Current Characters: Futaba Sakura
Age: 20-ish, at least 900, at least 4000, or at least 14,000, depending on how you want to count it.
Canon Point: Post-True Ending
Background: The Fate/EX verse is a horrible clusterfuck of at least twenty timelines, most of which just involve different player character choices, but at least four of them actually interact with each other, and the ‘true’ timeline directly contradicts itself.. So it’s going to be very complicated, but I’m going to try to be as clear and concise as I can.
In her own words, her story began as the goddess Amaterasu. When she left for Izumo, where the gods dwelled, she began to be fascinated with humanity. Observing those who worshipped her, she became curious about the lives of mortals. As a goddess, she could only look down on mankind, but she couldn't help her curiosity. She claims her fixation originally started as a sense of justice, to use her divine powers to scold and punish those who committed evil acts.
Still, her curiosity grew. Humans, from divine view, are pretty pathetic and depressing, yet to Amaterasu, they seemed happy. And despite never seeing the goddess themselves, they still worshipped her fervently. So, she had an epiphany. The humans were so happy serving her- A happiness that stemmed from serving her, even. So she wished to serve someone else in the same way.
It's at this point the legend switches from Amaterasu to that of Tamamo-no-Mae… sort of. It’s heavily implied, but not quite confirmed that as the fox spirit, she possessed a woman and became Daji. However, it was because she was told she could become human, and the events of being Daji are said to have traumatized her so much, she’s now incapable of using her Shapeshifting power. Even so, she definitely did horrible things as Daji, torture and killing and all sorts of horrifying pleasures.
The story skips two thousand years after the fall of Daji. Two thousand years later, in Heian-era Japan, this fox managed to incarnate herself through unknown means to become a human infant with no knowledge of her own identity. As the human, Mizukume, she was thought to be the incarnation of a nine-tailed fox, but fully believed herself to be human. She started as a normal child with a normal family, but grew up to be a true beauty, and knowledgeable on many subjects. She became a courtesan, taking on the name Tamamo-no-Mae, and the emperor (or rather, a retired emperor controlling the current emperor) fell in love with her at first sight. And for a time, it was a mutual love.
However, one day, she woke up and found she had grown fox ears. She freaked out, obviously, and was able to hide them for a month. However, at the same time, Emperor Toba fell ill, and an onmyouji, Abe, came in. (In the legends, it was Abe no Yasuchika, but according to Tamamo herself, it was Abe no Seimei.) Tamamo thought he was gorgeous, but he had shifty eyes and a soul as black as the underworld. He blamed Tamamo for the emperor's illness, exposing her as a fox, and forcing her to flee.
She was tracked to the plains of Nasuno, where, surrounded by foxes, she finally realized what she was. Even so, Emperor Toba who had claimed to love her now set an army of eighty thousand after her, screaming to kill the fox demon. She fought back, going overboard and killing all of them. She apologized, but no one listened, and when the second army came, she tried to reason with them. It rained arrows for three days and three nights, as she begged them to just forget about her, covered in blood. She realized then, as Amaterasu, that she was mistaken. Humans were narrow-minded, full of hate, self-righteous, but also fragile and precious. She was mistaken for ever wishing to be human in the first place. And as she realized that, she died screaming, killed by an enchanted arrow. Her soul possessed a rock, the Killing Stone, which for hundreds of years gave a poison that killed anyone who touched it, until the stone was destroyed by a virtuous monk named Gennou, and her soul was allowed to move on.
Which is all well and good, but then shit gets Weird.
You see, in the universe of Fate/Extra, the moon is not actually a moon. It's a supercomputer made out of photonic crystal that has been there since ancient times, and no one knows why or where it came from. It watches and records all of Earth, and notable existences are kept recorded in it as Heroic Spirits. (The planet itself keeps a similar record, called the Throne of Heroes, but even though these records are both identical, they're still separate.) Since the exact mechanics of how the Moon Cell and Holy Grail War started aren't actually relevant and are extremely long, I'll skip those.
The basic Holy Grail War summary: People upload their souls into the Moon Cell, enter a virtual world, become Masters, summon a Servant (a legendary Heroic Spirit), and engage in a tournament where losers die and there can be only one winner. Nearly a thousand people die from this. The winner is granted a wish.
For the Holy Grail War, the Heroic Spirit Tamamo-no-Mae was summoned as Caster by a Master named Twice H. Pieceman. (Look, it was written in Japan, and this is the same writer that gave us a guy named 'Nrvnqsr'. 'Twice' is getting off easy.) Twice was discovered to not be a human at all, but an NPC AI, a copy of a human who had long-since died. He was not meant to be self-aware, but somehow, through unknown means, he became sentient and realized his nature. He fought in the war, and Tamamo helped him- Though Tamamo tried to act more serious and mature, because she believed that was what Twice would like.
