Proposing Future War: SCOUR and SCYTHE

Wolf vs. Blake

Roughly five years ago, and two years after pushing out the Masters and Minions compilation and sorting out material for Jihad Hot Spots: Terra, a random email conversation with a fellow contractor spawned an idea. What if we could detail one of the biggest operations of BattleTech‘s Jihad Era and possibly kickstart a dormant series?

Operations SCOUR and SCYTHE were two major campaigns that I helped orchestrate within our massive canon timeline. They were officially Stone’s biggest combined campaigns of the war, culminating in the emancipation of Terra from the Word of Blake’s choking grasp.

I went so far as to work up a detailed outline and discussed the possibilities with a couple of writers who were free and whom I trusted most.

Alas, the project didn’t gain much traction because shortly afterwards, the Total Chaos idea came up and was chosen instead. At that point, I just folded over into it pieces of what I had conceived in this project.

Since there’s no chance this will ever be done, I’m posting it here as a ‘what if’ possibility for those interested in such things. It’s also a good example of how to build a project pitch for a plot book – if you happen to be involved in development of a venerable game line someday that actually has money to spend.

Proposal: Historical SCOUR-SCYTHE

Threat Contained


[Osaka]: “Welcome back, I’m Sako Osaka, and this is your 2300 news brief. Earlier this evening, Terri Chow reported on a supposedly leaked report from one of our intelligence services, presumably the O5P. It is the policy of this station and ISNS not to broadcast unsubstantiated and unsolicited information. However, in light of the subject this report, we have reason to believe its authenticity. With more is Terri Chow.”

[Cut to a young Asian woman in front the Ministry of Information Annex.]

[Chow]: “This is Terri Chow, reporting for Voice of the Dragon. I’m standing outside of our Information Ministry, where I just conducted an interview with an official who must remain anonymous. My source informs me that the disturbing events reported from Qandahar were, in fact, perpetrated by the outlawed ‘Black Dragon Society.’

“My source alleges that local security forces lost a number of operatives in an attempt to quell an uprising instigated by suspected Blakist insurgents. Apparently, the security forces were wholly unprepared for the tactical situation. In addition, the Black Dragons may have received support from local conspirators. Furthermore, according to sketchy reports from the Qandahar Prefecture, petroleum plants and production facilities on Qandahar are assumed to be in the hands of the outlaw terrorists.

“Reportedly, O5P and ISF are stifled in how they should proceed from this point. Because of the ongoing Jihad, security assets have been stretched thin, and local operatives do not have the ability to properly contain the Society’s resurgence, despite reassurances from the ISF. My source alleges that the use of military intervention is being discussed as an option. If so, the Tenth Pesht Regulars are the only available force in the Prefecture if such an option is used.”

—VOTD broadcast (now removed), Benjamin, 21 December 3077

[This is an excerpt from the upcoming Jihad Hot Spots: Terra plotbook, to be released sometime this year by Catalyst Game Labs. For more preview action, you can go here and here.]