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

  1. #7161
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    I can imagine it, actually... chaos. Lots and lots of chaos, Arbitrarity.
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    For those that don't necessarily care if my fics aren't all Type-Moon related.




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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
    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.
    Yeah, though sadly, it means ever doing a Spy x Family crossover is out.


    EDIT: Actually, maybe not, given the following:

    Spy x Family spoilers, Volume 5 specifically and series in general
    Anya apparently loses her powers during the new moon. Frid is a "No Moon" Caste Lunar - could I just metaphysically argue that he's the one person her powers just don't work on . . .?

    . . . No, wait, that wouldn't save Bond - darn it.



    I guess Vanir can't stop himself, or at least, the general impact of Godafrid on divining anything will catch him.
    My initial idea was to have it only happen when Frid was in a certain range - but then I remembered that Beldia showed up in Axel because the "seer(s)" of the Devil King predicted Aqua's arrival, and given his nature, that being a roundabout way to refer to Vanir made sense . . .

    Besides, it's KonoSuba: not only can you never escape being the butt of the joke, trying just makes it WORSE . . .


    Raphtalia certainly seems like the sort of person the Works would try to help.
    And her early circumstances are exactly the sort of thing that was cue a Door to open for her - regardless of her importance to the plot.


    Godafrid isn't kidding about that playing havoc on the timeline.
    Which is where I'm having issues, myself.


    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    I can imagine it, actually... chaos. Lots and lots of chaos, Arbitrarity.
    True . . .

    But I take Arbitraily's point - and some of the metaphysics behind it, according to the wiki (since I gave up around Volume 15) confuse me as much as they intrigue me . . . For example the Legendary Weapons having spirits (can we say "Artoria Lancer" and "Artoria Avalon/Castoria" for the Spear and Bow?) is enticing; so is the fact that for some reason only the Shield gets its first choice for a Hero - which means that the Works could theoretically hijack the second one to fit someone in - though not without issues. The limitations of the Cardinal Weapon System would cripple Shirou, for example, however obvious a fit it seems . . .

    (Grabbing Ayako for the Bow or Spear, and their having to rescue her, might be funny, though.)

    The series is a mess (both in setting and in plot execution), though, and going up against a "godlike, world-ending civilisation" is exactly the kind of thing Shirou would want to do - so there's reasons to do it; I'm just not entirely sold on how or if it might work . . . I'd be willing to give it a shot if there's enough interest, though.


    . . . And as an offhand thought, don't "R" and "L" use the same sounds in Japanese? Which means Frid may have heard XX say "Ra-", instead?
    Last edited by Kieran; June 27th, 2022 at 06:00 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




  3. #7163
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Continuing . . .








    By the time Shirou returned from his shopping trip (and Ilya’s attention had refocussed on the castle), Raphtalia had been bathed by Sakura and Rider, prior to being fed. The former had been accomplished using special antibacterial soaps and shampoo that the Exalt had whipped up—

    “You raided Kohaku’s herb garden?!” she exclaimed, her eyes widening in disbelief as she reviewed the events she’d missed while watching Onii-chan.

    “I don’t know enough about pharmacology or chemistry to get most of the effects I’m looking for from standard drugs, and I’ve no idea what they might do to her system,” Frid retorted, “but she’s from a medieval Europe equivalent, which means that basic homeopathic remedies will work, and my Charms can let me cheat enough to let make something both effective and quickly, so long as I know what I’m fighting. And she was covered in filth. probably lice, possibly fleas, and Luna knows what else—we did not want her spreading that around here.”

    “. . . I’m still more impressed that you had the guts to raid Kohaku’s garden,” the Grail spirit said dryly. “Given that you normally act like she’s Berserker . . .

    They were both aware of the existence and identities of several Berserker-class Servants (in her case, essentially, all of them), but Ilya didn’t elaborate on which one she meant, nor did she need to; they both knew that for her, there was only one.

    “I’m both trying to treat a torture victim and minimise any actual contact between us, so I don’t accidentally trigger her,” the Exalt said grimly. “I’m hoping that buys me some grace.”

    All the same, he didn’t sound entirely sure—and not for the first time, Ilya wondered how and why it was that he was more terrified of the maid than anyone else in the Works . . .

    Sakura emerged silently from the residential area of the castle, a placid mien on her face.

    “She’s resting comfortably, for the moment—Rider is watching over her,” she announced, before turning to Frid and saying, in a deceptively mild tone, “I would like an explanation now.”

    “She isn’t the only one,” Shirou—who, like most of the rest, was seated around their version of the “Round Table” (though it was honestly more of a big square). “Who is she? What happened to her?”

    Frid sighed. “The specific details will depend on whether she’s from the web novel, the light novel, the manga, or the anime, but the overall franchise is called ‘The Rising of the Shield Hero.’ It’s a revenge fantasy series that uses the trappings of a deconstruction of the isekai genre, while still clinging to the genre’s usual power fantasy cliches—and while certain elements and concepts of the series are quite novel, they aren’t always executed particularly well . . .”








    Shirou knew, when he started this, he was going to run into tragedy and horror. As that bastard Kotomine had pointed out (with, he uncomfortably admitted, something of a point), for someone to be saved, they first had to be in jeopardy—but this . . .

    The Moon Cell and Trifas had been Holy Grail Wars; he understood those. Spira had been under threat by kaiju attack, and again, that was a problem he could comprehend: beat the monsters, and the majority of the problems went away. But systemic slavery, religious and racial prejudice, international politics and the sort of catastrophic supernatural events he was more familiar with, spread across multiple worlds?

    He was, he had to admit, out of his depth—especially since in some cases, he couldn’t see why the problem existed in the first place.

    “I don’t get it,” he admitted. “If the king hated this ‘Shield Hero,’ then why summon him at all . . .?

