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Thread: [Quest] True Name Discernment

  1. #21

  2. #22
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    1 and 2, my good folks.
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  3. #23
    リビングデッド Living Dead Faux's Avatar
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  4. #24


    Day 1 Morning
    Location: Sakazuki City


    Right, let’s go to the shrine.

    As they say, the heart of a city lies in heaven (Source: Me). It seems like the city’s most interesting location, and there’s probably more to see than the neighborhood or the beach. Plus, the gods might get pissed if I don’t visit them once in a while. My life’s already chaotic enough without divine intervention.

    With that in mind, I let Haruka lead me up the crowded streets of Sakazuki towards the gates of heaven. As we walked, a comfortable distance apart, a new silence broke out between us. Was it because Haruka ran out of things to explain? Or am I just hard to talk to? Well, I’m not unused to situations like these.

    It’s a rare chance so let’s chat with sis. Part of me wants to learn more about the city and local news, but I guess it’d be nice to know my family better.

    “Hey. Is it really okay for you to be showing me around today?”

    I don’t really know what things are pleasant to talk about or have any clever lines to use on girls, so I just bluntly ask what’s on my mind.

    “What’s wrong? Is there a problem?”

    She asks with a slightly confused, slightly worried look. Perhaps she couldn’t hear well with the crowd as she steps closer… Woah, too close. Too close. Her face comes next to mine and her starry eyes are locked onto my own. That’s no good (for many reasons) so I take my own step back and turn to face the front again. Hopefully, I didn’t seem too panicked…

    “No, it’s just… I was wondering if you were actually busy today. I’d feel bad if I was imposing on you.”

    I mutter while trying to act like I was interested in the hoodie of the man walking ahead of me. That might’ve been a mistake though, since it meant I couldn’t observe Haruka’s expressions as she spoke.

    “Oh, that? Don’t worry about it. Today’s a day-off for me. So, don’t mind. Don’t mind.”

    That makes me mind more.

    “That’s no good. You should be hanging out with your friends or your boyfriend on your day off.”

    Using a precious day off on someone like me… now I feel really bad. There’s probably a bunch of things she’d rather do than cart a stranger around town.

    I face her again to express my displeasure… but I instead find an unexpected reaction. Is she… pouting?

    “What? Did you not want to spend the day with me?”

    Her tone is slightly accusatory with a tint of sharp agitation. She was clearly upset as she glared at me with her fiery eyes.

    “No, that’s not…”

    “I invited you so obviously I’m fine with it. So, don’t worry.”

    With a small pout, she turns her face away, and focuses on the road. There’s a mildly unpleasant air about her.

    I don’t know why, but I seem to have made her upset. Perhaps I said something rude? Umm… maybe it’d be a good idea to change the subject.

    “Okay, then, what do you normally do on your days off?”

    For a few moments, she gives me the cold shoulder before muttering an answer back.

    “… Shopping. And sometimes I watch movies with my friends.”

    Wow. Normal. How normal. It’s so normal I can’t even make a comment.

    Well, to be honest, if she had said some weird hobby like collecting toilet seats or competitive ironing or something, I’d be at a loss of words, but now I don’t have any clever quips to make.

    “Shopping, huh… Oh right, you mentioned a shopping mall near the station. That must be convenient. I guess I should go there sometime.”

    I end up thinking out loud. There’re some materials I’d like to pick up so I should visit there later. Some of the stuff I want is pretty obscure, but a shopping mall might have a few specialty stores if I’m lucky.

    Well, that’s just an amble thought but…

    “Oh? Then let’s go together sometime.”

    Haruka casually mentions without turning back to look at me.

    “Huh? Go together?”

    “Yeah. We can go to the mall together. Y’know… if you don’t mind.”

    Shopping together? Why would she suggest that? Does she intend to show me around? But, I’m already imposing on her so… wait, maybe…

    Oh, I get it. She must want me to carry her stuff. I guess girls do buy a lot of things. Yeah, that’s fine, I have no problem with that. In fact, this way I can pay her back for showing me around today. It’s a win-win.

    “Oh, that’d be good. Sure, let’s go later.”

    I accept her request with a nod.

    “Great.”

    She smiles. Her warm and gentle smile like sun-dried blankets is back. Her mood must’ve improved as the unpleasant air around her fades away.

    Well, I wasn’t able to learn a lot about Haruka but, at the very least, a meaningless promise was made.






    Day 1 Afternoon
    Location: Sakazuki Shrine


    “Haaaauuuuuu~~~”

    Without my consent, a large yawn escapes my mouth. Interrupted by my uncouth behavior, Haruka stops her lecture and her feet.

    “Oh, I’m sorry. Am I boring you?”

    “No, it’s fine. That’s not it.”

    I shake my head at her worries.

