Where we pick up is the group is heading off in the direction of the mountains.
Now the four adventurers instead of three make it to the stables. James is nervous, Zachary looks anxious, Zelda looks a little tired, and Link as always appears quite ready for this. Zelda is riding a new black horse named “Smokey” quite fast but not broken in real well. As the heroes trek off Link taps Zachary on his shoulder saying “The northern mountains how far away are we from them?” Zachary looks back at his older brother “About a day’s ride I guess. There is some bad terrain between here and there. We have to pass through a small village and a desert which with it being winter won’t be too bad, but we need plenty of water.” Link looks over to James “You are alright, right?” James replies quietly “Yeah.” As they leave the castle itself they pass Link’s parents home and the whole family says goodbye to one another. James seems to have his eye on Gwen the whole time. Gwen also seems interested in James and they can’t quit staring at each other. Then they ride out of the town itself and over the hills to the north heading directly towards the mountains.
In an hour they pass through the small village where a group of Calatian soldiers are. These soldiers stop them and call for their commander then he is told of the adventurers’ intent. All this makes Link a little uneasy. The commander steps forth, a one-eyed fellow with a strong build, short black hair and a beard older then Link by about five years and towering over 6 and a half feet tall, Captain Dagon. Link recognizes him right off as Dagon looks over the party “Humtp, you think you can deal with these raiders. They’ll eat you alive.” Dagon spots Zelda and says “Hello cutie how about you come with me and I will show you a fun time.” Zelda looks down at him and angrily says “I’m spoken for get away from me, you creep. Have you met my husband, Sir Link?” As he comes around to Link he says “Link, you think they will be afraid of you because of you destroying their old master you should know they are bent on vengeance toward you.” Link stares at Dagon “Well, Dagon I see you haven’t lost your touch with being friendly.” Dagon responds “Go ahead Link make jokes your party is doomed anyway. Men let them go through we won’t see them again alive.” The soldiers back up and allowing them through. Once they get through Zelda looks at Link “Who was that jerk and what was that all about?” Link says to her “Aww, Dagon and me go far, far back. We were friends at one time, but we parted ways. He started hanging with fellows a lot older then him and no longer wanted kids like me around him. He even threatened to beat me up if I tried to hang out with him anymore and that ended our friendship. I don’t guess he was real impressed with me becoming a hero either.” Zachary rides up to Link and Zelda saying “No, Link he wasn’t. When I joined the Calatian army he was already an officer in the military then he stayed on my back and was real hard on me. I didn’t impress him either when I got asked to be a scout to the queen. Not long after these raids started he requested a transfer to that village back there to protect it and he got it as you could tell.” They move along stopping at a small creek to draw water for both themselves and the horses. In the early evening they make it to the edge of the desert, the stop in the village took some time away. Zachary stops them from going on “Link, I know you’re in charge here but this desert has a lot bad things in it some things that lurk heavily at night and being as it is late the day we better stop and camp for the night.” Link looks over at his brother “Well, you’re the expert here and I will follow your advice.” They set up camp as Zachary collects firewood and James sits down trying to get the fire started. Link and Zelda unload the food to cook. After eating James pulls out a book and starts reading it. Link and James exchange glances at one another for a while. Zelda lays and goes sleep right then. Zachary says “I’ll take first watch.” Link says “Sure I can take over for you around midnight.” James remains then pipes up “Sir Link, wake me around three I will take last watch.” Everybody is in agreement about this. Zachary steps to the edge of the camp and sits down with his sword drawn. James decides now is a good time to ask “Uhh… Sir Link, can I ask you a question?” Link looks up “Sure what is it?” James fidgets his fingers back and forth then says “Your sister Gwen is she…is she spoken for?” Link laughs at the boy a little “Are you asking me if my sister is available. We’re on a mission or quest however you wish to look at it where we could get killed and you’re asking this now that’s funny.” James turns red in the face clearly seen through the fire. Zelda hears the laughter from Link then awakens and asks “What’s going over there that’s so funny?” Link looks to his wife “Oh, nothing Zelda. James here is sweet on my sister Gwen.” Zelda starts to giggle then stops saying “Link, remember at one time you were in love too.” Link remembers “Yeah, I was then I married the one I was in love with,” looking back at James “I guess if all goes well and we survive you can call upon my sister if she is interested in you. Just because I gave my okay doesn’t mean she or my parents will give theirs.” James smiles “Thanks, Link.” Link says “I suspect we best be getting to sleep I have keep watch over the camp later.” Link goes and lies beside his wife and both share blankets to keep their warmth. James gets next to the fire itself to stay warm.
