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Diarmuid Ua Duibhne ([personal profile] oathshackledbird) wrote2011-08-04 01:31 am
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NAME & AGE: Diarmuid Ua Duibhne (Lancer)/Appears to be in his mid-twenties, though he is actually the soul of an ancient hero brought back to life in modern times. His first life occurred roughly two thousand years ago.
CANON & CANON POINT: Fate/Zero (Anime), The End of Episode 5: "Howl of the Mad Beast"
CANON INFORMATION: Here is his TypeMoon wiki article and here is a link to a text version of his myth. (In case the link does not directly take you to the section for Diarmuid, the books related to him are book 6--his early life and adventures--and book 7--the pursuit itself. I use this primarily to round out his character. Wherever anime canon contradicts his actual myth, anime canon always takes precedence.)


(Bold text is extrapolation/references to the Fate/Zero novel.)

If one were to describe Diarmuid in a word, that word would be 'knight,' though unlike many of his counterparts who call themselves knights, he is truly a personification of that term. His life, thoughts, and decisions all are bound by the twin rules of knighthood which, in his mind, are loyalty to one's master and honor in one's actions. Given two choices, the one he takes will be the one that is most honorable and loyal to his master's wants. Indeed, these two characteristics are so overwhelming that they sometimes completely cover a good many of his other personality traits--like his quick wit, unwillingness to give up, and optimistic nature--leaving him to be seen by outsiders as little more than his master's tool instead of a person who has feelings and cares of his own. This is especially true at this early canon point, since most of Diarmuid's time so far has been spent in his fight with Saber.

However, as is often the case for people who so completely believe in something, Diarmuid's strong devotion to loyalty and honor are also his greatest weaknesses. They often narrow his view of people and the world around him as he expects others to act in a similar manner. This expectation is only strengthened because the first servant he meets, Saber, is just as honorable and noble as he is. She is very happy to hear that he wishes to fight an honorable battle, just as he is happy to be able to face a strong female warrior who won't be weakened by his curse. Unfortunately, Diarmuid and Saber are the exceptions in this war. Few others, aside from Rider, care anything for honor and this includes Diarmuid's own master.

It is Diarmuid's own master's lack of respect for his honor and loyalty that set up one of Diarmuid's main conflicts in the series--the idea of a master so dishonorable that he has to constantly choose between violating one of the two rules he has formed his whole existence around. At the canon point I am drawing him from, this conflict has only just begun to manifest itself shown in how Kayneth forces him to act during his fight with Saber. Instead of allowing Diarmuid to finish things off with Saber one-on-one, which would be the honorable method, Kayneth forces him to team up with Berserker via a command spell. This is a command Diarmuid tries to fight since it is a dishonorable action against one who he has already come to respect and honor, but in the end his will is overcome and he has no choice but to attack even as he whispers his apologies. Because of Kayneth's use of the command spell, Diarmuid really has no choice but to choose loyalty over honor even if he might have been wavering in the other direction. As the war progresses, though, his choice will not be made for him leading to an escalation of this internal conflict.

Though how Diarmuid's standards of loyalty and honor are tried by Kayneth is a large focus during the series, this is only one part of his personality. Fortunately, many other of his personality traits are highlighted by his standards. For example, Diarmuid is also a man who greatly values other honorable and skilled fighters to the extent that he will put himself into hardship if it will help those he so respects. An example of this is shown early through his reactions to Saber during the first part of their duel. While they are destined to fight to the death because they are opponents in a war only one can win, it takes only a short conversation and a few exchanged blows for him to realize that they are kindred souls--both knights who value the same things and are not willing to sacrifice them to win. Instead, they will find a way to win that doesn't require them to fall to the levels that others might. They will remain honorable and respectful to each other even if the end result of their battle will be one of their deaths. In fact, Diarmuid goes so far as to protect Saber from Berserker's attack later in their fight because their duel is unfinished and the honorable course of action is for them to finish that duel before any other battles are begun. He risks placing himself between her--an honorable warrior though also an enemy--and Berserker--an unpredictable madman--despite the fact that only moments before he was going all out trying to kill her and had wounded her. One might assume that Diarmuid is stepping in to 'protect' her just because of that wound, but that would be an incorrect assumption as proven by his words. Indeed, he is not thinking of the wound at all, at this point. Instead, his focus is solely on what is the honorable thing to do in the situation.

