The Crown

by Julietta F.

Chapter 1


Maarei knew it had to be a dream. She wished it wasn't, because it was so nice, but she knew it was. She knew it was because her father was there, and her mother, also. Maarei was looking at her mother, examining her features.
Queen Kenda was very beautiful. She had the looks of the Willows, light, thick brown hair and lightly tanned skin. She had eyes of molten gold, not like a Gerudo orange-gold color, but shining like the metal. Maarei thought that she looked a bit like her cousin Kairee. Her mother was wearing a golden dress, encrusted in jewels and breathtaking. Her hair was in a headband that matched her dress.
Her father looked the way she always remembered him, kind, and, well, fatherly. That was just the way her was. Such a good king...Maarei knew the dream was supposed to make her sad, but no, it was a happy dream.
They were in the courtyard, and Maarei was a child again. The sun sent rays of warmth down, embracing them. She smiled, and hugged her father. Then, all at once, she felt her dream thinning out, becoming less real, fading away. She looked up at her father, a wavery shape, now.
The warmth slowly melted, and she felt herself leaning backwards, becoming more solid. Lying down. She opened her eyes, and found herself back at Hyrule Castle. With a dull pain in her shoulder where she'd been hit with the arrow. Maarei wanted to go back to sleep...
She pulled the covers around her and shivered. It had been a few weeks since the battle. She hadn't been doing much, really. Zelda was always down in the basement, looking through archives. She was searching through books written about the history of the Gerudo, and also on types of magic, and sorcery. Link helped her sometimes, but most of the books were written in Ancient Hylian, a language of old that neither Link nor Maarei could read. Maarei could read Ancient Melanthian and Common Tounge; Link only Common Tounge.
Maarei sat up and yawned. She felt so awful, and heavy like her body was made of lead. Groaning, half in annoyance, she stood up. She'd been feeling so much better yesterday! Stupid arrow. Stupid poison. She walked over to the window, squinting, her eyes adjusting to the brightness outside. Maarei opened the window to get a breath of fresh air...and choked.
Overnight in Hyrule, it had snowed. Maarei backed away, closing the window quickly and gasping for air. Feeling weak, she realized that she had never seen snow, except in books. Her body would have an adverse reaction to it. No wonder she was feeling so awful! And in the story of the Great Cold, it was said that almost all of the Vaelaaryens, a type of Pure Melanthian that she was, died because they weren't used to the cold, and they were used to summer being almost year round.
Maarei shivered, remembering that the story said that the cold just slowly weakened their life out of them. She looked in the mirror and saw that she was looking rather sickly. Her already pale skin looked sheet white, and her hair looked dryed out, not silky the way it usually was.
What am I doing here? she thought, putting a hand to her face. I don't belong here. I belong back in Melanthos, with everyone else! All the troops and Houses had went back to Melanthos. They were reassured by the sight of Maarei alive and now had faith that she would come through for them. But will I? Ganondorf was so strong now...

Ganondorf knew that Maarei would have to return back to Melanthos soon. She couldn't stay through the snow that long, because she was a Vaelaaryen. He smiled to himself, because he knew her weakness. She would have to come back sometime, and when she did...well, she would die, just like so many before her. She thought she had escaped from him, but she hadn't. And there's no way any of them can beat me now.
But first things first. He guessed Saria was in Kakariko Village. Ah, well, her end was near. Or it would be, as soon as he got to her. He felt the jewel on his head, and it's power radiated into heat. It was were he channelled all of his shape-shifting energy into. Hawk, he thought, and concentrated.
Ganondorf felt himself shrink into the shape of a hawk. He now thought of Kakariko Village, and in just a few seconds, he was perched on a house top there. Now, to find Saria...looking throught the windows, he searched the town.

Rauru felt terror creep up his spine as he felt Ganondorf closer to Saria than ever. He shot telepathic messages to her; Saria...Saria! Saria had been taken in by a nice familly in the village, and she was sleeping in the bed, sick as ever. The closer Ganondorf got to her, the weaker she became, Rauru could feel it. A Kokiri can't die of old age...but it can be killed!
She wouldn't, couldn't wake up. She was lying there quietly, so vulnerable, and sick. Even with her disguise, Ganondorf would recognize her face, up close. There was one thing to do. Rauru quickly transported her body to Lake Hylia, it was cold, but, well, it was a life or death matter. Oh, no! Ganondorf transported himself too. Even in a different form, Rauru could recognize the evil. Since there was no one around the lake, Ganondorf tranformed back to human form.
No matter where I warp Saria, he'll only follow, Rauru realized. A mad chase. But...there was one spell he knew, that could work. Ganondorf walked closer to Saria, and she started to get up, wondering where she was. He quickly casted the spell. When Ganondorf blinked, Rauru drew Saria's spirit out of her body, quickly.
A few seconds later, a stream of green light entered the Chamber of Sages. Rauru channeled it into a crystal, where it would stay. Saria's Spirit, which he must protect.

Saria lay slumped over in the snow. Ganondorf walked over, and wrenched her of the ground. She was dead. Well, that was easy, he thought, dropping her. Then he warped himself back to the castle. Now for Maarei, Link, and Zelda...but, wait. He felt the jewel on his forhead again. It was burning. He had channeled too much power into it and it wouldn't be able to be used for a while now. It was too small. He needed something bigger...he hadn't ever found out where that secret vault was. But, there was one jewel that the Amethysts had, a huge talisman, bigger than his jewel now, and capable of storing more magic, and reflecting it back so he could be more powerful. He wanted it, now.

