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Author Topic: Litany Against Fear - Critique needed.....  (Read 460 times)

Fear Factory

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Litany Against Fear - Critique needed.....
« on: 18 July 2019, 01:48:15 »
After well over a year, I'm revisiting the fluff I made for my homebrew Mercenary unit "Litany Against Fear." I wanted to put it up here for some critique. This is for an old school style scenario book I have been working on forever. Please keep in mind, writing is really not my forte` and I did my best not to make something that seems overpowered or like a typical Merc unit. There are some things left out, like warrior bios and stuff, but I plan on posting those later. I'm really, really, trying...


     The Van Houten heritage dates back to the 2700’s during the Amaris Civil War. They fought among the Rim World Republic army against the Star League Defense Force.  The outcome of the war left their family history vague.  It is known that most of the Van Houten family left on the Exodus with Alexander Kerensky and the SLDF, looking for shot at redemption for their nation’s crimes.  A small portion ended up joining the Lyran Commonwealth as part of “The Stealths,” formerly the 23rd Republic Light Lancers, who were the only military unit that survived the destruction of the Rim World Republic. Here they fought border disputes during the First Succession War along the Rasalhague Provence. When the Lyran’s sent The Stealths to the Free Worlds League boarder, the Van Houtens stayed by Rasalhague and served garrison. The family eventually retired from military duty when the Lyran Commonwealth disbanded The Stealths in 2812. Their family history at this point is non-existent, but the Van Houten name re-emerges as part of a rebel unit operating on the Commonwealth/Combine boarder by the Rasalhague Provence at the start of the Ronin Wars.


     The unit’s Free Rasalhague Republic roots date back to 2330 at the end of the Rasalhague Consortium era.  Back then they were known as The 66th Light Company, a military unit serving under the Fifteenth Rasalhague Regulars.  The 66th were often called from Radstadt to fight on other boarder worlds against the Draconis Combine.  Disputes with the Combine eventually turned into a war for control of the principality, which resulted in a Combine victory.  Without hesitation, the Scandinavian culture of the Principality clashed with the Japanese culture of the Combine under the stress of assimilation.  The 66th had no interest in serving the Combine and were immediately labeled as terrorists.  The 66th were careful in targeting Combine military forces, structures, and government officials, but propaganda showed them murdering civilians in cold blood.  In 3004, when Hohiro Kurita was assassinated by the Tyr Resistance Movement, the 66th was one of their targets of revenge.  This almost destroyed the unit until a band of grateful rebels (once assisted by the 66th) joined them in the fight.  These rebels had a Van Houten leader, Erik Van Houten (Erik retired in 3030 and gave his BattleMech, and ASN-21 Assassin “The Archetype” to his son Isaac). The 66th were skeptical at first, seeing a former Rim Worlds name and part of a unit disbanded by the Lyrans, but they accepted their help out of desperation. The rebels were eventually absorbed into the 66th and the Van Houtens would eventually gain control.


    Late 3004 the Lyran Commonwealth showed concern for the Rasalhague/Combine conflict and approached the 66th with an offer to liberate their people.  They were interested in taking a few worlds from the Combine in an attempt to win over the rest of the Rasalhague Provence. After a well-bargained agreement the 66th decided to fight with the Lyran army.  The Lyrans gave the 66th exclusive salvage rights and also repaired and maintained their equipment in exchange for cooperation.  In 3030 the war ended, with the Principality victorious, but the 66th were insulted by the true motive of their allies.  They had successfully created a buffer state between them and the Draconis Combine, which made them feel like cannon fodder.  It even looked like the 66th had welcomed Lyran interference to profit off of the establishment of the Free Rasalhague Republic.  The image of the 66th was forever tarnished.  In 3034, around the beginning of the Ronin Wars, part of 66th left the Rasalhague Regulars and aimed to start their own Mercenary unit under the name of “Litany Against Fear.”  The rest of the unit was tired of war and decided to stay with their new independent and free nation.  The mercenary unit was founded by Issac Van Houten after inheriting his family’s ASN-21 Assassin “The Archetype.”  He was joined by his close friend Rebecca Unther piloting a CPLT-C1 Catapult and his bodyguards “The Twins” Olga and Katerina Polczyk piloting COM-2D Commandos.


