Disclaimer: I dont want to get in whatever trouble people can get into when using other peoples characters so - The Legend of Zelda, Link, Zelda, Ganon, Hyrule and other related characters and settings belong to to that wonderous console company, Nintendo. No infringement intended.
Triad of Evil
Juliet A. Singleton (Scullys@bigfoot.com) & Kirsty Singleton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Link let out a weary sigh as he glanced around his grim surroundings in the bowels of an ancient Catalian trade ship, bound for Opela, the capital of all Catalia. He had been incredibly lucky, he supposed, that he'd managed to catch this boat, for no other boats in Hyrule would be leaving for his home country's shores once the impending war had been announced. The captain had not recognised him and demanded a large fee that Link had barely been able to pay. The boat had left late evening the previous day, and Link now figured he had been travelling for six, maybe seven hours. Sitting down here, in the creaking belly of a ship that had surely seen too many voyages, Link had had more than ample time to think about so many things, and his mind was beginning to feel almost numb with thoughts of Zelda, his children, Fayzie, Robert and Mara. Not to mention the supposed manifestation that Mara had given life to. The hero let out another sigh, running his hand through his messy brown hair, before drawing a dagger from his belt and contemplating its smooth but nicked surface. Opela was but hours away, and Link still had no idea what he was to do once he arrived there. His initial intention had been to seek out Robert and confront him, but now such a plan was looking to be a foolish and naive one. Yet Link knew of no other course of action. He, after all, had been blessed with courage, not wisdom. And some considered courage as just another form of stupidity. Link thought he could name few men who would have willingly endured the trials and quests he had done, and yet all of it had now seemed to amount to nothing. Link flipped the dagger in his hand, looking at the reflection of his eyes in the misty grey steel of the blade. He no longer knew himself, or those around him. He was not the man he had once been, but rather something different. He slid the dagger back into his belt and let out another sigh. It was going to be a long journey.
That morning in Hyrule was an important one. Both Zelda and her father stood dressed in state robes in the empty council chamber. In a few minutes, the members would file in, ready to be addressed by their leaders. Harkinian looked over at his beautiful daughter, pity for her swelling in his heart. How young and vulnerable she looked, despite her grown-up attire. At times he felt they lived almost separate lives, but despite being an adult, his daughter still needed him. Tears shone in her vivid green eyes, even though she was fighting against them, and her face was pale and drawn, obviously due to lack of sleep. The King of Hyrule reached out to his daughter and pulled her close, trying to comfort her.
"Zelda… my dearest daughter… I hate to see you so sad…"
"Oh dad…" Zelda wept onto his shoulder. "I'm all alone, everything's over…"
"You aren't alone, I will make sure of that. You still have me, your children…" Harkinian comforted.
"I didn't want him to go, I love him so, so much," she cried. Harkinian looked at his daughter squarely.
"I know," he replied. Taking her hand and squeezing it, he continued. "Sometimes though… circumstances, they can be cruel. The goddesses are not always kind, even to their most devoted followers."
"I care not for them!" Zelda said bitterly, her face flushing. Her father prayed to the goddesses every day, she knew. She could not remember the last time she had bothered. Was all that happened in the world really down to them? No, it was down to people themselves, she was sure.
"T'was them who took away your beloved mother, and had I not had you, life would not have been worth living. But I learned to love again… indeed to someone you knew well and loved too, but she was too proud. So a second time my heart was broken…" Harkinian lamented. Zelda looked at her father in surprise.
"What do you mean?" she questioned.
"She too was taken from me… but now I have my beloved Fen. I know you shall never love her as a mother, but I know you respect my wishes. Zelda, you will hurt now, and you will hurt forever, but in time, it shall grow less. Please don't torture yourself anymore, I hate to see you like this," the King replied.
"It shall never grow less," Zelda retorted, a little more sharply than she intended. Seeing her father's hurt look, she leaned forward to hug him. At this point there came a knock upon the door. "The council," Zelda said. They drew apart as the doors opened. The council was about to commence.
