Section Summaries

    • Polaris gets baptized.
  • Embracing Madness
    • Kae delves into madness.
  • Drown Your Sorrows
    • Drinks are had at the nearby pub while waiting to depart. Eventually Lia drunkenly opens a portal to the desert and wanders off, forcing the rest of the desert team to follow.

Purging the Darkness

Seishi, Hidden Village, Day 3

Seishi already had one foot out of the tent when an icicle struck the back of his armor. Polaris had made some remark of another right after but the Paladin could hear it. He couldn’t hear anything really as he’d slipped away from the world and had been replaced by the vengeful young soldier that he’d long ago locked away.

A tense silence over took the room as Seishi’s hand slide down the hilt of his sword and to the blood stained scarf he kept wrapped around its scabbard. Both were the only keepsakes he had from his father, both eternal reminders of the day they were passed to him as his father died in his arms.

After a moment Seishi finally spoke with an uncharacteristic calm, “My brother dealt with Ganondorf and his whore mothers. As for that tub of lard you called a king, a sick twist of fate made him family. All these years I’ve never had an outlet for all the anger I’ve felt since that day. I’ve had to bury deep or try to let it go and move on with my life, but then you showed up. Now I know I shouldn’t take my frustration out on another solder. We were all just fighting so our kingdoms could survive that drought, but it’s different with you, isn’t it?”

The bitter old solder slowly drew his sword though still didn’t bother turning to face eternal general, “Now, I don’t know if it was desperation, a quest for personal glory, or just a burning hatred for us Hylians, whatever the reason you allied yourself with the Gerudo during that battle at Lake Hylia. The second you did that, the second you got in bed with that sand demon you set his ambitions into motion.”

Using Farore’s Wind, Seishi vanished and reappeared behind Polaris and pressed his sword against the nap of the General’s neck. “If it wasn’t for you the armies of Hyrule would still have been too strong for Ganondorf to ever start the Imprisoning War. So I figure you’re pretty damn responsible for everything that’s come from those seven years of hell in. Don’t you.”

Phoenix slowly lifted his aged body out of his seat at the front of the room, making sure to be loud enough to draw the attention of the two fighters, “seeing as I’m fairly sure you two fighting each other would result in the destruction of this base, I’m going to ask that both of you stop.”

Seeing neither of the two budge, the ancient Knight walked over to his old friend, place his hand on his shoulder and whispered to him, “You’ve come too far to let this consume you again. Let it go.”

Seishi’s arm tensed up and his gritted his teeth hard. “Damn it,” he spat, finally sheathing his sword and storming out of the tent.

Phoenix quickly positioned himself between the two belligerents to ensure Polaris couldn’t retaliate again. “General, I can’t believe I have to say this to a man of your experience but, do make sure not to confuse a dog for a wolf. It doesn’t end well for anyone one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting with the Chamberlin and the remaining Ministers. Those fools want to put our bachelor King on the front line.”

An awkward silence still consumed the room for a moment after Phoenix departed until Ayala decided to speak up, “So um… I’ve got a good walk ahead of me so I’m going to head out now. Just thought I’d let you all know in case anyone was joining me… yeah.”

Jaden, HK, Day 3

"The information my Unit Zero forces gathered proved useful in so many ways throughout our guerrilla operations. They were able to get me one more piece of information fairly recently about the Dawn Mineral. Lia, probably best to probe my mind to get an accurate bead on where this thing is. Between the maps and the conversations I've had, you could glean a lot."

Pacing about, he mulled over the thought of bringing Elly with him. But that'd be one more to beam out. And someone had to protect Kae other than this mysterious Aris fellow. Elly would help to keep her in check. There would be no blazes of glory with her there.

"I'm ready when the rest of you are. The biggest problem with getting the mineral out is traps. I couldn't cut a deal with the Chieftain, but I can guarantee that there are few better at disarming traps than the folks in our group. Puzzles and riddles. We'll see more of those than anything else. And if we trigger any of these, only we are tough enough to handle it. Anyone good at reading ancient Gerudo by chance?"

Jaden chuckled lightly as he sipped on a bitter root tea. He was eager to get out there and restore hope to the Lights with a win in the desert.

"Whatever you do, don't mispronounce anything when you read that stuff. Scarab swarms are a real bitch."

Kae, HK, Day 3

The Scion felt restless almost to the point of awkward anxiety. Aris was discussing logistics with Phoenix and the others, and she could follow along to a point, but felt lost in others. Troop movements and delay tactics were not her area of expertise.

Other High Command experts advocated digging pitfalls outside of the hub. Then came conflicted opinions about spikes at the bottom or just making the holes deep.

The problem was, no one had time for any of that. Kae would have had to make multiple craters, and shaping the blasts just so would tax her power supply. She felt the Light Medallion burning around her crest setting; a firm reminder that it wasn't quite do or die time yet.

Then there was the issue of the Elder Ma. Sure, she could sense demonic forces. Phoenix gave off palpable waves of negative energies. And she had the right set of magical abilities to deal with them. But she could not sense any nearby.

Staying put would not do. But if Senshi left already, she'd be the only one left short of Aris who could deal with these monstrosities.

"Lord Mastigos, what are your thoughts on me and Elly seeking out the Ordona Shrine Blessing? I have developed an ability in the Sacred Realm that I'm reluctant to use, but I'd be able to get there and back again in less than an hour barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Closing her eyes and breathing deeply, she let out a soft sigh, and violet-white Seraph wings shimmered from her back, widely spanning from head to toe.

Elly shook her head, covering her face with her palm.

"And if you take to the skies, any Twili or sympathizing force in the area will take you out. That isn't subtle. You can't cloak that like you did in the Sacred Realm to supplement that. It'd drain you dry, and you'd draw on the Medallion. That'd kill you. Besides, the Elder Ma situation. And just about everyone else is going out besides you, the Treant, and Aris short of High Command. Someone has to stick around and keep the camp safe if we get surprise attacks ahead of the Twili forces."

Kae took a green apple from a nearby basket and partook of it, pondering Elly's advice.

"I can't just sit still, Elly. Are you going to stay here with me? Or will you head to the desert with my brother? Aris is staying here to help coordinate what's left of our forces. That is his area of strength more than any other. But I am meant to be a beacon of hope in swirling storms of chaotic dusk. There has to be a way to get us to the Shrine and back quickly. Perhaps the Chiaria woman can help?"

"As much as I want to go with Jaden, and as much as I miss him, I do not know if he'd have me. That mission seems like a boy's club thing. I couldn't keep up, even though I'd love to prove myself out there and work with Jaden again. My place is with you, Kae. I've almost died three times in this past year, but it's with you."

Elly leaned in to hug Kae, and they embraced briefly, listening to Aris try to hash out logistics with the rest of the brass. The Scion's wings absorbed into her back once more, and they awaited Aris' opinion about the Ordona Spring.

"You ladies speak truth. We need to get that blessing. However, as Phoenix and the others have mentioned, we need you here, Lady Bryseis. The Elder Ma are a serious threat, and could easily undermine our defenses. You ought to go out and search the area. Leave the blessing to me. We'll find a way to get it. I am sorry I can't endorse your plan at this time. Please forgive me."

Kae nodded reluctantly in understanding. While she disagreed with Aris, she had to realize that he was a master tactician. He'd fought in wars for thousands of years, or even longer than that. His age was beyond antiquity. Perhaps even older than the First Scion.

"I understand, Lord Mastigos. My heart is with you. Please call for me if anything changes."

The towering angel nodded in approval and bowed in a strange fashion, and the ladies left to cover local ground.

They saw Jaden and the others assembled, talking amongst themselves and getting prepared to head out. Jaden was sipping on Lotus root tea, trying to curb his urges to drink alcohol. Elly ran up to him, ahead of Kae, and hugged him tight.

"You stay safe out there, damn it! I don't want to mourn for you like you mourned for me. Not yet."

Kae jogged a little faster to catch up with her friend.

"May Din grant you the endurance, Farore the long-suffering, and Nayru the revelation to have an expeditious journey and return. The Triune watch over you all."

