Chapter 4 Insight

So everything’s finally out in the open and Arturia and her knights realize they’re fighting a nightmare scenario: Themselves with a lack of serious morals.

I don’t really have much to say since the entire battle scene is chaotic, and I hope I portrayed it that way. I did have an issue with Da Vinci just using a flash-bang to get away from the Sir Gawain fight… So I made it far more interesting and reasonable. I also made it more so he has the “invincibility” thing going for him rather than the noble phantasm spam he could pull; That’s more Sir Mordred’s thing in the chapter.

This is where things get noticeably different, but as stated in the prologue, only just enough so it’s not a 100% retelling; It pretty much has to end the same way as the canon chapter after all. But with all the commotion the Chaldean group has just caused, Gawain won’t be able to feasibly hide the knowledge the Chaldean Master had a part in it… 

That said, the masters take action themselves. Classic gandr shots to help counter arrows, and also a re-imagining of how the Order Change ability from the battle suit can fit different combat situations. 

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Chapter 3 Insight

Well that’s a twist. I suddenly pulled the knights a little closer together? And right before they reach the gate too. Tis’ a shame, really.

The fic is trailing along relatively slowly in my opinion. Mixing the game’s canon with the original scenes really does a number on word count, but thankfully we’re past Camelot’s standard world building and into the actual interesting part starting next chapter. Finally… action and serious drama.

We’ve been going relatively on-track with the canon story, though the changes are starting to be more noticeable. Thanks to the additional break and the lorry taking a little longer to be built, the strike force missed Tristan. Some might be expecting this to be a total difference like in Unlimited Blade Works compared to Haven’s Feel, but I want to remind everyone about my lined opener about timelines and differences located in the prologue: There will be differences, both subtle and great, but ultimately the singularity has the same end goal in order to be completed.

Jeanne pulling that exorcism stuff like she did in Apocrypha. I honestly did find that a tad strange the saint can do exorcisms but figure that’s part of the tale-spinning when you become so famous as a religious figure. The prayer itself I copy/pasta’d from parts of a Rite of Exorcism and slightly modified.

There’s probably been a noticeable lack of serious Arturia interaction compared to her knights. That changes dramatically next chapter. November 21st, same time.

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Chapter 2 Insight

Ozymandias is prideful and often very unpredictable as stated in the actual Act of Camelot, but in this case he actually prevented his own temper tantrum simply by imagining what might happen to Gudao’s group when they find out the truth of the singularity. Nothing like pampering up the guests to lower their guard a bit so the impact of the truth hits much harder. 

He honestly came off as very generous this chapter, but when Chaldea has been taking care of a counterpart of you, you’d be pretty happy to give some gifts yourself for your ‘subjects’. Ozymandias loves his subjects after all.

The entire Chapter of Grand Order often referred to the Sun King’s territory and area of control. While this was likely just the BC era desert and his area denial to the other factions, I decided to give him something to protect as well. Having a town complex constructed underneath his temple (forming an actual base/town of sorts) was a concept I decided to try in order to make the world a little more lively. It doesn’t need the full fleshing of Camelot to do its job however.

The Orinthopter Sphinx Da Vinci made in the game was considered a buggy… And I’m not squeezing 13 servants plus the masters and Fou into a buggy. So I made it a truck. Not much of a difference honestly but it did take a little more time to construct.

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Chapter 1 Insight

Not much to say honestly. It was relatively the same as Act I with some minor differences of course. I decreased the number of initial Hassans to make them look more formidable at infiltration (since they required less) and double the amount of Sphinxes Bedivere single-handedly dispatched. Shortened scenes, changed perspectives, etc.

Set more bricks, further the small interactions, etc. Chapter 2 starts getting into the servant interactions now that the usual chaos of singularity landing is over.

The duplicates are practically solved by adding “Sir” to the Lion King Knights. Quick and easy fix for the reader’s sanity.

The hard part is getting the action to flow well with too many servants. This chapter sets the benchmark for how it works out for the most part, but thankfully there will be much more battles involving less servants later. I can’t say too much obviously.