Midnight comes and Zachary wakes Link up. Link sleepily says “What time is it?” Zachary responds “Time for you to pull your watch brother.” Link gets up and walks to the edge of the camp and sits under a tree with his sword drawn ready for a fight if necessary. Time passes slowly as Link waits then he hears something. Before Link can react he is joined but by Zelda who sits beside him. Link reacts surprised “Zelda, what are you doing up?” She says “After you got up I couldn’t go back to sleep and we never did finish that conservation about your life here.” Link thinks back and says “You’re right, sweetheart. Where was I? Ah, yes why I left. At the time I was 14, my father wanted me to become a blacksmith I didn’t pick up that trade to well. I liked adventuring in the woods with my friends. And there was someone I had a crush on and that’s more why I left then anything else.” Zelda looks at Link somewhat puzzled by this admission then says “You left because you were in love what happened?” Link takes a long breathe “Her name was Emily. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen up to that time. I had a crush on her as I said. We were the same age and I was becoming interested in girls. We were also friends I thought. When I let her know she totally humiliated me in front of my other friends. Told me in a very loud voice to get away from her that I had some nerve telling her this then she laughed at me.” Link stutters a little “I…I…I was broken hearted and hurt bad. I went to my parents and told them I had made my mind up that I was going adventuring and that is how I left. A couple of days later I found Impa and my rescue of you took place.” Zelda tries to respond “I’m…I’m sorry about that.” Link says “Don’t worry that was a long time ago and that’s my full story in not so many words. There are some friends I still have in Calatia but I wouldn’t know where to find them though. My cousins that were also my two best friends Travis and Buck I haven’t seen them since way before I left. Can I tell you something else?” Zelda says as she puts her hand on his “Sure you can Link.” He takes a short breathe and says “That was the reason why I was so much trying to win your heart it was also the reason I took it so personally when you had Prince Fascade around. Because I didn’t want to get my heart broken again by someone I was in love with. That’s why I always acted all macho with a big ego like I did when I was younger before I found out you were in love with me as well. I love you so much Zelda.” Zelda reaches over and hugs him “Oh Link, I now know and understand why you acted that way. And as for Fascade you see which one of you I married and I love you too,” Link smiles in reaction then they share a short kiss. A little while longer it is three in the morning time for James to pull his watch.
Link walks over to James and wakes him up shaking him awake. James responds sleepily “Is it my turn already?” Link chuckles “Yeah it is.” As James gets up Link and Zelda lay back down under their blankets that they left three hours before. James rubs his eyes and pulls his sword a long sword then leans against the tree Link and Zelda used when they were up as watch post. For a while things are pretty quiet James is a little suspicious when all the noises of the night disappear. Then all the sudden three arrows shot out of trees. James shouts at the top of his lungs “We’re under attack!” Everybody is up quick as a flash. Zelda rises with her bow and returns fire on the trees where the arrows are coming from. James runs back to the campfire and the three men form a circle around Zelda. Link has his shield as well sword ready. Zachary has got his weapon ready a spear and buckler as he rises from his blanket. In a short time Zelda has silenced all enemies in the trees. But this isn’t the end of it. Nine hooded figures emerge from the woods all wearing red. Whether they are monsters or not can’t be clearly told. They charge forward with clubs, axes, and swords yelling. As they near the party Zelda quickly shots another arrow and hits one of hooded attackers who, disappears in a cloud of smoke. The remaining eight hit the party of four forcing them to break apart. A melee ensues, swords clanging and blows being exchanged rapidly. Link kicks one of the attackers in the face causing him to fall backwards as this attacker that Link kicked gets up Zachary runs his spear through him and also causing this one to disappear. James fights