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Thread: Fate/From Dust

  1. #1
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Fate/From Dust

    Magus,

    It has come to my attention that ReGrail has chosen you as a participant. Therefore, I hereby formally request you join me in Pendleton, England. I have already arranged your journey and payed all travel and lodging expenses; all I require is that you show up. Your participation is instrumental to the success of my research... and of course, 'the prize' awaits you if you happen to win. That is incentive enough to partake in this experiment of mine, is it not?

    Enclosed are the details of your trip. I look forward to our meeting.

    Quartermain

    P.S. - I would suggest you find a catalyst.



    Spoiler: Plot 


    Spoiler: Setting 


    Spoiler: Classes 



    Participants:

    - Commodore Jim
    - Lenore
    - Eruedraith
    - MooseFondue
    - Arkay
    - Deathfish
    - flibbyjibbits
    Last edited by Commodore Jim; February 2nd, 2014 at 05:33 PM.

  2. #2
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Hrm..."

    A tall figure leaned back in his computer chair with a creak, flipping through a small book, written in some long-dead tongue. With a sigh, he snapped it shut, before tossing it onto his desk. His workspace was completely littered with dusty tomes and sparkling new computers. It was an odd clash, and one that expanded to the rest of his basement. It was equal parts wizard's workshop and cutting edge laboratory, and in the center stood the very thing it existed for.

    ReGrail. A tall, imposing structure carved from obsidian, the top lined with wicked-looking spikes. The shiny black stone was riddled with carvings, left by the ancient people of the island of San Gra'al, the supposed creators of the artifact.

    The magus frowned as he looked at the grail. In its current state, it was riddled with cracks, multi-colored light seeping out from between them. For all his work, he was still unable to completely restore it. But it had certainly come a long way; and this time, it had triggered a grail war of its own accord. A smile tugged at the corners of his lips. He could only assume it was ready.

    One of the computers on his desk began to beep, and he glanced at the monitor. A memo was displayed on the screen:

    7:30 PM, Meet Participants

    "Ah, yes." The magus murmured to himself as he got to his feet. Rolling his shoulders, he slid off his lab coat, hanging it on a rack and grabbing a dark grey suit coat to replace it. He grabbed an iron mask off his desk, and using a hand to push his long white hair out of the way, attached the disguise to his face

    "Well then." The magus' aged voice now carried a faint digital distortion. Pressing a button on the wall, the doors opened, revealing an elevator. "It would be rude of me to not be there when my guest show up."

    He stepped into the elevator, and the doors shut. After a moment, the elevator began to rapidly ascend. After all, it took a bit to cover the hundreds of feet between the ground floor of his house and his workshop.

    Eventually, the doors slid open, and the magus stepped out into his bedroom. With the press of a button, a facade slid over the doors of the elevator, making it indistinguishable from the rest of his wall. And with that, he left his bedroom, taking great care to close the oaken door behind him, before walking down the hall to his spacious living room. Seven cozy looking chairs were arranged in a semi-circle, facing the fireplace. The masked man took a seat in his own chair by the fire, letting out a content groan as he settled in.

    "Yvonne." The magus called out to apparently no one in particular, "Open the door whenever one of the seven participants steps up, would you?"

    "Yes, Quartermain." Came a synthesized female voice in response.

    And so, in the mansion on the outskirts of Pendleton, the game was set up. Now all that was needed was its players.

  3. #3
    Ark
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Not a sound broke the silence that befell the snow-coated Teagan Estate, former home of the late Elliot Teagan, American industrialist and philanthropist. The white snow that covered Capital City was both calming and pleasant, but could not feel anymore different from the dark and dimly lit rooms of the manor. It was clean, spotless even, but the aura that pervaded every room had the ever-present odor of loss. Despite all of the amenities that the Teagan fortune could provide, one would have to feel sorry for whoever had to find themselves calling the place their home.

    Suddenly, footsteps. Heels clicked and clacked as a young man, one who couldn't be any older than twenty at the very latest, descended the wide set of stairs, down towards the front hall. His black hair was short, spiked upwards at the tips. The expression on his face was... blank, dull to say the least. His grey eyes said everything; he had a job to do, and was serious about seeing it through.

    Below him, waiting in front of the large front door to the estate, was his aging butler, Edward Nickelsworth, with a large coat in hand and suitcase at his side. "Master Martin," he called to the young man whose feet had just left the stairs. "You're looking well today. The weather outside has let up from the previous night, nothing close to the storm that it once was, but it's still rather cold." Draping the man with the coat, he added, "Please, take this if you know what's good for you".

    "Yes, thank you, Edward," Martin replied. "And I will assume that all of my accommodations have been made?"

    "Of course, master. You will be taken to Pendleton, England by private jet followed by a cab ride to your penthouse, which is already stocked with everything you will need for your latest mission." He looked to the suitcase at his side. "For the most part, at least. Your suit and the catalysts we procured are currently waiting in the car; it would not be wise to simply leave them waiting in the penthouse unguarded for so long. You won't have much time to relax however, for the Quartermain would rather you not be late."

    "Good," Martin replied. "Sorry for making you gather all of those catalysts, but unfortunately I'm still less than set on my choice of Servant. Now what about the suitcase? You do know that I don't intend to bring you along, right?"
    Edward removed his eyes from Martin and sighed. "Master Martin, I implore you to rethink what you are setting out to do. Once you step foot on that plane, there's no turning back from the fate you've laid out for yourself."

    "Do you think that I don't know that, Edward?" Martin barked back. "My destiny was decided the moment that my father, the man who fought to destroy the Holy Grail of San Graal from spreading its evil, took me under his wing. I was nothing more than a circus performer, gifted in my young age, but nothing more than that. The Red Wing, my father, saw something in me. He avenged my parents by putting the criminals who took their lives behind bars. He adopted me because he saw that I had the potential to carry out his legacy. And he is the one who trained me so that I would one day fight side by side with him." Martin clenched his fists. "An honor that I wouldn't ever enjoy. But when the time came, I was the one who avenged him. I set his soul to rest by ending the man who killed him... And now I will be the one to continue his legacy in defending our world from the pressures of the Holy Grail."

    The butler had to fight the tears from his eyes. "I can't stop you, can I? No matter how much you hurt me... You're just like your father in that sense. I cared for him for so long that he was like a son to me. Of course, despite how close we were, he never saw me as a father - he already had one of those, even if they were taken from him so early in his life." The man had to take a moment to catch his breath. "Elliot was always trapped in his desire to keep people safe from criminals so they would never have to experience the loss he once felt, even if it meant his death. Seeing you rush into what may very well be your last moment in our world is difficult for me."

    "Edward..." Martin couldn't feel anything but guilty. "I'm sorry."

    "Yes, yes, I'm sure you are," the butler said as he tried to compose himself. He picked up the suitcase and opened it, revealing a red cloth of sorts. "Take this."

    "I-I'm sorry Edward, but I don't do capes."

    "No, this is far more than that. It's the holy shroud of a saint-type Servant that your father befriended in the previous war. I know you're not an experienced magus, even less so than your father, so I took the initiative and had a number of magi spare some of their mana to power it. You see, over the years, it lost whatever notable aspects it once had, but now it is a tool that even you can make use of."

    Martin grabbed the shroud, looked at it in his hands, and held Edward, albeit only for the fewest of seconds.

    "Thank you," he said softly, before making his way out the door and towards his fate.

    The butler kept his eye on his master until he was gone from sight. He closed the door and set his eyes once again on the lonely estate. There was a chance that this building would never see another Teagan inside it ever again... a harrowing thought, to say the least.

    ---

    Time had passed and Martin was situated in his penthouse. There wasn't much time to spare considering he had waited until the last minute to begin his trip, so making his way towards the Quartermain's mansion was of the utmost importance. He immediately stripped himself of his civilian garb and donned his black tights emblazoned with the red bird-like emblem The Red Wing himself once championed. The color red also draped itself over his shoulders, as well as his gloves and boots. To complete the outfit, the hero strapped on his golden utility belt and placed his cardinal domino mask over his eyes. He was no longer Martin Teagan.

    He was Talon.

    As soon as his transformation was complete, the masked man flung himself out of his penthouse apartment, and through the cover of night, made his way towards his destination. It wasn't long until he found himself at the door to the Quartermain's mansion, greeted by the automatically opening door. Talon didn't like being an expected visitor, but for tonight, that was a must.

