Rifts: A Life Less Ordinary

Terminus 004

The official Free Quebec view of the tech town of Hudson Wheigh is very different from its reality. Having gained admittance into the town to trade, work, and stock up on supplies, not to mention live a normal life for a little while, you have managed to make a tiny bit of difference to the townsfolk who will ultimately benefit from your expertise.

Killian has saved dozens of lives, including the lives of some very important people, at the hospital where he lent his tremendous skills, and improved efficiency at the local mechanics shop in return for a sharp discount on armour plating for Billy’s Mobile Gun ’bot. Billy himself put in more than a few hours at the repair shop in exchange for some cold hard cash and a place to work on the ’bot. Brenna did a tour of duty on a monstering ship, catching fish, saving the crew from a giant squid, and showing the Hudson Wheighans just what a talented Burster can do at the tiller. And after nightfall, Victor sneaks into the inner city and spends the dark hours racking up felonies for the local criminal element. No biggie.

Squid meat for everyone!

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AWOL 008

Who knew archaeology could be so exciting and dangerous? Your first sortie into the ruins of Old Chicago has been a relative success. With the communications equipment in Bootsy, the Coalition military forces routinely patrolling the ruins assume you are one of them, and Katelyn’s familiarity with higher-level decryption codes and IFF protocols—being an officer has its perks, after all—the group withstood radar scrutiny with very little trouble.

The trouble began while doing recon in the upper floors of the mostly-sunken ruins of your employers’ chosen building. As the scientists were setting up the dig site, Alex and Indy set up snares and alarms around the perimeter of the building ad Kate and King went downstairs to explore. King had the good fortune to find a Thornhead Demon, which made mincemeat out of King and Kate’s armour with its massive rack of antlers. Even with reinforcement from the rest of the group, the Thornhead Demon was a tough nut to crack, what with its immense build and ability to use magic. You only managed to escape after throwing the Thornhead down the stairwell and hurling grenades after it. And a good thing you did, too, because that Thornhead had angered a giant demonic Blow Worn which shot up the stairwell and out into the open, where it was dealt with by Coalition forces.

You guys just ran and left valour for another day, and have since found another site to explore. Let’s hope this one has fewer giant worms and demons in it.

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AWOl 007

Now that the immediate danger of Coalition interference has passed, it is time to decide where to go and what to do next. As you make contact with more and more of the movers and shakers in Babel, the number of potential jobs available to you also increase. Mrs. Brisby will likely almost always have something important for your group to do, and now that Githzerai has taken an interest in you, he may throw some odd jobs your way now and again. Doc Atticus is always in the market for body parts—who knew your group of ex-Coalition soldiers would become organ-leggers?—and Amadeus Wolfgang the Kankoran Operator says he is always looking for scrap and mechanical parts.

The two most recent jobs you have to choose from have come from unlikely sources. The first, an assignment to investigate a terrorist group, has come from a mystery contact that Katelyn has been keeping secret. While his assignments might pay well, you are understandably unenthusiastic about immersing yourself in Coalition politics and hidden agendas once again. The second job was revealed by Indy’s palm-reading friend and sometime meal provider, Vinny DeCalaban. This job is potentially more dangerous and requires and end-run around Coalition security into a hazardous restricted area, but could be more long-term and has a much nobler goal: a group of Rogue Scholars and Rogue Scientists searching for pre-Rifts artifacts in the ruins of Old Chicago.

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Terminus 003.5

Hudson Wheigh, gateway to Hudson Bay! A tiny, xenophobic metropolis in the middle of nowhere, this little city is an oasis in the northwestern Ontario wilderness. Killian, Billy, and Brenna have managed to gain access to the city and are looking to exchange work and expertise for a great discount on armour plates for “Betty,” Billy Armitage’s NG-V7 Hunter Mobile Gun robot. And who is left to watch over the robot, truck, car and, oh yeah, the magical artifact that everyone wants? That’s right, Victor Kingston, Juicer chump!

After an entire day of utter boredom and counting how many blades of grass are physically touching the feet of the giant robot—677 (676 if that ant walks towards the top of the blade of grass)—you vow to find something more useful to do when they leave you alone again. Or, at the very least, something way more fun and exciting…

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Heterodox 003

Your abilities and power have served you well in the few hours you’ve been in Rifts Earth’s Mexico. Having dispatched a squad of heavily armoured Kittani and the squad’s leader, a Murvoma Metzla, it feels like you have been doing nothing but running and fighting for days. As if that weren’t enough, you have also encountered your first vampire, but one that was comparatively easier to kill, thanks to Little Storm’s magic bow. Tired, hungry, and in need of a break from the fighting, you have encountered a group of cultists gathered within the protective confines of an ancient ziggurat. The cultists were surprisingly friendly and accommodating, courteously offering food and a safe place to rest and recuperate before presenting you to their god, a Death Weaver spider demon by the name of Axioxtl (pronounced a-chee-OCH-tul).

