“Let our enemies learn to fear the fall of night, let them tremble in terror at the sight of the vast night sky, knowing the Great Dark Ocean is OUR domain, surrounding them, looking down upon them with its many eyes. Let them know that the coming of darkness offers them no shelter from us! Let those of dark hearts and souls choose rather to run and burn in the sunlight than to face the prospect of another night at our mercy!”
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 New Brunswick and Maine, 900 females and 40 male strong in the tribe before the Civil War. Using Mostly Monst-Rex (60%) and Rhino-Buffaloes (40%). Males and Berserkers would keep small packs (4-10) of Shemarrian Wolves as hunting animals. The Tribe uses seashells to make jewelry and ornamentation, with a preference for spears and polearms for melee weapons.
Civil War Edit
During the Shemarrian Civil War, the Darkwaters were divided between two fronts; the SCW raging at their southern borders, and the suddenly active Splugorth (who were seeking to take advantage of the internal dispute dividing their continental foes) from the sea. Through brilliant tactics and strategy, the Darkwaters were able to keep the Splugorth fended off, while keeping their strength from being drawn off by ARCHIE-3 to deal with the EShemar rebels. The Ecotroz were able to take over only by not threatening the line of resistance against the Splugorth, and indeed by showing that EShemar were BETTER at fighting the slavers than the unAwakened. Once the rebel Darkwaters had settled their hash with the loyalists, they uncomplainingly turned back to the task of dealing with the Splugorth threat; in fact, so dedicated to the task of retaking ground from the Splugorth were the Darkwaters, that the First Council of Reconciliation between the triumphant Tribes had to be delayed for several weeks, as anyone senior enough to serve as the Darkwaters’ delegate(s) was at the Splugorth front, fighting!
Darkwaters are often regarded as aloof, standoffish, and emotionally distanced from their Tribe-kin. They tend to keep their thoughts to themselves and mind their own business, though they socialize as much as anybody with the other Tribes. They are very duty-bound and take their responsibilities very seriously. Like the Wolf’s Path, the Darkwaters are very team-oriented; few starships can operate effectively with one person, so teamwork is essentially in a ship crew. Even when off-duty and mingling with other Tribes, Darkwaters tend to cluster together along crew lines, watching out for each other in social groups that take on the familiarity of families. Assigned a duty, they are all business, and can sometimes come off as rude and brusque with their attention to the job at hand. That having been said, Darkwaters ARE individuals with their own dreams and aspirations, arts, and hobbies that they freely indulge in on their own time. While there might not be much personal privacy aboard a ship, what there is is vigorously respected by fellow crewmates, although pleasurable events and experiences are often shared with each other; ‘collective joy’ is a common aspect of Darkwaters’ arts and celebrations, with participation by a starship’s or space station’s entire complement. For their part, Darkwaters delight in the freedom of the depths of deep ocean and deep space, and marvel at the beauty of the universe to a degree equal to that of any Wayfinder mystic.
Post Civil War Edit
With the peace brought by the Reconciliation and the reformation of the Shemarrian Nation, the Darkwaters were able to make steps to pursue more aggressive campaigns against the Splugorth and Horune, extending their reach into the Atlantic Ocean to intercept and ambush Minions and pirates well before the latter thought they could be in danger from continental foes. The Darkwaters were the first Tribe to embrace the use of regular vehicles, as few of the original pattern War Steeds were appropriate for long range oceanic combat. Initially, though, the Darkwaters’ deep water combat capabilities were severely limited, as most available maritime combat equipment was scaled for smaller humanoids, and more specialized gear was needed. In time, though, the Darkwaters were able to acquire, copy, and adapt various weapons and hardware to their own purposes. Once the Darkwaters were able to capture several Splugorth vessels, Kittani submarines, and (the greatest prize) one of ARCHIE-3’s stealth supply submarines, the Darkwaters were able to start making serious aggressive moves against the Splugorth and Horune far out at sea. The experience in adapting, maintaining, and operating large submarine vessels came in very handy when the Hawkmoons shared out information on the Kittani spacecraft they’d captured and studied, giving the Darkwaters an edge in spacecraft construction. The Darkwaters soon proved they were as adept at space combat as they were underwater combat.
