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Thread: [FF] (Grail) Works in Progress: Origin Stories (Grail Works, Ltd.: Type-Moon/Various X-overs)

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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    [FF] (Grail) Works in Progress: Origin Stories (Grail Works, Ltd.: Type-Moon/Various X-overs)

    Last edited by Kieran; March 22nd, 2019 at 07:46 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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    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    1. The Hero's Reward

    DISCLAIMER: Lunar Legend Tsukihime, Fate/Stay Night, and all related characters and concepts are the creation and property of Kinoko Nasu and Type-Moon, along with whoever’s happened to license them.

    This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.




    Fuyuki City

    June 20, 2004









    In the depths of the tainted Holy Grail, the spirit of Ilyasviel von Einzbern steadily dissolved. Unable to do anything to save herself, she succumbed, as her mother had before her, to the seething, malicious abyss which was the manifestation of the entire world’s evil in a tangible form.

    . . . Well, for a given value of “tangible,” at least — after all, she was, at this point in time and space, a spiritual being.

    But while the Evil was likewise, it also held a physical form in the black “mud” and “shadows” that had pervaded the Grail War to this point, resulting in forms like Dark Sakura and Saber Alter. But regardless of whether it could be considered physical, spiritual, or both, it corroded and consumed her being steadily. As it did the being of her adopted brother, even as he fought the aforementioned forms in order to prevent the Evil from fully manifesting, and swallowing the entire earth in the process.

    Ilyasviel could do nothing as the corruption ate away at her, but from the higher plane of existence that she presently occupied, she could manage to see several possible outcomes from this point. It was one of the consequences of her transmogrification into an object whose ultimate purpose was to grant wishes: in order to achieve things that were otherwise impossible, she needed to be able to perceive what was needed in order to accomplish them.

    For anyone or anything else, it might’ve been impossible. However, one of the founders of the Grail War had been the Tohsaka clan, whose speciality was Jewel Magic, the foundation of Kaleidoscope — the Sorcery concerning the operation of parallel worlds . . .

    And as such, with senses beyond human, or even the normally accepted limits of time and space, she observed . . . And the sights she saw did not please her.

    As things stood at the current point in time-space, even if Shirou survived (which was by no means a certainty), the best possible outcome would involve her adopted little brother becoming her adopted little sister — and she doubted that Shirou would appreciate the change. Furthermore, even accomplishing that much would require Ilyasviel to sacrifice her existence entirely, an act she’d rather avoid.

    However, she reluctantly admitted the other possible outcomes were even worse than that. The next most likely one involved both of them dying, and Sakura slowly wasting away in futility, and despair . . .

    . . . And even Rin would die eventually, as her heart gave out under the strain of the sacrifices she’d made for her magecraft. A magical genius she might be, but the girl was all too human, and the loss of everything and everyone that she’d ever known and loved would finally prove too much for her . . .

    No, that wasn’t at all a preferable outcome, and if she was to change it, then Ilyasviel knew that she had to act now, while she still had some of her own will available to do so. For the moment, at least, she was as much the Grail as the Evil was, even if it had the final say in how a given operation was executed.

    That just made the problem trickier, though — because as it was currently configured, any wish that Ilyasviel tried to grant would be twisted into something horribly destructive. That meant that she had to think of something that would satisfy that requirement, but result in a better overall ending for Shirou and the rest of them.

    And she had to do so fast, because Shirou was about to win his battle, and it was going to be a race to see whether that happened first, or if the taint that had lurked in the Holy Grail for the last sixty-odd years would finish consuming her before then . . .

    But despite her surname, by parentage, Ilyasviel was an Emiya, too — and that meant that simply handing victory over to her enemy went against her nature.

    Shirou is going to win; if not this battle, then at least the Grail, if only by default — which will entitle him to a wish, Ilyasviel thought. And before he chose to try and save Sakura above all else, he wanted to save everyone. And in order to do that, then everyone would have to be put in danger . . .

    Frantically, the fading Grail spirit began searching for world-endangering threats. The tainted Grail itself might count, but she dared not take the chance that it wasn’t; she needed something bigger than that; a threat — a future — that the Grail would work with her to help realise. And preferably, a threat that Shirou could conceivably handle without requiring the intervention of the Counter Force, but in a pinch, she’d take what she could get.

    If she was successful, the antagonistic will of the Grail would concentrate on drawing on all that destructive, chaotic potential, and leave her free to shape just how it impacted things. If so, then she could do her best to minimise they would all have a chance to rebuild their lives in a way that was better than before — the way that Shirou would’ve wanted them to be.

    Either way, Ilyasviel knew that she would only have one shot at this, if that. The malignant curse was eating away at her quickly, and she wasn’t certain how much longer she could maintain her sense of self, much less the will to fulfill her purpose . . .

    With that in mind, she utilised her full potential — what remained of it, at least — and sought something that met her criteria.

    And even if, at this moment, she was incapable of the kind of miracles that she would be capable of when she’d finished being dissolved into the Holy Grail, the Einzbern heiress was still one of the most powerful magi alive. Moreover, the Grail ritual had been designed with Kaleidoscope as part of its matrix.

    Her options were potentially unlimited; it was only her time that was running out.

    Frantically, she searched through dozens and dozens of possibilities, potentials that might be from this point in time, if they were realised by the power of the Grail. In truth, she saw more possibilities than any mortal mind could comprehend at a single point in time — and the fact that she could do that indicated that the existence known as “Ilyasviel von Einzbern” was reaching its end . . .

    There. That was the best choice, so far as Ilya could see. It required so little effort to achieve — she didn’t even really need to tap the Grail itself to do it, it was such a small thing — but the odds of its happening by itself were so unlikely . . .

    And the Evil would be allowed to manifest. That, alone, should see it allow the effort to go through (so long as she had the strength to keep the details of its manifestation from the Evil until it had happened, at least) . . . And that strength, that will, was ebbing fast. If she was to act, while she still could act, it had to be now.

    It was all down to this final roll of the dice, then and praying that she somehow shared her adoptive brother’s insane luck.

    The irony of the Holy Grail resorting to prayer would’ve made her laugh, if Ilyasviel had still possessed a body with which to do so — or, shortly thereafter, enough self-awareness to realise that she would’ve found it funny . . .








    While he was thoroughly caught up in his own battle, Shirou nevertheless found that he was glancing over to Rin, who was currently engaged in fighting Sakura’s possessed form. Had he heard something from over in her direction — perhaps a call for help? It had sounded like a girl calling him . . .

    To his shock, he found Rin in a position of undeniable victory — and yet, lowering her blade. Despite all her words about her duty as a magus, the dangers that Sakura posed in her current state, and so on, she still couldn’t bring herself to kill her sister. And from the response he was seeing, it looked as though, even driven to a nihilistic, homicidal madness, there was still enough of Sakura in there for it to be true of her, as well.

    It was shocking, and if he hadn’t been running on the inborn reflexes that came with his Projected weaponry, it might’ve cost him his life — but the sight caused him to ask a single question of himself, one that he hadn’t heretofore considered.

    If they can achieve their ends without sacrificing hope for a better future, then why can’t I?

    It had been Shirou’s defining characteristic for ten years: that he wished to be a hero capable of saving everyone. Of the course of this “Holy Grail War” (though “Pointless Massacre” was a more accurate title), he had gradually surrendered that dream for the more realistic, and undeniably grimmer, view that had been held by his father.

    Some, on viewing his journey to this state of mind, would call it a natural reaction; it was, after all, part of the process of growing up — releasing one’s childish, fanciful dreams in order to take on the responsibilities of an adult . . . But if every dream had ever been surrendered, where would humanity be now? Whatever achievements that had been accomplished in their species’ time upon this world, it had taken the effort of holding on to dreams, pursuing them despite all objections and obstacles in one’s path. Indeed, in Western literature, wasn’t following such a trail called “the hero’s journey?”

    And tonight, he had witnessed miracles. Rin had achieved the crystallisation of her family’s magecraft, something that had impressed the being who’d set the Tohsaka bloodline, along with several others, on that very journey centuries ago. Sakura had overcome the influence of the All the World’s Evil, and regained at least enough of her humanity to show her sister mercy . . .

    . . . And, Shirou suddenly realised, he had been shown exactly what he needed to see in order to end this, once and for all.




    To any who had hypothetically borne witness to the end of the Fourth Holy Grail War (since none who had were presently among the living), the scene would have appeared to be born of a severe case of déjà vu.

    And in some respects, the comparison would’ve been an accurate one, for it was the same, in a broad sense; as before, the tainted Grail began to materialise into the world, and on the orders of the War’s victorious Master, the full power of a legendary magical sword was turned against it.

    This time, however, the Grail bore the brunt of not one such blade, but three — though in the end, it was only one sword: the Jewelled Sword, Zelretch.

    The three blades did as each of them was designed to do, opening a rift in countless parallel worlds, in order to draw energy from them and channel it into the artefact for its wielder’s use. In this case, however, the Zelretch wielders deliberately skipped the last step of the process — and they just so happened to open those rifts at the point in space and time where the tainted Grail was materialising.

    The explosive backlash created by that act was immense; in fact, it was a full order of magnitude more powerful than the outright destruction of the Grail a decade ago. But as it was focussed through the rift, what actually emerged into the world amounted to a pretty lightshow that was about as dazzling as a professional photographer’s camera flash.

    The spirit of Angra Mainyu might justifiably be known as the incarnation of “All the World’s Evil,” but when that same evil was scattered across every world that could ever be, or might ever have been . . . Well, it was fairly mild, all things considered, when it was diluted that thoroughly. The creature wasn’t dead — instead, fragments of its essence were everywhere, and compared to the power of the whole, wasn’t really worth anyone concerning themselves about.

    One drop of water did not a hurricane make, not without a lot of pre-existing conditions being in place beforehand.

    And as for the Grail itself, now that its evil influence had been dealt with . . .?

    Ilya materialised before them, a luminous being with a pixie grin on her lips and a literal sparkle in her eyes.

    “Nice work, Onii-chan,” she said brightly. “I knew you could pull it off. Now, about your wish — well, there’s always the traditional hero’s reward . . .”

    Her grin widened predatorily, and Shirou’s eyes widened correspondingly, in alarm. Before he, Rin, or Sakura could say anything, however, Ilya pounced on him, and the world abruptly went white . . .








    The smell of salt air and moistened leaves revived them.

    They were not entirely unknown scents, as Japan was an island, and areas around Fuyuki were reasonably forested, but neither were they especially familiar to any of those around. And finding themselves, abruptly, in a forest suitable as a backdrop for any of the Grimm brothers’ famous fairytales only heightened the sense of unreality to the place.

    “Where are we . . .?” Shirou muttered, as much to give voice to his thoughts as out of any real expectation of an answer.

    “It feels like a parallel world,” Rin answered. “Or a Reality Marble — and yet . . . It doesn’t.

    “It feels like a parallel world that is rooted in the real one,” Sakura’s voice said timidly, but with the air of someone who knew what she was talking about. "This is a phantasmal space, a creation on par with that of the legendary Millennium Castle of the True Ancestors.”

    Shirou turned around to stare at Sakura, who had reddened to the point that her face would’ve matched Archer’s mantle in colour.

