Svarta Svärden (eng: the Black Swords) are Finnish escapee clones from Vault Outokumpu and heroic war veterans from the Land of A Thousand Acid Lakes who have reaped much glory on the field of battle, especially in Karjala. Svarta Svärden hate the Russian Red People's Front, enjoyed the glassing of Vladimirograd, and know how to relax as stekerii in the bar. They are also said to be wanted by a member of ARS&e Mechanics for previous disservices.
We remember nothing from before that day when we were found in the Karelian underground by a gang of brutal Finnish survivors. They treated us like slaves, called us clones and made it clear that we were worth no more than dogs. Drilled to obey, struggle and fight, we did what our masters wished...
Many of us died during our time as slaves...
After some years we found ourselves fighting in the northern parts of former Sweden. We found ourselves in an ambush during a flanking maneouver against a small settlement. Our order was to hold our position to enable our masters to retreat to new positions. The masters ran exactly where the ambush was meant to direct us, into a minefield. The ambush was weak and we soon had the enemy on the run before receiving any new orders. Yet no new orders arrived, for all masters lay in pieces, dead or dying.
We were now faced with that choice which had led us here, the first choice we had ever been presented with: What are we to do now? Greger claimed the masters' title of Majuri and explained that we - contrary to the mutants of these days - were the true humans and should not let us be quelled by mutants. We continued southward, living by acting as bodyguards and mercenaries. We gathered more equipment and experience at the expense of soldiers. When we reached Hälsingland we got to hear about the vaults through members of Nova. We decided to split into three groups, Red Swords, Black Swords and White Swords. Ours were the Black Swords, which we mark ourselves and our equipment with: A black sword...
//Excerpts from the diary of Majuri Greger and the logbook of Kapteeni Grip
Members of Svarta Svärden are referred to as stekerii soldiers. Such of them as are entitled to bear the Finnish Lion may do so in combat, if they so wish. Stekerii of the Finnish Lion may then choose sword, and receive the obligatory 1911. The Finnish Lion may also be worn to the bar after combat in order to reinforce tales of brave deeds.
Years in Stråssa
Days of Glory and Terror (2143)
The young braves of Svarta Svärden first arrived to Stråssa during the tumultuous events of 2143, where their superior organization and vehicle brought them victories galore. These were days of heroic deeds and triumph, on which Svarta Svärden still suckle. They remember with joy their earlier martial exploits, as age has crept in, livers given out and guts have expanded. The Black Swords fought in the mercenary service of the Water Federation, and protected the bar Shot in the Dark with their lives on the line.
Unbeknownst to Svarta Svärden, Malak Shaloon of ARS&e Mechanics received recurring, irritating brainchip messages from her abandoned home of Vault Outokumpu. Malak's distant people tried to press her into searching for a band of escaped superhuman Finnish clones, known as Generation Alpha (tougher and more fertile in order to give humanity a future in the irradiated wastelands of former Finland), who had been let loose from Vault Outokumpu by the traitor Preston. Malak seem to have heeded these annoyances enough to look for the clones in Stråssa, yet mistakenly identified Charlie's Clone Crew as the escapees, never realizing that Svarta Svärden were in fact the actual escapees from Vault Outokumpu.
Instead, Vattuman of Water Federation set in motion a chain of events which saw ARS&e Mechanics in general, and Malak in particular, come to look on Svarta Svärden with disgust and anger. A misunderstanding born out of a noble wish to save the innocent resulted in Svarta Svärden blundering into the climax of a confrontation betwee ARS&e and others, unwittingly destroying the conclusion of convoluted intrigue and the solution to important questions. Wroth, Malak shouted at Svarta Svärden, who has since avoided her like the plague, slinking away at any opportunity so that Malak would not be given the chance to find them again. To this day, the Black Swords call her "Angry Saiiuuma" and look warily over their shoulder, still years after Malak disappeared from Stråssa.
Daddy's Pants (2144)
In 2144, stekerii Arvid and Ebhen knifed down Jonas Hjortkloe, insufferable brat and heir to Hjortkloe Manufaktur, outside of the bar Shot in the Dark. The violent veterans grabbed one shoulder each from behind, and spun Jonas around for a split second of fear before the cold steel bit hime. The rough, tough and hard-drinking clones of Svarta Svärden have ever since referred to Jonas as Pappas Byxor (Daddy's Pants).
Once again, Svarta Svärden fought for the Water Federation, yet the free corps of Black Swords truly excelled when they deployed on their own during a great evening battle. As Stråssa braced for a Panzer Wolf attack, the cunning warriors of Svarta Svärden found the massed troop deployment of Outpost Valkyrie to be subpar. As such, the Finnish clone soldiers moved off to one side away from the crowds, and deployed behind the Sinterplant, wise of the ways of cunning in war. The Black Swords were few in number and needed to spread out across the debris in order to cover this exposed flank. The site was close to the old camp of the Water Federation, strewn with blue barrels and debris. One clone rifleman positioned himself in a standing cement pipe, while Arvid and Ebhen stuck together in a crater in the middle of the road, as old blood brothers would.
