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Chapter 1: Our Story Begins

Justin OOC

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For Anne Mistral, life was largely hell.  Coming from a world of incredible technology, This world was boring, banal, and mundane.   Topping it off she was young, which meant she had to be in school, and she was stuck here, at least that's what she'd thought.   She knew of Keys, Gates and how they worked, and among all the abilities she'd gained, one was to sense when a key near.  This was useful and had lead her to Tokyo Jindai High School.    

For Eilos  Apollon It was somewhat different.  Having come from a world of myth and magic, he was in a strange world with no real common ground, aside from the existence of magic.   Using his own mystical power, he'd forged himself a quiet life as a student, a residual effect of being summoned here.   With no way to go home, he settled in, only to be guided by a mystical force to Tokyo Jindai high school.  Here he knew there was someone who could help him go home.  

Ryan Church was a survivor.   Having lived the last six years of his life across half a dozen worlds, he was only slightly irked at being summoned to this one.   It was always like this, the summoning, always in the middle of things with damn little information to go on.  He quickly found that he'd been provided a life as was normal when summoned, something he never really got, but went with it.  The now eighteen year old man letting out a grunt of annoyance when he saw he was once again a highschool student.  "Dammit, just once, I'd rather not have to go to some sort of school.  Still he knew that the way to move on was there at the school, that was how this always worked, so he set about preparing himself.

That was a month ago.  In that time the Trio of "students" had taken to attending classes, all the while searching out their ticket home.   It was only natural that the three of them found each other, as they did all stand out in their own way.   After that they began to work together, hunting for who or whatever it was that would let them go back home.

In the Library, Rika Ajima sat doing what she loved most, reading.   As the president of the Literature club, she thought the written word the turning point of mankind's history.   She studied extensively, and was ranked among the top students at the entire school.  Her Literature club however was among the smallest clubs, and in danger of being shut down.  More than that as of late she'd had some strange pains, and visions of other worlds, like dreams, but they were impossibly vivid.   Something within her lurked, coiled tightly, but it shifted ever so slightly, and the words she read as she began her newest book seemed to resonate with her.  

"Our Story begins...."


  you may expand on what your character does in the month  since their summoning.    You have fully vetted and created lives here in this world, with ID and homes, though each of you lives alone.  it is very unclear how this has happened.   The three PC's do know each other, though none of you has met Rika.  The school is quite large with over fifteen hundred students across three grades.




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This month was an annoyance.

Plopped literally out of nowhere, wandering about lost until however her identity was created and vetted was set up, not to mention free-ride room and board was a comfort. But this wasn't her life. She is reminded of it watching aircraft take off and land from a nearby military base to where she lived. The commute to and from school was easy enough, a old moped she got back up to running condition made matters simpler. But something was off. She would take her mind off after classes by using the resources the Gym had to offer, running laps, sometimes lifting weights (which now never seemed to provide a challenge), or whatever she would be allowed to do. At least she could burn off the calories and have something to do.

She had thought of talking to a mechanic next to where she lived to get hired on for odds-and-ends help, but he wouldn't hire a student on. He didn't want to disrupt "her studies".

Unfortunately since this was something she's already done her classes were easy. Considering she also knew how to avoid high-school drama still, she was able to at least get some respect, even as a "transfer student".

Today though the buzzing in her head was a bit stronger and it would come and go whenever she left the school or returned to it. If there was something about this school she hoped she would find out about it soon, maybe her ticket home could be right around the corner...

Although she couldn't just take it herself, the others needed to get home too. She just hoped it wasn't a trip for one. Everyone deserved to go home. And she knew she would have to do what she could to do just that.

She had put the name of Anne Mistral aside for now, taking on Aoi Aokaze as her new name to match up with her identity. Thankfully her Japanese classes she took to help get into college are paying off now.

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It had been a long month. Getting adjusted to a foreign life in a foreign land in a foreign universe was not something Elios ever thought he would need to do. He was surviving, but he was not comfortable, even with the gifts this mysterious life had given him. 

