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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:58 pm

-Saber-

A shrug was Saber's only response to Elizabeth's comment. Wearing men's clothes was nothing new to her. In fact, she almost felt more comfortable, knowing that these were the clothes of a man. She might have been born with a woman's features, but her heart had always been that of a warrior.

She let her eyes roam over the various sights as they traveled the streets. First, signs of wealth and prestige, and after that, conditions that were more familiar to Saber's eyes. "This place stinks of fear and disease." Saber commented, her eyes darting about more sharply now. "I can't say that I like it, but a part of me is called by places like this. Wasted remnants of the battlefield, where the wounded and discouraged crawl into and die away. I saw much of it in my day, but not on this scale." Saber waved to the buildings around them. "It was a simpler time, and even the royalty shared living space with the common man. So, things were rarely this dingy unless war was upon us."

A man reached out towards her, a predatory look in his drunken gaze, and Saber flicked him in the forehead with enough force to send him sprawling backwards. "Hands to yourself." She growled to the baffled man. "I just got this suit, and I'd prefer to keep it clean."

Turning her attention to her Master, Saber frowned. "What makes you think that the other Servants would be here?" She asked, sounding more curious than anything else.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:54 am

"Mhmm..." Henry pursed his lips, leaning against the door. At least his Assassin could sense battles, that meant they didn't have to move about much. That in turn meant there was less chance either of them would get sniped by a Servant charging through the streets. Still, the cold meant he might freeze to death before that happened, although based on what he'd been told by his demented servant, that might be one of the more pleasant ways to exit the war...

"Alright then... I guess we wait here for the moment Assassin. Hopefully someone comes soon... you think it's likely we'll catch anyone off guard? If you were Saber or Archer or one of the others, I'd be getting you out the minute you looked like you were losing, know what I mean? Sure, that probably won't work, but still... oh well. You know best I guess. Just... just get rid of any threats Assassin."

And do it without killing anyone else, you bloody idiot! He thought, but the smile on Assassin's lips implied that would not be a good sentence to say.

-----

Elaina's eyebrow raised; a battle? Already? Some people couldn't wait to throw their lives away, could they? Still, that didn't matter to her. Rider seemed excited, and while taking on two servants at full strength was clearly a bad idea, Elaina had bought in the Servant's own hype enough that she thought him able enough to take on two weak ones. Not that she expected him to do that; no, that would be too risky. She would do as she always did: access, and choose a side. And her side was always the winning side...

"There's a park just down the road, about ten minutes away. The whole thing is open as a field, bar the odd trees. Perhaps our first opponents would be there?"

With that creepy smirk of hers back on her face, Elaina opened the door. She surveyed the area; a clear view! They had chosen a good night to be scouting. Flicking her parasol to open it, it now rested daintily on her shoulder.

"Of course Rider dear, I'd much rather you didn't throw your life away, so perhaps we should watch before we charge on in? Perhaps if we're lucky they'll eliminate both of themselves. That would suit me just fine!"

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:36 pm

-Elizabeth-

Elizabeth remained silent for the most part. Mostly observing the surroundings and Saber's reactions. So far she was fine with Saber's reaction. There was nothing outstanding about her reaction, very analytical and calm. Something that Elizabeth has notice to be Saber's usual reaction towards things.

"This is society's graveyard. Those not capable to keep up with society end up here."

Elizabeth turned to Saber frowning.

"Death here is normal and happens daily. I assume most Masters would take their fighting here, since most collateral damage done here would be irrelevant."

Magus in general come from wealthy families, knowing that their perspective towards the slums would be one similar to a playing ground where they could do whatever they wanted without consequences.

___________________________________________________

-Rider-

Rider smiled, the idea of trample over two other heroes so early on ignited his excitement. His eyes glinted with expectation, with a single heavy breath he spoke.

"Hahaha. Let's go then, I'm eager to see what other heroes answered the call."

He laughter as he walked. He would act like Elaina proposed, however should he see a window to trample an enemy, he was not going to waste it.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:20 am

Archer& Lily, Berserker, Lancer & Will, Rider & Elaina

Berserker gave an agitated bellow and surged after Archer. With one of Archer's darts still in hand, the raging Servant carved into the earth with a swipe of his arm, sending chunks of rock up into the air. Those that weren't knocked away were deflected enough to not strike any critical spots.

But there was blood. More blood. And Berserker's eyes blazed red with fury. It hardly seemed possible, but his parameters were raising higher than ever. Now his agility had even surpassed Archer's, and his strength and endurance had reached their maximum.

Seizing on the advantage, Berserker burst through the trees like a hurricane, the dart in hand mowing down everything in his wake.

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

Lily watched Archer go, striking such a noble and brave figure in the face of Berserker's rampage. But the mad Servant was no usual Servant, and somehow his parameters kept escalating. How could Archer possibly keep up when he was quickly becoming outmatched?

Lily brought her hands up to her face, trying to think of what she could do. She felt in the pocket of her dress, only now realizing that she'd somehow obtained some unusual cards. Tarots? She'd known some of the other women in the area to be interested in it. How did she get them? What was their purpose? Could she help Archer with these?

She was so intent on them that it took her a moment to realize she wasn't alone. She turned around, startled, to see a rather haughty looking woman with a parasol, a tall knightly figure beside her. Lily didn't need to be told it was a Servant. The man's bearing said everything.

"Archer..." she murmured, eyes wide. He was too far away, struggling for survival. He couldn't help her. He could barely help himself.

Did this mean... she was going to die?

________________________________________

Elliot

As Elliot was pondering his next move, the air became strangely distorted. Out of the book slid a page with words written in a thin, slanted script.

The Queen holds the secret. The knight in blue holds the answer.

