Ok I’m beginning to get a coherent picture of what Era is going to be in-story and it’s actually pretty hilarious

In each different character story I’d had this idea that Era would appear as a somewhat remotely-located sidequest you could find if you looked around a little bit and he’d just be hanging out in some weird, bizarre form kind of mostly blending in with the aesthetic of the character and their homeland/story but in another way still looking pretty damn weird

And the thing is, Era understands on a basic level what the character is about and wants, but not entirely/specifically (and also actually wants to mess with them a little). So, he gives them a proposition that vaguely seems reasonable if you know nothing about the character (which you will by the time you find Era, enough to realise this is all wrong and he totally doesn’t get it)… but which even so if you let sink in for just a second you realise is completely, insanely ridiculous.

Lance & Red: Did you know darkness and edginess are almost dead and only you can save them?? There’s not gonna be a single threat of apocalypse or terrible nightmare monster attacking, unless you act now to save gratuitous darkness from the clutches of sunshine and tranquility.

Kris: oh, you’re interested in minerals? You should go invest in *literally randomly-chosen mineral*

Kate: oh, you want to learn the secrets of dinosaurs? Come on let’s go turn the world into Jurassic Park

Jinfeng: you think the mythic sagas of far-off lands are cool? Come on let’s go on a magical journey to the Occident to learn the secrets of the legendary Gr√¶vonian martial arts masters [= Fauchard’s spear-wielding dragon knights]

Ariana: Do you want to go on an adventure?? This is really crazy but like, you could be an average person. Finding a schema and talking to people and getting a job. It’s very dangerous to stay at home, you might want to head out.

Nassak: You like snakes?? Come with me to Oteceta to raid the lost ruins of snakes where there are many snakes, you’ll be perfect since the last guy to go looking there was terrified of them and never got anywhere [oblique parody of Indiana Jones; Nassak’d schematise into “Oteceta Marquez” at the end]

Yanha: oh, so you want salvation from the meaninglessness of life? Come join the jehovah’s-witnesses-but-not

Ssivyin: oh, so you wanna be the transgressive person of mud? I, a literal boar of mud, will assist you Pumba-style in becoming a Genuine Rebel

Sleipnir & Hughes: You want to know who you are? Well you’re in luck because I just read “Finding Your True Inner You With 100% REAL PSEUDOSCIENCE”

These are all tentative but yeah.

The character can fairly well tell this is bullshit and ridiculous, but as Era keeps talking what he says almost starts to sound like it makes sense, to the point they can decide to go with him. If you do so the story goes off into a weird ending/short fork where they go do the thing and just as the character suspected it was not quite satisfying. You can also say no though, in which case their story proceeds normally and if every character encounters Era but says no it unlocks Era’s story where he gets to be a main character like the rest of them. I’m not sure what will happen in his story but I do get the feeling he’s one of those characters that will always just be kind of mysterious. With all the other main characters there may be some degree of mystery but before long you learn about their motivations and who they are. Era? Not so much. He has a personality and story, but he’s also just kind of a thing that exists, that does things for “reasons”.

I do know if the characters meet up (idk how many) he’ll appear to them and join them as Erasthemus Errator. Which really honestly is his “humansona”. He literally created it because he thought humans were an interesting species and wanted to make one. Also they may end up fighting the bosses and/or fudging up the aether just because the bosses know Era is a Bad Thing they need to get rid of and aren’t gonna let some group of clueless/audacious young adults just be pals with him, and probably at any given time the whole aether’s gonna be trying to get rid of him to an extent, Insulators for one have very little tolerance of strange and threatening things that aren’t supposed to exist.