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6 mos ago
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Smoke was wafting from the kitchen. Even without hearing the desperate shouts now echoing out into the main guild hall, it didn’t take a genius to guess the cause. Not half an hour before, Lavinia Lucardi had been seen waltzing towards the oven with a recipe book in hand, humming happily to herself. And as everyone was well aware, the blood mage only knew one recipe: disaster.

“Zenith help I was trying to make cookies and now the oven’s on fire Zenith what do I do HEEEEEELLLLPPP!”

Many were no doubt mystified by Lavinia’s recent forays into the world of cooking, but it was clear that something in her had changed since her mission with the ANP. The truth was, after encountering the mad Avedis and going head-to-head against Obsidian Kite’s secret dark ops division (which she was dead certain those enemy mages had been), Lavinia had been left with a deep distrust of fancy new technologies and their shady inventors. Despite knowing that ANPs would likely soon become commonplace in food preparation across Fiore, the devilish villainess had resolved that she should learn to cook on her own, so that she could sustain herself without letting suspicious robots into her home to spy on her.

Unfortunately, her efforts thus far have proven… Less than fruitful. Setting the kitchen on fire was a delightfully evil deed on paper, but that was contingent on the fire being set on purpose. Lighting up appliances by accident, on the other hand, was simply embarrassing.

“The oven won’t break if I spray blood on it, right? I’m going to try spraying blood on it!” Hopefully the cookies would at least be salvageable, though given that they looked like blackened husks right now her chances probably weren’t great.
Archer of Black

A small girl strode barefoot through the bamboo stalks, yawning as she went. A Yōkai of some sort, no doubt, for how else to explain the presence of a brown-skinned woman dressed so strangely, with a horned skull perched slightly askew atop her head? Strange things were known to wander Mifune at night, and one would do well to avoid them where possible. This spirit, whatever she was, did not seem intent on doing harm, so as long as one left her well alone she would return the favor… Probably.

The spirit herself was murmuring calmly under her breath, and a chilling aura seemed to swirl about her like an unseen breeze. Ghosts, no doubt, though nothing so powerful or corporeal as herself. These were just the locals, the souls of dead animals and many other things besides, quietly thriving in the many shadows that lay between slivers of penetrating moonlight.

There were six others, too, foreigners like her, but she didn’t pay them much mind. She knew about the war going on, a big fight between themselves and seven counterparts over a magical golden cup, but Archer didn’t see much point in being granted a whole second life only to waste in all in conflict. When we find the other Heroic Spirits, she decided, I will clock them each on the heads, and then we will all sit down and talk together. That seemed like a far better way to sort out this whole mess.

She turned her gaze upwards and hopped into the air, grabbing onto one of the larger stalks once she was eight feet off the ground and shimmying the rest of the way up. It bent and rustled slightly as she climbed, audible to anyone with sharp ears, but Archer paid it no mind. She had a premonition that things were about to start happening, and it would be better then to have a proper view of what was going on, no?


“Not cute! It’s not cute at all, Rider!”

Clarissa’s rabbit ears twitched as she sent a pulse of magical energy through them, the cloth replicas flicking with a surprisingly lifelike motion. “A bamboo forest by day is fine, that’s even quite romantic. But by night it’s just… ugh! Spooky!” She made a gagging motion, as if to spit out the very idea of it. “I don’t care if the enemy’s there, we should at least wait until dawn.”

For the sake of her greater purpose, this Grail War had to be fought. That didn’t mean Clarissa was happy about it, though. Why couldn’t they have had a Grail Ball, or a Grail Beauty Contest, or a Grail Tea Party? Wars weren’t cute at all, with all that blood and guts and ugly grunting as muscular warriors slammed each other with unsightly pieces of metal.

To make matters worse… She eyed her servant once again, pink eyes flicking judgmentally up and down Rider’s body. Her looks weren’t bad, and her eyes were quite lovely, but why did she have to be so tall? Tall wasn’t cute! She wanted a small and sweet Servant like Caster, not this looming beast of a woman!

Thus her current mood, and reluctance to engage in this petty game of rudimentary conflict. Upon hearing of the enemy’s appearance, she’d wanted to investigate, but now, at the edge of the forest itself, she turned away with a huff.

“There have to be better ways to spend the night than traipsing about a dull wood like that. Come, Rider, carry me home, and I’ll make you some tea once we’re back.”

