“To wear the Crusader armour is a privilege; to take it off again a blessing.”
Sister Amonarth did not feel pride – such selfish thoughts were beneath the devoted – and yet still she knew that this was a special day for her. She had served the Prophet faithfully through countless battles as one of the Faithful with squads of Speakers and Listeners, excelling in both melee and ranged combat and catching the eye of her superiors as one possibly worthy of donning the famous Crusader armoured Frame.
To join the ranks of the Crusaders was one of the pinnacles of military achievement for the Children of the One True God, the ultimate reward for their battle-scarred veterans. Sister Amonarth had indeed proven her worthiness and was determined to repay the high-priest’s faith in her abilities at the next opportunity. First, though, it was time for her induction ceremony.
As the music drifted out of the vast doorway, she began to clear her mind and shifted on her stocking feet, slightly cold in her basic underclothes. Then the colossal door opened, revealing the ranks of the Faithful lining the aisle down the centre of the temple, leading to her blessed armour. As the organ music swelled, she strode forwards with her head held high and the choir chanting the hymn of benediction.
The chorus repeated its chant as she slotted the various armour pieces together, enclosing herself completely within the ornate Frame. When the final piece locked into place, the priest adorned her Frame with the heavy fabric garments that represent the Crusaders’ complete devotion to the One True God. She turned slowly to face the congregation, her mind familiarising itself with the neuro-command system that allowed the human controllers to steer the massive Frames. As the chanting came to its tremulous conclusion, Sister Amonarth lifted her Sword of Worship above her head, knowing that the next time she would wield the blade, it would be tearing through her enemies.
Crusaders typify the military ethos of the Children of the One True God; steadfast in the face of the enemies of the Prophet with a fearless determination to bring them to the sword. They consist of experienced soldiers who have shown the skills and bravery needed to wield the medium Frames and heavy weaponry of the Crusaders wing.
Their Frames consist of mechanically-controlled armour plating, pieced together in a way that enables unimpeded athletic movement and full body defensive coverage. It can absorb a great deal of punishment before the soldier inside comes to harm. A suited-up Crusader is a fearsome sight on the battlefield, around 7 feet tall and immensely broad and strong. Their huge Swords of Worship are far too heavy to be wielded by a normal human but the power of their Frames enables them to be employed with a lethal dexterity.
While approaching their targets with a grim determination, the Crusaders close ranks in a highly effective defensive formation, laying down terrifying covering fire from in-built flechette launchers. What these weapons lack in accuracy they make up for with a terrible destructive power that can freeze enemies in their tracks, leaving those who survive the onslaught to face the mighty blades in close combat, where the Crusaders are brutally effective.