Paraphrased from the writings of Erin Tarn and other scholars of the time.
Atlantis – Atlantis has reappeared in the Atlantic Ocean, apparently, at the same time that the Great Cataclysm occurred. Erin Tarn has written that the continent is a place of intense magic, where rift storms and ley lines are abundant. An alien race called the Splugorth rules the continent from the capital city of Splynn, and runs a megaverse-wide slave trade out of their ‘dimensional market’—a place of commerce across multiple universes. Their minions have been see as far away as Wisconsin, and are common on the east coast of America. They scour the lands for rare magic, technology and slaves to bring back to the masters. The coming of Atlantis is the main causes of the rise in ocean levels world wide as the continent is massive, ranging from Bermuda and the “Demon Sea” in the west and thousands of miles east through the Atlantic.
Bionics – These are mechanical creations designed originally to create super soldiers. Bionic implements can replace human organs and body parts with super strength alloy replacements. Bionics are bulkier and heavier than cybernetics, and cannot be disguised to look human or normal without baggy clothing, they are very strong, and less expensive than cybernetics.
Cybernetics – Cybernetics are replacement parts for humans that totally integrate with biological systems. Less obtrusive than bionics, more advanced in nanotechnology and harder to detect, they are just not as “hardened”.
Burster – A powerful psychic who has ultimate mastery over the element of fire and who has a highly developed Pyrokinetic ability. With psychic powers rivaling the Mind Melter their ability goes beyond mere ‘firestarting’. The Buster can envelope themselves in flame and are completely immune to its harmful effects. They are more kin to an elemental spirit than a human, but most of the time try to live among regular people; until their emotions rise out of control one day and their special-ness is revealed.
Black Market – The Black Market is not one place, or one specific group of people. The Black Market is a term used to describe goods bought and sold in a secretive and under the radar sort of manner. There are dealers and merchants in almost every city who carry their goods without any ties to a head organization, but also there are powerful criminals who control vast swaths of sordid activity and who constantly war with one another for supremacy. If they banded together, they could probably rival the Coalition in market dominance and military power. Somewhere in North America there are obviously factories producing technology labeled as Black Market, but as of yet, their controllers are anonymous.
Coalition States – What can one say about the Coalition. They are the most powerful force in North America. Their “Death’s Head” visage strike fear into many, and provides hope to its citizens for a day when humanity takes back this world. The CS has a real problem with magic and dimensional beings, since the Federation of Magic attacked their capital Chi-Town with unspeakable horrors. The ruling family, the Proseks, are a line of heavy handed dictators who have eliminate any ‘threats to humanity’ where ever they are found. The CS is also however, humanity’s best chance of safety in the world, and those lucky enough to find a place inside the fabulous fortress cities of the CS are living a life not unlike 21st Century America, safe and secure. The Coalition States are made up of 5 officially recognized areas:
- Chi-Town, which is most of Iowa and Northern Illinois, the Iowa section being the ‘bread-basket’ of the empire, and the Fortress City of Chi-Town located southwest of old Chicago, and is the jewel in the Crown of the nation, and the Capital of their empire.
- Lone Star, which covers much of what was once Texas, and is the land where the psychic ‘Dog Boys’ of the CS are created in a not-so-secret underground complex. It is also a outlaw ridden badlands, that seems to be constantly at war with a group mercenaries and bandits to the south known as the ‘Pecos Empire’.
- Free Quebec, is the second most powerful state, located near old Montreal in South Eastern Canada, seemingly only joined the Coalition to promote its own interests and avoid conflict with the CS, (many CS laws are not observed or enforced here). The residents, like many others in old Canada, still consider themselves Canadian, and their alliance is most likely to themselves first. The strength of Free Quebec is due to its discovery of thousands of Pre-Rifts Glitter-Boys, and the factories and plans to build as many as they want.
- Missouri, the weakest of the CS states, but solidly loyal to the Prosek regime. It serves as a buffer to Chi-Town from the Federation of Magic controlled areas to the south and around the Devil’s Gate. Although the CS has poured money and resources into Missouri in the last decade in an attempt to spur development, and adoption of its human supremacy policies.
- Iron Heart, which occupies the lands north of the Great Lakes, is named for the production and manufacture of steel in current times. Mostly untamed wilderness, the capital called the “City of Iron” built on the pre-rifts bones of Sudbury, Canada, and is the location of a CS fortress city.