fiercely swinging his sword against these things. Zelda deflects the swings aimed at her with her bow then back flips out of the way. She uses her bow like a quarterstaff knocking down one of the attackers. Zachary then runs over to the one she knocked down and drives his spear through him killing this one. Link zaps one of these creatures then slashing another one making both disappear. James hits one of them in the stomach with a slash this time whatever it is falls to the ground in pain. James back away realizing he has injured this thing badly which appears to be human. Then a club hits James on the right side of the head and he reacts angrily stabbing the figure that hit him causing it to disappear. Zachary stabs another one in the chest as it slashes at his left leg and kills it also this figure drops to the ground as a body as well. The final attacker still standing charges at Zelda and she reacts tossing a magic beam of energy at this guy causing him to disappear into a cloud of smoke. The one that is injured is laying on the ground his weapon beside him. Link goes to question him then notices the weapon a dagger beside him “Don’t try it I don’t want to have kill you.” But he goes for the weapon anyways Zelda who has been watching as Link approached this guy, shots an arrow which knocks the weapon out his hand. “Next shot is your head now don’t move,” she yells as she aims another arrow at him. Link leans down to this guy and frisks him for any other weapons and finds a piece of parchment then puts it in his pocket as tends to this guy’s wounds. This one former attacker is still pretty badly injured. Link begins “Who sent you?” This guy stays quiet Link again asks “Who sent you?” The guy responds in a nasty tone “Wouldn’t you like to know.” Link smiles “So you do talk? Now back to my first question. If you don’t answer I will turn over to the first patrol of soldiers I see.” This prisoner now says “You think your threats scare me. I know who you are Sir Link,” pointing to Zelda “and you Princess Zelda of Hyrule just the same as I know the one that injured me Prince James of Ashland and the last member of your party Zachary brother of Link. I know all of you and your reputations don’t make me fearful.” Link looks at this guy impressed to some extent “So you know who we are. But who are you then?” The prisoner says “Who I am. I am Galen of Calatia and member of the Disciples of Ganon. We will resurrect our master and he will destroy all of you before he overthrows the queen.” Before Link can react this fellow pulls out a bottle and drinks it, then he goes into convulsions and dies. Link and Zelda both shake their heads in disbelief. Zelda says “Link, we can’t let this happen if Ganon returns he will destroy all of Calatia and possibly Hyrule if he able to get enough power.” “I know this is drag if Ganon is involved. Then we better do all we can to stop them,” Link says. Link looks at this parchment and reads it. The message is not very clear but it says:
Your enemies which you seek are Sir Link and Princess Zelda. Destroy them and bring the blood from both of them if possible (however Link’s is far more important) to the mountain hideout. They are riding with a foreign prince James of Ashland and a scout in the queen’s army Link’s younger brother Zachary. Kill all leave no survivors. Beware they are considered dangerous.
In the aftermath of the battle everybody checks for wounds. Zachary was cut across his left leg nothing to severe as he wraps a bandage around it. James was hit in the side of the head with a club, it is bleeding a little but more bruised as he ties a bandage around his head. Link has slight wound on his right hip which he drinks a red potion and it heals up leaving only a scar. Zelda is the only one unscratched from the battle. As the sun comes up the camp is pretty well destroyed and there are three dead bodies amongst the former encampment. Blood and snow mix on the ground. James is still dazed from his first experience of battle as he sits down at the where the camp fire was. Zachary sits by James saying “Was that your first fight?” James quietly nods his head. Zachary reassures him “Don’t worry we all felt the way you do the first time we fought against other people. Think hard they were trying to kill you and you had to defend yourself.” Link says to Zelda “These guys were tougher then I remember under Ganon.” Zelda comes back with “Remember they want revenge for you and me killing Ganon.”
