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/qst/ - Quests

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You are Anon, a 6’2” albino man of exceptional strength and magical energy who can remember neither his past nor own name, and a Master in the Akeldama Great Holy Grail War, which is taking place in a city in an artificial world called Akeldama. Your Servant is Avenger of Red, a winged girl wielding considerably powerful magic who has declined to tell you her true name as of yet. Most recently you’ve returned to the city of Akeldama from a different city that the self-proclaimed overseer, Father Triscus Adajio, had planned on wiping out after relocating all of the remaining occupants to random positions in the main city. As the transfer takes place, you and the three other Masters you’ve decided to join for the time being are deciding how to approach the situation so you can rescue and protect as many uninvolved civilians as you can.

First thread: https://archived.moe/qst/thread/5331278/
Subsequent threads: https://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Low+Speed+Anti+Divine+QM
Reference for Servant (and other related) stat-blocks: https://pastebin.com/5mPbUP4G
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Addressing Matsuda, you say, “I’d recommend you take your Servant up on his offer. The rest of us will be able to move more effectively if we choose a secure location to lead the noncombatants to once we retrieve them. If Caster spots anyone else he’d also be able to immediately direct whichever group comes back soonest to their position.”

Nodding slightly, the delinquent gives his assent, “Eh, I guess you’re right. Where do we wanna hole up, Caster?”

Looking over the surroundings, Caster answers, “While I would have preferred camping in wilderness, the prudent choice would obviously be to take advantage of the concealment offered by one of the nearby structures: we’ll wait inside that one there.” He says, pointing to a seven-story corporate office building before continuing, “When you return simply call out to us from the lobby, I’ll come to meet you.”

“It seems one of our search parties will have two Servants present, then. I assume we shall defer to Miss Edelfelt’s preference on who to accompany?” Rushorou suggested.

“Agreed. Up to you, Truvi.” You affirm curtly, hoping to move things along quickly. Time was of the essence, given the situation.

After considering the choice for a few moments, Truvietianne decided, “This time I think I’ll accompany Mr. Yumigawa and his Servant. There’s a tactic I’ve been considering attempting should we run into hostile Servants that may work better with his Lancer at our side.”

“You sure? With two Lancers together won’t the commands get confusing?” Perseus asked in a way that gave you the impression there was an equal chance he was speaking in jest as opposed to leveraging an actual objection.

“I’m not going to issue orders to someone else’s Servant.” His Master answered in a deflated tone, frowning slightly and refraining from explicitly vocalizing the obviousness of her position. It also seemed as though a bead of sweat was forming on her temple, but from that distance you couldn’t tell for sure.

“Likewise. It won’t be a problem.” The boy concurred.

“Best of luck to you both, then. Avenger and I will search the area at the corner of those three wards, so let’s get moving.” You say, mostly unbothered by her decision, though Avenger was probably actively pleased with it based on some of her earlier comments. “Though before we go, can you do your best to give us the exact location of the civilian, Caster?”

Showing his copy of the map to you and your Servant, the aged man traced along it with his finger and said, “There is a limit to the precision I can offer from a map of this size, but he seems to currently be running down a major street around here.”

“Good enough. Let’s go Master, time is short.” Avenger said as she generated a teleportation ring under your feet.
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“G-good luck!” Koko said just before your Servant transported you from that area. You returned a friendly smile, but weren’t sure whether she saw it or not before you vanished.

Appearing on the roof of a three-story building, you find yourself overlooking a major road lined by buildings of similar size and design hosting all manner of commercial shops. Down on the road, it didn’t take you long to spot a stocky middle-aged man about 100 yards to your south, frantically running in your direction from a small group of undead creatures that appeared to be moving with more swiftness than the ones you remember encountering. In fact, if you and your Servant don’t act quickly, he’ll be overrun!

Stepping one foot at the edge of the roof, you say, “Let’s get down there, Avenger. Can you slow my descent like before?”

“But of course. Your landing will be gentle enough.” She answered, tapping your shoulder and whispering in that language she used to quickly cast spells. Firmly kicking off from the roof, you aim directly for the center of the street and find the pull of gravity was sufficiently reduced such that you landed only just short of your target. Your knees feel only a mild strain as you come to a stop on your feet. Further to the southeast your intuition hinted at the possibility of another Servant fighting nearby, but you had a different priority at the moment.

“H-help me!” The man huffed as his fear of his pursuers overrode any trepidation he may have felt due to your sudden appearance.

“Easily done.” Avenger casually said while hovering about 15 feet above you. Swiftly drawing her magic circles at her side, she rapidly shot out fireballs and energy beams from them that flew over the man’s head and mowed down his half-dozen or so pursuers. Turning around and seeing just a cloud of smoke, the man then staggered toward you, leaning forward and panting from his desperate exertion. To your surprise though, you heard what sounded like a gurgling death-rattle coming from the smoke, and as it cleared one of the zombies that was the furthest away appeared to be slowly crawling toward you with a single arm, as its other limbs were greatly mangled or destroyed. But what was more surprising was the fact that its wounds were slowly regenerating.

Intrigued, Avenger mused, “Strange, I estimated that would have destroyed them. Were they that tenacious when you encountered them in the other city, Master?”

Shaking your head, you answer, “I don’t think so; the ones I destroyed didn’t regenerate and stayed dead from less damage than that.”

“Oh, it must have a weak ‘Curse of Restoration’. I never had many dealings with- ” She began, but then landed next to you as she said, “Another Servant, and it’s closing in quickly.”
Looking up, you immediately caught sight of a shining golden chariot complete with an overhanging roof (or perhaps umbrella?) pulled by four white horses flying toward you from the southeast through the city’s airspace. Though it was still far away, you could make out a rider in it gripping a tall bow. Faster than your eyes could register, a barrage of arrows suddenly streaked through the air toward your position. Your Servant reflexively raised up some of the asphalt in front of you to form a wall covering you from the bowman’s line of sight, but the arrows never hit that wall. Instead, you could hear them land a little ahead of you, most likely where that last zombie was crawling.

“Haha, that’s the last of that filth! Now who might these miserable persons be?” The Servant loudly announced from his airborne chariot. Peering around the hastily-raised wall of asphalt, you spotted the Servant curling the mustache on his otherwise clean-shaven face with one hand and maintaining his grip on the bow with his other. Rider of Red, it seems. Due to the angle the chariot was hovering at, you couldn’t tell if there was anyone else inside.

Giving a preliminary analysis, Avenger quietly informed you, “A Rider, but he wields a bow with the skill of a first-rate Archer. This could be an annoying matchup if we fight head-on from this distance.”

“Master of Avenger of Red, can you hear me?” A voice called out in your head. It wasn’t Avenger’s, that’s for sure, as aside from the obvious contextual clues you also recognized the “sounds” to have a definitively masculine tenor to them.

“Who is this?! How are you talking to me?!” You reply telepathically and verbally in shock, looking around nervously and eliciting confused reactions from your Servant and the civilian who seems to have just caught his breath. Didn’t telepathy only work within the Master-Servant contract? Did someone figure out how to create telepathic connections himself?

“S-sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt but I must thank-” The heavy-set man began, but you couldn’t make out the rest of his comment as it was drowned out of your consciousness by another telepathic message.

“I am Rider of Red’s Master: you may call me Abraxas. Telepathy is an undeveloped skill to most, yours truly excluded, but the contract between Masters and Servants seems to ‘force open’ mental faculties that would normally be inactive. More to the point, you’re from a different section of the city, are you not? Why don’t we share information on the Servants we’ve encountered until now?” He answers. His name sounds like a pseudonym to you. Perhaps he could tell you about some Servants who’ve been active in the northern area, though it unsettled you that he was able to creep into your head without your soliciting it. Or should you just teleport the civilian back to Caster without remaining in this area any longer?
> Tell Avenger to throw up some kind of smokescreen or illusion before moving everyone to cover, the civilian included. You’ll teleport him to Caster’s base camp then work out a plan to fight Rider of Red. Also ask her to do something to block further unsolicited telepathic messages.
> Agree to share information, but on the condition that Abraxas gets out of your head and speaks with you by more mundane means. If he refuses the condition, attempt to withdraw as in the first option.
> Tentatively agree and give a description of one of the Servants you’ve encountered, then ask him to respond in kind (you can pick which Servant to talk about).
> Tentatively agree and ask him to start with a Servant he’s encountered (assuming he complies, you can pick which Servant to talk about).
> You don’t have time for this. Priority is retrieving innocent civilians, so just get to cover as described in the first option and teleport everyone back to Caster’s base camp.
> Something else (write-in)

I have returned from my break.
> Agree to share information and tell him you can share information about four Servants (Assassin, Lancer, Archer and Rider) and a suspicious person behind this war (Overseer). You would prefer meeting him face to face though.
Time to rat all our enemies out.
>Sin (Pride, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Gluttony, Lust): 0, (Greed):1
If that write in about getting extra servant was enough for Greed it is fortunate that we did not specified for it to be bed warmer kunoichi too.
1 point isn't THAT big of a deal.
You probably would have gotten at least 1 Lust point in the situation you mentioned.
It is not lust if intentions are pure, consciouness is clear and consent is given.
GnosticChads and Krishna/myth accurate appearance Arjuna?

Powerlevels just spiked if true. You can do a lot with Judas if you go the gnostic route QM.


Supporting >>5475290

Getting someone else worried about the overseer isn't the worst idea.

Besides, they're likely a Lawful Good servant for them to assist us in saving a civvie and this could lead to another at least tentative alliance and non aggression pact.

They aren't to know the teams are arbitrary. We're both team red and this could be a talking point here too.
>It is not lust if intentions are pure
>>specified for it to be bed warmer kunoichi
Those intentions are pure alright. Purely carnal, that is!

Sounds good.
You decide it shouldn’t be a problem to trade information with this enigmatic Master. His Servant only attacked an undead monster so far, and from what he said it sounds as though they were systematically purging them before your arrival here. That, and it shouldn’t hurt to forewarn a third-party of some of the capabilities of Servants that you already consider enemies in exchange for information on others that you haven’t encountered yet.

“I don’t see an issue with sharing information with you, though would you speak in person? My Servant and an uninvolved bystander are confused by our telepathic conversation.” You suggest.

“Impolite though it may be, I must refuse. My Servant would object to closing to a distance where spoken words would be practical. If you’d like to explain what’s happening to them for a minute or so, I can wait.” ‘Abraxas’ answered. Was worth a try.

“Fair enough, stand by for a moment.” You reply before turning to your Servant and the civilian.

“Master, what’s going on? Who was talking to you?” Avenger asked you pointedly as she tugged you back behind the asphalt-wall, surprising you with her strength. It was easy to forget that she was actually pretty strong physically, on top of everything else.

“The Master of the Servant up there: he calls himself Abraxas. He knows how to use telepathy and wanted to share information on the other Servants we’ve encountered up to now, and I agreed. We can head back to Caster’s hideout in a few minutes.” You answer.

You noticed an anxious grimace flash onto on Avenger’s face when you mentioned the other Master’s use of telepathy, which she substantiated when she replied, “Gather information on other Servants, but make it quick and be careful. It’s rare for even magi to be able to immediately form coherent telepathic connections with complete strangers. If he’s able to do that, he may also try to draw information out of your mind that you’d like to keep hidden.” Sighing in relief, she added, “Though I hadn’t anticipated something like this, refraining from telling you my true name seems to have paid off in an unexpected way.”

“What’s all this about servants and masters? And telepathy? No wait, we have bigger problems! What about the zombies, and the teleporting, and the flying chariots?!” The civilian asked, slowly getting more and more upset as he tried to process the abnormal events he’d been subjected to. You felt a little bad that you didn’t even catch his name yet.

Trying to allay his fears, you say, “Sorry, we can explain it to you once we’re in a safer area in a few minutes. Can you try to stay calm for a little longer?”

Taking a deep breath, the man replied, “Okay, a few more minutes.”

Directing your thoughts toward the hovering chariot for lack of a better idea, you try to telepathically say, “Hello, Abraxas? I’m ready to share information now.”
His answer coming back promptly, he says “Very well. Since it was my suggestion I should begin: one Servant we encountered was a Saber wielding two swords who was able to jump around surprisingly well by using a type of Mana Burst skill. We encountered him a few miles to the southeast of here this morning. We weren’t able to provoke him into revealing his Noble Phantasms’ names before he disengaged, but I do believe his shorter sword had mystic protections on it, making his Magic Resistance extremely high.”

It sounds just like the Saber of Black that Rushorou was telling you about earlier. Extremely high magic Resistance though? That might be difficult for your Servant to fight; although shortly after you met her, she said that even a Servant with A-ranked would be within her ability to defeat. Who can say? You reply, “I see. I suppose we can trade one for one. There was an Assassin who made a hit and run attack with thrown daggers far south of here. I didn’t really get a great look at him, but he had a skull-face and dark robes with a hood. The daggers looked inert as they impacted the ground, but then glowed red before exploding. Worth looking out for.”

Abraxas answered, “Indeed. Now, a Servant to the west of here was called ‘Kuro no Archer’, though he didn’t actually use a bow, but rather some kind of spiked wheel. My Servant called it an ‘oversized chakram’. His mental state also seemed more like what I would have expected from someone designated a Berserker. He was quite strong, my Rider had to fight him rather seriously to drive him off.”

An Archer that doesn’t use a bow? Who would have thought of something like that? On to the next Servant, you say “Not far from where the Assassin appeared, we encountered ‘Kuro no Lancer’, whose true name I’m pretty sure is Sun Wukong. He used a quarterstaff to fight, was able to create copies of himself from his hairs that were nearly as strong as he was, though they were unarmed, and they were able to rapidly heal from injuries, so I suspect the same is true for him.”

“He’s an exceedingly powerful hero from oriental mythology if I’m not mistaken. I must commend you for pressuring him enough to reveal his power and decipher his true name.” The other Master said, so far unaware of your allies who contributed significantly to that effort, before continuing, “My Servant also fought an Archer of Red across the river to the north of here. His power isn’t remarkable, but he’s proven difficult to pin down and eliminate in spite of that. He appears to use a small crossbow and mechanical traps, though they didn’t amount to much against my Servant.”
Knowing ahead of time that an enemy will rely on traps or ambushes could definitely prove beneficial, you reason, then say “Further south we fought another fairly strong Servant designated Aka no Rider, an African who had an army at his command as well as armor that we believe is a divine artifact. We inflicted heavy casualties on his forces, but he might be able to replenish them over time. There was also an Archer who was assisting him, but we didn’t get a good look at whoever it was, as we withdrew shortly after the Archer attacked.” You decide you may as well describe both of them at once since you didn’t have much information to offer regarding the latter.