D-Bee – Short for Dimensional Being. This (technically)racial slur has become the common term for any non-human beings who came here through the rifts. In the CS they are labeled “undesirables” and are unwelcome, if not shot on sight. Many communities other than the CS welcome and work hand in hand with many D-Bee species to help bring order to the chaos, and build strong communities.
Devils Gate – The St. Louis Memorial Park Gateway Arch opened as an massive dimensional portal when the cataclysm came, and has not closed since. Some say that the arch was constructed by a secret society of occultists who had knowledge of the potential the site could have as a megalith. It is the center of magic energy in North America, and if one wanders too close, any manner of horror could be walking around looking for lunch (that would be you). For 7 years the CS tried a policy of destroying anything that came through the portal and guarding earth from the demons, but eventually could not continue as the cost in lives and equipment was devastating. They still conduct reconnaissance patrols in the area, and it is the most dreaded assignment a CS soldier can receive.
Erin Tarn – Chronicler of the world as it is, Erin Tarn gained fame as an author and CS outlaw. She has traveled around the earth promoting learning and freedom of thought, and has written many books on the subject of Rifts Earth and its new denizens and nations. Her works are the only reason we know almost anything of the world outside or own front door.
Federation of Magic – The FOM is located in the ‘Magic Zone’ of north America, an area that reaches to St. Louis in the west and past the far end of Kentucky in the east. The “federation” is a loose alliance of many cults and magical covens which believe that Magic is the key to reclaiming Earth from the monsters. They are an enemy of the Coalition, and the cities that exists in the FOM are populated by Cthulhu-esqe horrors. If you are human and find yourself in the FOM, one would hope you have a good reason, and are either very powerful in magic yourself, or extremely well armed.
Great Cataclysm, The – It all started with a small military conflict in South America—some say as few as 6 people were ultimately responsible—which was propigated by powerful nations of the time. It is said that when the nuclear bombs fell all over the planet, that the life energy released from the deaths of billions happening all at once ‘overloaded’ the planet’s ability to inherit and renew that energy. The ley lines flared to new life having lain dormant for millienia and their rebirth created Rifts where they met, from which, came all manner of horrors. The Earth was cast into a Dark Age that lasted centuries. The common calender used by most in the world is aptly labeled P.A.(Post-Apocalyptic) and no one is exactly sure how long ago the cataclysm happened, only that the Dark age lasted from 100 to 300 years.
IC Coding – Psychics are allowed to have Coalition citizenship but are tightly controlled and monitored. In CS holdings, one must submit to IC coding, which is a bar code tattoo placed on the body of a psychic so they can be “scanned” in and out of areas when traveling in CS territory.
Lazlo, City of Magic – Founded on what was once Toronto, and named for a famous 20th century scholar, this is perhaps the most civilized place in all the world, and the best hope Earth has for a truly free society. Ruled in unison by a council of learned beings and a congress of elected officials, Lazlo started as a small community of mages and was the birthplace of Techno-Wizardry. Powered by harnessing the power of an active Rift, all are welcome in Lazlo. There are universities, museums, art law and order.
Ley Line – Magical energy incarnate, ley lines cover the globe and are the visible evidence of the changes our planet has gone through.
New German Republic, The
Pre Rifts Artifacts
Psi-Stalkers – Humans have evolved in the time of Rifts in many ways, These ‘psychic vampires’ have evolved to live off of and gain their sustenance from the potential psychic energy (P.P.E.), contained in living beings. In the wild, groups of psi-stalkers live in tribal societies or on their own, and have managed to cope with the wilderness pretty well. The Coalition, seeing a powerful human that they can live with, have made Psi-Stalkers the leaders of it Dog Boy squads, whose mission it is to serve as the first line of defense and detection against magic using beings.
Xiticix, The – An alien race which came through the rifts, the Xiticix are a hive mind controlled race of insects which is uninterested in friendly relations of any sort. Their lands are desolated, all life having been destroyed, and the resources used up to create towers of mud where the Xiticix continue to breed and move further into the lands of humanity. Northern Minnesota and an unknown amount of south central Canada are occupied by the Xiticix, and those who encounter them rarely live to talk about it. The Xiticix are four armed, have wings which allow them to fly, and their warriors have been seen wieldingusing techno-wizard weapons in battle, all factors which make them a nightmare yet unrealized for the inhabitants of North America.