South America; Rio de Janeiro; August 9th, 2020 AD; 11:15 PM, a private estate within the Tijuca Forest.
~ Day 0 ~
Listening to the chatter and chirp of the rainforest's nighttime denizens, a new arrival reclined in a wicker lawn chair upon the veranda of her new home. Even in the midst of winter the air was still pleasant, and her white sundress suited the tropical clime. The woman resting on the open air porch seemed tired. The past week had been a rather rushed effort to conclude real estate transactions and hurry the previous occupants in leaving. They must have thought her terribly aggressive and rude, but they'd received more than suitable compensation for the quiet little mansion surrounded by woods. Millions of dollars for the property, and a hefty sum more to quicken the whole process. She'd wanted to make it quite clear to the sellers that they wouldn't find a better offer elsewhere, and that it would save everyone's time by agreeing to her terms. All in all it took a little more than a week of back and forth between their realtors, and frankly the young woman was happy to bid the whole business farewell.
Holding her hand out at arm's length before her, the woman inspected the dorsum of her hand and the trinity of crimson marks emblazoned on her terracotta skin. Long and forked, the symbol could easily be divided in three; like a trident or a leafy branch. Proof that the claims of a resurrected Grail War were true, and that she was in fact eligible to participate as Master partnered with a Hero of times long past. She had half expected the whole event to be a ploy: either the work of the Association trying to draw out disobedient magi, or some other sort of treachery. Truth be told, she still wasn't entirely convinced that this wasn't the case. Even if their were to be a Grail War here, it was disconcerting to know that an unknown party was in control of the preparations and facilitation of the ritual. Presumably they could have kept the grail all to themselves, and completely avoided any chance of losing their claim to the wish granting vessel. That'd of course mean that they would be required to supply all seven Masters, in which case the whole ritual would have turned into a civil war, like the original Heaven's Feel. That explained then why they'd bothered to invite outside magi to participate, but that raised entirely different questions. Putting it simply, it'd be in their best interest to only send invitations to magi who meet the bare minimum requirements for participation. That way, they could send their own ace to dominate the competition and claim victory without opposition.
She stood up from her seat and turned to face the house, taking hold of the door handle and sliding the glass to the side. That train of thought made the most sense, but it was also somewhat insulting. If she was correct it meant in no uncertain terms that the war's overseers, this Glover family, viewed her as an incompetent. That view clashed somewhat with her own self-image, and she aimed to surprise them in an unpleasant fashion. Walking within the warm, bright interior of the estate, she descended a short flight of stairs to the cellar. Rows and rows of wooden racks held hundreds of wine bottles, their crimson and golden contents glittering in the warm, dim light. Further on the floorspace opened up to a sort of clearing, a wide uncluttered space that had been cleared previously. The same place where she would go about the summoning ritual. Opening a satchel she'd laid on a table to the side of the room earlier that night, the woman withdrew a stoppered decanter. The crystal vessel was filled with thick, vivid green liquid, and as she unsealed it a vital scent filled the cellar's air. The smell was not potent, not particularly foul or enthralling; but it was vital. A smell like heavy rain, moss, or tilled soil, the brew smelled as though it could give life. This was the reagent with which she drew the circle and began the summoning.
"Ye first, O silver, O iron
O stone of the foundation, O Archduke of the Contract
Hear me in the name of our great teacher, the Archmagus Schweinorg
Let the descending winds be as a wall
Let the gates in all directions be shut, rising above the crown, and let the three-forked roads to the Kingdom revolve.
The first verses resounded in the small room,
the ritual commencing as prana flowed
through the intricate diagrams she'd laid down before her.
A sharp red glow pierced the symbols,
issuing up from the ground as she continued.
Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut. Shut.
Five perfections for each repetition.
And now, let the filled sigils be annihilated in my stead!
The glow intensified,
the bright red light filling the cellar.
The disembodied force of prana
kicked up a draft throughout the room.
Let thy body rest under my dominion, let my fate rest in thy blade.
If thou submittest to the call of the Holy Grail and if thou wilt obey this mind, this reason, then thou shalt respond.
I make my oath here.
I am that person who is to become the virtue of all Heavens.
I am that person who is covered with the evil of all Hades.
Holding her hand over top of the circle,
she clenched it to form a fist
and squeezed a drop of blood
from the thin cut she'd incised upon her thumb.
Thou seven heavens, clad in a trinity of words,
come past thy restraining rings, and be thou the hands that protect the balance"
As she completed the last of the chant, the droplets of blood dripped from her hand to the ground.
As they struck the magic circle the ceremony came to a head, the light becoming almost blinding as her call resounded.
A call for a hero, and for a partner to help guide her Fate.