Northwind Highlanders


Prominent Commanders     William MacLeod
Major BattlesNorthwind3028
Wayside V3057
Huntress3062


          To most citizens of the Inner Sphere, the Northwind Highlanders are the current incarnation of the Scottish regiments of old. This view of them is flawed, but so many centuries have passed since mankind first set foot on an alien world that the truth often is obscured by the fog of time. To understand the current Highlander regiments, one must first examine their beginnings.

Ancient Origins

          The first Scottish regiments began to appear around the seventeenth century, raised to fight abroad or defend at home by the Crown or by barons and earls powerful enough to command a unit of men. The next two centuries saw the formation of dozens of Scottish regiments. During this period of military growth, the precursors of the current Northwind Highlanders were raised: the 78th Regiment of (Highland) Foot, the 78th (Highland) Regiment of Foot, the 79th Regiment of Foot (Cameronian Volunteers), the 75th Highland Regiment (Abercromby's) and the 100th (Highland) Regiment of Foot (Gordon Highlanders). These five regiments were all created within sixteen years of one another in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Like all the Scottish regiments, they served with distinction in nearly every war fought during the troubled times of Terran history immediately prior to man's first steps into space.

          As humankind learned to walk on the moon and technology linked the world in a single communications network, the global wars that had raged during earlier periods of the twentieth century began to decline. Consequently, Terra's nations began to downsize their militaries. In 1994, the last two Highland regiments-the Queen's Own Highlanders (Seaforth & Camerons), formed from the 78th (Highland) Regiment and 79th Regiment, and the Gordon Highlanders, formed from the 75th Highland Regiment and 100th (Highland) Regiment-were amalgamated to form the Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons & Camerons). This bittersweet joining marked the beginning of a period in which more and more of the Highland regiments' separate traditions and histories merged or were lost and forgotten as the world's governments evolved toward a central world power.

          In 2014, following the Second Soviet Civil War, the United States of America stood unopposed as Terra's strongest nation. When the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom called for "a new alliance of Western nations," the Western Alliance was born. One of the new government's first acts was to create the Western Alliance Armed Forces, a military that would differ from previous multinational armies. The WAAF was conceived as a single military under a single command structure and supplied with standard weapons and equipment produced by all member nations. Because the time was relatively peaceful, and in an effort to further bolster the new Western Alliance and WAAF, most member nations continued downsizing their own militaries. By 2086, with more than 80 percent of Terra's population represented under the Western Alliance, its name was formally changed to the Terran Alliance. In that same year, the universal downsizing of militaries that had gone on for several decades was almost complete; the WAAF had become the military for virtually all of Terra. All the Scottish regiments save for the Royal Black Watch Regiment and the Highlanders had been disbanded, and the two surviving regiments were hardly more than parade units barely fit for combat.

          The following years brought peace and great scientific achievements. A sense of "world pride" in Terra's unified government, however, did not evolve to replace the national pride that people had previously felt for their own countries, and apathy generally ruled the day. Discontent began to grow, particularly among the smaller member states, who often felt themselves eclipsed by their larger and more powerful partners in the Alliance. The launch of the Deimos Project, the top-secret endeavor that would culminate in the first successful hyperspace jump from the Terran system to the Tau Ceti System in 2108, aggravated this tension. The majority of the resources and currency required to fund Deimos was extracted from the smaller and poorer member states, who had no choice but to comply. The success of the Deimos project ultimately defused these nations' discontent, at least for awhile, by opening the doors to the universe. Colonies sprang up like weeds, offering many of the Alliance's less happy citizens the chance to free themselves from what they were beginning to consider the "Terran Alliance yoke."

          Expansion into the unknown reaches of space continued unabated for the next century. By the beginning of the twenty-third century, humans had established more than five hundred colonies on other planets. As humans claimed new homes on more and more worlds farther and farther from Terra and the cradle of humanity, the Terran Alliance found itself hard pressed to maintain control over them all. Its attempt to rule the colonies with the same heavy hand with which it had ruled a single planet eventually resulted in disaster; simmering discontent with the Alliance exploded in 2236, when the outlying colony of Denebola declared its independence from Terra. The Terran Alliance responded by sending in the Marines, who were dealt a surprising and crushing defeat. The fallout of the Denebola Rebellion led to seizure of the Alliance government by a new party, which wanted nothing to do with the colonies, and which severed all ties with colonial settlements that lay more than thirty light-years distant from Terra.

