Aqua is a human woman who appears to be in her late teens or early twenties. Her hair and eyes are matching shades of blue that both evoke memories of calm, clean ocean water in anyone who looks at her. Her complexion is clear, though years of being trapped in the Realm of Darkness have made her paler than she once was. She is lithe, flexible, and while her stature may not be the most intimidating she carries herself with a refined grace that projects her experience and power to the world around her.
Aqua is tall by female standards, reaching 5'7" while standing at her full height. This, combined with her modest proportions, compliment her aesthetic naturally. She has the body of a swimmer or, at the very least, a fighter who knows the importance of agility and mobility. Her elegance is not limited only to her posture and behavior, but it seems to radiate off of her build as well.
The outfit that has served her well during her time in the Realm of Darkness is both functional and fashionable. The base of it all is the equivalent of a one-piece swimsuit/corset hybrid of a deep navy hue that includes pant legs along with a matching set of knee-high socks made of the same material. Around her neck and chest, the material is even thinner and of a lighter color to boot.
Accenting the deep blue of the top is a pink sash that wraps around her upper body in an X that is affixed to her clothes with a silver pin of the symbol passed down to her by her master. She wears bracers on her upper arms that are able to transform into her armor when she needs it. Attached to the metal with the yellow crystal are long, billowing white sleeves. Beyond those, she wears light grey, fingerless gloves to protect her hands from blisters when she wields her keyblade.
Around her waist are two different sashes. One is longer, light blue, and ruffled at the ends. The other is a simple white scarf, though it's incredibly long so as to wrap around her body several times. When she moves, the two catch the air and flow much like unsteady waters. One wouldn't be blamed for mistaking her fighting style as a type of dance because of them.
My heart is strong! I'll prove it!
Aqua's primary driving motivation is protecting her friends. Terra and Ventus, the boys she trained with during her time in the Land of Departure, are incredibly close to her and people that she will go so far as to sacrifice herself in order to keep safe. Her bonds to them are strong, even for what someone would normally consider friendship. Her strong ties to Terra stem from their long, shared history as well as their strong dedication to upholding the teachings of their Master. Her deep ties with Ven come from the amount of investment and concern that she, Terra, and Master Eraqus put into his recovery after Master Xehanort brought him to them.
Strength of heart carries Aqua through the hardest of trials. Her unrelenting faith in her friends and the connections she has to them act as a wellspring of hope, power, courage, and endurance in the face of anything that presents itself before her. Even when confronted with the death of Master Eraqus, Ven's shattered heart, Terra's fall to Xehanort, and her own descent into the Darkness, she still carries onward. She is determined to reunite with the people she cares for most in all the worlds. This desire continues on after she resigns herself to her stay in the Realm of Darkness. She swears that she will help anyone who finds themselves there and act as their Wayfinder just as Terra and Ven act as hers.
Aqua values the teachings of Master Eraqus as a righteous moral code. She believes that Light is right and true and that Darkness is nothing but malice and hatred that should be combated wherever it can be. That being said, she is slowly coming to the realization that complete eradication of the Darkness should not be the primary goal of keyblade wielders. Between Terra's own ability to restrain his Darkness as well as Xehanort and the reckless abandon she shows towards letting the Darkness into her Heart if it means seeing her friends again, it can be said that she is starting to value balance.
While Aqua is idealistic and compassionate, this can also lead her to rash action and strong words that may wind up hurting those she’s trying to protect. This can be seen in the way both Terra and Ven react to her coaxing towards getting them to return to the Land of Departure. Ven goes as far as to call her awful, and this bites deeply into her. This doubt that she allows into her heart goes on to prevent her from succeeding in bringing either of her boys home.
Where her friends aren’t concerned, Aqua is steadfast and diligent. She can be objective, logical, and wise when she is able to detach herself and her loved ones from danger. However, this falls apart when her friends do find themselves involved. Naturally altruistic and self-sacrificial, Aqua does not mind putting herself in harm’s way if it means that she will be able to protect the people who are dear to her.