    Soon after, we had arrived at the shrine and Haruka began to show me around. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but what awaited me at the end of the city road was a divine palace of red and white.

    Although the term shrine can refer to a holy site of almost any size, the location in Sakazuki city was a veritable estate atop many stone steps. Besides the large main shrine in the center of the area, there were several smaller buildings whose purpose I could not divine as well as a performance stage, souvenir stalls, a public garden, and even a pond. If I had come alone, I definitely wouldn’t know what was what and how not to offend the gods. Luckily, though, I have a reliable little sister to elucidate my uncultured self. The moment we arrived, Haruka re-entered tour guide mode and pointed everything out to me and made sure I didn’t accidently invoke heaven’s wrath. It was a good call to have her bring me since I’d be clueless without her.

    “I’m just still tired. Jetlag and the such.”

    I explain while rubbing my eyes. At the moment, we had just completed most of the tour and were walking through the shrine’s garden as Haruka explained its history. Quite a bit of time had passed since I forced myself to get up this morning, so my fatigue was finally catching up to me.

    That said, I was in fact secretly bored though. Maybe I just didn’t get it, but the shrine was less interesting than I thought. No matter how I try, I just don’t understand the stuff like the appeal of some thick rope tied around a tree nor why tourists were crowding around it.

    “If you’re tired, why don’t we head back? We’ve basically seen everything.”

    “Yeah, that’d be good.”

    Maybe she’s looking out for me since Haruka seems okay with ending today’s excursion.

    “Oh, but I wanted to buy some charms while we were here.”

    “Charms, huh? Oh, right, what kind of shrine is this anyways?”

    I guess I wasn’t paying attention to her lecture since I can’t recall which gods are enshrined here. Since it’s this big, it must be some big-shot.

    “It’s a Hachiman shrine.”

    “Hachiman? ...Are you about to enter a war?”

    I don’t really know much but I can’t imagine why she’d want a blessing from that big fellow, unless she was about to enter mortal combat.

    “Don’t be silly. That’s not how it works. I’m just buying some for good health and studies.”

    “Oh. Is that so. Okay, then, go ahead. There’s no rush.”

    How embarrassing. My lack of culture is showing.

    “Okay. Then I’m going to buy some real quick, and then we’ll go back home.”

    “Sure. I’ll wait here for you then.”

    With a skip in her step and an overall good mood, Hayama Haruka bolts towards the rip-off stalls charm vendors and I’m left to my own devices in the garden.

    With nothing to do, I collapse on a nearby bench and just take in my surroundings. Alone for once, meandering thoughts fill my head.

    There was another reason why I didn’t find the shrine interesting, which I couldn’t possibly tell Haruka. I had expected to find “something” here but…

    It’s all normal.

    There’s nothing out of the ordinary here. No special bounded field, no suspicious figures, no traces of magical energy.

    Not even the presence of gods.

    There’s nothing to see here.

    I guess the shrine was a bust. Perhaps I should’ve gone somewhere else.

    “Aaaaauuuuuhhhh…”

    Another yawn floats out. My body starts to feel heavy.

    Well… even if I find it boring, I guess I can appreciate how tranquil this garden is. The quiet nature, the swaying plants, the springtime air…

    My eyes feel a little heavy…


    * * * * *

    I wake up to find myself slumped over the bench.

    The first things my eyes see are an orange-tinted garden under the setting sun. The buzzing sound of crowds from earlier in the afternoon has faded and the people in the vicinity are scarce. It’s obvious that I must have dozed off for a few hours.

    Looking around, I find a woman sitting on the bench beside me. She’s focused entirely on her phone and doesn’t notice my awakening. Even now, her delicate features remain soft and gentle while her long, white fingers press buttons with a rapid rhythm. Under the orange sun, her figure exudes a warm beauty, like a painting befitting the divinity of these grounds. Without realizing it, I find my heart getting a little bit quicker.

    “Haruka.”

    I unconsciously let out her name, which gets her attention. Looking up from her phone, she points her starry eyes towards my slaw-jacked self.

    “Good morning sleepy-head.”

    “Good morning…”

    I’m at a loss of words. I can guess that after I dozed off, Haruka must’ve found me sleeping on the bench and stayed by my side for the rest of the day. Was she doing nothing but playing on her phone the whole time?

    “… You could’ve woke me up, you know.”

    “Ahaha, well, you looked so peaceful I didn’t want to disturb you.”

    She chuckles while bashfully scratching her cheek.

    I don’t know how to respond. I guess I bothered her again. Feeling a little bad and a little pathetic, I remain silent. She also doesn’t say anything and we bask in the tranquility of the shrine.

    A few moments pass. And then…

    “Hey, Haruto… Do you remember when we were kids?”

    Haruka breaks the silence with a hard-to-answer question. Looking at her through the corner of my eye, I find a softly smiling figure staring off towards the horizon.

