- 1 Profile
- 2 Role
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Development
- 5 References
Francesca is François Prelati, the friend of Gilles de Rais from the time of Jeanne d'Arc. As Gilles eventually strayed down a dark path that led him to try summoning a demon to relieve his financial difficulties, Prelati was the actual magus in their twisted relationship, with Gilles merely being the patron.
Her past is shrouded in mystery, but what is known is that the spirits who taught her magecraft were themselves students of Merlin himself. Her masters and teachers are apparently still around, but there isn't enough Mystery left in the World to get them to leave their lake in Britain.
Originally male, Francesca has died numerous times and changed bodies, but the first death ended with her recorded as a Heroic Spirit. The Heroic Spirit version has no memories from after that first death. Of her numerous deaths, there are seven where she was left speechless or otherwise overwhelmed, including Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg, Saint Germain, the "consoling witch that is eternally alive", Van-Fem, Satsuki Kurogiri, her teachers in magecraft, and Touko Aozaki. Specifically, with Touko, Francesca was killed 30 times by her after she called Touko by her nickname "Scar Red", until Touko's family finally intervened due to Francesca asking help from them. Touko killed her one last time and told her to "never show your twisted Magic Circuits in front of me again".
Francesca Prelati first became involved with the Holy Grail Wars of Fuyuki after an American organization commissioned her, male at the time, to analyze it in the midst of the Second World War, having ended up working with them due to a recommendation from a person she could never seem to cut ties with. She had not been enthusiastic at first, but once she actually observed the Holy Grail War in Fuyuki, through the use of Familiars, her attitude changed completely. During the Fourth Holy Grail War, the brutal murder of a Lord of the Clock Tower, the loss of fighter jets, the appearances of Ghost Liners, the involvement of spellcasters and schemes by the Holy Church, all caught her interest but two things in particular cemented it:
The appearance of two familiar figures. First was the summoning of Artoria Pendragon, the king guided by her teachers' teacher that she had seen her in her teachers’ water-viewing whispers. But this did not interest her and paled compared to the second individual she knew: her dear friend Gilles. When she saw him, she dropped all her other projects to rush to the scene to meet her friend face-to-face, setting out on a trip from Antarctica to Japan with only the clothes on her back. But she paid for her lack of preparation, for her familiars had been found but deliberately overlooked by the insect familiars of Zouken Matou. Numerous insects had been stationed along her route, and Francesca had ultimately been forced to discard her body at the time after being intercepted by Zouken himself. She was thus too late, the Grail apparently destroyed before she had a chance to intervene and never got a chance to meet her sworn friend face-to-face.
She had been determined to interfere in the Fifth Holy Grail War, but a number of factors coincided to prevent her: Zouken strengthened his wards against outsiders, meaning that she could not observe the War at all; the priest from the Holy Church was extraordinarily skilled at handling external threats; and, when she had tried to investigate Fuyuki during the preparatory period, she had sensed the uncanny presence of at least seven Mystic Eyes focused on the same line and could not afford to approach the city carelessly. The last straw was that she had been in the middle of having her bodies repeatedly murdered by Touko Aozaki.
As a result, Francesca did not know how the Fifth Holy Grail War ended. However, Francesca had patiently observed the workings of the Grail, and brought together a variety of components, such a fragment of the Greater Grail's magical energy that she had barely managed to obtain before the start of the Fifth War, or the "mud" she had unearthed from the ruins of the Fuyuki disaster that had occurred during the Fourth, and constructed a fake Holy Grail in Snowfield.
At some point prior to the War in Snowfield and after the Holy Grail War during Fate/Zero, Francesca had seemingly traveled to a ruined country after it was destroyed by the Mage's Association for attempting to weaponize Magecraft. Having appeared in the country's ruins while still possessing the young body of a young boy. While contemplating and thinking of how weak the country was after its destruction, Francesca/François had come across a few surviving child soldiers coming out of a underground bunker and was thus spared from the destruction. Showing some courtesy, François told them that their country was over and all the "old men" forcing them to be soldiers are dead. One of the boys came to him and asked him that they were searching for their mother, taking a interest, François proceeded to gleefully show them the severed head of their "mother" and tell them that their mother is dead and proceeded to laugh merrily upon seeing their horrified reactions. However François saw that one of the boys was seemingly unconcerned and unbothered by the carnage or his showing of the severed head, taking an interest and noticing that he was "extremely and substantially thin" he decided to take a chance with the young boy and decided to tell him that his mother had died in a country called Japan while fighting in a Holy Grail War and thus then proceeded to take him under his wing.
