Prelude to Chaos (Lukas)

VeraC

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Jun 18, 2018
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#1
Two-thousand years without war. It was a goal that most countries could only dream of. Yet for Heidel Vaan Ariandel, who ruled over Crescentia with a gentle iron fist, such a goal was achievable for her. This wasn’t to say though that things were ‘perfect’ by any means. Regardless of what methods one takes, there will always be dissenters, those who are discontent with the times, those who loathe the stagnation of peace. Those who seek to bring about progress and change to the world.

Such individuals were spread far and wide throughout Crescentia; the Giant Remnant forces. Those few who fought in the war eons ago, along with their descendents amongst others who have joined their ranks over the years. Heidel painted them as a non-issue, and did what she could to cover their movements, and cover-up any incidents that they might cause, but there were always ways for them to get around her watchful eye.

The Giant Remnants were in fact, those who were the most discontent with Heidel and her rule. The losers from the war long ago, their grudges and ambition having been built up for the past eon, longed to finally bring about the day of reckoning and take the world for themselves. And that day would be today.

The man who stood at the head of the Remnant Faction, Vayne Marvis, General of the Giant’s forces, had long bided his time for the past two-thousand years, following the movements of Lao Xin Feng, who he suspected would lead to the key to awakening the Giants. He was in fact, the one who was closest to the Savior. Though careful coordination with both his movements and his followers’ movements in Crescentia, all thanks to the Giant Machine, Azrael, Vayne could easily communicate with his followers while in the earth sphere, timing the movements of everyone.

To the land of Crescentia, and its people, who had lived in peace for the past two-thousand years, today would become the day they dreaded most. Heidel knew the seal wouldn’t last forever, and that one day the Giants would return; though maybe, just maybe, she hoped that day wouldn’t be today.

Though today, she would be given a rude awakening.

Descending from a tear in the sky, XN-L descended from the heavens above Perindor, cleaving her way through the citadel into the chamber where Kusanagi was kept. She could peer into the room, witnessing the last moments of the Giant agent pulling the sword from the man, and Kusanagi himself waking from his slumber.

“Ah! It worked! The Giants have returned! Hail to our true lor-!”

The man raved as he looked to XN-L, though his words were cut short by Kusanagi, who faster than one could see, cleanly separated the man’s head from his body. He was now standing, and looked to the sky. Something was off. He could tell the Giants were still stuck in his ego, yet there was one that stood before him. Was there one that remained in hiding since the war? Or was it something else entirely. Regardless, with XN-L performing her magic and the glow began to surround Kusanagi, he was even more confused as he could tell what she was doing. The ‘hole’ in his chest glowed with a blue light; the seal before was mostly gone, but he sensed that what was left was being reinforced.

Confused, yet unphased by XN-L, he grabbed the sword from the hand of the dead man and looked up to XN-L once more.

“Just who are you?”

He was on guard, yet his mind was calm.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Perindor Throne Room

The events outside were hardly invisible to Heidel, and now was a time that decisive action needed to take place. When a Giant suddenly appeared from the sky, it was only right for her to panic slightly and fear what was to come. Or so how she wanted to feel, but now more than ever, she needed to remain vigilant and calm herself. Even though they had known peace since the war, it was wrong to assume they hadn’t made preparations for this day to come. Ever since the end of the Giant War, they had trained their soldiers, improved their machine crafting, made proper countermeasures and strategies. While they couldn’t tell exactly when the Giants would return, they could at least be prepared for when it would happen.

“My Liege…!”

Karon Perniguard, the 4th Regis Knight, spoke up to Heidel, awaiting her decision. Val’sentaph and Wakaya were both away on their duties, leaving only ten of the twelve Knights remaining within the citadel. Perhaps their numbers were fewer, they still held a measurable fighting force.

“Winster, Karon, Baalthar, I need you three to work with the city guards and evacuate everyone to Bastion as fast as you can!. Valkyr, Fafnir, Opheria, You three go prepare for the aftermath. The return of the Giants will only bring about more destruction, take a detachment of soldiers with you and be ready to counter the Remnant’s forces. Noel, Vynguard, Freston, Denah, you four are with me, we shall go meet this Giant. We won’t allow it to remain.”

In a swift clearing of orders, Heidel commanded her Knights and stood up from her throne. With a look of steel and determination, she spoke her final words.

