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Fate/Lunaterra ~ RP Thread

Discussion in 'Freeform Roleplays' started by Shadow, May 9, 2017.

  1. Rider? Not Berserker? She glanced about, expecting an answer that did not immediately come. Until... there, a shimmer. No, mana. A form. A personage. A... boy? He seemed so young and plain. He killed his master? Or had she jumped to conclusions? Seeing this almost-weak looking boy roughly her own age, she she couldn't help but wonder if his old master killed himself from sheer disappointment. But no, this Servant gave off a feeling of... savagery? There was an undeniable aura about this boy, but what it meant she could not say.

    "So..." She rolled the word as if uncertain of how to follow, proffering Crux a "Any chance of getting rid of these command seals?" look. No, she was in this now. She tried to harness the grail and failed. Her only option now was to fight. To stay alive and perhaps even to win. "Rider then." Her goals now set, it was time to apply her greatest strength. Dedication. And a little over-confidence never hurts.

    "You've ended up with the most powerful master, Kalonia Ralston. I'm willing to consider a contract, but I need to know what you have to offer to this arrangement."
     
  2. Crux shrugged lightly and noncommittally at the looks both Kalonia and Rider had given him, although he still held an amused sort of expression. It was a gesture that suggested that there was nothing else that he could do, and that they should play with the cards they have been generously dealt. Perhaps this was how Fate was meant to be, he mused, as he watched the beginnings of their interaction.

    He had stepped away mostly to give them some space to establish the Contract in a more personal manner, but he had enough sense of responsibility to watch over the Master-to-be and the Servant at least until the issue was resolved in a timely manner. "Ah," Crux began, blinking as he recalled something. "I recommend you two to proceed with as little delays as possible. While you aren't officially a Master, Ms. Ralston, you still have the Command Spells that the Grail has granted you. Once the clock strikes twelve, you and Rider will naturally become targets."
     
    #22 Shadow, May 12, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  3. Rider blinks in apparent surprise, but his expression falls back into a tired grin. "You're willing to consider a contract?" He asks this almost mockingly, as if knowing something that Kalonia does not. Upon her prompting what he can offer to the partnership, he stands still a moment as if considering. He leans forward slightly--

    -- the next moment he is a wolf bounding towards the girl--

    -- and the very next a massive black-and-silver dragon stands before her, glaring down with fierce green eyes, his great size taking up a good amount of the church's interior, spreading his wings as if to create the illusion of taking up more space. The transformations are instantaneous, with a transitional period so minute that it may well have not happened at all. The dragon snorts as he looks down at Kalonia.

    "I accept you as my Master in title only, for now." Rider growls, though whether it is in anger or because he is a dragon is unclear. "That title does not come with utmost, unwavering respect. That is something you will have to earn." There is a heavy pause as he allows Kalonia to process this, before he finishes with a single statement.

    "That is the mistake my first Master made."
     
  4. "Hear me, Servant- come forth this night so that we may partake in victory together. Let us eliminate our enemies at each others' sides, let us take the Grail as one. You are my Servant: I shall be your Master. Hear and obey my words, and come before me, let the war begin!"


    With those words, the process had begun. From four equidistant points on the edge of the summoning array, four rays of bright purple Mana shout out into the center, one after the other, each exactly ten seconds apart. As they began to coalesce and pump more and more Mana into the centre of the array, the blood-filled furrows themselves began to glow the same color. Slowly, the amorphous blob of Mana began to take the shape of a woman--one of average height, but above average build, and who seemed to, from the form, at least, not be completely organic. Then, a blinding flash and a rather unfitting POP, and the ritual had completed. Standing in front of Lucas was the Servant he had summoned--Berserker. She placed her cybernetic arm--itself currently coursing with the same Mana that had summoned her--on her forehead before shaking her head out of what looked like a bit of confusion. She then looks around, taking in the rather morbid conditions she was summoned in, before looking at Lucas.

