The Third Comicvine Holy Grail War - Moriarty and Friends vs. A Large Team

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Naronu

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#1  Edited By Naronu

The Professor and his Teaching Assistants:

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Moriarty

The Unknown Soldier

Lycaon

A Lot of People:

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Archer

Avenger

Rider

Antonio

Bianca

Elligatia

Alan

Eadric

Eric

Godwine

John

Marian

Thorkell

Will

Location:

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Phase 1 Stipulations:

  • The Mecha-MerryMan has blasted a hole through the street revealing Lycaon/Moriarty/TUS below the street.
  • Godwine has activated his Noble Phantasm so his location is approximate
  • There's a lot of Charisma stuff going on that won't be edited in (Because Jimmy >>>)
  • Divinity Stuff:
    • Archer: Robin Hood => B
      • Alan: High-Speed Incantation => (-), Instinct => E, Magecraft => (-)
      • John: Riding => C+, Battle Continuation => E, Sphere Boundary => (-)
      • Marian: Mystic Eyes => D, Protection from Arrows => D, Martial Arts => (-)
      • Will: Presence Detection => C, Instinct => D
    • Antonio: Magecraft => (-), Martial Arts => (-), Item Construction => (-)
    • Avenger: A Divine Prodigy => B, Oblivion Correction => E+, Independent Action => (-)
    • Bianca: Magecraft [Runic] => C-, High-Speed Incantation => (-) Rider: Magic Resistance => (-), Magecraft [Runic] => (-), Forger of my Own Domain => B
      • Eadric: Charisma => C, Espionage => C
      • Eric: Instinct => B, Sphere Boundary => B
      • Godwine: Arts => C, Shapeshift => (-), Golden Rule => C
      • Thorkell: Natural Body => C, Voyager of the Storm => (-), Mad Enhancement => (-)
    • Elligatia: Magecraft => E, Martial Arts => (-), Instinct => (-)

For Phase One each faction will make 2 posts, one outlining their general strategy for this phase, and one reacting to what their opponent intends to do this phase. Then it will be opened for voting and if necessary we will move onto the second phase, with the new conditions stipulated in another post.

It should go without saying that referencing abilities you do not have will lead to immediate disqualification, I have full knowledge of all builds present here and vouch that if they reference an ability or skill rank they do not possess that will not be counted.

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darthjhawk

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#2 darthjhawk  Moderator

@sy8000@supremegeneration@just_banter@gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps@maestromage@oldkaiser

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Welcome Honored guests! Tell me, have you come to accept my offer and join hands in order to walk the same path? Or do you seek to throw paltry skills and magic into a futile contest of wills?

<<Charisma of Wicked Wisdom has been activated. The Effects of Espionage EX have taken effect, reducing the skills intrinsic to your legends and myths. Some of the very things that made you worthy to answer the call of the Throne of Heroes.>>

<<The following skills no longer exist.>>

  • Archer: Independent Action
  • Marian: Weapons Training
  • Eric: Weapons Training
  • Rider: Imperial Privlege
  • Alan: Song of Healing
  • Eadric: Signatory
  • Godwine: Presence Concealment
  • Avenger: Divinity
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Sy8000

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#4  Edited By Sy8000

The Counterattack

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Who has James Moriarty pissed off? A lot of people. Who's coming for him now? A lot of people. It may be sooner, it may be later, but payment always comes due in full.

Starting Conditions

First off, Canute, the Earls, Archer, and the Merry Men all have suits created by Archer that have protective abilities. Description thereof provided by @maestromage

The suits' abilities are threefold; first, they generate a kind of illusion that interferes with an opponent's perceptions in order to throw them off target. It's not a drastic effect, but rather one just subtle enough to make attacks miss when they otherwise wouldn't, or to force an AoE response when the trick is figured out. The second aspect is an intangible barrier around the wearers to prevent anything from interfering with their minds, or in this instance memories. For context, the item this is based on was made to block high-level spirit magic, which in Arifureta is a blanket form of magic that encapsulates mind, soul and energy manipulation, and its applications include things like tampering with memories. Given its success at blocking spirit magic, as well as blocking other derivative mental abilities, this should prevent TUS from making them forget anything, or from any other mental/soul attacks used in this battle. The last aspect is the most experimental as there is no easy 1-to-1 comparison; that being to block or at the very least mitigate the effects of Divinity on the wearers. Robin made a separate artefact specifically for this and whilst Divinity as a concept is very unique to the Nasuverse, I have good reasons for believing that he'd be successful in doing so.

Firstly, as that second link mentions, Hajime (who is the source of both Robin's skill and magical abilities) is known for being extremely adaptable with his strategies and the things that he makes, to the point where countering an ability he has only seen once with an artefact is easily achievable for him. More relevant to this specific instance is that Oscar (Hajime's "Master" who he indirectly studied under and surpassed by series end) was able to counter a divine ability that debuffed himself and his allies, one he had never even seen before, only having heard about second hand, and was relatively successful. "Relative" in the sense that the weaker version (which to be fair is what he heard about) was completely cancelled out, and the stronger version was only mitigated but another artefact he had made was able to neutralize the effects when the two were put together. Robin by contrast has encountered Divnity at this rank twice before, once against Orpheus and once against TUS (which he may or may not remember? Not sure). Divinity =/= Sanctified Purge ofc, but regardless it's well within his capabilities on paper.

In terms of specific ability interactions, Divinity is a weird one since it's a skill that only really works the way it does in this scenario, being less proactive in the main Fate series as far as I can recall, so there aren't exactly "feats" that we can compare. Having said that, the fact that Magic Resistance is a potentially effective counter says to me that it's not something that is un-interactable with other magical abilities, and under that lens, I think Robin making something that cancels it out is perfectly possible. The Ancient Magic that Hajime uses in his equipment is the ultimate form of Magic in Arifureta, being what all other forms of magic are derived from, and each is able to manipulate a fundamental aspect of the world. Time, Space, Matter, etc. To be more specific about things, there are three which I think would be used here: Spatial, Spirit and Evolution magic. The first two encompass the manipulation of dimensions and "boundaries", as well as all forms of incorporeal energy involved in living beings. I couldn't say for sure if Divinity would be classed as a form of energy, but given everything so far and that Divine Spirits are, well, spirits, Spirit Magic should be able to interact with it. Spatial magic I bring up just as it's the move useful ability for "preventing X from reaching a target". I brought evolution magic for two reasons; since it manipulates information it's able to buff/debuff others and abilities in a way the series basically describes as akin to adding a +1 to a stat. Which yes makes it very compatible with the ranks we have here, but it also means that it has the ability to make other Ancient Magic better. So even if the basic functions of spatial and spirit magic aren't enough on their own, Hajime can and does use evolution to reinforce them when necessary.

I know, I know. This is kinda long and probably didn't need to be. But both Hajime and Robin are a whole lot smarter than me so I wanted to explain why I think this is achievable for them without dragging myself down by forcing myself to stick to rigid specificities that might do more harm than good. The fact of the matter is that Robin did all this a few advancements ago. The above is just why I think it'll work.

As a support measure, everyone but Avenger and Bianca are all telepathically connected to Emma who is across the map. This is significant because we have knowledge of Ba’al’s Nameless Warrior having experienced it before. Emma has been instructed to monitor our thoughts and should the Soldier’s existence vanish from them, remind us of his existence. Guanel Lee has shown no feats to suggest he could erase himself from someone far out of his range.

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Furthermore Thorkell has Indomitable D through his contract with Emma (so she has it as well), which reduces the efficiency of mental attacks by half. This should mitigate the effects of Nameless Warrior, telepathic link further facilitating reminder of the others.

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Finally, the group is aware that Moriarty has been working on a ritual to fuse Lycaon and Ba'al and form a Beast class servant, Canute having gained this knowledge through Conqueror EX. In addition to having knowledge that Ba'al is central to Moriarty's plans to produce an Evil of Humanity, which was fed to them while he accompanied Teams Red and Yellow in the form of Sherlock Holmes. They don't know exactly what stage of completion the ritual is at. But at the very least it's well understood that killing Ba'al will be a severe disruptor to Moriarty's long-term plans. As well as that he's most likely the strongest of Moriarty's subordinates and therefore worth a concentrated effort.

While the complete defeat of James Moriarty is the final goal of Canute and Antonio, we lack knowledge of his abilities. So killing Ba'al and gaining knowledge of Moriarty's abilities from what he displays in the fight will be a satisfactory outcome.

Which is not to say that we plan to ignore Moriarty, not at all, but the target of the team's fully unloaded offense is Ba'al. Focus on Moriarty will depend on Ba'al's survival.

Opening Actions

Rider and the Earls

At the start of the fight, Canute will enter the Mirror World as he is known to do.

For the opening salvo, Eadric will activate his Noble Phantasm, Traitor’s Reversal, allowing him to switch to objects with similar mass. Godwine is next to Thorkell, so Eadric will swap Ba’al and Thorkell, placing Ba’al right next to Godwine. Note that while Presence Concealment is invalidated, Godwine’s Noble Phantasm Specter of the Throneroom isn’t, so he’s still invisible and concealed from magic senses.

With the point-blank attack opportunity, Godwine will use his second Noble Phantasm, Dissolution of the Dynasty, to sever all of Ba'al's contracts, including his servant contract with Moriarty.

Noble Phantasm

Rule Breaker:

Rank: C

Type: Anti-Thaumaturgy Noble Phantasm

Range: 1 person

A Noble Phantasm with an ability clearly unlike that of the other Servants' Noble Phantasms. Its efficiency as a weapon is virtually nil, but it has the ability to "break" (as in, "violation of commandment" or "transgression of law") any magic on a target pierced by its blade. Targets that can be broken are contracts formed from prana, and life forms born from prana. Rule Breaker can reset the condition of the target to the state before magic was used on it. In other words, contracts formed from prana are wiped clean, and life forms created from prana are forcibly sublimated. Thus, its utility is quite limited, but it is extremely powerful within the context of the Servant system of the Holy Grail War.

In practice, Medea successfully used this Noble Phantasm to nullify the contracts between other Masters and their Servants. For a time, Artoria and EMIYA served Medea as her own Servants.

- Fate/Complete Material III

This is a maneuver the Earls and Merry Men specifically discussed and trained to perform before.

While successfully pulling this maneuver would hopefully be a massive disruption in his evolution, those involved are aware it might very well fail, as well as the possibility that Baal will not immediately stop fighting, and are prepared for such.

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Normally for an opening post we might leave it at this but considering the amount of abilities that need to be discussed as well as the characters opening preparation for failure, I think follow-up attacks are needed.

Archer and the Merry Men

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His Master and allies have stressed how important this is/how much they really want to kill the old man, so Robin's opening move will be to use his Noble Phantasm Prince of Thieves, disregarding concerns about the penalty to take as much power (i.e. physical parameters) from the three opponents as he possibly can.

Seven Deadly Sins Chapter 144: That Man Walks the Way of Greed
Seven Deadly Sins Chapter 144: That Man Walks the Way of Greed

In the same motion, he'll use Snatch's later-developed ability to "give" to empower his allies with those stolen parameters. In terms of how severe this is, Galand was reduced to less than half his strength at a point in the story where Ban's physical strength was rated as a 930 and his Magic 1,380 compared to Galand's 24,000 in physical strength alone. Factoring in what he would have also stolen from Melascula and the others in the area and this ability clearly reaches far beyond his own level by a dozen times or more. Practically speaking, what I am suggesting is a flat 2-rank reduction on all physical parameters, naturally excluding those which are EX rank. That in turn gives him 6 ranks to play with, but I'm not going to be all that particular about it and neither is he. So let's just say the following 6 people get the equivalent of a 1-rank physical parameter buff:

  • Robin
  • Antonio
  • Sherwood Defender
  • Thorkell
  • Godwine
  • Alan

This should happen at roughly the same time as Eadric and Godwine's teleport combo thing, which is something we had practiced earlier, and John will be moving forward at this time. Immediately following that, Alan will use his Noble Phantasm Yew Lute to create several barriers. First and foremost he'll put a big one around the main group (importantly after TUS is teleported to them) and a second smaller one around John (depending on how far he may have moved at this point). These barriers won't prevent his allies from leaving but importantly what they will cleanse any negative status effects placed on them. That said I'm hardly confident in a D rank NP cancelling the effects on an EX skill, but fortunately these barriers can also block out all sound, thereby negating the effects of Espionage on the group temporarily anyways, since this would technically class as both "Moving out of earshot" and "removing the ability to hear" relative to Moriarty.

He'll then stay on standby to create more barriers to protect Thorkell or John, and given that at max these barriers can encompass kilometers and number in the hundreds (obviously restricted from going that far here) Alan should never struggle to shield anyone. But, if that is not immediately required then he will activate his second NP, Song of Sorrow, which will allow him to attack and defend simultaneously. This Noble Phantasm takes the form of Ultimate Echo Echo's sonic disks, of which he can create a dozen or so at once. Most of these will be sent outside the barrier to scream attacks in the direction of Lycaon and Moriarty but two will stay inside the main barrier on standby as a conduit for Song of Healing/Charisma/Cursed Speech as and when they may be necessary, essentially giving him three "mouths" with which to speak from. If the Divinty blocker is considered successful then he'll maintain High-Speed Incantation which will help with his multi-faceted responsibilities. So basically something like this:

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Orpheus

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(Self) Support:

Perhaps unfortunately, Orpheus' actions to open the fight are not particularly long or in-depth, owing to divinity. In preparation for the fight, Orpheus did a few things. Namely:

  • Shapeshifting his ears off (and replacing them with mouths)
  • Using Magic Sense
  • Activating Thought Acceleration
  • Activating Great Sage to help deal with variables

The shapeshifting was done to try to avoid having his divinity stripped from him and to allow him to continue chatting shit while using his NP. Both of these options are a slight bust, but the strategies of my teammates ensures he can at least charisma buff himself back up to where my skills should be during his NP usage.

Magic Sense, Thought Acceleration, and Great Sage all work in tandem, so their concurrent usage will pose no issues. These abilities don't aid in too much right now as we are opening this fight, so for now I'll just mention that they'll make it easy to know what's going on across a battlefield as chaotic as this one.

It would take about an hour of running to make it out of the forest, but in the air, it took barely any time at all. Now I was above the battlefield, checking out the entire situation. I was a bit too high up to distinguish between the two sides, but I could use Magic Sense to figure it out well enough.