“Very good. The last I have to offer is further southeast of where we engaged the Saber, we heard some rather beautiful music playing. Since I enjoyed listening to it from a distance, I dissuaded my Servant from attacking them. If you would refrain from doing so as well, at least for tomorrow, I would appreciate it.” Abraxas said

It struck you as a bit odd that he would take liberties like that during a war, but you answer, “We’ll probably have more pressing matters to deal with tomorrow. I should also warn you that I encountered a suspicious man who claimed to be ‘the overseer’, accompanied by a Servant in black armor. He’s also responsible for the recent teleportation of civilians and undead into this city: he wanted to empty out the city where the preliminary round was held before razing it.”

“I encountered him already this past afternoon; though his involvement in the mass-transfer is news to me, that course of action makes some amount of sense given his position. Thank you for your assistance, I think it will prove most helpful.” He answered.

Relieved that he seems to have not attempted any underhanded treachery, you contentedly answer, “I agree, you have my thanks as well.”

Sensing warmness in the tone of his message, you hear him say, “Though we may both be Masters, I don’t personally wish ill upon you. Should our Servants eventually be at odds with each other, I’d like to let them resolve their battle such that both of us may part ways content with the result.”
He sounds surprisingly aloof with regards to the whole situation. That gets you thinking, could you stand by and watch Avenger die and be satisfied with yourself, even if it was in some sense an ‘honorable’ final clash? Because you suspect this man could do just that with his Servant. Come to think of it, she hadn’t really been straight with you on what she wanted from her victory. If you and Abraxas were the last two participants and his Rider had the upper hand without his Master’s aid beyond providing magical energy, and his Servant only focused on fighting Avenger, should you try to kill or coerce Abraxas to betray his Servant on Avenger’s behalf? Were you mistaken on your responsibility as a Master? Just then, Abraxas added, “I do have one last question: does the phrase ‘Ur of the Chaldeans’ mean anything to you? Ah, I didn’t think so.”

“No, it-, how did you know before I answered?” You reply, a sense of trepidation creeping up your spine as you remember Avenger’s earlier warning. Was he reading more of your thoughts than he let on? Could he be planting seeds of doubt in your mind without your knowing, or were these thoughts arising of their own accord for perfectly logical reasons?

“When a question asked over telepathy has a binary answer, I can intuit the answer from the other person’s instinctive reaction on occasion. Now that our business is concluded, you needn’t tarry here on my account.” He answered simply.

It seems that’s all you’ll get out of him for now. Though you wonder, should you request a temporary nonaggression pact before you go, or just take your leave and deal with his Servant next time you encounter them?

> Just leave, taking the civilian with you to Caster’s hideout
> Suggest a temporary non-aggression treaty (specify its duration and other relevant conditions)
> Something else (write-in)
> Suggest a temporary non-aggression treaty (specify its duration and other relevant conditions)
> Avoid attacking each other in the future if possible and avoid starting a fight with a sneak attack out of the blue
> Consider further information sharing at later date if something important become revealed or War gets a major shift/event (like civvies and zombies right now or someones summons Cthulhu or something)
> If War ended up having big/dangerous groups of Servants allying together which are threat to everyone consider further cooperation should it be needed
> Duration is up until War is sorted out as you also don't personally wish ill upon him
Shady guy but he seems alright and courtesy enough.
Doesn't seem like anyone else is responding, so we'll go with this.

I'll second this vote.

"Ur of the Chaldeans" though? Not quite sure the deal there yet but given that name I feel it may be related to us having double Ether as an element. Somewhat shocks me still thinking what else there is to us since we have no memory to work from
If he suggests you renew the truce and share information again at approximately the same location you're at currently around sunset of the day after tomorrow (in-game of course) would you agree to that?
Big spoiler: he's going to suggest that.
That sounds like an oversight that should be patched up.
Ur of the Chaldeans is the birthplace of Abraham, the primary monotheistic YHWH/God/Allah prophet.

Big boy lore time?

I know I'm late to the party wageslave extreme but I'd have supported >>5478676

That could risk an ambush or either party being preoccupied and missing the meeting. Are we also able to opt for a flare signal of sorts to announce a meeting location? Assuming something could compromise the time and place he has opted for?
am >>5475796
I really should just get over my irrational fear of short updates and have the negotiation be processed snippet by snippet. I'd probably get updates out faster that way.

Well shit the schedule conflict is gonna be a bit of a pain to deal with. I'm not sure if it would be a risk given the guy is a new and quite literally unknown face to us. But I'm gonna bring it up for getting other brains thinking as well

>Given Abraxas' apparent skill to telepathy as brought up by Avenger, ask if he ie capable of perhaps maintaining a two-way method of communication thought-to-thought.

I believe while we make this alliance last given this, he could provide us some means of recovering some of our memories. Him bringing up Ur there and acting glibly on it suggests he is capable of helping to excavate something out, maybe even check if some mind curse is on us


Shit if that is the case and pertains to us then we have something on our hands given the two natures held. We should go for practicing with Avenger and/or Caster as well to get a gague for what we can do at barebones.


It may help you out, just give it a try for a few updates to see how it flows with the narrative. So long as you don't burnout and enjoy it as well man
You decide it would be for the best to suggest a diplomatic arrangement with this other Master, which would likely benefit both parties. While still mysterious, he’s been forthright and cordial with you, and you could gain some peace of mind if you could see to it that his highly-mobile Servant doesn’t cruise over to your side of the city while you’re asleep and try to shower you with arrows or something of the like.

“Before I go, I’d like to form a non-aggression pact of sorts with you and your Servant. As we’ll be operating in different sections of the city in the short-term, it should be easy for us to stay out of each other’s way, but I propose we avoid attacking each other in the future if possible. At the least we could refrain from starting a battle with a sneak attack out of the blue.” You suggest.

“Those make for sensible rules of engagement, allow me to confirm my Servant’s approval.” He answered. Maybe you should have run it by your own Servant as well; though decreasing the pool of immediate hostiles hardly strikes you as a controversial decision.

A few moments later, a different man’s voice sounds in your mind. His voice is more gruff than that of Abraxas, and he said, “On my request, my Master has allowed me to answer you personally. Your entreaty is acceptable to me: we shall not prioritize assailing you or your Servant until the foes in our vicinity have been dealt with, and my desire to do battle with your Servant shall be clearly announced before we engage. I will also not raise my hand against you should you yourself abstain from joining that battle. However, know that should you resort to perfidy, I will slay you myself.”

Abraxas’ ability to manipulate telepathy surprised you again; perhaps he merged the connection of his Servant’s contract with the one he made with you? Regardless, so far so good, though you don’t feel the Rider’s threat should go totally unanswered. “It’s to be expected that breaking an agreement will have serious consequences, and that applies to both parties. Now, there are a few secondary conditions I was hoping to append to our agreement, Abraxas: we should consider further cooperation if some unexpected event arises, such as the present situation of the undead and civilians being brought here at random, some monstrous existence beyond the norm arising during the war, or a large group of Servants be discovered that poses a grave threat to all others. Ideally our agreement can last until the war is sorted out, as I also don’t personally wish ill upon you.” You continue, though as you finish you recall that you made a similar non-aggression pact with Truvietianne Edelfelt and her Lancer. Well, if both Perseus and Rider of Red survive to the end of the war, perhaps your rapport with each of the other Masters will allow you all to find a way to conclude the ritual without any ‘hard feelings’.
“I find those terms acceptable, though it would behoove us to decide upon some way of signaling a request for counsel before we part ways. As an aside, I take it you and your Servant seek to provide aid and comfort to the bystanders who have arrived here recently?” Abraxas said. Come to think of it, you hadn’t really explained to him what it was you were doing before he contacted you.

“We do. In fact, we ought to head back soon. Do you have an idea of how you’d like to arrange a future meeting?” You ask.

“As we’re both familiar with this location we could use it as a point to rally at. Perhaps we can plan to meet here in 48 hours to reaffirm our deal and trade updated information.” He suggested.

However, scheduling in advance could be undone if either party gets preoccupied, or an ambush could be set up if knowledge of the time and place of the meeting somehow gets out. You may want to come up with a more comprehensive method of communicating, but how would you go about that?

> It’ll probably be fine: agree to his suggestion but remind him of the possibility of missing the meeting due to an unforeseen wartime emergency.
> Suggest something else (write-in).
> Request a brief recess, explain the situation to Avenger and ask if she has any ideas.

>>Given Abraxas' apparent skill to telepathy as brought up by Avenger, ask if he ie capable of perhaps maintaining a two-way method of communication thought-to-thought.

You were on to something
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Abraham was also the person who stood up to and dabbed on Nimrod and polytheism/nature worship un general with YHWH support. Nimrod was also the whole reason the Universal Language was revoked from mankind by YHWH after his Tower of Babel project + a bow said to shoot down even angels. He wished to confront YHWH himself and probably got the closest out of anyone in lore.

Nimrod is also the Abrahamic lore version of GIlgamesh + Nebuchadnezzar II and a direct heir of Noah. He also has the divine robes of light YHWH crafted from the Leviathan's hidecto protect Adam and Eve after they were expelled from Eden. They render the user impervious to all harm and grants them effectively EX Charisma. (Stolen from Noah on the ark by his ancestor. He also has the first conceptual "crown", that supposedly fell from heaven and was basically king of mankind at the time.

Nebuchadnezzar II also defeated and captured Israel right after the last biblical mention of the Ark of the Covenant, meaning he hypothetically gained access to it and it's contents - a Jar of Maana, Aaron's Rod and the Commandments + YHWH's Throne on Earth as the Ark itself.

As for the update, I'm thinking suggesting an alternative means of contacting in the event of a wartime emergency causing issue with the meeting. Maybe just initially verbally speak to Avenger (quietly) first to ask her opinion about the idea of establishing some form of contact/comms link. Have her to vet it first? Before actually suggesting it. Also asking if she has any alternative or suggestions?

We're "young/innocent" and at risk of gullibly trusting a stranger otherwise. a small amount of healthy paranoia wouldn't hurt.
> Request a brief recess, explain the situation to Avenger and ask if she has any ideas.
Either she will have something to add or will make walkie-talkie or anything like that. Either way, we are not really forced to come here in 48 hours if we get more important business at that time or something radical happens. It would just be a potential waste of opportunity.

Also, Abraxas being amicable so far is a good sign and he gave us some solid new information. It could be worth it to talk with Avenger about Ur of the Chaldeans or have her investigate an option for us to gain telepathy. Like brewing a potion to awaken latent psychic powers. Since it supposed to be possible according to him.
>Telepathy is an undeveloped skill to most, yours truly excluded, but the contract between Masters and Servants seems to ‘force open’ mental faculties that would normally be inactive.
Delving into the mind might like that could also be useful to probe if we have sealed memories. At the very least, we might unlock communication skill for our makeshift team.
>some kind of spiked wheel. My Servant called it an ‘oversized chakram’
>His power isn’t remarkable, but he’s proven difficult to pin down and eliminate in spite of that. He appears to use a small crossbow and mechanical traps, though they didn’t amount to much against my Servant.
Ashwatthama and William Tell, probably.
These seem similar enough, I guess I can put something together based on them.
“I don’t think scheduling a meeting in advance is going to work. Or rather, it’s not a reliable method given how unpredictable a war can be. Could we have a brief recess so I could confer with my Servant to help work something out?” You request, hoping Avenger might have an idea. Maybe she can make some kind of communication device or suggest a different method.

“Do as you wish, I’ll be here.” Abraxas answered evenly, not displaying any signs of impatience as of yet.

When you look back to Avenger, she appears to have shocked the civilian you’d just recovered into stunned silence by telling him to go hide somewhere again if he thinks he’ll be better off without you. Perhaps his nerves got the better of him while he was waiting and he started complaining; you couldn’t be sure since your attention was directed elsewhere at the time. Quickly catching sight of your gaze, she preemptively asks, “Have you finished?”

Ah, right. She didn’t want you talking to the other Master longer than necessary. Trying to banish any uncertainty from your voice, you answer, “Almost. We decided it would be a good idea to make a non-aggression pact and were trying to brainstorm a way to share information again or cooperate if the circumstances called for it. I found scheduling a meeting in advance wouldn’t be ideal and was wondering if you had any suggestions? Maybe something that takes advantage of our extant telepathic connections?”

“I see you’ve already gotten rather chummy with this shady Master.” She answered flatly, cutting right past your query. It seemed to you that she was emphasizing and quietly condemning what she considered insubordination on your part.

Defensively, you answer, “Now look, he’s been more cordial than anyone would have expected, hasn’t attempted any underhanded tricks that I can see, and might even be qualified to help me recover my memory sometime later. As I recall, there’s no rule that says the Masters need to be fierce enemies on a personal level for the Grail War to be completed. I get that his staying out of sight and using telepathy to communicate is worthy of concern on your part, but maybe you can compartmentalize our connection with some kind of item or potion.” You decline to bring up creeping sense of uncertainty that flashed into your mind for the time being, as you worry that might jeopardize your relationship with your Servant. Maybe you can ask about ‘Ur of the Chaldeans’ at some point, though.

“Compartmentalization? Alright, this should work.” She said as two small blue crystals suddenly grew from the ground at her feet. As she reached down to pick them up, she also quietly muttered “naïve”, and something to herself about how she ‘should have expected’ something or other.

“What’re those? They’re quite pretty.” The mustached civilian remarked.
Holding up the grape-sized, single-shafted gems, she answered, “Mana crystals with a twist. Once a person is attuned to one, he can send a request through it to the other crystal to telepathically contact the other person.” Handing one to you, she continued, “That one’s attuned to you, Master. I’ll leave the other on the ground for the other Master to pick up after we’ve left. I’ve set them so that when a request to communicate is made, the crystal will gently vibrate and faintly glow, and the recipient may either answer or decline at his discretion. Your intuition should immediately tell you how to use it. Once he has this he won’t have an excuse for employing direct telepathic contact again, but I’m going to prepare a potion for you after we return that will block such attempts regardless, as a security precaution. The connections from our contact and through the crystals will be exempt, of course.”

“That potion won’t dull my senses, will it? He mentioned that the Master-Servant contract forced open telepathic faculties in people that otherwise couldn’t use them, and if that’s the case I thought I may be able to develop psychic abilities of some sort.” You say, interested in what might be possible for you to learn. Even though your memory was shot, you could tell from Avenger’s earlier surprise that psychic abilities were outside the norm even for magi; and if you were lucky, you could learn a lot more about yourself with those abilities.

“Don’t get too ahead of yourself: let’s figure out how to use your Ether attribute first. That will open up far more options for us far more quickly.” She advised; fortunately, the earlier crossness in her voice had dissipated, replaced by an earnest interest in cultivating your power from what you could tell.

