Fairy AssistKourtz/Outside Kakariko/Evening Day 2
After several hours more of travel the band of adventurers stood below the foothills of Kakariko Village. What ever had been causing the mist earlier had by now vanished and had likely moved on. Just out of sight from town a small rainstorm began as Kourtz halted the trio behind him.
"Alright were here. I suppose we shouldn't walk throughout the front gate, lest' we get into trouble at the guards post". Kourtz seemed hesitant to begin digging right away though. "You know, I kindda get the creeps from this place. I really don't look forward to tunneling at this hour".
Seeing the people behind him either confused or annoyed at his cowardliness he thought about what to say. "Eh, suppose I should explain myself. As tranquil as Kakariko is I've herd some pretty nasty stories about it growing up. Ya see, years ago there was some Sheikah guy living in the center of town. I forget the details, but say this guy could read minds, or see the future, or somethin'. Anyways one day his house burnt to the ground and the guy vanished without a trace.
Although I don't know what happened to him after that stories of tombs, hidden torture chambers, and untold horrors barred beneath this place have been floating around since I was little". Having had enough of explaining himself the treasure hunter finished by saying "Still they could just be legends to scare people with. Tell me what you want to do and I'll take us there without a second thought".Leif
"The only logical thing to do would be to tunnel under," Leif grumbled, after hours of not speaking. "plus I need to get to a Fairy Fountain, and I know where one is. We could split up into two groups. After the tunnel into Kakariko's made, Kourtz and I could tunnel over to the Fairy Fountain at Death Mountain. Once I'm done there, we'll come back down to Kakariko." Leif looked at Kourtz, "Unless of course that's not okay with you."
Kourtz faintly smiled. "Yeah, sounds great. Might be able to find some nice gems in the soil beneath Death Mountain, anyway."
Leif sighed. "Alright...is this okay with everyone else?"
The group nodded. Kourtz stretched his long arms out, as if waking up from a long slumber, and started to dig downwards, shooting dirt everywhere behind him. The group then followed him down into the pit. Tarah sighed. After all of her trouble getting new clothes, she's jumping down into a dirt tunnel just to get them dirty again. She waited for everyone else to go in before she did, so the dirt that Kourtz would be throwing behind him wouldn't be hitting her.
Leif crouched down behind Taden who always seemed to be in front of everyone else as the tunnel expanded further and further until they were finally directly outside of the Inn. Kourtz dug up a litte bit more until a single ray of light was shining through the top.
"Alright, when ya wanna get out, just push on the dirt above ya and it'll crumble, so you can get out that way." He then crouched back down and started digging to the left. He looked up at Leif. "Ya ready?"
Leif nodded. "Alright, Fairy Fountain we come!"Leif/Death Mountain/Night 2
Kourtz continued to dig upwards, launching balls of dirt behind him. Multiple streams of moonlight shot down through the dirt from above them. The mogma pushed the dirt upwards from where they were, and the ceiling that had been keeping them underground was finally gone. Kourtz pulled himself up first, using his stubby legs to help him get up. Leif jumped up from the small pit and inhaled deeply. The smell of molten, smoke, and charcoal surrounded him once again.
"Wait here, make sure nobody was following us. I have no idea why anybody would be, but just to be safe." "Gotcha."
The ring of smoke that surrounds the peak of Death Mountain was closer than ever, as they were right next to the entrance to the crater itself of the volcano. A thin layer of rock was covering the entrance to the fountain. Leif slammed his palm against the wall and it crumbled down into many pieces below him. In front of him was a long, dark tunnel with a very dim light at the end. Leif walked in, relieved that the hole in his palm will finally be healed.
As Leif reached the end, he could hear water rippling and splashing. A blue glow filled the room. The two waterfalls on each of of Leif's sides were splashing down in the small bodies of water next to him. He approached the pool of water that was in front of him. He inhaled slightly, and whistled a short, 3 note tune twice. The water started to ripple more and more violently, and then a large woman wearing nothing but vines whirled out of the center, her high-pitched laugh going right through Leif.
Welcome, Leif. I am the Great Fairy of Power. I shall grant you a small portion of the power that I possess, as well as heal your wounds. Receive it now.
The girl reached her hands outwards. Instantly, a red cylinder surrounded Leif floor-to-ceiling. His wounds started to close up, and his body felt renewed. Then, a pink strike of what seemed to be lightning shot down from the ceiling and struck Leif. The shock of it filled his whole body, and he felt a bit more powerful.
When battle has made you weary, please come back to see me.
