- It's Always Castle Town
- Morton heads towards castle town while a gathering of others head towards a confrontation within its remnants.
- Red Death
- Polaris Returns from the Epoch Era
- Princes of Trouble
- Prince, unsurprisingly, is out to cause mischief.
It's Always Castle Town
Morton, Night 1, Laboratory Wreckage
Ratnis of the Ma held absolute control over the corpse of Sirius Fulmaren. Though Ratnis referred to himself as Morton, in truth it was just a name, the only two real entities involved were Ratnis, and the mind of Sirius, as it now remained locked inside the Lunar Notebook.
Morton had waited in the treetops for hours. When the sun finally edged towards the final minutes of setting, he cautiously made his way back to the wreckage site.
It was a beautiful disaster. Puffs of colored smoke would sometimes still float up from random spots, and the lab continued to give an eerie feeling of life, even as it smouldered into what could only be called the corpse of a hell machine. The jagged metal that stuck out remained very out of place amongst the forest scenery.
Morton clutched the Lunar Notebook. It felt like ants were crawling from its pages up his arms, burrowing into his robes. Sirius was doing it on purpose, reminding him that the mad scientist brain was fiercely fighting for its body back. It was a game now. Father and estranged son dancing around their shared fate.
He entered into the lab, and walked tentatively towards the chambers that Sirius did the majority of his spirit transfer work. They were empty, very empty. No books, no trinkets, not even blood on the floor, which was usually a mainstay of the lab.
(“What are you looking for, Ratnis?”) The telepathic voice of Sirius was grating. The old fool was doing it on purpose, trying to trigger rage and misdirection. Sirius received no reply from Morton/Ratnis. (“Teleportation? Strength enhancer? Magic watch? Multi-dimensional skeleton key? Polarity reversing magic rod? That last one is just a magnet, by the by. Oh I bet you’re looking for some kind of way to take control of my soul as it merges with my body. Well, good luck, but you should know that I destroyed anything that could help you. The only thing left in this lab for you are visions of the past that have only one thing to say. You will be destroyed, all of you.”)
Ma didn’t typically succumb to fear, but at that moment, Ratnis shuddered inwardly. This was his creation after all, at least partially. He immediately began considering alternative plans. It was possible that his plan to control the body of Sirius was too flawed, too incomplete. Ratnis needed a way to open up the prison that kept the rest of his Ma form, and then it would not matter if Sirius reclaimed hi body or not.
At that moment, Morton knew that it had been a mistake to try coming to the lab again. He felt Sirius voice still chattering, but the madman had fully devolved into self adulating grandioseness, so he ignored the thoughts. He turned and swiftly left the lab. This plan just wouldn’t work. Sirius had things airtight. He was out of the lab and back into the forest in seconds. He needed a new plan, right now.
“Time to see what the Twili forces are really all about.” Morton decided castletown would be the next best stop. He still had limited knowledge of modern Hyrule, but he knew that the Twili had the upper hand, and would be his best chance at magic that would allow the rest of Ratnis into Hyrule.
Isaac Telmar, Hyrule Castle Town Streets, Day One
"Lean over and gimme your head real quick," the Twili creature said, even as it took several almost-innocent steps toward him.
Isaac took one long stride back, out of reach of those outstretched hands, his thoughts a surging river, a flood, as he tried to plot on the fly. He had no idea what exactly this kid was, or anything about the nature of his power. He seemed able to control the dead, command them and even possess them across vast distances, which spoke to a degree of psychic power and a fair bit of necromancy, a dangerous combination in his mind. And, whatever this thing, this... child really was, it wanted some manner of access that he was none too keen on.
And yet, there were two other attitudes battling the first. One was the pragmatic side, which told him that he could make great use of the shambling, avaricious dead that the boy could offer. The other was the element of his personality that was ruled by nothing more than overpowering curiosity. In all of his years, never had he come across a being with such a peculiar range of abilities. He couldn't help but wonder exactly what this child could do that had given it so much power over a perpetually contested city.
"Fair enough, kid, but know this," he replied, stepping back toward the eagerly awaiting hands and bending down to offer himself up for whatever the lad intended. "Even I can't be sure how this will all go."
At the first touch of those glowing, burning fingertips, it was as though Isaac's mind had brushed up against something vast, something wholly beyond the physical world. It loomed over him, titanic in scope. It was a thing, an inconceivable mass of interconnected threads stretching like axons from mind to mind, body to body, connecting all within it to one another and back to the fulcrum, the lodestone at the epicenter of the metaphysical web. For an instant, he caught a glimpse of the flashes running back and forth along those threads, the neural messages firing from mind to mind, covering vast physical distances as though such spatial divides hardly existed at all.