Her suggestion sounds reasonably-secure, is there anything else you want to do aside from inform Abraxas of how to use the crystal before you leave?

> No, it’s time to head back.
> Yes, (Suggest some sort of adjustment to the crystals, or other action to take)
blessed birb

>No, it’s time to head back.
>No, it’s time to head back.
> No, it’s time to head back.

> No, it’s time to head back.

The bord has done a good job this day, covering for both measures and potential issues even though it annoys her. Once back at base we should get a grasp for something to try with Ether.

Would a sorta 'pure Mana' ball of force be something possible?
As much as I would like to defer to pic related, I'll be putting my thinking cap on to make something internally-consistent, with intuitive progression, and hopefully balanced.
She makes a fair point, working on telepathy can wait for now. What exactly CAN an ether element do anyway? You feel excitement at the prospect of finding out soon.

“That’s a good idea, and thank you for preparing those crystals. I think they were just what we needed.” You say to her in heartfelt thanks.

Contacting Abraxas once more, you describe your Servant’s solution to him. Receptive of the idea, he agrees and concludes, “Assuming nothing of greater import occurs soon, you may expect a request for communication from me in 48 hours. Until then, farewell.”

“Thank you, and farewell.” You respond, now ready to return to the area near the Tokyo Tower landmark.

“So, uh, where are we going again?” The civilian asked while scratching the back of his neck.

The teleportation circle appearing on the ground beneath you, you answer, “Just stand still, Avenger’s about to teleport us to our base-camp Mr….” Oh that’s right, you still hadn’t caught his name yet.

“Teleport! I don’t know how I feel about-” He began, but stopped himself as he was disoriented by his sudden transference along with the rest of you to the entrance of the office building Caster had decided to hole up in.

“…that.” The man finished, before nervously looking behind himself toward the surroundings, you assume for fear of undead monsters that could be shambling about in this area.

“Let’s get him inside.” Avenger bade you as the teleportation circle faded.

Opening the doors, you announce, “Caster, we’ve returned!” as you walk in, your Servant and the civilian following. A slow crescendo of a nervous laugh coming from the man, you turn around and ask him, “Sir, what do you find so funny?”

“Hehehe… this is all just a stress-induced fever-dream, right? But why can’t I wake up? It feels like it’s been… HOURS!” Startling you with the sudden outburst, he catches both of your shoulders in his trembling hands and continues, “I worked too much overtime this month, so I’m hallucinating this crazy shit. I’ll wake up in a hospital or police station and go home any minute now! Any minute! Just… let me wake up! PLEASE! LET ME WAKE UP!” In his mounting distress, he started shaking you back and forth from his grips on your shoulders. You tried to keep a calm expression, but his frantic desperation seemed almost contagious. Though this war hadn’t really exacted much of a toll on you as of yet, you could tell this man was barely thinking straight from facing so many events that must have seemed incomprehensible to him.

“Perhaps instead of trying to force an awakening upon yourself, you may get closer to the peace you desire by embracing sleep here, my good man.” A familiar voice said in a tranquil tone. Your own anxiety abating, you can also tell from the softening expression on his face that the civilian’s hysteria had started to dispel as well.
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His hands limply falling off your shoulders, he looked over your shoulder toward the source of the voice and replied, “I never thought of escaping a nightmare by sleeping instead of waking up…”

Turning your head slightly, you see Caster step forward and answer the man, “The nightmare is already fading: you will be safe here. Among other things, I am called Caster. What may I call you?”

“Tachibana. Tachibana Suzaku.” He answered with a sigh of relief.

“Well then, let’s head to the conference room Mr. Tachibana. You can get acquainted with the others at your leisure.” Caster suggested, turning around and beginning to lead your party through the building’s lobby.

“Has Truvietianne and Rushorou’s group returned already?” You ask him as you go.

“They have not. From what my familiar was able to observe, they seemed to be having a tense negotiation with another small faction of Servants regarding who would take custody of the civilian they moved to, but some of that is speculation on my part, as my attention was spread throughout the city.” He answered evenly, before opening the door to a conference room. You quickly spot Matsuda sitting in an office chair with his feet kicked onto the central table, in the middle of telling a story to Koko.

“-then they tell us the gorilla is going to be the teaching assistant for our English class. A freakin’ gorilla! And the best part was he could only use sign-language, so they had an interpreter with him the whole – oh, you guys are back.” The delinquent said, cutting his tale short once he caught sight of you. Wait a minute, what the hell kind of school was he talking about?!

“We are, and with one new acquaintance. Mr. Tachibana?” Caster said, prompting the man to introduce himself.

“Hello. I’m Tachibana Suzaku, I perform HVAC maintenance, electrical engineering, and project management at a building maintenance company in Saitama. I’m… still in the dark about recent events.” He says.

You hear Koko murmur with a shudder, “I’ve heard the horror stories about Cromartie High, but I never would have imagined…” Then (remembering her manners) she then quickly collected herself, walked up to the man, and said, “Pardon me, I should introduce myself!”

As the two exchange pleasantries, you ask Caster, “Did you find anyone else wandering around from the overseer’s transfer since we left, or just undead monsters?”

With a hint of unease, he answered, “I believe I spotted one more a few minutes ago, but extenuating circumstances have led me to lose track of her.”

“What happened?” You ask.
“She was in the Taito ward, but fled into a subway station not long ago, and when I attempted to have my familiar take a closer look inside, he was intercepted and wounded by an arrow, loosed by a Servant no doubt. I had to dismiss him for the time being to recover.” He answered. You wonder who it could have been. The Taito ward wasn’t very close to you, and it probably wouldn’t have been Rider of Red since he was busy supervising your discussion with his master. Maybe it was the stealthy Archer Abraxas talked about, or perhaps the one who helped Aka no Rider decided to move across the city looking for new targets.

“Was the civilian being pursued when you last saw her?” You ask. If she’s lucky, she may not be in immediate danger since from what you could tell, most Masters and Servants would probably be inclined to destroy the hostile zombies on sight.

“I don’t believe so; however there’s no knowing if anyone or anything else was teleported into the city’s subway systems themselves.” He answered as he stroked his beard. Hmm, it seems his familiar was only an aerial observer. You start wondering how extensive the city’s underground sections might be.

“Do you want to check the subway area out, Master? I don’t much care either way, but it may be in your interest to leave things as they are and focus on your own needs for the rest of the night.” Avenger advised from a seated position in one of the chairs, swiveling herself around in circles as she said it. Maybe she’s getting a little bored?

What will you do next:

> Ask Avenger to teleport you to the subway station in the Taito ward and look for the last civilian.
> Check up on Truvietianne and Rushorou’s group, and see if they need any help.
> Stay here and try to learn more about magic and your ether element. You’ll trust everyone else to work things out themselves.
> Something else (write-in)
Tossing up between asking Avenger if she can make a few more sets of comms crystals, tping to Truvi and Rushirou and giving them one as an "in case of emergency" beacon and then tping over to the subway NPC after letting them know where we're going.

Or... just ignore them all and cultivate with birb.

Also there's a risk of trusting Odin. Could be baiting us into an encounter where we get dealt with by an underground threat. As he only cares about valuable/worthy people, death is not an issue for him as you're free real estate for him as an einherjar or you just go to the dumpzone of Hel. It could also be a trial from him, but he's another's servant in a war that requires the death of one or the other.

Also he -SHOULD- have access to his Clairvoyance anyway and could have offered more info.
He has a multidimensional eye that allowed him to see into the world of the English Lostbelt from Proper Human History, and he can also foresee "what needs to be done and where," allowing him to know about the threats of Goetia and the Alien God well in advance.[6]

Anyone else wanna weigh in?
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>Cromartie High School
Unexpected crossover.
If Freddie is here too he might be mistaken for a Servant.
Dual Cultivation is the most useful action to take.
If Truvi jobs again and we need to rescue her ass yet again it just adds more question to an already big pile of them about her competency. However, seeing another group with our own eyes could be beneficial.
Subway could win us favor with Odin if we kill one who wounded his raven. And in cramped space we have an advantage over Archer since Avenger already mentioned her ability to use unrestrained chemical warfare and it does to require line of sight or walking into traps. Adds a chance to smoke out Archer's Master too. And we could leave Odin with a comms crystal in case something else happens with Truvi's group or HQ.
I think trying to figure out Odin's motives is a waste of time right now. With clairvoyance at that level, it would be easy enough to make a plan so convoluted nobody else could make sense of it. Right now, I think he's withholding info to force us into a difficult choice.
With that in mind, the best choice would be to check on the civilian - if we barge into the meeting, it could startle them and cause a fight to break out. We'll have time to dual cultivate afterward.
> Ask Avenger to teleport you to the subway station in the Taito ward and look for the last civilian.
Think I'll go with this. If somebody wants to add giving comms crystals to Odin before going I am for fine with it as well.
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From what the others have said I don't think any of them would object to this selection, so I'll go with it. For now, no new crystals; do you really want your pockets stuffed full of compartmentalized telepathic walkie-talkies?
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“Let’s look around the subway, just in case.” You decide. Maybe the enemy Archer followed the civilian underground, where their advantages of strategic positioning and long effective range would be nullified.

Flapping her wings to fling herself out of the chair as it was spinning, Avenger answered, “One moment then.” Flying toward a water-cooler on a small table, she hummed something as she filled a small, cone-shaped paper-cup with water and brought it to you, saying “Drink this before we go, to avoid surprises like sudden dehydration… or other things.” Ending her sentence in a whisper; it seems she probably cast a spell to make this a potion that would block external telepathy from creeping into your head.

Quickly downing the beverage (which tasted like clean water with a faint hint of some herb you couldn’t recognize), you say, “Ready to go.”

“Leavin’ so soon big guy?” Matsuda asked, having been somewhat reluctantly roped into a conversation about career choices by Koko for the past couple minutes.

The teleportation circle appearing under your feet, you answer, “Yeah, we’ll try to pick up one other person before heading back.”

Before he could say anything else, you found yourself on another deserted street, quickly spotting the entrance of the subway station. It was fairly small, with only one staircase leading down. Turning to your Servant, you ask, “Any traces of Servants nearby?”

Scrutinizing her surroundings for a few moments, she answers, “No, unless they’re an Assassin using their Presence Concealment or perhaps some distance away in spirit-form.”

Strange, maybe the Archer that sniped Caster’s familiar just did a hit-and-run against an enemy asset without investigating the area in more detail. You’ll still need to stay on your guard though; this area seemed eerily quiet so far. Noticing an iron bar lying under a small pile of rubble nearby, you quickly jog over to pick it up then decide, “Let’s get in there then. If no one shows themselves I’ll call out-”.


“Gunfire?!” You say, startled by the sounds coming up from the station. It seems slowly and cautiously investigating probably won’t cut it. You need to find out what’s going on, fast!

Rushing down the steps into the station, you shout back to your Servant, “With me, Avenger, and quick!”

Running behind you, she informs you over the sound of the continuing gunfire, “It’s not a Servant, fortunately. Don’t get yourself shot, regardless.”

As you reach the bottom of the stairs and catch sight of the station’s platform, you find that there are no trains positioned in this area currently. The sound of the shooting had been coming from a tunnel the tracks lead into. Immediately heading that way, you notice a conspicuously-colorful sticker a bit larger than a sheet of paper stuck onto the wall just outside the tunnel, pointing into it.
Hopping down onto the tracks and looking inside, you spit in disgust at the sight of a shambling, ghoulish form trudging toward the sound of the gunfire, with several similar figures further ahead along the tunnel’s curve. Your grip on the iron bar tightening, you tersely tell your Servant, “Make sure they don’t get back up.”

Sprinting forward, you slam the iron bar into the back of the zombie’s skull as you pass by it, shaving off everything above the jawline. Crushing one of its arms and knocking it to the ground in a follow-up strike, you swiftly rush past it toward the next, and the next, and the next, shattering their bodies with similar efficiency. After you pass the fourth, which seemed to be standing guard rather than advancing, you notice the sporadic gunfire had ceased shortly after you entered the tunnel, presently being replaced by angry and desperate screams. Damn it, you were so close! Having followed the curve of the tunnel, you caught sight of some kind of maintenance room, which you were certain the civilian had tried to take refuge in, given the small pile of corpses strewn about near its entrance.

“DIE YOU FUCK-!” You hear a woman’s voice scream before it was cut off. Stepping over the pile of corpses at the maintenance room’s door, you see several more lying inert throughout the room as your eyes pan up. Pallets of canned food as well as several handguns with boxes of ammunition under them were laid out in the room as well. At the end, you see two humanoid figures: one a bit taller than you, gaunt, masculine in appearance, and grappling and sinking its teeth deep into the throat of the second, a black-haired woman who wasn’t much shorter than you, holding a large knife in her left hand (which her opponent was holding at bay with one of his own), her right arm torn off at the elbow, and a semi-automatic pistol and dozens of shell-casings lying at her feet next to her severed limb. The woman’s eyes meet yours for the briefest moment before the gangly monster jerks its head back, ripping a chunk of flesh from her throat and dropping her to fall limply onto the floor. Turning its hairless and sallow head to face you, it remarked with chilling indifference, “Fought past my thralls? I wanted to take my time with this, you know."

This thing has human-level intelligence? And repugnant proclivities on top of that it seems. What will you do:

> Rush forward and kill this ugly son of a bitch. Maybe Avenger can do something for the woman before it’s too late.
> Ask him if he was human once and what his plans are, recent events aside.
> Something different (write-in)
wtf man of Judea
thats cheating
>Smash off the legs then arms of the man to incapacitate him for the time being
>See if Avenger can stablise the woman before interrogating torturing the limbless zombie nugget for useful information
Supporting >>5498882. But if we're looking at a Dead Apostle, then his limbs will heal quickly.
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I'm sure Avenger will enjoy something she can toy with. She does have a Neutral Evil alignment and might be a bit bored of us playing hero of late.
9 out of 10 dead apostles can regrow their teeth infinitely
Time to revoke his limbs privilege.
Your assumption regarding the identity of the person responsible for this situation may not be correct.
Well, almost infinitely. If they just let someone maim them over and over again the blood stockpile that fuels their powers would eventually get depleted, but in most cases it would take so long that killing them by attrition wouldn't be effective.

> Something different: Interogate as to what and who this thing is and what it's here for, while having Avenger set up a trap area to bait them into to burn them to a crisp. Maybe a suggestion for something ourselves to try for magic sense a metal pipe may not work on this one.

