Herein you will find they basic keys to bring fear and death-The History of our Universe-
unto your opponent. Learn these sacred text well, as
they will be your mental guide, while the Horsemen
will be your physical. Regardless, all members should
read as we will be going over the tactics, tips and
tricks inside during practice.
These texts every Horsemen or Underling should know
by their cold black heart. The basic information herein
will provide you with something you didn't know every
time you read it, so I suggest reading it at least once,
no matter how much you think you know. Everyone is
expected to know and understand most of the basic
information contained here.
"Pay attention, newblood!"
Minerva yells across your comlink. Too late, you spot the Blood Eagle hoplites
waiting on the
rise below. Instinctively, you cut power to your flight pack and plummet downward. A spinfusor disk slices overhead in
a blue-hot whirl, instant death missing by an arm's length. Around you, your tribesmates engage the scarlet-armored
Blood Eagle in bright candle flare bursts of plasma and the sharp, popping crackle of laser bolts. Someone to your left
screams and explodes in white fire.
Remember your training,
your father's voice whispers from memory, and you realize you must follow
your lessons to
the letter if you are to survive this day. This is no training game, and you're not facing the prospect of bruises or
embarrassment. These are Blood Eagle, your people's ancient foes, and they will kill you if they can.
You fall through a
deceptively peaceful blue sky toward rocky hills covered with the barbed,
brittle stuff that passes for
grass in this place. Dry alien air stings your nostrils despite the filter plugs. The sun is a distant white glow, and you
hold the hard, reassuring weight of a Telamonian-made minigun, multiple barrels poised to begin their deadly spin. The
familiar tingle of a phased-shield aura across your skin indicates your Hoplite armor is active, but right now the
nano-threaded polybronze breastplate and greaves feel like small protection amid the chaos erupting around you.
Keep moving, Minerva
told you as the warband's dropship creaked and rocked its way down from
the blackness of orbit
only a few hours ago. It's the main thing that'll keep you alive -- that and not panicking! Trust your instincts, newblood!
Phoenix knows enough scroffin' time's been spent developing them, ayia?
Triggering your flight
pack again, you arrest your fall with a jolt and swing the minigun at the
foe. The Telamonian's
barrels blur; explosive flechettes shred alien soil into chaff around the Blood Eagle. The hoplites activate their flight
packs, and they're agile enough to evade the brunt of your deadly spray. Only a few of your rounds hit, sparking
harmlessly off the shield-reinforced crimson armors. A warrior in heavy Myrmidon-class armor simply stands there,
grinning behind his transteel faceplate. You curse your poor aim, and land with bone-jarring impact in a soft crunch of
dry pseudo-grass, your powerful legs absorbing the shock easily.
Your lessons. Yes,
you remember how you sat with the other children on the training ground
of your birthworld,
listening to Old Kantele as he lectured in his rasping whisper ... There are only three foes worthy of our mettle, young
ones. The Starwolf, who favor swiftness and daring. The Diamond Sword, who weave strategies of shadow and steel.
And the Blood Eagle, butchers who laugh in the face of fire...
Minerva swoops up
on a blue trail of phosphorescence and fires a brace of grenades at the
myrmidon. The Blood Eagle
warrior leaps ponderously aside, but the grenades' staccato explosion swats him away like a broken doll and hammers
you back a few steps. A Blood Eagle hoplite scores Minerva with a laser as she descends onto the hillside. An instant
later, you regain your balance and hose the bastard down with your minigun. The Blood Eagle staggers under the
incandescent hail and falls as your flechettes finally penetrate and find meat to explode in. You have marked your first
kill, and you scream in triumph, but there's no pleasure in it. The stench of blood and ozone and burnt flesh fills you
It is better to die
than suffer capture by the Blood Eagle, you once told your father's sister
years ago. She looked into
your eyes serenely and replied, Ayia! Fear is their weapon, true. But you are of the Children of the Phoenix, the first
tribe, the eldest tribe, the pure ones sprung from the Blessed Harabec himself, hero of the Cybrid Wars, savior of
humanity. Such knowledge will spur you above fear.