    "I take it you're the dolt who summoned me?" She asked, almost sarcastically, before continuing, "I'm Berserker, I guess. Quick question, though; why cats?" She motioned to the two dead cats lying out on the open by the array., specifically to the rather large--when compared to the size of an average stray cat, anyway--gunshot wound in each of their skulls. "And shooting them? What, you afraid of rabies or some shit?" She scoffed. "I've killed far more dangerous things in my life than cats to achieve my goals."
     
  5. "... Assassin, huh?" Llerse spoke after the Servant had introduced himself. His voice conveyed a false indifference. But his thoughts carried his actual reaction much better.

    Dammit.

    What did he do wrong this time? Were the statues a bit too much? Did he not use enough blood when making the circle? Did he perform the ritual too late? Why was this the result of his efforts? Why not Caster? He was doing a good job hiding how frustrated he was that after all that effort, he ended up summoning the wrong Servant class. He looked at Assassin for a moment, taking notice of his extended hand.

    A mental sigh. Well, I suppose a Servant that isn't the class you wanted is better than no Servant... I've no choice either way. Llerse looked down at Assassin's hand before looking back up to see him eye to eye. "What exactly do you have in mind?"

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Caster stared at Malden in concealed amusement as he introduced himself to her. The man's request for her name intrigued her. From within her cloak, she raised her left hand, covered by a dark violet glove. She pressed a finger on her concealed chin as she took a moment in consideration as to whether or not to actually answer her Master's request. At first, looking at the man, she was tempted to actually provide it for him. What started to make her reconsider however was her head shifting to look at the other man located near the wall of the room. She could read his facial expression all too well.

    Caster then slowly moved toward Malden, continuing to hover as she had done so. "While I suppose I could," she started. "But perhaps... that should be for another time. Not that I don't trust you with it. On the contrary, I suppose I'd have to at some point." She paused. "It's more that I'm unsure he would handle such information well." She let out a brief chuckle as it was obvious whom she was referring to. both of her hands reaching up to the hood of her cloak. Her right hand could quickly be identified as the object that previous cut through the veil of darkness to reveal her. Her hands then moved to pull the hood back and down. What was revealed in Caster's act was a fair-skinned woman with long, dark green hair. Her eyes were violet, with teal eye shadow applied to her eyelids.

    "Caster should suffice for now."
     
  6. Lucas drops his extended arm as his Servant is summoned. He watches impassively as the violet-hued Mana flows and courses and forms itself into the form of a cyborg woman, the mage's Servant, looking around at her surroundings. Lucas seems to have little reaction beyond putting his hand on his chin and looking the Servant up and down- he hadn't attempted to summon any specific Servant, so the result neither surprises nor disappoints him.

    "Berserker, then? My name is Lucas." He ignores her question at first, reholstering his gun and examining the bloody cage he'd used to hold the cats' blood. After a moment he replies. "It was the most effective and humane way to kill off a couple of strays that nobody would miss. I'm certain you've killed more dangerous things than cats, otherwise the Grail probably wouldn't have bothered."

    He picks up the cage and walks over to the summoning array, motioning for Berseker to move away from it so he can scratch away the patterns and kick dirt and leaves over it. "Before you question my reasons for doing this, by the way, it's so that the police don't get a call about a couple of dead cats and some occult sacrifice. I'm not sure if that's actually illegal, but I'd rather not deal with the police about this."

    ----------

    Assassin keeps his arm held out, continuing his complacent expression, but the vermilion serpent hisses in impatience. This prompts the other, duller snake to look over impassively, before coiling somewhat more tightly around Assassin's arm as if waiting on orders. Aside from this, though, its beady eyes watch Llerse calmly, observing the man's every movement.

    "It isn't anything outrageous, Master, I assure you," Assassin says without any change in tone. "I merely wish to further clarify the terms of our contract, as the Grail itself only imposes so much. It makes our partnership more... secure, shall we say?" There is an undefinable quality to the man's words that make it hard to focus on the meaning itself, wrapping around the mind like the snakes wrap around Assassin's arms.

