Original Characters: Design to Implementation

Original Post Date: September 20th, 2017

I was waiting until Anishka’s promotion to upload this piece. Now that it’s live, it’s time to delve into another core concept for the Fragments Series.

Original Characters, or Original Creations depending, are a coin toss for many readers. Just like the real characters of a canon work, people can love or hate them depending on design. I am also aware the readers are mainly here because they want to see servants in a Slice of Life premise interacting with each other; This is obvious.

However, OCs are an important foundation block of this work, and I place them only as necessary.

Since the beginning, I’ve been painting the world I’ve created one brush stroke at a time. While some might like certain additions, others might find different ones appealing. Occasionally, these brush strokes are coupled with OC tints, or may be an OC tint entirely. This is necessary to help paint the staff’s point of view, since the series isn’t entirely about the servants: It’s called Fragments of Chaldea not Fragments of Servants. The world they all live in is painted accordingly to showcase a much larger picture when brought together, and the OCs are just another pillar of the community.

Remember the article about keys that unlock doors? Often enough, an interaction with an OC is the only plausible way to shed a different angle of light on a subject. In a Slice of Life, the entire system is roughly driven by individuals doing fairly mundane things one would expect from living an average (as can be for servants) life. To do it without any of the staff getting close to servants in such a confined environment would not only be unrealistic, but asinine. They’re there to help make the world feel alive and help ‘normalize’ Chaldea.

To do so, the OCs need to be designed correctly and efficiently. Overlapping among them is alright to an extent, but too many that feel the same would be just adding superfluous names and creating additional character bloat; There’s already over a hundred servants, so I’ll cut OC costs where I can. Which is why there’s a bunch of minor OCs that are just “usually there doing something mundane”, and then there’s the designed ones that fulfill their own purposes.

However, I’m careful in ensuring they’re roughly average with unique quirks that shine in given situations. They’re not going to hold their own in a fight against… well, anything really, but that was never the point of their design. I personally dislike reading about overpowered creations, especially when I’m writing a series that’s filled with canonically strong beings: Why do my OCs need to be super strong and are able to influence the canon lore conflict? 

They’re not masters and don’t need to, therefore they remain average. This is a Slice of Life, not the actual storyline. There’s a reason they don’t really appear save for a few mentions in the supplements; Because they’re part of the servants’ daily lives where they belong. They’re their to make different groups of servants feel welcome and alive again. It helps humanize them further to make the world more curious and vibrant.

Take Naomi, who wound up making Medea and Vlad feel a sense of home and companionship by accident. They, who have been nothing but treated with suspicion and judgement by many, found a small sanctuary next to a tailor who just wanted to knit in her free time. Suddenly they don’t look like the evil demons so many believed them to be: They’re reminded the servants are humans with emotions too.

Then we have Tyler for instance: The most laidback staff member in Chaldea. All he does is work genuinely hard at work while looking forward to free time to play games. He treats servants like potential buddies because he’s grown accustomed to all their presences, much like the rest of the staff. He’s someone many servants come to like or dislike because of his informal attitude and relaxed state of mind.

All fill certain niches and designs, and I only introduce one when something needs to be covered in the future. There’s only a handful unless you count the masters, so the bloat was avoided. By the extensive feedback and compliments I’ve received on each of the main ones, I’m also confident to say they’ve been implemented properly. They fill their niches and provide a sense of normalized anchors to specific activities that need to be fulfilled.

“So why can’t the masters fulfill these rolls,” you might ask. 

That’s the thing: They’re masters. They hold command seals and have to work with the servants to save humanity. There’s no reason a staff member needs to bond with a servant since they have no contractual obligation besides sharing the same roof. That makes the attachment that much more meaningful because it was done by choice rather than perceived necessity or proximity.

So what does the future hold in terms of OCs?

I can reassure you it will remain the same. I’ve got most of my niches covered, so the addition of any future OCs is a distant possibility; It will not be happening in Season 3. If they are introduced, they’ll likely be a minor one since I only have one more design niche for a major OC; Again, this is not coming anytime soon.

As for their own safety, I have nothing to say about that. I will simply remind all of you that the Slice of Life premise will always come first, so anything that happens in a supplement will not throw a hammer through that glass house.

Finally, the decision to make one of them a master. I knew this would probably be controversial, but thus far the feedback has been swinging far more positive than I initially thought. As stated before, everything is done with future intent, and by that I mean anywhere from next fragment to 30 or more entries down the line. Getting a new master was mentioned in Fragment 42, yet it took an entire supplement and 8 additional entries to finally occur (roughly 240,000 words).  It’s far too early to judge the new master’s role, but by her previous design you can make some estimates.

