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It is Night 1 of the Prime Holy Grail War

Major Events

The war has officially begun!
Player Locations


Key Locations

  • Ryuudou Temple: Map Location - Mount Enzo
    A Buddhist mountain temple maintained by the Ryuudou family. Carries a protective boundary that surrounds the temple and the mountain that holds it. One of the four fallen leylines in Fuyuki, acting as the keystone for Fuyuki's spiritual ground.
  • Tohsaka Residence: Map Location - Foreign District
    Manor of the Tohsaka family, the Second Owners of Fuyuki's spiritual land. One of the four fallen leylines in Fuyuki
  • Fuyuki Civic Center: Map Location - Shinto Town
    Fuyuki's town hall, a work of modern architecture. A symbol of Shinto's modernization. Built over one of the four fallen leylines of Fuyuki. Located nearby is the headquarters of the Fujimura Group.
  • Fuyuki Church: Map Location - Hilltop Church
    Fuyuki's Church, situated on top of a hill. Serves as the base of operations for the Holy Church in Fuyuki, and is where the Overseer is situated. One of the four fallen leylines in Fuyuki.
  • Matou Residence: Map Location - Foreign District
    Manor of the Matou family, one of the Three Great Families of Fuyuki. No leylines, but probably full of worms.
  • Einzbern Castle: Map Location - Outskirts
    Castle of the Einzbern family, one of the Three Great Families of Fuyuki. Is said to be haunted. Kinda is?
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Cu Chulainn
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The sun rose over the horizon of Fuyuki city. It was just any other day for most of the city's residents, but Fuyuki had always been a strange place to live in. What was stranger was the small, but noticeable influx of foreigners entering the city. Truly, the summer breeze carried the ominous scent of dread, one that perhaps explained the warning of potential gas leaks throughout the city the day before.

Of course, to those special few who have been tagged by those accursed red markings, today was far more special. To some, they have been training much of their lives for a day like this, eager for the taste of blood and glory. To others, they have come to Fuyuki wary of their dangers, but eager to put their lives on the lines to see their own wishes come to fruition. And to a select few, the legacy of their ancestors have lead them to this very moment, their hearts burning with resolve to see through what their bloodlines have sought for many years before.

After all, today was the first day of the Holy Grail War. A battle that would shake Fuyuki to its very core. It has been nearly a century since the last massacre for this Holy Grail took place in Fuyuki, and even then, the land has not fully healed.

The grand prize, the Greater Grail, stands once more in the darkest depths of the city, awaiting it's sacrifices. Among it, the many trophies of previous wars have been gathered together, to supplement the miracles produced and allow for a war grander and far bloodier than ever before.

For now, however, one last reprieve for the participants of the war has been afforded. After all, there are still those who are arriving to city who have not even summoned their Servants yet! So long as the sun is high in the sky this day, those few wayward Masters will have their last chances to prepare while they can.

As soon as the sun sets, the Prime Holy Grail War shall start in earnest.

One Unfortunate Soul
Penthouse Suite, Grand Bleu Hotel, Shinto Town

Mentions:

A dark-haired man stood at a cleared out portion of his hotel room, the balcony window opened behind him. The way his room was arranged was in a rather strange way. Tables, beds, and sofas were all flipped over with their flat ends facing towards the center of the room, while the more fragile pieces of furniture were neatly tucked behind them. A large circle was cut through the rug haphazardly in the center of the room, drawn with sweet-smelling blood.

The man sniffed at the blood bag, conveniently labeled "100% VIRGIN", rather strangely. There was something... off about it's scent. It was too sweet to be blood, but also too metallic to be something like just tomato juice. The consistency was getting to him, as well. It wasn't something he couldn't put his finger on, really. Oh well, you get what you pay for in Dark eBay.

With that in mind, the man then took out a piece of flint from his coat, wrapped in talisman paper. As he unraveled it, he basked in the glory of the object in his hand. It had cost him much of his family's coffers, but it was worth it to procure such an item. After all, one does not come across the catalyst of Hercules so easily.

Clutching the stone tightly, the man held his hand out to the circle before him, clearing his throat. The preparations were complete. Now it was time to win the Grail.

"Let silver and steel be the essence. Let stone and the archduke of contracts be the foundation. Let my great master Crowley be the ancestor..."
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Penthouse Suite, Grand Bleu Hotel, Shinto Town



There was a loud shattering of glass, accompanied by the sound of screaming as the dark-haired man fell from the penthouse towards the streets below.

Already, Constantine was striding back to the centre of the room, careful not to disturb the summoning circle. The magus’ defences had been pretty sub-par, but the circle was at least functional. Reaching down to the catalyst that the man had dropped, he casually grabbed it and brought it up to his nose, giving it a quick sniff.

“Just a forgery? This guy really was third-rate,” He scoffed, throwing the catalyst out of the window to follow its master. There had been a lot of obvious forgeries going around lately. Not that he blamed the scammers; people were willing to pay an awful lot for relics that might get them a strong servant. No, it was these idiots’ fault for not being careful enough. This was a game of death, after all.

This one in particular had certainly been unprepared. There had been no effort to cover his tracks, and the defences had been pretty barebones. Perhaps the man would survive a fall from this height; such a thing was within the toolbox of a competent Magus, after all. If he did, Constantine doubted he’d be gunning for revenge. He had been swiftly and brutally disabused of the notion that he could survive a Grail War… well, that was true if he was dead, too.

“Still, what a pain,” He muttered. Taking out a minor magus or two before the war even started wasn’t an uncommon tactic, and it was the way Cosmo had intended to grab himself a decent catalyst. But the fakes were less than useless for that. It had barely even been worth taking out the competition, as minor as this one had been. It had been an unlikely hope, but if he’d managed to get a catalyst of that man, his entire goal in this war would have been accomplished before the fighting even started. “Well, there’s always the backup.”

A catalyst was entirely unnecessary, after all. Simply speaking the name of ‘assassin’ would grant him a competent servant - even if they had somewhat fallen out of the metagame recently. And he knew exactly which Assassin would find their way to him; one that suited his purposes well. A pity that they would need to be reintroduced, and couldn’t simply return to working together without the need for tedious conversation. There was almost a kind of tragedy to it - but that was simply the nature of Servants. Their time as humans had passed, and now they existed as tools.

The bounded field over the penthouse meant that nobody should have noticed the sound of glass breaking, but Constantine didn’t want to put much faith in an incompetent’s magecraft. Better to finish the summon quickly and leave before there were any problems. It was a good enough time for it, at least. Taking a deep breath, he began the summoning chant…



Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Breo
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Elexis Christoforou
Shinto District, Fuyuki Church


@Sakaki Chizuru

“Yes, thank you very much for putting up with me so far, you’ve been too kind, Father Kotomine.”

The girl that had spoken, bowing from her position at the door toward a man standing inside the church, could likely be recognized as a foreigner from her looks alone. Blond hair and red eyes were not a common combination anywhere, but even less so in this Eastern land.

Still, her Japanese appeared to be quite decent for a non-native, even if she hadn’t been able to get rid of her accent.

“I’ll be going now, thanks for your help so far once again, hopefully we can meet once more after this mess gets sorted.”

Giving one last bow to the man that had helped her, she turned around and departed from the church. The small crucifix hanging from her neck shone in the early morning light.

She sighed.

While it was not her home proper, she would fully admit that she felt more comfortable inside the building rather than out. Familiarity counts for something, she guessed, and she was completely lacking in it when it came to most everything in this country.

At least churches remained the same everywhere. Not to mention that Father Kotomine, even though he had rotated through all the special departments, had also received the training and responsibilities of an Executor, so there was at least a sort of understanding there she did not quite have even with most others.

Still, needs must. The Church could not officially support her anymore now that she was a participant, so she may only return should she win and remain at the end or if she lost her Servant and required sanctuary.

At least she had the funds for a stress-free stay in Fuyuki for the remainder of the Ritual, rather than being tossed into the street with the clothes on her back, and Father Kotomine had been so kind as to point out important landmarks and places of interest, both mundane and not. Reading her notes quickly, she pursed her lips.

“Hey, Assassin,” She called out, seemingly to the air. Given the church’s position as neutral ground, having her remain outside was only polite. “I’m done. You mentioned you wanted to go on a trip of your own right? We have time to do it now if we pass through Shinto’s city center, probably.”

She still sounded a bit uncertain when addressing her Servant, who was supposed to be her closest ally for the remainder of the War.

She was honestly still a bit uncertain regarding her Servant, and how she had been the one summoned forth.

So much for a certain catalyst for Justinian. They must’ve probably gotten mixed up in the packaging. Yeah, right, that’s absolutely what happened.

“Well,” She put her hands behind her head, starting to walk down the street. “We can go out for something to eat too, after we’re done. Father Kotomine was so kind as to mark down a restaurant he quite enjoys...economical lunches and delicious food? Very good endorsement... Koushuuensaikan Taizan, is it?”

