The Clans of Atlantis
The Atlanteans of this day and age are as varied as humans ever have been. They come in all colors and beliefs. In fact, those Atlanteans that escaped to other continents on Earth after the disastrous cataclysm that sent Atlantis into limbo are responsible for a great number of the cultures that emerged, particularly in Egypt, the British Isles, and Central and South America. At present, few clans exist and the total population of Atlanteans is still not equal to the days prior to the disaster (total population is around 23 million, all scattered throughout the Megaverse).
This clan was responsible for a large number of the stone circles that dot the landscape of Ireland, England and Scotland. The clan's lineage was carried on by the few hundred members who escaped the chaos, sailing on ships to the southern coast of the Isle of, what was then known as, Eire (the island later became known as Ireland), as well as the fifteen thousand that opened dimensional portals, scattering themselves throughout the Megaverse. Those who landed on the Isle of Erin consisted of about a dozen Stone Masters and a small number (perhaps half a dozen) of Undead Slayers and sorcerers. The remaining members were knights and cavaliers (these knights were responsible for the eventual development of the Code of Chivalry).
The Bagh-Dach Clan's elders currently reside on Alexandria, in Phase World. The clan, as of yet, has not found or created a home dimension (though they are beginning to learn from Clan Iliad and are attempting to muster the power to create an Astral Realm). The most prominent clan members include Sir Galahad (see Rifts: England), Kreig Jazor (current Clan leader; 15th level Royal Knight), and Victor Graves (a well-known knight who travels the British Isles and Western Europe; 8th level Tattooed Man).
One final clan member of great importance also exists, though he remains completely out of touch with the remainder of the clan. Arthur Pendragon, the true Arthur (not the impostor who currently rules New Camelot), sleeps on the continent of Atlantis in a hidden chamber. The location of Arthur's sleeping chamber (not a burial chamber as he currently in a stasis sleep induced by clan sorcerers) is unknown to the Splugorth and will, most likely, remain that way for some time. Despite this fact, the clan is concerned about Arthur's safety and wishes to relocate him, both to overthrow the impostors in England and to prevent the death of one of the greatest figures in Earth's history. The main obstacle that prevents the Bagh-Dach Clan from finding and moving Arthur is that the chamber is located in the jungles of the preserves, presenting the Clan with a rather large opposition, including a large number of slavers and conservators. Once the war to retake Atlantis begins, however, the chamber that holds Arthur will be one of the first destinations. Arthur is a 15th level Royal Knight.
Clan Language: The clan's native language is Gaelic. All characters automatically start with this language skill.
General Disposition: Most members of this clan follow the Code of Chivalry and are noble and brave, even for Atlanteans. They can be found anywhere in the Megaverse, aiding those in need and destroying supernatural evil.
Alignments: Mostly Principled and Scrupulous, though there are some that are Unprincipled or Aberrant.
Occupational Character Classes: Knights, Cyber-Knights, Psi-Warriors and just about any OCC that follows a noble code. Other OCCs do exist among clan members and they are able to take on any occupation they desire, but Druids and Ley Line Walkers seem to be the most common non-Men of Arms occupations.
Bonuses: +1 to strike in hand to hand combat when battling supernatural evil.
Penalties: Most members are brought up to follow the Code of Chivalry rigidly. Those who break from the Code are not welcome back with the Clan. It may take years or decades for the clan member to redeem himself in the eyes of his clan and until such time, the clan member will be unable to receive any tattoos from the Clan's leader or sanctuary among other members.
See Rifts World Book Two: Atlantis, page 63 for more information on this Clan.
The Acherean Clan is concentrated on Alexandria, in the Phase World Dimension (Rifts Dimension Book 3: Phase World Sourcebook, page 35). The clan was able to tame the immense Rift activity only through the building of pyramids. This required a large number of sorcerers and Stone Masters, most of Clan Acherean. Before rifting to Alexandria, this clan was responsible for aiding the Egyptians and Mayans in their rise to civilization, such as it was. The Great Pyramids of Giza and the many Mayan step pyramids that can be found in the Yucatan were built with the help of Acherean Stone Masters. Only a few of these Stone Masters came from the original Atlantis. Some returned to Earth for, what they had hoped was, a short time, only to be stranded due to insufficient magical energy. It is these Atlanteans who aided the Mayans and Egyptians.