But beneath the strength that Aqua draws from her bonds, she is a fragile person. The Darkness has worn away at her willpower and psyche, and loneliness, fear, and anxiety have crept their way into the crack of her Heart along with the Darkness. She is fully capable of carrying on in the face of any challenge when she knows her friends are counting on her, but in the moments she loses sight of them she is at her weakest.
Aqua’s unshakable faith in her friends is her greatest strength as well as her largest weakness. She finds it incredibly hard to commit perceived wrongs against those she cares about, even if it is the right thing to do. Her altruistic tendencies act as a distraction, and she’s dangerously prone to throwing away her own goals when it means she is able to do right by her friends.
In a nutshell, Aqua is compassionate, wears her heart on her sleeve, is fiercely protective of her friends, and does not mind doing herself harm if it means she has a chance at helping those dear to her. She is a Heart of Light in the most traditional sense.
It seems like I've been down here for ages...
Nothing is known about Aqua's childhood save for Master Eraqus finding her at a young age and taking her to the Land of Departure to train in the ways of the keyblade alongside Terra. The two apprentices soon became close friends, and while Terra excelled in the physical aspects of his training, Aqua came into her own as a skilled mage. That isn't to say that she was physically incompetent, but her body lacked the muscle that allowed Terra to become the powerhouse in combat that he is. Similarly, Terra is not inept in the way of magic, but he preferred to learn by doing while Aqua does her learning through tomes and teachings.
Years after her training under Eraqus began, Master Xehanort brought a cathartic and badly wounded boy to their doorstep. The aging man told them very little about the boy save for his name – Ventus – as well as a story about how his Heart had been damaged during a training accident. He instantly had the three residents of the Land of Departure’s full attention, and the next several days were spent looking after him and dancing around the edges of his wounded Heart and psyche.
As Ven slowly recovered, a fast and powerful bond was formed between him and the other two apprentices. When his talents with a keyblade were revealed, Eraqus was eventually persuaded to continue the boy’s training despite his initial concern as to Ventus’ health. Terra and Aqua were happy to have a new apprentice among their ranks, and Ven seemed to be happy enough to have something that constituted a family around him. However, the specific details of his past never did come to light. Their days were spent focusing on training in an attempt to pass their Mark of Mastery exams and earn the right to travel the worlds together.
When the fateful day finally came, the three friends were separated. The only connections they maintained with one another were the links between their Hearts and the Wayfinders that Aqua had crafted for them the night before the exam. Aqua may have passed, but Terra had failed to display his Mark of Mastery by not being able to control the Darkness within his Heart. Eraqus, eager to let the man he viewed as a son prove himself, sent Terra on a mission with the promise of a second chance.
At the same time, a boy in a black mask approached Ventus and taunted him with a tale of Terra disappearing and never coming back. This spurred Ven to hasty action, and he gave chase to a retreating Terra who was determined to accomplish his mission on his own to prove his worth.
Master Eraqus gave Aqua two missions at the time. The first was to bring Ven back to the Land of Departure as soon as she could. The second was to keep an eye on Terra and reel him in if he went out of line. At first, she was determined to let him see his mission through and reluctant to meddle out of fear that Terra would come to resent her for becoming a Master when he didn’t. However, as Xehanort twisted Terra's heart more and more during his travels, Aqua became increasingly weary of the situation. Soon, she was adamant that both Ven and Terra return home.
The initial shock had come when Terra had been accused of stealing the Heart of a citizen of one of the worlds that Aqua visited. At first, she couldn't bring herself to believe Terra was capable of something like that. However, her conflict with the witch Maleficent left her with doubts. To add insult to injury, when she confronted Ven he had outright refused to come home and ran off in search of Terra yet again.
Any faith that she'd lost in Terra had quickly been restored after she ran into him at the Castle of Dreams. The Fairy Godmother had helped her find her way to the ball, and Terra's presence had both surprised and relieved her. His words to her, that he believed that strength of Heart could help them do anything, assuaged her troubled soul. With renewed confidence in her friend, Aqua took off in search of Ventus once more.
