|“||In the world of mages, bloodline is everything. The secrets of magic cannot be discovered in a single generation.||„|
|~ Lord Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi|
Lord Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi is a major antagonist in the beginning and middle of Fate/Zero. He is a very wealthy and successful nobleman and a renowned mage from the Mage's Association and a Euryphis lecturer with a magical lineage that goes back for over nine generations. He is the Master of a Lancer class Servant in the fourth Holy Grail War.
He is voiced by Takaumi Yamazaki in the Japanese version of the anime and Doug Erholtz in the English version, the latter of whom also voices Gin Ichimaru.
Kayneth is a magus with ancient heritage and great status. He was born with immense talent and rarely if ever encountered any hurdles in life. He's a cruel man with a selfish personality. He is a teacher of Waver Velvet but has very little care or respect for the poor boy. After reading Waver's radical thesis concerning increasing magical potential, tore up his student's manuscript after humiliating Velvet during a lecture. Waver, in retaliation, enters the fourth Holy Grail War with Kayneth's artifact and incites Kayneth's anger. Kayneth originally intended to summon Iskander, but with his artifact, a piece of the torn mantle of Alexander, stolen by Waver, he instead summons the Lancer-class Servant Diarmuid Ua Duibhne.
He is engaged to Sola-Ui Nuada-Re Sophia-Ri, the daughter of the head of the spiritual evocation division, through an arranged marriage. They apparently do not get along and Sola-Ui considers Kayneth a coward for not going and attacking the opposing Masters face to face. While he loves her, she does not appear to share the same sentiments.
Kayneth is a cruel and unpleasant man with a selfish, arrogant, and loathsome personality. He is more alert, cautious, and circumspect, compared to Waver Velvet and Irisviel von Einzbern, who both openly stand on the battlefield of the Servants. He prefers to hide himself during the fighting, which earns the scorn of both Rider and Sola-Ui. He holds that all participants of the War will wish to fight honorably as magi, so he feels perfectly safe while inside his strong hold in the Fuyuki Hyatt Hotel. The existence of Kiritsugu Emiya, which goes against such principals to the point where he completely destroys the building rather than facing him in a battle of their magical prowess, greatly angers him. He is also very vengeful towards his former pupil for stealing his artifact and coming into the Grail War with the servant he was intending on summoning. He swore that he would get his revenge on Waver by exploiting the excuse of him being a fellow Grail War contestant to allow Kayneth to find, torture and kill Waver. An act, to Velvet's luck, Kayneth does not get the chance to commit. Strangely, despite all of his malicious, egotistical, and villainous qualities, Kayneth does seem to care and have genuine feelings for his fiance and wife Sola-Ui, despite her loathing and disdain towards him. He still loves her even after she blackmails and betrays him for his Servant Lancer.
Kayneth is a handsome older adult in his mid to late 30s with swift back light blond hair and bright green eyes. He wears navy scholar teacher uniform with white gloves, black pants, and black shoes.
Kayneth is the Master of Lancer in the fourth Holy Grail War and the most active master at the beginning of the War. His participation in the war was merely to increase his own prominence within the Mage's Association. His base of operations at the Fuyuki Hyatt Hotel is on the hotel's 32nd floor and protected by 24 layers of bounded barriers, a countless amount of summoned monsters, various traps, and mystical spatial alterations in the lobby.
While Lancer and Saber fought, he hid behind his invisibility spell and observed the battle. Thanks to Lancer's clever tactic, the battle was turning out to be in his favor until Rider's interruption. When he found out that Waver's participate in the War as well, he revealed his identity to his former pupil and made a deadly threat. Soon after the three-way battle transformed into four then five-way with the sudden introduction of Archer and Berserker. In the middle of chaos when Berserker attacked Saber, Kayneth ordered Lancer to attack her as well. He initially refused but Kayneth forced him with a Command Spell. Thanks to Rider siding with Saber against Lancer and Berserker, and Kiritsugu finding Kayneth via infrared binoculars, he had to retreat.