    "You see, Master, I can also be summoned as Caster, rather than Assassin, though I fit more easily into my current class." The smooth words continue. "As Caster, my magic focuses on contracts such as this, and while it is more limited when I am Assassin, I suppose it has simply become habit." He shrugs. "It would be easier to give my terms when we are actually forge the contract, but I assure you, the Grail and Command Spells will be able to override any part of it. I could never hope to compare with the magic of the Holy Grail, after all."
     
  7. Valerie folds her arms calmly as Lancer politely rejected her request, although allowing for a demonstration of his power. Caedes looked on curiously from behind her. As the servant looked down to her channeling stones, her eyes widened as one suddenly ground itself to powder. Another flew into the air and disintegrated, followed by a few of the others all meeting similar fates of dissection and destruction. All of this happened around Lancer without any real tells or movements to suggest it was coming from him. But it had to be.

    "whoa..." Caedes remarked, scratching his head. "So you're.... telekinetic?"

    Valerie shook her head. What did telekinesis have to do with being Lancer? There had to be something else going on here. However, Lancer did provide a demonstration as promised. Letting out a puff of air and waving her hand, she closed her eyes and turned from Lancer.

    "Very well, you've demonstrated something from your noble phantasm. I hope it's not just rocks that have to be afraid of you."

    That being said, she made her way to the staircase from the basement up to the base level of the house. She turned to look at Lancer. "We have a few things to go over before the day begins tomorrow. Namely, we need to coordinate a plan that will last us the war. I'll only listen to your input and make my decisions from there." She gave a sly grin to Lancer at the last part of her words.

    Then, glancing to Caedes, she motioned for him to come over. "Well, you've seen it all," she teased, "now you can help me by putting protection glyphs about the house."

    "Right," Caedes responded. He made his way up the stairs past Valerie, who obviously was waiting for Lancer at the base of the steps.

    -----------------------------------------

    James Malden kept a wry grin on his face as Caster neared him. "Very well," He responded, "Perhaps another time. In that case..." Motioning to the professor, Malden turned, grabbing his gloves from the floor, and ascended the stairs. The professor seemed to have known the signal and turned his attention to the abandoned devices. Some words were spoken into a small microphone, to which the room itself responded with moving panels. One opened up an alternate door, revealing beings in hazmat suits and carrying cleaning equipment. All of them set to work carrying bodies out and cleaning what was the old summoning platform.

    As the doors opened and Malden proceeded down the hallway, he completed re-gloving his hands. From there, he pulled his left sleeve back to dial onto something that was attached there. A watch. A few small words were spoken promptly before his arm fell to his side again. He looked back at Caster with another grin.

    "What do you think about exploring the city?"
     
  8. Kalonia was more than aware the bait she'd set. She expected a reaction of some kind. However no amount of anticipation prepared her for the sudden transformations of Rider. She faltered a step at the wolf and almost fell backward when the dragon emerged, wings flaring. She caught herself in the stagger, and while suppressing the flush of embarrassment hitting her cheeks she drew herself up straight again.

    "Yes well. Alright then." Trying to keep herself under control, she drew her attention away from those emerald eyes and to anything else. Almost calmly, she pulled her gauntlet free to reveal her command seals. "By your leave, I offer all that I am in exchange for your services." Feeling like she needed to do something physical to accompany the act, she proffered her sealed hand.
     
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  9. Rider seems to visibly relax as his new Master yields more quickly than he had expected. After a few seconds, he folds his wings again and-- is suddenly a human once more. He gives her an unreadable expression, flicking his gaze briefly to her Command Seals... before taking it in a handshake with his own hand. Rider's eyes seem just as feral as before, yet somehow not as hard or piercing, as he makes eye contact with Kalonia again.

    "I accept your offer." He makes this remark simply, in a neutral but not indifferent tone. "You should know now that, much like a Servant of the Archer class, I am capable of working independently of my Master for a time." No hostility or contempt; simple fact. "However, as long as our partnership stands, I will take all suggestions and opinions seriously and into consideration. I can't promise that I'll find them to be better than my intended course of action--" Rider quickly continues, his gaze turning sharp before softening again-- "but I vow upon my obligations as a Servant that I will win you that Grail, or die trying."
     
  10. "Whoa... so you're... telekinetic?"

