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 ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls 
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Post ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:20 pm
This is the completed First Entry of Forever Forgotten. Edits to earlier parts will be added as they are produced - sparsely. Now for some history. This is a story that I started back in October of 2007, but the idea had been around for quite a while longer (circa 2003). I always meant to try and write the thing out but I never bothered to and eventually it grew old to me. But at the creation of The Golden Land in the same year I began the ambitious plan of creating a Role Playing/Interactive story out of it. That way I was able to get a fresh light from other members and give the story a chance. This is the result of that, I'm happy to present this story to you of the Forbidden Underwoods. Enjoy.


~Forever Forgotten: A Tale of Scorned Souls~

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Banner courtesy of contest winner, Leftironboot.

~Section One~

Zeldaeinstein: 2010 MAJOR EDIT AND REWORKING BY: Zeldaeinstein

This was familiar. It always happened; there was nothing to deny or to defy. It was always on cue. The dream was simple: he was lost among a mist so thick it was as if it were eternal and never to lift. Shadows flitted past him while whispers absorbed his ears with harsh, inaudible tongues. And then, in the far reaches of sight, that's where he, better yet, it stood. So far away, so close, it was impossible to tell. Glowing red eyes drifted through the fog that was suffocating him. A deep and guttural laugh followed perfectly in-tune with those of flighty shadows that surrounded their master. The distance was so large that their cackles echoed but so close he could feel their breath fall upon his face. This was hell. This was that Nightmare.

Mervil awoke in a cold sweat. Thoughts going back to his unconscious self faded and he quickly forgot everything he had just experienced, as usual. He lay in silence in a shabby old house, abandoned for years on the very outskirts of this land, no one knew he was there; that was the way he liked it. Brushing the thick black hair away from his eyes, he arose from his dirty cot fully clothed in a ragged black cloak. Today was his bimonthly excavation to the nearby village down the mountainside. He would quickly purchase what he needed before the mass majority of villagers awoke. He was more of a mystery than flesh and blood to them. He preferred being alone, being hounded by others would only serve to test his patience, of which he had hardly enough for afternoon leaf juice.

Cold winds were tracing the hillside Mervil called home. Touching lightly against his lengthy scar, he shuddered and clotted his fading robe tightly around his tall frame. His humble abode was only two rooms large; holes in the walls and ceilings of each room did not make it comfortable in the slightest. A kitchen with a grimy and rusted pot belly stove was to his left, the bed chamber where he now stood led outback, literally into another kingdom. Built perfectly, Mervil did not belong to any land. He lived right on the border of Kingdoms where he enjoyed neutrality. But this Hyrule place he'd rather call his true dwelling more than anywhere else; that is, if it were not for his memories impeding him of embracing it as a homestead.

Bundling up a good sack of rupees, he dispatched into the dawning light, the village resting far below. A long trek was ahead and it was in high hopes it was going to be worth it. Mervil had gone three days without food to ensure he did not break his strict schedule with the shopkeeper. Beyond the scattered monsters and brigands, distractions or opportunities for delays were very few. For many earned reasons however, the wild creatures kept their distance from his main trail. That certainly wasn't hated.

Kakariko Village was a grand place compared to his horrid home, he could easily afford a room at the Inn for many years, but he wasn't going to show any loyalties or take any luxuries away from the others. It would also mean dealing with townspeople. These folk were some of the most jovial he had come across in his travels, it both lifted a long lost kindred spirit inside but also dampened his mood as other graves in his mind were overturned. Lost in thought, Mervil finally came across the ravaged sign barely visible among the thick morning mist. Noting the peculiar absence of time and his tendency to lose track of it, he set aside the strangely short journey as nothing more than a welcomed leave of monotony. Reassigning his bearings and adjusting his patched cloak, Mervil took a few more steps before another diversion stopped him in his tracks.

"Well, who do we have here?" the snide voice of a man came from behind a dislodged boulder. It likely belonged to someone involved with the group of bandits and brigands Mervil heard about many times on his travels through Kakariko. They had once been a small nuisance but were gaining numbers as well as courage to make attempts at raiding smaller satellite towns. Mervil turned and the money he had on his person made an arrangement of greedy tones.

"A misshapen straggler, eh? It certainly seems you aren't terribly poor. You could have fooled me by one look at ya," a second voice came from the nearby terrain, causing a stir of laughter in the first man. Two shadows came bearing arms from what seemed to be thin air thanks to the relentless fog. They were going to try to rob him.

How predictable. How laughable.

"How about we make a deal? You give us everything in your pockets and we won't kill you. Does that sound nice?" no reply would be wasted on them, only a smile as he continued to walk. "You've got guts to do that man, aren't you afraid? See normally people don't bring the old Reaper on themselves, it's usually not that pleasant I've heard."

No, it certainly isn’t. The taller of the two gruff looking men laughed and unsheathed a small dagger, waving it back and forth. “Just play nice and I won’t have to make a formal introduction to your throat, if you catch what I’m saying.”

This threat hadn’t worked either. Mervil continued on his way, watching the first rays of the Sun break over the mountainside in their futile attempts to burn away the mist. Warm air filled his lungs, making him smile even more smugly for he could smell the exotic rose gardens of the village in their waning days. Today seemed ripe with nostalgia and its bitter aftertaste, didn’t it?

“Are you deaf?” the shorter of the two bandits stepped forward to block his way along the winding road. “Give us your money!” he too revealed his weapon and held it steady in front of him, his face twisting in doubt or fury, it was impossible to tell from the light shining around him.

“That’s it, enough waiting!” his taller comrade shoved him out of the way and lunged forward with his rusted weapon. A wrong move if I ever saw one...

Mervil darted to the left with a grace even he thought had left his body long ago; the looks of surprise at the stumbling men supported his findings. He pulled back his hood and appraised them with his icy blue stare, waiting for one of them to try to pursue. This time the apparent toady tried to rush him, only to nearly fall into brambles as Mervil swept his path even farther to the left.

“Enough games! If it’s a fight you want, then fight!”

“If you wish,” Mervil spoke with a dry throat, his voice raspy from the winds at his home and from very little use. He made quick motions with his exposed left hand and both bandits yelped as their weapons were charmed out of their hands. Stepping toward the disarmed men, Mervil had to stifle a chuckle as they took alarmed paces backwards. He lifted his gloved right hand high. Searing flames slithered from his open palm and formed into a sinister looking weapon. Almost immediately the two bandits began to attempt to run away, stopping short as a wall of fire encircled the three of them. The blazing heat was siphoning their will to flee or to fight back.

Mervil ignored their frightened looks, their sudden change for a request of pity; he was not going to put up with this idiocy, this shameless lying. The flaming weapon he summoned, currently in his form of choice, a long scythe, hung by his torso, casting an eerie orange glow around his feet. He threw his sack of rupees onto the quickly drying cliff edge, the curtains of mist being blown apart for many feet in every direction thanks to his spell.

"L- Look, guy, w-we didn't mean to make you angry. We...we were just," the taller outlaw was shivering from fright, an expected and overdue reaction. Behind him the smaller one seemed entranced by his own fear, simply staring up in shock at nothing in particular.

"You were just trying to rob an innocent bystander out on his walk? I can’t seem to grasp the idea of how what you have to say even matters. Especially if you believe it will grant you my hesitation,” the Cloaked Man observed beads of sweat trickle down the brows of those opposite, their faces red from heat and flustered emotions, their faces patterned in black from ashes and cinders. Although bound to their humanity and temptations, they would still need to reap what they had sown.

“I don't think this is going to teach either of you a lesson in the slightest," Mervil's calm voice was like ice. His glare seemed to read them to the very soul, making the men uncomfortable and feeling naked and ashamed. "Souls such as yours aren't worthy to bear the bounties of life. The penance you owe your fellow man acts as a considerable weight upon your shoulders. I think you've caused enough harm for a lifetime, haven't you?" he stepped forward, causing the two men to turn around quickly and brave running through the wall of flames. Mervil merely shook his head and used his free hand to trace another action through the air. A gaping precipice opened up among the earth, stopping the criminals in their tracks lest they fall to their deaths.

Fear crossed their vision once more as the strange man approached them, not paying heed as flames licked across his exposed face. His flaming scythe cast an evil glow across his torso, lighting up an ugly long scar that trailed down the right side of his face to his covered shoulder. Without hesitation or flinching from either party, Mervil pulled back and hacked one time across both of the men’s chests, burning through their clothes and into their flesh. It was like branding cattle. They cried out as they fell to the ground, still alive and marked, their skin crackling in despair and blackened regret.

"Take this as my lesson, those who bear souls that are not righteous, souls that are bloodied, I will not cease until they are destroyed. You have been cleansed, take your past knowledge and use it well; you do not get a chance to be marked twice," Mervil made a cutting motion with both arms, suddenly causing all of his magic to disappear in a flash finale. “Now run. Run back to your homes and tell your families what has happened to you and why you deserved it. Run back to your friends and explain your evil virtues and beg for their good will. Run back to your fellow bandits and warn them with your bloodied bodies that if I hear of another incident between brigands and innocent townsfolk, I will flush all of you out.”

The two bandits fled, holding their tattered garments to their chests. They had even left their weapons behind. Although they would not catch the highest price, Mervil still gathered them into his rupee satchel to sell. At least the Villagers could find some use of the blades. Looking into the distance, he could barely see the two running men, their cries, however, were still fresh in their shrill pain. Mervil returned his hood over his thick and unkempt hair before finally entering town, no one knowing of what had just occurred.

The Bazaar was completely on the opposite side of town, but that was no concern, he wouldn't be seen at this time of day by anyone of importance or gall to approach him. But off in the Inn, someone was looking out, the same girl who watched him each day he would enter town upon the same clockwork schedule he followed, trying to figure out his purpose or if he had one at all. She disappeared as he cocked his head slightly in that direction for no particular reason. The pale blue eyes of Mervil scanned the quaint village. How it reminded him of home, his wondrous home. Yet it never would be, it never could be. His soul yearned. The cries went unheard within his well accustomed deaf mind, and he continued with his business.



Blue55: 2010 MINOR EDIT

Tap was sitting on the thick branch of an old oak tree, happily munching on a luscious green apple, legs swaying to and fro. She was facing a rather large lake covered with autumn leaves. Surrounding her were the sounds of the forest, crickets and cicadas chirping nosily, squirrels jumping from branch to branch, trees rustling with the wind. Her reflection greeted her from far below, her blazing red tunic and cap contrasted by her dark hair and eyes.

Tap finished off her apple and tossed the remaining core into the lake, watching the ripples spread far. It was only about half an hour ago when she’d decided to break for lunch. Having finished her meal of bread, a slice of dry cheese, and an apple, she made herself comfortable and slumped back on the branch, deciding that after a quick nap she’d continue on with her journey. Her journey of retrieving her lost memories, starting with hunting down the black hooded figure, the only person she could remember, and interrogating him. She felt like it was a harmless pursuit, minus all the danger and sweating.

It’s a depressing situation really, when one can’t recall who on earth he or she is. There’s a feeling of hopelessness and confusion. A feeling similar to Tap’s. Heck, she didn’t even know her own name. The name Tap had been given to her by her rescuer and only friend she knew of, Xanath, as a result from her habit of tapping when she became nervous or excited. All this was racing through her head while white clouds drifted lazily along with her day.

When she was finally able to quiet her mind, she felt the feeling of sleep overcome her. The warm sun embracing her slightly tanned skin was making her drowsy and she let out a great yawn. She tossed her long red bow and bag of arrows onto the ground below, making more room for herself, and rolled onto her stomach, resting her head on her arm and letting her other arm dangle freely from the branch. She’d only been asleep for a few minutes when the sound of two men shouting from a distance startled her into consciousness. Curious as to what the men were arguing about, she sat up and strained her ears to listen in on their conversation.

“This was all your fault, you idiot!” the smaller one said to the other. He looked badly injured, though not as much as his partner. Both had on poorly washed clothes, which were badly torn at the torso. Blood had seeped through the bandage, which was feebly tied around the wound.

“My fault?! It was your idea to attack that freaky black cloaked guy!” Freaky blacked cloaked guy? Could they be talking about the man from Tap’s memories? She leaned further in the direction of the two. Bad move. Tap went crashing down into the hard ground below, both startling and drawing the attention of the men. Totally red with embarrassment, she scrambled to her feet, dusted herself off and leaned against the tree, arms crossed, as if that humiliating (and painful) event did not just happen. The men looked at each other for a moment and burst out into laughter. “What the hell is wrong with her?” laughed the taller one to the other.

“I have no idea!” responded the shorter one. “Maybe she thinks she’s one ‘a them cuccoos and was trying to fly!” Tap, clearly not amused with their horrible sense of humour, decided to leave before things got too extreme. She went to gather up her things, namely her bow, arrows, and pack of food, but was intercepted by the taller man. “Hey, wat’cher got there, kid?” he turned to his partner who was still snickering. “Hey, Railin, go see what stuff this person’s got!”

“Oh yeah, yeah, sure thing, Kaz!” Railin went over to Tap’s belongings and picked up her bow. “Well look at this!” exclaimed Railin, giving the bow a good look over. “This thing is in really good condition. Looks kinda neat, too,” he handed the bow over to Kaz. “You’re right,” agreed Kaz. “Hey, how much you think this’d sell for, ya think?”

“Uh, excuse me,” said Tap, boldly approaching the guys, “that’s not for sale.” She held out her hand, hoping they’d get a hint and give her back her bow. Instead, Railin went and grabbed some of Tap’s arrows.

“This is just what we need,” he said. “Thank you for these weapons,” he and Kaz turned to walk away, snickering amongst themselves, but Tap walked up in front of them, blocking their path.

“See, that’s the thing,” said Tap, fighting to keep the tone of her voice pleasant. “Those are my weapons. I’d like them back, now,” once again, she held out her hand. Kaz looked down at Tap and glared, eyes seething with anger.

“Look, girlie, I’ve been having a bad day, and I’m in no mood for your crap. So I suggest you get the hell outta my way before I kill you,” before Tap could respond, he smacked her on the head, knocking her to the ground. Stunned, Tap looked up at her attacker, eyes wide open, the cheek that was hit, stinging harshly. For a moment, everyone was still. Then, Tap slowly got up, hands and teeth clenched tightly.

“You…you jerk!” yelled Tap, eyes watering. “You stupid jerk! That's my stuff! Gimme back my stuff!” she pushed Kaz roughly and in return got a push back from Kaz.

“Sorry, little girl, but these are my things now,” Kaz jeered. “So get lo-,“ before he could finish his sentence, he found himself pinned to the ground, a 9-inch dagger at his throat. Panic began to fill poor Kaz’s little heart, as he realized the little girl had tackled him.

“You better freaking give me back my stuff,” Tap said, filled with fury. Kaz groaned. Once again he was about to suffer a near death experience.

“Okay. Okay fine, you win. You can have your stuff. Just…get off of me.”

“You promise you’ll give it back?” asked Tap suspiciously.

“Yeah, I promise.”

“Drop it.”

“What?”

“You heard me. Drop my stuff. Then I’ll get off,” Kaz glared at her for what seemed like an eternity, then threw the bow as far as he could (which wasn’t really far actually, considering the fact that he was lying on the ground). Tap smacked him on the face then got up to retrieve her bow. Once again, another bad move. As soon as she got off he kicked the dagger out of Tap’s hand, tossing it into the air and caught it.

“Railin, let’s go!” he yelled. Turning to Tap, he said “Thanks for the knife,” in mock gratitude and they both started running through the Underwoods.

“Hey! Come back here!” shouted Tap. “You promised!” she wouldn’t be able to catch up with them now; they had a big head start, surprising Tap by knocking the dagger out of her hand. Picking up her bow, she put an arrow in place and concentrated on aiming for them both. Back in her training with Xanath, she’d learned that if she concentrated hard enough to aim at more than one person, her arrow would multiply in a single shot and would pierce through thousands. It was quite shocking for Tap when she’d first discovered this handy trick of hers as she was using trees for her targets, and she’d wondered how on earth she was able to do that. As time passed, she decided that it was just something else she’d have to learn about herself. Maybe there were even more powers buried away with all her fragmented memories.

So with a twang of her bow, the arrow split into two and sped after the two thieves. Upon hearing an odd whizzing sound, they looked back and saw too late the arrows after them. The force of the arrow was enough to pin them back into one of the many trees surrounding them. Wincing in pain, Kaz dropped the dagger. Tap walked over to them and picked up the dagger. “You see what happens when you steal?” she lectured. “You get hurt!” she sheathed the dagger and attached it back to her belt. Then she began to pull the arrows out of the tree, freeing them. As soon as Railin had been freed, he ran as fast he could away from Tap. Kaz, who was more in a state of shock, just stood there
.
“What, aren’t you going to keep us trapped here?” asked Kaz in amazement.

“Hmm?” replied Tap absentmindedly. “Now why would I do something like that?” she began digging in her pack for some fresh new bandages. “I know it’s in here somewhere…”she muttered. “Oh, there we go!” she pulled out a first aid kit. “Okeydokey, let’s get you all fixed up!” she grabbed the front part of what was left of Kaz’s shirt and the bandage and ripped it off. She then proceeded to apply some type of red healing ointment on the cut on his abdomen and the pierce on his shoulder, wrapping up the two wounds with fresh clean bandages.

Kaz was astounded. Never in his life had a stranger ever cared for him. Actually, he couldn’t recall anyone in his life that had ever cared for him. He looked into Tap’s eyes and saw nothing but compassion.

“Why are you helping me? I don’t deserve this. I’m a thief. A bandit. I could easily kill you right now,” he slowly got up but was shoved back down by Tap.

“But you can’t, can you?” replied Tap, a mischievous look in her eyes. “Heck, I could take all you have and ditch you right here! But I wouldn’t do that. Nope, I’m way too nice for that,” she got up and dusted herself off. “Well, it’s time for me to get going now. Have fun and enjoy life,” she picked up her things and walked off in the direction of Kakariko.

Kaz sat there for the longest time, just thinking about what’d happened. Then he got up and started along the same path as the strange girl. His curiosity was getting the better of him.


Yazstromo: 2010 MINOR EDIT

"Fish are curious creatures. They're covered in scales, breathe water, and taste delicious when cooked. Want some?" the man, tired and starving, gratefully accepted Yazstromo's offer of food. Watching him devour the fish, Yazstromo decided to inquire a little more into the curious day the man had just undergone. "So, first a cloaked man whips out a flaming scythe and gave you that nasty scratch on your chest. Then, some savage girl pinned you to a tree with an arrow. That sound about right?" Railin nodded, the memories of the past day fresh in his mind. "Then you ran for about an hour, afraid that if you stopped, someone else would get you. I suppose that explains the screaming when you ran into me..."

Yazstromo grinned and picked up a vial filled with a light-blue liquid. "Now, Mr. Railin, I want you to make sure you have a swig of this every few hours for the next two days. That should stop the bleeding, but I'm afraid that scar is going to be permanent. I guessed as much when I heard what sort of weapon made that mark. If a scythe doesn't sound like a cursed weapon, then a flaming scythe definitely does," Railin looked at the vial, then up at Yazstromo.

"Well, now, that's mighty kind of you, mister. Say, you wouldn't happen to have a little money you could spare, seeing how that scythe guy took mine?" Yazstromo, still smiling, reached into his cloak and pulled out a small bag of rupees.

"I'm afraid this is all I've got on me at the moment, though I can easily conjure up a little more. So, I suppose you may as well have it," he tossed Railin the money, then leaned back and pulled out a pipe. "So Mr. Railin, how long have you been a bandit for?"

Railin froze, a flicker of surprise passing over his face. He looked up hesitantly, before Yazstromo caught his eye. "Oh, don't worry. I'm not going to attack you or anything. I myself have nothing against people others would consider unsavoury. Everyone has to make a living somehow. I just noticed the greed in your eyes when I mentioned that I can conjure up some money, and got the impression you were about to use force against me. I felt I should warn you against that particular course of action," a spear then materialised and plunged itself into the ground beside Yazstromo, who was busy lighting his pipe.

At this point, Railin was shivering, his eyes desperately searching for an escape route. "I think it's time for me to get going...I lost a friend of mine to that girl...he's probably worried sick...I just..." still smiling, Yazstromo got up, cracking his neck.

"Well, then, I suppose we should go find him, then. I hope that girl didn't hurt him too badly."

Railin looked at Yazstromo, puzzled. "So, you're not going to hurt me?"

Chuckling, Yazstromo began packing up his things, his long white beard swaying dangerously over the coals. "Weren't you listening? I don't mind robbers, so long as they've got the sense not to rob me. And I'm fairly certain you won't be trying to rob me any time soon. Now, before we move, I say we figure out where we're going," Yazstromo pulled out a leather pouch, reaching in and grabbing a small spoon covered in magical symbols. He threw it at the ground, and in a flash of smoke, a large map appeared.

"So, you last saw him over at this little wooded area...well, if he's still alive after being viciously assaulted, common sense dictates that he'd head to the nearest town, which according to this map is Kakariko Village. I think that sounds as good a place to start as any," Yazstromo looked up at Railin, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. "We're going on an adventure, Railin!"


Link64Master/Hylian Cookie: 2010 MAJOR EDIT AND REWRITE BY: Zeldaeinstein

It would have been a terrifying sight if it were not the middle of the day. Wandering under the beating Sun, a creature of the night was unabashed, freely moving without a care. A Stalfos, a reanimated skeleton, armed with a large shield and jagged sword, ignored the dangers of being spotted; his mission was far too important. In the land of Hyrule, he was nothing, a monster. But that did not mean that he was without any ‘earthly’ or ‘goodhearted’ thoughts. He was a soldier, one that fought for the wrong side, seeking out the most pure of goals.

Galysses was his name, traversing the rolling hills of Hyrule. Once a Stalfos Soldier, Galysses admonished his less than honourable status long ago. It had been many years of travel until he finally returned to Hyrule, a campaign having taken him far away on other business. His father, first cursed to be a Stalfos, had long been dead, killed by an unknown assassin. Despite the journey being long, the ability to bring vengeance for his father’s killer, Galysses still pushed forward. Now his thinning trail of information was leading him to a village at the base of the infamous Death Mountain.

He was unsure of the direction, deciding to set down his rigid sword and rounded shield by a lake to take a rest from the unusual Autumn heat. He stared down in the lake for what seemed like forever, staring at his icy cold stare and his boney face, wondering, questioning who and what he was, and where he was headed. The life of a Stalchild, as strange as reproduction for his species was, brought many unsure thoughts and discomforts in the middle of his dreams.

As quickly as he had retired, voice began to carry from somewhere in the distance. It sounded like two males, one old and raspy, while the other was young and had a bizarre accent. The tall frame of Galysses picked up his things, and approached the strangers. Carefully and slowly, he walked, catching bits of information on what they were talking about. Years trailing carts to spook and steal from the drivers had trained him very well, even in the daylight.

"All I'm saying is," the younger one said to the other. "Is that I don't know who she was. She just fell out of a tree, like a cucoo with a broken wing."

"Hmm," the older one said. He looked quite wise. "She must be someone who is mischievous, always watching from the sidelines," his sentence was stopped. "What was that, by the lake, did you hear it?"

"Yazstromo, I didn't hear anything. It was probably the wind blowing the leaves or something," the young one said. "C'mon, lets just go, I need to find Kaz before that crazy girl does something to him."

"No, Railin, it wasn't the wind," Yazstromo said. "Something is there, I saw it. It had clear white texture; it was the arm of something. I am going to check it out"

"Ok, just hurry back; we really don’t have time for this.”

Yazstromo quietly tapped his companion on the shoulder, his eyes wide with what looked to be surprise and possibly fear. “Don’t look now, but we’ve got a little bone to pick.”

“What?” Railin turned around to see the towering Stalfos following them a few dozen feet behind. His heart lurched into this throat, but he had to show he had some sort of spine, he had already been embarrassed enough being such an open book to his older ‘friend’. “Just ignore it, I-I think it’s just confused or something,” what was he saying? He sounded like a complete idiot now. “We should just keep going, maybe it’ll go away,” he really hoped so.

The two tried to continue on their way, sweating profusely under their normal fall garb. But the Stalfos still followed as if he had not been spotted. Galysses was quickly covering the ground between them. After only a few minutes of their anxious shuffling up the hillside passed, the Stalfos was at their backs. Yazstromo felt a chill go down his spine once again, turning to see the creature riding their tails. Before he could scurry away, Galysses lifted his large hand and grabbed the old man, throwing him on the ground.

Yazstromo let out a sharp groan as he knocked his head quite nicely on a rock on his trip down. His partner turned around, finally noticing his friend was gone, thinking he had tripped. The colour in Railin’s face rushed away, leaving him a beaming white beacon among the grass. Railin drew a small dagger from his boot and approached the Stalfos with a little more than fear in his stance.

"Stand back," Galysses said loudly. "One more step and he's dead." He lifted the cursing Yazstromo from the ground, ignoring a rather harsh one that squeaked out as he closed his hand around the old man’s neck.

