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About This Game

It is a world broken and reformed, where the coming of interdimensional rifts to the planet Earth has created a world of magic, psionics, and advanced technology, a world of infinite possibility that now seems so far out of reach. The Coalition States is victorious over Tolkeen; the Federation of Magic is on a campaign of unity against its neighbors; hate and fear, never far away, are a more constant presence than ever. In the middle of nowhere, a small group of people cast away by the political machinations of war are going to find themselves at the center of all of it.

Game System

Rifts

Status

Active

Full Description

The Premise:

The war is over, and the wrong side won.

Tolkeen, a bastion of magical theory and learning, where mystic practicioners, other-dimensional refugees, misfits and malcontents could live in peace, was forced into warfare with the human supremacist Coalition States, who had recently begun expanding after years of consolodating their gains and delving into Golden Age technological stores to upgrade their weapons and robots.

The people of Tolkeen knew what occupation would mean for an empire founded on the notion of the eradication of anything that didn't fit the Coalition's narrow definition of sentient life, so they used every means available to protect themselves, including long-forbidden magics involving blood sacrifice and pacts with ancient demons. They told themselves it would be worth it when the Coalition was driven back, that the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) genies could be put back in the bottle.

It wasn't enough. The Coalition was battered, but ultimately triumphant. Tolkeen was razed. The monsters it summoned now roam free; the people clinging to it for stability are scattered and being hunted by the Coalition. The cyber-knights have been shattered, with a significant number having joined the Tolkeen war effort and having lost their way; no one has seen or heard about their founder, or his closest associates, in many months.

Even more troubling, Lord Dunscon - self-proclaimed ruler of the Federation of Magic - has begun a campaign of consolidation of his own, seeking to unite the cities of the Federation of Magic under his own tyrannical rule, pointing out that if the only alternative is destruction by the expansionist Coalition States, his rule will at least allow free cities such as Dweomer and Stormspire to exist - even if it is the rule of a man whose chief criticism of Tolkeen was that it was too soft.

Some people joke that the second apocalypse is upon us. But it's a joke no one laughs at. Those outside the borders of the Federation and the Coalition wonder if they'll be next, and what, if anything, can be done about it. Those within said borders who don't toe the party line are wondering where they can go. Everything in North America is in flux, and no one knows what will come out the other side.

The Setting:

A sizable settlement called Prince's Landing, chiefly an argicultural and mining town. The primary crop is barley, and the local stout is noteworthy; the primary mining export is a vein of zinc which is often used in the maintenance of advanced technology. Limited robotics are used to mine, and the local hedge mage has helped ensure that harvests are reliable.

It's a relatively small town, and like most small towns in the world of Rifts, can't affort to be overtly picky about who stays there - many don't have the power to resist powerful forces such as pilots with their own power armor suits, or mages with a reasonable grasp of spellcraft, and as long as people are willing to work or have credits to spend, people tend to live and let live. There is reasonably close proximity to a ley line, but it's a weak ley line and it hasn't caused any trouble in living memory.

However, Prince's Landing is sandwiched in between the two Coalition states of Missouri and El Dorado, and to the east is the Federation of Magic. Furthermore, their two major trading partners - the city-states of Kingsdale and Whykin - are on opposite sides of "the Coalition issue," with Kingsdale a more tolerant city and with Whykin more fully embracing the Coalition ambassadors that come calling. The current mayor of Prince's Landing favors Kingsdale, but without any support from any other major powers, the Coalition could decide to wipe them both off the map with ease - and many people in Prince's Landing are in favor of taking Whykin's side, with hate crime incidents on the rise. The d-bees and freethinking scholars and radicals in the region are all waiting to hear a metaphorical pin fly out of a possibly literal grenade.

