As Link raced through the dungeon, the king's words echoed through his ears. "Like most people," the king had said, "I believed that the Ruby Of Death was a myth. However, reports indicate that a dungeon hyas risen to the surface, and it matches the description of ther dungeon where the Ruby of Death is supposedly located. I want you to go in there, find it, and smash it!"
Link knew the legend well. The Ruby Of Death, a fist-sized gem the color of blood, had supposedly been created by an evil wizard centuries ago. It was a very powerful object that amplifies evil spells, and the wizard who created it was killed because he underestimated it. Apparently, he tested it by amplifying a fireball spell. However, the spell was amplified so much that the wizard was caught in it and instantly incinerated. The huge fireball also caused a cave-in that buried the wizard's dungeon, and the Ruby of Death was never seen again -- until now.
'That's strange', Link thought to himself, 'There are no monsters here.' As Link opened a door, he entered a circular room fifty feet in diameter with a treasure chest in the center. "This must be where the Ruby is kept," Link said. As he opened the treasure chest, he found it empty, except for a letter. Link grabbed the letter and read it.
"Dear Link, or whoever finds this:"
"You are a fool if you thought you could beat me to the Ruby Of Death. I will rule the world with this magnificent gem, and you will be killed by the trap you just fell into."
"A trap!?" Link ran towards the door, but the floor of the room collapsed, revealing a pit with rough stone sides and dense spikes below, three feet long. Link managed to grab a side of the pit his feet dangling inches above the fatal spikes. As Link wondered how he would get out of this predicament, he heard footsteps approaching and the voices of moblins.
"The master was right," a moblin said, "we caught some 'hero' who thought he could get that gem the master has."
The moblin looked over the edge of the pit and shouted, "It's the Hero Of Hyrule! We'll have a grand feast and celebration tonight with YOU as the main course!"
The moblin peering over the edge of the pit suddenly shreiked in pain and fell into the pit,a moblin's spear sticking out of its back. Link heard the sound of fighting from above. Someone dropped a rope from above and said "Link, climb up." As link reached the top of the rope, a tall man helped him up. Meanwhile, that same man was fighting off a horde of moblins. Link grabbed a short sword from a fallen moblin and helped to fight off the monsters. Pretty soon, all of the moblins were dead.
The man was an even better fighter than Link himself! Despite the widespread rumors, Link had a hunch about the stranger's identity. "Who are you?" Link asked the man.
"I am Garin," the man replied.
Link's hunch was correct. "THE Garin? But the rumors say you died about sixty years ago! Why didn't you stop the rumors?"
Garin replied, "Because I started the rumors myself. I have always been the largest threat to the forces of evil, and if they thought I was dead, then they would grow careless and be lulled into a false sense of security. If Ganon was alert, he would have prevented you from defeating him. Anyway, no one knows that I'm alive except my wife, Aimenna. There is a set of bones in my tomb, but they are not my bones. Anyway, we have to find Agahnim and destroy the Ruby Of Death." "He's alive? Well, then we have to kill him."
"No, Link, we can't kill him permanently unless we use the three Swords Of Good. Since the Master Sword is one of them and you're the only one who can use it, try not to get yourself killed."
Link couldn't help smiling. "Don't worry, trying not to get killed is always one of my priorities. I hope Agahnim hasn't figured out how to use the Ruby yet."
The two left the dungeon and headed south to the closest village. However, when they arrived, the town was gone. All that remained was a large, scorched.
Link winced at the destruction. "It looks like he's figured out how to use the Ruby."
As Link examined the devastation, Garin took a square piece of cloth about a foot on each side from his pocket. As he laid it on the ground next to him, the large black circle in the center shimmered an seemingly disappeared. Garin then reached into a hole where the black circle used to be and withdraw a staff. He then picked up the cloth by the edge, and after it shimmered again for a moment, the hole was gone. Link asked, "How did you do that?"
As Garin folded up the cloth and put it back in his pocket, he replied "It's a 'portable hole' and relies on magic. Everything that I keep inside there is actually in another (very small) dimension. The shimmering you saw when I put it on the ground is actually a dimensional portal. It's very useful because it weighs the same (and is the same size) no matter how much I put inside it. We have to go consult with my wife, the Great Magician Aimenna, and we'd better go as soon as possible. She should be able to come up with something that can help us fight off the Ruby Of Death.
