Chapter 1: 2018 | Letter to Master
The Servants and Support Staff of Chaldea would like to formally thank you for all you do for us. We're grateful for your kindness and proud of all your hard work.
We know that you don't like being stuck in a mountain buried in snow. There's not much going on outside these days. Unfortunately we can't change Chaldea's geographical location, otherwise we'd make sure you could be somewhere cool and sunny all year.
You share stories with us, of all these holidays and traditions you had back home. We feel bad that we can't give you the same life you had before humanity was put at risk. After taking careful precautions and discussing the possibilities with each of Chaldea's residents, the nearly-unanimous decision was made to bring our diverse cultural backgrounds and skill sets together to provide you with the most exciting Month of Halloween of all time.
We can't wait to show you everything we've put together! Marie's Costume Shop opens on October 3rd and we'll have a whole month to put together outfits for everyone on-deck. You'll have to check it out on opening night! There will be music and games and alcohol, all hosted by Chaldea's favorite hostess BB!
It's been a Herculean task to gather our forces together and force them to cooperate, but everyone is a little more willing when they're reminded that it's all for you, Master.
Prepare for trouble, and make it double!
Fire burn and cauldron bubble!
I've combined the wrong two verses,
and in the process I have cursed us!
The full moon rises,
the dawn disappears.
Hold onto your panties,
and come face your FEARS!
Chapter 2: 2018 | Marie Antoinette's Costume Emporium
What have I done?
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit us at the Very Interesting Very Exciting Live-Action Fantasy-Recreation-Apparatus: Now Cutting-Edge! (Or as I like to call it, VIVE LA FRANCE!) This little shop has been a wonderful opportunity to bring my homies together and work on one project as a big, happy family. There are few words to describe how happy I am. Je suis amoureuse!
I will return from my errands later. In the meantime, BB-chan will be happy to give you a tour of our facilities and introduce you to our staff.
À toi, pour toujours,
“Master! I thought you’d never show up. It’s rude of you to keep us waiting. You’re lucky Marie said not to punish you.”
“We can’t open until we have your approval. Everything should be to your liking. Your kouhai worked really hard to please you. Let me show you around!”
- We heard you like lolis, so we’ve built a storefront reminiscent of a bridal boutique with a gothic color-scheme.
- This is our dressing-hall. We can accommodate up to five servants simultaneously. We can fit everyone from Orion (yes, the bear) to Atilla’s titan form!
- The Costume Catalog is the pride and joy of the waiting area, and a project I personally saw to the development of. With this life-sized screen, you can scroll through images of the endless possibilities for your costume. With the help of a reluctant Caster or four we categorized all costumes through an algorithm that reads images and sorts them by theme, color, species, time period, historical accuracy, and whether or not the costume has a companion outfit. Users are able to search through these categories effectively to find their ideal outfit!
- Behind this curtain is Marie’s office, in case the flowers and photos didn’t give it away. She’s almost always working, but she uses this as a breathing room when she gets overwhelmed. Here’s her official consultation calendar. We have over a dozen appointments set already. Even Heracles is scheduled to visit us this week!
- Over here is the door to the garment planning and construction room. We have tables for different purposes, mannequins of all shapes and sizes, and an endless collection of fabrics and doodads! Everything is organized so our team can most effectively find the supplies they’re looking for.
- Sanson’s skillset has made him an expert tailor, and he can deduce the perfect interpretation of a concept to make it work on any servant. Nobody knows the body or its form better than he does. He makes alterations better than the tainted Holy Grail!
- Chevalier is Marie’s apprentice designer, and is a masterful one at that. They sketch ideas and help bring dreams to life. They also assist in the detailing of outfits and fitting the piece to the servant. They do a little bit of everything around here!
- Diarmuid was dragged along by D’eon. They thought he would be a perfect fit for constructing outfits. Keeping him in the back prevents others from swooning every time they see his face. He’s a genius with a needle and thread and the master of the sewing machine. Truly the man is a perfect knight!
- Emiya over here likes to pretend he doesn’t enjoy our company, but his mastery of projection has been put to use in creating trinkets and accessories, and helping put them together in cohesive collections. He tries to bat me away when he’s working, but we all know it’s because he’s bad with women.
