Fan Fiction Friday: The Era Without A Hero – Part 72
Posted on February 24 2023 by David Nystrom
In the 32nd Year of the Era of the Great Rebuilding, the great Sage of Fire and Chief of the Goron people, Darunia, died in depths of the Goron Mines. For 40 days and 40 nights following his death, a drum pounded in the center of Goron City. The resonance of the drum shook the nearby mountains and served as a constant reminder of the strength of their bonds. Almost 46 years later, the same sound woke the mountains when the son of Darunia, Link, passed away.
Link’s death was met with a very different sound, despite being the same drum. His death, caused by his own misdeeds and tragic flaws, was met with relief. Link had been plagued by his father’s death, haunted by the memory of him, and feeling as though he could never be his father.
Huron and Claire never struggled from these inferiority issues. Erie, however, did.
As Osmond, Fado, and Huron drew near to the Death Mountain trail that connected Kakariko and Goron City, the ground seemed to come alive with an uneasy hum. Though he seemed to be keeping calm, Huron’s anxiousness was breaking through his rocky exterior.
At last, they reached a small hill that stood above the entrance to the mines, less than an hour’s march from Goron City. Instead of the well-traveled road that was there, the trio found an exodus of Goron’s wandering down the road toward Kakariko.
Huron bounded ahead and grabbed one of the men by his shoulders. “What is going on, brother?”
Many of the Goron’s stopped, shocked to see their Chief after what had been quite a long time.
“My Lord… It… It’s…”
Before the Goron could stutter out anything more, the ground rumbled as if a hammer were being brought down from the heavens.
The explosion high in the sky, atop Death Mountain sent shockwaves through the nearby mountain peaks and drew the eyes of everyone in the crowd.
As another rumble of the mountain roared out, the unmistakable personage of Claire came pushing through the crowd from further down the trail.
“Huron, it’s Erie! He’s on the peak of Death Mountain!”
Huron turned to his sister with panic filling his large blue eyes. “What is he doing up there?”
“He is calling on our ancestors. He’s trying to go to war with Hyrule. He sealed off the city, argued with the elders about who should be chief, then… then…” She trailed off, fighting tears as the remaining words passed her lips. “He slaughtered them…”
Another shockwave rumbled from deep within the mountain.
The panic abandoned Huron’s eyes and was replaced with a steely anger as he turned and looked up at the mountain. He was about to begin walking when Claire grabbed him by the arm.
“Please, don’t go to him. He’s mad and lost. There’s no use in reaching him. We can start over, Huron. Find a new place for our people to settle… Please.”
Huron placed his hand on his sister’s and glanced over his shoulder at her. “If I fail at reaching him, our people are to look to you as their new leader. I know you will do well in this.”
Claire’s face darkened as Huron turned his attention once again to the erupting peak. Tears rolled down her round cheeks as she started to audibly sob and desperately try to catch her breath.
As he began to step away and journey up the mountain, one of the Goron’s in the crowd pulled out a small drum from his pack. Quietly, he sat down and placed the drum between his legs. In a slow and steady pace, he tapped the fingers of his hand down on the center of the drum.
Bum… bum… bum…
Huron waded through the crowd who stepped back to make a path for him. Osmond and Fado followed slowly behind, cautiously wandering through as part of the procession. Some of the Goron’s saluted their chief, others bowed low in reverence. When they reached the end of the congregation, Huron turned to look out over them all.
The drum echoed out three final beats.
“Long have I sat on the throne of our ancestors,” He began. “Long have you looked to me, and my father before me, and his father before him. For three generations now, going back to the Era of the Hero of Time, the Goron people have looked to my family for guidance and strength. I fear we have broken that trust… My inaction against my brother was as good as condoning his behavior. For that, I apologize.”
Osmond could feel the tension in the crowd.
“Should I not return from the summit,” Huron’s eyes narrowed on Claire, “my beloved sister will assume the role of our peoples leader. Her compassion, her wisdom, her strength… all surpass mine and my brother’s combined. I trust that you will all follow her into the next era of the Goron people. I thank you all for your brother and sisterhood that the Goddesses blessed us with. Farewell.”
The drum beat out again as Huron turned and again continued up the mountain. It wasn’t until Osmond, Fado, and Huron were out of sight of the group that they heard the drumming fall silent.
* * * * *
The heat inside the crater was nearly unbearable. From the first step inside, Osmond felt his tunic drenched in sweat. The handle of his sword was hot to the touch and as they ventured across the pools of molten lava, a new and ominous sound began to boom out all around them.
“Ancestors of our people, hear me! The Dark One comes again and I alone can withstand him!”
It was Erie’s voice. Just beyond one of the peaks of stone that jutted upward from the bubbling and pulsing lava, the rim of the crater was visible against the amber sky. Erie was kneeling at the precipice, his hands extended upward and out, pleading to the heavens.
“Erie!” Huron called out with a voice that shook the ground.
Erie’s eyes shifted down to the trio. He rose to his feet and his muscles began to stiffen. His chest heaved up and down, in and out, and his nostrils flared with each breath.
Huron carefully drew his hammer forth and prepared himself.
“Best stay back boys, I don’t foresee this going quietly,” Huron said without looking them.
“We fight by your side, my friend,” Fado said, confidence bursting from his words.
“My sword is yours,” Osmond chimed in, drawing his blade.
Huron stepped forward and a wall of flames shot upward between he and his friends. His head lowered and a glimmer of a tear fell to the ground at his feet.
“No, brothers… I cannot allow you to die on my behalf. This is one battle I must do alone.”
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…
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.