Costante and Karizma

“Very well.” Even through the mental connection with Archer, Costante’s voice sounded a mite frustrated at being asked to hold back. Without meeting this enemy Master in person, how could he tell she was trustworthy? “If she tries to touch even a hair on my sister’s head, though, any truce we might have is off.”

Frowning deeply to himself, he concentrated on observation rather than offense, reaching out for a small apparatus to attach to the telescope whilst his aerial lenses spread out in a broader pattern. The former was actually a modified camera, which would serve to capture and record images for later viewing, while the latter would let his familiars draw on ambient moonlight and mana, gathering just enough to sustain their current position without any extra resources from Costante. Those on the ground might be able to detect some signs of magical energy overhead, but at such a distance it was hard to pinpoint anything.

Karizma, meanwhile, raised her hands and made a square window with her fingers, centering it on Archer just as he landed. “Il tuo corpo è uno specchio, e la tua anima è la luce stessa. Brilla per me, mio coraggioso e bel guerriero!”

Her servant flared with light, which swiftly resolved itself into several overlapping copies of him. Moving, breathing copies, which followed his every motion… for the most part. Some exaggerated each movement, going further and faster than the real Archer, while others lagged a little behind him like a series of afterimages. To Tametomo himself, it’d only look like a faint and hazy aura, but everyone else would now be seeing her Servant as if through some strange kaleidoscope, his many limbs and faces and arrows all flickering slightly out of sync.

Using illusory copies as a diversion normally wouldn’t amount to much, given that manifested Servants could sense one another’s presence while nearby. When all the copies were right on top of the real thing, however, it became much more difficult to distinguish which was which, especially when taking into account the magical energy of the illusions themselves. Were Archer to fire another arrow, the effect would extend to the projectile as well, making its exact trajectory difficult to follow and thus much more dangerous to its target.

"Let them try and keep up with your movements now!” There was a short pause. "That is how it works, right? You like, read the other guy's style, and predict what he's going to do, and then you're all, 'I was one step ahead of you...'" Either way, this'd hopefully give her ancient Japanese butler-slash-bodyguard-slash-tour-guide an edge.
Costante and Karizma

Karizma stared down the beast across a dark and leafy field, her green eyes filled with disgust and determination. The centipede reared its head, poisoned claws biting at the air. ‘Ahahahaha!’ it seemed to say, ‘You’re finished, Karizma! Against my poison and my armor, your soft and girlish body is useless! Trash like you should just accept your place at the bottom of the food chain, and be eaten by those greater than yourselves!’ It reared even higher, repeating its earlier cackle while looming an entire five centimeters off the ground.

You’re wrong, centipede! Karizma clenched her fist and set her jaw. There’s a power greater than flesh and blood… The power of the heart! So long as Archer-san believes in me, I’ll never lose!

‘Oho?’ The centipede flicked its antennae in amusement. ‘So you would still resist, even now… Then die, insolent mammal!! Lowering its head, it skittered towards her, shockwaves rippling about its segmented body as it accelerated to its maximum velocity. ‘This is my ultimate attack! Eat the full power of my Centi-Charge!!’

It roared towards her, certain doom on dozens of legs, but Karizma only dug her heels in and stood her ground. With my feelings as my only guide… For the sake of the planet itself! She raised one foot, her muscles straining to their absolute limit. Angelozzi Secret Technique… Karizma STOMP!!

Her shoe came crashing down and smashed the evil arthropod with a mighty SPLAT. Two more SPLATs closely followed, as the moment of impact was recaptured twice from different angles. At the end of it all a tiny crater was left in the dirt, the centipede’s corpse lying flattened beneath the exhausted yet victorious mage.

I won… It had been a close thing, but in the end the power of her faith and her bonds with her friends had let her push past her limit. Now that the main threat had been dealt with, she could go and help Archer with his fight!

Without warning, everyone else on the scene would witness a bush instantly triple in side, then triple again, expanding swiftly outward to engulf the entire end of the bridge. At first glance it might have seemed like some sort of explosive plant growth, but even a moment of observation would reveal the trick. The patterns in the leaves repeated over and over: it wasn’t a larger bush but rather the same bush, a series of overlapping mirror images forming a dense field of cover. The entire process was silent but for a small rustle, the sound of Karizma emerging from her bug-infested den in favor of her new magical concealment. Though the illusions wouldn’t offer much in the way of actual protection, they’d keep her just as well-hidden as the real plant would. Even her magical energy wasn’t easy to pinpoint, so long as she remained within the confines of her own spell.

