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Saber of Black

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Nasuverse character
Saber of "Black"
Normal | Original design
Siegfield Ototsugu Konoe
Japanese name: "黒"のセイバー
Franchise: Fate
Appears in: Fate/Apocrypha
Capsule Servant
Character type: Servant (Master: Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia)
Servant classes: Saber, Rider[1]
Gender: Male[1][2]
Birthday: Unknown[3]
Height: 190cm[1][2][3]
Weight: 80kg[1][2][3]
Blood type: Unknown[3]
Place of Origin: Germany[1]
Hair color: Silver-grey
Eye color: Green (Blue in Original Design)
Armament: Sword[1]

Saber of "Black" ("黒"のセイバー, "Kuro" no Seibā?) is the Saber-class Servant of Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia of the Black Faction in the Great Holy Grail War of Fate/Apocrypha.

ProfileEdit

IdentityEdit

Saber's identity is Siegfried (ジークフリート, Jīkufurīdo?), the Dragon-Blooded Knight (竜血の騎士, Ryūketsu no Kishi?), a national hero of Germany that has many different depictions in the various legends attributed to him. His most famous role is likely the epic poem Nibelungenlied, "The Song of the Nibelungs", which tells the story of a knight equal to the legend of King Arthur.

LifeEdit

Born a prince of the Netherlands, he wielded the precious sword Balmung which he received from the Nibelungen family, and he fought in many campaigns and adventures since he was a young man. His most well known feat was being crowned dragon-slayer by battling the evil dragon Fafnir for the treasure of the Nibelungen family and killing with the sword. He bathed in the blood of the dragon, and obtained an invincible body. While bathing in the blood, a single linden leaf happened to stick to his back, making it his one weak point that would bring about his irrevocable death.

Adding to the growing ranks of the Burgundians, he brought them many victories, and married Kriemhild, sister of the Burgundian king, accessing the throne of Netherlands.[1] His brother-in-law, the Burgundian king loved a certain woman, the queen of Iceland; Brünnhilde. He requested Siegfried to help him to seek her affection and so it was settled by having the hero embrace that woman as his proxy. It may not have been a crime, but it wasn’t a behavior that should be praised either and it was a request that ended up coming back to him as punishment. After a trick to marry the Burgundian king to the queen of Iceland, Brünnhilde. Due to knowledge of this spreading around, the hero wounded the woman’s honor. He wounded the woman’s pride. And she wasn’t an ordinary woman, but the queen of a country. As a result, he sensed that it would cause a terrible conflict so he spoke to Hagen who was once called a friend and in the past exchanged cups of brotherhood with.

"Ah, the situation is beyond my control. Hagen, I am invincible and so have never once been wounded by you. But even so, if I don’t have you kill me…"
—Siegfried speaking to Hagen.

The man who was once his friend granted the hero’s wish. He tenaciously searched and found out the hero’s weak point, crafted a plan knowing fully well that it was a cowardly act, and aimed for the hero’s back as he drank water. Even while knowing that, the hero stopped himself from resisting. Without leaving behind any unseemly figure or stupidity, the hero died as a tragic hero who received a sneak attack due to trickery. His former friend became widely known as a rare villain who had killed the hero through foul play. He had surmounted every field of battle without a single defeat, until losing his life at the blade of betrayal striking him in his back. This connects to the revenge tragedy of his wife Kriemhild for the murder of her husband in the later half of the tale.[1]

SigurdEdit

It is unknown if he is also supposed to be the same person as Sigurd (シグルズ, ?), the greatest hero of Northern Europe who possessed Gram in the Völsunga Saga. Brynhild Romantia describes him as Sigurd (Siegfried), while Gram is attributed as both the origin of Balmung and said to have changed its name and appeared as Balmung in the later Der Ring des Nibelungen.[2][4] Sigurd was said to have received the shattered fragments of the sword from his father, Sigmund, and reforged it into a demonic sword capable of killing even a dragon.[5] He later took Brynhild, sleeping encircled by flame, as his wife, but betrayed her by presenting her as his brother-in-law's wife due to having lost his memories after drinking a special alcohol. Although she accepted the events as her immutable fate, she later learned he had already regained his memories by that point, eventually killing him through a conspiracy and taking her own life to follow after him.[6] His story is called one of both glory and ruin befitting such a great hero.