          The subsequent harsh restrictions enacted and changes made in the Terran Alliance prompted what was later called the first Exodus, as millions of Alliance citizens fled the planet of their birth in hopes of finding a brighter future on a new world. During this Exodus, Clan Stuart-a Clan whose lineage included kings and whose exploits were intimately entwined with Scotland's history-made the decision to build a new life on a new planet. The Highlanders regiment-a small parade company that the Scottish nation had declined to disband for sentimental reasons-went with Clan Stuart. Feeling that all the Scottish regiments had been betrayed by their native country's leaders, the Highlanders too hoped to start a new life and regain the glory that had been theirs of old. The Stuart clan bought the rights to a newly discovered world that resembled the Scotland of their ancestors, and named it Northwind, after the clan's ancestral home in the hills of northern Scotland.

A New Beginning

          The demands of making a new colony viable required every colonist to participate in the initial building of several cities on Northwind. The Highlanders regiment voluntarily disbanded and, to prove themselves worthy of joining Clan Stuart in the colonization effort, built the town of Kearny, a mining settlement. Several generations after landfall, the ruling body of Northwind-the Clan Elders-felt the time had come to raise a standing army for their world. In 2362, the First Kearny Highlanders were formed, followed by the Second and Third Kearny Highlanders, formed in 2363 and 2364 respectively. These regiments consisted of volunteers who were direct descendants of the Highlander Regiment that had settled on Northwind decades before. Three more regiments from other areas of Northwind were also raised in the latter part of the twenty-fourth century: Marion's Highlanders in 2369, McCormick's Highlanders in 2377 and Stuart's Highlanders in 2380. The Clan Elders' decision to raise its army proved a fortunate decision; the same year in which the last of these units was formed also saw the beginning of the era of savage conflict known afterwards as the Age of War.

          The six Highlander regiments quickly grew powerful and began hiring themselves out to the newly formed empires that were fighting over various star systems. The Capellan Confederation was among their most frequent employers. In the centuries that followed, each of the Highlander regiments carved a name for itself on dozens of battlefields scattered across a hundred different worlds in the realm of human-occupied space that had come to be known as the Inner Sphere. However, as the Highlander regiments spent more time away from their fellow clansmen and under the influence of other peoples and cultures, a rift opened between the military commanders and Northwind's political leaders. As the Age of War gradually gave way to peace, the Inner Sphere stabilized, which eventually led to the formation of the Star League. The pinnacle of humankind's achievements, the League represented all the better aspects of human nature. During this era, Northwind won great fame for the skills of its scientists. In addition, many of its warriors defected from the Northwind regiments and joined the Star League Defense Force; these soldiers felt no need to continue serving under the often unpleasant conditions forced upon mercenary units when they could serve with honor and distinction in a military such as the SLDF. Among the SLDF, the Northwind name became synonymous with excellence as many soldiers from that world rose to command regiments divisions and corps.

Royal Black Watch Regiment

          After Ian Cameron became First Lord of the Star League, his first acts was to create a unit that would, in his words, embody the traditions, heart and soul of the ideals of the Star League." With this in mind, he unveiled the Royal Black Watch regiment, which he had built around the core of the original unit same name. For centuries, Lord Cameron's family had kept the Black Watch alive and intact, attaching Black Watch, members to their personal guards. These soldiers' undying loyalty to their own traditions and to the Cameron family-to whom they had sworn fealty- convinced Lord Ian to form a new Black Watch regiment.

          The announcement of the new unit's existence startled, on Northwind, none more than the existing Highlander regiments. They had kept the oral histories and traditions of Scottish past very much alive, and remembered the long history their ancestors had shared with the original Royal Black Watch. Memories long dormant sparked to life in many Northwind Scots, and many who joined the SLDF served in the Black Watch, which was soon to become the most famous of units.

          Throughout the Star League era, mutual respect between Black Watch and the Northwind Highlander regiments grew. Overcoming several centuries of separation, members from all regiments of the Northwind Highlanders eventually served in the Watch. Stuart's Highlanders in particular proved to be kindred spirits with the Black Watch, and those two regiments exchanged an unusually large number of warriors.