  4. #4
    watchwher VIP flibbyjibbits's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    A few days prior to the meeting, a rusty truck pulled up at a street corner somewhere in an industrial park in the town. A few minutes after that, a man from out of the country had unpacked and set up shop in both the literal and metaphorical sense of the phrase. He was probably in his mid 30s, from somewhere in northeast America based on the sports team clothing he tended to wear. He didn’t give his real name to any of the customers, and in many cases gave different fake names to people standing right next to eachother, but it wasn’t a huge concern to most. He cooked up good food, on that portable grill and stovetop, using the ingredients he bought at the cheapest grocery in town. It was sort of puzzling how he managed, but he wasn’t one to talk about it.

    Not to say he didn’t talk about other things. It was almost enough to dissuade one from eating there. Almost. The endless chatter about comic books and movies could get bothersome, but all the same, the simple truck with the word “food” crudely painted on the side wound up a popular attraction.

    At night he drove away, parking somewhere else in the town, and arrived again in the morning. Sometimes he made an appearance at a local bookstore, or gameshop, but not very often.

    The day of the meeting, he cooked for free, denying any charge with “I got big business tonight,” and denying any order other than a burger with “S’for good luck. “

    After closing up shop at around 6, he parked at a laundromat a few blocks away from the meeting place. Getting a letter at all was a bit weird, without having an actual mailing address on a count of being in the country illegally and living out of a truck, but the contents were what weirded him out more. Might as well dress up nice, he thought, picking up the jacket he’d left there earlier, and got changed in his car. It was a pretty nice jacket, by his reckoning, an old, leather coat, and he’d bought some cheap glasses to match it. He looked at himself in the rearview mirror, posing a few times, to make sure he looked cool and not ridiculous. First impressions were very important. Looking like an idiot could be bad, given the circumstances, so he would have to fake not being one.

    Tossing on a cap from his local sports team, he made the walk, chewing bubblegum loudly, nodding his head and waving at those who passed him on the street.

    Upon reaching the destination, he popped his gum and whistled “Nice place.”

    At the AI’s request, he retrieved the letter from his pocket, and pulled his sleeve down to show the command seal, “Kyle Blue here. Somethin about a fight club? Yeah, alright, sure, whatever you want to call it.”

    He followed the AI’s commands through the building, to the meeting room, where he flopped down on the first unoccupied seat, removed his gum and placed it in its wrapper in his shirt pocket, and looked at who else had arrived yet.

    “Hey,” he nodded at Talon, “Nice cosplay, I got most of the issues, myself, missing the one where he fights Nuke-man, but I hear it gets retconned anyways.”

  5. #5
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    It had been a few days since Toby Waltz had recieved the letter finally explaining to him what the strange glowing markings that had appeared on his arm were. Command Seals. They marked his participation in something called a Holy Grail War. He'd been chosen to summon a long-dead hero and fight for a wish. Frankly, he didn't particularly want to go. He was happy with his little life, staying unnoticed and unimportant.

    So why was here, about to steal a catalyst?

    His pulse pounded as he stood before an unassuming gas station in the city of Bailey Valley, Illinois, far from his home in Canada. Toby was an unassuming young man. He was short, and seemed even shorter due to his perpetual hunch, as if he were trying to shrink away. Thick glasses, shaggy black hair, baggy black sweatshirts... everything seemed to give off a vibe that he didn't care much about his appearance. He just wanted a quiet life. And yet, here he was. Some small part of him compelled him to participate in this war he'd been chosen for. But for that, he'd need a catalyst, something to help act as a beacon for a hero of old. With a bit of research, and some reconnaissance, he'd learned of a warehouse owned by the group that used to broadcast Holy Grail Wars some thirty-something years ago. The warehouse was filled with artifacts from all across time. Surely something there would do.

    Toby didn't know much about mythology or history, so his plan was this: get in, take a catalyst, get out. Simple. Taking a deep breath, he stepped into gas station's convenience store. As soon as he made sure none of the employees were watching, he reached into the pocket of his sweatshirt, and pulled out what appeared to be a metal respirator. He quickly put it into his mouth, and tried to calm his breathing. As he did, he began to fade from view. This was the magic his family was known for, a stealth technique known as 'diving', where the user 'submerges' themselves in pockets of wind, refracting light and hiding them from sight. Toby had never been particularly good at diving himself, but luckily, he had inherited his family's mystic code, the respirator known as 'Holy Diver', which allowed much more ease of use, while also managing to muffle all sounds made by the user.

    Once he was sure he completely out of sight, Toby quietly opened the door to the gas station's back room, stepping in. From there, a few flights of stairs, and he was in the warehouse. It was an incredible sight; rows upon rows of wooden crates, all presumably carrying powerful potential catalysts. He glanced up at the office at the far end of the warehouse. The lights were on, and someone was inside. He winced. Even with the HGW having been gone for a while now, someone was still in charge of watching the warehouse. Even with his invisibility, he felt uncomfortable. He'd have to do this quick.

    Glancing about, he picked the first box his eyes lay upon. A small one, labeled 6004935. Still trying to keep his breathing steady, Toby opened the box, and grabbed whatever was inside. Making a mad dash, he was up the stairs, out of the gas station, and several blocks away before finally, he removed Holy Diver from his mouth, panting heavily as he faded into view. He flopped back onto the grass of the public park he found himself in, before finally opening his hand to see what he had grabbed. A broken chunk of some sorts. It looked sort've like bone...? Whatever it was, Toby knew it'd have to do.

    -----

    A few days after that, and Toby was finally in Pendleton, standing at the door of the mansion he'd been directed to find. Taking a deep breath, he went to knock on the door, jumping a when a computerized voice rang out.

    "Please verify the state of your command seals."

    "U-Uh, yeah..." He grabbed the sleeve of his sweatshirt, rolling it up to expose the intricate glowing pattern on his forearm.

    "Welcome, Mr. Tobias Waltz."

    The door flung open, and nervously, Tobias stepped inside. Sitting by the fireplace was the man he presumed to be Quartermain. In a couple of chairs, a few participants had already arrived. He let out a bit of a sigh of relief. He hated being first or last; drew too much attention. Though... in a room full of people who would eventually be fighting to the death, he supposed everyone would draw some sort of attention. He took the seat farthest from the others already here, giving just a silent, timid nod acknowledging them as he settled in.

  6. #6
    romance option Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Her goodbye was sombre. A couple of her superiors had come to see her off, of course, but she didn't for a second entertain the thought that it was for anything more than posterity. Since the woman was catching a private jet, they'd even come down to the tarmac proper; three men in the same black of the Church lined up in sinister monochrome.

    "We trust you'll be successful in investigating and winning this false Grail, Sister Stephanie."

    If I'd been anyone else, you would've called me by my surname. The thought stung, but at least her response was easy. "I live to serve in the name of God. Of course I will return victorious."

    "Of course. Now, don't forget to dispatch regular reports to any of the churches in Pendleton. We'll be waiting."

    She picked up her small suitcase, nodding a soundless agreement before disappearing into the plane.

    *

    Stephanie des Baux was not one to slack on preparations. Her first act upon learning the location of the War for which she had been chosen was to buy the largest, most impressive penthouse she could find in the city; her second, to hire the best interior decorator on the wrong side of the Channel to take care of furnishing it. While it was true that her funds were nowhere near as plentiful as she'd have liked, that would all change upon receiving her wish from the Grail, so she had no need to feel bad about splurging. She'd sent all her possessions ahead to her new home, keeping only the few tomes she owned and a small leather-bound journal for carry-on luggage.

    She hadn't brought a catalyst, of course. Between her bloodline and her faith, there was no doubt in her mind that she'd succeed in summoning the exact Servant she desired. Saint Martha of Bethany, formerly her father's Rider, fighting side-by-side once again with the scion of Europe's best magus family; it was too perfect to go wrong.

    The priestess stopped by her penthouse only long enough to drop off her possessions before making her way to the rendezvous location. Outside the building, she paused to inspect herself in one of the windows: her father's high cheekbones and grey eyes, long blonde hair in a ponytail which reached to mid-back, and the standard black cassock of any member of the Church. There were only two things which differentiated her appearance from any ordinary priestess, though; the long slashes up the legs of her garment which allowed some freedom of movement, and the red gloves which she kept on even as she stepped inside.