    “Leaving aside the simple answer of ‘Because the story needs the plot to happen,’ I presume it was so that he could get his revenge personally,” Frid answered. “Of course, why he didn’t just summon the three worshipped Heroes and let the Church indoctrinate them to treat the Shield Hero as the devil they see him as so the Heroes would kill him, I couldn’t tell you. Especially if he let one of the demi-human countries summon him, so he’d potentially have an excuse to go to war and call for a holy crusade against demihumans in the bargain. Or even have him quietly assassinated when he was Level 1 or so, by any of the dozens of soldiers and retainers he has, never mind his own—admittedly theoretical—abilities as a ‘Vassal Weapon User’ . . .”

    The Exalt shrugged. “Of course, it’s quite possible that his prejudice was created to explain why, when he was supposed to be renowned as a wise man, he believed the rape story in the first place given the lack of physical evidence. Especially given the fact that in at least one timeline, he watched his eldest daughter poison her brother . . . Which, again ultimately boils down to ‘This needs to be this way so the plot can happen.’ Can't have a revenge fantasy without someone to hate— and the more you can justify things modern society would never allow as punishment, the better.”

    I’m more concerned about this business of summoning heroes from alternate Japans,” Rin grumbled. “FOUR of them . . .! The energy expenditures required to reach out to four separate facets of the Kaleidoscope, simultaneously, would be ridiculous even if this world was akin to the Age of the Gods! Why not just take four people from one world . . .?”


    “Because then we couldn’t have the misunderstandings between the three where each of them is convinced that they know the ‘rules of the game’ and the others are idiots, or the Shield Hero being the poor, clueless one,” Frid said dryly. “Though according to what I read on the English wiki, there might actually be an in-universe explanation for it. The Four Cardinal Weapons were apparently each once the sole Legendary Weapons of their respective worlds, before prior Wave incidents merged them together; it’s plausible that they simply draw from the Japan they were previously connected to.

    “But I’m possibly giving the author too much credit,” he admitted. “The incidents that caused me to give up on the series were just as ridiculous and set up along the same lines as before: ‘This needs to be this way so the plot can happen . . .’

    He explained further—and this time, it was Tohno-san who interrupted.

    “Apologies, Frid-san,” she said, “but did you say that a dedicated team of covert observers was in place, in a foreign country, for over a decade?”

    “I did.”

    “That is ludicrously wasteful,” she declared. “If they were, in fact, skilled enough to remain unobserved for the entire length of that time, while somehow supplying themselves and maintaining their constant vigil, there were better uses for people of their talents. Especially since they accomplished such while looking markedly different from the natives and the royal intelligence operatives using at least some variant of their own training—royalty that looked favourably upon their targets’ liege lord, and would undoubtedly be maintaining a watch over the area . . .

    “It strains the bounds of credulity,” she said dryly.

    “Well, assuming it’s not simply because they’re from that world’s version of Japan, and the author is especially nationalist,” Frid pointed out, equally dryly.

    “Perhaps,” Tohno-san said noncommittally. “But it would be far easier to simply assassinate them on foreign soil, arranging it to look like an accident—or an act of said foreigners, if that would be more advantageous. And, if they are so strictly Japanese, ordering the assassins to commit seppuku would prevent the truth from ever coming to light.” She shrugged. “It would still be an egregious waste of skilled retainers, but it would be much more efficient.”

    “I agree,” the Exalt said. “And even ignoring that doesn’t address how they somehow kept a watch on Raphtalia throughout the first Wave, her being sold into slavery, and every subsequent Wave—despite not being a member of any party, and thus unable to be transported to it. And throughout all of that, for some reason only interfering when she donned a garment which according to their culture, meant she intended to make a claim for the throne. If they were watching her that closely, for that long, they had to know they she’d have no idea of the context, and they were the only ones who saw her in it who would know what it meant. And again, assassinating her quietly before word could spread would make much more sense . . .

    “But apparently that whole subplot didn’t exist in the original web novel,” Frid concluded, “which is part of why it seems so shoehorned in—and might not even apply to our little miss. Of course, if that’s the case, she’s on track to becoming a goddess, allegedly, so the situation isn’t necessarily any less ridiculous . . .”

    He buried his head in his hands, muttering, “Honestly, the more I think about this, the more I remember why I gave up reading it.”

    Frid laid out a few more details; things he either remembered reading from the source material or had read about the source material—and he was very careful to distinguish between the two. This “wiki,” whatever that was, was often missing information outright, highly abridged in what information it did possess, and frequently lacked context for what it referenced; either because no one had bothered entering it, or the information didn’t yet exist. Because, of course, the series had still been ongoing when Frid had come into their care—but what he did dole out was highly disturbing . . .

    “Are you telling me,” Shirou said carefully, “that the ultimate enemy is basically an anti-us?

    “. . . Close enough,” Frid said after a beat. “Again, assuming that it’s not the evil goddess of the web novel— By the way, for a bit of irony, her name’s apparently Medea.” When only Ilya reacted, he blinked before adding, “What—did you never find out Caster’s True Name?”

    “Different Caster,” Ilya supplied. “The Grail was uncorrupted, remember . . .? The only reason Rider got summoned is because it was Sakura—with the fragments of the previous, tainted Lesser Grail inside her—who did it.”

    Frid absorbed that in silence for a beat, before shaking his head, “. . . One day, I have got to sit down and find out exactly how your Fifth War went . . .

    “But yes,” the Exalt said firmly. “The ultimate enemy of the series, as I know them, is a society that’s achieved godlike power and basically smashes worlds-slash-dimensions together—creating the Waves—because they’re bored. How true that is, and what exactly that entails, I have no idea; I know they can co-opt mastery of Vassal Weapons, at least—though the Cardinal Weapon they’re linked to can shut them down, if they know how, I think. . .?” He shrugged. “Death is also somewhat trivial to them, unless you put in the effort to make sure they can’t be reincarnated—and, of course, dimensional travel is as easy for them as it is for us. So, calling them an ‘anti-Grail Works’ isn’t necessarily wrong.