“And then there’s me! BB-chan, your lovable lovely kouhai. I act as our unofficial customer-facing computer while Marie is busy.”
“We were all hoping you would be our first customer, Master. If you would step over here to the catalog, we can get started creating your very own Chaldea-Exclusive Halloween Costume! Now, now, don't be afraid! I promise it won't hurt at all. You just have to press this button right here and--”
Chapter 3: 2018 | Saint Martha's Fireside Farm
Originally posted 10/10 and technically still in-queue at the time of adding it on here.
“I was beginning to think you’d never visit us, Master!”
“The other servants are trying to steal you away from your responsibilities. The Month of Halloween only lasts 31 days and we have a lot of work to do.”
"You’re about Drake’s size, right? ...Hush. You can’t be that much smaller than her. Here, put this flannel on.”
“Hmph, maybe you are that much smaller than her. That’s okay, you don’t look bad in the oversized shirt. Let’s adjust the brim of your hat so it tilts at this angle, and we’ll put this stalk of wheat between your teeth...”
“Ha! You look perfect, Master. You’ll fit right in. Let me give you the grand tour. It’ll be a good time, I assure you.”
“HEY. Don’t try to run away from your responsibilities. Your butt belongs to me today. Ergh--I mean... You already said you’d work with us today, so if you would please--”
"Well lookit what the cat dragged right to Billy the Kid. Howdy, Master. Good to see ya. ...You don’t like the accent? Robin said it’d make you laugh. Think it worked?”
“The Lord and the Saints’ll send me to Hell if I don’t put you to work. Let me give you the rundown and you can choose where to work today.”
- Saint Martha put me and Robin in charge of the hayride. We take this tractor and cart along the whole farm for guests. Get some complaints about hay getting stuck in places it doesn’t belong, but it’s part of the fun if you ask me... Here, grab my hand. Hop on before someone sees. I’ll take you around the secret trail so we don’t get caught.
- Over there’s the pumpkin patch. See all the faces and designs? That’s all Coffee and the Old Man. Nobody makes pumpkin art like Coffee. Never seen anything like it. Man’s the master of the carving knife. Pops guts the pumpkins for him and delivers them to guests when they’re finished. We have self-carving, but some of the servants get a little out of hand with the knives so we gotta be extra careful. Oh, sorry! Geronimo and Hector. I forget their names sometimes.
- No idea how Saint Jeanne puts up with two Gilles de Rais-es running around, but I guess that’s why she’s a saint and we’re sinners. The one isn’t allowed on the farm but if we leave him with the other two he doesn’t cause trouble. I’d love to make a scarecrow out of that guy. The three of them run the market and bakery. The Saint does the talking and the Saber does the selling. Not sure what the Caster does. Don’t want to find out.
- See the big brown barn next to that? That’s the petting zoo for freaky creatures. Lady Boudica and Saint Georgios keep them under control. You’d be surprised what Martha has them taming in there. Pretty sure she left Tarasque and a bunch of servants’ familiars and friends. Robin says they got a load of dragons and big lizards in there. Too loud in there for my liking, so I haven’t checked it out yet.
- Last stop. Perfect timing. We gotta go before Saint Martha sees us. See her over there with Robin? She’ll have my head in a heartbeat. Sir Francis Drake should be somewhere deep in the corn maze being a map. She won’t bother us. She’s busy being drunk and telling stories to lost boys. We’ll hide out in the stalks until Martha leaves and we can pretend we've been good all day.
“Hang on, you got some corn stalk leaf things stuck in your hair. Let me get those for you... Ta-da! Pulled an ear from behind your ear. Bet you weren’t expecting that, were you?”
“What do you think? Do you know what you want to do? If you get bored you’re welcome to hop on the hayride anytime. I hope you’d come by again before Halloween. There’s always more to do around here and I’d sure be happy to see you.”
