Soulburnt Swarm

From Beacon Space

The harrowing events of the Soulburnt Swarm and the extraordinary actions of the knight Syr Nathan Kayne stand as a pivotal chapter in the annals of the Starlit Court. During this perilous encounter in AoQ 38, the Court faced a formidable threat as they ventured into an ostensibly abandoned nebula, hoping to extract valuable resources. Little did they know that the nebula harbored a bizarre infestation of energy-devouring, matter-consuming bug-like creatures. The swarm's insatiable appetite for energy and mass posed a dire peril, threatening to reach the heart of the Court, the revered Sihi itself. With only limited defenses provided by the Order of the First Forge and the Order of Preservation, the situation seemed bleak.

The Soulburnt Swarm and Syr Nathan Kayne's accidental Unsheathing exemplify the unwavering courage, sacrifice, and indomitable spirit of the knights of the Starlit Court when faced with insurmountable odds. The memory of this remarkable event continues to inspire and serves as a testament to the valor that defines the Court's legacy.


United in purpose and fueled by a shared quest for the Grail after the recent discovery of the Magmari, the Court and their new Magmari allies embarked on a journey through the stars, their alliance thriving. Yet, as the voyage extended further into the cosmos, the resources necessary to sustain Sihi and the fleet dwindled. The Court soon found itself confronting the stark reality of resource scarcity, setting the stage for their fateful decision to navigate a treacherous, uncharted nebula, seeking to replenish their supplies and uncover the elusive path to Grail.

The Bleed

At this point, the Bleed was an entirely new phenomenon to the Court, a new energy that could be manipulated in new, apparently non-sensical, ways. One of the few successfully experimenting with the implementation of this new power was Syr Nathan Kayne, he was convinced that this new energy could be used to improve the efficiency and performance of a mech, even as the knight was currently piloting it.

The Unfolding Crisis

Upon entering the nebula the Court was ambushed by the ever-ravenous swarm, even still not yet successfully identified. When the Knights first received the warning, it was met with a mixture of disbelief, urgency, and determination. The impending wave of the swarm was blotting out the celestial light of the stars, casting an ominous shadow over the Court’s forces.

The First Encounter

At the head of the lance deployed in an initial attempt to scout out the potential foe was the noble Syr Nathan Kayne. The fear that those first knights felt upon finding the swarm to be a ravenous horde bent only on consuming all matter and energy cannot be understood by those who weren’t there.

To the amazement of all who bore witness, Syr Nathan's despair turned to hope as his experiments with the Bleed bore fruit. He began to radiate with an ethereal inner light, manifesting his unyielding determination. This mystical energy seemed to defy the swarm's voracious appetite, pulling his broken mech back together as it failed to consume anymore.

With newfound hope, the knights managed to retreat, having discovered an unexpected defense against the swarm. Celebration and relief swept through the beleaguered defenders of the Court as they prepared for the next deployment. At this time, Syr Nathan displayed peculiar behavior, manifesting withdrawal-like symptoms.

The Second Engagement

During the second engagement, Syr Nathan once again became a beacon of hope as he glowed from within, but this time the radiance was more potent. After a series of successful sorties where he managed to be the only member of the fighting force to inflict severe damage upon the swarm, he held onto this mystical force all the way back to the station, where his Knight-Captain urged him to release the effect.

An intense confrontation ensued as Syr Nathan, filled with the belief that he was the savior of Sihi, clashed with his Knight-Captain who invoked his authority. Ultimately, Syr Nathan acquiesced, but the tension continued to mount. As preparations for the third and final encounter took place, Syr Nathan displayed an even more intense and almost berserker-like attitude, making it clear that he was willing to go to any lengths to protect Sihi.

The First Unsheathing

In the climactic final battle, Syr Nathan charged ahead of the formation, once again enveloped by the ethereal glow. With a triumphant roar, he declared, "My Soul for Sihi!" The battle reached its zenith, and in a moment of transcendent power, Syr Nathan Kayne's sacrifice became a brilliant supernova of defense, defeating the Soulburnt Swarm in a blaze of glory, successfully overloading them with more power than they could safely contain.

This is considered the first full Unsheathing, though unlike a modern unsheathing, Syr Nathan accomplished the empowerment of his mech throughout multiple encounters developing upon his previous long-term experimentation, becoming addicted to this use of the Bleed and gradually burning away his fey. It is said that his mech burned like a meteor as it eradicated the Swarm, his technomancy rendering it impervious to its ravenous nature.

Development of the Unsheathing

The singular ability of Syr Nathan to hold off and eventually destroy the swarm via the use of what is now recognized as the Soul Blade led a group of highly invested Bleed researchers to attempt to recreate his powerful ability. Their attempts to recreate the effect that Syr Nathan demonstrated resulted in the creation of a great many of the Court’s offensive Bleed effects and also the unfortunate demise of many of the greatest sorcerors in Sihi’s early history with the Bleed in catastrophic and spectacular fashions.

This period of development and experiments lasted for over a century before there was even an inkling of real progress in this research, but by AoQ 160 the basic tenets of what would become the training techniques for the Soul Blade had been developed. Once the group of researchers realized just what they had managed to create they immediately understood that it needed to be carefully managed and restricted and founded the Order of the Sheathed Soul to do just that.

This focused Order very quickly proved its importance with the last stand of Syr Kay Szar in the second Seige of Sihi, AoQ 205, in the Tereket Wars where the second Unsheathing, the first performed knowing of its eventual sacrifice, was performed. In the aftermath of the second instance of a singular knight successfully transforming themself into a one-person weapon of mass destruction, the Council of Grandmasters was forced to concede to the demands of the Grandmaster of the Order of the Sundered Heart, Syr Guillaume de La Fontaine, that such fell under the mandate of his Order to contain and control such weaponry. As a result of the open sessions in which these discussions took place the Soul Blade is the only publicly confirmed part of the contents of the Vault of Shadows.