The war for Elibe's future had ended, and with it, so too had mankind's hope for a bright future.

All of Elibe was united- but not through peace, understanding, and camaraderie.

No, Elibe had been subjugated under Zephiel's rule- soon to be her rule, and… Idunn's thoughts were filled with despair. Why?! Why had the heart all had thought long gone returned now of all times? She'd been Zephiel's perfect weapon throughout the course of the war… or so she'd thought. But as time passed, and Idunn journeyed at his side through each nation, watching, helping, slaying at his side… The unthinkable had happened.

Her heart, once dead, and soul, once gone… had slowly come back to her.

If only her newfound emotions and empathy had been brought about by laughter and joy, rather than weeping and sorrow. She hadn't felt anything at first- Ilia and Sacae had fallen to Bern's forces in the beginning, but when Zephiel took her alongside him into Lycia to lead his campaign in person…

Idunn hadn't been capable of understanding at the time just why there had been such strong opposition at every turn. The united lords of Lycia had fallen before Bern's mighty army. Zephiel had personally slain Hector, the widely proclaimed 'greatest warrior in Lycia,' and marched on the rest of the league from there.

That was where this whole awful mess had begun from. If only she'd known then how she'd feel about all of this now…

The beginning of the end originated in Pherae. Zephiel had crushed the paltry resistance the few remaining knights and mercenaries had put up, before storming into the castle and butchering the lord, a sickly man barely able to lift his own sword. From there, Zephiel's forces- lead by the king himself- had swept across Lycia, crushing the remaining provinces under his boot.

After Lycia, the Western Isles and Etruria followed suit. Despite the last living Lycian 'royal' barely escaping Ostia's fall with his life, courtesy of Etruria's Mage General rescuing him, there was no home for him to return to. Lycia had been so thoroughly decimated that it would take decades before the country regained even a fraction of its prosperity.

Idunn herself was still unsure of the feelings welling up within her were, her soul still fragmented from her transformation so long ago into the Demon Dragon. She'd paid these thoughts no mind at first. She was Zephiel's greatest asset, the key to his plan, and the future ruler of the untainted world. Such confusions had no right to take up space in her mind.

And yet… despite Zephiel's words when she'd first been awakened; that she would liberate the world from the filth inhabiting it… The more Idunn journeyed, as months turned into years… The seeds of doubt were planted in her heart. At every turn, Zephiel's army had been met with unwavering resistance, and Idunn for all her power could not understand why! Why did the humans resist so hard when Zephiel was only trying to liberate the world from evil?!

Idunn desperately wished she'd understood why her foes had fought so hard before it had been too late.

Only now did she understand. The burden on her heart was immeasurably heavy. She was not a liberator, coming to rule a newly peaceful land. She was a mass murderer who would rule over the ashes of a shattered continent. Each village torched, each city brought to ruin… every person Zephiel, his army, and she herself had killed had wanted nothing more than to live, and Idunn had been the weapon that had ensured no other nation had been capable of stopping his conquest.

Alone in her chambers- a humble, spartan room with little more than a bed for her to sleep on, Idunn reflected on her thoughts.

The heavens were impossibly cruel. What God would see fit to return her lost heart to her if only to show her the weight of the atrocities committed by Bern, by her? So much death, so much destruction…

Lycia was shattered. The Western Isles dominated. Etruria, Sacae, and Ilia vanquished. Zephiel was the last living human of royal blood on the continent- his blade had seen to it that no others remained… including his sister.

How in the world had it come to this? There was no one left to challenge Zephiel. No army existed other than Bern's army. The Royal Generals of Etruria were dead. The royal family of Etruria was extinct. The only remaining lord of Lycia was a snake of a man who had turned his coat under promises of glory. Ilia and Sacae had been decimated, and the only remaining citizens within had all pledged loyalty to Zephiel.

And that left Idunn alone- Zephiel was resting now. For once, the hollow king was in a good mood. And why wouldn't he be? All of his enemies were dead. There was no one left to stop him from handing the world over to Idunn.


Idunn wanted no part in it.

Her dreams for so many past nights had been nothing but nightmares, the faces of the many brave men and women she'd slain refusing to leave her dreams, haunting her each night…

Idunn was left alone in the darkness, clutching her dragonstone to her chest, terrified of what the next day would bring.

She wasn't ready. She wasn't ready to lead the new world. She didn't want to lead the new world. In fact… Idunn let out a gasp at the realization- right now, she wanted nothing more than to get as far away from this awful place as possible!

The problem with the world hadn't been mankind- the problem had been Zephiel himself, and only now that there was no solution, no way out, did Idunn realize this.

She… she couldn't be a part of this! She refused to be a part of this!