It was almost like I was a satellite, taking photos of the land below from sub-stratospheric heights. And come to think of it, having a bird’s-eye view of the entire battle like this gave us a killer advantage, didn’t it? And using that info to send Thought Communication messages to any of the troops I needed… It was like bringing the latest advances in war technology to a medieval battle. I had access to information that no general in this world could’ve ever imagined.

2, 4

With Magic Sense being able to pretty easily get a hang of much more chaotic battlefield from much further away than this.

The survivors who spotted me sank to the ground in fear.

“Aaah, help, help me!”

I could hear what sounded like people pleading for their lives. I gave each of them a shot between their eyes for their trouble.

It did take some time to get used to things, but now I could control the beams of light like second nature. The key was in the angle of refraction. You could fire all you wanted for the barest minimum of energy. Focusing your heat source on a single point cooked it up to several thousand degrees, and that was more than enough to take down a man or two.

Once I grasped the concept, I could always strike from the most optimal angle whenever I wanted. There’s a slight time lag to deal with, but we’re essentially talking the speed of light, so you can’t dodge it once you see it. I could fire it from six thousand miles away, and it’d still take about 0.034 seconds to find its target. Far faster than a human being could obtain the visual information and transmit it via the nervous system to their brain.

I couldn’t control and aim it with any accuracy without the computations of the Great Sage. Gotta give the guy a hand. It made me realize all over again how amazing it was. If someone fired this on me at close range, I’d have trouble evading it even with the Sage’s help. I could comprehend what it was the moment I caught sight of it, so maybe I could just barely get out of the way in time…but it’d probably come down to luck.

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And Great Sage being able to casually calculate Megiddo, an attack that refracted hundreds to thousands of beams of light using specifically summoned droplets of water in the sky.

As stated, these abilities are more preparatory for a counter-attack than they are for aiding Orpheus' offensive, but they're here all the same and will likely be more important in the follow-up post.

Attack

Orpheus' main attack, is, as can probably be guessed, his noble phantasm: Tragoúdi Aneípotis Thlípsis. The feats are the same as usual, and can be seen here.

In a prior post, I mentioned the anti-TP measures that the ability has, and in this one, I'll mention a different aspect again. Namely, the mana drain.

Endless Hunger - Siphons enemy's mana and health to you. Current Siphon Amount: 50,000 + 100% of your total health/min | Affects both mana and health

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It hasn't been mentioned prior at it simply wasn't needed to win those fights, but in this situation, and especially when my unique skill that lowers mana requirements has been reduced, it seems an appropriate time to bring it up. This mana drain (and subsequent mana giving) is potent, affecting a level 21000 to the extent that he couldn't even generate mana:

The Sentinel hovered himself backward, several mana streams directing his movement. Event Horizon smothered him after the initial seconds of battle, and his energy fizzled. The draining aura outpaced his ability to physically manifest mana, leaving him sinking down in the water

....

Each of my attacks targeted his skull, intending to kill. Upon each impact, I reverted to the Rise of Eden, augmenting my stats as well. This gave me harder hits before I continued suppressing the Sentinel with Event Horizon. The mana draining effect of my ascendant aura, in particular, crippled the Sentinel completely.

It left him running on empty, unable to make even a wisp of magic.

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Now, I could scale to show how powerful a being of that level is, but it's not really necessary because I'm not arguing that I'm draining anyone dry. In fact, the limit for my draining here has been stated by Naronu already.

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The maximum drain is the cost of my NP per minute. In this case, that is 20. Thus, whoever is hit by Event Horizon will also have to deal with a constant drain of mana on top of that (if they don't just die, I suppose). I'm unsure of how much mana they have, but every little helps and this drain is mainly being used to aid me in keeping my mana topped up, anyway.

One other aspect I will show from Event Horizon is the added healing it gives the user. Typically, when fighting against three people I wouldn't mention this, but as TUS is liable to use clones (and Orpheus knows this in character), it becomes incredibly effective.

The elk whipped its head towards me, blasting a radiant plume of energy my way. I crashed into the stream of light, lifting both my arms over my face. Like a mist made of plasma and acid, the energy burned against my armor. Heat built within me, hotter than the lava of Etna’s rift. My blood didn’t boil.

As the energy beam peeled the armor from my arms and face, streams of my blood poured. I looked down, seeing it plop against the crystal floor. It reflected light, like liquid silver. As my health regenerated against the onslaught, I molded Event Horizon over the elk. A wave of relief poured over me as the aura feasted on the massive health of the monster.

I condensed the aura over the monster, collapsing it until it molded over the creature’s skin. I stepped towards the monster, cutting through the pulsing energy. The elk condensed its own stream of energy. The shining light pushed me back, like a stream of boiling water. Sidestepping would just send me tumbling backwards. I didn’t need to run. I needed to close the distance.

I took another step, my feet shaking against the elk’s wrath. With each stomp, I came closer towards the elk. It enhanced the intensity of the energy beam, raising the damage over time. My health dropped, but with the mountain of hit points I had, I tanked it without worry.

Over a minute, I stepped closer and closer towards the elk. Event Horizon melted the creature from the inside, blood pouring from the elk’s eyes. Its breaths grew ragged and its knees buckled. It shivered as if stuck in an arctic ice storm. The effects of mana exhaustion sunk their teeth in, ruining the mind of the creature.

I grinned as its struggled with the beam of energy, the power waning. As the last bit of the energy trickled out. I crashed into the monster, lifting the creature from the ground. With all my might, I slammed the creature against the crystalline plate. Cracks ebbed out in all directions as the spine of the monster broke.

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Effectively, the damage that Event Horizon does to opponents is turned into health for the user. Against a single opponent, it allows the user to walk through an energy beam that's actively melting them alive, but against more enemies than that?

Once under them, I sensed Elijah and his followers above me. My gravitational sense and Tactile Cognition gave me a picture of the followers. Once there, I took a moment and prepared myself. The plan relied on a fast, hard burst of damage. We would cripple him before he could escape. Once he was downed, I would whittle him down.

During the fight, I would use his followers as free health regen, keeping me alive. Althea and Hod would sneak in attacks on him while I preoccupied him. The plan was solid, one I could follow.

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There are plans that literally hinge on the health regen granted through fighting multiple opponents at once. When you consider that this boost (of EH being used against a plethora of opponents at once) has been stated as important and a big regen boost for Daniel multiple times, and that Daniel himself has base regen feats like this:

The space around me caved in. It shook with such violence that it left me liquified into a primordial mush. I retained my consciousness, feeling as if I were out of my body. As quickly as it was stopped, our dimension was unfrozen by the primordial being. Without noticing, time marched forward once more with no one affected by the roar but me.

As the crowd regained their awareness, I was left as a puddle on the floor, a literal pile of mush. I regenerated over the next few seconds, the party members staring at me in horror. I, I think I stared on in horror as well. Once recuperated, my mind snapped back into my head before I blinked a few times.

Feeling sick, I lunged onto one knee. Obolis put a hand on my shoulder,

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I think it paints a reasonable picture of Orpheus' base tankiness and regeneration stemming from Event Horizon, his own regen from his endurance, and his MCB durability (though, for the brief moment when his charisma buffs are reapplied after the sound barrier goes up it's closer to small-town owing to the Avenger parameter boosts from TUS having divinity). Of course, being severely damaged and regenerating from it would still be an injury to his spirit core, but at least he's (probably) not getting one shot by anything. Hopefully.

The idea for Orpheus' opening salvo will, therefore, consist of pretty much just moulding Event Horizon over the battlefield, using Great Sage to continually calculate so as to not hit any civilians or teammates, and letting other servants take to the frontline while he kinda hangs out at the back. The rest will be dealt with when needed.

Antonio - A Master Between Stages:

As a master, Antonio wont is directly involved in the battle. After all, to fight a servant as a Master is the height of both arrogance & foolishness. However, this isn't merely a battle between servants. Anyone who knows anything knows that this is a ritual prevention team, tasked with halting or at least stalling, the summoning of a Beast of Humanity hell-bent on turning this world into a Lostbelt. With that in mind, it doesn't matter if Moriarty is defeated should the ritual still continue in his absence, so given how full his hands will be, Antonio can easily slide away from the primary warfare & find the main location of the ritual. If Moriarty & friends ignore Antonio, then the ritual can be hampered under his nose. And should he focus on Antonio? Well, then I hope he likes the sight of a building-sized Gundam smacking him around the mouth.

However, just to be safe, Antonio's primary firepower, that being Jak's Morph gun from the Jak & Daxter franchise, has a mod that allows him to alter gravity across a sizeable area (note that the particle effects floating around should show that it covers the air as well, and as such would alter the gravity of projectiles). In the unlikely chance Sir Senile has time to divert attention from the dozen-odd other fights coming straight for his & his ally's throats, this combined with the added statistics Antonio is given, gives him the leeway he needs to sneak past & start working on foiling this bitter loser's plan.

Bianca

Bianca will activate Presence Concealmente A-, rendering her invisible even to sixth senses when not attacking, and invisible to a single sense in combat. Beyond that she will use the power's of Caesar Clown's Gas-Gas Fruit to turn herself into a vapor. Even if she is struck by attacks powerful enough to blow her to bits, that shouldn't be a problem for reasons that will be touched upon later, if necessary. Meanwhile, she will use the abilities of the Angel Devil to arm her allies with spirit weapons capable of life-drain before retreating as far away as possible.

Second Stage: Swarming the Legion

Will, and Marian

Will is on standby to employ countermeasures to TUS's Reality Marble and is also using presence detection to keep track of everyone. Even if the Divinity blockers can only reduce the effects by one rank, B rank PD is still enough to detect TUS when he attacks should they conceal themselves, and inside the barrier Alan can use charisma to raise its rank further if need be. Will is also the emergency teleporter for the Merry Men so he'll be ready to make a quick escape at any time. That said, as with Alan if these things aren't initially required then he will activate his Noble Phantasm Life of the Forest:

One Piece Chapter 1054: Flame Emperor
One Piece Chapter 1054: Flame Emperor

In doing so he will take control of the area inside the barrier by covering it with his forest, allowing him to easily restrict TUS' movements with his wood constructs if necessary, but also crucially giving him the potential to teleport anyone inside the barrier due to them all "touching him".

Marian will activate her Noble Phantasm and, once the barrier is up and her weapons training restored, she will unleash an attack on Moriarty and Lycaon, TUS as well if she can line the shot up. Her skills allow her to attack whilst cutting only what she desires to, allowing her attacks to bypass barriers and allies both with ease. So she can easily attack her opponents whilst ignoring Alan's barrier and without harming any allies, Thorkell and John especially. For the purposes of this fight, you can simply consider her Noble Phantasm a stronger sword, specifically Erza's. This NP is town-level, a level Erza's feats easily reach, so it's going to hurt if it can't be avoided or otherwise countered. Shinmei Ryu users can throw their attacks over kilometres so range is also not a concern.

Additionally, if Divinity is successfully offset even by only one rank, then Marian will get her martial arts back which will help significantly in keeping everyone in sync with one another.

The Zone is an advanced technique that allows one to bring out one's maximum potential, on debut seemingly doubling Aomine's speed and allowing him to straight-up blitz people, and Direct Drive Zone is the ultimate form of it, allowing the person in the zone to sync up with their teammates with as little as brief eye contact and allowing said teammates to effectively keep up as you see above, instead of being left behind as they otherwise would be. The benefit of instantaneous coordination is already invaluable, and at E rank is likely all they would get, but at D rank she's getting the full showings, the primary one actually being what's in the clip above, only with the background context. Outmaneuvring Akashi and Rakuzan is particularly impressive due to Akashi's own abilities. Akashi himself was in the Zone here, he possesses the Emporer eye which is basically a mini-Sharingan with 360-degree vision, and his own team coordination at this stage was so good that he was able to put his entire team into a pseudo-zone state. Despite all of these things, Seirin's DDZ is able to outpace and outmanoeuvre Rakuzan despite otherwise having the odds stacked against them. So either way, this group should have significantly improved teamwork due to Marian's presence, and they should really have an easier time than Seirin given their telepathic connection.

Canute

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Canute will use the full offensive force of They Came from the North, trapping Ba'al in a mirror and shattering it, killing him. Without countermeasures this will end the fight with Baal right away

Canute will also add a disorientation effect with illusions. His Noble Phantasm is quite good at this,being able to produce self-duplicating illusions that quickly fill a city with the push of a button. The "push of a button" point is important because it makes it clear that this isn't something that diverts Canute's attention from his offense. Canute will produce self-replicating images of himself and all of his allies. Affecting both the Baal and Moriarty/Lycaon attacks.

Eadric

Eadric will likewise assist with the fight close-range fight with Ba'al through his Noble Phantasm. The Acquisitive, debuted earlier, will be in use again. With this he projects nerves around him that sink into his enemies bodies. If he is attacked, they will reach out and crush his opponent. Particularly dangerous because the nerves are invisible. Furthermore, the nerves will assume control of the hit body parts, requiring amputation to avoid. In this fight he's going a bit more offense than the last one, rather than waiting for an attacker he'll also be projecting his nerves outwards, spreading them along the ground to make them harder for Ba'al to avoid.

Eadric's Noble Phantasms have surprisingly good synergy, as he can cover an ally with nerves without attacking them, and swap another target directly into them. A move he will employ on Godwine and Ba'al should Dissolution of the Dynasty be ineffective. The nerves and Godwine both being invisible means this tactic will not be noticed initially.

Eadric will buff Alan’s Charisma to A rank, and also HSI then Instinct, if Eadric’s Charisma is high ranked enough.

With Charisma A Alan’s buffs on Riders team will be:

  • Godwine: Strength and Agility 2 ranks
  • Eadric: Espionage 2 ranks
  • Eric: Divinity 2 ranks

Eadric will additionally use Espionage to target Baal's Presence Concealment. Even at C rank, it is capable of reducing it by one rank. Should Divinity blocking measures work enough to leave Espionage at B rank, he will use it to reduce Shapeshift as well, and at A rank he will also reduce the Instinct absorbed by Nasir.

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Regarding Shapeshift, Eadric does not explicitly know Baal has this skill since knowledge of his abilities was erased from Canute's mind via Nameless Warrior, however, it is fair to reason the skill's existence given he's encountered the Soldier in multiple forms, including a leviathan with Mana Burst.

Unfortunately, Eadric does not explicitly know about Independent Manifestation or Existence Outside the Domain so those aren't viable targets. It is possible Orpheus will render this moot with his own Espionage but backup helps.

Ba'al has formidable surprise attacks through Nameless Warrior and Nasir's absorbed Presence Concealment. However, Eadric is well-suited for surviving these with his healing, sufficient to survive being blasted to pieces of flesh, and even attack in that state.

