Khan Ward felt that the timing was not right, and that the mission of the Crusading Clans was not proper.
When the Great Debate came to a head within the Grand Council of the Clans, Khan Ward offered a compromise. He proposed that five regiments of warriors be sent into the Inner Sphere to gather intelligence and to test the mettle of its forces.
Equipped with retro-fitted technology and posing as mercenaries, they would be able to learn the strengths and weaknesses of the Inner Sphere governments. For Khan Ward, it was a gamble, designed to buy the Inner Sphere time. For the Inner Sphere, it was the birth of a legend, the coming of Wolf's Dragoons.
For the most part, the Dragoons were freebirth warriors, considered inferior by the Clans to the genetically born truebirths. Clan Wolf had a large number of freebirth warriors, more than enough to form the five regiments of Wolf's Dragoons. It was a good way to discard troublemakers and those freebirths who would not conform to the rigid dictates of Clan society.
One of these was Cranston, a warrior who took the surname of Snord as part of his cover for the mission. A strong freebirth warrior of exceptional fighting ability, Cranston clearly was uncomfortable within Clan society.
Born the only child of a Merchant Caste family, he worked hard to earn a position in the Warrior Caste's lower levels. He was vastly skilled in combat, yet he often balked at Clan rules and traditions.
Snord was fascinated with the Star League, and his constant study of the government, military, and artifacts from that era bothered many of his fellow warriors.
To the relief of many, Cranston was given orders to accompany Jaime and Joshua Wolf on their mission. Jaime Wolf both admired and disliked the misfit. He felt that the warrior had great prowess in combat, but was sure that Cranston's non-conforming attitude was destined to cause trouble.
Striking a last blow for eccentricity, Cranston insisted that his young daughter Rhonda be attached to the mission. Such father/child relationships among the Warrior Caste were rare, and many considered these relationships to be abominations.
However, despite her father's unorthodox approach to training and warfare, Rhonda grew up to be a skilled MechWarrior in her own right.
After considerable deliberation, Jaime met with Cranston and devised a plan to make use of his unique talents and abilities. While Wolf's Dragoons would begin their Inner Sphere service with House Davion.
Cranston and a smaller team would approach House Steiner and gain service there, forming their own mercenary unit. This unit would be composed mostly of Inner Sphere natives, and would act as additional eyes and ears for the Dragoons.
In particular, they were to search for buried treasure. The Star League Defense Forces had left behind hundreds of hidden military bases. The Exodus fleet had maintained records of where many complexes and caches were hidden, but many other records had been lost during the more violent years of the Clans' formation.
Most of these bases, known and unknown, had been discovered by the warring houses, but the Wolf brothers were sure that others still existed undiscovered.
After Wolf's Dragoons appeared in the Inner Sphere on 11 April 3005, Cranston Snord was with them, commanding a battalion of BattleMechs in the Epsilon Regiment.
Following Colonel Wolf's orders, Cranston devised an excuse for Wolf to dismiss him from the Dragoons. In Jaime Wolf's own words, "I'm giving you enough rope to hang yourself, so do it right."
An opportunity presented itself in the raid on Halloran in early 3006. Cranston Snord ordered his battalion to attack a Liao outpost for the sole purpose of recovering a rare meerschaum pipe collection. His action infuriated the other warriors of the Dragoons, and provided sufficient grounds for his ouster.
Jaime Wolf publicly berated the MechWarrior and angrily discharged him from the Dragoons. With one strike, Cranston had proven himself a skilled warrior, given birth to tales of his eccentricity, and added to the reputation of Wolf's Dragoons as an elite mercenary unit.
Collection and WarEdit
Adopting the guise of a fanatical collector, Snord began the meandering journey that would lead to a bar on Crossing and the legendary poker game of 3007, where he won his first independent unit.
This time, Cranston continued to pursue the mission Colonel Wolf had given him. His year's research indicated that several undiscovered Star League caches were located near the Lyran Commonwealth/Free Worlds League border. His transfer of the Irregulars to this border gave him ready access to the scouting and research information he was likely to need.
Over the years, Cranston Snord's Irregulars continued actions against the Free Worlds League, earning the hatred of that state, and finding their share of rare antiques and Star League era BattleMechs, which they cached under their museum on Clinton. Weathering a Free Worlds League raid which destroyed their museum and captured their treasures.
In seeming contrast to his youthful energy, Cranston Snord suffered a severe heart attack in the spring of 3034. Later that same year, Jake Walmar, still suffering from wounds he received during the Fourth Succession War, retired from active duty to become librarian of the Irregulars' museum on Clinton.
Winston Nearon also stepped down from the ranks, devoting much of his time to helping Cranston recover and to refinishing and repairing his vast collection of weaponry. The heart attack forced Snord to use a cane.
His days in the cockpit of a BattleMech were slipping away. Several other original Irregulars, including Clame McDonald and John Malvinson, mustered out the following year. They were replaced by MechWarriors Rhonda recruited through her contacts in the LCAF.
In keeping with the tradition her father established, Rhonda enlisted only the boldest and most interesting warriors for the ranks of the Irregulars.
Enter the ClansEdit
Within two weeks of the Clans' first verified contact with the Inner Sphere, Jaime Wolf met with Cranston and Rhonda to discuss whether the Dragoons and the Irregulars would help protect the Inner Sphere or fulfill their mission.
He personally conveyed to them the recall order issued by the Grand Council of the Clans. Both Cranston and Rhonda refused to acknowledge the order, claiming more loyalty to the Inner Sphere than to their heritage in the Clan.
