Designed in secret by the Cygnaran Armory to carry out covert operations for the Cygnaran Reconnaissance Service, Ace was built as a one-of-a-kind prototype. The machine integrated an experimental mechanikal device intended to camouflage the warjack, rendering it almost invisible in the field. Eight years after Ace was completed, some elements of its chassis, including those which allowed it to negotiate forests with relative ease, influenced the design of the Hunter—a warjack that has since become a Cygnaran mainstay.
Ace’s original chassis was an advanced wonder for its day. Its steam engine was engineered with sound baffles, its frame incorporated various dampeners to minimize noise, and its exhaust system was modified to produce less recognizable plumes. Similarly, its high-grade cortex was conditioned to prioritize stealth and to function smoothly under cover of darkness and in either urban or forest environments. Ace was outfitted with thin armor plating that left the warjack more vulnerable to direct hits but made it quite nimble and evasive, complementing its elusive personality. In battle it sought to avoid direct engagement and to kill foes at a distance whenever possible. The most ingenious aspect of Ace’s technology—its “umbrella” infiltration field—remained a mystery, ill-understood by the mechaniks who took over the machine’s maintenance after its inventor disappeared under suspicious circumstances.
Ace’s first tour, alongside Allister Caine on a top-secret mission in Llael in 595 AR, also nearly turned out to be its last. The warjack proved itself to be intelligent and surprisingly self-willed, quickly developing a strong bond with the gun mage. The use of its infiltration field helped Caine succeed at a mission that should have been impossible. Unfortunately, Ace did not make it home from this operation: just outside Merywyn the warjack sacrificed itself to save Caine from an artillery barrage and wound up sinking into the Black River.
Despite the destruction of the original chassis, years later Allister Caine was able to convince Scout General Rebald to launch a mission to recover Ace’s unique cortex. With the backing of the CRS, Caine saw the ’jack rebuilt with several modifications, including a rune shot cannon capable of enduring the force of spell-charged ammunition. Though Ace’s infiltration system was replicated, it is an imperfect copy. The field it generates is temporary and unstable, and the machinery must be repaired after each use. Despite this flaw, the warjack has been well worth the effort to recover and restore it, becoming Caine’s trusted and constant companion. Caine has relied on it during a number of vital CRS missions requiring an abundance of both discretion and firepower, including the actions which would ultimately result in the crowning of King Julius Raelthorne.