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Thread: The Grail Works Mission Dossier (Discussion & Ideas)

  1. #7141
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Let's see how to best explain my point... I'm thinking that my SI will be doing the Reign of Winter AP by Paizo, but I don't know when that will be the case in the timeline. However, before I even get there, I need some details about what is and what isn't allowed in an SI for the Grail Works. For instance, I get that the cosmology of the Grail Works is more focused on the Type-MOON side of things, and thus my character being able to become a Multiversal Godling is against the rules. What else is against the rules that you know of now?
    Anything that renders the TYPE-MOON characters superfluous . . .? It's a fairly broad question; it might be easier to demonstrate what you have in mind, so I can point out any specific issues.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

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    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

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  2. #7142
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Okay, then, let me see if I can figure out how to explain this one. My SI is tricked by Baba Yaga to leave his home reality, and in such a way that it eventually leads to her own demise, given that she gets a prophetic dream about her death at my SI's hands... she's really enacting a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Still, to get to the point, my SI wakes up from being banished from his home reality to find himself as... a five-year-old Leon Fou Bartfort? Not only does he remember the life Leon remembered from his canonical past life, but he remembers being, well... me. On top of that, he makes a point to get trained up a lot, to brave the island that houses Luxion. He takes his education very seriously, since he wants to get into the noble school at the capital, but he doesn't want to force the issue of rocking the boat any time soon... until that idiotic coven from the first volume tries to get their hands on him.

    Well, while enough is definitely enough, he goes to find Luxion and the space ship that houses the AI. It's at this point that he's stuck in a firefight with a bunch of robots that weren't there in the books/anime/manga... namely, some person in the infinite expanse of reality thought it was a good idea to include the Sky River galaxy as part of this universe, and Leon has to fight off a bunch of Separatists that want to take over the world this series takes place in.

    Meanwhile, Illya gets notified about a Door opening up in this universe, which admits Leon's father... who wants Leon found, preferably alive, but is fine with understanding that he could very well be dead. Illya almost sends one of her rivals for Shirou's attention, but the dense eroge protagonist goes on his own, anyway. Shirou arrives and... then has to fight Battle Droids cooked up by George Lucas?

    Finally, Shirou finds Leon, making sure to get the lad home (after getting Luxion to agree to work with Leon)... and this is when things start getting crazy. When they get to Leon's parents manor, Mistress Zola is dead, and her two kids think it a good idea to blame Leon for that. What caused her death, you might be asking? Blame a lookalike from the Sky River Galaxy.

    Anyway, let me know what you think of that, okay? I mainly put in the Star Wars elements because I wanted to insert the Star Wars Saga Edition rules into this SI of mine (for the first major arc of story telling).
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  3. #7143
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Okay, then, let me see if I can figure out how to explain this one. My SI is tricked by Baba Yaga to leave his home reality, and in such a way that it eventually leads to her own demise, given that she gets a prophetic dream about her death at my SI's hands... she's really enacting a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Seems reasonable so far - though it took me a moment to realise that "she" referred to Baba Yaga, and not your SI (which made the next part more than a little strange, at first read) . . .


    Still, to get to the point, my SI wakes up from being banished from his home reality to find himself as... a five-year-old Leon Fou Bartfort? Not only does he remember the life Leon remembered from his canonical past life, but he remembers being, well... me.
    That might be a bit much, because then there's the question of order and precedence when it comes to his incarnations. Might be easier to just have had him read the light novels or watched the anime? Or just played the game himself, for some reason, if you want your character to not be able to predict everything coming - there's no reason the game couldn't have existed in your SI's reality.


    On top of that, he makes a point to get trained up a lot, to brave the island that houses Luxion. He takes his education very seriously, since he wants to get into the noble school at the capital, but he doesn't want to force the issue of rocking the boat any time soon... until that idiotic coven from the first volume tries to get their hands on him.
    OK, so at least a little different, in that he's planning to cheat from the outset.


    Well, while enough is definitely enough, he goes to find Luxion and the space ship that houses the AI. It's at this point that he's stuck in a firefight with a bunch of robots that weren't there in the books/anime/manga... namely, some person in the infinite expanse of reality thought it was a good idea to include the Sky River galaxy as part of this universe, and Leon has to fight off a bunch of Separatists that want to take over the world this series takes place in.
    . . . I have no idea what that is, but you're including the actions of a Random Omnipotent Being on top of Baba Yaga, plus trying to include the handwavium that starts MobuSeka's plot?

    . . . OK, I'm sorry, but if you need to have three separate divine interventions (or the equivalent thereof) in order to make your plot happen, it's probably not going to survive.


    Meanwhile, Illya gets notified about a Door opening up in this universe, which admits Leon's father... who wants Leon found, preferably alive, but is fine with understanding that he could very well be dead.
    So, in order for this to happen, Leon's father needs to have been absolutely convinced that he's dead - moreso than in canon, because he didn't look nearly so desperate - which probably means that it's taken even longer than it did in canon for Leon to return, or somebody has been specifically poking at him, for some reason. Somebody calling in the debts he went into to get Leon's equipment, maybe . . .?

    Whatever it is, the situation has to be worse - because if it was Leon in trouble, the Door would be opening for him.


    Illya almost sends one of her rivals for Shirou's attention, but the dense eroge protagonist goes on his own, anyway. Shirou arrives and... then has to fight Battle Droids cooked up by George Lucas?
    Ah, it's a Star Wars reference . . .


    Finally, Shirou finds Leon, making sure to get the lad home (after getting Luxion to agree to work with Leon)...
    That's highly unlikely. Luxion was willing to accept Leon because his reincarnator status (somehow) prompts a greater expression of "old human" genes in his DNA. He's still a "new" human, but something of a genetic throwback. Shirou, on the other hand, will read as flat-out "new human"; he uses magic, the potential's genetic, and the "mana" poisoning the atmosphere that killed off the old humans is, more or less, exactly the same state of affairs as with the Works' home world. (Or at least, it does until the LN author writes out what mana and magic actually are and do in more detail.)


    . . . What all that means is that Luxion has every reason to go "Kill Crush Destroy" on Shirou - and since Leon will have no idea who he is, no reason not to.


    and this is when things start getting crazy.
    I think we have different scales for that.


    When they get to Leon's parents manor, Mistress Zola is dead, and her two kids think it a good idea to blame Leon for that. What caused her death, you might be asking? Blame a lookalike from the Sky River Galaxy.
    So your SI has an analogue running around, as well . . .? So we have predestination paradoxes, multiple reincarnations, and evil twins/clones, in your introductory story . . .?


    Anyway, let me know what you think of that, okay? I mainly put in the Star Wars elements because I wanted to insert the Star Wars Saga Edition rules into this SI of mine (for the first major arc of story telling).
    So, we're looking at a triple crossover (Pathfinder, MobuSeka and Star Wars) before the Works even enters the picture - and from the sounds of things, they're not actually doing much in all this. Which then begs the question, why are they there . . .?

    I think that, once again, you've gotten way too complicated right out of the proverbial gate. So I advise you, as I have before, to start more simply. Write out [the B]Reign of Winter[/B] arc, and figure out how to involve the Works - add pieces slowly once you finish that.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  4. #7144
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran, let me try asking you this question, please. Which is better: an origin story and introductory adventure followed by the Reign of Winter AP, or something else, and why? I'm having a headache trying to come up with something that will make more sense to both of us.
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  5. #7145
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Kieran, let me try asking you this question, please. Which is better: an origin story and introductory adventure followed by the Reign of Winter AP, or something else, and why? I'm having a headache trying to come up with something that will make more sense to both of us.
    To begin with, I think you're underestimating just how long the Adventure Path is actually going to be to write out as a narrative - it is, by itself, an epic saga. That's how it's intended, and laid out. I have issues with the midpoint of the story, having run it - it seems to lose direction around Part 3 - 4, with elements coming out of nowhere - but it should be long enough to be the story, by itself.

