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Clan History


 Background

In my dreams it comes to me, leaping from the dark corner of my mind that hides all the things I would rather forget. I try to ignore it, but it has the persistence of a million gnats. In vain, my subconscious throws up a defensive screen. I knows me in all my guises - warrior, lover, carouser - and it hungers for me.

I never see the shape of the cat. It never shows itself as the sleek, black-furred, ruthless predator I judge myself against each waking moment. It comes as the specter I most fear and as the object of my greatest desire. It rushes through my blood like adrenaline before combat, sweeping me high above my enemies. From my superior position I sneer down at those others' pathetic attempts at victory. Those others will never feel the intense, glorious sensations overwhelming my body and mind - the air smells impossibly crisp and clean, blades of grass caress my bare feet in a tantalizing embrace, I see each pinion of the brilliant emerald feathers of my rivals as they fall upon their foes. I have surpassed even the great birds.

None can assail me. Like Icarus I fly, higher and higher, until, like Icarus, I fall. The wind burns my cheeks, my eyes fill with water, the ground opens like a gaping black maw to swallow me - I fall back into my weak, cluttered mind. And another shape stirs in the dark corner of my subconscious...
-- From random mutterings recorded during a Clan Nova Cat MechWarrior's convalescence in a ComStar hospital while recovering from injuries received on Tukayyid.

          Spiritualistic, farseeing, deadly. The Nova Cats are unique amongst the warrior Clans. More philosophers and dreamers than warrior, these children of Kerensky differ from their brethren in that they rely heavily upon mystic visions which tell the future. While the other Clans scoff at the Nova Cats reliance of visions, it should be noted that a surprising number of these predictions have come true.

          The Nova Cat's first Khan, Phillip Drummond, is the only one succeeded in Clan history by his own child. Sandra Rosse rose quickly through the ranks. When it became apparent that her father's health was failing, Sandra challenged him to a Trial of Grievance and took his place as Khan. Following in her father steps, Khan Sandra Rosse guided the Nova Cats to many victories and helped set the standards to which all Nova Cat warriors adhere to. Chief amongst her contributions was giving her Clan a spiritual way of life.

          During the Golden Century, the Nova Cats, along with the Diamond Sharks, amassed tremendous wealth speculating on Clan explorations and mining. Khan Sandra Rosse allowed the Nova Cat merchants the freedom to do their jobs as they saw fit. This action contributed greatly to the Cats' future success.

          Other Clans often point to the fact that Clan Nova Cat was the only Clan forged by a member of the Exodus who did not belong to the Star League Defense Force to explain that Clan's unconventional nature and sometimes disturbing customs. The freedom they allow their merchant caste, their emphasis and reliance on innovative economic measures, and their deeply spiritual nature set Clan Nova Cat dramatically apart from Nicholas Kerensky's other descendants. The beginnings of these policies can be traced directly to the founder of Clan Nova Cat, Phillip Drummond, and to the influence of Anna Rosse.

Tukayyid

          When ilKhan Kerensky met with the Khans of the other invading Clans to discuss the plan that would come to be known as the Truce of Tukayyid, he found it a hard sell. The Jade Falcon and Ghost Bear Khans opposed this premature conclusion to the invasion, though they certainly recognized the advantage to battling for Terra on a proxy planet to avoid unnecessary collateral damage. Khans Osis and Weaver of Clan Smoke Jaguar bitterly resented the implication that the Clans could not complete the job they had begun and took offense at the mere idea of striking a bargain with an enemy proven dishonorable and contemptible. The Nova Cat Khans, always conscious of the price that any battle demanded in the coin of warriors and materiel, carefully considered the idea of the truce and accepted its value. When they asked Oathmaster Winters to seek confirmation of their decision in a vision, she could only describe again the tragic scene of the white mist enveloping all the Clans, claiming that it had been her recurring vision in answer to every question asked during the past year. The Khans impatiently dismissed her refusal to accept ilKhan Showers' death as the fulfillment of that prophesy and voted yes for Tukayyid.

          While Khan Leroux spoke out against the subtle plan fostered by Clans Jade Falcon and Smoke Jaguar to use the bidding process to maneuver Clan Wolf into landing last on Tukayyid, in the end Clan Nova Cat played along - after all, the price of victory was continued glory and a renewed opportunity to win the position of ilClan for itself. Confident of success against the mostly green ComGuard forces, the Khans bid elements of their two remaining functional Galaxies to take their objectives, as well as bringing forward the fresh troops of Gamma Galaxy. Their bid won them the right to land third on Tukayyid.

          In the Nova Cats' attempts to take the cities of Joje and Tost, they faced the veteran ComGuard Seventh Army, as well as divisions of the Twelfth Army stationed as reserves in the two cities. With Precentor Koselka's 278th Division detached from the Twelfth Army to battle Clan Wolf and the White Lions of the 349th Division facing Clan Jade Falcon, the remaining Twelfth Army units lacked any significant combat experience.