As an NPC, Twice had a special privilege- Each time he was killed, he would simply respawn in the next Holy Grail War, retaining his memories and self-awareness, and retaining Caster as well. However, the cycle of loss kept going, and eventually, Twice lost Tamamo, discarding her for a stronger Servant. One whose weakness would not cause him to lose constantly.
Then, she hung around in the Moon Cell’s archives, not expecting to ever be summoned again- In the first place, who would want a Servant whose legends were passed down as a murderous monster?
Here’s where the timelines diverge. In the game Fate/Extra, she can either be never summoned again, or be summoned as a Servant by the main character, Hakuno, where she will fall in love. But in the backstory for Extella, what actually happened was that she was summoned by a different Master, an evil man named Atrum Galliasta. An oil magnate, he limited Tamamo’s already-weak powers out of pride and viewed her as below him for being a woman. On top of that, it’s implied he won to the fourth round of the Holy Grail War by having her seduce their enemies and killing them that way.
In the fourth round, Atrum and Tamamo were faced off against Hakuno, the main character. And Hakuno became the first person to ever express concern for Tamamo. Tamamo fell in love instantly, and though she still had to fight as Atrum’s Servant, she lost. Atrum used a cheat to sacrifice Tamamo to save himself, but as Tamamo was resigned to deletion again, Hakuno used a Command Spell, limited inviolable orders, to save Tamamo, taking her on as a second Servant.
And so like that, Tamamo served. In the fifth round, she was Hakuno’s primary Servant, and after that, she was a Sub-Servant, working with Hakuno’s main Servant, Nero, to help Hakuno win the war.
This went well, and with two Servants, Hakuno won the war. Having defeated all enemies, Hakuno finally walked onto the path with her Servants to the Moon Cell’s core, to have her wish granted… And there, Nero pushed Tamamo off the path, sending her falling into the Moon Cell’s archives, where it should have been impossible for her to escape.
But she escaped anyway. Somehow. The game kind of glosses over it. And at this point, having found her way back into the SE.RA.PH, she finds something: Her Master, Hakuno, and a ring- The Regalia, the symbol of sovereignty over the SE.RA.PH. That meant, as far as Tamamo could tell, that she was now chosen as the ruler.
She recruited other Servants and began to build her kingdom, the Millennium Capital, the Capital of Lust, Mare Luxuria. She ruled it as a tyrant, concerned only with her own immediate pleasure, and that everyone would worship her. Of course, finding out that Nero not only had another Regalia, but another Hakuno, put a wrench in her plans, and Tamamo declared war.
Things went messy, to say the least. At this point, there are at least four known timeline branches from this point. Two of them are irrelevant. One of the timelines ended, perishing as it could not continue. But Hakuno sent her memories from that timeline into the final timeline, allowing the final timeline’s Hakuno to know immediately that Archimedes was a villain (Archimedes was here and a villain, by the way), and allowing her and Nero to disrupt his plans.
Finally, having disrupted Archimedes’ plans and having knowledge from prior timelines, Hakuno was able to convert Tamamo back to her side, and the two Hakunos fused. At that point, the game kicked itself into the finale… And Nero, being the real ‘main character’, got all that spotlight. Tamamo stayed behind to defend the base. So she wasn’t really there for the important things. But afterwards, when Nero and Hakuno returned with a little girl who turned out to be their enemy Altera, but a child, Tamamo immediately seized on raising her with Hakuno, so she could call Altera their child.
There’s also bizarre, vague memories of non-canon spinoffs, but that’s more for comedy so will not be listed here.
Personality: Tamamo is, to put it lightly, a hot mess.
At her very core, the very purpose of her creation was to serve someone. That is her deepest-held desire, to love someone and devote herself to them. And so, as she fights in the Holy Grail War, she doesn’t actually need the Holy Grail for her wish- as long as she can devote herself to her Master, that’s enough for her.
She says she becomes infatuated easily, and can’t help but like the person she serves. And that she can serve almost anyone: All that matters to her is that their intentions are good. Man or woman, child or adult, saint or sinner, good intentions are her only requirement.
On the surface, though, she acts as a total airhead. She’s always upbeat, cheerful, very flirty with her Master, and seems totally unable to take anything seriously. She uses life-or-death situations to flirt with Hakuno, assuming anything her Master says or does is flirting in kind, and tends to insult anyone she doesn’t like, which is anyone she sees as coming in between her and her Master.
