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Several months ago, around May or June I sat down and plonked out the first paragraph or two of chapter 8. A day later, I dropped my laptop and my hard drive died, taking all of my notes and outlines with it. After months of trying to stabilize my life and futile attempts at data recovery I got a new hard drive and OS, but my motivation died along with my work. It was taking me too long to reach the parts I wanted to write, the story and character development weren't following the lines I wanted them to follow and I wasn't satisfied with the execution of my work. So without further ado, here's what I recall of what I had planned.

Team Lancer
Lancer and Hayato Tohsaka, the protagonist team of the 3rd War.

Lancer was Leonidas I, king of Sparta. Initially dissatisfied with Hayato's devil-may-care attitude, he decided to give Hayato a chance after seeing Hayato's competence during their first fight with the Edelfelts, but more importantly, his serious desire to stop Nadia from breaking mentally. Lancer was a natural king who'd advanced to leadership and glory through natural talent and hard work, and took pride in leading his men. Since he shone so brightly, he failed to connect with the disadvantaged Ephialtes, who despite Leonidas's best efforts grew to hate him, betrayed them all, and then died in despair. Upon meeting Assassin, Lancer would be struck with the same sense of pity, which would ultimately lead to his death.

His Noble Phantasm was a conceptual reenactment of his last stand at Thermopylae, and powered him up based on the combined strength of the enemies he faced when he invoked the Noble Phantasm while forcing them to attack him. It was a massive prana hog and not particularly fast to boost, but was only limited by the amount of magical energy the Master could supply. The first time it would be used would be when Rider's army invaded Japan in full, revealing Lancer's identity; Lancer would hold off the army singlehandedly while Hayato and Team White Saber stormed Team Rider's ship.

The second time would be when Team Lancer, Team White Saber and Team Ruler tried to stop the Nazis from taking the Grail and Lancer is left behind to hold off as many superpowered Nazis as he can. This is where the flaw of his Noble Phantasm would come in - it only buffs Lancer against the enemies that he invoked it against, leaving him weak to sneak attacks. Ultimately, he is slain by Assassin. His wish was to be able to lead all of his people, with none left behind.

Hayato was initially purely a dashing rogue womanizer type who ultimately reminded White Saber of Astolfo, but in a decision I somewhat regretted and never got to fully bear out I added a facet of him as a ruthless Second Owner. His parents raised solely as an ideal magus heir without regard for his mental and emotional wellbeing. A young Hayato sensed that he was about to break, and thus pulled off a hostile takeover of the Tohsaka family, eliminating his parents. Afterwards, he tried to do as many entertaining things as he could, but never achieved genuine happiness. He had no idea how to live his life, so he continued his duties as the Second Owner to an extent because it was all that he knew. His desire to save Nadia due to recognizing in her the same unhappiness he once had would have been the first genuine impulse he had since freeing himself from his parents.

Hayato was unable to find more information on Team Rider through his own network, so he went to visit Zouken - at the same time that Team Caster attacked. His conversation with Zouken would provide the first major piece of foreshadowing as to the fate of the prior Tohsakas. Also, Risei went to the Matou mansion after his doubt about Darnic's and Dominic's deal got the best of him, and without Hayato's timely interference would've died.

The next target of Team Rider's army was his house, and after failing to defend it during a three-way skirmish between him, Team Blue Saber, and Team Rider, Hayato walked to Team White Saber's house and offered an alliance. When Nadia rejected him, he used a Command Seal to swear that Lancer would not harm them, and Nadia, her confidence still shaken from her encounter with Team Ruler, would accept the alliance. They then stormed Team Rider's ship once the army invaded Japan, and Hayato and Nadia fought Gen. Richards to the death. Once White Saber manages to strike down Rider, Assassin pins them all with poisonous needles and attempts to kill Nadia; however, Hayato uses a Command Seal to summon Lancer to defend her.