Eric

Eric's Instinct (Yassop) has been addressed in other threads and is known so I won't repost. Future sight is valuable and would allow Eric to sense Baal even through Presence Concealment as well as alerting him to responses from Moriarty and Lycaon. Though if Divinity blocking measures fail will be reduced short of seeing the future.

However, Eric still has his Noble Phantasms. Svold Sigra grants his teleportation gives him instant teleportation. Eric will also be using Shimzaki's Mind's Eye. As an esper Shimzaki has move reading. He combines this very effectively with teleportation, constantly predicting his opponent's moves and counter-teleporting. At the end of the fight he concentrates completely on his opponents, seeing through all their moves, injuries and weaknesses, combining teleportation and precognition for an effective speed blitz.

Eric isn't holding anything back here and will use Svold Sigra to its highest predictive capacity alongside Instinct (which is still B rank, high enough to be effective in combat). He is keeping very close watch of his opponents and is on guard for counters from Moriarty and Lycaon.

Additionally, with Alan's barrier cutting off Charisma of the Wicked Wisdom, Eric can demonstrate his Glima represented by Nanami Yasuri. Nanami is far superior to Shichika Yasuri, himself skilled enough to face someone with the collective skill and experience of thousands, and read through their moves completely on a visual and spiritual level. As well as performing afterimage feints that work better on faster opponents to the extent of evading someone with lightspeed sword slashes. Now, this is not matching a lightspeed opponent with "effective speed" - Uneri's speed comes only from his slashes and not his reflexes or perceptions at all. The feat is essentially advanced aim dodging. However, the footwork to perform it is notable. Nanami is far above him with instant perfect copyingto replicate his whole arsenal and crush it casually. Having the same footwork used above in addition to copied ninpo.

Glima makes Eric's strikes quite high for an Imperial Dragoon. Nanami has deathly sickly body and her natural strength shouldn't even be enough to lift and throw someone. Her copying is skill was enough to replicate pure strength of superhuman Itezora with her body. Even a weak child Itezora is far stronger than Shichika, who has city-block level feats. Despite this using copied abilities including Itezora strength is still just Nanami nerfing herself because her body can't handle the effective strength of her skill.

The Mutant Blade, the work of Kiki Shikizaki, inarguably revivified Nanami─but only because it contained her strength.

To Nanami, Akuto the Eel worked as a handicap.

A handicap she needed─to survive.

To make her weak enough.

“Alright, come on, Shichika,” Nanami said.

And took her position─or lack thereof.

Kyotoryu Form Zero, the Ichijiku? Not even that!

“This time─she was standing there, and nothing more.

Even Togame, a stranger to the martial arts, could see─and perhaps see all the better.

This was everything and nothing.

Nothing─just Nanami Yasuri, being herself.

Like Konayuki Itezora, back on Mt. Odori in Ezo, she was not working off a pattern. Yet Nanami was no amateur─but a genius!

“I’m still alive. Hurry up and kill me please.”

“But sis─”

--------

“─Ahhhh."

The instant she had taken her first step, the foot that held her weight collapsed. And not only her foot─her whole body came apart.

Separating─unraveling.

The skin tore from her body, flaying her alive, exposing flesh that bled from every vein.

Blood sprayed.

With a body like hers.

─I saw this coming.

"I knew my body─could never stand up to the full force of my strength.”

- Katanagatari 3

And Eric has natural multi-building strength. So a direct hit could very likely go through Baal completely. Now I am aware that there is an effective speed cap in place and would accept an effective strength cap as well. But Eric should still be dealing massive damage to servants with strikes if it's just a contest against their durability.

Elligatia

The masters are, truthfully, more fluff than anything. Before the fight began, Antonio and Elligatia went up the nearest building that wouldn't get destroyed in order to give them a vantage point. Or, particularly Elligatia it seems, as Antonio has other plans. Nothing wrong with that - Elligatia is there to cover him. Before we get into the meat and bones, allow me to quickly cover what we've already seen from her kit;

This terrifying combination means that a Crest-endowed shot from the crossbow borders on the impossible to dodge. However, Elligatia's mentality is key here: she's wasted a use on her Ancient Crest before, and is not looking to do so again. Given our initial plan is to do a classic switch-a-roo with TUS and immediately gank him with Canute's mirror shenanigans, Godwine's contract severance, and Eric's faux-Lancer attack, it very well may surprise you to hear that at least Elligatia's first shot will not be Crest-endowed. Instead, it will be supplemented by another piece of Elligatia's kit:

No Caption Provided

I confirmed several times over before the scenario began that this included ability with ranged weapons. I don't think I even need to get into how this will benefit Elligatia; we're talking about one of the foremost archers in comics history. I could provide no feats and you'd know damn well this shot is going to be on point: it is the full intention of the Huntress, combined with the TP link shared between everyone, to pre-fire the crossbow at the location TUS will arrive such that the crossbow bolt is too close for him to do anything about it by the time he arrives.

Obviously, Clint hasn't done exactly that before, but given his reportoire, it shouldn't be far-fetched;

  1. Firing in such a way that Batroc is forced into a trick arrow trap (1)
  2. In an absolute banger of a shot, he aims, nocks, and fires at the bowstring of another archer 50 yards away while the guy had already aimed and nocked and started to release, all before the other archers arrow could fully release (1-2)
  3. I don't even know to phrase this bullshit (1)

Of course, plans change. Moriarty has proven his cunning more times than I care to count, which is another reason Elligatia is hesitant to use her crest. Thankfully, she's the farthest possible target from Moriarty and co who will be dealing with like a dozen other fighters at the time as well. This means that should the initial plan fail, she can proceed to use information gathered as the battle rages to make the perfect Crest-shot with her crossbow, dealing critical damage. She's also basically being Hawkeye here, having a vantage point, able to call things out to everyone.

Second Theater: Vs. Moriarty and Lycaon

Thorkell

Having been teleported directly next to Moriarty and Lycaon, Thorkell will carry out a close-range assault on the King of Arcadia. Activating Natural Body C his parameters will be the following:

Strength: A - City-block

Endurance: A - Multi-city block + Major Healing Factor (example: Muzan)

Agility: B - Mach 25

Thorkell's full list of parameter-boosting skills is as follows:

  • Natural Body A
  • Mad Enhancement D
  • Voyager of the Storm E++ (one rank boost to all physical parameters but no Charisma

Should the Divinity blocking measures go through his stats will go up depending. Vitoguna is located near a river so Voyager of the Storm would be active.

Thorkell's Swordsmanship has not been affected by Divinity or Charisma of the Wicked Wisdom so he retains lethality in close range. Though he cannot use its full range of techniques without support from Charisma, it is still C rank which is a very large advantage against anyone without Weapon's Training or Martial Arts. Capable of engaging with Akaza and landing two lethal strikes unchallenged at the start of the exchange. Impressive considering Akaza has a sixth sense for combat as well as enoughs skill to kill 67 martial artists before gaining any superhuman abilities whatsoever.

Thorkell will attack Lycaon with Flame Dance, partially shown in the earlier fight. It's a combo which includes an afterimage feint achieved with high-speed twisting motions, more effective on opponents with fast vision. Having been executed with some success against Akaza with his Battle Compass it should produce good results even if Lycaon has the Archer class' Mind's Eye.

John

John Meanwhile is just running in and smacking shit like Thorkell. The Defender will have A++/A+/C parameters after Robin's buff and its sword is definitely big enough to hit both Moriarty and Lycaon at the same time. Thanks to Alan John will have his martial arts back for the moment, which means he'll be able to take full advantage of the Mech's first NP. It's a power ranger ability but all it really means here is that John will be able to make effective usage of his skill via the Mech's body. But that's probably not going to matter too much here beyond making sure his attacks land, though for clarity's sake, it is Bang from OPM who I'm sure you all know. What does matter is the Defender's second NP.

Raiden's high-frequency blade is a pretty flashy sword as can clearly be seen here, but the main benefit is that it weakens particle bonds, allowing it to cut through things very easily as he does above. The secondary advantage is that the sword's blade mode allows the user to briefly slow down their perception of time, allowing for very easy rapid slashes.

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#5 darthjhawk  Moderator

@naronu@sy8000@oldkaiser@supremegeneration@gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps@maestromage @just_banter

The Path to New World I: March of The Legion

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As the cadre of Heroic Spirits & Magi arrive and prepare for their assault, Lycaon, Ba'al, and Moriarty are able to peer into the future. An assortment of skills and noble phantasms, might, and magic unparalleled. But it will not be enough. Each of them witnesses the end and holds different reactions.

Lycaon: "I told those fools to run. At the very least, I'll commend your bravery after you die."

Moriarty: If this is how you desire the end to come, then so be it. I fully intend on showing you the joys of a new world order."

Ba'al: "Love, hate, order, and chaos. All of one, and so too will you be with us. Let us go together."

United we shall stand.

Divided we fall.

My fate is in your hands.

And your fate is in mine.

All shall be equal.

Under the single banner of war

Strike the accord, The Equalizer.

Now, let's get to it. A fine strategy. Or an assortment of stratagems rather. Allow us to respond in kind. Or rather, one to fully respond. One important thing to note here before I begin.

  • Robin Hood never destroyed or rid himself of the jewel piece given to him by Croft/Moriarty.

We'll come back to that in a moment. The Unknown Soldier, or rather Ba'al has gained a newfound sense of both awareness and power thanks to absorbing multitudes of souls and origins, most notably the ones based in the False Robin Hood, The False Eurydice & Merry Men Captain Nasir. As such the full layout of his new sheet looks something akin to this:

Larval Beast Ba'al: The Immovable Force

Parameters & Skills:

StrengthEnduranceAgilityManaLuckNoble Phantasm
BBA++ACEX
AAA+++A+BEX

============================================================================

SkillRankAbility
March of The FallenEXDivinity A+ | Magic Resistance A+ | Self Modification A+
Existence Outside The DomainEX-
Mad EnhancementA+-
RidingAGranted by Charisma of Wicked Wisdom
Independent Manifestation (Hastur)A-
Independent ActionA-
MarksmanshipA-
Mind's EyeASpider-Man
Presence ConcealmentA-
ShapeshiftAThe Great Leviathan, The Chimera, Army of The Damned, The Soul Eater
EspionageB-
InstinctBAnswer Talker
Mystic EyesBRoses (Noel, Tsukihime)
Mana BurstBZagan (Hakuryuu, Magi)
ArtsC-
Martial ArtsDDeathstroke

============================================================================

Noble Phantasms:

RankNameAbility
EXThe EqualizerShusuke Amagai's Bakkoto, Bleach
CNameless WarriorThe Vanishing Point (Guanel Lee, Bleach)

==========================================================================

And from what I've seen of all builds present and with most of your precognitive abilities/and combat skills neutered, Ba'al is effectively the quickest person here. Stacked with Spider-Sense, the future vision of Mind's Eye, and most notably the additional ability gained from Nasir. That being Answer Talker. And well, I'll just quote Maestro himself here:

For those unfamiliar,Answer Talker is the ability to know/understand the "answer" to any "problem", which sounds super vague but just think of it as Spider-Sense on steroids. There are a lot of things it can do but generally, it's used to know what the best thing to do in any given situation is. Key to this battle is thatit can also recognise how abilities work based on as little information as a name, and given that Rider already used TCFTN right in front of him it's frankly impossible that he wouldn't understand what's happening and that they should let themselves be bailed out. Also since he is seemingly the only one with intact senses, it should be mentioned thatAT is also very good at detecting surprise attacks,

So what does this mean for a being who is witnessing and sensing a host of noble phantasms and abilities being thrown at once?

Well, the best answer based on the abilities present would be to cut those abilities off entirely or even better cut the power supply entirely. This is exactly what Ba'al's chief noble phantasm; The Equalizer does. By striking it into the ground, this NP projects a field of energy that not only negates all powers the user designates after they've been used, but it cuts the targets off from their source of power entirely:

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And of course, as you all know, this extends to a large town-sized AOE (thanks to the NP rankings), forward from the user out while allowing his and his allies' powers to remain usable. The fact that it cancels out not just zanpakuto (equivalent to noble phantasms ) but even the general powers of Soul Reapers by sealing their spiritual energy, unless they've already been summoned, I wouldn't expect to call upon new mounts, summons, or even magical abilities with ease. I'll leave the exact details up to our host, but that is where I stand on that for the opening salvo. And given the fact that a majority of your opening salvo, let alone the second stage of the attack or your defensive measures. I won't go through each and every one as frankly, you all know them better than I do and there's no point deliberating. It's either going to be an open or shut case in regard to an ability like this.

James Moriarty: The Disruptive Force

Moriarty isn't doing much in terms of frontline battles. Mostly working as a saboteur. Remember what I said about Robin not destroying that jewel piece? That was made from Moriarty's magecraft or a piece of his body, and his direct control over allows him to remotely detonate it. Exploding with a blast wave of concussive force as well as potent miasma:

So with a thought, Moriarty will essentially be causing Robin himself to internally explode. Wherever he actually stashed the stone. Be it in his hand, belt, or somewhere else inside his armor. Throwing Robin and given how close you all are:

No Caption Provided

An A+ rank potency explosion mixed with corrosive poison (enough to melt a cliffside in the scans above, forgive the out of order scans.) is bound to cause some disruptive issues for the coordination you all have to achieve. Especially given the superior collective precognition and coordination on our side. That is thanks to EotSW, his first noble phantasm mentioned. This allows him to monitor, analyze and then control the battlefield from both sides without moving a physical finger. So this answer's Gil'ls question:

. In the unlikely chance Sir Senile has time to divert attention from the dozen-odd other fights coming straight for his & his ally's throats, this combined with the added statistics Antonio is given, gives him the leeway he needs to sneak past & start working on foiling this bitter loser's plan.

Given that he's managed the clash of two armies with several unique fighters with just Great Sage, let alone Raphael:

And as shown in the link, even grant abilities. Here, Moriarty will be granting both Ba'al and Lycaon Thought Acceleration. Lastly, he'll be playing defense for anything that Ba'al himself doesn't cover. Being able to project barriers to not only stop attacks but can even reflect them entirely, taking control over their flow of energy and being dominated by his own.

Naraku stops, and takes control of the Wind Scar's flow and aura.

Lycaon: The Game Ender:

Finally, that brings us to the King of Arcadia, who will be activating the Presence Concealment A gained from Charisma of Wicked Wisdom. And moving to incapacitate each of you with his Mana Burst, The Storms of Arcadia, the invisible wind that strikes you disperses your inner magic entirely. Leaving you inoperative:

The same scans also show Lycaon can use it to evade attacks by becoming one with the airspace, so with the increased rate of thought from Moriarty and the added sensory and future sight. Tagging Lycaon will be quite difficult.

