Clan Ghost Bear
[Clan Ghost Bear Logo]

The white seems to stretch away forever. Only the distant mountains rising majestically into the blue skies interrupt the scenery. Though they seem close enough to reach in the journey of an hour or two, one could trek for many days without reaching their mist-shrouded foothills. These plains and mountains give a home to our namesake. The mighty ghost bear presides over Strana Mechty's southernmost continent. To even catch a glimpse of the bear, you must travel the open expanse of snow for many days, always moving toward the mountains. It is when you feel ready to turn back to the comfort of your base camp, exhausted and defeated, that you will realize that you are not alone. A palpable presence makes the bile rise in your throat, so thick you nearly choke on it. Yet your eyes, your window to the real world, see nothing.

Suddenly, you focus on movement: a white-cloaked lynx bounds across the tundra, its paws digging gaping wounds in the snow as it accelerates. As the cat passes through your field of vision, the ground directly in front of you erupts in a living cloud of snow that leaps after the running lynx. You stare, and you realize that the cloud of snow swirls around your namesake, the legendary ghost bear. Though you do not understand how this huge beast remained invisible, you cannot deny that only moment ago you saw no living thing. As the bear gives chase, snow sloughs off its back, revealing massively muscled flanks covered in pure white fur. The hapless lynx turns and twists in a vain attempt to throw its pursuer off the chase, but the hunter will not be denied. You stare, transfixed by the spectacle. The bear lunge through the heavy layers of snow as easily as a fish swimming through water. Its howl assaults your ears, terrifying and hauntingly sweet all at once. The bear's deadly claws glint in the morning light as its paw, large as your head, smashes into the frantic cat at blinding speed. Crimson stains the pristine white carpet, and the lynx goes down surrounded by a cloud of steam. The giant beast move in for the feast, and still you stand and stare. The ghost bear remains unaware of your presence, and you watch it gulp down huge mouthfuls of raw meat.

The battle took only a few, scant seconds, yet every detail burns with a distinct light in your mind. You pray that you are as efficient when it falls to you to be the hunter...

-- From the ritual words spoken by the Clan Ghost Bear Loremaster on the eve of the Clawing ritual

Children of the Bear, hearken to my words:
Be always vigilant.
Learn for yourselves that which your forebears imparted
So easily and freely;
Demand of yourselves
The foresight of Jorgensson
And the courage of Tseng;
Through them, we are strong.
To them a debt is owed,
Repaid through loyalty undying and Character unflinching.
-- From the Oath of Acceptance, Clan Ghost Bear

The kinship of spirits is vital;
Without this connection there
Can be no true understanding.
-- From the Oath of Acceptance, Clan Ghost Bear

Background

          The ghost bear of Strana Mechty is a truly awesome beast. Though similar in appearance to the polar bear of Terra's arctic region, the ghost bear is larger and stronger, some specimens having been recorded a standing more than five meters tall when reared up on their hind legs. Unlike the polar bear's fur, which shows a yellowish cast, the ghost bear's coat is pure white. Even the ghost bear's eyes and nose are a pale gray that appears nearly white, and its coloration makes the bear practically invisible against snow, even when running at full speed. Its size limits the ghost bear's ability to pursue its prey for any length of time, and so rather than running down its quarry, the bear lies in wait on the fringes of its prey's territory, using its keen sense of smell to locate likely hunting spots. The ghost bear then buries itself in the snow to enhance its camouflage, remaining completely motionless, often for days at a time. The bear apparently enters a state of semi-hibernation while awaiting a potential meal, conserving energy but remaining acutely aware of its surroundings all the while. The ghost bear takes its name from both its coloration and from its apparent ability to materialize from nothing.

          Nicholas Kerensky chose this seemingly brutish animal as the namesake for one of his Clans for more than its physical prowess. He also admired the loyalty it showed its family; ghost bears mate for life and maintain a tenuous connection to their offspring, a trait almost unknown in the animal kingdom. Nicholas also believed that the ghost bear represented a strong respect for tradition. He characterized ghost bears as clinging stubbornly to their instincts, only reluctantly changing their habits and behaviors to adapt to environmental and situational changes. The ghost bear survives its apparent lack of adaptability with an extremely hardy constitution and high birth rate.

          Like its namesake, Clan Ghost Bear has also survived, often in spite of itself, by virtue of its methodical persistence and the success of the Clan breeding program. The traditions of strength and stability on which Clan Ghost Bear prides itself can be traced back to its founders, the only married couple to help establish a Clan. The founders of Clan Ghost Bear receive equal reverence from it warriors, so much so that most believe that neither Sandra Tseng or Hans Jorgensson could have forged the Clan alone.