AppearanceEdit

Saber is a tall man with silver-grey hair. His body was encased in radiant silver woven plate armor. He carries his Phantasmal Greatsword, Balmung on his back. His exposing skin was dyed brown with the blood of a dragon. That skin was composed of dragon scales that wouldn’t be wounded by any blade or any spell. All except for a single part in the middle of his back.

PersonalityEdit

"I lived and died as a hero. I have no regrets about that in itself. I can declare that there was not a single disagreeable thing in my life. Even so, I can’t help but think. If I weren’t a prince, if I were just an ordinary man. Wouldn’t I have been able to earnestly pursue my own will? It doesn’t matter if I’m not acknowledged by anyone. I don’t mind if I’m not praised by anyone. I want to acknowledge myself. I want to have pride in myself. There lies what I sought. What I wished for. I want to stand on the side of what I believe in. If I could do that, then surely—I would be able to live with my chest puffed up proudly. I won’t fight for the sake of someone else. I won’t fight for my own sake either. For the sake of the benevolence that I believe in, the justice I believe in, the loyalty I believe in, and the love I believe in. I will take hold of this sword and fight with this body. That is my dream, my wish. I——want to be an ally of justice."
—Siegfried last thoughts before death.

Saber is known for tales of his royalty and the way he led troops as a captain, but he was also a hero who answered the requests and calls of others. However, this selflessness opened a void in his heart. The more he helped others, the more confused he was about his own wish. Even though he loved humans and the world but he never managed to fill that emptiness no matter what he did. At his moment of death, he finally realized that in his next life, he wanted to fight not for others, nor for himself, but for the justice he believed in. He wanted to be a true ally of justice. He had always made the wrong decisions at the most critical of moments. Bound to his own desires, he tried to overlook the weak who cowered before him. He did not seek salvation for himself so he ignored the silent cries of those who had. Such meanness and wickedness were certainly not things he had striven for.

He obeys his Master, even if forbidden to speak by necessity, because no command will burden him if it leads to fulfilling his own desire. His personality is truly that of a noble knight, but it is unknown what he really thinks due to the command not to speak.

He develops a mutual admiration with Lancer of Red, in their fight they realized that they both shared many similarities. He was terrified of Lancer's constant spear attack but at the same time he was overjoyed that he was able to feel the sensation of struggling against death ever since he defeated the dragon. After facing Lancer of "Red", he broke his silence and hopes to fight Lancer to their heart's content.

DevelopmentEdit

He was designed by TYPE-MOON and illustrated by KN for the original cancelled online game project.[1]

RoleEdit

Fate/ApocryphaEdit

  • Black Faction summoning

Saber is summoned by Gordes Musik Yggdmillennia with a bloodstained leaf of a Sacred Fig tree as a catalyst in a multiple Servant summoning. Though it was agreed that all would share the names of their Servants, Gordes vehemently disagrees, claiming that revealing knowledge of his Servant's true name to anyone but Darnic and Lancer of Black would be detrimental to their battle. He then leaves with his Master, returning to his quarters. Gordes commands him to never speak unless unveiling his Noble Phantasm in order to keep the possible hints towards his identity to a minimum. Though he is worried that acting as such to a great hero may be overstepping himself, Saber confirms with a nod that he will abide by the command. It may have changed his fate had he refused, forcing the use of Command Spells, but he chose to submit as a Servant of the Saber class, bringing about a fatal misunderstanding between them.

After witnessing Saber of Red through Caster of Black's scrying, Lancer asks if he believes he can defeat the opponent, and he nods wordlessly to keep his oath of silence.