In spirit form, Caster smiled and eased himself out of the room.
________________________________________

Assassin & Henry, Saber & Elizabeth

Assassin completely ignored all of Henry's blathering. What a tiresome man he was proving to be. It seemed that tonight would be-

He gave a small start. Ah... how fortunate. Luck still smiled on him.

"It would appear, Master, that we have proper prey at last," Assassin said calmly.

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

Despite the late hour, people should have been walking around the slums at this hour. However, the streets appeared to be strangely deserted. It was as if the stench of fear hung thick in the air, an omen of doom and misfortune.

There wasn't much time for Elizabeth and Saber to think on it before mist began to seep through the streets, thick and cloying. Within a minute, they would hardly be able to see a few feet in front of them.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:12 pm

A strange feeling interrupted Elliot’s train of thought. The hair on the back of his neck stood up as he felt eyes watching him. He turned in his chair, looking around the room, but saw no disturbances. He turned back to the book, noticing something in his hand. A torn page with wiry text written on it.

Elliot blinked. That was odd. He could have sworn he had read the whole thing cover to cover, and he had no recollection of a page resembling what he now held in his hand. He considered the text on the page. Whatever could it mean? It seemed cryptic enough that whoever had written the text didn’t want its meaning to be clear. Could it be referencing the Queen of England? And what secret was it talking about? Elliot wasn’t aware of any ‘knight in blue’ either.

Utterly baffled, he closed the book, placing it on his desk with the page on top. A thought flashed through his head as he did so, stopping his motions. Knights in blue? His thoughts went to the uniforms worn by some of the Queen’s staff. They weren't knights per se, but could the message have been referencing them? It seemed to make sense- after all, it had referenced a Queen along with the knights.

He tried to dismiss the possibility, but something at the back of Elliot’s mind wouldn't stop concerning itself with the apparent link he had discovered. Such a coincidence warranted further investigation, surely?
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:52 pm

Thank god for that... Henry thought, glad there was something around to interrupt the creepy silence. So, another Master really had come their way... perhaps it was cowardly to say, but he hoped it was someone like the Caster pair. Starting with an Archer or, God forbid, the Saber class, seemed like it would be hard going for their first outing.

Shifting to crouch down, he muttered; "Good timing I guess... alright, good luck Assassin. This is your area, you have this. Do what you need to."

As he tried to push out the idea of what needed to be done, Henry noted with surprise the sudden fog in front of him. Hah... the power of a Servant was nothing but incredible, even if the man utterly terrified him.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Feb 03, 2016 6:33 pm

-Saber-

"I see." Saber responded with a frown. "Society must have a far different definition in this day and age then. Where I come there was much war and unrest, but a town was always faithful to its own. Perhaps it's best that I lived then and not now. I don't think I would have found as much joy in a life like this." She gestured to a man huddled over some burning papers in an alleyway.

"That aside, I can understand your reasoning now. It would be best for our conflicts to remain in areas where we can cause the least damage to modern society." She paused for a moment, regarding her Master with an appraising look. "However, you're assuming that the other Masters and Servants will share in our viewpoint. Perhaps they have no regard for the others around them? This is more common with the likes of Assassin, who tends to operate from the shadows rather than seeking open conflict, but it's still something that you must consider."

Saber was glad for her Master's choice though. If nothing else, it gave her a chance to see the living conditions of the people in this time. How sad that they had so much more, and yet did less with it...

"In any case, I sense no other Servants nearby. How much ground does this area cover?"

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

-William, Lancer-

Frozen...

William had expected the young woman to manifest some kind of magic when the other Servant stepped into view, but instead, she simply froze up. Perhaps she accepted the fact that she couldn't contend with a Servant? No. Her features didn't speak of acceptance. They screamed of fear, and that, he couldn't ignore...

"Lancer. Defend her." The words were spoken before he even had time to process them in his mind.

"She's competition." Lancer responded in a clipped tone. "Her elimination could be advantageous to us." Her eyes never strayed from the scene before them as she spoke though.

"Not like this." William said, shaking his head slightly.

Lancer sighed, but it sounded more accepting than annoyed. "You're lucky I'm honorable. Conceal yourself. If I have to choose, I defend you before her."

With that, she darted up the nearest tree, kicking off to soar through the air above the young woman. She'd heard the words on her lips. Archer fought with Berserker. So, which Servant now stood before her? He bore no sword, and he stood boldly. Not Saber or Assassin then. This would be either Rider or Caster.

She twisted once, altering her course, and landed on her feet, only a few steps in front of the trembling woman. "Retreat to the treeline." Lancer spoke as she casually rested the butt of her lance on the ground beside her.

Then, turning her attention to the pair standing before her, she gave a slight nod to both. "To whom do I owe the honor of addressing this evening?"
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:19 pm

-Elizabeth-

"Probably 30% of the city, give or take."

Elizabeth answered. Making mental calculations to figure out the area. Suddenly everything was hidden in fog.

"What? Saber?!"

Elizabeth panicked. The fog of the slums was notorious but it was never this fast! Caught in the moment Elizabeth focused in her Servant's connection and moved close. Grabbing on to Saber.

"Saber, this fog isn't natural."

Whether this was a Master or a Servant attack, Elizabeth didn't know.

________________________________________

-Archer-

Berserker crashes through the trees like they were nothing, but... Archer was no where to be seen. Moving through the trees, jumping on the branches, Archer was avoiding Berserker's rampage. Darts kept flying aiming at Berserker, their accuracy never dull.

Every time Berserker thought he had caught Archer's location, he was already in another tree. Speed and strength were worthless here. This was a natural obstacle course and Archer was no amateur to this form of fighting.

________________________________________

-Rider-

Rider eyed the petit woman, of course he had no idea who that woman was. He could guess that that was a Master considering how close she was to the two Servants fighting. But he wasn't sure, for all he knew that was just a bystander. Of course that changed when another Servant jumped in. A woman soldier from what he could tell. Ah yes that stance was clearly that of a soldier.