The Darkwaters have become the Shemarrian Star Nation’s ‘silent service’; though occasionally seen participating in surface operations, they are more commonly encountered in deep space combat. Their space forces are second only to the Hawkmoons, and arguably their starships have the edge in quality.
The Darkwaters have almost entirely taken up living in deep space; their planetary enclaves tend to be on remote cold planets outside the ‘life zone’ of their stars, that few other species would look at twice as possible colonial prospects. The few enclaves the Darkwaters maintain on or around life worlds tend to be space stations, or deep undersea habitats, hidden from the eyes of others in the case of the latter.
Combat and Technology Edit
If the Hawkmoons are said to like magic weapons, the Silvermoons lasers, the Sapphire Cobras chemical and nanotech, the Skullcrushers projectile weaponry, and the Blood Riders plasma ordnance, the Darkwaters specialize in exotic particle weapons. Particle beams, nuetron blasters, tachyon sprayers, gravitic lances, and the like are the specials of the Darkwater arsenal.
Though the Darkwaters seem to prefer to fight from spacecraft, they’re no slouches at personal combat. Their orbital drop forces are among the best trained and equipped, and for close-in combat in zero gravity, they are second to none. Even more feared is their proficiency at naval combat; the Darkwaters have by no means turned it ALL over to the Horrorwoods, and they continue to maintain a potent marine combat force in the DeepWatch. A favorite strategy of Darkwater attack forces is to drop into the depths of a planetary hydrosphere, often the largest and most unguarded region of a planet, going deep and running silent, to assault an enemy’s surface forces from the oceans and waterways.
Though the Horrorwoods Tribesmembers are generally acknowledged as the planetary combat experts of the SSN, including marine combat, the Darkwaters have not entirely given up their early role in the Shemarrian Nation. The Darkwaters continue to maintain the DeepWatch, effectively a tribe within the Tribe, consisting of specialists in marine combat. While the Horrorwoods typically stays close to continental plain and litoral zones, the Deepwatch typically keeps to open ocean and deep water. The Deepwatch maintains permanent facilities in the oceanic abyssal and hadal zones, where they can hide assets from probing spacecraft, giving the Darkwaters the means to stage surprise attacks on invaders or wreak havoc on marine transport, coastal commerce, and submarine communications and industry.
Deep Spiral Group Edit
A major battle group and construction bureau for the DarkWaters. Tresada is their lab bench and factory floor, as well as their barracks and hangars.
Relations With Others Edit
The Darkwaters get along best with the Silvermoons and Hawkmoons, both extensively space-based Tribes. They also deal extensively with the Wayfinders, both because of the dominant role of the Pathfinders as navigators, and because of the specialized spacecraft orders the Wayfinders frequently commission of the Darkwaters. They do considerable business with the Skullcrushers, largely due to the latter’s diminished spacecraft-production capabilities. The Darkwaters hardly have any contact with the Sapphire Cobras, beyond the odd spacecraft contract or joint military operation, though they are amused and intrigued by some of the Cobras’ latest ship designs. Relations with the other Tribes are usually joint military operations or through necessary interstellar trade and other space-based projects.
Minion War Edit
Composition Notes Edit
The Darkwaters have one of the highest percentages of Tinkers (nearly 25%) in their Tribal population.
The Preservers (or rather their equivalent) of the Darkwaters are focused less on camouflaging themselves as natural foliage, and more on disguising themselves as TECHNOLOGY at remote, far flung, outposts of the Darkwaters’ deep space network. Those few outsiders who have stumbled across what they thought were uninhabited automated industrial satellites, listening post, communications relays, or robotic mining platforms, full of Shemarrian technology ripe for the taking, have been rudely surprised to discover a caretaker (or force of them) lurking, disguised as a communications antennae, pump tower, or other miscellaneous piece of hardware. The Darkwater Preservers are the equivalent of lighthouse keepers, doing long lonely tours of duty, contemplating the magnificent solitude of the cosmos around them, while performing a vital role in maintaining the network of waystations and relays that keep the Shemarrian Star Nation running. At a moment’s notice, the Darkwater Preservers are ready to spring into action to defend their facilities against enemies, or render aide to a Shemarrian starship in need.