Sometime early on, he and Gordes helped Ruler from Lancer of Red's attack. Saber and Lancer both battle in a death match situation. They both find each other as worthy opponent in the Great Grail War and was hoping to have a rematch before departing.

Saber is deployed along with Berserker of Black to act as part of the plan to capture the rogue Berserker of Red. They encounter Rider of Red and Archer of Red as they act as Red Berserker's backup. As Archer retreats into the forest, Rider taunts the two, causing them to become angered at the insult to their pride. As Rider challenges them, they both charge at him. Both Berserker and Saber's attack were ineffective against Rider, Rider paid little attention to Berserker and he clashed with Saber once again. Saber and Rider fight was equally balance as there weren't any wounds on either of them, and both of their attacks were being nullified. Gordes impatiently orders Saber to use his Noble Phantasm, Saber ignores his Master's urgings and he tries to figure out the mystery behind his invulnerability. Saber wanted Gordes to understand his reasoning so he let the command go by, unheeded. Rider tired of the fight as it isn't going anywhere, he commented that Saber should try to laugh before his death and he was shot by Archer of Red's arrow sending him backwards and crashed into several trees. Gordes frustrated with Saber, he used his Command Spell to order Saber to use his Noble Phantasm to defeat Rider. Saber shocked with his Master's order, he believed relying on brute strength to force the issue without first solving this riddle was an act of imbecile. He tried to resist the order with all his might but as he was about to release his Noble Phantasm, Gordes used a Command Spell to retract his previous order. Saber retreats by changing into his Spirit Form as Archer of Black snipes on Rider on Red and Berserker of Black takes on Archer of Red.

  • Siegfried's heart transplanted in Homunculus.

When Darnic questions about Gordes incompetence, he orders Saber to materializes and he appears next to Gordes. Saber knelt respectfully before Gordes and Darnic. Saber confirms that the possibility with the enemy knowing his true name is low. Caster of Black informs Darnic about Homunculus and Rider of Black plan to escape. Darnic orders Gordes to pursue Rider with Saber and bring back the homunculus. When Rider helps the nameless Homunculus escape during Berserker of Red's attack. Saber along with Gordes was blocking their path together. Gordes orders Saber to restrain Rider, Saber stepped up to Rider in a single stride and grabbed his arm and neck. Saber pulled him away from the homunculus and forced him to the earth. As Homunculus was punched almost to death by Gordes, Rider starts questioning about Saber's pride as a hero. Saber's hand twitched as he reacted to Rider's word. Saber decided to ignore Gordes command to restrain Rider and tries to appeal to Gordes good nature to spare the homunculus. Saber urges Gordes to grant the homunculus salvation by healing and releasing him but he was disappointed by his reply. In an instant, Saber knocked out Gordes consciousness by punching him in his abdomen. Saber heads towards the homunculus and Rider, dispelling his woven plates, sword and even armor, baring his chest. The homunculus is mortally wounded, and Rider begins to cry over his dying friend. Rider blames him for his delayed actions for he could of saved the homunculus life earlier. Saber is ashamed of himself for abandoning the Homunculus rather than trying to save him, realizing that he was about to repeat the same regret he had in his life. Saber torn out his heart, raising the homunculus with one hand, he made him swallow the heart. He transplants his heart into the Homunculus and successfully resuscitates him as atonement. As he fades away, he smiled bitterly and he was content with how things works out.

With his death, the nameless Homunculus names himself Sieg in honour of his sacrifice. Lancer of Black was furious with Rider of Black and blames him for his death. Rider regretted not being able to talk to him anymore. Rider wanted to believe Saber had been ‘victorious’ who sacrificed himself to save the homunculus without hesitation and smiled in satisfaction at the end. Ruler had a bad premonition, she sensed no Servants had been defeated yet something was amiss. She confirms that Saber of Black was on the verge of death yet he was still alive. She learnt the truth from the Black Faction and went looking for Sieg. Gordes had shaken pitifully and was crushed by humiliation as he had lost Saber. He started to regret treating Saber as a tool rather than a hero with his own personality.

