Edward and Alphonse Elric are two alchemist brothers searching for the legendary catalyst called the Philosopher's Stone, a powerful object which would allow them to recover their bodies (which were lost in an attempt to bring their mother back to life through alchemy). Born in the village of Resembool from the country of Amestris (アメストリス Amesutorisu?), the two brothers lived there with their mother. Their father, Van Hohenheim, left home for unknown reasons and years later, their mother Trisha Elric died of a terminal illness, leaving the Elric brothers alone. After their mother's death, Edward became determined to bring her back through the use of alchemy, an advanced science in which objects can be created from raw materials. They researched Human Transmutation, a forbidden art in which one attempts to create or modify a human being. However, this attempt failed, ultimately resulting in the loss of Edward's left leg and Alphonse's entire body. In a desperate effort to save his brother, Edward sacrificed his right arm to affix Alphonse's soul to a suit of armor. Some days later, an alchemist named Roy Mustang visited the Elric brothers, and told Edward to become a member of the State Military of the country to find a way to recover their bodies. After that, Edward's left leg and right arm were replaced with automail, a type of advanced prosthetic limb, created for him by his close family friends Winry Rockbell and her grandmother Pinako.
Edward then became a State Alchemist (国家錬金術師 Kokka Renkinjutsushi?), an alchemist employed by the State Military of Amestris, which infamously annihilated most of the Ishbalan race (Ishbal) in the past decade. Becoming a State Alchemist enables Edward to use the extensive resources available to State Alchemists, but it also turns him into what many call a "dog of the military". His more friendly relationship with Mustang however, whom he reports to and who recruited him, allows the brothers freedom to search for the Philosopher's Stone as part of Edward's research, as each State Alchemist is expected to independently research new things which may be of a use to the State Military of Amestris. The brothers set off in search of the Philosopher's Stone as a means to restore their bodies. Throughout their journey, they meet many antagonists, including those who are willing to do anything to obtain the Philosopher's Stone; Scar, one of the few surviving Ishbalans, who seeks vengeance on the State Alchemists for the destruction of his race; and thehomunculi, a group of human-like creatures who carry pieces of the Philosopher's Stone inside themselves, and from it derive the ability to survive almost any harm.
As the story progresses, Edward and Alphonse discover the vast expansion of Amestris was the result of the homunculi, who created and secretly control the State Military. The homunculi and much of the high-ranking military officers are commanded from behind the curtains by the creator of the homunculi, a man simply known as "Father", who gained immortality through a Philosopher's Stone, which he created by tricking Hohenheim centuries before the series' timeline. He plans to use Amestris as a gigantic transmutation circle in order to transmute the entire country for reasons unknown to the Elrics. When Edward and Alphonse discover Father's plans, they, along with other members of the State Military, set out to defeat him.
As the forces collide, one by one, the remaining homonculi are defeated and Central city's troops are enlightened about the truth of the situation. However, Father temporarily harvests all the souls in Amestris, numbering several million, and using that power traps "God" and gains immense power. However, due to Hohenheim's earlier actions, the souls are brought back to their bodies by their spirits, and Father becomes unstable. Everyone joins in to fight Father, forcing him to use more and more of his stone. He is finally defeated by Edward with his original arm, Al having sacrificed himself to bring it back. After Father is trapped within the Truth, revealed to be God, Ed sacrifices his ability to use alchemy to bring Al back in his original body. The Elrics return to Resembool, but two years later, they separate in order to repay the people who helped in their journey. [wikipedia]