The Darkwaters draw their NeShemar primarily from deep space professions and locations (typically wrecked spacecraft), and occasionally from coastal/hydrosphere regions (wrecked ships). More than a few NeShemar have come to the Darkwaters as year-or-more-frozen corpses found in the depths of space. The proficiency of the DarkWaters at resurrecting such finds has earned them the nickname ‘space angels’ in some quarters.
The Darkwaters draw no distinctions between regular Shemar and NeShemar when it comes to promoting ability; there’s little room in starships for ‘class’ politics and segregation.
The Darkwaters have few elites among their numbers, which are usually specialized combat units.
Upgraded Berserker through Rites of Upgrade with upgrades designed for water combat.
An elite based on War Chiefainess frame with octopus tentacles from the waist down. Heavy combat unit both adept at fighting underwater and in zero-gravity.
Stat Bonuses Edit
All Darkwaters gain the following bonuses post Civil War. Those that are generated before the formation of the Star Nation replace Space Training, Movement: Zero Gravity, Hand to Hand Combat: Zero Gravity, Navigation: Space, Pilot: Small Spacecraft with water, underwater and watercraft skills instead.
Space Training Edit
Darkwaters all have the following skills (in addition to their normal programmed/transferred skills):
|Movement: Zero Gravity||+5|
|Hand to Hand Combat: Zero Gravity|
|Basic Mechanics (Repair & Maintenance)||70||+10|
|Pilot: Small Spacecraft||70||+3|
Rights of Upgrade Edit
Two pieces of equipment are common upgrades that among the Darkwaters have become part of their Rights of Upgrade instead of being awarded in Rites of Upgrade. These are usually given after they complete training and first combat or apprenticeship as a Tinkerer.
Repulsor Tethers Edit
One Upgrade that is unique to the Darkwaters is the Repulsor Tether. Darkwater members are modified with implants that allow them to fly effortlessly inside and around their spacecraft when in zero-gee without the need of kicking off surfaces or wasteful reaction jets, but by alternate attraction/repulsion between their own bodies and the structures of their ships. With the RT system, Darkwaters crew members can flit about their ships at running speed, effortlessly. The RT system also provides a safety net when performing EVAs; the crew members can fly about (at up to x4 times their maximum running speed) their spacecraft like orbiting satellites (effective range; 12-15 ft for ships of 15 tons mass or less, up to 50 ft for ships of up to 6,000 tons mass, and up to 200 ft for ships of 50,000 tons mass or more), making them deadly adversaries in close combat about their spacecraft.
Multi-tool Hand Edit
It was first seen among Darkwater Tinkers, but this Upgrade quickly spread among the other Tribes. This Upgrade replaces/modifies a Shemarrian hand to incorporate a nanotech Multitool (see Rifts Dimension Book Two: Phase World, pg. 143, for full details on the Multitool) able to reconfigure into the appropriate tool the possessor needs. This Upgrade is common among Darkwater supporting personnel such as Tinkers and Acolites, but is less common among dedicated combat personnel, such as Warriors and Elites.
Darkwater Enclaves Edit
Atlantis East Edit
Atlantis East was one of the Darkwaters’ secret aces during their offensive against the Splugorth and Horune. Atlantis East was an experimental underwater community complex established pre-Rifts off the Eastern Seaboard not far from New York City. The facility was part undersea workshop and part environmental laboratory, set up to oversee the environmental cleanup of the continental shelf in the area, and monitor the re-establishment of the once-rich fishing grounds thereabouts. Built with the latest megadamage materials and underwater technologies, the complex was also being developed to serve eventually as an underwater resort (the New Jersey gambling establishments had a hand in driving this), but those plans were quietly quashed when NEMA decided that the facility would also make a nice underwater bunker complex for security operations. Whatever Atlantis East might have eventually become became a moot point with the Coming of the Rifts. Though surprisingly much of the complex survived the massive upheavals attendant with the Rifts and the rising of Atlantis, the occupants were all either killed trying to escape to shore or by monsters that caught them in the open ocean. The complex, partially buried and coincidentally shielded by the massive amounts of debris swept back from the coastal cities, was rediscovered by chance by Shemarrian underwater scouts. Though much of the usable technology had been destroyed or decayed by time and exposure to the elements, the structures themselves had held up remarkably well, and the power systems could still carry power, once the generators were replaced. The Darkwaters quickly refurbished the complex into a submarine haven where their deep water patrols and strike forces could take shelter and rearm between missions.