    "Yeah, I guess you could say that." Lancer remarked cryptically in reply to the boy, seeming rather amused at his puzzlement, and making it implicitly evident that this was not the case at all. He did not elaborate further.

    While he appeared to be entirely unphased at his Master's doubt in his Noble Phantasm, his expression did change slightly as she uttered those closing sentences towards him. Lancer said nothing for the moment, however, and proceeded towards the staircase where his Master waited, sparing one last glance at the basement before taking the first step upstairs. It was only when they were approximately midway through the steps that he started speaking,

    "A "plan", you say?" Lancer opened with this, emphasizing the word. "No, we need a strategy. A methodology of battle, really. Plans are unsustainable in the long run, because it's impossible to expect every action that enemy Masters... and Servants, will take. And against enemies with completely unknown parameters and abilities, flexibility is invaluable. Whatever strategies we take, Master, we have to expect both of us to be able to adapt against established orders." he spoke this so naturally, like someone casually relating their experiences rather than feeling like a lecture. For a fleeting moment, Lancer seemed less like a Servant and more like a tactician, a leader.

    "After all, if there any orders that I would refuse, it would be the ones that would get my Master killed." he concluded, almost in tandem with reaching the end of the staircase.

    -----~---~---~-----

    It was invisible, but at that moment, within that chapel, a surge of magical energy coursed through the faint contractual bond between Master and Servant, repairing it and rendering it whole as it should have been.

    Crux took one decidedly final look into his watch, and smiled lightly in satisfaction after seeing the seventh and final Command Spell glowing in full scarlet. "Kalonia Ralston, Master of Rider," he declared, as if to give the newborn Contract a distinct sense of formality to it, "as the Overseer I recognize you as an official participant in this Holy Grail War. You are the seventh and final Master by the Grail's choice."

    Following those words, Crux extended his left hand towards them, particles of Light Mana flowing through his arm, channeled into a simple spell. Almost simultaneously, the ground beneath them glowed slightly as a white glyph traced the spotted marble floor in the form of a cross, its lengthier tip pointing towards the overseer. It only lasted for a few seconds before dissipating on its own, the energy trailing his limb acquiring a familiar red hue as it collected information—the unique identifier of Kalonia and Rider's Contract, and stored it within the spell system of the watch.

    "Insurance, you see." he explained promptly, before the two had a chance to raise any question, "After a very inconvenient incident during the previous Holy Grail War, a sacrament was specifically designed to prevent the transfer of an Overseer's Command Spells, if the recipient's Contract happens to be either unrecorded, or blacklisted. You can consider this as authorization to use the Overseer's services, if you ever need them."
     
    #30 Shadow, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
  11. Valerie listened to Lancer as they walked. As they reached the top of the staircase, she nodded in agreement. "Don't worry, Lancer," she replied, "I have a strategy. Follow me."

    The main floor where the stairs were seemed quite elegant for a house. As they exited a small neutral space for the staircase, they entered into what seemed like a room for laundry. Stacks of clothes were found, either dirty or clean, on different sides of the room with accompanying machinery for washing and drying. Each piece was exceptionally sleek. From there, Valerie led Lancer into a spacious, slightly sunken lounge area with quite decorative furniture. The decor was quite extravagant in design, with etchings into the framework. The color scheme mainly consisted of a light velvet (not overbearing), oak wood and gold. A large screen rested on the left side of the room, filling most of the wall. A large window spanned the wall directly in front of them. To the right, a wall with two doorways located at both corners. Carpeting covered the flooring in the depressed lounge area, but didn't reach up fully to the more elevated border.

    Without hesitation, Valerie continues through the nearest doorway to the right, which enters into an equally spacious lobby-like area. Two massive doors protected the innards of the house from the outside, with long, narrow windows on each end. At the corner to each side of the entrance wall were two full suits of armor, both carrying well-crafted swords and standing erect and at guard. A lush red rug spanned practically the entire floor. Elegant paintings adorned the walls around them.