    “Bindings are the Matou family’s specialty,” she murmured faintly. “I might not be able to create a space like this easily, but I know what its anchoring would look like. Rin-neesama was correct — this is very like a Reality Marble.”

    “Then who’s sustaining it?” Rin demanded.

    “Let’s go find out,” Shirou said cautiously, “but everyone, be on your guard.”

    “I will protect my Master,” Rider replied bluntly, causing Shirou and Rin to do a double-take as they suddenly realised that the Servant was there — and wondering how they’d missed her presence in the first place. Regardless, the fact of her presence prompted another group stare at Sakura.
    This time, however, while she sounded hesitant, she didn’t shrink.

    “I have a lot of power to spare, now,” she said, simply but firmly. “And she’s my friend.”

    Rin rolled her eyes, but Shirou nodded, fully understanding the reasoning — which prompted Rin to release an aggrieved, but quiet sigh.

    “What am I going to do with two of you . . .?” the ebony-haired magus muttered.








    A casual survey of their surroundings led them to conclude that their location was a space that manifested as a mist-shrouded island — its weather was sunny and pleasant enough, but the haze erupted several yards out to sea, obscuring detail to the point that they knew there was another landmass beyond it, but nothing else. Further, the island was abundantly covered in forests, with its sole other natural landmark being a raised hill, on which stood a castle, and a very unique castle, at that.

    It had definitely been designed with a Japanese aesthetic, but had been built in the style of a Western fortification. For example, a great deal of gray stone had been involved in its construction, where a more traditional Japanese castle would have used wood. Going inside reinforced the point — the doors were primarily wood rather than the typical paper screens, though further investigation saw that the more private apartments had those, too.

    Shirou was quietly impressed. Traditional castle design aside, building a fortification like this would have been impractical in Japan, simply because of the difficulty in finding this much quarried stone. Typically, anyone wishing to create a similar base of operations would’ve tried hollowing out a mountain, rather than building like this.

    “Impressive,” Rin admitted, unconsciously echoing his thoughts. “It’s clearly been built for our comfort internally, but with the more advantageous security features of Western design.” She frowned. “Though I’m still not certain to what purpose . . .”

    “It’s this way,” Sakura said, with such absolute certainty in her tone that the other two humans looked at her in surprise (Rider may have as well, but who could tell, under her visor?).

    With the youngest of them leading the way, the trio plus Servant walked a path to an open-air room — or so it appeared, with the transparent dome across the ceiling and high windows. Sunlight filtered through from multiple directions, some of it scattered into dazzling rainbow patterns by the stained-glass mosaics that encircled the room — six of them, to be precise, depicting the defeated Servants of the Holy Grail War.

    And they surrounded a pedestal on which sat a shining chalice.

    “Welcome to the chapel.”

    Ilya’s unexpected voice caught everyone by surprise, unexpected as it was, and they whirled as one —

    To see the Einzbern heir, the picture of health once more, garbed in the white-and-purple outfit she’d originally worn, beret included. Her eyes were solemn, however, and her smile, while welcoming, was just a touch sad.

    “Ilya!” Shirou exploded, sagging with relief. “You’re all right!”

    “That depends on your definition, Onii-chan,” Ilya countered, surprisingly gently. “I still exist, and I’m still me, for the most part. But I’m also the Grail, as well. Where it goes, I go — and since it can’t actually leave this place . . .”

    “Which is where?” Rin demanded, causing the smaller girl to frown.

    “An ideal, as viewed though a kaleidoscope,” Ilya replied facetiously. “A landmark, pointing the way to a distant utopia in whose shadow it resides. Or if you prefer, you can just think of it as the security gate of Avalon.”

    That brought them all up short, so Ilya continued on.

    “After Angra Mainyu was — expelled, I had basically unlimited options, within the context of the Grail War’s limitations. I had access to Kaleidoscope, Heaven’s Feel, Blue . . . Anything I could possibly have needed, but only to do what you would’ve wanted done, Onii-chan. You did it — you won the War — and that meant that the wish I granted had to be yours . . . And you want to save people; to save anyone, and everyone.

    “Not even the Grail had that much power,” Ilya admitted. “Maybe the original would, but in the end, this Grail is just an imitation. I can’t save everyone . . . But I could manipulate the things that I had on hand in order to give you the chance to try.

    How?” Shirou asked intently. Contrary to what some might think, he was aware that it was likely going to be complicated, and that he wouldn’t like some of the costs involved

    She shrugged. “Like I said, I have access to a lot of possibilities, including the Five True Magics — a lot more limited access now that the wish has been made, but still some. For example, I can use Blue and Kaleidoscope to put you in places where you can help people, and if you can gather enough energy to recharge the Grail somehow, we can use it. But for now, it’s going to come down to you, and anyone who chooses to help you.”

    “Where Shirou goes, I go,” Sakura said flatly, and Rider used exactly the same tone to say nearly the same thing, except that she substituted Sakura’s name for Shirou’s.

    Rin sighed theatrically. “. . . I suppose you’ll need someone with common sense around to keep you from getting yourselves killed — and Rider’s outnumbered.”

    She flashed a tiny smile to Sakura, to show that she didn’t really mean it. As expected, her little sister was familiar enough with subtle expressions to catch it, as Shirou was not. There followed several moments of sputtering denial on his part, and laughter at his expense, before Rin asked a follow-up question.

    “So, how exactly are we supposed to determine who to help? Or how?

    Ilya scowled. “I had to fudge things a bit, there — don’t look at me like that, Rin! I’d like to see you whip up an entire phantasmal space from scratch that involved integrating at least three True Magics at once, in a timeframe measured in heartbeats!

    With a matching scowl now on her own face, Rin nodded to concede the point, and gestured to the girl to continue.

    “Anyways, it’s a modified intent ward in the outer layers of this place,” Ilya explained. “If we literally tried to save everybody from everything, we’d never save anyone, because there are too many people in danger at any given point in time. And it gets worse when you add in the parallel worlds accessible through Kaleidoscope. So, I had to add a few conditions and caveats to make it at all possible without doing something like turning every living thing on every Earth to diamond.”

    Of all of them, it was Sakura who winced. She understood better than they did that it would have been a potential way for the tainted Grail to have enacted that wish — preserving everything from harm even as it destroyed it all.

    “What conditions?” Rin pressed.

    Ilya hesitated. “Like I said, I had to slap it together, so it might not be exactly correct, but in general, there are three components. First, someone has to be in desperate and immediate need of help, obviously. Second, they must have no other potential avenues of help; if going to someone else would fix the problem, they won’t reach us, unless they’re somehow unable to do so.

    “And finally, it has to be help which we are capable of providing, somehow,” she finished. “That should cut potential problems down considerably, and give us a bit of breathing room for trial and error. But basically, anyone who meets those basic criteria will be drawn to this building, or at least the island, at the appropriate time —”

    A figure abruptly burst through the doors behind them to collapse on the carpeted floor, vaguely humanoid in shape, but writhing and rippling as its appearance— including its clothes, even — warped and twisted in new, forced configurations. It was as though the body was merely a sack, and multiple creatures were battling for dominance inside it; creatures with sharp fangs and claws, at that.

    “Just like that,” Ilya said flatly. “Well, what are you all just standing around for? It’s time to get to work!”








    The Beginning . . .
    Last edited by Kieran; November 20th, 2014 at 08:43 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

  3. #3
    Don't @ me if your fanfic doesn't even have Shirou/Illya shipping k thnx ItsaRandomUsername's Avatar
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    “Like I said, I had to slap it together, so it might not be exactly correct, but in general, there are three components. First, someone has to be in desperate and immediate need of help, obviously. Second, they must have no other potential avenues of help; if going to someone else would fix the problem, they won’t reach us, unless they’re somehow unable to do so.

    “And finally, it has to be help which we are capable of providing, somehow,” she finished. “That should cut potential problems down considerably, and give us a bit of breathing room for trial and error. But basically, anyone who meets those basic criteria will be drawn to this building, or at least the island, at the appropriate time —”
    Sounds like the death of any given "Chosen One" archetype at any given time would probably be a deciding factor in this.

    Does this mean that Saber's been retconned out of the team, or that she has yet to have some possible origin story for what would be her current state?
    McJon01: We all know that the real reason Archer would lose to Rider is because the events of his own Holy Grail War left him with a particular weakness toward "older sister" types.
    My Fanfics. Read 'em. Or not.



  4. #4
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsaRandomUsername View Post
    Sounds like the death of any given "Chosen One" archetype at any given time would probably be a deciding factor in this.
    Pretty much - which kind of explains "Beast of the Moon" a bit better plot-wise, too.


    Does this mean that Saber's been retconned out of the team, or that she has yet to have some possible origin story for what would be her current state?
    Her origin's still on the "to-do" list - I have to do Kurai's first, but she'll probably be next.
    “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

  5. #5
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors pureauthor's Avatar
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    Interesting origin for Kurai (at least, going into more detail about the origin that was spoken about long before), and it's always fun to read about dudes who meticulously prep everything and then screw up one small but vital detail (y'know, like a certain Tohsaka magus).

    As a sidenote, perhaps it would have been better to note down the exact issue that renders Kurai's new form as being unable to exist? It might be helpful for people like me who aren't really up to date on DnD rules and stuff like that.

    Do you have any other origins in mind to write?

  6. #6
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pureauthor View Post
    Interesting origin for Kurai (at least, going into more detail about the origin that was spoken about long before), and it's always fun to read about dudes who meticulously prep everything and then screw up one small but vital detail (y'know, like a certain Tohsaka magus).
    . . . A reply - YAAAAY!

    (Sorry, I was starting to wonder if I was imagining the view count)

    Yeah, that pretty much describes Kurai, doesn't it? Another good reason not to partner him with Rin, ever - they'd give the Lovely Angels a run for their money. To be fair, though, he hadn't expected a shop that deals in magical curses to be aware of the differing editions of RPGs.


    As a sidenote, perhaps it would have been better to note down the exact issue that renders Kurai's new form as being unable to exist? It might be helpful for people like me who aren't really up to date on DnD rules and stuff like that.
    It's hard to describe, actually, because it wasn't a single issue.

    Unlike the 3rd and 3.5 editions, 4th-edition Dungeons and Dragons was effectively "Warcraft on paper" - you picked talent trees for your character's class abilities (which you were then stuck with), you had a level cap, and a complete reworking of the system mechanics that made it more like playing a computer game than any previous version of D&D. And I understand it wasn't just me who had problems with it - there's a reason why, with the new 5th edition, they just cherry-picked the better elements of 4th and reverted to the 3.5 mechanics.

    . . . The easiest way to sum it up though, is this: the core rulebook actually said "Throw out your 3rd and 3.5 characters - they're not at all compatible with this system."


    Do you have any other origins in mind to write?
    Saber's reincarnation, and that's about it. I suppose I should do the Tsukihime crew's, but I'm kind of hoping somebody else will beat me to it.
    “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. #7
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors MWkillkenny84's Avatar
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    Read the new chapters.

    And I've some ideas... remember my tentative for the Negima! timeline?

    I've managed to find again some inspiration for the Grail Works series... and a new alter-ego to use, loosely based on the BROB-ideas from Spacebattle (Zerris' Messy Bookkeeping came to the forefront)...

