Breath of Etheria

Greetings Fellow Travelers...

my name is Legacy and allow me to introduce to you to Etheria, the world of Breath of Fire and the setting stage for our story.

Etheria is a grand world full of mystery, adventure, and magic. A realm where man, elf, dwarf and beast-kin roam the surface, each race striving to stake their own claim among the planet's surface. Etheria is a world where the weak cannot hope to survive for long. Only the strong of heart pave the way for new developments for the new generations.

Now we must venture deep to the North toward the lands of Havenlark, a mysterious region in the Main Continent. For many centuries Etheria flourished with numerous tales of this mystifying forest. That creatures, some nearly extinct, roam Havenlark like any other of their common grounds, creatures that only seem to flourish through the wood's dark fog covered brush.

Several bands of warriors, who have heard the myths of Havenlark, have traveled nearly half the globe to test their skill and wits against the legendary region. Out of all those that have drawn near, none have been able to venture deep into the forest.  Each giving their own accounts about the dark blue mist that blankets the forest floor preventing any of their movements. Sending whole parties of skilled learned man literally in circles. Making it impossible to navigate through the cryptic brush.

Despite the obvious supernatural enchantments placed upon Havenlark's mystic woods, the area is actually more notorious for its infamous sovereign. The legendary archmage Aeon Avanthas Ensor thought to be mightiest wizard and spell caster in all of Etheria. Some even believe that the wizard's own residence, the famed Shadowlight Tower is located in the center of the enigmatic grove.

And thus begins our tale...

The night was calm at Shadowlight Tower. A tranquil wind blew through the trees as a beautiful starlit sky filled the heavens.

The archmage Aeon Avanthas Ensor was peacefully at rest in one of his more favorite chairs with a serene breeze drifting from a near-by opened window. It had been a long time since such a peaceful slumber has befallen the wizard. Vigorous has his timetables been for the last few years, with all the challenges and spell battles. The would-be apprentices desperately seeking to learn the secrets of his trade. Not to mention hordes of misbegotten maidens that foolishly happened to fall for his charms from some past evening or chance meeting.

Yes, it has been a long time since Aeon has found his Tower to be at peace. And such rare opportunities are always to be taken advantage of. 

Another gentle breeze sailed through the air ruffling a few strands of silvery hair from the wizard. A slight grimace appeared on the archmage's face as he slumped even more comfortably into the folds of his crimson red cloak. His appearance was of a fairly handsome man in the latter part of thirty years, though he was far, far, far older then what his presentation would give.

Accompanied with his crop of silver hair, the wizard was usually dressed in royal blue robes with several places where silver, gray, and black intricately laced defensive and offensive spell runes dwelled. Though this night he choose a more heavier scarlet colored material for his dress. The winter season was swiftly approaching and the chill winter nights tended to make the old tower a bit breezier to the wizard's comfort.

Of course if the temperature ever reached a level that the wizard deemed unbearable, he could just cast one of his teleportation spells to send the whole Shadowlight Tower to the Southern Continent where the sun was always shining and the temperature always to the archmage's liking.

Regardless, it was a night of great rest and ease. So the sudden appearance of a great flashing light that emerged in the skies over Havenlark was a great enigma. The beacon of light resembled a large forming mass of silver and blue energy. Rippling stray beams of electricity coursed around the ball as it continued to draw a furiously gleaming light in the air. It hovered there only for a few moments, surrounded with a slight humming sound as the glowing mass continued forming. Then the glowing globe of silvery-blue energy started to plunge toward the surface. Clouds parted way as the swirling sphere of energy continued careening down towards the earth at ungodly speeds.

The orb of pulsating silvery-blue energy, just as it looked as though it was about to collide into soil, arched its decent then streamed-off parallel to the surface continuing with it's surging humming sound. It moving through the cryptic woods known as Havenlark and moving through the mist. The great mist that has prevented the greatest of men from passing was rendered impotent before the might of the chasm of power.