While Hayato and co. are recovering from their attack on Rider, Risei sends Hayato a missive about his role in Rider's death. While Lancer recovers from the intense prana drain of his NP, Hayato leaves to meet with Risei. However, he spots a beautiful lost foreigner and tries to give her directions. Unfortunately for Hayato, this foreigner is Caster, who enchants him and leads him to her castle. Before he is fully converted into Casterís thrall, he is saved by Nadia and White Saber.

At this point, Assassin warns them on Zouken's order about Ruler. Hayato leaves for the ruins of his house to gather materials for their battle with Team Ruler, and he meets up with Nadia and Saber to storm Einzbern Castle. Their battle plan of using Lancer as a surprise attacker is foiled by Ruler, but as Ruler and Illiana are about to defeat them, Ruler receives a revelation that the Grail is in danger. Hayato learns that the Nazis have occupied Mt. Enzou, and everyone heads out to stop them.

Ultimately, Nadia convinces Hayato to stop pursuing the Grail, and due to Risei's efforts and the effects of White Saber's Noble Phantasm, they safely escape the mountain. Hayato and Nadia then live together in an uncharacteristically happy ending, having found happiness in each other.

Team Saber (White)
Nadia and Saber (White), the deuteragonist team of the War.

Saber was Roland, First of the Twelve Peers of Charlemagne. As he was split between the two Edelfelt sisters, Nadia's Roland is a Roland emphasizing his regrets over his life and his moments before his death. As a result, he tends toward defensive fighting. His first Noble Phantasm is the legendary sword Durandal. However, since is the Roland moments before his death, its vaunted miracles are exhausted, leaving it a mere D-rank unbreakable sword. Roland's second Noble Phantasm is the Oliphant, which twists fate to ensure that his charges survive; however, his spiritual core is destroyed as compensation.

White Roland's primary conflict was to overcome his doubts and regrets and remember his pride as a hero. He naturally conflicts with Blue Saber because he despises that Roland's uncaring rashness and unwillingness to linger on his failings - and yet, such confidence is necessary to be a hero. When Teams White Saber and Lancer attack Rider and his Master on their ship, Roland faces off against Rider and after refusing to lose to his straightforward convinction and unwavering dedication, ultimately defeats him.

Team Nadia later storms Caster's castle to rescue Hayato. As Caster is a witch, this acts as a parallel for the dark tower that Roland had to triumph over in life, and he begins to step past his own fears.

The climax of his character arc comes after Hayato leaves to prepare for their assault on Team Ruler. Team Blue Saber confronts them at their base, and Roland and Roland fight to the death, as neither can abide the other. White Roland withstands the full power of Blue Roland's Durandal, and his desperate struggle convinced Blue Roland to acknowledge him as the hero Roland. The two impale each other through the heart, but Blue Saber uses the last miracle of Durandal - the blessing of Saint Mary - to heal White Roland's spiritual core and fades away.

Roland faces Amakusa in direct combat in the Einzbern castle, with Nadia countering Amakusa's Command Seals with her own. Lancer fails to land the final blow, and the fight is ultimately abandoned to save the Grail. Roland escorts Nadia and Hayato into the depths of Mount Enzou, but is immobilized by Assassin. As Assassin moves to kill Roland, Roland uses the Oliphant to save Nadia and Hayato and then impales himself to stab Assassin, killing them both. His wish was to move past his myriad regrets.

Nadia Edelfelt was the Sakura to Verena's Rin in some respects, but different in others. While she lacked the temperament to be the Edelfelt head, she possessed the talent as an Average One, and was highly proficient in jewelcraft. However, as she was the younger sister, she was not the head. While she disliked accompanying Verena on their mercenary missions and powergrabs, Nadia did so anyways because as an Edelfelt, it was her duty to use her talents for the family and to obey the head. However, Hayato dragged her repressed emotions and desires to the fore, and ultimately she became a neíer-do-well runaway who absconded with a foreigner. Truly, a cautionary tale for all self-respecting noblewomen.

While she loves Verena, Nadia also has a deep inferiority complex toward her. Verena had a natural aptitude toward the proper duties and bearing of an Edelfelt, and thus, Nadia always compared herself to Verena. She was sick of failing to live up to those expectations and having to live up to those expectations, and this ultimately came to a head during the War.