That being said, don’t expect even more future masters in droves or such. 

Strategic necessity and common knowledge aside, there doesn’t need to be that many masters, just like OCs. Each master, like an OC, needs a purpose and design only they can fulfill. Anishka has hers, and it will contrast with Gudao and Gabrielle’s as it’s revealed over time, just like theirs was. It all falls down to the same reply I keep having to give: Just be patient as things unfold. Rome wasn’t built in a day (unless you’re playing Civ).

Memorial Essences: The Synopsis

Original Post Date: August 19th, 2017

Edit 1: Adjusted slightly for typos and additional clarity.

Edit 2: Added a blurb about transforming Noble Phantasms.

I wasn’t expecting to have to deal with this so openly, but it’s apparent this needs to be addressed. I laid out all the framework over the 800k words that generally show what the memorial essences actually do, but I left it for the readers to see what influences they had. Some have come to a different conclusion, so I’ll clear that up immediately to set the record straight.

We’ll start with the entire premise of the memorial essence. By default in any grail war, only a piece of the original heroic spirit is summoned from the throne: You never get the real, complete one. Arturia was a different story because she was still alive at the time. That aside, this is where the memorial essence idea comes into play.

First, a memorial essence only becomes possible if a servant with the same hero base is summoned. If there’s too many differences (gender counts as a big one), they will manifest as a different spirit instead.  This is why Arthur broke the rule. If they’re not even a possibility, but an entirely new existence based off of someone’s perception of a legend (Jeanne Alter), then they also manifest separately. These exceptions are few and far between.

Second, the Fate System summons servants from the throne and records their saint graph. If a servant answers the call again, it has the chance of getting a different slice of the actual hero. This is completely and specifically explained at the beginning of Kiritsugu’s Fragment (16).

The memorial essence allows that hero to gain memories and possibly a new noble phantasm. That’s it.

There is no direct or total personality change as a result of just receiving it. There are no regrown/redecided parameters. The original Saint Graph does not change. They get memories of another timeline and an accompanying noble phantasm of the proper class they may freely wield. Invoking the noble phantasm will activate it on a rank-down if they are in the wrong class, however. Additionally, any noble phantasm that requires a physical transformation will requirethe correct class, material body, and saint graph to invoke.

That’s it. I’ve ensured this was stable time and time again with every example I’ve shown.

Where readers are likely getting confused is why some act differently after receiving the memorial essence. This isn’t because they invoke any of the things above I said they don’t. Your answer is in a question. What else do memories come with? Emotions. The most vivid memories are driven by emotions, and that is what can influence the original servant present in Chaldea. Their perception and outlook can shift, but they will still be based off of the original’s disposition. 

An outward attitude and perception can still be affected by the emotions contained within the memories. It has been shown that servants can have direct conflict with the memories received, but do come to accept them in some manner. After comparing them with their own, they can then choose in what manner they interpret it. It all boils down to how willing the original is to let these memorial essences influence their outlook, but a direct and sweeping overhaul does not happen.

I will now go over in detail the various examples of memorial essences.

EMIYA: This is a clear example of its use, but I can see where some may have drawn the wrong conclusion. The distinct personality differences between EMIYA and Shirou are there, but the written lines are specific. He has gotten used to these memories from Fate Route Shirou and has even accepted them. They’re so close to how he was, that only a bit of time was needed. The new emotions influenced his feelings towards Arturia, making the relationship possible again.

Vlad III: Likely the biggest culprit for confusion. Berserker and Lancer Vlad (Apoc) do act very differently canonically. While the berserker version is more impulsive due to being influenced directly by the legend of Dracula, his lancer side opposes it. By granting the berserker the memories of his lancer counterpart, he was given all the negative emotions against being a vampire. Those harsh beliefs alone would do much to stabilize him.

But why hasn’t he tried for the class shift like Lancelot? That will be revealed in his fragment when the time comes.

Lancelot: This one was very clear, yet also convoluted. His Mad Enhancement was released, allowing him to act like the remorseful yet determined knight seeking redemption. He found all of it in Their Guiding Light, and even gained a daughter. This led him to be the first servant in Chaldea to undergo the class change. Long after, Mata Hari stated in Ishtar’s Fragment, “He has become flirtier with his class change.”

The Class change is what influences a personality slightly because it directly changes the saint graph. The saint graph is the determining core and parameters of the servant, so by manipulating that, the chances of shifting the personality directly are higher. Simply getting a memorial essence of the same or different class (that grants a different noble phantasm) can not shift it alone: The saint graph itself needs to be directly adjusted.

