The Diamond Sword (DS) are one of the Four Great Tribes. They are a team in Tribes: Ascend, where they are in contest with the Blood Eagle. This tribe's members are nicknamed "Sworders" or "Sand-rakers." This second nickname most likely comes from their practice of raking sand, an ancient Japanese method of meditation.
The Diamond Sword craft the most innovative and dangerous strategies of any tribe. They say the mind is the greatest weapon, and practice a philosophy derived from the Zen Buddhist teachings of ancient Terra. Tribe members tend to be enigmatic, even cryptic. When not fighting, they are usually meditating on obscure riddles. The phrase "talking to a sword" comes from the Sworders' reputation for answering with a question. The DS tend to rely overmuch on their elaborate plans. If caught unprepared (a rare event), they become surprisingly disorganized and vulnerable. DS 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.
The Diamond Sword tribe was established in 3630 under the tutelage of the Enlightened Master. Though their numbers were small at first, the Master's teachings attracted many new followers and the Sworder's ranks quickly swelled.
The Diamond Sword made first contact with the Blood Eagle tribe in 3633 when the BE landed on a world previously thought to be uninhabited, but which the DS had already claimed. By 3659 the two tribes had begun an escalating conflict as the BE struggled to find ways of combating the cunning tactics and exceptional efficiency of the DS warriors. In 3665 the BE lost the rich world of Septa Halcyon to the DS, and within six months the entire system had fallen to the enigmatic tribe.
By 3670, using innovative strategies and striking with precision and economy, the Diamond Sword had rapidly carved out a large holding for themselves. They became known as one of the Four Great Tribes, along with the Children of Phoenix, the Starwolf, and Blood Eagle. In 3859 the leadership Triad of the DS was assassinated by an unknown agent. The Sworders moved quickly and avoided the chaos and anarchy that plagued the Blood Eagle decades before, though they began to isolate themselves after this time. The DS rejected numerous attempts at alliances including one from the Starwolf against their old enemies the Blood Eagle. In 3940 The DS Triad met on the world of Falcon's Crossroad to discuss the interpretation of a philosophical tract said to hold significant meaning for the tribe's future. Sworders were unusually restless during the seven months of the debate, but said nothing to outsiders.
In 3941 (at the end of Starsiege: Tribes) the Diamond Sword began to take a renewed intrest in the affairs of other Tribes. After much political maneuvering they managed to convince the Children of Phoenix to change the location of the Seventh Firetruce to the Diamond Sword world of Sahranon Xi IV. This was the first time in the history of the event that any tribe other than the Phoenix had hosted the event. In 3942 the DS joined the other Great Tribes to form The Pact, a temporary alliance to fight the BioDerm invasion (Tribes 2). On Bella Omega the Pact's Administrative Council took shape and appointed Assault-Commanders from among the Blood Eagle and Diamond Sword.
The Diamond Sword's armor is steel with details done in brass. Their armor does not show any wear and its condition is well kept. Every piece of armor is highly stylized in a legion theme. The shoulder pads of many warriors have faux blades protruding as an icon for their tribe. The Sworders also carry an actual blade on their backs used for melee attacks.
- Sierra Entertainment (1998). Starsiege: Tribes Manual.