“Your choice, dearie; you can go with the demon and become hell-fodder, or you can come with me and become part of mad science. The mad science has a better health plan.”
---Clan Shelley Vlade Elite, interrupting a demonic sacrificial ‘acquisition’.
“Oh, you’re a screamer! Easy to tell what you’re going to be when the Doctors are finished with you.”
“You believe in practice, don’t you? But save some of that for later.”
---Clan Shelley Vamp, with a decidedly less-than-calm NeShemar inductee.
“And when will we be able to count the new NeShemar among our number?”
“When we get a good thunderstorm, your Dark Majesty! We need a ripping good thunderstorm so we can raise the dish! Very important we get a good thunder-zapper for the nano-conversion process! Life started triggered by lightning, and it’s very auspicious for the NeShemar conversion to have natural lightning!”
----Queen Shelley and Doctor Electronika discussing an upcoming NeShemar induction.
#“How nice! You’re fighting monsters? We can help! We know a thing or two about monsters!”#
----Clan Shelley Franken, upon learning from a Wayfinder Shemarrian about the Minion War outbreak on Rifts Earth.
“We couldn’t have thought up a better prank to pull on the Hawkmoons if we TRIED!”
---Anonymous Lost Eclipse member, upon visiting a Clan Shelley enclave.
“Mister Sparks...hands off my machine!”
---Doctor Electronika warning a guest to her laboratory.
Fringe Tribe: Clan Shelley
|Where First Encountered||Rifts Earth, California|
Unknown number of Myrmidon
|Wargoddess||1, Queen Shelley|
|Berserker||5% (many as Harpies)|
|Highest Caste Class||Wargoddess|
|Home Environment||Temperate Earth-like|
|Technology Level||Megadamage Age
Base Shemarrian Some Mad Science
|Relations With Outsiders||Indifferent|
|Relations With Other Shemarrians||Enthusiastic|
|Prefered Mode of Combat||Sneak Attack|
aka ‘Halloweeners’, ‘Stokers’
Clan Shelley is a bizarre fringe tribe that seems determined to boggle and annoy its ancestors due to convoluted origins, being the decidedly unconventional merger between a demented band of escaped ex-slave borgs and a splinter offshoot of the Hawkmoons. Toss in an unhealthy fixation on monster movies, ancient Egyptian culture, and several dozen converted Arch-Vampires (see Damon Sutton’s “A.R.C.H.I.E. Phase 2” in Rifter #53), and Clan Shelley was born. The tribe seems to been founded by a rogue Hawkmoon Wargoddess who decided to do her own thing, took a few of her followers, and moved out west, shortly after contact was made with the Wayfinders, to what was once California, to settle down and start up her bizarre little fringe-clan, after changing her name to ‘Shelley’ and declaring herself ‘Queen of the Night’.
Clan Shelley seems to poke more than a little fun at rumors of the ‘Shadowblade’ clan, in borrowing a lot of the affiliated imagery and vampire motifs. They also borrow heavily from ‘goth’ culture even more than the Skullcrushers and Lost Eclipse, with a big dose of Hollywood B-horror mixed in. The women dress vampy, the men are big monstrous goons, and the science is Mad.
Clan Shelley is one of the few Shemar tribes that has a predominately MALE population, though it is a traditional matriarchy. The female inner core of the tribe seems to style themselves as vampy succubi or mad scientists, while the males sport themselves as lurching monsters, obsequious hunchbacked toadies, suave vampires, and enigmatic horrors. The whole tribe seems be stuck in Halloween or Rocky Horror land, even when they’re seriously kicking ass on the battlefield. It seems to work.
Location Location Location
Clan Shelley is also more location-oriented, rather than nomadic. They establish ‘haunts’, typically in abandoned villages, old mine complexes, military bases, or industrial parks. Clan Shelley central is rumored to be an entire village populated with androids (use the Splicers NEXUS-Village robots as a good idea of the general capabilities of these androids) to produce a ‘Potemkin Village’ cover for the concealed warren of tunnels and underground chambers where the Shelleys actually live and work. A nearby rundown mansion looms over the village, and is actually built atop an underground military base that serves as the Queen’s base of operations. A nearby graveyard is actually planted with hundreds of remodeled and re-tasked skelebots and labor robots. ready to ‘rise from the dead’. Outsiders who visit the town will be curtly shunted to the small business district (which has a surprisingly well-equipped cybernetics shop) and encouraged to conduct their business as quickly as they can and leave (conspicuously watched by the villagers). The exception is if they come in escorted in the company of other Shemarrians, in which case they will get a much friendlier welcome. During the day, the village grinds on in seemingly innocuous everyday labor, doing some farming, some mining, some materials processing. At night, the tribesmen come out to play, roaming the countryside hunting vampires and other monsters, and scaring the bejeesus out of unwary travelers.