Horus - Hidden Kakariko High Command - Early Morning Three

"I feel it would be for the best to keep her around. She's been a pain in my metaphorical tail feathers since I joined this war."

He turned to look at Sha'Tive, who only grinned knowingly back.

"Death is too good for her. Additionally, I have a few more poisons to test on her since she can grow limbs back. I was hoping that perhaps one of them would be the key to putting down the much more mortal enemy we have ahead of us."

Horus respectfully returned the sword to it's rightful owner, using his newly free hand to hold Darrel steady. Standing was hard enough for the soldier and Horus learned well the sword's heft.

"As for the desert mission, I can assure you that now only my own thoughts remain in the old bird brain, and I am free of what drove me mad and possessed me earlier."

He gestured Sha'Tive again.

"It was her who did it. She weaved the web and it too was her who severed it. My bow and where it points now belongs only to your call, Darrel."

He gestured the tent entrance as he picked Sha'Tive back up onto his back.

"After you."

Darrel Mytura, Hidden Kakariko High Command, Early Morning Three

With one hand helping hold Darrel upright, Horus proffered the hilt of Morning's Edge with the other. With an unsteady hand, he reached out and closed his fist around the soft leather wrapped from pommel to crossguard around it. With a sharp intake of breath at first contact, he felt a surge of vital energy rush through him; a pulse of heat that radiated from his fingers up his arm, across his body and down through every extremity. He felt wounds begin to slowly knit together, and old aches were soothed.

I am here for you love, now and always. Take up your burden once more and know that I will help you carry it. The time to lay it aside is near at hand.

The words faded from his mind, leaving only a dull echo, but when he looked down he found Horus staring back at him. The Rito's hand still held the sword by the blade as he'd offered it, and by the look on his face Darrel knew that he'd heard as well.

"Horus my friend, meet Helen. My wife." He took up the blade, letting his cane fall away as he felt stronger and steadier on his feet now. "It took me a long time to understand, but she has been with me always. Her celestial spirit has resided within Morning's Edge, guiding me, sustaining me."

He slid the blade back into the empty scabbard on his hip, reveling in its familiar weight.

"I am pleased to hear that you have recovered from what she did to you, my friend. If you feel it best to bring her with us then I will leave her in your charge." Darrel pulled back the tent flap and allowed Horus to exit with the creature slung across his shoulder, but delayed when across the tent a commotion broke out. An icy wind rolled across everything, frosting the canvas and fogging the lamps, causing the flames to shudder. Looking over, Darrel found Seishi and Polaris glaring at one another, with the enormous Oni warrior standing between them. Hurrying forward, Darrel came to Polaris' side and put a hand on the arm which held Winter's Tide aloft. The Red Ice General flinched at the touch, but did not move to act. A good thing, since Darrel was still regaining his strength. "Come Polaris. I don't care what time of day it is; I could use a drink before we move out. There is no use in fighting here, now. You both should know better.

"Jaden, Lia, we have some plans to make before we go. Meet us in the saloon when you're ready."

Lia, Hidden Kakariko High Command, Early Morning Three

"Jaden, Lia, we have some plans to make before we go. Meet us in the saloon when you're ready."

Lia nodded in agreement and immediately headed for the saloon, having nothing further to say or do in preparation.

Jaden, Elly, and Kae,HKHC,Early Morning 3

After promising Elly that he'd return in one piece, she let go of him. It wasn't too soon after that that Darrel had asked him to head to the saloon.

"This is too big to fail. I have to lay off the drink until after the battle. It sucks. Maybe the barkeep has some Grave Lotus Root tea, the good stuff that Nora used to keep for herself."

Elly kissed him and sighed. She looked back at Kae, very concerned. Jaden wasn't being himself. His sudden asceticism usually meant trouble. He only swore off of things he loved when he thought he'd shown dishonor to himself or another.

Kae nodded back, having already said her blessing.

"Remember that the most obvious solution isn't always the correct one, Jaden. Look for Truth."

One of the core tenets of the Shadow Folk, as simple as it could be.

Jaden bid his farewell for now, and turned toward the saloon.

Polaris Eridanus, Hidden Kakariko, 3rd Day

Polaris’ anger cooled a few degrees at Darrel’s approach and he nodded and made to follow the Sunrise Knight.

Pausing briefly at the flap, he called out to those still in attendance. He couldn’t resist himself. ”And I, for one, can’t believe that I need to explain this to anyone. Dog or wolf,” He shrugged. ”One ass sniffer is as good as the next.”

The tent flap dropped down behind him and he turned to face Darrel, Horus and Jaden. Stifling a grin, he proclaimed, ”Damn. It is so good to be back.”

Cutting past the group, Polaris started walking in the general direction of where he assumed the saloon would be. Picking their way through the clustered tents and various other buildings, the group hadn’t traveled far when then came upon a natural fresh water spring, a building positioned nearby for easy access.

Seated upon a bench atop said building was a man whom he had seen recently, very recently for Polaris, ages ago for the man.

As the man rose, Polaris nodded to him. ”Well met Wanderer.”

Chamdar Taliesin, Hidden Kakariko, Day Three

"Well met Wanderer."

Chamdar sat with his back straight, tall even seated, as the small rag-tag group approached through the crush of humanity that had been dumped into Hidden Kakariko's streets. Polaris Eridanus, the Red Ice General. Darrel Mytura, the Sunrise Knight. Jaden Bryseis, Sentinel of the Shadow Folk. To a man they bore their darknesses at the bare edge of sight. The shadow of their burdens hung about them at all times, weighing on them, pressing them down. Chamdar could see the look about them one and all, as he'd seen on so many others throughout the course of this war. The things these men had done, the things they'd seen, were written into every line and plane of their faces.

Bryseis strode with a lighter step, though. His darkness still hung about him like a veil, but something had happened to buoy his spirits some. The weight of a losing war dragged at him, but there was a newfound resolve in his face. Even... relief?

It wouldn't do.

Darrel too appeared somehow changed. There had been, in past months, a deepening darkness within and without the man. Command had come with a heavier burden than most suffered, and Darrel had in a way reveled in that suffering. He'd begun to draw it around him like a cloak. Warmth against the inexorable cold. He'd been a man alone for so long, cutting himself off from those close to him in fundamental ways. Distancing himself from the pain of loss so often experienced by the long-lived. Duty was a boulder on his back, and kinship a weakness. Now, though, Darrel too seemed not so beaten down by circumstance. He too wore a mask of resolution, of conviction, but not tainted by the grim hopelessness on the faces of so many others in Hidden Kakariko. Something had happened to the man, and it had something to do with the stagger in his step. He'd been hurt. Gravely.

Chamdar needed look the Knight in the eye only briefly to see the truth.

And then, blessedly, there was Polaris.

The Red Ice General might as well have been walking through a lightless cave at midnight, such was the black veil that surrounded him. It was plain to see at the edges of his eyes, where the madness lingered. There was a wildness in the Zora warrior that barely discerned the difference between ally and foe. The stench of the Dusk rolling off the Red Ice General came in waves. It was near enough to make Chamdar retch, were he not warded against the filth of the Warp.

"Well met indeed, friends," Chamdar replied. "I understand you each will be off soon to the desert reaches, hoping to find something that will give Hyrule a chance at survival as this war waxes toward its culmination. I can think of precious few others to whom I would entrust the fate of Hyrule at this late hour, and I hope that I can be of some help to you, before the end."

Slowly, he rose from his bench and strode over to the edge of the spring, drawing his watch from the pocket of his cassock.

"Jaden Bryseis. I haven't had the fortune of meeting you before now, but I know your sister. She's young for a Scion, and ruled by her heart. In truth she reminds me a great deal of myself back when youth meant something to me. She will do well, as you have. For a young warrior new to Hyrule's eternal struggles, you've faced up well to the challenges and the dangers that ravage our world. Few have found themselves equal to the task of facing dark sorcerers and Primordials and the ruinous Ma. You are as welcome an addition as any to the perpetual war we wage against their predations." With his free hand Chamdar reached into the satchel hanging at his side, pulling up the leather flap and dipping his hand inside. When he drew it back out, he was holding a small device, an orb of black iron engraved with a serpent constricting around it. the etchings that formed the wyrm's sinuous body gleamed with a dull reddish glare. "Fire and blood will activate this orb and form a banishment gate. With it you will be able to cast a single soul from Hyrule, banishing them into the Adjacent Planes, the pocket realms that cluster around our world. There they will remain, sealed away, but you must take great care; once and once only will this orb activate to create a gate. Once you use it, that's it. I trust your instincts will lead you to the right moment."