Stepping forward Rider eyed the woman's weapon, a lance, making her Lancer.

"Is this war I am know as Rider and I assume you are Lancer?"

Rider pulls out his sword, his heavy armor clicking, still moving forward he stopped only just out of reach from Lancer's lance. Rider stood towering over Lancer. Surprisingly, he stood there waiting for Lancer's invitation. Perhaps it was his respect for Lancer's honor like attitude.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:40 pm

"So am I Rider, so am I..."

For the rest of the journey they travelled in silence. Elaina wasn't sure how to be feeling really; cautious? Worried? Excited? Confident was her usual state, so... well, she decided to just stay like that. This Grail war would be an easy fight, even if she had only just started.

Having made it to the park now, even from this distance the woman could feel the power emanating from the distance. There was no mistaking it; servants. Despite only having met one, there was no mistaking it. Nothing in this era could produce the amount of magic and power that could be felt. It was enough to make her smile; finally! A worthy challenger to her powers! But boasting could wait; what servants were they? Hmm... no, they were too far away. Elaina had good eyesight, but she wasn't used enough to keeping up with such fast motions. Maybe Archer? There seemed to be a lot of objects being thrown. But then again, that could also be a Caster's magic... and the other man didn't even have a weapon! Well, from the parts Rider had told her, that meant he was most likely a Berserker; no servant would fight with a weapon otherwise... oh, hello, who was this?

"My my Rider, I think we've found a Master, woefully unattended." The smirk was back. The park was always empty at this time of the night, bar the odd man making his way home after a late night's work. It was certainly too late for a teenager to be watching two strange warriors fight. That was, unless she was in charge of them...

But alas for Elaina (and luckily for Lily), another Servant popped before she or Rider could act. Her smile vanished; damn, this was bad timing! How many Servants were going to appear tonight? Four servants were here now, how long would it be before the other three appeared? These were... annoying odds, to say the least. If nothing else, this meant she had to keep her eyes out for at least two other Masters...

Despite her brief being taken aback, Elaina merely stepped back one step, allowing Rider enough room to take care of this... Lancer? It must be, there was no way the woman's weapon was a bow or a sword.

"You know Servant, it is rude to demand someone's name without even giving your own first. The knights I was told of a child would never ask a lady's name before introducing themselves first."

She shook her head. Tut tut Lancer. Being so rude was unbecoming of a warrior... Rider at least seemed impressed enough to simply strike him down. A shame, but Elaina wasn't going to force him to act just yet.

"But I forgive you. I suppose it doesn't matter too much. Either way, we still have a match to fight. Well Rider, I believe this is yours. I'd wish you luck, but I don't think you need it, do you? This is your time to prove you're as great as you say you are!"

Elaina was convinced her wonderful servant would win. That was, unless he'd been lying to her this whole time about his powers... That seemed unlikely however; all they needed to do was win. The Master may have gotten away, but taking out her Servant would practically mean there was one last team to worry about. The woman with the parasol merely smiled as she took a few more steps back, and prepared to protect herself when the fight started.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:04 pm

Reaching up to the top of the bookshelf, Elliot returned the book to its place. He had scoured the library for records or censuses of the population of London in the past few decades in the hope of finding the author of the book regarding the Holy Grail War. It seemed that luck was on his side, and he had discovered that someone of the same name did indeed live in the outskirts of London.

Concerning the cryptic message he had received, he had resolved to go to the palace come morning. He did not know what he was going to do when he got there, but he felt compelled to make the journey, despite the admittedly shaky connection he had made.

As Elliot opened the door to his home, he registered the two pairs of shoes placed neatly to the side of the hallway, indicating his parents’ return. Subdued voices came from the living room behind the closed door to his left. He didn’t bother confirming the identity of the occupants- he knew that it would be his parents returning from another one of their recent excursions.

As he walked past the door, it creaked open. Through the small gap appeared a fiery apparition of a cat. Despite its fiery form, it did not set any part of the building alight. It glanced at Elliot, then turned and meowed at the occupants of the room. A woman’s voice called forth.

“Elliot, come in. Your father and I have something of importance that we need to discuss with you.”

This was unusual, especially considering the time. Normally, Elliot’s parents would be happy to wait for morning to arrive if they had some matter to discuss. Intrigued, Elliot followed the cat into the room.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:13 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer, Team Rider

Lily had sensed a foreboding of doom the moment the Servant and his Master laid eyes on her. Berserker's first charge had been terrifying, but she'd had Archer by her side. He would never let her be hurt.

But now she was alone, and she felt the creeping dread of death.

All at once, another Servant dropped into view - not a man this time, but an elegant woman. Lily gave a slight gasp at the sight of her. She was far more stunning than any of the other Servants she'd seen thus far, but certainly no less deadly, poised with a magnificent lance.

Lily didn't have to worry, however. Lancer seemed to have no desire to harm her; in fact, she gave a calm order to Lily to retreat to safety. She wanted to thank the Servant, but her mouth was too dry to form words. She nodded, then hurried away toward the trees.

"Archer," she thought. "I hope you're okay."

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

Berserker's fury seemed to mount with every blow, his agitation rising as he failed to reach Archer. Whatever the difference in their parameters, it seemed the advantage of terrain was still too much for the unskilled brute of a Servant to overcome.

Berserker gave a bellow of rage and tore a tree trunk up from its roots. Then, with a might heave, he threw it though the air toward Archer, mowing down trees in its wake like a scythe.

And then, quite suddenly, it was silent. Berserker, nearly impossible to miss only a moment ago, was suddenly gone. He may have been hiding among the fallen debris, but that didn't seem a likely tactic for the mad warrior. Had he simply vanished? With no discernable presence of a Servant, it would be impossible to tell.