Trees creaked then shattered from mere collision with the orb of silvery-blue light. None seemed to be able to divert this swirling mass of power from its course. Creatures, those that named Havenlark as their home, all parted way from the anomaly. Those that were not able simply faced obliteration.

So on the surge of power moved. Unrestricted. Unchallenged. Unmet. On an undeviating course that lined directly with Aeon's very own Shadowlight Tower.

In the midst of all the chaos the archmage Ensor cracked an eyelid finally awoken by all the devastation. His deep blue eyes that seemed to have a hint of gray, casually glanced towards heavenly arrangement of light that was streaking toward his tower.

Onward came the drawing mass of silvery-blue light with the continuing humming sound that persuaded it. Onward it came not to Shadowlight Tower but more toward its owner, Aeon Avanthas Ensor. Just as the swirling mass of light it came within an arms length of him, the silvery haired wizard narrowed his eyes and a flash of green contracting power flushing into the cycling mass preventing its course totally.

"It seems that some deity is at work," The Master of Shadowlight Tower muttered to himself as he recognized the oddity. It was a Summoning Star. A plane linker. A method mostly used by the gods of the higher planes when they needed to summon a being from one of the lower realms. Of course this was one of the more chaotic methods of invoking a being.

The Summoning Star drew back from its prohibited course, it then started to generate its surging hum once again, building up it's power. The Star then came crashing again only to be forceful prevented by the archmage's barrier. The surging mass collided again and again trying to complete it's relentless course. Each cascading thundering crash seemed to hold the power to collapse the heavens itself, but Aeon's spell ward held fast. It would not break. Could not break unless the mage so desired it.

The archmage turned his head to the side continuing his observation of the Summoning Star. It had been a while since the last time he visited the higher plane, the thought occurred to him. "Ah well, it would be best not to keep them in wait, I suppose," Ensor concluded, while speaking the words that would withdraw his spell ward barrier. In a half a second the coiling light, free from restriction, continued on its course to finally envelope Ensor in its light.

***

 All reality then seemed to have shift onto itself as Aeon was surrounded in the Summoning Star's light. Crass as it may be, but it was a method of sending lesser plane beings to the higher plane, to Nexus the realm where the gods of Etheria roamed.

Several flashes of multicolored lights surrounded the wizard as the pathway between planes opened. The images that mirrored along the conduit of light consisted of several scenes from Etheria's timeline. From the past to the current era, even events that delved well into the planet's future were outlined on the Summoning Star's spectral tunnel. Images that one could only witness once they were here, but were ultimately lost due to the fact, if the person could even comprehend what they were witnessing, they would surely go mad from the weight of all that was being shown.

Of course that only applied to mortals. And Aeon having existed for over five thousands years this coming spring and yet looking like a man that has yet to approach his forth decade was no mere mortal.

The tunnel of light started to lessen as the journey between planes was coming to a close. Aeon stood before huge sky-seeking doors that appeared as if they had no summit. Doors that was actually forged from space and time itself. Whose sole purpose was to keep every type of fathomable being that was not invited out. The Gates of Mahn so they were called, the doorway to Nexus.

It had been almost three thousand years since the last time he seen these doors. The last time being when they where shut tightly upon him. Refusing his entry. An amused smirk consumed his lips when he thought about the events that resulted in his expulsion to the lesser plane. Ah, the foils of his misspent youth.

And they believed that his banishment to Etheria was a great torment. If anything it was his salvation. It allowed him to openly accept all that the lower plane had to offer. All those experiences, all those adventures. Ah, yes...if he had to really think about it. In the end the ones that really benefited were himself.

Though those were thoughts for another day it occurred to the archmage as the doors opened and his admittance to Nexus was apparently granted. So after nearly three millennium of banishment Aeon Avanthas Ensor was admitted through the Gates of Mahn, his next destination Nexus.

***

Osirrius was stubborn god. He was one of very proud features and strong in nerve. It was easy to see how he became the god of the Human race. He represented strength and determination, strength in battle and determination when facing troubling odds.