  1. What's new in this game
  2. The pilot of the Super SAMAS was almost visibly disgusted as Phere moved in front of Tamika. "You really want to die for a fuckin' d-bee, deserter?" From the tone of his voice, all doubts as to whether or not the pilot was Coalition - or at least a strong sympathizer - evaporated. "I dunno, squad. Hive doesn't look fully destroyed to me. I figure we ought to call in a death's head, carpet bomb the area with plasma bombs. If that town over there gets destroyed, well, shit happens - " The SAMAS was cut off as a sonic boom washed out over the field - literally washed over it, the crops swaying from the noise. All of the SAMAS immediately turned in the direction it came from - which was towards the ley line. Half a mile away, glinting in the sun, the group could make out the telltale visual profile of a glitter boy, racking its boom gun with one hand while its other was holding a more conventional heavy rifle. The SAMAS were all uninjured - either the pilot had missed, or wasn't aiming at anything. Its gun racked, it began to advance. The group could make out others advancing with it as well - some kind of d-bee with horns similar to Ianoko's, a human spellcaster in telltale ley line walker armor, what looked like a juicer, and what looked like a Coalition dog soldier. The d-bee and the juicer were supporting the ley line walker, who looked ready to collapse in exhaustion, but they all looked ready for a fight. The Glitter Boy pilot went on loudspeaker - his voice was deep and self-assured. "Sorry. My finger slipped. I agree with that woman's advice, and I suggest our friendly neighborhood SAMAS squadron take it."
  3. Squidge quickly held her hands up at head level to show they were empty. In her case it wasn't more than a symbolic gesture...but symbols had real power. "Guys, look, blood's a little high after a fight, but we're not enemies here. The Federation of Magic warped this piece of a hive in. We came to get rid of it before the xiticix claimed the area and wiped out the town here. That's it. Whoever you are, whoever you're with, I think we can agree that's a mission accomplished, right?" She hoped that Phere was right in her analysis. She herself hadn't seen the SAMAS arrive, and looking at the suits she didn't immediately spot standard ID numbers or unit markings, but the Coalition did have some somewhat 'irregular' units that might not have been held to the standard regs on that kind of thing. Especially the ones that operated on the fringe areas. The idea that a merc company could acquire and field that many cutting-edge flying power armor suits from the Coalition was a bit unnerving in itself, truth be told.
  4. Phere tilted her head back and inhaled deeply. Though her could be fully environmentally sealed, she rarely did so since it interfered with her psi-stalker senses. Right now though, despite having just had her hunger sated shortly before, she was feeding once again, soaking in the energy from the dead queen. Blissfully 'full', at least in a psychic sense, she looked over the Grinning Demon, specifically rank and unit insignia and such, for a moment before she stepped between Tamika and the super samas, finally speaking from behind the grim, emotionless visage of her helm. "They're no more Coalition than me an Squidge are." Phere said flatly, "The CS doesn't travel via ley line, and those are not CS markings either." she added, nodding towards the super samas. She was calm, but far from relaxed. These were still new people, an unknown, but they had helped. "The radio message said they were the 'Tomorrow Legion', whatever that is. Some merc outfit is my guess." she commented with a shrug. Phere knew full well that some of the more unscrupulous mercs sometime plant a threat near a settlement, then show up and 'save' the town and after take the settlement, grateful or not, for all they have to cover their 'fee'. These guys were well-equipped though, they even had the new CS Super SAMAS, so such a petty scam would be well beneath what they could make with legitimate work. Though... the thought that they could be truly altruistic crossed her mind, based off of the radio message, but she had her doubts. "At least they got here in time to help mop up after we did the heavy lifting ourselves." she explained as she slipped off her helm, revealing her pale, hairless head and face, the unmistakable appearance of a psi-stalker. "Still though, it's more than most would do, or anybody else did."
  5. "Fuck off, Dead Boy." BB snapped, letting his own hand drift to his baby railgun. Intellectually, BB knew that egging the SAMAS force on was not the best idea. Emotionally, BB disliked the Dead Boys and to be honest, Phere, Squidge, Tamika and company had helped. "We took care of the Xiticix while you were on your butts." And BB was never exactly used to restraining himself from a fight. "Go back to Chi-Town and beat on some 'Burbans."
