Warriors of the Righteous
Whoever first said, "Might does not make right" obviously was on the losing side.
-Khan Jerome Winson, Clan Wolf, 2825
Strength, more than anything, defines the Clans: strength through identity, strength of arms, strength of purpose. From warrior to common laborer, every member of each Clan works within his or her caste to benefit his individual Clan and thereby strengthen Clan society as a whole. Thriving as the Clans have in previously unknown regions of space and preparing for the tasks that lie ahead has never been an easy life; not for nothing did Aleksandr Kerensky call it the Great Challenge. But at the end of this hard path lies a glorious vision. Forgotten by many Clans in their weakness, this vision is remembered by the Crusaders, who strive to seize the future that once belonged to all the Clans.
The Crusader Clans recognize the Trials still to be faced; we must yet contend with Inner Sphere treachery and the foolish opposition of the Warden Clans to our glorious forefathers' true designs. But the hotter the forge, the keener the blade that emerges from it. Crusaders do not shirk from confrontation; they embrace it, and turn adversity to victory. That is the Way of the Clans, and of the Crusaders' one immutable law: only the strong may lead.
With stern compassion, he spoke and all was revealed; How their destiny was the Hidden Hope of all mankind, and how their sons' sons would one day return to the Inner Sphere, bringing back the enlightenment of the Star League to those unfortunates they had left behind. Such was their right; such is our legacy of blood.
-The Remembrance (Clan Wolf), Passage 3, Verse 22, Lines 12-18
In the noble words of The Remembrance, Aleksandr Kerensky instilled into generations as yet unborn the promise and conviction that lie behind the Crusader cause. With his doctrine of Hidden Hope-that one day the Clans would return to redeem the Inner Sphere from its evils-he gave us the vision that sustains us to this day. His son, our Founder Nicholas Kerensky, gave us still more. When the old hatreds, which had followed us into the void, threatened to tear apart what our forebears had established, Nicholas led his most faithful followers on a second Exodus, where he created a new society free of humanity's ancient evils.
The birth of the Clans was the first step on the long road to the reclamation of the Inner Sphere and the restoration of the Star League. Nicholas held that goal before the Clans as their destiny, to be accomplished, "in the time of our great-grandchildren when, united and strong, they return to the Inner Sphere."
Just more than two hundred and fifty years later, the Clans finally kept that promise.
Late in the thirtieth century, growing debate over the Return inspired the warriors truest to Kerensky's visions to step forward and lead the way. Calling themselves Crusaders, they championed a swift return to the Inner Sphere. The Clans in which a majority embraced this philosophy began calling themselves Crusader Clans, and were soon opposed by self-styled Warden Clans. These misguided individuals believed that the Clans' primary duty was not to reclaim the Inner Sphere, but to preserve it from an undefined external or internal threat.
After several generations of delay engineered by Warden sympathizers, the Crusaders-the true warriors of Kerensky-won out and led the Clans back to the Inner Sphere. Proof of Clan and therefore Crusader superiority can be seen in the Clans' initial drive, spearheaded largely by Crusader forces. Heading toward Terra, the invading Clans swept aside the Successor States' pitiable defenses across a front that stretched well over four hundred light-years in width. Unfortunately, chance intervened to halt the Clan juggernaut in its drive toward humanity's birthplace. Near the world of Rasalhague, an Inner Sphere aerospace pilot rammed her fighter into the Clan flagship Dire Wolf and killed ilKhan Leo Showers, a valiant Crusader from Clan Smoke Jaguar who had been chosen to lead the entire invasion. Ulric Kerensky, the notorious Warden elected to succeed him, ultimately engineered the Clans' overwhelming defeat just a year and a half later on the planet Tukayyid and imposed a dishonorable truce over a people bred for war. Later, in the face of accusations that the truce had deprived younger Clan generations of battlefield experience and thus condemned them to death. Ulric once more attempted to thwart the Clans' destiny through the Wolf-Falcon Refusal War. By battling Clan Jade Falcon to the death, Ulric hoped to cripple the Crusader cause by decimating what was then the strongest of the Crusader Clans.
Recent events-the Absorption of one Crusader Clan and the significant troop losses of another-may raise Warden hopes that the Crusader faction is weakening. The truth is otherwise. Such trials only hone Crusader strength, and the Crusader Clans remain resolute champions of Kerensky's true vision.