    Even more the fact that I want to use this new alter ego of mine to save the Mitarihaka crew (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).

    Can I do it?

    Ah, another thing: is the rule "we need to protect our agents from the other World's rules in case their races do not exist (or have different counterparts)" from the old version valid?
    92 minuti di applausi!!!

    Perchè immaginiamo?, ci chiedono.
    E perchè no?, è la risposta più adatta.
    Almeno, questo è ciò che credo io.


    Spoiler:


    CASTER FAN, and PROUD of it!!!!

  8. #8
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWkillkenny84 View Post
    Read the new chapters. And I've some ideas... remember my tentative for the Negima! timeline?
    Yep.


    I've managed to find again some inspiration for the Grail Works series... and a new alter-ego to use, loosely based on the BROB-ideas from Spacebattle (Zerris' Messy Bookkeeping came to the forefront)...
    I've never read it, but OK . . .


    Even more the fact that I want to use this new alter ego of mine to save the Mitarihaka crew (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).

    Can I do it?
    I don't see why not - which Works character would you be partnering with?


    Ah, another thing: is the rule "we need to protect our agents from the other World's rules in case their races do not exist (or have different counterparts)" from the old version valid?
    Yes.
    “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. #9
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors MWkillkenny84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    I don't see why not - which Works character would you be partnering with?
    Primarly Shirou, for the only reason that I need someone that can relate to Sayaka (primarly) and the others. In this case the one that call for help will be Oriko Mikuni (the Seer from Oriko Magica).

    During his backstory Merchant (the name of my new alter ego) has managed to collect some helpers (many of them can't leave his 'residence'/mobile base/vessel), and from a variation of the Persona 4 world a charachter dimensionally displaced by this Grail's Destruction&Purification (Caren).


    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Yes.
    Good, it means that the trick of "drop the protection" can be used to solve Akiha's and Arcueid's main problems (Reverse Impulse and Bloodlust) if the Grail Works manage to have a mission in a World where hybrids like Akiha and Shinsou like Arcueid exist but have different rules of their nature&powersets (like in Negima!).
    92 minuti di applausi!!!

    Perchè immaginiamo?, ci chiedono.
    E perchè no?, è la risposta più adatta.
    Almeno, questo è ciò che credo io.


    Spoiler:


    CASTER FAN, and PROUD of it!!!!

  10. #10
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MWkillkenny84 View Post
    Primarly Shirou, for the only reason that I need someone that can relate to Sayaka (primarly) and the others.
    Gee, we were just discussing that . . .


    During his backstory Merchant (the name of my new alter ego) has managed to collect some helpers (many of them can't leave his 'residence'/mobile base/vessel), and from a variation of the Persona 4 world a charachter dimensionally displaced by this Grail's Destruction&Purification (Caren).
    Caren, eh? Sounds like fun - and I'll strike her off my "to be dealt with" list.


    Good, it means that the trick of "drop the protection" can be used to solve Akiha's and Arcueid's main problems (Reverse Impulse and Bloodlust) if the Grail Works manage to have a mission in a World where hybrids like Akiha and Shinsou like Arcueid exist but have different rules of their nature&powersets (like in Negima!).
    Yes, but as we discussed long ago, keep in mind that some people prefer the canon versions. You'll also have to figure out exactly what their new natures and power sets are - I really recommend putting this to a vote, or figuring out a way it can be made temporary and/or undone, as authors prefer (though the Grail is always an option, in that case).
    “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. #11
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors MWkillkenny84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Ok, I will look and add my opinions to the discussion...


    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Caren, eh? Sounds like fun - and I'll strike her off my "to be dealt with" list.
    Glad to have been able to help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kieran View Post
    Yes, but as we discussed long ago, keep in mind that some people prefer the canon versions. You'll also have to figure out exactly what their new natures and power sets are - I really recommend putting this to a vote, or figuring out a way it can be made temporary and/or undone, as authors prefer (though the Grail is always an option, in that case).

    I was only saying that is an option whose use is to be considered, in case of necessity.

    To not use something only because the writers do not want to remove the Evil God called Status Quo is an idiocy.
    92 minuti di applausi!!!

    Perchè immaginiamo?, ci chiedono.
    E perchè no?, è la risposta più adatta.
    Almeno, questo è ciò che credo io.


    Spoiler:


    CASTER FAN, and PROUD of it!!!!

  12. #12
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    So, Kieran, is it better to post something for an origin story here? Or is it better to post the origin story in its own thread? I mean, I've been stuck on trying to get the origin story worked out, and I'm in the middle of writing what will amount to a (hopefully) better start to the series of stories I decided to write.

    ...let me try that again. What's an acceptable way to write the origin story from the ground up?
    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?

  13. #13
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xamusel View Post
    So, Kieran, is it better to post something for an origin story here? Or is it better to post the origin story in its own thread? I mean, I've been stuck on trying to get the origin story worked out, and I'm in the middle of writing what will amount to a (hopefully) better start to the series of stories I decided to write.

    ...let me try that again. What's an acceptable way to write the origin story from the ground up?
    Put it in the Mission Dossier thread if it's still in "test mode," stick it here if it's complete - I'll link to it in the table of contents. Does that help?
    “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

  14. #14
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Thanks, Kieran, I appreciate it.
    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?

  15. #15
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Caveat Emptor (Kurai)

    DISCLAIMER: Dungeons and Dragons is the creation of Gary Gygax et al, and the Forgotten Realms are the creation of Ed Greenwood. Both are the property of Wizards of the Coast.


    This is a not-for-profit, just-for-fun project.




    Arvandor
    The Olympian Glades of Arborea, the Outer Planes
    Tarsakh 1, Year of the Blue Flame (1385 DR)









    Labelas Enorath, Lord of the Continuum, was if not omniscient, as close to it as any god could truly claim to be.

    This was no mere boast, either, nor a thing in which he took pride, or solace. He simply had to be, as the conjoined realms of fate, history, and time were in his care. He knew more of the future, and the secret workings behind it, than even Corellon Larethian or Sehanine Moonbow themselves—and the Father of All Elves was wise, indeed. Nor was the goddess whose portfolios included death, dreams, secrets and magic any less knowledgeable or clever than he.

    The Seldarine’s god of time knew the future, at least insofar as some higher power, such as Lord Ao, the Overgod, did not act to alter it; Labelas simply could not change it.

    Thus, he had known that Eilistraee, Dark Maiden and Goddess of Good Drow, and the light of her father’s heart even in her self-imposed exile, was going to die in a valiant sacrifice to redeem her followers—and he could not change it. Thus, he knew that it would affect barely a fifth of that benighted race, restoring the Ssri-Tel’Quessir to their true forms once more.

    And thus, he knew that it would soon all be rendered pointless, as the Realms both mortal and divine would soon shatter; and in the aftermath, there would be no “dark elves”—not true dark elves, as had only just returned—only the drow once more. And yet Eilistraee, light of her father’s heart, would remain gone . . .

    And it would be for nothing.

    Labelas’ Coronal (“king” was such a shallow term—so very human) was already weighted down by the grief of her loss; the death of an immortal was no small thing, after all, far less a goddess. To have her loss rendered a waste, the god of time feared, might undo Corellon entirely. At the very least, it was a degree of pain he should not be made to suffer.

    Yet what was a god of time, to whom the preservation of history and ordered events was paramount, to do? What could he do, when even should he forsake his function—his duty and very purpose for being—and prevent Eilistraee’s death, those powers above him would simply undo the act?

    He could not change the past. Nor, Labelas feared, could he alter the events of the coming future. But not all the future, he knew, was precisely written, as neat as words upon a page—else what point would there be in giving mortals the freedom to make their destinies?

    Since the Time of Troubles, when the gods had walked the Realms in mortal avatars, Lord Ao had decreed that the power of a deity would derive directly from the number and devotion of their worshippers. Though the human pantheons were most directly involved in the affair—being responsible for starting it, amongst other reasons—this prohibition applied to the Seldarine, as well. And since then, Labelas had felt . . . More. More than could be accounted for through his mortal worshippers upon Toril, and other planes. This other was a nebulous sort of strength; not faith, precisely, but a presence that he could not dismiss.

    He had discussed this with few of his peers, mostly because those he had discussed it with had not even noticed until it was brought to their attention—and swiftly forgot it thereafter. Whatever the source of that energy, it had powerful protections upon it; protections that Labelas suspected only his nature as the god of time inured him from. He was not meant to be as malleable as other deities, else how would he know when history had deviated from its proper place?

    And so, Labelas had studied the phenomenon for some time—a great deal more time than had passed for the rest of the world, in fact—and he believed he had discerned its nature. If so, it was a truth that would quite possibly shatter the minds of lesser deities, and no small number of his peers . . . But also, perhaps, precisely what he needed.

    It would be difficult, he was certain, and even as a god of time, he did not have all of eternity to prepare or contemplate his actions—but properly shaped and aimed, Labelas Enolath believed that he would have in hand a tool to accomplish precisely what he wished to:

    To alter the future—the fate—of the Ssri’Tel-Quessir, and yet change nothing at all . . .








    Somewhere on Earth
    June 20th, 2019 C.E. (same date), several hours later









    At a glance, it was one of those New Age shops that sprung up periodically, selling crystals, Tarot cards, and other such paraphernalia — the kind that rarely lasted long in a smallish town like this. It was just too much of a niche shop, with too limited a potential clientele. But then again, there were some off-the-wall shops he wouldn’t have expected to survive long in this city that had beaten the odds, so who knew?

    Why go in? Partly, he did so out of sheer curiosity — and also, a mixture of boredom and nostalgia. The former was because there wasn’t much in his life that held his interest or attention, either of late or at all. The latter was because one of his friends loved to browse in places like the curio shop — or at least, she had loved to, prior to her murder.

    He winced. Eight years, and the wound still bled. Maybe it would never heal, and maybe it shouldn’t, because damn it, he should’ve found a way to do more for her. It was the story of his life, really: if only he had a way to do something, anything, that mattered with his life . . .

    Failing that, he wished he could go back in time, to Saturday nights spent in basements, playing D&D with his friends; back before it had all gone to hell —

    “Welcome,” said an accented voice suddenly, from nowhere.

    He jumped, even as a corner of his mind pegged the accent as British, but with a flavour of something else; like he’d been Oxford-educated, but born in a British colony like those in India, Hong Kong or Africa. The rest of his mind was busy seeking out the owner of the voice, even as said individual emerged from around the corner.

    He was quite a sight, if truth be told. Whatever her original nationality, the elderly man appeared to have fashioned his appearance by combining aspects of EC Comics’ “Vault Keeper” character, and the stereotypical English butler. Stringy silver hair and angular features so sharp they looked like cutting surfaces, dark hollows under milky eyes — it was all there, combined with a black-tie suit and tails. He almost expected to see a covered silver tray in his hand, and/or for him to begin muttering portents of dire misfortune.

    “I regret to inform you,” the pallid man announced, in a tone that declared he did anything but, “that anyone who enters this shop is cursed.”

    His eyebrows rose. It was an unusual marketing ploy, he’d give the old guy that — the man got points for originality, if nothing else.