The location of lost Star League facilities and other information Snord had uncovered in the past 40 years was communicated across Wolfnet, and many of the old bunkers and complexes were refitted and revitalized by Dragoon operatives for use in the upcoming war.
As the weeks passed, it became painfully clear that the Clans would continue their push deep into the Federated Commonwealth, Rasalhague, and the Draconis Combine, riding a wave of death and destruction. As the Clan Jade Falcons pressed forward into the Commonwealth, the front line approached the Dark Nebula.
A Star League naval base had for centuries been rumored to be hidden in the Dark nebula. Cranston and Jake Walmar had found several references to such a base, but had never uncovered coordinates for the rumored facility.
As Cranston continued to study the maps, he realized that if the facility existed, it would offer an excellent base for a counterattack against the flank of the Clans' offensive. Cranston and Jake traveled to the libraries on Derf and Wotan, known for their archives of Star League atlases and star charts.
Although they did not locate the coordinates for the base, they did learn that the SLDF had set up a special astronomical survey station on the northern continent of the planet Apollo. After gaining the information they needed on Apollo, the Irregulars set off to find Camelot Command in the Dark Nebula.
As Rhonda leaned over the reconnaissance tech's shoulder, the Harrier arrived in a small system. A red dwarf star eerily shrouded in a haze of flowing stellar dust, provided dim light. The tech located a small, rotating planetoid with only a scant atmosphere clinging to its surface.
Magnifying a visual scan, Rhonda saw it was black and pitted with the scars of time. Stark white lines of concrete etched its surface. Aged turrets poked up from the surface. On its eastern horizon she saw a massive port, large enough to dry-dock one of the Clan's old Black Lion class battleships.
As the Harrier approached, she recognized a 100-meter-long Cameron Star painted on the concrete equator.
As the Jade Falcon forces approached, following them from Apollo, Rhonda prepared her defenses, whittling down the Clan forces until Star Colonel Damon, bloody and beaten, conceded victory to the Irregulars and turned over the remaining Jade Falcon warriors and equipment, declared as isorla for the battle.
Following the truce of Tukayyid, Colonel Rhonda Snord requested permission from the Federated Commonwealth on several occasions to launch raids into the Clan Jade Falcon occupation zone, but the Commonwealth has so far refused.
Instead, the Federated Commonwealth asked the Irregulars to split their forces, leaving half on Camelot and stationing one battalion on Edasich to defend that world's fusion reactor manufacturing facility.
Semi-retired Cranston Snord also led a lance of Irregulars back to Clinton, the unit's former base. Rhonda Snord finds the unit's current status as garrison forces frustrating, but has so far managed to wait patiently for a more exciting assignment.
Camelot Command remains a fortified Inner Sphere outpost in the middle of Clan territory, much like Wolcott in the Clan Smoke Jaguar occupation zone. Though its small size limits anti-Clan activity staged from it to minor raiding, the station resupplies countless guerrilla activities in the Jade Falcon occupation zone.
Recent, widespread rumors claim that Snord's Irregulars are attempting to recruit warriors among Clan solahma refugees and elements of the Bandit Caste. Colonel Snord denies the rumors but admits to making contacts in the Clan occupation zone on worlds controlled by both Clans Jade Falcon and Steel Viper.
Wolfnet believes that this contact amounts to simple intelligence gathering for another raid Colonel Snord intends to propose.
The current political tensions threatening Federated Commonwealth unity propose to sorely test the Irregular's strong, long-established ties to the Lyran Commonwealth.
Though both Snords feel fiercely loyal to their long-time employers, Snord's Irregulars possess a keen understanding of the Clan threat, matched only by Wolf's Dragoons. Having renounced their Clan ties, they may decide that their ultimate duty to protect the entire Inner Sphere from that threat outweighs any debt they owe to any given political faction.
Not much has changed for the Irregulars. With the Refusal War having sapped the strength of Clan Jade Falcon, that Clan's concerns are in rebuilding, not pursuing what it considers to be a band of pirates.
Once that Clan has recovered, however, Rhonda Snord's Irregulars is bound to be at the top of Clan Jade Falcon and Marthe Pryde's hit list.
In the meantime, Rhonda Snord will be training her unit and continuing to make contacts in the Clan occupation zone on worlds controlled by both Clans Jade Falcon and Steel Viper.
The Irregulars are eager to gain a chance to finally strike back at Clan Jade Falcon and commence raids on their possessions in the Inner Sphere.
Again, it is believed that this contact amounts to simple intelligence gathering for another raid Rhonda Snord intends to propose to her employer.
With the current weakened state of the Jade Falcons, Snord is more likelier than ever to strike at the Clan.
Reorganized after the Jade Falcon raid on Camelot Command in 3051, Snord's Irregulars currently maintain a rotating troop assignment.
In order to more easily integrate her Jade Falcon bondsmen, Rhonda Snord changed her unit's structure from Inner Sphere companies to Clan Clusters and Trinaries.
The First Cluster and Binary Bravo of the Second Cluster, roughly equivalent to a battalion and a company, are stationed on Camelot Command in the Dark Nebula.
The remaining three Trinaries of the Second Cluster, comprising the original three companies of Irregulars and their support platoons commanded by Colonel Rhonda Snord, protect Federated Commonwealth assets on Edasich.
Rhonda rotates her forces to coincide with the irregularly scheduled Federated Commonwealth supply runs into the Dark Nebula, making it impossible for the Clans to discover what forces defend Camelot at any given time.
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