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Ætherion is a freeware Role Playing Game made in RPG Maker VX by the same team that made Avarice -- Anaryu, Krisanna, and Solitayre. It was made in one month for a contest, the theme of which was surrealism.

The world of Ætherion is in constant danger of the malicious Raythe, evil spirits from another plane. They feed on human emotions and desires, taking the form of whatever their target is most frightened of. To prevent the Raythe from destroying the entire world, the Institute of Æther Research and Containment (ARC) was created. The Institute trains the most skilled magical students in the world to combat the Raythe and hold them at bay. They are constantly researching the Raythe and their strange home dimension, the Æther, to be more effective at fighting them. Their ultimate goal is to destroy the Raythe permanently, though they have a ways to go before accomplishing that.

The story centers around a young man by the name of Edan Mekaisto, a country boy who was recently selected to join the Institute. He's not the sharpest tool in the shed, but he hopes to fulfill ARC's expectations. Things go awry while he tries to find a mentor, however, and he soon finds himself wrapped up in the adventures of two older students, Flynn van Lucia and Alaria Reinhardt. Both of them seem to at odds with one another, and seem to have a Dark and Troubled Past.

Gameplay-wise, Ætherion uses a battle system that is similar to Grandia's. A fast-paced ATB-like system is used, and the casting times of skills are major components of the strategy. Being hit while casting delays the technique, and if the casting energy is completely reduced to zero, the caster loses their turn. Each character also has two sets of skills -- attack and support -- with three skill levels on each. Characters can use weaker low-level skills to build up energy and unleash a powerful third-level skill.

The game can be downloaded here. Due to the game's positive reception, the developers have expressed a desire to continue the storyline with new installments in the future. When this will happen has not been announced, however.

Ætherion provides examples of the following tropes:

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