Drake and Aaron walked along a corridor in North Castle making their way, with heavy hearts, to the Council room.
"I still can't believe it," muttered Drake through gritted teeth, his eyes dark with anger as he spoke. Aaron looked to his friend and wondered to what the knight was referring. Link and Zelda's estrangement or the threat of war with Catalia? Aaron could believe neither, so he just shook his head.
"Nor can I," he agreed.
"Stupid kids. I can't believe Link. Don't they realise how foolish they're being?!" grunted Drake furiously, stamping down the corridor.
"Does anyone even know what happened...I mean I heard..." began Aaron. Drake cut in angrily.
"Link has taken up with that Kokiri girl...of all times to have a bloody affair he had to pick now...I just...I just don't know what to think!" Aaron remained uncomfortably silent as his comrade spoke, feeling a little torn. He liked to think he knew Link better than anyone...except maybe Zelda...and he had always thought Link was a devoted and loyal man who never went back on his word. But if Drake's words were true...then, like the knight, he too didn't know what to think.
"She'll never forgive him for this. Never. She's unreasonable enough at the best of times...I just can't bloody believe those two! All the trouble they went through to get married...all the trouble since and now this. We should have seen it coming...but I never thought it would be Link who was to blame." Aaron felt obliged to speak up in defence of his friend.
"Well, don't you think Zelda kind of drove him to it?" asked the vice captain of the guard, referring to all the times Zelda had accused Link of being unfaithful. Drake turned and glared at Aaron.
"She's the next bloody ruler of Hyrule! I don't bloody care whether she forced him to do it with a sword in his back – he shouldn't have done it. He should have known better!" spat Drake furiously. He felt he had every right to feel as mad as he was – Link was Hyrule's hero and this rift between him and Zelda could do nothing but hurt Hyrule right now – if Link chose to turn his back on Zelda, then chances were Link would turn his back on Hyrule. And that was the last thing they needed.
"Look...maybe they'll sort it out. They always have before," suggested Aaron hopefully. Drake let out a growl at Aaron's words.
"Do you actually think that's going to happen? Link's had an affair. He's been unfaithful to the next Queen of Hyrule and he doesn't seem to give a damn. You were there at that council. They hated each other. We aren't just talking about Zelda being mad with Link – he was furious at her. He's never been like that, not ever. Even if Zelda wanted them to reconcile, do you think he would? Because right now, I'm having a little trouble in believing that." Aaron was a little taken back at Drake's words, perhaps because he felt there was some truth in them. Drake was right. Whenever Link and Zelda had ever quarrelled before, Link had rarely shown any disrespect to Zelda despite what she had accused him of. But as Drake had said, that council meeting at the Hold had not been good. Even then, Link had as good as said he wasn't going to help Zelda. And that meant he wouldn't help Hyrule. But Aaron had never seriously considered Link would carry out such a threat – not when so much was stake. He supposed he still didn't. But Drake had planted that seed of doubt and it was already beginning to niggle. The two arrived at the doors to the Council Room, which were already open and awaiting them.
"Looks like we're late," muttered Drake, his foul mood showing no signs of improvement. Aaron didn't say a word, instead stepping inside the Council Room and hoping the day wouldn't get any worse.
Zelda surveyed the grave faces of the semicircle of trusted compatriots sat before her, each of them knowing that this council wasn't held for trivial matters. She wondered exactly how many of them knew the situation. She glanced over at her father, who gave her a reassuring smile. At that moment, the double doors were pushed open, as a red-faced Sir Drake and Aaron came in.
"Sorry Your Highnesses. Slight hold up," the knight apologised. Harkinian waved them to their seats.
