Twilight Descent 3:
The Hyrulian Revolution

By Stephen Stephano

Summary - A coup de etat of rogue Knights of Hyrule allied with the Bulblin a nd their superior weaponry has succeeded in forcing the royal family from the throne. With their mother killed at the hands of King Bulblin and their father passed away from a previous war, Soren and Shira, two freedom fighters from Hyrule Castle Town, are chased from the city and are forced to take refuge inside Lakebed Temple. As darkness descends on the kingdom, the pair are presumed dead. What nobody knows is that Soren, a former swordmaker, is hard at work on a hand-held bazooka capable of changing the course of Hyrulian history. But restoring the kingdom to its past glory becomes complicated due to a return of a centuries-old event known as the Great Cataclysm.

The story is the sequel to Twilight Descent 2: The Return of King Bulblin, and the capstone to the Twilight Descent trilogy. It is told primarily from Soren's perspective.

Life can sometimes be a very cruel thing.  It can be wicked.  It can be trying.  It can test your strength, your wisdom, your courage.  It can challenge your sense of sight, of sound, and of mind.  It can cause you to question the intentions of friends you’ve known your whole life.  For the past three years my family has been at the eye of a massive war of will, pride, and outright greed.  In a medieval and rudimentary kingdom such as ours that means disregard of life and senseless killing for purposes that are either unclear or unknown to the combatants that pretend to die for the valor of these purposes for which they do not even know.  I have personally been on the wrong side of this cold equation twice, nay thrice during these wars that have so badly plagued us.  Father was lost at the din of battle three years back, a death for which we fought for months to avenge and did so successfully.  But the peace was fleeting, and last year mother was lost at the hands of the dastardly King Bulblin.  During that same battle, my loving woman passed and I nearly lost my sister, who was struck by a flaming arrow.  It is a testament to her fearlessness and righteousness that I am not confined in total loneliness and despair. 

These are the facts, and these facts have left me bitter and disappointed, but it has also strengthened my resolve to set things right, once and for all.  My name is Soren, and someday this country will bow at my feet.



Chapter 1: Faith Renewed


It has been almost a year since we took refuge.  After the defeat in Castle Town the Bulblin pursued us to the Great Hylian Bridge, where one death-defying leap later, we reached Lake Hylia’s northern coast.  The area, what was once a peaceful space filled with vacationing homes, gave us temporary refuge, but before long we were forced to flee under the depths of the lake.  We’ve been holed up inside Lakebed Temple ever since.  Our environment is a humid, subtropical, labyrinth of mold, oppressive smell, and very rocky beds.  It isn’t all bad, for there is enough fish, mushrooms, ordon nuts and other assorted food items to keep nourished, and we didn’t have to worry about staying warm through the oppressive hyrulian winter.  We even created our own spaces and made the temple our own, complete with furnishings of marble pots, rupees, and other dungeon memorabilia.


“Sister, have you finished up your bed of sticks over chu jelly?” I asked.  “I know you’ve been working on it for some time now and I’d like my own bed back.”


“It’s pretty much done.  The criss-cross pattern was finished last week, and we’ve acquired enough jelly to support it.  The big marble pots and the depression we picked out should be able to hold the jelly in place.” Shira answered. 


“Good, I don’t want to sleep on the rocks another day.  I really feel it during our sparring matches, especially when we use bombs.”


“You always were high maintenance Soren.  I suppose we’ll have to find another fairy or two in the dungeon, they seem to congregate at the bottom of the spiral ramp.”


“We’ll worry about that once we get back to the surface.  It’s the sabbath remember?  Get your armor on, we’re heading to the spring.  Maybe we’ll run into some of our zora friends up there.”  


Although we had contact through the zoras, who provided us with provisions and news from the overworld (not to mention a new suit of Zora Armor for me so I could give my skintight model to sister, who fits it much better), it was very difficult not being able to go anywhere and being so far from our friends.  One day in May once the water had again warmed to bearable temperature, Shira and I ventured to the surface of Lake Hylia and swam over two miles to the coastline that we had fled from almost ten months earlier.  What we saw there horrified us.  Within the ruined buildings and burned out landscape of the once-grassy knolls that surrounded the beachhead, we also found human remains.  Chills ran down our spines as we surveyed fossilized bones, hair and nail fragments, even skulls.  Even though the Bulblin were always known as a ruthless race, this was another level of savagery altogether.  They clearly wished to send a message to us and any other hylians in the region that they meant death upon us all.


We have not ventured back to the coast since that day.  We have however made weekly trips to Lanayru Spring, which sits in a cave to the east of the north shores of the lake and directly north of Lakebed Temple.  Our purpose there was simple, to pray to Lanayru, the guardian serpent diety.  It was our sanctuary.  Lanayru Province is the biggest province in Hyrule, stretching from Lake Hylia in the south, through the farmlands of Hyrule Field and Castle Town in the center, to Zora’s Domain in the north.  The province is supposedly where the bulblin had concentrated most of their efforts in the past year. Their aim was to subjugate the vast population of Castle Town and the outlying farmlands of Hyrule Field, while other parts of the country such as Death Mountain and Ordon Village had been largely spared due to their lack of accessibility and their distance from Bulblin City.  Each trip without fail, we prayed to the goddesses and to Lanayru for the safety of the kingdom and all within the province in the face of Bulblin aggression.


“Dearest Lanayru, protector of the light, please continue to make us strong in the face of these harsh and difficult times.” I began.  “May you show us the way to the path of chivalry and righteousness, and may we be able to use your gifts to make the progress necessary to fend off the invaders and restore the province and the kingdom.”


“We are not of worth to see you at a time like this.” Shira said.  “But someday with your power, and your light guiding us, the sun will rise again over the kingdom.  Until the time for action comes, may we remain steadfast against the powers of evil that surround us.”


“We present to you today a ration of ordon nuts, mushrooms, and several fish from the temple.  It’s not much, but in our situation we hope that you will find our sacrifice acceptable to not only you, but also to Din, Nayru, and Farore, sacred goddesses of Hyrule.” Shira and I held the food items in our hand and knelt down at the edge of the rock that looked down on the spring.  We released them simultaneously, and heard the splash as they dropped into the water.  “May we some day be invited to their sacred temple.” Shira said. 


We were in the cave for perhaps an hour.  Just before we were going to leave, Shira pulled out the mirror that mother left for us just before she was murdered.  Its blue exterior gave way to a shiny clear finish.  Sister was almost obsessed with it, certain that there was some link between it and what mother told us that fateful day.


“You’ll see father and me and we’ll always be together.  Be strong and do not weep for me.” 


I moved toward sister.  “I wonder if mother looked like you at her age.” I said.


“She didn’t have my hair, or my body type for that matter.  Her eyes and facial features perhaps, and maybe the skin, but that’s where it ended.  I was always more like father.”


“You certainly possess his internal strength and passion for living.” I said.  “I wonder what he would have done in our situation.”


“He probably would have stood and fought to the bitter end, and probably would have died.  It would have been fitting for him to go out defending the city he loved and cared so deeply for.  In spite of things now I wonder if we should have done the same.” Shira replied. 


“There was no shame in retreat that day.  You were wounded and our comrades were badly overmatched because of the weapons the Bulblin had at their disposal.  We were lucky to escape the city alive.  The day will come soon where we right the wrongs of the past, we just cannot force the action because the day will come when we least expect it.  That is how the twilight invasion happened, how we reclaimed the country the first time, and how the bulblin swept into power.  Revolutions are not planned, and cannot be viewed from far away.  By the time you know about them they are past the front door and in your kitchen eating all the food.”


Shira smiled.  “Your humor can be quite charming.  But tell me brother, do you think that we’ll see mother and father again someday?”


“I have no doubts.” I responded.


“Do you think the mirror will help us do that?  Like mother said?” Shira asked.


I didn’t immediately answer, but then I remembered what mother said.


“You’ll see father and me and we’ll always be together.”


“Shira, I have a strong feeling that we’ll figure out the mystery.” I concluded.



Chapter 2: Plunge Into Din’s Creation


Another month passed.  We were in the middle of summer, and according to our hastily made calendar that was carved into the rock face of the temple’s main room, it was the first of July.  But you must understand, the first of July is not just any ordinary day in the Kingdom of Hyrule, no no no.  The first is a day of celebration, for on this day thousands of years ago, the goddesses descended from the heavens and began their work of creating the world we know today.  July 1st is the Din Festival, a day of celebration and sacrifice to the hyrulian goddess of power.  For it was on this day that Din with her burning arms created the initial explosion that began the process of creating the red earth.  The other festivals, dedicated to Nayru and Farore, are celebrated on December 24th and May 3rd respectively.


The sun was just peaking over the cliffs surrounding Lake Hylia as we approached Lanayru Cave.  The gulls made lots of noise as they hovered above the entranceway.  Again we were here for prayer, but it would be a prayer of strength and might appropriate for the deity of power, for we both wielded our swords for the occasion.


“To Din, hyrulian goddess of power.” I began.  “Today we come to celebrate and thank you for the gifts of land, water, natural resources, and the power of your grace upon which this country was created.  We thank you for counting us worthy to preside within your domain.”


Shira continued.  “Today, we near the one year anniversary of the loss in Castle Town, suffered last July the 25th.  On this sacred day, Soren and I have mutually agreed that with your strength and power behind us, we promise to return to the city of our birth no matter the cost.  There will be more hardship ahead for us, but it is what mother and father would have wanted, and it is what you would have commanded for us.”


“As a dedicated sword smith for many years, I have always sought your guidance to create weaponry that allows the citizenry to defend themselves against the evil forces that have plagued the country over the years.  In response to the Bulblin harnessing the power of bombs and portable artillery for their evil plans, I have been hard at work on a new weapon that will revolutionize the kingdom and defeat the Bulblin the way they defeated us.  With your grace, I wish to test this weapon here today.”


Shira turned quickly toward me, with a stunned look on her face.  “You’ve been working on a new weapon?  In the temple?” She asked.


“Ah yes, it is a weapon made of metal, stone, and wood.  It is a smaller, modified version of a piece of artillery, one that is small enough for a person to carry around in their hand.”  I reached into my pack and produced it for sister to see.  Her eyes lit up immediately as she saw it.


“I call it, the hand-cannon.”


“Soren, you’re a genius!” Shira shouted.  “Does it work?!” 


“There’s only one way to find out.  Step back.”


I walked up to the end of the rock overlooking the spring, and raised the weapon in front of me.  “I’m going to aim at that stalactite straight ahead.” I said as I aimed.  Bringing the barrel close to my face, I pulled the triggering device.  There was an audible blast the echoed across the room and the weapon pushed back against my arms as the shot left.  Through the dust, we could see that the stalactite had been struck, and pierce was visible right down its center.


 “Din have mercy.” Shira gasped.  “That was incredible!  That could’ve knocked a bulblin straight to its death in one shot!  How did you create this…hand-cannon and how does it work?”


“The weapon is run through a collection of items.  First, much like a slingshot, or bow, you need a piece to function as the ammunition.  I find that small rocks and pebbles that are rounded, without sharp edges, work the best.  Then you need a residue that is explosive in nature that will allow the triggering device to explode the rock toward your intended target.  What better to use than the dusty residue of actual bombs?  And then the triggering device itself, well that was the most difficult.  I actually had to craft a barrel of rocky metal taken from the temple’s heavy basalt surface, and apply to it a mechanical lever that could be pulled from outside the barrel.  The design is taken from Auru’s bazooka in miniature form so that it is completely portable.”


“Do you think the goddess of power would approve of the use of such a weapon?” Shira asked.  “After all, it is forceful and potentially deadly, perhaps more so than any weapon this kingdom has ever seen.”


“I would hope that, in the circumstances, Din would look kindly upon its use.” I said.  “May her grace be with us as our return to the surface world is nigh.”


Later that night in the temple, Shira and I were in our quarters on the second floor, near the giant water slide in the temple’s west quadrant.  We sought out a plan that would allow us to get up the treacherous mountain pass north of Lake Hylia and back to Hyrule Field.  It was an arduous climb, one that was no doubt blanketed by many bulblin defenders.  Ordinarily we would have bypassed this challenge by using Fyer and Falbi’s cannon, but nobody knows what became of them after the bulblin invasion.  The cannon and his home were ransacked. 


“We’re going to need a way to catch the bulblin off guard.  We certainly won’t be able to use an offensive weapon that makes noise like the hand-cannon.”


“We certainly cannot allow it to fall into bulblin hands if we are captured.”  Shira said.


“Indeed.  We will have to travel under the cover of night, and we have to move quickly.  Our zora armor is actually pretty good for this purpose as it is dark colored, and the flippers make very little noise when you move.  Unless their guards are very well trained it will be difficult for them to pick us up.” I said. 


“Where do we go once we reach Hyrule Field?” Shira asked.  “It can’t be Castle Town, for it’s far too dangerous.”


“We’ll head for Ordona.  Some of our guild may have rendezvoused there if they escaped from Castle Town.  Link and Zelda may have fled there as well.  We won’t know until we get there but since Rusl and Link are both from there and it’s a far distance from any bulblin stronghold, it’s worth a shot.”


Just then, the door leading into the room opened.  We immediately turned around wondering who it could be.  Into the room stormed Aguaro and Xelha, two of our zora friends that had helped us following our drop from the Great Hylian Bridge last year. 


“Aguaro, Xelha, what brings you here?” I said hurriedly.


“Soren, he’s here.” Aguaro said gravely.


A sense of doom washed over us, we knew immediately who he was talking about.  “King Bulblin?” Shira asked.  Xelha nodded her head.  “But, how could he get down here?  He would have needed zora armor to get beneath the lake.”


“Precisely, there’s a traitor somewhere within our ranks here.” Aguaro said.  “Whoever it is found or made a giant-sized armor for him.  The dastardly fiend is here to kill you.”


“Where is he?” Shira asked. 


“He is in the main room right now, trying to get the rotating stairs aligned properly so he can get here.  I think he’s already looked in much of the dungeon because he’s armed with water bombs.” Aguaro replied.


“That’s just wonderful, we’re cornered.” I said.  “We’ll have to climb the slide and hope to escape out of the waterfall at the top.”


“That’s impossible for a hylian, the water pressure is too great, great enough that even zoras have difficulty with it.” Xelha said.  “But you’re right, you two should start climbing the slide.  Aguaro and I will set a diversion at the bottom and lead him to the central island.  When that happens, you two slide down and escape from the room.  Then all you have to do is turn the staircase perpendicular and run to the water tunnel and swim out.”


Shira and I quickly grabbed our weapons and provisions and jumped into the water.  At the base of the slide the water splashed down from above, the flow making it difficult to get up.  Shira climbed up onto my shoulders and pulled herself up onto the slide’s outer railing, which was barely more than a foot wide.  Reaching out her hand, I grabbed on and before long, we were climbing the outer railing, which led in a spiral several stories above the watery surface of the room. 


“Be careful sis, the surface is very slippery through here!” I warned as we continued to wind up the concrete passage.  Water dripped down from the slide’s upper reaches and splashed us on the way, making the footing treacherous.  Before long though, we had reached the sharp turn at the top of the room leading to the main waterfall.  Here the surface leveled off, so we hopped into the water just in time to see King Bulblin enter the room.


“Mercy me.  People that big should not be wearing skin-tight garments.” Shira said.  I tried hard not to laugh as I saw the king, clearly looking to burst out of his zora garb.  We were maybe fifty feet up, but close enough to here the conversation below.


“Where are they?!”  King Bulblin shouted.


“What are you talking about?” Aguaro said as he and Xelha retreated in the water to the room’s central island. 


“You know exactly what I mean.  The hylians. Soren and Shira.”  King Bulblin said as he shook the water off his armor.


“Hylians aren’t allowed in our temple.  I don’t know what you are talking about.  Be gone.” Aguaro replied.


King Bulblin moved quickly and grabbed Aguaro by the neck, causing Xelha to scream.  “We can do this easily and painlessly, or you can lose your life and I can destroy this temple, it’s your choice.  I know they are here, the girl even bragged to me once about her ability to hold her breath.  So cease your struggles.”


“Okay, okay, I will just take your hands off of him!” Xelha said frantically. 


King Bulblin strengthened his grip, Aguaro was starting to turn purple.  I motioned to Shira to move.  “They’re up at the top of this giant slide.” Xelha said.  “But you’re forgetting about the other reason you came here, aren’t you?”


“Other reason…wait yes the treasure of the zoras.”  King Bulblin released Aguaro, who dropped to the ground panting hard.  “You must tell me where it lies.”  At that moment I pushed off, and we started to ride down the giant slide, which whisked us downward quickly. 


“Oh, I don’t know if you’re deserving of such a great artifact.” Xelha said teasingly. 


Now it was Xelha that was cornered.  “Do not be treacherous with me.  I’ll have my men down here in less than a day and we’ll ransack the temple looking for it.” 


We were nearing the bottom.  “The treasure is right at the soles of your feet.” Xelha said to him.


“What?”  King Bulblin looked down, and Xelha cut him across the face with her fin.  Aguaro, who had come to, came from behind and punched him in the back, causing him to crumple to the rocky ground just as we splashed down into the water.  The two zoras stayed on top of him while we swam across and toward the exit.  But before long, the king wrestled them off, and was quickly in pursuit.  We rushed into the intervening room and hopped across the rotating platforms toward the exit.  He was hot on our trail as we moved into the main room with the rotating staircase. 


Immediately, we looked for a way to the 2nd floor exit, which was to our right.  However, a giant wall stood in our way.  On the far left there was a switch to turn the staircase but it would put us down on the first floor.  Shira started moving toward it until I heard the door opening. 


“No time!  Ride down the stairs!” I shouted.


She reversed, and grabbed my hand as we ran to the stairs.  The flow of the water carried us quickly, just out of the King’s reach.  Now we were down on the first floor, traveling eastward.  We opened the door, revealing a room with rotating platforms over a seemingly bottomless abyss in the center.


“Oh no, dead end, we have to turn back!” Shira shouted. 


“Too late.” I said as King Bulblin entered the room.  He brandished a giant axe, one with a sharp blade on one end and a hammerhead on the other.


“Some home you two have here.  All nice and warm, and rocky too.  My people would love it.”


“What are you doing here?” I asked.  “Haven’t you caused us enough trouble?”


“Ah, it seems I have.  But it is all in good time my friends, for we are the strongest side now.  Your kind answer to us.  I want to know what you two are hiding.” King Bulblin bellowed.


“We aren’t hiding anything, we just wanted to get away from you and your hideous folk!” Shira shouted.  “We’ve slept on rocks, twigs, and eaten mushrooms for months just to be ridden of you and the violence you’ve cast on the over world.  We’re done fighting.  There’s nothing for you to see here.  Be gone!”


“Miss Shira, it is your mischievous nature that shook me to my core.  I have seen you and your brother’s work, for I’ve tracked you for months.  You two have been plotting to return, and to do so with a weapon nobody knows about.  There can be no question of your intention.”  King Bulblin dropped his axe and held out his hand.  “Take my offer.  You turn over your weapons and lead me to the zora treasure.  In return, I will grant you your peace.  You’ll be allowed to return to the light you so desire, and we’ll never bother you again.”


“I don’t believe you.” I said.  “You double-crossed us and murdered our mother in cold blood!  What makes you think that we would trust you now?”


King Bulblin shook his head.  “As I suspected.  Your kind has no ability to forgive and forget.  It was this callousness that inspired my people to revolt and take over this country.  Very well then, I will do what I must do.” 


He picked his axe back up and started advancing toward us.  I pulled out my clawshot and aimed for the pad on the rotating ceiling.  “Shira hold on tight!” I shouted as she gripped my waist.  My aim was true, and quickly we were whisked away, high over a floating platform above the abyss.  I let down the chain and we dropped onto the platform, which was starting to move away, toward the other side of the room.  But King Bulblin responded by pulling out his bow and producing a bomb-tipped arrow and aimed directly at us. 


“You’re going to miss!” Shira taunted.  The King said nothing, but kept the arrow notched.  But then he pointed upward, toward the spot where the chain holding the platform connected with the rotating ceiling.  Suddenly a feeling of horror washed over me.  The arrow seemed to travel in slow motion as it neared the target.  With the last second I had, I held onto Shira and the chain.  Then there was an explosion, and a giant wooshing sound as the room went dark.



Chapter 3: The Dark World


Was I dreaming?  I felt like I was awake, but all I saw was darkness.  Had I passed to the other side?  I tried to move, but my muscles would not twinge.  My head ached, as though I had gone through a terrible fight and lost badly.


Just then, I felt something rubbing against my leg.  It felt like a hand.  Instinctively my body jumped.  I couldn’t tell what kind of creature it was from the darkness.  I could only wait in suspense as it felt around my legs, then toward my midsection. 


“Soren?  Brother is that you?” she asked.


“Shira?  Shira I can hear your voice, are you here?” I asked groggily. 


Just then some light appeared from up ahead.  It cut through the darkness and I saw her face.  My eyes became wide as they attempted to see again.  “It is you.  Where are we?”


“I don’t know, it’s been too dark to reconcile.” Shira said.  “Here, I’ll help you sit up.”


Shira held me as the light in the room grew stronger.  Before long we were able to make out our surroundings, we were inside a tunnel, sitting on a raft with a chain in the center.  There was a black river beneath us, moving us out toward the end of the tunnel. 


We flowed out of the cave, and the river’s flow became faster as we traveled down a hillside.  During the drop the black liquid splashed all over us.  But strangely, the river’s water wasn’t water at all, for it was not wet.  In fact, it felt like a splash of cold, heavy air. 


For about the next three minutes, we wound down the brown-covered hills.  After that the ground leveled off and we entered another cave.  This gave me a chance to get to my feet.  My legs were very wobbly and weak, and I needed to use the chain to balance myself. 


“Soren, it’s getting dark again.  You should probably sit down.  Here, grab my hands.”


Shira and I once again took to our rocky raft, only to hear some very loud noises in the foreground.  “It sounds like rapids.  Hold on to me Shira.” I said.  Sure enough, we started to descend down a furious canyon.  We held on as tight as we could as the black substance continued to crash and splash around us.  The rapids seemed to only get rougher until finally, the river of black poured into a deep reservoir.  At the end of the reservoir was a waterfall, leading down approximately forty feet.  There was no way to get out, for the cliff banks were far too high.  We braced ourselves as best we could, and over the falls we went.  The splash broke our fall, but beneath the surface of the black it was so dark that I did not know which way to paddle.  It was only from the growing pressure in my ears that I knew I was going in the wrong direction.  Running low on breath, I surfaced, seeing Shira already paddling across to the sandy bank. 


“Well that was fun.” Shira said.  “But where are we?” 


“I don’t have the slightest idea.” I said.  “And why is your skin all black?”


“Funny, yours is the same way brother.” She replied. 


“I looked down at my hands, sure enough, the black “river” had stained my skin pitch black.  Beneath my clothes my normal skin color was present, but any unprotected areas were engulfed.  It was as though somebody had taken a vat of ink and spilled it on my face, neck, and hands; and had done the same to Shira. 


We began to walk across the field.  The light seemed to have dimmed somewhat, it was an array of yellow, orange, pink, purple, and red, the colors of sunset.  The field of brown and yellow grass and sod stretched out for miles ahead of us.  We must have walked for hours without seeing any sign of life.


“It’s just so…empty here.  What is this place?” Shira asked glumly.  I wish I had an answer for her, but I did not.  It seemed as though we could hardly feel the ground, or feel the chill or warmth in the air.  Strangest of all, the dim light of the sunset never seemed to change. Finally, we came to a dug out path that cut across the field.  Just beyond the path was another blackened river, similar to the one we had ridden down earlier.


“I think we should go to the left.”  I said.  Shira did not object.  The road wound through the plain for several more hours.  My feet began to experience some discomfort, which was literally the first feeling I had noticed since arriving in this sunset-covered world.  We passed into a wooded area and just after doing so, we arrived at a fork in the road.  The right fork in the path continued along the river while the left appeared to veer deeper into the trees.  An information sign stood at the back of the fork, quite literally the first sign of any life.  But the sign was illegible, in a language we could not decipher. 


“Brother do you have the book of writings Shad gave us?” Shira asked. 


I rummaged through my pack, and beneath my fishing spear was the book.  What a stroke of luck!  I had grabbed the book before proceeding to Shira’s quarters, and thus had it on me before King Bulblin chased us from the Lakebed Temple.


“Yes!  That’s how we got here!” I shouted.


“What?” Shira asked. 


“I remember now, don’t you?  King Bulblin chased us through the temple, and we ended up here because we fell down the hole in the crust at the bottom of Lake Hylia.  The first time I saw it, it seemed to stretch on forever but it took us here.”


“How do you know that?” 


“We still have the stuff we were carrying back then.  And the raft we rode on down the black river was made of solid rock and had a chain in the middle, just like the platform we were on when he shot the bomb-tipped arrow that dropped us into the chasm.  It all makes sense now.”


“So, if that’s what happened…does that mean…we’re…dead?” Shira asked.  “That would explain why I can’t feel the air, or the water, or anything.”


Without knowing what to say or do, I reached out to Shira, grabbing her leg, then her arm and face.  Then I hugged her as hard as I could.


“Stop it Soren, you’re squishing me!  You’re such a big lug!” Shira shouted. 


“Well at least we know we’re still in one piece.  Now let’s see if we can decipher this sign.” I started to flip through the book, through the known hyrulian languages.  For a while, I had no success.  Sister started to look over the pages as well.  After re-reading the letters on the sign again, I could see it in her face.  Her eyes widened. 


“Brother, do you remember the sign in the mountains that led us to Bulblin City?  This sign is written in similar tongue.  Notice the curves and the crosses, especially toward the end.”


After taking a closer look, I realized that she was right.  “So this is Bulblin…wait no, it’s not their language.  It’s that of their old allies!”  I paged furiously toward the back of the book.  “Woods…of…Gamelon, left way.  Right way, 7 miles…Twilight City.” I translated.


Just then we heard some high pitched noises behind us.  We turned around toward the river and noticed a group of Twili under the trees to the other side of the path. 


“I think they’re welcoming us.” Shira said.  She started to walk toward them, only to have them make more noise and run away.



Chapter 4: Twilight City


“How did we get here if the only way here is through the Twilight Mirror?”


That was the question that I had no answer for.  It was a difficult question to ponder, since there was not any other known link between Hyrule and the land of the Twili.  Perhaps the chasm in the earth’s crust beneath Lake Hylia contained a previously hidden link between the two worlds. 


“There’s only one person here that will know the answer.” I said.  Shira nodded her head in agreement.  We set off down the path along the river.


It was difficult to keep track of the time since the dimmed light never wavered.  There was no day, there was no night, just a consistently weak yellow and orange that filled the smoky skies above.  Our best guess was that it was close to daybreak.  The path continued to wind through the woods for about four miles before the trees cleared and gave way to a rolling plain of yellow and brown earth.  This time though, there were buildings ahead, the biggest of which was impossible to miss, a giant black citadel standing on a hill above the smaller buildings below. 


“It must be Twilight Palace, I would recognize that building anywhere!” I shouted. 


“It looks like it might be difficult to reach atop those hills.” Shira said.


“Doesn’t matter, we’re going to make it there no matter what.” I said.  Just the sight of Twilight Palace gave me flashbacks of the last time I was there, Link and Midna leading us through the mirror and infiltrating the basement of the palace, raiding the prison and watching as mother single-handedly defeated hordes of Twili defenders with her giant hammer.  It was a great moment for the kingdom and for our family.


Half an hour later we were on the outskirts of Twilight City, and the path diverged away from the river, which ran north toward the cliffs protecting Twilight Palace from the east.  The cliffs were far too steep.  We would have to try to climb from the gentler hills in the south and southwest, which meant traveling through the center of town.


Just before we reached the walls of the city, a series of giant pillars fell from the sky.  They surrounded us with a force field over ten feet high.  We were trapped.


“Shira, get close and unsheathe, it’s a messenger attack!” I shouted.  Sure enough, a black vortex appeared in the sky above us, and four twilight messengers dropped out of it.  I immediately pressed the one in the front of the formation and slashed it.  It dropped to the ground.  Shira moved to the back of the circle, essentially causing a distraction while I took out a second messenger with an uppercut to the back.  But as I did so, Shira took out a third with her sword.  I tried to cover my ears but the call of the fourth messenger was ear-piercing and just plain shrill and awful, one that froze me in my tracks.  Within seconds, the three fallen messengers rose to their feet.  This time two of them turned toward me, and two toward Shira.  I backed them off with a spinning blade attack, then ran between them and toward sister, who was backed up against the wall, trying desperately to keep the other two messengers back with her sword. 


With a fierce leap, I rose into the air and cut down one of the messengers by his neck.  The other messenger slapped at Shira, and knocked the sword from her hand.  She responded well though, delivering a sweeping leg kick and tripping it to the ground when it tried to attack again.  I then came over and slashed it in the stomach.  By this time the other two messengers were on us, and one of them went for Shira’s sword.  She responded by pulling out her bow. 


“Wait Shira, let’s run to the other side and hit them at the same time!” I shouted.  We moved quickly along the wall, halfway around the circle, and I drew my bow.


“Go for the one on the right, and make sure your aim is true!” Sister screamed.  She notched an arrow, as did I.  “One…two…” the messengers were nearing us, probably no more than eight feet away, “Three!” The arrows shot simultaneously and found their mark, right across the chest of the messengers.  They dropped to the ground, and within seconds their bodies had exploded, the pieces returning back up the vortex.


“Well that was a nice welcome.” Shira said sarcastically as we walked to the city wall.  I nodded in agreement.  Once we got to the wall, we noticed that the gate was wide open, and that nobody was standing guard.  The city itself was filled with black, purple, and brown stone buildings, and the streets were paved with more of the same.  The landscape contrasted, even clashed with the twilight that shown from above. 


There were very few Twili on the streets, and the few that we saw kept a far distance from us.  One could occasionally here their sounds of speech, which resembled groans.  After walking for about five minutes or so, we reached the center of the city, a rectangular area with a grassy knoll in the middle.  In the center of the knoll stood a group of four statues, one for each of the fused shadows surrounding Princess Midna, who towered in the middle.  Twilight Palace stretched out above the city to our north. 


“So do we head for the front, or do we look for a back entrance?” Shira asked.


“Definitely the back way up the hills.” I responded.  “There doesn’t appear to be a way in from the front, unless there is a tunnel leading to the palace’s basement.  I don’t remember seeing such a passageway the last time we were there.”


Just then, we both noticed the Twili in the square were starting to form a circle around the knoll.  “Brother, what are they doing?” Shira asked. 


“They’re probably wondering who we are and why we’re here.” I responded.


Suddenly, more pillars fell from the sky, right at the edge of the grass between us and the Twili.  This time, eight messengers dropped from the vortex.  There were high-pitched noises surrounding the area as we both fell back and drew our bows.  Shira took out two messengers with perfect shots, while I got one but missed on a second before they got too close.  With our swords we fended off the attackers as best as we could.  They swung and clawed at us as they backed us up toward the wall. 


