|"Better that I should be destroyed than allow Britain to fall."|
Known to the world as King Arthur, Arturia Pendragon, the King of Knights, wished to save her country by allowing another to rule in her place. As she lay dying, she made a contract with the world and became the Servant Saber for the Fourth Holy Grail War, seeking the Grail to grant her wish. Calm, practical, fiercely loyal, and independent, Saber may seem cold, but has in fact repressed her emotions deep within herself to attain complete impartiality and to devote herself entirely to her objectives. Even death could not lessen the devotion of the King of Knights towards Britain.
- Excalibur: The Sword of Promised Victory
The legendary sword of King Arthur, Excalibur is nearly as famous as Saber herself. A Last Phantasm, it is the pinnacle of holy swords, forged from the collective wishes of mankind and crystallized inside the planet itself. It briefly passed into the hands of mankind when it was bestowed upon Arturia by the Lady of the Lake after the Sword of the Kings of Britain, Caliburn, was broken. It is a celestial sword which possesses the the divine protection necessary to withstand Saber's magical energy-fuelled attacks.
Powered through a conversion of the user's prana into photoelectric energy, Excalibur intensifies kinetic energy by convergence and acceleration, thereby allowing the use of thaumaturgy at the level of Divine Spirits. The blast of light is capable of annihilating an entire army within 1000 units, which is one of several reasons why Saber rarely invokes its true name to release its full potential, lest innocents be caught in it.
- Invisible Air: Bounded Field of the Wind King
A magecraft rather than a true Noble Phantasm, Invisible Air is a Bounded Field, which consists of knitting a network of prana and spreading it on base area to create a mystic boundary. It distorts the refraction of light and renders what is inside completely invisible by gyration and compression of multiple layers of wind. As it makes judging Saber's attacks difficult due to an opponent's resulting inability to judge the length and width of her blade, the sorcery boosts Saber's accuracy and defence.
Not only does the generated whirlwind enhance the cutting power of Saber's sword, it can be used as a ranged attack — Strike Air — by releasing the compressed wind at once. The concealing power is likewise not limited to Saber's sword, and can act as a protective wall even on buildings. But though a decent weapon by itself, the primary purpose of Invisible Wind is to conceal Excalibur, and by extension Saber's true identity.
Skills and Abilities
- Magic Resistance - Cancels any magic below A-rank. As no Magi of the current era are capable of A-rank magic, no modern Magi are able to directly harm Saber. Summoned creatures will do regular damage.
- Riding - Ability to ride animals or certain machines. Saber is able to ride most vehicles with above average skill, except for those of demonic beast or holy beast rank. Currently, her skill is high enough for her to pilot smaller airplanes and motorcycles.
- Instinct - The ability to 'feel' the best course of action in combat, a heightened sixth sense close to precognition. It reduces by half any obstacles to vision and hearing.
- Mana Burst - The transfer of prana into one's weapon and body, which, by releasing it instantaneously, increases one's ability. Saber in particular uses this for her sword techniques, guarding, and movement. Because of her large prana capacity, she can easily wield even large weapons requiring a great deal of strength. A weapon without strong divine protection is incapable of withstanding her prana-propelled attacks.
- Charisma - The natural talent for command and leadership. It increases the ability of one's army during mass combat, and B-rank charisma is enough to lead a nation.
- Gymnastics - Saber's compact stature and her Servant class skills allow her to pull off some incredible feats of agility. But even then, she exhibits exceptional manoeuvrability, such as changing her direction in mid-air. Such feats would not be otherwise possible without a natural aptitude for gymnastics, and Saber can easily dodge high-speed obstacles such as bullets.
- Prana - Like all Servants, Saber requires prana just to simply exist. Weapons which disrupt the flow of prana can seriously hinder Saber’s attacks. Similarly, she requires a consistent source of prana to maintain her existence. The connection to her Master provides her with enough prana, however, she can (and does) supplement it by consuming large quantities of food.
- Anti-Dragon Weaponry - The alignment of Arturia’s soul is dragon, and so any anti-dragon weaponry will deal more than the usual amount of damage.
- Stubborn - Saber is stubborn and headstrong, and will not be easily dissuaded from something once she has made up her mind about it. Fiercely independent, she does not back down from actions she believes are right. When she is convinced of the righteousness of her actions, neither hell nor high water will dissuade her. Even as cautious as she is, Saber's bull-headedness has the potential to cause her a great deal of trouble.