________________________________________

Team Assassin, Team Saber

No, the fog was not natural. A minute had passed and the fog had so thickly blanketed the area as to completely disorient them. Even a Servant like Saber would have difficulty seeing through the mist, to say nothing of a human like Elizabeth.

Then, out of the mist, a voice spoke.

"A lady on a stroll with her fair knight
Found herself in rather a fright
The fog closed in, robbing their sight
They could not escape, not with all of their might"

It may have been an illusion, but for one moment, Elizabeth may have caught the faintest gleam of wicked golden eyes through a ghostly mask.

"Then let the hunt begin, for this is Jack's night."

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:47 pm

-Saber-

Elizabeth would find herself pressed up against a coat of armor, rather than the suit Saber had been wearing a moment before. A shield was held by the arm that wrapped protectively around the young woman's torso. "Assassin." Saber hissed into the mist, her voice dripping with obvious distaste.

She honestly couldn't decide if he was amazing or terrible. Until only a moment before Elizabeth had called out, she hadn't sensed his presence, but the fact that he took the time to taunt his target had cost him any edge he might have gained by surprising her. Even so, this unnatural mist was troubling. Had Saber been caught in it alone, she would stand her ground and laugh in Assassin's face for confronting her, but with Elizabeth here, her options were more limited. Oh, who was she kidding? Confrontation had always worked for her before.

"Who said anything about escape?" She called out into the mist with a rush of excitement. "The way I see it, you don't have to hunt what's out in the open. So, the only one running and hiding here is you." Saber gave Elizabeth a slight squeeze, hoping to impart some of her strength to the young woman.

"Here, kitty-kitty..." From a sheath behind her back, she drew a long knife, holding it at the ready.

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

-Lancer-

"Aye." Lancer nodded to the other Servant. "You guess correctly, Rider."

Her gaze drifted to Elaina for a moment, but almost instantly returned to Rider. "Your Master?" She asked, raising an eyebrow in question.

Assuming the affirmative, she continued. "If she's always like this, you have my deepest sympathy for having to put up with her."

"Unfortunately, that doesn't mean I can take it easy on you." Lancer shifted her stance, lowering her forward shoulder and straightening her lance arm, extending it behind her. It almost looked like more of a sprinter's stance than that of a warrior.

Rider had shown himself to be honorable, at least so far. She would replicate that honor, allowing him to make the first move.

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

-William-

An invisible arm wrapped around Lily's waist, pulling her up against a body she couldn't see, and something covered her mouth, preventing her from making a sound. "My Servant stepped in to save you." William's voice whispered into her ear. "And at the moment, we're both covered by a shroud that hides us from vision. Until the fight is over, do not move."

"I'm going to take my hand off of your mouth now. Do not scream. Nod if you understand." He waited for her head to bob up and down before doing as he'd promised. Hopefully, she'd do as he said. Right now, he needed to focus his attention on Lancer's battle, not the young lady he'd had her protect.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:02 pm

-Elizabeth-

Holding onto Saber's bulky figure felt strangely comforting, specially given that she couldn't see anything aside from Saber's murky figure. It was ridiculous, even being attached to Saber would not give Elizabeth a clear view of her. It didn't help that there was another Servant called Assassin trying to get her neck. Sure, Assassins weren't built for combat, but that's from Saber's perspective, Elizabeth is just a magus, she can't deal with a monster.

Elizabeth tried to sense where the other Master was, but to no avail. Either the Master wasn't close or the mist was also interfering with her other senses.

"Sorry for being useless, Saber."

Elizabeth apologized feeling a sense of empowerment. Truth be told this was the first time she had encountered a fight, specially one to the death. Most of her brain wasn't even possecing the situation and her body trembled uncontrollably.

________________________________________________________

-Archer-

Archer was confident that he could deal with Berserker, even if it could take hours, so long as even a single tree stood, he could draw out the match to his favor. And yet nothing could describe how utterly terrified he felt. One minute Berserker is raging through the forest trying to kill him, the other he's gone.

"That much power doesn't just vanish..."

Archer was speechless, he didn't move an inch as he took in his surroundings. He was a veteran in war and as far as he knew and enemy doesn't just disappear from the map. Could it be an ambush? Archer thought it impossible for a madman to do that, but he felt that believing in that would end up biting him in the butt.

Only then did he notice it, the two other Servants next to Lily. Berserker had been such a diversion that he didn't even notice them. With this he bites his lip. He was not going to just wait there and leave Lily. He would risk it, he jumped through the trees in direction to Lily but always on guard should Berserker attack.

_________________________________________


-Rider-

Rider chuckled, this should be interesting in his time the notion of a "knight" was skewered. As such when given the chance to play that rule he took the chance. After all, life is all about new experiences.

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

A single movement and Rider was within Lancer's range. It was incomprehensible, his speed did not match his appearance, that massive bulk moving was like seeing a mountain moving at blinding speed. A terrifying smile and bloodlusted eyes, to Lily he would seem no different from Berserker. Except, the movements were refined and precise. With only his side towards Lancer his arm swings diagonally with tremendous prowess. This position not only showed little gaps for an attack but also allowed his to hide his other hand, which he was prepared to use to catch Lancer's lance should she try to hit his upper body.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Feb 09, 2016 1:49 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily felt an arm ensnare her, trapping her against someone she couldn't see. Her first instinct was to scream, but it seemed her assailant had anticipated that. Before the noise could make its way past her throat, a hand clapped over her mouth.

"My Servant stepped in to save you," a man said. "And at the moment, we're both covered by a shroud that hides us from vision. Until the fight is over, do not move."

So, he was the Master who had sent Lancer to protect her? If that were the case, surely he didn't mean to harm her. Not yet, anyway...

"I'm going to take my hand off of your mouth now. Do not scream. Nod if you understand."