     On Radstadt, early 3034 at the start of the Ronin Wars, the newly formed Litany Against Fear started a campaign to raid and steal equipment from Ronin forces.  If successful, Litany would have a Dropship, several BattleMechs, and some light Combat Vehicles at their disposal.  With the Dropship and small force they could operate independently and build their force over time.  Using loyal rebel contacts, they were able to coordinate a raid during a major KungsArmé battle.  With some losses they achieved their goal, capturing a Union dropship, 2 'Mechs, 4 light Tanks, and 2 Fighters.  Litany lost both Commandos, but this was offset by 2 brand new PNT-9R Panthers which were claimed by The Twins.

     After their successful raid, a mercenary unit called the “Lone Wolves” caught word of a lance that just recovered one of their dropships that was taken by the Ronin. They contacted Litany and sent them an offer. They wanted their dropship back, but they would hire on Litany to train the inexperienced KungsArmé, fight the Ronin, and put the rightful people of Radstadt back into power.  The cost was an undisclosed amount of C-Bills and first pick on all salvage. Plus if they did well enough they would operate as an official unit under the Wolves.  Litany couldn’t refuse the offer.  The operation lasted for months, with Litany providing training and assisting the KungsArmé with several successful raids.  One of them was a captured shipment from Quickscell Corporation meant for the Ronin.  A company of tanks were acquired and split between Litany and the KungsArmé.

     Litany worked with the KungsArmé hitting the Ronin forces where it counts.  They struck night and day with no specific pattern, targeting commanders, base camps, and raiding supply lines.  More supplies were given to the KungsArmé and the rest were given to the local rebels in an effort to keep underground support.  After several months the Ronin forces finally started their retreat.  During their escape, the leader of the Ronin military Akumu Onda was killed by Isaac, which stuck a final blow in their operation.  This gave the KungsArmé the final push they needed to subdue the Ronin military and force them to surrender.  The citizens worked together to reestablish a government and rebuild their military.  Litany, now finished with their contract, had enough equipment to hire more MechWarriors and get their unit roster up to company level.  The Lone Wolves respected Litany’s work and extended them the offer to join their ranks as an independent unit.  Litany took it, and their new story as a Lone Wolves faction began.


     After leaving Radstadt in late 3035, Litany traveled to the Alshain military district and linked up with an underground unit calling themselves the “Alshain People Movement.”  This rebel unit heard about Litany and required assistance with strikes against Combine influence on Alshain.  In exchange for support, they offered Litany the best they could with salvage and pay putting what they already had up front.  Litany accepted despite rumors of the unit’s terroristic nature.  For almost a year, Litany ran several hit and run attacks aimed at politicians, supply lines, and factories.  Most of their losses were due to the recklessness of the rebels, so relations started to become heated between Litany and the Movement.

     Their worst loss was a strike against a Combine convoy that was delivering field rations and ammunition to a military base.  Disobeying orders from Litany, one of the rebel ambushes were spotted by a recon lance and blew their cover.  Because of this, Litany lost 2 of their ‘Mechs and a full lance of Combat Vehicles.  The rebels supporting them were slaughtered, which created tension with Litany and the locals.  Out of desperation, Litany regrouped and struck the convoy to see if they could recover something.  Only one of the trucks were captured which carried enough supplies to support the unit for a few days, putting a major strain on the campaign.  Litany was furious at the incompetence of the rebels and these losses were enough for them to willingly end the contract.  Despite aggressive protests from the Movement, Litany took whatever salvage they could with them as compensation.