    But more than that, you're adding a lot of elements you don't actually need, and which won't necessarily mesh well with Pathfinder as a whole, never mind each other; Star Wars runs on entirely different physics and metaphysics from Pathfinder, and MobuSeka is entirely different from both. You might be able to get them to work together on a gameboard - both Pathfinder and the Saga Edition are d20-derived systems, at their core - but narratively, I don't think it'll really work.

    And all that is leaving aside the fact that, as noted, the Works doesn't really seem to be involved, here - which is kind of the point. Otherwise, why isn't this an unrelated crossover fic that you're posting on FF.net, AO3, SpaceBattles, etc . . .?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  6. #7146
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    . . . So, I've been wrestling with a concept over the last week or so - hence my "writing silence." It's one I've dabbled with before - a Persona 5 (probably Royal, given certain elements) cross. As with the cosmo-knight idea, it bugs me every once in a while (usually 4-6 months, as opposed to the former's annual), and I think the best way to deal with it is to actually do something with it. However, there are a few aspects I'm hesitating over, so before I start nailing things down, I thought I'd lay them out for opinions:


    1) Making this an in-universe crossover, as opposed to an alternate universe crossover - Let's call this the big one. On the surface of it, I admit, it sounds ridiculous - with the Reverse Side of the World existing, and all it contains, the fact that F/SN takes place in 2004 as opposed to P5's 2016, and the existence of the Association and the Church, it's all but impossible for the events of Persona series to take place in a TYPE-MOON universe . . .

    But, Japan is a canonical "dead zone" when it comes to magi authority, meaning things could go unnoticed; especially since P5 makes use of the Internet, which most magi (the traditional ones, at least) tend to avoid. As for the calendar, with the presence of leap years, the dates would actually line up for 2004 and 2016 (or the Tsukihime remake's 2010), and the series itself tends to use "20XX" in its dating system. The World is known to magi to be composed of "layers" - the Metaverse and its ilk could certainly be one, and the Velvet Room's being associated with the Counter Force would kind of make sense; they're invested in human potential, after all. And as for the main antagonists, well, the Nasuverse is notably bizarre on that score.

    . . . I think it could be done - I'm just not sure if I should.


    2) Servants versus Personas - Given the various manifestations of the Shin Megami Tensei series, it's not too onerous, I think; yes, the Ishtar of Persona is very different from the one we know, for example - but Ishtar is equally different in Fate/strange fake and Catherine; it's explicable if we consider that she's filtered through various mediums, rather than existing wholesale. Heck, even the Servants are Heroic Spirits in "Class Containers" . . . Again, I think it's workable.

    (And as to Ilya - well, the Grail of the War is explictly noted to NOT be the original . . . )


    3) What does this mean in the context of the Works . . .? - Well, if we're talking 2004, then most of their time will be taken up by the Fifth Holy Grail War and its issues, as it takes place in June, I believe, and the timeline of P5 runs from April to March. That's not to say that they'll have no role, only that bringing them in properly will necessitate waiting for the right point in the timeline (and really, this would just follow on with Frid's problems with time travel ).

    They would be able to interfere in the big fights - the final bosses, and such. It's just that Frid would be on his own for the early parts of things, meaning the plot at least stays somewhat railed.



    . . . I don't know - is this a good idea?
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  7. #7147
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    Sorry, wasn't looking at threads too closely, so I missed this until now.

    The analogy-between-concepts you're describing sound reasonably coherent to house within Type/Moon cosmology (i.e. Metaverse as a Texture). Actually, Palaces kind of seem like proto-Reality Marbles in some ways. It does feel more Tsukihime than Fate, though.
    You're likely going to have to take a few liberties with the technology level. I'm not really concerned with the precise year, but P5 has technology that wasn't common-place in 2004. Fuyuki can be a bit behind the times, but it's still noticeable. The other odd thing about that is just the different time-scales. Persona takes place over a much longer time frame, so even if the Fifth HGW takes most of June, that's still quite early in Persona 5. To keep the plot railed, the Works still would have to have a limited presence even after that point, at least until it gets really crazy.

    The more general question of "is this a good idea" is hard to answer. I can see some entertaining analogies between parts of Persona 5's plot and Stay/Night that seem like they'd be entertaining to entangle. From the timeline, it sounds like we may be going back to some of the fundamental Works origin questions (how they have a non-corrupt Grail, etc) Does this mean the Works isn't actually formed, at the start of Persona 5's timeline?

    Devil is always in the details though. The specifics of what's different and why, character interactions, etc are important. I'm somewhat worried that Godafrid will be... removed, emotionally, from the Persona 5 cast because of what he knows. You can do fun things with that, of course.

  8. #7148
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Proof of Concept: A Royal Mess (Part 1)

    Casino of Envy
    November 19, 20XX










    The casino was a glittering monument of steel, glass, and neon; dazzling to the eye, it stood as a shining beacon against the black velvet of the night. That light, taken with the coruscating rainbow of the city at night, was further scattered into glittering fragments on the dark waters which surrounded it, forming a breathtaking counterpoint to the clear, star-filled sky above.

    Not that the casino patrons paid much attention to the poetic beauty of their surroundings. No, to them, poetry was manifested in the perfect dealing of a hand of cards, spin of a roulette wheel, or cast of the dice—and “beauty” could be measured in the size, colour and organisation of the chips they piled around themselves. It was a rare sort who could even be bothered to look up and see the beautiful full moon glowing down at them through the skylight directly overhead.

    . . . Of course, when that full moon abruptly cast flickers across the casino floor—as something dark and fast darted across, obscuring its light and causing shadows to sweep through the area—everyone noticed. More than a few looked up, even as one man muttered “There’s something here . . .!

    Standing atop one of the chandeliers, silhouetted against the moon, was a slender figure, carrying a briefcase and cloaked in black; almost lliterally, as evidenced by the long, trailing coat that swept down to his ankles. His face was obscured by a wide, tapering domino mask of black and white, but it did nothing to obscure the confident smirk on his lips—and the only hint of colour on the figure was in the scarlet of his gloves.

    The casino’s security agents, comprised of nondescript, grey-suited figures in sunglasses, ignored the stampede in favour of making their way towards the intruder—though against the teeming masses, it was admittedly an uphill struggle.

    “He’s here!” called the most intelligent member of the trio over his headset. “All units, move in immediately!”

    Taking that as his cue, the masked figure made a sweeping turn before abruptly launching forward off the light stand.

    “Nice work,” Nemo’s deep voice commented in the runner’s ear. “Now get moving!”

    “This is our only chance!”
    Crow said by way of agreement.

    “Stay calm!” Oracle advised, though her voice betrayed her own anxiety. “You can get away now!”

    Queen chimed in with her deeper tones, “We’ll retrieve the briefcase on our end.”

    At that moment, buzzing voice broke into the conversation, with flashes of static omitting various words. “Suspects—not confirmed. Hold—positions.”

    “Hm?”
    said Oracle, confused. “What was that?”

    “Don’t worry about us,” Nemo interrupted, his voice firm. “Just concentrate on getting clear!”

    In truth, the thief had never stopped doing that, even as he followed the along with the chatter. Dashing along the top of the light fixtures hanging from the ceiling (although at this size, calling them “catwalks” wouldn’t be inappropriate) he quickly made his way towards the elevator on the casino’s balcony level—

    Just as it opened to reveal a trio of guards, dressed in more traditional uniforms, inside.