He deposited the orb into the Sheikah's hand.

"Why are you giving this to me?" the Sentinel asked, eyeing the iron orb in his upturned palm with a wary eye.

"Because our role isn't always what we expect, Captain."

Chamdar turned his eyes then to Darrel, who regarded the Scion suspiciously.

"Hello again, old friend," Chamdar said, moving forward. Darrel stood at ease, the point of his blade driven into the gravel that he might lean on it for support. "You look well."

"I look like an armored behemoth beat me bloody and left me for dead," came the Knight's retort.

Chamdar smiled a small smile.

"You do," he acceded. "But you look well nonetheless. You know now, don't you?"

Wordlessly, Darrel nodded.

"Then you begin to understand what must be." It was not a question. As Darrel eyed him, Chamdar brought the watch up and snapped it open, pressing his thumb into its face. A golden glare erupted beside the steaming spring for a moment, and as it subsided the Sunrise Knight looked down to find a broad circular shield at his feet. Its face was steel or another silvery alloy, scrubbed to a mirror-sheen. Its outer edge was banded in a golden material that reflected all of the light that hit it, gleaming like fire. At its center was embossed a golden sunburst. Darrel's sigil. The shield was massive enough for a large man to hide most of his upper body behind, and it radiated the warmth of the human soul. "This shield is yours, old friend, much like the blade you carry. It is the other side of the coin. You bear already a thing crafted to destroy; it is only fitting now with what lies ahead that you bear something meant to protect."

Darrel reached down, crouching with his weight on his blade for support, and lifted up the edge of the shield. At first touch he recoiled as though shocked, but the chains bound to his left arm by Twili manacles reacted as though with a life of their own, for they were a part of him and bound to his spirit just as the blade was. Just as the shield would be. They loosened and snapped forward, wrapping in a criss-crossing X around the shield, binding it tight to his forearm. The golden sunburst at the center of the shield burned with a golden orange blaze, which radiated in the runes carved into the chain links and then burst down the steel blade in his other hand.

"This shield is Morning's Herald. That is what you must be."

Chamdar knew well what Darrel was experiencing inside, behind the surprise and awe on his face. He knew the forces raging within, and the voice.

He turned finally to Polaris, who'd watched him give gifts to the other two without comment. Now, Chamdar looked the General fully in his wild eyes.

"And last I come to you, Polaris Eridanus." He stepped close, so tall as to dwarf most men. "It's strange. After I was displaced from my own time period, I watched events unfold in Hyrule from a distance. Events in which you played a central role. I always wondered what had become of you. For hundreds of years I wondered. And when next we met... how strange to find that you knew nothing of me, or of the events that had taken place.

"You, General, are a fascinating man. And as I stand before you now I can understand something of what has brought you hence. I can see reflected in your eyes horrors that you did not bear six months ago, and I begin to understand. You're not the same man who disappeared as the war turned, and how could you be?" He cast a glance back at the others, then drew a step closer to the crimson Zora, watching carefully the barely restrained will to violence. "I have no gift for you, General, but I believe I can help you nonetheless.

"Come, walk with me. What we need to speak of is for your ears alone."

With that he turned and strode away from the spring.

Polaris Eridanus, Hidden Kakariko, 3rd Day

Sweat beaded on his brow and trickled down his face, giving the General a diaphoretic sheen as he struggled to remain impassive while Taliesin bestowed his tokens upon his fellow travelers. Fidgeting with the chains that bound his arms, his flesh roiled in protest as the Dusk and his own ice warred beneath the lightning forged steel that bound it all together.

"You, General, are a fascinating man. And as I stand before you now I can understand something of what has brought you hence. I can see reflected in your eyes horrors that you did not bear six months ago, and I begin to understand. You're not the same man who disappeared as the war turned, and how could you be?" He cast a glance back at the others, then drew a step closer to the crimson Zora, watching carefully the barely restrained will to violence. "I have no gift for you, General, but I believe I can help you nonetheless."

"Come, walk with me. What we need to speak of is for your ears alone."

Finding himself in such close proximity to the Scion, Polaris resisted the urge to recoil and rage mercilessly through the camp. It took every ounce of his resolve to resist the unbound call to flee, reeking untold havoc throughout the Hylian redoubt in his exodus. Every fiber of his being seemed to want to be as far away from this harbinger of the Goddesses as he could be, and still he found himself suppressing the anger and fear. Head throbbing and mouth dry, Polaris nodded, offered a shaky wave to his companions and fell in beside Chamdar.

Whatever was to come of this, he was certain that it wouldn’t be pleasant.

As they left the others behind, Polaris smacked his lips, trying in vain to whet his mouth before he opened it to speak, failed, coughed dryly and managed a weak smile.

”H-help.. That would be most.." Wringing his hands, the General cleared his throat. "Welcome.”

Scratching absently at the nape of his neck, Polaris’ eyes darted wildly from Chamdar to the open space that stretched out before them, wishing longingly that he could run. That he could kill. That he could find himself anywhere but where he stood, awaiting the judgement he knew deep within the recesses of his heart he most certainly deserved.

Chamdar Taliesin, Hidden Kakariko, Day Three

”H-help.. That would be most.." Wringing his hands, the General cleared his throat. "Welcome.”

The crimson Zora followed the hoary Hand, leaving his compatriots behind to await his return. Chamdar let a silence envelope them as he led the way, pushing past clusters of refugees, making their way south through the heart of town. Eventually they passed the boundary at which the buildings ceased and all was left an arid, dusty bowl between the ledge-like boundaries to the west and the rising slopes of Death Mountain to the east.

Chamdar took his last step before the healing pool belonging to the divine emissary, Eldin the Light Spirit.

"Your journey has been a long and difficult one, I imagine," Chamdar mused then as he turned from the spring to meet Polaris' eyes. "I do not know all of what has afflicted you, General, but I can guess--and more than guess. You have faced the horrors of the Warp. I can sense the Dusk-taint on you even now, infecting your mind and infesting every cell and fiber of your being. You were steeped in that blasphemous chaos for so long, the best healers and white mages in the land would risk killing you to free you of it.

"I believe that I can help where they cannot, but even my power has limits--and risks. Before I proceed, I need you to tell me of what happened to you." He reached out and placed a sympathetic hand on the Zora's shoulder, feeling the flinch as Polaris' muscles tightened instantly. Nor was the flash of violent yearning in the Zora's eyes lost on Chamdar, either. "Tell me of the Warp, General, and I will do my best to free you of this madness."

But only at a cost, he left unsaid.

Polaris Eridanus, Hidden Kakariko, 3rd Day

Skin crawling, Polaris slowly flexed the muscles in his neck and turned it to the side with a satisfying crack before turning back to Chamdar and silently agreeing to the telling of his tale with a quick, birdlike dip of his chin.

Turning his back on the aged one, Polaris strode a few paces away as the silence stretched on for several moments. Chamdar waited in silence, while the General gathered his thoughts.

”I would start at the beginning, but that… particular chapter has been hidden from my sight in all of my wanderings across the pages of time. I know only of an egg stolen and a Ma tricked, but you’re not here to hear about the childhoods of myself or my… brother, for lack of a better term. So, know only this, it all goes back to her, the Mistress of the Sands.”

Polaris turned now to face his singular audience, ’When last you or anyone else saw me in this time, I was traveling near the falls in search of an ancient vault. Inside of which, I laid claim to my birthright.

