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)
It took longer than Zelda had first anticipated to reach the entrance of Death Mountain. It had been so long since she'd ventured to the Underworld, that the Princess had forgotten the old entranceways into the mountain, the main entrance on the south face being the only obvious one. Sprite had not been much help either and so they'd had to ride around the range and it had taken the better part of the afternoon. Even though it was only just past tea-time, the sky was already dark.
"You wouldn't think it was the middle of summer!" whined Sprite.
"The weather's been wrong for a while," Zelda replied.
"Tell me about it! I know Hyrule isn't known for its fabulous climate but rain at this time of year, every day?" the faerie complained.
"It's the ether, I think," Zelda said, frowning. She pulled Moonmist to a halt, examining the nearby cavern entrance. "I'm surprised we haven't been spotted before now," she added. Death Mountain and the Spectacle Rock area before it were surrounded by forest and these were home to numerous moblin clans. In the old days, when Ganon had inhabited the dungeon, there'd been look-outs posted at all the main entrances also. However, all was quiet, no moblin war cries disturbed the oncoming evening. Zelda didn't like it. She glanced around, alert, but no tramping feet or snapping of twigs caught her sharp Hylian ears. In the distance she could hear the lapping of the waves upon the southern shore but that was all.
"It's too quiet," Sprite agreed. Both surveyed the area but it was empty of all menaces. It seemed like they were the only ones around. Zelda dismounted, patting Moonmist on the shoulder.
"You should be okay girl," she spoke to the horse. Moblins when they were hungry would attack anything, but she doubted her mount would be in danger. The area was deserted. Zelda turned to look at Sprite. "I guess this is it," she muttered.
"I wish Lin..." Sprite began. At that moment her words were drowned out by an almighty flapping of wings. A dark shadow passed over the pair of them and seconds later it had descended down into the valley. There was no mistaking the shiny green scales and the bright pink hair. It was Sal.
The dragon turned her head in their general direction, grinning widely. Sprite flew closer to Zelda, feeling nervous. She never had trusted Sal, despite her alliance with Link.
"Well, what a, dare I say, pleasant, surprise to meet you, Your Highness," Sal leered sarcastically, showing all her sharp white teeth. Zelda scowled.
"Likewise, I'm sure," she replied, folding her arms.
"What's a little oh-so-important princess doing out here, all alone, in the wilderness?" questioned the dragon.
"It's got nothing to do with you Sal, so why don't you just carry on with what you were doing?" Zelda retorted, turning her back on the dragon and starting to walk off. Suddenly a jet of flame whooshed past her, singeing the ground only a few feet away. The princess whirled round again, feeling annoyed. "Sal!" she exclaimed angrily.
"Talk about rude! Just cos you're Royalty doesn't mean you can turn your back on me, little princess!" Sal replied, narrowing her amber eyes, smoke curling from her nostrils. She grinned again.
"That's 'Your Highness' thank you very much!" Zelda corrected, beginning to lose her patience with the creature.
"No offence Sal, but me and Zelda have got work to do!" Sprite put in quickly. Sal started to laugh.
"You're not planning on going in THERE, are you?" she questioned.
"What's it to you?" Zelda asked rudely.
"Nothing really, but it's not exactly somewhere I'd be going if I looked like you, little princess!" the dragon sneered.
"Excuse me, Sal? Look, you're wasting my time, go and toast some moblins of whatever it is you eat these days," Zelda retorted, starting to walk away again.
"I would, 'Your Royal Highness', if there was any around here! They've fled the area to goodness knows where, ever since..." the dragon trailed off, looking over at Death Mountain, then back at Zelda again.
"Ever since what?" Sprite spoke up, looking interested.
"Ever since Mara awoke that daemon, obviously," Zelda said, folding her arms and looking over at the dragon. Sal let out a snort.
"THAT'S what you think she raised?" she laughed.
"Cut it out Sal, what would you know about Mara Hespara anyway?" the princess questioned. The dragon rolled her eyes, more smoke emitting from her nostrils. She moved her snout up very close to Zelda.
"Let me tell you now, little princess, that's no daemon stalking those caverns. It's a lot more than that, and the witch has little control over it. It's an entity, I'm surprised you can't feel it. Thought you were meant to be attuned to the ether," she remarked.