She paused.

“Did I say that right? Hey Assassin, you Servants can speak the language of this land perfectly thanks to the Grail right? Will my pronounciation get me in any trouble or…?”

She made a grimace.

“Ugh, thankfully he put the name proper in English. I can speak it, but would you mind checking written stuff? Why does this language’s system have to be so unwieldy…”

Moving toward Shinto Center
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yukitamas
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@Raijinslayer @Turboshitter @Syndrome @Cu Chulainn


Outskirts/Forest
Hoping for a city-side visit


“The world is quite different isn’t it?” The words came with a wistful quality as she took in a breath of the smells of the forest. In a way everything felt lesser… diminished, as though things were more fake. Ironic considering that she, and what she was weaving were ultimately illusions and replications. She sang to herself as she placed down a pumpkin brimming with a mischievous light. A container for souls, a beacon to mislay those on their path. One already lost makes themselves home, and one with purpose ends up following suit.

Yet for the master of the forest the will-o-wisps were hardly a threat. They were fun little lights, and ironically were pretty much landmarks for her.

How refreshing it was after a mere few hours compared to the city, or even the state of the forest before they came to it. The wind blew in a cleansing cycle, bringing forth the miasma (feelings) of man to the forest to be colored and converted into mischievous sprites. A light in every household, a bonfire in the sun-lit castle.

The castle was stained in its own mysteries, and just like the city and the land known as Fuyuki it had its own master… But ah, for a woman who traveled the world and understood many of the mysteries of the world, who held knowledge and mystery descended from the gods, collected from a long past era…

Ah, it was perhaps a bit mean to break open the paths, to open it up so she could take, so she could sway the flow. But she was sure that the owner of the land wouldn’t be all that mad. After all the land was being revitalized, society cleaned up. An excitement and bustle weaved in with magical energy and mystery, and the sun’s warmth shined upon the land.

The forest was… well, it wasn’t like people should be coming in so only the ones who lived in here in that manor who once controlled this place were the only ones to get mad no doubt.

Soon there would be many strange things roaming in the night, but that was not the concern of the common folk. For those who would play tricks in the night… well. She’ll just have to show she was the most dyed color, the greatest mystery of them all.

“There are a lot of things I’d like to see however. As much as I could explore with a familiar or two, there’s too much to experience as one’s self. If I wanted to be a wizard in their tower I would’ve lived a very different life you know? It’d be too boring to simply wait for night. Surely you won’t begrudge me a break?”

Of course she could have studied and explored the city, hiding away in her castle and while doing further work. Of course she could have lied and said that it was necessary for her to personally check the city. But she didn’t, there was no need she felt. It was important to clarify one’s intentions, to showcase one’s desires.

And for her? Well, she wanted to have fun and learn things.

“Worry not, I’ll do my work properly as a servant. But any apprentice or master still needs some time to enjoy and learn. Mhm, maybe I am technically a familiar but I can’t say I feel like too much of one~ I want to see the other participants of this war, I want to see their magics, I want to see the other heroes and I want to see this city. Of course some of it is actually relevant to our work too. But most of all I want to play some tricks, and see if anyone will bring us a treat.”


Shinto: Center Building


There was a change in the city’s environment, not that it could understand. There was a drastic change in the flow of the leylines, and something was infused into the city. However what it was, it could not figure it out.

“Archer, you hold knowledge of magic as well. Do you understand what is going on?” It did not understand. Of course it couldn’t, it was a matter of enjoyment, and spirits. To a weapon like the unit the idea of a festival was hard to understand emotionally, even if it knew intellectually and logically what one was.

“..If it will not have an effect on projected operations, then it is not a big worry. Field work is necessary for further familiarization of the environment and operating grounds before the hunt begins. Utilize your clairvoyance skill and project your sight through our link so I may gain a tactical understanding of the streets and city faster as well. Are there any problems or suggestions to alter my supplied course of action?”" The Spartoi asked of not just Archer, but the third member that was in the suite... who was well, a chicken.

“Bwak… yeah of course. If you’re gonna go out you can’t go out in your combat gear like that. You’ll need to have a spell that keeps attention off you from normies you know!”

“Normies?” it blinked. The operator had some strange words and terminology sometimes. Was this part of being a bird brain?

“Can’t you put the outfit in the sash for now anyway? It’d be more efficient to wear normal clothes and not have to use magecraft until we move into the next phase Bwkah.”

“...That is logical in its own way. But there is a problem.”

The unit tilted its head to the side. “What exactly are normal clothes if not operating clothes? This clothing suits my function and purpose, it was created for my usage. Is that not normal?”

A suitcase of bills, a sash of military ordinance and magical armaments..

Well, there was a sort of t-shirt that came with her uniform and defensive gear?...

"...This isn't going to work is it?"
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Adam Kenneth Yearling - Intersection of Miyama Town, Foriegn District, and Fuyuki Park.

Adam Kenneth Yearling (A.K. Yearling) had rented accommodations in a hotel close to Fuyuki Park, a nice suite, not too big and not too small, where he can set up a basic workshop. With Esfandiyar summoned just a few hours ago, the young Magus had decided to mix business and pleasure and go to the Park in order to seek out any trace of the other Masters. Rolling up his Invisibility Cloak in his backpack, the young man then said to Esfandiyar, "Rider, come with me in your spirit form - Let's see the beauty Humanity has to offer before this war starts, as well as find any trace of our future foes and temporary allies."

Moving towards Fuyuki Park.

Walking in the park's greenery, Adam took in the sights and smells of the area, before asking Rider in a low whisper, "Do you see anything suspicious, Rider? I sent a few familiars in the shape of pigeons to scout as well, but you have keener senses than any of them."

If the response was a no, Adam would take out his 'Journal of Hidden Stories', look for a bench located in a shady spot, and begin writing the story of his life as it currently stood, but not before informing Esfandiyar that it was part of his Magecraft and that writing stories was how he channeled his powers. Drawing a ballpen, he opened an empty page of his Journal and began to write.

A.K Yearling sat in peace, watched over by his loyal spirit even as his avian familiars flew around the park, staking it as his territory and watching out for threats. Briefly, he considered what the three Founding Families of Fuyuki might think of the audacity of claiming even a small portion of the city for his own - Would it earn him their contempt? Or was he beneath their notice right now? Should he visit the leylines of Fuyuki City for more insight, or perhaps pay the Church's local headquarters here a courtesy call?

None of the words leaped at him - A sign that he was both safe and beneath notice. He then began writing further, hoping to cast a wider net of story-based divination on a larger part of the city.

He thought to himself that the other Masters were preparing, summoning, and scouting, certain in their Magecraft. Many of them placed no value in human lives, a trait which was nevertheless moderated by the need to keep the Supernatural a secret. Despite this, A.K. Yearling felt resentment for them, resentment for the Magus' Association and the Clock Tower even as he appreciated how they saved more lives than they destroyed by their enforcement of 'The Masquerade'. Why must Magecraft be a limited resource? Can't the world be helped from the shadows if it wasn't? Too bad that even the Grail cannot increase the amount of Mystery, which is needed for Magecraft, in the world.

The other Magi and Servants were no doubt thinking more prosaic thoughts, like how to defeat their enemies. The three Founding Families were using their unfair advantage, with the Bane of Yggdmillenia -

The last three words leaped at him, burning themselves in his mind.

The Bane of Yggdmillenia, was he here? Was he the Matou Family's shot at getting the Holy Grail? Obviously, another word leapt at him. Such an obvious guess. As a member of the Matou Family and the instrument of their vengeance, the Bane of Yggdmillenia was filled with spite and hate, respecting few and scorning many. Even now, he had chosen a high tower of his own, in an affluent part of the city, to... To...

His Divination failed him then, and he wrote about the Church instead.

The Holy Church was the Overseer of the Holy Grail War, but can they be trusted? Answer was no, surprising. Were they following their own agenda? Answer was yes. What role do they wish to play, Hero, Villain, or Wildcard? They can be either three. A thought came into A.K. Yearling's head - Should he bet that the Church would prove 'Heroic?'

No answer.

@Breo@Cu Chulainn
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Tohsaka Kyoko
Miyama District, Tohsaka Residence


There was a brief hint of discomfort in her expression as she laid down the final piece that would complete the table arrangement.

Rather than being dissatisfied with the result, it appeared as such there were other thoughts which kept her mind busy besides simple decoration. Even so, it was a momentary showcase of emotion and weakness that was promptly buried under the facade of a grand aristocrat. That day was a day not to mourn, but to celebrate, and she wouldn't allow any outside interference to get in the way of that. For Kyoko, the Prime Holy Grail War was much more than another chance to claim a path to the root, it was an opportunity to redeem the name the three founding families, which had been sullied the moment their secret spread worldwide.

