Pale Rider (ペイルライダー, Peiru Raidā?), also known as False Rider (偽ライダー, Raidā?), is the "False" Rider-class Servant summoned by Tsubaki Kuruoka in the True and False Holy Grail Wars of Fate/strange Fake.
Profile[edit | edit source]
Identity[edit | edit source]
The embodiment of pestilence given form by the False Grail. Differing from those called Heroic Spirits, he is only one in name. Far from a "hero", he cannot even be called a Villainous Spirit or Demonic Spirit. Some regions have called him a "curse", and some religions have denoted him to be "divine punishment." He is "disease", that which has existed since time immemorial and that which will continue to exist far into the future. He has lived a shorter life than anyone, and yet has lived a longer life than anyone. Called a horseman who has brought calamity to all, he is that which "let loose" the Black Death that killed thirty million people and came "under the name" of Spanish Influenza that killed fifty million people. Given a physical presence despite not being a Heroic Spirit, he continues to exist in that moment to take the lives of those on the planet to provide himself nourishment for life to begin anew.
Appearance[edit | edit source]
Rider appears as a black cloud, a vague form with no particular shape.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Rider is not based on a hero, or even a human, so he lacks a persona and was only given knowledge by the system of the Holy Grail War. He does not understand human emotion, and he only acts for Tsubaki and his own instincts. He is akin to a robot created without emotions or internal monologue, a mere formless mass of awareness and knowledge about the Holy Grail War. He speaks with a grating sound like the "scraping noise of swarms of insects battling one another" and his words are dread incarnate.
Role[edit | edit source]
Fate/strange Fake[edit | edit source]
Day 0[edit | edit source]
Rider is summoned by Tsubaki inadvertently after she gains Command Spells in the real world and invokes the summoning ritual in her dream world with her desperate pleas for her parents not to leave her alone. Despite "his" nature, she is not scared of "him" because she will no longer be alone. After she introduces herself, "he" takes her parents into the dream world, "dancing" together to forget her abuse and grant her desires. Though she smiles at "him" and thanks "him", "he" merely continues to exist without even giving a nod in reply. She gives "him" the nickname "Mr. Black".
During the battle between False Archer and False Lancer, Rider goes to stop the battle, as it was scaring Tsubaki. False Lancer senses Rider approaching and also notices his nature as a curse of death, which would be especially harmful to them. Because of this, Lancer and Archer stop their battle, though they wish to continue on later, without interruption. Archer also decides to look for the opportunity to take out Rider later, so he won't interfere anymore.
Day 1[edit | edit source]
As the war gradually progresses, Rider finds and infects more and more victims for Tsubaki. At one point, Rider seized a number of veterinary hospitals in Snowfield in order to provide Tsubaki with animals to play with. Jester Karture, a Dead Apostle who is the Master of False Assassin, later arrives in Tsubaki's dream, being accepted by her and, by extension, Rider.
Day 2[edit | edit source]
Jester informs Tsubaki of the battle between True Berserker and True Archer, and their Masters, that is putting the people in the area in danger. This causes Tsubaki to send Rider to "save" the endangered people, with Rider infecting them and taking them to the dream world.
A number of other parties in the war also find out about Tsubaki being Rider's Master, with many of them arriving to fight outside her hospital. Eventually, on Jester's signal, False Rider draws everyone at the battle into the dream world.
Day 3[edit | edit source]
Tsubaki greets Sigma and False Assassin and introduces them to her friend Mr. Black. They see False Rider under a tree and are frightened despite Tsubaki assuring them that Mr. Black is friendly. Later, when Sigma tries to warn Tsubaki's father about Tsubaki being threatened in the real world, False Rider summons the Cerberus from True Archer's King's Order to guard Tsubaki's house in the dream world, enlarging the creature from the size of an elephant to much larger than the house.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
Disease is something that rides on wind, waters, birds, and people, so it can be said that the Rider class is an appropriate designation. "He" is that which has "ridden" "his" way to dominance all over the world, and possibly most of all, by being given an alias by the populace to reflect "his" nature as the embodiment of calamity, "he" has been summoned as such. "His" very nature is a foreign abnormality that proves the False Grail is the least worthy object for the title of "Holy Grail." It is unknown if anyone can even recognize "his" alias or even the fact that "he" has been summoned as a Servant in the first place. "He" is noted to have great strength that makes "his" Master the dark horse of the war.