The air shimmered and for the briefest of moments, the vague outline of Winters Tide appeared in the Zora’s hands, only to disappear in an instant. Polaris shrugged, ”You were there for much of what happened next. The War of Disharmony. King versus King. Race against Race. I was honor bound to aide the whelp Tiburon in a battle that was a loss on all sides for the greater good.”

Casting a sidelong glance towards Chamdar, he closed his eyes and sighed. ”What I did next, I’ll not explain the why of, just know that it was done for noble causes. At the conclusion of the war, I used blood magic and a profane rite to open a portal into the depths of Hell where, after slaying Sourbeneton, my… companions and myself rescued a soul wrongly damned. I got them out of there, but was forced to stay behind in order to anchor the magicks required to open the door to their time.”

”Aimlessly I wandered the circles of the underworld until finally I found a way out. One which is, apparently unknown to the damned. Or perhaps it is known, but they simply cannot walk the path. Whatever the reason, I was out and on an island wholly unknown to me inhabited by the Guardian Order. Some time after my arrival there, there was.. An explosion that sent me hurtling through the fabric of the aether. When I came to, I found myself stranded in the Dusk Warp possessed of a single mindedness I clung to my sanity for a time in that barren place. And then I began chasing the ghosts. For a thousand years or more I hunted my prey wholly unaware of the reality that they were merely spectres created by the Warp and the Lady whose essence that place embodies.”

Stepping close then, he was nearly nose to nose with his old friend, when his darkened eyes met those knowing ones of Chamdar he sighed. ”I have walked the circles of Hell and traversed the Warp for 10 centuries or more. Done terrible things knowing they were atrocious and reveled in them while hating myself for basking in the joy of it. You wanted the truth of it, you have it. Now you will know my intentions as well. I would right those wrongs as best as can be done, I don’t expect forgiveness where there is none deserved or to be given. I would only win this war. More than that, I would restore Order.

Chamdar Taliesin, Hidden Kakariko, Day Three

"I have walked the circles of Hell and traversed the Warp for ten centuries or more. Done terrible things knowing they were atrocious and reveled in them while hating myself for basking in the joy of it. You wanted the truth of it, you have it. Now you will know my intentions as well. I would right those wrongs as best as can be done, I don’t expect forgiveness where there is none deserved or to be given. I would only win this war. More than that, I would restore Order."

A small smile played across his wizened face, deepening the creases around his hooded eyes. The Red Ice General was close enough that Chamdar could see the veracity of his words written into the planes and angles of his face. Polaris had faced horrors that few could conceive of, but they hadn't broken him entirely. Cracks had formed, and through those cracks the madness had seeped in, but that the crimson Zora was standing at all was a testament to his strength.

Of course Chamdar knew something that Polaris did not. He knew well what the Red Ice General would become, and it was not this fractured, violent thing. He remembered another crimson Zora, a warrior aged and wise when he himself had been young and blind. He remembered the insights shared that had put him on his path. He remembered a stalwart companion and--in his mind--a mentor.

"You are more capable of that than you know, my friend," he mused, recalling words spoken to him once long ago beside a raging river. He reached out a hand and placed it on the Zora's shoulder, feeling the nigh-imperceptible twitch as Polaris fought the urge to strike. "You have been touched by the Warp. By chaos. So be it. In the end, we choose our own way. If you would safeguard Order in this world, then do so.

"Now as to the other matter..."

The butt of his staff slipped between Polaris' ankles and with a sudden sweep he tripped the Red Ice General, moving aside so that as he fell forward he landed face-down in the healing waters of Eldin's spring. Pivoting in place, he came down quickly on the Zora's back, holding him in place with a knee positioned between the shoulder blades so that he couldn't rise. Polaris thrashed a bit, but didn't fight as he could have.

Chamdar embraced the power of the heavens, feeling the holy light flood into him. He cast aside his staff, and plunged both hands into the water to take hold of Polaris' head, palms over the temples. The energies he was holding back released in a sudden surge, passing through his fingers and piercing into the Zora, body and soul. The thrashing grew more intense, until it was difficult for Chamdar to keep him down.

His perceptions passed beyond the physical the deeper the light delved. He began to perceive the fractures in Polaris' mind and spirit as physical things, until he reached a depth at which the core of the man could be seen as a heart of light pulsing brilliantly. Around that heart, though, there was something else. A miasma, a sickly cloud of poison encircling, with tendrils reaching down to puncture the essence of Polaris' noble spirit. The madness of the Warp, digging for purchase. There was so much poison... how could Polaris still stand and think and reason at all with such chaos in him?

The light that had spiraled down into the depths of Polaris' core hardened into rays that Chamdar sent out to strike at the tendrils, smashing them or tearing them free. It was not easy, for the Dusk was a wicked thing and clever in its way. It sought to avoid his touch, wriggling away when he approached, or digging harder hoping to burrow deep into the essence of the Red Ice General so that it would become truly a part of him. With a purpose, Chamdar pursued each time, strengthened by the light of divinity and the healing energies of the spring. Whenever he shattered a tendril of Dusk, the light of Eldin flooded into the breach to heal what the poison had touched.

Finally he ripped free the last tendril, and as the light began to heal Polaris' metaphysical wounds, the heart of him roared to life, driving the now unbound miasma away with its own natural radiance.

Suddenly Chamdar was in the flesh again, knee still planted firmly into Polaris' back. The thrashing and struggling had stopped. The Red Ice General lay still.

He let go of Polaris' head and ceased the pressure on him, coming back to his feet and taking up his staff once more. Polaris remained motionless in the water for a time, but eventually he pushed himself back to his feet, rounding on the Scion slowly.

"I have done what I could to free you of the Dusk. Your thoughts should be clear now, but the rest is up to you." He could see a fading outline of fingers still glowing, growing dim with each passing moment, upon the sides of the Zora's face, flanking his dark eyes. Hands of light. A sign. "You will face the horrors now with clear eyes, and you may find that it is difficult to accept. You will never be the Polaris that you were before; that age of innocence is past. But for those such as us, purpose can keep us standing. I have been the Right Hand of Order for a thousand years, and that obsession has kept me going. You have it in you, I think, to be its Left Hand.

"If that is what you choose."

Ayala, Hidden Kakariko, Day 2

“Well that almost ended in disaster,” Oberon commented as she and Ayala left the meeting.

Ayala was surprised to hear the fairy say as much, “Really, I figured you’d be ecstatic to watch my dad fight the General.”

“Well yeah! It would be awesome,” the fairy exclaimed, “but I don’t what them to do it here. They’d destroy the whole camp.”

Ayala was too shocked but the sudden sensibility Oberon had apparently developed to comment any farther and instead just continued on to pick up here armor from the blacksmith.

“Ah lieutenant, you’re here pretty early. Don’t worry though; we pulled an all nighter so your armor is ready. The only problem is mounting for that coin is little loose. I’m not proud of it was pretty late when that guy came by and ask us to add it so it was a bit of a trick,” the Blacksmith rambled on as he headed into the back to retrieve the finished armor.

“Wait, coin, guy, what are you talking about?” Ayala stammered in confusion. Just who the hell was messing with her armor?

“Yeah the one who you were talking to yesterday,” the blacksmith called out from the backroom. A moment later he walked out and set the armor down on the counter. Ayala’s eyes were instantly drawn to the coin set into the armor just below the collar bone. It was Kima’s Sage coin of Winged Light, the power of the daylight sky.

Seeing Ayala was rendered speechless as she gently ran her fingers across the coin the Blacksmith realized a more detailed explanation was in order. “Well I guess this was a surprise to you then. He came by late last night and asked me to embed that into the breast plate. He also threw down some rupees as payment to make sure I’d give you the purified Argorock Stone back instead of keeping it as compensation. Something about using the stone and the coin the hatch an egg or something; I don’t really know. I am still keeping the left over metal if you don’t mind though.

“Yeah that’s find. Oberon could you..?” she said turning to the fairy who simply nodded and used her magic to store away the stone and equip Ayala with her armor. Ayala moved and flexed a bit to see the extent of movement the refitting had afforded her. “It’s perfect.”

