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Thread: Made in America: An 80s era bootleg Grail War

  1. #1

    Made in America: An 80s era bootleg Grail War

    Ever since I stumbled upon this silly nonsense several years ago, I've wanted to write about a Grail War or some other Nasuverse shenanigans set in rural Northern California.
    It's been a while since I first discussed the idea, but I've finally decided to bring it to life. So break out your boom boxes, crank up that hair metal, remember Gordon Gekko's motto that "Greed is Good" and let's take a trip to 1985, cause it's time for...

    Made in America
    An 80s era bootleg Grail War

    Keeping Up with the Masters Part I


    Beneath the pale moon, Martin Ambrosius cast a long shadow over the summoning circle he’d so meticulously constructed. Much of his day had been spent preparing the mountainside location, turning away hikers who might disturb the sight and dealing with park authorities. Mt. Shasta was a considerable ways away from where the war was likely to be taking place in earnest, but the site was strong in vibrational energy and its Multi-dimensional Geology made it too inviting a location for the summoning ritual to pass up. Still, for all its positive attributes, the constant influx of new pine needles into the circle with each gust of wind had been more than a little annoying for the old man to deal with.

    It’ll be worth it for Christopher, he thought to himself.

    With a heavy sigh, Martin looked away from the intricate summoning circle that lay before him to the moon overhead. The titan had swelled with the approach of Samhain, and dominated the sky. Under the moon’s light, the old Magi pulled a large fob watch from his pocket and popped it open to check the time. Inside, the sullen face of a young man, no older than 25, starred up at Martin. The melancholic expression of the man caught Martin’s attention and held his gaze for a bit, before his eyes finally turned to the slightly luminescent, radium painted, hands of the watch.

    The witching hour had come at last.

    Martin’s gaze lingered upon the young man’s face for a few more moments before he shut the watch and carefully tucked it back into his breast pocket. Reaching into another pocket, Martin pulled forth a thin vial. Resting at the bottom of the seemingly empty glass tube was a needle thin sliver of pine. It had taken Martin most of the decade since his son’s passing and a large fortune to acquire the fragment of the millennia old vessel, but it would be worth it in the end. Of that Mr. Ambrosius was certain.

    “Forgive me, Son,” he muttered under his breath as he knelt down and placed the vial at the edge of the circle.

    With that, Martin began the summoning. The chant was ancient and conjured up imagery of an era long since gone, and with each passing verse the summoning circle began to come alive with light and energy.

    “From the Seventh Heaven, attended to by three great words of power,
    Come forth from the ring of restraints,
    Protector of the Holy Balance!”

    With his last words, the winds surrounding the clearing came alive and for a moment, as the circle shone brightly, it felt as though the old magi was in the heart of a hurricane. As suddenly as the wind and light had arrived, they vanished, and kneeling before Martin was a figure clad in bronze armor. A begin from another time and place.

    A servant.

    The servant rose to his feet, a shield with an ornate mosaic face in one hand and a spear in the other.

    “Are you my Master?” the warrior asked in gruff tone.

    “Yes,” Martin replied abruptly.

    “Then our contract is sealed.”

    “You… You’re not Saber?” the old man stammered while pointing towards the spear..

    The armor clad servant shook his head no, “I have been summoned into this conflict as a Lancer, Master.”

    With that reveal, a look of dismay spread across the old man’s face. He’d tried so hard, gone through so much effort to try and summon the strongest servant he could. He needed to make amends, he needed to summon a Saber.

    “It is better that I fight as a Lancer with my mother’s spear than with the Jasper studded sword I was given or the warrior’s blade I left behind.”

    Martin starred in silence for a moment, and thought of his failures as a magus, as a husband, and as a father. He wanted to make up for all his mistakes, no he needed to make up for them and to do that he needed to win the war he’s sent his son to die in.

    Finally, a grim look upon his face, the aged magi replied.

    “So be it, Lancer. It matters not, we’ll win this conflict, Saber or no Saber.”

    After destroying what remained of the summoning site, the pair made their way out of the the woods. Looking again to Lancer’s shield, Martin studied the vibrant mosaic city. Small figures moved through the streets of the city it depicted, as if the mosaic were alive.

    “You’re him,correct? You have the shield, so you must be, right?” Martin nervously questioned, knowing full well the answer to the question, but wanting to hear it out loud nonetheless.

    “I am The Wandering Prince. If that is what you ask, Master.”

    “Good… good. I’m sure that Palinurus was a fine navigator, but it wouldn’t serve to have him in this war.”

