Rifts: Promise of Power
Beasts and Monsters of North America
The creatures in this section are considered “monsters” by virtually everyone who encounters them, not just the human supremacists of the Coalition. For information about alien beings who aren’t necessarily hostile, see Aliens and D-Bees of North America.
One of the most dangerous large-scale threats in the northern portions of North America, the xiticix were first sighted almost 20 years ago in the wildernesses around Manitoba. These monstrous alien insectoids stand around seven feet tall, weighing in at nearly a quarter of a ton. They use weapons, even advanced energy weapons at times, but they seem uninterested or incapable of communicating with outsiders. They travel and hunt in swarms, and they seem to be gradually reshaping their territory into strange bio-engineered hives.
The xiticix are not mindlessly hostile to animals or small groups of travelers, but armed groups or parties larger than a half dozen bring their immediate wrath. They also tend to attack any humanoids who come too close to their hive cities, anywhere from ten to twenty miles from the largest agglomeration of hive structures. They seem to possess worse vision than humans, though they can see into different spectra, but significantly better senses of smell. Some theorize that they are part of a telepathic hive mind, but psionic attempts to determine the truth of this theory have generally met with disaster.
These gigantic insect-like creatures roam the forests of the eastern North American continent. They somewhat resemble 30-foot-long pill bugs, though they have dozens of legs like a centipede and a massive maw. Though fury beetles appear to be primarily herbivorous, they will attack and kill animals they perceive as threats. They are named for their erratic movement and seemingly insane temperaments once provoked. A few tribes of aliens use fury beetles as mounts, but the creatures often claim the lives of their handlers due to their immense size and bad tempers.
The marshy region south and east of the Federation of Magic is known commonly as Dinosaur Swamp due to the abundance of reptilian beasts dwelling in the area. Modern scholars believe that the Great Cataclysm cracked time as well as space, shifting thousands of specimens of supposedly extinct creatures from the distant past into the present. Regardless of the reasons, the southeastern portions of North America are full of many different breeds of dinosaur.
The wilderness regions of North America are home of many magical species, including some that seem analogous to the pre-rifts legends of “faeries.” These creatures range from small winged tricksters to ageless humanoids who exist out of phase with normal time. They share an affinity with magic, a broad belief in their relationship as a sort of extended family or community, and a general disinterest in human life. Some find humans fascinating but care nothing for their survival, while others are annoyed by “mortals” and want only to be left alone. All faerie folk should be treated with extreme caution.
Creatures of insatiable hunger, dreadful evil, and singular horror often emerge from the rifts to harry and harass survivor communities. These monstrous beings are collectively known as “demons,” to distinguish them from the more humanoid alien entities that sometimes emerge. The difference between a demon and a D-bee is a matter of perspective, generally factoring in whether or not the creature in question is currently trying to eat your guts.
One of the more common sorts of “demons” to threaten the people of post-cataclysm Earth, the brodkil are a race of red-skinned humanoids with an appearance that is suggestive of being skinless. Their mouths are full of fangs and their eyes are slitted like those of snakes. The brodkil hunt and eat humanoids, considering anything weaker than them to be nothing more than cattle to be slaughtered. They are amazingly strong, and many of them can use their innate magic to cloak themselves from sight. Brodkil travel in small tribal groups, raiding and hunting for food; they are quite lazy, preferring to glut themselves in the short term and then relax until they need food again rather than doing constant work to maintain a steady food supply.
Supernatural reptilians of great size, magical power, and immense lifespan are known to lair across North America (and probably the whole world). These creatures seem to be the dragons of human myth, returned to Earth after millennia of absence. While dragons come in many breeds and types, they share a common magical heritage that makes them quite powerful at adulthood as well as elemental affinities that grant each breed unique powers.
Dragons do not nurture their young, since a dragon comes forth from the egg with most of its intellect already developed as well as a fair amount of racial memory to draw on for survival. Hatchling dragons who encounter humanoids within a few days of their birth sometimes develop emotional attachments to those individuals and remain with them for years or decades. This interest in humanoid affairs is considered normal for young dragons, and it general fades within two or three centuries.
This monstrous beast is neither a rhinoceros nor a buffalo. It is actually a hideous predator standing over ten feet tall at the shoulder that has a superficial resemblance to both animals because of its broad-legged stance, shaggy pelt, and the huge horn growing out of its snout. In temperament, it is more like an immense boar, angry and territorial. The rhino-buffalo generally hunts dinosaurs and herd mammals for food, but it will gladly turn its attention on any humanoids unlucky enough to cross its path.