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Cursed by Fortuna

1st Grail War (AU) : The War for heaven's light

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So given there is no Grail War thread I decided I may as well put this here, as noted by the AU this is alternate universe (although I more conceive it as a parallel world that exists as a possible scenario around if the grail found was a different one. It forms my own interpretation of the 1st Grail War, an event which despite its significance we know very little about. Several things are changed here from the grail being the holy grail of king Arthur's myth, the exact details around who got the holy grail, and such being a little different.

However the biggest difference is in the grail war and grail itself, first, nobody wants to help anybody the grail was programmed by the Einzberns to have more backdoors and loopholes than it normally did in the Fate worlds (so they could cheat more effectively), they while designing the grail alongside the others figured out it could only grant 1 wish, thus they planned to kill off both the Makiri and Tohsaka then take the grail for themselves with the wish. The Tohsaka family sought to beat the other founders and take the grail to raise their status and attain true magic elevating them to the levels of legends in the clock tower, the Makiri sought the grail for humanity’s salvation and to bring back Justeaze (in Zolgen's case).

In the case of the 4 others rather than just anybody, a group of 10 "low-risk candidates" were selected as the additional hands to summon servants and of the 10 which were contacted, they narrowed it down to 4 and contacted them as they felt they wouldn't be too dangerous and would be greedy or foolish enough to be drawn in. The four were informed 6 months before the grails' summoning when they were contacted including the protocol of summoning servants and catalysts, and they arrived at the site of Fuyuki with all but one has managed to secure some catalyst which the founders didn't expect (despite it being a bit of a rush for Archer's master).

The 4 mages were mostly in for themselves with only 1 being willing to cooperate and believing the founders, the other 3 mages saw the ruse, or jumped at the opportunity and wanted to kill everyone and steal the grail, or make their own wish (as they didn't buy that the founders would let them make a wish and that there was enough for 7 wishes), or gain control of the ritual for themselves using a servant. Heaven's light is also a code name given to the grail and its true role, they claim it has to do with holding the power/light of heaven, but in actuality, it represents that this ritual was a ploy to get back the Einzbern's 3rd true magic.


Saber - Sir Percival :: Summoned with the grail itself as the catalyst by Zolgen Makiri and partly bound to act in defense of the grail and to protect it from those unworthy (so he claims). He is noted to have some degree of knowledge about the grail and its nature (due to highly symbolic visions which he interprets (but he sometimes interprets them wrong and thus misjudges the nature of the future or the grail)). He has repeatedly considered trying to get Zolgen to exit the war and give up on his bid to revive Justeaze or gain immortality (and to just do some good in the world), but is held back due to his own inner desires for the grail and his own nature as a servant (and experience as a knight serving a king) making him unwilling to question his master even if his advice may lead to good.

Despite his power he is noted to be held back as while his spear is capable, he is only able to partly unleash his sword's power and it's noted the attack he uses from it "isn't a fully-fledged activation of a noble phantasm" suggesting that he either misunderstands or rejects and doesn't use the sword's true name.

Archer - Teucer :: He was technically summoned with Ajax as well, but his brother isn’t actually a fully-fledged servant being as the grail never was designed for a duo servant to be summoned (normally they would be summoned as a duo), as such his brother acts more like “an indistinct mass of magical energy seemingly taking the shape of a large man" which protects Archer whenever anyone goes to attack him (this applies to a lesser extent to sneak attacks or attacks from multiple angles as it can only cover one position and protect what archer perceives). However, using the true name of his second noble phantasm (Rho Aias) would give away what this mass is and force it to temporarily take shape into a human form and reveal the true name it. Due to Archer being a glitched servant and him technically being two servants in 1 he costs a lot more energy to support than a normal servant, he is considered a powerful combatant due to his ranged abilities and the unusual protection he has.

Summoned with a bloody spear excavated from a site around the ancient ruins of Asia Minor (they were likely going for Hector or Achilles), but instead it was Ajax, but due to Ajax not qualifying as Archer and the grail only having an Archer spot left (due to how the other servants were summoned and their class eligibility (Caligula must be Berserker due to him only qualifying as such, Guan Yu can be Lancer or Rider, Viking must be Rider or Berserker (thus Viking must be Rider and Guan Yu must be Lancer), Percival must be Saber or Lancer (thus he is Saber due to Guan Yu being Lancer), and Caster being set and Ajax not qualifying the catalyst summoned "the servant with the most compatibility for this relic next to Ajax" which happened to be Teucer his own brother, but due to Teucer and Ajax being side by side and the relic, Ajax partly manifested as they are supposed to be a duo.

Lancer - Guan Yu :: Summoned with a poisoned arrow with small traces of blood, due to having been struck with a poisoned arrow he has a conceptual weakness to them. Noted to have high divinity (due to being equated to a god), knowledge with Taoist and Buddhist arts and practices (but he can't use spells just practice skills like meditation, breathing, zen and such). He has a noble phantasm based on his spear which is noted to be powerful and hold the capability to freeze cover objects in ice. The ice is noted to hold the unusual property of behaving almost like a leech, draining magical energy at a set rate (a proportion of the target's maximum magical reserves) to strengthen itself, the more magical energy the target has the stronger and more sturdy the ice becomes. Percival posited this ability of his spear may have been what allowed him to defeat Chiyou in battle.

The 2nd noble phantasm he has is manifested as a skill that empowers him in defense of doors or passageways (especially leading to temples) and when fighting spirits (including heroic spirits/servants). As a Rider or with a better master this would be a full noble phantasm which upon dismounting his steed and standing guard so long as he doesn't leave position (meaning he can't chase foes down or deal with ranged attackers) he would gain a boost in all physical parameters on top of dealing extra damage to spiritual beings. His 3rd / final noble phantasm as Lancer (as Rider he would have his horse) is the Oath of the Peach Tree Garden which lets him use it to invoke Zheng Fei's tactical wisdom or Liu Bei's charisma and political knowledge for a set amount of time. Lancer is noted to be a very strong servant and compliments well his own master's skills in Taoist-based magecraft.

Rider - Viking :: Summoned with a magical horn handed down by his master's family for years since they found it. Based on analysis of its mystery once could cure disease, heal wounds, revitalize individuals, and expel most poisons (at this point it can cure moderate mundane poisons, and heal some wounds, but most of its power has been lost), they speculate the origin of this horn's power may have originated from it being made from a unicorn's horn, but the carvings on the horn imply use by Scandinavian cultures. Rider as a servant has his sword which can range from an average to very strong anti-army noble phantasm, his horn which can heal wounds and cure poison, lift or weaken curses, and cure disease, and his ship (which is noted to be fairly useless in Fuyuki due to being mostly for transport and having little offensive purposes at first glance).

Rider is noted to be powerful enough to fight on the level of a Knight class servant (without boosts in parameters) and his a fair hand even with his bare hands. If mental interference is used then due to him having mad enhancement it is likely that even with magic resistance its effects will still apply and will send him into a warrior's rage (as despite few references to him being a berserker he does share a name with the Viking people/culture) which would also boost his parameters. Even without parameters boosted he was able to match Berserker enough (not in pure strength but in combat ability) that his master ordered the use of his noble phantasm (a costly mistake as that triggered Rider's warrior rage and mad enhancement). With parameters boosted Rider is noted to be able to match Caligula's strength, but in sheer skill and combat ability dwarfed him with his sword and was noted to be in sheer stats the strongest servant in the war in that state.

Caster - Saint Walpurga / Walburga :: Summoned without a catalyst [implied to possibly have had the summoning influenced by Alaya as to prevent the Einzbern regaining the 3rd true magic or worse the Wild hunt getting the grail] Caster is an unusual caster servant who can weaken spirits and magecraft through an effect derived from her noble phantasm. She can enact a large-scale bounded field, compared in strength (although not function) to that of a reality marble. This bounded field magnifies the power of her dampening effect on spirits and magecraft (especially those of Norse or Greek/Roman backgrounds) throughout the whole area. The energy drained is siphoned into a shadowy phantasmal beast going by the name Kreimhild Gretchen which assaults foes within using thin tube-like tendrils and shadowy spears made of magical energy which have slight homing abilities. However, this noble phantasm may only be enacted or remain active during the night.

Caster is otherwise skilled in sacraments of the church and due to the way her saint skill manifested, she automatically recovers health at an accelerated rate even for servants (this healing is partly covered by the grail as a skill and only a costs little additional od from the master than normal) (she could heal from a nearly lost or badly damaged limb or recover from a major beatdown in a single day (24 hours) if the master supplied the od, this effect includes accelerating the rate at which magecraft like curses based on dealing damage over time are weekend or dispelled. Perhaps in exchange for these abilities her abilities to construct mystic codes are limited (which most being noted to be very weak or useless against humans) and her territory creation is only C+ (with it being stronger against spirits and mages). Caster is not traditionally a strong mage but does represent a threat if in alliance with others and Assassin in particular seems wary of her.

