BattleMechs, thirty-foot-tall engines of destruction. Weighing up to a hundred tons and bristling with an awesome array of powerful weaponry, these fearsome war machines are piloted only by the best of the best, elite soldiers sworn to defend their Houses and homelands. From the Capellan Confederation to the Free Worlds League, from the forces of House Davion to the intrigues of the Draconis Combine, the fate of entire worlds rests on the skill and daring of the MechWarrior!
World of MechWarrior
It is the 31st Century, and mankind has spread across the stars. The discovery of feasible faster-than-light travel in the year 2108 was humanity's first step toward the colonization of thousands of new solar systems.
Mankind spread quickly, soon populating more a region of space more than 1,000 light-years wide: the Inner Sphere. As the human race spread, it brought with it the seeds of war. The conquest of the Inner Sphere led to centuries of petty brushfire wars.
In 2571, humanity earned a respite from the tide of conflict. The Star League, a new governing body, ushered in a golden age of prosperity and peace…
…a peace that was shattered by a bloody coup in 2767.
As the Star League fractured, each member of the ruling Star League Council declared himself the "rightful" ruler of known space, each laying sole claim to the Inner Sphere.
Dawn of the Successor States
At the time of the Star League's collapse, human-occupied space was dominated by five interstellar empires, each ruled by a Great House, powerful dynasties that wielded vast military and economic power. To this day, the Great Houses and their schemes and plots dominate the Inner Sphere.
Rise of the Clans
When the Star League collapsed, the commander of its armies led millions of his soldiers on an exodus from the Inner Sphere, hoping to keep the ideals of the League alive. The descendants of those original wanderers were tempered by harsh conditions, forged by a visionary leader into an unparalleled warrior society: the Clans.
In 3050, the Clans returned to the Inner Sphere, wielding advanced weaponry and superior military skill. The Clans attacked without mercy, seizing hundreds of worlds and striking terror in the hearts of the citizenry.
In 3058, the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere joined forces to create the Star League Constitution, a new version of the old and revered Inner Sphere government. The new Star League was created for a purpose, however: to end the threat posed by the Clan.
In order to stave off the Clan threat, Inner Sphere forces led by Prince Victor Steiner-Davion launched a daring assault on the Clan homeworld of Strana Mechty. Though many Inner Sphere MechWarriors died in the operation, the power of the Clan was broken, perhaps forever, by the skill and daring of MechWarriors!
From the Ashes
No one expected the invasion of the Clans to work. Most believed that the Clans would return to the Inner Sphere with Victor’s head on a pike. History would prove them wrong.
But while Victor was intent on smashing the Clan threat, his sister Katrina (Katherine) Steiner, ruler of The Lyran Alliance, usurped Victor’s rulership and took control of the Federated Commonwealth.
Katrina used the thinnest of legal precedents to seize Victor’s domain, angering many of the planetary dukes. Duke Erik Scharpe was one of the few who dissented.
Duke Scharpe - the ruling voice on Kentares IV - proudly claimed that his lord was Victor Davion and would remain so. Others loyal to House Davion flocked to his banner.
Now the stage is set for a bloody civil conflict on Kentares IV, a flashpoint that may send all of the Inner Sphere into the fires of war…" 2235: Tamar Pact created
2271: Free Worlds League formed
2299: Federation of Skye formed
2315: Terran Hegemony formed
2317: Federated Suns formed
2319: Draconis Combine formed
2341: Lyran Commonwealth formed
2366: Capellan Confederation formed
2375: Robert Marsden named Archon Basileus
2376: Articles of Acceptance signed
2395: Robert Marsden assassinated, Alistair Marsden named Archon
3039: War of 3039 begins, Katrina Steiner abdicates, Melissa Steiner-Davion named Archon
3040: War of 3039 ends, Katrina Steiner dies
3041: Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth created
3050: Clans invade Inner Sphere
3052: Battle of Tukayyid, Hanse Davion dies
3055: Melissa-Steiner Davion assassinated
3056: Federated Commonwealth officially created, Ryan Steiner assassinated, Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion takes control of Federated Commonwealth
3057: Lyran Alliance formed, Capellan Confederation and Free Worlds League invade Federated Commonwealth, Katrina (Katherine) Steiner-Davion named Archon of the Lyran Alliance. Arc-Royal Cordon (Kell Hounds) formed along the common Lyran Alliance border with Clan Jade Falcon.
3058: Invasion of Coventry by Clan Jade Falcon. Victor Steiner Davion comes to the aid of the Lyran Alliance with a multinational relief force and stops the invasion with diplomacy. The Whitting Conference is held on Tharkad in November 3058 resulting in the rebirth of the Star League. Sun-Tzu Liao named to post of First Lord.
3059: Victor Steiner-Davion leads force to shatter Clan Smoke Jaguar by launching a daring assault on the Clan homeworld of Strana Mechty. Yvonne Steiner-Davion, the younger sister of Victor Steiner-Davion, is left as regent of the Federated Commonwealth (FedCom) in New Avalon.
