I own most everything but the setting and the inspiration.

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Foundation

Screams echoed down the long hallway. Leoric Yevon, the Grand Summoner, ruler of Zanarkand, paced staring down at the black marble floor, just as he had for the previous two days. He studied it, trying to ignore the sounds of his Chosen, his wife, in such agony. It was an agony that he could blame himself for, he knew. It had been his choice to sire an heir with her instead of one of the many worthless concubines of the court.

Beside him walked the Archdeacon Mabon, the man who led the Church of the Creator in Zanarkand. He was the only one who could claim to be an equal of Leoric. His awe-inspiring magic abilities more than made up for his lack of summoning talent. He spoke, his deep voice reverberating through the corridor. "The Supreme Fayth will protect your Chosen. Esselt's life shall be preserved by Her power, if it costs the existence of an Aeon to do so."

"Yes, I have many times been assured that God will keep her with me." He cringed as a louder, high-pitched screech cut through the air. "I should not have pushed her into bearing my heir. One of the concubines could have done so. And without the risk of an important loss."

He stopped as he heard only faint crying. Looking over at the Archdeacon, he bit his lip. The baby must have been born. He waved his hand, gesturing for his companion to check on the situation. He loved his wife and was not going to accept the child if it had caused her death.

"It's a boy!" someone called out from the bedchambers.

As though I did not already know it would be male. The power of the Grand Summoner extended far beyond those of the typical summoner. He was the only man in three hundred years to be strong enough to summon any of the Titan Fayth, the powerful underlings of the Supreme Fayth. Rheia, the Aeon who was essentially the goddess of fertility, had made sure that the child would be male. He had only wanted one child, his male heir, but the mistress who was to give birth to that child instead gave him a female. A worthless female. After that, he had decided to take no chances and called Rheia to him to use her power to bring him an heir.

Mabon stepped back into the hallway after checking on Leoric's wife. He bowed to the Summoner. "It is healthy and your Chosen has been protected, just as the prophecy said."

Leoric nodded and walked down to hallway to see his new heir. To hell with prophecies. Written scriptures don't control how God or the Titans rule this world. He could hardly believe prophecies, even if several relating to his rule had come true. Many of them were impossible fantasies, such as the one of a man rising to become more powerful than greatest of the Fayth. It was supposed to be man in his bloodline, no less.

He entered the room, ignoring the crying of his baby, and pushed past the massed doctors and aides toward the bed he shared with his wife. "Were all of you really necessary?"

One of the doctors said, "We could not risk losing the mother, milord. I am sure you under—"

"Silence. You can all leave; Mabon and I will take care of everything, now."

"But, sire, what if something unforeseen happens to her or the child? We must be on hand to take care of what might happen."

Leoric turned and began guiding the speaker from the room. "If it is unforeseen, then you would not know how to treat it. All that could happen would be by the will of the Supreme Fayth and then you could do nothing. Leave us or I will strip you of your credentials and cast you out on the streets."

As the host of attendants and doctors began to leave, Leoric sat on the bed where Esselt lay. He placed a hand on her cheek and bent down, tenderly kissing her. Smiling, he glanced over at the Archdeacon, who was holding the newborn.

"The child's name…what did you decide upon?" Mabon asked. He did not get a response. "I stand by your father's name. He may not have been royalty but he is the reason you rose so quickly into your cousin's favor."

"My father lacked the talent for summoning. I will not curse my child with his name as I did my daughter with her grandmother's name. I do not need another useless diviner. Divination is for dirt farmers."

Mabon heard a quiet squeak and looked over at the doorway. Peeking around the edge of the wall, Leoric's six-year-old daughter Caderyn was spying on them. He mouthed silently to her, He doesn't mean it. She did not seem to notice him, though. The Archdeacon was used to trying to keep Leoric's family together; if Leoric had had his way, Caderyn would have been tossed out into the city to survive on her own. Her mother was the only reason she was allowed any of the luxuries of royalty.

He took a quick look back at Leoric, who was whispering to his wife, his forehead pressed to hers. One hand gripped one of her own, the other barely touching her cheek, fingers moving ever so gently. "Rheia came through, my love. We have a healthy son."

She smiled and said in a drained tone, "She would do anything for you, Leo, just like me."

The man chuckled, "She has to do anything for me; she is my servant. You, you are my Chosen and all I expect from you is loyalty like mine to you."

"My grandfather deserves the honor of our child's name."

Leoric nodded. Her grandfather had been the first and final emperor of the unified island clans to the south and west of the continent. Leoric's parents had always spoken of the great man who had united the nation of islands through a series of perfect, decisive military victories. The man had been a military genius. He did deserve the honor of being the namesake of the son of the most powerful summoner in Spira, if not all the world.

He stood and walked over to Mabon, taking the boy into his arms. Cradling the child, he whispered, "You will grow to be a great man, my son."

"It is time for the christening. Esselt wishes it now," he said, turning to Mabon. With the infant, he moved to leave the room. The christening was a deeply religious ceremony, especially for those of nobility; Mabon would perform it in the palace Pantheon, where God and the Titan Fayth were all worshipped.

"What name has been decided upon, then?"

"His name shall be Yu. Yu Yevon."

Mabon looked at his friend questioningly. It was not orthodox to name a child after a member of the mother's family. It was unheard of to name a child after one of the barbarians of the South. He held no respect for them as a whole; they were an unclean race, in his eyes. All of them were dark-haired and shorter than average. Their languages had no connection to the tongue of the Ancients. They were savages. He could not deny that Lord Yu had been a great man, though. Yu had come closer than anyone else to uniting Spira as one nation. He had only achieved a loose alliance with Bevelle and Zanarkand, though, as a defense against the Painted Ones from across the Endless Sea.

"You know his name deserves to live on, Priest." Leo began to walk out of the room with his son. "Come, we must have this done."

He left Mabon alone with Esselt. The deacon glanced over at the frail woman. She had an odd look in her eyes. She almost looked as though she was depressed. The woman did not speak to him but he could see that something was troubling her. She looked down at her stomach, touching it lightly with her hand. Tears slid down her cheeks.

Mabon did not have to deal with her, though. She was not his wife. He believed he knew the problem: she felt empty now that the child was gone. He had seen it before.

Shaking his head, he turned to leave. Just as he turned down the corridor, he heard her call out to him.

"He'll be more powerful than God herself."

Such blasphemy. The woman would undoubtedly face Her wrath.

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--Ubiquitous Author's Notes--

I will continue to ignore FFX-2.