Of course, this would be a death-match with only one winner, the outcome could not be changed. However, to jump at each other's throats mindlessly would be equal to falling prey to the mistakes of the past. Following that mentality, the Tohsaka had invoked an old, unspoken rule forged by their ancestors: In order to ensure that the cup is claimed by either the Einzbern, the Matou or the Tohsaka, and does not fall into the hands of an outsider, a truce would be established. To discuss the terms of said truce, Kyoko had invited them to her very own mansion, a banquet ready to accommodate her guests.

"Lancer... What do you think?"

Glancing over her shoulder, Kyoko addressed her companion for this Holy Grail War, her Servant. But in this case, it would seem she was not asking 'Lancer, the heroic spirit', but rather 'Lancer, the woman'. That was part of the reason why the heir wanted the opinion of only one of them. Her eyes pointed back at the large table where some food had been served, with more to come should the event prove a success. Overall, the preparations had been a team effort between them, a mixture of two styles blended together. In looks alone, it was a feast worthy of a god.

"Good work." She nodded, satisfied. "... I feel like I have learned a few things, as well."

Much like the way the blonde mage handled political affairs, it was a top priority for her to keep her Servant in good graces. It wouldn't be a complete lie to affirm that she still saw them as a means to an end... But they were more than mere tools. They were allies so there was no reason to go out of her way to demerit them. Besides, she was a woman of word who always respected the words carved in each contract.

"As promised, We'll go hunting tonight. I expect you can show me your full strength then."

@Cu Chulainn@Turboshitter@SSW
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Khairi Ilunga

Outskirts/Forest

@Yukitamas

Khairi, for his part, was similarly engrossed in the smells of the forest. The feel of the earth, the trees, even the very flow of the land itself was so different from that of his homeland that it wasn't even funny, but being in this place of nature away from civilization. . . it gave a sense of peace and stability to the young man that he definitely needed. Caster, in her arboreal wandering, would find the young man muttering to himself in his native tongue as fidgets with the conga-scepter that she would always see on his person.

For most people, that would all they see. . . but thanks to the unorthodox alterations to his summoning technique, she would see the wavering figures of several men and women around her master. His ancestors, speaking in silent judgment as they appeared to be in some deep deliberation amongst each other. Before long the meeting was ended as Khairi let out a deep sigh, letting himself fall back onto the forest floor before giving his servant a quick glance.

"Good Morning Caster," He mutters briefly, waving at her with the scepter as he seems to consider something. "I guess I should've figured you'd be the sight-seeing type, though I don't really think there is much to see around here."

"Of course," Khairi mutters under his breath as he picks himself up, wiping the forest debris from his clothes. "That could just be me not wanting to feel like some sort of stage attraction everywhere I go in this place. I know people here don't likely see foreigners all that often, but the way nearly everyone I meet can't seem to help but stare is. . . annoying, to say the least."

"But yeah, if you want to go for a walk around town to check things out sounds like a good idea, and as you say, it doesn't do us much good if we just turtle up all the time. It's the first day so I doubt anyone will try anything too wild right out the gate, and you can probably handle yourself well even if they did."
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@Raijinslayer



”Ahahaha. I guess you wouldn’t be wrong. That was most of my legend really.” She rose up to her feet from a stump she had been using as a momentary chair. “But there is something to see here, there’s something to see everywhere! This is a completely foreign land to both you and I, a forest in the east, and a very different land. You can feel the difference in the flow, the way the air meets with the land, the lightning right? It must be very different from your home… If I were to guess going off how the general mana and vitality of the land is… Well, it’d be diminished, but my home would still be what it was. Ireland and this Island are as different as two islands could be.”

Still, as much as she wanted to explore she ended up nodding along with his voiced concerns. “Two points. You said why you might be hesitant, so you get some points. If that’s the case big sister can help out you know? There are two choices, and you get to pick one.”

She gave a hop and hummed a little noise. The waves of magical energy coming from her spiked for a moment before settling down back to normal. Most importantly… she didn’t come down. She floated in the air, flying with her first mystic code and creation. This was different from simply flying as a spiritual body. Her physical body, her materialized self was ignoring the pull of the earth.

“I worked on it first thing of course. It took a bit of hassle but it’s what my father and I made. It’s fun to fly you know. We can either walk through town, and I’ll make sure a spell is cast on you so no one pays any attention to you… But well, sometimes good things happen if you walk around as a foreigner you know? It can be dangerous, and you might see sad truths and things about people and a new land… But it lets you experience it in a different way too you know? It’s a bit of courage but it’s a step worth taking.”

She let out a sigh and raised a hand “Well, I don’t mean to badmouth you or complain. It’s just one option out of many. Sometimes it’s good to not be part of the flow, to be an observer too. But I thought the world was a lot more ah… what’s the word? globalized? “

Indeed, it wasn’t just someone like her that had the flying machine or various spells that could visit one end of the planet from another. It was that anyone in the world, as long as they had some money, could hop on a plane and end up in a matter of hours on a completely different landmass. Hundreds and hundreds a flight a day, people shifting back and forth between the world like blood going through veins.

Ah, what a different world indeed.

“But… well the locals are different from us… The other option then is to not even walk among then.” She grinned. “I can let you fly and watch you know.”
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Theodora
Shinto District, Fuyuki Church

@Breo


She was salivating.

She actually was.

She could feel the saliva drip down her chin, with her only barely catching it before her Master had exited the building.

Theodora had no idea who this Father Kotomine was, but the darkness lurking within him was something truly delectable. It was a walking calamity waiting to occur. The amount of darkness within was astounding, even by Theodora’s standards. It was well guarded, supported with a decent enough facade and mask. This Father Kotomine was not someone who would give into that calamity naturally, they were well too guarded.

It was odd, actually. He should have given into his darkness at least a decade prior. What made him so resilient? He was empty, she could tell. The darkness within should have filled that empty spot. For a man who seemed decently long-lived, maybe he simply never had the right encounter? Never before had he been properly encountered and shown the true way to live? As it stood, he was a man with a strong defense against his demon which lurked inside.

This was fine, Theodora was especially good at breaking them down. In fact, the only way to get any sort of darkness out of him was to be an existence similar to Theodora herself. It was a perfect compatibility.

A match made in heaven, if you will.

To break down the pillars of such a man was going to be quite the show…

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to occur in the immediate future.

While she was actually quite pleased with her Master, they were someone who was an “ally” of this man. It wasn’t something her Master would allow, at least for now. Theodora wasn’t the type to take much stock in this Master and Servant relationship, but she would try to accommodate them to some degree.

The sins hiding within her Master weren’t worth tearing out. They were the sort to develop naturally as this sort of event blossomed. Her Master entered this war as a child, but they would surely exit it as an adult. This was the sort of prophecy that Theodora was able to give, even if such things like divination were beyond her. As this was the case, Theodora felt she could simply get along with her Master. They were a good Christian girl, much like herself.

What else would make the two compatible?

Was it ⬛?Or ⬛? Maybe ⬛?

Who was to say?

Despite walking side-by-side with their Master for a bit, the Servant was caught in her own little world. It wasn’t until her Master called by her Class that she began to pay any attention to the situation at hand.

She laughed a small laugh at her partner’s frustration with the language. It was cute seeing her get all flustered. That wasn’t the sort of thing you would normally see from a member of the Church.

“The grail only provides so much, but I can make a guess. I was a polyglot in life, you know? Japanese has a limited amount of sounds, causing similar words, which requires an obtuse way to differentiate them.”

In that regard, it wasn’t too different from spoken Latin.

Now, the written version of Japanese was much more cursed than Latin.

“You speak it fine, at least, according to my ears. The Japanese are an overly polite people, wearing their societal masks much more readily than those from your homeland. They would never insult your grasp of the language. As long as the Japanese don’t say something like “Nihongo Jouzu,” you can consider your Japanese solid. It may sound like a compliment, but it isn’t. Masks can be even more painful than the reality which lies underneath them.”

This wasn’t an insult or anything. To Theodora, all of society was simply hiding in their own little masks, scared of ever revealing themselves to the world. It was a sad existence, never being able to reveal one’s true nature. This was fine, she would reveal it for them in time. It was a mercy she was willing to offer everyone.

“I guess I can help you out with the reading, though practice makes perfect with these sorts of things.”

She materializes next to her master to read the note, patting the Executor's head as she does so.

“Oh, we can worry about that little thing later. When one has a deep hunger, they must do anything they can to satisfy it~!”

A small wink was given at the end of the sentence.

“The note says that it is in Miyama. Let me lead you there~!”

She takes her partner’s hand into her own, then begins her charge down the hill into Shinto.


Moving into Shinto Center into Miyama
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Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Duoya
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Sláine Druiminn

Koushuuensaikan Taizan, Mount Miyama, Miyama Town

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@Heavy Snark



"Danbai! Breakfast is ready!"

The pale figure awoke with a start, sitting up from his futon and nearly hitting his head on a poorly positioned shelf. The first thing he saw was the large summoning circle drawn in the middle of the cramped room he found himself in, eliciting a yelp from the young man.