Granted all those qualities could not help for the fact the god wasn't much in the mental department. (Anything that the Overlord could not solve with bashing, obliterating or thundering it off the moral coil, wasn't worthy of his time.) And with every one of his audiences with the Archmage Ensor he was constantly reminded of his inferiority's.

Osirrius stroked his beard made of pure flame as he pressingly waited for the wizard's arrival. Anxiously he paced back and forth through the ethereal room his brilliantly golden flowing robes following his every step. He truly looked formidable. Standing a full eight and half feet tall. Body solid as steel with rippling with muscles from his full head of crimson flame hair to his bare sandaled feet. He looked liked the pinnacle of strength along with his bronzed colored skin. His eyes also the hue of red, which further instilled fear into most of his opponents, giving them the feel of his burning red glare.

The Overlord really wanted this meeting with Aeon to be over and done with. Osirrius had more pressing matters to deal with. The only reason why he was even present for this was the fact the order came down from Lord Haydian himself. And one did not refute an order cast from the King of the Gods.

Osirrius narrowed his crimson red eyes as he thought of the archmage. The god already knew that Aeon somehow was going to make a fool of him.

***

It was in a matter of a few more moments that the archmage was brought before Osirrius. The god peered down at the mortal from his throne of cosmic light. He continued to eye Aeon, scrutinizing every detail about the archmage, committing it to memory. Though he was sure that it would be a long time before this encounter would be finally removed from his thoughts. He frowned again for what was probably the tenth time in the last hour. The reaper of so much havoc in Nexus, from so long ago, was now standing before him.

How easy it would be to crush this mortal, Osirrius considered. To allow himself to finally be rid of the worm's existence. But then Osirrius remembered who Aeon was in favor of and that stilled his hand. Although he truly despised the wizard, he did not want the wrath of that being upon him. There would be no place in Nexus that could be safe for him.

Osirrius burning gaze continued on Aeon. Any other mortal would be cowering before the god's cosmic glory. Intimidated, yet in awe from the sheer power. The sheer might that the god commanded! Yes, any other mortal would be groveling on their knees, begging that the god wouldn't eradicate their existence across the seven planes.

Yes, any other mortal would. But not this one...

***

Ensor started to grow impatient. From his past dealings with Osirrius, the archmage knew the overlord tended to harbor old feelings. Not to mention the buffoon was very methodical with his thinking and procedures. Specially since time does not past the same for gods as they did for beings from the lower planes. It was not anything uncommon for a god to spend a score of years pondering an issue brought up by one of their dedicated followers before delivering a verdict. Honestly, what was twenty years to someone that faired through centuries while in deep rest?

Aeon did not wished to be involved in such a drown-out deliberation, so it was up to himself to get things on there way. "Why Lord Osirrius, how good it is to see you." The crimson robed wizard greeted. His speech ending in a small bow to the all-powerful being before him. His blue-gray eyes then cut upward. "How does Lady Callisto fair?"

That drew a reaction from the god. "How she fairs is little of your concern wizard," Osirrius' deep booming voice reverberated through the enclosed room. Covering every inch of the room with it's cascading sound. "We shall not have a reoccurrence of what happen the last time you walked this plane," The god quickly added. His hasten speech sending mini seismic quakes throughout the room.

The wizard took the god's disposition in good stride. He gingerly held his chin. "Ah, I see the pain is still deeply sewn," Aeon continued on before the overlord could cut him off. "But alas, shall we get to the reasoning for my abduction, Lord Osirrius. For ye've rudely roused me from a very sereneful slumber. Which I've found throughout the years are often far and very few between."

"Mind you tongue wizard," Osirrius threaten. "Remember your powers have very little effect on this plane of existence..." The god ended. He then reached for his goblet of wine that was placed on a console next to his throne. Just as his fingers were within the neck of the chalice, a glowing aura engulfed the cup, and then item simply disappeared right before the god's eyes.

Osirrius sent a vengeful gaze toward the wizard as Aeon was emptying the goblets remains into his mouth. "Ah...yes. Very little effect indeed, Sire..." Ensor commented. He then made a few gestures with his hand. As if possessed by some spirit, the goblet then floated up through the air to return to its home, the console by the Osirrius' throne.