Tukayyid

          Khan Jorgensson made the official bid of three Galaxies for the Ghost Bears' right to invade Tukayyid, and won the right to descend in the fifth hour of combat. The Ghost Bear targets would be the twin cities of Spanac and Luk. Khans Jorgensson and Kabrinski laid out a simple and direct battle plan designed to crush the ComGuards quickly, confident that the strength of their forces would carry them to victory.

          The Ghost Bears drove straight for their target cities opposed by the ComGuards' First Army and the reserve Fourth Army. As the senior commander, Precentor Katherine Luarca deployed her First Army to engage the Bears upon their landing, leaving only her veteran 103rd Division (Truth in Communication) to defend Spanac. Fearing that the green troops of the Fourth Army would break facing Clan OmniMechs in the field, she assigned the Fourth to garrison Luk.

          The Ghost Bears split their forces, landing Alpha Galaxy in the hills above Spanac and Beta and Delta near Luk. Both forced landed unopposed, but suffered hit-and-run attacks as they advanced. The First Army's 308th Division (Clarity of Thought) did little to slow the veteran forces of Alpha Galaxy, and Beta Galaxy decimated the 121st Division (Gray Backs). The Ninety-First and Twelfth Divisions of the First Army fared better, trapping Delta Galaxy's Twentieth Polar Bear Attack Cluster in the outskirts of the Holth Forest and inflicting heavy losses on the Clan troops. This skirmish turned the tide in the Bear's push for Luk and forced Beta and Delta Galaxies to withdraw. The Ninety-First Division then fell back to assist in the defense of Spanac, but just managed to enter the city before Alpha Galaxy took up positions in the suburbs. The Bears settled in to hold Spanac under siege until reinforcements from the failed attack at Luk arrived. Unfortunately for the Clans, the ComGuards' Twelfth waylaid those reinforcements in a brilliant ambush, setting fire to the Holth forest and attacking Beta Galaxy's Seventh Bear Guards as they fled from the burning woods. When the exhausted Seventh finally broke free of the inferno, they ran down wide paths cut through the woods to the hills beyond. By entering these corridors, the bears fell to devastating short-range fire from the dug-in forces of the Twelfth. To a man, the overheated Ghost Bear 'Mechs died in the forest.

          Meanwhile, the ComGuards had trouble on other fronts. The troops of the Ninety-First Division failed to achieve a proper defensive position in Spanac, and the arrival of Beta and Delta Galaxy troops at the siege enabled the Ghost Bears to overrun the Ninety-First and capture most of its supply caches intact. Predicting the imminent fall of the city, the Precentor Martial ordered Precentor Luarca to pull her 103rd Division out of Spanac.

          The Ghost Bears took the city, but soon faced a counterattack from the two divisions of the Fourth Army. Garrisoned at Luk, the Fourth Army divisions had seen little combat in the battle on Tukayyid and so arrived at Spanac fresh and ready for action. With the Fourth Army raining artillery fire on the city and the remnants of the Ninety-First and Twelfth Divisions raiding in the suburbs, the Bear Khans chose to leave Beta and Delta Galaxies to hold Spanac while Alpha Galaxy mustered for an assault on Luk.

          At Luk, Alpha Galaxy tore into the remaining divisions of the Fourth Army with all the ferocity of Clan Ghost Bear's namesake. Despite the ComGuards' superior numbers, the Fourth came close to breaking until Precentor Luarca redeemed herself by leading her 103rd Division and the remaining elements of the 308th in an attack against Alpha Galaxy's supply depot. The assault forced the Bears to pull back to defend their supplies; though the Fiftieth Striker Cluster managed to enter Luk's suburbs, the Clan troops lacked the force needed to take the city. Alpha Galaxy fought off a raid by reinforcements from the First ComGuard Army, but they suffered such high losses in doing so that the Bear Khans reluctantly ordered a withdrawal back to Spanac.

          At this point, the ilKhan declared an end to the Ghost Bear campaign. Knowing that they lacked the strength to take Luk from the fresh ComGuards troops stationed there, the Bear Khans raised no objection. The battle of Tukayyid had already ended in defeat for several of the other Clans, and so if the Bears continued to fight, the ComGuards could easily shift enough forces from other combat theaters to drive the Clan from Spanac. Rather than lose all that they had gained, the Ghost Bears withdrew while they could still claim victory.

