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The Niagara Falls Holy Grail War
Topic Started: Dec 3 2017, 12:10 AM (16,219 Views)
Tinny
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A young women was in a hotel room. The sun was high overhead, noon, the peak of her magic was at about this time, back in Japan she'd have done this at 2 AM, but her body hasn't adjusted to the local time. Perfect for the young mage in this case. She observed all the preparations, the time, the wavelength, and the curtains to ensure no one could enter in the middle of this. A large sheet of metal was laid out in the middle of the hotel room, all furniture pushed to the sides, a red magic circle drawn in the center.
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She held a handful of gems in her hand, each imbued with a not inconsiderable amount of magic, her teal eyes looking at them one last time before committing. There was no coming back now. She held out her, palm downwards grasping the gems as they melted down into a green fluid. As the fluid moved to the summoning circle, covering it, filling it with both matter and magic, she began the chant to summon her Servant.

For the elements, silver and iron.
For the foundation, stone and the Archduke of Contracts.
For the ancestor, my great master, Schweinorg.
Close the gates of the cardinal direction.
Come forth from the Crown, and follow the forked road leading to the Kingdom.
Fill, fill, fill, fill, fill.
Repeat five times.
But when each is filled, destroy it.
Set.
Heed my words.

My will creates your body, and your sword creates my destiny.
If you heed the Grail's call and obey my will and reason, then answer me.
I hereby swear... That I shall by all the good in the world.
That I shall defeat all evil in the world.
You seven heavens, clad in the three great words of power, come forth from the circle of binding...
Guardian of the Scales!


The the symbol glowed a bright red, filling with light, wind began to pick up, causing loose paper and small objects to fly, even bits of red lightning began to fill the area. Smoke and mist filling the room

Someone appeared in the center of the summoning circle, now faded from usage.

A hero from legend, a figure great enough to become worthy of collection into the myths, the legends, the folklore, the history of this species. A man looked back at her, eyes like that of a canine, clearly ready for the hunt. "So, my lady, I assume you're my master?" He said, a smirk on his face.

A great and terrible conflict, hidden from the general populace, it would begin here, on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

Three days later

Priest Anton Smith has received six phone calls over the course of a few days. Each informing him as to their entry into the holy grail war. A seventh he found on his own, by sheer coincidence at a mall. He sighed, alone in the church, ever since he found out the next holy grail war would be held here, he felt a pit in his stomach. Studying on it he could tell that wherever it went, chaos soon followed. In just the last war, Fuyuki City was flooded with a terrible fire and death, so many died in just that war... What would happen here? He could only hope his home of Niagara Falls would be alright. He looked east, towards the landmark the city was named for, those three waterfalls, dividing the land between Canada and the United States. A tourist attraction most of the time, though due to it being winter it was slightly less so, he could only hope this would mean fewer, hopefully no one would see this. Of course, that ignorance of this conflict would keep them save, while the battles of legendary figures were certainly dangerous, they were not the only threat. He knew it was a fairly common practice to kill bystanders, and feed their prana to a Servant in order to boost their capabilities, especially when the Master is one without much in the way of magic themselves... How this conflict would take place? He simply hoped that nothing happened here to hurt his beloved city of Niagara Falls, certainly nothing like the fourth holy grail war... He also hoped that whoever one this war would not wish for something destructive or world changing...

He looked at the clock, it was almost ten. The man he saw, he left him a note while his shift was about to end, telling him If you want to learn the truth about that mark on your right hand, come to the local Church at Ten O'clock. I will explain everything. Your life, here on Earth, may depend on the information you will get answering my summons.- Anton Smith, Cleric of the Assembly of the Eighth Sacrament. He was clearly a mage of some sort, hopefully he would come.

He waited in his church far away from most of the hustle and bustle of the city, hoping the child would answer his summon, before the Holy Grail War began in earnest.

Soon these mages and servants would search for their targets, they would prepare, they would lay traps, they would abuse the city's inhabitants for mana, they would use each and every tactic and weapon they had to kill each other. He just knew it...


The Catholic Churches in the Canadian and American sides of the city are considered neutral ground. Doing battle here will not be tolerated by the church. If a Master wishes to drop out of the war, they may come here to relinquish their Command seals, and hopefully in the process cease to be an important part of the Holy Grail War.

If anyone sees you performing magic, their memories must be altered so they don't remember seeing it, or they must be killed to uphold the masquerade.

You all will begin in different places in Niagara falls, perhaps at a hotel in a room you rented, perhaps at a house you own, or out on the street like a common beggar. It is winter, and the Christmas season is in full swing. You can sense other mages, but you are by no means the only mages within the city, nor will fellow masters stand out to you unless you can visually see their command seals (located on the back of their right hand).

Edited by Tinny, Dec 3 2017, 03:54 PM.
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FayeTimidea
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Faye lies on her bed with a frown, hands clasped on her stomach; her sword -- in its sheath -- is leaned against the side of the bed, and fresh air comes in through the only source of light: an open window. 'What to do, what to do..' Her gaze drifts around the room for a moment, before her view falls onto a Dragon Ball Super manga she had recently purchased. A bit of a mischevious thought occurs to her, and she picks it up.

