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Rottweil Berzinsky, Master of Lancer

Walkabouts, Commercial District



“Huh? What kinda stupid question is that?” Rottweil laughed. “Why’s the sky blue? Why’s anything the way it is? Grass grows, birds fly, the sun shines- my family likes lizards.”

Seeing the obvious disappointment with this answer, Rottweil sighed at his Servant.

“Alright, fine. You want my answer, or the answer my ancestors woulda given ya? Because I’m sure there was a reason at some point but if you ask me, it’s all just history now. Just the same old bullshit.”

Another gecko crawled out of his sleeve and onto the back of his hand. Rottweil held it up to appreciate it.

“Me? I like ‘em because they’re pure. You strip something down to the bare necessities, everything you need to survive, and whaddya get? A lizard. Nature’s perfect survival machine.”

The admiration in his voice was plain as day. This was a man who not only tolerated, but celebrated the inhuman. Was it just a harmless quirk? There were a lot of dedicated animal lovers out there who liked to exaggerate and emboss the merits of their preferred species. Or was there more to it than that?

The hours passed by. The winding, roundabout route Rottweil was taking, if you could call it one at all, snaked through Miyama Town, down the Riverside, then back to the Commerce District through the Native District. More miles walked, more geckos dropped. Until finally…

”Okay Mr. Lightning Bolt, sun’s gettin’ real low. I think we’ve done our due diligence for the day, what do you say we go hunting?”




Rider

Abandoned Warehouse, Harbor



“Hah! You magi certainly like to stick your noses up at danger, don’t you?”

The tacit threat came from above Kāi Chū, from a woman leaning against the catwalk. How she’d gotten there would’ve been unclear to the average person, nevermind how she avoided injuring herself when she hoisted herself over the railing and landed gracefully in front of the other woman. To Kāi Chū however, this was normal. Rider was, after all, her Servant.

“I would’ve had anyone else in the ring for saying that,” Rider elaborated, grinning. “It’s true though, I won’t deny it. We were defeated here without ever setting foot on shore. Though those were my uncle’s men, so it’s no surprise to me that they lacked the spirit of a true Mongol warrior,” she said, half-laughing and half-scoffing. “Those who forsake our ways forsake the blessing of the Eternal Blue Sky. I trust you won’t make the same mistakes, Master?”

She crossed her arms. Rider’s bearing was ferocious, yet regal. The aura around her was almost that of a tiger, something so comfortable in its unquestioned superiority that it didn’t bother with watching what it said or changing itself to appease others.

“As for your ‘works’… I’ve never seen dolls behave so much like men. It’s unnatural.” Rider looked around the workshop, her eyes following the not-quite-right movements of the dolls. Their posture was rigid but also relaxed, the movement of their joints smooth and seamless. Were any of the dockworkers to stumble upon the scene, she had no doubt they would all stop what they were doing and offer them a hearty, wholly convincing “hello”. They were an utterly perfect imitation of humanity, and it was that perfection that gave them away. She resisted the sudden urge to shudder. “But the unnatural is itself is the nature of magi, so I’ll make the best that I can out of it.”

Rider gazed out at the horizon, the city awash in hues of orange and red and the shadows of a setting sun. It was nearly time. The curtains were about to open on the theater of war, and the first act promised the introduction of some of this battle’s major players. It was a good time to go out and gather intel, but also a good time to keep their heads down, lest they attract the attention of someone they couldn’t afford to be enemies with just yet.

That left a question for them to answer: who did they want to be, the main characters or a third act surprise?

Rider set aside her discomfort regarding the dolls and turned to face her Master. “It is time we settle on our battle plans. I trust you have something in mind? Walk me through it and I’ll do my best to fill in any gaps.”
???

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







Putting this here so I can edit it later.

EDIT: Might as well put this here too:

Yo lemme in on this. Thinking I might play one of the unused Masters of Red (because I was sad when they got the shaft).

EDIT: Also, thinking of claiming either Momotaro, Princess Kaguya, or Kuzunoha.
I’m sorry everyone but I’m afraid I’ll be dropping this RP. I wasn’t expecting it to get quite this big or move this fast and after seeing the activity the past few days, I don’t think I’ll be able to keep up with it.

Feel free to continue using Jackalope as an NPC if you want, I would like that.
Wanted to get something out so here’s a quick WIP and an explanation of her Quirk while I finish the rest. The basic idea is that she originally worked as your average desk jockey before a traumatic villain attack on her office/coworkers motivated her to pursue a career in heroism.
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