While Diarmuid's relationship with Saber shows how he trying to stay true to his sense of honor while fighting with those he respects, his relationship with another--his master's fiancée, Sola-Ui--shows his attempts to stay loyal. At this canon point, the audience has not seen them interacting yet, but since Sola-Ui is the person who supplies Diarmuid with mana, it is almost certain that she would have been present at his summoning. Since she already seems to have some affection for Diarmuid during the first encounter the audience sees, it is likely she started feeling the effects of his curse early on, setting the stage for Diarmuid's current situation to begin to mimic the one that occurred with Grainne during his first life. It is Grainne who, once under his curse's sway, first tries to make him make the painful choice between honor and loyalty. Diarmuid is bound by his respect for all she is willing to sacrifice to escape her wedding to his lord and by his honor once she places the geis on him to take her away, but giving her what she wants means giving up his loyalty to his Lord--something that it breaks his heart to do. In the end, after a lot of soul searching, Diarmuid chooses to go with Grainne, though he is not choosing honor over loyalty at this point. Instead, he is testing himself to see if he can find a way to keep both even in this difficult situation. (This is one of the times where his unwillingness to give up on what means the most to him really shows through.) However, in the end, he feels he failed in this test and it is that failure that leads him to his wish--a wish to have the chance to serve his lord until the end instead of being forced to betray him, a wish that lets him pick up his honor and loyalty and carry them both to the end. It is because of this similarity to what happened in the past and how it threatens his wish, that Diarmuid will already have a few worries and reservations about Sola-Ui even at this early canon point. The potential for his past to repeat itself, while currently small, is there because she has been affected by the curse just like Grainne was. However, because his determination to do things correctly this time is so strong, Diarmuid seems to believe things will turn out right as long as he keeps trying. That is why, at this time, even if he is worried about Sola-Ui and the past repeating itself, he will outwardly show very little, if any, sign of it. Diarmuid will just keep his worries quiet, preferring instead to focus all of his attention on on remaining loyal and achieving his master's goal in the most honorable way possible.

It is just a shame that his master cares so little for these things that make up so very much of what Diarmuid is.

While Diarmuid's appearance in the anime as of his canon point highlights his high value on loyalty and honor, I feel like it would be an over-simplification of his personality not to mention a few other traits and weaknesses that are part of him, but aren't really shown until later in the series, especially since they are things that may show up during his time in game. First, as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this section, despite being polite and well mannered as fitting a knight, Diarmuid is rather clever and witty with his words, especially when he is excited about being in or comfortable in someone's presence. This is briefly shown during the first part of his duel with Saber when he banters with her even as they are fighting, but it is shown again when he and Saber are fighting Caster in the forest around the Einzbern castle. This wit and lightheartedness ties strongly into his pride and confidence in his abilities, as well as his optimism. After fighting and winning so many battles in the past, Diarmuid is confident enough in his abilities (in fact, his Eye of the Mind (True) ability is a reflection of just how skilled he is) to believe that he will find a way to win. That confidence allows him to be more relaxed in battle, since he is really more used to being there than anywhere else. Unlike some combatants of the Holy Grail War, he is completely at home and looks forward to fighting so that he can bring victory to his master.