Elios passed much of his time meditating to Apollon. He still felt connected, but the connection was weaker than it had been previously. Blessings were now limited, some even drained his own light, but he was thankful his tie to Apollon was still there. When Elios wasn't meditating, he was spending time in the school library. He had become aware of the internet, and he was using it to better learn the local language. It was similar to the language spoke in Amaterasu, a kingdom east of his home, but it wasn't exact. He found himself using the wrong words often. Luckily enough he was able to play this off as the American exchange student he was assumed to be. His fellow classmates assumed he was a simple farmer from another country, taking an opportunity to expand his worldview in Japan. On his first day here, his name was mispronounced as Elias Appleton by another students and he had decided to just roll with it. Some of them just called him Apple for short, usually followed with stifled laughter from other students. He was ok with being teased, they could continue to think he was a slow farmer from America as long as it didn't slow him down.

The knowledge of this world was fantastical. Magic no longer existed except in fiction, but many things were the same, just more advanced. The understanding of math, science, and engineering were greater than that of his people and he was required to understand them to an extent a scholar or advisor would in Helios. Here it was just part of his "high schooling," expected to be known by everyone. Much of his time was spent studying to catch up on things he was never required to give his time back home to maintain his cover. Thankfully he was gifted by Apollon, and was an incredibly quick study. The others that were foreign to this world did not seem as bothered by this change as he was. Elias simply assumed their home was closer to this one than his own.

Home was his endpoint. He wanted to return to that battle to save his fellow Clerics. That had to wait for another night though. Tonight his goal was to pass his math test in the morning. He quietly sat in the corner of the library that pulled on him. It was in this place he was most comfortable. At this moment he was pouring over his textbooks, and wondering what things could be achieved in Helios when he was able to bring this knowledge back with him.


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For Ryan Church, who came from a world like this initially, it was just one more reminder that he wasn't home.   He'd finally made it back, but now, here he was again, in another world, though this time he had no clue how he was to get back, only some vague sense guiding him here.  He was at school, heading to the library.  His history teacher had assigned a project, and since he didn't know this world's history, he knew he needed to learn more.

As he entered he began to have a headache, and the strange force told him he needed to continue.   He made his way to the history section next to the Literature section and fought through the pain to peruse and find a concise account of Oda Nobunaga, the focus of the project he'd chosen.   As he was going to the small alcove with chairs and a table, he noticed a young woman already there.   She was reading already, and he shrugged.  sitting by someone wasn't liable to be an issue, so he quietly made his way to a chair there, and took a seat to start reading.  

As he cracked open the book, she looked up and smiled.  "That's a good one you know.   They only used established facts about him, and his life."   Her voice resonated with him, and the sense seemed to go haywire. his head was pounding like a drum now, and unfortunately for him, his legs gave out.  He fell over into the chair and Rika let out an alarmed cry.  She quickly moved to help him up, and when she touched him they both felt a pulse ripple out through reality.

Elsewhere, Aoi and Elias Felt the ripple in reality and knew something was up.  More than that, they knew they had to get to the school library, immediately.

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There was a tone... the buzz became a tone. No... choral... just under the sound of the school.

And it was loudest when she looked toward the Library.

She grabbed a bag from her moped... a large dufflebag that could double as a backpack, and ran with it on her back like it weighed nothing. She slowed up at the back door of the school and took a brisk pace to the library. The reason she made up in her head? She was looking up anything she could find about 20th century combat aces. Her history teacher did request a report about a notable soldier from the 20th century... although the report was due in a month, she could bang that out on her free time.

Time Management... what a concept right?

She walked through the front doors of the library.

"The Gathering..." She thought. This was starting to remind her of some cheesy sci-fi fantasy action movie.

She spotted Ryan, he's down... "Whatever happened it has to do with this..."

"Fuhhhh...." Aoi grunted lowly, grabbing the bridge of her nose. She stumbled back to a chair and held on, crunching the muscles of her torso like she was feeling an excessive amount of G's, struggling to keep the blood to her brain going. The look of fear on Rika's face...

"Stay calm..." Was all she could manage from her mouth. Not sure if she even shouted.

