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.
"A real man doesn't make excuses for his failures." - Aika - Skies of Arcadia
Magistracy of Canopus
Since before the formation of the Star League, the Magistracy of Canopus has based itself primarily around two basic principles. The first was the refusal to submit to orders of the Inner Sphere, only violated by the Star League subjugation of the Periphery, and the second was the pursuit of pleasure. Inclusive of, but not limited to, the sexual fantasies that many think of when they hear the term pleasure, the Canopian pursuit of pleasure is more a pursuit of happiness, fun, and joy in all its forms, for a price. The higher the price, the higher the happiness gained.
The riches this pursuit brought into the Magistracy made it a prime target of the Star League, but the Free Worlds League’s Captain-General had reservations about the invasion of the Periphery. Ordered to adhere to the Ares Conventions, the Free Worlds League military earned little of the hatred that the rest of the Star League gained as it ground the Magistracy down. A generous rebuilding program returned the Magistracy to a comfortable level and allowed the League to remove its occupation troops in sixteen years in fact, and the Magistracy was allowed to return to its ways of trade.
The days of the Star League and the Succession Wars that followed it nearly destroyed the Magistracy’s pleasure circuses though, as first the other more puritanical nations forced the Magistracy to stay away from the “most morally objectionable practices”, and then the war that followed shattered trade routes. The end of the Succession Wars brought back the trade lanes though and by the 3060s the pleasure circuses had returned with a vengeance, brining in much needed money to the Magistracy.
A byproduct of the pleasure circuses, the Canopian understanding of the human, and numerous semi-human genetically engineered species, was unmatched in most of the Human Sphere by that time. Only the Clans when they came boasted a greater understanding, thanks to their advanced science, but the Magistracy has happily incorporated Clan technology and knowledge into their medical establishment in the last half century, making it the recognized authority on all matters of medical treatment. The NAIS and other organizations continue to challenge them though, and this competition has forced all who wish to flourish in that field to continually experiment in new fields. The NAIS’s discovery of a cure for the Brisbane Virus, and Free Worlds League age-freezing techniques were blows to the Canopian establishment, but they have fired back with improvements on those and other medical advancements that have continued to improve the lot of humans in the Human Sphere.
The Magistracy would be more powerful now had fate not intervened over the years. During the early thirty-first century the Taurian Concordat attempted to form an alliance with the Magistracy but Magestrix Kyalla cared little for it. By the time Magestrix Emma had risen to power, Protector Edward Calderon’s paranoia had become easily discernable to anyone with medical understanding and Emma refused to work with him. It wasn’t until Jeffrey came of age and began to work with her that the chance of an alliance began to bear fruit. The Treaty of Taurus was signed on 31 March, 3056 and promised the realization of a dream the Periphery had long looked to. The capability to stand united against any Inner Sphere aggression.
It also began to improve the fortunes of both states. The Taurian Concordat had long languished economically while the Magistracy’s military suffered from limited production of war machines to replace losses. The Concordat aided the Magistracy in building new industrial plants while the Magistracy helped spur the Concordat’s economy to a level it hadn’t seen since the early thirty-first century. Had the Magistracy and Concordat allied at that time, their star would have shown bright far earlier than it did and perhaps they would have been ready for the Jihad when it came. But they didn’t.
Oblivious to the coming storm in the 3060s, the two nations worked together to build new factories, improve trade and economic relations, and to colonize new worlds along the amorphous border between them. The New Colony Region and its Colonial Marshals, an odd conglomeration of Taurian and Canopian values, soon realized that they didn’t wish to live under either government and began to campaign for their independence. At first, neither the Magistracy nor the Concordat accepted the regions arguments, but when Sherman Maltin calmly compared, with historical analyses backing him up, the occupation of the region to that of the Star League’s occupation of the Periphery States, they were forced to see his point. They entered into negotiations which culminated in the 15 May, 3061 recognition of the Fronc Federation and the alteration of the Treaty of Taurus to include the Federation. The alliance soon became called the Trinity Alliance.
