Blood Druids Americas
The Blood Druids were active all over the world in times long forgotten by man. Parapsychologists identified that there were specific shamanistic cultures around the world that were akin to the Blood Druid culture. Outside of Europe, they were known as the Blood Shamans.
Research at the turn of the century by notable parapsychologists has revealed that the Blood Shamans existed alongside the accepted shamanistic traditions of the ancient world, just as the Blood Druids existed beside the acknowledged druidic ways in Europe.
The Blood druids/Blood Shamans have deliberately gone out of their way to remain elusive. What is known about them is mainly conjecture and supposition from the accounts of their enemies. These records of the Blood Druids do not paint a pretty picture. Many researchers say their existence may have been deliberately wiped out by the more powerful and dominant cultures as something to fear, detest and loath.
In the Rifts world, the Blood Druids have returned to Europe, and have over the years started to rebuild their powerbase. They have also sent emissaries to other parts of the world to see if any others of their ilk have also returned.
The Blood Druid hierarchy in Europe knows that in ages past, many of their kind were active on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, in the lands that are now known as the North and South American continents. They remember that in North America the Cardinal Lord Mato ruled in the area once known as the Black Hills in the northeast of Wyoming. He had managed to establish a powerful Basilica in that area and in ancient times his Basilica may have been known by the people as Dark Godís or Devilís Tower.
It is believed that Cardinal Mato led the Blood Druids in a cataclysmic battle in the area now known as the Badlands in South Dakota. The Blood Druids unleashed their Beasts of Blood on their enemies, including the monstrous Beasts of War and the living nightmares that are the Beasts of Wrath, but all to no avail. The forces of righteousness aligned against the Blood Druids triumphed and Cardinal Mato is thought to have been vanquished. He is said to have been killed but there are reports through the ages of a disembodied head sighted in the surrounds of the Devilís Tower.
Aware of this, the Blood Druidís, who had managed to establish themselves in the Eastern Wilds of Rifts North America, had been sending the warriors they trained to scout the area and to see if they could find the Basilica. Of course, they did not inform these warriors of the true nature of their perilous quest.
One such warrior the Blood Druids empowered was Laran Gorge, who did eventually find the entrance to the Basilica for the Blood Druids. Cardinal Lord Matoís Basilica was found in the hill that was known as the Devilís Tower in the late 20th century. Just as in Europe, this Basilica is in a place of power and on sacred ground. It is possible that the forces that defeated the Blood Druids in North America made the surrounds a holy place and placed powerful artefacts there to act as a barrier to the return of the Blood Druids. With there being a lack of mystical energy around the 18th century, these items were not identified as such, and as in Europe, they were removed and placed in museums or destroyed.
The Blood Druids have named this Basilica as Tipila and have slowly started to make it their secret capital in North America, distracting their enemies by increasing their activities in the Eastern Wilds.
A huge subterranean complex has been created in the surrounds of the Basilica. A labyrinth network of tunnels and caverns has been shaped from natural cave systems and the miles upon miles of mines stretching underneath the surrounding Black Hills.
The Blood Druids have created hidden entrances in the Black Hills, leading to their underground tunnels and which they use to travel in secrecy to the Tipila Basilica and the nearby network of underground bases and bunkers.
With Blood Druid power increasing, the Tipila Basilica will continue to grow in power and size. A sure sign to the outside world of the increasing strength of the Blood Druids will be when what used to be known as the Devilís Tower is growing bigger, rising ever higher above the local environs.
Blood Golems have been released by the Blood Druidís to patrol the surrounds of Tipila. The report of increased activity of Stone Giants in the Black Hillís by Justice Rangers and others may in fact be sightings of the Blood Golems.
The Blood Druids at Tipila have managed to recruit the local populace of the Black Hills to join them, including Simvan, Psistalkers and the local human and D-bee populations. It seems some of the Blood Druid Simvan recruits committed blood sacrifices to the dark powers on their captured prisoners, while raiding Psistalker and Native American hunting camps.
Not knowing that this was done by rogue members of the Simvan tribes; the Native American and Psistalker tribes have allied together and declared war on the Simvan tribes. This war has lasted nearly a year and there seems to be no end to it.
This is exactly as the Blood Druids envisioned, they have spread chaos and anarchy amongst their enemies and kept them distracted. Due to this war all their major local enemies are blissfully unaware of the Blood Druid presence in the surrounds of the Devilís Tower, let alone the true extent of the Power they are amassing there. While their enemies fight each other, the Blood Druids have quietly gone about building their powerbase and luxuriating in the death and destruction they have wrought on the weak and innocent.
