The Temple of Forgotten Depths is the 15th Chapter of Epoch of Disharmony.
After the events of The Battle of Kakariko Village, Kaimu Kotaro and Polaris Eridanus descend deep beneath Kakariko, beyond just the well. There the two bond as warriors when faced with an ancient, timestone powered Lava Scorpion. Together they were able to destroy the creature, but parted ways shortly afterwards. Kaimu, having transformed into a Dragon, found himself in the northern reaches around Snowpeak. Polaris went deeper into the mountain, ending up in Goron City.
Look Ma, Only One Arm!
'Kaimu - Kakariko Well - Midnight of the Second'
“Finish it then.” Kaimu beckoned to his foe. Fate wasn’t that kind of lady though, and as Kaimu had been learning, she rarely took requests, let alone orders. To try and demand that his foe finish it seemed to be a cue for the universe to deliver his destiny. True to his speed, Majin had appeared before Kaimu could comprehend it, thanks in no small part to his screaming injuries.
Now it felt like hours had passed, and sure enough the blur of the walls around him had stopped, but the darkness persisted. Beneath him Kaimu could feel the coolness of the well water, but could not ascertain where he had ended up. He waited for the voices to kick in, but felt nothing, and cautiously began to think his own thoughts, and soon managed to produce a few words.
“Is anyone else here?” His voice echoed off the walls, lonely and ignored. At least he believed it ignored, until the faintest gurgling sound filled the air. As the noise in the water grew to roar-like levels, Kaimu twitched in place, and his whereabouts finally clicked. He hung upside down, his legs attached to the ceiling by thick spiderwebs. Yet, the only evidence of a spider was a floating leg, easily the size of his entire body. The leg twitched and eight terrifying but lifeless eyes popped out from beneath the surface. But the spider itself had already met its gruesome fate, and following its dismembered parts came the giant gaping maw of a thousand toothed beast, fresh from its meal of giant underground spider.
“I am not going down this way.” Kaimu announced his intentions to the vicious beast, fully aware that his declaration was most likely the least useful thing he could do with what little energy he had left. Despite his heroic claims, the creature was mere feet from him, and he was rapidly running out of options. As it rose from the water, it revealed itself to be little more than a gigantic predatory fish, hardly impressive or surprising for a place such as the Kakariko well. Kaimu felt a sharp pain, and noticed his damaged, now nothing more than dead weight arm.
“Only one shot at this!” With his undamaged arm he reached over, took a firm grip and tugged as hard as he ever had in his entire life. It came out of its socket surprisingly easily, and running off his adrenaline Kaimu used the ripped appendage to strike as high above him as possible, cutting his legs loose from the spiderwebs and dropping him towards his predator. Thankfully his initial impressions of lady fate were harsher than needed, and luck returned to his side. His dead arm fell, the zora fin beautifully piercing its way through the fish beasts face, spraying acidic fluid everywhere, painting the wall and coloring the well a deep moldy green hue. Kaimu was miraculously unaffected, though he was also in maddening pain from his lost arm, so assessing additional damage was no easy task. He began to look around for a way out, and could see only two choices.
“I guess it’s down we go!” Kaimu dove beneath the surface, lacking a way to climb up to the small hole at the top of the chamber, and unsure of where in the well he was to begin with. Hearing the dying fish thrashing around behind him, he took off through the murky waters, desperately searching for an exit
'Kaimu Kotaro - Early Morning 3 - Kakariko Well Depths'
The morning sun seemed like such a desperate and distant thought, the tiniest rays of light filtering through the cave ceiling. Yet, as more and more light crept through, the genius of the room’s original excavators could be beheld. A gargantuan reflective material was plastered across the entire cave wall, catching the light and somehow turning it into something greater.
The sun’s rays now filled the entire western half of the room, and the cave revealed itself to in fact be the resting grounds for an ancient looking temple. Awe-struck, Kaimu walked towards the one hundred-odd steps leading up to the temple entrance. Not more than five feet farther from where he awoke he collapsed to the ground and snapped his attention to his left arm socket, screaming aloud to no one all the while.
Writhing on the ground, hollering for mercy, Kaimu heard only his own cries reflected back upon him. They became harder and harder edged until finally his voice cracked and he began sobbing openly. His five decades of life had not been enough to prepare him for total isolation from all he ever knew or loved. His mind wandered to Fiora, the Zora he had fallen in love with that abruptly vanished when he was only twenty-five years old.
“I should have warned you, I've been waiting for this moment.”
Kaimu stopped crying abruptly. The words had come from his own mouth, but the voice was not his.
'“Fiora? Your lost love of 25 years now? Why does the pain feel so recent if it happened so long ago?”'
Kaimu did not know how to respond to himself, and had no way to answer. The mere suggestion that something was amiss with his memories brought him right back to the edge.
'“You were never inducted into the Elder Council, and you never went on a search for your friend, Fiora. I did indeed poison the entire clan, and you did speak with your dear friend Faralin. But Faralin was no ally, how did you think I got the poison into the clan’s food supply? Memories are a funny thing, we are so certain of them until proven otherwise.”'
“Then I shall end my own life!” Kaimu found his strength and moved to stab himself in the chest with his own fin. But the arm did not move on his command.
'“Oh no, we won’t be doing that, though nothing delights so much as your despair. However, I have a vested interest in your survival, so be the charming Zora that you are, and stay alive for me.”'Kaimu snarled at himself, and darkly began to recall what actually happened to him. '“You know, I couldn’t have convinced you of your new life if the despair of your dead clan wasn’t so great, or if your drive to be on the council hadn’t been so strong. I probably would have chosen another Zora, but you were the only one that could handle me.”'
“What do you even want with me?!”
