Splintered Maiden Armor
A warning to a Maiden
If a Maiden reads this, it is hoped that the information which will be touched upon here will be enough for them to stay on their destined path. While it may be desirable at a pivotal point, this dark path is certainly not worth your soul.
Please child. Do not make me come for you.
The Dark Path of the Maiden
"Do I wish I had taken the orignal path the Armor was clearing out for me? Every second I still breath. That would have been preferable to this.
Splintered Maiden Armor is the fruit of an alternate path a Maiden may attempt to take to survive the fate of which the Maiden Armor was designed to bestow once its duty was complete.
Few have ever managed to go through with the tough choices that the path involves. And frankly, many see it as a fate worse than disintegration. Both those who haven't gone through with it, as well as those rare few who have. But the latter ones will not go gentle into the cold darkness.
"She is not the same as she once was, Tonarus. You need go accept that, and move one. Yes, what she once wore was pure. But now? Now it is corrupted to the core.
Splintered Maiden Armor is a good example of a corrupted Artefact of Power. Similar to its forebearer, it is one of the most protective and powerful armor sets in all of Alézun'Teran, and the one who wears it one of the most dangerous entities that has ever seen the light of dawn.
It is deeply feared, shunned, and despised. Not only due to what it is capable of, but also due to what it represents: The possible fate of all Maiden Armors. That even a creation that symbolizes and personifies purity and healing can be twisted into something so malicious.
the Splintered Maiden Armor
Lose knowledge about how a Splintered Maiden Armor can see the dawn of light is hunted down and burnt or silenced. Nonetheless, two of the main faculties necessary for that to become reality will be discussed here, as these are the ones that will come upon a Maiden naturally. It is hoped that if a possible Maiden is reading this, that they will attempt to avoid these steps as much as possible.
For their own good.
Finalizing the Splintering
"Do you have any idea the despair she felt in those last few days? Each of her Twins were disrought at the thought of dying. One more so than the other...
If you have read about the non-splintered Maiden Armor, you will know more about this subject. A short version is that in order to stave off the Corruption they splinter themselves into two identical halves — Twins — that are drawn towards each other like magnets. If all goes as it should, the halves will meld together after some time, which will allow the Vilting to commence. But in a rare few cases, things do not go according to plan and it is all due to the Maiden herself.
It is a natural instinct of the living to try and find a way to continue on. And due to the despair induced by the coming of the Vilting, certain actions can be too desperate for one's own good. It is believed that this specific action is not a long-planned one but one done at a moment of pure instinct that is being enhanced by (ironically) one of the Armor's main commands: To continue to absorb Corruption.
The Death of a Splintered Twin
At the dawn of remergance
"She told me that looking upon her own ... reflection was surreal. That she could see the determination in her Twin's eyes. But she herself did not feel as accepting in regards to what awaited...
It will happen when the Twins are standing before each other, compelled to do so by the Maiden Armor. The re-mergence process will have already begun; silvery splintered flakes will come off of them and be exchanged between them at an increasingly rapid pace. The Purification Aura of theirs will explode into a silvery light, as the Corruption of both is being gathered into one concentrated entity and needs to be marginally subdued.
"Before she could really process what she had done, it was already too late. It was as if her survival instinct had gone overdrive and taken control completely...
Then, without much prior warning except for perhaps a few words of hesitance and body language expressions, one Twin will strike the other. First the Apathy Gaze will be activated, and while its effect is subdued by the Maiden Armor's natural immunity it will be enough to disorient. Then bone-enhanced claws will reflect the silvery light of the Purification Aura and before the stable Twin can react, primordial metal and mortal flesh will have been penetrated to draw forth blood from within purified veins.
A flash of silver
"The look of horror, hurt and shock that her Twin's eyes radiated... She did not say anything about it but I know it made her feel rotten to the core. It was a look she will most likely never forget.
At this stage, the stable Twin will have shaken off most of the Apathy Gaze's effect and will with all likelihood attempt to fight back, to heal herself and separate herself from her more unstable counterpart.
But the worst damage has already been done and as warm blood flows from one to the other, so too will the remaining Corruption. Far faster than what would be natural, which will inevitably trigger one of the Maiden Armor's self-preservation commands, which in turn will initiate Pure Eyes of Silver.
A testament of cursed survival
"And then suddenly it was all over...
In the end, the unstable one will stand victorious, the barely visible greyish dusty remnants of her Twin collecting around her like a foreboding cloak. A testament to how far she is willing to go for her own survival. Even if it is a cursed one.
Draining Maiden Blood
A bloody countermeasure
As has been mentioned in regards to the Maiden Armor, one of the Armor's main countermeasures to stave off the ever-growing Corruption that it assimilates, is to devour warm blood.
