"I'm not an optimist. I'm just stubborn, that's all."
The boy is a child prodigy and the son of a very talented alchemist by name of Van Hohenheim. His father disappeared early on in their lives, so Edward and his younger brother Alphonse took it upon themselves to keep their mother, Tricia, happy. They proved to be their father's sons, both possessing amazing abilities in comprehending alchemy, and were able to self-teach themselves a lot of the basics by studying Hohenheim's books. However no amount of achievement and happiness could have prepared them for what was to come. Tragedy struck when their mother collapsed one day, succumbing to an illness that eventually claimed her life, leaving the boys alone in their heartache. Their love for their mother led them to seek out a formal teacher for alchemy, and they studied hard, training not only their minds but their bodies as well.
When the time came, they returned to their hometown of Resembool in order to attempt the unthinkable. Human transmutation is considered the ultimate taboo in alchemy, and Edward and Alphonse breached this law, attempting to bring their dead mother back to life. Something went horribly wrong however, and at the cost of Edward's left leg and Alphonse's entire body did they pay for their mistake. What they had managed to bring back was nothing resembling a human, and in desperation not to lose Al as well, Edward sacrificed his right arm in order to attach his brother's soul to one of the suits of armor that were kept in their father's study. Alphonse brought his brother to their neighbors, the Rockbells- extraordinary automail surgeons. Edward was given an automail arm and leg to replace the limbs he'd lost. Their attempted transmutation attracted the attention of a State Alchemist seeking Hohenheim, and it was at his invitation that Edward and Alphonse left their home to head towards the city of Central, where they would study to become State Alchemists. Edward was willing to take the weight of the responsibilities that came with becoming a 'dog of the military,' as State Alchemists were not thought of very highly in some places of Amestris. Amazingly, the boy passed the test, earning the rank as well as his title as the "Fullmetal Alchemist."
He and Alphonse made good use of their resources that were then at their disposal in order to piece together information that could lead to the legendary Philosopher's Stone, deciding that was their only chance for returning their bodies back to normal. Their travels have taken them far and wide, following whatever possible leads no matter how questionable they might be. Although their findings seemed to both draw them closer, yet still too far from what they sought, the two have not given up. Things came close to that however, when the boys were able to decipher a formula for the creation of the Stone, and they almost abandoned their hopes completely, deciding it was not worth the sacrifice of so many lives. The possibility of finding an alternate way to make the Philosopher's Stone renewed their efforts, and so with their bond strengthened and new objectives made, Ed and Al continue to go through great lengths in order to track down the legendary stone in hopes of restoring what they lost.
Along with unearthing the dark secrets of the creation of the Philosopher's Stone, the Elric brothers discovered the hand of their own Military involved in twisted experiments with alchemy as well as attempts to create the Stone themselves. What was worse, the Homunculi that had been appearing and goading them were also involved, their influence going deep into the higher ranks of the Amestrian National Army. Who did they have left to trust? What were they being expected to do? It became clear to them that whomever was ordering the homunculi around didn't want the Elrics killed. It was this fact that they took full advantage of when they found themselves pit against Gluttony and Envy. Fighting alongside the Xingese prince, Ling Yao, Edward and Alphonse engaged the homunculi. Against two regenerating foes it proved quite a challenge, and with Gluttony's goal to "eat" the Xingese prince, it also put a crimp on Envy's ability to fight back since he also had to watch out for the Elrics.
It was all by accident that Gluttony ended up "eating" Edward, Ling and Envy- the latter of whom attempted to get Edward out of the way when he tried to get to Ling. The three found themselves in a space of darkness and drenched in blood, a place that had no beginning nor ending to it. Envy explained that it was an artificial Portal of Truth, one created by the homunculi's Father in an attempt to make a way to the True Portal, but ended in failure. Convinced that they would be trapped there forever, the homunculus gave into his killer tendencies and revealing his monstrous true form, attacked Edward and Ling. Already weary from trudging through the endless sea of blood, they were knocked around easily by the homunculus, suffering severe injuries from the strong blows Envy was able to deliver with tail and limbs. For each opening Edward was able to find, he always balked on his chance due to the mess of bodies- the victims of the sacrifice for the Philosopher's Stone that was the heart of the homunculus. His good arm broken and his strength sapped, Edward was nearly swallowed by Envy, perhaps even well on his way to joining the soulless forms that surrounded him had he not caught a glimpse of a chunk of ruins, one of many things that lay within the void of Gluttony's stomach. However, this was the missing piece of a larger mural that the Fullmetal Alchemist had seen in the ruined city of Xerxes, and with that final piece clicked into place, Edward realized a possible way to escape the artificial portal. Determination renewed, he explained his findings with Ling and Envy, surmising that if he were able to open the real Portal of Truth, they might be able to escape that way. To do that, he would transmute himself- to transmute the dead was Taboo, but doing so to a living being theoretically should open the gateway as well.