Assassin - Hassan-i-Sabbah? (fake name) / The Wild Hunt (True) :: The byproduct of an earlier failed attempt by the Einzberns to get their true magic back they attempted to amalgamate souls of Homunculi of the same type and integrate spirits into them to create a sort of organic computer which eventually become as strong as a phantasmal beast and thus become a creature of spiritual rather than physical existence (thus allowing them to discard their flesh and become a manifested soul) which due to the tie with Gaia from the spirits would be able to maintain itself despite phantasmal beasts having retreated to the revere side of the world. They would also be able to use this phantasmal terminal to perform the 3rd true magic hopefully as its insight into the soul would be superior to their own and thus the knowledge of how to manipulate it more naturally than them.

Despite this technique's failure (which they spent a few hundred years on) they saw and knew enough that the theory was sound and they elected to take a modified version of this idea and apply it to the grail war, using a lot of catalysts and spirits which had been shaped into the image of historical figures tied to the wild hunt they summoned an amalgamate that was the hunt itself (granted some like Caine who are still alive aren't part of it at all). The majority of the spirits within are nameless but can be summoned as warriors and weakened (two ranks) versions of their noble phantasms and skills can be used by them. Up to 15 spirits can be manifested at once but aside from the named ones they have only E ranks in all parameters (the spirits (called echos or shades) based on heroic spirits are weakened by 2 ranks, they may not act the same or look the same as they are based on the collective unconscious of those figures rather than the truth.

They are lead by Henre the hunter (Odin/Woden in another name) who is noted to be very powerful for an assassin (he has A rank strength, B rank endurance, C rank agility (which is fundamentally A on his mount)), and is a capable fighter with a spear or matchlock rifle. However there is a limit to the number of spirits under his control and if they die he must kill other humans, part humans, or homunculi to replenish them (but he cannot replenish a shade if they are destroyed their fake noble phantasms and skills are lost to him). He is noted to be very clearly cheating the grail as despite his presence concealment (rank B) and the ability to generate fog wherever he goes, he is not a typically Assassin as while he can kill masters quite well, he also can go against other heroic spirits (although he isn't quite a match for a knight class in a 1 on 1 fight (but with several capable backup shades, he can outmatch them without a noble phantasm)).

Berserker - Caligula :: Summoned with an unknown catalyst by Nagato Tohsaka, he originally considered summoning Beowulf, but considering the man never went mad, nor was he ever recorded to have many feats fighting humans he thought a powerful and famous servant symbolic of madness a better candidate (as they would have better compatibility with the berserker class). It was intended to empower the already strong servant as Berserker and steamroll the completion, this was fairly effective on night 1 where Berserker's sheer power, physical abilities, and his noble phantasm (which shut down the use of noble phantasms by interfering with the servant's ability to focus and use them [and nearly sending multiple into a frenzy and killing everyone around]) made waves.

Masters and Participants:

Master of Saber - Zolgen Makiri: The Master of Saber and the “victor” of the 1st grail war, who discovered the limitation of the greater grail on granting a path to the root (that it required 7 servants worth of energy and a servant to hold the grail), the limitation of the wishes the grail can grant (that the master has to know how to grant them), and the only true master to survive the whole affair. A mage of the water element with a trait of absorption he converted himself into worms and exists as a collective of them forming a hive mind. Even still he is relatively kind despite holding the willingness to do amoral deeds as expected of a mage, when choosing a new host he tends to be picky as to not be “too cruel” or take the life of someone with something to lose or who doesn’t deserve it, moreover he ensures the death of them is swift before taking over their body fully as he finds inflicting pointless suffering a crime of the highest order.

He allied with Caster and their master in the grail war and despite Saber being limited at first took down technically superior foes and survived Assassin’s assault. He was a renowned mage who knew both Da Vinci and Paracelsus, and because of this connection, he also tutored Celeste admiring her kindness and unwillingness to do the wrong things even for the right reasons and her commitment to her late brother’s dream. In that respect, he considered them not only a valued student who could go far but a trusted friend. He was devastated and filled with self-loathing (for involving her in the war) and rage after her death (towards Assassin for killing her and making her kindness worthless by killing those under her care).

Zolgen is a talented mage who is skilled in water elemental magecraft, familiar control and techniques like shared perception or manipulating and subjugating spiritual creatures (like the worms his mind and soul occupies or servants), curses, botany (witchcraft and potions), and Entomomancy/Entomancy (among other information like knowledge of rituals, ritual design, and such he picked up over the years). He is a powerful mage and is considered one of the most dangerous masters in the grail war overall. However, Zolgen also is someone whose doubts over his ideals have begun to weigh on him more over time and he wonders if the dream he and Justeaze (who he seeks to revive) is even possible. This has worsened with the dreams of seeing Camelot’s fall and after Celeste’s death.

Master of Archer - Foivos Bakirtzis: A magus from Greece with the elements of fire and earth whose origin is that of growth. He was selected as one of the 4 chosen mages for the holy grail war ritual by the criteria of the 3 families. His family has had a bit of a rocky history and been in a decline with the advancement of metallurgy and metalworking which impacted their alchemy and its effectiveness. He is a member of the department of mineralogy at the clock tower and practices alchemy in junction with that of earth and fire magecraft, he has spent a small fortune in varying metals and even the purchase of ores like Mythril whose value is said to surpass that of gold for a small amount. His motives for competing in the grail war are generally thought to be superficial, like the improvement of his family's craft or money to pay off debts. He is noted to be at times reckless in his desire to grow and improve his family's magecraft and prospects and has a bad habit of developing tunnel vision when he comes close to a goal or has set his eyes on something.

Master of Lancer - Li Xú: A mage hailing from Hubei Region of China and a student of the Taoist magus organization with roots there and power extending throughout China as a whole. The group is considered rivals with the Clock Tower and a more middle-eastern magus group and has several departments ranging from the arts of alchemy (which was originally a separate institution but they were overtaken and merged into the
Heavenly Path
by around 800-900 AD), Chinese astrology, Chinese rituals, Qigong (similar to breathing and walking), Divinity, Folklore, Zen and martial arts (closely related to Qigong), Medicine, and more generalized skills. The group goes back to before the AD calendar and was once responsible for the creation of early Feng Shui methods which still is studied in the organization, but has since become its own organization in the country called
Wahuang of the Earth

He is a member of their department of alchemy and studied in the department of folklore, like most in the group is also trained in martial arts as they are rather central to many arts taught in the institute. Li was born with the element of flame under the sign of the Horse. He is rather determined to prove himself as superior to the Tohsaka who he considers "fools who learned a trifle then left" and earn glory for his organization by showing up the mages of the Clock tower. The relic for Guan Yi he pilfered from the department of folklore to gain the grail (assuming that should he win the grail and come back with it they would forgive him this slight and if not then he would likely be dead anyway).

Li wasn't originally selected to participate in the war, but he was an outsider who managed to the scent of something amiss (due to the Tohsaka's meddling with the ley lines of Fuyuki and ramblings of them working with the Makiri line who had suddenly moved to Fuyuki from Hokkaido which they settled in due to being nearest to their home of Russia where they were driven from. This combined with circumstantial evidence of either correspondence or activity from the Einzberns made him suspect a large-scale ritual of some sort was either planned or afoot. Li then managed to catch someone heading to Fuyuki and managed to infiltrate his mind and gather intelligence one the grail war. He then killed the original master candidate, stole his relic from the folklore department, and then turned up in Fuyuki.

Due to the ritual needing 7 to conduct it and him having sensitive information which he potentially could commune to sources they didn't wish to be aware of it (which due to the Clock tower themselves not being aware of the ritual at this stage the Tiānshàng Tao could overtake the ritual site through legal or supernatural means and thus control the heaven's feel ritual) they allowed him in (with the plan to either kill him or remove his memories after the fact and then approach the clock tower to inform them and protect their ritual from other organizations).

Master of Rider - Amdi Björnsson: A magus hailing from the Scandinavian family of the Björnssons, a lot of information about his past is unknown. He is well known for his reserved nature and seeming lack of emotion, which has been found both admirable and nerving by his peers. In actuality Amdi is not a son of the Björnssons by blood, he was created using the genetic material of the Björnssons as a base and then hybridized with the genetic material of a Brown bear in a modified version of the typical methods used to create a chimera.

