Familiars (使い魔, Tsukaima?) are special assistants used by the magi. Since it's natural for a magus to separate himself from society, the use of familiars capable of performing small, simple errands is considered orthodox. Although a different entity, familiars are seen as an extension of the magus as there is both a mental and physical connection between the two. The symbol of the magus itself and fundamentally different from creatures like the Daemons or Spirits who are summoned and then bound by a contract.
There are several ways to create a familiar. The most traditional is by placing the leftover thoughts of an already departed soul, of a dead human, into the body of a dead animal. Following that, the magus needs to repair the animal corpse so that it can move again and by transferring a part of the magus body, that has a great concentration of Magic Circuits (eyes, hair, blood, etc.), into the body of the dead creature in order to give it a new life. The resulting familiar will gain Magic Circuits that the original never had before and will be able to use Magecraft just like the magus. However, magical energy cannot be produced independently and must be supplied by the magus through their spiritual connection. Thus, a familiar requires a master to maintain both its powers and life.
This type of familiar will form its own personality and will be capable of reasoning and acquiring experience apart from the magus while sharing the same knowledge. Mages need something that has about the same level of rationale and reasoning, but can think independently. That way they can act as a teacher, and have the familiar be a teacher to them, too. It is better to discover new things that way, and it also makes it easier for them to realize their own mistakes. There is also a chance of the arising of abnormal powers. A good example of this would be Len, who not only has succubus-like aspects but is also capable of living for long periods of time without a master and forging contracts with individuals other than her creator. However, the presence of a personality also makes this type of familiar more independent from the magus and many magi really do not like that method. But some mages make insurance by passing everything on to their familiars. To explain it simply, it is a spare self that is a little behind on abilities. Important to note that this is by no means a form of resurrection, as the familiar is still a being completely different from the one whose soul it received.
Familiars like the ones mentioned above can be made out of pretty much any creature: cats, dogs, birds, etc. Actual, living animals can be turned into familiars as well and magi prefer this type more as other types since they are quick to create and are easy to control. But these animals become magical monsters over time and the best example for this are the Crest Worms who make up the body of Zouken Matou. Humans can also be turned into familiars, but that is seen as a monstrous act and impractical (due to the magical energy burden) by most magi. Also, familiars without souls can be used, however the modern versions of these are weak.
Completely different types of familiars also exist. Examples of those include magic constructs such as Touko Aozaki's puppets, magical plants like Harriet Frise's Alraune, Golems, Dolls and spiritual beings such as Apparitions.
Nrvnqsr's 666 beasts (or rather body itself) are also familiars. What makes these particularly different from other familiars are that they all are generally equal in power as each one of them is Nrvnqsr himself.
Transfer of the master's consciousness into the body of regular familiars is possible and most magi do so to remote control them while they are out on recon or exploring missions. However, it is impossible to take control of a familiar that has its own soul and personality. In this case, the best that the magus can hope for is to share the familiar's senses (like receiving a video-feed of everything that the familiar sees and hears). Even transference into a familiar without a soul doesn't mean that the magus has completely transferred himself. Destruction of the body (this also includes through natural means like aging) of the magus will mean the destruction of the soul of the magus. But there are ways to get around this, for instance, complete transference of the soul using the Dress of Heaven, Roa's resurrection, or the vampiric method that Zouken Matou had resorted to.
List of Familiars
- Alraune - Harriet Frise
- Amethyst owl - Rin Tohsaka
- Aoko Puppet - Touko Aozaki
- Bats - Maiya Hisau
- Bees - Haruri Borzak
- Black hound - Cornelius Alba
- Cath Palug - Merlin
- Crystal mayflies - Touko Aozaki
- Daemon Limbs - Kaie Karyou
- Demonic Bees - Odd Borzak
- Demon God - Solomon
- Doves - Semiramis
- Dragon Tooth Warriors - Semiramis, Medea
- Dolls - Ainsworth family
- Engel Rid - Illyasviel von Einzbern
- False Fairies - Misaya Ouji
- Galgen Mainleinn - Serena Sarashina
- Illusionary butterflies - Orlocke Caesarmund
- Jade birds - Rin Tohsaka, Tokiomi Tohsaka
- Len - Shiki Tohno
- Leopard - Caules Forvedge Yggdmillennia
- Leysritt - Illyasviel von Einzbern
- Lugh Beowulf - Touko Aozaki
- Mouse - Waver Velvet
- Nanako - Ciel
- Mephistopheles - Georg Faust
- Mini Cu-chan - Connacht ☆ Medb
- Ploy Kickshaw - Alice Kuonji
- Projection Machine - Touko Aozaki
- Primate Murder - Altrouge Brunestud (Remake)
- Projected Gryphon - Amleth Wotan
- Sealed Box - Touko Aozaki
- Tangere - Latio Crudelis Hiram
- The Four Great Daemon Beasts - Merem Solomon
- Trimmau - Reines El-Melloi Archisorte
- Shadow Giants - Sakura Matou
- Shapeshifters - BB
- Viy - Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova
- White Len - Aoko Aozaki (Formerly), Shiki Nanaya
- Wire hawk - Irisviel von Einzbern
- Worms - Kariya Matou, Zouken Matou
Ghost Liner: Boundary Record Belt (境界記録帯, Kyōkai Kiroku Tai?) is the greatest type of familiar, that is, Servants. Strictly speaking, they are not a familiar and rather falls more towards the side of summoned being. Servants are called familiars only due to some similarities (spiritual connection, dependence on magical energy) and for the sake of formalities. They need to be put in a class of their own however, as it would be impossible to summon Heroic Spirits without the help of the Great Grail and there is no need to use something as powerful as Command Spells to control regular familiars.