After failing to defeat Team Ruler and losing to the ideal Master Illiana von Einzbern, a shaken Nadia grudgingly accepted Hayatoís offer of an alliance until Rider is defeated. That being said, her utter shock at him wasting a Command Seal on what she only viewed as his frivolous teasing played a role as well.

She begins to notice something off about Hayato while they search for Riderís base, but despite her best efforts grows fond of him as they work together. While fighting Gen. Richards in his ship, she begins to affirm her resolve to find her own path after witnessing his dedication.

After Hayato leaves to meet with Risei and is captured, Risei encounters Nadia and tells her of Hayatoís fate. Because she helped to kill Rider, Risei rewards her with a Command Seal, which he had originally intended to give to Hayato. She decides to aid Hayato despite the terms of their alliance and his Command Seal having concluded, and restrains Darnic long enough to rescue Hayato. After royally chewing him out, they go on a date, which unbeknownst to them is seen by Verena. Suffice it to say that Verena doesnít take this well.

They return to see Assassin waiting for them, who warns them of Team Ruler on Zoukenís orders. When Hayato leaves to prepare, Verena and Blue Saber arrive to kill them. Nadia and Verena fight and vent all of their issues, and Nadia defeats Verena, who abandons her and declares her dead.

Nadia and co. then storm Einzbern castle and battle with Team Ruler. Nadia faces off against Illiana and uses her remaining two Command Seals to counter Amakusaís; her first two having been spent during her battle with Verena. Nadia successfully suppresses Illiana; however, she is knocked back after Hayato and Lancerís surprise attack fails.

She supports Saber as they fight through the Nazis, and ultimately saves Hayatoís life by convincing him to turn back after Saberís death. Ultimately, they both abandon the responsibilities of magi and live together happily.

Team Saber (Blue)
Verena and Blue Saber, the Not-Quite-Lancers of the War

Verena Edelfelt summoned Roland in his brash, young form, outwardly wild and confident, but desperately avoiding the traumas of his past. His fighting style is straightforward and violent, relying on the durability of his sword to batter through defenses. Rolandís Noble Phantasm is Durandal, the Thrice-Blessed Sacred Sword, and possesses three miracles. The first miracle projects Durandalís famed keenness along a slash as far as Blue Saber can see, slicing through everything in its path. The second miracle grants Roland the durability of his sword for a moment, and the final miracle fully heals whoever is stabbed by Durandal.

While White Roland regrets his past decisions and as a result no longer fights with spirit, Blue Saber desperately seeks glory in order to drown out the mistakes of his past and his own regrets. Blue Saber hated White Saber for embodying what he saw as his weaknesses by hesitating to fight and by regretting his decisions. As a result, he jumped at the chance to slay his other self once Nadia left Verena, but never received the opportunity until their lone battle in the field of asphodels. After seeing White Rolandís renewed determination and heroic spirit during their fight, to the point where he would even fling himself onto Blue Rolandís blade to defeat him, Blue Roland acknowledges White Roland as a hero and as himself, and entrusts his shared wish to Roland.

Verena Edelfelt lacked an affinity with any of the five great elements, and thus only had a talent with minor spells such as Gandr instead of the characteristic jewelcraft of the Edelfelt family. However, she was the elder sister, so she became the head. As a result, she holds an intense inferiority complex toward the prodigy Nadia, and thus relentlessly pushes Nadia to fulfill the role of an Edelfelt that she is better suited to than Verena. Even though Nadia is better-suited to be the head, if she cannot be the head then she must be the best Edelfelt possible, in order to make the most of the talents that Verena does not and cannot possess. Therefore, Nadia abandoning her role is a dual betrayal to Verena, as Nadia is spitting on her woes and hopes.

Verena and Roland head to the Emerald Dragon, the then tallest building in Fuyuki, to reconnoiter the area in their search for Rider. Upon arriving, they realize that Darnic and Caster have beaten them their, and a battle along the outer seats of the tower restaurant begins, acting as another reference to Roland facing the witchís dark tower. Darnic begins to overwhelm Verena while Saber leaps to the top of the tower, and then uses a Command Seal to empower Caster to kill Saber with her Noble Phantasm. Verena orders Saber to survive with a Command Seal, and they turn the tables, causing Team Caster to flee.