“Prepare SeiOhKi.

She would defend the peace of the realm, and of her people. No matter what it took.

In the absence of Kusanagi, she would put her life on the line, like he did eons ago. If she didn’t she wouldn’t be able to face him when they next met.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Crescentia, Location Unknown

The Giant remnants too, had become quite busy with the appearance of XN-L. Most of its members knew not the original Giants in appearance, outside from what they saw in paintings and images depicted of the times. To them, a giant was a Giant, be they one from Crescentia, or from elsewhere. And when the Giants would return, that would be when they return as well. The sleeper cells through the realm would slowly gain word of what was occurring in Perindor, and the return of the Giant would be on the mouths of all who were aligned with them.

“The return of the Giants is now!”

“Let us take back the land from those who wished to end us!”

“Down with the Tyrant Queen!”

“Down with Aberon!”

“Let the strength of the Giants flow through us once more!”

“It is just as Vayne said! Let us move now brothers and sisters!”

From Perindor to Katu’ul, From Valezun to Dravania, the realm in its entirety would eventually get word of it all. And once it was known to all, like rats in hiding, they would pour out from the floors, the walls, and pollute the world with their presence.

It would be the start of the Second Giant War.
 
Aug 4, 2018
264
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#2
"It did not." XN-L had no interest in the corpse, but her eyes tracked the head until it hit the ground all the same.

"Your Guardians failed in their duty. This cannot be allowed to happen again."

Kusanagi's question would go ignored as she unfurled her wings once more, smashing yet another hole in the citadel as she kicked off from it. Her final words to him were delivered in a coarse monotone, with all the sincerity of an uncaring doctor.

"Remain here. Take no unnecessary risks."



Roaches.

Hiding in the cracks she couldn't see, scattering at the mere sight of her. The entire city reeked of fear, mere moments after her arrival. A feast for any monster who discovered this hidden realm. And they could not hide forever. If she had sensed this place.. so could the enemy.

XN-L took flight once more, hovering over the castle and simply observing. Where were the defenses? Those who dwelled on the surface had their automated cannons and machines, but so far Perindor had been silent. There was something she was missing. Normally in such a situation she would simply open fire, but... not this time. Something stayed her hand. Had she not appeared, those people would not be overtaken by fear. At least temporarily. But that feeling of responsibility was enough to stay her hand for now, at least until resistance showed itself.

What weapons did these beings use to defend against her kind? And did they stand a chance if the seal did break?
 

VeraC

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Jun 18, 2018
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#3
His gaze was held on XN-L for just awhile longer before planting his sword in the ground and sitting down cross-legged on the ground with a content look on his face.

“Well, you don’t have to tell me twice.”

With a fairly care-free tone, he crossed his arms and closed his eyes.

“Though I’m awake I can feel the Giants inside longing to escape. So long as I can focus things should be okay for the while.”

Despite XN-L’s perhaps menacing presence, Kusanagi could hardly sense any immediate hostilities from her, nor could he recognize her as a ‘true’ giant. Though tearing a hole in the castle was one thing, the man could hardly hold anger towards the foreign being.

That wasn’t to say though, that the anger and hostility of the entire country would be the same. Two thousand years of fear and anger wasn’t something that could be washed away so easily.

Evacuations were well underway as city guards led the people underground, to the ‘true’ city of Perindor. The surface became more and more of a ghost town, and quieter and quieter. Were combat to start in full, the ground may not be spared mercifully.

Then in the skies above, to meet XN-L in full, emerged a massive, white machine from behind the Citadel Tower. The machine itself stood almost half as high as the tower, though its silhouette was far beyond in width and overall bulk. Still, the machine punified XN-L in comparison, and cast a long shadow over the city.

Divine Relic Weapon, Sei Oh Ki.

The hum of dimensional energy could be heard circulating through the machine, and its reactor sat in the middle of it all. The Inexhaustible Gourd of the Aquarius Sphere, Heidel Vaan Ariandel looked down on the ‘giant’ that had invaded their world. Though in seeing it up close, she too, could tell that something was different about XN-L than compared to the Giants she had fought in the past.