Sieg in his near death state experienced Saber's memories and later has the ability to shape shift into Saber of Black. Shirou Kotomine theorizes that Saber of Black return isn't a revival but more of a possession. Sieg was a 'shell' that was able to wore the body of Saber of Black. Sieg's connection to Saber's heart and the combination with the abundant prana of a Command Spell has allowed Saber to descend from the Throne of Heroes into Sieg's flesh. Normally a human soul wouldn’t be able to endure a Heroic Spirit existence inside a body. The reason Sieg succeeded is that he is a homunculus, their souls are very young and therefore pure, and as such they won’t be dyed by anything, and their bodies can endure any kind of transformation.

AbilitiesEdit

He also has the qualifications to be summoned under the Rider class.[1] Saber of Black is highly praised and powerful Servant and all of his physical stats are also very high. He is often called "invincible" and "immortal", by both the Masters of the Black Faction and Ruler alike. Lancer of Black tells Ruler that it would not be an overstatement to call Siegfried the cornerstone of the Black Faction's entire strategy. He is better known for having killed the rather powerful dragon Fafnir and bathing in his blood. This makes him an extremely dangerous entity to all dragonkind, as well as any Servants with dragon attributes, such as Artoria Pendragon.[7]

Lancer of Red is considered by both Ruler and Shirou Kotomine as being the strongest Servant to have been summoned, yet Siegfried is able to fight him from the middle of the night until daybreak, with the match being decided on as being a draw by both sides. He is able to keep Rider of Red busy for a long time, despite not being able to harm him due to his lack of Divinity. The first time that Sieg drew upon his power with his Dead Count Command Seals, he is able to best Saber of Red until her Master reinforces her with a Command Spells despite not being at full strength because of Sieg's inexperience as a warrior.

Due to his Armor of Fafnir Noble Phantasm, his Magic Resistance skill has been lost.[2]

Siegfried also possesses the Heroic Skill Golden Rule, which refers to how he attained the treasures of the Niebelungs, which promised a lifetime of wealth, but his Luck decreases due to the rank of this skill.[2] In life, Siegfried's kingdom was the wealthiest of all the surrounding regions, often throwing great feasts and tournaments and giving tributes so large that even an entire caravan would have trouble carrying.

CombatEdit

In combat, Saber wields the Phantasmal Greatsword Balmung. It is a golden greatsword, being very similar in nature to Caliburn, but possessing both the attributes of a Holy and Demonic blade, much like Excalibur. It is a sword that is considered "too large to be held by human hands", however, Saber is able to wield it with great skill and speed despite that fact, even with only one hand.

His swordsmanship is considered to have long surpassed the realm of humanity. He is able to swing the massive greatsword at high speed, with only the smallest of movements, taking advantage of every gap in his opponent's attacks. He can defend against a large portion of Karna's attacks without having to rely on his durability and is able to hit Karna numerous times, to the point that by the end of their battle, both warriors were "covered from head to toe with a thousand light, recovering wounds", to say nothing that they had both already healed countless times during the progress of their fight, however, it is noted that Karna slightly surpasses him when it comes to close combat skill.

He is also skilled enough, so that even with his powers reduced when manifesting himself using Sieg, he is able to use a disarming maneuver on Mordred, coiling his blade around hers and nearly launching Clarent off her hands, before following up with a two-handed slash that cut through her armour and slashed her abdomen.

Regarding his physical strength, it is high enough to give Karna greater injuries than what the spears from Lancer of Black were able to give him, considering that each of these spikes had no difficulty stabbing through Berserker of Red's armour-like muscles. He is able to take a powerful, two handed slash from Mordred with just one arm and not giving weight to her great strength.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3
  4. Fate/stay night - Gram profile

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