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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary. If the term you are looking for starts with a digit or symbol, choose the '#' link.

- A -

A captured warrior who is adopted into his new Clan as a warrior.
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- B -

The Batchall is the ritual by which Clan warriors issue combat challenges. Though the type of challenge varies, most begin with the challenger identifying himself, stating the prize of the contest, and requesting that the defender identify the forces at his disposal. The defender also has the right to name the location of the Trial. The two sides then bid for what forces will participate in the contest. The subcommander who bids to fight with the least number of forces wins the right and responsibility to make the attack. The defender may increase the stakes by demanding a prize of equal or lesser value if he wins. All batchalls and bids are closed and finale when the phrase "bargained well and done" is spoken by both members of the bid.
The history of the Bloodnamed warriors of a particular Bloodright is called the BloodHeritage.
Blooding is another name for the Trial of Position that determines if a warrior cadet will qualify as a Clan warrior. The candidate must first demonstrate physical prowess in personal combat by defeating 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. If the candidate is successful in the Trial, a complex ceremony takes place. He or she must be ritually defended by several Clan warriors when challenged by other representatives of the Clan, or else face those representatives in mortal combat.
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 one 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 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 against other competitors. Only Bloodnamed warriors may sit on the Clan Council or are eligible to become a Khan or ilKhan. Most BloodNames have gradually become confined to one or two warrior classes, but 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 matrilineal, at least after the original generation. Because a warrior can only inherit from his or her female parent, he or she only has a claim to one Bloodname.

A specific Bloodname lineage is called a Bloodright. Twenty-five Bloodrights are attached to each Bloodname. A Bloodright is not a lineage as we define the term because the warriors who successfully hold the Bloodright may be related only through their original ancestor. As with BloodNames, certain Bloodrights are considered more prestigious than others, depending largely on the Bloodrights history.

Clans can keep prisoners taken during combat. These are called Bondsman, and are considered members of the laborer caste unless and until the capturing Clan releases them or promotes them back to warrior status. A bondsman is held by honor, not by shackles. Custom dictates that even Bloodnamed warriors captured in combat be held for a time as a bondsman. All bondsman wear a woven bracelet called a Bondcord. The base color of the bondcord indicates to which Clan the individual is now bound, and the striping indicates which unit captured him.
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- C -

Clan slang for the eugenics program of the warrior caste. It can also refer specifically to the artificial wombs.
Clan society is rigidly divided into five caste: 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 known as Trueborns. Other castes maintain a quality gene pool by strategic marriages within each caste.
Anyone who challenges the Clan caste system is considered a Chalcas.
The Codex is each warrior's personal record. It includes the names of the original Bloodnamed warriors from which a warrior is descended. It also records background information such as a warrior's generation number, Blood House, and Codex ID, an alphanumeric code noting the unique aspects of that person's DNA. The Codex also contains a record of the warrior's military career.
A Contract is an agreement between the commanders of two units that allows the commander of one to 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, while still maintaining a good mix of BattleMech, Elemental, and fighter combat units.
The minimum force necessary to win any Trial for which there has been bidding. Bidders who can push their opponents into making a bid below the cutdown are considered clever. Commanders who win with a force smaller than the cutdown are greatly honored.
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- D -


A fighting unit that 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.
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- E -


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


Freebirth is an epithet used by Trueborn members of the warrior caste, generally expressing disgust or frustration. If a Trueborn refers to another Trueborn as a Freebirth, it is a mortal insult.

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


This is a sample of DNA taken from a warrior who died with great glory in combat. The Giftake is considered the warriors best DNA sample and the one most likely to produce improved warriors.
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- H -


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.
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- I -


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


The Keshik unit, usually a Cluster in size, provides the senior Khan's honor guard. All warriors consider service in the Keshik to be the highest honor they can render to their Clan.

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

A Kurultai is a Clan war council. A Grand Kurultai is a war council of all Khans of the Clans. Only the ilKhan can convene a Grand Kurultai at any time or place. A normal Grand Council, on the other hand, may only be convened by petition of three or more Clans, and must be held in the Hall of Khans on Strana Mechty.
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- L -


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 he is often assigned the role of Advocate or Interrogator.
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- O -


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 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.