”So we’re fighting, then?" she sent to Archer. "If she’s going to support him, then it’s only fair that I support you too. Even though I’m still young, my magecraft isn’t weak, you know?” Her confident grin was practically audible.

“Aligning lenses. I’m assuming you don’t want me to kill her?” Costante sounded a little uncertain, but he’d clearly been keeping up with the situation. High above the town, his reflective crystals broke out of their observation alignment, leaving only the bridge in his field of view as they slowly shifted into a more dangerous formation. Taking out the enemy Master was probably within his capabilities, but he wanted to avoid that kind of business if he could help it… Unless she tries to harm my sister, that is.

Minamoto no Raikou

Raikou kept herself composed, and inclined her head with a pleased look while Akari familiarized herself with the ruse. “The shrine? A place such as that is a likely spot… Let’s go there together, then.” She smiled briefly down at her Master’s cat as well, though this time it was more out of politeness than genuine affection. The creature’s name had brought forth a pang of jealousy from within her, and she wondered whether the pet had been named after that Onna-Bugeisha who rose to fame a century or so after Raikou’s own death. To think that Akari might hold such admiration for another woman…

Oh, but it was only a pet. The real Tomoe Gozen was unlikely to appear in this era, and if she did, then Raikou would show her who the superior warrior was between them. Calming herself, she gently reached down and let the cat rub its furry face against her hand. “Farewell, little Tomoe.”

Then, with that formality done with, she immediately hurried off to join Akari. “Now now dear, slow down! It’s not good for children to be running around after dark… And you wouldn’t want your poor mother to get left behind, would you?” She fussed and worried all the way out of the house, though as soon as they were in the open her voice quickly quieted down. Enemies might be lurking anywhere, and thus it was important to stay alert and be ready to cut down anyone who came buzzing near her Master.

It was a pleasant enough little stroll to begin with. Even in this modern era, this kind of town was not too unfamiliar, and she passed the time by asking Akari a few innocent questions about her life here. The closer they came to the shrine, however, the more the Oni slayer’s old instincts began to prickle at the back of her mind, warning her that something was afoot. Her hand rested on the hilt of the Doujigiri Yasutsuna, and she checked again and again that Akari was staying within arm’s reach. “You were right, Master,” she said, with an irritated frown, “the air here stinks of insects. But do not worry: I will sever them cleanly as soon as they appear.”
Clarissa is with Trieu Thi Trinh!
Costante and Karizma

”Understood.” Costante had just done a quick sweep over the rest of town, but saw nothing notable enough to catch his eye just yet. As such, he kept his focus squarely on the bridge, alert for any sudden movements from the dark-haired enemy Master. If it came to a fight, then Karizma would be counting on him to provide support from afar.

She’ll be fine. I’ll protect her. And she has Archer by her side… Keeping his eye to the telescope, Costante took a few deep breaths to try and remain calm. Why was it that sending their Servant out alone with his sister got him worked up like this? The man was a hero of old, proven in battle, so he was definitely reliable. And besides, the other mage wasn’t trying anything yet. Maybe this encounter wouldn’t end in conflict after all. [color=39b54a][i]I shouldn’t worry myself,[i][/color] he thought, even as his hands clenched tight into fists.

At the same time, Karizma was blinking rapidly, trying to adjust to the sudden change of lighting after being yanked off her feet and into the pitch darkness of a nearby shrub. How fast was he moving just now? He's so cool... It was a shame he’d interrupted her entrance, but he was probably right about not getting shot. If that happened, then she’d have to listen to Costante grouching at her for hours about taking too many risks. Or, even worse, she might actually die! Neither of those seemed like pleasant options, so she gave Archer a tiny nod of assent and then resolved herself to keep still and silent as could be.

It took about five seconds for her to start speaking again, though at least this time she had the good sense to transmit her thoughts directly to his mind. ”Wow, there sure are a lotttt of bugs in here… Are all bushes like this in Japan? Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen so many all in one place. Literally... a metric shitton of… Ohhhh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Archer?”

Costante’s voice piped up. ”What’s the enemy Master saying? I can’t quite read her lips from this angle.”

"Archerrrr! This centipede is TWENTY CENTIMETERS LONG and it’s crawling towards me VERY FAST what do I do??!“
Oh no, he's not invulnerable. Rather when under the moon he can make one fatal or lethal blow not have happened while getting a free counter attack. If he passes the luck check that is.