The more Corruption the Armor collects, the more blood it needs to consume each month in order to stave it off and prevent a Vilting. Sometimes it is merely once in a 30-day period and others it is more. But this is how it is for an Unbroken One. It is different for a Splintered One.
More than one can chew
"If I knew it would become like this, I do not think I would have struck myself...
Due to the death of her Twin, the Splintered Maiden has accumulated far more Corruption than what her Splintered Maiden Armor would be capable of successfully storing. Ordinarily, this would have long since triggered the Vilting Process, but since matters now are as they are, that Command cannot be activated.
What follows instead are several side-effects that make the life of a Splintered Maiden not something that should be sought out: An incredible thirst for blood. Excruciating pain that courses through both body and soul. Bursts of evaporative Purification Aura. Subdued Healing Ability. Furter distortion of Maiden Armor. Subconscious bone growths across said armor.
In order to mitigate these responses of the Armor, warm blood is necessary and it will take it whether with or without consent from either wearer or victim. And due to the subdued Healing, new blood cannot be regenerated as the old is drawn forth into the Armor, thus more victims than what would otherwise be necessary will soon be found for rats to feast upon.
This will subdue the side-effects of the Splintered Maiden Armor but only to a point. Soon enough they will grow desperate enough to set their sight upon that which may be the only option to satisfy the corrupted splintered armor: A wearer of an unbroken Maiden Armor.
One who is feared
Maidens do not fear much thanks to the protective capabilities of their Armor. But those in the know do fear the presence of a Splintered Maiden, for they are one of the few capable of getting through the primordial protective material with their bone claws.
The possibly greatest danger of the Splintered Ones, however, lies in the strength of the Apathy Gaze, which rivals that of an Unbroken One by a noticeable margin. Enough for them to be affected by something that they would normally be immune against. It is what creates an opening and keeps it up long enough for the encounter to be lethal.
The number of Maidens is few and far between, however, and it may take a long while until a Splintered One manages to find one. And when that happens blood will flow.
Death of a Maiden
"She have said that... she really did try to keep herself to ordinary people. Criminals. The filth of society. But it soon became too unbearable.
The Unbroken One will detect the Sprintered Maiden Armor due to the great amount of Corruption it holds. As their eyes inevitably meet, two things will occur: For the Unbroken One, their Silver Eyes will instinctively activate. For the Splintered One, they will activate their Apathy Gaze. The former will be momentarily incapacitated due to the strength of the latter.
Armor Enhancment of Corruption
"She knew what to expect, of that I am sure of. Which makes me suspect she was as surprised as the poor Maiden when that Purification Flash did not incinerate her on the spot. I do not like the implications of that.
As the Unbroken One attempt to fight off the Apathy that has embraced her, the Splintered One will stride forward and strike with her razor sharp bone claws; the chock of the primordial armor and mortal flesh being penetrated will allow the Unbroken One to momentarily overcome the Apathy and release the full might of the Silver Eyes.
However, while the Splintered One does stand in front and center of the cleansing light, the Corruption is so palpable on the Splintered Maiden Armor that it essentially functions as a protective layer against Purification Light of the Silver Eyes, as in order for the Armor itself to be affected, the outer Corruption needs to be cleansed first. One could perhaps compare it to an armor being covered in metallic dust.
Blinded by bone & Embraced by Death
"She acted more on instinct than anything else. As if a part of her knew exactly what to do.
This will give the Splintered One enough time to slice at the Unbroken One's eyes with her free hand's boneclaws. It is a momentary solution, however, since the Maiden's healing will take effect and restore the sight in seconds. Which will be enough time for the Splintered One to move and embrace the Unbroken One from behind and thusly evade her silver sight while still drawing forth the pure blood that flows from the wound into the corrupted Armor.
As the Unbroken One still attempts to recover from the onslaught and free herself, the Splintered One twists her claws deeper into her prey, allowing a greater amount of purified blood to flow forth. The healing ability of the Unkroken one keeps up with the ordeal and actively replenishes the blood as it leaves the body, but only barely.
Death from within
Unfortunatly, the death blow has already been inflicted, due to the traces of Corruption that stain the Splintered Ones' bone claws. As the Corruption spreads through the body through the veins, the Purification ability of the Unbroken One will turn inwards and in its attempt to cleanse the corruption within the bloodstream, it will also disintegrate the blood that carries it, subsequently overworking the Healing ability as it mends the internal wounds.
Last drop of blood
"One really think Maidens to be unkillable, you know. And then reality knocks on the door...
Soon, the Maiden will grow too weak from blood loss to actively fight back, and as her legs weaken underneath her weight her life will start to fade away, quicker and quicker. Until death embraces the Maiden and activates the Armor's alternative final command: Disintegration.
