clan, though his sister represents him unless he is on-world. One of the better anti-Clan forces, the Black Thorns normally base out of Wolcott, heavily raiding the nearby Clans.
The Blackhearts were originally known as simply one of many former Star League forces trapped in the Periphery. They were actually one of around a hundred battalions of the elite anti-terrorist Special Armed Services, and were deployed in the Taurian Concordat when the Star League fell. They accepted a contract with the Lyrans in 2866 and worked for them through the Fourth Succession War, before taking a contract with the Free Worlds League that lasted until the Jihad began.
When the Jihad visited Wasat, the Blackhearts shattered the Word mercenary units sent to sow chaos on the world, but took heavy casualties doing so. They remained there, protecting against common raiders as they rebuilt, until Wasat chose to join Tikonov rather than remain in the shattered Free Worlds League. The Blackhearts followed Wasat and joined the AMC, hunting down several Word terrorist teams through the liberation of Terra.
The Blackhearts have continued this mission in the years since, becoming the AMC's premiere anti-terrorist force. They are most often split into company-sized units and spread throughout the Human Sphere, keeping watch for terrorists of any stripe.
A century ago, the Blackstone family formed the Highlanders to protect their industrial holdings on Inarcs from the pirates that plagued that region. The Highlanders were placed under contract with the Blackstone family, not the Lyran government, a fact the Highlanders used more than once to keep them from being sent away from Inarcs.
The Highlanders did leave to raid the Jade Falcons, at Blackstone's request, and returned with a large amount of salvage the company was able to use to improve the production and refitting of Ominpods. As the Jihad began to rage, the Highlanders finally moved to become the Blackstone family's arm to enforce their protection of the planets surrounding Inarcs from the Jade Falcon threat.
The Highlanders now range throughout the Blackstone Authority, the elite defenders of the entire region. They are personally loyal, and still contracted to, the Blackstone family itself, rather than the Authority government. This maintains the Highlanders' long tradition of independence from government oversight, and keeps them able to choose where they wish to fight.
Wylie's Coyotes were lost in 3030, the result of a catastrophic misjump on their way to Canopus. They ended up in a faraway colony where humanity still lived with a capable industrial base. It took them decades to repair their JumpShip, and the grandson of the original commander finally brought Blanc's Coyotes back to Galatea in 3066, looking for a new employer.
The Word of Blake was busy acquiring new commands at the time, and offered an impressive technological upgrade package with new Project Phoenix designs, so the Coyotes quickly accepted it. When the Jihad erupted, they refused to void their contract though, holding to their defensive positions on New Home. Placed on the MRBC's Most Wanted list for that rebellion, they were brought to Outreach on trial after being forced to surrender in 3071. There they argued that the MRBC didn't have the standing to dictate who mercenaries could be employed by, and scores of companies, sick and tired of Dragoon control, supported them. In the end, the MRBC dropped the charges and let the Coyotes go free.
Blanc's Coyotes now accept short-term raiding contracts, and can be seen on contract throughout the Human Sphere.
Gideon Braver (Vandenburg) formed the Blazing Aces in 3024 when Draconis Combine agents destroyed Castle Vandenburg, killed his family, and helped a rival family take over Ander's Moon, a small moon in the Elidere system. Over the period of five years, the Blazing Aces tracked down the attackers, uncovered their employers, and helped restore Gideon to his throne. After putting his house in order though, Gideon took the Blazing Aces back out where they continued to follow the mercenary trade until they were destroyed during the Clan Invasion.
Maria Vandenburg used one of Gideon's caches to rebuild the Blazing Aces in 3053 and followed her father into the trade. Over the next twenty years, the Aces fought against the Clans, in the FedCom Civil War, and the Jihad, taking contracts from whoever would pay the best for honest work. They even worked for the Word on more than one occasion.
In the years since, they have continued to base out of Ander's Moon, now part of the Robinson Republic, though maintain no hard loyalties to that government. If the money is good, and the cause is not dishonorable, they are happy.
Blue Star Irregulars
After the Amaris Civil War ended, the Star League awarded thirty-seven Blue Stars of Kerensky to those MechWarriors who showed "unswerving loyalty in the face of great hardship." When Kerensky chose to leave, all thirty-seven recipients of that award remained behind. Thirty-two of them assembled, along with the warriors that served with them, to resurrect the honors and traditions of the fallen Star League Army in 2788. The Blue Star Irregulars spent the next three centuries working for House Davion.
They were working on Black Earth in the Lyran Alliance, seeking to recover a Blue Star medal lost to the Jade Falcons, when the Jihad began and the Clan overran their positions. Only five Blue Star caretakers escaped to Arc-Royal, where they slowly rebuilt the shattered command during the long war against the Jade Falcons.
They remain in the Tamar Pact to this day, seeking their lost medals. They have recovered fifteen of them, and all twenty are kept secure in their museum on Arc-Royal. Twelve remain in Falcon hands, while one of the original Lost Five is held at Clan Snord's museum on Clinton.
The Bounty Hunter
A conspiracy wrapped in secrecy, money, lies, misdirection and myth, the Bounty Hunter is one of the most recognizable but least known figures in the Human Sphere today. The Bounty Hunter first appeared in the 2900s, and a succession of individuals, each chosen by the previous holder, have taken the title and expanded the legend of the Bounty Hunter. In retirement, they never revealed their past, and in action, they never removed the green combat suit that kept their faces hidden in public.
During the Jihad, the Bounty Hunter fought against the Word many times, sometimes even beside the famed Black Widow Company. He, or she, nearly fell to a succession of Manei Domini assassins, and lost many compatriots, but somehow managed to survive all the attempts.
The Bounty Hunter specializes in taking any bounty, for any reason, and a succession of "faces" have shown a shift in tactics from less to more aggressive. The Bounty Hunter is famous for a succession of green Marauders. The current ride is one of Blackwell Corporation's Marauder II C BattleMechs, a fact the company loves as it keeps the design in heavy demand by discriminating companies.
Briar Patch Guard
In late 3049, Johann Rose's relationship with his FedCom commanding officer came to light. He was allowed to "retire" and most of his regiment went with the daring young commander to form the Briar Patch Guard. For the better part of a decade, the young unit moved from contract to contract, but began to amass an impressive debt. They were on the verge of collapse when the dashing Johann hooked up with a far richer MechWarrior commander. Their relationship, and the fortunes of their combined unit, waxed and waned for a decade, until he found a new plaything in the Niops Association. She left.
He remained during the Jihad, keeping out of the greater chaos until it faded away. Then, tired of his long days of enforced monogamy, Johann Rose took them out into the newer and greater galaxy, looking for romance, adventure and profit.
The modern Briar Patch Guard are fully BattleArmored, and are accomplished at bringing down BattleMechs for their employers to salvage. Johann has not changed though, and his men have emulated him, so employers are encouraged to keep the Guards away from their wives and daughters if they wish to keep them.
Brion's Legion effectively died during the Fourth Succession War, their commander killed by a headhunter attack, and the rest routed. They took a contract with ComStar and remained their for three decades, rebuilding and retraining, before returning to the mercenary trade in 3058. They fought in the Chaos March and then against the Jade Falcons in defense of the Lyran Alliance (Commonwealth).
