(A/N: As I said, this is a novelization of the original Final Fantasy. I am trying my hardest to base it off of the original ones, using the original names of cities, weapons, and job classes (I.E. Black Belt instead of Monk). Unfortunately, I have to use the Playstation and Game Boy versions as my guide to play, since my NES has long died. So there will be a mix of references, but I will try to stick to the NES version as much as I can. Enjoy :-D)
Prelude Part I
The sun was bright, but her face was covered by a straw hat that was a little too big for her head. She moved through all of the fields, watering as she went. It was too hot for her, but the crops would love it, the few that still remained. Over the last couple years, the harvest had grown progressively worse. This year they would be lucky to harvest enough for the winter months. At least today brightened her mood. The water and sun would do the Earth good. If only there was a way that she could heal the Earth. Maybe that was the reason why she wanted to train as a White Mage. But no, her grandfather needed her. Who else would help him with the crops since her grandmother died a few years ago? Ironically, it was about the same time the earth began to decay.
The sun began to set, and she decided to call it a day. She shut the water off, and wrapped the hose up. Yes, even the water too seemed to be losing its need, and its push. When the crops drank it, it seemed to have less of a growing effect, and even when her and her grandfather drank it, it seemed to have less of a thirst-quenching effect, even after a day of hard work such as hers. She removed the straw hat, and hung it up on the shed, before walking inside.
"Hi Grandpa, how are you?" She asked, looking at her grandfather in the chair in front of the fireplace.
"Oh, just fine. My back's still bothering me quite a bit though," he replied.
"Give me a minute and I'll cook dinner."
"It's already cooking!" Her grandfather exclaimed.
"I would have done it!" She cried back, walking to the sink to wash her hands and face.
"Oh Aeria, you have done so much today, there's nothing wrong with me cooking dinner tonight!" He replied, standing up walking towards the kitchen. "Now go get changed." Aeria nodded and ran upstairs to change. She came back down and quickly swallowed her dinner.
Aeria walked back upstairs and took a bath, to try to scrape off all of the dirt and mud that seemed to enjoy clinging to her skin. It frustrated her to no end, but that was part of being a farmer. Her grandmother never seemed to mind it.
After her bath, Aeria wrapped herself up in her bathrobe, and walked to her room. She brushed out her light brown hair, then opened up the top drawer on her clothes stand. She gently took out the white robes, and rested them on the top, as if they were very fragile items.Aeria then took out the blue crystal, hanging securely on a long blue cord. The sunset's light caused it to glimmer slightly. Both items had belonged to her grandmother in her younger days. The crystal was said to have been passed down all the females in their generation, and one day, the crystal would prove to have a valuable point. But what was that point? No one seemed to know, so Aeria had always treated it simplyas a family heirloom. She lifted the robes up looking at them. Her grandmother must have been only a bit larger then Aeria. A small smile slipped across her lips. She slid out of her bathrobe, and put the robes on.A larger smile crossed her face as shewatched as the white robes settled around her, the red markings around the bottom and the long sleeves. She gingerly lifted the crystal up, and put the cord around the neck, the crystal landing between her breasts. Just as gently, she lifted the hood up, and placed it on her head, her brown curls laying on both of her shoulders.Aeria looked at herself, wishing that she could be a real white mage. Her grandmother had been a white mage, and her great grandmother had been a white wizard, a feat uncommon in the more modern days. Only the truly gifted could become a white wizard, she had been told.
But all of that were the days before Aeria's grandmother settled down with her grandfather in Melmond. The same place where both of her parents had been born, raised, married, and died. Since her grandmother died, Aeria felt this odd feeling of wanting to leave. But she had always forced herself to stay with reasons such as her schooling needed to be finished, and her grandfather needed help. Sure, her grandfather still needed her help, and that was the excuse she found herself using now, but her schooling had finally finished up. She was at the age of 19 now, but because she sporadically could attend classes due to the farm, it took her longer to finish.
"Aeria?" She heard a knock on the door.
"Umm! Give me a minute!" She cried back flustered. But before she could even flip the hood off, the door opened and she found herself staring at her grandfather in shock and fear, as if she had just gotten caught in a rush of oncoming goblins. "Umm…" Aeria's eyes roamed everywhere, trying to find an explanation to give to him.
But he simply smiled. "May I come in?" he asked in a voice that immediately calmed the teenager. She nodded. The old man walked in and sat down on Aeria's smile bed. "You look exactly like your grandmother," he said. Aeria smiled and blushed. "How often do you do this?"
"A lot," Aeria replied quietly.
Much to her confusion, he smiled at her. "Melmond is too small for you too hmm?"
"You want to move grandfather?"
"Oh goodness, no," he replied. "I'm much too old and stubborn to leave this farm of mine now," he explained. "But your mother and grandmother both felt the same way when they were younger."
