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Born into battle, Aric of Dacia – heir to the throne of the Visigoth people – has never known peace. After a brutal encounter with a mysterious enemy known as "The Vine" leaves him a prisoner on an alien world, the only hope Aric has of returning to his family and saving them from slavery is to seize an armored suit capable of incalculable destruction and become X-O Manowar.

PlotEdit

By the SwordEdit

In 402 AD, at the Battle of Pollentia, Aric of Dacia – the brash young heir to the Visigoth throne – leads his fellow warriors against the superior might of the Roman Empire. While the Visigoths fight valiantly, they are overwhelmed and suffer a brutal defeat. Aric is further devastated when he discovers his father, Rolf, has been mortally wounded and his beloved wife, Deidre, has been taken captive.

In hopes of freeing his wife, Aric leads a band of warriors to raid what he believes to be a Roman slave transport – unaware the soldiers they attack are not Roman, nor even human. They belong to an alien race known as “The Vine.”

Aric and his men fight bravely, but are ultimately outclassed by the Vine’s technology. Defeated, Aric and his trusted ally, Gafti, are captured and taken aboard a Vine colony ship traveling through deep space.

Once they arrive, Aric and Gafti manage to slip their bonds and venture into the colony ship in search of escape. In the process, however, they stumble upon a bizarre alien ritual centered on a suit of mysterious armor that seems to have a mind of its own, called "Shanhara." Before Aric and Gafti can learn more, they are recaptured by the brutal Commander Trill and sent to work as slaves in the Vine’s deadly gardens.

Overcome with starvation, Gafti steals one of the alien fruits he cultivates in the gardens. He is attacked by Vine guards, and when Aric rises to defend him, the guards sever Aric’s hand as punishment for his insubordination. Years of subjugation tick by, but Aric’s quest to return to his loved ones are unabated. Slowly, an escape plan is formed.

When the day finally comes, Aric rallies his enslaved comrades and they turn on their Vine masters. The men suffer heavy casualties, but manage to make it to the ceremony chamber in which Shanhara is held. Aric approaches the mysterious armor, not knowing that it has killed all who have tried to wear it before. He reaches out his hand and the armor flows around him, seeming to accept him as its new host, and restoring his lost hand in the process.

Using newfound powers and abilities, Aric defeats the Vine and escapes the colony ship. Finally free, he wills the armor to fly him to Earth – to Rome – where he will exact his revenge against the Roman Empire. However, on the sand of the Colosseum floor, he is confronted by scores of what he assumes to be Roman legionnaires, but due to time displacement, he has landed in the present-day.

The Roman Empire is no more, and everyone Aric ever knew or loved is long gone. Despairing over a fight he can no longer win and a people he cannot return to, Aric takes to the sky and disappears.

A human in control of Shanhara is the height of blasphemy for the enraged Vine Council. They order their Earth-bound agents – human-Vine hybrids known as “plantings” – to retrieve the armor at any cost. To do this, Patrick Clement – head of MI6 and a planting – dispatches a strike team into the Amazon Rainforest. The team is accompanied by a planting named Alexander Dorian, head of Orb Industries, and they confront Aric, but are quickly destroyed by his hand. Only Alexander survives.

Enter: NinjakEdit

After this failure, Clement contracts the lethal agent known as “Ninjak” to bring the armor back. Ninjak lives up to his reputation, taking Aric by surprise and rendering him unconscious.

Once the armor is in their hands, the Vine will unleash a full-scale invasion of Earth to rid the planet of humanity. The only obstacle standing in their way is the armor. Meanwhile, Alexander loves the indulgences of Earth and has no desire to see the planet destroyed, so he betrays the Council and frees Aric.

With a Vine invasion on the way, Ninjak teams up with Aric and Alexander, and the three of them take the fight to MI6. Aric and Ninjak infiltrate Vauxhall and exterminate the Vine infestation in MI6, with Ninjak killing Clement in the process. Later, Alexander meets with Neville Alcott, Clement’s replacement, giving him a list of plantings' names.

Planet DeathEdit

The invasion fleet arrives and brings to bear Trill and a squad of soldiers armed with the most powerful weapon in the Vine’s arsenal: the X-O Commando armor. But even that is not enough to defeat Aric and Shanhara. Unable to take the armor by force, Trill demands Aric’s surrender in exchange for Gafti’s life, who somehow survived during the escape attempt from the colony ship.

Aric kills Trill and attempts to restore the mortally wounded Gafti with Shanhara’s healing ability. Gafti instead sacrifices himself, using Shanhara’s immense power to destroy the Vine fleet. Now Aric has had his fill of Roman and Vine invaders, he leaves Earth, intent on taking the fight to Loam, the Vine homeworld.

