The Blackdrifter’s Dawn: Eridan’s Last Stand

The Blackdrifter’s Dawn: Eridan’s Last Stand

Welcome back to another deep-dive into the Aspects of Seven Archons: Aeon’s Ascent, where we delve into the intricate universe of the Astral Assemblage. In this installment, we will unravel the mysteries behind one of the most commanding figures in our game: the Cosmic Knight.

When the Cosmic Knight card is played, players are often underwhelmed given the low attack rating he has. However, once evoked, players are often taken aback by the raw power and intrigue this card represents. But behind its game mechanic lies a rich tapestry of narrative and mythos that breathes life into this powerful piece.

Today, we embark on a journey through the narrative of the Cosmic Knight, delving into the tale of Eridan, a seemingly ordinary soldier caught in a world he never imagined he’d be a part of. Our story begins amidst the backdrop of civil strife on the planet Aesculpa, a civilization balanced precariously on the edge of survival.

We will explore his journey from a simple commander in the Zephyrian Military, to his fateful encounter with one of the void creatures, the Shub-Nagarr, and the life-changing encounter with the enigmatic Archon of Black Holes, Thorne. We invite you to step into Eridan’s shoes and witness the transformative journey that culminates in the genesis of the Cosmic Knight.

So, buckle up and prepare to be transported into a multiverse of danger, intrigue, and cosmic power. It’s time to discover what it truly means to be a Cosmic Knight.

Stay tuned for the forthcoming parts of this series, where we will delve deeper into Eridan’s transformation and the ripple effects his journey sends through the cosmos.

Happy reading!

From Whence IT Came

Aesculpa hangs in the cosmos like a jewel, its surface glinting with the metallic sheen of sprawling mega-cities. Its inhabitants are at war, fighting over the last remaining natural resources in the system. Amid the strife, a new threat looms.

The civil war on Aesculpa rages mercilessly. Battle scars mark the planet’s surface as two formidable factions, the proud and resilient Zephyrians and the indomitable Krystallites, lock horns. Both sides are desperate, clinging onto their last vestiges of hope, driven by the dire need to control the system’s rapidly dwindling resources.

Commander Eridan stands watch from a rooftop in Zephyria, the frontline of the Zephyrian defense. His gaze, hardened by countless battles, takes in the brutal ballet of war. Zephyrian war machines clash with ethereal Krystallite constructs in the narrow streets. Each spark of plasma fire reflected in his eyes is a stark reminder of lives hanging in the balance.

Suddenly, the night sky above darkens, stars blotted out by an amorphous, creeping darkness. Eridan squints through the falling rain, struggling to comprehend the anomaly his Combat Helmet’s Heads Up Display captures. His instincts scream danger just before the heavens unleash an ominous rainfall.

Black, viscous droplets pour down like an oil deluge, crashing onto the city and morphing into shadowy, humanoid figures. A chill grips Eridan as he watches a comrade fall to a shape-shifting spike. The warning on his lips dies with his fellow soldier.

Before he can react, a colossal droplet from the inky storm crashes onto him. The viscous mass pins him forcefully to the rooftop before peeling off and rising as a nightmarish copy of Eridan. A fierce battle erupts between the commander and his doppelgänger. Plasma rounds sear into the shadow figure’s core, dissipating as if mere raindrops on its inky form.

Eventually finding himself ensnared in the creature’s inky tendrils, Eridan strains towards his plasma cutter. “What are you?” he demands. The creature’s horrific mimicry of Eridan’s voice responds, “We are Shub-Nagarr,” echoing hauntingly in the rain-soaked night.

The creature tenses and rears back, lifting Eridan from the rooftop with its tentacles. Its form contorts, taking on a grotesque exaggeration of Eridan’s features. In the disorienting moment, Eridan slips a finger through his plasma cutter’s trigger. With a desperate effort, he plunges the cutter into a tentacle. The resulting screams of pain shatter the quiet rooftop, echoing off the war-torn buildings around them.