The Child Servants (Fragments 27, 28, 29): Remember what Gilgamesh’s youth potion did? Besides revert the king back to his childlike self, it shifts the personality to that time as well. That explains the shift in personality for everyone. This is not a memorial essence example, though it did allow Arturia to actually feel like her happier, younger self (which she did get in TGL).

Kiritsugu and Irisiviel: Through them, I was able to show a willingness to change how they act based on the very different emotions they feel. Their memorial essences granted them the same thing the FGO variants never felt before: genuine love for a significant other and child. Love is a powerful as hell emotion, which cannot be denied. It leads people to do very different things. It led both of them, who had never even met before, to become a couple based on the emotions in their counterparts’ cherished memories. A stark personality change, yes, but how long did it take Kiritsugu and Irisviel to accept them? It wasn’t instant, and it was after much internal conflict, debate, and deliberation.

Altera: She seemed a lot happier around Nero after her memorial essence, but knowing what you do now, could you blame her? The normally stoic and warrior-driven hero just received her memories from Fate/Extella True Path. It is assumed she was greatly loved and appreciated by Nero, as shown in her original fragment. With these memories in full clarity, of course she’s going to be absolutely ecstatic that her adoptive sister never turned her back on her.

This might have been confused as a personality change, but it wasn’t. It was an overall mood disposition shift. The personality adaptation came with her time and experiences in Chaldea.

Arturia: This is where I put the nail in the coffin. She received her Lily essence at the end of Their Guiding Light. This had absolutely no outward influence on her in such a short period of time (hours) after receiving it. Even if Lily is overly chipper, they’re just fond memories for Arturia. While not as conclusive as the next point, they showcased that it’s just a bundle of memories with emotions (plus noble phantasm in this case).

As shown in Redemption from Sin, she has received the memorial essence for Arturia Lancer. However, her personality remained the same after the events of Their Guiding Light and the fragments. There is no discernible personality change or issue. She has simply come to accept the memories, and the newfound weapon’s power.

Speaking of which, it also displayed the issues of using a different noble phantasm in the wrong class: The unleashed attack suffers a rank down. This is just to ensure that “changing a class” does actually have certain benefits. It’s also to prevent someone like Arturia from just getting all these noble phantasms and throwing them around like it’s nothing. That brings us to the final, concerning member of memorial essences.

Gilgamesh: He’s received the lost memories of him as a child. During Iskandar’s fragment, he’s more agitated than usual. There’s no clear personality change in the king anywhere. It can be argued that the king’s disposition is immoveable due to how self-aware he is, but then Redemption from Sin happens.

Suddenly he’s a touch more attentive and lenient at the behest of his memorial essence, but that’s not the whole truth. Do not forget, Gilgamesh has gone through a lot of bullshit (from his POV) upon arriving in Babylonia. His friend tried to kill him, his counterpart is disappointed in him, and his citizens are scared as hell. All of these are making an impact on him and opening the window. Combined with the memories of his childhood, which show the exact opposite, he’s going to be more curious and open, even if only a touch. Never forget the conditions and influences of a setting.

There’s a few other minor ones like Elizabeth, but I think it’s all self explanatory at this point.

That aside, you can now see the circumstances and specifics of the memorial essences, meaning these next two questions have been answered:

image

I’m certain you can determine the answers to these now that I laid everything out next to each other.

Upon receiving a memorial essence from either Rin or Ishtar, only her mood, outlook, and possible list of friends/enemies will change. Upon her summoning and merging with Rin, Ishtar’s dominant personality had already been solidified with the saint graph as stated in Babylonia canon; There is no “granting control” if the identity has been combined permanently. I’ve been over this before, but FGO’s depiction of Ishtar was the exact opposite of the pseudo-combination of Waver/Zhuge Liang. Only Rin’s subtle quirks and influences on the goddess’ personality will appear. The class change makes it a possibility, but that’s if Ishtar decided to go through with it.

As for Saber Alter, this is fairly obvious as well. She’s far too close to Arturia to manifest as her own servant if she was summoned to Chaldea. If she did arrive as a memorial essence, there would be no full personality shift or split. This isn’t like Gilles De Rais, who has that duality issue to begin with. Him receiving a memorial essence would only further agitate and bolster the voices due to the memories. Arturia would just be frustrated with dealing with rather disconcerting memories.

Sorry to say, Saber Alter’s fans, but her chances of actually being summoned in fragments are slim, but do not forget there are supplements and minor singularities. There’s always the possibility to make something happen and I catch everyone off guard in some way. I shall leave the random speculation to you, but don’t come looking for answers. You just have to be patient, because I didexpress the intention to have every servant featured in some manner.