Alongside Sei Oh Ki, in rather punitive size too, four knightly machines hovered on the sides of the massive machine, each in similar design yet possessing different weapons. The BK-03 Paladyne, a modular Masouki made for direct use by the Regis Knights, they were able to be customized by their user to fit their combat style and were not limited to being contracted with a single type of spirit.

The five machines stood off against XN-L before Heidel spoke up. Her voice almost echoing Kusanagi’s.

“Just who; what are you? You are not a Giant of the past we had fought, yet you have intruded upon our lands and-”

As she was looking down, her stern look turned into one of surprise as she saw just where XN-L had carved a hole to and just who was there.

Kusanagi?

He was awake. For the first time in two thousand years he was awake. But what happened? Questions began to flood her mind, as she grew more and more confused on what was going on.

Kusanagi opened an eye and looked above at Sei Oh Ki, hearing Heidel’s voice from it. A look of worry grew on his face; he knew full well of that machine’s “Curse.” He had hoped that he would never see the day when she would pilot it, yet it seemed that it was today. Though on the flipside, he was happy to hear her voice once more, it was comforting to hear a familiar voice, especially after subject to nothing but the taunts and curses of the Giants for millennia. But what of Lao? Vynatea? the Alchemist? They surely wouldn't let her pilot that machine if they were around.

After a moment of pause, Heidel regained focus and returned her attention to XN-L. At least in the current situation, it wasn’t hard to put 1 and 2 together, at least with this situation, it seemed like the most reasonable thinking. Had it broken the seal?

“Just what have you done?”

By all means Heidel should’ve attacked XN-L on sight, yet she had yet to receive word of the evacuations being completed. She would need time for a little more.
 
Aug 4, 2018
264
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16
Somewhere in the UK
#4
"I have succeded where you failed - the seal on my kin yet remains."

XN-L saw no reason to beat around the bush, frustration evident in her voice as it was amplified once more. That these failures had apparently not heard her intial call was irrelevant. Their defences had been bad, and the response time was yet worse. If these being were to be responsible for defending the seal coming forward, then it was as good as broken.

"Twice your kind have failed on this day. Once, when you allowed the seal to break. And then again, when you did nothing to stop my assault. Complacency."

Perhaps a swift reminder of what a true giant was capable of would force them to be more vigilant - but without loss, the lesson would mean nothing. She landed on top of the castle, furling her wings back up behind herself and taking stock of the machines brought out to oppose her. Five in total, clad in gleaming white. Their leader was obviously the strongest - dangerous enough to matter in the coming conflict.


"This cannot be allowed!"

XN-L pushed off from the castle with an explosion of light, sailing above the assorted machines. She ignited a javelin in each hand, twisting mid-air and launching them at SeiOhKi. They were almost immedaitely replaced, four more being thrown in quick succession - one for each knight. The spears would 'stick' on impact regardless of penetration, light dimming until they were little more than markers of a confirmed strike.

Afterwards she continued to ascend, attempting to gain distance - And forcing the Elementals to come to her if they wanted a melee.
 

VeraC

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Staff member
Jun 18, 2018
204
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#5
“Your seal is but a temporary fix, that’s all the seal ever was”

Kusanagi spoke from the ground, his eyes closed and focusing his energy inward. He would trust Heidel to deal with the enemy, for well, that’s all he could do at the moment. He needed to regain his own strength before anything else.

Heidel continued looking at XN-L, as it made its taunts and statements. Her mind was elsewhere though. Both at Kusanagi himself and the city, she awaited to hear word from her knights that the evacuation was completed.

“Say what you will, but you’d best not underestimate us humans. We fought and defeated your kind once, and we can do it again.”


Heidel tightened her grip on the controls of SeiOhKi, looking with fierce eyes at the enemy.

“We will not suffer your reign again! Only we have that right!”

As the Javelins came soaring in, Heidel begun her movements too.

“I may have failed once in the past, but I will not again! I will protect my people, no matter the cost!”

The Purple crystals that rung around the crown of SeiOhKi began to glow brightly, before each firing out a grand laser, each aimed to intercept the inbound projectiles.

Meanwhile, the knights begun in earnest as well, two forming up along SeiOhKi while the other two held a spear and a sword respectively. Noel and Denah formed the rear guard while Freston and Vynguard formed the frontline, with SeiOhKi in the middle of it all.

“Your orders: Eliminate the ‘giant’ before us!”

Heidel commanded her knights.

