Fire Emblem: The Age of Legend
Aegir. Quintessence. Soul. Energy. Life-force. Power. Spirit. There are no fewer definitions than there are names for this phenomenon, but what all agree upon is that Aegir is one of the most important and fundamental of forces. Possessed by all living things and by many or (according to some) all unliving ones as well, Aegir gives and sustains life. Bereft of Aegir creatures die, receiving it they grow strong and healthy. All living things take it in somehow to sustain themselves. Plants draw it from the earth; animals consume plants or one another; parents pass it on to the next generation.
Aegir is even more than this however; it can be made to do work of all sorts. With sufficient Aegir a warrior’s strength and speed grow superhuman, his skin may turn blades, wounds that would be mortal for lesser people are minor inconveniences, injuries of all sorts heal rapidly, and aging is slowed. In short, Aegir supercedes or overturns natural laws. “Through Aegir are all things possible,” is a common saying across Feryngia. Aegir accounts for Magic of all sorts as well as for much more mundane phenomena. Some believe that in fact there is no other cause of anything whatsoever.
Obviously Aegir plays a very important role in life and culture throughout Fomorti: philosophies and religions of all sorts must account for it, mages of all stripes must study it and depend upon it, all militaries strive to endow trusted soldiers with more of it than their rivals, and the common man tries to gain and maintain as much of it as he can.
Though insubstantial, ethereal, and (normally at least) invisible, some of Aegir’s properties are fairly well known. It is believed to behave like a gas in some respects, possibly flowing in currents within or on the world. If not contained it tends to disperse and while it can be trapped, increasing its concentratation in a vessel (Such as the human body or a staff becomes increasingly difficult and eventually impossible. If the container is broken or damaged (i.e. by a wound), the Aegir begins to escape and thus injuries lead to death. It does sometimes seem to defy these normal laws, however. For example, the Aegir of a slain creature tends to seek out the killer and magic can manipulate or control its movement.
While normally Aegir must be ingested in some fashion, it can also be absorbed (at least by humans) simply through exposure to high concentrations of it. This plays a very important role in warfare because most humans have tremendously more Aegir within them than any other animal and thus when a soldier is slain, his Aegir often strengthens the victor. This makes veteran soldiers extremely valuable. Fortunately for the less powerful, humans and perhaps other animals as well have a fairly good sense of how much quintessence nearby people have and can thus often judge ahead of time how a fight is likely to go.
The prospect of developing superhuman abilities and extending one’s life with the stolen Aegir of others is a powerful and insidious motive for murder, but killing a person to take their Aegir is called Hadran or “abomination” and is punished by death in all cultures of Feryngia at least to prevent this.
Notably, some people are more readily able to take in and retain Aegir than others (this ability often declines with age) with the most proficient almost always becoming great warriors or leaders sometimes called Enth or “blessed ones.”