The bandit slowly stepped back, shocked, his guide and guard, in a near death moment. There was a short silence. After taking the cue to drop his weapon, Railin let the dagger fall. Galysses sealed the deal by letting go of Yazstromo. Yazstromo slowly got to his feet, catching his breath and holding his slightly bleeding head.

"Why are you gallivanting around in the daylight," Yazstromo said slowly but boldly, trying to calm himself as he dabbed at his cut.
"I was directed to these lands by a shopkeeper in Labrynna. I am here to find whoever killed my father, Galyes," he said strongly. "It wasn't you two was it?" Galysses wondered but eagerly awaited the answer, with sword ready to strike. After all these years, he sometimes wished to be done with the searching, rather than by being gratified with finding his father’s killers.

It was Railin who spoke first. "What if we did? What would you do?" Galysses quickly took a glance at Railin and promptly swing wide for his legs with a greedy perpetual smile.

"Does that answer your question?" Galysses said angrily. Neither of the men responded, too busy gathering up courage or too busy whispering expletives. "I will take that as a no. So where are you guys headed?"

"To Kakariko Village," They said in unison, though half-heartedly.

"Great, I'm coming with you," Galysses confidently said, gauging their reactions. They were as negative as he expected. Perhaps he had been a little too rough; if so, he proceeded to pass it off as quickly as he had performed it. “I hope you’re okay with that.”

Yazstromo raised a hand holding a bloodied cloth as if to say something, but his younger bandit friend gave him a stern look of contempt. He rolled his eyes and pointed out their proper direction, muffling one more insult for their forced companion.
It seemed that they were all headed in the same direction, just not under the same terms.


Supreme Dirt:2011 MAJOR EDIT AND REWORKING BY: Zeldaeinstein

Vicious sands whirled around him. The sun was but a faint circle in the sky. Whilst it did impede his sight, Allanon was thankful for the relative darkness. He struggled through the biting winds. He had not foreseen a sandstorm hindering his mission. He needed to reach the desert oasis, lest he lose the one chance he had of preventing the catastrophe that was set to hit the world, first destroying Hyrule, then reaching to the outer lands of Labrynna and Holodrum. Luckily, his homeland, a small island known in the legends of this land as Koholint, would be spared, as the mortals that populated the rest of the world could only visit it in their dreams.

A small whirling sound caused him to turn around. An oversized leever was coming towards him with frightening speed. He reached his hand out, meaning to summon the power of an Iron Knuckle from the sands, but withdrew it. Wisps of smoke curled up from his arm. He had forgotten the sun. He shook his head, and then, with his other, gloved hand, he pulled forth his sword. With a single sweep, his sword and the sacred fire he had summoned to it vanquished the beast.

Turning, he continued, hoping he was not too late. He reached the oasis and discovered something, something which would have utterly horrified any other person.

However, he was not a person.

The oasis was gone. In its place was a barren, rock-filled hole. And strewn around it were the remains of Iron Knuckles. Most would think this a great deed, worthy of song and legend. But Allanon, knowing the true nature of the metallic soldiers in the valley, was greatly saddened. His ancestors' guardians had been destroyed and he suspected the Gerudo Lapis Lazuli, the source of his peoples' power, was likewise gone. He decided to travel east, to Kakariko Village, and steal - borrow, he told himself - a map of this land. For he did not know much of it, and desperately needed a way to familiarize himself with the Kingdom he was calling home. And then he would head to the sacred Temple of Time, hoping that the ones spoken of in the legends would be there waiting as foretold.

The ancient Sheikah had been great benefactors to his people, the Garo, long ago. With both races nearly wiped from the surface of the world, he knew he could not rely on finding an old comrade sneaking about Kakariko. Together they had aided the Hylians with their magical artefacts, tutoring already powerful magicians of that race. After all, they were entitled to all the lands by the Gods themselves; or so that was what the clerics continued to preach in every culture, to every child.

Exhaustion of the Garo dark arts and the slightly less foreboding spells of the Sheikah had created many powerful stones, objects intended to lock away great power and terrible secrets. The Sheikah Diamond, Gerudo Lapis Lazuli, Sage's Diamond, Zora Sapphire, Goron Ruby, and the Kokiri Emerald were all given to their rightful tribes. On their own they could perform wondrous things, together even more so; together even deadly. The collection of these six stones would restore him to his former strength, the reward for any ailing Garo, pure vitality and near immortality when faced with one of the six. Yet, Allanon could never avoid his fate with the youth the stones could grant him, he had tried once before. He had truly tried.

If the Garo could collect the ancient keys he could finally attest for his past. At the Temple of Time he would begin his journey with the warriors who would save the land – although not all were aware of this mission. Together they were tied to the salvation of the world. The Words spoke of the men and women destined to join as one force, to bring unity back to the Kingdoms and rid the world of a threat like no other. When Allanon was restored to his former glory, a High General of the Garo race, he too would be a name remembered. And not for the wrong reasons.

One last gaze into the Oasis pulled him free of his memories. Wherever the treasure had gone, he would have to find it. He could not converse with anyone written down in the Words in his current state. Who in their right mind would believe him, his potential? Allanon sighed and clutched the many necklaces draping down his robes. He listened to them clink a sad melody in return, as if they could relieve his sorrow.

Pulling out an ancient instrument, the Full Moon Cello, he played a simple song. Light flashed and Allanon vanished in the whirling sands, a silhouette in a very dark place.


~Section Two~

Zeldaeinstein:

Mervil was in and out of the village in quick succession. The few supplies he had purchased were tied to his side beneath his heavy cloak; beads of sweat trickled down his brow in the rising sunlight, it was supposed to be entering fall by this time. Looking upon the small cliff side he had dealt with the two bandits, he chuckled quietly, leaving the village behind in a quiet stir. Today was apparently the Autumn Festival, the little celebration held at the castle where everyone was invited, supped and slept if need be. Every few years a small longing to take part had drifted upon Mervil's mind, the old days back at the Royal Birthdays were ones he always wanted to relive, but he just couldn't go.

The people of Hyrule seemed to make this festival out to be more than it really was. A common belief was that the Goddesses left the realm after creation at the beginning of Autumn, letting things die into winter and spring forth at the melting of the snow, almost as if it truly was the day of Creation. It'd certainly be a party to remember with such a hot and blazing sun in the sky... Great deals of people and races joined together on the day in the castle, the music, the dancing and the scent seemed to drift on the wind every year on this night, maybe he'd go, just once. The poor shack he called home gazed back at him with empty black eyes.

* * *

It wasn't that far to Kakariko Village, a mere few hours walk, run, hobble, the three of them all had their method of transportation, some less graceful than the other. The hulking form of Galysses cast a shattered shadow behind him as he made his slow lumbering way ahead, red eyes scanning the horizon, a horizon filled by a group member. Yazstromo was leading them, the one most qualified to lead them about the way, his walk was erratic with a rise in his step that was from no where. Hyrule Field was large and empty, mostly empty, a few peahats peered out from the grasses, a few crows soared up high and trees were as scarce as always. Travelling today was proving a bit more work than originally thought, the weary Railin tailed, half from fear of the Stalfos and half from the unnatural heat. He thought about saying something, about taking a rest, but the other two were too involved in getting to the village to bother stopping for him; although, he was the first tailgater and would override Galysses authority, but that hope soon died.

"My, it IS warm today." Yazstromo had stopped a few feet ahead of everyone, gazing up to the cloudless sky and sighing. "It will only make the arrival that much better, a nice rest after a long journey, a long and perhaps boring journey."

"Yeah, boring." Galysses snapped his knuckles against a rock, or a tree, whichever it was sickly resonated the sound across the expanse causing Railin to shudder. "Before things get a little too sentimental, talking of nature or beauty, or whatever, don't you think we'll enjoy the rest a bit more if we don't take any on the way there. Some of us have more pressing matters to take care of other than stopping to smell flowers or to think for the sake of thinking."

"I guess you are right my Stalfos friend, there are many things that need to be done, we can't be burning daylight, unless it burns us first." He shaded his face with his hand and tilted his head toward Railin. "But don't you think for the health of our third, Railin, that we should probably take five, or eleven, which ever pleases him most?"

"I'm fine, we can keep going." Railin shook himself to get up off the ground he so graciously had sprawled across when they had stopped. "The sooner we get there, the better. And you never know, weather like this might give us a storm that we won't want to get stuck in." He watched Galysses roll his eyes and fold his arms, and Yazstromo merely shrugged, looked around for a few seconds and continued his walk to the village. Stumbling along the way, they advanced to Kakariko.


Yazstromo

"Ah, Kakariko is almost upon us! Soon, we can eat, drink and be merry, which sounds quite cliché, but it's a pleasant image for me." Yazstromo turned to his companions, Galysses with disgust on his face, and Railin lost in the fantasy which had kept him trudging along all this time, a world of pudding and soft beds. The Stalfos grunted, "Listen, I'm just tagging along with you idiots for some meat to hide behind if we get into some trouble. I've noticed you fleshy things make for pretty good shields. Especially against arrows." At this, Railin immediately woke from his daydream, a look of pain on his face...before collapsing to the ground. "Right, I think there's a chance we may need to stop, Galysses." Yazstromo looked at their companion, concern in his eyes. "Fortunately, the remains of a small village are over there, so we can carry him over, and find a nice bit of shade to place him in. And for Nayru's sake, could you carry him over your shoulder? We fleshy things don't take well to being dragged along the ground!"

Upon reaching the village, Railin was unceremoniously dumped on the ground, much to Yazstromo's chagrin, and Galysses went off to find some trees to break, or whatever it is he does. As Yazstromo looked around, he heard a snorting sound behind him. He turned around, before uttering a single word: "Moblins." Railin, who appears to hear things better in his sleep than when awake, jumped to his feet, and, following the old man's gaze, sighted 6 or 7 moblins, looking straight back at him. "Railin, stay out of the way. I can deal with this." Pulling a small, golden whistle from his robe, he blew into it once, and a clear note rang out from it, so clear as to permeate the very fabric of reality. With a loud crack, and a bright flash of light, perhaps 30 or 40 various items of silverware appeared, seemingly being led by a large dessert spoon. Then, the dessert spoon, in a high-pitched squeak, yelled, "Company, attack!", at which point the battalion of cutlery leapt upon the moblins, savagely attacking them in ways which shall not be described here. When the moblins were finished, the dessert spoon saluted Yazstromo, before disappearing with the rest of the battalion in another flash of light.

"I have to ask: what just happened? I mean, there was the whistle, then the spoon, then the "Attack!", then the moblins falling down, then the spoon disappearing, then me blithering on about the whistle, then the spoon, then the "Attack!", then-" Railin paused, then whispered, "I need to lie down", before once again falling backwards onto the ground. Yazstromo looked at him with a grin. "That has to be fun, what with you doing it so frequently. Mind if I give it a go?" He then turned around, and fell backwards, flat on the ground. Giggling, he exclaimed, "That was such fun! Oh, you need to start letting me in on these things." They lay there for a moment, before Railin asked, "So, what was with the whistle? I mean, how does it work?"

"Oh, it's fairly simple. I blow into this whistle, and then either that platoon of silverware you saw will appear, a chimp I am friendly with will appear, or absolutely nothing will happen. The chance of each happening is determined by a logarithm in the engine." Railin, losing any semblance of facial expression, summed his thoughts up succinctly: "What?" "Yes, but once I've used it, it takes a while before I can use it again. I call it the cooldown time. I can tell when it's ready by the icon on the HUD lighting up." Railin, even more lost, sat up. "What icon? I don't see any icons." Yazstromo, joining him, looked puzzled. "Sure there are. See, right there. Unless...this could be a NVMMOFPRPS." "Whoa, slow down. What's this NVLMNO...thing?" "An NVMMOFPRPS: A Not-Very-Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Role-Playing Story. That'd explain why only I can see the icon on the HU-" Just then, a loud crashing sound filled the air. Yazstromo and Railin turned around to see Galysses smashing the only remaining wall of a ruined four-sided hut. "Galysses, what exactly are you doing that for?" Yazstromo enquired. "Well, you seemed to be having a good time doing it, so I thought I'd give it a go." "Give what a go?" At this point, what could possibly be considered a smile crept across Galysses' skull. "Breaking the fourth wall." *BA-DUM, KISH* "Wait, who's playing the drumkit?" Galysses surveyed the area, before shrugging.

"Well, I don't have a clue what you've been saying, but that's not surprising. Ever since I met you, I thought you looked like some sort of wise...beard man. And what a handsome beard you have..." On saying this, Railin blushed, before stammering, "Wha-wha-what I me-meant was...umm..." Yazstromo placed his finger on Railin's lips, shushing him. "Don't worry. I've felt it too. This...connection between us. Railin...I think I love you." Railin's eyes filled with tears of joy. "Oh, Yazstromo! I'm so happy!" The two leaned in, their lips longing for the other's embrace, and then...a Cucco appeared, screaming, "YAOI ALERT! YAOI ALERT!"

"GAH!" Galysses awoke with a start, panic in his sockets. He looked around the shadowy ruins, seeing Yazstromo and Railin fast asleep, with a good distance between the two. Sighing, he shook his head. "See, this is why we shouldn't have stopped for a rest."


Link64Master

Yazstromo, leading the group, approached what seemed like a dead end, for it was a steep outcropping that seemed to stretch without end in opposite direction.

"Well," Railin said wearily. "climb over it?" He saw the deep gaps in between a split in the rock. "That would save us time, to state the obvious. I don't see an end in the other directions, so we might as well."

"Or we could go through it." Galysses replied. On that note, he got up against the rock and put the side of his face against the wall and knocked on it a couple times. "Heh, decoy, distraction, this is a fake wall. We could burst through it with a small effort. Maybe a sword/shield could do the trick."

Railin leaped on the opportunity and ran into the outcropping with full force and burst through it. A wide smile appeared on his face when he got to the other side.

"So you seem smart, but what are you grinning about?" Yazstromo said with curiosity.

The other two followed through the gap Railin had created. On the other side, was a gradual slope. And down below was a village. The three brought a smile across their face. Below they saw Kakariko Village, with a diverse population of races. Their were Gorons carrying spring water into Eld Inn, the local Inn across the street from the Kakariko Shaman's hut. Railin nearly fainted of pure joy.

"Interesting. Well, let's get going." Galysses calmly said. "I know Railin is dying to lie down!" Galysses smirked.

As they started heading down, Railin fell, with an arrow in the back of his knee.


Supreme Dirt

Thunder crashed in the distance. The calming thud of rain drops soothed the tension he had been feeling. Eight and a half centuries later, and he still remembered the time he had spent with his wife and his baby son. Much had changed since he had left Gerudo Valley - including the banishment of the Demon that had infected his soul.

This demon had come from an alternate world. This world had not been shattered like his had been. However, utilising the idea of parralel universes, had discovered that unless he reversed an awful mistake he had made back in the time he was still human - that of love - a great cataclysm would befall this world.

He pulled a piece of Onyx from his pocket. A sadness gripped his heart, as he remembered walking through this gate over 8,000 years before. During the Great Sundering - the splitting of the Seven Nations, an event so ancient it was lost to time - the castle of Tarm was mostly destroyed. For it lay on a fault line with Koholint, his home country. It was torn apart, and what remains is the front of the castle. Much of it was left in Koholint, and the Great Hall had fallen into the abyss of the ocean. A pyramid had been built about 30 years later, and had been filled with traps so as to prevent vandalism.

He returned the Onyx of the Dead to his pocket. He wondered how events were unfolding in Hyrule. He pushed it from his mind, for he heard movement behind him. Drawing his sword, he spun to face whatever it was. Standing a few feet from him was an Iron Knuckle.

Allanon lowered his sword.

It was N'nkvus, his traveling companion. 5,000 years earlier, when he had ecaped his imprisonment in the Spirit Temple, he had found the Iron Knuckle badly damaged, out in the rain. He had repaired it, and the two had travelled together since then.

[We're not able to go to Hyrule. I'll rust in the rain.]
An almost nonexistent rattle. He had shuddered.
"No worries, my friend. We had best wait out the storm anyways."
[And I'll guard the perimeter?]
"That would be nice."

It went to stand at one end of the gate that they were sheltered beneath. Allanon himself guarded the other.

[It is a pity that the Full Moon Cello was destroyed. Do you have the Moonstone with which it was made?]
"Yes, of course. I can repair it once we return to Hyrule."
[What happened during the other 7 Instruments of the Sirens?]
"They were destroyed when Oshus, the WindFish and Ocean King, was released from his prison in the Egg."
[A pity. They we- LOOK OUT!]

Calmly, Allanon turned to face the Darknut. The Darknut stood there, waiting for Allanon to make a move. Allanon merely pointed a finger at it. It charged. Nearing its intended victim, it raised its sword. Suddenly, the rain around it and on it froze, clinging to the Darknut. It fell, and exploded in a burst of green flames. Allanon walked over an picked up the rupee it had left behind. A purple one. He pocketed it.

[Was that necessary?]

Hmm, it sounds amused, thought Allanon.

"Not really. I could have blown him apart where he stood."
[I wish I could use magic.]
"And I wish I could wield a two-tonne axe. I had best cast Shield upon this area."

He placed his mirrored shield upon the ground, and focused the spell upon it. It was reflected throughout the area. The raindrops outside, however, refracted it, therefore it did not work as well. A flash of lightning streaked across the sky in the distance.

[Master, what was the prophecy that you are following?]
"It is this,

The land divided
By the master stone
Shattered by a hand
Of naught but bone
Undone by he
And only him
Or if he dies
Only by Goddesses' whim."

[Which means...?]
" 'The land divided by the master stone' refers to the Great Sundering. When the Terran Diamond was shattered, the Seven Nations were wrenched apart and began to drift apart. 'Shattered by a hand of naught but bone' refers to me, as I shattered the Diamond. Two of my childhood friends, Din and Farore, became jealous that I had married Nayru. So one day they tried to kill her. I leapt in front of her, and I died. However, the three of them sacrificed themselves to revive me, and left three golden triangles, their Light Force - or the Triforce, as it has come to be known - behind. The light from the sun and these triangles drove me insane. I shattered the Diamond, and caused the Great Sundering. And as the Goddesses are really only my childhood friends, if we fail..."
[The world is screwed.]
"Exactly."

Suddenly, in the distance, there was an explosion. N'Nkvus raised his axe.

"At ease. It was only Symmetry City, over in Labrynna. They'll fix the Tuni Nut, and be safe another 600 years before the volcano erupts again."
[So Death Mountain-]
"Death Mountain is fine. The two volcanos are not linked."
[So what was the second part of the prophecy?]
"Just descriptions of the stones,

For Hyrule, the glowing green of the winds of change
Labrynna's wisdom embodied in the cool blue
Holodrum's fierce spirit burns like fire
The tribute to a fallen empire, now long dead
The transcendence of Time shown in the Byrrnan Pearl
The Somarian Garnet, governing space
And the illusionary seashell, tying them as one.

The first three are currently in the Temple of Time. The Onyx of the Dead is what I came here for. The Byrrnan Pearl is also in my possession. The illusionary seashell was forged into the Master Sword."
[So we must destroy the Master Sword to save the world?]
"No. To restore the Terran Diamond the stones will merge as one with the Sword. For the Terran Diamond itself is simply another name for the legendary blade."
[And the garnet? What of it?]
"It was in the possession of a great friend of mine, and hid it within his son."
[Within his son...?]
"Yes, within his son. In order to restore the Terran Diamond, we must fuse the Master Sword with the five pieces we have, and have the man with the Garnet embedded in his soul wield it. However, he does not know he has the Garnet embedded within his soul."
[Who is this man?]
"His name... is Galysses."

_________________
Image Image Image
It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.

-Carl Sagan


Last edited by Zeldaeinstein on Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:23 pm
~Section Three~

Forever Forgotten: The Autumn Festival by Zeldaeinstein

“Everyone, get down!” Galysses knocked the two men to the ground immediately and struck his shield in the path of another arrow. It screamed off and away from it, landing without an arrowhead on the ground, or in the steel. Red eyes scanned the buildings but no one area was seen as the source of the attack; all at once Kakariko Village lost its protective taste. The village was utterly quiet in the late afternoon sun, doors and windows were barred and black, the birds were also gone.

“One has to love abandoned areas and the courageous feelings they stir inside.” Yazstromo was kneeling by Railin, tending to his wound by unsympathetically yanking the arrow free in a small spurt of blood and a large amount of pain. “Seems our mysterious sniper enjoys himself some magic.” He playfully turned a headless shaft in his hands, ultimately flicking it away in boredom.

“Great, he has arrows without heads, either way I’m certainly enjoying my lack of flesh.” The Stalfos warrior stood above them acting as a draughty shield, keeping watch of nearby windows for any movement. It was all dead. The emptiness was unwelcome and all encompassing. “Well then, saboteur or not, he must be a bit afraid of this-,” He pounded his shield and smiled his permanent smile wider than normal. Railin held his knee and Yazstromo yawned in the whittling sunlight.

“Then what in Gods names are we still sitting here for?” He grabbed Railin and pulled him to his feet, pushing the Stalfos to the side and entering the first building, Yazstromo dropped the bandit in the blackness.”Worthless old twit!” A body came crashing through the closed shutters, a cloaked man holding a glass bow tumbled about coughing harshly. Galysses jumped back at the sudden action and looked sheepishly away as his eccentric partner came huddling about from the building. “Look, I caught one.” Yazstromo ripped the extravagant bow and a quiver of small staffs from the man and tossed them to Railin, on his feet with only a minor limp. “Hi there, my name isn’t necessary, although, I assure you that my friends and I really want to get to know you.” Grabbing the hood of the fallen man, Yazstromo pulled it away and fell back in a small puff of violet smoke. For a split second a symbol drifted lazily in the air, it resembled something gnawingly familiar to Galysses as he witnessed it.

“I would call that poor company, really.” The Stalfos shook with laughter and walked into the centre of the empty town, it was peaceful there, save a faint breeze. Although the day was nearing its end it was still unnaturally hot for his two human companions, the joys of being a member of walking dead seemed to have no limits. Warmth and the cold could have been feelings he may have desired once upon a time, but coming to reality of what he was and what he was meant for put an end to all of that thinking. Pain was another matter though, the Goddesses were excessively cruel to make it difficult to harm his kind, but still gave him the sensation of pain whenever it luckily occurred. Now that he had thought about it, an itch of feeling was bothering him in his shoulder, shrugging his shield a bit to the side Galysses immediately changed focus to the skyline. A glittering blue arrowhead was stuck within the area of his bones, smarting more and more every second.

“Well, crap.” Yazstromo’s voice was to his side; they both watched as faceless archers rose from all of the buildings and crawled as if from the very dirt itself. Decorated on their grey cloaks was the same damning symbol that had escaped the first of their kind. Bows were cocked and swords were raised ready to strike.

“You said it.” The mass of brigands moved without hindrance, distorting the air about them, their glass weapons glimmering in the refracted sunset. Galysses swung his sword through the abdomen of one during a straightaway, happily watching it burst into a puff of smoke. Taking as many as possible at once with his blade, Galysses seemed to be able to continue his slaughter if not for the constant rain of magic arrows from the buildings above. Yet those enemies soon met ends as Railin, down to his good knee, was firing shot after shot with impressive skill, Yazstromo appeared plain inattentive doing his fair share of easy kills.

“He will be infor-,” The last of the creatures was cut through by the Stalfos’ jagged blade.

“Such simplicity.” A stroking of his beard and Yaz plopped to the ground, already beginning to plot something in the dirt; the annoying symbol soon found a temporary home. “Yet as I look I feel that besides them carrying hellish weapons, our foes weren’t our…average bandits, agreed?” The old twinkle seemed to subside as he fell misty-eyed into thought. “Yes such a simple pattern…”

“Doesn’t that look like-,” Railin began but Galysses suddenly began into a raucous coughing fit. “As far as I remember, you don’t have anyway of coughing, let alone breathing, you stupid-.”

“There is no time to waste sitting here with maybe more of those things hiding in this village of ours. Perhaps we should get going and collect any supplies we can, give ourselves a nice long distance from here.” Yazstromo flickered a sly smile as his warrior friend’s eyes narrowed in shock and what seemed to be delight. “I suggest you take lookout here in the center of town, call out if you need us. Just make sure not to end up dead, although either way we’ll still know we have ourselves pitiful squatters.”

“So you figured out what it was, did you?” Galysses made certain to be out of earshot of the bandit when he finally spoke again; however, Yazstromo remained silent as they checked each house thoroughly, even as far as going to checking under beds. It was killing him, why wouldn’t he talk?

“The sun is setting.” Yaz mulled over a small teaspoon he had found on one of the tables, tapping it softly on the wood and testing its strength in between his hands. Shrugging, he pocketed it without a thought, clapping his hands together as Galysses unloaded a drawer filled with silverware. The Stalfos picked up knives and placed them in his belt. “You know, being afraid of the dark really is the most excusable fear in the world. Don’t you agree that you don’t necessarily find it pleasant to remain when the sun leaves us?”

