The Search for Rameses

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:20 pm

"It's lovely," she commented with a genuine smile. "How do these routes look to you? Am I missing anything?" she angled the map so her fellow servant could see.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:23 pm

"No, I don't think so. I mean, his territory was quite large, but that should cover the capital of his territory at least."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:25 pm

"Thank you Phillipus," she commented, nodding to him. "If you heard his idea, he was wondering if you'd like to come out with me on a counterpath."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:31 pm

"Gladly!" She set out with Atalanta.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:37 pm

[They search the area for about a week without finding anything. After that time, Yui shares with the group that the newspapers are reporting a huge amount of missing girls from the Cairo/Nile Delta area and the police are baffled.]

About a week later, as Atalanta and Cleo are no doubt on one of their normal scouting runs when all of a sudden, a massive beam of golden light shoot into the sky. Its origin is around the area of Ozy's throne as Cleo indicated. From a distanct, Atalanta can't see Ozy or any other figures near the base of the beam, but it's clearly calling the Servants in to come and fight.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:38 pm

Phillipus looked out through the window, elbows resting on the sill. "Ten out of ten for display, but zero for subtlety."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:42 pm

Marisbury crossed his arms. "About time." He dug in his robes and withdrew a replica of the mask he wore during the Grail War. He winked at Lazarus as he handed it to Marchosias. "'I'll' be coming with."

The familar growled and slipped the mask on. As he did, his white hair curled and changed color to resemble Marisbury's.

Yui took a deep breath. "Be careful everybody. We don't know his full capabilities."

Cleopatra cracked her knuckles, and Artoria's armor shimmered into existence around her. Marchosias stood dutifully next to his master Caster.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:46 pm

"Welp, time to go..." Atalanta readied her bow and carefully headed towards the light.

By that time, Julian had arrived a few days prior. He was very congenial to everyone and mostly he and Aaron seemed sweet to each other, even playfully making fun. He engaged anyone interested in conversation about various artifacts, and made any deals he possibly could to help Marisbury get his hands on some.

When the beam of light appeared, he stood at the window, shaking his head, and then chuckling and Phillipus' comment. He turned to Aaron, "Ready sweetheart?" the blonde hopped up from his chair, "Oh HELL yes! Finally!" he gathered a few things and headed out, followed by the other masters and their servants. Lazarus had a hard time pulling himself away from the vast pile of notes he had going on the desk in the corner, but this was rather improtant. Carlotta and Avalon began chanting as they made their way there. Avalon was working on an A rank wind wall spell that would deflect any physical attacks that came their way, and Carlotta had a basket of eggs ready to go.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:48 pm

Phillipus shimmered out of sight, speeding along in spiritual form. Once the lines of battle had been drawn, he was ready to create a boundary.

Mari strapped both the pistol and the extending baton to her belt, along with a metal flask before making her way out with everyone else.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:57 pm

The group of battlers made their way toward the great beam of light. By the time they drew within a few hundred meters of it, a booming voice called out to them, echoing down from the sight.

"Hahahahahahahahaha! Everyone's here! Wonderful!"

They could feel his presence, but couldn't pinpoint his exact location.

"Since you all came to bask in my glory, I shall reward you!

My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings!
Behold, ye mighty, and despair!
My infinite brilliance!
The sun descends here!


RAMESSEUM TENTYRIS!!"

The golden beam grew brighter and brighter until the Servants and Masters were totally blinded. The light cast a heavy warmth on them like the sun itself were coming down on them. In time, the light faded, and they beheld Rider's greatest Noble Phantasm.

RAMESSEUM TENTYRIS

The Shining Great Temple Complex




A massive white-and-golden pyramid the size of one of Giza's Great Pyramids. Smaller pyramids and temples surrounding them, forming a complex as large as an entire city. All those present felt themselves standing in the Age of the Gods, magic swirling around them.

Ozymandais himself stepped out of the gate of the main temple. Behind him, a huge beast loomed, its body composed of the very fabric of the Universe itself.