"What?!" Zelda cried, her blood suddenly running cold at Sal's words. She could see clearly that the dragon was not joking. Of course she had felt it, but an entity... a powerful demi-deity, a mere human, such as Mara, was capable of raising such a thing?
"No..." Sprite muttered, her face as pale as Zelda's.
"It's true, and whatever it is, it's terrified the local residents round here. Not that I give a toss, but I'm very hungry so..." Sal remarked calmly. Sprite fluttered in front of Zelda, looking afraid.
"Zelda, Triforce or not there's NO WAY you can handle Mara AND something that strong!" she exclaimed. Zelda swallowed and shook her head.
"I've got no choice!" she replied, although she was reeling from what she'd just heard from Sal.
"We can't go at it alone! I won't let you!" the faerie exclaimed.
"The pipsqueak is right. It'd be suicide, Your Royal Highness," Sal agreed, grinning again.
"Hey!" Sprite cried, looking a bit annoyed at Sal. The dragon chuckled, spitting a stray spark in the faerie's general direction. Sprite dodged it, and shot an annoyed look over at Sal. "Cut it out!" she protested.
"Yeah, stop it Sal," Zelda agreed.
"Ooh, touchy. I can't help it you know, sometimes it just happens," the dragon said sarcastically.
"Yeah, right," Sprite muttered darkly, alighting down on Zelda's shoulder. Zelda turned back to face Death Mountain again.
"Fine Sprite, you stay here with Sal, but I've got to do this," she said resolutely.
"But you heard what Sal said! That's not just a..." the faerie started.
"Oh as if the little very important next heir of Hyrule is going to listen to unimportant people such as ourselves!" Sal cut in.
"Well, do either of you have a better idea?!" Zelda questioned.
"Can't say I do, although whatever it is would probably make a very tasty snack. I'm starving!" Sal replied. She grinned at Zelda. "Good job you're so skinny, else I might be tempted," she smirked.
"Hmmm, yeah well, thanks for the information, I'd best be going now," Zelda said, starting to walk over to the cave entrance.
"Wait, there's something wrong with this picture!" Sal called after her. Zelda whirled round another time, her expression angry.
"What now?!" she demanded.
"What good is the little princess without her brave hero?" Sal questioned. Zelda bit her lip.
"Let's just say I don't need him anymore!" she finally retorted, before walking inside Death Mountain.
Sprite stared after the retreating figure of Zelda in horror.
"Zelda, wait!" she called after the princess, but she took no heed and was soon engulfed within the dark shadows of the dungeon entrance. The faerie looked over at Sal, panic starting to overtake her. "Sal, Sal, stop her!" she pleaded.
"And just how in Hyrule am I meant to do that, pipsqueak?" the dragon questioned, looking over at Death Mountain thoughtfully.
"I don't know, couldn't you have set fire to the entrance or something" Sprite asked. The dragon snorted in amusement.
"She's already gone inside, wouldn't that be a little pointless? Besides, I prefer to keep my flames for more practical uses; such as roasting moblins." Sprite pulled a disgusted face.
"Some help you are! We can't just let Hyrule's only heir walk to her death!" the faerie exclaimed.
"She's not Hyrule's only heir. There is of course, the most charming Lady Fayette for starters," Sal remarked sarcastically.
"I'd think Ewan would be considered before the likes of her, and he's only a mere child! But he has far more sense!" Sprite snapped, folding her arms and scowling at the dragon. Sal raised one eyebrow.
"Since when where the Fey so loyal to Hyrule's monarchy?" she questioned. "I thought you folk only cared for your own kind these days."
"Since I was sworn to protect Link for the rest of his days, and since Link is married to royalty, that's when I became so loyal! I don't like Zelda much, but she is Link's wife... well..." Sprite trailed off there, looking a little upset.
"Where is he anyway? He never comes to see me anymore, honestly, you do someone a favour and then they don't even..." Sal started.
"Link's had a few... problems... lately," Sprite said carefully.
"Problems?" Sal looked interested.