Clan Acherean has it's home in a dimension that closely resembles the Yucatan peninsula. The dimension is covered in lush jungles. At the center is a large pyramid (resembling the Mayan Step Pyramids) that houses the clan's elders. A small town has been built around the pyramid, thought it only consists of a few thousand clan members (most of which are transient). The Atlanteans who are nomadic are quickly replaced by other nomadic clan members, thus the entire population is constantly shifting. The most prominent Clan members include Nahualli (see Pantheons of the Megaverse), Neziera Ra (the only female Clan leader among the Atlanteans; 13th level Ley Line Walker), Penta Magis (6th level Stone Master), and Arachna (12th level T Maxi-Man and clan champion).
General Disposition: Most members of Clan Acherean follow the stereotypical disposition found in Rifts Atlantis, though they all seem to covet knowledge, especially magical, more than the other clans.
Clan Language: All members of this clan automatically begin with Nahuatl as a language. Optionally, the player may instead start with Egyptian as the native language (they influenced both the Mayan and Egyptian cultures).
Alignments: Any, except Diabolic.
Occupational Character Classes: This clan is able to take any O.C.C. available to the race, but a great majority of the clan is tutored in the mystic arts, especially Stone Magic.
Bonuses: +5% to all language, literacy, and scholarly skills (what constitutes scholarly is left up to the GM). This is in addition to any O.C.C. bonuses.
Penalties: Members of this clan are poor strategists and tacticians, and few strive to become soldiers. They receive a –5% on all skills relating to strategy and tactics and military skills.
This is not so much a clan as it is a mercenary organization. The Alcheons are one of the few clans that have turned away from their noble ancestry, demanding a price for anything they accomplish. Though the price may vary, depending on the level of danger involved, there is always one type of mission the Alcheons will never turn down. The Alcheons will always aid in the battle against vampires and vampire intelligences. In this case, they will not work for profit, merely for the cost of their equipment and room and board.
The Alcheons, despite their selfish attitudes, still long for their homeland and to see it free. When the time comes, the Alcheons will lead the charge to expel the Splugorth.
The closest the Alcheon clan comes to a home dimension is the decommissioned (and now refitted) Protector-Class CCW Battleship the clan purchased from the CCW government. Those members that are on this ship travel throughout the Three Galaxies, fighting for whoever will pay them. The most prominent members of this clan include Mace Jekyll (clan leader; 12th level Battle Magus), Jennifer Drake (5th level Freedom Fighter), and Michael Hersch (6th level Undead Slayer with 3 vampire intelligences to his name).
General Disposition: Members of this clan are generally selfish individuals, but they all still hold a strong loyalty to their clan. The Alcheons are the only clan to have overcome their regret and melancholy regarding the disaster their ancestors brought about on earth, and are not well liked by the other clans, merely tolerated.
Clan Language: Members of this clan automatically begin with Trade Four (a switch from the Greek as a result of their mercenary lifestyle).
Alignments: Selfish and evil only.
Occupational Character Classes: Most of this clan take on men of arms occupations, though some will take on some of the battle oriented magic-using classes. Few scholars exist within this clan, those that do are generally great strategists.
Bonuses: +5% on all military skills and skills that relate to military strategy and tactics (such as intelligence).
Penalties: -5% on all scholarly skills (what constitutes scholarly skills is left up to the GM). Additionally, anytime a magic-user from this clan attempts to cast a non-combat spell, there is a 10% chance the spell will fail (PPE is expended, but no effect occurs).
For information and history on Clan Skellian, see Rifts: South America One, page 86.
Clan Iliad is one of the most infamous clans among the Atlanteans, particularly due to their role in shaping Greek society and myth. It is members of this clan that ignited the spark that led to the legends regarding Ulysses, Gilgamesh (Babylonian) and Spartacus. This clan is also one of the few clans to have interfered so blatantly in the course of human evolution the development of cultures and society, particularly the rise of Athens and Troy.
The Iliad Clan is best known for their great Undead Slayers, some of the greatest and most powerful throughout the Megaverse. The greatest have battled (and won against) several intelligences and they were instrumental in the vanquishing of Vladapar during Atlantis' height of power thousands of years ago and are one of the primary reasons that Vladapar has been unable to establish himself on Rifts Earth within the last two centuries.
In addition to the Clan's great power among Undead Slayers, Clan Iliad is also one of the wealthiest clans. Clan Iliad holds many mines of rare and valuable minerals in other dimensions, much to the Splugorth's annoyance, and provide the Stone Masters of their clan, as well as the others, with these gems for their much-needed Stone Magic. The clan has held these mines against numerous invasion by the Splugorth, Kreeghor and many other (and much worse) creatures.