Next chapter with everyone’s favorite Dio- I mean Pharaoh!

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Prologue Insight

Story Image Source: Artist has since removed it.

So it finally begins. This used to be Fragment 22, obviously to be replaced by a new one, and has since grown… tremendously. I tried to keep it contained but it wound up being its own full-fledged story since it just wound up being terribly jarring and nonsensical if I didn’t.

Fragments of Chaldea will not be updated while this is going on as a reminder. There will be an increased upload speed to get through this story to make up for it, and plenty of surprises along the way. As readers of the collection know, waiting is often rewarded.

As evidenced by just the prologue, the story is different from the original story already yet it still feels roughly the same. This will be the general feel of the entire story: Not a perfect re-telling by far, and plenty of additional scenes that don’t stray too far from the original course. The opening lines are very revealing to this notion.

That said, if you like emotional roller coasters and imaginative action… brace for both. Arturia and her knights are in for one hell of a ride, and in my opinion, the ride they desperately needed.

P.S. – Yes, I am aware that Gawain’s my room line with Lancelot declares he had already forgiven him. Obviously that’s different here, which is partially OOC in that regard, but it was roughly explained in Fragment 20.

(Music Video was taken down. Will search for a replacement in time.)

Fragment 8 (Post-Upgrade) Insight

It was a tossup between using the final ascension art and an earlier one, considering he’s his older self in Fragments.

Waver arguably has the most growth in Fate/Zero. Simply put, the fragment was just designed as closure for all that he’s went through. He’s grown up into a fine professor and magus, and now he’s a caster class servant thanks to his condition. Zhuge Liang thought he would be the better personality candidate, which caused a bit of an uproar when the community found out. No Zhuge Liang, only Waver. It’s the opposite of what happened with Ishtar and Rin, where the goddess decided to retain control after the personality merge. Poor Rin.

The fragment remained true to its core, but it received significant bolstering in the form of better character insight for El Melloi. The graveyard scene was new and added a lot of self reflection and situational analysis. The flashback to the Roman campaign was also new, and I used it to show Waver as a potential mentor for Gudao, much like Iskander was for him. It felt like a great tie in, and also let me show that Gudao was not the perfect strategist he was before the tutoring. Yes he had experience, but it was only bolstered and improved by El Melloi’s efforts.

I introduced Cu a tad earlier so everything didn’t seem as squished together. I also made him very specific on what games he likes, similar to Mordred later. It makes sense that he would like fighter games, but having him like other stuff would be a bit more of a stretch considering who he is. Then there’s Kintoki who probably enjoys party games way too much considering his rather positive personality. 

Introducing Iskander to Chaldea through video games was probably a must. It can’t really get more slice of life for him than that. Combined with a reunion with Waver, it made the setup a must do. As the driving force for Waver, I made sure the self reflections and thoughts revealed his inner admiration and perception of his king prior to his arrival. Make the reunion just a touch sweeter.

Then there’s Tyler. Naomi was introduced earlier and shown as an OC who had been partially intimidated by the servants she now calls friends. She had been also reserved and respectful of them. Tyler is the epitome of not caring, and simply saw them as celebrities that he could hang out with. He serves as one of the happier employees in Chaldea, and the one who treats servants the most casually by far. It has its hit and misses, but he fits a clear niche as someone people would want to identify with for simply jumping right into  spending time with historical figures. 

Fragment 7 (Post-Upgrade) Insight

I was particularly proud of this fragment when it first came out. I read Altera’s background and wanted her to find a reason to be part of Chaldea, so I decided to try something ironic by placing her with the Romans. Caesar was going to have nothing of it since he loves Rome so much, but I felt like Nero would have been relatively fine with it. As an empress who loves beautiful things, I’d even dared to say she might find Altera as one of those individuals that catches her eye.

That was July 17, 2016… way before Fate/Extella was released. Upon Extella’s release and completion, I was more than ecstatic about what was canon. On a wild guess, I nailed a Nero and Altera friendship that became canon.