After attacking Loam in a fit of rage, Aric soon discovers his ability to wear the Manowar armor has made him a deity among some Vine, and that his people are not only alive, but have been held captive on Loam as slaves for generations. As Aric ravages the planet, he soon discovers that various alien races from across the galaxy have been brought to Loam as slaves.

With the help of a Vine priest and a pious Vine soldier named Dalgan Pith, Aric vows to free the slaves and eradicate Loam once and for all. After decimating the Vine military forces and enabling the slaves to rebel, Aric leaves control of Loam in the hands of the priest, then gathers the human slaves aboard a ship bound for Earth.

HomecomingEdit

When Aric returns to Earth, he overtakes Bucharest, Romania, which was formerly his homeland, Dacia. This is judged by an act of aggression by Earth's governments, who quickly plan their response. Gilad Anni-Padda, known as "The Eternal Warrior," arrives in Bucharest to make Aric understand the rules of the modern world, hoping his history with Aric will help his former student recognize the error of his ways.

As Aric adjusts to his new role as king, Russian special forces capture Tammus, one of Aric's people, with the hope of gaining the intel needed to launch a devastating attack. Though Aric is able to thwart the attack, it is nonetheless an imperfect victory. Aric's leadership is brought into question by Volo, a former slave who seems poised to challenge Aric's power.

Unbeknownst to the bickering Visigoths, the covert American military force M.E.R.O. – under Colonel Jamie Capshaw's command – has allied with the powerful psiot Toyo Harada to plan an attack of their own. Ninjak is called on to provide reconnaissance for Unity, Harada's team of super-powered psiots, but Aric destroys them in a matter of moments and captures Ninjak.

At War With UnityEdit

For more information, read Unity: To Kill a King.

Harada assembles a new roster for Unity – Livewire, the Eternal Warrior and himself – and arrives in Bucharest to assist Ninjak, but Aric springs a trap, launching the Vine ship into space. However, Livewire is able to interrupt the connection between Aric and the armor, leaving him defenseless and plunging the ship into the sea.

After a fearsome battle, Livewire spares Aric and his peoples' lives, lifting their escape pod from the depths of the ocean. Though no casualties are suffered on Aric's side during the raid, his actions land him and the Visigoths in a high-security prison under heavy surveillance, until he agrees to carry out missions for M.E.R.O. as their most powerful agent. Aric and the Visigoths soon establish a tranquil settlement in Nebraska.

Prelude to Armor HuntersEdit

Aric eventually grows to become an unlikely hero on Earth, joining Unity while also working for M.E.R.O. On one mission, Capshaw sends Aric to explore a disturbance in the wreckage of a destroyed Vine ship. There, Aric discovers Malgam, an aggressive and powerful alien life form with fragments of another X-O Manowar armor sprouting across his body. Malgam goes berserk and attacks Aric, willing to do anything to capture Aric's armor for himself and kill Aric in the process.

Armor HuntersEdit

For more information, read Armor Hunters, Unity: Armor Hunters, Armor Hunters: Bloodshot and Armor Hunters: Harbinger.

The Armor Hunters – a group of the most dangerous and battle-hardened soldiers in the galaxy – arrive on Earth. Their target is the X-O Manowar armor, with the singular purpose of eliminating the plague of sentient armors across the galaxy. Led by Primary Reebo, the Hunters have proven themselves extremely efficient in hunting and killing the armors, their efforts having saved numerous worlds. With the help of Unity and M.E.R.O., Aric defeats the Hunters, but not before thousands of innocent lives are lost.

Enter ArmorinesEdit

Aric's defending of Earth becomes concerning to the UN. The nefarious billionaire industrialist Phillip Zahn, backed by his Armorines, weasels his way into becoming the UN's official observer. Under the guise of inspecting the armor, they lure Aric, along with Capshaw, to an Austrian facility where they plan to execute him.

Dead HandEdit

An alien warrior known as "Control" formed the Armor Hunters to hunt down the "armor virus" and destroy it. Control built plans to win the war, but even if he failed, he was prepared to not lose everything. He left behind a contingency plan called "Dead Hand," a sentient robotic army to rid the galaxy of the X-O Manowar armor.

When Aric arrives at Loam to defend the Vine, Dead Hand attacks Loam's sun, causing an explosion that destroys the system and chases the Vine from their home planet. Aric confronts Dead Hand, but finds himself hopelessly outgunned. When he returns to the Vine, he raises his own army made up of the universe's most powerful armor wearers, whom have all given up themselves to the armor, becoming a hive mind.

ExodusEdit

Further ReadingEdit