Minnesota Tribe


In 2825, as the Second Succession War was just getting under way, a regiment of unidentified 'Mechs appeared in the Draconis Combine. From a convoy of transports and DropShips, the regiment struck at the garrison on Svelvik, seizing supplies and then leaving. People were quick to notice that the 'Mechs were in excellent condition and painted according to Regular Army Standards. The regiment fought using Regular Army tactics, and wounded or stranded Mechwarriors killed themselves rather than be captured. There was a small symbol on each 'Mech that was later identified as a map of Minnesota, a geopolitical domain of North America.

The leaders of the Draconis Combine did not need further proof to be convinced that the Minnesota Tribe, as the regiment came to be known, was the vanguard of an SLDF attack. The Minnesota Tribe attacked three more worlds. During its last attack, its MechWarriors freed thousands of political prisoners on the Combine world of Richmond. The Minnesota Tribe then left the Draconis Combine and was never seen again.

In the wake of the Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere it is generally believed that the Minnesota Tribe was in fact the remnants of Clan Wolverine fleeing the Trial of Annihilation. Although the current location of the Minnesota Tribe is not known, some believe the incident known as "The Tripitz Affair" is linked with them. No evidence is likely to confirm a connection between the two though, largely because of the extensive mixing of fact and fiction involving "The Tripitz Affair", and the story of the Vandenburg White Wings. If the two are linked, that would roughly put the tribe traveling on the outskirts of the Inner Sphere, opposite that of the Clan invasion corridor. The following are the accounts that make up the incidents involving the Minnesota Tribe/Clan Wolverine:

Draconis Combine

The Minnesota Tribe and the Chahar Profit

In late 2825, the Minnesota Tribe made its first appearance in the Draconis Combine with a raid on the world of Svelvik. This previously unknown 'Mech unit of nearly regimental strength showed considerable skill in beating the planet's meager garrison troops. Refusing any communications, they simply took what they needed, and then left Svelvik without further bloodshed.

What intrigued Jinjiro most in the reports of this unknown unit were that their impeccably maintained 'Mechs were freshly painted in Regular Army colors. It was Zabu who first noticed that the regimental patch was an outline of Minnesota, a geo-political domain in the North American region of Terra. What Jinjiro also learned from reports was that the regiment was apparently escorting a fleet of cargo, commercial, and liner JumpShips. This fleet, with their escorts, apparently had some definite destination and was using uninhabited star systems to reach it at a steady pace.

The mystery group, by now known as the Minnesota Tribe, next attacked Trondheim. Because it was a prefecture capital, the 20th Rasalhague Regulars were stationed there. The ensuring battle was striking for the way the mystery 'Mechs dealt with the Kurita 'Mechs in strict Regular Army formations and tactics. Once again, the mystery group refused all attempts at communication, to the point that pilots of destroyed Tribe 'Mechs killed themselves to avoid capture. The mystery fleet then jumped from the system, apparently headed for some uninhabited star system near Trondheim.

By now, the Kuritans believed that the Minnesota Tribe had to be a Regular Army unit, though they were not listed in any Regular Army order of battle. The possibility that the Minnesota Tribe might be an advance scout group raised the specter of the return of a very angry General Kerensky or his successor.

This made Jinjiro decidedly nervous. With much trepidation, he ordered the Rasalhague and Pesht districts to the highest state of alert. He also moved troops within these districts forward to the Periphery borders.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Tribe struck Jarett, again taking what they needed before moving on. This time the Tribe thwarted efforts to stop them when a large group of their AeroSpace Fighters intercepted and kept two battalions of Kurita 'Mechs out of the battle.

While House Kurita's attention was turned toward the Minnesota Tribe, the Lyran Commonwealth military took the Combine completely by surprise with a lighting raid on the Draconis Combine. What prompted the raid was the Combine's earlier capture of the Commonwealth freighter named the Chahar Profit. A grain ship destined for the starving population of the Steiner world of Chandler, the ship made a mis-jump that put it above Darius and under the guns of Kurita fighters.