The renewed Jade Falcon invasion during the Jihad, hit them hard, and as the years went by they had to abandon one planet after another. Casualties were heavy, but the Legion held together and contributed to many Jade Falcon defeats. They worked both with other Lyran units and with forces from Arc-Royal. Once they even fought beside Clan Wolf against a Jade Falcon invasion force. That defense held.
Brion's Legion still works for the Archon, one of his personal instruments in the modern age. For the last two decades, they have been stationed in the Blackstone Authority, helping that small power hold against Jade Falcon incursions. Lucky for them, their direct relationship with the Archon has shielded them from Nashan Diversified actions and the chaos they cause.
Formed by a scion of the ruling family of Alcor in 3067, Brock's Buccaneers were a young unit with only one contract under their belt when the Jihad started. The small unit had raided Bordon for a corporate contractor, neatly eluding the local militia with "sheer brilliance" according to the local militia commander. They were back on Galatea, looking for another contract, when the Jihad erupted and the Federation of Skye finally seceded for good.
The Duke of Skye and Tamar hired them to help Arc-Royal against the renewed Clan invasion of the Tamar Pact, and they spent most of the Jihad performing deep raids against the Jade Falcons. In one of their more spectacular raids, the Buccaneers linked up with Clan Snord for a cooperative hit on Somerset, pulling out several interesting artifacts of the new Archon's academic history before the first invasion.
During the last twenty years, the Buccaneers have returned to working for corporate concerns, performing a large number of hit and run raids. They work off a fast Merlin frigate, an excellent blockade runner that has made them one of the goto units for any company looking to have a competitor's production hit.
In 2869, most of the Eridani Light Horse abandoned their commander, William Bronson, because they did not believe he was upholding their Star League legacy. The embittered man moved to the Periphery with his last loyal men and recruited three regiments of troops to form Bronson's Horde. His descendants lost two of the regiments during the Succession Wars, one during an unsanctioned assault on the Light Horse, and one to desertions of dispirited soldiers after that conflict.
The Horde has never recovered from that black mark. They have instead become famous for breaking contracts. The Free Worlds League and Marion Hegemony felt the sting of broken contracts before the Jihad, and when that war began going badly for its Word employers, the Horde did what they always do when the going gets rough. It is perhaps no surprise that they still hate the Light Horse, now for another crushing defeat that cost them three more battalions.
The Horde has never rebuilt, barely holding its last battalion together, through force of will and hate. Embittered towards the Star League, the Horde refuses contracts from any Star League member, staying to the fringes of the Human Sphere.
Bullard's Armored Cavalry
For over a hundred years, Bullard's Armored Cavalry earned a reputation for being greedy and opportunistic while in the employ of the Capellan Confederation. They attacked Federation banks on more than one occasion, without Confederation orders, and pulled out of Carver V in 3058 when the situation there began to deteriorate. The Confederation finally discharged them and they had to find new employ. They found the Circinus Federation, and worked there until the Marian Hegemony came calling. Seeing the writing on the wall, they broke into the Circinus Central Bank and ran.
They were on Outreach, looking for another job, when Colonel Waco launched his attack on the Dragoons. The Cavalry joined the assault, but when momentum began to go against Waco's Rangers, they looted another bank near the DropPort and lifted off in the confusion. The Dragoons vowed to hunt them down and kill them all.
The Armored Cavalry has spent the last three decades hiding from the Dragoons, taking small contracts on the fringes of the Human Sphere. They have so far kept one step ahead of Dragoon headhunters, though close calls have whittled them down in size.
Burr's Black Cobras
Star League soldiers formed the Crater Cobras during the First Succession War, and made their living working for the Houses. The only House they refused to work for was Kurita, as they blamed that House for the Star League's fall. They were working for House Marik in 3058 when terrorists destroyed three quarters of the Black Cobra regiment. Thomas Marik refused to reimburse them, since the losses were outside combat, earning a lasting hatred for House Marik.
Colonel Burr took his surviving Black Cobras to Outreach, where they rebuilt, retrained, and reinforced their reputation as solid warriors. The Word of Blake contracted them to "liberate" Bryant from the Chaos March in 3065, and when the Jihad started, the Word lit their fuse and sent them after House Kurita. The Black Cobras moved throughout the Combine, part of the Word's strategy to shatter that proud House, until the Word itself died on Terra.
Despite working for the Word, the Black Cobras survived the Jihad with a good reputation, no taint of civilian atrocities on their record. They are a simple, effective force that is known for doing what it takes, with no extra drama, to complete a contract.
Newly formed in 3057, the five lances of Burton's Brigade under Elly Burton moved into the Chaos March to work on Hall. Count McNally hired them to protect him from the self-styled "Emperor" Baranov. When the brothers Ridzik surfaced on Hall, they allied with Count McNally and helped to overthrow Baranov. The battle cost McNally his life though, and badly damaged Burton's Brigade. The Ridziks helped them rebuild, and they soon became one of the brothers' most trusted weapons.
Burton's Brigade marched with them in the Chaos March, the Blakist Hegemony, and later in the Syrtis Federation, always fighting beside the Ridziks' Republican Guards. They saw the worst of the wars and came back to Hall better than they left. Interestingly, Yuri Ridzik marched with the Brigade rather than with the Ridzik Guard, and it grew fanatically loyal to him.
Burton's Brigade is still independent of Tikonov, though few expect to hire them away from the realm. Pavel Burton recently took over command of the first company, a sure sign that his mother is grooming him for command. His gift for military strategy is akin to the brothers Ridzik, granting him the promise of a long and successful career.
Members of the Marian Hegemony's Praetorian Guard left in 2975, sick of the realm's constant raiding. They formed the Caesar's Cohorts, and began making an honest living, working first for the Lyrans, then the Mariks, and finally the Canopians, where they proved instrumental in the war against the Capellan Confederation. They then returned to Lockton, protecting it from common raiders for decades.
The Word of Blake Jihad caught them almost unprepared, and they barely survived the first nuclear barrage due to being on maneuvers. The rest of the Jihad was a race for survival, until Canopus. When the Word arrived, the Cohorts helped destroy what Word ground forces survived the orbital battle to reach the ground. Then, seeing their home in flames, they moved to Alphard where they helped bring order out of the Jihad, and fought the StarCorps Line.
Now back in the Marian District, they use standard Hegemony organization, five centuries transported by Centurions and a single Liburnia. Under contract to Caesar Alexander himself, not the Hegemony, the Caesar's Cohort is the future Emperor's personal weapon of choice when he and his Legion cannot attend to matters themselves.
A force of Free Worlds expatriates loyal to the assassinated Duggan Marik formed the Camacho's Caballeros during the Marik Civil War. They spent most of their first decades in a series of small-scale corporate contracts, interspersed with costly major contracts. They gained a reputation for being amazingly good at identifying and exploiting an enemy's weakness though, making them a dangerous unit.
During the Jihad, Word mercenaries ravaged the Trinity Worlds, where most of the Caballeros came from, and they moved home to protect their friends and family. With the planetary governments shattered, they aligned the Trinity Worlds with Tamarind's Marshal Brett-Marik, and did what they could to hold things together. Despite their best efforts, they lost Sierra to raiders from the Marian's Circinus District, but managed to hold the line elsewhere.
The Caballeros remain on the Circinian border, protecting those worlds from the pirates. They have never forgiven the Circinians for taking Sierra and it seems only a matter of time before they spark a real war for that and other worlds that could cost both Tamarind and Circinus dearly.
