6212/FateParadox: Burning Saber

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FateParadox: Burning Saber
Date of Scene: 15 December 2018
Location: The Quilt
Synopsis: Saber tries out the device made by the Concord. Ruler takes issue
Cast of Characters: Eryl Fairfax, Priscilla, 1143, Staren, 6756

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    'Social media' has become a recurring thing when it comes to the Paradox Grail War's Berserker. A wild woman with the lower half of a snake isn't that uncommon in the Multiverse, but her wild, demanding bearing is certainly attention-grabbing. This time, posts and pictures place her at a drive-in theatre out in the middle of nowhere, whereupon she slithered into the concession stand to help herself to snacks and then removed a couple from their car so she and 'that musical hobo' could sit in it.

    The theatre occupies an old lot surrounded by a chain link fence on a lonely road that stretches across a lonely prairie. Small hills dot the surrounding area, and it is upon one of them that Saber and his Master, Cenedril, have set up camp. Thanks to the Concord's efforts, Saber now has a device capable of returning him to his true glory. However, first comes the tricky part. Trying to teach the elderly how to use technology.

    "Here Lord Gwyn, you push this button here-" "This one?" "No, that is to shut it off if need be." "Hrm. Art thou certain this device is quite necessary? I am certain I shalt handle these two regardless." "Better to be certain, no?"

    Down in the lot, some old movie about knights is playing. It's transparently low-budget, considering the poor effects on the monsters and the bad costumes, but it seems to have the audience happy giving the occasional bout of laughter heard from the crowd. Berserker has slithered up to sit on the roof of her 'commandeered' car and is clapping with delight.

Priscilla has posed:
    "I hath gone through exceptional pains to acquire these, grandfather. Regardless, I wouldst be appreciative if thou were to maketh use of them." says Priscilla. It's an understatement. Motivated by several different kinds of confusing feelings it'd taken weeks to sort through, Priscilla had spent almost two months wrist deep in assassinating state officials, inciting a rebellion, taking over a national government, and siphoning off rare and exotic aether resources in massive quantities in order to even out what she feels is an error in the Grail War; a mistake, made by that miraculous device; that someone like Gwyn, Great Lord of Sunlight, even so little had she ever known him, could possibly be mistaken as an equal for any other paltry hero or villain summoned to challenge him.

    Unwilling to have Lordran's legacy represented by anything less than absolute, unassailable power, Priscilla had done her research, repurposed a hefty chunk of the Concord Elite forces towards this, made use of the Paladins and Watch, and killed quite a few people to get to the point where stockpiles of aether --the stuff of the magic immaterium from which creatures are summoned by Planeswalkers-- are sitting around, waiting to charge up Saber on-demand. It's almost surprising that only a tiny handful of people ever realized what it was all for. Then again, considering the passive approach of the others . . .

    "So then, pray, as a favour, see what I hath brought to thee." she continues, taking her eyes off the drive-in theatre for a moment. "No doubt, it is overkill, but the unquestionable might of the gods is precisely that. Let them knoweth the absurdity of challenging thee with thoughts of a mere 'Saber'. This one is a suitable trial, so unconcerned with anything as to be wasting time with cheap entertainment, rather than anything to win. It is negligent. Carefree to the point of insult. Arrogant. Of more importance, it cannot continue exist whilst thou do so as well."

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Touta can't say that he's the biggest user of social media, but considering his age there's no way he can't say he doesn't keep up with a few trends and such here and there. So when a familiar face pops up in pictures detailing some sort of snake-woman begin to trend, Touta decides to do what he said he would after his conversation with Priscilla some time ago, he was going to observe. Touta Konoe has no stake in this war and for the most part had only been keeping up with it because of Nagi. Before he had tried to help out Reiji in regards to his father and the results were less than pleasant, but the end result was that he accomplished what he had done.

     For now though, his goal was just making sure that the Servants weren't doing anything too outlandish. Well...Barging into a drive-in threatre and hopping over the concession stand is outlandish, but so far it didn't seem to be actually causing any major physical harm to anyone, at least from where he was standing. Speaking of where Touta was standing though, the young immortal had been just outside the chained fence of the old lot. While he was adorned in black like usual, he had decide to borrow a hoodie from one of his pals to conceal his face. While he's pretty sure not too many of the Servants care about his presence he did know that there was at least two in particular that recognized him that he had fought before. The winged Servant he had facedand Saber...Priscilla's grandfather. While he had made amends with her, he had never did such with the Servant and for all he knew, still held some lingering grievances.

     "Jeez, looks like that Servants really gotten comfortable..."

     "I can't see..." A voice comes from a dufflebag at the boy's side. Trying not to look too conspicious with a sword being carried around he had placed his sword in said bag, but that meant that this sword wasn't going to be much use as a second pair of eyes. "Anyway, do you really think Nagi will show up here?"

     "Not sure. But he's suppose to be keeping track of the Servants, plus there's a movie so...Why not right?"