     As Litany was ready to leave Alshain the Movement had turned on them.  They made an attempt to kill Isaac and take back the salvage and pay from the campaign.  Isaac still made an attempt to negotiate, but was quickly forced to fight back when shots were fired.  There was no negotiating at this point, the Movement wanted Isaac dead so they could take Litany’s equipment and continue their attack against the Combine.  The conflict only lasted a day with Litany suffering heavy damage, but surprisingly no losses.  Isaac’s experience and knowledge for urban tactics saved the unit.  Knowing the location of the rebel base of operations, Litany held them at gunpoint until they got whatever pay they could.  The Movement had no choice but to give in, and Litany left with a stigma that most rebel units carry. The payment was only half of what they had offered, they bluffed during negotiations.


     From 3037 to late 3039, Litany worked several Lone Wolf contracts along FRR and Lyran border worlds.  They utilized pirate jump points based on old rebel intel and performed raids which slowly built up the unit.  Litany had also established contact with familiar rebel units and started to rebuild.  More rebels and mercenaries joined the unit bringing their own BattleMechs and Combat Vehicles.  This brought Litany back up to strength, but they still showed scars from the Alshain campaign. Morale was low, and tensions became high.

     The past came back to haunt them.  The Alshain People Movement put a bounty on Isaac’s head because of his actions.  For 2 years, he was being trailed by a small band of hitmen called "The Securitron" consisting of a lance of BattleMechs.  Litany was ambushed by The Securitron on Al Hillah during a supply raid.  In a quick battle, Isaac was injured, “The Archetype” was disabled, but not without taking a hitman down with him.  Seeing the improvised blade on “The Archetype’s” forearm crash through a Phoenix Hawk cockpit caused the hitmen to retreat. The rest of Litany pursued The Securitron.  After a day of cat and mouse, their leader Winston Bourne was cornered and killed by The Twins.  Rebecca took care of the other 2 ‘Mechs. It took Isaac a month to recover from his injuries and he was thankful that his technicians could recover his Assassin.


     At the end of 3039, Litany accepted a deal with a small local militia in conflict on Kobe.  The planet had a history of conflict dating back to the Second Succession War from Combine search and destroy missions.  When the Lyran Alliance took over the planet, remnants of the Combine military lingered and threatened locals, but they were never a significant threat that warranted attention from the house militia.  The movement embedded itself underground as a crime syndicate and came out of hiding during the war of 3039.  With the newly formed Federated Commonwealth distracted by the Capellan Confederation, the locals turned to Mercenary help.

     As soon as Litany landed on Kobe they were greeted by vehicles rigged with explosives and anti-‘Mech infantry ambushes.  Their attempts were successful at taking Litany’s Combat Vehicles out of the fight.  Isaac quickly split Litany into 2 groups to go on a planetary hunt for the syndicate.  Isaac’s group fought on the mainland and captured two small bases of operation.  He was surprised at the equipment the Combine remnants still had.   It looked as if this syndicate had planned on retaking the planet after reestablishing contact with the Combine.  Or at least they hoped.  After retrieving this information Litany regrouped. This discovery unleashed a hell that would follow for several months [NOTE: Isaac never disclosed the Star League materials they discovered. It’s the reason the Syndicate was on the planet for so long. They found a prototype XL engine that could fit “The Archetype” already fitted with Double Heat Sinks. There was also a generous supply of Ferro-Fibrous armor. However, their biggest discovery as a Null Signature System and Chameleon Light Polarization System. The Chameleon system was in terrible shape and left behind, but the Null system looked like it could still work. They were able to smuggle these supplies onto their dropship before the Federated Commonwealth or the Militia knew. “The Archetype” would later be fitted with the prototype systems].

     More of the syndicate began to surface and an entire company of light and medium BattleMechs appeared.  In the first month, Litany suffered, mostly because the syndicate had a better feel for the terrain and because of their tactics that relied on mobility.  The months that followed started to tilt into Litany's favor because they had regrouped and showed better endurance against such tactics.  Litany had finally achieve their first victory on the mainland, but they still had another continent to win. Despite their losses and lack of logistics the syndicate was not going to give up without a fight.  They resorted to taking civilian hostages and terrorist attacks against anything they could to put more pressure on the locals.  Litany was able to prevent only a few of these attacks, one being a hospital that cared for the military and civilian population.  At this point, both sides were suffering from fatigue and demoralized, but despite this Litany still had the upper hand. The attacks were starting to slow down and there was a clearer path to victory. However, the campaign was going on for far too long.