    Upon reaching the room proper, Stephanie was slightly dismayed to realise she hadn't been the first to arrive. Punctuality was certainly important, but she was more interested in watching everyone as they came in. Luckily, there were only four other magi there, all male, so she wasn't too late for some serious people-watching. Sitting down, she sized up each of the men in turn. There was a magus who was presumably Quartermain, sitting in his own chair by the fire; a man in a leather jacket and baseball cap, talking animatedly; a man who seemed to have arrived only a fraction before her; and-

    The fourth man was, by all appearances, the superhero known as the Red Wing - master of Servant Archer in the last Holy Grail War on San Graal, and the ally and friend of the late Hugh des Baux.

    She shifted imperceptibly in her chair, trying to play it off as a mere comfort thing. This complicates the War considerably, but I have to keep calm. A des Baux does not know fear, and who am I if not my father's daughter? Leaning back, she settled in for observation.
    Last edited by Lenore; January 28th, 2014 at 01:59 AM.

  7. #7
    When someone says, "What's up," don't tell 'em about your butt. Forum Veteran MooseFondue's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "You're an idiot. You're a huge idiot. You're a colossal &&&&ing idiot and you damn well know it. God &&&&ing damn it, it's like you just couldn't &&&&ing wait to fulfill your family's legacy! You want to die, don't you? You literally want to die and so you figured why not off yourself in the stupidest manner possible. Sure, just &&&&ing enter a death match with &&&&ing ghosts and &&&&!"

    Spencer Farland was yelling hysterically to himself as he tried to navigate through the streets of Pendleton in his rental car. Were his hands not gripping the steering wheel so tightly, they would likely be pulling at his hair and face, features which would have looked at home on a much older man. Years of stress had not been kind, leaving the man with many streaks of gray hair and a gaunt, pale face, despite only being in his late twenties.

    "Why would you do this to yourself? Why would you leave home? Why would you get on a &&&&ing airplane and fly over an entire ocean just so you get yourself killed?"

    The ranting continued as Spencer went over the events that had led him to this point. So he had gotten those marks on his wrist, right? It didn't look like any kind of rash he'd ever seen but that didn't stop him from trying just about every healing spell in his fairly expansive arsenal of medical magic. Then came the message from that Quartermain guy. On one hand, he didn't need to worry about the marks on his wrist being a symptom of some deadly unknown disease, but it also brought far more impactful news. The Holy Grail War, a terrible event he had heard dreadful stories about, had returned. And it had chosen him.

    The rental car had arrived in front of the specified location. Spencer looked down at his trembling hands and sighed deeply. Entering this challenge meant nearly certain death. It was nearly certain that he would come to an early end, nearly as old as his parents were when they died, and his grandparents, and his great grandparents. But. There was that slim chance. That minuscule possibility that he could win the grail. Win the wish. Escape death.

    Spencer approached the door, his large coat with its many pockets swaying in the wind slightly. He nearly hightailed it back to the car when the door spoke, and again when it sprang open seemingly of its own accord, and a third time when he viewed the five people already in the room.

    "Well &&&&," he muttered under his breath as he took a seat in one of the remaining chairs.

  8. #8
    hey sinnerman where you gonna run to Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Ambrose never slept. This was at least partially why normal people were unsettled by him. Also, he was cobbled together with practical stitches from the bodies of eight different people, which tended to put other people on edge.

    But not the cult.

    "Son of Mother," one of the simpering men said. "We've almost arrived at our destination."

    Ambrose brought his right arm up, and pulled back the silken sleeve of the suit that Mother insisted he wear in public at all times. She said that it was for the sake of appearances, but Ambrose sometimes wondered if it was to cover up the stitches.

    Staring back at him from the Asian skin of his right arm was a Command Seal. Mother's theory was that the magus She had taken the limb from had the potential to become a Master, but... It would be nice if I, specifically, had been chosen. It would be a shift of pace, at least.

    The limo halted, causing the four servants around him to launch into a frenzy of activity. One opened the door with a flourish, and another quickly pulled a suitcase out and gave it to Ambrose. He gripped its handle, feeling the weight of whatever Mother had prepared for him. He decided that he'd lose Her gift as quickly as possible.

    The last two servants held up a mask for Ambrose. Its face was black plastic, impenetrable by light. Around the face was an armored skull design that would keep his face hidden and safe.

    Ambrose left the limousine. Such rebellion against Mother's wishes was usually cause for immediate retribution, but this was a special occasion. One that he would milk to the utmost of his capabilities, regardless of how much he may pay for it later. He silenced the servants' complaints with a brown-green stare, and entered the mansion.

    Now in the light, it was obvious that Ambrose's face had once been two. A stitch running from the underside of his right jaw, under his nose, and disappearing somewhere in the middle of his hairline separated the African from the pale Irishman complexions. He had long since gotten over people's reactions to his appearance. It had been necessary.

    Ambrose took one of the remaining seats. He didn't spare the other guests a glance. This wasn't a fight with them, whatever Mother thought.

    It was just another arena in which he could fight Mother.
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    He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they'd hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be con-demned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay... Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.


  9. #9
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Hrm..."

    Quartermain gave a digitized murmur as he looked up at the antique grandfather clock standing by the wall. A faint whir could be heard as the glass lenses of his mask magnified, giving him a better look at the time.

    "Ah. 8:05. It seems Master Kaminski is late." Quartermain sat up in his seat, crossing one leg over the other as he tented his fingers. "Well, I suppose I could start our little meeting now. I'll make sure he gets caught up later. So that said: Welcome, all of you, to the second Holy ReGrail War test. As you are all aware, I've been working in secret to repair the San Gra'al Holy Grail, after it exploded in the Holy Grail War of 2030. I can't help but notice a couple of you have personal ties to that war, Lady des Baux and Master... Talon, was it? A darker hero for a darker time."

    Quartermain got to his feet, beginning to pace in front of the fireplace. "When I first put on this experiment seven years ago, it was discovered the class system had been..." He paused, trying to think of the word he wanted, "... altered. Different from the traditional class system we knew from the televised Holy Grail Wars. Saber, Lancer, Archer, Rider, Caster, Berserker, and Assassin; these are all gone. In their place, we found seven new classes. Paragon, Wayward, Sage, Beast, Trickster, Wanderer, and Scourge. The participants and myself were baffled, to say the least, but soon found these new classes to be no less formidable than their Grail Prime counterparts. Now, there's a chance that the class system may be completely different again. That's the nature of the beast, I'm afraid, we just can't know."

    He stopped, turning to face the magi that had assembled. "A sure difference from the last experiment, however, is that ReGrail has selected you of its own devices. Last time, I took volunteers, and synthesized command spells for them. But ReGrail has made its own command spells; therefore, I think it is closer to being complete than it's ever been. So please excuse me for hastily bringing you out here; I was simply excited to see how my creation has grown."

    He walked past the chairs, looking each participant over. "And so, the experiment. Tonight, once you return to your lodgings, you are to summon your Servant. Spend the day resting up from the summoning and getting to know your Heroic Spirit; once night falls, the war officially begins. I do advise that you all keep your fights to the night, by the way; too many witnesses may bring unsavory consequences, most involving the church and the remains of the HGW."

    The magus one again took his seat, leaning back in a relaxed position. "I will do my best to falsify reasons for any collateral damage left in the wake of your clashes, of course. So... does anyone have any questions for me?"

  10. #10
    romance option Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Lady des Baux? Being named as such made Stephanie's jaw clench almost imperceptibly. In right, but unfortunately not in practice. Still, it wasn't all bad; at the very least, these people probably wouldn't be inclined to take her too lightly any more - especially this Talon, who she was going to have a nice, leisurely conversation with later. Good. Don't let these clothes fool you; know who I am, and recognise me to be a threat.

    "Which class won last time?" she asked coolly in her accented English, pulling her right glove on more snugly. It would make no difference to her plans, of course - Martha would make as fine a Paragon as she had a Rider, if not an even better one - but it couldn't hurt to be prepared for particular threats.

  11. #11
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Hm, yes."

    There was a faint whirring sound as the glass lenses of Quartermain's mask twisted and extended slightly as he looked towards des Baux.

    "I suppose that is the sort of thing someone like you would wish to know. Very well. The winner of the first ReGrail was Trickster. Odd fellow, that. Any other questions?" The magus turned his gaze back to the rest of the seated Masters to be, lenses retracting into the mask.

