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11th Chapter of IW S2.

Number Five, Your Order is Ready Edit

Kae/Nora's Home/Dawn 6

Kae had handled Nora's deck of lunar Tarot many times. She was glad her mother was here to help with the reading, but she felt ill fortune surrounding her. As a Scion, fate bent where her foot touched. It was a hard phenomenon to get her head around. And she was afraid it'd influence her research. But the questions in her mind were simple.

Where was the Light Medallion? How could she get there? What would be stopping her? Would it have its desired effect? Was it even worth doing this?

[color=indigo]"I shouldn't deal this hand. While it's my fate we're looking at, if I deal it, it's tainted."[/color]

Rashida took the deck from her daughter and nodded, shuffling here or there.

"Your mind is racing so fast. It's almost like you'll be running out that door five minutes from now. Go get a potion and relax while I set this up."

Kae shuffled off quickly to the alchemical pantry and downed a blue potion, holding her nose. They never tasted good, but at least she'd be as healthy as she could before riding off to battle.

"You've got so many questions. We're going horseshoe. Logical progression in an uncertain time."

As Kae came back to the table, Rashida asked her to focus a little more before the shuffling was complete. There were black spots on many cardbacks. Nora had bled on these cards...any time there was a new deck she'd shuffle them with a bloody hand.

When this deck expired, the new Loremaster would need to properly awaken potential fate held within a fresh deck.

"Ask your questions but do not speak them. We'll take it step by step."

Seven cards were laid face down in a pre-arranged pattern.

[color=indigo]"Honestly, I'm more scared about what we're about to see on these seven cards than anything I've seen in my life."[/color]

"And that's why you need to know the possibilities of what may lie ahead for you. And us. But this is mainly for you. I'm flipping the first card. Your past...Luna itself!"

[color=indigo]"My vision was obscured. I didn't know what was really out there because I've been here most of my life. And even though I knew so much, it didn't really click until four days ago. How screwed up this world is, and how little I knew before Nayru changed my life. Furthermore, I haven't been sleeping well these past nights. Feelings and thought patterns trouble me. Lots of lucid nightmares. Prophetic or not, it's bad."[/color]

"Even with the blinders on, your awareness was always beyond that of most who live here. Don't sell yourself short. And with the burdens you carry, it doesn't surprise me that you are having trouble sleeping."

[color=indigo]"The best sleep I've had was after I'd been incapacitated."[/color]

Kae's mother flipped the second card. The Stone Tower, upright. She covered her face with her palm.

[color=indigo]"I am not surprised by this at all. This is why I'm here right now, because I'm headed for disaster if I don't do anything. If I don't change my life then my life will be changed for me by ceasing to be. And the only way to change is to re-align my thought pattern. Where does one find the Light Medallion anyway?"[/color]

"That is a very bad card, but your affliction must have had a strong influence on the deck today. What are your influences?"

Kae was shocked in some ways but not in others of the next card's presence. The Scion was revealed in upright position. Nora's Lunar Tarot had the Scion portrayed instead of the founder of the Hylian Faith, because Lunar practicioners often debate who founded it. Some said it was established by a direct messenger of the Three. Nayru in fact did establish the laws of creation. Who better to do this than a Scion with their intuition steeped in divine ether? They believe it was Tirion the Unyielding, the Second Scion, with whom the Bryseis clan had blood relation.

[color=indigo]"Scions have led religious movements. People have treated me as the highest religious authority since my imbuing. I've got the ability to see things others aren't capable of. If it is needed, I can think outside of the box, which the previous card suggests I do. And I absolutely will not meet the end that my distant ancestor did."[/color]

The fourth card was flipped. Seven of Courage, inverted.

[color=indigo]"After seeing what happened today, many Hylians lost faith in the Three. Instead of being vigilant and unerring, chaos took hold. It affected me too. I can't do this alone, and there's no clear path at the ready for me to pursue. I'm afraid again, and that's paralyzing me. If I unleash unbridled wrath, Din will smite me again. I have to rely on unfamiliar abilities to succeed now."[/color]

"You are also a Scion now. The right people will rally to your side. And even if you've got a target on your back, this is not a path you walk alone. Let's see what your expectations are."

The Nine of Wisdom, upright.

[color=indigo]"I am expecting to find what I seek. Absolutely! Because if I don't, I will die in three days' time! Even if I'm withered to the bone by adversity in all its' forms, this is what needs to happen."[/color]

Rashida remained silent and revealed the sixth card, representing Kae's best course of action.

The Five of Nobles, also upright.

[color=indigo]"I must prepare. There will be a dimensional tear...oh...you've got to be kidding me. It's in the Sacred Realm and I've got to go there to get it? In my studies all Sage Medallions existed on this Plane. Why would Rauru keep it there?"[/color]

"Because the Sacred Realm is the seat of divine power. And Light is what gives the Golden Land its sheen. Why didn't we think of that sooner?"

[color=indigo]"Because we didn't think about its owner. Rauru is the only Hylian sage that we know of. And he'd want to keep that thing as safe as possible. I'm going to have to convince him that I need to borrow it, and that's going to be one awkward conversation."[/color]

"Let's not forget we have one more card to draw. That's not the end, my daughter."

[color=indigo]"Yes, the likely outcomes. The hardest thing to determine, and often the hardest to swallow."[/color]

It was Death inverted. This card was almost always bad and many decks didn't even have its name printed.

[color=indigo]"It's the end of one cycle but the beginning of another. Either way when this story ends, the change will be deep, lasting, and irreversible. I will not be the same person three days from now, dead, alive, or banished. I will be wholly transformed by my journey in the Sacred Realm in body, mind, and spirit. I don't know if it'll be for the better or for the worst, mom. This card really scares me any time I see it."[/color]

"You'll be stretched so tight that you wish you'd been ripped apart. Brought low so that you can be taken higher than ever before. But coming out of it in either event, no one will doubt your title or your abilities. You'll give your all, and that is never a mistake. I'll love you no matter how you come out of this trial. Part of me feels that those who go with you will also be forever changed by what they see and what they do. And even better, Death is inverted. I hate seeing it come up, but if it has to, at least it came up in the best position possible. And you will come out of it in the best position, I feel."

Kae left the reading up on Nora's table, advising her mother not to destroy it just yet.

[color=indigo]"I need to commit to memory what we saw here. I know it's not set in stone but it is better than not knowing a thing going in! And that card's almost always bad any time I see it! I don't doubt you, mom, but things are already bleak."[/color]

The Scion retreated to her room in the back as her mother gave chase.

"It's not the end for you. I can feel it. And while our time together is drawing to a close, there are a few more things I'd like to share with you."

[b]Kae/Nora's Home/Dawn 6[/b]

Her mother was more emotional than usual. This was the first time she'd seen Kae since the imbuing, and while it was still her daughter, the difference in her appearance was dynamic.

"You look so...different now."

[color=indigo]"When it first happened, I looked as beautiful as you did in those wedding pictures you have. Then...well...Nora probably told you what happened. Three days in a row, three near-death experiences. It's not a day as a Scion without facing my makers. Other than how odd the arm looks, I'm alright with the makeover."[/color]

Rashida blushed. Kae had changed in more than just looks. After being exposed to the horrors of war, what was left of her naive nature seemed to fade away. In a somewhat forced manner. Repression. Deep loss. Impending doom. It was wearing on her. But was it her mother's place to reopen those wounds?