"Yeah, and you weren't around to help him out!" the faerie accused. Neither was I, she thought guiltily. "Look Sal, please, Zelda doesn't know what she's dealing with, you've got to help us!" she begged. "Please!" The dragon regarded the tiny faerie through hooded amber eyes.
"Might I remind you, pipsqueak, that my allegiance is with Link, not Her Royal Highness. If she doesn't choose to heed my warning, well it's her own fault if she meets an untimely end," Sal sniffed. "She simply has no respect, the spoilt little madam, maybe it's about time she realised she can't always get her own way."
"Sal, I agree! But Mara Hespara, and whatever entity she's raised, they need to be stopped! They'll lead Hyrule to wrack and ruin!" the faerie sobbed.
"Oh fine," Sal finally said grudgingly. "But it's not because I care about the princess; it's only because I'm hungry!"
"Thank you, thank you!" Sprite gushed gratefully. Sal wasn't as powerful as either Mara or the entity, but the faerie would rather have a magical creature the size of Sal on her side than no-one at all.
"Come on, I can't get in that way, but follow me, I know another entrance into Ganon's old realm," Sal said, flying off into the air. Sprite quickly followed, hoping they'd find Zelda before Mara, or even worse, her entity, did.
Felicity let out a startled gasp as a bright light was suddenly ignited just yards away from her. She sat up, her eyes wide open, and felt her heart slow in dismay at the sight of Mara Hespara.
"You aren't going to let me go, are you?" asked Felicity, her voice cold and detached. Mara smiled at the faerie.
"You're far too useful for that. How else could have I killed Hyrule's most elite in the space of a few hours without your power?" replied the witch, amusement dancing in her blue eyes. Felicity frowned.
"What are you talking about?" she asked, feeling distinctly woozy. Mara raised an eyebrow.
"You can't remember?" Mara threw back her head, and a hollow laughter emerged from her blood red lips. She looked back to Felicity and shook her head. "Poor, poor Felicity. It must have been all too much for you. You can't remember because if you did, you wouldn't be able to live with yourself." Felicity stared at Mara, and shook her head.
"I don't even know what you are talking about," she insisted, feeling increasingly ill at ease. Mara smiled.
"Did you sleep well?" suddenly asked the witch, seemingly concerned. Felicity frowned even further.
"No...I had dreams..." she trailed off as she spoke, an icy realisation beginning to creep through her veins.
"Those were not dreams Felicity."
"No. They must have been. I woke up," insisted Felicity. The dreams were coming back to her now. She had been in Valour Hold. And everywhere she had gone, men had been dying. Horribly. The faerie shook her head. "It was just a nightmare," she whispered to herself desperately. Mara smiled down at Felicity.
"I'm afraid not, my friend. Those dreams were very, very real. And now with Hyrule's best all slain, they shall not stand a chance against Robert's forces. I only wish I could do such things more often. Unfortunately, all of your magic is spent. I thought you might perish in the process, but fortunately you did not."
"What? What are you saying?" demanded Felicity, suddenly feeling very light headed. Mara smiled.
"I used your power, dear, to kill every man in Valour Hold. Well...I say kill, but they are not truly dead. For is it not true that the dead cannot walk?"
"I...undead? You turned those men into...zombies?" Mara nodded.
"Come now, do not give me all of the credit. It was you who turned them into zombies, Felicity. It was your power. But yes. They will do as I bid. But only when the time is right," replied the witch, her lips twitching into another smile. Felicity stood up, wrapping her small fists around the bars of her prison.
"But how? It isn't even possible!" asked the faerie, positive that Mara was trying to deceive her.
"Come now Felicity, you know that isn't true. Anything is possible with the correct reagents and incantations...especially in Dark Magick," replied Mara almost soothingly.
"No. No one could possibly know those incantations..." said Felicity quietly, although she knew already that Mara did know such incantations. She had resurrected Enzar, after all, and before now Felicity would have sworn that even that had been impossible. Mara smiled again at Felicity. Then she began speaking in a low guttural tone, in words that Felicity knew to be no language she had ever heard, except maybe in the darkest corners of her dreams. The torch Mara was holding was suddenly extinguished, but Mara's voice went on, and Felicity felt herself becoming very faint, like the life was being drawn out of her. Mara's voice grew louder, and Felicity's breaths became shorter and shallower, and she fell to her knees, gasping for breath.