3060: Overwhelmed with responsibility and manipulated by her sister, Yvonne Steiner-Davion abdicates rulership of FedCom to her sister Katrina (Katherine) Steiner-Davion.
3061: Prince Victor Steiner-Davion returns to the inner Sphere to find Katrina (Katherine) Steiner-Davion in command of the whole Federated Commonwealth. Victor Steiner-Davion blocks his sister's attempts to become the next First Lord and is appointed as Precentor Martial of ComStar and Commander of the resurrected Star League Defense Forces (SDLF). Animosity grows between the Federated Suns and the Lyran Alliance. Protests mount against Katrina (Katherine) Steiner-Davion.
3062: While acting as 'peacekeepers' for ComStar in the disputed Lyons Thumb area of Lyran space, elements of the Draconis Combine 15th Dieron Regulars raid Skye. Current First Lord and Combine Coordinator Theodore Kurita annexes the 8 worlds of the Lyran-controlled Lyons Thumb.
3063: House Steiner (elements of the Donegal Guards) invade the House Davion world of Kentares IV, once ruled by the formidable Duke Dresari. Tensions and threats of open civil war between the former allies grow. Young Duke Ian Dresari liberates Kentares. Black Legion mercenaries stage a coup and retake Kentares from Ian Dresari for the Lyran Alliance Armed Forces (LAAF).
As Copied/Quoted From: House Steiner Battletech Game Sourcebook, Copyright 1987, FASA Corporation.
The Lyran Commonwealth was formed in 2340 as an amalgamation of three smaller mutual-defense leagues: the Tamar Pact, the Federation of Skye, and the Protectorate of Donegal. The original Lyran capital was Arcturus. Shortly after the outbreak of hostilities between the Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine in 2407, however, the Lyran government moved to its current location on Tharkad. Soon after, leadership of the Commonwealth passed from Alistair Marsden to his only heir, Katherine Marsden Steiner, and remains in Steiner hands to this day.
The Lyran Commonwealth currently consists of about 400 worlds. During the course of the first three Succession Wars, it had been slowly but steadily losing ground to the Draconis Combine, which had taken almost a fourth of the original Lyran territories (including more than half the old Tamar Pact worlds along the Draconis Combine border). The Fourth Succession War saw the complete reversal of that trend, however, with the Lyrans capturing 53 Kurita worlds, while losing only 2. That House Steiner retained those worlds during the 20 years between the end of the Fourth War and the invasion of the Clans says much about the strengths of the Federated Commonwealth. However, the Inner Sphere has been hard-pressed to stand up to the Clan invasion, and the Lyran Commonwealth has been second only to the Free Rasalhague Republic in number of worlds lost.
One reason that House Steiner has remained a formidable force in Successor State politics even in the worst of times is that its domain includes some of the most richly endowed planets in the Inner Sphere. These include Alarion, Coventry, Donegal, Summer, Tamar, New Karlsruh, and Hesperus II. The latter is the site of the Star League's greatest surviving supply depots and the largest still-functioning 'Mech manufacturing and repair facility in the Successor States.
Regardless of its military fortunes, the Lyran Commonwealth has consistently maintained its reputation for making money. Until many of its industrialized worlds fell to the Clan invaders, the Commonwealth's overall industrial output, particularly of non-military goods, outstripped all of the other Successor States. Even today, only the Free Worlds League surpasses the Commonwealth's GNP per capita. This economic growth has made the Steiner House currency the most stable in the Inner Sphere. Some of this success is due to human ingenuity, and some to the rich natural resources of the average Lyran member-world and to the relatively small amount of war damage sustained by the industrial plants of a few, key remote worlds. Over the years, the Archons of House Steiner have consistently sponsored innovative economic and trade policies, such as major tax advantages for industrial reconstruction projects, awarding land grants to successful entrepreneurs and victorious MechWarriors, and encouraging the activities of free traders. Many of these policies are still presently in force.
The Marriage Those who believed that Hanse Davion's greater age and experience would overshadow Archon Melissa have been proved wrong. Even before the Fourth War's end, the young Melissa showed that her mother had trained her well. Gradually assuming control over the Sarna March from the AFFS military, the Duchess made frequent journeys to the region, whose population remained hostile to the occupiers for years. Nor was she shy of taking a stand. When several key worlds in the Sarna March threatened to rebel because of alleged abuses by Davion occupation troops, the Duchess ordered those AFFS units pulled out of the Sarna March, to be replaced by Lyran troops. Melissa's husband may have been the person most surprised by her forcefulness.