"Wonder what life infusion magic does to books... I'm sure it's been done before." She sits down cross-legged on the floor, placing the book in front of her. Next, she places her hands on it, and begins to infuse magic into it. The book glows ever so slightly, and its a difficult task not to burst it into flames; she's used to her durable sword, after all. The magic glow around her hands and the book drifts from red to a deep green as she infuses life magic specifically, the green glow slowly overtaking the book.

A small earthquake would rock the area as a beam of light fills her room, a quick magic shield preventing it from busting through the cieling. As the blinding light fades -- lying on her back -- she finds a familiar character staring down at her.

"So ah, you're the one who... summoned me?" Clearly, they're not impressed by Faye's current state.
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"Could I help you in?"

"..."

"Oh, right. Stupid Mulla, stupid..." The pale girl toyed with her bangs, biting her lip as the taller one followed after her. This was her Servant, so she shouldn't be asking it if it needed help. That was only for your betters; there were many in the world better than Mulla, but a Servant...probably also qualified. So she should keep asking, even if the Servant never replied. Mulla looked around, eyes settling upon the divided room. One could be forgiven for thinking it was intentionally divided, only one side painted and adorned with a coffee table, flat screen television, and comfy bed. The other side was a joke by comparison, unpainted, unwallpapered, and with stacks of boxes and a rat worn mattress serving as a bed.

This Holy Grail War had not only come more early than usual, but it had come to a totally foreign place too. Even with advanced warning of it through Lady Ilya and their immense financial resources, the Einzberns had been pressed to the brink providing a base of operations. The proper bounded field had only just been completed in time with the boobie traps being an unstable mess(granted they'd still give any intruder a real shock). It was no surprise then that the fortress of corrugated metal at the edge of the town was only half furnished. Mulla couldn't help but think it was intentional though. Lady Ilya had been very upset back at the castle....

--------------------------------------------------------------

Earlier....

"Lady Ilya, your dri-"

"Do you think you're funny, Mulla?" The bratty girl swatted the juice out of the servant's hand, stomping her foot and gritting her teeth. More words came out, a furious tantrum about how Mulla had stolen her place in the Grail War. Mulla did not try to change her mind, merely picking up the spilled juice box. It crushed in her hand, spilling red juice all over the floor...and Ilya's rug. Ilya looked about ready to kill her for that when she suddenly smirked. Leysritt and Sella were here, so that meant it was time for the summoning. Mulla's whole body shuddered at that, but especially the still bloody marks where the proper command seals had been hastily implanted. No doubt that was behind her troubles holding the juice box. Ilya's smirk told Mulla all she needed to know about how this summoning would be.

Sigils were drawn into the ground by perfect slave homonculi, perfect and not Mulla. She stood there, gulping and trembling from the strain as her arm readied itself for the strain of having to support a servant.

"I heard that a Berserker killed their master just from the strain. I sure hope your circuits can take it" Ilya called out, flaring her magic crest in a childish display of the vast gulf between them. It was as if she didn't even care for the life of her devoted manservant. Mulla's eyes turned to glass as the final parts of the ritual readied.

"They'll take it." And the voice that came out of Mulla was not her own. It was thrown in with the whipping wind and acceleration of her prana, distorted by the power that almost broke her poorly adapted body. But she held, copper wires on her skin making her flesh strong enough to resist as the incantation suddenly exploded out of her mouth. It felt completely natural, and Mulla dared to hope that whatever came out of that Summoning Circle would feel it just as naturally as she did. Whatever dark emotion that gave her the strength to endure this pain! "Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade. If thou submitteth to the call of the Holy Grail, and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond. I make my oath here. I am that person who is to become the virtue of all Heaven. I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades..."

Her knee buckled, copper moving away from her arm to support it. It was too much, she couldn't do it. Then she saw Ilya's face through the din of prana, and it all went white. The words to force the status of Berserker upon this Servant catalyzed by a splinter of the Round Table emerged, blood emerging from all across her arm with each syllable. "Yet, thou serves with thine eyes clouded in chaos! Thou, bound in the cage of madness! I am he who commands those chains! Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words, come past they restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance!"

"HIYAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

The prana faded, and Mulla finally allowed herself to fall to her knees. She looked upward to her Servant, and noticed that it looked almost panicked, whirling around like a cornered animal. How sad. Just the kind of Servant she'd summon though. For a second, it looked like her. A dull throb made itself known on Mulla's left hand, and though Berserker had said nothing beyond that terrifying scream, the contract was complete. Oh, the Servant was a girl? Mulla had a hard time noticing it, but yes, it was true. The lion's mane of dirty blonde hair showed a weathered face, scarred above the eye, yet definitely a female's despite the fangs that nestled in her jaw and her protruding nose. A torn up blue fabric mixed with chain mail and armored plates denoted much the same thing, something that had been a woman but then been destroyed and reforged. Feet that stood on their balls clomped forward and an amused giggle rung out from Ilya.

"You couldn't even get Berserker to obey you!" she trilled in delight, bouncing up and down as Mulla helplessly murmured 'go to spirit form' to the intimidating figure. After five minutes of trying, it became clear Berserker was perfectly content remaining materialized. Or Mulla simply didn't have the heart to really command the Servant. For the brief moment she had looked into the Servant's eyes, they looked so hurt.

-------------------------------------------------

Present day

"Is this yours?"

