southernisms: (Saber)
[personal profile] southernisms
Chase's bright, cheerful smile shifted into one of awe and wonder as he opened the small wooded box with what could only be called reverence. It was a miracle unto itself that the pieces had been found, carefully collected, and lovingly stored away. Even with the impressive resources of the Midnight Squad, acquiring the fragments of the lost relic proved challenging for the scholars of the arcane. Not the least of their obstacles had been the Mages Association.

Comprised of venerable, ancient family lines, the Association was obsessed with its own pursuits of Thaumaturgical studies, finding a path to Akasha, and, on the temporal plane, internal politics. Though many magi had thrown their lot in with the rest of humankind during the Rikti War, the official stance of the Association was that such matters were none of their concern. It was no small irony that, as much as the Midnight Squad had a reputation for being stuffed shirts among the superhero community of Paragon City, the Association saw them as a group of bratty upstarts in spite of being one of the city's oldest hero organisations. Compared to the Association, the Squad was a positively egalitarian infant, a simple arcane-flavoured think-tank in lieu of a university of labyrinthine rules and codes of conduct.

Yet, that diplomatic approach to the world's magical denizens had been rewarded. The faeries dwelling in Cornwall had been highly distrustful of magi, who tended to see anything magical as tools at their beck and call. The Squad's approach of forming actual diplomatic relations -- something the more august magi within the Association had scoffed at -- had taken years, but at long last they came to trust those magi who had joined the Squad enough to let them borrow the shattered relic.

The fragments of that relic now lay nestled among wood shavings, its intricate carvings and settings gleamed gold, blue, and russet in the faint light. Doubt seeped into Chase's heart; he could feel its subtle power even now, but would it be enough for the demanding task ahead of them?
Only one way to find out, isn't there?

The young magus set about his work, making the necessary preparations for the summoning ritual. But it was not for the sake of a war to summon a wish-granting artefact, a bloody ritual engineered by three magi families to open a road to Akasha. No, this purpose was far more important: the survival of mankind. Surely the noble spirit Chase had spent years figuring out how to summon would be sympathetic!

At last, everything was in place; the proper sigils drawn with painstaking care, the room sealed from sudden intrusion that would disrupt the ritual. As if he was cradling a newborn child, Chase lifted the fragments of the vital catalyst and placed each of its pieces on the altar. They seemed to glow faintly with power, as if it approved of his intentions.

Chase couldn't help but grin. If Caliburn -- the sacred sword of the Kings of Britain -- approved, he must be doing something right!

That smile faded away, replaced by a solemn expression as the young magus began his invocation.

Ye first, O silver, O iron.
O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the Contract.
Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Archmagus Schweinorg.
Let the descending winds be as a wall
Let the gates in all directions be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the Kingdom revolve.


He could subtly feel one of the floodgates close, concentrating the flow of prana in the desired direction.


Another closed.


And another.




The last one. So far, so good.

Five perfections for each repetition.
And now, let the filled sigils be annihilated in my stead!


Chase could feel the prana ignite, like a match thrown on a petrol-doused wood-stack. That was a good sign. Hopefully.

Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade.
If thou submittest to the call of the Holy Grail and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.
I make my oath here.
I am that person who is to become the virtue of all Heavens.
I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades.
Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words.

He would know if his call had been answered after the final part of the invocation.

Come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance!

He was nearly blinded by the light as the sigils on the floor flared to life.
By the Muses...
Chase hoped this little venture wasn't going to cost him his eyesight.

It was worth it, though, when he could make out a faint movement within the cloak of light, and an armoured figure stepped out of the luminescence onto the sigil-marked wooden floor.

Servant Saber. Upon thy summoning, I have come forth. I ask of thee: art thou the Master whom has called me?

It worked! By the Muses, it worked!
It would have demanded all of Chase's willpower to contain his childlike exuberance and triumph, but the Servant who had appeared before him evoked something else entirely.

She was breathtaking. For a moment the young magus wondered if he had summoned Arthur's famed queen instead of the king of legend, and her beauty had rendered a stunned silence. But there was no mistake; the young girl who appeared before him carried herself with a commanding, regal air that brooked no doubt:

This was Arturius, Rex Britanniae.

"That's right, Your Majesty," he said, collecting himself and containing his excitement. "Welcome, my Lady Saber, to the halls of the Midnight Squad, and Paragon City... the City of Heroes."
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