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 ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust 
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Post ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:03 pm
Prologue: From Ashes

It was a day rejoiced for five hundred years. Peace reigned throughout the devastated Kingdom of Hyrule and beyond at the felling of their Demonic Conqueror, Arivis. His forces dispersed and his curse lifted from the land, the faint seeds of the future began to grow. The Prophetic Ones travelled far and wide to call the survivors and refugees to their ruined homeland, in the hopes of repair.

To the North, the Prophet, through his scrutiny and wisdom, was able to discover the safe house in which the remnants of the royal line had fled to under the Fallen’s Siege. Restoring the name of ‘Hyrule’ back to its land was at last the final key to its salvation. Doubters returned with new interest, families reconstructed towns and villages, pathways and crops. It only took a matter of three years to return Hyrule to its former glory; however, the taint of Arivis’s hand still hung over them, his memory a jarring but waning force. For his service, the Prophet held office as the Royal Advisor, some say to quell worries of more supernatural attacks, others say it led to the sudden disappearance of fabled silverware.

Yet over a period of only a few years, his friends going their separate ways, the Prophet stepped down to pursue life out in the world he helped save. What he called his ‘good luck charm’, a large silver key he came into possession with, he left to his successor. It is now tradition for the Prophet’s Grace to be worn by every esteemed Advisor as a symbol for the past and the unlocking of Hyrule’s Future.

With the Prophetic Ones vacant from Hyrule, their previous guidance disappeared as well. Although for a few generations lost, the kingdom thrived under new life and law, settling it down for a well deserved peace. It was until the heralded reign of King Darik that no strife ever manifested within the land’s borders. Darik served for forty years, it was widely considered the greatest rule of any monarch, both in commerce and general goals from fields to the highest court in the land. That was until misfortune struck, a group of marauders invaded the capital, murdering the elderly King and his family while looting the Knight’s Tower of all its weapons and its treasury. Their identity was never discovered.

Rumours say that gold filled corpses were soon dug up in the North East, bandits force-fed coins and jewels. It had since been three hundred years after the death of Arivis.

With no heir to speak of, it was inevitable that war would ravage the country. Two opposing parties rose to power to fill the vacant seat of the capital, both claiming bloodlines and best intentions. Despite either side’s intent, they rallied troops and fought on Hyrulean ground, spilling Hyrule blood. It was not until after the, then in partial control of all of the King’s assets, Advisor had been ousted from his seat. He immediately fled the Kingdom in search of his and its salvation. It came, but with a price.

The forces from the surrounding lands raised their arms and invaded the crumbling state of Hyrule. Lacking the foresight, both of the Hyrulean armies defended their interests, immediately forcing a declaration of war with old allies. In a matter of a month, the majority of the rallied troops were either killed or realized their folly, joining ‘enemy’ battalions. The group leaders who were unable to settle differences and seemingly unable to surrender against their powerful adversary, were eventually captured. Put to death as war criminals, the citizens of many a kingdom rejoiced.

The Advisor who had returned with help was appointed the new King by popular demand until a proper family tree was drafted of the Hyrule bloodline. William Russeau reigned for twenty years, his successor a proven member of the Royal Family, a bastard child but still that of a King. Removing the Prophet’s Grace with honour, he retired and founded a community to the East, naming it after his King and his best friend, Darik Village.

Yet with all the lessons to be taught of foul ruling, the state of Hyrule both grew and grew decrepit as monarchs slowly passed the Throne. Expanding in wealth and size, it was only a matter of time before citizens and assets were no longer kept in line. Crime began to breed in the streets of old, murderers and rapists prowled the night and the Knight’s Guild lost its command and strength in the eyes of the citizens. King’s became ignorant of the misfortune beyond the Castle walls, the degrading of Hyrule’s glory, focussing more on hording more land and making more gold. Eventually Darik Village fell from the watchful eye of the capital, the family of Russeau nearly forgotten and driven into poverty.

It has been over five hundred years since the Prophetic Ones descended to save Hyrule. Their actions are still marked but with far more scepticism and forlorn emotion.


This is the tale of the return of the Prophetic Ones, that of the return of Evil and Malice to the land of Hyrule. From Ashes, the forces of the Gods will rise to strike them down once more, their success driven only by fate. This is the tale of ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:42 am
Chapter One: Divinity's Wish

Across the lavishly carpeted room the grandfather clock approached high noon. The swinging of its bronze pendulum silent but its presence was made well aware by the reflecting light that shone through the windows. Everything seemed over the top in here, but he had learned to live this life, it was, after all, his duty now. His desk had been crafted from the same Mahogany as his job-inherited clock, his only companion for most of his days. If he wasn’t at work, he was watching his friend slowly remind him how little time there was left and all the time he had lost signing papers.

Klaus flipped the newest piece of parchment over and made notes as he read. It was another report of thievery from one of the dozens of small Bazaars that littered the Capital’s streets. He slowly circled suggested felons on a separate sheet of names and crumpled the demand for more guards. They all knew they were short of knights; it was a job that no longer rested upon honour rather than pay and risks. But how could he blame them for not wanting to walk those streets?

Dipping his pen back into its ink, he stifled a sad chuckle. There were around fifty names of convicted, escaped, or suspected criminals on his list. The circles from the years previous had long but faded and the number of fresher ones almost made him sick. He should have listened more closely to his father those years ago, this job was the fall of many a man, his family was well entitled about that. Whatever sense of honour he received from his service was soon overwhelmed by its burden.

The ironic thing was, as High Cleric he was the most loved man in Hyrule. But as the Advisor, he was the most hated.

The clock struck twelve, echoing empty clangs into his study. And right on time, the knights stationed outside his door entered, bringing the news he wasn’t ready to have to deal with. The younger of the two approached and knelt in front of Klaus’s desk.

“Sir Klaus, they have been arranged in the square.” Zachary was his name, deep red coloured hair and an unshaven face adorned his most prominent features. His eyes were closed and his head at an angle to the ground. Klaus sighed.

“Get up; haven’t we already talked about this?” Pushing his seat back and adjusting his stack of papers, the Advisor rounded his table. He placed his hand on Zachary’s shoulder momentarily before pulling him up to stand at full height, a good three inches taller than himself. “I am not much for those formalities. There is no man that deserves to be knelt before, even the King grows tired of empty fealty, be it with good intentions or respects or not.”

Zachary scoffed at the mention of the King. If the Advisor was the most hated, it was hard to denote just what animosity was held for His Majesty. Only Klaus knew of the good will held in the King’s heart. But after so many generations of ill-ruling, he understood why even those bound to serve the Royal Family could care less of their wellbeing. It was most disturbing seeing it in the newer recruits to the Knights. Another rebellion was something Hyrule could go without. King Basyle had been trying to regain a hold of trust with the people. Klaus knew deep down that the Hyrule they both wanted was beyond their grasp. For now.

If not for the meaning of the ceremony, he would be completely against it. His purpose was stretching beyond the boundaries of morals, his and those of the people. And again, it had to be done.

“Captain Benjamin has waited long enough; it was to be done at the stroke of noon, not afterwards.” The older knight leered as Klaus retrieved two small charms and arranged them around his neck. A small golden case was lifted from the mantle behind him, and held like a newborn by Zachary. Klaus’s garments made him feel further burdened by life and the laws of gentlemen. Things had to be done in this kingdom; his comfort was penniless in comparison.

“You must understand, Thomas, that I hold life’s beauty much higher than this.” He felt like he was faking his sad expression. It had worked either way with doubted sincerity; the Knight was sobered for a moment and stood stark still until opening the door out into the halls of the Castle.

These were the corridors walked by many an honoured man. Klaus spun the small silver key hanging from his neck, his ancestor wore this once. And a man greater than any before him. What happened in these halls long ago was shrouded in myth, the only truth settling it as legendary. The Prophetic Ones once were revered as highly as the Gods. But as times changed, so did faith, and so did life outside of fairytales.

***

It was soon that he was being lifted up high into the Royal Chariot, where he sat across from other clerics coming to watch his performance. The idea was sadistically ironic. He rested for those few minutes into the capital city, his hands lying still in his lap, holding the gold case. Klaus bore his eyes into its elaborate design, watching it almost blend in with that of his dress, which in turn matched their transportation. A luxurious life was empty of it.

The visor at the front of the carriage was opened by the secondary driver. “You will have to keep to your seats for a moment. We need to disperse the crowds, keep the rocks out of the hands, and keep the children out of sight.” Abruptly, he slammed it shut. The man’s name was James, a ruffian if one ever existed. Jovial by working standards, he was affiliated with everyone, but commonly regarded as a lowlife by the rest of the Counsel. Klaus found his humour and essence refreshing. They were friends from the beginning.

Sir Thomas could be heard outside, yelling over top the crowd’s raucous cries to gather their attention. “I present to you, the citizens of Hyrule, the Counsel of Clerics, and the Overseers of today’s events.” At this, the creaking doors of the chariot were pulled open and half a dozen older men were helped down to the cobblestones by a faction of knights. Obscenities were thrown among other’s cheering. The men were directed to form a tattered circle around a large wooden structure in the square.

“We have called upon the Wisdom of the Advisor to gra-,” An almost unanimous clamour rose through the audience before the clanging of iron swords from the guards brought them to silence once more. “The Honourable Sir Klaus, Advisor to His Grace.” Thomas reached up to hold the Advisor’s Case, before finally having Zachary help him down.

The sight of the haphazard structure in front of him made him feel sick. He thought he would have gotten used to this by now, to able to close off his emotions for these displays. So far he had been unsuccessful; he was rather fond of his humanity, the little he could spare.
He ascended the steps in front of him, where at their end came a large platform. In shackles, there stood three men. Convicted of unforgiveable crimes and placed here for a number of days for people to observe. It was common to find them dead before the ceremony, while prior to others they were freed by their subsidiaries. These men had only felt the brunt of a few cast rocks and a few curious crows. One sat perched at the highest point of The Table.

Klaus set the case down beside him and opened it. Some members of the crowd, despite being already far away, withdrew even more. Even one of the criminals seemed to cringe away from looking at it or even the Cleric himself. Removing three small objects from the moulds inside, the Advisor approached before turning to address the crowd.

“Before the eyes of the Gods and their Creation, we present to them three men. As High Cleric and Advisor to King Basyle, it is my duty to speak for the Heavens and for the Earth.” Klaus closed his eyes and turned back to the first man on the left. He removed his pendant and adjusted it to the Gold piece, the Triforce of Power, a bright ruby glistening in its centre from the midday Sun. Slowly sketching a triangle upon the man’s bare chest, he spoke aloud. “For the crime of murder, the Fire of Din will attempt to cleanse you of your wickedness. May your soul meet salvation.” Klaus bent down to the man’s chained feet and placed a simple bottle.

Moving from him to the middle prisoner, the crow from above screeched and took flight, circling over the scene in search for prey. The Advisor turned his charm to the Silver segment, a beautiful sapphire peering out of its centre. He traced another triangle across the man’s chest. “For the crime of the raping and beating of three women, the Laws of Nayru shall attempt to cleanse you of your wickedness. May your soul meet salvation.” His eyes met the criminal’s wide ones for a brief second before placing another bottle at his feet. At last he faced the third man, the one who had received the most punishment from bored passersby over the last week.

Klaus turned his Triforce pendant finally to its bronze fragment, a large emerald resting in its plating. As he followed his final triangular path, he continued with each piece to form a projected image of the complete Triforce on the man’s chest. “For the multiple crimes of murder, thievery, rape, arson, and adultery, the Whim of Farore descends. Your wickedness is beyond the powers of wishful thinking.” A third and final bottle was placed before one of the most hated criminals in all of Hyrule; Klaus backed away, closing his case and locking it.

With his tinkering ways, he finally gave the Prophet’s Grace something to do. It seemed only fitting it protect his cherished potions. And now look what they were being used for. Klaus turned around, scorn running through is face, both for what crimes these men had committed and for the crime he was about to be allowed. The magical timer of the first bottle finished. An eruption of flames shattered through the glass and absorbed the man, who was first silent from shock but soon was screaming into the square. He tugged at his chains to no avail, the unforgiving array of coloured fire writhing around him. The other two jumped with horror. Klaus shook his head. How could anyone perform atrocities and be disgusted by those of others? He enjoyed his own hypocrisy.

The second bottle shattered and a maelstrom of lighting shot out from its remains. A second crying voice echoed into the square, the crowd cheered. And at last, the third and final bottle met its timed fate. A wisp of green coloured dust spewed out and gripped its target’s feet, before slowly moving its way up his body. Nothing happened for a moment.

The raven landed on the rafter above the final man. His reaction was the loudest. After all, Klaus had given him his most potent and unforgiving spell of them all. He was destined to quickly rot from his feet up, the retraction of Farore’s most prized gift. One by one, the three fell silent. The first fell from his shackles in an array of charred ashes, the second much the same and the final into a pile of discoloured dust.

Around the Advisor, the citizens gave their appreciation of the show. Klaus’s stomach churned as he lifted the case back up, walking to each of the prisoner’s remains, speaking only a few words of blessing in Hylian before quickly descending back to his carriage. James placed a comforting hand on his shoulder as he passed by. The Advisor quickly shook it off and hoisted himself back into the Chariot while the crowds around him either called his name with affection or hatred. He slumped back, letting his Case fall to the floor and placed his head into his hands.

He would never understand just how the Warrior was able to do this without so much as a regret.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 8:33 pm
Chapter Two: A lost boy

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Log, Day 12

I say twelve because I lost count a little while ago and decided to simply start again using a day twelve days ago as reference. The things we do to keep occupied... speaking of which, my little project had a teeny weeny hiccup today. The tall, greasy, stinky, stupid, smarmy waste of time I locked away lost his only companion today. It got sucked right out through the wall. I knew I should have sprung for the double reinforced walls... but then why didn’t I? It was so terribly tiresome to keep track of what I did and didn’t know that I simply decided I knew everything and that seemed to clear that up... so I must have known this would happen... Oh, also, he lost the drum kit. I liked that one. I shall have to grow another for my mantle.


Somewhere near Kakiroko village, approximately 500 years before present day...

Just as a loud crashing sound filled the air with the partial demolition of a solitary wall, a small mechanical bird plipped into the world, rocketing into the empty chasm that was a stalfos skull. Unnoticeably, a miniature clockwork drum kit flew out as well but landed haphazardly a few feet away. After a few seconds its internal timer went off. The drum did as its design ordained and, after releasing a small rimshot, sadly plipped back out of the world. To an outside observer, the scene would have seemed quite comical. Conversely, to an inside observer, the layout and timing of events may have been quite confronting and eerie. Luckily though, there were no outside observers to speak of and the few inside observers consisted of an old man who had become quite accustomed to the frequent eeriness of reality, a young bandit who was barely conscious at all and a poor stalfos who, after looking for the source of the strange ticking he now heard and then shrugging in defeat, was thrown into a virtually comatose state. The coincidental nature of events shouldn’t have bothered the hidden fourth observer, given that he was what some might call a mere trinket. However, had he not been rigorously attempting to adjust his clockwork heart to tick more quietly, he may have been quite put off by the day’s proceedings so far. As it was, the little copper creature had just been taken abruptly from his dark prison of 20 odd years, separating him from what little company he had known in his relatively short life and had been thrust into the mysteriously empty head of a living skeleton. With the addition of some mechanical percussion being timed somewhat too scarily-well for his very sensitive tastes and the crossing between a world of eternal darkness and a land relatively bursting with light, it’s a wonder poor Lewis didn’t blow a gasket. Luckily, Lewis was not a steam powered machine. Nor a magic powered machine. He was something the world had not seen for a very long time...

~

“... Lewis? My friend? What was that sound? Am I to think you have vanished? Surely you jest... Le-Lewis?”
Daedus’ stammering words were left unheeded. How could his companion possibly hear him? The small fracture between the two worlds had sealed the instant they had opened. Unfortunately for him, a moment was all it took to steal away his sole purpose for being stopped up in that small shack. It took him a few days to truly accept that Lewis was gone. Of course, he turned the house upside-down looking for his treasured friend. He worked relentlessly, without an ounce of rest. When he was finally too weak, he broke down and cried. Then he slept. When he awoke he found his day’s food lying on a shabbily prepared table, just like every other time he awoke. However, this time seemed different. A small rose in a copper pot was resting near the corner of his meal. Whatever was keeping him alive in this house, this prison, recognised the pain he felt. Daedus’ didn’t quite understand the implications, but he knew he was being watched. Without Lewis’ company though, for the first time in many years in his little wooden house with the darkness pressing a small parchment note against the window, Daedus was truly afraid.

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Mossy log, day 14

Oh, the log? Yeah, I figured it wasn’t moving, and it has been QUITE a while, so moss MUST have grown on it by now. Oh, and I lost count again. I picked fourteen because it made sense at the time... I can’t be bothered remembering why... Anyway, my project is boring me. Now that the smaller, shiny one has left, the big, stinky, stupid one never does anything. He will do things soon though. I imagine it is his way, so, I suppose it must be. In any case, though tiring it is, I decided to check in on the smaller shiny one. It seems to have left its new cage just hours after getting into it... or maybe it was days... years? That world is so hard to keep track of... in any case, I grew tired after seeing that the pale bony one had shattered. I have currently retired to the lounge and am sipping on a delicious fermented beverage, vintage 3 minutes ago. It’s very powerful. It must have been 4 minutes.


Crandall Castle, many days after Lewis’ release...