Writing Insight II: The Keys that Unlock Doors

Original Post Date: February 16th, 2017

I often mention “I’m building towards something”, but some don’t know what I mean by that since this is a collection of one shots. Allow me to explain my building blocks techniques.

Building blocks are necessary for every story, but even more so for a series of loosely connected one shots. Since every piece is new, but can build off concepts introduced in a previous one, the greater the number of pieces I have to use is directly proportional to my freedom of creation.

The collection has long since grown a path, though each one shot remains a rough standalone. Reading them all connected is significantly more rewarding than just reading your favorite servant’s by itself. The reason for this is the world building I’ve developed over the first few fragments. The collection has started relatively slowly because of it, but they were necessary to make the later ones plausible. Though some have begun picking up on my intricacies, it is always advisable to scan a new (or old) fragment for building blocks that might be used later.

Some just wind up as noodle incidents just to keep some guessing though, but the real ones can be rather easily identified.

The best way to view these building blocks is like keys to doors. As an example, in Fragment 1, I introduced Jeanne, Marie, the Salon, and several other servants. I also introduced the design concepts for the Furniture Department, Clothing Department, Quantum Pieces, and more. Finally, there’s the servant developments like Mozart working as the pianist in the Salon or Jeanne being a very capable singer. All of these can be seen as keys I can now use to open a new door in a following fragment.

As an example, let’s take the Kiritsugu Fragment that comes much later. The end goal was to reunite the Emiya family by introducing Illya and Kuro to Chaldea, but that was not possible to do earlier. Based on what appeared in the fragment, the following keys needed to be introduced (But are not limited to these).

  • Irisviel
  • Kiritsugu
  • Irisviel / Kiritsugu
  • Memorial Essence
  • Shooting Range
  • EMIYA

These keys can all be established during the fragment itself, and some are. However, shoe-horning pieces into one fragment to make it work is shoddy writing when done often. Placing them in previous fragments that complement their host while teasing something else coming up is significantly more powerful. As such, I’m constantly building keys in preparation for later fragments. It makes the door swing open much easier.

These doors themselves can be as simple as a Servant’s Personal Fragment, or more direct like a concept. One concept example is OC/Servant, and something like the requires much stronger build up. Introducing it flat out would lead to a lot of tomatoes considering what it is, but it was a key I was very interested in unlocking early for potential use later. Thanks to Naomi and Tyler’s efforts in previous Fragments, it had already been heavily established servants and employees can get along. It was simply a matter of using the correct combination to open the door at this point, with that number combo being Anton’s design (Engineer Division OC Key) and Frankenstein (Servant who wishes to be seen, and loved, as a person).

Just like the rest that came before it, establishing that meant a new key I can use to talk about others things for potential use. A main example is the employee who tries to hit on Mordred (encouraged by Anton succeeding) and fails epically. This acts as the initial fuse for Beowulf to start a food fight, sending the potential chaos into another direction to save the employee from a beating and show Dantes ‘fun mischief’.

Now, how can this work to help you predict a possible appearance/concept coming up? 

The trick is to view little snippets that appear within recent fragments that may be alluding to something more later on. The frequency of which they appear is also a solid indicator. Whether or not you’re right or wrong is anyone’s guess since I do throw curve balls. But as not to discourage you, let me give a solid example:

When Ozymandias was walking around Chaldea trying to break his new groove in, he ran into the Hassans with their newest member, Serenity. The next time she was seen was in the medical wing for an appointment, being careful not to touch anything while being fairly nervous. The last time you saw her was Christmas Day, when it was revealed she mostly stayed within her room because she was overly worried something might happen to a Chaldean resident if she wandered too often. The small, personal party the masters threw just for her was hardly compensation for all of the trouble she had.

Does that mean Serenity’s fragment, and possible solution, may be approaching? They keys are all there for the door, so in this case, the answer is yes. Serenity’s Fragment will be number 32. There’s your free teaser for what’s coming up as a reward for reading this writing insight!

The Difficulty of Writing an FGO Fanfic

Original Post Date: Nov 9th, 2016

No rant here. I’m just making a post to give some insight into the ludicrous nature of writing a Fate/Grand Order fanfic. I placed myself in this position though, so I’m cool with it and accept the potential pitfall.

The biggest thing for me is always the characters. It’s what everyone reads it for, no? You like characters and you want to see more of them when there’s not. That makes it paramount to get characters spot on so there’s no jarring transition. Can you imagine if Saber hated eating food? It’d be jarring, right?