Garin held up the staff and changed into a dragon. "Climb on," he said to his startled companion, "this staff only works for a short time before I have to recharge it."
- - - - - - - - - -
As they flew towards Tranora in southwestern Calatia, Garin explained to Link "Although Aimenna created this staff for me, the TRUE owner is one of my descendants. He will be able to use the staff as frequently as he wants. In fact, if he wanted to, he could spend his entire life as a dragon without using up the staff. The Triforce Blade -- which is currently resting in 'my' tomb, protected by a monster called Garinergtat -- is also destined to be used by him."
When they arrivedin Tranora, Garin settles in a nearby clearing at chenged back to his human form. The two entered the town, and, Garin led Link into a specific weapons shop. "Aimenna," Garin said to the woman behind the counter, "this is Link, the Hero of Hyrule. Link, this is my wife, the Great Magician Aimenna."
"Wow," Link said, "you're as beautiful as Zelda!"
Garin laughed. "If you think she's beauitiful now, you should see her when she's not disguised as an old woman. She's the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. Anyway, on to business. Agahnim has the Ruby Of Death, and we need your magic to help us stop him -- I'm not powerful enough, and neither is Link."
"We need to find something to counteract the power of the Ruby," Aimenna replied. "Our only hope is to find the Diamond Of Life, a legendary artifact hidden to the west of The Wasteland."
"Is this wasteland place dangerous?" Link asked.
"Extremely dangerous," Garin replied. "It is the largest desert in the world, and no one who entered The Wasteland has ever been seen again."
"If the Diamond of Life is our only hope," Link said, "then we have to get it, no matter how dangerous The Wasteland is."
Garin said, "a few hundred years ago, during the war between Calatia and Hyrule, Agahnim supposedly exiled many of his enemies west, beyond the Wasteland. If he DID exile them, then their descendants might be living west of the wasteland."
Well, it's our only hope," Link insisted. "Let's rest the night so your staff can recharge and then fly directly there."
"No," Garin said, "The staff does not have enough power. We must walk to the edge of the Wasteland and then hope the staff has enough strength to get us across."
"Walking is too slow," Link said. "If we don't fly there immediately, Agahnim will destroy both Hyrule and Calatia before we get the Diamond of Life."
"And if we try to fly there from here," Garin retorted, "we'll wind up stuck in the middle of the Wasteland, and then we won't even get the Diamond of Life!"
"Enough," Aimenna said. "We'll start out on foot, and if it becomes urgent enough, we'll fly directly to The Wasteland."
- - - - - - - - - -
The next morning, they left Tranora. A few miles north of the forest, they found a destroyed village. Everyone in the village was dead, and the buildings had been shattered.
"The Ruby of Death..." Aimenna muttered.
Link looked at Garin. "I thought you said you had banished Agahnim to Hyrule."
Garin was shocked. "I did, with the Triforce..."
"Well, it seems that the Ruby is stronger than the Triforce. We MUST get the diamond as soon as possible!"
Garin reluctantly changed into a dragon, and the others climbed onto his back. They flew northwest, and around the mountains of western Calatia -- even dragons couldn't fly over those mountains -- and then north to the Wasteland entance. As they continued west, the desert seemed to stretch on forever.
"Water!" Link exclaimed. "I see water!"
Then came the catastrophe. Garin's staff, used to the limit, suddenly stopped working. He changed back into a human in mid air, and the three fell to the ground. All of them lost consciousness from the fall, and none would survive more than a day or so in the blazing heat of The Wasteland. Calatia's biggest desert would soon claim three more victims.
Agahnim faced the mirror and chanted the scrying spell. After a few seconds, the mirror turned foggy, and then showed three people -- two men and a woman -- talking. Agahnim recognized all three -- his enemies had joined forces against him. Even worse, they were planning to retrieve the Diamond of Life, the only item that could stop Agahnim. In rage, Agahnim concentrated the power of the Ruby on a random town in southwestern Calatia and watched as it burned to the ground.
"I'm too busy recharging the Ruby to stop those fools, and none of my henchmen are competent enough that I'd trust them on this vital mission...Aha! I know the perfect solution!" Agahnim walked to the tomb of his former master and opened the lid. He held up the Ruby and began chanting. As a shimmering red aura surrounded Ganon's bones, his body began to reform. After it was whole again, Ganon's eyes opened.