  12. #12
    Ark
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Uh, sorry, I don't really follow the comics and this isn't a cosplay," Talon said while trying to brush off his fellow competitor. He would have introduced himself as a way to further differentiate himself from The Red Wing, but making small talk with civilians, especially while dressed in his heroic garb, was simply awkward. He instead turned his attention to the Quartermain, who had revealed the winner of the previous ReGrail War: Trickster.

    Prior to now, he was left with no leanings towards any particular class of Servants, even more so now that they were dealing with entirely new classes, but hearing how Trickster managed to come out victorious did tempt his leanings. Talon had brought a number of catalysts to his penthouse in Pendleton, one for every Servant... at least for the standard classes. The closest match would have to be the catalyst originally selected for the Assassin class - a perfect fit.

    He leaned back and crossed his arms. "So what did the previous winner get out of this war? He must have entered for a reason."

  13. #13
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Trickster's master was a scientist, first and foremost. I knew him well. He entered simply to see what would happen." Quartermain answered in a tone that made it seem almost as if he were thinking back fondly on the experiment. "Therefore, he wasn't all too disappointed when the first iteration of the ReGrail was unable to grant him a wish. Ah... but don't worry."

    The magus gave a bit of a chuckle, tenting his fingers. "I am confident that this time, ReGrail is fully functional. I've made enormous leaps in my research the past seven years. Alright, anything else?"

  14. #14
    watchwher VIP flibbyjibbits's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Yeah hey I got a question, too."
    Kyle leaned back in his chair and attempted to raise he feet, but found nothing to prop them up on so he returned to a normal sitting position. He wasn't completely stupid, but he did want to hear what the answer would be.
    "So, I guess, uh: Why? I mean all of you all seem like you've been prepping for this a long time, so, like, what for?"
    Of course, he did know what the original was for, since it would be difficult not to given the televised nature of the event, but it was worth asking, just in case there was some other change.
    He would admit, of course it was a bit intimidating, seeing as how he seemed to be the only person there who looked like he just stumbled in off the street, but he could only hope that he was, at least, confusing. It would be far better to be thought of as an unknown variable than to be thought of as an easy target. Maybe to that end it would have been better not to ask. Too late to un-ask it, though.

  15. #15
    romance option Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Why?" Stephanie repeated, somewhat incredulously. The question seemed - moot. More than moot. Why would one even bother entering the Holy Grail War - which was essentially a blood sport even if it was no longer being televised as such - without having a lofty end goal in mind? The priestess was baffled, to say the very least.

    "Is there really nothing you could wish for, even without your life in the balance?" She levelled her gaze at the magus in the baseball cap. "A man who claims to be without desire is either a bore or very bad at lying."
    Last edited by Lenore; February 1st, 2014 at 12:51 AM.

  16. #16
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "Now, now." Quartermain gave a wave of his hand to silence Stephanie. "No need to be so antagonistic quite yet. The war doesn't officially begin until tomorrow. As for your question, Mr. Blue. The reason why is simply because I must. For years, I've been driven by a burning ambition to restore the Holy Grail, just for the sake of it. It's a true test of my abilities as a magus and as a scientist. I have no need for wishes or the like. I simply must bring the Grail back to its former glory. That is all."

    Quartermain trailed off for a moment, as if deep in thought, before suddenly shaking his head. "Ah, sorry about that. My mind drifted to research. Any other questions?"

  17. #17
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "No further questions? Alright, then. Since it seems Master Kaminski will not be joining us this evening, I suppose I will let you all go. You are free to return to your lodgings and begin your summonings."

    Quartermain stood, giving a short bow to the participants.

    "Remember, tonight is just for summoning. Tomorrow evening at sunset is when the war begins. If any of you try to eliminate one another beforehand, well..."

    For a split second, it seemed like the glass lenses of Quartermain's mask gave off an eerie glow.

    "I'm afraid I'll have to remove you from the experiment for tampering with results. Farewell, everyone. Remember to give it your all."

  18. #18
    romance option Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Between the falling snow, the fog rolling in and the eerie silence, the world outside the mansion felt like a surreal, distant dream. It almost made Stephanie want to pinch herself to reconfirm that all of this was happening, but the cold air chased away any doubts as to her wakefulness. Besides, to do so would feel juvenile, and while she was only nineteen, she hadn't been a child for a long time.

    The ride home was uneventful, scenery speeding by in a blur of white broken only by the glow of lights as she got closer to the centre of Pendleton. She'd been given a lot to think about, mostly in regards to the other Masters she'd seen. It was a little too early to identify threats, considering only half the pieces were yet in play and the meeting had been a largely silent affair. What she did know, however, was that she didn't care for this Quartermain one bit. It was a given that she wouldn't be able to sit around and wait until tomorrow night to get anything done, but... Remove me from the experiment? I'd like to see him try. As if I haven't got the might of the whole Church behind me.

    Preparing for the summoning was easy. The priestess had, after all, had the process ground in by her superiors until she could recite the incantation in her sleep. Now, standing in her cleared-out living room before a summoning circle and feeling the swell of power all around her, she couldn't deny her mounting excitement. So close. I'm so close...! Prana rose within her, and the final words of her incantation became a shout. The glare before her grew impossibly bright, resolving itself into the shape of a figure, and Stephanie shut her eyes against the burn.

    "Well," she said as the afterimages cleared and her heart sank, "you're not quite who I was expecting."

    She couldn't have hidden her bitterness as well as she thought, because the man before her was scowling a little. "What's that supposed to mean?"

    He was tall and dressed like a hunter, in a leather tunic, but the armour he wore over sections of his limbs and torso suggested that he was something more. His hair was an improbable shade of garish red bordering on pink, tied in a long tail and matching the accents on his outfit. As far as she could tell, he was unarmed.

    The woman swallowed her disappointment. "It means nothing." Which was true; this situation could still be redeemed. It was still possible that he was another saint, although that was looking less likely by the second. "Might you be Servant Paragon?"

    He laughed, then, and while it was a full sound, there was nevertheless a harsh edge to it. "Not even close, princess. Servant Wayward."

    Stephanie stiffened, ignoring the intolerable nickname for now. I... failed? I, a woman of the cloth on the holy path, summoned a failed hero as a mirror of myself? The thought ate at her, but her mask was back in place the very next second regardless. In her mind, she called up the information that the summoning had bestowed upon her. Parameters, adequate; class skill, fascinating; personality, unknown and likely toxic. At last, she gave a nod. "I suppose you'll have to do."

    In the next instant she found herself with her Servant inches away, glaring down at her with one hand fisted in her cassock and anger written dangerously all over his face. "You're lucky I want my wish granted as badly as I do, Master," he growled, "because for that, I should fell you where you stand."

    It was strange, really, but she found herself laughing almost breathlessly. "Ha! At least that much went right. I swear to you, Wayward, you have the strongest Magus in this War. I possess an unmatched magical pedigree and a hunger for the Grail that even now consumes me."

    The man snorted and dropped her, stepping away and regarding her warily. Since he hadn't killed her yet, the priestess took that as a license to continue talking. "We got off to a rather bad start, didn't we?" And while she had no intention of befriending him, they did need to be cordial enough to be able to work together. "I believe I should introduce myself. Stephanie des Baux, priestess and rightful Lady of the House of Baux."

    "A noble joining the Church? I'm sure there's quite a story behind that one." It was a little unsettling how quickly Wayward's rage had disappeared in favour of practiced joviality, but she wasn't complaining.

    "There is, but I'll save it for another night. For now, I need to recover from this summoning, and that means food."

    "I don't know what you're suggesting, princess, but I'm not that kind of servant."

    She fought very hard not to roll her eyes. "Firstly, please drop that stupid nickname. If you must, refer to me as Master or Lady Stephanie. And secondly, because I'm not from around here, there's nothing to eat in the house. We're going to need to go out. Maybe if you're nice and show an interest in actually furthering our relationship, I'll buy you dinner too."

    Wayward grinned. It was not a pleasant expression. "Oh, I'm interested in furthering our relationship alright-"

    He easily dodged the undignified kick that the magus levelled at his shins, snickering. "Man, how did I get lumped with a Master with such a huge stick up her ass? Then again, I guess that kind of makes sense!" He guffawed again, amused by his own private joke.