    “When we were kids, we used to play here a lot. We’d sneak away and run around in the garden and get yelled at by the adults and never learn from our mistakes.”

    A nostalgic image wells up with in me. The hazy figures of two kids running around with no care in the world seem almost real. But…

    “No, I don’t.”

    No such memory exists in me. I have no knowledge of such a thing, nor can I confirm if it truly happened.

    “Oh, I see. I guess it can’t be helped. It’s been a long time.”

    “Yeah…”

    15 years.

    That is how long it has been.

    15 years ago, Hayama Haruto and Hayama Haruka were separated. Their parents had a divorce and each one took custody of a child. The foreign mother took Haruto with her and returned to her home country of England. The father stayed in Japan with Haruka. Since then, there has been no contact between the two halves of the family. No letters, no calls, no reunions.

    And so, for Hayama Haruka, this is the first time in 15 years that she has met her brother.

    That’s why she doesn’t know anything about him. Not his youth in England, not his current occupation, nor the world that he now lives in. The things he can do and the things he has done are unknown to her. Hayama Haruka is just a normal woman. A normal woman with normal hobbies and normal emotions and a normal family. That’s all she needs to be.

    But, I’m not a normal person. I don’t have a normal job nor normal abilities nor do I come from a normal family. No matter where I go, no matter how much I act normal in a normal city with a normal family, that fact alone can’t be changed.

    That’s why part of me doesn’t want to impose on Haruka too much. I don’t want to contaminate the normality of her life. Or else, she’ll realize the brother she thinks she has doesn’t exist.

    With that weighing on my mind, I sink into the bench. Maybe I don’t have a place in this family after all…

    “You know something?”

    Abruptly, my thoughts are interrupted by a break in the silence. I turn to realize that Haruka is looking at me with a soft expression.

    “The truth is, I wasn’t really sure how to feel when you showed up suddenly. Having a brother after all this time… was weird. Even now, I’m not sure what to think. But, at the very least…”

    She smiles. A brilliant smile like a diamond.

    “I’m glad you came home, nii-san.”

    Her brilliance washes away my thoughts. I’m not sure how to respond, but I can sense that something inside me moves slightly.

    I…


    A. Express your happiness at coming home
    B. Thank Haruka again for today/think of a way to pay her back
    C. Hide your embarrassment but lightly reveal your gratitude
    D. Remain calm and stay aloof
    E. Write-in



    Memory Matrix Update


    Memory Link UP

    Hayama Haruka - The Sun
    Lvl 0 → Lvl 2

    ??? increased
    ??? obtained
    ??? obtained


    Last edited by zikari8; April 4th, 2019 at 02:02 AM.


  5. #25
    imtruenamba1 Spartacus's Avatar
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    also we are Persona now

  6. #26
    Leyak Queen 34's Avatar
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  7. #27
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  8. #28
    リビングデッド Living Dead Faux's Avatar
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    Social Links up in this house! Nice.
    False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

  9. #29
    B

    C is good too tho

  10. #30
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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  11. #31
    Day 1 Evening
    Location: Sakazuki Shrine


    “I-idiot. I don’t need your thanks.”


    Before I know it, I make an uncharacteristically harsh stammer. Dammit, why’d she have to say something so serious? Now I don’t know how to respond. I can’t face her like this, so I turn my face away.

    “I’m just here cause it’s convenient, you know? If anything, you’re the ones who’ve been helping me out.”

    I know. I know that there’s no point in saying these things. I’m just being a bother, I’m just an anomaly in their family, so I should just keep my distance. But…

    “So… thanks. I guess.”

    I mutter as quietly as I can.

    Before she can respond, I leap up from the bench and walk off. The garden was almost vacant, the shrine was almost silent, and my face must surely have been almost as red as the setting sun. Geez… this is no good. I shouldn’t be happy at all.

    Yet, as I exit the shrine grounds, I hear light footsteps chase after me. I don’t turn back, but as I hear her swift stride, I get the feeling that she’s smiling. And when I imagine that warm smile, I don’t even know what to think.

    * * * * *

    After exiting the shrine, Haruka and I walk home in silence. I don’t have the heart to face after that exchange and she seems content to go along with my reticence, so we just head down the dimming streets without a word. Even so, the atmosphere is different from the awkward silence during the morning. Even though we didn’t actually talk much, I get the feeling I know Haruka a little bit better now.

    “Oh, right.”

    I suddenly stop in my tracks, just as we were about to turn into our apartment’s street.

    “I’m sorry, Haruka. I forgot I promised to have dinner with an acquaintance today. Could you go home without me?”

    I clap my hands in apology for springing this on her. Truthfully, I hadn’t made any mention of my appointment earlier today. I had completely forgotten until we passed by the station on our way back from the shrine. Is this why I felt like there was something I had to do earlier this morning?

    “O-oh, I see.”