After several attempts a successful hybrid was created which expressed the desired traits yet still was believably human, then he was grown into a full adult through chemical, hormonal, and medicinal regiments combined with magecraft. A false background was given and he was taught the basics of Runes to uphold appearances. To this end, Amdi only knows or bothers with Rune of enhanced speed, Ehwaz rune (combined with his inhuman physiology he is described as being able to break through stone barriers with ease), Berkano rune, and the Ath nGabla spell. The bulk of his magecraft training was based around his condition, Amdi was then made host to the spirits of his dead Viking ancestors alike the rest of his family.

However whereas in their case the number of spirits they host is small and they retain a sense of self in Amdi's case the number is around 24 to 30 and he due to his young age (he is only around 8 now and was 2.5 when they put the spirits in him) and lack of life experience (he was kept asleep during being grown and merely impacted with memories but not emotions associated with such) he has no sense of self. In that respect Amdi is a machine, a mere tool made to obey commands and serve the will of his family and ancestors. The bulk of his magecraft training is based around channeling and controlling his ancestors within him to enact spells. Specifically, he has trained as to be able to channel their emotions and memories to fuel his warrior’s rage/madness technique (a berserker state where the more they are hurt the more angry and powerful they get)).

Amdi induces this rampage by a spell which involves imbibing a mixture of a mature bear’s blood (wolf’s blood works too, but he uses bear’s blood as he is part bear and in Japan where he is fighting he was informed by his ancestors’ that while “the spirit of the wolf is weak, the spirit of the bear is strong here" (as bears were seen as savage monsters which could kill a dozen men even there and wolves were even then on the decline), spilling a part of his own blood (even a small cut works), Amanita muscaria, wearing the hide of a bear (or a wolf), and invoking the names of Magni for his strength, Modi for his courage, Thor for his might, and Odin for his blessing (him to watch over their victory and his protection from spells). Once enacted this effect can only fade when all enemies to the user are dead, and anyone who attacks a foe or is perceived as an enemy is targeted (with the user having very little if any self-control over how much force they use or their own actions).

Amdi is speculated to have been created as to be a weapon by the Björnsson family to get revenge on "a certain group of worthless blue bloods" that come from Finland of which they clashed and were bested by in the past (an event they evidently have neither forgotten nor forgiven). Aside from his spells, Amdi has greatly enhanced strength, endurance, and agility (due to stronger musculature and bones (to the degree of rivaling reinforcement without any spells being used)) and sense of smell and hearing (his hearing is twice as powerful as a human's own, and his sense of smell is 2100x stronger than a human's); Amdi's element is earth and his origin is perseverance. What he would wish for on the grail is hard to say, but it would likely be something his family's or the spirits with him desires rather than anything he would think of as he is merely a tool to the will of others who command him.

Master of Caster - Celeste Marat: A compatriot and close friend of Zolgen Makiri before the grail war, she is the sister of the late Jean-Paul Marat and sought refuge in London to escape the French revolution. Deemed as abnormal by the clock tower in which she studied due to her nature she was oft commented to "have a mentality unsuited for a mage" due to her kind nature and is more thought of as a spell caster. She is soft-spoken and timid, but can be firmly stubborn when her mind is set on something, she met Zolgen who befriended her as he reminded him of Paracelsus with her kindness and Da Vinci with her desire to do good in the world. She possesses the element of Life and an origin of Restitution. In part because of her mentality and her desire to improve the world and help people with her magecraft rather than pursue the root and her abnormal element she was shunned by many and after graduating general fundamentals was shunned to the department of individual fundamentals.

Thanks to Zolgan's advice and teachings she was able to learn the manipulation of the water element and water magecraft which she showed great promise in despite not conforming to her element directly (she mainly uses it to draw out poisons venoms, lift curses, and heal wounds (due to the properties of water as being of healing and purifying in popular culture and especially with relation to Christianity)) and also was able to learn a limited amount of skills taught in the department of botany. Celeste was recruited into the grail war at Zolgen's behest as he wanted her to witness the miracle of the holy grail and show her "the future of humanity she and her brother sought", yet at the same time, he was reluctant to expose her to more tragedy and death that the grail war may entail.

Caster describes her as similar to priests and nuns tased with anointing others or performing reconciliation, and her shock she took to the sacraments of the church with ease displaying the ability to perform a limited enactment of a spell based on reconciliation which cancels out magecraft or curses after a mere single day. Caster theorized that given time after she was taught in a spell based on the anointing of the sick that she could have been one of, if not the greatest spiritual surgeons and healing-based magi in the world. She was known as "Celeste-onii-san" or "Sister Celestine" by the children and people of Fuyuki which she healed with holy water given by Caster and her magecraft.

Master of Assassin - Isolde Einzbern: The representative of the Einbern family named for ice and battle, she is a capable alchemist but is relatively united for battle. She mostly serves as the brains using techniques like thought acceleration and memory partitioning in order to come up with plans and execute them. She is also able to perform healing magecraft as all homunculi of her type are programmed with, however, this is of little use to Assassin. She is considered cold and aloof even by other magi and was made specifically for the grail war by the Einzbern family in Germany.

Master of Berserker - Nagato Tohsaka: One of the three who worked to create the holy grails despite being credited as "one of three in actuality he merely provided the land for the grail, most of the logistical work regarding linking the ley lines to the heaven's feel ritual was done by his daughter Aki working with the other three families. In actuality the Einzbern family in particular use the terms "The ritual's caregiver" or "The 3rd father/founder of the heaven's feel ritual" mostly as an insult or backhanded compliment in reality they are saying "some help you are" or "your job is to make sure things don't break with the ritual we and the Makiri's made in case this happens to go on to a 2nd or 3rd bout". Essentially they are glorified janitors in the Einzbern's mind and their job is to contact somebody if the grail acts weird, their opinion however was slightly improved by Aki who showed far more talent in magecraft than her father.

As such they regard his scholarship with Nagato as a fluke and are very confused as to why they or Zolgen weren't chosen instead. Despite being raised as a Christian and taught in jewel and elemental magecraft by Zelrech, he is far more capable in arts like formal craft, breathing and walking (he is not at the level of exorcising spirits with a mere clap), and martial art techniques like zen with ties to Shinto or Buddhist beliefs. As such, Nagato was "decorated" with the rank of Fes: Festival, due to his ties with Zelrech, and lives up to that in terms of his mentality. However, in terms of skill in magecraft Nagato is barely a Frame by the Clock tower's standards, and his rank is mostly a formality. In terms of combat ability, his greatest strength would be his skill with a blade or in martial arts, a fact which has not helped in the Einzbern's opinion of him. He possesses a wood element and was born under the sign of the Ram/Goat.

Aki Tohsaka - The prodigious daughter of Nagato, blessed with 13 circuits, but all of exceptional quality she is considered to have skilled unbefitting of a mere 2nd generation magus and is thought to have skill more suited for a 4th or even 5th generation magus. Her mentality like her father's is considered well suited for a mage. While not as skilled in martial arts and has no real training beyond the basics in techniques like breathing and walking her skill in other fields is superb. She is considered a highly capable user of formal craft specifically in elemental conversion, is cable of the usage and creation of bounded fields, and is far more able with jewel magecraft to the degree of being able to actively use them in battle and has dabbled in the creation of mystic codes or integrating them in bounded fields (effectively anchoring a bounded field to a jewel to power it or being able to throw a jewel and have that jewel project a bounded fielding in a radius around itself where it lands).

She is considered the real founder among the Tohsaka by the Einzberns and even Zolgen Makiri who tends to be more polite towards Nagato, due to his contributions admits she contributed far more to the grail's creation than him, with Aki actively working to bind the ley lines to the ritual and fuel the grail to be able to connect to the throne and summon servants. She is technically not involved in the war but is helping her father to try and win for the sake of advancing their family's status. She has a Metal & fire element and was born under the sign of the rooster. Much to her father's protest she has begun to pivot the family toward the western (or the similar Japanese) elements and the ways of the clock tower but has agreed to uphold their traditions of martial arts.

The Greater Grail - The consciousness of the grail which has been continuing to fulfill the role of the lesser grail in King Arthur's myth in given Percival visions to finally shape him into being fully worthy of the grail during his time as its keeper. It has also been working to ensure certain elements do not get the grail and seems to have an interest in Saber's master as well.

Arthur Pendragon - Mentioned to a "virtual manifestation" of the real heroic spirit within Saber's mind. Brought about by the lesser grail being near the greater grail being nearly filled, while an "imperfect copy" of him was present. The grail called it to discuss matters with Percival as it recognized the danger that Assassin represented should their wish be granted [mentioned to be due to the "kindness of its maker"]. He was summoned to discuss matters and hopefully prod Galahad into finally using his sword to its fullest extent and thus fulfill his duty as guardian of the grail.

