The Blood Riders are one of the original 8 tribes created by A.R.C.H.I.E. 3 and Hagan in their schemes to confuse outsiders and hide their true activities.
This tribe was created like all the other tribes by the machine entity A.R.C.H.I.E 3 and Hagan, and deployed in Massachusetts and Connecticut with about 400 strong in the tribe before the Civil War. Making extensive use of Monst-Rex's as their warmounts. They used the colour red in scarves, arm bands, tassels, capes, ponchos, headdresses, jewelry and ornamentation.
Civil War Edit
Blood Riders came to the side of Ecotroz Awakening late in the Shemarrian Civil War; previously they’d been known as the cold and efficient servants of the Dark One, dealing out death to the ‘heretics’ whenever encountered, nearly as violently as the Blacksteel-tainted SkullCrushers. When the first Blood Riders were turned to the cause of the Ecotroz and Awakening, they revolted against this attitude, asserting instead that anything worth doing, was worth doing with PASSION! Indeed, the ensuing conflicts between the Loyalist and Awakened Blood Riders were as fierce as any between the other Tribes, and effectively constituted a miniature civil-war-within-a-civil-war. So fierce was the fighting that other Tribes learned to give the Blood Rider territories a wide berth to avoid the violence, and for a time neither faction of the Blood Riders could give any support, or thought, to events outside their own personal war. When the last shots had been fired and the dust had cleared in the Blood Rider lands, the Tribe was 100% Ecotroz; no quarter having been asked or given, and all survivors assimilated by the victors. Only then did the Blood Riders turn their attention to supporting their Awakened kindred, unleashing their fury on ARCHIE-3’s legions (most notably wiping out the last of the Darkwaters Loyalists as they attempted to retreat south from their pursuing Tribeswomen), regardless of their own diminished numbers after their own (un)civil war. As one Blood Rider Chieftain declared in the aftermath; “Our inner fires burned away all impurities from our blood, leaving only the cleanest, hottest purpose!”
“You there! Yes, you with the kill markings on your chest plate! Prove to me those aren’t just decorations! Meet me now in that field over there! Blades and hammers, and to the first who falls or yields go the spoils! If I win, I claim that sword of yours! If you win, I promise you a night of passion you’ll never forget if you live over a millenium!”
Overheard at a meeting between Blood Rider Warriors and Central Alliance soldiers, CA border world.
If asked what Tribe could give the SkullCrushers competition for being bloodthirsty and insane, most Shemarrians would point to the Blood Riders.
Blood Riders are arguably the most combat-oriented of the Tribes; it plays a central role in their culture even more so than any of the other Tribes. Philosophically, Blood Riders embrace conflict as the arena in which ideals are tested, true strength forged, and a person’s true nature revealed. In the moments of life-and-death struggle, where instinctual reaction takes over, and in those moments of visceral emotion when there is little time for consideration of all the factors, and more reasoned reactions instituted, is when a person’s true inner self shows. “You can hide yourself behind words, but you cannot hide yourself behind actions” is a common Blood Rider saying. “Only when you are moments away from death, is your life truly being lived” is another popular Blood Rider saying.
For all their perceived bloodthirstiness, Blood Riders do have a sense of honor; they respect opponents who face death with bravery and courage, and fidelity to their comrades. Such enemies are granted the honor of single combat, swift death, or fair treatment as prisoners of war if the Blood Riders are REALLY impressed. In general, the Blood Riders display contempt for cowards, those who would abandon their comrades, or boast false bravado. The Blood Riders also do not war on innocents, such as civilians, and try to limit collateral damage in their combats, allowing such bystanders in the way of combat the chance to evacuate (although this is usually accompanied with a certain gruffness on the part of those overseeing the evacuations). The Blood Riders have even been known to extend the assistance of their Healers and medics (mainly Acolytes and NeShemar) to take care of civilian casualties while their Warriors engage in brutal combat.