'“Oh sorry, but some things must remain secret. I assure you though, you will serve a purpose for me. I do apologize for the loss of everything dear to you, at least now you have company.”'
“You’re a bastard.” As always, Fulmen had abruptly ended his communications, once again leaving Kaimu in control and alone. His weeping had given way to a burning feeling of vengeance, and reinvigorated, he used his own good arm to force himself up. Looking to his left stump of an arm, he saw a single purple and black feather. He plucked it out and stared at it curiously.
Polaris Eridanus/ Early Morning 3/ Kakariko Well
Surveying his surroundings, Polaris' gaze passed over Majin and to tunnel branching off to his right. The tat, tat, tat of water dripping on stone could be heard and farther off, the low rumble of moving water. And if one listened hard enough, the distant screams of some poor tortured soul seemed to rise and fall on a breeze that shouldn't even have been there.
"This is the second time tonight that I've been in this well...I find it as uninviting now as I did before." Polaris hadn't turned to face his companion, he was still peering into the dark void of the tunnel. "I know not what terrors lurk within these depths, yet it is inevitable that I soon find out."
Shaking his head Polaris turned to face the Tokay, only to find him missing. Melted into the shadows or swallowed up by the aether. A frown played at the edges of his mouth before he sighed,"No matter."
At the edge of the tunnel, he paused and looked back over his shoulder hoping to catch a brief glimpse in the darkness. He didn't. "Kaimu has a troubled soul you know. I knew it when I first laid eyes upon him. And I...feel for him. I intend to search out our friend and proceed to the Gorons after he is given his release."
The thought of talking to himself in the darkness gave Polaris pause as he descended the staircase, but he shook off his doubts. "He was there. Hidden. Listening."
The stair ended abruptly and opened up into a larger chamber, a catwalk with water on each side extended from the foot of the stairs to the other side of the well dissecting the circular chamber. There was an opening high above through which a tiny pinprick of moonlight danced and flickered as if it were occasionally blotted out by a passing cloud. Spiderwebs hung from the walls crisscrossing and ominous like the weaving of the Devil himself. Some hung limply and fluttered in the air, others held the corpses of the sort of creatures you'd expect to find in a dark pit such as this. The sight of all this put Polaris on edge, however briefly, until his eyes alighted on a gruesome scene.
Floating belly up against the far wall was a large predatory fish with a motley collection of spider parts floating around it and...a hand, Kaimu's hand fluttering weakly from below. Polaris leapt into the water, propelling himself forward he reached his comrade in seconds.
Grasping his companions forearm tightly, he gave it a tug and the body of the dead beast beside him shivered in protest. Still holding tight to his companion, Polaris swam back to the catwalk and drug himself up onto the fractionally more safe dry stone.
"Kaimu! What the hell happened? Are you all righ..." As he gave one final tug Kaimu's arm broke free and the massive corpse of the Gyorg slowly turned to reveal a deadly looking fin buried in its head. Kaimu wasn't here. Just his arm. Standing there clutching the severed arm Polaris swallowed his rage and inspected first the limb and then the water. Understanding flashed across his face as it sometimes did. The obvious was always so much more, obvious after you figured it out. Where at first glance he'd thought Kaimu was waving feebly for help, he now saw that it was just a trick of the current causing the movement.
He was The Crimson General for more reasons than the obvious. Blood calls to blood.
Grasping the severed stump in his left hand he held his right hand a loft, a few inches away from the part that had once connected to Kaimu's torso and focused calling out the remnants of lifes blood that still resided within. Deftly turning his hand over to cup what little essence trickled out, Polaris tossed the withered appendage by the wayside and sniffed the blood. Still relatively warm. The life was fading quickly without the oxygenation from lung and heart, but it will do.
Crouching he let the blood fall from his palm and splash into the well water. Seizing control of it, he opened up his aura letting his consciousness expand and began to weave his way through the reservoir's currents until he found a like substance. Faint, but easily identifiable as Kaimu's aura.
Once more into the water, Polaris swam through another narrow tunnel following the blood trail.
He emerged into a massive cave with a mirror like substance coating the walls that caused the early morning light to shimmer like some sort of lucid dream. At one side, there was a massive temple built into the caves wall with a staircase leading up the the entrance.
And sitting at the foot of those stairs in the perfect picture of monkish repose was Kaimu. He appeared to be meditating. Crouching down at a safe distance he called out softly. "Finally. I've found you.".
"Finally, I’ve found you.”
“Vengeance.” Kaimu opened his eyes up and stood up before Polaris. “You are a creature of vengeance, as am I. It is a curse really, to feel such love that we might later use it to fuel our own hatred. I feel my own hatred in a way I never have. It is almost as if I can see more clearly now, to be so focused.”
“I know how it feels to be left alone the way you have been.” Polaris made an attempt to reach out to Kaimu, but the demonic Zora was no longer interested in friendship or happiness.
“I can’t explain it, but I must go deeper into this place and find out more. I think that I have been part of something greater, and I want answers, my heart tells me they lie within.” Kaimu breathed out forcefully and extended his damaged arm, now fully regrown. Polaris did not physically recoil, but the look in his eyes betrayed his self-control. Kaimu’s arm was covered in icy looking blue scales, with patches of purple and black feathers adorning his clawed hand. Kaimu began laughing maniacally and forcefully grabbed his unchanged arm, before ripping it clear off. He continued to laugh as his body undertook a radiant glow, beams of purple light bouncing and refracting off of the cave walls. Polaris remained frozen in awe, but did not seem afraid the way Kaimu expected he would be. In mere seconds, all in a raging fury, a second scaled arm grew from Kaimu’s bleeding arm socket. Skin and bone splattered everywhere, but his screams remained those of a victorious soldier rather than the dying creature he was.