          Khan Leroux chose to launch the campaign with the Clans' efficient and effective hover-drop maneuver, placing the combat DropShips in the lower atmosphere to allow OmniMechs and Elementals to make a short drop without the confining, heat-dissipating pods used for higher-atmosphere drops. Unfortunately for the Nova Cats, the aerospace fighters of the ComGuards' 417th Division had gained air superiority over the Clan drop zone. The 417th's strafing and bombing runs wrought havoc on Alpha Galaxy. In the most damaging attack, a kamikaze run by a ComGuard Hammerhead fighter destroyed the Galaxy Command DropShip, along with the 30 OmniMechs and six Stars of Elementals of the Fourth Nova Cat Lancers' Bravo and Delta Supernova Trinaries. SaKhan Lucian Carns immediately questioned Alpha Galaxy's ability to take Tost after sustaining such devastating losses, but Khan Leroux led his troops against the city as planned.

          Gamma Galaxy and the remaining elements of Alpha Galaxy pushed past the 244th Division and rushed toward Joje, only to be stopped by the 417th and Ninth Divisions at the edge of the city's northernmost suburbs. The Ninth and 417th had, in fact, lured the Cats toward Joje, stalling the Clan offensive with a combination of vibrabomb fields, aerospace fighters and armor elements. The Nova Cats attempted to relieve the pressure by sending Beta Galaxy's 44th Nova Cat Cavaliers toward Tost, but reserve units from the Thirteenth and 431st Divisions crushed the Cavaliers along the road.

          By the third day of the fighting, Clan Nova Cat found itself perilously low on ammunition, but their fierce attacks had weakened Joje's defenders and forced the Ninth and 417th Divisions to retreat in order to regroup. Harassed by the ComGuard 467th Division's attempts to cut the Clan force off from its landing zone, saKhan Carns ordered Gamma Galaxy to withdraw toward the drop zone accompanied by a handful of damaged OmniMechs from Beta Galaxy and asked the units to advertise their presence. Meanwhile, the rest of Beta Galaxy's 'Mechs hid themselves under the surface of Lake Losiije, the only easily recognizable landmark in the area.

          As Carns had hoped, the unsuspecting 244th and 467th Divisions met at the lake in order to combine their weakened units and pursue the fleeing Clan force. As Precentors Slagle and Shykes tried to organize their troops on the shore, Beta Galaxy emerged from the water's depths and attacked. The Nova Cats shattered both divisions and captured several ComStar supply depots.

          Fresh from a successful rout of the Nova Cats' Alpha Galaxy, Precentors Colombini and Landaker of the Ninth and 417th ordered an all-out attack against the Clan forces now controlling the Losiije Lake District. Before Beta and Gamma Galaxy could make use of their captured supplies, the Ninth, 417th, and 116th Divisions threw themselves against the Clan forces in a fierce counterattack, successfully recapturing the supply depots. Faced with this setback, Khan Leroux ordered his battered MechWarriors to withdraw to their DropShips. The ComGuards harassed the Nova Cats all the way back to their drop zone, whittling the Clan force down to a single Trinary of surviving OmniMechs from Beta Galaxy.

          Having failed to capture either of their target cities, the Nova Cats were judged to have lost to the ComGuards despite the fact that they inflicted the most severe losses on their opponents of any other battle on Tukayyid. Oathmaster Biccon Winters had been right to interpret her vision literally. The white mist trailing behind each Clan was the ComStar liaisons assigned to each occupation zone, and it was the army of white 'Mechs belonging to the ComGuard that handed Clan Nova Cat its final defeat.

Post-Tukayyid

          The waning power of the Wolves and the Jade Falcons has created a power vacuum among the invading Clans, leading to further instability as other Clans in the invasion force jockey for power. At present, the Ghost Bears seem the most likely to lead a renewed invasion. The Bears have bolstered their troops with reinforcements from the Clan homeworlds, a development that poses a grave threat to the Draconis Combine worlds that lie above the truce line.

          Kurita raiders have staged near-constant raids against Clan Smoke Jaguar in recent years, which have prevented that Clan from effectively recovering from the heavy casualties it suffered on Tukayyid. Nova Cat raiders have begun harassing Smoke Jaguar forces recently as well, further hampering the Clan's attempts to rebuild. As a result, the Smoke Jaguars seem unlikely to challenge the Ghost Bears for leadership of the Clans. Clan Smoke Jaguar's weakness has filled its warriors with frustration and a fierce desire to prove they are still a force to be reckoned with - which makes the Jaguars a potentially dangerous enemy for their Clan brethren and Inner Sphere powers.