"Yes. All of it is mine, miss" Mulla replied automatically as a raggedy, stuffed lion(courtesy of Leysritt) was picked up and placed on the bed. "Wait, Berserker, you spoke?"

"I did. Hard to do it. It seems possible" Berserker replied, her voice gravelly as if a thousand sobs had used it. Mulla winced at it and then looked to the pitiful little doll.

"Do you want it, miss?" Mulla asked softly, slowly getting closer to the woman with measured steps. Berserker nodded, holding the lion close as she sat herself down on the bed.

"Do you want it?" Berserker echoed and Mulla froze. No one asked her what she wanted. Mulla opened and closed her mouth a few times before shaking her head.

"I liked it, but you like it more. And besides, you're much more important than me. I've heard that it's especially important for Berserkers to stay calm and col-" Berserker's brief serenity became a frown and she turned her back on Mulla, leaving her words to hit nothing. But she kept the stuffed animal all the same. Mulla trailed off, making her way to the ratty mattress and laying on it with a loud sigh.

"I go out when I feel like it. You stay here. Need just your mana. Mages are..." Berserker ground those fangs with an eerie scraping noise. "...Liars. Cowards. Traitors." Mulla didn't dare to talk back to the clearly incensed knight, and part of her actually took comfort in the taking of orders. Servants ordering about their Master seemed to fit so much better when her Servant was so obviously not a servant and she was so obviously master of nothing. Mulla merely nodded her head meekly, briefly tilting her eyes to spot Berserker's face as she stared into a mirror on the wall. The Servant's yellow eyes were narrow and straining, holding back something within herself through great force of will. That was the Mad Enhancement that surely ate away at the Servant's sanity. But the hard look in her eyes softened as she gently stroked the little toy lion as if it was the most precious treasure on Earth.

"At least I made her happy" Mulla mumbled to herself, resting her head on the cardboard box and letting herself recharge. The Grail War loomed on night's fall, yet she didn't feel a hint of fear. If anything, it was freedom. As Mulla closed her eyes and her ears, only then did Berserker let her fist clench and her head meet the wall.

"I'm so sorry...Is this what you went through?...My friend, what I did to you, at least it's repaid now." But even that was too eloquent for her. So she was forced to just think it as her warped body and mind rebelled against her. Only that tiny lion let her keep from falling into despair, a reminder of what she had to do, of her new quest. And out of despair came rage...
Edited by lazerbem, Dec 3 2017, 03:51 AM.
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"I am the bone of my sword."

There was nobody around but the sounds birds whistling their final tunes of the day while a young girl stood outside of London. 42 degrees North Longitude was the clock tower and home of the Magus Association. That girl was a mage, a person who could perform acts of magic and sorcery thanks to the magical crests that filled her body. Crests that she had obtained through generations of family marriage and breeding.

She swung her arm out and swallowed deeply as the blood from her finger tips splattered the ground into an intrinsic shape. She was most likely worried about the predicament of the summoning. One wrong move could spell at best, a fail summon and at worst, a monster from beyond fiction. It was just as easily possible that the youthful girl of 19 was simply ill to the use of blood, even if it was chicken blood. She wore a vibrant dress and a large gap over her head that signified her place as high class lady. One look at her, from the blonde locks reaching down past her shoulders to the light blue eyes, expressed all the formations of a girl who had never known the hardships of the rough and tumbled outside world.

However, she was still here. She was still ready to partake in a death battle with Servants because she desired to win the Holy Grail and have her name be known throughout history as one of the great mages of all time.

Obviously, it wasn't the most humble of wishes.

The English girl, named Liliana Covert, eyed the large piece of wood in the center of the summoning circle. She took her time to move around the area, making sure every single spot was perfect. It was not in the ideas of a high class lady to make a mistake but at a time like this, she could not afford even one iota of a mistake. The Holy Grail wars usually happened once every 60 years though for some reason, this one happened earlier. She could not risk the chance of failure under the hope that the next one would occur just as early.

She may not even be alive 60 years later.

Liliana Covert, the English high class girl of the Magus Association, began to recite several incantations as her body and the summoning circle, began to shine brightly. The cawing birds, sensing something uncertain, flared their wings and flew off. Then as the final words escaped the girls lips, a resounding explosion literally threw her off her feet. She had been standing much closer to the summoning circle than expected. Though she had no idea that the thing would blow up. Her immediate thought was that she had failed.

"Koff! Kaff! D-Did I do it wrong?Agh! I'm covered in dirt...this won't do..."

She brushed off the excess dirt and dust from her sleeves before somebody's hand reached down towards her.

"Are you hurt...?"

"Ah?"

The girl looked up. Standing above her, slightly bent over as he reached an assisting hand was a man dressed in a pulchritudinous 1890's long coat that he kept open. He was about 45 years old and the stubble of a growing beard drew upon his face. The man was not smiling but he was not frowning either. His eyes were warm but also stern. His voice was deep and accented but surprisingly soft. He sounded like a teacher speaking to a student, kind but professional.

Liliana blinked and swallowed.

"A young lady like you should not sit on the ground, it is unbecoming of you."

While his words were hardly insulting, Liliana jumped up.

"I-I-I wasn't sitting on the ground! You blew up on me! "

The middle aged man stared at her and then nodded his head affirmatively.

"You are not hurt, that's good. I must ask of you then. I, who have been summoned as Caster, ask of thee...are you my master?"

