Even more badassery.
So, I didn’t quite get to this when I had claimed I would; its been a pretty busy week and a half or so for me, so I haven’t had a hell of a lot of free time. C’est la vie, though.
The second part of this list is actually a bit different than what I’d originally had, as I unfortunately misplaced the sheet I had written the warriors down on. I think I’ve mostly got the same folks, but I also know I’ve added a few and forgotten a couple of others. I think it still makes for a decent set of potential Servants, though.
Honestly, if anything, I think that generating such lists indicates a need for a fighting game set in the Fate universe and with a lot more options for Servants to summon. Think Mortal Kombat, but with more of a narrative arc. Or, really, Fate/stay night but with a more kinetic gameplay, i.e. not having to be Shiro, the shittiest character ever, and less talking head-ness.
But I digress. More folks who should be Heroic Spirits, starting now:
Fu Hao is a pretty impressive lady – in a time in place known as distinctly unfriendly to women (China, circa 1200s B.C.), Fu Hao truly outdid herself. She started off as simply one of sixty (!) wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang Dynasty, and ended up as a general and a priestess. While priestess may not sound that impressive to our modern ears, it was nearly unheard of for a woman to be a religious figure in Shang China – Fu Hao would’ve had to have been extremely respected and trusted in order to have attained this position in her society.
But, yeah, sure priestess, cool, but, so what? Obviously what we care about here is the fact that she was a general. And of note here is that not only was she a general, she was in a sense the general for her husband’s empire, with at least two lesser generals at her command, as well as 13,000 men. After her death, the king made sacrifices at her tomb in the hopes that she would lend her military advice to him as he struggled to put off invaders.
Fu Hao may be the most impressive of the folks I’ve suggested so far, as she rose to one of the highest positions there was, period, in a culture that was extremely misogynistic, and did so from a fairly low starting point. There’ve been quite a few of the warriors I’ve mentioned who have been great warriors in a battlefield environment, but Fu Hao clearly was not only capable of that, but also of playing extremely shrewd politics. Its only too bad there isn’t more about her in the historical record.
Semiramis would fit well into the Fateverse’s habit of mingling the legendary and the factual fairly heavily; the real-life Semiramis was an Assyrian queen who ruled as regent during the minority of her son after the death of her husband. The legendary Semiramis was raised by doves, and was taken as a wife by the king of the Assyrian Empire, Ninus, as he had been impressed by her fighting during the capture of the city Bactra (modern-day Balkh). When her husband died, she disguised herself as her own son to lead the Assyrian troops into battle once more.
Semiramis managed to expand the Assyrian empire further east into Asia and south into Ethiopia. She also commissioned a renewal of Babylon, the capital of the empire, and apparently began the practice of castration. Which doesn’t have anything to do with being a warrior, but it felt like something worth mentioning regardless.
The legendary Semiramis may’ve been eventually killed by her son… which is an odd way of putting it, isn’t it? It’s almost like saying “The Semiramis who may’ve existed may’ve been killed by her son.” But in this case its a matter of unclear sourcing of a later writer, so it can’t truly be said if the legends had her with such a fate or if this was a more recent addition. Here I would opt for utilizing what may not have been traditionally part of her stories, because it suggests a tragic end – a powerful warrior-queen killed by her power-hungry, jealous son. I picture it as Semiramis having been extremely fond of her son, only to be betrayed by him at the end. Perfect sort of background for a Heroic Spirit, yes?
Agustina de Aragón
Leaping forward quite a bit in time, we come to Agustinia de Aragon, who fought in the Spanish War of Independence in the early 19th century. Agustinia became involved in the war by circumstance, as she jumped to man the cannons in the French assault on the city of Zaragoza, having intended simply to deliver food to the Spanish troops. But they’d fled the area, so she took over, driving off some of the French. However, the Spanish lost, and Agustinia ended up in prison.
Agustinia escaped from prison, and became a leader in the guerilla movement in Spain. Later, she became an officer in the Spanish Army, reaching the rank of Captain.
Agustinia had been known to hang around the military barracks of Zaragoza at a young age, so I can’t help but view her intent to deliver food to soldiers as a front for her own desire to see the fight. If anything, it would seem that her taking up of the artillery would’ve delighted her; I can almost see her rushing forward to the cannons in a state of that exhilirating sort of fear most of us associate more closely with riding a roller coaster or the like. She’d found that moment she’d always been hoping for.
Perhaps, though, Agustinia wouldn’t really work terribly well as a Servant as she lived a fulfilling and happy life by all accounts, passing away as a respected veteran at the age of seventy-one in an independent Spain. But if the measure of a Heroic Spirit is that they love the fight, Agustinia fits in just fine.
Do you know how fucking hard it is to find a picture for Beowulf that has nothing to do with that stupid movie that came out a few years ago? It is really fucking hard.
That aside, its weird to have to describe Beowulf, because while it isn’t quite the same as having to describe Achilles (that loser), its close, and he probably does better in awareness ratings than that Aeneas chap. Beowulf is a purely legendary figure, the titular lead of the epic Beowulf, in which he kills a bunch of monsters, kills a dragon, and dies.
Beowulf is practically inhuman, to be perfectly honest; unlike many other heroes of epics, Beowulf doesn’t appear to possess any faults, nor does he seem to possess much of a personality… other than being loyal and killing things. But there is a sad air about him, ultimately, as it is alluded to during his death and immediately after that he never really connected with anyone. Unlike the skirt-chasers of Greek and Roman epics, Beowulf doesn’t get hitched, nor does he seduce anyone. He’s stoic and distant to the nth degree. It would take a bit of effort to depict him in a way that does not bore like we see in the cases of Kiritsugu and Kirei in Fate/Zero; I definitely think his lack of human connection could be a useful element to include given that.
I’ll close out at this point, but I think you’ll end up seeing a third installment; I have other things to attend to, but I have at least two warriors I haven’t been able to include yet. So, get excited… just, y’know, not too excited, because knowing me it’ll probably be another week before I conclude in part three.