Lily nodded. It was the only thing she could do right now.

"Archer, are you okay?" she wondered. She knew her thoughts couldn't reach him, but she hoped for a sign that he was well anyway.

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

Team Archer, Berserker

Henry Jekyll trembled violently from beneath the shadow of some fallen trees as Archer passed overhead, going back across the park. He retched blood once more, his hand clasped against his mouth to stifle any noise.

He moved his hand away, watching the thick crimson rivulets run down his fingers. He sank back against the earth, spasming as he fought against the pain trying to drag him into unconsciousness.

Jekyll might not have been a doctor like the real one, but he knew enough to know that closing his eyes now would mean never opening them again.

And he couldn't die here. Not like this...

________________________________________________________


Team Saber, Team Assassin

"My, women really are the foolish sex, aren't they?" came Assassin's voice through the mist. "Really now, did you think I would have ruined the element of surprise if I'd needed it?"

Assassin allowed the question to linger uncomfortably in the thick silence.

"No, the truth is, you were dead the moment you entered my domain. But you know that deep down, don't you?"

Assassin chuckled softly to himself, surveying his prey. A brash, fool-hardy knight - Saber, he surmised - and a mewling, little girl who'd never witnessed true bloodshed.

"The trouble is deciding which of you to kill first. I could kill the Master first. I know how much that would ruin you, Knight of the Sword... Knowing you failed your charge on the very first night!"

He laughed heartily for a few moments, before his voice quieted once more.

"Or, would you like to volunteer to go first, Saber? Would that be the noble way - to die first? And, oh, the despair from her, to know that all is lost!"

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:45 pm

-Saber-

"Don't worry yourself over it." Saber responded to her Master. "He's trying to get inside our heads, draw us into making a mistake."

For a moment, Saber thought of the sword hanging at her hip, but that would be the greatest mistake of all. No, she needed a way of getting Elizabeth out of danger first.

"You certainly like the sound of your own voice, don't you?" Saber responded to the mist, still not entirely sure where Assassin was located. Her voice still had a thread of iron in it though. The situation was serious, but the thrill of battle was once again rising in her blood. It had been far too long since she'd felt this way, and she licked her lips in anticipation.

"Or is it that you're looking for an opening and can't find one?" She asked aloud, a hint of mocking in her tone now. "How frustrating it must be for you, to have prey right before your eyes and yet know that you'll lose at least a limb to get within three paces of it!"

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

-Lancer-

Lancer's eyebrows rose at Rider's speed, but it was unlikely anyone else would have noticed them do so. Her eyes easily tracked his approach though. As he closed for his attack, Lancer shifted her body forward, ducking beneath the strike. If Rider seemed like a blur, watching Lancer might give someone a headache. To anyone besides another Servant, it would look like his attack had gone right through her, simply because she moved so rapidly that it left behind an image of her previous location.

Planting her free hand on the ground, Lancer twisted her lower body, rotating her entire center of gravity around to throw a downwards heel kick at Rider's back. At the same time, her Lance also came down over the Servant's neck. It wasn't the bladed portion, but that didn't mean the shaft couldn't shatter his spine if it made contact.

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

-William-

If he'd blinked, William would have missed it. To say that both Rider and Lancer moved quickly was an understatement. His eyes could barely follow their general motions, much less any specific movements they made as they clashed. He had known that Lancer was fast. She'd told him as much earlier in the day, but he was beginning to think she'd undersold herself. Still, her opponent was another Servant, and it was too soon to determine which of them really had the advantage. Did Servants go all-out from the start, or did some of them hold back? Maybe it depended on their personalities...
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Feb 10, 2016 9:25 am

-Rider-

Rider's eyes widen in shock at Lancer's movements. His blood boiled in excitement, there was someone! Keeping track of Lancer's speed, he continued his swing turning around to chase after her clashing the incoming shaft with his blade. The kick on the other hand was unexpected and he took it on to his front. His armor taking the blow easily but the force pushing back, in addition he also jumped back to gain space.

"Incredible!"

He shouted, his hand goes behind him and pulls out a shield from under his cape. The shield had a clear red cross engraved in to it. With shield in front and sword above and eyed Lancer.

"To think that there would be someone, no less a woman, this powerful."

He remarked, he dashed forward, this time he didn't swing and merely continued his dash his full intent to trample Lancer. His stance was bulky and sturdy, it was a stance made to fight in all out wars.

__________________________________________

-Archer-

Archer jumps from the forest and lands behind of Lily and William. He wasn't hiding his arrival so they would have noticed him. Archer remained still for a moment, his eyes looking through the general area. His eyes going through the two Servants fighting to where he could sense his Master, but...

"Hmmmmm, I can feel your presence, even if you're invisible I wont miss."

Archer voiced out, his tone calm and serene, he could feel both his Master and another person right in front of him. As far as he could tell, it didn't seem like Lily was in danger, frustrated? sure, but not in danger. As such instead of just attacking this other person h decided to give him a chance.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:37 pm

-Lancer-

Kicking off of Rider's armor, Lancer did a backflip and landed in a crouch, lance extended forward at her side. The corner of her mouth ticked at his words. Rider clearly respected power, but his comment about women made him a chauvinist in her mind. It wasn't entirely unexpected, considering most Heroic Spirits were men, but it still irritated her.

"Looking down on your opponent isn't very smart." She shot back, taking note of his shield, or more importantly, the cross on it. "Nor is it very Christian of you..."

As he charged, Lancer shot upwards from her crouch, again leaving behind an afterimage to anyone unable to follow her speed. Her motion was strange though. In midair, she actually seemed to gain more propulsion, sending her far over Rider's head, and her body changed direction in a way that shouldn't have been possible, allowing her to drive the point of her lance directly towards the unarmored section of Rider's shoulder, just below the neck.