"Agahnim...How long have I been unconscious?"
"You have been dead, not unconscious, for three years. I have revived you to perform a specific task for me."
"I am in charge," Ganon roared, "not you! You will not tell me what to do!"
Agahnim struck him with a beam of power freom the Ruby. "I have the Ruby of Death, and that puts ME in charge. Defy me again, and I'll kill you once more!" Agahnim silently approved of the fear in Ganon's eyes. Ganon would make a good replacement for Carock, who Agahnim had to destroy when he tried to steal the Ruby. "Our enemies are travelling west, beyond the Wasteland, to retrieve the Diamond Of Life. Your task is to find it first and destroy it. You failed miserably last time, and you'd better not fail again!"
Ganon was highly offended by Agahnim's insistence that he was Ganon's master. As he left Agahnim's lair, a plan to overthrow the magician was already forming in his head.
- - - - - - - - - -
Link woke up in a featherbed. Garin, his wife, and another woman were standing next to his bed.
"Welcome to New Calasta," the woman said. "I am Rinnella, the one who found you unconscious in The Wasteland. The people here are the descendants of the people banished by Agahnim during the war between Hyrule and Calatia. You three are the first visitors ever to arrive, and the elder wants to see you immediately. She would have come here, but she's extremely old.
A few minutes later, they arrived at the Elder's house. As they entered, the Elder gasped and exclaimed, "Mother!?"
"Dalla!" Aimenna said. "You're alive!"
Link cleared his throat purposefully and said "You can get sentimental later. Right now, we have an urgent job to do."
Garin glared at Link and then said, "Dalla, we came here to get the Diamond of Life. Agahnim has The Ruby Of Death and we need to get the Diamond to defeat him."
"The Diamond is stored in a room in back," Dalla said. She quickly cast a spell, and part of the wall vaniushed, revealing a large, square room. In the center was a pedestal, and there was an open box on top. "The box shouldn't be open..."
They approached the box. Link looked in and said "What the...it's empty!"
"Looking for this?" The four turned to see a familiar pigman standing in the doorway, holding the Diamond in his hand. "Ganon!" Garin said through clenched teeth as he drew his sword.
"I'm sure you'd love to fight me, but I'm going to busy killing Agahnim. With both the Diamond and the Ruby, I'll be even more powerful than I was when I had the Triforce! But since you love fighting so much..." Ganon held up the Diamond, and a ring of angry Moblins appeared around the edges of the room. He then vanished.
"We are in BIG trouble," Link said.
"Tell us something we don't know!" Garin retorted.
Agahnims eyelids lifted in surprise as he rest of the ancient scroll:
"The Triforce is not the mightiest power. To achieve the mightiest power, thou must first acquire the Ruby of Death, the Diamond of Life, the Emerald of Truth, and the Fourth Medallion. If thou art reading this, then thou dost have the Ruby will soon have the Diamond. Seek, therefore, the Emerald, which belongs to a man who is both alive and dead, and the Thunder Medallion, which lies forgotten by those who are nearest to it. Once thou hath acquired all four items, they must be combined at midnight in the birthplace of the Ruby under a full moon. Then, the location of the Gem of Infinity shall appear, and it shall make midnight as bright as noon. Beware, for the Gem of Infinity is more powerful than any of the other items, and it will cause havoc if thou dost let someone else find it. Be careful, for the Gem of Infinity shall be created where --"
Agahnim swore. The rest of the scroll was missing. "There must be a complete copy somewhere. Once I have the Gem of Infinity, Ill find out who has a complete scroll and Ill take it off his corpse. But first, I have an Emerald to get. And I know just where it is."
- - - - - - - - - -
The moblins fought hard, but they were no match for Link, Garin, and Aimenna. Within a short time, the three had defeated them all, but the moblins were the least of their worries.
"Weve got a big problem," Link said. "Whether Agahnim and Ganon work together, or one kills the other, well have to fight off both the Ruby and the Diamond. Its going to take a miracle to succeed."
"Not really," Dalla said. "Theres a legend behind the Diamond of Life, and it mentions three other objects: the Emerald of Truth, the Thunder Medallion, and the Gem of Infinity."
"And I suppose you know where they are," Link said.
"Yes, I do. Lets go."