“Soren, let me jump back off your hands!  I’ll get behind them!” Shira yelled.  She sheathed her sword and I grabbed right foot.  We waited a few seconds for the messengers to get really close, then she rose her other foot into the air.  With a quick and strong push, Shira flipped backward overtop of the messengers, landed, and charged with her sword.  I punched one, kicked another, but a third managed to grab me by the arm.  Without knowing what to do, I hit the ground, covering my face knowing that a messenger’s scream was capable of knocking a man unconscious.  Lucklily for me, the distraction allowed Shira to defeat three of the remaining messengers easily, and she freed me from the ground. 


With two messengers remaining, we doubled back toward the Midna statue, and decided to end the battle in style.  Shira and I climbed onto two of the fused shadow statues, and watched as the messengers pursued us.  With a hand signal to three, Shira and I jumped, landing a finishing blow against the attackers.  They exploded into pieces and retreated back into the vortex.


It was difficult to tell the expressions of the Twili, but as the force field dropped and the pillars faded away, many of them began to make loud noises.  Most began to file out of the square, but one solitary figure approached us with a piece of parchment.  I grabbed it and unfurled it, while Shira flipped through the book of translations.


“What does it say?” I asked. 


“It reads…be gone…invaders of light.” Shira said with caution in her voice. 


“Something tells me that we’re not welcome here.” I concluded. 


“How long did it take for you to figure that out?” A voice mockingly asked.


We swung around the other direction, toward the palace.  Midna was standing before us. 


“Was it after the first fight, or the second?” She asked with her arms folded.



Chapter 5: Secret of the Mirror


The throne room of Twilight Palace was as I expected, rather plain and drab, with marble floor and walls, with a large but ordinary chair in the back.  For such an important place, you would have figured Midna to at least use some of her wealth or magic on decorations.  But then again, Princess Midna always defied convention.


“I must be going crazy.  Surely I did not see you two invade my country and defeat some of the strongest messengers in the Twili militia.  But then again, I know you.”  She got off the throne and walked toward us, her hair billowing in the dry air.  “Back when I was with the Hero, I met you.  It was in the forest.  The male, a real warrior, with arms and legs so strong and a sword so quick to attack.  And the female, a beautiful mind, with ability to outsmart the opponent and a bow that could pierce any adversary.  Your names are Soren and Shira, are they not?”


I did not immediately respond.  Neither did Shira.  I think both of us were a bit awestruck at her nearly perfect memory.


“Tell me, brave ones of light, what brings you to the Twilight Realm?  What need do you have for our world?”


“Princess Midna, we were attacked.” I said.  “Deep down beneath Lake Hylia, inside the Lakebed Temple, King Bulblin came after us.  He chased us into a chamber with a giant chasm in the earth’s crust.  When we attempted to escape, he shot a bomb arrow that exploded and dropped our platform into the black pit.  The next thing we knew, we were riding down a black river and a waterfall about a day’s walk from here.”


Twicus Mountain?” Midna snapped.  “That’s highly dubious.  It’s nearly impossible to climb to the summit there.”


“Your majesty, brother’s tale is all truth.” Shira said.  “We don’t know how we got here, or there, but I can assure you it was an accident.”


Midna seemed deep in thought.  We could only wonder what she was thinking.  Then she spoke.


“So the bulblin have returned to reclaim the world of light, have they not?” She asked.


“It is true.” I said.  Lanayru Province was taken forcefully about a year ago.  I lost my mother and my lady in the fighting.”


“At the least did you honorably defend your territory?” Midna inquired.


Shira raised her hand, muzzling my thought process.  She undid her belt slightly, and pulled up her tunic, revealing the giant scar on her stomach where she had been shot with a flaming arrow.  Midna’s eyes widened.  She walked over and investigated the scar.  “This is surely the result of a bulblin’s doused arrow.  Very few survive a direct hit from these.  You must have a vast ability to deal with pain.”


“I have suffered more than I would care to.” Shira responded.


“Whatever.  The point is, we have a problem.  I care not about the affairs of the world of light, including whatever evil plot the Bulblin have carried out, just as I am sure you two care not about the world of twilight.  And yet, despite the destruction of the Twilight Mirror, our paths have once against crossed.  There must be some explanation…”


Midna froze for a second, deep in thought.  An eerie silence covered the room.  Shira reached out her hand to me, and I grabbed it.  Clearly, she was fearful of something.


“I need to see everything you have brought with you.  Empty out your packs and lay your weapons down…now!” Midna shouted.  We quickly complied.  Before us were bows, arrows, our swords, and several other items.  The Twilight Princess looked over our possessions one by one before coming to the blue-rimmed mirror, which lay in front of Shira.


“What is this?  How did you find this?” Midna asked as she examined the mirror’s features.


“It is a mirror, entrusted to me by our mother Kaylee.  She gave it to us before she died in the fighting in Castle Town last year, saying that by looking into it that we could see her and father.”


Midna checked over the mirror once more, then a maniacal smile suddenly crossed her face.  “It all makes sense now.  Yes!” Midna shouted, laughing like some kind of maniacal scientist.  “Your mother was related to one of the sages.  She was one of the people that worked on the construction of the Twilight Mirror years ago.  That’s why Zant and his followers kidnapped her and brought her to the Twilight Realm!  This mirror, it is a fragment of the mirror’s original construction.  It has the same properties as the Twilight Mirror had before I destroyed it!” 


“So the mirror mother gave us can transport us between the worlds?” Shira asked.  “But that’s crazy, how could she?”  


“It appears so.”  Midna said.  “That’s why, when you fell down the gap between dimensions, the mirror created a hyperspace of sorts and saved you.”  Midna laid out two maps on the ground, one overtop of the other.  “The geography makes sense.  Lakebed Temple and Twicus Mountain are at about the same point on the map.  So when you hit the warp, it took you there.  Now look over here, we are here, at Twilight Palace.” Midna pointed toward the center of the maps.  By looking at the overlay, we can predict your landing point if you were to warp again from here.”


Brother and I looked in closely.  Hyrule Castle?” Shira asked.


“That’s where you two are from right?  That’ll be perfect.” Midna said with satisfaction.


“No, we cannot proceed there, it’s bulblin territory and far too dangerous.  We need a different landing point.” I demanded as I searched over the map.  “Down here, in Ordona.”


“Very well then.  We must proceed to the Yittrus Peninsula, there is a warp tunnel there, once we get there we’ll see if we can get you out of this realm before my people start to panic and barricade themselves.  Twili are very shy creatures, and your arrival here has them on high alert.”  Midna moved out to the middle of the room and pointed at the ground, creating a black vortex on the ground.  “Please, gather your belongings and proceed, we don’t have much time.”


After replenishing our packs with our wares, we walked over toward Midna.  “Are you sure there’s nothing left for you to do here?” Midna asked us.  We nodded our heads.  The next thing we knew, the room went dark and it felt like we were floating on air.  We emerged on the sands of a beautiful beach, looking out over an ocean of black.  The waves broke in on the shores.  Midna beckoned to us, and we followed her down the beach about half a mile or so.  Before long, we turned more inland, toward a grassy knoll, one that seemed to be covered with weeds and overgrowth.  Before long it was difficult to proceed forward and we had to use our swords to cut down the brush. 


“Stop!” Midna shouted.  “We’re here.  Take out your mirror.  If the warp works here the mirror will transport you directly to Ordon Spring.”


I wasn’t exactly how to activate the mirror’s power, since the mirror had been inside my pack the first time it worked, but Shira and I focused our collective gaze on it.  Within seconds, there was a blinding flash of light, and I could feel our feet lift off from the ground.


“Good luck, Soren and Shira.” Midna said.  I could see her black arm waving at us as light enveloped us from head to toe. 

Chapter 6:  Hyrulian Heaven


When the light cleared, we found ourselves in a strange place.  It did not resemble any place in mainland Hyrule, nor was it anyplace in the Twilight Realm.  We stood on a mountaintop, high above a layer of clouds that spread out like a snow-covered plain.  Further ahead was a castle of sorts that glowed a bright blue on the exterior. 


“It looks like we’re in the clouds.” I said. 


“Looks like it, it seems just like the City in the Sky, except the construction seems magical and mystical, can you believe it?” Shira said with wonder in her eyes. 


“It’s very pretty but we didn’t land where we thought we would.  The mirror led us off course.” 


“Shh…” Shira hushed.  “I can hear voices in the distance.  Listen for them.”  I tuned into my surroundings but heard nothing but the wind.


“Do you hear the voices calling our names?”  She asked.


“No…wait I see some people down on the plain.  Shira give me your telescope.”  Sister fished it out of her pack.  I adjusted the magnification down onto the clouds below.  What I saw down there hit me like a giant moblin spear across the brow. 


“Shira!  That’s father and mother down there!” I shouted.


“What?  You’re kidding!” Shira ripped the telescope from hands and focused in the same area I had.  Then she quickly replaced it in her pack.  “You’re right Soren, let’s go!”


We ran quickly down the back of the mountainside, and around a winding path that took us through some beautiful flora.  Before long we were approaching the clouds and in our irrational state of mind we both began leaping and bouncing across the fluffy surface.  It wasn’t long until we were in each other’s arms, reunited as a family at long last.  Cries of joy filled the air.


“Mother, father, am I ever so glad to see you!” Shira shouted as she hugged father.  Tears came to my eyes as I embraced mother.  “We’ve come so far, it doesn’t even seem real.” I said. 


“Children you believed in what I told you.” Mother said.  “I told you that the mirror would lead you to see us once again.  You’ve uncovered a secret power that has led you here, to the Plains of Nayru.” 


“The Plains of Nayru?”  Shira wondered.  “The fabled flatlands between the Din Mountains and the Farore Forest?  The hyrulian heavens?” 


“You have read your ancient scrolls well, child.” Father said.


“But does that mean we’re…” I stuttered.


“Dead?”  Mother said.  “Of course not my dear.  You’ve simply been enveloped within the powers of the mirror.  As a remnant of the Twilight Mirror, it has the ability to transport humans across the void between the worlds of light and twilight.  I just thought you’d want to see us first before your end voyage to Ordona.” 


“So you’re not real?  We’re dreaming right now?” I asked.


“You could say that.” Father said.  “But there is a reason for it.  There is something gravely important that we must tell you.  It is the true reason behind the fall of the kingdom.” 


“The true reason?  Besides the bulblin armies creating weapons too powerful for us to repulse?”


“Soren, that was but a very small part of the powers working against you that fateful day.  The Bulblin were guaranteed their success because of destiny.  Nay, it was the destiny of their greatest ally that guided them.  The evil sorcerer Raym.”  Father said.


Shira and I were confused.  “But Raym was killed in a lightning strike.  He’s dead, I saw his death with my own eyes.” Shira said with confidence. 


“I myself do not know how he managed to survive but trust me child, he did.  And worse still, he now possesses the Triforce of Power.”


“The Triforce of Power?!  The sacred triangle once held by the evil Ganondorf Dragmire?!  But how did Raym manage to…” I stopped in midsentence not knowing what to say.  I felt like crying.  “But how could the goddesses manage to bestow the golden power upon such a disloyal and dastardly fiend looking to betray the kingdom?”


“Like villain like villain.” Shira said, rolling her eyes. 


“Children!” Father shouted.  “You speak as though the goddesses are infallible, and are not capable of making mistakes.  Remember your teachings.  Nayru, Farore, and Din are human manifestations of higher power.  Theirs is a tremendous responsibility that cannot possibly be fathomed, for they must uphold all power of earth, living things, and the actions and feelings that guide our world.  It is your duty as citizenry of Hyrule to follow them always, and to fight against those that have sought to destroy the balance they created.  Without this, the kingdom will not survive!”


Shira and I conferred for a minute.  Our resolve was once again being tested.  “Of course we will do as you command, and for what is best for Hyrule.” I said. 


“The Bulblin only exist as the pawns for Raym’s bidding.” Mother said.  “Don’t confuse my untimely death, which was a revenge killing, with their ultimate goal.  Their intent was only to depose the royal family in order to liberate themselves from Queen Zelda’s tyranny.  But shortly after the revolution, Raym used his power to defeat King Bulblin and become the King of Hyrule.  He is the one you need to hunt down and destroy, not King Bulblin.”


“If King Bulblin was defeated by Raym, why would he not try to exact revenge?” I asked.


“I know the answer.” Shira said.  “The bulblin have a code, that they always serve the strongest side.  So King Bulblin decided to ally with one that was stronger than he.  But maybe if we could show him that his side was not the strongest, we could turn the Bulblin back to our side and against Raym.  Surely Zelda, maybe with Link’s help, could defeat Raym.  After all, two triforces are better than one.” 


“Maybe not.” Father said.  “Remember that during the Ocarina conflict, the evil Ganondorf sought to re-combine the Triforce after he broke it into three inside the Sacred Realm.  He succeeded in doing so, bringing together the two lost parts at his castle of darkness.  It was only the strength and courage of the legendary Hero that foiled his plan.  Raym will no doubt attempt to do the same.  Link and Zelda realize this, and have gone into hiding, in Ordona Province.  They are awaiting the awakening call, the right moment to defeat Raym and bring peace to Hyrule once again.”


“Children, you must proceed to Ordon Village.” Mother said.  “There you will meet Link and Zelda, face to face.  They will tell you more of the legend of Raym, and about the one person that could eventually defeat him.  You must seek this person, for it is somebody I am sure you know very well.” 


A bright light began to blot out the landscape around us.  The mirror’s power was about to end our reunion.


“What will become of you?”  Shira asked frantically.


“We will continue to watch over you from above.” Mother said.  “Our love is endless, and we know that you will do our will and rebuild the kingdom with passion, purity, and persistence.”


“When the time comes, you’ll join the ranks of the departed and be with us again.  Take advantage of every day and live it like your last.” Father said. 


I remember the four of us embracing one another, our hands snugly around each other’s backs, when the light fully enveloped us again.  Then I was floating, just like before.



Chapter 7: Ostracized in Ordona


We were standing, up to our knees in the spring.  The sun was shining.  The birds chirped, the rats rummaged for food, and the warm breeze turned cool as it flushed across the water.  There could no doubting that we had indeed landed where Midna said we would, in Ordon Spring.


“Remember what mother and father told us?”  I said.  “We should proceed to the village.”


 Happy to be back in the hyrulian overworld for the first time in almost a year, we proceeded southward toward the center of Ordona Province.  The day was very hot and dry, or maybe it just felt that way because we had become accustomed to our watery and often dark home inside Lakebed Temple.  Before long we were both feeling quite thirsty, but had nothing to drink. 


The last time I had traveled to Ordon Village it was a small, remote area based mostly in agricultural goods.  Its location is far away enough that many in Castle Town do not consider it part of the Hyrulian kingdom, and it was the only populated area that was not captured by the Twili during the Twilight War.  But this time, Shira and I encountered many new houses and even several shops in the meadows between the village and Ordon Spring.  Link’s house, which used to sit on the outskirts between civilization and wilderness, was now firmly placed inside what was now the fastest growing settlement in Hyrule.  We knocked at the door of Link’s residence, only to find that nobody was home.  We pressed onward to the main village itself. 


As we got a drink in the river, we couldn’t help but notice the changes in the land.  The high plateaus that once surrounded the village had been razed, leaving soft rolling hills that yielded many houses and farms.  I took a last sip and turned back toward Shira, who had filled up our bottles with the precious liquid when I heard somebody calling for me.  A young woman in white with dirty blond hair was approaching.  Examining her features, I knew it had to be Ilia. 


“I…think I know you two.” Ilia said.  “You’re Soren and Shira, aren’t you?” 


“Why, yes we are.” I responded.  “You must be Ilia.” 


“I remember you, because when I was bedridden in Kakariko during the twilight conflict, you helped me.  Nay, when Link helped me regain my memory, I saw you do the same for your sister because she had been brainwashed by an enemy.  A cucco doll was your keepsake, was it not?” Ilia asked Shira. 


Sister was amazed.  “How did you remember that?” she asked. 


“My memory has actually been quite good since Link helped restore it.  Come, my father will want to see you.”  Ilia said.


We proceeded across the center of town to Ilia’s house, a three-story split level made entirely of wood except for some stone in the back.  It was most definitely the biggest residence in Ordona Province.  Upon entering, we were greeted by Bo, Ilia’s father and mayor of Ordon Village. 


“It is a pleasure to meet you.” Bo said.  “Come, there are many folks that wish to hear your tale.”


We walked through the doorway and into the main room, which was a depressed corridor with a fireplace in the back and a raised platform used for sparring in the middle.  Upon coming into view, we were immediately blown away by who we saw.  Two of our former Adventurer’s Guild comrades, Rusl and Shad, sat in the corners of the room, and behind them in the back stood Link and Zelda.


Before we could say anything, Bo led off the conversation.  “We understand that you have been in hiding for some time now yes?”


“Indeed.” I said.  “Our retreat from Castle Town was hasty, and we were hurried by a pack of bulblin pursuers.  We attempted to reach Ordona Province but the bulblin funneled us to the east, toward the Great Hylian Bridge.  There another pack on the opposite side of the bridge set a trap.”


“We were forced to either jump from the bridge or be burned alive.” Shira said.  “So we jumped.”


“You jumped from the Great Hylian Bridge and survived?” Shad asked.  “That bridge has to be at least two hundred feet above the water.” 


“Not only that, but Shira was gravely injured from a flaming arrow shot she took in the ribs.  I gave her what potions we had available but had it not been for our zora friends at water’s surface, she probably would have passed away before we reached land.”


“What happened after that?” Rusl asked. 


“After several days bedridden at my fishing hut thanks to the zoras and some bulblin friends of mine, I was able to recover some strength.  But the bulblin attackers figured our location and launched another strike.  Brother and I fled by boat into the depths of the lake, and with the help of the zoras we reached safety within Lakebed Temple.  We spent the next 11 months under the surface of Lake Hylia, with very little contact with the overworld.”


“I understand now why you had loyalty to the bulblin.” Zelda said to sister.  “You had friendly allies within their ranks that were able to help you when you needed it most.”


“The bulblin always serve the strongest side.” Link said.  “You must have been able to defeat them or their superiors in a battle of physical or mental ability.  That is not easily done.  How many of them are there?”


“There are three, their names Terex, Metcla, and Pehrot.” Shira said.  They come from Bulblin City, but they were assigned to post in the Zora’s River Valley not far from Lake Hylia.”


Zelda and Link conferred for a minute.  “Link, I think this could be the break we were looking for.  If there are bulblin that can be turned around to our side like these three, we might be able to crack the solidarity of the opposition.  But even if we divide their forces in two, we will still need to find the one true being that can oppose the evil Raym.  If only I could sense her presence.”


“I know who we are looking for, I just have not come across her in my travels.” Link said.  “Maybe the descriptions I’ve been receiving have not been true.” 


“Link, Zelda, if you do not mind my asking, who are you talking about?  And why are the two of you in hiding, couldn’t you collectively defeat Raym the same way you did Ganondorf?” I asked.


Link went to respond, but his face was flushed.  He seemed visibly nervous, as he often was when called on to speak.  Zelda took this cue and replied to me.  “Honorable Soren, it is true what you have been told.  Raym was chosen by destiny to obtain the Triforce of Power when Ganondorf was killed.  It is equally true that this destiny was chosen by fate.  If this were all that we were up against, then defeating Raym would be an easy exercise.”


“Then why don’t you do it?” I asked.


“This time, we are dealing with powers that are beyond what we know.” Zelda said.  “Raym has been bestowed with an especially strong power that could have come only directly from the goddess of wisdom, Nayru.  He is invulnerable.”


“Invulnerable?”  Shad asked.  “You mean like, immortality?”


“According to legend, every few hundred years, the goddesses of Hyrule bestow the power of immortality to ordinary men.  They do so with the intention that the people that receive their power will be their sworn brothers.  Their function is to be the earthly connection between the will of the goddesses and the surface world.”


“So Raym was chosen to be a prophet of the goddesses?” Ilia asked. 


“You could say that.” Zelda replied.


“So by trying to fight him, your action would be doomed to failure and would anger the goddesses at the same time?” I asked.


“That’s, the predicament in which we find ourselves.” Link said, letting out a sigh.


“But why Raym?”  Bo asked.  “How could somebody so completely heinous and unforgiving be bestowed with this awesome responsibility and power?” Bo asked.


“Raym was for a very long time, a good man with a kind heart.” Zelda said.  “He was one of the top fighters and best leaders in the Hylian Knights.  On several occasions I spoke to him directly in the castle, and he always carried himself with the utmost of dignity and respect.  This was long after Ganondorf was defeated.  If he had planned on using the Triforce of Power for evil purposes, then he must have been planning and scheming to do so right under my nose, and for several years at that.” 


“You know what they say about power, it corrupts.” Link said.  “Those that grab it, only wish to grab more of it until they reign over all.  Raym may have meant well during most of his life, but his mind has been twisted.” 


“I wonder if, in some way, he felt sympathy toward the bulblin, and decided to align with them because of how much they were suffering.” Shira said.


“Do you understand now why I had you imprisoned?” Zelda asked her.  Shira nodded her head nervously.  It was a difficult swallowing of pride for Shira, who never thought she was wrong.


An awkward silence filled the room, during which my head was spinning.  I thought back to the battle in Castle Town, to the street, to the alley where Raym held Santha hostage.  And then the lightning strike came down and killed them, or at least killed her but he managed to survive and…


“Wait a minute!” I shouted.  “How exactly did Raym receive his power of immortality?”


“I…I don’t know.” Link said.  He looked to Zelda, but the queen, who usually knew everything there was to know, merely shrugged her shoulders. 


Shad ventured a guess.  “Once I read in the ancient scrolls, about how the goddesses could communicate with the human world through atmospheric conditions.  The weather and climate have long been used as a basis for the goddesses’ mood toward the people that were in charge of the world they created.”


“Shad that’s it!” I yelled.  “During the battle in Castle Town last year, the skies were filled with lightning and thunder, and a giant lightning bolt struck two people that night.  I saw it with my own two eyes, and with sister as my witness, one of those struck was Raym.  The other was my girlfriend, Santha, whom he was holding hostage with a knife to the throat!  They were both lifeless after the strike, so we thought they were dead.  Raym is still alive and now has the powers of the heavens so that means that Santha must still be alive too, and have the same abilities as Raym!  So if we find Santha, we might be able to defeat Raym!” 


Everybody in the room was wide-eyed for a minute as they digested my sudden soliloquy.  Finally, Zelda spoke.  “If things happened as you say, your proposal gives us hope.  Where can we find her, your significant other?” 


“Her home was in Kakariko.  If she’s still alive that’s where she’ll be.” I said.



Chapter 8:  The Battle of Kakariko Village


Three days and long nights had passed, a nearly seventy mile journey from the meadows of Ordona and across the forests of Faron Province had led us to the doorstep of Kakariko Village.  We noticed a fair amount of traffic on the route.  Merchants, traders, and artisans of all sorts traveled in carriages and on horseback through the plains of western Faron and southeastern Eldin Province.  The whole area seemed much more built up than at any time before, much like Ordona.  Several traders told us that the bulblin occupation of Castle Town had forced them into the countryside, into the rich agricultural lands of western and southern Hyrule.  Their center of operations was Kakariko Village, which due to its newfound economic importance was now a town experiencing massive population growth.  They say that before long, Kakariko might become as large as Castle Town. 


Indeed, much like Ordona, we could see the changes with our own eyes.  There were now two main thoroughfares, with a new street cut across the canyon eastward from the graveyard.  Additionally, the system of walkways along the canyon had been greatly improved, and even featured mechanical lifts to take people directly from bottom to top.  Before we could get to see much more of the town, we reached the house of Renado the shaman. 


It was late into the night by the time we reached the house, and aside from Renado’s daughter, who was fast asleep in her bed, there was nobody else around.  The shaman greeted us with a bow and ushered us in. 


“Honorable friends of Hyrule, welcome to my home.” Renado said.  “Tell me, what is it that brings you all to Kakariko?” 


“We have come to seek out a person of interest, somebody that might be able to combat the powers bestowed upon the evil Raym.” Link said. 


“And who is this person of interest that you seek?”  Renado asked.


Bo beckoned to me.  I presented Renado with one of my most prized possessions, a portrait of Santha that was drawn by one of Hyrule’s greatest artists.  We had our portraits done several months before the bulblin invasion of Castle Town, so that no matter what we would have a piece of one another.  “She is a great friend of mine, her name is Santha.” I said.  “She used to live in Kakariko before she met me and moved to Castle Town.  After my disappearance it’s likely that she returned here following the bulblin invasion of Castle Town.” 


Renado examined the portrait.  “Her eyes, her hair, they seem like a burst of energy from inside the soul.  I believe I have seen them before, several weeks ago on the trail leading to Death Mountain.  It was unusual because few men travel to the land of the gorons, and even more rarely do women traverse the trail.  I should have asked her what she was doing.” 


“She was going to Death Mountain?”  Rusl asked.  “Is everything okay with the Gorons?”


“As far as I know, yes.” Renado responded.  “But, tell me truly, what makes you think this woman has the powers of the goddesses secreted within?” 


“This woman Santha was struck by the same lightning strike that impacted Raym on that dreaded night last year.” Shira responded.  She was quickly cut off by Shad.  “We believe that the lightning, or whatever the flash of light represented was most likely supernatural, and according to the scrolls, the goddesses are capable of communicating with the surface world through the use of climate, sound, and light of the skies.”


“If Shad’s theory is true, this woman could harbor powers greater than anything we know, potentially even greater than that of Raym.”  Zelda said. 


“It is decided then.  At dawn, we will set out for Death Mountain.  We will report directly to Darbus, he’ll be at the trailhead just after sunrise, he’ll brief us then.” Renado said. 


It was the middle of the night and I was sound asleep.  I do not remember what my dreams were like, but it was a very deep, satisfying sleep, in a bed for the first time in almost a week.  Maybe that is why I awoke so groggily.


“Soren!  Soren wake up!  There’s somebody outside!” Shira exclaimed. 


“Who’s out there?”  I asked. 


“They’re in the streets, bulblins!  They are sweeping into the city!” she responded.  


“Get Link and the others up, now.  Get your weapons and we’ll climb up to the rooftop.”


After waking the others, Shira and I ran quickly up the spiral staircase that circled above the room and led up to the roof.   Once there, Shira took out her telescope and focused in.  It was still the dead of night and the moon was full, which bathed the Kakariko landscape in its light.  Sure enough, I could see several bulblin fighters down on the street.  Shira told me that there was a bigger formation of fighters moving in from the northwest. 


“What do you see?” Link asked. 


“They are coming in from the north, many of them.” Shira responded.


“There’s probably a large concentration of them up in Eldin Plain, they’ve always had a strong presence there.  I’ll alert the others and we’ll spread out around the city.  You two stay here, we’ll get out ahead and pick them off from above.”


Over the next half hour or so, I saw Rusl, Bo, Link, Zelda, and Ilia move out into the streets.  Link, already in attack mode, snuck up behind two wayward bulblins and disarmed them with his sword.  He then led the way for the others north before they split into two groups, Link and Zelda going onto the eastern cliff face, the three Ordonites going to the west cliff.  While this was happening, Renado’s daughter, Luda, came up to the roof.


“What is happening?” Luda asked. 


“We think the town is under attack.” Shira responded. 


“I see.  This is the second time the bulblin have returned.  We don’t know what they are looking for here, but they keep coming back.”


“So this is the third time the bulblin have come through here?” I asked her. 


“Yes.  The last time was about a week ago.  They came during the daylight, like the first time.  One of their leaders talked with my dad.  They said they were looking for a lost person in the goron country.  This time they come during the nighttime, so it must be serious.”


Before I could ask her about this person of interest, we heard a wooshing sound up ahead.  There was an explosion on the ground about four blocks away.  Then there was a second explosion right next to it. 


“Din!  It’s cannon fire!  They’re going to bombard the town!  We need to get inside now!”


We quickly surrendered to the basement of Renado’s house, and all we heard for the next hour or so were the explosions falling above us.  Luda was clearly shaken, and Shira did her best to keep her spirits up while Renado and I defended the exit way from possible entry by attackers.  Finally, the explosions subsided.  Shira and I were first up the ladder out of the basement, and, much to our surprise, Renado’s house was mostly spared, only a few scattered spots within the walls were hit.  Before we could reach the stairs though, a group of bulblin attempted to break down the front door.  Shira drew her bow, and as they bolted through, she struck down the leader in the chest.  Meanwhile I had lit a bomb of my own, and thrown it into the doorway.  It exploded, sending several bulblin to their demise.  Several more eventually made their way into the room, where sister and I were waiting with our swords drawn.  Their rudimentary clubs were  no match for our blades of steel, which they clearly did not expect to see within the sacred house.


Renado and Luda fled up to the roof, and sister and I continued to defend the house, sister taking down bulblin attackers with her arrows and I engaging enemies in close range with my sword.  Although we were clearly in the fight, it was just as clear that the majority of the battle was taking place further to the north, between the Malo Mart and the Bomb Shop two blocks away.  By now casualties were starting to stream in.  Many of Kakariko’s residents brought the wounded past us and back to Eldin Spring, just to our south.  Twenty minutes into the fighting, the spring was a makeshift infirmary due to the healing powers of the water in the spring.    


Unfortunately, the growing concentration of hylians in the area made an appealing target for bulblin attack, and several squadrons began to move south toward us.  As we braced ourselves for further fighting, we heard some loud banging straight in front of us.   Three bulblin were immediately cut down with swords, and several others charged in on wildebeest.  A well placed bomb re-directed their attack and forced them to retreat.  Then came a powerful cannon shot from distance, which landed not far from us.  The hylians ran quickly toward us and into the house.  Much to my surprise, it was Auru, Telma, and Ashei!


“Comrade Soren!” Auru yelled.  “How in the world are you…”


“No time, yea!” Ashei yelled.  “We need to get to the roof, the attackers will overwhelm this place very soon!”  Indeed, we heard a loud noise from the back of the room, the bulblin had found the back door and were breaking it down. 


“They’ve found the back door!  Hurry, up the stairs!” I shouted.  We took off up the wooden stairs, and reached almost the whole way up by the time the bulblins broke through.  Renado shut the hatch behind us.  “They took over the bottom?” Renado asked. 


“Yes, we held them as best we could.  What’s happening further ahead?” I asked. 


“We’ve led the bulblin into a trap.” Auru said.  “Our forces moved up from the south and started taking the injured to the spring.  That led them into the center and the gorons are about to swoop in from the north and decimate their forces!”


“Auru!  Telma and Ashei, it is great to see you at such a dire time.” Renado said.  “We’re going to need your help to see our way out of here.”    


“It won’t be nothing at all, dear.” Telma said as she took out her telescope.  “The goron attack should be happening right about…now.” 


Telma handed me her telescope, and sure enough, I could see hordes of gorons rolling down the main street straight toward the back of the bulblin line of defense.  Within seconds, many of the attackers were on the ground.  Even their wildebeest companions were little match for the powerful gorons.  Within about five minutes of their entry into the battle, the bulblin were in deep trouble, and many of their units began to retreat eastward toward Hyrule Field.  


Then something really big happened.  I could see it through the scope, a man in shining armor riding in on a dark black horse flanked by some very large bulblin warlords, coming straight in from Eldin Plain. 