Troubled Times

          In the waning years of the Star League, the Capellan Confederation sent ambassadors to Northwind in the hopes of enticing the Clan Elders to formally join the Capellan State. This fort widened the rift between the Highlander regiments and the Clan Elders-which had been growing slowly for decades into a chasm. The Highlander regiments saw the offer as an opportunity to profit from their warriors' skills. The Clan Elders saw it as a threat to Northwind's and their own independence. Clan Stuart split, with the Highlander regiments entering House Liao's service as mercenary troops. The fall of the Star League soon afterward formalized the break. Northwind, originally part if the Terran Hegemony, became an embattled world that, changed hands a number of times during the subsequent centuries of the Succession Wars. The Northwind Highlander regiments all became mercenaries, serving with different Houses at different times.

          During the Highlanders' self-imposed exile from Northwind, all six regiments became more and more tradition-bound. Officers took great pains to preserve the old ways and prepare for the eventual reunion with Clan Stuart on Northwind. Though all the regiments roamed from one employer to another, every generation of them dreamed of returning home.

The Pact

          During the First Succession War, when greed and vengeance drove the leaders of the Inner Sphere's Great Houses to unparalleled levels of barbarism, a select group of warriors within the Northwind Highlanders formed a pact to embody the high ideals of the vanished Star League. Though all of the Highlanders consider themselves upholders of those ideals, to the extent that some regiments even fly Star League colors under their own, these particular individuals were among the Star League's most fanatical devotees. All of them came from Stuart's Highlanders, the regiment that had shared the greatest number of beliefs and practices with the Royal Black Watch regiment. They formed a secret organization of sorts within the Highlanders, considering themselves members of the Black Watch regiment and holding themselves ready to step forward and proclaim themselves as such when the Star League was re-established.

          The sometimes obsessive secrecy that cloaked the organization arose from this same devotion to the pure ideals of the Star League. Members of this pact wanted only those with similar beliefs to know of their existence, rather than scatter proverbial pearls before swine. In accordance with this desire, new members could be chosen and inducted only it all the current members agreed to accept that candidate. A chosen candidate came under intensive scrutiny to verify that he or she would never betray the trust of the Black Watch. Throughout the centuries from the swearing of the pact to the present day, this secret Black Watch never had more than a dozen or so members at any one time. Though almost all of the Highlander regiments' senior commanding officers knew about the Watch's existence, only a select few became members of it.

The Darkest Hour

          During the Second Succession War, the Highlanders saw their dreams of returning home destroyed. In 2841, finding only Stuarts Highlanders and the Third Kearny Highlanders on Northwind, the Federated Suns launched a massive assault on the planet. Though the Highlanders fought to the last man 'in defense of their home, they were outnumbered badly, and the planet quickly fell to the AFFS.

          With the capture of the planet and the complete destruction of the two Highlander regiments deployed on it, the Highlanders' self-imposed exile became an exile in reality. This, combined with exaggerated Capellan accounts of AFFS soldiers mistreating the planet's population, sparked an enmity between the remaining Highlanders and House Davion that continued for almost two hundred years. Additionally, though this would not become common knowledge for centuries, nearly every member of the secret Black Watch was killed in action during the capture of Northwind. If not for the fact that a transfer had shifted one of the Black Watch members from Stuart's Highlanders to the Second Kearny Highlanders, the Watch might have ceased to exist. Since then, members carefully have arranged for their numbers to be spread throughout the remaining four regiments to ensure the Watch's survival.

          No longer tied to their homeworld, the Highlanders kept on the move throughout the remainder of the Second Succession War and into the Third, keeping in touch with their relatives on Northwind through Comstar. House Liao leaders occasionally promised the Highlanders that they would make an effort to retake Northwind someday, but that day never came.

Homecoming

          By the beginning of the Fourth Succession War, many members of the four remaining Highlander regiments were completely disillusioned with House Liao's unfulfilled promises. The regiments fiercely debated different courses of action open to them; some wanted to continue in service to the Confederation, while others believed they should open secret negotiations with the Federated Suns.

          The start of the Fourth Succession War momentarily silenced the argument. The Highlanders proudly faced the AFFS juggernaut on Ningpo and Jonathan, proving their battlefield skills yet again. Supplies and support from the Capellan military, however, were slow in coming and ill coordinated, leaving the Highlanders angrier than ever at their employer.