"So, Maarei, how are you feeling?" Zelda asked her.
"I really need to talk with you, I need to tell you something," Maarei said. She wasn't looking well.
"What?" Link asked. They were in the vault. Zelda was pouring over some books.
"I...can't stay here anymore."
"What? Maarei, where are you going?" Zelda asked, surprised.
"Back to Melanthos."
"Because it snowed."
"Oh..." Zelda began. "But, Ganondorf's just waiting for you there!"
"Wait, hang on a second," Link said. "What do you mean, 'it snowed'? Why would that make you leave?"
"Oh, sorry. I didn't tell you. In Melanthos, there's never any snow, even in the mountains. We just sort of skip winter, I guess you could say. It's the 'Land of Never-ending Summer'. And I'm a Vaelaaryen, which is a type of Pure Melanthian that can't take snow, or cold."
"So you're going to get sick or weak, because you're not used to it, right?"
"I mean it'll kill me if I stay too long in this country, so I have to leave. I mean, it won't kill me imediatley, just weaken me until I die."
"What'll we do?"
"I've got it! I finally found what I was looking for!" Zelda exclaimed.
"What?" Maarei and Link said.
"Look," Zelda said, pointing to a page in the book she had been reading. "I found a classing system for sorcerers and magicans."
"Zelda, haven't you been listening?" Maarei said impatiantly.
"No, wait, really, this is important, read here," she held the book up for them.
"Zelda, I can't read Ancient Hylian."
"I keep forgeting that! Okay, fine, I'll read it to you." She sat back and started reading. "There are two types of sorcerers, or sorceresses," she read. "One is a Sorcerer of the Earth, and one is a Sorcerer of the Mind. A Sorcerer of the Earth will use ingredient, to work magic, and it often involves chanting. A Sorcerer of the Mind uses his mind, always. Concentration and thinking skills is how they use their magic. Both of the types use their minds to a certain degree. Either one can be equally powerful. They both have strengths and weaknesses that can be defeated. But the main advantage of being a Sorcerer of the Mind is that you don't need regeants. All you need is a clear mind."
"Ganondorf would be...mind, I would guess," Maarei said thoughtfully.
"Remember, I was telling you about that bird I saw, flying next to the shield?" Zelda asked.
"I know that was Ganondorf. It had to be."
"Check 'shapeshifting' then," Maarei said, leaning over the desk.
"Okay." Zelda paged through the book. "Here we are! It says: 'Shapeshifting; the act of someone changing their shape, form, or species'...we knew's something interesting. 'A shapeshifter can change anything except for the color of it's eyes, because eyes are the window to the soul, and even in a body change, the spirit is the same. Some of the shapeshifters know their power when they are born, some discover it when they are much older.'"
"So, he'll be easy to spot, with his red eyes and all. He couldn't pass himself off as us, because we all have such distinct looking eyes. What else?"
Zelda closed the book. "Hmm...he must have discovered it later in his life, because otherwise he would have used it agianst us in the battles before."
"Now find out how he came back to life after we killed him," Link said.
"It's not that easy. I have to look through all these books..." she motioned around the vault.
"What about me, in the mean time?" Maarei asked.
"You can stay a few more days, can't you? I'm sure it won't be long before we can figure out Ganondorf's full powers."
"Maybe...a few." Maarei gave a weak smile.
"Hang on a second Maarei, " Zelda stood up and started walking out. "Stay there. I have a little test to do."
"What do you suppose he's up to?" Maarei asked Link after Zelda left.
"One of her crazy ideas, I guess."
"If you think, she's got crazy ideas, you should have seen me, when we were kids. She gets it from me, I think."
"What's it like, in Cyreene?" Link asked, curious.
"Cyreene's just made up of islands. Lots of trade, ships, some pirates too. Ganondorf probably got most of his men from the pirate part."
"So I noticed. You said you were a Vaelaaryen, right? What other kinds of races are there in the other countries?"
"Well, a Vaelaaryen is a type of Pure Melanthian. The Pure Melanthians are Vaelaaryens and Aquicens. There's a story that goes to it, about this snow that wiped out all of the Vaelaaryens but my family line and one other. I have to tell it to you sometime. Anyway, both of the types of Pure Melanthians have small, slim, agile type bodies. The Aquicens are the most numerous race in my country now. They'd probably look strange to you, I mean, some have purple and silver hair. In Cyreene there's Averyatics in the north, Yasminians in the middle, and Kinshazi in the south so--"
"Coming!" Zelda yelled from the hall. "Close your eyes, Maar!"
Maarei closed her eyes. Well, not all the way, because she wanted to see what was happening, but enough to make them look closed.
"Hold out your hand," Zelda said. Maarei gave Zelda her hand, and Zelda pushed Maarei's palm flat in to hers and held it, for just a second and then let it go. But in that second, a burning, awful pain, pulsed through her hand, sending shivers up her spine. Maarei rubbed at the pain.
"Ow! What'd you do that for?" she exclaimed angrily.
Zelda examined Maarei's hand. It was red, and raw. Her shoulder had been sort of like that, only much, much worse, of course. "That," she said, "was snow. It has the same affects as that arrow did on your shoulder. So that means..."
"The arrow was covered in ice. That was...your poison."

It was best to attack the Amethysts now, while Maarei was out of the country. The Amethyst's castle was south, while Ganondorf's castle up north. How was he going to get troops down there? It was hard to warp more than a few people at a time. Oh, well. He'd just have to go by himself. Though perhaps I should bring a few people...he thought. Just to cause enough confushion so I can break in and get that jewel. He grinned. Stupid Melanthians. They can't escape me now.

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