He looked out through one of the portholes in the stalfos’ skull, seeing the manic grin of the most terrifying being he had ever set his sights on. With one sickeningly graceful movement, the beast drew its arm toward Lewis’ hiding place, something frighteningly powerful sitting snugly in his callous palm. The copper bird was overcome by the emotions of his vessel. Being that the skeleton had no physical brain, his thoughts passed freely through his bone head, siphoning through whatever poor occupants happened to be in there at the time. Lewis had watched the endeavours of these people, seen their hardships and felt their triumphs, all through the eyes and thoughts of this battle worn beast. Now though was the only time he was truly overwhelmed, not by the rage of the warrior, but by his deep, deep sorrow. He could feel that the stalfos felt broken, destroyed. He felt heartless for thinking it, but Lewis knew that now was the time to leave. He braced himself against the side of the quivering skull and awaited the freedom the demise of his gracious host would provide.

As the smoke poured around the cauterised warrior, Lewis tried not to move. The limp body tumbled to the ground, the small bird lost his grip and slipped out into the burning grass. Luckily for him, the smoke hid his fall and the horrifying scene masked his escape. His heart torn asunder, Lewis flew back to where he knew he needed to go. He flew back to the wall, because he knew he had to tell Daedus all the things he’d seen, the people he’d found... one in particular.
It was a long flight back to the ruined wall. It had given Lewis a lot of time to think about what he was actually doing. Being of very sound mind but very little knowledge, Lewis knew nothing of magical portals or parallel dimensions. What he did know was that there was no way back... at least, none he could find on his own. Still, he was a determined little bird, and he figured that if he didn’t know he could find a way, then he mustn’t know he couldn’t either. It’s funny the things that pass through a little metal bird’s mind.

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Mulch, day 3 ‘til 0

I figured I would get a head start on losing count today, so I’m using a day three days ahead of me as a reference point this time. Since the log has completely decomposed into slush, it MUST have been a really long time, so I must be about to lose count any day now. The paths of worlds never cease to bore me. The big stinky one’s little world has grown up a lot less than the little shiny one’s big world. It would seem that the small one should go faster and the big one slower, but clearly they don’t, so it doesn’t and thus I know it. It is quite a bore knowing everything. I feel though that the big one isn’t lasting too well... even that rose is losing its strength, and I grew that one tomorrow, so it MUST be fresh. It doesn’t matter though. These tiny universes have a way of sorting themselves out at the most incredible times. On that note, I have some business to attend to.


Somewhere near Kakariko Village, a few days before present...

The wall remained mostly unchanged, forgiving the rounding of bricks from the swift movement of time. In front of it stood a small, stoic figure. The many years had done little to change its copper form, but the unforgiving rains had unfortunately rusted his small wings shut. Most of his other joints were fused in the same way. While machines may live forever, they do not age gracefully. Thankfully, though it is working much slower thanks to its now ancient rusted gears and lack of recent activity, Lewis’ mind was still ticking away. It still knew what it was and where and although the thought had been misplaced many times in meditation, Lewis still new exactly why he was here. In front of the little marvel, etched into the very ground itself was a message to his friend. Lewis, despite being very well versed was still a relatively childlike machine, and did not wholly comprehend the concept of aging. Though it had been many hundreds of years, he still waited adamantly for the return of his friend. He had complete faith in an impossible fancy. He also gave no thought to the fact that in a few days time, his body would be so rusted that he wouldn’t even be able to blink. Long ago losing the ability to move voluntarily from his resting place, Lewis had become accustomed to not moving. What were a few more hundred years of not being able to move if only he could see his friend again?

~

“I awake to another empty day,” was part of the morning ritual that Daedus droned out whenever he awoke from his slumber. He had spent every day since the departure of his small friend like this and hadn’t planned on changing his routine. He awoke, unforgivingly welcomed the morning, barely nourished himself then went back to bed. Whenever he became sore from lack of movement he simply shut his eyes and pretended to ignore it. Then, whenever it became too bad, he got up and practiced his fencing. It was the last thing that really reminded him of the world on the other side. This was his routine every day for almost a year. Being of simple mind with fair knowledge, he considered no other option except to continue his existence as it was, as he felt there was no way of changing his circumstances. Coming to this conclusion, as he did most days, he dropped his dusty rapier and reached for his daily meal.

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Mulch... wait... no... is that... sprout, Day 0

The old foundation has completely given way to a new life. Sooner or later I’ll have another log to write about... maybe sooner. I took care of that business. It held me up considerably. I couldn’t focus on anything else in fact. Good thing I knew exactly what I was missing. I dropped something as well. Couldn’t find it where it used to be, so I figure I must have dropped it. I wondered where it must have gone, but then I remembered that I already know... I just mustn’t care. Wonderful that that’s cleared up.


Somewhere near Kakariko Village, present day...

As his eyes began to stick shut, Lewis saw something very confusing. Where there was just a wall a moment ago, a house now stood. While Lewis hadn’t learned very much over his very long stay in this abandoned place, he had learned that houses didn’t just appear. It sounded as if it had fallen from a great distance, but Lewis had seen it appear just a hair above the ground. He considered a house falling through a very small space as if falling through a very large space, and then realised that the space he required to think about that was occupied by different thoughts entirely. His rusted old gears clicked backward a notch or two and he remembered what he was, where he was and exactly why he was here. Had he been able to, he would have cried. Unfortunately, his eyes were now as stationary as the rest of him.

~

Daedus was not interested in his sword falling to the floor, which was unusual as the weapon had in fact stopped for a moment between his hand and its inevitable destination. What had caught his eye however was how surprisingly delicious his meal looked in the sunlight. He turned his head to follow the beam of light to the window and was shocked as the light scolded his eyes. As reality dawned upon him, his stomach squirmed. He didn’t know how to react, so his body helped him by letting out a few awkward tears. He approached the door that he had pounded on so furiously those few years ago and gently began to turn the knob. Heart pounding, he paused. His hand was shaking, his body weak from years of sadness and isolation. Slowly he willed himself forward, moving through the doorway, out into the world around him.

Shielding his delicate eyes from the sun, he surveyed the world. He knelt over, shaking. He dampened the stone beneath him with tears, the dry earth soaking up every heartfelt drop. For a few minutes he was overwhelmed by the shock. He stayed curled over, not knowing what to do. He watched as his tears made patterns in the dusty ground, trickling into cracks and darkening whatever they touched. He couldn’t help but be distracted by the smallest insect attempting to avoid the airborne assault. Following it as it escaped, Daedus shuffled, bent over, hands around knees. He followed it around the corner of the house and over toward a scratched piece of stone. He only took his eyes off the ground when he noticed exactly how scratched it was. After reading his name in the dusty engravings, his eyes grew wide and he began to look for who had inscribed the rest of the message. At the bottom of the long trail of dust filled etchings stood a little clockwork bird. Even though it was rusted shut, Daedus could have sworn a little smile flickered across its weatherworn beak. He picked Lewis up and for what felt like the first time in forever, they felt each other’s hearts tick again. It took a long time before Daedus was ready to open his eyes to read the ancient letter meant just for him. When he did finally read it, his heart dropped. Looking to his companion, Daedus smiled and rubbed away some dust from around the small creature’s head. He took Lewis to the window that a certain letter had been pressed against all this time, ignoring the millions of tiny teeth marks covering the walls of the house. The days before his imprisonment flashed before his eyes as Daedus peeled the letter off of the window and read through its simple message once again. He had tried to ignore it while he was confined; he hadn’t needed any reminding of what he had done. Now though, it brought a new flame to an old fire once kindled by the words of his parents.

“Lewis, I am afraid that I have figured out what to do. Redemption is my only course.”

>> WORD TO THE WISE: Profile page can be found here along with back story.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 4:51 am
Chapter Three: A Wanted Man

In the lone bar of a tiny hamlet at the outer edge of the great Hyrule field, two men sat huddled close together over a torn notice.

“I’m telling you that’s the guy,” one of the men whispered to the other. They were talking about a man wearing a long red coat who was sitting at the opposite end of the bar. He was holding but not drinking from the one drink he had bought after he walked in fifteen minutes prior. The speaker stabbed the notice that was sitting on the table with his finger, it was a wanted poster with a pictograph of a man in a military uniform with the name 'William Desesperacion' and the sum of 15 000 rupees under it.

“He’s missing some of this military shine but it’s the guy.” The man continued.

His companion replied, “Okay, I’ll get my men to surround him as he’s leaving. We’ll be sure to make short work of him, six to one’s hardly a fair fight.” He grinned wickedly.

Just then, the man they were discussing, William, stood up, downed his drink in one gulp, and walked out the door ignoring the conspirators. The two men waited a moment then followed him out to see him round the road's corner into the forest. The first man grabbed the second's arm as he moved to follow Will saying, “Let’s get this clear, I get a seventh cut of the reward and the rest goes to you and your men.”

“Yeah, about that,” the second stated coldly. “There’s been a bit of a change to the plan.” The first man began to speak but stopped abruptly and coughed up blood, he fell forward with another man wearing a scarf over his head and bloody knife in his hand standing behind him.

The second man turned to the new arrival and said, “Let’s go.”

The forest road was dark despite the full moon; the overhanging branches all but blocked its light. Will walked slowly along the path cut through the trees appearing almost tired, he had the right to be, always moving and not staying in one place for more than a night or two. It was the life of a fugitive. He came to a stop as three men appeared before him blocking his way and three more coming up from behind. In the centre stood the man from the bar giving an air of command.

The leader called out, “Looks like you’ve nowhere important to go, sir. Would you humour us a moment?” He grinned wickedly again.

Will sighed and picked a monocle out of his pocket, putting it to his right eye. His audience seemed almost confused by his lack of a reaction, unsure what was meant to be happening. Suddenly, Will pulled his two handguns out from their holsters, pointed them behind him, and let off a shot from each, hitting each goon to the leader's sides in the forehead. As they tumbled back, the three in front charged at him bearing daggers. Will holstered his guns and drew his sword, an elegant red hilted rapier; he swung at his opponents in the same movement.

The man to his right ducked Desesperacion's arc while the middle man jumped back, dodging the blade by centimetres. But the third man wasn’t so lucky, blood sprayed everywhere as the blade cut through the man's neck severing both arteries. The corpse fell to its knees head hanging back only half attached to its body, but Will hardly noticed as he was moving to his next opponent. The man who had ducked his first strike hadn’t recovered yet and Will jumped over his back, switching his grip to backhand and stabbed up into the man's stomach, the tip of the blade just sticking out of the top. Will pulled his sword free and rushed the third man, flipping his sword back as the new casualty collapsed. He sliced through the next victims midsection and a fifth body was added to the scene.

He turned around hearing the leader clapping, “very good, very good, you certainly live up to your bounty and I guess this means I get to keep it all.”

As he said this, he pulled a medium sized broadsword from a sheath on his back; he pointed the tip at Will and charged. Will deflected the blow almost gracefully and stepped to the side, watching the leader stumble to a stop. The brief embarrassment infuriated the leader and he spun around and charged again, this time swinging his sword wildly. Will jumped back from the first swing and ducked the second, he angled his swift rapier up and stabbed it through the hand holding his opponents blade, sending it flying. The leader not ready to quit yet, pulled a dagger from his belt and thrust it at Will's head. Will ducked the attack and jumped back, ready to deliver his final blow. He paused a moment then dashed towards the leader. Seeing his peril, the leader threw the dagger as a last ditch effort to stop Will, but managed only to nick his cheek before being run through.

Will pulled his sword out and sheathed it, glancing back at the leader as he heard him giving a faint groan, still alive, but only just. Will pulled one of his guns and spun it on his finger, shooting the leader in the face, and returned the firearm to its holster a second later.

William walked from the scene, popped the monocle from his eye and placed it back in his pocket, finally giving one statement, “Say hello to the rest of the trash like you in the afterlife for me, I won’t be reaching that place anytime soon.”

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:07 pm
Chapter Four: A Troubled Knight


Surrounded. They were all around, silently laughing at him. Unsheathing his sword, he began to think of a plan to get out of this predicament. He swung his sword at the closest one, the blade passing through it as if it were not actually there. They began to fly around him, faster and faster, their laughter growing audible. Then suddenly they were gone, leaving him in the darkness. Puzzled, he began to move forward, not entirely sure of what to do, or where he was for that matter. Only the sound of his armour clinking accompanied him as he walked through the shadows. Then he came to a halt, sensing a presence behind him. It was another one of them, floating up to him, its eyes glowing. As it got closer, a bright flash obscured all sight, laughter starting all around, and slowly fading.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fulkrome awoke facing the rising sun, the remnants of his dream slowly fading in his mind. Stretching, he began to look around, sunlight shining through the trees and onto his armor. A deer stood off in the distance, peacefully grazing in a small clearing. A snapping branch could be heard from behind him. Turning, Fulkrome noticed two figures heading towards him. Reaching for his sword, he tried to make out the figures. Humanoid, average height, muscular, dark skin. Moblins. As they got closer, he began to look for that all too familiar mark, the mark of Ganondorf. Although the King of Evil has been gone for many centuries, some of his followers’ descendants still clung to his evil ways. As the two moblins stepped over a small stream their marks became visible, that twisted insignia resting on the front of their shoulders. Letting out a sigh, Fulkrome unsheathed his blade and got ready for what he knew would be a short fight.

The moblins started to run towards him now, taking their swords out as well. Fulkrome stood there, motionless, as the first one went in to attack. Surprisingly quick, Fulkrome stepped out of the way of the moblin’s sword and proceeded to kill it with a swift stab through the neck. The second moblin attacked immediately after, catching Fulkrome slightly off guard. The blow wasn’t very accurate, however, and merely glanced off his armour. Fulkrome quickly finished off the moblin, leaving both bodies where they lay.

They don’t deserve a burial, he thought to himself as he gathered his very few belongings and began to find his way out of the forest. It’s unsettling how even to this day his corruption lingers among these creatures. Ever since he broke away from Ganondorf’s influence, Fulkrome has dedicated himself to ridding the lands of any of his followers. One of the greatest challenges had to be defeating the other Darknuts. Being some of the strongest of Ganondorf’s minions, they all put up incredible fights. Am I the last of the Darknuts? he thought to himself as he neared the edge of the forest. Hyrule Field could be seen past the remaining trees, a vast expanse connecting the various regions of Hyrule. Fulkrome didn’t enjoy thinking about his past, but was often lost in his own memories. While he has changed his ways, none of his good actions could account for all his past actions. As he stepped into the open sunlight, he began to reminisce of times gone by, darker times…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fire. Screams. Complete panic. It wasn’t often Fulkrome was sent on a raid, but when he was he enjoyed himself immensely. Buildings burned all around, people fled in terror, creatures roamed the streets in delight. Fulkrome lifted his blade to his face, observing the stains of blood in the light of the fires all around. What a morbidly beautiful sight, he thought to himself. As he lowered the blade, he noticed a warrior stumbling toward him. They don’t know when to give up, their little village is lost. Fulkrome laughed to himself as he stuck his gauntlet into the nearest fire. A look of horror entered the warrior’s face as he slowed his approach.

“What, scared?” Fulkrome taunted as his gauntlet began to glow from the heat. “So ready to lose your life to protect this feeble village. Look around, there’s no saving it now.” The warrior dropped his sword and tried to run away. Within the blink of an eye, Fulkrome was upon the man, hand clutching his throat. “Ah, the sound of searing flesh, wonderful isn’t it?” Fulkrome began to laugh maniacally as the man struggled to escape his grasp.

“Please…” said the man as his last few moments of life drained away. Fulkrome dropped the man and proceeded to take off his glove. His hand was full of painful burns, not that it ever mattered to him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fulkrome was shaken from his memories by the sight of a group of people off in the distance, an elderly couple and a few small children. Although centuries have gone by since he had performed his last evil deed, rumors of his former self have survived. People who know these rumors either flee or try and fight, hoping to gain glory or some other reward for slaying him. Even those who don’t know the rumors often act in a similar way, all Darknuts are dangerous to them. This group, however, didn’t seem to be bothered by Fulkrome. They did not change their path to avoid him, nor did they draw any weapons. They simply smiled at him as they passed. Odd, Fulkrome thought, never had that reaction from anyone before. Things must have changed since my absence from Hyrule. Before Arivis’ attack, Fulkrome had set off to far away kingdoms to slay any evil oppressors. Only on his trip back did he learn of Arivis and the devastation he caused. At least this kingdom is recovering.

With no clouds in the sky, the sun shone brightly, warming everything in the field. All around, everything seemed so peaceful. Far off in the distance Hyrule Castle could be seen. How are they faring there? he wondered. Well however they’re doing I doubt having a Darknut around would help. He silently laughed to himself. A light breeze started up as he continued walking. Hopefully this peace will last, he thought. With no major threat to the kingdom I may finally be able to rest for awhile. Even with all his experience accumulated over his long life, he hoped peace would remain. But deep down he knew it could never last very long. It already seemed long overdue.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 6:54 pm
Chapter 5: Fates Entangled

* * * Fluvari – Approximately five hundred Hylian years before present * * *

Something seemed just a little bit off. Perhaps his perception was distorted by his greatest friend's disappearance just three days earlier, or the fact that the Royal Council had just recently appointed him as Lord, or his craving for another bit of Potato Stew, but the painting of the first ruler of Fluvari was crooked.

“Move it a bit to the left, Thomas. Try to align the floor in the painting with the floor in the real world, will you? And Mr. Canon, fetch me some more of that stew, and some for yourself if you're hungry. That was simply delicious.” As the new butler scurried out of the master bedchamber, Lukas looked back toward Sir Thomas to see him falling backward under the weight of the portrait.

“No no no, Thomas, this won't look very good face-down on the floor, and it will be even worse if you're under it. Let me help you with that.”

* * * Afterlife – Present * * *

It was a dark and stormy night, and while that may sound terribly cliché, that was the weather in this dismal place. Always. Railin awoke in his bed shivering, cold, and with mucus quite literally pouring out of one nostril onto his pillow. Perhaps he would be able to get over this damned cold if it wasn't so cold here, or if it ever stopped raining, or if he had somebody to curl up beside, but all he had was himself and that slipshod excuse for a cot that he'd carved out of a log. “An eternity spent travelling the Lost Underwoods.” he thought. Those were the only words he'd heard upon his entry to this new area, right after..