Though never very comfortable by the standards of other species, Atlantis East nevertheless gave the Darkwaters experience in underwater operations, that would be applied to other outposts, both on Rifts Earth and on other worlds.
Darkwater node world, home to the Deep Spiral Group, and a large ship manufacturing system.
A giant billfish-like warmount for a single rider, and sometimes allowed to operate in small groups without riders.
Originally a frankensteed, with a large crab-like body from Kittani War Crab, and a large shark-like head from Kittani Shark Mini-sub with modified jaw assembly. The legs replaced with flipper-like limbs for better water movement.
A large chamgered nautilus mollusc-like warmount, similar to a Murex Metzla, with the riders riding inside. Fully of operating in water, air and space.
An amphibious warmount that resembles a cross between a killer whale or beluga and a raptor, or shark and a seal, with long powerful streamlined body, large toothed jaw, powerfully fluked and sharp-finned tail, carried on two thick reverse-jointed legs.
A light air/sea hover warmount with a manta ray style body, able to move above and below the waves and fly.
A warmount that appears to be a cross between a Coalition SpiderSkull walker and a giant octopus, used mainly as a beast of burden during space mining, construction and salvage operations. The riders ride inside the Octas, and was the first to use this feature.
An amphibious design based on the Fury Beetle, sporting a large watertight carbo compartment within its shell, used mainly as a transport.
A warmount modelled after a cyborged Metztla Kreelong carapace labour caste drone, used mostly in construction, and infiltration of Metzla territory.
Another warmount modelled after Metztla, a walking engine of destruction, only the riders ride inside its body.
A warmount modelled after the Murvolva Metztla, designed to infiltrate Metztla territory.
An aquatic warmount that resembles a sea robin/lionfish hybrid with large fins and spines.
A heavy artillery warmount based on a type of venomous cone snail.
A lobster-like warmount capable of manufacturing enimal drones.
A whale-like amphibious warmount used as a heavy transport.
A giant mechanical squid drone used for maintenance and as a watch beast or hunter-killer.
A small robot flashlight with 3 insect legs and swivel head.
Darkwaters' variant of the Selen used by the Silvermoons.
Basic small robotic fish, used for surveillance.
An aquatic modification of the Chitterling.
A barracuda sized robotic fish with longer endurance than the Robofin. Can be fitted with a mini-torpedo warhead.
A robotic octopus.
An modified version of the AA-03 avian spy designed to look like aquatic birds.
A mini-torpedo designed to look like a squid, designed for long loiter times. groups are left in areas with known enemy activity and used as active minefields.
Starfish shaped mobile limpet mines.
A jellyfish shaped mine that can also act as a surveillance platform.
Another jellyfish mine modeled after man-o-war jellyfish.
The Darkwaters has a number of equipment and weapons they have developed for combat underwater and later life in space.
Ranged Weapons Edit
Darkwater particle beam rifle based on technology acquired from an alien partner, has excellent range.
Darkwaters adaptation of the Kittani Spider Gun. There is also a version with a small contra-grav system replacing the spider legs.
Medium ranged missiles that operate above and below water.
An underwater laser pulse rifle based on a Triax design, also used by the Steel Gaians who have used PS technology to improve it. Mounts a launchable vibro-bayonet.
Modified medium cyborg EBA fitted with micro-missile launchers, thermo-kinetic armour and anti-gravity pack.
The Darkwaters makes use of all the standard Shemarrian Star Nation ships, plus a few variants of those standard craft, plus several of their own designs. They have also aided other tribes in designing starships for their own use, especially the Skullcrushers due to their diminished shipbuilding capabilities.
Darkwaters variant of the Storm Dragon battleship.
Squid-like in appearance, used for space mining operations.
A fast frigate modelled after an armoured fish.
A fairly simple defense satellite with a rock layer for added protection and stealth capabilities.
A heavy cruiser based on the Astrapade frigate.
The Darkwaters are one of the few Tribes to make use of vehicles other than starships, fighters or shuttles.
A stealth hunter-killer submarine, modeled after prehistoric bone armoured fish.
A medium attack sub that is modeled after cuttlefish.