The Human Sphere is a BattleTech universe set in 3100. The Jihad has come and gone, leaving in its wake dozens of small realms in a perpetual cycle of raids and small wars. Will you seek money or defend your nation? Or both? You decide.
"When I was the Hell King, we'd feast on the souls of gluttons. It was like eating murder marinated in sin. It was bliss." - Black Mage - 8 Bit Theatre
The Fronc Federation is a very new name for a very old region of space. Since before the Star League invaded and subjugated the Old Periphery, the Taurian and Magistracy realms have colonized this region of space, though they have taken a mostly hands-off posture with the region in recent centuries. Part of that is because the Star League so badly reduced their ability to maintain any semblance of control in the region, though both governments began falling back after the short war fought over these worlds in 2813.
From then until the 3050s, the Taurian and Magistracy colonies in the region of space now commanded by the Fronc Federation found themselves mostly on their own with only limited contact with their homes. This meant that for nearly two and a half centuries they grew mostly alone, developing their own distinct cultures, and learning to fend for themselves. Therefore, it was not with universal acclaim from all involved that the Treaty of Taurus was signed in 3056.
The old colonies did appreciate the increased resources flowing into their nations, the new colonists that were more than willing to work hard for new lives, and the Colonial Marshals that came to protect them. A large number of locals from the established colonies joined the Marshals in fact, but a quiet majority disliked that now they were noticed again and, after over two centuries of mostly-independent rule, were suddenly being forced to follow the laws of outside governments. And calling it the “New Colony Region” really was salt on the wound as far as they were concerned. They’d been around longer than many worlds in either the Concordat or the Magistracy and found that name rather insulting.
And the taxes. Those really annoyed them. While the Magistracy and Concordat founded numerous new colonies, it soon became apparent to all involved that it was the old colonies that paid the lion’s share of the taxes that went to pay for all of improvements. The old colonies really didn’t like that, but they never did anything more than protest the taxes because of the gentle leadership. Sherman Maltin had been an inspired choice for command of the region, and it took him very little time to realize exactly what was going on. He did everything he could to keep the old colonies mollified and as happy as possible with the situation, while also expanding the new colonies as his superiors wanted.
It was a losing battle of course, as he didn’t have the resources to do both, but his efforts caused many of the more prosperous families to take notice and support him. They realized that he was their best hope to hold things together after all, and perhaps to force Taurus and Canopus to see what it was like in the region. The aging Marie-Jacques Fronc in particular supported him and he funneled enough resources to her world to expand its already-impressive industrial capabilities.
By 3060 though, it was becoming clear that Maltin simply did not have the resources to offset the taxes being taken from the region, and resentment was growing despite his best efforts. The citizens publicly and vocally demanded their freedom from “taxation without representation”, but neither Taurus no Canopus took the demonstrations seriously. Until Sherman Maltin showed them an historical analysis that compared their actions to that of the Star League so many centuries ago. They didn’t like that comparison.
Their attention firmly in his hands, he requested that they send representatives to Detroit to negotiate a compromise that would be better than the outright rebellion that was on the horizon. He brought the various planetary nobles, headed by the prosperous Fronc family, into the negotiations as well to make certain the Taurians and Canopians did not forget who they were dealing with. The locals wanted independence, but the Taurians and Canopians didn’t want to lose the major corridor their increased trade traveled through. And they’d spent a lot of resources in expanding the area that they didn’t want to lose as well. In the end, the discussions brought about the compromise Maltin wanted, though not as much as some wanted.
On 15 May, 3061 the Magistracy and Concordat signed a treaty recognizing the Fronc Federation as an independent nation. And unwilling to completely lose the region, they also modified the Treaty of Taurus to include the Fronc Federation. Many people in the Federation did not like that at all, but the vast majority was mollified by finally having their independence fully recognized and returned to their normal lives. They elected Maltin as their president within months of the treaty signing.
Numerous Colonial Marshals joined the Fronc Legions after that, revitalizing it with their BattleMechs, but the main firepower of the Legions came from the tanks that the Fronc family had long maintained. They brought new tanks off their manufacturing lines and soon their tanks, and the handful of BattleMechs, waved the flag of the Federation on every world in Federation. This spread them thin though, and they continued to rely on the protection of the Colonial Marshals to protect their worlds.
By 3066 the Fronc Federation had been able to build most of what they required to defend themselves and had even brought a BattleArmor factory online to increase the capabilities of their infantry units. New tanks, including the massive mobile fortress they called the Char, came off other lines and showed that the Fronc Federation was becoming a power to be reckoned with, even if it was the weakest power in the Trinity Alliance.
The future was looking good for them, but as with every nation in the Human Sphere 3067 would prove to be the end of their prosperity, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. The Word of Blake assaulted numerous nations, and Taurus itself became the target of asteroidal bombardment. The Taurian efforts to repair the damage and prepare for the war dried up remaining support they had been sending the colonies in the Fronc Federation, but Maltin realized that his realm had to be ready. He increased production at every factory he could, and increased monies spent to placing new technologies in the existing tanks, preparing for the war he knew would come soon.