    Just to the side of them was a staircase, with a matching half on the other wall at the opposite side. They both lead to an open hallway landing spanning the all and continuing to unseen parts. Underneath, two large doors more elegantly carved marked perhaps another large room, potentially with valuable items. Valerie motioned to take the stairs to the upper landing.

    "Something you will learn about me," Valerie says, "is that I will always have something in mind. My family is family appraised for being the greatest minds of Terran history. We always have something up our sleeve."

    Once they reach the landing, she takes a left down the hall, which stretches down to a window at the end with a small night stand. All down the hallway is a total of four doors even between the two sides, with one wide open on the right furthest down.

    As they walked to the doorway, Valerie reached over and switched on the light. There inside the large room glaring back at them was a large computer desktop with a set of three monitors. To the right was a large bed that looked to be taken right out of the renaissance with an elegantly-patterned deep red quilt covering the mattress centered against the wall. Next to it was a door to what appeared to be a walk-in closet. Against the furthest wall was a small table with two chairs up against a window.

    "Have a seat," Valerie offered, motioning to the chairs by the closed window. While Lancer decided on what to do, Valerie walked to her bed, where she took off her jacket and laid it onto the quilt. She then walked into her walk-in closet.

    "I want you to be comfortable here, Lancer," she spoke, "this house was my parents' masterpiece. It's not just protected by one bounded field; it's protected by three. And, in essence, has the very best glyph magic around etched into its framework. If anything were to happen, there is a guarantee we would know and be well-prepared for it."

    "That being said," she continued, "I have no worries about tonight, nor do I truly have a worry about the other masters. I would best save my energy for tomorrow where the real war will begin. Tomorrow we will join the fray and find which Servant is the most vulnerable to pick off."
     
  12. Lancer seemed satisfied with Valerie's answer, as he nodded back and followed her without a further word.

    For a Servant, Lancer was rather curious about the house. He looked around with interest as they walked through the different rooms, his gaze attentive for both the little and major details. Although he especially paid attention to the structure and layout of the building (or at least what he could see), his particular interest almost seemed to have another layer to it, but whatever it was, it was fairly brief and indescribable as it flashed beneath his blue eyes. Nonetheless, by the time they had made it to the second staircase, Lancer had already seen enough to formulate a rough mental blueprint of the house's floor plan.

    "Nice house." Lancer commented simply, as he ascended to the upper landing after his Master. Perhaps most curiously of all, he listened to Valerie's short explanation about her and her family with a smile that bordered on knowing. He did not question the statement: the Servant seemed to have accepted the claim as a fact without a even a shred of evidence to support it. Had he already gauged his Master's character to such point that he could determine this on his own?

    For some reason, Lancer seemed to hesitate for the briefest of seconds as Valerie led him into the room as it was illuminated... whether it was because of his own observations, or something different altogether, though, was unknown. His gaze was still carefully sweeping the room even after Valerie offered him a seat, as if he had wordlessly declined the proposition, but he ultimately yielded to the hospitality and sat down exactly where she had motioned. He allowed a couple of seconds to pass before he opened his mouth,

    "The Knight family." Lancer suddenly said. A statement, not a question. "I've been summoned with enough knowledge about your world's society to even know this much." he elaborated. This was true, of course: Servants were always summoned with sufficient knowledge about Terra's society in order to operate within it if possible, but the specifics of the statement were quite surprising. Deduction, perhaps? "So it's like this, huh...?" he said, and for this somehow sounded more of an introspective, self-directed question than a rhetorical one launched to maintain his thoughts in the conversation.

    "I think I have a good idea of where we stand right now, Master." Lancer continued, then added somewhat casually, "Although... I may know your lineage, but you still haven't told me your name."

    This was the final courtesy a proper contractual bound: a magiological custom, even. The exchange of names between Magus and Familiar; or rather, in this case, between Master and Servant. He had already mentioned his name as the Servant of the Lancer Class, of course, but what about her? However, Lancer seemed to have other ideas than to press for a name, as he quickly moved on and left Valerie to choose whether to address this or not.