    “If that were true,” he countered, “you wouldn’t be here.”

    “Perhaps my curse is to watch others get cursed,” he said in a dry tone, before flashing a raised eyebrow that would’ve done Derek Jacobi proud. “Or perhaps to make certain they are cursed — and watching is merely my pleasure.

    “. . . OK, you’re good,” he acknowledged with a grin. “What sort of ‘curse’ are we talking about here?”

    “Anyone who enters shall live in ‘interesting times,’ as they say — for however much longer that might be,” the old man said ominously. “And anyone who buys something here will pick up a further curse, one appropriate to their purchase.”

    He frowned. The description sounded familiar . . .

    Oh yeah, that was it — it reminded him of the “Spells ’R' Us” concept from those old fan fiction stories. They’d gotten him into reading fanfics, almost two decades ago. He hadn’t really thought about them in a long time, and it was odd that they would come up now, when he’d been thinking about nostalgia earlier . . .

    A tension ran through him at that thought. Something was off here — or was he just being paranoid? It would hardly be the first time, after all; between his hypochondria, persecution complex, and the mentality of the proverbial runt of the litter, he was normally so high-strung he could pass for a Macy’s Day parade float. It wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out that he was reading more into a coincidence than there actually was. After all, magic didn’t exist, and fantasy worlds were just that: fantasy.

    It was probably the biggest disappointment of his life, because he desperately wished that it were otherwise.

    Still, noted the voice that lived in that distant corner of his mind (whether it his conscience, subconscious, or shoulder-devil, he’d never decided), there is an easy way out of this. Remember the story that introduced you to Spells ’R’ Us and D&D in the first place? Just pull the same trick. If nothing happens, then nothing happens — and if it’s for real . . .

    He couldn’t process that concept yet. Belief in magic had been too harshly ground out of him, for too long. In any case, this would get him out of here, and back on his way.

    “I assume the curse hits when I leave the store, to avoid leaving a mess?” he asked, and the shopkeeper grinned.

    “Bright fellow — I do hate mopping up,” he confirmed.

    “I don’t blame you,” he said, making a show of glancing around at the merchandise.

    They were racks of odd costumes and candies, and shelves with row after row of various and sundry knickknacks . . . It still looked like a New Age store, but taken in the “Spells ’R’ Us” context, was decidedly sinister. Since he didn’t recognise half of what he saw, he couldn’t guess what it did, but since the fictional store had used transformative curses on a retroactive, reality-warping scale, the odds were that very little of it was as benign as it appeared.

    . . . Of course, that was where his little trick came in.

    “I’d like a pad of paper and a pencil, please,” he said politely.

    The wizened man’s eyebrow once again arched in the way he’d always wished he could pull off. “That’s all? Out of all this, those are the only things you want?”

    “Yes, please,” he confirmed.

    The shopkeeper told him where to find them, he retrieved them and paid for them, and then followed through on his plan — well, actually another fan fiction author’s plan, but it was what he was going to do, anyways.

    Painstakingly, he began copying out the statistics of his favourite Dungeons and Dragons character, writing in every detail he could recall (which was all of them, thankfully), but with a few minor differences. His name had become the character’s name, with “Kieran Holt” (the character’s actual name) being relegated to one of his aliases. This would thereby theoretically leave his own mind and personality in charge when the curse kicked in, and transformed him into that character, as it had in the story.

    For all that he was copying someone else’s idea though, there were differences in terms of the results. His character had been designed for the 3.5-edition version of the game, not the first edition rules. In fact, Kieran Holt had been a 3rd-edition character to begin with, and then updated some years ago, after he’d gotten disgusted enough with the fourth edition of D&D to turn to 3.5 for entertainment . . .

    His murdered friend had run that particular campaign, he recalled wistfully, and it seemed fitting to use that version now.

    Other differences lay in the nature and raw abilities of the two characters His was a half-drow lycanthrope, rather than the author’s elf-phoenix hybrid, and a twenty-sixth druid/fighter multi-classed character rather than a monk/wizard/druid with maxed-out levels in all his classes . . .

    And despite all the over-the-top powers his character possessed (which were considerable, since he’d been played in an “epic”-style campaign before D&D had released any material of the kind), the druid was still less ridiculously overpowered than the original story character. He wouldn’t be matching “Dragon Ball Z” characters blow for blow, for example — but the druid could probably kill Smaug and destroy the One Ring inside of half an hour, if it took him even that long.

    After the last statistic was filled in, he set both items down, said “Thank you,” and began walking towards the door. He had pulled it open, and was about to step through, when the old man called out, “Wait! You forgot something!”

    He paused and turned his head to ask, “Oh?”

    The shopkeeper smiled again, putting him in mind of John Cleese about to drop a particularly sharp zinger.

    “Yes,” the elder man replied smugly. “You forgot to account for the rule changes in the new edition.”

    He barely had time to register what he’d been told before the pain kicked in—and it was eclipsed only by his horror at the likelihood of its origin. If he understood what the shopkeeper was saying, his spell considered either the fourth- or fifth-edition rules of D&D to be the defining ones. And under those sets of rules, the character he’d intended to merge with was far weaker, in the latter case — or in the case of the former, outright could not exist.

    The agony of being twisted into a shape not his own (even as that new shape was subsequently being erased) sent him staggering through the doorway . . .





    The Beginning . . .









    Writer's Notes: Because it's so different, I've reposted it completely, removed the original - and will be replacing the link when I'm finished typing this.
    Last edited by Kieran; March 20th, 2019 at 07:55 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

  16. #16
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Kieran, you forgot to remove the Kuro von Einbern Origin Story. On top of that, the disclaimer for your new version of Kurai's backstory is sorta the same as what you had for your old one.
    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?

  17. #17
    Jester of the Moon Cell's Sovereign Kieran's Avatar
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    Ack - misaimed the "cut-and-paste," sorry . . . *Fixes*

    In any case, Kuro's on the "to-do" list; I have to work out how to fix the first one, too . . .


    EDIT: And that's her dealt with. Now, onto the opening . . .
    Last edited by Kieran; March 20th, 2019 at 11:27 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

  18. #18
    死徒 Dead Apostle RanmaBushiko's Avatar
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    So, this is a prologue for a story that Kieran and I have been working on, for one of the character prologues. A character insert, using a Scion game character.

    For those of you that are reading this, Erik has three unique skills, one of which is coming into play here, Mechanical Panoply. If he has the ingredients for it, he can choose to, at the cost of legend, construct a machine without needing to build it with his own two hands. Rather, it forms to his will.

    Godfall
    Starring:
    Erik Ulricson, Norse God of Innovation, Pykrete, Paranoia, and Mecha:
    Co-starring:
    Tamamo Ulricson, Norse Goddess of Foxes, Happy Housewives and Subtlety
    The Fenris Wolf, Norse God (If disliked by the rest of the pantheon) of Wolves and Devouring



    2025 AD, Earth Orbit, above the Prototype Aerial Battleship Wolfen

    I'm in a bad mood today. Well. Truth be told, I'm not in such a bad mood. My own insane preparations aside, the fact that I'm the only one that's been building up any military power whatsoever out of all the godly pantheons, means I'm also the only one that has a chance in hell of intervening to save anyone.

    Walking to the window, I take my glass of scotch, and sip on it, while looking out over the massive fleet of 75 aerial battleships below. 75 battleships, hanging out in Earth's upper atmosphere, shining brilliantly in the cold darkness of space, while thinking of the past.

    Being effectively raised by a wolf, a descendant of Fenris. Searching for a way to free Fenris from his chains, and bindings. Becoming acquaintances with other scions that would eventually travel with me. Meeting my wife, Tamamo, daughter of Amaterasu. Railing against fate and legend alike. Riding a war mech, Metal Gear Pykrete Rex, after those Metal Gear games on the MSX that Tamamo told me about, and the Pykrete I used to fix it, while designing it to look like a Tyrannosaurus Rex, against Svartalfheim. The subsequent destruction of the machine while fighting against Fafnir, long surviving Sigurd after faking his death, before Fafnir was slain. Defeating Surtr and sealing him, with another Metal Gear Rex, this model working with liquid nitrogen bombs that weakened him.

    Then the final fight. Jormungandr. Where against all odds, we had killed the beast, my blows finishing it off. In the end, after all was said and done, we were dragged back in time from 1993, to several decades before, in front of Fenris himself. And I convinced him to not kill the Norse Gods, before freeing him of his chains.

    Of course, it wasn't that easy. By him being unsealed, the fate of the Norse Gods being made undone, Surtr and the other Titans were released in the first place. And once THAT fact got out, the Norse pantheon, barring Tamamo, were considered anathema. To not be talked with, or considered.

    So while the rest of them bickered, I traveled to Mars, with my newly married wife, Fenris, and our followers, in a giant spherical dome, the inside the size of two massive continents, as well as my own Aerial Battleship, the Wolfen. We've been terraforming the planet ever since, using godly powers to ignore issues, and terraform it, while also building up. My Legion of Coal reminds me a lot of the robot army from Star Wars Episode 1, to be honest. Not much too them, solo, but in sheer numbers, they do well enough. Especially with the mecha I've constructed for them. Mechanical Dragons, the Mecha Fafnir line, and machines based off that Pykrete Metal Gear Rex.

    20 years, to build myself up as much as possible, for when those other pantheons inevitably failed against the Titans, and would call for our help. 20 years, since I lost my original last name, Ulfrsonr, or Wolfson, for the new last name I was given. Ulricson. Wolflord. It's fitting, I think, especially with my naming sense working around the concept of Wolves. Wolf Home, Wolf's Wrath, the last real mech I've made, the Wolfen...

    "Sir!" I pause, glancing over at Captain Nestor. He's a good man, Nestor. Works with me well, and is happy being the captain of the Wolfen. Nestor's beckoning me over.

    "What is it, Nestor?" I finish my drink, as I walk.

    "Secure Message from Odin, sir. He says that you're to deploy the fleet whenever you wish, but he wants you in orbit, unlike Lady Tamamo and Lord Fenris. They're going to protect Amaterasu, and we don't want them trying to attack us for daring to land." He looks down, and away, while telling me. I can't blame him, not really.

    "I get it. Signal the fleet. Deploy and take on the Titan's newest attempt to breach every version of Heaven. Kill them all, and let their ruined corpses be ash on the ground, to our weapons!"

    Nestor grins, just as big a grin as the one on my face. Finally. With this fleet, the end of the titans is here. And with this fully armed, operational, and most importantly, UPGRADED prototype battleship, far stronger from the ship it once was... this should be a cakewalk.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBUx6zTxr98 (For the Glory ~ All Good Things)

    In sync, 75 battleships drop out of orbit, entering into the otherworlds that the gods live in. It's a pity I can't give them nuclear weapons, with how scarce radioactive material is on Mars. But with the lasers I made infamous against most of my foes, the flamethrowers on the Mecha Fafnirs, and the sheer amount of explosives used by both the Mecha Fafnirs and the Metal Gear Rex Production lines... it should be simple enough to win.