Since revelations of their existence have come out, and their (tenuous) ties to the Hawkmoons, Clan Shelley has been something of a dark spot for the Hawkmoons, who seem genuinely befuddled and more than a little embarrassed by the association. The Tribe representatives to the High Council have excused themselves twice on the matter of admitting the Shelleys to the Low Council (the Shelleys were voted in anyway, by heavy sponsorship by both the Wolf’s Path and the Lost Eclipse, both of whom have taken particular joy at the Hawkmoons’ discomfiture). Indeed, the Lost Eclipse can’t help but snicker when the subject of the Shelleys comes up in the company of the Hawkmoons, and more than a few Lost Eclipse Tribesmembers have voluntarily ‘defected’ to the fringe tribe to lend them extra weight. The Lost Eclipse continues to enjoy good relations with the Shelleys, even though a few of the elder Nightmares have expressed concern that the Shelleys are ‘stealing our schtick’.
Laughing black skull with lightning bolts shooting horn-like from the temples.
Offshoot tribe of the Hawkmoons merged with several smaller fringe tribes, including a clan of ex-slave ‘borgs.
Where First Encountered
Rifts Earth, California, but have reportedly been encountered elsewhere in the Megaverse.
Modest; 60,000 members, not including several thousand un-Awakened ‘myrmidon’ drones.
Matriarchy; Clan Shelley is run primarily by females, with the vulture-winged Wargoddess Queen Shelley (‘Queen of the Night’) presiding. Her male consort is Nubo(“Bo”)hotep, one of the original ex-slave borgs, who appears as a giant mummy by her side.
Temperate Earth-like environs. Preferably in areas with old buildings, ominous moors, and regular thunderstorm activity.
Megadamage Age; roughly equivalent to the baseline Shemarrian tech-base, with some forays into Mad Science, possibly based on unearthed Golden Age technologies such as nanotechnology. They are also able to reproduce Naruni’s thermo-kinetic armor.
The Shelleys are not big on the use of Warmounts, though they possess a few of the basic Shemarrian types, along with several Nechbets. Queen Shelley is looking to acquire additional Warmounts, and has expressed an interest in the aerial ‘Chirops’, the vulpine ‘Steel Claw’, and the arachnid ‘Aracha’.
Relations with Outsiders
Indifferent. For the most part, Clan Shelley drives others away from their territories. They conduct some small trade with outsiders through backdoor contacts, and they will come to the aide of outsiders they discover being attacked by monsters, but in general they remain creepily aloof. One of the bones of contention between Clan Shelley and the Hawkmoons, however, is the rumor that the Shelleys have used the excuse of monster attacks in their region as a cover to ‘harvest’ NeShemar recruits to their clan, blaming the subsequent disappearances on supernatural predators. The case for Clan Shelley hasn’t been helped any by a comment reputedly made by one of the Shelleys that the NeShemar inductees ‘would have been monster-chow anyway’.
Despite their monster imagery, Clan Shelley actually despises vampires, ghouls, and Infernals, and exterminate those monsters whenever they encounter them. The only exception are whampyrs, who the Queen of the Night has decreed shall have shelter in Clan Shelley territories, to assist in their campaigns against the undead.
Relations with Other ‘Shemarrians’
Enthusiastic, and the more monstrous your appearance, the better! Other Shemarrians are always welcome to visit Clan Shelley territory.
Creepy Fun. Aside from apparently going out to poke fun at the Hawkmoons, Queen Shelley and her Shellyists just seem content to enjoy being the ‘Addams Family branch of the Shemarrian tree’. Her constituents’ earlier quests of revenge against their enslavers have been enfolded into an overall scheme of staking out territory, building up their numbers, and running various monsters out of their neighborhood. Because of their location in California, this means the vampires, Cultists of the Deep (on the coast), and various demons and monsters.