“If you are not deterred.” Kaimu growled, his voice growing deep and deceptively large. “Let us delve further.” Polaris seemed not to need time to consider a response.
Kaimu grinned and turned, sprinting up the temple stairs and to the front doors. Throwing caution to the wind he threw himself up against them, releasing as much electricity as he could. The door cracked and crumbled away on impact, leaving a looming dark hallway before him. He took one last look back at Polaris and charged forward at a blazing speed, striking rubble and debris out of his way as he ran. He could hear the slam of stone blocks and giant steel guillotine blades as he ran. He was on pure instinct, narrowly avoiding being crushed or beheaded. As he ran he tripped hard and landed on his face, and felt the horrifying snap of a stone block trap landing on his legs.
“Polaris! A little help!” Kaimu shouted as he struggled against the blocks. Kaimu tried to listen for Polaris in the darkness, hearing nothing besides the swish of blades and falling of stone. “Assuming you aren’t dead that is…”
Polaris Eridanus/Third Morning/The Temple of Forgotten Depths
Polaris shook his head as he ascended, still trying to fully comprehend what it was that he'd just witnessed. He'd met both man and beast throughout the years with regenerative capabilities, but not a one like this. Never had he seen a regrown limb generate so quickly, much less one that, by all intents and purposes seemed to be a vast improvement on its predecessor.
"Polaris! A little help! ...Assuming you aren’t dead that is…”
Standing in the ruined doorway Polaris looked on as the dust bourne of the rubble created by Kaimu's passing settled. Ten feet in front of him a nest razor sharp spikes protruded from the floor like so many teeth in the gaping maw of some ancient, angry beast. Beyond that a large pile of rubble that looked to have once been a standing pillar stood just in front of a series of guillotine blades swinging on counterpoint to each other.
"How in seven hells did you...never mind. I'm coming." Polaris muttered more to himself than his compatriot as he leapt the bed of sprung spikes and tentatively put one foot in front of the other as he advanced towards the rubble pile. When nothing came crashing down around him he mounted the debris and stared at the swinging blades for a very long time measuring speed and rhythm until he was nearly lulled into complacency by the continual swaying motion and the swish, scrape, swish of the blades.
When the closest blade was at its lowest point, he dove forward over the top of it hitting the floor in a roll and passing by the second blade and coming up just short of the third and final he stood between the two blades, gaze focused on Kaimu contemplating his next step and what it would bring.
Experience is the best teacher and regrettably Polaris had had plenty of experience with the malady with which his traveling companion seemed to be afflicted. He stepped forward, past the final blade and approached the side of the stone block where Kaimu could see him and gave a melancholy smile, "It's always a fair bet to assume I'm not dead. Now, lets get this off of you eh?"
As he set his shoulder to the large stone block it was all to evident that it wasn't going to budge.
"It's not going anywhere quickly friend. I could freeze and then break it, but with you under it, that could be dangerous."
Polaris looked into those bestial eyes and sensed nothing but pain and anger. And longing. Perhaps longing most of all. "Tell me what to do friend."
Kaimu/Third Morning/The Temple of Forgotten Depths
"Tell me what to do friend."
Kaimu waited a moment as Polaris sized him up, trying to get a read on his pain and suffering. He breathed in and out deeply but once before grabbing the massive stone pillar and trying to force it off of his legs. “It’s useless, cut them off!”
"Cut off your legs?!” Polaris blurted out, seemingly shocked at how quickly Kaimu was giving upon saving his legs. The ceiling began to shake and rumble and the entrance to the cavern was blocked as more debris fell and caved in, preventing the Zora’s exit.
“Now, or it won’t just be my legs!” Kaimu kept his eyes wide open and waited. Polaris, conversely, shut his own eyes as he raised his blade. “Do it!” Kaimu interjected, uninterested in the concern Polaris had for him. The blade came down in an instant, slicing cleanly through Kaimu’s legs, freeing him.
“Graaaah!” Kaimu let out a scream even more thunderous than when his second dragon arm grew in. In a hellish, blood filled frenzy, a blue scaled tail and a pair of blue scaled legs burst from his body, generating a shockwave powerful enough to temporarily shield himself and Polaris from the collapsing cave. Kaimu pushed himself up with his tail, and gained his footing on his new legs, feeling no pain as he sunk his clawed feet into the now soft ground beneath him. He roared once more, his electrical field still intact and spraying out in all directions, providing enough light to see the way forward.
“Stay back!” Kaimu commanded, thrashing his tail into Polaris to move him away from a falling rock, while simultaneously punching his way through the next doorway. He and Polaris rushed through, with the previous room fully caving in behind them. The two pondered their new surroundings, another vast chamber, but this time lit by torches, and with a single podium in the center. The entire room was lined with what appeared to be steel spikes, and murderous looking stalactites hung from the ceiling. Pools of water were everywhere, and ancient paintings of Zora’s, Dragons, and ancient weapons adorned the walls.
“After you.” Kaimu commented, his new appearance gradually falling in line with his now gruff voice.
Polaris Eridanus/Third Morning/ Temple of the Forgotten Depths
Kaimu's transformation was nothing short of astounding, Polaris first cast a wary eye on his companion before taking in the room.
The vast circular chamber was adorned with a narrow walkway clinging to the walls around the edges of an impenetrable forest of deadly spikes all surrounding a raised dais in the center of the room which was home to a podium of sorts. Polaris observed all this and more as he made a quick circuit of the chamber that put him back beside Kaimu at the entrance. The dais was obviously their intended destination, yet..