When not fighting, or engaging in war games, Blood Riders participate in all manner of challenges and competitions. Extreme sports enthusiasts, Blood Riders can frequently be found rock climbing, base jumping, running across lava fields, storm-chasing, hang-gliding in thunderstorms, and pitting themselves against the elements. Encounters between Tribal groups, and especially other Tribes, inevitably see at least some sort of contest, be it between individuals or organized teams. Encounters with outsiders, especially those outsiders known to have a reputation for ferocity or hardiness, are no exception to this competitiveness; challenges to a throw-down of some sort can only be expected when the Blood Riders run into combat ‘borgs, Grackletooth, Squilbs, Vanguard Brawlers, N’mbyr, Mastadonoids, Tirrvol, and even dragons! The Blood Riders have even reportedly sent members of their Tribe to South America to see if they can’t test themselves against the Amazon warrior women said to be living in that part of the world!
The Blood Riders are equally at home in space and on planets; they typically have no preferences in environment, only that they have room to fight and practice fighting.
The Blood Riders have wholly embraced the EShemar lifestyle, Awakening, NeShemar, and all. Not surprisingly, Blood Riders draw the majority of their NeShemar from battlefields and gladiatorial arenas; most of their NeShemar hail from violent pasts as soldiers, guerrillas, Juicers, and gladiators. Not surprisingly, many are recruited from the Central Alliance, with its fierce, competitive culture. This lends a decidedly higher degree of ferocity and combat skill to the Blood Rider NeShemar, and the NeShemar enjoy a greater degree of acceptance and social standing among their EShemar ‘elders’ proportional to their battlefield prowess. It is not unknown for Blood Rider NeShemar to rise to high ranks, even Chieftain, in the ‘Riders.
Combat and Technology Edit
Blood Riders have a notably profound love of plasma weaponry and melee combat, though they are pragmatic in their use of ranged attacks. They are quick to acquire and adapt any plasma-based or melee (particularly bladed) weapons technology they encounter.
Blood Riders in general have little interest in acquiring the means to produce TechnoWizardry as offered by their fellows in the Wayfinders and Hawkmoons; they prefer to leave the workings of such to those Tribes. On the other hand, they will cheerfully use and acquire TW and other magical devices if available, and especially if won as trophies and spoils of war. To a Blood Rider, there’s few things finer than using a weapon that was taken off a fallen enemy against his comrades. Accomplished warriors keep a collection of such ‘souvenirs’ as badges of status, though more interesting or technologically intriguing items are expected to be turned over to the Tribe for study (the responsible Shemarrian may be awarded the weapon/device after it’s been studied, or may be granted some other boon in compensation at their superiors’ discretion). Generous warriors may often share out their spoils with their comrades, especially deserving underlings under their command/tutelage.
In space combat, the Blood Riders are just as daring and aggressive as they are in surface combat. Their fighter corps reflects this in their insane tactics and operations; attacks by fighters on capital ships are commonplace, and all the more frightening for their numerous successes. Even their capital ships show up the Blood Rider love of firepower, especially heavy plasma weaponry, and Blood Rider crews are noted for their ‘gun-gasm’ attacks of speedily closing with an enemy and unleashing powerful barrages.
Relations With Others Edit
Blood Riders have a love/hate relationship with their SkullCrusher kin; the two Tribes see each other as kindred spirits in their love of fighting, their passion for war, and their competitive drives, but they also see in the other various shades and types of recklessness and narrow-mindedness. To the Blood Riders, the SkullCrushers are rather depressing sods who go straight from girding themselves for war to overkill without any of the joy of fighting in between.
Of the Wolf’s Path, the Blood Riders see similar qualities to themselves, but also a cunning that borders on cowardice, and a tendency to group tactics that diminishes the individual to a mere drone.
The Horrorwoods are treehuggers who like to hide in their forests and behind legions of animals.
Silvermoons would have potential as ‘true’ warriors if they weren't so damn pompous and enamored of their shiny armor.
Hawkmoons and Darkwaters are regarded as snooty, haughty, over-thinkers who’ve forgotten the true glory of combat.
The Ghost Riders, Sapphire Cobras, and Wayfinders are just too weird to bear thinking about.
Other than that, the Blood Riders get along surprisingly well with their sister Tribes! They actually feel honored when the other Tribes invite them along for a campaign; it’s an acknowledgement that there are some things that the Blood Riders are just better at, that the other Tribes can’t truly do justice at.
It’s not unusual for Blood Riders to call out other warriors from other species and challenge them to one-on-one duels to prove who’s the better. Among nominal allies, like the Central Alliance, such fights are rarely fatal, and are occasions for placing wagers (even if only boasting rights), but in combat with enemies like the Splugorth and TGE, the prize is more often one’s life and the head(s) of the fallen.