3061 also saw Magestrix Emma learning of the death of her eldest daughter, Danai, while fighting against the Clans with the Star League. She seemed to accept the loss of her daughter calmly and officially named Naomi, on Detroit with Emma and Jeffrey Calderon at the time, her heir. The year 3063 saw the collapse of St. Ives to the invading Capellan Confederation, and the Magistracy happily took advantage of the various technologies the Taurians acquired in that war to upgrade their military, building up their defenses on the Capellan border. Emma had little trust for the Confederation, and especially for Sun Tzu, and refused to lower her guard especially now that he no longer had a major war to fight.
This guarded condition continued on the border until the fall of 3067, when first Janice Calderon returned to Taurus under her own power, cured by the NAIS to the chagrin of the Magistracy medical establishment, and then Taurus was attacked. On 15 December, 3067, exactly two months after Janice’s return, a number of DropShip-sized asteroids appeared over Taurus on a direct course for Samantha City. How they escaped detection by the Taurian asteroid detection net has not been discovered to this day, but we know it was made possible by the Word of Blake’s Erinyes system. Unfortunately, the complete destruction of the Word of Blake in the Jihad made study of the system impossible. Naomi, in conference with Jeffrey Calderon at the time of the assault, managed to escape the city before it was leveled, but Jeffrey was never heard from again. The Concordat Constables later found the ruins of his escape craft on the fringes of the devastated Samantha City.
Though some evidence suggested the attackers to be the Federated Suns, Janice Calderon wisely held her people back while the investigators attempted to learn the real truth. This kept the Trinity Alliance out of the chaos of the early months of the Jihad, and the Canopian and Taurian investigators soon found evidence that the real culprits were the Word of Blake rather than the Davions. While this did little to make the Taurians like the Davions any more, it did at least greatly hurt Grover Shraplen’s power base and removed all thoughts of him building enough support in the military to take control of the Concordat.
Before the Trinity Alliance could form a force to move into the Inner Sphere and support the beleaguered Star League against the Word of Blake though the Word came for them. On 10 June, 3069, a massive Word force arrived over Detroit and leveled the factories from orbit. A regiment of Magistracy troops died under the assault before the Word force split up and moved into the other Trinity Alliance nations to deal with them.
The Word forces shattered one Magistracy force after another as it moved from system to system at seemingly random intervals. Sometimes they used nukes, sometimes they used “conventional” orbital bombardment, and at other times they landed troops. As 3069 passed into 3070, which passed into 3071, the Magistracy fought a losing battle for its life, desperately trying to uncover the Word’s plans while trying to defend its worlds from assault. In March, a Magistracy operative broke Word security and discovered their plans. A final assault on Canopus itself to break the back of what remained of the Magistracy military.
Magestrix Emma ordered all surviving Canopian units back to Canopus in secret, keeping just enough people on their previous worlds to make it look as if they were still there, and prepared for what could possibly be the last battle of the Magistracy. The Word fleet arrived on 19 June into the middle of a Canopian trap. The Word DropShips had barely enough time to escape their JumpShips before nuclear mines erased them from existence, and the sole Word WarShip barely survived a near miss. The five day battle that followed as the Word of Blake tried to first break through and then escape the Canopian defenders left the Magistracy navy in ruins but destroyed the Word fleet to the last vessel.
The Magistracy had survived but the Word had successfully stopped them from interfering in the Jihad. By the end of the year, representatives from the Fronc Federation and the Taurian Concordat arrived to inform the Magestrix that the Word had been driven from their realms as well, but the three nations together had barely enough forces to defend their realms against a determined Boy Scout troupe, let alone take any war to the Word. And with piracy rampant on their borders, they were forced to take what remained of their militaries and send them out to deal with the pirates.
