AKA: Light Warriors
As seen in: Final Fantasy (NES)
Distinguishing feature: Iconic as hell
Strengths: Grinding.
Weaknesses: Unintuitive interfaces.

Profile by Jeremy Parish? | January 19, 2010

Prophecy is a curious thing. A smart prophet -- and the men who go into prophecy for a living are either very canny or very crazy -- will keep things specific enough to be plausible, but nebulous enough to adapt to any situation that suits a willing recipient's needs. But consider this: While a prophet is, as the saying goes, unwelcome in his own town and time, the people who claim to be the subjects of said prophecy are even more likely to be run out of town on a rail. A desperate people might welcome the arrival of a prophesied hero, but if he doesn't perform a miracle of relief in short order he's likely to be reviled even more than whatever originally beleaguered the people in the first place -- and, of course, there's no guarantee that the would-be hero will even be welcomed to begin with.

Consider then the case of the so-called Warriors of Light, four powerful men who many years ago claimed to be the saviors of the land of Corneria. It's a strange incident indeed, for while there was a prophecy that spoke of four champions who would arrive bearing mystic crystals in a time of need -- a description that fit the Warriors to perfection -- the fact was that there was no crisis to speak of. In fact, at the time of their arrival, Corneria was celebrating 2,000 years of peace and prosperity, a feat unprecedented in recorded history. Bards of the day celebrated the land's bounty, the water's purity, the pacific wind, the spark of progress and technology ignited by the harnessing of fire in ever more capable ways.

The arrival of four men claiming to be saviors of the land in the midst of what is now known as the Pax Corneria sent ripples of curiosity through the land. The local media was fascinated by them, and the religions of the day embraced them as signs that all was not well in the land and that true salvation could only come by following the example of these noble strangers, accompanied of course by a healthy donation to the church's coffers. Most decried them as frauds. And yet, the elected government was troubled by these men: They knew arcane lore of healing and destruction, long believed forgotten, they possessed weapons of impossibly fine construction, and then there were of course the crystals. Even a skeptic couldn't deny the uncanny power throbbing within the four spheres; it's said that simply to be in the same room as them would set a man's every last hair on end. But none knew how to tap into the energy within the crystals, and the Warriors claimed this was for the best before hiding them away from perhaps overeager eyes.

Ultimately, the so-called Warriors of Light found themselves unwelcome in Corneria for their strange claim that they were the men of legend, but that they hadn't come to save the land. On the contrary, they claimed they already had. They spoke then of time loops, of reality's möebius strips and causality, of eldritch powers sealed in the wilderness north of the nation's capital city. The Warriors claimed to have battled a primal force of evil that had corrupted the elements and enshrined itself in perpetuity through the manipulation of time, and that the peace enjoyed by modern-day Corneria was entirely thanks to their efforts.

Needless to say, this boast was received poorly by the masses, who pointed to their ability to document civilization's rise through a historical record spanning thousands of years. The Warriors didn't disagree, but simply explained that those thousands of years of progress would never have happened without their intervention. Corneria, they claimed, would have been mired in medieval squalor as powerful monsters roamed the land and life was slowly leeched from the earth.

In the end, the Warriors were driven away -- though not violently, for who would dare fight the most powerful men in the world? The strangers are said to have regarded the mobs of protestors who picketed them with some sadness before quietly disappearing in the night. Rumors abound that they were spotted traveling through the lands to the east in search of signs of a mythical elf kingdom. In the end, their final fate is unknown, yet none has ever been able to put to rest many of the nagging details that suggest a certain truth to their farfetched tale, not least of all the excavation some years later of a buried temple inscribed with otherworldly runes, precisely where the Warriors claimed to have closed the time loop. And so the tale of the Warriors of Light remains, and likely shall remain, an unsolved mystery.

— From the memoirs of A.J. Durai

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