Atrum's family being newly established in the Mage's Association caused him to seek out prestige by winning the Holy Grail War. Like Bazett Fraga McRemitz, he was one of the magi backed by the power of the Association.
He is half European and Middle Easterner.
Atrum firmly believes he can win the Holy Grail War, commenting that Kayneth El-Melloi Archibald failed to take it seriously in the previous Fourth Holy Grail War. He has invested a great deal of capital into the war, and he believes that trait puts him ahead of others. He does not trust Caster, believing her sense of values to be too different from a human due to how powerful she appears to him. He believes she is only a vixen whose sole talent is in deceiving men.
Lord El-Melloi II Case FilesEdit
Atrum appears in Lord El-Melloi II Case Files sometime before the Fifth Holy Grail War.
Unlimited Blade Works (Visual novel)Edit
The Master of Caster does not appear in the original visual novel, only being told of briefly in Caster's flashback to her meeting with Souichirou Kuzuki. One month before the start of the Fifth Holy Grail War, he summoned Caster as his Servant. He was noted to be a legitimate magus in his late thirties who had a medium build and few other characteristics of note. While he dreamed of victory, he had no will to fight and wished to simply wait for the other combatants to kill each other. He did not trust Caster originally, treating her coldly due to being inferior to her as a magus, limiting her magical energy to a level below his own, and insulting her for being inferior to the other Servants. Caster, giving up on obtaining victory with him within a few days, played the part of an obedient Servant to fill her Master's ego, placating him to have him spend his Command Spells on "meaningless things"; all the while he was made to believe that she would remain faithful even without them, but she turned on him the instant he used his third Command Spell. Spiteful of the contract still binding them together, she killed him using Rule Breaker.
Unlimited Blade Works (Anime)Edit
Atrum initially summoned Caster with the intent of taking advantage of her ability to summon the original dragon of Colchis. However, once Caster stated that she while she indeed had the knowledge to summon said dragon but not on how to control it, Atrum expressed displeasure toward Caster and dismissed her as useless.
Some time after Caster's summoning, Atrum shows her his workshop, but she quickly shows him how even its advanced functions pale in comparison to her mastery of magecraft. She suggests that he close it down, commenting that throwing the lives away in such a manner is unwise when the workshop is only generating a loss of resources, something she views as "The act of a third-rate magus". Taking it as an affront, he uses his first Command Spell to make it so she will not use her Noble Phantasm, Rule Breaker, on him in fear of stabbed in the back by a "treacherous witch". He later meets with the mediator of the war, Kirei Kotomine, hoping to work out a means of procuring another Servant from the two yet to be summoned. Kirei tells him that while it has never been done before it could be possible and that he would do his best. Atrum then gives Kirei a message for Lancer's Master as a contract selling the right to eliminate Caster to keep from having to use a Command Spell to accomplish the task (he did not know that Kirei murdered Lancer's former master and became his new one, or that Kirei would just discard Atrum's message).
Upon returning to his workshop, he finds that Caster has destroyed it (as well as killed all his workers) and let the captives go free, deeming them unnecessary. She suggests that she will bring him to a more suitable location, Ryuudou Temple, the heart of the ritual where the Greater Grail resides. He rejects her proposal and attempts to have her commit suicide. When the first command fails, he uses his last Command Spell to reinforce the command only to find it did not work at all still. Caster then laughed at him and mocked him for his attempts before revealing that she had broken their contract by using Rule Breaker on herself and working around the command from the first Command Spell. She shows him an illusion of a labyrinth with murals depicting her legend, where he desperately runs while lamenting that he will die before even fighting a single battle. She berates him, saying it is a fitting death for one who sought results before it was the right time to get them, and then immolates him.
Atrum's family uses alchemy, and he builds a workshop with the intention of giving him a great advantage over the other Masters with a magical energy generating technique. His family's system of magecraft uses exchange in the form of a "primitive curse" to generate magical energy from human sacrifices. He has used his finances and all his knowledge to design the workshop to make the system more modern and efficient by skipping the incantation process, allowing a ritual that would take a month and require a transmutation incantation of a three-day and night duration to be completed in an instant. The sacrifices are placed in cylinders, liquified, and then transferred into a crystal. It is more efficient with "pure" raw materials, so he is shown using a stock of a number of young girls brought in from elsewhere rather than abducted from Fuyuki.
Caster describes the method as "third rate", commenting that the crystal is tiny despite the number of lives take to create it. It takes her only a single action using the mana in the air to create a much larger crystal due to her mastery of magecraft being far above modern magi.
In the Lord El-Melloi II Case Files, it is revealed that he is capable of weather-manipulation magecraft such as firing bolts of lightning during combat and performing much lengthier rituals in order to cause more large-scale weather changes. However, it is noted that his methods for performing such feats are not particularly efficient.
Creation and ConceptionEdit
The character originally described in the visual novel of Fate/stay night is different than the version that appeared in the anime adaptation. When commenting on it in his blog, Nasu said, ""What, the game version says he's a middle-aged man of medium build? No, no, that's definitely just an illusion. Don't give it a second thought. You need to raise your "Insight" more... line your brain with eyes... yes... let's make contact together in Yharnam..."