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From a ‘mech grave he rose, snarling Ready to do battle for his vanquished Clan Stalking the Falcon Khans, who would remake us His actions, the Wolf incarnate.
The Remembrance (Clan Wolf)
Passage: 412, Verse 10, Lines 9-12
Unique among the Clans, the Wolves have and yet do not have a long and glorious history. They are Crusaders and Wardens. They are the oldest Clan, and the newest. Shattered in the Aftermath of the Refusal War, the Clan exist as two separate entities: the Crusaders under Khan Vladimir Ward and saKhan Marialle Radick, and the Wardens under Khan Phelan Kell and saKhan Marco Hall. The dual nature of Clan Wolf makes the following historical biography update somewhat different form those that have been put forward. The two Wolf Clans share a common history, but are strangely different. This story is about the Crusader Wolves.
Here, with the Strana Mechty wolf, we see what may be the epitome of a warrior, cunning matched with instinct and stealth, joined with a final, terrifying attack. For this mighty creature, I name you. You are Clan Wolf.
Nicholas Kerensky, 2810
On the world of Wotan, 10 December 3057, the long and remarkable history of Clan Wolf seemed to have come to an end. Charged with genocide by the Clans’ Grand Council for agreeing to the Truce of Tukayyid, the Wolves had fought the bitter Refusal War against Clan Jade Falcon and lost. Their leaders were dead, Ulric Kerensky, once ilKhan and commander of the Inner Sphere invasion, and Khan Natasha Kerensky, the famed Black Widow, who fell in combat on Twycross. Following Ulric’s last orders, saKhan Phelan Ward led Clan Wolf’s surviving Warden faction to sanctuary in the Inner Sphere. In response, Jade Falcon Khan Elias Crichell laid claim to all Clan Wolf assets. He called for a Trial of Absorption; the victorious Falcons would absorb the remnants of Clan Wolf, in accordance with Clan Tradition. No one disputed the claim… until 14 December 3057, when Star Captain Vladimir Ward of the Wolves challenged the Falcon leaders to defend it in combat. This is the story of our Clan and its resurrection.
Katya Kerensky, Loremaster of Clan Wolf
3 December 3059.
History and Origins
Founded by Jerome Winson, Nicholas Kerensky’s brother-in-law, Clan Wolf was the first of the twenty Clans and always seemed destined for greatness. It is little surprise that Nicholas chose to join the Wolves after their performance in Operation Klondike. The Wolves were Nicholas’s right hand, dispensing the Grand Council’s justice to Clan Wolverine and exacting revenge on Clan Widowmaker after warriors of the Clan murdered Nicholas Kerensky. Though the fighting against the Widowmakers left Clan Wolf bloodied and weak, their Absorption of Widowmaker assets and the election of Jerome Winson as ilKhan enable the Wolves to rebuild their strength.
A staunchly Warden Clan, the Wolves blocked moves by the Falcon led Crusaders to launch an invasion of the Inner Sphere, staving off the most serious call with a plan later known as the “Dragoon Compromise.” Wolf Khan Kerlin Ward proposed sending a reconnaissance force to gather intelligence. This force, composed of Wolf Clan freeborn warriors, would serve as mercenary troops with every one of the Inner Sphere militaries and send data back to the Clan homeworlds. From this scheme was born Wolf’s Dragoons, one of the Inner Sphere’smost famous merc units. Knowing that the Crusaders could not be forestalled forever, Khan Ward eventually ordered the Dragoons to remain in the Inner Sphere and prepare the Successor States to withstand the Clan Juggernaut.
Selected for the invasion force as punishment for daring to vote against the Grand Council, the Wolves decided to beat the Crusaders at their own game. They sought to capture the largest amount of territory with the least impact on the existing population. This prompted the other Clans to accelerate their attack schedules, often with disastrous results. The Wolves were the undoubted leaders of the invasion, and the selection of their Khan as ilKhan after the death of Leo Showers was judged only fitting. In fact, it was an attempt to manipulate the Clan into the Crusader camp that misfired badly. The Wolf ilKhan, Ulric Kerensky, agreed to the proxy battle for Terra on Tukayyid, leading to the treaty that halted the invasion. The other Clans protested at the enforced fifteen year peace, but eventually ratified the agreement.
