|Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia|
|Normal | Concept Art|
|Also known as:||Eight-Forked Tongue|
|Character type:||Magus, Master|
"We of the Yggdmillennia will acquire all the mysteries and miracles of this world!"
—Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia.
Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia (ダーニック・プレストーン・ユグドミレニア, Dānikku Puresutōn Yugudomirenia?) is the Master of Lancer of Black in the Great Holy Grail War of Fate/Apocrypha. He is the one who plundered the Holy Grail from the Third Holy Grail War of Fuyuki.
Darnic is the elder of Yggdmillennia who has lived for over a century. Eighty years ago, he had been decorated with a brilliant debut as an up-and-coming young magus, and had suddenly obtained a marriage proposal to a clan of long lineage that stood amongst the aristocratic Lords of the Clock Tower. The Yggdmillennia blood was polluted and impure, and couldn’t maintain itself past the fifth generation. The clan he was about to marry into didn't like risks, and so to them, he immediately became an outsider that had to be excluded. Even his future brother-in-law, who had slapped his back with a smile and sworn friendship with him, and the woman who was to be his spouse, who had shyly whispered her love to him, had both turned away from him. But at that very instant, Yggdmillennia was cut off from their dream of rising to the ranks of the Lords. Even if they overcame ruin past the fifth generation, the label that had been once slapped on them would never come off.
Having joined the Mage's Association like the rest of the clan, he gradually climbed up the political ladder within the Association as a wish that would never be granted. He attained the highest rank of Grand and became known as the Eight-Forked Tongue (八枚舌, ?), he was a second-class instructor in elemental conversion in the Association of whose students displayed unfavorable opinions.
Sixty years ago, he searched for a path to reach the Root and he coincidently learned about the Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. He had the unexpected fortune of finding a path that lead to the Greater Grail from a hole he had happened to fall into. He knew the Nazi Germany were interested in the occult and then enticed the German Nazis with skillful words, getting them to send in, under the direct orders of the Führer, a huge military force that one wouldn’t expect to be sent to an allied country like Japan, and obtained the power of their army.
He participated in Fuyuki's Third Holy Grail War as a master, aiding the Nazis to supposedly help them further their own goals. It was fortunate for him that the situation had turned extremely chaotic due to the Einzberns, who had committed an act of foul play that broke the war's rules. Darnic's unnamed Servant fought to the death against the Einzern's servant Ruler. The Third Holy Grail War concluded with no definite victor, and the exhausted Einzbern, Tohsaka and Makiri families had possessed no means by then to stop Darnic and the German Nazis. He found the location of the Greater Grail, and with the power of the Nazi army behind him, plundered it. He betrayed the Nazis as it was about to be transported to Germany. He intentionally arranged for the transport carrying the Greater Grail to pass through Trifas on the way to Germany, and then killed all the magi and soldiers whom he had fought alongside with, leading details about the Grail disappeared without a trace.
Following that were days of research and politics. Outwardly towards the Association, he feigned to have the Yggdmillennia clan content itself with the duty of being a receptacle for drop-out magi. He altered the Greater Grail little by little to adapt it to Trifas. His achievement in making it possible to summon not only pure Heroics Spirits, but also ‘those who only have the aspect of a Heroic Spirit’ could be called an unexpected by-product of the alteration process. He worked hard over time to prepare the Greater Grail for his clan's own use, putting all events in order while discreetly avoiding any suspicion. He did let out information regarding the basis of the ritual to spread. which caused imitation rituals to spread throughout the world. He regarded that as his only misstep, and he managed to avoid detection for seventy years.
His true strength did not lie in education, but rather his political skills. Known as a first rate swindler, he worked hard to keep his clan from falling into trouble. Although deceit is common within the Association, he was known for utilize his extraordinary political skills to manipulate and cheat both those who trusted him and even those who did not, betraying and double-crossing all in his path. Three months before the Holy Grail War, he revealed his plans, seceding from the Association to form their own group based around their family.
While leading them, he summoned Lancer of Black two months ago due to his unparallelled strength within Romania, pledging loyalty to his Servant rather than commanding him. They intercepted a force from the Association, but one managed to start the reserve system on the Greater Grail, allowing for a team of Servants to oppose them. He did not worry much, as, while it had been unforeseen, he was prepared for such an eventuality when facing the Association. Out of all those within the clan, he acknowledges Fiore Forvedge Yggdmillennia, believing in her potential to be the future elder.
Although he is over two centuries old, he looks like a man in his late twenties, not showing a single wrinkle. It seems as if time has stopped for him since the stealing the Grail.
His bitter memories were when he received a marriage proposal from a clan of long lineage. A certain magus had warned him "All that’s left is ruin for your clan". Darnic thought it was ridiculous because as long as the clan continues past the fifth generation, any number of counter-measures can be thought of. But it seemed the only one who thought that way was Darnic. It wasn’t that Darnic had a direct hand in bringing about their ruin. They were simply cornered politically. They had merely invested funds into a futile experiment, leaked the details of the hidden ritual, and the child who had inherited their clan's Magic Crest had coincidentally and unfortunately died in an accident during the experiment. They, who flattered Darnic and were even prepared to sell themselves to him now that they had come to ruin, were the only clan to whom he refused the request to join Yggdmillennia. Darnic no longer felt any resentment towards the clan who had forsaken him. When he considered the present, he even felt like thanking them. Though, they had already fallen to ruin as a clan long ago, without leaving their names in history at all. He could live with what happened to himself, but those magi had taken away even the futures of those who followed after him. He knew that they had headed to Japan in the Far East where the Holy Grail War had once taken place, but their whereabouts were unknown after that. Most likely, they had lived out their lives while lamenting everything until their death.