     Late 3040, because of the attention the conflict had gained, the Federated Commonwealth arrived.  At first they were going to find a way to blame Litany for the terrorist attacks because of the un-sanctioned operation, but the local militia convinced them not to.  The conflict was larger than what the Federated Commonwealth expected and most of the work was already done.  Because of this, Isaac and the militia was able to make a deal with the Commonwealth that got them more pay, salvage, and even some of the new refit kits that entered the market.  In return, Isaac gave them all of the information he had on the syndicate and turned over all equipment they had salvaged.  The Federated Commonwealth would also regain control and take all the credit for removing the Syndicate from Kobe. This would also keep Litany out of mainstream attention.  After receiving their pay and the refit kits, Litany left Kobe.  The citizens of Kobe were grateful. They knew what really happened and they finally had peace, something they lacked since the Second Succession War.


     For the next few years, Litany took time off to apply their new refit kits and rebuild their unit.  During this time tensions were high. Kobe caused a lot of stress on the unit, it was another near-death experience like their battle with The Securitron on Al Hillah.  Rebecca and the twins were still supportive of Isaac but others started to doubt him.  Isaac was disappointed, angry, but overall tired of conflict.  He made the hard decision to allow those who wanted to leave the unit go peacefully without judgement or reprimand.  Those who had left were slowly replaced but with lesser equipment on hand.  Once the unit was rebuilt Isaac set out to put Litany back on track in hopes that morale would improve.


     After their hiatus, Litany focused on riot duty and raiding supply line contracts.  They moved up the FRR/Combine boarder until they arrived on Idlewind in late 3045.  The Idlewind Stormtroopers, a local militia with no Combine support, were under constant turmoil from a pirate band that terrorized the locals.  Litany agreed to help them by training their soldiers on garrison for exclusive salvage rights.  For their first mission Litany had to defend a supply depot from a grab and go raid.  The training had paid off, they were able to hold off the pirates with Idlewind support.  They showed promise that their previous contract holders lacked.  Some of the pirates managed to retreat, so Litany left the Idlewind Stormtroopers behind and pursued the pirates into a series of canyons.  This quickly turned into a nasty ambush that Litany should have seen coming.  They still managed to turn the battle around and capture some of the pirates.  With some new intel, they were able to get the coordinates of a crashed dropship the pirate band has been using for a base.  After a quick regroup with the Idlewind Stormtroopers, they circled the dropship and destroyed the pirate band.  Litany kept the 'Mechs and some of the Combat Vehicles that were salvaged.  They left Idlewind with the downed dropship that carried a hefty amount of supplies, which proved beneficial to the local militia.

     For the first time since their creation, Litany Against Fear was in good shape.  Everyone in the unit was getting along, morale was great, and they had enough supplies to keep the unit operational per contract.  By 3046, Litany had a full company of BattleMechs supported by a number of Combat Vehicles, Conventional Infantry, and a pair of Fighters.  For the next 3 years, Litany traveled the coreward end of the FRR/Combine border worlds, working with the Lone Wolves and maintaining the unit until the next big deal.


     In 3050, Litany accepted a contract on Porthos to destroy a pirate army that has been growing in size.  So much so that the local militia was outnumbered. Litany's first objective was to take back an airfield that was captured by the pirates.  Since then, they have been using the airfield to build their unit and prevent supplies from reaching the local militia.  The pirates did not expect to see Litany and quickly lost the airfield from a rushed attack.  Only half of the pirates managed to escape.  Litany chased the pirate band for several weeks, entering several hit and run skirmishes, but they never seemed to halt their operation.  After capturing one of the pirates they learned the coordinates for their main base of operation.  The local militia assumed that the airfield was their main base, but it was actually an encampment they had built within a forest basin.  Litany quickly surrounded the base and after a few days they had forced the pirates to surrender.  Their equipment was confiscated and split between Litany and the local militia.  The pirates were questioned then imprisoned.