After Lancer's battle with Saber, Kayneth criticized his Servant for not attacking Saber with all his strength. He winds up arguing with Sola-Ui who calls him a coward for hiding himself from the other Masters and criticizes him for his poor strategy and not thinking of having Lancer work with Saber to finish off Berserker. Their argument ended with Lancer standing up to his master. Lancer convinces her to stop arguing with Kayneth, her immediate submission to the Servant leads Kayneth to suspect Sola-Ui is developing affections for Lancer and would became a source of strife as Sola-Ui developed feelings for the Irish hero. Before he can address the issue, the lower levels of the hotel are attacked by Kiritsugu Emiya and Maiya Hisau. While Kayneth and Sola-Ui interpret the attack as one of the Masters driving people out of the hotel in order to attack Kayneth without any civilian casualties getting in the way and anticipated how to counter accordingly, Kiritsugu and Maiya had actually aimed to destroy the hotel's foundation. Kayneth, Sola-Ui, and Lancer all managed to survive the attack. Kayneth, who made his base the Hyatt Hotel, booked the top 24 floors and transformed it into a magical fortress with various magic barriers, traps, summoned creatures. But he didn't expect that someone would just choose to blow up the basement to collapse the entire building. Kiritsugu did exactly that with several C4 charges. With the protection of Volumen Hydragyrum, Kayneth, Sola-Ui and Lancer just barely managed to survive the building's collapse. In one night he lost all the special equipment and Mystic Codes (aside from Volumen Hydragyrum) he prepared for the War alongside his base.
He moved to an abandoned warehouse and made it his new base. His relation to his wife-to-be worsened with every failure. In revenge Kayneth assaulted the Einzberns. In the first battle with Caster, which was before his defeat, while Saber and Lancer held off Caster, Kayneth set out to defeat Kiritsugu. Using his Mystic Code "Volumen Hydragyrum" that manipulates mercury, he sent it out to search for Kiritsugu. As Kiritsugu observed the Mystic Code's abilities he sees a sliver of mercury "look" through the keyhole of his room. Kayneth then sends his mercury to attack Kiritsugu, the whips of mercury slash through the roof and attack the Magus Killer. Using his internal Reality Marble of Time Manipulation, Kiritsugu escapes and after which he proceeds to hunt Kayneth. In his ignorance, Kayneth mocks Kiritsugu for his usage of "useless" modern weaponry. After using a gun to set the mercury's defense to a certain degree, he then used a more powerful gun that managed to pierce the mercury's old defense, managing to hit Kayneth in the shoulder. Kayneth "corners" Kiritsugu and believes his opponent is going to use the same tactic and prepares to block another attack by maximizing his mercury's defense. Kiritsugu, using his Mystic Code pistol, then shoots his special Origin bullet at his opponent, causing Kayneth's Magic Circuits to go berserk when he blocked it with "Volumen Hydragyrum" at full power. The bullet's destructive special effect depends on how many Magic Circuits are currently active in the target, and unfortunately for Kayneth, all of his were active for maximum defense. As a result, all of his organs were critically injured and his nerves were damaged beyond hope. Kayneth was subsequently saved by Lancer right before he was about to be killed.
Kayneth wakes up only to discover than Sola-Ui has gone nearly insane from her love for Lancer. He was helpless, and Sola-Ui abused the situation to blackmail him. In exchange for healing him, Sola-Ui got the ownership of Lancer. She then proceeds to break off Kayneth's fingers one by one, forcing him to also give her his Command Spells. As a mage, his career is ruined. He was a cripple that couldn't even use magic anymore. The loneliness, frustration and jealousy almost drove him mad. He called the famous puppet-maker in secret. With first-class magical prostheses, Kayneth could finally move once again.