    "I have a proposition, Master." Lancer declared, his voice serious this time. "I'll scout out for other Servants tonight, by myself. I'll fight as many as possible, learning about their base abilities and Noble Phantasms... we can then construct a strategy around their strengths and weaknesses in the morning." he offered. It was somewhat astonishing hearing him claim that he could engage Servant after Servant, and he made it sound as simple as an ordinary but mildly time-consuming task such as going to the store or mowing the lawn.

    "Your summoning was nothing short of perfect, and I'd like to take advantage of the fact that I've summoned at full strength." he added respectfully, "While other Servants are still likely adapting to the flow of magical energy from their new Contracts, it seems that you and I have impressive compatibility. Tonight is simply the best possible time for me to catch the enemy unprepared."
     
  13. A single flame burst into view like a purple plume rising up into the air. Then another...then another. This archaic ritual felt simple, Azar Lacroix repeated in his head from time to time while he prepared the area to be fit for summoning. His green eyes reflected the eerie glow of a dozen purple-flamed candles positioned in such a way that, when aligned, all spiraled to a center point. A focal point. Tapping his tongue against the roof of his mouth, Azar stood in the center, observing the spiraling candles surrounding him.

    "Ai'ika eit gjel."
    he whispered under his breath, raising a finger and twitching it to the left. In the room, which seemed like a modified basement, darkened even more as two gun-like apparatuses lowered down from the ceiling and circled around Azar. They etched a circle around him. Step one was done. Azar quietly sidestepped to the right as the laser etched the next line, rune, everything. Azar, as if he had already done this before, moved in such a way as to not even disturb the candles close to his very feet. "Kos korro voaseiir." The lasers stop, revealing a spell circle that glowed faintly, pulsing with Azar's own breath.

    "Hear my prayer, that of which carries the cries of generations."

    The glow intensified. Fire in every candle flaring up.

    "I defy that of which thrives over the desperation of innocents. I defy the curse put unto my people who have no fault for what had been done in your name centuries ago."

    The glow began to fade. Azar narrowed his eyes.

    "I defy gods. Therefore I defy the limits they put unto me."

    "Deliver me your envoy."

    Azar opened his eyes as the candle's purple fire intensified and grew. Around Azar, a vortex of purple fire roared. He steps back through the flames unharmed, watching the ritual play out with such force.

    "Help me reach the goddess with an Archer determined as I to rip her out of the heavens themselves. The only one capable of reaching her domain!"
     
    #33 Red Starr, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  14. Valerie fell silent as Lancer spoke. she purses her lips in disappointment- she forgot to introduce herself! She shook her head and finished redressing.

    Stepping out of her walk-in closet, Valerie was now in a light tank-top and red short-shorts.

    "Apologies, Lancer," she said in a slightly embarrassed tone, "I am Valerie Knight."

    "As for challenging the other servants.." she ponders for a moment, "... I think you're right. I will sanction that action. On one condition."

    Valerie stared right into Lancer's blue eyes. "I'm not out for blood. I don't want any Masters to die by your hands. This is strictly disqualification of contestants for the holy grail."

    With that said, the picked up her jacket, reaching in and pulling out a rod-shaped item, with one end sharply pointed and an indent a couple inches up from the point. It was a shimmery dark grey in color and metallic in texture. She placed it on the bed and reached again into her jacket to pull out a small necklace, to which she put on swiftly. Hanging there on her chest was a small gem, perhaps a sapphire, with a strange runic symbol etched into it.
     
  15. Kal nodded, clearly satisfied. There was no denying Rider was a powerful servant, although she couldn't help but think that a dragon is gonna be a fairly large target in a fight. But they were a species of creatures she wasn't overly familiar with. "Thank you, Overseer." She offered with a gracious nod before returning to Rider. "Good. We can head out now and get started. First thing we'll need is to understand each other in order to formulate a strategy. I have a secure location that should work- unless you feel another tactic would prove more pressing right now? Perhaps familiarizing with the area?"

    She fidgeted with her gauntlet, one persistent thought nagging at the back of her mind. Why did his clothes shift with him?
     