"Come, then, come! I guarantee you that victory will not come to you so easily this time!"

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:03 am

Phillipus stopped short, awed by the magnitude of the Phantasm. No wonder Cleo had felt such fear, such reluctant reverence. It was not a broken colossus that stood before them, but a true god-ruler of Kemet. Regardless... There was no backing down now.

Mari, however, kept moving. Her eyes darted across the horizon and around the temple, looking for irregular shadows and cover points. Even being stuffed up your own ass couldn't keep a Servant from needing mana.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:40 pm

"Ahaha! Out of my infinite generosity, I will refrain from attacking your Masters! I cannot guarantee the safety of you weak Casters in the back, however!"

The two Casters hung back in concern. When the temple formed around them, they sensed that their parameters had been lowered, and their Noble Phantasms had been sealed. There wasn't much they could do now, but they both started casting regardless.

All around them, dozens of stone lions and giant sphinxes emerged from the temples to surround them. At the very top of the temple, a soft golden light began to pulse brighter and brighter.

Atalanta was the first to act, drawing her bow all the way back and firing a missile at Ozy's face. He merely leaned into it, the arrow striking him and breaking without leaving a scratch.

Ozymandias laughed. "Inside this temple, nothing can harm me!"

Atalanta glared at him.

Artoria and Darius both leapt into action, each of them going after one of the sphinxes nearest to them. As they moved out, Lazarus pulled out his stopwatch, and clicked the button on the top.

Top froze around him. Using a quick spell to make himself move even faster, he ran forward, past the sphinxes and past Ozy and into the main temple. There, he looked up to see the white orb serving as the temple's main power source. As time turned back to normal, he turned and waved his fingers, sending a message to Aaron on the outside.

Aaron received it and turned to his Servant. "Berserker! Get inside and destroy the bulb at the top of the temple!" Berserker growled and broke away from his sphinx, heading toward the main temple. As he did, though, the giant Sphinx near Ozy moved to intercept him.

At the same time, Ozy turned and went back inside the temple, find Lazarus standing near his throne. "You're a slippery little one, aren't you?" He laughed and raised a cane in his hand, aiming it at Lazarus. A beam of light shot out and slammed into him, blowing half his body to pieces, only for it to turn back to normal a moment later.

"What the hell?" Ozy gasped.

Outside, the bulb at the temple finally grew to its brightest point, and unleashed a massive golden beam of light to the two Casters and Archer standing near the entrance to the compound. Phillipus managed to dive out of the way just in time, but the others were too slow.

Marisbury's Caster, still halfway through a chant, suddenly turned and cast a spell at Archer. In a snap, Atalanta teleported fifty feet to the left, moving her out of danger while the beam of light enveloped Caster.

Though they were sure he was dead, Caster emerged from the powerful attack with only minor burns. Some distance off, Marchosias' form suddenly burst into flame and crumbled into ash.

Caster fell to one knee. Though he was able to redirect most of the damage, it wasn't a feat he could repeat a second time for this battle. He returned to spirit form and fled. Phillipus, having narrowly avoided death, did the same.

Berserker finally managed to untangle himself from the giant sphinx and rushed past it and into the temple, where Ozy and Lazarus were locked in a magical duel. With a roar, he leapt up in the air, soaring toward the bulb and smashing it with his axe. A huge crack appeared in it. Nevertheless, light was beginning to gather in it once again.

"Stop that!" Ozy shouted, noticing Lazarus readying a fireball and moving to intercept, but he was too late. The ball of flame slammed into the bulb and cracked it even more.

Then Aaron was standing at the door, having managed to rush past the sphinxes outside. With a flourish of his arm, a huge vine appeared out of his torso and streaked up to the temple, finally shattering the orb and dispersing its light.

All the Servants felt their parameters go back to normal, and their Noble Phantasms unsealed.