He shuddered. Why him? It appeared that this fate was reserved for him alone. Nobody else was around, nobody but the trees anyway, and they never spoke to him. Bastards.

After checking for his knife, he picked up the log and began today's trek; he'd found that if he stayed in the same clearing for more than a day, a black flame started up in the middle of the clearing, grew legs, and began to walk toward him, leaving normal fires each time it took a step. They never had eyes. How on earth could these little flame-men find him if everything always looked the same? How could they even see everything looked the same without any eyes?

* * * Fluvari – Approximately five hundred Hylian years before present * * *

“You would think..” Jethro began, but he trailed off. The courtyard was not having its usual thought-clearing effect, and, though his craving for stew was now satisfied, he could not get the Deku Lord out of his mind. It was almost certain that he would never see his friend again, and just the thought gnawed at the new Lord. Thomas walked beside him, silently respecting his friend's careful thoughts, awaiting the time Lukas would want to talk to somebody about his loss.

They passed by the rosebush. “What do you think of roses, Thomas? Sure, they're commonly associated with love given their qualities, but what's your take?”

“I don't like them, really. The thorns are a pain in the aft end to avoid.”

“It's very revealing, what people think of roses, don't you think?”

“... yes, my Liege.”

They continued their stroll in silence, and took a right onto the Hedge Path. In the centre of the hedged in area were three marble benches around a crystalline fountain, one of which they sat upon. The silence continued until a small whirring was heard. It progressively got louder, but no source could be identified; it unnerved them both, and they glanced at each other as they drew their weapons.

The Deku Lord slowly materialized in front of them, along with a portal which presumably led back to Hyrule. Lukas could only stare as his old friend checked himself over, walked over to Lukas, and outstretched his arm.

“Lukas, Thomas, it's good to see you.”

* * *

“How did you get back?”

They were at dinner in the great hall, where the Deku Lord was telling everybody about his journey. The cooks had prepared an enormous celebratory feast, including all the favourite foods of Lukas and the Deku Lord. It had been found out that in the sixty years he had spent in Hyrule, only three days had passed in Fluvari. Everybody had questions, of course.

“Well, sixty years is a long time, mate. About fifty-five years after getting there, I stumbled upon a wooden structure over by Symmetry City-”

“Symmetry City? How'd it get that name?”

“The inhabitants do everything in twos, essentially. The village could have a line of symmetry drawn down it, and if the brother on one side does something, the other brother does it too, albeit according to symmetry. Anyway, the wooden structure was this ring made up by two bent trees. It was petrified, and had all sorts of symbols carved on it in our language. “

Just then, a shadow flew through the doors of the great hall, shattering the doors and overturning tables in its wake. The sentries fired arrow after arrow, each shot as perfect and on-target as the last, but to no avail. It stopped at the far side of the hall, where it materialized upon the royal table in front of the now-standing Deku Lord. It was a Garo, different then the others in that it wore a purple robe and a silver helmet. Two blades smoothly slipped from under its sleeves, and it raised one to point at the Deku Lord's face.

“You-” it started, but two arrowheads sprouted from its torso, one through each lung; the archers whose posts were the rafters of the great hall, never missed their mark. Never.

* * * Afterlife – Present * * *

He'd barely rounded the first curve when he saw something new. At least, he thought that's what he saw, but it was hard to tell through all the rain, and his soaking clothes made it a bit hard to walk without getting tired. Perhaps tonight he would try sleeping with the log over him instead. However, as he progressed, he saw that the new thing was indeed real; it was a whole establishment, a large community – or so it seemed – enclosed in a large wooden fence. It leaned inward everywhere, some places moreso than others although never enough to climb over, and had been soaked so thoroughly that water ran freely down it all sides giving it the effect of a slow waterfall and a slight shimmer from the barely visible moon. That was all the light he ever got, that moon. Hardly enough to see where he was going, much less make out the newly-found gate from more than an arm's distance away. The gate, it seemed, was the only part of the fence not leaning, and had two watch towers on each side, each roofed and each with a burning torch barely being shielded from the rain.

“Welcome to Krynditch; we've been expecting you.”

* * * Fluvari – Present * * *

“It's deeply disturbing to me that Garo have begun to infest our kingdom. Granted, our guards can probably handle it, certainly moreso thnt those Hylian rookies, but it's still a pain. And you say this sort of thing never happened before I came back?”

“No.” The Deku Lord, Lukas, and the Royal Council were finally in conference over the issue, after a prolonging of twenty-five days that had the Deku Lord fuming. Several more attacks had taken place, mainly on the castle.

“You realize that if these things did indeed come back with me, from Ikana, from the bloody past, then Hyrule has probably already succumbed to these things, right? If three days for us is sixty for them, what does that tell you about twenty-five days, Council?”

“My Liege..” the Council Head started.

“I don't want to hear it. The Ignotris Colony always makes empty threats, and you still had to take twnty-five days, five hundred Hyrulean years to come to the simple decision to post a sentry? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR BLOODY MINDS?

Just then, Thomas burst through the door with the news that the portal was fluctuating. The Lord and Butler hurried out of the room; the rest of the Council, however, was too afraid to move, lest they get chewed out further upon their arrival.

The portal was indeed fluctuating. It would grow and then decrease, glow brighter and then reduce itself, the edges swirling slower, then faster, all of this happening at odd intervals. A whir could be heard from all around.

“Jethro.”

“On it.”

He hurried off for the requested supplies; they'd already discussed the details of all possibilities concerning the portal, and from the tone of the Deku Lord's voice, Lukas knew what his friend had opted to do. This time, he would have a companion in the foreign land.

“Thomas.”

“Yes, sire?”

“You're in charge until we return. You're by far the best qualified, but don't let it go to your head. At the same time, do not be too lenient; you'll know when that is as well.”

“Yes, sire.”

Jethro returned.

“Shall we, Jethro?”

“Indeed, we shall.”

“Give no quarter to the Garo, Thomas. I want my kingdom intact when we return.”

“Yes, sire!”

With that, they both dropped into the portal. They did not know what would lie before them, as neither of them had enough experience in dealing with inter-planar travel. As luck would have it, they would be deposited in the Lost Underwoods, but these were certainly not the same Underwoods the Deku Lord would remember.

* * * Hyrule – Present * * *

They materialized in Kokiri Village, not a stone's throw from where the shop once stood. The village, they saw, had been sacked and burned, and there were a few Garo moving about the area in their shadow forms; Jethro tossed a Deku Nut, and the Garo fled. The trees were unresponsive to any communication, and the rotten Great Deku Tree stood across a now levelled field.

“We should find Mervil.”

“What makes you think he'll want to help you five hundred years in the future? The bastard probably doesn't even remember you.”

“Nevertheless, we must seek him out. There is safety in numbers against the Garo, especially with warriors like you, Mervil, and I.”

“His old house?”

“His old house.”

_________________
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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:27 am
Err...the second part will be edited sometime in the future, just kinda busy right now. Enjoy peeps. 5000 words of food.

Chapter Six: Looking Glass

Stars dotted the sky, and the fat, full moon sat amongst them. Most in the hamlet had gone to their own beds, but in the single inn in town, dim light still showed in the window. It was called the Prophet’s Corner, and most people that lived there called it a bar, but the man who ran the establishment knew better. There was a second floor with rooms, and that was what made it an inn, though hardly anyone stayed there through the night, it was still Cyro’s pride and joy, because it was his inn. Not some lord’s or a rich merchant's, his! And he was one of the few landowners in this part of Hyrule.

Within the Prophet's Corner it was business as usual. Only a few men (and even less women) sat at the tables at such a late hour, and most would soon return home to tend the flocks and start the harvest. Maids scurried about, sometimes stopping to speak with a man that caught their eyes or a woman they knew, and they knew everyone, but liked some more than others. Yet, there was one particular man sitting at the bar with an untouched cup of warm cider that did not fit in with the average farmer, shepherd, or housewife.

No, he was a noble from Kakariko dressed in a knee-long, green tailcoat with a long sword on his belt. Cyro had never seen him without the thing, he’d even seen him use it once, but that was in practice. There never was trouble at his inn; it was too far out of the way to attract the average scum, but tonight something was off, but Cyro did not know what. Then he realized that the noble stared at his drink, like he had from the moment Ella the maid had poured him the drink.

“It’s gone cold.” Cyro said, but the man did not look up. “Are you there Kazar?”

Hazel eyes peered up at him; eyes curiously older than his young face, but Kazar had spoken of the wars of a distant land. Wars aged men, made them mad, but Cyro had never seen a drop of insanity in him except this constant need to come to a small inn in a little hamlet. Maybe that was the insanity that his old mother had spoken of, but she’d been worse than his friend had ever been.

“I was only thinking...," Kazar said, speaking with a faint accent.

“I didn’t realize that noblemen did that.” One of the maids laughed, then began cleaning something off his precious, polished floors. Why did people always have to spill on them?

That familiar twinkle returned to Kazar’s eyes. “It hurts our minds too much most of the time.”

“Tell me,” Cyro took the noble’s glass and replaced it with cup of steaming cider. “Then you won’t have such a headache in the morning.”

He sighed and rubbed his temples. “Heh. I always have them. Usually from the damn drinking.”

“But you never drink enough to make yourself drunk!” Cyro gave the cold cider to one of the maids. She glanced at it then hurried into the kitchen.

“Are you saying that’s something nobles never do?” The man took a sip, and Cyro almost started dancing, but stopped. What would Kazar think of him if he danced because he was drinking hot cider? Losing a valued customer was one thing, but losing a valued friend was quite another, and Kazar was a noble after all. Nobles, even good ones, had strange opinions and habits that common men did not understand.

Nor do I want to, Cyro reminded himself. “Of course not, but you don’t. Now, stop avoiding the subject and tell me what you were thinking, young sir.”

Kazar smiled. “Damn, you would pull that trick eventually.”

“What do you mean, “trick”?” Cyro asked. “I’m certainly older than you.”

“Maybe,” He said. “But, ya certainly are fatter.”

“Some men…,” Cyro glared. He was avoiding it again. Kazar could lead any man or woman on a different topic with one word and they wouldn’t notice until they couldn’t remember what the original topic was. This time, Cyro would not fall for the noble’s trickery. Not even if he had to bet half his good wine for it. “You’re doing it again. If you don’t tell me…”

“You’ll throw me out?” That smirk screamed challenge. “I doubt it, but do you see those two men in the back?” He pointed over his shoulder at two men, setting at a table in a dark corner.

Cyro frowned. “Have never seen them in these parts before. They claimed to be merchants, but of what, I don’t know. They weren't selling anything but junk.”

“Those bloody fools are plotting murder of that gent there in the red coat.” He turned and nodded towards a man who had only just entered the inn. Red-clad asked for a cup of something warm from Ella. The maid gave him a quick smile and disappeared into the kitchen. Even from here, Cyro could swear there was something familiar about the man, but he couldn’t name what. Dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and not too tall, then his eyes landed on Kazar.

“Is he your brother or something?”

“All my brothers are dead.” He glanced over his shoulder at Cyro. “Didn’t I tell you that?”

“Don’t worry. Just forgot, my friend.” After Cyro patted Kazar’s back, the noble looked back at the man. “Why do you think they want to kill him? Master red-clad over there hasn’t been in here for ten minutes yet.”

Kazar spoke in a soft voice, barely above a whisper. “I walked by them earlier. There’s a torn flyer at their table with a name and that man’s face. The reward on it is 15,000 rupees.”

With his hands raised, Cyro declared: “That could make a man rich! Do you know how much—” He suddenly realized that several eyes were looking his way, then quickly picked up a bottle of wine and began to scrub it.

“Don’t be so damn selfish.” Kazar warned. “The name of that man is ‘William Desepercion’. Some say that he is an innocent man tricked by the government to kill a fellow knight, others think him as guilty as Arivis.”

“What about you?” He rubbed the back of his hand.

“Never spoke with him,” The noble replied. “But I think that whatever did happen isn’t the same as what the government reported. All I know is that those men want riches; they’ll murder anyone if that would give it to them.”

One of the men in the back pointed to the man Kazar had labeled William Desepercion and the other reached for a short sword at his side. He wore a toothy grin. At that moment, William took up his glass, and with one quick motion, he drained the cider. Cyro watched William leave then whispered in Kazar’s pointed ear, “He didn’t even pay for his drink.”

There was no reply. The two men sitting abruptly stood and Cyro gasped. Behind the man with the short sword was a dark haired man with a scarf hiding his face and a knife in hand. He slit the man’s throat, and blood sprinkled onto his beautiful, polished floor. Tears clouded his eyes, he had worked so hard to afford it and now, he had to save it.

Cyro didn’t notice the two men leaving his inn, nor the others that followed them. Only the blood, he left the bar behind and bent over, yelling at Ella to get a bucket of soap and hot water. The maid didn’t move, he raised his head again to yell at her once more, but a fist slammed into his face before he could speak. His nose broke. There, glaring at him beside the body of the fallen man was Kazar, face like stone and lips flat. Angry.

“Is all that you care about your damn floors and your damn money?” His voice was unusually cold. “For a while, I thought this might be the only place better than the rest of Hyrule. Guess that was a mistake.” He bent over the body and took the man’s wrist in his hand. A sigh escaped his lips. Kazar closed the stranger’s eyes and whispered something in a tongue Cyro had never heard before, at least not from his friend. If he could call him friend, that was.

When you sin against your friend, he remembered his mother saying, they become your enemy.

“I…” Cyro began, but stopped, and bent down beside the man. His stomach twisted inside of him and he felt vile in the back of his throat, but he couldn’t throw up. Not in front of Ella or any of the remaining guests. It didn’t matter that he had never been a brave man; this was his inn, and here he was the leader. “Let me help, I’ll bury the man. You should go after those men or that Will fellow. Or whatever it is you do when you’re not here. This is my inn, so this is my duty. Forget about the money and the stupid floors.”

Kazar straightened himself. “I’ll make sure you get your rupees.”

Then he left, with his hand on the hilt of his sword. Cyro shivered, but returned to his work. Kazar would do what he had to do.

***

“Kazar”, as he was called here and now, stepped into the moonlit night, spotting several new footsteps in the muddy street heading into the forest at the edge of the hamlet. No other houses were lit, not even the single watchtower to the north where the useless guards should’ve kept the light lit in case of attack or trouble. He walked into the stable connected to the Prophet’s Corner. It was the only one in town, and only a few horses were there, all asleep except for the one in the back which crunched on some oats Cyro’s son had given it early that night. The boy had always liked the mare.

Spotting the boy lying in the hay stack, Kazar smiled. One of his long legs dropped over the side, while his head lay on his arms. Fresh growth was on his face, and the nobleman scratched the back of his head. When had Cyro’s boy gotten so damn old? He sighed, then headed over to his horse and taped the rough of his mouth with his tongue. Suddenly wishing he had drank more of the cider before the event.

The mare looked up, glaring at him with dark blue eyes and her black tail swished, hitting the bucket of water. Kazar looked back at the boy, but he did not even stir or move. He breathed a sigh of relief, and opened up the stable door. Reaching into his pocket, he took out a sugar cube and feed it to the mare, patting her nose. A moment later, he had jumped into her saddle, a wicked grin on his face.

“You’re leaving already, Mr. Kaz?” He turned to look up at the boy. His eyes were still closed, but his breathing had quickened.

Cursing himself for not noticing earlier, Kazar sighed. Why did the boy have to choose that nickname for him? He hated it. “Yes. Ummm, you should go help your father.”

“C’mon.” He sat up. “You said the next time I could go with ya and Tapper.”

“Me and Tapper have some important business to do.” He ran his hand through the mare’s mane. “Damn kid. Can’t you just wait?”

The boy glared. “It’s always important, but I’m not ten anymore. I might as well be your age.”

“No. You’re not.” Kazar lightly tapped Tapper’s flanks with his boots. “There was a man murdered in your father's inn tonight, and Cyro has to clean it up.” He heard the boy’s gasp. “Is that adventure enough for you, Blite?”

Blite nodded and ran for the inn. It was a good thing he was still only fifteen. Kazar left the stable, kicking Tapper’s flanks once they were out in the moonlight and entered the forest. He felt his stomach twist, it was this place again. The Lost Underwoods, where a soul could wander for an eternity and never find its way out again. It had taken over several of the older providences of Hyrule that Arivis had destroyed in the old war, including old Kakariko, but those were olden days. What man should remember them?

Then a booming sound pierced the night. He stopped. What was that? Bang! Gunshots. Tapper’s eyes spun, he could see the whites. Speaking gently into her ears, Kazar turned her in that direction, keeping her at a steady trot whilst watching and listening out for anything odd in the Underwoods. You could never be too careful in this place, an evil Stalfos or some other demented spirit could rush in and attack at any given time.

There, in the midst of a small clearing in the Underwoods, a man laid on the ground with several others around him. He bled from a sword wound that would kill him in a few hours if not properly treated, but the man next to him would not give him that chance. William spun one gun and shot the man between the eyes; emotionless. He did not enjoy the killing.

The moment Will turned his back on the man; Kazar lifted his feet out of the stirrup and slipped down from Tapper’s back, patting her black neck. Her dark coloring would hide her well, even on a night like this.

Will walked a way from the men, then took the monocle off and placed it in his pocket, the sound of his voice reaching Kazar’s ears as he slowly followed the man, taking out his longsword. “Say hello to the rest of the trash like you in the afterlife for me, I won’t be reaching that place anytime soon.”

“Your damn overconfidence is starting to become a bit annoying.” He posed his longsword in position to kill the man, but did not touch his flesh.