The words reached the girl's ears and as she slowly mouthed her answer, the three Command Seals that governed her place as a member of this war, engraved themselves upon the back of her right hand.

---------------------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------------------


"Whoa!"

Liliana smiled with jovial glee as she stared out the window of the moving train. For the first time in her life, she was visiting a country outside of London. Seeing the landscape of Canada filled her with an awe inspiring sense of purpose. This was going to be the place where she would partake in the greatest battle of all time.

Her servant, Caster, sat on the opposite side of the booth. Most servants were too conspicuous to stand out in the open but Caster's relatively normal appearance was easy for him to stay out in the open. The vast majority of people only saw a middle aged man in a coat for the winter weather. Caster was wearing a small pair of spectacles and was currently reading the paper with such casualness that Liliana whispered...

"A-Are you really a servant? A real...epic hero?"

The man peered over the paper.

"That's right Lady Covert. Don't let my appearance fool you, I am the hero of the past who was summoned at your call. Excuse me..."

He poured some fresh tea into her cup.

"I see..."

The girl replied uncertainly.

"If I may ask, what is your wish for the Holy Grail?"

"Oh? Well...hahahahaha...you see..."

The girl chuckled and then explained her reasoning. Her arrogant reasoning to prove herself the best mage in the world.

The old man nodded, giving no sigh of approval or disapproval

"If that's what you desire, then so be it."

"What's your wish Doctor V-....

The man stopped her.

"Please, just call me Caster for now. My wish..."

He paused.

"...My wish is only to help you obtain the Holy Grail."

"Hm? Really?"

Not entirely convinced by his response, Liliana let it slide as the train moved its way towards the rushing waters of Niagra Falls.


Edited by EMIYA, Dec 3 2017, 06:18 AM.
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Daemon Keido
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Warmaster of Chaos

In a nearby wooded area just to the north, a man in a pristine (and expensive looking) suit dug the finishing sigils upon the stones with one of his many knives he used to finish his summoning circle. A smirk on his lips as he holstered blade, he set the stone down in its proper place. From his pockets he fished out the neccessary incredients for the ritual, smirking as he had already set the icon in the middle of the circle. Thankfully, the snow had stopped falling a few days ago so nothing would interrupt the circle now.

"Under unknown stars, thy birth was seen.
Above unknown soil, thy life took root.
Within unknown buildings, thy cause was given to thee.

With bone and sinew, you have fought battles beyond count.
With flesh and steel, you have claimed victory.
With machine and nerve, you forged a legend not yet seen.

By my flesh, I command thee, rise!
By my bones, I give you form!
By my soul, I order you to my side!

Truci in tenebris est usque tantum bellum futurum sit!

I SUMMON THEE! COME FORTH!!!"

A stroke of lightning smashed down into the icon, and with it fell a score of trees. Smoke, dust and fire littered the clearing now. The snow he had cleared for the ritual had begun melting from the summoning's after effect. Inside the smoke of the small crater, a deep male voice was heard.

"So........another war has called me away from home. Then......you must be the Mage who summoned me. You should know that I call only one man Master......and it shall not be you."

Niko chuckled, crossing his arms. "I can live with that, Archer. I would not consider asking you to do that. But do you still swear to aid me in this war for a prize greater than we could ask for?"

Violet eyes shined in the shadows of the dust and smoke. "This I swear, Mage. So long as you are able to help me, I shall follow your command."

Nikolai grinned as he approached the crater, offering a hand out of it. "Then, my Archer......let us begin our Grail quest....." an armoured gauntlet reached out, coloured black with red accents, and a power beyond human capacity filled its grip.

"With pleasure.....Mage."
A Shadow is merely Darkness in the presence of Light


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For about three days, Faye's time spent with her Lancer was a mix of both information and light swordfighting... Well, light on the Lancer's end. For Faye, she was almost killing herself with the amount of effort she was putting in to even hold a candle against the holding-back Lancer.

On the third day, the Lancer seemed quite troubled, a bead of sweat or two running down his face as he finally feels it's time to explain to Faye just what is about to happen. "Faye- er, my Master- there is some information that I believe you should be filled in on, since you will need to make an informed decision sooner rather than later..."

Well with such a statement like that, who isn't going to listen? She sits down across from the Lancer, and he clears his throat, before speaking.

"As it stands, you and I are going to take part in a Holy Grail War." He sees her eyes widen, clearing his throat and continuing. "I think I should elaborate: I'm sure you know what the last War of this type -- held in Fuyuki -- resulted in the city basically burning down and killing hundreds." Faye opens her mouth, but the Lancer continues before she can speak.

"Our priority would be to kill the other six servants in the Holy Grail war; the six servants will each be accompanied by one master. For reference, I am the servant and you are the master." He leans against the table, a serious expression on his face. "Once it is down to one Master and one Servant, or potentially one or the other, the Holy Grail will appear in an area, wherein you will be granted one wish yourself, and your servant will be granted one of their own."

"In terms of who you should go for, never in any circumstance go one on one against a servant if you can help it; the masters will be far easier for you to handle, and if the master goes down -- in some cases -- the servant will cease to exist in this world as well." The Lancer finishes his bomb of facts, watching calmly to see how Faye handles it.

"..."