"Ghost Liner" is a Clock Tower term, meaning a manifestation of a Heroic Spirit engraved into human history. They are not familiars created by magi themselves, but familiars called forth from the history of humanity itself, so they use the term with the nuance that they are "calling forth a phenomenon that was once recorded." It’s a liner based on the perception that Servants are not living creatures but something more like scrolls and documents.
Puppets (人形, Ningyō?) are a special type of familiar that are not any kind of life form, but rather mystic constructs whose actions are controlled (directly or indirectly) by the magus. Their users are known as Puppet Masters (人形遣い, Ningyō-tsukai?) and follow the philosophy that the magus himself does not need to be strong, but rather he needs to make the strongest creation. Known Puppet Masters are Touko Aozaki, Cornelius Alba, Van-Fem and the unnamed Master of Assassin during the Third Holy Grail War. They are sentry type familiars akin to golems, just differently constructed.
Automata (自動人形, Jidō Ningyō?) are puppets that work autonomously. The leading design in the field of Automata in modern times is Trimmau. It's been said that even though the field of Magecraft which deals with creating artificial humans has already started its decline since the 17th century, this particular Automata was of a completely different essence, and so avoided the problem. Since it is difficult nowãdays to manufacture powerful automatic dolls that can withstand magical battles, modern puppeteers generally collect and use dolls manufactured before the 17th century. But in terms of performance, it is more cost-effective to train a low level familiar, than to build or to buy an automatic doll. Examples include the French dolls-type that the Master of Assassin mentioned above used, which were equipped with deadly weapons for precision killing. Other examples are the Automata from the Seventh Labyrinth of Caubac Alcatraz or the karakuri doll manufactured by the magus Kashin Koji.
The Dead (死者, Shisha?) are the traditional familiars of the Dead Apostles. They deceive death by eating the flesh of their victims in order to maintain their bodies but over half of the absorbed energy is sent to their master. They are created when a vampire's victim, who had his blood sucked and then received some of the vampire's own blood, does not manage to become a Ghoul. They are mindless and soulless puppets that are 100% controlled by their creator, so they are not proper members of the Blood-Sucking Species. As such they can be programmed and manipulated to follow a fixed route or to do other things. They also won't leave a trace when they get destroyed, as their bodies turn into ash.
- Kagetsu Tohya - Twilight Glass Moon, Fairy Tale Princess - a day - Streets - Evening - Arcueid's room
 Kara no Kyoukai Special Pamphlet - Encyclopedia: Cornelius Alba [Person's name], p.031 [T]
Cornelius Alba [Person's name]
Magus. An old friend of Touko's.
Rumour had it that this young man was the next director in line of the Sponheim Abbey, an organization within the Clock Tower.
Although he was fifty years old, he had the appearance of a handsome youth.
As a magus, his abilities were first rate, but his personalities were quite troublesome.
Although it did not appear in the story, his Familiar was a black hound. Alba, who could not easily love another person, favoured creatures who could easily love people.
He had quite an air of a protagonist: donning his crimson long coat and top hat, strutting down the street with his black Doberman by his side.
 Lord El-Melloi II Case Files material - Encyclopedia: Aozaki Touko [Person], p.096
Aozaki Touko [Person]
The Grand-class doll maker that has appeared in some form or other in a multitude of Type Moon works.