Suddenly, the fabric of reality seems to ripple before him. A black hole emerges between his visor and the Shub-Nagarr’s distended mouth. In his periphery, he swears he sees a black robed apparition in resplendent black and gold armor, standing at the rooftop’s edge.

“What… are you…?” He breathes, the question a whispered prayer to the void. As if in response, the black hole starts to pull, its force matching the Shub-Nagarr’s. Panic ensues. The creature, caught off guard, is sucked into the black hole. It collapses as quickly as it appeared, leaving Eridan alone on the rooftop.

Battle-hardened instincts kick in. Eridan rolls forward, grabbing his rifle and spinning towards the spot where the apparition stood. He finds nothing. Pain and confusion swirl in his mind as he stares at the empty space, the same question echoing.

“What are you?” He thumbs the comm channel on his radio, “New enemy combatants. Do NOT engage. I repeat, do NOT engage. Retreat. Let the Krystallites deal with them. Rendezvous at Extraction Points in 10.”

From Conflict to Accord: An Alien Catalyst

The days following the Shub-Nagarr’s initial invasion were a storm of confusion and terror. The skies over Zephyria darkened by an alien threat, the mysterious creatures from the void leaving devastation in their wake. Yet, as quickly as they had arrived, they disappeared. The sinister dark figures melted back into the night sky, leaving behind only the echoes of their terrifying presence and the city marred by the marks of their wrath.

The invasion, short-lived as it was, sparked a sense of urgency between the warring factions. The sight of their city, their home, ravaged by a common enemy was a cold splash of reality. Their centuries-old quarrels seemed insignificant in the face of this new, existential threat.

The leaders of both the Zephyrians and the Krystallites held clandestine meetings, the urgency of the situation dissolving old grudges. The enemy was no longer each other. The enemy was now something beyond their understanding, something that threatened them all equally. The echoes of their past disputes seemed to grow quieter with each passing day as the gravity of the situation sunk in.

Even the common folk felt the change in the air. For the first time in centuries, there was no sound of artillery fire to serve as a grim lullaby at night. Instead, there was an uneasy silence that blanketed the city, broken only by the whispers of fearful speculation.

The ceasefire, initially intended to be temporary, continued as days turned into weeks. The fighting had stopped, the guns silenced, and for once, the battlefield was quiet. Both factions, recognizing the futility of their previous efforts, organized a grand meeting. The representatives of both peoples would gather under one roof, a momentous occasion given their history, to discuss the future, their survival, and the solutions to the dwindling resources that once fueled their strife.

In the wake of the invasion, Aesculpan society was grappling with the rapid changes. The ceasefire was continuing, and the impending grand meeting at the Great Hall brought a sense of anticipation. The event was marked by the promise of a presence even grander than the combined representatives of the Zephyrians and the Krystallites.

The Aspects would be attending. As the embodied manifestations of their divine patron, Archon Thorne, their participation was symbolic. Though the meeting was primarily about the political and earthly affairs of the Aesculpa, the Aspects’ presence would bear witness to the commitment of both factions to put their longstanding conflicts aside. This would be their message to Thorne – their acknowledgment of a united front against the shared threats and dwindling resources.

A solemn air hung over the ceremony. The proceedings would open with a reading by the Priest of Black Holes, an elder Aspect known for his wisdom and connection with the celestial powers. He would stand, staff in hand, and recite the sins of both parties. Each word, a release into the void of a black hole, a symbolic gesture of reconciliation and mutual forgiveness.

Then the Augur would speak. As the Aspect responsible for interpreting the will of Thorne through signs and omens, her words carried weight. She would caution the crowd of the signs and portents that they must be wary of, warning them of possible challenges and disruptions.

Following the Augur, a figure dressed in the azure robes of a messenger would step forward. This was Seraphion, chosen by Thorne himself to deliver His words. He was to take the accord, now blessed and witnessed by the Aspects, to the Hypostasis’s Seat of Power, the Council of the Seven Spirits. There, he would present it to Thorne, thus marking the official recognition of their efforts to broker peace.