    “. . . How do we stop them?” Shirou said finally.

    The Exalt stilled, closed his eyes for a beat, and then ran a hand over his face with a sigh.

    “I’m not sure we can,” he admitted. “The ‘status magic’ framework that runs the whole thing is a very closed system, and ridiculously vague in a lot of places; I’m not sure how any of our abilities would scale against them, and for all I know, there’s an underlying rule for the major foes that says, ‘Only a Cardinal or Vessel Legendary Weapon can damage-slash-defeat this thing.’ After all, ordinary soldiers and mages seem capable of fighting Waves, at least initially—but it is stated that they increase in intensity, which is why the Weapon Heroes are supposedly needed.

    “Can we get our hands on some of those, then?” Rin offered. “You said the Sword, Bow, and Spear never get their first choice of wielder, and have to settle for a capable but flawed substitute—and we’ve got several sword and bow wielders here who’d be much better choices than what the ‘canon’ wound up with. Is there a way to hijack the summoning . . .?”

    That last was directed as much towards Ilya as Frid, since she was in charge of the Holy Grail system.

    “Maybe . . .” the albino said thoughtfully.

    “It’s a nice idea,” Frid began, “but there are several problems with it. First, Weapon wielders are outright forbidden from wielding anything else with a combative intent. It might seem logical to set Shirou up with the Sword or Bow, but it will actively prevent him from using any Traced weaponry in battle, rendering his magecraft useless. Granted, he might be able to unlock new weapon forms by feeding his recreations to the weapon, but that’s a gamble. And he’ll likely start at Level 1, which means even if it worked, he’s not going to be able to use any high-level forms until he puts in the work to qualify for them.

    At best, I think Shirou would wind up being a standard Hero with somewhat better stats than the average summoned one, and maybe his Reinforcement magic—he’d lose more than he’d gain by going in “

    “Then I—” Saber began, but she stopped as Frid shook his head.

    “It might make even more sense to send you on paper, but the Weapon’s full official title is ‘The Sword Spirit of the Legendary Weapon,’ which is exactly what you are, as a Servant. I think there’s a more-than-zero chance you’ll become it rather than wield it, if we try to send you in a way that integrates with the status magic system.”

    “Let me guess,” Tohno-san said dryly, folding her hands in front of her face to conceal an unimpressed expression, “you would suggest yourself . . .?

    “I have zero training with weapons of any kind,” he responded. “And while that might not matter—the canon Bow Hero was selected because he had a psychic cheat to never miss, regardless of his actually skill at archery—it doesn’t mean I will qualify.

    “The Cardinal Weapons are a crapshoot, for any of us,” he admitted. “The Vassal Weapons might be easier to lay hands on; they’re less powerful, in some ways, but broader in application, and they allow travel between worlds, which the Cardinals do not. But they’re also each subordinate to one of the Cardinal Weapons, which means that the appropriate wielder can seal us off from using them—and if we’re locked into the status magic system at the time . . .”

    It’s effectively a death sentence, Shirou finished in his head, which Frid confirmed with his next words.

    “Unless the wielder has an alternate source of strength that’s comparable in power, they’re screwed—Shiki’s Mystic Eyes, if they work there, for example, because the Weapon would just be a tool to employ them with. Same with Akiha’s demon blood, since it’s inherent. I can’t swear to Arcueid, though, given how and from what she draws her strength . . . And Rin’s magecraft is iffy, since alternate magic systems seem to function there, but it might be because all the worlds those systems come from fall under the ‘status magic’ umbrella, or because the wielder I’m thinking of is a party member of a Weapon Hero—or just because it was convenient to the plot, if not actually logical.

    “We’d basically need a way to get our hands on at least one Cardinal Weapon and its subordinates, ideally,” the Exalt finished, “which wouldn’t be easy. And even if we did—if it’s the Shield, we face all the crap the series protagonist does. Any of the other three, and we still have to deal with the machinations of the Church, and the Princess, but with more direct royal scrutiny, because at least some if not all of our ‘volunteer party members’ will almost certainly be plants. And if we go at it from one of the other worlds first, with their weapons, we’d be flying nearly blind regarding what happens prior to the Waves where the Vassals interact with the Cardinal Weapon Heroes.”

    “Are you telling me we can’t do ANYTHING for these people?” Shirou exclaimed.

    “I’m saying that it would be very, very hard just to get our foot in the proverbial door, never mind actually make a difference,” the older man—for all that he didn’t really look it—replied heavily.

    “And what you’re not saying,” Rin said flatly, “is that we really have to try anyway, don’t we?”

    Shirou turned in surprise. “Tohsaka?”

    “It’s not a hard leap to make,” she said dryly. “These people go around smashing worlds—or dimensions—into each other for fun. And they’re doing it to worlds connected to various versions of Japan. It’s not impossible to think that they might eventually wind up here or end up throwing one of those alternates at us. My teacher might be a deterrent, as could several of the inherent systems of the planet, but it’s, as he said, a ‘more-than-zero chance.’” She hesitated, before sighing and adding, . “. . . Besides, we’re already interfering, aren’t we?”

    “In fact, as of right this second,” the Exalt said bitterly, “we’ve officially made things worse. Much as I despise the idea of sending her back there—”

    “We can’t exactly keep her here, either,” Rin pointed out.

