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Heroic Spirits (英霊, Eirei?, localized as Legendary Souls) are spirits of heroes who achieved great deeds in life, having become objects of worship after their deaths.[1]

NatureEdit

Heroic Spirits are beings of a higher existence, becoming categorically closer to elementals than wraiths. Differing from how elementals are "power" granted form using human imagination as a container, they are entirely woven from the ideals of people all throughout.[1] They are freed from the constraints of time itself and removed from the ring of reincarnation, moved to the Throne of Heroes (英霊の座, Eirei no za?), a place existing outside of both the world and the time axis.[2] Those that become closer to the planet do not mix well with people, so they fall into the categories of Divine Spirits and Elementals. [3]

AscensionEdit

Thrones of Heroes diagram

Heroic Spirits are made up of those who truly existed, those only from legends, and those who were never observed at all.[1] Those who existed had belief of their deeds gathered upon their deaths and were sublimated into beings of higher rank, while those who only existed in myths and legends were born from the gathering of those beliefs even though they didn't exist. Those who were not observed are those who made a contract of some sort with the world during their lives and subsequently became Heroic Spirits, Counter Guardians, after their deaths as compensation. Hassan-i-Sabbah is said to be one who existed, Heracles and Medusa are said to be those who only existed in legend, and EMIYA and King Arthur are those who became or will become Heroic Spirits after the fulfillment of their contracts.[2] The phenomenon applies to any human, animal, or machine that has left behind great enough achievements, but weapons becoming Heroic Spirits from being worshipped as the "greatest weapon of that era" must harbor a soul to achieve such a status.[4]

Each Heroic Spirit is a unique existence, "the one and only", who each stood out from the others of their time by performing deeds and possessing qualities that no other possessed. They are mostly limited to individuals born before the end of the 19th century due to the development of modern weaponry, but people from modern times and even the future can still become Counter Guardians through contracts with the world. While modern weapons are powerful, it would not normally be possible to summon a "warrior from the future loaded with modern weaponry" because it is difficult for such people to become classified as Heroic Spirits. Modern weapons grant ease of use with the advantage of "anyone can use them as long as they were trained", so those who use them are "faceless heroes" who lack any qualities because they possess "expertise anyone can achieve through sufficient training." Heroes loaded with modern weapons would not become the Heroic Spirit, but rather only the weapon being worshipped so long as it harbors a soul.[4]

Heroic Spirits are also recorded and stored as data recorded from humanity's history within the Moon Cell, but they are identical to those within the Throne.[5] It is unknown if it is limited only to an occurrence within the Moon Cell, but the Divine Spirits stored within are referred to as non-human Heroic Spirits.[6]

The rank of Heroic Spirit is reflected in the strength they held in life and the popularity they attained after death. While their actions and the weapons they wielded in life will not change from fame, their basic abilities will be affected by the time into which they are summoned. Much like how Divine Spirits require worship and recognition and fall to the rank of Elementals upon it being lost, Heroic Spirits grow stronger with the more people worshiping them to solidify their presence and fall to a state where they do not have much power if they are forgotten. Those that are powerful heroes in their own right will still keep their abilities to some extent even if they were unknown or forgotten. Heroes known by all who also had extraordinary feats, like Heracles, can be considered A-rank Heroic Spirits.[7] Gilgamesh is considered the strongest, Enkidu, while not a regular Heroic Spirit, is considered his equal, and Heracles and Saber Alter are at points called the strongest Servants when summoned. In contrast, Tamamo-no-Mae, Hans Christian Andersen, and Angra Mainyu consider themselves to be the weakest of heroes.

