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 Fate / Arcana IC

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:13 pm

Elaina smirked as she flicked through today’s report; much better than yesterday’s! The fact that everything was spelled correctly was a start. While the handwriting wasn’t perfect (she had the sneaking suspicion it was still the man she’d ordered to be fired last morning’s writing, just slightly altered to look different; she’d have to find out where her orders were being undermined later today), it was just clear enough that she couldn’t complain about it. Well, of course she could; she was very good at doing that. But considering she had more important things to think about, she was willing to let it slid.

Last night Elaina hadn’t done much after getting back, pretty much storming off to bed the minute the door close. Now however she seemed in a slightly more buoyant mood. She was even humming a small tune under her breath; a first for her. Today the businesswoman was wearing a green version of yesterday’s clothes. Of course, it was perfectly fitting, if nothing else Elaina did have a good sense of fashion. Around her neck lay a pearl necklace, which was sparkling in the morning light. As she was every morning she was currently sat eating breakfast. The food was passable; it was nowhere near as good as yesterday. The toast was too dry for one. Admittedly, that may have been because she hadn’t buttered it particularly well, but Elaina was never one to blame herself when someone else could take the fall.

“So! Rider!” She trilled in an unusually jolly tone, biting into the piece of bread. “What precisely do we have planned for the day? I hope we can find something better to do something better with ourselves than last night! Frankly as long as it involves taking down that cow of a Servant down, I’m up for anything!”

She said this like she knew Rider was there, which she didn’t. Considering the non-magical servants had only left a few moments ago, it seemed like Elaina was taking a bit of a risk, speaking to the apparent air when she could easily be overheard. Of course, that was because she knew her servants better than anyone. She knew they wouldn’t dare try to do anything to risk her wrath like tardy around. And her Servant better be here, or else…

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

Off in another part of London, Henry slowly opened his eyes. Where was… oh. Right. He glanced around, blearily looking at the light coming in from the window. That was it. After all that had happened last night, he’d come upstairs and gone through his books. How long had he been here? Two, three hours? That sounded about right. At that point it was past midnight, he’d pretty fallen asleep on top of his books.

Staggering to his feet, the butcher groaned as he realised this meant he was going to have to interact with his Servant soon enough. Great, just what he needed, more abuse from the nutjob. If this was the adventuring life, he wished he’d never dreamt of leaving the shop. He was half expecting to find three bodies on the floor when he got downstairs. Either that, or his walk in freezer would be suspiciously full of meat of unknown origin…

Luckily for the man it seemed like his first prophecy at least wasn’t true. As he opened the door to his main area, it looked like it was all in one piece. In fact, it was entirely how he’d left it yesterday. He wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. Neither was he sure if not being able to see Assassin was good either.

“Assassin? You here?” He called out, heading to the kitchen to make a quick breakfast.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:28 pm

Startled by the sudden conversation, Elliot turned around, taking a step back. A well-dressed man stood next to him, evidently the speaker.

“Umm…”

Assistance? It looked like the man wanted to help in some way.

“Not lost. Just…watching the guards…”

With a motion to the palace, Elliot managed to stutter a reply to the man’s statement. He wasn’t sure what, but something about the man unnerved him. His hand lowered to his briefcase on instinct, though Elliot knew he would not be able to use any magecraft in such a public space.

An awkward silence descended on the pair. It occurred to Elliot that perhaps this meeting might be related to the events of last night. He needed to be careful about how he approached this though- if the man was unrelated, he would have to avoid directly broaching the topic of magecraft. An idea entered his head. He reached into his pocket, withdrawing the crumpled note he had received, showing it to the man.

“Does this have any meaning to you?”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:25 pm

-William-

Earl smiled at Lily as he sat a cup in front of her and poured steaming liquid into it. "I'm afraid I can't take credit for them, miss." He said, turning to place the kettle back on the stove. "Margaret makes them before she goes to bed at night. All I have to do is put them in the oven, come morning."

He pulled a pocket watch from his coat and took a look at it. "She probably won't be awake for a few hours yet. I'm the morning person between us. So, she takes care of things in the evening."

Turning to William, he gave a slight nod. "If that's all you'll be needing, I should tend to the laundry."

"Of course." William waved to the door, indicating that the older man may leave. "Don't let me interfere with your schedule."

"It's hardly an inconvenience to share coffee with you, master William." Earl quipped back. "But alas, the laundry won't take care of itself, and Margaret would take the carpet beater to me if she woke to find it unfinished."

"Hopefully, I'll see you again for lunch, young lady." He gave Lily a wink and then turned, disappearing from the kitchen.