While their foes have been busy battling each other and the powers of North America busy dealing with the CS wars, the Blood Druids have also established the Black Hills Empire. Like true Blood Druids, they seized upon the opportunity that providence had gifted them.
A highly experienced and capable CS Special Forces platoon fell into their clutches. Battle weary and traumatised from their experiences in the titanic struggles of the Seige of Tolkeen, this CS platoon was at the heart of the epic battle that some refer to as Ďthe Sorcerers Revengeí.
The atrocities and nightmares they witnessed had pushed them to the breaking point, and instead of rest and recuperation, their high command sent them on another crucial mission. This injustice in the eyes of the platoon was enough for many of them to think of desertion, and being on their own deep in hostile territory made that thought all the more appealing. It just needed a little push, which the Blood Druids gladly provided.
The CS Special Forces platoon was easy prey for the astuteness and machinations of the Blood Druids. The lure and promises of riches and greatness that the Blood Druids tantalised the already troubled and weary minds of the platoon, were too much for most of the Special Forces soldiers.
Many succumbed including the influential leader of the platoon, and the few that resisted were dealt with in the Blood Druid way.
The CS Special Ops platoon became enamoured with all the treasures and power the Blood Druids enticed them with and willingly joined the Blood Druids cause. The Blood Druids made the disturbed commander of this platoon the puppet leader of its Black Hills Empire and the rest of the platoon became its protectors and elite citizens. The Blood Druids also rewarded the soldiers with great powers and potent weapons and artefacts.
This CS Special Forces group was meant to deal with fleeing Tolkeen refugees, but instead of capturing and killing them, they escorted the frightened refugees to the Blood Druids. The Tolkeen refugees were persuaded by the Blood Druids to join their enterprise and alongside the local population of the Black Hills, the Blood Druids have founded the Black Hills Empire.
The Blood Druids had the CS Special Ops platoon tutor the Black Hills defence force into a highly trained and affective fighting machine. The Blood Druids have used their powers to obtain and safeguard for the future all the combat and operational knowledge that this veteran CS Special Ops platoon had learnt the hard way behind the enemy lines on the Tolkeen front.
The Black Hills Empire was planned by the Blood Druids to be their capital in Wyoming. It would function on similar lines as Le Morte in mainland Europe. Le Morte was a false capital, to distract the Blood Druidsí enemies from their real powerbase in Paris. The Black Hills Empire would keep their enemies attention diverted from the Blood Druids Tipila Basilica at the Devilís Tower.
The Blood Druids had realized that westward fleeing Tolkeen refugees would make ideal citizens for their nation in Wyoming. By offering to take in Tolkeen refugees, they would garner support from many people in North America, and they would get a suitably grateful and already defeated population to mould as they wished. The Blood Druids enemies wouldnít look too deeply into the affairs of the Black Hills Empire, after its benevolent people made such a noble gesture to help the desperate plight of Tolkeenís refugees.
They hoped by providing a safe haven for them, the Tolkeen refugees would flock to it, and with the refugees would come the many powerful weapons and artefacts that Tolkeen had accumulated. The Blood Druids would get the secrets of the war machines of Tolkeen and help the refugees to continue the resistance against the CS aggressors. This was their plan, but with the veteran CS Special Forces Platoon joining them, this plan has worked out better than they could have hoped for.
For amongst the Black Hills Empire citizens you have elite soldiers who have the best knowledge to fight against mages and their magical constructs of war; and you have battle-hardened mages who have the understanding to defeat a leviathan of technological power. All this knowledge has fallen into the grateful hands of the Blood Druids. Already they have made nefarious plans to exploit this knowledge for their amusement and benefits.
The CS Special Ops platoon has supplied them with the counter tactics the CS will use against the Tolkeen rebels, as well as the security protocols the CS states have in place. With this knowledge, the Blood Druids have determined tactics and training regimes for the Tolkeen Resistance to take the fight to the heart of the CS, even the fortress city of Chi-town. The CS will soon be experiencing the siege of Tolkeen on its very doorstep, as their enemies hit crucial targets using hit and run tactics and planting magical and mundane improvised explosive devices on the vital supplies lines of the CS Empire.
The Blood Druids wanted a way to keep CS attention away from their operations, and so far, their low-key approach has kept them of the radar of the powerhouses of North America. The Blood Druids want to be more involved and by helping the CS enemies to strike at the heart of the CS, the Blood Druids expect to keep the CS busy with their internal strife.
Blood Druids like to spread the seeds of carnage and discord among their enemies, and watch the results from the sidelines. Blood Druids operate subtly and never reveal their true hand unless they have to. They enjoy manipulating others and get great enjoyment in the suffering of others.