But… what could she do? She had no allies, no one to confide in. Despite being the single most protected living being on Elibe… Idunn had never felt so utterly alone.

Zephiel would never accept her refusing to lead the new world. Worse, there were far too many war dragons under Zephiel and Jahn's command for any remaining human forces to have a chance at fighting back. Desperately, pleadingly, Idunn wracked her brains, hoping that some idea would come to her. Absentmindedly, the dragon in the form of a young woman turned her dragonstone over in her hands.

It glittered and glowed with power. How ironic- she was the feared 'Demon Dragon,' a creature of unimaginable power, and yet… she'd never felt so powerless before.

A lone thought sprang up in Idunn's mind. An insane, poorly thought-out idea, but nevertheless one empowered by desperation.

The Binding Blade. If… if she struck herself with it… would Zephiel's plans fail? He desired her to rule the new world, and Idunn desired nothing more than to stop him. If she was gone… then what?

It was a crazy, desperate plan, and while Idunn did not want to die, she had even less inclination to live on in an empty world that only reminded her of all the lives she'd helped cut short.

At least she knew where the Binding Blade was. The king had placed it in the throne room, hanging above his throne as a symbol of his power. Perhaps it was foolish that he hadn't destroyed such a powerful weapon… but who was left to wield it? There was no human champion still living to stand in Zephiel's path.

Zephiel slept now, and in a moment of oversight, he had neglected to post guards outside the door to Idunn's room- there was no one who would dare strike at her in the heart of his own castle, he thought- which meant that if Idunn truly wished to act, it was now or never.

The dragon woman left her chambers- and was greeted to blessed silence. The king's quarters were close to her own, as he'd not wanted her to be too far away from him at any given time. She would have to move silently unless she wished to ruin her last-ditch effort by waking up the king.

It was only a short walk from her room to the throne room, which was empty for once. In another world, another time it would've been crowded with guards and other servants upholding their duties even at this late hour…

'How fitting… even his own servants are terrified of him.' Unbidden, the thought crept into Idunn's mind. But it was the truth. She didn't know if Zephiel wasn't aware, but the talk of treason and mass-desertion had been swirling about for weeks now in Zephiel's own army.

With so much blood spilled by Bern, even career soldiers found it harder and harder to justify 'proudly serving' the king who had massacred civilians and laid waste to countries which Bern had been on good, or at least neutral terms with only a few years prior.

Well… no matter. The lack of guard detail in the throne room made this easier for Idunn. It was a simple matter to take the sheathed sword from where it hung behind Zephiel's empty throne.

The weapon felt… odd in her hands. It was an indescribable sensation, like a bizarre mix of a thunder spell's shocking effect running through her hands. Not hard enough to hurt, but strong enough that she almost dropped the sword.

Fitting… the weapon had been made as the ultimate weapon to be used against dragons, not wielded by them.

With the sword in hand, Idunn snuck back to her own room. There was no need for ceremony or any special ritual. Her intent was simple. Two strikes from the blade- one for her dragonstone, and one for her. Sure, the thought of drawing the sword on Zephiel had briefly sprang into her mind, but…

Idunn barely knew anything about wielding a sword beyond 'sticking the pointy end in one's enemy.' She feared a blow from her might do nothing more than enrage the king, at which point there would be no undoing her actions. Idunn resolved to keep to her plan.

She may have had no training or experience with a sword, least of all a weapon as powerful as this, but she could manage a simple swing or thrust with the sword.

It would be awkward and cumbersome, but Idunn knew she wouldn't have trouble turning the blade on herself. But before that…

Even if she was gone, her dragonstone would remain. And Idunn knew that she couldn't leave any possibility that her cursed power could be misused by anyone, even on the off chance that someone else was able to harness the power of her dragonstone.

Phew… just… one strike.

With a nervous gulp, Idunn hefted the sword. Despite not being an overly large weapon, it felt heavier than it should've.

Gently setting her dragonstone down on the stone floor in front of her, Idunn maneuvered the sword in her hand so that she was poised to stab the blade downwards… right into her dragonstone. If the Binding Blade had been made as the ultimate anti-dragon weapon, then logic followed that it would be similarly effective against a dragonstone.

Her hands shook, but not from the weight of the sword.

Was… was she afraid?

No, she couldn't falter now. Idunn didn't want to go back to sleep, when the only thing she'd see in her dreams would be the faces of those she'd slain. She didn't want to put down the sword and sleep anymore than she wanted to wake to a world that Zephiel intended on turning over to her.

She had to do this.

With a soft grunt of effort, Idunn stabbed the blade downwards, right into her dragonstone.


To her surprise… nothing happened.