The Trinity Alliance soon turned to the battered Colonial Marshals to be their primary defense against pirates and rebuilt the factories of Detroit to supply them. They also began to use something the Fronc Federation had developed while fighting the Word. Smaller than any known BattleMech, the Fronc miniature BattleMechs were neither as advanced nor as capable as the Clan ProtoMechs, but they were easier to train for, took fewer resources to build, and were capable of threatening BattleMechs, especially when present in heavy numbers. The Trinity Alliance nations cooperated fully to rebuild the Colonial Marshals and sent them out to deal with the pirates as they tried to return their own shattered militaries, industries, and economies to a semblance of order.
By 3075, the Trinity Alliance was well on the way to recovering and Janice stepped down on 15 November of 3078 to give the Protectorship to Jeffrey Calderon’s son Erik. On 23 March of the next year, Magestrix Emma followed suit, handing her control of the Magistracy over to her daughter Naomi. Unfortunately the rebuilding took a back seat when the Syrtis Federation assaulted the St. Ives Compact and the Taurian Concordat moved forces to support their ally again.
The Magistracy and Fronc Federation continued to rebuild as much as they could, but with the Taurians occupied their efforts proved to be less successful than before. When the Taurians finally called for aid in 3082 though, the Magistracy and Fronc were more than capable of giving them that aid. They shattered the Syrtis defenders and spilled across the border, taking system after system. The Federation proved incapable of stopping them, and by late 3084 the Trinity Alliance had driven deep into Federation territory, with only the Pleiades Cluster still actively resisting. In 3085 the Cluster officially seceded from the Federation, joining the Concordat, but by then all thoughts of using it as a jumping-off point for an assault on New Syrtis had been long forgotten and active campaigns with the Federation had come to an end.
In August of 3083, the Alliance had engaged the Capellans over Mendham, and that flashpoint resulted in a decade of devastating war between the Alliance and the Confederation. Using every weapon in their arsenal, including the arrival of the Duchy of Andurien in 3085, the Trinity Alliance pounded the Confederation into the ground, actually achieving an absolute technological advantage by 3088 that should have destroyed the Confederation. The Capellans fought on though, bleeding the Alliance white until they found themselves draining forces from the Colonial Marshals to maintain their main military formations on the Capellan border.
By 3093, the Trinity Alliance, Andurien, and the Confederation were beyond exhaustion, none able or willing to end the war, but all realizing that they simply could not continue any longer. The reduced Colonial Marshals were finding themselves stretched thin fighting reinvigorated pirates, and the main military formations could barely hold their adversaries back. All sides were being ground down until they could no longer fight.
Then the Raven Alliance sent a squadron of WarShips to support the Trinity Alliance and helped them shatter the Capellan Second Fleet over Mendham. They then reminded the Taurians quietly of the “promoting peace” section of the Treaty of Taurus and said that the war had to end immediately or pirates or the collapse of numerous governments could seriously destabilize the region. Naomi’s daughter Kossandra, then only twenty-five years old, added her voice (and reportedly other methods of persuasion) to the Raven’s argument and Protector Erik agreed to send his aunt Janice Calderon to negotiate a peace treaty with Treyhang Liao. On 3 December, 3093, the Trinity War ended and all three sides returned to what would be many years of rebuilding.
After the better part of a decade spent rebuilding, the Magistracy has done well to return her economy to a more bustling nature. Canopian pleasure circuses can be found throughout the Human Sphere, often flying with Clan Sea Fox convoys, and the Magestrix has used these to initiate favorable relations with numerous realms. The only nation in the Trinity Alliance to accept membership in the Star League, the Magistracy uses their many allies on the council to keep it from repeating the many mistakes of the first Star League.
Once again, the fortunes of both the Magistracy and the Trinity Alliance appear to be pointed nowhere but up. Thanks to the friendly relationship between Erik and Kossandra, cooperation between the Magistracy and Concordat is at an all-time high, and the Fronc Federation has continued to be a happy member of the alliance as well, contributing as it can to the good of all. In addition, the Trinity Alliance of 3100 is easily the largest alliance in existence, outside the Star League, but its size does not necessarily reflect its power. Most of its military forces are spread far out throughout the realms, keeping it from concentrating it forces enough to threaten other nations. But because of the Magistracy, the riches that poor into the Alliance have allowed them to build highly advanced machines of both war and medicine that make them highly competitive throughout the Human Sphere.