Chapter 4: 2018 | Haunted House of Heracles
CHALLENGE THE LABORS
OF HEROES SCORNED
ELSE DO NOT ENTER
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED
LET DARKNESS AND DREAD
RIP UP YOUR GUTS
SEND YOU OFF RUNNING
GRABBING YOUR N--
“AH! Who wrote this? This isn’t the poem we agreed on! I can’t recite this in front of Master. What if they think I--”
“Master! Hellooooo... Hehe. Nothing to worry about, everything’s a-okay over here... I think Chloe changed the witching rites I’m supposed to read when people enter. She said she added something new. I should’ve known.”
“I’m out here to disarm our guests into thinking the Twelve Labors won’t be that scary, but it’s pretty scary if you ask me... Wait, the King of Heroes isn’t with you, is he? The Archer is banned. Caster is fine.”
“Perfect! Then you’re set to step inside. Be afraid, Master. Be VERY afraid!”
"Master of Chaldea! My daughter asked that I guide you through our haunted house to make sure you don’t get hurt. Isn’t she the cutest little witch in the world?"
“If you break the rules I can’t guarantee your safety, so please don’t touch any of our wonderful actors. The lights will all be on for this tour, but I still suggest not interfering with our work.”
- The Hassans are waiting over there in the shadows. Wave hello! Cursed Arm, Hundred Faces, and Serenity have been perfect family. They’re all so sweet. You can see them smiling behind those masks if you look.
- We’ve built a house centered around the idea of the Twelve Labors of the great hero Hercules... but we’ve made it a little more frightening for our guests. Each guest challenges 12 labors that are constructed based on their own legends as heroic spirits. This is possible thanks to the combined efforts of the Caster-class servants we have on board. Different Casters specialize in creating different landscapes for the guests to explore.
- Mr. Hans Christian Andersen recreates fairytales and turns them into nightmares. Your cherished childhood memories will kill you!
- Madam Helena Blavatsky brings you into the occult and paranormal, forcing you to conduct rituals and experiments.
- Lady Medea... I’m not actually sure what she would prefer to call her magecraft. She uses skeletons and corpses as her actors. It’s a little unnerving to speak with the dead while they eat you alive.
- Mr. Shakespeare sure is something. I don’t know what to say about him without making him sound absurd. He turns the whole house into a tragic comedy.
- Dr. Jekyll is responsible for determining the guests’ weaknesses so the floors can be manipulated as they travel through the house.
- Technically the rooms start underground, where Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla have developed a system that uses Frankenstein’s abilities to maintain the electricity throughout the house. They’ve created a lab that makes for a scary sight.
- The strobe lights and neon colors make Frankie look like a vibrant monster instead of her adorable self. They even put her in a colorful jumpsuit to better conduct electricity. It’s truly a work of genius.
- Jack the Ripper uses their mist to keep the hallways and walls out of the guests’ view, and their presence concealment allows them to travel between layers to convey how guests are responding to each scenario. This allows changes to be made as the guests travel without interfering with their experience.
- There is a special team that moves throughout the floors in Jack’s mist and provides instruction to the Casters after receiving Dr. Jekyll’s notes. They offer suggestions on how to manifest the guests’ fears. The differing points of view allow for many types of scares! This team is made of Edmond Dantes, Elizabeth Bathory, and Lady Carmilla.
- Liz has strange preferences when helping create labors for guests. I’m concerned that her obsession with being an idol might appear in some servants’ floors. Carmilla presents the opposite problem and focuses so much on torture that her creativity is limited.
You’re probably wondering about the role of our friend Heracles then, aren’t you? He isn’t anywhere inside the haunted house. He’s usually with Illya and protecting her from Chloe.
I’m just a humble homunculus here to act as a liaison between the public and the servants working here. Now that you have seen what we have built in the light, would you like to experience your own labors? It will be fun, Master!
Chapter 5: 2018 | Samhain Celebration
Originally posted 10/24. Giving that good Cu Prototype lovin' because I stan the goodest of boys.
“Thank you for coming to take part in an ancient Gaelic tradition, Master. It is an honor to have you with us. As the King of Great Britain, it is a pleasure to partake in the cultural heritage of my companions.”
“Usually this would be celebrated on November First. To our dismay a certain insufferable king demanded his Full Moon Festival be held the previous night. We decided collectively that one week early was not too offensive to the occasion.”