And then that world, that massive, all-encompassing network receded from him. His eyes, reflected in the eyes of the Twili child, turned to caverns of roaring fire, with only the serpentine slash of his black pupil to proclaim them as anything else. A sudden heat burgeoned up beneath his breast in the instant during which he glimpsed the unified mind of the dead. Dark, demonic heat burned across his flesh even as his own latent telepathy surged outward in a mental pulse that drove them apart. The Twili child's fingers trailed wisps of smoke as he shook them.
"Sorry kid, looks like you won't be assimilating me after all," he said, rapidly blinking until the heat faded and he was certain that his eyes shone with their human gray once more. "If you don't trust my word, then you'll just have to watch me through one of your corpses.
"Do we have a deal?"
Prince, Hyrule Castle Town Streets, Day One
For only an moment, he could feel Isaac's power join his numbers as the force of Ma intertwined with his. The invisible threads that made up his telepathic connections glowed and pulsated excitedly, as if his own foul magic was feeling the same satisfaction as he. A smirk lightly appeared on his face, which quickly disappeared as stunned surprise replaced it. He stood there dumbly for a moment as Isaac restated his offer, which he almost didn't even acknowledge as his mind raced on the matter at hand.
He...He just...Brushed me off...
He repeated this fact several times in his mind, trying to make sense of the impossibility that had just taken place. No one had ever even come close to resisting that particular spell, it was the most powerful spell he knew! A moment more of pondering had it hit him like a truck; That force of Isaac's that had become his for only a moment was...alive, and it precisely, actively, knowingly repelled him. Whatever wicked fire burned in the man that stood before him was too spicy for Prince...At least for now. He looked at Isaac and deeply sighed, utterly befuddled, demoralized and frankly terrified as a hand came to shake.
"Ugh...Deal." He growled bitterly, trying to hide that if he hadn't relieved himself a few minutes before, he would have had just soiled himself.
Vykos, Necropolis Panorama Deck, Day 1
"There's that sodding git again. Now, who is that with him? We have seen his kind before, six months prior. But all this Prince does is insult me and throw a handful of corpses at my Stalmaster Sentries. Ghini! Observe and report."
Several months had passed since the arrival of this troublesome Prince. Corpses were so hard to come by as a result. The slivers had fallen off the grid, but this Prince seldom made himself available for long periods of time. Rather than potentially wasting his forces on a fruitless attack, he sent his Ghini to gather intelligence. In the meantime, he stood out on his Panorama Deck to take a look at the town.
The Castle itself had heavy amounts of activity, and he knew the faction that had taken it over. Periodically he would send forces that way. And it was time to mount another offensive in that direction.
"I need four Stalfos units to march on the Castle proper. Cathedral. Lots of unusual light patterns. Convert all you find!"
Other Ghini filtered into the Nexus to mobilize that order, and within minutes, he could see his forces marching and shambling. A horde of Stalfos, Stalchildren, and Stalhounds. In the meantime, he looked at the two men and waited for his spy ghost to get into position. This was either some sort of confrontation or it was a deal. People didn't stand out in the open for long unless they wanted trouble of some kind.
Echoing Fears of Fulmaren, Depths of Eridanus’ Mind
(“Kill. Kill everyone, Eridanus.”) Davus urged Polaris with all his strength. The Zora was a feral beast, trapped in hell for eons, subject to the subconscious stirrings of Fulmen. He had to do little but push to stir up all the raw unfiltered rage and anger within Eridanus.
All throughout the eons, during this vast age of delirium the hunt was the only constant. Unchanged and unyielding. And here, at its penultimate moment, only one name came to the frazzled mind as he peered through the sordid darkness.
The beast, for that's all that he was now, he had been something else, but that something else was no more. It had long since been lost. No, what this place, this realm of insanity had reduced him to was base and beastial. Feral. All sophistication long forgotten he crept hunkered low to the ground, walking on hands as much as feet and at times all four. The turf, if it could even be referred to as such showed no signs of his passing, leaving little proof that he had ever been there, and it was because of that, that in the now few and far between waking moments of clarity he still had, he found himself questioning. Wondering whether anything here was authentic. Whether anything was real and if things truly were, or if they merely shifted to fit his perception.
Now was not one of those moments of clarity.
Edging closer he crouched, struggling for a glimpse of his prey through the purpled haze, this rabid son of structure, stranded in a dusk blighted chaos leered hungrily. Time had long ceased to carry meaning, as did sustenance and other mundane bodily needs, but perhaps those things hadn't mattered to him when he arrived here either, perhaps he'd just forgotten.
He couldn't remember.