Should the blow connect, he would also find that it had far more force than should normally be expected from a midair thrust. It was almost as if Lancer was able to put the full force of her body behind the stab, even at an awkward angle and with no grounding.

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

-William-

"Should have known it wouldn't be as effective against a Servant..." William muttered as he let the spell fade. This was unfortunate. Lancer was otherwise occupied. So, he now found himself in the same situation he'd just saved the lady he still held against his chest from. Archer hadn't simply run him through, but was that because he was honorable, or was he simply afraid of hitting the woman if he couldn't see them?

"I hate to accost the lady by keeping her against her will, but with Lancer occupied, I'm afraid that you have me at a disadvantage." William spoke carefully. He wanted to keep his eyes on Lancer's battle, but at the moment, keeping himself alive was more important. She should be able to take care of herself. "Out of curiosity, would you have known I was there if your Master wasn't with me?"

Maybe if he could draw Archer into a conversation, Lancer would have time to finish up before things turned sour...

Even so, William probably wasn't as uncomfortable as he should have been in this situation. Archer could most likely kill him without really trying, and yet, he was still breathing. That had to be a good sign, right?
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:55 pm

The parlour was a modest size, its windows overlooking the courtyard outside. A lit fireplace lined the wall opposite the door Elliot had entered through, with a large painting hung above it, depicting a man and a woman surrounded by two boys and a girl. A coffee table sat in front of the fireplace, flanked on either side by a sofa. Sat on one of the sofas was the man and woman from the painting, the cat familiar rubbing itself against the woman’s leg.

James Swann held himself with the air of a man who knew his worth. He sat straight, his waistcoat neat and without creases. Black hair similar to Elliot’s own sat on his head. His wife Meredith was sat beside him. Her long, brown hair cascaded down onto her shoulders, upon which rested a blue dress.

James turned his head to Elliot, his blue eyes fixing on the newcomer.

“Sit down, Elliot. “ He spoke softly, and yet his voice carried weight, as if he expected others to obey his words. He motioned to the empty sofa.

Without a word, Elliot crossed the room to sit down. As he did so, Meredith spoke.

“What were you doing out so late?”

“I was just looking up something in the library. Nothing important,” Elliot responded, shrugging. Didn’t they want to talk about something important? Almost as if he had read his mind, James began speaking.

“Anyway…You’ve probably been wondering what we’ve been doing these past few weeks. Well, we’ve been in contact with a certain author aiming to acquire some of his works. We’ve finally worked out a deal with him.”

“So what does this have to do with me? I assume that’s why you’ve called me in.” While Elliot was interested in the acquisition of new material for their library, he didn’t see how it warranted a late night family meeting.

“We’ve arranged for you to meet his daughter tomorrow. She’ll be arriving at noon, and you are to give her a tour of our estate.”

Inwardly, Elliot sighed. More commitments to fulfil meant less time to pursue his own agenda.

“When you mean the estate, do you also mean…”

“Yes, including the magecraft section,” Meredith replied. She reached down to scratch her familiar's neck, the cat purring in response. “They’re a mage family, though of little repute. However, the current head of the family, our author, has journeyed the world and documented his research into the magecraft of other nations. Rather interesting, if I may say so.”

Elliot looked up at that. The author had travelled, documenting magecraft research? The circumstances sounded suspiciously like those of the author of the book he had found. It couldn’t be, surely? That would be the biggest coincidence.

“If you don’t mind me asking…what’s the author’s name?”
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:33 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily felt a surge of warmth through her body at the sight of Archer unscathed.

"Archer, you're okay," she sighed, smiling. The man holding her didn't seem comforted at all by Archer's presence, however.

"It's okay, Archer," she said quickly, trying to diffuse the situation. "He and his Servant helped me out. They're friendly... I think."

She looked to the man, expecting him to agree and, hopefully, release her. Now that the surprise had worn off, she was beginning to feel uncomfortable being held like this.

__________________________________________


Team Saber, Team Assassin

Assassin laughed merrily at Saber's words. Oh, what a foolish woman she was.

"You presume much, Saber!" he said. "Who said I need to be anywhere near you to strike you down?"

He allowed this pronouncement to hang in the air, relishing in their powerlessness.

"I think I've decided on who to kill first. Don't be afraid. It will be so swift. It may even be painless... hehe, although I doubt it."

King of Dismemberment: Blade of Whitechapel

There hadn't been time to do more than just register the words. In the next instant, a flash of silver had shot through the air.

No time to counter. No time to dodge. No time to even contemplate sure death. The scalpel pierced Elizabeth Hemory, just one more victim to the terror of the night.

No, that wasn't right.

"What?!" Assassin cried. The scalpel hit Elizabeth in the chest and shattered into shimmering fragments of light, leaving her completely unscathed.

Assassin stared openly, trembling, as he surveyed Elizabeth. It wasn't possible. His Noble Phantasm's qualifications had all been met. There was no counter!

"Who... who are you?" he demanded. He'd barely voiced the question before he doubled over, clutching at his chest. His body spasmed and warped strangely, like some kind of mirage.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:13 pm

-Rider-


Even when Lancer jumped over him he kept his charge. His dash only stopping a few meters away from Lancer. It was still impressive how such a large person could move like that. Turning around he eyes Lancer, his stare observant and calculating, there was a small stream of blood going down his neck. It was a very light wound almost a scratch, because of Rider's non-stop charge Lancer wasn't able to land a perfect hit.

"Truth be told I couldn't help it. In my time not even God was above me. Plus, this is the first time I fight a female soldier, forgive me for doubting at first."

Rider spoke, he was genuinely impressed, he doesn't know what she did, but he simply assumes that her great skill allows her to fight so well.

"That is why I'll take advantage of that honor of yours. As you can see, although I am a Rider, I have yet to bring out my mount."