She has a need for the Grail, apparently needing something on its level to both find and deal with a particular "Great Labyrinth" whose entrance is even risky to look for, so that she may capture "the microcosm of the world" within. To do so, she is willing to rely on simple trial and error, relying on pure chance by repeating it thousands, tens of thousands of times until the human race goes extinct, all for her wish for the Grail, which is "the elimination of Magic through the advancement of human technology", though the wish of her "employers" must be achieved first before her own. Due to her long existence, she has great knowledge of the World of Magecraft and its people and events, as well as ties with many organizations, including the Scladio Family.
Francesca has ankle length light coloured hair that has skull patterns near the ends. She wears a dark ribbon in her hair and a vertically striped top with a short skirt. She also wears a visible garterbelt connected to stockings with bone patterns on them and boots with eye and teeth like designs adorning them. Finally, she wears a pair of fingerless gloves that go up to just below her shoulders and carries an umbrella with her. Orlando's insulting of her may imply she is older than she appears. Apparently, there is a zipper-like opening on her body made of teeth that extends from her ribs to below her navel.
Years ago during his/her first meeting with Sigma, Francesca/François was shown at the time to have possessed and used the body of a young boy that greatly physically resembled the physical appearance and age of his Servant Self, True Caster.
Francesca is a seemingly friendly and cutesy, yet devious girl who is first introduced clapping in congratulations to Orlando Reeve's speech to his soldiers. She finds his serious attitude to be surprising and scoffs at him for believing his side to be the side of good in this Grail War, as she finds playing the role of a villain to be easier than that of a hero because she could use the excuse of being a villain to escape any moral boundaries. Indeed, she later introduces herself and her Servant to Ayaka and Saber as "the masterminds, the bookies, and the troublemakers all rolled into one". She claims to hate Dead Apostles and to be on the side of humanity, but Orlando replies she's just fighting with them over food.
In truth, Francesca or François is shown to only have an interest in making things "interesting", with her explictly stated goal to be working towards making the world "a more fun place". Her "hobby" is observing places where interesting things seem likely to happen through her far-reaching information network and then hurling that information into events unfolding in other places to cause chaos. In addition, Prelati demonstrates that she has an extremely cruel side to her, taking immense pleasure in seeing others despair or suffer. This was fully seen during her/his time in Sigma's former country. When coming across a group of children who were used as the test subjects and who pleaded and asked him for their mother, François proceeded to giddily laugh at their anguish and conjure up a severed head of a woman and merrily tell them that all of their mothers are dead and later laughed happily at the majority of them due to them breaking down in tears. She also holds some interest in Jeanne d'Arc who she identifies as Ruler, but only seeking to defeat and defile her if given the chance, because she wishes to force Jeanne into some sort of despair after sabotaging her ability to perform as the Grail War's mediator. When she saw Ayaka being approached by Assassin and hearing that the planned servant to summon was the King of Knights, Francesca gleefully wondered what "Art" would do if she were to be summoned only to find her Master dead.
Francesca is an essential part of the Holy Grail War of Snowfield, helping in establishing it. Having already observed the Fuyuki Grail Wars, she brought some things, like the mud of the Grail and an old box that stored Avalon, with her to America and used the "substance" from the Fuyuki Grail to contribute to the construction of the Grail. She also contributed to the picking of Masters, working closely with Faldeus Dioland, a representative of the government. Due to a recommendation of Galvarosso Scladio, Francesca herself nominated Bazdilot Cordelion, a leader of the influential Scladio Family, as one of the True Masters, giving him the mud of the Grail and a catalyst to summon Heracles, to the dismay of Faldeus. Francesca also chose Sigma, a mercenary working under her, as one of the True Masters, as she was intrigued to see what an empty person like him would summon and do in the War. She also brought in Haruri Borzak, though, by her own words, only to fill in the roster and also gives the box of Avalon to Cashura to use as a catalyst. Francesca herself is also chosen as one of the True Masters.
At one point before the start of the War, Francesca and Faldeus discuss the chosen Masters in the War and the intentions of Faldeus and the government, that being to drag down the Third Magic to the level of ordinary magecraft. Francesca though is implied to have a slightly different goal, with the Snowfield War being only a footnote in her plan. They also talk about Francesca's numerous deaths, notably her encounter with Touko Aozaki.
