While able to be summoned into the Caster class like many author Servants, the Grail found the Berserker class a better fit for famed horror writer Edgar Allen Poe, given both his many stories about madness and grief, and the lies spread about him after his death.
Skill 1: Innocent Monster A. This skill is similar to that of both Hans and Salieri, sharing a similarity with Hans due to the fact that audience’s perceptions of the author were shaped by the stories he wrote. Reading the macabre tales of Poe gave rise to the idea that the author was a depressed, and in some cases, unhinged man who had suffered many tragedies in his life. While his life was filled with it’s share of hardships, he was hardly the miserable figure he is often made out to be. This image of him was also widely spread after his death, as one of his literary rivals got a hold of his estate and published slanderous rumors that he was a drunk and a druggie and a creep and insane and more. Poe did struggle with drink, and the causes of his death are widely debated, but he was hardly all of the things Griswold accused him of being. Nonetheless, these rumors persisted for a long time after his death and have influenced his manifestation as a Servant. The Raven is Poe’s most well known work, and for some reason due to this, this skill also grants him a pair of dark feathered wings.
These rumors around him also tie into his class skill of Madness Enhancement C, along with the precarious mental states featured in his works. It is not hard for a Master to get along with this Berserker, but he rarely speaks clearly and his abilities are complex, making it hard for a Master to make proper use of him.
However, he does gain moments of lucidity when he makes use of his Deductive Reasoning B skill. While not an actual detective (though he deliberately got himself kicked out of West Point), he is regarded as the father of modern detective stories. While this skill is active, Berserker does not regard himself as Poe or even Berserker, instead referring to himself as ‘Dupin’, his detective character featuring in stories like ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’. A logical and rational attitude is adopted, albeit with an overblown manner of speaking similar to that of his normally altered personality, and conversation and planning with his Master is possible. Traps are able to be lain, or solved, and mysteries unraveled. The skill would be of a higher rank if he was summoned into the Caster class.
Berserker possess two Noble Phantasms, which work together in a peculiar but devastating way. The first is The Telltale Heart, the still beating heart of the murdered landlord in the story which drove the protagonist to madness out of guilt and fear. Berserker buries the heart beneath the ground, and slowly over time, the radius of the Noble Phantasm expands, subtly twisting the world around it. The landscape begins to take on a sinister affect, inspiring a sense of fear within those inside. Scenes from his stories gradually creep in as well, and the area is made to be more dangerous and potentially lethal… leading to his second Noble Phantasm, The Imp of the Perverse. An anti-Psyche Noble Phantasm, the Imp of the Perverse affects his opponents minds, tempting them to act on their worst desires, to turn on their companions using the methods provided by the landscape of the Telltale Heart. While for sinful and wicked folk, like most typical Mages, it does not take much to get them to act their worst, but while affected by these Noble Phantasms, an out-of-character feeling of guilt and fear takes hold of them, as they begin to irrationally fear that their crimes will be exposed. Their hearts begin to pound louder and louder, representative of their growing feelings of guilt. Poe hears the beating of these telltale hearts and tracks down the guilt, receiving a boost to his stats when attacking them, intent on ripping out and exposing their sinful hearts. Virtuous heroes and Masters, able to resist the dark temptations of the Imp, stand a better chance at facing Berserker and searching for the Heart, though not without impediment, for Berserker will take their infallibility as indicative of deeper and darker sins, and will come after them with vigor.