The Unbroken Maiden Armor will start to disintegrate into silvery dust until nothing remains of neither Armor nor wearer.
"She did not exactly know what to expect when it was all said and done. And certainly not what happened.
As the silvery dust of the former Maiden is dispersed with the wind, the Splintered One will return to her senses. The pain she feels will subside and the abnormally pure blood that was taken will be enough to sustain the Armor and stave off the Corruption for a long while.
And then the metaphysical aspect of the murdered Maiden's purified blood will react with the metaphysical core of the corrupted splintered armor. The result of this reaction shall remain unmentioned.
"Whatever it was, it shook her to her core. And she bluntly refused to tell me what had happened. That it was best left unsaid. Not sure how to feel about that response.
Splintered Maiden Armor
Enhanced Apathy Gaze
"There is a reason those like her are so feared. Because when she looks you in the eye, you will accept death with no care in the world
Something that is touched upon with the Maiden Armor but is elevated in regards to the Splintered Maiden Armor is that the greater amount of Corruption, the more enhanced the Apathy Gaze become.
This is believed to be so that it is easier to get to victims and drain their blood. Before its gaze, even Unbroken Ones — which are normally immune to its effects — will momentarily feel the embrace of apathy, leaving them open to being attacked.
Ordinary folk will feel the effect of the Apathy Gaze long after an encounter with a Splintered One, assuming they are allowed to be left alive. Uncaring about what life has to offer, they fall into a deep depression and most end it all with suicide within a year or die of dehydration by not caring to get out of the bed as dawn arises unless they receive extensive therapy and medical treatment.
Corruption Armor Enhancement
The palpable amount of Corruption that the Splintered Maiden is imbued with will manifest as metallic dust that will act as an outer protective layer on top of the primordial armor. This allows them to weather a front-and-center assault of Purification Light from an Unbroken One, as it will need to burn through the Corruption before it can reach the armor itself. This will give the Splintered One enough time to commence either evasive offensive maneuvers.
This protective layer of Corruption will subdue the more blood they consume, however, so it becomes either a question of being more protected from that which may actually significantly harm them, or becoming more stable and having a lesser tortured everyday experience.
Thanks to being half of a whole, Splintered Ones' overall speed has increased significantly. So much so that they become more of a blur than anything else when they really put effort into it. There is even those who believe that they are capable of short-distance teleportation.
It is believed to be due to the fact that they, metaphysically, weigh less and that has an active effect on the reality around them. So while they would be just as heavy physically when someone is attempting to lift them, they will be lighter when it comes to movement.
One of the more unpleasant and horrid capabilities of a Splintered One is known as Bone Fangs, where they utilize their born growth ability to grow exo-skeletal jaw-bones with protruding fangs.
While the bone jaws can be intentionally created by an experienced Splintered One, they are more likely to be made instinctively when they are on the hunt for warm blood. Especially if they have their sight set on an Unbroken One.
While the ability is active, they will have some difficulty speaking, and they will not be able to fully close their mouths. It is also said to be excruciatingly painful to manifest. When it de-manifests, it will disintegrate into dust, leaving a cold and refreshing feeling behind.
There are some benefits to it, however, one being that the fangs are so sharp that they can penetrate the protective material of the Maiden Armor. Another is that they are strong enough to bite through steel and other metallic alloys, some of which have supernatural origins.
Due to the great amount of Corruption they wear, and that they are already Splintered, they have it easier to splinter themselves further. This helps stave off the Corruption further and makes their existence more tolerable.
They cannot splinter themselves into perfect copies, however. The best they can do is splinter themselves into smaller pieces that usually manifest as creatures, such as ravens or bats that appear to be made from crystalline, fractal glass. Though some splintered fragments will simply appear to be such.
Experienced Splintered Ones will usually have at least a handful of splintered creatures close by. They may also use a full splintering to move around certain obstacles or attacks, though it is not something that they can maintain for long, a few seconds at most.
Self-Inflicted Blood Draining
In order for the Armor to better combat the Corruption, it will require blood as mentioned. However, due to the abnormally large amount of Corruption it bears, it desires it consistently. And it will get it even if no victims are found; from the wearer herself.
The Armor will actively drain its wearer of blood, continually at all times. If it wasn't for their healing ability, then the Splintered One would have succumbed to blood loss within hours. Instead, their healing is subconsciously active both during waking and sleep hours, replenishing their blood as it is being consumed by the armor, barely able to keep up.
Due to the aforementioned side-effect, Splintered Maidens have a much more subdued healing ability than Unbroken Maidens. While still able to perform admirable healing treatments, it is not comparable to the miracles that they once could perform.
