Fan Fiction Friday: The Era Without A Hero – Part 68
Posted on December 16 2022 by David Nystrom
Twilight was lingering over the mountains, casting long and dark shadows across the grounds of the North Castle. This made the approach easier for Osmond, Fado, and Huron. The trio tiptoed their way along the water’s edge and found themselves directly underneath the stone bridge that led to the main landing.
“Where’s this entrance?” Huron asked in a whisper.
“There’re supposedly three windows, one in each cardinal direction. We’ll have to use the sun to determine exactly where they are though.” Fado pointed to the amber sky.
The water was a shock to his system as Osmond stepped out into it. He slowly leaned forward and propelled himself across the forty- or fifty-feet channel that ran between the banks. Fado was across just after Osmond.
Getting the massive Goron across was another task altogether.
As Osmond had swum across, he pulled a bit of rope with him. Once across, he tied it to one of the support beams that held the bridge sturdy. Huron was on the other end of the rope. Despite his inability to swim, and natural tendency to sink like the rock he was partially made of, he could hold his breath and pull himself out of the water. Likewise, Fado would use a bit of magic to hopefully make the Sage of Fire more buoyant.
“Careful now,” Fado said encouragingly.
Huron took a deep breath and stepped into the water.
The ground slunk away steeply, and he was quickly submerged. Osmond kept his hands on the knot to ensure it wouldn’t slip while Fado focused on keeping their friend from completely sinking.
He was about halfway across when the burst of bubbles erupted on the surface. Fado’s closed eyes twitched slightly; Osmond could tell he was feeling the strain that Huron was enduring.
The next moment, when the bubbles stopped, felt more tense than hiding in the bushes earlier had been. Thankfully though, Huron’s massive hand emerged from the moat, clutching the rope. His next hand pulled him higher, and the waters began to cascade off of him. As he gasped for air, his already orange skin seemed red and pained.
“Curses of Din, that was miserable,” Huron gasped, laying on the ground.
“I hope nobody saw the waves,” Fado said, peeking up to look for any lights or soldiers.
“You don’t suppose they’re all turned, do you?” Osmond asked.
“It’s too risky to assume anything. Come on.”
Quietly, they walked around the eastern side the stone wall on the narrow patch of grass that sat beside it. One step forward and the sheer rockface met with the water about two feet. Huron struggled to remain small to the wall, but as they rounded the corner, Fado spied the small opening that was promised.
He and Osmond stepped past the window and motioned for Huron to go to work. He carefully turned around and examined the stone around the glass.
“Certainly, wasn’t designed to stand out, was it?”
“Can we get through quietly?”
“You two might be able to, there’s not much that I’ll be good for from this point on. There’s no way I’ll fit through.”
Fado began to think on the situation.
“Head back toward the bridge. If you can, climb up and sneak through to the main hall. If it’s too dangerous, then just stay at the bridge and wait for us,” Osmond suggested.
Fado and Huron both nodded in agreement.
Huron pressed his hand to the glass and summoned a bit of fire. It was hot enough to melt the glass silently away. It dripped into the narrow hallway beyond like syrup over pancakes. When the whole window was gone, and the potentially dangerous edges melted down, Huron turned back around and started towards the bridge.
Once inside, Osmond’s shoulders pressed up against both the inner and outer walls of the corridor. To his amazement though, the whole passage wasn’t stone. In fact, only small segments of the inner wall were. The remainder of the wall was actually made up of incredibly colorful and detailed stained-glass windows.
As they slunk along the passage sideways, Osmond was able to make out the symbols near the tops of the windows, where they were. The first one was a symbol he recognized was the Sheikah Eye. Set against purple glass, he recognized it was the symbol for shadow. Then, as they moved to the left, they passed the symbol of the Gerudo, or as it was here, spirit.
There was a larger room beyond the windows, but even as Osmond tried to peek through, he couldn’t quite make out what was in the room.
A few moments later, Fado and Osmond emerged in a small room behind a bookcase. They pushed it out slowly and found themselves in a small private study. A glance at the belongings in the room and they quickly surmised the room belonged to Sagesse.
Osmond’s eyes curiously looked at a few of the pages spread out on the desk.
“Take a look at this,” Fado said, examining some of the contents on the shelf they’d emerged from.
He held out a piece of parchment that looked well weathered and stained. One side bore evidence of the page once belonging to a larger book. As Osmond attempted to read it, he realized the script was a form of Hylian that he was altogether unfamiliar with.
“It’s not typical Hylian,” Fado said. “It’s a variation of Sheikah and Hylian that also borrows some Gerudo script. There’s not a specific name for it, but typically we just refer to it as Hyshido. It’s only used in… very specific situations.”
Osmond’s eyebrows raised, asking the question of what those situations were for him.
“Spells. Usually, enchantments of defense or protection.”
“Do you think he’s protecting the King?”
“That would be the logical solution. Perhaps the guards have pinned them in here and Sagesse is just doing what he can,” Fado suggested.
“Wasn’t he supposed to be heading to Kakariko?”
“Between you and I on the inside and Huron on the outside, shouldn’t be much of a problem to break the King out. Plus if Sagesse is in here, we’d be nearly unstoppable.”
“Can we trust him though?”
Fado shrugged. “Guess we’ll find out.”
They pushed their way out of the small office and into the room beyond. It was a small library. Not nearly as small as Sagesse’s private hidden office library, but certainly not much larger than Osmond’s old bedroom in his uncle’s shop. At the far end of the room was a wooden door that looked as though it might fall off the hinges if pushed too hard. The books on the shelves were ordinary as far as Osmond could discern, at least compared to books that had resided in the office.
