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Abjuration, Trial of

When a problem with in a caste or Clan can be resolved by no other process, the troublesome element may be ejected from Clan society through a Trail of Abjuration. The target of the ritual is stripped of rank and caste, which places them outside Clan law, and is usually forcibly ejected from Clan territory. Members of the Clans may no longer even speak the name of the abjured member or Clan and, in the case of warriors, their genetic material is purged from the gene pool. A Clan may also abjure a warrior for negligence of duty or conduct unbecoming a warrior. The results of a Trial of Abjuration may be overturned by the Clan Council that enacted it or by the Grand Council.


An abtakha is a captured warrior who is adopted into his new Clan as a warrior.

Annihilation, Trial of

The ultimate punishment in Clan society, the Trial of Annihilation calls for the destruction of the accused. Such trials may only be carried out following a unanimous vote of the Clan or Grand Council, and may be invoked only for the most heinous crimes. Such sanctions have been declared against individuals, Stars and Clusters, and once was used against an entire Clan. Everything associated with the target (possessions, genetic material and descendants) is destroyed, and no member of any Clan may speak the name of those annihilated.


This is a rapid-firing, auto-loading weapon. Light autocannons range in calibers from 30mm to 90mm, and heavy autocannons may be from 80mm to 120mm or more. The weapon fires high-speed streams of high-explosive, armor-piercing shells.


The batchall is the ritual by which Clan warriors issue combat challenges. Though the type of challenge varies with each ritual, most begin by the challenger identifying himself, stating what is being contested, and requesting that the defender identify the forces at his disposal. Following the challenge, bidding for what forces will contest the challenge takes place. Defenders may request that the attacker risk something of worth comparable to what the defender is risking in the contest.


A Binary consists of two Stars and is commander by a Star Captain. A Binary varies in size depending upon the type of units it consists of. A Mech Binary consists of 10 OmniMechs or BattleMechs. An Armor Binary consists of 20 Tanks or 20 Vehicles of any type. An Infantry Binary consists of 50 Elemental troopers or 250 non-battlesuited troopers. An Aero Binary consists of 20 Aerospace Fighters or 20 VTOLs. A Naval Binary consists of 10-12* Warships or JumpShips or DropShips. * Warship and JumpShips Binaries often include an additional Command Vessel.


The Bloodcount is the number of active Bloodrights associated with a Bloodname, and thus the number of individuals who may use that Bloodname. Traditionally, this number is twenty-five, but in the case of inferior Bloodnames, the count may be as few as five. The process for reducing a Bloodcount is known as Reaving, and the process for increasing it is called Propagation. A Bloodcount may also be reduced by Abjuration or by an ilKhan's decree.


The history of the Bloodnamed warriors of a particular Bloodright is called the Bloodheritage.


Blooding is the ritual in which a Clan candidate is officially recognized by his Clan, also known as "whelping" in Clan Wolf. Birthing is a complex, ritualistic ceremony. The candidate must first demonstrate physical prowess in personal combat against two Clan warriors. Then the candidate must be verbally defended by Clan warriors when he or she is challenged by representatives from other Clans, or else face those representatives in mortal combat. The Trial of Position is sometimes also referred to as the Blooding.


Bloodname refers to the surname of each of the 800 warriors who stood with Nicholas Kerensky during the Exodus Civil War. These 800 are the foundation of the Clans' elaborate breeding program. The right to use on of these surnames has been the ambition of every Clan warrior since the system was established. Only 25 warriors, which corresponds to 25 Bloodrights, are allowed to use any one surname at any one time. When one of the 25 Bloodnamed warriors dies, a trial is held to determine who will assume that Bloodname. A contender must prove his Bloodname lineage, then win a series of duels with other competitors. Only Bloodnamed warriors are allowed to sit on the Clan Councils or are eligible to become Khan or ilKhan. Most Bloodnames have gradually been confined to one or two warrior classes, however, certain prestigious names, such as Kerensky, have shown their genetic value by producing excellent warriors in all three classes (MechWarrior, Fighter Pilot and Elemental). Bloodnames are determined matrilineally, at least after the original generation. Because a warrior can only inherit from his or her female parent, he or she have a claim to only one Bloodname.

Bloodname House

The warriors bearing or eligible to bear a Bloodname from a Bloodname House. The House acts as a substitute family for the warriors and exerts considerable political influence in the Clans. In some Clans, most notably the Fire Mandrill Kindraas and the Cloud Cobra Cloisters, groups of Bloodname Houses form together to form larger, more powerful associations. After the first generation, Bloodnames are determined matrilinealy and so a warrior may only claim membership of one Bloodname House.


