The Horune brigands are screaming their high thin inhuman agonies as the plasma sweeps their vessel’s decks like a tidal wave of fire. Here and there, other monsters, some in human form, of that black-hearted company of roving slavers and murderers, shared the fate of their five-eyed patrons as they charred, exploded, or went up like well-fuelled torches. Only moments before they had been at calm aboard their warship at anchor, thinking, no doubt, indolent thoughts of rapine and plunder to come, here in their little island sanctuary. Now they were dying by the droves, some trying belatedly to throw up shields of water or debris against the plasma and projectile fire that now scythe through their ranks. Deck guns let off sporadic, ineffectual, return fire as they try to strike back, but too late, too late. Missiles and rail gun fire slam into them, shattering decks, and sending even more shrapnel spinning through the air to draw ichor and shouts of pain from the pirates skittering about the ship, looking for shelter.
Behind the yawing ship, the Chieftain can see plumes of smoke rising from the decks of the two other vessels anchored there, captured prizes of the pirates even now dying by the numbers. The periscope optics can make out slick-skinned forms leaping aboard the hostage merchantmen, grabbing surprised guards, and slitting their throats, or taking their heads off completely with swift blade strokes. Smaller craft, their anchor lines or tethers cut, drift slowly about, carried by the tide and currents.
Already the waters are broken by the dark fins of gathering scavengers rising and circling to the smell of blood in the waters. Sharks and others, the Horunes’ fair weather friends, are gathering to partake of the feast. Here and there are roils in the water, as the less-patient of the scavengers find some wounded Horune or allied pirate in the water, and decide not to wait.
As the dark ship’s weapons batteries again sweep the deck of the warship, vaporizing decking and monsterous crew alike, the Darkwaters Chieftain smiles, a predatory grin that the Horune might admire for its sharp-teethed menace, were it not on account of their dying that prompted it.
The periscope only confirms what she is hearing over other means; the battle is the Darkwaters’. Here again they have proven they are the Alpha Predators, and these waters are theirs.
- 1 Glashtin-class Combat Submarine
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Sensors
- 2.2 Special Systems
- 2.3 Weapons Systems
- 2.3.1 Heavy Plasma Cannon (2)
- 2.3.2 Heavy Laser Cannons (2)
- 2.3.3 Heavy Missile/Torpedo Tubes (7)
- 2.3.4 Short Range Torpedoes (2 launchers in six-tube clusters)
- 2.3.5 Dual Turrets (4)
- 2.3.6 Fin Slicers (5)
- 2.3.7 Ramming Prow
- 2.4 Small Craft Complement
Glashtin-class Combat Submarine
While the Shemarrians have been regarded (and designed) as an apparently druidic people who prefer to travel on and work with obvious bionic animals, shunning conventional vehicles, the Ecotroz Shemarrians have had to make do with what they can find and salvage, including using vehicles (modified to their own requirements of course). This is particularly true of the Darkwaters Tribe who needed larger craft to extend the range and capabilities of their maritime patrols in order to extend their operations against the Splugorth and Horune out into the ocean beyond the practical range of amphibious-adapted War Mounts. Carrying the war to the enemy on their own ground (or in their own home waters) required more than commandeered fishing vessels or improvised rafts, the Darkwaters had to see about developing an EShemar Navy of sorts. Submarines were the obvious choice of warship, allowing the Darkwaters to mask their movements from enemies and outside observers alike, but ARCHIE-3 had not obligingly equipped his creations so, and was not likely to once the Shemarrian Civil War exploded.
Previously, what few underseas vessels the Darkwaters had managed to acquire were common black market designs that could only accommodate crews of Spinsters/Tinkers, necessitating the invaluable support caste gynoids to remain in the background after transporting ‘parasite’ teams of warriors in marine armor to the combat scene. When the Shemarrians were able to capture several Splugorth ships, including several Kittani submarines, they began to look towards developing their own maritime designs and shipbuilding capabilities, as existing continental-designed craft were ill-suited to tackling the Splugorth fleets and Horune dreamships in anything other than very carefully planned ambushes with overwhelming numbers.
The real prize came when the Darkwaters surprised one of ARCHIE-3’s stealth supply submarines as it made a dash for the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Though the submarine’s robotic brain wasn’t able to self-destruct itself, it was able to scramble its software enough to prevent its navigation logs from allowing the EShemar rebels to backtrack its course to either Cyberworks’ facilities or ARCHIE-3’s secret marine complex. However, the psychic gynoids WERE able to figure out how to operate, maintain, and even, with long study and the eventual acquisition of additional resources, how to duplicate its more advanced technology, particularly its stealth systems.