With that, she swirled back downwards, leaving behind her laugh echoing off the walls surrounding them. Leif made his way back to Kourtz to head back to Kakariko.Kourtz
Kourtz sat at the edge of the hole he had climbed out of earlier and waited for Leif to return. Looking out to the horizon for enemies the dim lights of the village below could be seen through the rainy night sky. As time went on however the view of Kakariko began to become obstructed. The clouds started to swirl and thunder as an icy fog formed across Death Mountains base. Again Kourtz could feel a slight tug on his fur as a foul wind swept down upon the landscape.
As Kourtz tried to get a better view Lief jumped down from the rock ledge behind the Mogma and began to speak.
"Alright I'm back. Did you see anyone"?
"No... But look". With his sharp set of claws Kourtz pointed down to what he had seen. "What ever we saw earlier is back in the village, stirring up a storm. Hopefully Taden and Tarah are OK. I don't think we can make it down there fast enough to help them if somethings wrong".
Kourtz turned to face his monstrous new ally. "Well then, time to get going. ...Oh but first I got somthin' to tell you. I have a storage area around here. Were going to need supplies for our quest so I'll grab some stuff out of there. It's on the way down so I won't take much time".
Kourtz abruptly began walking past Leif before shouting over his shoulder "That tunnels still open if you want to get back right away. Otherwise you can follow me".Kourtz/Death Mountain/Night 2
Once again Kourtz found himself alone among the lifeless slopes of Death Mountain. "Well then, this works out better than I expected" he thought to himself. "With Leif out of the way I won't have to explain this to anyone". As the treasure hunter slipped further away into the darkness a small smirk could be seen across the side of his face. "Heh, the less they know about it the better".
After a few minutes of walking Kourtz now stood on the west side of Death Mountain. Amidst the dimly lit terrain nothing seemed out of the ordinary. That was until Kourtz came across a bolder on the hillside. Barley noticeable was a Hylian letter K lightly carved into the rock near its underside. After feeling the marking with his leathery palms he rolled the hefty stone to the side from which a small cave opening appeared.
Seeing that no one was looking Kourtz ran into the deep. The further he went in the wider and darker the cave became. Feeling around with his hands he came across a box of matches he had left sitting on the floor from days earlier. Lighting up a nearby torch hanging on the wall a large stone door with a metal rotating lock now stood clearly visible.
With the right combination and a few twists of the lock the door slid open, reveling a trove of valuables and artifacts inside. Unbeknownst to the others Kourtz had come to his secret treasure vault, where all of his most cherished possessions lay waiting. Wandering past silver medallions, thousand year old carvings, and other more elaborate findings Kourtz grabbed a wooden crate. Picking out what to take and what to stay he began stuffing in random rupees and gold trinkets scattered about the floor.
One by one they were placed snugly into the small box and sealed up. Locking the door behind him Kourtz emerged from the shadows with the crate in tow. Placing the bolder back the area still looked like no one had ever ventured here. As he headed down hill to link up with his companions he thought about the secret he was keeping.
"If that thief girl ever knew about this place she'd rob me blind" Kourtz said to himself. "I don't like deceiving the others, but every Mogma worth their salt knows you don't reveal your treasures to nobody's". Holding the crate below his arm he thought of how he would go about explaining where he had gotten it from. After a few seconds he shrugged the thought off. "Well they'll just have to learn, it's a secret to everybody".
Always In PairsTaden Horwendil/Kakariko Village/Night 2
In the alley on one side of Kakariko Inn, Taden climbed out of the ground with axe in hand, then turned to kneel at the hole they had made. He looked down for Tarah and extended his hand. Her face emerged from the darkness, and her fingers grasped his. He hoisted her up, and their eyes met briefly as he steadied her.
"It is the way of the hunter to kill or be killed. Once you start down this road, there is no going back."
A lone wolf howled in the distance as night finally fell. Taden pulled back his hood, then rolled up his cloak and fastened it across his back alongside his axe. With his cloak stored, he was left wearing just a tight-fitting black tunic and woolen breeches, a lighter and more nimble attire. Walking ahead of Tarah, he sidled along the east wall of the Inn and peered around the corner, towards its front door.
"A Zora warrior stands guard at the door," he whispered back to Tarah. "They have beaten us here, and they never travel alone." He turned to face her. "Sneak in through the back and ask the barkeep for Haldar. I'll draw the Zora and his companions out front with a diversion." He nodded at his accomplice, and she returned a knowing glance before walking backwards into the shadowy alley.