A specific Bloodname lineage is called a Bloodright. Twenty-five Bloodrights are attached to each Bloodname. A Bloodright is not a lineage per se, because the warriors who successively hold a Bloodright might only be related through their original ancestor. As with Bloodnames, certain Bloodrights are considered more prestigious than others, depending largely on the Bloodheritage.

Bloodright, Trial of

A series of one-on-one, single elimination battles is used to determine who wins possession of a Bloodname. Each current Bloodnamed warrior in that Bloodname House nominates one candidate. The head of the House nominates additional candidates to fill 31 slots. The 32nd slot is filled by those who qualify for the Bloodname but who were not nominated and therefore must fight in and win the Grand Melee to win the 32nd slot. The nature of the competition is determined by the "coining." Each combatant places his personal medallion, a dogids, into the "Well of Decision." An Oathmaster or Loremaster releases the coins simultaneously, so that only chance determines which coin falls first to the bottom of the well. The warrior whose coin lands on top chooses the manner of combat ('Mech versus 'Mech, barehanded, 'Mech versus Elemental, and so forth). The other warrior chooses the venue of the contest. Though these Bloodname duels need not be to the death, the fierce combat and the intensity of the combatants often leave the losing candidate mortally wounded or dead.


The woven bracelet worn by bondsmen is known as a bondcord. Warrior-caste bondsmen wear a three-strand bondcord on their right wrist, with the color and patterning of the cords signifying the Clan and unit responsible for the warriors capture. The cords represent: Integrity, Fidelity and Prowess. The bondholder may cut each strand as he or she feels the bondsman demonstrates the associated quality. According to tradition, when the final cord is severed, the bondsman is considered a free member of his or her new Clan and adopted into the warrior caste. Each Clan follows this tradition to varying degrees: for example, Clan Wolf accepts nearly all worthy individuals regardless of their past, while Clan Smoke Jaguar generally chose to adopt only trueborn warriors.


A Bondholder is the individual, traditionally the member of the warrior caste responsible for the bondsman's capture, to whom he or she "belongs." The Clan considers the bondholder responsible for the actions, education and punishment of the bondsman.


A captured warrior, called a bondsman, is considered a member of the laborer caste until the capturing Clan releases him or promotes him back to warrior status. A bondsman is bound by honor, not by shackles. Custom dictates that even Bloodnamed warriors captured in combat be held for a time as bondsmen. All bondsmen wear a cord, a woven bracelet. The base color of the bondcord indicates to which the Clan the individual belongs, and the striping indicates which unit captured him.


Clan custom which allows a bondsman's master to slay him in one-on-one combat. Tradition requires that the bondsman does not fight but accepts death at the hands of his master.

Brian Cache

A Clan equipment store, usually one established during the demobilization process Kerensky created upon arriving in the Pentagon. The name is derived from the Star League Castle Brian fortresses.


Clan slang for the artificial wombs used in the eugenics program of the warrior caste.

Canister Born

Clan slang for the artificial breeding element of the eugenics program or the trueborn warriors that result from that process.


Clan society is rigidly divided into five castes: Warrior, Scientist, Merchant, Technician, and Laborer. Each caste has many subcastes, which are based on specialties within a professional field. The Warrior caste is based on a systematic eugenics program that uses the genes of prestigious, successful current and past warriors to produce new members of the caste (see Sibko). These products of genetic engineering are know as trueborns. Other castes maintain a quality gene pool by strategic marriages within each caste.


Anything or anyone who challenges the Clan caste system is considered a chalcas.

Chronicle of Battles

Once a month, the warriors of Clan Nova Cat gather at a designated place at midnight, outdoors if possible, and perform the Chronicle of Battles. This ritual retelling of tales that describe the Clan's most impressive battles and victories inspires the current warriors to strive for similar greatness and reminds them that victories may also be won through superior strategy and planning, long before the warriors even reach the battlefield.

Circle of Equals

The area in which a trial takes place is known as the Circle of Equals. It ranges in size from a few dozen feet for personal combat to tens of miles for large scale trials. Though traditionally a circle, the area can be any shape.