    "Scylla, please pull up the screens from each ship, for the cameras we put on board. I want to see everything." I smile, as the being known as the Scylla responds, pulling it up. I'm honestly glad we saved the core of the new and improved Scylla. Even if no one else realized that it was effectively an AI supercomputer, I did. And figuring out how to link it to computers was a masterstroke of genius. With how bad targeting computers were, at that day and age, it could do the work for me, letting me aim while it fired 6 weapons at the same time for me. Now, as I've grown, it's grown more skilled, as programming I write allows it to multitask even better.

    As I watch the battles through the screens and constantly studying how everything is working, I bark orders to each ship working to help them compensate for issues.

    "Battleship 25, compensate for the flight spell failing a bit there, with thruster set number 3! Battleship 18, pull yourself in closer to 03, to guard it better!" They move to do so, constantly unleashing barrage after barrage of missiles, lasers, and machine gun fire.

    It's honestly beautiful to watch, and I can't help but settle back in my chair as I watch. The explosions rain like fire, constantly snuffing out Titanspawn from the sheer numbers of missiles alone. Unfortunately for the Titanspawn, they forgot about the simple fact that the bombs, and missiles have an explosion RADIUS. With that in mind, and my Legion of Coal targeting... it's like wheat before the scythe. Or the barrel full of fish in front of a 500 pound bomb.

    "Sir, transmissions are coming in! We've got reports that the titanspawn are being driven back everywhere, from every Otherworld! We're doing it, sir! Even though Titanspawn forces are far more formidable than we thought they would be, it looks like we won't even run out of the first batch of missiles!" Nestor's voice reaches me, and I can't help but smile at what he's saying, before frowning as something occurs to me.

    "Any idea why they sent so many, though, Nestor? This is definitely unlike them. Even Surtr at his strongest didn't send out an army of this size..." I glance back at him, before looking back forwards at the beautiful spectacle before me.

    It proves them wrong, after all. That machines are NOT useless against the Titans and their Titanspawn.

    "Nothing yet, sir. Wait a moment... patching you through to Tamamo now, sir." I nod, then watch the main screen show my wife, and Fenris, talking with Amaterasu, leader of the Amatsukami pantheon, and my mother in law.

    "Lady Amaterasu, how fairs the fighting? Any losses?" She glances, then narrows her eyes at me for a long moment.

    "I'm still pissed that you stole my daughter from my pantheon, brat. But these warships of yours certainly ARE helping. Thank you for that." Amaterasu sounds annoyed with me.

    "I'm glad that I could help you out, mother in law." I smile at her, then sigh. "Even still, do you have any clue what the hell is going on? The last time we saw anything on this scale from them was when we did that diplomatic visit to Muspelheim, and we know how THAT went."

    She winces, then sighs softly. "I don't. But since the Titan avatars themselves aren't involved, my suspicions are that they're trying to do something while our focus is on their spawn. They don't care about their children like we do, after all."

    I can see Tamamo biting back the words "You CARE?!", as plain as day on her face, before sighing. "I get it. We're doing fire support, and my Wolfen has a couple atomic bombs ready if it's a worst case scenario, but I'd rather not fire them off. Nuclear material is rare where we've been at, after all, and most gods have a tendency to ensure they don't detonate."

    She flinches, hard before glaring at the screen. "YOU HAVE THOSE?! Why would you even... oh. Your engines for that ship are nuclear run, aren't they?"

    "Fusion, now, but that's a recent development. We don't have the material for any other ship to have that sort of power source right now. It's why, though they're doing well, they're not nearly as well off as the Wolfen would be, mother in law." I can see her pausing, giving me an outright stare of muted shock, before settling back.

    "Sir! Unknown reactions from the Titan Prison! I can't make out anything else about it!" Both my eyes, Tamamo's, Fenris', and Amaterasu's widen at Nestor's words, before I turn. "Split screen, please, Scylla."

    "Aye!" I can faintly hear the Scylla's reply from here, as one half the screen shows the location of the prison, and an odd black energy emanating from it. The energy looks familiar... but where the hell have I seen it before?

    "Nestor, give the order to the prototype spinal railgun crew. Nuke that thing, now!" I hear him nod, as I narrow my eyes, trying to recognize where the energy is from.

    Oh. Shit. Entropic. It's like the entropic curse that one of my swords has steel tainted by. The same curse that destroyed the first Metal Gear Rex model machine, that I rode into battle.

    "Now, damn it! It's an entropic curse of some sort!" I can vaguely feel the ship shudder, even as I shout, as the Wolfen's new railgun launches a nuclear warhead at it. Even still, I'm scared it's not enough.

    I can see the shockwave from here, in orbit, as the otherworld that the prison is in detonates entirely, while watching the nuclear cloud slowly erupt.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OUGH5BE5FQ (Moonlight Sonata ~ Hidden Citizens)

    "Call all the battleships back up to orbit that are done with the titanspawn. I've got a bad feeling about this. Fenris, Tamamo, get ready for pickup or to get out." They nod, as I watch the cloud carefully."

    "Sir. Energy pattern is still there! It's growing!" Oh shit.

    I watch, with growing horror, as a dark orb grows, sending out tentacles of energy into several otherworlds.

    "GET OUT! GET OUT OF THERE!" I'm screaming at Tamamo and Fenris. "GET OUT!"

    I can see a tentacle of dark energy into Amaterasu's realm, shattering parts of it like paper... heading right for them. They don't seem to be using the spell in time...!

    Until Amaterasu intervenes, that is, forming a star between the tentacle of dark power, and her guests. "Go, my daughter. I may not have been the best of all mothers to you... but I still love you, and want you safe. Be safe, be happy, and live with him. I don't know what this is, but I won't let it have you!"

    Tamamo stares at her mother for a moment, then moves, even as the ground buckles from another tendril reaching for them. She smiles sadly, then flinches, trying to not scream, as her power suddenly diminishes alongside Fenris' own. Visibly, I can see tails disappearing from her, as she screams, then desperately grabs a device I gave her, before smashing the button.

    She appears, alongside Fenris in a flash of rainbow light. Thank fuck the prototypes work... thank fuck.

    I hug her tight, as well as Fenris, checking her, then him for wounds. They're not dead, but they're weakened, for lack of a better term. Like they've gone from being Gods, to being weak heros, not even demigods.

    "Take care of her, Erik." I look up, to see Amaterasu's skill being eaten by the tendril of energy. "You're the only thing between her and death now, son in law. I'm sorry for not getting to know you better earlier, and thinking the worst of you."

    With her final words, Amaterasu, goddess of the sun, dies, and her pantheon dies with her. For a long moment, I just watch the now dead screen, before glancing at the rest of the screens in front of us. Didn't I order my fleet to...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT8nG9hv168 (Your God is Dead ~ ReallySlowMotion Music)

    "Nestor, status of the fleet?" I pull Tamamo onto my lap, and get both her and Fenris as comfortable as possible, while sitting back in my chair slowly, even as I watch the dome of entropic energy slowly grow from orbit.

    "No response, sir. I'm constantly messaging them, but whatever this was, it's... new. I think TOO new, to be honest. Like it wasn't tested." Nestor's voice sounds as exhausted as I feel.

    "Any responses from Asguard, and the defenses I helped build there?" I slump, backwards. All those ships are likely gone, now. Destroyed.

    "Nothing at all, sir. I think..." He can't finish the sentence. Neither can I.

    "Well. Shit. The Norse Gods are dead, and like the stories go, all hail the new Gods, survivors of the old. Us. Scylla, can you calculate how big that entropic curse is growing?" I watch as it visibly grows, one tentacle now visible from orbit without magnification.

    "Estimated time until it consumes the Earth, 5 months." That's really not long at all. That really isn't long at all. I slowly shake my head, just... realizing how stupid it is to repeat that train of thought, instead of doing something about it.

    "Nestor... set us on a course for Wolf Home on Mars. I don't think we can do anything more here. Faster we get back, the better." I just close my eyes, and breathe.

    "Aye sir. With the new test relic for immediate transport?"

    "Indeed, Nestor. Indeed. We're all tired, and we need to get back to figure out what the hell to do."







    When we arrive, after all is said and done, I just breathe even as I settle down at a seat at the table. Tamamo quietly sets herself beside me, with Nestor and Fenris across from me, as we talk over options. "As we discovered earlier, let's go over the facts. Wolf Home's half destroyed. More specifically, whatever the hell that was that touched Tamamo made it so her domain never existed, and thus the resources inside never existed. That deprives us of most of the food, and water we'd saved up. Worse than that, however, is that Tamamo seems to be brought down to a low enough legend that, even though she knows the skills, she can't actually use them anymore. The same seems to be for Fenris. As much as I hate to admit it... I look to be the only full God we have left. Let's talk options, shall we?"

    Tamamo speaks up, even as Fenris and Nestor look pensive. "Could we pull a Macross, perhaps? You've still got your full abilities, and we know that the Concept to Execution skill, combined with Ultimate Intelligence, can work miracles..."

    I study her, while thinking, then sigh. "Well, if we can utilize something real, perhaps. But I'm not sure I'm skilled enough to figure out faster than light travel in 5 months dear. We have the upgrades to the Wolfen, to make it go super far with Rainbow Bridge, but it relies on people's faith to run. We just don't know how far we can go before issues crop up. Plus, we don't have any real renewable plants or anything else that can produce enough to ignore the need for new materials. Eventually something's going to break down that's important SOMEWHERE. I can create metals, yes. Food... not so much. That was always your expertise, not mine. As it is, we've got the Wolfen's stocks, the spare hydroponics in the Wolf Home proper, outside our domains and in the shell layers, as well as machinery to grow more. But since this is space, it might have issues. Or even one single light bulb going out permanently..."

    "What about a superlaser? You did well enough with the Wolfen's original main cannon prior to the upgrades we recently did, didn't you? Maybe we could make a big enough one to carve into that thing, Sir?" Nestor studies me, as he thinks.

    I can't help but think about it. It COULD be an option. But the power requirements alone... I sigh, then just speak up. "It's definitely a possibility. I just don't think I can scale up one big enough that won't blow the Wolfen's new Fusion generator as a side effect. And considering it's engineered to hell and back to survive even being shot full of holes, and still work, that's really saying everything, isn't it?"

    He nods, then looks down, thinking, even as Tamamo thinks. "Did any of the cultivation flowers I've been working on survive in the labs, Erik? We might be able to use the ones that I've been creating based off the Flower of Life out of the Macross and Robotech series, to make a power source... It's just hard to say how good it would be. We could try to do that, and revamp the Wolfen to look less than a Starcraft Battlecruiser and more like an SDF1..."

    "That... could work as a power source, but we'd have to rebuild a lot of other systems to take into account the new power source. I might build a prototype mech that runs on it, though, dear. If it works well, we can revisit it in a month. Sound good?" My wife smiles at me, and nods, then returns to looking at the table.

    "Hey, boss? Since no one's ever going to spy on us again... what the hell is up with this table, anyways? It's green, and glows." Nestor speaks up, while sipping out of his flask, studying the table that's been the centerpiece to our meetings for a while now.

    "It's a legend battery. Holds up to double the amount I normally can hold." I chuckle at his blink of surprise. "It's meant to let us make massive jumps with Tamamo's former ability to form a Rainbow Bridge for teleportation. But again, it only holds roughly double what I can hold."

