Rifts Speed Tribes!
Inchoations & the Great Brouhaha
- The start of a noisy confused disturbance in 68 P.A. (2354 A.D.)
- 42 years prior to the creation of the Tomorrow Legion
- Somewhere on old Highway 87 (Amarillo to Lubbock TX)
The cracked asphalt roadway wavered in the heat of the Texas badlands. On your (Hovercycle or Motorcycle) you cruise across the wastelands with purpose.
Texas was simpler before the Coalition States decided to claim the region in late 68 P.A. (has not happened yet in our game). A post, post apocalyptic wasteland where gangs raged and traded goods and fought off each other and more often monsters that emerged from Rifts in space and time.
The oldest Speed Tribes of the badlands of Lone Star, or Old Texas, were mostly racing up and down the paved remains of Highway 87 (north - south) and Highway 20 (east - west). The old American state was referred to as either Lone Star or more often, the Texas Freelands.
No CS from the mid west were in the area, Texas was a sort of unofficial no mans land. Gangs, Comanche, and ancient ruins often occupied by demons and monsters, it was simple enough: live or die, kill or be killed, pray for freedom and find a tribe for safety. Ride Fast. Fight Hard. Stay Alive.
The entire region would soon be transformed by a epic discovery. That story is still to be told... I digress.
A few moths ago an up and coming mercenary leader, Captain Sabre Lasar, had the foresight to convince several mercs/tribes of wanderers to join forces and beat down some supernatural monstrosities he called the . You found yourself hitching up with the charismatic Captain Lasar and another esoteric mercenary named Hudson Blackwell. Lieutenant Blackwell was one of three lieutenants who worked for Lasar in the retaliation on the invading and slaving Splugorth. For the month you were working with the Lasar Mercs, you were assigned to Blackwell's platoon. During the month with Blackwell defending Texas from slavers you learned the Lieutenant was in fact a rare Black Dragon, originating from a far off dimension. Hudson, as he insisted you call him, shook your hand and thanked you after the mercenaries defeated the slavers and separated into smaller tribes of mercs. One of the nice finds, loot, you picked up while working with Lasar and Hudson was the vehicle/mount you now have.
Raging across the badlands you have run a few small jobs on your own. Now, roughly six months after the gathering Lasar put together, you have been contacted by Hudson Blackwell. While racing across the badlands over cracked and ruff asphalt a "magic" pigeon swirled across your view and started circling you with unreal speed as you rode. Stopping and eyeing the bird warily it suddenly spoke in perfect American.
"Greeting my old friend! It is I, Hudson! I could use a mercenary of your caliber right about now, someone I know I can trust. I got a job. It pays well. If you can, meet me at the Snake Pit in Crossroads. I'll introduce you to our client, Erin. Semper Celeritas"
You have been to the city of Crossroads before and know it is less than a days ride from where you are.
Crossroads is a town with a regular population of just under 8000 and quite often up to another 2000 transient visitors at any given time. It is located near where pre-rifts Kernville used to be, and, for the Pecos Empire, is a relatively modern and safe community. The town gets its name for being in a geographical, center more or less, of the Pecos Empire.
Since it is relatively large, as empire towns go, and located centrally, it is a major trade center in the budding Empire.
Located in the Pecos Empire, the Lone Star State, the people of Texas have had very little contact with the East Coast including entities such as the Coalition States (CS), who most have heard of and most have never actually been in contact with. And absolutely no contact with the west which is cut off by the great barrier mountains with its dimensional anomalies.
Crossroads is a thriving community of artists and craftsmen. In addition to stage performances, primarily comedies and song and dance, and musical events, there is a full-time movie theater that offers a good selection of pre, and post rifts films. There are two dozen pawn shops, large and small, plus a handful of Shoppes that specialize in artifacts both pre, and post rift, and even alien artifacts. In addition to pottery, various knickknacks, customers can purchase and or commission objects of art such as paintings and sculptures or specialty items. Custom made saddles, saddlebags, boots with ornate unique designs, gang insignia etc. are in high demand among the Pecos bandits in the region. Over a dozen tattoo parlors also thrive in town.
A large Carnival has set up shop in the town of crossroads. There are gambling halls and sporting arenas that can seat up to 8000 people. Besides gambling, these halls provide a variety of entertainment in which the same manner as a saloon halls of the old wild west ones did.
There are even some red light districts with brothels, cockfighting and dogfighting and drug dens, houses of illusion, psychic experiences and a host of unique pastimes for a reasonable price. The local law-enforcement is mostly made up of a militia or basically a large gang well outfitted with weapons and armor. They are referred to as the City Guard.
Hover vehicle racing is a common occurrence and there are Juicer games. About the only thing that Crossroads draws a line at is actual blood sports, they are forbidden within city limits. All in all this could be considered a Las Vegas of the Pecos Empire.
The town is run by a board of commissioners. The Guard, or militia is made up of citizens and full-time freelance military forces. One perk of signing up with the militia is after two years you are given citizenship and a license to work in the city and have your own shop. It is illegal for unlicensed persons to set up businesses within the city, this does not in anyway affect independent mercenaries working in the area.
Roughly 30% of the population is human, another 8% are augmented humans such as cyborgs, juicers and crazies. The majority of Crossroads is made up of roughly 62% dimensional beings (D-Bee's). The commissioners for the city of Crossroads are currently starting a new project of building a wall around the city, although this may take several decades to complete.
One of the more famous bars within Crossroads is known as: the Snake Pit.
Now you find yourself sitting at a table located in the seedy bar, the Snake Pit, waiting. A few drinks later the double doors to the bar swing open and you recognize your old Lieutenant.
Literally the piano players stops playing, as everyone eyes the newcomer, then the music starts back up and murmurs and conversations carry on. Dressed in black leather pants, biker jacket and cap, Hudson grins and you recognize the dragons large golden dragon ring on his right hand. The evening darkens outside, silhouetted behind Hudson as he walks deeper into the bar after eyeing you. With night, the hot day starts to cool off. As the black dragon settles haphazardly into the seat across from you he smiles and before he can say anything a D-Bee bar maid, Harriette, an easy to look at mole-like humanoid female bustles up to the table and asks Hudson what his pleasure is.
"A refill for my mate and I'll have what he is having. Lace mine if you please."
Returning his attention to you, Hudson continues:
"It has been a second hasn't it mate. By the Dragon Kings of Tolkeen, so many stories to tell and we were only together a ... what five weeks or less!"
To start out, you can recant (like an Interlude) a story of the time you spent being a mercenary working with Hudson and Captain Lasar fighting Splugorth and defending Texas from slavers! Feel free to embellish and make it a truly worthy of being a bar story tale.
After your post I will carry on with more narrative. Thanks and enjoy.