Misc. Thoughts & Factors, And Wrap Up

The suits' abilities are threefold; first,they generate a kind of illusion that interferes with an opponent's perceptions in order to throw them off target.

Between Mind's Eye and Raphael's own capabilities, this shouldn't really be a factor at all. Very cool ability though.

In terms of specific ability interactions, Divinity is a weird one since it's a skill that only really works the way it does in this scenario, being less proactive in the mainFateseries as far as I can recall, so there aren't exactly "feats" that we can compare. Having said that, the fact thatMagic Resistanceis a potentially effective counter says to me that it's not something that is un-interactable with other magical abilities, and under that lens, I think Robin making something that cancels it out is perfectly possible. The Ancient Magic that Hajime uses in his equipment is the ultimate form of Magic in Arifureta, being what all other forms of magic are derived from, and each is able to manipulate a fundamental aspect of the world. Time, Space, Matter, etc. To be more specific about things, there are three which I think would be used here: Spatial, Spirit and Evolution magic. The first two encompassthe manipulation of dimensions and "boundaries", as well as all forms of incorporeal energy involved in living beings. I

An interesting thought. And one I could see a discussion on. But its ultimately not up to me given how scenario mechanics and WOG will work. For one Divinity does carry an active effect in which it allows one to break through especially powerful defenses:

No Caption Provided

Protection of the Faith:

A Skill possessed only by those who have sacrificed themselves for a religious view. Despite being a form of divine protection, it is not a blessing from a higher existence. It is the absoluteness of one’s body and mind that was born from their beliefs. But if it is too high, it causes abnormalities in the personality.

Enlightenment of the Sacred Fig:

Unconditionally reduces the damage dealt by physical attacks, conceptual attacks, and interdimensional attacks by a value equivalent to the Servant's total health. This Skill also shuts out the probability of mental interference by 100%. In the case of Buddha, who has attained an EX in this Skill, even the seven desires of man may be received with perfect tranquility

Fate/Extra Material

As well as Alcides and Hippoltya show active usage of it in Strange/Fake:

No Caption Provided

So I'll leave that there and let Naronu decide how to carry it and if it actually mitigates anything.

In short, nothing huge for the conclusion. This is a huge clusterfuck of abilities, that the Hounds are suited to deal with perfectly. With a greater set of coordination and buffs versus the litany of debuffs on your side. And another thing to mention as an aside. If you do manage to mitigate divinity and espionage and say get Signatory back, the contract with Holmes was never broken. Meaning Moriarty is now inside your heads learning your attack patterns even before you do.

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#6  Edited By Sy8000

Adaptation

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Surpassing the Limits of a King

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The Soldier's energy emits through the ground. Eric's spear and senses grow dull. Thorkell's body, once radiating energy, is no more than a mass of muscle. Eadric's treacherous tentacles can no longer leave his fingers. Godwine's dagger and shroud, no more than props. And the King feels his connection to the reflected world fading.

It isn't enough to make Rider flinch.

"The endless legions of forgotten will be harder to conquer than even the island of the farthest reaches."

"But,"

"Mortals become heroic spirits by doing the impossible!"

Possessing Pioneer of the Stars A, Canute should be able to turn the event of entering the mirror world despite the effects of the Equalizer into a possibility or certainty. Elligatia would use a command seal to ensure Rider enters the reflected world but Naronu has confirmed it would be activating here anyway. As I think it would need to be given it's been unused thus far.

From there he will resume his initial plan of attack on Baal along with illusions, provided Baal survived Orpheus' attacks long enough to force this. Mirror Master's ability to slip into all reflective surfaces should not be stopped by a force field, he could literally appear on the reflection of Baal's sword or eyeballs.

However as my teammate will explain later in this post Orpheus' offense is potentially still very viable. Should Baal fail to survive it Canute will target Moriarty.

Other Considerations

I am a bit unclear about the offensive nature of Lycaon's assault, given it doesn't seem to be presented as killing or finishing off anyone from the scans presented. However in the first place Lycaon's granted Presence Concealment A isn't enough to stop Eric from perceiving him when he attacks, even with Instinct reduced to B. Tagging him will be difficult due to mist form, but Eric should be able to alert teammates of his attacks so they can avoid.

If you do manage to mitigate divinity and espionage and say get Signatory back, the contract with Holmes was never broken. Meaning Moriarty is now inside your heads learning your attack patterns even before you do.

The contract with Holmes was left intact intentionally. My understanding is that Signatory being removed resets Eadric's contracts to zero which is why I haven't cited any skills that come from there. I don't believe Signatory links allow participants forcible monitoring of the other's thoughts if they don't wish it, however if they do then this would go both ways.

I don't have much else to say here as Canute is the nucleus of my attack and the state of the battle is dependent on his success or failure.

Archer

Well, most of what I had in mind won't work so I'll just focus on surviving and leave things to my allies. Robin's mind's eye is reduced but at C Rank he still gets sense on the level of a D Rank instinct, so he would still get some kind of warning about the explosion about to go off on him, which is important. With that warning, he'll do exactly what he did against Orpheus, use one of his few magecraft abilities that don't require setup, diamond skin, to temporarily enhance his durability. This ability coats the user in a shell of mana to block attacks, and as mentioned against Orpheus this ability is able to block even things like the Apostle's disintegration.

Ba'al's NP will hinder this of course, but fortunately, Hajime has feats of using his magic in spite of abilities that would otherwise hinder/negate it. Primarily, by the series' end, he's able to transmute sealstone easily, a material supposed to repel/negate all magic. Importantly, doing so is attributed to his transcendence skill, which raises the latent capabilities of all his abilities, so this isn't something that should only apply to his transmutation, and further backing that up is that immediately after doing so Ehit (basically god) is unable to erase Hajime's mana. So Robin should be able to use his magecraft to defend himself in spite of Ba'al's NP, and given that it goes up to town level in stats it should be strong enough to stop him from being seriously injured.

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Orpheus round 2

The Hounds' post is interesting, but it seemed to largely ignore Orpheus' role in the offensive. Of course, that's understandable when our post was incredibly long and Orpheus' section was only a small part, but still, having no direct mention of what is, I would argue, the most potent offensive ability in this fight (maybe second to Rider's, idk) is certainly a bold approach.

Regardless, the post presents a few issues to handle, namely:

  • Power negation
  • Archer's explodey rock
  • Lycaon's offensive and intangibility
  • Moriarty's shields

Fortunately Orpheus, for the most part, at least, has responses for each of these issues.

Power Negation

TUS' Noble Phantasm is likely to be the biggest problem for our team, but when it comes to power negation and dealing with it, Orpheus has an incredibly good track record.

The main abilities at play for Orpheus stem from Rimuru's magecraft and his Noble Phantasm, and both of these abilities have been shown to resist power negation quite effectively. To start with Rimuru's magecraft:

The bad feeling I had was now pushing me into a panic. Just in case, I put out some insurance. Fortunately, there were no restrictions on my skills within the barrier itself, I didn’t think…but then I heard another warning.

Report. You are covered in a long-range barrier. Any skill usage within the barrier is forbidden… Resistance succeeded. However, restrictions are in place on all magic-oriented skills.

What? What’s going on here?! Magic-oriented kind of describes, like, all my magic and everything that involves controlling magicules! Things like Dark Flame and Dark Thunder were similarly restricted, as well as control-based skills like Sticky Steel Thread. This kind of barrier wasn’t in place even during that Sky Dragon attack before.

If there was someone capable of deploying a barrier like this, there was no way Soei wouldn’t have noticed. And if I was caught in this before he could warn me via Thought Communication, it had to be spread out across a vast amount of terrain. It felt safe to assume it wasn’t meant for someone else. This was an attack targeted squarely upon me.

4, epilogue

Rimuru has been shown to have resistance to power negation, being able to still use anything non-magic oriented while under its effects.

If they use a barrier like this to attack, we’ll be wiped out. I had no time to waste dealing with this woman—but she was huge trouble. Major trouble, and the only skills I could count on were those that didn’t rely on magicules. Either my sword moves or my own unique skills. Hinata had me beat with her rapier. Even without the damper on my physical abilities, I could tell from the moment we crossed blades that she wasn’t giving her full effort yet. It was hardly believable to me, but only Hakuro had this sheer, overpowering force.

So that left unique skills. My secret ones. I hesitated to use them, but ah well. I used Battlewill to improve my physical skills, launching Steel Strength and Strengthen Body alongside it. Just as I thought, skills or magic that activated my own internal magicules were still available to me.

4, epilogue

This includes unique skills and battlewill skills. In Rimuru's case, his magic skills were his main damage-dealing ones so it left him in a lot of trouble, but in Orpheus' case, his unique skills are the only ones he needs access to here, with his main damage-dealing ability coming from his Noble Phantasm. I could go on and show what similar power negation barriers did to characters approaching the scenario limits, but as Darth and Naronu have both read the series, it doesn't seem strictly necessary to show scaling on the potency of negation when we're all aware of it anyway (and, to that end, as Darth didn't show scaling for TUS' power negation, either).

This power negation would mean I lose access to the 'magical' abilities of Rimuru's magecraft, but the abilities I'm using in this fight (and will use in the explodey rock section) are all skills that are usable despite power negation being in effect.

With Rimuru sorted, I'll show the second part of resistance, the resistance of my Noble Phantasm to being negated.

I reached out a hand, attempting to form a singularity. My mana was still there, but the mental fog stopped me from shaping it. Thisbey pointed at me, and the two Hybrids lunged towards me. I took several steps back, analyzing them both. Their statuses were identical.

"They aren't killing you, my friend. They're just restraining you. No doubt you noticed the enchantments in this room, correct? It stops you from controlling your mana. Without control, you can't make it do anything, like that aura of yours. It won't work here. All you have is your raw physical might. Now while it's impressive, it's no match for these brutes. Settle down. We've got time yet."

Underneath my helmet, I stayed quiet and did as he asked. Hybrid flesh singed, grabbing my armor. At the same time, I couldn't help but smile. He believed my aura was attached to mana, and that was a fatal mistake. While true I couldn't mold my mana even in the slightest, Event Horizon didn't require mana. It was an innate ability of my armor, much like my enhanced dimensional storage or increased resistances.

Still, it didn't hurt the situation to check. I attempted molding Event Horizon. It shifted under my will, natural as breathing. With that trump card in my hand, I let Thisbey take control of the situation. He seemed like the gloating, petty type.

I wasn't wrong.

213

In the case of my NP, I think the resistance is even more explicit. Not only is it fully immune to power negation, but it's also resisting negation that's in the same vein as TUS'. That is, power negation that targets one's control of mana itself. Even past that, looking at a more conventional power negation, Event Horizon does the job.

I crushed into the pillar of a building. I slapped against a slab of sidewalk, flopping down. Brim jumped onto me, crushing my chest. Blood erupted from my neck as he did. I shot out a wave of gravity at him, but Elessah’s antimagic wrapped around him. It had no effect.

Brim raised a fist, slamming it down on me. Molding my armor, I created a curved spike that his fist landed against. It guided his fist onto the ground beside me, ushering forth a quake across the ground.

139

As is the case with the earlier feat, this antimagic similarly works on Daniel's normal attacks.

My teeth turned to powder. My nose crunched. Skin split across my face, tearing one of my eyelids and eyebrows. From beneath me, a rumbling diffused. Something was crawling up. Off in the distance, hundreds of mana streams fed me mana at once. It was as if the conduits connecting with me entered a certain range. Now they could give me mana.

Hundreds of mana streams turned into thousands. I didn’t know if the mana was enough. Brim lifted his fist, smashing it into my face again. I hardly even felt his strike, my face numb now. A deep pressure radiated down into the back of my head. It was probably the only place that still had feeling.

Brim lifted his hand again, crushing my face with fists of iron. Somehow I lived, but I weakened. My grasp of my armor faded. My limbs were numb. I was becoming cold and numb. Brim raised his hands again, roaring with fury. I hardly heard it.

Everything was so foggy.

“Why won’t you just die?”

From below, mana rushed into me. Several dozen entities entered the radius of Event Horizon, boosting my health regeneration. Just enough to survive the pummeling fists of Brim. Brim wheezed, “How does it live? There’s nothing left of its head.”

More and more creatures entered the vicinity of Event Horizon. More and more mana rushed up, giving me strength. The conduits turned into a raging stream of mana. Even as Brim crushed me, my body restored. Even under his onslaught, I regenerated. Covered in a silver blood, Brim choked out the words,

“Is it immortal? Can it die?”

Feeling returned. My hands tightened, control of my armor regained. My eyes opened. Light rushed in, and I was no longer blind. Sound rushed into my ears. Soft dirt layed beneath me. I gouged my armor deeper into Brim’s legs. He bent down, stomping into my chest as he leapt away.

He snapped several of the tendrils digging into his legs. A few remained, dragging him back towards me. Brim jammed his arms into the road beneath him, pulling himself away,

“It’s worse than a bottom feeder.”

The same yellow light washed over me, sapping away my stamina. With more endurance, I outpaced the light’s sapping energy. I pushed my arms against the ground, my limbs shaking. I stood up, first hunched but then tall.

139

But antimagic cannot stop Event Horizon from working even when that ability is literally the only thing keeping him alive as he's being punched to death. Due to the number of enemies around the antimagic-using opponents kinda just have to stand around monologuing about how he's immortal or whatever as they can't turn off his life succ.

As Yawm used his spells against the muscled remnant, they fizzled out on his iridescent aura. This Breaker did his research. You can’t tank Yawm’s attacks. You have to nullify them.

Nullify them he did.137

To clarify, this antimagic is pretty damn potent, as it can turn off Yawm's powers. I'm throwing a lot of feats out so I won't scale Yawm aggressively or anything, but to give a brief rundown of his powers he fights with nuclear energy and throws what are effectively nukes out with his energy blasts (since it's a discord screenshot that I C/P'd for storage, it's from chapter 107) and punches. I can go into detail if needed but I doubt anyone's looking to get into a scale-off, especially when it comes to characters that aren't even part of scenario builds.

As Darth has stated, whether abilities get through power negation or not is a fairly open and shut kinda thing, so whether the abilities still function or not will just be up to Naronu's discretion. I personally believe, though, that all of the abilities Orpheus is using or will use in response to the Hounds' strategy would not be blocked by TUS' NP.