To win back the freighter and to rescue its crew, Archon Marcus of the Lyran Commonwealth brought together the remaining members of the famed Stealth 'Mech regiment. With all of house Kurita's attention diverted toward the Periphery, the Stealth rescue mission worked like a charm, much to the embarrassment of the DCMS.

The Minnesota Tribe made one last attack against an inhabited Kurita world. About a week after the Steiner forces succeeded in rescuing the Chahar Profit, the Minnesota Tribe regiment hit the Kurita world of Richmond with a vengeance. Though it was inconceivable that the tribe could have known about the large prison and slave camps on the planet, their 'Mechs went straight for them. After easily overpowering the guards, they were soon freeing the many thousands of prisoners. Several DropShips then landed in the midst of the prison complexes to load up and transport all the freed prisoners offworld before the Kurita 'Mechs could arrive on the scene. Though no one realized it for quite awhile, the liberation of the prisoners and Unproductive on Richmond was the last time the Minnesota Tribe was seen in the Inner Sphere.

Both the Minnesota Tribe and the debacle of the Chahar Profit rescue took a heavy toll on the Kuritans' ability to control the thinking of their people. Though the government did its best to suppress accounts of the Minnesota Tribe, stories did spread, particularly through the lower classes. Like a vision of avenging angles, the Tribe had swept down to free political prisoners and members of the lower class. The fact that everyone believed they were a Regular Army unit only added to their aura of offering divine assistance to the righteous and the poor.

These stories soon combined with accounts of the Commonwealth's rescue of the Chahar Profit. Like a slow virus, the dogma that the Draconis Combine was destined to rule the Inner Sphere began to show signs of erosion from within.

Story of the Vandenburg White Wings

A favorite tale told in smokey taverns on cold winter nights is one about the Vandenberg White Wings, squadrons of white AeroSpace Fighters that appeared on the Periphery edge of the Capellan Confederation escorting 20 Star League transports. The Disappearing Battleship of Merope is yet another story about a Black Lion battleship that was seen and filmed orbiting Merope, but then vanished when ships from the Inner Sphere came to investigate.

Comstar

Primus Toyama seemed to hold the Inner Sphere firmly in his grasp when a threat to his dreams suddenly appeared from beyond the Periphery. The attack of the Minnesota tribe on the Combine worlds of Svelvika and Trondheim in 2825 shook ComStar as much as the Draconis Combine. Proceedings of the First Circuit indicate that Toyama believed the attack was the vanguard of Kerensky's return with the Star League Army, a belief supported by reports that this unknown military unit possessed brand-new BattleMechs and used combat tactics similar to those of the SLDF. If the self-exiled Star League troops had returned, it would spell an end to the prophesy of Blake and the future of ComStar.

The First Circuit responded by dispatching a dozen diplomatic envoy vessels to the Periphery area surrounding the Combine. These ships were charged with the mission of establishing and opening diplomatic relations with the mysterious Minnesota Tribe. For four months the JumpShips scoured the stars searching for some trace of the unit. They were able to follow the trail of the mysterious attackers into the deep Periphery toward the Federated Suns, but then all trace seemed to disappear near Valentina. Subsequent investigations by ROM failed to uncover further information on the attackers.

Who Were Those Masked Men?

Our operatives on Richmond managed to penetrate the Combine's investigation team studying the attacks by the so-called Minnesota Tribe. The only concrete evidence recovered thus far has been the body of one of the MechWarriors of the Tribe. The pilot was using a Lancelot BattleMech of exceptionally high quality.

Of great interest was the MechWarrior's uniform. The coolant suit was an enhanced version of an SLDF prototype that had yet to reach production when Kerensky's Exodus jumped from the Inner Sphere. Naturally, our agent sabotaged the suit so that its design would not fall into Combine hands.