Servant Status:

Saber: Deceased, died at the end of the grail war's 3rd and final night due to the side-effects of the usage of his sword noble phantasm's true power and exhausting his own magical energy.

Archer: Killed By Saber on Night 2. Only survived that long in the fight thanks to his unique personal skill Nil Desperandum (if we were talking after the publishing of Ulysses and WW1 / WW2, where that became more part of the modern consensus it would become a noble phantasm (shutting out mental interference or distraction from pain or sensation internal and external except by other powerful noble phantasms or very strong skills)) which shut down his own fear and despair and let him process things logically.

Lancer: Forced to retreat after being shot in the Arm by archer then attacked by Assassin before finally getting killed by saber on night 1.

Rider: Killed By Assassin due to his wounds and exhausting all his mana without a master. Managed to land a powerful last blow against him and figure out who he was. This due to the exact mechanics of how the sword counts beings in a fight* dealt severe damage to Assassin and infuriated him that the Einzberns had dismissed Rider’s blade as a threat without explaining what it did or considering how it may apply to him. However, drained of energy and without his horn or a master he perished at Assassin’s spear claiming that even if he fell “victory would never be his”.

* The devil is in the details of how Angurvadel counts people in a fight. It defines a person as a distinct being that is its own individual and identity that can exist separate from the larger whole and has a distinct form or soul. A gestalt like Jack the ripper (assassin) is counted as one being, as none of the souls which make it up are individual enough to exist on their own merit, Hassan of the hundred faces is a collective of 100+ people because each personality has its own chunk of his soul and abilities distinct from each other and can have their own physical form. The Wild hunt is more like Hassan of the hundred faces in this respect than Jack the ripper (assassin) and thus the spirits of the wild hunt are counted as separate individuals part of a larger group and not a collective of 1 being made of many distinct individual pieces. Thus instead of a fight with 3 people, it was a fight with over 1000 or so by the blade’s definition.

Caster: Killed by Assassin, after Rider’s defeat and the defeat of its master, had her existence and some of her magical energy consumed to fuel Assassin and help it recover from wounds inflicted upon it. Rough time of death: Middle of Night 3 of the Grail War.

Assassin: Killed by Saber by the full power of his sword as a noble phantasm for the 1st time. In doing so a miracle was enacted, from a hypothetical future, the
of humanity was revealed in full. A light far outshining the past which proclaimed humanity’s triumph over the stars and them finally growing to the point of no longer needing “the myths of old”. A conceptualization of a prayer known as
which passed in the eyes of the hero king of old. It is similar in nature to a certain star that proclaimed “the birth of one who would divide time and relegate the gods and their authority to that of the past”.

In essence, once used it declares the lack of need for humanity to have heroes or figures of hope for they have achieved that hope and in the absence of need the foundation of the mystery, that of the saint graph which composes the core of heroic spirits breaks down. In many ways, this is similar to a king of heroes who worked tirelessly to better mankind before passing from this world fulfilled or even a god of myth who labored for 6 days, before satisfied with his work he rested the 7th. It is the proclamation that the stars of humanity, having fulfilled their purpose may finally lay down and rest. In doing such it is an ultimate level attack that only those summoned by the world to defend human history, the beasts who confirm themselves which would challenge humanity, a fully-fledged god, or things beyond this world could withstand the might of and live.

An EX rank unconditional assault upon spirits, based upon them being of beings of the past and a creature of mystery and myth rather than modern history. In this way, it is only fitting that the blade was named the grail sword and was connected to what may be the very same grail held by the son of the Lord. This blade encapsulates the miracle of the grail, the power to shape the world and its future (to make wishes) like the 2nd (as a wish could create another parallel world or timeline) and to manifest the soul like the 3rd. But the use of this power due to assaulting all heroes of the past ensures Saber’s own destruction and moreover due to having achieved his purpose and relinquished his wish by accepting the past, removes his ability to be Saber or Lancer anymore. However in theory it may be possible that in an abnormal circumstance he may satisfy the class which guards the gate, the class which oversees the war, or even the class of those who would save mankind. Regardless before this light, even one of Assassin’s power was helpless as the shades faded from his grasp and he was laid to rest once again.

Berserker: Under his master’s orders he used his noble phantasm to attempt to drive Rider insane. Instead of working like it seemed to before (even if the effect was muted), Rider underwent and displayed mad enhancement and in that state demonstrated great power, yet also surprising control outstripping Berserker’s own combat abilities. By Rider’s own blade he met his end as he couldn’t match him with both his enhanced abilities and battle continuation.

Master Status:

Zolgen Makiri: Dead, took his own life 18 months after 1st grail war’s completion after receiving a vision from the grail as his wish, as his other wishes were either those that required a servant to hold the grail or were of a nature that he didn’t know how they would be granted.

Foivos Bakirtzis: Killed by Assassin using a shade at the beginning of Night 2.

Li Xú: Allied with Master of Caster in a bid to survive the grail war and planned to betray both of them and get the grail. The last of the 3 killed and consumed by Assassin after Rider’s death. Rough time of death: Middle of Night 3 of the Grail War.

Amdi Björnsson: Deceased, killed by a shade controlled by Assassin in the middle of night 3 while he and Rider fought (he only survived night 2 due to Viking’s Dis horn).

Celeste Marat: Was killed and consumed by Assassin shortly after Rider and Caster’s death, she despaired greatly before her death as she believed that Assassin in his cruelty would not hesitate to consume all those under her protection to fuel herself. Sadly she was correct in this assumption and the mysterious disappearance and death of "the good Lady Celestine" and those under her care would become a topic that would be rumored about for years in Fuyuki. Rough time of death: Middle of Night 3 of the Grail War.

Isolde Einzbern: Brutally murdered by Assassin who was furious with their incompetence which nearly saw him killed due to not thinking things through (and he also was planning to kill them anyway as he didn’t trust them and anticipated betrayal from them, plus he was a little livid they were holding him back from fighting so much). Used to fuel himself and heal as much as he could in anticipation of fighting Saber.

Nagato Tohsaka: Fought against Amdi Björnsson with his daughter, who was badly injured in the bout. Working together with her magecraft and his martial arts skill (and a bit of formal craft) they were able to reproduce and effect compared with a mastery of breathing and walking to exorcise the spirits inside Amdi (likened to cutting the spirits inside with a materially intangible blade of mana and scattering their pieces like petals on the wind). Thinking the man dead or powerless Nagato turned to check on and help his daughter, before getting surprised by the still very much alive Amdi who knocked him down and crushed his skull before retreating.

Aki Tohsaka: Was involved in supporting her father in the fight against Amdi Björnsson when he and Rider broke through her bounded fields and invaded their home. For her trouble she had her radius in her left arm cracked, her left knee nearly disintegrated, damage done to her the muscular system of her right leg which rendered her unable to walk with the damage done to both legs and required puppet limbs to replace both legs in the end. Due to her father's death, she became head of the family and was also left with the task of replacing all the damage done to her manor and overseeing the repairs to Fuyuki using funds provided by the Einzbern family.


Day/Night 0: Preparations for the individual combatants in the grail war are made, locations for bases are selected, and tentative plans for the war are made. Zolgen meanwhile alongside Isolde who represents the Einzberns (and who he dislikes on principle as “a poor imitation of Justeaze”), and Nagato select the location for the initial summoning and layout a series of 4 basic rules for the war

1: Do not let others in the moonlight or mundane world know about the war. Do not excessively or purposely involve others in the war, if anyone, especially a mundane witness finds out, wipe their memories or kill them.
2: To preserve secrecy and for the sake of allowing downtime in the war all battles between servants and/or masters are to be fought at night.
3: All contestants and servants must stay and fight within the range of Fuyuki town with the exception of the Tohasaka and Makiri/Matou Estates just outside it, The Einzbern Manor, and the temple where the grail may manifest.
4: By entering this war anything is allowed and all outside rules become moot (geis agreements for alliances are canceled temporarily, the destruction of crests (an event frown upon or punished severely by varying magus organizations) is allowed, death of masters is expected, and allowed, taking other’s crests or magic circuits is allowable and any reprisal for these acts is disallowed as by formally joining or involving oneself with the war, you forfeit any right to pursue litigation over actions during the war by one of its contestants.)

After these rules are drafted into a formal agreement and will be stated before the rest of the masters tomorrow evening when they meet just after duck at the agreed location. All meet at the Einzbern forest and are told where to meet tomorrow night as planned beforehand.

