The Legend of Zelda: Epoch of Disharmony is the thirteenth entry in the ZRPG Series. Created by Billiam35 and Cream04849 and co-GM'd by Redawson2 and Stache19, Epoch of Disharmony was released on June 2, 2012. Hosted on the IGN Zelda Board the RPG is divided into two seasons that lasted into April 2015.
Like previous entries in the series Epoch is a text based Roleplaying Game, where players take turns posting for their various user created characters. New additions to the game include video prologues, a new unified world map, and a dedicated wiki. Epoch also features an increased emphasis on time travel, geopolitical situations, and moral ambiguity. The storyline takes place 200 years after the events of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Settlers from Skyloft had in the years after Skyward Sword colonized the surface world, eventually creating the Kingdom of Hyrule. The original surface tribes however increasingly see this new Kingdom as a threat to their sovereignty and independence, and conflict soon begins to brew. The opening season of Epoch takes place as a crisis breaks out after a powerful relic is stolen from Hyrule Castle. Players must navigate themselves through these difficult times as Hyrule slowly but surely descends down the path to all out war.
Summaries, Maps, and Player Data
Like other games in the ZRPG series Epoch of Disharmony is a Play-by-post role-playing game. Players begin by creating their own characters based on the races and factions from the canon Legend of Zelda series. Players then interact with each other in a collaborative storytelling environment, participating in various quests, battles, and events that take place through Hyrule. As in other ZRPG's players post their characters name, location, and time before interacting in the story followed by a short summary of events at the end.
While following a similar formula to past ZRPG's Epoch includes several new additions for the series. Most action in the RPG takes place in a new overworld map that incorporates and combines locations based on a diverse range of Zelda games. Places exclusive to Skyward Sword such as Lake Flora appear alongside Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess exclusive locations such as Snowpeak and the Gerudo Fortress. The map also includes fan created locations such as the Eastern Ocean, as well as links to areas outside of Hyrule.
A new feature exclusive to Epoch of Disharmony's first season is that the opening acts occur in a time of relative peace. Player actions in this period has a much bigger focus on forgeing alliances, participateing in secret missions, and fighting in small scale duels. As the in game days advance the peace slowly begins to fall apart as these minor skirmishes gradually escalate into larger conflict. Eventually open war breaks out on Epoch Day 4, which soon draws participants into full scale battle as Hyrule is ripped apart.
Moral Ambiguity, while increasingly present in past ZRPG's is much more noticeable in Epoch. The previous system of categorizing characters into Light, Dark, or Neutral sides has been removed and character alignment has become much more complex. In the stories conflict, neither side is depicted as completely good or evil. Both sides have justifiable reasons for fighting, and contain a mixture of people with all kinds of beliefs and unique morals. Further obfuscating the situation is that many characters have hidden or conflicting motivations, so people that appear to be heros on first glance may turn out to be villainous or vice versa.
Epoch has a far grater emphasis on time travel than in previous ZRPG's. Throughout the story several time travel plot-lines and events take place. With the introduction of Timeshift Stones players ofter can travel through time either purposely or inadvertently. Characters in Epoch have traveled to the future, to the past, and even into alternate universes. The effects of these journeys and the paradoxes they cause has a large effect on the story. Almost half the cast have experienced some form of time travel, and the overall goal of season 2 is to be the first faction to get into the legendary Timeshift Stone Vault.
At the beginning of seasons one and two video prologues were introduced to help explain the games setting and overall story. Created by ShutUpNavi these prologues were made in the style of The Wind Wakers opening. Featuring abstract ink silhouettes and accompanied by text and classic Zelda music the first intro explains the plot of Skyward Sword and how it fits into the narrative. The second prologue details a recap of the major events of season one.
Epoch of Disharmony is the earliest game set in the ZRPG series chronology. Epoch mostly takes place on the Hyrulean Continent in the 1200th year of the After Demise Calendar. This sets the story roughly 200 years after the events of Skyward Sword and 400 years before the beginning of Ocarina of Time. Epoch often explains the origin of much of the ZRPG mythology, containing references to games set much later in the timeline. Most notable is the storylines' connection the the previous ZRPG Interloper War. While not a sequel in any direct sense several characters are from or have links to Interloper's era thanks to the use of time travel.
After the conclusion of Skyward Sword the people of Skyloft began the rediscover the surface world and its people after the defeat of the last known Demon Lord, Ghirahim. The Kingdom of Hyrule was founded 50 years later when colonists from Skyloft elected Zelda to become their leader. The current King of Hyrule, Dromand, is said to be a decedent of her and has inherited much of her powers. The current leader of the Shiekah and King Dromand's most trusted ally is a woman called Impa, named in honor of Zelda's first guardian.