A couple of laser
pulses hit you in the back, searing even through the shield aura, and you
grunt in pain, but the armor
holds. You look over your shoulder and trigger your flight pack to thrust you into that indifferent blue sky. Another bolt
scorches a furrow in the ground under you, and you vector toward the sniper, a female hoplite, emptying the
Telamonian at her as she tries to maintain cover in the rocks of the hilltop. A bellyful of fear gives your hands speed as
you let the useless minigun snap back to standby on the warharness while you pull up your plascannon. The Blood
Eagle raises her longrifle too late as you drop directly onto her and crash a boot into her faceplate. The next instant, you
unload white-hot plasma into her at point-blank range. You can't even hear her scream under the roar of the flames.
Disker. Grenade launcher. Blaster. Hellshot. Lascarbine. Hawktorps. Plascannon.
Knife. Tetrahook. Club. Hand. Foot. Teeth. You've trained with all these weapons since you were old enough to walk,
and their use is now deeply instinctive for you. Still, you remember your father's words to you upon Presentation after
your received the Dragon Marks of adulthood: Your life, too, is a weapon.
You land on your belly
and skid down a slope in a dry cloud of dirt, through charred patches where
blaster bolts scored
the ground. Two Blood Eagle peltasts snipe at you, first one, then the other, as you scramble to reload the minigun with
a second ammo canister. Your shield aura won't hold much longer, and you're bleeding from a half-dozen minor
wounds. The flamer is lost, dropped by the smouldering remains of your last kill. Come on! you pray. You've done this
hundreds of times before, under fire, underwater, in the dark – all in training – but now your fingers can't get a good
grip on the canister. Then you fetch up against a rock and the ammo's gone. Dust is everywhere. A hyper-vee round
whangs off your cuirass, and you know you're going to die.
Two standard weeks
back, the Blood Eagle dropped onto a world held by your people, slaughtering
the populace and
setting the flayed bodies of their victims on spears around their LZs. The ghosts of our people cry out for vengeance, the
elders said. The famed Scar Captain assembled a battalion of warriors to strike in retribution. You joined quickly, eager
to serve your people and win glory in the eyes of Phoenix.
One way or the other,
you're high in the favor of Phoenix today. One of the two Blood Eagle about
to destroy you
erupts in a spinfusor explosion, and the second one breaks off to meet the new threat. Harach"Xu. -- another newblood
of your tribe -- salutes you as he skims by.
"That's three for me!" he calls with a grin, chasing the Blood Eagle into a gully with another spinfusor shot.
Even you, newblood,
should be worth any four of these Empire-loving scrofs, Minerva joked as
you disembarked from
the dropship. I'll have four markers on my belt by moonsrise, you boasted. She'd replied with a raised eyebrow. You
know now you hadn't any idea what you were in for.
You grope for the
ammo canister, find it, and slam it into place on the Telamonian with a
sharp, metallic click. Relief fills
you, but it's only momentary. The Blood Eagle peltast rockets back out of the gully with a minigun leveled and buzzing.
Caught off-guard, Harach'Xu tumbles out of the sky in pieces. You leap aside as flechettes reach for you in a wake of
fury. A quick thrust from your flight pack scoots you beneath the Blood Eagle peltast, and you open up with the
Telamonian, but the peltast is too damn fast ...
You remember the bruises
left by your weapons instructor, Azendai, and how he taught you to focus
through the pain,
to keep your attention on the target. But never lose your awareness of your surroundings, he would say. Always know
where the nearest ditch is, and grow eyes in the back of your head.
"Left, newblood! Left,
damn it!" Minerva's voice screams in your ear and you tear your gaze away
from the peltast to see
a battered scarlet myrmidon drawing a bead on you with something big and black. You roll up and boost hard for cover.
The myrmidon sidesteps to avoid fire from Minerva as she pokes a longrifle over the crest of the hill and snaps off a
couple of shots. The Blood Eagle peltast, her true target, never makes it to the ground. The laser pulses blow his head
off neatly; the sudden blast of blood reminds you fleetingly of one of the roses in your mother's garden, its petals
dissolving into gentle red mist. You glimpse the slumped body drifting downward on its flight pack's thrust as you drop
over the rocky lip of the hilltop. A heartbeat later, before myrmidon's rockets shatter the world and turn your day into
Dawn casts long shadows
over you as the last warriors climb laughing into the dropships. Beyond
the mobile landing
pads, golden hills roll gently down to a calm sea. Your mother is there, and your sisters, offering you a luck gift: the
blaster pistol your grandfather won from the Starwolf – what? Two jumpgates ago? Three? You tell Mother not to
bother, that you were killed on Minax Phasma III, but she just smiles. You are of the Phoenix, my bright one, she says.