Nobles of the planet Saiph formed an armored battalion to protect them from Capellan aggression in the wake of the Chaos March's creation. Pulled together from dozens of noble families, many of which disliked or hated each other, a local reporter said they were "barely contained fire, waiting to explode." The unit soon took the name Canned Heat with pride.
Canned Heat's trial by fire came when Tikonov troops invaded Saiph in 3065. Most outsiders expected Saiph to collapse quickly, but Canned Heat rallied to their world's protection, and kept the invaders off balance for nearly two years before the remaining free nobles recognized that their position was untenable. After a series of quick negotiations with the Ridzik brothers, the nobles accepted their place in the growing Tikonov Free Republic and ordered Canned Heat to stand down.
Contracted to the Saiph nobles, not the Ridzik brothers, Canned Heat has remained on Saiph ever since, protecting it from raiders. They have rebuilt their BattleMech and armor assets but lack any AeroSpace assets at all. Long-range transport of the medium-weight unit is handled by Planetlifter-style aircraft instead.
Scottish-Irish refugees fled the Rim Worlds Republic, forming the Highlanders for protection in the wake of the Star League's first invasion of the Old Periphery. They found their way across the Inner Sphere and began to work for the Canopian government. They remained there, nursing their hatred of the Inner Sphere, throughout the Succession Wars.
The Jihad found them on the Marian border, protecting against raiders, both sponsored and independent. The initial Word assaults shattered the Canopian Highlander's command ranks, but the disciplined command remained in fighting form. They took part in the final defense of Canopus itself, and when the St. Ives War began, they happily marched to destroy any Federation or Confederation they could.
After those wars, they returned to protecting the Canopian border worlds from raiders, and have defended the New Colony Zones on multiple occasions. In those regions of space, they have reported numerous contacts with white-painted AeroSpace craft of unknown configuration that that they claim are keeping a close eye on Canopian expansion.
Nobody knows where the Renegades came from, but sometime during the 2950s they showed up in Marik space, offering contract terms. They worked for most of the political entities in the realm, making themselves famous for having elite pilots when in combat, and lawbreaking hedonists while off duty. Twice they worked for a rebel polity, the Anduriens and Zion. The action in Zion nearly destroyed them, and they were forced to accept a contract from the World of Blake to rebuild.
They moved to Caph, where they helped bring order to the world. They remained there for over a decade, until Zion declared independence again. The Renegades could see that the war was beginning to shift against the Word, and they had no wish to follow the religious nuts down the drain. They made for Zion and never looked back.
The Renegades have remained in the Zion Protectorate ever since, the longest time that they have remained in a single contract in their history. They are still one of the best, or worst, collections of loan sharks, smugglers, armed robbers, demolitions experts and general troublemakers out there. Zion has allowed them to maintain their "traditions" only as long as they leave Zion citizens alone. Visitors beware though.
21st Centauri Lancers
In the early 2900s, the St. Ives Armored Cavalry had serious payroll issues, soldiers unpaid for months of work. One unit finally mutinied, seized supplies, DropShips, and a JumpShip, and fled Capellan space to join the ranks of mercenaries. They worked for every House except Liao over the next century, building up a reputation for honesty and honorable conduct in combat.
The Jihad began in 3057 for the Lancers, when the Word held their dependents hostage while infiltrating Terra under Lancer colors. It would be another decade before the Lancers had a chance to strike back. Under ComStar contract, they helped clear the Federated Suns and Lyran state of Word presence, then moved to support the Second Liberation of Terra.
After the Word fell, ComStar kept the Lancers on to help secure Terra, hunting the surviving Blakists down. In 3085, they finally left Terra to support ComStar operations throughout the Human Sphere. Dispersed into Level IIs and IIIs, anybody living near a major ComStar outpost can expect to see a Lancer Terra-class frigate coming into port at least once a year.
The mercenary Sorenson's Strikers and Peregrine's Hussars died on Acamar during the buildup to the Jihad, and their survivors merged to form the Chaos Irregulars in 3066. They had a unique command structure of two equal Colonels in command, and though they had friction, the odd system seemed to work for them as the Jihad began to spread.
They took a series of small contracts, mostly with corporate concerns, and did their best to stay out of international politics. Their contract with corporate interests of the organization "Uncle Chandy" owned finally sucked them in though, and they proved instrumental in the final defeat of the Word in Lyran space. After that defeat, they returned to Timbuktu where a civilian freight carrier they worked with was based.
With Timbuktu absorbed by the Rim Collection during the Jihad, the Chaos Irregulars have helped to protect the small realm from pirates ever since. They can also be seen on lance and squadron deployments protecting cargo carriers throughout Lyran space, or Old Periphery space near the Rim. Interestingly, the Irregulars still have two equal Colonels, giving them unique deployment opportunities and styles.
Formed in the 3050s, the original Clean Kill battalion used heavy artillery barrages and brute force tactics to destroy their targets, and everything around them, leaving behind devastated landscapes. Working for the Taurian Concordat, they shattered several pirate forces, the only reason the Taurians put up with their questionable target selection.
That all changed when the Word of Blake Jihad came to the Taurians. The Clean Kill setup their standard battle plan and the Word, true experts at that type of battle, destroyed most of the battalion in less than an hour. The Clean Kill's new commander rallied what was left of the unit, and began an underground war against the Word.
The new Clean Kill company became famous for focusing fire on a single target, eliminating it before fading away without any other trace of their presence. They fought both Federation and Confederation troops during the St. Ives and Trinity Alliance wars, where they killed over a dozen regimental commanders with these tactics. They have since returned to the Taurian's Haven Sector, where they hunt down pirates and other raiders, keeping the common people of their territory safe.
Major Clifton formed his Rangers from members of every major House in 2990. He believed that warriors from different realms would give him an advantage when dealing with each House. Despite this, he ran into trouble with House Kurita's ISF, but was able to return the advance payment and and leave with honor.
The Rangers then moved to House Marik, where they remained through the Marik Civil War. In 3038, they took a contract with House Davion, and held Galtor III until 3041 when massed Combine assaults dislodged them. Then they moved to House Liao until 3065. At that time, they took a contract to liberate Duchess Arice Hunsen and Keid from the Thirteenth Lyran Guards. They remained there as the Jihad raged, protecting the Hunsen family until Keid surrendered to Tikonov and their contract lapsed to the Ridzik brothers. They then followed Tikonov and participated in the Second Liberation of Terra.
In the last quarter-century, the Rangers have taken a series of one and two-years tours with most of the nations in the Human Sphere. They now work for the Rim Collection, dealing with the escalating pirate attacks plaguing that realm in recent months.
Star League soldiers formed the Crater Cobras during the First Succession War, and made their living working for the Houses. The only House they refused to work for was Kurita, as they blamed that House for the Star League's fall. In 3058, their Black Cobra regiment fell afoul of terrorists that killed most of the force, and then Thomas Marik refused to reimburse them since the losses were outside combat.
The surviving Black Cobras left both the FWL and the Crater Cobras behind. The diminished Crater Cobras left as well, choosing to pursue a contract with the one House they'd not worked with, House Kurita. They fought the Smoke Jaguars and were rewarded for their good service. When the Jihad began and the ruling Kurita's died though, they soon began to realize that Coordinator Ricol was not to be trusted. The Cobras linked up with the Azami and their surviving Kurita family members instead, and helped them survive the Jihad.