One thing that did matter. That had mattered for as long as he had been here. A lifetime. 100 lifetimes and more. The overarching reason for his being was the drive for vengeance.
Leaping from his cover with a snarl, the beast surged forward, a missile homing in on a lone target. His focus solely upon the heavily armored paladin who stood with his back to him. Reaching out, he tried to call his element to heel and not for the first time found it wild and untamed. Crimson lightning split the purpled sky while a bloody rime spread around his feet, stretching its frigid tendrils outwards in all directions.
Voice barely an audible rasp, he called out,
Gazing into the hollowed eyes of the paladin, his error dawned on him as he was taken aback by an otherworldly smile, part grin, part grimace it cracked the stony visage. A hint of amusement permeated the air as the paladins shape shifted to that of a nigh featureless woman wreathed in the anti-light of Dusk.
"He was never here."
Polaris Eridanus, Hyrule Castle Cathedral, Morning of the First
His scaled hands never closed around womans neck, for as soon as he came near her, they both winked out of existence and reappeared in the blink of an eye in an entirely different place, in a wholly different realm. The light, though baffled in the high ceilinged cathedral was nigh overwhelming. He knew where he was, and yet nothing was changed. Quickly his wide eyes darted to and fro, side to side. And there, to his side, dripping with the same gore as was he, stood..
He didn’t know. It didn’t matter. If it wasn’t the paladin, then it was she who imprisoned him and thus she who deserved death. The gore streaming down his arms dripped from the chained blades that bound his forearms, loosing them he found the familiar leather wrapped handles of the over sized curved knives in his hands and crouched, swaying side to side like a coiled viper.
Tobias Pepperwhistle and Taur Dagnir/ Hyrule Castle/ Morning of the First
“Bloody ‘ell! Whaddya doin’ yeh big beastie? Get a move on now!” Tobias reached out and rapped the side of the Taurs helm firmly with his cane. The resultant clang echoed loudly along the corridor and Tobias winced and clapped both of his hands over his ears.
His ears rang long after the sound died off, but there was nothing for it, they had to move along. Tobias motioned to the group of miscreants behind him and prodded Taur once more. The gargantuan knight in his coal black armor didn’t budge. Tobias pushed again and again, cursing and spitting all the while and he accomplished nothing more than a slight ruffling of the beasts cloak.
“What gives? I command…”
Taur wheeled around and the wind off the mighty axe Tholcrist, ruffled Pepperwhistle’s hair as he narrowly ducked and fell unceremoniously onto his rump with a look of shock on his face. Taur lumbered forward, pinning Toby flat of his back to the ground with a massive heavily armored boot.
”No more commands.”
The few raiders who hadn’t fled when Taur turned on his master, took this opportunity to charge. Their deaths, although gruesome and unceremonious, bought Tobias the time he needed to gain his feet.
The former inter-provincial Terminian boxing kingpin danced forward on nimble feet and, with his pyrodexically modified gauntlets and bracers, he unfurled an explosive flurry of strikes that would’ve reduced even the stoutest pugilist to a quivering pool of pulp and humanity in the floor at his feet.
As it was, if you squinted just right and cocked your head just so, you could make out a legitimate dent in the obsidian breastplate.
Tobias spun on his heel and fled.
A side door burst open and a ragged looking man in tattered finery, with a monocle, cane and the most extremely peculiar gauntlets forced his way through the room, removing some of the revelers bodily from his path.
“‘Scuse me, ‘scuse me. Comin’ through. Big bloke. Mad as ‘ell and ‘ot on me ‘eels.”
As the door swung back towards closed, it and a large portion of the wall exploded inward, raining stone, cement and body parts in a large cloud of dust. A huge knight strode through the doorway with the severed head of a Hylian street rat mounted on a pike protruding from the top of the largest ax Polaris had ever seen... For the briefest of moments, recognition dawned on Polaris’ face, that realization quickly passed and he once more fixed his gaze on the woman.
Isaac Telmar, Hyrule Castle Town Streets, Day One
Isaac took the albino Twili's disgusted acquiescence on its face and, unwilling or unable to speak further with the peculiar creature, resumed his trek toward the ruined castle and the cathedral he would find there. Only now, unlike before, he did it with twenty shambling, rotting, edacious corpses following hot on his heels.
Still, the discomfort he should have felt at the deal struck was nowhere to be found, for he was too deeply sunk into his own thoughts. Whatever the creature had tried to do to him, and he could make a general guess at the nature of the spell, something in him had met the foreign magic with a stiff rebuttal. The reaction had been almost conscious, and yet he knew full well, after six months of investigation and experimentation, that the Brand Serpent, the Primordial Ma, held no sway over him now. Not since his second marking had been made complete. No, the power that had reacted against the psychic assimilation had been his alone, and yet unlike any power he'd ever known.
