Hey everyone! This week's Indines In-Depth features ARIA, an exploration and combat drone built using advanced technology and the soul of a human trapped in stone. Enjoy!

“You’re all three just a heartless coven of… of… of Science Witches!”

“Wait… are you going to TURN ME OFF??? Let’s talk about th—”

"This body, this... this robot is ARIA. Even if I'm stuck inside ARIA's body, I'm still Laine, don't forget that!"

Background

ARIA is a prototype mechanical Planestalker created by a merging of three different disciplines.

- Magister Serafina Vanedran of Willat contribued a robotic chassis, built as a modification of the Cadenza series of clockwork knights. ARIA's chassis is a state-of-the art mechanical system with a wide array of weapons, tactical drives, and self-repair systems.

- Runika Zenanen produced ARIA's central control unit. Unlike typical automatons, ARIA boasts a self-aware and autonomous golem core that can understand and obey complex commands.

- Kaitlyn Van Sorrel created a number of planar circuits which run through ARIA, allowing her to bend space, teleport, and exercise marginal control over time. She also designed many of the instruments and weapons ARIA employs.

ARIA is not equipped primarily as a fighter. When dealing with planar anomalies, there are too many contingencies and possibilities to consider, such that arming an exploration unit to deal with every potential scenario is impossible. Instead, ARIA maintains a transporter link to Planestalkers HQ. When situations arise, she is able to 'beam in' whatever tools or combat support she needs in the form of service drones. These drones are equipped with instruments, weapons, or tools intended to help ARIA in just about any situation.

While the prototype ARIA was built primarily as an exploration unit and a diplomatic research collaboration between the nations, Kaitlyn Van Sorrel is secretly exploring the possibility of mass-producing these units in a combat capacity to supplement the meager standing forces of the Planestalkers.

Plot During BattleCON: Devastation

When Runika is excavating the ruins of Helim Mekhit, she stumbles upon the dragon queen, Adjenna, who is working to weaken the seal around the Greyheart, the ancient tyrannical Dragon King. Though Runika escapes, her assistant, Laine Shevelt, is turned to glass by Adjenna. 

Upon Runika’s return to Helim Mekhit, she finds that instantaneous death caused Laine’s soul to be stored inside of a latent golem core that she wore as a piece of jewelry. Taking this golem core back to her laboratory, Runika hatches a plan to ‘save’ Laine by implanting the golem core into an automaton. Contacting her past research connections, Sarafina and Kaitlyn, the three put together the prototype ARIA unit, which eventually aids Runika in stopping the machinations of Byron Krane and saving Indines.

Future Adventures

After her adventures with Runika, ARIA becomes a full-fledged member of the Planestalkers, and joins them on their quest to explore new worlds and protect Indines from outside invasion.

10 Facts about ARIA

  1. Her golem core contains the soul of Runika’s deceased assistant, Laine Shevelt. Thus, ARIA has all of Laine's memories and personality.
  2. ARIA is the only Android in Indines designed specifically with planar travel in mind.
  3. The Planestalkers hope to mass-produce ARIA style drones if this prototype proves capable in combat.
  4. ARIA’s design is based on the same basic design as Sophica Sentavra, as all three of her creators worked together with Gretel Sentavra on the Sophica project at Argent.
  5. Her drones are stored in a specially prepared chamber at Planestalkers HQ when not in use. They are teleported in and out of her current location on demand, and new drones are constantly being added and tested.
  6. Though she lost some of her memories in the trauma that killed Laine, ARIA still retains most of Laine’s personality and memories. She’s a little bit self-conscious about being a robot now, and keeps trying to wear clothes.
  7. Her maximum flight speed is 60 kph, and she can cross dimensions freely when flying at least 30 kph.
  8. Her pan-dimensional oculus allows her to see all colors of light, sound, and across different planes simultaneously.
  9. When she was first activated, Iri took her on a tour of all the major planes.
  10. Her favorite plane is the Celestial Plane. She finds it peaceful there, and everyone else can fly too, so it doesn’t seem out of place when she does it.