In 3057, the Jade Falcons sought to remove Ulric and continue the invasion. In so doing, the plunged the Wolves and Falcons into war. After the Council tried Ulric for treason and voted him out of office, the Wolf Clan stood with him in this Trial of Refusal against the verdict. Knowing that the chance of victory was slim, Ulric, Natasha Kerensky and Phelan Ward moved to ensure that the Wolves would not be the only Clan to fall. War raged throughout the Falcon occupation zone as the Wolves pushed the Falcon forces back. To ensure the Clan’s survival, Ulric ordered Khan Ward to take a contingent of warriors and a cross-section of the other castes to the Inner Sphere while he and Natasha sought to break the Falcons.
They came close to achieving their goal, but eventually the Falcons slew them both. Their deaths ended the Refusal War, after which the Falcon Khans moved to Absorb the Wolves who remained in the occupation zone and to Abjure those who had found a haven in the Inner Sphere. The Absorbed Wolves eventually won their freedom, first as the Jade Wolves and later as a “new” Wolf Clan. Under Clan law, this Crusader dominated group was an entirely new Clan, free of the guilt, and history of their forebears.
Ever since then, the two halves of what was once a single Wolf Clan have lived separate lives. The Crusader Wolves sought to regain their strength, raiding the Smoke Jaguars and staging the so-called Harvest Trials in Clan space to rebuild their Touman. Vlad Ward entered into a short-term alliance with Falcon Khan Marthe Pryde to ensure the survival of both Clans. During the Trial of Great Refusal, Clan Wolf fought along side of the surviving Smoke Jaguars, gaining a draw against the St. Ives Lancers.
The warrior caste still dominates, but Wolf society is more open and egalitarian than most Clans. Personal freedoms form a major part of Wolf Clan life for every member, warrior or civilian. Each individual holds his or her own political views and attitude to religion, for example, and may express himself (artistically or otherwise) as he or she chooses. The “conformist culture” believed by outsiders to be typical of all the Clans is at its weakest among the Wolves; however all individuals are expected to follow the orders of their superiors and to work for the good of the Clan.
In shaping the Crusader Wolves, Khan Vlad Ward has adopted a more authoritarian stance, and his forcible recruitment of civilians as freeborn warriors to bulk out the Wolf Touman has strained inter-caste relations.
The Wolves have always been consummate politicians, and both factions are adept at wars of words. Vlad Ward of the Crusaders has displayed a ruthlessness that allowed him to rebuild his Clan as well as shatter the ambitions of the Jade Falcons and Ice Hellions. Though his hard line policies have earned him few friends and cost the Wolves several allies, his staunch Crusader viewpoint allowed him to remain at the heart of Clan politics despite being head of the newest Clan. The Wolves have always believed in allowing bondsmen the opportunity to demonstrate their worth and earn adoption into the Clan. This practice formed the core of the Harvest Trials, which allowed the Crusader Wolves to skim warriors and other martial assets from other Clans.
The Wolves respect technology as a tool that allows warriors to achieve their maximum potential. Genetics is the most respected brand of the sciences because it enhances the Clan’s gene pool; cybernetics, by contrast, are reviled for seeking to turn individuals into something they are not. Few Wolf warriors use cybernetics, preferring vat grown replacement limbs. Many Crusader Wolves use enhanced imaging technology, however.
With the devastating losses of the Refusal War, Wolf Khan Vladimir Ward has been forced to take extreme measures to ensure the survival of his Clan.