    Perhaps because it’s so sudden, Haruka seems momentarily at a loss of words. But she soon regains her composure and waves my apology off.

    “Well, if you made an appointment, it can’t be helped. I’ll go home first then.”

    “Right, sorry about this. I’ll be out late, so don’t wait for me.”

    In a hurry, I bolt off and part ways with Haruka. With the clock ticking against me, I leave the Hayama household behind me…




    Day 1 Evening
    Location: Shin Sakazuki Station


    I arrive at the station front to a small crowd of people. The tourists and beach-goers must be going home for the day as most of the people are going into the station rather than out. With all the people, I have trouble finding anyone in particular… Damn, maybe we should’ve decided on a less crowded meeting spot or time.

    Oh, wait. If everyone’s leaving and going into the station, then to find the person I’m meeting, I can just look for people who are standing still and looking like they’re waiting for someone. Aha, I’m such a genius detective, a credit to my occupation.

    Let’s see… of all the people who are just loitering around… Found her. There’re a few people standing around, but my instincts tell me it must be her. After all, only she can make such a vicious glare.


    “Yo, did you wait long?”

    I approach the girl I set my eyes on with a friendly and sloppy greeting, like an unreliable boyfriend apologizing for being late to his first date. The girl in question is a young woman with long black hair and piercing eyes. Standing next to the station entrance and silently focused on the book in her hands, there is an overall aloof air to her, as if she were daring people to even try and talk to her. Appearance-wise, she looks a bit younger than Haruka, so she’s probably in her teenage years. She seems to be wearing a uniform too, so there’s a good chance she’s a high schooler.

    “Yes, I did.”

    A simple, curt response. As always, her attitude does not betray her image.

    “Geez, have you ever considered giving a different answer? It's always the same thing.”

    “Have you considered asking a different question?”

    “...Touché.”

    I’m used to her sharp tongue now, so I nonchalantly slide up next to her and stand within comfortable talking distance.

    “You know, couldn’t you tell me what you look like before we meet up, next time? It’d make finding you a lot easier.”

    “You were able to find me this time, weren’t you?”

    “Well, yes but-”

    “Then, it’s fine.”

    “Ugghhh…”

    I'm verbally beaten into silence. Feeling slightly bruised, I just look away in frustration and the girl continues reading in serenity as if I don't exist.

    Even as we spoke, she didn't lift her eyes from her book. Looking at the cover… some sort of bland-looking novel. It doesn’t look very interesting. Perhaps this is her way of saying that I’m even less interesting than an uninteresting book. Damn… what a difficult person.

    Allow me to introduce her. This Japanese high school girl of ill manner and inconspicuous appearance is named Stephanie Gerwich. Though her inner self does not belie her appearance, her appearance belies her true self so she’s a difficult person to deal with. Before one considers things such as beauty and disposition, one must get past that dagger-like glare which she somehow manages to retain no matter what she looks like. Personally, it’s been a few years since I’ve known her, but her attitude never changes, and I can never say that I get any more familiar with her. I like to consider her my friend, but she probably just thinks of me as a mere business associate. That said, I can never tell what she’s thinking, since her expression and tone never waver in the slightest. I bet she'd look the same on her birthday and her death bed.

    Really, when I think about it…

    “So.”

    Her voice cuts off my thoughts.

    It’s a cold voice like stone. Even though I didn’t mean to, the moment her tone reaches my ears, I unconsciously stop thinking and listen attentively. I wouldn’t say that there’s any particular authority to her speech, yet its solemnity alone draws one in. She doesn’t even turn to look at me yet I can tell that her full attention is on her words and that knowledge makes me feel compelled to do the same.

    Part of me braces myself. I end up straightening my back and curling my fists. Because I know… I have a feeling I know what she’ll say next.

    “Are your preparations complete?”

    Her simple question hits me like a bucket of frigid water. Any remnants of joviality within me are washed away and my casual attitude is shattered.

    For a moment, I pause. My lips don’t move, and I stand motionlessly. Not because I’m startled or shocked or taken aback by her question. No, it was simply difficult for me to respond. It’s only a yes or no question, but even that answer struggles to escape me, because, once I acknowledge her question, I can’t turn back. Something will change the moment I open my lips and the words come out.

    Everything that happened today, waking up and having breakfast and taking a walk and promising to go shopping and going to the shrine and talking with Haruka, it will all become different once I say something.

    But I can’t delay the inevitable, so I finally respond.

    “Yeah, the hypnosis was a success.”

    I say it.

    I rip off the curtains and reveal the ugly truth behind the stage. Like a distorted mirror hit by a hammer, the illusion shatters and gives way to reality.

    The truth flows through me once again.

    And so, I have a confession to make.

    I am not Hayama Haruto.