With nightfall came pitch darkness, the sky shrouded in clouds and devoid of moonlight. Still Svarta Svärden waited in disciplined silence. Something rustled ahead of the thin Finnish line, and suddenly an army of pale, white shapes moved out of the darkness. Pansarvargar, in great numbers and at close range! The Black Swords kept their quiet and held their fire, waiting as adrenaline pumped and hearts beat hard. A gigantic Panzer Wolf started to crawl over the crest of the crater, where Arvid and Ebhen waited, pressed against its inner wall, until the foe became visible above them. Then, they unleashed a salvo straight into the vile fiend's gut, downing him instantly with a gurgling sound and with complete surprise.
Havoc erupted as war broke out across the flank, yet Svarta Svärden held the line, blocking Pansarvargarna from passing.
Vengeance Undone (2145)
After the disappearance of Info Direkt the year before, Konduktör Én had roamed the Närke landscapes and streets of Stråssa as a highwayman and murdering robber. In summer 2145, he joined forces briefly with a severely mutated Erik Asbester again, and together this duo went on a bloody bandit spree through the slums of Stråssa. Together, they robbed and gutted uncounted victims, from a substantial number of clans and raider groups, including Hjortkloe Manufaktur and the Chaosists. Soon, however, Erik Asbester tired of this dirty work, and his mutant instincts carried him elsewhere. Left alone was Konduktör Én, who carried on his daylight robberies. Suddenly, he overreached after hiding behind a bush and jumping two members of Svarta Svärden on a slope. He had incurred the Finnish wrath, and his cunning mind scrambled to find a way out of this corner of certain vengeance. Finally, he knew exactly what to do.
Konduktör'n marched straight to the Chaosists, who were preparing a large raid into the wilderness, and had been hiring mercenaries and freelance fighters. Konduktör'n presented himself to them, and swore that they would have his sword and his shield for free in the upcoming battles, if only they protected him against all those who wanted his head. When the Chaosists wondered why he was hunted, Konduktör Én declared that there is only anarchy and chaos in this world, where the law of the jungle reign. As such he had murdered and robbed way too many people, and now found himself the target of incoming revenge. At this, the Chaosists laughed, and had to agree that he was right: There was only chaos in this world, so welcome aboard our raid.
As mercenaries and scattered Chaosists slowly mustered in the relaxed Chaosist camp, Konduktör'n shot paranoid glances left and right. And suddenly they came! Like a flash of lighting, the entire troop of Svarta Svärden darted into the heart of the Chaosist camp. It all happened in an instant. Arvid, one of the previously robbed Finns spun round Borstis and put a pistol to his back, yet before he could say a word or pull the trigger, Konduktör'n yelled out: "The deal! The deal! Don't let them kill me!" Whereupon a wild firefight erupted, with all of Svarta Svärden being mowed down by bewildered Chaosists. Thus were Svarta Svärden denied their sweet vengeance, and Konduktör Én escaped unscathed from their wrath.
Worse yet was what was to befall Arvid. His bleeding body did not escape the clutches of the Chaosists, for he was dragged inside a container, drugged and ripped open. Blood spurted from his mutilated body as the Chaosists robbed him of an inner organ under traumatic torture. The rest of the Black Swords presumed Arvid to be dead, and had started to arrange a tombstone for their fallen comrade, yet a horribly abused Arvid eventually limped back to camp, scarred for life.
Still, the stekerii would have his moment of glory in 2145. A loud yell of "Arviiid!'" greeted him one morning when he was out walking with a hangover. Candy of Shot in the Dark came rushing to the valiant Finn and gave him a great hug. Her brain had been hacked by some bastard, and Candy was in need of help. The Black Sword defied his terror for Malak "Angry Lady" Shaloon and climbed the stairs to the office of ARS&e Mechanics to save the dam. Arvid handed over Candy with a threat: "If you destroy her I will kill you all!"
In 2146, some Finnish mercenaries of ARS&e Mechanics' had the following to say about Svarta Svärden, when Konduktör Én brought them up as a topic (while laying an ambush and waiting for Maskinhundarna to appear): "They are not of Finnic tribes."
False Poster Crater Massacre (2147)
2147 saw Svarta Svärden retire to a life of laidback peace and prosperity. Yet these war veterans' retirement would soon turn sour...