During the fall of the Star League, General Aleksandr Kerensky, commander of the Regular Star League Army, led his forces. out of the Inner Sphere in what is know as the First Exodus. After settling beyond the Periphery, more than 1,300 light years away from Terra, Kerensky and his followers settled in a cluster of marginally habitable star systems near a large globular cluster that hid them from the Inner Sphere. Within fifteen years, civil war erupted among the exiles, threatening to destroy everything they had worked so hard to build. In the Second Exodus, Nicholas Kerensky, son of Aleksandr, led his followers to one of the worlds of the globular cluster to escape the new war. It was there on Strana Mechty that Nicholas Kerensky first conceived and organized what would one day be known as the Clans.


The political-military factions of Clan Cloud Cobra, organized around religious beliefs.


A Cluster consists of 5 Binaries, Trinaries, Novas or SuperNovas and is commanded by a Star Colonel. A Cluster varies in size depending upon the type of units it consists of. Clusters are usually made up of mixed units such as mechs, infantry and air support. Except for Clan Hell's Horses, vehicles are generally viewed as inferior to Mechs and are piloted by freeborn units and serve in secondline solahma or garrison units. Frontline Clusters usually consist of OmniMechs, Elementals and OmniFighters. Secondline Clusters usually consist of BattleMechs, Vehicles and Standard Infantry.


Each warrior's codex is his or her individual identification. It includes the names of the original Bloodnamed warriors from which a warrior is descended. It also includes his generation number, Blood House, and codex ID, an alphanumeric code noting the unique aspects of that person's DNA. See also Master Codex.


An agreement can be made between the commanders of two units by which the commander of one may include the units of the other in his bidding for rights to a battle or trial. During the invasion of the Inner Sphere, Cluster commanders within Galaxies frequently made contracts to allow greater, and often more extravagant, bidding, yet still maintain a good mix of BattleMech, Elemental, and fighter combat units.


The personal aide to a Star Colonel or garrison commander.


A Crusader is a Clansman who espouses the invasion of the Inner Sphere and the re-establishment of the Star League by military force. Most Crusaders are contemptuous of the people of the Inner Sphere, whom they view as barbarians, and of freeborns within their own Clans as well.


The minimum force necessary to win any trial for which there has been bidding. Bidders who can push their opponent into making a bid below the cutdown are considered clever. Commanders who win with a force smaller than the cutdown are greatly honored.


A fighting unit which disgraces itself is known as a dezgra unit. The name also refers to the ritual whereby that unit is marked and punished. Any unit that refuses orders, panics in the face of the enemy, or takes dishonorable action is disgraced. The unit warriors are given a choice: immediate execution or the dezgra: "disgraced expulsion." In pre-invasion days, dezgra warriors who chose to live were sent to one of several marginally habitable worlds and left to survive or die on their own. After five years, the survivors were allowed to return, but without any guarantee of acceptance back into society. Since Tukayyid, some dezgra units have hired themselves as mercenaries. It is unlikely that any Clan will accept a dezgra unit after it has served five years as a mercenary unit, because Clan warriors consider mercenaries below even the lowest caste. Dezgra units must, by Clan law, remove all Clan markings from their weapons and uniforms and wear what historians would immediately recognize as the crest of the hated Amaris family.


Becuase interstellar Jumpships must avoid entering the heart of a solar system, they must "dock" in space at a considerable distance from a system's inhabited worlds. Dropships were developed for interplanetary travel. As the name implies, a Dropship is attached to hardpoints on a Jumpship's drive core, later to be droped from the parent vessel after in-system entry. Though incapable of FTL travel, Dropships are highluy maneuverable, well armed, and sufficiently aerodynamic to take off from and land on a planetary surface. The journey from the jump point to the inhabited worlds of a system usually requires a normal-space journey of several days or weeks, depending on the type of star.


The leader of a Clan Cloud Cobra Cloister.


Elementals are the elite battle-suited infantry of the Clans. These men and women are giants, bred specifically to handle Clan developed battle armor.

Enhanced Imaging (EI)

EI refers to implanted neurocircuitry that allows a MechWarrior or Elemental to better control his or her machine. Though EI implants greatly enhance a warrior's reaction time, evidence suggests that equipment eventually causes paranoia and outright madness.

Eugenics Program

The Clans believe strongly in the principals of eugenics, the improvement of the population by controlled breeding. The Clans implement such a program along two distinct strands. The warrior caste uses an artificial breeding program based on genetic engineering and incubation in artificial wombs (see Canister) in order to create the ultimate warriors. In the civilian castes, a system of mandatory arranged marriages provides a similar but less technical means of advancement. According to a strict definition, both these methods may be called eugenics, but within the Clans only the artificial breeding program is commonly referred to as such.