After Orlando Reeve addresses his Clan Calatin, Francesca appears to taunt him over his views about the upcoming Grail War. During their discussion, she gets sidetracked into talking about a Holy Maiden, whom she seems interested in defiling to no end.
After Orlando reassures her that he'll do what is necessary, she questions if he tires of being a champion of justice and states that being a villain is much easier. Suddenly remembering, she offers to aide Orlando in dealing with False Caster's requests, but he tells her not to do anything unnecessary. Accepting his answer, she leaves, stating she'll wait for her time in the spotlight.
Francesca later watches Saber and Ayaka Sajyou be arrested by the police, after Saber blowing off the roof of an opera building. She is entertained by the event and decides to summon her own Servant, using her own body as a catalyst. This causes Francesca to summon François Prelati, an older version of her, as True Caster. He quickly catches up with the situation, as well as correctly guessing their wish for the Grail, and is shown having a comedic nature similar to Francesca. They then finish their contract, using a mocking chant. They together continue to observe the events of the War from a giant airship that serves as their workshop at the lowest level of the stratosphere.
Francesca and True Caster are shown talking about Artoria Pendragon's appearances in the Fuyuki Holy Grail Wars, before they notice a large abnormal Servant. This Servant is True Berserker, summoned by Haruri Borzak. When Haruri and Fillia attack Bazdilot's workshop, Francesca sends True Caster to once again stop the battle, which he again manages to do.
Fillia, a strange existence that has taken residence in a homunculus, is shown summoning the Bull of Heaven, Gugalanna, atop Francesca's airship. Though Francesca is somewhat worried by this, True Caster tells her not to worry, as Fillia wants to fight the two "ingrates" on the ground. Francesca though does hope that she would go somewhere else.
Francesca seems to have an in depth knowledge about the Holy Grail War, including the Ruler Class. She has also displayed knowledge of many other events and people of the magical world, having lived a long time. She is implied to be a skilled mage, though her exact disciplines are unknown, but she does use illusion magecraft like François. She has also stated that she has no desire to attain any form of Magic, as she believes it would be meaningless so "late in the game", and instead wants to use the Grail to capture "that labyrinth".
Her workshop is a giant airship, two hundred meters from end to end, in the lowest layer of the stratosphere, twenty kilometers up. Originally a high-altitude unmanned airship that the US military was in the process of testing, Francesca procured it and applied many layers of wards to it such as invisibility, wind-aversion, and more. She piled modification on modification, mystically, scientifically, but also as a matter of taste. That said, it is hardly a mobile fortress, bristling with weapons 'straight out of a scifi novel'. It is simply a two hundred meter balloon used to lift the meager area of Prelati's workshop. Its extreme height meant Francesca could look down on everything.
During her summoning of True Caster she utilizes a unique form of incantation, that greatly diverges from the normal, mentioned being far removed from the traditional incantations for summoning a Heroic Spirit. It also somewhat resembles the incantation used by Ryuunosuke Uryuu.
Although unspecified, its been stated that like her self as a Heroic Spirit, Francesca can also uses Illusions as her primary form of offense during combat. Having been stated to have used it against Zouken Matou during Francesca's attempt to go to the Fuyuki Holy Grail War to meet her old friend Gilles de Rais. However as stated by her about her battle against Zouken, her illusions do not affect insects, therefore this makes any Magus that uses Entomancy as their primary weapon her worst match.
Francesca or rather François, is also shown to be highly well connected with various powerful organizations, as seen where she has ties to the high ranked American organization responsible for the True and False Holy Grail Wars, the Scladio Family, the Aozaki Family and even the upper echelons of Mage's Association. This thus then gives Francesca a great deal of information and resources to draw from in order to fund her "entertainment" and makes things more "interesting". Francesca has even shown to have a level of pull with the world's various governments and connections to some of the most influential and powerful individuals in the planet.
These resources were shown to be vast enough that she could easily obtain high class catalysts for powerful first rate Servants. As seen where she gave Bazdilot Cordelion and Haruri Borzak the "perfect" catalysts to summon True Archer and True Berserker. Francesca was even able to acquire the "mud" from the Fuyuki Holy Grail War in order to assist Bazdilot in polluting True Archer to possess the qualities of an Avenger.