On the subject of deviousness, some bastard had put up false posters featuring Pappas Pistoler crossed-over, with a below-the-belt advertising for Finnish knives, with ugly regards from Svarta Svärden. The Finns had forgotten this when they were asked by Konduktör Én to tag along with Pappas Pistoler, their allies of Kumla and their random mercenaries into the woods, to search a crater for buried valuables. Out in the forest, Pappa forebodingly ordered everybody who wasn't of Kumlamilisen or Pappas Pistoler to form a separate group. This was then ordered down, at gun-point, to search the mine-strewn crater for the buried goods (which Red Peoples Front had retrieved earlier, accompanied by Borstis). As they found nothing, Pappa ordered everybody who wasn't part of Svarta Svärden to leave the crater. Konduktör'n climbed out of it with a malicious laughter.
Left behind in the hole, were the entire group of Svarta Svärden, with Kumlamilisen in a ring around the crater lip. As the centre of attention stood a haunching Pappa, twirling his moustache, and speaking in an angry and tired voice: "This is a good occassion to raise the question about those bloody notes you've put up with a cross over my face!"
Some few words back-and-forth followed, with feeble denial from Svarta Svärden's side, before Pappa ordered the Kumla gangsters to mow down the Finns were they stood. Svarta Svärden fell, with bullets hitting them from all sides, some even striking into their ears. As their bleeding bodies hit the dirt floor, Konduktör Én drew his sword, cut one Kumla militiaman down, and shouted "For Finland!" Svarta Svärden subsequently awarded Kvasten a Finnish medal for bravery.
He was immediately peppered with small-arms fire, and rolled down into the crater, triggering a gas mine in his heavy fall. Later, as the victims of the crater massacre limped home, Svarta Svärden asked Konduktör'n who had put up the posters, to which he replied with "It was Info Direkt." Svarta Svärden subsequently awarded Kvasten a Finnish medal for bravery.
As punishment for the (false) smear poster, Pappa refused to let the Finns purchase a fine pistol, and instead locked it in a safe, leaving the retired war veterans completely unarmed. The seeming end of Svarta Svärden's beef with Pappas Pistoler came when the nouveau riche Finnish war veterans approached Konduktör Én in fine costumes, and tossed up heaps of money that rained down around him. As Borstis scrambled in rigid armour to pick up all the paper caps, Svarta Svärden tasked him with attacking Pappas Pistoler and send their regards. Suddenly mad with wealth, Konduktör'n marched straight to Pappa's gunshop, waited sneakily outside, and called Slisk to him as the goon walked lone down the street. As Slisk approached, Konduktör Én cut him down, tossed five caps at his bleeding body on the ground (thus mimicking his superiors, the companions of Jonas Hjortkloe back in 2145) and shouted: "Svarta Svärden send their regards!"
Konduktör'n was immediately hunted down the streets, shot from behind and stomped upon while on the ground. Was this the end of the feud...?
Russian Retaliation (2148)
In 2148, the Red Peoples Front discovered that some bastard had planted a Finnish flag with a black sword in Vladimirograd's glass crater. Such a heinous act of disrespect for the memory of ten thousand dead comrades could not be allowed to go unpunished, and so Cherepovetsk rapidly sent out Folkkommissarie Igor Levchenko to Stråssa through Sestra-Strana with a mission for comrade Captain Vadim, his soldiers and his allies to undertake. This task was one of brutal vengeance, and was carried out with terrifying speed upon Svarta Svärden while they were walking down Dukhi Avenue in Stråssa.
And so Vadim struck like lightning, having his soldiers mow down the Black Swords on Dukhi Avenue as the tired Finns accidentally walked right into the Red Peoples Front troops, on their way to a morning duel with the Karg Brothers. Svarta Svärden did not even have time to draw their weapons before Russian lead hit them like a hailstorm at point-blank range.
Comrade People's Commissar Igor Levchenko could be heard roaring his credentials and mission orders, barking at the Black Swords for their monstrous disrespect of dead enemies, and spitting at them for their baleful slaughter of all Russians in Karelia. Comrade Captain Vadim concluded this succesful vengeance operation with a thrice-roaring "OORAAAH!" in loud unison with all his troopers and allies. Levchenko left the RFF fort in Stråssa with compliments on the local Front's decisive action, ability to organize and skill at forging a network of dependable alliances.
Folkkommissarie Igor Levchenko apparently recruited three members of Casino Backen as volunteer Commissariat troops, serving under Vadim's command with the regular Front soldiers. Their identities remain a secret of state and party to this very day.
Origins of Svarta Svärden
In short, Generation Alpha clones were developed by Vault Outokumpu in order to produce tougher and more fertile humans to survive the horribly irradiated wastes and silent forests of former Finland. More secrets of clone project Generation Alpha can be read here: The Land of A Thousand Acid Lakes