Will reached for his gun. “Who are you?”

“If you take it, your head’s on the ground.” Kazar warned. “I’m not interested in killing you, but by Arivis’ grave, I don’t trust you.”

Will took the gun out of its holster, but before he could shot; Kazar slammed the flat side of his longsword into his hand. The gun spun and hit a tree, but managed to land beside Will’s right foot. He spun; hand taking out his other gun and pointing it at his attacker, but the longsword’s steel touched his neck. They were both on edge.

Kazar swore. Up close, William looked like he could have been his brother. The same hazel eyes, dark brown hair, and only a half-inch shorter than him. His face was not too far off from his either, just too narrow and the nose too thin, but all of his brothers were dead. They’d died long ago in a war that none but he and a few others would now truly remember.

“Where…how…what the hell?” Will blinked, but held onto the gun. “I don’t have any brothers.”

"I suppose so." No monocle. Kazar smiled. “You’ve already lost, kid. Even nobles like me hear things, and you’ve got none of those shiny eyepieces on your eye. Give up.”

“Not against men like you.” He fired a shot, but it went wide, flying past Kazar’s left ear. Shrugging, he’d already lost most of the hearing in that one anyways; too many canons and too many wars. He kicked Will’s hand with his foot, causing the man to drop his gun; landed, and shoved the man, tripping him over his other gun. Wide eyes stared up at him, but he banished the fear and glared at the sword Kazar pointed at his throat.

“Didn’t I say I will not kill you?” He asked.

“Heh.” Will mocked. “Noblemen’s promises are like getting water instead of wine. They’re all lies.”

Switching hands, Kazar cut Will’s belt and swung it over his shoulder. He grabbed one of the guns, frowned, and aimed it at Will before he could get up. “I’ll give these back, but you must trust me.”

“Why would I do that?” Will stood, warily watching the gun as Kazar picked up the other one.

Laughing, Kazar grabbed the man’s wrist. “You could say you have no choice. Do you even know where you are?”

“You’d probably lie about it.”

“Damn, you got me there.” He smiled mischievously. “I’m Kaz, the thief turned hero of legend! And you’re William, knight turned fugitive because of a crime I bet you didn’t commit or something along those lines.”

Will stared, taking a step back, but did not run. This man was too brave for his own good, Kazar decided. “Alright, alright. I get the point. Where are we?”

“You’ve traveled to the edge of Hyrule field and entered the Underwoods there.” Kazar tossed him his guns and belt. The man took them, throwing the cut belt over his shoulder and placing the guns in their holsters. “I’m sure you’re smarter than a foolish, old noble.”

“It’s the Lost Wood.” The statement was cold and blunt. “Weren’t you that man talking to the innkeeper?”

Kazar nodded. “It was a good choice since you knew these men were after you, but really! I’d think a man like you could’ve taken these arses out in the open field. Though, it might’ve been a bit harder and you could’ve gotten more than a nick.”

Will nodded and leaned against a tree, putting on a monocle by the shallow moonlight had that flowed towards him through the leaves. “Is that why you followed me?”

“No.” Kazar called to Tapper and the black mare stood by his side, she blew through her nostrils in anger. “Dumb, overprotective horse,” she nipped his hair, chewing on it like grass. Will watched them, but did not laugh. People his age should, Kazar thought. Bloody fools.

“Well?”

“I saw a girl killed for aiding a criminal that hadn’t committed any crime. Around three years ago, I think.” Kazar explained. “Heartless bastard, where I’ve been—I mean, come from—they’d have only given her five years of servitude to a country lord.”

“Why would you say that?” He sat against the tree now, looking upwards. “He killed a man.”

“He did it because that man was doing wrong. I should remember. It was the same night as the Autumn Festival, and the feast and celebration had only begun three hours before. They celebrated a bloody war and a bloody victory they don’t even believe happened! But, on that night, that knight stole from a young woman and grabbed her by the hair. He would have raped her, had it not been for another knight coming from a rumored bachelor party held on the same night as the Festival. In the old days, that would’ve been a bloody controversy.

“They crossed swords, while the young lady ran away. I got her out of there. I’m not sure what happened next, but, I suppose he’s dead now. Am I correct?”

“Where were you then?” Will asked. “When Klaus held court and convicted me of death. You could’ve stopped this whole thing.”

“I’ll tell you in the morning,” Kazar said. He hated topics like this, but he couldn’t hide forever. Maybe a Stalfos would take him by then. “There’s only a couple hours 'til dawn.”

Will pulled out a gun. “Damned nobleman, tell me now and I’ll spare your life.”

Staring down the barrow, Kazar shrugged. “I couldn’t, that High Cleric knows the Prophecy and the Heroes better than they know themselves. I think. You know, though, not even heroes are always brave, and as Kazar I’m too low in the ranks of the nobility for my voice to make a difference in a case against a high ranking knight and that girl was only a peasant. Yet, I’ve searched you out to fix whatever I can.” He said the last part mostly to himself, “Heh, this is a worse pickle than the last one. That time I was just a thief.”

“You expect me to believe that? They should all be dead.” Will laughed bitterly, but placed the gun back in its holster.

“Yes,” Kazar agreed. “I feel like it sometimes, but the next time someone writes up a legend based around real events they should explain certain things better, but it was Naomi’s damn fault.”

Ignoring him, Will looked up at Tapper. “Do you have an extra roll, Kaz?”

His ears twitched. “Don’t call me that.” Kaz threw the roll at Will’s face and sat beside a different tree, longsword in hand. “I’ll take watch; it’s almost sunup. So, get some sleep. We’ll head towards Kakariko in the morning.”

“Kakariko?” Will asked. “Are you mad? There’s a thousand people that could recognize me there!”

Kaz leaned against the tree and smiled. “They’d all beleive you’re my cousin or brother or some other kind of relative. Never thought I’d meet my double and live to tell about it.”

“We don’t look that much alike.” Now, Will was lying down, with his hands folded behind his head, his eyes half closed, but he would sleep lightly with a man he did not trust nearby. Kaz knew this, he could remember nights sleeping amongst the others, never getting more than a light sleep because of Mervil, and later, it was due to other men and women. Trust was never easy to gain when the man held a sword, or worse, had tried to kill you the first time he met you. William opened an eye, “Alright, maybe you are right. How the hell did this happen?”

Kaz shrugged. “Good question, but you know what? Have you ever tried not worrying about things too much? It might do you some good…”

***

The first rays of sun had broken past the horizon, but here in the Lost Underwoods, sunlight had yet to reach them, only the gray, misty twilight with its ethereal glow lit their way. Will shifted his eyes from one tree to another, then back to the doppelganger and his horse as he led the way. Kaz halted and looked around, Will soon stood beside him, watching as a frown grew on the man’s face.

“Are you sure this is the right way?” Will asked. “I swear those were our footprints back there.”

“Hmmm.” That was the only answer he had gotten since they left camp that morning, but this time, Kaz gave him a side-ways glance. “They were too old and there wasn’t a sign of Tapper, but I think you might be right,” Kaz said. “We’re not lost enough to become Stalfos or Poes, but, by Navi, I can’t make heads or tails of this place.”

William stared at him. “And you’ve gotten us more lost than I would’ve by myself?”

Then the leafs and branches above them rustled and William's heart pounded. Someone...or something was hunting them, and Will wished he had gone through Hyrule Field, then he would not be in this mess with a madman and his horse.

Tapper pranced, Will reached for his guns, and Kaz looked up into the canopy of foliage above them and hand on his sword hilt. Two Stalfos leaped out of the trees, one with its sword pointed downward. Will fired a shot and it skull spun off through the trees, whist Kaz sidestepped the other at the last moment, its sword smashed into the tree behind him. It took the spear off its back and its red eyes glowed with pleasure. With a mighty thrust, it charged forward, but before it reached Kaz, Tapper slammed her front hooves into its boney body; breaking its skull and ribs into a thousand pieces. That Stalfos would need the luck of the goddesses to ever be whole again.

“Don’t let down your guard.” Kaz kept his sword at the readied. “In a place like this…” From the shadows of the underbrush a Stalfos’ blade flew towards him. Sparks flied, then they came apart, but before Will could shoot, he heard another Stalfos charging him from behind. He blocked it with his sheathed sword, and parried to the side. They circled around each other and it swung wide, but William ducked the blow, taking its legs out with his short sword. Then he took its head. It rolled upon the ground, the red lights gone from it. He looked over at Kaz. Tapper had fled.

Three more surrounded him, now, and Kaz took one of their heads off, turned around, blocked another blow and leaped a low cut. He had to help him; Kaz was bleeding from a wound in his right arm. Will took a step forward, but a chill ran down his back, he turned around, only to find himself face to face with a giant Stalfos with old skin and muscle clinging to yellowed bones. It held a ball-and-chain in hand and dark laughter ruptured from its skull. The giant twirled its weapon in the air, twice, but it ignored Will, instead, its eyes focused on Kaz. The man looked up, cursing as he threw the third Stalfos back to hell.

“Damn it.” He rolled to the side as it swung its ball at him, destroying a tree and three other Stalfos that were hiding within. Will readied his gunsword and leaped, aiming for its back, but he never made it. A bony had caught him mid-leap and he found himself confronting the giant’s twin. The monster held a curved and rusted sword.

“Stupid humans,” it said. Its voice was dark and monotone; only a mockery of a man’s. “Now, you shall die for your crimes!”

The giant Stalfos lifted its blade; a bird screeched and a spear of light shot through the hand that held Will. He dropped, closed his eyes, and readied himself for the impact with the ground. For a moment, he black out, but then felt something grab him. A bird? That was ridiculous, but they landed in the nearest tree.

It was a woman with golden wings and yellow beak, but William did not care, Kaz needed his help! He prepared to jump back into the thrall.

“Don’t you think of jumping, mate,” She said. “You won’t wake up.” Then, with a single, graceful leap, she took to the air, diving at the Stalfos that had held him a moment before. She flew around it, avoiding its blade. The bird-woman reminded him of a little mosquito trying to bring down a full grown man. What chance did she have? She found an opening and stabbed her spear into its chin. Light flashed, blinding Will. The giant Stalfos’ head fell off, dissipating into darkness before it hit the ground. Its body was gone a moment later and she fluttered there, catching her breathe.

“Aren’t you going to help him?”

“Can’t ye give me a moment?” She shouted. “He’s already got some.”

Will looked over at the other giant Stalfos, and saw a man dressed in blue by Kaz's side. He was whispering something in Kaz’s ear, and Kaz nodded, then they dodged the ball and chain, heading in seperate directions. The Stalfos looked from side to side, unsure of which one he wanted to attack.
Suddenly, the woman snatched him by his collar, for a moment, he felt like a man hanging from a tree awaiting death.

“You shoot.” She commanded, but William stomach twisted as she flew. How could she expect him to like this? Vomit; he tasted it in the back of his throat and his hand shook. No, his whole body did. Despite himself, he pulled back the trigger, willing a little magic into shot.

It missed. Will stared. The giant Stalfos turned around and face them, the grin on its face growing even larger, but as it did; it fell, caught up in its own chain. Kaz jumped on its back, ran up the spinal cord, and severed its head from the spine. He leaped off a second later, landing on the blighted ground as the monster faded to dust. The wind came along and swept it away.

Silence feel over the meadow and the first rays of sunlight filtered through the leaves. They landed on the ground and Kaz, along with the blue-clad man, finally reached them. The later sporting a limp.

“You should’ve ran, kid.” Kaz said. “I don’t give a damn that you can fight, but I didn’t let you live only to have you die a moment later.”

“I don’t run from my battles.” Will said, “Unlike you.”

“What, even when you have no choice? Sometimes, it’s better—”

“Sometimes,” the other man interrupted. “It’s best to leave this for another time and place, wouldn’t you agree?”

William and Kaz both stared. This man had the face of a farmer, not a diplomat. That square face, auburn hair, and grey eyes could have allowed him to fit into any farming community in the mist Hyrule. Only, they would have to dress him in brown and gray wools to make him fit in; no farmer would ever wear blue and white.

“Indeed. You’re Jaros?” Kaz asked and the man nodded; he turned to the woman and held up his arm. “Naomi, could you?”

She opened the small pack at her side and took out a knife, slicing his sleeve from his coat. Bright, red blood still bled from the wound, but Naomi cleansed it with water from a wineskin. Light, dim and golden, came from her hand as she gently ran it above the wound, never touching the skin. It was unlike what Will had seen the healers hired in Hyrule do, most of them had used either potions or had to touch the person’s flesh. The latter skill could only heal small cuts and bruises, but this, Will had never seen that large of a wound heal so much from only magic. It was only a long cut now, it would not require snitching. It might not even leave a scar.

William would have preferred that it had.

“He hates you as much as you hated Mervil.” Naomi touched a small, black heart on her necklace. Will remembered the legends stating she only added one once someone had die, but every child born in Hyrule knew Mervil had lived. That was undisputable.

“Can you blame him?” Kaz asked and she shook her head. “He isn’t that different from how I was. Once.”


“Oh?” Jaros asked with raw curiosity in his silver eyes. “Why is that?”

William frown, he weren't they done yet? This wasn't the place for happy reunions. “Let’s go,” Will stated. “I’ve had enough of these Underwoods for one day.”

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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~ To Dust • Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:45 pm
Chapter Seven: Premonitions

The Great Hall of Kakariko stood silhouetted, dark against the pale colors of sunrise. It was built on the highest point of the city and it stood, looming, a physical representation of the authority its aged walls carried. From the intricate stonework of its courtyard, to the tall outer columns that supported the circular structure, the Great Hall was privy to the most clockwork routine of administrational affairs. Everyday saw the same parade of men and women, Hylian and creature, master and servant, entering the grounds in the subjugation of some task that would soon be forgotten in a manner of days.

The menial tasks of daily life were all that troubled the Great Hall. In essence, it was a reflection of the very hallmark of Kakariko City. This was the city where the sluggard could find refuge, merchant feared not for his goods and the people cared for nothing save their own droll activities. In a land fraught with turmoil, corruption and banditry, Kakariko stood as the alone bastion of the ordinary, unexciting Hyrule.

Except for today, today the Great Hall was in a commotion.

Harried men, in various states of anger and confusion, weaved around the assembly hall, consorting with each other in a confused rabble. Soldiers attempted to maintain a sense of order; simultaneously directing people and redirecting any questions asked of them. Outside what had been a handful of watchmen had become a full standing guard, men stationed in a tight parameter both inside and outside, as if their exertions would atone for the missteps that occurred during the night.

Darius watched all of this with cold amusement, surveying the confusion below. To call an assembly of the house lords had never been done in such a haphazard way in the history of the Great Hall. Noblemen expected to arrive in a calm reserved fashion, preparing once more to out do each other in both their fealty and grandeur of service to Hyrule. They did not arrive in various states of dress, ushered from their sleep before dawn to answer a summons. The proud and collected nobility were being exposed at a human level, and they resented it. For all of their wealth and power, they still were subject to the master of the hall; it was a reminder they were apt to forget. The only way to salvage what dignity remained lay in the treatment of the soldiers. They demanded answers and refused profusely to take their seats. It was an absurd commotion and Darius enjoyed every bit of it. The fellow scribes standing next to him also watched with amusement, but without speculative gossip. Scribes were chosen because they could keep a level head; in times like these, it was a trait well appreciated.

From his vantage point, Darius maintained a clear view of the filling assembly hall. A marble pathway, continually funneling a torrent of people, was laid from the entrance of the chamber, to the stone dais on the far end. On the left of the path stood the raised seats of the Sheikah, the ancient race whose history had long been entwined with the city and its surroundings. Directly opposite on the path’s right, were the elevated seats of the nobility, men and women who acquired power through wealth and political manipulations. Each side had its own elevated podium, from this they addressed, or more commonly attacked, the other side in heated debate. The podiums were situated in the middle of stands and were level with the stone dais itself. It was here at this dais, the Master of Kakariko, Master of the Great Hall and its assembly, mediated and attempted to keep the peace between the two conflicting sides. Watching all of these proceedings, were the scribes, standing top the encircling balcony. As far as the Sheikah and nobility were concerned, the scribes only existed to keep records of the assemblies for the archives. Darius was fine with that assumption, only the master of the hall knew of their true purpose.

A bell peel sounded across the chamber, hushing the crowd and drawing attention to the dais. Master Orilieus took his customary place, flanked on either side by his Sheikan honour guards. The aged man was dressed in fine blue robes laced with gold trim, befitting his station. The crimson eye of Kakariko was emblazed prominently on the front, it’s stare directed towards the now silent crowd. The honour guards stood silently in their traditional Sheikan garb, unflinching as always upon the podium. Darius did not expect anything out of the ordinary, but still respected the guards for never showing a drop emotion in any circumstance.

The master of the hall raised his hands and began speaking in a slow sombre tone. “Friends, I apologize for the unconventional convening of this assembly, but a matter of great urgency must be discussed. Tonight, someone has committed the most arduous and reprehensible act, of breaking into the archives and stealing the Seeking Stone of the Arbiters. This assembly has been called to deal with the perpetrator and to restore the item to its proper caretakers” Confused whispers rippled through the crowd and even the austere balcony of scribes allowed glances to be exchanged, breaking composure for a brief moment. A man dressed in a dark red tunic, stood up from his seat and took the podium of the nobility.

“Master Orilieus,” he began, “I understand this break in would be of importance to the caretakers of the archives. Such an act is condemnable, there is no argument here. The object itself however is an artifact of little importance to this city on a whole. So why was it necessary to convene the entire assembly to discuss this?” The nobles voiced their approval and nodded their heads in communal agreement. “Furthermore, the actions today taken by the hall were of the most discourteous nature. If soldiers are to be used to summon us to counsel, then so be it, but we will not be treated as a herd of cattle! We are nobility, not some common thief to be paraded around by the authority of common guards!” The nobles erupted into cheers, again in agreement with the speaker. A middle aged Sheikah took the other podium.