"Nora was working on something for you. It's nothing special, but you might want to consider wearing it with your arm like that."

Opening up the door to her dead mentor's bedroom, Kae saw a few things lying on the workbench. 

What stuck out most was an embossed black leather corset with buckles in the back, and a few notes with accompanying sketches. 

"She had figured you might like to accessorize, and mentioned something about herself being a potential Scion, and if she were your age, this is what she would have worn. Something about straps being something to grab onto, or not exposing the midriff. But it's not like what she had made for your brother. Those sketches are over across the room, and that's the best armor I've ever seen."

[color=indigo]"It's beautiful...how did she find the time to do all of that?"[/color]

Similar in fashion to Kae's halter, Nora took a design that she'd used in the past for herself and modified it. Of course, their insignia was embossed into the bust. But it was tapered and glyphed too. Very ornate in cosmetic terms yet quite functional. 

"I don't know, but from the looks of things, you want to try that on."

Rashida shuffled out of the room and closed the door, curious as to how Kae would feel with another wardrobe option.

"Let me know when you're decent and I'll secure the back."

[color=indigo]"I need to check my arm too, so give me a few moments."[/color]

Kae took a small basin of water and began to dab a cloth where mortal flesh met celestial. While commingled areas of her body looked irritated, they were numb. She unclasped the halter behind her neck and mid-back, letting it fall to the floor to examine further what was really happening to her.

Everything else looked healthy except for that pesky left arm. Sure, it looked cool, but Kae noticed that the celestial flesh was spreading ever so slightly. It formed small veins at the juncture and they were spreading in all directions. While her ink was not disturbed, it was as she feared. A hastened celestial apotheosis. If it encompassed her whole body, she would succumb and be banished to the lowest tier of the Sacred Realm. 

Holding Nora's final gift to her chest, she called her mother in.

[color=indigo]"I'm fine; head on in."[/color]

"Looks like time is getting shorter for us. I wish you didn't have to go. Now, make sure to relax. This might be uncomfortable at first."

[color=indigo]"I've worn them before. And this one's got a very soft lining."[/color]

"And I'm jealous. It'll stay pretty well, but you won't have trouble breathing while wearing it. Wish she would've made one for me too."

As the last buckle was tightened into place, Kae chuckled.

[color=indigo]"Just use her sketches and copy it to your measurements. I'm sure she'd be flattered."[/color]

She spun around in front of the mirror, checking this and that before pulling it up and steadying it. For having a figure not needing much enhancement, Kae blushed at seeing some improvements. And if this one worked like her other three outfits, it was able to be summoned and dismissed at will. And this took her mind off of impending doom, at least for a few minutes. 

That must have been Nora's purpose behind it. Kae always liked to be pampered and told how pretty she was. And with her edgier style lately, Nora had taken notice. And it was fitting that in a way, comfort in a time of sorrow would be a parting gift.

"One more thing before we go check on Elly. No one's ever been in this room except for her apprentices, and these books are rarer than rare. I could never read the green one with gold trim...could you perhaps give it a quick go?"

Kae gulped. That was [i]the[/i] book. The one that Nora told her there was only one copy of in all of Hyrule. The one whose pages were turned with forceps and hardcover handled with gloves out of fear that sweat would damage it.

[color=indigo]"Do you realize what this book is? Because she told me. And I'm glad you noticed it...it may help with my quest."[/color]

Kae/Nora's Home/Dawn 6

Surprisingly, the Book of Mudora passed Kae's white glove test. And even more so, her celestial hand didn't damage the book.

"Mom, you wear the other glove. Looks like I don't need it."

Rashida nodded and held the left side of the book as Kae opened it up. Even more interesting was that it had a translation codex for Ancient Hylian to common tongue. Kae knew how to read it as it was, but her mother was never fluent in the old tongue. The characters were recognizable, however, which is how Rashida identified this tome.

Following the translation key was a table of contents. The first chapter contained Hyrule's creation story. Nora had Kae commit that to memory within her first year of training, so that could be skipped over. After that was the history of known Sages. Oddly enough, Rauru's tale was in the second chapter. The first sage mentioned.

"Time's on our side it seems. What does it say?"

"It's not something that can be quickly glossed over...I'm going to need to really examine this."

Of the known sages, Rauru was the only Hylian. Each race brought a unique perspective to elemental governance. Hylian faith and religious practices were also among the most ornate and detailed. This did not indicate that the people were the most intelligent, but that their faith had many practices and denominations. Hylian orthodoxy as it is known currently is based as close to Rauru's teachings as possible.

As Kae knew previously, there was a lock on the Master Sword. It could open the door to the Sacred Realm, but only to the Hero of Time. And the lock on the Door of Time was not something a Lunar mage could jury-rig. Kae wasn't the Hero, nor did she have anything that she could work with in that direction.

Regarding the Light Medallion, there was history she already knew. How it was formed, why it was bestowed to Rauru, and its role in maintaining the balance. 

Then there was something Nora didn't tell her: The Light Medallion was returned to him after the Hero of Time had completed his mission. It was Rauru's in the end. Even as a Scion, Kae could not attempt to ascend into Sagehood from that standpoint. 

If she was able to get it, she'd have to give it back.

But how would it save her life? Nayru told her that it would. Then Kae realized what a Sage was responsible for, among other things: maintain the balance. And Sages weren't fully mortal. Their life cycle changed upon appointment. 

Kae was slowly undergoing a celestial apotheosis. Full celestial beings were not meant to exist in the mortal realm as it was. The Light Medallion theoretically would allow her to stay in a mezzanine phase of metamorphosis, and with that, get rid of the current three day clock ticking on her life.

She'd be able to live until the Full Moon to make that appeal! Of course, the appeal was not guaranteed to be answered positively, but it was better than being consigned to oblivion.

But there was the issue of getting to the Sacred Realm and also persuading Rauru to loan her one of his most prized possessions. As a Scion she'd have better merit than an average mortal, but it was a serious request nonetheless.

Sages resided in their respective Temples. And the Light Temple housed the meeting place for all six when they conferred. Where is a safer place than the Sacred Realm to do that? 

Not only that, when the Triforce was whole, it was guarded within the walls of this temple. Kae was not seeking the Triforce. She knew her heart was unbalanced; it would shatter if she tried to go after it. 

Under the governance of Light were other artifacts, such as the Magic Mirror and Moon Pearl. This Pearl served two purposes. Its holder could maintain their original form instead of their perceived astral projection (usually an animal), or it could open what was known as a Moon Gate. There were various Gates located throughout Hyrule, but as the land changed over the years, locations became less reliable. 

A Moon Pearl would be needed to open a Gate, and where a person popped out was generally mirrored to the planar anchor of said Gate. To appear in the best location, it would be a good idea to overlay maps of both realms. But entering the Sacred Realm was a serious matter. The Three and the Sages did not take lightly to casual mortals who did not belong. Those trying to cheat fate met horrible ends, usually irreversible transformation into their astrally projected forms, like rabbits or dogs.

Other ways of entry existed, but they were listed as one-time occurrences more often than not. Death was also a one-way ticket in. Kae did not want to use that option. Celestials and other divine beings had other ways in and out, but those who have met such beings are incredibly rare.

"Alright. I've got a better idea of what to do here now. But I've spent too much time...the others may already be in serious trouble!"

Rashida helped close and replace the Book. She then hugged Kae, looking quite sad.

"Promise me this won't be the last time I see you!"