Funded and manned by the Concordat, Magistracy, and Federation, the Colonial Marshals are the symbol of the alliance that brings the three nations together to in the eyes of the citizens they protect. Primarily deployed on the outer edges of the Trinity Alliance where they face pirates on various colony worlds, the arrival or presence of Marshals, no matter which nation they are from, is a joyous occasion often resulting in impromptu celebrations. Composed of machines built on Detroit, all Colonial Marshal BattleMechs, ProtoMechs, and BattleArmor suits have hands that allow them to help in construction or other heavy lifting and their ships make a practice of carrying luxury items tailored for whatever colony they are jumping to, making them far more than a simple defense force.
Nearly all towns on colonial worlds have a squad or a maniple of Colonial Constables, while Deputies and Sheriffs are normally deployed on a world or system-wide basis. Colonial Rangers and Marshals are the final arbiters of justice in the colonies and move from system to system like the ancient roving paladins. When moving in force, the Destrier frigates and Mustang DropShips can transport two full Colonial Companies and a Colonial Division of AeroSpace fighters into battle. Concentrations of this magnitude or greater are reserved for worlds that are the constant targets of pirate raids or when hunting down said pirates.
Magistracy Armed Forces
The Magistracy Armed Forces are designed mostly around the idea of maneuvering to defeat an enemy. Considered light but swift, they make up for their lack of individual firepower by training to act as cohesive units. The navy is based around the Magestrix destroyer, missile-armed Leopards, fighter-carrying Unions, and the small Sabre AeroSpace Fighter. The massive Thunderbird OmniFighters are used to pin and destroy enemy ships while the Sabres harass the enemy flanks.
The ground forces are composed mostly of medium BattleMechs, primarily the swift Shadow Hawk OmniMech, supported by the equally swift Rommel OmniTank. Lighter designs are primarily used for scouting of harassing, while the heavier Marauders are the hammers of the Magistracy military. The rare Marauder IIs in the Magistracy military, purchased from the Taurian Concordat, are only brought into action rarely, but have stopped more than one Marik or Liao raid in their tracks.
Major Military Formations
Magistracy Royal Guards
Raventhir’s Iron Hand: Undying Service
1st Canopian Cuirassiers: Danai’s Finest
2nd Canopian Cuirassiers: Emma’s Flight
3rd Canopian Cuirassiers: Naomi’s Own
Chasseurs Ẩ Chaval
1st Canopian Light Horse: Defiance at all Cost
2nd Canopian Light Horse: Centrella Honor
3rd Canopian Light Horse: Defiant to the End
4th Canopian Light Horse: Defilers of the Word
1st Canopian Fusiliers: Defenders of the Realm
2nd Canopian Fusiliers: League Killers
3rd Canopian Fusiliers: Pirate Hunters
1st Magistracy Cavaliers: Thraxa’s Own
2nd Magistracy Cavaliers: Addasar’s Own
3rd Magistracy Cavaliers: Umka’s Own
4th Magistracy Cavaliers: Weistheimer’s Own
5th Magistracy Cavaliers: Abilene’s own
1st Magistracy Highlanders: Long’s Light Lancers
2nd Magistracy Highlanders: Nellie’s Naughties
1st Raventhir Cuirassiers: Stalwart Allies
2nd Raventhir Cuirassiers: Warrior-Diplomats
3rd Raventhir Cuirassiers: Federation’s Rock
4th Raventhir Cuirassiers: Motown Madness
Canopus IV – Majesty Metals and Manufacturing – Locust, Marauder, Stinger, and Wasp BattleMechs; LRM and SRM Carriers, Maultier OmniTank
Detroit (Trinity Alliance) – Alliance Consolidated – Marshal and Ranger BattleMechs; Deputy and Sheriff ProtoMechs; Constable, Trinity-Europa, and Hera BattleArmor; Charger OmniFighter and Sabre ASF; Mustang DropShip; Destrier frigate
Dunianshire – Majesty Metals and Manufacturing – Shadow Hawk OmniMech; Rommel OmniTank, LRM and SRM Carriers, Manticore and Pike tanks; Leopard and Union DropShips; Thunderbird OmniFighter, Sabre ASF; Kossandra JumpShip; Magestrix destroyer
Umka – Kerr-McGinnis – various armor
Adhara – Canopian history remembers Gorraine Centralla as one of the most important Magistixes because of her sponsorship of an exploration program that added several worlds to the Magistracy, the world of Adhara being one of them. Her airship crashed on Adhara on 17 June 2680, cutting her reign short, and that date has forever been remembered as Gorraine Remembrance Day.