“Are these people nuts, they are driving right toward the goron line, yea!” Ashei shouted as she handed Shira the telescope. 


“It’s Raym.  He’s here!  And King Bulblin is behind him!”  Shira shouted. 


“We must get back into the house, we’re at risk for magical attack up here.” Auru said as he quickly re-opened the hatch.  We all quickly moved back into the house, which the bulblin seemed to have abandoned following the goron attack.  As soon as we did so, a very powerful burst of energy swept through the area, enough to knock Auru and Luda off the stairs.  The latter fell hard on her left leg from quite a distance, and she screamed in pain.  Renado and Telma immediately rushed to her aid while the rest of us moved quickly out into the street.  It wasn’t long until we saw that the trio from Ordon as well as Link and Zelda were all standing just outside the Malo Mart.  We sprinted over there, just before Raym came tearing down the street, the cries of defeated hylians and gorons audible all around us.


“Raym used his supernatural power to send a giant wave of energy at us.” Link said.  We were able to block it partially with our own wish but it came too late for many.  I’ll engage him once he gets here!” 


“No Link!” Zelda said.  “Now’s not the time, we must use a protection spell to save Kakariko!  You can worry about defeating Raym later!” 


Raym was almost upon us, maybe four blocks away.  “Alright, let’s do it.” Link said.  The triangles of the Triforces of Wisdom and Power shone brightly on the backs of their hands as a magical dome of energy formed above us.  It spread out in all directions, surrounding the streets, people, and damaged buildings of Kakariko in its blue aura. 


Raym, perhaps not expecting the sudden flow of energy, ran straight into it with his horse, and fell backward.  A black burst of energy mixed with the pure blue light as he fell to the ground.  King Bulblin hopped off his wildebeest and quickly helped him to his feet.  Even at three blocks distance, the shrillness of his voice was impossible to mistake. 


“Link!  Zelda!  When will you two learn that you are powerless to stop me?!  I am the all-powerful and almighty one of this world, and soon you will feel nothing at all!”


“It’s impossible Raym, you cannot defeat our protective barrier, not when armed with the power of the Triforce!” Zelda shouted.  


“My power makes the Triforce obsolete!” Raym shouted.  “And soon you will know the true nature of what I can do to fiends like you!”


Raym rose his hand and the triangle of the Triforce of Power was visible from his right hand.  But then we saw something we had never seen before, a white swirl of light appeared to surround the triangle.  He focused energy, and shot what appeared to be a giant white lightning bolt at the aura surrounding the town.   Link and Zelda immediately hunched over.  They grabbed one another and re-focused energy, intent on stopping the blast.  The stalemate lasted for several minutes as we all looked on in amazement. 


“Give it up already!” Raym shouted.  “With the true divine power of the goddesses behind me, you cannot hold out forever!  I will win this fight no matter how hard you try to deny me!  Surrender now and I might spare your pathetic existence!” 


“He’s right Link, our barrier is starting to shrink.” Zelda said.  “He’s going to wear us down.”


“We have to keep trying!”  Link shouted.  “We cannot lose to this…this imbecile!”


The force field around the hylian and goron force continued to shrink, and before long only covered a one block radius.  There was clear pain on the faces of Link and Zelda, who knew perhaps that it was only a matter of time as the masses inside the barrier became more cramped.  Then, from the spring behind us, a second bolt of lightning appeared in the predawn sky.  Slowly, the deep blue aura began to expand once again.  I checked back to see where the light had appeared from, and what could my eyes do see!  Why it was a tall, slender young lady with fiery red hair and blue eyes, wearing a purple tunic, focusing the energy out of her left hand.  I knew in a flash it must be none other than my soul mate Santha. 


The energy barrier continued to expand until finally, she forced both of her hands forward and to the ground, touching off an explosion that rocketed outward toward Raym and the bulblin enemies.  Their force was knocked to the ground, many of them injured.  Raym, King Bulblin, and the remaining attackers on wildebeest quickly fled northward toward Eldin Plain.   As the sun rose upon the midsummer’s morn, the Battle of Kakariko had reached its end.  



Chapter 9:  The Guild Reunites


“I thought I would never see the day.  How did this happen?”


“I thought you were gone to the grave.  You too.” 


“I don’t think I know what’s real and what isn’t anymore.  This is crazy.” 


The members of the party that had helped to save Kakariko could not reconcile their situation.  Link and Zelda were here, despite supposedly having left the country.  Telma and Ashei had come, even though they were left for dead surrounded by bulblin forces during the battle of Castle Town.  Soren and Shira had been long forgotten, a footnote of the bulblin takeover, and yet they had resurfaced from underneath the waves of Lake Hylia.  And then there was Santha, once thought to have perished from a lightning strike, now perhaps the one and only savior for the kingdom of Hyrule. 


“Well let’s start with what we know for sure.” Renado said.  “Ashei, Telma and Shad came from inside Castle Town, which they never left.  They had been in hiding, and waging guerrilla warfare against the bulblin and their precious food supplies.  Rusl, Auru, Ilia, and Bo came from the south, in Ordona, where they had taken into their village many refugees from Lanayru Province.  Zelda and Link had been biding their time, waiting for the right time to strike back at the evil Raym and his power of the goddesses.  And Soren and Shira, you two hid underneath Lake Hylia and ended up in the Twilght Realm before landing in Ordona and arriving with the group from Ordona.  If I have this right, what we have here is a group of heroes and heroines that just saved my city from destruction.”


Daddy, it’s the hero, the princess, and their helpers.  That’s what I think.” Luda said.


“You are so precious, and so cute hon.” Telma said.


“It is true what Renado and Luda say.” A deep voice said from behind.  It was that of Darbus, the goron leader.  “Fairest Zelda and Link, I must apologize, for we thought we had swept the resistance out of the city’s north, but we were struck from behind and did not fight well.”


“Nonsense.” Link said.  “Without your assistance we would not have been able to turn back the bulblin and thus wouldn’t have been able to drive Raym out of Kakariko.” 


“Link, I do think all thanks should be given to this young lady behind us.” Zelda said as she acknowledged Santha.  “Dear, what is your name, and where do you come from?” 


“My name is Santha.  I was originally from Kakariko but moved to Castle Town several years back.  I worked first as a baker, then as a clothier.  By the eve of the Twilight Invasion, some of my designs could be seen in the windows of the bazaar downtown.”  Santha walked over and held my hand.  “That’s where I met Soren.”


“You two are romantically attached, yea?” Ashei interjected.


“We were…yes, for quite some time actually.  But it’s been so long since we’ve even seen one another.  It’s just all so…sudden.” I stammered.


“I’m sure this is a strange time for many of us.” Zelda said.  “Santha, I want to hear your version of the events during the battle in Castle Town.  Soren and Shira tell us that you were struck by a lightning bolt, the one that provided the evil Raym with his powers.”


“We want to know everything you know about your magical powers.” Link added.


“My handsome hero and fair queen, what you say is true.” Santha responded.  “I don’t remember much about it, but when Raym kidnapped me, Soren tried to save me.  I felt a jolt go through my body, like a giant wave of energy that had stolen my sense of consciousness.  The next thing I remember, Raym and I were in the alley, surrounded by a hoard of bulblin.  Their king accosted us.  Evidently Raym was aligned with the bulblin king in an effort to take over the city, but then something strange happened.  The king bulblin turned on Raym, and attempted to kill him with his spear.  When Raym rose to defend himself he ended up shooting an energy blast out of his right hand, one that knocked the king bulblin unconscious.  I went to get between the two, but more energy came from my left hand.  It surrounded both Raym and the king bulblin, and helped to comfort their weariness.  I don’t know how it came to be, but the two of us have had strange powers like these ever since the battle in Castle Town.”


“This confirms our theory, that the lightning strike was a supernatural event that most likely resulted in a power exchange from the goddesses themselves.” Bo said.


“Hold on one second.” Auru said.  “King Bulblin attempted to kill Raym?  That doesn’t make any sense seeing as he’s Raym’s puppet.” 


“That is easily explained.” Santha answered.  “Raym is a very vindictive man.  Once he realized the magnitude of his power, Raym simply used them to imprison the bulblin king and make him do his bidding.”


“The bulblin always serve the strongest side.” Link said.  “That’s what King Bulblin told me after I defeated him at Hyrule Castle on route to the evil Ganondorf.”


“So King Bulblin was only using Raym and his disgruntled followers and knights as a means to weaken the royal family directly by attacking Hyrule Castle.  He planned to depose him as soon as Raym’s army succeeded in driving us out.”  Zelda said. 


“But we held our ground, and an event of the skies made Raym’s powers superior to King Bulblin’s, which meant the latter saw his own plan go down in a cruel twist of fate.” Telma said.


“I think the important question we need to answer at this point is what’s stopping us from defeating Raym?” Darbus asked.  “With the combined powers of Link, Zelda, and now Santha, Raym’s days are surely numbered, are they not?”


Santha’s face suddenly became flushed.  “I am not certain.  If our strength and magic came directly from the goddesses, it’s doubtful that even the powers of the Triforce could stop either one of us.  It didn’t hurt in the case of this battle in Kakariko.  However if you noticed, the power of Triforces of Wisdom and Courage that encased all of you kept Raym’s power and mine from directly meeting.  Only once have our powers directly touched.  It happened two days after the battle in Castle Town.”


“Go ahead Santha, what happened?” Link asked. 


“One of Raym’s friends was injured in a swordfight, and he remembered that I had helped to heal him during the battle of Castle Town, so he asked me to do the same for his friend.  At his urging, I did, but when he decided to reward me afterward and we touched hands, magic flowed from his hand and mine and shot into the air.  We quickly repelled, but it created a bubble of light and dark matter not unlike that which we saw on the fringes of the bubble created just now by Link and Zelda.  It expanded outward quickly and began to swirl.  We felt a suction force pulling us toward the bubble, as if it was some kind of black hole.  Raym and I managed to escape from it, but his friend wasn’t so lucky, he was sucked inside, never to be seen again.”


“So the dark psychic energy sitting above the eastern plains, it was you two that created that?” Zelda asked.


“My feeling is that a direct battle between us could destroy the world, sucking it into a gigantic blob of nothingness.” Santha said gravely. 


“So the goddesses called upon you and Raym to initiate the next apocalypse?” Renado asked.


Everybody turned toward Renado with stunned looks.  “I mean, there must be a reason why your powers have the ability to create such destruction.” He quickly added.


“I have a hunch I know what the answer could be.” Shad said.  “We must proceed to Kakariko Library, the scrolls there should be of great assistance.  Besides, it’ll give us all a chance to catch up with one another.” 



Chapter 10:  Kakariko Library


On the eastern street of Kakariko stood the library, a fairly large stone structure built into the hillside.  Its construction began shortly after the Twilight War’s conclusion.  Originally meant to be the resting place of the royal scrolls and other important documents from Hyrule Castle, it had since branched into an intellectual marketplace for readers of all topics.  We all entered the library and proceeded up the stairs to the third level, where some important royal family scriptures and artifacts had been kept safe ever since the fall of Castle Town last year. 


Evidently the library’s keeper, an older lady with a smallish build, did not recognize us.  “I am sorry, for this section is reserved for royal family members and their court only.”  No admittance for commoners.


Seeing this, Zelda and Link moved to the front of the group.  “By order of the crown, we wish to proceed.”


The woman was shocked, and looked pale.  She put her hands into prayer position.  “Queen Zelda, it is beyond my greatest respect to see you.  My name is Impaz.  Please come, there is much to show you and your friends.”


Impaz led us to several stacks of books, an aisle of scrolls, and a table filled with maps.  Around us in the room stood armor pieces, assorted ancient weaponry, coats of arms, jewelry, and other artifacts.  “Please, take whatever you need.” She said.  We began to scour the stacks, looking for anything related to the creation of Hyrule, the mannerisms of Din, Nayru, and Farore, and Hyrulian mythology in general.  We brought our research materials to the table in the center of the room and looked over them.     


After what seemed like hours, I turned to Shira and whispered something into her ear, then I did the same to Santha.  They both nodded in agreement.  “I need to let you all know about a dream that Shira and I had six moons ago.”


“Go ahead Soren, we’re listening hon.” Telma said softly.


“After we landed in the Twilight Realm by way of a hole in the earth’s crust beneath Lakebed Temple, Shira and I made our way to Twilight Palace.  There we battled many twilight messengers, and after we did so, Princess Midna sought us out.  Through a mirror that was given to us by our mother, we escaped the twilight to a place that had to be a dream land.  It was up in the clouds, with a giant castle.  Mother and father met us there, where they told us important information, including a source of Raym’s power.” 


“What source of power is that?” Telma asked.


“The Triforce of Power.  Apparently, Raym is of Ganondorf’s bloodline.” I responded.


“I don’t think that can be true.” Ashei said.  “Raym is of hylian blood, his body and physique, not to mention his skin color isn’t anything that could be construed as of gerudo origin, yea.” 


“Actually Ashei, I think you’re wrong about that.” Shad said.  “On his neck, Raym has several scarring abrasions, typical of gerudo males.  He also has fiery red hair, much like that of Ganondorf and also Nabooru, the ancient sage of Spirit.  His intense training and aptitude for scythe blades like the ones he used in the battle of Castle Town suggests an upbringing in gerudo culture and customs.”


“But only one male gerudo is born every hundred years.” Shira said.  “If Ganondorf was born less than fifty or sixty years ago, then how could Raym be of the same bloodline?”


Nobody had an immediate answer for this.  We all pondered the possibilities, before Telma came up with one plausible explanation.


“I think Raym’s gerudo mother got busy with a very lucky hylian man.  Think about it, you don’t suppose the one gerudo male is charged with populating the whole race on his own?”


Auru and Rusl burst out laughing, and I got in a few chuckles.  “Thanks for that image Telma, I think I need to wash up now.” Shira said as she got up from the table, clearly annoyed.


“Actually, if Raym’s blood is a mix of hylian and gerudo, it probably means that he isn’t the one pure male gerudo.  In other words, he’s a gerudo bastard child.” Auru said.  “That probably explains his shame and why he is very insular and devious in his ways.”


“All the more reason why he was able to obtain the Triforce of Power through fate.” I said.


“This is all very interesting, but our true aim is to figure out why the powers bestowed upon Raym and Santha seem to supersede those of the Triforce itself.  That’s our main problem.  If we can unlock the truth behind that, we’ll be able to defeat Raym.”  Zelda said.


“I think I know what you are looking for.” Impaz said as she re-entered the room.  We all turned around to face her.  “Do any of you know about the Great Cataclysm?”


We all looked around at one another, eventually all looking toward Shad and Zelda.  They simply shrugged their shoulders.


“The Great Cataclysm is an event that is initiated by an evil one, perhaps one with designs on taking over the world by force.  According to the legend passed down by my people, the Sheikah, it is always an event of great magnitude, and one that can occur at any point in Hyrulian history.  It is sometimes an attack by evil forces.  Other times it manifests itself in a different manner, perhaps by pestilence, famine, or natural disaster.”  Impaz pointed to a scroll she was carrying in her left hand.   “It says here that a hero will arise to confront the evil one who began the Great Cataclysm.  If the evil one destroys the hero, then nobody will be able to stop the evil reign of the villainous.  If the hero defeats the evil one, then Hyrule will rise into a new golden era of peace and prosperity.  The hero is said to always arise from the blood-line of the Knights of the Hylia, the original protectors of the Hyrulian Kingdom.”


“Impaz, did you say that you were of Sheikah origin?” Zelda asked. 


“Our ancestors fought together as Sages during the Ocarina War.” Impaz replied.  “They were two of the seven that came together to seal the Great King of Evil into the void.” 


“Really?” Zelda was shocked.  “So at some point in the Ocarina era, Hyrule Castle was attacked in a manner similar to how Castle Town was ransacked by the Bulblin last year?” 


“I was told that it occurred on a wild, stormy night.  The King Gerudo and his followers moved in quickly and subdued most of the town before moving in toward the castle.  The Knights were overwhelmed by the sudden attack and Hyrule Castle surrendered after a short time.”


“Well at least we were prepared and held out for days this time around.” Auru said.


“Doesn’t change the fact that we lost, hon.” Telma sassed.


“Impaz, what happened next?” Zelda asked. 


“The scroll says that our ancestors, mine the Sage of Shadow and yours the Princess of Hyrule, fled the city in the middle of the night.  The Evil King ran after them on his horse, but was unable to locate them.  It was at the city walls in northern Hyrule Field that the Hero emerged and met the King of Evil for the first time.  Their first encounter was fleeting, and afterward the Hero disappeared, many thinking that he had been defeated.  For seven years, the villainous one ruled the kingdom with an iron fist, and inflicted massive pain and suffering on the citizenry.  The people prayed for the Hero’s return, and he did on another stormy and windswept night, very similar to the night of the battle in Castle Town.  The rest, as they say, is history.”


“Wait a minute!  I’ve got it!” Santha shouted, holding a book above her head.  “Impaz, you say that the hero is always one of the bloodline of the Knights of the Hylia, yes?”


“Yes, that is true.” Impaz said. 


“In this book right here, entitled Climate and the Spiritual World, it says right here that there was a great firestorm during the War for Unification that wiped out most of the crops in Hyrule Field and much of the forest.  This war took place before the Ocarina era, did it not?”


“That was definitely before the Ocarina War, my ancestors survived that conflict and fled to the forest.” Link said.


“That’s the missing link!  You were a descendant of the hero, who survived the firestorm when so many perished.  You eventually became one with him, and saved the kingdom from Zant and Ganondorf.  His powers were born of fire, just as mine are born of lightning!  The goddesses realized on that day last year that the Great Cataclysm was happening again, and they had to make the hero arise.”


“Wait, so if you were made to be the new hero of Hyrule…then that must mean that you are of the Knights’ bloodline.” I said.


“Soren it’s true, I come from the most valiant of all the Hylia.  There’s just one problem.”


“What is that?” I asked.


“So is Raym.  He’s my brother.” 



Chapter 11:  The Medallions


Our new mission was to recover the master sword.  At Link’s urging, we left Kakariko two days after the battle there.  We traveled southeast across Hyrule Field, eventually passing into Faron Province.  The sun bore down on us in the days and the chill of the wind was fleeting at night. 


One night, sitting around a fire, we conversed about the bomb that Santha dropped on us at Kakariko Library.


So Raym is your brother?  Why did you never tell me about that?” I asked.


“I was ashamed.” Santha said.  “I didn’t want to be associated with somebody who had such an evil heart.  It’s bad enough that my blood is his also.” 


“Well, you aren’t like him, at all.  What happened within your family, and between you two?  How did you end up going on such divergent paths?” 


Santha was tearing up.  I could tell this was difficult for her.  “I never had a loving family like yours.  My father left me at a young age.  My mother did her best to raise the both of us, but we were short on rupees and food.  Raym thought it best to hunt and fish, and he grew into a strong young man very early.  I did what I could, but people still looked down on us because of our situation.  Raym began to take after mother, who always seemed to get into fights with those she did not care for, especially men.  I knew not that she was of gerudo origin, but given her disdain for the male species I guess I should have figured it out myself.” 


“Raym became a member of the Knights, that’s how I first met him, one night in Hyrule Field.” Shira said.  “When did this happen?” 


“Raym and I decided that we had to do something.  Mother was becoming more aggressive, and turned her abuse toward us.  One stormy night in November, Raym decided he had enough, and brutally beat mother when she attempted to discipline him with a whip.  He ran out of the house that night and mother told me in the infirmary that she was going to kill him.  I couldn’t bear to stay in such a situation, so I set off to find my brother.  Two months later in the brutal chill of the winter, I found him, at a guild of fighters in Castle Town.  He told me that he was going to make those around him pay for his endless suffering, and that I should join him.  I could tell that his demeanor had changed, that it was cold, abrasive, and calculated.  Still, I had loyalty to him, so I cut my hair short and joined the Knights along with him.”


“You passed yourself off as a boy?” Ashei asked.  “That’s so cool!”


I just looked at Santha incredulously.  I was hearing things about her past that I had never heard before, and would have never believed.  I mean, for much of our relationship, she was about as feminine as could be.


“So how did you go from being a Knight to becoming a clothier?” I asked.


“I was in the Knights for about a year.  I was about to get my first real combat experience, as Raym and I were placed in a unit about to be transferred to Death Mountain.  The gorons had a falling out with our people in Kakariko, and we were to be sent in to resolve the matter.  Three days prior to leaving, Raym and I were selected to spar with one another in front of the unit.  I did my best, but he was simply too strong and too fast for me.  He had me pressed against the end of the arena, and when I tried to get away, he swung and sliced through my tunic.  Before I knew it I was standing virtually naked, breasts exposed.  There were gasps in the room, and the commander immediately had me expelled.  I appealed to Raym to tell him that I had fought as hard as any man there, but he simply told me that, as a woman, I was weak.  I think he did it on purpose.  I still haven’t forgiven him to this day.  Following my expulsion, I moved into a commune in east Castle Town, and eventually began working as a clothing designer.”


“If Raym cut your clothes off while sparring to get you banished, that is disgraceful.” Ashei said. 


“It’s the Knights’ fault for not allowing women in their ranks.” Telma said.  “It’s not like we can’t fight as well as men.” 


“Hmph, that’s easy for you to say.” Auru said.  Telma gave him a dirty look as the guild members started shouting at one another.  Santha and I took the opportunity to slink away from the group, and over to the grassy knoll where Shad was sitting and reading. 


“Have you found out anything more about the medallions?” Santha asked him. 


“This is really interesting stuff.  It says here that after an occurrence of the Great Cataclysm, in the event that the legendary hero does not emerge, or if the power of the hero is split apart amongst more than one being, the totality of the peoples of Hyrule’s past, present, and future must come together to rectify the situation.”


“So what does that mean for us?” I asked.


“It seems to me that the lightning bolt was to represent the new birth of the legendary hero.  But since the bolt struck both Santha and Raym, we don’t know whom the goddesses intended to assume the title of hero of legend.  Instead, we’re locked in a situation where the powers of the two could end up destroying the world.” Shad said.


“What has to happen to fix the situation?” Santha asked.


“It says here that there are 10 medallions that are entrusted to the leaders of Hyrule’s sovereign races.  These medallions contain the powers of the goddesses, and when placed at the base of the fountain in Castle Town, they can be used to call upon Din, Nayru, and Farore themselves.  At such time, the petitions of the masses will be heard.” Shad finished.


“So if we collect these ten medallions and take them to Castle Town, we can ask the goddesses to make Santha the hero and strip Raym of his power?”  I asked.


“That’s what it appears.” Shad replied. 


“Where do we find these medallions?” Santha asked. 


Shad turned the page and scanned through the book.  “Ah yes.  It says here that the medallions will be with the leadership of the following hyrulian peoples: hylian, gerudo, shiekah, zora, goron, kokiri, twili, oocca, rito, and bulblin.”


“I recognize some of those names from my hyrulian history.” I said.  “The shiekah were a race of ninja-like people, they were the original founders of Kakariko.  The kokiri were a child race living in the forests of southern and eastern Hyrule, probably not far from where Ordon Village and Faron Woods are now.”


“We’re going to need to harness the power of time travel.” Link said. 


“Time travel?”  Shad asked.  “But there is no such thing.” 


“Yes there is.” Link affirmed.  “The master sword is a vehicle by which one can travel down the river of time.  By making a wish upon the Triforce, one within the bloodline of the legendary hero can use the sword of evil’s bane to travel to any point forward or backward in hyrulian history.  The hero himself unearthed this power when he was sealed away in the sacred realm on account of his not being old enough to be the hero of legend.  While this unfortunate event set about the first reign of Ganondorf, it also led to his demise as it made the hero twice as strong.”


By this point in the conversation, the whole group had returned for our evening meal.  Link and Zelda told us more legends of the Triforce and the Master Sword.  One thing to me was abundantly clear, we were going to not only have to recover all ten medallions of the goddesses, but that we would also have to attack Raym and King Bulblin’s forces in Castle Town in order to place them around the fountain.  This would mean all-out warfare similar to what we went through the previous year, and this time there could be no failure.  The fate of the kingdom and all of it’s citizenry would depend on it. 


The next morning we continued our journey, and by mid-morning we reached Faron Woods.  Foot traffic was very heavy.  The heat of the day was downright oppressive as we worked through the trees toward the sacred grove.  By crossing the bridges that covered the windswept chasms in the earth’s crust, we reached the grove just before sunset.  Once there, we all spread out around the Master Sword, which lie asleep inside the Pedestal of Time.  The ruins of the Temple of Time spread out around us. 


“Remember what I told you.” Link said.  “There will be a great flash of light, and once the light clears, you will be contained within a different time of my choosing.  For this experiment I have chosen a date just days after the Ocarina War’s conclusion.”


“Anybody that does not wish to proceed should move beyond the range of the tesseract, which I have denoted with a beam of light upon the grass.” Zelda said.  Much to my surprise, and to her’s, nobody moved.  We were all determined to see if we could be sent to a different time.  “Very well, everybody move in around Link and I.”  Link moved forward to the pedestal, and rose his hand, revealing the Triforce of Courage.  With a great tug, he pulled the sword out from the pedestal.  In an instant, a surge of light from the ground merged with the twilit sky.


When the light settled, we were standing inside a great temple.  The first thing I noticed was the light beaming down into the chamber from the glass windows above.  It didn’t take long for everybody’s excitement to bubble through.


“Mercy me, it worked!” Telma shouted.


“The past grandeur of the temple is restored!” Rusl shouted.


“We’ve made it into the past!” Shira shouted.


Zelda and Link hushed us.  “Please, we don’t want to stir up any trouble.  Remember what we said earlier, only the two of us will be proceeding out of the temple.”


“Oh no, I want to see the country the way it was.” Auru said, before quickly covering his mouth and dropping to his knees.  “Please forgive me for talking out of place.”


“I understand your curiosity, it’s quite all right.” Zelda replied.  “Moving around in the past is a very delicate thing, and being seen by your elders in their young age could have a profound impact on future events.”  Zelda said. 


“Remember the plan.” Link said.  “After we land back in the meadow, Zelda and I will proceed back here to collect the medallions of the ancients; kokiri, shiekah, and gerudo.  Shira and Ashei, you two will proceed into the mountains and rendezvous with the Yeti.  They will help you retrieve the bulblin medallion from Bulblin City.  Shad, Telma, and Rusl, you three will return to Kakariko and then climb the Death Mountain Trail to obtain the goron medallion.  From there, you’ll move north and east toward Zora’s Domain.  Soren, Auru, and Santha, you three are to evade the enemy attackers and move into Castle Town.  Your ultimate goal is to sneak inside Hyrule Castle and recover the hylian medallion without being detected.”


“Groups one and three, once you have recovered the medallions, return here, and you will embark on the second part of your journey. Bo and Ilia, your objective is to gather medicines and supplies and to drum up further support for the coming attack.  We will not fail.”


Link replaced the sword, and the light enveloped us again.



Chapter 12: Ocarina Hyrule


Can you hear my voice?  This is Din, Hyrulian goddess of power.  At this point in the story, you will be subjected to the presence of the different groups spread out across the kingdom.  You’ll hear from the time traveling Zelda first, followed by Telma and Ashei, and perhaps others will join Soren and Shira as they bring the tale forth from their own hearts and minds.


This is Zelda.  Nobody knows for certain just how long ago the Ocarina conflict happened, most records estimate that it was roughly 60 to 100 years previous.  That means that my predecessor in this time was either my grandmother or great-grandmother.  Not that I was hoping to find out, who knows what kind of trouble would result from such a meeting. 


The date was July the 24th when we departed the sacred grove.  Upon landing in the Temple of Time, Link and I walked down the aisle and past the Spiritual Stones of Forest, Fire, and Water, sacred gemstones I had once read about in the royal manuscripts.  Their brilliance was simply stunning as they gave off an aura of light.  Link told me that we only have a short time before his ancestor, the Hero of Time, replaces the master sword and closes the Door of Time.  Arriving back after that could rip a hole in time itself.


The first thing I noticed upon walking into Hyrule Castle Town was its small stature.  It was not the bustling metropolis that I had grown used to, but was instead rather tame.  Most of the buildings were run down as well, although that was likely due to the town’s destruction during Ganondorf’s conquest seven years previous.  At the center of the town was the fountain, which likewise was small and diminutive.  There were villagers everywhere, perhaps pouring back into the town after a long time away. 


“Hey look, it’s Link and Zelda!!” Somebody shouted from the crowd.  Instantly we were surrounded by many villagers.  “Thank you so much, you saved us all from the Evil King!”


“Hey wait a minute, Zelda’s hair is blond!” Somebody else yelled.  “And Link’s earrings are blue!  And their outfits don’t match, these people are impostors!” 


“Aww man!” another person shouted.


“Boo, I wanted to see the real heroes!” lamented another.  “Let’s go to the bombchu bowling alley.”  Imagine that, rowdy crowds and bombs thrown for sport.  It was a wonder how our ancestors ever got any peace and quiet. 


Once the crowd got out of our way, and believe me they stared at us all the way to the south gate of the town, we entered Hyrule Field.  One thing that you must know about Hyrulian geography is that the towns, forests, mountains, and rivers never stay in the same place for very long.  After every ten generations or so, the landforms change.  Some have prophesized that the giant chasms in the crust you find across Twilight-era Hyrule represent the cracking and moving of the landforms, and that the process occurs over many years.  But in either case, I knew from my teachings about Ocarina-era Hyrule that Kakariko Village was in the east, and the Gerudo Desert was to the west, both contrary to their location in our world.  The forest was the one area that remained in the same location, in the south.  Since we had no horses or advanced form of transportation, our plan was to proceed to the forest and then follow Zora’s River as it flowed from the east past Kakariko and toward the desert. 


It took us two days on foot to reach the forest.  As soon as we got there, one thing was readily apparent.  The Kokiri people were all very small and childlike.  Their houses were all made out of giant tree trunks, and the village was little more than a collection of dirt paths, a creek that ran down the center, and the few tree-buildings.  At the far end of the village stood the Great Deku Tree, what was once the great guardian deity of the forest.  In front of it was the Deku Tree’s Sprout, the brand new protector that by our time had grown into the largest tree in Hyrule, large enough that the Forest Temple was contained within. 


As luck would have it, the Forest Temple was our destination here, but it did not lie in the same location as in our time.  We would have to travel through a zone north of the village called to the Lost Woods to reach it. 


“Listen for the music, do you hear it?” Link asked as we leaned into an entranceway.  “Yes, it is a very uplifting tune.” I responded.


“That tune is Saria’s Song.  Saria was the ancient sage of Forest, and will most likely have the medallion we need.  Her notes will carry us across this forest and to the temple, which she is charged with protecting.”


After passing through several other wooden tunnels, we came up to a young kokiri lad that blocked our passage forward.


“Who’re you?!” the kid yelled at us.  “You might wear kokirish clothing, but you can’t fool me!  Saria told me that the Sacred Forest Meadow is off limits, you may not pass!”


“Mido let them pass, by order of the Hero of Time.” A voice said from behind.  Startled, we turned around to see him, the ancient hero, standing beside us.  Immediately my mind began to panic.  Oh how could this be, that one of Link’s bloodline had tracked us down this quickly? 