Unlike in later games however Hyrule is depicted as a young and small nation consisting almost exclusively of Humans. The Zora, Goron, and Gerudo tribes exist as independent nations entirely separate from the Kingdom of Hyrule proper. At the outset of the RP these tribes exist in a state of armed peace with Hyrule, never openly hostile or fully allying with the continents Human newcomers. Many people from the tribal nations remain fearful that the Hylian colonists have begun to encroach on their ancestral land and will in time reduce their people to a neglected minority.
Most vocal of these opponents is King Tiburon, a nationalistic leader of the Zora Tribe. Since ascending to the throne Tiburon and his people have constantly been at odds with Hyrule over disputed territories along the lakes and rivers. These tensions had eventually escalated to the point where talk of a possible war has begun to be whispered among the people. The Goron leader Patriarch Darmoto on the other hand remains reluctant to follow Tiburon's path, fearful that any war will lead to the needless deaths of civilian villagers.
In the former Lanayru Desert the Gerudo remain isolated from the rest of Hyrulean civilization. Sitting on the sidelines General Namira secretly plots to egg on the tensions between the Hylians and the other tribes. She believes that such a conflict would lead to a mutually destructive war between their, rivals leaving the Gerudo the most powerful nation on the continent. Finally there exist independent factions such as the Guardian Order or the Order of the Crimson Eclipse which seek to either quell or take advantage of the chaos Hyrule faces.
Note that for the sake of brevity the following plot section only follows the main storyline that affects all characters. For side stories please see the individual characters bio pages.
The story begins on the sunset of Day Zero when Tokay mercenary Majin Kotage infiltrates Hyrule Castle. Under orders from a mysterious employer Majin breaks into the castle treasury and steals the Hyrulean Trust Key, killing several guards in the process. At night Majin gives the key to his employer in exchange for money before the shadowy entity takes off. That night the kings and leaders throughout the Hyrulean Continent react to the news of the trusts theft. King Dromand is informed of the keys disappearance and, convinced that war is all but inevitable, rallies the Hyrulean army to Castle Town. In Zora's Domain, King Tiburon uses the incident as an excuse to end the Zora's faltering alliance with Hyrule and reclaim full sovereignty over their tribes ancestral land.
Though concerned about the situation Patriarch Darmoto remains reluctant to make any sudden moves towards war. The next day Majin meets with a criminal informant named Haldar who tells the Tokay it wont be long before agents from Hyrule come looking for him. Seeking protection by aligning himself with Hyrule's rivals Majin heads to Zora's Domain where he meets Zora General Polaris Eridanus and old friend Kaimu Kotaro. Preparing for a possible war with the Hylian's, King Tiburon decides to test the trio's loyalty with what should be a simple task. He assigns them to travel to Goron City and convince Darmoto to side with the Zora in the event of war. With all three eager to prove themselves King Tiburon's Recruits head to Death Mountain via Kakariko Village.
Meanwhile Dromand and Impa plot to find the one responsible for stealing the trust key. Needing secret agents who can operate outside the law Impa gathers four convicted criminals consisting of Taden Horwendil, Tarah Vass, Kourtz the Mogma, and Leif before the king. Dromand tells the criminals that the stolen trust key was one of three necessary to enter the legendary Timeshift Stone Vault. He explains that when Hyrule was founded by Zelda the First every known Timeshift Stone was sealed into this vault to prevent their time-traveling powers from being misused. Locked away with the magical trust keys, one of each was given to the Hylian's, the Goron's, and the Zora respectively. Dromand states that the assailant who stole the Hylian Key seeks to either claim the stones power over time, instigate a war with Hyrule's neighbors, or both.
Taden however discovers that Dromand has falsely pinned the blame of the theft on the four outlaws in the room to the public. Blackmailing them into his service with the promise that they will be cleared of their crimes upon completion of their quest Dromand's new agents reluctantly agree to help. Breaking out of the castle dungeons King Dromand's Secret Agents head to Kakariko to find Haldar, who possibly knows who stole the trust. On Night 2 the Hyrulean secret agents find Haldar speaking with Tiburon's three recruits about how to climb Death Mountain. With the Zora inadvertently blocking their target Taden attacks Polaris as a distraction and a large brawl breaks out. The battle ends when Hylian guards arrive to break up the fight, forcing the groups to scatter in different directions.