So I do my best to get them as spot on as possible, but that’s where the problem with Fate/Grand Order comes into play: It’s constantly being updated, in a language I do not understand, with potentially lore breaking reveals.

Example: Fate/Grand Order has established servants remember their past experiences, completely opposite of what was established in prior works.

Example: Mages hate technology yet Chaldea has cryo vats.

Example: The Mages are huge on secrecy yet Marlisbilly informed the UNITED NATIONS of all things about Chaldea. Probably for extra funding. Or maybe they found out?

Constantly being updated makes it difficult enough. Now we have the issue of Slice of Life. You have all these servants in one place interacting. But they’re supposed to stay in character. Something has to give to keep the Slice of Life feel, and not make it your standard, cliché bloodbath that Fate/ often ends in. So I bend characters in a conceivable way so you can believe they’ve had to adapt to a new environment and experiences. 

But in order to figure out how they would adapt and fit in, I literally go through every piece I can get my hands on. The amount of background research I’ve been doing for these stories is a little absurd and I STILL don’t think I’m a fate expert. So many cross checks in Apocrypha, Fate/Stay Night and others to figure out characters and what they would/would not be against. Even worse if they’re Grand Order only with limited translation, ouch.

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Example: I’ve done my research on Emiya simply by watching the anime, playing the Realta Nua visual novel, checking his FGO my room & interludes for updates/differences, etc. and have placed the collective knowledge into a brainstorm sheet. I then figure how to make him find his niche in Chaldea.

In Unlimited Bladeworks’ ending, he promised Rin and Emiya have a talk that pretty much ends with him agreeing to try to like himself. “I’ll try my best from now on too.”

Normally this would be a moot, tragic point since servants can not remember the past. Low and behold, Grand Order kicks that thought out the window (part of the reason I assume some Die hard Fans hate Grand Order). This means Emiya remembers and will try to like himself. Go back to the basics? He’s a great cook. He’ll do chores. Hero of Justice stuff. Just sprinkled with the experiences of Archer’s cynicism so he’s not naive, rather battle hardened and a logical thinker. But that little bit of Shirou can now shine through again.

But he’s from UBW route, so how does he remember his romance with Arturia? He loved Rin in that route. Throw in my own piece of fanfiction, the Memorial Essence. As described, it let’s servants remember forgotten timelines to help power up their abilities using those memories. Suddenly he remembers his romance with Arturia at a higher clarity. 

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If X servant can change Y amount in what is pretty much a fourteen day Grail War, what will months do? I believe a lot, especially since they’re in close proximity and have to work together.

Unless you just want me to summon a servant to have them fight Chaldea’s residents and wind up being a wasted chapter. Summon Brynhildr with Siegfried in the building. Lots can go wrong there.

Side note to all Brynhildr fans: I’m seriously trying to figure a way to make something work for you guys without massive amounts of forced crack intake.

But that’s where the next problem arises: Everyone would like to see their favorite servants appear, and I don’t blame them. I want to include every servant at some point and in some way. From a lore stand point, that is 100% impossible without very serious consequences. But I’m going to try and do it even if it’s a singularity cameo.

Finally, as if I didn’t dig my grave deep enough, comes the issue with including OCs in order to make the staff relate able. They’re there so you have someone you’re more likely to relate with, cause I highly doubt most people can say something around the lines of, “Ah yea, I know how rough it is being a Roman Emperor trying to earn more praise from my citizens.” And so I include OCs that are carefully written, developed, and chosen in order to fit properly without breaking cohesion.

Bonus! Self-introduced, non-canon mechanics to make sense of things without explanation. Why do servants power up their NPs with multiple copies of themselves? The Memorial Essence gives them the memories upon ‘summoning’ another self. How do you explain multiple servants being possible? They’re in the throne still, but only one can be summoned by Chaldea. With enough Memorial essences, they can shift to another class if plausible. The potential for these getting smashed by real lore introductions is very real, and a high risk.

So then what does that leave us with?

Simple.

What is essentially a minefield of possibly Mary Sues, interpreted wish fulfillment, OOC characters, breakable mechanics, and lore contradictions. The amount of things people can jump on me for is astronomical, especially considering the sheer number of servants I have to deal with. It’s honestly a fun challenge and I don’t mind the mines!

So honestly, I’m surprised not many have left a critic remark. We’ve had one that made me double check, but everyone else who replied says the characters are relatively fine and have had believable development. Some slight signs of wish fulfillment in order to make Slice of Life work but no lore contradictions or broken mechanics yet. So I guess I’m doing a good job? I don’t like patting myself on the back, but I’ll make an exception here since it appears I’m hitting that thin as hell sweet spot.