“A most grievous offence has been committed against this assembly,” she began, “Someone has dared to break into our sacred archives and plunder it like a common graverobber. All you can care about is the inconvenience of the summoning. No wonder people see the nobles as a callous, rapacious lot; your pride and your money are all you care about.”

The Great Hall burst into shouting. Accusations and insults hurled across the marble pathway. Soldiers moved to the hold back the more ambitious folk, attempting to exchange more than just words. The quartermaster sounded the bell repeatedly in an attempt to restore order.

“Perhaps, if a new master were to be chosen, the city was under attack, or the king had just died,” shouted the noble in red, “If a call to arms had been issued, or the great demon had returned! That would be a valid reason to convene this assembly at this hour! But a worthless artifact is stolen from the archives, and the whole city must hear about it! Shall we do this when a more trifling matter occurs in the middle of the night? There is no reason this could not have waited until midday!”

“This assembly is for the benefit of the nobles,” replied the Sheikah coldly. “Midday would be far too late for my men and it would not do to have them search through your homes without informing you of it first.”

Before the stunned nobility could respond, Master Orilieus’s voice issued forth from the dais. “The Seeking Stone of the Arbiters is something that has not been important to this assembly for a long time, you are correct Lord Illian. However, it is an object of great significance to the Sheikah, who take it upon themselves to recover the object personally. They have called this assembly to exercise their right of royal perquisition.”

At this, the nobility once more broke out in shouting, the man at the podium looking furious. “Royal perquisition?!” Lord Illian sputtered, “Do they think the nobility will remain idle, while they ransack our homes and interrogate our family all in the name of some archaic royal degree?! Let the garrison reclaim it! No one should be above the law, much less them!”

“That stone was entrusted to my forerunners personally by the royal family,” replied the Sheikah coolly. “We failed to keep it safe and so we must atone for our error. Perhaps honour is something that means nothing to you, but we still recognize and respect it. The Seeking Stone will return to the safeguard of my people and no one, save the royal family, will stop us from using any methods to repossess it. Not this assembly, not this city and especially not the reproach of a corrupt, self indulgent, dull-minded fool of a nobility!

At this the Great Hall erupted. Soldiers were no longer capable of holding back the flood of nobles and Sheikah converging in the center. Noblemen fought to reach the podium of the opposing speaker; the disciplined Sheikah moved to bar their way. Clambering, threats and angry shouts drowned out the long suffering Master Orilieus’s attempt at restoring order. With a resigned look, the master of the hall signaled the quartermaster to clear the assembly, exiting into his chamber behind the dais. Additional soliders had been called in to deal with the riot. Simultaneously, they separated the two sides, forcing members outside.

The scribes were the only members to leave the chamber willingly, taking care to avoid the commotion. Darius waited outside the Great Hall, while a tangled flood of soldiers, noblemen and Sheikah poured out of its doors. Weariness was etched on all of the guard’s faces. News of this mess would soon reach the ears of the streets. It wouldn’t be long before a long night turned into an even longer day. The garrison was already stretched thin, extra men stationed to blockade the city’s gates. The soldiers would certainly have their hands full if this riot carried on onto the streets. Darius pitied them, if only slightly.

The sun was already one handbreadth above the horizon before the guards managed to clear away the last of the nobles. Darius turned to enter the assembly hall again, this time along the main floor. He circled around the dais at the end marble pathway, and entered the large oak doors behind it.

Orilieus sat alone at his desk, writing something with great haste. The room he had called his own for years now, had seen its share of tired masters; entering after violent assemblies to lock themselves away in books and letters. Once a grand place of respite, it had grown less and less ornate over the years. Fanciful weapons, arranged along the wall and ordained with precious stones, were beginning to rust and tarnish with age. The trim was worn and with the stone steps leading up his desk beginning to show cracks. Behind the aging Hallmaster, stood a once magnificent marble fireplace, now scored and soot ridden after centuries of use. In fact, the only attribute of the room that was still grand were the two large bay windows on either side of the fireplace, providing a breathtaking view of the city of Kakariko. It was a room designed to excite awe and wonder to those who were privileged to enter it. In these days, it only exacerbated the decay and ruination that plagued the leaders of Hyrule.

“That went as well as could be expected,” mumbled Orilieus, still writing furiously, “No respect for history anymore Darius, no class. Hylians once revered the Sheikah; they trusted them with their well being. The shadowfolk earned that right Darius; they weren’t made the guardians of the royal family for no reason.”

Darius simply nodded. Master Orilieus was prone to rambling and even the most astute of conversationalists couldn’t dissuade him until he finished. “These are troubled times we live in lad. Banditry is rampant, the roads are no longer safe, and executions are becoming a common affair in the capital. Even here in Kakariko, I must constantly tread between the interests of the nobles and the Sheikah. Tell me, what do you make of the whole affair?”

Darius straightened up, “The Sheikah are overreacting, Master Orilieus. This theft cannot be as important as they are making, noble as they are. Have you considered some ulterior motive?”

Orilieus sighed, “Were it actually so scribe, I would rest easier. What do you know about the Seeking Stone of the Arbiters?”

Darius paused before answering, “Not much, I know it allowed it’s wielder to seek out magical objects as a sort of compass.”

“Not just magical objects,” replied Orilieus, laying out an aging tome on his desk, “Any significant source of magical energy, be it artifacts, assorted oddities or potions. Anything with significant magical strength could be sought out with this stone. Half of the archives are filled thanks to it. Half the annuals of the dead are filled because of it as well. Parties would delve deep into the Lost Underwoods, in search of an object and meet a creature also imbued with magic.” He turned to a page with a script Darius had never seen before. “In any case, our people could not properly control the thing, as we could not distinguish between monster and artifact. However, it’s shown those who created it could, and not only that, use it to search out anything they wanted! Could you imagine Darius?”

“Yes. But why is this important, Hallmaster?” asked Darius impatiently.

“Because scribe, the stone went cold almost three hundred years ago, our most valuable tool gone in an instant. The Sheikah still prized it, but to everyone else it was forgotten.” Master Orilieus stood up speaking animatedly, “Yet our thief, as he was chased by the guards, managed to navigate the maze of our archives with the light of that very stone. He somehow managed to activate the stone once more! We need to get the Seeking Stone back scribe, but more importantly we need to bring this thief in and find out how he did it.”

An incredulous look flashed across Darius’s face, before he caught himself. “With respect Hallmaster, perhaps we are making too much out of this situation. What are the chances this random thief knows anything of magic? Most likely, he activated the stone out of duress or some other bit of fools luck. In any case, are you sure the guards are correct in what they saw?

Master Orilieus furrowed his brow, “Yes I’m sure scribe, and even if I wasn't sure about the guards, I saw the figure itself in the courtyard. He may know what he did, or he may not, even worse, he may know exactly what he found and will try to use it to some end. In either case we must retrieve the object, and apprehend the thief.”

He paused to glance at the open page before continuing, “The gates were sealed off while our man was being chased outside through the city, so I suspect he’s somewhere here in hiding. This whole situation with the Sheikah is unfortunate, but perhaps in can be used to our advantage. Their conflicts with the nobility won’t allow our friend to get too comfortable, and sooner or later he attempt to escape. When that happens, I want you there to bring him in.”

Darius bowed slowly, resigned to his task. “As is spoken Master Orilieus. What does the thief look like?” Orilieus sat back down and closed the tome, “When find someone who is a head taller than you with red eyes, you’ll have found our man.” He raised his hand, palm outward towards Darius, “May Farore’s Wind set your path and guide true your hand, scribe.”

“In service to my king and Hyrule,” replied Darius, completing the formality. He strode out of the door, past the raised dais of stone and the elevated seats of the assembly. Brilliant sunlight greeted his eyes as he exited the Great Hall and made his way across the courtyard. Darius stopped and looked for a long time at the city splayed out before him. Then, settling some internal debate, he departed, making his way down the curved path towards Kakariko to catch a thief.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:55 am
Chapter Eight: A Party of Four.

It was an evening of celebration. Blood flying from an open wound and a judge’s gavel slamming fervently. He was now hiding from men he once called comrades; the distraught face of the only woman he had ever loved haunted his every step. Their promise to see each other again echoed in his bleak world, and the horror of learning of that woman’s death tore him to pieces.

William awoke, sitting bolt upright, his breathing heavy and cold sweat stinging his eyes. He could hear a few birds whistling through the trees that were surrounding him like a prison. Only a few beams of sunlight managed to breach their thick canopy.

He’d had several hours of sleep but didn’t feel like he was rested from it. This was the second time he had experienced that dream, that nightmare. Ever since he’d met that Kaz, Kazar, whatever his name was, it had brought up that horrible event. He had thought he had buried that beyond memory.

Will got up and looked around their camp. Kazar and Naomi were still sleeping and Jaros stood a fair bit away on watch. His eyes swept the trio that had formed a group around what appeared to be William himself. It didn’t help but still leave him feeling like he was just tagging along for the ride.

Thanks to that bizarre bird lady Naomi’s flying ability, they were now back on track to reaching Kakariko . . . which he didn’t want to go to if he could help it.
Will sighed. Naomi had said they were about two days away now, thanks to Kazar leading them in the opposite direction. He had time to make up his mind about what he was going to do.

Kaz and Naomi looked just like the ones from the legend and apparently were the ones from the legend. Will still wasn’t sure whether he believed either of them. But it isn’t everyday you meet someone part bird and part human, and he saw in Kazar’s eyes many years more than his appearance betrayed.

Kazar really rubbed him the wrong way. He seemed to feel higher than Will because he managed to best him without Will’s monocle. And he even knew that was why he won.
Will half wished for a chance to show him who was the best. Although he knew such trivialities were childish, so he put the thought aside. At least Kazar could understand or try to understand where Will was at. Which was probably why Will had agreed to go along with him.

Jaros noticed that he had woken and Will waved to him. He didn’t return the gesture. Jaros was a strange person, something about him felt nonhuman, but Will wouldn’t ask. He didn’t really feel comfortable around any of them. Will also noticed that there seemed to be a deep sadness between Naomi and Jaros, but this too, he decided was none of his business.

*********************************************************************

Once everyone was up and a small breakfast had been consumed, the party continued on their way. Naomi flew up ahead making sure they wouldn’t lose their way again.
“So, what exactly is your reason for heading to Kakariko?” Will inquired of Kazar carefully.
“Ah, I suppose you had to wonder what we’re leading you to eventually,” Kazar replied. “Why don’t we say it’s a surprise?” He grinned at Will suspiciously, and then proceeded to run up to where Naomi was, preventing Will from asking any more questions.
Will bit his lip, “So arrogant,” he muttered ruefully under his breath.

“You know he’s become a bit fond of you.” Will had forgotten about Jaros walking a few steps behind him until he spoke now.

Still feeling annoyed William turned around, “What in Hyrule would make you think that?” he asked.
“He said himself that you remind him of himself, especially I think, as his time as a criminal. I suppose he thinks of you like a younger brother, 500 years younger. Looking like you do, one would suspect some relation.”
“Humph.” Will grunted, “I think I would know if I was related to such a great hero.” There was a hint of sarcasm in his voice.

Jaros continued, “Kazar lost a very dear friend of his to Arivis and has never really been able to replace him or be able to get particularly close to most people he’s known. If he’s picked you as a friend, whatever your opinion of him may be, you can be sure that he’s seen something worthwhile in you.”

Will didn’t have anything else to say. After a brief moment they continued in silence.

*********************************************************************

Later that day they set up a camp just as the sun was beginning to set. All were grateful that that day’s trip had been majorly uneventful. Jaros, Naomi and Kazar sat round the fire while Will was assigned first watch. He stood completely still, his hands folded behind his back.

Jaros got up and moved over to where Will was standing, he tried to hide the intrigued expression on his face.
“I was wondering how exactly that magical contraption you have there works.” Jaros hinted.

Will decided to be charitable and explain. “The Magic Shot,” he drew one from its holster on the belt hanging off his shoulder and held it by the barrel, “Works by taking a small portion of the wielder’s magical capacity compressing it and firing it when the trigger is pulled. This allows for a large amount of damage to be inflicted in a small space instead of a small amount of damage in a large space. I don’t know how it does this however, a friend of mine made it.”
“May I?” Jaros asked holding out his hand.

Will handed the weapon to him somewhat begrudgingly and directed him to point it into the trees. “Wait a few moments for the magic to charge, then fire.” He added.

Jaros followed these instructions but as he pulled the trigger, an extremely bright light erupted from the tip of the barrel blinding Will and preventing him from seeing what everyone else saw now.
“Get down!” Jaros yelled pushing Will to the ground as a knife flew through the space he just occupied.

His vision returning Will saw the other members of the party taking defensive positions around the camp. Grabbing the gun Jaros had fired off the ground where he dropped it, he Jumped to his feet and unsheathed his Rapier. Will also noted now that he heard the common sound of swords being drawn in the forest around the camp.

“Did you recognise them?” Naomi asked Kazar.
“Yeah,” he replied, “just like Allanon.”

Then almost faster than the eye could see, six hooded figures, all Garo, flew out of the forest at the group. Naomi flew up at one of the Garo and blocked its progress with her spear as two landed on either side of Kazar. One of them charged at him while the other jumped to the side. Kazar threw an under armed slash at the Garo, knocking it back and one of its blades into the air. Kazar grabbed the sword and swung it round at the second Garo who didn’t react in time to block and was sliced through the midsection, disappearing before it hit the ground.

The first Garo having regained his composure, lunged at Kazar again, but was knocked aside with his sword flying into the air and was sliced symmetrically in half with his own. It too, vanished without a trace.

The other three Garo had directed their attention at Will and Jaros. One dived directly at Jaros but he managed to block him with his small knife, only just holding it at bay. Another flew at Will from behind but he pointed his pistol over his shoulder into the Garo’s face and pulled the trigger, throwing it back to vanish in the shadows. The third Garo landed in front of Will and threw itself at him spinning around with its swords.
Will blocked one strike with his gun and the other with his rapier, he kicked out at the Garo and it went sprawling. He seized the moment, lunged at the Garo and ran his sword through its body; it too disappeared a moment later.

Jaros’s assailant jumped back and prepared to go again but Jaros formed a shining short sword and stabbed it into the Garo’s chest as it charged. Much like the others it also vanished.

Naomi finally managed to push her opponent back, knocking away both its swords. She swung the blunt end of her spear round and hit it on the head knocking it to the earth.
Naomi quickly flew down and pinned it to the ground with her spear. Kazar ran over to where Naomi held her Garo captive followed shortly by Jaros and Will.
“Who are you, who sent you and how long have you been following us?” Kazar demanded.
The Garo replied with one statement, “I have failed; Like all Garo must I die leaving no trace in this world.” The group heard a sickening chomp and blood soaked the Garo’s mask, a moment later it vanished.

“I suggest we keep moving tonight.” Jaros proposed stepping away from the scene.

Kazar stabbed the Garo’s blade into the ground and sheathed his own. “I agree, we can sleep in the morning when it’s harder for these Garo to hide.”

*********************************************************************

“Jaros . . . do you have any idea why the magic shot didn’t work properly for you?” Will asked cautiously after they had walked in total silence for a while. He had been worrying about it since shortly after the fight, but the awkward silence had made him not want to comment. At least not to until they were a fair way away from where they had been attacked.

Jaros didn’t reply for a moment and Will thought he hadn’t heard him. Just as Will was about to speak again a bit louder, Jaros answered.
“I suppose it’s because my magic is a tad different to yours.” He answered.

Will gave him a confused look communicating that his explanation didn’t really explain anything.

“Well you see I’m not a Hylian like you or Kaz,” Jaros continued, starting to add a dramatic flair to his words, “I am a Lyos, a being that heralds from the stars, centuries ago my people were worshipped and revered like go-,”
“Spare us your wild tales Jaros.” Kazar interjected.

“Let me have a little fun Kaz. He believed it too.”
“I did not.” Will said dryly with a look of bored annoyance that had been on his face since Jaros had started spinning his tale.

“Anyway,” Jaros extended, “the Lyos are a small group of people that live in the mountains that surround this land. We gain our magical ability by drawing power from the stars and what you saw being fired from your ‘magic Shot’ is what is probably our race’s most basic magic, Starburst. I suppose I’ll never be able to use an item as clever as that.”
He then gave a disappointed sigh turned away and began focussing on walking again.

“Dear Nayru, I’ve gotten caught up with an odd crowd here.” Will muttered.

_________________
"The man that cannot visualize a horse galloping on a tomato is an idiot." - Andre Breton


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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 7:51 am
*Edit by DC. This was originally posted by ZE on behalf of Blue. I simply changed the post author to her account.*

Chapter Nine: Mischief

She’d only come here for the small loaf of bread; here she was, back pressed against the stacks of cartons next to the angry merchant’s stall with a squirming fox that had bits of tin foil and a half-eaten sausage in its jaws wrapped around her arm. The few amused bystanders scattered around the area did nothing to relieve the tension. Life was so unfair.

“That wretched little fox has stolen from me for the last time! I’ll have its paws chopped off, see if it can steal from me then!” The obviously upset merchant swung his axe in her direction but she quickly rolled out of the way, and the crates became his poor victims instead. Yanking at the thing, he attempted to pull it out of the thick wood and swing again with better accuracy, but it had become lodged deep inside the box. Enraged, he started shouting obscenities, making promises and threats of having the “thieving beast chopped up into stew.” Taking this opportune moment, Tap cautiously approached the burly-looking man from the side to make things right.