     "And have you figured out what you're going to do when you see him this time?"

     "That's..." Left without much of an answer as Touta looks up at the sky above the lot.

Staren has posed:
    Staren is standing by, in his armor as usual unless someone's explained why that's a bad idea. The visor is open, and he watches Gwyn stonefaced, not making any comments about the man's difficulty with technology.

    People have suggested that Priscilla was the one responsible for the assassination that kicked events in Khaladesh off, but he doesn't believe it for a moment. She would have told them. Whoever started it, it created a situation with an opportunity, and the Concord moved in. That's what the Concord does.

    When Priscilla says the word 'overkill' he fails to stifle a chuckle. "No such thing." he mutters, quietly.

Stella (6756) has posed:
    "You are large," Stella says, arriving to stop and glance up at Priscilla. It's a hard fact! "I was warned but did not expect it to be wholly true," she adds, as if it helps anything. Well, this is the first time they meet, so that's mostly why.

    Of course, the fact Gwyn was a 'Saber', a knight for all intents and purposes, had interested the crystal golem in and of itself. Finally meeting Priscilla was a bonus.

    One she doesn't fail to capitalize on by kneeling, as she had the first time she heard her voice. It's basic respect - you bow to your king, always.

    "If I may be allowed to question a statement, is he not small to be your grandfather?"

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Gwyn chuckles as Priscilla /insists/ that he uses it. "Mine apologies, granddaughter. I did not intend to make light of thine efforts." Stella's question draws a look from Saber. "Perhaps you shalt see mine full height once I understand this contraption." Finally, he seems to have it figured out, and activates it.

    He hooks it onto his belt and waits. For a long moment, nothing happens. But soon, the cinders that alight on his very being begin to dim. Ash sloughs off his form, and while his beard becomes no less gray, his eyes gain a bit more vitality to them. He looks at his hand and wriggles them. "Hurm. I certainly doth feel odd. Let us see..." He raises his hand to the heavens, and in a loud crash of thunder and flash of light, a massive lightning bolt is held aloft in his hand. The stench of ozone fills the air as the power of the electricity makes hairs stand on end. Finally, with an almost casual lob, he sends the bolt flying at Berserker.

    Down at the theatre, Touta would see Berserker swivel her head just before a bolt of lightning strikes her car, igniting the fuel and making the whole thing explode. The snake woman has thrown herself clear, Griff currently wrapped in her tail. His clothes are burning through, and he seems out of sorts from the loud noise. Berserker has her staff in her hand in an instant, and screams out, "Hey! That was getting to the good bit!" With a wave, spears of ice manifest around her and fly off in the direction of the lightning.

    Upon the hill, Gwyn seems unhappy. "Blast. I had hoped to smite her directly." He draws his sword and faces down the spears of ice, waving the blade to counteract them with the sheer heat rolling off of it. "Keep thine distance, Master," he cautions Cenedril before leaping from the hill and crashing down into the theatre.

    "Saber! I was wondering where you went, old fart! You'll pay for this!" Berserker insists, even as she shakes Griff in her tail, trying to make him come too. A flurry of spells erupt from her staff, but Gwyn moves far too spritely for a man his size and age. He circles around, and grabs a (mercifully now empty) car to use as a shield from the onslaught, before returning fire with another Lightning Spear.

    They're definitely into it now. If there is to be any interference, now's the time!

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     There's only a moment's notice as Berserker becomes aware of the thunderbolt and the flash of light passes by Touta entirely crashing into the car and causing that explosion. A boom of thunder follows in a roar and with it a shout once more comes from the bag.

     "Touta, what happened?!"


     "Lightning, you mean Nagi attacked?"

     The young man turned away from the lot back towards the hills, the direction the lightning had shot forth from and to his surprise he could say, "No...That was...That's Saber?" Yes, he was sure of it. While there was quite some distance between the two, one doesn't forget such an imposing figure like that. Though Touta definitely didn't remember him lobbing lightning bolts at people the last time the two crossed swords, that was for certain.

     He looks around the lot making sure that no one had been caught in the car explosion. He's not sure how crowded this theatre is but it was possibly someone might have gotten hurt from that. Though as he peers into the lot he realizes that Berserker's already on the move charging at Saber with shards of ice going full force in retaliation. Frankly speaking if any Servant should have had the ability to take on Saber it should be Berserker. Or at least, from what he knows of Servants that should be the case. That the might of Berserkers were suppose to be their strong points. Something even Sabers had to respect. It would probably be difficult even for Saber to handle a Berserker so easily right?

     Well, whether that was the case or not there was another problem. Berserker's Master. For some reason the Servant had snared him in her tail and charged right towards the enemy.

     "What is she thinking?!"