"Ye-"

A slight pain in the head caused Sláine to pause briefly.

"Yes, Batsu-san, I'm coming!"

When he heard footsteps leading away from the room, the boy gave a sigh of relief. The Druiminn's didn't have time to completely teach him Japanese, so they implanted some small ticks that helped him along. The pain was initially quite bothersome but had become nearly unnoticeable over the last few days of use.

Now that he was fully awake, Sláine began to recognize the place he was in. A small room, boxes filled with bottles and spices limiting what little space the room provided. However, all of that was pushed to the side and stacked as high as possible, allowing enough space for the intricate summoning circle in the middle of the room. Sláine had drawn it over the course of five hours last night and quadruple-checked it for errors or mistakes - it was far out of his usual practice, so he wanted to be especially careful with the powerful ritual. He ended up taking so much precaution, however, that he ended up falling asleep before he even summoned his servant.

The pig blood has dried already... does that matter? I should have asked the elders more before I left...

The thought of summoning his Servant immediately crossed Sláine's mind, but he dismissed it. The ritual wasn't especially time-intensive (at least, not when he had already finished the circle and prepared the catalyst), but Batsu might get curious why he's taking so long - and it'd be pretty hard to explain how someone with a sword managed to get into his room when the store wasn't even open yet.

No, it would be better to do it during his break.

His attempts at securing a base in the farms failed spectacularly, his suggestion magecraft not being strong enough to distract his potential hosts from his albinism and poor Japanese. Thankfully, a restaurant in the city was hiring part-time help, and the manager was even willing to rent out a room for Sláine to stay in. Compared to tricking someone into thinking you're some grandson or nephew, getting hired for a job was much easier to do with suggestions.

Sláine began getting ready for work, replacing his crumpled pajamas with unfamiliar eastern clothes. Even after wearing it for a few days, Sláine was uncomfortable in his work uniform - it felt too loose and flowing compared to the formal western-style he was acquainted with. Several minutes later he finished his ensemble, dressing in an orange robe with floral designs along with a cute green apron. Satisfied, Sláine quickly made his way to the kitchen of the restaurant. Once there, he could see Batsu in a similar outfit, her hair put up into buns. She had a look of annoyance on her face, and she quickly placed the bowl she was eating from onto a small table nearby.

"Geez, what took so long? We're opening soon!"

"I'm sorry, Batsu-san. I am still unfamiliar with this type of dress."

Batsu's eyes narrowed slightly as she slid the bowl she was eating from to Sláine. It was filled with Baozi, a type of bun with contents that changed so frequently that Sláine began to suspect that Batsu simply filled it with whatever she had on hand.

"It's not a dress - it's a Changshan. Very manly, you know? Anyways, eat quick and clean up when you're done."

One of the major downsides to this area compared to the farms (Other than how urbanized it was, the population density, and the risk of meeting other Masters) was the food. Sláine's creator, Amelia, had not put too much effort in recreating proper taste buds - taste wasn't an important function for a homunculus to possess, after all. But even with his rudimentary sense, Sláine could tell that the food served here was far too spicy for the average human. And while his tongue didn't protest too much, his stomach had been aching the last few days that he had spent here...

Sláine dismissed the thought and began eating quickly, careful to avoid getting his dress dirty. He still wasn't too used to eating with chopsticks so he chose to pierce the buns with the utensil, which always earned him a glare from Batsu when she caught him doing it. It didn't really matter if she caught him now though - the restaurant was opening soon and he would need the energy for the rest of his shift. While it might have been possible to avoid working the job at all, a job in food service would be an excellent way to get information from the mundane population of the city, along with teaching Sláine how to properly interact with modern society.

...The real reason Sláine was working at all, though, was simply because that was what he was designed to do. He wouldn't know what to do with all the free time he would have if he didn't do something during the day. Maybe he'd quit and move, if his Servant had a better place in mind.

When he emptied the bowl, Sláine quickly went about clearing off the small table and washing the bowl and chopsticks. By the time he had finished up, the restaurant had already opened, and a massive stream of customers came tumbling in...

Not really. Koushuuensaikan Taizan seemed to be infamous for its spicy food, and while quite a few people stopped by in the evening to enjoy the only chinese cuisine in the city, the morning crowd was limited at best. The morning was mostly spent preparing for lunch, Sláine bringing down various boxes from the second floor, cutting up vegetables, and seeing to the few customers that did stop by in the morning. When lunch hit and the restaurant actually got more than 2 customers at a time, Sláine grew anxious. What if he was taking too long, and the Saber slot was already filled? The effort he went to secure a catalyst would be pointless...

Eventually, the lunch rush was finally over, and Sláine began cleaning as fast as he could. You had to be extra careful when washing the dishes - if you did a poor job and the spice clung to your hands, you'd end up burning your eyes...

Don't ask how Sláine knew that.

As soon as he finished, he left wordlessly for his room. Batsu could deal with the stragglers - Sláine just needed to finish the ritual quickly. When he got to his room, he immediately began searching the window, prodding blindly until his fingers finally clasped the clay pot he was looking for.

Can't hide when I know where you are, little one...

With the artificial Dryad in his hands, Sláine could now see it quite easily. And more importantly, he could see the rusted sword fragment that was safely tucked next to it. It once belonged to a hero from South America - of course, Sláine didn't know who 'Dom Pedro' was, let alone his skills or martial prowess. All that mattered to Sláine was that the catalyst belonged to someone who had bound themselves very closely with the element of water, and would almost certainly be summoned in the class of Saber.

Sláine was about to begin the ritual before stopping himself. He paused for a second, before establishing a soundproofing Bounded Field around the room.

Last thing I need is for Batsu to come and investigate...

His final preparations completed, Sláine began the ritual that would decide his fate.

"Let silver and steel be the essence..."



Assassin

Penthouse Suite, Grand Bleu Hotel, Shinto Town

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@SSW



The air warped slightly as the ritual proceeded, growing soaked in magical energy. The circle that had been prepared by the defeated magus seemed to be doing its job and began to softly glow.

No object serving as a catalyst was present for the ritual - though, unlike most Servants, a physical catalyst wasn't necessary for the Servant that Constantine planned to summon.

No, the class alone would suffice - the name a word that represented the servant being summoning, down to its very core.

Assassin

The light of the circle reached its peak as the air picked up more, causing dust and glass from the broken window to scatter around the room. In the center of the circle... there was nothing. The light had cut off almost as soon as it peaked, and soon after, the only thing causing the air to move was the wind from the broken window.

While someone with less experience in grail wars may assume that they simply failed the ritual, the truth was far from that.

Slinking from behind a flipped-over couch, Assassin breathed a silent sigh of relief. She was short, maybe 145 centimeters at most, and her entire frame was covered in a ragged black cloak. Her face was covered by the signature skull mask that all Hassans bear, the bottom of her face and her dark, almost glowing eyes being the only uncovered portions of Assassin's body.

She held her arms out wide as she walked towards her Master with a smug look.

"Did I get ya? Sorry Master, just a little prank to make you shit your pants, kekeke."

Assassin paused near her master, having noticed that a bounded field had been established in the room. While not a Caster, Assassin was a mage in her life, and could recognize something like a bounded field quite easily. Deciding that the soundproofing was harmless, she continued looking around the torn apart penthouse, disappointment clear in her posture. She had no idea what a hotel or penthouse was, but could clearly tell that the room was quite luxurious at one point in time.

"You must have had pretty good digs here once - what's with all the mess? Did you really have to ruin the rug like that?"

Sighing, Assassin laid herself on one of the mattresses used to surround the circle.

"Anyways, I'm your servant - Hassan-I-Sabbah, Assassin-Class. There, done my part. Now - who are you, and who do you want me to kill for you?"

Assassin couldn't remember her past incarnations, but was aware of the nature of the Holy Grail War. Servants kill one another with Magi acting as their Masters, until only one pair remains. Even if she wished to relax and enjoy her newfound existence, she'd have to stick with this guy in order to remain summoned. And since he was a master, he must want Assassin to kill again.

God, what a pain.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Raijinslayer
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Raijinslayer .

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Khairi Ilunga

Outskirts/Forest
@Yukitamas

Khairi couldn't help but raise a brow at the Caster's use fo big sister as she spoke, but shrugged it off since, given how he had chosen to summon her. . . she wasn't exactly wrong in that. Whatever the outcome of this war, Tlachtga was considered a part of his family now. An odd thought, to be certain, but she was no more eccentric a member than any of his ancestors by blood.

Though none of his ancestors had managed to take flight as easily as this woman did and he was unable to hold back the look of wonder on his face as he saw her floating above him with seeming easy. It reminded the young man of some of his childhood dreams about using his own skill with magecraft. Common sense told him that he should be more cautious with this excursion and that passing under the illusory veil of such a powerful Magi was the proper way to engage in recon. . .