William sat in silence for a moment, observing Lily over the rim of his coffee cup. At least she seemed more bright than she had the night before. Some sleep had done her good.

"So," William sat up a little straighter, setting his coffee aside. "Would you rather have a few more moments to relax, or should we get to business?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:19 am

Lily and Will

Lily gave a smile, hopeful and unforced, as Earl said his goodbyes and exited the kitchen. For a moment, the sense of familiar comfort and normalcy lingered.

Then, William spoke suddenly, and Lily felt reality like a cold splash of water. Nice as the morning had been, she was in a stranger's house in the middle of some magical contest. It wasn't the time to be lowering her guard.

"No sense putting it off," she said, setting her tea down with a sigh. She waited for him to speak though. He had the floor here, in more ways that one.

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

Elliot, Team Caster

Caster stroked his silky mustache thoughtfully as he watched Elliot struggle with how to respond. Did he sense something unusual, or was he simply this finicky?

Then, to his surprise, Elliot pulled out a crumpled note. The note. He raised his eyebrows a fraction, appreciating the cleverness of this move.

"Perhaps," he said evenly, offering a hint of a smile. "And perhaps you would be more comfortable discussing this inside, rather than at the gates."

He swept his arm, and the guards and nodded and moved aside to allow them access.

"If you would," he said politely, beckoning inside.

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

Team Assassin

Henry was able to make his breakfast undisturbed, and had almost been able to wonder if Assassin had been some figment of a particularly disturbing nightmare. But as he'd finished, he turned and found Assassin standing just behind him, a smile painted across his face.

"You're a different person when you work," Assassin observed. "Your hands never waver."

Yes, watching Henry at a task had almost allowed Assassin to forget how otherwise tedious and unremarkable his Master was.

"How was your research?" he prompted. "Were you able to discover anything on the Hemory family?"

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:02 pm

Apparently, the note did have some sort of significance to the man, judging by his reaction.  And from the ease at which the guards complied with his suggestion, he clearly had connections within the Palace.

Elliot hesitated, considering the situation. It was not the usual day that a member of society in Elliot’s position was so lightly offered entrance into the Palace. There was also the feeling at the back of Elliot’s mind that the man could not be trusted- something about the way he held himself unnerved him.

And yet, what he had said intrigued Elliot. He knew something- that was certain in Elliot’s eyes. But as for what, he wouldn’t find out unless he followed the man inside.

Eventually, curiosity won over caution, and wordlessly, Elliot followed the man through the gates.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:12 pm

-William-

"Indeed..." William agreed, tenting his hands and leaning forward to rest his chin on his interwoven fingers.

"From what we discussed last night, I think I have a pretty good idea of your current situation." His eyes locked onto hers, searching for something, hopefully the truth. "You have zero training as a magus. However, you are aware of our existence. Additionally, you were selected to participate in this Grail War, something that you also have little to no knowledge of."

Even though he'd already gone over those details in his mind, the magnitude of how wrong this all was still unsettled him when he spoke the words aloud.

"Is all of that correct?" He asked, feeling somewhat uncomfortable now.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:04 pm

Lily & William

Lily frowned and shifted uncomfortably under William's gaze. Not for the first time was she reminded that Delphine was the one who should have been picked. That she didn't belong in with these people. That she was in someone else's War.

"Yes, that's right," she replied, glaring back at him. "I don't need to be reminded that I don't belong in this, but..."

She trailed off, losing a bit of her fire.

"I am. So, if you don't like that, then I'll leave."

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

Elliot & Caster

Caster smiled to himself as Elliot followed him through the gates into the palace grounds.

"You're a man of curiosity," he said appraisingly. "A seeker of knowledge. So was... am I. That's what led me into the Queen's graces. And that's what will get you far."

Caster led him through the palace corridors into the east wing. The staff bowed to Caster as he passed, who politely inclined his head. He had a noble and gracious air about him.

They finally reached a study and entered to find a uniformed man at his desk, working over documents. He looked up, a frown creasing his features.

"Colonel O'Neal, we have a guest," Caster said, gesturing Elliot into the chair in front of the desk.

"To whom am I addressing?" O'Neal asked, staring coldly into Elliot's eyes with a complete lack of the cordiality Caster displayed.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Apr 27, 2016 3:44 pm

-William-

"My apologies." William said, frowning at her words. "It's not my intent to demean you or your involvement. I just wanted to have a firm grasp of the situation, so that I could offer the best available solution."

"No." He shook his head, reaching for his coffee cup. "That's still wrong. A solution would imply removing you from the competition, and I can't simply assume you even see that as a viable approach."

