Posted on July 05 2019 by David Nystrom
There was a heavy ringing in Osmond’s ears that made him hesitate as he climbed to his feet. He pushed the tip of his sword into the ground and heaved himself up to his knees, coughing as the cloud of dust enveloped him.
“On your feet lad,” a voice said, as a hand grabbed hold of his shoulder.
“Drop the formalities son, now is the time to fight!” He drew his sword and swung it at an obscured dark figure.
A vicious growl shook Osmond from his daze, just in time to pull his sword up and deflect a spear that had been thrust his way. As he stumbled a bit from the blow, Osmond looked up into the heaving and grimy chest of a Moblin.
Instinctively, Osmond dropped back to a single knee just as Aldwin’s cane came in above his head and struck the Moblin. Ralphine then followed up with a rapid swipe of his rapier that slashed the monster’s gut open.
“Did you see where the captain went?” Aldwin asked quickly.
“No, but it’s likely he went to get the Royal Family to safety,” Ralphine responded, sheathing his blade as the Moblin dissolved into a black and purple mist.
“We’d best do the same. Come on!” Aldwin began to move towards the site of destruction, encouraging the others to follow as well.
Osmond shook his head to try and shake the dizziness off then trotted on after his mentor towards the wreckage. He stumbled to a sudden stop though after a couple of steps. The ground was split open revealing a ravine of laboring shadowy figures, fighting each other as they climbed upward.
“Come on, Osmond. Best to not let your eyes linger on the dark realm like that,” Ralphine tugged Osmond’s arm.
A moment later, the three of them climbed over the border of the arena and into the crumbling stands. Just outside of the stadium, homes and shops were engulfed in flames that seared the air and made it difficult to breathe. A small gathering of soldiers drew Aldwin’s attention and he pivoted in their direction.
“Lieutenant, is the Royal Family safe?”
“I thought I saw the Sage of Water guiding them down the street — watch out!”
Stone breaking free from the top of the stadium tumbled its way downward and crashed into one of the houses. Flames erupted from the windows and the corners of the building buckled, before the walls crumbled in on themselves. There were screams from somewhere in the chaos that carried above the crackling sounds of the burning Castletown.
“Rally your men and see to the safety of the civilians,” Ralphine stepped up. “Once you’ve done that, double back to the square. That should be where they’re headed.”
Osmond felt Aldwin tug on his shoulder, and the trio were again on the move. Down an alleyway that hadn’t yet been swallowed up by the flames, they moved quickly. Aldwin skidded to a stop though when their way became blocked by a swarm of small black entities.
“Boes. Not much trouble individually, but in a group they’re vicious.”
“We’ll have to go through them,” Ralphine said, drawing his sword.
“Hold on,” Aldwin held out a hand.
He raised his cane up and pointed it at the swarm. Closing his eyes, he began to mutter something softly and the end of his cane started to glow. A moment later, a burst of golden light shot from the cane’s tip, cutting a path in the sea of darkness.
Further encouragement was not needed.
At the end of the alley, they burst on to a street that would ultimately lead them to the main city square. In their way though, stood a swarm of monsters from the darkest corners of Hyrule.
“There’s too many, we’ll have to go around,” Aldwin pointed his cane across the street.
Just when they started moving though, a powerful gust of wind rushed out from the alley they were headed towards. A heavy Moblin came flying out of it next, slamming violently into one of the buildings.
“Ha-haaa!” A triumphant and booming laugh bellowed as the gust of wind died out. Huron, the Sage of Fire, stepped out into the street with the Kokiri Sage of Wind perched on his shoulder.
“Lord Huron, Lord Fado!” Ralphine jogged up to the Goron with a grin on his face.
“Sir Ralphine! I should’ve known you’d fight your way out of there,” Huron slapped his giant hand on Ralphine’s back, nearly knocking the knight over.
“And look! It’s the local boy!” Fado leapt up and pointed to Osmond.
“Watch out!” Osmond pointed at sky.
Above them, a piece of stone had been hurled from down the street and was bounding their way. Huron’s face darkened as he grinned and jumped into the air with his fist pulled back. When he swung it, it seemed to almost catch fire. The rock exploded in a burst of light before falling harmlessly to the ground along with the very proud Huron.
“We were planning to head towards the castle to help defend the Royal Family, but it seems our way is blocked. Any suggestions?” Aldwin asked.
“These guys? Check this out!” Huron winked, then put his fingers to his mouth. He blew hard, sending out a loud and attention-getting whistle.
“Lord Huron?” Ralphine glared up at the Goron.
A large mass of the monsters turned and looked curiously at them. Ralphine, Osmond, and Aldwin readied themselves but Huron and Fado seemed unphased and unalarmed.
“Here they come!” Aldwin said.
Several of the faster and smaller Bokoblins drew their rusty blades and began charging forward. Some of the Moblins began moving their way next. Soon it was a earth shaking stampede that was thundering their way.
Osmond felt his heart racing.
Then there came an ear-piercing shriek from above, followed by a blast of golden light that instantly incinerated nearly every monster between them and the castle square.
“Quit fooling around and find the princess!”
“Yes sir, Lord Kalia!” Fado waved a hand up and saluted as the great owl overhead soared away.
“The princess is in danger?” Aldwin stepped forward.
Huron nodded, Sseems in the chaos, she got separated from the evacuation party. She could be pinned down by a horde.”
“We’ll offer our assistance,” Ralphine said.
“Figured no less of ya,” Huron smiled. “We just came from over there. Fan out down these side streets and we’ll regroup at the old city gate.”
He and Fado began bounding away. Aldwin and Ralphine began advancing up the street and checked down a few of the first side streets.
“Osmond,” Aldwin called his protégé over. “My ankle isn’t going to hold up through all this running. You head down to the end of these alleyways and check the far end. I’ll stay back and make sure nothing comes down after you.”
“Sure thing,” Osmond moved and began down the first of the streets.
As he moved through the alley, he checked behind barrels and under crates, suspecting the Princess would have hidden herself. After the first two streets proved to be empty, he and Aldwin moved up closer to the castle. In the third street, Osmond found a boy and his mother hiding in the back of a wagon.
“It’s okay, get to the castle. There’s soldiers all over that can help.”
As he was helping them from the wagon though, a group of bokoblins burst into the street from a nearby store.
“Run!” Osmond commanded the family. He drew his sword and charged at the small green and red monsters.
The first one fell instantly, as did the second and third one. The fourth managed to catch Osmond’s shoulder with his rusty dagger, but he paid for it soon after. With the small group of monsters dispatched, he jogged back to Aldwin and they moved up to the next street.
They were about halfway up to the street to the old city gate, when they heard it.
A young girl’s scream.
David Wayne Nystrom is a Staff Writer for Zelda Dungeon. This story is an imagining of the final days in Hyrule prior to the Great Flood talked about in the opening cinematic of The Wind Waker. His top three Zelda games are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Link’s Awakening. This story is also available in audio form, thanks to an ongoing podcast. To find it and learn more about the project, head to erawithoutahero.wordpress.com or follow him on Twitter. Every Era Has Heroes…