Alaia Skyhawk: This is sort of an impulse thing, a random idea I had for a reasonably long story. I figured since I altered Ratatosk's back-story I might as well write a fic based on it. Bear in mind though I won't finish this fic until Restoration and Redemption is done, for obvious reasons.

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I don't own Tales of Symphonia so please don't sue me. I do however own Krishka, Dallinius (Dalli), Aluran, the Alurannai and any OCs, except Sanaro and Annule, who belong to 2123, Mika and Fiuras, who belong to WingedWithFireyMana, and Gaea Silverleaf, who belongs to Sparkling Moon Phoenix, so please don't steal them...

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Summary: (Based on Restoration Series) His existence was unheard of, his life shrouded in secrecy, but just who was this being upon whose shoulders lay the weight of all life on Symphonia? ...Just who was Ratatosk?

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Chapter 1: The First Step

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They waited, thousands of eyes gazing at the mottled brown and blue marble that was their hope for a new life. Long had they prepared for this moment, hundreds of years of planning all for this crucial day... The day they would leave their dark, shadowy homeworld to begin a new life on the bright sphere of Symphonia. They were the Elves, people entwined with the power of mana, who could call on it to command the very elements, and who would call on it to bridge the gap between Derris Kharlan and their future.

They were all tense, anxiously looking around at one another in between checking a rechecking the precious plants and seeds they would be taking with them. Most precious of all though was the seeding tree, cradled with the utmost care by the elven woman who had tended it since its germination just a few weeks before. Held in its engraved silver urn, set in soil sifted to be free of all stones and debris, the tiny Kharlan Tree shimmered faintly as if it too were aware of the momentous event about to take place. It was not the only one watching with bated breath, there was another also among the crowd who remained unseen, hidden from sight, sound, and magic by the will of that life-giving plant.

He stood at the elven woman's shoulder, a spectre who tentatively reached out from time-to-time to brush an ephemeral fingertip against one of the Tree's leaves, as if to reassure himself it was alright. He appeared little more than a boy, a mere child clothed in a blue robe of deepest midnight; his strange red eyes vivid beneath the tresses of leaf-green hair that crowned his head. Those eyes held a hint of fear, fear of what was about to happen... Fear of the unknown place he would soon be forced to journey to. The Tree had created him, him born of its spirit to be its protector just as all Kharlan Trees did at the moment of their birth. Wherever it went, he would follow, that was how it was fated to be.

The Elves began to move and the woman carrying the Tree followed them, the boy hurrying after her with his bare feet whispering silently over the purple stone of the ground. The violet clouds above were beginning to swirl, to reach out towards that distant sphere, forming a bridge that would carry them away from the world which despite the plenitude of mana the darkness of it was slowly killing them... If they stayed the Elves would become a dying race, doomed to eventual extinction. This was likely their last chance; if it should be missed there might not be enough of them left to try again the next time their home's comet-like path would bring them this close to a new beginning.

The boy became even more frightened, his red eyes darting frantically back and forth between his Tree and the trail of mana streaming out across space. He could sense the bridge was wavering; if they tried to cross while it was unsteady his Tree would be destroyed. Closing his eyes he clasped his hands, reaching out with his young strength to grip the mana and stabilise it...

The bridge became solid, the flow of mana in its heart like the swift flow of a river carrying all who stepped into it to the lands so far away...

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It was barren... A land scoured by unforgiving winds, devoid of mana. The Elves looked to the ashen sky, to the purple sphere that was the world they had just abandoned. Mana still flowed through the bridge but soon that would fail... When it did, they would die if the Tree were not planted...

They scattered, searching for a place suitable for the precious plant in the silver urn. It couldn't be placed just anywhere, the spot needed to be free of large rocks, the soil loose enough for it to spread its roots swiftly. Urgent shouts echoed back and forth, until eventually a cry of triumph sent the woman carrying the Tree rushing towards the source.

She climbed the long slope of a hill which rose from the undulating plain, the boy still close and unseen behind her. There at its peak a cluster of her fellows stood around a patch of earth that may as well have been made for the purpose. Hurrying forward, she bid the gathered elves to dig, a hole swiftly appearing in the soil. She then dropped carefully to her knees, lifting the Tree from its basin of earth and setting it in place, her fingers tenderly covering its roots as she whispered.

"Kharlan Tree Ratarani, this is your home now. Watch over us in this new place, and breathe life into this barren world."

The boy stared at the scene, uncertain, until a voice whispered in his mind.

Guide my power across this lifeless land, and hold true its balance within all living things I am to create. Do as others of your kind have long done on the world of Derris Kharlan, and watch over this world as has been asked of me...

Calm settled over the boy, who once again clasped his hands and closed his eyes. The air around the Tree began to tremble, its leaves and branches blazing with power as a great wave of mana rushed outwards over the land. Red eyes snapped open as the boy tilted his head to the sky, his silent cry of exultation ringing out. Blades of grass shot forth from the rolling plains, a distant border ring of young trees bursting forth around the plain, and more distant still as the mana circled the world, yet more forests and plains of grass, and innumerable living things came into being.

Ice capped distant mountains, fire raged deep in the earth, waters flowed into great rivers and lakes, as winds stirred the surface of oceans and caressed the now living earth. Too came golden sunlight as ashen sky became richest blue, blue that would become deep sapphire studded by stars and moon in the depths of the night. He felt it all, every blade of grass and flutter of insect's wing, and in them all he sensed the mana and brought it into balance. He too felt the stirrings of other powers, Great Spirits rising from oblivion to preside over the eight elements, creation, and birth now risen to life in this world, and when those powers did whisper their oaths to the Tree he did hear them, but they not he. He was destined for a different fate than they, a fate tied to the deepest will of the Tree that was as Mother to him.

He lowered his head, a trace of weariness making him sigh as he walked towards his Tree, which in giving life to this world was no longer the tiny seedling from the urn but a firm sapling twice the height of a man. He couldn't give it strength enough to grow more than that, his Soul Link to it was just one thread of light amidst the strength it would have taken to bring the tree to full growth in a single day. Sitting down beside it, he leaned his head against its trunk as the Elves moved away to begin celebrating their new beginning. It was happy, singing softly to him in sweetest lullaby as it also did to the tiny lives he sensed deep in a nearby lake.

He smiled... Those lives were the first to be made, made to live and change and grow; from water, to sky, to land, and then to something in between, before all that came before would be theirs to live as they willed. Those lives would watch over the lands, and the Elves, by their love of the Tree that had created them. It would create more of them in time, he knew, but for now there were but a handful in those waters, who whispered their names to one another as they eagerly set about exploring the reaches of the waters that were for now their home.

Sighing again he closed his eyes, drifting into slumber for he were but a child who had done much this day. Thus as he drifted off into dreams, the Tree murmured in his mind with gentlest pride.

You did well, Ratatosk... my child...

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Alaia Skyhawk: (Grins) Hey, for a random idea this thing has really gripped my attention. Hehehe, expect an update soon.