After the battle to defeat Caster, Kayneth approaches Risei Kotomine to obtain the one Command Spell promised as a prize to the Master who manages to defeat Caster. After forcing the reluctant Risei to comply based on Kayneth's assertion of Lancer's role in defeating Caster, Kayneth shoots Risei to prevent the regulator of the war from giving out any more Command Spells and to implicate Kiritsugu as the murderer. He discovers later that Sola-Ui was captured during the battle against Caster. Though furious at Lancer, who was also unaware of Sola-Ui's capture, they are forced to fight against Saber and Irisviel von Einzbern. Watching the duel from a hidden location, Kiritsugu appears before Kayneth with Sola-Ui at gunpoint and offers a mage's contract in the form of a Self-Geis Scroll, an absolute agreement which will render a mage permanently unable to perform sorcery if broken. This means that if Kiritsugu, as the target of the contract's curse, ever breaks the agreement, he (Kiritsugu) will be unable to use sorcery ever again, which helps convince Kayneth to agree. Kiritsugu offers in the contract that Kayneth and Sola-Ui will not be harmed should Kayneth force Lancer to kill himself. After examining the contract to determine its authenticity and considering leaving the country with Sola-Ui alive, Kayneth agrees and orders Lancer to kill himself. Lancer couldn't do anything but curse his opponents as he was forced to pierce his own heart by order of his Master's Command Spell. Guilt stricken and in despair, Kayneth asked Kiritsugu if he and his wife-to-be were free to go. Kiritsugu assures them that he will not harm them, giving him a brief moment of relief. But the contract had a loophole. Kiritsugu only swore not to kill them personally. It said nothing about his assistant, Maiya or anyone else harming them. From a distance, Maiya snipes both Kayneth and Sola-Ui, gravely injuring the mage and instantly killing his wife-to-be. The dying Kayneth who realized that the Magus Killer never intended to spare him or his wife, again pleaded for a swift death, but Kiritsugu refused due to the contract. Seeing this, Saber finally puts Kayneth out of his misery and kills him, disgusted with her own Master's dishonorable methods. In the original version (Light Novel) of Fate/Zero, Saber killed Kayneth by decapitating him, in the animated adaptation of Fate/Zero, however, Kayneth's head is shown to be intact with his body after Saber kills him. It is implied the she may have stabbed him instead with her sword.
Kayneth is renowned for his prowess as a magi, and Kiritsugu initially regards him as one of the three most threatening magi involved in the war in terms of magical power and control, where he ranks second, ahead of Tokiomi Tohsaka who is the third while Kirei Kotomine is the first. He is one of the few magi Kiritsugu calls a "formidable enemy", whose strength is a great enough threat to make him utilize his Thompson Contender.
His magical abilities are attributed to wind and water and he is an expert who is proficient at Summoning, Alchemy, and Spiritual evocation. Kayneth was arguably the best magus in the 4th Grail War in terms of controlling magic and being more magically talented then all the other Magi in the war, like Tokiomi Tohsaka and Kirei Kotomine. His prodigal talent was only matched with his overconfidence and pride in his superiority. While normally limited to the founding families of the Grail War, he has managed to modify the Master-Servant system. He has devised a method to allow two simultaneous connections to Lancer; while he holds the Command Spells for Lancer, the energy to materialize the Servant is maintained by Sola-Ui.
He made his base at top 24 floors at Hyatt Hotel and transformed it into an impenetrable fortress, with various Boundary Fields, traps and even summoned monsters. He also made a spatial alteration at the main lobby to confuse hostile intruders. Unfortunately, by a miscalculation he lost his base and much of his equipment. Despite his loss he still remained a formidable foe until the end.
Kayneth is also proficient at Healing Magecraft and can heal moderate wounds in seconds. The magic can repair the damaged clothes as well and essentially looks like he turned back time. He also knows Illusion Thaumaturgy, as Kayneth initially used this to mask his presence while he controlled Lancer. Through an illusion he became invisible to the naked eye. His voice became untraceable as well. However, Kiritsugu used infrared binoculars to find him.
The Volumen Hydragyrum is the strongest and unfortunately only one remaining of the Mystic Codes that Kayneth Archibald El-Melloi carried in the fourth War of the Holy Grail following the destruction of the Hyatt Hotel. It is the battle tool that Kayneth has the most proficiency in, as his forte is the manipulation of fluids. Its weight can go up to 140 kg.
With 10L of mercury manipulated through magecraft, it has the ability to search, attack and defend. It can attack with the shape of a whip, a spear or a blade that rotate freely, sharper than any razor; like a current of extremely high pressure, it can even cut through titanium and diamond.
However, as the attack of the whip or the blade relies on centrifugal force, the power is at the base, and none on the extremity; thus, knowledge of close-combat allows an opponent to read through the orbit of the attack.
The defensive mode is automatic, reacting immediately to anything that can harm Kayneth, protecting him with a thin, hyper hard membrane stretching around him. A membrane of 1 mm thick as rigid as steel can defend him even from a claymore land mine, and of course, from the destruction of the Hyatt hotel. Even if the user is unaware of the threat, it will react by itself. However, it will only dispatch the optimum power to defend against the immediate threat, thus applying more power than expected allows an attack to break through it.
In hunting mode, tentacles with high sensitivity will stretch out from the main body, examining the vibrations and the pressure of the atmosphere, even searching for sound or heat sources.
Yet, as it has no sense of vision, taste or smell, it is possible to deceive it if it cannot recognize the heartbeat, breathing and body temperature as that of a human.