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A wave of light hit him, it was unknown to him, but still familiar. It was accompanied by a piercing headache and his field of vision collapsing into a single pinpoint. He was blind. No, not blind, his vision was simply overwhelmed by the ripple. It partially began to clear. First a pinpoint, and when he focused on it he could see as if looking through a telescope. On the other side was Ryan, being helped up by Rika, a student he only knew in passing. The longer he looked in their direction, the clearer his vision became. He was being manipulated to look at it, his focus being pulled in their direction. As soon as he made the realization his vision finally cleared, but his head still felt like a pin was being driven into it, his mind trying to hold the assault at bay.

Elias pushed his book into his messenger bag, slung it over his shoulder and started to make his his way towards Ryan and Rika against a growing sharpness in his skull. It was then he saw Aoi come through the doors of the library, grab the bridge of her nose and stumble.  With Ryan and Aoi both present he knew it was related to what brought the three of them here, only now there was a 4th involved. "Stay calm." He heard Aoi say. He didn't know what to do with Ryan or Rika, but Rika was the unknown here and those two were the source of whatever is happening. Elias passed them taking the long ways around the room and moved to Aoi. His legs were heavy as if he was wearing heavy cavalry plate. He could feel a surge in his connection to Apollon as his tunic was the only thing keeping him on his feet. Unfortunately, it couldn't do anything for his head and the pin persistantly being pushed into his brain. As he moved, the sensation moved as if it was the needle on a compass, North pointing to the pair. Out of breath he finally made it to Aoi and took position beside her, his focus being drawn to Rika and the panicked look on her face.

He stood with his hand on his forehead, palm out, in a futile attempt to block the pain. He queried between breaths. "What...is...this...and what...should...I do?" He was never prepared for an assault he couldn't understand and it concerned him greatly.

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Rika was somewhat alarmed when two other students showed up, Ryan was still down, though he was awake and whatever that weird pulse was, she didn't have a clue.  As soon as Elias came in, he was in pain, and she made to steady him, and accidentally brushed against Aoi as well.  and the pulse rippled out again, which sent them both down like Ryan, in debilitating pain, and Rika herself began to glow.  "What's going on?"

Soon it was over, and instantly the pain was gone. On the back of her left hand were a trio of marks, a stylized cross, a sword, and a starburst.   They shown with a near rainbow-like of light, and then faded.   The pain vanished instantly and Ryan opened his eyes.  "Holy hell you're a mage."
Rika looked at him and cocked her head  "What are you talking about?  I'm just a student, and magic is not real.."

"That isn't true, Miss Ajima.  Magic is very real, and now that you have claimed your Servants, you are now involved in the Great War.   Mages in this world have fought via proxy Servants for all of humanity's history, and you are a part of it."  There was a man in the the doorway of the alcove, that now stood there when he'd been nowhere close before.  He had light grey hair but looked somewhat young, with steel-grey eyes.

"I am your Observer, Lucian.  I will chronicle your battles, and while I cannot directly interfere, I am permitted to tell you the general history of the War, and the factions within.

Ryan held up his hand, which was marked with the sword crest, though it had more parts and layers.  "Master Seal?"

Lucian nodded.  "Affirmative.  She may command you 3 times to do anything, or use her crest to restore you without fail.  A master without crests is no longer a master, so Miss Ajima use them sparingly, as you could still be a target, even without Servants now."

"I don't want to fight."   She said quietly.  "I detest violence of any kind.  I just won't do it."

Lucian shook his head.  "Then you will die.   That is the nature of the Great War for Magi.   You fight, or die.  Victory, or death.   There are some Magi who've been in the war for centuries now.   Their servants are powerful beyond words.   Still it is not all doom and gloom.  It is a rule that Elder Magi may not attack neophytes unless they're attacked first.  More than that.  The number of servants that can be used in a formal duel of Magi is the choice of the younger Mage."

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"Looks like we're drafted wither we like it or not. No use fighting it." Anne/Aoi said walking over to Rika. "After all something caused the three of us to be taken against our wills here. Not surprised you now got sucked into this clustercuss as well and now... we're stuck in." Looking at the itching sensation on the back of her hand, seeing the Starburst symbol. A gold central circle crowned with white rays of the starburst, pointing in eight directions like a compass rose. "Obviously I'd get the starburst. Lucky me."

She sighed, regaining her composure. Slipping her dufflebag over her shoulders to be her backpack She turned to Lucian. "You're Lucian, correct? Now if I gather this correctly, we were selected to be this girl's guardians? And in duels, her champion?"

