Hey guys. It's been a little while, eh? I had a stroke of inspiration hit me this afternoon and I cranked this out. I'm hoping to crank it some more, but I have enough to get a couple posts up to get you started. Whet your appetite and whatnot. Let me know what you all think, and I should have more on the way soon.
The Legend of Zelda: Blood Canyon
Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:06 PM
The Legend of Zelda: Blood Canyon
Clock Town - North
Carnival of Time
Year 67 after MoonFall
People never question a happy ending. They never wonder what happens to the rest of us once the tale is over, once the storyteller falls silent. What happens to those who lived through such times? What happens when they see fantastic and amazing things, and then have to resume their lives when the sun rises the next day?
What happens when the happy ending doesn’t stay happy?
My mother told me stories of that time, when the Moon bore a face of rage and came crashing to the ground. She was a small girl at the time, helping her father with his research in the eastern canyons, but she remembered the tale well for the remainder of her days.
Thankfully, she never sugar-coated any of the details. She described the silent fear that permeated all in this land when that Moon appeared overhead. She told me how people became paranoid, treating close friends and even family as if they were now enemies. Valuables were hoarded, bank accounts drained and hidden away. Soon the only thought that was in their minds was to escape, to find some sort of refuge from the coming apocalypse.
She also told me of a young man dressed in green. How he appeared from thin air to save this land and all of its people, in just three days. Some called him the Boy Hero. Others scoffed and proclaimed he must have had help, or maybe he was in on the whole thing himself! His official title is the Hero of Time, for the scholars speculate that time travel is the only way this boy could have possibly solved the problems of the four cardinal directions and Clock Town at once. My mother called him something different.
She told me his name was Link.
Link was a unique fellow, she used to say. He never spoke much, always focused on the task at hand. He was always driven to help people, hardly ever asking for a reward for his troubles. But my mother also says she would see his eyes when he believed others weren’t looking. She saw that there was pain and loss in those eyes, the kind of deep sorrow hidden in the depths of one’s soul. She saw regret, and even anguish on occasion. Yet always, always Link was the one to step forth when someone was in need of help.
That day, many years ago, Link stopped the Moon before it could annihilate Termina. Somehow, he saved the Four Giants from their imprisonment and defeated the demon inhabiting the Moon, saving us all. People sang his praises in the months that passed, but his only thought was to help in rebuilding people’s lives. Some could see him staring wistfully off at the forest to the southwest, but he stayed. He stayed for years to help people. And then one day, he left.
Reports claim that he left for the mountains of Snowhead, though its inhabitants say they only saw him pass through as if he was returning to the old temple at the mountain’s summit. Over the years people have attempted to climb the mountain to find him, but they were always met by blizzards and freezing wind.
The Boy Hero had become a man, yet who could help the man who had always been the helper? No one saw him after that day. The search parties have since stopped. The people have removed him to the place of stories and legends, knowing in their heart of hearts that they will never see him again.
Regardless of Link’s disappearance, life has continued on here in Termina. For a time, my mother left her father’s research in Ikana and lived in Clock Town. She met a traveling merchant man and the two became smitten over the Carnival of Time. Like a fairytale it sounds, but she insists that it was true. They shared many years of bliss, just the two of them. I arrived near their seventeenth anniversary, born this very day twenty years ago, the night of the Carnival of Time’s grand festival. Some of the townspeople still comment on how my birth made the festival even more spectacular and memorable than usual.
But those happy times were not to last.
In seven years’ time, my father convinced my mother to let him travel once more, in an attempt to earn some extra money before the festival. Reports came back bloody, as the caravan he had joined with was massacred to the last man as they took to the seas. Pirates, most claimed. The Pirates of Pinnacle Rock were blamed for the attack, and indeed, salvage crews found their spears and standards among the wreckage that washed ashore.
My mother left me in the care of my grandfather in Clock Town for a time as she went herself to survey the damage. She came back carrying my father’s amulet and held a look of stony determination that never left her face afterwards. She never told me what she saw, nor what she might have learned in the days she spent in Great Bay, yet whenever someone began to speak of the events of that misfortunate caravan, steel and fire would return to her eyes and she would usher me away in a different direction.