    Stephanie sucked in a deep breath, calming down as best she could. "I don't know what you mean by that, but it doesn't matter. I'm going to need you to accompany me to dinner." Seeing the smile spreading on the man's face, she quickly corrected herself. "What I mean to say is, I saw there was a place that serves all-you-can-eat Chinese on the next block. I'm going there to eat food and recover prana. Should you decide that you want to come along, the offer's open. I should have some of my father's old clothes in the dressing room, so please change into something less conspicuous first."

    "You know I can't just leave a pretty girl alone in a strange city." Her Servant flashed that same devil-may-care smirk before vanishing into thin air and, presumably, the back recesses of the apartment.

    "Flattery will get you nowhere!" she called after him before striding out. Jabbing the button to call the elevator with unusual vehemence, she felt herself be rejoined by Wayward just before the doors closed and swept them downward.
    Last edited by Lenore; February 2nd, 2014 at 08:06 PM.

  19. #19
    When someone says, "What's up," don't tell 'em about your butt. Forum Veteran MooseFondue's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    The speed at which Spencer's legs carried him out of Quartermain's mansion was matched only by his rapidly beating heart and his racing thoughts. Every moment brought with it a wave of regret over having become entangled in this situation. Had he really just shared a sitting room with five people who, by necessity, wanted him dead and would likely go to great lengths to do so? He, who had gone to such great lengths to ensure his own survival, had willingly blundered into the most obvious deathtrap the universe could have offered him. He, who had thrown away all opportunities to live a satisfying life for the sake of safety, had stepped right up for a chance to be sacrificed in what would probably be a bloody and painful end.

    With some effort, the magus kept himself from vomiting at these thoughts as he drove to the place where he'd be staying. His eyes frequently darted to the rear view mirror to check for pursuers. Quartermain had made it clear that nothing was to occur until tomorrow, and Spencer fully intended to follow these instructions, but he doubted that some of the other masters would be as obedient as he. Not that he hadn't considered the idea of making an early strike. Eliminating competition before their servants could arrive would be a logical course of action to reduce the amount of deadly complications that could arise. But he was not a strong man, and he knew next to no offensive magic. An encounter with any of the others would likely end poorly. And then there was Quartermaster himself, still very much a mysterious variable.

    Upon arriving back in his room, several minutes were spent pacing the floor as Spencer continued to fight with his own trepidation. He knew the others he had just briefly met would be coming to kill him whether or not he summoned anything, and his odds of surviving an attack would rise astronomically if he had some sort of servant protecting him. That was good. And he knew that summoning was the first, necessary step towards winning the tournament and claiming his prize. The man's shifty eyes slowed and became glassy for a moment at this thought.

    Snapping out of his reverie, he immediately got to work preparing the summoning circle that he had come across in the small bit of research he had done prior to coming to Pendleton. He had not retrieved a catalyst as he had been unable to find a way to procure one through legal, and thereby safe, means. His hands shook slightly as he drew the final few lines, and his voice was dry and scratchy as he spoke the incantation.

    Unprepared for what would follow, Spencer immediately assumed that the blinding light meant something had gone wrong and dove behind his bed in the hopes that it would provide any sort of protection from what he guessed would be some sort of fiery explosion. After several seconds, Spencer opened his eyes, relieved to find the room in one piece, though there was a distinct smell of smoke in the air. Clutching his pounding chest, the magus rose to his feet to view a new person who had come to be standing in the center of the summoning circle.

    It took several moments to take in the entirety of the man before him. His long crimson coat looked old and worn, and his large boots looked even worse for wear. Calloused hands adjusted the tricorn hat upon his head, which seemed to be emitting a steady stream of dark smoke, which could be assumed to be the source of the smell in the room. A cutlass stood in a scabbard at his hip, while six flintlock pistols hung strapped across his wide chest. His most striking feature, however, was his face. Much of it was covered in a dark, tangled beard that surrounded either a scowl or a grin, he wasn't quite sure. Dark eyes gleamed down at Spencer from under the hat, and the magus felt dread well up inside him.

    "So," said the servant, taking a large step forward. "You're the lad who brought me back to this sorry plane, eh?" The smaller man tried desperately to get himself to speak, but no words would come. Instead, he simply nodded and hoped that response would be sufficient.

    The tall man leaned in closer, and Spencer nearly choked on the smell coming off of him. With a dark chuckle, he leaned back and growled, "You can call me Wanderer, boy. That is, if you can find your tongue." Turning on his heel, Wanderer moved to examine the room he had been summoned in.

    "Spencer!" the magus found himself saying quite suddenly and louder than intended. "I'm Spencer Farland..." Feeling quite drained all of a sudden, he dropped onto the bed beside him and stared blankly at the wall. Wanderer gave him a few minutes of silence before chucking a bag of cheese puffs at him from the room's small assortment of snacks.

    "Well, lad, here's hopin' we're not the first to die!" Wanderer's throaty laugh filled the room, as he watched Spencer run to the bathroom to throw up.

  20. #20
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Toby was in a bit of a daze as he sat in the back seat of the taxi, absently watching the colorful lights of the city as the car drove deeper into the heart of Pendleton. He really was struggling with how surreal the situation was. With a sigh, he rest his elbow by the taxi's window, and his cheek on his palm. It was just so... unbelievable. It hadn't really set in what was going on until he met the other Masters, and the war's bizarre benefactor, Quartermain. To think, less than a week ago, he was home in Canada, and now...

    "Were 'ere."

    "Yeah..." Toby muttered. "Now we're here."

    "'Ey! Kid! I said we're 'ere!"

    Toby shook back to reality with a jolt, suddenly noticing the car was stopped, and the gangly man driving the taxi was peering back at him.

    "You alright there, kid?"

    "Y-yeah, here..." Toby opened his wallet, handing the driver the fare. "Thank you, uh..." Toby paused, narrowing his eyes as he looked at the driver's info, displayed on an electronic screen embedded in the back of the driver seat. "Thanks, Mr. Faulkner."

    "Eh, jus' call me Alfie! Anyway, 'ope you enjoy yer stay in Pendleton. Bloody nice 'otel you're stayin' at. Wish I could afford somethin' like that, but not on this salary! Per'aps I'll take up a second job... naw, I ain't got th' drive fer that. Kekekekekeke... get it, drive!"

    Toby chuckled awkwardly, and stepped out of the taxi, and trudging through the snow, made his way into the hotel. The driver had been right; Hotel Dawn was one of the top hotels in Pendleton, and probably England in general. Toby could hardly believe that Quartermain had arranged something like this for him. Stepping into the elevator, Toby rode to his floor, and stepping quietly down the hallway, to his door.

    "This is mine, right... ?" Toby muttered as he opened his wallet, pulling out his card key, narrowing his eyes as he looked at the print. "Room 215. Right."

    The door unlocked with a beep, and Toby stepped inside his room. Though, it was less of a room, and more a really nice apartment. A living room area with a huge flatscreen, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a full-sized kitchen.

    "Way too big for one person..." He muttered, glancing around, before realizing "... Oh. I guess it'll be two people, huh... I-I better get started on that..."

    Toby went to work drawing the circle, stopping every so often to check in a book he'd... obtained, to see if the symbols were all right. Placing his stolen catalyst in the circle's center, he stepped back, beginning to recite the words in the book. The more he said, the brighter the symbols glowed, so he figured he must be doing something right. And then, suddenly, the room was flooded with an intense white light. Toby dropped the book to the ground as he shielded his eyes.

    When he finally pulled his arm away, his jaw dropped. What now stood in the circle's center was a figure unlike he'd ever seen; it could only be described as legendary. She was, for starters, tall. Very, very tall. If Toby had to guess, he'd say somewhere around seven feet tall. Short purple hair framed a delicate face, her features notably Asian. Her outfit was just as otherworldly as she was, the layers upon layers of colorful silk robes she wore looking like they were plucked directly out of a time long gone. Her whole look was rounded out with a golden breastplate and matching crown.

    Toby couldn't bring himself to speak, the woman looking so serene and radiant as she stood in the circle, sleeves together before her and eyes closed. Soon, however, the newcomer broke the silence.

    "Greetings. I am Paragon. And you--"

    The Servant stopped her speech as she opened her eyes, a sudden look of bewilderment on her face as she laid eyes on her Master.