Thus, a single question arose, echoing over and over in his head as he passed through crumbling outer walls and across an outer courtyard's shattered and riven paving stones: What was happening to him?
Only when the dark pulsation in the deep gray mark on his cheekbone intensified, only when he reached the doors of the cathedral to find them--and the wall in which they'd been set--collapsed inward, did Isaac shove such questions and concerns deep down, burying them beneath the lust of lofty expectation. With a quick gesture of the hand, he left the corpses waiting outside the broken wall. It wasn't yet their time. Instead, he stepped alone through the haze of dust hanging on the air, moving fastidiously over and around chunks of stone and mortar and splintered wood, and came to a halt before the first row of pews.
Four figures of any note filled the chamber. One he knew all too well, while two he'd never seen before. One dressed in what must once have been finery, but was now soiled by months of crude, rough living. The other was perhaps the most monolithic man he'd ever set eyes upon.
The fourth... the fourth was swathed in a curtain of deepest black, but he felt a familiarity in the pulsing on his cheek, as though his skin could recall the fingers that had brushed gently against it, seeking to claim him.
Isaac let his gaze roam across the scene in its entirety, taking everything in. The left corner of his mouth curled upward in a bemused smirk.
"Gentleman, looks like we've got the makings of a real bacchanalian homecoming," he declared. His eyes swiveled to the crimson Zora, who stood with eyes wide and full of frenzy and blood lust even as gore dripped from his limbs onto the stained stones and tattered carpet. "Welcome back, General Eridanus. There's a lot of folk waiting for you to reappear. It is well that I've found you before matters escalated out of control."
He looked from face to face, to where he suspected the face of the shrouded creature would be, and then back to Polaris. The fingers of his left hand hovered, twitching with anticipation, over the dagger's handle.
"Come with me, Polaris. General Mytura will be relieved to see you."
Senshi, Hyrule Castle, Afternoon 1
"Make sure you watch your step from here on out," Senshi warned as he and Mikhail trekked deeper into the cursed castle.
"Why, you're keeping all the ghouls at bay. Shouldn't we be completely saf-" the boy started to say only to fall into a pit trap. To his eternal fortune this particular trap didn't have any spicks at the bottom but instead a curved bottom that force him into a cage.
An old man jumped to his feet as quickly as his warn knees would allow and held a makeshift spear in front of the trapped boy's face. "Who are you? How can you sneak past the undead? Are you with that damned cult?" "Relax," Senshi called out as he entered the safe house through the proper entrance. "He's with me, I figure you could all use a medic by now. Plus I need an extra hand with the food. I was able to snag a little extra this time."
The old man took one look at Senshi, sneered, and then sat back down on his stool, "You're late."
"You're welcome." Senshi answered in turn as he opened the cage to let Mikhail out. "Anyway where's Harken?"
"Like I said, you're late," the old man replied, "supplies ran to low so we got despite. He took everyone that big guy and everyone could still fight and went to raid that cathedral."
"That idiot, he should have waited for me," Senshi through down to supplies he was carrying and started to head out. "Mikhail you stay here, I'm going to see if I can't make sure those morons come back alive."
Senshi, Castle Cathedral, Day 1
Senshi managed to arrive at the entrance the without much trouble but the sight he saw once there caused him pause. An unusual number of Zombies were clustered together just standing there waiting. The rest of the castle's undead rarely acted so ordered and never formed such tight groups. It wasn't the odd behavior that was bothering, instead it was the density. He hadn't been able to draw as much power from his Scythe as normal lately and he wasn't sure he'd be able to lull them all. Normal he'd just play the sun song and be done with it but this close to the enemy hive that posed an even greater risk.
His first instinct was to try to find another way in but something else was bothering him, it was to quiet. With the head start Harken had he should here a fight going on right now. Worse there was a feeling he was getting from inside. I menacing feeling that he instinctively knew the meaning of though this one was off from some reason.
Throwing caution to the wind he decided to risk it and push right back the Zombies. His success in doing so would be the only good news though as once he entered the cathedral things were far worse then he excepted. Not only were Harken and his raiders already dead but Kinslayer was there as well. As was... something else; the thing that was giving him the eerie feeling.
Senshi ready himself for battle, expecting to have the fight of his life just to try and escape. That's what he saw him, the man he'd spent the past for month trying to figure out how to rescue from hell in the ancient past. "Eridanus!?"