The days continued their march, and they slowly began to turn more sour. My mother’s health began to fail, despite her claims to the contrary. She was never as good at hiding the bloody clothes after a coughing fit as she thought. The final turning point was when my grandfather went missing. My sixteenth festival was at hand, and my grandfather thought the time right to return to his research center in Ikana. He promised to send word when he was settled, and Mother promised we’d visit.
Word never came. Months passed into years and word never came. She finally decided to follow after him, leaving me behind in Clock Town a year ago, despite her health and my loud protests.
I wish my final words to her had been different. I wish they had been more kind, more full of love. I wish I would have told her how important she was to me. I will never have that chance now.
I stand at this moment in front of a second headstone in the graveyard that has come to be in North Clock Town, near the Fairy’s Fountain. To the left I see my father’s name etched in stone. To the right, my mother. Pamela.
I was so angry when she left. And when she returned to me a year later, there was nothing I could do. I heard a soft knock on my door, and as I opened it, she crumpled inside. The last of her life was used up to knock on my door last night. Held in a death grip, I saw the familiar leather binding of my grandfather’s journal. The tanned leather was stained black with blood. My mother was covered in cuts, bruises, and bite marks. Chunks of flesh were missing from her face, and the pool of blood she created was little enough to tell me she had been bleeding out for some time before she got back to me.
Within the journal I found nothing but a dead language and a slip of paper:
Find Kalen, grandson of Mayor Kafei
The Blood Canyon runs red once more
What this all means, I don’t know. Kalen hasn’t been seen in two years, after a reported hunting accident in the Southern Swamp. And Link... the Hero of Time hasn’t been seen in decades. All who searched for him on Snowhead died up there.
But I have to try. As I hear the fireworks beginning above the Clock Tower, I shoulder my pack. I used what little money Mother and I had saved up to buy supplies earlier. I’ll make for the Swamp. If I can find Kalen, maybe he knows something about Link. His grandfather and Link were close, after all.
Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:23 PM
Three Weeks before the Carnival
Year 63 after MoonFall
It was cold for a summer night. Greyvin smiled a private smile to himself, knowing the cold was his doing. He could never understand how the strange people in Clock Town could bear this kind of heat. The cold was much better, and much more suited to his skills.
Mist began curling up from the shoots of untamed grass that covered the field of headstones, and Greyvin moved forward on silent feet. His features returned to a neutral mask, an expression devoid of any emotion. He wended his way through myriad unmarked graves, unconcerned with their lack of name or importance. His task was very specific, his target unmistakable.
The mist became a thick fog as he reached the end of the grass. The hard-packed dirt path widened and became an avenue that followed a knoll up a slope to an overlook. The overlook, once part of a barricade wall, had a gap caused by a battle centuries ago. Through this gap Greyvin walked, his black robes trailing behind him. His pace quickened as the temperature continued to drop. He was close now.
Atop the overlook, Greyvin surveyed the graveyard in its entirety. The ground level was fully obscured by fog, the headstones appearing to float on clouds. He reached inside the folds of his robe and brought out a small gem, black as the night sky above. He could feel it resonating powerfully, and he knew this was the spot. This was where the captain had been defeated, and where someone thought it appropriate to grant him rest before his time.
Greyvin closed his eyes and brought his hands close together. He began muttering quietly and the gemstone began to shudder and float on its own. The language passing his lips was all but dead. Only ancient scholars and magicians knew any words, and their knowledge was paltry at best. His mastery over it would have overwhelmed them. A small purple light bloomed in the middle of the gap in the wall, just above the fog. It grew and became sharper, more defined. A great crack! rent the silence of the air and the ground shuddered and opened. Bats resting on the limbs of dead trees squeaked and flittered through the night sky as the trees swayed and toppled over. The form of a giant skeleton rose up to meet the purple light and the two joined together with a whump! of air.
The light shone brightest near the skeleton’s heart and in the eyes of the skull. The sound of bone grating against bone shook the night as the ground continued to quake and rumble. A sound like a dry rasp escaped as the skeleton opened its mouth to speak.
“WHO DARES?” the words shot out like a cannon blast across the graveyard. Greyvin smiled again and lifted his head up to look the skeleton in the eyes.
“Come now, Skull Keeta. Is that any way to greet your oldest friend?”
A shiver moved through the skeleton and it narrowed its eyes in Greyvin’s direction. Where before its voice was a cannon, it was now a whisper. “Greyvin? Truly, can it be you?”