When Riderís army attacks Hayatoís house, Team Blue Saber arrives to try to kill Riderís Master during the chaos. The battle becomes a three-way skirmish between Teams Saber, Lancer, and Rider, and ultimately Teams Saber and Lancer end up retreating.

Upon seeing Nadia and Hayato on their date, Verena is incensed, and travels to Nadiaís base to drag her back to England, or kill her if need be. She vents her dissatisfaction at Nadia, and after losing to her declares her dead and leaves Japan. Verenaís loss and realization of Nadiaís inferiority complex causes her to accept Nadiaís choice by leaving her, along with her hangups over her shortcomings as the Edelfelt heir behind.

Team Rider
Gen. Clark Richards and Rider, the Zero Casters of the War.

Rider was Samuel Wilson, the historical inspiration behind Uncle Sam, and also an incarnation of the country of America. Due to his Masterís excessive devotion to America, Rider is summoned as a particularly jingoistic Servant, and wholeheartedly believes that America is the greatest country in the world and is destined to lead it. His wish is for a world united under America and his ideals.

Rider has two Noble Phantasms. The first is I Choose You!, and draws from both Uncle Samís role in inspiring Americans to war and Wilsonís job as a supplier of barrels of meat to soldiers labeled as U.S. People who eat the meat are greatly empowered as long as they fight for America, allowing them to defensively fight against weaker Servants and overpower them with numbers. Additionally, the targets of this Noble Phantasm gain further power while fighting on territory designated as America. Riderís second Noble Phantasm was the train he used to transport his meat barrels to soldiers. While it is capable of a rank B charging attack, its real purpose is to drain the mana from an area and transport it, and to designate any region that its tracks cover as American territory. The drained magical energy could be used to regenerate I Choose You!, further empower soldiers in the American army, empower Rider, and more.

As the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces, Rider remained within Richardsís ship to direct troops and to come out to the battlefield only when necessary. He planned to defeat Lancer to allow his army to advance; however, Team White Saber forced their way through his army during the invasion of Japan thanks to Lancerís interference, forcing him to fight them. Rider criticizes White Saberís lack of drive, and is ultimately defeated after losing power to his Masterís death.

His keynote Skill was Patriotism: EX, which granted him large stat boosts while fighting on American territory and more when defending it.

Rider was the character I was most looking forward to writing, due to his potential for truly hammy speeches. For his proper introduction, I wanted to have him rouse his army right before they invaded Japan with lines like:

ďThe world is rotting. Hatred, bigotry, greed, weakness, and all manner of sins threaten to corrode our fair planet from the inside out. Even America, the home of the brave cowers in its corner as evil looms. Thus, who is left to protect the world? Who is left to guide the people, the countries, and the world onto the right path?Ē

ďI am. And I am not alone Ė for I Choose You. I Choose You, and I Choose You, and I Choose You, for you are true Americans. You are Godís chosen, those privileged with freedom and emboldened with honor. Where other men faltered, you sailed here with your lives on the line to advance the cause of what is right! You are soldiers of the United States of America, and thus, you are heroes!Ē

ďAs Americans, it is our duty, our privilege, our destiny, and our birthright to set the world on the proper path! And today, right here, right now, we manifest that destiny!Ē

ďFuyuki will be our Plymouth! And Japan, our 49th State!Ē

Alas, I missed my window of riding Trumpís jingoism for super topical fic writing.

Gen. Clark Richards was a rogue American general who disagreed with President Wilsonís isolationist stance. He took his ship and loyal army to Japan to join the Holy Grail War, and aimed to use the Holy Grail to supercharge Rider, allowing them to conquer the world for Americaís sake. Richards saw the world going down the wrong path, and believed it was his solemn duty as an American to correct it as a citizen of the worldís police.

Team Rider attacked Hayatoís house because it was on a site of ley line convergence, and drained the mana there into Riderís train. Unbeknownst to them, Assassin snuck aboard the train and lied in wait in their ship.