    "... You... What? No."

    Toby watched nervously as the giantess strode over, a hand emerging from her long sleeve and picking him up by the back of his sweatshirt.

    "H-hey!"

    "... You're the one who summoned me? This..." She craned her neck, looking at him from other angles. "... Scrawny, weak little man summoned me?"

    She released him, dropping him to the floor with a thud. With a sigh, the Servant stepped over to the circle, picking up the ivory catalyst and looking it over.

    "... Good. So I wasn't summoned because of any likeness to him." She looked back to her Master, practically glaring. "Why this catalyst? Why summon me? Surely you know I detest servitude."

    "I-I don't know who you are... I just grabbed the first catalyst I could find."

    "What. No."

    She strode back over to him, her footsteps notably more heavy as she reached down and picked him up again. She gave him a second look over, then giving an exasperated groan, tossed him back on the ground.

    "Ow! Quit that."

    "Just as I thought." Paragon turned her back, closing her eyes in annoyance. "Weak. Let's get something straight, here. I will not be your 'Servant' in this war."

    "B-But--"

    "I refuse to bend my knee to any man." She paused, then said, somewhat under her breath "However... I suppose since you went through all the trouble of summoning me, and you're so weak... I can't just leave some clueless, defenseless fool to die..."

    She whipped back around just as Toby was getting off the floor.

    "S-so, which is it... will you be my Servant or-- Ow!"

    She brought a fist lightly down atop his head, knocking him back to the floor.

    "I already said! I will serve no man! However... I will be your..." She paused, puffing her cheeks as she thought of a word. "... Associate. We will be Associates. I am your Associate Paragon... I'll keep my name to myself for now. But you. Spit yours out."

    "T-Tobias. Tobias Waltz..." He stood back up, rubbing the top of his head. "But most people just call me Toby."

    "Alright, Associate Toby. We will do our best to help each other out."

    "Sounds good to me..." The boy said, and he held out his hand. Paragon's eyes locked on it, then to his face.

    "... What is this?"

    "Y'know, a handshake. Most people shake hands to uh, respectfully agree on something."

    Paragon stared, then, slowly, reached her own hand out. It brushed against Toby's, and then suddenly shot back into her sleeve as she turned, stomping into the kitchen.

    "Th-that's stupid! Don't make me laugh... a handshake. Ha! Juvenile." She opened the fridge, crouching down to stick her head inside. Toby couldn't tell if she was closely investigating the fridge or if she was hiding her face for some reason. "... There's nothing in here."

    "Well, uh, I just checked in today. I'm gonna order delivery, though."

    "Order five times what you usually would."

    "W-what!? That's absurd--"

    Paragon pulled her head out of the fridge, making her way into the living area and sitting on the sofa.

    "Don't let your Associate down, Toby."

    Toby sighed, then nodded, moving toward the phone, while muttering under his breath "What've I gotten myself into..."

  21. #21
    Ark
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Talon promptly made his leave the moment the Quartermain dismissed them. While he and everyone else knew that disobeying the Quartermain's rules meant disqualification, and likely something much worse than that following not long after, the masked man couldn't take any chances. He leapt from rooftop to rooftop and went in and out of whatever buildings he saw that weren't his penthouse apartment as a means of throwing off any potential spies. Part of him also did it because stealthily jumping across rooftops was pretty cool.

    After some time keeping enemies off his trail had passed, Talon finally headed home. After shutting all of his doors and draping curtains over his windows, he flung off his domino mask and tights for something more casual; a black v-neck and jeans underneath a red long sleeve button-up. After wearing the Talon suit for so long, it began to feel like a second skin, but there was no point in keeping it on for any longer than it needed to be.

    Soon afterwards, the soon-to-be Master drew his summoning circle, which looked about right from what he could remember. He looked at his line of catalysts... a lot of money had gone into this investment, but only one would go used. There was no time to waste summoning his Servant, especially since there was a good chance that the class he wanted was about to be - or even already - summoned. He grabbed a tube-shaped container which held a tattered piece of parchment. Although Martin wasn't able to read the foreign language whose ink spoke across the parchment, he did know from the seller that it was a poem. Martin placed the poem in the center of the summoning circle, stood across from it, and began the incantation. He raised his left hand, palm covering his face yet still leaving room for his eyes in between his fingers to witness the spectacle.

    "You, seven heavens clad in three words of power, arrive from the ring of deterrence," he yelled while the command seal on the back of his hand glowed a deep red.

    "O keeper of the balance!"

    A flash of light and sound covered the room, sucking as much prana as it could from Martin so it could grow brighter and louder.

    And then for a short few seconds, everything went dark. When he was able to see again, Martin noticed that furniture was scattered across the room, leaving it to be an all-around wreck. That didn't matter to him though. His eyes were on the dark figure, the only shadow that permeated from the glow of the summoning circle. It could not have been anyone else. He knew the stories; this was the Trickster-class Servant of legend.

    The Servant simply stood there; a statue of darkness from the realm of light. Martin was at first scared to approach the figure, but there was to be no turning back from here. He walked up to the Servant, and in his boldest tone, spoke to the Servant. "Trickster of legend, I, Martin Teagan, have bound you to my command so that I may stand as the victor of The Holy ReGrail War. I have given you life so that you may fight for me and claim the wish you hold closest to your heart. I have spoken... now what say you?"

    Its eyes opened, shooting a piercing yellow stare at the Master. "That was a very noble speech," the Servant said in a confident, deep voice. "I would not have a Master by my side with any less stature than you. Should I assume that you know my true name?"

    "Yes," Martin replied. "I chose you because I knew you were the best."

    "Ha, then you have chosen wisely," Trickster said back as the darkness dissipated from his body revealing the attire of a ninja. A black tunic - sleeves torn right off - with a large grey kanji covering the upper left of his chest was all that offered him protection. His arms were each taped with grey bandages below his elbows to his hands, one of which held a long, slender blade. The assassin also carried around with him a grey belt, not unlike Talon's gold utility belt, which left the Master curious as to what it held inside. The feature of his design that caught Martin's interest the most was the red scarf that covered the bottom of Trickster's face while also somehow flowing in wind, despite how all the doors and windows of the apartment were shut. The Servant brushed a hand through his hair, which was black and spiked backwards. "Master, it is an hon - Master!"

    Martin's body hit the floor, leaving him unconscious.

    "Ah, I knew something felt wrong in the summoning..." Trickster said under his breath. "I feel a bit empty inside, and that is no doubt due to my Master's lack of both prana and experience." He whisked Martin over his shoulder and tucked the young man in bed. "You'll need to sleep well before either of us even think about winning this war." Trickster looked at the room which was now ruined due to the summoning.

    "Well, I suppose the first thing to do is turn this into a proper base of operations."
    Last edited by Ark; February 3rd, 2014 at 09:10 AM.

  22. #22
    hey sinnerman where you gonna run to Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    The Lockingsley Hotel was located in the center of Pendleton, its shiny windows reflecting the dying sunlight like a dismal beacon. It was a good place to stay, if you had the money. It had a good view of the city's nightlife, and the penthouse was known to be especially luxurious, which puzzled people, because no one ever seemed to stay there.

    This particular day, however, the Hotel was completely booked. It had been for several weeks. No one paid attention to this. No one ever did. The Hotel was just one of those places. Its doors were locked today, except to one guest.

    Ambrose stepped from his limousine, again brushing aside his attendants as he entered the building.

    The Lockingsley's lobby was beautifully furbished. Marble floors were polished to perfection, plush couches were arrayed in pleasing patterns, and metal sculptures shaped like trees populated empty places. Above the reception desk was hung a huge painting of Lilith, the original Mother of All, smiling benevolently down at her children.

    All around Ambrose were smiling faces. Mother's followers, all clad in white, gray, and silver-with-chrome robes, stood at attention for their Prince. Eighty of them, almost the cult's full strength. A single woman opened her mouth, and began to sing as Ambrose walked towards the elevator.

    He kept his face forward and didn't make eye contact with any of the lunatics.

    The Son has come to reap
    Patchwork man, steeped in power
    Unsleeping, unhungering
    Child of Mother and Man he is
    Come to deliver us
    From ourselDING


    The elevator closed behind him. Ambrose gave out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding.