He took a long sip of coffee before sitting his cup aside again. There were so many unanswered questions, and he was sure that Lily had even more than he did, although they were probably of a different nature.

"How much has Archer told you about the Grail War?" William asked, leaning forward in his seat. He slowly twisted the ring on the last finger of his right hand in a circle before removing it and sitting it in front of Lily, just inside her arm's reach. "Until you have all the facts, it will be difficult for you to make a good decision."

His fingers brushed over the ring on the table for a moment. "Unless you don't want to know?" He asked, almost as an afterthought. William would never be able to go this far without wanting the answers, but not everyone felt the same. He felt compelled to offer her a way out, even though he doubted she would take it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:12 pm

Weaving through the corridors, Elliot couldn’t help but be in awe of the situation he had found himself in. Here he was, inside the heart of the British Empire! Whatever the result, this would be an invaluable experience.

After a while, he was led to a rather luxurious study, in which sat a uniformed man behind a desk. A short exchange of words between the two men was followed by a question directed at Elliot.

The soldier, as evidenced by his uniform, gave Elliot a cold stare, a stark contrast to the other man’s greeting outside the gates. He did not sense any malice behind the look though. It was more like a look of annoyance. It took Elliot a moment to process the question.

“I would be Elliot Swann, sir,” he responded, offering a bow. He did not take the proffered seat, choosing to wait for confirmation from the colonel first.

Offering the note to the colonel, he continued, gathering his courage. “I was led here by your associate. I believe that he, and by extension you, may be able to shed some light on a curious message I received last night.”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue May 03, 2016 1:11 am

Lily, William

Lily's expression softened at William's reply. Maybe she'd judged him too hastily. He seemed to be a very decent gentleman. He would have made a fine match for Delphine. Did he know the Cormiers?

He'd asked her a question, and she as busy mulling over pointless questions. Lily flushed and shook her head.

"Not much," she admitted. "He said it was a competition among spirits and magi... and that when six out of seven spirits were dead, the winner would have a wish granted."

He asked if she wanted to know. Did she? Part of her still held onto the thread of hope that life could return to normal, but she knew in her heart that it couldn't be that way.

"No... I have to know," Lily said simply.

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

Caster, O'Neal, Elliot

O'Neal took the note from Elliot and gave it a brief glance before banishing it to the end of his desk. It wasn't really necessary to look at, since he already had an idea of what it contained.

"I expect he can," he said, shooting Caster a none-too-friendly look. "Given that he's the one that penned it."

Caster tutted softly and moved around front to face Elliot as well.

"A little tact would go a long way, Master," he chided. O'Neal's none-too-friendly look became outright contempt, but he said nothing.

"You seek answers to the Holy Grail War," Caster said, smiling at Elliot. "I believe I have them."

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue May 03, 2016 7:35 pm

As he finished cooking his breakfast, a simple bacon and sausage sandwich, Henry was beginning to hope the wretched cloaked man had left his life. Yes... he'd grown bored of him, found someone else to annoy and worry. That'd make sense, he didn't seem that loyal a man, maybe if he was lucky...

But he wasn't. Just as he was about to sign in relief the man nearly walked straight into the Servant. It took all of his power not to drop his plate in shock.

"M-Mmm..." he muttered, realising this was perhaps the most praise he was going to get from Assassin in a long time. "Well, I'd hardly be a butcher without them... no-one much likes having their meal carved all messed up. It's something you have to learn pretty damn quickly... and thanks."

His... research? Oh! That was right, he'd been upstairs for a reason, hadn't he? Henry nodded whilst he placed his plate down on the table. For once, it seemed he had an advantage over his partner in crime.

"Actually, yes I did Assassin. There wasn't much to start with... guess neither me or my old man had much taste in history. But in one of the latter books I looked out there was a fair amount on 'em. There should be enough to make a start on, family tree, family crests, births and deaths, it was all that sort of thing. Turns out looking at a records book was the simplest thing to do after all, who'd have thought? Hang on, I'll go get it."

Sure enough, he did just that. The heavy book landed on the table with a solid thud. It was a pretty large book; from the looks of the title it was indeed just a collection of records. It looked fairly new; good condition too. The pricetag on the side though implied Henry had just bought it in a yard sale somewhere... which was exactly where he had. With a small motion he opened the book to the right page. Sure enough, nearly everything Assassin could want on the Hemory family was there. Henry seemed pretty pleased about all of this. Letting Assassin begin reading he allowed himself a bite of his breakfast.

"There, that should start you off. Now, you going to tell me what this was all about? I'm guessing this had something to do with the Master-Servant duo you ran into last night, correct?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon May 09, 2016 3:21 pm

-William-

"I suspected as much." William responded with a sad smile.