A shame we didn't get to the woman in time but we're gonna need to plan this out for paying back count Orlock here
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I've kind of already started writing the update based on the earlier votes.
“I couldn’t care less what you wanted, you abomination. Your game ends here.” You spit, raising the iron bar into a readied position. There’s something different about this battle from the others you’ve been in so far. Destroying mindless monsters basically amounted to pest control, the Holy Grail War was a structured contest with a clear goal at the end where your opponents could easily have just reasons for participating. But this repulsive thing (you weren’t sure you could even call him a man) has basically admitted to coordinating hunts against human beings for some kind of sick amusement. You felt an instinctive duty to put an end to him, though you plan to beat some more answers out of him in due time.

“Oh, how frightening. But the new game’s just started!” He scoffs, revealing the knife that he had palmed from the woman’s hand as she fell before he threw it toward the center of your chest. You try to deflect it with the iron bar as you move to the side, but even though you made contact it still slid past your ribs, leaving a shallow cut on your left side. You feel a new urgency to close the distance as your opponent swiftly stoops to the ground to pick up the pistol that had fallen there. Sprinting to the end of the room, you swing the bar against the tip of the barrel of the pistol just as he aims it at you. A shot rings out, and you feel a gust of wind pass by your shoulder. Quickly circling the bar above his arm, you then bring it to bear against his elbow with all your might, tearing cleanly through the joint and knocking the now-severed arm to the floor. Unbothered by his sudden dismemberment, your enemy’s remaining hand suddenly grew short claws that he thrust toward your gut. Catching it behind the wrist with your free hand, you get your first real gauge of his physical strength: you needed to exert yourself, but you quickly brought his lunge to a stop. What you didn’t expect was for him to suddenly jerk his arm back, pulling your toward him as he bared a pair of fangs and lurched his neck forward, aiming to bite into your throat. Just in time, you stuff the iron bar into his jaws, then slam him against the wall to your right using your grip on his arm and the bar, which he was proving reluctant to release from his jaws.

If he wouldn’t let go of your weapon, you’d just get a new one. Fortunately, even though he still wasn’t exhibiting any reactions of pain, your throw still visibly disoriented him. Dragging him against the wall, you then throw him against the ceiling before swiftly retrieving the knife he’d thrown earlier. Though he spat the iron rod into his hand after you released him, he couldn’t regain his balance and face you before you caught his arm at the elbow. With an upward slice, you sever that arm at the shoulder, and for good measure you push him onto his stomach with your knee before catching his feet and severing his legs at the knees, one at a time.
“Oya oya? What have we here?” Avenger asked as she casually strolled into the maintenance room, some smoke following her in. She must have torched the bodies when you asked her to make sure they stayed dead.

“Good timing, can you stabilize that woman there? She’s critically injured, but if we move fast I think we can help.” You answer in a hurry, pointing to the now-convulsing woman’s body.

The mutilated fiend rolled into his back and started laughing in pure, undiluted derision, “Bwahahaha! Too late, hero! Before you interrupted us, I injected that piece of meat with some of my blood! Her soul’s being dissolved as we speak, and she’ll become either a mindless puppet or a helpless slave to my master’s will!”

The chain of command doesn’t stop at him?! Could he be working for the overseer to cut off loose ends, or was some other player at work? You already decided you’d question him later, so first you have to see if there’s anything you can do for that woman.

A magic circle appearing under your enemy, he suddenly wheezes as his head is pulled down onto the floor. “I take it you’ll deal with that later? Triple gravity should keep him in place for a while.” Avenger says as she stoops down to examine the civilian’s condition, generating several different vials on the floor and picking one up.

“Thanks, how does she look?” You ask.

Pouring the potion into the wound on the woman’s neck, Avenger answers, “Unfortunately, he wasn’t lying about attacking her soul directly. The apostles of the dead weren’t very common in my day, but beings of that kind are lacking in several of the attributes of living creatures, such as traditional reproductive functions and genetic stability. To compensate, they stabilize their genome by drinking the blood of others, and reproduce by inducing transformations in normal living creatures to convert them to their kind.”

“Can you reverse what’s been done?” You ask as you step down to secure the woman’s body, as her convulsions had increased in intensity.

Pouring another vial into the wound, she answered, “The infected blood had time to circulate; returning her to the state she was before would be a tall order, even for me. I’m not Asclepius, after all.” Spotting the wound in your side, she started speculating, “Perhaps if we… no, I’d like to avoid such setbacks.”

“What do you mean?” You ask, touching your wound and noticing you had been bleeding a fair amount from the cut. “Wait, if injecting one kind of blood caused the transformation, could you use a different kind to cure her?”

“What a pitiful fantasy! I can’t believe a fool like you was able to overpower me!” The ghoul spat from his position on the ground.

“Shut the hell up. Your appointment’s next, and you won’t be enjoying it.” You snap back.

“Waste as much time as you like, I now know neither pain nor fear!” He laughed.
“We’ll see about that...” Avenger mused, before addressing you, “A viable option would be for me to use my Noble Phantasm to alter the end-point of the transformation he instigated. She’d still become the same kind of creature as him, but more powerful and loyal to us. If leaving the sapience intact would be a nuisance, I could also create a servile monster that would be more powerful but also more simple-minded in battle.”

Since you hadn’t heard her answer yet, you ask, “And what about my blood? Can you make an antidote from it?”

Somewhat reluctantly, she explained, “I can’t guarantee its success, but it’s possible. The reason being: the apostles of the dead have Ether infused into their blood. Need I say more?”

“What you’re saying is, this is something only I can do?” You ask rhetorically. Technically someone else with an Ether attribute probably could too, but that’s just nitpicking.

“Yes, but should you?” She said as she poured another vial onto the woman’s wounds, “I’m not sure how much of your blood I’d need to stabilize and heal her. There’s a chance you’d become anemic and have to sleep away the rest of the night, then well into tomorrow morning. Using my Hougu is clearly the safer and more strategically-sound option, but if you don’t want to manage a new minion I can try heal her as is; if it doesn’t work out she’ll just rest in peace.”

Thinking over the situation, your Servant does have a point. These undead monsters are pretty powerful compared to normal humans, and having one with programmed-loyalty ready to fight to the death at your command would make for a decent asset. Although explaining that to your allies may get complicated. And you still feel some sense of duty to stop this woman from becoming an inhuman monster, even if it costs you some blood to do so. Is it just your emotions getting the better of you because you’re a man, or are you really pursuing some higher purpose?

Well, you need to decide on something:
> “Just do your best to heal her without my blood. It’d be nice if we could save her, but we have other priorities.”
> “I’m already bleeding anyway, use my blood to save her.”
> “Guide her transformation so that she’s still sapient, but loyal to us.”
> “I guess I could give pet ownership a try, make a loyal monster out of her.”
> Something different (write-in)
Maybe something halfway between the choices to revive her without expending too much of ourselves. That woman had a lot of fight in her. She might prove valuable with her own personality still there, but we risk being pretty worn down and having extra baggage if we sacrifice blood to just heal her back into a normal human and Avenger is pretty possessive.

> “Guide her transformation so that she’s still sapient, but loyal to us.”
>Give her the option of suicide/being mercy killed or fighting alongside us once she's conscious.

We're not exactly heartless enough to just make her a slave, for a normie human she seems to have done pretty damn well for herself survival-wise until the likely rank 2/3 DA thrall found his way in.

https://typemoon.fandom.com/wiki/Dead_Apostle obviously not something we know in character, but I'd assume rank 2 or 3 as it speaks, feels no pain and has its own personality of sorts. It's not full shambling corpse NPC so it seems to have reached some middling level of re-sapience as an undead/ghoul stage.
Also communicate the intention through the mental link, probably shouldn't tell anyone other than Avenger that we had a hypothetical option to prevent her transformation. Nor should we give any info to nugget by speaking out loud. Opens a can of worms but we've spent quite a bit already today. This'll probably be the last thing we do before returning and sleeping after we torture the corpsenugget.
Mixing Avenger's NP and our blood options could guide her transformation and make her closer to true ancestor/nature spirits since our homunculus blood and elements are very high quality and pure as it gets. Bootleg version of true ancestor but it could solve need for her to drink blood, make more useful ally/kin for us and dab on this guy and his master. And won't need to use that much of our blood since Avenger's NP would do the heavy lifting.
>A perfect homunculus is essentially a man-made artificial extension of nature
>Unique existences even among the vampires, the True Ancestors(真祖, Shinso?) are incarnated nature spirits, being classified as Elementals,[1][2] said to be the original bloodsucking species independently established by the planet as its sense of touch.[3][2] They are vampiric creatures from birth, however, unlike the Dead Apostles and other blood-sucking species, the root of their bloodlust is psychological rather than physical.
Definitely worth mentioning in our conversation with her to see if she's able to combine an amount of our blood that won't leave us anaemic in with use of her NP.

Captcha: GGAAG - A DNA meme or gag?
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How's this for a combined revision?

>Ask Avenger if she can combine her NP and use some of our blood as an extra supplement to guide girl's transformation, remove any issues and strengthen the end transformation.
if not just..
>“Guide her transformation so that she’s still sapient, but loyal to us.”
>Give her the option of suicide/being mercy killed or fighting alongside us once she's conscious.
>Give her the option to kill corpsenugget after we are done with him.

Limit the use of blood to avoid us becoming anaemic. Give her a cathartic end to her attacker and a bit of a pre-emptive loyalty boost so she's willing and not a slave. Hopefully will bode better when returning to allies.

When we interrogate mr nugget, hopefully Avenger figures out he's going to need a masterless battery source of mana so he can be properly cut off from his source and compelled to speak with her collection of truth inducing sips. Otherwise we risk causing feedback or him ending his subscription to un-life before we get what we wanted.
Worth a shot. Despite meta side of speculated end result, it is not a farfetched option given that we just heard from Avenger.
>use some of our blood as an extra supplement to guide girl's transformation, remove any issues and strengthen the end transformation

At first I thought you were trying to hedge your bets by giving a little blood to try to neutralize the vampirization as Plan A and then alter the transformation to acquire her loyalty as Plan B if it didn't work, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Do you want to alter the transformation using your blood as an additional ingredient to dampen the dehumanizing effects of vampirization as the primary objective? And if you found out you got lucky and were able to completely negate the transformation, would you refrain from doing that and leave her as an undead due to the usefulness of having a new minion?

I ask this because the procedure Avenger plans on using your blood for isn't exactly compatible with leaving the infected blood alone. It should be reasonable to tell you ahead of time that she'd either try to have you extract all of the Ether-infected blood by coagulating it after combining it with your own (using regular Ether), or directly neutralize it after letting your blood circulate (using True Ether). I also planned on having RNG determine which method had better compatibility since it would be your first time trying something like this.

Or would you want to try to infuse regular Ether into your own blood and hope Avenger can use her NP to let your Ether blood overpower some of the ill-effects of the vampire blood?

I would have wanted to explain the mechanics of this in a story update but then I'm concerned we'd be going back and forth for ages. Might be bad QMing on my part.
>Do you want to alter the transformation using your blood as an additional ingredient to dampen the dehumanizing effects of vampirization as the primary objective?
>Or would you want to try to infuse regular Ether into your own blood and hope Avenger can use her NP to let your Ether blood overpower some of the ill-effects of the vampire blood?
Is there a particular difference in end results here between these two? Apart from RNG determining efficiency of each method.
I would prefer to get a unique underling (and preferably one who does not suffer by merely existing) who exceeds in both power and potential our buddy here the nuggetman and his boss (whomever he maybe). If only to have them die by her hand.
And can you post prepared character art for girl if you have it or we are yet to get a good look of her? I am interested in seeing if she prepared to play a role in "shojo battle manga" experience she is getting dragged in.
Honestly curious what the combined effects of our own essence plus Avenger's NP would result in. I'd prefer it not to be simply an undead thrall either, more something new and give her the option of continuing to live and pursuing revenge (kinda creating a scuffed mini-Avenger here, seethe as the primary motivator). Also made from our combined aspects.

accidental daughter
>Is there a particular difference in end results here between these two?
Those are describing the same process in different levels of detail. I was contrasting them with the methods that would had removing or neutralizing the vampire blood entirely as the primary objective.

>can you post prepared character art for girl if you have it or we are yet to get a good look of her?
Her finalized appearance is sort of dependent on how the current situation ends up getting resolved, so I didn't want to jump the gun.

I think I understand the general intention now.

This option looks generally favored, so roll 1d100, Bo3 (possibly negotiable), DC:60
Rolled 62 (1d100)

Here goes nothing.
>Her finalized appearance is sort of dependent on how the current situation ends up getting resolved
Hope she always wanted those Einzbern aesthetics.
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Rolled 61 (1d100)

Just going off DA lore, they were made absent of free will to combat true nature spirits with similar vampiric tendencies. Curious to see if this could be returned?


Combining our own true ether aspect and a homonculi's innate https://typemoon.fandom.com/wiki/Child_of_Nature aspect (this is a homonculus trait) might make something interesting considering the potency of Avenger's metamorphic NP capabilities + residual DA essence.

Rolled 44 (1d100)

Oh boy.
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tfw no surprise 100 final roll
Possibility of a juvinate nature spirit getting a weaker Marble Phantasm and through use gradually eroding the Akeldama hellscape.

Fuck Judas, ok? Gaiachads rise up
“You make a fair point, I shouldn’t give so much blood that I put our lives at risk as well. Though if we decided to use a modest amount, what method do you have in mind to deal with the Ether-infected blood?” You ask telepathically, keeping in mind the nearby enemy may try to eavesdrop. You were curious of the mechanics of the treatments your Servant was considering, perhaps if she explained them in more detail you could come to a clearer conclusion on what you should do.

“I had two possibilities in mind, depending on which of the two Ether attributes you had better compatibility with. One would be to infuse the modern Ether into your blood and attract all of the foreign blood into the sample you provided before coagulating and extracting the solidified infected blood along with your own. I’d attempt to stabilize her after that. Alternatively you could infuse your blood with True Ether for the purpose of directly annihilating all of the properties of the infected blood that are causing the conversion. Again, I’m not confident those methods would successfully negate the transformation with only a modest amount of your blood.” Avenger explained as she poured more potions over the wounds, you guess in an attempt to prevent the unknown civilian’s condition from worsening.

Sounds like arresting the conversion process itself isn’t going to work unless you risk losing a lot of blood to do so. Still, even if you won’t totally avert the transformation, maybe you can help the victim keep some of her humanity and free will. “Then we won’t try that; instead, use your Noble Phantasm to redirect the bonds of loyalty that the transformation is forging. However, I don’t want a soulless husk or a reluctant slave, and if possible I’d like to alleviate the ill-effects she’d experience from becoming an apostle of the dead, such as the genetic decay. To that end, I think infusing regular Ether into a modest amount of my blood could mitigate the infection’s consequences as it runs its course, if combined with the use of your Hougu. Does that sound plausible to you?” You speculate, asking for confirmation.