    Three years. His entire existence, he'd been surrounded by the cult. Maybe if he had been a normal child, he would have thought it normal. But some part of his mind - perhaps the parts from the people he was made of - knew that this was all wrong.

    "Patchwork man. Give me a &&&&ing break."

    The elevator rose slowly, humming as it approached the penthouse floor. Mother was still silent. She had been silent ever since the Command Seal appeared on him. Ambrose thought that he could hear her sometimes, but even here, at the center of her power, her omnipresent, interminable whispering had been banished.

    Was it out of respect for what he was about to do? Was it the ReGrail?

    Or had she finally just cut him off?

    The door opened. The penthouse's glass ceiling - one of a kind in the city - stared up at the evening sky. A king-sized bed was off to the side, opposite a large swimming pool. A small, stocked bar was at the far wall, and more of Mother's favorite metal trees were scattered about.

    The room's centerpiece was the summoning circle. It shone as he got closer to it, as if in anticipation. Or perhaps in hunger.

    Ambrose shed his expensive suit jacket and undershirt, throwing away the tie with finality into the pool. He left the rest of the clothes scattered along his path towards the circle. All across his body, scars and stitches were bared for the nascent stars to see. Four different skin tones meshed together messily like camouflage design. He lacked a single shred of hair, not even on his head, which had had its wig removed. A half-dozen closed eyes and several mouths were affixed to him in between bones whose structure was clearly altered from the natural one. Something inside him, under his skin, moved as he stopped at the edge of the circle, and he vomited onto it.

    The face of an ancient tyrant stared up from a coin to the sky, and Ambrose began to speak with four mouths.

    Ambrose didn't actually know the chant, but some part of his brain did. He shifted control of his tongues over to it, and focused his entire conscious mind upon accessing the energy that was stored in his jigsaw biology.

    "Let silver and steel be the essence. Let stone and the archduke of contracts be the foundation." The mouth on his face began. The power burned from the small of his back to the tip of his skull, like a red-hot rapier.

    "Let red be the color I pay tribute to. Let rise a wall against the wind that shall fall." The mouth on his right side continued. The rapier grew branches that stabbed their way into his limbs.

    "Let the four cardinal gates close. Let the three-forked road from the crown reaching unto the Kingdom rotate." The mouth on upper left back said. He was the power. The burning, infinite, thrilling power. It was killing him.

    "Let it be filled. Again. Again. Again. Again." His first mouth spoke once more.

    "Let it be filled fivefold for every turn, simply breaking asunder with every filling." Every eye opened - milky white, blue, blue, green, brown, brown, and one bright red from blood leaking into it. Every mouth spoke.

    A storm burst from the circle, and then faded just as soon as it had arrived.

    In its place, another storm swirled, but this one was a man. Blonde hair with gray and gold armor draped in crimson red and purple cloths. A wreath of laurels sat above deep, slate-gray eyes. A sword hung at his side, like an angry wolf brought to heel at a god's lead. An aura of controlled malevolence permeated the room, suffocating all light the evening sky had to offer.

    "Greetings.

    "I am Scourge."
    Last edited by Eruedraith; February 3rd, 2014 at 07:28 PM.
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    He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they'd hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be con-demned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay... Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.


  23. #23
    romance option Lady of the Arena Lenore's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Wayward swung the plastic bag of takeout back and forth merrily, humming under his breath as the pair walked home. Endless amounts of cheap Chinese food appeared to have worked wonders for his temper, but Stephanie couldn't stop thinking about the pure anger he'd displayed just after his summoning. It would likely be helpful for her to get to the bottom of that eventually, but at the moment unearthing the man's deep personal issues definitely ranked towards the bottom of her to-do list.

    Letting herself into her penthouse, she took the food from her Servant and dumped it in the fridge before wheeling to face him. "Okay," she said, "tour. Master bedroom, main bathroom, dressing room, study, guest room." She pointed to each door in turn. "Library, gym, dining room, second bathroom, armoury, and of course, we're currently in the kitchen-slash-living room. Any questions?"

    Wayward didn't seem to be paying attention, however. He'd wandered over to a large birdcage resting atop a stand, filled with a pile of tiny, writhing, chittering metal contraptions. "What're these?" he asked, poking a finger between the bars and then retracting it hastily when one of the things snapped at him. "You don't strike me as the type to keep pets."

    "They're familiars." Joining him, the priestess opened the cage and pulled one out by its tail. Resting on her hand, its shape became clearer: it was a dragon of sorts around the length of her palm, complete with six legs and a curved sting like a scorpion's. "My father taught me to make them in this style, although he preferred different materials." She pressed its ears down, which caused the little creature to still and its mouth to slide wide open. "I'm going to send a dozen of them out for surveillance before I go to bed, and I'll use this one to send a message to my superiors at one of this city's churches. They're just the right size to hold a rolled-up piece of paper."

    "Well, at least you came prepared." The man finally tore his eyes away from the familiar. "Wait - you said there was an armoury?"

    "Yes, Wayward," she answered patiently. "I'll show you, but then I'm going to ask you to start keeping watch. I'm going to dispatch my familiars, but then I really need to sleep. I trust this is acceptable?"

    "Sure, sure." He slipped past her, a worryingly eager glint in his eye. "Now are you going to take me to the weapons?"

    *

    The armoury was a reasonably small room nestled at the very edge of the apartment. The door dominated one wall; to either side were racks holding dozens upon dozens of identically long and thin blades. Opposite the entrance the wall was bare, except for a single glass case mounted at around chest height. It contained the remains of what might, once, have been some kind of cane, now twisted and damaged beyond repair.

    Her Servant stepped inside and picked up one of the weapons. "This is a pretty girly sword, but... I'm almost impressed, princess. That is, assuming you can wield 'em?"

    "They're mostly just for show," Stephanie admitted, and Wayward's eyebrows curved up incredulously.

    "So you keep hundreds of these things around but can't even fight with them?"

    "I didn't say that." Turning on her heel, within the next second she'd produced a sword from nowhere and levelled it at the man. "They're on display because I can do this. And that girly sword is a Black Key, a Conceptual Weapon used exclusively by the elite warriors of the Church. Like myself."

    "Scratch that. I am impressed." Effortlessly knocking her Key away, he tossed his own from hand to hand before replacing it on the wall. "I'm guessing it's used for throwing rather than stabbing? It's balanced strangely, at any rate."

    "Exactly." Holding the flat of the blade between her hands, she forced prana through it until it vanished again. "Ranged combat might lack the elegance and honour of melee, but it's certainly a lot safer. I can't afford to take any risks in battle."

    "Uh-huh. You know," the Heroic Spirit murmured, sauntering forward, "if you weren't such a hardass you'd be just my type."

    "Unfortunately, Wayward, I don't intend to stop being a, quote-unquote, hardass anytime soon." She gave him her chilliest glare. "Now are you going to go patrol, or am I going to have to burn a command seal to make you carry out your most basic duties?"

    "I'm going, I'm going." He turned and began to assume spirit form, flaking away slowly. "It's a waste, is all I'm saying. Jeez."

    After he'd left, the priestess let out a deep sigh and rested her fingertips against her forehead. "Yes, I'd say that jeez about covers it."
    Last edited by Lenore; February 5th, 2014 at 07:02 AM.

  24. #24
    watchwher VIP flibbyjibbits's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    Kyle loitered around the mansion driveway for a few minutes before heading back to where he had parked. He had not prepared very much for this whole 'thing,' for lack of a better word in his vocabulary to describe it. He had made the, in retrospect obviously bad assumption that most other competitors would be like him, or similar in the overall level of competence and preparedness.

    He made his way back to his vehicle, got inside, started it up, and left. He drove out to the suburbs, a little lightly wooded park he'd scoped out earlier, where he expected he could find some degree of peace and privacy.

    Parking the van by the side of the road, he went around the side and opened the door that normally worked as his storefront, and retrieved two bags. One was a backpack, immediately slung over one shoulder, and the other a tied off garbage bag. He briefly squeezed the brim of his hat, lighting up the embedded LEDs, and locked the car door, making his way a short distance into the woods.

    Feeling fairly confidant that he was out of sight and sound, he tore open the garbage bag, and emptied the contents onto the ground, tossing the bag to the side. A small folding shovel, some candles, chalk, and two unopened shipping boxes from the local post.