Taden walked out into the central square of Kakariko and turned towards the red-scaled Zora in front of the Inn. Silver moonlight fell on his shoulders in waves as dense, swift clouds swept through the air with a low rumble.
"Hoy, Zora," he shouted over the rising winds. "Don't I know you from somewhere?"
Taden slung his axe up to rest it on his shoulder, the blade behind his head, and formed his free hand into a fist that seemed to burst into cold, white flame flickering up from his fingers.
"Yes, I believe I know you from Great Bay," he beckoned in dark, echoing tones. "If I'm not mistaken, your people have a certain phobia of the cold, yes...?"
With a flick of his wrist, Taden sent an ice missile roaring through the air towards the red Zora propped against the Inn's wall.Kaimu Kotaro
Kaimu had spent all day brooding in the well that ran beneath Kakariko village, staying in the shadow underwater channels that ran throughout. He had in fact encountered a number of monstrous creatures, but his own demonic state made them about as dangerous as a wolfos pup to him. And the more of them he slayed, the more he felt his own fury rise. By nightfall he’d had his fill of the sewer creatures, and returned to the surface. He stood silent, having found an odd peace in his bloodthirsty frame of mind. Nearby stood his one-time ally Polaris, propped against the wall of the local inn.
Kaimu’s brief encounter with sanity ended as soon as Polaris’s assailant arrived.
“If I’m not mistaken, your people have a certain phobia of the cold, yes…?” Kaimu felt no compassion for either Polaris or this new invader at that moment, only that familiar loss of control and delicious surrender to hell’s will. He raced forward, swiping aside the ice missile thrown by the newcomer. He heard Polaris protest, and knew he had nearly driven his own fins through the Zora’s heart. He moved recklessly, twice more swiping at Polaris before turning back and running at the ice mage. He closed the distance faster than he had ever thought he could move, but the distinct sharp burn of his foe’s magic was faster. Kaimu’s momentum was too much and he hurtled forward, careening violently with his enemy and forcing them both rolling, locked in combat. He screamed into the sky, sounding as if he had the soul of demise within his very core. A nasty shade of purple formed where the ice struck him, and continued to grow darker by the second. Kaimu felt himself forced away and quickly rose to his feet.
“One of us isn’t getting out of this alive.” He snarled, beginning to walk towards the man.Polaris Eridanus
His reverie interrupted, Polaris could do naught but gape at black clad figure in the village square. It could not be..it couldn't, but it was. As plain as the moon in the night sky, Taden stood before him. Taunting. And then the situation deteriorated faster than the stunned red scaled Zora could have imagined.
Kaimu appeared from the ether, slashing wildly with his wicked looking razor fins, deflecting the frozen projectile and nearly impaling Polaris in the process. A superficial gash sprouted across Polaris' chest as Kaimu dashed forward snarling like a feral dog and leapt on top of his nemesis.
Still taken aback by the unexpected turn of events Polaris breathed deeply and started to unsheathe his sword, thought better of it and lowered the blade back into its scabbard. And ran forward, placing himself between the two combatants.
"Kaimu, what the hell was that...you know what? Forget it."
Turning to face his attacker, Polaris stared icily at Taden, "Great Bay? I fear you're memory has lapsed friend."
Two frozen crimson makhaira, formed unbidden from the mists swirling about the red ice mages palms. Polaris strode forward now, grass yellowing and crunching under his feet as it froze and withered under his frigid aura until he was mere feet away from Taden.
"I've not visited Great Bay friend," temperatures around the two were plummeting under the combined influence of their magicks, "The climate doesn't agree with me."Taden Horwendil
Just as Taden had expected, attacking one Zora had drawn out more. Before his first attack could glance his red-scaled foe, another warrior of the fishfolk rushed the missile head-on on tackled him to the ground. As they struggled against each other, Taden whispered to the brute at close range. "I commend you for your blunt attack, beast--truly a brother in arms."
He stooped to lower his center of gravity and wrest the newcomer over his shoulders, then shoved him forward a few paces, only for the gap to be filled by the red Zora again.
"I've not visited Great Bay, friend," he called out to Taden, dropping the temperature drastically. "The climate doesn't agree with me."
Taden kept his eyes trained on the approaching Zora's red blades, careful of his darker blue partner behind, and readied his battle axe. Both Zora were densely tattooed, but where one radiated a steady and penetrating cold, the other seemed ready to burst with a barely contained thunder, a bristling rage that Taden could easily harness.