    “Even ignoring that,” he continued, as if she hadn’t spoken, “and the asset of her eventual combat strength, Raphtalia is the Shield Hero’s primary, and frequently sole emotional support. Without her, he’s lost—and if she came through from when and where I think she did, we’ve possibly interrupted their meeting, because I don’t actually remember if it was ever mentioned how long she was in the slave trader’s custody. . .”

    He closed his eyes. “He might already have been and gone.”

    “That’s not likely,” Ilya said. “The governing rules say we have a chance, whatever we do—and if things really are as bad as you imply, and multiple worlds are at risk . . .” She shrugged. “We’ve likely come in prior to the four Heroes even being summoned—which means that if we really want to manipulate things, now is the time to try . . .”

    “So,” she asked, looking around at everyone, “what shall we do?”









    Writer's Notes: I wanted to work on the Persona idea, but this just wouldn't leave me alone . . .
    “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. #7164
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    I can roll with it. The ultimate enemies in the Shield Hero cosmology do sound like something the Works would have a serious interest in dealing with. The practical difficulties of dealing with the translation of systems in the Shield Hero universe also sounds troublesome; it always seemed like a weird omni-system with the various "progression is what you think it is" going on, so it seems like it would have a way to... twist most things you could bring in.

    I'm enjoying the little touches of each character while interrogating Godafrid. They're not all enormous, but they're certainly there. Akiha's management-level perspective on agents following Raphtalia for example, feels quite fitting. That little hint Ilya drops about the Caster of their War being different is also interesting. I knew Medea is an anti-hero, but... who did they get? Did they even have Kojiro, without Medea shenanigans to bring him out?

  5. #7165
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    I can roll with it. The ultimate enemies in the Shield Hero cosmology do sound like something the Works would have a serious interest in dealing with.
    Yes - which is why it almost seems inevitable that a crossover like this will happen . . . But.



    The practical difficulties of dealing with the translation of systems in the Shield Hero universe also sounds troublesome; it always seemed like a weird omni-system with the various "progression is what you think it is" going on, so it seems like it would have a way to... twist most things you could bring in.
    Yeah. Most Fate crossovers with the series that I've seen just slot the characters' existing abilities in with seemingly no issue, but as I've outlined, I really don't think that'd be the case. Now granted, with the Works' paradigm shields, I have an in-continuity reason to do that, but again, there's no real sense of scale . . .

    For example, the Cardinal Heroes face a giant, regenerating whale monster in their second Wave that looks on par with Bluebeard's summoned creature in Fate/Zero; which would be fine, except that they're Level 40-ish, which is less than half of a normal person's potential limit (100) in the status magic system. So, that means a Heroic Spirit on par with Arturia would translate to a mid-range boss . . .? That sure doesn't sound right, but based on what's shown, that's how it appears.

    And that's if it even is mid-range - there's no hard definition of what the actual level limit is, either. One hundred for normal people, sure - but there's a race that can hit 120, as of whatever the current light novel is, Naofumi is apparently 150, and at least one version (the web novel, I'm guessing?) says you can hit 999.

    That's all in-line with a video-game-ish system, and theoretically not impossible to cross with Fate or Tsukihime; but not easy, either.


    . . . Honestly, I think the best way to do this, if I'm going to, is have the Works agents join as party members to a Weapon Hero, and for said Hero, if they are from the Works universe, be someone normal(-ish). Kohaku or Hisui are the obvious choices; as noted, Shiki or Akiha might work, as well - or, pull in Ayako or Taiga, so there's really no interference between systems.


    I'm enjoying the little touches of each character while interrogating Godafrid. They're not all enormous, but they're certainly there.
    I do try to remember that they're different people, and should thus sound different - but thank you.


    Akiha's management-level perspective on agents following Raphtalia for example, feels quite fitting.
    Which is why I used her. Though I do feel a bit like I'm picking on her, having her play the heavy all the time . . .


    That little hint Ilya drops about the Caster of their War being different is also interesting. I knew Medea is an anti-hero, but... who did they get? Did they even have Kojiro, without Medea shenanigans to bring him out?
    Questions I haven't yet thought to answer - but which did occur to me as existing, as I wrote this. It's like the Bazett situation; it didn't register at the time, because I'm too used to continuity-crossing works in TYPE-MOON like Carnival Phantasm, F/GO and Prisma Illya - but would be an issue, given what I've done to set the Works up as I have . . .

    The only bright spot is that if Medea is somehow summoned to the Works, there won't be the pre-existing baggage amongst the Fuyuki residents for her to deal with (which may actually be a turnoff for some, I know).




    . . . And in completely unrelated news, Scion Second Edition has released their version of Demigod (with, I note, no warning whatsoever). The mechanical issues remain, sadly, but there a few lore updates worth noting, for those who follow RanmaBushiko's stuff: the character of Ixion (Scylla's creator) is reintroduced, as are a group of antagonists called The Keepers of The World (who were in the God book, last time) - of which Wayland Smith, Erik's teacher, is a member. There are also new concepts, admittedly, as antagonists), such as kaiju ("Goliaths") and divine Avatars, which would make translating/comparing Heroic Spirits to the system at least plausible.


    More notable to us is that the book includes the "Annuna, the Mesopotamian Pantheon" - meaning, of course, Ishtar, Ereshkigal, and Tiamat. They seem largely mythologically accurate (which means, sadly, that Nergal as Ereshkigal's husband/consort is a thing), but the Scion interpretation of Eresh, in some ways, is closer to TYPE-MOON's than any other I've seen:

    "The Queen of the Underworld rules it with a firm hand. Of all the Gods, only Nergal approaches her authority in the lands of death, and even he must bow to her. While she rules over death, she is also honored as a Mother Goddess of the Deep Earth and Holy Virgin — the contradictions of
    this matter to her no more than to her sister, Inanna. She is a cold and stern ruler, but not cruel. When her passions are roused, few are as determined.