It takes a moment for Faye to process all of this... was this a series of events set off by the fact that she summoned him? She had just been goofing around when she did it..! This is an insane thought to her, that she's now taking place in one of the most devastating things she's heard of thus far, just because of her own morbid curiosity on what life infusion magic does to a book!

"Wow... just, wow..." Faye mumbles, leaning back in her seat. "So, by summoning you, I've set of a chain of events that can basically be summed up into 'congrats! You have to kill twelve other people or you and a whole city die!'... fan-f***ing-tastic." Faye holds her head in her hands, tensing up as the feels the hand of her Lancer on her shoulder a moment later. "...Thans..." She mumbles, trying to fully understand this in the moment.
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Royal Guard.

In her own apartment, the wee hours of the morning still strong. She hummed a sweet tune, a jug of water in her right hand and with a marker in her left hand, she scribbled a circle onto the floor itself. The girl did wonder, at how much effort it would take to rub out the circle, it was after all on her floor. Before shrugging, and pouring water into the circle itself.

The water gathered around the circle, it took on the appearance of river water long ago, the circle itself glowed faintly as if stars in the dark sky, and a slight dry wind blew within the apartment. A sudden crash could be heard within the kitchen, followed by a single unbroken curse.
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Looking out his window, Robert cannot help but wonder if what he is doing is truly what a follower of Christ would be doing. He had known the accusations of magic were particularly damning in the holy scripts, yet, he had been born with an innate ability for the talent. Surely, he had not been cursed. A fate perhaps crueler than death, a guaranteed trip to hell. Perhaps it was time to head to a confessional, see if

Robert brings up the back of his right hand, eyeing his mage mark that had been present since as long as he could remember. One of the first things he could remember back when he was growing up in an orphanage in Brooklyn. It seperated him from the other children, and for the longest time, both he and the caretakers wrote it off as an odd birth-mark. Its design was a tribal version of a moai statue, surrounded by marks that looked like wisps of energy. As he practiced his craft, he noticed where the eyes were would light up every time he would use his magic. It was... interesting to say the least.

Slipping black gloves on over his hands, Robert looked over to where he had begun arranging a summoning circle, made from various stones he had made purchases for over the past few months. Set up in a way that resembled the Star of David. At the head of it laid a book on a small podium no further from the ground than a few inches. Opened up to a specific ritual chant that was painted to him at the very least, as a way of an advanced magic, the ability to summon myths, legends perhaps even modern fictional characters.