"Better late than not at all," he replied reverently. Drake and Aaron quickly sat down and Zelda looked around once more. There was Captain Krin to her father's left, head of the Hyrulian Army, with Aaron serving vice-captain. Captain Oakley, their head naval officer was next to him, along with his young vice-captain, Jamison. Impa, one of their longest serving council members was to her right. The resident knights, including Drake and Damon were at another end of the table. Nick was also present. Over twenty people were present before her, all except one. It was painfully obvious who. The King rose from his seat at the head of the table, and Zelda followed suit.
"It is today that I hold this council with a heavy heart indeed. But there are matters afoot which must be quickly attended to," Harkinian began. "Only a few days ago, I received the most tragic news that my dear friend, Queen Seline, of our sister country Catalia, had perished." There was a quiet murmur around the table. Rumours had been flying around the castle for days over Seline's murder. "This foul deed was committed with a dagger. A dagger that was owned by my son-in-law." A gasp went around the council. Link, a murderer? They all knew of the hero's departure from the castle, but no-one had imagined that that could be the reason why.
"That's impossible! Link had nothing to do with this offence, why he was at the Hold the entire time!" Drake exclaimed.
"I know that, as does the rest of this council. Link is not guilty. But it seems that Catalia wanted a scapegoat, an excuse to declare war," Harkinian said.
"Robert, Seline's heir, murdered her to gain power, and this is his pathetic excuse for a war!" Zelda cut in angrily. There was another murmur around the table.
"Zelda!" her father reprimanded sharply. "We do not know that for sure."
"I should think it was obvious!" Zelda retorted, her green eyes blazing. Father and daughter glared at each other in a stand off.
"Zelda, your father is right. We have no proof that it was Robert who killed Seline," Impa said calmly.
"Remember innocent until proven guilty," one of the knights remarked. Zelda frowned, folding her arms defiantly.
"Robert hated Link! And he hated Hyrule. It makes perfect sense to me," she said in a cold tone.
"Who is this Robert you speak of, Your Highness? I was not aware Seline had any children," Damon questioned.
"Isn't he Catalia's General?" Nick spoke up. Harkinian nodded.
"Seline appointed Robert as her heir, I believe, since she had no children," he said, suddenly looking uncomfortable. "It is such a terrible, terrible thing to have happened," he added sadly.
"Robert is Link's kin. He was jealous of Link's position in Hyrule's hierarchy, he was jealous that Link would someday be King! Seline would NEVER have agreed to war, so Robert murdered her in cold blood, using Link's dagger, to make Catalia believe that such a move was justified!" Zelda exclaimed.
"My dear, we have no evidence! We cannot just assume such a claim, no matter how much sense it makes," her father argued.
"I think the Princess is right. I never did trust that Robert. Not after all the Mara business," Drake cut in.
"Yes, what of the witch?" one of the council members questioned. Harkinian looked at Zelda.
"I believe you know more of this matter than me," he said. Zelda took a breath and faced the row of faces before her.
"I know not where Mara is. But I know for certain that Robert was protecting her. They are in this together, though how they are linked I do not know. Mara has raised an entity…" she paused, taking another breath. "An entity of evil power. I believe she will use it to take North Castle. And the Triforce," she continued, her blood slowly running colder as she considered the situation they were heading for. "Mara wants the Demiari… and she is taking it at its heart. At Hyrule."
"What of this Kendar Hartrend? Did he not rescue the young prince? Did he not find Mara?" one of the council members questioned.
"I do not think Sir Hatrend plays much part in this plot. Before Kaibre Lainge died, he spoke of Robert and Mara being together. That in itself if proof enough for me," Zelda replied. Her eyes watered a little as she remembered Kaibre in his last moments.
"Yes, Kaibre was a dear friend to me many years ago, he was not a liar," Drake affirmed supportively. Zelda the knight a grateful smile. The council went quiet for a moment as they thought about Kaibre's death. Fresh pain seemed to seep through Zelda's heart as she was reminded. Robert and Mara would pay for their crimes… but if only she knew how to make them do it. Without Link at her side, suddenly, everything seemed impossible.
