Posted 12 March 2012 - 07:07 AM
I'd like to interject my 2 cents worth here.
1. I like Liao, always have always will, now that being said what drew me most to House Liao in the first place was the Northwind Highlanders, so when they leave I have to go with them but I'd like to point a few things out for those WE LOVE HOUSE DAVION players.
According to the latest revived and rectonned back story, which I can agree wtih mostly here is what happened in a nutshell for the Highlanders.
Northwind was colonized by remnants of the Stuart Clan, they formed a standing self defense force called the Northwind Highlanders.
At some point the majority of those Highlanders had a HUGE falling out with the Clan Elders, so they left for Liao space leaving only the 3rd Kearny Highlanders and Stuart's Highlanders on planet. This of course is a HUGE plot hole since the 3rd Kearny would have been formed well before the 1st or 2nd Kearney but that's neither here nor there.
House Davion comes in and wipes out the 3rd Kearny and Stuart's Highlanders thereby taking over Northwind. Meanwhile over in Liao space the Highlanders have come to an *agreement* with the Capellans, we will work for you but you have to try to help us take back our homeworld, so in a sense they were Mercenaries while at the same time not really true mercs in the sense of their primary motivation. This explains the grey area where we were listed as House Units in the original House Liao book, and later stated to be Mercs. They were not being paid money for services rendered, they were being supplied as a House unit and sent on missions for House Liao with the promise that Liao will get around to freeing Northwind.
While in service to House Liao the 1st and 2nd Kearny are formed, according to the 2nd Kearny's origin, they were formed from miners on Kearny, not the planet in Marik space but the southern continent on Northwind. This would imply that there was still much communication between the Highlanders and their friends and family back on Northwind. The Highlanders are a tight knit family so it would make sense for them to have pulled relatives from back home to come join the military forces currently located in Liao space.
The Northwind Highlanders serve House Liao for over 200 years, there is no way the Highlanders would have or could have remained completely separate from the Capellans they worked with, married, served and lived with. They were Capellans in every way that counted yet still considered themselves a part of Northwind as well.
During the 4th succession war House Davion approached the leadership of the NWH and said, we will give you back Northwind IF you come home now and don't interfere in our fight with House Liao. Now after 200 plus years of promising to get Northwind back and never fulfilling that promise, I can fully understand them saying "well boys, House Liao never held up their end of our bargain and all we ever wanted was Northwind back, so I say we bail and go home."
This action would not have been as simple as many people think because of all of the friends and relatives they had to leave behind and all of the people that died because the Highlanders left their post in the middle of a war. This was even documented in one of the novels in a flashback where MacLeod and the other regimental commanders all met to discuss leaving. There were many Highlanders who decided that staying and protecting the people that were their family in the confederation was more important than leaving for a planet they had never seen. To say these people are NOT Highlanders is an insult frankly.
Honor and duty are not always an easy thing to choose between. Even MacLeod understood these Capellan loyalists were still Highlanders, they only felt their duty lay in a different place. They were not against the Highlanders or their choice to leave. Both sides agreed to disagree and part as friends.
After returning home to Northwind, the clans were finally reunited and the Highlanders set about making their home. They did not participate in many fights during the last bits of the 4th succession war since they were rebuilding and reuniting with family and loved ones.
Shortly after moving home, they discovered what House Davion's idea of independence really was, you are free to listen to what we have to tell you and then you are free to do as you are told. Even the planetary leaders were Davion appointees with oversight capability. House Davion began to take away the carrot in favor of the stick more or less.
Enter Loren Jaffrey, a decedent of one of the Highlander's who stayed behind in House Liao when the Highlanders left. He was tasked by Sun-Tzu Liao to deny the Highlanders to House Davion or destroy them. Welcomed back personally by William MacLeod, Lorren was reunited with his Highlander family.
Again, once a Highlander, Always a Highlander.
Dissatisfaction with House Davion rule helped to spark a civil war between a younger generation that had grown up on Northwind under House Davion rule and many of the old timers who came from House Liao back to Northwind for their supposed independence. There would not have been a civil war if all of the Highlanders were happy being under House Davion's thumb. The anti-Davion side won the civil war and the Highlanders then as they have before in the past, welcomed back into the fold those Highlanders who just a few hours before had been shooting at them. Highlanders are always Highlanders no matter who they serve or where they live.
After finally throwing off House Davion's yoke, the Highlanders were finally, truly independent, and ironically, House Liao did in the end fulfill their promise to restore Northwind to the Highlander's free and clear because it was First Lord Sun-Tzu Liao who officially recognized Northwind's independence to the rest of the inner sphere, even going so far as to promise Capellan forces to defend this freedom. House Davion was forced to recognize this as well or look like the hypocrites they are, as they tout how they are all about freedom and free will.
Do not find fault with those of us who still hold a warm spot in our heart for the Confederation because they housed us, supported us and in the end did return Northwind to us. And never forget it was the Davion's who took Northwind from us in the first place and sought to keep us under their boot when we challenged them for our right to self governance.
We are now independent and can choose who we work for but please don't expect many of us Capellan sympathizers to swallow the House Davion is our friend cool aid because they are not. Only Highlander's truly look out for Highlanders in the end. We have to trust only ourselves and keep all others at arms length.
I hope this was informative and constructive in reconciling the different viewpoints on Highlander history and loyalties.
MechWarrior O'Connor signing off........