Greyvin smirked before replying. “Of course it’s me, Bones. Who else could return your soul to you after you so carelessly released it?” A twinge of reproach colored the man’s voice, yet the skeleton seemed unperturbed. If anything, it now looked more angry.
Skull Keeta moved his head down closer to Greyvin’s body and fixed him with a fierce gaze. “The war was over. I was unable to move on, unable to rest. My defeat at the hands of the Garo earned me this post. And even in this task I failed, for the Garo came again and slaughtered us all, to the man. Yet still, my shame lives on. We were not allowed to rest once we were destroyed. A Garo warlock cast a spell of undeath on all of us, never to rest. Then we rose as skeletons and could do naught but curse our fate.”
Greyvin chuckled darkly. “That doesn’t explain how you found rest, Bones. Or how your soul ended up shackled inside of a mask—a mask! One carried around by a boy, no less.”
“Truly, I thought the boy an omen sent by you, my friend. A boy with powers beyond our imagination, who could best me in single combat and give me the peace I waited for centuries to experience.”
“Why would I send the boy to steal your soul when I was the one who shackled you here inside that skeleton?”
Skull Keeta was silent for a moment before the purple glow of light took on a red hue. “You... YOU DID THIS? TO ME?” Keeta raised his fist and moved to slam it down on top of Greyvin, but instead his arm jerked back awkwardly and his fist pummeled the barricade wall behind him. Keeta tried to wrench his arm free but it wouldn’t budge.
“Of course I did. By the king’s orders, even. We were never going to be able to defeat the Garo while we were all alive. We had to find a way to accumulate more power, more strength. Look at you! As you are now, you could defeat armies singlehandedly!”
Keeta shook his head ponderously, the red tint to his inner light only turning brighter. “The war is over. The war has been over, for centuries!”
“The war is never over!” Greyvin shouted in reply. He threw his dark hood back and exposed his face fully to Keeta. A sound like a gasp escaped his mouth. Greyvin stood before him, but he was not the man Keeta remembered. His skin had become a patchwork with thick stitches keeping the pieces together. It looked old and cracked, as though it had been peeled from several different bodies to cover whatever might remain underneath. Greyvin’s eyes glowed with a similar light as Keeta’s but they remained a steady violet. They grasped at Keeta’s attention, holding him rock steady and unable to move.
“You were not the only one to die for this cause,” Greyvin spoke in a quiet and cold voice. “I was discovered not long after casting this affliction on you. As you can see, they began to peel my very flesh away before the end. I have known no rest either, but I never forgot our plans. I did not forsake my king and release my spirit despite my weariness.”
Keeta tried to move once more and met with a blinding pain such as he hadn’t felt in centuries. A groan and cry tried to escape, but neither could he cry out.
“Imagine my surprise,” Greyvin continued, “when I learned that not only my oldest friend, Captain of His Majesty’s armies Skull Keeta, but His Majesty Igos du Ikana himself had allowed their spirits to rest. I was beyond surprised, I was... heartbroken. The two men I trusted most had forgotten our pact. They had forgotten the bond we all shared.” He fixed Keeta with a stare colder than the embrace of death that had momentarily swallowed him all those years ago. “But I have not forgotten. I will not allow this power to go to waste. This land is no longer as it once was. People have settled to the four corners of the compass, including in my beloved home, in Ikana. The descendants of the Garo now fill our king’s halls and breed like rabbits from their Stone Tower once more, while you and our king sleep and do nothing. They do not remember our people, nor do our people survive in the histories anywhere else. But we will remind them. You will remind them.”
For the first time since his death, Keeta felt pure fear course through him.
The last week had not passed peacefully. Keeta could feel his free will slipping away. Death had only made his old friend even more cruel and calculating than he had been before, and it had done something to his magical abilities as well. Or perhaps they had always been this impressive, and his recent admission of betrayal was the first thing to make him see it. Keeta wasn’t sure. He was still reeling from that knowledge, that Greyvin, of all people, had done this to him and his men. Was the Garo ambush on them planned as well?
His attention was snapped back to the present when the lash bit him in the face again. One of Greyvin’s abominations had come back. The vicious whip it carried seemed to be a part of its arm, but Keeta never got a good look at these monstrosities. With every hit, it felt like his desire to resist the rage Greyvin had birthed in him became weaker. Even now, he admitted to himself, it wouldn’t be much longer. Greyvin would have him. He would become the instrument of his old friend’s will. If he sheltered and cradled a small fragment of himself deep in his mind, before the rage took over, perhaps someday he could be reverted back. Perhaps someday he could find rest, somewhere.