With a great sense of urgency but silence, the Fado and Osmond pushed through into the hallway. It was empty, thankfully, and they were able to quickly move around past the kitchen and into the main hall a few steps later. Ducking behind one of the many pillars, the voices of some of the guards posted inside became audible.
They were busy discussing their own plans for dinner later that evening and then hopes for some time off in the future. They were too busy with the conversation that they missed the two intruders slip past and climb the stairs out into the courtyard beyond.
The grass in the yard was just growing up between the stone pavers that made up the majority of the walkway. The distinct absence of soldiers in here was the main reason Fado had led the way to the area, but it also provided a safe rendezvous spot if Huron had made it in. The King, as Fado added to his reasoning, liked to stare out at the mountains to the north as well. Sure enough, as they emerged in the area, the King was standing against the railing.
“Your Majesty,” Osmond addressed him and took a knee.
Daphnes turned slowly. The look painted across his face spelled out all the information Osmond and Fado could imagine. Dark circles rested beneath his thinning face. His beard, once silver and black, now was white as snow. The wrinkles in his forehead were deeper and longer, as if he’d been drained of his life.
“Your Majesty…” Fado winced.
“Lord Fado… Sir Osmond…” Daphnes’ lips were cracked and bled when he spoke. As he turned and stretched out his hand to them, he collapsed to the ground.
Osmond dashed forward and managed to catch him before his head hit the stone ground, but in the place where his crown rested, a small line of blood rolled down. Supporting his head and neck as best he could, Osmond tried to shake the King awake.
Daphnes’ eyes fluttered slightly, his pupils focusing on the darkening sky above. He managed to raise a hand toward the sky, as if reaching out to somebody’s outstretched hand.
“What’s going on out here?” a harsh and aggressive voice suddenly said.
Osmond and Fado turned to look in the doorway that led inside and saw a Knight standing in it. Before they could react, he lifted a horn from his side and blew into it loudly. The horn rang out and echoed in the courtyard and off the mountains in the distance. Every person in the region heard it.
“Assassins! Assassins in the castle!”
As he raised the horn to blow again, Huron appeared behind him suddenly. With a mighty swing of his fist, the Knight was taken off his feet and propelled out into the water beyond.
“So much for subtlety,” Huron shrugged. He stepped out into the courtyard with the other two and the fallen King as the sounds of armored feet filled the main hall behind him. “What happened?”
“We got here, and he just collapsed. He’s still breathing and alive, but very weak. He needs help,” Fado explained.
“Don’t suppose there’s a boat we can take upriver?” Osmond glanced around.
Fado was already working on a plan to escape by propelling himself upward on a gust of wind. From his higher vantage point, he looked around and pointed to the mountains.
“Our only shot is to get through the mountains,” he said landing. “Getting the King out of here must be priority.”
Huron hefted the frail King up onto his shoulder and said, “I’ll take him. I’m naturally more armored anyway.”
“Get him to the fairy fountain in Kakariko or on Death Mountain. From there, we’ll figure out where we go next.”
Osmond drew his sword and shield, stepping between Huron and the doorway inside. A Knight wielding a long halberd emerged a second later, and Osmond was able to deflect the weapon away. He retaliated by swinging his sword across the arms of the Knight, then bashing the pommel of his blade into the small opening between the eye and cheek. The Knight collapsed.
Fado climbed aboard Huron’s back and barked out a command for Osmond to take the lead. Huron’s burly arms were wrapped firmly around the King, protecting him from virtually every angle.
When they burst into the great hall a moment later, Osmond took note of the dozen or so Knights waiting with their weapons. One Knight, wearing darker armor and a blazing red cape, stepped in front of the main entrance.
“Sir Osmond, Lord Fado, and Lord Huron. You are all under arrest for treason. Lay down your weapons and justice will be dealt swiftly and mercifully. Resist, and you will all be made to suffer.”
Huron cracked his knuckles. “This again?”
“There’s… thirteen of you?” Fado grinned as he counted them. “And you think that’s enough to stop two sages and another Knight?”
The lead soldier smiled and looked down his nose. “I only need myself.”
Osmond watched as the Knight tilted his head to one side and cracked it. Then to the other side. He flexed his shoulders and then bent forward, again creating a popping sound that erupted from his spine. As his helmet began to bulge and his armor began to rattle, he grumbled some incantation under his breath. When he snapped up straight, his armor had turned black with glowing blue accents, and his eyes had gone a sickly yellow.
“That’s… new,” Fado said, turning his head slightly.
The Knight turned monster began to levitate upward as his torso swelled larger and horns sprouted out of the side of his helmet.
“Take the King and go,” Osmond said, digging his feet in and lowering his blade into a ready stance.
“I think you might be out of your league, Os,” Fado recommended.
“Just do it. I’ll be fine.”
Huron and Fado opted to not protest any more. They took off, running underneath the Knight who was hovering near the second floor. Huron drove his shoulder into the only Knights that were between them and the doorway, but even they were focused on the event transpiring above them.
“Go and stop them,” the Knight commanded, his voice twisted and distorted.
It took a moment for the order to sink in and when it did, they took off at a frantic pace, leaving Osmond and the Corrupted Knight alone.
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…
David is an editor at Zelda Dungeon. He’s the author of the ongoing series, The Era Without A Hero, and his favorite Zelda games are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword. He’s also generally a fan of JRPGs and other major Nintendo titles, such as Smash Bros. and Mario.