The Crater Cobras continued to work with the Azami after that, and fought to gain them their eventual freedom from the Combine. They now move throughout the Caliphate, ready to do battle with whatever raiders may come, where ever they come.
Formed in the early 31st century by Archon Katrina Steiner as her personal lance, the Crescent Hawks performed many covert operations for her during her reign. In the opening stages of the Fourth Succession War, a surprise Kurita attack scattered the force and captured their commander. His son, Jason Youngblood, rebuilt the force and took the fight to the Dracs, freeing his father. For his actions, Katrina granted him full and complete command of the unit.
They formed a close cooperation with the Kell Hounds, fighting everybody from the Clans to the Word of Blake in the decades since. In the early days of the Jihad, they helped hold the line against the Jade Falcons, but when Adam Steiner declared himself Archon they moved to support him. Once again, they became the personal lance of the Archon, and their efforts helped to uproot Word control over numerous worlds.
They have remained beside him ever since, and their close connections to the Kell Hounds have offered him a secure line of communications to Arc-Royal, clearing up several diplomatic incidents with the Tamar Pact. They fly off a Merlin carrier, with a full squadron of Phoenix Hawk LAMs screening their BattleMech company.
During the Jade Falcon invasion of Dompaire, the Baron and his son died, leaving the family's offworld assets to a distance cousin in the Eighth Lyran Regulars. Instead of retiring to a life of leisure with his newfound wealth, he formed a mercenary unit devoted to liberating his homeworld. In 3062, the Crimson Crusaders returned to Dompaire to fight and win a formal batchall, liberating another cousin.
They spent the remainder of the FedCom Civil War on Outreach, rebuilding and then taking some small contracts. They left Outreach to work for the Federation of Skye shortly before the Jihad began. The Duke of Skye sent them to the Tamar Pact where they supported the Kell Hounds and Wolves-in-Exile against the attacking Jade Falcons. They fought throughout that conflict, and when it ended they remained in the Tamar Pact, preparing to return home.
The Wolf-Tamar alliance gives them hope that they will be able to liberate Dompaire for good, and they have raided the world's defenders multiple times in the last three decades. Supported by local partisans, it appears they will liberate Dompaire in the next few years, sooner if Tamar or the Wolves organize a major invasion force.
After the Fourth Succession War ended, Major Danny Cunningham built his Commandos out of veteran AFFS soldiers and new recruits. Throughout the 3030s, they took a series of high-risk deep raids and pirate hunting jobs, culminating in their heavy involvement in the War of 3039. They performed well in that conflict, and then returned to scattered missions for a time until being posted to Novaya Zemlya.
At the world's combat training center, they became one of the primary trainer units, playing OpFor to nearly every unit that passed through the region. Officially hired by the planet, rather than House Davion itself, they also managed to avoid most of the major wars of the remaining century. The Syrtis Federation did call them to move to Bethel though, during the height of the St. Ives War, and the Commandos helped to crush Sarna's advance into the Federation.
The Commandos returned to Novaya Zemlya then, and have remained there ever since. They can use the tactics of any major faction in the Human Sphere, making them a superior training unit. The Syrtis Federation wisely keeps them where they are valuable.
Irian Technologies ordered Jimmy Dante to form a new investigative unit to ascertain Word of Blake threats to IrTech holdings in the years before the Jihad began. They did their job with impressive competence, and some of their information actually appeared before the Star League Conference of 3067. The Word of Blake targeted Irian itself for that, and the Detectives lost contact with home when the White Out covered the Free Worlds League.
They continued to perform their mission though, searching for and striking against any Word of Blake interests that threatened Irian. At first they remained in the League, but when the League crushed Word power inside its borders they moved to Outreach to support the Star League. During the Second Liberation of Terra, they used their skills in ferreting out secrets to good effect, discovering several guerrilla forces that the Star League later destroyed.
After the war, they informed IrTech of their intentions to go mercenary. They have since acquired an Eagle II frigate and refitted it with advanced electronic infiltration systems that make it the most valuable weapon the Detectives possess in their constant search for the rest of the story.
In 3008, a series of communications difficulties interrupted the pay schedule of the Pinnacle Militia, a force consisting mainly of infantry, along with a few vehicles and one BattleMech lance. After three months of seeing no pay, and with little hope that the situation would improve, the Pinnacle Militia assaulted the local government's offices, stripped them of valuables, and fled to the Periphery.
They returned three years later as the Dark Wing, and began to raid planets on either side of the Lyran/Combine border for corporate interests. They suffered some losses, including the destruction of their command lance when it was caught by the Blazing Aces during the escalation of the Fourth Succession War. They took time off in the Periphery to rebuild, then returned, better than ever. They spent the next four decades, working for one major corporation after another, including the Word of Blake. That gig ended during the Jihad, when the Blazing Aces once again defeated them.
The Dark Wing faded faded away again to rebuild, and returned in the aftermath of the Jihad. They now base out of the Barrens or Proserpina Syndicate, but will travel farther if the money is right.
Death's Head Mercenary Corps
The Death's Heads formed, and nearly died, in 3064. Their first mission during the FedCom Civil War destroyed their only BattleMech, the hovercraft they'd borrowed from their employers, and all but four soldiers. Rather than retreat, the survivors used inventive tactics to distract an enemy BattleMech long enough for the heavier guns to take it down.
They survived but were short of any heavy combat units, and their contract was voided so they moved on in search of a way to rebuild. They finally stopped on Antallos, where they purchased a scrapped Scarabus, recruited a Nightsky pilot, and received an offer to escort a Word of Blake "tourist" into the Draconis Combine. They'd expanded to a lance when the Jihad erupted, and they took on a contract with the Azami, fighting with them until the Jihad ended.
They have added two more lances in the years since, while working for a large number of employers. In command since the disaster in 3064, Captain Lankarr seems permanently detached from reality, but always knows the right tactical solutions to a combat situation. To confuse their enemies, the Death's Heads often mimic his attitude.
One of the hazards of the mercenary life is getting paid. While the MRBC facilitates payments for signing, there is a history of major nations "forgetting" further payments in multi-year contracts. In 3041, Major Dedrickson grew sick and tired of the Federated Suns doing precisely that, and left. Rather than try one of the other Houses, he attempted to travel through Taurian space. Considering the Devil's arrival as simply one more show of "Davion treachery," the Concordat attacked them.
Evicted from a second realm, the Devils chose to give up the mercenary trade in favor of a more rewarding life as a pirate. For three decades, they took the payment they wanted, usually wearing the colors of the enemy of whoever they were raiding. The Jihad proved particularly prosperous for them, but as it faded away they realized it was time for a change in business plans.
They still perform piracy, but most often they hire themselves out to major corporations wishing to perform an objective raid against a competitor. The Devils have taken to the corporate raiding wars with a zeal that has made them a valuable, if dangerous, asset to whoever currently holds their contract.
The Fist of Mokal sent Captain Deliah Finn and her newly-assembled company to Capolla to maintain order when they formed the Terracap Confederation. There she became part of the One Star Faith, a fact which later saved her life. After the Ridzik brothers destroyed most of the Fist on Terra Firma, their remains fled to Capolla where they found that Deliah's Gauntlet had not kept their form of order. Her softer approach worked, but that didn't matter.
