The Looming Shadow

By Wm. Jay Carter III (Hero of Geeks)

Prologue ~ Mudora: Words and Prophecies

The following are excerpts from a legendary enchanted manuscript called the Book of Mudora, a volume written by one of the Sages of Hyrule. Accompanying the writings is a treatise on the Hylian language, suggesting that the author had intended the knowledge contained herein to be preserved past even the degradation of the society. The following passages which were written using the hieroglyphs of the original Ancient Hylian are impossible to translate using the included language primer, the only exception being the vision of the Golden Land (the translation of which has been maintained in oral tradition.)

Written 1335 HR (Hyrulean Reckoning)

Concerning the Goddesses and the Creation of Hyrule

According to the reckoning of our time, before the Days of the Ancients, before the waters flowed and the mountains shook, from beyond the distant nebulae that reach across the heavens, the three Goddesses of Gold came to form our world, and gave it order, and life.

Din, with her furious might, took up the land that was and made the mountains and valleys, and tilled the earth. Great peaks ridged the surface of the planet, and then she awoke the forces of the world from their slumber and the mountains began to belch fire, and smoke. Din was the source of our world’s power.

Nayru, with her calculating mind, took of the chaos that was and formed patterns and order. The great waters were subdued and flowed according to their given course, and the mysteries of magic and science ceased to flee, and she bound them, that they might be discovered. Nayru was the source of our world’s wisdom.

Faroe, with her verdant embrace, took of the spirits that were and gave them life. Plants and animals of every kind appeared, and they all upheld the order that was established, and went forth to take up the powers that had been awakened. And in those days there was no fear, but all forms of life protected their own kind from that which would threaten to destroy. Faroe was the source of our world’s courage.

Concerning the Races of Hyrule and the Triforce

And when the Goddesses had finished our world, they made the races to live there—the noble Hylians, with their fair skin and pointed ears, wisest of all the races; the honorable Sheikah, with hair as white as snow, loyal and brave; the cunning Gerudo, with their dark complexions and lithe bodies, bold and charismatic. And other races came forth from the elements, to serve the Goddesses that made them. From stone, and water, and forest were made beings that were strong, and fair, and curious.

And then the three Goddesses departed our world, and left behind a symbol of their strength; a golden triangle known as the Triforce. And I, Mudora, have seen in vision that the Sacred Object does exist. And my vision was thus:

[indecipherable hieroglyphs—early Hylian origin]

Translation from oral tradition:
In a realm beyond sight,
The sky shines gold, not blue.
There, the Triforce’s might
Makes mortal dreams come true.

~I am Mudora, Sage of Shadow and keeper of these secrets

Concerning the Search for the Triforce

From its hiding place in the so-called Golden Land where the Goddesses placed it, the Triforce beckoned people from the outside world to seek it, that one worthy of its powers might have the wish of his heart. It was said that any who obtained it would have his heart’s desire. A small but powerful portion of the essence of the Goddesses was held in this mighty artifact, which was to guide the intelligent life on the world of Hyrule. As an extension of the power of the Goddesses, the Triforce became the source of our world’s providence. But what was our gift would also become our curse.

For many long years, none knew how to enter the Golden Land in order to obtain the Triforce. Nevertheless, many aggressively sought the wish-granting Object, and squandered their lives in the search. Though they looked west, below the Burning Desert, and east, within the fiery caverns of Death Mountain, the entrance could not be found. Some claimed it was at the bottom of the Great Hylian Lake in the south, though not even they who dwell at the bottom of those great waters could say for certain.

But just as many had begun to lose interest in the search for the path to the Sacred Object, a foul breath issued forth across the land and the foolish, and the power-hungry, and the coward began to allow the idea of it to infect his mind. These greed-maddened people utterly wasted themselves in the futile search for the entrance to the Sacred Realm, finally turning upon themselves or each other and taking their own lives for despair—for a dream that could never be; for hopes that would never be realized. The thought of the Triforce stole men from their families, mothers from their children, and left those who remained mourning and cursing the Goddesses.

Concerning the War of the Golden Land

For centuries the Triforce lay hidden, deep in a realm a world away from our own. But then one day (in the thirteen hundred and ninth year since the advent of the Goddesses) a gate to the Golden Land appeared near the castle of the Hylian people, within the town they had made there. Soon the races of Hyrule were revisited with grief, as all those who had sought the Triforce in vain now came flocking to the place with renewed lust. Daily the gate consumed any deluded soul who entered it, though none would ever return. Many watched the gate intently for any sign of their departed loved ones, but they waited in vain.