The overlord of power and strength snarled. Oh, how Osirrius wished he could be granted to take this wizard to one of the nine levels of hell. Roasting in a napalm pit for a few centuries would certainly adjust his abrasive attitude. "Returning to the business at hand," The god stated. "The matters behind why your presence is darkening my domain are quite urgent."

"Do precede," Aeon replied.

"I recently have had a meeting with King Haydian," The wizard made an inquiry about the greater god, but Osirrius ignored his question wanting to press on with the main discussion. "He informed me that some time from now, when all three of Etheria's moons come in alignment, the heavens will open up and deliver to the world a young child."

"A special child," The god continued. "whose arrival could bring the end to everything." Osirrius' glare returned to Aeon. "So...before any of those events can occur. It has been decided that you should take the boy under you wing. So that he can learn of Etheria and learn of the ways of man and beast alike," A grave expression fell over the god's face. "Be warned, fore what you teach him can ultimately determine the fate of all the beings on your world. Be mindful of what he is taught."

Aeon remained quiet for several long minutes pondering the god's words. "I am to be a father to this boy?" The wizard innocently asked.

Osirrius suppressed a groan. Which was more like another small quake, due to the thunderous volume of his voice. "I know it was absurd to me when I heard it first mentioned." He then added under his breath. "Give the boy to a family of Orcs 'fore damning him to be under your tutelage."

"Yer kind words warm my heart, Sire..." Aeon replied taking the openhanded comment. The god grumbled a few words to himself. Something about pealing every extremity off of the wizard's hid. But it was something Ensor wasn't concerned over. He decided to return to significant topic. "When and where will the boy arrive?"

Osirrius shook his head. "It is not fully known." He answered in all seriousness. "But King Haydian believes that it will be close to your Havenlark, so be attentive at all times. As for the time his highness was not certain."

"Ye've not given me much to go from..." Ensor commented though his keen calculating mind was drifting on the subject at hand as well as future preparations he would have to make.

"What is the trouble?" The god jested. "Your wits should be sharp enough. Or have I put too much faith in your abilities." A few tremor-bringing chuckles exit from Osirrius. It was the first time he was pleased throughout the whole meeting.

Then an all-knowing smirk curled on the wizard's lips. His blue-gray eyes shimmering with contemplation. "Well, to know that ye think so highly of me, I am invigorated." 

"Osirrius, why wasn't I notified that you would be having an audience with Master Wizard Ensor?" A new voice asked as the two men in the room turned to see the new arrival. Aeon felt his heart race for a few seconds as he saw her. Lady Callisto.

She would be considered undeniably beautiful by anyone that laid eyes on her. Her eyes where the deepest of blue with a few specks of silver along the centers. A long flowing mane of braided azure colored hair fell along her slender shoulders down the small of her back, trailing close to her delicate toes. Her skin was flawless. A soft snow white color that revealed not a single blemish despite the fact she never, in her life, ever used a drop of make-up. She wore a gown of gleaming silver made from the finest silks from all of Nexus, which seductively hung to every curve of her voluptuous form. It was a radiant dress that fell down to the floor though never seeming to drag as if the goddess took steps that glided upon air. A long slit was made along the side of her gown allowing a very delectable view of a shapely thigh and leg. Her full shimmering lips held the warmest smile as she regarded the wizard. A smile that said at once that she knew him, knew him well. Not only through their close ties, but she knew the man intimately. As a lover.

Callisto narrowed her sparkling blue eyes as she looked toward Osirrius. She was truly displeased that she wasn't aware of the archmage coming. She decided to let the matter drop...for now. The goddess moved across the room. Her moments seemingly more like floating strides then actual full steps as she met Aeon. "Good day to you Master Ensor." The woman's cheeks flaring with a slight hint of blush.

A warm genuine smile fell upon Aeon's lips as he regarded her. "Good day to thee my lady. I must say the millenniums have not even begun to touch yer grace. Yer still as breathtaking beautiful as the first day I met ye."