So I decided when this Fragment receives its upgrade, it would follow the rest by being as true to its core as possible. That was already simple enough since it was right on the mark. The challenge was exploring Nero’s and Altera’s friendship from the idea that this is Altera recorded in the throne, which means Attila the Hun. She would not have the memories of her Titan Form, but the possibility of getting that and her Moon Cell Avatar would still be possible as a memorial essence. 

It was simply far more likely Chaldea would summon Attila the Hun considering the fame.

To add in the Extella revealed lore while retaining the concept, I simply added the idea of the dream. Altera gets three, but the first isn’t shown. What she doesn’t realize is they’re fragmented memories of brief moments in the Moon Cell. Place that idea into her head, and she thinks it’s simply a prophetic dream, and is wary of sharing it with those involved. Scaring off potential friends isn’t a good idea. 

All that remained to fix was the confrontation between her and Nero. Initially it went straight to the idea about not dressing to her form properly, but I decided to add that critical moment when Nero is just as nervous and wary of the idea this is the Altera she saved. The hesitation would only collapse into disappointment when her fears are simply confirmed, that this is Attila the Hun Altera, and not the Titan child from the true path. Still, she would be willing to keep it a secret for her comfort and simply befriend her once more. This is Nero after all.

I’ve kept the concept Roman was helping her the entire time. It flows well with Roman’s Fragment later, and it was a fun little quirk idea about “Roman helping Altera with Romans.” I felt the doctor doesn’t get enough credit for a lot of things, so I kept that as intended when it was first released. Little did I know how important he would become later as well. Geez, Roman. With all these friendly connections, you’re seriously causing heartache later down the line.

If anyone would like to read the original, I’ve made it available as a PDF download. I’m not worried of theft since my fic collection is so well known at this point. Should it be reclaimed elsewhere, I would likely hear about it. Regardless, it’s in a rather mediocre state compared to the new and improved upgrade. 4,000 additional words and proper grammar checks is nothing to scoff at.

Fragment 6 (Post-Upgrade) Insight

The fragment introduces the altitude difference I recently placed.

Since it was already practically focused on Beowulf, I simply placed more background material before, and in between, caster training sessions. He seemed a little too antagonistic before, but this was simply due to his rather destructive and forward nature. I simply translated that into a training style, since the jump to being a gruff, drill sergeant style instructor would make sense. They are in a war, and he’s simply reminding them to take it seriously or complacency can get people killed. He learned that the hard way at the loss of his most trusted warrior in the past life.

I put a little more light onto his friendship with Nightingale. It provided an interesting dynamic considering his training style would be likely to cause serious injuries, and the female berserker would definitely not appreciate it. I tweaked her usual, almost bloodlust style need to fix an injury at the very end to show she does have a bit of control over it. Namely, in being a little more forceful on Beowulf as karma and taking a very tiny amount of enjoyment out of it.

This fragment was originally decided after glancing over Rin fighting Medea again, as well as the introduction of Sanzang to Grand Order. Her absurdly bombastic noble phantasm matched with Beowulf’s very well, so I knew there had to be some sort of way to get them to duke it out. I also took note of parameters, and Beowulf’s lack of agility/finesse as shown in the America Chapter. Pretty much, Sanzang was free to dance around the slower berserker, but her attacks would not deal as much damage.

Sanzang’s enthusiastic personality was tweaked a little here to be more apparent. I also made her interesting personality traits, like complaining about temperature and getting overexcited, a little more obvious. 

There’s not much to really say about this fragment since it’s very straightforward. A few extra teases for later added to bring in line with my current writing style, but otherwise it’s practically the same as before. 

Fragment 5 (Post-Upgrade) Insight

They’re few and far between, but some fragments do shed a spotlight on staff as opposed to servants. They’re different OCs created to fill different niches and perspectives to allow a greater understanding of Chaldea as a whole. The staff play an integral part of the facility, so it’s only natural some of them should be their “representatives” of sorts. That said, they’re few and far between compared to the servant spotlights on purpose.