She rested a hand on the table Rika was at as she leaned on the edge. "I think it might help if we get a run-down of the major factions in play, Lucian. To know what we're up against. We're gonna need allies if we're gonna survive... if Rika's gonna survive."

Aoi was scared. But she wasn't gonna show it. Not to anyone at that table. There was no way out but through at this point.

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"I can assure you miss, that magic is most definitely real, its just... distant and out of reach in this world." Elias stood, brushing the dust off of himself. It was then he noticed the Holy Cross on the back of his hand.

"People are convinced it doesn't exist, so why would they bother trying to learn something that doesn't exist. It's a self replicating cycle that keeps them from the light."

Elias looks down to the hands of his companions. Holding the back of his hand up, he address Lucian. "I assume this is part of this binding. I have sworn my allegiance to Helios. I'd ask what would happen if we refused to take part but I get the feeling we dont get a choice, and even if we did I imagine I wouldn't be able to return home?" In the back of his mind he tried to reason Apollon had selected him and that's why he was here. It was the only way he could reason fighting for his own cause.

He shrugged, and nodded along as Aoi spoke. Adding his own commentary at the end. "The more we know the about our opponents and our situation the better. I am truly tired of being caught off guard."

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Ryan sighed.  "How the hell did you even get this to work on me?"   Lucian just smiled.  "You were much more powerful, and with that unique power, Mr. Cross, you'd have been the most powerful Servant ever.   I'm not privy as to how it was done, but your special power has been lessened.  Since you've been sent and summoned before, it allowed you to be summoned here, though it has placed some limitations on your power."

Ryan nodded, but looked annoyed.  "I guess it would."   He looked to the others.  "Before coming here, i'd developed a particular power that rendered me utterly impervious to magical effects.  In a war focused on magical combat, I would be virtually unstoppable.  I don't have that immunity anymore though, which will take some adjustment time for me."  He looked to Elias.  "A friendly spar later would be welcome, to see just how far that immunity was reduced, if you don't mind."

Lucian nodded.  "I have put in the customary three days grace period, starting from the moment she formally contracted all three of you.  No one will attack you, or interfere within that timeframe, though after that, well A non-initiated neophyte who managed to contract three powerful Servants all at once isn't something many will ignore."

He looked to Anne, and smiled.  "There are three great factions, The Helost Collective, which is mostly based in Europe, focusing on true magic as you would think of it.  They have the greatest numbers, and most overall power.  The Alaran Alliance, Based in the Americas.  Their leader is the third most powerful mage alive, Arthur Dendan.  He specializes in Cognitive and lightning magic.  The final Faction is the smallest of the three, The Ten Clans.  They are ten hereditary mage families here in Asia, based out of Tokyo.  you are in the heart of their territory, but they're mostly hands-off, so long as public order is undisturbed.   The two most powerful magi are Arnhem Bauer, and Chigusa Manami, and they hold to no affiliation or faction, fighting alone, with a dozen Servants each."

Lucian looked at them and sighed.  "Honestly, there are more factions, dozens really but most have less than ten members, and barely qualify for the Registry.   More than that, there are more unaffiliated Magi than not.   Thanks to one of the Primal laws, Magi cannot be compelled by magic to join a faction, but there is something to be said for strength in numbers.   Still such strength and security is not without cost, as the factions expect their members obedience and fealty."

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"And Rika ends up with the wrong side with how we're shackled to her, we could end up doing some nasty things."

She drummed her fingers on the desk. "The Ten Clans are Hands-Off as long as the public isn't messed with? Sounds like a proper operating procedure."

"What is the goal of the Ten Clans?, Lucian?" She said, then quirking her eyebrow she continued. "Can't have a war without a goal other than 'dominating everyone else' 'cause... that usually ends with a spectacular fall..."

"We got three orders on this tour of duty, then we're free of obligation... but Rika..." She looked over to her. "With how she's stuck in, I'm not sure if even when I've done my time I could just leave her in the lurch. Not in my nature, now that I know she's just as unwitting in this as we are."

"I don't think I could leave her at all, nor these two knuckleheads either." She said pointing at Ryan and Elias. "Then again, with how this has been feeling once my time's up I got a suspicion I'd be to these mages an outsider interfering, wouldn't I?"