Forum of Law

The Clan Nova Cat Oathmaster Grand Melee is divided into two parts: the first is a Circle of Equals which all members of the Clan, regardless of caste, are allowed to participate in; the winner of that contest must then prove, to the satisfaction of the Khans and his opponents from the Circle of Equals, his or her knowledge of the Nova Cat version of The Rememberance, Clan Law, Nova Cat tradition and the many exceptions made to law and tradition this part is known as the Forum of Law.


The The Founder is the Clan name for Nicholas Kerensky, who founded the Clans.


This epithet, used by trueborn members of the warrior caste, is a mortal insult to another trueborn warrior. It generally expresses disgust or frustration. 


An individual conceived and born by natural means is called a freeborn. Because the Clans value their eugenics program so highly, a freeborn is automatically assumed to have little potential. 


A Galaxy consists of 3-5 Clusters and is commanded by a Galaxy Commander. A Galaxy varies in size depending upon the type and size of Clusters it consists of.

Galaxy Commander

A Galaxy Commander commands a Galaxy which consists of several Clusters, and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Lieutenant General.


This is the sample of DNA taken from a dead warrior. The giftake is considered the warrior's best DNA sample, and the one most likely to produce improved warriors. Grand Council The Grand Council is the body responsible for governing the Clans as a whole. It consists of the assembly of Khans, two from each Clan, as well as the ilKhan (if one exists). It's authority covers any matters involving more than one Clan, and it also determines general policy for Kerensky's descendants. The Grand Council serves as the highest court of the Clans.

Grand Council

The Grand Council is the body responsible for governing the Clans as a whole. It consists of the assembly of Khans, two from each Clan, as well as the ilKhan (if one exists). It's authority covers any matters involving more than one Clan, and it also determines general policy for Kerensky's descendants. The Grand Council serves as the highest court of the Clans.

Grand Melee

A free-for-all battle offering no target restrictions and ignoring the rules of zellbrigen. Any trial may become a grand melee if a participant violates zellbrigen by firing on a target already engaged in combat with another participant. The battle to determine the 32nd slot in a Trial of Bloodright is by default a grand melee.

Great Father, The

The Great Father is the Clan name for Nicholas Kerensky's father, General Aleksandr Kerensky, who led the SLDF into exile.

Grievance,of Trial

The Trial of Grievance is used to settle disputes between two parties. The victor in the match is deemed to be in the right. Often such trials are fought over points of honor, and often to the death.


Victorious Clan warriors sometimes extend the courtesy of hegira to defeated opponents. Hegira allows the opponent to withdraw honorably from the field without further combat or cost.


This term refers to the honor guard assigned to escort a giftake to the genetic repository.

Honor Road

Clan society is a warrior's society in which honor is a key important concept defining behavior and obligations. Honor road is a Clan code of conduct that is analogous to the Japanese bushido, the way of the warrior.


Among Wolf's Dragoons an Honorname is analogous to a Clan Bloodname. The surnames descend from the warriors who originally arrived with Jaime and Joshua Wolf when the Dragoons came to the Inner Sphere on an extended intelligence mission for Clan Wolf.


The ambassador-messengers that Clan Blood Spirit assigns to its allies.


The supreme leader of the Clans, elected from the members of the Grand Council. He or she also serves as the arbiter between Clans in times of crisis, acting with the power of the Grand Council. The ilKhan enjoys wide ranging powers in military matters, but his or her power is not absolute; the ilKhan answers to the Grand Council and his authority is limited to those matters ordinarily belonging to the Grand Council. The ilKhan normally may not interfere in events deemed internal to a Clan, but when the Martial Code is in effect they operate largely unhindered.

Inner Sphere

The Inner Sphere was the term originally applied to the star empires of human-occupied space that joined together to form the Star League. The states, kingdoms, and pirate domains just beyond the Inner Sphere are known as the Periphery. When Aleksandr Kerensky led his exiles out from the Inner Sphere, they traveled even beyond the Periphery to regions yet unknown.


An inquisitor is the official assigned to advance the prosecution's case at any Clan legal trial.


The spoils of battle that warriors can claim as their right, including bondsmen, are known as isorla.