Her travels would eventually lead her to a world called Radiant Garden, where she would come across a young girl named Kairi being attacked by the Unversed. In the middle of the fight to protect her, King Mickey would arrive to aid Aqua and reveal that he was on a journey of his own. However, his means of transportation weren’t exactly the most reliable, and he soon found himself whisked away.
Kairi unwittingly grasped the hilt of Aqua’s keyblade soon after the encounter, and in doing so inherited the ability to wield a keyblade. Aqua, also unaware of this, cast a charm on the girl that would take her somewhere safe should the Darkness ever overtake her world. After this, she would continue on in search of her friends.
The three of them would meet up in Radiant Garden’s reactor sector, where they would fight a large, armored Unversed as a group. While Aqua tried her best to encourage Ven to return home, Ven was having none of it. Terra also came to realize that Aqua had been sent to keep an eye on him, and in his anger he once again became adamant about how he was going to accomplish his mission by himself.
It was also in Radiant Garden that Aqua would have her first encounter with Vanitas, and it is revealed that she is a backup plan for summoning the X-blade after a struggle with him. She would not see him again until her visit to Neverland where she would fight and overcome him only to see him slip out from under her grasp once again.
Following her visit to Neverland, Aqua finds herself on Destiny Island. It is here that she meets a young Riku and Sora, and after realizing that Riku has already inherited the ability to wield a keyblade she decides against passing the trait on to Sora. One keyblade is enough for any friendship as far as she is concerned. After all, if it weren’t for Terra and Ven’s keys, they would never have left her behind on the Land of Departure.
After leaving Destiny Islands, Aqua comes across King Mickey floating unconscious in space. She rescues him and takes him to the Mysterious Tower. She learns there that Master Eraqus has been slain, and that Terra and Xehanort were the ones behind it. At first, she is incredulous. There was no way in her mind that Terra was capable of such an act. Yen Sid directs her to the wastelands, and she goes there eager to gain understanding.
After visiting many more worlds, Aqua would meet up with Ven and Terra one last time in the Keyblade Graveyard - the battlefield where the Great Keyblade War of old was held a millennium ago. She meets with her friends one final time, and Terra explains that Eraqus was planning on killing Ven to stop Xehanort from forging the X-blade. He had to stop his Master, but Xehanort was the one to deal the killing blow.
At that point, Ven asks his friends to put an end to him should anything go South. Naturally, both parties vehemently refuse.
After a brief fight with Braig, Aqua eventually wound up fighting a Vanitas-possessed Ventus who had forged an incomplete X-blade. While she and King Mickey were triumphant against him thanks to Ven and Terra lending Aqua their power through the Wayfinders, they could not stop Terra from being possessed by Xehanort. Similarly, Ven's badly fragmented Heart abandoned his body to take refuge in Sora's. Aqua was left with a sleeping friend that she had little left to do with but return to a broken home.
Using Master Eraqus' keyblade, Aqua converted the Land of Departure into Castle Oblivion and hid Ventus away in the Chamber of Waking. Then, she departed for Radiant Garden where she would confront the Xehanort inside Terra's body. After defeating him in battle, Xehanort would attempt to flee to the Realm of Darkness to recover. Aqua would not let this happen and instead flung herself into the Corridor of Darkness after him. In an attempt to keep her friend safe, Aqua encased Terra's body in her armor and shot her glider back up into the Realm of Light.
Following this, Aqua would wander through the Realm of Darkness for ten years, though due to the fact that "time" did not exist where she was she would not feel the effects of its passing. She would be plagued by illusions of herself, imitations of her friends, and the Heartless as well. Eventually, the final fragments of her friends would find her in the Darkness, and Terra would do his best to warn Aqua of what was happening.
Terra would soon be overcome by Xehanort, and in his struggle would reveal a new power to her: Chains of Light. With these, the Heartless could be restrained and controlled to an extent. Before the outcome of Terra's inner conflict was seen, Aqua was dragged into another area of the Realm of Darkness.
She would then play an important role in assisting King Mickey close the Realm of Darkness off from the Kingdom Hearts that Ansem had created by consuming the Hearts of worlds and helping Mickey obtain the Kingdom Key D from its resting place in the devoured Destiny Islands. In the process, she would again be cast into the Dark while protecting Riku.