The adventurers quickly break up camp after a small breakfast. “We are being followed I bet,” Link says as he packs his stuff up. “Yeah, those guys were tracking us for a while before they decided to attack,” Zachary says then continues “I just don’t know how I couldn’t spot or detect them before now,” disappointed. Link says “Don’t worry about it Zachary these things happen and it was good James gave an alarm or we’d all be dead.” The horses stayed tied up during the battle and remained luckily so the party could mount then ride on. Zelda before mounting runs into the woods and throws up. Link asks her when she returns “Are you alright, honey?” Zelda looks at him and says “Yeah, I’m fine just a touch of the flu that’s all.” Link is becoming a little worried with his wife. He remembers on the day they left she has thrown up in the downstairs bathroom at his parents’ house before they went to see the queen.
As the party mounts Zachary says “Let me lead the way I am pretty sure I know where we’re going.” Link looks at him then says “You know this desert and area better then I do so lead the way.” They trot into the barren wasteland of the desert. The winter snow is on top of the sand making the desert even more gloomy then it is. A half hour into their journey in the desert Zachary looks back over his shoulder and stops his horse. Then he signals to Link who rides over to him. Link asks “What’s wrong Zachary?” Zachary points at a dust trail being raised from about a mile or so back. Then he says to Link “I think we have someone following us.” Zachary pulls out a simple looking glass pointing it towards this cloud and says “Yeah somebody is definitely behind us,” giving the glass to Link “see if you recognize anyone or anything?” Link looks hard and says “I see about five Lyonels, six mounted guys” then in disbelief he says “and that can’t be…. Horsehead. Yeah that’s Horsehead alright. I think we can outrun them we can try but they would catch up to us when we stop I am afraid. Is there anything we might be able to do?” At this point the rest of the small party has halted. Zachary scratches his head and says “Well we could ambush them that would stop them for sure. I know of an oasis to east of here about twenty minutes away. It would be the perfect place to set up something like that.” The party faces to the east and rides hard. They make it to the oasis without any trouble. This oasis is surrounded by trees and bushes. The bushes are large enough to hide anyone in them. They dismount leading the horses around to the eastern edge of the oasis to hide them. Link looks at Zachary and asks “Are they still following us?” Zachary responds pointing this dust cloud coming towards them “Yeah they are and they will be here in about ten minutes. We best hide so we can pull this off.” Zelda climbs a tree on the eastern edge of the oasis overlooking the horses and the center of the oasis. Zachary hides in a large bush with James. Link gets behind the tree Zelda is up in. As the cloud nears and beings become visible. Link looks to Zelda says quietly “You shoot that will be our signal to attack.” Zelda nods yes and Link whispers it to Zachary who in turn relays it to James. Horsehead the bitter enemy Link faced in the third palace steps forth with these other creatures behind him. Zelda takes deliberate aim with three arrows at Horsehead lets go. One arrow hits Horsehead in the head dropping him backwards and the other two each hit the two guys next to him killing both. Link steps out from behind the tree Horsehead recovers spots him saying “Link of Hyrule I have waited a long time for this day. Now I get my revenge.” Horsehead swing his ball and chain overhead before releasing it at Link. Link jumps out of the way, then Link jumps forward hitting Horsehead in the head destroying him. The rest of these enemies attack Link, but before they can get near him James and Zachary charge to Link’s side. Again a melee breaks out. Link zaps two Lyonels before they can react making disappear in cloud of smoke. James hits another Lyonel with his sword also causing this one to disappear just like the last. Zachary confronts two of these mounted guys scaring their horses with his spear. Both horses buck the two guys who fall to the ground and then bolt away from Zachary. Both these fellows get up angrily and charge Zachary with long swords. Zachary blocks them as he backs away from them. He manages to kick one of them, which force him down. With that Zachary lunges at the other attacker catching him off guard. This attacker has to defend himself. Zachary is able to get the upper hand and stab this one then turns and stabs the other before he can get on his feet. Link rushes one of the two remaining enemies that are near him and knocks him down with a punch to the face. Just as the one Link knocked down tries to get up an arrow from Zelda hits him in the chest killing him. The one remaining attacker faces James. James acts in a defensive manner blocking and parrying this enemy’s attacks. James hits with all his force and disarms his foe that backs away from him. James thinking the fight is over with sheathes his sword and this foe draws a dagger but before he can get to James once again an arrow fired by Zelda hits killing this attacker. Another six more bodies to bury or leave out in the open Link surveys the scene and begins to search these bodies. Link finds a journal on one of the bodies. Link says “This journal,” as he thumbing through “this has more information the on location where they have been gathering to raid. It’s up on the first mountain in a cave. That’s all the information we needed I think.”