          The Precentor Martial also welcomed the end of the Bear campaign. Though the ComGuards had lost to these particular Clan opponents, their forces' departure from Tukayyid left the First and Fourth Armies free to turn against the hard-fighting Jade Falcons. Because the Ghost Bears captured Spanac, breached defenses at Luk, and inflicted somewhat greater losses than they sustained, ilKhan Kerensky and Precentor Martial Focht agreed that the Ghost Bears had won a marginal victory over the ComGuards.

The Remembrance

          The Remembrance is an ongoing heroic saga detailing Clan 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 Clan has a slightly different version reflecting their own opinions and experiences. All Clan 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 General's intent was clearly stated,
To depart and never return.
He forced none but swayed many;
This compassionate, brilliant man
Had led thousands to victory,
And he would again lead the long march.
-- The Remembrance (Clan Ghost Bear), Passage 8, Verse 6, Lines 12-17

Now is the time
To prove
What we know to be true:
That we shall conquer all.
-- The Remembrance (Clan Ghost Bear), Passage 155, Verse 2, Lines 45-48

Front-Line Unit Summary

Command Supernova (The Ourse Keshik)
Khan: Bjorn Jorgensson
Aide de Camp: Star Colonel Michael HawkinsM

Alpha and Bravo Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Alpha Fighter Star (10 Fighters)
Alpha Battle Nova (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points, 5 artillery pieces)

Clan Naval Reserve
Star Commodore Elissa Snuka

WarShip Group: Bears' Den (Black Lion), Dieron's Run (Cameron)
Support Vessels: 6 Clan Monoliths, 6 Clan Merchants, 7 Clan Scouts, 6 Clan Invaders

Alpha Galaxy (The Golden Bears)
CO: Galaxy Commander saKhan Aletha Kabrinski

Trinary Galaxy Command (The Silveroot Keshik)
Alpha and Bravo Nova Command Stars (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
Charlie Command Star (10 Fighters)
Tango Artillery Command Star (5 OmniMechs)

1st Bear Guards (The Rage)
Star Colonel Justin Gurdel

Supernova Command Star (Star Captain Joanna Forrester)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Nova (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
310th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Carl Hambash)
Alpha and Bravo Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Charlie Elemental star (5 Elemental Points)
312th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Edwin Gilmour)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs Each)
23rd Elemental Support Binary (Star Captain Sarah Kabrinski)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
16th Fighter Binary (Star Captain Magara Gilmour)
Alpha and Bravo Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

3rd Bear Guards (The IlKhan's Shield)
Star Colonel Hunter Tseng

Trinary Command (Star Captain Helen Jorgensson)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
219th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Andre Hannifan)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs Each)
Tango Support Star (25 Elementals)
12th Battle Trinary (Star Captain Paul Homaovi)
Alpha and Bravo Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Charlie Nova (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points)
45th Elemental Support Binary (Star Captain Sarah DelVillar)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
34th Fighter Binary (Star Captain Dale Kabrinski)
Alpha and Bravo Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

50th Striker Cluster (The Black Bears)
Star Colonel Stephan Huntsig

Trinary Command (Star Captain Derek Jorgensson)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
43rd Striker Trinary (Star Captain Milton Snuka)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
212th Striker Trinary (Star Captain Lents Tseng)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs Each)
32nd Supernova Striker Trinary (Star Captain Donel Carrera)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
Alpha Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Victoria Bourjon)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

Beta Galaxy (Night Howlers)
CO: Galaxy Commander Loremaster Laurie Tseng

Galaxy Command Trinary (The Shrill Keshik)
Star Captain Bernice Bekker
Alpha and Bravo Nova Command Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
Tango Fighter Star (10 Fighters)

12th Bear Chevaliers (The Wendingos)
Star Colonel Douglas Silva

Trinary Command (Star Captain Massir Omid)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
712th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Dorell Mitshan)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
63rd Assault Trinary (Star Captain Layne Vong)
Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
43rd Elemental Support Trinary (Star Captain Jocylyn Kabrinski)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
12th Fighter Binary (Star Captain Levand Jorgensson)
Alpha and Bravo Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

304th Assault Cluster (The Howling Bears)
Star Colonel Paul Vishio

Supernova Trinary Command (Star Captain Dillian Vong)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command stars (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
321st Assault Trinary (Star Captain Vegara Ortiz)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
14th Assault Supernova (Star Captain Bernard Bazso)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs, 4 Elemental Points each)
72nd Assault Trinary (Star Captain Edwin Bekker)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
1st Elemental Support Binary (Star Captain Ossin Vong)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)

332nd Assault Cluster (The Iowa Blacklancers)
Star Colonel Seija Harlow

Trinary Command (Star Captain Gosvoda Nuyriev)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
469th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Pinter Hall)
Alpha and Bravo Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Charlie Elemental Star (5 Elemental Points)
2133rd Striker Trinary (Star Captain Jillian Snuka)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
23rd Elemental Support Binary (Star Captain Alan Kabrinski)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
Delta Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Lucien Bourjon)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

