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|Appears in:|| Garden of Avalon|
|Japanese VA:|| Takahiro Sakurai [Note 1]|
Junichi Suwabe [Note 2]
Katsuya Kobayashi [Note 3]
|Character type:||Human, Incubus, Magician|
Merlin (マーリン, Mārin?) is the son of the Queen of Wales and an incubus. He is an incubus hybrid who served King Uther Pendragon. Uther loved Igraine, the wife of Duke Cornwall, so he secured Merlin's assistance in winning her love at the price of leaving his child in Merlin's care. Merlin told Uther a prophecy about his child, who would become his appointed successor during their war-torn times. Under an arrangement from Uther, he helped produce an heir bearing the "essence of a dragon", so Artoria was born as a human infused with a dragon's magical energy. Although the child was a girl who could not officially become the successor, Merlin was delighted all the same, believing that her sex never mattered. Confident that her being separated from the castle until the prophecy was fulfilled was proof that she would become king, he entrusted her to the king's vassal, Sir Ector, and had her raised as the child of a knight. Merlin visited at some point and swore Sir Kay to secrecy about the matter of her gender.
He prepared Caliburn for the selection of the next king, but none could pull it out of the stone. As the other participants prepared a jousting match to decide the kingship, Artoria neared the sword and prepared to pull it without hesitation. Merlin appeared before her then, telling her she should think it through and describing that to become "king" is to no longer be "human." Warning her that she should stop because she is fated to die a miserable death while resented by all humanity, he showed her the end she would face. Having prepared for that day since her birth and firmly believing in the people smiling she saw in Merlin's vision, she pulled it without hesitation and became king. As he left her, he said that in exchange for the miracle that she will lose that which is most important to her.
Due to Artoria having issues with discussing her gender and producing an heir, his magecraft was to solve it by making her a pseudo-male for an unknown duration of time, which allowed for the creation of Mordred from her sperm. Artoria lost Caliburn at a later point and obtained Excalibur and Avalon from the Lady of the Lake. It is said in legend that he asked Artoria about which implement was better, chiding her for choosing the sword because the sheath will protect her.
Merlin has left King Arthur before the last battle with Mordred due to his love affairs problem. He claims that the cold-mannered woman has been trying to murder him so he has taken refuge to the other side of the World where he'd crossed the boundary and stumbled into a foreign land known as Avalon. Merlin had thought that the evil witch could not reach him anymore. But he encountered a gate that was built with rough stones, resembling the stone circles. The gate was inscribed with "Only the innocent may pass". Merlin realized that the gate was a trap and he was imprisoned when he had walked into it. Massive walls of stone emerged from the ground in front of him. The walls seem to vertically extend forever, effectively trapping the visiting magus inside. The place is like a tower without a roof.
Merlin is fated to be trapped in this prison, called the Garden of Avalon, for eternity, having transcended death. This also means that there is no possibility of him becoming a Heroic Spirit even if he is worshiped by the masses, since he is unable to die in order to have his soul recorded in the Throne of Heroes.
Merlin wears a robe woven with the finest fabrics, though he still looks modest, his long hair appearing in colours of the rainbow under sunlight.
Merlin has the bearing of someone unlike a magus, much to the point where it would be hard to believe him when he claimed to be one. Noted to be a "troublesome adult", he is spaced out and clumsy, freely enjoying his pastimes and playing around like a child. More immature than Artoria, he was somebody she "couldn't leave alone", but she respected him greatly as a magus. Despite that, she describes him as the cause of every trouble and mentions that the age would have been better off had he been less mischievous. Agreeing with Shirou Emiya that he could be described as a "real bad guy", she describes his worst trait as being "weak against love affairs", or more aptly "full of love." Although it led to his downfall, she believes he is "still casually talking about love."
Despite being a hybrid being, Merlin has never hated humans. Rather, he is fond of them to such a degree that it is beyond natural.
In the Unlimited Blade Works route, Saber describes him as being still active in present tense even when she is summoned as a Servant. Saber reveals that she shares a common trait with Shirou as they were fond of an immature magus. Saber describes Merlin to Shirou.
In the Last Episode, Merlin explains to Saber that her dream to reunite Shirou is difficult and near impossible. He informs Saber that two miracles must occur, in order for them to meet again as normal people. One must wait continuously, while the other must pursue endlessly. They must realize that it is impossible to succeed yet at the same time be capable of enduring patiently.