These Fragments’ main purpose is to setup an OC so they can properly interact and fill the niche they’re designed for.

So first is a rather weak magus with a strong sense of perfection, Naomi Stolarz. Since the tailor always has business and keeping up appearances in mind, she was an ideal candidate to introduce two of Chaldea’s less accepted (at first) servants: Medea & Vlad. Between trust issues and Vlad’s rampant vampire tendencies due to his summoning circumstances, it was clear how many would see them upon first arrival. Thanks to a memorial essence and the unique circumstances of Chaldea, they were able to curb their tendencies enough to find companionship with Naomi.

Besides Gudao, and possibly Gabrielle – who’s polite to anyone who hasn’t openly threatened her best friend’s life -, she was supposed to be the only employee to give them the time of day (quite literally). I took the design decision of having her lock herself away on purpose due to the loss of her best friend, Olga. The parallels between them are there, though not as clear. While Roman and some others may claim the director to be stiff and forceful, I wanted an OC that showed Olga in a different life. It’s not out of the ordinary to have someone be completely different when no one else is looking, or simply because they aren’t allowed to be themselves.

Which made it a great bridge to make her connect with Medea and Vlad better. She’s had some experience with the idea, but she’s still quietly intimidated and uncertain in regards to heroic spirits. The irony of that is, while she’s unsure if she’s treating them right and giving them enough space, simply knitting with them and providing company was something every other employee wouldn’t do. Their silence was only under a presumption and miscommunication.

The letter was supposed to be the most emotional part, and a inference that the wounds from the first disaster may not have healed for everyone. While there are many arrogant mages and supremacist scientists, some may have forged bonds with another that was killed. The opening scene that shows the cemetery is just another reminder that their situation isn’t as pristine as it could have been, and the current staff got out lucky.

Fragment 4 (Post-Upgrade) Insight

Ah. Drake. One of the strongest servants in the game, and one that continually haunts my gacha rolls regardless of who is the rate up.

The initial fragment was mostly about her trying to peer-pressure Mashu into her first drink, so it was easy enough to adapt it into her own. Like the two before her, she’s a veteran of Chaldea so there wasn’t much need to do any developing. Her current disposition actually fits well with Chaldea if anything, including her view on ephemeral indulgences. 

She has the view that everything comes to an end, and that everything she be enjoyed to its maximum. Whether fighting with the brightness of a supernova before its collapse, or simply drinking herself drunk, Drake has to live like every day is the last… and that works perfectly in the facility. She’s already been doing what many have had to learn how to do, and that’s to simply enjoy what she has and find out how to get more while it lasts. 

Thankfully she’s one of the ones bringing alcohol back, else it will never last…

I did more background into her friendship Fergus and Robin, though only skimming the surface. When it comes time for their own fragments, they will get further explanation above what was needed to secure the tie with Drake.

As with the previous ones, the core of the fragment remains intact. Mashu is still dragged into drinking her first alcoholic drink at Drake’s pleasure. She’s a simple rider, who only wants others to learn to enjoy themselves too, even if it means she starts drinking them down like water when you give her a fruity drink. Slight miscalculation on her part, but then again, it was only support so be an introductory drink, right?

Perhaps Mashu could have just given her treasure or something else to spend as a bribe, though that’s an entirely different precedent she would have set for herself. This was initially the original plot point, but the idea of getting Mashu drunk (thanks to the air) for the first time during the Ibaraki event shifted the decision; There was far more play in getting her drunk than continually bribing Drake into not making her drink, especially when there was little to nothing for the pirate to actually spend it on in Chaldea.

There wasn’t much more setup needed in this chapter, since Fragment 5 will be the one that discusses employees in a lengthy manner for the first time. It simply came down to a nice slice of life incident involving one of Chaldea’s more uniquely problematic servants. Drake doesn’t cause trouble too often, but when she does, it stands out.