The Blood Druids have spread contradicting and wild rumours about the Black Hills Empire, the fate of the CS Special Ops platoon and the well-being of the Tolkeen refugees. They have not spread rumours about the Black Hills Empire being a Mecca for Tolkeen Resistance or it being a destination for CS military deserters. The Black Hills Empire is only a rumour in the minds of many and even then, they say it is ruled by tyrants. The Blood Druids have learnt that subtle truths are the best camouflage to hide the true purpose of the Black Hills Empire.
A casual visit to the Black Hills Empire will see d-bees and humans living in a utopian society, protected by a powerful defence force using the latest CS and TW hardware. Among the ordinary, grateful citizens walk benign shamans who teach the children and heal the injured. There is no hint of the dark powers and diabolical schemes that are hidden behind the thin veneer of normalcy.
The Blood Druids use their agents in the CS Wars battle zones to identify the right candidates for citizenship of the Black Hills Empire. Once identified the Blood Druids ensure these people are led to the Black Hills Empire. The Blood Druids never try to reveal their role in this, but use third parties to get the people to the Black Hills Empire.
Already the Black Hills Empire has attracted other like-minded CS deserters, military personnel disheartened, angry and bitter at the CS hierarchy due to the CS wars. Tolkeen refugees who want revenge against the CS are making their way to the Black Hills Empire.
Many innocent Tolkeen refugees and CS soldiers who just want to get away from the conflict zones find themselves in the Black Hills Empire, but only those the Blood Druids deem of the right calibre are allowed to join the Black Hills Empire. The innocent among the fleeing soldiers and refugees are quietly moved on, exiled from the Empire for being a detriment to the well being of the Empire. Those that refuse to leave the Empire after these gentle suggestions are dealt in more exotic and excruciatingly painful ways devised by the Blood Druids. (See Rifts Aftermath)
Blood Druids have heard rumours that Lazlo archaeologists have discovered a journal from the early 21st century containing the account of a group of night huntersí mission to destroy a golem or golems on the loose in Prague. The journal ended abruptly, with no concrete proof that the night hunters had been successful. The Blood Druids know they had a powerbase in ancient Europe. It is possible that Blood Golem guards posted to protect Blood Druid bases and interests remained active for all those intervening centuries. Someone or something disturbed their slumber for them to be let loose on 21st century Prague. Blood Druids of Rifts Earth are wondering if one of their own returned to Earth around the turn of the 21st century, or did some foolish mortal invade the lair of the Blood Druids seeking treasures and power. If these were Blood Golems and they werenít dealt with, then there is a possibility that these Blood Golems still roam the ruins of Rifts Prague.
The Blood Druids guard their privacy with ingenuity and extreme force. Having managed to establish a Basilica in North America, the Blood Druids will not give it up easily. It will mean they have a secure foothold in North America and they will become more confident of their power to participate in and shape the events in North America as they desire. Things could get very interesting if the Cardinal Lord Mato is alive and decides to return to Rifts Earth with his Blood Druids.
In the time they spent in exile from Earth, the Blood Druids in Europe learnt that at least one of the Cardinal Lordís in South America managed to influence events in South America long after he was defeated. This Cardinal Lord refused to flee into exile after the mystical energies started to deplete on Earth. It is said he arranged for an Inca prince to fall into his clutches high up in the Andes Mountains. The Cardinal Lord took this prince into his Basilica and taught him to be a Blood Druid, teaching him the secrets to immortality and power.
The prince returned to the Inca Empire determined to pursue the ambitions of the Blood Druids, and upon becoming the Emperor, he set about achieving his goals with such enthusiasm and wanton display of his newfound powers, that the people of his Empire called him the Blood Weeper. Near his death, he still had not attained his objective, so he left instructions to have his body buried high up in the Andes and commanded his people to perform certain rituals on his body, which they dutifully carried out.
The Blood Weeper had chosen his place of rest very carefully. The place he had chosen was a Huacas (place of power), where the Basilica of his Cardinal Lord was situated. This Basilica was known as the Dead City when the Blood Druids ruled it. The Blood Weeper had used his Blood Druid powers to go into a deep state of slumber (The Tarbfeis ritual), which convinced his subjects that he had died. The rituals he asked his subjects to perform on his body were mystical in nature. Those rituals ensured that his spirit would be able to communicate and link with his Cardinal Lord. This link would ensure that he would complete his rise to power and immortality.
The Blood Druids in Paris believe that the Blood Weeper remained on Earth in suspended animation using the tarbfeis ĎBull Sleepí ritual, and with the return of the mystical energies, he may well have become active in South America. They have heard tales of the City of the Dead in the Andes Mountains, and are keen to find out if this city is a Blood Druid Basilica, and if any other Blood Druids have returned. (See Rifts South America Book 2)
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