          Neither the Steel Vipers nor the Nova Cats have the strength to challenge the Ghost Bears, but both Clans are far from harmless. The Viper Khan, Perigard Zalman, has shown remarkable restraint while patiently rebuilding his Clan, which marks him as a canny and dangerous leader. Meanwhile, the Nova Cats continue to rebuild following their losses on Luthien and Tukayyid. Their weakened condition, however, has not prevented them from raiding worlds located above the truce line. Of the number of pitched battles they have fought with both the Draconis Combine and the Smoke Jaguars the most notable battles include the failed raid by the Black Summoners in 3056, which cost the Cats a full Trinary of omnimechs and a DropShip. Also, in summer of 3058, the Nova Cats were lured to the planet Wayland by members of the Northwind Highlanders and defeated the Smoke Jaguars new Tau Galaxy in a bloody battle reminiscent of Tukayyid.

          Clan Nova Cat however still largely keeps to itself, though rumors indicate a growing mutual admiration between Clan Nova Cat and House Kurita. Given the similar qualities of the spiritual attitudes of these two groups, some sort of collaboration between them seems a reasonable development.

Operation Bulldog

          It is also in this time period that Nova Cat Khans began a series of secret talks with the Draconis Combine. The two cultures, surprisingly, share a belief in mysticism and have cooperated on numerous occasions. In the years prior to Operation Bulldog, Khan Severen Leroux began having visions depicting a nova cat being devoured by a dragon. The events on Wayland gave credence to the implied warning. When Coordinator Kurita's ambassadors hinted at a possible invasion by Inner Sphere forces, Khan Leroux saw that as another sign. He ordered his emissaries to go along with the Combine's plans. In the weeks leading up to the invasion, Khan Leroux and Carns issued preemptive batchalls to the Combine leaders. These battles, heavily weighted in the new Star League's favor, would allow the Nova Cats to return to the Inner Sphere with no loss of honor. All troops who were captured would be granted warrior status and, where needed, assisted in the conquest of several Smoke Jaguar worlds.

          The Inner Sphere's invasion of Smoke Jaguar space has cost the Nova Cats their entire occupation zone and dozens of Clusters. These troops however have a new home as members of the new Star League Defense Force. These troops now serve as peace-keepers while the Combine reasserts its control over its recaptured worlds. This allows the Combine to shift troops to the Ghost Bear/Combine border.

Death of a Clan

          With the defeat of the Smoke Jaguars in the Inner Sphere and on Huntress, the Clans found themselves with the unprecedented prospect of an Inner Sphere invasion of Strana Mechty. The Star League Defense Force soon challenged the Clans to a Trial of Refusal over the invasion. If the Inner Sphere won, the invasion was over and the invading Clans would retain the worlds they had conquered. If the Clans won, the invasion would resume. The Warden Clans refused to participate in the Trial, leaving the eight Crusader Clans to face the SLDF. As the Smoke Jaguars had only two Binaries of troops left, it was decided that each Crusader Clan would only commit two Binaries to the battle.

          The Nova Cats played an unusual role in the Trial of Refusal declared by Prince Victor Ian Steiner-Davion. When Ice Hellion Khan Asa Taney made clear his intentions to renew the invasion, Khans Leroux and Carns saw little choice but to side with the Star League. Khan Leroux's visions foretold of certain doom for the Inner Sphere if anyone but the Nova Cats battled the Ice Hellions at Lyod Glacier. The two Khans convinced Prince Victor of this and led their troops in a hard fought battle that saw the deaths of Khans Leroux and Carns as well as Khan Asa Taney.

          With their leaders dead, it is unknown at this time who will now lead the Nova Cats. Before his death, Khan Carns committed the entirety of Clan Nova Cat to the Star League. How the Nova Cats will serve the Star League is presently unknown.

The Remembrance

          The Remembrance is an ongoing heroic saga detailing Clans history from the time of the Exodus from the Inner Sphere to the present day. The Remembrance is continually expanded to include contemporary events. Each Clans has a slightly different version reflecting their own opinions and experiences. All Clans warriors can quote whole verses of this marvelous epic from memory, and it is common to see passages from the book lovingly painted on the sides of OmniMechs, fighters, and even battle armor.

The wise Nicholas spoke to them all
Through the haze of their anguish;
His passion flowed through the doubt,
His conviction tore at the fear
He was become the living legend.
Phillip listened and believed;
He would follow this great man
As he had followed the father
Into Exodus, and hope.
-- The Remembrance (Clan Nova Cat), Passage 14, Verse 1, Lines 1-9

And in her vision the wolf howled,
But the nova cat paced steadily on,
Undisturbed by the petty battles
Others fought, trying to cage it within the bars of
Thoughtless sameness. The nova cat gazed
Straight ahead, its heart and mind devoted to
The Ways of Seeing, devoted to a more perfect life.
-- The Remembrance (Clan Nova Cat), Passage 50, Verse 5, Lines 26-32