    Changing plans swiftly, he leaped sideways to another light fixture, then across a series of archways, headed for a staircase landing on the far side of his initial destination. It should, he hoped, buy him enough lead that he could shake the guards coming off the elevator . . . Unfortunately, he was either mistaken, or hadn’t accounted for some, as a pair of guards moved in front of the top of the stairway he was headed for, and another dropped in from behind him—he’d been followed?!

    “Take ‘em down, Joker!” Panther yelled encouragingly in his ear—either she was at an angle to observe the fight, or Oracle was being far too enthusiastic in sharing information, rather than paying attention to getting away.

    But, well—never let it be said that he was one to disappoint a lady . . .

    The thief leaped up, flipped backwards to sail over the rear guard—and seizing the mask it wore. It was an almost negligent effort to tear it free, with his momentum doing most of the work, and turn the motion into ending with a perfect two-point landing, even as he drew his weapon. Because, while free of the mask’s restraints, the guard’s body exploded into red-black plasma as the Shadow’s true nature revealed itself. Now behind him, the other two were undergoing similar metamorphoses. The three masses flowed toward one another, merging and rising—

    And when the conglomeration settled into a coherent form, before Joker there now stood a bizarre, giant centaur-like mix of human, scorpion . . . And possibly a tank.

    Oracle, as always, was quick to analyse the foe as she announced, “Comparing power levels . . . No threat. Get ‘em, Joker!”

    It was barely a thought to summon Arsène after so long, the Persona materialising behind him, responding to his will even as he told the Shadow, “Go down.”

    Arsène lashed out, and the resulting strike sent the creature to its (proverbial) knees; Joker followed up with a knife slash of his own, and the Shadow dissolved once more into the red-black plasma, but this time melting away entirely.

    “Okay,” Oracle said. “Pull out before their backup gets here.”

    Her warning was slightly too late; more Shadows appeared, in “guard” form—and this time, armed with shock batons. He ducked under one, its surface visibly crackling, before leaping back and away.

    “Joker, behind you!” Oracle snapped. “Go through that door!”

    Following her instructions, Joker navigated his way through a maze of backrooms and corridors, hiding from the agents when either he or she spotted one, and moving on when concealed from their view. By now, the actions were routine—even if the stakes were potentially higher than ever—but while he performed them almost automatically by muscle memory, Joker tried to keep his attention on his surroundings, alert for changes. Oracle’s comment of getting a “weird reading” was concerning . . .

    Using his grappling hook to swing up to a catwalk, he began dashing along the straightaway she directed—

    “Joker—stop!” she said abruptly, “It’s an enemy—right near you!”

    As soon as she’d given the order, he’d put the brakes—which turned out to be a good thing, as a pair of Shadows burst into existence right where he’d been about to pass through. Close enough, in fact, that he had to backflip to avoid being touched by whatever energy they emitted when they materialised like that. More concerning, though, were the four that followed their arrival, positioned to encircle him and cut off his escape.

    “Even you can’t take on this many,” Oracle said worriedly, before suddenly exclaiming, “Huh? Joker! That weird reading from earlier’s closing in on you too!”

    Joker grimaced. This didn’t look good . . .

    From the other end of the corridor, past the ring of Shadows, a slender figure moved through the darkness with a staccato clopping. Passing into a pool of lamplight, they were revealed as a girl in similar dress to himself: a long black tailcoat and a mask, though the latter covered more of her face. Unlike his own waistcoat and pants combination, she wore a black leotard under her tailcoat, revealing pale, toned legs (as well as the fact that her boots were both thigh-high and had higher heels) and a rapier-style sword belted to her waist.

    She drew the latter, pointing it towards him and declaring ominously, “I’ll end this right now . . .

    “Joker, it’s her!” Oracle exclaimed. She’s the weird reading I’ve been getting!”

    We’ll end this,” said a second girl, emerging from behind the first like her (mundane) shadow.

    It was a very understandable first impression, as she was nearly identical. They possessed same height, same lithe build, same outfit—the same facial features, even—but there were differences. The newcomer’s hair was brown to the first’s auburn, the accents on her clothes blue and gold to contrast the other’s red and silver . . . And where the first drew a slender rapier, twirling it gracefully before hurling it like a spear, the second merely drew a massive two-handed rifle, pointed it, and pulled the trigger.

    For a split-second, Joker froze. Fortunately, as it turned out—because any movement he might’ve made to dodge would have sent him into the path of one of the two attacks (and if anyone ever asked, he’d done it deliberately). Instead, the rapier impaled the closest Shadow upon his right side, while the shot tore through two to his left. And just like that, the enemy numbers were reduced by half, making this a much more equal (if in no way “even,” except through simple math) fight.

    The redhead half-turned to the brunette—her expression, even under the mask, was visibly halfway between a glance and a glare.

    Really, Sis?!”

    “I’ve come to appreciate the elegance of simple solutions,” the other girl said loftily.

    “What exactly is ‘elegant’ about splattering things across half the room?” the swordswoman demanded.

    “They disappear, so there’s no mess to clean up?” the gun-wielder offered impishly.

    The redhead shook her head and cartwheeled out of the way of one of the remaining Shadows as it approached, while her sister moved simultaneously in the opposite direction. A synchronised leaping flip brought the pair to stand on either side of Joker, and the redhead kicked her sword free of the impaled Shadow’s body, causing it dissolve—before grabbing it by the hilt and turning to face him.

    “You and your friends are terrible influences, Sempai,” she remarked. “On both of us . . . But we wouldn’t be who we are without you—so I’m going to show you. I’m going to show you how far I’ve come from my weak self!”

    “Sis, you’ve grown,” the brunette said admiringly—before her expression flashed into a Cheshire grin. “. . .Into a complete Tsundere.

    If the redhead protested, it was lost in the sound of the rifle firing again, tearing through Shadows.

    “. . . I genuinely have no clue what just happened, but I take it you’re okay?” Oracle said into his ear, before her tone suddenly sharpened. “Wait—bad news! Enemy backup’s headed your way! You need to book it, right now!”

    The sisters traded a look.

    “Please go,” the redhead said. “We’ll make it harder for them to track you down—and, um . . .” She blushed visibly even behind the mask, fidgeting tensely.

    “You still have something you need to do as a phantom thief, right?” the brunette interrupted.

    The redhead abruptly went from “tense” to “frozen.”

    “. . . Then I won’t stop you,” Since I’m not a member of the Phantom Thieves, I’m in no position to interfere.”

    Her sister almost stumbled with relief.

    “C’mon, Sis,” the brunette said cheerily.

    Almost casually, the black-clad girl leaped up to land on an exposed air duct—far enough up that Joker thought he might’ve needed his grappling hook to pull off the same feat. He was doubly impressed when the redhead called, “Hey, wait for me!” before doing exactly the same thing. The moment spent processing that feeling was long enough for the two girls to deliver a parting message.”

    “Please don’t forget the promise we made, okay?”

    “And while you remembering to do that, give you-know-who our love!”

    SIS . . .!

    And on that scandalised outburst, the two girls leaped out of sight, leaving Joker shaking his head in bemusement.

    “Joker, you need to get out of there!” Oracle said urgently. “Go, go, go!”

    Brought back to the here and now by her prompting, the leader of the Phantom Thieves resumed his exfiltration.

    “The exit’s just up ahead, through that door—go!”

    He went, and immediately ran into the second problem. The exit was on the ground floor—which was currently swarming with more “guards” than even he could likely handle. He was on the second-floor landing, and the closest alternative to the front door was a picture window on the opposite side of the room that he’d need to walk along the balustrade to reach.