"Or for that matter, the three of us..."

She didn't like that realization... if they had to leave Rika alone... No, she couldn't think that far ahead. There's potential they couldn't even survive to be released from servitude...

"Right... the Ten Clans... info. Need it."


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"If you're thinking what I am, allies would be useful, but only if they do not have an alterior nefarious purpose."

The realization of being in a mage battle was setting in. The fact it was with a completely inexperienced neophyte made it weigh more, but in his mind Rika was innocent in all of this.

"Outsider or not, I can not leave an innocent in danger once we are relieved of our obligations and Rika is not in this of her own free volition it seems, she is as innocent in this as we are."

He looked around at the group. "If we are all truly stuck in this, I recommend we stop being as independent of each other as we have been. It would be best none of us are caught alone at any point throughout this unless its necessary for our success."

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Rika just stared at the other four people, and shook her head.  "This can't be real."  Ryan sighed, and an actual portal into another world appeared.  He reached within and drew forth a sword, and looked at her.  "It is Rika.  it sucks that you didn't have a choice, and neither did we.  Our very best option is to survive and fight to the end so you can have your life back, and we can gone home."

"As for us sticking together, I'd suggest Aoi here, partner with Rika, as one of us will not be able to go to some places the same way.  Beyond that, I'm betting she can use a Master's crest to summon us to her from anywhere."  Lucian nodded. "Yes, and it doesn't even use a crest, it's a simple privelage."

Ryan nodded.  "Okay, at least that means she can call on us as she needs to then."

Lucian nodded.  "The ten clans are as I said ten families of magi who have always lived here in Japan.   They tend to specialize in their magics but the most powerful use several variety of magic.  To become a member, Rika would have to prove blood ties to one of the 10 Clans, marry a member of one of the families, or in special circumstances, be adopted into one of the families."

"What would that entail?"

"Defeating a large magical threat, and have a member in good standing vouch for you to the family head.  They would then decide if you merited admittance, and where in the heirarchy you'd fit."

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Anne nodded. "Aye, I can do that... I can fly her anywhere if needed... but just so you know every moment I fly is a moment that power has to rest."

She smiled at Rika before hearing Lucian's info. Then her expression turned serious again as she turned to him. "So either she's already in and she don't know it, she'd have to marry in, or we have to put a hurt on something nasty and get blooded in..."

She scratched her chin. "On a side note, Lucian, do you know who our benefactor is? Is it one of the factions in this war? Perhaps they can be an angle?"

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"I'm not comfortable with the idea of picking something or somebody big and jumping headfirst into trying to put the smackdown on it. I've lived my life as a defense, not offense. Maybe we will get lucky and she's already in."

Elias briefly considered mentioning marriage into the ten clans wouldn't be terrible, but reconsidered when he remembered that arranged marriages for the sake of alliance fell out of style a long time ago on this world.

"Lucian, are there any noteworthy individuals that may be open to alliance in case the Ten Clans turn into a dead end?"

Elias turns to Ryan. "Is there anything about this magic immunity of yours that you can still harness that we can use to fortify or was this gift yours alone and not a blessing to be bestowed upon others?"

He mumbled under his breath to nobody in particular. "What path have you led me down Apollon?"

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"Lady Rika is not in in any way.  She is unaligned, which is a benefit and burden.  There are many who could be of benefit to know, but nothing that's going to show that much interest in someone so inexperienced as Rika.  That said the nature of her servants is different too.   Others are figures of myth and legend.  You three, are not."

Ryan snorted  "Of course."  he looked to Elias.  "it was just for me, not for anyone else.  it was a real pain for my magic using allies, but it did come in real handy."

He smiled  "So we're alone.  That's fine we can keep our heads down and see who comes sniffing around.  We make a plan to work together to show them why we merit respect."

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"So that begs the question you so deftly dodged, Lucian... who are our benefactors in all of this? Someone invested in this war seems to want us to be comfortable. And hanging around." Aoi said, taking a seat.
"Also, you guys, if the servants come from myth and legend that gives us one hell of an advantage. They can't scout us." She said, gesturing to the books of the library. "On the other hand we can scout them."

"Books, the most powerful of weapon."

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