“The only thing is this entire place I fear is that little head of yours.” Galysses pushed himself back out into the half stifling heat of the outside. Shadows were cast in every direction, oblong and frightening, much luck them doing much of anything to him either. Weaknesses were being questioned every second in the Village though; maybe this false safety he built around himself was going to be broken. He pivoted successfully and let a single knife fly into the building, sailing past Yazstromo’s ear and landing with a soft ‘thud’ in the wall behind. Short strands of hair fell down to the floor lazily. “Tell me what you know about that symbol; what you know should be shared, haven’t you ever heard that little saying?”

“You know, my hair was at the perfect length, now I have to cut-,” Yaz was driven back against the central table forcefully, a rotten smell escaped from the shuddering teeth of his partner. Smiling daftly, he shrugged the boney hands away and pulled the knife from the wall, immediately adding it to his pocket, no care in the world about its sharpness. “Don’t you think you’d enjoy knowing better if you figure it out on your own? I mean, what rule states I have to tell you a thing, hm? None as far as I’m concerned. Maybe put that skull into use and pretend you have something in it, there’s no fun in me just telling you”

Yazstromo heaved in a huge breath of air when he got outside and wiped his brow with his sleeve. Nicking the dirt playfully he went further about his business of searching for useful items. “Anatomy never really settles with me when it comes to things like you, Galysses.” He chuckled. “Maybe someday you’ll inform me a bit, especially how you just go about your life. Spells? Magic? I’d appreciate more talk than that though.” The Stalfos rolled his eyes and ground his teeth together in anger. “Don’t hold it against me; please I hope you understand what you shouldn’t. Think of it as your journey, think of it as a-,”

Galysses reeled back with a yell as a second arrow found home in his shoulder; he lifted his shield up in defence and was struck again from the back. Yazstromo removed a spoon from his satchel and uttered a small phrase into the curve, a shield poured out into his hand in time to deflect a third projectile. Two more gray cloaks peered out from the roofs of the two highest buildings, the Inn and the Bazaar. Yaz suddenly found himself with a mouth full of dirt, a hand shot up from the soil and pulled him down, revealing the back of the skeletal warrior once more. Railin came bounding as fast as he could, diving and hacking the shadowy hand away, rolling to his side and plunging two arrows into the snipers afar.

“These damn things are everywhere!” The bandit kept felling more foes as they rose up in windows and rooftops. “Feels like all we’re doing is playing a game.”

“That’s exactly what we are in.” Yazstromo tossed his current spoon away and grimaced at the sight of another wave of creatures. “Now what are we going to call these things?”

“We aren’t going to call them anything.” Galysses struck the second arrow from his body with a rock, gasping lightly in pain. More and more kept rising from the winds, the sands, the buildings and even midair. The symbol was mocking him, the grey fool was mocking him too all this time.

“I don’t know about you two, but I have an itch to get out of here.” Railin backed away from the main group and stopped as a chill raced down his spine. The wind blew up in their faces and blank hoods began sifting up into the Village Square. They had gotten themselves surrounded by grey cloaks, and all they would say was an inaudible, or at least, unknown word, or perhaps a name. “Please tell me you guys have ideas.”

“I don’t.” Galysses’ eyes were dim red orbs, piercing the slight darkness, taking in all the bodies to see.”Other than the usual hack-our-way-through approach; it’s worked in the past.”

“The past didn’t have a few hundred of the things breathing down our necks!” The heat was almost unbearable, the wind kept blowing it up in their faces, yet the grey cloaks did not rustle at all. Were they even here? Were they even dead when they were killed? Thoughts petered out immediately when two more groups appeared to box them completely in, all four sides lifted glass bows ready to fire. A large sigh went up from the back end, followed by a deafening screaming noise. Smoke flew everywhere and all of the grey cloaks changed their focus to the source and opened fire. Bodies went flying out trailing more smoke into the air, whispers died and the word was yelled. A man dressed in black stood still in among a line of fallen glass weapons, his face barely visible under his hood.

“I suggest you take this chance to leave now.” He lifted his left arm and unlatched a withered looking book and pulling his hood down, he began to also speak in an unknown tongue. The right arm closed the book and revealed itself; the man snapped his wrist downward and a long flaming scythe found itself a new home. Mervil bounded out past them, knocking them away in an invisible wake, they began running, keeping an eye back to see as he tore through the grey cloaks without thought or compassion. Arrows were deflected invisibly, smoke billowed out into the sky endlessly and yet they still came, looking as if any moment they would overpower him.

Galysses and his crew slid down the moss bitten hill back into the darkening Hyrule Field. Zora’s River rushed past them with the final summer surge, tonight was the Autumn Festival, to be festive seemed a bit far off the agenda for the night. A loud explosion cracked out from the sky, looking to see flames or smoke, all that they could see was a fading firework by Hyrule Castle.

“I believe it is time that we got to meet the King.” Yazstromo smiled for a second and for all the world was worth, everything actually seemed so grave.

***

The second firework was more beautiful than the last. Faint stars glittered in the bruise coloured sky, off to the west the Sun was emitting one last show of defiance to the movement of the earth. Pinks, blues and reds hacked away at the sky, clouds were askew and hints of rain drifted on the breeze. Tap sat in thought, dangling her legs absentmindedly over the edge of an empty Lon Lon Ranch. Her hair was frizzled from the day’s travel and stress of dealing with those two bandits earlier on. Across her lap was a single arrow, the bow leaned against the lifted gate. If it hadn’t been the night of the Autumn Festival, the abandoned and unguarded farm would have been eerie and disquieting.

Kaz was huddled up on the other side of the natural fortress, a strange outcropping of rock in the middle of the plateau of Hyrule Field was home to the successful Ranching team of Malon and Talon. The brigand didn’t know that his presence was already known to her, since she had started moving he had unnaturally followed her, diving into hiding whenever she ‘thought she heard something’. The robin she entrusted to keep guard every so often had made sure she wasn’t being followed by someone she didn’t want to be. It made her smile, though Tap had helped him, it really shouldn’t have been enough for him to trust her.

Blue lights exploded above the castle and she held her breath as it changed to red. When did Hyrule get to be so formal and informal at the same time? Off to her side she noticed an odd number of shadows travelling up the different paths to the castle. More guests from afar, such splendid celebration for the beginning of the harrowing winter winds to come. Strangely enough none of them were talking about the excitement to come, all walking in unison and mute. Tap couldn’t help but glance at them every now and then, almost too gravitated to watching the firework display to give a damn. Each time she forced herself a double take as their numbers seemed to oddly increase. Then to the northeast three figures came bounding to a stop, all different sizes, collapsing in exhaustion. Were they with the ‘new party members’ as well?

A firefly darted past her ear in the breeze. They should have been gone for the winter by now; although, it was a welcomed sight. Tap gave a command and watched it make a straight path to the figures; its tiny light disappeared for a moment and returned with quick succession. A flash of information and speech met her consciousness, a bag of bones, a spry little man and that other bandit who fled from his partner. Curiosity stirred within her and for a moment all she wanted to do was run down and get a better look at the three. Those other things didn’t fair too much for a want to know them better.

Those other things were moving toward the others, almost immediately changing focus of the Town Walls to them after their appearance. And now they no longer secretly were joining them. The sky was spilling them down in huge numbers and even the ground was erupting without stirring, grey cloaks. The previous firework had given such a light as to illuminate all of them for the world, for Tap, to see. Raising her hand she pinched down hard on her arm for self-assurance and cursed at the reality. Closing her eyes and breathing in, she opened them to an empty field, the clouds that had appeared were no longer there, and the three were still stationary and alone.

It had gotten lonely out in the Field now. The grey cloaks stood on the Capital Walls.

***
“Well isn’t that gorgeous!” Yazstromo’s face was lit by a blue firework that had recently set off; it was like the past brush with death hadn’t even happened. The brush with death wasn’t even over yet. Galysses had noticed them hording out in the evening light, now with the stars taking center stage, at least they would have been without the fireworks. There was no moon. “You know, when I was younger I worked with fireworks for a man who I shamefully can’t say I remember. It was some of the most fascinating work I ever conducted. Really you two, if you ever get the chance to set a flame one of those, it’s the greatest feeling in the world to watch them explode.”

“Are we going to stand around here being sentimental or are we going to do something useful, say, telling the king exactly what is going on?” Railin shrugged; he was leaning against Galysses who had reluctantly allowed him to do so, his leg was still bleeding through the haphazard bandaging job, it looked a great mess. If he didn’t receive medical attention it would fester and that would be the end of his short journey.

“Oh yes, that order of business. I’d almost forgotten about that whole thing.” He rolled his eyes, yet smiled wryly as he began to walk toward the dark walls of the castle. “Stupid fools, I’m not that too absent minded, or absent minded at all. I think.” Brushing some dust from his shoulders he motioned them to follow, seems they could only stand there and do nothing. “Clean yourselves up, strip naked and jump in the river if you have to. Everyone must look splendid in there, drinking, dancing, laughing, probably drinking some more; we have to follow suit.” Yaz peered upward at all of the grey cloaks standing in the shadows of the castle walls and shook his head grimly. But he did nothing, his odd levelled hair flattering out in the wind behind him, his pockets jingling with silverware.

“We’re late!” He pounded hard against the inner gate of the castle town and found it to be unlocked, creaking slowly from the force of his blows. Two guards were sitting off to the side, one was asleep and the other in a drunken daze. Yazstromo had the urge to kick them hard in the kidneys, but that subsided at the amount of people inside that would see the ‘treasonous’ act. People were everywhere, dancing around in circles, watching for too long was making him nauseous. Rainbow coloured lights were floating from magic spells given by the wizards around the town, it was like daylight, only a few true flames were lit. And there by an extravagant litter, was the King of Hyrule and his Royal Guard. His face was different colours at every flash of a firework from the display, but over all he was extremely red. Great, everybody was a drunken little slob here.

The Temple of Time was covered in lights and banners of leaves and vines, different hosts of other lands had brought their own banners to add to that of Hyrule’s. It was a sight to see, all the knights, ladies and lords, generals and even the peasants seemed in a new light. Houses were lit and several shadows of laughing folk were seen from the outside. Stars twinkled and the entire world was happy here. Yaz had to bring the bad news that something was certainly off tonight and perhaps continually.

No one was really paying attention to the king, at least until after he called them together for the last release of the fireworks stock for the Autumn Festival. He was large and muscular, long whit e merged with his beard, he was old and tired but looked nothing more than a young boy in a man’s body.

“One last hurrah, my citizens!” Harkinian was obviously near the edge of being a babbling drunk like the rest of them. “Enjoy the night and welcome the winter months by filling your bellies and treating your thirst. All assets spent are mine, from the treasury. All for you, Hyrule.” Over two dozen fireworks lit up the sky and it truly felt like day light, with all the people around it was a perfect opportunity.

“I request council, my Liege. If you would that is.” Yazstromo called out to him from the steps below of the far north platform. The King turned to him and smiled, directing him to go ahead, but as he stated his case, the smile went away and people laughed. “I bring grave news of a potential attack, I have seen the foes here in this area, be sure to believe me, my-,” He turned around to an absence of his followers, they were on the other side of town looking at Gods know what. A mock smile he forced to his lips was something he knew to make him seem a common folk. It didn’t matter to him. “Please listen, I think it is in your best interest to think about what I have to say.”

“Take the wretched little fool away, put him in the tower and wait for him to sober up.” Harkinian shoved one of his Royal Guard ahead; the other had a puzzled look, more at Yaz than at the king. How bizarre. The knight grabbed him roughly by the arm.

“You’ll regret this, your Majesty, more than you might know.” He cursed under his breath, right when people should heed his word they blatantly throw it back in his face. Knowledge was everything. Rattling the guard’s mail, he found it a pleasant surprise not to smell liquor on his breath when he questioned his motive. “Tell you what, I have this splendid object, worth more than you likely earn in five years salary. If you let me go about my business you can have it.” He took the glass bow from his shirts and gave it over to the bearded man. Looking at the bow to Yazstromo his shrugged his shoulders and released him from his iron grip. Away he was pushed into the crowd, and the man disappeared back to the King no doubt, give the false word.

“Hey you two bubbly morons, get over here!” Yaz was crossing the Square when he noticed trails of smoke rise into the air; someone in a red cloak was killing off some of the grey ones. Excellent, it seemed he at least had someone on his side. And there, a man he knew only to be the ‘spell man’ was walking delicately through the front gates. Everybody was gathering, something had to have been wrong. The feeling was twisting in his gut. Yazstromo’s breath caught when some of the grey cloaks began descending closely by the walls, standing stark still, nobody noticed.

“Is that Kaz?” Railin appeared out of nowhere besides Galysses, but they weren’t taking notice of the man they had left by himself for no damn reason. “Kaz! Down here!” The bandit was jumping and smiling, but red in the face too, stopping as a shadow on the wall turned from him briskly. Was he really ashamed of what he had done? Yazstromo chuckled at the proposal.

Suddenly he felt a great weight all around him. Turning in the wind, his eyes passing Mervil who was sifting his way through the crowd on his lonesome straight for the King, Yaz found his gaze home on Harkinian. One Royal Guard. “Gods be damned.” Out from one of the houses a blue headed arrow cut across the sky and splintered into Harkinian’s gut, another in his chest; the King reeled, a short scream was cut off by another as the other Royal Guard came up with his sword at the back of his neck. The sword was his arm. The King’s head flew forward in a spout of blood and flesh, his body fell lifeless. White hair matted with blood rolled out among the people and they all spread out crying in fear.

Grey cloaks burst from the walls, the gifted knight rolled out from a bay window, changing immediately into one of the greys. Yet the killing Royal Knight did not change. Mervil was backing away, a look of utter hatred crossed his face, his eyes met Yazstromo’s and he jerked his head toward himself. His fiery scythe was cutting through hundred, hundreds, of the foes.

“I am Arivis!” The executioner called out, leaping onto the litter roof and boasting a large orange staff; flames erupted into the sky at his command. His sword arm was changing colour. Amazing. “I am your king now, and now my subjects, I order you to death or to fealty! Hyrule is mine and with it, all of you.”

"Bar the Gates!" The knight Yazstromo had given the glass bow to seemed to be some kind of sick second in command. He was felling people like they were nothing with the magical arrows he was pulling from his own quiver. Some of the grey cloaks ran to the gates lifting up shadowy looking logs from the very cobblestones and shoving them tightly across the wooden structures. "Gather the people from all about for judgment." People who denied had their lives strictly taken, their blood spilled down across themselves in quick style. It was both intriguing, how quickly this had happened, and horrifying.

"When I direct my attention to you, you are supposed to follow." A deep voice hissed in his ear and he felt a strange liquid feeling take over the air he was breathing. "Where are your friends?" Yazstromo tried to find a face, but tight hands kept him in front of his helper stark still. Pointing sheepishly at the sore thumb of Galysses they began running toward him. "This is Galysses I presume."

"Why, yes, yes it is." The man now saw his face, the strange savior back up in Kakariko Village.

"Excellent." A shadowy hand burst forward and shrouded the Stalfos warrior within, pulling him into some kind of shield Yazstromo guessed. Well, he knew, since more than a half dozen arrows had been reflected away from it, most around his face. "Now heed this advice, stick around here and you won't be harmed. Don't go off ignoring the word for less...amiable things." Mervil left the protective area and began running full on toward the usurper.

"Look at the fool! We have to stop him!" Galysses began to run after but a firm hand wound its way across his forearm. "What do you think you're doing? I'm not going to have some old coot trying to direct what I'm-,"

"If you leave you most surely will die." Yazstromo yanked him back, hard, into the area. "If he wants to run off and die, than so be it, as far as I'm concerned, we're save enough here. The rash are brave for as long as their head rests on their shoulders." Two more citizens fought back from being herded and soon lost their lives in defiance, the grey cloaks had no compassion for life. If he hadn't seen them die, Yaz would have guessed them dead, or never alive for that matter.

More than a dozen tunnels of smoke lifted into the sky, should they really dare to leave and try and fight? No, that would be ignorant of them, sure they could bring them down with ease, but who knew how many grey cloaks this Arivis possessed. This Arivis was interesting, no wonder it had been so warm a day, that staff he wielded, flowing flames willy-nilly in the air, had to have been the cause. Could this have been prevented? Mervil leaped up on a downed wagon and seemed to float in the air, unleashing a thin beam of light from the pages of his book.

The blinding light cracked Arivis in the chest, spewing black liquid in every direction as he fell back onto the cobblestones. It burned into the litter he had been standing on, the staff he carried had stopped and with it most of the noise. Whimpering and dying rasps echoed in the town but just like that, the capital had been besieged.

“I am Arivis! I am your king now, and now my subjects, I order you to death or to fealty! Hyrule is mine and with it, all of you!"The 'new' king returned to his standing position but was slowly melting. Mervil spun full on his feet but was knocked away by some kind of strange force before he could take any action. Arivis fell apart into a puddle and an identical Guard stood at the other end of the Square.

"So you are the fabled Wanderer. I must say you are a bold one." Arivis carried his staff lazily beside him. "A wonder, this Staff of Suns. We know all about it, don't we?" Mervil pushed himself to his feet, a thin trickle of blood down his cheek, an expression of pure malevolence staring hard outward. Opening his arms, Arivis smiled a smile with sharp teeth. "See what I've done, aren't you impressed? My Numen made short work of this all. I really admire their skill at killing."

"They are efficient I have to admit." The black garbed man held tightly onto his spellbook. "I'm surprised to see you, Demon." Arivis laughed at him and lifted his sword arm that was now the colour of blood. Up above on the walls were the two hiding shadows from earlier. Where was that Railin anyhow? No bodies on the ground were him, none in the groups. He must have hid himself nicely. Or he was right behind them.

"Why are they just talking?" The brigand was pale and appeared to have been sick earlier.

"Talking is the fastest way to deal with something, don't you know?" Yazstromo sheepishly smiled and shook his head. Was it time to act?

"Surprised that you even show your face. I'm going to make sure you spend the eternity you were supposed to in the North!" Mervil flashed open his Flame Scythe and covered the ground between he and Arivis quickly. A hand of air grabbed him, swung him overhead and bashed him against a tower on the wall. The man watched shocked looks cover a girl and a man beside him as he adjusted his cloak, and cracked his neck."Stay exactly where you are." Tap widened her eyes and looked at Kaz, only to see that Mervil was back down with the King.

"I heard you're immortal." Arivis gnashed his teeth calmly. "I also heard that your hand, well, a mighty shame! It has been so long really since Crandall fell, hm? As far as I know, survivors count." Again he laughed an echoed chuckle. "You also harbour Yazstromo, I pity you, sincerely I do. Galysses is nothing. You might think of yourself as the Wanderer, or the Deliverer, but you're doing it for no good reason. Words as old as sand and as old as yourself!"

Arivis shook the ground with a mighty expulsion of energy, knocking the cloaked man from his feet, yet he landed quietly on his palms. Flames came next, but by the direction of the Scythe they did nothing.

"The same old tricks as before, I see."

"No, just to make you think I do." Mervil was buffetted by magical energy and landed hard against the bloodied soil. "Enjoy your trip."

"That's it, I have to do something!" Galysses ran from the shield but again was stopped, but this time by Railin. Yazstromo became wide-eyed and watched helplessly as the cloaked man disappeared like rain and all his magic with him. The Stalfos and Bandit did not follow him, but a sharp image of forest backdropped them before darkness took him.

***

It was dark. No nightmares this time, he had just lived his, again. Mervil sat up slowly, aching all over. His hand pounded painfully. All around him in a haphazard circle were three others. The bow trader Yazstromo, Kaz and a hump of red he knew as Tap. That was almost all of them.

"Damn." He swore. He knew that two of the needed ones was a good start, but he had failed to keep the Warrior. Such a brash creature, Galysses was, it would be the death of him someday. Mervil shuddered. No, death can never find itself home with him.

"The Demon lives." Mervil was surprised at Yaz's voice in the darkness of the caves, only to noticed he was on his stomach playing with the soil aimlessly. "I once heard that legends were nothing to think of, that they never existed and never would." Flipping to face him, Mervil scowled the same as usual, his neutral expression. "But it seems that our Sun has come calling for its Moon. Our Demon has come to claim the throne. Now what happens next?"

"We stop him."

Yazstromo smiled and soon Mervil found reality with exactly what they had to do.

Deku Lord

*Well, apparently I'm next, due to the absence of the two before me. No worries, the all-powerful plot-guide has determined it to be fine. If you feel the urge, PM me and tell me how my writing is, I've never written anything of this nature before. If you plan to do that, just give it to me straight, and if it's bad, tell me how to improve. Enjoy.*

***Earlier***
It was cold. So bloody cold, why did creepy tombs of the undead always have to be this cold? The deku slashed another Gibdo in two. “Disgusting pile of rags” he muttered under his breath. Hurrying forward, he took a dive into a false floor, which did nothing for his temper. He landed hard. “Curses!” Brushing the dirt off his now-ruined cloak, he continued on, pebbles moving about under his feet, and narrowly avoiding his doom from a pendulum-blade. “And they call this a shortcut, accursed Sheika and their accursed tomes. Cur-“ But he was cut off, fear stricken into him by the closing fire walls to his sides, and the Stalfos behind him. Where the hell did that thing come from anyway? Throwing a deku nut, the king burst into a run, trying to get as far away from the skeleton warrior as he possibly could. “I must be insane” he thought, “I just took a burning tunnel over combat with a Stalfos.” But then, in an odd moment of ingenuity, he drew his blade, and held the short sword perpendicular to the walls until they held it for him, but were forced apart by the very thing they held. The deku continued walking, but then he heard something. It was an ear splitting sound that could only be steel, not bending, but snapping in two. The walls began to close faster, and they bashed together behind him as he leapt through the gap, spitting burning shards of wood everywhere. “I hate this place” he said, the ferry taking him down a sluggish, winding river, somewhat resembling a tomb. Of course, this was a tomb, so he supposed it made sense. Taking the tiller, he began to guide the boat to the right side of the passage, praying that the ancient book would continue to serve him well. Eventually the trudging boat entered the wall, and the king breathed a sigh of relief. There, on a slightly raised platform, was the fruit of this demented journey into hell, the one thing that had caused him to leave his cushy home in the Lost Underwoods to seek out. Not that it could really be called a home. He first removed the scabbard from the monument, taking a few seconds to admire its beauty. It was wooden, stained at least twice, with intricate carvings depicting the history of a land unknown...to most. Having donned the scabbard, he took up the Garo’s Blade, sheathed it, and sprinkled the last of an odd powder onto his tongue. “Too bad I won’t be getting more any time soon” he muttered. Snapping his fingers, he vanished.

***Present Time***
It gave him an uneasy feeling. He didn’t know what it was about this new sword, but it bothered him quite a bit. Slowly he stood, and took a look around his humble abode. It was wooden, it almost looked like those ‘Igloo’ things he had seen long ago in the iced lands. Across from the door was a fire place, the smokestack of which was hollowed out through the tree trunk. There was a small wooden table built for two, and a posh, blood-red rug under it. He had no windows, though, the king hadn’t much taste for the elements anyway, so it worked out alright. But this sword, it made him want to travel again, almost pulling him out of the hut. Next thing he knew, he’d gathered the rest of his food from the cupboards, stuffed it in a haversack, and departed for the stream to fill his dinalfos-skin water pouch. Touching it made him wonder about his old friend from the mountains, but not for too long, because a voice in his head kept screaming “Ikana! Ikana!” He didn’t even know where this place was, much less how to get there. He had just about made the stream, something thumped up ahead. “Strange” he thought, adjusting his path slightly to the left. He wasn’t sure what it was that landed in the Underwoods, but he wanted to find out, and he was determined to satisfy that desire.

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Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 3:13 pm
~Section 4~

Aftermath

The tunnels were dark. Here and there the trickle of water echoed from above, below or the sides, the damp and rotten air filled each of their lungs more than any had liked. At least some of them were used to it, the hindrance of breathing. Nobody had said a single word outside of taking the leading man’s direction and their brief, empty introductions when they all had awoken to blackness.

Yazstromo looked about in wonder; no matter how much he prodded the ‘Wanderer’ to tell him where they had gone, he had only remained quiet and solemn. At least he was better than the other two, the bandit friend and the girl in red, all they did was mope or exchange looks. A part of him felt sorry for them, but that was about as far as it got, they had no idea what else could await them, if Arivis had shook them up, well, no longer would they find joy in legends.

“Left.” Mervil’s harsh voice broke the silence at a crossroads of tunnels. One heading toward the right definitely did not seem too welcoming, the faint light they were thankful for disappeared only but a few feet in its wake. Again they followed him like sheep to a potential slaughter. Yaz stifled a chuckle, Kaz and Tap also wouldn’t enjoy knowing their lives would forever be on the line from this point forward. “Straight ahead.”

“So, Deliverer!” The old man called out to his comrade expecting silence, and there was. “I couldn’t help but try, you really are poor company.”