They docked their ship in the Mion River upon deciding to invade, having no further reason to conceal themselves in the seas outside Japan. This triggers alarms set in place by Imperial Japan and Hayato, and Teams Lancer and White Saber head to intercept the full brunt of Riderís army. While Lancer faced Riderís army, Saber fought Rider throughout the ship while Nadia and Hayato fought Clark in the shipís Oval Office. Ultimately, they kill Clark, and Saber slays Rider on the front deck.

Meanwhile, Team Caster infiltrated his ship and stole the remaining supplies of I Choose You!.

I hadnít decided on his style of magecraft, but it probably wouldíve involved Colt revolver Mystic Codes.

Team Caster
Darnic and Caster, the Lancers of the War.

Caster was Wicce, the collective incarnation of the nameless witches burnt and persecuted throughout folklore and history. She is more of a wraith than a Servant, boosted only to summonable status by the shared legend of the numerous souls. The Nazis had Darnic summon such a Servant because they did not fully trust him. Since Caster is a composite Servant, she possesses numerous forms and personalities; however, each personality shares the initial genuine desire to help others. As a witch, her Item Creation is limited to classical witch items such as potions, broomsticks, and so on, while her Territory Creation takes the form of a castle that she can summon after preparation of an area. The castle is filled with deadly familiars and engenders fear and hallucinations in any unwanted inhabitants. Team Caster uses this castle as their base. As an aside, since the castle is summoned inside a building, itís bigger on the inside.

Her primary offensive spell is to summon Grims, materialized curses of death. They are powerful enough to shatter Nadiaís full-scale defensive barrier in a single hit, but show reduced power against heroes, who are used to defying fate and avoiding deathís door.

She possesses two Noble Phantasms. Her first Noble Phantasm is Scorned Maiden Aegis, which has both passive and active effects. It passively forces Casterís alignment into Chaotic Evil, grants her Innocent Monster, reduces her resistance to attacks made with faith, and empowers her curses to a level that partially ignores Magic Resistance, as witches are known for ensorcelling and beguiling many a hero. When actively invoked, Caster grows thick, sturdy claws and horns, sprouts fur and scales along her body, and her eyes turn red, and her STR ranks up. Casterís second Noble Phantasm is Legend of Persecution, and is an A-rank anti-unit Noble Phantasm. Upon invocation and contact with the target, one of the souls composing Caster is torn from her and forced into the target. The witchís execution is then reenacted upon both the witchís soul and the target, killing them both. As this Noble Phantasm is a curse, it can be resisted with sufficient magical energy; alternatively, high Luck can be used to defy the shared fate of the witch and the target. Because this Noble Phantasm Ďkillsí Caster upon each use, she despises using it, and must be forced to invoke it with a Command Seal.

Darnic and Caster invade Zoukenís mansion due to Darnicís deal with Dominic, and Caster faces Assassin in the worm pit. She is able to hold him at bay due to her Grims, but is ultimately unable to land a finishing blow, and is forced to retreat when Zouken overwhelms Darnic.

They then go to the Emerald Dragon for a good perspective to combine Casterís familiars, Darnicís clairvoyance, and the stolen Edelfelt map in Darnicís search for the Greater Grail. Team Verena appears, and they do battle. Caster tries to shoot Saber down as he scales the tower from the outside seats, but he dodges and powers through her attacks and reaches the rooftop. The close quarters gives him the advantage, but Darnicís Command Seal catches him by surprise, giving Caster the opening needed to use her Noble Phantasm. Saber resists it with a Command Seal and strikes Caster off the tower, and Team Caster flees.

Caster now reluctantly works with Darnic, and her new personality is significantly pricklier than her prior one. During their periodic observation of Fuyuki, they see Hayato leave without Lancer; Caster then accosts him in the guise of a cute lost foreigner and spirits him away to her castle. Before she can fully break his mind, Team Nadia rescues him and destroys the core of her castle, forcing Team Darnic to flee.