It came in 3069 when the Word of Blake flattened the factories of Detroit and then fanned out to assault the three nations of the Trinity Alliance. The Fronc Federation found itself the target of the smallest force by far, but it was the smallest nation by far as well, and its military failed to stop the Word forces. The massive Char mobile fortresses proved to be less capable than expected, and Fronc losses were heavy. What passed for a Fronc navy was swept from the skies and the Word forces smashed world after world on their march to destroy the Federation.
On 3 May, 3071, with the rest of the Fronc Federation shattered, the Word of Blake finally dropped their hammer on Fronc itself. The Fronc family had been preparing though, and they threw everything they had, including the last of their carefully horded BattleMechs, their new ProtoMechs, and a newer and more powerful Char mobile fortress, into the defense of their home. They stopped the Word assault outside the capital city, but could do little more than hold the battlements around it as the Word soldiers ravaged the countryside. After a month of sparring on the line though, the Word forces tired of it and launched another determined attack on the weary defenders. It started with an artillery barrage that began on 5 June and continued for two days without respite. On the 7th they began to assault the outer sectors of the city more forcefully to suck defenders in to fight them, and then fall back to allow artillery to blanket the area.
Fronc casualties were atrocious, and the capital city was a ruin, but what remained of the defenders continued to fight in the rubble. By the 9th though they were on the verge of collapse and the Word could taste their victory. They waited until the morning of the 10th to begin their final assault on the capital, and simply began to march forward while shooting anything that moved, civilian or military, in complete and utter contempt of what remained in the city. They surrounded the capitol itself, slaughtering the remains of its defenders, and then marched on the Fronc estates where the last military forces and civilians remained, still shooting anything that moved along the way.
Then their artillery went silent. Before they could react to that loss, the remaining Fronc defenders charged them. They died by the hundreds, but they held the Word’s full attention for precious minutes, and when the Colonial Marshals attacked the Word from the rear, the Blakists were caught between one desperately insane force and a fresh force eager to spill blood. The Word soldiers fought to the end, gunning down their opposition in a fanatical refusal to surrender, and when the last of the fighting was over the remaining Colonial Marshals and Fronc Legionnaires commanded the desolate landscape that had been their capital.
Fronc has never claimed victory in that battle, only survival. They survived and the Word had not. That was all that mattered. They began to rebuild, marshaled what remained of their fleet (supplemented by the ships the Colonial Marshals had captured on their way to Fronc), and reestablished contact with the other Federation worlds and then the rest of the Trinity Alliance. The Jihad had passed them by, even though it continued in the Inner Sphere, and left them all in ruins. And so they did what the Old Periphery realms had always done in the past. They knuckled down and began to rebuild the damage that Terra had inflicted on them.
The Magistracy is less vindictive towards Terra, as exemplified in their membership in the Star League, but the Taurians had grown to completely and utterly hate Terra and all it stood for. The Fronc Federation is mixed, as it should be based on its mixed cultures and history, but by and large when it comes to Terra the Federation sees the homeworld of mankind in the same light that the Taurians do. The center of death and destruction in the universe. They want nothing to do with it, and as they began to rebuild they began to colonize further outward away from Terra to increase their distance from it. Only during the depths of the Trinity War did they stop colonizing worlds, and they now control a sliver of worlds nearly reaching out into the New Periphery, one thousand light-years from Terra.
The bulk of the 3070s however were spent rebuilding what the Word destroyed. New versions of their venerable war machines came off the lines, and the Federation rebuilt its Legions as quickly as it could, knowing that another war could come for them any day. The Garde Fédérale, built around the survivors of the last battle over the capital, formed the core of the new Legions, and soon began to receive the best equipment. They had proven their utter loyalty to the Federation and only the best of the best were ever allowed into their ranks.
The Federation also built a new BattleMech factory during that time, bringing out its first line of BattleMechs in 3078, just in time to be ready when New Syrtis assaulted St. Ives in 3079. By 3082, when the Taurians asked for aid in their war against New Syrtis, the Garde Fédérale moved out to prove their worth in battle. They did well for a force their size, taking numerous worlds before moving on to other systems, and proved to everyone that they were a force to be reckoned with.
But the Federation was forced to push more and more of their resources into supporting the Garde as the years went by. Taxes increased, the majority of the high technology manufacturing capability was tasked to replenish material losses, and their transport fleet found itself doing little more than traveling to the front and back. Citizens were encouraged to donate anything they had that was made of high electronics for recycling to the war effort and rationing of food to only the barest of sustenance food stuffs was common, especially on worlds with little ability to grow their own food. Small victory gardens became common as individual citizens grew luxury foods for themselves or friends, but as they worked day in and day out to survive or to support the war, high technology items were simply not available to purchase, and even the with the higher tax rates savings account balances soared throughout the Federation.