Nodding more to himself than anything, Polaris outstretched his arms and called to the water in the many pools smattered about the chamber. At the slightest coercion from his conscious the tepid pools tinged red and arose at his command coalescing into one at the dais and funneling towards the duo until it reached them and fell towards them in a cascade that solidified into a small set of stairs.
Polaris gestured to the makeshift bridge which was just wide enough to handle Kaimu's increased bulk, and bowed, "Your red carpet awaits."
A deep grumble that sounded much akin to stone grinding on stone emanated from the transformed blue Zora which Polaris figured could've been either a chuckle or a growl as he passed him by and ascended the few steps onto the bridge. Each foot forward was slightly less tentative than the last until Kaimu set out over the spikes at a brisk pace.
Polaris stood and watched until his partner left the red ice bridge for the dais, and turned to face him "Your turn."
No more than two strides across the bridge a deafening CRACK like that of thunder reverberated across the chamber. Looking up, Polaris saw that one of the huge stalactites on the other side of the dais had broken and fell to lodge itself in the floor spikes with a resounding crunch. "Heh. Heh. Better over there than here."
CRACK. CRACK. CRACK. The sounds stacked atop one another until naught was heard but splintering stone. Polaris broke out at a dead run only to pull up short when a falling spire exploded through the bridge in front of him. Scrabbling for purchase on the slick rock he managed to climb over it. Massive stone spears rained down all around him as Kaimu shouted something incomprehensible in the distance. The bridge was splintering in a thousand thousand places and was seconds away from losing its structural integrity all together.
Polaris leapt forward, each stride more jump than step and was again brought up short. This time because his bridge was collapsing from both ends. No advance, no retreat. He struggled against gravity and the weakened ice to no avail.
Standing stranded on a lone patch of red ice suspended above a pit of deadly spikes waiting to impale him. Polaris laughed. "That wasn't so bad."
Waiting impatiently on the central dais Kaimu shook his head muttering, "And they call me the crazy one... With a grunt and a sigh, Kaimu leapt atop the nearest spire, and proceeded to jump from one to the other until he was as near to Polaris as possible."This is as close as I can get, you're going to have to jump. I'll catch you."
Nodding Polaris heaved himself up and towards the dragon like blue Zora, the small island of red ice detonated with a small explosion that propelled him higher and farther than he could've jumped on his own. His leap was still a bit short, but Kaimu's tail lashed out and wrapped around Polaris waist. "I've got you!"
Polaris grunted in response, it was about all the general could manage while wrapped in the crushing embrace of Kaimu's tail.
Not waiting for his passenger to get comfortable Kaimu quickly hopped back across the stalactites to the dais and sat him down unceremoniously coughing and gasping next to the dais.
"Thank you." Was about all he could manage as he examined the pedestal before them.
'Kaimu/Third Morning/ Temple of the Forgotten Depths'
"Thank you." Polaris once again dumped his gratitude upon Kaimu, while turning his attention to the prize of the room, the mysterious pedestal. Kaimu was feeling more alive than ever, and smirked back at Polaris, having no words to give in return. Polaris did not see the token of appreciation, and was instead groping around the pedestal, looking for a clear purpose within it. After a few moments, a satisfying click filled the air, and Polaris turned back to Kaimu, wielding his own smirk.
"Like I said, that wasn’t so ba-“ The explosion was sudden, and deadly. Kaimu, in all his newfound power, was still sent hurtling through the room, catching glimpses of flying rock spikes as they violently sunk into his chest and back. The pain was immense for but a moment, only giving way to a sudden sharp increase in vision and what felt like a mouthful of rocks shifting around. He was still transforming, he had to be.
“Polaris!” Kaimu bellowed, his increased vision still unable to pierce the dust clouds and flying debris. He dragged himself forward, and realized that seemingly living steel chains, moving snakelike across the floor, had bound his legs, and were now wrapping themselves around his arms.
“Release me!” Kaimu fought as hard as he could against the chains. As the dust cleared, he saw Polaris, miraculously unharmed by the flying debris, but regrettably sharing the same fate otherwise, detained unmercifully by the slithering steel by his arms. A quick glance around the room revealed huge swaths of spikes ripped from the floor and hurled about, leaving bare floor in some spots, and deadly pitfalls in others.
“RELEASE ME!” Kaimu screamed once more, baring his new teeth. He wrenched his body forward, expelling all the debris from his torso and shattering the chains on his arms. His back had become covered with the same scales as his arms and legs, and his wounds had all healed. Turning to his side in a draconic fury he bit clean through the chains on his legs and dashed clear across the room to Polaris. He took a gigantic bite, breaking the chains holding Polaris’s arms, but leaving several feet of chain attached to each arm after the break point. He set his ally gently down and pointed to the empty hole where the pedestal once stood.
“Something is coming. Be ready.”
Bug On Fire
Polaris Eridanus/ Third Morning/ Temple of the Forgotten Depths
The explosion, sudden and unexpected sent Polaris skidding backwards, a chunk of the now destroyed podium slammed into his chest driving the air from his lungs and dropping him to his knees gasping. The room and Kaimu both were lost to him in a haze of pain and dust and debris.
The pressure constricting his lungs subsided ever so slightly and Polaris was able to suck in a choked breath only to subsume to a fit of coughing and gagging that nearly made him retch and ended with him spitting a globule of congealed blood on the floor. Climbing to his feet Polaris turned, took a step and pulled up short as what appeared to be chains slithered up from the floor with a motion that stood on a precipice somewhere between awkward automaton and serpentine grace.
Before he could so much as draw his sword he was bound at the wrists and struggling to keep his feet from suffering a similar fate. As the haze mercifully began to dissipate he saw through to the draconic form of his companion who also was struggling against chains of his own.
