A fan, I’m sure jerking my chain, asked me what eras followed the Civil War and Clan Invasion. Now, a sane person would have steered him to Sarna.net. I refused to accept the title of “sane.” So I started a snarky response, a little BattleTech humor, for that fan. Well I tweaked and modified it. So, when someone asks me about the Jihad or Dark Ages going forward, this is what I steer them to. I thought all of you still self-imprisoned at home might enjoy a little quirky humor.
Space AT&T (The Word of Blake) gets “a bit uppity” and decides that the best way to unify mankind is by destroying most of mankind. The Wobbies magically super-jump warships to every capital world, lay waste to them and invade everything at once with an army of cyborgs and crazy-cool looking BattleMechs that somehow they have built roughly a bazillion of. According to the Word of Blake, it was all just a “slight misunderstanding.” They were not sending in invasion forces, these were “gifts.” Imagine their rage when they didn’t get thank you cards. How rude!
They were led by a deformed and disfigured individual dubbed, “The Master,” because that title was bound to calm everyone down. Anyone that has ever watched Dr. Who knew some serious shit was coming with that name. Added to that, The Master was actually Thomas Marik – as if his adoption into a techno-cult and horrible face mutilation wasn’t enough, he came from House Marik…only slightly more stable than Charles Manson’s family.
Skull-fuckery was the mainstay of the day. You get that with people that think you have to chant a song to get your Keurig to work. Almost all of the major characters, mercenary units, and a few billion passersby are killed in a fate worse that death, killed ala sourcebook footnote. Assassinations, betrayals, bombings, and outright debauchery happen everywhere at once with no apparent strategy, endgame, or even a bit of common sense. Everyone agreed that the Word of Blake was rather rude, uncouth, and overreacted often with weapons of mass destruction.
The Wobbies used nukes, chemical, and biological weapons combined with badly written rap music to attempt to persuade their victims that worshiping technology was hip. In a perfect response to this crisis, the House governments were caught with their hands in their pants and tried to fight the Word of Blake on their own because we all know that isn’t going to work.
Out of this utter drug-addled chaos, a nobody named Devlin Stone emerges and rallies the governments to kick the Word of Blake’s ass. The Blakeists waged a scorched planet policy until everyone glows a pretty shimmering shade of orange. You know the old saying, what do you call a million dead followers of the World of Blake? A good start.
Somehow Stone unites the leaders, apparently because he’s not one of them. He tells the Ghost Bears that the Word of Blake is actually descendants of Clan Wolverine, which unleashes them on a murder spree. Nothing says loving like good bear mauling.
Eventually Terra was recovered, or what was left of it – then The Master got nuked, reliving a chapter out of Hitler’s last few days. No one shed a tear.
Dark Ages Summary
So Devlin Stone forms the Republic of the Sphere, a kind of Terran Hegemony on acid. A dash of Camelot, a dollop of the Roman Empire, and a healthy dose of raw egotism were the foundation of the Republic. Stone wears a ball cap that says, “Make the Inner Sphere Great Again!” – true story!
He runs his new realm on a promise to beat swords into plowshares – and if you don’t do that, he will go to war with you. Ask the Cappies about it. Go on, I dare you.
Stone promises a golden age of peace and everyone is sick and tired of fighting, so they use ‘Mechs to cut down trees, dig holes, and other goofy shit. I swear, you will see a mining ‘Mech on Gold Rush, season 522. His great new universe works, for a few hours/days/years. Even the Clans chill, having gone Reaving-ass on themselves in the homeworlds, wiping out many clans and forming new ones like Clan Stoned Pony. It’s like My Little Pony got ‘Mech upgrades. So the homeworlds are left to be a total frame-up restoration and even their Facebook pages were taken down.
Stone’s knights and paladins run around squashing everyone that gets a burr up their ass to start a new war. Strangely it works, Wizkids even considers renaming BattleTech to PeaceTech. Everything is mellow and cool, so much so that Stone packs up and disappears, supposedly sitting on a beach somewhere, getting laid and hammered.
What could go wrong?
Well, 80% of the HPG network goes offline and apparently you can’t shut off the HPG network and turn it back on again to fix the problem. In a normal society, this would lead to caution, but for the Inner Sphere, it was time to open a whole case of whoop-ass which had been on the shelf for years. Everybody starts beating their plowshares into swords. For a while, Industrial ‘Mechs are armed until the factories start spitting out newer and more potent BattleMechs. They even have Superheavies, which is not a description of someone coming out of Space Golden Corral but a three-legged monstrosity clocking in at over 100 tons. Who would have thought that cultures that have lived at war for centuries might fall back on that the moment they can’t access Space PornHub? Oh wait, all of us.
The Republic of the Sphere is seen as an easy target and the House lords hit them like hungry sharks on chum. The Republic gets gobbled up until puts up, “Do Not Disturb!” signs at all jump points and it turns on its magic space shield (Fortress Republic) that somehow scrambled JumpShips trying to penetrate it. This super-powered space chastity belt allows a few Republic worlds to survive and prepare for the inevitable onslaught.
Outside of the wall we have Knights, Paladins, Fidelis (Smoke Jaguars disguised as ninjas) and Anastasia Fucking Kerensky. It’s always a party with a Kerensky in the house!
The magic space shield collapses around to Terra while everyone on Earth runs out and hoards toilet paper and meat products because the Clans are a’comin’! The Wolves have played hippity-hoppity-get-off-my-property and moved to the Lyran/FWL border.
In this corner, his hair weighing in at 12 kilos alone, Alaric Ward, genespawn of everyone’s favorite star of Real Wives of ComStar, Katherine Steiner-Davion-Wolf and Victor Steiner-Davion. Alaric is preparing to wreck Terra’s ass because he has the genes of a person that rates a 9.2 on the Amaris Scale of Douchebaggery. PS. Before your whine incest…Katherine stole Victor’s DNA. Ew…why would you go there?
And in this corner, weighing in at 56 kilos, chock-full of maniacal mayhem, the one and only Malvina Hazen of Clan Jade Falcon, the Butcher of Wotan. Malvina makes the Master look like a choir boy sans the pedophile priests of ComStar. Seriously, she crashed a Jade Falcon WarShip on one of her own cities – just to make a point. She is intent on taking Terra too – so that she can crash more WarShips onto more cities as part of the Jade Falcon’s Inner Sphere Urban Renewal Program.
Meanwhile, Stone apparently didn’t retire to a Canopian Pleasure Pit but instead put himself on ice and is now thawed and ready to be tagged in on the match. House Kurita has landed on New Avalon which has had a significant impact on property values and resale value. The Capellans are making their own run on Terra (and the Federated Suns) with some solid leaders for the first time in ages. As it turns out, if you don’t have batshit crazy in your genes, you can actually run the Confederation rather well. The Free World’s League is doing what it does best, shooting itself in its feet over and over again.
The Federated Suns lost one First Prince, Caleb Davion, the Harvey Weinstein of the Inner Sphere. No one cried over that death, trust me. Julian Davion runs it now, wrapped in plot-armor, and dealing with the reality that his nation is about to be pinched off like a turd. The Lyrans are on their 17th Archon in eight months. Wedged in between Clans Wolf and Jade Falcon, things are looking pretty dire. Trillian Steiner seems to have what it takes – but she inherited the equivalent of a mobile home owned by a hoarder with a condemned notice tacked on the front door and 100 hungry cats wandering around. Let’s just say, it’s not great.
So the stage is set, the music is queued, the DJ is on space-meth, and the Inner Sphere is ready to rock.