Garden of AvalonEdit
Half of the story is narrated by Merlin as he was imprisoned in the stone tower, while the other half resembles conversation between Merlin and various Knights of the Round Table. The story tells the Fate version of King Arthur's legend from the day she pulls out Caliburn to her demise.
Merlin makes a brief appearance during the Grand Order in America, wandering through as Cu Chulainn (Alter) prepares to destroy the Protagonist. Remarking that he cannot truly intervene due to daydreaming, he declares that he shall meet the Protagonist properly at the designated future, and requests they take care of his Familiar, Cath Palug, for him.
Merlin is a formidable magus, said to be the most feared in the country, who is also called a magician. Bolstered by his Incubus heritage, Rin Tohsaka describes that being able to disguise Artoria's gender or "arrange for a child that should never have been born" should be extremely easy tasks. The creation of Invisible Air is attributed to something he could have thought up for Artoria.
He is a half-blood born from the union of a human and an incubus, he possesses the proof of the Highest Mage; Clairvoyance "the Eyes Which See through the World". Eyes able to see beyond while the person stands in place. From time immemorial, it is the power entrusted to lands by the gods and the power shamans needed to guard lives. However profound and capable of performing the strongest forms of Magecraft one's magic circuits may be, a mage who does not possess these "Eyes" shall not be given the title of the most supreme.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 13 - Saber's contradiction
- ↑ Fate/stay night - Saber status profile
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 11 - The king's memories
- ↑ 4.0 4.1
 Fate/side material - Encyclopedia: Saber [Servant], p.063-064 [T]
Heroic Spirit of the sword. One could not qualify for this Class if all his parameters except MGI did not meet a certain threshold.
The true heroine of this story. She was the young girl knight who forged a contract with Emiya Shirou and fought in the Holy Grail War.
She was loyal, faithful, and diligent. The knight's pride covered her femininity.
If we were to remove this facade, then we could recognize that she was no different from a young girl her age.
Saber was peevish and tenacious. She loved games of chance and would focus to the extent of ignoring her surroundings. Saber loved to eat and would be energized by the prospect of having good food. She worried about being defeated in front of her favorite partner. Mmm, Saber was truly a fastidious heroine.
Her true identity was King Arthur.
She disguised herself as male and ruled as the king, but had the misfortune of dying in the subsequent civil war after establishing peace in her empire.
The King Arthur in the story of Fate was an amalgamation of historical facts and legends. Saber's name before becoming king was Artoria.
It must be tough to live in a palace while disguising her gender.
The greatest problem was probably producing an heir, but that was solved by Merlin through magecraft.
In the story, the line "I know how to please a man" was from experience.
Saber's aging process was halted the moment she pulled out the Sword of Selection. The age of her body was probably a year younger than Shirou.
By the way, King Arthur was the Crimson Dragon that guarded Britannia.
Saber's father Uther Pendragon produced an heir with the Dragon Factor according to Merlin's plan. As a result, Artoria was born human but carried the magical power of Dragons.
Magic Circuits were unnecessary, Artoria generated mana just by breathing in harmony with the coursing of her blood. It could be called a "Magical Furnace" that was worlds beyond what mages had to offer.
---Fate/Stay Night was originally her story.
The main theme during early development of Fate was "a story about the Holy Grail and King Arthur", and it had remained unchanged until now.
A young girl knight fighting in the Holy Grail War.
I wanted to believe that the dream at the very end would befit her life.
- ↑ Fate/hollow ataraxia - Sisters' crisis
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 13 - The king's memories
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Garden of Avalon - Chapter 00: In the Flower Garden, p.004-013
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Fate/stay night - Unlimited Blade Works: Day 10 - Night Training
- ↑ Fate/stay night - Fate: Day 12 - The king's memories
- ↑ Fate/stay night - Last episode
 Fate/complete material III: World Material - The Servants of the Fifth Holy Grail War: Saber, p.020-021 [T]
Master: Emiya Shirou
Alignment: Lawful Good
Armament: Armour, Sword
Noble Phantasm: C
Once up on a time, there was a king in England named Arthur Pendragon. He was the legendary king who staunchly defended the land from the invading Saxons for a long period of time.
The name Arthur, written in the fashion of Romans is “Artorius”. Its feminine form is “Artoria”, which is the true name of Saber.