Polaris Eridanus, Hyrule Castle Cathedral, First Day
He was trapped. Trapped in this castle. Trapped in his own mind. His mind, no longer safe, the storm and other such dark things raged there. Much darker things.
Before him, draped in the vibrant, living darkness that Polaris had grown so accustomed to over the eons, his quarry stood silent. The silence was more provocation than a slap in the face and Polaris suspected she knew it. The cathedral was silent, everyone watching, waiting. Some ritual had been performed here and Polaris didn’t know what it was, he did know that, judging by the environment, it wasn’t he who was summoned. He was an extra. No matter what plane they were on, it was her territory he was in once more and he was the stranger. Still trying to find a way home.
Back to himself.
Still with the silence! Don’t they understand? He was alone in the silence, except for when he wasn’t. It was when he wasn’t that he got the itch. It was difficult to describe, an overriding urge, an unscratchable itch like some thing, some… thought or ideal, was trying to burrow its way out of his skull. The drive to satisfy the demands of the beast unleashed during the quiet times was one where reason held no jurisdiction. So it should be without surprise to anyone to know that Polaris longed to kill. To kill the shadow. If he killed the shadow, it would kill the silence.
Fill the silence with her screams and the itch would be scratched. Would go away.
Unaware of when he started moving, Polaris found himself teetering on the precipice of attack, in the instant before the frenzied general let go fell headlong into the mellifluously symphonic sounds of carnage, a voice that made his spine twinge and his gut burn hot with hate broke through the silence.
"Gentleman, looks like we've got the makings of a real bacchanalian homecoming," Isaac Telmar, the Kinslayer himself had found himself at the front of the pews and it was his sarcastic tones that kept Polaris from throwing back the hood of his companion on the dais and sawing off her face with the curved edge of his makhaira.
“Welcome back, General Eridanus. There's a lot of folk waiting for you to reappear. It is well that I've found you before matters escalated out of control."
It was obvious to Polaris that something had changed in Isaac since last they met, it was also obvious that Isaac held at least some measure interest in what happened to the dusk cloaked woman, whether he wanted to be her executioner or savior, Polaris could not yet surmise.
"Come with me, Polaris. General Mytura will be relieved to see you."
Mytura.. Darrel… Polaris strained to focus as his wild eyes roved about the room, looking harder at his surroundings than he yet had. The castle. He was in the ruins of Hyrule Castle. War had done this. A war he’d left unfinished.
“This ‘as all been real touchin’ mates, truly it ‘as, but I gotta be on me way.”
The bedraggled bloke with the monocle actually, made to exit,
Another man burst into the room, and despite the frazzled hair and wardrobe change, it was evident that Polaris recognized Senshi Ma, as did Tobias.
“Oh bloody ‘ell! Now you show up? Bout as ‘elpful as shit stained nose plugs yeh are. ‘ark is dead and this big bugger,” Tobias jerked a thumb towards the obsidian mountain of man and armor, clutching the large axe angrily in the corner, “is no longer under me control. Now, tha’ migh’ not sound all that problematic to you lot, but it bloody ‘ell is a big damn deal.”
Tobias cast a sidelong glance at Taur who, uncharacteristically, had not yet murdered everyone in the room. A reserved smile crept across Tobias’ face as he turned and actually, physically tipped his cap to the room, “As I was sayin’ I’ll be leavin’ now so, crazy red fish guy, shadow lass, spiky hair… I’d like ta say it was nice meetin’ yeh, but.. yeah, Taur’s right miffed so… yeah..”
Pepperwhistle hustled his way out of the room and could be heard cursing all down the hall about needing a “touch ‘o brandy and a bloody steak” as he hurried in the general direction of the castle kitchens.
The insignificant ant scurried away in search of sustenance while Taur stood there processing his newly acquired freedom. He should’ve killed Pepperwhistle. He WOULD kill Pepperwhistle and every single soul that claimed a role in that haunting group of raiders.
As it was though, Taur was content to be free and bask in the soul satisfying sustenance of Dusk that rolled off of the cloaked woman in waves.
The flurry of activity fell by the wayside as did everything else when the storm kicked up in the depths of Polaris’ consciousness.
Polaris lunged forward hungrily and it was with surprising agility that the behemoth in the corner moved to put a man-sized axe in his path. Polaris stopped, spun with more grace than the depths of his insanity should have allowed and kicked. Hard. His heel struck the center of the black breastplate flush and red ice exploded outward from the point where he made contact, leaving a perfect outline of his foot as the only unfrozen section of armor.
With Dagnir temporarily immobilized, Polaris moved once more to attack the shadowy figure, and once more he found himself intercepted.
“You really should just come with me to see Darrel. I’m all for murder, but I think it prudent we leave. Now.”