Frowning, Idunn tried again. The blade of the sword clinked off the mineral of her dragonstone again, this time producing a faint light from within her dark-colored dragonstone. Looking closely, Idunn saw that the stone had started to chip. Good, that was… good. It meant progress, that it was possible to shatter her dragonstone.

A strange calm filled Idunn's heart. She was doing the right thing, she knew. What would come after she was gone, she didn't know. But without her, Zephiel's dream would crumble. No more war dragons would be made. Maybe… in time, humans would once again rise up to overthrow Zephiel's tyranny?

Angling the Binding Blade at the crack in her dragonstone, Idunn gathered up all of her strength, before driving the blade downwards!

Blade met stone in a collision of magical energy.

There was one thing here that Idunn hadn't accounted for. The Binding Blade was the single most powerful human artifact on Elibe, and her dragonstone was the most powerful dragonstone in existence. It may have been corrupted, but deep down it still held the essence of a divine dragon, who in ancient times had been thought of more as gods and goddesses than mortal existences.

Her dragonstone didn't shatter, but… her most recent strike produced an awful, grating screech of noise, followed by a blinding flash of light erupting, light pouring out of both the damaged stone on the floor as well as the sword in her hands!

Still holding the sword, Idunn instinctively brought a hand up to her eyes, trying to shield them from the bright, searing light! Dimly, she was vaguely aware of the sound of shouting outside her door…

But when the light faded from Idunn's room… there was no sign of Idunn or her dragonstone remaining. It was as if the woman had vanished into thin air!

What this meant for Elibe… well, Idunn had achieved her goal, though not at the cost of taking her own life. Her power and presence were forever gone from this dark timeline, and though she wouldn't be around to see it, without Idunn at his side, Zephiel's control on Elibe would wane...


Idunn's eyes fluttered open, and the first thing she realized… was that she was not in her room in the royal castle of Bern.

She wasn't inside at all. Instead… she seemed to be in a forest, of all places. Blinking owlishly as she took in the sights around her, Idunn observed that she was lying in the shadow of a tall tree deep in the heavily wooded depths of a forest somewhere.

Her first thoughts were that she was dreaming, and that she would wake up soon.

But the seconds ticked on, and Idunn's senses gathered more evidence that she was not asleep right now. She could hear the chirping of birds around her, see the sunlight filtering through the trees, feel the earth beneath her…

Sitting up now, Idunn reached down and ran her hand through the grass she was lying on. The soft blades of grass danced between her fingers, and a gentle gasp left her lips. She was awake, there was no doubt of that now. How she had come to this place, she had no idea, but… she was free.

Not only that, but… Idunn felt… rested. For the first time in weeks, she felt as if she had slept a deep, peaceful sleep not tormented by nightmares. Her thoughts were clear, her mind sharp… and she was no longer bound by the will of Zephiel to continue 'purging the filth' in his name. She could go anywhere she wanted.

Standing up, Idunn absentmindedly brushed some loose dirt off her cloak. She was garbed in the same form-obscuring clothes she normally wore, the long, flowing garment shielding her body from the cold of the night that had just passed.

'Where… am I? I… do not recognize this place.' In truth, Idunn did not recognize a great many places. She had spent most of her time at Zephiel's side, and of that, much of it was spent moving from castle to castle or across battlefields, aiding him in each conquest. Peaceful forests were a novelty to her, but a welcome one to be sure.



Idunn's stomach chose that moment to growl noisily. Food. Where was… food?

Oh dear…

Idunn was not unintelligent by any means, but… having been so sheltered for her waking existence in Elibe, she had relatively little idea how to care for herself. She was hungry, but alone in a forest in an unfamiliar location… Idunn had no idea what to do!

Zephiel hadn't been a kind man, but he had never mistreated her. After all, what use was their to abusing a valuable asset? Food had been provided for her whenever she'd needed it, as had a bed to sleep in and clothes to wear.

Now Idunn was faced with a new conundrum; how did one with little to no survival skills provide for themselves in a wholly unfamiliar environment?

Well… if this was a forest, there were likely animals in it. Zephiel's men had brought her game before. Deer shot dead by hunters and the like. Deer lived in forests, didn't they? Granted, Idunn had no knowledge of how to turn a deer into edible meat, but… well, she needed food and it was time to learn how to feed herself.

As she prepared to set off from this hollow in the woods, Idunn's bare foot met warm stone with a painful crunch. A wordless yelp left her mouth, and the pale woman looked down at the ground.

Oh. Her dragonstone. She'd stubbed her toe on her dragonstone.


Her dragonstone?! Reaching down, Idunn picked it up. Sure enough, it was still intact. Despite her earlier efforts, the stone was very much in one piece… though rather than the pristine look it had once had, one side of it was cracked and worn, and held an almost… burnt appearance to it.