“So, that egg, he’s talking about the black one Kima gave you before she disappeared. The one from Nahl’s brood. You’re not really going try hatch it now, are you?” Oberon asked sheepishly. She wasn’t enthusiastic about having a potentially evil shadow drake around since she knew she was the size of a perfect snack.

“Of course,” she answered cheerfully, “Kima left me the egg for a reason and Senshi wouldn’t mentioned it if he didn’t think it would be safe. That’s for after the war though, right we have to grab Ella, find this blessing, and then rush back in time to win this war. Oh and maybe make sure my idiot brother doesn’t try and sacrifice himself.”

Ella, Hidden Kakariko, Day 3

"Ah, there you are. I was worried you'd would be gone by now."

As Ella Huntley stood with one hand proping her up against a wall she glared at the new set of armor Alaya had just retrieved.

"Cool outfit by the way. Anyways I'm happy to see you again. I'm technically a civilian so they wouldn't let me come to the meeting with you. I didn't get a chance to thank you the other day so I'm here to make up for that. I still have have family back in time, so I'd have no chance of ever seeing them again if it wasn't for you."

Though Ella's voice was cool and collected her eyes showed an deep gratitude words couldn't express.

"I don't know how to properly thank you Alaya, so let me put an offer on the table."

Pulling out her staff Ella extended the pole, twisted it swiftly to her side, and tapped the ground with its wooden edge. She then took a knee and looked up at Alaya's face.

"With your blessing allow me to offer my services to you, free of charge of course! I over heard this village is going to get attacked so I'm going to have to fight anyway. Might as well be with you. After all it is in my best interest that you and your brother survive. I promise I won't be a burden. I was trained by my father to fight and I've seen action already. Just think of me as your own personal bodyguard. What do you say?"

Ayala, HK, Early Morning 3

“Um… ok.” Ayala reponded while trying to hide the embarressment she felt from Elle’s display of fielty.

Oberon, on the other hand, couldn’t help but snicker, “Heh, she’s actually kneeling. Hey, hey can we make he my minon. Like a pecking order kind of thing. Like you, then me, then her.”

Ayala gently flicked the fairy’s head to get her to behave. “Sorry about her, she’s easily excited. Anyway we have to get to Ordon really fast so we’re going to have to fly.”

Ayala summoned her Wings of Light then toughed her hand to the Sage Coin now embedded in her armor. A small orb of light appeared in her hand and she touched it to Elle’s forehead. The light was absorbed by the woman’s body and suddenly a pair phantom like dragon wings appear on her back. A small thread of magic jutted out from Elle’s chest and snapped to the Sage Coin creating a tether so Ayala could pull inexperieced flier along more quickly.

“Great, now I’m pretty sure that should last all the way to the spring. Lets go!” Ayala lifted them both into the sky before Ayala had a chance to protest.

Embracing Madness

Jaden, HK Establishment, Day 3

To hear such compliments from one so timeless, experienced, and wise as Chamdar encouraged Jaden.

Then came the mysterious package...

"Fire and blood will activate this orb and form a banishment gate. With it you will be able to cast a single soul from Hyrule, banishing them into the Adjacent Planes, the pocket realms that cluster around our world. There they will remain, sealed away, but you must take great care; once and once only will this orb activate to create a gate. Once you use it, that's it. I trust your instincts will lead you to the right moment."

Thoughts kept running through his head on who to use it on, but he did not completely add it up until Polaris asked for a moment alone with the Scion.

There were many folks he would love to use this orb against. But it made the most fitting sense on where to bring this. It was a collision course with destiny. And he believed the biggest threat to Hyrule wasn't just the clearest danger before them. If there was a chance to solve both problems with this war, he would relish such opportunities. Taking a long drag of his tea, he pondered the best way to utilize his new gift.

Kae and Elly, HK, Day 3

After Jaden was well out of earshot, Elly sighed loudly and hung her head a bit.

"He didn't ask me to come with him. Or you. I don't like it."

Kae put her hand on her friend's shoulder and nodded solemnly.

"You're not a liability. Remember your orders. You're with me. We've got each others' backs to way beyond the end of this war. If I can't spot any Elder Ma around camp, I know you could. You have a danger sense unlike none other. I need that. I need you. He's going to come back...he always finds a way back. There's a reason he's called the Sentinel."

The Scion's consolation was not very effective. While Elly did her best not to show this, Kae could feel it. She had an a Celestial who doted on her constantly for the near full time they were all in the Sacred Realm. Elly had Jaden, and while he was handsome and loyal, had his struggles, and now he decided of all times to try to quit drinking, or at least abstain. It worried her considerably.

"Kae, I know you're trying. Stop trying. I need to process this myself. You have no idea what it's like. Ever since your imbuing, you dove headlong into the supernatural. The mundane has been making less and less sense to you. Sometimes I wonder if you even breathe or eat or do anything I have to do to stay alive. You're like a sister to me, but this Jaden stuff...I'll ask you if I need help. Leave me to that."

Kae was surprised at Elly's resistant demeanor, but the last thing she needed right before a decisive battle was more internal conflict. She could feel palpable hate coming from her in waves. Contempt of this kind was unlike her.

As they were patrolling for internal threats to the camp, Kae saw the Treant that tried to kill her the night before standing about. Its sheer size intimidated many folks, and others weren't sure exactly what to do about it. The Scion could feel all sorts of energies cascading from it. And she remembered that she had a promise to make. To help the creature figure out what was really happening. And to make sure that it was aware that whoever it thought she was, that she was not that person. Sounds of breaking glass and crunching metal kept echoing in her mind as she got closer to it.

"I made you a promise. Earlier, you thought I was someone else, and I sensed pain and anguish deeper than most could ever know. We can work through this together."

Elly whispered to her shortly after she spoke.

"You have a short memory. This thing tried to kill you. Don't piss it off."

Treant, HK ,Day 3


Kae's energies drew near, snapping the Treant from its wistful stare. It thoughtlessly ground its teeth, looking down at the ever-unconscious friend it held so close. Its embrace grew closer as it heard Kae's footsteps grow louder in the earth, another thoughtless memory of its memory to protect its comrade. The tree creature's brow furrowed as it tried dismissing the rather loud voice, which though awful in nature had an almost soothing tone of voice, causing a strange mixture of feelings within it; Like if one's mother kindly asked them to commit murder with the nuance of asking to fetch milk. Soothing...But wrong...

"Hmm?" It grunted inquisitively, realizing greeting Kae with silence would be rude.

It rose to its feet, realizing that the camp around it had grown busy once more from the previous quiet, indicating action where the used to be none.

"What now?" The tree rumbled, turning fully towards the two who approached.

The voice was growing harder to ignore, but Treant's hatred of consuming flesh made it hesitate in that particular interpretation of the frustratingly vague order that repeated forever. It knew not for how long it would be able to control itself before finding a way to get it to cease.

Horus and Sha'Tive, HK Outskirts, Day 3

...She sighed contentedly as his lips glided up and down her neck with playful nibbles as they leaned closer into their embrace. Her heart skipped a beat when his rhythm quickened, her excited moans driving him. They both were close... Faster and faster, more and more passion roared as he reached his peak in speed. As he gave his last thrusts of love, she let out a shuddering cry as they-

"Quit it." Horus interrupted, dropping Sha'Tive on the ground as he scoped the perimeter they had just reached.

"Make me." She replied, sticking her tongue out.

He looked on into the trees from the elevated spot he had chosen, carefully peering and listening as the whistle of the breeze accompanied them. Mere minutes felt like hours before Horus' eyes suddenly widened as a realization struck him; the smell of the air, the way the forest animals were behaving, it was all wrong.

"Oh fuck me...' Horus placed his hands on his head as his eyes darted around, still scoping the area.

"Considering my pelvis just grew back, gladly.~"

"Shut up please."

Horus hurriedly reached into his bag and pulled out some parchment with an inked pen and started scribbling on it against his leg.

"Make m-"

"I will melt your tongue off with this fire I have in a bottle." the avian threatened, displaying it briefly before returning to his note.

"Wait how does that work?"