As Team Caster attempts to reach a different safe house, they are intercepted by Team Ruler. Illiana attempts to entrap them with a cage of wires. However, Darnic Command Seals Caster into holding off Ruler while he tries to escape. Amakusa uses his Command Seals to force Caster to use her Noble Phantasm on herself, burning her at the stake. Caster dies in misery, betrayed by the person she only wanted to aid.

Darnic Prestone Yggdmillenia, the Naziís entrant into the 3rd Holy Grail War. He possesses talent, but not quite enough to be truly extraordinary. He has a keen mind for manipulation, but lacks the 60 years of experience that cemented him as the Eight-Forked Tongue. As a result, things tend not to go his way.

He storms the Matou mansion with Caster, and gets his ass handed to him by Zouken, who mocks him as a child. Darnic perceives that Zouken has devoured people for sustenance, and this gives him the idea for his soul-overwriting magecraft decades down the line. As a result, he is unable to rely on Dominic for assistance in searching for the Greater Grail, so he turns to other measures.

Darnic and Caster travel to the Emerald Dragon and use it as a vantage point to search for the Greater Grail. Team Blue Saber appears, and Darnic engages Verena. He has the upper hand at first, but Verena maintains a solid defense. She recognizes Darnic, and taunts him on the declining state of his family forcing him to team up with the Nazis. Still rankled by Zoukenís taunts, he decides to use a Command Seal to force Caster to use her NP on Saber. This backfires, as Verena uses her own Command Seal to reinforce Saber and then injures him, forcing Team Darnic to flee. While Darnic ultimately doesnít find the Grail, he notices a disturbance in the ocean off the coast of Fuyuki.

During the final battle against Rider, Darnic and Caster infiltrate Team Riderís ship and steal I Choose You!. They return to Casterís castle, where Caster retools the Noble Phantasm to work for the Nazis before sending it to them.

After their enslavement of Hayato fails, Team Caster flees and is intercepted by Team Ruler. Darnic realizes he is out of his league against Illiana, especially since he is without the majority of his Mystic Codes and prepared Formalcraft; furthermore, Amakusa is easily handling Caster. He uses a Command Seal to force Caster into a suicidal defense and uses the opening to flee. The last words he hears from his Servant are her cursing him to die in failure and regret.

Darnic flees purely on instinct, still terrified by Ruler, and he falls down a hole into a cave. This, of course, is the cave leading to the Greater Grail, and Darnic calls in the Nazis.

The Nazis arrive, blast the top off Mount Enzou and begin airlifting the Greater Grail out with zeppelins, and Darnic boards the zeppelin holding the Grail. He hypnotizes the staff of the crew and flies to Trifas with the Grail, in a sort of good end for him.

Team Ruler
Illiana von Einzbern and her Servant Ruler.

Ruler is, of course, Amakusa Shirou Tokisada, the Apocryphal Saint. Since this is before his years of incarnated wandering through the desert for Semiís catalyst, heís still a black-haired relatively pale Japanese kid. At this point, heís 99% given up on humanity, but Darnic sacrificing Caster pushes him to 100%. On the powerlevels front, his holy sacraments go through Saberís Magic Resistance since Saberís Protection of the Faith nullifies any resistance to Christian attacks.

During Riderís invasion, they keep a watchful eye on the army in case Lancer fails. When Lancer is warped away by Command Seal, Illiana uses her wires and wishcraft to create a Grand Ritual empowering Amakusa to eliminate the remainder of Riderís army.

When Risei goes to meet Hayato, he encounters Amakusa, who had entered the city in casual clothing on a whim. They talk, and Riseiís genuine faith and good nature endears him to Amakusa. Risei confesses his worries to Amakusa, who realizes Dominicís treachery and Darnicís complicity.

They later accost Darnic and Caster, and aim to kill them both, as Amakusa has caught on to Darnicís goal. Amakusa merely aims to kill Caster, but after she is empowered by a Command Seal, he elects to waste no further time and forces her to immolate herself with her Noble Phantasm. Amakusa attempts to pursue Darnic, but he has a Revelation and throws his sword at a tree without warning, pinning Assassin to the tree. Illiana moves to pursue Darnic while Amakusa begins to interrogate Hassan; however, Zouken pulls Assassin away with a Command Seal. Darnic ultimately escapes.

