Urquhart Castle Ruins
-12:01 PM September 24th, 2017
With nary but a whisper, the witching hour had set upon Loch Ness. The full moon hanging high in the sky illuminated the waters of the loch with an almost supernatural light, its pure and beautiful glow acting like a portal into the heavens. That light had been known to both bless and curse in equal measures, and although its true significance was different in every culture, the importance of a full moon had never been lost on any human who had ever stopped and stared at the night sky. This was a magical time. Midnight, beneath a full moon.
When the Servant designated Ruler arrived, it was with surprisingly little fanfare. There was no light, no sound, no big "whoosh!" that would have disturbed the tranquility of the night. If he did anything besides simply appear out of thin air, sword in hand, no one was around to see it. The Grail, evidently, had decided to dispatch with the fanciful niceties for the one Servant for whom no one would be waiting around for. Presumably operating under the same assumptions as the old saying, "if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it..."
The somber, elegant man clad head to toe in bronze armor had the look of a knight about him, an unusual attribute for the class to which was tasked the order of "keeping the peace". Indeed this man's appearance was rather intimidating and draconic, far from anyone's ideal image of a holy man or a knight in shining armor. However, despite this something about him just seemed... silly.
Looking around absentmindedly, as if searching for a horse he had not been summoned with, the man's overall appearance was somewhat comically contrasted with his current attitude, which was apparent confusion and an utter lack of urgency. He looked for all the world like a Renaissance Festival cosplayer who'd gotten drunk and forgotten who and where he was.
"No one's here," he said quietly. "Was the Grail... wrong? Hmmm..."
The poorly-dressed knight pondered this plainly, wondering aloud to himself with suspicious hmmming and hawwwing. He scratched his beard, then scratched his head. Finally, he grew frustrated and tired of it all. Waiting it out had evidently not caused the universe to correct itself.
"Well, it looks as though I'll be walking," he said finally, sighing and pining for his trusty steed. "The will of the Lord is not for me to question. Though I fail to see what point there was in summoning me to such an abandoned place as-"
The man's three-clawed boot stepped in something wet, squelching into the peaty soil with sticky unpleasantness. He looked down.
It was blood.
At that moment, Ruler caught a jarring glimpse of the past granted to him by the Lord. A Revelation, if you will. It showed an utterly one-sided battle between magi and Servants, and... no. No it couldn't be. Children?
They were slaughtering children?
Ruler felt a righteous, glowing anger swell up inside him, a pain that burned in his throat until he fought it down with all the mental strength he could muster. Children... they had slaughtered children... Had.
The battle was over. There was no way for him to protect them now, no matter how desperately he longed to. He could only see to his duty, and hope that he alone would be enough to deter anyone else from shedding the blood of the innocent.
Carefully, the knight Ruler raised his foot, and looked around. Bloodstains were scattered about the castle grounds like landmines, or the leftovers thereof. Some had been dragged through the grass, others had clearly been left lying long enough to bleed out in an ever-expanding puddle. They shone in the moonlight, a horrible, beautiful reflection. Whatever had happened, there was enough blood there to be from fifty people, at least. Though there were no bodies...
What had transpired here on the eve of the summoning? What great atrocity had marred the opening ceremony of the Holy Grail War? And how many... how many of these had been...
He did his best to swallow his strong emotions. Now was not the time to cry. Mourning the lives of these children could come later. For now, he had to abide by the wishes of the Holy Vessel, and surrender all evidence of this battle to the fires of Hell from whence such bloodshed had justly originated.
Touching the tips of his middle and index fingers to his sword, he whispered, Interfectum Dracones
, and lit a spark across the flat of the blade. Immediately it took on a draconic aspect and was set ablaze, a flaming sword with which he could destroy all evil in the world. With a single slash, he scoured the castle grounds, releasing a deluge of flame which incinerated all traces of organic matter leftover from the battle. The castle walls baked and became brittle, and the dew that clung to the wet grass evaporated along with every drop of blood spilled that night.
The trees crackled and burned. It was gone now. All of it. None would know the truth of what had happened here, and the destruction of Castle Urquhart could be attributed to the fire which had cleansed this place of its sins. Others could now be spared from having to know of the terrible things which had transpired tonight. Ruler sheathed his sword, and strode calmly away from the battlefield. A fire as bright as the one behind him burned inside his heart.
Whatever strange things had happened here, whatever horrors he had yet to face in the days to come, he could bear it all gladly with the Lord as his guide. And with His help, he would shepherd the lost and the weak into the arms of Heaven, and bring what modicum of peace he could to this wretched Holy Grail War. His honor was his shield. For he was St. George the Dragonslayer, and no evil could know rest beneath his blade, nor good the sting of death behind his shield. He was an instrument of His divine will, sent to this Earth to love and to protect his fellow man.
And by God, he had work to do.