"In that case, I'll start by saying that the Holy Grail War is a highly prestigious competition in the magi world. Many influential magi would do anything to compete for the right to wish upon the Grail." He searched her eyes, looking for recognition, as he spoke. "This particular Grail War is abnormal in every sense though. I've never heard of a non-magus being selected as a competitor. Additionally, I've also heard no talk about an upcoming Grail War here in England."

"I can only assume that this contest is being conducted outside the normally regulated bounds. That makes it even more dangerous than normal, especially for someone who can't defend themselves."

He gave the ring a slight push in Lily's direction, then motioned for her to take it. "If you're determined to continue along this course, put on the ring. Do be aware, this is your very last chance to turn back."

William leaned back in his seat, waiting for her decision.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon May 09, 2016 7:00 pm

Elliot was taken aback by the man’s bluntness. It appeared that, whoever this man was, he knew a great deal about the Holy Grail War. And that meant he was a mage, or at least connected to one.

As this realisation dawned on Elliot, he grew more wary of the man.

“If you know of the Holy Grail War, then you must be mages, correct?” As he spoke, his hand lowered to the buckle on his briefcase, unclasping it to allow quick access to his tome. He did not think it would be necessary, but it couldn’t hurt to be prepared for any eventuality.

“If you’ll permit me to ask…I have heard that the victor of the War will be granted a single wish of unmeasurable power. Is this true?”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue May 10, 2016 11:28 am

Lily, William

A competition magi would do anything for a chance to compete in...

"I already know that much..." Lily muttered, more to herself than William. Her thoughts drifted to the Cormiers and Delphine and how they were handling this situation, but she had to rein in her attention as William continued to speak.

Lily didn't know much about how Grail Wars ordinarily went, but this one was apparently unprecedented. William appeared to be intrigued about all the questions surrounding this affair, but Lily's only concern was how she was going to get through it.

Her gaze drifted down to the ring before her. He was giving her a chance to turn back, but to turn back to what? There was nothing left for her now.

She snatched the ring up without a word and slid it onto her finger.

"What now?" she asked.

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

Caster, O'Neal, Elliot

O'Neal snorted at Elliot's question. He was quick to figure out some things, but a little slow on others.

"I am not a magus," he said flatly. "That's the reason why you're here."

Caster looked at him again, displeased at his blunt way of proceeding, but he didn't care. He had no patience for delicate diplomacy.

"What you have heard is quite true," Caster said, nodding. "Unfortunately for you, the Servants have already found their Masters."

The meaning was clear. Elliot had arrived too late to the game and was now sidelined.

"However, the Grail is not completely out of reach," Caster continued. "You see, Colonel O'Neal and I have a dilemma. As you have heard, he is not a magus, and Servants require a source of mana. You can supplement that mana supply, and in return, you can share in the glory of the Grail when it is won."

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

Assassin, Henry

Assassin scanned the contents of the book, his frown deepening with every word. He ignored Henry and continued to pour through the pages for several minutes. Then, with a startling snap, he closed the book.

"It's as I expected," he murmured. "Yes, Master. In a moment of rare perception, you have fixed upon the issue."

He stood up and began to pace.

"Saber and her Master are beyond our reach," he said. "If we are the last remaining Servants, then we will be doomed to failure. We must ensure that another Servant destroys them first."

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed May 11, 2016 5:45 pm

-William-

"Now," William pushed himself from his seat. "We test your capabilities to see if you can survive as a Master."

"That ring you just put on your finger is what we call a Mystic Code. It's an object that amplifies or directs a magus' power." He watched her carefully as he stepped around the table. If she blanched at the idea of the Mystic Code, it would make this more difficult. Even if she got past that, channeling prana wouldn't be something she was capable of on her own.

"I'm going to put my hands on your shoulders." William warned her, giving Lily ample time to reject the idea before doing so. It surprised him how small she really was beneath the puffy fabric of her dress. He hadn't taken that into consideration the previous night when he'd grabbed her, but his mind had been more focused on survival at the time. As he stood behind her now, hands on her shoulders, he could tell how fragile she really was.

"Focus on the ring." He said as he slowly moved his thumbs to the sides of her neck, directing prana into her smooth skin. "Trace the inscription along the band with your eyes." His voice had a slight melody to it now. "Follow it inward to the stone."

Again, William gave her time to do as he directed while he continued to direct prana into her. "How do you feel? Warmer? Lighter? Any different at all?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun May 15, 2016 8:51 pm

Elliot eyes widened as the men spoke. There was a Holy Grail War taking place now, in London?