"Absolutely, mother. My will to live is unmatched, and I've got good friends and family to help me!"

[b]Elly/Chieftain's Lodge/Dawn 6[/b]

Being called into the Lodge meant one of a few things: you did well, you did poorly, or something outside your control has gone horribly wrong and the bossman is giving you a follow-up mission.

Elly wasn't sure what to expect. Yes, the battle for Castle Town was a loss. Hyrule Castle had been compromised by circumstances beyond her control. This had to be a follow-up. 

"Shea, we've got a lot to discuss. You performed admirably in your defense of the Castle and of our Scion. While it was a losing effort, there is no shame in returning alive. First, you will be formally commended for your efforts. Second, I'm assigning you as her personal bodyguard..."

[color=teal]"Chieftain, what about the Redoubt?"[/color]

It was out of place for Elly to interject as such. But the Chieftain was not offended.

"Don't think I haven't covered that, Shea. We need to discuss your assignment first, as time is of the essence. Bryseis has three days to live from what she told us. You need to do everything you can to assist her in her quest to save her life. I'm sure she's got something worked out by now, and it's been less than a half-hour since you two came back. Being anointed does allow her to have fairly nice time management, which is something I wish we all had. The Redoubt will be there for you to defend when you return."

Elly nodded and saluted. 

[color=teal]"That is one of my finest talents. I've guarded members of the royal family personally. In a way this will be a bit easier because she can hold her own in a fight. Can't even believe we're talking about her being able to do that after what happened with her and Lynn on the training grounds almost a week ago."[/color]

"The Three work in mysterious ways. Nora always told me she'd be an asset to us when we least expected it. And it's a time like this when we need help from all sources. Just make sure she doesn't over-do it. She's just like her mother in the fact that she'll pull out all the stops when it's not needed. And especially with her abilities. As noble and big as her heart is, those powers of hers will get her in trouble if she doesn't keep them reigned in. Maybe she'll listen to you, especially with Nora dead and Lynn...being Lynn."

Walking over to one of the side rooms, the Chieftain had more to share with Elly.

"Shea, there's something else you need to see. We have another problem..."

Kae/Nora's Home/Dawn 6

"So where will you go from here?"

Rashida was very worried for her daughter, and with good reason. She was living on borrowed time and her heart was breaking at that fact. It did not cause her to lose faith in the Three, but why would Din cripple her when Hyrule needed her the most?

"Jaden and the others are going to free Darrel Mytura from the Gerudo Fortress. The Twili have taken refuge there as an advance base with their main army. You're probably going to want to let Dad know so he can ready the Zora..."

Kae readjusted her new top and glanced at the Lunar Tarot arrangement once more, lowering her head.

Her mother walked over to her and lifted her chin back up.

"I can't even imagine how you're feeling right now or how you're holding up. But if there's anything me or your father can do for you, let us know. We're behind you all the way. And never doubt yourself."

The Scion put her celestial arm around her mom and grinned. Rashida was a little nervous about it at first, but she melted in well enough.

"Can't. Doubt opens a door to fear. Fear opens the door to paralysis, and paralysis to death. If I didn't have to go we could spend the day together. If there was no war or anything like that. Just like it used to be. That's why I'm fighting. Get it as close to the old times as possible."

"This land will be forever changed regardless of the outcome. But I'm with you. I want it the way it was too. Even with how you've been changed, you're still my daughter, and I love you."

They hugged for a minute or so, both trying not to cry. 

"Once I get back from the Sacred Realm I'm coming to Lake Hylia to see you and dad. And I'll bring my friends. I have a feeling we're going to need to pull out all the stops..."

Rashida nodded as they opened the door and headed outside. 

"Oh, I almost forgot. I put a fresh basket of apples in your room, so you can call them to yourself. Here's another to save you the energy."

Kae's eyes went wide in delight as she snatched and devoured it in a rather unladylike manner. Her mother chuckled and followed up with a glass of milk.

"You look like you haven't eaten enough lately. I don't know whether it's that celestial nature or just the lack of opportunity, but if you don't eat, you'll get weak."

She agreed as they headed toward the Chieftain's Lodge. That's where Elly was, and it seemed like a good meeting point. Even so, wherever Kae went, there also was the attention of those outside at the time. 

b]Sheikah Chieftain/Morning 6/Hidden Kakariko (Chieftain's Lodge)[/b]

The Chieftain led Elly back into his lodge, pulling aside a curtain for her to pass into the deeper recesses of the building. "Only a select few of our highest ranking officers know this, but more are being informed given the gravity of current events. Considering your upgrade to Class Two, and your specialty, I'm bringing you into the circle."

Further back in the room, the Cheiftain pushed aside an endtable. "What you are about to see is of course of the utmost secrecy and highest confidentiality. Sheikah death oaths will be called upon in this matter." He glared at her in grave seriousness. "So I hope that you understand the severity of this situation."

He waited for Elly to nod, then continued. "Alright..."

Reaching to where the table had covered, he pulled up a trapdoor and ushered Elly to climb down the ladder. "These passages weave back into the mountainside. They were carved by the Gorons in ages past. Our home, Hidden Kakariko, is a fortress in its own right. None but the Sheikah, the Hylian Royalty and the upper echelon of the Royal Army know of its existence. It is defended by elite warriors. But even still, it is only the outer defense to this greater fortress."

Once inside, Elly was introduced to a labyrinth of passages snaking through the stone of the mountains which surround Hidden Kakariko. The Chieftain smiled at Elly.

"Agent Shea, welcome to the Redoubt."

Kae/Hidden Kakariko Commons/Dawn 6

"Yeah, Elly's gotta be in there. Guess we wait for her before you ship out again."

Kae looked at the lodge, sighing. Her friends were in danger. She hoped that their business wouldn't take too long. 

"I promised to help them, but I fear I'll be too late at this rate."

"They've got your brother. And thinking about it more, you need to stay out of harm's way unless it is pertinent to your quest."

"I guess I do have the right to have that focus considering my situation."

A familiar voice responded to that. One the two women both had a dislike for.

"Word spreads fast. You're living on borrowed time and you're all dolled up to boot. How do you plan to get out of this mess, Bryseis?"

Instructor Haraf approached from the south, scratching his chin.

"Put the pieces of the puzzle together, just like any other challenge she's faced."

"Haraf, I have a plan for this. It didn't take long to get a general idea. Nora may not be with us any longer, but her legacy allowed us to come to a fairly accurate conclusion of where I must go and what must be done."

Rashida never liked the Instructor. After what he put Kae through, she could never find it to forgive him.

"Why does it matter to you? If it weren't for the Chieftain's over-ride you would've made her a Sixer. Don't tell me you've jumped on the bandwagon."

Haraf chuckled lightly, cocking his head to the side and walking toward Kae's mother. 

"I put five years ago behind me, Rashida. And in times of war, my grudges go away. After this is over, they'll be gone too. Kae has a bandwagon, but I didn't jump on it. After what Nora did, I realized how important your daughter is. Not just to us, but to the entire picture. This is not pragmatism. This is me saying I'm sorry, Mrs. Bryseis."

He undid his vest and showed them both the crater-like burn on his chest.

"It still burns and weeps sometimes, doesn't it? I thought I was fighting for my life. I really did not want to be a Sixer...I was 11...I thought you were going to kill me! You might've put it behind you, but it haunted me for years. Why are you here?"