"Tell me, what does the fair-skinned knight of a rotting regent know of the arctic's clutch?" he prodded, spreading his grip to the neck and pommel of his axe. As the red Zora charged in, he feinted into a forward slash, and when he countered by rolling into a horizontal stab, Taden defended with the thick, iron handle of his axe and sent him stumbling back, his makeshift knives chipped. The blackclad ice mage seized the moment to hoist his wide blade back into the air and channel the sudden coldsnap from both their frigid auras into a funnel over his head.
"Go and tell King Tiburon," he shouted over the rising winds, "a long winter is coming."
With a crack of thunder, Taden sliced through the the air and a stream of jagged ice rent the heavens above, spiraling down on the one he heard the red Zora call Kaimu. As the freezing vortex fell on one, the great shaman's axe that guided it came crushing down over the other, its metal edge threatening to shatter the red Zora's smaller knives after their frontal impact with its base.Kaimu Kotaro
Kaimu back flipped several feet, and as he landed brought his right arm crushing down towards the earth. Simultaneously he channeled his natural electric current on an arc starting near his back along his spines out down to his fins. A delicious snap and hiss filled the air as shards of dirt and rock flew upwards, blowing up the ice missile aimed for his head, while also spraying shrapnel at the ice mage. Kaimu wasn’t coming off unharmed though, and could feel the pain on his arms where the skin had been torn off by the sprayed earth. The same electrical current quickly cauterized the wounds, but visible scarring was already evident. As his inner storm calmed, the electric field retreated within him once more, though a small portion of it paused, leaving a small but subtle lightning arc racing up and down the spines upon his back.
Behind him he heard Polaris, and stole a glance backward, but could not see through the dust cloud to determine the Zora’s current state. He turned back to face his foe, who stood imposingly despite his somewhat average build. He was most certainly a man of winter, but Kaimu had never heard of a man with such control over the element itself. That was of course, assuming he was a man at all, and not something much more sinister. The pain of losing control was blinding Kaimu’s thoughts, and as the drumming in his mind grew louder, he felt his body breaking into a second charge, intent upon the destruction of his new enemy. He had never moved so quickly on land, largely thanks to his demonic form giving him much more versatile fins on land. His enemy though had grown wise and was himself running at Kaimu, and seemingly releasing an endless barrage of ice missiles. Kaimu returned the favor by releasing more jolts of current into the ground, making it look as if bombs were going off around the two as they raced towards one another. Just as they closed the last few feet, both simultaneously leapt into the air, Kaimu launching his right fin into his foe’s arm. As his weapon connected, he felt a new piercing pain in his opposite arm and pulled his attacking arm back, leaving an open wound where it had been. As Kaimu’s body collapsed to the ground, he saw the fierce looking ice blade that had been lodged into his body.
“I've never feared a winter in my life.” Kaimu firmly gripped the ice, and tore it out of his arm, tossing it aside. “Eventually, they all pass.”Polaris Eridanus
The heavy axe tore through the air with all the angry force of Hyrule's other perennial bad guy. Knowing from past experience that it was nearly useless to combat Taden with weapons formed of ice, even red ice, Polaris dropped the crimson makhaira's where he stood. They landed, blades down in the ground, quivering as he simultaneously dove out of the way. The massive axe head sunk deep into the turf where he'd stood just moments before. When he rolled to his feet it was to see Kaimu charge back into the mix.
The air thrummed and took on a sulfurous tang as explosion after explosion gouged gaping holes into the well trodden turf of the village square. Polaris tried to call out to his companion, hoping to calm the beast that urged him ever onward into the fray. His words were lost on the wind and the duo fought on.
This was all too much, Taden should not be here. could not be here. Unless he'd followed him. Or, as he looked closer..maybe it wasn't him after all. Only one way to find out.
"Taden." His voice barely above a whisper as he readied his next assault.
When the two combatants broke apart once more, the makhaira stuck in the ground had begun to spit and hiss much like bacon in the skillet.
"Taden." A little louder now.
As the two oversized knives melted and eroded into non-existence the area had begun to cloud with a distinct pinkish "smoke" as it were. Peculiarly it was at just this time that Polaris took note of a Hylian woman standing in the shadow of the inns doorway looking almost bewildered at the scene before her. He paid her no more mind then that as he drew Winters Tide and held it upright in front of his own face.
A resounding SNAP - much akin to that which an ice slide makes in the seconds before an avalanche - tore through the air and just like that, the entirety of the crimson mist was sucked up into his arcane blade.
"TADEN!!" Screaming now, Polaris waited until he was sure he had his attention and then, lightning quick he slashed downward in a diagonal arc sending a writhing red tempest - which attracted wind and lightning along its path - roiling towards his long Hated foe.