It appeared that the Colonel, despite not being a magus, had been selected as a Master. Which meant the other man was a Servant- which one, Elliot wasn’t sure. However, it explained the unease he had felt when they had met outside the palace. And they were offering him part of the prize, in return for his help.

This was it. He had spent the last 6 months researching the War, and now the prize at the end of the path was finally within reaching distance.

“All I need to do is provide you with mana, right? I think I can manage that.” As excited as Elliot was at the prospect of entering the War, he tried to hide his enthusiasm, speaking with a calm, measured voice.

“So, if you are a Servant, which one of the seven are you?”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon May 16, 2016 3:10 pm

A Mystic Code? Lily stared at the ring curiously. So magic could be in objects, as well as people. It seemed she had a lot to learn about this world.

William got up, but she had only been paying marginal attention to his movements. It wasn't till she heard his voice from behind that she tensed up. He told her he was going to put his hands on her shoulders - a warning or request for permission, she supposed. She couldn't find her voice to respond, but she managed a tiny nod as they settled onto her.

It wasn't so bad. More intimate than anything she was used to, but nothing she couldn't handle. He then ordered her to focus on the ring and trace the inscription on the band the stone. That was easier said than done. It was hard to focus when his warm fingers were gently brushing against the sensitive skin of her neck. She tried to focus on his voice and moved her eyes along the ring as directed.

William asked how she was feeling. How was she supposed to feel? She definitely felt warmer - although she couldn't be sure that had any magical explanation. Or did it? Her body temperature was feeling unusually high.

"I do feel a bit... hot," she admitted, hoping this wouldn't say anything odd about her.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon May 16, 2016 8:13 pm

Henry decided to ignore the backhanded compliment; it was probably easier that way. Perhaps one day the servant would say something that didn't contain at least a drop of venom in it... but he doubted it quite a bit.

Despite what the cloaked man thought, Henry was perceptive enough to notice his Servant was not at exactly happy with what he read. Nor was he when Assassin spoke.

"Doomed to failure?" He countered,very much surprised to hear such pessimism from Assassin. Where had all his bravado gone? Merely yesterday, he was gloating how the streets of London would flow with blood, now he couldn't take out a single foe? "What do you mean? Saber sounds a hard target sure, but what about the Master? What's so special about this family? You're talking like it's literally impossible to beat them!"

He glanced down at the pages once more, wondering just what it was Assassin saw that caused such worry. What was so special about the Hemories? Hmm...


"...Assassin. What exactly happened last night, down on the street?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue May 17, 2016 1:57 pm

-William-

Hot? Not the exact reaction he'd been expecting, but it was close enough that maybe she'd simply interpreted it differently. After all, no one had told her in advance what to expect.

"Focus on the gemstone." William said, still providing her with prana. "Imagine a spark in its center, like a tiny, glowing coal. It's full of heat, but without oxygen, it produces no fire."

Again, he gave her a moment to envision it in her mind, to impress her expectations on reality. "Now, take a deep breath, and gently blow over the gemstone." The soft wind would be the trigger for the true test. The ring would either light up like the sun or remain simply a much too large ring on her tiny finger.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed May 18, 2016 5:03 pm

Lily & William

Lily felt her stomach crawl in the uncomfortable silence. Had she said the wrong thing?

But then he was directing her attention back to the gemstone on the ring with some unusual, esoteric directions. She attempted to follow them, forming the image he'd said in her mind.

Then, she took a deep breath and blew.

The ring lit up instantly, dazzling and breathtaking. Lily gasped in surprise and wonder and had to force herself to keep still. Who knew what making a wrong move would do?

"What do I do now?" she asked, her finger trembling as she fought to keep her hand steady. Was the light a good sign or a bad one?

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

Caster, O'Neal & Ellliot

Caster smiled at Elliot's response. While he made a concerted effort to hide his enthusiasm, it would be nearly impossible to hide that spark of excitement in his eyes from Caster. He'd played the court life well, and knew how to read even the most inscrutable of faces.

"I'm pleased to hear you say so," Caster said, extending his hand graciously. "I am Servant Caster."

O'Neal didn't look anything like pleased, but he never really did. O'Neal and Elliot have a cordial relationship was entirely unnecessary, however, so Caster wasn't about to waste any time or effort in trying.

"I'm sure you have questions," Caster said, taking a seat near the young man to ease discussions between them. "I will answer them to the best of my abilities, such as they are."

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

Assassin & Henry

Assassin was surprised by such an outburst from his Master, who generally preferred to make himself as unnoticed as possible - something Assassin much preferred. Even so, some surprises could be beneficial, and this one might be. It seemed Henry was more attached to the prospect of winning the War than expected.