In the aftermath of the fight Majin decides to converse with Tarah in secret, knowing that the Hylian's were on to him anyway. Claiming that he bares no ill will towards Hyrule, Majin explains that he was hired to steal the trust by a woman of unknown race cloaked in black on the borders of the Zora Tribe. In exchange for this information Tarah agrees not to pursue Majin further and links up with the rest of her agents to speak of her findings.
The next morning Impa and and her criminals conclude that King Tiburon must be either responsible or complacent in the trusts theft. Worse still they believe Tiburon's agents were heading to Death Mountain to take possession of the Goron Trust Key. As a contingency plan Impa orders Kourtz, Tarah, Leif, and new member Shinsou into Zora's Domain to steal the Zora Trust and bring it back into Hylian protection.
At nightfall Polaris and his companions reach Goron City and speak with Patriarch Darmoto. Despite his best efforts Darmoto is unconvinced by Polaris' arguments for an alliance and instead chooses to keep the Goron Tribe neutral. Having ended up in the city however Taden speaks to the Goron leader after Polaris leaves. Disguised as the Yeti Master Jotun he tells Darmoto that the Zora were responsible for the theft of the Hylian Trust, and that they were ordered to do the same to the Goron's in the event their alliance failed. Fearful he could be right Darmoto gives Taden the location of the Goron Trust under the belief he would go to protect it. Instead Taden steals the Goron Trust Key intending to give it to his Hylian employers. Despite Polaris, Majin, and Sirius Fulmaren's best efforts to stop him Taden is successful in claiming the key. Escaping the Zora aligned trio follow after him into Hyrule Field.
Around the same time the remaining Hyrulean secret agents manage to infiltrate the Zora's trust key chamber, but are discovered by the Zora Guards in the process. Though managing to complete their mission of taking the key several guards are killed during the skirmish and Tiburon learns of Dromand's involvement. On dawn of Day 4 King Tiburon orders 200 of his soldiers commanded by Prince Mako to march into Hylian territory in and retrieve the stolen trust. At Lon Lon Ranch the trusts thieves are found and surrounded with little chance of escape. However Impa had anticipated the Zora's moves and has her army launch a surprise attack on the Zora forces, instigating what would become known as the Battle of Disharmony.
At Lon Lon Impa receives the two trust keys before heading back outside to battle. By chance Majin runs into her and recognizes the Shiekah's voice. Majin discovers that Impa was the secret employer who hired him to steal the Hylian Trust, and she reveals that he is indeed correct. Impa then orders her army to capture or kill anyone on the battlefield and then uses a deku nut to disappear. Majin and his companions escape the battle with the help of the outlaw Elizabeth Bryce, but the battle is lost for the Zora. Unaware of their true loyalty the Hylian captures and imprisons Dromand's Secret Agents as well as the unlucky hero Xiaber. Later in the night Impa brings the next two keys back to King Dromand and the two plot on how to get into the timeshift stone vault.
On the Dawn of Epoch Day 7 King Dromand and Impa arrive in Hyrule Castle Town's central square to mark the public executions of Taden, Tarah, Leif, Kourtz, and Xiaber. Telling all present that they were the ones responsible for stealing the Hyrulean Trust Keys and sparking war on the behalf of Hyrule's enemies, King Dromand denies the criminals their last words. All five are then beheaded with everyone present convinced of their deaths. In reality all of Dromand's Secret Agents are alive and well within a solitary confinement cell in Hyrule Castle Dungeon. In the dungeons Dromand and Impa explain to them that people killed in the execution were Hyrule's former Zora ambassadors who were captured and disguised useing shadow magic. With the public believeing them dead the King keeps his promise to let them go free of all charges.
However Impa gives the former criminals a chance to remain the King's secret agents under their own free will and offers to make them honorary Sheikah. Only Kourtz declines the offer. Before they can leave however the living bomb Avarius bursts into the cell. Created by Sirius Fulmaren to seek out and kill anyone who might threaten the Timeshift Stone Vault. Taden kills Avarius in an attempt to stop the detonation but only triggers a countdown. Leif is killed in the explosion and Kourtz is separated from the group. Miraculously everyone else narrowly survives. Later that night the survivors regroup and as Sheikah are given a new mission; to seek out the Timeshift Stone Vault's location from the Thunder Dragon in the Gerudo Desert.
Meanwhile King Tiburon's men sit in Zora's Domain having just recovered from the Battle of Disharmony. Tiburon gathers his men both old and new to assign a new quest. Though the trust keys have been lost to the Hylian's, Tiburon speculates Dromand dose not know the true location of the Timeshift Stone Vault. If the Zora agents could beat the Hylian's to it's location first they could attempt to recover the Trust Key's when they try to gain entrance. The last people left alive who truly remember the Vaults location are the Three Immortal Dragons who Dromand's men will most likely be looking for. He assigns his recruits lead by Polaris to find the vaults location from the Water Dragon in Lake Floria.