"Well. . . if you're offering I guess it'd be rude to decline the offer." Khairi attempted to keep some measure of composure about himself, though it would be clear that the idea of taking flight had won out over his more grounded sense of common sense. "If you're going to be walking about, are you thinking of purchasing anything? One could turn deserves another so I could give you a budget if you really want to feel the full tourist experience."
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Crusader Lord
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Crusader Lord A professional, anxiety-riddled, part-time worker

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Suteki Kiyoraka


Central Temple Grounds, Ryuudou Temple, Mount Enzo





Finally, her great quest had begun! She would do her best to ensure this whole thing didn't burn the city to the ground, albeit she was but one maiden. That meant she would have to participate, even if it meant summoning a servant for the sake of protecting this holy position. Well, holy for the Buddhists anyways, but sacred ground she could make good use of to secure herself a vantage point from which to view things. The anti-spirit barrier here was strong, such that she wished she could study it more, but all the same it was important to get started early. She'd already set her things to the side, going into the temple to 'talk' to the monks in a way only magecraft would allow in order to 'convince' them to let her stay on the grounds.

Yet as she walked out of the temple proper, the Shrine Maiden could only but sigh and rub her head.

This whole "Holy Grail War" thing was already a messy concept, and since the "Big Incident" years ago the other Subspecies Wars in Japan after then had given her family good time to study and clean up after them here and there otherwise. While they had the time at least. In time her father, who wasn't a fighter, had even been able to eventually acquire the blueprints for the ritual and dedicate them to paper and study and being locked securely in the family's vault. Anything to get a more clear idea of what they were dealing with. It was hard to learn more, however, as the creators of the ritual seemed to be pursing every possible outbreak to put it down and reclaim what was theirs.

Blech.

It was welcome to put down the atrocities going on, but all the same these "Three Families" should have begun to reclaim their materials earlier! It was their fault for letting them get out of hand, for letting a foreigner stomp in and defile their grounds, and for taking so long to get their butts moving! All their work had brought, once the details were leaked by the thief, was chaos. Likewise, said blueprints were something of an oddity to herself at that, though they weren't necessarily useless either when it came to their potential. Some tweaks here and there, perhaps and the idea of a ritual protecting her family's land with powerful spirits tied to the land and such could perhaps be realized! It was a theory she'd posed to her father, who had been more open than her grandfather about the concept. It was worth study, at least, and seeking to avoid the same mistakes of the past this knowledge had brought upon the land since.

Yet this was no Subspecies War, this was the original reborn from the ashes of decades. A more potent ritual than the others, and more stable, which came with greater potential for devastation in turn. It was terrifying in that sense...genuinely. What lengths would be sought to achieve it would be up to be seen, but if the past was any indication then she would need to expect everything and anything.

To that end, setting up shop on the mountain would be a good thing. She just had to transform this temple to Buddhism into a proper house for the gods. Not like the two were utterly unfamiliar with each other anyway. Would be just like old times in a sense! Blast Emperor Meiji and his 'reforms'. Still, it would be part of her workshop preparations, of which she'd need to begin immediately.

'Archer, I will begin work on setting up a workshop here. I have 'spoken' to the monks and gained permission to live here for the time being. Being sacred grounds, this place will be very useful for my craft...but we must keep an eye on the entrance into here.'

She moved to summon her servant half a day ago, the earliest chance she'd had to summon to be frank, at her family's shrine. Catalysts had been few and far between, but she'd managed to procure...something? Seller had been shady and seemed desperate for cash, even said something about it being tied to a 'hero with connections to the sun' to sell it, but all of this had made it cheaper to buy at least. Ridiculous foreigners.

Though this was definitely not the "Brave of Yamato" she'd summoned, though those hopes had been so small it was laughable, the situation wasn't so bad in reality.

@Reflection

(@Cu Chulainn@SSW Followed Cu's instructions to not already have a workshop, so I have arrived there to set up one to be fair as instructed. Hopefully I did not get any of this wrong. Do let me know if I did. ^^;

Intent is for Suteki to use the whole of the daytime period to set up at Ryuudou Temple, creating a basic workshop at the very least. If there is room to set up more beyond that, let me know and I will DM you both to talk and see what would be acceptable.)




Rider


Intersection of Miyama Town, Foriegn District, and Fuyuki Park

- TO -

Fuyuki Park





He had tagged along in his spirit form as requested, but all the same the Prince was somewhat glad that his master could not see him. He stood close and nearby, just in case of some brazen daytime attack, but all the same the hero hoped that none were so foolish as to do so. Either way, being prepared for any occasion was the best option.

Still, sad eyes hidden from view or perception by his master briefly glanced for a second upon the man-...no, the child who had summoned him into this conflict. The Prince's heart had gone out to him, but not perhaps for the reasons his master may or may not have assumed. He'd never asked, frankly, why his master thought he'd answered the summons a few hours ago. For the moment being he wanted to leave it that way. For now, just keeping him safe would suffice. Learning, then, he prayed to the heavens above would come more swiftly for the younger one he now watched over.

He did agree this place was beautiful, though, but it could just as easily become a grave. Anywhere could become such a thing. Even the inside of the greatest fortress could become one's deathbed. But more about the matter could be discussed later.

'I will keep watch as you seek direction, for I linger nearby. I implore caution, however, in your work.'

It was the lone mental message he sent his master, before continuing standing watch as promised.

@Letter Bee
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by ManyThings
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ManyThings

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Riverside Workshop, Southern Moor




This was right around the time they would have done it, if things had been different. Fiore would be in Trifas, with her brother and the rest of their clan. That night, they would've summoned their heroes and made a miracle happen. It would've been scary, turning her back on everyone at the Clock Tower, but she would've been surrounded by people she had faith in. This was much worse. This was all wrong. The people she had been standing beside were gone--either dead or under house arrest for the crime of conspiracy against the Mage's Association.

The true crime would be not finishing what they had started.

Instead of Trifas, she was in Fuyuki, hiding in a vacant building that overlooked the river Mion from its East bank. It wasn't dilapidated, but even after setting up a workshop in the basement, the whole place felt pointedly alien to her. Not home-like in the slightest. Still, it was a well-balanced location that served her nature as a magus about as well as any Eastern land could, while also meeting her other requirements. That, of course, included a Study where her Servant could do his work.

It had been a gamble, summoning someone like this. His page on the Wiki was so small that Fiore wasn't certain if he had ever actually been summoned before or if it was just one of those filler pages with a smattering of speculation. The fact that it was so unclear was just another example of how unusable the Wiki was, but everyone who had made it to this point was hopefully past the point of needing to use something like that. When it came to "Author" Heroic Spirits like Shakespeare and Dickens, they had the major advantage of being relatively young and therefore easier to obtain a catalyst for. Even if that auction for Cúchulainn's right boot was legitimate, word would've travelled quickly if she had gotten involved. Staying beneath the Three Founders' radar for the moment was key. As for why she had chosen this man in particular...

It had been a hunch about what sort of abilities he would have, and in Fiore's eyes, it had paid off. He wasn't strong in the way that a warrior like Beowulf, or even a witch like Circe was strong, but with him by her side, she could win. He could get her across the finish line.

A hand that wasn't trembling in the slightest rested on the knob, then pushed open the door to the study.

"Caster--!"

Actually, there was a hand pulling on that door from the other side as well. Fiore stepped back with a start, but it was too late. The surprise and the extra force applied to the door had been enough to send the being on the other side falling flat on its behind.

"Ah..."



Stunned into silence for just long enough that it began to feel awkward, Fiore collected herself as quickly as she could and extended a hand. The homunculus was already halfway to his feet at that point, so what followed couldn't properly be described as helping him up, per se, but he took it nonetheless.

"Sorry, Goro. I'm just here to see Caster. You can go." She did her best to make eye contact with him while she spoke. It was hard, knowing what he was and what would have to happen to him, but she couldn't be a coward. Not anymore.

She imagined the homunculus had been sent by her Servant to fetch something or other, as he had been assigned to be the Caster's attendant, but since he hadn't been prompted to explain what he was up to, he just bowed and left the room without another word. As soon as he moved down the hallway, the homunculus standing guard--Either Gordon or Gordius. Fiore couldn't really tell those two apart--Left his post and trailed behind. They both walked with the same steady, balanced gait.

At least they don't have much in the way of personality, she thought to herself, hopefully.

Fiore took a deep breath, looking her Caster up and down. His Parameters were... Certainly telling of the function he was meant to serve. She had provided this study, and given him leave to furnish it with anything that could be reasonably obtained. Every artist had different things that would inspire them to work, after all. "Are you settling in all right, Caster? Tonight will be the start of everything, meaning this place could be attacked at any moment... And, well, I'm not strong enough to protect you yet."

She half-smiled, wondering if it would really come to that.

No, if things went to plan, that was definitely how their war would end.

As long as her legs still worked, she would keep moving forwards.
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Sakaki Chizuru
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Sakaki Chizuru

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Fancy Tea Shop, Shinto City

@Red Alice



The Prime Grail War had begun.