It’s unknown how much of this is a front, but it is definitely at least partially a facade. Other characters remark that her true nature is in fact quite sharp, and she knows to never let her airhead front come out ahead of her real nature. (As a result, she hates the real airhead type.)
Fundamentally, she is a logical realist, and one who has been beaten down significantly by her past and legend at that. Though she was in love, and Emperor Toba seemed to love her in return, she was blamed for everything, hunted down, and killed. Her legend was spread as an evil monster who incited a rebellion, one of Japan’s three greatest evil monsters. In her belief that gods are a system-like existence, she accepts what happened to her as divine retribution for going against providence, that gods should be above humans.
She hates the her that lived on Earth, and tends to hide her true name as a result. She doesn’t wish to be worshipped again as Amaterasu, though she doesn’t mind talking about that part, but she hates the Tamamo-no-Mae that lived, and fears that if anyone found out her true name, she would be instantly hated. She fully intended to hide her name through the entire Holy Grail War at first, only giving up on that because an opponent was so strong they required use of her Noble Phantasm. Her hatred for herself runs deep, enough that she thinks so little of herself, she feels she has to keep her loved one with her through force, because she thinks no one would choose her over anyone else. On the other hand, this is still partially an attempt to drive her loved one away, as if she’s the one who messes up and her overbearing nature pushes her away, then it wasn’t just an inevitable end she couldn’t do anything about.
Her identity is… not exactly fragmented, but there are definite faults in it. For example, she has all of her memories as Amaterasu, and though she acknowledges that she is not Amaterasu herself anymore, she will also tells stories about Amaterasu in the first-person. She both is and is not the goddess, essentially. Furthermore, as a Heroic Spirit, she is aware of what happened to her legend since her death. While her legend equates her with the Chinese fox spirit Daji, she denies any relation. However, the legend of Tamamo-no-Mae calls her one of Japan’s three greatest evils, and as a Heroic Spirit, she has that potential within her as well.
Despite her hatred for herself and the tragic ending, and subsequent damnation as the Killing Stone, she does not wish for revenge, as there are some things a goddess cannot do. Even as Tamamo, she has enough connection to Amaterasu and the laws of the gods that she can’t even entertain the thought.
However, she’s still a deeply jealous person, and even when summoned as a nominally good Heroic Spirit, she’s not exactly the most morally sound. She insults anyone she doesn’t like, and since most people around her in the War are enemies, that’s most of them. She’s surprisingly cavalier about killing, telling her Master to ‘not give another thought to that loser’, after her Master discovers the enemy she just killed was actually just an eight-year-old child. She threatens anyone who insults her Master with death, and is absolutely okay with the thought of killing for her Master’s sake. She’s a horribly jealous character and even refers to herself as a yandere a few times, mentioning if her Master cheated on her, she’d do what her email friend Kiyohime would do, and trap the person they cheated with in a bell and set it on fire.
In her own words, even before she became a Servant, she killed an untold number of people. She thinks she might hold the world record for murder. Despite this, she also believes herself to be the weakest Servant.
She believes Tamamo-no-Mae will never have a happy ending, and she smiles as a cover, to deal with the fact that there are things she wants that she will never have. She’s also terrified of endings, the idea that even if she does everything right, the end will come whatever she does. As a result, she also tends towards hedonism and trying to fill herself with immediate pleasure so she doesn’t have to think about the inevitable future. (When she’s acting as a tyrant and despot, engaging in cruelty to everyone and praising herself, she calls it Harlot Mode, and it’s implied to be how she acted when she was Daji.)
She tends to bottle up all her negative feelings, anything that comes out too much that doesn’t fit with her ditzy ‘good wife’ act. But since she’s just bottling it up and can never let it out, her facade will crack, and that facade cracking can escalate, cascading until she breaks down… But she recovers quickly, at least.
Despite being a goddess, fox, a Heroic Spirit, and not a human, she is still called the ‘most human person’ in the game. All she wants is to love and be loved, and everything comes as a result of that.
She tends to like those similar to herself, and supports those who keep a strong faith, as long as it doesn't go crazy. She also tends to like those who are motivated by love. She will support the love of others, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her own, and expresses great sympathy for even her worst enemies, as long as their love is what motivates them.
She’s fond of things like trying new clothes, she enjoys sexy or cute things, She likes taking trips to hot springs, but the trip itself, rather than the hot springs. She likes cooking, but not the food itself, instead liking the love the wife pours in it for her husband. She also likes receiving presents, but frowns upon cheap gifts. She dislikes dogs, men who are only somewhat handsome, and people who interrupt her time with her master. And for obvious reasons, she loves foxes.