"Saber, is not a problem," Assassin said, stroking his chin. "I could have easily ended her with my Noble Phantasm. But her..."

He began to pace, thinking hard.

"Do you understand the workings of Noble Phantasms, Master?" he asked. "Some are physical objects like the holy and demonic swords of many lores. Others are concepts related to some aspects of that Servant's existence."

He turned to face Henry, his lips pursed.

"Physical Noble Phantasms have a power that remains constant. Conceptual Noble Phantasms can be extremely powerful and deadly, or completely ineffectual. It depends on the circumstances surrounding that concept. And, sometimes, certain concepts can be destroyed when faced with contradictions."

His lips turned upward into a venomous smile as he regarded his Master.

"Do you understand, Master?" he asked.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed May 18, 2016 7:10 pm

“And good morning to you too Lancer. Should I take that as a compliment?”

Archer was in a particular good mood as the day started. The prior night had been challenging indeed, but he had of course prevailed. Not only that, but it appeared that they had already managed to secure an alliance with another team! Perhaps not formally just yet, but Archer was sure it would only be a matter of time. If he had anyone to bet with, which alas he did not, he would have guessed by the end of the morning his Master would tell him the good news.

Admittedly the tall Servant felt a little guilty about not replying to his Master when she’d called his name a few moments before. The poor girl was clearly in this War way over her head, this whole adventure must be like a nightmare for her. But, that was ok. Archer was confident enough in his abilities to know he had more than a good chance of winning this whole war. If he couldn’t do that… well, regardless of what happened, he had sworn to protect his ward, and protect her he shall. Nothing would stop that.

He wasn’t sure how exactly he’d found himself looking at the house’s grounds from the balcony, but he was glad he had. It was more than a welcome sight. Due to everything that had been going on, he hadn’t had a chance to stop and view the area. This London… it was very beautiful. Exploring it more would be high on his to-do list, if it wasn’t so full already.

He smiled at Lancer as she leaned over the rail, moving a step over to give her room.

“I sense however the same quality of trust I have is also shared by your Master too… would you also say it was an undesirable trait to him? That I’m not so sure… besides. The fact my Master and I woke up in one piece gives me enough reason to trust you. If you wanted us gone you’ve already had more than enough opportunities to do so. I’d say that’s good enough reason to consider you an ally, wouldn’t it Lancer? Well… as much as too Servants can be.”

His smile faltered a little at that last part, but it soon came back after he considered Lancer’s final statement.

“Yes… I will admit, she is at a small disadvantage… But no matter. I still believe it’s possible for us to win. She may not be the strongest, but she isn’t so bad that I regret her being my Master. I can truthfully say I’m more than content with her.”

This was the truth; there was not a shred of shame or embarrassment in his voice when he talked about Lily. His next sentence however came off as a little more playful, it was hard to tell if he was joking or not.

“What say you, Lancer? I could also argue your Master isn’t doing much better, offering so much to a helpless team for what you clearly think will give you little in return!”

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

“…Right.” The news that Assassin’s weapon could take Saber and not the master was an odd thought. Just who was this Master? Who could be so strong they could take a hit that could kill one of the strongest Servants? It made no sense!

“…I think I got the gist from yesterday. It’s basically your ace up the sleeve, right?”

Truthfully, he didn’t know a great deal. Partly because Assassin didn’t want to tell him. But he was a quick learner. Assassin had a Noble Phanstasm that relied heavily on set requirements, and whatever they were, this Master was so… whatever the causing factor was, that it didn’t affect them at all. Odd, he had thought a Servant was meant to be several factors stronger than mere humans. …It must be due to the family. Whoever the Hamories were, Henry made a note to ask Assassin more about them later. He got the feeling the cloaked man wasn’t going to open up about that just.

“Yeah… I think so…” he nodded slowly, “If we can’t hurt her then… yes, like you said before, we should focus elsewhere. The main problem is, where we start… London is pretty damn big after all… last night, you sensed Saber, didn’t you? Might we be able to find the others if we go looking for them now? Don’t think many of ‘em will be expecting us in the day.”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu May 19, 2016 12:32 am

-Lancer-

"If you have to ask, the answer is usually no." Lancer responded, continuing to observe the garden beneath them. She still felt a measure of apprehension about working with another Servant, but in the end, it wasn't her call to make.

She gave an unladylike snort in response to Archer's next comment. "You would be correct on that count, and the verdict is still out on my Master's competence. He has resolve, but I fear he may not have the heart to use it."