“Samhain represents the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year. It is halfway between the autumn equinox and summer solstice.”
“Because the Celtic day starts and ends at sunset, the festivities begin at dusk. There will be food, music, dancing, competition, and drinking through tomorrow evening. I believe it is called ‘Celtic New Year’ by some.”
“Do not take my word for it. Allow me to call upon one of our Celtic fellows to provide introductions. I am positive at least one is not preoccupied.”
“Top of the evening to you, Master. Good to see you. Place looks familiar, right? Welcome back to Saint Martha’s farm, this time without work to do because we already did it. Here, I even brought you a cup of apple cider. I had to go through Gilles de Whatever for that. You should be thanking me.”
“Do your best to ignore my clones walking around. They should be finishing preparations with the old lady. Let me give you a rundown of the team.”
- There are way more hands here than needed to get the job done if you ask me, but the bosses couldn’t get enough. Old Lady Scathach and the sad archer Tristan co-lead this whole operation. Angry Grandma and Sad Man make a pretty good team. Who knew she could still make friends?
- The King of Knights is working on the menu and alcohol, making sure everything is accounted for. Woman will steal your snacks if you’re not looking. I learned the hard way. Who put her in charge of food?
- She brought her whole band of knights with her. I don’t want to disrespect the throne, but they aren’t easy to work with. Aside from the king I’m dancing on hot coal keeping the others happy.
- Bedivere follows her around and tries not to make her lift a finger, but the king has too much fun working to let it stand. So Mr. Mom was relegated to helping Sad Man.
- Mordred is over there organizing the contests. So far they’ve got pumpkin carving, scavenger hunts, and drinking til you’re gone. If you’ve got any ideas let ‘em know before it’s too late. I’m sure they’d love to have more excuses to rip people apart.
- That guy Gawain is out making sure the other knights don’t get themselves in trouble. I’d love to smack that smug-ass grin off his face. What’s he always smiling about? Really?
- Fionn is about as useful as you expect him to be.
- That was a joke. You should expect way more from him. He was made the leader of the Fianna on Samhain after killing the Otherworld’s annual fire-breather. No small feat, Master. The Otherworld only opens up its gates during Samhain. Spooky shit out there.
- Queen Medb decorated, got the entertainment lined up, and wrote out the schedule. She thinks she’s in charge because she made everything look nice. She did a pretty good job, when she did anything. You should see the bonfire pit she set up. It’s the stuff of legends. Man-eating monster puts on a good face for her loyal constituents.
- Agghh... Don’t look at me. I mean don’t look at that me. Alter is Medb’s puppy. Reaches the top shelf for her and all that. She made him that big so she wouldn’t have to get on her knees when---
- Oh. It was the other ones. I’m not really interested in what they’re up to. I know they’ve set up some religious junk and brought the alcohol and came up with some stage-performance to tell Pagan stories for guests but I’m not... Yeah. I don’t really want to think about it. The Caster and my older self aren’t interested in the same things I am.
- Even that little Mini-Me bastard gets to do more than I do around here. He’s in charge of the mumming and guising. It’s trick-or-treating before it got gentrified by Christians and consumerism. You used to have to perform a little song or dance in exchange for food.
- Speaking of gentrifying, the reason you know it as trick-or-treat is because demons and spirits come up from the Otherworld on Samhain disguised as humans. People and spirits would go around in all black would bring misfortune to anyone that didn’t welcome them. That’s the trick. The song and dance part was the treat.
“Grandma won’t let me do anything because of a couple mishaps in our era. Gave me a clipboard and said to make sure everyone gets their shit done.”
“Gotta admit its hard not to feel inadequate when you have the guys everyone else likes around. So thanks for letting me share my culture with you. Stick around. I’ll make sure we get to light the fire.”
Chapter 6: 2018 | Full Moon Festival
Nero passes us onto the King of Heroes for a Halloween party that he doesn't care about just so he can give us the single coolest Halloween present possible.
Merry Halloween/Happy Samhain!
