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Clan Rift Tiger
This information was last updated on the: 27th of April, 2014
Core Information:

     Capital: Offerman
     Faction Leader: Khan Rikel McCloud
     Military Leader: saKhan Tariq McCloud
     Intelligence Leader: Loremaster Shika Mannix
     Approximate BattleMech Regiment Strength: 2 Clusters

Major Sub Regions Core Information:

     Region Name: Offerman
     Capital: Jose
     Commander: Nova Colonel Ewan Khatib
     Sub-Commander: Star Colonel Jax Madonn
     Percentage of total Faction Military Strength: 20

     Region Name: Chenier
     Capital: Opelousas
     Commander: Star Colonel Sascha Kardaan
     Sub-Commander: Star Captain Tomas Cage
     Percentage of total Faction Military Strength: 40

     Region Name: Okefenokee
     Capital: Emerald City
     Commander: Star Colonel Tariq Kufahl
     Sub-Commander: Star Captain Cilla Danforth
     Percentage of total Faction Military Strength: 40

BTM Timeline Events:

9th of January, 3089
With the incoming New Year the following changes have occurred around the Inner Sphere. The recognition of the Official Holdings of Clan Rift Tiger and Clan Diamond Shark. The Draconis Combine gained Sabik, Dalkeit, and Skondia from the Lyran Alliance The Confederated Magistry gained Bell, Safe Port, and Hadnall from the Federated Suns. The Free Worlds League gained Connaught, Bordon, Dieudonne, and Dubhe from the Lyran Alliance The Lyran Alliance gained Marfik, Ryde, Alphecca, and Lyons from the Draconis Combine. Wyatt, Rahne, and New Kyoto from the Free Worlds League The Federated Suns gained Woodstock and Yangtze from the Confederated Magistry. Hazelhurst, Inner End, Sevon, and Mitchella from the Outworlds Alliance. The Taurian Concordant gained Caldwell from the Federated Suns

Remembrance:
�When I was the most lost I had ever felt and truly alone, it came out of the forest and fearlessly attacked. I found the strength to kill my attacker, and in doing so, I found myself again in the ferocious eyes of the beast that tried to end my life, that is the Way of the Clans, quaiff?,� � Loremaster Shika Mannix during a meeting of her Bloodname House, June 2, 3084.

History:
Clan Rift Tiger is an enigma, a product of two worlds. By 3084, the Inner Sphere mercenary unit Raven Legion had fought Kerensky�s Clans on several notable occasions. Particularly in the Davion Outback, where they nearly destroyed Clan Cloud Cobra�s Gamma Galaxy and lifted off with an incredible number of Clansmen, Warriors and Lower Castemen alike. They joined bondsmen from nearly every Clan with a presence in the Inner Sphere.

The bondsmen were eager to serve and prove themselves. Although the idea of being paid soldiers, stung, the warriors among them knew nothing else but war and combat. In addition, the Clansmen had watched Kerensky�s legacy get pulled and twisted in ways that many of them struggled to comprehend. The events in the Homeworlds, largely masked in secrecy, were regarded as the virtual destruction of Clan society by some, or at least as detestable and dishonorable. The misadventures of their Clans and the failures of both the Crusader and Warden philosophies called into question everything the former Clansmen had come to believe. On top of that, close exposure to Inner Sphere �barbarians� had forced think to rethink dogma indoctrinated into them at an early age.

Among the Legion, many of these Clansmen became mercenaries in the hope of finding a new path again among the familiar rigors of military life. The sheer number of Clansmen made them a sub-culture, both within the Raven Legion and on Offerman, the unit�s landhold in the Federated Suns. At times, cooperation was in bloom, and at other times, it seemed like the Clansmen were ready to tear a rift between themselves and their spheroid comrades and superiors. It became evident to the wisest on both sides that something needed to be done.

As early as 3081, the former Clansmen were experimenting with captured Clan eugenics technologies, including the Iron Womb technology used to create generations of Clan Warriors. That technology had been used in some test-cases and even a few unusual mixed offspring groupings. In that existing technology the former Clan warriors saw the opportunity for redemption. Theirs had always been a path of genetic immortality. To win a bloodname and secure a place in a Clan breeding program was among the highest achievements a warrior could earn. With �freebirth� conception still scorned by many, the Trueborns saw the revival of a eugenics program of their own as the key to a fountain of youth for the Clan Warrior�s soul.