Interstellar travel is accomplished via Jumpships, first developed in the twenty-second century. These somewhat ungainly vessels consist of a long, thin drive core and a sail resembling an enormous parasol, which can extend up to a kilometer in width. The ship is named for it's ability to "jump" instantaneously across vast distances of space. After making its jump, the ship cannot travel until it has recharged by gathering up more solar energy. The Jumpship's enormous sail is constructed from a special metal that absorbs vast quantities of electromagnetic energy from the nearest star. When it has soaked up enough energy, the sail transfers it to the drive core, which converts it into a space-twisting field.An instant later the ship arrives at the next jump point, a distance of up to thirty light years. This field is known as hyper-space, and its discovery opened to mankind a gateway to the stars.


The Keshiks comprise a combination of bodygaurd and command unit, usually serving a Khan. Traditionally, a Khan commands a Keshik, but in practice a Star Colonel oversees day-to-day matters. Keshiks range from Trinary to Cluster size.


Each Clan elects two leaders, or Khans. The first one, the Khan, serves as the Clan's senior military commander and bureaucratic administrator. The second Khan's position, or saKhan, is less well defined. He or she is second-in-command, carrying out duties assigned by the Khan. In times of great internal or external threat, or when a coordinated effort is required of all the Clans, an ilKhan is chosen to serve as the supreme ruler of the Clans.


A political-military faction within Clan Fire Mandrill composed of one or more Bloodname Houses.


This is a Clan war council. A Grand Kuraltai is a war council of all Khans of the Clans. Apparently, a Grand Kuraltai may be called only by the ilKhan at any time or place. A normal Grand Council, on the other hand, may be only convened by the petition of three or more Clans, and must be held at the Hall of Khans on Strana Mechty.


An acronym for "Light Amplification through the Stimulated Emission of Radiation." When used as a weapon, it damages the target by concentrating extreme heat on a small area. BattleMech lasers are designated as small, medium and large. Lasers are also available as shoulder-fired weapons operating from a portable backpack power unit. Certain range-finders and targeting equipment employ low-level lasers also.


The Loremaster is the keeper of Clan laws and history. The position is honorable and politically powerful. The Loremaster plays a key role in inquiries and trials, where is often assigned the role of Advocate or Interrogator.


This is an abbreviation for Long-Range Missile, an indirect-fire missile with a high-explosive warhead.

Martial Code

The Martial Code is a collection of rules and laws governing Clan actions in times of war. It's primary goal is to minimize the political prevarication that often accompanies Grand Council meetings, forcing the participants to keep to the matter at hand and to carry out business with the minimum of fuss. When in effect it also grants the ilKhan extraordinary powers, such as the right to dismiss any charges brought before the Clan or Grand Council that he or she deems frivolous.

Master Codex

The master codex is the master file of the Clan's breeding plan. The master codex records the DNA maps and codex name of every warrior born over the centuries.


A Nova is a mixed unit of OmniMechs and Elementals and is commanded by a Star Commander or a Nova Commander. It usually consists of a Star of OmniMechs supported by a Star of Elementals.

Nova Captain

A Nova Captain is the title given to an officer that commands a SuperNova. Though this rank is recognized among the Clans, some Clans see it as a violation of Nicholas Kerensky's original rank structure and so do not use this title, in those cases a SuperNova would be commanded by a Star Captain.

Nova Commander

A Nova Commander is the title given to an officer that commands a Nova. Though this rank is recognized among the Clans, some Clans see it as a violation of Nicholas Kerensky's original rank structure and so do not use this title, in those cases a Nova would be commanded by a Star Commander.


The Oathmaster is the honor guard for any official Clan ceremony. The position is similar to that of an Inner Sphere sergeant-at-arms, but it carries a greater degree of respect. The Oathmaster administers all oaths, and the Loremaster records them. The position of Oathmaster is usually held by the oldest Bloodnamed Warrior in a Clan (if he or she desires the honor), and is one of the few positions not decided by combat, except in the case of Clan Nova Cat (see Oathmaster Grand Melee).

Oathmaster Grand Melee

Performed once a year, the Oathmaster Grand Melee offers every member of Clan Nova Cat the opportunity to become Oathmaster. The Grand Melee provides two arenas in which the candidates must prove their worthiness - a massive Circle of Equals and the Forum of Law. On the longest day of the year, every member of Clan Nova Cat, regardless of caste, may enter the Circle of Equals and attempt to emerge victorious. The winner of that contest must then prove, to the satisfaction of the Khans and his opponents from the Circle of Equals, his or her knowledge of the Nova Cat version of The Rememberance, Clan Law, Nova Cat tradition and the many exceptions made to law and tradition, this is known as the Forum of Law. If the victor from the Circle of Equals fail this second test, the final opponent he defeated enters the Forum of Law. If that opponent also fails this test, the current Oathmaster keeps his or her position for another year.