    “Something wrong?” Oracle asked. “The exit should be up ahead.”

    “Through there . . .?” he clarified, looking at the window.

    “Nnh . . .!” she grunted in frustration, before saying apologetically. “That’s just how it is. After all that commotion, the bottom floor’s—”

    “Completely closed off,”
    Queen finished with a disheartened groan.

    Almost immediately afterwards, Panther abruptly asked, “Hey, can you make it?” in a concerned tone—

    “Over there!”

    Joker turned towards the source of the outburst and spotted three “security people”—these ones dressed like Secret Service agents, rather than guards—approaching him from the far end of the hallway, guns drawn.

    “There’s nowhere to run!” the “agent” warned.

    I guess we’ll find out together, Panther . . .

    Hopping on top of the railing was the easy part. Moving along what amounted to a narrow balance beam at speed was trickier, but he managed it reasonably well. It helped, admittedly, that he was very good at long-distance jumps, too; and that he had more than a little experience, by now, with both high falls and being hurled bodily through plate-glass windows—enough that he felt cocky enough to turn and give them a “See ya” before jumping through . . .

    Really, it was harder for him to look surprised as the floodlights highlighted him once he rose from his landing point on the street, and simultaneously revealing the platoon of cops in riot gear surrounding him. Did they honestly think he wouldn’t have spotted them on the way down? The fall had been twenty or thirty feet, after all, and he’d been flipping to burn momentum. Plenty of time to take in a full 360-degree view before he hit the ground, from his perspective.

    (Heck, he’d even spotted the lunkheads waiting on the rooftop above and to his right, which meant that the fire escape ladder was a trap, too.)

    “Enemies, here—?!” Oracle blurted.

    Joker lost track of the conversation at that point, more focussed on the small army of riot-gear-wielding police that had apparently been mobilised to capture a single man—him.

    This is going to be ugly . . .








    He was right, and things got more than a little fuzzy after that; partly due to the adrenaline and the frenetic pace, partly due to the beatings, and but largely due to the drugs they injected him with—four full syringes’ worth. He had no idea what was in them, but he was pretty sure that that much of anything should have killed him . . .

    Fortunately, he had clever friends, with a knack for anticipating and solving problems; in mid-fall after being punched, a false tooth was subtly bitten down on, and a broad-spectrum antidote flowed down his throat. While it wasn’t enough to clear out his system entirely, from that point he was much more aware than he implied.

    (And he’d have to be, to get through this . . .)

    In any case, by the time Joker was really, fully cognizant (ha!) again, he was drenched, tied to a chair, and being interrogated by a guy who looked and acted like he’d stepped out of an American movie where he was cast as “Bad Cop.” It made acting dazed and drugged easier, because it gave him a reason to ignore the man, at least until he was asked for his name.

    “. . . Call me Amamiya—Amamiya Ren.”

    The “interrogation” (consisting more of threats than questions) didn’t continue much past that when they were interrupted. The newcomer was a tall, ash-haired (in the sense that it seemed more grey than light brown) woman in a business suit, with brown eyes that look red under the harsh lighting of the interrogation room. The cops didn’t like it, but she had enough authority to force them out—for the moment, at least.

    The unmasked leader of the Phantom Thieves let her talk for a while, until she hit an appropriate point for him to respond.

    “. . . It seems you’re coherent,” she noted. The questions then began in earnest. “When and where did you find out about that world? How is it even possible to steal another’s heart?

    “Now,” she insisted, “tell me your account of everything . . . Start from the beginning.”

    The beginning, Joker (because he was still Joker, even if he’d identified himself as Ren, officially) mused.

    “The beginning”—it sounded so straightforward, but knowing what he now did, there were any number of times and places that could be pointed to as being the beginning of this mess. The obvious point of origin was his first run-in with Masayoshi Shido; the incident that had led to Ren’s arrest and probation. But there were others that were equally important. For example, the discovery and development of “cognitive psience,” by Wakaba Isshiki; or her subsequent murder at Shido’s direction, so that he could gain clandestine and unrestricted access to her work. The fallout from that had, in many ways, led to all of this—and there were other incidents, even further back, which had led to triumphs and tragedies that had shaped the people involved in what had happened . . .

    Still, for simplicity’s sake, he’d start with his own involvement in things—but even as he began laying out the tale for the prosecutor, Ren knew that, so far as the Phantom Thieves were concerned, the “rigged game” they’d found themselves playing had started a month or so earlier . . .








    Writer's Notes: I'm going to cut it here, because it's already run longer than I thought it would to get this far - actual Works content will appear next week, sorry.

    . . . Still, readers familiar with the version of the game in question have likely noticed one element signifying their involvement already.


    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    Sorry, wasn't looking at threads too closely, so I missed this until now.
    It happens, I know.


    The analogy-between-concepts you're describing sound reasonably coherent to house within Type/Moon cosmology (i.e. Metaverse as a Texture). Actually, Palaces kind of seem like proto-Reality Marbles in some ways. It does feel more Tsukihime than Fate, though.
    I did actually consider putting Remake-Shiki in place of Ren, briefly . . .


    You're likely going to have to take a few liberties with the technology level. I'm not really concerned with the precise year, but P5 has technology that wasn't common-place in 2004. Fuyuki can be a bit behind the times, but it's still noticeable.
    Fortunately, I can lean on the Kirijo Group being the driving force behind such innovations - Mitsuru has to fund those Anti-Shadow operations somehow!


    The other odd thing about that is just the different time-scales. Persona takes place over a much longer time frame, so even if the Fifth HGW takes most of June, that's still quite early in Persona 5. To keep the plot railed, the Works still would have to have a limited presence even after that point, at least until it gets really crazy.
    And it can be somewhat accomplished by the Works going through the missions they already have - Kurai's appearance and acclimatization, Spira, the Moon Cell, the Mushroom Kingdom and the Apocrypha War. Those can justifiably have eaten up a reasonable chunk of time.


    The more general question of "is this a good idea" is hard to answer. I can see some entertaining analogies between parts of Persona 5's plot and Stay/Night that seem like they'd be entertaining to entangle. From the timeline, it sounds like we may be going back to some of the fundamental Works origin questions (how they have a non-corrupt Grail, etc) Does this mean the Works isn't actually formed, at the start of Persona 5's timeline?
    No, as it starts in April - so it may take Frid a while to even realise they're an option . . .


    Devil is always in the details though. The specifics of what's different and why, character interactions, etc are important. I'm somewhat worried that Godafrid will be... removed, emotionally, from the Persona 5 cast because of what he knows. You can do fun things with that, of course.
    Indeed.
    Last edited by Kieran; June 12th, 2022 at 10:00 PM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    . . . Still, readers familiar with the version of the game in question have likely noticed one element signifying their involvement already.
    I can presume you're messed with Kasumi's... oh, interesting, okay.

    A few other important things here, notably Nemo, who seems distinctly not Mona, especially with the voice description. That makes a ton of sense for a substitution, and works well with the slight distance he's going to have. Glad to see Ren himself has the same role.
    I did actually consider putting Remake-Shiki in place of Ren, briefly . . .
    He does seem good with knives.
    And it can be somewhat accomplished by the Works going through the missions they already have - Kurai's appearance and acclimatization, Spira, the Moon Cell, the Mushroom Kingdom and the Apocrypha War. Those can justifiably have eaten up a reasonable chunk of time.
    Ahhh, sneaky. I wasn't entirely sure how much real-time those events took place over, or if they were some time after the Works was founded. That raises the possibility of paradox somewhat more; I was internally expecting the Works had been founded for some time by the time Spira happened, but I suppose it'd be on the order of months, not years. Neat.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I can presume you're messed with Kasumi's... oh, interesting, okay.
    Yeah.