Day/Night 1: Zolgen and the others depart to meet, Zolgen contacts Celeste and offers an alliance and advises that she retreat, especially if she summons Caster or Assassin as he fears when everyone else summons their servants with them all in the same place a brawl will occur. Once Assassin alongside the 6 others is summoned a large amount of fog manifests obscuring the area. Following Zolgen’s advice, Celeste falls back and uses the fog to escape with Caster managing to fight off a spirit sent by Assassin to follow them. Assassin sensing that he and the spirit were weakened by Caster relays this fact to Isolde who orders him, as a result, to fall back as to not draw more suspicion and try to gather information on who she and the other combatants are. Agreeing he sends several spirits to watch over the events at the summoning site.

Meanwhile, at the site of the summoning, a brawl has unfolded as Zolgen predicted Saber and Lancer get into a duel by Lancer challenging Saber as a “worthy foe”, while Archer managed to seemingly stop and attack from Rider through some spectral body of mana and falls back to a further range. Berserker manages to engage Rider in a fight and despite his greater strength seems about equal with the servant of the mount. Lancer’s spear is activated and his true name revealed in exchange Saber is covered in ice and due to his high mana bolstered by the grail struggles to break free.

This distracts Zolgen who was fighting off both Li and Amdi, thus letting them get in a blow on him, but he swiftly recovers with Nagato watching from the sides and Foivos annoyed at his servant dragging him from the battle’s epicenter. Lancer goes in for the kill but Archer under Foivos’ orders shoots him in the arm as he should be weak to it and they figure that whoever Saber is he would be an easier target than the powerful Guan Yu in a place where his legend is still strong. This stops Lancer and Berserker seeing the opportunity is ordered by Nagato to attack Lancer for which Li tries to retaliate but is cut off by Amdi, Berserker manages to land a powerful blow on Lancer but is stopped from going for the kill by a now freed Saber who protests his duel being interrupted.

Amdi meanwhile has fallen back to reconsider affairs slightly and seems distracted, Lancer and his master escape by Command seal, and Berserker now the target of Saber’s ire is outnumbered upon by Rider and Archer. This sees Nagato order Berserker to use his noble phantasm. While it does affect Saber he can push through thanks to the grail’s protection, Zolgen is far less affected due to mostly being made of insects thus mental interference and spells or abilities based on it work differently on him (but it does make his bugs more aggressive and harder to control himself or them), Rider seems to somehow be able to fight the effects fairly well, Amdi seems totally unaffected.

While Archer does nearly turn on his master he can fight it enough (partly due to being far enough from its epicenter that the effect has dampened enough for him to survive it) that he realizes that it is “a curse by Artemis” and quickly incapacitates his own maddened master and then quickly retreats out of range till both of them can recover. Ironically the worst one off aside from Foivos was Nagato as despite using his zen technique to try and cancel out as much of the influence as he could he was in the epicenter and the least adjusted or protected. As a result, he has to use a command seal to cancel the technique and order Berserker to retreat as he has been drained of a large amount of energy and to continue fighting against both the powerful Rider and Saber he would die. Saber and his master get into a brief bout with Rider, but he reaffirms his sheer strength and skill by easily beating and injuring Saber causing both to fall back and try to beat Rider later when they know more about him.

Later that Night: Rider and Amdi fall back to their base to dwell on things and bound by his desires for battle and with his master’s agreement, they agree to slay Berserker and Nagato tomorrow as their first foes. Archer, while Foivos is recovering, is attacked by spirits sent by Assassin, but like before he has a spectral being of mana defend him and bests them driving the spirit of murder off (not that he knows who it was, he suspects Caster or a master), this leaves Assassin with the knowledge that a spirit protects Archer but not which spirit of who it is (other than that with his knowledge from the throne that Archer is greek). Saber and his master elect to take out Lancer as Li is a capable mage and Lancer is a powerful threat who should still be weak.

This also aligns with Saber’s desire to finish his duel so it works out for them, Zolgen sends word to Celeste via one of his familiars to inform her and keep her assured of his survival. The duo manages to make their way to Lancer’s location which is rather easily found as despite not being totally obvious the bounded fields around the residence are Chinese in origin and that is only something Nagato of Li would use. They encounter Lancer in a battlefield littered with thick mist who had been harmed by a shade but thanks to his master’s use of another command seal he manages to dodge a lethal blow and drive off Assassin and his shades. Now suspicious of the spirits about Li accuses Saber and his master of them, citing Zolgen’s expertise with familiars, but they deny it.

Zolgen suspects Assassin as he knows Celeste wouldn’t do something like this nor would a servant she summoned based on compatibility to act like this, but the two times Assassin was present or may have been active there was an abundance of fog there. Lancer and Saber clash, but yet again it is the same story with Lancer outranging and outmatching Saber while Saber admits to his master mentally that he can’t use his sword noble phantasm fully, Assassin who had a spirit hanging back to watch and judge how hurt Lancer was and what he did if he lived notes and opportunity and behind Isolde’s back (as he was annoyed that Isolde didn’t let him take care of Archer personally and was fine with cowering like a scared animal) sends several shades and spirits to finish off whoever wins the fight.

However, Caster arrives and weakens the spirits and shades which causes Assassin discomfort, and at his master’s orders when he relays the situation they use a command seal to force him to fall back (which angers him as they could have had both Caster and 2 knight class servants out of the picture at once if he had been allowed to let loose). Caster explains the reason she was here is that her master was wandering about town seeking to help protect the civilians from other masters and servants and had also “been taking in the lost, those victims of the conflict, and other unfortunate souls” during the night. Caster sensed another spirit like the one which hunted her master and sought to fulfill her part of the bargain with Zolgen after informing her master and rushing here (although she leaves this bit out and cites she wanted to protect them from Assassin under her master’s orders).

Inspired by the fog which Assassin summons (which had been on Zolgen’s mind as he was stalling Li in a “magus duel” aka him stalling for time while trying to figure out how to help Saber) Zolgeb comes up with one of the ideas which had been based on a memory he saw which had been being transferred as Saber fought based on his life, that of the “Invisible air” technique his king used. Ordering Saber to keep his weapon pointed down and hold it carefully Zolgen makes a large amount of fog, at first Li assumes this is to identify where Lancer is swinging as his blade freezes bits of fog in the air leaving trails of ice. However, Zolgen reveals his hand when he has Saber create distance then rush forward (with his body low and his weapon immersed in the fog near the ground), swap weapons to his spear by manifesting it, then use his spear’s noble phantasm up close.

This takes Lancer by surprise as he was expecting a sword and its range, not that of a spear. This one blow allowed Saber to break Lancer’s footwork which had kept him at a distance and using his sword up close delivered 2 more strikes with his sword killing Lancer. Li, shocked at his servant’s defeat is swiftly taken out by Zolgen and despite wanting to kill him, Celeste who arrived during the bout interjects and wants to take him in. She claims that without a safe haven other masters wouldn’t hesitate to kill Li and Caster claims that she will keep Celeste safe and keep an eye on Liu. Unhappy with her choice but understanding he can’t fight against it Zolgen lets her take Li.

Meanwhile, Archer who sensed the clash of two servants and the nearby presence of a third leaves having become aware as a result of the conversation that Saber and Caster are allies. Archer advises Foivos when he awakes of this fact and posits the spirits may be Caster’s doing advising to kill her and shattered the alliance. However, Foivos disagrees and wants to stick with the original plan of killing powerful foes first, then moving onto the weaker ones, citing that Assassin and Caster are of no threat for now and only Berserker (who they can’t access in the Mansion beyond its bounded fields), Rider, or Saber should be worried about.

He then decides that since Saber and his master struggled to beat a weakened Lancer that Rider is their biggest threat and tells Archer tomorrow night to track Rider and his master and kill them. Archer doesn’t agree with this plan but acquiesces to his master’s demands. After this Saber’s master begins to get visions of the events around King Arthur and her downfall. This begins to make Zolegn begin to doubt himself as if she couldn't’ build paradise and save the world, can he really do it? Moreover, Saber seems uncertain that either his king or those like him (Justeaze) would want to be resurrected and may see it as an insult to what they did in life. Deciding to think on the matter Zolegn and Saber discuss other matters and prepare for the next night of the war.

Day/Night 2: At this point, Nagato and Aki are discussing matters related to the grail war and Saber, who both agree is a danger due to both his class and his master while she helps him recharge by transferring od in her jewels to him and he uses formalcraft to convert mana in the atmosphere into od (noted to be a basic and crude method of recharging energy, but effective enough for his tastes). While this is ongoing they are interrupted by Amdi who had decided to take the primitive, the two consider him, but decide to let him waste his energy trying to break their bounded fields while they plan their assault on a weakened foe. This kinda does and doesn’t work as Amdi under his ancestor’s advice (sometimes if a pick fails, use an axe (in reference to bypassing a locked door) and Viking’s thinking (he is rather smart or at least cunning despite appearances) they hit on the idea of smashing the bounded fields and hopefully taking the masters out in 1 shot.

