A Darkness At North Castle

By Link Æwondåslåmon

Smoke filled the air, and smell; the smell of death. High in the air birds could be heard, singing in ignorance of what had happened far underneath, under the overcast sky. A horse stopped close to the destroyed drawbridge that once had been the main gate to a mighty castle, to North Castle. A tall man dismounted the horse and stared at the destroyed castle. Thankfully the Princess Zelda had managed to escape the castle before this tragedy had befallen the Royal Family.

The man, an elfin warrior, was dressed in heavy armour and at his head he wore a helmet that covered his face. Only his eyes could be seen through a long opening that reached from one eye to the next. On his back he wore a cape, which meant that he had a high position in the Royal Guard. His armour was made of silver, enchanted silver. On the chest of his armour was the golden image of the national crest of Hyrule; three triangles that were connected and appeared as one, the mythical Triforce. In a sheath at his back rested a golden sword with an enchanted blade.

The warrior grabbed a hookshot and aimed it at the wall, the portion of the wall that would have been over the drawbridge if it had been raised. The hook got stuck into the rock and he flew over the gap. The warrior released the hook from the stone and fell to the ground, landing on his feet. He hung the hookshot on his belt and unsheathed his sword, looking around. If it had looked bad from the outside it looked even worse on the inside. Most of the walls still stood, but the inside was mostly rubble. What sort of magic could have conjured such destruction? He sensed there still remained some dark magic so he knew he had to be careful.

As the warrior approached what was left of the Great Hall three Stalfoses appeared from the rubbles. They were all carrying different weapons. One carried a bow, and wore a quiver full of arrows at its back. Another carried a longsword and a tall shield. The third carried an axe and a round shield.  All three of the Stalfoses attacked the warrior at once. The warrior stepped back in a defence position, and as the two with the sword and axe approached him he leaped forwards and smashed their bones with a mighty blow. Before the final Stalfos could react he was upon it and smashed its bones.

The warrior continued towards the half-destroyed hall. The dome that once had been the ceiling of the Great Hall was gone now, and only the wall that surrounded what had been the ground floor remained. He walked past the destroyed door and once inside headed towards a statue that stood in the middle of the chamber. The statue was broken, but it had once been a mighty reflection of an ancient King. On the large stone the remains of the statue still stood on was a small hole, shaped as a triangle. Underneath it was a coded script, which he couldn't read.

He pulled an amulet from a bag he wore at his belt. The amulet was shaped like the crest of the Royal Family and fitted perfectly in the hole. When he had put it in the hole the chamber all of a sudden started to rumble and then the statue moved, revealing a staircase. The warrior descended the staircase down into a cellar beneath the castle. There, to his surprised, were lined torches along the wall that still were lit. Before him was a wide staircase, which he descended.

In the middle of the chamber stood a pedestal, and on it was a small white chest. The warrior approached the pedestal, slowly. Nothing else than his footsteps could be heard in the silent chamber, no else smell could be smelled than the sweat on his body. The warrior opened the chest and held up a yellow amulet that he found on the inside, smiling to himself. It had been done then. He finally had the Amulet of Valour. He now had to find somewhere safe to hide it until a new Hero could be found. He looked at it. It was as beautiful as the rumours claimed. The amulet itself was star-shaped, and in the centre was carved an emerald.

The warrior put it in his bag and turned to leave. He climbed the staircases and eventually found himself outside. There, however, he met his first real challenge. An old man, a wizard by his cloak and pointy hat, stood before the gate. The man chuckled silently as he held up his hand for the warrior to stop.

"I have the amulet, Akdirum. Let me pass," the warrior spoke.

"I would be glad to, but I can't just let you go so long as you carry my amulet. Now, give it to me," said Akdirum. His voice was calm, but the warrior could see the demanding look in the wizard's eyes.

"You told me this amulet was for the Hero," replied the warrior, giving the wizard a bold stare. Akdirum laughed.

"Ahh, but lad. How could I make you go through all that work if I told you it was for me? There's a magical barrier around that chamber so I could not do it on my own, but now it comes right into my hands."

"You lied to me!" snapped the warrior, unsheathing his sword. "You will not get away for this treachery!" Akdirum laughed.

"Oh, please. Spare me those mortal weapons. It cannot harm me," sneered Akdirum, sending a shockwave at the warrior, who was sent flying backwards.

The warrior, having landed hard, got up, tasting blood. He said, "You shall fall Akdirum. Just you wait."

The wizard laughed again, and released a wave of lightning towards the warrior. The warrior dodged the attack and advanced the wizard. The wizard waited for the last second and then struck him in the face with his staff so that the warrior toppled backwards. Fortunately, the warrior's helmet protect him so that he didn't suffer any serious injuries and he was quickly back on his feet and soon found himself in a sword duel with the wizard. He wielded the enchanted sword his father had given him before he died, and the wizard wielded a magical sword that had materialized in his hand.

At first he was the one showing the greatest skills, but as the battle lasted he discovered that while he was tiring the wizard wasn't. Eventually all he could concentrate on was trying to defend himself, to block the powerful blows by the wizard. He was forced to step backwards now with each blow, and he knew he was nearing a large hole in the castle wall, and beyond that a long fall down to the beach underneath. The sneer on the wizard's lips grew ever bigger as they neared the fall.

Eventually they were just a few inches from the fall. They had already passed the castle wall. By then the warrior had grown desperate. He was then trying to find weaknesses in the wizard's defences. The swords clashed together with an incredible force, and then all of a sudden the warrior realized the wizard was wide open. He kicked Akdirum in the stomach so that he stumbled backwards and then before the wizard could react his sword drew blood. The wizard didn't cry in pain, all he gave him was a look of shock as he fell to the ground.

The warrior unsheathed his sword and was about to go when, however, he fell a strong arm grabbing him and shoving him towards the fall as the wizard conjured a final spell. The warrior let out a cry of surprise more than horror when he fell down towards the sharp rocks on the beach underneath.  All his life passed through his head. Everything seemed to go in slow motion; the fall seemed to last forever. He could see his wife, and the unborn child who would never know his or her father.

He didn't know when he hit the ground, but eventually he lay there, his bones crushed. Strange, he couldn't feel any pain. When he lay there, looking up at the destroyed castle on the cliff overhead his thoughts calmed down and he could finally think probably. He thought of his pregnant wife.  More than anything he wished he could see her one final time, to whisper words of love in her ears and one last time taste her rose-coloured lips.  But life was cruel. He lay there, alone, hundreds of miles away from his beautiful wife.

His eyes started to feel heavy, and he knew that he would soon be dead, when someone approached. He looked up and to his surprise came face-to-face with a young boy, a mere child. He could be no older than 10 or 11. He wore a green tunic and on his head rested a green hood. The boy looked worried and said something, though what it was the warrior could not hear. For some reason he could not explain, his hand went to his bag and he pulled out the Amulet of Valour. By then he was at the brink of death, but before the eternal sleep took him he managed to mutter one final word.


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