Lancer was silent for a moment before turning her gaze in Archer's direction. "What we get in return has yet to be determined." She doubted the weight of her own statement though. William was too kind of a soul to force his new charge into a disadvantageous bargain. "I'm also not sure that I'd call you helpless. You seemed to be handling Berserker rather well last night."

"It's too bad you let him get away though. One less competitor would have been better for both of us." Lancer continued, only half-joking.

A motion in the gardens drew her attention, and her eyebrows rose at the sight of the girl walking towards the manor. "Oh, this could be interesting..."

Below the balcony, William's younger sister stopped to sniff the flowers before humming to herself and continuing towards the door.

To warn him or not to warn him?

William had made his own bed this morning. Maybe she'd just let him lay in it.

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

-William-

As light flooded the room, William's lips turned up at the corners. This might not be such a disaster after all. Lily was clearly capable of conducting prana through herself. He felt her body stiffen beneath his fingers before she asked a hesitant question. "Relax, and continue to focus on the spark in your mind. Provide the fire with fuel to keep it going."

He gave her shoulders a gentle squeeze before removing his hands from them. The light of the ring dimmed rapidly without his prana to supply it, but it didn't go out completely.

"The fact that the light remains means you have magic circuits. Becoming a magus isn't beyond you, and that's good. Archer will require mana to fuel his strength, and without magic circuits, you can't provide that to him."

William took a step back, but he made no move for his previous seat. "How do you feel now?" He asked. "Tired?"

"Magic circuits are much like muscles. You'll always have them, but if you don't use them, the simplest of tasks can wear them out."
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu May 19, 2016 8:36 pm

-Elliot-

Having come to an agreement with the men, Elliot relaxed somewhat. He finally took the seat offered to him on his entry into the room, thinking aloud.

“I guess that the identities of the other Masters are currently unknown. I would presume that the majority of the Masters are magi, so that would limit the selection down…” He spoke half to himself as much as to Caster. An idea came to him.

“My family own a library. More specifically, as a family of magi, we also possess related literature. Perhaps we have some form of census of magi families in and around London. That should help us to identify at least some of the potential Masters. How does that sound?” Although the colonel was clearly in command, Elliot addressed his ramblings to Caster, given his considerably warmer attitude towards him.

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

-Rider-

“I am glad to see you are eager as I am to start the day!”

Rider materialized in front of Elaina with a grin on his face. Despite the apparent cheer in her voice, Rider could tell that she was unhappy about something. From the little time he had spent with her, he wagered that she was always displeased about something. Dismissing the observation, he continued on.

“The first stage of any battle is reconnaissance, so if you have no objections, I suggest we search for potential battlegrounds. And you never know, we may be able to determine the identities of some of our foes in this war during our wanderings. A reasonable prospect, no?”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat May 21, 2016 3:21 pm

Lily & William

Lily felt stunned by William's words. She had magic circuits? She could be a magus like Delphine?

The idea scared her, but she knew it was a good thing. As William said, Archer needed her to provide mana, and she had decided to help him.

William stepped away, and without his help, keeping the ring alight suddenly became more difficult.

"Yes, a bit tired," she admitted. Lily released her hold on it and set it down on the counter, deep in thought. It seemed that with each passing hour, she was becoming more and more entrenched in a life she barely understood.

"So, what's next?" she asked.

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

Caster, O'Neal, & Elliot

Caster stroked his mustache and contemplated Elliot's plan. His reasoning was sound, and it certainly couldn't hurt their efforts.

"I think that's an excellent idea," he said, smiling warmly. "My Scrying ability allows me to detect the locations of all the Servants within the bounds of this city. If I can match up their presence with the locations of the prestigious magi families in the area, we might discover who their Masters are."

Truthfully, Caster felt Elliot would probably be a better Master for him than O'Neal in many ways. But he'd vowed an oath to serve the Queen - and, by extension, O'Neal himself. Besides, he had other uses for Elliot.

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

Assassin & Henry

Assassin turned and regarded Henry like a tragically dim child.

"You want to try to murder the other Masters and Servants in broad daylight?" he asked incredulously. "I am a master killer, but even I couldn't pull that off without attracting unwanted attention."

He stroked his chin, humming thoughtfully to himself.

"We could scout, at the very least," he murmured. "They will be unable to sense me, and you certainly won't stand out."

Assassin turned and fixed Henry with a broad mile before vanishing into thin air.

"Very well, Master," came Assassin's voice inside his head. "Lead the way."

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu May 26, 2016 6:40 pm

“No, that wasn’t exactly what I was saying, I thought…” But the butcher realised there was no real point n continuing. He’d screwed up his words, and any more would just induce more creepy looks from his Servant. No, he was right, they should… dammit!