In the Case Files timeline, her Sealing Designation was removed when she made her appearance. However, since a certain ending in Fate/stay night has her described as “Sealing Designated,” that will probably only last for a few more years…
Between things like the special “box” she keeps inside for special occasions, to the crystal familiars she collects that fire beams like a certain little sister, in a story like Case Files where magi are the main attraction, her abilities become even more impressive.
After being given entirely free reign in the Iselma incident, she began to follow the Heartless case entirely out of a sense of curiosity. In the middle of the incident, however, the Neutralist faction commissioned her for a formal investigation. In normal circumstances she would have simply refused the assignment, but at that time the compensation she was supposed to receive from Iselma had been reduced to ash (by her own hands). Oh, what a travesty, doll maker!
Furthermore, due to circumstances, she already had experience visiting the Spiritual Tomb of Albion.
From the start, though only for a short time, the reason for the removal of her Sealing Designation was because Millieune Carillon, head of Sealing Designations and the one responsible for removing her Designation, and her were…
- Melty Blood Re-ACT - Arcade Mode - Arcueid route
- Fate/Grand Order material I - Mephistopheles, p.314-325.
 Lord El-Melloi II Case Files material - Encyclopedia: Volumen Hydrargyrum [Mystic Code], p.099
Moon Spirit’s Spinal Fluid [Mystic Code]
Supreme Mystic Code of the El-Melloi family.
The term Supreme Mystic Code refers to a Mystic Code sufficient to be called symbolic of a family of similar level to one of the Twelve Lords of the Clock Tower. In Volumen Hydrargyrum’s case, it was created by Lord Kayneth in his early twenties, a clear demonstration of the once-Lord’s exceptional talent.
Ever changing in form, it is a Mystic Code capable of performing both offensively and defensively without showing any openings. Its true nature however is that of a remote processor.
Upon inheriting it, Reines followed the advice of El-Melloi II and created a familiar out of it, endowing it with an elementary kind of artificial intelligence. It was the best advice for Reines who, rather than having the exceptional Magic Circuits of her predecessor, instead boasted a talent for precise control.
By forcing it to remember Reines’ precise control, the artificial intelligence is able to imitate it perfectly. The newly christened Trimmau being capable of taking so many various forms is primarily a result of this advice she received.
In addition, because of Trimmau’s nature, it has also learned a great many things from Flat’s magical hacking. Though that has included a large amount of unnecessary wit and famous sayings, Reines has thus far turned a blind eye to it for the sake of the other merits it brings.
- Fate/side side materiale 2
- Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 4: case. Mystic Eyes collection train (Upper) - Chapter 3 Part 3
- Lord El-Melloi II Case Files Volume 5: case. Mystic Eyes collection train (Lower) - Chapter 1 Part 4
Fate/Grand Order - Brynhildr Interlude 2: Dear My Little Sister Ghost Liner. Belt of boundary record. Superior spirit status that is the Heroic Spirits, connected to the Human Order. Among the, say, Clock Tower classification of spiritualism magic or more commonly known as summoning art, even the technique that momentarily borrows a part of such a terrifying power is extraordinarily hard to do.
- Fate/stay night - Fate route - Day 3: long day, long night - Tohsaka Rin (II)
Fate/Grand Order - Lady Reines Case Files - Act 1
I see, I understand your existence.
So that makes you what we call Ghost Liners then, does it?
Well, in this case, Heroic Spirits carved into human history.
 Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] I. presage flower Animation Material - Kinoko and Takashi Q & A, p.22 [T]
Q: The mages call Heroic Spirits “Boundary Recording Bands (Ghost Liners),” but is this the actual terminology? And what does it symbolize?
Q: The mages call Heroic Spirits “Boundary Recording Bands (Ghost Liners),” but is this the actual terminology? And what does it symbolize? <Someone at the far end>
Nasu: They are not minions created by the Mages themselves, but minions called forth from the history of humanity itself, so they use the term “Ghost Liners” with the nuance that they are “calling forth a phenomenon that was once recorded.” It’s a liner based on the perception that servants are not living creatures but something more like scrolls and documents.
Takeuchi: Oh, I see. It is true that Heroic Spirits is the common name and doesn’t sound like a Magecraft concept.
Nasu: It’s a term that’s been around from the beginning of the beginning of Fate, even before I wrote the scenarios. But when Lord El-Melloi II’s Case Files was starting up, Mita asked me, “Is there an official term to address Heroic Spirits?” and I presented him with the term. To have it show up in the series world view after 15 years kinda ruins the mood.
Takeuchi: Says the guy who’s been holding back a ton of settings for 20, even 30 years.
？ ＜Someone at the far end＞