Thus Viking summons his ship (he can summon it in the air, as air is a liquid and he can summon it “in or upon a liquid which it may travel” with a loose to moderate amount of control of where it spawns in. Thus they summon it overhead the Tohsaka manor with it falling directly onto the bounded fields and shattering them. Unfortunately, because the ship was summoned a little too much to the right, that it wasn’t aerodynamic thus tilted and began to fall with a slight rightward velocity, and that the brief amount of resistance from the fields caused it to slide right and increase that rightward velocity it didn’t smash the whole estate and kill Nagato and Aki. It did manage to smashed around ⅓ of the property, buried their entrance to the workshop under rubble, Kill Nagato’s wife / Aki’s mother (who is only loosely mentioned here and there), and terrified the Tohsakas (as they now had nowhere to run and this would draw everyone’s attention to them so even if they won against Amdi, they would have other servants on them).

This began to lure the attention of both Saber and Archer who made their way to the estate, because of this Assassin who had been spying on everyone saw an opportunity and decided to take out Foivos. He also wanted to kill Rider and Berserker, but Isolde uses a command seal to hold him back as she wants them to battle themselves out and then he can reap the rewards with minimal effort (this perceived slight of him as weak, again angers Assassin and he begins to greatly tire of his master at this point). Due to Archer’s master’s death, Archer shifts plans and aims to fulfill his wish when Saber and his master run across his path. Thus two different events begin happening at the same time.

Just inside/outside Fuyuki town (Zolgen, Saber, Archer): Realizing that Saber and Zolgen are unlikely to not sense his weakened state and less likely to let a weak foe getaway Teucer decides to make his final stand against them as that “was a fine enough compromise with his master’s will”. After one or two shots on Zolgen he realizes the man seems to be healing and thus reprioritized on killing Saber. Saber meanwhile in the path just outside Fuyuki is finding it hard to evade his shots and thus elects to take the fight back to the streets where he has more cover to dodge and can close the distance with Archer more. Saber finally manages to get back into town, although he has been nicked a few times and injured as a result.

Archer realizes that now his fight will be much harder as even from the rooftops (which due to this being a small town aren’t too high (2 stories max with only one or 2 structures in the town being higher) thus he can’t get a good shot in especially if Saber is weaving into side alleys and such, thus he elects to switch to ground level and lure the around, taking a run and gun strategy setting up shop on the main street and taking shots from around corners and such. Despite this plan, Zolgen is able to use his insects to act both as eyes in the sky (with them being small enough to not be mostly seen or cared about by Archer who is focused mostly on Saber) and eyes on the ground for ambushes. This does end up saving him and Saber once or twice, but this eventually gets to the point where in one or two strikes Zolgen attempts to bind Archer using the blade and crest worms with transmutation and botany (a curse to turn them into other organic material (plants)).

However once again Archer is protected by his protector, but this does stall him long enough that Zolegn orders another blade worm to attack him from another angle which this multi-pronged attack works and also forces Archer on the defensive with him not being able to him the small moving targets as well (he trained to hit human turrets at a range not things as small as a human hand) at mid to long-range. This still isn't making much of a dent in Archer and while he is running out of energy this Zolgen fears that he still isn’t sure how to counter that defensive power perfectly in a head-to-head battle. Thus he tries another tactic, they lure/drive Archer to the main street in a 4-way junction (behind, in front, and two allies to each side), and launch a 5-way attack with Zolgens worms from all fronts despite Archer having used a spear which he had as a sidearm and having his spectral companion protecting him, it can’t block everything nor can Archer dodge all the attacks. But this isn’t the bulk of the plan, launching from an elevated position in an overhead frontal attack Saber goes in to strike with his spear noble phantasm. Realizing the danger and having flashbacks of a similar situation Archer is forced to finally invoke Ajax’s shield which grants absolute protection from all thrown projectiles.

This in turn destroys Saber’s spear and thus rids him of it as a side-arm, however, it also greatly exhausts what little was left of Archer’s reserves and reveals his true name to the duo. Frustrated with himself for perhaps overreacting to a B rank noble phantasm (although he admits that he wasn’t sure if Ajax’s passive protection would have saved him) Archer decides to stake everything on his final shot with his bow (which is described as a noble phantasm which can only be used 1 time before his bow breaks but is very strong). Thus he makes his final bid to victory taking aim at Zolgen, knowing that with his bow’s power and range as an Anti-army technique that it probably will kill him regardless of regeneration, thus Saber will protect him and get it the way (he wins A or B about it in his head).

Using a partial activation of his sword noble phantasm (which according to Saber was something he couldn’t do before and proof of the bond which has grown between him and his master [visions happen not only based on time, but also upon battles being fought and are more frequent and in-depth]) Saber empowered by his master’s command seal to “Overcome Archer’s attack” manages to destroy the projectile (although Archer implies it was all he could manage as weakened as he was). The ladder inquires about Lancer’s sword and cites that though it remains incomplete he can tell the ideal which fuels it is “beautiful” and reminded him of the days before the war when heroes were forced to kill another and the gods toyed with men.

Saber and Zolegn then discuss Archer and briefly mourn the servant of the bow’s death as if not an ally, he was at least “a decent person” who felt no joy in the war he fought in. The two elect to police matter and meet with Caster requesting healing from Celeste and helping take in and/or remove the memories of those drawn into the battle. At this point, Zolgen is beginning to doubt himself even more and between Celeste’s desire to do good in the world and the idea of utopia being perhaps impossible and Justeaze not wanting to come back is wondering if he should maybe seek to preserve or better the world (like Saber seems to suggest) rather than remake it.

Tohsaka Manor (Amdi, Rider, Nagato, Aki, Berserker): In the Tohsaka manor wanting revenge for the attack on them Aki insists to go with her father and help take out Amdi swiftly before they retreat and think up a new plan. Despite his misgivings he allows it, and despite them having a slight advantage in the manor which doesn’t allow for Rider to use his sword as easily in its halls, it hardly matters as he and Berserker still match each other fairly well. Amdi amid a bout with Nagato is able to seemingly match the elder man and even surpass his strength and skill through mastery of the basics and some simple spells along with inhuman abilities. This comes to an end when slightly desperate after Amdi manages to evade a strike and break his daughter’s arm literally punching her across the room Nagato orders Berserker with a command seal to “Seize victory and use your noble phantasm”.

This goes horribly wrong immediately as rather than go insane and lose control Amdi reveals I have no self to go mad and uses a spell to boost his power further, ordering Rider to “let go and reveal your true strength”. This causes Rider to unleash his mad enhancement skill (which he has despite never going mad in his life as the Vikings are associated with warrior’s rampages and thus through his innocent monster ability he has the skill). Despite being both mad, due to the Vikings being associated with warrior’s madness and thus a bit better suited to control themselves from its influence (or the simple fact that Amdi and Rider only had 1 foe to fight thus they really had nothing to worry about and their skills were never about mastery of complicated techniques, just usage of the basics to their logical extremes, they really don’t suffer that much. Berserker is now totally on the back foot and Aki revealing her leg was hurt in the fall attempts to help but Amdi moves with speed compared to a heroic spirit and strikes her again (breaking the other leg) Nagato furious tries to fight, but just can’t keep up with the inhumanly powerful foe.

Thinking Nagato realizes that if what Amdi said was true then he has no personality, thus something else must be guiding him. Based on the idea of his past experiences with Japanese and Chinese customs he guesses spirits of ancestors may be at play. Hedging his bets that this is what made Amdi inhumanly powerful he figures that if he can exorcise them he wins. By this time Berserker and Rider have demolished most of the remnants of the Manor’s second floor and Rider using his sword and activating its noble phantasm by sheer instinct kills the servant of madness. However, still locked in madness as he brutally tears at his already dying foe, Aki badly injured but through a signal by her father and a mystic code they created to transmit thoughts while nearby understands her father’s plan.

Together they manage a combination of formalcraft and martial arts which manages to make what loosely is described as “A blade of mana which severed the immaterial bonds holding the spirits to the magus and then scattering them like leaves on the breeze” this breaks Amdi out of his magic spell and knocks him out. Thinking the man dead or helpless, the wounded and exhausted Nagato goes to check on and move his daughter hoping Rider will be busy over his master and not kill them. However, this is all interrupted when a still very alive and powerful thanks to his chimeric nature (which Nagato faintly suspects something similar to in his last moments) he gets up, wounded and weakened, but still capable and swiftly crushes the man’s skull and brains against the floor killing him.