- - - - - - - - - -
When Ganon arrived at Agahnims dungeon and didnt find the wizards presence, he knew something was going on. As he reached the open scroll, he muttered to himself, "Agahnim is a fool if he thinks he can get all of these items." He rolled up the scroll, took it, and left.
"You may not approach Garin's tomb," the knight said. "It is a holy place and off-limits to everyone, even us."
Agahnim held up the Ruby Of Death. The soldiers of Garin's Tomb were fools if they thought they could stop him. "I am Agahnim, the greatest wizard in the history of Calatia, and I possess the Ruby of Death! Get out of my way or die!"
The knight's face turned pale, but he remained adamant. "No, Agahnim, not even you may approach the tomb."
Agahnim concentrated for a monent, and then the knight's armor turned white-hot, roasting him alive. As the other soldiers drew their swords, Agahnim shot bolts of flame out from the Ruby. Pretty soon, all the guards of Garin's Tomb were reduced ashes. "Now, just that Garinergtat creature remains."
As Agahnim approached the tomb that supposedly contained the bones of Garin, a crack appeared in the wall opposite the entrance. The crack widened, and then the monster Garinergtat burst out from the wall. Agahnim raised the Ruby and shot a line of flame at it, but it just bounced of the creature. As the monster approach, Agahnim pummeled Garinergtat with an ice spell. The monster continued to approach, unfazed. Out of desperation, Agahnim combined both the Ruby his magic. Agahnim shot both flames and ice at the monster, but instead of hitting it, they formed a cage around it. As Garinergtat shrieked in rage because he was unable to approach Agahnim, the wizard opened Garin's tomb. He reached for the Triforce Blade, but pain shot through his body as he touched it. Agahnim swore as he jerked his hand back. Then, with a sudden insight, he touched the pommel stone with both the Ruby and the Diamond. It came free with an audible click. Agahnim grinned as he put the Emerald of Truth in his pocket. As he left the tomb, Garinergtat continued to shriek in fury.
- - - - - - - - - -
Ganon continued through the Forgotten Forest. As he walked, his mind wandered. He was here to get some medallion -- or maybe a talisman? Perhaps a pendant. Ganon swore and thought to himself, If I don't find the...umm...uh...oh yeah, the Thunder Medallion soon, I will completely forget who I am and what I'm looking for. I should have stopped at that spring in Torano...or was it Tranora?...that restores memory. But it's too late now. Wait! What's that clearing up ahead? Ganon ran to the altar in the center of the clearing. As he lifted the medallion, his memory returned. "This is the Thunder Medallion!" he said. As Ganon felt through a sixth sense that someone approaching, he hid behind a tree. In a few minutes, I'll have one less rival! Ganon thought with a wicked grin.
Chapter VIII Agahnim was almost there. As he strolled through the Forgotten Forest with his memory protected by the Gem, Agahnim's mind wandered. After centuries of being defeated by Garin, Agahnim thought, I will finally rule this world. This is the best night of my life! Once I have the Ruby, the Emerald, and the Thunder Medallion, I just have to wait for Ganon to bring me the Diamond. Although I don't know where the Gem of Infinity will appear, neither does Garin. However, the Ruby, Diamond, and Emerald will lead me right to it while Garin is wandering around, looking for it. And when he finally DOES find it, I will be waiting there, and I will kill him! Oh! Here's where the Medallion is hidden!
Approaching the altar, Agahnim had a nagging suspicion of danger. But what could hurt him? He DID, after all, have the Ruby and the Emerald! As he reached for the medallion on the altar, Agahnim was struck by magical lightning, the force knocking the Ruby and the Emerald out of his grasp.
"So," Ganon said, "my traitorous henchman has finally arrived." Ganon struck him with an icy blast, hurling Agahnim across the clearing. Agahnim could only watch in fear as Ganon casually picked up the Ruby and the Emerald. "I don't have the time right now to give you the kind of death you deserve. But until then..."
Ganon held up the Thunder Medallion, and Agahnim shreiked as his body and soul were imprisoned inside of it. Ganon laughed fiendishly as he started combining the Ruby, the Diamond, the Emerald, and the Medallion.
- - - - - - - - - -
"What!?" Link exclaimed. "The pommel stone of the Triforce Blade is really the Emerald of Truth?"
"Yes," Dalla replied.