Ignoring the question, Horus attached the note onto an arrow with hot wax, blowing it off to cool it before firing it back into the camp. As the arrow soared through the air, it found itself embedded into a post near one of the camp's guards. The written side of the paper unrolled and came to rest in full view. The guard only glanced at it before running in to tell his superiors immediately.

"Enemy forces on standby No movement detected Distance allows preparation However We are SURROUNDED"

Kae, HK ,Day 3

The Scion kept hearing the same four words in the same order over and over. Even when she reached out to the Treant's mind, that's all that could be heard. All that could be felt from the small corpse was rage to boot. She didn't dare reach out further given what had happened last night. Still, so much hate. And a need to kill, consume, devour, and gather.

"What caused you all this pain for so many years? I can't even begin to imagine carrying what you've carried for the time you've had to bear it. Tell me more. I can help you."

Elly took a step or two back. She didn't think this was going to end well.

Treant/HK/Day 3

The tree considered Kae's question, scratching its chin. It tried to think of how to tell the tale, but no words emerged that would make sense in Hylian tongue. It had been too long and the distracting voice in its head was of no help in its attempts to recollect; Only the emotions that were felt so long ago remained.

"...Too many...Years...Lost to...Time.' It rumbled as it gestured its head with a finger, 'Not work...So well...Now."

The Treant then glanced at its companion as its brow raised with an idea. Slowly dropping to a knee, the creature presented the body to Kae, propping it up so it appeared to be standing. It was a young girl with dark skin, kempt and long green hair adorning her face which was covered in scars, though time had faded them to only be noticeably up close. She wore the tatters of many dresses that had worn away to time, underneath it all appearing to be a set of leather armor that had decayed to be as useless as wet paper. Everything she wore was far older than she appeared, causing a bizarre aesthetic mixture of new and old. Despite all odds and appearances along with the fact that she never stirred, the girl still radiated warmth.

"But...Maybe...Friend remember...Maybe."

Kae, HK, Day 3

"But...Maybe...Friend remember...Maybe."

The antiquity of this creature was not in question. It had seen much of history as she knew it come and go. And this girl looked so well-preserved, yet so much had degenerated over the centuries. Lifeless, yet exuding palpable rage.

"Perhaps. I appreciate you being willing to open up, even after all this time. Your friend...she's got a lot to say, I think. Her feelings, they are strong. Allow me a moment to prepare before opening my mind to hers."

Silently mouthing a prayer to her Patroness, the Weeping Eye appeared on Kae's forehead, and she closed her eyes.

There was so much thought noise, like a thick stormy cloud cover shielding so much from sight. She winced as she tried to dive deeper.

I will not harm you. My name is Kae Bryseis, the Scion of Nayru. Your guardian offered me a look inside, as both of you are carrying centuries if not millennia of pain. You're safe with me..."

Her Sheikah accent was heavy as her words whistled through into the cloud cover. Psychic storms were strong here, and she did not want to be too forceful or probe too much. Even when reading fortunes, she could feel the surface thoughts of others. And in some cases, she could dive deeper in. But the mind, especially the innermost parts, were not to be disturbed in those cases. Enemies were different, but the Scion was trying to establish a bond with intent to heal. Something felt very off, but she waited respectfully before trying to peel back the swirling clouds.

Kae, Day 3

The swirling mass of psychic nonsense that filled the mind's sky squirmed and flashed with activity, the screams of thousands of lost souls filling the air of the dreamscape and surrounding Kae's senses. There was no rhyme or reason to any of it and none of them paid Kae any mind at all until a soft childlike voice pierced through in response. Her words managed to drown out even the loudest of shouts even though she was speaking at a respectable level.

OhGodstopthescreaming"Oh SomeonepleasekillmethankThereisnowayoutofhereistheregoodness,WhyhaveIbeenforsakena voice Pleaseanyoneanswermeof reason Whydoesitstillhurtfinally speaks!IhavenomouthyetIcanscreamwhereamIAre youWhereismyhusbandheneedsmethe womanIshouldhaveleftthatamuletwhenIhadthechanceI so foolishlyWhydidIlistentothesignsIshouldhaveturnedbacktried toSilverslateisatalentlesshackharm earlier? PleaseThishellneverendsdoesitforgive IamsoaloneyetIaminaroomofscreamingvoicesme...You're welcomeAllIwantedwashertolovemeagainto doIthoughtitwascurrencywhywasIcondemnedtothishivemindwhat you can,IdiedofhungerandnowIgettodealwiththatpainforeverjustHowdoIhaveaheadachewhenIhavenoheadmind theWhywouldyoudothatforaklondikebarvoices...They'reIonlyaskedwherethebeefwaskillingmewasneedlesseasilyHellodarknessmyoldfriendIcametotalktoyouagainexcitable."Ilikerawfish"

As soon as the voice finished speaking, the endless clouds of chaos seemed to be pushed aside and an abstract representation what could only be described as stairs appeared before where Kae 'stood'. The pulsating sounds of electricity and an organ pumping blood could be heard as what appeared to be strands of a web emerged on the metaphorical ceiling at the top of the stairs Electricity audibly spasmed around the web at the rate the voices spoke and the metaphorical sky turned a sickly green, fading back to angry black whenever the screaming ceased. In the webs' center was half of a medallion.

Kae, Within the Girl's Mind, Day 3

Kae took everything in. All of the voices, even amidst their cacophony, were putting a picture together. Milennia in solitary places, no relief, and very little compassion.

Three objects stuck out to her. The organ pumping blood, the cobwebs at the top, and the half of a medallion. She decided to reach her mind out into the cobwebs before the storms obfuscated everything from her Third Eye's sight. If only she knew the Chieftain's Rite...nothing could hide from her if she knew that.

Attempting to pierce the veil of the girl's soulstorm, Kae began to utter incantations in ancient Sheikah. She could see the Weeping Eye illuminate, but nothing was moving.

There's a lot of pain here. I will do my best not to pry, but I will need to part the clouds once more.

The Weeping Eye allowed for a small breach in the storm, and through it, the Scion reached out to the cobwebs, hoping to establish a basis from which to work.

Kae, Treant's Mind, Day 3

The sound of breaking glass echoed from all directions as Kae reached her mind out to the cobwebs above. As the thoughts began to take shape all along the walls around her, she saw a foul tome dripping with blood land at her feet with a sickening thud.

She could hear heavy breathing alongside that glass, along with palpable, cloying rage. Everything had a crimson tinge to it...and when she reached down for the book, it sent a surge through her Celestial arm, knocking her back. There were childish giggles echoing now, and she saw a figure on the walls, its back to her, while the small girl the Treant was holding did combat with it. The figure was a woman with long red hair bright as a bonfire and whipped about by the wind. Her armor was as black as midnight with gilded trim, and she wore a red cape with a bloody crescent moon embroidered on it. And she was holding the Starborn Edge along with some other ebony did her sword exist so long ago when it was forged in the energies of a supernova?

Kae could never get a look at the woman's face. But over and over again, she lost to the little grass girl in ways more gruesome than the next. Decapitations, disembowelments and strangling with the entrails, incinerations from some sort of infernal amulet, bisections, turning to giblets with pummeling blows, and one in particular where the woman's head was beyond beaten to a pulp with that book. It was pretty twisted stuff, and things just did not feel right. This little girl had nothing but pure hatred for the fire-headed warrior.

"To have nothing but these thoughts for so many years, centuries, me the truth. Why do you carry this hate with you? Is this what has kept your inner fire burning?"

She could feel the apples in her stomach churning, and did everything she could to keep from throwing up, steeling her stomach. The odor of freshly turned earth and buried dead filled her sinuses, making it harder to focus. So many thoughts flooding her head. Maybe she made a mistake coming in here, but she couldn't see the Silver Cord tethering her spirit to the mindscape.

CONTINUES ON Zombie Assault Post #437

Drown Your Sorrows

Darrel Mytura, Hidden Kakariko Saloon, Day Three

He'd been left to wonder at the shield he'd been given. A remarkable thing, Morning's Herald was. The craftsmanship was of the highest order and he could feel the bond forming between he and it--just as it had formed between he and Morning's Edge so many years ago. The spirit-chains wrapped in an X around it, binding the circular guard to his left forearm, obscured somewhat the sunburst emblazoned at its center, but it still shone with a faded orange-gold light.