Abilities: If she were summoned fully as herself, Tamamo would be a god. Literally, without exaggeration, near omnipotence. However, she has sealed away most of her powers in order to embrace her role as a Servant, and cannot use them to the fullest. Were she to return to her full power as a goddess and truly become part of Amaterasu again, she would be capable of feats like moving faster than light, reversing time, or even reducing the distance from Earth to the Horsehead Nebula to zero to cross the distance instantly. However, such powers are sealed and could only be unlocked via diving deep into her soul and awakening her original self of Amaterasu, which she will not allow when it can be avoided.
She is still a facet of Amaterasu, and has certain rights and taboos based on that, and can be detected as such. However, there is very little she can do, though her Noble Phantasm allows her to use some blessings of Amaterasu, and she still qualifies as a highly divine being on the level of a demigod or above.
As a Servant, she is many times stronger than a human. Even though she looks small and frail, and is noted that if she was not a Servant, she would be even weaker than her Master (herself a tiny and frail girl), as a Servant her strength and speed are all well above what is physically possible for a human. However, as a Caster-class Servant, her physical attributes are incredibly weak in comparison to other Servants, and any sufficiently supernaturally-powered fighter could potentially take her out in hand-to-hand.
As a fox spirit, she has certain abilities natural to her: Shapeshifting is one, and she is noted to be able to use it to become almost anything she wants. However, she is rendered incapable of using it due to trauma from this skill being partially responsible for her death and subsequent damnation.
Furthermore, she is capable of incredible feats of witchcraft. She could read the stars for astrological divination, secret arts to obtain influence or the favor of important people, illusions, and so on. However, due to the trauma of her past, she is unable to use those skills either. The main witchcraft she is able to use still are curses and charms. Elemental attacks, exorcisms, charms and mantras to increase her power, a ‘charm’ known as the Polygamist Castration Fist. She is also capable of utilizing her legend of her death, the Killing Stone, that when she is in mortal peril, the area around her becomes an intensely damaging poison. She claims when she had multiple tails, she was able to produce a million troops from them, but the narration dialogue regards this as ‘suspicious’, so it may not be true. She also has rather incredible hand-to-hand combat skills, with punches and kicks, though her strength is still E-ranked, so they’re not great.
As a Caster-class Servant, she is capable of the class skills Item Creation and Territory Creation… sort of. Her personality isn’t suited to either of these. Territory Creation, she is capable but has difficulty creating a ‘workshop’ out of her domain, which would allow her to produce minor charms and talismans. Her “Item Creation” skill is mostly used to generate her ofuda, and is hacked to become a skill called “Fox’s Wedding”, which… Allows her to one-sidedly declare a wedding, allowing it to rain blessings and push souvenirs on ‘ally-like individuals’. It’s basically a cheat skill to make it more suitable to her, but this shows she is also capable of tampering with her own skills… Though this is the only example.
She possesses the ability to call and utilize her Noble Phantasm, a mirror that circles around her with magic. It’s very sturdy, or rather almost unbreakable, so she just uses it as a blunt weapon. This mirror is actually a sacred object, the mirror that would later go on to become the famous Yata no Kagami.
Upon invoking its true name, the ‘Eightfold Blessings of Amaterasu on the Weight Stone Under the Sunlit Watery Heavens’ (please don’t make me type that out again), she receives the blessings of Amaterasu, allowing her to cast incredible magic without any cost for a short time. This skill can also be used to empower or grant minor healing to allies, though these are not its main use.
(The mirror was originally a divine treasure from the land of the dead, and had the power to bring the dead back to life. As a Servant, and most importantly as no longer truly a goddess, Tamamo doesn’t have the power to do anything like that, so the above effects are all it can do.)
With extra mana, she’s able to use that Eightfold Blessings in order to use a special Anti-Army Noble Phantasm, which basically hurls a bunch of balls of fire and ice at the enemy, before throwing a miniature sun at them.
Furthermore, her legend still affects her. If, for some reason, she were to be summoned or forced into the role of the legends of Tamamo-no-Mae, she would become an evil bloodthirsty monster, able to kill a hundred heroes in a single breath. Still, as she normally is, Tamamo is right to call herself the weakest Servant until strengthened by her Master.
More mundanely, she’s very intelligent, possessing a wide variety of more mundane knowledge and skills related to her time as a courtesan under Emperor Toba. She’s sharp, very perceptive, and able to hide her true nature well.
Alignment: Elios! She's motivated entirely by love (and hate), after all.
Other: Considering her powers and how broken she can be, I’m going to be limiting her by needing to have a Master to have the mana to do much, but otherwise getting by through using her Eightfold Blessings to let her get by without mana cost.
General Sample: Here!
Emotion Sample: Here!