    I am not a normal person who has no connection to the world of magecraft. I was not born in Japan and I am not a half-Japanese half-English returnee. My parents never divorced, nor do I have a little sister whom I haven’t seen for 15 years. I never snuck away and ran around the shrine grounds and got yelled at and never learned from my mistakes. The Hayama family, the woman named Haruka, and this small Japanese city have absolutely nothing to do with me.

    That is all just a fabrication.

    In truth, I am a freelance magus who was hired to fight in the Holy Grail War taking place in this city. In order to infiltrate and blend-in, I hypnotized a local family to make them think I was their long-lost eldest son. That way, the Masters who are already lurking around the city wouldn’t detect my presence and I can act freely.

    I chose the Hayama family as my target of suggestion after learning about their son and family history through magecraft. For 15 years, no one in this city has heard or seen Hayama Haruto, but the Hayama family still recognize his existence. It’s easier to use suggestion to make others believe you’re someone they know than create a new identity, and Haruto’s established backstory would keep neighbours and locals from being suspicious of my sudden appearance. Add in some light auto-suggestion to make myself act and think like a real Hayama Haruto and the perfect cover is born. Somewhere in the world, the real Hayama Haruto probably still exists, but I’m not him.

    I am merely a shadow who has come to shine a light on the mysteries in this city. Nothing more, nothing else.

    “Good. Then, let’s get going.”

    With my reality confirmed, the girl closes her book and begins walking off.

    I nod and follow her, shedding my hollow mask.

    Everything that happened today was merely an illusion. The emotions and events were merely the result of the suggestion placed upon myself and my targets. So, such things can be brushed aside without a second thought. Today’s meaningless tour, that orange-tinted garden, and Haruka’s smile… I leave them behind with the setting sun and head into the night.

    From here on, only life and death matter.

    “Time to get to work.”

    Chapter 0: Halcyon Prelude END

    Author's Notes
    Thank you for making it to the end of Chapter 0. I hope you've enjoyed the quest so far. From here on out, we'll be picking up steam. The next chapter will be up shortly, so please wait warmly.


  12. #32
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    The fact that even I was convinced was pretty good
    Even not remembering the Shrine hijinks was a foreshadowing
    Noice
    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

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  13. #33
    Alright, guys, now that we've completed Chapter 0, we can move on to creating our character.
    Before we begin the next chapter, let's figure out the true identity of the man named Hayama Haruto.

    Character Creation Guide
    Build
    Build:
    The physical characteristics of your body.

    Buster:
    You are built for power over magic or speed. You are an incredibly tough and sturdy person. Your muscle strength, constitution, and endurance are at peak human levels. You are able to get up from normally fatal attacks and have the stamina to keep going for long periods without rests. However, your magical capacity is painfully average, and you can be slow on your feet. Often, you end up taking more hits than you avoid.

    Arts:
    You prefer spell-casting to physical activity. You have an incredibly high capacity for magical energy. Your od levels are significantly higher than the average magus. The amount of magical energy you can process and recover naturally is high. On the other hand, you have a weak constitution and are rather frail. Strenuous physical activity will tire you quickly.

    Quick:
    You rely on speed over strength or magic. You are incredibly nimble and possess high agility, dexterity, and reaction speed. In terms of pure mobility, you are at the peak, both on flat ground and in difficult terrain. This lets you scout and escape from situations with relative ease. However, if an extended fight does ensue, your overall power and stamina, in terms of physical and magical, won’t last long.
    Element
    Element:
    Your elemental affinity. One of the Five Great Elements as classified by the Mage’s Association.

    Fire
    Fire – One of the Five Great Elements. Spells of the Fire element are related to consumption, heat, entropy, fuels, energy transfer and thermodynamics. This Element has Warm and Dry features.

    Earth
    Earth – One of the Five Great Elements. Earth element spells relate to grounding, cultivation of energy and energy embedding. This Element has Cold and Dry features.

    Water
    Water – One of the Five Great Elements. Related to flows, forms, cycles, combinations and manipulations. This Element has Cold and Wet features.

    Wind
    Wind – One of the Five Great Elements. Deals with air, kinetic forces, static energy, free energy and directed movement. This Element has Warm and Wet features.