By the time he was able to break himself from the stupor of the bonding process, he found that Jaden had already left the spring. Following suit, he descended from the ledge back down to the street and entered the saloon through the swinging front double-door, using the shield to push both of them open.

The interior was dimly lit, a few hanging lamps and a few candles sputtering on the tables. It was less busy here now. There was too much afoot in Hidden Kakariko.

Darrel found Jaden sitting in a side booth, hunched over a steaming mug of what smelled like tea, the pitted iron orb he'd been given situated next to the cup. He appeared deep in thought, staring at the burden that the Scion had placed into his hands. Darrel knew only too well the feeling. After taking a glass of Calatian whisky from the bartender, he sank into the booth across from the Sheikah Sentinel, sitting at the very edge since the enormous shield wouldn't have fit between the back of the bench and the edge of the table. Looking across at Jaden, who glanced up to meet his eye, he took a slow sip of the smoky liquor and then set the glass down on the table, still holding it by the rim with his thumb and first two fingers.

"The old man has a way of getting to you, eh?" he asked, eyes flickering to the shield and the scabbard at his hip obscured behind it. "He asks a great deal of us all, when he needs to. Not that you weren't already, but that orb mean's you're certainly one of us now."

Jaden nodded, but he was even more silent than usual.

Darrel could understand. He was considering the last several days. The months. The years. The whole trajectory of his life laid out in a straight line in his mind's eye. So many things that he would do differently, if he'd known then the things he was beginning to understand. The mistakes, the jumbled priorities, the resultant failures.

He took another sip of the whisky, swirling the liquid around the bottom of the glass as he exhaled.

"That orb..." he said in a low tone. "Now's not the time, of course. We need to focus on getting that mineral and getting it back here, but once we do... I think you and I ought to talk about a few things.

"I may have a favor to ask of you. A big one."

Jaden, HK Cantina, Day 3

The elder Bryseis took in Darrel's words as he continued to ponder about the true meaning of the artifact he'd just received. And as much as he wanted to order a whiskey, he had to abstain. He had to keep his focus. He wasn't fighting impaired; but he was killing pain that he needed to feel right now in order to be at his best.

"You're right, Darrel. He really does have a way of getting to a man. Scions. Seriously rare air when two are moving about our camp. And thank you. It means a lot. To draw swords with you is a great honor. I look forward to at least one more battle..."

Taking a long draught of his tea, he felt the bitterness hit his palate, counteracting the twitches he was getting due to alcohol withdrawal. It reminded him of the things he saw at the lake. All the Twili he extracted teeth, eyeballs, ears, ribs, and valuable information from. The death by a thousand cuts that he and Darrel had inflicted upon the Twili to keep the war effort alive.

Lowering his tone to match Darrel's, Jaden continued.

"You're right about that too. We need to get that mineral and get that sword into someone's hands. Then we have to decide whether we believe the mad ravings of my sister regarding Grem or not. And whatever you need, battle brother. I'd take thousands of foes on alone if you asked."

Lia, Hidden Kakariko with Drinking Buddies, Day 3

Find the Kondoru. Do what has never been done. Convert the darkness to the purest of forms. Bring tranquility to chaos.

Those final dying words from Ithan burned themselves into Lia’s mind. She felt like the message had been lost in the chaos over the past few days. Though Lia had been only an observer of the chaos, just now emerging from the darkest depths of her depression, enough to begin drowning herself in alcohol until she was comfortably under the waves of depression again.

She was about five drinks in now. Alcohol affected her differently than normal individuals. Telepathic minds were resistant, to a point. The alcohol had only begun to have effect, and with it, the voices. More memories of Ithan. But there were other voices, the voices of Zora. Lia suppressed them and downed two more shots of whiskey in quick succession. She wasn’t in the mood for voices. She took three more shots. Enough to get a proper buzz going.

Somewhere outside she heard the rumblings of an attack, but at this point had imbibed enough to not really register what it was.

(“Lia, it’s us, we are with Ith-”) She assumed the telepathic message she was receiving to be her own rattled mind playing tricks, and she kept drinking, ignoring it. It was taking all her strength to stay focused on prepping for teleporting the desert group. She couldn’t risk dropping her walls right now. And yet, she continued drinking, doing the exact thing that would ensure the walls to eventually come tumbling down. She was ever composed on the outside, ever crumbling on the inside.

Lia, HK Bar, Day 3

Lia had slowed down on the drinks in the hopes it would ease up the voices, but they had only grown stronger. Now they were claiming to be the voices of Zoras she knew to be long dead, Efran and Jeskai. She heard a third voice but refused to acknowledge it to be real.

(“Lia, I know this is hard to accept, but it’s really me. I didn’t want to reach out to you directly but Jeskai and Efran tell me you aren’t replying. Please, this is important, I-”) Lia threw caution to the wind and downed three more shots. The world started to get hazy, and between each blink of the eyes, she started seeing purple clouds and what seemed to be a tree on a hill. It was a place she had seen before, at her mother's funeral. She’d heard voices then too, but only those of a woman saying goodbye to her daughter for the last time. It was supposed to be a one way trip with only parting words permitted between the living and the dead. The alcohol was trying to trick her, convince her there was a way across the void.

(“You’re dead, brother.”) She thought back, fearing the repercussions of accepting the new reality knocking at her door. She heard a strangled shout in response, something Ithan had always done when frustrated with her stubbornness.

(“Sirius found a way across. The beginnings of one. In time we could cross it fully. For now we can still at least talk to one another, we can-”)

(“You aren’t real!”) Lia let out a psychic scream and slammed the doors of her mind shut, blocking out the communications of her fake dead brother.

Lia, HK, Day 3

Lia heard shouting, but could not discern if it was in her head or nearby. She realized that she had to get control over the alcohol, and her training kicked in.Just as telepaths had increased resistance to alcohol, they also possessed the ability to correct the drunkenness, overpowering it. Of course, she only believed this when drunk, and had always argued vehemently about it with Ithan, who insisted it wasn’t a real thing and that Lia had only made it up as a drunken claim.

She swayed around the bar, hearing a voice yelling in her direction. But she also thought that maybe the voice was actually yelling at the thing outside. But then again she also thought maybe it was from the drinking and there were no voices.

(“LIA!”) That one came through. Her dead brother. Still trying to contact her from the dead.

(“I’m not talking to you.”) Lia replied, now convinced it was her mind playing tricks on itself.

(“I’m dead, Lia. But you aren’t. Our friends need your help. They need you to open the way to the desert.”)

Lia fell to the ground and then waved off those that came in to help. (“And how do you know about what they need.”) Lia replied to the voice of her dead brother. She raised a hand and sent a telepathic blast at the monster she saw racing towards herself. In reality it was a stationary chair, that was now in a dozen pieces on the floor from the blast.

(“We still have a telepathic link. You’ve kept yours open to me since I-since I died. I only recently realized I could reach you.”)

(“I don’t believe you, and I don’t need fake ghosts of you telling me what to do. I’m opening a door because I want to.”) Even Lia’s thoughts seemed to have a drunken slur to them. With unnecessary and wild waving of her hands, she created a doorway that was tuned only to those volunteered to go on the desert mission. Any other attempting to pass through would be rejected.

“Here’s your desert door!” Lia attempted to bow, and somehow from the force of the upswing upon returning from the bow, flung herself backwards through the doorway and into the desert. She got a faceful of sand, stood up, looked back, gave a thumbs up and began wandering off through the desert in no particular direction. “Door will stay open for as long as you need it.” She hollered back, defiantly defying nobody but herself as she stomped off across the sands.

Davus, Just Outside Hidden Kakariko, Day 3

Davus felt something odd in his mind, the voice of the Chiaria’s briefly, and then visions of a portal in the hidden village. A portal directly to the desert, but one that didn’t seem like it could be intended for him. Why would Lia be sending messages to him? Even with his newfound alliance with Sirius, it wasn’t likely that Lia would ever cooperate with Davus.

