||  Part Sixty-Two  ||  Part Sixty-Four  ||

Part Sixty-Three

A crescent moon hung in the dark sky. Stars dotted the backdrop, and the salty spray of the bay filled the air as Osmond stood on the deck. Fado emerged from below deck and joined the knight looking out over the water.

“He’s resting now. Fredrick says he’ll watch over him to allow us a head start.”

Osmond nodded. He and Fado were prepared to head to Goron City and leave Sir Ralphine to recover. After Liam had been taken, they rushed Ralphine back to his ship alongside his first mate, Fredrick. Immediately, Fado and Fredrick set to healing the injury he had sustained while Osmond commanded the remaining loyal forces to investigate the barracks where the Hylian soldiers had been staying.

Within an hour, reports came back that dozens of soldiers were found dead in the dormitory and that their armor had been stolen.

“When Sir Ralphine wakes up, he needs to ensure his ship is safe,” Osmond said.

“Fredrick is already on top of that. He will make certain that anybody coming aboard is legitimate.”

“I have a feeling that we’ll need their aid before this is all over.”

Fado agreed silently.

They turned and started to disembark when Fredrick came out of Ralphine’s quarters.

“Gentlemen,” he called out.

They stopped and turned to acknowledge him. He held out a small pack and bowed obediently.

“What’s this?” Fado asked, taking the pack and looking inside.

“A symbol of our loyalty and gratitude. There is much trouble plaguing your land and it appears allies are few and far between. This is but a humble token of our gratitude to you and Lord Liam for all the years of service and a promise of allyship no matter what.”

Fado pulled out a small-curved fruit that resembled a question mark.

“It is a Mystery Fruit. The seeds inside it contain mystical powers that can result in a variety of results. I recommend using it in times when you are stuck and know not what to do next.”

Osmond bowed, “Thank you, Sir Fredrick. Your friendship is invaluable.”

“How’s it taste?” Fado asked.

Fredrick’s wide chin turned upward in what appeared to be a smile, “I wouldn’t recommend eating it. Unless you want to end up in the latrine all night, that is.”

“Duly noted,” Fado chuckled.

Fado and Osmond descended to the dock below and headed to the stable where their horse was waiting.

As they rode out of the city and into the field, the sun began to brighten the eastern sky. They galloped past Lou and Nina’s quiet home and the fields that spanned between the bordering mountains brightened with the rays of light piercing the peaks. Tall patches of grass waved in the light breeze, dancing as if conducted.

Liam’s words echoed in Osmond’s mind as they came to a stop in the early evening, about an hour or two north of the road to the North Castle.

“What do you suppose he meant?”

“Who?” Fado asked, picking through a pile of sticks to find suitable kindling to fuel their fire.

“Liam. He was looking for Huron it seemed, but then he told us to save Erie. This with the warning from Lord Kalia, makes me concerned that we might be walking into some sort of trap on Death Mountain.”

“You’re getting much smarter, you know that?”

Osmond gave a small laugh and shook his head, “I think I’m just more suspicious.”

“I think you’re right. It’s almost certainly a trap. But I trust Lord Kalia and I suspect he wouldn’t send us somewhere without a plan.”

“I don’t know who to trust.”

Fado remained silent.

“Is it wrong that I’ve come to be so suspicious?”

Fado sighed as he sat down next to the bundle of wood he’d carried over. He pulled some of the sticks out and tossed them into the ring of rocks, while he sat the others in a neat stack with some twine laid out on the ground underneath.

“No, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing,” he finally said. “In fact, I think you’re onto something that some of us have been blind to for too long.”

Osmond glanced up.

“For the past hundred years, Hyrule has blossomed without fault it would seem. But it’s a façade. Consider Rutela and the crimes she committed. Our leaders haven’t been perfect either. The first Queen of the era, the Princess of Destiny, as great as she was began the work that would lead her son to impose some of the strictest laws on the Gerudo people. It wasn’t a pretty sight.”

“What do you mean?”