     There shouldn't be a reason she needs to drag her Master into harm's way and yet she was. Touta's just about ready to intercept but he stops himself for a moment. He had said it before, he was just going to be an Observer. His job was to make sure that the Servants didn't do anything to those that weren't involved in the Grail War. That the civilians that weren't caught up in this mess. So...Would he be stepping over his bounds if he jumped in to try and help Berserker's Master? It was true that he was placed in danger, but at the same time he was a part of this Grail War. So was helping in this situation going to be an issue? Would it not cause another dilemma like before? Besides if Saber was here than Priscilla was as well. Was he willing to unintentionally spite her by acting?

     A hand unzips his bag and reaches inside slowly. Grasping at the blade within. He turns back towards the lot to make sure that there was no one there that needed him.

     "Touta..." The blade says as its gripped with great force, and a shaking hand. Whether out of outrage or discontent was hard to say. Though even as the boy faces the lot, his eyes keep shifting back towards the two Servants and the Master dragged into the mix.

Priscilla has posed:
    Priscilla doesn't particularly feel the need to respond to Stella's first statement. She is, by all accounts, still pretty new here. Having spoken with her a little before, the crossbreed is already away of her mind for very literal terms and connections and difficulty with elsewise. It is, indeed, a fact. Let her say it.

    The second part she answers with a sudden cough, having tried to breathe, say something, and make an involuntary sound all at the same time. Clearing her throat, she responds properly with "It is a confusing matter. The man thou see'st before thee is . . . summoned from . . . a very long time in the past. A specific time, shortly before his original . . . passing, wherein he didst giveth up most of his powers for the good of all others. Unfortunately, the good of all translates not very well to a duel to the death amongst seven competitors. It is a disparity that I seeketh to correct now."

    "Indeed." is all she affirms before Gwyn puts it on and revs it up. The difference is already visible straight away, but it is subtle so far, like clearing the accumulated dust from a clean surface. The crack of thunder is less arguable, causing Priscilla to clap her hands over her ears and blink the splotches of light away. "A lightning spear." she states. "Certainly a step forward. Pray continue to maketh use of it. I wish to see how far we art able to push."

    When he leaps down, Priscilla takes the role of stepping ahead of Cenedril, going from shielded by one of her people's legends to another. Since the idea is to demonstrate the fact that Gwyn is obviously far beyond the means of any other Servant to defeat, her jumping in to tag team on Berserker with him would be undermining her own point, but the human is, as usual, the weak link in the chain.

    "Thou hast had more than time enough to enjoy thine brief stint in the world of the living again, serpent. It is pure greed to expecteth more. If thou wished for something greater than to breathe for a short while again and disappear once more, thou hast wasted thine opportunity utterly. Gone is the time thou didst hath to maketh any difference. Those who lay idle in war, dull and rusting, deserveth to be purged first." Her words aren't for the civilians. Berserker and her Master had chosen to involve them by coming here, and Priscilla will not be cowed away from winning because of it. Surely, they're capable of getting clear on their own. They're all sat in cars for goodness' sakes.

Stella (6756) has posed:
    Suddenly, ice and lightning. And people are fighting. And Gwyn... isn't huge yet. Well, Stella will take him to his word. Old people get smaller with age so maybe he just got really old and thus really small.

    Also Priscilla basically says he's a ghost.
    Summoned thing.
    ~Magic~. Stella made no effort to hide the fact magical matters are confusing to her, even if they aren't surprising, given she is technically one herself.

    "I see," she answers, straight.

    With Priscilla bolting to shield Cenedril, Stella rises, looking at the First. "With your permission, I will ensure no one disrupts the battle. I will not engage your grandfather's opponent unless you wish me to."

    She seems about ready to jump down, at any rate.

Staren has posed:
    "Ah!" Staren shouts in surprise, reflexively covering his face. The visor was /retracted/, his eyes just saw a lightning flash nigh point-blank! And a lot more of the sound got to his ears than otherwise would have. The visor closes, and he's left covering it pointlessly with his hands for a moment before he remembers he can see through his suit's cameras. He stands up straight, relaxing, and looks around. He has a brief conversation on the radio and is ready to support Saber, but... then Priscilla says her piece, notably /doesn't/ help, and he gets it. Gwyn shouldn't need help.

    ...But even the most powerful sometimes need help, or Priscilla wouldn't be running a faction...

    Still. He stands by her, helping guard Saber's master. After another moment's thought, he starts deploying drones -- a mix of hand-sized quadrotors and fly-sized robot insects -- that spread out to cover the battle area aerially and give him better map awareness. In case anything starts to go wrong.

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Cars begin to peel out of the lot, smashing through the lever gate as the battle between Servants rages on. It is immediately apparent that Saber has the upper hand here. Fire spells that Berserker shoots are just absorbed, ice spells just melt on the flames he gives off, and lightning spells are just caught and hurled back. This is all clearly very vexing to the woman, who takes a moment to vent at Priscilla.

