Fires of War, Tides of Fate, Element of Treachery. All of these are the names of Balthier's Mist Quickenings, in order from lowest to highest rank. Tides of Fate is a particular interest for me, probably because my Irvine/Balthier references never quite end, and probably because I have a penchant for brining up philisophy every now and then.
Final Fantasy XII was not the first Final Fantasy to bring up up the term "tides of fate". In fact, it's brought up by none other than another gun-weilding hero, Irvine Kinneas, a character from Final Fantasy VIII, one of whom I love to point back and forth similarities between the characters. The term is mentioned in one of Irvine's more famous lines, "It's not like I drifted here on the tides of fate". Irvine is making a reference to existentialist thought: he doesn't believe in fate, and that freedom of choice is, in reality, very limited. Unlike Irvine, Balthier believed that he his choice was made out of freedom, claiming he was "free at last"-- but even that was untrue. Of course, the validity of this allusion is rather unlikely; intended or not, I still thought it was kind of neat!
"You've all heard this before. How life has infinite possibilities. I don't believe that one bit. There weren't many paths for me to choose. Sometimes, there would only be one. From the limited possibilities I faced, the choices I made have brought me this far. That's why I value the path I chose... I want to hold true to the path that HAD to be taken. .. It's not like I drifted here on the tides of fate. I'm here because I chose to be here."