    The other Gods are careful of Ereshkigal, as escape from her realm is difficult even for them. She does not judge those who come before her, but welcomes all, ruling from the great city of spirits within the Underworld . . . Her Scions tend to inherit her focus, her grim exterior and her powerful intellect. She treats them kindlier than most, for she has always loved her children, but
    she’s not particularly good at expressing emotion.
    "
    “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. #7166
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    A thought re: the Works' Fifth Holy Grail War

    The essence of six defeated Servants is necessary for the Grail to be summoned (seven, to reach Akasha, allegedly); should Gilgamesh count . . .?

    Granted, his still being present at the Grail's summoning puzzles me (I have GOT to finish watching Fate/Zero), but since there is a "spare" running around - and arguably a more powerful one, given that he's incarnated - would or should that mean that one of the War's other Servants, aside from Saber could still be around . . .?

    (Rider being a special case, since Sakura is sustaining her all by her lonesome.)
    “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. #7167
    死徒(上級)Greater Dead Apostle hatori's Avatar
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    Dropped you a PM
    I shall serve thy cause, upon my honour, till thy death.
    -Avenger/Jester. Trinity Series.
    Destined Legacies, shamelessly rewriting it since 2010

    When I go random.


  8. #7168
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Thanks for the refresher.
    “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




  9. #7169
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    The true origin of Grail Works, Ltd. . . .?

    Within Boundless Time
    Yet long ago, and worlds away









    There were no defining features to the land; merely an endless desert of grey sand, whirling about like the flowing of an hourglass marking the passage of time.

    Periodically, landmarks would appear in the haze—the silhouette of a building, the shadow of a mountain, the impression of an ocean, the swaying outline of a forest—but they were ultimately swallowed behind the curtain of sand, as obscuring as any fog. The sole constant within all of this was the stars, ever-visible in the velvet-black sky above, glittering like diamonds . . . And yet, even they were fluid, constellations rearranging themselves seemingly at random, as the points of light swept across the heavens in their endless cycle.

    Still, they burned in the sky, bright or dim, yet omnipresent—for the stars were the beacon of time; thus, to Time, the Stars were inextricably linked in Fate.

    No one could escape Fate, in the end. Its grip could be altered—they’d proven that much, at least—but never without cost, and even then, it held them no less resolutely for it. They were all bound to their roles, be they the merest of mortals, or the vastest of Titans; thus, he strode across the plains of Zurvan, Greater Titan of Time, eager to execute his own.

    It was not easy, for the Titans were worlds unto themselves; primordial concepts given form, from which the World and the Gods had ultimately been birthed. Each was as vast as the totality of the cosmos, for their natures were reflected within it, and they each perceived themselves as the rightful whole of existence, rendering them inherently hostile to all else—including other Titans. All of them were thus indescribably dangerous, but some were easier to reach and traverse than others. The Fire Titan, Muspelheim, held little inherent danger to those who were immune to heat and smoke. Its denizens were another matter, of course, but the environment could be endured.

    The same could not be said of other Titans—Zurvan among them. Embodying the concept of “boundless time,” age and causality were scattered hither and yon by its whimsical winds. Every moment might be a second, or a year, ahead or backwards; travellers might find themselves at their proper ages in one moment, a child the next, then a withered husk. The risk of finding oneself aged to dust or unbirth was ever-present in the shifting sands of Time, and not even Gods were immune . . . At least, if they were unprepared.

    First, he was of the Aesir, and thus had acquired several Golden Apples of Youth; a single bite would restore the consumer to their prime. Further, he had specimens of both their mythos and that of the Dodekatheon. The Greek variant was weaker—it was not, on the whole, quite as broad in its effects as that of his own pantheon—but the base result was the same. Acquiring them had not been easy, but far simpler than Herakles’ own effort: he’d asked for them, and the Queen of Olympus had been gracious enough, after understanding his aims.

    Zurvan was the Greater Titan of Time—but the Titans’ Avatars were their guiding intelligences. And the Dodekatheon did NOT want Cronus to reclaim primacy among them.

    The Apples were vulnerable to the time-shifts, of course; but he’d stored them separately, in the hopes that one might survive when and if he needed it. Beyond that, he had his own stamina to draw on and he had built himself into someone renowned even among the Aesir for his ability to endure—and, in this case, resist.

    It would surprise most he presumed; he was a new God, and thus, in the eyes of most, lesser. Even among mortals, his Legend was tied to folktales that had only recently gained any sort of prominence in the World at large; in that, he had as much or more in common with the eldritch being Jack Frost as with the Aesir proper. Certainly, his titles seemed far in excess of the renown of his name.

    Scion of Vidar. Consort of Hel. Breaker of Fates. Leader of the Wild Hunt. The Doom of Lost Souls. The Cruel God of Due Punishment. The Shadow of Saint Nicholas.

    Krampus.

    The God’s visage was no less terrifying than his queen’s, if more overtly demonic. His massive body was covered in coarse hair, his legs terminated in cloven hooves, and a long, probing tongue emerged from within his fanged maw—part of a horrific face crowned by spiralling horns. Nevertheless, his steps left no trace upon the sand; despite his looming presence, he stepped with a nimble lightness which made him seem as intangible as the spirits over which he ruled, and which hinted at a terrible capacity for swiftness, despite his bulk.

    He was accompanied by only the eldest of his retinue, the most ancient of the Hunt, whose deaths had passed long out of human memory. So long were they ghosts that the random shifts of time within Zurvan affected them barely, if it all; most of the shifts went back decades, at most, where millennia would be needed to undo their existences as members of the Wild Hunt.

    Those Hunters, too, dealt with the minor nuisances of the realm; those aionic creatures native to Zurvan that served its will. As with the Titan itself, they too emitted auras of corruptive time—but these lesser echoes affected the Hunt not at all, and they found themselves run down in multitudes, leaving Krampus to concentrate his energies on the greater threat: the Titan itself.