Explodey Rock

Speaking of abilities Orphy will use in response, the explodey rock that was never destroyed for god knows what reason. I'm mentioning this instead of just leaving it to Archer to deal with because it was said that the big boom will be an issue for everyone and in the starting spots I am positioned pretty snugly close to Archer, which makes this my problem as well.

Well, potentially.

As said at the end of my initial post, Orpheus' positioning will consist of "letting other servants take to the frontline while he kinda hangs out at the back." By that, it's meant that, as his magecraft is nerfed, his charisma buffs aren't here, his divinity is gone, and the only real offensive Orpheus has possesses a nearly 500m range, he's retreating back at the start of the fight. From the image, Orpheus is third-furthest forward in the frontlines, and he wants to be in the backline, realistically in the spot between the masters and the servants. I'm going to go into a bit of detail on how he'd deal with the explosion anyway as I'm not arguing he's completely out of the AoE, but I am arguing that the active backstep he's going to be taking at the start here will mitigate how much of it is impacting him (especially because if Orphy is backstepping straight backwards Will will end up inadvertently body blocking for him).

Now, for dealing with however much of the boom affects him:

It was another application of his unique Ravenous skill. Part of that skill involved Rot—something that could literally rot anything that it made contact with. If the target failed to resist it, it was corroded and killed if it was organic. Fearsome indeed

....

“You will become my next meal. Die! Death March Dance!!”

The same attack Gelmud tried out earlier. But now it was much more of a punisher. Not only was far more energy packed into it, but each tiny magic bolt had Rot added to it. Get hit by one, and even the ogres would be gravely hurt

....

A flurry of magical bolts flung themselves toward me. I used Predator to consume them, and then the tendrils of yellow wrapped themselves around me.

The demon lord Geld’s Death March Dance bolts danced around in the air, as if self-conscious, before coming in to swallow me. It was infused with Chaos Eater, and it had a mission to carry out.

In another moment, the elastic tendrils were around me. Even if they were still on the other side of my Multilayer Barrier, it still didn’t feel very pleasant.

—Yeah? You wanna consume me? Well, all right. Do it if you can!

...

But slowly, I took out my sword, the yellow aura still around me. I didn’t like that aura, but it wasn’t dealing me much damage. I didn’t have Resist Rot in my arsenal, but it must have been dealing melee damage upon me—nothing I couldn’t cover for with Ultraspeed Regeneration.

2, 6

Dealing with the miasma/acid/whatever of the attack shouldn't be too much of a worry considering Orphy's magecraft allows for resistance to a similar ability in Chaos Eater. It's noted that Ultraspeed Regeneration is in use for this, but Orpheus' base regeneration (whether coming from A rank or A+ rank endurance) combined with his regen-boost from Event Horizon should cover for it. If it can't (which Great Sage should be able to note), then Ultraspeed Regeneration is also a skill that resists power negation, so it can be activated with no worries.

As he said it, he wrapped twin curls of Chaos Eater around his fists and beat them into Shogo. Over and over again, before he could recover, Geld pummeled him into oblivion. Thanks to the Survivor skill, Shogo was enjoying Cancel Pain privileges, preventing him from feeling any of the anguish these injuries provided him. But Geld just kept on punching, doing away with all weapons.

By its very nature, Chaos Eater bit its way through everything—damaging not only Shogo’s material body but his spiritual one as well. The unique skill Survivor was capable of regenerating all bodily systems, but a life-form’s spiritual needs were beyond its feature set. Indeed, before Geld’s unrelenting attack, it was only a matter of time before Shogo’s frail spirit was against the ropes.

“S-stop, stop! Pleathe, thtop!”

It hadn’t even been ten minutes, but to Shogo, it felt like an hours-long torture session. Selfish words fell out of his mouth, seeking salvation for him and him alone. Geld and Hakuro were almost too disgusted to watch.

And that was the exact moment Shogo’s heart and soul broke.

5, 4

Chaos Eater, for the record, goes beyond basic rot and eats away at even the soul, so it's a pretty potent resistance to this type of attack that Orpheus is rocking.

In an instant, there was a magic circle painted on the ground, no chanting required to cast it. I forgot I wasn’t the only one who could do that. He had transformed his own body into gas and turned a hundred-yard radius into a searing-hot ocean of flame. Probably one of Ifrit’s high-level ranged attacks, and even worse, the area was brimming with energy from the Ifrit clones I had defeated.

“Flare Circle!”

I heard a voice that I couldn’t quite decipher. Man, woman, young, old? Hard to tell.

There was…no escape. I was at the mercy of my enemy’s spell. Ifrit made me attack those clones on purpose. They were both a distraction and a way to charge up his energy.

...

Still, I knew my senses were ultrafast, but it sure was taking a while for the damage to arrive. Not that I minded a painless death, if it had to be that way…

Seriously, wasn’t this going kind of slowly?

Was he just screwing with me?

Weird… I should’ve been swallowed up by the flames a while ago.

Hmmm…?

…Understood. The effects of “Resist Temperature” have successfully canceled flame-based attacks automatically.

I detected at least a bit of “You forgot all about Resist Temperature, didn’t you?” sarcasm to the voice.

Who asked you to speak up right now, you pile of junk?!

Yeah. I thought I got a “…” in response to that little outburst.

Hopefully that was just my imagination. The Sage had been completely faithful to me before now. It wasn’t even self-aware. It’d be stupid to think otherwise.

Ha-ha-ha. I’m just being silly. I’m sure of it!

Now, then.

Wait. It cancels flame-based attacks? So…

Dude, I have this in the bag, don’t I? Like, this is all part of the plan. I pretend that I’m on the ropes, then I turn the tables. Let’s go with that.

1, 4

The heat of the explosion will also not be an issue due to Orpheus' pretty nutty temperature resistance (this ability is later upgraded to Cancel Temperature which will be used to mitigate the explosion, but we all already know that).

As this explosion is from Moriarty's stated A+ magecraft, it should, at most, be MCB in potency. From Orpheus' own MCB (or higher, idk about the timing of all these abilities and the anti-sound barriers and stuff) durability, Cancel/Resist temperature, and resistance to miasmaesque powers, the explodey rock shouldn't be an issue.

Lycaon

Lycaon, honestly, isn't presenting much of a threat to Orpheus (so long as his NP is working, at least). As Nasir can attest to, Orpheus doesn't need to know where the opponent is for the NP to work on them, so his Presence Concealment strategy doesn't mean much for closing the gap or anything like that. As elaborated on above, an ability that causes one to lose control of mana would do nothing to damper the NP, which leaves his intangibility as his only method to avoid the damage. Unfortunately, as I've alluded to in prior debates, Event Horizon doesn't particularly care about the ways one tries to avoid the damage, and in the next two sections here I'll elaborate on that allusion.

Three uber eldritch followed behind us, each of their compositions different but deadly. A ball of living vibrations disintegrated matter as it passed through objects, and another eldritch coursed through the air as liquid light like some higher being. The last one moved as minerals, having made its body out of the rainbow bones

....

Multiple minds worked in sync, letting me leap up in time to point my dimensional shield downward with my other arm. I pulled the captured electric beast out from earlier. It blocked the majority of the ensuing explosion, lobbing me upwards towards the liquid light. Passing to it in a wicked rush, I smothered the light monster with Event Horizon.

It fled up the chute of energy it created. This lined the creature up, and I lifted my dimensional shield again.

334

EH can pretty easily hit people using elemental intangibility as a defence. In fact, so long as the thing can be construed as "alive" in some way, EH has quite literally never failed to affect something.

The mana slammed into me like some insane phantom wishing to possess my body. It's entire being lacked anything uniform or coherent, yet the sheer size of its mind was behemothic. It was nothing like battling with Torix, more mirroring a mass of unleashed thoughts. These babblings and urges wanted to overwhelm me, pulling my concentration in a thousand different directions.

If anything, this entity of pandemonium mirrored an Old One, its mind profound with depth. These alien desires weren't made for this world, however. They were the results of the cipher converting energy into something usable by a mind. This didn't make it easy to use, however.

Despite this struggle, I'd wrestled with similar sensations before, both with Eonoth and Etorhma. My essential mind magic helped hold me together here as well. It allowed me to suppress this incoming, volatile entity. I took it head-on, tearing it apart from many angles. For the main rush, I stayed in place, unable to move or think of anything else.

It consumed me. It reminded me of when I was young and angry. My rage would be so blinding, I wouldn't even be able to move. This was similar, the strain stretching me to the absolute limit of my mind's ability to defend and my will's ability to endure.

Yet endure I did. I planted my heels, and I tightened my fists. I narrowed my eyes, staring forward at this monster. That monster, the untamed mana, stared back at me and roared. Having condensed it, I waved Event Horizon over the mana. It shivered, the uncentered mind screaming out in agony.

I crushed it under my heel, telepathically roaring at it with the might of a dimension. I shattered its unformed soul, giving it only one place to find peace. It found that sanctuary by relenting, the energy assimilating into my frame. The mana converted into my own will and into my own wishes.

274

This includes raw, pure mana. Of course, the mana in this case was so potent and concentrated that it had its own will, but it was still just that: mana. In this case, that means that servants, beings made up almost purely of mana, genuinely can't really avoid the damage of EH. I could continue on, showing the dumb things that EH has hit (such as golems, lightning, magma, nanomachines, dark thoughts, etc), but I won't feat spam more than this as it should be plenty. Intangibility isn't a defence against EH, so if it is able to function through the power negation, Lycaon's gonna be feeling it and outside of intangibility (which won't work) there hasn't been a presented answer to that.

As for his mana burst, in the situation that Lycaon can reach Orpheus and use it, I don't really know how much damage it actually does as it was argued on the basis of washing away mana instead of hitting really hard. Assuming that it doesn't disintegrate Orpheus, though, his inherent durability combined with his regeneration should let him take it.

Moriarty's shields:

This is the other method of defence presented, but it has similar weaknesses to the intangibility. Forcefields in general do precious little to stop Event Horizon, and this can be highlighted no better than in the fights against Lehesion (reanimated zombie dragon powered by an Eldritch God; it's a long story). Lehesion possesses an 'aura' that functions as a forcefield that shuts out all phenomena in the world. It's honestly quite broken.

But the wires were gone. A set of crystalized mana covered its torso, the same armor Lehesion wore

....

This strategy collapsed as the Hybrid showed its full hand. A golden aura encompassed the creature, soaking all my strikes with ease

....

I shot towards the cluster of enemies. They found me before I arrived, but I kept about two football fields between us. This kept me out of their psionic reach. Keeping that distance, I generated another massive well of gravity at the center of their troops. Their forces fell towards the center of it except Version 2.2.

Coated in a golden aura, it ignored the physical manifestations near it, all but immune to the material world. That didn't matter.

This is no empty boast, either. Some of the attacks that the aura/forcefield negates (beyond the shown gravity attack above) include internal and TP attacks in one instance and a combination of antimatter, space-time slicing, and void ice attacks in another. For the record, antimatter attacks are atomic in nature and void ice attacks are absolute zero. Lehesion's aura has more feats than this, including time manip, massive amounts of physical force, and pretty much every type of attack you could think of, so his aura is the real deal as far as forcefields that protect against, well, everything go. I don't think I need to feat spam the aura any more than this to get my point across, however. Lehesion's aura protects against effectively everything.

Against Event Horizon, though?

I shook off my awe before dashing forward, my armor glowing yellow with heat as I neared Lehesion. The Breakers followed behind several preparing attacks of their own. Lehesion grinned down at us, his teeth menacing. He swiped a paw and cast a wind incantation. Green sprites ran into us with feathered wings and trails of light behind them.

I held firm with a gravitational anchor, but the others were swept away with the wind. Lehesion rolled his eyes while stomping a massive paw. He grounded the Breakers with a gravity well of his own. They crushed into the icy mountain below, pinned down but still alive.

It didn't matter. I molded Event Horizon over Lehesion as he tilted his head,

"You can affect me from within my domain...Interesting. You mustn't use some trick with the cipher for all your strength as the cub does. It is your own might."

217

Completely ignored it, wasn't even an issue. It's gonna take a forcefield of far, far better scope to block out the damage of Event Horizon.

To Conclude:

The Hounds presented a mighty good counter-offensive (as evidenced by Archer's declaration to write a will in the event of his untimely demise), but the specifics of said offensive (power negation, forcefields, etc) favoured Orpheus, at least IMO. Of course, Naronu decides on the specifics of power negation, but if my abilities are negated there's not much I can do so I'm arguing from the perspective of them working (of which I think I've shown why they'd work quite well). Under that assumption, the Hounds needed to full focus on interrupting or taking out Orpheus quite quickly, but from their post (rock attack, power negation, Lycaon going around targeting "each of us," presumably individually, with mana burst) and from Orpheus' own strategy to retreat to the backline on account of his magecraft being nerfed, it doesn't seem like it was a priority. Under such circumstances, it's difficult to think that they're going to get very far when they've made themselves a bit of a captive audience to Orpheus' song.

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darthjhawk

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#7 darthjhawk  Moderator

@naronu@sy8000@maestromage@supremegeneration@gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps@oldkaiser@just_banter

The Path to a New World II: Warcry Under The Stars

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Let us speak of beginnings and endings, and especially timings. As the curtain falls on the eve of battle, the stars shine brightly. The clashing of wills designed by the story of the universe continues to unfold on a seemingly unassuming street.

Let's begin, by going down the list, starting from the top with the Conqueror.

Canute & The Earls:

Possessing Pioneer of the Stars A, Canute should be able to turn the event of entering the mirror world despite the effects of the Equalizer into a possibility or certainty. Elligatia would use a command seal to ensure Rider enters the reflected world but Naronu has confirmed it would be activating here anyway. As I think it would need to be given it's been unused thus far.

Understandable, given the nature of both command seals and PoTS. However, a few things I do want to consider, starting with the idea that Forger of My Own Domain was reduced with Divinity to an unspecified rank that is greater or equal to B, at least to my knowledge from the thread. Given the nature of custom skills, even being reduced to A would mean the shown custom skill would have to be weaker to line up with the layout of custom skills:

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Granted, the effect of POTS is mostly the same if Forger remains at A rank, but if reduced to even B+ or below, something would have to change. Or hindered. Regardless this is just a stray thought I had and I imagine wouldn't be that big of a factor anyway. More importantly, this strategy of Canute's to enter the mirror world hinges on the fact that he will need a command seal from his master to enter it whilst under the effects of the Equalizer. This my friend is where Lycaon comes in. You all mentioned how his attacks don't seem that lethal or hit hard. But that's the point, his shots are simply depriving you of mana. So even should you make it to the other side. That is all you will be able to do. Not only based on the fact that Ba'al is cutting you off from your magical energy, including Elligatia, but also because Lycaon's Mana Burst completely reduces your internal magical supply to nothing:

Take note of the fact that the user didn't even register as a threat to the target's senses, on top of the fact that Lycaon is being bolstered by Presence Concealment. And between his speed being greater than both Rider's and Elligata alongside his Marksmanship being A-rank:

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Even relying on Eric who still has to physically warn them after the shot has been fired when Lycaon can hit 1000 targets at the same relative moment, means there's no escape. Especially since no other defensive measures were taken aside from "we can be warned so they can avoid." Marksmanship isn't so easily avoided, as you well know given you've used it to Canute's benefit as well.