But for all those who keep reading and like what they’ve found, I’m glad I’ve done good by you all, and I will continue to tread down this minefield and hopefully not tear my legs off. I’ve got a lot planned for Fragments once this singularity is complete, and a lot of fan favorites and not-so-favorites to make their debut.

Elsa Santini

Chaldean Wellness Specialist

Debut: Fragment 77
Affiliation: Quality of Life Division
Education: Doctorate in Psychology (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)

Heritage: Italian, Born and Raised
Age: 28
Height: 173cm 
Hair: Light Brown
Eyes: Greenish Blue

Likes: Children, Family, Catholicism
Dislikes: Internet and Media Toxicity, War
Fears: Anything bad happening to her son
Favorite Color: Blue

Key Personality Traits: Motherly, Caring, occasionally fearful
Specialty: Mental and Emotional Therapy
Hobbies: Knitting, Helping at the Church

Key Personality Traits: Altruistic, Respectful, Religious, Reverent, Kind
Specialties: Calm/controlled in the worst situations, Incredible Focus
Hobbies: Jet Skiing, Free Diving, Swimming, Sailing

Closest Companions (Bond 6+ for servants) 

Bond 10Nightingale, Raikou
Bond 9Martha, Medea, Boudica
Bond 8Vlad, Amakusa, Jeanne, George
Bond 7Mata Hari, Irisviel, Atalanta, Da Vinci
Bond 6 Romulus, Nero, Cleopatra, Caesar, Caligula
OCsNaomi, Delaqua, Anishka

After being invited by Da Vinci at her uncle Leandre’s insistence, Elsa dared to be one of the first new employees to travel all the way to Antarctica for a job. Her circumstances remain mysterious, but most understand she was running away from financial problems. Due to her friendly and helpful personality, plus her adorable baby, Giovanni, she was quickly considered a Chaldean Celebrity.

They say no one has a heart of gold like mothers, but Elsa stands taller above the rest. Often doing too much to help out those she’s come to like, she’s known for often forgetting her own wellbeing. Even so, any little trouble with her baby has her running to his side immediately in panic. Some call it a mother’s true love, but some feel there’s more to that fear she isn’t revealing.

Skyler Albanese

Vanguard Platoon’s Attached Master

Debut: Supplement IV Equilibrium
Affiliation: Task Force Vigilance
Education: High School Diploma
Rank: Sergeant First Class

Heritage: German-Italian-American, Raised in the US.
Age: 30
Height: 185cm 
Hair: Black
Eyes: Cerulean

Special Status: Vigil Master
Servant: Saber – Arturia Pendragon Alter

Likes: Country, Coffee, Fishing
Dislikes: Overtime, Firewatch, Snow
Fears: Clowns
Favorite Color: Green

Key Personality Traits: Aloof at times but dead serious at others
Specialty: Small Unit Tactics
Hobbies: Paintball, American Football, Guitar

Closest Companions (Bond 6+ for servants) 

Bond 10Artesia
Bond 9
Bond 8Edison
Bond 7Medea, Vlad, Boudica
Bond 6Raikou, Nero, Caligula, Romulus, Caesar
OCsGudao, Gabrielle, Naomi, Elsa, Omar

Gudao’s cousin is often considered Vanguard’s most lazy soldier, but that’s often used sarcastically. Though he’s often found lazing around and relaxing when he can, on duty he’s a strict, careful, and very active member of the unit. It’s in part because he follows his family’s long line of US military service which dates back well before the American Revolution.
His servant can’t even find fault in his motivation when he’s on the clock.

Not much is known how he became Arturia Alter’s master, but she’s taken a shine to him. At least enough that she hasn’t killed him, but rather has an unusually abrasive yet accepting friendship. His steadfast determination when it comes to his goal likely plays a part.

Like the rest of Vanguard, he’s currently stationed in Chaldea where he helps Sergei ensure the soldiers aren’t causing the residents any trouble.

Sergei Romanov

Captain of the Vigil’s Vanguard Platoon

Debut: Supplement IV Equilibrium
Affiliation: Task Force Vigilance
Education: REDACTED
Rank: Captain

Heritage: Russian
Age: 31
Height: 243cm 
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Ice Blue

Likes: Martial Arts, Dancing, Comradery
Dislikes: Disorder, Traitors
Fears: Unknown
Favorite Color: Green

Key Personality Traits: Motivational, Dependable, Friendly
Specialty: Inspiring Leadership
Hobbies: Wrestling, Boxing

Closest Companions (Bond 6+ for servants) 

Bond 10
Bond 9Artesia
Bond 8Edison, Anastasia
Bond 7Leonidas, Quetzalcoatl
Bond 6Iskandar, Caesar, Beowulf
OCsSkyler, Delaqua, Omar

Sergei is a towering behemoth of a soldier that many find completely intimidating at first sight, but he has a heart that can warm a Russian winter. He’s very friendly and jovial to his comrades, and does what he can to ensure the unit’s wellbeing. He’s known to be extremely ruthless and unforgiving towards traitors and his enemies alike.