By 3093 though, despite all the efforts the Federation made to replace losses, the Garde Fédérale had been hammered down to barely half their optimal size and everything from spare parts to food were running low. When the war ended, they returned home to a heroes’ welcome and were given a full year of leave to recover. All of them were offered retirement at the end of that year, with full benefits. Twenty-five of those physically capable of serving accepted the retirement. All of the others returned to form what is now known simply as the Vieux Garde.
The years since then have seen the Fronc Federation returning its military spending, which had nearly bankrupted their economy, back to the citizens via massive tax breaks, though they continue to maintain their military sufficient to defend the realm. Wages long forced to remain in saving accounts quickly began buying luxury items the factories were retooling to make. The pent-up demand of a decade of war has fueled a building boom without compare in that region of space, and the economy of the Federation is nearly bursting at the seams as it tries to keep up.
The modern Fronc Federation, still insular and only maintaining contact with the Magistracy and Concordat, has become a burgeoning economic power. It is a brave new region that promises riches for anyone willing to work (or steal) hard enough, and the vast tracks of the Wild Wild Rim as many call it are full of opportunity. You can find anything out there, from mad scientists working on some new invention that will change the universe, to bandits leaching off the common folk. Farmers plow the fields or raise animals, and plant workers manufacture new weapons or refrigerators. If you think of it, you can find it out there. It is a land of opportunity, and a land of change. Fresh faces and cultures have invaded a region that has been largely the same for centuries, and the change is not always easy, but the Fronc Federation is becoming a veritable melting pot of cultures. It is an exciting place to be.
Composed of four Corps, the Fronc Legions follow the old French model, with three to four regiments of troops under each command. The Garde Fédérale is the most powerful of the Corps, and has no single geographical area it is required to protect. Generally sent wherever help is required, they are constantly on the move. The Corps du Noyau protects the systems near the Capellan Confederation, the Corps du Milieu protects the newer systems further out from the original Federation, while the Corps de la Jante protects the furthest colonies that stretch almost to the New Periphery, on the rim of known space.
Vehicles dominate the military, being cheap and easy to produce, as do armored infantry in the line units. In militias they are uncommon though. ProtoMechs have been used in large numbers since the Jihad, and often form a secondary battle line beside the main battletanks. Finally, BattleMechs are used when mobility is most prized, and during large battles. Their expense keeps them rare though, and they are only devoted to battle when nothing else can handle the enemy. Designs seen are mostly those built in the Federation, though they do purchase some production runs from Detroit and the rest of the Trinity Alliance.
The Federation navy is composed primarily of spacecraft purchased from the Magistracy or the Concordat, though a large number of their fighters are built on Fronc. This eclectic mix of designs, from the Magistracy’s advanced technology craft, to the Taurian and Fronc rugged and low-tech designs, leaves the Federation navy mixed in capability. It has proven sufficient to guard their borders most of the time though, and efforts appear to be underway to manufacture sufficient orbital yards over Fronc to build their own naval units.
Le corps du Noyau
Le Corps du Milieu
Corps de la Jante
Detroit (Trinity Alliance) – Alliance Consolidated – Marshal and Ranger BattleMechs; Deputy and Sheriff ProtoMechs; Constable BattleArmor; Charger and Sabre ASFs; Mustang DropShip; Destrier frigate
Fronc – Fronc BattleArms – Tirailleur BattleMech; Voltigeur ProtoMech; Flanquer, Trinity-Minos, and Chasseur BattleArmor; Char, Renault, and Somua Tanks; Mortaigle ASF
Detroit – Site of the famed Alliance Consolidated industriplex, Detroit is one of the most heavily defended worlds in the Trinity Alliance. The world is officially considered a part of the Fronc Federation, and her people enjoy the rights of Fronc laws, but the new factory complex and Alliance City are on property that belongs to the Trinity Alliance as a whole and in those areas Alliance law rules. This has left Detroit with an odd mixture of cultures, from the old farming families and cooperatives that ran Detroit for centuries in a slow-paced lifestyle, to the fast and furious lifestyle of Alliance City and the rough and tumble factories and bars.
Fronc – The capital of the Fronc Federation, this world boasts the most powerful industrial presence in the Federation outside Detroit. The capital city of the world and the Federation is very new, having been razed to the ground by the Word of Blake during the Jihad, but the new construction perfectly reflects the French ancestry of the Fronc family which dominates the modern Federation.
Portland – Primarily an agricultural world, Portland was mostly avoided by the Word of Blake during the Jihad, though in 3070 a small Word of Blake force did take over the system. Elements of the Second Taurian Pride and its supporting forces assaulted the Blakists and defeated them soundly, capturing two Word Magellans and a number of Word BattleMechs and Battlesuits. It wasn’t until after the war ended that sufficient resources to repair the damage the Word caused could be sent to the world, but the people have never forgotten the Taurian’s actions in saving them.