“I was told that you would come.  Visitors from the future, and a new hero born of my own blood that would one day fight to save the kingdom just as I have.  The master sword has decreed as such.  Come, I have something for you.”


It was all too surreal.  Flanked on one side by the hero of the past, the other the hero of the present, or if you insist the present and the future, I walked through the meadow and up the stairs to the temple entrance.  “Saria, our visitors have arrived.”


The sage was as I expected, small, young, and extremely cute.  Like the hero, she wore a green tunic with brown boots, though her outfit had a bit of a feminine touch to it.  Around her neck was a green medallion of the Great Hylian Bird. Had she been my child I would have nurtured her all the same.  “Oh Link, this is all just too much.  Welcome guests to Kokiri Forest.  My name is Saria, I am the Sage of Forest.” 


“It was not even a week ago that we sealed the evil Ganondorf across the void.  I want to show you how we did it.”  Saria called on a green ball of energy, which she tossed to the grass, emitting a picture on the ground.  Over the next ten minutes or so, we saw it all.  The ancient hero entered the tower, defeating the evil Ganondorf by deflecting his energy blasts with his sword.  After the battle chamber was disintegrated, the evil one fell to the ground, and my princess descendant came down from the sky in a giant pink rupee.  She must have been imprisoned within it.  After all that there was an earthquake.


“There was an earthquake after the battle?” I asked.


“It was a wish by the evil King, he tried to crush us in the rubble of the tower.” The hero said.


Indeed, what followed next was a frantic escape from the tower, with the princess using her powers to open the locked doors and the hero protecting her from enemies.  At one point she became surrounded by fire, and the hero defeated a pair of Stalfos knights to free her.  By the time they reached the bottom level, there were heavy rocks and boulders dropping from the walls and ceilings.  It was a wonder how they escaped.  But the most amazing thing happened after the escape.  Ganondorf re-emerged from underneath the rubble and made a final wish, which transformed him into a giant beast.  The final fight took place on top of the crushed ruins of the tower and surrounded by a firestorm on the ground and lightning cackling in the sky. 


The hero eventually got the better of the beast, and dropped it to the ground twice.  After the second fall, the princess used her powers to hold the beast in place while the hero drove home the finishing blows with the master sword.  While the beast writhed in pain, the princess called upon the sages.  The divine spirit of the sages, six beams of light representing light, forest, fire, water, shadow, and spirit, poured out of the sky and entrapped the beast within. 


“So that’s how it happened?” I asked.  “It was just so…powerful.”


“I would imagine the battles you two have fought were no less majestic, perhaps even more so than our simple culture can provide.” The hero said.  “But we are very proud of what we did, and our deeds ensure that Hyrule will be safe for generations.  You two, my future brethren are now faced with the challenge of upholding our fair kingdom.”


Saria stepped forward.  “The Sages of Shadow and Spirit are still atop Death Mountain.  I will send word to them to meet you in Kakariko Village.”  She took off her medallion and handed it to Link.  “This is the sacred Kokiri Medallion.  One of my peoples’ great treasures, the power of the goddesses is contained within.  Combined with those of the other peoples of this land, you’ll be able to summon the goddesses themselves.”


“I will protect your artifact with my life, for I intend to return it.”  Link replied.  The four of us bowed and curtseyed to one another.


After spending the night in the forest, we headed northward toward Kakariko.  We had a stroke of good fortune as we found a raft made of deku sticks along the banks of Zora’s River.  The flow of the river was quite fast, but Link did a very good job steering us down the rapids.  Our trip over water was far quicker than the one over land, and we reached Kakariko several hours after nightfall.  The village was small and quaint, nestled in the foothills of Hyrule’s northeast.  Towering above to the north was Death Mountain, home of the Gorons. 


Within the darkness Kakariko was deathly silent, with only the breeze bustling through the village green.  At the center of the green was a well, which sat below a giant windmill.  Link and I were about to leave when we saw two figures approaching from the hills above us.  They were both female, one of them wearing a ragged top and loose fitting trousers, the other wore a skin-tight bodysuit with the sheikah emblem on it.


“Are you the Sages of Shadow and Spirit?” Link asked.


“Welcome to Kakariko, visitors of the future.  I am Impa, Sage of Shadow and protector of the Shadow Temple.  I am survivor of the Sheikah.”


“Pleased to meet you kid.  My name is Nabooru, Queen of the Gerudo and Sage of Spirit.”


“Wait, when did you become gerudo queen?” Impa asked Nabooru.


Nabooru stumbled.  “Well it’s not official yet but with Ganondorf’s exile to the evil realm it won’t be long.  But let’s not get caught up on stupid stuff like that, we have something to show our visitors do we not?”


“Indeed.” Impa said.  “Let us proceed to the graveyard.” 


Needless to say, in my privileged upbringing I had never ventured into a graveyard at night.  It sounded like something those seeking a thrill or scare would do.  I did not make a comment though, for I wished to keep my manners in the presence of my elders. 


Upon entering the graveyard, Impa led us through the gravestones to the back, where a giant hole had been exposed.  Without saying a word, she and Nabooru jumped into the grave.  Link and I looked at one another confused for a moment, and then followed.  The tunnel was very dark, and before long the smell of rotten flesh became oppressive.  There were also groans that seemed as though they were that of the undead.  I had read stories about the redead and the gibdo, but had thankfully never seen one, for legend says that whomever looks into their eyes are frozen by their gaze.  Impa whistled a strange tune, which I would later learn was the Sun’s Song.  There was a strange noise when she finished.


“Our underworld friends have been neutralized.  Come on.”  We made it through the long room, to a giant tombstone.  Standing in front of it was a young woman in a pink and white dress, her long blond hair cascading down to her hips.  Her back was turned to us, but even before she turned around I knew it must be my grandmother, the Princess. 


“This poem is dedicated to the memory of the dearly departed members of the Royal Family.” She said.  “The rising sun will eventually set, a newborn’s life will begin.  From sun to moon, moon to sun, give peaceful rest to the living dead.”


She turned around, and was she beautiful!  “Visitors gathered this night, this is the poem sent forth by the Composer Brothers, creators of great hyrulian melodies. Their words resonate on this day.  Much like how we have fought to repel the forces of evil over many past moons, so it is for you, the future protectors of Hyrule.”  She walked over to me and I looked into her eyes, a deep blue just like mine.  We curtseyed for one another.  “Daughter of my blood, I trust you will uphold the honor of the Royal Family and the Triforce of Wisdom.  Please take this medallion, it is the great relic of the Shiekah.  It is a deep purple, very befitting of royalty.”


 I received the medallion graciously, and placed the Shiekah medallion it around my neck.  “As we told the Sage of Forest, I intend to return your relic.  I will uphold the honor of our family.” I responded.


She nodded her assent, and walked over to Link, who bowed before her.  “I trust that you will uphold the powers bestowed upon the legendary hero’s bloodline.  Proud hero of the future, I have something for you as well.”  She produced a blue ocarina with the emblem of the Triforce.


Link gasped.  “Oh my, the Ocarina of Time?!” he said excitedly.  “The sacred instrument used by the Hero to bend time itself?”


“When all of the peoples’ medallions have been recovered, and laid upon the central fountain in Hyrule Castle Town Market, you must play the Song of Time to summon the goddesses.  Follow the notes that I play.”  The Princess played a tune that seemed oddly familiar to me, a repeating three note pattern, followed by a bridge.  For having never played an instrument outside of the horse call entrusted to him by Ilia, Link did very well, picking up the song quickly.


“Protect this instrument with your lives.  With its power, anything is possible.” The Princess said.  “Go now to the Temple of Time, the Hero awaits to return you to your original time.” 


We started to leave the tomb, but before we reached the exit, Link stopped and turned back.  “What about your medallion, the medallion of the Gerudo?”


Nabooru smirked.  “I do not possess such a medallion.  It has been passed down to future generations of gerudo.  I trust you will find it in your original time.”


“But the gerudo have vanished from Hyrule in our time.  They haven’t been heard from in many years.”


“I’m guessing your king banished our kind from the kingdom.”  The gerudo leader appeared as though she was about to burst out with laughter.  “Kid, you’ll find that my people are mighty resilient.  Check the desert near the site of the Colossus, what you find might surprise you.”


Link nodded.  We left the tomb, and headed straight for Kakariko Inn.  The next morning we would depart for the Temple of Time, and the present.



Chapter 13:  The Western Frontier


This is Telma.  It was an amazing experience to see Hyrule as it was over a hundred years ago, even if it was for a few fleeting minutes.  One thing is clear, the powers that we seek are beyond anything I can imagine.  Heck, I didn’t know traveling through time was possible, lord only knows what calling upon the goddesses themselves might do. 


With Link and Zelda gone, the remaining eight of us spent that night in the forest, and set out for Hyrule Field on the morning of the 25th.  Some people might wonder why, in my situation, why I still live for adventure.  It’s quite simple really.  It’s an affirmation that you’re alive.  There’s just nothing like exploring a new locale or getting to taste a wild fruit you’ve never laid eyes on.  Throughout my adventures I always collect wild fruits and vegetables to create new beverages at the bar.  Maybe once we reclaim Castle Town I’ll get back to that.  Despite my love for the countryside, I do miss the bar because of all the great times we spent there as a guild. 


The morning of the 26th, we reached southern Hyrule Field and the three groups split apart, Soren’s group heading north toward Castle Town, Shira’s group going east toward Lake Hylia, and us heading west toward Death Mountain.  I had never actually been there, although I heard that the land of the gorons wasn’t exactly awash with vegetation.  Hopefully they would be as nice as the ones that used to frequent the fruit stands in Castle Town. 


We reached Kakariko by nightfall.  It was amazing just how much repair work had been accomplished within a few weeks’ time.  Renado and Luda tell me that they and other residents had been working feverishly to rebuild the town following the horrible fight that claimed the lives of many.  We were actually quite fortunate that nobody in our party met their fate that day.  Without Santha, it might have been all of us.


The next morning we began to climb the Death Mountain trail.  Getting up the steep rock face at the base of the trail was a real struggle for me because of my rather large girth.  Thankfully Shad and Rusl helped me all the way.  They really are such sweet gentlemen, always displaying the values of chivalry and empathy.  As we navigated through the geysers, several gorons came to our aid and walked with us.  The temperature dropped as we climbed, but unfortunately so did the air.  Several times I had to stop to bend over and catch my breath. 


Upon reaching the clearing at the base of the mountain the gorons led us directly to Darbus, who was leading a goron troop in a battle exercise.  I’ll let Rusl take over this section, and may life bring you your wishes hon.


This is Rusl.  The meeting with Darbus was far more cordial than I would have ever thought.  When I approached him, he was shouting to a group of goron army units. 


“Yes, human of the forest.  We are in heavy training for the next battle, wherever it might be!  We still have many that were injured defending Kakariko but they will be back with us very soon.  Pray tell, have you brought us any medical supplies?” Darbus asked me.


“We do have some healing waters from Ordona and Faron Springs.  As for actual life medicine, we don’t have much but we’ll spare what we can.”  I said. 


“We have had little medicine ever since the humans in Castle Town and their Bulblin allies have stopped trading with us.  We have large stockpiles of precious metals and building materials just sitting within the mines with nowhere to go.  They’ve starved us economically and denied our traders access to Lanayru Province.” Darbus bemoaned. 


“Rumor has it that the Bulblin have opened up a mine of their own in the eastern mountains.  We’ve sent Ashei and Shira to investigate it and recover the Bulblin Medallion.” 


“The Bulblin Medallion?  You mean like the pretty red rock necklace that Gor Coron keeps in his quarters?”  Darbus asked. 


Shad interjected.  “Do you and the Goron Elders know anything about the Great Cataclysm?”


“I’ve heard of it but my memory isn’t the best.  Here, let me talk with my first officer, he’ll take the unit through the next drill and we’ll proceed to Gor Coron’s quarters.  I’ll help you up.”


With the help of several gorons we reached the highest entrance into the mountain, which led to the Gorons’ living quarters and the entrance to the mines.  Since it was almost noontime, several gorons were setting up tables of what they called delicious rock sirloin.  Just the absurdity of it, a people that live by eating rocks, is enough to make me laugh. 


“Welcome humans to Death Mountain.” Gor Coron said.  “How are things in Kakariko?” 


“The city is being repaired.” Telma said.  “The good people of town are doing what they can to recover their homes and belongings.”


“That is good to hear.” Gor Coron said.


Darbus interrupted.  “Dearest elder, our dear friends wish to hear what you know about the Great Cataclysm.”


The goron elder sank back in his chair.  “Long ago, there was a battle fought over the power of the goddesses.  Some contend that it occurred right after the creation of the world.  Din, Nayru, and Farore created the Triforce to be a mechanism in which their powers could be utilized for good upon the Earth.  But, over the years, there have been times in which the goddesses have declared the powers of the Triforce as muted.”


“Muted?”  You mean like canceled or unusable?” Shad asked wide-eyed.


“Yes child.  It happened once in recorded history, when the people of Hyrule turned on one another in a spate of greed just before the Imprisoning War.  The goddesses effectively stripped the triangles of their power and created a supernatural event to restart the cycle of life.  Usually this is accompanied with the goddesses selecting one individual to possess their power directly, with the intention that this person will control the golden power once it is restored.  The Great Cataclysm is an event that could ultimately destroy the Earth.  It happens when the goddesses mistakenly divide their direct powers between more than one individual and those people fight one another.”


“Which results in the creation of black holes similar to the one that Santha said lies over eastern Hyrule Field.  That if big enough can destroy the world.” Shad said.


“I have a question.” I said.


“Ask anything you wish child.”  Gor Coron responded.


“If the powers of the Triforce were declared null, then how were Link and Zelda able to protect Kakariko from Raym?”


“They did so on their own, with the fight of a thousand warriors.  They thought the golden power was behind them but they did it all on their own.” Gor Coron said.


We were floored.  “You mean to tell us that they held off the powers of the goddesses themselves with their own magical abilities?” Shad asked.


“Well remember, it was only half the goddesses’ power…and are we ever grateful it was, for they wouldn’t have held out much longer had that young lady not arrived.” Darbus said.


“Her name is Santha, and she truly is a precious young’n.” Telma said.  “Hon, with her help, and with the collective power of the goddess medallions, we will restore this country to greatness.”


“Indeed we will.  So this is why you have come, you wish to obtain the sacred Goron Medallion?  Come forth to the mines, it lies atop the entranceway.” 


Darbus led us to the entrance to the mines.  It was oppressively hot on the volcanic interior, but thankfully we did not have to go far before we about-faced to a ledge above the doorway that had a giant nail sticking out of it.  Hanging on the nail was the Goron Medallion, a red insignia of the great hylian bird.  At Darbus’s urging I climbed on top of him, and he shook the ground a bit before launching me into the air.  With a strong double somersault I reached the nail, and retrieved the medallion.  Telma, Darbus, and Shad all came together to catch me on the way down. 


“Honorable Rusl, that was a strong leap.  We entrust you with our race’s treasure in the hope that it will help restore things to how they were before.” Gor Coron said. 


“It will be done, for the goddesses have commanded it.” Shad said.  We took a last look out toward the bubbling lava before retreating back inside the mountain.



Chapter 14: The Eastern Frontier


This is Shira.  Oh diary, it’s been a long time since we’ve last come together.  I’ve spent months underneath a lake, traveled through the Twilight Realm, and since then have been on an investigation of the powers of the goddesses.  Our discovery of the medallions following the Battle of Kakariko has led me to where my second adventure began last year, the Snowpeak Province.  My friend Ashei has come along, and our objective is to invade Bulblin City and recover the Bulblin Medallion from Bulblin Castle.  Zelda and Link selected us for this mission due to our extensive knowledge of the region, but what they don’t know is that I’ve got a lot of friends out here.  This is going to be fun. 


It took us roughly two days to traverse Hyrule Field, and then the trip through the mountains cost another day and a half.  The mountains are actually more treacherous in summer because the runoff from the snow gets into the rocky ground, creating many slippery slopes.  Landslides are also quite common in these parts.  Ashei and I made our way over the summit and down into the valley to Snowpeak Mansion on July 30th.  Yeto and Yeta were quite pleased to see us, of course. 


“I make best cheese soup!” Yeto shouted as he headed for the kitchen.  In the kitchen he had a surprise for me, some fine cut cucco meat that he had stolen from a bulblin troop.  When combined with ordon vegetables and Yeto’s secret spices, it was another exquisite delicacy from the friendly abominable. 


“Husband has been busy.” Yeta said as she munched on a piece of cucco.  “Preparing for major attack on bulblin enemies.” 


“Really?” Ashei asked.


“Bulblin people shoot cannons at house.” Yeto said.  “They drug them down from trailhead and attempted to blast us.  They say Yeto and Yeta have taken their land.” 


“Well that’s ridiculous yea?  You were both here long before they were.  Did they do any damage to the mansion?” Ashei asked.


“Not too bad, but some walls near the back toward bedroom need repaired.  Yeto very annoyed.”


“We found an alcove high above the south of the valley, several miles north of Bulblin City.” Yeta said.  “Husband says that there are cannons up there, ones that can be turned on the city itself.  We’re going to go there tomorrow.” 


“What brings you to mountains, great defenders of the kingdom?” Yeto asked.


“We are looking to recover an artifact from the bulblin castle.  It is a treasure of theirs, a medallion that bears the triforce and the hylian bird.  In all there are ten medallions, one for each race of hyrule.  It is our expectation that King Bulblin has it.”


“Well isn’t that dandy?  Looks like we’ve got ourselves some good reasons to kick some Bulblin butt!” Yeto shouted.  “We leave in the morning!” 


After packing up some more soup, the four of us set off on the narrow path leading northeast toward the Hyrule-Bulblandia border deep in the mountains.  I remember this path well, for it was two Aprils ago that Ashei and I discovered this road.  It was snowing and freezing cold then.  Now the rocky ground was exposed and the winds swept through the terrain with the ruthlessness of an avenging angel. 


“Ashei I’m very pleased we got selected for this voyage, and I’m glad you’re here.  I’ve been waiting for a chance to exact some revenge on King Bulblin for his attack against brother and I at Lakebed Temple.  He tried to kill us.” 


“He did?!  How did it happen, and how did he get down that far underneath the lake surface?  I didn’t even know bulblin could swim, yea?”


“Either he stole, put together, or found a large piece of zora armor.  He was wearing it when we saw him on the west end of the temple.  He chased us through the dungeon toward the east chasm.  Brother and I tried to escape on the rotating platforms that hung down above the chasm, but that fiend shot a bomb-tipped arrow at the chain that held it up.  We dropped straight into the pit.  I thought we had met our end, but somehow, we emerged on a mountain river in the Twilight Realm.”


“So you dropped into a chasm in the earth’s crust, one that functioned as a twilight teleportation tunnel, yea?  On top of killing your mother?  Clearly King Bulblin needs to be taught a lesson.”


“How do we do that?” I asked. 


“Remember the plan that Yeto and I discussed with you this morning.” Ashei said.  “I’ve given Yeto my telescope, he and Yeta will use any means necessary to reach the weapons cache south of the city.  We’re going to split and go north of the city, to a heavily wooded path with a clearing right at the top of the trail.  From that trail, we will set off a series of bombs.  That’s Yeto’s signal to start bombarding the city.”


“Won’t that make things more difficult for us once we get there?” I asked.


“Remember Shira, Bulblin City is just like Castle Town, most of the town lies south of the castle.  It’s mostly forest to the north.  It’s well defended from a large-scale frontal attack, but a small guerrilla force like ours should fare much better, especially with the focus on the rocks falling from the south.”  Ashei explained. 


“I like it.  Let us raise our swords as sworn sisters and get that medallion.” I said. 


By the time we reached the clearing, it was nightfall.  Looking down upon the castle with my telescope it did not appear as though much was going on there.  There were a few bulblin up in the lookout towers, but that was all.  The castle itself looked far more impressive than the last time I had seen it.  Its marble exterior had been renovated well, for it gleamed in the moonlight.     


“Good evening Bulblin City.” Ashei said mockingly as we laid out the row of bombs.  We lit them in succession and started lobbing them into the clearing just ahead.  Within seconds, they sparked an explosive cacophony that would have made father proud.  The ground shook beneath us and the air and ground were covered in soot and ash. 


“Let’s move.” Ashei said.


The two of us hastily began to move down the steep and narrow trail through the trees.  There was nobody in sight, but the closer we got to the castle the more noise we could hear up ahead.  There were bulblin horns blaring, as well as explosions, no doubt from the cannons that were firing above the opposite side of the valley.  As expected, the trail only got steeper the further down we went.  After about half an hour, we reached the bottom of the valley and emerged from the trees, with just a few hundred yards between us and the castle’s rear wall.  Using the telescope, it was apparent that the bulblin in the towers had left their posts, presumably to face the incoming attack. 


“Our plan is working.  Come on.” Ashei said as she pointed toward a depression in the ground just beyond the castle exterior.  The depression was full of mud, and had exposed some of the darker basalt rock beneath the marble wall.  There was a crack in the basalt, one that could be penetrated with a water bomb.  We worried about the possibility of attracting attention, but there was no other way in from the back. 


“After the blast, get in quickly and secure the room.  Then we start moving toward the throne room, it’s on the second level.” I said.  Ashei blew the bomb, and indeed a wide chunk of rock had been blown away.  Better yet, the mud had muted the explosion to a large degree.  The room turned out to be a storage area, with food and weapons strewn about.  We made sure to wipe as much mud off our boots as we could before advancing. 


“Clearly they don’t keep the bazooka blasters on ground level yea?” Ashei said.


“They wouldn’t dare use those inside their own castle.  Be mindful for arrows though.”  We moved on through the lower level, trying to make as little noise as possible as we moved.  Surprisingly, we saw no sign of bulblin patrols.  There was one in the stairwell, but we were able to quickly subdue and knock him unconscious.  Two more were in the study on the second level, but again, we came from behind and surprised them, again knocking them out with a non-lethal clang of our sword handles.  As much of an aptitude I have for fighting, one thing I do not particularly care for is blood.  Gentlemen don’t quite understand it, but there is a nurturing chivalry in making injury, even death, as clean and painless as possible. Besides, we were guests. It would be rather unbecoming of a lady to make a mess.


Two bombs landed dangerously close to the castle, sparking more panic outside.  We reached the throne room a minute or so later.  Once again, the room was abandoned.  Ashei and I were quite sure that amid the chaos outside, that this had to be a trap.  Quickly we rummaged through the room, and sure enough it didn’t take us very long to find the Bulblin Medallion.  The gray bird necklace was inside a chest to the right of the throne, which was the same rudimentary block of granite as I had seen over a year ago. 


“Hard to believe this is the seat of Bulblin wealth and power, yea?” Ashei said. 


“They might control large parts of the countryside, but they’re still savages.” I said as I slid the medallion around my neck.  “Let’s get out of here.”


“There they are!  In the throne room!”  A whole herd of bulblin quickly stormed the room, surrounding us before we could escape.  They quickly disarmed us. From the entranceway came three bulblin riding on wildebeest, and sure enough, King Bulblin came in behind them.  He walked in between the wildebeest and moved quickly toward us.  “Excellent work Terex, I should have known you had this kind of talent or I wouldn’t have imprisoned you after the Lake Hylia incident.”


“Yes sir.” Terex said, but when the king turned his back he made a pointing gesture toward me.  I had seen it before, when the two of us were gathering wild fruits on the shores of Lake Hylia last year.  It was a signifier that all would be okay.  My eyes widened.  Even though I hadn’t seen my bulblin friend since brother and I fled Lake Hylia over a year ago, he still knew me and had something planned.  At that moment, I felt as though I could move mountains. 


“Pitiful Shira, what a pleasure it is to see you.  I hadn’t been expecting guests, but as it were, you just cannot seem to stay away from our kind for very long.  Such curiosity and loyalty should be commended,” he sneered. 


“You know it to be true, for I am your worst nightmare.  As many times as you try to get rid of me, I keep coming back.  I haunt your dreams at night and I master your thoughts by day.” I said with a dark yet sassy tone that Princess Midna would have approved of.


“It seems you have a strange power.  But it is a higher power that you seek is it not?  The medallion that lies around your neck, is our race’s greatest treasure.  Emperor Raym told me that it is a direct link with the supreme deities of the ancient kingdom.  Clearly this is what you have come for, to steal from me!”  He shouted.


“It is but a small price to pay for the pain you and your kind have inflicted on me, my family, and the citizens of the Kingdom of Hyrule!” I loudly retorted as I noticed my other Bulblin allies Metcla and Pehrot enter the room next to Terex. 


“And how exactly do you and your friend plan to escape my grasp this time?” He sneered as the three bulblin, my former allies from Lake Hylia, notched their bows in my direction.


“Let’s say that it’s a work in progress, just like a budding friendship, one that I have cultivated over a long period of time.”


“You may try to confuse me with your logic, but you’re in my castle, surrounded by my most loyal comrades.  I will cut you down right here on my throne!  This story!  It must end!”  He reached for his sword. 


I laughed.  “Maybe someday you’ll learn that the powers of love, friendship, and brotherhood are the true powers that rule over all.  Your closest allies will prove my point.”


“Arrgh!” King Bulblin yelled as he lunged for me, only to be struck in the back, an arrow from Terex.  He crumpled to the ground, and several confused Bulblins rushed toward their fallen king, and some toward us.  Metcla and Pehrot came rushing in to beat them back.  Ashei and I picked up our weapons and ran around the end of the room toward the exit.


“Get them!  Get them now!” King Bulblin shouted in a raspy, injured voice.  Terex led us quickly across the castle’s kitchen, followed by what I assume was a library though there were no books to be seen.  We reached a stairwell and immediately slammed the heavy door behind us. 


As we ran down the spiraling stairs in the darkness, Terex gave us final instructions.  “Get across the garden quickly and to the wildebeest stables!  You’ll find them on the far right!”  Quickly saddle up and strike it once with both your feet and hang on tight, they’ll beat right through the fences and get you to safety in the trees!”


“You saved me! I cannot thank you and the others enough.” I said. 


“No Miss Shira, thank you for showing me to the path of righteousness.  Do not weep for me and the others, for we have found our peace.  Just promise me one thing.”


“What?” I asked as we reached the exit.


“Promise me that when I look down from the Plains of Nayru high above, that I will see a country where peace and brotherhood reign.”



Chapter 15: The Central Frontier


This is Soren.  Our comrades have spread out all across the country.  Zelda and Link have disappeared into the past.  Sister is leading a charge right into the heart of Bulblin country.  Hers is a difficult assignment but I have faith that her vast knowledge of Bulblin City and her strange bulblin allies will help her succeed. 


Our assignment is no less difficult, and perhaps even more dangerous.  With Auru leading the way, Santha and I are to enter Hyrule Castle Town and find the Hylian Medallion, a mission that might require us to infiltrate Hyrule Castle itself.  With Santha’s divine power, we should be okay so long as we do not cross paths with the evil emperor Raym. 


We left Faron Province with the intention of reaching Castle Town on the 28th of July, but just hours after we split off from Telma’s group, we found trouble.  In the plains of northern Faron Province, a group of farmers, merchants, and artisans had engaged Raym’s evil knights.  Their equipment was poor aside from a few random powder kegs sprinkled about, yet they fought with such heart.  For a day and a half the battle waged on without any real movement.  On the night of the 27th, Santha and I decided that something had to be done.


“What should we do?  You’ve got the ability to take these dastardly foes out in one shot.  Why not use it?” I asked her. 


“Pudding, it’s a lot more complicated than that.” Santha replied.  “If we fight here, the retreating men will surely tell Raym of our location.  Our only chance to recover the medallion is to enter the city with the element of surprise.” 


“I understand.  But we’re not going to get across the field with this fight being waged.  And we must do something to help our countrymen.” I asserted.


“I say we set a trap, and lead everybody to safety in the night.” Auru said. 


“How do we do that?” I said. 


“Santha, you have the power to move the earth yes?  Use the power of the goddesses to create an underground tunnel beneath the plain.  In the meantime we’ll shepherd our allies into the tunnel and surround the entranceway with our remaining powder kegs.  With any luck the knights will give chase and get blown to bits.” 


“Auru, you’re a genius.  Tell the leader of the troop to follow us to the bluegrass knoll just south of here, we’ll dig there.” I said.  Santha nodded her head in agreement.  In the darkness of the night the knights couldn’t possibly hope to track us so we left immediately. 


“Dearest, do you have a spell that won’t give off much light?” I asked. 


“Oh pudding, all you have to do is mold the wish any way you desire.”  Santha kneeled down onto the grass and began to pray.  Her hands extended into the air as she focused energy inside.  Then with a hammer-like motion, she struck the ground, causing the earth to part underneath.  There was a slight rumbling across the countryside, but it was surprisingly short lived, faint enough that the enemy likely wouldn’t have given it a second thought. 


During the night, we watched as our hyrulian friends gathered into the tunnel.  Toward daybreak, we could hear the movement of the knights in the distance. 


“They’ve tried a pincers movement.” Auru said as he handed me his telescope.  Do you see them over there to the southwest?  Their goal is to encircle us.”


I nodded as I noted the enemy’s new position.  “It’s a good plan, but one that will play right into our hands will it not?” I asked.


“It should.  I will send the order to light the fuses.” Auru replied. 


“We must move out from here.  Follow me under the surface.” Santha said. 


We heard the high-pitched blare of trumpets as we retired into the underground.  The charge was coming.  About ten minutes after the retreat began, there was a massive bang from behind us as the powder kegs exploded.  Santha quickly summoned energy and surrounded us with a bright light, perhaps with the intention of stopping a cave-in.  We were surrounded by this aura during the remainder of our journey through the tunnel until we emerged on the other side of the battlefield near the Faron-Lanayru border. 


“Do you think we got them?” I asked Auru.


“There’s no real way to know for sure, but everything went according to plan.  I’m going to wager that they at least sustained some casualties.”


“We were able to protect the others and minimize injury though, and that’s the important part.  Even a warrior like you knows that.” Santha said with a smile as the sunshine washed over us.  I had to smile back.  No matter the situation, she just makes me feel so happy and so loved.  It’s a strange feeling to describe, but it’s one I’ve felt since the first day I met her.  We were meant for one another.


The remainder of the journey went according to plan, and by the night of July 30th, we were on the outskirts of town.  As we made camp atop a grassy knoll just south of the city walls, we decided that the easiest way to go into town was to do so right out in the open.  We would enter in the heat of the morning when the city would be its most active.  Santha gave me a dirt-like pigment from the river to spread on my arms and face and she completely re-did my hair, but otherwise I would enter the city as I was.  Santha was a little more concealed.  Auru gave her a helmet to cover her hair and gave her some bulky trousers and a shirt to wear along with equally bulky boots.  It was the first time I had seen my lady dress as a male, but clearly she was comfortable with it.  After all, she had probably worn similar garb during her time as a Knight. 


The morning of July 31st was brutally hot, much more than the previous day.  Our plan could not have worked better, because by late morning, the knights that guarded the south entrance into town were practically out on their feet, their limbs dragging from wearing their heavy garb in such oppressive heat.  The three of us walked within a larger group of merchants, and went through without even so much as a flinch from those that would do us harm.