Artoria was born between Uther Pendragon and a Queen hailed from the rival kingdom. She grew up under the guidance of the True Magician Merlin, and became the king after pulling out the Sword of Selection. Later, she led Lacenlot, Gawain, and other famed knights to achieve innumerable deeds. They engaged the King of Saxons at the Battle of Badon Hill and brought peace to the land of Britain. Because the Scabbard of the Holy Sword stopped her from aging, Artoria continued to reign as the ideal king. It was ironic that Queen Guinevere and the serving knights grew more distant from Artoria precisely because she was too ideal. In the civil war that raged at the end of her reign, she crossed blade with her very own son, Mordred. At that instant, she pledged her service as a Heroic Spirit after death in exchange for striking a pact with the World. The one wish she hoped the Holy Grail could realise was “redo the selection of the king”. In legend, the body of King Arthur was transported to the Fairyland – Avalon, where he is healing his wounds in serenity.
Saber’s ability is maximally unleashed while engaging in an honourable face-to-face single combat. It is a method of battle that is full of chivalric honour, and it is also one that suits Saber's sense of aesthetics. However, this does not mean she dislikes strategising. Because she is also a capable military commander, she tends to loath fabricated strategies that have no concrete basis. She fine-tunes her strategy meticulously. While on the battlefield, she further adapts her actions in response to the ever-changing dynamics of combat. Naturally, Saber despises cowardly actions, strategies or not. For this reason, in the Fourth Holy Grail War, her compatibility with the cool-headed, achieving-his-goal-at-all-cost Master Emiya Kiritsugu was the worst.
Magic Resistance: A
Artoria boasts the highest rank of resistance to magic amongst the Servants. She is capable of completely neutralising grand sorceries involving magic arrays and instant contracts. Even modern magi of the highest level cannot wound her directly with sorcery. Artoria is able to resist an action force onto her powered by one stroke of the Command Spell. Such is the extraordinary rank of Artoria’s Magic Resistance, sufficient to shake the very foundation of the Servant System. If the opponent is someone who attacks with sorcery, Artoria will charge without fear and determine the outcome of the battle with a slash.
Also, as her “Pendragon” name shows, Artoria is the holder of the Element of the Red Dragon, charged with the task of protecting the kingdom. She carries the very magical power of the Dragon. This humongous magical power is also the source of Artoria’s Magic Resistance. Due to the characteristics of Dragon, Artoria has much trouble with existences such as Siegfried, who is associated with tales of “Dragon extermination”. If she is targeted by “Dragon-slaying Sorceries”, it is possible that Magic Resistance will not function to its fullest extent.
In the story, Artoria retained her Magic Resistance of A while having Emiya Shirou and Rin as Masters, regardless the two’s differences in power and characteristics. On the other hand, while having Matou Sakura as her Master, her Magic Resistance decreased to B as a result of Blackening.
Since “knights” are soldiers who are proficient in mounted warfare, Saber’s rank in Riding is very high. Chariots can be ridden the same way. Motorcycles and automobiles are treated as “modern mounts”, thus a high rank in Riding is also applicable. It is unclear if Riding is applicable to aircrafts. Saber’s Riding was elevated to A while having Emiya Kiritsugu as Master. However, Artoria can ultimately only control normal mounts. She cannot control Pegasi, Griffons, Dragons, and other Magical Beast, Divine Beast Ranked Phantasmal Species. This is due to her Class not being Rider, as well as the fact that she was a King in the Age of Man, thus did not have the fortune of having “Legends of Riding Phantasmal Species”.
Artoria rode a motorcycle in the Fourth Holy Grail War, but did not have the opportunity to demonstrate her Riding ability in the Fifth Holy Grail War. Provided with the appropriate mount, the battles might have developed differently.
Instinct is the ability to instantly identify “the best personal course of action” during combat. Because this skill allows for the prediction of trajectory, it is possible to avoid attacks from firearms. At rank A, it is essentially in the realm of predicting the future. Through this ability, it is possible to negate the penalties inflicted by visual and auditory interference to a certain extend.
Being able to discern Cú Chulainn’s ultimate technique certainly reflects her skills, but having exceptional Instinct also helped her immensely.
Mana Burst: A
The ability to reinforce one’s weapon and body through the infusion of magical energy. By reinforcing the ability of the body to a great extend using magical energy, the physically fragile Artoria was able to fight head on with monsters such as Berserker. At rank A, even a stick can become a weapon of great power.