    "What do you know, bitch?! Who even are you?! We're fighting here, so don't butt in!" She fires a barrage of ice shards at Priscilla, but Gwyn deflects them handily. At this time, Staren's drones would pick up something speeding towards their location at incredible speed. "Enough. Thou art outclassed. Present thine neck, and death will be quick and certain. Flee, and I shalt follow. Fight, and die. Choose." The snake woman hisses, as Griff finally stirs from his stupor. "God, what hit us?" the bard groans, eliciting a triumphant grin from Berserker. "Griff! Listen, I need to do my Noble Phantasm! Ready?" "Oh, sure."

    Saber immediately starts to rush in, as Berserker intones

                                NOBLE PHANTASM-                                

When suddenly, a figure plummets from the sky to land in between them, impacting the concrete hard enough to fracture it. Said figure rises, wrapped in a cloak and clutching a crooked wooden staff. Ruler has arrived on the scene. "Hey, sorry I'm late but I gotta put a stop to this real quick to check something." He looks at Saber, and points right at the aether device on his belt. "What the HELL is that? I know nothing like that exists in your legend, old man!" He looks about, and spies Priscilla. From his cloak, he produces a notebook and opens it to a page containing clipped newspaper articles. Newspaper articles all talking about the Concord's takeover of the land that permitted that this device exist. "Wouldn't happen to have anything to do with this, would it? I know I said that Servants couldn't interfere with other worlds, but stuff like this for the betterment of a Servant I might class as 'interference by proxy' you know!"

    He doesn't even glance at Touta this whole time.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     The battle begins and with it, pandemonium from the drivers that attempt to avoid the chaos of this ensuing war. Touta can't really evacuate anyone sadly. He has no presence here, he might as well just have Presence Concealment as far as anyone was concerned for him in all of this mayhem. But with this 'concealment' he's able to watch the fight and it's...

     "It's one-sided...Was he this powerful when he fought Archer?"

     Saber's capabilities beat out Berserker's attacks with little to no issue. Which just seemed strange, he knows Saber was strong but was he this strong? Maybe this was just a favorable match-up of some sort? After all, it appeared like Saber had been using Fire Magic that was nullifying Berserker's attacks but...Was it still going to be so lop-sided a match. Something just didn't seem correct.

     And upon that thought 'he' arrives. The one dubbed as Ruler appears just as the battle gets heated. 'Ruler', Nagi Springfield descends doown towards the the two Servant. It's probably one of the very few times he's actually seen his great-grandfather actually intervene but he's doing it now all of a sudden. It would make sense that Nagi doesn't look at him, he's no assassin but he figures that Ruler doesn't really have an ability to track the presence of non-Servants. So a hoodie should be enough to keep his face hidden as long as he's not being oblivious, right? Sure let's go with that.

     Upon his arrival Ruler makes a declaration of foul play to which Touta looks generally surprised to hear. His attention turns back from Ruler to Saber and the belt he was wearing. "Yeah...He didn't have that on the last time..." But Ruler's deductions don't stop there, even pulling out a notebook of some sort as if he had proof of some sort of wrong doing. Though, Touta can't see what's written from the angle he's watching from so he tries moving to an angle that allowed him to read what Nagi was presenting yet still keep a reasonable distance.

     "Touta, what's happening now? I hear Nagi speaking. What's happening? Oi, Touta." Touta says nothing only hushing his blade as he tries to look at the details entailed within Nagi's notebook.

Priscilla has posed:
    What Priscilla sees so far is pleasing. It isn't quite the Great Lord Gwyn towering twenty feet over the impudent wretch and smiting them with jagged pillars of crackling sunlight, but where the upper hand lies is abundantly clear. The natural result of a snake that loafs around watching movies coming to blows with a god is the former's crushing defeat, of course. She barely pays any mind to Berserker's Master until he opens his mouth and she catches his name, followed by the two words (aside from "I Surrender") that mean anything in this situation. She doesn't know what Berserker's Noble Phantasm is, but they're rarely trivial.

    Then she is almost made to make the same complaint as Berserker herself when Ruler, in turn, interrupts right as things are getting to 'the good part'. "Thou art exceptionally skilled at existing nowhere to be found whence thou art requested, yet appearing instantaneously when thine presence is a waste of all gathered's time." she says, still not moving from her position between Cenedril and the battle that actually demands her attention, barely looking to Ruler any more than he does Touta, for all the irony there is for the fact that she deigns her blood relative, or at least the spirit of him, more important than rules.

    "Thou art not late; thou art unwanted and irrelevant." She doesn't have to look to know what Ruler is protesting. "Neither do cars, nor movies, nor the Beserker, nor *thee*, wastrel. Meanwhile, lightning is at the very core of the Great Lord's --whom you shalt address as such-- legend; something conveniently 'forgotten' I presumeth." Only a glance goes to the papers. "Thou 'might class'? If thou art uncertain of even thine own rules then why wouldst I care? If thou cannot stipulate the directions thou wish to be followed clearly, than they art worthless. Since it wouldst seemeth that thine only objection to anything here is that erstwhile events hath so happened to transpire in favour of the most cheated and undeprivileged member of thine little farce of a war, then begone. If thou shalt not treat with dignity, I shalt hath thee removed." Staren and Stella are still right there.