Using salvage from various resources, the Darkwaters were able to cobble together a new hunter-killer submarine of their own, combining the best aspects of the Kittani designs and the stealth submarine. Fortunately, both the Kittani and A3 ships were of a scale compatible with the large Shemarrian pyschiology (the Kittani ships designed with power armor-wearing crews in mind, and the Cyberworks craft with large combat robots), so crew requirements were no longer so restrictive.
The Glashtin-class (named for a kelpie-like water horse spirit) bears a resemblance to an osteocoderm, one of a family of primitive bone-armored fishes of early Earth biological history. Heavier and slower than its Kittani contemporaries, the Glashtin is more heavily armored, armed, and stealthier.
The Glashtin lacks the giant and articulated robotic jaw of the Kittani Shark (the EShemar regard such animalistic features unbecoming of a construct that cannot be ‘Awakened’, and reserve such for War Mounts), though it can ram to good effect, and its fins are fitted with armor-slicing vibroblades for good measure. The submarine retains a large array of missile and torpedo launchers, though such ordnance is used sparingly, owing to the as-yet-uncertain Shemarrian ability to manufacture and supply heavier missiles and explosive devices (this situation changes once the Assembler Forge technology spreads, and the Shemarrians are able to set up re-arming stations up and down the Eastern Seaboard). Finally, a large aft-opening bay holds a complement of Shemarrian marine troops and their War Mounts that can be deployed for coastal raids, ship boarding actions, and close-in defense.
Despite its more effective combat role, the Glashtin-class was still initially crewed by Spinsters and Pariahs/Reclaimed, the former because of their technical expertise, and the latter because of their lack of focus on fighting in armor. The Reclaimed were also tasked with crewing the submarines also because of the persistent regard for war being best served by mounted warriors, rather than heavy and confining combat vehicles; the Reclaimed were being relegated to a secondary support role where they could serve without complaint, rather than in the more ‘glorious’ roles as front line combatants (ironically, these ‘second-rate’ crews would begin the fine tradition of elite Darkwater ship crews).
During the Current Era on Rifts Earth, the Glashtin is a very rare and precious combat asset for the EShemarrians, owing to the time and effort needed to construct even a single vessel. No more than three are believed to exist in service, and it is unknown where the Shemarrians are building them (among the rumors: a secret naval base at Mad Haven, the Gulf Coast swamps, or the Canadian Arctic).
In the Shemarrian Star Nation, Glashtin-class SSNs are still used by both the Darkwater DeepWatch (crewed primarily by Asrai) and by the Horrorwoods littoral combat forces. These vessels are modified with more modern weapons and systems, but are generally recognizable as the older design pioneered on Rifts Earth.
|Class||Hunter Killer Submarine|
|Number of Warmounts||54|
|Number of Carried Vehicles||2 mini subs|
MDC By Location
|Heavy Plasma Cannon (2)||400|
|Heavy Laser Cannon (2)||200|
|Heavy Missile/Torpedoe Tubes (7)||100|
|Short Range Torpedoes (2)||100|
|Dual Turrets (4)||120|
|Powerplant||Nuclear 25 years|
|Underwater Speed||47 mph|
|Maximum Depth||3.2 miles|
|Addition Sensor1||Long Range Sonar|
|Special System 1||Stealth Design|
|Special System 2||Countermeasure Launcher (4)|
|Primary Weapon||Heavy Plasma Cannons (2)|
|Secondary Weapon||Heavy Laser Cannons (2)|
|Third Weapon||Heavy MIssile/Torpedoes Tubes (7)|
|Fourth Weapon||Short Range Torpedoes (2)|
|Fifth Weapon||Dual Turrets (4)|
|Sixth Weapon||Fin Slicers (5)|
|Seventh Weapon||Ramming Prow|
Long Range Sonar
Effective range of 100 mile.
Magnetic Anomaly Detector
Embedded in the forward hull and tail are magnetometers capable of detecting fluctuations in local magnetic fields.
Range: 5 miles, and has a 70% chance of detecting submerged vessels (-20%) for non-metallic objects, and no chance of detecting organics). Also useful for detecting metal ores and other magnetic anomalies.
The Glashtins use a combination of internal insulation, anechoic hull materials, and a low-powered gravitic hydrojet propulsion system to reduce sensor signature. As a result, the ships are effectively invisible to active and passive sonar systems when traveling at speeds under 37 MPH, and are -45% to detection rolls when traveling faster.