    Ether
    Ether or Void is one of the Five Great Elements, and also the Fifth Imaginary Factor according to the teachings of the Mage’s Association. It combines itself with any of the other four Elements in order to actualize the mysteries of Thaumaturgy.
    Core Thaumaturgy
    Core Thaumaturgy:
    The main thaumaturgy that you use as a magus

    Crown of Paimon
    Arcana: Devil


    Thaumaturgy that draws upon the powers of the Demon God Paimon. It is a branch of Goetia Magecraft based around the conjuration and contracting of Paimon in particular. In exchange for sacrifices, the Demon God grants you part of its powers; your magecraft centers around spells that draw specific abilities from the Demon. These include spirit familiars, geographic divination, illusions, necromancy, and flight. However, for each use, you must sacrifice something in return, whether material or spiritual.
    (Useful but sacrifices can be costly)

    Helios Mithras
    Arcana: Sun


    Thaumaturgy that invokes the power of the god Mithras. Stemming from the famous Greek Magical Papyri, it is a form of magecraft born from the syncretism between Roman and Hellenistic religion with esoteric magic. The magecraft is centered around ritualistic worship of Mithras and involves using manipulation of one’s breath and speech as pseudo-incantations. Spells under this thaumaturgy include divine revelation, demon exorcism and healing. The true power of Helios Mithras, though, is the ability to achieve apathanatismos, temporary immortality. While in this state, one cannot die no matter the injury and will revert to normal once the spell wears off. However, this magecraft is highly dependent on astronomical conditions, specifically the position of the sun. It is strongest during noon and weak at night.
    (Powerful but dependent on time of day)

    Lattice Syntax
    Arcana: Hierophant


    Thaumaturgy based around geometric applications of magic circles. It is derived from Gematria, an ancient branch of Kabbalah, making it a distant cousin of Numerology. The core of this method is the use of magic circles in place of spell incantations and the geometric placement of them to achieve a synergistic amplification effect. The result is a wide-range, short cast-time, and powerful magecraft. It can be likened to a form of simplified repetitive incantation; it is very useful in mage combat. However, the wide range of the attacks can make it prana-intensive and its focus on power means it doesn’t have much situational utility.
    (Powerful but lacking versatility)

    Black Pullet
    Arcana: Wheel of Fortune


    Thaumaturgy focused on the science of magic talismans and rings. It is an ancient magecraft from Egypt that fuses Kaballah and necromancy. With this magecraft, you have the ability to create up to 22 different types of magical talismans of differing magical effects, from mind-reading to invisibility to elemental destruction. The talismans are one-use items that grant specific magical effects. Although powerful, these talismans can’t be created spontaneously and must be made beforehand. Likewise, one would need to decide which talismans to make before specific situations occur. In addition to the talismans, you also gain possession of a “Black Pullet” familiar, a black hen that lays gold eggs.
    (Versatile but requires forethought)
    Secondary Magecraft
    Secondary Magecraft
    Other magical techniques or abilities you have besides your main thaumaturgy

    Elemental Evocation
    Arcana: Magician

    Spiritual evocation that calls upon elementals in order to use elemental spells. Naturally, the types of elementals one can evoke are dependent on one’s elemental affinity.

    Boundary Hacker
    Arcana: Hermit

    A talent for Bounded Fields. You are able to construct good bounded fields with speed and precision. As well, you have the skill to hack into other magi’s bounded fields and bypass their defenses.

    Elementary Alchemy
    Arcana: Magician

    Basic proficiency in alchemic practices. Things such as object analysis, transformation, and basic transmutation are capable.

    Moxibustion
    Arcana: Hermit

    Chinese medicinal technique for stimulating one’s qi. By applying heat and fire to specific parts of the body, their bodily functions are improved. This can be used for both healing and body enhancement.
    Special Ability
    Special Ability:
    A special ability that cannot be considered magecraft

    Master Sensor:
    An innate instinct born from surviving several Holy Grail Wars. You are capable of telling if a person is a Master or not without seeing a command spell. Just from getting a good look at them, you’ll sort of get a feeling that they’re a Master.

    Technique Elucidation:
    Knowledge born from having seen many Servants in different Holy Grail Wars. When you see a Servant use a skill, there is a chance you may recognize it and be able to identify the name and rank of the Skill.

    Parameter Counter:
    A sense gained from witnessing many Servant battles. When a Servant fights, you’ll be able to estimate their Parameters by comparing them to Servants you’ve seen previous.

    Arcane Knowledge:
    An almost encyclopedic knowledge of the different thaumaturgies in the world. When you encounter a Master or Caster, you may be able to ascertain the origin and foundation of their magecraft by seeing their spells.
    Mystic Code
    Mystic Code:
    A weapon or item that you use to support your abilities

    Sword of Dardanos
    A crystallization of a spell detailed in the Greek Magical Papyri. It is a conceptual weapon carrying the effects of said spell. Anyone pierced by the blade of the sword will fall in love with its wielder. As a conceptual weapon, it has no actual attack power so those who are stabbed will not be injured. Magi and Servants with magic or mental resistance may lessen the effect of the sword.
    (People stabbed by the sword will have their Memory Link level raised up to MAX)

    Tengu no Kakuremino
    An invisibility cloak made by a Tengu. The wearer of the cloak becomes invisible and has their presence hidden, making them difficult to detect, especially if they stay motionless. However, it is possible to detect the user through magical means if one is skilled enough.