Amakusa and Illiana attempt to scry for Darnic from their base, but are interrupted when Nadia and Saber attack. Amakusa faces Roland, who fights with renewed vigor, and each time he tries to use a Command Seal on Saber, Nadia counters it with one of her own. Roland knocks him off-balance, and Lancer leaps in to kill Ruler. However, Amakusa predicts this and hijacks Hayatoís circuits to use Elemental Conversion on Lancerís sword, transmuting it into harmless water. Amakusa buffs himself with the unused Command Seals of Rider and stuns Saber and Lancer. He prepares to order Lancerís death by Command Seal, but receives another Revelation that the Grail is in danger. Illiana and Hayato check and discover that the Nazis are trying to steal the Grail. Teams Lancer, Saber, and Ruler ally to stop them and rush to Mt. Enzou.

Amakusa and Illiana rush ahead of the others as they hold off the Nazis. The Nazi army grows thicker, and as Illiana begins to be overwhelmed Amakusa sees the Grail nearly completely detached from the cave. He abandons Illiana and rushes to the Grail, but it is already being airlifted. With the last of his energy, Amakusa leaps upward and his fingers brush the Grail, incarnating him.

At the end, after the Imperial Army arrives, Amakusa remains in the cave until Risei walks in. Risei takes him in, and cue the beginning of Volume 3 of Apocrypha.

Illiana von Einzbern is the perfect Master. Lovely, intelligent, gifted at magecraft, and an affable Master to Ruler. She treats Amakusa as her senior in wish-granting due to his magic arms and his role as a saint. She combines wishcrafting and alchemy by using her wires to construct magic circles that actualize all kinds of magecraft not dependent on a unique sorcery trait. Her versatility and power make her a peerless opponent to nearly any mage. Much like Ruler, she wishes for the salvation of mankind; though in her case, it is merely for people to be happy.

However, she was too kind to Amakusa. She failed to realize the true nature of his salvation, and as a result was thrown away by him at the very end. Ultimately, she regrets being unable to bring him happiness.

Team Assassin
Zouken Matou and Assassin, the sort-of Wild Cards of the War.

I wish Iíd kept Efrem around for longer and had more intrigue between him and Dominic. Alas, I didnít, and Zouken took the stage. Zoukenís modus operandi was to use Assassin as Assassin was meant to be used Ė picking off Masters in moments of weaknesses. It worked pretty well for him until Darnic called in the Nazis, forcing Zouken and Assassin to come to the fore.

Zouken is his usual self: cruel, calculating, cackling. He mocks Darnic as someone similar to him, but far less gone than Zouken is, and thus far less dedicated.

Assassin is Hassan-i-Sabbah; specifically, the dwarf one who blows up peopleís heads. His primary killing method was to paralyze people with needles, skitter up their backs, grab their faces and detonate their heads. Assassin had no qualms with abandoning Efrem, as his former Masterís aesthetics were an aggravating burden upon the deformed Assassin.

When Team Caster attacks him, Zouken easily defeats Darnic, and is interrupted from killing him by Hayatoís visit. Team Caster escapes, and Zouken speaks with Hayato about Team Rider before needling Hayato about his dead parents. Zouken then sends Assassin away on an infiltration mission.

When Team Rider attacks Hayatoís house and retreats, Assassin stows away on Riderís train and hides in their ship. He waits for a good opportunity to kill Richards, but fails to find one due to the armyís constant vigilance. Ultimately, Assassin elects to try to kill Nadia, and after Team Saber and Hayato defeat Rider and his Master, Assassin paralyzes them all with his poison darts before trying to Zabaniya Nadia. This wouldíve been a chapter-ending cliffhanger.

Once Lancer is summoned and stops Assassin, Lancer looks at Assassin with pitying eyes. Pity is the one reaction that Assassin truly, absolutely despises. Assassin swears that heíll blast Lancerís rotten, pitying eyes clean out of his filthy skull and retreats.