"Go to hell."Tarah Vass/Kakariko Inn/Night 2
Tarah frowned as she clambered from the filthy tunnel they had crawled through to enter Kakariko, tunnelling was quickly becoming her least favourite method of transport but with the guards looking for her she didn't really have a choice. She attempted to brush the dirt from her clothes then followed Taden towards the inn. She quietly waited as he glanced around the corner to check the door then listened as he whispered to her.
"A Zora warrior stands guard at the door," he whispered back to Tarah. "They have beaten us here, and they never travel alone." He turned to face her. "Sneak in through the back and ask the barkeep for Haldar. I'll draw the Zora and his companions out front with a diversion." She returned a nod and backed away silently before turning the corner and reaching the back wall of the inn and heading towards the door.
She crouched beside the door and tried to open it, but found it was locked. She reached into her pocket and pulled out two small metal rods which she pushed into the lock and twisted, she smiled as she heard the satisfying click as the lock opened. Nudging the door ajar she peered into the dark room within, it seemed to be empty so she slipped in, closing the door behind her. Luckily, she had entered a dimly lit storage room, once again, she crouched beside a door, this time, the door leading from the storage room into the inn. She had assumed that this door would be behind the bar, so casually passing through wasn't an option. Suddenly, the door burst open and a woman walked through, Tarah took this opportunity to sneak through behind the woman and crawl under the hatch entrance. The patrons of the bar either weren't looking or were too out of it to notice her, so Tarah stood up and leant against the bar as if she had been there the whole time.
The woman returned and placed several glasses on a shelf behind the bar before turning to Tarah. "There something I can 'elp you with young lady? Lookin' fer work perhaps?" she said.
"Thanks for the offer, but no, i'm looking for a man named Haldar, you wouldn't know where he is would you?" Tarah asked in reply.
"Ain't he mister popular today! Some Zora feller came in fer 'im already tonight. 'E's over in that corner, i'd look out if I were you though, e's had a few too many."
"Thank you, i'm sure i'll be fine." Tarah said as she turned to walk towards Haldar.
As she approached the large man's table he spoke, "Are yeh me entertainment for the night girlie?"
"No." Tarah replied, as she realised that this was going to be more difficult than she thought. "I seek information, me and a few others are looking for a thief, and I was told you might be of use to us."
"An' wha' do I get fer 'elpin' you?"
"We can pay you greatly for your cooperation, my friend has a large wallet of rupees he'd be willing to hand over for the right information"
"I ain't in the mood fer money, I got somethin' better in mind. Somethin' only someone as pretty as yeh and give."
"I'm afraid that isn't on the table. Rupee's for information, take it or leave it."
"I weren't plannin' on doin' it on the table."
"I take it you're not going to take me seriously then, i'll come back when you're less drunk."
Tarah stood up and marched away, disgusted by Haldars advances and having forgotten about the Zora's outside she walked straight out of the inns front door to tell Taden of Haldars uncooperative behaviour.Moments Later
As Tarah stormed through the door and out of the inn she felt a drastic and seemingly unnatural decrease in temperature and stopped in place, realising the potential danger Taden could be facing. She watched for a moment, as Taden fought with a blue Zora, ice and lightning flying through the air as the two leapt into the air, slicing each other as they flew past each other.
She heard a shout from another Zora, this one crimson. "TADEN!! Go to hell." He screamed over the sounds of the battlefield.
"At least he's making friends." Tarah thought sarcastically, deciding that she should probably try to help him somehow.
She didn't think she had been noticed, so decided to use that to her advantage as she moved around the corner of the inn where she was out of sight and climbed onto a large crate, from there jumping to grab the edge of the roof. It wasn't the most graceful maneuver but it worked. Crouching on the roof she drew her bow and pulled an arrow, she aimed towards the blue Zora, concentrating on the shot before firing.Majin Kotage
The sun set while Majin was perched on the inn roof, waiting and watching for Kaimu, who’d disappeared upon their arrival. In the deepening twilight the Tokay had formed a hood for his cloak of shadows and, obscured by darkness, had disappeared into the night.
Until a young woman, little more than a girl, scaled the side of the inn with greater skill than most and pulled out a bow. Her arrow was leveled directly at the beserker Zora below, as Kaimu had reappeared just moments after Polaris was challenged by a young man in black clothes, and was laying about him with bladed fins and brute strength. The air in the village was alive with arctic winds and a sizzling electric charge.
Majin approached the girl on silent feet, stepping up behind her as he pulled out his crossbow. As she took careful aim, she felt the point of a quarrel being placed gently behind her ear.