Haraf also sighed, realizing this was going to be difficult.

"Yes, Kae. It's a permanent wound. I've kept the weeping down. Cold water makes it hurt a lot less. I was skeptical of Nora and what she was doing to our youth over the years. And you were her most promising student. I shouldn't have used you as a pawn to get to her. You have no idea what it cost me. What haunted me also. My injury made me unable to be deployed. My role as an Instructor became my primary focus. Until yesterday. Your brother allowed me to start my journey to redemption...I saved about fourteen Hylian soldiers. They're in the other Kakariko. Fighting alongside him made me realize that dying with a grudge would be more dishonorable than anything else."

He wasn't lying. He really had changed. Kae knew it, and Rashida was reluctant to accept it.

"After everything you did. After all the shame you received. It takes a lot of courage to say these things, especially now. I don't need to see that wound anymore, either. But don't lay this on my husband when it's his turn to re-supply. He still wants to duel you over all of this, by the way."

"If he thinks it will make things right, I'll face him when this is all over. Now, if you'll excuse me, I should rest."

Haraf redid his vest and turned to walk off toward his home. And he hadn't gone soft at all. If anything, he'd become what he should have been in the first place, according to Kae. His role was important but he was going about it the wrong way. There were a handful of people who lived here that should have been in the field who he failed for political purposes. 

"Instructor, you should re-test them. You know who I'm talking about. We need all who are capable."

"After I rest, Chosen One. I told you I wanted to make amends. Don't doubt me."

His voice sounded troubled after that. All of the walls were coming down. Maybe he could be redeemed.

"Mom, remember when Dad said war changes people? I think we can take him at his word. He would've never showed us the wound if he didn't trust us. I think we owe him the same share. Not a dinner invitation, but at least cordiality. For all the stuff he's said over the years, he's right about grudges, I think."

Rashida was still slightly angry, however.

"You both have similar reasons for wanting to clear it up. I can get behind your judgment, but I'm still mad about how he treated you and Elly. Speaking of which, I hope she's not in trouble."

Elly/The Redoubt/Morning 6

A promotion? It was an honor she'd been striving for but not expecting for at least three years. Things must have gotten dire. She'd risen to the occasion, even in a humiliating defeat. And, admittedly, she was riding Kae's coat tails all the way through. However, that was not her intent. 

Elly was unofficially part of the Honor Guard from as early as age 15. She kept those records sealed, as she did not want to draw undue attention to herself. Doing her job made her happy as it was.

Now she was entrusted with the Scion's safety in addition to all held within these walls. 

And one of those things happened to be what she least expected...

"Agent Shea, remember. Death Oaths have been sworn to protect this information. You will be held to the same measure. Tell no one, especially Kae. Don't allow her to pull it from your mind either. Those Lunar mages can do horrible things with a person's psyche."

"I don't think Kae would ever do that to me, sir."

"I know. But I have to tell you that. The Scion has enough to worry about, let alone that we are basically down to the last stand if they break through. We can hide in here for decades if we must. She has three days. Make sure she makes it, or else this war will become a lot harder to win. Now...allow me to re-introduce the two of you."

Leading Elly down another cavernous corridor, the Chieftain took a skeleton key from his ring and unlocked a rather expansive chamber.

Contained within was the King of Hyrule. 

Elly immediately knelt, now fully understanding the situation's gravity.

"An honor to see you again, your majesty. If only it were under better circumstances...I will guard you with my life."

The Chieftain shut the door again and nodded at Elly.

"I don't need to tell you again why this is so important now. As for now your task is to assist Kae in her mission of self-preservation. I'm sure she'll have a plan. Nora always did. Is there anything else you needed before you depart?"

"I am very sorry, sir. A strong enemy stole my daggers and now all I have for melee weaponry is a repurposed Hylian shortsword. May I have a disbursement for the armory?"

He sighed and covered his face with his palm.

"Sometimes this happens. I take it you left them in his flesh, as this has never happened to you. Or they broke. Either way they're not with you, yes?"

Elly nodded and sighed as well.

"Very well. Keep it within reason and take what you think would work best as a replacement."

She bowed and turned to leave, not saying anything else.

"Remember your purview. The Bryseis siblings has become integral to our war effort. Do not let anything happen to Kae, and if you are able to assist Jaden, you may do so as well."

Nodding again, Elly made her way to the exit of her leader's lodge, seeing Kae and her mother in the commons waiting for her.

[b]Kae and Elly/Kakariko Commons/Morning 6[/b]

Elly approached Kae and Rashida, nodding solemnly. 

[color=teal]"Kae, it's time we got caught up with the others. Nice new clothes, by the way. Mrs. Bryseis, I wish you could come with us. Kae looks more relieved with you around. But I promise you that I'll protect Kae with my life. We're going to get through this affliction together."[/color]

Tears began to well in Kae's eyes; she hated goodbyes and this one was more painful than most of the others this war had brought upon her. 

"Kae, be strong. Nayru wouldn't take you this far along to drop you and Hyrule on its head. I believe in you, and so does everyone else here. Forget about what others say. You know what's right."

The Scion wrapped her arms around her mother and buried her head in her shoulder briefly.

[color=indigo]"I love you, mom. This won't be the last time we meet...but do pray for us...this will be difficult but not impossible."[/color]

Loosely stepping away from the embrace, Kae whistled sharply, calling their gilded winged steed.

"Give them hell, girls! Ass is kicked better and in a more thorough manner when done by us women folk!"

11th Chapter of IW Season 2.

They both mounted up and waved goodbye, taking to the skies as fast as their horse's wings would take them.

Kae and Elly/Skies over Hyrule/Morning 6

Elly was charged to guard the Scion with her life and to take good care of her. Even if this wasn't her mission she'd find a way to help her, given the dire nature of the situation.

She was flying their gilded steed as Kae held on for dear life. 

"How do we know we're going the right way?"

"Maps help. So does flying below the cloud cover so you can get a general idea, I guess. This is only the second time we've done this, but our mount handles this pretty well."

As they flew over Lake Hylia, they saw the damage that had spread there and were not happy about it at all.

"Once we cure my affliction, I know exactly who I'm going after. There was no way we could have caught him, and I don't know how he amplified his powers so much in such a short time. And I won't be going alone. They don't fight fair. Neither should I."

Elly looked back at Kae for a moment and smirked.

"You're learning then. War is hell, and it always will be. The winners write the history books and can add any dramatic license they wish. Even if we win ugly, a win is a win. We rebuild and prepare for the next threat. The cycle continues."

They flew on for a while without saying too much more. Kae was deep in thought and sometimes prayer, and Elly was focused on making sure nothing was chasing them and that their bearings were still good. Both also prayed that they wouldn't be too late to help Jaden and the others.

Expanding the War Efforts Edit

Daurubia/The Previous Night/Death Mountain Main Chamber

Daurubia stood up out of his kneel as the four elders standing before him spoke the ancient language simultaneously. He understood most of it, save for a few passing words here and there. It was a language he had been forced to study, for reasons largely unknown seeing how sparingly it was used now-a-days.

When it came his turn, he too spoke his vows in the ancient language, promising to uphold the honor and valor of the Goron people, and to lead with strength in mind. Finally, the ritual finished, and the crowd standing behind him cheered, though most held faces of despair. This was too damn fast, he thought to himself, they should have at least had more than a few hours to mourn. But his father had insisted, "There must always be a Patriarch, any time spent without one would be an insult to the goddesses."