Edward was prepared for consequences, but Envy gave him the use of his Philosopher's Stone, something the boy was hesitant to employ if only because he was still not entirely convinced that the writhing bodies of victims that made up Envy's mass were no longer human. He finally went through with it, opening the Door…
We'll start with the basics- he hates being called short, hates it when the matter of height or lack thereof is being rubbed in his face, and he doesn't like milk. Being a stubborn one, Edward insisted that only he would go through the exams in order to become a State Alchemist as such were infamous, being termed as the 'dogs of the military.' He succeeded in gaining that title at the age of twelve, and several years later he still maintains the title and a reputation to go with it, being the youngest State Alchemist in Amestris' National Army. His ambitions might seem selfish, and once he puts his mind to something, he won't give up. Edward tends to bear the weight on his shoulders, reluctant to let others assist, even his own brother. He acts like an adult, or at least tries to, and probably even sometimes forgets he's still a kid, until things come crashing down, or someone has the gall to make him remember- usually not in the gentlest of manners, but those often work the best, sadly.
He isn't much of the shy sort, and he isn't afraid to act himself around complete strangers. He might come off as cynical, and maybe even a little bratty at times, but he's got a good heart, and would really have preferred to live a quite, happy and peaceful life with his mother and brother, and the Rockbells. The boy's gone through a lot in a short span of time, and it's a wonder he hasn't become completely traumatized by any of the events he's witnessed. Alphonse being the only one he has left (as they'd no idea where Hohenheim'd gone off to), the two have built a strong bond between them, and though they may have their fights as siblings are wont to do, they'll always remember what they've gone through and what they're working for. Then there is Winry, childhood friend of the Elric brothers as well as Edward's automail mechanic. She has always been close to the boys, and during their time studying in preparation for the State Alchemist exams, Edward had continued to keep in touch with her through letters, often teased by Alphonse about Winry being his girlfriend. Whether Edward has feelings of the sort for her, he will not admit.
Edward is sneaky, and sometimes has a bit of a mean (one might say evil) streak. His methods aren't completely uncouth, more often than not, quite blunt, but otherwise fairly practical. He's learned not to rely on alchemy for everything, his teacher (literally) beating it into their heads. Physically he's quite strong, muscles well-toned and reflexes quick. He excels in hand-to-hand combat, and his automail limbs give him that extra 'oompf.' Edward can use weapons too, usually transmuting a portion of his automail arm into a blade, although the variety of weaponry he can transmute with materials varies from swords to spears, cannons and all other sorts of artillery.
Edward Elric is most renowned for his skills in alchemy. While his world's alchemy may seem more magically performed, the scientific principals behind the basis and theories are the same as the more standard ideas of alchemy. In order to transmute things by alchemy, aside from the know-how, a transmutation circle or array is needed, yet Edward does not need to draw one or have one visibly present. Few others are able to perform transmutations without such- those having seen the mysterious gates when having attempted human transmutation. Edward transmutes objects by forming a circle with his hands. So long as he has the materials or elements necessary to create something and in the proper amounts, he can transmute it into what he desires by a clap of his hands. In combat, his most usual transmutation is to form part of his automail arm into a blade in which to use for fighting. If there are objects around, he can make use of them by forming them into various weapons to use- anything from swords to spears and even cannons and other forms of heavy artillery.
That's not to say Edward relies solely on alchemy for everything. As reckless and brash as he can be, the boy is a clever one. He isn't afraid to fight a little dirty or be sneaky. His tongue's quite a weapon itself, sharp and sometimes troublesome in its own right when paired with Edward's short temper. And then there is his physical abilities- a teenager he may be, but he's not frail and definitely not weak when it comes to matching strength. He and his brother had learned to train their bodies as well as their minds when they were being taught alchemy, their reflexes quick and their maneuvers making them formidable opponents in close combat. Edward himself is a regular dodge-monkey for all his proven ability to evade attacks, even if sometimes it's not the most graceful in execution. Possessing an arm and leg of automail gives Edward an extra edge, the strength his metal limbs giving more than a surprise to anyone who isn't expecting it. They not only hurt when they hit, but Edward also takes advantage of his unfeeling metal hand and arm to shield the rest of him from projectiles and other immediate dangers.
Having become a 'dog of the military' at the age of 12, Edward's been through and seen a lot, not afraid to get his hands dirty so long as he feels his actions are justified. As a State Alchemist, he is equally ranked as major. The reason he'd joined the military was so that he'd be able to have access to resources and priviledges he would never have as an ordinary alchemist. Unfortunately, it's also proven to be a double-edged sword with all the things the military has nudged him to do in turn…