Image source: アニプレックス on YouTube

The Great Holy Grail War is entering its second half. Let’s take a moment to go over everything and see where we are right now.

[Note: This article contains major spoilers up to episode 12 of Fate/Apocrypha.]

The story of Fate/Apocrypha takes place in an alternate timeline from the one of Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night. With a different Holy Grail War and different conditions, there’s a lot going on and a loot to keep track of. With the multiple factions each fighting for their own objectives, it can be easy to overlook things. As we gear up for the second half of the story, here’s a brief summary of the events that led us here and the current state of affairs.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha‏ on Twitter

The Setup

In the Apocrypha universe, the events of the Third Holy Grail War unfolded much differently from the one we know of. First off, instead of an Avenger, the Einzbern Master succeeded in summoning a Ruler class Servant, Amakusa Shirou. As a result, the Greater Grail remains uncorrupted.

The Third Holy Grail War is concluded when Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia, the Lancer Master and Nazi collaborator, steals the Greater Grail for himself and removes it from Fuyuki, abruptly ending the War and effectively preventing any subsequent proper Grail Wars from being held. (Note to Fate/Grand Order fans, Darnic’s Servant during the Third Holy Grail War was Fionn mac Cumhaill aka Finn MacCoul.) Also, the Fourth Holy Grail War from Fate/Zero still happened, but it was an illegitimate Grail War and events transpired somewhat differently—although some of the results were the same.

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The Great Holy Grail War

Flash to modern day. Both Darnic and Amakusa Shirou have managed to survive to the present day. Darnic secedes from the Clock Tower and reveals his possession of the Greater Grail, declaring the start of a new Holy Grail War. Having amassed his strength over the decades, Darnic possesses an army of golems and homunculi and numerous family members spread throughout magic society. He also succeeds in the activation of an emergency fail safe within the Greater Grail that exists to prevent all the Masters in a Grail War from working together. As a result, instead of seven Servants, there are fourteen Servants divided into two factions with a fifteenth to oversee.

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The Clock Tower/Red Faction hires six mercenary mages and recruits a member of the Church, Shirou Kotomine (Amakusa Shirou in disguise), as the seventh for their faction and sends them to stop the Yggdmillennia family and retrieve the Greater Grail.

On the Yggdmillennia/Black Faction side, complications arise when one of the homunculi used as a source of mana for the Servants gains self-awareness and a will to live. Aided by the Rider of Black, the homunculus escapes. During his escape, he is mortally wounded, only to be revived through the self-sacrifice of the Saber of Black. The Saber of Black is lost in the process—a notable loss as Sabers are often regarded as the most powerful Servants and best contenders to win Grail Wars. The Assassin of Black also goes rogue and kills the Yggdmillennia Master who summoned her in favor of the prostitute the Yggdmillennia Master was living with.

As both factions head for a showdown, the Red Faction uses the Assassin of Red’s Hanging Gardens of Babylon to directly invade the Black Faction territory and steal the Greater Grail from the Yggdmillennia castle.

Where Things Are Now

Currently, the battle is largely focused in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. Darnic and the Lancer of Black are dead and Shirou Kotomine has revealed himself as the surviving Ruler from the Third Holy Grail War, Amakusa Shirou. Five of the Red Faction Masters have been poisoned, though whether they are dead or not remains unknown, and all their Seals appear to have been stolen by Shirou.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

The Black Faction

Saber: Technically deceased. Saber of Black sacrificed himself to save the homunculus, Sieg. Saber’s heart still lives inside Sieg allowing him to summon Saber’s power.
Master: Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia is currently in the Yggdmillennia castle. He has been ordered to contact members of the Yggdmillennia family spread out across the world.
Remaining Seals: One.

Lancer: Deceased.
Master: Deceased.

Archer: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Fiore Forvedge Yggdmillennia is currently in the Yggdmillennia castle. As Darnic’s successor, she commands the Yggdmillennia forces in his absence.
Remaining Seals: Three.

Rider: Currently on the Yggdmillennia battlefield. Having fought both Assassin of Red’s aerial fortress and Saber of Red, Rider is currently alive but depleted.
Master: Celenike Icecolle Yggdmillennia is currently in the Yggdmillennia castle.
Remaining Seals: Three.

Caster: Currently in the Hanging Gardens preventing the spread of homunculus vampires created by the Lancer of Black.
Master: Roche Frain Yggdmillennia is currently in the Yggdmillennia castle commanding their golems to repair the castle.
Remaining Seals: Three.

Assassin: Currently on the Yggdmillennia battlefield collecting mana from homunculi.
Master: Reika Rikudou is currently residing somewhere in Romania. She keeps in contact with the Assassin of Black via cell phone.
Remaining Seals: Three.

Berserker: Deceased.
Master: Caules Forvedge Yggdmillennia is currently in the Yggdmillennia castle gathering the surviving homunculi and golems.
Remaining Seals: Zero.


Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

The Red Faction

Saber: Currently retreating from the Yggdmillennia battlefield.
Master: Kairi Sisigou is currently retreating from the Yggdmillennia battlefield. He continues to work independently from the rest of the Red Faction.
Remaining Seals: One.

Lancer: Currently immobilized by an unknown force in the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Status: Poisoned.
Remaining Seals: Unknown (likely zero).

Archer: Currently immobilized by an unknown force in the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Status: Poisoned.
Remaining Seals: Unknown (likely zero).

Rider: Currently immobilized by an unknown force in the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Status: Poisoned.
Remaining Seals: Unknown (likely zero).

Caster: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Status: Poisoned.
Remaining Seals: Zero.

Assassin: Currently controlling the Hanging Gardens.
Master: Having killed the Lancer of Black and Darnic, Amakusa Shirou is currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Remaining Seals: Unknown.

Berserker: Deceased.
Master: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.
Status: Poisoned.
Remaining Seals: Unknown (likely zero).


Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

Other

Ruler: Currently in the Hanging Gardens.

Sieg: Currently on the Yggdmillennia battlefield. Having barely survived an encounter with the Saber of Red, Sieg is recuperating with the Rider of Black.
Remaining Seals: Two.


As it stands, the Black Faction has lost both its leader and the Greater Grail. While they still have three Servants under their control, their homunculus have escaped and their strength has all but collapsed. Meanwhile, aside from the Saber of Red, the whole of the Red Faction has been revealed as under the control of Amakusa Shirou. It appears he may have stolen the Seals from most of the other Red Faction Masters which would put five Servants directly under his control. Shirou has stated that he has been preparing for this War for the past 60 years for the purpose of “saving all of humanity,” whatever his interpretation of that is. Meanwhile, the Saber of Red, the Assassin of Black, Joan of Arc, and Sieg remain as wild cards. With episode 12, the Great Holy Grail War has largely switched gears. How things will unfold from here remain to be seen.

Fate/Apocrypha will be streaming internationally on Netflix from November 7, 2017.

Image source: Fate/Apocrypha on Twitter

Comments (1)
  1. Damn, after that summary once again I relized how weak f/a story is. Almost all red masters is poisoned — feels like author was lazy to write another characters.

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