Story Mode in Rivals of Aether features 7 main chapters, focusing on the stories of Maypul, Forsburn, Zetterburn, Orcane, Wrastor, and finally Kragg, with the final chapter revealing the true antagonist of Aether; the Gatekeepers.
The first six chapters can be played in any order, as the events of each are intertwined with one-another. The final chapter, however, occurs after the first six chapters, and as such is played last.
The game keeps track of the time players take to complete each story and rewards fast players with medals. In order to receive a gold medal, the whole story must be completed in 3 minutes or less. If a player gets a gold medal on all 7 stories, the Swift Rival Achievement is unlocked.
Maypul, self-appointed Guardian of the Aetherian Forest and daughter of the Treetops, protects the Treetop Lodges and the floor below with her companion plant, Lily.
High in the canopy, the Treetop Dwellers look down on the lowly denizens of the forest floor. But Maypul knows the Forest is one; they will thrive or perish together
And now Maypul feels a disturbance through the roots of the Forest. There is a sickness under the ground.
Battle 1 - Wrastor
Maypul and Lily soon discover that the Forest is infested with a mysterious purple shadow. Wherever the shadows touch, the plants turn twisted and ugly
Battle 2 - Zetterburn
The source of the sickness seems to lie beyond the Rock Wall. Maypul realizes that she must go. She leaves Lily in the care of her younger sister, Mayreed.
Maypul gives Mayreed a letter that details all of her discoveries about the purple rot and its source. Maypul tells her sister to share the letter with any forest dweller who will read it.
Mayreed worries that Maypul is too reckless and begs her to stay, but both sisters feel the danger lurking beneath their roots. Indeed all of Aether could be in peril.
Battle 3 - Kragg
Maypul crosses the continent scouting and searching, following the sickness within the Earth. With each day away from the Forest, she feels herself growing weaker
Moons into her journey, she comes upon an enclave under siege. When she creeps closer to investigate she discovers the Fire Guard attacking the Smoke Clan's hideout
Battle 4 - Orcane
Suddenly, Forsburn appears in a whirlwind of smoke. Seeing his adopted home under attack, he mistakes Maypul for one of the assailants.
In the same moment, Maypul witnesses Forsburn's smoky sorcery and presumes him to be in league with the twisting shadows infecting the Forest.
They both leap into attack.
Battle 5 - Forsburn
Maypul demands to know what role Forsburn plays in the shadowy sickness. Taken aback, Forsburn explains his own encounter with the mysterious purple shadow and the disappearance of his brother.
Maypul and Forsburn conclude that the danger lies to the west. They set off together to find the source of the strange menace to Aether.
Forsburn returns home from a diplomatic mission to find his father, Emperor Renburn, slain. A knife, identical to Forsburn's dagger, is buried deep in the Emperor's chest.
Emperor Renburn's loyal spy and illegitimate son, Forsburn has long distrusted his father's Fire Council. Now, all too late, he discover their treacherous goal.
Forsburn flees the scene and seeks refuge in the maze of aqueducts underneath the Fire Capitol.
Battle 1 - Orcane
Suspected of murder, Forsburn seeks to warn his beloved royal brother and prevent the Fire Council from seizing the imperial throne.
But when Zetterburn returns to the Fire Capital he doubts Forsburn's conspiracy theories. The brothers fight, and Forsburn flees-wounded and betrayed.
Zetterburn, convinced his brother is guilty of patricide, is devastated. He tells no one of their clandestine altercation or of Forsburn's escape.
Battle 2 - Kragg
Forsburn flees to the far outskirts of the Fire Empire. One night, seeking refuge on the border of the Wastelands, he awakes to find himself surrounded by murky strangers
They emerge from the ring of smoke and identify themselves as sentries from the Smoke Clan. They seize the wandering Fire Citizen and bring him to their settlement.
Battle 3 - Wrastor
Claiyen, Chief of Smoke Clan, learns of Forsburn's plight and his skill in espionage. She offers him a home in the hidden Smoke enclave in exchange for his allegiance.
Forsburn vows his loyalty. He renounces the false light of fire and vows to learn the truthful deceptions of smoke. He is given a grey cloak of secrecy and a new identity.
Battle 4 - Maypul
Before long, Forsburn hears news from the Fire Capital: Zetterburn has disappeared. Despite his loyalty to the Smoke Clan, Forsburn decides he must find his brother.
Donning a battle mask from the Smoke Clan, Forsburn uses a smoke portal to return to the Fire Capital. When he arrives, however, he is greeted by a familiar figure.
Battle 5 - Zetterburn
As Forsburn uses his new powers of Smoke to defeat his brother, Zetterburn vanishes. The Fire Capital pulses in purple shadow.