Stella (6756) has posed:
    Stella has been waiting for Priscilla's call.
    Ruler gets a chance to scram, and so she remains perfectly still, save for the sudden growths of crystals that pierce out of her wrists and form into long, prismatic jewel-blades in her hands.

    It is, if nothing else, her way to confirm to Priscilla she's interpreted her warning correctly and is ready to play bouncer.

    Sadly, she lacks even the most basic of context to really grasp who Ruler is and why he matters, beyond apparently 'being in charge of the rules'. Which, evidently, nobody gathered cares about.

Staren has posed:
    Staren suspects the high-speed incoming object is Ruler, and is swiftly proven correct. He reflexively starts assembling a retort in his head -- about how they are only restoring Gwyn /to/ the glory of his very own legend, so it doesn't matter where the power source came from -- but then he remembers Priscilla is right there, it's her family, and her place to speak first -- He's been here following her lead so far, why stop now? His head stays turned towards Nagi as they talk.

    He nods as The Boss finishes her speech. He doesn't particularly /want/ to fight Ruler, but Priscilla's made some good points -- and ultimately, if he's going to get in the Concord's way, he may need to go. Maybe he'll surrender after he loses enough? No, probably not. Damn it, predicting other people's actions is hard, and he can't hear himself think over the ringing in his actual ears, even if he can simultaneously hear just fine through his armor's microphones.

    No, Nagi wouldn't surrender. Nagi would find some way to get what he wants, something that at least /seems/ like a victory to him, but what form could that take...?

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Both Berserker and Saber both seem affronted as Ruler interrupts the fight. "No one cuts me off jackass! I was about to win this!" "I sternly disagree with mine opponent, but mine sentiment is the same. Begone, Ruler. 'Tis folly to think there art rules in a war." This, coupled with the verbal berating Priscilla gives him is clearly vexing to the man, as veins begin to bulge in his neck and forehead.

    But in the midst of his vexation, Touta is able to get behind him and peek at the book. All of the newspapers are from the Multiverse, but there are notes upon them, in two different sets of handwriting. One is elegant, flowing cursive, and the other is chicken scratch that is quite apparently Nagi's. But whose is the other? Did someone else help Ruler put this together?

    "Hey. Shut up," Ruler intones coldly as he begins to crack his knuckles. "I'm feeling downright disrespected over here. And I know exactly what /your types/ respect. So you all got five seconds. Kid, you better get outta here," he says, glancing at Touta. The threat is apparent, and both Berserker and Saber try to retaliate, the former by getting her tail around Ruler's neck, and the latter by running him through.

    But the man is high in the air in an instant. But even from there, his voice carries clear, overpowering the sound of the movie.

                       NOBLE PHANTASM: CHILIAPLE ASTRAPE                        

    A massive circle of runes balloons beneath his feet, taking up the entire airspace above the theatre. And in the next instant, lightning rains down. Uncountable bolts, arcing straight down to the ground, towards everyone gathered. Upon impact, the concrete liquefies, the petrol in the remaining cars ignites, and the earth becomes molten. This is not something anyone wants to get caught in. And as per Ruler's word, it only took five seconds.

Stella (6756) has posed:
    An immediate attack, and intensely powerful at that.

    Stella leaps from her perch, finally. She ensures that as the bolts rain down, she is between them and Gwyn. No, more than that.

    Her body erupts into a storm of countless crystal blades which scatter around the parking lot, planting into the ground, into lampposts, into cars just outside the blast radius (and some inside).

    Then the bolts rain down.

    Stella is blasted into fine dust and glimmering chunks of crystal, though provides a nice, hefty shield for Gwyn specifically in that instant, lessening the amount of lightning he'll have to contend with significantly. He is the one they came for - he is the VIP here. If anyone must be protected, it's him. Chunks of broken crystal fall around him on the slagged ground afterwards, all that's left of the crystal golem.

    Then the swords she scattered around the battlefield light up, as the last mote of light from Ruler's lightning still shines on them.

    The swords erupt in that same blast, aimed up at Ruler, every sword releasing a smaller version of the attack that converges on him from a dozen directions with similar lethality, although he has the advantage of knowing how to deal with his own attacks.

    As for Stella, the crystal dust starts pulling itself back together, regrowing with a sudden explosive burst of prismatic jewels that clump back together into a humanoid shape, her features eventually reappearing.

    "Saber. Are you alright?"

Staren has posed:
    Destruction rains from the heavens!