Immortality wasn�t enough however, and the rest of the puzzle came in two significant pieces. In April 3083, former Cloud Cobra warrior Shika Mannix, suffering from depression at her fate, headed into the Rift Forest of Offerman. With no food or weapons, the hulking Elemental woman fully intended to die. Two weeks into her journey, starving and all but awaiting death, she was attacked by a Rift Tiger, a local analog to the Terran Siberian Tiger. Shika was nearly killed but managed to beat off the animal and grab a sharp rock that she used to stab it repeatedly until it died. As she lay bleeding in the Rift Forest next to the body of her fierce assailant, she felt alive again for the first time in months. She returned to the Raven Legion with the story, the scars and claws cut from the Tiger�s body. In a manner of weeks, the tale grew to mythic proportion, spread by word of mouth. Other former Clansmen were soon heading off into the Rift Forest to try and find this rare predator. Few returned having seen it, and yet fewer succeeded in killing one. Some sub-units dominated by former Clansmen adopted the Tiger as a moniker, nickname or unit crest within the Legion.

The second piece of the puzzle came from another former Clansmen, a former Cloud Cobra Star Captain named Rikel McCloud. Yet another survivor of Gamma Galaxy�s fall, Rikel had a gifted strategic mind that extended beyond military matters. He saw the rising tension among his brethren and the need to focus their energies and refocus their purpose of existence. Rikel started on a crusade to re-identify the Clansmen�by creating a new Clan. Armed with Shika Mannix�s story (and her support), and the burgeoning Eugenics Program, he went to General Ravenna Nelson with a plan.

Just weeks later, after an intense series of meetings with the Raven Legion leaders, and the planetary leaders of Offerman, Clan Rift Tiger was created and all Clansmen who sought it could join this new Clan that would respect the Way of the Clans to the best of their ability. Necessary compromises were struck that made the Clan subordinate to the Raven Legion, but a Clan Council was formed and the promise of new sibkos and bloodnames to be won spurred the best efforts of the rejuvenated Clansmen. Traditions and customs were created that carried the essence of the Clan way that so many of the Clan mercenaries ached for, including rights of passage that would allow them to truly identify themselves as Clan Warriors once more.

Governance and Society:
Clan Rift Tiger has reconstructed itself by building an Enclave community called DeChavilier (in honor of General Aaron DeChavilier, whose death in the DeChavilier Massacre played an indirect but significant role in the eventual creation of Kerensky�s Clans). This burgeoning township is still relatively small, yet grows as the members of Clan Rift Tiger and their allocated resources have been transferred there.

Clan Rift Tiger is governed by a Clan Council consisting of all the Bloodnamed. That body is led by Khan Ravenna Nelson, the only Non-Clansmen in the room, but a Spheroid that the Clansmen have come to respect and to whom they still swear loyalty. saKhan Rikel McCloud runs more of the day-to-day operations of the Clan. Loremaster Shika Mannix has become something of a legendary figure after her fight with the Rift Tiger, and has taken to her position with gusto as she strives to uphold the Founders� words and legacy with a newfound fanaticism.

The Clan Council is also attended by the heads of the lower castes as non-voting, advisory members. The Scientist, Merchant, Technician and Laborer Castes have been created in Clan fashion in a miniature sense. Although each caste can�t claim the numbers or variety of sub-castes as Kerensky�s Clans, they represent a sufficient cross-section of skills and knowledge to operate a functional mini-society. In some cases, willing Spheroid volunteers have joined the Clan when their skills and expertise were deemed useful.

The Clan has also created a separate Judicial Tribunal, consisting of 3 Clansmen and three Spheroids (typically political or legal authorities on Offerman, such as mayors, lawyers and judges). This Tribunal serves as a court of law for deciding matters where Clan law or traditions conflict with the laws of the Federated Suns or Offerman. Their most prominent case to date involved a group of orphans from one of Offerman�s cities, which willingly joined the Clan, forming a warrior caste sibko. The action was challenged by an anti-Clan citizens group. The Clan action was upheld, but future challenges seem inevitable on every conceivable matter.