His first and most ambitious decision was to rebuild all four Wolf front-line Galaxies at once. After refuting the attempted Absorption of the Wolves by Clan Jade Falcon, the Wolves reclaimed all salvage taken up to the battle on Wotan. As Wolf warriors and OmniMechs came back into service, Khan Ward identified a small, elite core of warriors around whom three Galaxies could be re-formed. To these he added upper quality garrison troops, providing them with OmniMechs when possible and giving them the best possible BattleMechs when not. To create the fourth front line Galaxy, he gave the unprecedented order that one full garrison Galaxy would be integrated with front line forces under a new Galaxy Commander. Currently, this new Delta Galaxy is considered somewhere between second line and front line troops in quality, but Galaxy Commander Katya Kerensky has wrought astounding improvements.
With troops being shifted to form four front line Galaxies, filling in all the ranks left vacant posed a formidable challenge. The reorganization left the garrison Clusters in shambles, and still Khan Ward did not have enough warriors qualified for front line duty. To address these pressing problems, the Khan recruited from lower castes for the garrison Clusters, putting them through Trials of Position against garrison level troops. The warrior who passed the Trials will server in garrison units until they can pass another Trial of Position against front line warriors. For the front line Galaxies, the Harvest Trials rounded out front line Clusters while serving Khan Ward’s political agenda.
The average Clan Wolf Cluster currently includes a command Trinary or Supernova, on ‘Mech Trinary, on Fighter Binary or Trinary and one Elemental Trinary, organized according to variety of schemes. A common variation includes mixing ‘Mechs with the Elemental Trinary. The Wolf Clan also fields an abundance of aerospace fighters; as the Refusal War was fought primarily on the ground, aerospace assets suffered markedly fewer losses than ground units.
Allies and Enemies
The philosophical switch of the “official” Wolves to the Crusader camp has caused relations with the Clan’s pro Warden allies, most notably Clan Coyote and Goliath Scorpion, to cool somewhat. However, it has also allowed a degree of cooperation with long time enemies like the Jade Falcons. Though little more than an alliance of convenience, Khan Vlad Ward and Khan Marthe Pryde of the Falcons have managed to put aside their differences for mutual gain during the crises of the past three years. Khan Vlad Ward’s actions to stall the ambitions of Khan Asa Taney and his Ice Hellions have earned the Wolves the hatred of that Clan, and a feud is brewing.
Surprisingly, ties between the Warden and Crusader Wolves remain strong. Unofficial channels have allowed individuals to communicate, and at least one high ranking member of the Crusader Wolves is a Warden sympathizer who has done much to aid the Warden cause. It is believed that Khan Ward knows of this individual’s actions but chooses to allow them to continue, providing a semi-official channel between the two groups and leaving the door open for future rapprochement.
Clan Space: 10 (9 shared, 1 exclusive)
Inner Sphere: 83
The Crusader Wolves have the largest number of assets in the Clans, holding the bulk of the Free Rasalhague Republic as well as a then strip of the Federated Commonwealth. They also have one of the largest holdings in Clan Space. Though they remain militarily weak, their Inner Sphere holdings seem relatively safe. The Jade Falcons are weak as well, and must pay considerable attention to their other neighbors: the Lyran Alliance and the ARDC.
Clan Wolf’s other main rivals, the Ghost Bears, seem content with their own occupation zone. Consequently, Khan Ward had been able to devote considerable resources to maintaining and expanding his Wolves Clan space holdings. On Eden and Circe, Clan Wolf seized sections of the Smoke Jaguar enclaves, as well as taking complete control of the world of Tranquil. In partnership with the Hell’s Horses, Khan Ward has even challenged for former Nova Cat assets on Hoard, as much to annoy the Ice Hellions as for practical gain. The Wolves and Horses have so far each occupied roughly 10 percent of the planet. The Ghost Bears seized three Wolf worlds in 3061, perhaps an indication that they are no longer content to occupy only their current holdings, possibly a precursor to an invasion into wolf occupation zone, or maybe simply a warning to Khan Vlad Ward. Khan Ward’s reaction was somewhat surprising; he allowed Clan Hell’s Horses to bid for possession of three Wolf worlds on the border of the Ghost Bear dominion, effectively giving them an occupation zone of their one and clearly hoping that the Horses will curb Bear adventurism.