“Look, I really am sorry about the sausages.” This only infuriated him further and he started punching at the box in an attempt to break the axe free. Tap winced and took a tiny step back. “And your stall. And your other ruined food. And the damaged crates.” She paused thoughtfully. “Though really, the crates were your fault.” With a loud roar and a final jerk, the sharp-edged weapon broke free, making some of the boxes tumble forward in response. Doom seemed imminent right about now.

“Oh, you’ll be sorry,” he snarled, stepping closer towards her. “You’re going to pay for all the damage done to my shop! Every single rupee!” Tap took a quick squeeze of the small piece of wrapped cloth in her back pocket that held all her money.

“How’s thirty rupees sound?” Shouting another string of profanities, he came charging towards her again and took a swing at the fox trembling behind Tap’s arm, but she’d already moved out of his way and was facing his backside. Then she gave him a swift kick to the back of his knee with her black boot clad foot, causing the lumbering man to fall to the cobblestoned ground with a thud. His axe went sprawling a few feet away from him. Before he could even pick himself up to reach it, Tap snatched the weapon from the ground.

“Now look here,” she said crossly, bending down to speak to him face to face, “I’m trying to be nice. I apologized about a million times. I offered to help you fix up your shop. I even offered to pay you a whopping thirty rupees. So I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t try to kill this sorry little guy.” She held out her hands to show him the dirty, scruffy kitsune that was trying to nip at his nose. He pushed it out of the way and stood up, his face flushed red with anger. The straggling bystanders were now watching intently in hushed silence.

“Just…just get out of here! Take your damn fox and get out of here, before I get the guards! You’ve caused enough trouble already!”

“I’m sorry…”

“Get out! If I catch you, or,” he pointed to the creature in her arms, “that little punk anywhere near here, I’ll have the guards after you!” Disheartened, Tap held the wriggling kit tighter and stood up. She glanced at the market-goers staring at her and decided it was time to leave the town for an indefinite period of time. Sighing, she walked quietly through the borders of the village and left. That was the third rural community she’d had to leave behind in a week.

~

Tap sat slouching under a tall tree next to a slow crawling creek, her head resting on her hands. She was trying to figure out what she should do next. It was much too late to travel to the next nearest district now – the sky was turning into that pinkish orange color it always turned into when it was dusk, and soon it would turn pitch-black, with only the moon and what you could see of the stars as a bedside candle light.

“Guess we’ll have to sleep out here for the night,” Tap muttered. She looked up to see the young fox happily splashing around in the water, its fur becoming a dripping wet mess. “Did you hear me, Kip? If we get eaten by monsters during the night, it’ll be all your fault. You had to go and steal sausages from that nice man when I was already trying to buy us some food. Shame on you.” The kitsune ignored her remarks and happily continued to destroy the river bed. “Kip,” she said sternly. She had the pup’s full attention now. It stood with its head pointed directly at her, its ears perked up at full attention. With a single “come here” motion of her hand, the fox obediently trotted over to her side, oblivious of her glare. She scooped up the still soaking wet creature, shaking her head at it in wonder. “I can’t believe a little cub like you could cause so much trouble. What do you have to say for yourself, eh?” It licked her on the cheek and let out a happy bark, its wagging stubby tail sending droplets of water everywhere. “Alright, alright,” Tap laughed, putting Kip back down on the ground. “I forgive you, you little runt.” She placed him back down on the ground and he proceeded to chew on her boot with his tiny teeth.

“You’re lucky I’m letting you tag along and share my food,” she said, nudging him aside to save her worn boots. “If fact, you’re lucky I found you at all, half-starving with no parents to take care of you. Poor guy.” Kip ceased his attack on the boots and rested his head on her lap. His eyes looked up at her imploringly. Tap sighed and reached for her mahogany colored pack. “Well, you wouldn’t be hungry if you would have just let me buy food without causing any mischief. But here, I think I might have a little something in my bag.” She rummaged through the mess of garbage and came out with a single biscuit hastily wrapped in a torn piece of napkin and partially mashed from being banged repeatedly against Tap’s back during travels. She tossed the whole thing to the eager fox that gobbled it up in seconds, and laid on the soft grass. Perhaps sleeping outside for the night wouldn’t be too bad. At least it didn’t look like it was going to rain anytime soon. She sighed and closed her eyes.

“Five hundread’n somethin’ years,” she whispered softly to herself. “You’d think that by now…” Her reflective musings were interrupted by something pawing at her stomach and licking her face. Tap gave a small smile and started to scratch behind Kip’s ears, an act that he could always agree with as evident by his soft crooning, but the scratching quickly stopped when Tap suddenly realized that something was horribly, horribly wrong. A quick 360° scan of her environment confirmed this reality.

“Oh my goddesses!” she shouted, bolting up on her feet and knocking over a startled Kip in the process. She snatched up her pack and started running straight towards the village they’d previously retreated from. Kip followed by her side, letting out a small whine in confusion. It barked up at Tap, its flat pink tongue dangling from the side of its mouth.

“Yes, I do in fact realize that we could very much die on account of returning there, thank you, but we have to go back!” Tap expertly sprinted through the dense forest, dodging bushes and trees. If the gates to the village were already closed, there would be problems. Kip whimpered and seemed to shake his head. His quick paws moved in a blur, same as Tap.

“My stuff, Kip! I forgot my bow and arrows at the market place!”

~

Thankfully, the gates were still open when they got there. Unfortunately, a bunch of guards now patrolled the area after hearing that a fight had broken out between one of the merchants, a certain customer, and some sort of rabid animal. It was not going to be fun trying to slip in unnoticed, grab the things, and run like hell out of there.

If she remembered correctly, she’d put down her bow and pack of arrows next to that merchant’s stall when she’d asked him about the price for a loaf of bread. That must’ve also been when Kip had snuck around the counter and helped himself to a nice line of sausages, the fiend. She looked down at Kip and, mustering up the firmest voice she could, commanded, “Stay. Here.” The fox got down on his belly and rested his head on his front paws, making pitiful whimpering sounds while looking up longingly at Tap. “I’m serious, Kip. If we get caught, it’s the dungeons for us, and you’re not gonna like it. Now stay.” It didn’t make another sound. “Good boy. I’ll be back in just a sec.”

She took a deep breath, pulled the red hood of her cloak securely over her head, and attempted to remain inconspicuous, choosing to walk through the deserted alleyways when she could and trying to act nonchalantly when she had to weave through crowds.

When she approached the area of disaster, she skimmed passed the crowds and guards, trying to locate the missing object. She pressed her lips tightly together in a frown and looked again from side to side, silently praying in hopes that someone hadn’t decided to keep her belongings as a present. Relief washed through her when she spotted the bow and sack of arrows leaning against the walls a little outside of a narrow passage. She made a quick dash for the items and was about to swipe them up mid-run and get out when something small and black struck her hand.
Startled, she recoiled back and looked in front of her to see a large raven staring with dark beady eyes intently at her, its charcoal dusted feathers smooth and unruffled in the breeze. Something about it made Tap feel uneasy. Keeping an eye on the raven, she slowly reached behind it for her stuff. She placed the strap of the bag of arrows around her shoulder and waist and stood up to leave, but found herself glued to the presence of the raven.

After much hesitation, she bent down again and started to ask if the bird was lost, as it was not very common to see those types of birds in these areas. But before she could even open her mouth, it quickly fluttered back a few steps into the tight pathway, its fast-paced wings sending a few feathers flying loose.

“Hey! Wait!” It continued on like that for a while, with Tap taking two steps closer to the bird and the bird taking two flights back. Soon she reached the dead end of the path. “Ha!” proclaimed Tap triumphantly. “Gotcha now, bird brain. “ She crouched down and pounced on the evasive animal, but ended up landing splat on the ground and watching the raven above her fly away.

“Hm. Fine.” Tap looked away and rubbed her scuffed elbows. “Didn’t want to talk to you either, anyway.” She stood up and brushed herself off. Time to sneak back out. She took a step forward but paused when she noticed that a piece of paper had stuck to her boot. Curious, she picked it up and examined it. Interesting enough, it had the seal of the king imprinted on it. Some of the writing was smudged and hard to make out, as it’d been messied up a bit from being on the ground and stepped on, but its overall message was not missed.

It was a parchment with details about a ball in Hyrule Castle for the night of the Autumn Festival, just a few nights away from now.

The sound of shouting snapped Tap’s attention to the one-way alley’s exit. And it looked like she’d been spotted by that same lovable merchant. Now it was really time to go. She crumpled up the piece of paper and shoved it inside her cloak pocket.

“You again!” shouted the shopkeeper. “I warned you about coming back here! Guards!” Two fairly young guards came trooping up to Tap with threatening looking spears nearly twice their size, blocking the only way out.
“Stop right there,” said both the guards in eerie perfect unison. “You’re going to have to come with us, Miss. A refusal to do so can and will cause problems.”

Tap glanced behind her. Going back would only take her to the dead end. She sighed yet again and placed a hand on the hilt of a familiar rusted dagger from her side.

“’scuse me, please,” Tap said politely. “I was just about to leave.” The guards advanced forward.

“Negative. You’re going to have to come with us. A refusal to do so can and will cause problems.” Well, I tried, Tap thought. Without warning, she unsheathed the dagger from its scabbard and slammed the hilt to the first guard’s stomach. While he was doubled over, groaning, she reflected a blow from the other guards lance and parried to his backside. She slammed the handle of the knife down on his head as hard as she could, making him slump forward in a stunned daze. Then she stepped over him and continued out of the alley’s entrance, only to meet up with more than a few more angry looking guards.

It was really time to go.

Tap took a deep breath-and charged straight for the forest. Near the entrance she spotted Kip faithfully waiting for her return. She hastily scooped him up and in an instant, they were gone from vision. The guards walked around in baffled circles before deciding it wasn’t worth the effort and heading back inside the village outpost.

A few soundless minutes passed through the crowded forest before a faint rustling noise could be heard from the branches of a tree. Then a red-cloaked figure and her yellow furball leapt down from a thick leaf covered branch and breathed a sigh of relief.

It looked like they were in the clear, but Tap decided it was probably safer and smarter to get as far away from this place as they could before it got really dark. Kip, sensing another long period of traveling awaiting him, looked up inquiringly at his friend. Tap patted her little companion and started walking north.

“To Hyrule Castle, Kip. Where else?”

_________________
"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.
Link: D;

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~ To Dust • Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:34 pm
Chapter Ten: Meeting of Interest

The wind was blowing gently, so peacefully. Kakariko village had changed much over the many years she had been gone, although she could only watch the changes that came from afar. It had been years since she had the chance to actually go back to the land in which she’d been born, but why wish to return to a place that no longer had a hold of her? It had lost its original people and was nearly destroyed during the time of Arivis.

She had contemplated whether or not to save her old village during that time, but with Arivis being a demon, and she being a half-breed herself, it would have just made things much worse had she tried to help out. Sighing, the ‘seventeen’ year old stared back at her old village, now a city, it really had been a long time… The village where her Sheikah half of the family had lived in for years, it was barely recognizable now. It was strange, after all the years she’d tried to get away from this place, tried to find her parents and those in which had been taken long ago, this once, it felt as though something wanted her to return.

Such a stupid thought, what lied within those gates was nothing but hatred toward her kind, not that she’d blame them after everything their ancestors had gone through with Arivis hundreds of years before. No one would want her back; none of them would even know what to call her. A half-demon half-Sheikah ‘teenager’, that’s certainly not something you’d see everyday. Finally she managed to turn her gaze away from the city, beginning to walk toward the nearest forest, the strange feeling tearing away at her with every step.

The afternoon light had soon turned way to night, the velvet sky stretching on forever above her, bright stars twinkling peacefully overhead. Everything had seemed so calm lately; it was strange yet good at the same time. Hyrule had always seemed to be attacked by one thing or another throughout the many years she remembered roaming the world. It was silent, not something that would normally surprise her, however, light clinking of armour could be heard in the distance.

Jumping into the nearest tree, she waited, breathing calm and silent, for whatever it was to come past. Dark, heavy armour, a large blade, glowing eyes… What came down the path seemed to her was to be a Darknut, something she hadn’t seen for many years, but easily remembered the damage they had caused during their time.

“Well now, aren’t you a sight for sore eyes?” Her voice held slight amusement as she peered down at the possible enemy. “Are you trying to atone for your sins, Darknut, or are you looking for some more victims? It’s hard to tell friend from foe now a days, with the new ‘peace’ in this strange and growing land.”

“At least the peace has lasted this long,” his voice sounded tired yet at ease. “The growing land shows how well the people are getting along now after the years of pain Arivis had caused them.”

“I think they were better off the way they were before, this growing power is just causing more thieves to attack,” sighing, she jumped down, giving the Darknut a curious look over. “Again I’ll ask, are you friend or foe? I don’t have all night; I need to get out of here.”

“Are you a thief?” Fulkrome inquired, taking in the dark clothing of his opposition.

“You think I’m pathetic enough to be a petty thief?” She shot him a cold glare, her silver-violet eyes adding to the cool gaze. “If you must know, I’m half-Sheikah…half-demon, not that a creature such as yourself could tell.” Turning her head away from him, her long black hair swayed gently, “I have no time for you. Luckily for yourself I don’t find you threatening to the innocent, so you had better be on your way.”

“Arivis was a demon,” Fulkrome’s voice became harsh as she turned away from him, “you must have heard of him, the one that tried to destroy the world. You’re a half demon, why should I trust that you won’t harm the innocent?”

“My walking away from you should be proof enough, Darknut; do you not consider yourself ‘innocent’? I’m sure you’ve had innocent blood on your hands before, so I guess that could be a reason you’re not thinking things through my way,” looking over her shoulder she gave him an uncaring glance. “People trust you now, don’t they? You don’t look to have been in a fight with any Hylians. If they can trust you again after what your own kind have done, don’t you think I have the right to be looked upon like that as well?”

“Arivis was more powerful than any Darknut, his power seemed to be limitless, you know that and you still think you should be looked upon as an innocent creature. There’s no way that anyone that knows your race would allow you to live freely.”

“Yes, but I’m also half-Sheikah, you know of them, don’t you? They were close to the Royal Family of Hyrule; don’t you think that means anything? They’re an honourable, trustworthy race, although I’m part demon I also have their blood and their teachings as well.” Her expression changed to one of amusement as she turned around fully, “besides, if you really know about Arivis’ power, the strength of a demon, you should just walk away now before I decide to change my mind and kill you.”

“You’re a threat,” Fulkrome unsheathed his large, heavy blade, preparing himself for the fight. “I plan on atoning for the sins I caused before by killing anyone born of evil.”

“Now you assume I’m born of evil? You’re rather quick to judge,” she sighed, “fine, I’ll deal with you so I can get as far away from that damned city as I possibly can. You had better prepare yourself Fulkrome,” she smirked as he gasped faintly; surprised that she knew his name. Moving her black cloak, she took the hilt of her broad sword with a fingerless-gloved hand, unsheathing the pitch black blade.

In a mere second her blade was upon his, sparks flying from the contact. Fulkrome forced her back, slashing quickly, his blade moving through nothing but air. His gaze hardened; the enemy no where in sight. Looking around quickly, he listened to the silence of the night, there seemed to be no track of his opponent, but then he felt it. The earth beneath his feet began to churn, causing him to lose balance, beginning to sink into the ground.

As he struggled, the calming sound of a flute drifted through the air from the tree closest to him. “Are you toying with me?” his voice was irritated as he continued trying to free himself from possible doom. Was this girl really going to kill him? Her power couldn’t possibly be close to that of Arivis’, she wasn’t even a full demon, although her capabilities began to interest him.

“Not exactly toying,” the sound of the flute stopped briefly. “Do you give up yet? That’s such a simple trap; your ability is sort of pathetic.”

“Stop playing around, fight me for real, not using these little tricks, you’re as bad as Arivis,” he growled, knowing this should at least catch her attention if not get him free of this annoying trap.

“Such a cocky fool,” she was suddenly standing in front of him, blade in one hand the flute in her other. “If you really want to fight me, then fine, but I won’t be responsible for what may happen to you.”

“If that’s the way it has to be,” he sighed, being allowed back on even ground. “Let’s see what your true power is like.”

“You better hope I won’t have to resort to that,” her voice was surprisingly harsh. “Well, let’s get to it, I’m interested in seeing how well you can do against me.”

Fulkrome ran forward, slashing at her quickly, glaring as she jumped out of the way, landing easily on the flat of his blade. Swinging upwards he forced her off, just missing her arm as she did an elegant summersault through the air, landing gently on her feet. Charging again he attempted to slash her in half, becoming annoyed as she merely jumped out of the way.

“Come now, is that all you can do?” She tilted her head slightly, a faint smirk lining her lips. “Well, let’s just call this little fight a draw, I’m not in the mood to hurt you, so don’t tempt me anymore. Good luck with whatever you’re planning to do,” she sheathed her sword, putting her flute in her cloak.

A crescent moon on the chest of her moonlight shirt caught Fulkrome’s eye, “what’s that, some type of crest?”

“Yes, the crest of my demon blood,” she nodded, “I have the symbol of the Sheikah on the back of my cloak, you’re not very observant if you just noticed it.” Sighing, she turned away from him, “anyway, I’m heading out as far away as possible from Kakariko, I doubt we’ll cross paths again, count yourself as lucky our fight didn’t continue.”

“Wait,” he started as she prepared to continue her journey through the forest.

She turned an annoyed expression to him, “what is it? You want to know why I want to get away from the city? I’m not a thief, as I told you before, I never even set foot in that city, I haven’t been there since it was a village so you don’t have to worry about letting someone dangerous pass by you. I’ve not hurt anyone with innocent blood, not yet anyway, I am a demon after all, there’s no reason for you to ever think I could be any different. I’m through with you, so stop wasting my time.”

“I’m going with you,” his voice was determined and final, causing his opposition to sigh. “I have no specific place to go, I’m just traveling to get rid of any creature still killing under Ganondorf’s order, I’m sure following you may help me out some.”