Culture and Traditions:
Clan Rift Tiger bears much resemblance to the society from which they originally sprung. As the bulk of the Clansmen were of Clan Cloud Cobra, that Clan�s societal quirks (particularly it�s Cloisters and Honorariums) remain prominent fixtures of the society in DeChavilier. A number of new Cloisters have sprung up, some aligned more along former Clan lines than religious leanings, with their former Clan�s Remembrance as the core scripture. Some of these, like the Bear�s Clawing Cloister, maintain their former Clan�s traditions, engaging in Great Works and rituals that espouse the bonds of friendship. A few Cloud Cobras originally of Clan Coyote heritage have devised their own version of the Communion of the Coyote, living in the wilds for days or weeks at a time in an effort to connect with nature. At the same time, individual Clansmen of every caste have carried their origins with them. The Cloisters� actual influence in the Clan Council remains subdued however, as these associations are relatively small and many warriors (particularly those not of Cobra heritage) espouse no Cloister leanings, preferring to look to their Bloodname House Leaders for purpose and fellowship.

The presence of so many warriors from such diverse backgrounds has forced the Khans to espouse an unusually open society for a Clan�s Warrior Caste. In this, the Rift Tigers resemble Clan Wolf, with the Clan �conformist� culture weakened and each warrior permitted to espouse their own political and religious views and with an above-average culture of personal freedoms for Clansmen.

The Rift Tigers treat their lower castes with a firm hand. They have formed a police force and have begun to develop their own laws and codes of conduct that are very reminiscent of the Clan norm. Although some lines of communication exist between the Clansmen and their Spheroid neighbors, many, particularly in the large labor caste, are largely forbidden constant contact with Inner Sphere citizens. The Rift Tigers have stated concern that their culture could become irrevocably infected by Inner Sphere beliefs and consumerism that could undermine the caste system on which Clan society is based. Whether or not these �brick wall� policies will work or only create further problems is yet to be scene and a topic of frequent discussion even far beyond DeChavilier�s borders.

Another on-going source of tension is the knowledge that Clan Rift Tiger are still essentially Inner Sphere mercenaries. The Clan is considered part of the Raven Legion and must take on Inner Sphere mercenary contracts to survive, at least in the short-term. Whether or not the Clansmen are able to rectify this contradiction is yet to be seen. To date it seems to be an individual challenge for every Clan warrior to overcome in their own way. No single rationale has predominated.

Eugenics Program and Warrior Training:

Clan Rift Tiger has constructed a small but functioning Eugenics Program. The first Trueborn sibkos are just a few years old and are experiencing their share of difficulties as the warrior training program struggles to come online. Few of the bondsmen captured by the Raven Legion had any experience as Sibko Instructors, and so the training manual is being written piece by piece, both a blessing and a curse as new ideas and methods are tested. The core concept of Clan warrior training remains the same, with cadets being tested continuously to gauge their worthiness of becoming a warrior until they succeed in a live fire Trial of Position at age 20. The demand for warriors is so great that the Rift Tigers have taken a page from the Ghost Bears, and allow a warrior to retest in a different sub-caste if their fail their first Trial of Position. If they fail twice, a cadet will be relegated to the lower castes. Much of a cadet�s training in a cockpit or in battle armor is accomplished using simulators or low-powered weapons to preserve scarce resources. However significant training events, such as the cadet�s final Trial of Position, are always live fire. In order to preserve as much Clan-manufactured equipment as possible, many of these Trials are conducted in older Inner Sphere machines.

Clan Rift Tiger is striving to find a balance between quality and quantity in the limited number of Trueborns they can decant and how many of those individuals will become Clan Warriors. As an interim solution, a number of Freeborn Sibkos have been created, using groups of 20 to 50 individuals of approximately 12 to 16 years of age selected from the lower castes (and in some cases, willing Spheroid orphans). Several sibkos are in the training program and will be among the first warriors Clan Rift Tiger produces from scratch.

One of the most unusual aspects of Clan Rift Tiger�s Eugenics Program is the use of Inner Sphere genetic material. In several cases, Clan warrior genetic legacies are reportedly being paired with that of proven Inner Sphere soldiers and mercenaries to create Sibkos. Traditionalists in the Clan Council have viciously opposed this, and so it seems likely to remain rare in the near future. The full ramifications of the sibkos already created this way and how they will impact Clan Rift Tiger is not yet well understood.

Bloodnames and Bloodname Houses:

At present Clan Rift Tiger recognizes seven established Bloodname Houses (each consisting of 5 Bloodnamed warriors or more): Jorgensson, Steiner, Mannix, Kardaan, McCloud and Hazen. All are the Bloodnames in use by active Bloodnamed warriors at the time of Clan Rift Tiger�s formation. Other un-blooded warriors are being given the opportunity to fight for the Bloodname of their gene-mothers, per Clan tradition. These Trials of Bloodright have occasionally been called into question, as a Bloodname may only have one or two eligible warriors at the present time, resulting in a truncated series of matches involving far fewer participants than is Clan norm. But they have been allowed to proceed, with the understanding that the future of those warriors� genetic legacies remains in doubt unless those warriors can prove themselves through a successful codex and warrior career. As Trials of Bloodright are fought, it is expected that more Bloodnames will become active, leading to the creation of more Bloodname Houses and further filling the existing Houses.

