Disclaimer as of 5/30/2022 (5/29/2022 EST): This is a pretty old fic; posted back in 2021 on another site. I've gotten a bit better since then, and posting this fanfic is meant to get me some help in making an improved version of it later on. So bear with me while reading this!

Fair Warning: Mage the Awakening (Part of White Wolf's Chronicles of Darkness/New World of Darkness) is one of the few fandoms which can outpower the Nasuverse, with Time manipulation being a common power amongst Awakening!Mages, who get their powers by directly interacting with the Supernal Realms, which is a nigh-identical concept to The Root/Akasha. Not just that, but there are several hundred Ascended Beings (Archmasters) with the same powers as Goetia from FGO or stronger, all capable of changing reality, resetting history, and undoing each others' changes, which in turn ensures that the threat of Mutually Assured Destruction keeps them from just doing what they want with Reality.

But note that because power-wankery of this level isn't fun, especially when directed against a setting as well-loved as the Nasuverse, I will try and make sure that the latter has its own chance to shine and that my characters with powers from Mage the Awakening do not overestimate their own powers or go crazy with them. After all, the Nasuverse is their home now, despite having powers from Awakening...

Chapter One

Hello, my name is Daniel, Daniel Palaiologos. And this is the story of my second chance at happiness.

What was my first chance at happiness, then? Well, as you can guess, this is a Self-Insert/Reincarnation story, although unlike other examples of this genre, my former life wasn't all that bad - I was even going back to college in order to get a proper job, my parents were supporting me in that endeavor, and I had online friends who were genuinely interested in meeting me in Real Life.

Then I got hit by a car, and well, I was reborn in the Nasuverse. To a family which claimed descent from the actual Palaiologos Dynasty of 'Byzantine' (Aka Eastern Roman) Emperors. To a family of Magi who claimed independence from the Magus' Association and coveted its own share of Greece's Magical Secrets.


Originally David Garcia Martinez from Lalinís Curse, a Webcomic by Isaky on Webtoons, now used for Daniel Palaiologos with her consent.

My past life loved Urban Fantasy, but focused more on World of Darkness (great lore, but I didn't like the mechanics) and Chronicles of Darkness (meh lore, good mechanics) than it did Fate/Stay Night. I did watch Fate/Apocrypha and the DEEN Studio version of Fate/Stay Night, though, as well as the first eleven episodes of Fate/Zero and parts of a Let's Play of the original F/SN Visual Novel until I got bored. No, I did not touch gacha games, including FGO - That's a waste of money. Anyway, although I was reborn into a Magus Family, my father was the seventh son of the family, and thus only had training in basic Magecraft plus was allowed a lot of freedom, enough that he was allowed to marry an ordinary person - A scientist, to boot!

I was raised happily in my parents' Taverna (small restaurant) in Athens, and for a time, I thought I was born to ordinary life, an ordinary life where I was going to live in peace and finally have a shot at getting a proper career. I had friends, school wasn't so bad, and I got to help cook with parents who loved me. I was also taught basic Magecraft for self-defense, as well as what my father was permitted to tell me about the Family History.

My Parents' Taverna - Hidden for Size




But as I continued to muse over my past life, about what I used to nerd at and what I used to (wrongfully) consider important, I began to want something more. Magecraft in the Nasuverse is slated to be destroyed by Human Progress, and the Magus' Association had become rotten and corrupt because of that, same for most Magus Families which remained independent from that, including my own. I wanted something more powerful, but at the same time, conceptually similar to what the Nasuverse had. Something which might seem to blow away the Nasuverse's way of seeing things at first, but at the end of the day, was comprehensible by its inhabitants.

On my sixteenth birthday, I had my chance.

I was walking home from school, taking my time as it was a great day, when I noticed the sunlight getting brighter, brighter, and the road rising up in a slope I knew shouldn't be there. I tried activating my sensory Magecraft, but it seemed muted, a sign that something very unusual was happening. All the while, my feet moved on their own, walking forwards even as the last of the ordinary world faded before my eyes.

And I was in another plane of existence entirely, a plane of primal forces, light and heat and electricity and mana and raw, materialized Truth, with a Watchtower at its center, a structure of gold, silver, and glass clockwork whose perfect order was so harmonious as to be both sublime and unsettling.

I knew what this was. The Watchtower of the Golden Key from Mage the Awakening, another setting entirely. Drawing a magic marker from my backpack, I knew that signing my True Name in it or some other signifier of my identity will link my soul to the Watchtower and the plane it was a part of for the rest of my life, turning me into a Mage with powers which transcended that of the Nasuverse's True Magic.

There was no resisting temptation. I signed - Let the consequences come later.

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Chapter Two

After returning home from School (for real this time), I decided to take a few minutes' break in my room (a fairly ordinary bedroom with Anime posters on the walls, remember, this was back when Naruto used to be cool) not just to rest, but also to try and see how much of the canonical limits of my powers apply in the Nasuverse.