Exhausted when Rider arrives the two leave Aki for dead as they fear more masters will come soon and they could easily finish her off, and they don’t want to expose themselves to the risk of dying to kill 1 girl. Rider then suggests they retreat and seeing his master’s wounded state (with several wounds from a sword and such from Aki’s spells) gives him Dis horn to recover and suggests they pick an easier target tomorrow and that he stays behind. Aki manages to recover enough to heal herself through some basic spells and reinforce her limbs making crutches to get to town and occupy a home abandoned in the conflict. Due to Assassin not being instructed to do anything to her as she is not involved in the war he doesn’t out of spite towards his master, and the others in the war are either dead or busy doing other things and don’t investigate the estate till she is gone.

Day/Night 3: At this point, the grail war is all nearing the end in the minds of the Einzbern and Makiri family as only 3 (2 for Saber) opposing servants remain. Assassin puts in place the plot he and Isolde made to kill Rider and Caster and they then plan to take out Saber and win the war. Rider meanwhile has sought out the location of Caster only to find a spirit lurking about in Fuyuki, thinking it Caster’s work he goes after it, unknowing to the fact that it is Assassin’s trap and that Caster is following as they figure that Assassin maybe a severe threat this late with the masters perhaps getting tunnel vision and only Saber and Rider assured of victory against him (between a Caster and an Assassin it’s likely that the Assassin may win especially given that Caster and her master aren’t the best in combat).

Rider nearly dies in the ambush set up by Assassin due to him killing his master but survives due to Caster arriving in time and his battle continuation. Caster uses her noble phantasm figuring that Assassin plans to kill the last major resistance in the war then kill her last where she would be near helpless in its mind. The area also weakens cats and the shades which behave like heroic spirits and their seemingly not quite noble phantasms (they are described as parodies of real noble phantasms and real heroic spirits) and empowers a phantasmal beast made out of shadowy tendrils Kriemhild Gretchen. This then in turn reveals her identity to Assassin who is preoccupied with being very weakened by the field and his shades and spirits being killed. Thus he is to his chagrin unable to stop Caster from healing Rider. When Caster mentions that Assassin seems to be or hold “the echo of a divine spirit’s power, from one of the great pagan faiths, of the Norse or celts” this clicks with Rider who sensed there was something familiar about Assassin’s power, and when he uses a rune of fire this is all but confirmed.

Rider then calls out Assassin “an approximation of the aspect Woden of the god Odin, the lord of the hunt” Assassin is annoyed at being found out, dismiss this as being of consequence as they continue to fight and wound the phantasmal beast so they can target Caster. Rider then proceeds to cite he knows their weakness and then charges headlong towards Assassin, taking injuries but living and using his sword on them. This does immense damage and is mentioned to kill “a great number of spirits and shades making up his being”. Against the aghast spirit, the fading Rider calls out that he is “A multitude of individuals which acts as one collective. But his master seemed to have believed him to be several indistinct pieces which formed one being” Angrvaoall identified him thusly as many people and thus blazed as though he were in a battlefield of 1000 foes rather than 3.

Furious that his master who identified him as Viking last night didn’t bother considering how his sword would interact towards him kills the weakened foe, he proceeds to slay Caster, not risking consuming her as she may harm him due to her essence (Saint Graph) contradicting his own. He then sends a shade back to Isolde feigning loyalty and reporting Caster and Rider’s death and when they mention where the grail will manifest and produce the lesser grail swiftly kills Isolde for both their incompetence and their cowardice. Assassin then and consumes Isolde to recover his own energy and the spirit he lost. He then repeats this with Celeste and those under her care before making way to the cavern underneath the temple outside town where the greater grail will manifest.

Saber who sensed the conflict arrives, but it is too late and he and Zolegn find the location of Celeste and Caster desolate, and Assassin’s magical energy strewn about. Furious Zolgen and Saber elect to head to where the grail is manifesting which Saber senses due to his connection with it. This is particularly hard for Zolegn who blames himself for bringing Celeste into the grail war at all and is only continuing onwards in the hopes of redeeming himself and his regret at ever having helped make the heaven’s feel ritual at this point. Arriving the two are met with a weakened, yet still very strong Assassin and the around 10 or so shades he still has left alongside “a not significant number of normal spirits”. Suspecting he ate the others Saber calls him out on his monstrous behavior, but Assassin claims to not be a heroic spirit and as such isn’t bound by their rules or morals.

The two clash and despite a promising start the number of foes including several on the level of weak to average servants and Assassin overpower Saber, and despite taking out a few with his sword and usage of it as a noble phantasm he can’t beat Assassin’s approximation of Gungnir even with his master’s aid to empower him with a command seal. Thus he nearly dies and out of a sense of irony and cruelty Assassin who was keeping Zolgen at bay with a horde of spirits and one or two shades, elects to let him watch Saber die “at the hands of his own King”. While the shade of King Arthur on horseback is toying with him Saber has a vision in his head very clearly of a plain just outside Camelot where Mordred and Arthur slew each other. He is then met with his king or as he puts it “a virtual manifestation of Arthur brought forth from the throne by the grail’s nearness, its guardian needing guidance, and the danger to the world. He then asks Percival what’s wrong and why he is coming back to this memory.

Percival finally admits that he didn’t think he was worthy of the grail that’s why he claimed that Galahad was chosen (and out of a desire to help mend Galahad and his father’s fracturing relationship) by the grail and that he never felt good enough compared to the rest of the knights. As he put it “I was the 1st, but not even I knew why”, he admits that he wanted to fix everything and make amends for his weakness and failures by going back with the grail, but was “so weak he never believed he could do even that right” thus while he lived and guarded the grail he never tried. He mourns that he couldn’t help Camelot more, that Mordred and Arthur’s relationship became what it became, and that he never could help fix the turmoil between Galahad and his father, Gawain, and Lancelot, and that “anything I did never went right”.

Arthur then tells Percival that he doesn’t regret those days as “by picking the sword from the stone I accepted any hardship and threw away the right to complain”. He moreover cites that while Percival and others say they were never good enough for him, he felt the opposite, he felt he never could repay them for their loyalty or live up to what they deserved. Moreover, Arthur claims that “While things between the knights of the round may have ended in tragedy I never would change it, I have nothing to hide about my mistakes, and there was nobody truly innocent of not doing something, however minor, which built up to the events which created our downfall”. Arthur cites that he cherishes the memories of the good times they had together and that “all changing the past would do is to force that tragedy upon another and to remove a star, a star which shined a path to a better and kinder world from mankind’s world”.

Arthur implores Percival to “forgive himself” and “Shine a new light. One brighter than the sun itself if you wish. Be the one to guide humanity towards the radiance and brilliance I and Merlin saw within them. As the holder of the grail, the chosen chalice of the one who cast down the gods, this right, this task is yours and yours alone.” Finally understanding why he became the grail’s guardian and moving on from the past Percival managed to fight back against the copy of Arthur and destroy it. This angered Assassin but then he used his sword empowered by his master's final command seal and managed to strike 1 final blow. With his sword’s full power that which was the key to the grail and based upon its own role as a relic to grant true magic (a miracle in the world) the full power of a possible future where humanity had realized its potential and outshone the stars of the past was born.

The bonds which bound heroic spirits and similar beings of myth and legend were shattered and their mysteries laid to rest. This annihilated Assassin as despite not being a servant or a heroic spirit his existence was based on similar properties and vulnerable to Saber’s blade. This however also spelled Saber’s own self-destruction as a byproduct of the power of this weapon, and no longer having a wish he never could be summoned as Saber or Lancer again. Speaking with his master about his realization, life, and the world he implored him to “move on from the past, and be the one who would shepherd the future. After this, he tried to go to the grail but was warned by his servant that “A servant is needed to grant a miracle and only a wish you know how to grant could be granted”.

As a result of this despite giving it a try, the grail wouldn’t give Zolgen true magic, and based on him realizing he didn’t know how to bring about paradise in “a way that would make people happy like Celeste did or Justeaze wanted” he gave in and merely asked, “to be shown a way to help mankind’s future”. Exactly what Zolgen saw remains a mystery, but 18 months later he was found to have died by his family with nothing to explain whatever he had been holed up doing since the grail war’s end.