As we walked up the South Road, something seemed amiss.  The paved road was now sprawling with weeds and the sides of the road were bare.  Many of the shops that were on the adjacent streets appeared to have shuttered their doors and buildings were either rotted or outright demolished.  “What’s happened to the South Road and where are all the merchant stands?” I asked one of the merchants. 


“They’ve changed everything.  Raym doesn’t let us sell in the streets anymore.  Everything runs through the central marketplace near the castle.”  The merchant said.  “He’s raised all the prices too, and not for us.” Another said.  “We don’t see a dime of the increase, it all goes into the royal treasury.  Some of it funds the Knights and the rest goes to the bulblins of the east in exchange for all the advanced new weaponry they make there.” The second merchant was quickly hushed.  “Not so loud, they’ll hear you and arrest you for subversion.”


We reached the center of town about noon, and once there it was impossible to miss the central market, which was a giant three story building that stretched nearly two city blocks, from the fountain to what used to be the Malo Mart.  Inside it was a crass, greatly embellished and cavernous ode to hyrulian economy.  There was just something totally wrong about it.  It was as though every shop in the midst of Castle Town had been thrown into one, within its little space, with the shopkeepers forced under the burdensome and ever-changing whims of Emperor Raym.  I mean, apples were 5 rupees, and a pack of Ordon nuts was 10.  Before the Twilight Invasion they were 1 and 3 rupees respectively.  It got even worse when we reached the top floor where all the fashionable clothes were. 


“My goodness, this tunic is selling for over triple what I would sell it for.” Santha said quietly as she looked through the clothing rack.  “And this one is almost quadruple.  This is typical of Raym, always obsessed with letting people know what they cannot have.”


“He must be out to starve and chill the population here.  That explains why so many of the buildings outside the castle look like they’ve decayed, nobody is maintaining their houses because they don’t have the rupees to do so.” Auru said.


I was about to respond, but something caught the corner of my eye.  Over on the left two floors below, there appeared to be a meeting of some kind going on between several merchants and several Knights.  Then I noticed something else, a handsome fellow with blazing red hair standing between them.  It was him!


I immediately grabbed Auru and Santha.  “Follow me.” I said sternly.  We followed the group into one of the market’s back rooms.  Eventually the tunnel began to wind and we came to an intersection.  Unsure of where we were headed, I decided to go right.  The hallway began to climb before long and then it turned rightward toward a dead end.  At the end of the hallway was a ventilation screen with heavy iron bars that looked down upon a meeting room of some kind.  Raym and the others were just filing into the room.  There were chairs spread out around a heavy tree stump that doubled as a table.


“Can they see us from up here?” Santha asked. 


“Not on their own.  If we’re quiet, we’ll be fine.” Auru said quietly.


It wasn’t long until Raym opened the meeting.  “Honorable head Knight, present roll call.”


“All accounted for, Master Raym.” The first knight responded.


“Before we begin, does anybody have a petition to bring forth?” Raym asked.


Two of the merchants stepped forward.  “Master Raym, it seems that business in the market is declining.  The traders and merchants from the outer regions seem to have gone into hiding.  It has been weeks since I have seen my brethren from Eldin and Faron.  You don’t suppose that they are boycotting our goods?”


“It’s probably a symbolic protest of sorts.  Once we fully unify and expand the Hyrulian Empire they won’t have an economic leg to stand on and they’ll have to buy our goods.  On that note, chief knight, brief me on our plans to destroy Kakariko once and for all!” Raym barked. 


“The plan is very simple, we overwhelm the town with brute force.  We use every unit we have available along with the very best regiments in King Bulblin’s army.  They simply won’t have a chance against such an onslaught.”


“And what if Santha appears again like the last time?” he asked. 


“We shall seek her out and draw her far away by showing her the kidnapped and beaten body of her lover friend, Soren the malevolent!” the knight shouted. 


“What about the survivors?” Raym asked. 


“We send them to the torture chambers, strip them of any valuables, and off with their heads!”


“I like it!” Raym shouted.  “Vizier Osauk, do we have a location on Soren yet?”


Osauk was a large man with dark skin. “Our intelligence shows that he was last seen in southern Hyrule Field several days ago.  A regiment of Knights tried to surround him along with a group of peasants but they escaped into the underground.  We nearly had him.” 


Raym carefully considered this statement from his most trusted adviser.  He approached one of the merchants sitting in the back of the room.  “So you’re saying that we almost have a good plan to capture Kakariko, because we almost have the bait needed to draw Santha away and to her demise?” 


“That is correct.” Osauk said. 


Raym unsheathed his sword.  “Almost…hmm.” He said, before suddenly swinging his sword backward toward the merchant, cutting his head clean off.  The head and body fell to the floor, spurting blood.


“We cannot settle for almost!!” Raym shouted.  “Almost is the reason why people meet their end!  Almost is the reason why our power is challenged by the peasantry! Almost is the reason why the dark lord was unable to defeat the forces of righteousness during the Twilight War!  And almost…almost is the reason why my powers…my absolute and divine power over all beings on this earth was split in half between me and my forsaken sister!!” 


The entire room was deathly silent, and nobody dared move a muscle. “Men, we must unify this country under my unquestioned authority, otherwise we will never achieve our objective of growing the Hyrulian Empire until it swallows every kingdom on this fair earth.  The Zora frontier, Ordona, Kakariko, these are the boulders that we must destroy in order to achieve our goals.  I don’t care if we must murder every last man, woman, and child.  Once true unity has been achieved, we rise, and Hyrule prevails!  Get out of here before my sword swings again.”


Everybody beat a hasty retreat from the room, except for Osauk, Raym’s most trusted man.  I watched as the two conversed in private for several minutes.  Then he produced a shiny yellow medallion.  Could it be?  Yes, for it was the shape of the hylian bird! 


“I sense something, strange.  The master sword has been pulled.  Its magic is already being used by somebody to travel through time.  Tomorrow I will wish to travel through time on my own.  I will find the Hero and defeat him before he can get to me here.  Will you guard this medallion for me while I am gone?” 


“Rest assured, Master Raym, for I will defend it with me life.”  Osauk said. 


“Let’s track him to a less conspicuous location.  Then we’ll surround him and get the medallion before anybody can respond.” Auru said.  “Santha, you’ll use your power to disarm him, and we’ll take care of the rest.”


For the next six hours or so, the three of us literally stalked Raym’s right hand man through the streets of Castle Town, hoping he wouldn’t disappear into the castle or into some protected area where we could not access him.  After weaving through crowds and through the war-torn roads for nearly five hours, we caught up to him in an alley where he was speaking to a group of hylian loyalists.  Come to think of it, it was right up the road from our old house. 


“Now, we are going to need to get as many rupees from the royal treasury as needed for this operation.  It’s going to be ugly.  We took a lot of collateral damage the last time around and the citizenry of Kakariko and Death Mountain are battle tested.”


“But we’ll be able to win once Master Raym appears, will we not?” One of the loyalists asked.


“Not exactly.  Master Raym has a secret mission to undertake.” Osauk said.  “We must support him in his abstentia and continue moving in our effort to unify this country.” 


The loyalists nodded their heads, and began to move out down an alley to the west.  As soon as they were out of sight, we made our move. 


“A fine evening indeed, Vizier Osauk.” Santha said as she approached from behind a building opposite Auru and I.


“Indeed it is.  Pray tell who might you be?” Osauk asked.


“The girl who stole your medallion.” Santha said coldly.  Osauk began to laugh, but his chuckles were cut off as Santha clapped her hands and pulled them into her chest.  In an instant, the Hylian Medallion around Osauk’s neck flew from his body into her hands. 


“Why you dastardly little wench!” Osauk shouted.  He set to move towards her but Auru and I moved in quickly and accosted him at sword point.  “A rather pity, to fail your leader by allowing his greatest treasure to fall into the arms of his greatest adversary.” I said tauntingly. 


“You, you’ll pay for this!  You’ll see, we’ll hunt you down and see you to your end!”


“It will be our pleasure to see you fail, for it is you and your evil clan whose days are numbered.” Santha replied.  “Once we unlock the true power of the goddesses, they will hound you and your kind all the way to the fires of the underworld.  Men, leave him be, we have a kingdom to save.”


Auru delivered a swift kick to Osauk’s midsection and I punched him out.  We joined hands with Santha, who called upon the ancient spell of Farore’s Wind.  Within seconds, we were whisked out of the ruined city.


Chapter 16: Windwaker Hyrule


This is Link.  We had spent nearly a week in the past.  With the Kokiri Medallion around my neck, and the Sheikah Medallion around Zelda’s, we returned to the Temple of Time on August 1st for our trip back to the present.  We bid our ancestors farewell and looked forward to meeting our descendants hundreds of years into the future. 


When the light dispersed, we were back in the Sacred Grove.  Zelda and I waited there for two and a half days for the other groups to arrive in with their medallions.  Auru, Santha, and Soren arrived with the Hylian Medallion in tow on August 3rd, and Ashei and Shira appeared the next morning carrying the Bulblin Medallion.  Between us we had now collected four of the medallions for certain, and possibly up to six depending on whether Telma’s group had collected the Goron and Zora medallions yet.  But at least four still remained, and we had to collect them.  That afternoon and evening we convened in Ordon Village to plan the rest of the journey. 


Bo and Ilia had done a good job of rallying support in Ordona Province, encouraging people to save every food and potion supply they could.  They also helped create clothing and weapons from the various animals killed for food, especially goats.  Always an isolated, self-reliant place, Ordona had the looks of a revolutionary cradle.  On the morning of the 5th, we traveled back to Faron Woods.  Once there, Zelda and I sent our allies to Lake Hylia.  Shira and Ashei would head to the sky in pursuit of the Oocca Medallion, while Soren, Santha, and Auru would search the sands of the desert for the Gerudo Medallion.  As for us, it was to the Sacred Grove for what was sure to be another awe-inspiring adventure.


Some people have asked me if I ever get nervous before traveling to a new land.  The answer is no, for I feel comfortable with the natural world, and with people and things I have not seen.  I do not judge, I do not jump to conclusions, and I believe in the righteousness in peoples’ hearts.  That being said, I always remain vigilant in case of danger.  More so than a normal voyage, I felt a strange twinge in my heart as we reached the Sacred Grove.  Maybe it was because of the absolute uncertainty that comes with traveling into the future.


“Are you ready?” Zelda asked me.  I reached out to her and held her hand, the Triforces of Wisdom and Courage shining and filling the grove with golden light.  With one swift motion, she and I replaced the master sword, then pulled it back out again to enter the tesseract.  When the light finally faded around us, we were standing in a circular chamber with statues surrounding the Pedestal of Time. 


“It looks like they rebuilt the chamber underground.” Zelda said as we walked up the stairs leading out of the chamber.  The light came through, revealing an extravagant castle.  There were more statues adorning the marble walkways, which were covered with red carpets.  I did an about-face where another of the statues caught my eye. 


“This statue…it looks like me.” I said.  “But it’s not me.  It’s my grandfather the Hero of Time!” 


“They must have built this statue over the entrance to the Master Sword’s chamber.” Zelda deduced.  There must be some reason for why the statue has changed position.”


“How far into the future are we?” I asked. 


“About one hundred and forty years from Twilight, two hundred from Ocarina.” Zelda replied.


We walked out the main entrance of the castle, and once there, we saw a quiet lake with a strange yellow circle of light in its midst.


“The light seems especially strong here, almost as though it was reflected from a mirror.”


I looked up to the sun, which shown brightly in the morning sky.  Then I noticed something else, a layer of water hovering in the upper atmosphere. 


“Zelda you don’t suppose…” I started.  But she was already gone, paddling across the lake to the ring of light in the middle.  She stopped just before it, but I could see the Triforce of Wisdom resonating on her hand.  The circle expanded and surrounded her, and before long she began to float upward into the sky.  “Zelda!” I shouted as I swam frantically after her into the light.  Within seconds, a soothing feeling came over me, as though I was floating on air.  Into the sky I went, high above the castle and toward the layer of water I had seen before. 


The next thing I knew I was in an ocean, rising toward the surface.  When I did so, I saw Zelda, no doubt upset that her hair and clothes were doused in salt water. 


“Link, take a look at that!” Zelda shouted as she pointed to a giant tower, bigger than any I had seen in my life.  With no land in the immediate vicinity, we both swam inside the tower.  Once inside it was clear that this was a place of grandeur.  Many of the corridors were constructed of solid gold and silver, and there were artifacts and treasures everywhere.  On the second floor of the tower, we came to a plaque.  “Here lies the Tower of the Gods, citadel of courage, power, and wisdom, awakened from the slumber of deep by the Hero of the Winds this day, August 4th.” 


“The Hero of the Winds must be your great-great grandson.” Zelda said.  “He must have used a powerful wish in order to raise this tower from the seafloor, and it happened just yesterday.” 


“It must be true.  But why is the chamber of the master sword beneath the surface of the ocean?  That doesn’t make sense.”  I replied.  Zelda just shrugged her shoulders.  Very little ever got past her because of her great wisdom and intelligence, but on this question, she was as blank as ever.  We continued to climb the tower, a process that took us hours due to the complexity of the labyrinth and the puzzles that were strewn about in the various rooms.  By early afternoon we had reached the walkway that led up to the top of the tower.  There was a giant stone door in our way, so we entered it.  On the wall of the circular room was a giant head and two giant hands.  There was another plaque in the center of the room and a beam of light that led to a hole in the ceiling.


“Be it known that on this day, August 4th, I, Gohdan, sworn protector of the Kingdom of Hyrule…have been defeated by the Hero of the Winds.  By the power bestowed upon me by the goddesses, I have granted him access to the kingdom.”  The plaque read.


“I cannot make light of this.” Zelda said.  “Protector of the kingdom…but was beaten by the Hero in battle right here?  That is total hypocrisy to me.”


“Agreed.” I said.  “Maybe there will be another clue at the top of the tower.”


Unfortunately for us, there wasn’t anything of significance at the top of the tower, just a bell in the center that was unreachable.  We were however, able to look out on the ocean below, and the view was absolutely breathtaking.  From hundreds of feet above we could see the foam of the ocean lapping against the tower.  There were white birds everywhere, birds that I had never seen before, and they made strange noises as they flew around.


“There doesn’t seem to be much land out there.” Zelda said.  There’s one island out to the west that looks to be block-shaped.  There are a couple of others but they are very small.


“Not that one over there!” I shouted from the other side.  “There’s a volcano up to the north!  You can just barely see it…see the red lava spouting out…it’s got to be.” 


Zelda looked out to the north and her eyes widened.  “Wow Link you’re right…that is a volcano.  That’s very impressive.  What a shame that it’s so far away and we can’t see it up close.” 


“That could be arranged.” A voice said from behind.  We immediately swung around and I drew my sword, startled by the voice.  It belonged to a brown-skinned fellow who had wings and a beak just like a bird, except his other features were human.  “I see that you are related to the Hero of the Winds.  The name’s Quill.  I come from an avian race to the north and wish to help.” 


“My name is Link…and this is Zelda.” I replied.  Zelda curtseyed. 


Quill took a few steps back.  Some of his friends flew in from behind and started to land behind him.  “So you’re the Hero and the Princess of legend.  If I didn’t see your clothes, your sword, your complexion with my own eyes I never would have believed it.  Tell me, divine protectors of the Triforce, what brings you above the waves?” 


“We are searching for the Rito Medallion…the divine treasure of the Rito people.” Zelda replied.


“You have come to the right place.” Quill responded.  “We must proceed to the isle of our birth.  “Ritos, secure the Hero and the Princess and prepare for lift off!”

It would not be right to say we found the Ritos, for it was they that had found us.  Within their grasp we flew across the ocean to the northeast.  After about an hour we came close to the volcano we had seen. 


“Quill, you did say your homeland was volcanic yes?” I asked.  “That’s correct.” He responded. 


“So are we going down there?” I asked.


“Not that one.” Quill responded.  “That’s Fire Mountain, a smoldering inferno that never seems to cease.  Our island is much larger and much more dormant.  You’ll see it coming up soon.”


The view to the north had become somewhat cloudy, but when the clouds broke, a gigantic mountain became visible to the north.  It had an odd resemblance to Death Mountain, the home of the Gorons.  The mountain continued to get larger in the foreground until about half an hour later, we reached the Rito homeland. 


“Welcome to Dragon Roost.” The Rito chieftain said to us as we disembarked.  “Good chieftain, these two travelers are from beneath the waves.  We found them atop the gigantic Tower of the Gods, the one that was risen from the deep just a day previous.” Quill said. 


“So the legend is true, the old kingdom of Hyrule still lives beneath the sea.  But, how did you two survive the deluge?”  The rito chieftain asked.  I had no idea what he was talking about.  I looked over to Zelda, but she had the same blank look as I.


“If I could offer a suggestion,” another rito said, “These people, their dress and their mannerisms…don’t seem to be from our world.  A third rito came close to Zelda and me and examined our features.  “I’ve seen dresses and tunics like these in my childhood readings, people from the land of our forefathers.”


“That’s because we’re from the past.” I blurted out.  Zelda looked at me incredulously, as did several others in the room.  “See, we were right!” the two young ritos shouted, rubbing wings.


“Medli, Komali, it seems you’ve uncovered the mystery.” The rito chieftain said.  “So you two are the Hero and Princess of legends past, having harnessed the power of the Sword of Evil’s Bane to travel the river of time.  But what need have you for such a maneuver?” he asked.


“There has been a rupture in the power of the goddesses in our time, it has separated into two, and without the power of the sacred medallions, the break could threaten time itself.  The Rito Medallion is one of the ten needed to call upon the goddesses to fix it.  The situation is dire because one of the people entrusted with the goddesses’ power is an evil tyrant that has wreaked havoc on our kingdom and he must be defeated.” Zelda said. 


“I understand your plight, for it is very serious indeed.  Lord Valoo, the guardian deity of Dragon Roost Island keeps watch over the medallion.  He is rather dangerous when confronted with strangers but Medli is his caretaker.  She could help you.  All I ask in return is that you go about your business carefully so that our treasure may be returned in good order.” The chieftain said.

We were about to leave the chamber when several Ritos flew in quickly from the west.  “Chieftain, the Hero of Winds has been spotted near Windfall.  He’s heading toward Forsaken Fortress!  The hour of cataclysm draws near!” 


“Oh my, we must move quickly.”  Quill said.  Ritos!  Move to the mountaintop and prepare to leave immediately for Forsaken Fortress.  Medli prepare Lord Valoo for the journey as quickly as possible for we cannot delay any longer.” 


Lord Valoo was impressive indeed, a giant dragon creature that breathed fire intermittently from his mouth.  It was good that he was on our side.  I had once fought a dragon high atop the City in the Sky and defeated it with the use of the double clawshot, but that dragon paled in size and stature to Valoo.  The ritos moved very quickly, and before long Medli, the young female of the group, instructed Zelda and I to climb onto Valoo’s back.  Her brother Komali joined her behind us, and before we knew it we were in the air, flanked by about 10 or 12 other ritos that flew in formation behind us. 


“I believe this is what you came for.” Medli said as she presented me with a brown medallion of the hylian eagle.  I slid it around my neck where the green Kokiri medallion already rested.  “It compliments your green medal very nicely.  It’s enough to remind me of the land of old.”   


“It will be a long trip across the ocean.” Komali said.  “Even our strongest warriors would not be able to carry you across the length of the Great Sea.”


“Please forgive me for I accept this with deep gratitude…but there is something I must ask.”


“What is it, hero?” Komali asked. 


“Why is the land covered by a giant ocean?” I asked. 


“Some time in the past, there was a great kingdom.  It was prosperous and peaceful.  But one day that all changed, and an evil sorcerer from the desert rose up to take over the land.  Reborn as the great king of evil, the pain and brutality he inflicted on the people was too much to bear.  The people began to pray to the goddesses so that a hero would emerge.  Right when all hope appeared to be lost, the hero appeared from the forest and defeated the evil king.  Peace and prosperity was restored to the land.” Medli said.


“But over time, the hero left the kingdom, and his memory began to subside.  Slowly the kingdom began to decline, and the powers of evil began to move in once again.  Like before, the people waited for the hero to return.  But this time the hero did not appear.” Komali said. 


“But the hero always appears.  How could that be?” Zelda asked.


“Nobody knows for sure, but the people’s plight only worsened.  They were desperate, and prayed to the goddesses to stop the evildoers and end their suffering.  So Din, Nayru, and Farore commanded those chosen to create the next kingdom to travel to the mountaintops of Hyrule, after which they created a gigantic rainstorm that flooded the land, creating the Great Sea.”


“So what we see now is our kingdom…covered by an ocean created by the goddesses?” I asked.


“That’s correct.” 


“Well that’s awful.” I said.  “Surely many people lost their lives in the giant flood.”


“Presumably, but our ancestors tell us that it was necessary to rid the world of evil.”  Medli turned around to Komali.  “Where are we right now?” she asked.


“We’re right over Windfall right now, we’ll be to Mother and Child Isles before long.” 


The hours went by, and the day turned to twilight, then to night.  We were quickly approaching another island pair.  One was very large, the other tiny by comparison, when a giant tornado came out of nowhere and approached us from the left.  “Whirlwind!” Komali shouted.  Medli attempted to turn Valoo out of harm’s way but it traveled way too quickly.  Zelda and I were quickly engulfed and we were thrown through the air.  The last thing I remember before blacking out was falling down toward the giant island.


I awoke in a giant fairy fountain.  Zelda was face down in the water, so I quickly grabbed her and brought her up.  She awoke in a coughing fit, but otherwise appeared to be okay.  There was vegetation and trees surrounding us, and a giant exterior wall of rock in all directions. 


“Welcome to the future!” Raym shouted.  “I’ve searched this ocean far and long for you two, and I knew that you would coming looking for the medallion before long.  I know all about your plans and what you intend to do.  You two just couldn’t help yourselves.  You could not simply retire to your little hamlet in Ordona and leave me be.  No.  You had to try to be the hero and heroine, rising to save Hyrule from the evil that permeates through its very fabric.  The land is destined to be swamped with evil for eternity, yet you cannot accept fate.  Well since you will not give up your quest, I must put a stop to it.”


I had no idea how he had tracked us into the future, or summoned the tornado to sweep us from the air, but there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.  I could see Raym call upon the power of the goddesses.  Zelda and I came together and summoned as much magical power as we could to fend of the blow of magical energy.  Much like in Kakariko, bolts of lightning crackled above as our fight carried on. 


“It is only a matter of time.  Without the Golden Power you two are doomed to fail!” Raym laughed as he threw bolt after bolt of energy at our shrinking perimeter of blue magic.  That’s when I saw another figure approach from the corner of my eye.  It was Santha!


Raym was stone-faced.  Santha focused energy into her hand.  We fought on, thinking Santha would turn her magic to aid us, just like she had in Kakariko.  Raym had the same thought as well.  “Go on…give them your power!” he shouted.  “Even you cannot protect them forever!”


Santha turned quickly away from us and toward Raym.  Then she raised her hand.  I should have done this a long time ago!” she shouted.


“No!  Santha don’t!” I shouted in vain.  But it was too late.  Santha’s bolt of energy engulfed Raym, knocking him to the ground.  Seconds later, the combined energy of the two chosen ones began to swirl around the island.  A loud crackling noise could be heard as space and time ripped apart, swallowing all four of us into uncertain darkness.



Chapter 17: The Northern Frontier


This is Shad.  For nearly two weeks we have been traversing the countryside.  Following our meeting with the gorons, we stayed in Kakariko for several days in order for us to complete our research on the Great Cataclysm.  Honestly, there was very little new to report, for Gor Coron’s account of the ancient legend was indeed true.  A battle between two beings using the power of the goddesses very well could swallow the world into a black pit of destruction. 


We had no idea what was happening to our comrades, if they had retrieved the medallions that they had sought to find.  Our mission was half complete when we left Kakariko on July 31st, heading north into dangerous Eldin plain and the northern foothills of Lanayru Province.  These were scary times.  Twice we had been turned backward by patrols of evil knights, and we barely evaded capture on August 2nd when two packs of them got behind us.  Rusl resourcefully led us up a nearby ridge borne from an ancient earthquake, and once he called on his golden cucco to all but behead one of the knights from a distance, they left us alone.


More dangerous territory was ahead, but we reached the upper Zora’s River Valley yesterday, and now we stand in the lower section of Zora’s Domain.  The day is August 4th, and compared with the heat down south, the weather is actually quite seasonable, perfect for a dip within the domain’s cool waters. 


“We wish to see King Ralis.” Telma told one of the zoras in the main lagoon.  He sent word to several other zoras, and within a few minutes the leader of the zora fighting guild came forth.


“Welcome to Zora’s Domain.  My name is Rehobeth, leader of the zora infantry.  I must know the reason for your arrival.” 


“We have important matters to discuss with Ralis.” I said.  “He will want to hear the collective plan to throw the hylian-bulblin alliance led by the evil Raym out of power.” 


“Indeed, as do I and the other zora fighters.” Rehobeth said.  “I myself was attacked by several bulblin and nearly killed about a year ago.  Come, we will hoist you up the waterfall.”


Zora’s Waterfall is a giant wall of water that stretches one hundred and fifty feet above the lagoon below.  The only way to get to the top of it is to piggy back on a zora as it swims through the current up to the top.  At the top of it lies the source of Zora’s River, which flows for hundreds of miles across the countryside to its terminus at Lake Hylia.  The source doubles as the Zora throne room, the room itself a rocky alcove created from the river’s flow years ago.  Upon our arrival, Ralis immediately noticed Telma and came to her. 


“I would have never expected to see you here.  How is my caretaker today?  It must have been an arduous journey for you to get here.”  Ralis said. 


“It was easy, except for the last stretch up the falls.  I’m not exactly light like a cucco, hon.” Telma responded. 


“I have been briefed on your arrival.  I understand that you have been working with Link and Zelda as well as others of your guild on a plan to destroy the hylian-bulblin alliance.”


“Indeed that is the plan.” Rusl said.  “We’ve already fought one battle in Eldin Province, and the gorons are in on the scheme.  It involves encirclement and destruction of the enemy.”


“How do you intend to do that?” Ralis asked. 


“At some date to be determined, your fighters will ride down the river from the north, the gorons will move east across Eldin Plain, and our forces will emerge from Faron and cross the southern Lanayru Plains.  We’ll link up and surround Castle Town, forcing it to surrender.” Rusl said. 


“What makes you so confident that we can defeat Raym’s infantry?  And what if the bulblins and their advanced weaponry get involved?  Wasn’t that the reason Castle Town was lost?”


I stepped forward.  “At the appointed time and place, we will bring our petitions to the goddesses directly, and a new day will dawn.  In our possession is the one true being with the ability to oppose the evil Raym.  She will help us achieve victory.”


Ralis thought for a second.  “I remember Rutela telling me about the legend of the Great Cataclysm when I was a young child.  She told me that with the consent of Hyrule’s sovereign peoples, that the power of the goddesses could be reborn.”  His eyes widened.  “That’s why you have been seeking out the medallions of the various hylian races.  All ten of them must come together, swords raised in the fading breath of twilight!  The legend mother told me is true!”


“How did you know our search for the medallions, hon?  Did the flow of the river tell you?”


“Indeed my caretaker.  Information flows very quickly all across Lanayru Province.  Here, I think you need this.”  Ralis went behind the zora throne and produced a blue medallion of the hylian eagle.  “One of my people’s great treasures.  I see that you already have the red jewel of the gorons around your neck and that others in the guild have collected others.” Ralis said as he draped the medallion around Telma’s neck.


“The time of cataclysm draws near.  We must depart down the river.” I said. 


“Right Shad, I will send word to my most trusted navigators that they are to see you down to Lake Hylia.  They will accompany your approach to the city during the attack along with our warriors stationed near Lanayru Spring and Lakebed Temple.  The remainder will stay with me here in the domain, and we will move out when the river tells us the time has come.”


“Thank you King Ralis, you are a great help as always hon.” Telma said.


“Wait.”  Ralis swam underneath the waters of the spring quickly and emerged with a fresh batch of reekfish.  “It is the finest in the domain, and also the most pungent.  It will give you strength.”


Even though I hated the smell of reekfish, it is a great food for cognitive ability and was definitely the best eating we had in nearly a month.  The ride down the river was to be long, but at least would be much quicker than traveling on foot.  As the river drops further into the canyon it runs faster and faster downward.  It takes about four days to travel from Zora’s Domain to Lake Hylia over land, but on the water it would take us only two or three. 


That afternoon, we departed the reservoir and headed south down the river.  With the Zoras assisting us through the rougher passages, we were making good time.  Nightfall came, and we stopped for the night in a domed outcropping on the river’s east bank.  By the end of the next day, August 5th, we had reached Castle Town and were beneath the west bridge leading into town.  This was the most dangerous stretch of the journey, and as such, only one of us was allowed to sleep at a time that night in case of attack.


“Shad, how are the zoras able to get the news from the river?” Rusl asked me.


“I’ve always wanted to research that.  I don’t really know if its actual information they receive or if it is just intuition.  Maybe zoras have some prophetic or psychic brain functions.”


“Come on Shad, psychic powers?  I know you don’t believe in that stuff.” Rusl said.


“Well, maybe that’s a bit too far, but prophesy can be a very strong revelation.  Queen Zelda is seemingly never wrong with her predictions, and she is able to use magic.  Now I don’t know how much of that was power imbedded in the Triforce but…”


I was unable to finish my sentence before a blinding light shot down from the northern sky.  Several beams of light crossed the sky and came together to form a white vortex.  It was bright enough that night seemed to turn back into day.


“What in the world is that?” Rusl asked. 


“I don’t know…but I don’t have a good feeling about this.” I responded. 


The light continued to swirl and expand, before everything around us went a bright white.  We were about to be blinded.


“Get on the ground!” I shouted.  We leapt to the ground near Telma and covered our eyes.


Chapter 18: The Battle of South Hyrule Field


This is Santha.  This conflict is intensifying, and there is fighting in all sections of the countryside.  Knowing how my brother is, I fear it could continue to build as we get closer to our goal of obtaining the ten magic medallions needed to call upon the goddesses.  The pressure on me is growing as well, for I know our guild of warriors, our king and queen, and perhaps most importantly, Soren, is counting on me to save the country.


And yet as we moved further to the northeast, something was really bothering me.  I stopped, and looked down at the yellow medallion around my neck. 


“Is something the matter Santha?” Soren asked me. 


“I’m worried about Link and Zelda.” I responded.  “Raym said in that meeting beneath the marketplace that he was going to try to intercept them when they travel to the future.”


“We briefed them about this when we met two moons ago, yea?” Ashei replied.  “There’s really not much more we can do than that.  Link is the great hero, and Zelda is quite capable herself in matters of self-preservation.”


“I can vouch for that.” Soren said. 


“Maybe I’m troubling myself too much over this.” I replied.  Soren took my hand, and we walked together for a while. 


And yet, my hunch that trouble was coming would not leave me.  The onset of twilight, and then nighttime did nothing to quell my fears.  Soren was still holding my hand about an hour past sunset when I felt it twinge and begin to glow.  The power of the goddesses was resonating!