    Azoth Sword
    A dagger-like tool used for strengthening one’s magecraft. Although it is a common item, its effectiveness is not to be underestimated as it serves as both a wand and a sword.

    Gun
    A simple handgun. It shoots things and they die.

    Please reference the choices above and submit your votes to the poll below:

    Character Creation

    If there are any problems with the poll or any questions you may have, feel free to ask.
    Also, if you'd like to vote on a facelaim for Haruto, go ahead.


  14. #34
    So Many Ideas, So Little Time SleepMode's Avatar
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    'oight, here's my Haruto FC proposal...

    The Act of dozing off in the afternoon is a luxury indeed.
    Coffee would be nice, though.

    [Collection of my Servant Sheets]
    Now Revamped!

  15. #35
    Mystic Code: G U N

    dodge this you shitty mage

  16. #36
    The Moe Lion Draconic's Avatar
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    Lightbulb FC submissions

    While we're submitting FCs:


    For more expressions:



    Alternatively there are these:

    As you can see, he has better hair in these ones.



    I can do minor adjustments, like swapping out which sprites are being used on the eyes and mouth for these, including the two sized sprites, but not the main one.
    Last edited by Draconic; April 5th, 2019 at 06:25 PM.

  17. #37
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Bird of Hermes's Avatar
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    I second the below
    Quote Originally Posted by Draconic View Post
    While we're submitting FCs:


    For more expressions:



    Alternatively there are these:

    As you can see, he has better hair in these ones.



    I can do minor adjustments, like swapping out which sprites are being used on the eyes and mouth for these, including the two sized sprites, but not the main one.
    Quest of Fate Apocrypha Universe Fate Quest "OG Fate Quest"
    Beast's Lair Quest Discord Server

    Hall of Hermes Praise

    Quote Originally Posted by Saron View Post
    It's official. Hermes is the old man hipster of CaS.
    Quote Originally Posted by SpoonyViking View Post
    ...Are you the protagonist of a YA novel? Perhaps an otome game?
    King Prussia Today at 16:32 You're the Hermes we need, Hermes


  18. #38
    imtruenamba1 Spartacus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SleepMode View Post
    'oight, here's my Haruto FC proposal...

    .

  19. #39
    Notes
    The character creation poll is closed; thank you for voting. The results are at the bottom of the post.

    Also, as for the FC tie, I ended up settling it with a coin toss. If we have any ties in the future, I might also just go for a coin toss, unless they're really critical choices.


    They say that truth is stranger than fiction. Through my line of work, I have come to ascertain the validity of this idiom.

    When it comes to Servants, the realities of their existence are often more absurd and harder to accept than what we envision and would like to believe. In my experience with Holy Grail Wars, I’ve met many Servants who have wildly defied my mental image. Even the most famous legends have turned out to subvert my most basic expectations.

    For example, an all-too famed King who was actually a girl.

    For example, an emperor who was surprisingly plump.

    For example, a scientist manifesting as a robot warrior.

    For example, an inventor who donned a lion head.

    For example, a mysterious serial murderer who was just a child

    In a battle where true names are a decisive weakness, these incongruities are perhaps one of the vital challenges to victory. Going into a Holy Grail War expecting nothing but burly men in classical armor is a surefire way to be blindsided by a strange Noble Phantasm. So, seeing through the subversions and reach the truth is my line of work. I’ve been hired for a number of Grail Wars across the years and seen many Servants, orthodox and strange. Of course, my success rate is 100%.

    This time, however, might be the toughest job yet. So far, the Grail Wars I’ve been in have been relatively small affairs with about 4 Servants summoned per war and with clear regulation. The Sakazuki Holy Grail War, however, boasts a whopping six servants. All seven of the basic classes besides Caster will be accounted for this time around. Furthermore, it’s being held in backwater Japan so the association’s regulation and church oversight is lax this time around, which means things are almost anything goes as long as nothing crazy happens.

    To be honest, I might be out of my league. But even so, I don’t intend to be fazed. I’ll just do things as I always do and fulfill my mission as a True Name Hunter. Whether I succeed or fail, whether I live or die, for a no-name mercenary like me, those kind of outcomes aren’t too different.

    And so, with the curtains drawn at last, this twisted, shaded battle begins…



    Day 1 Night
    Location: New Itano Inn - Stephanie’s Room


    A one-hour train ride.

    After an hour of tedious and silent travel, Stephanie and I arrive at our destination, a hotel room in the neighboring town. It seems that this hotel with the stylish name of New Itano Inn is where Stephanie’s decided to hole up for the war.

    Even the most watchful Master wouldn’t keep surveillance over a large city a whole hour away, so you could probably consider this location a remote safehouse from the battles of the war. Since Stephanie doesn’t have my infiltration abilities, it seems that her best protection is sheer distance. That kind of cautiousness is just like her.

    Stephanie Gerwich. The head of the Gerwich magus family.