It started earlier, much earlier in fact. One could argue that the Prime Grail War had begun once the Third Grail War ended the way it did. Someone actually gifted in seeing the future might have easily seen such a result. Unfortunately, none of the families present in that war were proficient in such a thing. In fact, it seems none of them still learned that lesson. If they did, they would have been smart enough to not even bother retrying such an idiotic war.

Well, in a way, Kiyomi did thank them. She needed this war after all. Once more, the stupidity of others fueled her interests.

This local tea shop Taiga had recommended for her was nice. She had spent the day prior with her friend, though it was mostly filled with shopping and kendo. Taiga was a simple person at her core, but it made her happy, so Kiyomi had no issues with it. While Kiyomi didn’t buy any of the clothing, she did model her current attire on it. It was a simple yellow T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, and a white sweater wrapped around her waist. According to the advertisement, this was supposedly all the rage in Gifu? Something about the attire seemed a little out of date though...

The aroma of her Hōjicha brought comfort. This little moment in this tea shop would be the last moment of true calm before Kiyomi properly entered the war. She may have already arrived in Fuyuki and summoned her Servant, but she was not mentally present in the war. She was still here to visit her good friend Taiga. The actual reality of the war had not truly entered her mind, as she simply sought to enjoy the last moments of peace she may ever have.

With the last sips of tea entering her lips and washing out her throat, so too did this facade of peace wash away.

Kiyomi Mayama was a demon. It was time to act as such.

With a new look of conviction in her eyes, Kiyomi pulled out a folder she had. It was filled with her notes about the war.

To begin with, the Holy Grail War was always a scam. If you were not one of the Einzbern, Matou, or Tohsaka, then victory was never going to happen.

This is the unspoken rule of the Original Holy Grail War.

The Einzbern, Matou, and Tohsaka are the only ones who can truly seize victory. The rest simply exist as fodder. This is by design, of course. Who wouldn’t make a ritual where all the cards were in your hands? As an outsider, Kiyomi obviously hated it, but it isn’t like she could blame the founders. She would have done the exact same thing. Well, maybe she would have been a little less snake-y about it.

The Mayama stay honest to their alliances, at the very least.

Even among the founding families, there was clearly a pecking order. While any of the three were allowed to win, one family was clearly a Bishop to the other’s Queen.

The Matou were the creators of the entire system and ritual. If information is the most important thing in war, then the Matou were clearly more dangerous than any other. The old worm was a super genius for creating such a ritual, but to think the other families simply let this happen was hard for Kiyomi to process at first. Of course, she quickly understood that despite the Matou’s absurd advantage, even it was nothing to the Einzbern's.

The Einzbern were the ones who held the key. It was as simple as that. One family was in control of actually starting the grail. What a completely absurd advantage. Who would actually agree to this? Such an unfair advantage should have been stomped out in the first ritual, but it wasn’t. Maybe there truly was no other way, but as it stood, the Einzbern were the family with the greatest control over the war.

The Tohsaka.

Tohsaka…

They uh…

Hm.

They were the Bishops among the Queens. They could win the ritual, but they were clearly lesser than the other two. In fact, they were probably just advanced fodder for the Einzbern and Matou. They could never hope to have leverage or power while alongside them. Holding the land was a nice boost, but it was not even close to what the other two held up their sleeves. As it stood, the Tohsaka were like the little brother invited because mom told the bigger brothers to bring them along.

What a rigged game.

Of course, this meant that everyone else, including Kiyomi, were Pawns. There was no genuine path to victory for them. They were fodder meant to fill up the cup until the real game masters could claim victory. At base, this was unavoidable.

A Pawn can not win The Holy Grail

This too, is an unwritten rule.

That means that the goal of any Pawn is to become a Queen and turn the board inside out.

And so, this would be Kiyomi’s initial plan. She needed to elevate her status from Pawn if she ever wanted to win the Prime Grail War. It would not be easy, especially considering the information she had on hand.

The founding families were working together prior to this war. While they have formally declared war on each other, could such a thing really be the case? What if it was all smoke and mirrors? What if they sought to work together once more so they could abuse their advantages as the controllers of this game? Such an outcome was completely possible, and it was clearly the worst outcome for all of the players. In that scenario, the path to leaving the status of Pawn was nearly completely closed off.

The Matou representative was a monster. This was not a term Kiyomi used lightly, but there was no other way to describe him. In fact, Kiyomi had no problem declaring him the most dangerous thing in this war. Sure, she had no idea about the other Pawns, but they were not going to compare to him. If the situation between them was slightly different, Kiyomi surely would have skipped this war.

The Einzbern were relying on a mercenary. As much as she wanted to mock the family for falling to such a state, she could not blame them. The amount of effort spent to build the essentials for the war was absurd, so instead of relying on them in combat where it could backfire, a mercenary was the right call. Now, that also means they have no real way to ensure loyalty, but it was better off to not speculate with things like that. The Einzbern likely had a way to ensure some level of loyalty. The mercenary they were using was a powerful one though. He was famous in the West for his work or something? Kiyomi made a mental note to be especially on guard with him.

The Tohsaka completely bound themselves to those apes in the West, so they’ve become much more brutish. Barbarians were barbarians in the end though, so she actually gave little thought to the situation of their current head. Still, having them involved with the Einzbern and Matou would surely be an unprecedented disaster for this war. They controlled the land and had a barrier over Miyama, two things Kiyomi could not take for granted.

Fortunately, the situation was still likely within a manageable position. The path to victory was clear to Kiyomi, so all she needed to do was work to enact it.

“Rider, I believe I’m done here. How was the tea? Taiga suggested the place, so I hope it was to your liking."

Kiyomi was more than pleased with the Servant she had summoned. Considering her catalyst was a well preserved autumn leaf, there was a big chance of failure in the summoning. Thankfully, the compatibility portion of the summoning mechanism was working perfectly well. Truly, there was no better fitting for Kiyomi. What was better than one Oni Queen? Two Oni Queens. It was simple Oni math.

Of course, they had a myriad of other similarities, but that was left best concealed for now.

Regardless, she liked her Servant. They were a bit off, but it was not like Kiyomi was in a position to judge. A clingy Servant was better than one who you would never get along with. In regards to goals and war outlook, they were completely aligned. Her power also solidly placed her amongst the greatest Servants this war could provide. In other words, Kiyomi had drawn the winning card.

While her Servant was responding about the tea, Kiyomi began to weave five familiars from the tattoos present on her body. It was a simple task, one that would only take a moment. Everything needed to forge them was already done, all that was required was molding them into the right shape. Once that was done, Kiyomi’s five little shadow yokai familiars would be complete.

“Mind giving them a little blessing, Rider? The world can be harsh to little things like these.”

The five little shadows glided across the table over to the Servant, awaiting the Servant’s blessing. Once they received their blessings, they would mold into the shadow of nearby birds as cover, and depart. This would allow them to hide their presence even further, which was the main goal with a familiar scouting network. Their targets were the Outskirts of the Einzbern abode, the Foreign District, Southern Moor, Mount Enzo, and Miyama.

“Our next stop is to visit the Mayor. It has been a while, but unfortunately for him, I’m sure he remembers my face.”

With her familiars ready and her Servant behind her, Kiyomi began the walk to visit an old….friend. Sure, we can go with that.


Moving into Fuyuki Civic Center, Shinto Town
Hidden 2 mos ago Post by Yukitamas
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Yukitamas

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Khairi Ilunga

Outskirts/Forest
@Yukitamas

Khairi couldn't help but raise a brow at the Caster's use fo big sister as she spoke, but shrugged it off since, given how he had chosen to summon her. . . she wasn't exactly wrong in that. Whatever the outcome of this war, Tlachtga was considered a part of his family now. An odd thought, to be certain, but she was no more eccentric a member than any of his ancestors by blood.

Though none of his ancestors had managed to take flight as easily as this woman did and he was unable to hold back the look of wonder on his face as he saw her floating above him with seeming easy. It reminded the young man of some of his childhood dreams about using his own skill with magecraft. Common sense told him that he should be more cautious with this excursion and that passing under the illusory veil of such a powerful Magi was the proper way to engage in recon. . .

"Well. . . if you're offering I guess it'd be rude to decline the offer." Khairi attempted to keep some measure of composure about himself, though it would be clear that the idea of taking flight had won out over his more grounded sense of common sense. "If you're going to be walking about, are you thinking of purchasing anything? One could turn deserves another so I could give you a budget if you really want to feel the full tourist experience."



Outskirts/Forest -> probably Shinto

“A budget?”
She grinned.

“Of course! To shop is to become part of the circulation of goods and value, to enjoy and admire the craftsmanship and enjoy the tastes of a culture.” Ah yeah.. She definitely was the sort to visit flea markets, bazaars and enjoy all sorts of street food. Khairi was getting a sort of insight into Caster as a person and simple woman in all sorts of ways as she giggled and skipped around playfully while talking about what she saw looking over the city with magic. How she spoke of the knowledge she knew from the grail, and how it differed from actually seeing things with magical senses.