“That could work.” She answers, “If you simulate an infection with your own Ether-blood, I could make the conversion process terminate prematurely by virtue of the saturation rate appearing higher than it actually is.” A blood-red design similar to her magic circles appearing under the woman, Avenger crushed a couple of the vials she created in her hands, causing a largely-transparent mist to begin filling the room before telling you, “Let’s do it. Open your magic circuits and conceptualize your breath bringing a golden dust scattered throughout the air into your lungs, letting it permeate all of your blood vessels, and then finally infusing into your blood. I’ll handle the rest.”
As you begin to do so, you notice that the floor under the woman, whose convulsions began to intensify again, started warping and sinking into the ground. The red pattern bent along with the sinking earth, taking a net-like appearance as the depression stabilized with a circular perimeter. The writhing target of your Servant’s Noble Phantasm was now entirely below the level of the surface; you also see that Avenger had at some point picked up the woman’s severed arm and tossed it into the pit.

Meanwhile, at first you had a bit of difficulty remembering how to consciously open your magic circuits, but recalling the sensations you felt when Avenger used your energy to bombard the ships in the harbor earlier today made everything come back to you. With that accomplished, your visualization of the ‘golden dust’ becomes easier. Interestingly, you intuit that there seems to be small amounts of white dust dispersed amid the gold dust, but you only see it past a radius of about six feet from where you’re standing, so you don’t inhale any of it. With each breath you fill your lungs with the golden dust, then try to ‘will’ the golden dust in your lungs to spread throughout your body. In fact, even as your concentration lapses momentarily, to your surprise you find that the dust didn’t actually vanish as you’d expected, prompting you to telepathically comment, “I’m not just mentally visualizing, I’m really seeing the gold. And there’s white dust mixed with it some distance away from me.”

“The vapors put you into a trance-state that allows you to see ambient mana. The white indicates the presence of True Ether which we aren’t using, so I pushed it away from you. Now, focus all of the mana you’ve absorbed toward the wound in your side and reposition here.” Avenger instructs as she guides you with her hands such that your side is leaning above the pit. As you look down, you see the unknown woman is still thrashing her body at random, not uttering a word or even so much as a grunt, as though all breath had departed her body and the motions she was making had no true life driving them. As some of your blood seeps down into the pit, you do your best to focus all of your energies to infuse the mana your body had absorbed into the blood that you were shedding. Would it be enough to make a difference?
“Waters of the sea, fountains of the deep, fill my earthen cauldron.” Avenger chanted, and as she finished, water began to pool in the pit, erupting gently from the ground until the woman’s form was entirely submerged in it. “Life-giving tonics, toxic vapors, act on my command.” Avenger continued, and several pillars of smoke and mist rose up around the perimeter of the pit before curling down and spiraling into the pool, each one assailing your sense of smell with indescribable uniqueness. Slowly lowering the tip of her staff toward the pool, Avenger recited as it made contact with the water: “The form of mortal and immortal life shall bend to my will: BALEFUL PHARMAKEIA!”

To be continued (hopefully soon)
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The waters suddenly started surging and churning, the myriad scents of the vapors mixed into a choking olfactory cacophony. It was hard to see the woman’s form through the roiling foam, but you could vaguely make out that her convulsions were becoming more subdued. No, that wasn’t quite it. She was still thrashing about, but you couldn’t help but get the impression that her movements had intentionality to them that her earlier seizures lacked. In addition, you could see her black hair had been bleached into a familiar white. Every now and again one of her hands would reach out from the turbulent pool, but Avenger would push it back under with her staff if it remained exposed for more than a couple seconds. In all, the ritual proceeded like that for about half a minute, before Avenger took her staff and buried it a couple inches into the ground at the edge of the pool.

The waters began to calm, the vapors began to recede, and suddenly the unknown woman flung herself out of the pool, prompting Avenger to retract her staff and back away in surprise as the woman’s fall took her over where your Servant had planted it. From a glance at her prone form, you noticed that while the color of her hair had turned white, her clothing hadn’t been significantly altered. As before, she wore denim jeans with a pistol’s holster fastened on, along with a red and black tartan sweater, though they appeared less ragged now than when she’d been submerged. One thing that caught your eye as she regained her senses was that claws pulsed in and out of her fingertips several times before they at last retracted.

Pushing herself up to a seated position, she silently looks into her hands for a few moments as she opens and closes them, before asking no one in particular, “What… happened? Was I…?” Stopping herself, she quickly takes in her surroundings before she fixes her gaze on you, where you can see that her eyes have the same shade of red as yours, before hesitantly saying, “You… seem vaguely familiar to me.”

Stooping down to your knee and meeting her eye-level, you answer, “You saw me before, but only for a brief moment. It appears we were able to revive you with your consciousness intact after that thing-!”

Stopping from surprise, as you glanced back you saw that the ghoulish creature had somehow grown its severed limbs back and had nearly crawled to the exit of the maintenance room. However, a wall of ice suddenly grew in front of the door, barring its escape. Immediately afterward, each of its four limbs were set aflame by your Servant. “Not a bad attempt, rapidly regenerating and attempting to flee while our attention was elsewhere. But not good enough.” Avenger chided smugly.

Turning to face you from a sprawled position, he irately shouted, “What are you?! What did you do?! I should be able to make that bitch maul you with a mental command!”
Grinning, you reply, “Who can say? Truth be told, I can’t tell you my name, let alone the finer details of my existence; not that I’d really care to in the first place.”

Speaking up of her own accord, the white-haired woman slowly said, “I can’t help but feel a lingering animus toward that unsightly creature, would you mind if I reduced him to dust?” One of her hands extended the claws you’d seen flash out earlier, and as she spoke you also noticed some of her teeth had grown into fangs. So, she’d become a vampire after all. Vampire… likely the same way you recollected the names of Sun Wukong and Perseus, the term ‘vampire’ crept into your head after you were exposed to the right stimulus.

“That’s fine, but can it wait? I wanted to interrogate him first.” You reply, before adding, “Oh, could you tell us your name?”

“That’s right, my name.” She said before stopping short and hesitating for several seconds. “My name.” After another brief pause, she shook her head and said, “I feel like I have a name, but when I really think about it, it doesn’t bear much importance to me as I am now.”

“What do you mean by that?” You ask, perplexed by her reluctance to assert her identity.

After deliberating for a few moments, she answers, “Let’s say you learn your name, but it’s from a past life where you were a different person. Would you discard what you know about yourself now and assume that person’s identity in its place? Even though I carry the memories of a woman named Jennifer Hill, who ran a small hotel on a mountain outside Uniontown Pennsylvania, I can’t say that I feel as though she really is me; just that her life ended a short while ago. And honestly, her motivations and life goals seem rather pedestrian with the perspective I have now.”

“Be that as it may, having multiple nameless people around at once is going to become irksome. So unless you want to be called ‘brat’, I suggest you give us something to work with.” Avenger wearily remarked, losing patience with your new guest’s attitude.

Crossing her arms and giving your Servant a sidelong glance, the white-haired vampire retorted, “If you call me that I’m going to start calling you ‘hag’.”

Her eyes widening, Avenger spat, “Listen here you little shi-”

“Hey, that’s enough.” You interrupt before a needless quarrel breaks out. Addressing the vampire, you ask, “Look, can we just call you ‘Jen’ for the sake of expediency?”
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Running her hand through her hair, she answered somewhat indifferently, “I suppose. I was planning on dealing with some of Jennifer’s lingering regrets to clear my head anyway, so while I’m working on that, Jen is fine. One thing I have in common with her is that I don’t like leaving things unfinished.” She then partially extended both of her arms in front of her chest, her palms facing outward with one cupped behind the other before asking you, “By the way, could you brace your hands like this for a second?”

Copying the posture, you answer, “Okay, but why-”

“HAH!” She exhaled as she threw a straight punch into your hands. The force of her strike took you completely off-guard, causing you to stumble several steps backward as you barely maintain your balance. That attack-power is nothing to laugh at: if you had to guess from the reverberations you’re feeling in your arms it was probably on par with your own, maybe even a bit higher.

Avenger immediately pointed her staff at your assailant, saying, “Are you so braindead you’ve already forgotten where your loyalty lies?!”

With a shrug, Jen answered casually, “I just wanted to test my strength; he can take it.” Stooping down and retrieving the pistol that had fallen onto the floor earlier, she continued, “Anyway, interrogate to your heart’s content; I’m going to check the guns in the meantime. I wonder if there’s a cleaning kit in one of the crates…”

It strikes you as amusing that your intention of letting her keep her free will may have made her more willful that you can easily deal with. Well, you’ll deal with it if it becomes an issue. Turning your eyes to the seething, mutilated pile of flesh at the end of the room, you decide it’s time to get some information.

What will you ask, and how will you go about the interrogation?
> Write-in
Also updated Avenger's pastebin entry to reflect recent information.
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A lot of sass towards her new mother

I'd ideally start with mental comms to Avenger about either disconnecting the link between nuggetman and his master, and if possible giving him a temp battery to force him to stay alive long enough. Then a cocktail of compulsion + truth potions to get him in the mood to talk.
Or float the idea of Avenger identifying the link with his Master and sending something negative through the connection? Depending on her currently unknown skills/NPs and their use here. Or use her NP to metamorph the target regardless of the DA master's hold over the servant if that would force information out of him and skip the other processes. As long as this wouldn't result in the master keeping control over a now transfigured ghoul.

Go with what she deems the highest likelyhood of success in terms of damaging the master.

Assuming we go for questioning as Avenger doesn't see the other option too viable, I'm thinking a good cop (you)/bad cop (Avenger) routine, as he's seen that with your direction this girl he killed was saved/converted. Bluff our own status as a special DA maybe? Avenger can have as much fun as she likes in regards to the actual methods of torture. If he feels proper despair her NP works better too. Jen can decide his fate at the end of the process, either conversion at peak despair via NP or she can dust him as initially requested, seeing as he took her original life from her.

As for questions:
>How many people have you killed? (get him gloating)
>Where have you been recently?
>Where/when were you converted?(inside this city/recently) or did you know your master outside this place?
>Anything Avenger/Jen has in mind?
>Any info possible about master identity/abilities/location etc. possibly worded in such a way that gets him gloating/flexing this.

Anything else I'm missing?
>Give him two options. Good one and bad one.
>Good one: He tells you everything he can and you let Jen kill him and it will be fast death
>Bad one: He refuses to talk and Avenger going to play a little game with him and his regeneration using her mastery over living matter. He even gets to choose which way it can go. First bad option is that he gets transformed into animal and his mind will slowly degrade into mind of that animal as every memory and sense of self will be gone eventually but he gets to keep his immortality in that form, eternal pig would be funny. Second bad options leaves his mind intact but he is going to become living flesh blob made out of jelly, pain-sensing neurons and cancers cells, forever unable to die, all of his sensory organs will be taken away from him, he will have no mounth and will desire to scream in pain and despair for eternity.
>Warn him that you can tell if somebody lies just by looking at them and sensing their blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and skin conductivity.
>Questions if he agrees
>1. Who is your boss?
>2. Does he has other allies?
>3. What powers does he or them have?
>4. Has he seen Servants or other strong beings while he was in this place? Describe them.
>5. Where is his base located?
Way too humanising for nuggetfren.
>threatening to pull an AM on a ghoul goon
We haven't reached the requisite level on H A T E to warrant that yet.
Guy was shocked by that we did with Jen, definitely heard our talks and clearly unhinged and used to violence so you can't really interrogate him like you would do a human. He might not be afraid of death or accepted that he might die but if we promise him fate worse than death and play up fear of the unknown it could make him tell us everything he knows. Whatever or not we go (after all Jen might prefer to torture or kill the guy herself given a chance) or even can go with the threat is irrelevant.
Uhh why do I have the feeling we'll have serious attitude problems with her , if we dont talk some sense into her sooner or later?

The willful Pennsylvanian vampire has managed to make it through with free will intact!(pretty sure) now then onto our nugget of info.

Key questions to press on laid out by this Anon >>5505495

Given how Circe laid out how True Ether interacts with a DA's blood I'd like to ask if we could go for utilizing mana of that attunement to go for flaying him down to the bones and intersperce those between asking questions before putting him down or subjecting him to a fate worse than death. Get a bit more experimentation with our magical ability while the knowledge is fresh in mind.
Sounds like the questions from >>5505495 got the green-light, but I don't think there's a consensus on the method to coax or coerce the answers out of him.

Also, have you guys been been posting from different wi-fi networks? Do I have more players than I thought I did? Quite a few 1-post ID's, which I'm not necessarily saying is a bad thing, it just strikes me as a bit unusual.
I think we're now at 4 players including myself.

This is based but I don't think we're that sadistic yet Avenger on the other hand might be. A few extra of these questions supplement what I missed in the initial post here >>5505495

I'll agree that using this as a good opportunity to test Ether usage. Happy accidents just aids in the process.

As for methods we've got what:
>Compulsion potion mix
>Let Avenger suggest despair inducing options
>No mouth/must scream
>Magic practice nugget
>Offer of clean, quick death as alternative

Maybe a bit off all if we can't agree?
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You can always just pick which you'd prefer to go for narratively too.

Yeah I think those are me since I go off and back on from using my phone so don't worry.


Will be able to help puttinf in some truth serums into this asshole before we do get to torturing unless we wanna truly break him for the fun of it. Which hey, I did suggest flaying him using our magic down to the bone so I'd welcome it in. Don't know the ranking this guy has in the local DA gang that's shown itself to be out there due to his pressence

Exactly anon, we'll take what narratively excites and flows best by you LSAD. We already have ourselves an ally gained from saving a lady technically and empowering her. We're gonna engage with some fun in torturing this bastard to death and back to life til Oblivion or Blob
Rolled 72 (1d100)

Alright, time to cast the die.

Well this'll either be fun for us in a simple way or a complicated way.

Here's hoping for improvement
Conferring with Avenger telepathically, you suggest, “I’m going to try to goad him into giving us information by appealing to his ego, but if he starts stonewalling us, could you fabricate some kind of potion that would compel him to answer?”

“Shouldn’t be difficult.” She answered simply as she created a couple of vials in her hands.

“Great! One other thing: earlier you mentioned that True Ether would annihilate the Ether that his blood carries. Would that still work on a creature where the conversion process was completed? I was thinking I could restore his sense of pain by negating the Etheric properties in his blood, but I’m not sure how to go about it.” You ask. He seemed rather pleased with himself that he couldn’t feel discomfort, so suddenly remembering what it felt like should throw him off his game if he thinks there isn’t anything you can do to coerce him.