    A few other important things here, notably Nemo, who seems distinctly not Mona, especially with the voice description. That makes a ton of sense for a substitution, and works well with the slight distance he's going to have. Glad to see Ren himself has the same role.
    As I brought up the last time I discussed this idea (which was probably last year, or whenever I did those P4 Eresh snippets), it seemed like a more reasonable option in my head than taking Ren's role outright - working out the mechanics of being an Exalt and a Persona-user, much less a Wild Card, would give me a migraine, if nothing else - and it allows him to take the "advisor" role he really ought to have.

    That replacing Morgana in specific will result in some changes . . . Well, that's part of what makes it an interesting story (I hope).


    He does seem good with knives.
    Also a similar look (messy hair and glasses), was exiled away from his family (kind of) . . . Huh - come to think of it, that would make him a neat candidate for P4's protagonist; I think it even takes place in the same year . . .


    Ahhh, sneaky. I wasn't entirely sure how much real-time those events took place over, or if they were some time after the Works was founded. That raises the possibility of paradox somewhat more; I was internally expecting the Works had been founded for some time by the time Spira happened, but I suppose it'd be on the order of months, not years. Neat.
    It's nice when things can work out that way.

    . . . Of course, with the addition of Fate/Anarchy, there's now an actual date involved in the Works' "present time," so that's roughly when they can start intervening - also known as "just when things get interesting" in the P5 storyline . . .
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    Proof of Concept: A Royal Mess (Part 2)

    Continuing . . .




    Kichijoji, Tokyo
    March 6, 20XX









    He coughed, spluttering up the water that tried to pour itself into his lungs, coming awake with a full-body spasm.

    Oh
    Luna, my everything hurts . . .

    Water kept coming, so he rolled over to retch—and abruptly realised that it was raining.

    The thought drifted offhandedly through his mind: Damn it—I hate being wet . . .

    Coughing up the last of the water, he breathed frantically, trying to clear his windpipe and get actual air into his lungs. With that accomplished, he closed his eyes and kept breathing, trying to muster the will, and the energy, to actually get up . . .

    It took longer than he would’ve liked.

    . . . Eventually, Frid realised that he was still alive—he was Frid, wasn’t he? Or was he Kurai, or—?

    Hurt too much to want to move, but I still can—

    A quick scrub of his face with one palm (well “quick” for someone moving with literally agonising slowness) revealed no glasses or tangibly inhuman features. Granted, he wouldn’t necessarily feel moonsilver tattoos, for example, but pointed ears and such were easy to check for.

    His arm dropped to one side, and he closed his eyes against a sudden wave of dizziness. It felt like his insides had been hollowed, the void inside was dragging his mind spiralling down into oblivion . . .

    Head rush, a sardonic whisper in the back of his mind murmured. It was the standard response in his family when light-headedness struck; usually as a result of standing up too quickly from a crouch or bending over, causing the edges of his vision to blur, as well.

    And given that he was presently horizontal, Frid fuzzily thought that was a bad sign. He hadn’t felt this awful since his last bout with the flu, and this was like he’d slammed into concrete going full tilt on top of that; what the hell had happened . . .?

    And if he curled up and kept his eyes closed, would it just go away?

    After a while, it seemed to—and he was still getting wet, so Frid sighed, and made an effort to actually get up and see where the hell he’d ended up.

    He cracked an eyelid open experimentally, shutting it almost immediately after acquiring a view of his hand.

    Skin’s paler than Kurai, and arm’s thicker than mine, so Frid’s at least a decent bet . . . Assuming that wasn’t a hallucination or dream, anyway.

    God knew, the whole “Grail Works” thing seemed like the kind of thing his subconscious would come up with, never mind the haziness of his more recent memories.

    . . . I’m in an alleyway, and it’s raining—so, not winter, urban environment. Modern-looking concrete, on the roads and the buildings; that’s definitely twenty-to-twenty-first century markings on that road, and Japanese people walking past it—a lot of Japanese people . . .

    His immediate assumption was that he was somewhere in Tokyo, but that was a kneejerk reaction; it was the first place on the list almost anyone thought of when thinking of “Japanese cities.” For all he knew, he was in a busier area of Fuyuki, or Misaki Town—it wasn’t like he’d tried to explore as Kurai. Sure, with the druid’s shapeshifting capabilities, he could’ve done so easily—but given that modern civilization was a druid’s idea of hell on earth, there had been little inclination to. Besides, he’d had enough trouble adapting to the bits of it he’d needed to, at the time; Akiha hadn’t exactly been pleased to be hosting an uninvited supernatural tenant, so he’d done his best to hide his presence as much as possible.

    “Ilya . . .?” Frid tried experimentally.

    The Grail spirit didn’t appear—and there were certainly enough puddles that she could have done so in a reflection, if she wanted to be unobtrusive. No help from that quarter, then; at least, not until he had the time and space to draw out a proper summoning circle. He thought he could probably modify the incantation to target her specifically, rather than drawing on whatever version of the Greater Holy Grail was extant (since there were at least three Grails he could think of that he did NOT want to catch the attention of) . . .

    Assuming, of course, that the Grail system was even viable wherever he was. The Works, by nature, should be accessible to any world—that was precisely the point of its existence—but they hadn’t really tested that theory yet. Of the missions they’d undertaken so far, two of them took place within TYPE-MOON worlds, and the other two were in places that both allowed for summoning magic naturally and were somewhat fluid in regard to the nature and limits of magic to begin with.

    Nobody, Frid reflected grimly, really tried or expected to apply logic to the way things work in the Mushroom Kingdom, after all—and Spira, all things considered, isn’t much better, given the number of semi-canon crossovers the Final Fantasy franchise has . . .

    You’re woolgathering
    , he scolded himself. Back on task—what else do I have to work with?

    He was still an Exalt. Now that he was clear-headed (mostly), the sense of Essence in his system—and the sensation of motes committed to hiding his tattoos—was present. More importantly and obviously, he was still built like Chris Evans as Captain America—which would only make sense if he was a Lunar Exalt. The moonsilver tattoos, after all, basically existed to dictate that a Lunar’s form could only be affected by Lunar shapeshifting knacks and Charms and had been specifically developed to counter the chaotic influences of the Wyld. It would’ve been stranger, given their presence, if he hadn’t retained his physique.


    As to the rest of the Exalt package. . . A mental onceover had Frid conclude that it seemed as though Astraea’s stunt had shunted him into Third Edition rules, somehow—though at least something had been nice enough to include the rulebooks, too. Some of his Charm loadout had been changed—either the actual list, or the effects of the Charms themselves—but it seemed workable enough. His Essence Pools seemed to be topped up, and while willpower was harder to judge without a character sheet in front of him, that was presumably OK as well.

    And Exalted healing, being much faster than mortal, was shaking off the effects of his involuntary dimensional shunt, it seemed . . . All in all, Frid concluded, he was basically ready to begin whatever adventures he might find himself in now.

    So, he asked himself what have I actually landed in, here . . .?

    He watched from the alleyway for a bit, trying to get a handle on the locale. It looked like your average busy city during a rainy day; no different from the times he’d visited Toronto in such weather. Tokyo, again, floated itself as the most likely possibility, but again, he didn’t want to fall into any traps of thinking—for all he knew, it was the underground recreation from the Resident Evil movies, and a zombie schoolgirl was going to start biting her way through the crowd . . .