A term of respect reserved for someone of higher rank.


Beyond the borders of the Inner Sphere lies the Periphery, the vast domain of known and unknown worlds stretching endlessly into interstellar night. Once populated by colonies from Terra, these were devastated technologically, politically, and economically by the fall of the Star League. At present, the Periphery is the refuge of piratical Bandit Kings, privateers, and outcasts from the Inner Sphere.


The smallest Clan military formation commanded by a Point Commander except in the case of Mech points. A point varies in size depending upon the type of units it consists of. A Mech Point consists of a single OmniMech or BattleMech. An Armor Point consists of 2 Tanks or 2 Vechicles of any type. An Infantry Point consists of 5 Elemental troopers or 25 non-battlesuited troopers. An Aero Point consists of 2 Aerospace Fighters or 2 VTOLs. A Naval Point consists of a single Warship or Jumpship or Dropship. Point CommanderA Point Commander commands a single Point of troops, and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Master Seargent. NOTE: The rank of Point Commander does not exist in Mech formations as there is only one warrior per Mech point.

Position, Trial of

There are two forms of the Trial of Position. The first - also known as the "Blooding" determines whether a candidate will qualify as a warrior in the Clans. To qualify, he must defeat at least one of three successive opponents. If he defeats two, or all three, he is immediately ranked as an officer in his Clan. If he fails to defeat any of his opponents, he is relegated to a lower caste. The Second form is known as the testing. It is held periodically and determines whether a warrior is qualified to maintain his or her rank. Those who perform as expected (against targets based on role, rank and age) maintain their rank, while those who perform better than expected "test up" (are promoted). Those who perform more poorly than expected "test down" (are demoted). A non-officer MechWarrior, Pilot or Elemental who tests down is relegated to a non-combat role or else transferred to a civilain caste.

Possession, Trial of

The Trial of Possession resolves disputes between two parties over ownership or control. This can include equipment, territory or even genetic material. The traditional batchall forms the core of the trial in order to encourage the participants to resolve the dispute with minimal use of force.


The vulnerability that a warrior, particularly an Elemental, feel when forced to fight without his accustomed weapons. The word is derived from "powerless."


This abbreviation stands for Particle Projection Cannon, a magnetic accelerator firing high-energy proton or ion bolts, causing damage both through impact and high temperature. PPCs are among the most effective weapons available to BattleMechs.


Propagation is the ritual of increasing the Bloodcount associated with a particular Bloodname. A Bloodcount reduced by Reaving may be increased on the advice of the scientist caste and after a vote of the Grand Council. This motion may be opposed by a Trial of Refusal known as a Trial of Propagation, but no penalty attaches to either the aggressor or the defender in this case. (see Trial of Reaving)

Propagation, Trial of

A Trial of Propagation is a Trial of Refusal used to oppose the motion to Propagate the Bloodcount associated with a particular Bloodname. No penalty attaches to either the aggressor or the defender in a Trial of Propagation. (see Trial of Reaving)


These expressions are placed at the end of rhetorical questions. If an affirmative answer is expected, quiaff is used. If the answer is expected to be negative, quineg is the proper closure.


Clan custom dictates that a warrior who has been successful at his Trial of Bloodright may be rewarded with a gift by the Clan. Depending upon the warrior's success during the Trial, the ransom might range from the right to choose what type of weapon he will use as a warrior to the right to command a special unit. At the time Khan Natasha Kerensky returned from the Inner Sphere and then underwent her second Trial of Position, ilKhan Ulric Kerensky awarded her a ransom of the right to form the Thirteenth Wolf Guards.


Reaving is the ritual of reducing the Bloodcount associated with a particular Bloodname. Originally established to mitigate the impact of a poorly performing Bloodname, over time the Reaving has become a political tool used to control the number of warriors from a single Bloodname House, and therefore votes, in Clan Councils. A Reaving is called by a Bloodname House (rather than a Clan) against a Bloodname House that has announced a Trial of Bloodright. The Grand Council debates the merits of the Bloodname, and the mater is traditionally resolved by a Trial of Refusal, known as a Trial of Reaving, based on the results of the Council vote. If the pro-Reaving force wins the trial, the targeted Bloodname's Bloodcount is reduced by one and the Trial of Bloodright is canceled. If the defending force wins, the Trial of Bloodright takes place as scheduled and the Bloodname House that called for the Reaving suffers sanctions.