You see, in Mage the Awakening and its spiritual predecessor, Mage the Ascension, casting obvious Magic on people who do not know or believe in the supernatural causes a phenomenon called Paradox, where the Mage and those whom he has forced to witness Magic suffer painful punishments from extradimensional entities who don't like Mages messing with Reality. In Ascension, Paradox is caused by the collective disbelief of Humanity in Magic, which punishes all who try and change that disbelief, while in Awakening, it is caused by The Abyss, a soul-devouring 'Anti-Reality' which wants to warp everything into eternal madness.

What was the purpose of this exposition dump? Because I needed to know if the 'Incredible Cosmic Power!' I had come with 'Incredible Cosmic Risk!'. And because I actually loved my parents, I can't just cast my new Magic around/on them or their customers and expect everything to turn out all right.

Wait, scratch that. My Dad is a Nasuverse-style Magus and will probably listen to me, especially with proof of my words at my fingertips (remember, he is involved in the supernatural himself). At the same time, however, I don't want to shatter his happy life and worldview by revealing to him that I got more powerful than most Nasuverse Magi literally a few hours ago.

And what about the Counter Force? Will it squash me flat for being too powerful, too? Or send Counter Guardians to do the squashing for it?

In a worse-written story, I'd be getting an Alien Space Bat/Random Omnipotent Being whispering telepathically to me in order to give me a summary of what I can or cannot do with my powers. But as minutes passed and no one began giving me a mental orientation or even a mission, I literally began praying that the quality of this twisted tale I was in would get reduced so that I can get free (or even 'free') help.

Then I realized how pathetic I was being and decided to wing it - I just won't use my new powers around my parents or any ordinary people, and try and find more excuses to see my Magi relatives, including my cousin, Asriel Palaiologos (the heir to the Family and also a close friend, believe it or not).

And with that, all was at peace.

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Chapter Three

After accepting that mission, I went down to spend some quality time with my parents - No joke, I actually love them and they actually love me. My father, Deuel Palaiologos, is the best Dad ever, and also one of the best cooks I know. Sometimes I think that his real Magecraft is based on making good food, not putting up Bounded Fields. As I walked towards him, he said kindly to me, "Can you wait the tables today? We've been getting quite a few customers in the past few hours..."


Originally Mateo Martinez from Lalin’s Curse, a Webcomic by Isaky on Webtoons. Used for Deuel Palaiologos with her consent.

"Sure! Let me change to my work clothes!" I said eagerly before smirking, then saying, "I get a raise on my allowance for this, right?"

Dad scowled, then smiled and said, "Sure. Just make sure not to spend it all on videogames or candy or whatever you kids spend it on nowadays..."

Then he winked. Seriously, though, Dad is the best. Open-minded, accepting, yet has a spine underneath it all. He also taught me basic Magecraft, including some of the lore which should have gone to my cousin, Asriel. I wonder how he managed to escape being caught by Grandfather, though, considering the fact that the old man was a dyed-in-the-wool Traditional Magi.

Either way, time to take some customers' orders!

------

My mother is Maria, Maria Iagaris Palaiologos. While Dad is the cook who makes people smile with his food, my mother is the one who makes sure our business stays solvent and we have savings for a rainy day. After handing her the current orders, I see her smile as it seems that the customers have an extra craving for our Apple Pie. Patting my head, she asks, "So, how's your day, Daniel?"


Originally Victoria Martinez from Lalin’s Curse, a Webcomic by Isaky on Webtoons. Used for Maria Palaiologos with her consent.

"I'm doing well!" This wasn't a lie. True, I now have more power than the grand majority of Magi in the Association and I can't keep it hidden forever, but right now, I want to spend as much time with my parents as possible.

Before I turn eighteen and strike out on my own path. Before I reveal to everyone that everything they knew was wrong. And, hopefully, before I bring a boyfriend home should I actually manage to snag a guy who likes me for who I am...

"Penny for your thoughts?" she asks kindly, so kindly I can't help but want to hug her. But at the same time, I feel as though sharing my actual line of thinking would hurt her, so I tell a half-truth.

"Just thinking about my future career prospects, I guess," I shrugged as she looked at the orders and receipts behind the cashier. Then I realized what I had just said, then shouted, "Not that I plan to leave you two behind, at least not permanently - I love the both of you!"

Mom smiled, patted my head, then said, "I'll always support whatever you choose unless it's something illegal or highly dangerous. What are your plans?"

"I'm thinking of taking up Photography," I blurted out another technical truth, as Photography would be my cover for going to Trifas Castle, where Yggdmillenia would be if this were the same universe as Fate/Apocrypha (was it?). "Maybe even food photography, although I love a beautiful landscape as much as any other."

She believed me, good. But she'll wind up telling Dad, and the latter will be the slightest bit suspicious. I can overcome that -

"Daniel," Dad interjected as he walked towards the cashier's desk, his face unusually grim. "Your Grandfather wants to talk with me and you later this afternoon. He says it's of utmost importance."

Crap. Is it a coincidence that Grandfather is calling us just as I became more powerful than any Magus? Doubt it..