They attempted to crush local protesters, and Deliah called on her Gauntlet to protect the locals. Several MechWarriors remained loyal to the Fist though, and only Deliah survived the resulting civil war. The remaining Fist of Mokal moved to finish her off, but she called on the numerous ex-soldiers in the One Star Faith to come to the defense of her and their world. They came.
Her rebuilt Gauntlet held against the weakened Fist, and eventually turned Capolla over to the Ridzik brothers. The Ridziks tasked them with continuing to defend the world in their name. Officially contracted by Capolla, not Tikonov, Deliah's Gauntlet has never left the system, except to hunt down any raiders that thought them to be easy prey.
Natives of Ryde, a tectonically active planet with sulfurous seas, the Devil's Advocates grew up with a tolerance for environments that most people fear. They specialized in rescue missions using Land-Air and BattleMechs when the Lyran Alliance hired them to support their forces on Caph. Years of raiding and rescue missions kept them and the Lyran forces alive, even after the Word of Blake effectively destroyed all comers on planet.
The Advocates and their allies hid in the radioactive and toxic zones, where even modern scanners couldn't pinpoint nuclear emissions, coming out only to raid for supplies and to pull out the occasional agent in need aid. When the Star League invasion finally materialized, they found the Advocates and their surviving allies still fighting and ready to help.
After the Star League pacified Caph, the Advocates returned to the Federation of Skye and washed their hands of the Jihad. They are experts at rescue and recovery after all, and so they now avoid contracts that might be too combat rich. Their squadron of LAMs and reinforced lance of BattleMechs are outfitted to work in any environment they might be expected to operate in.
Interstellar Expeditions has used its own private security forces for centuries to guard their trips into the Deep Periphery. The Devil's Brigade started life as one of these forces, until they turned independent in 3067. To this day, nobody knows why or how they broke off from IE, but the Brigade has seen some of the largest wars of the last three decades.
Their first mission of the Jihad was to protect StarCorps Industries' Son Hoa plant from raiders. They held to that contract until the enigmatic Uncle Chandy hired them to fight the Word. They performed a number of scouting and raiding missions for him, and made it onto the Word's Most Wanted List after digging up the New Dallas Memory Core. They later served on Terra herself, and spent the rest of the Jihad uncovering the Word's weaknesses.
They returned to Son Hoa in 3068 and helped hold the world through the joint Marian/Tamarind invasion a decade later, but in the end the StarCorps Supremacy was forced to give up Son Hoa. The Devil's Brigade has since been based out of Loburg, and remains one of StarCorps' main weapons in their long struggle to remain independent from Nashan Diversified.
Once two regiments in size, the Jade Falcons ground the Dioscuri down to a battalion in size during the original invasion and again in the FedCom Civil War. When the Jihad began, they wanted to help their AMC brothers on Outreach, but their last orders told them to "stand fast" against the Falcons. Unwilling to break contract, they kept to those orders, training with the Kell Hounds and Wolves In Exile on Morges.
The renewed Jade Falcon invasion proved the crucible that made them what they are today. Fighting beside the Kell Hounds and the Wolves, they helped hold the Falcon advance on a half dozen worlds, including Arc-Royal itself, where they helped break the attackers. They continued to fight next to the Kell Hounds and the Wolves through the end of the war in 3075, finally learning the Way of the Clans.
They now hold the line against the Jade Falcon menace, performing and defending against raids, using their hard-won knowledge of Clan tactics. Their landhold on Arc-Royal gives their dependents a secure place to grow up in, and they maintain a portion of their force there at all times on a rotating basis, relaxing from the border skirmishes.
A powerful force with a long history since their creation following the First Succession War, the Dismal Disinherited are one of the best mercenary forces in existence. Not as flashy as others like the Dragoons or the Highlanders, they make up for that with a cool professionalism.
After Tikonov defeated the Saiph Triumvirate, it hired the three Disinherited regiments to protect those worlds against Capellan terrorists and raiders. That contract kept them guarding the Capellan border, since many considered them an ally of the Word, until after 3070 when the Word assaulted and shattered the Confederation.
With that threat neutralized, they helped spearhead the invasion of Caph in 3072. They fought with the best of the AMC and Tikonov when they assaulted South and North America on Terra and participated in the final destruction of the Word of Blake.
Using salvage gained on Terra and Caph, they have raised a fourth regiment, each battalion made up of members of the other three regiments who serve on a rotating basis. This regiment serves throughout the Human Sphere, keeping the Disinherited an experienced command, while the others defend their landholds.
In the wake of the Star League Civil War the 15th Dracon Regiment chose to accept a contract from House Liao. They honored that contract for the next three centuries, earning a reputation of competence and concern for the common people that made them one of the very few mercenary units that Capellan nobles requested to protect their holdings.
They even helped found the Citizens' Honored, though the Word of Blake Jihad spelled the end of that fledgling experiment. The Word's assault on the other Houses made many in the Citizens' Honored think that Sun-Tzu had signed a deal with them, and the Dracon moved to support Treyhang Liao's Free Capella Movement in their war against the Word.
When Andurien attacked, they returned to defend the Confederation, and saw their leader ascend to the throne of Sian. When invited to form a new Citizens' Honored, they declined by saying that as mercenaries they had far more freedom to fulfill their job of protecting the people. The Dracons' contract is now to the Chancellor himself, rather than the Capellan military, giving them that freedom, as well as the trust they have earned.
Several members of the Seventeenth Skye Rangers absconded en masse with their vehicles and formed the Dragon's Breath in 2989. As happens with many mercenary units, they quickly fell into debt. Their founder did not want to fall into the common company store scam though, so he organized loans from several Lyran banks to cover his supply purchases. Thus began a tradition of staying one step ahead of the creditors.
They managed the dance well until Coordinator Ricol took over during the Jihad. His practice of supporting only the most trusted units forced the Dragon's Breath into default. The Word took advantage of the situation and offered the mercenaries a contract that would pay off all of their debts at once. They accepted the contract and took out their long frustrations on Ricol's Combine. Then the Word began to fail, and they returned home.
Working for the Federation of Skye, the Dragon's Breath have helped maintain the security of Skye ever since. They also spearheaded the invasion of the Draconis Combine during the Second Dominion-Combine War that helped break Ricol's government and cement the Nova Cat's and Azami's independence.
The rabid anti-Kurita Dragonslayers worked for the Lyran Commonwealth, and then the Federated Commonwealth, for centuries, until the Clan Invasion. After a disastrous fight with the Clans, the Dragonslayers were found guilty of hoarding captured Clan technology against their contract and the disgraced unit moved out to the Old Periphery. After a disastrous contract with the Magistracy, they moved to the Marian Hegemony. There they earned their keep by uncovering a Blakist-backed pirate ring plaguing the Marians.
They were on Illyria when the Word Jihad struck and shattered the Hegemony in 3070. Forced to worked with the Illyrians to defeat the Word occupiers, they chose to remain there when contact with Alphard was regained. They supported the invasion of the StarCorps Supremacy as well, though returned home when Circinus ended its part in that conflict.
Long-term contracted to Illyria now, they most often garrison the border against Free Worlds League raiders. They are skilled in small-scale combat, with each Century easily able to take on most raiding companies they meet through superior coordination of fire and shielding terrain.