After learning from Polaris that Darmoto rejected his alliance, King Tiburon sends Zora assassin Coru to kill the Patriarch. He plots to install a new leader more favorable to the Zora’s. The plan backfires however when Corgoro discovers the plot and kills Coru. Enraged by this attempt on his life, and believing the Zora to have stolen his trust key, Darmoto declares war on the Zora Tribe. That night Zora's Domain is invaded by numerous threats including lightning mage Davus Fulmen, necromancer Henrick Boldstyre, and the Goron army. Although the domain is successfully defended King Tiburon is attacked and eventually dies from his wounds.
Back in Castle Town King Dromand decides to launch a surprise attack on the desert, knowing that the Gerudo were going to join the Zora and betray him anyway. Using an army made up of fresh conscripts and Skyloftian Knights the Hyrulean Army begins their assault. While war is raging outside Tarah, Xiaber, and Shinsou infiltrate the Gerudo Fortress while most of the guards are off fighting in battle. The three have a brief skirmish with General Namira and Zora General Svalla Ralisa in the fortress library. Svalla is killed and Dromand's Secret Agents find their way to the Thunder Dragon. After some discussion the dragon warps the trio to the Timeshift Stone Vault.
Eventually King Tiburons former recruits meet with the Water Dragon and are also warped to the vault entrence. There the rival agents meet and prepare to do battle. Before the skirmish can begin however King Dromand and Impa show themselves and reveal they have already emptied the vault of all its timeshift stones. Finally admitting he was the one who plotted to steal the trust Dromand explains why he has taken such regrettable actions. Being a descendent of Hylia the king can forsee the future. In his visions he has seen a time where Hyrule will be destroyed by a mysterious man from the desert.
To prevent this from happening he has secretary ordered the Timeshift Stones to be reforged into the Ocarina of Time, the Wind Waker, and various other legendary items that will someday be used to save the world. Admitting that his actions were indeed brutal he asks for those he deceived to try and forgive him before he warps out of the vault. The various heros, villians, and grey legends of the era are then left to their own devices and an uncertain fate as the Epoch War continues on with no clear end in sight.
The idea of creating a new ZRPG to follow Interloper War began to gain traction in the winter of 2011. Player activity in that game had begun to slow down in the later months of that year making story progress difficult. Users were told that they needed to begin resolving their plot-lines in order to reach a satisfying conclusion to the story. A major development occurred on February 22, 2012 when IGN switched over to a new message board system, deleting all previous ZRPG information.
Although the IGN Moderators were eventually able to restore the lost ZRPG threads the gap in time it took ground all game related actions to a halt. Around this time ZRPG users began to discuss about the possiblity of a new RPG, mostly based around the then newest Zelda game Skyward Sword. The early consensus was that the GM's would move on to this new game after Interloper War reached its resolution. New posts for Interloper failed to materialize however while more and more ideas for a new RPG were tossed around.
IGN users Billiam35 and Cream04849 offered to become GM's to a new RPG and it was agreed to start work on this new game. A point of debate was on what time period and overworld map the story would. Suggestions ranged from a Wind Waker based game to an Adventure of Link inspired plot. Eventually an agreement was made that the new RPG would take place shortly after Skyward Sword, but with an overworld that combined the locations from Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time as well. With the final details worked out an official sign up thread was posted by Stache19 on May 4, 2012 and recruitment for the ZRPG began.
An effort was made to keep Epoch friendly to newcomers and the RP attracted several new players. During the start of season one players were limited to creating one playable character and NPC each. This number was later revised to two at the start of the second season. As time went on Billiam35 and Cream04849 became increasingly inactive so Stache19 and redawson2 were promoted to GM's. To help sort out information gathered during Epoch's storyline character and item information was moved from Google Documents over to a dedicated wiki on Wikispaces. When it was announced that Wikispaces would be ending its free service all wiki content was transferred over to a new ZRPG Compendium hosted by Wikia.
At the begining of 2015 as the main plotline was nearing its end it was decided to end the story and move on to a new ZRPG. Given Epoch's connections to various characters of the Interloper War era a unanimous decision was made to return to the previously unfinished RP and begin a third season to conclude the story. To accommodate for for Epoch players who may not have finished their characters stories, the option was given to have them time-travel into the Interloper War. With a new sign up thread posted for Interloper War Season 3 the final character epilogues were posted and Epoch of Disharmony officially came to a close.