In front of him, the four elders, Gor-Marshal, Gor-Corrish, Gor-Dal, and his father, Gor-Miam, smiled upon him. He held his face with an unbreaking stare into space, not showing any emotion despite what he was feeling underneath. The rock skin could hide his feelings to others, but it also kept them trapped inside. The fear was almost overwhelming. Almost all his life he had been prepared for this very moment, set to study battle strategy and negotiations rather than mining or harvesting. But still, being here made him uneasy.

Not helping anything was the fact looming over him that mere hours before, the former patriarch had been killed. Daurubia stole a glance upwards to the window where Giga would be watching, but was unsurprised to see he had not attended. Despite his disdain for the giant, he felt rather sorry for him. To be stripped of your father than denied your inheritance would be no easy task to bear. Still, he knew that this was for the best.

"Come with me," he heard his father whisper in his ear. He turned to see him beckoning down a narrow hallway, away from the crowd and the noise. He followed wearily, unsure of what he wanted at such a moment. When at last Miam was certain they were alone, he turned back.

"I hope you aren't harboring any ideas about revenge now, are you son?"

"You mean on the Twili? I can't deny the thought had crossed my mind, but I hardly seem how that could be a bad thing."

His father looked at him with a look of dominance, "Best push that thought out of your head boy, we are having no part in this war."

Daurubia was taken aback by his father's blunt demand. "And who exactly is "we?"

"Corrish and I have been friends for longer than we care to remember, you know that. And we both have seen more war than most Gorons can hope for. You're young, brash, head-strong, ready to prove yourself, I understand that. But you don't know what we know. It's best that Daurnuro was killed in this attack, as there is no doubt in my mind that he would have risked war. But it seems fate has smiled upon us. Your choices will either kill thousands of Gorons, or save them,

[b]Daurubia/The Path up to Death Mountain/Dawn Six[/b]

As Daurubia rolled on, he thought increasingly more about that conversation with his father. Four-to-one against him would win, a fact that he was well aware of. Likely his father and Corrish would defy him, but of the other two elders he could not be sure. He only hoped that his argument was more convincing than his father's.

[b]The Rito/Above Castle Town/Dawn 6[/b]

The Rito looked down at the army of undead attacking the castle, sensing his master in there somewhere. He knew his troubles were over, and almost burst with excitement. It seemed the plan had worked, and Mr. Langston would be only too glad to thank him. He could make up a story, say that it was his doing. Yes, then he'd be rewarded for sure. Afterall, he had heard him say it. The new Patriarch had looked upon Phoenix's face and said with as much certainty as he could hope to hear the words that would make him the happiest being in all Hyrule.

He had promised the Goron's participation in the war. Which, as he had heard a thousand times over the past several days, meant that there would be plenty of dead Gorons on the battlefield. Him and Eddard would, it seemed, become rich

Daurubia/Goron City Main Hall/Morning 6

Daurubia stood above them all. Above the woman, forced into the back, holding suckling babes tightly in their arms. Above the trainees, young Gorons being prepped for initiation. He stood above the forgers, vital to the tribe's success. He stood above the harvesters, without whom they would not have their sustenance. He stood above the warriors, hardened fighters prepared to do what they were told. And he stood above the elders, Gors Marshal, Corrish, Dal and Miam. Everyone in the colony was present, all had their voice heard, all had their place. Although, when it got down to it, only five would matter.

Daurubia breathed in heavily before starting. "My people! I owe you an apology. I, as patriarch, am expected to perform my duties to my fullest, just as everyone of you sitting here also must perform your own services. But in this matter, I'm afraid, I have failed. In anger and spite, last night I ignored the Hylian's request to join in their cause, and so have endangered all of Hyrule by doing so.

You may or may not know this yet, but our wonderful realm is under attack. These creatures, these Twili, are abominations, beings of the shadow realm, and the bane of the goddess Din. I knew full well what they were capable of, and I chose against my better judgment to ignore our sacred vows with the Hylians." 

There were some grumblings among the crowd, and faces of confusion littered the congregation.

"And so, I am here to apologize, and to bring horrible news. Yesterday morning, I made a discovery which I hope most of you will take very seriously. It seems that not only have the Twili invaded our homeland, but they have also invaded Death Mountain. Everyone, the goronite, the most sacred of all Goron possessions, has been stolen. As far as I'm concerned, we have no choice. I am officially evoking my power to declare war on these abominations, in hopes that we can help send them back to the shadows from whence they came!"

The crowd errupted all at once. Screaming, yelling, arguing, declarations of mutiny, professions of faith, oaths of loyalty. Every sound meshed into one, incomprehensible batch of white noise, which only ceased once Daurubia's father Gor Miam took the stage. At this instant, the crowd quieted themselves, eager to hear what this newcomer had to say.

"Blessed Gorons of Death Mountain..." he paused, seeming unsure of how to put this.

"My son is very badly mistaken."

Once again, the crowd was stirred, but managed to remain mostly quiet this time.

"Look at where we are! The top of a near impossible-to-scale mountain. If any army laid siege to us, our defenses would easily hold, likely for years. Our food supply is ample to last generations, and our warriors are too limited too risk full-out war.

"We are safe here! We always have been safe here, we always will be safe here. And most of all, we have something the Twili could never have. We have Din, the Powerful, the Almighty, our Personal Protector! What makes you think that we should send thousands to their death, when we could stay here and last for millennium under her protection?"

"And as for the goronite, it is..." Once again, he paused, unsure if what he was about to utter was too taboo to say. But having set up his defense earlier, he continued. "It is inconsequential."

A much louder murmur sprung from the crowd, mostly rumblings of blasphemy. Mian raised his hands again.

"Now now, this is no act of disrespect to our patron goddess. But no one even remembers when we first received that goronite. In fact, the only people who have seen it in the first place is our patriarchs, which in this case does not include my son. That means that none of us, not ONE, has ever laid eyes on our so-called treasure. How do we know it even exists? How do we know it isn't just some ordinary rock?

"My people!" Daurubia was taken aback at this blatant form of undermining. "I repeat, there is no need for war! My vote is, one hundred percent, a Nay!"

The crowd once again burst out.

b]Goron Council/Death Mountain (Goron City Main Hall)/Morning 6[/b]

The Council stood atop the dais alongside their Patriarch. The Gorons of the City conversed among themselves, a roaring murmur that was background to the heated debate that broke out among the five who were central to the future of their entire race. Gors Miam and Corrish gesticulated voraciously to accent their verbal berating of Patriarch Daurubia. In return, Daurubia shouted back at them, intent on seeking vengeance for the stolen Goronite and the many deaths caused by the Twili. Gor Marshal had slowly gravitated in support of Daurubia.

Alone among the Goron was a sole focus of silence. Gor Dal, Eldest of the Elders, stood in the midst of the argument, simply listening. He could see the lines splitting before him. Daurubia and Marshal against Miam and Corrish. War against Peace. His ancient stone felt the looming weight of the decision, and they felt this weight coming solely upon him. His vote would decide the outcome, as was the way of the Council when disputes as this arose.

Daurubia, Din bless his soul, was the first to notice Gor Dal's silent contemplation. He stopped his tirade against his father and turned to the Eldest. The other three, made aware by Daurubia's actions, also ended their argument and faced Gor Dal. Then, in a chain reaction, the gathered Goron people all fell to quietude and focused on the weathered and wizened Goron. SO it was, when he spoke, his voice was heard.