She could still feel power swirling within it, but Idunn instinctively knew that nothing good would come from trying to channel the mighty power within now. She had never seen what happened to a manakete with a damaged dragonstone, but she did not wish to find out. The stone was still serviceable in its current condition, in that it would store her full power just fine, but Idunn knew that there would be no transforming into the Demon Dragon with it in this state. If she truly needed to, she could likely repair the stone herself- an ability unique to her alone, coming as part of her ability to create war dragons. The dragonstones they'd wielded had also been created through her power.

But leaving her dragonstone unusable felt… symbolic. It felt like the right thing to do.

That was for the better. Her true power had brought nothing but ruin and misery to the world. And it wasn't like she needed her dragonic might, either. More than a year at Zephiel's side moving from battlefield to battlefield, slaying his enemies alongside him had honed her other magical skills to a deadly degree.

The cool grass and soft earth didn't bother her bare feet, and Idunn set off deeper into the forest, hoping to find… something edible.

Whether by fate or by fortune, after only a few minutes of walking in silence and silently drinking in the picturesque details of the sunlit forest, Idunn heard a voice not too far from her.

"S-stay back!"

A frown appeared on Idunn's face. Though faint, that had been a child's voice, and one unmistakably filled with fear.

Idunn barely even realized that she had picked up the pace, speeding towards the distressed child as she dashed through the underbrush. The sight she came upon stopped her dead in her tracks.

A small child, likely on older than 6 or 7 was curled up in front of a large tree, a burly dark-furred bear advancing on it.

Power swirled within her. Idunn had no need of her dragonstone, cracked as it was, to drive off a beast threatening children. The wild animal roared in alarm as dark energy surged in front of it, cutting off its advance on the terrified child. Then, the roar turned to a strangled gurgle as a swirling vortex surrounded it- a standard flux spell, but devastating with Idunn's power.

As the beast slumped to the ground, lifeless, the sobbing child rushed forward, seizing a handful of Idunn's robe as they cried into her chest.

"Ah… It's alright… You're safe now…" This was… an experience unlike any other. Never before had Idunn used her power to save another life. It felt… good!

Now that the threat was eliminated, Idunn took a moment to look at the child clinging to her.


Her eyes widened, and a strangled, pained gasp left her lips.

He was much younger now, but there was no mistaking the boy. She'd seen him barely a week ago… but under much different circumstances.

Unbidden, Idunn's eyes watered as tears formed in them, and a whimper left her lips.

This was the second time in less than a week that she'd held Roy of Pherae in her arms.

The circumstances couldn't have been more different. He looked so innocent here, compared to the pale, gaunt boy she'd cradled in her arms as he'd breathed his last… That had been the final straw that had broken her, the realization of just how much suffering she'd forced on one individual…

This was fate. No, not fate.

Penance. Idunn had slain him in that twisted timeline she'd escaped from, after helping Zephiel rob him of every last person he cared about.

But here… she'd saved him.

And as Idunn gently lifted the child in her arms, bringing him up so that his chin rested on her shoulder, she knew why she'd been granted freedom from Zephiel, if not how.

She'd gone back in time. Not a long time, in the grand scheme of things. But far enough back that the suffering she'd heaped on this noble, pure soul had not yet happened.

And would not happen, not while she drew breath.

Roy of Pherae would live a long, happy life, surrounded by friends and family, and Idunn would do everything in her considerable power to make it so!

Author's notes:

So… this story kind of came out of left field. But it was one of those ideas that popped into my head and refused to leave, so I've written the prologue for it. More will come. Also, this story is inspired by, but not directly based off of the rom hack Eckesachs, where you play as Bern/Zephiel and conquer Elibe.

There's a number of different factors going on here, and I'm taking creative liberties with a number of elements that aren't properly explained in game, but I won't go into detail here as not all of them are relevant. I'll simply say that I have plans for the following topics…

How Idunn's powers (particularly in regards to the creation of war dragons) works.

The timeline of Roy's family, especially concerning Eliwood and Ninian

Idunn's power level. There's no hint in-game that Idunn can fight outside of her dragon form, but as a nod to the rom hack this story is inspired by, Idunn's stats at this time match her stats from my party in-game, where she was an endgame-level druid. In other words… even without her dragonstone, she's still a terrifyingly powerful magician.

Idunn's Stats:

Druid, level 16

HP: 44

Str: 7

Mag: 28

Skill: 24 (max value)

Spd: 26 (max value)

Luck: 12

Def: 9

Res: 20

Con: 8

Weapon ranks:

Dark Magic: S

Staff: C