Prologue: The Flames of Trust
42 0 0
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

A young Wyrmkin stands behind a massive set of dragonwood doors. The Wyrmkin is attempting to hide, but his scales serve him no favor, displaying a gleam of fiery red and orange. He tries to lean closer toward the crack in the wood to listen better, but his horns stop him short of his goal. He settles to push his red and black hair out of his eyes and peer between the doors.


Looking in, the boy sees a familiar study. There are weapons lining the walls that upon a glance might be passed off as decorative, but there is a specific sort of glint off some of the bladed items that indicate anything but. There’s also a large wooden desk with all sorts of parchment scattered across. Maps are worn at the edges by frequent, unfurling, unsealed correspondence that could be days, months, or even years old. Half-written letters, in both dry and wet ink. Around the desk are three figures, deep in a hushed conversation


Behind the desk looms a chair where the ethereal being Chaos rests. He seems too small for the chair but still comfortable in a way that makes it clear this is his residence. He’s young—or at least he seems to be. His icy white eyes show an age far beyond his appearance. His hand runs through his colorless hair as he explains what’s to come.


The two Dragonkin before him listen intently. 


The taller of the Dragonkin is Drake, who towers even higher than Chaos’s chair. His forest green scales glow beneath his heavy armor, causing a pale green shine to it. A single horn sprouts off the right side of his head, through his spiked deep green hair. A long slightly curved sheath hangs at his side, the wrapped hilt of its blade the only indication Drake is armed.


Drake’s lover, Hydra, stands next to him. She comes to just a foot or so beneath him. Sparks of lightning trail along the cracks of her black scaled hide. Her armor is an ebony vyderhide adorned in gold trim. She mirrors Drake, a horn jutting out the left side of her head, the base lightly obscured by her wild yellow hair, which is currently tamed in a tie at her back. Her war claws rest at her hip, perfectly complementing her attire.


As Chaos finishes talking, Drake swallows heavily, his hand clenching tightly next to his hilt. Hydra’s arm brushes against his, both Dragonkin dripping in concern.

“And you're sure of this father?” Drake asks, and even though he knows the answer, Drake adds, “There is no other way?”


Chaos’s piercing eyes scan over him. “Yes my child, I am sure. It has been preordained across all timelines.”


 Drake and Hydra share a mournful glance. Hydra’s eyes harden and she straightens her posture. Drake follows suit, turning back towards Chaos.


“Then so be it. I have no intention of dying without a fight.” Drake states.


Hydra echoes his sentiment with her own declaration, “That witch, Nocteria, can come and try it. I won't let her have the satisfaction.”


Chaos nods. The pair make to bow towards him, and formally end the discussion, but Chaos holds up an arm to stop them.


“One more thing my dear children.”


Drake steps towards Chaos, “Of course Father, what is it?”


“While I'll always allow you the freedom to choose, I'd ask that you refrain from sharing the news with your younger siblings.” Chaos’s eyes traverse over the dragonwood doors and onto Drake, “I worry they may do something rash.” 


“Of course Father.” Drake bows his head.


Hydra leans forward, her arm draping around Drake’s. She whispers, “Though you may have some trouble on that front.” 


As she gestures toward the entrance, Chaos lets out a sigh.


“Yes, I know.” He says, his palm pressing into his forehead before he waves off Drake and Hydra. “I'll have a chat with them. You two are free to go.”


“Yes, Lord Commander.” Drake and Hydra say in unison. They perform the High Etherean bow in sync and make their exit from Chaos’s study.


Drake pushes out the door, the aperture forming a barrier between him and the Wyrmkin. His eyes seem to stare down at the boy, even through the solid wood.


“Good luck, kiddo.” Drake says under his breath. He walks off with Hydra, who shoots a knowing glance back towards him.


The Wyrmkin stares after them with a frown on his face, jumping slightly as Chaos’s voice echoes through the partially opened door.


“Don't be shy now, come out from behind there, child.”


He inches himself around the door frame and approaches Chaos’s desk, his eyes finding the pattern of flames across his leisure robes far more interesting than looking at Chaos.


Chaos’s eyes seem to sparkle as he comes into view, “Ah! Ignis! Now, this is a surprise.”


“You knew it was me behind the door though,” The Wyrmkin—Ignis pauses before reaching the desk. His head cocks to the side and he looks at Chaos. “Didn't you?”


“Yes, I did.” Chaos pauses, “And no I did not.”


Ignis fully crosses to the desk, “That doesn't make any sense, Father.” 


“Allow me to explain, then.” Chaos says, and he closes his eyes.