“Raym is using the power of the goddesses.  I must go to him, now!”  I pulled away from Soren and quickly made a wish upon the glowing light.


“Be careful Santha.” I could hear Soren before my consciousness was lost temporarily.  Within a matter of seconds, I was transported through a hyperspace tunnel, landing on a rocky landform with a spring inside.  My worst fears were confirmed, Raym had caught up with Link and Zelda and was attempting to murder them in cold blood!  It was time to teach him a lesson that he would never forget…


 This is Auru.  As the strongest but also the most dull-witted of the Adventurer’s Guild, the events we have faced here are difficult for me to comprehend much less record.  However, I will do my best. 


It was the night of August 5th.  Santha had left us, wishing herself to be linked up with Raym after the evil sorcerer had utilized the power of the goddesses.  After her departure, we folded up for the night, stopping on a grassy knoll about five miles from the Great Hylian Bridge.

Not more than three minutes after Santha left us, a giant vortex of light appeared.


“What in the world is that?” Soren asked.


“It’s a swirling flash of light to the north!” Shira shouted.  “But it’s nighttime, what could it be?”


“Short of the sun burning out, I don’t know what could cause a light so bright.  It has to be supernatural, yea.” Ashei commented.


We all looked at one another, back to the vortex, and then back at one another again.  It seemed as though a wash of doom had covered us all at once.  Then the light consumed us all. 


The next thing any of us knew, it was daylight, and we were engulfed in a war.  A group of rebel hylian infantry had been pushed back by Raym’s Knights, and were now fighting for their lives.


“How did we get here?!” Soren yelled as he drew his sword and swung at an enemy.


“We’re in the same place, but it’s like time skipped forward yea?!” Ashei shouted as she produced a potion that was hanging from her belt.


I engaged one of the Knights, and took it out with a dive against one of his legs.  “We’ll worry about it later if we survive!”


Raym’s men were relentless, and pressed forward hard.  Luckily for us, our position atop the knoll gave us geographical leverage.  Soren, Ashei, and I fought hard in close quarters to maintain a defensive perimeter while Shira took aim at the attackers with her trusty bow.  This went on for at least an hour before more loyal hylians arrived from the southwest to give us a rest.  My arms were cut, and the chain mail beneath my clothes showed signs of wear and tear.  Never once did any of us bemoan our misfortune. 


After taking some time to down some potions and bandage our wounds, we were back in the fight.  I saw Shira abandon her bow and unsheathe her sword.  Her and her brother were definitely a sight to see as they double-teamed attackers, rendering them immobile within a matter of seconds.


“Their armor is too heavy and thick for them to move, brother!” Shira shouted. 


“Keep moving and keep stabbing for the weak spots at the neck and ankles!” Soren roared.


Despite our progress and strong fighting, the sheer numbers of the attackers were starting to wear us out.  The other hylians in the area were thinking about retreating.  That’s when Soren produced a weapon I had never seen before, a miniature bazooka.  He aimed it at the enemies in the valley and shot.  Following the blast, I saw two enemy Knights on the ground, writhing in pain.  As I engaged another enemy, Soren reset the weapon and fired again, dropping another instantly.  Three more shots rang out over the next few minutes, and more Knights met their end. 


It was obvious that Soren’s miniature bazooka had spooked the enemy.  But the truth was that our unit’s combination of fighting prowess and higher ground were also superior advantages.  About two hours after the fighting began, I saw the enemy commander motion to his unit to pull back and head for Castle Town.  One unit of hylian rebels attempted to pursue them, but the rest of us withdrew eastward for the Great Hylian Bridge, and safety.  The battle wasn’t as long as the one in Kakariko last month, but it was fierce, as tens of people were injured on both sides, and regrettably there were several deaths as well.  We worked deep into the afternoon dressing wounds and rationing needed potions to those that needed it worst.


“Where did you get that shooting weapon?  Did you make that on your own?”  I asked Soren. 


“It is a hand-crafted smaller-form bazooka, powered by leftover bomb powder and a single-lever propulsion mechanism.  I made it while marooned inside Lakebed Temple.  I call it the hand cannon.” Soren responded.


“I saw him test it inside Lanayru Cave, and with one little pebble it destroyed a stalactite!” Shira responded with glee.  Ashei’s eyes widened.


“This might be the item that turns the tide of battle.” I said.  “I must get it back to Ordona Province immediately.  Bo and I will examine it and see if we can’t start to manufacture these.” 


“Imagine a whole infantry with portable bazookas.  We’d be unbeatable yea?” Ashei said. 


“Not necessarily.” Soren responded.  “The hand-cannon has several limitations.  It is loud, and cannot be used to surprise the enemy.  Also it isn’t the most accurate from a distance, at least as compared with a slingshot or a bow.”


“But it still packs a mean punch.” I concluded.


That night I rode as quickly as I could for Ordona.  I worry not for the others, for they are strong.



Chapter 19: Bridges, Duels, and the Ruptured Flow of Time


This is Shira.  After Auru left us, we continued northeast toward Lake Hylia.  The rocky ground just south of the Great Hylian Bridge worried us because it was a big hotbed of bulblin activity during the twilight conflict.  Further, we had just heard rumors that bulblins were on their way in support of Raym’s infantry in the region, many of whom we had just turned back.  But the area was deserted.  Right at sunset we reached the bridge, an awesome marble structure spanning hundreds of feet above Lake Hylia.  With no way to reach the lake from the south, we had to cross the bridge to reach the rocky road east of Fyer and Falbi’s old hut.


When we reached the bridge we saw them.  Tens of bulblin archers and warriors were visible at the other entranceway.  They were led by none other than King Bulblin himself.  The body of my old bulblin friend Terex was suspended from his pole.  What a savage!   


“Ah ha ha ha!” King Bulblin laughed.  “If it isn’t the two that broke into my home and stole one of my most prized possessions!  And with them lies the brother, ever loyal to the end.” He sneered.


“Faith, hope, and righteousness know no bounds.” Soren replied.  “As long as your kind run amok, destroying the lives of the good citizens of this country, we will stand in your way.”


“You will stand in my way?  You and what army?” King Bulblin asked.


“Unlike a coward like you, we don’t need an army behind us!  We will defeat you on our own!” I shouted as I held up the medallion I had plundered from Bulblin Castle. 


King Bulblin laughed.  “Oh Shira, always so young and always so foolish.  If flaming arrows and long drops into the abyss aren’t enough for you, then maybe the sharp end of my sword is.  You’re right about one thing though, for I don’t need any help to defeat you.  I challenge you to a duel on the bridge.”


“You have yourself a deal.” I said without hesitation.  Brother looked to me as if to scold me, but then quickly turned back toward King Bulblin.  “Well you heard her…prepare for battle you portly old cretin!” he shouted. 


King Bulblin simply nodded, and began to prepare his horse.  Soren and Ashei walked out to the center of the bridge where they met with two bulblin archers, no doubt laying the ground rules.  I made sure that the chain mail beneath my tunic was properly fit, after which I turned to my horse, Esmeralda.  She was already plated with armor in the front from our encounter in South Hyrule Field, but I took care to refit it. 


“Are you ready girl?” I said as I petted her mane.  “Let’s run wild and raise dragmire!”  Esmeralda let out a neigh, and then I mounted her, sword and shield in tow.  Soren gave me final instructions.  “King Bulblin likes to swing horizontally from the right, so don’t try to go left.  If he tries to squeeze you on the right just evade, you’re not big or strong enough to try throwing your weight around.  He’s not as strong on the return pass.  Lastly, if you see him try to thrust, evade and crush him in the side with your left, he’s got no armor there.”


“For mother and father.”  I replied, to which Soren nodded.  As I looked out on the bridge I saw nothing but me and my adversary, that blubbering green lard with the heart of filth.  He rose his sword and smacked his boots.  His horse took off running.  I pulled on the reigns, and Esmeralda took off running.  King Bulblin came closer, closer still, and he went right raising his sword.  Following Soren’s advice I went left and raised my shield to avoid the attack.  A loud clang was heard as his strike deflected away.  Even with the block, I still staggered, barely avoiding falling off of Esmeralda. 


“Just a glancing blow that time, but a real one will send you to the grave!” King Bulblin shouted as I turned around.  The bulblin forces now behind me snickered.  I didn’t respond, for I was focused more than I had been in my entire life.  He came after me again.  I prompted Esmeralda for more speed.  Again the king went right, forcing me left into another blocking manuever. 


“Try to go for a shield attack this time.” Ashei said as I returned to where I started. 


“But I’ll fall off if I try that.” I said. 


“He’s going to come with force, the same move as before.  Go in low, push him back when he goes for the head and you might knock him off balance.  Then next pass you can force him to go left.”


King Bulblin took off again.  I pulled on the reigns.  I waited for him to move rightward, and indeed that’s what he did, thinking victory was near.  I went left and dropped into a defensive position.  He wound up looking to deliver a crushing blow.  As he came down I lunged forward.  There was a tremendous clang of metal and flesh.  My head smacked against the inside of my shield, and I nearly fell over backward, just barely clinging on with one arm and one leg as Esmeralda grunted against the change in weight.  Finally I was able to get back into the saddle.  When I looked back, I could see King Bulblin was gashed across the forehead and left cheek.  He must have swung vertically only to have his blade come straight back at him off my shield!


Victory was near, I could taste it.  I charged back across the bridge.  This time he was the one to start out gingerly.  I attacked quickly to the right.  He started that direction but hesitated back to the center.  This was developing perfectly.  I drew my sword and prepared to strike his exposed obliques, but before I could, a blinding light descended upon us.  I tried hard to see but the light consumed us just as another loud clang was heard.  My consciousness was lost. 


The next thing I knew I was face down in the mud and it was raining hard.  My head hurt, and I was dizzy and disoriented.  The first person I saw was brother, who came over to me with a blanket and a half bottle of red potion. 


“It’s good I found you.” Soren said.  “Here, drink this it will comfort your weariness.” 


“Thank you.”  As I drank, I looked out onto a giant lake, for the first time noticing we were on the north shores of Lake Hylia.  “So how did we get here?  Did I fall off the bridge?”


“I…I don’t know.” Soren said.  “All there happened was a giant flash, and I blacked out.  The next thing I knew I was on a grassy knoll not far from here.  You were lying down in the marsh.”


“There have been two flashes now.”  Ashei said.  “Last time we came out of it in the same location as before, but this time our location changed.  I wonder why that could be.”


“I can answer that!” We turned around and noticed a familiar face, Santha, swimming in the lake being helped along by two of my zora friends, Aguaro and Xelha. 


“Santha!” Soren shouted.  “How did you get back from the future so quickly?  And how did you know we were here?” 


“Soren, Shira, Ashei, listen carefully to what I am about to say.  A terrible thing has happened.  Emperor Raym was able to move into the future and locate Link and Zelda.  He attempted to kill them using the power of the goddesses.  They resisted as best they could, but I knew they could not hold out for long.  When I arrived in the future and I saw how desperate the situation was, I knew that I had no choice.  I attacked Raym using my own divine powers.”


“So you were able to save them?” I asked.


“Yes.” Santha responded.  You could feel the tension in the area seep out as Soren let out an audible sigh.  “We cannot thank you enough for saving the King and Queen, again.” Ashei said.


“It gets worse from here I’m afraid.” Santha said. 


“Why?  Are they badly injured from the encounter?” Soren asked. 


“No, but that is not our concern at this moment.”


“Then what is, just say it yea.” Ashei replied. 


 “Have you all forgotten about our readings in the library, the ones about the Great Cataclysm?  Well, its real, and it happened as soon as my divine powers combined with Raym’s.  The attack ripped open a hole in space and time.  The four of us were swallowed into darkness.  I don’t know how long we were there, but it was really strange, our clothes had turned black, our skin had turned black, everything was just pure darkness.  And yet we could see one another, but we felt nothing.  Eventually we were rescued by the goddesses themselves, who sent the four light guardians of Hyrule to take us back to the world of light.  The serpent Lanayru grabbed me, and maybe that’s why I returned to Lanayru spring.”


“Where did the others end up?” Ashei asked. 


“Eldin grabbed Link, Faron grabbed Raym, and Ordona grabbed Zelda.  As we left the dark realm, I could feel a gripping pain in my right hand, it was painful enough that I screamed, and I could hear Raym shouting in agony as well.  When I arrived back here, the emblem of the divine power was gone from my hand.”


“So the powers of the goddesses have been nullified entirely?”  I asked, puzzled.  “So the divine power that is the very basis of hyrulian society no longer exists?” 


“Not only that, but time itself is moving forward at a very rapid pace.  Because of the interaction of the divine powers, a hole in time itself has been created.  Every few hours, time will skip, going forward by hours or even days.” Santha said gravely. 


“That explains the flashes of light we’ve been seeing.  The flashes must represent time moving forward at a very fast rate.” Soren said. 


“And our change in location must be based on our intentions prior to the flash, because people do not stay put for hours unless they are asleep, just like we were before the battle in Hyrule Field!” Ashei shouted. 


“All I know is that we need to get those remaining medallions, now, before it’s too late.” Santha lamented.  “If time stays the way it is now, we will surely age and evolve far too quickly, with disastrous results.”


“Well, Ashei and I will head for the sky to collect the Oocca Medallion, and you and brother can proceed to the desert for the Gerudo Medallion.  We should collect water and food supplies while we wait for the next flash, it wouldn’t be prudent to go into the cannons before then.”


“Yes, but we can’t delay long.” Brother accosted.  “Telma’s group should be coming down the river soon to link up with us and given the situation they might be here sooner rather than later.”


With that, the four of us nodded, and set off for the fields, where we collected as many ordon nuts, wild fruits, and fresh vegetables as we could.  Indeed, another flash did come, after which it was now nightfall.  Honestly, that made the upcoming cannon flight easier for me, because when you’re hurtling through the sky, it’s good not being able to see where you are or where the ground is. 


“Too bad you don’t get to go in the big boy cannon.” I teased as we reached Fyer’s lake house. 


“Doesn’t matter to me, I prefer the desert to the sky any day.” Soren replied. 


“Weirdo.” I teased again.  Soren stuck his tongue out at me and I did likewise.  It was good to know that even though the world seemed to be on the brink of total destruction we still knew how to keep each other distracted to the obvious troubles around us.  Soren went in first, and the cannon fired well, sending him toward the eastern sands.  Santha’s face was flushed watching her boyfriend fly through the night sky.


“Don’t worry about it.  The landing zone is a giant slide of sand, it will land you nice and soft and you won’t feel a thing.” I told her. 


“I never thought I’d have to worry about being mortal again…but it’s liberating.  You know what I mean?” Santha asked. 


“Not really, but you’ll be fine.  Just bring me that medallion so I can give this ugly gray one to somebody else.”


Santha laughed.  I had accomplished what I wanted, to get her mind off of the trial ahead of her.  The cannon fired and she was on her way toward a hot date in the desert.  But for Ashei and me, it was to the sky. 


Ashei had never seen the Oocca before, but there really wasn’t much to say about them.  Honestly, her expectations were much higher, for she envisioned thoughts of an avian race that could fly through the air like birds and talk like people.  Well, to be fair one of the Oocca can do both, and that’s Ooccoo, the owner of the shop at the base of the City in the Sky.  But size wise, the Oocca are very diminutive. 


When we entered the shop, he was surprised to see us.  The meeting was quick and easy, and resulted in us parting with quite a few of our rupees in exchange for potions and the Oocca Medallion, a light blue-hued medal of the hylian eagle & triforce emblem.  I let Ashei have it, since I already wear the gray bulblin medallion.  Despite my remark earlier about its ugliness, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because of the significance of stealing it from King Bulblin.


We should have eight of the medallions now, with just the Gerudo and Twili medallions separating us from the final battle with Raym’s evil forces.



Chapter 20:  Discovery in the Desert 


This is Soren.  Hopefully you’ve enjoyed the perspectives of the others, because this is my story and I’ll be with you till the bitter end, no matter how it turns out. 


Santha and I landed in the eastern desert during the nighttime, the date unknown due to the time skipping around but I would guess the 13th.  Landing at night allowed us to transit a large portion of the terrain prior to sunup, which was important because in the desert there is no cover and no respite from the heat.  In fact, there’s virtually no vegetation in Desert Province, the only things that live here are the leevers, small reptiles of dodongo origin that occasionally jump up from the sand in search of a meal.  They usually eat bugs but can sometimes prey on unsuspecting humans or wildebeest as well.  It is a good thing that we stalled at Lake Hylia to stock up on fresh food and water supplies, because they will surely be of good use now.


The sun eventually did come up, and the sand became very hot underneath our feet.  To make matters worse, we really didn’t know our destination.  The gerudo medallion, we were sure, had to be in one or two places.  It could be at Gerudo Mesa, site of the old Gerudo Fortress and the burial ground that housed their royal family.  We were very hopeful to find it there, because otherwise we would have no choice but to infiltrate the dastardly Arbiter’s Prison, a place few people have ever emerged from. 


Just after daybreak there was another flash, and time skipped forward to midday.  Now it was really hot, probably over a hundred degrees.  Finally finding a rocky outcropping to hide ourselves from the sun, we sat down.  Santha took out some ordon nuts and fruits from her pack and we took care to not get sand all over them. 


“This is enough to make Lakebed Temple look like heaven.” I said.


“It’s like a beach, except there’s no ocean.” Santha replied. 


“So much for a hot date in the desert.” I said.


Santha laughed.  “Through all of this, I don’t think there’s been much time for love.  Maybe when things settle down and peace is restored to Hyrule we can make up for lost time.” 


“Here’s a prequel.” I said, and I leaned forward and kissed her.  For about a minute or so we held one another and it was though an aura surrounded us. 


“I love you Soren.” Santha said with beaming eyes.  “Let’s find that medallion.” 


The day continued on gingerly, the two of us trying hard to conserve our strength in the oppressive heat.  About mid-afternoon we caught a break as a group of runaway wildebeest crossed our path.  I worked quickly to subdue it, and before long the two of us were riding furiously across the desert sands.  Gerudo Mesa became visible in the distance about two hours later, which was followed by another flash as time skipped forward.  After the flash we arrived. 


“So this was the old gerudo fortress?”  Santha asked.


“The ancient scrolls seem to think so.” I said.  “The gerudo were a militaristic society of thieves that occupied the desert provinces of Hyrule.  Their fortress was discovered during the war for unification.  During the Ocarina years the gerudo were ruled by an evil tyrant who took power on the basis that he was the only male in the tribe.” 


“The only male?  Out of how many?” Santha asked.


“At their peak they numbered between three and five thousand.” I replied.


“Wow that’s amazing.  But, if there was only one male for three thousand females, how did their kind mate with one another and reproduce?” Santha asked.


“Well they basically…uh…hmm.” I just couldn’t think, and Santha had a devious look on her face which for some reason made me nervous.  “I read a story one time, it surmised that the gerudo mated by seeking out unsuspecting hylian males, generally in the region of Castle Town.”


“I bet those were some lucky fellows, having such beautiful warrior women throwing themselves at them.  I doubt they would be able to resist.” Santha said.


“You really are feeling the heat today, aren’t you?” I asked her.  “Don’t answer that, I think I just found something interesting.”


We had entered a cave near Gerudo Mesa that had led us underground.  After descending down a series of tunnels we had come to an open doorway.  On the other side of the doorway was another tunnel that led to a slide made of sandstone.  The two of us slid down together, landing in a sandy depression.  When we looked up we could hardly believe our eyes. 


“I think you definitely found something.” Santha said.


An underground city of immense size stretched out in front of us.  The many holes in the bedrock that formed the ceiling let down the sunlight, and there must have been four to five levels of tunnels and buildings spread out like tiers of a battle arena.  On the lowest level in front of us was a cemetery with many gravestones.  One in particular stood out over all the others.  It was made of marble and orange quartzite, and had the gerudo spirit insignia on it.


“Here lies the exalted Nabooru, grand Queen of the Gerudo and Sage of Spirit.” I read. 


“Nabooru was one of the seven that saved Hyrule during the Ocarina conflict.  Her body must have some great significance to whomever built this temple.”  Santha said. 


“Indeed.” I replied.  I continued reading further down the gravestone.  “With you lies our most sacred artifacts, the original curved gerudo blades, and the medallion of our race, hopefully never to be disturbed again.  Rest in peace.”


“It’s here, the gerudo medallion.”  Santha said.  “Link and Zelda could not locate it in the past, but clearly it never left her side.”


“Well now all we have to do is dig up the grave.” I said. 


“I don’t consider that a proper way to honor a sage and heroine.” Santha replied.  “Plus, it could be booby trapped and an angry poe might come after us.”


“That is somewhat of a scary prospect, but there doesn’t seem to be a way around it.  Do you have a better idea?” I asked. 


“Yes.  Jump inside and join her.” A voice bellowed from behind.  It was Raym.  He had followed us all the way and was standing just past the slide. 


“You fiend!  How could you catch up to us so quickly?” I demanded as I drew my sword. 


“Stand aside lover boy!” Raym shouted.  “This is between me and princess!  We duel, now!”


I got in front of Santha as Raym approached but Santha stuck her hand out.  “I accept your challenge.  Prepare ye for revenge.” 


“Revenge?  You are the one responsible for our loss of immortality!  You used your powers to blindside me like a coward.  You took our powers away and disrupted the flow of time and space!” Raym shouted.


“That was a sacrifice in the name of saving the rightful King and Queen of this country!  And spare me your talk of cowardly behavior.  You ended our first duel by cutting off my tunic and exposing me to our entire regiment of Knights!”  Santha was furious, much angrier than I had ever seen before.  She almost matched Raym, which to me was scary.


Raym charged forward and swung.  Santha blocked.  “You’ll never be strong enough to defeat me!” Raym shouted as he swung twice more.  Three more swings were dodged, then Santha rolled around Raym and attempted a backside attack, which the latter blocked.  Raym followed with a thrust attack but missed and Santha timed a shield attack well and knocked him backward to the dirt. 


“You’ve always underestimated me, and it will be your downfall!” Santha shouted.  Raym quickly got up and went for the Santha’s legs.  While this was going on, I noticed Osauk enter the room via the slide, and more of Raym’s men became visible from the upper balconies of the ancient gerudo city.  I had no idea how they had arrived in such numbers, but it became increasingly clear that we were in trouble.  They began to scream and shout.  Santha and Raym fought on.  Raym moved and swung harder than I had seen him swing before, a true madman possessed.  Eventually he connected with a slash across the abdomen.  It was a glancing blow against Santha’s chain mail, but she winced in pain.  With the fire in his eyes, he followed up into a jumping attack.  Santha fell to the ground, then sprung forward to attack from behind.  She grabbed Raym around the neck and slipped her sword under his neck in an attempt to get him into a submission hold. 


Her powerful legs attempted to crush his midsection.  Raym desperately poked his sword at Santha’s head, which she attempted to block.  Eventually she connected once on her forehead, forcing her to break the hold.  There was some blood, but thankfully the wound wasn’t too deep. 


Raym smiled.  “This is fun.  I could inflict pain and punishment all day, and more blood too!”  He charged Santha again, but this time Santha made a move I had never seen before.  She blocked with her shield while sticking her sword into the dirt.  From a contorted position, she turned in a circle and Raym’s momentum took him over the top of her left leg.  She immediately pulled on Raym’s left leg and twisted it, causing him to scream.  She attempted to do the same with the right leg but he kicked her away.  When Raym got back on his feet, he was noticeably limping.  Sensing an advantage, Santha continued to move around rapidly, forcing Raym on the defensive. 


“You probably still think I’m weak, just like when you cut my clothes off!” Santha shouted.  Raym shouted visibly and lunged toward her with his shield, connecting with a glancing blow.  She regained her balance quickly and their sword clanged again.  Raym’s men on the upper ledges of the gerudo ruins continued to scream and shout.  Just when I thought they were going to intervene in the fight, they suddenly went silent.


“Prepare ye to engage!” A female voice shouted from above.  All around the ruins behind us a great number of warriors emerged, bows drawn, swords hanging from their belt.  While they moved in, Raym and Santha carried on.  He knocked her down with a running attack, but before he could stab her in the heart, she rolled to the side and bashed her sword’s handle into his sore left knee.  This knocked Raym off his feet.  Santha took aim at his head but before she could swing Osauk ran in and tackled her.  Incensed, I drew my sword and pounced at him, slashing him in the back.  Now the four of us were in the fight, and Raym’s men began to descend the staircases.  Without warning, the warriors on the other side launched a volley of arrows, many of them connecting with their targets.  Then they charged.


With nowhere to hide, Santha and I found ourselves within a greater battle, fighting alongside the warriors that had emerged as our saviors.  Many of them brandished duel blades, and made quick work of Raym’s men, who were clumsier and not at all accustomed to the fighting style their adversaries.  Within several minutes, Raym ordered a retreat.  I attempted to chase after them but three of the female fighters grabbed me and pulled me back.  I demanded that they release me but they held me at swordpoint.


“No, no he’s not one of them!” Santha shouted as she rushed to my side, pushing two of them aside.  “He’s my man, don’t hurt him please!” 


“This male is with you?” One of the warriors asked. 


“Yes.  He’s my boyfriend.” Santha said. 


There was a period of silence.  Finally one of them came forward, one dressed in white, her clothes distinguishing her from the rest which wore purple.  “The lady fights very well, and boyfriend hunts even better!” she shouted.  The others burst out with laughter.  “What are you laughing for, back to work!” the one in white accosted.  Most of the others dispersed, leaving only a few in purple behind with her. 


“You faced down the evil one, and acquitted yourself very well.  Your skills are admirable.”  The one in white lifted up the veil covering her face.  “My name is Naira, the leader of the Gerudo. Welcome to our cavern.”


“You…you’re all gerudos?  You mean just like the ones I’ve read about in children’s books?” Santha asked. 


“Ganondorf Dragmire was my great-grandfather.  But then again, he was great-grandfather to most of us here today.”  Naira said. 


“That explains that.” I said.  “But no gerudo have lived in this kingdom for over forty years, not since before the massacre at the Arbiter’s Prison.” 


“You know much about our history.  But what you do not know is while the royal family thought they had rounded all of our kind up for execution, there was a whole other group that evaded their clutches and escaped to the swamps across the southeastern frontier.  My mother was one of those that eloped to the area now known as Misery Mire.  We wandered there for forty years and have just recently returned with the overthrow of the royal family.” Naira said. 


“So to you, the evil Raym was a liberator.” I said. 


“Maybe at first.”  Another of the gerudos said.  “But then he started using us, and demanding that we pay tribute to his army in Castle Town and provide favors of a different sort in return for his allowing us to stay here.  When his price became too great and too scandalous for us to bear, his troops overwhelmed us and bombarded our compound near Gerudo Mesa.  Many lost their lives that day and others were injured, tortured, and raped.  After that day we relocated down here to the ruins. He was probably here to exact more suffering on his behalf but we were prepared this time.”


“Somehow that doesn’t surprise me.” Santha said.  “His mind has been warped by some traumatic experiences and revenge and power are the two things that drive him.”


“You seem to know very much about him.” Naira said. 


“Raym is her brother.” I added.


“At the sound of such news I must offer my condolences.” The other gerudo said. 


“We are already seeking to defeat Raym, and I think your kind can definitely help us.  We are planning a major attack on Castle Town many moons into the future.”  I said.


Before Naira could answer, we could see another blinding flash cut across the sky and into the cavern.  When we came to, the grave of Nabooru was dug up, and the Gerudo Medallion was in Naira’s hands, ready to be presented to us. 


“Soren, you have such a way with words.” Santha said as Naira came forward.  I didn’t even know what I said, but as I felt the orange bird medallion around my neck, it didn’t matter.



Chapter 22:  Reorganization


Many moons passed by the time we returned to Ordona, indeterminable because of the random flashes of light that now control time.  Two of the gerudos had accompanied us back to the forest.  They wore plain hylian clothing so as not to draw any unnecessary attention.  One of them, whose name was Reina, said it was the first time she had been unveiled in public in many years.  It’s a shame really, because she is extremely good looking.  In fact, all of them are, their bodies cut and sculpted by days spent training and sparring. 


We rendezvoused with Shira and Telma’s groups at Lake Hylia, and the whole group of us set off for Ordona, which we reached several days later.  By my count it was four moons.  With the time jumping around it is very hard to tell.  Nobody seems to know what day it is anymore.


The first person we saw when we arrived was Link.  He was sparring with Colin, a young man of Ordona who evidently had become quite skilled. 


“I see you have some new friends.” Link said. 


“We found them in the desert, along with the medallion.” I responded.  “Reina and Jaqaru, this is Link, the Hero of Hyrule.”


“It is an honor to meet you.” Reina said.  “I knew not that you were still here.” Jaqaru added.


“Well this is my house after all.” Link said sheepishly.  “Where do you come from and what brings you to Ordona?” 


“We are of the desert, and we’re here to help you defeat the evil Raym.” Jaqaru said as she brandished her duel gerudo blades.


Colin’s eyes lit up.  Link pondered for a second, then remembered what Nabooru had told him in the past,  “Kid, you’ll find that my people are mighty resilient.  Check the desert…what you find might surprise you.”  He turned to Colin and then back to Jaqaru and Reina.  “Come with me.”


When we reached their house, Bo and Ilia were waiting, as was Auru.  We were all quite cramped in the small space but excitement filled the air.  “We have two young ladies of the eastern sands that would like to make an announcement.” Link said.  Reina stepped forward.  “The honorable women of the gerudo nation wish to join your alliance and help you defeat the evil Raym and restore this kingdom to greatness.”


There were murmors and outright shock all across the room.  Zelda, wearing a plain tunic, walked forward from the back and everything quickly went silent.  “Who sent you to this place?”


“The honorable Naira, granddaughter of the exalted Nabooru.” Naira said. 


“And this is the whole truth, your coming from the desert?” Zelda asked.


“Yes, for we would never be untruthful, certainly not to royalty like you.” Saqaru said. 


Zelda was visibly shaken.  “How did you know…?”


“Your face bears striking resemblance to your grandfather Daphnes I, the one responsible for the murderous massacre at the Arbiter’s Grounds.” Reina said solemnly.


Zelda thought for a moment as an uneasy silence filled the room.  “It was a disgraceful, shameful act that I, as rightful queen of this kingdom, wish to make good on.  If you will help us now, you have my word that the gerudo nation will have my full support and will grow stronger than it ever was.”  Zelda held out her hands.  Reina and Saqaru looked at one another, and shook their heads rightfully.  They grabbed Zelda’s hands as we all cheered.    “With the medallions and even greater forces behind us, the hour of righteousness draws near.” Link said definitively.


That night, we reviewed everything that had occurred in our absence.  Thanks to Bo and Ilia’s feverish work, Ordon Ranch was stocked up with enough food, clothing and medicinal supplies to last weeks.  Colin, Beth, and other young Ordonians had also assisted with the hunting and gathering operation.  Link and Auru had been hard at work gathering, crafting, and creating weaponry, a task that I would assist them with over the coming weeks.  That night we slept very well, probably the best sleep I had in weeks despite the fact that it was very warm and humid.


