Fragment 95 Insight

Fresh from Medea’s entry filled with paranoia and second guessing comes… Scheherazade with even more paranoia and crippling fear. Starting Season 5 on a somewhat gloomy, yet uplifting, note.

There was less foreshadowing this time around because I needed to focus a lot more on Scheherazade’s issue. Mainly because the Cancelled Supplement VI meant most of the defining had to be done in her fragment, which is roughly what the Epilogue was supposed to be. I think I did a fairly good job squeezing it all in there, even if it went over a bit.

So the key issue was obviously getting around Scheherazade’s crippling fear. Getting around, not destroying. As proven by Agartha canon, it’s so embedded into her saint graph you can’t exactly just wipe it away. But FGO Summer Event Part II and other information about her gave way to an obvious solution. Add in Agartha’s clear character development for her and the fragment’s path was obvious: Give Scheherazade reasons to want to see tomorrow besides simply ‘not dying.’

With that in mind, I hit most of the basics, and capitalized on Anishka’s closer bond with the caster. I tied up the lose ends from the Cancelled Supplement, then made sure to hit most of the referenced people in her materials log reasonably well. I think I did a fair job starting up a few key connections while also showing that, even though Chaldea is friendly, some won’t hold their tongue at something they can’t agree with. Fergus, Medb, Hans, and Blackbeard would be key points for this.

As a note with Arash, the Material Line certainly made a possibility obvious, but it’s not one I’m going to pursue. Obviously I mean Scheherazade’s ambiguous idolization to crush on her childhood hero. Without any doubt, that couple/ship has unbelievably high potential. A heroic man who would gladly lay down his life to protect those he cares about helping the woman who looked up to him growing up, who is crippled by the fear of death? Add in they both really appreciate children and that could’ve been something beautiful.

But, as usual, I laid my foundations heavy for Fragments, and I don’t shift them. Mata Hari and Paul got him instead, but that doesn’t mean I can’t make a profound idol/fan friendship more than possible to accomplish something similar. Again: paths, branches, possibilities, and more are cut, pruned, and made available based on the infinite web of choices going forward. I’m just trying to keep building something unique that works.

Starting in the latter half of next fragment, though, get ready for the ride to get pretty bumpy. Or really bumpy.

Teaser: That Memorial Essence was still the greatest gift she could have ever gotten. Before, she was just a tool for a cause. Now she was a mother… a wife… a kindred soul with so many friends, and not just a homunculus. Her memories of another life were colored more by the new ones she made everyday in Chaldea. It was a dream she never knew she needed, yet it made her a bit greedy. In a good way, of course.

Fragment 94 Insight

And again. The word creep struck. But I wanted to get a mix of information drops in here while ensuring this fragment stayed firmly Medea in outlook and design. It was a perfect spot for her fragment to show just how relaxed she is… yet so very, very herself with all the caution, paranoia, and assertive action.

I wanted to be careful but equally daring with Medea’s fragment since she is a personal favorite of mine. I think she deserved better, and there was plenty of more room for growth than what was offered in UBW, Labyrinth, and even FGO. So I gave it to her, gently laid pieces and roles throughout the series, and made this fragment the capstone of who she was allowed to become. Hopefully it felt rewarding, relaxing, and even sympathetic.

So we got to delve into the Medea that could’ve been. The Princess who was given genuine companions, allowed to explore hobbies new and old, and freed from the overhanging burdens of a traditional Holy Grail War. I wanted to ensure her outlook was painted accordingly, but still wound up her, the experienced Witch of Betrayal. Someone who knows good things could drop guards and let the bad events sneak up to stab them in the back. An idea that, more than ever before, brings dire consequences to her because of how much she’s come to cherish.

A bunch of subplots were advanced as usual, alongside the revival of some new and old ones. Sprinkles as usual, but I think the real treat for everyone was the cameo and two newest arrivals. My plan to involve Artoria Lily was long in the making, and also one of the secret reasons I was content to place Arturia’s material body transformation. Though OG Arturia has ‘ascended’, there’s now the cuter, vibrant version in her place. Medea sure is happy about that… but not quite about Mia.

The finalization of the season long mystery of how Lateral Entry truly works is now completely unveiled. As inferred in the final explanation, not everyone will be able to get through it, but it makes a malleable loophole for me to bring in some duplicates. Heavy emphasis on some. Again, don’t expect swimsuit or Christmas servant or any such gags. But who knows who might pop in with its newly opened doors?