Reaving, Trial of

A Trial of Reaving is a Trial of Refusal used to oppose the motion of Reaving the Bloodcount associated with a particular Bloodname. If the pro-Reaving force wins the trial, the targeted Bloodname's Bloodcount is reduced by one and the Trial of Bloodright is canceled. If the defending force wins, the Trial of Bloodright takes place as scheduled and the Bloodname House that called for the Reaving suffers sanctions.


One of the many forms honor takes in the Clans, a rede is an honor-bound promise. Breaking a rede may be punished by death.

Refusal, Trial of

Any decision made by a Clan Council or the Grand Council may be challenged by a member of that body. The Trial of Refusal epitomizes the Clan belief that might makes right, with the victor of the trial being regarded as in the right. The odds of the battle are determined on a pro-rated basis, with the forces of the two sides matched according to the ratio of wining and losing votes. The challenger announces what forces they will use and the defender can field forces proportionate to the margin of success in the vote. For example, a Trial of Refusal against a decision that passed five-to-one could give the defender a force five times the size of that used by the challenger. In practice, the result of bidding among those wishing to defend the decision usually shifts the odds in favor of the challenger.

Rememberance, The

The Rememberance is an ongoing epic poem that describes Clan history from the time of the Exodus to the present day. Each Clan maintains it's own version, reflecting it's opinions and perceptions of events. Inclusion in The Rememberance is one of the highest honors possible for a member of the Clans. All Clan warriors can recite passages from The Rememberance from memory and written copies of the book are amoung the few non-technical books allowed in Clan society. These books are usually lavishly illustrated in a fashion similar to the illustrated manuscripts and Bibles of the medieval period. Warriors frequently paint passages of The Rememberance on the sides of their OmniMechs, OmniFighters and Battle Armor.


This term refers to a particularly gifted warrior on his or her way to high position. It is probably derived from the expression "rising star."


A Clan rite by which the defending force allows the attacker to deploy onto the battlefield without threat of attack. Once safcon is invoked, the defending force commander is not required to detail the forces at his command, as per the rules of batchall.


The junior Khan of a Clan is known as the saKhan. The saKhan's position is less well defined as the Khan's. He or she is second-in-command, carrying out duties assigned by the Khan, which are usually ones that the Khan does not feel are worthy of his/her time or are considered mundane.


A Clan council may cast a veto, called a satarra, to settle or postpone disputes between the castes within their jurisdiction. Satarra is invoked only when negotiations between the opponents seem at an impasse and/or threaten to disrupt the work order of the Clan. It seems to be more a ritual than an act of legislation.


A Clan epithet


This word is the ritual response voiced in unison by those witnessing solemn Clan ceremonies, rituals, and other important gatherings. No one is sure of the origin or exact meaning of the word, but it is uttered only with the greatest reverence and awe.


Derogatory name used within Clan Jade Falcon for those members of sibkos who underwent accelerated training and whose Trial of Position consisted of the Coventry campaign. This term is also used as a derogatory epithet to imply poor training or a young, inexperienced warrior of any kind.


Members of the same sibko


A group of children from the warrior caste eugenics program who have the same male and female geneparents and are raised together is known as a sibko. As they mature, they are constantly tested. Additional members of the sibko fail at each test, and are transferred to lower castes. A sibko consists of approximately 20 members, but usually only four or five remain at the time of the final test to become warriors, the Trial of Position. These tests and other adversities may bind the surviving sibkin together.


Clan warriors too old to serve in mainstream frontline units are assigned to solahma units. The members of such units generally seek suicide missions in order to die in combat, but most often they serve in garrison troops.


This is the abbreviation for Short Range Missiles, direct tragectory missiles with high-explosive or armor-piercing explosive warheads. They have a range of less than one kilometer, and are accurate only at ranges of less than 300 meters. They are more powerful, however, than LRMs.


A Star consists of five Points usually commanded by a Star Commander. A Star varies in size depending upon the type of units it consists of. A Mech Star consists of 5 OmniMechs or BattleMechs. An Armor Star consists of 10 Tanks or 10 Vechicles of any type. An Infantry Star consists of 25 Elemental troopers or 125 non-battlesuited troopers. An Aero Star consists of 10 Aerospace Fighters or 10 VTOLs. A Naval Star consists of 5-6* Warships or Jumpships or Dropships. *Warship and Jumpship stars often include an additional Command Vessel.

Star Admiral

A Star Admiral commands a Naval Star, and holds a rank equivolent to that of an Admiral.