    Briefly wiping his nose on the sleeve of his jacket, he opened the smaller of the two packages with a penknife. Inside was some wrapped object, he didn't care to learn what, and a letter, from some knowledgeable benefactor, on how to actually perform the summoning. Tossing the catalyst that person had sent him aside, he opened the second box, which contained an antique sword that he had bought online without doing any additional research on other than the time period it was from. He had heard a rumor that sword-users in these events tended to, for some reason, usually be young women in armor, which was really part of the reason he even showed up.

    Reading the instructions aloud to himself, Kyle prepared the circle, and stabbed the old blade into the grass in the center. He turned around from it and put his sunglasses on, just in case the spell was really bright. Could never be too careful. Taking a deep breath, he began reading the words on the paper, and could feel the spell at work. When it was over, he turned around, quietly saying aloud to himself as he took of his glasses, "Alright, lets see some-"
    He folded up the glasses and shoved them in his pocket.
    "Uh, good evening, sir?"

    In the circle stood a middle aged chinese man wearing a dirty business suit. He bowed slightly before responding.
    "Why, yes, I suppose it is."

    "Are you here for the, uh, the thing here?"

    The man looked around, just in case maybe there was a third person nearby who could possibly be the real mage.
    "It would appear to be the case, yes."

    Kyle rubbed his forehead a moment,
    "Well, alright then." He extended his hand, "So, uh, which one are you? I mean, the, the class system. I'm guessing by the suit, maybe paragon or something, right?"

    The man grasped Kyle's hand for the handshake, "I am sorry to disappoint you, Master," his grip tightened, threatening to crush Kyle's bones to a powder in their channels "But in my lifetime, I was known as The Beast."

  25. #25
    You thought you were so clever... Forum Veteran Commodore Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Fate/From Dust

    "And that's six..."

    Quartermain sat back in his computer chair, once again in the lab deep beneath his home. Glancing at the clock on one of his computer monitors, he shook his head, giving a 'tsk'.

    "Almost eleven, and Master Kaminski still hasn't arrived. I can't allow him to hold up this experiment any longer, I'm afraid."

    The magus snapped his fingers, and what seemed to be several glowing eyes arranged into neat columns gave an eerie red glow from a darkened corner of the room.

    "What is my command, Master?" A deep, echoing voice rang out from the direction of the eyes.

    "Would you be so kind as to go inform Jonas Kaminski that he's been removed from the experiment? I'll give you Independent Action..." Quartermain turned, pulling up his sleeve as he showed off the intricate glowing pattern on his arm. With a sudden flash, a chunk of the design was now missing. "I shall also send a familiar to help you identify him."

    "Yes, Master. All you must do is give the word, and it is already done." The lights dipped, indicating the head they belonged to had given a bow, before they vanished altogether.


    -------

    Jonas Kaminski was at the outskirts of Pendleton, sprinting through the snow towards Quartermain's abode. He was an odd sight, standing 6'3" and dressed in a t-shirt and shorts, despite the cold. Though, it was nothing compared to the cold of Mother Russia. The Master-To-Be had spent some time at a bar in an attempt to show up a tad late, for the sake of seeming casual and cool. However, he had gotten a bit carried away, and after a five on one barfight that he emerged from without a scratch, he realized his "fashionably late" had become "disgustingly late". And so here he was, running to try and make the appointment before this "Quartermain" fellow got too mad. However, he screeched to a halt as he noticed a lone figure in the center of the rural road.

    The figure was taller than even Kaminski was, and more bared to the elements, wearing very little in the way of armor, exposing most of his muscular, scar-ridden body. From first glance, Kaminski thought he was dressed like some sort of Roman gladiator.

    "Did... did somebody already send their Servant after me!?" Kaminski muttered beneath his breath. Certainly, it would be the wisest action, since he was currently at his most defenseless. His muscles tensed as the enemy Servant spoke.

    "This is the one, then?" The gladiator asked, stepping forward. The wooden swords hanging from his armor straps rattled against each other as he walked. He held his arms out to the sides, and in a shower of sparks, a sword and tall shield appeared in them. He stopped for a moment, glancing towards an owl that was seated atop a nearby tree. "Hmm? Don't let him escape? Understood."

    Kaminski felt a chill run up his spine as the Servant looked at him, red light filtering through the numerous eye holes of his helmet. This was bad. He knew it would be insane to try and fight a Servant head on. All he could do was run. The magus suddenly spun on his foot, the tattoo of a siberian tiger on his back glowing through the fabric of his t-shirt as he reinforced his legs. As soon as he began to sprint away, the Servant spoke.

    "Morituri te Salutamus."

    Kaminski soon found himself running straight into a wall, swearing as he fell on his back in the snow. The russian magus looked up, trying to figure out what he'd slammed into as he wiped blood from his nose. A massive wall, seemingly made of blood-red light stood before him, strangely solid to the touch. He scrambled to his feet and turned, only to find the wall continued on, enclosing himself and the enemy Servant in a circle. It was then that he noticed the finer details of the wall. Rows and rows of seats, meant for housing an audience.

    "Th-the Colosseum!?"

    "Of course." The Servant's voice echoed in reply as he once again slowly began to trudge through the snow towards Kaminski. "There is no other place in the world that is a better venue for the clash of wills and blades of two men locked in a struggle for their lives. There is no other place in the world that I'd rather call home."

    "Dammit... Looks like there's no other choice..." Kaminski grit his teeth as he took a fighting stance, raising his fists. His only hope of survival would be overpowering a Servant.

    "Ah... but it would be unsportsmanlike of me to fight you like this, as unarmed as you are." The Servant mused, and threw aside his shield and sword, the armaments disappearing with a shower of sparks. "No, we shall fight hand to hand. The basis of all combat. Suits me just fine."

    The gladiator rolled his head, neck popping before he took a stance of his own, fists raised. And at that moment, Kaminski leapt towards him, reinforcement running through his whole body. He swung his fist, but soon found it knocked away by the gladiator's, who in turn gutpunched the magus. Kaminski let out a pained gasp as he was sent flying back, the sickening crack of bones breaking ringing out as he slammed against the Colosseum wall. He sputtered, coughing as blood poured out of his mouth. If it weren't for his reinforcement, he'd already be dead.

    "Weakling, weakling!" The Servant roared, stepping closer to the magus. His hand shot down, grabbing the wounded man by his head and lifting him up. "I had such high hopes for you. But like everyone else, you disappoint me. Are there none in this age who can best me!?"

    The Servant whipped around, hurling Kaminski so he crashed on the opposite wall of the arena. The magus let out a pained yelp as he felt a broken rib press through his skin and tear through his t-shirt. He opened his mouth to swear, but nothing came out but a gurgle and more blood. Once again, the gladiator was upon him, grabbing him by the ankle and swinging him through the air, slamming him on the ground with another horrific crunch.

    "A disgusting display! You are one of the warriors the Grail chose to command a legend? Don't make me laugh!" The Servant straddled his chest, fists poised. "You're pathetic!" With the word, he brought his fist down. "Pathetic! Pathetic! Pathetic pathetic pathetic pathetic pathetic PATHETIC!" With each repetition of the word, he brought his fists down on Kaminski's face, until it was almost unrecognizable through all the blood.

    "Hrmph." The Servant stood, blood dripping from his bandaged knuckles, coloring the snow beneath him. He placed his foot on the throat of the unconscious magus, who was barely breathing. Craning his neck up, the gladiator looked to the tree towering over the phantasmal Colosseum, and the owl that had been watching the whole thing.

    Back in his laboratory, Quartermain leaned back in his chair and held out his arm, thumb extended sideways. And with a swift motion, he turned his wrist, thumb pointing down.

    The Servant gave a nod, and brought his foot down on Kaminski's neck, ending his life. The spectral Colosseum was filled with the ghostly cheers of an invisible crowd. The gladiator held his arms out wide, laughing as rose petals rained around him, reveling in the cheers and the memories they brought back.

    "Hm...?" He turned to look at the owl, then sighed. "Yes, Master. I will cease celebration and return. It was a hollow victory, anyway."

    The blood red light making up the Colosseum faded, as did the rose petals and the cheering. The Servant turned, leaving the magus' body on the ground as he walked away, disappearing in a shower of red hot sparks. The owl, too, spread its wings, leaving its perch and flying back towards Quartermain's abode.
    Last edited by Commodore Jim; February 7th, 2014 at 05:31 PM.

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