Rider appears within Kuruoka's dream world, letting loose a black fog over the streets. The contract is formed only within the dream, so none outside are aware of it. "He" is able to facilitate her unconscious dream magecraft by bringing people into the dream world by infecting them from outside, many black spots like bruises appearing of their bodies, and causing them to fall unconscious. While also absorbing their magical energy instinctively, "he" does not take directly from their life force, so their bodies are only disabled. They appear within the dream world with the same black spots covering them, and "he" manipulates them to remove their original personalities and instead become living dolls following Kuruoka's idea of how they should act.
Within the Real World, Rider travels on the wind, and is capable of physically expanding to a large expanse. By expanding much like a Bounded Field, he is able to surround and seal off the City from the outside world, preventing any entity from entering or leaving, returning any and all humans attempting to leave back into the City.
During the Enemy Convergence to Tsubaki's house upon realizing her status as a comatose child, False Rider revealed the ability to even forcibly bring powerful Heroic Spirits such as True Archer and True Berserker into his Dreamworld. Later it was revealed that he was even capable of infecting and taking over the Divine Beasts of True Archer's King's Order as his own, as seen with taking control of three of the four Diomedes and even Cerberus. He even displayed the ability to enhanced the power of these newly acquired servants, as seen where he increases Cerberus's size to guard Tsubaki's home from the incoming threat.
It was noted by False Archer that due to his nature, False Rider can be categorized as a "Curse of Death" and as such is one of the only things that can be considered as one of Enkidu's weaknesses.
Skills[edit | edit source]
- Contagion: A
The Skill of expanding one's territory by splitting itself into viruses and bacterias, then infecting other lifeforms.
- The infected have their body and mind under its control, and the mind is dragged into the world created by its Noble Phantasm. Sometimes it also absorbs mana and other things from them.
- Innocent World: EX
A Skill that pronouncedly reflects the imagery created by humanity's fear of death and disease.
- Since said images are so miscellaneous, mixed and disorganized, they get simplified when recalled, and their nature varies for each person brought into the underworld created by the Noble Phantasm.
- Guidance of the Underworld: EX
The Skill of granting a variety of divine blessings to those it regards as allies, among the ones brought into the territory turned into a Underworld by its Noble Phantasm.
- Since Pale Rider is not really a King of the Underworld, this Skill is slightly different from the Protection of the Underworld Skill that one goddess has.
Noble Phantasms[edit | edit source]
False Rider's first Noble Phantasm is Doomsday Come: Come to Me, Realm of the Dead, Come to Me, an EX Rank Anti-World Noble Phantasm. It grants death and works as the receptacle for its outcome, creating a Bounded World that takes the form a pseudo-Underworld with the Master as its origin point. Since it's strongly influenced by the Master's impression, it's perfectly possible for it to take a stereotypical image of Hell or Heaven, and it's just as possible for it to take the form of complete nihil, as an empty space that crushes souls. When dealing with an emergency, it can pull a target's physical body into the Bounded Field. This Noble Phantasm is actually supposed to work in a smaller scale, but as result of this location and other factors, it is currently producing a wider Bounded Field than it would in a normal summon.
False Rider's Second Noble Phantasm is Kagome Kagome: Sword, Famine, Death, Beast, an A Rank Anti-Army Noble Phantasm. While inside its Bounded Field, it has the Skill to manifest a multitude of things that can bring death upon others, and to use their powers.
If it can arrange the perfect circumstances, it's even possible to reproduce end of the world events from the myths, for as much as its mana reserves allow.
However, since Tsubaki has no knowledge of the Apocalypse, Ragnarök, etc. and didn't want any Hell, it never reached this level. The pronounced name of the Noble Phantasm was changed by the Master.
References[edit | edit source]
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 1, Prologue 5: "Rider"
- Gilgamesh vs Enkidu, translated by food
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 4, Chapter 12: "The Gods Return from Twilight"
- Fate/Strange Fake Volume 4, Chapter 13: "At Last, a Second, and a Third"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 5, Interlude: "Mercenary, Assassin, Vampire II"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 5, Interlude: "Mercenary, Assassin, "
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 6 Interlude: "Mercenary, Assassin, Pale Rider"
- Fate/strange Fake Volume 3, Chapter 7: Day 1, Afternoon