Years passed and still the flocks of deluded souls could not be restrained from their hapless doom. Finally, a militia was formed, and a resistance held. The militia surrounded the gate with pikes and spears, and watches were held day and night. But with frenzied minds the greed-driven Hylians attacked their own people, and a war began which some claim has not ceased to this day. It has been called in times long after the War of the Golden Land. It was a brutal and shameful war, where brother fought against brother, and deceit and betrayal ran through the streets like water.

Many good souls died on account of the War of the Golden Land. Those lost in service of their crown and people were awarded posthumous knighthood by the king of Hyrule, who sorrowed for his people’s anguish. Then the call was made to form a strengthened force to better preserve the people from the enticement of the golden gate; none would be allowed to enter the golden gate by decree of the Hylian king. And from thenceforth the Hylian Kingdom has employed a body of soldiers, and standing beside them in defense of their land were the Knights of Hyrule—valiant souls who guarded against the self-destruction of their people and protected the Royal Family of Hyrule. When those seeking entrance into the Golden Land saw they could not conquer an organized force, they banded together and retreated without the walls of the city to await another chance to satisfy their lust for the powers of the Triforce.

Now, in those days the Sheikah were a race aloof and observant, and they had sent their spies out to bring news of the Golden Land, and whether there had been success by any in obtaining the Triforce. When it was learned that the Triforce was as yet unwon, they sent in their own people in small numbers to scout and see if aught might be learned and if any indeed might return. So skilled were they at stealth that their advance party was able to pass the Knights charged with the gate’s protection and enter unseen…or rather, almost unseen.

One man, cunning and observant himself, was camped with his fellow dissenters without the walls of the Hylian’s Castle Town and saw the Sheikah scouts pass by. Following from afar off, he watched as they infiltrated the Knights’ camp and entered the Golden Realm. He waited to see if they had any success—whether they might emerge with the Power of Gold—but like so many, they were lost. So the cunning man tracked the scouts’ trail back to the Sheikah village, called Kakariko, at the foot of Death Mountain. When this cunning man appealed to the Master of the Sheikah to teach him how to enter the portal unseen, the master flatly refused. But after reporting that the Sheikah scouts had never returned he offered himself and his fellows as subjects to test the gate, if only it got them into that portal they sought so intently. The Sheikah master saw an opportunity in the prospect and agreed. And the cunning man and his brethren were taught how they might achieve their ends.

Unfortunately, the cunning man was never rewarded according to his desire, for he and the others that attempted to infiltrate the Knights’ camp were caught and imprisoned. Discovering their connection with the Sheikah, the king of Hyrule sent to the master of the Sheikah and charged him with infiltrating the kingdom of Hyrule and deceiving its people with false hope. Incensed, the master sent back that the Hylians were acting like foolish ants: sitting in a languid stupor on their hill while the treasure within their grasp went unclaimed, and still they prevented others from obtaining, perchance, what the Hylians saw no use for. But checking his anger, the master proposed a conjoined effort to discover the secrets of the portal and obtain, if the Goddesses would permit, the Power of Gold, and share between the two races the benefits of that boon. But the king of Hyrule would not, and returned that there should be no such arrangement, but that if any of the Sheikah were found within the borders of the kingdom they should be slain. For a time, enmity and silence prevailed between the races.

Then, having learned from both insult and injury, the Hylian king ordered that a more defensible solution be sought. The king’s chief advisor, the wizened Potho (who was also the head of the kingdom’s monastic order) suggested that a temple should be built to contain the portal. It could then put under the care of the monks, who would live in the temple, and thus the portal would be monitored day and night. The Hylian king agreed, and the temple was begun. Thus, the Knights of Hyrule were able to focus their attention on the limited entrances to the temple rather than a wide perimeter.

And the monks of the Temple saw it as their duty to pray to the Goddesses for a solution to the increasing unrest without the Hylian city gates. An answer, it seemed, came when those dissenters without the gates took up their camps and marched west, away from the city. It appeared there might be peace at last.

Concerning the Gerudo and their King

But the wise who see peace in their days know that it will not prevail indefinitely. This proved true for the Hylian king, as I will show you. But I would call your minds now to the third race of Hyrule, the Gerudo, who lived far from the Hylian kingdom, whose shrines lay deep within the Burning Desert. It was there that the dissenting Hylian force marched, and they told the Gerudo that a portal was opened; it was being held by the Hylians, and that they were preventing any from entering in. The lord of the Gerudo, an ambitious young man named Ganondorf Dragmire, saw the actions of the Hylian king as a challenge to any who would doubt the dominance of the Hylians as the supreme race. And it was certain that Ganondorf doubted.