Star Captain

A Star Captain commands a single Trinary, Binary or SuperNova and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Captain.

Star Colonel

A Star Colonel commands a single Cluster, and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Colonel/Major.

Star Commander

A Star Commander commands a single Star or Nova and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Lieutenant.

Star Commodore

A Star Commodore commands a Naval Point, and holds a rank equivolent to that of a Commodore.

Star League

The Star League was formed in 2571 in an attempt to peacfully ally the major star systems inhabited by the human race after it had taken to the stars. The League prospered for almost 200 years, until civil war broke out in 2751. The League was eventually destroyed when the ruling body, known as the High Council, disbanded in the midst of a struggle for power. Each of the royal House rulers (see Successor Lords) then declared himself First Lord of the Star League, and within a few month, war engulfed the Inner Sphere. This conflict continues to the present day, almost three centuries later. These centuries of continuous war are now known simply as the Succession Wars.


A Clan epithet, probably a corruption of "stran", meaning independant, and "vagon", meaning birthing.

Successor Lords

Each of the five Successor States is ruled by a family descended from one of the original High Council Lords of the Star League. All five royal House Lords claim the title of the First Lord, and they have been at eachother's throats since the beginning of the Succession Wars in 2786. Their battleground is the vast Inner Sphere, which is composed of all the star systems once occupied by the Star League's member states.

Successor States

After the fall of the Star League, the remaining members of the High Council each asserted his or her right to become First Lord of the Star League. Their star empires became known as the Successor States and the rulers as the Successor Lords.


A SuperNova is a mixed unit of OmniMechs and Elementals commanded by a Star Captain or a Nova Captain. It usually consists of a Binary/Trinary of OmniMechs supported by a Binary/Trinary of Elementals.


The surkai is the Right of Forgiveness. The Clans honor uniformity in thought and belief above all other tenets of their society. When warriors disagree, when a Clan disagrees with the Clan Council, or when a member of one caste offends a member of another caste, surkai is expected. It is a matter of pride that the offending party freely admit his wrongdoing and request punishment. Those who show great surkai are held up as examples to others for their willingness to accept the consequences of their independent thoughts. Those who do not show surkai when it is expected of them are viewed with suspicion.


The Rede of Forgiveness, or surkairede, is the honor bound agreement between the majority and the dissenters. According to the surkairede, once a dissenter accepts punishment for having disagreed with the majority, he should be allowed to resume his role in society without suffering any further disgrace for having spoken out.


Test-down refers to the demotion of warrior who do not perform as well as expected in their Trials of Position to maintain or advance in rank.


The term given to the fighting arm of a Clan.


A Trinary consists of three Stars and is commanded by a Star Captain. A Trinary varies in size depending upon the type of units it consists of. A Mech Trinary consists of 15 OmniMechs or BattleMechs. An Armor Trinary consists of 30 tanks or 30 vechicles of any type. An Infantry Trinary consists of 75 Elemental troopers or 375 non-battlesuited troopers. An Aero Trinary consists of 30 Aerospace Fighters or 30 VTOLs. A Naval Trinary consists of 15-18* Warships or Jumpships or Dropships. * Warship and Jumpship Trinaries often include an additional Command Vessel.


Used formally, this term refers to members of an extended sibko. Less formally, a warrior will use trothkin when referring to someone he considers his peer.


A trueborn is a product of the warrior caste's eugenics program.


Members of some Clans, most notably Clan Nova Cat, collect keepsakes of their battles. These items are called vineers, probably derived from the word souvenirs.


A Warden is a Clansman who believes that the Clans were established to guard the Inner Sphere from outside threats rather than to conquer it and re-establish the Star League by force. Most Wardens were therfore opposed to the invasion of the Inner Sphere.

Ways of Seeing

To help all members of Clan Nova Cat understand the value of mysticism in their lives, Nova Cat Khan Sandra Rosse wrote a spiritual guide called Ways of Seeing, in which she described her mother's mystic experiences and her own visions. This slim volume also outlined many rituals that warriors and others could perform individually or in groups to gain those same benefits in their own lives. Many of the rituals she described are still performed by Nova Cats today.


This is the Clan word describing the body of rules used to regulate and ritualize duels. Zellbrigen means that combatants engage in one-on-one duels, even both sides have many warriors. Those not immediately challenged are honor bound to stay out of the battle until an opponent is free (meaning he has defeated his enemy.) To attack an enemy already engaged with an opponent is a major breach of Clan conduct, usually resulting in at least loss of rank.