“What in the Gods’ names do you want?!” He swung around fiercely, a burning in his eyes and a dark expression tearing across his face. “So much for the Scholar to have to ask me the questions!” Pounding two fingers against his chest he realized he was using the wrong hand and pain shot through his arm. “Go on, you have to have something important to say, you’ve only been asking for the last three goddamn hours!”

“Um…You actually answered my question.” Yazstromo felt a smile tug at his lips but he felt kind of stupid to try and mock the one man who sent Arivis back where he came the last time he had risen. “You are the Deliverer, the Wanderer, I’m the Scholar and who is our little friend here?” Tap gazed upward as the man waved an arm halfheartedly towards her. She looked into the hard dead eyes of the man cloaked in black and felt extremely uncomfortable from the eye contact, like he could snap at any moment.

“She has no designation.” Mervil looked away suddenly and continued to walk forward. “At least not yet. I’m not even sure she’s the one we’re looking for. The damnable legend speaks of so many possibilities.” He stopped at the sight of a door and seemed to grow rigid at the sight. In chipped paint the stone was covered in all sorts of designs, the first and central was that of a violet rose. Mervil placed his gloved hand upon the bud and pushed reluctantly.

With a groan it moved to the side, the air in the chamber beyond was full of dust and heavy with an old stench of blood, never allowed to leave. Mottled stone clung to the sides and the ceiling seemed to almost disappear in the darkness high, high above. Kaz looked about in wonder, whispering to Tap, who seemed more intent on watching the road ahead more than anything; something in the back of her mind was nagging at her about the two strangers, like she should know them.

“We’re not in…?” The older of two piped up as they walked, the flame scythe in Mervil’s hand smoldered just enough for adequate light. Yazstromo heard nothing but his own voice several times over as it echoed off the vaulted ceilings, the walls were far to either side and he could have sworn there were lumps of what he thought to be bodies gathered there. He stepped from the main path but was suddenly stopped by a shimmering barrier.

“You will not disturb them.” Mervil was facing him again looking him over quizzically, apparently eyeing him for true value. “They have gone untouched for near two thousand years and today will not be the day to break that. We are almost done here, Scholar. Bandit, girl, quit whispering about who or what I am, it is not like I cannot hear you.” The two suddenly became pale and looked away up to the ceiling where stone supports seemed to disappear in the crumbling rock.

“We’re not in caves are we?” Tap finally bothered saying something, her voice quiet a small sound of fear ended every syllable. “You know where we are, just tell us.” Her courage floundered at the end and her saying seemed to be swallowed up in the loneliness of the caves. Ahead the massive room came to an abrupt end in a small cave in. Mervil said a single word and a small void swallowed them up, to most people’s surprise, light filtered in from behind a wrecked door, all it’s paint save for the image of a dragon wing had been worn away.

Closing his book, the cloaked man rustled his hair and battered the door open, fresh air swung in and dust exploded out upon green overgrown grass. Weeds and all sorts of flowers grew up to their waists.

“We’re standing in a courtyard…” Yazstromo passed a small tree, its leaves rustling in a slight wind. All around them old statues were crumbling, some had fallen and some had been taken by vines. The walls that were rising up all around were decayed, fabric steel rings hung empty, their silks and curtains they once hung had been eaten by the weather. Nearby a large slab of stone had fallen from the deformed tower they had just entered from was revealing another section of the building.

“Welcome to Crandall Castle, Scholar; the land of your ancestors.” Mervil’s jaw was tight as he surveyed the area, wading through the sea of green and smelling the air. His hair did not flutter, nor did his cloak, but no one noticed. Brushing his hands across a faceless statue, he gazed into the blue sky for what seemed hours, letting the others wander, but never into the second yard. “These ruins were the only place I knew Arivis could not defile with his foul creatures, be it because of its defences or he has a twisted idea of letting the past stay the way it is. Follow me.”

Mervil took large steps, passing over a small rise of stone in the middle of the overgrowth. “What I am about to show you, you will not touch and will not approach. I have delved into the final chapter of my book to make sure not even the likes of Arivis can come near this place.” Entering the second courtyard and exit led out to rolling hills covered in more ruins, they stretched as far as the eye could see… But what was most important rested in the centre of a small grove of trees.

The Master Sword rested in an old pedestal; vines crawled and tightened around it after several years. Not a touch of rust could be seen, and it definitely was the most beautiful sight in the court. Flowers grew up in a semi circle where the trees ended their circular restraint on the platform.

“That’s..!” Yazstromo peered up at the cloaked man and back to the blade glimmering in the sunlight. He slowly walked ahead but a strong hand clasped his shoulder and pulled him away. “But…I thought it was lost! Lost to all time like King Darik had claimed at the final defeat of Ganondorf!”

“I have kept it hidden for many a year, Scholar. You bandit, I suggest taking leave here and now if you wish not to take part in any of this.”

“But…Railin, I have to find Railin…” Kaz would not look him in the eyes, sheepishly looking at the setting sun in the distance. “I…”

“I don’t necessarily care if you leave or not, make up your mind and prove yourself worth of what the Goddesses’ have ignorantly given you, your life.” Mervil turned to Tap and lifted her face in his hand. “And you, you have to prove to me you are our Innocent.” Yazstromo was ignored but given a word. “No worries, I know you are who I am looking for, although trading that bow was not the smartest thing you have ever done.”

“Thank you…I guess.” The man felt his pocket for any piece of cutlery and found himself out of luck, most of his inventory had escaped him in the transportation. “We must find Railin and Galysses, yes?”

“We must find the Warrior, indeed we must. But he is safe. I have ensured that. We must find the Staff of Moons in his stead.” Mervil walked in and among his spells and touched the Master Sword. “He will pull it and bring us to salvation…Our Prophet decrees as such… I am now the protector of you all.” Beckoning them toward the ruined exit, he stopped the man who had tried to rob him. “Save for you…Always remember that you are scum…”

Kaz stood inside Crandall Castle for a moment watching the others reluctantly walk away; all he could wish in the world was that he had never crossed the tall man’s path.

_________________
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Post Posted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 2:18 pm
“Faster, faster! Make it go faster!” Tap leaned happily against he railings of the ship rented earlier by a young sea merchant at a fairly low price, laughing in delight as the ocean sprayed its cool, clear liquid on her face.

Their mysterious, black-cloaked protector had explained the day before about the group’s next destinations of journey. They were to travel to Oracle Islands, the place that held the ancient Silver Tower. There they’d search for the Staff of Moons, the artifact, which legends say, equaled in power to that of the Staff of Suns, the staff that Arivis controlled.

The only differences, really, between the two weapons was they’re source of magic. Obviously the Staff of Suns operated at its best during high noon and on a clear, sunny day. The Staff of Moons, its complete opposite, worked at its peak on a full moon. It was like trying to pit a dog against a cat; each was good in their own way. However, the Staff of Moons did have one great advantage.
It’s color.

Yes, dear reader, it was a beautiful, radiant silver that glowed brightly in the moonlit sky. Like the sparkles of twinkling stars. Or diamonds. Or coins. Silver dollars. Whichever you prefer. And with that in mind, the group of troopers were able to rest slightly easier because they knew, as did everyone else in the world who wasn’t a fruitloop, that silver would totally be able to pwn that horrific color of yellowish orange. Totally. Little did the group know that their peace on the ship would soon come to a halt.

~~~

It was late into the night. Tap had exhausted all her energy running around and exploring every cubic inch of the ship and had collapsed onto the hammock in the cabin areas, dead sleep. Yazstromo was in the dinning area admiring all the beautiful silverwares. Notice it’s called silverware. SILVERware. That’s why Yazstromo has that weird obsession with cutlery. Because they’re SILVER.

Mervil stood alone at the port side of the ship, gazing at the oceans waves and doing what he did best. Being mysterious and thinking deep thoughts.

Kaz stood on that one place where people with telescopes yell “land ho!” Sorry, I failed boating class.
Since he’d decided to come along on the ride to find his partner in crime-Railin-he was forced to do various chores on the ship. This part of his job required that he keep on the lookout for Oracle Island and yell “land ho!” and basically make an *Navi* out of himself. He even had a nice little telescope he’d swiped from his little sister on her birthday.

Taking a deep sigh, he leaned against the long wooden pole that’s stuck right in the middle of every land-ho place on a ship. Closing his eyes, he recalled the days events, how everyone had basically ignored him.

“That Wanderer person was the worst,” he quietly muttered to himself, realizing that he’d never actually introduced himself as anything else other than Wanderer or Deliverer. Or he probably just didn’t remember. “I’m not scum! I’m not useless! And I’m most definitely not an ugly little maggot. I have several foundation creams that I apply every morning. I am beautiful! I am loved by all!” He stood up straight and, jutting out his chest, yelled at the top of his lungs, “I AM LOVED! I AM LOVED!” with more O’s and exclamation points than I care to add. Sucking in a deeper breath, he yelled one last time, “I AM LO-AUGH!” Remember, folks, it’s not healthy to go crazy at such a high place with small space. You’re liable to fall.

Tumbling downwards, he landed embarrassingly face flat on the ship’s ground. At least now he understood how Tap had felt when she’d fallen off the tree during their first meeting. Ha, serves him right. He decided that he would just lie there and cry for a while when he heard someone, or something, approach him. The something stood directly in front of him. Slowly looking up to see who’d cared enough to come see him, he gasped in surprise at what he saw. He looked into the face of a gray-cloaked numen. Although actually they didn’t really have a face, since the numens were basically a bunch of floating gas. Still, what he saw scared the sense out of him. A floating gray garment with a glass bow. And to someone who really cared about fashion, the scariest thing is an ugly looking garment. Oh, and near death experiences too, I suppose.

“Uh…g-guys?” squeaked Kaz, slowly backing himself away from the fashion-impaired numen, eyes open wide with fear. “Help, please, ‘kay thanks.”

“Cripes, what the bloody hell do you want now?!” shouted Mervil in a thick British accent, though not turning to face Kaz. Though if he did, he’d clearly be able to see the major pile of crap Kaz was in.
“You know, Kaz,” replied Tap, who had awaken from all the noise and was playing Craps with Yazstromo (betting silverware in place of money to make it more interesting), “I think people would like you more if you just stopped being a weirdo.”

Mervil bolted upright suddenly. “Wait a minute…” he said, “I feel a presence.” With quick ninja-like movements, he whipped out his scife and surveyed the scene. All was quiet. Too quiet… Then it dawned on him.

“Where’s Kaz?” he barked at Tap and Yazstromo. Both shrugged their shoulders and continued playing cards, a clear sign that they really cared about their companion. Grumbling to himself, he stormed off to look for him at the starboard area. Loud cries for help and splashing sounds were emitted from the ocean. Peering over the railings, he saw Kaz desparetly attempting to swim back to the boat. And Mervil really would’ve attempted to help him too, truly he would’ve. Unfortunately, at that very moment out of the sky hailed a storm of arrows. Now these arrows didn’t have those sharp pointer things at the end, so we can assume that there’s a crap load of grey-cloaked numens ambushing the ship, most likely sent by Arivis in an attempt to prevent the group from getting to Oracle Island and obtaining the Staff of Moons. And when there’s a bunch of numens, it’s battle time!

A trained Numen appeared!
Go, Mervil!
Mervil used slash!

Scife in hand and realizing that he wouldn’t be able to use any fire type moves against the numens seeing as to how they were on a cheap, wooden boat, Mervil began to hack and slash his way through the ghost-like numen creatures, knocking away oncoming arrows as he went.

It’s super effective!
Narrator switched view points!
Go, Yazstromo!
Yazstromo used thunder shock!

Yazstromo, hearing all the ruckus, decided to go see what their little Wanderer friend was up to. Actually he didn’t really have to go far to find out, since by now there was already dozends of these creatures around and shooting headless arrows. You’d have to be deaf, blind and just plain stupid to not understand what the heck was going on.

So, taking out his trusty spoon, he quickly uttered a spell and, concentrating all his magic and scholarly skills on the single eating utencil, blasted more than a dozen numens with a high voltage of electricity.

Critical hit!
Narrator switched viewpoints!
Go, Tap!
Tap used pin missile!

Tap, finally realizing that they were in danger, grabbed her smooth red bow and pack of arrows. She steadied an arrow into place and shot it straight through a line of numens. “Ha!” she exclaimed, smiling triumphantly. “That’s what I call fighting fire with fire!” Thankfully, she wasn’t really fighting fire with fire, otherwise the ship would be burning to pieces and they all would be stranded in the middle of the ocean. That, or burned to death.

Dodging the rain of missiles shot from the foes, she kept up the long, tedious process of firing arrow after arrow. This was pretty much a phail, because after a few minutes, she was down to her last few arrows. “Dang,” she thought, frowning, “I knew I should’ve stocked up at that one Kakariko Mart.”

It’s not very effective…
Narrator switched sides!
Go, Numens!
Numens used double team!

“*Navi*, they just keep multiplying and multiplying!” shouted Mervil in frustration, still hacking away at the moment but loosing energy.

“Might I contribute a bit of a suggestion?” opted Yazstromo who was busily zapping the Numens into crispy toast. Cinnamon toast crunch. “What if we got rid of all of them all at once? Combine our attacks, maybe? Just a humble little idea.”

Mervil visibly paused for a moment. “Alright, fine,” he replied. Nothing else seems to be working anyway. You’re the Scholar.”

“I know!” exclaimed Tap. “Let’s form a nice little triangle! Then we’ll blast’em all away!”

“Sounds good,” he replied.


Narrator illegally sent out all of the allies at once!
Go MYT!
Mervil used focus energy!
Yazstromo is charging!
Tap used bide!

The three of them focused their energy on all of the Numens, then…

TRIPLE FINISH!
IT’S SUPER EFFECTIVE!

Mervil’s book radiated a deep, dark black that drew in numens every which way, leaving behind nothing but dust. A brilliant array of lightning crashed through the sky, causing severe damage on the numens and a widespread power outage on earth. A hail of arrows blitzed down at high speed and pierced straight through the heart of the numens. When the air finally cleared from all the smoke, they saw that all of their enemies had been obliterated

Trained Numens fled!
Narrator won $1,000!

“Wait, where’s Kaz?” asked Tap.

Kaz used splash!
Kaz floundered!

Heaving a lifesaver overboard, Mervil, Yazstromo and Tap managed to haul Kaz out of the barracuda filled ocean. Thankfully, there was no need for CPR as that would’ve been quite the turn off.

Kaz opened his mouth to spurt out a thank you to his rescuers when a loud crack resonated through the air. All of them turned around and realized that, gasp, the ship was breaking and filling up with holes. Arrows had penetrated through the ship’s cheap-*Navi* balsa wood.

“Wups!” chuckled Tap, rubbing the back of her neck nervously. “My bad.”

But that’s not all! Do to all the thunder and gusts of wind, the ocean was now a storming women on pms. Waves thrashed every which way, and I mean huge, huge tidal waves.

Yazstromo gave a little cough and replied, “I guess I’m kind of to blame for this as well.”

On the bright side, it would’ve been nice for a pro-surfer. Unfortunately, no one was a pro-surfer and poor Tap could barely even float.

Mervil sighed. It just wasn’t his day. “I hate you all.”

And with that, one of those gigantic tidal waves came rolling over and, hovering over them for just a moment, crashed into their feeble little ship. It was not looking well for the four heroes.
After a few minutes of under water exposure, Mervil popped out of the water first, gasping in air. Yazstromo was next, using some awfully big spoons to help paddle.

“It seems like we’re a few heads short,” observed Yazstromo.

“We’re here!” yelled Kaz from a distant. On his back was a beat up looking Tap, clinging for dear life. Cling any more and she’d cut off his circulation. Which might’ve actually been pretty good. They could use his body as a boat.

“Great,” muttered Mervil through clenched teeth. “This is perfect. We’re stranded in the middle of the ocean, no food, no supplies and for all we know, Oracle Island could be hundreds and hundreds of miles away! What could be more worse?”

“Wh-what about a b-bunch of barracudas about to e-eat us?” asked Tap, who was shivering something fierce. Mervil gave her an odd expression.
“You sure have an active imagination,” he replied.

“I wish.”

Mervil took a glance in the direction Tap was facing and lo and behold, dozens of the man-eating fish were swimming at lighting speed towards them.

“Swim, dammit, swim!” shouted Kaz, already heading out himself. Boy, what a trooper.

“We won’t be able to outrun a school of barracudas,” replied Mervil, yanking him back with the group and ever so closer to the fishies.

“What if we fought them?” questioned Yazstromo.

“What are you nuts?” cried Kaz, “We’ll get eaten!”

“Ah, yes, but we could also get eaten trying to flee.”

“Then what do you suggest we do, old man?” snapped Kaz, clearly getting frustrated with his behavior. Yazstromo rubbed his soaking wet beard thoughtfully, eyes starring out into space and gleaming.

“Any minute now!”

“Well…”

“The fishies are getting closer!”

“I…suppose we could try blasting ourselves,” murmured Yazstromo thoughtfully. “Yes, that would work nicely, I believe.”

“You want us to kill ourselves before the fishes eat us? Oh, very clever!”

“Hold your tongue, bandit,” said Mervil. “I think I get what he’s saying. And it’s a good idea.”

“What?!” shouted Kaz in surprise. “Why?”

“Everyone grab onto me”

“You’re nuts, you know that?”

“And you’re an imbecile! Now grab onto me! Unless, of course,” Mervil sneered, “you’d rather stay behind and get eaten. Which is entirely fine by me.”

Within seconds, everyone was latched to Mervil. Muttering a few words, his scife reappeared. He positioned it forward and uttered a quick spell. The scife glowed a steady green. Finally, when the cute little fishies were just about to have a little nibble of dinner, he rose up his scife and striked downwards into the water. A huge wave of energy gusted them backwards through the sea leaving the hungry little ones behind. Of course, it wasn’t good for the environment since the blast left a massive scar on the ocean’s bottom, but hey.

The powerful strike from the scife along with the already raging waters made the others lose their hold on Mervil and they all separated.

~~~

Tap slowly opened her eyes, rubbing her pounding head. Sitting up, she surveyed her surroundings. A couple of palm trees. Sand. More trees. Sand. Some random rickety looking tower. More sand. A tree. Wait, what? Tap turned her attention back to the rickety looking tower. “Hm. A tower. I wonder…”

“And you’re wondering is right. That is the Silver Tower. We finally made it.” Tap spun around and saw Mervil and Yazstromo. “Good to see you finally awake.”

“You guys are okay!” Tap cheerfully gave each of them a hug.

“Well of course we are,” replied Yazstromo, brushing off his clothes from all the sand.

“But wait, where’s Kaz? Again?” Mervil’s eyes narrowed.

“Don’t know, don’t care.” He started towards the tower.

“Wait, you mean we’re gonna go without him?” Tap’s voice was heavy with worry. “What if he’s hurt?”

“Then it’d serve him right. Now are you coming or are you going to stay behind and look for your little friend.” Tap hesitated. Maybe Kaz will be okay, Tap reasoned. He’d meet up with them at the tower, maybe, or wait for them around the island. With a sigh, she bounded over to Mervil and Yazstromo, making their way into the Silver Tower.

_________________
"Pain is a sign that you are still alive, that you still have hope. This pain makes you come to that realization since without it, you have no life. Without life, you have nothing." ~Explosion banana

Ruto: Zora's Domain and its people will eventually return to their original state. As a reward, I grant my eternal love to you.
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She’s trying to lull me into a false sense of security, she thought. I must stay on my guard. I must focus. I must-oh look, it’s snowing outside! Pretty snow! ~Collision

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 8:40 pm
Forever Forgotten: The Silver Tower

The sea was colder than he had imagined it, or at least compared to how it was those moments ago. How long had it been anyhow? A few hours was his best guess, the sun was vacant, behind a drab grey sky that bobbed along with his body the whole time. Every now and then what felt like sand graced his feet or back, but blindly searching for it afterwards had always turned up nothing below. In fact Kaz had been lying in the small pool by an island the entire time, the faint waves churning him. Opening his eyes had proven too painful the two times he had tried, the sea salts from hours wash and then that of the rushing water was hard to withstand.

His bones and muscles both ached, it felt as if he had finished running thrice about Hyrule without stopping once to even breathe. Each attempt to move failed, but not now, he was going to leave. More than likely Kaz’s clothes would have nearly shattered like glass by the movement of his body and the encrusted salt throughout, but the chill of the water kept them clinging like a second skin as he waded like a wounded animal.

When he flopped down on the rocky beach he nearly vomited from the shrill stop his insides came to after hours moving about. Spare water splashed down on the pebbles and the bandit just lay there getting back his senses about what had happened; flashes of an empty hooded creature kept arriving when he sifted through his last memories. Shaking legs managed to take the bandit to a tree line; driftwood had met a fate with maggots and what appeared to be shattered glass littered a good five feet within the foliage.

Whether or not it was from their wreckage was indiscernible. Shadows flickered in the afternoon weather, but as far as Kaz was concerned, nothing was alive outside of plants; no bugs, birds or animals bothered nature. A rank smell soon broke the dream-like island; small winds were bringing it from straight ahead. Roots and rotting leaves bothered his feet immensely along the way; the compelling action behind his strength eluded him. Did he even want to see it?

A storm had washed a ship into the center of the forest, a long line of demolished trees led to the destroyed and rotting hull. Worn hemp scattered the sunlight all along the forest floor, large gashes in the hull showed a bizarre history of appearing to have been eaten; the ship itself was lifeless, not even a tree or scratch of moss had touched it. Heavy breathing had commanded Kaz’s attention, breathing which did not belong to him. Falling back, the bandit could see a small part of a body poking from the border lip of the old wreck moving back and forth on its own accord.

The Numen was lying face down in the sagging planks; its glass bow was a few feet ahead of it on the forest floor, seemingly knocked from its hand or lost in a fall. Could one of the bastards even trip? Kaz approached it in a half delirious state, nearly drawing attention to himself by falling on a chunk of the ship. The cloak was turning grey and the ghost-like appearance of the creature had gone; it seemed almost as if a body could have been under the cloth.

Scrabbling close on tired heels, Kaz circled the ship nearly impaling his foot on a shattered tree trunk to see if he could manage a look at the remainder of the fallen boat. Shadows in the trees flickered again as the cloaked enemy suddenly stretched an arm out to grasp a splintered pillar as if to get a support. A long sigh escaped its twitching figure, turning and lifting its faceless hood in Kaz’s direction. Chills bit at his spine and he felt almost frozen in place as he could have sworn he had witnessed a flash of a face within the ghostly fabric. It immediately crushed the plank and screeched angrily, collapsing into utter silence. No speck of dust broke from its body.

The decimated ship suddenly groaned to a new rest, cracking a rotted log under its great weight. A decomposed body fell from the shattered Crow’s Nest landing hard against the dead Numen and breaking through the railing. It burst apart in a cloud of flies and bones at contact with the ground. The hood flattened after a human-like skull tumbled out, a burnt hole glaring from the forehead. Rotten bodies were everywhere, had he been blind to it? Slowly overcoming the stench, Kaz relinquished the glass crossbow from the unsettled dirt and backed away from the scene. Men were falling apart on spires of wood from forest to ship alike, their flesh blackened and worn by the bounty of nature.

Warm sun singed at his wet scalp stirring an uncomfortable twinge in his stomach. To the left and right of the scene he knew the trees emptied back out to sea, the lifeless sea where his friends either were or were not. Black dots did not break the horizon from what he could see, the only other place they could have landed was this island, wasn’t it? Passing along the beaten bow of the ship, Kaz tried to make out what had once been there as a mark but it had been destroyed in the entry those ages ago, mere splinters for a good fifty metres.

The island life got denser as he moved away from the ship, the wind rustling his slowly drying hair with a weak desire. Ravens called out for food somewhere to the west; soon they’d find nicely repugnant meals lying out in the clearing and they’d fall silent in the twilight. Peace was rampant on the land here, an island seemingly untouched by the civilized world, that very idea made the bandit fear more for his rescue. Or his survival. Something foreign brushed against his shoulder from the darkness of the trees and Kaz nearly flew from the scene, landing hard against his shoulder on another tree firing a blind arrow for good measure. A second object graced his cheek and he froze in place.

Glass glittered out of a body in the trees that swayed gently with the wind, a worn noose tight around his neck. A crow cocked its head from atop the mutilated man and made a shrill cry of annoyance, returning to pecking admirably at a swollen scalp. Above his current location another man had been hung and bound, his body bearing dried puss filled scars. There were bodies hanging on nearly every tree heading toward a second clearing; each wide-mouthed and skeletal, some even remained with a look of absolute fear.

A new glass arrow glistened into its holster, splicing the light in a beautiful spectrum. Foul smells circled around his head making him more and more nauseous as he kept his ground, he had to get away from this…this place. Brambles nearly caught him twice in his breakneck speed, the twigs snapped and cracked under his hazardous weight and wake. Once or twice a branch skinned his cheek or gouged at his sides like they were actually trying to hurt him. The trees burst out into a field of grass and Kaz toppled over a dirt mound filling his mouth with its dampness. Brushing himself off, the bandit looked about; one man was hanging at the tree line on an artificial branch, likely one crafted from the ship. Who could have even survived an accident like that and it was likely much worse meeting this fate on the lonely island.