For the next two days, I worked feverishly.  We experimented with different types of firing levers and triggers and different size barrels.  The barrels were an adventure in of themselves, as we had to hollow them out of the soft calcite and limestone rock of Ordona, not really great building material.


“Why don’t we just create them out of wood?” Auru asked.  “Wood is plentiful, hard, and can be made more easily into the shape you want.”


“There’s too much chance the hand-cannon would burn up if made of wood.  Remember, we need to use bomb residue as the powder for the firing mechanism.” I said. 


“Darn, you’re right.  I guess we’ll have to try a different method of construction, because this chalk-like rock isn’t suitable.” 


“There’s some deposits of heavier rock up toward Ordon spring.” Link said.  “It’s not much but it is said to be there in order to help contain the spring’s healing properties.”


“Well let’s head up there and see what we can find.” I said.  “We could look near Eldin spring too, that is not too much further north past the Ordon frontier.”


Driving several horse-drawn wagons, we reached the spring in the middle afternoon.  Bo, Rusl, and Ilia drove one of the wagons while Link, Auru, and I drove the other.  After some prayers and an offering of food and supplies to the goddesses, we proceeded to dig away at the rocks within the spring.  The rocks were very heavy, actually much heavier than I remember, and it took many energetic swings to dig them out of the spring.  We worked in shifts, while four of us swung picks and shoveled earth, the other two gathered the spring water into bottles.


“Make sure the horses get plenty of time in the spring.” Ilia accosted.  “It’s not going to be easy for them hauling those heavy rocks and I don’t want them getting injured.” 


“The horses will be fine, especially Epona.” Link said. 


“You’ve injured Epona before Link.  And what about Esmeralda, does she have the strength to complete this task?” 


“Esmeralda is very used to work, she used to carry heavy marble blocks and other building materials in Castle Town.  The distance might be a little long for her though.” I said. 


“We’ll make sure to rest a spell every few miles then.” Ilia said.  “Are we ready to go?”


Our work complete, we departed the spring and headed back southward to the village, which we arrived after nightfall following yet another time-skipping flash of light.  There was hardly any time to rest though, for well into the moonlight I continued to work with the rocks, the bomb powder, and the firing levers to create more hand-cannons.  But for some reason, my body was failing me.  My arms flailed about ineffectively, my eyes wandered, and though my brain fought hard to stay on task, it was fighting a losing battle against a body that clamored for rest. 


“Soren…are you still working on the weapons?” I felt Santha’s hands massage my neck as I slunk back in my chair.  “You never came to bed and I was worried.” 


“I’m trying to but I struggle with it.  I just feel worn down.” 


“Well you’ve been traveling and fighting for weeks on end.  We all have.  Your body needs rest.  The weapons will still be here when you wake up in the morning.” 


“But they’re just so important, for all of us.” I lamented.


“That may be true, but just as important is friendship and love.”  Before I could react, Santha pulled me against her body and kissed me passionately.  The feeling of her soft lips against mine and the feel of her warm, soft-skinned body felt almost heavenly.  “I have something to show you.” She said as she took off her tunic, revealing a tattered outfit with a gash down the middle that appeared to have been partially sewn up.  Amid my distraction, I was able to deduce its significance. 


“This is the tunic you fought against Raym in, when you were with the Knights?” I asked. 


Santha shook her head, and grabbed her sword from the wall, the one I had just sharpened that afternoon.  “En Garde!” She said with a bit of sass.  I went for my blade and we began to spar right there in the center of the room.  Despite my tired state and Santha’s improving sword skills, I was able to disarm her and pin her up against the wall. 


“Oh brave knight sir, be gentle with me, I’m but just a little girl.” Santha said innocently as I pressed the advantage and felt a warmth and happiness that I had long forgotten.



Chapter 23: The Battle of Faron Woods  


“Oh Soren, you’re just so amazing, the way you hold me you’re so strong and yet so gentle.  How lucky I am to have you.”


We kissed again passionately, captured within our embrace as nothing else mattered. 


Suddenly Auru came barging into the room.  “Soren sir, we’ve got a problem up to the north…good grief well I’ll be!” 


“Tell the others I’ll meet up in five minutes.” I stammered.  Auru gave me a gesture with his thumb, and then left the room.


“What do you think is happening?”  Santha asked. 


“Don’t know, but it sounds like Raym is causing trouble again.” I responded.


I did not have to go far to realize what was happening.  All over Ordon Village there were carriages and carts filled with goods and hordes of merchants all over the town.  It was almost as though it had morphed into Castle Town overnight, minus the big marble buildings. 


“Why are there so many business folk and their families here?” I asked. 


Telma fielded the question.  “Hon, Raym has decided to cut off the trading lifeline between Kakariko and Ordona.  He’s had his loyal Knights drive all the merchants off the route.”


“He figures that because of Link and Zelda’s magical abilities and the loss of his immortality that he cannot defeat us in direct battle.  Therefore he is going to try to starve us instead.” Shad said.


“Another cowardly action!  That man is simply a coward!”  Auru shouted.


“In a way, it is an admission that his powers are inferior.” Zelda said.  “Once we reach Castle Town his time on the throne will expire.  Raym understands that.  He cannot allow us to get the upper hand and thus he is trying to hurt us indirectly because he cannot do so in battle.” 


“I wouldn’t say that he’s on his last legs fighting-wise.” Link said.  “Our hand-cannon weapons aren’t ready yet.” Link said.  “If it comes down to swords against bazookas, we will surely lose.” If his Knights manage to link up with the Bulblin and their cannons again, we will surely be put on the defensive.” 


“Then we have to attack them and break through the line before the Bulblin return!” I shouted.


There was silence in the room.  Then Bo stood up and started clapping, followed by Colin and Ilia, then everybody else.  Zelda brought the meeting back under control.  “I agree with Soren, we must move and move quickly to ensure the bulblin do not seal us here.  Round up our infantry, we will move out for Faron Province this afternoon!”


We moved quickly up the narrow pathway of northern Faron Province, our numbers in the upper hundreds, maybe even one thousand.  Our infantry was made up of some of the most skilled swordsmen in southern and western Hyrule.  Heading in the opposite direction were merchants and farmers that were fleeing the advance of Raym’s troops.  Seeing our force, some of them turned right around and joined us, our numbers growing as we moved northward.  By the end of the day we had reached Faron Spring. 


The next morning we saw them, a whole infantry division near the fork in the road that led to the Forest Temple on the right and to Hyrule Field on the left.  Link and Zelda gave the order, and we moved forward to engage.  Our emergence surprised the Knights, and we crashed into their line with the ferocity of a hundred wolves.  The strange thing was that Shira and I were not near the front line, we were ordered to stay back and spread out on the foothills above the plain, using our bows to attack from distance. 


“I’ve got two of them!” Shira shouted.  “Their armor is thick, you have to get them from the neck down to the waist!”


“Right, because they have only chain mail in the midsection, they’re plated elsewhere!” I said.  After all these years, I was still not as good an archer as Shira.  For every shot I connected with, she hit at least twice as many.  It was hard to tell if our shots were doing much damage, but given the narrowness of the battlefield the plan to attack from distance wasn’t a bad one.


Way up ahead on the front lines I saw Link.  The ease with which his disarmed and defeated his opponents was startling.  He swung hard at times while goading his enemy into leaving themselves unprotected other times.  He used shield attacks, rolling attacks, jumping attacks, and then I saw him do something I had never seen done before.  Link let a knight swing twice at him with the master sword still in its sheath.  He then grabbed it and severed the enemy’s neck in one motion.  It was incredible!  I could not help but laugh hysterically at the move.


“Brother what is so funny?  And why haven’t you shot any arrows the last minute?” Shira asked.


I snapped out of it.  “Sorry, just got a little distracted, that’s all.” My next shot was my best yet, a direct hit on the neck of an opposing knight. 


Victory was in our grasp, the enemy line starting to give ground.  That’s when I saw Raym and Osauk enter the fight, right amidst the heaviest of the fighting.  With my telescope I followed his movements.  The guy was ruthless, cutting through our oncoming attackers as though they were lowly pages.  One by one, our men started falling, and others began to scatter the area, stopping our forward momentum. 


“It’s Raym and Osauk, they’ve put us back on the defensive.” I said as I handed Shira the telescope.  She looked in.  “I think you’re right brother…this isn’t good.”


Shira focused in a little more, then turned her telescope back to the right, toward Link.  The two warriors were moving closer to one another.  Then I saw Shira’s eyes become very wide.  “Din have mercy!” Shira shouted. 


“What is it?!” I asked frantically. 


“Santha’s charging to the center of the lines, right toward Raym!” Shira exclaimed.


“Has she lost her mind?!  I need to help her!” I shouted as I took off.  I sprinted down the hill as fast as I possibly could, fast enough that I lost control and wiped out.  After rolling over four or five times across the grassy knoll I got back to my feet and kept running hard.  I was maybe about three hundred yards away when I heard a horn blaring across the field.  That was our cue to retreat as bulblin bazooka forces had been spotted.  At the same time I ran past Link. 


“Soren stop, we have to get out of here, the bulblin have arrived!” Link shouted. 


“I have to save Santha!” I shouted back as I kept running as hard as I could.  A pair of flaming arrows crossed my path.  I could see her and Raym engaging one another.  There was maybe another fifty yards left.  And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw a pair of bombs flying in from ahead.  I tried to stop and evade backward, but it was too late.  The explosion threw me backward at least twenty feet, and I landed square on my back.  My clothes were burned and I couldn’t seem to get up.  From the ground I saw Shira rushing in to save me, and then more bombs fell and exploded around us. 



Chapter 24: Back to the Twilight


“It is very fortunate that we made it to the spring of Ordona as quickly as we did.  They likely would have passed without the water’s healing powers.  It at least kept them comatose.”


“Without the ultimate wish of the King and Queen it would’ve been curtains for all of us.”


“They need to rest for at least two or three days.  Any strenuous activity now will surely make recovery more difficult.” 


“We might not have that kind of time, Raym could lay waste to Ordona in days.  It’s actually rather surprising he hasn’t done so already.” 


“He may be intimidated by our weaponry here.  Kakariko was an easier target because of it’s size and it’s location importance not to mention it was more lightly defended than here.”


“But he’s after the ultimate power, the power of the goddesses, and without the medallions he can’t obtain what he once had.”


“This all assumes Santha is still alive, he needs to keep her breathing in order to present her to the goddesses and rectify the Great Cataclysm.  Then once her claim to power is stripped by his wish, he can kill her.”


“Raym isn’t that smart.  I’d like to think Santha is still alive though.”


The bodies of Ashei, Auru, Telma, and Shad were little more than blobs to me.  I listened in on the conversation as best as I could, but my consciousness was slipping again, my weakness too great to allow any kind of reasoning.  Eventually I drifted into a deep sleep.


“Soren, Soren wake up…this is your mother.”


I noticed that I was standing inside a grand castle.  Yet there was nobody around, just one grand hallway leading to a solitary figure down the way.  There was no mistaking the voice. 


“Kaylee?”  I asked.  “Have you come for me so soon?” 


“I have not, but what I have done is kept my promise to you, to always watch over you.”


“This must be a dream then…” I said woozily. 


“Go forth to the realm of Twilight.  The final medallion to call the goddesses from the heavens lies within.”


“But what about the armies…they’re too strong…we won’t be able to get past them.” 


“The mirror will get you around the enemy.  Use it after you cross past the spring.  Once you have the medallion send forth to the other races.  Await the conclusion of the Cataclysm.  The powers of the divine will guide you on the next festival of the goddesses…the day of love and wisdom.”


“Love and wisdom, so the Nayru Festival, December 24th?”


“Yes.  The powers of the chosen one, the one who bears the Triforce of Courage, now lie within you.  He has entrusted you to lead an army to Castle Town amid the snow and cold.  That day, true vengeance will finally be realized and our deaths avenged.”


“The supernatural will guide us?” I asked.


“I trust in you son…make me proud.  I always always watching over you.”


With that, she drifted out of sight, and then the whole world faded out.


“Soren, are you awake?  I had the strangest dream…father spoke to me.” It was Shira’s voice. 


“That’s strange, mother spoke to me too.  Said that we need to return to the realm of Twilight.”


“He told me that I was one with she who bears the Triforce of Wisdom.”  Sister said. 


“It is true what you speak of.” Telma said as she entered the room.  “Zelda and Link gave you their spirit and soul in order to save you.  They now live within you, awaiting the call to be awakened on the festival of love and wisdom.”


“So they…possessed us?” Shira asked. 


“That’s a blunt way of explaining it, but essentially yes.” Shad said as he read from a scroll.  “Zelda did this once before when Midna was gravely injured by Zant.  Her body was preserved but eventually Ganondorf was able to awaken Zelda’s spirit and steal it from Midna during the final battle for his own evil intentions.  Of course, Link was able to defeat Ganondorf and spare us from the sight of seeing our princess possessed by the evil demon.”


“So we wouldn’t have made it through the battle in Faron without their sacrifice?” I asked. 


“Most assuredly not.” Ilia said.  “Your rib cage was cracked and you had severe fractures in your hip and could hardly breathe, most likely a result of a collapsed lung.  Shira had broken one of her legs and had some rather severe head injuries sustained in the explosions.  At best, neither of you would have walked again nor your memories and cognitive abilities would have been shot.”

“Well it sounds as though we have a debt to repay.  How soon can we leave this place?” 


“Another day or two and you should be ready yea.” Ashei said.  “We’ll escort you to the spring and then you can depart for the realm of Twilight.”


There was somewhat of a chill in the morning air, the first such day where that had been the case.  As the warmest region in Hyrule, a chill in Ordona surely was a sign the seasons were changing.  Again, because of the flashes that continued to plague the flow of time, it was difficult to pinpoint the date, but our best guess was early or middle October.  Flanked by the members of the guild, we moved northward through Ordona Province, reaching the spring the next morning.  Once there, I pulled out mother’s mirror.


“Alright Shira, let’s set our gazes forth and see where we land this time.”  She nodded her head and we eyed the center of the mirror.  Before long, the power of the mirror was activated and I could feel us floating across the dimensions.  The light surrounding us turned a darker tint and a great floor of green, brown, and black spread out beneath.  We were back on the Yittrus Peninsula, where we had left from on our last trip to the Twilight Realm.  After walking a few miles to the north, we came to a fork in the road, the left route leading to a winding path to the west, the other leading to a bridge.  The bridge led directly over a sea of dark water.  It was miles to the opposite shore. 


We took the right path, and started out over the bridge, but after about a mile the causeway ended, broken apart by either a storm or an attack. 


“Looks like we’ll have to swim for it.” Shira said convincingly.  She was probably expecting a deflated response but I didn’t care if she was a better swimmer than I, I wasn’t going to fall behind.   


“This sure is farther than it looks.” Shira said, swinging hard to stay above the water, which like before on Twicus Mountain, did not feel the least bit damp.


“At least land isn’t that far away, take a look at those mountains ahead.  Let’s get moving.”


The water, though we could not feel it, was quite heavy.  After two miles of swimming we were quite worn out.  Luckily a large causeway poked out from the northern shore as well. After about three miles worth of strokes, we allowed ourselves to set foot again on Twili soil. 


Not wanting to deal with the large chain of mountains ahead just yet, we rested for a spell.  That night we dined on boiled cucco and keese wings.  The proteins in the meal would get us through the climbing ahead.  Through the faint twilight surrounding us we could see Twicus Mountain, the tallest mountain in the Twilght Realm.  It was far to the east of us.  Luckily we would not have to summit it.  It was rather ironic that the highest point in this realm corresponded to the lowest point in ours, the Lakebed Temple.  It took us two days to cross the mountains on foot, but when we finally made it through the central plain spread out beneath us, with Twilight City visible far in the distance.  In another day we would be there.


In order to avoid the panic that ensued the last time we entered Twilight City, we made sure to stay far in the country and travel around the city to the east and north.  We did pass by Twili people every few miles, but they were very spread out and unlike last time, many of them paid no attention to us.  It took us another solid day of travel across the plains, but we reached Twilight Palace at what should have been three or four days after we had departed.


In a great stroke of luck, we found Midna in the rocky grounds below the main palace entranceway.  She was discussing matters with other Twili, whom I could only assume were her assistants or perhaps her pages.  Eventually she dismissed them and they left, leaving the twilight queen by her lonesome. 


“Do you think she’ll be happy to see us?” Shira asked.


“I doubt it.  Then again she is rather two-faced, so we’ll just have to find out I guess.”  I said as we walked toward her. 


Midna had her back toward us as we approached.  Eventually we stopped just feet away from her yet she still refused to acknowledge us. 


“How long has it been…since I warned you to stay out of my kingdom.” Midna asked as she turned around.


“By my count, sixty to seventy moons your majesty.” I responded.  “But we’ve come to…”


“To be honest it does not concern me why you are here.  Your presence is enough for me to know that you have a problem within the world of light that you expect me to fix.  Let me tell you, Soren and Shira, that your issues do not concern me.  Be gone.”  Midna said.


“Your majesty we come with news about the flashes of light that have corrupted time.” 


“Be gone!” Midna repeated. 


“And we have come with news that the evil sorcerer Raym has designs on conquering the worlds of light and twilight as we know them.” I repeated. 


Midna’s temper flared, and her hair turned into two giant hands, which snatched me and Shira around the waist and pulled us off the ground.  “Pitiful humans!  The powers that I possess are exceeded by none in the light world.  If this Raym you speak of even so much as enters my realm with the bravado of you two, I will promptly execute him myself!”  She pulled in the hair hands, bringing us close to her.  “While I am grateful to have you so concerned about my personal well-being, know that you are causing undue harm to my kingdom just by your mere presence!  Take your mirror and be gone…for next time I won’t be so forgiving.” 


She let us go.  I felt like arguing with her, which was a strange feeling given that Midna was royalty, but Shira held me back.  “Soren, she clearly doesn’t care that Zelda and Link gave up their spirits to save us and our kingdom.  She doesn’t care if the universe is swallowed when the goddesses try to fix the mess they created.  There’s nothing we can do, our journey’s finished.  Let’s go before she changes her mind and kills us for being so brutally honest.”


We began to walk away.  Depression began to set in.  Here we were, just one medallion away from being able to set things right…and yet it was futile.  Midna was not giving in.  To try to circumvent her and search Twilight Palace for it against her will was a death sentence.


And then I felt something grab me from behind.  It was the same hair-covered hand as before. 


“What do you mean Zelda and Link gave up their spirits?  Are they in danger?” Midna asked.


“Emperor Raym forced them from the throne using the powers of the goddesses he obtained during the Great Cataclysm, and tried to kill them twice.  Now he’s waging a scorched war against all that oppose him.” I said.


“We were gravely injured in battle at Faron Woods.  In the face of certain defeat, Link and Zelda gave their spirit to us…we are one with them as the new heroes that will deliver Hyrule once again on the day of the Nayru Festival.” Shira said.


Midna’s face began to widen, and she looked over us very closely, so close in fact that her eyes were no more than inches from my heart.  After about the tensest minute of my life, a maniacal grin crossed her face.  Her hair let us go and it returned to normal.  “Of course!  I’ve got it.  This…Raym, wants to harness the divine powers of the light world, and use it to colonize the Twilight Realm within the light.  It’s what Zant tried to do to the light world by draping it in twilight, only in reverse.”


Suddenly the grin turned into a vicious scowl.  “That will not stand!  And any enemy of Link and Zelda is my enemy!”  Midna put her hands up in the air and muttered some words in Twili and rays of darkness came down from above into her hand.  The dark matter came together, forming a black medallion of the hylian bird.  “The Twili Medallion, a great treasure of ours.  It is the last of the ten needed to call the goddesses down from the heavens, is it not?” 


We both nodded the affirmative.  “Then I know what I must do.” Midna said.  “Take me with you to the world of light.  Zelda and Link did everything they could to save me and my kingdom, and now it’s time I returned the favor.”



Chapter 25: Cannon Fodder


We touched down just south of Castle Town in the middle of the night.  “Since we’re in the world of light now, I will need to occupy your shadow for a while.” Midna told me. 


“But it is midnight, there won’t be any light for another seven to eight hours.” I said. 


“The lights from the stars are still enough to bring injury to a Twili if exposed for long periods.  Besides, we’re on a mission, let’s move!”  She dove down beneath my feet.


We walked northward toward the city walls.  Before long we had found a way into the sewers beneath Castle Town, the same sewers in which sister was held and we had run from the knights and the bulblin last year.


“How does it feel to have a ghostly spirit beneath your feet?” Shira asked quietly.


“A little strange, like a gust of wind blowing.  But it’s no different than having somebody else’s spirit within you I guess.” I said.


“Link and Midna haven’t been this close to one another in years.” Shira said confidently.


On that point I had to agree.  Maybe their thoughts were guiding us, because after a few minutes we ascended a flight of stairs and come upon an armory filled with heavy cannons.


“These will be perfect.” I said.  “But, how do we get them out of here?” I asked. 


“I transfigure them into dark matter, warp them to the desired location, and reassemble them at the drop zone.” Midna responded. 


“Wow, can we send them to North Faron Woods?” Shira asked. 


“Indeed we can, there’s a twilight tunnel not far from the Forest Temple.” Midna responded.  She raised up her hair and with it lifted the cannons from the ground.  She then pointed at each one and had them turned to dark matter.  I was so amazed by her powers that I hadn’t realized that she pointed at me, turning my skin a dark color.  I felt a wooziness as we entered hyperspace.  Before long we emerged from the other end near the Forest Temple, five cannons plopped on the ground right next to us.    


We spent the rest of the night scouring the temple for any bombs we could find.  Just before daybreak we had assembled a warchest of nearly three hundred.  Out in the distance we could hear the booming of the enemy cannons further south.  “Now is when the fun begins.” I said.  “They’re so fixated on bombing Ordona and forcing it into surrender that I bet there’s no way they considered the possibility of a backside attack.”


Indeed, almost as soon as we started firing off the cannons, the bombs found their targets.  From miles away we could hear the ruckus as members of the bulblin-hylian force that had defeated us in the Battle of Faron Woods was no doubt wondering who or what was attacking them.  Midna warped out to southern Faron Province to see what exactly was happening.  We continued shooting off our artillery, one bomb after another.  From our vantage point high above the fog-covered North Faron Plain, one could see tree after tree tumbling down.  There was so much noise that it was hard to tell if the booms from the south represented explosions, falling trees, or perhaps explosions from enemy cannons coming back our direction. 


“They are hitting really close to the enemy base, and the hylians are accusing the bulblin of double-crossing them.  It’s total chaos down there.” Midna said with a huge grin on her face.


“Keep up the pressure!” I shouted, as we continued to shoot off our arms cache.  By very late in the fight we started seeing shots coming back in our direction, but many fell into the abyss beneath the Forest Temple while others landed well short, unable to muster the range to reach our position.  It was about 08:00 when Midna reported that bomb-tipped arrows were falling on the enemy from the south along with shells from a weapon she’s never seen before…a hand-held bazooka!


“Our guild must have noticed the fighting going on further north and decided to engage.  This is great fortune for us!” Shira said. 


She was right.  About a half an hour later Midna came back again, claiming that Raym’s forces were retreating to the northwest toward Hyrule Field, leaving the bulblin forces behind.


“That’s it…maybe King Bulblin is there.  If we hurry, we’ll catch him unaware and take that rascal prisoner, or at least corner him and force him to fight.” I said with conviction. 


Unfortunately, when we reached the end of the tunnel connecting north and south Faron Province, King Bulblin was nowhere to be found.  What we did find were tens of bulblin that had thrown down their weapons and surrendered.  Across the area were the other members of our guild along with a hylian militia allied with us.  They wore the white and purple of the royal family, a stark contrast to the silver and black worn by Raym’s forces. 


“They came in from the west just as we arrived from Ordona.” Auru briefed.  “We had been waiting for you to arrive but didn’t think it would be in such fiery fashion.”


“Where did you find the cannons?  They were going off for hours yea!” Ashei demanded.


“Let’s say we had some spiritual powers guiding us.” Shira answered.  There was a moment of silence, and then Ashei nodded her head in agreement.  The others did as well. 


“Well, let’s get these mongrels out of here lads!” shouted Rusl.  “They’ll make great playmates for the goats.”  Heeding Rusl’s words, the hylian regiment rounded up the bulblin and started for Ordon Ranch.


Over the next weeks, our efforts went into overdrive.  With Midna’s help, we outfitted our horse-drawn carriages with cannons and bazooka weapons and also improved their hulls.  She also helped me perfect another of my weaponry inventions, a motorized bomb called the bombchu.  A deadly explosive, it could be slid on the ground and over walls and other obstructions to blow up enemies on the other side.  Between this, our new vehicles, and our expanded cache of hand-cannons, our forces were as modern and deadly as Hyrule had ever seen.


The result was that the Knights and Bulblin we fought against were overmatched.  Through a series of battles in southern Hyrule Field we slowly reclaimed territory.  By early November we had linked up with the Zoras north of Lake Hylia.  Naira’s gerudo regiment rejoined us a few days later.  With them in the fold, we continued to advance north and west.  Following a vicious battle at Kakariko Gorge at the end of November Eldin Province was in our grasp.  By this time, many hylians loyal to the crown living in fear under Raym were fleeing southward from Castle Town and toward Ordona.  Our armies grew and grew.


On the third moon of December our unit entered Kakariko Village, where we reunited with Darbus and the Goron units, who had been fighting to retain control and keep it safe from siege by Raym’s forces.  With this, all of Hyrule’s sovereign peoples had come together, medallions in hand, ready to reclaim the country at its very heart.  I knew in my heart there was one last thing I needed to assure it’s glory. 


It was a full moon night, bitterly cold and windy as well, a light dusting of snow having fallen on the graves of Kakariko Graveyard. Shira and I, flanked by Renado, Darbus, and Telma, stood in front of father’s gravestone.


“The sword I must reclaim today,” I began, “the sword of my bloodline, the one that will be responsible for delivering this country once again.  I take it with the power, wisdom, and courage bestowed within.  The new blade of evil’s bane!” I shouted as I gripped the sword hewn within the grave.  A strange light surrounded the grave, and with one brilliant tug, it came out.  The stone body of Zerobaum lay as before as I raised it above my head.


“It’s amazing the magic that Link and Zelda contained, that which we now possess.  May their combined powers guide us to the way of righteousness.” Shira said.


“It took magic to enter the grave, and now it takes magic for it to come out.” I replied.


“You don’t suppose the Twili warrior will awaken now that you’ve reclaimed that which destroyed him years ago?” Darbus asked. 


“If there is any latent life force within, it is plausible.” Renado replied.  “But given the length of time since his passing I doubt Zerobaum will resurface.” 


“Good.  Let’s retire and get back to the front in the morning.  The Nayru festival is but twenty moons away.”  As we all left the graveyard, I took one last look back at father’s grave, and at mother’s which was right next to it.  To the right of mother’s gravestone was an empty plot, yet to be utilized. 


“Please Santha, please be alive and well.  Thy rescue will be but greater than my life.”



Chapter 26: On Cataclysm’s Knees


The cold wind blew across Hyrule Field like the breath of a thousand ice keese, enough to chill a person to the bone in minutes.  It blew day and night, providing no respite for the weak and ailing.  We had suffered many losses in the campaign, and though it broke my heart to see so many fair warriors and their families deal with the grief of injury and death, deep down I knew it was not in vain.  We had advanced nearly one hundred miles, deep into the center of the field.  By the 20th, we were on the outskirts of Castle Town.  The flashes of light that had caused time to skip forward became less numerous.  With each passing day, our supply of weaponry and supporters grew.  Word was that an outright rebellion was imminent.  Everybody was in as good a spirits as could be expected given the harsh December weather and our fallen comrades.  And yet I knew as did the others in the guild, Raym was at his most dangerous when he was threatened, backed into the corner.  Finishing this job would be dirty, rotten warfare, perhaps the most vicious this country of bloody history has ever seen. 


Our plan for taking Castle Town was intricate and clever, but also required absolute passion and prowess.  One army, a goron/hylian force led by Darbus and Renado in the west, would move in from Eldin Plain and bombard the enemy near the West Castle Town bridge with cannons.  This army group would also make use of another weaponry invention, the goron powder keg.  These time-based barrels of explosive power would be lobbed toward the city walls and exploded on a delay, hopefully enough of a delay to minimize citizen deaths and injuries.  The second army, a zora/gerudo force led by Ralis and Naira, would emerge from the Lake Hylia region and attack from the east.  They were set to arrive at the same time as the western force and would be armed with traditional weaponry as well as bombchus, which would scale the outer walls and hopefully break them down and allow advancement. 


The arrival of these two armies would hopefully cause Raym’s knights and mercenary units to spread to the outskirts of the city and away from the castle and the central marketplace.  That’s when the third army, a hylian/ordona force led by Shira and I, would move in.  Our task was the most dangerous.  We had to wait long enough into the battle for Raym’s forces to spread out, sprint on horseback across the southern plain, summit the south steps in the face of what could be merciless cannon fire, and surge up the South Road toward the central fountain.  Once there, we would lay the medallions and call the goddesses.  It was a really dangerous operation, as it would involve virtually all of our numbers, and would end only when one side or the other was utterly defeated.  There was no turning back.


On the afternoon of the 23rd, everything was just about ready, and Shira and I met with the rest of our guild, as well as Darbus, Renado, Ralis, and Naira to make final preparations. 


“Now as we come into the city, the other groups are going to keep the pressure on.  Retreat only if you come upon a desperate barrage of cannons.  Even then, look for a hole in the lines to the north, there’s bound to be an opening as the area behind the castle is heavily walled and heavy bombs aren’t needed for defense.” 


“We could use water bombs to make the river flood in the north, which would divert Raym’s attention that way.” Ralis said. 


“I’m not sure about that.  I think he knows we’re coming.  In fact he’s going to hold most of his forces back for the main attack in the south.  Flooding the fields might just make our advance unnecessarily tough and not provide any benefit.” Auru said. 


“If he’s a decent strategist, that’s what he’ll do.” Naira said.  “But if he does, he risks my people moving quick enough to reach the central square before your group even moves out from the field.  I assure you our fighting prowess is greater than that of the Knights.”


“I don’t doubt it Naira.  If that happens, you can move forward as far as the East Road.” I said.  “Any closer and you’ll make it too difficult to get up the South Road.”


“Not only that but we might end up fighting one another if the two groups link up too early.” Shira pointed out. 


“That’s a salient point.” Shad said.


“When do we begin the attack..yea?” Ashei asked.


“There’s no moon this night, we should use the darkness to our advantage.” Rusl said.


“Indeed.  The western group will set out at 05:00.  The eastern group will engage one half hour later, giving at least 3 hours of fighting under the cover of darkness.  Once it becomes apparent that the enemy is stretched out, the southern group will move forth.”


“If you are holding one of the medallions, stay near your protectors.  If anything happens to you and you cannot continue remember to pass it forth so it can be delivered to the spot.” Shira said.


The meeting was about to disperse when another time-forwarding flash engulfed us.  But when we woke up we noticed three figures.  They were lusciously beautiful, three of the most beautiful women I had ever seen.  They had no imperfections.  With their perfect skin, perfect hair, and radiant aura of energy I knew in a flash they must be the goddesses.