"Quite a pickle." he wheezed. Some chuckled, unsure if it was a joke. They were silenced by elbows from the serious members of the audience. Many merely blinked and waited for more from him.

"The Goronite is our gift from Din. It is the thing of legend. But you forget yourself, Gor Miam. [i]I[/i] have seen the goronite, when last it was used to forge indestructible armor for our Hylian brethren." Gor Dal chuckled dryly. "But I'm showing my age, aren't I?"

He shook his head, and the strings of hair hanging around his face swung side to side. "Still, Patriarch Daurubia, your father's point has merit. Goronite can form again, over the decades, and the recovery of this sample... would it be worth the lives of so many Goron? He is right, yes, we could hold out here, in Death Mountain, in the cradle of the Most Powerful One. If they come, they will meet our defenses, and it's well known we Goron have the best defense!"

He tapped his gnarled staff against the stone dais. "So, which will I vote? You both have merit, yes. Who has more [i]conviction[/i]!"

He gazed on Daurubia, awaiting him and his father. "Prove that Goron lives are worth giving to your cause."

Daurubia/Goron City Main Hall/Morning Six

Daurubia looked out into the silent crowd, solemnly contemplating his next words. He looked at each and every face carefully, trying to gauge some sort of help from their expressions. He wasn't quite sure what he was looking for, hope maybe, or assurance. But he found neither. He looked at his father, his face as hard as stone, save for his eyes. In those eyes, Daurubia saw a genuine care, a genuine love for the Goron people. This wasn't about personal politics or power, this was about defending one's beliefs. So Daurubia breathed heavily, preparing to do the same thing.

"Why are Goron lives worth the risk? Well..." he paused again, making sure every word would stick. "It's not the risk I'm concerned about, it's the idea of not doing anything that bothers me."

The people in the crowd looked puzzled, and each remained completely stoic in hopes of hearing what would come next.

"Last night, just hours after my inauguration, I made a mistake, one that caused hundreds of our people to perish. Yes, our people. Today, I was reminded of something the former Patrarch once told me. 'If you are to hold this place of honor,' he said to me, 'then there is one thing you must always keep in mind. While we may be Gorons first, we are also Hylians, every one of us. Ages ago, the Gorons were accepted into this great land with open arms, and have since dissolved peacefully into every section of the land.' At the time, I thought nothing of it, tossing it aside as the ramblings of an old man. But this is because this mountain is all I have ever known. How could we be Hylians, I thought, when we are so clearly Gorons. But I was wrong, for they are one in the same."

Daurubia turned to Gor Dal, talking specifically to him now, earnestly trying to make him see what he had found out mere hours earlier.

"Today, I saw many things I had never dreamed of before. Sheikah, Zora, Hylians, Gorons, Rito, all fighting as one. Aye, if we stay here, we may survive, but at what cost? How can we, as Hylians, live with ourselves when so many of our people are around us being slaughtered? There is evil in play here besides just Twili, and the thought that we might...that we could..." He stopped short and looked down, letting his voice trail off, unsure of how to resolve.

"Daurubia." He looked up to see who it was, surprised to find out it was his father speaking. "Please, continue." His father stared into his eyes, not with hate or malice or even misunderstanding, but with sympathy.

Daurubia nodded, and talked now to his father. "We can change this war, all of us can. Yes, Gorons will die. But at the end of the day, how many Hylians have they saved? How many Gorons and Zoras and birds and fish and dogs and cats have they saved? Gor Dal, I implore you to understand me. This isn't about our pride, this isn't about the goronite, this is about doing what I believe is right for all of Hyrule.

Goron Meeting Room/Noon 6

Gor Miam didn't respond at first. All eyes were now on him, and he felt that his son might have gained an upper-hand. He still did not agree with Daurubia's argument, but he felt a tremendous sense of pride as he realized that his son would in fact turn out to be a fine Patriarch. He was earnest in his beliefs, and that was the most important part, and one that he would now have to uphold.

"You speak eloquently Daurubia, and I am proud to call you my son. But that does not mean that you are right in this matter, far from it. It has been many years now since we Gorons went to war, and there are few left now who remember such times. I love my people, as I am sure you do as well, but your inexperience is getting the better of you.

Yes, we are Hylians, this is something that I do not deny, but I say that we are gorons first, and such we must keep the best interest of the gorons in mind. War is upon Hyrule, and there is no doubt that if it continues it will eventually reach this mountain. But like I said before, we are safest here.

Let the Twili try to overtake us! They are no more evil than the tyrant Ganondorf, and none who I am aware of remember those ancient days." He shot an apprehensive look at Gor Dal, honestly not completely sure exactly how old he was.

"If we Gorons were able to whether the one who they say was the Most Evil, than I think we can fend off these Shadow Beings, but not in open war! The numbers are simply not there! If we go to war, we may extend the Hylians' chances, sure, but as Daurubia has told me, Castle Town was just destroyed by a force of only 1000 Twili. How many more do you think they have? Odds are much more than even we can handle, what with their magical trickery and shadow. It is necessary, nay, unquestionable, that we must stay here!"

Sensing Miam was finished with his rebuttal, the entire room remained completely silent as apprehension grew. One last speech to go, it seemed, one final word. Gor Dal stood there with his eyes closed, thinking things over while everyone simply waited.

Gor Dal/Goron Council/Noon 6

Gor Dal gifted Gor Miam with a weathered, pleasant smile. "My son," he said, "you are a good Goron. I would ask none else serve on this council. But I am afraid you are wrong in this. I must side with our Patriarch, for the vote to break this tie."

He turned his eyes to Daurubia. "Your father is wise, Daurubia, but it seems we might have to school him in the histories." He shared an impish wink with the younger Goron. Then he raised his voice to the entire room, addressing them as the others had done when speaking.

"It's true that Gorons survived the atrocities meted us at the hands of the King of Evil. But we did so as the Hylians did: by the hand of the Hero. It was the barest of victories, and won not by our own forces but by this single Hylian. This sole child of our allies' peoples! Would we repeat that, when to a man our race was imprisoned, sentenced as feed to the ancient abhorrence, Volvagia? I say not!

"And think on this, as well: We Gorons were saved by the Hero. By a Hylian. They have honored our allegiance. Even if Goron survival did not rely on this, which I fully believe it does, then at the least Goron honor would! Which of us is worth his skin if we turn our backs on our Brothers?"

He gave Daurubia a firm thump on the back. "You have the support of the Council, Patriarch. The Gorons roll off to war, and we place our faith in your leadership. Will you call us into a conscription, or shall volunteers only roll out?"

Daurubia/Council Room/Around Noon I think 6

Daurubia looked out on the crowd as they began to disperse, the topic of the debate still fresh on their lips, as it likely would be for the coming days. His confidence was strong in his decision as a whole, yet not so strong when he thought about the obvious consequences of what would happen if the Hylians lost. The thought surged on his mind, bringing him to close his eyes and wince, and putting an elderly smile on Gor Dal.

He thought long before slowly an answer formed to his lips, soft enough so that only he and Dal could hear it. "I...I need time to think this over. Time and council both, this is not a decision to be made lightly.

Dal smiled, "Of course, of course my dear boy. Rash decisions are the way of the Zora, as they say after all. Come, let us go to my study, we may be able to talk in more detail there, all of the elders."