From there he will resume his initial plan of attack on Baal along with illusions, provided Baal survived Orpheus' attacks long enough to force this. Mirror Master's ability to slip into all reflective surfaces should not be stopped by a force field, he could literally appear on the reflection of Baal's sword or eyeballs.However, as my teammate will explain later in this post Orpheus' offense is potentially still very viable. Should Baal fail to survive it Canute will target Moriarty.

Illusions don't mean much unless you're arguing they get past Mind's Eye, hinder marksmanship, and Raphael's senses coordinated with the others. I doubt that will matter much. But for argument's sake, let's explore both potential possibilities and certainties provided by Forger of My Own Doman.

This only allows you the possibility or certainty of entering the Mirror World, it doesn't guarantee at least based on the arguments and evidence provided by you anything before or after. Under the effects of the Equalizer your access to magical energy is cut off. Meaning even after entering the mirror world, there are several distinct factors to consider:

  1. Using They Came From The North to attack Ba'al, Moriarty or Lycaon is something you would be unable to do without using the last of your mana/going over the limit, and essentially making it a suicide attack.
  2. Because of the lack of mana entering the Mirror World is all you can do and due to the lack of magical energy to sustain it, your connection dissipates and you end up back where you are.
  3. Provided you're hit by Lycaon's attack which no other method aside from simple evasion was provided, and the fact that he and his attacks are faster than Rider and Elligatia, it leaves Elligata completely exposed to him after Canute enters the Mirror World with no other specified move made to protect her.

Eliigata herself didn't even provide a means of defense, as the assumption this "adaptive counter" seems to be operating under is that you'll be able to simply revert to the original plan of attack. Or some modified version of it that instead now relies on Orpheus as the main centerpiece.

As for the power of reflections themselves, remember that Moriarty is the one who sees furthest into the future, with the ability to perfectly, analyze, understand and adapt countermeasures to his opponents. In essence, simulating all potential possibilities similarly or even in a superior fashion to Midnighter's Battle Computer:

And then picking several of the best possible options to deal with them. Applying them to his abilities such as barriers:

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Made even more possible with thought acceleration on top of the base speed gap. (Moriarty's base speed parameter is A+, just a couple of steps behind Ba'al himself.) The best possible way to counter a reflection is by (through End of the Spider's Web) applying the effects of another mirror. Such as the one provided by Naraku's detachment Kanna. Having the barrier reflect a mirror means everything reflected by Canute would be himself and his allies. Which I'm sure would create some pause before he decided to go through with an attack, if he even has the mana to do so anyway after Lycaon and Ba'al.

Robin Hood & The Merry Men:

Well, most of what I had in mind won't work so I'll just focus on surviving and leave things to my allies. Robin's mind's eye is reduced but at C Rank he still gets sense on the level of a D Rank instinct, so he would still get some kind of warning about the explosion about to go off on him, which is important. With that warning, he'll do exactly what he did against Orpheus, use one of his few magecraft abilities that don't require setup, diamond skin, to temporarily enhance his durability. This ability coats the user in a shell of mana to block attacks, and as mentioned against Orpheus this ability is able to block even things like the Apostle's disintegration.

Ba'al's NP will hinder this of course, but fortunately, Hajime has feats of using his magic in spite of abilities that would otherwise hinder/negate it. Primarily, by the series' end, he's able to transmute sealstone easily, a material supposed to repel/negate all magic. Importantly, doing so is attributed to his transcendence skill, which raises the latent capabilities of all his abilities, so this isn't something that should only apply to his transmutation, and further backing that up is that immediately after doing so Ehit (basically god) is unable to erase Hajime's mana. So Robin should be able to use his magecraft to defend himself in spite of Ba'al's NP, and given that it goes up to town level in stats it should be strong enough to stop him from being seriously injured.

Maestro didn't say a whole lot, so I won't belabor the point too much either. But given the argument, what I'm gathering from this is even though you can't stop it you're attempting to hinder its potency. And I assume the disintegration is meant to counteract the miasma. Very good, the problem, of course, I have upon closer reading is that seal stone doesn't seem nearly as blanket as The Equalizer. As several times the diction presents dampen, resistant. Not just outright negate/repel as you made it seem to be. The fact that he could use it to create a material even more resistant than it is also proof to me that it's nowhere near as blanket or potent as flat-out negation and cutting off complete access to one energy source:

Back then, destroying the prison had taken every ounce of strength he possessed, but now the sealstone’s mana resistant properties didn’t seem to affect him at all.

“Before, I had a hard time transmuting sealstone. Because it dampens magic, I couldn’t even keep much of it in my Treasure Trove. Though, I guess I wouldn’t have kept it even if I could’ve, since it seemed to bring back bad memories for Yue. Anyway, the point is, I can easily mold it however I want now.”

-Volume 11

He’d combined it with sealstone, which repelled magic, and azantium ore, the hardest metal in existence, to create a unique alloy.

And he’d christened this alloy “repellite.”

Not only was it extremely sturdy, but it also deflected magic and mana

After his near brush with death at the Demon Lord’s castle where he’d unlocked the Transcendence skill, Hajime had grown strong enough to transmute even sealstone with ease.

...

Furthermore, even should you be able to use your abilities, they won't be as potent in my mind. Given the lack of magical energy used. Sealstone dampens magic, but it didn't cut off Hajime from using his energy. So even if you could be allowed to, I doubt you could bring it up to the necessary level to avoid major damage like you state. On top of the fact that you didn't seem to account for Lycaon's mana burst as well. And as I stated, he's targeting all of you:

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Orpheus & The Event Horizon:

As Darth has stated, whether abilities get through power negation or not is a fairly open and shut kinda thing, so whether the abilities still function or not will just be up to Naronu's discretion. I personally believe, though, that all of the abilities Orpheus is using or will use in response to the Hounds' strategy would not be blocked by TUS' NP.

A fine argument. But unfortunately, I don't think it holds up based on the presented evidence. If I had to summarize it before I went into the details, I would say that "Using abilities and skills outside of the confines of what the negation is targeting does not mean you are resistant or immune to power negation". Now let's get into it, starting with your Rimuru example:

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Rimruru doesn't stop the negation from affecting him at all. As the barrier was designed to interfere with and stop the usage of magicules which is how magic and magic-oriented skills are employed. The holy field was designed to target those and is especially effective on monster types like Rimuru because they are made up of magicules. Something both Rimuru And Great Sage, and even Hinata noted. Even magic sense was shut off, which is also limiting to Orpheus as it takes away 1 of his 3 rotating pillars of support and sensory. He only used effectively used abilities outside of the defined contents of the negation such as Arts and his unique skills. He says himself:

The only skills I could count on were those that didn't rely on magicules.

As for Event Horizon, it and its user also never actually resist power negation or even dampening. In fact what happens is that from the shown scenes, he's able to use Event Horizon explicitly because he has it inside his armor which doesn't require mana to use:

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This presents a major problem to me, given that while the armor may not require mana, Orpheus certainly does, and based on previous arguments and threads, you certainly haven't shown the armor that possesses the Event Horizon ability, but rather the ability of Event Horizon itself used as your noble phantasm. And this means should you try and circumvent this by arguing that it's reistant because it doesn't require mana...

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df

Meaning you would be arguing against the concept of a noble phantasm itself as they inherently require mana to be used. Be it in the source material laws or scenario laws. The very fact that you've designated it as such, argued it as such, and used it as such and your evidence of resistance shows that that the event horizon user did not resist the negation of powers and cut off from the supply of mana:

I reached out a hand, attempting to form a singularity. My mana was still there, but the mental fog stopped me from shaping it.

Clearly paints a picture of failure on Orpheus's part to be able to cleanly resist The Equalizer. I would play the scale of game, and could mention reiatsu in bleach being applied to manipulate time, warp space, create singularities, or even negate the powers of other reiatsu users, or how Amagai's Bakkoto was designed to negate the powers of someone tiers above him in Yamamoto. But that seems like a pointless endeavor to just play in your game when I simply have to point out the holes in your own evidence of "resistance."

Having abilities outside the defined negation does not equal resistance or immunity. And it seems like this is indeed a shut case in Ba'al's favor.

There's not much I have to say about the explosion of Robin's jewel. Your strategy of mitigating relies mostly on using your magecraft to do so. Which well... I don't feel like beating a dead horse. Now for Lycaon, all of you seemed to present a very tame defense for him whether it was simple evasion or trying to tank it simply because it doesn't present immediate lethality. And without Event Horizon on the table given the arguments on both sides, there doesn't seem to be any stopping it from dissipating your mana aside from just trying to physically tank it:

As for his mana burst, in the situation that Lycaon can reach Orpheus and use it, I don't really know how much damage it actually does as it was argued on the basis of washing away mana instead of hitting really hard. Assuming that it doesn't disintegrate Orpheus, though, his inherent durability combined with his regeneration should let him take it.

The same goes for Moriarty's barriers which as said with Canute, could also reflect the event Horizon even after a potential case where Moriarty is hit by it.

=========================================================

The game mostly remains the same. Aside from Canute getting a last-ditch effort from his PotS. It ultimately leaves himself and his allies in an even more compromising position. Though many efforts were focused on dealing with Moriarty and Ba'al, the true trap was Lycaon. Hence why I called him the game-ender. The only true defense was argued by Team Rider which was relying on simple evasion at its core. A tactic that doesn't hold up. Nor was any real move made to protect Elligatia, Antonio or Bianca from the same attack in what seems hopes were riding instead on Event Horizon to resist and consume his attacks.

Nor was any real mention made of how the greater group as a whole would bounce back from the distraction of Robin's jewel exploding. While it was mentioned Robin would see it through instinct, would he also not sense The Equalizer coming if thats the case or Lycaon's attack? Can his instinct at rank D source through all that information and deign the jewel exploding as the biggest possible threat when a higher rank instinct instead seemingly focused on Lycaon's assault?

That alongside the protective and coordinated measures provided by Moriarty with everything Orphies provides but an order of magnitude better alongside being able to grant his allies accelerated thought? The advantage seems squarely in favor of The Hounds.

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Naronu

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Open for voting on Phase 1:

Ah who am I kidding, we'll move on when I give my verdict

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CV Ate My Big Vote:

Title... Expect short stuff on the important points and nothing else.

Stopping Divinity:

I think Maestro's argument would really have been helped here by just... actually posting the excerpt from the Magic Resistance aspect of the Divinity rule clarifications:

While Divinity is not Magecraft, those who are resistant to one find themselves resistant to the other. Although, it is slightly less effective.

With this in mind I do believe that there certainly exists some sort of creatable object which could in some way offset the effects of Divinity. But the question is whether the actual items created by Archer would be effective here against The Unknown Soldier's Divinity A+. Considering individually each item is only ranked A, I don't see a world where they could ever fully remove the effects of Divinity, but I think it's possible that they reduce it in their own unique way.

The effects of The Unknown Soldier's Divinity have their effectiveness on one of the skills halved. (One randomly selected skill that is reduced by 2 is instead reduced by 1)

Archer: Robin Hood => A

Alan: Instinct => D

John: Riding => B+

Marian: Mystic Eyes => C

Will: Presence Detection => B

Rider: Forger of My Own Domain => A

Eadric: Charisma => B

Eric: No Effect

Godwine: Golden Rule => B

Thorkell: Voyager of the Storm => E

The others were not noted to have been wearing the suits.

Pioneer of the Stars:

Rider's Pioneer of the Stars does activate here, perhaps it seemed impossible with Forger of my Own Domain being reduced by Divinity, but perhaps it activated with the random selector as well and it was brought back up to A. It activates here to turn the nigh (but not complete) impossibility of Canute entering the Mirror Dimension without being hit by Lycaon into a guarantee.

Power Nullification Resistance:

Here I agree with Darth, the instances for both Event Horizon and Rimuru are both cases of the specific abilities not being targeted by the nullification as opposed to them actually resisting it. With the nature of this scenario, both abilities certainly utilize mana here as they are a Noble Phantasm and a Magecraft respectively. I do think that Event Horizon has the showings to deal with the explosion and probably get through the barriers too. But I was unconvinced it wouldn't just be canceled by The Equalizer.

Archer suffers from similar issues when it comes to the sealstone argument, but the Ehit showing is much more conducive to the idea that he could almost certainly resist Lycaon's Mana Burst and possibly The Equalizer as well. But I'm generally unconvinced in regards to The Equalizer.

Fast Conclusion and Verdicts:

With similar speeds, it's far less feasible for me to buy the comparatively large amount of set-up required for the team's plan as opposed to what is basically thought activated abilities (exploding the orb and presence concealment) and a Noble Phantasm from the fastest person present who additionally has stacked forms of Instinct.

The Divinity Reducing Measures are partially effective.

The explosion of Archer's crystal combined with the activation of The Equalizer should heavily disrupt the initial strategy for the team.

The Equalizer logically should seal the abilities of everyone present. I was unconvinced by either argument against it. Ba'al is charged for such.

Canute gets into the Mirror World with 1 usage of his Pioneer of the Storm without being effected by Lycaon's Mana Burst. Charged for such.

Based on the Ehit showing, I don't think Lycaon's Mana Burst could push out Archer's mana. However, for pretty much everyone else (save Canute). Lycaon is pushing that shit out, leaving them in a very precarious situation. Nobody is actually at risk of desummoning due to expenditure though, as they're mostly tactics summons and Avenger has his restorative skills.

Based on their proximity and lack of real defenses, the Earls and Merry Men almost all take severe damage, but they (along with Archer and Avenger) would take the brunt of the explosion. John and Thorkell take moderate damage.

The two masters (Antonio and Elligatia) who relocated to a nearby building probably are not caught in the brunt of the explosion. But the building they're on is going down and they're caught in it. Elligatia takes serious damage, Antonio takes moderate damage.