Handing you a newly-created potion, she responds, “I’m not letting you use any more of your own blood tonight. Drink that potion to help close your wound. That aside, I can release the vapor to help you see the Ether again if it comes to it. This time, you’d try to filter just the white into your lungs and exhale the gold; I’ll try to draw as much True Ether to us as I can. I’ll hand you another potion that will have absorptive properties to use in place of your blood, and I’ll also open some wounds so his bloodstream is easily accessible.”

“Sounds like we’re ready then, Avenger.” You announce after drinking it, glaring at the ghoul with your best attempt at self-righteous indignation. You were disgusted by his behavior, but it might be a good idea to play it up further so he gets careless when he thinks his mockery is seriously affecting you.

“What, you don’t have another comedy skit to run through? Why don’t you start juggling bottles before spilling one on your harpy’s chest so I can get a better view?” He snickered. Really? A wardrobe malfunction joke? It seems watching the earlier antics helped him to calm himself down.

“How many people have you killed, you vulgar wretch?” You ask, letting your genuine revulsion fuel the hatred you added into your tone.

Breaking eye-contact as though to help himself concentrate, he answered with a sadistic grin, “What an interesting question! Let’s see, if we count the ones I converted into the living dead along with the ones I ate whole, I stopped counting after twenty of those weaklings! Best guess would be about forty, though if you’re not counting children as whole adults, a little lower. They were the easiest, and also the most fun.”

You glance back to Jen, who’d been rummaging through the ammunition crates, just after she loudly loaded the magazine back into her pistol. She wasn’t glaring angrily at him, on the contrary she seemed rather engrossed in her tinkering, but you still got the impression she was displeased by what she was hearing regardless. Most people would be, at least you thought.

“And where have you been skulking about recently, you scum?” You ask him with affected disdain.

“Oh you know, here and there.” He said as an obvious non-answer.

“How descriptive. Do go on.” Avenger deadpanned, before cutting a small incision into your enemy’s chest with the tip of her staff and pouring one of her potions into it.

“What are you do-” He started asking, then compulsively changed tact and explained, “I already had that bitch’s scent when I got to this city, so I decided to finish hunting her down as the first order of business. I led my thralls through a few blocks before I found that she stopped here to loot the supplies, so I had a few mull about outside while the rest were meat-shields. When she had to reload, I rushed in and had my way with her until you so rudely interrupted.”

“Yeah, we’re just the worst aren’t we?” You say with a wry grin as your captive begins to show unease at the fact that he’d begun to involuntarily reveal his own recent activities in detail. “And before you came to this city, were you converted into a ghoul by your ‘master’ in the other city earlier today? I find it hard to believe you were always this ugly.”

Though visibly anxious, the ghoul answered fluently, “You’re correct. Early in the day, over a hundred humans had taken shelter in a warehouse to work out a plan to survive, myself included. Some wanted to find improvised weapons and overwhelm the scattered patrols of animated skeletons that had been wandering about from the beginning, others wanted to hole up and wait for rescue, but when the master threw back his hood and shouted for everyone’s attention, no one could-” He recited, but suddenly stuck his tongue out as far as it could go before snapping it off with his teeth, then silently looked up at you with smug satisfaction as his lips moved but nothing save unintelligible mumbles came from his throat.

“You know, I’m kind of glad you decided to do that. Avenger, release the mist.” You say. Shattering a vial on the floor, your Servant waved her staff over the spilled contents, causing the same vapor as before to spread throughout the room. She also handed you a second vial, no doubt the one you’d infuse the True Ether into once you can absorb enough of it. Fortunately, she’d already taken measures to draw quite a bit of it near you, so it shouldn’t take long for you to filter a significant amount from the regular Ether.
“Whoa, where’d all this gold and white dust come from? Are you making me hallucinate, lady-bird?” Jen asked as she set down a revolver that she’d been examining.

“Call me Avenger.” Your Servant firmly commanded, before continuing, “And it’s not a hallucination. You’ve entered a trance-state that lets you see the mana in the air…” but then stopped as though mid-sentence.

“Fascinating...” Jen answered somewhat absentmindedly before getting back to examining the firearms.

Her eyes darting to you, Avenger telepathically conveyed, “Master, I’m suspecting the blood-transfusion you gave her also transferred your Ether attributes; I’m doubtful that someone without an affinity for that element would be able to immediately visualize the mana in the air.”

Having gathered a fair amount of True Ether into your lungs, you reply, “That sounds rather remarkable, but for now can you tell me how to infuse the True Ether into the potion?”

“Put the vial to your lips and try to exhale into it. The pressure won’t let your breath go anywhere, but the True Ether itself should still permeate the liquid. Then just pour it into whatever incisions I make.” She answered.

Doing so without a hitch, you’re relieved that she made the process simple and intuitive. When you think about it, she probably could have done something similar to this herself; maybe she decided it would serve as introductory training in how to use your elemental affinity. The ghoul below had stopped incoherently mumbling and instead just looked back and forth from you and your Servant with contentment at how he reckoned he’d outwitted you.

After your Servant opens several cuts across his torso, you pour a few drops into the wounds. His reaction is immediate, squirming and moaning in discomfort. As his mouth opens, you pour a few more drops onto the stump where his tongue ended, exacerbating his reaction. Regenerating his tongue, he spits at you, “Arrrgh, bastard! You’re a Master in the Holy Grail War, and the harpy is the Servant! I’m sure of it now!”

It seems the potion to make him inclined to run his mouth hasn’t quite worn off yet, and you ask, “So, you’re aware of it as well? From your master’s instructions I assume?”

Frothing in wrath, he shouted back, “Pah! It hardly matters if you figure it out a little early, you’re fucking dead! Graahhh…!” After writhing in pain for a few moments, he announced “I, Anton Kagan, third captain of Master Karture’s hunting army, swear that on my very blood!”

“And where would we find this ‘Master Karture’? Wouldn’t you like us to rush off so he can fight-!” Avenger started asking, before turning her head and looking in the direction of the tunnel you’d come in from and telling you, “Two Servants are coming this way. One’s reiki is unfamiliar, but the other’s belongs to Sun Wukong.”
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You start sensing the two incoming presences as well. Damn it, fighting Wukong in close quarters sounds like a nightmare even if he didn’t have backup. This can’t be a coincidence, either. Did this Kagan guy somehow call for reinforcements?

Before you can consult with your Servant on how to proceed, you suddenly find Jen pushing past you, saying, “I can read the room well enough to see you two have other priorities, so I think it’s about time I wrap this up.”

Though you would have liked to try to get more information out of him, you’re on the clock now. After telepathically asking Avenger to begin preparing a teleportation spell ahead of time so you can either withdraw or reposition, you answer Jen, “Do as you like, he’s all yours.”

Leaning down and tapping a clawed finger against Kagan’s forehead, she asked, “Do you know what I dislike most about you?”

“Was it the fact that I ripped off your arm, tore out your throat, or violated your soul?” He asked in defiant mockery.

“That’s not it. You haven’t been paying attention.” She answered in a completely even tone, gently sliding her finger down until it hovered above his heart.

“Eh?” He grumbled, agitated that his taunt had no effect.

“It’s how you’ve been jerking yourself off over killing people that were weaker than you. You’re a bottom-feeding bore.” She explained as she cleaved a horizontal slash through his ribcage. Cracking it open with both hands, she then exposed his pulsing heart.

“AAAAUURRRGGGHHHH!” He started screaming in agony, before Jen reached inside his chest and ripped his heart out, causing him to fall silent in shock with his mouth agape.

“And no one’s impressed until you’ve killed someone stronger than you!” She shouted, pressing the heart between her hands before stuffing it into her mouth and swallowing it. Not finished, she then gripped the back of his head with one hand and jerked it forward before tearing through his spine with the extended claws of her other hand, decapitating him. Squeezing the base of the now-severed neck, she fixed her fanged mouth around the vital arteries before violently sucking all of the liquid out, causing the head to shrivel and darken. After a few seconds it was fully desiccated, and she crushed it into dust in her hands before letting it crumble to the floor.

You sincerely doubt he’s coming back from that.
Now then, about the incoming Servants:

> Get the hell out of there. Teleport right back to the base-camp.
> Wukong seemed the type to enjoy showing off and talking himself up rather than going straight for the kill. Ask Avenger to have the teleportation on stand-by for a minute and try to get information from him, or at least get a look at whoever’s accompanying him.
> Who says you have to run away? You’ll just reposition to the surface where he won’t have the advantage of fighting in close-quarters and see if he wants to duke it out.
> Something else? (write-in)

And now for something that almost made it into the update it didn't actually almost make it in
Kagan: Singing "For Christmas last year, I gave you my heart, but the very next-!"
Jen: Yoinks heart "Shut the hell up. There will be NO low-hanging fruit pop-culture references!"

Also, Merry Christmas!
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Io Saturnalia.
I also change IDs from time to time depending on where I am right now.
> Get the hell out of there. Teleport right back to the base-camp.
Two versus one is far from an optimal fight. Wukong alone is hard to deal with (we need harpe to properly put him down) and we have no idea how dangerous the other Servant could be. That Master Karture himself is likely a tough opponent as well. It won't be hard to get our team to hunt for Karture, Wukong and their potential allies with new information we just got so resting and regrouping would be the wisest choice here.
Time to leave. Avenger already forced us not to lose more blood so we're probably running on fumes. We can't do much to monke either. Always the possibility of leaving a surprise but that might delay the escape. Servants just spirit form meme through collapsing rubble anyway.

>Get the hell out of there. Teleport right back to the base-camp.

Merry Christmas everyone.
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>Multiple Servants inbound
>Jester, a DA who canonically prefers to summon Assassins

An Assassin is also likely coming towards us but cloaked by Presence Concealment

Ya boy potentially has a whole enslaved faction under his belt. If he didn't simp for hassan cunny in this timeline he's not nerfed for being abandoned by Van Fem either.

New major antagonist just dropped.

I wonder if Jen needs to feed off Ether? Meaning she'll eat other vamps and also have to tithe us here and there. Possibly even Servants as they're made from Ether too.
Time to get out of Dodge, then.

>I wonder if Jen needs to feed off Ether?
Humu humu, an interesting line of inquiry to be sure.

Anon got his first skill btw. I'll add this thread's personality-scores soon enough.
>Anon got his first skill btw. I'll add this thread's personality-scores soon enough.
>Pranayama - : Anon can draw in and store some of the environment's ambient mana with his breath. As of yet, he still needs external assistance to detect the mana and doesn't know any specific spells that could be combined with this ability.
Meridians are open. We are on our way to cultivate to Venerable Sage Elder Emperor of Heaven's Feel stage by practicing Materialization of the Soul method.
I'm thinking we aim to practice reinforcement first, with Avenger assisting us. Work at self buffing, then buff the eyes and become attuned to seeing ambient mana to best utilise it. We'll need to be able to function in a situation where we're separated from Avenger, or if she's backrow providing range support or fighting a servant while we deal with a master.

After we get familiar with directing mana we can then go for mana burst for sudden impacts and flash step like motions to dodge/escape if need be.

LSADQM, do we know much of the use of our own Od yet? Or have we just been instinctively huffing ambient mana to power magecraft until now?
Yes, Martial Soul Body Refinement stage is the most important first step for us...
But yeah Reinforcement would the most useful thing for us to learn first and with
>Item Construction (Potions): A+
>Avenger is capable of masterfully creating a wide variety of potent potions: poisons, transmutations, temporary or permanent strengthening, healing, and possibly more.
We might be able to get minor Battle Continuation or Clairvoyance with potions, guidance from Avenger and Reinforcement since this is how EMIYA got his. And Healing magecraft is also thing Einzbern are proficient at so that is another thing we could aim for after we start unlocking powers we have. And all other potential secrets body might hold.
>LSADQM, do we know much of the use of our own Od yet? Or have we just been instinctively huffing ambient mana to power magecraft until now?
You've been using the Od you generate from normal metabolic and respiratory processes until now. Anon has to concentrate on using the skill to absorb a significant amount of mana from the environment, and he didn't know about the possibility of breathing in the ambient mana until Avenger walked him through it.
I suppose he was taking a little bit, since technically even normal organisms use some for everyday life. Probably somewhat more than average.

Also, it sounds like the first part of LB 7 is out for FGO JP. No idea what's going on except there seems to be a genderbent Aztec god and Olga selectable as an ally NPC at some point.
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TL;DR so far (I might have missed a few things).
PHH Tezcatlipoca is a gigachad who can casually swap the future with the present as one of his NPs. Art by Usagi Drop. Shota "Dinosaur Kang" LB Tez is also there and hasn't done anything yet. PHH TEz is Daybit's servant and Bersekrer (Grande). Daybit hates mankind (possibly a human manifestation of Gaia) and has FSF Jester's goal of awakening ORT to delete the planet and remove mankind. Nito gets brutally murdered by genderbend /fa/ Tlaloc. Kukulkan aka Quetz (True) is the LB king. Jaguarman is a dinosaur. The story is set in a timeline where Pangea never split, ORT landed and seems to have woken up before. Camazotz (who is always upsidedown) is batshit crazy (heh), saw ORT awaken in the past and wants to see it happen again. Dechi Alter and FSN DEEN BDSM King Protea appear. Corrupted by Aztec masks before rejoining (you). Vitch, Olga and Rasputin are allies (Kirei will betray you and Casgil tells you to behead him immediately). Casgil also claims Ea is the only thing that can crack ORT's outer shell. Olga has some delusional (lie) memory replay quest where you kill all 7 grands with her (supposedly pre story). The 7 Grands are Castoria (Saber), Orion (Forma Superhuman - Archer), ROMA (Lancer), Tai Gong Chinkman (Rider), Merlin (Caster), King Hassan (Assassin) and a shadow servant of Tez. Mind you she shits herself when you meet Tez and at least two of those grands gave up their seat already so she's likely bullshitting. Olga's also written as UUUU bait with Eresh/Melt like scenes and spaghetti when you spam click her NP which she refuses to show you. (You) fight ORT and lose at the end of the currently available part, and any servants that die in the fight get turned into green crystal and SUCC'd. There's also some fucking horrid art design datamined 5* Avenger who looks like Miura's autistic son drew WAKANDA FOREVER man. He's either OC or has the engrish name of a major Mexican civilisation and leads a human force of jaguar masked machine gun users in dinosaur land.
Oh Tlaloc you have to defeat Caesar...
“Jen, grab your things and stand in the circle Avenger just drew on the floor, we’re getting out of here ASAP.” You tell your new companion, deciding the risks of staying far outweigh any potential benefits. You’re feeling pretty hungry and fatigued at this point; it’s about time you got back to rest.