    [Scent-of-All-Nations Attitude]

    A new Charm, but perhaps essential here; to all he encountered, he’d appear as one of their own, despite his looks—those being that of a six-foot white guy who weighed close to a hundred and ninety pounds. (And yes, he was Canadian but thought in imperial measurements; it was a by-product of living with American media.) It was a subtle effect, but it basically was meant to cause people to overlook all that, and just assume that he was one of “the people,” whoever those were, and see his presence as not especially remarkable.

    And given that I’m walking around with no valid ID or documentation, that’s going to be an absolute must.

    Cautiously, he made to step onto the street—

    And immediately drew back as somebody with a blue umbrella came dashing past, a flash of black, yellow, and red.

    The runner was pursued by another—a blur of black, yellow, and brown this time, under a pale-yellow umbrella—but this one cried out in a feminine voice, “Hey, wait up . . .!”

    Lousy timing—

    “Look where you’re going! The light’s red!”

    Icy adrenaline shot through him.

    [Excellency: Perception, Dexterity, Wits]

    “Hey!”

    Supernatural focus snapped in the direction of the runners, and in his overclocked state, Frid could see it happen before it happened. The heedless runner, hurtling into the traffic patterns, too fast for most drivers to compensate, the pursuing runner who was just as fast, but not quite fast enough to stop her

    “Sumire, wait—!

    And the oncoming truck.

    “Sumire, stop—! Listen to me!”

    [Instinct-Driven Beast Movement]

    “SUMIRE!”

    The pursuer moved, as quickly as her quarry, pushing her out of the way; just as fast as her quarry, but not fast enough—not enough to save herself—

    [Ferocious Guardian Beast Stance]

    A Solar Exalt could have saved her with a display of honed-beyond-perfection athleticism, their natural authority as Lawgivers making reality bow to their will. A Sidereal Exalt could’ve rewritten Fate so that neither she nor her sister were ever there at all, though potentially someone might’ve suffered her death instead. As a Lunar, Frid had neither of those options . . . But he was still a Celestial Exalt, and if the Lunars were oftentimes but pale reflections of their Solar mates, what they were reflections of was still incomparable puissance. And their mastery of their own bodies—and their potentials—was second to none.

    The outside world blurred at the edges of his vision—and to an observer from it, he himself was a blur if he was visible at all. Bone and muscle surpassed the mechanical limitations of the human frame, internally and externally shifting, down to the molecular level, to gain the advantages of faster species without losing the outward appearance of humanity, powered by the supreme force that was Essence. But despite the poetry of such a description, there was no sense of aesthetics in his movements; only raw, furious action, like a predator's frenzied attempt to bring down prey—

    In this case, the distance between himself, the girl, and the truck.

    His shove was not gentle; it was a coiled spring manoeuvre, with all of his momentum behind it, to get her away from the incoming impact. At the same time, it was still less force than the actual truck would’ve imparted, because it outweighed him by an order of magnitude and several further multipliers—

    All of which he became immediately and agonisingly aware of . . .








    Sumire had a glimpse of Kasumi’s face—her wide-eyed, horrified expression, framed by droplets of water, hanging in the air. There was a horn, a screech of brakes—a glimpse of her umbrella, flying through the air—and then . . .

    Sumire’s eyes opened slowly, and as her vision cleared, she saw the sky, and became aware of the murmur of voices. She raised herself to her hands and knees slowly, and lifted her head—

    Her sister was there, some distance away. Lying still in the road—lying in a pool of blood . . .

    Kasumi . . .

    The name escaped her lips almost unconsciously; Sumire was too busy staring at her sister (her too-still sister) to really register—

    Owww . . .

    As if responding to Sumire’s call, Kasumi let out a groan. slowly curling in on herself—but she was moving! ALIVE!

    But—all the blood . . .
    whispered a traitorous corner of her mind.

    “Sumire—SUMIRE!” Kasumi sat bolt-upright, calling for her, eyes wide with panic.

    “Yes!” she responded unconsciously.

    Kasumi’s eyes locked onto her, and immediately softened. “Oh, thank goodness—are you OK . . .?”

    Me?” Sumire spluttered. “You’re the one covered in blood . . !

    Seriously, half her face was streaked with it. . .!

    “I am?” Kasumi glanced down, seemingly confused. “I . . .” She stiffened, eyes going wide again. “Oh, no—where is he?”

    ‘He?’” Sumire echoed.

    “There was a guy—he pushed me out of the way—!” Her head swivelled around frantically. “Where’d he go . . .?

    Sumire didn’t respond—but she stared at the blood, which was spreading under the pounding of the rain, and didn’t think there was a good answer . . .

    I nearly killed Kasumi, the thought echoed in her head. She would’ve died saving me . . . And someone did die, saving her . . . All because of me.

    The world really would be better off if I never existed . . .








    He’d been hit by a car before. The memory was vivid: being sent sprawling to the road and frantically trying to get himself out of the path of the vehicle and any following ones. And all because some idiot decided they could make the turn before the oncoming traffic reached the other side of the intersection, and pedestrian walk signals be damned . . .

    That had been a glancing blow; this was a direct hit—the only saving grace was that he was almost twice his past size in terms of mass, and literally supernaturally tough. An impact that would undoubtedly have killed a hundred-pound Japanese schoolgirl was something he actually could walk away from.

    . . . Which was not to say that it didn’t injure him (it did), or hurt (severely), but the shock of his being hit paralysed the crowd long enough for him to roll with the impact out of direct view and try to wander off somewhere secluded so he could heal. Because at the rate he was burning Essence, his anima banner was going to flare when he invoked Halting the Scarlet Flow—only the fact that some of his new Charms focussed on minimising that had kept it from blazing up already.

    And if I don’t find somewhere
    soon, the fucking blood trail will lead them right to me—I’ve got to get away . . .!

    Hating himself for even thinking it, Frid prepared to leap into an open dumpster and shut the lid behind him. Germaphobia and the stench be damned, he only needed a minute—!


    The Lunar wasn’t thinking, or it might have occurred to him as he hurled himself through the portal that the circumstances—going through a doorway, of sorts, while desperate for any sort of hope—were exactly the kind which allowed connection to the Works . . .

    Even if it had, however, in this case the point was moot, as said connection found itself abruptly and unexpected hijacked . . .








    Somewhere Else
    Between dreams and reality, mind and matter









    As Frid struggled upright from his unexpected landing, he found himself greeted by a voice.

    “How unexpected . . . I did not anticipate all the hope of humanity to lead to this—and yet, you will perhaps serve my needs just as well. Or at least, you must . . .

    The man’s voice which gave that unexpected answer was nearly falsetto and eerily pitched, in a manner that seem quite deliberate, being equal parts unsettling and gleefully excited. . . And uncharacteristically, according to his memories of it, weak. As Frid’s eyes shot open in surprise, he confirmed that the owner of the voice was no less so in appearance—being a pointy-eared hunchback with bloodshot, bulging eyes and a proboscis whose length and sharpness was more appropriate to a mosquito than a man.

    It had been unnerving to see the man as a two-dimensional image; as an actual person, the man was downright alarming—but as it was the familiar voice, rather than the gravelly one, Frid relaxed. Despite his frightening appearance and unsettling demeanour, Igor was one of the most steadfast allies one could ask for, if you managed to catch his (or perhaps more accurately, his master’s) attention.

    “I am afraid,” the hunchback said tiredly, “that I have need of certain tasks accomplished—and no strength to make a second attempt to achieve them myself. And yet, if the work lies undone, the consequences will undoubtedly lead to ruin for you, alongside the rest of the world.

    “Therefore, I must ask of you: will you, of your own free will, enter into a contract with me . . .?”