The clan's home dimension is actually a small pocket dimension known as an Astral Realm (see Nightbane: Between the Shadows for more information on Astral Realms). Some of the more prominent members of the clan include Charles Kilian (14th level Mystic and clan leader), Dante Iliad (8th level Undead Slayer), and a woman known only by her nickname, Spirit (9th level Undead Slayer and a recent rival to Dante).
Clan Language: All members of this clan begin with Language: Greek.
Alignments: Good, Unprincipled, and Aberrant alignments only.
Occupational Character Classes: Any, but 50% of the clan are Undead Slayers.
Bonuses: Members of the Iliad clan start with one additional tattoo (in addition to the Marks of Heritage) and have the ability to step into the clan's Astral Realm at any time by concentrating for one melee and expending 10 PPE to open a doorway.
Penalties: Clan Iliad is afflicted with a strange genetic flaw that renders them vulnerable to Vampiric Mind Control, despite the fact that other Atlanteans are immune.
Contribution by: Nexx
Compared to the other Atlantean clans, Amaterasu is something of a rogue clan. Though not diabolically opposed to the Atlantean way of life, as Aerihman is, Clan Amaterasu has always been somewhat distant from the other clans, both socially and in culture.
Whereas the Bagh-Dach aided the people of Ireland, the Amaterasu headed far to the west of Atlantis, passing over the land of the Maya and the waters of the Pacific, to a small chain of forested islands off the Asian coast. The Amaterasu molded the newly-landed Asiatic invaders into their image, intermarrying with them and strengthening their ideals of honor. Close breeding assured that the Atlanteans began to look more and more like those they lived with, and careful control ensured that the Emperor was always at least partly Atlantean. Within three generations, the Amaterasu were almost indistinguishable from their "charges", and their now-absent founder was deemed the Goddess of the Sun and the Ancestor of the Emperor.
With the disaster of Old Atlantis, though, things began to change. Atlantean superiority was no longer assured by their control of mystic forces, as even the greatest magicians were stripped bare in the power vacuum left by the disappearance of Atlantis. The culture rapidly degenerated, and it was a long, painful climb from barbarism that developed a hybrid of Atlantean and Japanese culture. Centuries and millennia passed, and the Atlantean roots of the culture were almost lost to myth and legends. Then came Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
These two cities contained death on a scale not seen before, death wrought by power more primal than any but magic. Fat Man and Little Boy created cracks within reality, even as they unleashed the PPE of hundreds of thousands of people. These cracks, along with the surge of energy, allowed several Atlanteans of Clan Amaterasu (and a few of other clans, as well) to slip into the dying reality of Earth. Using what power they could muster, the Amaterasu slowly returned an interest in Japanese culture to the rest of the world, and a seemingly oxymoronic wave of traditionalism and innovation into the Japanese. They revitalized the line of the Japanese Emperor with Atlantean blood, yet most remained on the periphery of Japanese society, hiding their long lives (as well as sparking urban legends and the popular imagination).
With the Coming of the Rifts, many of the surviving (and Earth born) Amaterasu were caught up in the dimensional Rift that hid Tokyo from the world. Those who were not (as well as those who came later) intermingled with the peoples of the New Empire, returning to them some of the magic and knowledge they had forgotten over millennia of modernization. When Tokyo returned, the Clan was reunited, and agreed to let the two powers remain separate, and to head off whatever hostilities may arise. As it stands now, much of Clan Amaterasu remains in Japan, with only a few members scattered across the rest of Asia, and only a handful in the rest of the Megaverse.
Alignments: 85% of Clan Amaterasu will be of an Honorable Alignment... Principled, Scrupulous, Unprincipled, or Aberrant. 13% of the Clan is Taoist, with the remaining two percent being of a completely dishonorable alignment. The Clan is only a few thousand members strong, and thus maintains a rather close-knit feel.
Clan Languages: The language of the Clan is Japanese. Given the Atlantean penchant for languages, many will also know (and be literate in) Chinese, Korean, Dragonese, American, or Demongogian.
Occupational Character Classes: Any, though more than 75% of them are of OCCs from Rifts: Japan (or appropriate to that setting).
Bonuses: Regardless of OCC, all members of Clan Amaterasu may cast Blinding Flash, Globe of Daylight, Sense Evil, and Turn Dead spells, with standard PPE costs.
Penalties: To Clan Amaterasu, honor is paramount. While Taoists are borderline acceptable, those of dishonorable alignments are not accepted. To be of a dishonorable alignment (and be detected) is to invite death. Even Ninjas within the Clan walk the narrow line of Aberrant.
Article Written By: Thoth
14 August 1999