Robert closes the blinds to his house, turns off the lights, grabs his keys, and exits his home. Locking the door behind him, taking a deep breath, and beginning his walk to the nearby Catholic Church. In half an hour he would seek forgiveness, and perhaps, even guidance.

~~~~

Half an hour later, he knocked on the door of the church.
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Tinny
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Anton Smith heard a knock on the door. He slowly walked over, pacing his steps, and opened it. A young man at his door, about 25 years of age was there. "Greetings, how may the chur-" he looked at his hand. It told him everything he needed to know.

A magic crest of a family, though not a large one. He then knew exactly what to do. "Come in. " He said, his eyes seemingly closed. He'd shut the door behind them, casting a spell on it if Robert accepted his invitation. He didn't want anyone without magic to come in. With a smile he turned to him and said "You're here because of the mark on your hand, correct?"

If Robert answered with a yes of some sort, he'd continue, grasping his hand to show him his own crest while he spoke. "This is not something to fear, or to be ashamed of. Rather, you have been chosen by God to be a member of an existance few will experience, and fewer will ever know exists. This is a magic crest, proof of your bloodline, a lineage of men and women skilled in the practice of magecraft. Your parents, your grandparents, your ancestors, they all added to their pool of knowledge over course of millennia to create this crest, the distillation of all their knowledge in magecraft. You, are a very special man, and I believe God has had a purpose in mind for you."

He had worried about who may win... But someone like this? He could use him...
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Robert quickly followed in behind him, this man of the cloth seemed like he could give him the answers he had been seeking for some time. If anyone would know about this mark, it would have to be someone closer to divinity than he could even fathom. Anton went behind him for only a second, then walked forward back into sight. Grabbing him by the wrist and showing a crest, similar to his. Robert's eyes widen at the sight. So this man of the cloth was not just a holy man, he too dabbled in magics. But... this ran counter to everything he had read, true magics, the likes of which seen by Christ, could only be used by God's chosen. Anything other was the work of the devil himself.

"I... I don't under-" Soon, his question was answered in short order. He was not simply a normal human, put here by any regular divine plan, he was gifted the ability to magecraft. A power so few had acquired in the thousands of years of recorded history. Likely the same when they still couldn't record it. Everything began to make much more sense. Yet, at the same time. He did not want this to go to his head, he had been raised to be a humble man since he could first remember. He couldn't let this go to his head. Otherwise he would be openly reveling in sin.

"T-thank you Father, I appreciate this revelation but..." Just then, Anton spoke about a purpose in mind for him...

"W-what purpose Father?"
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Indeed, he had his answer, he knew not the hearts of those who were fighting for this grail, only that of they entered of their own free will, he could not really on their purity of spirit. Yes, maybe they want to reach the root of all creation, or something similarly insignificant to the rest of the planet. But maybe they wanted to dominate the planet, maybe they wished for mere destruction, and who knows way they'll do in pursuit of their goals...
But him. The church may be neutral, but he couldn't leave this city's fate to the heavens.
"There is a conflict brewing on our fair city, a secret war between mages for the artifact known as...

The Holy Grail. It is capable of granting any wish the wielder desires. It cam overturn the entire world in one action, and fufill the desire of he who attains victory in The Holy Grail War. In the last one, the place it was held, Fuyuki City... The entire area was burned to the ground, turned into something resembling hell. Six other mages have entered with the intent to kill each other and again ultimate power, for what purposes I cannot guess at... However, you can protect Niagara Falls from that. I can show you the path to defending your home, and the world our Savior gave his life to save."

Hopefully he'd agree, then he could put forth a mage he knew would be loyal to the church. Maybe he could save his city.
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Goddess Ultimecia
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The Holy Grail? Admittedly, it had been some time since he had thought about it.But he had always thought of it as an addition by European faithfuls in the 11th century. Not an original part of Christianity. This was real? Then again... he did recall on the news about Fuyuki City. Gosh that had to have been a decade ago now. Gas leak that had caused an entire city to burn to the ground in horrendous fashion. Yet, he had his doubts. It did seem offly suspicious that a gas leak could lead to the destruction of an entire city. At the time, he only thought about it for a day before it had been removed from the news cycle for the usual round of politics and celebrity gossip. It would make sense, if it were instead caused by immense power.

"Y-you want me to engage in this? This seems like a lot of responsibility you want me to take on. I don't even know if I could even win against these other mages. I just learned there are others not even a minute ago. If I fail, who knows what would happen, you... have to have someone else that can handle it right? I can't be the only one..."
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EMIYA
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"I am the bone of my sword."

The churning of the engines slowly but certainly came to a halt. It seemed as if Liliana would spend the next hour gaping out the window with an awestruck gaze. Caster meanwhile, had his eyes closed and his head bowed as if in contemplation. The newspaper he had been reading was neatly folded underneath his hands and his chest heaved slowly and equivocally with each breath.

He was asleep yet not asleep.

He was restful yet alert.

After all, there was no way a Servant would've literally been sleeping on the job. Liliana thought that she might have been putting too much pressure on him. A servant materializes thanks to the usage of mana given by their Master. Many Servants will remain incorporeal until battle. Whether by some special Servant means or sheer coincidence, the middle aged man raised his head and spoke.

"It is nothing, the amount of effort to main my self is easy. I can already tell you have a splendid amount of Mana."

She didn't expect to be congratulated and though she smiled embarrassingly, it was also slightly off. A smile that was also sad.

"Besides..."

He continued...

"...I prefer to remain in the open. I can gather information easier this way. The real question is, where should we go from this point on Lady Covert?"

Covert straightened up she held her head to the sight and thought about it for too long a time.

Caster was professional enough not to call out his Master but he was hoping she would have enough sense to make a plan for at least this far into the Holy Grail war.

"We need to make a base of operations. As the Caster Class, I am able to produce my workshop and abilities within certain locations. The place I need is...

-----------------------------------
-----------------------------------

"..."