Atalanta quickly strung two arrows. "With my bow and arrows, I respectfully ask for the divine protection of the sun god Apollo and the moon goddess Artemis. I offer thee this calamity — Phoebus Catastrophe!"

The arrows shot into the sky, and soon the rain of light came down, smashing down on the sphinxes and lions gathered around them.

Artoria disengaged from her sphinx and stood before the temple, raising her sword high. Golden light gathered around the blade. She shouted loud enough for everyone inside to hear. "Everyone out of the way!"

Berserker took the cue and gathered Aaron and Lazarus in his arms, dashing out the main temple gate. Ozymandias quickly moved to follow, but stopped when Cleopatra's form shimmered into existence in front of him.

A golden snake appeared around her. "This is the snake of time, the omen of Egypt’s downfall. I command you as the final pharaoh. Uraeus Astrape!"

Flames appeared around the snake and it dove toward Ozymandias. Ozy had to jump back to avoid the snake as it danced around the inside of the temple, and it gave Cleo enough time to leap out of the main gate as well.

Ozymandias barely managed to avoid being ensnared by Cleopatra's Phantasm, and was soon out of the main temple as well. As soon as he touched down, though, he saw Artoria standing before him, a golden beam of light enshrouding her sword.

"Oh no."

"EXCALIBUUUUUR!"

Artoria brought the sword down and released a wave of golden light easily equal in magnitude to the beam Ozymandias had released from his pyramid. The Servant could only watch as the beam cleaved through his greatest Spinx, then washed over him.

"Ah, this light... It reminds me of you... Moses..."

Ozymandias closed his eyes and let the light carry him away, his form disintegrating before the onslaught. The blast from Excalibur continued past, splitting the giant pyramid behind him in half and tearing it to pieces. It soon disintegrated, as did the rest of the temples around them.

The Noble Phantasm faded from view, leaving them once again standing in an empty field.

Artoria stuck her sword in the ground and leaned on it, panting.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:07 pm

Mari whirled around, the scene dissipating around her. "S-Saber..." She ran over to the Servant, eyes wide, and pulled her into a hug, bouncing with glee.

"That's a Saber for you!! That was so cool, you saved all our asses!!"

Phillipus sighed with relief after his spell was cast, sending a healing wash over the other Caster. "They made it in time, thank goodness for that. Are you all right?"

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:27 pm

Saber chuckled awkwardly. "There is no need to thank me. I was only doing what I needed to."

Caster nodded wearily. "Thank you. If it weren't for my Clairvoyance... I could see the attack coming just in time to save Atalanta and myself. Even with that, I was almost a goner."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:35 pm

"It's good you could think so quickly. And... I'm sorry about your familiar." He helped Caster up onto his feet, brushing a bit of sand off of his sleeve before rejoining the others.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:53 pm

Aaron shuffled over to Julian holding his bleeding arm. He smiled as his husband gave him a kiss on the cheek and brushed his hand over the wound, healing it.

"Well! We have that out of the way! We'll just have to keep an eye out for Lancer now." Lazarus proclaimed proudly.

"Damn, I feel like I can finally be a tourist for a minute and actually enjoy myself," Avalon laughed and sighed, leaning her head on Mari's shoulder.

"Not so fast!" Aaron piped up, "We still have to worry about Manaka, that needs nipped in the bud, pronto."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:56 pm

"That's right. She should still be in the area." Saber closed her eyes and scanned the area. There might not be any more Servants in the area, but perhaps she could still...

She sensed it immediately. A powerful mana source nearby. She led the group to what appeared to be a tunnel bored into the ground, leading down to a dark cavern.

Saber stood at the entrance and turned to the group. "We have one advantage; she's obsessed with me. Please, let me deal with her. One wrong move, and she could kill any of you in an instant."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:00 pm

"I'm more than okay with that," Aaron said, gesturing to the cave with both hands.

"Good luck, be careful," Avalon put a hand on Artoria's shoulder. "And even though it's risky if you want me to come with you I will. I won't leave you in the lurch."