  6. As the team made their way back the way they came, the hive suddenly went active again, on high alert. The group had to flatten themselves against the walls to avoid the warriors and hunters buzzing past, costing them precious seconds. For a heart-stopping moment, Squidge thought her telepathic fog had slipped, but BB picked up the reason why - and as soon as radios were turned on, the group found out why. "... say again, this is SAMAS patrol Echo-Niner, squad actual to command. We have eyes on the area where the big flash of light came from and can confirm some d-bee thing made it through a rift. Will circle around to confirm." The team made their way towards the exit, crawling outside the hive - the last of them all but pushed aside by a Xiticix warrior buzzing into the air. They could see a SAMAS patrol - at least a dozen strong - circling up above. The radio transmission continued. "This is Echo-Niner, we have eyes on sai tick - say ti - however you pronounce it, those damn bug things! Requesting immediate carpet bombing of this area - " He was cut off as the improvised explosives detonated, cracking the hive in half and killing the queen instantly. Squidge and Phere could sense its death scream, that slight uptick of psychic energy before a powerful mystical being was taken out of the world. The cloaking field had fallen short, but it didn't matter - between the team's guns and powers for those still close to the hive, and the thunder of railguns, plasma projectors and mini-missiles in the sky above, the bugs were cut to pieces. Bug viscera rained down on them as the firing finally ended, and then the group saw the SAMAS patrol circling them from above - as one of them broke off, landing not too far from them. It was a Super SAMAS pilot, encased in what detractors and sympathizers alike nicknamed "The Grinning Demon" after its distinctive skull-shaped helmet. The pilot turned on his loudspeaker so that they could all hear - it was the same voice as from the radio. He looked them over, and spent a long time staring at Phere and Squidge, and their painted-over but still recognizable armor sets from the war. The visor then turned towards Tamika, and one of the shoulder plasma projectors moved with it, pointing at Tamika. "Well, well," he said. "What have we here."
  7. "Hey, there's nothing like running away from an explosion!" BB chimed in. Walking away too, but that best included being a good distance away.
  8. "Three...minutes?" Squidge blurts. "I was hoping for a remote detonation or...alright, lets go. Everyone move! Back the way we came!" She started hustling back into the hive, trying to keep the twists and turns straight as they went. Three minutes never sounded so short!
  9. Fi hefted the pair of mini-missiles in her hands, nodding in satisfaction. "These'll do, these'll do just fine." A quick check to make sure they were still viable, then Fi was rigging the mini-missiles with a timer and packing them into crack in the wall, chinking them in with some detritus to focus the blast. "That should do it, guys. It should split the Queen like a wishbone and crack this hive like an egg. Mop up the remaining warriors and drones afterwards and then we can waltz in and pick up what's left." The explosion would definitely rile up the hive, but the Psi-Stalker had proven herself a crack shot and Fi wasn't a slouch either with the laser-rifle she had cobbled together herself. With the others, they should be able to make their way out of the hive fragment before the boom. She hefted her large rifle in her arms and nodded back they way they had come. "Oh, we should probably get moving. I set the timer for 3 minutes."
  10. Firanis located something that could be of use - a corroded SAMAS suit, one of the older models, that looked like it still had both mini-missiles loaded. A little gruntwork from BB and it was torn free from the wall, and with that out of the way, setting them to detonate would be easy - and Firanis also spotted a good crevasse to stuff it into, that would rip through the queen and the hive, preserving a good chunk of their gains. All they had to decide was how much time they wanted to give the bomb - too long, and the risk of discovery would be greater; too little and they'd never get clear going back the way they came. Of course, if they could blast their way out of the hive, that wouldn't be a problem... though it would certainly set off every bug in the hive surrounding them.
  11. "Reactors can make great bombs," Firanis assured Squidge as she gave the exo-frame a scrutinizing glance, "just depends how much juice they have left. But yeah, not the easiest way, either." The shapely engineer peeked around the corner into the bug queen's chamber. Cybernetic eyes narrowed as they roved over the room, magnifying her view on the things embedded in the wall, thermal imagining filters activating. Hidden, internal radar and sonar systems enhanced her what she could perceive, readouts of what she could appearing on the edge of her field of view.
  12. Squidge frowned a little, working through the idea. "I think it'd be pretty hard to make a power suit reactor into a bomb. There's gotta be something else. I guess I figured someone might have brought grenades or something..." She searched the weird resinous walls around the queen, but nothing really jumped out at her as being especially destructive in a wide area...
  13. Phere looked around and motioned to the powersuit stuck in the wall. "What about that? Can you make its powerplant blow?" she asked. Phere continued to examine her surroundings, hoping for something a bit more purpose built for their needs, hoping beyond hope for a CS Fusion Block.
  14. "I think she's eating it," said Tamika, with some disgust. "I think this is part of the xenoforming process - they feed off a planet's magical fields and convert it into... whatever they use to build with and convert things with, that purple stuff. I don't think it's protecting her, though... it's more like a meal than a suit of armor."