“Don’t move a muscle,” Majin ordered in a bleak tone. She stiffened, realizing that he had the drop on her. “You’d best hold back on that string, girl. You fire when I tell you to or I pull this trigger.
“That Zora, if you can’t already tell, is enhanced by magic. Your arrow’s not likely to bring him down unless you’re an exceptional shot. Aim where I tell you and don’t get any ideas or this is going to go very badly for you.”
Majin let his gaze follow her own to the fight unfolding below. Polaris looked like he could handle himself quite well, but Kaimu was a wild card as likely to hurt his own friends and allies as he was the enemy. Majin had known the Zora for a long time now, but if he couldn’t control himself then he was going to have to be put down. It might make him feel just a bit better if it wasn’t his arrows doing the job.
Majin looked back to the girl. “Who sent you? Who are you working for?”Tarah Vass
Her arm strained by the pressure of the bowstring, Tarah concentrated on her aim. She stared down into square below at her target, unaware of the danger approaching her from behind. She cursed silently as she felt the cold edge of what she assumed to be a crossbow bolt resting behind her ear.
“Don’t move a muscle,” Demanded the owner of the crossbow “You’d best hold back on that string, girl. You fire when I tell you to or I pull this trigger.
Tarah's muscles tightened with fear but her arm relaxed, slowly releasing her pull on the string and lowering the bow slightly as she couldn't hold onto the tight string for much longer. She sighed quietly as she realised that there was nothing she could but obey him.
“That Zora, if you can’t already tell, is enhanced by magic. Your arrow’s not likely to bring him down unless you’re an exceptional shot. Aim where I tell you and don’t get any ideas or this is going to go very badly for you.”
Fingers still wrapped around the serving, Tarah listened to her foe. As he paused she briefly considered trying to attack, but pushed these thoughts back as she was unaware of what stood behind her.
“Who sent you? Who are you working for?” He asked, there was a pause as she thought of a convincing lie.
"Working for? I'm not working for anyone. I simply noticed a man outnumbered in combat and thought I could help him. Please don't hurt me sir." She whimpered in reply, attempting to draw pity from her captor. She forced a few tears to run from her eyes as she spoke, acting weak and pathetic had worked in her favour in the past so Tarah had grown to rely on it in tough situations.Majin Kotage
Crocodile tears splashed down the girl’s face as she attempted to appeal to Majin’s humanity. There was only one thing.
“You’re lying,” he accused in a harsh whisper. “You didn’t climb up here just to help some Hylian citizen. I don’t know who you are or where you come from, but I see the way your eyes tighten around the edges when you look at the black clad one down there. You know him, and unless I’m mistaken, you don’t particularly like him.”
Reluctant allies. As Majin looked down to the struggle below, and his eyes lingered on Kaimu’s uncontrollable frenzy, he thought that he could relate on some basic level.
He pushed the crossbow a little harder against her.
“Here’s what we’re going to do,” Majin said in a hushed tone. “You’re going to tell me the truth. Don’t try and feed me your sob stories because I promise you I’ve heard them all before. Are you here for the Pariah?”
A part of Majin’s mind, relegated to the fringes of his consciousness, told him that he should go down and help his allies. The stronger part, however, told him that the roof was the best place for him. He needed to be able to intervene if things went south, and besides, it might be a good idea to observe for a bit and see how everyone behaved in combat conditions.
“Don’t put that bow away just yet. I may need it.”
All Together NowLeif / Death Mountain / Night 2
"I have everything I need on me right now. I don't need anything."
Kourtz shrugged. "Suit yourself, bud." He started to walk in the other direction, making sure not to leave any tracks of where he's going. Leif glanced down the hole and jumped down, starting to make his way back through the long, small tunnel.
There was a significant temperature change as Leif approached the exit to the tunnel. He pulled himself out and exhaled air. The water vapour from his breath instantly turned into ice and blew off. Leif sighed, as he doesn't fare well with drastic temperature change. He continued on, wishing he had thicker clothes. As he casually walked by the inn Leif spotted two Zoras; One with tattoos strewn about his body, and one with crimson scales. The Zora with the multiple tattoos seemed to be slightly out of control. Leif wasn't even sure if he was in control of his own body.
The crimson scaled Zora seemed to have caught up a red windstorm aimed directly at Taden. Leif assumed it wasn't the greatest idea to engage in that fight. He glanced at the other Zora.