  16. As Azar's ritual intensified, and his incantation resounded throughout the room, the purple flames seemed to go double, as if one was hallucinating. These doubles then began to split into flames of distinct red and blue shades, gradually seeming to solidify into globules of aetheric energy. However, this energy was different. The ritual seemed to be not only emanating, but also absorbing an energy around it that was notably different from mana. It felt immutable, eternal even. As the globules grew larger, they began to come together again, after having separated from the vortex of purple flames they once were. As the red and blue globules came together, into a large ball about two meters around, with the colors never fully mixing back into the same shade of purple, it began to grow smaller, gradually into the shape of a man of somewhat less-than-average height, floating several inches over the ground.

    The red, blue, and purple gave way to a lighter, pale olive skin color. Then came black hair and clothes. As the primordial energy began to dissipate, the man in the summoning circle dropped to the floor, where the now-extinguished candles seemed undisturbed from their spiral pattern, and darkness overtook the room once more. As the man opened his eyes, it revealed heterochromatic eyes that seemed to nearly glow, his right eye a scarlet red, and his left eye a deep blue. He wore a black jacket that had a distinctive military look to it, while a gun rested on either side of his hip -- One, a revolver, and one a modern handgun. His black hair was somewhat shaggy, perhaps even bordering on unkempt.

    The man carried himself with an obvious military demeanor, his hands behind his back at ease, almost making up for his otherwise unimpressive height. He cast his gaze about the room, and one could see a hint of familiarity as he saw the technology used to create the circle below him. As his gaze came to the summoner in front of him, a small glint in his eye seemed to appear, as if understanding something, and the man finally spoke.

    "I take it that you are the one who summoned me?" he inquired, not in the language of Terra, but of Azar's own native language -- Grenian. Though he had a noticeable accent, one the man was sure his summoner would recognize. "I am the Servant Archer." The word Archer was left untranslated into Grenian, but it only added more weight to his introduction. "And it appears that we have some kinship between us."
     
  17. "Valerie Knight..."

    Lancer repeated her name once, as if testing the words or its sound. He closed his eyes and smiled inwardly with a small appreciative hum, appearing satisfied, and not at all bothered by what a more thorough and straightforward Servant would consider as improper behavior for a Master. He turned to look at Valerie as she considered and then accepted his proposition. The smile became tinged with confidence, although he especially focused on her unique condition.

    "...I see." he nodded in understanding. Looking back straight into her eyes, he said after a small pause, "If there is anyone who'd be suited for staining their own hands in your place, Master," he told her somewhat gravely, "it would be me, your Servant."

    It was inevitable, after all. The very definition of the Holy Grail War included the slaughtering of enemy Masters to ensure the highest possible chance of victory. Lancer was, in that moment, making the fact clear: that the death of any Master was a likely and, at worst, expected event. He allowed the tense silence to drag on for a few seconds before he shattered it with a small sigh. "...But that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to respect your wishes. Alright, Master—I'll claim victory by disqualification, not death. I won't kill any enemy Masters, unless you say otherwise."

    He rose from his seat after announcing so, slightly adjusting his clothes as he watched Valerie's preparations with mild interest. Lancer was ready to depart, but as his Master had not dismissed him yet, he opted to wait just in case she had something else to say.
     
  18. Valerie tensed with Lancer's words, but relaxed slightly to his submission to her request. "I know it sounds like a weak proposition, one that could put us at a disadvantage," she replies back, "But my family believes in destroying the tools before the people when possible. After all, I don't know the other masters' intentions with winning the holy grail war." That being said, she hesitated. Well, there is one I know. There's only one Master I know that I'd like to see ended. But this isn't the time to be vengeful-spirited.

    Suddenly, a thought came to Valerie's mind that cause her to look at her nightstand. "Before you go, I have something for you." Valerie pulls open a small drawer which contained a few personal articles, one being a small box that she pulled out and placed on the top of the stand. She opened it and pulled out another necklace, this one a clear gem with another runic drawing etched into it. Valerie walked around her bed until she was in front of Lancer, to which she extended her hand with the gem.

    "I would like you to wear this," she stated, "only because I'd rather not take any chances losing you on the first night. If you get into a situation you feel you can't escape, let me know and this will help you." That being said, she smiled, a soft beaming grin that hadn't been there for a while.