Undermining his confidence, though, is something we have only seen a short glimpse of at his current canon point--his emotions. As with many who are so strongly devoted to something or believe passionately in their goals, Diarmuid, at times, wears his emotions on his sleeve. For the most part, he is calm, collected, and in control, but when things start to go against how he believes they should or his path is questioned, that changes. We see this when he practically begs Kayneth to allow him to continue his fight with Saber in an honorable manner instead of along the path Kayneth suggests. Not only is he allowing his wish to finish the battle honorably to cause him to question the man he is suppose to be loyal to, Diarmuid is also allowing any who are watching to see that there is a divide between he and his master--a clashing of ideals and goals. Usually, he would never let something like this happen because it puts both his master and their goals in danger. This is not the only time this will happen as Diarmuid's passion and devotion lead to other instances later in canon where he will allow his emotions to direct him in ways that seems to go against what would be best for his master and their goals. For example, he will willingly destroy his one of his own Noble Phantasms, leaving himself and therefore his master, weaker. Though he does this calmly, he is obviously not thinking of the impact it will have on his fight for the Grail. Instead, he is caught up in being honorable and doing 'the right thing.'

The strongest example of Diarmuid losing control of his emotions happens near the end of his part in the series. After losing Sola-Ui, Kayneth gives Diarmuid a very harsh lecture and devalues everything that Diarmuid holds dear, making it obvious he will never trust nor care for his servant no matter what Diarmuid does. It is clear in the anime, from the few passionate words Diarmuid speaks and then from his silence, he is trying hard to keep himself together. In fact, in the novel it is stated he comes very close to tears during the lecture. This scene and those before it point out that while he is calm and collected most of the time, if certain buttons are pressed, Diarmuid will lose his ability to remain focused and in control, and instead allow his emotions to take over. At this point in his timeline, it will take a lot more to push him to that since he will not have faced the failures he has faced later on, but it is something that could happen under the right circumstances.

Finally, despite having a lot of information put into his head about the modern day (if modern day was around 1990) by the Grail, Diarmuid does have gaps in knowledge about how things in modern day work. For example, while knowing a lot about cars, (enough, in fact that he can tell different kinds by just hearing them) because he lacks the Riding ability he wouldn't know how to drive one. Another example would be while knowing what a microwave is, he wouldn't know how to use it. And, while the Grail does give information about current mindsets and social patterns, it doesn't actively change his beliefs and mindsets. As a result, Diarmuid will sometimes default back to what he expects people to do from when he first lived. This leads to him being a bit more trusting and open than he probably should be since he lived in a much simpler time where things tended to be black and white instead of grey. However, since Kayneth wishes to work from the shadows and the rules of the War themselves dictate secrecy, Diarmuid finds himself at odds, caught between how he is used to acting and how he is being told to act. One example of this occurs when he says more than once during his first fight that he wishes to tell Saber his name because it is the honorable thing to do but cannot. In the game, without his master and the rules of the war to force him into secrecy, Diarmuid will likely begin to shift back toward being open and trusting. This process might actually be expedited because the setting of the game will seem familiar and comfortable to Diarmuid after the rush that is the modern world. He will not care if technology doesn't work here. Magic is something he is more at home with anyway.


While many people might have options when it comes to what court they go into, Diarmuid is one of the characters who does not. As shown in his personality section, he lives and breathes the duty of a knight. Chivalry, honor, and loyalty are all things he would be lost without. In fact, he even states in the series that being a knight comes before being a servant and willingly weakens himself to protect the lives of innocents. Furthermore, if one compares the codes of the Seelie Court to the mottoes of the Fianna (purity of our hearts, strength of our limbs, and action to match our speech) it is easy to see the similarities. As the First Knight of the Fianna, Diarmuid would have followed these rules very closely and will find himself very at home living with the beliefs and values of the Seelie Court.

ABILITIES: (Please note that because of the nature of Diarmuid's canon, many of his abilities are considered far above that of what a normal human would have. I will be marking at least two that may need adjustment or limits within the game, but if there are any others, please let me know! To keep things fairer when it comes to power levels, I often use his sense of fair play to justify him holding back during friendly spars or training, since the goal of those things is fun or learning not life or death like with more serious battles.)

