The Let's Play Archive

Riviera: The Promised Land

by Didja Redo

Part 42: The History of the Arcs, Part 1


Part 1: Origin

On the harshest day of winter, an ancient god of battle stirred. Rising from an eons-long torpor, vague flashes of memory roiled in his mind. Fading power. Dwindling worshippers. A civilisation that revered him, becoming complacent in their dominance. Colosseums replaced by marketplaces. His temples overtaken by gods of wealth and decadence. Forsaken. Forgotten.

The chill in the air that once invigorated him now seeped into his bones and leeched away his strength, and he knew that his time would soon come.

But the god was stubborn, and refused to let himself fade into obscurity. Determined to leave one final mark upon the world, he summoned the last of his power and set himself to the task of creating life.

From the stone of the craggy mountains, he chiselled the creature's sturdy bones. From the frozen earth, he shaped the creature's dense muscle. From the snow and frost, he weaved the creature's alabaster skin. From the frigid air, he spun the creature's leathery wings.

Finally, from his own divine spark, the god fashioned the creature's life. As its heart began to beat, the creature opened its eyes and gazed upon the world for the first time.

But the creature was not an Arc.

As the creature rose unsteadily to its feet, trying in vain to shield its body from the cold, the god spoke.

"Know this. You are all that I am, and all that I was. You are my rage and my revelry. You are my fortitude and my courage. You are my bloodied sword, my battered armour, and my stalwart shield. I am war, and you are my legacy."

And with those last words, the god was swept away by the wind and vanished forever. The creature was left alone and confused, pondering the significance of what it had been told.

But the creature was not an Arc.

Moments later, the creature was roused from its musings by the sound of heavy footsteps. From the trees, a terrible, snarling beast approached, teeth bared, muscles bunched. Before the creature could react, the beast lunged forward and felled it with a mighty swipe. The creature crumpled to the ground, its vision blurred and its breath ragged.

As if on instinct, it rolled to the side to avoid a further attack, but it was too late. Already the beast was bearing down, and the creature found itself pinned and helpless.

In desperation, the creature reached forward and grasped the beast's jaws, pushing forward and barely stopping teeth from meeting flesh. But the beast was too powerful. Not even the fear of death gave the creature the strength to hold the beast back. Inch by inch, the fangs approached the creature's throat, even as it fought with all its might.

But the creature was not an Arc.

Suddenly, the creature's vision began to cloud red, and within its racing mind, the words of its creator echoed.

"I am war, and you are my legacy."

And the creature understood. And as it understood, it found new strength. And as it found new strength, it looked upon the beast and felt not fear, but anger. How DARE it attack like this? How DARE it behave as though the creature was easy prey?

And in that moment, the beast changed. No longer a danger to be escaped from, it was now a foe to be defeated.

The creature lifted one hand high into the air and brought it down sharply, driving its fingers into the beast's eye. With a brutal twist, it wrenched the vulnerable orb from its socket and tore it away.

As the beast reared back in pain and shock, the creature charged forward and wrestled it to the ground, sitting astride it. Hands of iron fastened themselves around the beast's throat and squeezed. The beast clawed and tore at the creature's back, but the creature did not flinch.

Soon, the beast's assault began to abate as it became desperate to escape the choking grasp. It struggled and flailed, but to no avail. The creature remained rigid, never once giving an inch.

Eventually, the beast went limp, but the creature did not let go until it felt the windpipe crumple beneath its thumbs. When it was finally assured of its victory, the creature staggered to its feet and gazed upon its kill.

The beast was dead, and the battle was over. Slowly but surely, adrenaline and fury gave way to pain and fatigue. But even as blood coursed from its wounds, the creature threw back its head and roared, proclaiming its triumph to the heavens and the hells alike.

And thus, the first Arc was born.