“To those that seek to restore this kingdom,” began the one with red hair, “this is the day of reckoning.  The day in which those pure of heart will clash with the evil ones.  It is a new chapter in the ongoing struggle marked by the blood, hatred, and greed of Hyrulian history.”


“To those that seek to right the wrongs of the past,” the green-haired one said, “we renew our promises to thee.  Through our careful work, the rupture caused by the Great Cataclysm has been mended and the flow of time will now begin anew.  There is one final event that must take place before this can happen.”


“On this honorable day of law, wisdom, and spirituality,” the blue-haired one said.  “the Hyrulian monarchy will be restored, and it will be bestowed with the golden power.  With one wish, the flow of time will begin anew.  Travel forth to the fountain and request our presence upon the earth through the petition of the masses.  We shall not fail you again.” 


As the blue-haired one finished speaking, they disappeared and I woke up.  We all lay in the cold, frozen field, our muscles barely able to move from the chill. 


“I think the goddesses spoke to me.”  Rusl said.  “Yea, me too.” Said Ashei. 


“I heard their voices too hun.” Telma said.  “They were very soft and eloquent.”


“Everybody get up for prayer.” Bo said, emerging from the back with Ilia, who handed me a note.  “It says to pray and then play the Oath to Order on the Ocarina of Time.  The notes in the song are below.”


In the early morning chill of December 24, we offered our petitions and prayed for safety in the battle ahead.  We praised Nayru for blessing our world with the spirit of law and the reason with which to keep it strong.  At the conclusion of the blessing, Shira took out the ocarina, which Zelda had left for her when she assumed her soul.  She played the notes in what was a strangely serene melody.  At the conclusion of the song a pair of voices spoke to us, that of Link and Zelda.  “When the final strike of righteousness is to begin, play the Oath to Order.  The powers bestowed within emerge to deliver true justice.” 


With that, I sent word for the armies to get in position.  It was slightly after midnight.  By four hours later, the goron unit was ready for the initial attack, the kakariko unit right behind in support.  From our vantage point about two miles south we could see the lights of our allies moving toward the west bridge.  Several minutes later, a series of explosions rocked the western wall of Castle Town.  They were very loud, and strong enough for the ground to tremor at our post almost four miles away.


As the initial bombs and powder kegs exploded, Shira and I huddled close.  “Brother, after everything we’ve been through together, do you think we’re destined to win this fight?” 


“What do you mean?”  I asked. 


“Just think, we’ve cheated death many times already.  Do you remember when Zant sealed us in the cave under the Hidden Village and tried to blow it up?  We survived that.  We survived an assault on the Palace of Twilight and saved mother when things looked hopeless.  Heck, I took a flaming arrow in the chest and we jumped from the Great Hylian Bridge together, surely you remember that?  You were my knight in shining armor, swallowing your deepest of fears and delivering me from the closing bulblin attackers.”


“Perhaps luck has been on our side.” I responded. 


“Luck may explain some of it, but I’ve always believed we’ve had a supernatural force behind us.  Even before the cataclysm occurred and the goddesses became directly involved, I felt as though they were behind us, guiding us through the dangers which we faced.”


“Our luck ran out at Faron Woods though.  Link and Zelda gave up their spiritual energy to save us.” I pointed out. 


“They did so because they realize just how important we are to bringing light upon this land once again.  We are some of their most loyal and most selfless citizens.  Without people like us this kingdom would have no foundation for existing.  Today, we fight with fire in our hearts!” 


The eastern forces led by Ralis and Naira engaged, and after about an hour large portions of the city were in flames.  There was noise coming from all sections of the city, and it was nearly impossible to tell who was taking the worst of the damage, or if our plan was even working.  Then, just as the first flickers of light began to emerge from the eastern sky, I saw a zora and a gerudo riding on horseback toward us.  I immediately recognized the zora as Xelha, Shira’s dear friend from Lake Hylia.  Her zora armor gleamed even in the early morning darkness. 


“The enemy has pulled away from the center!” Xelha shouted.  “Now is the time!”


Ashei, Auru, and Telma pulled to the front on one side of the unit, Colin, Ilia, and Bo came to the other side, everybody on horseback.  Shira and I were in the middle, standing before Esmeralda, who gave a snort as I reached for the Ocarina of Time.  Slowly I played the Oath to Order, making sure not to miss any notes.  Initially nothing happened.  About a minute passed. 


“Did you play the song correctly?” Shira asked as she rummaged for the scrap with the notes on it.  Then suddenly I felt a strong pain in my midsection.  Shira must have felt it too because I heard her cry out.  After about ten seconds of horrible pain, a great light emerged from inside the two of us.  It swirled around the grass ahead of us, and then more light shot down from the heavens.  When it finally settled, there were the King and Queen, sitting on horseback right in front of us. 


“By what is bestowed within us, the aura of righteousness, courage, and wisdom…today we restore our kingdom to glory!” Link and Zelda shouted simultaneously.  Everybody gave off a great cheer in the faintest light of dawn.  Chills ran down my spine as Shira gave the order to charge forward.  The unit quickly sprinted off ahead of us.  We mounted Esmeralda and hung behind Link and Zelda as well as the other guild members near the rear of the unit.  I would have rather been at the front, but since we were holding the medallions, it was too risky.


The two mile ride to the south stairs, which we last did in a driving thunderstorm amid the bulblin surrounding us nearly a year and a half ago, this time was fast and into a furious wind.  Cannon fire rang out from inside the city walls, no doubt headed right toward us.  Then I heard cannons firing behind us as well.  I turned around and saw Midna, risking exposure to the light in the name of firing at the enemy and keeping their gunners occupied.


“Keep your shield up Shira, this is going to be rough!” I shouted as we reached the clearing before the stairs.


We hit the front lines with the fury of avenging angels.  The front group took some casualties from arrows as well as bazooka fire, but it didn’t take long to break through.  Auru and Ashei took out the heavy steel gate with their own bazooka weapon and as soon as the enemy came through the south entranceway we took our hand-cannons.  I, along with so many others, aimed and fired.  Within seconds, the whole group of enemy knights was on the ground, many of them yelling out in pain. 


“Move in to the South Road!  Protect the King and Queen and their regiment!” I heard Auru call out at the front of the lines.  With that we charged into the city on horseback.  Amid the fighting going on around us, our regiment tore down the South Road as fast as we could.  The cacophony could be heard and for miles, bombs going off, swords clanging, even flaming arrows flying through the air.  One of them clanged off my shield.


“Din knows we don’t need any more of those!” I shouted. 


“It’s like the end of the world here!” Shira screamed back. 


The center of town and the fountain were nearing quickly.  Several knights charged at us on horseback.  Link and Zelda moved quickly to the front of the unit and took them down with arrows.  They then brandished their swords, swerved, and cut down two others.  Auru and Telma took down a few others with hand-cannons.  By the time the unit got to us they were just two.  Shira took out one with an arrow, and I finished the last with a shield attack right to the head.  He fell over, his helmet straight to the bloody red cobblestones.         


We reached the fountain, and quickly the King and Queen ordered the Ordona unit and several of the Hylian unit to set up a defensive perimeter around the fountain.  The rest of us quickly dismounted and ran to the center.  Unfortunately our efforts were undone by the emergence of Raym’s most sworn protectors.  Led by Osauk, they tore into the front line and engaged. 


“Stay by me Shira, and don’t let them through!” I shouted as I swung away at one of the Knights.  They were very heavily armored, making it difficult to register a solid blow.  Shira stood her ground and defended well, but made no efforts to attack.  She left that to me, as well as Telma, Ashei, and Auru, who all had swords drawn and worked hard against the middle of the line.  With all the enemy cannons and bombs focused on the outer fringes of the city, we were able to engage the enemy on our terms, with swords and shields.


After pivoting around Shira to slash an enemy in the leg, I noticed Link engage Osauk.  The hero was in rare form, and did not take long to bring Raym’s right hand man to his knees.  With a vicious roll and slash against Osauk’s back, followed by a shot to the back of his right knee, the big knight screamed in pain.  To my left, Zelda hit a knight with a flying kick.  She then utilized a magic spell of some kind, causing two others to catch fire and drop to the ground. 


Our skill and resolve were simply too great for the enemy.  Our archers and infantry cleared the streets around us with arrows as well as hand-cannon blasts, and we moved in around the fountain.  “Quickly now!  King Bulblin and his unit are coming from the east!” Shira shouted as she replaced her telescope.  One by one, the medallions of hylian, kokiri, goron, bulblin, twili, oocca, gerudo, zora, shiekah, and rito were laid around the fountain.  Link and Zelda moved to the front of the fountain and faced each other.  Zelda held the Ocarina of Time, Link a white-colored conductor that I had not seen before.  With Link conducting her, Zelda played the Song of Time, completing the song just before the bulblin unit arrived. 


There was a great flash of light, followed by a great whirlwind all around the city.  An aura of golden power surrounded the central square as three streaks of light descended from above.            

  Chapter 27: Final Justice


The goddesses were just as we had seen in our dreams.  They had a human appearance and were arrestingly beautiful, their features very similar aside from their hair, which was a vivid canvas of red, green, or blue.  On their hands were the insignia of the Triforce, similar to those of Link, Zelda, and Raym. 


“Citizenry of Hyrule, for what do you petition us for on this holiest of days?” Din asked.


“I ask for the power to rule over all!” Two voices shouted before we could say anything in response, one low-pitched, the other high-pitched.  By this point we were surrounded by infantry both enemy and friendly, all of us turning to the edges of the square to see where the voices emanated from.


“The power is mine to hold, for I was chosen to wield it.” Raym said as he ran from the castle.


“You are mistaken, it was I that was bestowed the golden power.” Santha responded as she emerged from the South Road. 


Unbelievable!  Santha may have been captured by Raym but not only was she still alive but she was able to escape as well.  What can I say, I know how to pick them. 


“How dare you challenge my authority!” Raym snapped.  “The divine golden triangles are mine and mine only!”


“That lightning strike was intended for me, a good-hearted person with the intelligence and faith needed to rule!” Santha shouted back. 


Din, Nayru, and Farore looked at the two quarreling siblings, then back toward Link and Zelda, clearly surprised by the unfolding events.


“Goddesses of Hyrule…for whom did you intend to place upon the power to rule over all?” The king and queen asked.


“It was me, it had to me for I am strong, not a weakling like her!” Raym shouted. 


“What is weak of body is strong of heart and mind, unlike him!” Santha shouted back.


Hopelessly befuddled, Din, Nayru, and Farore huddled together atop the fountain.  If you can imagine the most uneasy silence possible, that’s what that minute felt like.  Everything seemed to stop, the sun, the clouds, even the flurries of snow that had begun to descend on the ruined city. 


Finally, Din stepped forward.  “It was our intention to have the golden power split evenly between these two.”  There was clear shock on the faces of Raym and Santha, as well as many others in the square.  Din stepped down from her perch and moved toward Raym, her fiery red hair billowing in the snowy wind.  “This one would represent the darkness, but also the powerful traits of self-reliance and strength, as well as the flesh and blood that this country was built upon.”  Din touched Raym’s face, causing him to visibly gag.  “You’ve had a rough life, and though violence is all you know, you’ve brought riches and technology to this country never before seen.  Many vilify you, but they do not know the true story of Raym.”


“And this one,” Started Farore, flapping her green hair in the breeze as she circled around Santha, “was to represent all that was innocent, pure, and righteous in the world.  Despite growing up in the same humble livelihood, everything you have done was out of service to others and to the light of justice.  When the true rulers of the kingdom re-emerged, you were the one to save them from the evil one’s clutches, even though he was your own brother.”


“Having two opposite forces of good and evil, both of the same flesh and blood,” started Nayru, “seemed to be the best solution to keeping the Triforce in balance.  Any brash or unwanted action made by one could be canceled with an opposing wish from the other.  When good and evil are on equal terms, Hyrule prospers.”


“When they are not,” said Din, “The oppressed will rise up and defeat their conquerors.  This has been wrought throughout the ages, including four years ago when the evil Ganondorf was defeated by the good-hearted Link and Zelda.  But their rush for justice and torcherous policy of revenge against the bulblin and other allies of Ganondorf caused the good-hearted folk to become the oppressors.  Thus, last summer, the forces of evil rose up and reclaimed control of the country.  The idea of splitting the Triforce in two would put an end to such rapid swings of power and to the injustice and brutal bloodshed caused by its misuse.”


“But all of this was dependent on one idea.” Farore said.  “The idea was that the competing forces of good and evil entrusted with the golden power, being of the same flesh and blood, would realize the need to protect one another despite their differences, for the good of the kingdom.  However, it appears that we were foolish in this assumption.  It appears Santha and Raym wish nothing more than to defeat the other.”


“We do not wish to see any more bloodshed, any more killing, any more death.  But it is clear also that as long as the forces of good and evil are allowed to coexist within Hyrule, bloodshed is inevitable.  Therefore, one final battle will be fought.”


As soon as Nayru finished speaking, the goddesses created a giant whirlwind, one strong enough that we were all swept into the air.  As I looked down I could see buildings blowing apart.  That’s the last thing I remembered before being gently placed on my feet.  Shira and Santha stood on either side of me, as did Link and Zelda.  Ashei was there, so was Auru.  Looking backward I noticed Ilia, Bo, Colin, Renado, Darbus, Ralis, along with so many others of our infantry unit.  It was here that I noticed we were all wearing white.  The ground was made of cobblestones, just cobblestones in all directions except for the central fountain, which stood about two hundred yards ahead.  About two hundred yards beyond that I saw the adversary, garbed in black.  Raym was there, as was Osauk.  So was King Bulblin.  I noticed many bulblin, and many knights, as well as a solitary Twili figure.  In the sky, it was a hazy cloudiness, the weather cold.  Everything seemed somewhat blurry, like the heavens or possibly a dream.


“Forces of good and evil!” Din bellowed out to us.  “This is the land where Hyrule Castle Town once stood.  It has been utterly destroyed.  This battle will be to decide who gets the privilege of obtaining the golden triangles and earning the right to rebuild the kingdom in their image.  The losers of the fight will be banished from the kingdom for life.  Consider this the final confrontation, formed by the Great Cataclysm.”


“Here are the rules.” Farore said.  “There are two hundred fighters on both sides, the two hundred considered the most competent for each side.  You have all of your own weaponry, and can use any tactics you wish.  Once a warrior is deemed by us to be mortally wounded, they will be taken out of the battle and revived, after which they will be contained in the fairy fountain below.  The side that eliminates the other side completely shall be declared the winner.”


“Defenders of darkness, are you ready?” Nayru asked. Raym raised his sword and the knights and bulblin fighters let out a battle cry. 


“Allies of the light, are you ready?” We all raised our weapons and gave a shout of our own.


“On my mark, we will begin.  Ready…Go!”  The goddesses shouted as they created a triple wave of red, blue, and green that ripped across the area.  The adversary immediately charged ahead except for a couple of bulblin who stayed back to fire the cannons.  Our front line troops held firm and fired off their hand-cannons.  Our archers fired arrows into the air from the back. 

But the presence of the cannons made me very nervous. 


“I sure wish Midna was here to help us move them around and fire them off from behind.” I said. 


“Silly boy, I’m here.” Midna sassed from behind.  Sure enough, her black and white frame was hiding in the crowd. 


“Midna?!” Link and Zelda eeked simultaneously.  “But how did you…?”


“No time to explain!  We’ll catch up after we beat these hoodlums!” Midna snapped.  Link and Zelda turned around as another volley of hand-cannon fire shot toward the enemy.  “Allies of light and justice…charge!!” they shouted simultaneously.  We all tore across the plains as all sorts of weapons flew around the cobblestone covered plain.  Already I could see a major group of enemies had been defeated.  They were disabled by the two volleys of hand-cannon fire as the goddesses flew in and out of the area transporting the fallen.  My deadly invention had given us the advantage, but victory would come only from the tools of the ancients.  I felt my hand on Canso’s blade and drew it from the sheath, the enemy closing in. 


The closest enemy to me was a bulblin, and I gave it a vicious whack on entry.  It fell immediately to the ground.  Another bulblin followed.  I then dropped back and worked to protect Shira, who was struggling against a knight.  Together the two of us surrounded him and eventually got him to the ground while Ashei, Telma, and Auru protected our weak sides.  A couple of stabs through the chain mail and he was incapacitated.  Before long Osauk made his way toward us and we engaged.  Raym’s second-in command was extremely dangerous, and his spinning attack nearly got both of us.  We evaded just in time, and then tried to get behind him, but he blocked me with his shield.  Shira tried a jumping attack, but another shield attack sent her to the ground, where she got up quickly to avoid a bulblin.  Link eventually came over to knock the bulblin away and gave chase to Osauk, who retreated back toward Raym.  All over the field cannon fire continued, resulting in bomb blasts all around us.  One landed dangerously close and sent me flying to the right.  Upon getting up, I saw Telma and Auru lying in the crater, clearly defeated.  Before the goddesses could retrieve them, Osauk attacked again, going for my midsection.  This I evaded, and pressed forward, our blades clanging.   


Eventually Osauk backed me into a circle of enemies.  I went for a spin attack and knocked two of them down, but a third knight evaded and sliced into my left arm.  Osauk attempted to finish me off but Shira came in from the right and pressed.  Osauk gave her a shot to the chest with his shield, sending her to the ground.  By now I had gotten back up and blocked his attempt to impale her.  The other knights got up but Naira and several gerudos arrived from the left and engaged.  It was an all out, frantic fight to the death as the goddesses continued to fly in and out of the cobblestone field, carrying out the “deceased” and reviving them beyond the walls of the fighting zone. 


“We’ve got the enemy in a bad spot, the gorons have rolled through and disrupted the cannon attacks at the back!” Link shouted.  “We have to keep pressing and allow Ralis and Naira to surround them.”  We all nodded our agreement as Colin came toe to toe with King Bulblin up ahead.  For a while, the young Ordonian fought hard, but eventually he took a vicious shot to the head, courtesy of the king’s double-sided spear.  He did not get up, and it was the end of the fight for him.  Shira saw this and notched an arrow, piercing the king’s chain mail.  He let out a shout and looked for his adversary.  Osauk continued to hound me and my injured arm.  While that happened, Santha and Raym engaged one another at the base of the fountain.  Only a handful of those who started the battle were still in the fight. 


Osauk rattled about and pressed the advantage with his stronger frame.  He tripped me over and grabbed my injured arm.  I immediately stabbed at him, and bashed his knee with my sword handle.  He buckled and let go.  Fighting with one arm and with limited balance, I evaded attack after attack.  With a last burst of inspiration, I caught Osauk out of position after a fierce swing for the midsection, spun around, and stabbed him in the chest.  He immediately fell to the ground.  Before I could even move toward Shira or Santha I was struck by a ball of dark energy. 


“You thought you had seen the last of me?” A twili voice cackled.  It was Zerobaum.  “Your sister’s magic and tricks won’t help you this time!  Mwahahahaha!”  He powered up another energy blast that my heavy legs were not likely to avoid.  But before he could get it off, an orange hand crushed his midsection.  Midna came up behind him and stared him straight in the face.  “And to think, he resurrected you by pulling the sword from the grave.  Some thanks you gave your savior.”  Zerobaum turned white in the face, and Zelda hit him in the leg with a light arrow, causing him to explode into a million pieces. 


“Nice shot Queen.” Midna yelled to Zelda.  The two ran forward to engage the few remaining knights, as did Link.  I ran forward as quick as I could toward Shira and Santha.  My tunic was totally bloodstained down my left, and pain oozed out with every move, yet the goddesses did not come for me.  Before I could make a decision on who to help first I saw King Bulblin hit Shira in the chest the same way he had hit Colin earlier.  Ashei came to her aid but she was speared in the chest and surely eliminated.  He raised his spear for the kill.


With no other choice I dove forward, my body bouncing off of the heavier frame of King Bulblin, but knocking him off his guard long enough to allow Shira to get up.  I eyeballed sister, she had a gash in her ribs and a cut near her right eye.  Both of us were badly hurt.  King Bulblin moved forward and pushed us both back with his spear.  Weak from injury, we both fell down.  We both rolled away before he could attack further. 


“Looks like I’ve got the upper hand this time.” King Bulblin cackled as he pressed forward.  Behind us, Link, Ralis, and Darbus fought against Osauk and the remaining knights.  Zelda and Midna came to our aid but I called them off.  This battle was ours and ours alone, over three years in the making. 


He attempted to spear me, and I blocked it.  I attempted to press forward on my good side but couldn’t break through King Bulblin’s thick armor.  Shira tried to go for a jumping attack but failed to get much air, and the right arm of the giant bulblin batted her away.  I finally got close enough to punch him in the head, but he followed suit and I staggered backward.  I felt the hard wood of his spear against my back, knocking me down again.  Shira pulled me out of danger, with care not to further injure my bleeding arm.


“I have a plan.” Shira said.  “He’s too strong, but with a sacrifice you can drive your sword through his heart.  Watch me and come in from the right as soon as my right hand comes down.”


“Wait Shira you don’t have to do this!” I shouted.  But it was too late.  Shira screamed as she ran straight for King Bulblin.  She put her right hand down, grabbed her bow, and notched an arrow.  She jumped and aimed for his head, but before she could get the shot off, the evil bulblin’s spear impaled her right in the chest.  “At long last, that’s one of them!” King Bulblin shouted as I ran out of his vision.  He turned around, but not quick enough, for before he could react I stuck father’s sword right in his back.


“Too bad there’s two of us.” I said sternly as he wobbled, blood pouring from his green frame. 


“I always knew you were a backstabber.  Just like your sister.”  King Bulblin lamented. 


“Chivalry is reserved but for the righteous.  My parents are avenged.”  I pulled the sword out of his back and stuck it in his front.  “The underworld will love you.” 


With that, the bane of my existence lost consciousness, his body falling to the cobblestones.  The goddesses rushed in to pick up King Bulblin and Shira, who had so selflessly given herself up.  After all this, I had completely forgotten about Santha and Raym, who were absolutely bruising one another in the center of the battlefield.  Link and the others had succeeded in defeating Osauk and the other Knights, leaving Raym isolated as the final evildoer.  Looking around, I saw Link, Zelda, and Midna standing behind Santha, along with Darbus and Ralis.  But I also noticed other faces, those of Bo, Naira, Xelha, and several others I didn’t immediately recognize. 


Santha and Raym continued to swordfight.  Link and the others formed a circle around them, clearly waiting to pounce but Santha told them all to let her finish him off.  Yet their battle continued on, the two so similar in fighting style and competence that they knew every move before it was coming.  Much like their magical confrontation earlier, their physical confrontation was completely equal.  Finally, the two used whatever strength they had left and threw each other back.  They simultaneously drew hand-cannons, but neither one fired.  Instantly several allies drew their hand-cannons as well, pointing them at Raym.  For about thirty seconds, everybody was motionless.  The goddesses looked on with interest from above. 


Finally, Raym pointed his weapon airborne, and dropped it on the cobblestones.  “It’s no use.” He said.  “There’s no ending the fight between us, because for reasons I can’t fathom, we are incapable of defeating one another.  And yet, one of us must go.”  Santha had a puzzled look on her face, as did several others.  “The goddesses were right…our hatred for one another nearly destroyed this land.  We can’t go back in time and make things how they used to be, so I’m going to make this as painless as possible.”


“What are you talking about Raym?” Santha asked. 


He raised his sword, aware of the hand-cannons pointed at him.  “I’m sorry sister, but after all I’ve done, it’s for the best.  This way, at least one of us can have a future not riddled with pain and suffering.”  And with that, he drove the sword through his chest, killing himself. 


Santha immediately ran over to Raym, shocked at what had transpired.  She felt his hand and his neck, before pulling the sword out of his chest.  “He’s gone.” 



The next thing we knew, we were back in Castle Town, the city’s buildings back to their damaged state before the battle before the goddesses.  Din, Nayru, and Farore stood before us at the fountain. 


“Very well done, your side’s power of will, sight, and mind is to be commended.” Din said.


“Because you have completely destroyed the enemy army, they have been expelled from the kingdom by goddess law.” Nayru said.  “With the eighteen of you as our witnesses, your signatures within the law’s parchment, the kingdom can now begin anew.”


“The sacrifice of those who have passed in our midst is not forgotten.”  Farore said.  “In fact, they should be arriving back now.” 


We all looked up to the skies, and touching down all across the central square were those that had lost their lives in the battle.  Almost immediately I saw Shira, who came running over toward me.  We hugged one another and just about broke down crying, as did others who reunited with their dear friends.


“Zelda and Link, all of the tragedy that has befallen Hyrule was our doing.” Din said.  


“No.  Were we not so callous toward the unsightly elements of our kingdom you would not have had to declare a new ruler.” Zelda said. 


“It was an abuse of power to undermine the royal family.” Nayru said.  “Our laws allowed for it but as I often overlook, law has its limits.  What is law is not always just.”


“What we also overlooked is that living creatures have flaws.” Farore said.  “We are often so critical of our creations that we criticize their existence to the point that we are capable of hating what we should love instead.  Zelda, with your wisdom, your intelligence, your beauty, you are more than this kingdom needs to maintain order.  And Link, with your courage, your selflessness, and your strength, you are the bedrock on which the kingdom leans for support, good times and bad.  We were wrong to lose sight of this and focus on your callousness toward the bulblin.” 


“We fully intend to rebuild this city, and this kingdom into a better future.” Zelda said.


“I believe that with the help of your pure hearted friends, you will achieve this goal.” Din said.


“Is the Triforce waiting for a new holder?” Link asked.  


“It is, and its holders have been chosen by destiny.” Nayru said. 


“Good.  I felt that our time with the sacred triangles was due to end someday.  There are others pure of heart that would do well to control the golden power.”


 At this moment I felt a strange feeling on my left hand.  I looked at it, and there it was, the emblem of the golden triangles.  The upper triangle, the one representing Power, was lit up.  I looked over to Shira and Santha, who were just as wide-eyed as I. 


“So I’m the bearer of the Triforce of Courage?  But, why me?  How?” Shira asked. 


“Well let’s see.” Farore said.  “By my decision, Shira, you’re the only human to ever dive to the lowest depths of lake hylia, jump from the Great Hylian Bridge, fly through to skies to the City of the Oocca, and fight for over three years to avenge your family and defeat the evil that gripped the kingdom.  That’s enough for me.”


“Santha, were it not for your endless power of will, ingenuity, and prowess of the mind, Raym would have overwhelmed your psyche.  You would have become your mother, bitter, angry, and unhappy with the world.  But you never gave up hope and kept your faith in people, in knowledge, and in the natural world.  That’s enough for me.” 


“Soren, it was you who started the resistance years ago.  You spent years of your life crafting the weaponry to defeat evil and revolutionize this kingdom into a modern country.  You had the sense to believe that you must seek to create power in order to seize it.  And with your strong heart, you know about the boundaries a seeker of power must have.  That’s enough for me.” 


“Link and Zelda, you must enlist the help of these three if the kingdom is to survive in this new modern age.  Soon the power of electrons will light up the world even in the darkest night.  Soon people will create traveling machines capable of crossing the kingdom in hours, not days, and roads and highways will connect people in ways never thought possible.  The kingdoms near to Hyrule will be closer than ever, and it will be necessary to work with them to ensure proper security, economy, and resource management.  Soren, Shira, and Santha, never lose sight of your mission.  Help Link and Zelda complete there’s.”


“To everybody else gathered here today, your ancestors are smiling down on you from the heavens.  We comfort your weariness and wish you the best.  We will meet you again someday in the land of paradise.”


With that, the goddesses departed for the heavens.  I reached for Santha and dipped her, planting a big kiss on her lips.  Shira blushed, the heat visible on her cheeks.  There were cheers all over the square.  After three long years, the battle had finally been won.



Epilogue: The Birth of Modern Hyrule 


“So you want our mirror huh?  You’re sure you don’t want to have us visit you?” Shira asked.


“It’s for the best.  The world of twilight isn’t meant to be connected to the world of light.” Midna said as she laid it on the ground in front of her.


“Midna, it was hard enough watching you leave years ago, and its just as hard now.  We’ve been through so much together.” Link said. 


“I understand Link.  Our meeting was by accident, and feelings from that are difficult to suppress.  But it’s the way it must be.  After all, your world is moving into a new age, and I have my own kingdom to take care of.  Blame Zant, he brought us together in the first place.”


Midna cracked the mirror slightly as she fixed her gaze upon it.  “Good luck everyone.” She said as it warped her out of existence.  Two seconds later, the mirror shattered, the pieces floating into the air and disappearing. 


“Good thing I snuck an ocarina under her cloak this time.  We’ll be able to talk with her anytime now.” She said with a grin. 


Link threw his arms around Zelda.  Santha laughed, clearly she was in on the plan as well.


That night, long after taking refuge inside the burned and battered castle, we could finally wind down and take satisfaction in each other and what we had accomplished.  As I gazed into Santha’s eyes, I knew that after years of running and fighting, I finally had everything I wanted.  Across the room, Shira slept peacefully.  A good thing, for I wouldn’t want her to dream as hot as she blushes.



That first winter was tough.  Rebuilding Hyrule Castle and the immediate buildings surrounding it was our preliminary goal.  The snows prevented us from doing as much building as we had hoped but by the springtime the reconstruction of Castle Town was proceeding at full speed.  The sister efforts in Kakariko and Ordona were far along as well.  Due to the discovery of asphalt rock, a beautifully wide, black path sprung up between Hyrule’s cities.  It was four years earlier that father had worked on these same paths, then made primarily of dirt.  One day in late April, just days before the Farore Festival, we were assigned to completing the last stretch of road between Kakariko and Castle Town.  Some had taken to calling it the Eldin Expressway. 


Shira’s tunic was covered in black soot.  “It’s a good thing the gorons are here to do the heavy lifting.  I can barely lift the shovels they use much less the rocks!” 


“Well it’s just great to be here, in the beautiful sunshine, paying homage to father by building his road better than ever.” I said.  “Just think, once our scientists unlock the powers of electricity, the dream of machines doing work for us may be sooner than we think.”


“Just think, pretty soon we’ll have the towns and cities fully rebuilt, complete with hospitals, firefighters, markets, guilds of warriors and scholars, and much more.  Finally we’ll actually be able to take a vacation.  We’ll lay by Lake Hylia without a care in the world.” Shira said.  “You and Santha will be able to do whatever you do, without any interruption.” 


“Do you think we’d be able to just lay back and not ever worry about the next problem we’ll face?” I asked. 


“Maybe not completely, but I think we’ll manage with one percent worry and ninety-nine percent satisfaction.”


“You got that right.” I said. 


“You know what else is right?” Shira asked.




“This!” Shira brandished a squirting hand-cannon and squirted me with water.  She laughed. 


“Why you little!” I shouted as I chased after her.  Eventually I caught her and we rolled around in the grass, fighting for the weapon, just feet away from Darbus and Telma.


“Are you sure these two helped save the country?  They don’t even act their age!” Darbus said.


“Destiny can work in strange ways, hun.  Lucky us.” Telma said with a smile. 

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