"Happy Halloween, dear Praetor! I hope you are ready for the greatest Halloween night of your life thus-far. It took a team of emperors, pharaohs, and kings the entire month to prepare tonight’s festivities. Nearly all of Chaldea’s servants and staff will be in attendance.”
“The name? Dr. Archaman stated that Chaldea is located on the side of Mount Everest. According to the calendar we are to have a full moon tonight. Though we cannot see it through the snow, I believe the moon will still shine upon us.”
“Truthfully, I’ve never worked with such an extraordinary group of fellow leaders. My companions have exquisite taste in the world’s finest luxuries. Thank you for bringing us together.”
“Sir Arthur Pendragon created this schedule. As you can see here, we begin at sundown and end at sunrise tomorrow. I urge you to stay with us the entirety of the party. It will be a most marvelous time.”
“As the other ‘kings’ are busy embarrassing themselves, I have taken it upon myself to give a brief synopsis of what is set to occur this evening. Would you care to take my arm? I’m only offering once, mongrel.”
“Perhaps if you weren’t a mongrel I wouldn’t call you one, mongrel. Come. I have no intention of leading you astray. ”
- The Romans have coordinated a miniature Roma Fest celebrating their traditions that no one should concern themselves with. Romulus, Gaius Julius Caesar, and Nero Claudius have put together a variety of competitions and events for the evening.
- King Arthur Pendragon and his pet Caster were put in charge of the menu. It disgusts me that he was chosen over his feminine counterpart to partake in our King’s Affair. He and I have never seen eye-to-eye, nor will we ever. And that wizard is the lowest of dirt. Tch. Disgusting.
- The Pharaohs Ozymandias and Nitocris collaborated to turn the entire ballroom into the inside of a pyramid when the clock reaches a certain hour. Demons and spirits are meant to travel through Nitocris’s mirror and join us temporarily to put on an illusory show at the command of the Sun King.
- The inferior version of myself and I prepared the ball that will take place following the spiritual showing. My dear friend Enkidu prevented us from aiming at each other’s throats. A pity, to be sure. I would love an excuse to return him to the Throne of Heroes. Nuisance he is.
We’re standing alone in the observatory, looking out over the landscape. The clouds are too thick to see the sky. The King of Heroes smiles at me. He’s looking a little less cocky than usual. More authentic. Genuine. Kind.
“I have prepared a magnificent spectacle for you alone.”
He holds a fluffy black and white coat to me. The style is English but the material is nothing I’ve seen before.
“You wouldn’t know of the fabric,” he says. “It’s not from your universe. I, of course, have plenty of it.”
For some reason I’m not surprised.
“I’m sure you’re interested in the greatest event of the evening.”
“The rest wasn’t enough?”
He snickers. “As if I’d be outdone. Can you handle the magic you will witness with your own unworthy eyes?”
I frown. “If I’m so unworthy, why are you wasting time with me?”
He folds his arms over his chest. “I entertain myself however I so choose, as any king would. Are you prepared for whatever may come?”
I rock back and forth on my heels, nodding in time. “Always.”
I wrap myself up in the coat. It feels weightless, like I’m wearing a cloud. The silhouette of the jacket hugs itself to me and shows up way slimmer than I expected. I thought I’d look like a marshmallow, but it’s just a fancy Western-European-inspired piece made of some mage-y material.
He unfolds his arms and offers me his hand. I hesitate to take it, but he gives that stupid arrogant grin and I feel obligated to trust him. I always feel obligated to trust him. Truthfully, I can’t stand it. Or him. But I trust him because I don’t know how not to. How am I supposed to act on disdain when he’s so charming?
I grab his hand and he yanks me to his side. I stumble forward into his grasp. My face turns bright red. He cackles and holds me tight against him. I squint my eyes shut, totally mortified.
But then the backdrop of Chaldea’s silence fades and is replaced with the sound of wind whipping past my face. My cheeks sting, but the rest of me is steady and warm. I don’t open my eyes.
“Look,” Gilgamesh commands.
I peek one eye open down at his feet, which aren’t standing on any solid ground but instead a golden platform surrounded by fog. I see snow. And rocks. And chasms. It occurs to me that the fog isn’t fog--it’s clouds.