Ian Dresari came home to Kentares in 3063, shortly after Lyran loyalists executed the majority of his family. He brought with him a loose collection of MechWarriors that he used to utterly destroy the Lyran occupiers, and put his sister back on the throne. Dresari and his Rebels then went on to fight Lyran interests throughout the rest of the FedCom Civil War, and took part in the final battles for New Avalon.
Ian Dresari and his Rebels left Kentares again when the Jihad began to rage, taking the fight to the Word for the Federation. They fought in many of the greatest battles of that war, and in the end helped to drive the Word from Davion space. They then joined the Federated Suns task force that linked up with the Star League at Outreach. After some refitting, they helped liberate Terra and then returned home again for a time.
In the years since, the Rebels have fought against everybody between the Capellans and the Dragon, specializing in fast-attack and raiding tactics. They rarely stay in one place for long when in combat, preferring not to absorb whatever damage a counterattack would cause. Members of both the MRBC and the Federated Suns Mercenary Corps, they deploy from the Rebel Dawn, a Davion frigate modified to carry the unit's twin Talon DropShips inside its cavernous small craft bay.
Formed in 3059, the Irregulars were built without all the crazy rules and such of more established units. They performed raiding and extraction operations, using amusing distractions to make the enemy look foolish, for most of their early history.
They were performing a rare security contract for the famed Dr. R. Raisley in the neutral Syrtis Federation when the Jihad began, but smuggled themselves into Solaris after hearing of the Word assault. They spent the Jihad on Solaris, fighting the Word in a bloody series of battles that nearly destroyed them, until the Word was crushed in 3074. Then they rebuilt, remaining there until Solaris' recovery was evident in 3080.
The Irregulars have returned to their small raiding and extraction contracts, leaving a random battalion at their Solaris landhold at all times. They have elevated finding new, embarrassing ways to defeat their enemies to an art form, and few escape with their dignity intact. First Battalion, the Warriors, have a pair of crossed swords over a DropShip on their right torso. The Warrior technicians of Second Battalion use a mirrored R. The insane Third Battalion's touch is a monkey astride a barrel with a cowboy hat and revolvers.
Eridani Light Horse
The four regiments of the Star League 3rd Regimental Combat Team, later nicknamed the Eridani Light Horse, were formed in 2702. The Light Horse chose to remain when the Star League Army left, honoring the Star League by protecting its people, and worked with nearly every House, until the Star League reformed in 3058. They joined it, becoming the core of the new Star League Defense Force, and helped destroy the Clan Smoke Jaguar.
During the Jihad, they first protected Dieron and Tukayyid from heavy Word assaults. They then recalled their forces from the Clan Homeworlds to help destroy the Word with the rest of the assembled Star League multinational force out of Outreach. It was the Light Horse in fact that secured the ruins of Unity City for the Star League.
In the years since, they have maintained their strength protecting the capital city, but budgetary problems have kept the new SLDF small and forced the Light Horse to send as much as a regiment to defend Star League interests in "direct contact local assignments" to supplement income. Not true members of the MRBC, they maintain registration and offices to make it easier to contact them.
The Clan Invasion shattered Rasalhague and left many of its armed forces spoiling for a fight to get even. Johan Eriksson managed to recruit over a battalion of such men and women to his side, and they all left in en masse to form his Einherjar. In their first contract, they fought against the Clans and nearly died to a man.
Under new leadership, the Einherjar took up contract with Circinus until the Marians came calling, then worked for Democracy Now in Lyran space for a time. After being forced into hiding by Alarion, they returned to their first love, fighting Clan Jade Falcon for Tamar and Blackstone. Rotating between short-term contracts for each government, they became expert Clan hunter killers, and helped to bring down several command stars, sowing confusion in the Jade Falcon ranks during the long and slow assault into Lyran space.
The Einherjar have remained on the Clan front ever since then, taking any contract that offers the chance to fight them. Interestingly, in their long war against the Clans they have learned to adopt Clan fighting styles, which has earned them respect that few other mercenaries have, even amongst the reactionary Jade Falcons.
The Ever-Free were formed in 2847 by former members of a Draconis Combine Chain Gang Mission sent to raid Udibi. The Chain Gangs were the Combine's way of getting rid of undesirables while hurting their enemies, and they often sent them out in BattleMechs too worn down to repair. The Chain Gangs were abandoned by their JumpShips and DropShips, but the suicide missions helped keep the Dragon's enemies from rebuilding after the devastation of the First Succession War. They often simply surrendered though, and the Ever-Free were founded by two lovers that did exactly that.
The Ever-Free became part of Davion folklore in the decades after, a tale of how freedom-loving people could always find a second chance in the Federation. They have remained in Davion employ ever since, though they managed to avoid deployment against the Clans. When the Jihad came, they kept to their contract and tried to protect what they could, though took heavy casualties on New Avalon.
They are now part of the Federated Suns Mercenary Corps, and have fought in every major war since the Jihad. They deploy from a Merlin Carrier named the Christopher Gadsden.
Xavier Pelt formed the Federated Freemen in 3047 after years of feeling his career was languishing during the combination of the Davion and Steiner militaries. The Clan Invasion hampered their ability to recruit new troops for a time, but they remained in Davion space on garrison duties that more prestigious units had abandoned to fight the Clans. They also avoided the worst of the FedCom Civil War, performing police actions near New Syrtis. Even the Jihad passed them by with little issue, as the Syrtis Federation stayed neutral.
Their first major conflict proved to be the St. Ives War, when they were sent to keep the Capellans from ever recapturing their nascent province. They fought with multiple units in the Federated Suns Mercenary Corps during that war, and began to respect the organization for its standards, so much better than they had seen while under New Syrtis.
After the St. Ives War ended, they signed up with the FSMC. They still work in the Syrtis Federation, but their FSMC membership grants them a much higher equipment priority than they ever enjoyed in the past, equal to that enjoyed by homeguard Syrtis Federation units.
A veteran of the first Dominion-Combine War, Shinto Kubusaka decided it was time to be his new boss, to pick the wars he would fight. He didn't want just a group of soldiers who couldn't think though. He considered himself an educated man and wanted to work with other cultured and educated men. So he traveled to Arc-Royal where he recruited a company of educated men who could fight and signed his first contract as a Kell Hounds farm unit in 3066.
Their first few missions during the FedCom Civil War resulted in everything from total success to disastrous failure, but they survived to see the calm after the storm. And then the next storm came crashing in and the Jade Falcons assaulted the last remnants of the old Tamar Pact. The Intellectuals remained under Kell Hound contract, helping to keep Arc-Royal secure during the war, including the climactic battle of 3072 that nearly shattered the Tamar Pact.
The Fighting Intellectuals still work for the Kell Hounds, protecting Tamar's Institute of War. They also teach at the Institute, teaching new generations of soldiers to be both fighters and thinkers in the long standoff with the Jade Falcons.
Sometime in the 3020s, the Clans MacGregor and Stewart of New St. Andrews in the Old Periphery sent a small force out into the wild universe to bring in much needed money. The Fighting Shamrocks as they called the unit spent the next forty years working for a number of employers, ending with the Circinus Federation when the Marian Hegemony came calling. The Shamrocks lost a lance before surrendering the remainder of their force to the victorious Marians.