Like the rest of Vanguard, he’s currently stationed in Chaldea where he helps Skyler ensure the soldiers aren’t causing the residents any trouble. He also acts as one of the official UN adviser for Chaldea’s leyshift operations, making sure they don’t do anything against their mission or a strict code of ethics.

Other information about him is currently unknown. His soldiers respect him too much to reveal something he wouldn’t. It’s not classified, but he changes topic when asked.

Montgomery Pritchard

Commander of Task Force Vigilance

Debut: Supplement IV Equilibrum
Affiliation: Task Force Vigilance
Education: Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Rank: Brigadier General

Heritage: British, Born and Raised.
Age: 57
Height: 190cm 
Hair: Grey
Eyes: Crystal Blue

Special Status: Vigil Commander & Master
Servant: Caster – Thomas Edison

Likes: Gambling, Order
Dislikes: Politics, Conspiracy Theories
Fears: Total War, Feral Dogs
Favorite Color: Blue

Key Personality Traits: Risk-Taker, Calm under Pressure, Gentleman
Specialty: Long-term Planning/Strategy
Hobbies: Gambling, Traditional Card Games, Chess

Pritchard is a former decorated British Brigadier with experience from multiple conflicts, including, but not limited to, Kosovo, Desert Fox, and the Iraq War. Those under his leadership were inspired by his stark control during critical situations. He was also very well known for taking well-calculated risks due to his belief in his men and his insistence on excessively detailed reconnaissance for planning. These attributes were the primary reason he was chosen as the Commander for Task Force Vigilance.

After receiving the reins from his predecessor, Pritchard worked tirelessly to try and make the Vigil a powerful force of deterrence for the United Nations. It was only when Marisbilly, who felt their organizations may benefit from each other, offered aid that things began to turn around. Upon the surprise reception of command seals and subsequent summoning of Edison, he was finally able to achieve what he desired. There are growing rumors Pritchard’s commitment to his task of peacekeeping has placed him under consideration for Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II.

Anishka Sharma

The 50th Chaldean Master

Nicknames: Annie

Debut Fragment: 33
Previous Affiliation: Leyshift Division
Education: Graduate of University of San Francisco, Doctorate in Nursing
Languages: Indian, Hindu, English (Fluent with accent)

Heritage: Pure Indian, Born and Raised.
Birthday: January 7th, 1990
Age at the beginning of Series: 24
Height: 165cm 
Hair: Black
Eyes: Onyx

Mage Heritage: 28th Generation, Mantra Magecraft
Magic Circuits: 50, High Quality
Element: Water
Origin: Cleanse
Notable Magecraft Capabilities: Top Tier Healing and Curing Magecraft, Nothing Else

Likes: Hinduism, The Ocean, Most Water Activities
Dislikes: Disrespect, Underhanded Actions, Total Selfishness
Fears: Unacceptance, Prejudice
Favorite Color: Sapphire

Key Personality Traits: Altruistic, Respectful, Religious, Reverent, Kind
Specialties: Calm/controlled in the worst situations, Incredible Focus
Hobbies: Jet Skiing, Free Diving, Swimming, Sailing

Closest Companions (Bond 6+ for servants) 

Bond 10Rama, Sita, Arjuna
Bond 9Karna, Raikou
Bond 8Nightingale, Da Vinci, Parvati
Bond 7Anne and Mary, Jekyll, Scheherazade
Bond 6Irisviel, David, Passionlip
OCsGabby, Gudao, Naomi, Elsa

Though Anishka was born into a prestigious Indian magus line, she was raised differently from traditional magus thinking at the Clock Tower. Every day involved practicing their magecraft, religious traditions, and learning how to properly help others. Though her life was already planned since her birth, she didn’t dislike it. Rather, her mother was excited Anishka was so genuinely excited to continue the family’s tradition of Altruistic healing and become a doctor.

The big families there barely gave her family any notable credibility due to the perceived ‘heresy’ of their magecraft applications. To the public, they were seen as miracle healers who cleansed the injuries of all who visited their temple. In truth, they were just a long-standing magus lineage of the Brahmin Caste that have barely shifted their practice since two millenia ago.