"The dark tongue. You...know the dark tongue," whispered Felicity. All that she could see in the darkness were two blood red orbs that were Mara's eyes, and before Felicity could hear anymore she felt a veil of darkness slip over her own mind and she willingly embraced what was to become a dark and dreamless sleep.
Little chills pinpricked down Zelda's spine as she made her way down a cobweb filled corridor in the bowels of Death Mountain. It had been many years since she'd trodden these dark paths, and even longer since she'd walked them alone. She held the Triforce of Wisdom aloft to light her way, and so far had only encountered a few skulltullas and tektites lurking in the shadows. For passages once filled with ghastly monsters and numerous members of Ganon's evil labyrinth patrol guards, the entire place was completely deserted. All of Ganon's monsters had obviously left the dungeon a long time ago, residing deeper underground than the caverns she was currently in. Or maybe they had left the area altogether. In the Overworld in certain areas Zelda had still encountered moblin and goriya clans, and of course you still saw all the usual pests such as bit and bots, deelers, peahats, octoroks and the like. But here, not even ache bats descended from the shadows, nor did lowder beetles squelch under her boots. In Ganon's reign these passages had been full of vermin, both Zelda and Link constantly on their guard for each new onslaught. Although it was a relief to pass through them so freely now, at the same time, Zelda felt strangely uncomfortable. Even without Ganon's influence, there still should have been monsters roaming about. Where were the Stalfos, or the heavily armoured Darknuts? The Princess remembered Sal's words, "whatever it is, it's terrified the local residents round here" and she felt her stomach begin to churn wildly. There was something so terrible now stalking these caverns that not even the Underworld inhabitants were sticking around to see what it might do. Maybe it had killed them already. Or as Sal had already said, caused them to flee.
She traipsed down some stone steps, descending deeper into the dungeon. At the bottom of the immense chamber lay a dark, stagnant pool of water. Zelda passed by it warily, watching the surface for signs of life, but nothing stirred within the murky depths. She knew she was approaching Ganon's main chambers, she had been here so many times before that she hadn't forgotten the quickest route to reach them. The ceilings were high here, held up by garish stone pillars carved with symbols of evil, but no flames were alight in the wall brackets and pyres set at intervals along the passage. Zelda had no idea where either Mara, or the entity might be hiding within Death Mountain, but Ganon's chambers were the most obvious. The rest of the mountain comprised of a labyrinth of twisting passages and caves which had once been the lairs of moblins and stalfos. She wandered through a large archway and immediately found herself in what had once been Ganon's Throne Room. Zelda remembered all the times she'd been chained up in here, whilst Ganon either attempted to torture her to get the Triforce of Wisdom, or used her as bait to lure Link up into battle. Now the vast chamber lay silent, her footfalls echoing off the high ceilings. The great stone throne still stood at the end of the hall, and the spiked black pedestal where he had kept the Triforce of Power was also intact. The magical evil jar, however, where Ganon had resurrected his vast hordes of minions, was cracked and no longer working. The princess shivered slightly, hugging herself to keep warm as she glanced around the empty chamber, wondering where to go next. There were many exits, passages leading off to living quarters, torture rooms, dungeons and goodness knows what else. Sighing, she took the Triforce of Wisdom in two hands, gazing into it intently.
"Show me the way," she spoke to it, her voice barely above a whisper. The prism's glow became more intense for a moment then dimmed again. Zelda suddenly felt drawn to the staircase on the left side of the chamber. That was where she had to go.
Sal led Sprite through several large corridors, specially designed for large creatures such as herself, although particularly for Ganon's faithful dungeon keepers, Aquamentus and Gleeok.
"We'll never find Zelda in here!" Sprite whined as she flew close alongside the dragon.
"Who said we were looking for her?" Sal remarked sarcastically.
"I did! We have to stop her from fighting Mara!" the faerie cried. Sal paused, giving Sprite a sidelong glance.
"I cannot go beyond Ganon's halls, and if the witch is beyond them; which she no doubt is, then it will be too late," she said. "If Zelda has passed through those chambers already, then I cannot help her."