    Writer's Notes: This was running so long I was tempted to split it into a third part . . .
    Last edited by Kieran; June 19th, 2022 at 11:21 PM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran...? Write this more and to its conclusion. :V
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    *Shrugs* I figure it's either this (because it does nag me so often), KonoSuba (the series is almost fully translated, so I could do it), or Rising of the Shield Hero (which isn't fully translated, but such a bloody mess . . .).
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    I really like this. The opening is polished; I can see elements from other things you've written in that vein, but a lot is new, and feels quite natural.
    You get right to the point in explaining the divergence I was trying to avoid spoiling. I'm also enjoying the subversion of getting hit by a truck immediately upon arrival in another world. Reverse Isekai!

    The Velvet Room hijacking the connection to the Works is also a neat detail. "I ask of you, will you enter into a contract with me?" seems familiar somehow. Echoes of Saber's introduction?

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I really like this. The opening is polished; I can see elements from other things you've written in that vein, but a lot is new, and feels quite natural.
    Thank you.


    You get right to the point in explaining the divergence I was trying to avoid spoiling.
    I kind of had to - because to involve Kasumi and Sumire as I have, I also have to lay enough groundwork to explain why it hasn't diverged as much as it should have, no?


    I'm also enjoying the subversion of getting hit by a truck immediately upon arrival in another world. Reverse Isekai!
    Universe: The rite of passage must be observed by all dimensional travellers.
    Frid: But I'm already in another world!
    Universe: Sucks to be you, then.
    Frid: . . . Yes, yes it does.


    The Velvet Room hijacking the connection to the Works is also a neat detail.
    You have to figure that if anyone actually could - especially in this branch of the multiverse - it'd be them, right?


    "I ask of you, will you enter into a contract with me?" seems familiar somehow. Echoes of Saber's introduction?
    *Blinks* Not intentionally, I'll admit - but it's an interesting bit of symmetry.



    . . . So, is this one I should seriously look into doing? And does anyone have any preferences, if so? (For example, should this be the Works' version of Earth, or not?)
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  16. #7156
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    This should be the Works' version of Earth, in my honest opinion, man.
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




    Hmm... this is a bit of a surprise these days.

    An archive of my works on the forum that's pretty accurate.




    Note that I don't wish to be seen as an idiot any longer. I can't always promise better works than before, but I can sure as hell try, alright?

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    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    Universe: The rite of passage must be observed by all dimensional travellers.
    I'd think what Astraea did to him would be enough to qualify, but evidently not.

    . . . So, is this one I should seriously look into doing?
    You sound inspired, so I'd seriously consider it.

    And does anyone have any preferences, if so? (For example, should this be the Works' version of Earth, or not?)
    I'm leaning favourable for the Works version of Earth. From the sounds of it, you have plans, and they sound interesting.
    It does complicate the story, given the paradox introduced, and the metaphysical/conceptual interactions, but I enjoy weird systems interactions and a reasonable amount of paradox. At the same time, I can imagine that it could be distracting, or difficult to juggle.

    Also, the timeline complexity might be intimidating for readers. I have confidence in your ability to make knowledge of less-recent stories more of a bonus than a necessity.

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I'd think what Astraea did to him would be enough to qualify, but evidently not.
    Nope - apparently, even that won't get people travelling to other worlds out from needing to get hit by Truck-kun. Nor will the fact that they've arriving not departing. Truck-kun is OMNIPRESENT.

    . . . Well, either that, or Frid just has really lousy luck.



    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    This should be the Works' version of Earth, in my honest opinion, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    You sound inspired, so I'd seriously consider it.


    I'm leaning favourable for the Works version of Earth. From the sounds of it, you have plans, and they sound interesting.
    It does complicate the story, given the paradox introduced, and the metaphysical/conceptual interactions, but I enjoy weird systems interactions and a reasonable amount of paradox. At the same time, I can imagine that it could be distracting, or difficult to juggle.

    Also, the timeline complexity might be intimidating for readers. I have confidence in your ability to make knowledge of less-recent stories more of a bonus than a necessity.
    Works Earth, 2004 it is, then - I shall commence planning . . .

    (Sadly, I doubt I'll have a chapter or snippet ready this week, sorry; work has been brutal lately.)
    Last edited by Kieran; June 25th, 2022 at 06:20 AM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Random Scenes: Two other ideas

    Continuing . . .?








    In the depths of the Devil King’s castle, his generals had gathered before him, to hear the latest intelligence report from one of their own—the demon known as Vanir the All-Seeing.

    “A great power is soon to fall from Heaven,” the masked demon proclaimed, his normally whimsical voice uncharacteristically sombre, and at odds with the strangely cheerful design of his black-and-white face mask. “It will land in the Town of Beginnings . . .

    “And on that note,” he added bluntly, “Moi quits.”

    A great uproar erupted from around the table—some mocking, some angry, and all disbelieving. The cacophony, however, ended immediately as a single word cut through it with the force of a guillotine blade.

    Why?” the Devil King demanded.

    “Because if Moi is incarnated upon this earthly plane when it arrives,” Vanir answered simply, “or attempts to divine its future or that of those entwined with it, Moi will be destroyed.”

    “So, what’s the problem?” demanded the Dullahan Beldia, in his hollow, sepulchral tones. “I thought you wanted to die!”

    Moi wishes to die in glorious battle,” Vanir corrected. “And feast upon the despair of the adventurers who slay me as I arise once more—having Moi’s skull comedically explode like an overripe melon is not that.”

    “Since when will that kill you?” the Devil King asked curiously.

    “By itself, it will not,” Vanir admitted. “However, the act—along with that of regenerating Moi’s head—will quickly become tediously repetitive. Therefore, Moi wishes to withdraw while it is still possible to retain some digni—” The lenses of his mask somehow widened. “Oh n—

    Fragments of bone and brain matter (things that, as a demon, Vanir technically shouldn’t have) suddenly erupted over the august gathering, propelled by a cascading geyser of blood (something else that Vanir really shouldn’t have had) that managed to coat all those gathered.

    The headless body fell to its knees before pitching to one side, leaving the Devil King and his generals to stare wordlessly at it—and each other.

    “. . . Beldia,” their liege said finally. “Go scout out Axel—cautiously. You should be harder to kill, being already dead; but anything that can do that to Vanir, and at this distance, is not to be taken lightly. See if the Ice Witch knows anything, if necessary—she was operating in Axel, the last we knew, correct?”

    He turned to Seresdina, and his spymaster nodded.

    The Devil King turned back to Beldia and said firmly. “Do not provoke her. She did enough damage the last time—so keep a tight rein on your usual proclivities. With this new threat, we do not need her resuming her old habits.”

    “. . . Yes, my liege,” The headless undead knight rose and bowed. “I will go at once. And never fear—I will bring back the head of this ‘great power,’ that you may mount it on your wall!”

    Had Vanir been capable of responding, he would have laughed even more maniacally than usual at that pronouncement . . .














    The Other Concept









    She had been through a lot, and all in less than a month. Her world had become one of pain; first emotional, then physical, then emotional again . . .


    Life had never been ideal—the kingdom, being human-run, had less-than-fair ideas about demihumans like her, and she’d grown up knowing that. But she’d been happy, living with her parents and her friends in their little village, peacefully and largely unbothered by the wider kingdom. Their lord, though human, had been, a fair and decent man, according to her parents . . .

    Then her home had been destroyed by monsters in a disaster out of myth, her parents sacrificing themselves to save her life—by pushing her off a cliff, no less.