Towers of ravens ruptured from the centre of the field and flew in all directions with a backdrop of cloudless sky. Beneath the darkness of their wings another tower rose to the heavens in much the same way, foreboding and almost lifeless. The prow of the ship lay struck in a crooked manner, its figurehead replaced by one last man covered in dried blood and beak-holes. Kaz approached only to be turned away by the sight of a single rusted nail bent out of the corpse’s heart. Strands of hemp lay around the central figure the last remains of the man’s noose, taken by the weather and the wildlife.

Beyond the broken neck the bandit could see the old head of the ship, a skull with deep hollowed sockets for effect. It had been a pirating ship and the man appeared dressed as its captain. And from what Kaz could see, this wasn’t like any mutiny he had ever heard about; everybody was dead. The sea spread out beyond the clearing, the island was miniscule and likely not included on any map that would have existed. Fog rose from the waters and shadowed the horizon, on it was another small island and upon it a lurching shadow glared down at the world all around it. The Silver Tower gleamed in afternoon sun, formidable and unforgiving. It was maddening, just knowing it was so close.

***

The bird on his shattered forearm, seven feet away, stood there and mocked him by picking at it. If only he were whole, then the damned thing wouldn’t be so cocky. Although the idea of ripping the blue feathered freak gave him what he felt to be enough energy to move, Galysses would have to wait until Railing returned with more bones. Somehow the magic responsible for keeping the Stalfos warrior together had failed in making sure a meteor-like strike could keep him together. Only his skull, forearm and weapons landed alongside the injured boy, the rest of his body was currently spread through the thick forest, never likely to ever be reassembled again.

If only he could move. Apparently somewhere in the hell that was behind his chipped skull was a pile of Railin’s collection. Once he had brought him a large femur, asking if it belonged to him or not; the hoof at the end wasn’t enough to convince him it wasn’t and twice after he was asked if he were sure. Of course he was sure. Maybe he’d spare the bird for the bandit instead. Either way he was stranded, the rest of the world was going to continue on without him. Yet Galysses could have cared less if it weren’t for a ‘Demon’ running amuck.

“I found your left upper arm, Galysses.” A rustling of bones could be heard in behind his head and the skull tried to hop full circle to see.

“I’ve told you at least a hundred times to show me what you find before adding it to the pile! Get over here with that thing.” The bird watched as Railin’s shadow covered his skull and dangled a large bone in front of the piercing eyes of his comrade. Wet leaves clung to it helplessly and by tipping back Galysses could see it came with a shoulder blade. “Well, it looks like mine. Put it with the others; how many does that make?”

Silence. The Warrior asked again slightly louder than the last seemingly knocking Railin from his half second trance.

“Well, it makes for a lot of bones really.” Bandit and bone walked away, his wounded knee had healed lightly but still put him with a sad looking limp. “I didn’t count; I just know we’re missing your pelvis, your right leg and your right arm. Oh yeah, I found your hands and feet while you were taking a nap. Gods be good, they were spared from falling apart.” Three long sighs came from Railin, walking through the deep forest had tired him out, both from the wear and tear of the previous day and the nervous air that fell all along his path. “I’ll be back real soon, I was pretty sure I saw a piece of bone sticking out of the swamp about five minutes from here, not including the little boy who stared at me for a few seconds. Creeped me out so I left it.”

“I heard little kids are all the time running around in this stupid place.” Galysses opened his jaw and spit out a small rock that had been caught on impact; his partner had to rip him free from a small crater he had made with his face upon awakening. “Kokoorik Forest or something like that, at least that’s where I think we are. Just find the rest before night, it looks like it’ll rain soon and I don’t want to sleep in mud.” Dimming his eyes to near blackness, the Warrior watched another of the little Kokiri boys try to approach him; the last one had tried to kick him and received a nasty bite. Needless to say he had spread the news of the living skull and this one was here to do the same. Well, to try the same as the last. “I’m not fond of sleeping on you either, so get out of here and get the rest.”

Railin had been gone for nearly an hour, he guessed. The little munchkin had left out of uncontrollable fear of getting a bit of flesh taken out of his heel; Galysses wasn’t too fond of the idea either. Nearly complete, so close and yet so far; three more parts and he’d be out of the dump of a clearing. Flowers blowing around in the wind and the birds singing was starting to drive him batty, what he really needed was to kill the stupid bird.

“I found your pelvis, Galysses.” The sun was starting to set and the clouds were covering the bruise of sky when the voice broke him from his long sleep. “I don’t think you’ll need to look at it to know it’s yours, it had a piece of your scabbard on it.”

“Where have you been? I thought the swamp was only five minutes away from here.” He was too groggy to sound angry; the voice was a bit on the squeaky side and did nothing to help him feel better about his naked, powerless state.

“I sort of… fell in.” A small blush covered Railin’s face even though the Warrior obviously couldn’t see his embarrassment or react accordingly. “I couldn’t swim in the thick mud and had to wade around waiting for someone to help. A little Kokiri boy threw me a rope and helped me out. There’s a whole village just an hour away from here too. He took me there to get my knee mended. Boy, it’s so amazing and everything. It’s like Arivis has been sitting on his rump and leaving the world be!”

“And did you ask them to help you search for, I don’t know, two arms somewhere in their forest or something? How about asking for somewhere to sleep tonight?” No answer. “I’ll take that as a disgusting no. Look, the night is coming so why don’t you just lie down and rest for tomorrow. At least do that after you wrap my head up in a blanket.” Railin could be heard scuffling around, dropping the pelvis hard into the pile of bones behind him and dropping himself hard on the ground.

A spinning feeling overcame Galysses as a thick cloth was straddled across him. One last view of pink sky registered and then he was in the dark, wide awake. Railin bent to put him back on the ground but the skull growled out from the blanket. “Put me on my bones fool. Yes, yes, that’s right. Pick me back up and set me on the pile. Leave the forearm again for the night.”

He was nearly asleep when Railin started snoring somewhere a few feet off. All he could do was rage about in his mind and glare at the darkness of his ‘bed’. Ruffling leaves broke his fury and created a curiosity. Someone grabbed him and lifted him up, plopping him back out into the evening air, dizzy and distraught.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Galysses roared deep into the pile of his bones, wishing he could move and see who had woken him from his half slumber. The snoring of his partner ended with a scuffing of boots in the forest dirt. An oddly shaped hand grasped the top of his head and pulled him into the waning sunlight. Blue eyes observed him curiously, a toothless mouth did not move when the creature spoke.

“I believe you are looking for these, correct?” Unceremoniously plopping him back on the rest of his body, straight up, the wooden creature lifted two bones and waved them around in a boring circle. “I thought they had been lying when they had described something like a Stalfos was out in our forest. You did the little biting number on Mido, didn’t you? I must say you did a fine job with that, the little brat needed an animated skull to nearly infect his whole left leg.”

“Who…who are you?” Railin was scrounged up in a cowardly pose, the little rube had nothing to fear, at least not until the creature dropped his damn arms on the pile; making that little muggy face wake-up juice was going to feel so grand. “You look like a…”

“Yes no doubt.” Turning away from Galysses, the newcomer surveyed the bandit with his bored, half open stare. Green ropes stirred the soil in his turn. The blue eyes felt more unnerving than they likely would have been if red. “‘You look like a Deku!’ ‘Are you a Deku?’ I am of the Deku race, Hylian male. I’m just more of a Deku than the rest of them. You can stop shivering and cringing like a fearful rabbit, I don’t plan on hurting you.” Tapping the sword on his side with Galysses right femur, the Deku flicked his eyes from one person to the other. “These are of course yours, Stalfos warrior. We fellow ‘monsters’ need to look out for each other, isn’t that right?”

The remaining bones landed softly with the rest and Galysses roared with delight as the spell quickly reassembled him into his complete skeleton. His right hand still lay on the ground, its forearm still a home to the sickly bird. He needed patience.

“No, I will not tell you my name. I’ll assign you the excuse of not wanting to tell you it, is that fine?” The Deku walked about, staring into the sky, still tapping his sword with a hidden hand. “I’m not sure why I’m doing this; it must be your luck. But I would like to invite you to my home for the night. We rarely have visitors just fall from the sky you know.” He started toward the swampy area and looked back at them from under his hood. “You’re here for a reason and I’ll be certain to have you explain yourselves before you’ll be leaving our forest.”

Galysses changed his gaze over to Railin and shrugged. “We’ve got nothing to lose, really. I’m all for not heading out into the ‘dangerous world’ right away. Aren’t you?” He retrieved his forearm from the ground and smiled, attaching his hand to finally feel whole again. I have you now.

“Not at all.” The bandit followed after the strange visitor first, a plume of blue feathers itching against his face. Railin spun around and looked for the source, coming up short. He furrowed his brow in thought and stared at a motionless, smirking Galysses as if to move him with his mind.

“What are you looking at?”
***

“Sit on that rock.” Mervil swung a blind arm out behind him at Yazstromo and Tap. After exploring their island for a good day they had finally made amends on continuing to their goal. The Silver Tower was more breathtaking than they had imagined, with floors that extended to the heavens all encased in a shining coat. Sunlight waned and bent about it, casting it into a faint shadow, just enough to take away the purity of the sight and replace it with foreboding black. He peered back at them from his hood and narrowed his gaze. “Of course, any time you feel like moving away from the Tower.”

“Fine, Wanderer, if it’ll take those spines out of your arse.” The Scholar’s hands were sweating just by looking at all the pure silver bricks that had built the massive pillar. Silverware, cutlery, utensils, any and all of them would be the most magnificent in the land if they were made from those gleaming squares. “Hurry, hurry, no one likes an immortal to raise his temper, girl.” Yaz took the Innocent by the arm and led her to the drab worn rock they had been assigned to. Looking above he could see a few ravens circling the top of the Tower and disappearing into its top; back into the forest he could hear the rummaging of wildlife, but they too were only of black feathers.

“Whatever Arivis says you can believe. One thing is very certain that he remembers many things in the same fashion as I do.” At that he sat down in the grass and gazed thoughtfully higher and higher up the Silver Tower, the cool salty breeze had done nothing to its glamour for all these years. “We have to wait until the moon starts to show in the sky before I can do anything about my spell on this place. I’m surprising even in myself that it’s still working after five hundred…years.” Slowly he set his aged spellbook to his right and ran his gloved fingers down the spine.

“Well as a matter of fact, I do believe what Arivis says. You’re immortal.” Looking up the Tower as well, Yazstromo spread himself flat against the large seat and sighed longingly. “Makes me wonder why you didn’t keep fighting the ravenous monster back in the town, rather than take a beating and leave.” His eyes tried to see if Mervil were watching him, but his nose was nearly the only scenery at that level.

“I can live forever as long as I do not die. If I die then the rest of you will not be able to fulfill your part in the legend.” Flexing his hand, the cloaked man stared hard into the sky trying to locate the faded image of the Moon and came up short. The sky remained as blue as blue could be. “This book made sure of that. I’ve lived many centuries and I want you all to be sure that Arivis isn’t like the other tyrants your kingdom has had to face. There is a reason that Crandall is the way it is now. The Demon set forth events that led to its demise and your kingdom’s birth.”

“Understandable, I mean really, no one could have guessed he was cunning enough to pull off what he did that night, correct?” Turning on his side and resting his head in a hand, Tap realized her stare had been met and immediately changed focus. “I didn’t even know this place was even real, always thought it was a myth until you proved me wrong, Wanderer. All your legends and stories have been cast away forever, isn’t that right?” Tightness in the air become evident but only for a second, the breeze dropped to a chill and returned to its normal self.

“Those are both right, Scholar, but I am not too fond of the people trying to brush away the past.” Mervil stood and left his spellbook on the ground, opening it with a small touch of his hidden boot. “The war with Arivis nearly crippled Crandall beyond repair, if it hadn’t been for the betrayal of the Advisor to our last king, we could have come back from it in full force. I’ve seen your personal tyrannical foe, Ganondorf, and he seems adequate enough to serve as Hyrule’s villain. Too bad he’s dead or I could have seen the true range of his power.”

“I’m not sure if either of you understand just what Arivis is. He is a Demon who will stop at nothing to make this realm into his own. The moment he would have found the Staff of Moons all hope would have been lost. I am setting the legend forward in retrieving those destined to lead us against the last force of evil to stand up to the ‘power of the Goddesses.’” There beyond a moving cloud the faint outline of early Moon came apparent and Mervil began to pace closer to the Tower. “I know Arivis is that evil, he broke from his perpetual prison in the north to finish what he started. We’re not going to let him do so.”

“This is all very interesting…” Tap’s voice gained strength and finally escaped her usual tight lips. “But Arivis said the legend was… as old as sand and as you. Are you even sure it’s true?”

“Of course it is true, girl.” The cloaked man did not turn to face her, his voice slightly distorted from distance and blocking cloth. Slowly he lifted his gloved hand and removed the dark covering. Yaz felt his face fluster and then lose colour when all he could see was the door of the Tower where the hand should have been. “I was there when it was first crafted. My book gave me all the information I shall ever need. It may be demonic in nature but I have used it well. The legend is very well a part of me in a sense, as if I helped make it. Once it was just word on people’s tongues but finally they started to record it, and I have the very first one of those recordings.”

“That doesn’t mean that…it’s right…”

“Don’t flatter yourself in guessing, in thinking, that you are right about this legend being wrong, Innocent.” Mervil placed his absent hand on what appeared to be an all encasing shield at the front of the door. Lights flickered all along the structure and a skeletal imprint once displayed itself. “I suggest you all close your eyes if you value your sight. I made sure that if someone managed to break my seal on this place that they would never be able to purge the Silver Tower.” Yaz hesitated for a moment, wishing to see the true unveiling of the building but knew he had more things to do in his life with his eyes. Inspecting his silverware collection every day was on the top of that list.

There was no noise for nearly five minutes outside of the ancient language spewing from Mervil’s mouth. When he was finished there was a blinding white light that made it almost too painful to be around even with eyes closed, but it had made no noise to make sure the spell was gone or weakened. A bizarre smell of rain filled Yazstromo’s nose and soon the sky had erupted in a sort of gale. The Wanderer remained bracing the winds, his robe flapping wildly behind him. In a short moment he pulled his empty fist back and slammed it through the rain covered shield. Like glass it shattered into the air spewing centuries old dust back into nature.

“I suggest we move inside now before it reinstates. We’ll be able to leave it with no hindrance later on.” Mervil took a breath of air and water, almost showing a smile at the splendour he seemed to witness in it. It was raining, nothing was amazing about that. The inside was just as breathtaking as the outside had been; at least Yaz knew it should have been.

Glass littered the torn rug and bones from what seemed every creature were strewn in every direction. At first he had pulled back his hand when wanting to touch something, but Mervil apparently cared less. The vase was splattered with blood, covering must of the Crandallian writing and images. Out of the entirety of the relic the only thing Yaz could make out was a single dragon wing. Damn it all. He placed it back on the creaking pedestal and followed relatively close to his partner.

“What happened here?” Tap’s face was pale at the sight of the conditions within the main hall. The cloaked man was already halfway up a staircase when she started to speak. “Was this from the war? The war your people had with Arivis?” A booming angry laugh filled the empty chamber, the first sign of true emotion in the tall man.

“Arivis didn’t wage war. He waged a slaughter against us using his magic and his dominated demons.” Yaz could feel himself being left behind and quickly ran to get a better ear on what his main source of information was stating. Most of it was too interesting to pass up. “We didn’t have anything to combat him outside of a few sorcerers who tried to protect key areas. The war was indeed fought in both of the Towers; I was a soldier before…”

“I wouldn’t want to go there or on the left staircase.” Suddenly the topic changed and stuck Yazstromo in his part glide to the centre piece of the hall and Tap thinking about keeping far from Mervil for a moment longer on the left staircase.

“Wait a moment.” The Scholar neatly plucked a piece of a sword on the floor and placed it in a small bag, gazing up at the main doors on the floor above. “Did you say Towers? There are more of these beautiful things?”

“There isn’t enough time to stop and chat about the history of an entire Kingdom, boy.” Mervil sounded hollow at the mention of calling the older man a boy, but he knew it was right, he was like a child in comparison to his age and Yaz definitely didn’t care. “When the Moon disappears in the morning I will not be able to get us out without the Staff. This place is permanently protected by my book, when the Apocalypse comes this will be the last building in all the realms to fall.” Opening the door after he was rejoined with the two he spoke very quietly. “Some of those bones down there aren’t relatively old I must admit.”

Something didn’t settle right with Tap about the mysterious figure. Outside of thinking she should know him; he seemed very elusive and secretive, even dangerous even. Whether or not he was on their side she couldn’t really tell. Maybe the fact he had chose not to search for Kaz was clouding her judgment. Now the idea that he used this place as some sort of sick prison made her place Mervil in a different light.

“As long as we keep moving I will explain things to you, curious Scholar.” Mervil walked proudly down the lavish and dark hall. For light he had struck his scythe back to life once more. It was nagging how it seemed to spread the shadows far and wide as if they were afraid of the weapon that could not touch them. Or could it? Yazstromo furrowed his brow as he slid to the Wanderer’s side, everything about him was too cryptic, he wasn’t sure if it made him distrusting of him or taken in awe.

“Yes well, you were a soldier. Do you mean to tell me that someone with your magic ability was used just to wave a sword around like a toddler? Arivis even recognized you as a great foe, so I doubt a single pitiful run-of-the-mill guard was able to send him to ‘the North’.” He made quotes in the air at the mention of the ‘legendary’ place. Each time someone cursed out another person in Hyrule they threatened them with having to go to the ‘North’, wherever in the realm that was. It was only a legend…

“I was a soldier until I fought alongside the great Guard Captain Alexander, fabled greatest swordsman Crandall had ever witnessed conceived. We were in the Gold Tower, the Golden Haven, fighting against the forces of Arivis. It was one of the last places he had not claimed in all of Crandall. Even the good King had been stationed there for protection.” A long winding staircase seemed to spin down as if from nowhere. “We’re going outside; please keep your hands away from the edges of the Tower…” A wide door flung open at the command of nothing.

“What?!” The oldest looking of the three came to an abrupt halt, glaring out into the dark star bitten sky. “It should be nowhere near night. We’ve been walking for twenty minutes in this musty old place.” Yaz could see out to the ocean, two other islands were nearby all covered in forest and fog. At his feet another rust-free sword shard attracted his attention. “But it does have its charms I suppose.”

“I’m protecting this entire building, remember Scholar?” Mervil scratched his jaw and directed them up the curving staircase of the exterior of the Silver Tower. “Whoever entered the Tower and were imprisoned would never have enough time to reach the top and take the Staff, the key to leaving. The Silver Tower being the maze it is, they would each receive the chance to leave by the following Dawn if they found the Staff of Moons. If they did not however, they could never leave, with Staff or not.”

They were buffeted by strong nightly winds as they wound a full circle around the Tower’s walls. “I gave this Tower more than it needed to remain untouched for eternity outside of those who know how to get through it before my secondary spell trapped them forever. To speed up their time without them ever knowing, it broke their spirits and made them unable to harbour a try at the Staff.” Mervil checked the horizon for light and continued to see it as a black line. Moonlight shone off of the Tower like it were a pond and below the wind rushed waves against the headlands.

“You made a game out of it.” Tap didn’t look him in the eye in case somehow he could do something to her from a single stare. “Did you just place people in the Tower to watch them try to get out only knowing you made it impossible?” She clenched her fists and couldn’t look into the wind anymore. He was still turned away from her, his gloved hand on the elaborate door handle, shaking it slightly.

“I placed criminals and delinquents in here, creatures, black magic users and the immoral. Anyone who ever got in here had it coming; they deserved it, death as a return for the sickening life they had used.” Mervil pushed the violet coloured wood of the door inside, the stench of blood stronger than ever on the other side of the casing. “Each of the Oracle Islands turned into a separate Hell for those with black hearts. I acted as the punisher of their deeds. And be it they did not learn their lesson they did receive their pain and distress they had ever caused, surely. After the defeat of Arivis’ army in the Gold Tower I turned my attention to him and to this Sea.”

“I will admit that I enjoyed watching those bastards now and again. So strong in life and weak in death. People need to use what they have wisely or someday I will show up on their doorstep…” Mervil turned away from a certain corner of the room and pointed at one straight staircase at the end of the hall. “In the Gold Tower I…found my book and I…found myself.” Directing them he gave a slight look behind him again, neither Yaz nor Tap knew if it were them or something else. “Arivis never won another battle. And now that he has returned, we must make sure that remains forever the same. Quickly, follow me, it has been a good time since I’ve explored this place, my skills are rather rusty.”

Each island was a sort of hell. Yazstromo suddenly felt great pity for anyone that had ever committed a wrong deed and filed away a note to come clean to an Inn owner he had stolen a knife from years earlier. The Silver Tower was like an impossible and taunting maze. What else could have Mervil manifested in this section of the sea? He certainly had enough time to be crafty and imaginative. There definitely was a cruel air following him he had to admit…

They were silent for the next three floors. Stories had fallen hollow and questions had flown to the crevices of the Scholar’s mind. Stained glass windows followed them now, wherever in the mighty behemoth they were. It had seemed like the rain had started again when they started to dot with moisture. Tap’s eyes were wide when she returned them from the splendour of the glass when she had realized that it was blood dripping down them.

“How many of us are there supposed to be?” Yazstromo‘s eyes flickered happily when Mervil stopped at the next set of doors to address him in a proper form rather than talk while he strode forward. “I mean, I know various things about this legend from what I have been told, but I only know of a few titles…”

“There are many, but that does not mean we will find the rest of them. Or need to find the rest.” The bloodied windows had cracked letting more of it pool at the bottom. “We three are only part of those that account for the many important ones. The only one that really matters though is the Warrior. Galysses is that warrior, I can feel it, and that is why I sent him to another one of us, to keep him safe for a moment longer. Our job is just beyond this door.” Mervil sighed and swung the doors open slowly, bright moonlight shone onto his robes, making his burning scythe jobless. It disappeared into his hand, allowing for natural light to take hold.

“Beautiful.” Yazstromo could feel the chill of the outside air brace against his skin once more. Ravens were nesting up on the high pillars. There were even more bones way up here. The signs of war were obvious, some of the towering marble had been destroyed and the dome ceiling of the topmost area of the Silver Tower was riddled with holes and ominous gashes. “It looks like we made it in time.”

“Congratulations on making it to the summit of the Silver Sanctum.” A booming voice shook the remains on the scarred floor. In the centre stood a towering creature clad in heavy armour, a sword rose up from its hands just touching the edge of the glowing image of the Moon. All were shadows around him, a pair of red eyes blazed within the helmet. Slowly it creaked to life, no body was inside, made sure due to the light escaping through the plates of rusted armour. “It is my duty to make sure you do not pass me, criminal. If you can defeat me I will allow you leave, for only the Master of this Place would allow such a thing.”

“Never you mind, Vargz. It is I.” Mervil walked out into the centre of the platform and placed a hand on the living armour’s sword. “I have come to finally retrieve the Staff. You have paid your debts to me and may finally rest.” The creature guffawed a single Crandallian word and immediately fell into a pile, his spirit gone from the guard armour. “You are coming yes? I need the Innocent in order to unlock the Staff.”

Tap froze in place. For a moment she was confused from the strange event that she had heard, the idea that Mervil had enlisted someone to pay off their deeds for him. Either it were in a form of selfishness or of compassion. It didn’t matter now that she had the chance to make this all successful or to make it a complete failure. “I… But we don’t know if I’m who you’re looking for.” His normal hand suddenly shot out and grabbed her hand pulling her with him across the Tower top. Yaz sighed and followed along out of slight interest.

At the end of the dome a pedestal rose covered in ancient runes, scrolls and scriptures. “All you need to do is place your hand on the documents and I will say the words.” Mervil could see the doubt in her eyes and rolled his own, looking into the moon and its waning position. The dots of the islands were invisible in the glare. “You are the Innocent, girl. Just place your hand here below mine before our Scholar dies from those sword pieces he keeps picking up.” Yaz looked up and smiled awkwardly trying to focus on his dream of fashioning them into knives to help his stock back up.

“But I thought you didn’t know…that I had to prove-,”

“I can only explain it to you that I understand you are the one I am looking for, in the same way that I know Galysses is our warrior destined to pull the Master Sword and finally kill the demon.” His eyes were only gaping holes in the reflected light and gave him an even more frightening experience along with his scars. Without really noticing it, she had placed her hand on the pedestal feeling the old paper beneath her fingers as something very cold and very foreign. The rough hand of Mervil spread over hers and he called out into the night, to the Moon for something that could only have been the Staff they had travelled quite easily to retrieve.

“Troubling, but I guess I should have known.” Mervil turned back to the pile of armour that had been Vargz and Tap nearly removed her hand as his grew painfully cold. “What a disaster… this has turned out to be.” A pang of failure shot through Tap’s whole body, but she had protested, she had been right and he was wrong about her. “We’re not through.” At the slightest movement of her hand, Mervil had clamped it hard against the stone platform once more. It cracked.