The assassin vanished like he had never been there in the first place. Even though he’d guessed it was coming he still nearly spat the ends of his breakfast out in surprise. Henry at this point knew that it’d only be a matter of time before he returned. For the person who was meant to be the servant in the relationship, the butched didn’t like just how much control Assassin had…

“…Fine. We can just head to… let’s try the market first, shall we? It’s the morning, it’ll be full of people. Who knows, maybe we’ll overhear something good. After that… well, we’ll see how that goes, hey Assassin?”

He didn’t bother waiting for a reply, instead heading for the door.

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

“Mmm…” Elaina nodded, as if she’d already thought of what Rider said. Perhaps she had, though it could just be that she wanted to seem smart. “Naturally! We hardly want to lose because some foolish boy deduced that naturally, the most powerful, magical, and richest women in London decided to grace the war with her presence. It doesn’t require much thought to realise that, does it Rider?”

With that she stood up, the journal hitting the table with a solid thump. Hmm… usually the serving girl was meant to enter when the journal made that noise. Stupid woman. Elaina made a mental note to cut her pay when she saw her later.

“Very well, I suppose we could head off now and find some information. You’re more suited to open areas in battle from what you say. That means we should look for some open areas, naturally. Luckily for you, Rider, this is London; there are more than enough parks and halls to keep anyone happy! A considerable chunk of them owned by me.”

When she got around to purchasing them, that is.

“So! Let us start there. What do you think? We could even look around that wretched park of last night. Who knows, perhaps those loathsome idiots of last night left some clue behind. They were fighting another Servant, maybe if we’re lucky we’ll find his corpse floating down the river…”

She moved to the door, not seeing the point of waiting for Rider to follow. After all, she was the Master, not him.

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

There was something interesting about Lancer, even if she was Archer’s natural enemy. Even if she gave off such hostility (again, why shouldn’t she? The creators of the grail were probably rolling in their graves with two servants so close to one another and not fighting), her words were amusing enough to keep Archer’s carefree smile on his face.

“Ah, courage… perhaps one of the most important factors of any fight or partnership, yet one of the hardest for many to understand… I’m sure his resolve is strong enough. The Grail does not choose its masters loosely, you know.”

The words of Berserker however, caused a small stir. His smile did not falter, but his eyes hardened a little. The fight last night had not exactly ended well for him. Sure, he had prevailed with barely a scratch to him and his Master, but it had not been without effort. Any Servant was formidable, but a Berserker was nearly always the most dangerous one on one foe.

“Yes well, I would agree on that. I slightly underestimated him, a mistake I will not be making again. His hide was so strong that even I wondered what damage could be done. Whoever was chosen this time was more than worthy of the class. Though of course, that won’t save him next time. His mind is broken, but mind isn’t; now I know enough about him my strategies will safely null him as a threat. Especially if we team up to take him down! He was strong and fast, but I don’t think good enough in either to defeat the both of us!”

The motion below also caught the tall man’s eyes; his hand brushed against his weapon in defence. But almost immediately his hand dropped. There wasn’t a hint of a threat emanating from the woman down below. Though Archer wasn’t exactly expecting visitors, he wasn’t really in a position to protest.
“Who is that? Another of your Master’s friends? No wait, their faces… a family member? Perhaps his sister?”

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

Elizabeth’s peaceful slumber was gently ended by her two companion’s talking, her eyes blinking awake as she heard a familiar voice. Who had… oh, of course! Her servant, Saber, was there. He looked the same as before, that was good. But who had he been talking to? …Aah, that was it! The man had finally roused, looking… well, exactly how’d you expect in such a situation. Not scared exactly, more confused. She didn’t blame him; she wouldn’t be happy waking up with no clue what was happening.

“Phew… you woke up. I wasn’t sure if you were going to for a little while. But don’t worry! You’re… safe, here. Plenty of time for you to rest up!”

She smiled, trying her best to come off as reassuring as best you could twenty seconds upon stirring. Was she doing it right? She wasn’t sure, it wasn’t every day she found herself looking after complete strangers after all. At least he… seemed to be in one piece.

“It’s ok, there’s no need to be frightened. If we thought you were going to be any trouble, I don’t think Saber would have let me bring you here!”

She yawned, rather loudly of course. It turned out that being asleep for only an hour didn’t really rest your body much; who knew?

“I’m sorry, it’s been a long day… have you been told what’s happened? We found you last night in the park, you looked… let’s just say, not very well. But I think we managed to heal you alright, Mr…?”

The question hung in the air. For a moment, Elizabeth wondered if the man even knew the answer.
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