I lift my head, opening both eyes wide to meet Mount Everest’s peak. I gaze up at the bright full moon against the pitch black sky, twist my head this way and that to take in the entire galaxy of stars above. The sky is round, taking on the shape of Earth’s atmosphere.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he asks. He’s staring at me, not the sky. I flush. He laughs. “It is something marvelous to behold--a sight that no other could provide.”
“The air is thin at this altitude,” I cough out. “I shouldn’t be able to breathe.”
“Shouldn’t, yet you are,” he says. “As plenty of things shouldn’t be but are. You are currently at the highest point on Earth, above the clouds, taking breaths of fresh air for the first time in years with the oldest Heroic Spirit.”
I realize he’s right. I haven’t been outside of Chaldea since the day I arrived. This is my first experience with the outside. Knowing that there are no countries full of people or wars being had in the present moment is as comforting as it is eerie. The fact that I could stop my work in Chaldea right now and the rest of the planet would just... be mine is as fascinating as it is terrifying.
In the back of his mind, Gilgamesh likely disagrees. He always pust humanity first. Maybe by giving me this moment, he thinks he’s doing something right for the human race. I’m the last person that can fix it, so giving me hope is... Sweet
I sidle closer into his grasp, fearful of falling. He keeps his arm around me and turns back to the sky. He points out constellations to me and tells me their stories, mixing in anecdotes from his own experiences throughout history.
Humanity is out there, gone, yet to be restored... In this moment, weirdly enough, I find that thought beautiful.
Chapter 7: 2019 | A Distant Dream | Arjuna (Alter)
I wouldn't recognize myself. Not like this.
Ah, this is an allegory for my relationship with the gods.
The #1 voted for 5-Star Servant on the Chaldea Halloween 2019 survey.
I kept telling you guys I didn't forget that I said I'd write these, I'm just a miserable sack of shit. So here's 1/4.
Is there anything more terrifying than the demons that lurk within oneself?
Or perhaps it is the gods that guide us that are more dangerous.
To have filled myself with all the goodness and evil of the world, to have chosen shouldering this burden on my own–I must look a fool. But I assure you, Master, of this: all I have done until now has been necessary.
Look out. Over the horizon. Further, still. What do you see?
Of course you cannot see that far.
Where the stars sleep. That is where I lie.
…No, not “literally.”
I recall having dreams at some point.
I slept atop a mountain’s summit, above the clouds. As I stared into the sky, shooting stars rained from the heavens.
I thought to make a wish.
As the stars drew near, they changed course of direction across the sky and pointed toward me. They shook the mountain like a storm, colliding with the earth, shattering rocks, destroying all they touched. Cracks tore open the side of the mountain and the sky, and ripped both in two. The planet shuddered. The gravel under my back rolled aside, tumbling over the peak, down to the broken ridges of the mountain range.
The chasm in my chest opened up. Light from the stars poured into me, pushing the hole wider, wider, wider still, until I could no longer fit my lungs in my ribs. All of me was consumed by light. And like the mountain, I broke in two.
My bones crackled like kindling. I could see in opposite directions, with eyes unable to focus on any one sight. The starlight was spreading. Growing. Blinding. There was nothing to see. Nothing to feel. The split down my body carved me into two imperfect halves. A fate worse than death, to be imperfect.
A breeze caused my insides to whistle like the hollow cap of an acorn.
Both halves of me outstretched their fingers to touch the ground. The earth felt so cold. Lifeless. As though it cried itself to death. I thought I would do the same.
The lights inside of me shrieked and howled, louder than the wind, louder than the explosions of each star, louder than the flickering sounds of the fires they brought. They spoke over each other, making unreasonable demands, fighting for fighting’s sake.
The planet ached. I ached with it. Unable to ease its pain, I sank into the mountain. The stars still screamed, and no amount of quelling I did would silence them.
They could not be appeased, even as I followed each of their orders–even as their orders removed my skin layer by layer. They were not satisfied until I was a husk of the man I thought I knew.
Perhaps I never was that man. I may not know him if I saw him now.
…No, Master. Now that you mention it, I do not remember waking up.