          The Highlanders' Senior Elder, Colonel Fiona Chattan, contacted the AFFS through the Clan Elders on Northwind in November of 3028. Prince Hanse Davion responded immediately by sending Leftenant General Ardan Sortek, his trusted advisor, to Northwind to secretly meet with the Clan elders, who reported on what was said using encoded messages concealed in their normal daily communiqués to the Highlander commanders in the field. The result of these talks was the Northwind Agreement, which took effect on 13 December 3028. Under the Northwind Agreement, the four regiments of the Northwind Highlanders renounced their allegiance to the Capellan Confederation, swore loyalty to Prince Hanse Davion and the Federated Suns, and joined the Armed Forces of the Federated Suns as mercenaries with certain unique rights. The most important of these guaranteed that the regiments would be staffed only by members of Clan Stuart and that they would never be asked to stray too far from their homeworld.

          On Highspire, Ningpo, Jonathan and Elgin, the Highlanders quietly began preparations for returning home. As the Highlanders, their families and their belongings materialized in the Northwind system, they wasted little time in helping to end the fighting on their world. Though the world's Davion defenders were hard pressed by attacking Kurita forces, the arrival of four regiments of Highlanders tipped the odds dramatically in House Davion's favor.

          When the fighting was over, the people of Northwind rejoiced as families parted for generations were reunited. Among the most moving incidents was the entrance of Colonel Fiona Chattan and the Highlander regimental commanders, each carrying his or her regiment's claymore (Scottish broadsword) into the grand Hall of Castle Northwind. They passed a huge wall-mounted scabbard that bore the two claymores of the Third Kearny and Stuart's Highlanders. As each commander stood before the scabbard, Colonel Chattan proudly read off the regiment's name, and its commander placed his or her sword in its appropriate niche. The Highlanders had finally come home.

Intervening Years

          After the Fourth Succession War and for the next several decades, the AFFS was true to its sovereign's word, and did not assign the Highlander regiments any duties that would remove them from Northwind. They acted partly out of obedience to the Northwind Agreement, but also because Northwind's location made it in the interests of the Federated Suns-which had joined with the Lyran Commonwealth to become the vast Federated Commonwealth-to stick to Hanse Davion's promise. Situated deep in the heart of the Terran Corridor, the section of the Inner sphere that connects the Lyran Commonwealth and the Federated Suns, Northwind was the ideal place for a garrison of four crack regiments that could hold Northwind and nearby planets in the corridor against would-be conquerors. Without a means of holding those worlds, the Federated Commonwealth would have been hard pressed to exist. But the Highlanders' presence in the area served House Davion's goals admirably. The regiments remained on Northwind even during the War of 3039, when forces of the Federated Commonwealth attacked the Draconis Combine in hopes of bringing House Davion's long-time enemy to its knees. The AFFC judged that the Highlanders were more useful to the Commonwealth if left to defend Northwind, in case Combine forces launched any counterattacks in the vulnerable corridor.

          By 3050, the Highlanders' peaceful garrison duty had changed only slightly, with the First Kearny Highlanders being posted to duty on the planet Errai. Even the initial arrival of the Clans did not change the Highlanders' day-to-day operations. Though the AFFC began massive troop movements to shift units up to the Clan fronts, the Highlanders remained on Northwind. Initially, critics of this policy believed that three decades of garrison duty had softened the Highlanders, and that the regiments were not given missions against the Clans for this reason. However, others pointed out that though the Clans were enemies of both the Federated Commonwealth and the Draconis Combine, centuries of warfare and atrocities committed by both Successor States could not be erased in a matter of months, and the Terran Corridor was still vital to the Federated Commonwealth's existence. Clans or no Clans, the Highlanders were still needed to protect this vital region of space from possible Combine assaults, while other units went up against the new common enemy.

Trouble Brewing

          After the Truce of Tukayyid, the Federated Commonwealth found itself short of quality military units with which to garrison its borders against the Clans, as most of the AFFC's elite troops had been destroyed fighting the Clan enemy. By 3053, seeing no alternative, the AFFC High Command finally turned to the Northwind Highlanders. With assurances that Clan border assignments would be brief-just long enough to buy the Federated Commonwealth time to produce more front-line units-three of the four Highlander regiments were given orders that would carry them far from their home planet.

          Though the Highlanders were still an elite fighting force, thirty years of peaceful garrison duty had taken away some of their edge. Even with three years' worth of knowledge about the Clans' superior technology and battlefield prowess, the differences between Clan and Inner Sphere opponents still caught the Highlanders off guard. During their initial year of garrison duty at the Clan border, all three of the regiments saw intense raiding that took a heavy toll. Stirling's Fusiliers took particularly devastating losses; by mid-3054, Clan raids had reduced the unit to a single battalion.