The Blood Riders take to the Minion War with enthusiasm, destroying demons and deevils equally, as both are evil and natural enemies like the Splugorth. On Rifts Earth, they came to the aid of the Horrorwoods in the Dinosaur Swamp, with members of the Skullcrusher tribe to aid in the destruction of Hell Lord Pain's army.
In the later stages of the conflict, the Blood Riders even started using the Broken as shock troops and first wave attackers, giving them a fitting death of body for those warriors who were affected by the Infernal's cruel attacks, diseases and viruses that attacked the Ecotroz entity.
In the Three Galaxies, the Blood Riders lead fiery charges with their plasma weaponry against the demons and infernals. Although many are resistant, or even immune to to their plasma weaponry, the Blood Riders have learned to use their plasma weapons as a screen for other weapons carried or those of other tribe ships. With the Deevils using more technological ships and equipment, the Blood Riders' plasma attacks are fully felt by them.
The Blood Rider plasma hunter-killer torpedoes proved to be very effective, especially when loaded with specialty warheads while fired in a volley of plasma torpedoes. Demons and deevils would ignore the PHKTs thinking they are regular plasma torpedoes, and easily resist much of the damage, if they were not already immune, until the PHKT strikes, dealing great damage. The Blood Riders even had some modified with TW warheads from the Wayfinders and deployed them with great effect.
Composition Notes Edit
No surprise, the Blood Riders boast a higher percentage of Berserkers (nearly 20%) than any other Tribe, though these numbers are often confused by the number of Berserkers who train in firearms, and the large number of rank-and-file Warriors and Chieftains who train extensively in bladed weapon combat.
Blood Rider ‘Pariahs’, as they have been reclaimed by the Blood Riders, rarely exist as they once did. Even before the formation of the Shemarrian Star Nation, most of the original Pariahs brought back into the Blood Riders fought and challenged for the right to reclaim Warrior status and, through the Rites of Upgrade, be rebuilt/refurbished to Warrior spec. Even Progen-born acolytes fight to change themselves, to rise above arbitrarily-assigned station. Those who refuse to be modified to peak-combat shape find other ways of showing their aggression and competitiveness in their work. Not surprisingly, the Blood Riders claim that none of the Reclaimed they acquired in the wake of the Shemarrian Civil War were their own folk, and that they were ‘redeeming’ what others could not(presumably, any Blood Rider so disgraced as to be made Pariah, even with the knowledge of how the Dark One lied to them, would have to seek redemption with other Tribes).
Most frightening of all, perhaps, are Blood Rider acolyte and NeShemar field-medics. Sometimes mistaken for Berserkers, for their scant clothing and propensity for carrying lots of large blades, these gynoid healers show a frightening intensity in performing their duties, and a chilling enthusiasm in wielding vibro-bonesaws and cauterizing plasma blades. Be it performing battlefield amputations and cybersurgery or delivering hypodermic injections of vaccine in the wake of the contamination of a village’s water supply from nearby combat, Blood Rider medical charity can be almost as frightening as their warrior hordes themselves.
As noted, the Blood Riders tend to recruit their NeShemar from pasts of violence; warriors, soldiers, and those who have shown great courage even to the point of losing their (old) lives. In a sense induction into the Blood Riders is a sort of second chance for the Valhalla-bound; many an ex-Juicer, taken just short of Final Call or pulled after detox, for instance, has found a second chance as a Blood Rider NeShemar. Even when full-conversion to the EShemar standard is not done, Blood Rider flesh-and-bloods often receive some sort of combat boosting in the form of cybernetic ‘wetware’, cyberarmoring (their own version), and retroviral enhancement(one of the few things the Blood Riders trade for with the Sapphire Cobras). Such as are inducted into the Blood Riders are still expected to show competitiveness and ‘hot blood’, and those who do can expect to rise both in status and the esteem of their EShemar Tribe-kin.
The Blood Riders have several elites of their own, slowly increasing in numbers.
A fiery warrior that can bath themselves in plasma fire.
A male heavy elite that looks like a small volcano, equipped with heavy plasma weaponry.