Now aught must be said regarding the Gerudo. One year in every hundred there is a male child born within their tribe, and he is destined to be their king and lord. Each male will live long enough to see another born, and he will retain his vitality into his old age. He is a precious rarity among the race, and all of the females of the tribe are willing to protect him with their lives, for should he die, the Gerudo race would die with him and there would be nothing left of their way of life. The lord himself is taught from his infancy to be aggressive, ruthless, and merciless—for the Gerudo believe that anything short of this would put the king, and therefore their tribe, in jeopardy.

Above all the preservation of the Gerudo lord’s life is of supreme concern for any Gerudo female. It is for this reason that the females are trained as expert combatants; to better protect their king. A small band of bodyguards therefore protect the Great Ganondorf, as he is wont to be called, and these boast accomplishments in thievery, are skilled in secrecy and stealth, and the use of magic.

So it will be clear that when the Great Ganondorf saw the Hylians in their weakened state, he saw his chance to take the Triforce for himself, though he would make it seem to his tribe that he was acting out of intentions to improve their barren condition. For was it not in the power of the Triforce to grant the wish of one’s heart? Accordingly, Ganondorf went himself, with his bodyguards, to treat with the king of the Hylians that he might obtain his desire.

But having been wizened by experience, the Hylian king denied the Gerudo lord his wish. He would not permit him to enter the portal, for it had only lead to sorrow; and what, the king asked, would become of the Gerudo tribe if its lord never returned? But Ganondorf would not be swayed, and he berated the king and accused him of power-mongering, saying that the Hylians were selfish and spoiled children. Despite the Gerudo lord’s censure, yet the noble king would not relent, and still he refused to permit him entrance.

And then Ganondorf Dragmire revealed his treachery, and told the Hylian king of his plans to invade were they not to permit him entrance—that the king’s own men, those Hylian dissenters, were without the walls and supported by a force of trained Gerudo warriors. But the wise Hylian king still refused, and dismissed the Gerudo lord from his presence.

As the Gerudo made preparations for war, constructing what siege engines they might, the Knights of Hyrule likewise prepared fortifications for battle. But the Knights saw that even with the soldiers to aid them their numbers would not be enough, nor would their hearts permit them to fall upon their brethren to kill them, and the sorrow of the looming turmoil rested upon them. If they fell, it would not be without mercy to their own.

But the master of the Sheikah, being observant the Gerudo forces, and also weighed down with sorrow for his hastiness in accusing the Hylian king, sought forgiveness of him, saying that his words were rash, and that now in the hour of the Hylian’s greatest need, the Sheikah would aid them. And would not the Goddesses preserve them? And the Hylian king was gracious, and forgave all, and even showed his further magnificence by pleading forgiveness of the master, saying he had acted out of anger, and had been foolish. Thus was born the alliance of the Hylians and the Sheikah, who are now as one race. And I did prophesy concerning the Hylians and the Sheikah:

[indecipherable hieroglyphs—early Hylian origin]

~I am Mudora, Sage of Shadow and keeper of these secrets

And then began the Battle of the Betrayers, with the races of Hyrule locked in combat and seeking each other’s destruction. Gerudo warriors fought alongside Hylian dissenters against the Knights of Hyrule and their sworn allies, the Sheikah. Many knights and good men fell by the hands of those who were their brothers, but who had been overcome by greed and hatred. And as the battle waxed, Ganondorf, the very Gerudo lord, went himself with his guards to infiltrate the castle by way of secrecy. And when they had come to the Inner Chamber of the Castle, and were about to take the Hylian king, the Sheikah master and all of his fellows set upon Ganondorf’s guards, and caught the lord, to threaten him with his life.

When the Gerudo lord saw his life in danger, and nigh forfeit, yet he did not cease to boast. But the Hylian king silenced him and swore his tongue would be forfeit, if not his life, except he should hear the terms that the king was to offer. And these were the terms: that Ganondorf would leave the Hylian kingdom with his forces and never return unless it was to swear his allegiance to the Hylian royal crown, and that the dissenters should be delivered into Hylian custody for punishment.

Indignant, Ganondorf saw no option but to agree. He and his forces left, never to return, or so it seemed. The dissenters were left to the punishment of their betrayal; that they should be used for labor in the building of a tomb behind the graveyard in Kakariko for those valiant souls who had fallen by their hands. They were to live there, under the watchful eye of the Sheikah, until they joined their fallen brothers in death, and thus expiate their shame. Only their children, when they were old enough to bring honor to their family’s name, would be permitted to leave.