He opens his arms as if to make his point more noticeable.

"Let's retreat and fight another day. As I am now, I can't possibly give it my all. Besides, it seems your Master there might be having a problem with another Servant."

Rider points in the direction of where Lancer's Master escaped, there was another Servant's presence there.

"Of course, if you insist in this fight, then I'll have to bring it out."

Rider took a defensive stance. It seemed like Rider was done rushing towards Lancer after two failed attempts.

_________________________________

-Archer-

Archer raised an eyebrow at the man's words, his smile growing, although it didn't seem like Archer was finding this pleasant. However before he could voice his mind, Lily answered back and explained the situation.

To which Archer laughed and smiled broadly

"Ah! I see! So you are a friend? That is good to know."

Archer placed his hand on William's shoulder. He wasn't grabbing or hurting him, just merely patting.

"Truth be told this is pleasant to hear. I was worried that Lily would be in danger."

______________________________

-Elizabeth-

Elizabeth just remained silent as both Saber and Assassin barked at one another. What was worrisome was how both seemed to be treating her like a fragile object. It's not like she was against it, by all means, if Elizabeth can get to be this close Saber while being safe she was fine. But the entire notion that her life wasn't even in her hands right now was terrifying.

"Saber, maybe we sh-?!"

Elizabeth is interrupted as something hit her. There was only a moment to realize that things were over for her. And when she expected severe pain, instead she was met with nothing. The projectile thrown at her shattered for some reason.

Elizabeth would have squealed from the surprise if not for Assassin's outrage. Elizabeth couldn't see Assassin thanks to the fog, but she could hear his voice.

"M-me?"

Elizabeth was still at shock, she had just been attacked, a fail attack, but an attack regardless. And the terrifying Assassin, now sounded scared?

"I'm Elizabeth Hemory." She answered firmly as she felt a bit of her courage back after Assassin's display of weakness.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:30 pm

"Come on..." Henry muttered, still huddled by the room's door. The cold was getting unbearable now... He was exactly where Assassin had left him; he hadn't moved at all. After all, they had both agreed that he would not be able to help much. Most of Henry's magic was suited to be used after a fight, bar some small attacks that would do nothing to a Servant. That meant all he would provide to their opponents was another target.

He could hear shouting from where he was. Much to his horror, it sounded like Saber was their opponent after all. Assassin wouldn't be able to beat her. The little the mad murderer had told him, the swordsman's class was by far the most dangerous opponent; an assassin wouldn't be able to do everything. But, that was ok... possibly. The magical fog meant even he couldn't see a thing, if the man.... if that nutjob could just keep his damn mouth such for just ten seconds and stop boasting like an idiot than maybe, maybe, he could still emerge victorious. If he could take out the Master... than everything should be ok.

...But something was wrong. Assassin sounded scared, he'd screwed up. But what was it? Even if he was by the window Henry didn't think he'd be able to see. The fog was pretty much everywhere now, it was hard to see his hand. ...Surely he was lying. Surely. If this man couldn't even take out a Master... what chance did he have of surviving this?

Henry sighed sadly to himself, and bowed his head. Some adventure this was turning out to be...

----

Elaina's smirk had pretty much been plastered to her face the whole time her Servant thought. This was far beyond anything she had been expecting. So much action, and yet hardly a single hit! Oh my, this was going to be fun to watch... of course, she was still certain in her own Servant's victory. Oh sure, this Lancer woman had landed a small hit on her Rider, but so what? It was only the smallest of wounds, and she was sure this was just Rider's way of letting Lancer think they had the advantage. Lancer apparently had the small advantage in agility, but so what? If she had summoned the man, then she knew he would be as cunning and intelligent as she.

She was slightly concerned however, by the fact that the park had seemed to empty a little since they had begun. Where had everyone gone? The place had been filled with energy before they had started and now... nothing. Bar the three of them it could have been empty. That alone didn't make sense; where had the Master they'd met before gone to? The trees weren't too far away, she should be able to see her form from here.

...Wait a minute. Elaina could hardly believe Rider was saying this. ...Did... did he really just offer to retreat? No, that couldn't be right. Rider could easily beat this foolish woman. She was just a knight, he was... ah. That made a little more sense. It was true they hadn't either found or summoned him an animal. She'd considered he would get a boost from a ride; obvious, really. Hmm... that was... acceptable to her. As embarrassing as it was to retreat now, if it lead to crushing her opponent rather than having a balanced fight, she could hold off her complaints. For now, anyway...

The other concern of course, was Rider mentioning that the other Servant had returned. Only one? Had one managed to beat the other finally? That wasn't good. Sure, she would never let Rider fight at half strength, but who knew how the other Servants would fight? It was a foolish tactic, but if another servant stupidly thought they could take her team out at half strength... well, it was a risk she would rather avoid.

A risk like, say, the fact she was aware that Lancer was now between her and her Servant. Rider's dash had left him running the opposite way to where she was, leaving Lancer to fall between us. That was slightly worrying; could Lancer hit her now? N-No... it was ok. There was no need to worry. This woman seemed too honourable to launch a sneak attack. Nevertheless... maybe she should move a little.

With careful strides, Elaina walked as Rider continue to talk. Yes, this was better. The three of them now formed a triangle, with their opponent nearest the forest of trees. And, more helpfully, the hidden Servant over there too.

"Rider...let's be careful, shall we?" she warningly said, giving him a grim look. Last thing she wanted was Lancer to decide chivalry was dead.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Mon Feb 15, 2016 12:55 am

-Lancer-

She frowned at Rider's comment, but Lancer made no comment about his lack of a mount. William had indeed stumbled too close to another Servant, and it was honestly in her best interests to make sure he remained among the living. Having her concentration split between his situation and the battle would not be good for her fighting capabilities.