Preferred Mode of Combat
Sneak Attacks. Clan Shelley LOVES attacking at night, from ambush, and often from underground. Ion weapons (‘lightning guns’) are favorites, as are silenced weapons and sharp melee weapons (‘snip, snip, and don’t forget to save the parts for Doctor Electronika’). A favorite tactic is to bury myrmidon drones in the path of an advancing enemy, or force the enemy across a graveyard or other patch of earth planted with hidden drones, then spring a ‘dawn of the dead’ as the enemy attempts to cross. Aerial assaults by ‘Vamps’, ‘Vlades’ and ‘Harpies’ are also common, as are ‘pop-up’ attacks by tunneling ‘Mummers’. Clan Shelley is also known to bait ambushes with seemingly vulnerable and helpless civilians, unwary ‘coeds’, or isolated and poorly-equipped travelers to entice bandits and monsters to attack...the ‘bait’ being false-fleshed drones or concealed cyberhumanoid cyborgs such ‘Scream-Queens’ fully capable of defending themselves, or at least surprise the attackers long enough for the rest of the clan combat party to swoop in.
Unique Caste-Classes; the Shelleys are known for their eccentric new caste-classes.
These are male equivalents of the Tinker class, only even more physically deformed. Except in this case, the enormous ‘humps’ on the backs of the E-GORs open up to unleash a multitude of tool-arms
The male equivalent of the Lost Eclipse Tisiphone Elites. These darkly handsome cyberhumanoids’ trench coats or capes are cunningly disguised bat-like cyberwings, and their immaculate dark attire stealth armor. They are effective special operations warriors and assassins, often with something to prove against the supernatural vampires.
These are female cyberhumanoids (typically NeShemar conversions) outfitted with weapons-grade sonic projectors in their throats. Many a monster, attracted by the prospect of scantily-covered easy meat, have been destroyed by beauty.
A subset of the ‘mummers’, but can be considered a female NeShemar Berserker-style cyberhumanoid; slender-build females wrapped in bandages or tape. Tanglers are trained and configured for melee combat, favoring the same sort of duct tape ‘armor’ as the larger mummers, and use entangling weapons in melee combat.
‘Franken’ Heavy Cyborgs
“No, Dwight, I can say with absolute ####ing certainty that these ####ing fleshy-headed mutants are NOT ####ing friendly! Now keep your ####ing foot to the floor until we’ve got at least a ####ing river and a ####ing mountain range between us and them!”
‘Franken’ are essentially heavy- or assault-chassis cyborgs with heavy coverings of faux-flesh. The fact that the fake fleshy covering looks rotted, tumorous, stitched-together, or otherwise not quite normal, actually helps the illusion that these hulking beings are mutants, flesh-golems, or other monstrousities. In a few cases, the ‘Frankens’ are the larger heavy labor robots (such as the Northern Gun NG-W10) under the flesh-jacket.
Frankens are currently exclusive to Clan Shelley, though it’s rumored that the Lost Eclipse (an ardent supporter of Clan Shelley) has used the concept as well, most notably to sneak infiltrators, some disguised as ‘Kryygorth Lessons’, into Splugorth encampments. It’s also rumored that the Ghost Riders have disguised some of their number as Madhaven mutants using this technique.
MDC: The faux flesh adds +3d6 MD to the base.
P.B.: Base stat of 1d8, and can be mistaken for an organic being, rather than a mechanical one.
“I curse you, disturber of these sacred burial grounds. I curse you with the most painful moments of your un-life. Gold we do not have in abundance in these crypts, but silver we have much of, as you are about to learn to your agony!”
The original ‘mummers’ were the two dozen slave-borgs who revolted against their forced labor in the mines, killing their keepers in the process. However, they also wiped out the sadistic Black Market technicians who were keeping their bionics serviced. Out in the wilderness, away from major population centers that might offer them repairs, and unwilling to trust anybody in the area who might also be on the slavers’ payroll, the cyborgs were forced to make do with whatever they could scrounge up for adhoc repairs to themselves. The available supplies included lots of duct tape, which the cyborgs used to patch themselves and seal holes in their bionic bodies. They also used the material to disguise their appearances from casual identification. Exposed to the dust and dirt of the mines and hideyholes in which the cyborgs took shelter, the sticky duct tape quickly acquired a dusty, dirty, and worn look similar to old mummification wrappings. When the nascent Clan Shelley stumbled across the ex-slaves and took pity enough on them to offer them sanctuary with them, Queen Shelley commented on the ‘mummy’ look. When she began to build her new clan around a horror-film theme, she suggested that the cyborgs might just want to keep the look. Many agreed to do just that (those who didn’t went on to become Frankens).