And the Sheikah provided assistance in rebuilding the town and finishing the building of the temple. And when it was finished, the temple was dedicated to Orda, the Goddess of Time. And for ever after the Sheikah served the Hylian royal family, and the women of the Sheikah were the nursemaids to the Hylian’s royal children, and the Sheikah men trained the Knights of Hyrule in stealth and combat. And thus the prophecy is fulfilled.

Written 1350 HR
Concerning the Sages of Hyrule and the Blade of Evil’s Bane

In this year the queen of Hyrule, Zanna by name, began to have prophetic dreams concerning a King of Evil who should obtain the Power of Gold and rule the land with tyranny. Now it was not uncommon in the Days of the Ancients, when a great evil beset the land, that the women of the Hylian royal family were visited with a dream or vision of the Goddesses which were soon proved true. And as the matter affected all of Hyrule, the queen took it upon herself to call together representatives of the races of Hyrule that the matter might be well considered.

Therefore the call went out that each race should be represented by its wisest and most trustworthy member, and that these should be called Sages; those who would counsel one with another concerning the affairs of Hyrule, and the spiritual representative of their race to the Goddesses. And Ganondorf Dragmire, King of the Gerudo, appointed Itzah, his favored hand-maiden, to be the Gerudo Sage. And Itzah was given quarters in the castle until the first council could be held. Then the king of Hyrule appointed his chief advisor, even the wise young Rauru of the Temple (previously the apprentice of Potho of the Temple, Faroe keep him) to represent the Hylians. And the Sheikah chose their Master (I who write to you, even Mudora) to be their representative.

And thus the Sages had been chosen, and the council was to be held in the Inner Sanctum of the Temple of Time. But then three other representatives appeared at the gates of the Hylian kingdom requesting an audience with the council. They appeared with no notice of their coming, and said they had been sent by the Goddesses in response to the summons for representatives from every race. For verily there had been other races made by the Goddesses, and now they were sending their most wise to join the other Sages. And these are the names of the Sages who were sent by the Goddesses:

Gor Darmon, of the Gorons, a people of flesh, but protected by stony backs and resistant to fire—they dwell high above Kakariko, near the volcanic crater of Death Mountain; Lutai, of the Zora, an aquatic people, with fins on their heads and arms and flippered feet—they dwell in the caverns from whence flows the Great Waterfall which feeds all the rivers of Hyrule and ends in the Great Hylian Lake; and Aako, of the Koroki, a people ever young, always clothed in green—they are the children of the Great Dekku Tree which sustains life within the Forgotten Wood.

Thus was born the Council of Sages; three chosen by the Hylians, Sheikah and Gerudo, and three appointed by the Goddesses. And the first council of the Sages was held within the Inner Sanctum of the Temple of Time, and the matter of importance was the portal to the Golden Land, which portal was contained in the Sanctuary of the temple; and it was asked whether it should be accessible to the races, or restricted that none should use it. The discussion was heated, with Itzah contending for free use of the portal by all, while Rauru contended that some means must be established whereby no ill-meaning person should obtain the Power of Gold. But after each of the Sages had spoken their part, they were not able to reach an agreement that would satisfy all. It was therefore the decision of the council that its members should pray for guidance and follow the will of the Goddesses, however it might be manifest.

And so it was that when the Hylian queen prayed she heard the voices of the Goddesses saying that she should tell the Council of the dream she had received. And so she came to the Sages and told them of a King of Evil in the shape of a wild boar that entered the Golden Land and seized the Power of Gold. And when he emerged with his armies there were none to stop him. But then the King of Evil was opposed by the Goddess of Courage, and the Goddess of Wisdom repelled him, and the Goddess of Power sealed him away. Then the Goddess of Time undid all of these events, and locked them away with a key in the form of a sword. And the Goddesses gave the sword to a child, who was to be a Great Hero who would travel through time to save the land from darkness. And the sword rested in a temple of light.

And when the queen had told of her dream it was received by the Sages as an answer from the Goddesses. But when they speculated as to the interpretation thereof, none of the Sages could agree what it was. Some said the Evil must be an old Power reborn. Others said one of the ancient magical swords should be recovered. But the queen knew the true meaning, and she told them that a new sword must be forged and imbued with the power to repel evil, even an evil with that power which was granted by the Triforce; and it would be a key, and if placed in the Temple of Time it would close the portal and prevent any from entering therein. And if any evil were, perchance, to claim the Triforce there would be a hero provided by the Goddesses, even a child, to confront that evil with the Blade of Evil’s Bane.