Bianca, at her slower operative speed and the fact that Presence Concealment doesn't stop you from just getting hit by AoE is splattered into a bloody mess instantly by the explosion.

Archer, with Diamond Skin (charged for this), takes Moderate Damage.

Avenger takes Minor Damage.

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Phase 2: The King of Magecraft

No Caption Provided

Theme: A Story of Love and Hope

Loading Video...

Onto this battlefield, cast into disarray by the machinations of Professor Moriarty, the great sun called Hope seems to be slowly setting. But in an instant there is a man standing in the air above the collapsed street gazing down upon it all. His appearance is unmistakeable, this is the King of Magecraft, a former Grand Caster, He who built the first temple, The man who gave magecraft to humanity.

“Fellow Heroic Spirits, and brave humans I ask that you stay your hands. There is neither need for a battle here nor need for this larval Beast to reach maturity. The arrival of a Beast is a tragedy wrought by man and servant alike, but it is still something we can halt. So I beseech you to hold back your assault."

Turning towards Moriarty.

"As for you, I will not pretend I do not understand your circumstance. But your solution solves nothing, it simply increases suffering for all."

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darthjhawk

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#11 darthjhawk  Moderator

Shock and Awe:

No Caption Provided

The three agents of darkness stared up at the figure before them. A symbol of everything they fought for, and everything they stand against. In a way, the progenitor of each of their stories. The heightened tension is palpable. As if the air could crack at any moment.

Fuck.”

The King of Arcadia feels neither contempt or awe. Simply a desire to see things done. And now he understands the beginning and the end.

You are…”

The being known as Ba’al trails off. As if a lost child has finally reunited with their parent, overcome with emotion, yet unable to process any of them.

“haha…AHAHAHAHAHAHA. THIS IS WONDERFUL! WHAT A VILE DEVELOPMENT THIS IS! SO THIS IS HOW THE WORLD CHOOSES TO ANSWER.

James Moriarty is filled with glee. And yet, though he does not know it, another emotion builds within his soul. It is one he has not felt since the the great fall he took with his eternal rival. It is something he had abandoned, a primal instinct that no calculation, no prediction, no observation can overcome.

<<STATUS UNREADABLE. THE LIFEFORM PRESENT CANNOT BE READ BY ANY DISCERNIBLE MEANS>>

And yet the professor takes a gallant bow, introducing himself as always. Still not understanding the primordial lesson it seemed the Will of the Planet was trying to teach him.

“Welcome, King of Mages to this humble game.”

The Emperor of Crime had begun to feel fear.

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#12 darthjhawk  Moderator

Phase II: The Liberation of Sacrifice

At the same moment Nemesis arrives at the holy ground of the church, the perspective shifts back to the streets dyed with crimson and ichor. As the defeated heroic spirits lay upon the broken earth, the devils who end their stories face their progenitor. A transient memory brought forth for a task that should have never had to be completed. The air crackled with magical energy, random sparks dancing through the skies. The sheer power coursing through their magical circuits caused the earth to tremble and beckon.

No Caption Provided

.....

"James Moriarty... You would refer to all this as a game? This madness you have wrought, you play with powers far beyond human understanding."

"And what about you, O Wise King? Was it not your own meddling with the great powers of above that allow such circumstances to exist?"

"Yes, which is why I am the one who beckons to you now. This darkness within you, this obsidian madness you seek to drown the world in, the power of the Demiurge you claim dominion over, you must know it will not bring you the peace you seek.

"Sharp senses, but then again what else can be expected from the wisest man to have ever lived?"

"Wisdom and power are not the same thing, Moriarty. You may have your clever schemes and your twisted plans, but they will ultimately lead to your downfall."

"And what makes you so sure of that, my dear king? Do you really think you can predict my every move?"

"I don't need to predict them. I already know them. My eyes see the past, read the present, and foretell the future. I have seen the outcome of every choice and every action you will ever take. In all worlds, just as he has."

A subtle flicker of resentment and wrath flies across the professor's face. "Is that so? Well then, tell me, what fate have you seen for me?"

"A tragic one, Moriarty. A life of constant pursuit of power, leading to your own destruction. And even the world."

"Do you think you can scare me with your prophecies, Solomon? I am not afraid of death. In fact, I welcome it, if it means achieving my goals." Moriarty laughs wholeheartedly.

"Death is not the worst fate that can befall you, Moriarty. The worst fate is to be consumed by your own ambition, to become a slave to your own desires, and to lose your humanity in the process."

"Fascinating. You speak as if you have experienced such a fate yourself, Solomon."

The King of Magecraft sighs, "I have seen the darkness within myself, Moriarty. I have struggled with it my entire life. Even after receiving the blessings of God. But... I have also learned that true power comes not from domination, but from compassion and understanding."

A small magical circle unnoticeable to anyone begins to form under Robin Hood, The Merry Men, The Earls, Orpheus, Elligatia, Antonio, and within the mirror dimension where Canute stands.

"How quaint. But forgive me if I don't share your idealistic views, Solomon. The world is a cruel and unforgiving place, and only the strong survive."

"Strength is not measured by the ability to destroy, Moriarty. It is measured by the ability to create, inspire, and protect".'

You're a fascinating creature, Solomon. But I'm afraid despite all your great powers of clairvoyance you are unbearably naive. Your sentiment will be answered with despair. The Planet itself cries out. Not a cry to be saved, but a cry to destroy and rebuild anew. You should have listened to your creation. He had the right idea. But that is neither here nor there. You cannot defeat me. The power I have attained to achieve my true ending, the one, true ending surpasses even the eyes of God.

"I agree. As I am now, I cannot defeat you. But this is not my story anyway. It is theirs."

Solomon turns towards the fallen heroic spirits. A soft smile upon his face.

"I am merely a footnote in their story. One brought here to break your grand design. This story shall not end the way you have written it."

Recognition flashes through Lycaon, Ba'al, and Moriarty's minds as all three notice the magical circle begin to explode. Moriarty screams for the Larval Beast to activate his Noble Phantasm once more, but all three find themselves unable to act. Like the Titan Atlas, they have been forced to bear the weight of the universe. To bear the all-seeing and all-knowing nature of a supreme being, the representation of a powerful force of nature that can shape the fate of the world. The symbol of the immense power and energy that exists in the universe inspires awe and wonder in those who contemplate them:

No Caption Provided

"Rrgh. This is-"

"What the hell?"

"...!"

But this was not the time for shock. That... That would come later.

The Time of Crowning Hath Come.

He Is The One Who Begins All

Ars... Paulina

Sacrifice's Liberation II:

The world seems to explode. And then be swallowed into a blinding flash of white light. The passage of time has stopped. All have been brought into a new world. Or rather, not a world at all. No, it is what could only be described as a grand temple. The temple stands tall and proud, with towering columns and grand archways, adorned with intricate carvings and gilded in gold. Radiating a gentle light, warm and inviting glow bids all welcome. The grand hall is lined with magnificent pillars that reach up toward the heavens. The air is filled with the scent of incense, and the sound of soft chanting echoes through the halls. Though, unlike the sinister calls Lycaon heard before, these seem to be acts of genuine prayer and salvation. At the heart of the temple, stands a massive, glowing crystal, suspended in mid-air, its radiance illuminating the entire chamber. It is said that this crystal holds the power to summon angels or devils, those who possess it can command their mighty forces to do their bidding.

The walls of the temple are adorned with exquisite murals, depicting scenes of divine glory and the triumph of the angels over the forces of darkness. The intricate details and vibrant colors of the murals seem to come to life before your eyes as if animated by the very power that flows through the temple. It is a testament to the grandeur and magnificence of the angelic realm, and a testament to the indomitable spirit of humanity that seeks to reach ever higher toward the heavens.

No Caption Provided

However... this is an invitation given to the heroes Solomon has come to aid. For his enemies, those who would claim to destroy the world. They are only met with the Wrath of God and The Scorn of the Devil laid bare:

No Caption Provided

The three malevolent souls are buried under a host of their brethren. Assaulted and carried into a realm of shadows. And the King of Mages turns towards the heroes of this story, a smile once again crossing his face.

"Now then, time is short. Shall we have a brief talk, brave warriors who have given everything and more to this beautiful world?"

@supremegeneration@sy8000@maestromage@gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps@just_banter

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Ghosts of the Past

No Caption Provided

"You...were sent by the librarian, right? I didn't think she was worried about Moriarty."

"I'm not worthy of praise. I'm not a brave warrior, just a man who made mistakes and started having an opinion. But I'll take the help I can. Moriarty is going down a foolish path not unlike my own."

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"Ough."

Robin slowly got to his feet, coughing up some blood but wiping it away as he quickly looked around for his master. Seeing him alive and mostly well, he breathed a sigh of relief before properly taking in their new environment. He tried to keep his emotions from showing on his face and mostly succeeded. Still, there was an unmistakable sense of awe conveyed by his expressions, mixed with something resembling melancholy. He sighed again and turned to face their saviour.

"So... the 'King of Mages', huh? I suppose you have my- no, our thanks for the rescue, though from your words I take it that this is a temporary reprieve."

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GilgameshThePimpToEndAllPimps

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No Caption Provided

"Well, this is a surprise. To be honest, I was half-expecting Lancer to show up again, but I can't be not grateful for the help of perhaps the true Mage King." Antonio sighs, able to breathe after the initial shock of the explosion, with his injuries far better off than they should be, but the feelings in his heart are more pronounced than ever. Once again, Moriarty has played Antonio like a fool, using the very vitriolic hatred present towards the servant who represents Antonio's own insecurities, and this time, there were severe consequences. Beforehand any damage that was done, whilst problematic, was repairable & can be used as information, but in this scenario, there is no such leniency.

Bianca was dead, and there was no chance of resurrection, leaving Avenger stranded without a master. If it weren't for Solomon's intervention, things may have gotten far, far worse off for everyone, all before Antonio could even make an attempt at providing support. For as much as things change, whether it be enemies becoming allies or the closing in on the villain's grand scheme, it all stays the same for Antonio's position in the world. Just a bit player in a world that refuses to give him an opening.

'Given everything to the world? Don't think I have anything to give in the first place...'

For now, Antonio pushes these thoughts to the side and returns to the situation at hand.

"I wont ask why or how you are here, King of Mages, as time is limited, but I will ask this: Can we trust you to help stop that wretched old fool?"

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Sy8000

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No Caption Provided

It was quick, as battles went. Higher powers attacked with abilities Elligatia may not have even understood. The Emperor and his innumerable calculations. The maturing Evil with his waves that brought all to heel. The Wolf King with his winds that drained the life of the entire coalition in one fell swoop. She aimed her crossbow, and the next thing she knew the building went down.

Not an issue. Elligatia wasn’t a stranger to acrobatics in heavy situations; she was quick. For a magus of this caliber, dying to a trinket would be unthinkable. But trinket though it may be, the magecraft of the spider was strong. The Huntress survived the explosion, but was not quick enough to avoid the debris it flung at unfamothable speeds.

When the dust cleared, Elligatia stumbled, harmed by the explosion, but caught her footing. It'll take more than that to finish her. Upon seeing the king of Magecraft, she weakly whispered: “what…?”

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A disastrous attempt. Even if our opponents held an advantage, to be pushed back in such a manner was almost laughable. Even so, even after having my weakness made apparent, having my song, her song, forcefully suppressed, it was... unpleasant. Just as a decision had been reached on a response, he descended.

Deus Ex Machina. God from the Machine. A notable storytelling tool where an impossible situation is solved by the descent of one of the Gods themselves, or someone close to it. I had written a few plays here and there and implemented the technique once or twice, but never in life did I experience such an event in reality. It almost made me laugh. Even now, long past the end of the Age of Gods, people like that can still do whatever they want. But, then, what about me? What about my...?

A pulse of pain shoots through my head. I put my hands on my head with a grunt of pain, but the damage is not physical. While my companions talk to their saviour, I close my eyes, incomprehensible mutterings leaving my lips.

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darthjhawk

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#18 darthjhawk  Moderator
No Caption Provided

"You have all done so well. Though I know it seems impossible to believe now, destiny does not stand against you."

@sy8000

You...were sent by the librarian, right? I didn't think she was worried about Moriarty."

"I'm not worthy of praise. I'm not a brave warrior, just a man who made mistakes and started having an opinion. But I'll take the help I can. Moriarty is going down a foolish path not unlike my own."

"Mistakes are the mark of experience and regret, the burden of wisdom. King Canute raise your head and stand tall. Your path, your dream, is not wrong nor foolish."

@maestromage

"So... the 'King of Mages', huh? I suppose you have my- no, our thanks for the rescue, though from your words I take it that this is a temporary reprieve."

"Please, do not thank me Lord of Loxley. In many ways, this is my responsibility far more than it is yours."

@gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps

'Given everything to the world? Don't think I have anything to give in the first place...'

For now, Antonio pushes these thoughts to the side and returns to the situation at hand.

"I wont ask why or how you are here, King of Mages, as time is limited, but I will ask this: Can we trust you to help stop that wretched old fool?"

"That is why I have come Antonio. And do not disparage yourself, risking your life here on the battlefield is more than most can ever claim. Your bravery and courage are to be admired. Please do not let the professor tear your apart and pick at your insecurities. You are far stronger than you know. "

@supremegeneration

When the dust cleared, Elligatia stumbled, harmed by the explosion, but caught her footing. It'll take more than that to finish her. Upon seeing the king of Magecraft, she weakly whispered: “what…?”

"Rest while you can milady. Another battle is coming. And you are needed."

@just_banter

A pulse of pain shoots through my head. I put my hands on my head with a grunt of pain, but the damage is not physical. While my companions talk to their saviour, I close my eyes, incomprehensible mutterings leaving my lips.

"And you, dear Orpheus. The pain your spiritual origin has suffered is immeasurable. But I have seen the future, the path you are considering will not bring your suffering to an end."

.....

"Heroes, warriors, mages. As I have said this is your battle to fight, and your story to end. I am merely here to wipe out the vile excess James Moriarty seeks to birth. Forgive this selfishness but I must ask you to head into battle once more. As the sanctity of mystery and the war must be contained. The Black Dragon that he has summoned attacks the Holy Church now. I must ask you to go there and stop him now. In exchange I will restore you as best I can."

A small light shines from Solomon's left hand the index and ring finger.

"Eternity and Dominion, the rings of Infinitude and Subjugation. I call upon you now."