Heat rolled off of the fiery glaive that blocked Polaris’ path, but he didn’t dare shy away from it, he refused to allow Isaac to even harbor the idea of having the upper hand. In that singular moment that lasted an eternity the two masters gazed unflinchingly. Yin and Yang. Fire and Ice. Neither relented. Neither was the same as he was when last they’d met, it was the black marks that seemed to drag their way across Isaacs face that drew Polaris’ attention most.
He’d been touched by Dusk, that much was evident, Polaris had no means of surmising how intimate the touch was or how deep the taint spread, but it seemed that at least in some fashion, the Kinslayer had mastered the insanity. It was that, more than anything that caused Polaris to relent. He didn’t lower his blade, but he didn’t press for an advantage either.
Polaris pushed his way through the maddening depths of his own psyche as his eyes became clearer than they had yet been, the crazy still loomed large in them as Polaris nodded and turned to address the cloaked figure.
”Your rebirth will not be ended this day shadow... As ironic as it sounds, you have the Kinslayer to thank for that.” Polaris spat, before turning his attention back to Isaac. ”Take me to The Sword of the Sunrise, before I change my mind and decide to take this ones head.”
Princes of Trouble
Prince, Hyrule Castle Town, Day One
Annie Von Jarl sighed heavily as she set aside her photo album and tea, which had regrettably turned cold while she was enjoying her weekly walk. The quite elderly woman moved to get up and start dusting her cupboard, but her strength failed her once...twice...Third was the charm as she finally reached her feet, resting a hand on her back with a groan. Grabbing her duster, Annie went to work cleaning the surfaces of her home which had grown dirty and dusty over a week of neglect. Never a moments rest for the poor girl, almost making her wish that the riches her family line was known for so long ago had endured. She longed for a comfortable life, but like everyone else in this god forsaken and recently war torn world, she had to settle.
Having little stamina at her age, Annie found herself having to take a breather after a half hour of idle cleaning and wiping. She knew that even though her thought to be fatal sickness had cleared up, she was getting up in years, and to be perfectly honest would not be leaving anything of value. Being sterile since birth, she couldn't even leave a next of kin, a detail that she had never tackled in her youth; Her failure to be proactive in at the very least adopting a child weighed heavily on her mind. Alas, another opportunity missed. She returned to her chair to rest, hoping something good would arrive in the mail; Little things like a knock on the door kept Annie's mind off of the depressing goingson. In fact, a knock was at her door just then.
Letting out a sigh that was a mixture of annoyance and amusement in her visitor's timing, Annie pushed herself back up to her feet. Her annoyance soon faded however; She always enjoyed saying her hellos to the mailman. He's such a nice boy, daring the streets despite the dead becoming a more and more...normal sight, sadly. Undoing the lock on her door, Annie opened it with a loud creak; She always meant to grease the blasted thing, but that was for another time, the mail was here!
"...Good Morning..." the mailman's corpse groaned.
She shrieked and slammed the door. Attempting to collect herself in her fit of panicked gasps and sobs, Annie found newfound speed and vigor in her bones. It was time to leave Hyrule, but good; a gesture she had long put off, but with the last good thing in her life gone, there was no putting it off anymore. Grabbing her coat and bagging everything that she truly held dear to her, she made her way to the backdoor of her house in what felt like an hour, even though it was only five minutes. She pushed the door to enter the alleyway...to find that she couldn't. Confused, she peered through the window next to the door, only to see the absolute worst thing. A zombie was holding it closed!
Barely able to keep herself together, she returned to her living room to use the secret door that had once been meant for storing and trading underground goods; A business that had long died when she started living in the old house. Unfortunately, her path was cut off as the first thing she met on her way was a young boy surrounded by zombies...sitting upon the chair she needed to move to get to her escape. She froze, barely able to breathe as a cold sweat chilled her very bones.
"Hello madame.' the child began with a off-puttingly polite tone, 'It's good to see you're alive an well. Was starting to think bonehead up high had taken you first."
He chuckled as he snapped his fingers. Annie could barely move, paralyzed with fear as two zombies promptly shambled forth, each grabbing her arms to immobilize her to that spot. These two undead ruffians had ungodly strength, as she found she couldn't struggle against their grip; A stark contrast to the shambling messes outside during her walks. The pale child smiled, sipping the tea Annie had left next to her chair, raising his black pinky as if to mock her. Smacking his lips, he set the tea back down with a disgusted shudder.
"Eugh...Cold, like this house.' he looked up and down at Annie as he flicked the cup of tea off of the table, spilling the rest on the floor, '...and dear madame, you look cold too."
Annie had a retort, but it died on the way up her throat.