The grand finale of the ceremony would be the Angel’s blessing. As the embodiment of divine favor and goodwill, the Angel would conclude the event with a brilliant display of Zoe-Tropic Power. Her light would touch every corner of the Hall, bathing the audience in ethereal radiance. Then, in a spectacle that would live on in Aesculpan lore, she would lift the light to the sky, an unspoken prayer for their united hopes and dreams to reach the heavens. This would be the signal that the accord was sealed – their commitment to peace, not just pledged to each other, but also to the cosmos.

Surprise Guests

Commander Eridan stood still, his broad figure a stark silhouette against the bright artificial lights illuminating the grand hall. He was a man of war, yet the silence that filled the expansive room seemed to resonate louder than the roaring engines of his unit’s war machines. His gaze swept the gathered representatives of both the Zephyrians and the Krystallites, their facades of unity barely hiding the tensions that still simmered below the surface.

The atmosphere was heavy with anticipation as they awaited the procession of Aspects, beings of celestial power who would bear witness to the truce signing, an event monumental enough to temporarily halt the ceaseless conflict. The Heads Up Display of Eridan’s combat helmet, unnoticeable behind the reflective surface of his visor, was feeding him real-time data, highlighting faces and providing names and ranks. His gaze halted on the Krystallite emissary, her eyes as dark as the endless void of space.

“What color are the Krystallite Emissary’s eyes?” Eridan whispered into his comm, an edge of uncertainty in his voice. The question floated into the tense silence of the secure channel, met with bewildered silence before a voice finally responded, “Brown, sir.”

With a quiet click, Eridan lifted his visor, exposing his weathered face to the stale air of the grand hall. His blue eyes met the brown ones of the Krystallite emissary. There was nothing unusual about them. He let the visor click back into place. In the enhanced vision of his helmet, her eyes flickered pitch black for a second before returning to normal. A shiver ran down his spine. Something was wrong.

His heart pounded in his chest as his gaze flitted across the room. Heads were turning in his direction, curious, questioning. His gaze met with the procession of Aspects entering the hall, their majestic presence momentarily silencing the whispers around him. Yet, even they seemed oblivious to the disquiet creeping into Eridan’s mind.

One by one, as the Aspects entered, his HUD showed him a sea of black eyes. He watched in disbelief as each delegate, whether Zephyrian or Krystallite, turned to gaze at the Aspects with eyes as dark as the abyss. The Aspects themselves, however, remained unaffected. His grip tightened on the edge of his combat helmet as the general reality of the situation hit him.

His thumb pressed onto the comms button, his voice barely a whisper as he started to say, “We may have a problem, gener-,” only to cut off as he locked eyes with the General standing behind the Aspects. The General, a man he had served under and respected, stared back with eyes as black as the void.

Eridan felt the blood drain from his face, his heart pounding deafeningly in his ears. The enormity of the situation, the chilling extent of the Shub-Nagarr infiltration, had finally revealed itself in the most sinister way possible. His question hung in the air, swallowed by the grave silence that seemed to have taken over the grand hall. “What are you?” He asked silently, his gaze locked with the General’s black eyes, and the silent question echoed ominously in his mind.

What The Augur Failed To Foresee

As the final words of the Augur echoed through the grand hall, a chill coursed through Eridan’s spine. The specter of the past erupted into his mind, the vision of his Shub-Nagarr doppelganger with eyes as black as the deepest void. A silent scream trapped in a tableau of horror from a rooftop scene that felt like a lifetime ago. Those same eyes, he had just seen them again, not on grotesque invaders, but on the faces of Aesculpa’s most powerful.

Abruptly, he found himself on his feet, instinct guiding him through the murmuring crowd. His heart pounded like a battle drum in his chest, each beat amplifying the urgency of retreat. He navigated the hall’s labyrinth, his armor clinking softly under his ceremonial cloak, a ghost lost among the shadows.