The Steiner-Davion marriage has produced a family of five. Besides Victor Steiner-Davion, there are Katherine Morgan Steiner-Davion, born on November 16, 3032; Peter Ardan Steiner-Davion, born February 2, 3035; Arthur Andrew Steiner-Davion, born July 14, 3037; and Yvonne Steiner-Davion, born on the planet Liao in the Sarna March on March 15, 3039. Unlike Victor, who was raised by the Steiner's, these four were raised in both capitals. When Victor becomes Archon Prince, Katherine will become regent in the Federated Suns when the court is in Tharkad, while Peter will be regent of the Lyran Commonwealth when the court is in New Avalon.
The Federation of Skye is the industrial matrix of the Lyran Commonwealth. Currently led by Aldo Lestrade IV, the Federation has always been the most independent of the three founding members. With their heavy English-Irish-Scottish ancestry, most citizens of the Skye region tend to view the Commonwealth government and Steiner rule as a necessary evil. Indeed, this ambivalence has occasionally voiced itself in riots and several open rebellions. Though it might seem that the independent populace of the Skye region is a weak link in the Commonwealth's chain of strength, quite the opposite is true. When other Successor House Lords have tried to win them over with bribes or threats, the people of these worlds have been so insulted that they fought to defend their own honor and to protect the Commonwealth. If the Federation of Skye is the hub of the Commonwealth, the Isle of Skye is the heart of the Federation. It is a heavily industrialized world with a predominantly Anglo-Irish population. These are among the most insular people of the Commonwealth, and they rarely care about issues that do not directly concern their own welfare. Some petty corruption exists here, but it is only a minor problem.
The Rahnshire is the most heavily industrialized group of planets in the Lyran Commonwealth. It is also has the heaviest Oriental population in the realm. Politically, the Rahnshire shares the insularity of the Isle of Skye, but will fight fanatically to protect its own interests. Led by Endo, the ducal family of New Kyoto, the Rahnshire is famous for both its warriors and its ferocious corporate spirit. The heritage and innate pride of these people make corruption a rare occurrence among either the politicians or the nobility.
Virginia Shire is the poorest province of the three. These worlds lie in the path of the frequent Kurita invasions and so have suffered more than their share of war damage. Led by Duke Edward James of Alexandria, Virginia Shire is politically the most far-seeing. Where the other two provinces might balk at rules that restrict their individual identities, the people of Virginia Shire recognize that the security of each depends on the combined strength of the many. As might be expected, corruption becomes a common practice among the officials of these somewhat ravaged worlds when fighting off an enemy is not an immediate threat.
#1621 House Steiner: The Lyran Commonwealth
As Copied/Quoted From: House Steiner Battletech Game Sourcebook, Copyright 1987, Fasa Corporation, p. 67:
THE BATTLE FOR SKYE
"Invade Skye? Forcing Lord Kurita to grovel at our feet would be less dangerous than ordering us to invade Skye!
-Taped comments of Kurita 'Mech officer upon hearing his unit's assignment, recovered from body of ISF officer: in Military Information: Year 2895, Commonwealth Military Press, 2896
After the fall of Freedom and the loss of the 3rd Skye Rangers on its snowy slopes, the Lord Kurita turned his sights toward the planet Skye. Skye is much more than just another industrialized world. Even the fact that it is also the capital of the Federation of Skye does not explain this planet's importance. Skye is the emotional heart of billions who grew up thinking that its beautiful but austere vistas are the most lovely sights in the universe, outside of the British Isles.
The Archon realized this strong bond and so made the defense of the planet her top priority. She sent the Narhal Raiders, the 8th Donegal Guards, and twelve armor and infantry regiments to reinforce the 17th Skye Rangers already awaiting the invasion.
When the invasion came, the Commonwealth units responded with a fierceness never seen before. To this day, Commonwealth historians have not decided whether it was the shining moment of the LCAF or its darkest, vilest day. The Steiner forces committed many atrocities, including the 'accidental' deaths of Kurita prisoners and the use of a tactical nuclear device near Inverness to stop a Kurita thrust. Despite the horror and the fact that these incidents endangered the new rules of war, the Archon chose to look the other way.
The Battle for Bannockburn Bogs was the pivotal action of House Kurita's attempt to take Skye. A Kurita 'Mech battalion and a tank regiment were ordered to seize New Glasgow, the capital city of Skye. With a dark and fog filled night coming on, the Kurita force found its path blocked by a wide bog that could be crossed only by a narrow highway. They wasted what little light was left trying to cross the bog in a normal wide front, only to have their 'Mechs nearly swallowed up by the sucking ooze.
By now dark had fallen, forcing the Kurita forces to halt for the night on the highway while their tanks refueled.
The noise of the refueling obscured the sounds of two companies of Skye 'Mechs moving slowly through the bogs on paths known only to them. As dawn broke and the fog lifted, the Kurita forces, confined to long columns on the road, were surrounded by the Skye Rangers. The battle, which included heavy combat between AeroSpace Fighters of both sides, resulted in the destruction of most of the Kurita force, with the survivors having no choice but to retreat. It was a major victory for the Commonwealth, both militarily and emotionally. Though the invasion of Skye was to drag on for 13 more months, the Kurita forces were now on the defensive."