Covert wasn't sure how it had happened. She was sure that this must be some unique ability of her Servant or he was secretly making fun of her. As new as she was to the workings of the Holy Grail War, she knew that they weren't supposed to mess around with people who weren't part of the battle. Somehow there must have been a grievous misplacement of information because what was happening now was not possible.

Caster, dressed in his 1890's overcoat was sitting at a desk, a feathered pen in his hand and was busy scribbling on paper. His other hand was meanwhile typing on a keyboard almost randomly. Servants brought in to the world were given fundamental knowledge of the current year so he was keen on the workings of technology to a degree.

There was a plaque on his desk that read.

(Doctor Abe V.H.)

Not subtle in the least.

That's right, in the span of 4 hours, magic and sorcery surely at the work, Caster had not only entered into a University establishment somehow couple of kilometers from Niagra Falls but had become a designated professor for that university. He had even gotten himself a plaque with his initials on it.

"WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!?"

Unable to take it, the youthful girl cried out.

"What's wrong Lady Covert?"

"Don't...what's wrong...me! How did you even do this? This must be the work of your Noble Phantasm!"

Caster raised an eyebrow.

"Don't be absurd Lady Covert. I only sent in my establishing papers. Servant or not, I am still a man with a Ph.D among other things. He presented a list of papers that had been updated for the current generation signifying everything from the Ph.D to the MD among a whole list of other things. He gently pushed them aside and began to work again on the paper in front of him.

"B-But why here!?"

"A place of education is the best location for me. I'd have preferred a library or museum but this will do fine. The amount of knowledge coursing through this place is good enough for me. It's also outside the jurisdiction of the Holy Grail war. As long as we don't cause any trouble here, there is no room for concern. It also means we have less a chance of being attacked."

"Yeah!? Prove it!"

Covert yelled, entirely unconvinced.

The old man sighed deeply and stood up. At that very moment, the girl felt the air get heavy and the Mana take form around her Servant. Wind gushed and in his hand the image of a black bound book, similar to a Bible, appeared in his hand. At once, everything around the room began to spin. Books flew and the walls seemed to move as if on their own, turning the once normal office into centuries old library workshop.

Covert was speechless.

"This place is hidden away from the rest of the University, a location that only we know about. The door..."

He pointed to it.

"...Will always remain lock unless I open it. This is our world, hidden away from the rest and only a powerful mage would be able to get in here. I can work best in this place, surrounded by knowledge. I have put several levels of security around this room, to protect not only us but the students and faculty of this University. I would not be so foolish as to make this place my base of operations without giving it careful thought. The real question is what are we going to do now that we have officially entered into this war. I am beginning to think you have not thought much of a plan."

!!!

Incensed, Covert gripped her right hand into a fist. She had half a mind to use one of her Command Seals to silence him.

"I'd advise not wasting your Command Seals."

A lump got caught in her throat.

"I think...we should go to the Church first."

"Ah? I see, then we shall go now."

Caster rose up from his wooden chair and pushed it under the desk. Liliana followed the apparently newly hired professor and as Caster shut the door behind him, the girl glanced backwards and did a double take. No longer was there a old fashioned library but the same old office.

"...This can't be real..."

She mumbled.
Edited by EMIYA, Dec 4 2017, 04:39 AM.
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Sam
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"Sometimes science is a lot more art than science. A lot of people don't get that."

Ambers' fingers traced the dull, worn wood even older than herself. She was alone here now. But she had always been alone.

In a gloomy house on the outskirts of Niagara Falls, the home Ambers Seanmi had taken up temporary residence in had not always been so silenced. Once, there was a family. Once, there was life. Now, the shadows crept down across the skeletal frames of worn oaken furniture, caked with dry and flaking blood. All throughout the dusk, Ambers hesitated. She racked her knuckles and drove her fingers even further along the lines of the table to the point that splinters of wood began to shear into her hands. The texture broke apart slowly and chunks of the table drove themselves under her fingertips. By now, her fingers were anemic reminders of anxiety, paranoia and borderline delusion. Blood coagulated and dripped slowly down the weak, uneven table legs.

Ambers Seanmi had not departed the rotting dining room table since murdering the daughter. The girls' head had gone screaming through the window to the left of her shoulder. Blood and glass sprayed into the little log cabin. Even now bits of brain and gore still remained plastered on the windowsill. That final act, preceded by a sacrificial dagger to the back, would silence the girl forever. The table would wobble and jerk violently along with Ambers' every slight movement. The winds of winter carried some disturbing noises that sounded even more unnatural given the chilling circumstances. The howl of a wolf. The careening scream of an owl as it honed in on its prey. The fog of her own breathing and even the lack of noise itself oftentimes drove her to trembling fits.

And yet, Ambers did nothing but grind away at the table nervously. Her hands would surely scar and she could only bleed so much. The self-harm was becoming grotesque, but not without reason. She knew the price she had to pay for her family's return. To remember everything. To go back to the way things were. The sunshine, the trees, the bright orange-hues of the sun and brilliant autumn colours that shrouded friend and family alike with life and love.

Prosperity.

It was a stark contrast to the bleak world outside her here and now. Trees surrounding the log cabin moaned with every lash of wind. The woods were gnarled, rotted and dead. The largest of trees had collapsed in a storm the night before, revealing a swarm of writhing insects in an explosion of drywood upon toppling. That, too, drove her to the edge of insanity. Everything she once knew had been robbed from her. Everything that defined the concepts of home and humanity. She desperately struggled to even begin to remember what those actually represented now. Whatever they once were, this - this wasn't it.

No, this was a nightmare. Some sick, twisted nightmare that she would do whatever it took to be free of. She knew of only one solution. She dreaded it and yet she obliged all the same.

How many days ago was it? Two? Three? A week? She had lost track. Food, hunger, thirst. These things didn't really matter to her. She had been in a state of perpetual shock. As if a voice from beyond the grave guided her to this dying grotto in the woods, whispering to her a name and a purpose.

She had rapped on the creaky door with a vigor in her hands that she now no longer possessed due to the persistent self-mutilation. She had pounded until finally a weak boy answered. He seemed meek, sickly, yet his reaction intimated that he believed Ambers to be a saviour. As dry and sapped of life as the world around her had been, this was the one brief moment in which childlike innocence broke through the miasma. With tears in her eyes, she didn't allow the boy to say a single word before wrenching a dagger between his ribs, gazing into his eyes as they rapidly shifted from surprise to the listless panic from inevitable death. His bedridden parents would soon follow suit, as well as the older sister who was out back tapping the well for what little sustenance they had to combat the plague that had taken them.