Brushing the last bits of dust off her hands, she asks, “Already? Are the guys coming that scary?”

“Now, please.” You reiterate firmly. Quietly muttering something to herself, she springs back to the ammo-crate, picks up a shoulder-holster with a revolver in it along with a small bag about the size of a purse before stepping into the teleportation circle.

“You owe me an explanation later.” She says with a slight frown. Meanwhile, the Servants had quickened their pace and were close enough that you could begin to hear the echoes of their footsteps through the tunnel, before Avenger transported you in the blink of an eye to the entrance of the office building your group had decided to use as a base-camp. There didn’t seem to be any movement in the immediate vicinity, so you let yourself relax a bit.

“Hey, Avenger. You seem to have a lot of magical powers, can you cast a spell that dries me off? I’m still soaked from earlier.” Jen asked as she brushed her hair around with one of her hands.

“You’ve borne witness to my use of magic nearing the level of miracles, and the first thing that comes to your mind is to ask me to imitate a household appliance?” Avenger asked with a sigh.

“Is that a problem? I would think it’d be easier than going into a laundromat, stripping down, and waiting in the nude for about an hour as the dryer runs its cycle.” The vampire answers sardonically. Her fairly explicit choice of words also provokes you into imagining her doing just that, stirring up an emotion that you were somewhat unfamiliar with, and unsure how to process. What’s strange is even though you don’t recall a specific instance of seeing a woman naked, for some reason you feel confident that your conceptualization was a fairly accurate estimate. Hold on, you shouldn’t be giving your attention to such trivialities in the first place.

“… okay, stand right there. I’ve got just the thing.” Avenger ordered, drawing a magic circle below Jen’s feet, above her head, and eight more spaced out in a small circular radius facing her. You weren’t standing right next to your newest companion, but even so you started feeling warm air emanating from each of the circles. Suddenly, the movements in the air intensified into gusts of gale-force winds, with Jen being buffeted from all sides such that the force of the gusts from each direction was negated by an equal force from its opposite, pressing her in place.

“Don’t you think that’s a bit much?” You ask your Servant, concerned that Jen probably won’t take too kindly to being pushed around like this.
Replying loudly enough for the vampire to overhear her, Avenger answered, “I’m just testing how quickly my magecraft can dry someone off; she can take it.”

You weren’t really sure if you should step in to intervene, this may serve as something of a learning experience to your vampire companion that acting up can have consequences. Then again, you wouldn’t want to browbeat her against acting on her own initiative. Before you can really settle on the right course of action, Jen manages to jump at an angle that slips through the perimeter of the circles, escaping the trap with her hair significantly more disheveled than it was before, though also noticeably dryer. She gives Avenger a sour glare for a moment, before appearing to shrug off her irritation.

“What are you people doing?” You hear Caster ask in suspicion from the entrance of the building.

“A small experiment of little consequence.” Avenger answers innocently.

“Is that so?” Caster responds rhetorically as he steps out and approaches you, before glancing at Jen and asking, “And who might this young lady be? Your sister?”

“She’s the civilian you pointed out to us earlier. We’ve-” You reply, before he interrupts you.

“That’s not the same person whom I saw fleeing into the underground subway station.” He said with stern scrutiny coloring his tone.

“If you don’t know who I am, just ask me, old-timer.” Jen declared as she stepped toward him, assuming an assertive stance while placing a hand on her hip. “You can call me Jen for now, by the way. These two decided to keep me around after getting me out of a rough situation. Got a problem with that?”

“I may, but I’ll refrain from acting on it for now. The others have returned as well, let’s share our reports inside.” He answered as he turned around to lead you in. When you get to the same conference room as earlier, you find that Koko and Suzaku were absent, but all of the Masters and Servants were present. Catching sight of Truvietianne and Rushorou, both had some injuries and gloomy expressions, leading you to suspect things didn’t go too well on their end.

“Ayy, you made it back, big guy.” Matsuda greeted you with a wave.

“And it seems you met with a bit more success than we did.” Rushorou said with little enthusiasm when he saw Jen follow you in.

“C’mon Kaichou, stop beating yourself up over it. The girl made her choice and decided to go with the other group.” Matsuda replied, trying to reassure his ally.

“She wasn’t eager to make that choice, Matsuda. She did it to persuade the enemy Masters break off their attack.” The student answered with regret clear to see on his face.
“Be that as it may, the girl isn’t in immediate danger. Even if his Master is a Dead Apostle, Diomedes wouldn’t let harm come to her; especially not if she’s as useful an asset as he implied her to be.” Perseus replied, less as encouragement and more as straightforward analysis.

A Dead Apostle as a Master? Could it be that your allies encountered ‘Master Karture’?!

Breaking into the conversation, you hastily ask, “The Dead Apostle, did he tell you his name?!”

“It was a girl, actually.” Rushorou answered, then turned to Truvi and asked, “Sorry, could you take over from here? I’m not confident I can pronounce her name correctly.”

“That’s fine.” The magus-girl answered, before addressing you and explaining, “Her name was Rusalka Illyuzii, and her Servant was Aka no Lancer, his true name being Diomedes, the king of Argos. She was accompanied by another mage who was the Master of Aka no Berserker. Head to head, our Servants had an advantage against theirs, but in addition to having the powers of a Dead Apostle, she also had several powerful wights at her command.”

“Wait, I thought you were negotiating who’d take custody of the civilian. Why did you start fighting?” You ask.

With a sigh, Truvi answered, “A decades-old grudge. Do you remember when I told you some of my ancestors participated in the Third Holy Grail War of Fuyuki?”

After you nod, she continues, “Rusalka was the Master of the Rider in that Holy Grail War, and the Edelfelt Masters were the ones who defeated her and her Servant. When I confirmed my surname, she decided things had ‘become personal’, in her words.”

A sharp pain suddenly shot into your chest, causing you to stumble forward and lean against the conference room’s table to maintain your balance. Fortunately, it started subsiding as quickly as it came, but as everyone started asking if you were alright, Avenger handed you a potion and whispered, “It’s time for you to sleep, Master. You’ve been active quite a bit today, and the stimulant you had early this afternoon has to be worked out of your system. Drink this as I find a place for you to lay down.”

Letting your Servant tell everyone you were going to sleep, you quickly drink the potion. Feeling drowsiness come upon you, your eyelids droop down and your legs start wobbling under your weight until you’re gently pulled forward and braced on someone’s shoulder.

“Hey hey, don’t go dropping dead on me so soon.” You hear Jen say teasingly, “At least tell me your name before you croak...”

You’re not sure what happened after that, since at that moment your consciousness passed into the realm of dreams.
And we're done for now! I'm going to try to spam out the side-stories that I'm a little behind on before the thread slides off the board. I should have at least a week (which I took off work) to catch up.

And yes, wights are a thing that I made up just now. Their nature will be explained later, but I'll say in advance that they're something of an 'alternative growth tree' for low-tier undead.
>Third war
>Nazi girl before in Interlude
Oh. Dies Irae.
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I have been found out so quickly...

She's not the same 'character', but she does have the same first name and overall design.
I am not really bothered by it. That's hardly any different from using Darnic.
And my knowledge of Dies Irae is mostly coming from seeing Fate vs Dies Irae shitposts, checking that Dies Irae is, being not particularly impressed by plot summary and art of girls in it at that time and accidentally remembering some characters from it. So it is not like I can metagame about her even if I wanted.
I can't believe I actually killed QM during his week off work because I didn't play Dies Irae.
The delayed continuation of Yumigawa Rushorou’s after-action report

The asphalt around O’Mordha suddenly started undulating as though it were a pond that just been disturbed by a tossed stone, the ripples propagating from his position until they reached the two lads. As they did, the asphalt violently erupted into spikes from the ground aimed at Matsuda and Yumigawa, who batted them away with their polearm’s shaft or shield respectively while trying to maintain their balance. Chipping away some of the top layer the reformed asphalt-spikes, they found the force of the thrusts wasn’t as crushingly powerful as they’d anticipated. Wordlessly, the two carefully advanced toward the opposing Master, protecting against the asphalt-based attacks even as the magus attempted to attack from multiple angles simultaneously, for they’d quickly noticed that the spikes would rise only after a large ripple had collected a significant enough volume for it to be reshaped. Though keeping their footing on the unsteady ground was difficult, they could usually reposition to areas that weren’t being disturbed as each wave rolled out. A sense of confidence began to surge in Rushorou’s chest, as he remembered this magus announced himself as some kind of university professor, and not as a hardened warrior. Maybe Caster was right about him being a suitable opponent for them to learn what a battle against a magus would be like.

Moderately irritated at their steady approach, O’Mordha changed his tactic from direct attacks to containment; he began forming barricades and trenches in the asphalt with his magecraft, reducing the terrain’s accessibility, in addition to raising himself onto a sheer five-foot tall plateau of his own creation. The lads noticed right away that it wasn’t just the asphalt that was being manipulated, but the soil underneath as well, and weren’t immediately sure how to deal with their opponent’s hastily-erected fortification without leaving themselves exposed to one of his attacks.

Meanwhile, Caster had slowly advanced behind them, standing by while keeping his distance. The fight between the dual-wielding Saber and Yumigawa’s Lancer was still pretty even, though Lancer had landed a few more glancing blows than her opponent.

Having prepared a position that was difficult for his opponents to directly assail, O’Mordha suddenly redoubled his attacks, forcing the lads to focus on defending.

His shield starting to waver from repeatedly fending off the surging asphalt, Yumigawa cursed, “I can’t think quickly enough to come up with a breakthrough. Do I risk scaling the plateau? Throw something to knock him off? No that wouldn’t work, but maybe as a distraction as I try to climb…?”

Having unconsciously sent his thoughts into his Servant’s mind, he heard her answer, “Stand firm, Master. I will lend you my strength.”
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Suddenly invigorated, the young Master processed what happened immediately as the result of being the target of one of his own Servant’s skills, ‘Hero’s Assistant’. Shattering one of his opponent’s attacks with his shield, Yumigawa suddenly surged forward, leaping over the trenches and punching holes into the barricades by bracing the shield against his shoulder. As he was now, he could easily leap onto the plateau the magus had drawn up.

“Hot damn, Kaichou! Don’t think you’re one-upping me so easily!” Matsuda shouted as he started pushing past the obstacles with a second wind of his own.

Planning to either coerce his opponent’s surrender or (failing that) cut him down, Rushorou leapt to scale the magus’ last fortification. Desperation appearing on the older man’s face, O’Mordha extended a large spike with his magecraft, targeting the airborne Master. Slamming his shield down hard enough to shatter both the spike and the shield itself, Yumigawa then swung his wakizashi across the mage’s chest resulting in a shallow cut as he landed, before he felt a Servant’s presence suddenly appear some distance behind him.

Shifting his stance so that the magus was still in his peripheral vision, Rushorou saw a dark figure with metal claws darting toward him, before it was intercepted by, of all things, a small… dragon? As the Assassin slashed at his unexpected assailant, the dragon exploded into loud and flashy fireworks, throwing the Assassin off his course and past the plateau. Definitely a closer call than Yumigawa would have liked. The overall distraction did buy enough time for O’Mordha to hop down off the plateau, with his Saber of Black disengaging Lancer to stand guard by his Master.

“Well fought, Mr. Yumigawa.” Caster applauded, “Though you lads had best pull back; we have another guest inbound.”

Hearing something similar to a plane-engine, Yumigawa felt yet another Servant’s presence, this time far above him but falling quickly. Leaping off the plateau, he was caught around the waist by his Servant, who turned her body to place it between him and the plateau as she landed away from it. The new Servant had quite the explosive entrance, crushing the mage’s earthwork into the ground and replacing it with a crater, scattering shrapnel in every direction. Fortunately for Rushorou, his Servant blocked all of the debris with her body, but Matsuda wasn’t quite so lucky, the shaft of his polearm getting shattered when he held it up to protect himself. His shoulder also appeared to have taken a nasty hit from something at some point.
“They’re still alive? Worth a try.” The Servant’s voice gently echoed from the crater that had been gouged into the road. Emerging from the depression was a small blonde girl with the designation ‘Kuro no Berserker’. With a handful of bullets in her left hand and her right pointing in the shape of a “finger-gun” at the Assassin (whom Yumigawa just recognized as Assassin of Black), she started dropping them onto her “gun” hand, nonchalantly saying, “Bang”.

As each touched her index finger, it was suddenly accelerated in the direction she was pointing as though it were a bullet fired from a machine-gun. Somewhat disoriented, the Assassin was struck a couple times before he repositioned behind Saber of Black, who easily deflected all of the bullets himself. As his Master appeared unable to manipulate the asphalt to guard himself the way he’d been doing before, the Saber didn’t move from his side to engage the new arrival. Meanwhile, the Assassin vanished into an alley shortly after the Berserker emptied her hand of bullets.

Raising one of her feet, the girl then shouted “HAAAH!” in exertion before stomping the ground in the direction of O’Mordha. A fissure quickly spread toward him and his Saber, but what stuck out more was the fact that the impact of her stomp caused a loud explosion as though an artillery shell had gone off, and as though more shells were falling, the path of the fissure was followed by several more explosions of the same type, prompting Saber of Black to pick up his Master and retreat from the area around the leyline.

Turning to face Yumigawa and his party, the Berserker girl declared, “I’m going to chase down that Saber. Don’t get in my way.” She then stomped the ground again as before, this time directing the fissure and the explosions toward their group to cover her maneuver as she launched herself through a building in the direction of the fleeing Saber.

“Master, should I pursue her?” Lancer of Red asked Yumigawa.

“No, let’s not overextend. Caster anticipated that Assassin’s ambush, but he was able to vanish nearly as quickly as he arrived. That Berserker’s abilities were really strange as well; we should stay together as we treat injuries before continuing our planned survey route.” Rushorou answered her, wearied and a bit battered from the experience.

“Understood.” She then turned to ask the other Servant, with a hint of mistrust creeping into her emotionally-neutral tone, “Caster, why did you suggest they attack that magus? Your own Master’s life hung in the balance along with that of mine.”
“I suspected he had a hidden ally when he held his ground despite his Servant facing two opponents, and expected that ally would attempt to slay our Masters if I directed my attention elsewhere, such as to attack the magus or the Saber.” He answered, “So instead our Masters’ attacks put pressure on him to goad the Assassin into making the first move when I’d be ready to immediately respond.”

“You could have recommended all three of us stand-by if that were the case, or used low-risk attacks that didn’t leave you exposed for long. There has to be another reason.” Rushorou asserted.