  15. Fi's eyes lingered a moment on the power armor exo-frame. It might have what she needed to fix the town's mining exo-suit. More, she could scavenge components to make her own power armor suit. She glanced from the exo-frame to the Xiticit queen to the gear embedded in the walls. Behind her cyclopean helmet, she pursed her lips. "Timed blast with a remote detonator, I can do," the pretty engineer affirmed, before pointed at the walls of the bug queen's. "But to make something explodey enough to crack this hive, unless you guys are packing a lot of extra e-clips, I'm gonna need whatever we can scavenge from the shit in the walls." The slender engineer gave a wry shrug. "Besides, there's some credits laying about in goods - would be a shame coming in here and leaving with none of it and blowing it all up." She glanced at Tamika and Adam. "Don't know if you guys can get any... up, readings from that thing inside the queen, but I don't think it's chemical glow-stick. Any chance she suck up the juice in it to protect herself or something?"
  16. "The safest way to do this would be some kind of timed blast," Squidge says quietly, as if their spoken words could alert the queen. The telepathic hum of her jamming was buzzing constantly in her skull...an ongoing slight distraction that she couldn't wait to be rid of. Was the amplifier device getting warmer or was it just her? "Or remote detonation if we have what we need for it. We could set it up, then be out of the hive before she goes up."
  17. Firanis found quite a number of magical trinkets, artifacts, talismans and medallions on the mage, as well as a few notes - stuck together with xiticix resin and requiring BB to pry the book free from the wall. Tamika readied her frozen shotgun in case the rummaging caused the xiticix to attack. "Mages, especially Federation ones, can be sticklers about techniques they've developed. There's a good chance he's the only one who knows." She didn't sound confident, and lamely added, "I think weapons of mass destruction are bad, for the record, whether they open rifts or just make the area radioactive for ten thousand years." Having gotten all they could from the embedded mage, the group took their final turn, and emerged into the queen's domain. The queen was being attended by several drones, as well as a half-a-dozen warrior-caste guards. She had a bulbous membrane around her abdomen, where the eggs were laid from, that was also glowing with a soft purple energy - the faint outlines of what looked like a sword were inside of her. She was secreting some kind of purple mucus - possibly important to the xenoforming process - and it didn't take a large intuitive leap to say that she was feeding off the magic in the sword in her belly to do it. Embedded in the walls was evidence of other, brave - or at least, foolhardy - defenders of Earth that had fallen, their equipment embedded in the walls of the hive. Some standard-issue Wilk's and Northern Gun gear, and what looked like a rickety exoframe for a power armor suit, make unknown. There would be quite a bit of credits in it for them, if they killed the queen and didn't completely obliterate the hive. While the queen was large, she wasn't formidable - there were easily a dozen vulnerable points on her, and striking any one of them would ensure she'd never lay another egg at the least, and would more likely be stone dead. The problem was what to do afterwards, because killing the queen was likely to finally alert the hive as to their presence, precautions or no precautions.
  18. "No, I think you've got the right idea," Squidge said, rubbing her temple. Prosek's hairy balls, is THIS what the Federation was reduced to? She guessed the idea was that the Coalition would be able to exterminate each hive fragment, ensuring that it wouldn't be a threat to the Federation later...but at enough of a cost that it would put the Coalition at a disadvantage. But if even one of those hives wasn't exterminated, for whatever reason... They really were insane. "I guess it'd be too much to hope that he didn't teach anyone else how to do it. At least it seems like the technique is dangerous. They won't want to do it if it kills the mages casting the spell. That hopefully buys us some time." She looked up and down the eerie, resinous passageway. "You about done there, Firanis? We need to keep moving."
  19. "Is your name Murphy?" Fi countered sourly, making no allowances for the mangled wall-o-mancer being unconscious or dead. She gave Tamika and Adam mildly accusing looks, lumping the magic users present together in this insanity. "Cuz anything that can go wrong with weaponizing xiticix will go wrong." Once the Federation of Magic started using this damn... damn spell on the Coalition, they wouldn't stop there, and soon enough the entire continent would have an even bigger problem. She prodded the figure embedded in the wall with the barrel of her laser rifle, then started to riffle through any pockets she could reach while ignoring any dark looks turned her way. "Hey!" she whispered sharply. "If this asshole is the one who did this - invented er, line-hiving, or whatever - I'm just looking to see if he has anything on him on how he did this, or where, or with who, so maybe we can stop Dunscon and company from doing it again. I like traveling and I don't want to have to dodge through budding bug hives everywhere."
  20. Behind the black, one-way glass of her helm, Phere blinked at what the trapped mage had said. This could be bad. Really, really bad. The Feds can drop hive fragments outta ley lines now? That's well beyond a weapon. That's playing with fire. And you DO NOT HELP the xiticix spread. THAT'S madness. They are a plague to be stopped, not aided in their expansion. "Hrumph." was Phere's only response as she looked at the mage trapped in the wall, then to Adam then back to the trapped mage. Her head tilted back just slightly, as if she were sniffing at the mage, hoping to gain some more sustenance off of his residual magical energy if he had passed away. "You know this guy? If there's anything we should know about him, you or this, now would be a good time." she said to Adam as she turned back toward the tunnel to proceed on. "And we should be nearing the queen, or the completion of our search. Stay sharp." she added.