Zouken later sends Assassin to shadow Ruler with the intent of assassinating Illiana. However, Rulerís Revelation ruins this attempt, and Zouken is forced to recall Assassin. As a result, he sends Assassin to warn Hayato and Nadia about Ruler, knowing that they wonít leave Team Einzbern alone.

Ultimately, Zouken and Assassin rush to Mt. Enzou upon learning that the Nazis are there. Zouken is accosted by Dominic and Risei, and Dominic and Zouken end up killing each other, as both were men consumed by their own obsessions.

Assassin sees Lancer holding off the Nazis and kills him with Zabaniya, reenacting Lancerís death at the machinations of Ephialtes. Assassin then moves further in the cave and encounters Team Saber and Hayato. He attempts to kill Saber as well and paralyzes him with needles, but his bloodlust and exultation at killing Lancer give him away, and Saber forces through the paralysis to impale them both, killing Assassin.

Team Church
Dominic DiAngelo, the Supervisor and his assistant, Risei Kotomine.

Dominic was the opposite of the standard Executor. Instead of having some form of faith and relying on a strong body, Dominic was a fairly weak and completely faithless Executor who relied on Mystic Codes he acquired throughout his missions to defeat his enemies. He once possessed faith in God, but lost it after his brother died in a mission gone horribly awry, as why would God allow a pious believer like his brother to die for nothing? As a result, Dominic aimed to use the Holy Grail to resurrect his brother. He allied with Efrem ostensibly to give Efrem the Grail in exchange for money, but planned to mind-control Efrem with a Mystic Code (the set of needles he takes particular care to retrieve in Chapter 6) and have Efrem make his wish, as Dominic is not qualified to hold the Holy Grail.

Then Zouken killed Efrem, took Assassin, and ruined everything.

Dominic fixated on Zouken as the one who ruined his plan, and ultimately pigeonholed himself on ďrecovering AssassinĒ as opposed to ďgaining the GrailĒ, thus paralleling Zouken, who lost his original goal and became fixated on a single step. He eventually loses Riseiís trust and support and dies killing Zouken with one of his Mystic Codes.

Risei is the ingenue of the War, constantly at the mercy of the machinations of others and only wishing to do his job properly. Initially, he trusts in Dominic as his superior and dislikes the frivolous Hayato. However, seeing Dominic grow increasingly obsessed with Zouken to the exclusion of his duties as the Supervisor disenchants Risei with him, and Risei ultimately abandons Dominic to act as he believes is right.

Risei follows Team Caster to the Matou mansion because he doubts Darnicís trustworthiness and also harbors doubts toward Dominic. He enters through the front door left ajar by Team Caster, and is nearly killed by Zoukenís home defense system before Hayato saves him.

Risei later attempts to meet with Hayato in secret to pay him back for saving his life and to reward him for defeating Rider, but encounters Amakusa along the way. Amakusa introduces himself as a fellow priest, and offers Risei confession. A troubled Risei accepts, and Amakusa counsels him to do what he feels is right. Risei continues onward, and sees Hayato being kidnapped by Caster. He encounters Nadia and grants her a Command Seal due to her role in defeated Rider, and tells her of Hayatoís predicament.

Risei later argues with Dominic over the Supervisorís behavior and obsession with Zouken, to the extent of ignoring Rider.

Ultimately, they head to Mt. Enzou when the Nazis attack. Dominic encounters Zouken and fights him, and Risei leaves him behind, as he realizes that it is too late for Dominic. He continues into the cave, protected by Oliphant, and reaches Hayato and Nadia to lead them to safety, thus repaying the life debt he holds to Hayato.

And thatís everything I recall. It took longer than I thought to write out. Itís not the story I promised, but hopefully itís entertaining nonetheless.


  1. ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
    Angels sing thee to thy rest, friend.

    On to better things. Thanks at least for sharing, this looks like it could've been a wild ride, so this is the next best thing.
  2. SeiKeo's Avatar
  3. Nuclear's Avatar
    SLN, False/Trinity. You will be sorely missed.