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Chapter Four

My Grandfather's mansion was an old Victorian-style building with Byzantine-style mosaics and frescoes inside, mosaics and frescoes portraying the heroes of both Pagan, Christian, and Modern Greece. Lord Byron was prominently portrayed in the largest fresco, fighting alongside the scions of the Palaiologos Family against the Ottomans for the independence of my country.

As I and my father were led into the building by armed guards, the mosaics and frescoes started to show the secret history of the Family, how we were Mages of some power during the Byzantine/Eastern Roman Empire Era and used that to become its final dynasty of Emperors. How we, by luck and Magecraft, survived the yoke of the Ottomans and the scorn of Western Europe in order to rebuild ourselves anew when Greece regained its independence. How we kept only the loosest of ties with the Clock Tower, keeping a hoard of magical treasures and secrets from their hands.

Finally, we reached the doors of my Grandfather's study, oaken doors engraved with his initials: A.P. Anastasios Palaiologos, Head of the Palaiologos Family of Magi. The guards left us as the doors opened by themselves, beckoning me and my father to where Grandfather waited behind his desk. As we entered, I felt the Bounded Field in the room scanning my physical and metaphysical self, as well as my father's, and I just realized: Sensory Magic still works on me as well as it does on Other people. If Grandfather didn't know then -

"So I am right," Grandfather spoke in a grave tone. "Something has changed. But that's not important right now. What I summoned you here to speak about is to tell you that Asriel Palaiologos has renounced the heirship of the Palaiologos Family and joined the Yggdmillenia Clan... As my spy in it."

"What?!" Father shouted as he realized the implications, "But he was the heir of the family - Well, I suppose he still is, but who's taking his place in public?"

Grandfather looked at me, and I was tempted to burn him in Magic beyond the knowledge of any Magus of this world for causing my father to open his eyes wide in terror at what that gaze implied.

"You cannot be serious!" Father's fists were clenched white as he spoke, "How long will Daniel be involved in this farce? And how do I know you won't just throw my son away once Asriel comes back? For that matter, why send him to spy on Yggdmillenia in the first place?"

"I have my reasons," Grandfather said inscrutably. "Your son will move over to my place in three days. The pretext will be that I am making him the heir to the Family Corporation - He can still have that when Asriel returns from his... Sojourn."

I was tempted to refuse, to launch the flames which would instantly consume Grandfather and his mystic defenses. But Father was there and he'd be distressed at me burning his father into a crisp. And Grandfather knew it.

That old man simply said, "Now, I want to talk with your son in private. You can wait outside the doors."

He looked at me again and his eyes glinted with certainty - He did know. And as Father prepared to resist, I patted him on the arm and said, "It'll be okay."

"But Daniel -"

I smiled at my father disarmingly, before saying, "I'll be all right - He needs me, after all. Don't worry about me, Dad."

Nevertheless, as he grudgingly left, slamming the oaken doors behind him, I was sufficiently angry that my fingertips glowed with bright silvery fire, a fire which ignites magical defenses as easily as an Origin Bullet, only they can be used again and again and again without fear of wasting a shot.

But my Grandfather just looked at me and said, "It seems I was right - You have gained power beyond any Magus in this world. A power which transcends even True Magic while calling into question the cosmological beliefs of millions of Magi."


Originally Butler from Maoyu Maou Yuusha, now Anastasios Palaiologos

His face turned grim as he continued, "You are not the first 'parallel world reincarnate' to be born into the Palaiologos Family. Nor the first one to attain powers from a different reality altogether. I have journals, secret journals, from our ancestors which describe this world as 'fictional', who describe their own native realities in such detail that they cannot just be dismissed as 'deluded'. There is something in our bloodline, and two or three others, which attracts such 'insertions', part of me has hypothesized..."

The fire dancing on my fingertips dies as my fury is replaced by raw curiosity. There were others before me? The Palaiologoi Family based its strength on having multiple self-inserts through the generations? And not just them? I began trembling as I saw that I wasn't that special...

"You are going to need a confidant, Daniel," my Grandfather continued, confident that he has seized control of the conversation. "Or do you plan to hold on to your secrets forever? Like it or not, I can help you... Not that you'd believe me if I said it came free."

I recover and say as combatively as possible, "I don't. So what should I do to help the family, Grandfather?"

"You know what the real reason I sent Asriel to spy on Yggdmillenia is, right?" Grandfather says.

"The Greater Grail," I say, then nod as my insides metaphorically boiled at being used as a pawn despite my power. "You want me to help him steal it?"

"Yes," Grandfather said. "You and Asriel can do whatever you want with it afterward, including destroy it. The previous generations of my family have warned me that the Grail was more trouble than its worth in multiple 'stories', and I am not one to fail to listen to warnings." He paused and pursed his lips, "Actually, you can do whatever you want with it except strengthen an enemy or potential enemy of our House. But you would not think of such stupidity, right, Daniel?"

I sigh. I nod again. Then I say once more, "I don't trust you, Grandfather, not as far as I could throw you, but you've had me since you said I wasn't the only 'insert' into this setting. Teach me what you know and I'll do what I can to make sure the Grail does not end up in the wrong hands..."