    Normally, he would enjoy the hunt—inflicting smaller cruelties to pay back the lesser sins of his targets, until the final reckoning—but there was far more at stake. With Ragnarok averted through Surtr’s defeat and the turning of the Fenris Wolf, the Aesir were able to prosecute the remaining Titans far more actively. By the same token, however, the overthrow of Muspelheim’s primary Avatar had left the others in a battle for dominance; and whether it be Prometheus, Kagu-tsuchi, Meretseger, or Camaxtli-Xocotl who won, the shift in leadership would undoubtedly lead to increased pressure on the associated pantheon.

    The Aesir couldn’t afford to have any pantheon fall, whatever their ultimate relations with them—lest the same issue affect them. After all, Jord was an Avatar of Terra; if Olympus fell to an alliance between Gaia and Prometheus, they might find themselves soon facing the same force. Nor was she the only Titan with a Norse Avatar . . .

    Zurvan, to Krampus’ knowledge, had no such thing—but the Greater Titan of Time’s mastery of its element could prove a significant force multiplier, and that couldn’t be afforded; worse, it could make the flow of time such that even if Krampus emerged victorious, the war would be long over, no matter how quickly he won. And even that failed to address the other members of his Band—and his queen—being at risk . . .

    Krampus’ grip tightened on the ashen rod he held: the “wounding twig,” Laevateinn. One of the two weapons he’d won from Loki, he used it less often lately than the Sword of Atli—it was focussed more on magic than battle—but the latter had been requested by Erik for his mission, and he’d been so pleased that the God of Mecha had requested a practical weapon that he’d allowed the other deity to take it. Besides, Laevateinn was just as useful against the weaknesses of his intended foe; perhaps even more so.

    “. . . Are you done?” he asked. “Every action has consequences—and while you may evade them, deflect them, even hold them in abeyance, even your mastery of causality cannot unmake them. Once the decision is made, the act performed, the effects are written in Fate; every evil earns its punishment . . .

    You have chosen to be incarnated as the greatest of all evils,” Krampus pronounced direly, yet with a gleeful hunger infusing his voice, “and here. I. AM.

    The sands swirled then, into a terrible storm, howling with the malice of all storms, combined—of all things. It swept all lesser things aside—the spectres of the Hunt, the denizens of Zurvan, even the landscape itself, consuming all in a featureless blank of grey . . . The relentless fury condensed, into a humanoid form that was no more human than that of Krampus; less, truly, for its source had never been human in the first place.

    Ahriman, otherwise known as Angra Mainyu, greatest foe of the Yazata, as the Persian pantheon was known—and Avatar of Zurvan, had arrived.

    “Foolish godling,” the demonic entity sneered. “Legend itself proclaims me the equal to any two pantheons, and matched by only one being in all the World—and still, you would dare to face me?”

    The God’s sneer was no less contemptuous. “Legend also proclaims me a breaker of Fate—

    “A title shared among three—and yet, I see only one, Ahriman scoffed. “Do you truly believe you can threaten me?

    Krampus bared his teeth, in an expression no one would call a smile—and yet, it was.

    “I know it.”

    On the surface of it, the matchup was ridiculous: one of the newest of the Aesir against one of the most powerful and ancient beings in existence. And yet, on a symbolic and conceptual level, the struggle was far more even—Krampus was consequence to Ahriman’s causality, punishment to his evil. And the divine Purview which enshrined Time, that Zurvan represented, was the Stars—which, by definition, could only be seen at night, and Krampus was a being of night. Christmas night specifically, granted, but the Wild Hunt roamed on any night, and he had been granted its leadership by Odin All-Father.

    In theory, certainly, Zurvan could reverse his personal time beyond the point Krampus had become a God, but thanks to his own time manipulations, Krampus had existed as a God at the time of the Titans’ release from their prisons; briefly, true, but he had. In fact, he had been partially inadvertently responsible for their release—thank you, Erik—which meant that to undo him would be to shove Zurvan and its brethren back into the Underworld, possibly eternally . . .

    No, Ahriman didn’t dare try that method, which meant relying on brute force. And Krampus was of the Aesir—this was exactly the kind of fight he existed for.

    Plus, the God had a trump card: he knew Ahriman’s secrets—his weaknesses—and he had an answer for them. For all his power, Ahriman was weak to powers of fire and magic.

    The Sword of Atli would have served for the first—but Laevateinn wielded the second just as well.

    Krampus brandished the length of ash. “Shall we begin?”








    The battle was long, and hard-fought. Ahriman was weak to certain powers, yes—but he was unique among Titan Avatars in possessing nearly all others, to some extent. More than once, Krampus was forced to rely on the Apples of Immortality for healing, rather than simply to counter a temporal attack. But his own Legend, though newly forged, was no less puissant; and it spoke deeply of his relentlessness, and his ability to defy certain death—to the point where certain tongues among the Aesir claimed that Hel had chosen him as her consort simply to hold him in her thrall somehow . . .

    Ultimately, however, Krampus had a weapon in his arsenal that Ahriman—indeed, no Titan—could counter. Those who reached the pinnacle of power could, like the Titans, form Avatars—living personifications of a concept. And Krampus’ one success in this area was in his primary Purview.

    The Arbiter was literally Justice given form; implacable, impartial, and a force to which even Titans were subject. It was the Arbiters’ decrees which had sent the Titans, unresisting if unwilling, into their prisons in ages past—and while the feat had required all deities capable of such to accomplish, it was not Krampus’ goal.