"Hey, fish with all the tattoos!" Leif yelled across the cold village square which has become a scarred battlefield. The Zora engaged in combat glanced towards Leif but brought his full attention back to Taden, not wanting to stray away from him. The other Zora seemed to not hear what he was saying. Leif grabbed three sharpened knives from his belt, placing each one in between two of his fingers. "Your fight's with me now, Zora!" That got the berserk's attention away from Taden and toward's Leif. Leif shot all three towards him simultaneously, aimed towards his chest and head.Kaimu Kotaro/Kakariko Village/Night 2
Deeper. Deeper now. It’s an addiction now, in the soul. It’s the pulsing and beating of the heart, but it fades away like the dreams of a dying soldier with each thump. The pain is just another connection to the world, the world that lost its meaning when the joy of violence was discovered. Who would feel pain when you gain such strength from its distribution?
That is the question isn’t it, Kaimu?
The voices were his own now. He knew in that dying heart that Ithan was never real, Davus played him, and now he had succumbed to him. He felt a tapping in his mind, there were more revelations of his existence to be had, the tricks of his captor were far from over, but the battle before him beckoned him harder. The secrets could wait.
"Your fight's with me now, Zora!" Three blades, hurled as the words were spoken. Kaimu’s inner turmoil was not so great or pathetic that he could not defend himself. He swiped his fins in front of him, knocking the blades to the earth. He felt the stinging in his arm, and grinned as his foe closed the distance. To his periphery he could see Polaris and Taden locked in battle, and so with his prior engagements satisfied, he fully gave his attention to the lizard man. They traded a few blows, and with each strike of his injured right arm, Kaimu’s smile got bigger. His left arm extended out, the tip of his fin coming mere centimeters from the man’s neck. Surely though his scaly exterior would deflect such a light touch. Kaimu felt more in control, but at the same time very much outside himself.
“Kotaro.” Kaimu pushed the man back and gave a sarcastic half bow. “You must know the name of your killer.” The two continued to trade blows, and Kaimu felt his the strength of his arm failing and attempted to backup again. But his enemy was a man of opportunity and had brought out yet another of his throwing knives. Kaimu crossed his right arm across his body to block the weapon as it came at him, but it was too late. In one smooth motion he felt the man grab his arm and twist it, with a powerful crack filling the air, even amongst the already plentiful noise of battle. He yelled in pain, but to onlookers it must have seemed like a noise of victory, for Kaimu continued to see the pain as his outlet to power. His body did not agree. With his arm hanging delicately at his side, he and his foe now stood closely to the public well of Kakariko. One misstep and he would be down in the depths once more. Clarity was returning to him proper, but the bloodthirst had not yet fully faded.
“Finish it then.” Kaimu beckoned to his foe.Tarah Vass / Kakariko Village / Night 2
He was right, Tarah was impressed by his deductions, impressed, but not pleased. She had underestimated him and was now in no position to continue lying as she felt his crossbow pushing more into her head. The danger of the situation made her wish she had stayed in the inn, because while she hadn't enjoyed her conversation with Haldar, she definitely preferred it to this one.
“Here’s what we’re going to do, you’re going to tell me the truth. Don’t try and feed me your sob stories because I promise you I’ve heard them all before. Are you here for the Pariah?” He whispered, and while he spoke Tarah's eyes lit up slightly as she noticed Leif emerge from behind the inn and attack the blue zora, evening the battlefield.
She turned her attention back to her unseen foe as she replied, deciding to be truthful instead of once again risking her life with deceit.
"Yes, we seek the Pariah. We believe he has information we need." She said, disappointed in herself for helping someone whom she presumed to be the enemy.
Just as she finished speaking, the zora below let out a scream which she hoped would cause her assailant to leave her to go to his aid.Majin Kotage - Inn Rooftop
He was right, this girl and those below had come to speak with Haldar, hoping that he would give them information. The way she spat her answer told Majin a few things. First, it told him that she realized she was aiding the enemy, which meant that she and her adversaries saw them as enemies. Given that Majin was in the company of two Zoras, and that this girl was the first to even realize he was there, that meant that they saw the Zoras as enemies.
They came from Castle Town, they had to. Did that mean they were working for the king? If such was the case then they would be more than happy to get their hands on Majin, given his recent activities in the castle.
Second it told him that she probably hadn’t gotten much out of Haldar, which meant that, depending on how important the information they sought was to them, they might be forced to put him to the question. Majin couldn’t allow that, Haldar knew far too much about him and his activities.
The howl from below stopped him before he could speak, and both he and the girl looked down to see Kaimu injured and poised at the edge of the well.