“Suit yourself, I’m not going to be watching over you so if you fall behind, you’ll be on your own again. Just remember your place and we’ll get along fine,” she turned away again, continuing through the forest, Fulkrome following close behind. She kept near to his speed rather than her normal one, knowing he could never keep up with her then.

They had barely been traveling an hour when they suddenly broke free of the forest, Hyrule standing not far from them. Fulkrome glanced at their lead; she had stopped for a moment, a hand resting on her hip.

“Well, I haven’t been to the Old Capital for a while,” she glanced back at him, noticing the uneasy glance. “Come on, I’ve been slow for you, you might as well come with me the rest of the way now.” Continuing forward she looked back at him, surprised that he was still following, though his steps had become slightly heavier. “They won’t judge you, most of them are pretty bad themselves, I go there once and a while when I need to rest, it’s not all that bad.”

“You say they’re bad and then you say they’re not, make up your mind,” he sighed, quickening the pace.

“Some of them are nice, just like anywhere else, you’ll find the good and bad,” she replied, leading him toward the entrance to the Old Capital of Hyrule.

Green vines clung to the wall, showing how little they cared for their gates. Many houses had collapsed over the years, plants beginning to grow over the debris. They had tried to rebuild their once beautiful village; however they only managed to rebuild some of the buildings. In the east high walls surrounded the Temple of Time, only the top of it being visible. Thick iron gates closed out the old path to the Temple in hopes that it would keep out vandals.

Several children ran past them, laughing as they played. Their parents watched the two visitors carefully, suspicious of their sudden appearance. One of the children, a young girl, suddenly stopped, a large grin spreading across her face as she recognized the female of the group.

“Femm!” she yelled happily, running over, jumping into the ‘seventeen’ year old’s arms. “It’s been months since you came here last, it’s about time you visited us again!”

“Femm, that’s your name?” Fulkrome questioned, turning his attention from the young girl to the mysterious one he’d been traveling with.

“That’s correct, my name is Femm Bloodseal,” her voice was gentle, a light smile on her usual cold face as she gave the child a hug. “Misa, this is Fulkrome, he’s traveling with me now,” she nodded toward him. “I hope your parents don’t mind if they have an extra visitor.”

Misa, looking to be around five, gave Fulkrome a bright smile, “I’m sure they won’t mind, he looks really strong, no one will bug us tonight,” she stated cheerfully.

“This is where the poorer people of Hyrule live,” Femm stated as Fulkrome began to question her. “Thieves tend to live here along with those who haven’t had any luck in finding a job. A lot of fights break out around here, it’s another reason I come around as much as possible.”

“I see…so peace has yet to come around here…” his voice seemed slightly sad as he spoke, “although I knew full peace could never occur, not with the way our land has been.”

“Never kid yourself, this is the closest any land would ever be able to get when it comes to peace,” Femm assured him, leading him toward one of the older looking houses in the Old Capital where two parents stood with kind, sincere expressions. “I hope you don’t mind staying in a rather small place.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Fulkrome sighed, “I’ve stayed in more dangerous places then this.”

“That wasn’t what I was worried about,” she smirked over her shoulder at him, “we’re going to have a long night my friend, just look at those happy faces.”

Glancing around the area, he noticed the immense amount of people who had stopped what they were doing and were now surrounding the streets around them. Many of them held curious expressions as they assessed the Darknut while many had dark smirks, wondering what they could get from such a well armoured opponent. He knew Femm was right, they wouldn’t get any sleep tonight, and more than likely no one else in this village would either.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:50 pm
Chapter Eleven: Treaded Paths

Fire...red skies, filled with smoke...

Muffled screams, harsh barks...

The sounds of steel clashing on steel...sparks flying...

A monolith, shrouded in a smoky haze...shining with a pale lustre...

Screams again...there but not there...a flash of light...

Then...darkness.



Yazstromo shot up from his fitful sleep. “Oh, I hate it when I have vague, meaningful dreams that will only become clearer as the plot progresses, culminating in some fabulous realisation at a crucial moment.” He sighed. “I really must stop adding those mushrooms to my soup for dinner.”

*****

“Come one, come all! Do you need soup spoons that’ll make eating your chowder a sight to behold? How about the knives used by an ancient king to cut his sausages? Perhaps you too would like to be force-fed your vegetables by the same fork used to feed the baby that would grow up to be the greatest juggler in history? It’s Yazstromo’s Antique Silverware Clearance Sale! Everything must go!”

While people were forking out rupees for the high-quality merchandise at the roadside stall just outside of town, a somewhat ratty looking man sidled up beside Yazstromo. “Say, aren’t you that crazy old man who tried to hold seminars down in the town hall on...what did you call it?”
“Cutlerology, my dear boy. A detailed study on the many facets that make up the wonder that is dinnerware.”
“Yeah, that’s the one. Well, the reason I ask is...if you like spoons so much...why are you selling them all? You’d have to have been collecting these things for years.” Yazstromo thanked his latest customer, then turned his full attention on the man next to him. “Well, as you know, those seminars weren’t a huge success. Not many people share my fascination...or obsession, if you want to be honest. But then I realised people are not interested in the subtle curves of the tines, or the history behind the exact depth of the concave in a ladle. Then I realised all people are interested in is how they can show off to their friends, and how many roast potatoes they can fit in their mouth while doing it. So I think of this as my way of spreading fine collections of cutlery among the populace.” A scowl broke across his face, and he pointed at a box of various spoons. “Plus those bastards over there have been spreading rumours about me behind my back, so I’m not on speaking terms with them anymore.” He brooded for a moment longer, before looking cheerily back at the man. “So, how would you like to buy a set? They’ll look great in any home.”

“Well, sir, I would buy some off you...if I had any money. ‘Course, then I’d need a home to put them in...”
At once, the man’s dishevelled appearance made sense. The cogs started whirring in Yazstromo’s mind. “Well, you’re a nice enough chap, so how about you come over to my place for dinner? Get a hot meal into you. I make a mean mushroom sou—that is, I make a mean...uh, what do I have in the cupboard...” Yazstromo became lost in thought for a few seconds. “Let’s call it Soup Surprise.”
“Well, that’s real hospitable of you, sir. Where do you live?”
“Oh, just a little place on the edge of Darkwood Forest.” He chuckled when he saw the look of disgust pass over the man’s face. “Oh, it’s not that bad. Just so long as you never look at it and pretend it doesn’t exist. Plus, maggot season isn’t for another few months.” As he turned to help another customer, Yazstromo asked, “By the way, I never caught your name.”
“Umm, I’m Benji, sir.”
“Pleasure to meet you, Benji, and please, call me Yazstromo.”
“Okey-dokey, Mr. Stromo.”

*****

The pauper walked towards the southern edge of the dreaded forest, and as he got closer, he spotted a small tower, a large pillar of smoke emanating from a chimney on the side. “Come in, make yourself at home!”, yelled a voice from within. “I’m just dealing with some...issues I’m having. I’ve got the soup down, it’s just the surprise is proving to be a bother.” Benji walked into Yazstromo’s home, stumbling through the detritus from a lifetime of hoarding. “Soup’s up!” Yazstromo strode out from the kitchen, effortlessly weaving his way to the table. “Take a seat. I hope you enjoy the taste of surprise.”

As they ate their meal, Benji looked around, taking note of a variety of random objects; an old spear, a rolled-up tapestry, a sealed wooden box with a note stuck on it. He finally stopped at a painting on the wall. “Who are they, if you don’t mind me asking?” Yazstromo followed his gaze to the painting, and his eyes grew misty. “Those are some...old friends of mine. I painted it myself, as a sort of dedication to them. I haven’t seen them for years, but I like to remember them when I can.” Benji nodded, and then turned his attention to a large travelling bag resting beneath the painting. A few objects were poking out of the top of it. “If I didn’t know any better, Mr. Stromo, I’d say you’re getting ready to go somewhere.” At this, Yazstromo laughed, a sheepish look on his face. “Okay, you’ve caught me. I’m actually planning on going away for a while, first thing tomorrow. That’s the main reason I was selling my collection: to have some funds for the journey.”
“I see. Well, thank you for the meal, Mr. Stromo. I should be heading off now. I don’t want to keep you from your packing.”
“My word, Benji, what sort of host would I be if I let you walk all the way back to town in this light? I insist that you stay for the night. You can even help me pack. Oh, the stories I can tell about some of this stuff. Like this knife.” At that, Yazstromo picked up a knife with a sapphire blade off of a nearby shelf, regaling the pauper with stories for the rest of the night, until they were too exhausted to keep their eyes open.

*****

“Thank you again for your food and a place to sleep, Mr. Stromo, but I had best not intrude any longer. It’s about time I head back to town.” Yazstromo finished stuffing his spear into the seemingly-bottomless pack. “About that...you see, I had an ulterior motive into inviting you for dinner. The last time I went on a journey like this, a number of creatures from the forest had started...nesting in here. I swear, it was weeks before I got the smell out. Anyway, this time, I figured I need a sort of caretaker, to watch over the place while I’m gone, and I was kind of hoping...you’d take on the job.” The old man looked up expectantly. “You’ll have free access to all the facilities of my home. There’s fresh clothes in the closet over there, the pantry is stocked for months, and I’ve put aside some of the money I made yesterday in a box over there, should you need it. So...what do you say?” Benji looked down at the man, mouth agape. “I...I don’t know what to...I would love to take care of this place for you, Mr. Stromo.” A cheery grin broke across Yazstromo’s face. “Excellent! Well, then I guess that’s everything sorted. You take good care of this place for me.” He turned back to close up his pack. “Do you know when you’ll be back?” Yazstromo buttoned it up. “No, I can’t say I do.”
“And where are you going?” The old man hoisted it onto his back. “Not sure of that either.” He strode to the door, and flung it open. “Well...why are you doing this? What are you planning to do?” Yazstromo looked back at Benji, a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. “I’m going on an adventure, Benji!”

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:16 pm
Chapter Twelve: Fragments of Memories

The pen tore through the paper and snapped against the hard wood of his desk, gouging out yet another sliver, filling the gash with ink. Its metal tip clattered across his other work until finally being silenced by the carpets below. Setting down the maimed quill, he proceeded to fold his hands across one another and smirk quietly.

Klaus had received word earlier that morning that a man sporting illegal arms massacred six others in a pub off the edge of the Lost Underwoods. All one had to mention were this murderer’s weapons and it was a given as to who the belonged to. William Desesperacion’s name was surrounded by several circles, some faint and others new; Klaus had been trying to add these six new felonies but the paper rejected the last one. Perhaps the page felt the same sorrow the Advisor held for the fallen Knight, or maybe his crimes had finally broken through into unforgiveable.

Replacing his quill, Klaus continued his paperwork, crossing out half a dozen names from another list of convicted criminals. The world wouldn’t miss the men ‘Wild-Eyed Will’ had killed, a realization both morbid and calming. Picking up a third piece of parchment, the cleric continued to search through his logs, grabbing another ink jar while he was ahead of himself. His clock struck the nearest hour.

And after mindlessly working through other stacks of papers it struck another.

Losing himself in his work was a quality he loathed, yet only when the Sun shone brightly and the winds grazed lazily outside his office. Today was to his distaste. Rain coated the stained glass windows to his left, leaving long streaks and beads that disfigured their images into grotesque ones. The vaulted ceilings echoed with the sound of sombreness, the weather and his scribbling, his breathing and the ache in his back. He remembered the days of his work in the Sanctuary at Darik Village, helping a contractor with the new addition to the building’s devir. At night he would be the last to leave, sitting in the pews to hear the emptiness, the quiet, and his own memories.

A knock at the door signalled that it was getting close to supper; surely his ‘mandatory’ escort would be waiting out in the hall. Klaus arranged the last of his paperwork and placed it neatly in the bottom drawer, locking it. He hated having to be surrounded by a committee if he so much as had to sneeze or saunter off to the lavatory, but King Basyle demanded it of all his vassals. The Advisor rose and pushed his seat ahead, taking his time to walk past the images of long forgotten times staring back at him with rain brushed crying eyes.

He unlocked the door and opened it, expecting one of the nurses to have been sent to fetch him. But a tall man dressed in robes that were much the same as his met the Advisor’s vision. It was one of his serving noblemen whose name escaped him again and again, but it was not to be expected that Klaus remember all the names of his clerics as they were cycled regularly and arbitrarily by Basyle and his council.

“Good evening, Sir Klaus.” The man made motions to enter his keep, Klaus hesitatingly gave him permission. Stepping over the threshold, the door was closed again and locked. “My name is Jonathan, I am a member of King Basyle’s council, I do not believe we’ve met.”

“No, I can’t say that we’ve been acquainted,” Klaus pulled his guest out a seat and nonchalantly sat on the corner of his expensive bureau. “But usually I haven’t the time for social outings or for the affairs of many of his Majesty’s assembly.”

There was a silence before Jonathan wiped his forehead, sweltering under his heavy coats. “To pull matters ahead since it is nearing meal hours, I am here to check if you have time this evening to sit with myself and a few others from the assembly. King Basyle’s schedule has been booked so we cannot speak with him along these matters.”

“I am free for the evening after my hour with the Head Nurse at sunset. But I am unknown to what you wish to speak with me about.”
Jonathan seemed to avoid eye contact signalling bad news. Any unfavourable news at this time of year was unwelcome, the planning for the Festival was in its final stages, and the escorts for several Ambassadors had already left to collect their parties from the lands afar. The intruder in Klaus’s chamber spoke solemnly, trying to hide a slight distress in his tone.

“The Convoy we sent to meet Ambassador Ashtar was met with an,” his voice stuck in his throat for a moment before he continued, “untimely and disturbing fate. We just received word through a stringent messenger line that a Labrynna survey Contingent discovered the remains of the carriage, horses, and escorts strewn across the rocks of the Nuun Highlands.”

The mood sunk even further as faint thunder came rolling from the north, the room’s light slowly fading with the Sun’s time in the sky. “That is only a fair bit troubling.” Klaus flipped his pendants in his finger routinely, listening to the metals clack together in rhythm with the winds flowing across the roof. “And the suspects?”

“Lately the animals of the area have been rather vacant, run out fairly quickly by stronger packs of wolves.” Jonathan stood, as if trying to end the discussion already before there was no longer a need for Klaus’s attendance. It was the point of his question after all, not everything could pass the men of the Council in this day and age. Intelligence was finally a virtue worth upholding in the Royal Chambers. “The reports support the idea of an animal attack as the results were rather gruesome. But at the same time much of the armour was taken, so bandits weren’t entirely ruled out.”

With a pass of his hand he continued, changing the subject abruptly. “But I must cut this short, it nears the evening and we must not be unprepared for meals with the King.”

“There is no rush.” Klaus stood, feeling slightly uncoordinated as he took steps forward to stop his company’s leave. “If no one is meeting Ashtar under the Hyrulean banner, then he should otherwise return, declining his seat at the Festival. King Basyle will not enjoy that. We know they have been travelling for quite some time.”

“Yes, yes, we have considered this and will make a decision with your insight later this evening, Sir Klaus, it is vital that you come meet with us to hear other suggestions.”

“It seems to be of utmost importance that we send more knights, despite what dangers there are along the way. Wolves or bandits or whatever else attacked our last team can’t stand in the way of Ashtar’s arrival. You know how important this is to us, the trade routes and integration of both our Kingdoms’ resources; King Basyle would demand it be done.” The High Cleric winced at the next crash of thunder.

Jonathan seemed more strained than ever, wishing for some sort of democratic way of working through this decision. “I believe this is more of a matter to vote upon, I mean no disrespect to you or your decision. But if you command we send another Convoy we will comply immediately, I just ask that you reconsider demands until tonight. You have had a hard day, Sir Klaus, we all have. I must pardon myself to prepare for further events this evening, as I know you already have things scheduled.”

The council member reached for the door lock until Klaus again spoke in a bridled tone.

“Enjoy yourself, Jonathan, but for now, another set of escorts is what I demand. I cannot make it tonight to speak with you and the others.” Klaus’s face was sullen and faced the floor, pale and unchanging. “I believe I must go to the Head Nurse a bit early tonight.” He stepped forward to shake his company’s hand, only to lose his footing and fall to the floor. Jonathan reached down to help him, only to observe in panic the wretched blood stain that had seeped through the Advisor’s robes.


[Sorry for the wait, life and school over the last while have been shafting me like no tomorrow. I may continue with this more, but only with Klaus, so parts can go as planned while I edit in new bits.]

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:10 pm
Chapter Thirteen: The Twili

Rivulets of rain running cold in the streets. Men and women with looks of fatigue, looks of dismay. A child runs ahead happily and is checked by his slower companions. A post of guards. A castle in the distance. Is this what the creatures call king? A wretched excuse of nobility. Weakness. Pain etches his face. A banner waves behind him. A standard of three triangles. The symbol. The blessing of the goddesses. Their most terrible curse. Too many thoughts are pushing its way in. This is not working. It is not working.

Again.

Tiviri snapped out of his trance, nearly falling out of his chair. The twili sighed heavily in frustration, taking a moment to steady himself. The evening light, wasted. Outside as twilight ebbed to nightfall; he could feel his strength leaving him. He looked up where a silver stone hovered listlessly, bathing the small cramped room in a dim blue light. It was a marvel of jeweller workmanship, ornamented by the finest of Sheikah artificers. Encircled with thin lines of silver and gold, the Twili guessed it was once meant to be worn; a symbol of pride for those who could manipulate its power. It was an enchanting object to some, but the intricate beauty of the seeking stone only further irritated Tiviri. He allowed it to settle back on the table without remark.