Lights broke from the pedestal openings, golden and white together. Mervil pulled the Innocent back with him, watching each section move away and sink into the marble in a full flush. Struck into the centre of the lights was what only could have been the Staff of Moons. A simple blue rod bearing a fashioned diamond on the end, sat in the circle of light from the Moon at an angle.

“Just as I had feared.” Mervil let go of Tap’s hand and wrapped his fingers around the shining long object. Someone began to ask what the problem was but he soon answered in an empty tone and showing the staff in a different pose. “The King did make it here back then… I had asked him to separate the Staff into two pieces and hide the other somewhere else to ensure Arivis could never get it.” His gravely voice continued as he observed the obvious half he was holding, the diamond itself was even cut in the same way. Beside the colour and the stone, it was a replica of the Staff of Suns. “Although I never doubted him, which was just before Arivis had struck the heart of the Kingdom, to think he managed to go so far out of his way.” Mervil clutched it tightly, making his knuckles go white in fury and nostalgia.

“That’s just brilliant.” Yazstromo dropped a small piece of steel and walked over to the two, one silent and the other brooding about his mistake or his respect of a King gone by. “Let me guess, the second half is somewhere only the King knew or somewhere very perilous and deadly?” A piercing blue glare came his way but he cared not about the temper he knew was hiding under that dark hair. “Well?”

“The other half is likely on the other side of Crandall, in the Golden Haven.” The Deliverer walked back to the centre of the Silver Tower’s top and craned his neck to the full moon above. “That place is not protected either. As long as we keep this one Arivis will not be able to fulfill his desire; however, it is still very important that we find it. Yet…” Suddenly he spun from his northward position to a south-eastern one. “The other Staff segment might have been placed among the final Tower… The Bronze Construct seems just as likely and it is well protected by the spells of my book.”

“So where are we going to head then?” Plopping to the cold stone, Yazstromo laid out a cloth covered with sword fragments and began to sift through them. “We don’t have all that long to really decide. The sun is coming up at that.”

“We’re going to head to the closer of the two. The Bronze Tower rests in the middle of the Forgotten Plains, an unforgiving and cursed desert; it is a very…sacred place.” Mervil looked at the staff and at the sea longing for it to not have been in the King’s power those centuries ago to fulfill his wish. “We need to get sea-bound and back on the mainland to get there.”

“The Gods will guide us to safety…” Tap piped up in a nervous tone, the relief she had received to know she hadn’t failed the group miserably was almost too powerful and kept her shuddering lightly.

“That makes me feel worse about this, especially if you’re asking the same Gods to help us that are allowing this to continue, that are letting all this happen.” In an almost overdramatic stance, the Wanderer slammed the Staff of Moons into the floor. The group was flung to the bottom floor once more; the chandeliers covered in cobwebs greeted them with small swaying motions. Walking in silence Yazstromo made one last survey of the main hall and took one last relic to keep, the vase on the golden pedestal.

Entering the night air it was obvious that they had not been in there for long, even with the sped up circumstances they had just went through. Sleep tugged at Tap’s eyes, she suggested a break until morning to which Mervil uneasily allowed, she could see he was exhausted as well. As Yazstromo stationed himself a home by one of the trees in the Silver Tower’s clearing, she tugged her red cloak tight about her throat and closed her eyes. The brightness of the Moon off of the Sanctum made it uncomfortable at first to nod away into dreams, but soon all hopes of rest left her in a realization.

“All of these islands are cursed by your magic…” Tap spoke quietly to the turned back of a sitting Mervil. He had just sat there gazing at the broken Staff for however long it had been since they had made it out. “That means that Kaz might be out there on one of them…” No one spoke for at least a minute, the wind had died away and the rushing of the waves started to lull her back to sleep. Mervil turned his head just slightly onto his shoulder with a bored and analytical look on his face.

“Then why don’t you ask your Gods to protect him?” With that and a small tinkling from Yazstromo’s collection, the Wanderer went silent, sloping forward with the Staff and a normal scythe across his lap.

_________________
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:23 pm
*It seems like that “all-powerful” plot guide has determined that I do this "short" indroduction piece. So…listen to the bird tweet. EDITED 2014 for some minor clarification!*

Night…had he truly been staring at the tower for this long? Yes, it was awe-inspiring at first glance, but it seemed the lad had fallen into a trance. He sat on the deck of the pirate ship with his legs underneath him, staring up at the Silver Tower as it shimmered and almost glowed in the moonlight. To the Watcher, the figure who had chased him throughout the island, he seemed dumbstruck, no doubt because of all the death and horror he had seen. She knew she was at fault for having scared him, but on this bloodied island where death clung to every tree, it was hard to not insight fear.

Naomi sighed and walked onto the rickety deck of the ancient pirate ship. The pranks beneath her feet creaked, most were more than half rotten and one even fell to the floor below. The lad did not stir despite the loud thump it made. Then, she reached out a hand and touched his shoulder. He jumped, turning around slowly, his face turned and his eyes widened. Slowly, he backed a way, glancing down at her talons and crawls.

“What...what are you?” A quiver infected his speech. His large, hazel eyes never leaving her hooded face except to glance at her the long spear. "Mervil's accomplice? Come here to finish me off, eh?"

“I won’t harm ya, kid.” She said, ignoring, for now, the idea that she would work with Mervil. Those days were long since past. Lifting a hand, the Watcher took off her hood, allowing her long, golden hair to flow in the wind. Yet, the look of horror did not leave the man’s face; if anything, it seemed to intensify it.

"Demon! Back!" The kid kicked at her flimsily.

Dear gods, this boy... Sure, people had called her an "angel", but a demon? She rolled her eyes.

“Nayru above! I’m not like that “man” who cursed this place. He’s Death himself. Not the ‘Wanderer’, the ‘Deliver’, or whatever else Mervil's come up with from that foolhardy legend. Look around us, kid, can't you see what he's done?” She moved a hand, pointing at the pirate and then towards the ‘hanging trees’. "Not even criminals deserve to be strung to trees and left to rot.”

She shook her head. Atrocities like this, even after what these men had done to Alvz. Ruthlessly killing the guilty was why she could not see Mervil as the man he once had been in days gone by.

“You knew Mervil?” he asked, tilting his head. The spark of life returned to his eyes.

“Knew?” Naomi frowned.

“He…was one of my companions.” The lad bowed his head. “But, we were attacked by Numens and then our ship sunk and we were chased by giant barracudas."

In an almost comic gesture, he spread his hands apart, identifying just how large the 'barracudas' had been. Naomi, however, doubted that mere barracudas could destroy a ship, menaces that they were. They were probably some kind of warped beasts.

"After that, I landed here. Alone. They're dead, miss. Fish bait. Shark bait. Bodies sunk to-"

“Enough.” She pounded her spear against the ground. The lad twitched a little, giving her weapon another weary glance.

“Death doesn’t die that easily. Don't worry for him or your mates. They're fine...mostly.” She placed a gentle hand on his arm, though the news that Mervil had brought a group together made her uncertain. What good could come from Death collecting followers? “Tell me, where was that old fool taking you?"

“The Silver Tower, we were supposed to collect this Staff of Moon or some sort of treasure.” His eyes sparkled when he said those last few words. A thief, well, perhaps she could rescue him from Mervil's ire. If the old fool figured out this poor kid might run and try to steal the Staff from his possession, Death would have his head. Her gaze wondered down to his chest which peaked out beneath his torn, half-buttoned shirt. Yes, the fiery mark was there deeply edged into his tanned skin.

Naomi clinched her staff in anger.

“To my ship, then. He'll need our help.” She turned, expecting the ex-thief to follow. “Except if you want me to fly you over.”

He ran after her. "Fly? Oh, you're some kind of wizard too, huh?"

The Rito responded with a harsh laugh. Lifting her sleeve, she revealed one wing; a golden feather floated away in the wind and off into the darkness, landing on the impossibly calm sea. In the distance, the moon hung close to the horizon, soon, the first rays of dawn would shine forth upon the waves. The lad covered his face, stiffening a yawn as his eyes studied the jungle before them. “Where's your ship, Cap?”

"Naomi; don't call me Cap."

"Fine, Nao."

“Naomi," she said, glaring. Not a soul was left that was aloud to call her by that nickname. "I'll protect you, just like I took care of that Numen hunter.”

She stopped, recalling how frightened he had been earlier. Sure the kid might be showing a bit of courage now, but his sudden talkative state seemed linked to his anxiety just as much as his personality. “I could just fly us it would take--hey, where do you think you're heading, mate?”

He gulped. "Name's Kaz. I'm not your mate."

He began to walk away but she soon caught up to him. She placed her hand on the tip of her spear, making it glow brightly in the darkness. The lad stepped to the side, folding his arms around himself at the sight.

The lad must not be able to use magic. Can't blame him for fearing even a simple spell like this.

The spell itself was met to light their way through the pitch black Underwoods and to provide a source of light that she hoped would keep the Poes at bay. It was probably best not to tell Kaz about those; he would probably scream and bring them hither in a heart beat. Their best hope was that Death’s curse on the island had not made the poes resistant to the simple spell. Some of the scum he hunted had used magic and could feel its presence... Naomi spotted something out of the corner of her eye. Perhaps a trick of the moonlight.

Behind them, she heard a low moan. Naomi grabbed Kaz's sleeve, tearing the fabric.

"Kaz. Be quiet."

He shivered, complying. The trees stood like dark sentries in the night, ethereal blue light filling in the gaps between the their thick trucks. Kaz met her eyes, the Rito engulfed him beneath a protective wing, pointing her spear at their hidden foes.

"Undead fiends," Naomi's voice grew harsh as she slipped into that ancient tongue, "hide no more and come out from the shadows in which you dwell."

A phantom lantern appeared followed by a set of headless red eyes. She pointed her spear at the Poe, causing it to reveal itself. It stood ten feet tall clothed in flowing white robes, its head concealed beneath its hood. Even still, she could see both its eyes and its razor-sharp grin crossing its formless face. With a shrill, cold voice it began to speak, the words escaping without its mouth moving: "You shall give the boy to us, he has stayed past the allotted time."

Naomi gave the Poe her fiercest glare. "Death's rulings do not stand against me."

"So be it, Goldenwing." In the Poe's other hand, a scythe appeared. It sliced the air with its blade, summoning a horde of the undead. The corpses tied the trees stirred and leaped down into the foliage below. Redeads arose from the ground. Ghostly lanterns lit the jungle, sitting it ablaze with blue, orange, violet, and green lamps, their poes materializing behind them. "If you can escape the Isle of the Dead, then he is yours."

"Naomi...?" She tossed her spear onto her back then gave the lad a quick nod.

The Rito leaped into the air, and in one swift motion, grabbed Kaz with her mighty talons. Cutting through the canopy above them, she flew out of the jungle depths. The Poes followed in her wake, snickering, [REDACTED], and snarling around them. One sloped in close, thrusting both its lantern and flaming spear at them. A crystal arrow pierced its left eyes, throwing the Poe into the forest below. In reply, a shrill scream escaped it as it disappeared into a trail phantom smoke.

“How many do you have left?” She asked as she dodged another Poe, he took it out with two shots. “Boy!”

“Ten?”

“Wait to shoot!” commanded the Rito.

“Yes ma’am.” He jiggled beneath her as a Poe took a swipe at them. She fired a wing shaped disk at it, killing it in midflight.

Naomi launched forward, flying madly as the Poes followed them. On the other side of the Isle, she could see her ships sails…surrounded by translucent figures holding lanterns, spears, and scythes. They were surrounded, the host behind them pushing them onwards, the force before them gathered to strike.

“Get your arrows ready to fire...” She focused her magic, sending it to fill the lad’s arrows and her wings. Taking a deep breath, Naomi dove at the Poes surrounding her ship, striking them with a blast from her wings as Kaz fired rapidly. They struck a path through them, killing Poes as Naomi seemed to turn from Rito into a phoenix of light. She dropped Kaz onto the deck, landing beside him in a flurry of white and golden feathers.

They looked up. The Poes disappeared. Maniacal laughter reached her ears. The Poe from before stood there in its solemn white robes, its never fading grin still fastened to its face.

“Get off my ship.” She snatched her spear off her back, jumping into the air and plunging towards the Poe in a mad dive.

It dodged, swiping at her with its scythe. The attack messed by a few inches as she slammed the butt of her spear against her foe. It disappeared, reappearing behind Kaz. She spun. It placed its scythe on his neck. The lad’s eyes widened in fear.

“Get off!” She came to a stop, however, heart hammering in her chest. “You have no right!”

“If you can break the rules—“ She fired a beam of light from her spear, making the Poe drop Kaz as it barely sidestepped into the ether. They looked around the ship, coming closer as their foe refused to appear.

“He is mine by right.”

She crouched in a defensive stance, fully aware that her magic reserves were running near low. “Parlay.”

The Poe reemerged. “What would you trade?”

“What! She doesn—“

“What your kind crave. A portion of my life, a way to get off this Isle and live anew,” she said, sticking out her hand. The Poe took her hand, encasing it in its cold grasp. A chill raced up her arm and down her spine as the grin on the Poe’s face grew. It vanished from her ship. With a sigh, she turned, leaning heavily on her spear as she gazed as the sun rose over the ocean, painting it in shades of pink, orange, and gold.

“Is he…dead?”

“No, and wherever he is now, he’ll someday bring atrocities anew,” she said, her voice sounded worn to her ears. “C’mon mate, we won’t want to stay here long. Even daybreak on this place is bound to have ceaseless horrors…”

She motioned him to lift the anchors. The boy, however, stared at her. “You don’t—“

“Kaz.” He placed a hand on her arm. She glared down at his hand.

“I did a little sailing for a year. Worked for some pirate with Railin, though we never saw his face.” Naomi nodded, but said nothing, the lad rambled on, directing her to her cabin with a gentle tuck. “And this ship, well, she’s nice. It can’t be that far to the Silver Tower, right?”

“You saved my life,” said he, smiling. “I might as well return the favor.”

The door clicked shut behind her, leaving her alone as she sat on her mattress. Instead of resting, she turned to gaze out her window, watching the Silver Tower grow closer and her looming meeting with the man who deemed himself Death. That monster that she had once labeled ally and friend…

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
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Post Posted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 2:46 am
Sorry to all for the...somewhat extreme delay. I've had a lot on my plate, what with school wrapping up. Anyway, here it is: the next fabulous installment of Forever Forgotten!


Yazstromo's eyes wandered longingly across the horizon. If he did that, he could at least avoid looking at that precious Tower; though, it had the added side-effect of keeping his thoughts on their immediate problem. "I hate to be a bother, Wanderer, but...how exactly do we plan on getting off this island?" The question did wonders for his companions, who left their brooding reveries and instead began to look around them in much the same manner as Yazstromo was looking ahead. “I was hoping you might have some suggestions, Scholar. You’ve been full of them for the better part of our journey.” Mervil glared at him disdainfully, but before he could re-enact the macabre fantasies flashing in his mind, Tap piped up. “Well, on our way in I think I spotted a wreck sitting on the coast. Maybe one of you could...do something...make it sail again?” She looked longingly at the two men, before sinking to the ground. “Best idea we’ve got so far. Let’s go.” Mervil picked up the Staff and scythe, as well as Tap’s spirits, and began moving along the beach. “It’s not like looking at the water is going to make a boat come along any faster. Wishful thinking’s only going to get you so far, Yazstromo.” At this, the old man, now looking towards a nearby island, smirked. “Oh, ye of little faith.”

*****

With the little light available, Kaz could just make out three shadowy figures standing on the shore. A broad smile broke across his face, with the thought of what Mervil would say when the “useless piece of scum” gets them off the island, what Yazstromo would do when he sees the expensive-looking fork found on the ruined ship, and what Tap...well, hopefully they’ll all be happy to see him.

*****

“Well, Kaz, I have to say I’m almost impressed with you. You’ve finally done something mildly useful.” Mervil glanced around the ship, while Yazstromo admired his gift and Tap wandered around the deck. “It’s...so beautiful...”, Yazstromo whispered, a tear in his eye. “I’d say at least 150 years old...perhaps older. And still in such perfect condition.” He looked up. “Kaz...I think I love you...”
“Gee, thanks Yazstromo. Say, has anyone seen Tap?” The ex-bandit scanned the surrounding deck, before hearing a sound from inside. “Hey! Guys, there’s someone on board. Here, in the captain’s cabin.” The three men ran inside, Mervil leading the way, Kaz behind. “Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. I didn’t just find the ship. Someone came along and rescued me from the island. I think her name was-“
“You.” Kaz stumbled into the cabin, slightly out of breath. “No, her name’s Naomi.” The cloaked man swung around, annoyance clouding his face. Of all the ships... “I am not sharing the same boat as this creature. We’re throwing her overboard.”

“Wait, what?” “You can’t just do that!” “She saved my life!” “That’s a terrible suggestion.” “Now, matey, I thought that, if you didn’t want to share a hull with a person, ‘twere better manners to get off yourself...’specially if that other person’s the cap’n.” At this, all eyes swivelled to the bed, where the Rito had propped herself up, and was slowly getting to her feet. “Kaz, matey, you ever heard of keeping the noise down when someone’s asleep.” She looked around. “Oh, we hit shore already? Then these must be your friends, including...you.” Losing any sign of weariness, Naomi jumped to her feet.
“I already said that.” At once, his scythe appeared in his hand, glistening menacingly.
“I never thought I’d ever see Death stroll along my planks...I would’ve thought he had some sense.” She spat on the floor, with every ounce of disgust she could manage. “Monster...you deserve ten hangings for what you did to those people.”
“And they deserved worse! If anything, I was too kind.”
“What right have you to pass judgement on others?”
“What right have you to get in my way?”
“Say, Tap and Kaz, did you know that sailors don’t say ‘right’? They say ‘starboard’. Why don’t we examine the starboard side of the deck up close?” Three pairs of feet scurried out of the room, as if to escape the heat from the smouldering glares emanating from the two now silent figures.

“And anyway, you devil...if you hadn’t been so busy punishing the wicked, ‘praps you’d have noticed that the winds are a-changin’. Something’s happened, and it smells rotten.” A smirk crossed Mervil’s face, if but for a moment. “Perceptive as always, Naomi...” She shivered. “Kaz may not have mentioned it to you, but I am trying to put those winds right...eliminate the “bad smell” that’s set your nose...beak alight.” Naomi stepped forward, standing shoulder to shoulder with the man she despised, before turning her head towards him. “I wish you people had said so sooner. Anything I can do to help out, I will.” She walked towards the door, stopping for a moment. “Besides, at least now I can keep an eye on your methods. Remember, Mervil...just ‘cause I’m goin’ to help you, doesn’t mean I’m goin’ to trust you. Your actions are irredeemable.” At that, the Wanderer was alone.

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:22 pm
(2 sections being posted. Hurray for SD!)

Part 3 of Allanon's story, The Tortured Soul

The sound of the rain on what was left of the rooftop was deafening. It had rained for a full week without stop, and it showed no signs of relenting anytime soon. Was it just him, he thought to himself, or was the rain slowing down? In a flurry of movement, Allanon prepared the spell that would protect him from the time disturbance. He cast it just in time, for the Kokiri settlement outside his bubble of protection began to waver, and then, in an instant, time was frozen. Stepping from his bubble, he dispelled it, and, promptly, time within it was destroyed.

He looked over at N'nkvus, rusted still and frozen in time. He began casting the spell that would clean the rust from his friend's body, knowing full well it would do no good. Such a noble race, but one with a checkered and bloody past, for they had killed all those involved in creating them, and vowed the destruction of the Sheikahs. However, they had failed in their task, mostly due to magic. It had been others who destroyed the Sheikahs.

Many spell had been lost since then, and the Hylians were extremely vulnerable. Much of the only remaining magic had been hidden by the fae, only to be bestowed on those without dark intentions. Still, there were other ways of obtaining the magic arts, and many used them. It would be a long time, if ever, before magic would be lost forever to the world.

The rust fell from N'nkvus, and Allanon departed into the deathly still shadows of the Lost Underwoods.



Part 4 of The Tortured Soul

Thunder roared in the distance. How long he had been frozen in time, he did not know. He stepped forth from his alcove, the faltering warmth of the remaining essences of Time beneath his cloak almost imperceptible. The essences of Seasons had failed entirely, and the faltering of time was fading what was left of the essences. He pulled forth his staff and walked forth, searching for N'nkvus.

He had carried his staff ever since it had been given to him, long ago, by his village elder. He was told it was part of a set, that the other staff's power waned with the coming of night, when his staff's power was at its peak. Likewise, his staff's power waned during the day, and was most powerful on the night of the new moon.

How fitting that he had become a creature of the night.

He pulled forth the gems he had collected thus far. The balance of blue, red, and green gave him hope, and the contrast of black and white gave him purpose. He would reunite the shattered land masses.

The only task left to him was to lead Galysses to the Master Sword, and the Terran Diamond would be reunited at last. Yet if he failed, the very fabric of the world--

He whirled around, and lashed out with a blade of silver light from his staff. The moblin never saw it coming. He picked up and pocketed the rupee that it had dropped.

He remembered something - no, not quite, it was not quite there, on the edge of his conscience. Something to do with staves, the Terran Diamond, the very nature of the world.

Try as he might, he could not remember. Wind began to blow. The first drops began to fall, and a cry of sadness, of mourning, was barely suppressed. He feared he could not stop either of the two futures awaiting the land, that either the flood of darkness or light would envelop the land, and the Terran Diamond's components would be lost forever. He could not yet see the future he was fighting to create, only the two that it would split into in mere decades.

He did not know if he would - or even could - succeed.

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Post Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:50 pm
Dawn found the travelers in the Deku's hut, discussing the recent events at a small, round table in the his abode; over their sleepless night, the recent events had been explained in excruciating detail, with little movement from any of them. "Are you sure you haven't got a taller table somewhere?" The stalfos felt horribly cramped in the hut, especially sitting at that table, for which he was much to large.

"No." The reply from the mysterious wooden man was abrupt, and soon after he left the table to fetch some morning leaf juice for himself. "If you'd like, we can leave here; I've got enough provisions for the three of us."

"So soon?" Railin's inquiry was met with a rather harsh gaze from the Deku, who continued packing food into a small haversack. "Yes, I've got better things to do than to sit here and waste daylight in a house built for one person." As they left, the Deku's ears (or whatever it is he had) were filled with the most piercing scream, one he was sure emanated from the depths of the Shadow Temple itself. "Can't you hear it? That awful screaming... AGH." He burst into a run, with the bandit and stalfos in hot pursuit, each with a puzzled expression on his face.

"What the hell was that?" Galysses blurted out; he had finally found the Deku on his knees near a deep hole, the bottom of which could not be seen. Rising to his feet, he addressed them in a rattled tone. "Unfortunately for you two," the Deku began, speaking at great length as he rose to his feet, "this appears to be where we part ways." At that, the Deku sprung into a backward flip, and plunged into the darkness of the hole, whose screams only he could hear.

The bandit and stalfos looked at each other, then at the hole, which, to their surprise, was sealing itself up by some arcane force. As railin looked back to Galysses, he instead saw an empty forest, and could here only quickened footsteps fading into the distance; he followed.

***

It was a dark and stormy night, with only the prolonged sounds of war echoing from the other side of that stone building there... Wait a minute, a stone building? As the Deku regained his senses, he became aware that he was not in Hyrule anymore; he was not, in fact, even sure of the time period that he might be in. As he approached the building, he began to think that it was not just some old fort engaged in battle, and as he looked from the carvings of warriors in the walls to the gold-trimmed ramparts, he realized that this was the castle from the story that his father had told him all those years ago, back in his own land. He was standing in the ancient kingdom of Ikana, and he suddenly remembered the voice screaming in his head earlier. However, before he could ponder why he had not remembered the legend in the Underwoods, he was hailed by a soldier in the watchtower, which stood high above the massive gates and was illuminated only by the flame from the dim torches on either side. "You there! What business have you at the rear gate of our fair castle?" The Deku, however, could not quite make out his question, and only looked on at the tower in a somewhat puzzled fashion..

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Last edited by Deku Lord on Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.



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Post Posted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:45 pm
Here ya go. *dies somewhere*

The sun had set and evening had come again on those aboard Naomi’s ship, The Lady Chief. Kaz had asked Naomi if it was named for her, but after a sharp glared, he had decided against asking more questions and retreated back to the wheel. Yes, it seemed that the old “shut up”-look still worked…too bad it would not work on Mervil as well, but some things were too good to hope for. He was Mervil after all.

Naomi sighed and leaned against the taffrail. No, this wasn’t safe, and yes, she knew she should be resting, but she did not give a damn. How much could that girl—Tap—know anything about Rito physiology? Naomi doubted that she had even seen one of her people before…! What made her an expert of the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’ when it came to healing her people? Even though she was right, the worst thing she could do was walk about, causing more damage as the 'deal' worked its charms. Damn…she wished that someone other than her knew something about the art of healing magic, then she would not have to worry about that problem, but whatever the Poe had done, she doubted it could be that bad. It hadn’t intently killed her after all.