          Typical Highlander tenacity, however, saw the regiments through this time of trials, and a continual influx of new Mechwarrior recruits from Northwind's military academy soon began filling out their depleted ranks. The Highlanders also began to learn the tactics that other units had used to defeat the Clans, and were able to repulse further raids with only light damage to themselves and their garrison posts.

          In 3056, House Davion called on the Highlanders to relieve the battered Gray Death Legion, who were suppressing a Skye Rebellion uprising on the planet Glengarry. What should have been a minor clean-up action turned into a major disaster. Though the Highlanders successfully put down the rebels, the effort cost them dearly in lives and equipment. The Federated Commonwealth offered them replacement parts and equipment, but at a price three times the going rate, which forced the Highlanders to import less expensive parts from the Free Worlds League.

          By the year 3057, the three Highlander regiments were still on the Clan border, and they no longer believed Davion assurances of a return to Northwind "soon." Additionally, the AFFC liaison to Northwind had taken great pains to demonstrate to the Highlanders that they were part of the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth whether they wished to be so or not. Adding insult to injury, the regiments still had not received the promised reimbursement by the Federated Commonwealth for the Highlanders' extensive repairs after Glengarry. None of these events alone would have caused trouble with the regiments, but all three combined left the Highlanders extremely dissatisfied with their Davion employers.

Independance At Last

          In late 3057, the Free Worlds League and the Capellan Confederation launched a war against the Federated Commonwealth to reclaim worlds they had lost during the Fourth Succession War. The attack was successful beyond the wildest dreams of both militaries; world after world fell to the invaders. Katherine Steiner-Davion-sister to Prince Victor Steiner-Davion, ruler of the Federated Commonwealth-withdrew the Lyran half of the Commonwealth from the conflict, seceding from her brother's realm and forming the Lyran Alliance. During this time of chaos, Colonel William MacLeod, commander of MacLeod's Regiment and acting senior colonel of all the Northwind Highlander regiments, ordered the far-flung Northwind troops home. Disgusted with the treatment they had recently received from House Davion, the Highlanders eagerly followed MacLeod's orders. The Davion liaison to Northwind was furious at this blatant disregard of direct orders from the AFFC High Command to maintain their positions. However, Colonel Drew Catelli, commander of the Consul Guards (stationed on Northwind as part of the Northwind Agreement), had been secretly working with the commander of the Third Royal Guards to bring about just such a breach of contract. His machinations forced Prince Victor to summon the Third Guards RCT, waiting in orbit, to destroy the only regiment currently on Northwind-MacLeod's Regiment.

          During this time, Major Loren Jaffray of House Liao's dreaded Death Commandos arrived on Northwind. A descendant of the Highlanders, Jaffray was on a covert operation for the Capellan Chancellor, Sun-Tzu Liao; his objective was to deprive the Federated Commonwealth of the Highlanders and if possible to destroy them. Quickly gaining acceptance from Colonel MacLeod, Jaffray took to the field to fight on the Highlanders' side as they met the Third Royal Guards RCT on Northwind.

          The Highlanders' decision to fight their former employer did not occur without consequences, however. A portion of MacLeod's Regiment felt they were betraying a trust by taking up arms against the House they had sworn to serve. As the rest of MacLeod's Regiment met the FedCom forces in the field, they also faced their former fellows who had remained loyal to House Davion. Severely outnumbered and unwilling to unleash lethal firepower against their onetime comrades in arms, the soldiers of MacLeod's Regiment found themselves sorely pressed.

          But they were fighting for Northwind, their home, and, in the tradition of their Scottish ancestors, refused to acknowledge defeat. MacLeod's Regiment managed to prolong the fighting and hold out long enough for Stirling's Fusiliers to arrive as reinforcements. The combined Highlander units managed to defeat the FedCom forces and drive them off of Northwind. Major Loren Jaffray's mission for Sun-Tzu Liao was accomplished, and in the process Jaffray had found a new home.

A New Era

          Having declared their independence from any and all powers, the Highlander regiments began to rebuild, and also to look for a new employer. In an unprecedented development, the Highlanders accepted a contract from the Draconis Combine. Omi Kurita, daughter of the Combine's Coordinator and Keeper of the House Honor, arrived on Northwind to offer the Highlanders employment. Bringing with her a Highlander standard taken in battle by DCMS troops centuries before, she gave it to the Highlanders as a peace offering and a sign of respect, hoping it would help them put aside years of mutual mistrust.