    Staren's armor is blackened and scarred. The forcefield goes up and starts glowing increasingly bright, successive layers shattering into sparks before the now-smaller field repeats the same -- it's neither strong nor weak against magic, but quantity has a quality all its own -- Staren isn't sure whether Priscilla's planning to stay and fight Ruler or not -- they're kind of going to have to at some point, aren't they? -- but it's clear that he can't stay in the lightning.

    His wings manifest and he flies out of the lightning as fast as he can. "He's got a point! We asked for that." Staren comments, but the tone is expectant -- he expects Priscilla to give an order, through voice or action, and he's ready to follow. If today is they day they fight Ruler, what's he gonna do, say NO, this guy is allowed to tell them what to do?

Priscilla has posed:
    "If thou feel disrespected, it is because I do not respect thee." Priscilla insists. "I do not respect this ritual, this war, this grail, for it wouldst not respect the dead in turn."

    Ruler reaching the limits of his patience is understandable. It is natural, even. Priscilla had involved herself in the Grail War he is tasked to preside over, in the first place, because of her rose-tinted memories, because of her pride, and because of her contempt for the ritual of the seven classes that repeats itself over and over in the Multiverse having dared to infringe on something that is so privately hers. She had never come here with the intent of respecting the way it works. She'd never intended to keep her hands off. She had only not killed Saber's Master and taken the reins with both hands for Cenedril of Astora being one of hers, a charge she is meant to protect, and a devout follower. She was never going to listen to Ruler.

    She was never going to give him any respect. She was never going to follow the rules, honour the spirit of the Grail War, or allow for any other outcome but the Saber that assumes Gwyn's mantle achieving unquestionable victory and the wish of his Master going to the betterment of Lordran. Anything else would be negligence of duty, negilence of obligation, negligence of honour, and negligence of family. Even if she still hadn't asked the questions she knows she should as soon as possible, Priscilla was never going to be a spectator, cheerleader, or peacekeeper in any of this. The only possible outcomes were, from the beginning, that Ruler bowed to her, that Ruler stayed out of her way, or this.

Priscilla has posed:
    Priscilla disappears just as the lightning crashes down on her, briefly the center of a nexus of whirling frost and chill wind, before the bolt itself turns it into an explosion of flash-vapourized ice and a billowing cloud of superheated fog twice the size. "Indeed, he dost." comes a reply to Staren, from not only on the opposite side of him, but the opposite hill entirely, in the blink of an eye. "As much as thou wouldst wish to spit the words, would-be judge, it is truth that I oweth no respect to those without power, and that I care not in the least for bluster and condemnation. If thou wish for mineself to taketh thee even slightly seriously, such is the natural course of action."

    Priscilla is definitely there alright, way too far away without a real route, way too quickly. She is in the process of wrenching off her left sleeve, burnt all the way through, leaving only tiny threads glowing like lightbulb filaments in all the crumbling black. Her bare arm has crisscrossing patterns of burns across the pale skin from the shoulder down. Flexing her fingers, she confirms they work, but seizingly, spasming with the effort from so much electricity shot through them. Enough to grip something, though. She turns her head back up.

    "But thou hast made a mistake regardless. Mine only reservations towards thee were uncertainty of nature of what power thou didst possesseth over these affairs. Thou hast revealed to me both the shape of thine might and thine intent to use it; thine ambiguity, thine mystique, is lost, and with it thine safe distance. If thou art to clearly declare thineself as another enemy, then the way ahead is very clear."

    A quick check indicates that Stella has Gwyn covered (and not Berserker, double bless), and so Priscilla gets the idea that the crystal lady knows what she's supposed to be doing here. Staren is in one piece enough to keep talking. "Indeed, we didst. I couldst hardly ask for something simpler and clearer than a foe to slay, in this mess of affairs." Priscilla draws a massive bow of warped, organic-seeming obsidian, as tall as she is, holding it in the mortis grip of her left hand and planting the wicked spike at its base in the asphalt. A fiery, orange gemstone that looks far too much like a living eye, blazes to life above its grip, giving off a cross-shaped flare of inexplicable heat and light that sounds like a hot glass knife being dragged across steel bones, aimed at Nagi with the malevolent power in its 'gaze'.

    "Die entertainingly." she says to Ruler, before pulling the silver bowstring and releasing a steel lance both longer and far heavier than any parked vehicle towards him, one which erupts into a bolt of ink-black and gold flame as it flies.

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
     Touta is able to get a glimpse of the notebook from behind Nagi, and in doing so he takes notice of two different kinds of signatures within and it raises a brow at first but what truly surprises him is the contents within. It's hard to see from the distance but reports of a place called Kaladesh. Incidents reports detailing unpleasant information, and within those reports are circled portions detailing certain individuals appearences. Individuals that Touta is familiar with and it leaves him speechless for a moment. There was a clear sort of implication being made in these notes, and if it really did have something to do with that belt then...The rules of possibly involving outsiders might have already been breached as Nagi had said.