Canopus IV – Founded in 2530 by a band of ex-Marik soldiers, this worlds resources were strip-mined for centuries until it appeared as if the entire environment would collapse in the mid-31st century. The ascension of Emma Centrella to the position of Magestrix in 3040 proved to be a lifeline for the damaged world though as she ordered environmentally-friendly methods be taken. She spent personal money to the pleasure circuses as well and the world prospered throughout the rest of the century. Canopus has maintained its livable status and her surviving plants and animals have begun to expand in numbers again, though the Canopian storm watchers have become known throughout the Human Sphere for their knowledge and training.
Cate's Hold – Originally founded as a major gambling and entertainment world along the lines of the planet Canopus, it became, by default, a major supply and repair facility for the Magistracy navy during the Reunification War. It lived under Marik rule during the reign of the Star League but rebelled after the League fell and returned to the Magistracy where it has continued to fulfill both of its missions. Now a major trade center that links the Magistracy with the rest of the Trinity Alliance, this world has become rich and hopes to become richer.
Crawford's Delight – One of the outer worlds of the Magistracy, Crawford’s Delight is well-known throughout the Human Sphere for its jeweled “leisure cities” where any form of rest and relaxation can be found.
Early Dawn – Home to Magliss Spirits, the largest producer of wines, brandies, and other alcoholic beverages in the Outer Sphere, though it is technically within the Inner Sphere, this world is dominated by the vineyards that grow its most prized vintages.
Eleusis – A popular vacation spot for boaters, the odd collection of lakes, ponds, lagoons, and rivers spreads out for hundreds of miles in any direction and can be seen from orbit where it looks like a decoration from some copies of the Koran. The minorities of various religious sects, Moslems being the most populous, have reacted badly to the influx of Canopian “morals” and a constant “holy war” has been in action here for the last two decades. While the Magistracy has been reluctant to “go in guns blazing” as many have suggested in those years, the recent bombing of Canopian Delights Limited headquarters on Canopus has resulted in a change in attitudes. It will be interesting to see how this affects the future of the area.
Hardcore – One of the most financially successful of the Magistracy's celebrated entertainment centers, the pleasure planet Hardcore caters to the upper crust of Canopian society as well as the wealthier Inner Sphere clientele. With a permanent staff of over 300,000 professional entertainers, this warm temperate world boasts every conceivable type of pleasure palace along its equatorial and northern latitude rim. With a capacity to serve well over fifty million guests annually, Hardcore's entertainments range from the tame to the terrifying, and from ballet to full-scale blood sports. In particular, Hardcore hosts a series of MechWarrior games affiliated with the Solaris Circuit, turning vast regions of the planet's northern hemisphere over to competing BattleMech teams while the planetary populace enjoys the carnage live and in color on the public monitors. Beyond this Hardcore is famous throughout the Magistracy for its film industry, which produces thousands of Solaris Circuit videos and full-feature erotic epics quarterly for distribution throughout the Human Sphere.