With a faint smile, Caster asked, “You already have an idea of it, do you not?”

“You specifically want us Masters to fight, but I’m not sure why.” The young man answered, “A chess analogy would place Servants as queen pieces and Masters as kings, and nearly every strategy keeps the kings away from battle until no viable alternative is available, as checkmate is the loss condition. So, where does the analogy break down?”

“There is more than one inconsistency, but the most pertinent is the fact that kings can’t be ‘promoted’, so to speak. However, that is not the case for the two of you.” The wizened old man said with a faint smile, “I’ve taken an interest in watching over your lads’ development into a new type of hero.”

“Well shucks Caster, I really am touched, but will beating up on wizards a few times close the gap between us and freakin’ Servants?” Matsuda asked sarcastically, suspecting his Servant was advertising more than he could deliver.

“You haven’t noticed it yet I see. I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your progress in the coming days, though for now we ought to finish our survey.” Caster answered cryptically, irking the boys somewhat but not sufficiently to exhaust their patience.

Traveling southeast, the rest of the survey progressed without further opposition, though they located a third leyline of weaker intensity in the replica-Minato, not far outside replica-Shinjuku. After tarrying there for a short while, they headed toward the tower, though Avenger of Red sought them out and briefly explained the events her party’s experience before they reached it. You know at least some of what happened next.

Funny timing, I just finished writing this one. Maybe not my best work, but I had to get it out
>Maybe not my best work
Multiple vectors of norse grooming are rather amusing.
Although, I wonder now if Bryn's Hero’s Assistant is actually stronger than Circe's flat stat reinforcement.
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Akeldama city, Sumida ward analogue

It was over in an instant. The moment Aka no Saber was ordered to defeat Ogawara’s Berserker, the tanned Servant wielding a colorful sword with what looked like four long petals instead of a single blade burst forward faster than anyone else could perceive before landing a crushing side-kick into Kiyohime’s solar plexus, launching her into a building.

“K…KIYOHIME!” Abandoning all tactical awareness in his utter panic, Ogawara Yatsuhide rushed through the shattered window into the shop to find his Servant.

“Well well, I must give your performance full marks so far, Saber.” The other Servant’s Master said in genuine elation. The dark-haired high-school girl then whimsically added, “And did that boy just shout the name of his Servant? Isn’t that something of a faux pas?”

“The Berserker should be unable to continue battle. I will finish her.” Aka no Saber deadpanned as she began slowly advancing toward her target.

Nervously stepping into the Saber’s path, Kokutou Mizuri pleaded, “W-wait! We know you’re stronger now, y-you don’t have to-” before the Servant’s reaction made the girl’s voice stop in her throat. A wordless glare conveyed absolutely ruthless intent. A small pulse of magical energy telegraphed by a faint glow along the elaborate tattoo patterns covering the Saber’s body made the Servantless Master break out in a cold sweat as the strength left her limbs from sheer intimidation.
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Panting from her knees as the Saber and her Master walked past her, the latter flashing an unnoticed smirk, Mizuri thought in stunned terror, “It’s going to happen again. I get one uneventful afternoon with them, then they get killed by a monster while I’m powerless to help. Am I a damn jinx?!”

Inside, past a path of displaced clothing racks and through a hole in the wall to the supply-room, Ogawara found his Servant crumpled on the floor, half-buried in broken cardboard boxes. Pushing the debris off, he started asking the half-conscious Berserker in desperation, “Y-you’re okay, right Kiyo? Just a flesh wound? C-can I help you with anything?”

Struggling to sit herself up, the dragon-girl involuntarily coughed up a mouthful of blood before answering, “I’m sorry… Master, please don’t… worry about me. I can still show you -!” Coughing again, she didn’t finish what she wanted to say as Ogawara suddenly clasped his arms around her.

Gently rubbing her back as he eased her into a seated position, he asked, “I-is this more comfortable? M-maybe you need a second to catch your breath?” Suddenly, a chill ran up his spine as he heard the wall behind him get struck by something several times before a pair of footsteps sounded.

“Human. Move aside or be cut down along with your Servant.” A cold voice commanded from behind him. He didn’t need to turn around to know that it was the enemy Saber.

“I… can’t.” Yatsuhide answered in a choking voice without turning around. Not even sure himself where he was getting the resolve to do this, he shuffled his knees and moved so that his silhouette completely obscured his Servant’s body from the Saber, before continuing while staring directly into Kiyohime’s eyes, “I can’t… let it end like that.”

“M-master, don’t…” Kiyohime pleaded with tears starting to well up in her eyes.

“Futile.” The Saber responded, but she was interrupted by a girl’s earnestly-inquiring voice before she could run them through.

“Wait a second, Saber.” The voice requested, before asserting in a tone that held a modicum of frustrated confusion, “Aren’t you just scared stiff? What do you mean you ‘can’t let it end like that’? You’re going to die if you don’t move, you know.”

Resigned to his fate, Ogawara recognized the voice as belonging to the Saber’s Master and answered without turning around, keeping his eyes fixed on his Servant’s face, “I guess you’re right. But at least this way, I only die once.”

“W-what does that even mean?! And look at me when you’re talking!” The Master said, her frustration audibly increasing.
Turning his head, Ogawara saw the Master with the Saber standing at her side through his watering eyes. He recognized the Master’s school-uniform as belonging to the Shuchiin Academy, arguably the most prestigious private school in all of Japan, and the scrutinizing glare she directed toward him would normally have intimidated him into slinking away in a fit of anti-social anxiety while stammering pitifully inadequate excuses. Right now though, he answered with labored steadiness of tone, “If your Servant kills me with that glow-stick, I’ll be dead and it’s over… but if I let you kill Kiyo to save myself, I’ll die every day I wake up for the rest of my life.”

His answer struck the other Master speechless. After a decidedly uncomfortable silence, the Saber asked her, “Do you intend to rescind your stand-by order?”

“I’ll get around to it…” She answered impatiently, before frowning at Ogawara as she asked, “Why are so attached to your Servant anyway? She may be the ghost of a Heroic Spirit, but she’s still just a ghost. There’s nothing bad about letting her pass on.”

“W-when you put it like that, it’s hard to just come up with a convincing reason…” He said, unsure of how to answer. It seemed to him that the girl would prefer to not kill him, but he wasn’t confident she was holding back out of firmly-held principles or just whimsical benevolence. He also knew that he was never very good at convincing others to see things his way, especially in the context of face-to-face conversations. But he had to think of the right thing to say and fast, otherwise Kiyohime was as good as dead.

Meanwhile, having overheard talking in the shop rather than a swift execution, Mizuri’s hopes rekindled, if only just a little. She quietly got up and snuck toward the large opening in the wall to the supply room that the Saber had cut, but halted a dozen or so feet away when the Saber turned her face a few degrees back and focused a single eye on the advancing girl.

“Taking the Master hostage won’t work, but surely there’s something I can do or say to help…” The girl considered as she started listening more closely to what the others were saying.

“I guess you’re just too scared to move after all.” Aka no Saber’s Master said, becoming irritated at Ogawara’s lack of an answer, “Don’t worry, my Saber can pry you off of her. Struggle a little if it makes you feel better about yourself.”

“W-wait! I can tell you!” He pleaded, praying that whatever he ends up saying could somehow mollify her.

“Out with it, then.” Saber’s Master commanded tersely.

“Y-you’ve seen how cute she is, haven’t you?” Ogawara offered blushingly.

“Right...” She mumbled, clearly unimpressed by the substance of his answer.
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Taking a deep breath to collect himself, Yatsuhide answered again while hoping for the best, “It’s also because… in her legend, the person she fell in love with didn’t want to have anything to do with her. So she never got to experience what it was like for someone to love her. And… until today, I was sure I’d end up the same way. I know how it feels to be lonely like that, so it doesn’t seem right to let her second chance at life end like it did before.”

Her eyes widening a little, the girl started asking in disbelief, “But, you mean to say that you’re… in…?”

Cutting in after she paused, Mizuri pleaded, “Please, Saber’s Master, there’s no rule that says you have to destroy every Servant right after you meet them. I’m sure Kiyohime has some abilities that you’ll find useful if you decide to keep her around.”

“… We’ll see about that. Ah, do excuse me for neglecting to introduce myself until now: my name is Nijou Kaguya, student council president of Shuchiin Academy.” The girl declared in response. Ogawara recognized her surname almost immediately, as the Nijou family was in the upper echelon of Japan’s modern aristocracy, and one of the Ogawara family’s most powerful business relations. Though he didn’t put much effort into immersing himself into his family’s affairs as his older brother was the favored heir, he still could recognize a few of the most prominent partner-families and corporations.

Moving his body from shielding his Servant for the first time, Ogawara fully turned around to face the Nijou heiress, then knelt facing the floor before requesting, “Please allow me, Ogawara Yatsuhide, to become your underling, Nijou Kaguya-sama.”

“Pardon?” Kaguya asked, sounding fairly pleased by the acts of subservience directed toward her.

“A-at first I thought to suggest becoming your rival, but that would be f-far too presumptuous.” He clarified, remembering one of the most common tropes of shounen anime, where the life of an enemy who was introduced early in the story is spared for them to later become a rival or ally.

Amused by his self-awareness at the inferiority of his position, she chuckled, “Haha, quite so. But can you make it worth my while?”

“My Servant can help your S-Saber fight if we run into a lot of enemies at once, she can p-perfectly detect lies from anyone we encounter later, a-and I can save you the trouble of worrying about cooking meals for the rest of the time we’re here! If we find internet access I can also research the Servants we encounter, and… I know how to fly drones too if we find any!” He offered, beginning to feel confidence in the eclectic skillset that he’d learned from years of unsupervised internet access.
“Interesting. Fine, you and your Servant can look forward to being put to work soon enough, Ogawara-kun.” Kaguya decided with her smirk returning, then glanced back to the girl behind her as she said, “By the way, I haven’t caught your name yet, girl from the Reien Academy.”

“It’s Kokutou Mizuri. I would have introduced myself earlier if certain events happened differently, but I’ll let that be water under the bridge.” Mizuri answered before bowing slightly and continuing, “Pleased to make your acquaintance, Nijou-san.”

“Likewise.” The heiress cordially responded before telling her Servant, “Saber, consider my order to destroy that Berserker rescinded.” She then bid her new followers, “Take a minute or so to pull yourselves together, after that we’ll look for something for Ogawara-kun to prepare as a meal.”

“O-of course, Kaguya-sama.” Ogawara answered as he turned back around to help his Servant get back to her feet.

“Master, why are you putting up this act of fawning subservience?” Kiyohime telepathically asked him, knowing that his heart wasn’t really into the performance.

“If I have to humiliate myself a little to save you, I’ll swallow my pride and play slave for her until we can find a way to defeat that monster of a Saber.” He answered grimly, remembering that the trope of a main villain’s henchman betraying his boss at the last minute usually didn’t end well for the henchman, but seeing no alternative at the moment.

“I’m supposed to be the one who saves you, Master. Though… I won’t forget the kind things you said about me, beloved.” She said in response. Yatsuhide thought he saw her pupils take the shape of hearts for a split-second, but assumed he was just seeing things from the stress of the encounter.

Just then, night fell across the city, and the scattered moans of the living dead began to faintly pass through the air.

“They’ve been brought here too?!” The Nijou heiress asked, letting fear color her tone more than she intended. It seems her memories of the old city weren’t of the fondest sort. Swiftly composing herself, she then said as self-assurance, “No matter, Saber can flatten them with trivial ease.”

“Actually, I’d like to destroy them myself. We can save your Saber the trouble.” Kiyohime suggested, to everyone’s surprise.

“Are you sure you’re feeling up to it, Berserker-san?” Mizuri asked, still referring to her by her class name for the sake of future habit.

“I’ve had time to catch my breath; now my flames will reduce them to ash.” The dragon-girl asserted.

“And I still need to show you part of my cool-side, Master.” She added telepathically with a wink.

Ogawara couldn’t at all conceal the blush rushing to his face.
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Odin just got checked pretty hard.

"GODS could be here" she thought, "I've never been in this neighbourhood before. There could be GODS anywhere." The cool wind felt good against her bare abs. "I HATE GODS" she thought. https://youtu.be/G0vjL0KlW-Q reverberated through the Sword of Mars, making it pulsate even as the her Master's mana circulated through her powerful thick veins and washed away her (merited) apathy of modern humans. "My name is Altera.
...I am the Hun and I am a warrior serving the God of War." she thought to herself, out loud.
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Looks like Circe is no longer packing the biggest gun in this War.
Although, I wonder if Akeldama can even contain Altera for long. So far, she is the biggest threat to the entire ritual and potentially most useful ally possible if we want to fight Judas.
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The Akeldama ritual space kneels to Civilisation Erosion.

Also, if her autism ever switches off, or her master is made aware of her capabilities/the circumstances of the war or similar..

>Civilization Erosion (EX Rank): A subconsciously active Skill of the Heroic Spirit Altera. Anything in Altera's grasp is transformed into its best form currently most suited for herself. This is based on Altera's own perspective, not necessarily reflecting the object at its greatest or most excellent.[1] In this case, anything within Altera's grasp is transformed into the Photon Ray sword, an ability shared by her Moon counterpart, who additionally can summon the sword at will.[20]

Coins, other important ritual components, parts of the world itself, living beings aren't outright excluded from Civilisation Erosion if she grabs them.

>When Chaldea is assailed by Sumerian Fever, Altera is the only one unaffected thanks to her Natural Body Skill and her resistance to the planet's mythology.

Ignoring Nergal's disease authority by just outright rejecting mythology born of the planet. Stood up to Solomon!Goetia even through Nega Summon and damaged Ars Paulia.

Also, every single incarnation of Altera is linked with the main body Velber 02.

Vore the ritual. Destroy the false Civilisation.
Also Bryn chemistry will be interesting if they ever meet. That and Odin would know of her, and her proper capabilities seeing as he used Velber remains to craft the Valkyries including Bryn.
And I need to add, LSAD QM, Love is War pun actually hit the mark.
Since she is strong enough to annihilate Goetia's bullshit and collapse Moon Cell, a much less strong and complicated Akeldama would be an easy obstacle for her.
This is probably as far as the thread will go. Anon will wake up after a potentially trippy dream-sequence to face the next day at the beginning of the next thread.

I always liked that soundtrack; I thought it got scrubbed from YT due to (c) issues but glad to see it's back.
The Apocrypha protocol may or may not have been activated because the overseer wanted to have countermeasures in place for something like that.
>Bryn chemistry will be interesting if they ever meet.
>You seem like a younger sister that I haven't met before... I think sisters getting along is good civilization...

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