     Before he can ask any sort of follow-up, Nagi speaks to him. It's not a mistake, he knows that he's here and stares dead-set on his great-grandson. The next instance he's already in the air, and while he's never seen Nagi use his magic before, he's seen his son use that spell and he knows what's coming. There's only a span of five seconds to work with but he's already moving out of the lot as quick as he can. He may be immortal but that doesn't mean he wants to be struck down by lightning for any sort of reason!

     While he runs he gets caught in a shockwave and blown back by the eruption of lightning. He gets a bit dirtied up and a couple of scratches but they disappear in no time at all. But this was a mess now. A true and utter mess. Ruler had unleashed an attack against everyone and that meant that Priscilla and her forces of the Concord would retaliate.

     "Should I use that...?" A thought rolls in his head. He could try to end this war for Saber here and now but in doing so he would invoke Pris' wrath once more. But did it matter if what Ruler's documents said were true? He'd have to ask him to confirm but the way things were going he'd never get this opportunity unless it was now! It felt like he was stuck in a rock and a hard place. Either protect Ruler to find out if what the Concord was doing was wrong, but at the same time become their target or... Let them take out Ruler, his own relative, and forever ponder on the situation...

     A snowstorm rages and with it Priscilla's icy wrath unfolds. He doesn't know what to do....Once again he just doesn't know who to raise his blade against... "If only I could get Saber to take off the belt maybe Nagi would st-...Wait..."

Touta Konoe (1143) has posed:
That's when it comes to him. Maybe, just maybe there was a way to end this. A way to end this confrontation with Ruler getting what he wanted but without directly confronting Priscilla. But it was a gamble, and the odds were probably against him. That said... He pulls out his radio and makes a statement.

     "Master of Saber...If you can hear me you don't have to say anything but please listen to what I've got to say."

     Throughout this Grail War, Touta has only ever confronted other Elites and Servants. But not once has he ever directly interacted with a Master. The people who were probably the most important individuals in a Holy Grail War. It was true that Priscilla was Saber's grandaughter and she had taken it upon herself to strengthen him, but at the end of the day, could she really be the one to be making all the decisions? He was going to find out. So far he hasn't seen Saber's Master as of yet. Perhaps they were hiding or maybe just out of Touta's sight but with that said...

     "I don't know who you are or what you're fighting for. I don't know what your wish is. You don't know me and you probably don't think I'm on your side, but with that said..."

     At this point Touta allows for Priscilla's strike to go through against Nagi. He does not jump in or anything of the sort and the reason is simple..."I'm not on that /jerk/'s side either..." This was Ruler's fault. He lost his cool and cast the first stone this time. If Touta tried blocking for him than he'd lose any room to try and speak to Saber's Master as someone without bias. Besides, this guy was a heroic spirit, if he got one-shotted that'd be a pretty lame hero wouldn't it? "But, if Ruler said is right and what you're doing /is/ breaking the rules, if Ruler /dies/, than that lets all the other Masters do as they please too. They'll probably try to find anyway to keep up with Saber who's gotten stronger and they may do anything they have to...Anything. I don't know too much about Ruler but I do know he's been a part of actual war! And he can probably tell you that when one side gets more fire-power the other side tries to keep up, and I bet the other Masters seeing this will do everything they can to get their Servants stronger..."

     "Look, I don't know what your wish is but is it worth the possible sacrifices...? Look I'm not asking you to stop fighting, but don't give anyone an excuse to use others who aren't involved in this."

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Ruler remains aloft as he examines the damage he's caused. Berserker and Griff pulled through by using their already-blown-up car as cover, though it turned into liquid slag partway through which has scalded them both. Saber was covered by Stella, who inclines his head in thanks towards the crystal woman. He then joins in on her counterattack on Ruler, producing many lightning spears in the ground around him and then tossing them, one after the other up at the man. Such a miracle would be impossible outside of the Age of the Gods. He's getting stronger still!

    Up above, Ruler begins to defend himself. The sharp shards of crystal are parried by unusually skilled hand-to-hand techniques. Strange, for a man who just screams 'wizard' with every aspect of his appearance. The flurry of lightning is caught in his hand, mirroring the same trick Saber did against Berserker, each successive bolt adding to the arching storm in his hands. Once he has them all, he turns to the bizarre cross-shaped arrow Priscilla has fired at him, and slams the bolt into it.

    A high, keening explosion rings out in the sky, like the sound of bass-boosted thunder as played by nails on a chalkboard. But when it clears, Ruler still stands with only a shredded sleeve and slightly cut-up hand to show for it. He's laughing too. "Mmmmmm, that's a good warm-up. He puts on a show of stretching and flexing before dramatically discarding his coat.

    Down below, Touta appeals to Cenedril, who had mercifully stayed back out of the target area. Her expression is a stiff one as he tries to plead with her, but the notion of other Servants doing what the Concord did for her makes her frown. "Surely, it cannot be that easy..." she begins, putting a hand to her chin. "But..." She turns things over in her head, and begins to arrive at a conclusion. "Were the rule that only our Servants may kill other Servants gone... Lord Gwyn is mighty, and mightier still now. But that would be an unacceptable risk to take. His edge may vanish were anyone permitted to kill him."