Inspirations and Other:

Well first things first, I was inspired to name this to tell a story of the grail war that started it all and also to give a bit of context for if I ever decide to make that grand order story to give a background on how it began and such that allows me to portray the organization a little differently than normal. The idea of Zolegn getting the grail, but failing to obtain it, in the end, was inspired by how Gilgamesh got the potion of immortality, but how a snake came while he was bathing and drank it leaving him empty-handed. This parallel is also echoed in how Zolegn in the end receives the wisdom/foresight that in some possible futures (futures where Goetia is a threat and isn’t thwarted) how he would play a role in starting the whole ball rolling on the affair and in turn fulfilling his wish of helping the world even beyond the grave.

The connection between Percival and the Grail (which yes is the grail the Christ drank from) emerged early and I chose him as he was a hero with a story not yet told, but very applicable for the 1st grail war I wanted. Most of the magi were made to be fairly disposable in this or more to play a character role than an activate part as combatants, this was partly a choice as I felt that with the Einzbern’s plan as I made it they would want a master, not a mage and their first few homunculi based on Justeaze wouldn’t be all that combat-capable (compared to later versions) due to bugs, not being the lesser grail and such.

The idea of Lancer being Guan Yu and his master being a Chinese mage was one that sprung out of the idea of world-building and that the Tohsaka actually stole that secret Chinese style of swordsmanship and thus earned an enemy or two in the process. Li is actually a case of being inspired by Keyneth, a capable mage, but a dreadful master and a fair bit obsessed with the Tohsaka and his own “invincible servant” for his own good. Despite having a form of magecraft more suitable for Japan, he ultimately loses because he is not doing the master business right and exposed himself too early, and made a few beginner mistakes. As stated if Guan Yu was summoned in another class with a better master or in a less strange grail war, he would have gone far or maybe even won, but that isn’t this world.

The idea of Archer Teucer being broken was another idea of mine and a way to highlight how broken the grail is here, for one the whole only western servants doesn’t apply, heck with the loopholes the Einzbern threw in (a change I made to show how cutthroat and paper-thin the alliance between the 3 families was) technically if a being is close enough (ie. a phantom or such) then the grail will treat it as a normal servant even if it isn’t one. The idea of Teucer having Ajax protect him and them normally being a duo was a natural extension of “what would happen if someone tried to summon a duo in a grail war only meant for 1 summoned entity, would they summon or not”. I can also imagine in-universe the Einzbern fuming at being cheated at their own game by some newbie from Greece. Foivos was yet another case of a master to be with the servant, he never was meant to have much presence, kind of like Caster from Fate Stay Night’s original master. In the end, I suppose I also wanted to show how people like him would be lured in by the promise of a wish to the obvious trap of the grail war.

Amdi and his servant Rider were the aside and Assassin and Percival the earliest major ideas I had in the grail. He is very much a master of the basics turned into a monster who thanks to what he has combined with his high skill in basic abilities serves the role of being a magus killer and hired killer for his “family” well. The idea around what he is and the role he played was meant to highlight that idea of a true monstrous master and just how horrifying a foe able to match an average to weak servant is for a kinda normal dude like Nagato or even his above-average daughter Aki. Rider was designed very much to be the juggernaut of the war, someone who aside from Assassin was known and feared by the others.

In another war, he would be the kind of foe who would force teamwork to kill him for his sheer power. The idea of just drop the ship on them was partly my desire to find a creative use for his ship which would normally be useless and the idea of dropping a bridge on them (which kinda happened to a lot of people in this war). Ultimately he also is a counterpoint to the Einzbern and their representative Isolde (as in Ice and battle in german) that with enough cunning and power a normal servant could even match their monstrosity and in part due to their own carelessness and arrogance could maybe have killed him with a command seal or two.

The very concept of Berserker was one who I just wanted to give a seemingly powerful servant and then reveal how the true costs of Berserker class would become clear. In the case of poor Berserker and his NP is constantly getting worfed due to people having ways to mitigate or work around it and ironically his own master needed to call it quits. The idea that Nagato would have to use his daughter is another one I came up with as I don’t think a man like him who was below average could support berserker or fight the grail war well. I initially toyed with the idea like in the 4th of Aki taking charge in the grail war after her dad died, but Berserker lived, but I discarded this as I didn’t think it would fit (as you can tell this is kind of like the situation with Lancer in the 4th war).

Aki is very much a case of not being safe even though she wasn’t directly involved and would be symbolic of the cost of the grail war on all parties involved. Nagato was a case of me expanding on his character as him being the one who would “shine the way to his family’s prosperity” yet never see a drop of that luck or fortune himself. He was a human with EX rank luck (both good and bad), yet most of this luck also was transferred downwards to his descendants with how their lives went, and he suffered all the bad luck. In my mind, Nagato may have been cursed by the Chinese magi for stealing those secret arts.

Caster was very much as you can tell partly inspired by PMMM based on the description of Kreimhild Gretchen. I'm pretty sure you can also guess that I created her as a sort of balancing force to hold Assassin at bay and to develop Celeste more as a character. I made her to be the sort of functionally unusual Caster type servant and as mentioned it’s alluded to that a higher power (Alaya) influenced the summoning to counterbalance the threat Assassin posed to the world’s future. In terms of things she was never meant to win the war, but to be a character who would constantly get Assassin to have to back off and stop him from nearly instantly winning.

Celeste was a case of a clearly tragic heroine, I added in the connection to the death of Jean-Paul Marat as it fit and I felt it was the sort of backstory I wanted for her character. She was meant to be part of the remaining humanity Zolgen had after seeing Justeaze and others he admired pass on and leave him alone to complete his thesis. Her death, which was preplanned, was meant to be like that of a Greek tragedy, something which would cause the hero great grief, spur them into action, and also shape them as a person striving to live up to the memory of them. I ended up making her a sort of student & teacher and questionably a possible romantic companion (I meant for that subtext to be unclear if it was one or both ways or simply a close friendship).

In the end, I felt she developed rather nicely as I progressed in writing in the sort of person who parallels to Zolgens’ willingness to do the wrong things for the right reasons, wouldn’t do the wrong things, even for the right reasons. A sort of magi that naturally due to her goals, morals, and unusual nature would be spurned by the clock tower and end up in Zolgen’s care. She would be a sort of flower which could never bloom in the poisonous thorns of the clock tower, and that was the tragedy of her life, she stayed too close to the sun and ironically Zolgen’s very life and choices ruined her, just as they saved her prior.

Assassin was partly inspired by “Berserker” the Fate Stay Night fanfic Birth by Fire by Satire Swift (link here). I merely decided to retool the idea from the (seemingly) dead or dormant fic into this one to make a very scary Assassin class servant who would follow the same kind of tradition of Hassan of the hundred faces (essentially 19th hassan, but if some of those copies were actually powerful enough to fight servants and had weakened version of noble phantasms).

Of course like the 19th hassan the drawback is that while he can replace the normal spirits by eating people or servants (a bit higher risk as it could damage his saint graph if they contradict but more energy possible), he cannot reproduce the shades of heroic spirits he is summoned with if they die, they’re gone for good alongside their skills and abilities (all watered down 2 ranks but still considering how many people were in or part of the wild hunt this is not insignificant amounts of firepower on an assign (so all of them have B rank presence concealment like him). I elected to make him Woden rather than Satan or such and not even give Cain (as he is still alive) for balance reasons.

Plus I reasoned that this could explain what the Einzbern were doing before Justeaze when they lost the 1st true magic before 1AD and were trying to get it back (essentially the summoning and creation of Assassin was based on an experiment from around that time, they didn’t sit around waiting to get the 3rd back from the grail or Justeaze).

As for the grail war’s events themselves well I feel like a lot of the fights kinda explain themselves (especially the bit with Saber’s sword which I explain the lore and powers of rather thoroughly. The idea of the big clash on night 1 was partly based on the Docks in the 4th grail war, but also partly a natural reaction of nobody really knowing how a grail war works and slugging it out with servants until they figured that isn’t working and changed tactics. I did borrow the rivalry between Saber and Lancer from the 4th grail war, but I think it makes enough sense in this story that I justified it. The timeline may seem a little wonky alongside the distances between things (the Tohsaka and Temple being outside Fuyuki) but mind you this is literally hundreds of years before then, Fuyuki in my mind was much smaller, a mere town of maybe 8000-12000 people max.

It was not large nor prosperous, the Makiri and Tohsaka manors were exceptions which were built outside it for a reason, and the temple was a walk away, yet eventually became pretty much in the town itself. As a result, the amount of time things spent doing things like hunting down masters moving around town is much lower and the grail war moves at an accelerated pace (although I might change it to 4 or even 5 days excluding day 0).

Either way, I would say that just about wraps up almost everything (as you can tell this is based more on the Prototype world than main Fate worlds), if you have any comments or complaints I would love to hear them.

Updated June 6th, 2021 at 11:25 AM by Cursed by Fortuna