"Could we...postpone the meeting for an hour or so, Gor? There is something else on my mind, something unrelated to war, but something that I feel needs immediate attention. I believe your study may be able to answer these questions, or perhaps simply your own knowledge. If we could travel there, alone, I would be most grateful."

Dal, always full of smiles, nodded gingerly before turning away, beckoning Daurubia to follow. Daurubia informed the other Elders, including his defeated-looking father of their meeting-to-be, and hurried after Dal. They walked side-by-side for several minutes, passing by innumerable forks in the winding, narrow passageways which were built beneath the mountain, navigable only through route memorization. These passages had been built hundreds, perhaps even thousands of years earlier, by the first several generations of gorons who inhabited Death Mountain. They had virtually no organized layout, and to the untrained goron they would appear as if they went on forever, due to their mazelike nature. But this, as so many other aspects of goron life, was simply another way of boosting defense, an attempt to make sure that no one could penetrate their walls.

And yet a sobering fact hit Daurubia like a rockslide, they had been invaded, only two nights ago. Daurubia realized that it was likely their pride which had done, for they had been so pleased with the work of their ancestors that they had completely disregarded all efforts to strengthen their defenses. The unconquerable Death Mountain had, in fact, been conquered.

Finally, the duo reached Dal's study, a cozy little rock room with books that lined the walls and were strewed across the furniture. Directly in the middle was a small, three-meter wide hole which was situated directly above the crater of the volcano. The magma just inside the hole lit the room with an eerie, yet homely red glow and gave the room a heat which no other creature save for a goron could endure for extended periods of time. It was in this room that gorons stored their most important records, as far as possible from any unworthy eyes trying to seize their secrets.

"Now then, what is it you have questions about my boy?" said Gor Dal, now sitting comfortably in a stone chair.

"Well it's...it's about Giga, or rather, about all giant gorons. It's just...I saw something happen today I'd never even heard of before, something scary almost. It was Giga, but he had been transformed somehow, morphed into one of those shadow creatures. But then--I don't know how it happened--but he returned to normal. It was almost as if Din herself had intervened in the wars of mortals, but that goes against all I've been told about the goddesses. 

Gor Dal had long since closed his eyes, and he seemed to be in very deep thought, as if he were scouring through his numerous memories. "You are wise, Daurubia, wise beyond your years. Not every Patriarch has such a deep desire for understanding before action as you have displayed today, and to be frank, our people would be better off if more of us would think like you do. Yes, our history is very important, and we cannot begin to predict the future without understanding out past. Now then, I have lived for a very, very long time Daurubia, and I won't deny that I have picked up a fair amount of knowledge in my time. But this business with Giga...this is something I have never seen before. The physical transformation of a goron, specifically a giant goron, has only been recorded once before in every account I've ever read. Hmmmm, interesting..."

Gor Dal stood up and walked over to one of the shelves on the wall. He fingered the spines of the books, hardly even looking at the names, but rather deciding which one to choose by touch. Finally, he stopped on a crumpled stack of very old looking papers and pulled them out carefully before blowing away the dust. He brought them to the table and fingered through them one by one, obviously looking for a specific piece.

"Aha, here we are, yes, here we are. Daurubia, I do not pretend to understand all the properties of the giants, but if anything can help you understand this situation, it would be this paper."

Daurubia took the old paper and looked at it hesitantly. It was written in Gorrish, the ancient language of the gorons, but as Patriarch, he had been schooled extensively in learning to speak it. But as he looked at the paper, quickly translating it in his head, his first feeling was disbelief, then shock, then disbelief again. 

"This...this was written by the Hero of the Gorons!

Dal nodded slowly, "Yes, yes. The very first owner of the Megaton Hammer and defeater of the evil Volvagia. But what most people do not know about this story is exactly what type of goron our hero was. Daurubia, the hero was himself a giant goron, much like Giga. Megagoron was his name, and after his death, the hammer was named after him. If I am not mistaken, I believe you are a direct descendant of him, but I digress. I think you should read that account, but I will have to fill in some of the pieces myself."

Daurubia sat down and slowly, best as he could, translated the paper out loud.

"'The dragon came today again. Took two more of my friends back up to his dreaded layer. That makes twelve this week. I am beginning to become desperate and I feel that I,' it's smudged out here, 'or I fear that there may no one else left to save.' Then there's a long break, this is probably a new entry. 'Though it took a whole week, I am finally finished. This is the finest hammer I have ever seen, but it came at a great price. I was forced to use some of my own skin, a long and arduous removal that was. But it seems it was all worth it, for I am ready to face the dragon. No one else will die while I hold this hammer.' Then there's some more smudges, something about a loved one, uh OK, 'My lone concern is the patch on my thigh from which I had to remove my skin. I can only hope that his flame does not reach me there.' 

Daurubia paused, looking down at the paper still. "I don't understand Gor. I know what happened, Megagoron defeated Volvagia, right?"

"Yes he did, but it was the last thing he ever did. Giants, from what I have picked up, aren't exactly like other gorons. Their skin is four times harder than the average goron, which enables them to withstand even hotter temperatures than the most hardened Patriarch. But this toughness leaves a very large weakness: their underskin. It's something about the way their underskin gives energy to their rock skin in order to make it harder, it makes their underskin weaker, more easily defeatable than the average goron. In the case of Megagoron, it was his downfall. For as the story goes, some of Volvagia's fire did, in fact, reach Mega's weak spot on his thigh, but instead of burning that specific spot, the fire spread instantly throughout his whole body. Somehow, the fire was magnified once it made contact with his underskin, thus making his whole body a fiery inferno."

"Perhaps this is what happened with Giga. Twili magic is very dark magic, Daurubia, very dark indeed. It is entirely possible that, if any of it was able to make contact with his underskin, that it would have very adverse effects. This may have very easily been the cause of his transformation."

Daurubia carefully mulled over everything, slowly seeing it all fall into place. He had seen a revealed underskin spot on the back of Giga's calf during the battle. There was no other explanation. His skin had somehow magnified the dark effects of the Twili magic. "But there's still something I don't understand, how did he turn back. He pushed me out of the way before I froze to death, which in turn froze him, but that somehow seemed to trigger his return to normal. It was...bizzare to say the least."

"Hmm, now as to that, I cannot be sure. Giants are very mysterious creatures, and many of their mysteries have yet to be unraveled. Perhaps the magic had simply worn off by that time, I don't know. Or maybe Din really is helping in this war after all." He added with a wink and a smile. "But come, I hear the rest of the elders approaching, we have a war to plan."

Daurubia/Goron Study/I'm gonna say an hour or so before noon 6

Daurubia and Dal looked weary as the three elders, Miam, Marshall, and Corrish entered Dal's study, all wearing somber expressions in awareness at the conversation which was about to be had.

"I trust you two are finished?" Miam said with an air of defiance. His face betrayed his feelings, and he bore a look of contempt for the both his son and for Dal. Clearly, he was not happy about being kept out of a private meeting immediately after he had been overruled by his son in front of the entire colony.

"Yes, yes, it was merely a choice few puzzling questions our young Patriarch asked me for," answered Dal, aware of the tension which was quickly escalating inside the room. "For now, though, there are much more important matters at hand. I shall ask you the same question I asked you early, Daurubia, how shall your army be amassed? Both choices have their pros and cons, as do all answers to difficult questions such as these. We elders are here to help of course, but the final decision will be left up to you. You must understand that, as Patriarch, you are now the general of the army as well."