"Eustice!" the boy yelled, as a rather grumpy zombie emerged from the kitchen carrying a bucket.
"...What do you want 'master?'" it groaned unhappily.
"Fucker, you know what I want!' the child chuckled, making beckoning motions, 'Little Annie is looking cold. We need to warm her up."
The zombie, once walking past its master, thrust the bucket forth, splashing Annie and the zombies with the liquid inside. Annie spluttered as some of it got up her nose and in her mouth. It tasted foul and waxy.
"I-is this?...' her question was answered immediately when the boy's zombie assistant moved the chair, the secret door opening as another zombie emerged with a lighted lamp in hand. Annie was immediately hysterical upon the revelation.
"Don't fret, dear Annie.' the boy attempted to assure her with an incredulous chuckle, 'You'll warm up to the idea of working for me."
Like that, the boy and his assistant zombie let himself out, additional zombies outside holding the door closed as soon as he disappeared in the crowd. Annie looked back at the zombie who held the lamp, who seemed to be waiting for something with a rather bored expression. Before she could try to think of anything, the very ceiling began to leak with the same stench that now covered her and the two zombies that maintained their grip. Zombies were pouring the foul flammable liquid atop her house with such quantity, it was leaking visibly through the foundation's imperfections. The zombie in front of her suddenly smiled, before slamming the lamp down with the crash of glass and roar of awakening flame filling the room. Prince sat outside, humming a tune to himself while he watched a yellow and orange glow consume the interior of the house he once stood in.
"Well that was fun." He said, stretching his legs while getting up. He snapped his finger at the zombie he had named Eustice, who obediently responded, much to its chagrin.
"Where to now master?" It grumbled.
"Well, first tell these dudes to collect her body after she's expired, then you're coming with me to go make fun of boney butt."
"...His name is Vykos, master..." the zombie corrected him promptly.
"And you're real name is J'onn Everstone. You don't see me calling you that, now do you Eustice?"
The zombie rolled its eyes and nodded as it turned to wordlessly instruct the zombies that had stayed to watch the fire while Prince walked away. After it was done, the zombie horde that stood there nodded in united agreement as Eustice returned to the Prince's side. The boy grabbed the cadaver's hand as they disappeared, appearing once again inside the Stalfos Lord's throne room, high above the city.
"Ayyyyyye boney bitch!' Prince's voice echoed in the halls, 'What's cooking? Cuz whatever it is, you need to stop; You're looking fat!"
Vykos Osteon, Necropolis Nexus, Day 1
The necromancer kept firm watch over his battalions of Stalfos headed straight for Hyrule Castle. While the landscape had mostly remained constant, the Dusk cultists had altered the halls of the palace even more than before. Ritual suicides? Sacrifices? Either way it could mean more materials. He considered sending gathering units after the raid.
And then his Observer was damaged by a wave of supernatural energies. With its view fading, he saw a crimson Zora unleash a volley of red ice and guarantee destruction of his unit. Pulling his palm away from his All-Seeing Eye, he cursed bitterly.
What he saw next angered him even more. The Prince, who hurled insults at him daily from the ground below, had somehow gotten through all of his elaborate defenses. It was bad enough that his supply of corpses was being starved out. This was blasphemy.
"You have risked what existence you have to reach my Nexus, and all you have is bony butt? If you survive this, which I doubt, you ought to rethink your priorities."
Raising his staff skyward, green and orange gas began to seep into the chamber. Vykos uttered words of dark sorcery, causing all of the walls to shake. Shambling Stalchildren began to crawl out of the floor, ceiling, and the walls. They had been built into the necropolis' very framework, waiting to come to the defense of their master.
Their numbers began to increase greatly, and they started to combine upon themselves to form a much larger creature, one nearly fifteen feet tall. Once the last creatures formed a long, two handed blade, it charged to attack the Prince and his companions.
"As I said, you are a fool to come here. Now die! Again, if you must."
Prince, Necropolis Nexus, Day One
"Well now...That's just cheating. When I stack my assholes, they just moan and groan about how heavy everyone else is..." Prince griped idly as he watched the titanic threat before him grow.
Though I gotta admit, that's pretty fucking cool.
The enormous skeleton giant rattled and crunched horrifically as it rose its Bone Sword into the air, prepared to smash the Twili child with tremendous power and force. He refused to budge despite this. Eustice's eyebrow rose at his master's inaction, before raising a declarative finger in his concern.
"Shouldn't we move, sir?" He asked dimly.
"Nah, fastball special."
"Before it kills me!"