We more than any other tribe return reborn from the ashes of defeat. Go now, and return.
"We'll strip their
armor after we've destroyed their brethren," the Scar Captain orders in
his gravelly voice. The Blood
Eagle myrmidon's blackened corpse lies in a small crater at the foot of the hill. You rest your head on your knees while
Minerva plays a knitterbeam over you. Your helmet lies nearby, blown off from the force of that last explosion. You're
exhausted, your head hurts, and your burns pulse raw agony, but you're almost too tired to cry out, and pride keeps
your teeth gritted. As the nanodocs do their work, blackened flesh flakes away to reveal pink new skin spreading across
your wounds with incredible speed. The pain fades. You relax and stretch gingerly. Around you, Phoenix warriors reload
their weapons and run nano-repair kits over their armor. The sight of their gleaming wingmask helmets fills you with
resolve. Minerva grins and winks as she spies you clipping the Telamonian back onto your warharness.
"Welcome back ...
warrior," she says, and tosses you your helmet. "Remember, you owe me two
more by moonsrise,
Children of the Phoenix:
Although the Children speak of peace among the tribes, they are warriors without peer, and finish their battles with terrifying finality. The Phoenix take pride in their elite status. And so far, no other tribe has succeeded in shattering that reputation.
They organize themselves into armies called Wings, regiments called Pyres, and squads called Flames.
The Starwolf follow a shamanistic religion, with "The Great Wolf" as their tribal totem. Warriors who fall in battle are said to "walk with the Great Wolf." Starwolf holdings spread across vast regions of space, and Starwolf warriors are the first to explore new worlds and follow jumpgates into the unknown. This great dispersal makes massing large armies difficult, and so the Starwolf favor fluid, guerrilla-style tactics and mobility.
Starwolf organize themselves into Packs named for their world of residence. Packs are broken down into Claws, and then into Squads.
The Diamond Sword tend to rely overmuch on their elaborate plans. If caught unprepared (a rare event), they become surprisingly disorganized and vulnerable.
Diamond Sword forces fall into three main armies: the Unyielding Facet, the Reflective Facet, and the Pure Facet. A Facet contains from three to eight Bolts, which in turn contain up to fifteen squads called Blades.
In combat, the Blood Eagle are unmatched for sheer ferocity. They use the flayed bodies of fallen enemies as banners, follow a scorched earth strategy, and never accept or offer surrender. Despite their brutality, they follow a rigorous code of honor and are the most courteous of hosts during a parley. They never break their sworn word. Never.
Blood Eagle forces are precisely
organized into Pennants, which are in turn broken down into called Talons.
Talons are divided into Squads. Most units use colorful titles, for example,
the Second Pennant, Third Talon, is known within the Blood Eagle as "the
Eviscerator Talon of the Wolfslayer Pennant."
Max. Weapon Load: 3
Classified as light armor, Peltast offers the least resistance to weapon fire but gives the wearer almost unrestricted
mobility and freedom of motion. The armor jets on this armor allow the wearer to traverse large distances in a single
Max. Weapon Load: 4
Not quite light, not quite heavy, Hoplite falls in between the two extremes. While it offers far more protection
from weapon fire than Peltast, it does not have the jump range the lighter armor offers.
Max. Weapon Load: 5
The wearer of Myrmidon armor is essentially a miniature Herc, capable of taking tremendous amounts of
punishment. Conversely, this armor is extremely slow and its armor jets will get it only a few meters off of the ground.
Many tribal weapons
are centuries old; others are recent Imperial inventions that have made
their way into the Tribes'
arsenals. A large and varied choice of weaponry is available to the aveage tribesman.