His comms crackled to life, the General’s voice urgent. “Eridan, report. Repeat last message. Do we have a security issue?” It was then he noticed them – two of his unit, their faces concealed under the brim of their helmets, breaking away from the main group, their strides purposeful as they marched towards the exit.

Just as he reached the backstage corridor’s end, the exit almost within his reach, he was intercepted. “Commander, the general is looking for you,” one of the soldiers relayed, his voice gruff under the metallic hum of his helmet’s voice modulator.

Eridan held their gaze, his mind racing for a response, when the exit door was wrenched open from the other side. Two Krystallite Soldiers pushed in, their armor glinting under the dim lights. The tension in the corridor was palpable, a string tautly pulled, on the brink of snapping.

Eridan’s mind whirred into action, identifying escape routes, calculating odds, simulating scenarios. He forced a casual smile to his lips, “No issue, just thought I saw someone I recognized.”

But his words fell flat, drowned out by a growing crescendo of murmurs, the corridor swelling with more faces – soldiers, politicians, personnel. The scene took on an eerie, surreal quality as familiar faces were bathed in an unfamiliar, ominous light.

Emerging from the pulsing throng, the General strolled forward, his gait as confident as ever. “Is there a security issue, Commander?” he asked, a mocking lilt to his words. A smile twisted his face into an alien parody of its former self as his eyes flickered, turning a horrifying black void.

As one the gathered array of doppelgängers eyes flashed to black, an alien shriek piercing the air, inaudible to those in the Great Hall thanks to the soaring music and spectacle of the Aspects Ceremony. The crowd in the corridor grew still, their smiles freezing into grotesque masks. It was a signal, a horrifying announcement. The soldiers on both sides erupted into action, the hall igniting into a battlefield.

Eridan moved with a lethal grace, his instincts flaring as he cleaved through the sea of doppelgängers. A dance of death played out in the hallway, every step, every thrust, every parry backed by the instinct to survive. As his blade met flesh and armor, he felt a perverse sense of validation. They were impostors, every last one of them.

The Aspects outside were oblivious to the struggle, their celestial display lighting up the Aesculpan sky. The intricate patterns of lights pulsed rhythmically, casting a surreal glow on the corridor through the floor to ceiling windows.

Despite the odds, Eridan fought with a primal ferocity. Every slash of his blade, every body that fell to his relentless assault, was a testament to his relentless spirit. But it was not enough. The doppelgängers were not just many; they were a relentless, coordinated force. The moment one fell, two more rose to take its place.

They moved with an unnerving synchrony, their movements eerily mirroring each other, creating an impenetrable wall of flesh and weaponry. Their black eyes flashed in the soft glow of the Aspect’s celestial display, an alien intelligence shining in their depths.

The further Eridan cut his way into the horde, the more he felt their cohesion, their eerie unity. It was like fighting against the sea, every wave that crashed against him coordinated and powerful, threatening to drag him under.

And then they changed. They had been humanoid, a grotesque mirror of the Aesculpan form. But now, they shed their disguise, revealing their true, monstrous forms. Tentacles erupted from their bodies, the corridor quickly becoming a writhing, chaotic mass of tendrils. The doppelgängers didn’t just outnumber him; they were overwhelming him in a literal sense, the corridor becoming a nightmarish battlefield.

Wearied, battered, and bleeding, Eridan fought until his strength waned. A crushing blow sent him sprawling onto the floor, his vision blurring, the world fading out. The last thing he saw were those monstrous forms looming over him, a grotesque mockery of triumph painted on their faces as their speared-tentacles tore into him, piercing his flesh over and over and over again.

His consciousness teetered on the brink of oblivion when he was suddenly yanked back. A sudden, violent tug at his very being and then he was somewhere else.

He found himself sprawled on an expanse of stars, broken and bleeding. Towering above him was an imposing figure radiating a cosmic brilliance. Though shrouded in darkness, a black cloak swirling around him, Eridan recognized the figure from the stories – Thorne.