Though the warrior carried no personal effects, his suit displayed two interesting patches. One was the outline of the former North American state of Minnesota, with the numbers "331" faintly stitched on it. Our archives indicate that the number and the symbol are similar to those used by the SLDF's 331st Royal BattleMech Division (The North American Division) that left the Inner Sphere with General Kerensky. The resemblance is strong but the symbols are not identical, indicating that the patch was new rather than an old one reworked.

The second patch was also revealing. It depicted a Terran Wolverine, white in color, with bloodied fangs. Our searches have revealed no correlation or connection to the designation of any known military unit meaning that it is new or reorganized unit.

We conclude that this unit is indeed a surviving element of Kerensky's Exodus. Though we cannot substantiate this with physical evidence, the above items recovered point to a strong connection with the Exodus fleet. It can also be assumed that this unit has an existing technological and manufacturing base. Unfortunately, it has been impossible to determine either the current location or the destination of these raiders.

-From a summary report to the First Circuit by ROM Precentor Emilio Travis, Minnesota Tribe Investigations, Archive File 222-802, ComStar Archives

The Tripitz Affair

The First Circuit named Yin Takami, Precentor of New Earth, as the tenth Primus of the Order. With the ongoing Third Succession War entering a flare-up, Primus Takami had to deal almost immediately with a wide range of problems and opportunities.

Ten days after Takami assumed the mantle of Primus, Precentor ROM Karl Sims informed him and the rest of the First Circuit of a possible threat. In a routine survey of an empty star system near New Vandendurg, forces of the Taurian Concordat had discovered a long abandoned Black Lion Class battlecruiser, the Tripitz, orbiting one of the planets. The ship was more than likely a relic left behind generations ago during the Amaris crisis, but the Taurians believed they could recover the vessel and possibly even repair it.

Because one of the most serious results of the Succession Wars was the loss of almost all existing combat JumpShips, the discovery of a Black Lion battlecruiser and the possibility that it could enter active duty could upset the current balance of power in the region. Adding to the problem, Maskirovka agents of the Capellan Confederation also learned of the discovery and planned to stage their own recovery mission.

In response, Primus Takami ordered the First Division of the ComStar Guards and Militia to the star system with orders to destroy the Tripitz rather than risk it falling into the hands of either the Taurians or the Capellans. To disguise ComStar's complicity, the Primus ordered that the ships and fighters be painted white but given no identifying markings that might link them to the Order.

When the Taurians learned of an unknown JumpShip in the system, they immediately launched four lances of fighters, which the ComStar aerospace fighters quickly engaged. The advanced technology of the Star League equipment used by our forces more than made up for their lack of practical combat experience, especially against low-technology aerofighters of the Taurians. The Taurians, however, put up a determined fight. The pitched battle lasted just under an hour, with only three deaths in the ComStar Guard forces. The Taurians sent several messages requesting that the mysterious white attackers identify themselves, but the ComStar commander ignored the attempts at communication. He quickly recovered the dead pilots and turned his attention to the true target -the battlecruiser.

The remaining fighters strafed and bombed the antique Tripitz, blasting the ship until it was no more than a charred hulk in a decaying orbit. After recharging their JumpShip, the ComStar Guards departed the isolated system, leaving only the Taurian recovery crew as witnesses to the entire event.

The Taurians eventually released a statement indicating that a mysterious group of white ships had appeared and attacked their forces in an uncharted star system. No mention was ever made of the battlecruiser. Many people speculated that the attackers might be part of Kerensky's Exodus fleet, never suspecting ComStar's involvement in the destruction of the ship. This incident may be the source for the legend of the Vandenberg White Wings in Periphery folklore. Consistent with the origin of many legends, an actual report may have been repeatedly exaggerated and garbled into the current version of events.

[Some within our Order have criticized Primus Takami for deploying the ComStar Guards in this incident. they argue that his use of power and force contradicted the word of Jerome Blake, who envisioned ComStar as a covert agency working behind the scenes in the affairs of the Inner Sphere. To this criticism Primus Takami responded that he had fulfilled the divine will of Blake by concealing the identity of ComStar's vessels and fighters.]

See also Clan Trials: Clan Wolverine


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