Is your group the prophesied group of strangers destined to help Axioxtl and her worshippers against their enemies? This land is new to you, and potential allies and enemies could be anywhere.

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Terminus 003

What a close call! You were caught dead to rights by a Free Quebec recon squad but you had the foresight to hide the artifact before you could be caught with it. Billy also had to temerity to stand tall and meet Lt. Pierre Desrochers’ squad head on, with confidence, an action that may very well have saved your lives and prevented a tragic firefight. He also may have made a friend of the Quebecois lieutenant, something that might come in handy one day.

That night, while searching for any listening devices that Lt. Desrochers’ squad may have left behind in the forest, Brenna found the bog monster. With Killian downed by a debilitating flu, you fought with only three, but Brenna’s pyrokinetics and Victor’s crazy Juicer risk-taking brought the thing down with a thud. What the hell was that thing, and why did it want to take Victor home with it?

The next day, you set off again, hoping that Desrochers’ info was right and hoping you don’t run into any more military-grade combat bots. There is still a very long way to go.

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Terminus 002

Disaster has struck your mercenary family of the last several months! While escorting some very important magical artifacts westward, Fulbright’s 50 was set upon by an platoon of the Coalition’s shock troops—Skelebots! The fight was short, but the platoon came in from multiple directions while a couple of SAMAS power armour suits occupied Fulbright’s heavy guns from the air. Then came the UAR-1 Enforcer bot and word of more Skelebots accompanying a Coalition Mark V transport.

Through tenacity and superior firepower, the remains of Fulbright’s 50 escaped and rendezvoused to debrief and plan the next stage of their journey. You learned of the precious cargo you were carrying: The Mobius, a magical artifact of great power that could turn the tide of the upcoming war between the Coalition States and the magical free-state of Tolkeen. In order to protect the artifact until it can be studied at an institute of magical learning on the west coast, Fulbright’s 50 would have to split up into many small teams so that anyone looking for the Mobius would have many false leads to chase.

But why the hell did they entrust the real thing to a band of rookies?

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Terminus 001

For the last few months, you have been employed by the mercenary company, Fulbright’s 50. It is a group on a holy mission, as its leader, Captain Horatio Ignatius Fulbright, has recently discovered that he is the demigod son of the Babylonian god, Bel Marduk. Since learning of his heritage, Captain Fulbright has dedicated his life and his unit to fighting the forces of evil: demons, deevils, warlords, slavers, allies of the Splugorth, rift monsters, and even human organizations who oppress the people (ie. The Coalition).

Fulbright’s 50 specializes in courier work, transporting dangerous goods, escorting caravans, and protecting items of power and pre-Rifts artifacts. As rookies of the group, you have been assigned the difficult and mundane jobs and have endured good-natured ribbing from the group’s more senior members, but find a great sense of satisfaction from doing good in the world.

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Heterodox 002

Your employer is dead, and his friends and enemies alike are aware of it. One or more of them has alerted the authorities, forcing your flight from the monster-ruled island nation of Atlantis. A mysterious ley line walker calling himself Abernathy has aided your escape, directing you to someone who can help you, but before he could give you more information, the stone pyramid in which you were hiding was hit by Kittani soldiers and a Serpent power armour suit. During the battle, the pyramid itself was damaged and your doorway to freedom sent you to an unintended location—Mexico, a land full of danger and inhuman monsters.

Aside from immediate survival, many questions need to be answered: Did Idris act subconsciously when killing Aerthos, or was he somehow manipulated into doing so? If the latter, then who did it? How did Aerthos’ enemies send the authorities after you so quickly? What caused Aerthos’ madness in the first place? And where is the help promised by Abernathy? Finally, and most importantly, what are you going to do now?

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AWOL 006

The hit on Githzerai did not go as expected. The Ghosts in the Mainline gang boss’ reputation as an immortal is well deserved. During the battle within the Ghosts hangar base, he transformed into a thirty-foot-long dragon, a transformation which shocked not only your party but every single one of the Ghosts in the hangar base except the two Burster lieutenants. As if that wasn’t enough, the ultimate sponsor of the assassination order was none other than Githzerai himself, who wanted to see who among the ’Burb denizens was up to the task of killing him.

With your passion for freedom and unwillingness to subject yourself to anymore cruel masters, you have convinced Githzerai to use his influence to mediate the petty bickering between the Alkali Beasts and Shea Stadium, thereby giving the expected Coalition flyby no gang war to object to. You have also convinced him that there is something in or about Babel that is worth saving, and he is eager for you to show him just what that something is.

So now that the immediate crisis has been averted and Babel undergoes a minor power shuffle, what lies in store for our intrepid former CS soldiers? Your combat ’borg is in dire need of expensive repair, your psychics have been stretching their powers to their limit during reconnaissance, and your reluctant leader will soon receive an important and potentially dangerous communique.

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