"Whoever is involved with who, the threat remains that Mara will unleash this entity, possibly in aid to Robert sending his army to Hyrule," Harkinian finally said.
"Then we must arm our forces at once!" Krin declared.
"Every town and village must be alerted, their guardsmen to be at the ready. Especially at Saria, where it is likely the Catalian army shall hit first," Harkinian continued.
"I shall call reinforcements into Western Hyrule from Valour Hold and Nabrooru straight away," Krin said.
"And myself and young Jamison shall have our ships waiting at Saria, we will attack their ships before they even have a chance to land!" Captain Oakley added.
"We do not have any time to lose, they may land any day now," the King said, looking worried.
"Your Highness, do not worry, North Castle will never fall. I would never let it!" Drake proclaimed bravely, standing up as he did so. "You have my word that I will protect you, and the Princess here, until the day I die."
"And for that, I thank you, Sir Benowyc," the King stated, smiling at his most loyal supporter.
"We all pledge our support to the kingdom," Damon said.
"As does Dalsona. My men are immediately at your disposal," Nick promised.
"So be it! We shall rise to Catalia's challenge of war, though I would not wish it this way. But it seems we have little choice," the King declared. The entire council cheered in agreement. "Make haste in our preparations, send word to every town and village. Oakley, ready your ships! And Krin, make sure our soldiers are fully prepared!"
"Aye Your Highness!" the army generals saluted.
"This council is dismissed!" Harkinian announced. Everyone stood, but before they began to file out, Aaron spoke.
"What of Link? Is someone else to lead his division of the army?" inquired the vice captain of the guard. Everyone fell silent and watched both the King and Zelda expectantly.
"Link is making his way to Catalia as we speak," began Zelda quietly.
"Then surely this Robert has no excuse to make war," exclaimed a knight. Harkinian frowned.
"This may be true, but we can hardly rely on Link now. He has proved himself to be little more than a callous cheat, and I for one will certainly not rest all of Hyrule's hopes on a man I consider no longer trustworthy." The King's words were met by a shocked silence, the feelings of the council clearly mixed regarding Link's fate. "Now, let us waste not another moment, much is to be done and prepared if we wish to overcome the obstacles that the Goddesses have seen fit to present us with," added the King, before promptly leaving the council chamber, followed shortly by his daughter.
Carrie shook her head as she approached an expectant Sprite, disappointment lining the usually carefree faerie's face.
"No one's seen her since she left for Death Mountain," confirmed Carrie, looking understandably worried. The two had returned to the Fey from Valour Hold shortly after Kaibre Lainge's death and their friend Tiffany was no where to be found, contrary to the fact that Felicity had told them otherwise. Even more worrying for the two friends, Felicity herself could also not be found and this was an issue that weighed heavily on the Queen of the Fey's mind.
"We should have never let her return here alone. It was clear she wasn't well. If anything has happened to either of them, I'll never forgive myself," murmured Sprite sadly, tears stinging her eyes. She felt completely to blame for the disappearance of her friends. It was her, after all, who had sent them to Death Mountain to begin with. And what a mistake that had already proven to be...
"Don't blame yourself for this Sprite, there may not even be anything to worry about. Felicity herself said she wanted to spend some time alone and maybe Tiffany felt the same. If I'd been kept in a stinking moblin prison for a few days I'd do exactly the same!" remarked Carrie dutifully. Her words, however, did little to convince Sprite that she was not to blame.
"I sent them there to begin with when it should have been me. I was too selfish to pass up the chance to go to Valour Hold, and now Flic and Tif are paying for my laziness."
"Don't say that Sprite. You don't know that. We know that Flic is tough...if anyone is to blame for this it's me! If I hadn't been so eager to track that dumb moblin and stalfos rather than go to Death Mountain things might not have been so bad..." interceded Carrie, close to tears herself. The thought of either Felicity or Tiffany, dear friends that Carrie had known since she was young, in trouble made her heart pinch at the thought. She let out a loud sniff, and looked at Sprite through watery eyes. Sprite had lowered her eyes to the ground, a hand over her mouth as she fought to contain the emotional toil that threatened to overwhelm her.
