Shi'ai - Corpse-Walker Armor

A suit of armor worthy of the truly brave patriot.  
— Dākuho Bitto, Shinomas General
  Shi'ai or Corpse-Walker Armor is one of the latest breakthroughs of the Shinomas Magocracy in the field of Necroengineering. More than mere armor, the Shi'ai is a one-man walker that turn their wearer into an colossi on the battlefield. It is currently only used and developed by the Shinomas Magocracy, with all other nations perhaps drawing the line at donning the Undead like armor.      

Description

  Shi'ai is a suit of powered armor made with the same kind of technology that created Warbeasts - it is constructed from many corpses reassembled into an armor. Each Shi'ai is made to specification of those who wear it, making each suit rare and valuable. Seams are reinforced both over and under the flesh with plates of metal and wiring, then fused together with Necromantic manipulation. The exterior is usually covered by water-repelling weave that is sewn into place, helping keeping it dry.   Most operators do not look out from the death-mask like head, but from a port in the chest cavity. The interior is hollowed out and covered with padding and instruments, connected to a rack of batteries embedded into the Shi'ai's back. Many Shi'ai are ritualistically bathed in strong incense before battle, but that may have more to do with the smell of the undead than anything.  
As they are made to specification for elite troops or Nekrobiotek, each Shi'ai is slightly different. Some prefer ornate death masks, while some of the always practical Shinomas instead replace the head with something more practical, like a turret. There are reports of some even taking to the battle in multi-limbed Shi'ai, though these are incredibly difficult to control.
     

Operation

  Shi'ai are powered by the muscle of the undead that make up the suit. Muscle, tendons and joints are reinforced and bundled up, with wire-like harness throughout the limbs allowing the wearer to operate them. This allows the operator to move almost effortlessly and perform great feats of strength, as well as allowing heavy plates of armor to be nailed to the corpse-walker. It is not unusual for a single Shi'ai to wield heavy, cumbersome weapons with ease.    

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    Operating a Shi'ai is difficult and takes much practice. The undead amalgamation responds to pre-programmed signals and wire-pulls, which the operator has to learn by heart and reflex - not to mention the iron will required to seat themselves inside a corpse. As a result, they are only worn by the best of the best troops      

On The Field

  Corpse-Walker Armor is rare and expensive, requiring skilled Nekrobioteks to assemble and a considerable amount of electricity to reanimate. As such, they are never fielded in the trenches where such valuable equipment could be destroyed by errant artillery shells or massed fire. Instead, they are used in raids and behind enemy lines operations in environments where their personal prowess is more applicable. They've been reported as being capable of jumping out of airplanes and landing without harm.   They're rare enough that most soldiers have so far never seen one, but almost everyone knows about the corpse-wearing horrors from Shinomas.    
The Shinomas thinks we can't make this things, not realizing that not everyone wants to step inside a corpse.  
Elaine Rae, Master Nekrobiotek

Classification: "Power" Armor   Height: 2.3 to 3.2 meter.   Weight: 200 to 370 kg     Typical Armament: Heavy machineguns, anti-tank rifles.   Note: Ammunition for these are carried, though some operators prefer to have their weapons directly bound to the limbs of the Shi'ai. These sometime have internal stocks of ammunition.    
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Whispers of Deadvulotion   Ever industrial, the Shinomas has not been content to halt their advance at the Shi'ai. Troubling reports are reaching the other Great Nations of the Area-5A-4 research facilities. Rumors of Keter-class Warbeasts being used to create a new kind of corpse-armor. So far, it has been hinted at in writing with the project name of "Kyodaina".
     
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by Forgotten Weapons


Cover image: by Andy Park

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