They now lay as rotting carrion in the center of the ruined cabin. The home they were all likely born in, died in, and now would be the site of a truly abominable act against all gods. Ambers had waited for an act of righteousness - of vengeance - to find her and exact divine punishment. With every rolling fog and new dusk, it became clear that justice would never find her; only more anxiety and more incessant carving up of her hands.

But the hour had almost arrived. Her pale, bloodshot eyes focused on the center of the room. Her own blood had finally drained into that of her victims. She wearily rose, knowing neither sleep nor what sort of creature she had become by escalating to this point. But there was no turning back. Ambers pulled a wicked, sinister dagger that looked as if it were crafted in some delusional sycophants torture chamber. She proceeded to speak softly under her breath. With a beautiful slash here and there, crimson rained down. Her crimson, adding into the pile of innocents. Collapsing to her knees, she began mixing the old and the new bloods with the tip of the dagger, forming a large, intricate pattern. In the center, a single eye with a pentagram for an iris glowed as the full moon ominously hummed through the shattered glass window that the daughter's head had been blasted through.

With one final, nauseatingly graceful slash, Ambers' horrifically scarred hands oozed the final ingredients necessary for the ritual. The pentagram within the iris was finally full and the cabin began to glow from the inside out. A mixture of moonlight and blood danced as she gently retreated to the wall and found herself unintentionally clutching from subconscious terror. The stench was almost unbearable. Horrific screams and sounds that weren't meant for mortal or even sane ears cried out as the bodies were consumed by the ether that opened on the floor. A bubbling pool of viscous, crimson carnage boiled to a pitch and the distinguishable features of the family were no more. The frigid air screamed with resistance. In their stead, a new shape began to manifest under the blood moon.

A single limb rose from the churning void of undeath, resembling that of a spider. It grasped for purchase on the wooden floor like a drowning man who had just found a lifeboat. Ambers Seanmi stopped herself from screaming by covering her mouth with scarred hands as more limbs followed in procession. Until, at last, they had arrived. The promised one.

The assassin.

A low cackle finally rippled out among the quiet, still wind. It, too, seemed to be at the whim of the majestic dance that was taking place inside of the cabin. It seemed to listen to the Assassin's tone. The form fully manifested and the spider-like limbs retreated into the Assassin's back. Their visage now became very clear in the moonlight with servant's eyes meeting master's for the first time.

Among the gore-splattered ruins, there was an unmistakably male bodytype. And yet, when Ambers was staring only at the face of the Assassin, she felt like a very small girl again; unable to differentiate between genders. The effeminate and the masculine found a perfect balance in these hauntingly beautiful features. Green-gold eyes flecked with hints of woven crimson around the irises, gentle features... and then a disturbingly tender smile that sent shivers down the "Master's" back. She hesitated momentarily, before gliding over to the other side of the room and hastily retrieving a ratty, dark robe that she presumed once belonged to the father. The assassin reached and took it without a word, covering up his nude form and the multiple scars on his back that would surely give away his supernatural identity.

Neither said anything for a moment in the unnamed family's crypt. The assassin gazed down at his hands for a moment before looking up at Ambers.

"You've done well. The children were virgins. That was well planned." He paused. "But, do you know who I am?"

"...Not exactly," Ambers spoke with hesitation and weakness from blood loss. "I... have an idea but... not really."

"Good. And what gave you that idea?"

Ambers glanced around the room at the mutilated remains which brought a delightful smile to the assassin's face.

"Perfect. That's all you need to know for now... my master."

This caught Ambers by surprise. She refocused her gaze and remembered why she was here. Fleeting images of beautiful sunshine and grins from her family flooded back for the cruelest of fainting moments - a reminder of what she was fighting for. She finally asserted a degree of authority.

"That's right... assassin. I... believe we are done here." She cleared her voice, holding back the nausea and sick that proliferated the room.

The assassin breathed in deep and smiled. "It feels good to be alive again. Let's get moving. We wouldn't want to keep the others waiting."

Ambers paused for a moment. "Ah, right... Niagara Falls."

The assassin nodded curtly before getting to work. He began pillaging any weapon in the nearby vicinity and even stashed a few of the leftover bones not consumed by the ritual to later sharpen and use as daggers in hand-to-hand combat. In doing so, he erased evidence that anyone ever even lived there. This made Ambers cringe, but, she didn't believe the assassin noticed. As the moon began to fall into dusk, the assassin and master ushered out of the cabin. Ambers shut the door behind her and snapped the handle off of the makeshift mausoleum. Ambers didn't care if the Assassin noticed, but, he still said nothing regardless. The wind caught them both and carried their dark forms away from the gruesome scene.

This wouldn't be the last time Ambers committed a horrifying act in this War. However, it would be the last time she felt such pity for those she had slain. From here on out, there were no half measures. The duo marched through the gloom and dying winter forest.

"Let none survive..." a familiar voice whispered in the darkest recesses of her mind.
Edited by Sam, Dec 23 2017, 11:47 PM.
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FayeTimidea
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"S-so, uh, what do we do from here...? Do we stay here and make a plan? Do we go out and try to fight these other people right now?" Faye looks to her Lancer with honest curiosity and concern, not knowing at all how to even begin in these matters. The Lancer shrugs lightly, before explaining their options.

"We could stay here and figure out a plan, but there is a basic degree of mage location that most -- if not every -- Master should have, that would result in us being discovered and potentially ambushed. We could go out at random and try to find a mage or two ourselves, but that could put us in a tough situation if we get double-teamed... Or, we could send out a familiar or two, to gather information and figure out the locations of other mages in a more inconspicuous manner..."

"...! Oh right!" He quickly speaks up again. "We could go to the church, and see if there are either answers of mages there; at least one of the two is a likely option." The Lancer allows for Faye to have time to process this all, with the mage girl taking the pros and cons of each option into account. "How about we send a familiar to the church while we're on our way, so that we at least know what we're going into?"

The Lancer nods. "I could potentially go first, because I believe that the church is outside of the actual battlefield. Don't quote me on that." He laughs nervously, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Alright, well, let's grab our gear just in case, and let's go." They grab their respective swords, making sure that they are not lacking anything of importance before heading off, with the Lancer slowly creating distance between the two of them in their travels.
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