Fado winced, “It’s a chapter of Hyrule’s history that’s quite dark. I’m surprised your mentor didn’t teach you about it… Perhaps being Liam’s protégé, he was too close to it…”

Osmond leaned in.

“You’re familiar with the Dragmire Clan, yes?”

“Yes, at least as we know them today. They began shortly after the fall of the Dark Lord and swore their allegiance to him. They were a group of Gerudo extremists and other members loyal to him from around the world.”

“Correct. In an effort to squash their ambitions though, the Princess of Destiny planted spies within the Gerudo people. Later on, the military forces were settled there as a sort of deterrent against it. This led to more and more disagreements, dissent, and eventually a brief civil war within the Gerudo people. Hyrule’s involvement in it was minimal, and the Gerudo emerged victorious over the Dragmire Clan. The Queen and her dear friend, the Sage of Spirit, worked to keep the Dragmire Clan at bay for the rest of their lives. When the Queen died and her son ascended to the throne, he continued the work but with a more aggressive approach. Are you familiar with the Prophecy of the Gerudo Kings?”

“Gerudo Kings? I thought that Gerudo were only women.”

Fado nodded, “You’re correct, save for every 100 years. There’s an ancient tale among the Gerudo about a male being born once every century. We know from history that this tale was proved true once with their commander and king from the Era of the Hero of Time.”


Fado nodded and continued, “Given his age wasn’t certain, the King wasn’t sure when this prophecy might occur again. So, a law was instituted just past the mid-century mark that said all newborn children in the Gerudo nation would be ‘examined’ by a Hylian official. It led to nothing but pain and outrage though. By 67 ADE*, the law was rarely enforced. The King, who was growing old at this point argued harder to keep up enforcement and actually went on crusades of his own. It caused a lot of problems and was one of the leading causes that Liam left Hyrule for a spate.”

Osmond was listening more intently now.

“Liam was one of the King’s closest knights, he had been appointed knighthood by the Princess of Destiny in fact. Anyway, the King discovered a swath of hidden births and went mad. His actions led to the rebirth of the Dragmire Clan in a way, and they ultimately succeeded in assassinating Lady Nabooru.”

“Shortly after that the King died, right? This wasn’t long before I was born from what I remember reading.”

Fado nodded.

Osmond sat back and thought about the information.

“My larger point is that while we’re here to defend Hyrule and ensure her well-being, even actions taken with the best of intentions can be misguided. The King wanted to protect Hyrule and committed atrocious deeds.”

“Do you think King Daphnes has taken after his father, then?”

Fado’s face went cold.

A cool breeze floated through the night air. The noises of some animals rustled through the weeds in the distance. An owl hooted from its night-time perch.

“No…” Fado finally said, “no, I don’t believe he has. I believe he’s been deceived, like all of us, but then we’re back to the question of by whom.”

“It would have to be Lord Kalia or Lord Sagesse, right?”

“I shudder at the thought of another sage turning against us.”

“As do I, but what other options are there? If King Daphnes has been deceived, if the council has been manipulated, if we’ve all been conned…”

Osmond trailed off; his eyes becoming fixed on the horizon. Fado looked up curiously at his companion, then over his own shoulder to the south.

A faint glow of orange and yellow was growing just over the hills. The stars that had shined so brightly were suddenly being masked by a veil of smoke. Osmond stood up and looked closer.

“What the hell…?” Fado asked, climbing on a nearby stone, hoping to see something as well.

“It’s Castletown…”

“From here? There’s no sort of bonfire that would be visible from here unless the whole city… was…”


Moments later, their campfire was doused and together, Osmond and Fado were racing south toward Castletown.


The Era Without a Hero will continue…


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. The story is getting an audio version in podcast form set to begin releasing sometime in 2022 and there’s a complete soundtrack for the first volume here. Head over to erawithoutahero.wordpress.com or follow the story account on Twitter @ZeldaTEWAH where you can keep up on information regarding the future of the podcast, soundtrack, and other TEWAH news that will be coming soon! Every Era Has Heroes…

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