SummoningEdit

Heroic Spirits are most normally summoned by the world as a power that protects humans, so they cannot be controlled by humans without something like the Holy Grail or a similar kind of power to summon them. Only the world itself can summon the "main body" of Heroic Spirits, so humans can only summon emanations of the heroes, such as the Servant system, even with something like a Holy Grail.[2] The souls of the emanations, their information, then returns to the main body upon the death of the emanation, and the main body is able to know about the actions of the emanations as records as if reading books.[2]

As beings outside of time, they can be summoned to any era regardless of the notions of past and future, even if summoned to when their human selves have yet to die.[2]

Those who do not fall under the classification of Counter Guardians are normally not summoned, simply treated as "traditions that lend power to the later people."[3]

FormEdit

Heroic Spirits will most often take the form that represents their golden age at the prime of their lives, but effects like those of a strong curse or a personal attachment to the form can change that to even their selves from just before death.[8] Skills like Mad Enhancement, Mental Pollution, and Innocent Monster can influence their forms and personalities when summoned as Servants, changing them drastically depending on how they were perceived in life or after death. The preference of the Master and suitability for certain Servant classes may also affect them. It also may be the case that how history recorded them became distorted, such as Astolfo appearing feminine when history calls him the "most handsome" of his peers, Alexander the Great being very tall when history recorded him as shorter than average, and those of an opposite gender from their legends.

  • Elizabeth Bathory - Elizabeth is summoned as the unwed daughter of house Bathory, and Innocent Monster brings out the qualities of her dragon blood.[9]
  • Hans Christian Andersen - Summoned in the form of a young boy for an unknown reason, he attributes it to either being the point where he was "most overflowing with sensitivity" or possibly the preference of his Master, Kiara Sessyoin. Innocent Monster causes him to take on a number of attributes from his stories.
  • Jack the Ripper - Having never been revealed to the public, this form of Jack the Ripper can take on the forms any of the multitude of theories behind the murders.
  • King Arthur - King Arthur is a special case in that she is not yet deceased as of her summoning. Taken directly from when she makes the Contract with the World, she is different from regular true Heroic Spirits.
  • Li Shuwen - Normally older after having discovered in life that his true strength was that of his convictions, his Master wishing for a stealthy Servant brings forth his younger self with traits more suited to his Assassin class.[10]
  • Medusa - While she appears in the human state from before her decent as a monster, she is just the Gorgon in human form. Sides of herself can become those of a monster at any time, mirrored by her Monstrous Strength skill.[11]
  • Nursery Rhyme takes on the form of its Master's projected feelings.
  • The Hundred-Faced Hassan - While a single being in life, his Noble Phantasm Zabaniya: Delusional Illusion has separated him into many different entities that wish to have a unified personality.
  • Vlad III - Strongly influenced by both his heroic deeds in Romania and the attribution of Dracula to his legend, he has been shown in two different states. Innocent Monster greatly applies the status of Dracula to him, while being summoned in Romania greatly emphasizes his heroic aspects.

VariationsEdit

Counter GuardianEdit

Counter Guardian (カウンターガーディアン, Kauntā Gādian?), also called the Protectors of Balance (抑止の守護者, Yokushi no Shugosha?) or the Beast of Alaya, is a broad classification of Heroic Spirits made up of heroes who are not worshipped, utilized as a mindless Counter Force. Other Heroic Spirits have a high divinity and act as existences closer to the planet than humanity, so they are able to avoid being drafted by the Counter Force.[1] Normal circumstance are that the Counter Force empowers a "normal person" in life to remove the factor that can trigger destruction, eventually causing them to be worshipped as heroes. Those who become heroes in such a manner are then used as Counter Guardians, the "Counter" emphasized because they act with no autonomy of their own and only appear in response to an event.[12]

Anti-HeroEdit

Anti-Heroes (反英雄, Haneiyuu?) are distorted Heroic Spirits, those who do not fall under description of pure, respectable heroes. Those who are not pure can be considered no different than All the World's Evil, although the degree of such can differ between heroes, allowing some affinity with such curses.[13] They differ from proper heroes who earned their titles in that they were forced to the Throne of Heroes only because of their fate. They can rightfully be called Avenger, the Anti-Hero, the opposite of heroes who were praised as heroes regardless of whether they hated humans or were those that humans hated.[14] They are those who were reviled by the people, but saved people as the result of villainy. As those who "clarify good with evil", they became savors worshipped and cursed in equal measure.[15] Although evil existences themselves, their actions are considered good deeds according to others, so they become saviors even if they are unwilling as in the case of a human sacrifice. Even should they be evil, those who are sacrificed become a hero once it saves everyone in a village, no matter if the method of sacrifice is to be eaten or buried. With the disgrace being forced upon them saving people, it leads to the birth of a hero instead of a sinner.[16]