Blaster: It is said that tribal children learn how to use this weapon before they learn
how to walk. A simple low-tech pulsed energy pistol, the Blaster is linked to the player's energy
cell, providing limitless ammunition. To use, press 1.
Plasma Gun: A relic of the old Imperial armies, this weapon has found new life with the tribes thanks to
the Forge of Hephaestus tribe, long renowned for their skills as the armorers and weaponsmiths of all the
tribes. Spitting out superheated balls of plasma, the "plascannon" is capable of immolating a target in one
shot. A versatile weapon, it is useful at both close and medium range, as well as either indoors or outdoors.
To use, press 2.
Chaingun: The originators of the chaingun, or "minigun," are lost to history, but it has been in use by the
tribes for over 300 years. A simple low-tech weapon that churns out explosive flechettes, the Rolling
Thunder, as the Starwolf like to call this gun, can chew up a target at short range extremely quickly. Outside
of that, however, the weapon loses much of its effectiveness. To use, press 3.
Disk Launcher: Another invention from the Forge of Hephaestus, the disk launcher uses existing mag-lev
technology to create a fearsome magnetic cannon, colloquially referred to as the "disker." Spinning up a
magnetic "spinfusor" disk, the launcher can then fire it at extremely long distances. Few weapons can match
the Stormhammer, as many tribes refer to it, for the amount of destruction it can deal. To use, press 4.
Grenade Launcher: The Crader-Dudek 62mm grenade launcher is another Imperial weapon that rapidly
found its way into tribal arsenals. Essentially a mid-range weapon, the launcher spews smoke trails from its
projectiles that are often the last thing an enemy tribesman ever sees. It is also very effective at extricating
an enemy from a well-fortified position. To use, press 5.
Laser Rifle (light armor only): An invention of the Diamond Sword tribe, the Artemis, or "longrifle,"
named for the Greek goddess of archery, is most often used by them. A deadly long-range weapon that, like
the pulse gun, feeds off an armor's energy supply, the Artemis can pierce the hardest armor from kilometers
away. Keyed to an image enhancer, a sniper can take out an enemy from relative safety from some distance.
The amount of damage dealt out is proportional to the amount of stored energy in the armor's power cell.
The more energy discharged with the shot, the more damage is dealt to the target. A complex and power-intensive
weapon, it can only be used by a tribesman in light armor carrying an energy pack. To use, press 6.
Electron Flux Gun: The Electronic Flux Gun, or ELF is a short-range energy-based weapon. While it deals
little actual damage, it rapidly drains a target's energy supply, making energy based weaponry and
equipment useless. To use, press 7.
Heavy Mortar (heavy armor only): Capable of lobbing highly explosive shells over long distances,
nothing else used by the tribes can match its destructive capabilities. Because of its extreme weight, only
Myrmidon armor is capable of using it. This weapon is especially useful when aimed with the aid of a
targeting laser. Using this weapon in an enclosed setting, however, is not advised. To use, press 8.
Targeting Laser: Technically not a weapon, this simple rangefinder has been modified into the Delphi
targeting laser. The user of this device can "paint" a target for a teammate with another weapon, such as the
Heavy Mortar. allowing for exact targeting. To activate press 9.
Mines: A tribesman may carry up to three antipersonnel
mines. Once deployed, mines will burrow into the ground
and will explode when any warrior, friend or foe, comes within their detection range. To deploy a mine, press M.
The longer you hold the key, the farther from the player the mine will deploy.
Grenades: A thrown grenade lacks the range
of a grenade fired from the launcher, but does give the user more
accuracy against nearby targets. Light armor can carry up to five grenades, medium up to six, and heavy can carry eight.
To throw a grenade, press G. The longer you hold the key, the farther from the player the grenade will be thrown.
There are two types
of packs available, permanent and deployable. Some require energy from
the armor's power cell to
Permanent: These packs
are carried by tribesmen to augment their armor. Each pack has special
abilities that can aid
mobility, defenses, or ammo storage.
Ammo: Increases the maximum ammo the armor can hold. This pack does not require any energy from the
power cell to operate. If this pack is dropped, all extra ammo beyond what the armor will carry is left in the
Energy: Increases the recharge rate of the armor power cell. This miniature fusion pack is especially useful
when combined with an energy based weapon, like the laser rifle. It is also well suited to aid the lighter
armor types in speedy escapes.