"Someone has been to Garin's shrine," Aimenna said. "Garinergtat was activated. Let's hope the Emerald is still there when we arrive." Garin's dragon-staff had recharged, and it had lasted for an amazing amount of time this trip. The four of them were almost at the Shrine. "There it is!" Link said. "It's time to land."
As the four entered the shrine, a ghastly sight awaited them. The fifty knights who guarded the shrine were sprawled all over, burnt to death. Scorch marks covered the walls, and the smell of burnt flesh was almost unbearable. The only sound was Garinergtat's shrieks of fury from the tomb itself.
"This does not look good," Link said.
"Tell me about it!" Garin retorted. "At least Garinergtat is alive."
They saw Garinergtat trapped in a cage of fire and ice. It stopped shrieking as soon as it saw them. With a gesture, Aimenna dispelled the cage. Garinergtat ran over to the hole in the wall opposite the entrance, and climbed through. After he did, the wall magically reformed. Meanwhile, Garin approached the tomb and opened it. "The Emerald is gone. Let's hope the Triforce Blade isn't weakened by the loss of the Emerald." He picked up the Triforce Blade and led the others out of the shrine.
Shortly after they left the tomb, Garin's sword began to glow. "Garin," Link asked him, "is the Triforce Blade supposed to glow like that?"
"No, it's not."
The glow quickly brightened into a blinding light so powerful that, even on the other side of the world, the night became as bright as noon. After the glow receded, there was a pommel stone on the Triforce Blade once again -- a white gem that continued to glow.
"The Gem of Infinity," Dalla whispered.
Chapter IX Ganon held up the Thunder Medallion and began chanting the spell. After the Dark land was restored to the Golden Land, the gates stopped functioning -- or so everyone thought. But with the Ruby, Diamond, Emerald, and Medallion combined into the Ultimate Medallion, it was possible to open a portal to that hidden land and acquire the Triforce. Once he had it, Ganon would be unstoppable. He would wrest the Gem of Infinity from Garin and rule the world.
- - - - - - - - - -
"Okay, Garin said, "Here's the entrance." As soon as the Gem of Infinity stopped glowing, Garin had changed into a dragon and flew north to Agahnim's dungeon. The dungeon was full of monsters, but with the Triforce Blade powered by the Gem of Infinity, Garin sliced through them as easily as cobwebs. Even the Helmasaur provided no trouble as Garin stabbed right through its mask. After about fifteen minutes, they reached the innermost room. It was empty.
"Someone used powerful magic," Aimenna said, "only minutes ago."
Dalla gasped. "A portal to the Golden Land! Either Ganon or Agahnim is trying to get the Triforce. We MUST stop him!"
The Gem of Infinity started to glow until it was so bright the four couldn't see. After a moment, the light faded, and they were at the Golden Land Pyramid. Since the Dark World had reverted to the Golden Land, they did not have toi worry about changing into bunnies. As they reached the flattened top of the Pyramid, so did Ganon on the other side. Garin and Ganon, each enveloped in a nimbus of light, charged towards the Triforce. Five feet apart, the lights surrounding them collided, and the two stopped as if they had run into a solid wall. Aimenna and Dalla strode forward, stood next to Garin, and the three struck at Ganon wirth magic and the power of the Gem. Meanwhile, Ganon struck back with the Ultimate Medallion. Their powers were equally matched. with a flash of insight, Link took out his bow and shot an arrow at Ganon. It struck him in the arm, breaking his concentration. At that point, Garin stabbed the Ultimate Medallion with the Triforce Blade. The Ruby of Death, Diamond of Life, Thunder Medallion, and Gem of Infinity shattered into countless pieces. With the Ultimate Medallion and Gem of infinity destroyed, the spell that held the five of them in the Dark World dissipated. Ganon howled in fury and fled from Agahnim's dungeon.
Epilogue With the destruction of the Ruby of Death, the two wizards imprisoned in it -- Agahnim and Carock -- were freed. They instantly teleported away from the dungeon. Dalla picked up the few shards remaining of the Ruby and the Diamond, and inserted the largest ones into the eyes of Garin's Dragon Staff. Garin reattached the Emerald -- the only surviving part of the Ultimate Medallion -- to the hilt of the Triforce Blade, led his exhausted companions out of Agahnim's dungeon, and flew them home. They knew, however, that evil would strike again. And it did, nine years later, but that is another story...
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