Ahhh, so it’s a one-time thing? That was unclear from the wording of it, but if that’s the case then it’s definitely somewhat more reasonable. However, when you say ‘one’ lethal blow, do you mean one per night or one in the entire war or what?
  • Name: Clarissa Lafaille Delaforte
  • Age: 18
  • Gender: Female
  • Appearance: "It has to be cute, or it's no good..."
  • Personality: A very dangerous person. Her ability as a Magus may be top-class, but... Her mind has been overtaken by the ideas of 'cuteness' and 'cute things,' so she views other individuals as nothing more than pretty dolls to be dressed up and appreciated. Someone's nature or personality is irrelevant; her behavior towards others is entirely based upon their appearance. If an individual is deemed cute, then she will sweetly dote upon them; if they are deemed un-cute or ugly then she will ignore them or even lash out in a sudden rage. Her body language and manner of speaking may make her seem gentle or even vulnerable at times, but this is only her way of trying to appear cute, and not a reflection of her inner personality. No matter what, one should always be wary of her, or one may end up being dressed in all kinds of weird costumes and forced to say embarrassing lines... Truly, she is the absolute worst!
  • Skills:
    - Tailor: She loves clothing, and has studied it in all its various forms. Though the process itself is normally accomplished through magecraft, she possesses the knowledge to recreate almost any form of apparel, from the elegant to the downright adorable. She can even design custom outfits specifically fit to an individual, so long as she knows their proportions.
    - Makeover artist: An expert in the various facets of physical beauty. Whether it's diet, cosmetics, hair styling, hygiene, fashion, or even things like one's posture and gait, she'll always have plenty of suggestions for anyone who wants to look cute.
    - Vocal talent: Her voice has a wide range, and she can sound nearly however she likes with a little effort. She is also an excellent singer. This talent even extends beyond human speech: she can imitate animals such as birds and cats with impressive accuracy.
  • Abilities:
    Her magecraft is mainly based around Transmutation and the manipulation of physical matter. Specifically, she can channel her mana through threads and fabrics to take control of them, allowing her to rapidly weave, unravel, or remodel items of clothing. The strength of this control isn't very high (she can cause someone's clothing to constrict around them, but it would not be enough to break their bones), but her precision is excellent, surpassing even talented tailors using modern equipment.
    Her true ability, however, is making wearable Mystic Codes. By incorporating certain materials into her creations, she can turn any item of clothing into a magical tool, giving it minor magical properties or even tuning it to resonate with the wearer's magic circuits and respond to the movement of their mana, enhancing their physical attributes and drawing on energy stored within the clothing itself to improve the effects of their magecraft. Her best works (according to Clarissa herself) are her 'transforming' outfits, which look like ordinary clothing but will automatically unravel and restructure themselves into a combat-ready (and extremely cute) ensemble at the wearer's command. Due to her family's long history and extensive specialization, Clarissa can design and create such Codes with unusual speed, though she remains limited by material supplies.
    Her own clothing is a particularly powerful variant on this model, possessing several 'forms' that grant her different enhancements. Some of the combat-capable variations put her on par with a Grand-ranked mage in terms of raw power, though without the skill and finesse to match.
  • Brief Backstory:
    Even though Clarissa's family is old and wealthy and should be well-respected among mages, they have a bad reputation floating about them, being called things like 'eccentrics,' 'frivolous aesthetes,' or even 'degenerates that can't even be called human anymore.' Somewhere along the line, this clan's goal had changed from finding the Root to achieving the ultimate beauty of the human form. They are obsessed one and all with things such clothing and style and accessories, and even some degree of body modification. As the heir of this distorted family's Magic Crest, there is no doubt that Clarissa must be one of the worst among them.
    Though ostracized for the most part by the Mage's Association, their financial assets and skill in creating Mystic Codes mean they still have many contacts within the Clock Tower, through which they caught wind of the ritual in Japan. Though not directly invited, a certain mage who was supposed to be one of the Red Masters ended up disappearing under suspicious circumstances at the last minute, with Clarissa quite suddenly appearing to claim his spot.
    Nobody knows for certain what her wish for the Grail might be, only that it is probably very bad and that the Grail must absolutely be kept away from her.
  • Faction: Red
Master sheet!

@Crusader Lord

We discussed your edits to Lancer in the GM room, and his new skill and NP seem generally fine. Parameter-wise here’s what we think would work:

Strength: B+ (with modifier), Agility: B, Endurance: C. And the rest of his parameters can remain as they are.

If you’re okay with those values, then he’s accepted!
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