"Then we must hurry!" Sprite replied, flying forward into the darkness.
"If I remember correctly, we are not far from there," Sal replied, lumbering onward through the passage. Sprite could barely see where she was going, only her faerie glow provided a little light by which to navigate with whilst Sal plodded onward, her sharp dragon eyes easily penetrating the darkness. The faerie was shaking with fear as they continued their descent into the dungeon; the malice and evil of the entity filling her entire soul with terror. But she had come here for a purpose and it was too late to turn back now. She could not leave her dear friends Felicity and Tiffany, nor Zelda to the wicked devices of Mara and her daemon. After a few more corridors the tunnel finally opened out into a vast chamber, Ganon's Great Hall. Sal snaked her head around furtively and Sprite immediately became on her guard. Where was everyone? The entire chamber was devoid of any signs of life. Sprite had been here enough times to remember the chained dodongos and gohmas, the vast hordes of moblins, goiryas and stalfos standing guard, the armos statues waiting to be disturbed. The evil jar swirling with monsters, the Triforce of Power sitting upon that black spiked pedestal...
"Well, this is certainly a turn around for the books," Sal remarked loudly. "I was hoping I might get a snack round here, but obviously Mr Extremely Evil Entity got here first."
"Zelda?" Sprite called out, her tiny voice echoing within the cavern. There was no answer. At that moment a cold chill swept through the chamber. Sprite went numb with fear as she felt evil approaching. Even Sal seemed to bristle, her golden eyes growing wide. From within the gloomy darkness, something emerged. Sprite could see two amber orbs glowing malevolently. Clawed feet clicked across the worn flagstones. The faerie began to feel faint, all her courage draining out of her.
"No... it can't be..." she whispered, realisation sinking in. "It's not possible..." She had seen him die, all those years ago. Link and Nick had killed him...
"How very wrong you were," Enzar spoke, emerging from the shadows, his fearsome form causing even Sal to shrink back. "Very wrong indeed."
"Of all the daemons to resurrect," Sal began, disdain evident in her voice, smoke beginning to emit from her nostrils.
"Silence, fool! Your sulphurous flames cannot destroy me, dragon!" Enzar proclaimed viciously, his eyes flashing in the darkness.
"I do not fear you, griffin! You have no right to be in this mortal realm!" Sal said bravely. At this Enzar let out a roar of fury, magical beams flying right at Sal.
"No!" Sprite cried in horror. Sal reared up clumsily, blowing fire over in Enzar's direction. She was too big to avoid the oncoming bolts and they struck her in the stomach, felling her to the floor. The entire cavern rumbled as the dragon hit the ground and Enzar laughed wickedly. Sprite panicked, flying upwards out of the way. Sal lay unconscious, unable to aid her. I have to get to Zelda... before he does, she thought desperately. She heard the griffin still laughing far below and Sprite fervently hoped he wouldn't finish Sal off.
The passage twisted and turned but Zelda knew exactly where she was going. She had been walking for quite some time and knew she had passed far through the very bowels of the mountain, from the main south entrance to somewhere near the north-east face. Again she had encountered nothing, but with each step she took a cold feeling of dread was beginning to run through every vein within her body. Suddenly she froze, as the sound of evil laughter reached her keen hearing. It sounded far off and distant but it still had the power to stop her in her tracks. She had heard that laugh before, a long time ago. However, her memory felt hazy and she couldn't seem to place the malevolent sound to a face. Her heart pounding, she managed to take a step forward, right into the path of another.
A flame seared before her eyes and Zelda found herself face-to-face with her arch-nemesis. A pair of cold blue eyes bored into her turquoise-green ones and she stepped back slightly, words escaping her at that very moment.
"Just the person I've been waiting for," Mara remarked coolly, smirking. "And I see you've brought me a little present." Zelda tightened her grip upon the Triforce, stepping back once more. "I knew you'd come, this makes things so much easier," the witch continued.
"I'm not afraid of you, witch!" Zelda exclaimed bravely.
"You should be. You will be," Mara promised, her eyes beginning to glitter with malice.
"Never! You will never take Hyrule, and you shall never touch my son again!" Zelda cried angrily. Mara merely laughed.