But, there are some things almost as bad as death…she shivered at the thought, but was broken from her thoughts when she heard footsteps approaching her. Was it Tap? Kaz? Death? No, it was that old man—Yazstromo.

Naomi turned, frowning at the old man and the fork he carried in one hand.

“What’re you doing up, mate?” She asked, frowning.

“Me?” He gave her a half-crazed lopsided grin. “I was thinking! You may say its quite interesting to practice…”

“And wondering why the hell an injured mate is up so soon?”

“Oh no, that's none of my business," he answered all too cheerfully. Naomi rubbed her temples as she felt a headache coming on. “But I must say, you have some swell forks! Kaz found a gorgeous one in your galley. She's over two hundred years old!” He vanished the fork like a weapon, grinning with an absurd amount of glee.

“Its part of a sit from a mate, older than you think."

His eyes widened. Examining the fine handy work. Light magic could do wonders for preserving metal. "I had a good friend once." She said, thoughtfully. “He loved those stinkers.”

“Stinkers!” The scholarly man gasped. “How can you call such lovely forks ‘stinkers’? What an outrage! You…young—“

“Those are some of the newer ones.” She would’ve folded her arms, but…she still needed to use her spear for support. “Kaz didn’t look that good if that’s all that he found in the galley.” His eyes sparkled and she smiled slightly. “I'll tell you where I hid the rest if you're tell me why you're about. The truth, please.”

He raised an eyebrow, but instead of letting out some clever jest like she expected, he complied with her request: "Why is there such animosity between you and our Wanderer? It's like you know him. And to know him, well..."

“Are ye the scholar, Yaz?” It was a valid question. She had already guessed that Tap was the Innocent and…Kaz; he could have been the Redeemed. Perhaps.

“Yup! What? Was it that hard to figure out?” he paused and stared at the ocean with a long thoughtful gaze; to offset this, he scratched his head, “Now, what were we jabbering about before you asked that, ah yes, why is there such enmity between you two, lass?"

“Lass?" she asked in amusement.

"Like a girl, oh wait," he said, meeting her eyes. "Ah, yes, that would make sense."

"He’s a vile man.” She turned from him, watching the moon as they ship sailed onwards. “He thinks mercy means you hang men if their too wicked, or Mark them and cut their throat if they do wrong again. He thinks himself Death, but who gave him that title? What right does he have to judge men in such horrible ways? He's not even a king."

"Different philosophies, then?" he mused, “So, that’s all? No grand stories advent—“

“Why does there have ta be a better reason?” She glared at him, but when Yazstromo was curious not even Mervil could frighten him. The Rito sighed. "You see, I knew that scum before he was so consumed by that filthy book of his. Before he wouldn't have gone off and killed those men because he thought he had a right to judge them for what they did.” She shook her head. “He didn't always don himself in that black cloak and act like Death himself. He and I were once soldiers in Crandall’s army in the wars long ago.” His grin broadened. Oh, damn, why was she telling this story to the nosy, senile man anyways? "By the gods!"

“Well, if someone your age still believes in them." She rolled her eyes. Then he jabbed her in the ribs. "So, why did you split up?”

“What? We weren't in love.” She sighed. "I was married then. Whatever makes you think...!”

"I never suggested it!" he said, laughing, "but don't look now, Captain, it seems your old not-friend has arisen from his slumber."

She turned. Mervil stood behind them having silently crept on deck as they were chattering. He drew his cloak around him, encasing his body within the dark fabric, giving him an imposing air. His blue eyes grew even harder. Yazstromo hurried off, mumbling about forks and spoons and finding more in the galley. Purposefully leaving the them to speak in private.

“What are ye doing around, soldier?”

“It has been awhile since we fought side by side in that war.” He stated, coldly. “It might be better if you decided to stop living in the past, Captain.”

He then left her in silence, disappearing below deck and leaving Naomi staring in disgust and surprise. How dare he say that! She sighed and decided to go to bed; it seemed that not even the sea would give her peace this night.

***

There was no light. Only darkness, a consuming darkness. Naomi could not recall when she had entered into it or what had happened before. It seemed like an eternity that she had lived here, in this darkness. This darkness that was deeper than the darkest night, but what was night? She could not recall. She could not recall anything from her past life, all she knew was darkness. No light.

Then, suddenly, like when the sun first appeared over the world, there was light. It seemed brilliant at first, but then she saw what it was, it was only a lamp. A lamp in dark. That was getting closer…and closer…and closer…and, she suddenly saw what was carrying the lamp—a Poe.

Naomi grabbed for her spear, but it was not there. She felt defenseless. How had it entered her dreams?

The Poe laughed. “Why do you think you can harm me child?”

“If anyone is a child…” Naomi said calmly. “It would be you.”

“Yes, you are ancient,” the Poe remarked and Naomi was sure it smirked. “Far more ancient than your kind should be…”

She folded her arms.

“It does not a wise man to see through the masquerade.” The Poe floated forward. “Now does it?”

She shivered, what was this ghost getting at? Yes, it wasn’t that hard, but why would he cared, she no longer cared—

“But…you do care, Naomi.” She trembled slightly. It had read her thoughts. Perhaps it was only part of her conscious and not a Poe at all. “You do. You’ve wished to take your own life more than once. Once because you feared living forever and the second time…because you felt you had failed him. That the man you loved could not forgive you for what you had done.”

“Get off my ship.”

“We’re not on it now, are we?” The Poe touched her gently. “Naomi, I only come to tell you what this deal has cost you. Perhaps, I am only a fragment of your imagination as you believe or, perhaps, I am a spirit who has come to reveal the truth. What does it matter?"
It circled around her once, then twice, and then it meant her with its brightly glowing eyes. “You must remember your deel, Captain? But it is not just a deal, it was a curse, you know.”

She stared back, refusing to respond to its taunts.

“That’s not much of an answer…”

“It’s the only one I’ll give your kind.”

“Is it?” It said. “Well…that is a shame, but let me say this, Lady Naomi, you’re eternity in this world has ended….your life will be gone.”

“Do you think I fear death? I fear nothing.”

“No one fears nothing, Naomi, we wish that we did, but that is never the case…” It turned aside, peering into the everlasting darkness. Then closed its eyes. “And the only death that you fear is the one most dishonorable. The one you thought could never again come your way…”

“That’s impossible…”

“Is it…?” The Poe inquired. “Look in the mirror when you awaken, and you shall see that I speak the truth. There is more to that deal than you realized, Naomi. Magic that has made you a mortal like the rest of us, and, perhaps, more.”

Suddenly, a bright light awoke her from her dream. She blinked a few times and threw her blankets on the floor beside her. It had been a long time since she had last over slept, but then again, she was exhausted but, then, why did she ache. Why did she feel older? She had noticed it even when she spoke with Kaz after she saved him, and when she spoke with the others on the deck or the galley. At the time, it seemed like simple exhaustion...

But, if the dream was true…

She shivered at the thought and stood, walking over to the mirror on her above wash stand. Naomi swore. Age lines, wrinkles. She looked like a woman in her late thirties. She plucked a few strains of grey out, looking at them as they shimmered in the sunlight. Quickly, she caste a light ward upon herself, making sure that she appeared as she had before, young and spotless. Some would call her vain, but the last thing they needed was unnecessary worry. She opened the cabin door, Tap ran into her with a thump, and then the girl blushed slightly in embarrassment. “I’m sorry, Miss Naomi! ButIhadtocheckonyou, youhadntwakenupforliketwodaysand—“

Naomi laughed. “I don’t know that language, lass.”

Tap blinked, took a long breathe, and then released it; repeating the action several times. “I just said you were out for almost two days.”

“I was..ill…” Naomi said, or, perhaps, her body had needed time to adjust to her new "age". “Don't worry, I'll give that kid a break. Tell Kaz to get some sleep."

“Alright Captain!" Tap skipped onto the desk, acting as though she had no worries in the world...

***

Two weeks, that was the time that it took them to reach the shore. The voyage had proved uneventful except for Mervil's deepening frowns and their awkward confrontations.

She sighed and looked at the beach below. The desert seemed flat, there was no sign of the Bronze Tower (or the green plains, for that matter) that had once marked this landscape. No, the fields had past, and Mervil had doubtlessly hidden the tower. The Forbidden desert, she decided, had been aptly named by Death.

“Hey!” Tap called up at the Rito woman. “Aren’t you coming Naomi?”

“Yes…” She leapt off the ship and glided to the ground, landing softly on her feet. “C’mon, let’s go…”

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
There's always another secret... ~ Mistborn, Sanderson


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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 5:20 pm
~Section Five~

Forever Forgotten: Aczaros

The voice of the watchtower soldier drifted down to him among the drowning, droning rain. Did he just ask a question? No, it sounded like a command, a shout and nothing more… There it was again, registering in the daze he had been trying to shake ever since he had arrived with his face planted into the mud. The Garo Blade rose proudly at an angle, glinting softly in the rain.

“Answer me, Scrub! What do you think you’re doing slinking around the -,” A heavy crash resounded out into the darkness. Violet plumes of lighting shot through the jarred pebbles and dust from the grand castle. The Deku Lord could have sworn he had seen a human-like body flying through the storm… Loudly cursing as he was nearly flung from his balcony by the shock of the explosion, the soldier’s patience was running thin. “I won’t ask you again; what is your business at our Gate, in this time of war? Must I do your race a favour and come down to carve ears into your bloody head?!”


No answer, again. He knew he shouldn’t leave his post, especially with his being the only soldier reserved for the rear Gate. Some would have loved the luck for such a placement against the hooded foes, but Aczaros lived for the taste of combat, the fear of death. Perhaps after they realized how valuable a soldier he was they would begin showing respect in where they placed him; maybe the next time he’d end up fighting. The worn steps of the watchtower flashed under his greaves and the torchlight mangled his shadow across the cold brick; maybe he was just seeing things, they did say that fighting them was something you’d never experienced before or experience again…

He slowed when he arrived at the plank door; across the muddy yard was the outline of the second turret, completely empty. Surely the hours alone in the storm hadn’t affected his mind that much, could they? Whoever it is, they’ll regret making me walk out as a human lightning rod. Aczaros attempted to weave quickly through the rain to investigate the shivering lump of creature; fear welled into his heart each time the bruised sky lit. Only the weak feel fear.


The Deku Lord felt a sharp edge pierce into his side. Blinking the water out of his eyes and pounding his fists into soft earth, he could make out a strange silhouette. The armoured man bent over and wrenched his shaking arm away, pulling him up and dumping him in a puddle so he was upright.

“Maybe now you’ll be able to talk.” Aczaros reluctantly reached forward and uncorked a dribbling stream of mud from the Deku Lord’s mouth. “I will use force if necessary. Just answer the question, Deku.”

“I…” Words sounded alien to him for some bizarre reason. The Deku Lord could feel the haze around his mind ebbing. Every sight and sound became sharper and clearer with every passing second. He finally noticed how beautiful his surroundings were even in such horrid conditions. “I bring word from the Deku King. I used the forest and waterways to get here. He speaks of reinforcements that he plans to send help as soon as possible. The Senate was-,”

“Wait a minute…” The soldier slowly drew his blade from the scabbard by his thigh. “The Deku King was assassinated by his son three days ago. You can’t tell me that you’ve taken that long to-,”

“Yes, the weather has been horrible and I have been dodging rebel battles that want to avenge his Highness.” With such a close shave something must have jarred back into his brain, making the new world he found himself a complete reality. Someday this skill was going to fail him. “Swelled streams and slippery conditions nearly took me-,” he let his voice trail off in the rain when a glinting blade filled the gap between the two ‘soldiers’. The face of the opposing knight was hidden in shadows beneath his odd helm. A bit of his mouth was visible, a bit of a glint in his eyes broke into the darkness.

“Who are you?” Aczaros carved out a thin splinter from the exposed part of the Deku’s throat while he spoke. “I might not look the type, but I know when someone is lying to me.” He applied slightly more pressure, not sure exactly what to do. “This kind of storm only rolls in when the Garo show up to fight. This has only been going on for four hours; good weather or not, you still wouldn’t have arrived.”

He watched as the glint of an eye summed his body, the soldier was taking a good long look at his face, his garb. Of course, maybe his appearance would be enough to let him pass, it was too late to fight back now with the Garo Blade just out of reach. Perhaps he would deem him a Deku warlock, if such a thing existed, and let him go out of fear or respect…

“You don’t look like the other ones. Blue eyes.” Aczaros watched the shorter creature follow his free gauntlet, appraising the air in between them. “I’ve never seen a Deku with blue eyes before.”

“Yes well, you won’t want to kill who could be the only one to own a set.” The Deku Lord placed a slightly hidden wooden hand on the steel connection, slowly pushing it away from his throat. “I need to speak with someone in power as soon as possible. Can you make that happen?” Strain returned to his muscles, Aczaros was still reluctant to remove his blade. “I’m not sure if you understand. There are things I need to discuss right away.”

“You can’t be trusted, Scrub.” Twisting his sword back into position, the soldier could see a temper flaring within his odd company. Blue eyes or not, magical or not, it didn’t make sense for him to come. The Deku King never liked Ikana enough to send troops to aid them. Besides, any troops would have been dissolved after his murder, and if this one was on his way here when that happened… “You don’t have any reason to be here…” And that was when he noticed it.

He knew right away the disaster of a plan he never created had just blown up in his face. The Garo Blade sealed his fate as an enemy; no amount of talk could change an Ikanian mind and there wasn’t any time to even do try.

“That’s an impressive disguise, Hood. I guess you bastards aren’t as tricky as you like to make us believe.” Aczaros pulled his sword back and took a long arcing swing; he enjoyed making a flashy kill. Wait until the rest of the Guild heard that there was actual danger at the rear, maybe after disposing of this Garo they would finally understand how useful he could be in battle. Perhaps they would give him some damned company for once when they realized the Eastern side wasn’t as secure as they liked to believe.

The swing was too high, or too long, Aczaros couldn’t really place blame on either. His foe had reacted much faster than he had anticipated, buckling his knees, dropping and taking Aczaros off of his feet. Mud skulked at the Deku Lord’s feet when he leapt for his drenched Garo Blade. Nearly before he could react, the Ikanian was back on his feet, cursing him in their forgotten language. Sparks tore into the air when they finally came back to personal distance, although hampered by dozens of pounds of armour; Aczaros was just as agile as his Deku opponent.

“You almost got me with that story of yours, Garo. To think I almost let in one of your kind!” His sword slammed against rock, sending pain running through most of his body. “You’re a quick one aren’t you?” Intentionally scaling his sword across the rough terrain, Aczaros could watch as a single rain drop struck the life out of every showy spark. Shadows stretched all about, but he hadn’t a trouble finding the creature, its blue eyes revealed every place he attempted to run to.

“No, you’re just painfully slow.” He slid across the small expanse between them, watching Aczaros face come into view at the arc of a lightning bolt; bloodlust had swept its way into every nook. With the accuracy of a blind man, the Garo Blade missed the glinting chest plate and skewered an exposed shoulder. Aczaros fell in agony, the darkness of his blood swirling with the thick muck around his knees. “You will let me inside the Castle without interruption or notification, understood?”

The Deku stood over him like he was some kind of superior being. Flinging his gauntlet free of the blood, he could see a sad twinkle in the opposition’s eye. The soldier knew that the punishment of letting in a Garo would be worse than dying now. But he couldn’t allow for either possibility, he had to kill it. Aczaros battered the Garo Blade with his stained glove, quickly retrieving his fallen weapon and hacking at the thick rain in desperation.

Shaking legs carried him along, his head felt light on his shoulders, he feared capsizing from weakness. Nothing was readily observable. Get a hold of yourself. He cut you, so what? You didn’t come so far to be felled by a little Deku-wannabe. Where the hell… Aczaros stumbled forward from the sudden addition of weight on his back, catching his body with his muddy blade.

“You gave me no other choice.” There was the empty snapping of armour connections. The soldier let out a sharp breath as the cold steel of the Garo Blade tunnelled its way deep into the flesh, scraping his chestplate. Deku Lord wrenched his sword free, letting his opponent fall silent to the mud below. Violet lightning glinted from absent green eyes and the rain water curdled dark with blood.

Huddling in the cold, he watched the flashes of war choke the sky until cannon fire, as if from the heavens, blasted apart the watchtower. At least he let the man die honourably. Splinters fell solemnly with the rain… A hush fell behind the rain; weapons fire and exchanging slowly muted, which was when the rear gate was thrown open, spreading warm and welcoming light out into the yard. The Deku peered upward when it stretched as far as to drape his shoulders and the face of the dead Aczaros.

Three members of the Guild rushed out to the two, glancing at the fallen Garo Blade a few feet away. Luck was on his side again.

“I did all that I could to kill the Hood, but he," the Deku motioned toward his dead 'comrade', his blood on his hands... "...he fell before I could finish the deed…”

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:44 pm
Tap sat leaning against a small Joshua tree, spiffing up her bow with a cloth she’d forgotten she’d been carrying around in her pocket. The bow’s redness had slightly faded through the course of the group’s adventure, but it still shone a bright red. After rubbing furiously over a stain that had come from who knows where, she sighed, fastened the bow over the long brown strap that wrapped from her left shoulder to her right hip and looked up at the scenery before her. According to the position of the glowing sun, it was about mid-afternoon. The rest of the folks were scattered about, taking a quick break after a tedious three hour hike through the Forbidden Desert, which, oddly enough, didn’t take on the scalding hot qualities of that of a desert. Sure there was sand wherever you turned your eyes and cacti sprinkled randomly throughout the plain like pretty green confetti. But it wasn’t…hot. Not that that’s a bad thing, Tap thought, getting up to stretch. It’s actually nice and breezy. It’d sure suck to have to travel with the heat distracting you. Because then you wouldn’t be able to fight creepy desert monsters as awesomely. Like Gila monsters. Or are there Gila monsters in deserts? Huh…
As she pondered this, she silently watched Yaz debate with Kaz about…something, she couldn’t hear what. She saw Mervil sitting crossed legged under a tree similar to hers yet heavier with shade. He looked like he was brooding in that pose with one hand supporting his head. Oh what the hell, let’s just say he is brooding, what else would Death be doing? And Naomi, that one peculiar Rito and captain of the…what was the ship called? The Cooking Chef? She thought that was what Naomi had said. Anyhow, she stood a little farther to the left of Mervil with her arms crossed. Tap noticed that she’d occasionally glance at Mervil from her side, or to be more accurate, glare, and then hastily look away, angry and yet somehow…confused. Tap scratched her head, brows furrowed. She wondered what the deal was with those two. She got that they’d known each other for a long time, but why they were always so hostile and cold to each other remained a mystery to her.
She shrugged it off and decided to see what was going on with Yaz and Kaz when a sudden wave of nausea washed through her and forced her to kneel back down. Not wanting to see the world around her spin dizzily left and right, Tap shut her eyes, took several deep breaths and waited for the queasiness to pass. This was normal. She’d always gotten these short bouts of sickness every now and then for as far back as she could remember. The first she remembered the blasted nausea appearing was a few weeks after Xanath had officially allowed her to live at his place and that one was pretty excruciating. She didn’t bother telling the others since it wasn’t actually life threatening or important or anything. Through time, the head and stomach pains had grown easier to tolerate and Tap would just lay back and wait for it to pass before carrying on with whatever she was doing. This one, however, seemed to stubbornly cling to Tap. Black edged her vision and she slowly got up and shook her head to keep conscious. Odd, it was never this bad before. This was starting to test her patience. She didn’t have time for headaches. Look there, the group was already gathering. Probably discussing the itinerary or whatever. Tap pushed herself forward from the Joshua tree and shakily attempted to walk to her fellow adventurers. She saw Kaz cast a curious glance and walk towards her. Tap forced on a reassuring smile. The last thing she felt was the world flip before her.

``
“There you are! What are you doing up there? Don’t you know you might fall and break your neck or something?” I looked all the way down from my old oak tree and saw him peering up at me, squinting his eyes in protest from the bright, early morning sun and stifled a smile; he was still in his light blue shirt and pants, his pajamas. He wasn’t even wearing any shoes. His short black hair was all mussed and tousled up like it always gets after he just wakes up. Had he come all the way out here at this time of day looking for me? He looked really scared. Well he wasn’t about to drag me back home. Not back to…her.
“Shhh! Go ‘way! I’m tryn’a hide!”
“Why’re you hiding? C’mon, get down already!” He looked around nervously. Was he expecting someone?
“No. I don’t wanna. I’m gonna stay up here forever. So there.” I stuck out my tongue at him and hunched back down on my branch. I thought I heard him sigh a little.
“Okay, why don’t you want to come down?” He crossed his arms.
“Go ‘way.” He stood there quietly for a while.
“Is it because of…” I knew what he was about to say next but I covered my ears with my hands before he could finish and squeezed my eyes shut.
“Shut up, shut up! Go ‘way! I’m hiding!” He quickly held his palms up to signal that he’d say no more. I slowly lowered my hands.
“Alright, how ‘bout this. You come down an’ I’ll…teach you how to make and string a bow.” I looked at him in surprise.
“Really? You mean you’ll finally teach me?” All those years of me begging him for lessons finally paid off. I gave a bright smile and stood up on the branch I’d been sitting on.
“Now hold on, I’m just gonna teach you how to properly carve a bow out of wood and string it. I don’t want you running off on your crazy little adventures. And I definitely don’t want your mom finding out I offered to teach you.” He looked nervous again. He was always so nervous. I decided to make his life easier and leaped down from the tree, which nearly caused him to have a heart attack, I think. I didn’t realize eyes could get so wide. “You’re going to catch your death pulling those kinds of dangerous stunts. I hope you know that.” I stuck out my tongue again and playfully punched him in the shoulder.
“Remember, you promised to teach me.”
“First, let’s get you back to your mom. Then I’ll teach.” He held out his hand for me to take. I paused where I was, then shook my head sadly.
“I…don’t wanna go back…”
“I know…” I looked up and saw his soft brown eyes. “But you have to. You can’t just live out here.”
“Sure I can. I’ve been living out here for almost three hours now.”
“… We are not telling that to your mom.”
“She’s not my real mom.”
“No, but she’s your mother all the same. And she’s probably worried sick for you by now.”
“Very funny.” I let out a breath and brushed my black bangs out of my eyes. “Alright, fine. Let’s go then.” I watched him smile in relief.
“Thank you. Finally you’ve come to your senses. Now let’s get going.” His hand gripped mine.
“You promised.”


``
Tap blinked once, then twice. She waited for her vision to focus then slowly got up to a sitting position. It was already early night and the stars were just now beginning to show their faces. Tap looked around, confused, and noticed Mervil sitting on a rock nearby in front of a small fire. The others were also close by, although fast asleep.
“Oh,” said Tap, still a little dazed. “Good…” Don’t say morning, idiot. “…evening.”
“Had a nice rest?” Mervil quietly replied. He made no eye contact with her, just kept his eyes on the flaming pile of wood.
“Uh…yeah. Had a weird dream.” Long awkward pause. Tap shifted uncomfortably, then decided to sit in a kneeling position. After a while, Tap decided to initiate another conversation.
“So, uh…what-”
“You fainted. Kaz attempted to wake you, but you wouldn’t budge. He insisted we postpone our journey and stood guard over you until I told him to get the hell out of my way and go to sleep already so he’d be somewhat useful to us when we arrive at the Bronze Tower.”
“Oh. That’s…” Creepy. Weird. Alarmingly frightening. “…That’s very nice of him.” Mervil said nothing. “I’m sorry I delayed our trip.” She heard him mutter something about the world being destroyed, then fall quiet again. Oh, Tap thought. He must be brooding again. I shouldn’t disturb Death when he broods. You might die and that wouldn’t be good.
“Tell me something,” he said suddenly, interrupting Tap’s broodings and sitting up straighter.
“Hm? What is it?” Are you done brooding?
“Do you know anything about the war with Arivis?”
“Arivis? Isn’t that the guy who went a little crazy at the Autumn Festival?”
“The very one.”
“No, sorry. Can’t say that I know anything about a war with him.” She frowned in an attempt to think harder. “Can’t say I know much about anything dealing with history.” She watched him nod his head slowly. He still eyed the fire. After a few minutes, Tap thought he was done talking so she got up to stretch; she’d been asleep for quite a while. But then he continued up again.
“Do you find it unusual that a place such as the Forbidden Desert is not in the slightest bit hot?”
“I actually find it quite lucky. It’s nice that this desert has decent weather.”
“Well, you can’t tell now,” he began, “but this desert was birthed from mountains.”
“Yeah? That’s awesome. But then…” Tap looked around her. “Where did all the mountains go?”
“They were destroyed. From the past wars.”
“Oh…”
“It’s why this place isn’t as insanely hot as the other deserts.”
“But that’s a good thing, right?” Mervil ignored her question and instead appeared to Tap to be looking at the vast, sandy plain before them.
“One day, this desert will change back to regular land.” Mervil glanced to his side, finally making eye contact with Tap. She still got the same shivers down her spine when she looked him in the eye, but somehow it wasn’t as strong as before. Perhaps she was getting used to his presence.
“Why don’t you get some more sleep,” he said silently. “It’s still a long way to day break.”
“I already slept. I’m not tired.”
“Earlier. What happened?”
“Oh, I dunno. It happens. Don’t worry about it.” Tap gave a slight smile to reassure him. Mervil shrugged and laid down, his back facing Tap.
“Your turn for watch.”