    He pauses, then nods. "Pretty much a rechargeable battery, but you're not sure it's enough to handle the strain?"

    "Yeah." My reply has him sigh, and rub his forehead.

    Fenris tilts his head, then smirks. "Then we run a different way."

    I blink, and turn to face him, studying him. "How so?"

    "Your master was able to forge a pair of wings that not only let him fly, but let him escape into Asgard and other Otherworlds, as well as Terra Incognita. You know how he did it. You've even built a portal from Svartalfheim, to Germany, one that let the Wolfen through, once upon a time. Build upon it. We don't have an otherworld we can access, but you should be able to build a portal to something, or somewhere else. And anywhere else is better than the touch of that... thing."

    Settling back, I think it over, leaning into my wife's embrace as I work out what he's saying. "To another universe, perhaps? Or perhaps another timeline?"

    He nods, before I slowly nod as well.

    "It's better than being chased down. Let's do that. Tamamo, you're on duty for checking out those flowers, followed by getting plant life outside that was naturally grown, to Wolf Home and the Wolfen. If they've survived, we can see about building a Veritech fighter or something that can take advantage of them as a secondary fuel source. If not... well, once you're back up to snuff eventually, we can work something out. Nestor, you're on ensuring everyone's getting fed on the galley, and that the ship holds up. Anything starts breaking while we're on, talk with me. We also need to get the Wolf's Wrath on board, as well as the reproductions of the machines I rode to battle. Fenris, if you don't mind, could you help Tamamo by marking out what plants weren't made by her divinity? Once the power she used to make them this year runs out, we're going to get low on air, and fast."

    She nods, before I get up

    5 months later.

    My wife desperately cooks when she's not sleeping or training, while trying to get something, ANYTHING to work well again. Fenris watches through the telescopes at what's happening to Earth, when he's not hunting down the last of the plants along with Tamamo. Nestor's keeping the Wolfen's upgrades going. Me? I work. Even if they're not Gods anymore, stripped of the bulk of their legend and abilities, I still am. The flowers she asked me to test don't seem to work as a power source, sadly enough. I'll have to figure out some other power source to get that new Veritech Fighter she wanted me to build working. Aside from that though, everything is focused on one thing. Innovation, and building.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYm8mKbGRz0 (Chosen One ~ Valley of Wolves)

    I have not laid idle, this entire time. Even before this apocalypse I have not laid idle. It took 5 years to plan out how to get here, and I've been working here for the 25 years since I married my wife. But now, I work like a madman. The sheer range of technological innovations I've made, to ensure we'll survive this has entirely rebuilt everything we have left. Multitasking every day to constantly work on concepts and ideas, asking the 230 people we have left on Mars to pray to me daily to regenerate my legend, and the ability to help them, I've made far greater pushes than ever before. Especially when I utilize Concept to Execution, in order to literally pull a MacGuyver 12 times simultaniously in developing new technologies and equipment.

    Mechanical Panoply works as great as ever, letting me make massive machines with ease as long as I have the materials and metals for it. Between that and the Legion of Coal having grown in the past few months, we have a million workers constantly building and working. A legion of machines, co-designed by Tamamo and her understanding of the Nature of Life. Even without her abilities boosted to Epic levels, she still helps me.

    Deep in my heart however, I'm not sure it's enough. I learned a lot from Wayland Smith, when I studied under him, the one who forged Gram. He was able to make wonderous things, enchanted even better than I can, through smithing alone. I'm not quite that good. Close, perhaps. Good enough to develop relics as a demigod, instead of a God? Yes. Good enough to make something with the skill of a hammer alone? Not quite.

    Still, I have no choice on this. That entropic dome scares me, and it feels wrong. Like time is almost being reversed in it's depths. I need to find a way to escape. To save my people, what's left of us. 280 out of the 3,000 we brought with... it's not much. Mostly scientists and engineers, that work for me.

    The losses are too high for us to choose any other option, and with the rate of the growth of the entropic dome, I don't have time to try and attempt any other route. I can't make machines that alter the air fast enough to counter what will happen, when the plants Tamamo made will vanish, nor can I build rockets that can move us faster than that dome is spreading through the solar system.

    With time, I work out a possible coating of metal to defend my people against the rigors of dimensional transit between... timelines? Or possibly universes? It's hard to tell, even with my insanely skilled mind. Ultimate Intelligence, Uller called it. He looked disappointed in me, that it wasn't Perception, or Dexterity.

    My people have started calling me the Chosen One that can save them, and I hope to rise to the task, even as I frantically work as much as I can, sleeping the bare minimum, while eating only what my wife makes for me.

    Day after day, week after week, month after month. As the entropic dome comes closer and closer, I struggle to work. To figure out the proper way to save them from it, and here.

    Until I figure out a safe way, one day, the dome now visible in the night sky, taking up large chunks of it. Like it's reaching out towards Mars, like a giant hand reaching out to swat an annoying fly.

    It's risky, and we don't have much time left to try it. I'm not even perfectly sure how it will WORK, but I build anyways. Ferociously, working with my Legion of Coal. So I put my entire body to it.

    I sleep less. I eat less. I just work. Hour after hour, spell after spell, forming and crafting a massive spherical portal, worthy of Wayland and the things I learned from him. Moment after moment, of working, measuring, calculating, verifying, triple checking every inch of the massive ring I've forged. Mechanical Panoply can work after I've done ensuring everything is perfectly precise, even more accurate than a C&C machine could ever make. Down to the molecular scale.

    Even as I set up the Legion of Coal, for what I can take with, to be on the Wolfen and Wolf Home. Even as they mine for me, the ring takes shape. Even as they build war machines for me, to replace the ones we've lost, the full amount the Wolfen can carry.

    154 war machines. 50,000 of the Legion of Coal for the Wolfen. Another 800,000 can be carried on Wolf Home. Leaving 150,000 behind, or melted down for parts.

    We can't trust the Domain in Wolf Home to stay stable once we go through, or else I'd have more go with, if this works.

    Even as I work, my army moves, working with me, preparing as many plants to be moved onto Wolfhome as possible, as well as on the Wolfen. There are air purification systems, certainly. But we need the people fed, and happy, too. Myself included, if mostly due to me loving my wife's cooking.

    Then one day, when the dome of entropic energy is close enough that we can see it encompassing the entire night sky, it's done. In the distance, we can see tendrils of it reaching out towards the Sun, as well. Like it's getting ready to encompass and eat the Sun.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR8K5YgO9Iw (Ship of Regret and Sleep ~ Xenogears Myth The Orchestral Album)

    "Attach the towing tether from the Wolfen to Wolf Home! We're getting ready to turn this on, then leave, folks!" Nestor's shout reaches to my legion, before they move in sync to help.

    I pause, then look to them personally, before walking to the ones that are close. "I'm sorry, to all of you. I wish I could take you all with. But some of you, my Legion of Coal... my creations... my children. I must ask to stay behind and destroy this gateway. One day after we go in, destroy it, so it's open long enough. Ensure that that THING there the Titans made cannot follow us. We cannot let them have the technology for this. We cannot let them have the technology to make all of YOU. I'm sorry to ask this of you, any of you, though..." I choke up, more than a bit, then bow my head.

    "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm not a better father, and creator to you all. I wanted to bring you into the world to make wonders. Not... see the end like this. If I was better..."

    Tamamo's arms hug me from behind, as I just close my eyes, and lean against her, shaking. I'm so tired.

    "We're happy to do it, father. We will live on in your name, to stop that thing from killing you, then we will die so they cannot take us as well." I look up, in stunned silence. They... can talk? They were able to talk this entire time?!

    "You can..." One at the forefront nods, before moving to hug me. I just hug them, one by one, shaking and crying. Each and every one of them that are close, I give a hug to. As a father to his children.

    "I wanted life to be better for you all. Not this. Can you back your minds up to the Wolfen, or something?"

    They think, for a long moment, before shaking their heads, silently. "We cannot. Whatever lets us live... it cannot be transmitted. I'm sorry, father. We will stand up and help you escape, so our siblings will live on with you, in your care, for those of us that choose to stay."

    I can't melt them down, can I? FUCK! Fuck, I can't do anything right, can I?!

    "This is what they have chosen, Erik. You must listen to your children's wishes, lest you throw our lives away." Fenris' words reach me from behind. "Rest your exhausted body, then we go in the morning. We still have a good distance to go before it can reach us."

    Weakly, I nod, pulling myself up to go to bed. "For what it's worth, my creations... I'm so sorry..."

    "It's fine, father. We understand the nature of sacrificing the few to save the many. The Dao of Spock, so to speak." They nod at me, as I move.

    Through the night, I wake up repeatedly even though I'm exhausted. Nightmares, perhaps? Fear for my children, my CREATIONS, who I never knew could talk? I'm not sure anymore. But eventually, I sleep.




    In my sleep, I D̷̛̰̅̓͒̓̏̓͐̏̄̊̈́͂͛̽̏̋͛̈́̓̀͊̄̐̀̾r̷̆̽̾́̎̍̆̉͑͒̀́̽͒̒̂̿̚͠ ̧̨̡̨̧̨̳̗̰͉̻͖͔̬͓͔̭͓̬̫͉͈͚̥̗̪̗̲̠̮͈̤͍͚̱̬͉̥̗̏̿̇̕e̵̿̈̂̀̚ ̢̢̢̨̛͓͇̤̩͎͇̭̤͖̰̹̯͍̣̼̞̫͖̟͍̮͔̻̤̠̏̑́̉̅̔͑͑͗̂̌̋̀͛͘͠ä̵́͝ ̡̢̨̖̪̜̦͈̦͚̖̮͈̤̞͇̼̲̙͖͉͇̺̥̭̱͚̫͔̻̤͈̩͌̍̐̑̃͒̿̀̀͠ͅm̷̌̅̅͗ ̢̧̧̧͍͙̜̝͚͖͕̩͙̪͎͕̮̙̘̥͇̥̳̙͕̜̐̃͗̌̊̌̇̽̀̔̉̎̅̍̉̄́͌̚̚͘͝͝ͅ ̻̳͕͕̹...









    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb50enYWFDc (Xenosphere ~ Xenogears OCRexix)

    Space. An endless array of stars. It's the first thing I really notice. All of them beautiful, unique in their own way. But moving around is something familiar. Something... black? Blacker than black. I know what that thing is, though, don't I? It's... aw, shit. Now I'm dreaming about it, too?

    I'm sleeping. I KNOW I'm sleeping. Yet... I'm staring at that giant black entropic sphere. It's watching me.

    "Not exactly dreaming about us, Erik Ulfrsonr. Or was it Ulricson, now?"

    The f-?! How does this voice know my name?

    "I want to eat your SOUL for ensuring I would be sealed! I WANT TO EAT YOUR SOUL! COME HERE SO I CAN EAT IT!" One voice sounds suspiciously like a bastard that should be sealed.

    "Oh, don't mind Surtr, for what's left of him. Or the rest of us, to be truthful. Even still, Erik Ulricson. You have something we need. Perhaps we can come to a bargain?"

    "What sort of bargain? How are you even DOING this?!" I can hear my voice echoing through... this.

    "Oh come now. You're a god yourself, you should know this. It's like when a God visits their children in their dreams to reveal they're a Scion... ah. Uller never gave you one initially, did he? That would explain it."