Shield: Requires energy from the armor's power cell. To activate, press P. The shield pack creates an
auxiliary energy shield around the user as long as the power cell has energy. While the pack is operating the
shield will absorb some, if not all, damage directed toward the player. The pack can be deactivated by
pressing P. It will automatically deactivate once the power cell runs out of energy.
Jammer: Requires energy from the armor's power cell. To activate, press P. The jammer pack will make the
user and any other players within 20 meters undetectable to enemy pulse sensors. The pack can be
deactivated by pressing P. It will deactivate automatically once the power cell runs out.
Repair: A battlefield repair kit, this pack comes with what is colloquially referred to as the "repair gun."
Using exotic nanotechnology, it can repair armor, vehicles, and base emplacements such as turrets and
To use this item, press P. The repair gun will now be available in the
player's hand. Aim the repair gun at a
damaged teammate or equipment and "fire" it. The gun has a very short range; you must be within three meters of the
target to repair it. If there are no targets within range, it will repair any damage you have taken. It will deactivate
automatically once the power cell runs out of energy.
Packs: To deploy a pack, press P. You must be looking
directly at the deploy point and be in range, or else you
will get a "cannot deploy, out of range" prompt. If you try to place a pack at your feet or too close to a wall or other
object, you will get an "item in way, cannot deploy" prompt.
With the exception
of the camera pack, deployable packs cannot be placed on overly steep surfaces.
All deployable packs
come with their own internal power supply and do not require generator power to work (see Generators).
Remote Pulse Sensor: The small Argus pulse sensor works along the same lines as its larger counterpart.
The deployable pulse sensor enables the user's team to increase the range of its sensor network.
Remote Motion Sensor: The Cerberus motion detector is small and unobtrusive, often missed
by an enemy rushing into battle. Non-moving items will NOT be detected by the motion sensor.
Unlike its pulse sensor brethren, it cannot be jammed.
Remote Jammer: The Buzzbox pack creates a short-ranged jamming "umbrella" making any tribesman
within it's field effectively invisible to pulse sensors.
Remote Turret: The Claptrap miniature turret is a nasty and unexpected
surprise for many an enemy. Firing
energy bolts and equipped with a built-in motion sensor, it's small size makes it ideal for placement indoors,
in caves, and in other hard to reach places, or large numbers may be used to create an effective defensive
perimeter. There are, however, limitations on the number that can be placed in one area. Because of the
weight of the turret, only the medium and heavy armors can bear the weight; light-armored individuals cannot
purchase the turret pack from the inventory stations. Like the larger permanent turrets, remote turrets may be
controlled via the PDA.
Remote Camera: The Scryer miniature camera that can be positioned most anywhere and can be accessed
with the PDA. Properly placed, the viewer is just like a "fly on the wall" when observing enemy activities.
Unlike its counterparts, it can be placed on any surface.
Inventory and Ammo Stations: These deployable stations provide ammunition and supplies
away from a player's base. They can only be carried by a tribesman in medium or heavy armor
and have a limited energy supply.
To pilot a vehicle,
jump into it. To get out, press the Jump key. Only a player in light armor
can pilot. With vehicles that
hold multiple players, the first player in light armor to jump aboard becomes the pilot. Vehicles are not team-specific; it
is possible (and often desirable) to steal an enemy's vehicles, since there is only a limited number that can be purchased
in a mission by each team.
Scout Flyer: The Gyrfalcon one-man flyer is an invaluable advance reconnaissance vehicle, highly
maneuverable, and armed with rockets. While very fast, it has a low ceiling and is extremely vulnerable to
Light Personnel Carrier (LPC): TheWyvern Light Personnel Carrier can carry up to two players in
addition to a pilot. Tribesmen being carried in the LPC can fire from their position. Functions similarly to the
Gyrfalcon, but is slower and less maneuverable.
Heavy Personnel Carrier (HPC): The Dragon Heavy Personnel Carrier holds up to four players in
addition to a pilot. Being able to hold this many players, it also functions as a floating gunship, raining death
and destruction upon an enemy position. It is, however, far slower and less maneuverable than the smaller