    She had rallied then, inspiring the other villagers to rebuild in spite of the loss, the horror. . . And then the soldiers, the slavers, had come.

    (Had she been older, more aware of politics, she might have expected it; the lord’s death in the same catastrophe left them wide open to his less-scrupulous “peers.” But she was only ten; she wouldn’t really have been able to pronounce most of that description, much less understand it.)

    The physical pain had been a constant, after that—because her new “master” was less interested in getting work out of his new possessions than in simply hearing them scream. Between that and the meagre food, it hadn’t taken long for she and those few of her friends she was still able to talk with to grow weak . . . And sick.

    She coughed feebly, feeling the fluid in her chest shift, but not move, with it. It didn’t stop the guard from forcing her into the wagon. Why should it? The fact that it was snowing, and she was barefoot hadn’t stopped him, either . . .

    “You’re being sold to a slave merchant,” he told her flatly.

    She clung to the bars. “But—what about Rifana?”

    The other girl was even sicker—and her last remaining friend in the world . . .

    “Please!” she begged—but the guard ignored her, shoving her back before closing the barred door and sliding the locking bolt shut.

    “This is the only one being sold for now!” he called ahead to the driver. “Go on, get out of here!”

    “What about Rifana?” she pleaded, clinging to the bars.

    The human laughed. “She’s done for—forget her.

    Even after all she’d suffered, the sheer cruelty of that response took her aback, and she didn’t react even as the wagon began pulling away, save to fall silently to her knees.

    “Smile . . . When times are tough,” she whispered to herself, repeating the mantra her parents had told her, which had kept her going through all of this . . . But as the weight of it all settled on her—

    “How will I ever smile again . . .?”

    —The little girl finally gave up.

    She sat in the wagon for what might have been hours, not really seeing the countryside pass by. She barely registered that they’d entered a city, or when they pulled up to a tent. Her cage’s door opening was hardly worth noticing, save that it meant she needed to walk through it onto the sand-covered floor beneath it. She took a feeble, unsteady step through the door—

    And her foot landed on smooth, brightly polished wood.

    She stared, unable to comprehend suddenly being able to see her face in the floor beneath her, or the sudden brightness of her surroundings. Also, the smells of the tent were suddenly gone—

    RAPHTALIA?

    The demihuman girl’s head snapped up with a barely-muffled shriek at her name, even as she puzzled over who might know it; the voice wasn’t one she recognised—nor did she recognise the deluge of language that followed . . .









    Avalon Castle, Phantasmagoria Island (Grail Works. Ltd. Headquarters)
    Beyond the boundaries of time and space









    “Sakura, Rider, could you come here please . . .?”

    Frid was proud at how even his voice sounded, even as he was internally doing an excellent impression of an overexcited Chihuahua. The little fuzzy-eared girl, as filthy and disheveled as she looked, was nonetheless recognisable—and if she was here, at the point in time she had to be in order to look like that, then things had gone very much off the rails.

    “Frid-san?” The violet-haired magus fixed him with a puzzled look, even as Rider looked more suspicious—he didn’t often deliberately seek out their company, after all, so he spoke quickly, and in a low tone.

    “The young lady is supposedly suffering from a cold, if I remember right, but I need to be sure—can you use Structural Analysis to make sure, so I can prep the right cure? I’d do it myself, but she’s an abused slave who’s not likely to react well to the touch of a human male.

    Sakura’s face went worryingly blank as she said carefully, “Abused . . .?

    “Not sexually, I don’t think, but that’s the only indignity she was spared,” he said grimly. “She needs a bath and several light, filling meals to get her stomach used to real food again—but first, we need to get her well enough to keep it down . . .

    Sakura frowned. “Unfortunately, only Nee-san and Sempai know that trick.”

    “. . . Emergency measures, then,” Frid said grimly. He had a Charm specifically for this—but this was almost the worst set of circumstances to use it under. “Be ready to try and calm her if she reacts badly, all right . . .?

    “Raphtalia?” He said her name softly and watched the ears atop her head twitch in response. “Can you understand me . . .?”

    Her incomprehension was written on her face. It made sense, to a point—the Legendary Heroes of her world relied on the magic of their weapons to translate for them, and it was unlikely that her homeworld used English, either, with their naming schemes—but it was annoying in this context. They really had to talk to Ilya about spreading the “translation effect” she had as the Grail; it would be hard to help people who couldn’t understand them . . .

    Carefully he went down on one knee, to be closer to her level, and made a beckoning gesture.

    (And, as he thought of it, hoped she reacted to Western ones rather than Japanese ones, which went in the opposite direction . . .)

    “Could you come here, Raphtalia?” he called softly. “Please . . .?”

    Hesitantly, the child walked towards him. He did his best to keep his body language inoffensive, his voice quiet and warm. She’d been through enough—she wouldn’t be here if she hadn’t. And it really shouldn’t be as much of a surprise as it was that she was here—even if it potentially ruined the canon series of events . . .

    (And how many other series had its leads fall into despair—how many more might the Works disrupt, operating under the parameters that it did . . .?)

    “It’s all right, Raphtalia,” he tried to reassure her, holding out a hand, palm up, at roughly her chest level. “You’re safe here, and you’ll feel better in a moment . . .”

    She hesitated, unsure of what to do, what he intended, as his hand simply hung there, unmoving. She didn’t want to get closer—but given the fucking sadist she’d been enslaved by, she undoubtedly feared worse treatment if she tried to resist.

    She suddenly doubled over as a cough racked her frame, a balled fist flying to her mouth in a desperate, reflexive attempt to be sanitary—

    He snatched the wrist of her unused hand, and gently pulled her forward, bending low even as she attempted to shriek—

    “Sorry, sweetie,” he murmured, pressing his lips to the back of her hand.

    [Plague-Swallowing Kiss]








    There was a prickling where his lips met her skin, and Raphtalia drew in a breath to scream—and suddenly found her lungs filling more than they had in days, her airways absolutely clear. Likewise, the chill she’d had all day seemed to have shivered its way out of her—and her wrist was abruptly free, even as the man almost stumbled back in his attempt to get away from her.

    The other two humans—very female, and quite probably royals, from their hair colours—reacted, with the shorter going to him, even as the taller one turned to her, and spoke—in a language she understood.

    “Are you all right, little one?” the tall lady asked, and Raphtalia saw that her eyes looked like they might belong to a demi-human. Not a type she’d ever seen, but it was a feature that absolutely wasn’t human.

    “I—I feel better . . .?” she said uncertainly. “Where am I? Who are you people? Was that a spell . . ?

    “In a manner of speaking,” the tall lady said. “He took your sickness into himself. He did not wish to frighten you, but he needed to touch you as he did in order for it work.

    “As for who we are,” she continued. “He is Frid, she is Sakura, and I am Rider. And as to where—this, child, is a place called ‘Grail Works, Limited,’ and it exists to try and help people like you . . .”










    Writer's Notes: All I have the energy for, right now.
    Last edited by Kieran; June 27th, 2022 at 05:55 AM.
    “Love will be cruel to who it entices — love will have its sacrifices.”

    — Carmilla Theme




    "Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference."

    ―Jim Butcher, Vignette




  20. #7160
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    Ah, those are unrelated, I had a moment of being very confused.

    While we've heard tell of Godafrid's effects on mind-readers, it's pretty funny to see live. I guess Vanir can't stop himself, or at least, the general impact of Godafrid on divining anything will catch him.

    Raphtalia certainly seems like the sort of person the Works would try to help. Godafrid isn't kidding about that playing havoc on the timeline. I can't picture interactions between Shield Hero's plot and the Works very easily though; I'm just not sure what would happen if there were other competent people in that setting.

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