Through sheer brute strength Kaimu freed himself and set about doing the same for Polaris. With a much more delicate grace than would be expected from outer appearances Kaimu gently sat Polaris, with several feet worth of chain still attached to the manacles at his wrist, down and gestured to the pit where once stood the pedestal.
"“Something is coming. Be ready.”
Still fidgeting with the manacles, Polaris nodded and almost on queue the floor rumbled and a hot sulfuric steam spat out of the pit with a low moaning whistle like to that of a steam powered locomotive straight from the depths of hell.
The ferocity of the tremors doubled and doubled again as the duo scrambled backwards so as to not get sucked into the growing chasm from whence came the steam.
"NOW is when I'd say things are starting to get bad."
A gout of lava erupted from the pit searing the air and sucking up massive amounts oxygen to fuel it's intense heat, making it difficult to breath. Polaris leapt in front of his comrade wielding a large slab of red ice and raised it high above his head to block the fiery precipitation that now rained down all around them.
"Whatever it is that's coming, I wish it'd hurry up already! This is getting ridiculous!
Instantly the lava flow died and the tremors ceased, now felt only as memories that tingled through the soles of their feet. Hesitantly, Polaris first lowered, then tossed aside the smoking, scarred and pitted slab of red ice. Where it clattered to the ground there was another slight tremor before the floor exploded sending a rush of mortar and stone high into the air.
Landing mere feet away in a hail of stone and lava was the largest piece of fish bait Polaris had ever laid eyes on.
http://www.decodedstuff.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/jaekelopterus-rhenaniae-2.jpg][/url]Jaekelopterus Rhenaniae Lavacus (Giant subterranean lava scorpion)
The beast circled and lashed out with it's massive tail as Polaris and Kaimu barely had time to dive out of the way.
"Time to go!"
Kaimu/Temple of Forgotten Depths/Day 3
The creature, while distinctly scorpion in appearance, was seemingly more a specimen of living stone than arachnid, as it moved with ease through the molten rock, unaffected by its destructive heat. The very first strike of its tail narrowly missed cutting open Kaimu’s exposed underside. He brought himself down on all fours to face the creature and roared violently as last of his Zora features melted away, consumed and replaced by the dragon’s fury within. His transformation was nearly complete, with but one step remaining.
"There’s nowhere to run, all the exits are sealed off!” Polaris was facing the only viable exit from the room, a tunnel that was largely blocked off by an enormous boulder. He turned back to face the scorpion. "We have no choice but to fight.” Polaris looked to Kaimu, who had surrendered to the dragon form, and the only remaining trace of Zora were the tattoos still painted across his body.
Still on all fours, Kaimu laughed openly at the volcanic scorpion, and it lashed out faster than he could react, managing to cut deeply into his back. Almost as quickly it began screeching and raced around the chamber. The tremors were back, and the sound of a large moving object could be heard. Kaimu and Polaris could both feel the volcanic currents beneath them, and knew that the room could be swallowed up at any moment.
"It’s insane!” Kaimu focused in upon the creatures back, and noticed an object just barely poking out beneath the scorpion’s exoskeleton, a time stone. He knew what it was, and that was impossible. In his life he had never encountered a time stone, and yet somehow the memory was there, one of the other voices in his mind knew about time stones, that had to be it.
You are just a voice too, Kaimu.
He snarled as the foreign thought entered his mind. He had no room for arguments and pushed the voice out of his mind, sparking the onset of a splitting headache that would have killed him were it not for his draconic form. As the pulsing of the headache grew, he attempted to tell Polaris of what he saw embedded in the creature.
"Polaris, that is a time stone! That creature-“ There was a tremendous pop and hiss, followed by the sensation that the air was thick with a haze like that of desert air. Kaimu’s words lost all volume, and he felt himself struggling against the world around him to continue communicating with Polaris. He began clawing wildly and felt the resistance around him lessen and lessen, and with it grew the noises of the world. Another pop went off in his head and the world seemed to burst into focus, with Polaris’s screaming voice coming to the forefront.
“-an you hear me?! Kaimu! MOVE!” Kaimu raced towards the sound of Polaris voice, and heard a crash behind him, but no sounds of the scorpion. He felt the searing pain of the wounds on his back, but kept his stride as he ran, all while Polaris continued to yell to him. “The scorpion! It just vanished into thin air! It was gone, just like-“ Polaris stumbled as another violent tremor rocked the chamber, and again the world shrank, a screaming hiss filled Kaimu’s ears, and the climactic pop resulted in the scorpion crashing back into the room from seemingly nowhere. “…That.”
"That creature! It opened the wall where it landed! …It’s coming back!” Kaimu and Polaris stood a hundred yards from the only way out, with an ancient scorpion blocking the way, and the threat of being crushed by the ceiling or incinerated by the floor looming all around them. Unsure of any other options, Kaimu went with the only plan he could. He grabbed the nearest and largest piece of rock he could lift and hurled it towards the scorpion. He saw Polaris next to him repeating the same process, hurling whatever he could while dashing head on towards the scorpion.
Both Polaris and Kaimu reached the scorpion at the same time, and instinctively separated, each dodging to the side and moving around the monster. Unprepared for the surprisingly basic strategy, it began stabbing wildly with its tail, pinning Polaris to the ground temporarily when it caught on his chain. Kaimu kicked one foot hard into the beast and then took an enormous bite from the spot where the time stone lay, but found he could not make direct contact with it no matter how much he tried. He directed his strength instead into rolling the scorpion beast over, managing to force it onto its back for a few moments and unpinning Polaris.