“Yes, my liege!”

The four replied in unison as they began their attack. From the rear, Noel and Denah began to conjure magicks with the staves their machines held. Both orbs of fire and darkness were formed, respectively, eight to each of them, before they were launched in an outward arc towards XN-L.

Meanwhile in the front, the two knights Freston and Vynguard charged in, though at different lengths. Vynguard was the first to move, and moved much quicker than Freston did. An almost black aura could be seen ‘leaking’ from the joints of the machine’s frame. It was almost like a dark prana that emanated, though its nature seemed volatile and cruel.

“RRRAAAGHH”


Alike a rampaging animal, Vynguard came crashing into XN-L, swinging wild, a fairly large sword overhead and down onto the Giant. He would then follow up with a spinning cleave, reaping through horizontally at the machine. Whether she could hear it or not, from within the machine, a primal and guttural roar was heard, almost as if the pilot wasn’t quite in control of his senses. Yet, despite it, his coordination didn’t seem to suffer, as the full movement of the strike would eventually place him behind XN-L, where seemingly, he paused for a moment.

“We have prepared for quite the while for your kind to show up once again. This won’t end well for you today… Or so my gut tells me.”


It was then that Freston had made his arrival, somewhat more leisurely, coming in from above and thrusting his spear down at the collarbone of XN-L. Whether the strike landed or not, he kicked off and ended just outside of the machine’s immediate melee range. At the moment he distanced himself, the sixteen projectiles launched from the magicians in the rear had finally arrived and struck at where XN-L was from above, below, and the sides, each collision striking with a violent explosion that sought to incinerate the machine being whole.

The four knights worked in tandem like a well lubricated machine, the two millennia of coexistence gave them a bond that almost seemed to transcend beyond normal understanding. Perhaps it was also due to their connection to Heidel that gave them power beyond that of a normal person. Such was the power of the Authority of Heaven. To make one’s own power that of one’s people, for a Queen is nothing without her subjects, her citizens.

Meanwhile, SeiOhKi remained stationary, floating over the capital. How much longer would the evacuation take? Heidel wished to join the fight, though she had resolved herself to defend her people. Were she to begin her attack now, she knew not what would happen to the citizens who had yet to evacuate. She would end this day with zero casualties. For even the loss of one life would be a defeat for her.
 
Aug 4, 2018
264
0
16
Somewhere in the UK
#6
Four against one. Blade and magic. XN-L almost seemed to twitch as she glanced rapidly between them, gauging their speed and vector before making a single move of their own.

"You have already failed! Sitting back and doing nothing while your worlds are consumed to guard a seal you allowed to break!"


Vynguard's first blow was knocked away by a swipe of one of XN-L's blades, the golden weapon shattering and being reformed instantly from the sheer force of the strike. A split second of hesitation followed - the dark prana throwing her off just long enough for the second strike to touch her. The blade scarred her armor as she ducked underneath, twisting around to face him again before something else caught her attention.

Above. Spear first. A powerful weapon, but the shaft betrayed a weakness - one she was happy to exploit. XN-L twisted her arm around at an impossible angle and seized the shaft of the spear, pulling Freston in closer and plunging her blade into the machine. Regardless of how deep it went the blade would 'break' once it was embedded, sending arcs of lightning into the elemental in order to paralyze it. Her new shield would prove adequate, but he could not block in every direction.

All sixteen orbs were already close enough to be a threat, so she stopped in mid-air - twisting her wings and launching herself down with the Paladyne as her shield, forcing some of them to strike early - and the rest to be grouped behind her. A single twist and push upwards would be enough to force those to strike as well. Fire and magic scorched her plating, but it could have been significantly worse if she had not forced the knight to take the brunt of his allies blows. And after all...

She could heal. This unfortunate soul could not.

"Where were your soldiers when the surface burned! When the Vaura came to consume your brethren?"

XN-L began to glow with golden light as the smoke faded from the detonations. Scorch and scratch marks faded until her armour was unmarred once more, and she punctuated her sentence with one last blade - Directly into Freston's cockpit. It would remain impaled as she turned back to Heidel, her voice echoing out unnaturally throughout the kingdom.

"I care not for your kingdom. What I care for is your inaction. Consider this bloodshed a prelude to what will happen if you continue to sit here and stagnate!"