The Twili sighed once more; an all too common occurrence the longer he remained in this forsaken land. The years were beginning to take its toll, wearing him down as a river to a rock. No matter the length of stay, this land would forever remain foreign to him. Hyrule offered no temptation warranting a second thought, a glance back. No wistful emotion would strike him when he once again stood in the Twilight Realm. Assuming he would ever step foot in it again.

Thoughts like that will get you nowhere-

A timid knock came from the outside. A child’s voice, unsure and quiet drifted through the door. “Sir?”

“What is it boy?” Tiviri mumbled, warily standing up.

“Sir. What you sent me. I mean to get. I…I have it here.” The voice was shaky. Hylian young were so easily intimidated.

“Leave it by the door. Your payment is in the usual place, an extra yellow for your trouble.”

“Yes…yes sir. Thank you sir.”

Tiviri heard random scrapings amongst the scattered boxes and crates by the cellar entrance. He pressed his ear against the door, listening for the subsiding sound of footsteps. Only when he was sure the boy had left did he make his way outside.

The cellar opened into a large yard used for storage by the local innkeeper. The yard and the inn were nestled at the far end of the city, square against the high cliffs that surrounded Kakariko. While the rest of the city was suffocated by houses and stores, Tiviri’s hiding spot rested on the top of a high embankment. From here he had a commanding view of everything, from the Great Hall with its distinct and looming presence, to the city gates, now fortified and kept under strict watch. Then there were the riots. Shouts and clamouring had given to violence and fighting in the streets. In the span of a day, Kakariko had turned from an ideal sequestering spot to a precarious crucible of danger. He supposed he was partially to blame for that.

The Twili turned his gaze to the east, where fires had damaged most of the merchant district. The charred remains were still smoking, hours after being extinguished. An acrid haze still lingered in the air, reminding people of the trouble when eyes and ears failed to do so. The city nobility and shadow impostors were tearing this city apart. Tiviri expected some sort of reaction from the Great Hall, possibly even from the Shiekah. He certainly didn’t expect any reaction from the nobility, especially not the extent he had seen in the streets. For whatever reason, Hylians jostled constantly for political positioning. During the time he had actually cared about his mission, Tiviri noted the subtle nuances of advisors and councilmen, each trying to manipulate things in their favour. He supposed it provided a sense of power for those who had none, but it was still a concept completely foreign to him. Nevertheless, the Twili was certain political machinations were the cause of the Kakariko’s state of anarchy. There were those who were using his theft to gain an upper hand on the Sheikah. Tiviri was grateful for that, if only slightly.

He turned to a marked barrel on the right and pried open the lid. At the bottom lay a small package in rough brown paper. He picked it up and sniffed cautiously at its contents. The smell was pleasing, but most importantly it was correct. The boy was worth his money after all. Tiviri nodded to himself and tossed a few more rupees in the barrel before replacing the lid. Glancing to make sure no one was watching, he made his way back to his room.

The cellar greeted him with its usual suffocating atmosphere. Between the cot and side table there was little room to move around. The Twili grimaced, returning to his hard wooden chair. He missed the Twilight Realm, the floating palace grounds where he grew up. Twili buildings were always massive, with high ceilings and large ceremonial halls. Impractical perhaps, but well suited for a species that lived without want of land or resources. It was always windy in the Twilight Realm as well, something he dearly missed. Tiviri nearly had a shock the first time he stepped in Hyrule on a windless day. For a moment he thought there was no air, before his lungs forcefully reminded him. Most of all he missed his people, his culture. Knowing where his place was, what was expected of him, what was expected of others. It was familiar. Home.

Just thinking about the Twilight Realm brought back frustration. Tiviri calmly brought his emotions under control. It wouldn’t be prudent to be distracted right now, he needed a way out of this city and he needed a way home. Breathing deeply, he unwrapped the parcel and threw the paper on the bed. In his hands he held a large tin with a wax seal along the top. Even through the container, the familiar scent of pipeleaf filled the room. Tiviri didn’t have many vices, but he allowed himself this one. Twili were blessed, or cursed depending on the viewpoint, not to require sustenance in the form of food or drink. His ancestors’ mastery of shadow magic freed their entire race from material necessities. Magic was the lifeblood of the Twili; food had been pushed to the role of revelry. Tiviri felt no need to sample Hylian cuisine, but he found their practice of pipe smoking to be relaxing. An unusual habit for a Twili perhaps, but it helped him organize his thoughts and that’s what he needed. He thumbed a potion of leaf into the bowl and sat back on his chair.

“Think Tiviri. Think.” He muttered to himself, “It’s the stone of legend, no doubt about that. Same markings, stolen before our exile. You’re a child of the twilight so why can’t you control it?”

Control will come in time. Perhaps we are not looking in the right places.

“Perhaps.” Tiviri spoke to the empty room. “These people have surprised us with their traditions before; it would not be a shock to discover their most powerful treasures aren’t kept with their king.”

Or we should not be looking for a treasure.

Tiviri paused at that thought, taking a draught from his long-stemmed pipe. “Why not?” He uttered, expelling the smoke in rings.

The mirror was once a portal used to enter our world, but it was nothing without the skill of the ones who used it. The stone was just a stone until you accidentally woke it. We may have more luck if we focus on finding a person.

“A person. We’ve discussed this before. Every single Hylian in this whole wretched country has more magic in their blood than the best of the Twili Noveri. All of them, Hylians with the power they possess and to be completely oblivious!”

Power is nothing without the ability to use it. Potential is nothing, search for those with skill.

“What?” Tiviri took the pipe out of his mouth. “Can the stone do that? I thought it could only find sources of magical power?”

No harm in trying. The seeking stone can search out any source of significant magical power. Why can’t we look for people with the skill we need to reopen the portal?

“That requires working with people.” Tiviri growled, tapping out the contents of his pipe and setting it on the table. “I hate these people.”

Would you prefer to hate them in the Twilight Realm or in a Hylian dungeon when they find us?

The twili cursed and sat up. Clarity of thought was beneficial, but he often disliked where his mind took him. Nightfall would limit his powers, but he would have to make do given the circumstances. He stretched out his hand, palm facing the seeking stone. Gently he raised it so the stone hovered above the table. The stone flickered and Tiviri focused, tuning it to his thoughts. The seeking stone shone a brilliant blue and Tiviri sank into a trance.

The light of a full moon is dim through the smoke above a restless city. Sheikah patrols are still going door to door. Contempt in the eyes of the guards as they pass by. Focus. The head of the patrol, a female shadow impostor. Bold, fearless, zealous. Wants my head. Won’t work-

A woman is baking something in a house. Children play quietly by the fireplace. She keeps looking at the door, a sense of dread on her face. Fear of the riots? Maybe? Does she have skill? Yes. Does she know it? Not likely. Someone else-

A man in an office overlooks the city. Confused? No, contemplating. Maintains authority, some skill, not significant. A better leader than a solider. He’s looks past the gate. Is he waiting for something? Someone. A message lays open at his table. Perhaps looking for someone coming to the city-

A group of travellers walk silently along the road a distance from the city. Four of them. The hazel eyed one with the red cloak carries strange weapons, has potential. The other also has hazel eyes and a sword. No magical skill but he’s…dangerous. Something is off with his look, he’s seen more than his appearance betrays. I cannot see the other two. Must be a race I have not met. But the power. The skill. These two have more power than the entire Noveri. This could be my way home. Will they enter the city? Cannot tell. They aren’t like the rest. Must find a way to encounter. To manipulate. Perhaps can use them to get out of the city. That would be helpful. “Chance encounter” Will avoid those damned guards. No. Don’t get distracted. Concentrate on the travelers. Concentrate on them. Curse your lack of focus. You shouldn’t need pipeleaf all the time to think-

A boy runs through the streets, happily counting his money. The parcel boy. A man approaches him in a friendly manner. He asks a question and points to a money satchel. The boy considers his offer. He’s hesitant. The man shakes the rupee purse. The boy accepts, he’s points the man down a road. The man is satisfied. He pays the boy. Why am I looking at this? See? Focus. A single stray thought and we’ve lost them. We must find the travelers not wasting our time with the parcel boy. No. Not looking at the boy. We’re focused on the man. Why are we looking at the man? Some potential? Yes. Skill? Yes. Could we use him? Perhaps. He is determined, looking at houses. Looking for something? He’s walking down a street. His cloak, it is familiar. It has a seal, an eye. The eye from that hall. He’s walking towards an inn. My inn.


Tiviri snapped out of the trance. “He’s coming here. For me.”

Tiviri jolted out of his seat, knocking the table over in the process. He stowed the seeking stone away with his pipe and bolted out the door. With luck, the urchin did not specify the cellar only the inn. He navigated through the storage maze as quietly as he could. Tiviri hoped he was just jumping to erroneous conclusions. Perhaps the man was just looking for place to stay. Coincidence.

A Kakariko scribe looking for lodging in his own town. Better safe than sorry.

Tiviri stopped behind a pile of empty fruit crates and peered around the corner. The man had quickened his step, passing the inn entirely. He stopped at the entrance to the storage yard, surveying the scene. The storage yard was barred by a wrought iron gate, restricting all except the most determined street urchins and well paying Twili. The fence, metal bars with pointed tops, was over ten feet high, flush with the second story of the inn. Without hesitation, the man placed each hand on the fence bars and hoisted himself upward. Propelling himself forward, he pushed off the bars, backflipping over the barricade. He landed square on his feet, sword flashing out of its sheath. The acrobatics caught Tiviri by surprise. Before he could do anything, the man began to speak.

“You’re either a very clever thief or a very lucky one.” The man approached the maze of boxes. “To break into the archives, that takes skill.” He looked around a pyramid of wine barrels. “On the other hand, your exit left a lot to be desired. It was clumsy. Improvised.”

Tiviri began to sneak away from the fruit crates. It wasn’t possible the man was talking to him. How could he possibly know he was outside the cellar?

“Therefore you had to have found the stone by accident. Why set off a beacon like that on purpose? Especially at night, makes no sense.”

Babbling, definitely babbling. Tiviri crept by stacks of raw lumber used for inn repairs. The man is just guessing; I need to get out. Where is that key the innkeeper gave me?

“Regardless, it gave me two advantages. The first is the turmoil started by Lord Illian and Master Lira. Riots are messy, but they will smoke a rat out of its hole.” Tiviri’s held his breath as the man looked in his direction, before turning away. The Twili inched his way to the gate. He could almost see the street. Curse these boxes.

“The second is if a rat doesn’t come out of its hole, it thinks it’s safe. They get careless. You don’t live in Kakariko without someone seeing you, especially children.” Tiviri slid around, back to the crates. The gate! The street! The key, where was his key?

“In the end, I am disappointed. Some hunts last me weeks, others months. They make for interesting chases, but the result is always the same. These criminals are always-”

“Found.”

The man rounded the corner facing him, sword glinting in the moonlight. Tiviri stopped dead in his tracks uttering a barrage of curses. The man from his vision. The symbol on his chest. It was a scribe. He should have known.

The scribe pushed aside his cloak and pointed the sword at the Twili. “Now give me the seeking stone. You're coming with me to the Great Hall.”

“No,” hissed Tiviri, backing away from the sword tip. “The shadow impostors lay claim to what is not their own. I have need of it and my freedom, so be on your way Hylian.”

The man’s eyes narrowed. He moved forward, sword unwavering in his hand. “Hylian? You speak it with an unfamiliar tongue. What are you? Too tall to be a Zora. Too thin to be a Goron. Never seen a Sheikah steal from his people. Must be a first time for everything.”

Tiviri backed into a wall. He glanced around quickly, looking for any sign of additional guards. ”I am a true shadowfolk. Unlike these impostors who masquerade under false pretences. My people understand what it means to walk in shadow. We understand the sacrifices that are made and the life that we must live. We do not live bound by a dead land and a weak king. We do not take to the shadows hiding, but embrace it in full. We do not dilute our knowledge by consorting with those who are blinded by light. This stone is a means unto my end and I will not return it!”

A bolt of light erupted from the twili’s hand, catching the man square in the chest. The scribe flew backwards, leaving a trail of broken crates and smashed barrels in his wake. He landed forcefully by the cellar entrance, splintering box of expensive oranges. Tiviri craned his neck past the mess to see if the scribe was still moving. Satisfied by the lack of activity, he quickly unlocked the gate and made his way into the streets. He was fortunate, catching the scribe off guard like that. Still, he couldn’t afford to be caught like that again. Worse, he still couldn’t figure out how the scribe had known he was there, talking to him. He was overstaying his welcome in Kakariko. The city couldn’t hide him forever; he needed to find a way out. He needed to find those people.

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Post Re: ~Forever Forgotten~ To Dust • Posted: Sun May 02, 2010 12:16 am
Chapter Fourteen: Never a free meal

A weak flame kindled only by spirits is sure to burn out quickly, and so too did Daedus’ steely resolve. It had been an age since he had felt such powerful emotions, and all of the sweet new sensations had eventually taken their toll on his timeworn mind and his poor mortal body. Immediately after his stalwart speech he found himself in shock and had to sit back down. Through the afternoon and into the evening he lay silently against the side of the house, holding Lewis tight to his chest. He kept his eyes shut, assuring himself that he would get up soon, just a little bit longer. Night passed to morning and Daedus awoke from his half sleep with his gut wrenching about inside him. With a passing thought to the meals he had skipped yesterday, Daedus pulled himself to his weary feet. He glanced into the building at the still set table and the already prepared meal, but couldn’t bring himself to go back inside. Instead he turned to the etchings on the ground and took notice of an arrow pointing away from the shack and. Glancing at his frozen companion he began trekking off in search of more than just a meal. His mind, however, quickly asserted that the meal would come first or not at all.

Daedus was a rare specimen in these times. His body was pale and relatively fragile compared to other 50 year olds. Unlike these burly specimens, Daedus had been living a reclusive life with little manner of physical activity to keep his body strong. His sword technique had stayed constant over the years, due to perpetual training, but his physical prowess was beginning to wane. Given this, his hour long trek on what he hoped was the shortest route to the seaside felt like much, much longer. The message left to him by his minute companion had mentioned that the last place he had shared with the travellers was on the other side of a great forest. He wandered on, unaware that he was walking the same old path he followed to reach the old home of his parents. Daedus’ body was not used to going for long periods of time without food, and so, dizzy from hunger, he barely noticed that he had stumbled into a small settlement. He made his way through the oddly empty town, banging on the few doors he could find, but to no avail. The people behind those doors had no idea what would happen if they opened their doors to strangers the morning after such a violent scuffle at the tavern, so thought it wise to keep them bolted for now. Luckily, the town was small and Daedus quickly reached a most fortunate door to rap on.

“Now you see, I knew you’d be coming back, young sir. That young scamp made it sound like you’d never be returning, but you did as always master Ka-” The portly man stopped abruptly when he noticed his audience. “I see, well, forgive me sir, but the tavern is closed today... we have some, uh... repairs to make.”

Feeling his stomach wrench again, audibly this time, Daedus lurched forward, forcing the barkeeper to catch him.

“Please... just a meal... I only ask of you a meal...”

A stretch of pity grew on his recently bruised face and he sighed.

“Fine... come in. Just don’t touch anything and wait at the bar. I’ll fix ya’ something up.” The barkeep helped him inside and let him collapse onto a stool. Mumbling about the sorry state of affairs these days, he marched off into the kitchen.

“So you’re looking for a castle... and it isn’t Hyrule castle?” Cyro had tried to take as little interest in this stranger as possible, but he found himself making conversation anyway; the curse of a good barkeeper.

“Uhm uffraimb bah hahb bmoh mibeah. Mouh schee,” Daedus managed to garble, spraying food out onto the bench, making Cyro’s eyes flare up.

“For the love of... Sir! Please, I assumed you would finish chewing before you started speaking... why do I even bother...” He shook his head and went about cleaning up his now vandalized bar.

He chewed furiously and swallowed his great mouthful with a pained expression on his face. “I apologize,” he spoke bluntly, “but I could not help myself. This food is absolutely delicious! I did not want to stop eating! However, yes, as I was saying, I would have no idea.”

“No idea...?”

“If it is Hyrule castle or not. You see, it has been a very long time since my last visit here and I failed to map the entire region the last time. All that I know is that the castle is on the other side of an expansive forest.” Feeling he had answered sufficiently, Daedus went back to stuffing his face.

“Well, I reckon if you’re looking to get to Hyrule Castle you’re going the wrong way friend. And I reckon if you’re looking for a different castle then I haven’t heard of it...” Cyro leant in closer to Daedus, lowering his voice. “But Damien...”

“Dmaaedss...”

“Sir, please, your food...”

*GULP* “Daedus is my name, not Damien.”

The barkeep stared, regained his composure and continued. “Daedus, then... if you are looking to get right through to the other side of these Underwoods, you’ll need more than that there rusty rapier. You seem not to have much of a clue, if I may say sir, so let me give you a little advice: there is safety in numbers.”

“Oh, I see...” Daedus remarked, slightly downhearted. “You wouldn’t be able to accompany me?”

Taken aback, Cyro laughed a little awkwardly. “Uhh, no sir, I shouldn’t think so, no. You see, I have a family to tend to on top of this bar. Besides, I’m not good for much more than a good strong cider and a friendly ear. I wouldn’t be much of a body guard I’m afraid. Look, what I will suggest though is that you maybe check around town, not this little town mind, and see if there are any folks dim enough to try an expedition. I don’t know too much about the Underwoods, but I reckon the more people you got with you, the better your chances are of making it through alive.”

Now with a full stomach and fresh resolve, Daedus left the Prophet’s Corner, rusted Lewis in hand, determined to reach Kakariko Village and find some guides through the forest, leaving the poor barkeep to tend to his physical and financial wounds.

“And he couldn’t even pay... honestly, what has gotten into people these days? Gah... I hope the sorry bugger keeps out of trouble... he’s got a tab now.”

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