    Yet, calling her a magus would be misleading. Nor is she a mercenary like me. Rather, the most accurate label for her would probably be merchant. She sells products rather than services, deals with money rather than mystery, and wouldn’t hurt a fly if it could give her cash instead. Even the Holy Grail Wars are just business opportunities for her; likewise, she only associates with me for business and because our magecrafts have good compatibility…

    Oh, by the way, it might seem weird that a person with the name Stephanie would look like a Japanese high school girl, but don’t worry about it. That’s just her one of her abilities; last time I saw her, she was an Indian woman who looked older than me. I guess she chose a Japanese body this time to help blend in.

    “First of all, I have the things you asked me to bring.”

    The moment we enter the hotel room, Stephanie jumps immediately to business and brings out some stuff she seemed to have hidden in the room. She places them on top of the bed to my delight.

    “Oh, thanks, thanks. It would’ve been a pain to smuggle these in by myself.”

    There, lying gingerly on the white bedsheets, are a pair of firearms and related ammunition.

    Guns

    These two handguns are my personal items and trusty partners in battle. The silver one is a Browning Hi-Power Practical, a single action semi-automatic pistol with a 13-round cartridge capacity. It’s compact, robust, and can kill a man at 50 meters. Like its name suggests, it’s a generally pragmatic weapon. The black one is a LAR Grizzly Win Mag, once said to be the “most powerful” semi-automatic pistol ever commercially produced. Designed to handle larger, more powerful cartridges than the standard 1911 pistol, its capable of both high accuracy and surprisingly user-friendly. Well, it’s a rare item so I guess you could consider it a treasure of mine.

    I entrusted them to Stephanie’s care, but it’s good to have them back in my hands.

    That said, what should I do with them? I can bring them back to Sakazuki with me, but that’d mean I’d have to keep them while I’m living in the Hayama house. Honestly, it’d be a pain if Haruka found them or something. So, if necessary, I could ask Stephanie to keep them here until I need them.

    Choice
    What should Haruto do with his guns?
    A) Take them home with him
    B) Keep them with Stephanie for now
    C) Write-in

    “Is there any problem?”

    “No, they’re in perfect condition. Thanks for taking care of them.”

    For now, I put the firearms away and thank my partner.

    “I hope it wasn’t too much trouble bringing them here.”

    “Of course, not. A few handguns are basically child’s play.”

    “Is that so?”

    She sure is confident. Is this the mentality of an experienced businessman?

    “By the way, why do you use those?”

    “Huh? What do you mean?”

    Did she not like my choice of weaponry?

    “Aren’t there more powerful firearms you can use? If you want, I can get you a rifle or bazooka.”

    “Um… thanks, but it’s fine. I’m not planning to fight an army or anything, so I don’t think I’ll need those.”

    I’m a little scared how casually she offers to give me such dangerous weaponry.

    “I just have these for self-defense just in case. A large weapon would just be harder to conceal, so I don’t think they’d be good for blending in. Besides, guns don’t work on Servants, anyways.”

    “I see.”

    She seems convinced. With that out of the way, I think of the next order of business…

    “By the way, Gerwich, did you look into the thing I asked you to?”

    Since Stephanie has connections are vastly larger than mine, I had asked her to investigate a few things for me. But…

    “Am I supposed to be your errand girl?”

    She didn’t seem happy about it when I first asked her either.

    “… Is that a no?”

    “No.”

    “So… you did look into it?”

    “Yes.”

    “Um… ok, so, what did you find?”

    “… Well, this might not be the answer you were looking for but…”

    She begins to fill me in on the results of her detective work.

    Choice
    What did Haruto ask Stephanie to investigate?”
    (Pick up to two topics)

    1. The background of the client who hired them
    2. The organizer of this Subcategory Holy Grail War
    3. The identity of the other Masters
    4. The spiritual layout of Sakazuki City
    5. Recent strange occurrences in the city
    6. The church’s involvement with this War


    Memory Matrix Update


    Hayama Haruto

    Arcana: Fool
    Build: Arts-type Fighter
    Elemental Alignment: Ether

    Abilities:
    Crown of Paimon
    • Spirit Link: Spiritually connect with Demon King Paimon for consultation or revelation
    • Spiritual Familiars: Summon spirit familiars. They have no physical body so they can't fight, but they can remotely scout areas.
    • Illusionism: Conjure illusions to deceive others
    • Flight: Slowly float through the air

    Elemental Evocation: Summon elementals to launch elemental attacks. Only Ether-based attacks can be used
    Master Sensor: Detect if someone is a Master

    Inventory:

    • Browning Hi-Power Practical
    • LAR Grizzly Win Mag

    Last edited by zikari8; April 15th, 2019 at 10:31 AM.


  20. #40
    imtruenamba1 Spartacus's Avatar
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