Executing large-scale body reinforcement through Mana Burst is only possible with Artoria’s immense magical power.
(Translator's Note: This is basically analogous to Strengthening/Reinforcement Sorcery.)
Artoria possessed high Charisma, and reigned as the king of England. The morale of military forces she commands is extremely high. However, this strong influence is still insufficient to build a vast empire spanning the world, so it remains at rank B (enough to rule a country).
Caption: Artoria, the protector of the British Isles. Even with her Charisma, she could not avert the fall of her kingdom.
Maximum Targets: 1 Object
A barrier that renders the blade hidden by entangling it with layers of wind, and altering the light refraction rate. It is closer to a sorcery than a Noble Phantasm. By using this barrier, Artoria can attack without the opponent recognising the sword’s reach and trajectory. Since concealing one’s Noble Phantasm also conceals one’s true identity, Invisible Air was highly effective at the early stages of the Holy Grail War. It also has other advantages such as increasing attack power and accuracy. Entangling the sword with wind and using the wind as the blade enhances the attack power, while having an “invisible weapon” provides an advantage in accuracy. (Translator’s Note: It is probably more “decreasing opponent's evasion” in RPG terms.) Since the advantage of Invisible Air lies in “invisibility”, the accuracy increase will not occur while engaging opponents who possess Eye of the Mind or do not depend on vision.
In the Fourth Holy Grail War, Artoria unleashed the condensed air and used it as a long-range weapon that mauls down groups of enemies --- “The Iron Mallet of the Wind King”.
Maximum Targets: 1000 Persons
The greatest and most powerful Noble Phantasm of Artoria (Translator’s Note: Not Avalon?). It is the strongest and most majestic holy sword that symbolises King Arthur. The pinnacle of holy swords. Excalibur was not forged by mankind, but crystallised within the Earth, using the wishes of mankind as the basis. It is one of the ultimate God-forged weapons, a Last Phantasm. Originally cared for by the Faeries of the Planet, it was passed into the hands of King Arthur through the Lady of the Lake.
Excalibur converts the mana of the wielder into light, and as the sword is swung, the light is released from the tip of the blade like a laser beam and destroys everything in its path. Of course, the mana consumption is extreme, thus it cannot be fired consecutively. In the Fourth Holy Grail War, the beastly giant sea monster summoned by Caster was completely incinerated by this Noble Phantasm. Excalibur is classified as an ‘Anti-Fortress Noble Phantasm” due to its magnitude and destructive power.
Type: Bound Field
Maximum Targets: 1 Person
The sheath of Excalibur, a Noble Phantasm with its origin in the Fairyland Avalon where King Arthur rests. The wielder will heal from any wound, and the aging process will cease. Unleashing the true name of Avalon will deploy a Bound Field that provides the greatest defence. A Noble Phantasm that annuls the interference of True Magic; its existence is equivalent to True Magic.
In legend, losing this sheath casted an ominous shadow onto the life of King Arthur, eventually cascading to the collapse of the kingdom. In modern times, the Einzberns excavated Avalon at Cornwall and passed it into the hands of Emiya Kiritsugu. Afterward, it was planted into the body of Emiya Shirou to save his life, eventually becoming the link that led to his bond with Artoria. In Fate Route, Artoria learned that Shirou was her “sheath”, which led the duo to emerge victorious in the Holy Grail War.
 Fate/complete material III: World material - FAQ with Nasu: Noble Phantasms, p.134
Q: What did you have in mind when you created these original Noble Phantasms (“Bounded Field of the Wind King: Invisible Air”, “All-Violating Talisman: Rule Breaker”)?
Q: Though many Servants possess Noble Phantasms that appear in their actual myths and legends, there were some that felt like original creations for the game. What did you have in mind when you created these original Noble Phantasms (“Bounded Field of the Wind King: Invisible Air”, “All-Violating Talisman: Rule Breaker”)?
A: Invisible Air was simply a form of sorcery meant to conceal a Noble Phantasm. I thought that surely Merlin could have managed that somehow! Heroic Spirits that possess overly famous Noble Phantasms have a trick or two to hide their true identities.
[As for Rule Breaker,] I created it from her image as a treacherous archmage. I figured she would be too weak with only her Dragon’s Teeth soldiers.