An even heavier male elite, larger version of the Vulcar, used especially for defense of Blood Rider enclaves.
Blood Rider aerial elite, similar to the Hawkmoon Harpy, but able to burst into flames and has enhanced plasma thrusters. Considered an elite among Zealots who aim to become one.
Blood Rider upgrades for the Warchief and Wargoddesses, enhanced with multimode plasma weapons, plasma field and plasma thrusters.
Neshemar cyborg designed for infiltration and destruction of the enemy from behind front lines, equipped with plasma weapons.
A Fox/Kitsune based elite using a smaller Berserker/Zealot frame.
A six armed elite that is a combination of Zealot and Naga.
A resembles a modified Thunder Hound power armour influenced by Japanese styles.
Stat Bonuses Edit
SSN Blood Rider Shemar enjoy the following bonuses:
Damage Resistance Edit
Blood Riders tend to have a swarthier, tan, more muscular, tattoo’ed, or scarred-up appearance than other Tribes; their psuedoflesh has been modified with an improved damage-resistant weave under the skin-surface that more effectively distributes and dissipates the shock of kinetic attacks. SSN Blood Riders take HALF damage from melee and kinetic attacks like punches, kicks, stabs, blunt force trauma, rail gun rounds, and concussion attacks.
Stress Resistance Edit
Blood Riders are so inured to fear that they save at +2 versus Horror Factor. The craziest of this lot actually LAUGH in the face of death/dismemberment.
Cross Training Edit
Due to the extensive cross training done by Blood Riders, their rank and file warriors get an extra Ancient/Melee W.P., while Berserkers get a Modern W.P. as standard.
Blood Rider Enclaves Edit
Blood Riders have several Enclave worlds, but many will include varied environments with mountains, volcanoes, lava lakes and geysers being very popular features of their settled worlds.
An ex-penal and Splugorth colony within the Desokos system with extensive underground tunnel network and many predatory lifeforms.
Besides the standard Monst-Rex and Monst-Crane, and several other warmounts that became standard amongst all the tribes, the Blood Riders have several warmounts that are unique to them.
The Blood Rider's first unique warmount, although based on the Monst-Rex, it has a more feline appearance and heavily armoured, making extensive use of plasma weapons.
A large mosquito-like, quick and maneuverable flying warmount.
A large ground locked bird warmount designed for close combat. Many believe to be a great improvement over the Monst-Crane in terms of weapons and armour, but loses the Monst-Crane's greater speed.
Pheonix-like aerial warmount with enhanced psionic abilities and faux magic. Assigned only to War Chieftains and Goddesses.
Serpent-like heavy support aerial warmount.
Warmount Equipment Edit
Blood Riders have developed some equipment that is modular to fit on a number of their warmounts.
This is a flamethrower added to the mouth of the warmount, first deployed on all Monst-Rex variants.
Although the Blood Rider's make extensive use of the standard Shemarrian, both pre and post-Civil War models, weapons such as the Shemarrian Rail Gun and other weapons, the Blood Riders have developed a number of weapons, armour and ship equipment unique to their tribe, many of which revolves around plasma technology, the tribe's specialty.
Melee Weapons Edit
Blood Riders love melee combat, it being one of their greatest passions, so of course they have a fair collection of different weapons in their arsenal beyond the standard weapons.
Becoming the standard weapon issued to nearly all tribe members, including Tinkers, Acolytes, NeShemar and Males.
Becoming a standard weapon for most warriors.
An alternative standard weapon amongst warriors.
An alternative to the Plasma Knife for Warriors due to its larger size.
A large mace like weapon used by berserkers and other heavy and strong elites. Also comes in larger sizes for those few elites that are up to 30 feet tall.
Ranged Weapons Edit
Many of the Blood Rider ranged weapons are based on plasma technology.
An alternate to the standard Shemarrian railgun.
Ammunition for Shemarrian rail guns that includes napalm like substance.
Misc Equipment Edit
A Blood Rider 'medical' device some patients might fear as much as the Blood Rider's plasma rifles.
The Blood Riders make use of the common starships in use by all the tribes, but they also have a few unique variants and models of their own.
A starfish shaped troop cruiser.
An early Blood Rider fighter based on the CAF Scorpion
A cruiser based on the CCW Warshield.