"Oh yes, your mother never left, but your grandmother traveled the world round before we settled back here. She couldn't wait to get out and see the world, and I was just as foolish."
"I can't leave you grandpa, the farm…"
"Oh don't worry about the farm. We both know it's dying…"
"The innkeeper's boy has offered to help on numerous occasions. Aeria, there's no need to confine you here."
"But…Grandpa…" Aeria trailed.
"The ship in town is from Crescent Island, and it's heading to Elfland and then to Corneria. You're bound to find some direction as to where you want to go in Corneria."
Aeria looked at the old man in shock. For so long she had been dreaming of this, to be able to go on an adventure, and now it was finally going to come true! "Will you really be okay?"
"There are plenty of people looking out for your old grandfather," he replied. "But you'd best get ready, it leaves tomorrow morning!" He smiled, and she smiled back. He picked himself off of the bed, and walked to the door. "Pack light, and be sure to sleep well." As soon as he left her room, Aeria jumped up and giggled. She was giddy and happy, and in shock that something so special could ever happen to her. She rushed around, putting a few belongings into an old sack, along with a some underclothing. She took the robe off, resting it across the top of the drawers. On top of that, she gently rested the crystal. She changed into a long flannel nightgown, and laid down, barely sleeping since her heart was skipping so many beats.
As usual, Aeria was awake at sunrise. She yawned, and stretched, wanting to curl back up under the covers instead of going out into the fields. When she opened her eyes, she noticed that the robes and crystal were still laying out of the drawer, and then she quickly remembered what was happening today. Aeria jumped out of bed, and quickly changed, putting on some simple clothes before putting the robes over it. She put the crystal on, and then put the hood up before once again staring at herself in the mirror.Sleepiness still had its hold on her, but excitement was taking over. A smile crossed her face, and she picked the bag up, swinging it over her shoulder. The young girl dashed downstairs, to find her grandfather already waiting for her. He was holding a wooden staff, which he handed to her. "It was your grandmother's first," he said with a smile. "Let's go, we don't want you to miss your boat." Aeria just nodded.
The walk to the port seemed to be the longest walk it had ever been. She had gone to the port a few times before, to pick up supplies the town needed, or if a family member was coming to visit from Crescent Island, but never before had she left. She felt her legs almost turn to rubber, but somehow found the strength to keep walking anyhow.
"Go on now, they're boarding." Her grandfather said to her, his hand on her shoulder.
"Are you sure…?" Aeria asked.
"Are you calling me senile?" Aeria giggled. "It's not in the beings of a Lockheart to stay still Aeria. Go on, I'll be fine."
"Grandpa, thank you so much," She said, smiling at him.
"Bring back stories now!" He called out to her as she boarded.
Aeria remained on the deck as the ship pulled away from the port. She leaned over and watched her grandfather wave to her. She found herself biting her lip to hold back tears and waved back. A few tears still escaped, and she almost found herself wanting to leap over and rush back into her grandfather's arms. The ship quickly pulled away, and the port was soon out of sight. She wiped her eyes, forced a smile, and quickly pushed through a crowd to rush to the decks below to find her room.
It took a bit of pushing and shoving, but the want-to-be white mage found her room. She unlocked the door with the key that had been attached to her ticket. It was a small room, with barely enough room to stand. There was a bed, a small dresser, and a small bathroom with a shower head above the toilet. "Compact…" she said to herself as she dropped her bag onto her bed. She sat down for a short while, making sure her tears were all dried. She was not going to begin her adventure in tears. She rested her wooden staff against the wall, and then walked back up to the deck.
The sun was now high in the sky, and there were only a few clouds. She leaned against the railing, watching everything around her with amazement. There were many different types of people on the ship. Black mages, fighters, black wizards, white mages, red mages, red wizards, ninjas, common people, dwarves, elves, yes, it was truly incredible. Never before had she seen anything like this.
"Hey, traveling by yourself?" She heard a young man's voice behind her. She turned around to see a boy, probably about her age, wearing the traditional Fighter armor. His hair was a reddish brown, and his eyes were bright blue.
"Y…Yeah," She replied, her fist clutching onto the guard rail of the ship.
The Fighter chuckled to her reaction. He stood next to her and leaned on the guard rail. "Relax, I won't rape you."
"How rude of you!" Aeria said sharply in disgust.
The Fighter laughed. "Hey! C'mon now! I said I wouldn't right?!"
"That's still rude," she replied.
"Well then I'm sorry," he said laughing. "Name's Jake, you?"
"I'm Aeria," she replied quietly.
"Where you from?"
"Melmond," she replied quietly again.
"Well gee, I'm trying to have a conversation with you here girl. You got a boyfriend?" Aeria glared at him slightly. "Oh, I see, you only go for other mages, forgive me then!" He put his hands up and stepped back, bowing his head slightly.