"I have to go to Death Mountain, Carrie. This is where this all started." Carrie balked at Sprite's words, and no sooner than Sprite had finished, the red headed faerie cried out in protest.
"No! You can't Sprite. If Death Mountain truly is the cause of our problems – what makes you think that you could do anymore than Felicity?!" Sprite met Carrie's eyes with her own.
"I have to do this Carrie. You know I do." Carrie was shocked at Sprite's solemn tone. She had never heard Sprite sound so serious about anything before. Even when her friend had been exiled from the Fey she had still retained her trademark flippant nature...but now Carrie was seeing a side to Sprite she had never seen.
"Then I'm coming with you," resolved Carrie bravely. Sprite smiled at her friend and leaned forward to hug Carrie, glad for her friend's support.
"Thank you Carrie. But no, I have to do this alone." The two parted and Carrie stared at Sprite incredulously.
"But why? You're the Queen of the Fey, Sprite! If anything happened to you..." she trailed off, not wishing to contemplate the consequences.
"I'm tougher than you think, Carrie. Nothing is going to happen to me," stated Sprite confidently.
"You know...we could always ask Navi for help. She's helped us before," suggested Carrie, desperate to stop Sprite from making what she considered to be a big mistake. Sprite frowned at the mention of the ancient faerie and shook her head.
"Absolutely not. After the way she treated Felicity...no, I'll have nothing to do with her." Carrie let out a resigned sigh and looked at Sprite, concern in her eyes.
"I hope you've thought this through, Sprite. For all of our sakes," she murmured. Sprite nodded.
"I have. I'm leaving tomorrow morning."
Fayette allowed herself a small smile as she spotted her suitor out on the archery range conversing with a few of the castle guards. He looked so handsome in the mid morning light, she could still barely believe that he had chosen her to be his wife. At this thought, the princess frowned, thinking of her mother's words a day earlier. Kendar had much to gain by marrying Fayette – but what did he have to give her? Perhaps, thought Faye, she was naive to believe that Kendar was marrying her just for who she was. As she became lost in her own thoughts, Kendar turned and spotted Fayette, a broad smile spreading across his face. He quickly excused himself from the small crowd of guards around him who had been admiring his archery technique, and jogged over to Fayette, greeting her with a bow.
"My lady, it is a pleasure to see you here this morning," he said with a rakish smile. Fayette couldn't help but smile back, despite the doubt she was currently feeling about Kendar's intentions towards her. She could not, however, hide the worry in her eyes, and Kendar's smile quickly faded, replaced by a concerned frown.
"Is...all well with you, my lady?" he inquired. Fayette swallowed uncomfortably and averted her gaze, crossing her hands at her waist.
"I...I should like to speak with you," she murmured. Kendar nodded slowly, although he did not look heartened by the tone of her voice.
"But of course...anything you wish...is there something amiss?" he asked. Fayette declined to answer the man's question, and instead began to walk away from Kendar, towards stables.
"Walk with me," she commanded, and Kendar obliged, falling into step with the princess.
They walked in silence until they reached the stables, and Fayette led Kendar inside, stopping outside a stall which housed her own horse which was a magnificent palomino named Sosarian Gold. Fayette turned, making sure that there were no prying eyes nearby. Kendar was the first to speak, worry evident in his voice.
"Dear lady, I do wonder what this is all about. Would you care to enlighten me?" he inquired. Fayette turned to Kendar, and let her eyes wander over his noble face.
"How is it, that a man as handsome and as noble as yourself, does not already have a wife?" she asked bluntly. It was something she had been longing to ask the Sosarian, and now seemed as good a time as any. Kendar looked down at his boots as Fayette spoke, looking distinctly uncomfortable.