Mummers are simply mining and labor cyborgs and robots wrapped in yards and yards of MDC tape and strip-cut sheeting. Some of the Mummers have added touches like ancient Egyptian-styled decorations, or bits of d-bee gear to their cover-wrappings, to further the masquerade. Under the wrappings, many of the cyborgs have also had their appearances altered to appear more skeletal or mummified, so even if their wrappings are damaged or destroyed, their true nature will not be immediately revealed. Other touches that the clan members have added to their role as ‘undead’ include hiding underground(indeed, the mining skill of many of the Mummers has been put to work on Clan Shelley’s underground hideouts) and sleeping in elaborate sarcophagi-like servicing booths. The fact that many of the ex-slaves are quite insane and perfectly willing to embrace the masquerade also helps the clan act.
Like other members of Clan Shelley, Mummers do NOT get along with True Vampires, in their particular case because the Mummers are rather adept at ferreting and digging out vampires’ daylight hiding places underground. The ex-miners are also fond of arming themselves with silver weapons, and have gotten GOOD at putting a silver-tipped pickax blade into a vampire’s withered heart.
Mummers remain another exclusive of Clan Shelley.
MDC: The patchwork MDC fabric armor typically adds +3d4x10 MD to the overall MDC of the cyborg/robot.
A small robotic drone in the shape of an Ankh.
Refurbished skelebots or NEMA robots, concealed around Clan Shelley ‘Haunts’ and used for general labor.
Drones with large Frankenstein-style bolts on neck, arms and legs, with heavy metal gauntlets with hoses connecting the gauntlets to their back. Used for heavy labour and melee combat. Have built in electrical based weaponry.
Aquatic fish-men units, modeled after many swamp monster legends. Some have angler fish like glands, or flying-squirrel-like wings combined with hydrojets that allows them to launch out of the water for surprise attacks on boats.
Self-Sufficient; the tribe has enough industrial capacity and material resources to supply itself and develop a few new projects, but Queen Shelley hopes to expand her tribe’s operations; to do that, she’ll need more resources. Her closest trading partners are the Wayfinders, but their own projects keep them from offering her everything she wants or currently needs for her ambitions.
Offshoot tribe of the Hawkmoons. The Hawkmoons are still shaking their heads over how this tribe could POSSIBLY have sprung from Hawkmoon stock.
Deranged ex-mining slave ‘borg. He led his fellow slave-borgs in a successful revolt against the mine operator who enslaved them, but learned that the surviving sponsors of the slavers were gathering mercenaries to teach the escaped slaves a ‘lesson’. He thought that taking on aspects of the Shemarrian tribes said to be operating in the area would be a good way of petitioning for their assistance and protection. Indeed, the Shemarrians DID notice, and Queen Shelley thought adding the mining and labor ‘borgs to her little clan would be a strong move towards strengthening its position. Queen Shelley also took a personal interest in the eccentrically charming and courageous leader of the slave revolt, making him her Consort. The half-mad newly-dubbed Nubo-hotep has cheerfully taken to his new pseudo-Egyptian title and clan role, getting onto the whole schtick of leading his ‘undead’ legion of Mummers.
Queen Shelley’s chief Tinker and Mad Scientist. She’s gone DEEP into her role; any deeper and some outside observers fear she might spontaneously evolve into a VatMOTHER or some other atrocity of science. She’s been having fun creating new cyborgs and finding ways to use nanotechnology in new and kinky ways to convert mundanes into both less- and more-than human super-mechanisms. She keeps the tribe’s handful of Valkyri and their Male scouts constantly out looking for ‘brains, brains, and more brains’ to make cyborgs with, and has a thing for lightning storms.
Senior Arch-Vampire, Awakened with the Ecotroz and Upgraded to the Vlade standard. Calculi is wisecracking, snarky, and High Consort Nubo-hotep’s best buddy. He’s perfectly happy letting Queen Shelley boss him around, as long as he gets to have fun leading his cyborvampire squads on hunts, tearing up REAL vampires and scaring the hell out of the mundanes.