14th Battle Cluster (The Maulers)
Star Colonel Dane Jorgensson

Trinary Command (Star Captain Kristie Tseng)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
96th Battle Trinary (Star Captain Welland Bazso)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Battle Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Tango Fighter Star (10 Fighters)
23rd Battle Trinary (Star Captain Liam Snuka)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Battle Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
76th Supernova (Star Captain Kenbarg DelVillar)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
Delta Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Sheryl Bourjon)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

Delta Galaxy (The Blitzkrieg)
CO: Galaxy Commander Roberto Snuka

Trinary Galaxy Command (Jorgensson's Keshik)
Star Captain Trung Vong
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Tango Support Star (5 OmniMechs)
Tango Fighter Star (10 Fighters)

5th Bear Cuirassiers (The Blinding Drive)
Star Colonel Dana Vishio

Trinary Command (Star Captain Trudy Devon)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
286th Assault Trinary (Star Captain Dimon Bekker)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Assault Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
90th Striker Trinary (Star Captain Della Ortiz)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
56th Elemental Support Trinary (Star Captain Tamm Hakimi)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
47th Fighter Binary (Star Captain Endo Kabrinski)
Alpha and Bravo Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

74rd Battle Cluster (The Lash)
Star Colonel Francois Cote

Trinary Command (Star Captain Hoston Bekker)
Alpha and Bravo Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Charlie Command Star (10 Fighters)
314th Battle Trinary (Star Captain Hee Silva)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Battle Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
433rd Supernova Trinary (Star Captain Majorie DelVillar)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
Tango Fighter Star (10 Fighters)
72nd Striker Trinary (Star Captain John Bekker)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Echo Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Felicia Jorgensson)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

68th Striker Cluster (The Walking Panzers)
Star Colonel Chou Vong

Trinary Command (Star Captain Jill Hawkins)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
413th Striker Trinary (Star Captain Stunner Tseng)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
88th Striker Trinary (Star Captain Monique Memba)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
78th Elemental Support Binary (Star Captain Jocelyn)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
Delta Fighter Binary (Star Captain Farn Jorgensson)
Alpha and Bravo Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

115th Striker Cluster (The Rolling Wave)
Star Colonel Romano Tseng

Trinary Command (Star Captain Douglas Silva)
Alpha and Bravo Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Charlie Command Nova (10 Fighters, 5 Elemental Points)
Supernova Echo (Star Captain Marialle Hawkins)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
465th Striker Trinary (Star Captain Dancry DelVillar)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
Bravo Supernova (Star Captain Edora DelVillar)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
67th Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Harrel Jorgensson)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

140th Striker Cluster
Star Colonel Boris Jorgensson

Trinary Command (Star Captain Brigit Kabrinski)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Command Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
141st Striker Trinary (Star Captain Grendel Kabrinski)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Striker Stars (5 OmniMechs each)
82nd Striker Nova Binary (Star Captain Lefar Bekker)
Alpha and Bravo Striker Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
12th Striker Nova Binary (Star Captain Killian Silva)
Alpha and Bravo Striker Novas (5 OmniMechs, 5 Elemental Points each)
73rd Elemental Support Trinary (Star Captain Norman DelVillar)
Alpha and Bravo Elemental Stars (5 Elemental Points each)
Forgen Fighter Trinary (Star Captain Gordon Showers)
Alpha, Bravo and Charlie Fighter Stars (10 Fighters each)

3058 Update

          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.

          In an attempt to weaken both the Ghost Bears and Smoke Jaguars to give themselves time to recover from the refusal war with Clan Jade Falcon, the then-Jade Wolves set into motion a complex plan, with layers of plots and misinformation blaming both Clan Smoke Jaguar and the forces of Phelan Kell's Clan Wolf in Exile for the theft of genetic material of the Clan Ghost Bear founders. The Ghost Bears, through a series of raids and information gathering missions, discovered the true nature of this deceit.

          Although discovering that the blame lie with the Jade Wolves and not Clan Smoke Jaguar, the relative weakness of Clan Smoke Jaguar has left that Clan open to raiding and perhaps a trial of absorption by Clan Ghost Bear. Whether the Ghost Bears take advantage of this opportunity or not is left to be seen.

          Finally, with their long standing ties with the Wolves and Diamond Sharks, the Ghost Bear Khans voted against the election of Elias Crichell of Clan Jade Falcon to the post of ilKhan.


The Clans