When the Jihad hit the Hegemony and effectively returned Circinus to local control, the Shamrocks remained there until they heard reports that Clans Brannigan and Sterling were using Word aid to take over the planet. The Shamrocks returned home with Lothian aid and helped to bring peace to their homeworld. After the Jihad, they helped assault the StarCorps Line, but returned home again when Circinus called an end to their part of the war.
The Shamrocks now remain in Lothian space, dealing with the common pirates and raiders plaguing the region. They recently obtained a Merlin carrier that finally addressed their decades-long lack of transportation assets.
The Fighting Urukhai have a very long tradition of working for the Federated Suns. The 8th Striker, the founding regiment of the Fighting Urukhai, formed over a century ago out of Davion soldiers tired of working for "The Man." The Bar Hounds joined the 8th Striker eighty years ago, looking to gain from the Urukhai's good reputation and improve their contracts. The Sluggers joined around the same time and all seemed well for the combined command until the FedCom Civil War exploded.
The Sluggers collapsed on Panpour, and ran to the Taurian Concordat, which promptly destroyed them as a feared Federation first strike. The other two regiments took heavy casualties during the Civil War, but survived long enough to see the Jihad. That war nearly proved their undoing, and cost them three quarters of the forces that survived the Civil War.
The battered Urukhai joined the Federated Suns Mercenary Corps when the war ended, and have cut their teeth in the St. Ives and Trinity Wars, helping to avenge the deaths of their brethren in the Sluggers. The Urukhai have three seats at all command meetings, one empty, and the Urukhai still hope to rebuild the Sluggers one day.
Fist of Mokal
The Fist of Mokal was formed out of veterans of units shattered by the Clan Invasion in 3054. They spent the next two years training into a hardened force that took part in the Marik-Liao invasion that broke the back of the Federated Commonwealth. Then in their first major action on Sheratan, they revealed their true colors by slaughtering civilians after being defeated.
They moved to Terra Firma where they destroyed all but one faction vying for control and became the new planetary army, then helped bring Capolla into the new Terracap Federation. They held the two planets together until the Ridzik brothers came calling and destroyed them in a lightning campaign. The survivors fled first to Capolla, and then to the Blakist Hegemony where they rebuilt their shattered force. During the Jihad, they helped hit the Free Worlds League, punishing any world that dared to stand against the Word. When that war began to turn bad, they fled again.
The Fist has spent the last quarter-century staying away from League space. Most of their members are wanted, dead or alive, by that government, and so take small jobs mostly for the Lyran Merchant Princes or lesser nobles in that region of space.
During the Second Succession Wars, a Kurita armor unit mutinied after years of neglect. A Galatean clerk misspelled the name of the regiment's colonel, Li Sook Fry, and Sook's Furies were born. Later generations changed their name to Fury to match the unit's name as they worked for the Great Houses and the Periphery realms, before taking advantage of all the contracts in the Chaos March.
They were caught on Capolla when Tikonov attacked, and lost half their tanks before surrendering. Impressed with their prowess, the Ridziks then hired them to defend Capolla against small raiders operating from Federation space. The Word of Blake ignored them in the Jihad and they remained there, protecting the border of the Republic from raiders of both the crumbling Federation and Capellan nations.
As the Jihad continued to rage, they were finally called on to help near Terra and participated in the conquest of Keid before supporting the invasion of Caph. They continued on to Terra and remained in South America for the duration of the war before returning to Capolla. There they remain to this day, protecting their landhold, unless called on to protect other nearby worlds.
Created during the Second Succession War, Gabhardt's Carabineers have developed into a veteran command, though for several decades their supply problems kept them struggling for survival. They passed through numerous employers, including St. Ives and the Chaos March, before ending up in a garrison contract on the Lyran border with the Old Periphery.
The Jihad shattered central control of the Lyran state, but the worlds that the Carabineers guarded proved to be no threat to the Word. The Word ignored them and the Carabineers remained on station, though the pirates grew more bold and their casualties began to mount.
The nearby Rim Collection came to their rescue in 3070, expanding their mercenaries out to protect some of the worlds the Carabineers still based out of. They accepted the aid, and took a contract offer from the Collection to continue their anti-pirate activities. They have remained their ever since, though are often sent out to help train local militia forces. This makes them a common sight within 100 light years of the Collection, and they are almost always welcomed with open arms.
Louise Holley formed Gael's Grinders in 3055, shortly before the Lyran Succession from the Federated Commonwealth. They quickly found work for the newly-independent world of Hsien, contracted to what passed for a planetary government with two rebel provinces of its own. The Grinders helped keep things together for a few years, but in 3063 Baron Montong finished organizing enough forces to shatter the governmental defenders and force the Grinders to surrender.
And then the Ridzik brothers moved into the chaos and pushed Montong back to an old Castle Brian. The surviving Grinders helped secure the fort for their new contractor until the baron finally despaired of ever getting any aid from the Davions. In 3064, he swore fealty to the Ridziks and the Grinders began to work for the young Tikonov.Free Republic. They remained on Hsien when the Jihad erupted, and fought several small groups of Word raiders.
The Grinders are now contracted by Duke Montong personally, not Tikonov. Because of this, they have rarely left the world and have become intimately familiar with its political and physical landscapes, making them good defenders of its people.
The New Oslo Golden Boys won the Republic Cup during the Clan Invasion, just in time to hear news of the fall of their homeworld and their entire nation. They swore over drinks that night to avenge their families, friends, and the Republic in general. In 3056, they finally made good that oath and purchased a controlling interest in a mercenary company headed out to the Periphery. They remained out there, learning the lessons of the mercenary trade, for years.
During the Jihad, they accepted a long term contract from the Duchess of Andurien, and helped hold the Duchy together throughout that conflict. They performed numerous raids against Word and Capellan targets, and were sent as part of the combined Free Worlds League task force to aid in the liberation of Terra.
After the war, the Golden Boys ended their employment with Andurien and returned home to Rasalhague space. Contracted by New Oslo, they are one of the few mercenary units employed by that realm. They are almost always assigned to work with the Freeborn units that rotate through their zone, though almost never work with the Trueborns as those warriors still look down on mercenaries.
Gordon's Armored Cavalry
In 3024 several small commands had a bitter contract dispute when the Capellan Confederation used a loophole to deny them any salvage. They banded together to form Gordon's Armored Cavalry and left Capellan space, heading out into the Concordat, where they nursed their grudge and marinated it with age. Despite numerous requests to raid the Confederation, it would be half a century before they got the chance.
The Word of Blake Jihad hit them first, and the Cavalry quickly became one of the Concordat's most mobile response units. Again and again, they operated out of pirate points to face Word ground forces, and dodged orbital bombardments that would have wiped them out. They participated in the climactic Battle of Illiushin, where the last Word forces in Taurian space died. It cost the Cavalry their entire AeroSpace force and most of their ground forces.
The Concordat gave them first tier access to the surviving factories, and the Cavalry rebuilt in time to finally fight the Confederation on Mendham during the Trinity War. That conflict ground them back down to a company of effective machines before it was over. They have spent the years since on Mendham, rebuilding while finally being allowed to conduct raids against nearby Confederation worlds.
The Grave Walkers are one of the oldest known mercenary companies in the Human Sphere, possibly rivaling such storied regiments as the Northwind Highlanders. No one really knows though, since the records of what they were was lost during the devastation of the Succession Wars and even they no longer remember. Rumors and partial records suggest that they may come from as far back as the Age of War or even earlier.
