The Zetian Archangel Combat Vessel

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The Zetian Empire of Eld is a mighty kingdom, ruled by an ironfisted belief in the One True God as found in their holiest of texts, the Zetathan. Zetia tolerates outsiders only so much as they are needed for their kingdom to thrive. Throughout their history, they have not been aggressive in extending their borders or in acquiring new converts. They preach to any who would listen and prefer to stay tightly within the borders of Zetia. They live out their lives peacefully by deploying a heavy deterrent that was until recently, entirely untested–the Archangel Combat Vessels.

The might of the Zetian Army is unparalleled in the Land of Eld; a large reason for that being their Archangel Combat Vessels. If we were to compare them to the greater Floating Realms, there are few that could match their might. For centuries, no one on Eld desired any battles with the xenophobic Zetians. They wanted to be left alone and for that, they let everyone else around them live in relatively peaceful terms with them. That all changed when the Queen of the World disappeared and the Calrysn Armies, itching to do battle, began bringing other nations under “their protection” by force, if necessary. The ACV’s had only been deployed when the Dark Champion attacked their borders in skirmishes meant to test their metal, but the conflict was short lived, the Dark Champion decided to attack elsewhere. The current full-scale conflict with the Calrysn is massive; the Calrysn have no one else to fight, so Zetia has become their sole focus. The star of the war against the Calrysn has been the Archangel Combat Vessel, holding back the Calrysn Army as none have ever seen.

Their Appearance

The Archangel Combat Vessel (ACV) appears to be a mechanical construct that stands two stories tall, has the shape of a bipedal humanoid, is made of an alloy known as Solsteel that has a brilliant chrome-white appearance, and houses two enormous red rubies in their chest and face-plate. The ACV is intimidating and beautiful. It can fly, run faster than any known land vehicle, has near impervious armor, and is equipped with one of three giant weapon combinations: a sword/sword, sword/shield, and spear/shield combination.

Anyone that has ever traveled to Zetia has seen the ACVs, but unless they are activated, they appear only as beautiful statues. They were rarely operated, but when they were, the Zetian have been careful to spread the tales of their exploits far and wide. Their power was well known in the years when the Queen of the World freed everyone from the Dark Champion’s yoke. The Dark Champion, during the Queen’s exile, sought to take over Zetia but was repelled. Many people flocked to Zetia for protection, but permanent asylum was not granted to anyone unless they converted to The Faith.

The ACVs move quickly, shoot blazing bolts of light from the rubies in their chest and face, and are excellent fighters. Each ACV has a Paladin of the True God near them at all times, but killing the Paladin has had no effect in stopping their actions.

Their Secret

The Archangel Combat Vessel houses a Paladyne, a Titan pledged to Law and the One True God. For those that understand the megaverse and its workings, this flies in the face of everything they know, but it is true. Paladynes have dedicated their service to some Entity claiming to be the Creator of All and serve Her through their protection of Zetia. Why Zetia, no one has yet ascertained. Even among the Elder and Controller gods, they do not know who She is or how She can defy them, but it is a fact they all live with. The Paladynes are utterly devoted to Her and will only accept Paladins that are part of the True Faith. They strike back at Her enemies with terrible might and fury. They blaze through the insolent and unrepentant. They strike down any that displease Her.

Only the Paladins and Priests of YHE (pronounced She) known of this fact. They promote the ACVs as miraculous constructs and blessings from YHE, but do not let anyone know a Paladyne is active within them. There are many rumors that they are powered by Paladynes, especially since the Red Paladins are always near (paladins known for their crimson capes, blood-red weapons, and similarly adorned armor), but the secret is well-kept.

A Paladyne is linked to the Paladin that accompanies them, but their ongoing presence is not dependent on the life of their Paladin. Normally, upon the death of a Paladin, the Paladyne’s influence diminishes and they can no longer work in the world. They normally require the Bond with their Paladin, yet in this scenario, the ACV is their link to the world, and only by destroying both rubies can an ACV be stopped. If they are not destroyed, the ACV can repair itself in a matter of hours.

How it’s made

You would think that YHE and her most holy priests will the Archangel Combat Vessels into existence, but that is not so. They take special materials and years of effort by a combination of master engineers, sorcerers, and clerics to build the Vessel. The Vessel is molded and fashioned from Solsteel by engineers that carefully prepare each piece to exacting specifications. Once completed, sorcerers begin their work to enchant it and infuse it with arcane power. They then attach the giant rubies to the chassis in the head and chest. After they are complete, the clerics begin their spells to remove all seams, strengthen every weak point, build their resistances to all manner of attacks and bring a Divine Spark into the Vessel.

The final step in the process is the search for a willing Paladyne to host the Vessel. Red Zetian Paladins from across the land, willing to serve as a Tormah (a word which means watcher in Zetian), pledge their lives and their Paladyne to the cause, uniting with the ACV. The process has cosmic ramifications for a Paladyne, so it is not done lightly. The Vessel needs to house a Paladyne’s Essence perfectly because once enshrined within it, they lose some of their influence among the other universes, and imperfections can weaken the power they can marshal on this plane. The Paladin and Paladyne begin a different relationship, one where the Paladyne can speak directly to the Paladin without the need of Elysium Gates. Only the very devout of heart can handle having such a pure being of Law in their presence at all times. A Paladin would need to be a very lawful soul to be able to endure such scrutiny from their Paladyne.

The Result

The Archangel Combat Vessel is one of the most powerful war machines in existence. Their first role is protection, their second is enforcing the Law. They have never been deployed beyond the borders of Zetia, but times may change that. For all their might, they are not indestructible and the wars against Zetia have proven that. They hold back the Calrysn Armies, but they take a long time to create and each loss is felt harshly. It is only a matter of time before the Zetian Armies fall unless more ACV can be created or someone else rises to fight the Calrysn. Rumors of a vast army of a never before seen species are stirring, led by a woman whose sword devours life, and coming to Zetia. The Zetians hope that they will turn the tide in their favor, rather than come to conquer. For the time being the Archangel Combat Vessels and the mighty Zetian Army are all that keeps the Calrysn from conquering them.

-Turkzapt

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