While lying on the beaches of Destiny Island, Aqua would witness the worlds returning to the Realm of Light and vow to be the Wayfinder to any Heart of Light that fell into the Darkness as she had. This determination allowed her to carry on until she felt herself being guided towards something by Ven and Terra’s keyblades, which had arrived to protect her from a horde of Darksides.
This tug at her Heart would lead her to a blackened beach with a clear view of a rising moon; the Dark Margin. It was here where she would speak with Ansem the Wise during his bout of self-banishment about the state of the Realm of Light. It was then that she learned that Sora would soon be coming to rescue everyone lost to the Darkness - herself included.
Why would you tell me to not fight the Darkness with Light?
Aqua has trained for many years to gain mastery over the Keyblade in every aspect. This has granted her a multitude of abilities to be used no only in battle, but in everyday life as well. She excels in all forms of magic, and uses that to bolster her already impressive combat abilities. The following is a brief summary of her most notable or preferred techniques, though it should be noted that she has access to every skill she's displayed in Birth by Sleep as well as 0.2: A Fragmentary Passage. If a particular skill is unlisted, it will be subject to the cooldowns and activation requirements of the most similar skill on the list.
For instance, Triple Firaga would have the same cooldown as Triple Blizzaga. Firaja would have the same activation requirement and cooldown as Blizzaja, but with Triple Blizzaga and Glacier being replaced with Triple Firaga and Mega Flare. However, to better balance out Aqua in comparison to other players as well as to make my life so much easier, she will only ever use unlisted abilities if she absolutely has to as mandated by the plot and she has the required Materia for the spell.
So, for instance, if she gains the Fire materia, she may start casting Triple Firaga if an enemy that can only be damaged by Fire magic appears. She may also use Fire Surge instead of Barrier Surge. A Thunder materia would give her access to Thundaja, Thundaga Shot, and Thunder Surge.
Magic Aqua is versed in all forms of magic, but this iteration will primarily focus on Light, Ice, and Barrier elemental spells as well as her exclusive commands from Birth by Sleep. Examples of her abilities are as follows.
Wishing Edge - Aqua cloaks her keyblade in magical Light and lunges towards her target. This attack explodes on contact, dealing two extra hits. This technique can be used every other round.
Magic Hour - Aqua leaps into the air, cloaking herself in magical Light and diving directly into the enemy before disappearing into the ground. A second later, she reappears in the air and dives again. The dives continue until five have been made, the targets are defeated, or Aqua chooses to stop. Magic Hour can only be used once every four rounds.
Chains of Light - Aqua can fire powerful chains from her keyblade made of soft, orange light. These can be used to bind and restrict the movement of various enemies. She cannot use any other magic while the chains are active, and they do not deal damage. They are, however, particularly effective against the Heartless and other creatures of Darkness.
Triple Blizzaga - Aqua fires three rounds of Blizzard magic at a single target. These projectiles do not track enemies, but instead lock on to the target before each shot. This attack can be used every other round.
Glacier - Aqua encases a target in ice and, size permitting, sends them flying away. This attack can only be used once every three rounds.
Blizzaja - Should both Triple Blizzaga and Glacier be on cooldown during the same post, Aqua can choose to fire a massive shard of ice into the air that shatters, dealing ice damage to every enemy in the area. These shards also embed themselves in the ground, and ice crawls over and encases the terrain. This ability can be used once per thread.
Barrier Surge - Aqua encases herself in Barrier magic and charges at an opponent, blocking incoming attacks from all sides while also dealing damage. This can be used once every other round.
Counter Blast - Should Aqua use a barrier on herself and block a hit, she can have the barrier explode outward and deal damage to her attacker. This technique can be used once every round.
One keyblade is enough for any friendship...
The Master's Defender is a keyblade Aqua inherited from Master Eraqus after her return to the Land of Departure and is conversion to Castle Oblivion. It is the only known way to unlock the Chamber of Waking and grant the outside world access to Ven's body, and it is also a formidable weapon.