    Zurvan could not be killed; Ymir’s death and the flood which had followed had proven that to do so would undo the World itself. Nor could Zurvan be imprisoned; the cells which had once held the Titans had not yet been suitably repaired or replaced. But this, Krampus could do—issue a single order, woven throughout Fate, which the Greater Titan, or at least its Avatar, would be bound to obey.




    [BE CAST DOWN.]




    This was Krampus’ judgement—the greatest punishment he could devise for the greatest of evils: failure. To forever be overthrown, come in second, in all its endeavours. Never would its plans ever come to full fruition, no matter how the odds were stacked in its favour. Always would it come so close, only to stumble at the last moment.

    For the greatest and most high, what deeper hell than could there be, but to be lesser, always . . .?

    In a swing of the Arbiter’s gavel, Ahriman was forever neutered—and as Zurvan’s primary Avatar, the Greater Titan stymied. As with Muspelheim, an internal struggle would be waged in the ensuing power vacuum; it would be some time before the Titan of Time would prove an active threat once more.

    Yet as Krampus departed, the God of Due Punishment failed to consider one important facet of those who wove the strands of Fate: they were inevitably bound to the one whose Fate they altered, in some fashion.

    And on that day, Fate was written: wheresoever Krampus walked, in whatever guise, Ahriman, in whatever guise, would fall . . .










    Writer's Notes: . . . Or perhaps merely an unwritten prologue to Fate/Anarchy - but it would explain a few things, no?
    Last edited by Kieran; July 20th, 2022 at 12:05 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




  10. #7170
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    No snippet this week, sorry - partly because of work, partly because of too many ideas . . . As with Persona, I have several concepts that keep recurring in my imagination, bugging me to do something with them.

    One, for example, is Ayako Mitsuzuri. Her inclusion in the Mushroom Kingdom mission means there's an "in" to the Works in general (who erased their memories, exactly? And how good at it are they . . .?); and the Mario series' habit of crossovers into other series (Smash Bros., anyone?) means she and the Works could wind up being involved in any number of settings - I admit, given the elements involved in Frid's "judgement," I've been half-tempted to throw him into Termina, and Ayako's being a gamer might work well there, since Frid never actually beat it himself . . . There's also Castlevania, (again, through Smash Bros.), which Fate/Anarchy already touched on - and also, one of my other persistent idea for a story setting (which has been brought up by others, a long time ago): Fire Emblem.

    I will state outright: I don't own any of the games, and I've never played them - what I know comes from YouTube videos and wiki-diving. That said, I think Awakening, Fates, and Three Houses have potential. They're broad-scale enough that it would require multiple agents (i.e., at least one per faction) to solve any problems; and there are many overlaps that could prove interesting - voice actors being one, the concepts of dragons, dragon hybrids, Crests for Three Houses, and the general ideas of F/GO and Fire Emblem Heroes Heck, the player character for FEH uses a variant of my moniker, and the one for Awakening is a class known as "Tactician" (note my signature, if you will) . . .

    (In truth, FEH is unlikely to be used - it's both stupidly complicated and ongoing - but it was an odd coincidence.)




    Which leaves my latest nagging concept - which has popped up periodically, but recently has surged forth due to actually (accidentally) legally acquiring a series: Kamen Rider.

    Let's be honest: Shirou would love this, though Shiki is liable to be just as interested, since I could see him watching a series or two as a kid. And Kamen Rider, as a franchise, has dimension-hopping, alternate universe, and multiversal threat elements. The question, of course, would come down to which series to deal with . . .

    Aside from Saban's original Masked Rider series (which we won't get into), I'm most familiar with is Kamen Rider Kiva (which might suit Shiki really well, actually - vampires, monster hunters and hybrids), and I own Kamen Rider Zero-One (which is admittedly harder to see how the Works might handle, but it is an obviously alternate world). If I can believe the insert that came with the series, I can acquire others; though sadly, not Kiva, or the two other series I can see being really relevant to the Works - Kamen Rider Saber sounds like an obvious choice, and Kamen Rider Wizard as well (they even use rings as their transformation catalyst, and isn't Frid supposed to acquire one according to XX . . .? ).

    Nevertheless, the KR franchise generally seems to have enough things that need fixing - or that you'd want to fix (tragically doomed love interests seem to be a recurring theme, for example) - and a threat level high enough to warrant both the Works' intervention and struggling with it. Also the chance to pick up some neat power sources for the Grail, if not outright power-ups for "normal" characters like Hisui, Kohaku, etc.


    . . . Does any of this sound interesting, or do I need to beat my muse back into submission again?
    “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




  11. #7171
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran, I'll handle the latter part of your last sentence... *inhales a deep breath* Bad muse, BAD!!

    Okay, let me be serious here for a bit... you've got an already working idea going on, what with the Persona 5 crossover that I'm desperate to see more of. This is just going to be far too much for you to handle at this time... for real.
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    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?

  12. #7172
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    You're almost certainly right, but I swear my muse has developed ADHD after all these years . . .
    “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




  13. #7173
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Hey, hey, don't get the wrong idea here. I feel that I'm the one with the muse that's afflicted with ADHD. On top of that, I'm also the one who can't seem to stick with a good deal of my ideas, unfortunately. What is wrong with me?
    Xamusel's Fanfiction Profile

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    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?

  14. #7174
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    As I've said, I think you have a tendency to overcomplicate: blow ideas up and up until your plans collapse under their own weight. It happened to me with a number of stories, over the years - eventually, I learned to stick with simple concepts. (Kind of.)
    “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




  15. #7175
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    OK, spoilers for Fate Grand Order time, but this is too big and potentially relevant NOT to discuss:

    Last chance to avoid 7th Anniversary spoilers!
    Arcueid is now a Servant. What was once a one-off gag based on Yu Miaoyi's existence is now actually possible.