Luxen – Provincial capital of the Magistracy’s Outer Sphere possessions, the Word occupied this world during the Jihad to be used for treating their wounded. They strip-mined its precious metals and gemstones for use as well but left the University of Luxen alone when they were pushed out of the system. Housing the Canopian Medical Sciences Research and Training Complex, it is considered one of the most advanced institutions of medical practice in the Human Sphere. Nobles from thoughout the Human Sphere come to Luxen for treatment, bringing important monies into the Magistracy.
New Abilene – New Abilene is a rough-and-ready border world that has been given over entirely to food production, primarily the raising of cattle and sheep. Since its settlement in 2581 until the formation of the Treaty of Taurus, the Canopians fought with the Taurian Concordat several times over control of the planet. New Abilene is divided into a number of large baronies, millions of hectares of pastureland owned by wealthy landlords. During the Jihad, the Word of Blake effectively took this world out of the war by inflaming tensions between the baronies and several rich families were all but wiped out and their holdings razed to the ground. A number of newer families have risen to replace the old ones but these “new money” families are universally looked down upon by the “old money” baronies. Tensions have been high between the families since 3097 when the son of a prominent baron found himself accused of raping a “new money” daughter. Though acquitted of the crime, the “new money” families derided the jury as “purchased lock, stock, and cattle” by the baron and have vowed to bring justice. The Magestrix has deployed a number of Colonial Marshals to keep the peace, but some see it as a losing battle.
Ruschegg – With terrain consisting of low rolling hills leading to a rocky desert, this arid world was the target of raiders throughout the 3050s and 3060s. The local baron, Archibald Keeling, built up a sizable defensive force to protect the world and when the Jihad erupted he quietly declared neutrality in the war and defending the world as he saw fit. When the Magistracy came calling later, he recognized the extra funding they could bring his world and happily accepted the offer of (re)joining the Magistracy after “centuries of Marik occupation” and the world has seen a marked economic improvement since.
Thraxa – A border world lying near the edge of the Marian Hegemony, for over a century, this semi-arctic world has developed a variety of local commercial concerns, including a lucrative fur trade, forestry, coal mining, and a modest textile and wool industry to provide necessities for its own population as well as for export offworld. The inhabitants of this "maverick" world are among the more individual-minded and stubborn of all the Magistracy's peoples and declared neutrality during the Jihad. After the Word fell they returned to the Magistracy, recognizing the better position it would leave them in against pirates, but maintain a semi-independence to this day.
Thurrock – Though the passage of time and change of borders has not been kind to the trading centers of Thurrock, the old timers and more knowledgeable traders continue to make port in Thurrock when moving to or from Andurien space. The locals are surprisingly up to date in their knowledge of Magistracy and League politics and are known to give the traders pointers on where to make the best profits. The tradition that traders who return successfully to this port give a cut to anyone whose advice directly contributed to their success has made many a pocket millionaire and increased the locals' willingness to talk to outsiders.
Trznadel Cluster (60) – A cluster of sixty closely-packed star systems, the Trznadel Cluster is used by the Canopian Navy for high-intensity training jump and combat training. Often supported by Taurian advisers, this training has helped to make the new navy a powerful force in its area of space.
Umka – A major trading center, this world’s small island chains are dotted with small spaceports used by legitimate traffic and smugglers alike.
Vakarel – The asteroid shoals of Vakarel house a major Canopian Navy base that protects this region of space from League raiders.
Vixen – This cool and temperate world is run by a consortium of small corporations dedicated to making it a major entertainment center on the border of the Inner and Outer Spheres. One of its main draws is the variety of winter sports that make it their home including skiing, extreme snowboarding, bobsledding, and hunting. The planetary hockey leagues, both male and female, also draw in many fans and generate impressive revenues through holonet broadcast licensing throughout the Magistracy and to targeted markets in the rest of the Human Sphere.
Wildwood – Protected by an impressive orbital defense network dating back to Star League times, this world’s agricultural concerns ship food and wines throughout the Magistracy. Outside the plantations, this world is maintained in its wilderness state and generates further revenue by sending bird-watching expeditions out on a regular basis.