Countermeasure Launchers (4, 2 in the main hull, two in the tail vanes)
These launchers can deploy Deep Flares, Screamers, and other acoustic decoys. Note also that the torpedo tubes can be used to launch long-range ‘smart’ decoys.
Screamers are specialized one-use munitions that when fired, broadcast a massive burst of noise across all audio/sonic frequencies, with the intended effect of destroying acoustic target (sonar) locks, and allowing the sub to escape opponents using sonar to detect or track them. -60% to track the sub via sonar while the Screamer is in effect, while sonar-guided weapons are -10 to strike, plus acoustic-homing weapons will break target lock to attack the decoy.
Screamers also have the effect of stunning dolphins, whales, and other creatures using natural sonar and echo location. These creatures are disoriented/stunned for 1d4 melees.
A typical screamer will last 1d4 melees until it burns out or is destroyed.
Screamers can also be fused to ignite/activate anywhere up to a minute (4 melees) after deployment.
Note: Screamers will affect the user’s own sonar systems.
- Range: 6,000 ft
- Rate of Fire: Can fire off Screamers in salvos of 1 or 2
- Payload: 10 Screamers per launcher
Heavy Plasma Cannon (2)
|Range2||2000 ft underwater|
|Damage2||2d4x100 MD double|
|Rate of Fire||EGCHH|
What look like armored eyes in the upper slope of the main hull, are really twin heavy plasma cannons, salvaged/copied from Kittani designs.
Heavy Laser Cannons (2)
|Range||1 mile underwater|
|Damage2||4d6x10 MD dual|
|Rate of Fire||EGCHH|
Mounted in the lower hull are two heavy laser cannons, configured in blue-green frequencies.
Heavy Missile/Torpedo Tubes (7)
The EShemar have adopted a multi-munition approach to the projectile armaments problem; the seven launch tubes in the nose can fire heavy torpedoes, or encapsulated long range cruise missiles, or dual-mode Kittani-pattern air-sea rocket torpedoes. If need be, the launchers can also fire medium range torpedoes.
|Damage||Typically 4d6x10 MD|
|Rate of Fire||Volley 1-4|
Damage varies by torpedo type loaded.
|Damage||Typically 2d6x10 MD|
|Rate of Fire||Volleys 1-4|
|Payload||2 MRT/LRT (96)|
Damage varies by the torpedo type loaded.
Long Range Missiles
|Rate of Fire||Volleys 1-4|
Damage and range varies by missile type loaded. Missiles are typically loaded for coastline bombardment.
|Range2||20 miles water|
|Rate of Fire||Volleys 1-4|
Speed: Underwater 400 MPH, Air Mach 3.
Bonuses: (Torpedo) Because of the torpedoes’ higher speed and advanced targeting systems, the Sea Fire doesn’t suffer the same range and accuracy penalties as conventional torpedoes. The Sea Fire has a +1 to strike, and a +3 to strike within 3,000 ft of the target.
(Missile) Not quite as accurate as a Harpoon III, but more powerful. +3 to strike.
Short Range Torpedoes (2 launchers in six-tube clusters)
|Damage||Typically 2d4x10 MD|
|Rate of Fire||Volleys 1-6|
|Payload||96 / launcher|
The Glashtin carries two banks of SRTs in lateral mountings for close-in defense. SRTs are somewhat easier to get ahold of, but are still not used indiscriminately by the SN’s naval units.
Dual Turrets (4)
|Range||Railgun 4000 ft, 2000 ft underwater|
|Range2||Laser 3000 ft, 2250 ft underwater|
|Damage||Railgun 2d6x10 MD|
|Damage2||Laser 2d6 MD, 4d6 MD double, 6d6 MD triple|
|Rate of Fire||EGCHH|
|Payload||1000 rd drum, unlimited laser|
For close-in defense, the Glashtin mounts four retracting close-in gun turrets, each one fitted with a rail gun firing supercavitating ammunition, and a blue-green frequency laser.
Fin Slicers (5)
|Damage||5d6 MD +1d6 MD / 20 mph|
The leading edges of the forward dorsal/lateral fins and the tail fins are fitted with composite vibroblades that can slice through anti-torpedo netting, harbor defense booms, sea monster hide, and ships' hulls.
The heavily reinforced forward hull of the Glashtin allows it to perform ramming attacks as a last resort. Does 1d6x100 MD on a ramming attack.