Francesca was also stated to have initially considered giving Sigma Blackbeard's pirate treasure, Paracelsus von Hohenheim's alchemical flask, and Spartacus's manacles/hand-cuffs as catalysts to summon his servant, further emphasizing her immense resources.
As shown but unspecified, François (Francesca) has seemingly developed a unique method of immortality that somehow revolves around reincarnation.
It is noted that she is capable of changing bodies frequently and has inhabited her current one for only three years, all its organs still being fresh.
Although unexplained on the exact mechanics on her method, its been shown that Francesca's immortality is somewhat similar to the immortality of Touko Aozaki. With her having been killed by several immensely powerful beings and yet still managed to reincarnate in a different body later with little trouble. As seen where she was stated to have been completely slaughtered by Kischur Zelretch Schweinorg, Saint Germain, April, Van-Fem, Satsuki Kurogiri, her ancient teachers of Magecraft, Touko Aozaki, Zouken Matou and numerous other adversaries. Touko in particular was noted to have killed her/him several times and yet was never able to truly "kill" her/him and simply cause her to repeatedly reincarnate.
Creation and Conception
It should be noted, Kinoko Nasu was in charge of the scenario of the Saber Wars event in Fate/Grand Order. Nasu consulted Ryohgo Narita when to put out her name. In response to the Saber Wars event, Narita strongly hinted it was true that Francesca is François Prelati and encouraged people to wait for the revelations in Fate/strange Fake.
 Fate/Zero material - Encyclopedia: Gilles de Rais [Servant], p.097-098
Gilles de Rais [Servant]
A nobleman from 15th Century France. As a leader in the French army, he fought alongside Jeanne d'Arc to put an end to the Hundred Years War, and was hailed as a hero who saved his country. But soon after he returned to his territory, he began kidnapping, raping, and killing young boys one after another, eventually coming to be feared as the villain "Bluebeard".
However, it was all-too-common in that era for nobles to disregard the human rights of commoners and treat the populations of their territories as disposable livestock. So, under normal circumstances even killing them en masse shouldn't have been treated as anything more serious than animal abuse. But unfortunately for Gilles, he had an enormous amount of land holdings at the time, far exceeding those held by the Duke of Brittany, and enough to be regarded as a threat by the king himself. On top of that, due to his mind-boggling wastefulness in his private life, his public finances were almost entirely depleted, and there were apprehensions that he may try to sell his land to enemy nations. As a result, he was condemned and executed for his crimes as a pretext for seizing control of his assets.
As for Gilles' relation to sorcery, he turned to alchemy in an attempt to relieve his financial difficulties, and eventually strayed down a dark path that led him to try summoning a demon. But while it's certainly true that he participated in the ceremony, the actual magus was his friend François Prelati – Gilles himself was nothing more than a patron. As such, he is not a Heroic Spirit that qualifies for the Caster class. Or rather, he is not even a proper Heroic Spirit at all. The fact that Ryuunosuke's bogus ritual ended up actually completing a summoning sorcery was, honestly, more or less a total fluke. In that sense, the "Caster" Gilles de Rais is just as much of an irregular Servant as the "Assassin" Sasaki Kojirou.
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 6 - Chapter 20: "Fantasy Becomes Reality"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 4 - Chapter 10: Day 2 "Separate Mornings, Separate Pasts I"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Prologue VIII: "The Star Performers' Feast (Part 1)"
- Fate/strange Fake Manga Chapter 13: "The Passion of a Nameless Soldier (Part 1)"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Prologue IX: "The Star Performers' Feast (Part 2)"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 6 - Chapter 18: "As Dream and Reality are Both Illusion I"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 1 - Prologue IV: Caster, p.127-132
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 2 - Chapter 6: Day 1, Noon "Two Archers and..."
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 2 - Chapter 2: Day 0, Midnight "The Heroic Spirit Incident"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Chapter 9: Day 1, Evening "A Horse Not Yet Pale; Mud Yet Firm"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3 - Chapter 8: Day 1, Afternoon (2) "The Wandering King's Rock'n'Roll"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 4 - Chapter 11: Day 2, Morning "The Gods Return From Twilight"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 4 - Bridge: "One Day, Above the Sky"
- Fate/Grand Order - Saber Wars - Episode II: "Blackbeard Awakens"
- Ryōgo Narita Twitter 8:15 PM JST · Jan 20, 2016