    She sounds... motherly. "No. He didn't, in fact. And you are?"

    "Oh come on, Gaia! EAT HIS SOUL AND BE DONE WITH IT!"

    "Don't mind Surtr. He's rather pissed that Loki figured out how to take his place, right as we unleashed him, before something went rather wrong with the Blackfeather Shroud. Or perhaps it was the ring Loki was wearing, Andvari? It appeared to make him stronger than even Odin, while he wore it, but it seemed rather unbalanced. Or malfunctioning. I don't think it was supposed to make a fully powered God even stronger. His idea was sound, to take Surtr's place, and become the strongest of the Titans involving Muspelheim. However, in practice, it appears not all Gods are equal for taking the place of their ancestors. Or perhaps it was the ring detonating on him? Who knows?"

    "And thus, what you're going through is because you all accidentally fused with him, or something to that effect?" I narrow my eyes, while thinking it over. It makes sense, I suppose. We never did pin him down to get that, or the Ring of Andvardi back.

    "Exactly. Now. You have something we need, so we can work to fix this, and so the Gods can be reborn. Without that little Heart of Winter, I'm afraid we can't exactly be unstuck anytime soon. Admittedly, we could do it with enough comets, or using a good chunk of the Oort cloud, however... that would be a rather long time in doing. I don't want to have Surtr stuck in my head longer than I have to, young one."


    Her voice sounds... well, reasonable. For a Titan, anyways. "I do sort of see your point. I'm just not... eager to go through what Fenris or Tamamo went through, Miss Gaia. I'm sure you get my point. Plus. Norse God of Innovation, Paranoia... you get my point. I can't exactly easily trust you."

    "It's better than letting Surtr eat you, isn't it? I'll sweeten the deal, though, if you truly wish it. We need another, to replace poor Ymir, the Greater Frost Titan. You have his heart. Would you care to be interested in the job?"

    What. Seriously. What the fuck? Is she seriously TRYING to recruit me? As if she can see the look on my face, she continues.

    "Come now. You have his heart, you have a fragment of his power deep within you. The Frost Perview came about from those with his blood, you know? Or perhaps you didn't until now?"

    "Why me? Why even offer this to me? For that matter, what did you do to Fenris and Tamamo, anyways?"

    "The rules of reality are being rewritten, for how Gods and Titans work, Erik Ulricson. Little Wolflord, you could so easily join us, become one of our number, and achieve a new Apothosis... imagine it. Fenris as your brother, Tamamo as your lady bride, as a Frost Lord above all others! The Norse Gods, if they rise again, would never naysay your machines. You would have Prometheus as an ally, overjoyed to help!"


    "EAT THE BASTARD'S SOUL!"

    "Or make him rot! That would be fun, too!"

    "Hush you two. Especially YOU, Crom Croch. I'm trying to talk him into working with us, and you two aren't helping. We need a replacement for poor Ymir, don't we? Now, I'll give you a couple days to think it over. But if you'd rather live on Mars, that's a decent option as well, isn't it? Stay out of our way, don't bother us, and we don't bother you?"

    "And if I leave, and leave you the sword? Send it one way and then leave a different way, so you can't follow?"

    Her voice, before sounding motherly, now sounds gleeful. "Oh, that could work well in a pinch! Of course, we'll have to make something NEW for Ymir, but I'm sure we'll be able to work that out. Still, I'll give you a few days to think about it, talk it out with your wife, and what followers you have left."

    "Kill. The. Bastard. Gaia. You can do it, so KILL HIM for ensuring I WAS SEALED already!"

    "Now, why don't you wake up, and talk things out with your cute wife! But understand, if we get close and you refuse, I won't be able to stop them from devouring you, and your cute little things, since we're stuck in a multiple personality from hell scenario here."

    "I'll keep that in mind, Miss Gaia. Good evening to you all. As much as I may dislike you for the current situation..."

    She giggles, even as I snap awake. But... there's green shoots of life on the bed. Where it sounded like she was talking from the direction of.

    No. I'm not letting this happen. I'm NOT going to become a goddamned Titan after fighting them so damned long. They go against everything I live for! They don't give a damn about their children! They'd happily sacrifice their children in a heartbeat! I won't become like that!

    ...Say... she said it would be fine if I sent her the SWORD... hmm.

    I pull my wife closer, just hugging Tamamo in my arms for one long moment. She's beautiful when she sleeps. I can't get enough of just looking at her beautiful face, asleep or awake.

    Focus, Erik. Focus. You have something to do. I gently shake her awake, kiss her softly, before moving to my work, even as I explain the dream to her.

    It doesn't take long for her to get both the circumstances, and my plan. She's always been so in tune with me, she understands me perfectly.

    It only takes me a few minutes to modify the sword the Titans are after to my plan for things, before I walk up to the Wolfen's upper hull, just wearing enough to ensure I don't choke. Then, with a focus of effort, and my Legend, I THROW. It hits orbit in moments, heading on a different path, so the Titans will have to chase IT instead.

    I have to be strong. For my people, what few are left. For my children, the Legion of Coal. For Nestor, for the Scylla, for Fenris, and for Tamamo. For the ones I love, and fight for.

    Looking up, I can't help but smile at the sight of the entropic sphere that the Titans have become, directly moving towards where the sword went flying off into space. Yeah, that's it. Chase the damned sword, will you?

    "Scylla, is everyone awake?" I call out, as I return inside, smirking.

    "Yes Erik. All people are awake." The Scylla sounds chipper today...

    "Good to hear. Anything to report?" I'm adjusting my clothes, even as I move to the bridge, where I can see Nestor sipping on morning coffee, Fenris eating Steak, and Tamamo sipping on tea, having left a mug of coffee out for me.

    "We're ready to fire up the portal device at any time. One new nuclear warhead has been produced, in case something happens wherever we're going, 20 pounds of fuel for the Fusion reactor has been produced as well, and we've finally gotten the bugs out of the new Plasma cannon prototype that we've replaced the Superlaser on the front of the Wolfen with. Still no chance in hell of making anti gravity technology a thing, though. Sorry."

    I nod, then sip on my coffee. Ahh, that's good stuff. "Well. Let's fire up the portal device. The Legion of Coal knows what to do?"

    "Melt it down, build something in case Gods are able to come back here, or mankind, as a warning to what happened on Earth, then self destruct via Nuke."

    "I hate it. I hate that they're going to die, knowing what I do now. But I can't see a better way. Or a better way to warn people if someone figures out how to come here."

    Tamamo hugs me, quietly from behind, as I just breathe for a long moment, trying to get myself under control. "Fire it up, Scylla. Let's get this portal going."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv75PM0xulk (Brood War Aria Mix ~ Starcraft, Starcraft 2, Blizzard Echoes of War)

    I watch, and listen as massive engines fire for the first time, fueling the mix of magic and technology utilized to form the massive portal gateway. Massive waves of energy erupt, swirling and spiralling towards a single spot in the massive ring, slowly opening a glowing rip in space that glows rainbow colors.

    "Any issues, Scylla?"

    The rip is slowly growing, bigger and wider as we watch.

    "All units report that the Wolfen and Wolf Home's new armor upgrades seem to be holding to the theoretical radiation emitted from that. The windows should work, too, but we may need to shut the shutter windows and use cameras for while in there."

    "Got it. Let's go through, then. Put me on speaker, for this will you?" I smile, as the Scylla complies with my asking. "To you, my Legion of Coal that I'm leaving behind... I'll miss you. And I'm sorry. I wanted to be a better father to you all. But... know this. With your sacrifice this day, we will be saved. The ones we can take with will be saved. Your sacrifice this day shall not be forgotten. Once your programming is complete, and everything is finished... I'm sorry that you have to die. If I could save you, I would. But once that entropic sphere that is what the Titans and Greater Titans seem to have become realized the trap I set up, it will come here with revenge in mind. To follow. Please, forgive me for this."

    I just close my eyes, bowing my head, even as Nestor closes the shutters over the windows.

    "Folks. Let's do this."

    I settle back in my chair, dining on breakfast, even as the Wolfen tows Wolf Home through.

    Outside the Portal

    For a day, they wait, ensuring the portal is opened like ordered, those that are not working on preparing a massive monument.

    Then, with their built in lasers, the Legion of Coal gets to work, melting down the massive portal device, as well as the nuclear generators that ran it. With that metal, they build. A massive, massive pyramid, miles in size.

    On the very top, at the very peak of the massive mountain, far above the atmosphere of Mars, lies an epitaph. "Here lies the remains of the portal that lead Erik Ulricson, formerly Erik Ulfrsonr from this universe to another. Look upon his works, ye mighty and despair. Do not trust the titans he fled from. Do not fear the return of the Fenris Wolf, his companion, or Tamamo Ulricson, daughter of Amaterasu and Erik's wife. Fear instead the threats they could not stop and save you from."

    Then, after the work is complete, they move as one, and detonate the nuclear explosive left behind.

    Several months later...

    A massive black, rippling void moves through space. One rather confused as to why Erik's base appears to have gone up in a nuclear explosion, but overjoyed to see the sword it's been hunting for finally within reach.

    "Any ideas of what the hell that explosion was about?"

    "I TOLD YOU TO KILL HIM! That was undoubtedly some sort of blasted science-ey THING that keeps him out of our reach! Now we can likely never get our hands on him!"

    "Surtr. He threw the sword this way, so he could escape. It's not stupid if it's survival, is it?"

    "Tch. Fine. You have a point, I suppose. Blasted mechanic bastard. But if he shows his face again..."

    "I get it. I get it. We need to be calm, or else our minds might merge further. Remember?"

    "And then we all rot together!"


    "Oh come on, everyone would be better off if they were stuck in Darkness and Chaos forever, not rotting!"

    "Shush, Crom Croch, Angra Mainyu. We've finally reached the key to ensuring we can split apart. Still, it's rather a pity he didn't choose to become the next Frost Titan instead. It would have been interesting, don't you think?"


    "Tch. Again. You should have KILLED HIM. Little bastard. Still, I suppose we need to analyze shit?"

    "You're the only one that can, Surtr. Would you do the honors of making sure that it's the Blade of Cursed Ice, the entropically forged steel blade, wrapped around and containing the Heart of Winter?"


    "Yeah, sure. Not a problem. I'm the only thing left that can, I suppose."

    With care, they work, reaching out in sync, slowly pulling the blade into their new body.

    "It's definitely the sword, but it's weaker than I thought it would be. I'm not sure how much power he drained off it."

    "Hmm. That, or age. The Heart of Ymir is definitely not as strong as I supposed it would be. Well, good luck peeling it out of the sword, Surtr."

    "Yeah, I get it. Now to seperate my mind as far as possible, and..."

    "Surtr detected. Nuclear Explosion imminent."

    "What the hell? It's not in the sword?!"

    There are no words for what happens when a nuclear explosion goes off in an entropically cursed field, so I'll use an analogy instead. Imagine a giant sphere, suddenly having a huge pimple. One that's growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until it pops. Inside the hole, you can see a hundred screaming gods and Titans, in utter agony, half dissolved in the entropic goop they've been eaten by. Slowly, slowly, the hole heals, leaving them in blackness once more. However, for all this analogy goes over the damage to the body, what happens to the mind? Is it shredded? Ripped apart? Forcibly fused with other minds? Existence may never know. But what IS well known, is the rage of the ones that survived such a terrible incident.