The existing Bloodname Houses remain the most powerful, carrying the most members in the Clan Council and serving as voting blocs in the Clan Council. In many cases, smaller Bloodname Houses of fewer than 5 members are allowing themselves to fall under the influence of a more prominent Bloodname House, currying favor in exchange votes in the Clan Council until they can grow in size. Slowly but surely, many aspects of the Way of the Clans is being revived, such as the Rite of Reaving. If current trends are continued, most of the sibkos created by Clan Rift Tiger will use their more prominent bloodnames as gene-mothers. A bloodname that the Rift Tigers only have one bloodheritage from, for example, Mechwarrior Kristen Davis, formerly of Clan Jade Falcon, is more likely to be used solely as a gene-father for future sibkos unless more warriors eligible for the Davis Bloodname are adopted into the Clan. However several Clan warriors have contested this policy in a Trial of Grievance.

All of the Bloodnames are regarded as �general� bloodnames, producing warriors of the mechwarrior, aerospace pilot and elemental phenotypes. The limited gene pool available to the Rift Tigers means they don�t have the luxury of segmenting off genetic lines further by creating warriors of only one phenotype from a particular line of genetic legacies. At the same time, the traditional number of bloodheritages to each Bloodname House has been reduced and is presently derived from a formula that calculates the number of eligible warriors, ensuring that less than 10 percent of those eligible will actually earn a Bloodname. The largest Bloodcount at present goes to Bloodname House Kardaan, with 7 legacies and the same number of bloodnamed members.

Bloodnamed Clan bondsmen who share the Bloodname of an existing Rift Tiger Bloodname House automatically raise their Bloodname House�s bloodcount by 1, for the duration of that warrior�s life.

This unusual environment has raised red flags from the Clan�s scientists regarding their Clan�s genetic future, and has put great emphasis in Clan Rift Tiger on the concept of genetic harvesting. The Rift Tigers are actively striving to acquire Clan Warriors (in Clan Rift Tiger, the warrior and their genetic legacy are regarded as one, since most other Clans won�t acknowledge Trials of Possession for a genetic legacy from the Rift Tigers). As Clan warriors are taken as bondsmen and regain their warrior status, they create new legacies which can be added to the exceptionally small gene pool. This is viewed as essential to the Clan�s survival, since many traditionalists in the Clan Council are fighting against the widespread inclusion of Spheroid DNA into the Eugenics Program.

Uniforms:

Dress Uniform:
Clan Rift Tiger�s dress uniform consists of a black jacket and pants with orange piping on the sleeves and shoulders. This is worn over a blue shirt and black tie. Rank insignia is worn on the epaulets, the Clan insignia is worn on the right arm and a Cluster or Galaxy insignia is typically worn on the left. Decorations and awards are worn on the front, including a pin on each lapel that signifies the Bloodname House to which the warrior belongs. Senior officers of Star Colonel rank or higher wear a white undershirt and a black belt.

Ceremonial Uniform:
The ceremonial uniform is a black jumpsuit with black boots and a full length black cape with orange trim and a necklace of fake Tiger claws (those who have completed the Hunt often wear real claws). A ceremonial mask that resembles the Clan�s crest completes the ceremonial uniform. A saber or Katana is traditionally worn as well. A sash, colored to represent the Bloodname House to which the warrior belongs, completes the ceremonial uniform. Freeborn warriors were a plain orange sash.

Field Uniform:
The Clan�s field uniform, used in combat and training utilizes camouflage colors that fit the terrain in tiger-striped patterns. Sidearms are common, and if combat is expected, the Clan utilizes combat armor similar to the Federated Suns PAB-27 personal body armor.

Ranks:

Clan Rift Tiger uses traditional Clan ranking conventions. Their rank insignia bears a strong resemblance that used by Clan Hell�s Horses, the Tiger head of the Clan�s crest replaces the Horse�s totem.

Awards:

Like Kerensky�s Clans, the Rift Tigers espouse few official awards. Every battle and victory is recorded on a warrior�s codex. The few that exist are covered here.