“I’m looking forward to seeing it with my own two eyes, my nose, and even my ears. The crackle and popping of oil, the sizzling of meat, the steamy wafting of rice, it’s quite nice you know.”

She was a woman who visited countless lands, who learned of many techniques both mundane and mysterious. Even this adventure as a Ghost Liner, not the true person and a fabrication, an illusory manifestation of myth in a world that declared her an impossible existence. Was just another trip and adventure to her.

“I am very curious of the sort of books that they have, and also of clothes. There are brand new fabrics of all sorts, although some of them don’t seem all that great for magic. But I think they’ll be fun to wear. How much do you have? Oh never mind, I’m sure I can manage one way or another.”

A few magical words, prayers and signs. Auspiciousness, blessings, favor and joy.

It wasn’t really cheating, but they’d surely come across good fortune, and they would likely get some good sales and find what they’d enjoy.

“Now now.”

She smirked devilishly like a witch even as she weaved the flow of their lives and fortunes.

“This is the war of your one and only desire, a grand wish that can distort even the world right?... Fufufu… fufufufufu! I sure hope you weren’t planning on skimping on it. Even if it costs your entire life savings I’ll make sure we end up with plenty a treat!...

A witch indeed. It was a simple little human desire that turned her from a wise druid and understanding mother. But perhaps that was the fault of the festival that had become associated with her? Well, it couldn't be blamed completely.. Her master would surely understand that she was that sort of person in life, and that the manifestation known as a servant didn't fall too far from the tree as far as candied apples go.

"Oh, if we run out of money I’m sure we can have money as a treat that we ask of the people who want to come through the forest~”

Wait isn't that just extortion?!
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Constantine Cosmo
Penthouse Suite, Grand Bleu Hotel, Shinto Town




Constantine watched the summoning without much fanfare. This sort of thing wasn’t exactly routine, but it wasn’t really novel now either. He was used to these kinds of small pranks, in any case.

“Yeah, nearly died of fright, pipsqueak,” Constantine spoke, his voice completely flat. It was best to let her get it out of her system, at least for a moment.

“This place isn’t mine. I kicked the last guy out,” He said, glancing towards the window for just a moment. “I don’t go in for this kind of luxury. Makes you soft, at least if that loser was any indication.” He paused, and sniffed the air. “Plus, he might have left some kinda trap here, so I’m not sticking around for long.” He didn’t turn to move, though, instead squatting across from his Assassin’s relaxed form.

“Well, you can kill as much as you want, but I’m not here to win. Who needs a cup anyway? I can drink just as well with my hands.” It was a simple and blunt statement to dismiss the value of a device that could grant wishes. Was that simplicity stupidity, or did it make him smarter than the others who dashed themselves against that flame that drew them here?

Giving a smirk, he continued. “I’m just here to meet heroes. Unfortunately, I got stuck with you again,” he said, casually insulting the Servant to her face. “Still, maybe it’s for the best. Those guys are pretty human, so they can get quite temperamental. You Assassin types are a lot more practical, even if you’re nothing more than wraiths that discarded your humanity.”

He let the insult hang in the air for a moment, completely unconcerned about the threat the Assassin could pose - and then, clapped his hands together suddenly and burst into a grin. “Well, that’s all I have to say about that. Cup’s yours, if you can get it. I’ll help if I feel like it.” With that, he rose and strode from the room, either expecting the Servant to follow or completely uncaring.

At the door, he stopped for a moment, and turned back. “Oh, by the way, I don’t speak Japanese. If it comes down to it, I might need you to translate.” At the last bit, he sounded almost embarrassed.

@Duoya




Tohsaka Residence, Miyama District




Cyrene surveyed the room, watching as the last few sheep she’d set to work finished. Well, sheep were pretty limited in the work they could do, but they tried their best.

This is entirely serviceable. Though I have to ask, is it even necessary to seek an alliance? I’m sure we can manage this entirely by ourselves.” Her voice was calm and confident, without the bite of arrogance. It seemed she simply believed in herself that much.

She appeared entirely regal, clothed in fine robes. Her posture was elegant except for the single sheep that she clutched to herself with arms crossed, like a schoolchild with a plush toy. It somewhat ruined the image.

Naturally, my darling is used to conflicts of hero against monster, duels where the light of humanity can shine…” A voice came from the sheep that Cyrene was holding. It was deep and soothing, with a bleating tone to it. “A clash between heroes is more akin to the war against Troy; a battlefield of nothing more than dirt and tragedy. Yes, the difference between the two is as night and day…

Lancer’s eye twitched a little, and her grip on the sheep grew in strength, distorting the ball of wool. “And who exactly asked for your opinion, Apollo?” Her serene voice didn’t change in tone one bit, but a cold atmosphere suddenly grew across the room. It seemed there was some marital tension between the pair.

@Syndrome
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Turboshitter Ubiquitous. Mendacious. Polyglottal.

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???

Tohsaka Residence, Foreign District



A solid knock came from the wooden front door, disrupting the silent solitude that lay over the Tohsaka residence like a mist. Two more followed swiftly in its wake. Guests, it appeared, had arrived.

The new arrivals, be they Matou or Einzbern, waited patiently in front of the door, not seeming to mind that their knocks went unanswered. Normally, when made to wait by a Tohsaka, one would at least take the opportunity to marvel at the owners’ beloved gardens, which were a jewel in their own right. A veritable envy of the neighborhood, perhaps the entire town, it was said that when the morning dew glistened on the petals of the Tohsaka’s flower garden, the entire property sparkled like a dragon’s hoard. The beautiful pathways of sapphire irises and ruby roses seemingly held no appeal for these two however, who simply remained rooted to the spot in front of the door like furnishings. Beauty, it seems, did not sway their hearts in the slightest.

After an indeterminate amount of time, the door swung open.

In the entryway stood two homunculi. Or rather, one stood and one sat, bound by a wheelchair and an IV bag. They were both dressed quite oddly. One wore what appeared to be a very large and elaborate red & black headdress that matched her low-cut dress. The other wore nothing except a crisp white hospital gown. Had she been freshly decanted?

The taller, more able-bodied one pushed the chair forward, entering the manor bare-footed. For a human, this would be seen as being at best a social faux pas. Many in the same circles as Fuyuki’s Three Founding Families might even see it as an insult. For an existence such as a homunculus however, it was perhaps not so unusual.

She curtsied, a motion almost befitting of a maid or house servant. Though the curtsy was almost robotically perfect, at no point during it did her expression change or betray a hint of emotion, her face stony like a mask.

“Good afternoon. Representing the interests of the Einzbern family, this is Idalisviel von Einzbern, current vessel of the Holy Grail,” she said, gesturing towards the wheelchair-bound homunculus. “And I am her guardian. You may refer to me by my unit designation, ‘Liesa’, or by whatever name you prefer.”

Idalisviel didn’t offer any similar sort of greeting, or anything in the way of acknowledgment of the Tohsakas or Matous. She simply stared ahead, her gaze relaxed and empty. Were the Einzberns really so trusting (or perhaps foolish) as to go showing off the vessel for the Grail like this, or did these two have other secrets? It was common knowledge that Einzbern homunculi could be very well made indeed...

“We have come here in place of the Einzbern’s designated Master for this war. He had, and I quote, ‘better things to do than joining your Three Families stitch ‘n bitch’,” the one called Liesa said monotonously, her expression utterly devoid of irony. If one were to look carefully, one might notice the tail of a small lizard curled around the nape of her neck…

@Syndrome @SSW @Cu Chulainn



Rottweil Berzinsky, Master of Lancer

Pets Plus, Commercial District



“<A-And will that be all for you today, sir?>” the nervous cashier asked. His stutter annoyed Rottweil. Almost as much as having to constantly look things up in this damn phrasebook.

“<… Yes,>” he said slowly, squinting to check his pronunciation. “Thank you. Wait I mean, <thank you.>”

“<Well if that’s all, then we’ll have it all shipped to your residence by the end of the day,>” the cashier said absently, his gaze following the massive parade of aquariums filled with small animals that the man had bought. Horned lizards, skinks, snakes, monitors, chameleons, and at least five each of ten different kinds of geckos. He hadn’t wanted to ask how the man intended to care for all these animals but receiving the shipping address made things make a bit more sense. “<I didn’t realize anybody was living in that castle out in the forest. Is this all for a private collection?>”

Rottweil eyed the man cautiously. He was getting really tired of all the questions, least of all because he hadn’t fucking understood half of what the cashier just said. Still, he made it a rule to respect the staff, especially the ones taking care of the animals. And this particular shop looked rather well-kept, so he let it slide.

Licking his thumb, he flicked through the phrasebook again.

