"Black Mark"

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The "Black Mark" is an NPC in Arknights. They play a story role in The Black Forest Wills A Dream and Expeditioner's Joklumarkar.

Background

Once an Emperor's Blade who served Ursus in their constant fight against the northern Collapsals, the "Black Mark" unfortunately had their suit damaged (presumably in combat) but managed to survive the injury, resulting in them losing control of their Collapsal powers. Potentially to avoid execution by their comrades, as is the protocol for dealing with compromised Blades,[1] the "Black Mark" went rogue and fled to Sami, where they were fully consumed by Collapsal influence and began wandering aimlessly, spreading Collapsal contamination throughout the country. The "Black Mark" is being hunted down by both the Ursus, who cannot allow the continued existence of a compromised Emperor's Blade, and the Snowpriests and warriors of Sami, who wish to remove the invader and stop the Collapsal contamination.

Vignettes

The Black Forest Wills A Dream

The "Black Mark" is not seen directly, but is described stalking the forests of Sami, mindlessly attacking and contaminating everything it sees, even other Collapsal-corroded organisms. Santalla is searching for Ursus presence in Sami, including the "Black Mark" and "Liebafowl", but at the time is unaware of their true nature.

At one point, the "Black Mark" approaches the camp where Magallan, Typhon, Santalla, and Oakcup are sleeping and nearly attacks them, even overcoming the protective spells Santalla laid out, but is distracted and lured away by Amma due to Magallan carrying Amma's Affection. In the morning, the party finds a wounded rockhorn corroded by Collapsal influence, presumably the handiwork of the "Black Mark"[2]

Later on, Santalla captures and tortures Liebafowl for information, who reveals the truth behind the "Black Mark". They also reveal that they are purposely trying to hide the information from Ursus, as they wish for the "Black Mark" to contaminate Sami for all eternity out of spite. Santalla kills Liebafowl and prepares to return to Sami with the intent of tracking down the "Black Mark" and finishing them once and for all.[3]

Integrated Strategies

Expeditioner's Joklumarkar

Having returned to the heart of Sami upon hearing the news, Eikthyrnir tracks down the "Black Mark", who has already slain and corrupted countless Sami warriors. He leads his Treescar tribe to battle against the rogue Blade in a fierce battle and manages to slay it, but is unable to stop the Collapsal influence from breaching in time, resulting in the corrosion of both him and the rest of his warriors. Witnessing this, Santalla and her cohort are forced to face them in battle and ultimately put them out of their misery.[4]

This section contains story information that are non-canonical to the plot of Arknights.

The Frontier Memoirs endbooks depict two alternate timelines involving the "Black Mark":

  • In "A Twisted Fate's Mockery", Santalla sacrifices herself to kill the "Black Mark", but Eikthyrnir is still forced to sacrifice himself to contain the resulting pollution, with the "Black Mark's" disembodied armor impaling him with black spikes as he unleashes his final move.
  • In "Born From the Withered Tree", Santalla sacrifices herself to seal away both the "Black Mark" and Eikthyrnir during their battle, but is unable to contain the Collapsal pollution.

References