    Even with the trees obscuring the light of the moon, it was easy to see Lancer’s face had turned stern at the mention of that name.

    “You must know much of me, Master, but I know little of you. What do you seek from the Grail?”

    “Redemption,” Martin replied almost institutionally.

    Lancer nodded his head in understanding, “There are those we sacrifice along the way, those that never leave our side and act as constant reminders of our failures as men. To seek to make matters right with their spirits is a noble cause, Master.”

    Martin merely nodded his head in agreement.



    As Donald Wiltwalker stepped out into the sun, he fiddled with the Ray Bans that hung from his polo and put them on, trying to look as unperturbed by the sun as possible. The 23 year old magi stretched his lanky arms as he walked down the stairs from jet to the airport tarmac below.

    “God, it looks like we’re in the middle of nowhere, Alden,” he grumbled as he looked out at the empty fields surrounding the relatively small Chico airport.

    “The airport is on the outskirts of the city, Master Donald. It was built out here so as to avoid noise complaints,” responded his elderly butler.

    With a groan, Donald went on, “Couldn’t the war have been in a better location? Tahoe’s not far from here. It’s too early for skiing, but we could go out on the lake in our off time.”

    With a shake of his head the old butler sighed softly. “Tahoe was not built upon numerous Ley line intersection points by Magi, as Chico was, Master. That’s why it was chosen by Mr. Wilson to host his failed war.”

    “If it was a failure, then why not choose a different location?” The boy grumbled.

    Alden simply shook his head in exasperation. Donald had been briefed on the information about the previous war numerous times, but that hadn’t stopped him from ignoring almost everything he’d been told. He was, “Naturally Talented”, and didn’t need to worry about the minutiae of things. Or at least that was the sentiment that he’d shared with the old man on numerous occasions. Really, the boy was just arrogant. There was no denying the boy’s pedigree, nor his natural talent for magecraft, but he used that at a blank check and Alden feared that it would be the young man’s doom.

    A rental car waited for Alden and Donald as the pair made their way out to the parking lot of the minor airport. As Alden drove, Donald grumbled in the back.

    “You could have gotten something flashier Alden. I’m sure my parents wouldn’t have minded the extra expense.”

    “A more sporty car would not have been conducive to ferrying your supplies from the airport to The Palms, sir.”

    With an exasperated sigh, the young magi turned his attention to the empty fields along the road into the town.

    “God this place is the middle of nowhere.”

    "We'll be at The Palms soon, Sir. It's a rather new Nemeton site. More to your speed, I’d think.”

    “Something new?”- Donald’s eyes went wide.-“Finally. It felt like every lodge on the East Coast was built in the 17th century, and it was so much worse in Europe,” the young magi responded with the first hint of genuine excitement since he’d boarded his plane in New York.

    “Yes, Sir. The Palms was built in 1910-” Alden began.

    “Uuugh, I should have known it would be something so positively ancient since it was coming from you, Alden,” he whined.

    “San Fran has plenty of Ley lines intersecting through it. Why didn’t that schmuck Wilson have the war there? New Orleans is a bit cliche, but even it would have been a more exciting location than scenic nowhere.”

    “Sir, one has to consider the possibility of witnesses. The last war may have been without Papal supervision, but Mr. Wilson still understood the need to maintain secrecy. Setting his conflict in the Bay Area or in New Orleans would have invited too many prying eyes.”

    Donald groaned loudly, refusing to let go of his annoyance over the rural college town.

    “Can you at least turn on the radio, Alden. Hopefully we get something other than goat ropers singing country music out here.”

    After a bit of scanning, Kansas came blaring out of the speakers with Carry On Wayward Son.

    “This is a college town, right, Alden?” Donald shouted over the music.

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “Cool, at least there should be something fun to do on my down time.”

    “Sir, there’s likely not to be much downtime.”

    “Sure, a bunch of old men with fuzzy minds from families that are barely a couple hundred years old are going to undertake a grueling 24/7 hunt. Please, they’ll be needing to empty their catheters every twenty minutes. I’ll have plenty of time. Plus, who ever I summon will be doing most of the work anyways. My Saber will cleave through the rest with ease. Then, the Grail and more importantly the Root will be mine.”

    “Yes, Sir,” the old man replied.

    The boy would die, like so many of the Masters who had fought in the previous war. He didn’t comprehend what was truly at stake, what families both ancient and young would do to get their hands on the grail. The idiot boy, that Alden had cared for since he was in diapers, would die and there seemed to be nothing the old man could do about it, but watch the oncoming crash in slow motion.