"Imagine if you will, how it would feel if every time you opened and closed your mouth, it was as if you had sharp pieces of glass curing into your gums. Or if your whole body was consistently punctured by hot needles or if acid was injected into your veins on a consistent, everyday basis. And the only way to escape even a drop of the pain that all induces is to splinter myself, or keep draining people of blood. That is my life now. If I could still cry I would. Every minute. Every day.
Having your blood drained every second of your existence is not a pleasant experience. The same can be said for having your soul splintered in half, and the filth of Corruption staining both your physical and metaphysical being.
While Splintered One will become accustomed to a portion of the pain, they cannot escape it. Of course, they will attempt to do so by draining their victims of blood and splintering themselves further, but in the end, their minds will still be cloudy from the pain, every muscle in their body constantly being tense like a drawn bowstring, and their heart beating so fast in their chest it might feel as it would explode any second.
Explosive Purification Bursts
Irregularly, Splinted Ones' Aura of Purification will activate and release an explosive burst of light from their entire body, or in rare times, they will give off these bursts as flashes of silvery light from their eyes. A light that is capable of disintegration in nearly all forms of matter it comes into contact with.
The burst will ease some of the Corruption but not nearly enough. And the only real warning signs of it being about to manifest is a faint silver shimmer across their Armor. Experienced Splintered One may have some success in directing the burst of cleansing light towards the Armor itself, or towards a specific target.
Subdued Purification Light
For some reason yet not understood, the Purification ability of the Splintered One will be heavily subdued, similar to their healing. Especially when it comes to their Silver Eyes, which can only allow for short but intense flashes of cleansing light Some suspect that it might have something to do with it being so occupied with attempting to clean the Corruption from the Armor.
The only times their Purification ability appears at least marginally powerful as it once was, is either during the purification bursts.
Subconscious Bone Growths
What once was an active ability has now become more passive. The Splintered Ones' Bone Growth ability will be consistently active. Sometimes more so than others. It all will showcase itself as subconscious blackened bone growths, primarily across their Armor but also across their surrounding ground.
Jagged and twisted bone growths that have an oily, nearly metallic shine to it. It will all disintegrate into dust within a few hours unless it is actively kept stable.
Splintered Maiden Armor
Similar to Maiden Armor, Corrupted Maiden Armor is a full-body armor whose appearance is believed to reflect the wearer's personality in some form. The apparent material, however, is not as diverse; the Armor will appear to be made out of a seamlessly interconnected mixture of pieces made from either blackened metal or bone.
Portions of it will be covered in bone spikes and have a faint crimson shade to it that is only visible in certain light conditions. Particularly in light of Purification Bursts.
A wrongness to it
Many will agree that there is a certain wrongness to the Armor, something that becomes more notable if one sees the whole piece, but still, it is difficult to put words to the wrongness. There are instances where if one stares too long at the armor, one will receive a mighty headache and become nauseous, with every instinct in one's body screaming at one to run.
Appearance of the
Painful Eyes of Crimson
One of the most distinct characteristics of a Splintered One is their deep crimson eyes. Cold eyes that many will attempt to look away from, not only due to the instinctual feeling of dread it gives but also the unnatural calmness that washes over people that look into them.
If one looks close enough, one will also notice the shimmer of pain in that redness. As if they would begin to cry at any second. But no tears will ever flow.
Bleak Skin & Lips
Presumed to be due to the blood drain side-effect, the skin of an Unsplinterd One wavers between a bleak grey and bleak pale shade. It is also cold to the touch but smooth as silk.
When it comes to their lips, the blood loss is more prominent. They have a purple-black shade that only ever becomes slightly less pronounced if the amount of Corruption eases for a time. Similar to their skin, their lips are cold and smooth, and if you kiss them while heavily intoxicated you will suddenly be as sober as if you had never touched alcohol in your life.
Black or White Hair
Splinterd Ones can only effectively have two types of hair color. Either pitch black or snow white. The difference between them do have some implications that one might not expect.
White hair is the most natural color of a Splintered One, and it is due to the Purification Aura of the Armor, subdued as it is. The cleansing properties of the Aura burn off the melanin in the hair, turning it white.
The thing about the black hair color is that it is not natural, at least when it comes to the Splintered One. No, the reason their hair turns black is due to the Corruption attaching itself to the strands of hair, giving it only a black shine. Only during PurificationBurts will the Corruption be burnt away, and unveil the white underneath.
A Splintered One having completely black hair may be a sign that a Purification Burst is imminent. And that they are more bloodthirsty than they normally are.
Broken Maiden Armor.
False Maiden Armor.
Blood Bone Armor.
Dark Vampyric Armor.
False Eclipse Armor.
Blood Bone Vampire.