His mind clouded with pain and fear, he could only gape at the mythical figure, the Archon of Black Holes. It was as though the figure was piercing through him, peering into the core of his being. His world spun, darkness creeping along the edges of his vision.

As Eridan slipped into unconsciousness, the last image seared into his mind was the figure of Thorne, an ethereal presence dwelling within the Seat of the Seven Spirits, amidst the otherworldly spectacle of the Throne. The world faded away, leaving only the black void of unconsciousness.

And so, we leave Commander Eridan at the precipice of a mysterious and tumultuous future. The stage is set, the characters in play, the cosmic chessboard spanning across Aesculpa. As we delve deeper into Eridan’s journey in our upcoming posts, we explore the greater mysteries of the Cosmic Knight, the underlying forces that shape his destiny and his ultimate metamorphosis into the Blackdrifter.

In the echoes of the Great Hall, we glimpse a society grappling with its past, uncertain about its future, but determined to overcome their divisions for a united front. The Aspects’ presence underscores the depth of their commitment, their willingness to engage with the cosmic, to ensure the survival of their people and their world.

The stakes are high, and in this story of survival, unity, and transformation, we unravel the intricate tapestry of Aesculpa’s history, politics, and spirituality. A world caught in the throes of change, a soldier navigating the maze of politics, deception, and cosmic wonders, and the overarching mysteries that span across the cosmos.

Join us as we continue our journey into the heart of the Cosmic Knight, unlocking the deeper lore and unveiling the intricate facets of this powerful character. Stay tuned for the next installment, where we venture further into the unknown, guided by the glow of starlight and the echoes of cosmic whispers. Until then, may the stars guide your path.

A Glimpse Beyond the Cosmos: Exclusive Screenshots of Indie Game ‘Aeon’s Ascent’

A Glimpse Beyond the Cosmos: Exclusive Screenshots of Indie Game ‘Aeon’s Ascent’

Welcome to a world where Divine Light and cosmic entities weave a story of epic proportions. As the creator of ‘Aeon’s Ascent,’ I am thrilled to take you on an exclusive visual journey through our upcoming indie game. Aeon’s Ascent is not just a card game; it’s a cosmic saga where strategy, fantasy, and technology collide.

Get ready to embark on a thrilling quest to liberate trapped divine light from the confines of the Material World. As you explore celestial battlefields and engage with mystical Archons, you’ll need to harness your strategic prowess and make pivotal choices. Every move you make can tip the cosmic scale towards victory or defeat.

Today, we’re thrilled to reveal a sneak peek into the realm of Aeon’s Ascent, with exclusive screenshots that illustrate the immersive world we’ve been passionately creating. These images offer a window into the intricate card designs, vibrant cosmic visuals, and the mesmerizing journey that awaits within Aeon’s Ascent.

Join us as we journey beyond the cosmos and reveal a world where strategy is your weapon, and wisdom is your guide.

Aeon’s Ascent is more than just a card game. Explore the Astral Assemblage universe in real-time 3d right from your browser with our level selection menus. The big plan for the galaxies, I’ll keep to myself for now, but each Galaxy, Star System and Planet has its own resources, which you can collect as you liberate each planet of the Hypostasis’s Control. The spheres in the screenshot above represent a galaxy in the Astral Assemblage universe. These are placeholders for the actual in-game Galaxy assets that are still under development.

Finally, you’ll select a planet to liberate, which is the final step before diving into the game proper. Very excited about how this screen has come out. Sure the stars are just placeholders, but the textures for each planet were generated using AI, and I’m pretty stoked about how they turned out. Over time I’ll add more textures and replace those spheres with better looking assets before shipping the game to stores.

If you like what you’ve seen so far, check out the short gameplay demo below! Follow, Like and Share if you want to help spread the word about what we’re doing here! Thanks for reading, and any comments, critiques, questions are always welcomed!