     When Litany was ready to leave Porthos, an unidentified military force entered orbit.  They identified themselves as "Clan Ghost Bear’s Alpha Galaxy" and issued a "Trial of Possession" for the planet.  Isaac laughed at them and assumed that the pirates were still out there playing a joke on him.  Since the commander asked what units Isaac would bid, he "bid" everything he had, and agreed to fight “honorably” in Porthos’ capital city.

     The unidentified force landed on the planet. Once they reach the city, they were immediately greeted by several Scorpion Tanks loaded with explosives.  Fear started to sink in once Litany had line of sight with their enemy.  Isaac was surprised to see a horde of unidentified 'Mechs that displayed firepower he had never seen before.  The 'Mechs took out some tanks, the entire local militia, and almost half of Litany’s ‘Mechs with no effort at all.  Fearing for survival, Isaac made the call for retreat and told the last of his forces to scatter.  They all broke contact and forced the attackers to split in pursuit.  5 of the unidentified 'Mechs followed Isaac, the Twins, and Rebecca.

     Isaac lead the attackers back into the city where the 'Mechs were ambushed by SRM Carriers and flanked by Pegasus hovercraft.  3 of the lighter ‘Mechs were destroyed from the ambush but the two heavier, and most threatening, ‘Mechs survived.  All of the tanks were destroyed. Most of their crews were already dead or on retreat.  The Twins focused on a damaged 'Mech that looked almost like a Thunderbolt.  Rebecca and Isaac took on a 'Mech that looked bird-like, almost like a Vulture.

     The Twins, despite how talented they were, were quickly killed.  After Isaac and Rebecca took out their target but sustained heavy damage. To protect his last close friend Rebecca, and avenge The Twins, Isaac pushed “The Archetype” at full speed and charged his 'Mech into the Thunderbolt-like 'Mech.  This attack destroyed several components in "The Archetype" but severely damaged his opponent, knocking its back into a nearby building and dropping it to the ground.  The 'Mech got back up and fired a shotgun-like autocannon into the front of "The Archetype."  Before Isaac could retaliate, slugs walked over the front of his machine and the cockpit.  Isaac was badly injured as his ‘Mech fell limp from all the internal damage.  Rebecca fired her lasers and finished off the enemy, landing a few lucky cockpit shots.

     Only Rebecca Unther and some vehicles made it back to the dropship.  The crew was stunned to see Rebecca was still alive but “The Archetype” was down.  Still fearful, but hopeful that Isaac is alive, Rebecca made a call and the crew grabbed some vehicles and ran an extraction mission.  When they got to “The Archetype” it was in pieces. As they got to the cockpit to check on Isaac, they heard the footsteps of BattleMechs in the distance. The cockpit was jammed into place and they had no time to recover the body. Rebecca made the call to leave with the crew. In the end, the only surviving member of Litany was Rebecca, supported by only a few tanks and a small crew. [NOTE: It was reported later that warrior Uchi Tikimodo came out of retirement and challenged the Bears to honorable combat after he found out that Porthos had no defenses. He ultimately lost, which gave Porthos to the invaders, but he was able to become a liaison between the Clan and the planetary government. This is the official story they use for the planet, there is no mention of Litany since they had fought with dishonor].


     Some interesting information was revealed on Tukayyid during the Clan Trials. It seems that Isaac may have become a bondsman of Clan Ghost Bear who earned warrior status. The name showed up in the bidding process. After their campaign for Luk, a body was recovered from a downed Fire Moth. Their seemed to be a match, but it was hard to confirm because of the strange cybernetic implants added to his body. The Fire Moth was a unique variant that had a large laser linked to advanced targeting hardware. There is also some reports that he was exceptionally hard to target. Not because of how fast the ‘Mech was, but because he seemed to dodge a lot of fire or “float like a butterfly” until he was finally killed by artillery.
« Last Edit: 18 July 2019, 10:14:46 by Fear Factory »
The conflict is pure - The truth devised - The future secured - The enemy designed
Maj. Isaac "Litany" Van Houten, Lone Wolves, The Former 66th "Litany Against Fear" Company