- Proud - While not arrogant, (at least towards others) Saber possesses a great deal of pride in her knightly path. Her true ire may be reserved for one individual in particular, but she does not take insults to her knighthood and way of the king lightly. This can blind her to the machinations of more manipulative people.
- Overcautious - Saber is near-paranoid about her true identity, partly to maintain her advantage in the Holy Grail War, but mostly out of her desire to undo her entire kingship. The fewer who know of her true identity as King Arthur, the better.
- Self-Depreciating - Saber's reign may have inspired one of the greatest legends of all time, but that is hardly a comfort to the King who considers it an abject failure. The fact that she seeks to undo it all so that another could take her place is a testament to her self-depreciation. She can become withdrawn and keep others at even more of a distance than usual when she is especially reflecting on her rule, which can make her seem cold and distant.
- Scar of the World-Slayer - A mark laid on all of those who participated in the Union's campaign to kill the Confederate Emperor, Viridian Sunrise, in the year A.U. 20. Though successful, the campaign resulted in the destruction of his inner universe and the countless beings within it. The mark takes the form of a sun-shaped birthmark on the bodies of each of those who were present that day. Though not necessarily readily visible, it cannot be removed even if the individual should be obliterated and regenerated from component materials. It imposes upon the bearer a complete knowledge of every entity who died in the Union's crusade, from enemy soldiers down to newborn babes. Those who bear this mark will remember them always, from their names, to their faces, to their lives up to their deaths. This does not provide an opportunity to learn the skills of the deceased, though it does give the bearer an insight into the world and universe of Annu.
And slowly answered Arthur from the barge:
‘The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
I have lived my life, and that which I have done
May He within Himself make pure! but thou,
If thou shouldst never see my face again,
Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?'
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, Morte d'Arthur
Arturia's birth to Uther Pendragon, the King of Britain, and Igraine, former Duchess of Cornwall, was kept a secret and she was entrusted by Merlin to Sir Ector, a knight loyal to Uther.
Uther passed away when Arturia was fifteen, and Britain entered into a tumultuous period followed by invasion by the Saxons. To return Britian to its earlier peace, Merlin approached Arturia and told her that the people would accept her as their ruler if she pulled Caliburn from a slab of stone. However, he warned her that by doing so, she would be making a symbolic gesture that she accepted the hardships of leadership and the responsibility of the welfare of her people. Without hesitation, she cast aside her femininity, drew Caliburn from the slab, and took up the mantle of Britain’s king.
Ruling from her throne in Camelot, ‘King Arthur’ was regarded as a just but emotionally distant king. The Lady of the Lake bestowed Excalibur and Avalon upon her after Caliburn had been destroyed ; after which she ceased to age due to Avalon’s regenerative abilities. But in spite of her people’s approval, she was plagued by feelings of guilt and inferiority, having sacrificed her emotions for complete impartiality in ruling, leading to criticism for her reputed lack of humanity.
While repelling an invasion along the borders of her kingdom, Avalon was stolen, making it difficult for her body to heal. She returned to civil unrest, and despite her efforts to quell the rebellion, she was mortally wounded by Mordred, a former knight and a homunculus created from her blood by her half-sister, Morgan. In her final moments, she appeals to the world that, in exchange for services as a Heroic Spirit, she be granted the opportunity to alter history, where someone more suitable would lead Britain.
Summoned by Kiritsugu Emiya on behalf of the Einsbern family, Arturia Pendragon was summoned as the Servant Saber for the Fourth Heaven’s Feel to determine the recipient of the Holy Grail. At long last, she successfully fought off her opponents until one remained: Servant Archer, whom was later revealed to be none other than the ancient king of Uruk, Gilgamesh. A formidable opponent, the King of Heroes nevertheless delivered a grievous, unforgivable blow to her pride as a knight and a king by treating her as mere property. His demand for her hand in marriage was all the mocking she could endure from the pompous Servant, and Excalibur answered for her (even if, to Gilgamesh, it meant “Give it a little time”).
The battle was brought to an unexpected end when Kiritsugu shot and killed Kirei Kotomine, the Master of Gilgamesh, effectively making Saber the victor by default. Her dream was finally within reach, but as she lifted her hands to receive the sacred artifact, Kiritsugu issued a command that turned her triumph into tragedy:
Destroy the Holy Grail.
Acting against her will, Saber destroyed the tainted relic, but instead of disappearing, she abruptly found herself in the multiverse when her reality unified with it.