    When at last the pair had arrived at The Palms, Donald walked around the bizarrely out of place tropical foliage while Alden went to work constructing the summoning circle for the ceremony at the heart of The Palms.

    When at last the preparations were finished and night had descended upon the pentagon shaped grounds of the location, Donald came forth to begin the ritual.

    “You have the catalyst, correct, Sir?”

    Donald smirked and pulled an old Byzantine coin out of his pocket. The smug young magi flipped it around in his fingers several times, before losing control of it and dropping it on the ground. Though the boy’s sunglasses provided some obstruction, Alden could see the look of surprise and embarrassment in his eyes.

    “Shit,” he said in a hushed tone, scrambling to pick up the ancient gold coin.

    “I’m banking on Narses or maybe Belisarius. An imperial Roman Saber will have this war as good as won. Justinian would be pretty cool too, but I’m more interested in a real warrior. Someone who’ll take charge and finish things while I have fun.”

    As Alden had expected, the amount of effort his Master had placed upon acquiring a proper catalyst had been minimal. Still there was hope for the situation, given both his natural talent and the location of the summoning.

    Light and energy pulsed out of the summoning circle as Donald read out the chant. With the last words of the incantation whole of the room was consumed by a flash of blinding red light.
    When at last the brilliance had faded, Donald took of his sunglasses to see a sickly looking, blind, old man standing before him in tattered rags for clothes.

    “What the Fu-”



    75 Miles to Chico, the green sign along the highway read as the black Ferrari Testarossa rocketed northwards, a good thirty miles per hour faster than the speed limit of 65. Even as the sound of the engine roared, the motorists which the Ferrari raced past could hear the muffled sound of hair metal fade in and out as the car sped towards them and and raced ahead. Inside the car, a short redhead, who looked like she took way too much fashion advice from Gem and the Holograms, leaned in close to the driver’s face and sang along to the music blaring out of the radio.

    “So, come on, feel the noise!
    Girls, rock your boys
    We'll get wild, wild, wild
    Wild, wild, wild!
    So you think I got an evil mind,
    I'll tell you honey
    I don't know why
    I don't know why”

    Pulling away from the stoic looking driver’s face, she gave the driver a big toothy grin and then yelled over the sound of the music, “Come on, Master. Stop looking so dour and smile! There’s so much fun to be had! I mean this whole era is absolutely fantastic! Nero would love it!”

    With that, the driver took his right hand from the wheel and turned off the music.

    “Oh, What was that for?!” the passenger's voice still as loud as if the music hadn’t been turned off.

    “Naming people you were familiar with in life is something you’re going to need to avoid. Assassin is already disadvantaged enough without giving the enemy your identity,” the diver responded sternly.

    His passenger rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. “ I won’t be referencing my previous Mistress in public. But you don’t have to keep bemoaning the fact you didn’t summon a Saber like last time. It’s not good for my self esteem,” Assassin pouted.

    “Avoid that as well,” he responded sharply.

    “Avoid what?”

    “That information would paint a target on my back. Your presence concealment is our best asset at the moment, we don’t need to throw that advantage out the window by exposing my identity. No one needs to know I was in the last war or anything that would place my employer at risk.”

    Again the girl shrugged. “You’re so drawl.”

    “I am a professional and this is a job. There’s no time for flights of fancy that could leave us vulnerable,” he tersely replied.

    “I'm a professional too, you know? The difference is, I enjoyed my work. My job was entertaining and my Mistresses were very entertaining people. It would probably do you well to learn a thing or two... or twelve from Nero.”

    Assassin paused for a momentary giggle before going on, “Now she knew how to have fun.”

    With that, the driver shook his head and turned the blaring music back on.

    “You’re no fun at all, Master,” Assassin grumbled.

    “Don’t call me that. When we’re scouting the town, just call me Tom and I’ll call you… Lola, I guess..”

    With a thin smile and a soft chuckle, Assassin responded, “Lola it is, Tom.”

    Soon, Assassin found herself swaying to beat of the music and screaming out lyrics that she was only vaguely familiar with, “Oh we're not gonna take it! No, we ain't gonna take it! Oh we're not gonna take it anymore!”


  2. #2
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Imperial's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    I remember talking this over with you once upon a time back when it was called Greed Is Good.

    I thought it was such a fun idea, and I am 100% on board for this.
    Originally Posted by You
    when all the evils have given up their waifus, all the greats have left for med school, and there are no more at least 3 day battles to be fought what is left is

    not Tsukihime 2
    not DDD3
    not even Girl's Work

    but f/go

    and now f/go english

    that is what is waiting for you at the end of schadenfreude

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