Servant Enhancements:
  • Strength: Rank B--Within the Fate universe a rank B in strength means that Diarmuid's strength is roughly 40 times that of a normal person. While this seems like a lot, compared to many other servants this is actually a weak rating, forcing Diarmuid to rely on other things besides strength when fighting.
  • Mana: Rank D--Rank D in mana gives Diarmuid about 20 times the ability to handle magic as a normal person. This is actually very low for a servant, but since his abilities do not require a lot of magic to be used, he doesn't tend to have too much trouble n battle. This may make it more difficult for him to learn magic in the game setting, depending on how it is being taught.
  • Endurance: Rank C--This ranking means Diarmuid's endurance is about 30 times more than a normal human. Again, this is somewhat low compared to other servants and would explain why he prefers to end fights quickly as opposed to drawing them out over a long period of time.
  • Agility: Rank A+--Speed and agility is where the Lancer class excels and that is obvious from the sudden jump in Diarmuid's ranks. Rank A+ means that Diarmuid's speed and agility are 100 times that of a normal human. This means he can cover great distances very quickly and can move faster than a person with normal vision can see giving the appearance that he is teleporting from one place to another. He is not, of course, it just seems that way because he is moving so quickly.
  • Luck: Rank E--An E rank in luck means that Diarmuid needs to rely on skill, not luck, in battle situations since luck is not often on his side. However, even though his luck ranking is so low, it is still 10 times that of a normal person.
  • Diarmuid does not need to eat or drink nor does he need to sleep. Because they are made of magical energy, servants do not have to eat, drink or sleep to maintain their strength. However, if they feel like it or are low on energy or wounded, they may do any of those things to help themselves recover more quickly.
  • Spirit form: Servants have the ability to shift into a ghost-like spirit form. While this keeps them from being able to interact with anything, it also makes them invisible to most forms of detection and allows them to move through things like walls.
  • Other enhancements: Servants have more general enhancements to all of their senses making them stronger than those of a normal human. Their resistances are also stronger, with some servants having stronger physical resistances and others having stronger magical resistances. Please see the 'other abilities' section for more specific information on Diarmuid's resistances. Finally, because they are made of magical energy, servants tend to heal more quickly than a normal human would. This is especially true if they are able to sleep or eat as mentioned above.
Weapons/Fighting Skills:
  • Gae Dearg: One of Diarmuid's two Noble Phantasms, Gae Dearg is a long, red spear that has the ability to pierce magical projections and enhancements by cutting their ties to the energy that they need to keep themselves manifest. This cutting is only temporary and lasts just as long as the point of the spear is in contact with the object in question. The temporary nature of this ability might limit its usefulness, but if Diarmuid's opponent is over-reliant on magically created or strengthened armor, it can become deadly quite quickly. However, if the magic that the spear is attempting to dispel is too strong or too foreign, the ability may fail completely.
  • Gae Buidhe: The second of Diarmuid's Noble Phantasms is Gae Buidhe, a shorter, yellow spear that has the ability to create wounds that cannot be healed unless the spear is destroyed or Diarmuid is killed. (Note for the Mods: This is the first of the two abilities that I mentioned might need limits placed on it. Since death has such steep penalties in game and only Diarmuid can destroy his spear, removing the curse will be very difficult if alternative methods are not created or the ability itself is not weakened. I am open to whatever limitations you may wish to put on this ability.) Both spears' abilities are always active, which makes them different from other Noble Phantasms. To prevent the weapons from revealing his identity or accidentally harming someone they should not, Diarmuid keeps them wrapped in talisman cloths. These cloths act like a seal and can be released by a thought from Diarmuid.
  • Weapon/Armor Summoning: Because his spears are bound to his soul, Diarmuid can summon and dismiss them out of thin air and at any time. In addition to his weapons, his armor is also bound to his soul and can be summoned and dismissed in a similar manner. While his armor does not seem like much, it is actually much more resistant to damage than it looks.
  • Weapon damage/destruction: Since his spears are part of his soul, Diarmuid is the only one who can completely destroy them.
  • Dual-Wielding: Despite how difficult wielding two different length spears is, Diarmuid is a master at doing it. He is also a master at using one spear, but two is his preferred method of fighting.
  • Other Weapons: Even though Diarmuid was called into the Lancer class, he is not limited to using spears. If for some reason he was unable to use his Noble Phantasms, Diarmuid has the knowledge from his past life to wield many other weapon types including dual-wielding swords.