    "He b̸̧͎͔̔̃a̴̤̐̏̀c̷̜̈́͐k̸͙̯̊s̶̛̙̹͚͘ț̴̣͝ą̷̭͓̤͛̐̏̿b̵͐̄͠ ̖̥̹b̶͎̠̩̾ͅé̵̡͕̓̊d̵͍̠̈́̋̈́͘ us. Took the Heart of Winter, and left a BOMB where it was? He has guts, if nothing else. Well, shit. We're going to need to draw the power drained into the metal, and then use the Oort cloud. After that,
    we seperate. And then, we'll have our R̶̡̬̞̓͂Ě̷̱ͅV̷̡̩͘Ė̵̫̻̠́N̵̮̹̈͑̀G̴̢̮͔̎̃E̶̢̩̱̽̓̉. We're coming for you, sooner or later, Erik Ulricson. Once we find a way, however long that may take. We're... oh, damn it.



    H̸̹͓̩̬̘̠͉̏̾̔̑͊e̷̢̧̡̨̖̙͖̥͖̝͓̽̉̄͂̌̉̎ ̶̬̏̐̒͑̔̂́̈͗̈̕b̶̪͉̫̩̂͗̉̾̈́̐̕l̷̥͋̆̒͘͝e̵̯̭̱̪̲̍̂̈́͛̎̒̀w̸ ̮̤͂͆͌̇̃̈̄̚̕͠ ̴̡̡̫̮̳̟̹̭̟̳̖̫͐́́͑̄͝ͅư̴̆͌̋̋͋̊̾̇̏̌͋͘͜ṕ̵̪̩̮̯̅̇̏̈́͋̇̚ ̩̭͙ ̴̡̢͖̭͓̬̱͓̣͖̣̒͝ẗ̶̺́̐́̇̔̀̂̕͠h̶̡̡̛̠̖̱̦̯̩̫̀̾̓̄̇̇e̵͌̆́̋ ̘̖̖̲̳͎͓̒͊̃͌͂̽ ̶̡̛̮͙̬͙̖̝̖̼̲̬͙͙̆̒̾̑̈̓̈́̓͝p̵̨͎͔̯̞̘͌̃̑͘o̵̪͚̫͒̿͗̐́̓̃̓̌ r̴̢͚͍̈́t̶͇̹̻̣̗̺̱͖̥̰̯̺̘͂̈́̈̀a̷̙̲͛̓̇͐͐̃̽̚l̶̛̆̎͗͊̓͋̅͘͘͠ ̬͇̦̯̞͕̯̩̱̼̥͆ ̴̢̟͇͚͓̬̟̩͚͑̔́t̵̡̏́̀̀̈́̑̏͂͋͐̓͌͝h̶̡̥̪̞̻̝͊̏͠ͅạ̸̃̈͐͐̄̂ ̳̱͙̥̣̜̦̼̜t̵͍͓̞̺͙͙͔͍̞̱̺̓̍͒̅ ̵̨̢̱̙̙͔͈̻̭̯̞̬̯̈́̇̔͗̐̀́͘h̵̬͈͇̘̮̥̻̪̬̬̺͑̈́͆͝e̷̎̉̂͌̈́̉̂͑̊ ̨͔͕̳̼̘̮̟̀̈́͌͒ ̸̛̲̹͙͉̱̀͑͜ṱ̸̭̲̯̭̗̻̮̦̠̥̽̇o̸͔̦̖̮̗̫̩̩̖̅͆̈́͛̚ȏ̵́̄͛̊̈͝ ̜̍k̵͉͎̬̬̝̾̽̎͑̐́̊̃̿͒̃̍͠!̸̢͖̹̏̿̐̓͂ ̸͖̲͖̙̬̥͙́͆̈̈́͐̈́̈̐̾͌̚͠ ̴̟͚͖̙͝F̵̢̢̫̱͇͍̮̖̻̯̼͎̐̐̿̂͐͆͒̈́̀̅͜Ų̵̡̢̡͉̱̩̳͚̗̬͜͠C̷͐͝ ̧̱͍̻̍̄̚ͅK̴͎̗͎͔̭̥͈̫̩̘̻͚̯̋̀̉̂͂̃̊̃̂̓̚͝!̵̡̢̻̝͊̈́̓̉ͅ ̰̯̗̯ ̷̨̨̨̰̯̗̮͎̘͎͈̹͍̊̈́̀͛̇ ̵̧̖͎͔̫͈̟̱̘̦̲͙̝̄̿̒̈D̴̼̩̜̍̆̋̌͊̍̆̄̌̍̆͗A̸̯̠͔̤̲̔Ṃ̸͖̹̽̆ ̙Ṋ̴̼̈̍͑̒̈́̽̆͝ ̵̢̢̘͍̻̃̌͠Ȳ̷̩̫̈́̅Ȏ̵̭Ṷ̶̱̭̣͉̣̫͕͛͂͗̾̎̾͝,̸̈́̑̎̈̊́̓̿̎̚͘ ̲̺̰̝̫͚̖̤̟́ ̶̟́͗̆̈̑̋͗͠E̸̟̼̻͑̈́̎̾̾͆̾̚Ȑ̴̡̨̭̪̦̞̩̰̦̳̗̬̅͛̀̊́̾̅̾̊͝I̷ ̫͎͉͕̰͙͙͓̟̣͓̄̋̉̊̿̑̍͘K̴̢̨̡̩̭̩̬͉͈͈̻͛̃̒̎̈̓̓͝ ̸̥̅͑U̸̧̥̖̟̺̖̫̻͉͍͛ͅĽ̶̢͓̘͑̔͂̈́͗̊̽͠R̵̢̛̯͚̈͛̔̑̒̋̓̋̌̇͒͘ ̰͚͉̱̟͕̫̯͓I̵̻͚͑͐̔͐͑́̍͌͝͠C̵̙͙̳̺̲̻̬̞̘̠̀S̷̱̃̎͌͋͆̒͠O̸͆̏ ͈̊͝N̸̛̘̤͕͓̣͕̯͋͜ͅ!̸̖͎͍̤̰̺̲̺̤̟̒"



    (For those of you that can't read the Zalgo text there... "He blew up the portal that he took! FUCK! DAMN YOU ERIK ULRICSON!" I know it's rather hard to read.)

    In the void between Universes...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4oSz25FHIQ (Zoness Metal Cover ~ Star Fox)

    It's cold, yet hot. Reality burns, yet stays cold, and yet hot at the same time. Whatever is outside, it's a force of change, one that I can feel within my bones. Nestor's passed out, the Scylla's outright gibbering before it cuts itself off from seeing outside, Fenris is just whimpering in a ball against Tamamo, and Tamamo's clinging to my back, and shaking.

    But I'm still a God. Still strong enough to move, to take over, and pilot my ship. I can see so many wonderous things in the tvs. Massive beautiful spheres, constantly splitting into smaller ones. Perhaps that's a big bang I'm seeing right there?

    Massive voids, sucking energies and other spheres in, as well. It's wonderous, and beautiful. Incomprehensible, and yet I can vaguely understand it. I suspect the Godly domains that were always viewed as being necessary, are smaller spheres attached to a bigger one. Ones pulled in artificially.

    But I can't focus mostly on that. Most of my skill is focusing on keeping us between those voids that suck in those spheres. It's all incredible, but... even if I can't link to the ship like I can my mecha, with my armor, I'm still good enough to guide us through.

    I suspect that if I wasn't a God, we'd be dead already. Torn apart from the friction, or some other catastrophe out here that we haven't seen yet.

    It's beautiful. It's all just so... no. I won't be sucked into watching it, and leave them to suffer. I won't!

    Even as I pilot, I focus, using my intellect to study things, analyze things, but force myself to find a safe route through. It takes time, effort and energy. Even I feel my body's exhaustion when I finally find a safe path to somewhere that seems like it could be an option.

    There. That's a good spot. That place with a lot of lines linking it to other places...

    I aim the ship, working to pilot it properly. When we hit... reality shatters like glass, and we slam forwards. I desperately pull them to me, cushioning their movement with my own.

    "Fuck. That... really hurt. Boss? We've made it? Wait... boss, shit! You're not looking right!"

    I'm feeling weak suddenly... the hell am I feeling so weak for? Wait. It's like when I make an avatar body. Something's... Domains and Otherworlds. They must not exist here. Aww, hell.

    "Erik, you look mortal again."

    I just wince, pulling myself up, then slowly shake my head as the adrenaline wears off, before I pause, staring at the screens in front of me.

    I can vaguely hear The Scylla reporting that Wolf Home, as well as the Wolfen have both lost their Domains, as well as the Wolf's Wrath, leaving that mech effectively inoperable. Vaguely, I can hear the plating armor retract over the windows.

    I just can't stop staring at the hill on Mars. When the hell did it grow EYES?!

    Prologue End: Erik Ulricson

    Editing note:

    As Kieran so helpfully pointed out to me, command seals would not likely manage to make it to Mars. So rather than seeing the command seals now, he'll see them later. I'm posting this here, so people that read it can see the editing and the reason for it.
    Last edited by RanmaBushiko; March 25th, 2019 at 10:16 AM.
    I'm starting to suspect that talking with Kieran influences my rolls on Fate/Grand Order Heavily. How else can you explain me talking with him, then rolling for 30, only to get 3 Archer of Shinjuku on my second ten roll?

    I write like Douglas Adams. Proof: http://iwl.me/s/696f37bd

  19. #19
    Kamen Rider fan-writer Xamusel's Avatar
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    Hey, Kieran, are you going to fix The Hero's Reward any time soon? I'm hoping that you can update it ASAP... to account for what you and RB are doing in Fate/Anarchy.
    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?

  20. #20
    吸血鬼 Vampire
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    I'm not sure it strictly conflicts, actually. Illya attempted to grant Shirou's wish, to save people, but was restricted to doing so in a way that would cause world-shattering disaster somewhere.
    Shirou is going to win; if not this battle, then at least the Grail, if only by default — which will entitle him to a wish, Ilyasviel thought. And before he chose to try and save Sakura above all else, he wanted to save everyone. And in order to do that, then everyone would have to be put in danger . . . Frantically, the fading Grail spirit began searching for world-endangering threats. The tainted Grail itself might count, but she dared not take the chance that it wasn’t; she needed something bigger than that; a threat — a future — that the Grail would work with her to help realise. And preferably, a threat that Shirou could conceivably handle without requiring the intervention of the Counter Force, but in a pinch, she’d take what she could get. If she was successful, the antagonistic will of the Grail would concentrate on drawing on all that destructive, chaotic potential, and leave her free to shape just how it impacted things. If so, then she could do her best to minimise they would all have a chance to rebuild their lives in a way that was better than before — the way that Shirou would’ve wanted them to be.
    If you interpret that as approximately "In order to realize Shirou's wish to save everyone via creating the Works, a price must be paid in the form of twisting that wish to create a terrible evil that only comes about BECAUSE of the Works", a closed time loop isn't out of the question.

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