    "I will be in bed mentally tracking your reconnaissance. I look forward to the report."
     
  19. Rider nods wordlessly to the Overseer as he explains the reasoning for the "added step" to the contract. He is already walking towards the exit from the church when Kalonia is saying that the two of them can leave, and he only pauses briefly in consideration before glancing at her over his shoulder.

    "I've had plenty of time to become familiar with the area, unless you need to do so yourself, in which case I will gladly accompany you as protection." He says this with the first hint of friendliness he's expressed towards her, perhaps now that things are starting to get done. "I believe I was one of the earliest, if not the first, Servant to be summoned for this war, as I haven't heard of any other Servants just yet and the war has nearly started." He lets this sink in for a moment.

    "With that in consideration, it may be for the best to scope out the other masters and see where they're stationed, for an attack later," Rider continues, "but I'm willing to wait until the morning, if that's what you think is best. By your leave, Kalonia." He notably does not refer to her as "Master".
     
  20. Light flooded the room and revealed the backlit silhouette of a robed figure in the doorway. A few years worth of old dust swirled about at the opening of the door, but otherwise the room was empty. It was clearly too stained by inane piping to be worth storing furniture in. “Perfect” the silhouette remarked in a smug yet droning women’s voice. She leaned back into the light of the hallway, revealing her face. It was not hooded as it might have appeared, but wearing straight brown hair that curved onto her shoulders. Her face covered in light blue eyes and a massive grin at not having to do any work emptying the room or unmaking the ritual site. She grabbed the doorframe and leaned down towards the end of the hall, out of shot.

    “It’s almost time!” She called out to someone in the distance, her voice absent of the gravity of the situation. “I’m going to summon the servant now.” The woman, Distra, leaned back into the view of the doorframe, standing up straight and crossing her arms, the robe sleeves seamed in gold, drooping beneath her arms. It took a second before a gruff, confused voice called back, muffled by several walls. “They’re still unboxing stuff downstairs!” Distra scowled down the hallway. “No! The other servant!” No response; an acceptable response. Distra hadn’t explained the concept of a servant very well. Why bother? Soon enough she would have an example that would show a thousand words.

    Relying on the light from the hallway, Distra walked towards the center-back of the room and drew an unlabeled metal tube with a red rip. She picked an area on the floor that (almost) didn’t have any major water damage and began to mark the ground. The resulting markings were not so much a summoning circle as a summoning polygon, the details drawn unlovingly to meet the criteria in the most efficient way possible. In the spaces in between the lines she drew notes to help her keep track, and runes to further optimize the ritual. The language between them was not consistent; whichever tongue fit best within the margins chose the words Distra used. At the end of the drawing phase there were four spots that called for candles as the spark of life for the ritual. This was all the brain child of a higher-up unwilling to take this job himself. Distra could not such work any more disinteresting, and so she brought them out: 4 LED decorative candles, still branded with the barcodes from the nearby dollar store she purchased them from. The light from these would meet the criteria for the ritual. More than that, their consistency would ensure no unwanted variables sully the summoning; though the artisan ritualist who crafted this would surely weep if he saw the end result.

    What was completed was a ritual that could best be described as ‘professional.’ Technically flawless, expertly done, but also dispassionate and uninteresting to look at. It was to be discarded, Distra thought, and the less time spent in a glorified closet the better. She closed the door behind her, no longer in need of the light; it would ruin the spectacle. One by one she flipped the plastic switches on each of the candles. The LEDs were only powerful enough to light the ritual around them, a boring crimson zigzag that glowed faintly in the dark anyway. The rest of the room was pitch black, and Distra could not be clearly seen.

    A folding of flesh and a tussling of robes could be heard as the ritual began proper. From the pitch darkness in the opposite corner of the room, a rapid rhythmic whistle could be heard. A sound that couldn’t quite be replicated perfectly by a human mouth. One last taunt to the haughty designer of tonight’s event:

    It was the formal incantation of the ritual, made in birdsong.
    And so, a light flooded the room once again.
     

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