The zombie groaned in its annoyance as it scooped Prince above his head, his arms' muscles bulging monstrously before chucking his master at the skeleton mass. Prince could hear the crunching impact of Eustace catching the sword with his momentary strength as his blood-red sword materialized in his hand. Using his momentum and speed, Prince's sword plunged into the chin of the skeleton that had made the head of the massive pile of bones, which promptly popped off as Prince brought it with him as he rolled down the creatures back. Clumsily falling on his face as he reached the floor, Prince attempted to save the moment by getting up as quickly as he could, pointing his skull-adorned sword at Vykos' face.
"Ha! How 'bout them apples, Skeletor?!" He exclaimed proudly, barely noticing the giant behind him turning around.
Vykos Osteon, The Nexus, Night 1
The defiance of this Prince knew no bounds. He had his servant hurtle him through the chin of his behemoth. While the invader was airborne, Vykos fired a density control ray at his creation. This would allow a more complete bonding within the frame, and it would also prevent the same antics from happening again.
"Ha! How 'bout them apples, Skeletor?!"
The necromancer remained emotionless behind his plague mask. What Prince didn't know would cause him utmost peril. Tapping his staff's base against the ground in response to another taunt, he chuckled quietly; alarms began to blare. Rumbling intensified throughout the halls. A majority of the master's hordes knew he was threatened and began to close in on the Nexus.
"You really have no idea what you've gotten yourself into. Why fear death when I've already taken that journey? My forces will ensure you take it, even if you take me out."
Raising his staff in defiance, pale green energies began to cascade around the large gemstone in its head; pure necrotic power.
"Your invasion is blasphemy. I must know how you bypassed my defenses."
Behemoth was turning and approaching; it was not pleased either.
Prince, Necropolis Nexus, Night One
Prince, despite being surrounded by forces and evil energies that would make even the mightiest hero hesitate with fear, dismissed his weapon. Catching the once pierced skull with one of his puny hands, the boy put his thumb over the hole on the skull's top as he nonchalantly summoned forth a small amount of blood, which pooled inside the skull like it was a cup. His face remaining dismissive and distant about the necrotic power that surrounded him, he chugged the skull's contents before tossing it aside. His appalling lack of respect made Eustace, whom was quite stuck where he was, having his spine temporarily severed from blunt force trauma, begin to worry for what the boy could possibly be attempting to accomplish.
"See, the funny thing about defenses, is they're rather easy to get past if you don't confront them at all. Your floaty hunk of rock had a small crack in it, so we slipped in through there.' Prince responded in a 'as a matter of fact' tone of voice, 'But enough about your crack, I have a proposal of sorts if you can tell Igor here to piss off." He finished, gesturing the giant that had now finished turning.
Eustace pulled a small box from his pocket, which contained a wedding ring inside. Snickering to himself, the zombie tossed the box over the titanic beast of bone, which landed with almost comical precision into Prince's outstretched hand. Said hand was merely gesturing the skeleton monster, but the Twili boy found humor in his next move and decided to roll with it.
"...Vykos, you super creepy dead guy who lives over my house...' Prince began, holding chuckles back as he took a knee, '...Will you join me in unholy matrimony? 'Cuz seriously, it's no secret we're cramping each others style and it'd be just better for everyone if we started a truce...For like...I dunno...A week, tops?"
"He won't backstab you immediately, he's still cross about that Isaac guy."
"Thank you Eustace."
Vykos Osteon, Necropolis Nexus, Day 1
This oversight would need to be remedied. All of them would need to be. This Prince's craftiness, defiance, and audacity could be valuable in an alliance. But being the evil curmudgeon he was, he did not entertain the marriage proposal to the extent that Prince had hoped he would.
"Are you taking the piss here? You put on this show and do all this to try to impress me? So far all you've done is try to cut into my corpse market."
Elite undead units began to flood the chamber, holding their position behind the Stalfos Behemoth.
"It's not a matter of what you're asking, but how you're asking. This town is engaged in civil war while a larger conflict rages around it. There are...opportunities. The cultists seem to have had a ritual suicide, and the living shrink in number."
Pacing back and forth, he motioned for them to put the ring away.
"You'll need to prove yourself beyond what you've already done. Consider this a conditional alliance of convenience, and an interim one at that. If you try anything, the endless hordes of this Necropolis will hunt you for the rest of your days, which will be few. We must glean the battlefields to increase our numbers, and send out scouting parties to find them. If we split the corpses fairly, we can lay waste to all of Hyrule! How does that sound, young one?"
His hordes stood at the ready, led by the Behemoth. They appeared skeptical, but Vykos was planning, and he knew not to turn a potential ally away if things could be gained from it.
CONTINUES ON In Ruins Wake Part II P#78