Important Recent Events In Rifts
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These few things had a huge impact on the setting and are common knowledge to everyone who isn't newly arrived to North America. Unlike An Introduction to Rifts Earth, which was ultra-condensed and aimed at new players, this section goes into a bit more detail. Note that the Siege of Tolkeen spanned five years, so the Juicer Uprising and Free Quebec happened during said siege.
Here, "PA" refers to years since the founding of Chi-Town (the CS capital). For perspective, the default start date for a Savage Rifts game is late 109 PA.
104 PA: The Siege of Tolkeen Begins
Tolkeen, the largest non-Federation magical nation, happened to exist right outside of CS borders, so their mutual hatred was no surprise. When Tolkeen's recently appointed King Creed began building up their armed forces, the CS decided to head them off by besieging Tolkeen. This led to a stalemate; Tolkeen forces couldn't beat the CS in an open fight, but the CS struggled to prevent their guerrilla attacks and magical resupply runs. This offensive split the (politically neutral) Cyber-Knights, with half rejecting neutrality to come to Tolkeen's aid. Conversely, Federation leadership promised their ally aid that never came, as they saw a chance to strengthen themselves at Tolkeen's expense.
See below for the continuation and conclusion of this conflict.
105 PA: The Juicer Uprising
While the CS/Tolkeen siege was underway, Ultra-Tech Industries came to the CS with the "Prometheus Treatment," a procedure that would extend a Juicer's life by a few years and secretly add a remote kill switch. The CS lied that this could extend a Juicer's lifespan by decades (parading about older Juicers as "proof") and used that propaganda to recruit Juicers as disposable shock troops for the Tolkeen war. Thousands came to Newtown (in CS El Dorado), camped outside of the city, and slowly began receiving treatment.
A case of mistaken identity led to a Juicer fight, which the CS shut down with extreme force, which led to a pitched Juicers-vs-CS skirmish. After the CS pulled back inside the Newtown walls, a captured and tortured CS officer revealed the truth about the treatment. Under leader "Julian the First," the Juicers declared war on the CS, who immediately triggered the kill switch on all treated Juicers (about 10% of those present). The Juicers took Newtown and then Fort El Dorado, thanks to the CS deciding to commit to Tolkeen and then Quebec instead of "this Juicer mess."
About this time, the now-dead treated Juicers climbed out of their graves as Techno-Zombies. This led everyone to investigate Ultra-Tech Industries, which turned out to be a plot of aliens (the Vallax) to gradually techno-zombify all of Earth. Juicers and CS forces fought the Vallax together, after which the CS defused the uprising by declaring the Juicers heroes. All in all, this event was a huge embarrassment and distraction for the CS.
105 PA: Free Quebec and the Campaign of Unity
Quebec had been part of the CS since 51 PA, but always had a strong independent streak. Arguably the most xenophobic Coalition state, they refused to incorporate mutants like Psi-Stalkers and Dog Boys into their military, despite CS pressure to do so. Quebec also resisted standardizing their military units to match other CS troops, in part because they had the ability to produce their own version of Glitter Boy armor. Tensions built for decades, until Quebec decided to secede while the CS was occupied with Tolkeen and the Juicer Uprising.
The CS (overconfidently) responded by declaring the "Campaign of Unity," escalating attacks against Tolkeen while also engaging Free Quebec. Split in two, the CS made little progress on either front. Secretly, Tolkeen reached out to Free Quebec, proposing they ambush the CS together, with Quebec's forces joining the demons that Tolkeen was going to summon. Quebec falsely agreed, having no intention of siding with demon summoners; instead, they attacked the demons the moment the rifts opened. Surprised by the sheer size of the horde, the Quebecois had to fall back; unexpectedly, Coalition forces came to their rescue and the two former allies reunited to fight the Tolkeen demons (clearly the greater threat).
Afterward, the two powers ended hostilities and signed a trade agreement recognizing Free Quebec as an independent nation.
105-109 PA: The CS/Tolkeen War
When the Campaign of Unity (above) turned the siege into a white-hot war, Tolkeen's King Creed decided to win at any cost. In "the Sorcerer's Revenge," Tolkeen mages opened up every rift they could to dark, hellish dimensions. (They would be single-handedly responsible for bringing the daemonix to our world, along with many others.) Tens of thousands of demonic beings poured forth, uniting the CS and Free Quebec in battle for months.
Thanks to the Sorcerer's Revenge, Tolkeen soon lost most of its supporters. When a huge CS division, thought destroyed after being driven into Xiticix lands, suddenly returned in a "pincer move," the CS was able to penetrate Tolkeen's walls and utterly raze it to the ground. Today, refugees from Tolkeen are ubiquitous, particularly in Lazlo and the Federation, as are the demonic beings which King Creed let loose into the wilds.
109 PA: Tomorrow Legion Founded
As the Cyber-Knight Lord Coake led a group of Tolkeen refugees south, he met (and rescued from brodkil) a group of Dwarfs. Led by Dhara Hammerheart, they were renovating the old Fort Ozark into a place to live. Dhara agreed to house the refugees there, and she and Coake rechristened the fort Castle Refuge. Coake continued to bring people in, both refugees and those who just wished to help and protect the place; early allies included Ley Line Walker Serena Stargazer and famed Rogue Scholar Erin Tarn.
Eventually, they realized that they had a chance to become a force for good in a world that desperately needed it. They formed the Tomorrow Legion and prepared to face down challenges and forces greater than themselves, to make a better tomorrow, today. (In a default Savage Rifts game, you are part of these early Legion days.)
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