"You're so incredibly rude! Where did you learn manners?"
"On a farm maybe?" Jake replied with a smirk.
"I find that hard to believe because I grew up on a farm," Aeria snapped back, thoughher voice still meek.
"Ohhh so you like the animals and plants huh…?"
"You're such a jerk!" Aeria exclaimed and rushed downstairs and a complete fluster. She heard Jake laughing as she ran downstairs.
"Aye, ye upset th lil lassie ye did," one of the sailors said to the Fighter, whose back was leaning on the guard rails.
"Yeah, I got a tendency to do that," he laughed, shaking his head, causing his hair to go even more nuts. The red crystal around his neck blew slightly in the breeze. "Hey, bud, I gotta question for you."
"Aye, m'lad?" The sailor asked before walking away.
"Aeria there…did you see a crystal around her neck?"
"Ay got only a wee lil glimpse when she turned, but thar was a blue object on the lassie's chest," the sailor replied.
"Yeah, that's what I thought. Thanks," Jake replied, turning around to watch the sea around them. The breeze felt good to him.
The sun was beginning to set, and the mess hall was pretty busy. Aeria found herself a small table against the wall, and ate the food quietly. It was nothing like the dinner that her grandfather had cooked the night before, but it was warm food while it was somewhat chilly on the ship.
"Can I join you?" Aeria looked up to see Jake standing to her left holding a tray. Aeria nodded quietly before turning back to her food. "I want to apologize for earlier. You're right, I was rude."
Aeria just smiled timidly.
"I tend to be a wise-ass when someone's so quiet around me. Makes me feel kinda awkward if you know what I mean?"
"Well, I'd have to say no," Aeria replied before eating her potatoes.
"I noticed the crystal around your neck," Jake said bluntly.
"Oh...oh this?" Aeria asked, holding up the blue crystal up. "It's a family heirloom."
"Aeria, it's more then that if it's an authentic one," Jake said.
"What do you mean if it's an 'authentic one'?" Aeria asked in confusion.
"There's been some rumors that this scholar named Lukahn prophesized about the ones with the crystals. Something about us being the Light Warriors or something."
"Us?" Aeria asked.
"Us." Jake replied, holding up the red crystal around his neck. Aeria hadn't seen it before because it had blended in so well with his armor. "My city sent me out to Corneria to try to find Lukahn to see if there's any truth about it."
"So what's that mean?"
"I don't know," Jake replied, letting the crystal go. It bounced once off his armor before resting. Aeria watched it the entire time. They finished eating in silence. "C'mon, let's go to the deck, there's more room to breath."
"Okay," Aeria replied. They stood up and walked out of the mess hall. Only a few moments later, their table was quickly taken by a few other people.
The white mage and fighter walked upstairs, the chill of the ocean breeze quickly piercing through Aeria's robes. "Looks like it's going to rain," Jake said, looking at the sky. Aeria hugged herself and nodded in agreement.
"How long do you think until we get to Elfland?" Aeria asked.
"Probably tomorrow, assuming the rain doesn't cause us too much trouble. And then Corneria the next day…" Jake said.
"You travel a lot?" Aeria asked in curiosity.
"No, not really. I have a few times to visit my brother in Corneria, but that's about it."
"He lives in Corneria?"
"Yeah, he's a solider. Always trying to get me to enlist…" Jake said. "Guess just not ready to settle down anywhere or tied to anything." Aeria just nodded. As the rain began to fall, Jake held his hand out to catch the beginnings of the rain.
"Aye, Lad, ye best be getting yer lassie down below," The second in command said, walking up to the pair.
"How come?" Jake asked.
"The rain be fallin ere. Wouldn't want her to catch cold."
"Do you want to go downstairs?" Jake asked, noticing the white mage hugging herself.
"No, I'm okay," she replied shivering.
"Come on, we'll-"
"Pirates!" A call cried out as the rain became heavier.
"What?" The second in command cried.
"Pir-" The call was cut short half way with a scream, and then a laugh.
"Ye best be getting yer lassie down lad!" The second in command cried as he ran below to get the other sailors and anyone else who could fight.
"Oh my…" Aeria said.
"Can you fight?" Jake asked.
"My staff's in my room!"
"Can you heal?"
"No…" Aeria said blushing.
"Then take these if I need them!" Jake exclaimed, handing Aeria a few potions. She held them in her arms, watching as Jake drew his sword, holding it on guard. He backed up, so Aeria would be against the wall, and thus a smaller chance that she could have gotten attacked.
"Pirates! Thar be pirates!" A young man dressed in mostly green with a green bandana holding his blonde hair back watched as a sailor rushed past him through the narrow hallways. "Any be fit to fight, move to the deck!" The sailor repeated this message, and the young man watched as the Ninjas, Knights, and assorted Wizards meandered around. He rolled his eyes and dashed towards the stairs to the deck.