"Run! Run down the tunnel!” Kaimu winced; even in his dragon form the wounds on his back were beginning to cripple him. He managed to continue to hold on despite the pain, running a few yards ahead of Polaris as the two raced down the tunnel, looking for any possible way to reach higher ground. Polaris chains clanged and banged as they raced, the metal having been severely warped and at its melting point from the volcanic arachnid. For the moment it had slowed, but it seemed like the integrity wouldn’t hold for long. After a punishingly short journey, the warriors were forced to halt, having reached a cliff overlooking endless darkness.
“Kaimu, this doesn’t go anywhere!” Polaris exclaimed, becoming exasperated. Kaimu heard a familiar scuffling. The scorpion was following them. He turned his gaze to the ceiling, seeing beautiful rays of light being reflected off of mirrors, similar to the temple’s outer grounds. He roared in agony and defeat, falling to his knees.
"NO!” He stamped his feet to the ground, serrating the very air with his rage. "I WILL NOT SUBMIT!” His voice became a garbled mixture of the men within his mind. Davus Fulmen and Ithan Chiaria began to mindlessly scream from Kaimu’s mouth. The screams became darker and gruffer as blood poured from his back, the river of red encased in a brilliant blue glow. Monstrous scaled dragon wings pushed their way from his back, his very body growing even larger as the wings unfolded and expanded. With two powerful flaps he cleared his body of excess flesh and blood and swiveled to face the oncoming monster. Polaris too seemed invigorated by the turn of events, and stood at his side, ready for their enemy.
"It has been glorious.” Words said in unison, forever cementing the bonds formed in battles of the forgotten depths.
Polaris Eridanus/ Third Day/ Temple of the Forgotten Depths
Giant lava scorpion of innumerable years before, yawning black chasm of immeasurable depth behind and his friend, just turned into a dragon.
Spectacular day so far really.
Kaimu answered the scrabbling scraping steps of the scorpion with a defiant roar as tendrils of electricity danced along his scales hissing and popping making Polaris' skin tingle as he tried to think of a way out of this mess. There was only one answer really. Kill it.
When the beast scuttled into view, Kaimu dove from his spot on high, the wind churned up by his massive wings buffeted Polaris and made his chains jangle like chimes. Batting aside the scorpions stinger with a vicious swipe of one of his forepaws Kaimu raked his talons along the creatures side. The high pitched sound of the claws raking up against the stone armor gave Polaris chills and only served to anger the creature as Kaimu was forced to ascend out of reach of razor sharp pincers snapping and slashing.
Wielding his chains like a lion tamer bereft of his chair, Polaris lashed the scorpion across what he assumed would be its snout. If scorpions even had snouts in the first place. A shrill SCREE!!! tore through the air and the monstrosity charged full on. Polaris leapt and dodged trying to find some way behind the creature, but it was no use. All too soon he found his heels were no longer touching stone. With Kaimu circling above and out of options Polaris yelled,
"Goddesses above! Kaimu, I hope you can catch!!"
And stepped off into the void. Plummeting into the endless night of pitch darkness offered by the abyss below, was altogether terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
The chain of his right hand grew taut and his descent halted abruptly. Kaimu had come through. All Zora are imbibed with some measure of an inner electrical current, but Polaris had never encountered one with a strength such as what hummed through the very core fibers of Kaimu's essence and sent a tingle up Polaris' arm. Here was an unbridled storm, electricity at its purest. Here was lightning.
The sinuous muscles in Kaimu's neck were rippling under the strain of Polaris' weight. The links in the last few feet of chain clenched between razor sharp teeth were flattening out into a single solid sheet of living metal, resuscitated by the electric jolt of Kaimu's jaws.
An unspoken agreement passed between the battle bonded warriors and with a flick of his brawny neck, Kaimu tossed Polaris over his shoulder and towards the angry scorpion. Lashing out with the left hand chain, Polaris caught hold of the scorpions tail and jerked himself forward. As he landed on the creatures back he released the seal holding back the arctic nature of his own aura and his feet froze in place. A fine crimson rime danced along the chain in which the scorpions tail was tangled slowing the beasts thrashing and subduing the stinger.
Lobbing the right hand chain back to Kaimu Polaris waited until his draconic accomplice seized the blade like end between massive forepaws before nodding.
"Are you sure?"
The blue sparks dancing along spine and tail surged forward until a large crackling blue orb of energy rested in the center of his chest. Polaris gritted his teeth and nodded. The lighting orb forged a large curved blade where Kaimu clutched the chain before exploding down its length. The raw electricity surged into and through Polaris' body and out through the other chain which unraveled of its own accord. A curved blade matching the one in Kaimu's grasp twinkled into existence providing a strobe effect.
The ancient arthropod bucked and squealed as the electricity coursed through its body, Polaris laid out flat across it's back, only holding on by the red ice of his feet and the tether which Kaimu, now cringing at the cold creeping into his limbs, held tightly. All at once the time stone winked pinkish purple and the room took on a new light.
Grimy walls became whitewashed and new, natural light trickled in from a gap in the ceiling above while, suspended on scaffolding hundreds of feet in the air, ancient Hylian artisans fitted pieces of reflective glass into the ceiling. Awestruck, Polaris pulled himself to his feet atop the docile scorpion and looked at the vast chamber. Still suspended over the abyss and flapping his leathery wings to stay aloft Kaimu did the same.
A hooded monk hurried up them, robes flapping wildly in his haste, "Our blessed Lady has sent our redeemers!" Prostrating himself flat out on the marble floor the monk began wailing with a religious zeal that was unsettling.
The scorpion twitched, and the light of the purple stone winked. Just like that the monk and workers were gone and the dirt and grime of centuries of abandonment reappeared.
With a smirk on his face Polaris looked up at Kaimu, "I guess that explains the paintings in the entry chamber huh? Redeemer." The last was said with a sort of jocular sarcasm.