<<Acknowledged. The skill Song of Healing from the individual known as Alan has been acquired. The skill Signatory has been acquired and improved upon from the individual known as Eadric. And the skill Disengage has been acquired from the individual Robin Hood.>>

The King of Mages voice echoes in your minds now. As he speaks you feel your wounds reverse and close, and the ambient mana gathered and pushed back into you. A gate of shadows and darkness opens behind him.

"In the many lifetimes, falsehoods they may be I have held, I have learned the joy of learning to call another a friend and companion. And so I hope you will allow me to share that honor with you as well. Please flee this place, and end the schemes of the mad beast. I will see to it that an Evil of Humanity shall never rise here."

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Sy8000

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@darthjhawk:

No Caption Provided

"Mistakes are the mark of experience and regret, the burden of wisdom. King Canute raise your head and stand tall. Your path, your dream, is not wrong nor foolish."

"...Thank you. That...means more than you know."

"Heroes, warriors, mages. As I have said this is your battle to fight, and your story to end. I am merely here to wipe out the vile excess James Moriarty seeks to birth. Forgive this selfishness but I must ask you to head into battle once more. As the sanctity of mystery and the war must be contained. The Black Dragon that he has summoned attacks the Holy Church now. I must ask you to go there and stop him now. In exchange I will restore you as best I can."

"In the many lifetimes, falsehoods they may be I have held, I have learned the joy of learning to call another a friend and companion. And so I hope you will allow me to share that honor with you as well. Please flee this place, and end the schemes of the mad beast. I will see to it that an Evil of Humanity shall never rise here."

"Of course. I won't ask you to hold back, but if the opportunity presents itself before the Unknown Soldier's final moments, tell him..."

"...tell him I'm sorry, and I won't use his kind as an excuse anymore."

"Robin, Antonio, Orpheus, master, I'm going to the church now. Will you come?"

@maestromage@just_banter @gilgameshthepimptoendallpimps

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@darthjhawk:

Last Chance

What a guy. Even amongst heroic spirits, it's pretty clear that this man is something else. I understand our time is limited, if his current state is only temporary then all the more so. But... I can't leave without hearing it from him.

In the midst of departing, Robin hesitates and turns back to face the King of Mages. His eyes, however, look as though he is looking at something else entirely.

No Caption Provided

"Solomon... from what you have said if Moriarty succeeds it would mean the end of the world as we understand it, yes? In that case, I must ask... is there still hope for him? And for the world?"

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#21 darthjhawk  Moderator
No Caption Provided

@sy8000

"Of course. I won't ask you to hold back, but if the opportunity presents itself before the Unknown Soldier's final moments, tell him..."

"...tell him I'm sorry, and I won't use his kind as an excuse anymore."

"Of course, Your majesty. In a way, I understand your feelings. For too long I watched as innocents suffer, those that I knew and understood. And did nothing to ease their pain. Rest assured, you and I shall be the avatars of change for all of those like him.

@maestromage

"Solomon... from what you have said if Moriarty succeeds it would mean the end of the world as we understand it, yes? In that case, I must ask... is there still hope for him? And for the world?"

"Though it is likely impossible to believe without having seen it firsthand, I have seen the greatest of demons and the foulest of dark creatures find salvation and understanding. I fully believe there is hope even for the Professor. And I believe there is hope for the man who stands before me who believes himself a fake to come fully into his own as the one, true Prince- no King of Thieves."

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@darthjhawk:

No Caption Provided

"So you know even that which bothers me, huh? Greater in wisdom than all other kings indeed." Antonio acknowledged that there was nothing to hide from Solomon's all-encompassing eyes. In a way, that same grasp of the situation is a side of Solomon that reminds him of the very weakness he's been carrying, just a minor part underneath a power so beyond his understanding, not helped by how this isn't the first time a sudden servant of unknown origins suddenly comes in to save the day. Sure, at this point, the Napoleon of Crime has clearly played his hand, and their faces of distraught when the King of Mages showed up tells more about their relationship than a world of words could ever detail, yet the scars from Moriarty still need time to heal.

The help is obviously greatly appreciated, and the voiced praises are taken in, but there's still the juxtaposition of how, in Antonio's most desperate of hours, a mysterious, seemingly all-powerful Mage King comes in and does the seemingly hardest part. After all these years, some habits are hard to break.

All the same, however...

"My bravery, huh?" It's a perspective Antonio had yet to consider. Throughout this war, he was always under the assumption that it was always between himself & Master Geraki who would represent the Argyros, yet at the same time, who's to say that was the case? How would, say, Ischyrós, be the one to receive the command seals instead, how would he react? Would he have toughed it out this long, or would he have ignored Moriarty in favour of speedrunning winning the war? It's possible, but now's not the time for such theoretical scenarios.

"Alright, I'm trusting you to come back alive, Solomon. I'd at least like to know our 'saviour' at least a little bit before he vanishes. Oh, and this may be greedy of me to say, but, try and keep Moriarty alive. I want some words with the Obatarian before he gets his comeuppance."

"Robin, Antonio, Orpheus, master, I'm going to the church now. Will you come?"

"Doesn't look like we have much of a choice, does it? Either way, my initial statements stand. Don't any of you dare die, and I'll offer some fine beverages as a reward. Now let's mosey, Archer."

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#23 darthjhawk  Moderator

A Crusade Lost In Time & Space:

No Caption Provided

As he watched the successors of the Holy Grail War leave the timeless temple, Solomon's smile fades. And an expression unreadable to anyone takes its place instead. No joy, no satisfaction, no anger, fear, hatred. Entirely neutral. Perhaps if the young woman who called for him were here, she would be able to ascertain the King of Mages thoughts. But the time for pondering was past, the time for battle was present, with the twin engines of hope and despair balancing on the future. Both vying for the last spot on the primordial stairway. Crimson and obsidian masses writhed and gathered. While white and golden glows shined from above.

A story no living being on Illhaldesal would ever witness was being written here. No, this was a story meant only for the departed.

Timeless Crusade I: Consumption

Flesh, mass, bone, and blood. Shadow and light, creation, and destruction resounded as the bodies of the demonic host assaulted the malefic trio. For nearly any other being, this would have been the end. A terminal end to whatever life they had led. But here, it was only the beginning of a mad tale.

"I see, so even this will be unable to hold you."

"Open gate of primordial madness.

My offering is the souls of the damned and the light of the living.

I am the avatar of the watchers on the wall.

My greed shall fuel entropy, the final, ultimate crime."

<<Confirming activation of second noble phantasm, Prince of The Grigori Act II: The Dynamics of An Asteroid>>

A gaping maw, ignoring the rules of time and space opens from within the central mass of demonic pillars, consuming all its path. And the avatars of oblivion rise unharmed.

Timeless Crusade II: Determination

"Lycaon, Ba'al. We need not be enemies. Whether you can see it or not, there is another path."

"Forgive us. But this is what we must do to prove that we do not have to exist."

"Save it. I've already chosen what hill to die on. A choice I didn't get before. Who cares about right and wrong now? This is simply what I have to do."

"Then it seems I've no need to reinvigorate you then. Leave the pillars to me. A memory of a dead man shall not be our end."

"To me, beast of calamity and disaster. Let forth the flood of the ancients. And bring upon the end of humanity."

Their voice is still natural, yet resolute. The call brings forth a cascading wave of despair. The will of the Old Testament shatters the floor and walls of crystalline marble and replaces it with the depths of rage and destruction.

No Caption Provided

"Leviathan."

A sphere envelops the mage king and his throne, and the very space reverses, weakening all that was strong and strengthening all that was weak. With all in between frozen in place.

Atop the beast's head rides the man in crimson regret. His hand plunged within his chest cavity, tearing out what feels like his own heart as he loads his weapon.

"Noble Phantasm Release

Your cry is my lament.

My blade is your descent.

Here and now, my soul burns.

And from it, your vengeance is birthed. "

Several impossibly powerful red hot streaks burn through the air, their target made clear. Lycaon's aim is true. The ocean of flames and an inferno of ice crash down upon Solomon. Until all is stopped by the shine of the fourth ring.

"Fourth Ring, the band of Continuum."

The world seems to stop, or rather come to an immeasurable slow. But time, if time existed in this space still seems to trudge ever forward.

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Timeless Crusade III: Termination

"!"

"What the hell?"

Their combination is flawless, their victory assured. They had prepared for a quick finale, believing he had used up his power in saving the fallen heroes. But they were unprepared for an onslaught of every potential magic known to man and even god. But before they can respond, Solomon has already taken in and broken down the fundamentals of their efforts. And returns their attacks in kind. Manifesting a giant demon god. One who finds its origin in the flames of the forge yet is malleable enough to acquire and rend any element asunder. The eighth ring is called upon.

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A torrent of elements assaults the two. Merging and disassembling. Order and Chaos alike bring upon them the wrath of heaven and hell. The space is locked, and destiny has been set. Try as he may, even James Moriarty cannot stop what is about to happen next. As the blaze ends, Lycaon and Ba'al fall. The damage is beyond what they can immediately repair. They should be dead. And yet... though he could not stop it, Moriarty could hinder it. Consuming the last pillar of flame before it could finish its work. But...

"You bastard. This is what you wanted isn't it?"

Cursing under his breath as the infinitude of demonic gods and angels continue to rain down upon him, this one moment he has taken to save his allies was a costly one. And a single pillar one who had taken size smaller than the smallest atom attacks him from within. The shock allows the army of the divine to bury him once more.

The Leviathan falls. And Solomon steps in front of the two agents of darkness.

"As I said. I shall not kill you. That is not my duty. However, an evil of humanity shall not rise on this day."

The first, eighth, ninth, and final rings all shine. As Solomon grasps the two in a force of will unbreakable to even their greatest powers. His hands plunged deep into their bodies, nay their souls, even their origins. Even the staunchest of heroes would be unable to bear the weight of their screams.

Their agony ended nearly as quickly as it began, as two dark, pulsating fragments emerge within Solomon's grasp. Immediately recognizing it, the king of Arcadia feels the weight on his soul lessen, and then grow considerably heavier.

"I see. So that's the fate he had wrought for me. And that's what you meant. When you said we would go together. Damn, you Solomon. I... I could have been free."

"We... we do not understand your actions. For so long, you did nothing and allowed us to exist. And yet now when we present a visage that reflects our creator..."

"Forgive me. You are right. I am a selfish, detestable man. No better than what the others call you. But know this, in the name of King Canute. I speak on behalf of all of us, no the world to both of you. I am truly sorry."

"No. It is we who are...". Ba'al is unable to finish before both he and Lycaon fall unconscious. And the space created by the beast of the Old shatters, revealing the throne of Ars Paulina once more.

And still, despite the birth of a beast never coming to pass. Hatred and Darkness fester. As the concept of hope grows, so too must the burden of despair grow heavier. A sentiment proven by the will of Professor James Moriarty, an eternal rival to Sherlock Holmes, and the Spider Who Subjugated a God.

Timeless Crusade IV: The Apex

He felt it before he saw it. He knew it was about to happen and still, he did nothing. In a way... he predicted and calculated that the world did not agree with his machinations. And expected on some level for it to push back, to desperately fight back. After all, it loved its typical stories of hope overcoming despair. Good triumphing over evil. Order over chaos. It was the same thoughts he held as he fell into Reichenbach with the detective. The overwhelming dread upon opening his eyes in the depths, deprived of the mutual destruction and satisfaction he and his enemy should have shared. Seeing the core of the Demon God ripped from his pieces brought forth this all too familiar feeling he tried to forget.

Rage.

<<Activation of Third Noble Phantasm Confirmed.>>

"Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine.Fine."

The affirmation repeated itself over and over in his head. He had offered peace, he had offered salvation, twisted as they may be to others, he knew this ending would be the one necessary to free them all. And if they wouldn't accept things the easy.

"I will do it myself."

<<"It is appropriate "Evil" be removed and rejected.

It shall be standard that "Good" be sublimated and subjugated.

Together we shall challenge the numerical formula known as the universe.

Here the answer shall be demonstrated.

For I am the one who shall carve the story's path.">>

"Mathematical Malignant Annihilation!"

Once again a light explodes from the mass of flesh. And envelops the entirety of the temple. The light emerges from within Moriarty's soul. And brings all four beings back to the real world.

'I see. So this is what you have resorted to Professor. How far will you go?"

As Solomon looks up toward the sky, his eyes capture a terror that no mortal could ever endure.

A towering, monstrous figure, its twisted form seems almost impossible to comprehend. Its massive body is covered in black, chitinous plates that reflect the light like obsidian, giving it an otherworldly gleam. Its limbs are long and spindly, like a spider's, ending in razor-sharp talons that scrape the ground as it descends. And then metamorphose into a pristine form of crystal light. Reflecting the sun's rays as if it was always meant to be there. Its eyes glow with an otherworldly light that seems to pierce through to the very soul. Its face is a grotesque, twisted mockery of humanity, with a maw filled with razor-sharp teeth that seems to stretch impossibly wide as it lets out a roar that shakes the very earth.

The wings, if one can call them that, are leathery and bat-like, but instead of feathers, they are covered in a thousand eyes that seem to follow every movement, every breath, of those below. As it swoops down, its wings create a deafening wind that tears at the fabric of reality, threatening to pull everything apart. The mere presence is enough to cause madness, as the very air seems to warp and twist around it. It descends with a sense of malice and intent, like a predator closing in on its prey, and its very presence is a threat to all that is good and just in the world.

No Caption Provided

"Allow me to introduce you, Solomon, to who I call the Great Pretender, The Demiurge, and the one who summoned me. I'm sure someone of your renown wisdom and devotion has heard the name Yaldabaoth."

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darthjhawk

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Epilogue:

No Caption Provided

As the King of Mages body fades and the image of God destroyed the remains of the Temple of Time, Moriarty collects and absorbs Lycaon and Ba'al into himself. Allowing them to rest for now. As he thinks back to the last words Solomon uttered after Yaldabaoth descended, his frustration grew. Perhaps this was within Solomon's vision after all. Now, a Beast-Class could never be summoned. Lycaon would forever be Lycaon, and Ba'al though he had taken the name, will forever remain larva. Never able to be born. And even worse, the professor was forced to play his trump card. One he had been attempting to save for the very last moment. The third noble phantasm, Mathematical Malignant Annihilation. The ability to modify one's own origin. And what he used to call down the Demiurge.

And then, he felt an absence of power. A void left that he did not understand. A vision blocked to him while trapped within Ars Paulina. Only one thing came to mind.

"I really shall have to do this myself. No matter. This is more fun anyway, don't you think so Solomon?"

Moriarty laughed as he left the battlefield in search of the answers he was missing, paying no mind to the battle unfolding at the Holy Church that he could also perceive.