“<Japanese… is difficult. I don’t understand,>” he struggled to say. “<Sorry.>”

“<Oh, of course. You, uh, have a… nice… day…>” the cashier tried to say, but Rottweil had already left.

He didn’t have the time to stand around making chitchat with the Tohsakas or the Matous, so he certainly wasn’t going to waste any time making smalltalk with a cashier in a foreign country. Instead, he walked back out onto the street, purchased a can of too-sweet coffee from a vending machine, and cut his way from the Commercial District to Miyama Town through the Foreign District, making sure to leave a familiar here and there as he went, at least one for every mile he walked.

The large purchase of new reptiles had been insurance, in a sense. He was banking on losing a large number of familiars in the next couple days, despite their size and inconspicuousness, so having replacements lined up only made sense. A few of the reptiles would be going home with him, but the vast majority, the geckos, would be used in such a way.

In a sense, having the Prime Grail War in a foreign country like this had been a stroke of good fortune for him. Japan as a nation was home to numerous species of gecko, his preferred familiar, thanks in no small part to the subtropical island climate. Fuyuki wasn’t quite Okinawa, granted, but it was still hospitable enough to reptilians that a few geckos here and there would more than likely go completely unnoticed.

Rottweil leaned inconspicuously against a concrete dividing wall separating two prefab houses, taking a sip of his coffee as another one of his familiars climbed down his arm and up the wall. It regarded him with its usual detached familiarity as it climbed, seemingly in defiance of gravity, eyes opening and closing independently of one another. He blew the cute little lizard a kiss and it scurried along up and over the wall, ready to become his eyes and ears.

“That’s it, little guy. Go and make daddy proud,” he said, chuckling.

Perhaps even better, he’d read somewhere that Schlegel’s Japanese gecko was considered a sign of good luck if you found one in your house. Yet another local superstition, albeit one that worked heavily to his advantage. What was the word they had for it again…

“It was something about a ‘house guardian’, wasn’t it?” he seemingly asked no one. “That was it, wasn’t it Lancer?”

He honestly had no idea what the hell was going on with the culture of this country, even after reading up on their history, but his nephew Roland seemed to love their cartoons at least. His Servant might know more, not that he honestly cared. He was just trying to fill the dead space with something to keep his mind occupied as he went about this, and let us be frank about this, important yet utterly monotonous bit of preparation.

Distributing the familiars served a dual purpose of establishing an intelligence network while also scouting out potential safehouses and hiding spots. Unlike the other Masters, Rottweil had no intention of marrying himself to a single piece of real estate. His body was his Workshop, in a sense. Everything he needed to ply his trade he kept with him at all times, wherever he went, and he fully intended to take advantage of that. Empty houses, dilapidated buildings, or other sorts of neat little hidey-holes; all would serve him wonderfully during this Holy Grail War. As long as it wasn’t being used, he’d be more than happy to borrow it. And if it was being used, well… there were ways to make it not used anymore.

”House guardians” indeedy…

@ManyThings




Moving into Miyama Town from Commerce District

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Pythagoras
Temple Entrance, Ryuudou Temple, Mount Enzo
________________________________________________________ ______ __ _

Ryuudou Temple... It was perhaps the most perfect place for a master and their servant to make camp. It had access to the wellspring of a leyline that was primarily unowned by the Three Main Houses who governed the war, and while difficult to defend, it was easier to defend than other options. At least the monks who owned the temple would be allies to keep unwanted guests away from the temple. But...

Oh, so many thoughts. So many feelings. But Pythagoras had long ago learned to control them. As such, the task of categorizing, shuffling, ordering, and putting expressions and doubts into their proper locations within her mind were easy? Was her master disappointed with her summoning? Filed under 'Needless doubt.' Even if Pythagoras was not what her master wanted, she was still an Archer class servant, and more than capable of fulfilling her master's wishes.
Was she bored that she was sitting on the top of the temple's main entrance, watching others go about their day from a distance? A little, but that was because she wanted to feel that emotion, at least for the moment. It would keep her in anticipation for the war to come.

Oh right, she was sitting on top of the temple entrance. One leg crossed over the other, and spying out into the city. She could see the whole of the town, estimating every possible route the citizens were taking as they moved about their days. One was about to hit their bike against a car. They thought they could slow down enough in time bu- CRASH! There it was. Tsk tsk. If only Pythagoras had been there to warn him in advance.

"I calculated in advance that you would want warning ahead of time if another master or servant desired to claim the temple for themselves." Pythagoras communicated. "The temple is desirable, and there are many who cannot control their desires. Nor are there not many who could make good use out of the temple. It is why it is the perfect location for us to operate from. Those that cannot own it, will attempt to bargain." Or attack... Attacking was always a threat.

"I shall just have to snipe anybody who I calculate is approaching. That'll be fun. Calculating." The way her mental voice caressed the word 'calculating' was almost sensual.

Kai Chu
Harbor District, Warehouse
________________________________________________________ ______ __ _

The morning sun rising over the ocean. The morning reds and blues cascaded across the waves, but Kai Chu did not watch them. No, she was busy. She had managed to convince a local merchant to allow her free and complete access to his warehouse for a period of time. Mind you, the warehouse was mostly unused, due to its typical supplies being out of season.

That meant it was mostly empty, and thus free for Kai Chu to move in and transform it into her workshop. Several puppets moved alongside her, dressed as sailors to throw off the eyes or anybody who might have left their familiars out early. Kai Chu oversaw the moving of boxes, calendars, and the various other materials that would make up the modern workshop of a puppet crafter. Unfortunately, she knew it would be difficult to make the most use out of it. After all, a puppet master took time to create even one puppet, that most mages might not even have to worry about if they were just using corpses.

Thankfully, she had brought unused wood, just in case she needed to craft something specialized.

"Rider, what do you think of my works?" Kai Chu asked, barely able to hide the pride she took in each individual grain of wood that made up her creations. How they moved with such human-like precision that one would never guess they were puppets from a distance. "I understand this is probably the closest you and your family have ever come to Japan's beaches. You were all swept away by the Kamikaze twice, weren't you?" She said, almost jokingly. Just to see how her servant's humor might stand up.
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Lewis Carroll

Riverside Workshop, Southern Moor

@ManyThings


"Thank you Goro." He said when the Homunculus placed down a tray holding a rather modest tea set, a plate holding scones, and a jar of cherry jam that Caster requested him to bring to his Study. The Study itself was furnished with Victorian styled furniture that, while not authentic, were quite comfortable enough to make himself at home. The bookshelves he requested were filled to the brim with books contemporary with today's society of all genres and origins, even some manga were shelved in there somewhere. There were also many papers discussing modern mathematical theorem and the sciences of today. Really, the most expensive object in the room was the tea itself, the highest quality that he was allowed to procure without it breaking the bank.

Lewis looked up at Goro who was still standing there waiting for his next order. "You may leave now. I'll call for you when I need your services." Working with Homunculi was a strange experience for him; they are creatures made by man to be exploited until they were of no use, beings that had no place in Gods' kingdom, and yet, they exist nonetheless. Does God even love the creations of man? No, he must for his love is infinite to all living beings, even if they were not crafted by his hand.

He watched the homunculus walk to of the room while he felt his connection with his Master grow ever stronger. Three, two, one... And there it was! Fiore had accidentally knocked Goro onto his bum followed by awkward silence that was broken by her servant audibly sipping his tea.

"Quite well actually. You have been most accommodating. My only regret is that I do not have the ability to protect you, my master." He motioned her to one of the comfy seats that had been placed. If Fiore was paying attention she would have noticed something odd; there were two teacups and two small plates. "Please, sit Master. If you cannot rest your mind then at the very least you could rest your feet."
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Saber

Koushuuensaikan Taizan, Mount Miyama, Miyama Town



As Sláine uttered his chant he would feel the magical energy in the air thicken, condensing on itself and growing with each passing second as his chant continued - from weak currents of a stream to mighty ocean waves, his catalyst had worked, the nameless broken sword, a weapon which held no great Mystery nor had any grand feat to its name, but which was once raised in defiance of his father's wishes by the Emperor, now called to its owner.

The Soldier King who crushed all opposition and brought all his enemies to heels.

The Liberator who separated two worlds with a simple warcry and held the crowns of two nations.

In a deluge of power Saber was brought back to the living world, the room's foundations shaking as the once-raging torrents lulled into gentle flow by the presence of the one blessed by the River Spirit. His armour shined silver, covering every inch of his body, his cape cape shone red, like the red waters of his patron, he was the ideal of a Saber-class Servant in terms of figure. A powerful and noble knight who carried the presence of royalty, filled with indescribable dignity.

And yet, why could Sláine feel only sorrow looking at the eyes of the King? How could such a powerful figure emanate such sadness? How could a King hold such regret?

"I have heard your summons, and so I have answered. I ask you, shall I fight at your side?" His voice was low and stoic, betraying no emotion as he asked the words which would seal their contract.

@Duoya
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