There have been very few times when Lady Callisto has ever been speechless. Amusingly, everyone one of those times involved the man standing before her. "Master Aeon..." She found her breath. "Such kind words..."

"Have no business in the matters at hand." Osirrius rudely diverted. He could tell where this conversation was leading to. The god rose up from his throne. His crimson glare beating down at Ensor, seemingly enhancing his towering eight and a half feet height. "Aeon, I'd advise you to keep your intention on our discussion," His eyes flared even more. "…not on my wife."

Aeon's glance ascended to meet the overlord's glare. His worries were not with the wounded pride of the god, but on other matters. "Of course...." The wizard gingerly stated brushing Osirrius' threatening tone aside. He then scratched his head as if he was trying to recall something. "Why again have ye summoned me?" The statement was followed with amused giggle from the witnessing goddess.

The flames on Osirrius' head roared as the god's temper boiled. "The boy! Aeon, the boy!!!" The god continued to thunder with frustration. "Damn you, it's almost staggering to think how you could have survived for so many ages."

"Believe me Sire, I know of a few tricks or two." The archmage then cut a glance toward Lady Callisto. She met his glance with a look of all-knowing. Her face once again flushed as thoughts from the past started to resurface.

Oh, another place another time, Ensor mused as he let the memories from so long ago slowly fade away. He then straighten up, turning to a surprised Osirrius that seemed to have miss the hidden innuendo altogether. No matter. "Anyway, fear not. The boy will be in good hands."

"It's those hands that worry me the most," Osirrius grumbled to himself. For some reason that brought a laugh to both Aeon and his wife. Another private thought that was shared between the two. The god was not even certain if he even wanted to know the tale behind it.

"Fair thee well Master Wizard," The goddess sensing the meeting was coming to a close. She wrapped her hands over top of Aeon's giving him a warm farewell. The goddess knew eventually later-on she would have to attend to her husband's wounded pride. Osirrius was a good to her. But he could never replace the one her heart truly loved.

"Fair thee well my lady." Aeon answered her. The wizard brought the goddess hands to his lips.  

"URrrrr!!! Be gone!" Osirrius bellowed, already in the processes of casting the dismissal incantation. "Out of my sight!!!" The god cursed as he extended his hand. Sending another blinding light to engulfed the archmage. Returning him back to his home. And far away from his wife!

***

When Ensor returned to his Tower he immediately went to work beginning his preparations. To think himself a father. The thought almost seem as preposterous as the story behind the babe's fate. But the archmage believed the tale Osirrius spun. Fore far too much would be held in jeopardy if the god was speaking truthfully.

So Aeon furiously continued his arrangements. Making minor adjustments to his tower. Disabling access to certain parts of his laboratory for no wondering babe should ever come in contact with an archmage's laboratory. All the dangerous spell components, not to mention the many vicious types of denizen that the wizard summoned from the abyss from time to time. It would only be a matter of time before all of Etheria would be brought to its knees from all the peril.

In not too long all the wizard arrangements were finished. Of course he was sure he could not plan for every contingency, specially when there were factors that involved a child, but the archmage believe he covered most of the bases. All that was left now was the arrival of the boy.

So on our tale continues…Till we meet next….

****

Author's Commentary:

****

Well hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed the story so far. First, I would like to thank AngelKitty1 for her story "Of Dragons and Angels." That story was really what inspired me to start writing this. I would also like to thank her for being a good friend and also a good Beta-Reader.

Now back to the story, a lot of influences I used in my story actually derived from 'Forgotten Realms' which is an AD&D (Advance Dungeons & Dragons) campaign and not 'Lord of the Rings' who I'm sure a lot of you might be thinking. The reason why is cause I thought the two ideas played well with each other. Plus they give me a chance to create a world of my own rules. Not based on what the video games say. So basically I can do anything I darn well please.

But worry not, I will make good use of my liberties. As you all will see. :-)

Later!

Disclaimer: Breath of Fire is the sole property of Capcom and the rest of their affiliates. Any character or characters used or mentioned are strictly for non-profitable reasons.