But not today. The lick of fire came with the next lash and Keeta roared. Not the roar of pain that the demons torturing him had become accustomed to, but the roar of an unending rage. It was the roar of the true monster Greyvin wanted. Even stories above Keeta, lounging in the halls he had conjured up for himself and his creations, Greyvin heard it. He felt it. He breathed it in like the freshest mountain air, and he laughed. He laughed and laughed and laughed.
The night of the festival had come at last, but for Andrin, it was not a time for joyous celebration. It was a time for action. Too long had he stayed with his daughter and granddaughter in Clock Town. Too long he had neglected his research, the knowledge in his head that told him the signs had been happening. The earthquake three weeks ago had done it. It came from the northeast. From the graveyard. There was only one reason it could have come from there. The legends were true. The ancient tomes he’d found and translated were right, and now time was almost out.
He had returned to this house as quickly as his aged body would let him. A small company of mercenaries had offered to escort him back to Ikana for a modest fee. He had been happy to pay, as the reports of foul creatures prowling the canyons proved to be all too true. Another sign that he had waited far too long.
The river was still trickling through its bed, which meant his waterwheel was still turning. The music had never stopped, and that comforted Andrin. At least none of the undead beasties had gotten into his house or found his research. He had no doubt that the dead could read his journal, written in an archaic language the people of Termina had all but forgotten. He must prepare. He must find the journal, ready his instruments, and—
What was that? It sounded like a high-pitched whine on the wind. As it grew in volume it sounded almost like a scream...
The music stopped playing. Andrin broke out into a cold sweat. Silence fell across the valley. The mercenaries outside had stopped in mid-action, aware that the music stopping meant an attack of some sort was imminent.
Crashing out of the ground came hands covered in linen cloth. Several of the mercenaries felt their feet get crushed by an unearthly grip and they cried out in pain. Within seconds it was a chaotic maelstrom of steel swinging towards the dirt, trying to sever the hands of the dead.
Andrin bit off a curse and grabbed a scrap of paper. He hastily scribbled a note on it and slammed it inside his journal. He quickly bounded across the room to find a loose floorboard near the closet. He stuffed his journal inside and quickly scratched a glyph on the board, a glyph only someone of his blood would be able to see. He ran outside empty-handed to a scene from a nightmare.
Decaying bodies were rising from the ground, some clothed in archaic clothing from a bygone era, some simply wrapped in linens. The mercenaries were trying to keep them back away from the doors of the house, but for every dead man that fell, three more broke ground. Half the mercenaries now lay dead amongst the rising corpses, and they began to realize they wouldn’t make it out alive.
From above them came a roar. A roar of might and rage and hunger. As the roar cut off, a giant skeleton with glowing eyes crashed to the ground. It eyed the mercenaries only momentarily. They were not its prey. Andrin, however... when the skeleton’s purple eyes found Andrin, it roared anew. All the dead rose again and began shambling towards the men in front of the house. Reaching to its back, the skeleton swung down a weapon of incredible size. Longer than a grown man standing tall, wider than the door on Andrin’s house, with an edge sharp enough to slice candles without leaving a mark, the sword swung through the air and ended the remaining mercenaries with no effort whatsoever.
Andrin felt his blood run cold and his mouth go dry. It was all true. Every single word. He had ignored the signs for too long, and this was the price he was about to pay. He would die here, on the steps of the research hut he’d built with his daughter, oh so many years ago. He should have been more ready. But at least the journal was safe now. He knew that Pamela would come looking for him after too long, and that she would be able to find it. It would remain safe.
Andrin fell to his knees as the skeleton roared again, swinging the sword with blinding speed. The roar continued into the night as the dead continued to rise.
Edited by ZeldaSageofFire, 16 June 2017 - 09:10 PM.
Posted 13 June 2017 - 09:04 PM
Just logged in to say this was a really good read so far.
Posted 14 June 2017 - 08:20 PM
Thank you kind sir. I've had Ch. 2 sitting about halfway finished for several days, and I should be finishing it up probably tomorrow or Friday. I'm really digging this new idea I had, and I'm going to run with it for as long as I can. There should be new stuff up really soon. :)
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