This fragment also served as a perfect marker to slowly ramp up the tension for the placement of the next cancelled supplement. As mentioned a few times before, this marks the unusual end of Season 4 to herald in Season 5, which will have more tension and a shift in focus with sub plots. It’s all a matter of brick laying, and I’ve left more than enough dormant powder kegs to leave one hell of a mess should the fuses intertwine. Who knows what I’ll do since things have been pretty peaceful, all things considered.

Brace yourselves for the emotional rollercoasters of Season 5, and I hope you find my summarized twist on Agartha enjoyable!

Teaser: After everything she’d done, all out of an ever-lasting fear of the end… This was where she wound up. Chaldea. A place that filled her with terror for what could happen with so many mighty spirits. Spirits she barely knew, who only understood she had been their secret enemy just recently. But it was here, or death… but how long had she staved off her demise? Her fear was immense, but it crushed her that all she could do was hold on to Anishka’s promise that here she would come to truly feel safe.

Officially Endorsed Spanish Translation

Fragments of Chaldea is pleased to announce we have Seba, a new translator to the team, currently working on adapting the series into Spanish. The prologue fragment has been released on Fanfiction.net and will continue to grow with time. Please feel free to show your support for yet another adaption of the series! Links and credits have been updated where applicable.

Fragment 93 Insight

When you line up enough pegs and move the right pieces into place, entries like this become both viable and believable. They don’t need inclusive plots, but they can still advance some other subplots for other characters. This fragment just has a small, simple motivation as its driving force and theme, but that’s the beauty of true Slice of Life. It’s literally just a calm glimpse into an actually simple day in someone’s life, just with a bit more magic and wonder than most.

And that’s why I wanted Jack’s fragment to come later, when everything was lined up. If there’s any servant that can pull off calm and sugary scenes back to back, she would be one of them. All it needed was a tiny little reminder at the beginning of who ‘she’ was and where ‘she’ came from, and that would be enough heartfelt tragedy to make a reader nod to the following scenes and go, “you deserve this.” Or at least it should have if you have a basic modicum of compassion.

So, it became less of a delving into characters, and more of a giant gauntlet of sugary scenes. I even has the narration and exposition take a rare dip into the character’s own mannerisms to add some extra sprinkles. There were far more scenes I could have added, but two super fragments in a row was already a ridiculous idea, so I cut it down to the good ones. One lucky scene did get moved to the next fragment for some extra sugar there though.

The Prillya Collab’s re-release was rather timely since Jack’s fragment was one of the ‘plausible’ fragments that could serve as an insertion point. I’ve had contingency and quick-release plans for Miyu set for a long time, and now that she’d entered, it was just a matter of choosing the closest upcoming fragment. She merely got lucky one was practically right next door, and that the slip-in fit well with the overall theme of warmth and finding happiness. Jack now has yet another friend to play with, when the ice thaws a bit more.

There was originally an experimental scene towards the end that actually depicted the opening moments of Achilles and Atalanta’s scene, but I decided to remove it when SKYS said it was a bit too jarring due to POV shift; Understandable, really. I may add it into the Lost Shards as a romantic standalone since it was only lightly erotic and far more of a romantic mood.

Teaser: She was nearly unrecognizable these days… Nearly. She’d been so used to betrayal and backstabbing it was second nature to have dozens of failsafe plans. She still had some, but they didn’t include just herself anymore. No, even compared to her other summoning, this one had given her a peaceful life that had almost everything she desired. But it was that growing peace that had her concerned, for her and her newfound friend… because that was usually the calm before a storm.

Fragment 92 Insight

I knew long before I would write this one that it would be unorthodox compared to the vast majority. For one, it’s the first fragment from an outsider’s point of view. Saber Alter is still Vigil and has no true connection to Chaldea other than being at the facility. With her mindset, that means she would have no loyalty nor obligation to do anything more than what’s necessary with them. That’s the point I wanted to drive home, but it came with a very distinct feeling.

AKA, she’s purposefully alienated herself and engages only enough to get by.

It might be a bit of a letdown for most, but that’s what it amounts to even years after her summoning. It was a window to shed more light on some of the stationed Major NPCs who she has a much closer connection to. It also offers some initial views as to why Saber Alter had come to accept this unit. Namely, they’re tough enough that they’ve earned her respect by modern human standards. They’re comrades that won’t hold ‘a tool’ back, and actually accept her cruel and vicious demeanor. It offered a good bed to partially ‘mellow out’ with time.

Thus, her loyalty to them is profound and obvious throughout the fragment. Her interest is absolutely nonexistent save for a few cases, which makes interactions with other servants and people little to none. It helped emphasize her isolating herself, but I still wanted some key interactions she would definitely have. So her puppy, who’d wormed his way into her heart, was one way to do it. A furry pet that attracts attention and barrels its way to its curiosity tends to be a forceful hand.

Her interactions with Camelot are especially profound in its nonexistence. It should say a lot she’d rather associate with Jeanne Alter than her former comrades and her counterpart. There’s plenty of room for speculation on what she truly feels about it and won’t acknowledge in her thoughts, but the main point is that she doesn’t want anything to do with them… yet.

As a small tangent about context clues and theory crafting, not everything gets pulled together instantly. Just keep your eyes peeled on what clues I’ve dropped, be careful of the red herrings to throw you off, and take note of what servants or allies have appeared in the Fate/Series that may have potential to shift the dynamic. It’s literally like spinning a growing web, so to speak.

With two new servants and a bunch more background involving the Vigil OCs, and some much needed bits for Gudao too, I hope it still wound up satisfying even if it probably wasn’t what many hoped to see. It’s merely what was, and more set up for what can be. It’s also partly an insight from a partial military perspective, though I dialed back on the military terms, acronyms, and other stuff so it wouldn’t be overwhelming.

The music played during the arena fight should need no introduction:

Teaser: Their wish was unreachable, but it had been far surpassed long ago. Never before had their collective cheered so happily. They were summoned an unloved wraith, doomed to be forgotten, yet they’d been gifted everything in this second chance. A loving mommy. A kind sister. Lots and lots of friends and caring people. The warmth of the womb was a distant memory, long forgotten in favor of the happy childhood they finally found… and it was only getting better! (Brace yourselves one of the most heartwarming and sugary fragments to date.)

Fragment 91 Insight

Were you expecting Diarmuid with the teaser when it wound up being Fionn? It’s almost like I designed it to be some sort of spook.

This one felt harder to write for me. Probably a combination of things. Less sleep, busier schedule, and a rather straightforward and simple problem/solution were among them.

It might have seemed strange to come to use Fionn to conclude a longstanding issue with Diarmuid, but I felt it was best portrayed from the lord’s point of view. We know Diarmuid is troubled. We know he’s regretful. Yet, Fionn’s FGO lines clearly state he doesn’t mind his older self’s memories, nor wishes to guilt Diarmuid with it past very awkward jokes.

But we also know Fionn doesn’t quite understand how much of a hand he played in the event himself, and that’s the angle I wished to play with. It’s the longstanding idea that throughout fragments, Fionn’s been making jokes and casually fighting alongside Diarmuid, but their past had never been resolved properly. Many just assumed all was right again and left it at that.

So I decided to flesh that out more. Everyone would already know Diarmuid was living with regret and shame, but I wanted to paint Fionn’s thoughts on the past year. The readers had been shown he was calm and accepting of what was, but no one really got the full picture. Just enough to, just like the servants, assume all was settled and well. But it wasn’t. Fionn left an ambiguous hole Diarmuid sat in, and it was only compounded with his Saber form’s Memorial Essence.

Thus, I painted Fionn’s feelings of a year of soul searching. You didn’t get to see much of any of it prior to his fragment, but it’s the culmination of a year’s worth of silent thinking. An acknowledgement of what has been, what caused it, the truth, and what is, which, ironically, is something he couldn’t understand even with the salmon. He needed to eat another salmon of sorts: Chaldea.

So to cap it all off, a vacation fragment was chosen. What better way to show moving on while leaving the past in memory than by showing how Ireland did just that? I also included a passing OC who laid her own flat opinion from an outside perspective to conclude Fionn’s own thoughts. So while it’s a mix of wanderlust as usual, it’s also the final stage of soul-searching with the conclusion of a final, definite statement of forgiving Diarmuid.

Hopefully it came across as a nice sort of healing segment. It likely felt like it came out of nowhere, but I’ll point out, that’s just the nature of the Celts. Their problems aren’t as deep and lasting as the others. They’re more straightforward about it than most, and usually settle grievances on the field of battle… or with lots of celebration and drinking. It’s obvious which they chose for this fragment.

Fun final tidbit: In legend, the Dord Fiann would be blown to signal the return of Fionn and his knights. It wasn’t quite the way anyone expected, but Shea’s French horn was definitely an allusion to that.

Teaser: Even after years walking the earth as a servant, her harsh beliefs remained. She was hardened steel. Harsh and cold like a Russian winter. Gluttonous like an American. Straight to business like a German. She’d been called so much by many, and though she softened little, it was because they accepted her almost tyrannical disposition, just like she had come to accept them. For on the field of war, some may see them as weapons, but the bonds forged in secret battle reached far deeper.

Their Guiding Light – Excalibur Edition is Finally Completed

After busy schedule juggling and delays, Their Guiding Light – Excalibur Edition is finally cleaned of its lingering typos and post-revision rough spots. I hope.

Its grown by 20,000 words for description, so there’s some new material and introspection interwoven into the previous scenes to bolster its coverage of the main characters.

It is now available on Archive of Our Own as well as Fanfiction.net in its new form. All that remains are some minor tweaks of Season 1, but nothing dramatic like what was done to some previous fragments (13 as an example).

Fragment 90 Insight

This insight will be a little longer because Raikou provides a nice opportunity: To show how I can interpret characters and their dispositions while allowing room for growth for an otherwise ‘difficult’ individual. So, let’s get started.

A tricky thing one needs to remember when reading fragments, is I often blend the servant’s point of view with my own narration. It’s been more prominent in the later seasons, but it’s something that should not be forgotten, especially when it comes to servants with mental pollution or mad enhancement. It means this fragment has a lot more hidden meanings and interpretations than most.

I’ll use the scene with Anishka as a primary example. There’s a small snippet from her coming out speech:

But it was her soft reassurances that ‘mother will always love her for who she is’ which ushered the saddest of tears and wails from Anishka; It was terrible to feel the heartbroken sobs wet her clothes. Yet, it warmed her heart that she pined for her mother’s acceptance so much. But it wasn’t surprising. No, Raikou knew all too well how much acceptance could mean to someone, and offered it wholly to the master in need.

Fragment 90, Scene III

For those who read without acknowledging the servant’s personal thoughts and disposition are influencing the narration itself, they might have missed the hidden meaning and just accepted it as her strangely crying to Raikou. It’s actually a hidden callback to Anishka’s fragment and history. Her mother died years ago, and she loved her parents. But she was always scared of revealing the truth of her sexuality to her parents, and it’s become a regret she couldn’t tell them before they passed away. Her parents who loved her for who she was.

It’s a tiny snippet, but Raikou thinks she’s crying profusely because her mother (who Raikou sees as herself) accepts her for who she is. The deeper truth is, Raikou is voicing the words Anishka dreamed her real mother would say to her, but she’ll never get that chance.

With that in mind, you may find I have more foreshadowing, keys, and building blocks scattered about the place than usual. You’ll also notice there’s a recurring trend with Raikou’s thoughts and patterns which very much coincides with her fundamental rules regarding her and her mad enhancement:

  1. She can not be convinced or persuaded against her own thoughts and feelings.
  2. Her actions are influenced heavily by her own current emotions and feelings.
  3. Because of the former two, she can be considered akin to a mentally ill person unaware of their own condition and in denial of most of their informed problems save for her Oni Blood, which she feels strongly for.

These are the canon circumstances involving Raikou, which makes for quite the interesting character to work with. That said, if one looks close enough like I do with every character I write now, there are windows of opportunity. Two counter points to these rules can safely be drawn, and are sprinkled throughout this fragment to showcase the possibilities to come:

  1. If she is convinced or persuaded, it is because she changed the belief or thought for herself.
  2. Her extreme actions, emotions, and feelings can be tempered with obvious facts she can see for herself. I.E., if it could ruin what she’s come to hold dear, it can make a great boundary.

This allows Raikou room for growth while being faithful to her difficult condition. Regardless, she still retains intellect and reason for most situations, so providing the right stimuli can lead to fun or warm interactions. Coddling Anishka, playing with Giovanni, and trying to help Tomoe are two some such offerings.

But then there’s the big question I’m, surprisingly, very rarely asked. What determines when I decide to use the servant’s one-and-only fragment? Why was Raikou chosen for this spot? And that mainly has to do with fit, critical juncture, or moving development pieces into play. Most are chosen specifically to fit the needs of my plans for the future while also providing nice entertainment and insight for you. Raikou was no exception.

One will notice in this fragment there’s quite a few subplots going around now, and light has been shed on some darker ones. It’s a balance to ensure they don’t completely invade or overtake a fragment, so servant choice plays a big role. In this instance, consideration was taken for who could be a good ‘observer’ for three subplots and two OC information reveals that need to be advanced.

  • The Feud between Onis and Raikou
  • Tomoe and Ushiwakamaru’s silent feud
  • Omar’s condition (Character and subplot)
  • Elsa’s past

Three underlying similarities are hidden problems. Two have to do with Japanese Servants. One has to do with a mother and her baby. Another has to do with a child. One has to do with Minamotos. Another with mixed blood individuals. As you can see with these examples, servants who haven’t been used are slowly crossed off the ‘viable’ list. As I go about the similarities, it often starts pointing to an ideal character to use, usually one who has a lot to do with one or multiple of the ‘points I need to advance or introduce.’

In this case, Raikou became an obvious choice.

From there, it was the usual design and development, then knitting it all with a connecting theme, or themes in this case. They emphasize Raikou’s fears of Chaldea finding out who she is, and then realizing she’s not the only one who’s suffering beneath it all, or hiding her own secret. While it won’t act as enough of a mental trigger for someone like her to change her viewpoint, it makes for another solid building block to help push her character in the right direction.

I hope that gave you some more insight into the whole design process.

Teaser: It was surreal, really. If he blinked, he could envision his world like it only ended hours ago. But his era was long gone. Sure, many would turn to admire him, though it wasn’t the same. Yet, walking down these unfamiliar streets, he felt very much home, as his friends likely did. It even made room for thought to cap off many months of pondering. Perhaps, like Ireland itself, it was time he truly reconciled and laid his past to rest.

Equilibrium Final Words

As traditional to end a supplement, this is the theme song for Equilibrium.

It’s another strong piece in its own right, but it was pretty hard finding one that captured the two distinct paces of this supplement. It wound up working pretty well though, at least for its second half with all the heroics.

There’s no real twist with Equilibrium’s theme. It just carries themes of finding balance within oneself and for Chaldea. Da Vinci wasn’t exactly a difficult character to develop, but a bit of flustering and stress can go a fair way. Though a transitional supplement, it’s still my first original one. Likely my last in that regard. I’d rather not get any ideas for making additional original summaries when there’s still so much ground to cover.

With that said though, I hope you guys enjoyed the journey!  

Epilogue Insight

SKYS kinda pointed out the story’s ending could double as an ending for the entire series. I guess it could have, but obviously there’s a lot in the plans. It’s funny how the smallest projects turn into longer endeavors than anyone realized.

I placed all the final pegs into the place for everything I have set for Season 4 (which is a metric shit ton) . The Vigil play a major role in keeping Chaldea out of the public’s eye while also addressing concerns that “not enough is being done to help humanity.” Obviously they can’t do everything, but the effort they’ll put in will be significantly more eye opening than most other things. It also frees Chaldea from the horrors of more political turmoil, which, after this supplement, you guys should have learned to hate if you hadn’t already. Politics, even as simple as this, is never fun.

Their influence with Chaldea will extend far into the future with their alliance, and you now know the two major points: Transportation and a small, elite garrison.

There have been a lot of cameos in place, and quite a few familiar faces will be joining the fray. I always enjoy setting up pegs so people can start drawing lines, and there will be a lot of line drawing and interactions to come. As a small recap, here’s all the cameos made alongside the numerous OCs. (Color coded for faction. Light Blue for UN, Red for Mage’s Association)

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And, of course, I had to make one final sentimental note just to drive the motivation of moving on, and the reason for doing so. For those who didn’t recognize the coin, it’s a modified version of this Anniversary gacha CE:

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Finally, the modified ending that many of you remember if you’re a JP player. I didn’t forget, I just simply moved it and made it a bit more personal to FoC. (Props to ArchadianJudge from reddit for this edit)

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It took a while, but it all finally circle back to slice of life. Time to continue doing what the series always revolves around… with significantly more lightheartedness now that the “huge” threat is out of the way. Content for EORs and Lostbelt 2 will be addressed another time.

I hope you all enjoyed the original supplement. It was a pain to craft and address all the important points, but I think I managed to cover the bases fine.

Unofficial Soundtrack:

This works for most of it due to its relaxed nature. There’s an additional song for Scene VIII, but it is being posted separately. This works for the rest.