Then Forsburn sees a blaze in the distance. The Fire Army has attacked the Smoke hideout while he skirmish in the Fire Capital
Forsburn races back to his new home without finding his real brother or confronting the false Emperor Loxodont.
Zetterburn and his loyal legion return to the Fire Capital after vanquishing the Air Armada ships that preyed upon the Fire Empire's far-flung trade routes.
However, their triumphant return is met not by laurels and celebrations but by black banners and dirges. Te Fire Capital is deep in mourning.
Battle 1 - Maypul
Zetterburn discovers that his father, Emperor Renburn, has been assassinated with a famous dagger of an inconceivable suspect: Forsburn, Zetterburn's beloved brother.
Meanwhile, Minister of Trade Loxodont is to be crowned the new Emperor. The Fire Council convinces a distraught Zetterburn that this was his father's wish.
Zetterburn, a loyal citizen of Fire, accepts the Council's will. He pledges his loyalty to Emperor Loxodont and vows revenge upon the traitorous Forsburn.
Battle 2 - Wrastor
That night, Forsburn materializes in Zetterburn's imperial chambers. Forsburn pleads for his brother's aid and accuses the Council of murdering their father.
Certain of Forsburn's guilt, Zetteburn flies into a rage, attacking his once beloved brother. Forsburn barley manages to escape with his life.
Battle 3 - Forsburn
Coronation Day dawns. The citizens present Loxodont with The Flame Imperium, a sacred torch granting the Rule of Fire. Zetterburn watches, exhausted and doubtful.
Suddenly, a water creature appears and steals the Flame. It is the elusive Orcane! Orcane leaps with the Flame into a mysterious purple puddle and is gone.
Battle 4 - Kragg
The Fire Council orders Zetterburn to retrieve the Flame. Ever loyal, the Fire General unleashes a maelstrom on Merchant Port, the home of Orcane.
Zetterburn rampages through the unprepared city until he reaches the docks, where he finds a purple Orcane guarding the ceremonial torch.
Battle 5 - Orcane
Suddenly, Orcane dissipates. The water creature was a mere shadow!
Beset with doubt, his instincts ablaze, Zetterburn's eyes fall on a purple glow and plumes of smoke on the western horizon.
The board members of the Water Trading Company are furious that the Air Armada has destroyed their flagship and constantly pillages their trade routes.
They hatch a plan to infiltrate the Air Armada and bring it down once and for all. However, there is only one creature in Merchant Port that can breach Armada defenses: Orcane.
An elusive trickster, Orcane steals from the WTC and gives to the underpaid Company workers. However, the Chairman announces that they will bargain with the notorious thief.
Battle 1 - Kragg
The Chairman knows Orcane's fondness for the poor fisherman Nesbit and his granddaughter. Nesbit's low wages are barely enough to put food on the table.
The Chairman appears at the docks and offers a feast for Orcane's adopted family. However, in exchange, the family must convince Orcane to do the bidding of the WTC.
But the savvy Nesbit bargains for more: a yearly feast for all of the workers of Mercahnt Port, one day of holiday each week, and representation at WTC board meetings.
The Chairman frowns. It is a steep bargain, but he is forced to agree.
Battle 2 - Forsburn
Nesbit's granddaughter is the only one who can convey the plan to Orcane. The water creature agrees; he will do anything to help his adoptive family.
Using his mysterious water powers to sneak into the Armada through an unguarded sink, Orcane sniffs his way through the airship, seeking the WTC's stolen goods.
Battle 3 - Maypul
Suddenly, Orcane happens upon a strange scene. He spies the Air Armada's commander selling the Chairman's goods, worth millions, in exchange for a single scroll.
This is no ordinary scroll. It's a shimmering, shifting map illustrating the weak points in the defense of every civilization across the surface of Aether.
Battle 4 - Zetterburn
Distracted by this newfound intrigue, Orcane is startled by the appearance of Wrastor and Bradshaw. The two wingmen are amazed to find a water dweller inside the Armada.
Wrastor, ever the hot head, shoves his wingman to the side and challenges the water creature to close-quarters combat!
Battle 5 - Wrastor
Orcane defeats Wrastor and leaps out of the Air Armada ship, the Chairman's goods in tow. He returns with his loot to Merchant Port, only to find his beloved docks in flames!
Quickly he sweeps Nesbit's grand-daughter to safety and puts out the flames. He learns that Merchant Port was attacked by a mad Fire general on a senseless rampage.
Orcane sniffs out the trail of the fire creature and follows it west, leaving his home in the water once again.
Wrastor and Bradshaw are top wingmen in the Air Armada, an elite aerial military that ranges above the whole Aetherian continent.