Eryl Fairfax has posed:
    Above, Ruler carries on. "But you're confused about something, lady. Namely, you think I can die. Firstly, I'm a Servant. By nature, I'm already dead. Just like your pops over there and... whoever she is," he says, gesturing at Gwyn and Berserker both. "But your second mistake is thinking /you can kill me./ I was chosen for this for a reason. I am the sum of my stories, just like any Servant. Ask anyone from my world about me and they'll say the same thing. 'The strongest mage ever,' 'Undefeated,' 'Invincible,' 'A living cheat code.' All of those manifest as me, and as my real Noble Phantasm. What you just saw? Anyone could learn that spell if they tried."

    He exudes an aura of palpable menace now. It was slight before, but now it seems to fill the whole prarie. "My real 'NP' is 'Undefeated Thousand Master.' It's always on, and makes me strong enough to defeat my opponents as a fight goes on. You all just threw a lot of attacks at me, marking you as my 'opponents.' And with the Grail writing me a blank check for all my mana, well..."

    He claps his hands, and another one of those magic circles appears. Then another. Then two more, then four. In just a few seconds, he's constructed a massive dome of them, one that completely encapsulates the wider area. "Can you take this? Maybe you can. But can you cover your granddaddy and his fancy toy, his Master, the people under you, and yourself at the same time? I kind of doubt it!"

     Suddenly, Cenedril rushes to stand before Priscilla, and bows, putting her forehead to the ground. "Ruler! I beseech you to forgive the Lady Priscilla for her harsh tongue! She is a bystander, and I am Saber's Master! Should it bring an end to these hostilities, I will use a Command Seal to have him destroy that device here and now!"

    The air is pregnant as Ruler takes that in. No doubt that everyone else is as well. But in an instant, the circles are gone. "That's a good idea kiddo, but let's give you a chance. How does this sound? I want something. Namely, details on all the past Grail Wars that happened here. But not just from your local library. I want them from those uh... those weird places where the two bigger factions used to hang out. If you and yours bring that to me, I'll forgive the whole 'conquering a whole nation to make grand-dad happy' thing." A cruelly mischevious smile crosses Ruler's face. "But if it's anyone other than you who brings it to me, Saber's Master has to fulfil what she just said. And that will be /your/ fault First of the Concord, because you had to be such a cow about all this."

    With his ruling stated, Ruler begins to fly off. At some point, Berserker and Griff made their exists also, leaving the fight well and truly over.

Staren has posed:
    He can't just assume they'll win. Nagi's going to do /something/. Trying to make his brain think like someone else, though...is incredibly hard. it's like trying to push his brain through a brick wall. Really, worrying about this is someone else's job, but something inside him won't let go, and he's not sure he should question it.

    Almost on automatic, his brain spits out the dramatic words to say, and the accompanying dramatic motion: Draw your beam sword and say 'So be it. Might does not decide who is right, but today it decides who is left.'

    He ignores the impulse though. It's pointless to try to use the plasma sabers here, and this problem with not getting caught by the enigmatic Nagi Springfield is vexing him, why? Ah, control. He doesn't /like/ being caught off-guard. He needs to fit Ruler into the pattern. Ruler thinks he's right. Ruler is an upstanding, honorable, law-abiding type. It's unlikely his personal power can stand up to all of them together. What does the lone hero do in this situation?

    Some scrap of a lesson learned or taught long ago comes to Staren: 'You don't have to do it alone.'

    If Ruler has a way to turn this around and win, it will be because of his friends.

    Who the hell are Ruler's friends?!

    Touta convinces Saber's master to do just what Nagi wants, to undo all their hard work. Oh Morg damnit, he /almost/ saw it coming, but too late.

    He starts flying for the edge of the dome.

    And he has no belief that Nagi is truly undefeatable. Not for a second. The grail has limits. Nagi hasn't turned every sun in the Multiverse blue yet, and heroes killed the guy who managed /that/.

    On the other hand, if they make the grail use up all its power fighting them, it won't be able to grant any wishes at the end of all this, will it?

    They need to sever the connection between Nagi and the Grail.

    Funny, how the answer to THAT puzzle came in an instant, while trying to work out what Nagi would do was so hard.

    ...And it was wrong, too. Nagi really believes he's unstoppable, or wants them to /believe/ he believes that, anyway. His only ally is the grail.

    Before they can sever it though, they need to get out of here. Ruler has won this battle.

    Ruler is a fool. Telling them about Undefeated Thousand Master will be his own undoing. Nagi should have poured everything into destroying them, rather than telling secrets and letting them go.

    Behind the visor, as he speeds through the air towards the edge of the dome, Staren smiles.