She had very few problems growing up due to her beauty, kindness, and grace, but she was troubled in her love life. She couldn’t understand what was wrong with her when she wasn’t feeling any powerful emotions for those she dated. It was only when she went for schooling in the United States did she inevitably experiment and found her heart yearned for women. It troubled her to no end because of how homosexuals were seen in India, and she hid it from everyone. It became an ever-growing regret and secret she still hides from all.

Anishka was brought to Chaldea after her graduation. She worked with her father in the Medical Bay under Doctor Roman until the Fuyuki Incident. Since then, though traumatized for a month, she was reassigned to Leyshift staff. She helped there until the search for another Master of Chaldea began, and they found she was qualified with 100% Leyshift Compatibility. Since then, she’s become known as the kindest, sweetest Master of Chaldea with the highest-grade supporting abilities.

Even if she’s well-accepted, her greatest boon is her problem. Anishka is far too respectful, and is often a doormat that doesn’t know how to say no. Her orders often feel more like hopeful requests than actual orders. Rama, Arjuna, Karna, and Sita wind up having to back her up on her orders at times with more prideful and questioning servants. Due to the nature of most of her magecraft, she’s also completely incapable of defending herself, though the tradeoff is healing capabilities on par with some servants.

Gabrielle Rutherford

The 49th Chaldean Master

Nicknames: Gabby, Gudako

Debut Fragment: 8
Previous Affiliation: Magecraft Division, Summoning Department
Education: High School Diploma, One year at the Mage’s Association
Languages: English

Heritage: Irish-British. Raised in United States.
Birthday: September 24th, 1994, Born in Britain
Age at the beginning of Series: 19
Height: 154cm 
Hair: Reddish-Orange
Eyes: Golden

Mage Heritage: 3rd Generation, Firedancer Magecraft
Magic Circuits: 21, Fair Quality
Element: Fire
Origin: Impulsive
Notable Magecraft Capabilities: Fire Casting and Manipulation, Heavy Reinforcement

Likes: Coffee, Socializing, Making Friends, Parties, Helping Others
Dislikes: Social Drama, Paperwork, Seeing Discontent
Fears: Losing Friendships
Favorite Color: Blue

Key Personality Traits: Passionate, Reckless, Stubborn, Affectionate, Short-Sighted
Specialties: Close Combat, Acting with Confidence
Hobbies: Television Shows, Sun Bathing, Raising Animals

Closest Companions (Bond 6+ for servants) 

Bond 10Medb, Scathach
Bond 9Cu, Diarmuid, Fergus, Fionn, Suzuka
Bond 8Quetzalcoatl, Ereshkigal, Moriarty
Bond 7Serenity, Kiyohime, Jack, Nursery Rhyme, Atalanta, Kuro
Bond 6Da Vinci, Tamamo, Paul, Mata Hari, Arash, Yedda, Illya, Marie
OCsGudao, Anishka, Tyler, Delaqua, Skyler

Gabrielle moved to Florida at an early age and became quick friends with the timid neighbor, Gudao Fujimaru. Though their parents were initial worried and distrusting of the other family, their bond connected the two families in a strong, everlasting alliance. Their parents would even joke they’ve become one family, and that their kids are destined to marry each other someday.

As someone who wore every emotion on her sleeve like a badge, Gabrielle acts on her intuition and desire to set things right. She cares deeply for those she loves, and she staunchly defended and helped Gudao in their early years. Her spitfire nature had a tendency to bring her into drama, but she still remained one of their school’s most popular girls because of her loyalty. The teachers didn’t appreciate her willingness to literally fight for those she cared for though.

Her magus family line is promising, though still fledgling. Her Magic Crest was inherited from her father, and contains her family’s current expertise on manipulating fire without causing damage to oneself. She adapted it further by using it to enhance her chosen fighting style: Close Combat through reinforcement and elemental attunement. It’s high risk, and many classmate mages at the Clock Tower scoffed at the ridiculousness… until they got hit with it the self-defense classes.

Though she qualified as a Master Candidate, she was only accepted into Chaldea as a temporary Magus Employee for the summer. She still came to watch over Gudao and ensure he was fine around the “elitists.” She wound up becoming Chaldea’s 49th Master after Gudao finally stopped trying to shoulder everything.

Her forward attitude and willingness to do what’s necessary to set things right in her eyes has caused friction on several occasions. All the servants are wary how stubborn and seemingly reckless she can be, but no one doubts she’s willing to do what it takes to get the job done. They’re also aware her actions mean well, even if the outcomes aren’t exactly what anyone was expecting. Though universally accepted, she’s the polarizing wild card of the Chaldean masters.