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:03 pm

Mari nodded firmly and gave a thumbs-up. "If there's any trouble, give us a signal!"

Phillipus nodded absently, brow still furrowed. Saber could clearly handle herself, but Manaka was no ordinary mage... He tried as hard as he could to shove the worry from his mind.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:34 pm

Artoria shook her head. "As my Master... Manaka has even more of a reason to want you dead. Please stay here."

She nodded at the other Servants, before starting down the tunnel. A bird that was one of Yui's familiars followed cautiously.

It was cold and silent as she walked down for minutes. It only got colder... colder. Even knowing it was unnatural, Artoria was on edge. One hand firmly gripped the hilt of her sword.

Finally, the tunnel widened, and they stepped into a cavern. In the dim, magical illumination, she witnessed a horrible sight.

A huge, raised crater dominated the room, radiating mana. Inside was some strange black sludge that resembled the mud from the Grail. Yet it was somehow... even darker and more malign.

Bodies hung on chains from the ceiling. A hundred or more young girls, drained of blood, their mouths hanging open in silent horror. Among them, two bodies hung lower than the rest.

Ayaka Sajyou and Illyasviel von Einzbern. They were alive, but unconscious.

The scene struck horror into Artoria's heart. She put a hand over her mouth, her hands trembling at the grisly scene.

"Saber! Saber! Saber!"

Manaka stood on the lip of the crater. Had she been standing there the whole time? How had Artoria not noticed her?

"You finally came! I knew you would! You're the Servant who was always destined to be with me!"

A genuine, lovely smile adorned her face, absent of any evil or ill will. How could someone that looked so pure commit such things?

"Manaka... What have you done?!"

"Aren't you impressed?!" Manaka did a pirouette. "This is all for you!" She gestured first to Ayaka. "That old man took the pieces of the previous Grail and fed them to her, making her into a second Lesser Grail." Then she gestured to Illya. "And here's a clone of the homonculus used as a base for the Greater Grail! All the ingredients are here! I'll remake the Grail, even greater that before!"

Artoria shook her head. "Why... Why are you doing all this?"

Manaka paused and frowned. "I told you already. I'm doing it for you. I'll use the Grail to save Britain. That was your wish, wasn't it?"

Artoria hesitated. She had to strike Manaka down. As quickly as possible. But her feet refused to move. Manaka's stare froze her in place.

Manaka smiled knowingly. "To use seven Heroic Spirits to reach the Root. The original purpose of the Grail. Boooo~riiiiiing~! I'm already connected to the Root, so I don't need it for that!"

Artoria tilted her head curiously.

"I'm using it for something much better. Something that needs way more souls. You already know I can perform any magic known to man, but I'm limited by my Magic Circuits. So I need something to give me more mana. Limitless mana." She smiled broadly and innocently. "Servant-class Beast."

"The... what?"

Artoria jumped back as a sigil appeared on the base of the crater. Three numbers.

666.

"No..." Even as ridiculous as it sounded, she felt her heart sinking.

"The Beast of Revelation. That's the true purpose of my Holy Grail."

Artoria shook her head. "Manaka. Please. Just... let them go." She still couldn't move. She couldn't.

Manaka looked sad again for a moment, then angry. "I need you, Saber. I had to get you back. There was no other way. That's what I had to steal Rider. It was easy, you know? For someone connected to the Root, stealing Command Spells just takes a thought."

She raised her hand and displayed three Command Spells on the back of her hand. Artoria was confused; if Rider was dead, shouldn't they have disappeared?

"Assassin." The Command Spells glowed.

Horror dawned on Artoria; she had forgotten that Ayaka had had Command Spells of her own.

"By my Command Spells, I order you."

Outside the cave, Cleopatra perked up. Was it Ayaka? Was she in trouble?

"Manaka, stop!!"

"Die."