"Lad, stay ere!" A sailor said.
"And wait for these slow pokes to get their asses in gear?" He responded crudely, as he pushed the sailor out of the way and dashed up the stairs. As he ran, his left hand moved to his satchel to see if his potions were there. His right pulled his dagger out as he reached towards the deck, where the rain was beginning to pelt down hard. He scanned the area, seeing sailors and pirates fight. He looked towards the right, to see a White Mage leaning against a wall, clutching a few potions, and a Fighter in front of her amateurishly swinging his sword around. He dashed towards them.
Aeria watched as she saw the young man run towards them. She squinted through the rain to see him in what appeared to be a Thief. He ran into the group of pirates, a few moments later emerged, only slightly wounding one and getting himself nearly killed. Aeria gave him one of Jake's potions, uncorking the bottle and splashing the healing contents over him. The Thief stood up, nodded at Aeria and continued to fight next to Jake. What seemed like an eternity later, but really was only a few moments later, the more experienced warriors rushed to the deck, and it only took a short time until the pirates were chased away.
Aeria, Jake, and the Thief all stood still in a daze. "That was awfully stupid of you," An older man, a Master said to the trio.
"You could've gotten killed," a White Wizard said gently, turning her attention towards them.
"There's no way that amateurs like you could've held any of them off, you're lucky you didn't get killed," a Ninja lectured.
"And not even a pinch of magical ability in this one," A Red Wizard said, holding his hand over Aeria, who tried to swat his hand away.
"Well at least we were up here trying!" The Thief yelled.
"And it wouldn't have been any good if you had died!" The White Wizard replied.
In this the Thief glared at the White Wizard and attempted to lunge at her, but Jake held him back. This caused a few chuckles, until the group finally split, and most everyone but the sailors moved back downstairs out of the rain. The three amateurs still stood there in the heavy cold rain.
"Damn bastards…" The Thief muttered.
"Thanks for the help," Jake said. Aeria nodded, hugging herself. "Name's Jake, and this is Aeria."
"Name's Varick," The Thief replied. "Let's get out of the rain now." Jake and Aeria nodded, following Varick inside. The went down several levels until they walked into a room just above the engine room. The room was a little larger then Aeria's, but there were two beds instead of one.
"Room mate's not here?" Jake asked looking around as Aeria sat down on a little stool.
"Just me," Varick replied, throwing himself on a bed. Jake sat down on the other bed, slicking his wet hair back. Aeria sat with her hands folded neatly in her lap. She looked between the two guys somewhat nervously.
Both Jake and Aeria watched as Varick pulled on a light green cord around his neck, and caught the item in his hand. Varick took the cord off and in one sleek move, slid his hand to the top of the cord, and swung the green crystal back and forth like a pendulum. Immediately afterwards, both Aeria and Jake had an expression of surprise. Aeria looked down and moved her hand to clutch hers. However, to her dismay, she discovered that it was no longer there. "Oh no!" She cried. "It must have dropped while we were fighting off the pirates!"
Jake looked over to Aeria, and then looked down to find that his red crystal was missing. "Mine too! I'll go up and check!" Jake exclaimed.
"I'll go with you," Aeria said gently standing up.
"I'm fine. I don't want you to get sick," Jake replied, quickly dashing out of the room.
Aeria watched the door slam, bounce, slam again, bounce one more time, before finally closing. She continued to look at the door, unsure if she should have followed Jake upstairs despite his protests. She was so confused as to what was going on. Suddenly, Varick burst into laughter, and Aeria looked over, even more confused. "What is so funny?" She asked, scowling.
Varick continued to laugh. He held up both Aeria's and Jake's crystals in his left hand, and covered his stomach with his right. Aeria glared at Varick for a moment, before jumping to her feet and dashing out the door. "Jake!" She screamed. Her eyes looked around quickly, trying to find the fighter. Though her robes were soaked, she dashed up the stairs, continuing to shout out his name.
"Aeria?" Jake asked, stopping as he walked up the stairs. He approached the frantic white mage. "What's wrong?"
"Varick!" She exclaimed, somewhat out of breath. "He had our crystals…the entire time!"
"Did you get them back from him?" Jake asked, his voice louder and more frantic then it needed to be.
"No…?" She replied timidly.
"C'mon!" He exclaimed, grabbing her wrist. They flew down the stairs, back towards Varick's room. Jake opened the door, and scanned the room quickly. Aeria stepped up next to him, also scanning the empty room.
"Damn it…" Jake cursed under his breath as he walked into the room. Aeria stood at the doorway, yelling at herself in her own mind for her stupidity.
That's that for the first part of the prelude. I realized it was getting really really long, so I decided that it was necessary to split in half. After that the real story will be getting underway. I hope you enjoyed this, and I'll try not to procrastinate too long on getting the next part of the prelude to you. ;-D Toodles!