Long, slender, and sturdy, the Master's Defender is perfect for both magical and melee modes of combat. As it is a keyblade, it can be returned to its user's hand with a flick of the wrist no matter how far away it is or who holds it. The Master's Defender has a dark grey blade that resembles an old-fashioned key. Its base is silver and red-brown, square, and has a key chain that extends out and bears Eraqus' sigil at the end.
Several screws are drilled in place along the guard and handle, giving it a tough, rigid appearance when paired with its Brutalist design.
Somewhere out there, there's a tree with a star-shaped fruit...
How long had she been wandering in the dark?
The thought was something that weighed on Aqua's mind in near perpetuity now. Every step, every breath, every twitch of her fingers, it all marked the passing of time. Well, time for her at least. The Realm of Darkness didn't seem to operate by the same standards as the Realm of Light. Anything that found its way here was lost for eternity and would forever stagnate into the darkness without a single thought to time. Nothing ever changed. Nothing ever grew.
Was this what it was like to die?
She'd tried - oh how she'd tried - to keep track of the time. She'd counted seconds until they bled into hours and days, but with no sun rising and falling to truly mark the steady march, it wasn't a matter of if she lost count, but when. Mickey had told her that she'd already been down here for ten years when they'd worked together to find the Kingdom Key D, but had it really been that long? Had she aged? She could hardly tell if that was the case, as there weren't many mirrors or pools of water that she could look into.
Instead, all there was to do was walk. She never grew tired - at least not physically - and she never grew hungry or thirsty. Her journey could have been going on for another ten years ever since she'd been separated from Mickey and...
Riku and Sora.
She wondered how they were. When she last saw them together, they couldn't have been older than four or five. Now, all of a sudden, they were working together to save all the worlds from the plans of some dark force. Come to think of it, Mickey had said that Sora had a keyblade. She was sure that she hadn't given it to him, and Riku had been the one with the potential already passed on to him. So, if not her or whoever gave Riku the keyblade, then who?
Her ears perked all of a sudden, reacting to the dashing and darting about of the denizens of the Darkness. Mickey had called them the Heartless. Aqua's eyes narrowed, and she dropped into her combat stance while summoning Master's Defender to her side. The cool metal of the old, rustic weapon felt comfortable in her hands. She was a practiced warrior by now, and the groups of Heartless were hardly an issue for her anymore.
Shapes, names, she didn't know any of it. The Heartless were as good as formless to her, and she preferred it that way. It made them so much easier to thoughtlessly destroy. In truth, she didn't even pay the fight much mind. The flow of her Master's keyblade through the air, the jolt of magic through the air, and the feeling of the weapon's edge slamming against its targets were all she knew in the immediate future.
When the encroaching Darkness waned, Aqua allowed the Master's Defender to fade away and her shoulders to fall slack. Her breathing was ragged after such a short encounter, and part of her had to wonder why. Had she really been fighting this hard, or had the Darkness wormed its way further into the cracks of her Heart? Was this realm weakening her?
"Terra. Ven," she murmured.
Even in this horrible darkness, thoughts of her friends had always given Aqua the strength to press on. However, whatever strength she'd drawn from them was starting to fade away. It had been so, so long since she'd fallen into this world. Ten years, and maybe even another ten more since she last saw Mickey.
But with that, an image of the two little boys from the beach flashed in her mind.
Terra and Ven may be lost, but those two wouldn't stop working until things were set right. The man at the Dark Margin had told her that Sora had been the one working to save the worlds. Mickey and Riku were with him, and she had every bit of hope that Terra and Ven were helping those two however they could. Even if they were lost in the Dark.
"Mickey. Riku. Sora. Ven. Terra," she said with conviction, tilting her head down and bringing a clasped hand to her heart. Strength flowed back into her anew, and bonds that seemed to have frayed reforged themselves within her. Her friends and the people who were counting on here were out there. She needed to press on. "I know that you're still out there. So long as you're there, there's hope. And so long as there's hope, I can carry on."
She took one more step forward, and then another. Soon, she was continuing as if her doubts had never existed.