This is a term of respect reserved for someone of higher rank.
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- P -


Powless is the vulnerability that a warrior, particularly an Elemental, feels when forced to fight without his accustomed weapons.
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- Q -


This Clan expression is 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 used. The response customary if positive is aff, and negative is neg.
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- R -


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.

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.
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.

This term refers to a particularly gifted warrior on his or her way to high position.
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- S -


A Clan council may cast a veto, or satarra, to settle or postpone disputes between castes within their jurisdiction. Satarra is invoked only when negotiations 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.

A sibko consists of a group of children produced from the same male and female geneparents in the warrior caste eugenics program. The members of the sibko are raised together, then begin to undergo constant testing. As various members of the sibko fail at each test, they are transferred to the 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.

Solahma is the Clan designation for a unit made up of warriors who have continued to live and fight past what their society considers a warrior's prime. These units seek assignment to suicidal and otherwise doomed missions in order to win the opportunity to die an honorable death in battle. Most of these units, however, draw only garrison assignments.

A Clan epithet, probably a combination of the Clan words stran, meaning independent, and vagon, meaning birthing.

A monkey-like creature with a long prehensile tail and bat-like wings, sometimes kept as pets within the Clans. Also a Clan epithet.

The surkai is the Rite of Forgiveness. The Clans honor uniformity in thought and belief above all else in 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 any 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.
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- T -


The term given to the fighting arm of a Clan.
Trial of Abjuration:

A Trial of Abjuration is a trial by combat between Clans, in which the losing Clan's BloodNames are stricken from the rolls as if those BloodNames had never existed. Clans only engage in this trial when another Clan has committed an error so grievous that the stain on that Clan's honor cannot be wiped clean.
Trial of Annihilation:

The rarest of the Clan trials is the Trial of Annihilation. Only the Grand Council can invoke this trial, which results in a form of controlled genocide. The genetic material of the losing warriors is removed from the gene pool, and the lower castes of that Clan are often sterilized. On a less drastic scale, this trial may also be declared against warriors, Stars, Clusters, and so on.
Trial of Bloodright:

A series of one-on-one, single elimination contests determines who wins the right to use a Bloodname. Each current Bloodnamed warrior in that Bloodname's House nominates one candidate. The head of the House nominates additional candidates to fill thirty-one slots. The thirty-second slot is fought for by those who were not nominated in a Grand Melee. The nature of the combat is determined by "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, bare-handed, '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.
Trial of Grievance:

Also called an "Honor Duel", this form of combat is used to settle disputes between two warriors. A "Circle of Equals", consisting of a ring of warriors or BattleMechs, defines the boundaries of the combat. The two warriors involved determine through bidding how the battle will be fought. The first warrior to leave or be knocked from the circle is declared the loser, and the disagreement is forgotten. This can be an on-the-spot resolution, or may have to be arranged through the Clan Council or Grand Council.
Trial of Position:

The Trial of Position 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 reassigned to a lower caste.
Trial of Possession:

This trial resolves conflicts in which two or more Clans claim the right to the same thing, be it territory, a warrior's genes, or even supremacy in a difference of opinion. This trial uses formal challenge of the attacker and the response of defending forces, and favors those commanders from the attacking Clan skillful enough to bid minimal forces.
Trial of Refusal:

The Clan councils and the Grand Council vote on issues and laws that affect the community. Unlike Inner Sphere legislation, any decision can be challenged and reversed by a Trial of Refusal. This trial allows the losing side to demand the issue to be settled by combat.
The forces used in the Trial of Refusal are determined on a pro-rated basis. The faction rejecting the decision declares what forces they will use. The side defending the decision (the attacker) can field a force equal to the ratio of winning to losing votes. For example, if the contested vote carried by a three-to-one margin, the attacking forces can field a force three times the size of the force challenging the decision. Bidding usually results in a smaller attacking force, however.

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

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

Unit Structure:

Clan military structure is as follows:
Point 1 'Mech or 5 Elementals
Star 5 'Mechs or 25 Elementals
Nova 1 'Mech Star and 1 Elemental Star
Binary 2 Stars
Trinary 3 Stars
SuperNova 2-3 Novas
Cluster 3-5 Binaries, Trinaries. or SuperNovas
Galaxy 3-5 Clusters
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- Z -


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 if 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 code, usually resulting in at least loss of rank.
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