_________________
"Pain is a sign that you are still alive, that you still have hope. This pain makes you come to that realization since without it, you have no life. Without life, you have nothing." ~Explosion banana

Ruto: Zora's Domain and its people will eventually return to their original state. As a reward, I grant my eternal love to you.
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She’s trying to lull me into a false sense of security, she thought. I must stay on my guard. I must focus. I must-oh look, it’s snowing outside! Pretty snow! ~Collision

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:10 am
Look, I'm not even going to MENTION the extended delay on my secti- oh, I see what you just did there. Touché...

Stairs, a long flight of stairs...thin beams of light pierce through the darkness, enough to see the way up...have to reach the top, can’t go on...that fight was so tiring...

At the top, a room, sconces blazing, providing the light...how far underground is this place? Something ahead, on the far side of the room...a small pedestal, not that far away...on the pedestal: a book...it seems so very ancient...the air around it...almost shimmering...radiating with heat, or power...what secrets must this tome contain? A hand reaches out...curiosity engulfs it...a rustling as the pages fall open, and then...


Mervil awoke, hunger gnawing at his mind. It was odd; he had never dreamed of that before. After all, few waste those precious fantasies on fact, on already-happeneds. Yet that wasn’t the strangest part. What Mervil most wanted to know was why that dream seemed to have more detail than all his previous recollections of finding the book. That moment in his life had always been one of the most hazy, as if the trauma of the event wiped most of it from his memories. So, why was it so much clearer now? He shook his head, trying to clear his mind. “Have trouble sleeping, Wanderer?” Mervil focused open the source of the sound, and saw Yazstromo looking back at him, stretching his arms above his head. “Oh, don’t worry, you’re not the only one. I also found it a little tricky to continue my napping. Bad dreams and what-have-you.” Mervil’s brow furrowed, a frown spreading across his face. “Yazstromo, while I don’t mean to sound at all condescending,”, he began, using the most condescending tone he could muster that early in the morning, “the idea of being on watch is that you don’t sleep; you watch. For potential threats. That could kill us in our sleep. Which you apparently decided to indulge in. At the cost of leaving us open to attack. I could go on like this, but I thought, knowing you, you’d want a chance to explain your intolerably eccentric actions that could have gotten us all killed.” At this, the old man simply smiled. “I felt like a nap, and if you noticed, we’re not dead. Call it a hunch that tonight wouldn’t be the night that Arivis happens to find us and ruin this hodge-podge of tasks you call a plan. Now, if you’re done grumbling, go back to sleep, for all our sakes. If you get any crankier, the universe will probably collapse in on itself from the sheer weight of it.”

*****

“The only thing I appreciate about this place is that it’s the worst excuse for a desert I’ve ever seen. A regular desert would’ve done a much better job at slowing us down.” Tap stopped, wiped the sweat from her brow, and looked up at their cloaked travel guide. “So, are you sure you know where you’re going? We’ve been walking for days, and still haven’t gotten there.” Kaz started, alarm spreading across his face. “Now, Tap, I’m sure Mr. Death- I MEAN, Mervil knows where he’s going. Right?” Any and all hope left Kaz upon seeing the frown clouding the Wanderer’s face. “P’raps the centuries have shot your memories t’pieces? It seems even the great Mervil can fall victim t’the burden of old age.” Naomi glanced cheekily at Mervil, her gaze thick with triumphant pity. “Hold your tongue, Naomi. I wouldn’t be so quick to bring up my age when I’m not the only one who needs to be concerned with the ravages of time.”

As Naomi turned away, shocked, Mervil continued. “No, I know exactly where I’m going; trust me on that. It’s just that...”
“We should’ve seen something by now. Or at the very least, you should’ve seen something by now. Am I right?” Mervil nodded. “You seem to be understanding how I do things, Yazstromo. I used my book’s magic to hide the tower, of course; though, if anyone would be able to see it, it would be me. But in a desert this flat, I should’ve sighted the tower on the horizon by at least yesterday morning. And by my estimates, the tower should be right around here. And yet, I can’t see anything...” As they were talking, Tap, who had by this time sat down squarely on the ground, was looking intently at the sand beneath her. She then rapped the ground with her knuckles, before quickly sweeping the sand away from the spot she had tapped. Her eyes widened, and she looked quickly up at the two conversing men. “Guys, you may want to have a look at this.” Her companions gathered around her, immediately noticing a rough, grey, solid surface. The old man rubbed his fingers over it. “It appears to be some sort of mortar or concrete. I wonder...how far across does it go?” Holding his staff firmly, Yazstromo struck the ground, a shockwave rippling outwards, pushing the sands back. When the dust settled, the group could now see that they were standing upon a very wide area of hardened mortar. As they gazed around themselves in amazement, Yazstromo scratched his beard, a grin spreading across his face. “Well now, the sight of all this concrete is starting to lay down the...foundations of an idea in my mind.” He chuckled, then turned to Mervil. “If you don’t mind, I could use a little more force. I have a feeling we’re going to need to break through this stuff if we’re going to make any headway.” While he looked a little affronted by the old man giving instructions, Mervil summoned his scythe, and stood a short distance across from Yazstromo. “Now, on the count of three...one, two, three!” They both struck the ground, fractures spreading across the surface, and after a suspenseful pause, the area between them gave way, falling through to the space below. They all gathered around the hole, and after looking through it, they each shared the same look of confusion, save for Mervil, who seemed to have had a realisation, and Yazstromo, who just couldn’t stop grinning. Beyond the hole they had made, it seemed that the whole world had tipped upside down.

Kaz was the first to speak. “I don’t understand...what exactly is going on? What is this place? Why is it upside down?”
“Well, my friend, it seems Mervil here underestimated the power of his book”, Yazstromo answered, that grin still sitting on his face. “It would seem that when Mervil cast his spell to hide the tower...”
“...it turned the whole mountain range upside down, from the top of the tower down to its foundations.” Mervil shook his head in disbelief. “I never knew...I always thought that Arivis levelled the mountains in his search for the Staff...to think that this was done by my hand.” Naomi looked at Yazstromo, questioningly. “So, this sand...”
“...is soil, weathered down into a finer form by the winds. That’s what first tipped me off to the possibility of all this.” Tap got to her feet, also with questions. “And this desert?”
“I’d think of this place less as a desert and more like a solar-heated subterranean cave. That’s why it’s not very hot here: because we’re technically underground.” By this stage, it was clear that Yazstromo was enjoying the situation thoroughly. “It’s stuff like this that really makes me glad I decided to go out and let adventure find me. It’s not every day you get to walk upside down beneath the surface of the earth for a few days.” He then pulled a spoon out of the pouch hanging from his neck, and watched as it thinned and stretched until it was a coil of rope. He then turned, jumped into the hole, grabbed hold of the edge, and swung out of sight, beneath the mortar they were standing on. The rest of them cried out, and then looked on in puzzlement as the end of the rope started travelling up out of the hole. “Just grab hold of the rope and shimmy your way down. I promise it’ll hold. Just watch out as you clear the hole; it’ll feel quite strange when you do.” After sharing a communal look of concern, one by one, they grabbed the rope and slid down it. On crossing the threshold, each of them experienced a complete inversion of gravity, as they now appeared to be climbing up a rope, feet first. Before they let go of the rope from the confusion, Yazstromo, who appeared to be standing on what was once the roof but now seemed to be the floor, grabbed them by the shoulder and pulled them off the rope, carefully throwing them to the floor. After they were all in a neat pile on the ground, Yazstromo reeled the rope back into a coil. “Well, that wasn’t so hard. Now we’ve just got to take these stairs out of this basement, and we’ll be on our way.”

*****

On reaching the main floor of the tower, rather than continue upwards, Mervil indicated that they should instead take a moment to look outside. Awaiting them was one of the most breathtaking and surreal sights they had ever witnessed. The tower was situated in the centre of a beautiful orchard; fruit trees scattered across the clearing in the surrounding mountains, a stream carving its way through the verdant, green grass beneath their feet. And yet, there was something odd about the scene; it was bathed in an eerie half-light, as if the sun was almost there, but wasn’t; it was too quiet, and, most unsettling, it was too still. Standing a short distance in front of them were two figures, who appeared as like statues, one of them holding a staff aloft. Mervil took one look at the two people, before grim realisation, but also a strange sense of relief, hit him. “It’s Joseph, the King’s youngest son, and quite the promising sorcerer, and what I assume is an accompanying guard. The King must have sent Joseph to hide the piece in the tower. My guess is that he completed the task, but realised that simply hiding the thing in a tower wouldn’t suffice for the likes of Arivis. So he did the only thing he could: he froze the entire area, himself included, in time.” The Wanderer shook his head, before turning away from the remains of a lost people. The rest of the group followed, save for Yazstromo, who went to get a closer look at the stream, and Naomi, who couldn’t look away from her temporal kin. Mervil continued, more to himself than to the two following him. “While I wouldn’t wish such a sacrifice on someone so good-hearted, frankly I’m glad that it was done. Even with the entire mountain range flipped upside down, Arivis would likely have been able to sense the energy within the Staff segment. But by freezing the tower in time, it’s effectively removed the entire place from the present. And if it no longer exists in the present, then Arivis won’t be able to detect it.” Mervil looked upwards at the ground above him. “That’s why there’s still light down here; it’s been frozen in time along with the rest. But it’s strange...it all seems a little dimmer than I would’ve thought...” Before he could continue musing, Yazstromo called out. “I hate to be a bother, but I think that the water in this stream is moving, albeit very slowly.” Then Naomi gave a shout, and also called out. “These people...I think they’re moving. Slowly, but I swear that they’re moving. And...” She stifled a whimper. “...and aging.” The cloaked figure froze, his blood running cold from the fear of these revelations. “Well...if they’re moving, then that means that the time-freeze is failing. And if the time-freeze is failing...then that means...” At that moment, a being materialised in front of them; a staff of purest gold in one hand, a piece of glinting silver in the other. “Well, well, well...would you look at what I just found.”

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:22 pm
Sorry that this is unedited, but I don't have enough time, so...ZE, you have a PM. :P But, yeah, this is so you can STOP THE HARASSMENT...until next time! Cya!

“Arivis…” Anger seeped into the Rito’s voice as she spoke what the others were speaking, their hands clasping their weapons as they readied to attack.

“Ah…” His gaze fell on her, “I had never thought to see you under the powers of time upon you, Dimensional Traveler. It is a pity to see such a specimen go to waste…just as her child had.”

“You should go back to the pits of hell where you belong,” She remarked.

“But…” He smiled, “It was not I who had caused such distress, my old specimen, and it was he—the one who is to save the world, pity that it is to be saved by Death himself. One must wonder what this world has came to when Death shall be it’s hero. But…enough of this small talk,” Arivis turned to Tap who her bow in one hand and an arrow in the other. His eyes went to her belt where a part of the Staff of Moon rested. Then, in a flash of light he disappeared.

“Tap!” Kaz shouted, his eyes growing wide. “He’s behind you!”

The innocent turned, and stared into the face of Arivis, who had her in a death grip a moment later, with the sharp tip of the Staff of Sun at her throat. She gave a scream and Mervil swore. Everything was coming undone.

“Now, girl,” Arivis smirked, “I suggest you hand over that trinket on your belt…you see, if you do, I shall spare your—all of your lives. A good deal for such a small price, wouldn’t you agree?”

“I…won’t.”

“Oh…?” He responded. “But, I already took the deceased prince’s…what chance do you have against my might, girl?”

She said nothing, but her companion’s, their eyes flow to the part of the Staff of Moon at Arivis’ side, but then, Mervil spoke, “She is the Innocent, fool. If you take her life, all your plans will come undone.”

“Is she?” He released her from his grip and brought back the golden staff to hit her on the head, but missed as Tap dunked and took the part of the Staff of Moon from his side, with an almost wicked expression upon her face. At the same moment Arivis felt something small, but sharp go into his left side, he gasped, “A steak knife?”

“Are always handy in difficult situation,” Yazstromo remarked.

“Damn…,” Arivis held his side, “It’s you…general! Take care of these fools! Make sure you take the Innocent alive.”

A moment later, he was gone, and a tall, powerful Numan took his place with an army of twenty at his back and Mervil turned the tower right side up again…

***

“I hate this place!” Railin shouted as he looked up towards the darkening sky. “By the Goddesses, why did they ’ave ta create it!?”

His companion looked back at Railin, Stalfos’ red eyes sparkling in his skull and Railin felt quite glad that Galyssess was on his side. He would have hated having to fight the Stalfos, but luckily, this one was good and not one of the evil ones that lurked in the Lost Underwoods playing evil pranks on poor little bandits like him. They had already meant a few already and none of those encounters had been…desirable, but he and Galyssess had defeated them, although most of the credit could easily go to the Stalfos. He was a true warrior, and Railin—well, he was bandit—it was nothing more or less than that.

Galyssess had called him brave, despite that, Railin felt far from it. He just knew that he had to keep fighting because that meant that he might have a chance to see Kaz again and get out of these Underwoods alive. How was that brave?

“I don’t know…”

“I bet it was to annoy us—how come that Wanderer-guy had to send us here? And, how the hell are you suppose to do whatever, if you’re here in a ‘Wood and wonderin’ around without knowin’ where you’re going.” Railin sighed and sat on a stump. “We’re just goin’ to be lost forever…aren’t we?”

The Stalfos did not say anything, instead, his hand rested on his sword and looked around them.

“Aren’t ya going to say anything, Galyssess?” Railin asked. “Aren’t ya mad at that weirdo too?”

“I have other things to be mad about.” Galyssess replied softly and turned back to Railin. “Really, how is getting mad about this damn place helping us? We should try to find someone who can guide us out of here and then find our bearings. Then, we can search for Mervil and the others—“

“Mervil…” A voice said from behind them. Railin jumped. How had this new person snuck up on them without them hearing him?

They both turned around, finding themselves looking into the face of a man dressed in a dark cloak, with his hood over his face. In his hand, he carried an odd staff and on his back was a large sword. Whoever this was, was most definitely a warrior—and he did not sound friendly.

“Interesting that you mention that name,” the man continued, somehow, Railin could have sworn the man was smiling.

“Do ya know that weirdo?” Railin asked.

“You could say…that I know of him.” He waved his hand in a disarming action. “I do not wish to fight, Warrior.”

Galyssess did not remove his bony hand from his sword. “Why should I trust you? You shouldn’t expect it after sneaking up on two people in these bloody Underwoods…”

“And you two are people?” The cloak man laughed. “What I see is a bandit and Stalfos wondering around the Lost Underwoods. To most, that is a strange company and I doubt that you had little more than a few Stalfos attack you and…your companion.”

“Like tellin’ us what a weird bunch we make is gonna make us trust some ‘un like you.” Railin folded his arms. “It just makes Galyssess want to attack you more!”

The Stalfos sighed, but the sigh was more like the wind’s breathe than an actually human sigh. “I’ll give you this chance.” —Railin glared holes in the back of his Stalfos companion—“Prove that I we can trust you or…you’ll die where you stand.”

“How do you know you would not be the one to die if we fought, Warrior? Do you think I to old to hold my own against your kind?”

“SHUT UP!” Galyssess commanded. “I’m tired of your tongue. Just say your piece, idiot.”

“I see…” The man paused. “You truly are the Warrior of legend—Galyssess, I presume?”

“Yes,” the one in question nodded, “But, who the hell are you?”

“Allanon,” the other replied. “So, how would you like me to lead you where the Wanderer has wandered to?”

Railin looked up, but Galyssess was the first to react, sword at Allanon’s throat. “How the hell do you know where he is? What did you—“

“You really are quick to assume, aren’t you?” Allanon sighed. “Put your sword down, Warrior, and then I will tell you.”

Galyssess did as asked, much to Railin’s displeasure. How could he trust this strangely cloaked man so readily? The Stalfos looked back at him and meant Railin’s eyes—and the bandit knew that it was because they had to. There was no one else who could help them, even if they would have preferred anyone other than this cloaked stranger.

“Go on.”

“That I will,” the cloak man said.

“You could say, that it is thanks to this staff…” Their eyes went to the staff and the strange chunk of rock upon it. “This is the third part of the core of the Staff of Moon—and the other two call from the tower once locked in the grip of time. A place that only Mervil knows the true location of…”

“You know where that weirdo is!”

“Could you lead us there?”

Allanon nodded. “That was what I came here to do…” He began to walk away from the Stalfos and the bandit at a speed that neither had expected. “Come! We must hurry.”

They followed, and Railin turned to the Stalfos warrior. “Ya know, I can’t say I like this guy. He makes Mervil look normal.”

Galyssess nodded. “But, all we have to do is trust him.”

“I can’t say I wanna do that either.”

***

The last of Mervil’s spell took out the last of the former general’s Numan and Tap released a breath that she had not known she was holding. She slumped against the outside wall of the Bronze Tower, and wearily looked up at Mervil who had now turned to the dark haired girl with her torn, red hat in her hands. Luckily, that was the only casualty of the battle.

Naomi was making her way over to Yazstromo who had fallen unconscious in the mess of battle, but for the moment, the Innocent did not care. She did not care because she was too tired, too worn out to care that the elderly man was out cold or Kaz who had gotten a gash in the arm. Her poor hat was far more interesting than them.

“Girl, you have to combine the staff,” Mervil commanded. It was all commands with him…no wonder even Arivis called him Death—he was so uncaring.

“Why should I?” She asked as she looked at the parts of the Staff of Moon. “The only reason you want to save the world…is to kill more innocent people—isn’t it? You’re just as bad as Arivis…”

“Arivis destroyed my country…and the same will happen to the rest of this world if you don’t do as I tell you, Innocent.” She stared blankly at him and he sighed. He had feelings? She had thought his heart was of stone. “At least, do it for the world you wish to save.”

“I…” Instead, she nodded, and picked up the parts of the Staff of Moon she had laid by her side. She placed them together, but to her surprise…nothing happened, “C’mon…, work! Work!” She sighed. “Mervil…why isn’t it working? Am I really the Innocent?”

The man stared at the still broken staff in disbelieve for a moment, but then sighed, “It seems that he split it in three parts, to make sure that the event that happened today would not end in tragedy.”

She sighed, “Then…where’d he put the last part?”

“I…”

“Are you looking for this, Wanderer?” A new voice said, and for a moment, Tap thought it was Arivis, but then she saw Galyssess and Railin tailing behind him. A smile broke out on her face, and Kaz, despite being injured, ran to his lost friend and tackled him. Naomi shook her head, but laughed.

Mervil turned and folded his arms. “Might I inquire why it is you have that?”

“You could say…that it was cared for by my people to keep it safe until the time of reckoning was at hand,” the man bowed, and continued with a note of sarcasm in his voice. “I am Allanon of the Garo, and I present to you, Innocent, the last part of the Staff of Moon.”

Tap stood, walked over to the cloaked man, and took the last part of the broken staff. Tap brought the three parts together, watching as the parts of the silver staff floated in the air and came together to form the whole in a flash of bright silvery light. A moment later, the whole Staff of Moon landed gently in her hands.

***

That night, they had decided to camp beside the tower, for as Naomi had explained, it was rather unlikely that Arivis would try anything that night. He would still be nursing his wound and counting his loses—if one thing could be said for their opponent, it was that he was not a fool.

For that reason also, Mervil was on watch as the others rested, ate, or talked amongst themselves. Speaking of the events of the day, how many they killed, how ‘cool’ someone’s actions were, or other chosen topic. He had even overheard Naomi bringing up the topic of ‘frozen time’ and explaining how Joseph’s time freezing spell had moved to them. It was a rather complex topic, and Tap had remarked after trying to understand, “So basically, we’re like you and Mr. Death now—we’re going to be around f-o-r-e-v-e-r, right?”


While this was going on, Mervil’s only companion was the darkness and for the moment, he was completely fine with that. It was not as though the other desired to spend time with the one they had donned Death, and if he had to admit it, he rather preferred that title as well, for it was...suiting.

“It seems that Allanon character thinks he’s the prophet, matey,” Mervil raised an eyebrow as the Rito sat near him. She drew her long, legs up to her chin and looked out into the distance, thoughtfully watching the starry sky of the once great land of Crandall. A land that was now only a memory to the two and a legend to the rest of the world.

“I thought that you preferred to call me ‘Death.’” He stated, coolly. “It is appropriate.”

Naomi closed her eyes and sighed, “And I shouldn’t have called ye that. All I wanted was to blame you for her death so that I might’ve someone to blame it on. Not…because I felt what you had done to all those men and women on your islands was wrong. Though, it is still wrong.”

He gave a short, humorous laugh. “I would thank you for your kindness, but it was still my actions that had killed her. If I had not decided it was best to lead a rescue party to save her from Arivis’ grip, then she might still be alive, instead of buried in the ground near her father’s home.”

“You may have lead the party, but she still died because of me…her blood was never on your hands,” She paused. “That…is the reason I hadn’t returned home, and won’t ‘til Arivis is dead…and sent to the pits of hell as is his rightful castigation.”

He nodded, and then they heard someone trip, stumble, and fall. Naomi stared for a moment at the girl at her feet…the Innocent looked up and smiled. “How long were you eavesdropping, Tap?”

“I…” She began, but then Kaz came and stood beside her. “I’m sorry Miss Naomi, but we…we wanted to check on old Yaz…and…and”

“And…we overheard you and Death talking…” Tap said, “We didn’t mean to interrupt, but I accidentally tripped and…well, that’s what happened.”

Naomi rolled her eyes.

“I’m quite alright you know,” Yazstromo remarked, “But, if you wouldn’t mind me asking, what year is this anyways?”

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“Asphixation, defenstration, breathing wool, decapitation. Drinking from a lava pool, driving drunk to look so cool. Crazy bees sting you a lot, eating any rats you caught - all these ways that you can die. Don't forget poisonous pie!" -Classic SmashQueen, Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:03 pm
There's always another secret... ~ Mistborn, Sanderson


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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ A Tale of Scorned Souls • Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 6:51 pm
~Forever Forgotten: The Knife~

“Quickly, come inside.” The Guild leader, garbed in gold, seemed hurried to return to the stronghold, and the other two had already hoisted their comrade onto their shoulders, his blood leaving few visible marks on their red robes. Picking up his weapon, he swiftly followed the men through the muck and out of the deluge.

As the doors slammed behind him, he stared at the corridor in awe; marvellous, multicoloured tapestries were hung all around him in a mixture of reds, golds, and purples. The perfect adornment, he thought, for the marble walls on which they were hung, with images of fearsome, long-extinct beasts hewn into the pillars. However, as the Guild members beckoned him toward the infirmary staircase, he knew that there was no other choice; he could not be discovered in the castle with the blade of the Garo.

The Deku hastily rushed toward the leader, drawing his blade as he ran. He wasn't quite sure if he had other options; he was too focused on the events already set in motion. Slashing at the leader's neck, he turned on the other two. They stood in horror with Aczaros in their arms, trying to comprehend their leader's fate; his body lay there in a crumpled heap on the ground; a large gash in his neck poured blood onto the tile floor. They soon met the same fate, after which the Deku hid the bodies down what appeared to be a little used corridor near the staircase to the infirmary. He hurried on, darting from room to room along the sides of the main corridor, checking each for useful equipment, until he came across a rather curious chamber.

It looked a bit like a fusion of a library and an apothecary, with books strewn on the single oaken desk in the room, which rested next to a large, disorganized bookcase; it appeared to be made of yew. Along the walls hung many fancy knives, some appearing to be meant for more use than simply stabbing one's victim. Picking one off the wall, he stood there, admiring its beauty for a moment.

The sheath bore a strong resemblance to the artwork from his home realm, but the hilt was quite obviously hewn by the Ikanan hand. Picking a small note off the wall, he read about the special parts of the dagger, and, looking around, found a small bottle labelled 'Toxic'. After he unscrewed the Jeweled hilt from the crosshilt, he poured the poison into the small compartment, and noticed a green streak that now adorned the blade and seemed to crest at the point; he figured he knew its purpose, and so he sheathed the weapon and hid it in his robe.

As he exited, he noticed a commotion far down the hall to his left, and heard something about “four bodies lying dead!” At that, he began to sprint the other way, and was fairly confident they hadn't seen him round the corner. As he turned into the next hallway, he noticed a hooded figure standing outside of a grand doorway, and slowed his pace; this was clearly not a palace guard, as it was peering through a small crack in the door, and was so intent that it did not hear the Deku sneak up behind it. With a strong downward slash, he ended the Garo, picked up its still-hooded head, and opened the door.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

~Samuel Clemens


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