"It...it is hard to say really," he began, looking back to Fayette, "there was someone...a lady I loved with all my heart. But she was taken from me...her village..." he paused, looking distinctly upset as he spoke, his eyes drawn back to his boots. Fayette suddenly regretted her question, and stepped close to Kendar, one hand on his chest.
"You don't have to say..." she began. Kendar looked to Fayette uneasily, bringing his hand over his mouth.
"The people of her village...they accused her of terrible, terrible things...witchcraft," he began, his forehead creasing as he spoke. Fayette's eyes widened at his words, and his head hung as he spoke.
"She was no more a witch than you or I...she was a healer. And a gifted one at that. But...there were many who were jealous of her talents, and her beauty. They sought to destroy her – and when the opportunity came they did not hesitate in taking it." Kendar closed his eyes as he spoke, his voice dry. Fayette didn't know what to do, so she reached out and took Kendar's hand and clasped it in her own.
"I was a guard in the village at the time, and there had been a spate of mysterious deaths that no one could explain. The eye of suspicion inevitably fell on my love...and though I did everything I could to clear her name, it was not enough. A scarf that belonged to her was found around the neck of one of the victims – a young boy called Neze...but she swore to me that she had misplaced the scarf days before. The boy's parents broke into her home and took her to the middle of the village and told everyone she was the boy's killer...I tried to stop them but I was alone in my belief that she was innocent. The other guards did not dare lift a finger against the mob and they tied her to a stake in the ground and set her aflame," at this point Kendar paused, taking a breath, tears welling in his deep, brown eyes. Fayette squeezed his hand and he continued.
"I fought through the crowd and tried to save her but she saw me and...she...she thought it was down to me. I was the only one that had known the scarf was hers but somehow the parents had found out. She died cursing my name. She died with hate in her heart – all of it for me. Then...then we found out who had really killed the villagers. It was a man from my own past. A man I had had arrested in a another village. He had been drunk and beaten a man to death. He said he'd lost everything; his wife, his business...his friends. So he had conspired with one of the girls in the village to get me back. Through Hellena. My love. That's when I left my homeland. That's when I left Sosaria. I'll never go back." With these words, Kendar sat down on a bale of hay, looking weary. Fayette joined him, drawing her hand across his face in a tender caress.
"I...I never knew," she whispered. Kendar turned to Fayette and shook his head.
"When I first saw you though...I thought that maybe...." he paused, as if he was searching for the right words.
"Go on," pushed Fayette gently,
"I thought that I could finally move on. There's something about you..." Kendar turned to Fayette and gazed at her intensely, before reaching and brushing her cheek with the back of his hand.
"Not my money. Or my title, then?" asked Fayette. She hated herself for asking the question...but she had to see his reaction. She had to know. Kendar looked immediately horrified at Fayette's suggestion and he stood, shaking her head.
"No! I....no. No. I suppose I should have seen this coming." Kendar turned his back on Fayette, looking dejected. Fayette stood and walked over to Kendar, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"It's just...you have to understand Kendar – I can't imagine any man wanting me for anything other than my title, and I wouldn't blame any of them." Kendar turned to Fayette.
"How can you think that? You're a radiant woman with a beautiful soul, indeed, that you do not have a dozen suitors asking for your hand is something I will never understand. But I do not want you for your title and if there was anything I could do to prove that to you, then I would do it in a second," pledged the fighter. Fayette finally allowed her mind to rest, convinced by Kendar's words...and she allowed a tear to fall down her cheek, before moving forward and pressing a sweet kiss against Kendar's lips. As they parted, she spoke once more, a whisper in his ear,
"Then do this for me. Let us marry as soon as possible." Kendar gave Fayette a smile.
"Whatever you desire," he promised, returning the kiss.
"I was thinking that the day after next sounded as good a day as any," she suggested coyly. Kendar looked distinctly surprised and he let out a nervous chuckle.
"Two days away? While I, myself, have no objections...isn't that a little short notice?" he asked. Fayette smiled.
"For me it is two days too far away."Back to Story Menu