Ignis stares in confusion for a moment. Abruptly, Chaos opens his eyes as a thick blue wave of Mana creeps into the room. 


“My eyes allow me to see all that is and all that is to come; all that be and all that will be.” Chaos blinks, “But as you know, sometimes when we open our eyes they become blurry. Sometimes it's not you hiding behind the door.”


“What do you mean?” 


“Sometimes I have this talk with your younger brothers Aeronix, or Titanus.” Chaos locks eyes with Ignis, “Or your sister Eloquines, whom I know you care about very much.”


Wrymkin can’t blush, but even so, Ignis averts his eyes once more.


“This time, however, I am very glad to see that it is you, Ignis.” Chaos continues, “Tell me what ails you.”


Ignis forgets his embarrassment as the words tumble out, “A-are Drake and Hydra really going to die?” 


Chaos sighs, “Yes my child. For it is the path they have chosen to walk.”


“Can't you do something to stop it?” Ignis’s voice raises in indignation, though he tries to control it.


Chaos leans back in his chair, “What would you have me do to defy Fate itself?”


“I-I don't know, but you’re supposed to be the strongest— you’re Chaos!” Flames spark out of Ignis’s horns as tears flare in his eyes. “How can you not be strong enough to protect your own children?”


“My dear boy, even with all my strength there are some things even I am powerless to stop... This is precisely why I have my children, whom I cherish and love so very much: to learn from my mistakes and succeed where I may fail.” Chaos leans towards Ignis, whispering. “It's the very reason why we are having this conversation.” 

“W–what?” Ignis stutters as he wipes away his tears.


“Do you know why Ifrit chose to bestow the power of the Sacred Flame upon you when you were born, Ignis?” Chaos asks.


“No sir…” Ignis sniffles. 


“Do you think it has to do with your power or strength?” 


“N–no.” Ignis’s claws fall from his face, unsure of Chaos’s point. 


“Do you think it's because he has some absolute knowledge of things to come?”


Ignis shakes his head once more. 


“Then what could it be, my dear child?”


“I am... unsure, Father.” Ignis says. What possibly made him special? Here he was blubbering at Chaos’s vision, when Drake and Hydra stood so tall upon learning of their own slaying.


“It's because of trust.”


“Trust?” Ignis’s look of misery morphs into one of curiosity. 


“Yes, trust indeed.” Chaos stands from the chair and starts to circle the desk. “You see Ignis, flame is one of the most powerful and volatile elements that inhabit our world. You've been given the power to burn away all things around you or simply warm those whose hearts have been frozen.”


Chaos steps towards Ignis, who freezes at his words. “Ifrit entrusted this power to you with the belief that you would know when it was appropriate to use these gifts. This is the same trust I have in you and all of my children to do what you believe is right and be at peace with the choices you make.”


Chaos kneels in front of Ignis, an arm’s length away from him. “And every. Single. Day. I believe that the Great Planetary Wyrm looks down upon you and smiles knowing that he made the right choice.”


Ignis’s tears well up once more, but this time he lets them through. The Wyrmkin buries himself in the comforting arms of the being of Ether. Chaos’s hand lightly brushes through the red and black hair, a ghost of a smile momentarily stretching over his lips.


“There, there. All will be well in time. I only ask that you place the same trust in me and your elder siblings as Ifrit and I have placed in you.” Chaos pulls away from Ignis. Before he lets go of his shoulders he says, “Can you do that for me, my Sun?”


Ignis nods and sniffs away the last of his tears. 


Chaos stands up and looks at Ignis with a raised brow. “Now, is that any way for the future Captain of the Vanguard to respond to his Lord Commander? 


“No sir,” Ignis mumbles, his shoulders sinking.


“What's that?” Chaos says, starting to cross back to his seat. 


“No sir.” Ignis’s voice is slightly stronger. 


Chaos shakes his head, sitting down once more. “Still can't hear you.” 


Ignis straightens to his full frame and screams, “Sir, no sir!”


“That's my boy! Go run along now.” Chaos says. Ignis bows and turns to exit.


“Don't forget this chat we had, okay Ignis?” Chaos calls after him. 


Ignis stops at the dragonwood doors, claw resting on the handle. He turns back towards Chaos, eyes blazing. “Trust me, Father, I won't.”


As the doors to the study slam shut, Ignis leaves and Chaos returns to his desk, unfurling one of the many scrolls strewn about the Dragonwood structure. 


“Now where were we…” he starts as he scans over the scroll.


“Ah, yes…”

In The Beginning.