Other Abilities:
  • Magic Resistance: Diarmuid has high magic resistance with means only very strong magic can hurt/affect him. However, much like with Gae Dearg, if the magic in question is different than the magic Diarmuid is used to, it may be able to bypass his resistance.
  • Eye of the Mind (True): This ability gives Diarmuid a much greater chance of winning a fight or, if winning is not possible, it gives him a greater chance of being able to safely escape battle. This skill stems from the countless battles he has participated in and his ability to calmly analyze a situation. However, as mentioned in his personality section, if his emotions (good or bad) are high, his ability to use this skill will decrease because they are interfering with his ability to think his way through the situation.
  • Mystic Face: For anyone who is familiar with Diarmuid's legend, this is the most recognizable of his abilities...and his curse. When he was a young man, a spell was placed on him that makes any woman who looks at his face fall in love with him. This curse is physically represented by the small mole underneath his right eye. Women who have magical resistance of their own, a strong will, or whose minds operate in ways very different from the norm will have protection from the curse. All others will find themselves falling in love with him whether they wish it or not. Much to his displeasure, Diarmuid has no control over this ability. It is always active. (Note for the Mods: This is the second of the two abilities that I mentioned might need limiting in game, since it will literally take control of a player's character away from them. In the past, games have dealt with this by removing the curse completely or by just making it harder for the curse to take root. I am open to any limitations the moderators might wish to place upon this ability.)

INVENTORY: Diarmuid will not have much with him when he is brought into the game because he will literally be walking away from a battle with another servant and on his way back to his lord's base when he is brought in. What he will have with him will be with him because it is bound to his soul:

  • His spear, Gae Dearg
  • His other spear, Gae Buidhe
  • His armor



[Video]: (Open to both courts)

Taken from one war and placed into another. At least, the setting for this one fits me much better than the other did.

[Diarmuid pauses, a conflicted look filling his eyes for a moment as he tries to decide if he should follow what his lord would wish of him in this situation--a lord who is not here--or if he should take what he feels is the more honorable course of action. Finally, he nods to himself.]

Some here might recognize me as Lancer, but my true name is Diarmuid Ua Duibhne. I did not like hiding my identity in the war back home, and since that war's rules hold no weight here, I will not do it here. Any who I face in battle will know the name of the one who with which they fight. It is the knight's way.

Understand this, I have faced those who I like and respect across the field of battle more than once. I will not let that stop me now, and I ask that it not stay your hand either. We all know why we are here and the duties that come with it. I, for one, fully intend to fulfill my duties completely. You should strive for the same.

It is also the knight's way.

(Alternate sample from the Test Drive, if the above is not sufficient.)


Of course, it had to be boars. Boars on the banners. Boars roasted on the dinner table. Normally, being from the culture he is from, Diarmuid would have no issue with this except it had been a boar that had hunted his life and brought him to his first death. Well...Fionn had a hand in it too, but that is something Diarmuid isn't going to waste time thinking about right now. Not when there are more important things, indeed more pleasant things, to think about...

This world, for example. Despite the boar theme, it is very much like his home was. In fact, he almost expects to see his father walk around the corner speaking with one of this friends or one of the other gods of Tuatha Dé Danann. That is probably why it was so easy for him to let go of the rules of the war he had been summoned back for at home and give his name when he had introduced himself earlier. This place actually respects the rules he has built so much of his life around. There is no hiding in the shadows or teaming up against another in dishonorable battle. There is only the light of honor here. It's comforting.

Still, he has made a vow to his lord back home and Diarmuid is determined to fulfill that vow. If the only way that will happen is to fight and win here first, well, there is nothing to be done about it. He will fight and he will win. It is how it has always been.

Even though the king and queen are busy with other new arrivals and will not see, Diarmuid raises the wine glass in his hand to them in silent toast. Vows don't need to be made aloud to be binding. Those made silently are just as valid and often times even more important.

And this is very important...

(Alternate samples [one & two] from the Test Drive, if the above is not sufficient.)

More in-game information can be found here.