"How little the dear boy realises exactly what he did!"
"And you shall pay dearly for what you did to him!" Zelda retorted, furious.
"It's too late for that, you are a very silly princess, did anyone ever tell you that?" Mara remarked sweetly, a wicked smirk upon her ruby lips. Zelda glared at Mara, her own lips set in a determined line.
"You don't know what you're dealing with," she said coldly, one hand brush across the top of her Triforce. Mara followed her movement through narrowed eyes.
"Quite the contrary, Your Highness. I know exactly what I'm dealing with. A third rate theurgist who cannot even begin to rival the magical skill of my own!"
"How dare you!" Zelda exclaimed, unable to believe the witch's blatant insult. "At least I don't practise the dark arts, you should have been outcast for such evil doings!"
"I have the power to reanimate the dead, to summon daemons, to create facades of terror... and you, you think wielding a few magical bolts and incanting pathetic spells of protection and enchantments and whimsy charms can rival my power? Don't be such a fool!" Mara laughed.
"My spells may be weak alone, but you underestimate the power of the Triforce!" Zelda answered, trying to concentrate in channelling the artefact's magic. It was difficult with Mara stood before her, breaking her concentration with each biting insult.
"No it is you who underestimates the power of that prism! With the power of three in my hands I will unstoppable and I shall reach my goal of immortality!" Mara proclaimed. Zelda let out a bitter laugh.
"The Triforce will not grant your wishes, you cannot bring to together!"
"Maybe I can't, but there are others who can!" Mara replied knowingly. Zelda stepped back, shaking her head.
"No, no, it cannot be done!" she lied. "You cannot bear it unless you carry the virtue!"
"Doesn't the legend go, 'those who seek to unite the Triforce, there must be three, all related... not necessarily by blood... one must be of Royal blood, the other low-born status, the last may be of either'," Mara remarked. Zelda blanched slightly at Mara's words.
"You will never do it, I won't let you!"
"But if you have 'the power of three' then there is no need for the above ritual," Mara continued calmly. Zelda continued backing away.
"No-one has such a power!" she exclaimed.
"Do not lie to me! I already know that your precious son carries this rare power. He shall perform the ritual... when the time is right. When I have broken the barrier on the tower, when Robert has destroyed North Castle," Mara replied. "And through Enzar I shall be granted immortality and great power, The Demiari will be mine!" Zelda stared at her in horror, her blood running cold. Had the witch just spoke the name she thought she'd heard? "Yes, Enzar. Your old nemesis. He has not behaved too well since I resurrected him, but that shall soon change. He shall do my bidding as I wish," Mara continued.
"You cannot control Enzar! He is too powerful!" the princess exclaimed.
"Stupid princess, he is tied to me through the resurrection process, he is under my control!" Mara retorted.
She suddenly advanced on Zelda with intent, seemingly losing her patience.
"No!" Zelda cried, closing her eyes and holding out her palms. She let the magic of the Triforce flow through her, creating a barrier between herself and the witch. Mara cursed angrily, seemingly unable to break the spell and Zelda breathed a sigh of relief. It bought her a little time and she concentrated her powers to form a large magical ball of blue flame between her hands. Zelda then let it fly straight ahead, right at Mara who let out a shriek of surprise. It knocked the witch to the floor and Zelda ran forward, arming herself with her bow, and an arrow aimed at Mara's head. However, before she could fire she suddenly felt a searing pain across her gut and she let out a cry of agony before stumbling back clutching her stomach. Blood drenched her hands and she heard Mara laughing evilly nearby. As Zelda looked up she could see her rival stood clutching a bloodied knife. Tears of pain were filling her eyes, making her vision hazy and nausea filled her stomach as she slowly began to sink to the floor in severe agony.
"And the moral of the story is; never let down your guard, Princess!" Mara gloated over her. However Zelda was already sinking into unconsciousness.
"Oh Link..." she managed to murmur, before closing her eyes and slumping to the floor.
"Too bad he isn't here to see this!" Mara said, before walking over to the Triforce of Wisdom. She gleefully scooped it up and smiled to herself. She had an appointment at North Castle very shortly and she wasn't going to be late for it.
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