          The contract called for a Highlander regiment to travel to Wayside V, a Deep Periphery world, and take it from the Clan Smoke Jaguar Provisional Garrison Cluster that held it. Wayside V was a major supply depot for Clan Smoke Jaguar, one of the last stops along their supply lines between the Jaguars' home world and the Inner Sphere. Stirling's Fusiliers received the contract and immediately departed for the deep Periphery.

          Upon reaching Wayside V, the Highlanders discovered that the planet was defended by an entire Galaxy of front-line Clan troops rather than the much smaller PGC they had been led to expect. And because they were in the Deep Periphery, the Fusiliers could not call for reinforcements. Unwilling to abort the mission, the Highlander unit made planetfall and began laying plans. Once again, Major Loren Jaffray-who had been given a command position with the Fusiliers by Colonel Andrea Stirling-proved his worth as he hatched a daring plan that promised to accomplish the mission.

          The plan involved masquerading as Smoke Jaguar troops and attacking selected Nova Cat targets in hopes of enraging the Nova Cats enough to provoke a counterattack against the Smoke Jaguar base on Wayside V. The gambit worked brilliantly, and Jaffray and his men arrived on Wayside V with the Nova Cats hot on their tail. The Smoke Jaguars and Nova Cats proceeded to destroy one another, while the battered but relieved Fusiliers looked on.

          Upon the successful completion of their mission, the Fusiliers traveled back to Northwind. At that time, the Clan Elders, in agreement with the leaders of the other Highlander regiments, decided to form a fifth Highlander regiment: the Northwind Hussars. This unit would specialize in anti-Clan tactics and would give the Highlanders an edge in any future battles against the Clans. By unanimous vote, Loren Jaffray, now a Lieutenant Colonel, was chosen to command the new regiment. Using the vast amount of salvaged Clantech taken in the Wayside V campaign, the new regiment was almost entirely equipped with Clan technology. The remaining Clan materiel was divided evenly among the other four regiments, with extra going to the Fusiliers to help them recover from their losses on Wayside V. This influx of advanced equipment made the Northwind Highlanders one of the most heavily upgraded mercenary units in the Inner Sphere.

A New Hope

          When Victor Steiner Davion offered Clan Jade Falcon hegira at Whitting in June of 3058, he recognized that he could, and should, parlay that momentous event into a new working agreement between all the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere. Though his sister Katherine hosted the Whitting Conference, it was Victor's vision-to eliminate the Clans' threat to the Inner Sphere by taking the fight to their homeworlds, forming a new Star League to accomplish this task-that provided the impetus for the political and military leaders who gathered on Tharkad in September of 3058. While the military advisors created a plan for sending a message to the Clans that they could not possibly misunderstand, the political leaders hashed out the goals and parameters of the new Star League.

          Near the end of the Conference, Precentor Martial Focht arrived bearing the Exodus Road - the path Kerensky forged hundreds of years earlier that ended at what would become the Clan homeworlds. Armed with this unexpected information, the military quickly shifted gears and planned a second assault, this one aimed at Clan Smoke Jaguar's homeworld of Huntress. When the leaders of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere signed the Star League Constitution in November of 3058, they reestablished the military arm of the Star League as well. Charged with the task of completely destroying Clan Smoke Jaguar as both a military force and a political influence, the new Star League Defense Force began gathering its troops.

The Black Watch Reborn

          When word reached the Highlanders that a new Star League had been formed and a new First Lord chosen, the members of the Black Watch at first refused to believe this momentous event had come to pass. Almost as soon as they received confirmation of this thrilling news, however, the Watch found itself divided over what course of action it should take. One faction immediately wanted to present the Watch to First Lord Sun-Tzu Liao as the personal guard of the office, based on that company's historical role. A second faction argued that the First Lord had no basis from which to judge the merits of the current Black Watch. Captain Neil Campbell, the current leader of the Black Watch, believed that the Watch should prove its worth before appearing to the new Star League and asking to resume its duties.

          Campbell soon convinced the rest of the Black Watch to accept his plan: to join MacLeod's Regiment and join in the attack on the Clan homeworlds as part of Task Force Serpent. The Black Watch are currently en route to the Smoke Jaguar world of Huntress, where they will clash with that Clan and, hopefully, prove themselves worthy to act as the First Lord's personal guard.



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