The Air Armada pillages Merchant transports and harasses unguarded Fire Empire outposts. Wrastor alone among the Armada fliers is known to break rank for personal glory.
Wrastor is a brilliant but unpredictable flyer. Bradshaw is cautious, but steady. They have been best friends and unlikely partners since their days in the Air Academy.
Battle 1 - Forsburn
While soaring above the Aetherian Forest on a routine scouting mission, Wrastor spots a destroyed section of the Rock Wall.
Wrastor swoops in to investiagate while Bradshaw follows. The two friends pirouette in air, showing off for each other. They fly in fast and reckless
Battle 2 - Maypul
Meanwhile on the Wall below. Kragg, a wallbuilder, has just returned from a confrontation on the Forest Floor. He anxiously repairs the wall, impatiently calling up the stone.
When Kragg sees Wrastor and Bradshaw diving towards the Wall, he braces for an attack.
Assuming that the Air Armada is taking advantage of the weakness in his Wall, Kragg pulls up a rock and hurls it upwards, smashing Bradshaw out of the sky...
Battle 3 - Zetterburn
And into the unforgiving rock of the wall.
Battle 4 - Orcane
Seeing his wingmen in peril, Wrastor erupts into a blind fury. Screeching in rage, he wheels in mid air and launches himself at the rock creature.
Battle 5 - Kragg
Victorious against the Wallbuilder, Wrastor carefully picks up his injured friend and carries him back to the Air Armada
Wrastor is ridden with guilt for allowing his reckless bravado to endanger his devoted brother in arms. He swears to find Kragg and seek revenge.
Meanwhile below. Kragg picks himself up and quickly repairs the wall. Mysteriously, the Wallbuilder sets off east accompanied by a small Aetherian companion vine.
Kragg's life is slow and meditative. His people, the Wallbuilders, devote their entire lives to maintaining the great Rock Wall. They alone wield the power to manipulate great masses of stone.
Most Wallbuilders are born on the Wall and will circle the whole Aetherian Forest three times during their lifetimes, never setting foot on the ground below.
Battle 1 - Zetterburn
One day Kragg comes upon a huge breach in the Northern Wall. He has never seen such destruction, and he fears what threat might have entered the Forest.
Battle 2 - Orcane
Kragg summons the rocks to begin repairing the wounded Wall: a laborious process. He must heal it quickly to protect the precious Aetherian Forest from outside threats.
Suddenly, the unthinkable happens: Kragg is attacked from INSIDE the wall.
Battle 3 - Forsburn
Kragg's rock-bound mind can barely process what he sees. The Great Wall was made to protect the Treetop Dwellers - but now one of them is mounting an assault from within!
Battle 4 - Wrastor
Outraged, Kragg steps down off the Wall for the first time in his life to confront this Treetop traitor: Maypul, vigilante of the Forest. Meanwhile, bystanders gather...
The Treetop dwellers see only Kragg trespassing on the Forest Floor to attack one of their own. Outraged, they vow retaliation on their former allies, the Wallbuilders.
Battle 5 - Maypul
To Kragg's amazement, the purple Treetop Dweller vanishes. Mayreed, younger sister of Maypul, approaches and drops a letter to the Forest Floor.
The letter explains that the shadowy warrior couldn't have been the real Maypul, because she left moons ago to find the source of the strange purple disease in the Forest.
Kragg realizes that the only way to protect his beloved Wall and Forest is to leave them. Mayreed sends Lily with Kragg to help him track down Maypul on her quest...
Aethereal Gates Edit
Their journeys have led to the same place. Where verdant grasslands once grew around the Godai delta, a vast crater now churns with new seas. Volcanic ash clogs the air.
Maypul and Forsburn arrive to find Zetterburn already at the water's edge. The proud lion averts his eyes from the brother whom he wronged. Orcane arrives soon after.
Kragg appears next, reuniting Maypul and her companion plant Lily. Wrastor arrives just moments after having tracked down Kragg to take revenge for Bradshaw's injury.
Suddenly, the earth shivers, and the water seethes with oily strands of shadow. The sea pulses purple, and a vast stone edifice arises from the depths of a raging whirlpool.
This strangely ancient stone structure seems to be a gateway. Through this portal, the rival warriors glimpse a vast abyss that plunges deep below the surface of Aether.
This must be the source of Maypul's underground rot and the ephemeral shadow imposters! Our warriors put the rivalries aside. They know what they must do.
The shadow creatures are vanquished. The no-longer-rivals reunite and make amends for their past fights. However, the peril to Aether perhaps remains.
What were the shadows? What did they want? Why did they incite strife among the civilizations of Aether?