And so it was given to Gor Darmon, the Sage of the Gorons, to temper the blade in volcanic fire that it might be strong, and it would be cooled by Lutai in Zora waters that it might be keen. And when the blade was finished, Aako prayed over it and enchanted it with his magic that none but one with a pure heart and unsurpassed courage could wield it. And the Goddesses blessed it, that it might repel even those powers granted by the Triforce. Then a pedestal was built within the Temple of Time wherein the Master Sword might rest, for thus was the blade called after it had been enchanted. And the people called it the Blade of Evil’s Bane. And when the blade was placed within the pedestal, the gate to the Golden Land was shut, and never opened again. And I prophesy concerning the Sages and the Hero:

[indecipherable hieroglyphs—early Hylian origin]
~I am Mudora, Sage of Shadow and keeper of these secrets

And after I made this prophecy we Sages knew that we must take for ourselves places of sanctuary, and build up temples to the Goddesses in hidden places. And we made us magic songs which we could use to take us to the Inner Sanctum of the temple in times of need and for council. And so the council was adjourned, and its members dismissed.

Written 1374 HR
Concerning the Author’s Fate

One final message I have for you to whom I write. If you have possession of this volume, it means I am dead. It was necessary for these secrets to be kept as long as they might be, but all things must one day come to light. And I have yet somewhat to say concerning what I know shall come to pass.

I have seen Itzah’s disquiet at what we Sages have done, and rightly so, for it means a more difficult task for her master. Yet she has played the part—and though her prayers have not been sincere, though she was reluctant to add her magic to ours as we enchanted the Blade of Evil’s Bane, though she would have fled to tell her master of our affairs, still she has acted the Sage. And in so doing, she has accomplished what was crucial for the bringing of these events to pass.

And so I must bid you farewell. For I foresee that she will have need of these, my writings, which contain the plans of the Temple of Time and its passages in order to infiltrate the temple without being detected. And if so, then I know that she will kill me to obtain them, for her loyalty was never to the council, but to her master. It was ever thus in her eyes, if not in her voice or manner.

And so I write first to my servant Abrum. I speak by way of chastisement, but also by way of love, even that which a father would have for his son. I know that the servants of Lord Ganondorf have seduced you with power and feigned love. If I am dead, then you will have betrayed me and joined their cause. I do not censure you for your zeal, only your lack of judgment. I have seen that you were ever so, and to you I say that you are never unwelcome among the Sheikah, your people. You shall retain forever your own choice; make of it what you will, and not what others will.

And my greetings to you, Lord Ganondorf—I do not call you Great. You will not need to look far for what you seek. Though this volume has been enchanted to hide the deeper secrets of the Hylian Royal Family, you will not need them. Though it contains within its hidden pages the histories of our races, you know enough of this. And though its enchanted record lays plain the mysteries of magic we Sheikah have uncovered, you will have my servant to instruct you in the ways of our magic. He knows enough to serve you, but he does not know all the magical secrets of our tribe. I know that you will use my servant to your ends, manipulating his sympathies to draw the Master Sword from its pedestal because your evil heart will not permit you to touch even the hilt. But you shall find that your manipulations are for naught. Despite your preparations your progress shall be halted before you reach the Sanctuary of the Blade of Evil’s Bane. For now that I am dead and you are in possession of this volume the Great Hylian King has already arranged to thwart your plans. You shall not prevail in this thing. Nevertheless, you shall find within the mundane record precisely what you need for the unfolding of your treachery. And I will not hinder you.

I do not write to you, Itzah, for your shadow looms ever nearer even as I write this. May Nayru the Wise judge you according to your deeds.

But to those who shall read these words long after their ink has faded, and who learn these tales long after this paper has crumbled, know that I welcome death. I am unafraid of what lies beyond this mortality. But not to have served those I am indebted to—of that I am very much afraid. Know that my only regret is that I could not fulfill my purpose and be of more aid to my people. I would that I may yet serve those who come after me even in death. I commend myself to the Goddesses greatly troubled as that end quickly approaches.

And finally to you my fellow Sages I write by way of commendation. I commend to you the name of she whom I will to be my successor. The following is hidden by the manner which I have taught Rauru, Sage of Light, and shall be uncovered by him in due course when my successor should be chosen:

[indecipherable hieroglyphs—early Hylian origin]
~I am Mudora, Sage of Shadow and keeper of these secrets


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