||  Part Seventy  ||  Part Seventy-Two  ||

Part Seventy-One

“Your Majesty-”

Daphnes held his hand up to stop Osmond.

“Please, allow me to finish. It was my mistakes that have led Hyrule to this day and I fear the worst has yet to befall us… One-hundred years of peace tossed to the side by the shadows that have manipulated us all.”

Images of Rutela played out in Osmond’s mind.

“I apologize for all that has been thrust upon you and Zelda in the past months. There was a part of my history that I felt I could ignore and feel no repercussions from. Do you remember Adok’s words at the Swordsman Tournament?”

“Vaguely. Something about the sins of the Royal Family?”

Daphnes nodded. “Yes. He was referring to my father. The son of the Queen of Destiny. His rule was short, compared to his mother’s and mine. Eighteen years. In eighteen years, he managed to put Hyrule in a position of power, strength, and superiority like it had never seen before. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of lawful and moral authority.”

The King had already told Huron and Fado most of what he was divulging to Osmomd. Despite this, they shifted in their seats on the logs around the firepit.

“He enacted a law that allowed the Knights of Hyrule to inspect all newborns in the Gerudo province. In some cases, this included inspections of the mothers to ensure they weren’t lying about the births.”

“How did they-“

“They were given one month from the child’s birth to report for inspection. The child had to be female or it was to be assimilated into Hylian culture by a Hylian family. There were no less than three hundred children taken and brought into Hylian cities and towns. The exact number is irrelevant though, as the number of people outraged by the policy only grew.

“As you may know, only one male Gerudo is born every hundred years. Their laws and custom require that child to become their king. Whether he grows up to be a good man or not also is a sort of gamble. Because we never had hard documents to show when Ganondorf was born, the fear was that they would appoint the next male to be king and he would follow in the Dark Lord’s footsteps.”

Daphnes continued to explain that the boys who were born, were deemed Hylian enough or non-Gerudo and therefore allowed to live. But as an additional precaution, they needed to be raised in Hylian homes with Hylian customs and morals.

“As it turns out though, it appears that one slipped through.”


Daphnes nodded.

“His mother was a resourceful woman who took him and fled at his birth. When she returned to Medina some years later, the policy had changed and raids weren’t uncommon. The local garrison of knights caught wind of him and went to capture him. He fled with a member of the Dragmire Clan while his mother was killed fighting off the knights.”

“The Dragmire Clan?” Osmond’s head flew back to Aldwin’s classroom.

The Dragmire Clan was a group of Gerudo and anti-Hylian supporters who united under Ganondorf’s rule. After his defeat at the hands of the Hero of Time, the Princess of Destiny, and the Six Sages, they fled to the desert and became a fringe political band that protested Hylian occupation. Eventually they grew violent, including a pair of assassination attempts on the Sage of Spirit, Nabooru. There was a brief civil war among the Gerudo that ended in the 16th year of the age when Nabooru and her troops, supported by the Hylians, defeated the Dragmire Clan. Any members of the group who were found out were labeled as enemies of the state and eventually the group faded into the history books.

“Three years before my coronation,” Daphnes said, “Lady Nabooru was assassinated. The investigation into it determined that it was somebody with personal issues with her, but no culprit was ever found out.”

“You suspect somebody with ties to the Dragmire Clan,” Osmond thought out loud.

Daphnes nodded and continued, “We have reason to believe that although they were outlawed and banished, a remnant of them continued living on and acting in the interests of the Dark Lord until such time as a rightful heir was born.”

The timelines were forming up in Osmond’s mind.

“As you no doubt have connected the dots,” Daphnes said, watching Osmond’s face carefully, “we suspect that Adok is that rightful heir. However, because of these policies, he unfortunately was raised to be just as wicked and vile as his ancestor.”

“It was vengeance for his mother,” Huron added in. “I can understand it.”

“Family is a powerful motivator,” Daphnes agreed.

Osmond thought back to the encounter with Adok and Rutela atop the Wind Temple. It seemed Fado was thinking about the same thing as he stepped up and began to pace.

“Who is pulling his strings then? And to what end?” The short sage asked.

“Using somebody’s emotions in such a way is a dangerous tactic. If ever he felt his best interests were not being served, that wrath could easily be flipped against whoever is doing the manipulating,” Huron postulated.

“The person behind Lady Nabooru’s assassination and Adok’s moves is probably the same,” Osmond said.

A chilling silence moved through the small group. After a moment, Daphnes rose to his feet and turned to the southern sky. In the distance, just between some of the mountains and below the horizon, the spires of Castletown were visible.

“There are few who would have such influence and power. This road is a dangerous one that we should not tread lightly.”

“Your Majesty, what would you have me do?” Osmond asked, rising to his feet.

Daphnes glanced over his shoulder, “What happened on the bridge at the North Castle?”

Osmond glanced down at his bandaged hand. He hadn’t really had much of a chance to think about it. He remembered the tree in the field. The soldier. He remembered drawing his sword and then… Then…

“You met with the Spirit of the Hero and he bequeathed unto you a fraction of his power. I do not believe that you’ll be able to wield the Blade of Evil’s Bane, but you can call upon some of the strength of the Goddesses.”

As the bandage dropped away and Osmond looked down at the back of his hand, the unmistakable shape of a triangle was seared into it. It appeared almost like a long-healed burn, the edges of the mark slightly disfigured and warped and the skin inside a different pigment than the rest of it. He wiggled his fingers and felt no pain or discomfort. It was now simply part of his hand.

Fado and Huron looked away, a slight unease clearly gripping them.

“He… He told me that I was brought to him because the Goddess Hylia was in peril. That it was my choice to accept the burden of his strength and abilities.”

“And, naturally, you accepted.”

“So… What does that mean now?”

“It means that you already know what you must do. Your mission right now is to find out what is wrong on Death Mountain. Find out what trouble is being caused by Lord Erie. Perhaps that will unravel some of the mystery around this saboteur. From there, you must seek him or her out and destroy them before anything more harm can come to Hyrule.”

Osmond clenched his fist and stiffened himself, standing at attention. “Yes, Your Majesty.”

Daphnes turned and smiled, placing a hand on Osmond’s shoulder. “Osmond, my boy. You’ve come a long way since the Swordsman Festival. I am very proud of you.”

A wellspring of warmth filled Osmond’s heart.

As the sun crossed the midday sky, Osmond departed their small base with Huron and Fado. Daphnes, along with the small battalion of loyal royal guardsmen and soldiers, remained on the road between the North Castle and Kakariko City.

The restored purpose of his mission helped Osmond with every step. The cloud of confusion and uncertainty had lifted.

He knew his reason.

He knew who he was.

He knew where he was going next.

Death Mountain.


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 2023 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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