"Very well." Lancer responded, lowering her spear to a resting position. "I look forward to the challenge of toppling you from this mount of yours at a later date." Her gaze traveled to Elaina for a moment, and the disdain was clear on her face.

"Until then..." She said, once more speaking to Rider as if his Master were not present, and then Lancer stepped backwards, into the treeline.

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

-William-

Okay, things could definitely be worse...

The lady he'd had Lancer save seemed content with letting him live, or at least that's the scene that she and Archer had painted. He hardly saw a reason for them to be false about anything, considering Archer could probably have already killed him at least twice by now.

Swallowing down his fear, William released his grip on the young woman, Lily, Archer had called her, but he kept his arm extended for a moment to make sure she didn't stumble forward. Some things about being a gentleman, you just couldn't turn off...

"It hardly seemed sporting to have another group take her out while you were engaging an enemy." William responded to Archer.

Lancer stepped into view a few meters away, her expression blank. "Rider has retreated for the moment." She said, her eyes studying the situation like a puzzle she hadn't quite finished yet. "Are we to be on our way?"

Did that confidence come along with being a Heroic Spirit? It was like she completely expected Archer to just let them walk away without causing an issue. Maybe it was better to follow her cues though...

"Yes, I believe we're done here tonight." He responded, for the first time actually looking at the Lily. She wasn't noble, but there was a confidence about her, one that had been missing only moments before. Was it Archer's presence?

"Why did you freeze back there?" The words left his lips before he had a chance to call them back.

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

-Saber-

NO!

Saber had wouldn't fail her Master. She couldn't. But there was nothing to be done. The attack was instant, and the effects would be fatal...

Or so Saber had thought.

Assassin's strike seemed to have missed the mark though. No, that wasn't right. His attack had completely failed! But why? There wasn't time to think about it. This was the opening Saber had been looking for. Holding Elizabeth to her breast with her blade arm, Saber dashed in the direction the attack had come from, swinging her shield through the air like a battering ram. Servant or not, a direct hit would shatter Assassin's bones and send him flying into a nearby building, where Saber would have no trouble finishing the job.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:16 am

Team Archer, Team Lancer

Lily was relieved to feel Lancer's Master release his hold on her. She nodded at him and smoothed her dress, feeling suddenly exhausted. She couldn't let herself go just yet - not with Archer here. She hadn't been a very impressive Master tonight, and collapsing in front of him would surely humiliate him.

"Thank you," she said, giving a slight bow to the man and his Servant. "I owe you both."

Neither of them seemed to think much of it and turned to leave. The man paused, however, and looked at her curiously.

"Why did you freeze back there?"

Lily blinked, then turned away with a frown.

"I guess I panicked," she murmured. "I've never really looked death in the face before tonight."

She glanced apologetically at Archer. If it hadn't been for these two, he'd have lost on the first night because of her. She didn't know how, but she was going to need to figure out what she could do to help him... or, at the very least, make sure she could keep herself alive so as not to be a burden.

_________________________________


Assassin

"I'm Elizabeth Hemory."

The words seem to echo around Assassin's skull like an angry swarm of bees. It didn't seem possible.

"How... of all people...?" he murmured. He gave a sudden laugh, low and chilling, his eyes glinting a wicked gold.

"Ah, yes, but I see now. Yes, everything is becoming clear to me."

Out of the fog, Saber suddenly shot like a silver comet, her shield swiping through the air. Assassin straightened up, looking scornfully at her.

"How foolish."

She was fast, but he was faster. He jumped back into the mist, his presence suddenly vanishing without a trace.

In those last seconds, however... it was clear that a profound change had come over Assassin. For good or ill, it remained to be seen.

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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:52 pm

Reaching into his wardrobe, Elliot extracted a set of clothes, placing them neatly on the corner of his desk. His eyes glanced over the leather-bound book he used for magecraft. After a moment of thought, he placed it into his bag. He didn’t think he would need it, but it couldn’t hurt to be equipped for any eventuality.

After conversing with his parents, Elliot had retired to his room to prepare for the following day. He had decided to wake up early in order to pursue the clues that he had gleaned from the message. That should give him ample time to deal with that and return to smarten up for the guest arriving at noon.

Elliot was somewhat surprised at the number of lucky breaks he had had in the past day. It almost felt like someone, somewhere, was pulling strings…Nonetheless, if some mysterious puppet master was going to place such enticing nuggets of information within his grasp, he we going to take that chance.

His preparations done, there was nothing left for Elliot to do except get some rest before what he hoped would be a fruitful day.
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PostSubject: Re: Fate / Arcana IC   Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:28 am

-Rider-

Rider eyed Lancer until she left. It seemed like she was willing to listen. Rider puts his weapons away as he walks towards Elaina. Once he reached her, he noticed a slight hint of disappointment. It was clear for him, despite all his boast of trampling his enemies, he quickly asked for a tie when the odds were stacked against him. He sighs as if understand how foolish he must look right now.

"Elaina, it is true that I could have beaten her if I had gone all out. But beating her would not result in a victory for us. It would get gruesome, and with another Servant around, even after beating her I would become an easy target for someone else."

Rider was no fool, he might be arrogant and confident. But he wasn't about to risk his life against a stacked deck this early on.

"It probably best if we retire for today. There are likely eyes watching our movement right now."

___________________________________________

-Elizabeth-

Elizabeth gasped as Saber dashed forward, pulling her even more into Saber's hold. It was surprising Elizabeth wasn't complaining at how uncomfortable it was becoming, then again considering she had just been almost killed, her mind was elsewhere.

With Saber's attack, Assassin seemed to have left, taking the mist with him. Now with better view of their surroundings, they were in the same empty street as if nothing had happen.

".....Well....that was something..."

Elizabeth was mostly speechless, her mind was still processing the whole event that just occurred.
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