Differing from something like the notion of a posthumous promotion, their state of being is set by the minds of those who set up the existence of the hero. While proper heroes are created from respect, gratitude, and the feelings of guilt of mankind, Anti-Heroes cannot be born from such thoughts. "Heroes" who die as "evil" will eventually be treated as victims more as time passes, so they will not stay as "pure evil." Their state of being requires them to be both "victim and assailant", created by humanity but not part of humanity. They are a contradiction that makes them the "the enemy of the world", but allows them to be exempt from all of the restraining forces of the world.[16] Despite this, there are no "pure Anti-Heroes", but rather only those who come as close as possible by "doing good despite being evil."[15] They are something that people only wish to exist, an ideal humans have created to act as "sacrifices to deny the original sin." They can be thought of wishes that will never come true, "a synonym for peace."[16] While not proper Heroic Spirits, Medea and Medusa do not truly fall under the category of Anti-Heroes either.[15]

Anti Heroes include:

  • Angra Mainyu - He was an ordinary person without any special ability that was determined to be "All the World's Evil" in his time. He became the "king of devils that approves of all six billion evils in Zoroastrianism" that "embodies every curse in this world."[17]
  • Emiya - He describes himself as not being a pure Heroic Spirit, allowing him to have some resistance to curses like All the World's Evil.[15]
  • Hassan-i-Sabbah (True Assassin) - Described as being an Anti-Hero closer to All the World's Evil than Emiya, he is able to interact with the mud from Holy Grail much more easily than pure Heroic Spirits.[15]
  • Jack the Ripper[18]

WraithEdit

Main article: Wraith

It is possible for those who cannot become true Heroic Spirits to instead end up as wraiths. Those who bear the name Hassan-i-Sabbah are Heroic Spirit Candidates (英霊候補, Eirei Kouho?) that have lost their original names, instead taking the form of nineteen wraiths all vying to become the "Leader of the Assassins."[19][20] Within the Holy Grail War system, summoning a hero that does not exist can lead to a wraith whose characteristics match the legend being summoned, such as Assassin filling the role of Sasaki Kojirou. It is unknown where they normally exist due to not being part of the Throne of Heroes.

ChronologyEdit

Century Heroic Spirits
26th century BCPestilence
The 666th Beast (Book of Revelation)
Enkidu
Gilgamesh
15th-10th century BCHeracles
Medusa
Medea
Atalanta
Perseus
Achilles
Chiron
9th century BCSemiramis
6th-5th century BC Karna
David
Angra Mainyu
4th-3rd century BC Buddha
Iskander
1st century BC Spartacus
1st century Cú Chulainn
Diarmuid Ua Duinbhne
Saint George
Nero Claudius Caesar
2nd century Lü Bu
5th-6th century Siegfried
Arthur Pendragon (Prototype)
Gawain
Lancelot
Bedivere
Mordred
8th century Astolfo
11th century Hassan-i-Sabbah
Avicebron
12th century Tamamo-no-Mae
Sakata Kintoki
Musashibo Benkei
13th century Robin Hood
15th century Jeanne d’Arc
Gilles de Rais
Vlad III
16th century Francis Drake
William Shakespeare
17th century Sasaki Kojirou
Elizabeth Báthory
Amakusa Shirou Tokisada
19th centuryHans Christian Andersen
Li Shuwen
Nursery Rhymes
Frankenstein
Jack the Ripper (strange fake)
Okita Sōji
21st century EMIYA (EXTRA)

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4.0 4.1
  5. Fate/Extra CCC
  6. Fate Day 4 - "Contract established / Saber (I)"
  7. Fate/hollow ataraxia - monster
  8. Heaven's Feel - Day 10 - "Distraction"
  9. Unlimited Blade Works - Day 12 - "Search and lure / Infinite…"
  10. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4
  11. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Heaven's Feel - Day 4 - "Holy Grail War, the beginning"
  12. Heaven's Feel - Day 15- "Truth - Antihero Angra Manyu"
  13. Born due to the fear that persisted even after her death, a serial killer Anti-Heroic Spirit—that was who this girl was. - Fate/Apocrypha Volume 2

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