Over the centuries, they worked for every Great House, and earned a solid reputation for competence. The Clan Invasion nearly ended that when the Jade Falcons shattered their Second Regiment. It took them over a decade to fully rebuild the regiment, just in time for the Jade Falcons to strike again. This time both regiments took heavy casualties and fell back to Arc-Royal. They spent the rest of the Jihad working for Arc-Royal and trying their best to rebuild.
In the two decades since that ended, the Grave Walkers have rebuilt both regiments to battalion strength, complete with infantry, armor, and AeroSpace support. They still hope to rebuild fully, but so far do not have the finances for that. The future does appear to be looking up though.
Gray Death Legion
Grayson Death Carlyle formed the Legion out of the remains of Carlyle's Commandos on Trell 1 back in 3024. In its short history, the Legion quickly earned a reputation for being deadly when backed into a corner, especially when wounded.
They helped recover a Star League Memory Core named after them, fought the Clans to a standstill, and fought for and against multiple rebellions. They were finally destroyed on Hesperus by Skye rebels and the survivors returned to Glengarry to die as most thought.
But when the Jihad began and the Federation of Skye once again claimed its independence, Alexander Death Carlyle and many of his friends left Lyran service and returned home to Glengarry, this time to side with Skye. There he found what remained of his father's command, and requested their aid in reforming the Gray Death Legion. The new Gray Death Legion sells its services a battalion at a time, rotating that duty through the battalions to keep them fresh and experienced, but has been through few major conflicts. Many wonder if it can fight and win as the original Gray Death Legion did, but so far they have not been required to prove themselves to that degree.
Captain Vince Chevalle formed the Ghosts in 3062 when he and his group of misfits chose to leave the AFFC rather than fight in the FedCom Civil War. They quickly picked up a contract with the Circinus Federation and began to terrorize the systems around the Federation. They were forced to flee for their lives when the Marians conquered the Federation, and soon found work for the Word of Blake.
The Ghosts figured prominently during the Jihad, supporting a number of major offensives into the Lyran state. They are most famous for raping and rampaging across Noisel during the Word's short-lived occupation of the world. They moved on again when the war began to turn against the Word, and returned to the revitalizing Circinus state under a new Cirion.
There the Ghosts proved largely responsible for the full conquest of Sierra under the new Circinian banner. They captured the old Feltmann estate, as well as the Feltmann family, and have turned both into their personal playgrounds in the decades since. Numerous attempts have been made to unseat the Ghosts, and many Ghosts have met untimely ends, but the organization has so far survived intact.
When the Jihad began, the Green Machine had spent a quarter century on nothing but garrison contracts on backwater worlds with no combat experience. Their experienced MechWarriors were gone, retired or moved on to better units, when the Purvo militia utterly massacred the Green Machine in a combat exercise. Purvo declined to extend their contract after that.
The Green Machine, humiliated by their poor showing and hemorrhaging MechWarriors, found its way to the, then, backwater hiring world of Westerhand. They languished there, looking for a contract until the Jihad exploded. Andurien hired them for a time, but they took heavy casualties and were released. Returning to Westerhand, they found a Capellan Confederation desperate for mercenaries and gladly accepted that contract. It nearly destroyed them when Styk Commonality forces assaulted Corey, but they fell back again.
In the years since the Jihad, they have been sent to fight New Syrtis, Taurus, and even Andurien, and have only been victorious when acting in support of another unit. Back to garrison contracts, they are heaving a sigh of relief as they try to recruit more warriors and train their existing ones.
Sarah Lindon formed the original battalion and quickly went to work for the Davions. They helped the unit expand to a regiment in size, but the Clan invasion reduced them back down to a battalion. They worked for the Draconis Combine for a time as well, seeking to foster good will between Kurita and Davion, until the Fed Com Civil War torpedoed those efforts.
The Jihad found them on Liberty performing peacekeeping duties. A rash of Capellan and Word of Blake terrorist attacks nearly destroyed them, but the Republican Guards and the Allied Mercenary Command moved to support them in 3068. Colonel Lindon then ordered her unit back to Outreach to refit for the stage.
Their first major action involved the conquest of Keid, where they worked with the Furies. They garrisoned that world until the final battle for Terra began and they joined the rest of the AMC in assaulting South America. Once again, they remained in South America until the end of the battle for Terra, then returned to Outreach to rebuild and reorganize with their salvage.
They now have a landhold on Liberty where one battalion always remains while the others seek money and fame
The Northwind Highlanders are the single oldest mercenary command in the Human Sphere, tracing their origins all the way back to the Scottish regiments of seventeenth century Terra. They served in an unbroken line until the Terran Alliance came into being, and then they helped colonize Northwind. The Age of War, the Star League, the Succession Wars, the Clan Invasion, the reborn Star League, and even the FedCom Civil War are mere blips on their historical time lines.
The Jihad nearly destroyed them though, from the Word of Blake assault on Northwind, to the long and grueling war for Terra. The Highlanders fought through it all, suffering extremely heavy casualties.
They have since rebuilt and hire their forces out to maintain fighting trim in all of their regiments, but at least two-thirds of their military remains home at all times. Their most frequent employer is the Federation of Skye, a nation they feel very comfortable working with because of their similar heritage. Their flagship is the Vincent-class Mars, heavily modified over the years to become a powerful WarShip in its own right.
In 2803, Aldis Industries created a number of promotional teams to increase the visibility of their new Demolisher tank. Females, very obviously not soldiers, crewed the tanks, charming local politicians into buying the design in large numbers. The "Pink Commandos" earned their stripes on Coventry when a lance utterly destroyed a Draconis Combine raiding force. The Duke of Coventry offered Aldis a fortune to hire that lance, and as time went by expanded it to a full battalion of Demolishers.
They remained on Coventry throughout the Succession and Clan Wars and sided with the Duke during the FedCom Civil War, as well as during the Jihad that followed, protecting the factories from hunter-killer raiders. They have since dealt with several Jade Falcon deep raids with minimal losses.
Officially called the "Pink Coventry Attack Bunny Commandos," the all-female crews are still recruited for their looks and the training that makes them deadly to any encroaching BattleMech. They wear pink dress and combat uniforms, which can sometimes be hard to keep clean thanks to the operating environment. Their symbol is a pink rabbit beating on a war drum.
The Wolf's Dragoons jumped into the Inner Sphere in 3005, five regiments of fresh BattleMechs, Fighters, DropShips, JumpShips, and even a mobile space station. They offered their services to House Davion, and the rest is history. They worked for every House over the next quarter century, then settled down on Outreach.
There they helped form the MRBC in 3052, and created the AMC in 3066 to combat rising Word of Blake aggression in the Chaos March. Outreach One and Two started the Jihad for the Dragoons, and nearly destroyed them. They held though, and helped the Star League liberate Terra from the Word, at a terrible price.
The Dragoons have spent the quarter century since the end of the Jihad rebuilding their shattered regiments and fleet. Not wishing to risk a repeat of the Jihad assaults on their world, the vast majority of their fleets and regiments remain at Outreach at all times to protect it. The Black Widows, Zeta Battalion, and a handful of other forces are the only Dragoons that pursue outside contracts. Their flagship is the Congress-class Beowulf, escorted at all times by the Lola III-class Darius, last of the surviving Star League WarShips under Dragoon flag.