Darnic abandoned the idea of reaching the Root through the normal approach—in other words, by accumulating diligent research as a magus. Therefore, he first had to think of a method to stop the ruin of his clan. There was also the option of simply withdrawing from the Association of Magi and continuing his clan’s research while hiding themselves amidst the world. But Darnic refused to do that. Naturally, remaining in the Association was humiliating. But Darnic carved that humiliation into his heart without forgetting any bit of it for even a second—and used it as nourishment. He is obsessed with the Greater Grail after he learnt that it can open the path to the root. He is willing to use the Greater to turn it into a symbol and retaliate against the Association of Magi or use it to reach the Root. His survival of the Third Holy Grail War sixty years ago had been an uncannily harsh battle, so much so that he rejoiced at still being alive.
Although Fiore is able to pleasantly converse with her "grandfather", she holds a deep fear of angering him. Those who defy him are thrown out of the clan's network, left with nothing but a life of misfortune. He has little care for most others in the clan, and he even plans to use Caules as nothing more than a pawn to strike at the enemy. He wouldn't hesitate to defeat members of his own clan.
Even though Darnic may be part of a world that impassively goes against all ethics, he believes Lancer deserves his utmost respect for having been the sovereign ruler of Romania. He treats Lancer as the Lord of Yggdmillennia, deferring to him despite being the mastermind behind the Holy Grail War. He appreciates Lancer's tenacity and zeal towards obtaining his wish, making it one of the reasons that he likes Lancer. He does have some worries about Lancer's obstinate nature, but believes working towards the same goal of completing the ritual will allow them to proceed together smoothly. He wouldn't hesitate to make his Servant to use a Noble Phantasm that he had deemed taboo.
Darnic ruminates while looking upon the plundered Greater Grail before the multiple summoning ritual to bring forth the remaining four Servants. The culmination of over sixty years of work has come to fruition, and he is filled with a thousand emotions over it. He is pleased with finally having the means to light the beacon of rebellion against the Association, and he is fine even with the unexpected Red Faction of Servants. He is confident in Lancer's strength and that of his subordinates.
He meets with Fiore, and shows her the bottom of the grail specifically due to her role as his successor. They proceed to the summoning ritual, and he defers to his Lord to oversee it. After its completion, he allows Gordes to keep the name of Saber of Black secret, already knowing of the identity and considering his request to be valid. As the rest of the Master and Servant pairs begin to leave, he thinks about how he does not expect much out of Caules or Berserker, a pair consisting of a lackluster magus and a Heroic Spirit without much mystery, planning to use them for the sole purpose of a distraction to strike at the enemy.
He discusses the state of affairs with Lancer once they are alone, and he is chided by Lancer for being excessively flattering towards him. He reminds Darnic that he is still a Servant even if Darnic does refer to him as lord. As they discuss Lancer's past and his new soldiers, he tells the situation with Assassin and her expected arrival. He later goes to discuss materials to be delivered to Caster for the construction of his golems, noting that such a large quantity is hard without a direct route through the Association. Caster relays the progress of his Noble Phantasm, Golem Keter Malkuth, and Darnic takes his leave.
With the scouting of Kairi Sisigou and Saber of Red, Darnic watches with the other Masters and Servants as Caster scries the battle, commenting that the Saber's identity is unable to be established due to certain circumstances. He is the only Master not greatly affected by her strength and brutality, and he relays the information on Kairi obtained from spies within the Clock Tower. He is unable to find information on Shirou Kotomine even with his spies within the Church due to there being no history recorded of him. While only he and Fiore have any chance in matching the elites sent by the Association, he believes the decades of work he put into the ritual, such as their homunculus system, to far surpass the mere ten days allotted to those of the Association.
Darnic possesses the Magic Crest of the Yggdmillennia clan. He is very knowledgeable, allowing him to have understood and reproduced Fuyuki's system that not even many of the first-class instructors of the Clock Tower could manage. He is considered to be a monster who has maintained the fleshly vigor of a man in his thirties despite having lived for over a hundred years.
Normally Servants could devour the souls of humans and convert them into prana. This was their privilege as spiritual beings. Humans could only transfer souls between vessels or observe them. But Darnic was an exception. He had devoted his attention to the soul which should have been impossible to convert and transform with magecraft and was useless as nourishment. Most likely, it was due to having fought alongside a Servant in the third Holy Grail War. Or perhaps he had accomplished this great exploit out of fear of that prediction a certain magus had told him.
Darnic had worked out a spell to turn the souls of others into nourishment for himself. However, it was a form of curse that was exceedingly close to being taboo. It wasn’t a matter of ethics. If it was for the sake of his own life, he wouldn’t balk at even crushing the head of a baby. But this spell was far too dangerous. It was a risky piece of High-Thaumaturgy that, if something was off even by only a few millimeters, would instantly lead to his own death. The actual number of times he had consumed souls during the past sixty years was only three times. He had held the ritual under as perfect conditions as conceivably possible each of those three times, but even so, the precision ratio of his body and soul had been reduced to sixty percent. ‘Someone’ who wasn’t himself was gradually coming to rule over him little by little. Most likely, even if he perfectly accomplished the next ritual, he would no longer be ‘Darnic Prestone Yggdmillennia’, but someone else instead. Even if he had his memories, even if every detail was perfectly recorded—it wouldn’t be him.