  21. "Aheh. Yes. Yes, it was Tolkeen, wasn't it. No, I knew of him, more than anything. I knew of the dark things they proclaimed they had to do to prevent the fall, and I knew that the fall happened regardless. And all of us devils had nowhere to go. Well, not at first." He coughed, and a little blood dribbled out the sides of the mask. "Oh, if you're about to reach for a medical kit or a healing spell, don't bother. My own magic is currently making sure that my heart stopping isn't as big an issue as it should be, but sooner or later they'll figure out I'm here and extract whatever magic they can. Should have let go long ago, but I wanted to see it. Not many see the inside of a xiticix hive." He rolled his head slightly to look at the others. "Clever of you to figure out how." He coughed again, and there was more blood. "Doesn't matter. The spell works, albeit, not... haha, not as cleanly for the mage casting it as it should be. The Federation's going to love it. Dropping a xiticix hive out of any nearby ley line will do wonders for our reputation. Let the Coalition spend their soldiers and their silly little guns mopping it up. Might lose a few mages, but one mage for an outpost is exactly the kind of arcane calculus they'll love." He chuckled darkly. "They should name it after me. I demand that they - that..." The mage slumped, and spoke no more.
  22. Squidge stared, momentarily horrorstruck by the idea that this man had someone been built into the hive by the xiticix. On second glance though that didn't look right. The wall didn't seem new enough...it had marks of wear on it. Add that to the way this thing had just appeared out of nowhere... "Who are you?" she asked. "What...do you two know each other?" She looked at Adam, trying to suss out some recognition from him, even if his armor made such a thing sheer guesswork.
  23. With care, the adventurers made their way inside the hive. Being inside was eerie - the group had plenty of light, and it was fortunate, because nothing inside was built for a creature that relied on eyes. There were some allowances for those that couldn't fly, but not many - tunnels took strange twists and turns and occasionally, the group wound up doubling back. Squidge felt the onset of a slight headache, while Firanis had to occasionally smack the side of the white noise generator. But they made it in far enough that they were reasonably sure that one more turn would take them to the queen's chamber - and with the queen out of action, the xiticix's ability to breed would be nullified. However, a sight at the turn towards the tunnel stopped the group dead - someone, apparently a mage, bedecked in rune-carved composite plate, was somehow embedded in the wall, in what felt like a combination of merging and teleportational accident. Around the edges of the fusion, the group could see the beginnings of the xenomorphing process that the xiticix used to change their environment. The mage himself was semi-conscious, his face hidden behind a ley line walker's mask. He looked up at the approaching group. "Well, well," he said, weakly. His head rolled to the side, looking at Adam (assuming Adam was present.) "Well, well."
  24. BB simply smashed himself handholds and footholds as he clambered up. The lack of dexterity available to cyborg hands made his ascent a slow and labored one, but eventually he got up to the top with the others. "We can be that. Fast, deadly and blow the gunk out of them before they can screech 'Intruders in the hive!'" He patted his rail gun. "Plenty of swift surprise there."
  25. Squidge got her climbing kit out from that trusty old Northern Gun survival pack and hooked the clamp up to the rope Phere and Firanis had set up. She started working her way up after them. She wasn't as quick about it as the more athletic ones, but she hadn't gotten through Psi-Bat basic training with no skills whatsoever. Even so, she was breathing a little hard when she pulled up near the top. "You don't get full hives this far south," she said, unhooking from the rope and clearing space for whoever was coming up next. "They forage down from Old Canada, but the spread of their territory is slower. I know there was some concern...scientists were theorizing that hives made in warmer climates might be more active. More aggressive. Hard to tell though, what their native climate is like." She brought her laser rifle up into her arms then and checked it to make sure the lights were green and the safety was off. "Once the Queen knows we're here, I don't think any amount of telepathic jamming will keep them from coming back. We'll have to be fast."
  26. Fi handed Phere 30 feet of strong, light-weight cord, then followed after the big psi-stalker without bothering to use it. The much smaller woman was clearly experienced with climbing, scaling the rocky exterior deftly save for reaching for some of the hand- or foot-holds Phere had carved that were a bit of a strain for a woman of Fi's modest height. At the entrance, Firanis crouched down as well, prepping her laser rifle, which looked just a tad oversized for her, though her seemed to handle it with intuitive familiarity. She fiddled with the device on her wrist, linking it up with her cyber-eyes and cybernetic detection array to set up a mapping app on her Pipboy. "You been in one of these, before?" Fi breathed at the Psi-stalker.
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