    . . . Is this a direction the Works should adopt? It would solve at least one major long-term problem, and free up a Grail wish (theoretically) by going this way - though Akiha would probably feel threatened, since it moves one of her rivals closer to winning . . . (If only by eliminating a lot of said rival's own potential obstacles to maintaining a relationship.)
    “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. #7176
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    My new headcanon is that this is your fault.

    Spoiler:
    It's not entirely clear whether she actually loses her bloodlust; lore description implies most of her power is still tied up in suppressing it, though that might be abstracted away as a Heroic Spirit. She also takes a downgrade by being confined in a Saint Graph, which limits her "always a little bit stronger" abilities. She would get the information download from the Grail, of course.

    I was under the impression the wish was mostly to remove her bloodlust, so if that isn't covered... I'm not sure if there's actually a big upside for Arc to be incarnated that way. It seems like in this case, the original is better than the copy.

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    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    As I've said, I think you have a tendency to overcomplicate: blow ideas up and up until your plans collapse under their own weight. It happened to me with a number of stories, over the years - eventually, I learned to stick with simple concepts. (Kind of.)
    Sorry that I failed to get back to this sooner, Kieran. I had a lot of stuff on my plate, and not enough power to pull it all off.

    Anyway, allow me to say this: you have a point, one that I'm having trouble with accepting. I wish that I can figure out how to keep from overcomplicating ideas like that.

    One thing I need to do is figure out a concept and stick with it... ugh. I know that I want the character I choose to go through the Reign of Winter AP, though there need to be some changes to the story, since I'm certain that my character won't start in Golarion. Sure, he'll end up in Golarion, but he wouldn't be reborn there.

    This is part of the main problem I have right now... who do I go with, from all the SI choices I could come up with, and what all am I supposed to do ensure that the SI goes through the AP?

    On that note, no, the Grail Works should not adopt that Fate/Grand Order move at all. Just doesn't sit right with me.
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    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?

  18. #7178
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    Sorry that I failed to get back to this sooner, Kieran. I had a lot of stuff on my plate, and not enough power to pull it all off.

    Anyway, allow me to say this: you have a point, one that I'm having trouble with accepting. I wish that I can figure out how to keep from overcomplicating ideas like that.

    One thing I need to do is figure out a concept and stick with it... ugh. I know that I want the character I choose to go through the Reign of Winter AP, though there need to be some changes to the story, since I'm certain that my character won't start in Golarion. Sure, he'll end up in Golarion, but he wouldn't be reborn there.

    This is part of the main problem I have right now... who do I go with, from all the SI choices I could come up with, and what all am I supposed to do ensure that the SI goes through the AP?
    All right, let's try looking at this through a different angle . . .

    Whatever sort of SI you choose, if you're going to go through Reign of Winter, then one thing NEEDS to be true/happen, no exceptions, no arguments: the character's nature and abilities ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO be compatible with the Reign of Winter's rule system. This means that your character must be something able to be realised in d20/Pathfinder 1E rules. If whatever you come up with can't do that, there's no point to using them. That should be your guiding rule in designing and choosing whatever you do.


    . . . And, of course, having said that, I immediately think of a loophole - because of course I do. *Sighs*

    OK, there is one other option: whatever character type you choose, Reign of Winter has to be compatible with it. For example, Scion 2E, as much as I HATE its mechanics, has released a Slavic pantheon, which includes Baba Yaga, Rasputin, and so forth. So, if you wanted to run something like the same story under Scion rules, it's theoretically possible, if you want to do it that way - or if you have any other game system with a strong Slavic/Russian fairy tale component (I know Warhammer Fantasy has a version of Baba Yaga, for example). . .

    But take it from me, because I've tried stuff like this before: converting it would be a LOT more work than simply making sure you have a d20-type SI.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arbitrarity View Post
    My new headcanon is that this is your fault.

    Spoiler:
    It's not entirely clear whether she actually loses her bloodlust; lore description implies most of her power is still tied up in suppressing it, though that might be abstracted away as a Heroic Spirit. She also takes a downgrade by being confined in a Saint Graph, which limits her "always a little bit stronger" abilities. She would get the information download from the Grail, of course.

    I was under the impression the wish was mostly to remove her bloodlust, so if that isn't covered... I'm not sure if there's actually a big upside for Arc to be incarnated that way. It seems like in this case, the original is better than the copy.
    That's fair, on all counts - though it being my fault actually seems like an argument for it . . .


    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    On that note, no, the Grail Works should not adopt that Fate/Grand Order move at all. Just doesn't sit right with me.
    And that makes two negatives - so barring one or more people chiming in with a "yea" vote (because I am actually partial to the idea, myself), I guess we stick with "Classic" over "New" flavour. (And yes, I'm dating myself - but since when have I hidden my age? )
    “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




  19. #7179
    Vigilant. Relied Upon. Vigilantia's Avatar
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    Aww, but I liked the idiot vampire. I suppose it might be a cheat if she's a servant though by removing her disability. On the other hand, it'd make it easier to push her into Works operations for obvious reasons. I guess it'd depend on the author if they wanted to use her, however.
    Last edited by Vigilantia; August 3rd, 2022 at 01:11 PM.

  20. #7180
    死徒(下級)Lesser Dead Apostle
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    424
    I'm not really strongly for or against, honestly.
    I can definitely see leaving it up to authorial discretion if the change enables plot or makes things easier to incorporate (re: paradigm shields or somesuch)

    Actually.... (goofy idea)
    Spoiler:

    On a silly note, if we don't assume Servant!Arc is from the Works timeline (or she ascends at some time in the future), we could have both concurrently, since the Throne is extra-temporal. I would be rather amused to see if Servant!Arc and True Ancestor!Arc would get along or not.
    It also seems... not unreasonable that she might change her mind and return from the Throne in her regular form, if she misses Shiki or somesuch.

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