Daurubia nodded and shut his eyes. He had two options: allow for volunteering, or issue a draft. And like the old Gor said, they both had their pros and cons. "How many warriors do we have currently?"

"Well, to be honest, I'm not quite sure," answered Corrish, chiming in for the first time. "That would be a question for commander Ogrot, I think. Shall I send for him for you patriarch?" 

"Yes, please do Gor. That will be important."

Gor Corrish bowed and swiftly left the room.

""Now then, to the remaining gorons. I do not like the idea of facing the Twili undermanned. We will have Hylian assistance, but they will be greatly weakened after today's battle, and we can't bank on them being a reliant backup. But at the same time, I also dread the idea of a largely uninspired army. What I saw in the council room today was a people who were split."

"Yes, Daurubia, and now you see the flaw in your plan," Miam interrupted. "You got too hot-headed and made a rash decision, and now you are caught between two impossible choices. We either have an undisciplined army or undermanned one, both of which will leave us to be slaughtered on the battlefield. Too many of our people do not trust the Hylians. Yes, we have been peaceful with them for generations, but trade routes do little for building confidence."

And then it hit Daurubia like a tidal wave. The one hope for the rest of the gorons to realize that the Hylians were their allies. "I've decided."

Miam looked absolutely flustered, "I...you've what? How?"

"We take volunteers only."

"Do you realize how many will decline? How many are on my side here, son? You will be sending our army to be massacred! There is no trust for the Hylians on Death Mountain!"

"There will be, though. Father, at this very moment, a group of Hylians, as well as Giga, is infiltrating the Twili base in order to steal back the goronite. This is it! Do you think a single goron will doubt the Hylians intentions after they deliver us our most sacred possession? Every able bodied goron will be positively jumping at the opportunity to fight."

"Daurubia, please, you're grasping at straws here."

"No, I'm not. I trust those people, and I am sure they will succeed. Even if it is just a hope, at least we can say that we have hope."

His father glowered at him as footsteps came from outside the door. Gor Corrish and Ogrot entered, followed closely by a low bow from Ogrot.

"My patriarch, how may I serve you."

Daurubia/Goron study/Council Room/Day 6

Ogrot looked taken aback at being confronted with all four elders as well as the Patriarch so suddenly. But as leader of the standing-army, he was used to such meetings, and so took it with stride. After his bow, Daurubia decided to get right down to it as quickly as possible.

"Commander, it is good to see you again. I trust you are doing OK?"

Ogrot nodded in apprehension.

"Hmm, all business then, good. Well then, I am here to ask you exactly how many Warriors we have at the moment so that we may plan our strategy."

"Yes, my patriarch. At the moment, we have about 40 warriors ready to fight at your command. We had more, but I'm afraid that about a week ago we sent 10 of the most experienced as protection for young Marrill on his ambassador mission to the gorons of Termina, and they have not returned."

Daurubia was rather taken aback at such a low number. Yes, these were warriors, the elite fighting class of the gorons, trained from birth for nothing else save for war. But still, manpower was manpower, and the gorons lacked it at the moment. Daurubia sighed and approached the furnace in the middle, looking down into its depths. Now it was even more vital that the Hylians acquired the goronite, for he doubted that many would volunteer if they felt that they could not trust their own allies.

"Very well, we have nothing left to do now but wait. Let us retire for the moment, I desperately need some rest." 

Classic Combo Breaker Edit

Isaac the Kinslayer - Death Mountain - Sixth Day

At its highest peak, ascending above mortal earth and reaching into the dark, sooty clouds above, Death Mountain did not rise up to its pinnacle. Instead its mountainous sides fell away into the deep, conflagrant maw of the ancient and powerful volcano. For innumerable ages Death Mountain had loomed above the land of Hyrule, and all those who lived in its shadow did so in the knowledge that their lives and their livelihoods were subject to the mountain's arbitrary nature.

Such raw power, such untapped potential. The Kinslayer stood at the edge of the crater, straddling the divide between what lay within and without, the folds of his coat flew out behind him, whipping in the hot wind of the mountain. The incredible heat, the choking ash and sulfur, served only to invigorate him. Beneath his vestments, the Brand was surely alight upon his flesh, burning as it feasted upon the mountain's power. He did not see, but knew that the sinister glare of it shone through the ends of his sleeves and his collar.

The Brand, a mark he had long presented to the world as a sign of his dark mastery. Always he had known that another, greater power lurked beyond that smoldering mark, but never had he succeeded in bridging the divide between his consciousness and that other. The Warp had changed all that. The chaotic nature of that opposite world had broken down the barriers that separated them, and he had been able to touch the mind of the other for the first time.

In his brief passing later on the plains before Hyrule Castle Town, the distance between them had been closed entirely. The Beast had had but one choice, and had merged their essences in order to preserve him. Isaac had, for the briefest of times, become one with the consciousness of the Brand Serpent.

It was all that he had required.

For centuries or more he had lived his life in service of the Beast, even if he'd not realized the extent of his servitude. The concept of his enslavement chafed him greatly, now that the curtains that separated their minds were once again in place. He was not Taliesin, he had no intention of living his immortal life for another entity. All the power he had wielded, all the lives he had taken and made himself believe he'd done for he alone, had been done to slake the lust of the Beast.

But he had seen within the mind of it and had gleaned that even despite the immense scope of its consciousness, the Beast needed him.

Perhaps the reverse was not true. The Kinslayer drew his incredible, incendiary power from the link between he and the Beast, but the Beast too drew power from the link. The idea had already begun to form in his mind, walled off by mental safeguards from the consciousness of his unwanted companion. Perhaps, if the power could be gained through alternative means, he could take his leave of the Beast, or even turn the tables.

Even now the Sun Shard was settled safely within the back of his belt, concealed beneath the length of his long coat. His Glaive had reverted, for the time being, into its dagger form. He had power already independent of the Brand Beast. It was not so outlandish a notion that he could seize more. Hyrule was a realm of magic, it harbored many and diverse powers and elements that could be bent to his purpose. He had only to reach out his hand and take them. He was confident that those who stood in his way could be dealt with.

"The Kinslayer shall be a slave to none." In that moment, all of Hyrule became nothing more to him than potential collateral damage.

Isaac the Kinslayer - Death Mountain Summit - Sixth Day

The hot breath of the murderous mountain swirled around him, whipping the folds of his long coat, as he stood looking down into the fiery chasm in dark contemplation. He meant to be free of the Beast that had enslaved him, but how to accomplish such a task. He had long been imbued by the incredible might of the Brand, and had used that power without reservation. But he was the Kinslayer, he was a servant to none, not even the mysterious, otherworldly benefactor that had imbibed him with such incredible strength.

He would find a way to contend with the creature, to alter the relationship between he and it, to seize control. And when he did, when he was the master, Hyrule would learn of it also. For himself alone, as he had always before fancied, he would scorch the earth black.

"I will not be denied." He had only to think. There was no power in existence that could not be altered or warped.

He paused. It couldn't be that simple, could it? He worked in service of the Brand Serpent, the creature whose fiery power surged in his veins even now, but his will was his own.Warped.

He recalled his last exchange with the Interloper Maydni, and his journey into that realm of utter chaos. He had ever fancied himself an agent of chaos, but perhaps there was another step to be taken toward that end. Perhaps, just maybe, he had found a power that was anathema to the Brand and its master.

Perhaps the Twili held the answer he sought, after all.

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