Kaimu had no time to reply before the scorpions tail, now unchained and thawed smacked Polaris across the chest sending him smashing into the wall with a dull thump.
"You know friend I'm really getting tired of this bug. Lets squash it."
Kaimu/Temple of Forgotten Depths/Day 3
The creature had to be using the time stone for energy, Kaimu was certain of it. As they continued to push it to its fighting limits, time’s grip upon all of them weakened, momentarily sending them to the heyday of the temple’s long since dead inhabitants. Kaimu watched in mostly surprise, and oddly enough slight boredom as a dim witted zealot prayed before his battle company. It was gone in moments however, and Polaris’s voice was splashing in the air again.
"You know friend I'm really getting tired of this bug. Let’s squash it."
Kaimu taunted the scorpion, roaring and spitting in its direction while splaying out his wings. From the corner of his eye he could see Polaris repositioning himself, and subtly giving the go ahead to Kaimu. The scorpion was paying no mind to Polaris, and rushed Kaimu head-on with an almost anxious, terrified aura about him. As it closed the gap, Kaimu leaned in and tensed his arms. The scorpion lashed its tail out fiercely, but Kaimu was ready, catching it easily, managing to stop the business end of the stinger mere inches from his eyes.
"All right then!” Polaris, having been forgotten momentarily by the monster, was once again atop its back. His chained weapons pierced its back multiple times around the timestone. Both he and Kaimu were determined to dislodge it from the monster. "Sit still!” Polaris plunged his weapons into the eyes of the monster, and began to forcibly direct it using his chains as reigns. The creature began to squirm and violently spasm as it panicked and lost all control of itself. The timestone sparked and screamed, and Kaimu heard the familiar hiss and pop of the world changing. It was followed by a horrifying grinding sound, as if something was causing resistance, or possibly, that the time stone was simply running out of power. After a few moments of the alarming reality disconnect, the world snapped back into focus, and Kaimu could see Polaris was mere moments from going over the edge.
"Polaris get off now, it’s going to take you with it!” Kaimu’s words were heeded without question, and just in time, for as Polaris forcibly removed his weapons the scorpion charged forward. Racing away from the two warriors, the creature sent itself screaming and hissing over the edge, tumbling into the darkness. Kaimu breathed a sigh of relief, just before realizing that while Polaris had removed his weapons in time, he had not jumped off in time.
"I’ve got you!” Kaimu launched himself into the air and soaring across the abyssal pit towards Polaris, who was desperately clinging to the wall, using his chain weapon to stay sturdy. Kaimu laughed, though it came out as far more insidious sounding that he had intended. He reached Polaris and hovered in the air next to him, offering himself as a transport. Polaris jumped from the cave wall, catching a glimpse of the ceiling above as he did so.
"Kaimu! Above us! Look ou-“An enormous boulder had broken free of the cave wall and fallen silently through the air, having likely broken loose during one of the timeshifts. The boulder grazed Kaimu, clipping his wing. Hardly enough to cause permanent damage, but it knocked him out of flight and back into the force of gravity. Polaris held on as tightly as he could as the they plummeted, Kaimu violently rolling about the air. The screams and clicks of the scorpion could still be heard distantly below, with the occasional sudden popping of the time stone triggering, followed by the thundering sound associated with its return. Amidst the screaming, Kaimu was also certain he heard the sounds of crashing. As he tried to gauge what the sounds were, a sharp pain jolted through his head as something large and sturdy struck him in the face.
Light exploded into the chamber, and Kaimu instinctively knew that the time stone had gone off again. The room now revealed to Kaimu to be a massive staircase spiraling up the chamber. What it was made of was not clear, though some sections seemed to be cut from the rock itself. Unable to keep himself right side up or slow down otherwise, Kaimu continued to crash into structure after structure. The one silver lining is he could now see the Scorpion on the floor below, writhing around.
"Polaris, now!” Kaimu rolled his body forward with all his weight, giving Polaris a clear shot at the creatures back. He launched himself from Kaimu’s scaly back, weapons aimed to strike deeply. The rocky exoskeleton of the scorpion was broken, shattered and crumbling apart. Polaris landed, blades aimed down, carving as deep as he could where the timestone sat. Kaimu crashed down upon the creature as well, barely avoiding crushing Polaris beneath him. As soon as his feet touched the ground, the earthquakes began anew. The earth broke apart and lava flowed freely, its speed easily outpacing the rapids of Zora river.
Undeterred, both Kaimu and Polaris made one final combined effort to dislodge the time stone. Kaimu had a firm grip by the teeth while Polaris was using his chains to help add strength. The scorpion had died and hissed its last breath, and at long last the timestone moved, beginning to glide out. Kaimu strained with all his might, and then, after absolutely no response, the timestone burst out of the scorpion. The force of the ejection blew up the platform they both stood upon, landing them on opposite sides of the platform. Kaimu attempted to call out to Polaris, as he could see that the Zora’s section of the platform was breaking away, threatening to float away on the lava flow. His attempts were for naught, for the world had grown fuzzy, all sound condensing into a low hum, and Kaimu was unable to feel the world around him.
It went on like for what seemed like hours, and then, with no clear rhyme or reason, the world re-emerged, sharp and clear. Kaimu looked on in desperate curiosity and confusion as he took in his new surroundings.
"Why would you do something like this?! Did you ever consider the consequences?!” Polaris stood before Kaimu, asking questions to a man he had never seen before. Kaimu didn’t understand what was before happening. He could not tell the location, but it was very clear that the Zora before him was Polaris, and yet, this Polaris did not give off the same feeling as the other Polaris.