The others watched as Cleopatra's expression turned to dread. Then her golden snake shimmered into existence around her, and in half a second, it snapped her head off of her shoulders.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:41 pm

Mari gasped, her mouth opening to cry out. Phillipus pressed his hand over her mouth, holding her back. "We must remain calm and quiet," he hissed. "She must already know we're all here; we can't provoke her. By any means, we must remain vigilant."

Mari's lips curled back, her teeth about to press and bite down into Phillipus's palm - but she knew he was right. She took a shaky breath.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sat Apr 15, 2017 11:44 pm

Apparently staying outside of the cave wasn't far enough. Lazarus reached out, trying to think of something he could do, but there was nothing. Julian gasped, but calmly analyzed the situation as Aaron yelled, "What the fuck?!" Avalon began to tremble a little, eyes darting between escape and assisting Saber, and Carlotta backed up several steps.

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Damascus on Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:12 am

"Manaka!!" Saber finally started to move, but stopped again when Manaka pointed at her.

"It's okay, Saber. You know why? Because I'll forgive you." She showed Artoria her hand again, which had become blank upon Assassin's death. "If you just contract with me again. I'll even let your new Master live!" She smiled. "If you don't, I'll have to kill the rest of your new friends one by one."

She let her offer hand in the air as she stared down at Artoria, who still trembled with a mixture of abject terror and barely suppressed rage.

Finally, Artoria relaxed, sighing in defeat.

"Very well. I'll contract with you."

Manaka filled with glee, and started to dance around on the crater. "Hooray! Hooray! I knew you would! It's our destiny!" She hopped off the lip of the crater and ran toward Artoria, whose eyes had lowered to the ground in resignation.

Manaka held out her fingers. "Just touch my fingers, and it's done. I swear, Saber. I'll fulfill your wish. I'll make you happy."

Saber drew Excalibur and drove it through Manaka's belly.

Still smiling, Manaka blinked several times. "Huh?" She looked down at the blood pooling at her feet. "What's this? It feels so warm."

Artoria gritted her teeth and drew her sword back out, looking away as a small amount of the girl's guts fell out.

Still, Manaka just smiled at her, tears spilling out of her eyes. "It's so warm. Is this... This is love, isn't it?" She put her hands around the wound in her belly, trying weakly to put her organs back in her body. "It's such a wonderful feeling. I love you, Saber. I'll always love you. I could never hate you. I... could..."

She trailed off as the light left her eyes, and she crumpled dead on the floor in front of Artoria.

The Servant wasted no more time, flicking the blood off her sword and sheathing it, then jumping through the air and snatching both living girls down in one action.

Ayaka and Illya awoke slowly as she set them down.

"It's okay now," Saber said solemnly. "You're safe. Go up above ground."

Though they were confused, they heeded her words silently, rushing up the passageway.

Artoria turned to face the cavern again, beholding Manaka's body, the cauldron of darkness, and the bodies hanging from the ceiling. Nothing could be done for them anymore. No one else could witness this atrocity.

Golden light clad her sword as she raised it over her head. "Ex-... calibur!"

Above ground, the group felt the ground rumble underneath. A moment later, Ayaka and Illya emerged from the tunnel. Both sobbing, Ayaka went straight into Mari's arms. Illya instinctively went to the most fatherly of the group... Lazarus, clutching his leg.

Only a few seconds after that, Artoria came above ground. Her eyes looked dead. It wasn't a proud king that stood before Avalon now, but a person broken on the inside.


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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by fuyumin on Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:16 am

"Ayaka!!" Mari snatched the girl into her arms, falling onto her knees. Tears poured from her eyes, her face in Ayaka's hair. "Thank God... Saber, you saved them..." She looked up, and the Servant's face began to sink in. "... Saber?"

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Re: The Search for Rameses

Post by Kittenboxxing on Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:18 am

Lazarus immediately bent down and hugged the little girl, "Oh goodness...are you alright? What happened?"

Avalon rushed to Saber and hugged her, "Let me know if I can do anything for you okay?"

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