Again the party mounts to continue their journey. As they ride into the desert it gets real still and quiet. Suddenly from the ground in front of Zelda’s horse shots up a Leever which spooks the horse causing him to throw her. She lands hard on the ground with the back of head hitting a rock. Link attacks the Leever zapping it thus destroying; Link quickly dismounts and runs to Zelda to make sure she is alright. Zelda is holding the back of her head as he comes to her. He puts his hand under her head checking for blood, luckily there is no bleeding but when she tries to get up she falls back down. He helps her onto her feet. Her horse is gone and Link offers to carry her on Catherine which she agrees to. Zelda seems to have a slight concussion from the fall so Link helps her up on Catherine and gets up behind her. They continue to ride on. Zachary looks back and sees another cloud of dust approaching them which he points out to Link who responds “Another group of bad guys?” Zachary pulls out his looking glass and says “This group looks like three I wouldn’t think there would be only three of them.” Link asks “What should we do?” Zachary says “Wait till they get near and verify their intentions,” sounds simple enough to Link. As this other group approaches Link has his hand on his sword the whole time. They are all wearing cloaks with hoods covering them. This group of three near closer and closer, one appears to be a female while the other two are male. When they get near enough they wave white pieces of cloth to indicate a parlay. Link along with Zelda on his horse ride towards them with Zachary and James following behind them slowly, when within talking distance one of these folks pulls his hood off. Link recognizes this person and reaches forward with his hand to shake their hand. Link says in a shaken voice “These are my two best friends from childhood the ones I was telling you about Travis and Buck. How are you?” The one that first shakes Link’s hand has reddish brown hair and blue eyes with a light complexion he is wearing brown leather vest that appears to have chain armor in it over a white shirt while he identifies himself as Travis he looks to be carrying a crossbow as well as a short sword on his left hip. Buck on the horse next to him is wearing a dark blue tunic with a grey shirt underneath his short blonde hair is tucked under the hood and carries a two handed sword that is on his back. Their final member is a female she says “Link of Calatia and Princess Zelda of Hyrule I have heard so much of your adventures it is an honor to finally meet you in person. My name is Sonja and my blade is at your command.” Sonja pulls her hood back allowing her long sandy brown hair to blow in the wind. She is wearing a breast plate over top of a white shirt she has long sword as well as a quarrel full of javelins. Travis and Buck are also wearing brown pants and short boots while Sonja is wearing blue pants and high boots. Travis and Buck tell Link how they have been following since they left that village, but ran into a couple of raiders along the way as well. Sonja speaks up and tells of how she joined Travis and Buck as well as where she is originally from
. Her background: is her parents were loyal subjects of the royal family then the revolt took place and they went into hiding, for the next following years she trained herself in magic and the use of the sword. When she finally had a chance she left knowing she could not destroy those that had overthrown the royal family herself. Then she heard of these raids and remembered this was how it started in Ashland , the raids first then problems that seemed to get worse. When Sonja nears Prince James she ducks her head before him in respect of his family. James is a caught off balance by this act and says “That’s okay you don’t have to do that.” Sonja smiles at him in return. Ashland
As they finally arrive at the base of the mountain Zachary says “It’s best to tie up the horses here. The path up this mountain is far too dangerous for horses with ice and snow up there. And the cave we are searching for isn’t that great a distance.” They tie the horses up. Zelda seems to still be a bit dazed from her fall. Link looks at her and asks “Are you sure you are alright? If you want you can stay with the horses.” Zelda thinks a minute then says “I still feel lousy from that fall if it’s okay I will stay here.” The other five start walking up this mountain trail with Zachary leading the way. About halfway up the wind picks up from a light breeze to strong pounding wind.
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