“Did I ever consider the consequences?” The man sarcastically quipped back. Kaimu looked him up and down carefully. He was initially nothing out of the ordinary, just another Hylian. Yet, this man had an air about him that was very familiar. The familiarity was not limited to Kaimu, as the man turned his gaze gradually towards the dragon zora. “Why don’t you ask him? What do you think Kaimu?”
"Kaimu?” This other-Polaris exclaimed at the sight of Kaimu, speechless beyond the name call. Kaimu opened his mouth to speak, but the world had started to go hazy again. He could only hear the voice of the other man as the familiar buzzing returned to his mind.
“I hear it’s nice at Snowpeak right now, lots of answers there.” The final words of the man hummed even louder than the buzzing as Kaimu’s time travel journey ended.
BANG! The world exploded into view again, and Kaimu could not see Polaris anywhere. He looked around himself. His platform once traveling a lava river now seemed to be flying upwards at a deadly rate, propelled by a steam geyser from deep underground. Kaimu tucked himself in, and prepared for the inevitable collision with the ceiling. Believing his fate to be sate, but his time not up, he had no fear of death in his current earth prison. The platform reached the surface, and in a furious, agonizing roar, Kaimu burst through the soft earth, spreading his wings and taking to the sky. He caught his breath and considered the past few events. It didn’t make much sense, seeing Polaris, but knowing the nature of time stones, Kaimu surmised that it had to have been the future. It was his musings on the other man that left Kaimu truly curious; he had no remaining direction but that given to him by the unknown man.
Kaimu took off towards the mountains, knowing he would be there in a matter of hours. He listened for the other voices in his mind, but they had seemingly abandoned him. Content for the moment, he allowed a glimmer of happiness to enter his mind for the first time in what felt like his entire life.
Polaris Eridanus/ Temple of the Forgotten Depths/ Day 3
Unexpectedly the timestone burst forth from the beasts carcass with a mighty explosion that sent Kaimu reeling, and the smaller Polaris hurtling in a cascade of stone and mortar, to opposite sides of the now decimated platform. Polaris was vaguely aware of Kaimu calling his name, the rest of his words were unintelligible through the foggy shroud of Polaris' suddenly muddled thoughts.
And then he was falling. Down and down. He was falling until in an act of force beyond the limits of comprehension, he wasn't.
Standing in near darkness Polaris breathed in and was overwhelmed by the cool dampness that could only be Zora's Domain. Judging by the cluster of shallow pools spread out across the cavern he was deep within the incubation chambers where eggs were kept until hatching. Scanning the room as his mind processed the information, Polaris saw a shape detach itself from the darkness and wade out into the waist deep waters of one of the pools.
Enraged, Polaris' first instinct was to rush the intruder and batter the fool into oblivion for daring to tamper with Zora young, but curiosity won out and he inched closer until he witnessed the thief snatch up the topmost egg and stow it in the folds of a cloak.
"Yes, yes. This one. He sits atop his brothers and sisters even now. HE will be the pole by which the masses navigate!"
The outrage of what he was witnessing was just too much to bear. Polaris emerged from the shadows hand on the hilt of Winters Tide, glaring "What is the meaning of this! Replace that egg at once!"
Startled, the cloaked figure spun to face him, hood falling down in the process to reveal the wizened face that haunted his waking dreams. It was the witch.
"My bright star! My red son! Whatever are you doing here? And now? Like this! You should not, you cannot...but you are.
Ah yes. I see. Tricky magic those. Timestones. Bah! Leave old Rhunerys be."
She clapped her hands once.
And Polaris was falling again.
Polaris Eridanus/ Free fall/ Afternoon of the Third
Returning was not the warm fuzzy experience one might expect. Polaris was jarred back to awareness when the slab of granite across which he was sprawled slammed into a vast magma flow. Struggling to his feet, Polaris was nearly thrown into hellfire as the stone jerked forward sizzling and spinning as it was caught up in the rapids. With the intense heat eating away at his frozen core, Polaris steadied and sat down cross legged at the middle of the stone.
Buried deep within himself Polaris battered against the fetters that had bound his conscious ever since awaking in this long forgotten time. Slowly the fruits of his labor blossomed, a minuscule hole formed in the barrier and the temperature dropped by a single degree. Then two. And three.
Briefly holding fast after that initial pinprick the barrier shuddered and all at once cracked. Spidering out in a thousand different directions simultaneously the wall collapsed and Polaris dove into the depths of his own frigid aura.
Around him temperatures plummeted and the rapids slowed as crimson rime spread out from his meditating form until a raging torrent of red ice danced across the platform and out across the congealing magma.
Polaris stood up rolling his shoulders a bit to work the kinks out when a deep bass rumble, very faint at first and steadily growing in intensity spread up from the flaming roots of the mountain. His platform lurched to one side and then the other as the mountain fought back against his unnatural cold.
The magma began to swirl and the mountain rocked all the way to very foundation as Polaris started his ascension. Closer and closer he came to the cavern ceiling above as the mountain akin to a primal beast roared and proclaimed its dislike for the arctic Zora and the changes he wrought.
The ceiling above ripped apart as large chunks of unforgiving stone came zipping down only to be shot back skyward in spouts of flame. Ducking, dodging and rolling Polaris moved about his little oasis until, like some amphibious messiah Polaris rose on a pillar of liquid flame from the depths and was spat, rather unceremoniously, at the unsuspecting feet of a very large and very startled Goron guard.
"What the..where..state your business here fish!"
The Goron loomed above him grimacing with spear leveled at his chest. At this instant, calling the buffoon a "witless rubble muncher" seemed a bad course.
"I am Polaris Eridanus, I come to parlay on behalf of King Tiburon. If you would be so kind as to direct me towards your patriarch, I'll gladly be off. I seem to have lost my way."