Nevertheless, it sparked his curiosity, and he dispersed his body into elemental form, slipping through the portal as nothing more than a puff of smoke, appearing on the other side in physical form. There was no return portal, and what appeared to be the footsteps of a drunk, wandering off into the desert.

Davus briefly searched for the once plentiful hate inside himself, momentarily longing for a time when life was as simple as kill and destroy. But he found only doubt, and with a disgusted sigh, began to pursue Lia, to help her. Oh how his life had changed.

Polaris Eridanus, Hidden Kakariko, 3rd Day


The old man meant to burn him from the inside out, soul first. Panic gripped at him, thrashing violently Polaris was overcome with its radiance until slowly, finally a cool calm washed over him and he began to embrace this scourging of his very being.

When it was all over, Polaris rose shakily to his feet, ears ringing he looked upon the aged wanderer in a new light.

"I have done what I could to free you of the Dusk. Your thoughts should be clear now, but the rest is up to you." He could see a fading outline of fingers still glowing, growing dim with each passing moment, upon the sides of the Zora's face, flanking his dark eyes. Hands of light. A sign. "You will face the horrors now with clear eyes, and you may find that it is difficult to accept. You will never be the Polaris that you were before; that age of innocence is past. But for those such as us, purpose can keep us standing. I have been the Right Hand of Order for a thousand years, and that obsession has kept me going. You have it in you, I think, to be its Left Hand.

"If that is what you choose."

Face still tingling with the impressions left by Chamdars hands, the ringing subsided and Polaris laughed aloud. A clear, ringing laughter. Hearty and whole. No traces of the madness that once plagued him. It was just him now.

”Clear eyes… my vision is clearer than even you may realize friend.” Shakily, the General passed a hand in front of his face, the visage wavered and emblazoned over one of his own, the Weeping Eye of the Sheikah Chieftain appeared. ”You’ll find that when in my right senses, my vision is exceptionally clear.”

Nodding to himself in some silent deliberation, Chamdar extended a hand. “So then, I take it that you accept?”

Clasping the offered hand, Polaris ginned, ”I do.”

That radiant light shone once more, briefly, and settled upon the two. When it lifted, scales once crimson were now streaked with whites and greys. Looking upon himself, Polaris nodded. ”Thank you.” With one final squeeze Polaris released his grip on the Right Hand and moved past him. ”It’s time I got back. Until next time Wanderer.”

He didn’t look back.

Instead, he moved with the crisp decisiveness of the winter wind, cutting across the landscape in a few short minutes. Thus it was in short order that he found himself standing outside of the tavern where his companions had long awaited his return. Too long he had kept them waiting.

He breathed deeply and pushed his way through the tavern doors, there was nothing to be done about that now, he could only find the energy to worry about the future. He would do better by them all.

Scanning the dimly lit interior, it took him a moment to locate Darrel and Jaden situated at a table in a secluded section of the tiny bar room. A shimmering portal situated close by. Polaris could smell faint traces of the desert and could only surmise that Lia had grown weary of her waiting and went on ahead. He couldn’t blame her.

As he made his way across the bar room, Darrels eyes rose to meet his own, but the General did not engage him. He first went to Jaden, lifted the cup from the front of him and raised it to his lips, pausing, he sniffed, curling his nose he sat it back down with a look of disgust.

”What the hell is that Jaden?

...oh. Yeah.

Stick with the sober thing. I went through hell last time.”

Going to a nearby table, Polaris snagged a tumbler from a confused looking soldier and strolled back over to his friends. ”King Zora’s Barrel Aged Bourbon. That’s more like it.”

Raising a hand to forestall any questions, he sized up the portal and the charred remains of a chair. ”There will be time enough for answers, and don’t worry I will give them all to the best of my abilities. But let us talk whilst we travel eh?”

Draining the last of his stolen drink, Polaris left the tumbler and a sizable amount of rupees with the dumbstruck soldier he’d stolen it from and patted him across the back before stepping through the shimmering portal into the scorching desert sun.

Darrel Mytura, Hidden Kakariko Cantina, Day Three

"You're right about that too. We need to get that mineral and get that sword into someone's hands. Then we have to decide whether we believe the mad ravings of my sister regarding Grem or not. And whatever you need, battle brother. I'd take thousands of foes on alone if you asked."

Darrel sipped his drink. It was amusing in a way, the different trajectories they were on. He had never been one to drink while engaged in a conflict like this, save for the odd sip here and there during quiet moments. Too serious from too young an age, the uncertainty of duty demanding too much from him. Now he found the way forward looked a lot clearer. He wasn't afraid of what was to come. He was resigned to it in some ways. In others he welcomed it. All the time he'd spent fighting with Jaden at his side, a young warrior just entering the prime of his powers, with a confidence and sense of freedom that Darrel had never known as a younger man, seemed to have loosened him up just a bit.

"I don't know all of what your sister was speaking of, but I know what I felt when I faced him. We need to find a new way to wage this war against him or it'll all be lost."

He drained the last of his glass in one long sip as Polaris reappeared from the street, striding confidently. There was a difference in his step though, and the confidence had nothing to do with primal security of men such as they in the strengths they possessed. No, this was self-assuredness of a different sort. And it was not just his bearing. Darrel could read a difference in the way the soul of the man radiated from his core. There had been a darkness in him before that no longer dragged at him, causing his shoulders to sag as though he bore a great weight. He'd embraced a different light.

As the Red Ice General made his way across the bar room, Darrel met his gaze. Polaris, however, did not engage. He first went to Jaden, lifted the cup from where it sat in front of him and raised it to his lips. Pausing, he sniffed, and with a look of disgust he set it back down.

"What the hell is that Jaden?

...oh. Yeah.

Stick with the sober thing. I went through hell last time."

Going to a nearby table, Polaris snagged a tumbler from a confused looking soldier and strolled back over to their table. "King Zora’s Barrel Aged Bourbon. That’s more like it."

Darrel made as though to speak, but Polaris held of a hand to silence the words before they left his tongue. His eyes were surveying the portal, a shimmering puncture-wound in the air, through which the dun earth-tones of the sun baked desert could be glimpsed. Lia had vanished through that portal mere moments before Darrel had entered, and had he not been somewhat used to the exploits of the Chiaria clan by now, it would had left his mouth agape.

There were already more than a few of those as he glanced about.

"There will be time enough for answers, and don’t worry I will give them all to the best of my abilities. But let us talk whilst we travel eh?"

Draining the last of his stolen drink, Polaris left the tumbler and a sizable amount of rupees with the dumbstruck soldier he’d stolen it from and patted him across the back before stepping through the shimmering portal into the scorching desert sun. Still holding his empty glass, Darrel looked across at Jaden, to whom he offered only a bemused grin and a shrug of his shoulders.

"I suppose he's not wrong. We should be moving."

Darrel slid out from the bench, but before he plunged through the portal and into the harsh climes awaiting on the other side, he went to the bar where the man tending had placed four full waterskins with leather straps per his request. He took them up and slung them crosswise over his shoulders, then returned to the portal.

"Here we go..." he murmured, then with a deep breath of otherwise cool Eldin air, he pressed through.

Instantly he was buffeted by a blast of hot air, pelted with gusts of blown sand. Lifting his right arm to shield his eyes from the harsh sun glaring above, he squinted through the wind to get a sense for their location. It seemed to him in that moment as though he had just left the brutal heat of the desert, and in truth he supposed he really had. Now they were back, and there was work to be done.

Jaden came through the portal on his heels, and Darrel heard a few murmured curses from the young Sentinel as he too shielded his face. Polaris, meanwhile, stood several paces ahead atop a particularly high dune, gazing west across the waste. Darrel stepped up next to him, unslinging a waterskin and holding it out for him to take.

"Always good to be back, eh?" he grumbled as he cast his eyes around their immediate vicinity. "Any sign of Lia? She just came through not long ago--she can't have ventured too far."

Or, I suppose, she very well could have.

Polaris nodded absently, but his eyes were fixed on something beyond Darrel's vision.

"I think I see something ahead."