The Hunter�s Mark:
Unsurprisingly, The Rift Tigers have created their own tradition toward their new totem in an effort to give their members a firm sense of belonging to their new Clan. Once a year, in the summer months when the elusive Rift Tigers are most active in the wilds of Offerman, a warrior from every Star in the Clan is selected to join one or more hunting parties armed only with what they can fashion in the wild. These parties seek to find and kill a Rift Tiger and bring it back to the hunting camp. There its meat is eaten and sometimes keepsakes are made from its teeth and claws during a series of festivities that resemble a tribal celebration. Those who succeed in the hunt earn the right to bear tiger stripe tattoos on their body in any pattern chosen by the warrior. As an alternative, a glossy woolen patch of a tiger�s paw with claws outstretched may be worn on a warrior�s uniform.

The Remembrance Bar:
The Remembrance Bar is awarded to those whose exploits warrant lines written in Clan Rift Tiger�s Remembrance.

The Roar Keshik:
The Roar Keshik is a small ceremonial unit that guards the Clan Council, the Khans and the genetic repository. Occasionally members of the Roar Keshik are sent on diplomatic assignments to other worlds in the Federated Suns and even to the Clans. Warriors are rotated in to the unit on a one-year tour of duty. It is viewed as a considerable honor, reflecting a warrior of the highest skill, loyalty and intelligence. Warriors who have been repeatedly selected for the duty are viewed to be among the Clan�s truly elite, though no warrior can serve two consecutive tours of duty in the Roar Keshik.

Paint Scheme:

In combat and ceremonial duties, the Rift Tigers paint their machines a mixture of red, orange, yellow or white, often mimicking the Clan totem crest in colors of descending intensity with black tiger stripes. When desired, the base color can be changed to suit the terrain. For example, in a woodland environment, the base colors may be replaced with woodland green. The Clan�s technicians take delight in painting each machine a little differently, making them unique.

Relationship to other Clans:

The other Clans in the Inner Sphere view Clan Rift Tiger as an abomination at worst, and a group of rogue upstart Clansmen striving to uphold Kerensky�s traditions at best. In that they are viewed in a similar light as Clan Wolf-in-Exile or Clan Nova Cat. Individually many warriors of the other Clans hold some ounce of respect for the Rift Tigers for striving to preserve their culture among the barbarians of the Inner Sphere. The leadership of the other Clans on the other hand, has demonstrated nothing but open contempt. The Rift Tigers expected nothing less and have grown a thick skin, preferring actions to words when dealing with their former brethren.

Zellbrigen:

Time spent serving as an Inner Sphere mercenary have redefined the concept of Zellbrigen in the minds of some of Clan Rift Tiger�s leaders. Ultimately the Clan felt the need to devise an umbrella policy that all Rift Tiger warriors were expected to follow. Against Inner Sphere opponents, used of combined fire and tactical retreat is permitted. Against Clan opponents, the Rift Tigers try to fight with the upmost honor and observe Zellbrigen if their opponent will as well. Regardless of the opponent, the Rift Tigers have a liberal-use view of the use of aerospace fighters to attack air and ground forces, a direct hand-down of Clan Cloud Cobra tactical doctrine.

Touman:

Clan Rift Tiger is undergoing massive reorganization and growth. At present the Clan consists of two Clusters, the 1st Tiger Guards and the 2nd Tiger Cuirassiers. Each Cluster is configured for independent deployment and so support units such as MASH and combat engineers are attached.

In addition the Clan is organizing a small Watch of Intelligence Operatives, mostly lower castemen but led by Clan warriors no longer fit for duty. The Rift Tigers also have a police force that patrols DeChalivier and the surrounding area. The Roar Keshik also exists on paper, its scattered members attend to duties at numerous locations and so is rarely seen and is not issued �mechs, battle armor or other heavy equipment due its ceremonial and sometimes diplomatic role.

Equipment:

Most of the Clan�s equipment is salvaged from battles the Raven Legion have fought against Kerensky�s Clans. Clan-manufactured OmniMechs and BattleMechs are a common sight in line units, while training units often utilize older Inner Sphere BattleMechs. Although vehicles and conventional infantry exist in the Clan�s police units, they do not otherwise appear in the Touman, though the sheer necessity of outfitting additional combat-ready units may change this. Clan-made aerospace fighters are particularly rare, as they are often less salvageable and so are frequently replaced with Inner Sphere designs. But the Rift Tigers make considerable use of Clan-manufactured battle armor.

Courtesy of Deputy Thapa: