Fate/Zero Part 1

Listen to the tales I have to tell you. Listen to the tales of death and terror. Listen to tales of magic and warriors!

I tell you of the magicians, ambitious, cruel and powerful. I tell you of a church, cold and distant, but given terrible power. I tell you of three kings of yore, ancient and powerful. I tell you of the dark shadows and abominations beyond the knowledge of mankind. Doomed knights do battle with horrors and heroes rage without restraint.

This is the story of the Holy Grail. This is the goal of their ambitions, of their tragic ends and the eventually victory. A wish to be granted at the cost of their lives. Seven servants with their seven masters compete for a single wish.

Two, out of all, should be remembered. Kotomine and Kiritsugu. The first, the depressed son of a priest who manages this war. What could he feel, after the death of his wife then the entrance into the war? What thoughts passed through his mind? The second is a dangerous man who has been drenched in the blood of innocents and guilty. He is not the berserker of this story, but the unwilling warrior, driven by love and circumstances beyond himself to become the violent warrior he was born to be.

Others, the mage-student Waver Velvet, ambitious and over his depth fights to prove himself. Tokiomi, who manipulates and schemes, but can barely hold his own. Lord El-Melloi, whose hubris destroys him, enters to take the grail for his own family and wishes.

The murderer Ryuunosuke does not even know what’s happening, yet his glee at the blood he and his servant spill is beyond measure. Last, the worm Kariya, tormented by his family and feelings, attacks at anything that comes into view, like a mad dog.

The servants now must be numbered. Seven, 3 kings 3 knights and an assassin, do battle in the place of their masters. They are ancient heroes and villains. They were the inspirations for grand deeds and great battles. Those who fought and died for ideals, for kings and for dreams. Each of the seven servants has a title: the Saber, the Lancer, the Archer, the Rider, the Caster, the Assassin, the Berserker.

Kotomine and Tokiomi begin with an alliance with the church. Kotomine doesn’t know why he is doing this, but his father pushes him in. In fact, it could be that his wish could be to feel something, to no longer be burdened by sadness, but freed from the constraints of this world and given to his own heart, despite his emotional tiredness. Kotomine summons an assassin in shadows, while Tokiomi summons the archer in a shower of gold.

Waver Velvet steals Lord El-Melloi’s summoning artifact and flees to Fuyuki, Japan, where the contest will take place. He will show them all that blood is no measure of magical power. He summons the Rider servant. Lord El-Melloi and his fiancee are not intimidated or angered, but continue on their quest, summoning the Lancer.

Kiritsugu, supported by the Einzberns, summons Saber. He has married to Irisviel von Einzbern, who has borne him his daughter Illyasviel. He has dedicated himself to winning the grail. However, the blood on his hands torments him, and fills him with doubts, not as to his own abilities, but will he make the right choice?

Ryuunosuke summons Caster with the blood of his latest victims. Caster immediately reveals himself to be Joan of Arc’s right hand knight, the villainous Blue Beard. Once he was comrade of the maid, but corrupted by his ideals he began to rage against God. He was killed by a lynch mob. Ryuunosuke is immensely pleased by this servant and

While all this happens, Kariya, driven to the edge by his love for Tokiomi’s wife and children, makes a deal with his father, the elder Matou, to enter the battle for the grail. Though his body is ravaged by the worms and wasps that eat at him, he is given the dread power to summon Berserker. The rage of Berserker will overcome Kariya’s weaknesses as a mage and grant the Matous victory.

They gather, in pairs and trios to Fuyuki, Japan. After they settle in, Assassin, the servant of Kotomine, attempts to infiltrate Tokiomi’s house. He immediately slain by Archer, who is not even winded by the effort. Kotomine retreats to the church, however, he knows that Assassin is not truly dead, that he has many doubles that may be commanded. A few hours later, Saber feels a challenge from Lancer, who wishes to duel worthy opponents.

The Lancer reveals himself to be Diarmuid, an Irish hero with a tragic story. He is able to over come Saber, briefly, due to the mysteries involved with his two spears, one which dispels magic, and the other, which causes permanent wounds. Before she can be slain Rider breaks up the fight and announces himself with a dynamic entrance. In a chariot drawn by bulls and sheathed in lightning, he drives between them.

“BOTH OF YOU SHEATHE YOUR BLADES! You are in the presence of a King! I am Iskander! King of Conquerors!”

Iskander, better known to the west as Alexander the Great, offers them shares in his kingdom, should they choose to join him. They both refuse. Iskander challenged any other servants to show themselves, immediately, Archer answers. He mocks them, and calls Iskander a pretender and a mongrel. He implies his name, Gilgemesh and attacks, but Berserker interferes, drawing Archer’s ire. Berserker is indiscernible to the masters present. Assassin looks on, revealing himself to be alive.

Berserker destroys Gilgemesh’s attacks, blades fired at supersonic speeds, by catching the blade. Gilgemesh goes berserk himself, and attacks further, to no avail. Gilgemesh would have unleashed his full power, but that Tokiomi, his master, called him back. Gilgemesh is angered at his command. He states that the servants should cull themselves until only the best could face him.

Berserker attacks Saber in fury, cracking the very ground under her with his blows. Iskander declares that whatever he holds is an ‘ultimate weapon’ known as a noble phantasm. Lancer interferes before berserker can land a fatal blow, stating that Lancer is her opponent. Lancer is forced by his master to attack in concert with Berserker.

Kiritsugu moves to kill El-Melloi, Lancer’s master, but Iskander interferes and runs down Berserker in his chariot. Berserker absconds. Lancer’s master orders his withdraw, which does after a word of thanks. Such was the honor of the Lancer, Diarmud, that it would shame him to fight two on one.

Iskander and Saber separate soon after. This ends the battle at the dockyards. Kariya celebrates that Berserker caused such discomforture, but suffers from the insects that eat at him and power him up. Caster/Blue Beard declares that Saber is Joan d’arc.

Thus ends the first part of Fate/Zero! Come again tomorrow night for the next tale!

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