So, the form might be brutish, but it’s not invulnerable. Good to know. Majin thought, then pulled his crossbow away from the girl’s head. “A friend of yours?” he asked, gesturing toward Leif.
He didn’t wait for her to answer. He didn’t need her to. What he needed to do was get down there. Now that he knew where she was from, that she was the enemy, and that she and hers were unlikely to let up, Majin’s choice became a lot simpler.
“Watch your step.” He said mildly, drawing a bewildered expression from the girl as she turned to look at him, rubbing the spot where the point of his quarrel had been pressed into her skull. Not waiting for her to act, a tendril of smoky manifest shadow plumed out from the front of his cloak and, forming into a five-fingered hand, pushed her off of the edge.
Even as she toppled over, Majin rushed to the very edge, crouched, and hurled himself off, somersaulting in the air and landing hunched on all fours. Hands a blur he threw his crossbow back over his shoulder and ripped his butterfly swords from his crisscrossing shoulder belts then sprinted forward, closing the gap between himself and the two combatants at the well.
Not announcing his unexpected arrival, Majin leaped into the middle of the pair and jumped, using both legs to kick in two directions. One foot struck Kaimu in the shoulder of his wounded arm and, to Kaimu’s surprise, sent him careening over the edge and down into the well.
The other foot struck the big, feline-eared man in the chest, knocking him back a few paces as the momentum from the kick allowed Majin to back flip in the air and land back in a crouch, butterfly swords held out wide to either side of him. Tendrils of shadow erupted from the shadow-cloak near his shoulder blades and whipped forward, snaring the brute’s arms around the biceps as he regained his footing.
“Your fight is with me!” And the tendrils drew taut and then pulled the ensnared foe toward Majin, who jumped into the air over him as his momentum from the pulling shadow-tendrils sent him stumbling maladroitly toward the ring of stone and mortar that encircled the well behind where the Tokay had just stood.
Leif hunched down, and pushed down on the ground, launching him into a backflip behind the well. The tendrils of shadow released from his limbs as he landed upright. Leif clenched his fist, creating rose-colored energy in his palm, which then engulfed his fist. He charged towards his new Tokay foe, jabbing his arm towards him. Majin dodged Leif's punch as he pulled his arm back preparing to hit Leif.
Leif landed on his hands, pushing his body upwards. The energy from his hand moved itself to his leg as he pushed himself upwards, kicking Majin in the side. He skidded back, dirt building up behind his feet. Leif unsheathed both of his swords, finally being able to use them in a real battle. He pushed on the hilts of the blade causing pink sparks to jolt up the blade, leaving behind a reddish hue.
He ran towards Majin, who has recovered from his foe's previous strike. Leif flipped the swords around in his hands so his thumbs were pressing down on the bottom of the hilt. He swung both of his blades upwards in an X towards Majin.
While stormclouds rioted overhead, a cold light fell on the violence in the streets. It was a blue moon in Kakariko, giving Taden more visibility--enough to see a dark figure shoving Tarah from the Inn roof.
"TADEN!" the red-faced Zora called out, bringing him back to the fight. "Go to hell."
A freezing spiral of red mist shot towards him from the Zora's sword. Sliding his axe over his back, he pushed one foot into the dirt and cradled his hands out before him. The vortex racing towards him met an opposing burst of wind, and the maelstrom gathered into a cold fury in his palms.
"I am Terminian," he muttered to himself, nearly inaudible over the wind. "It is a mystery what dark fate brought me here, but as sure as Master Jotun is dead I am certain of one thing." He raised his voice now, shouting over the winds with the howl of the Yeti hunters.
"Hyrule is my hell."
Spinning around to swing his focused energy to the side, a silver halo seemed to shine from his face and neck as the moon's light found purchase in a widening gap of cumulonimbus. For a moment the black clouds parted into a starlit ring, giving way to a tower of moonlight that beamed down on the township with Taden in its center.
Spinning his foot out behind him in a wide arc, Taden swept his arms to one side and sent a wave of ice through the square, catching Tarah in its curve and sliding her directly into the blood-scaled Zora. The frozen ramp met the stonework lip of the Well, and as the two barreled towards it Taden raced ahead with a burst of wind at his back.
Already the frenzied indigo Zora had plunged into the Well, while Leif intercepted the dark figure who had pushed Tarah from the roof and tackled him into an dark alley. Just as Tarah and the second Zora fell towards the Well, Taden lunged forward and grabbed the young thief's small hand.
He caught her, and pulled her up from the abyss.
"Any word from the Pariah?" he asked, helping her find her footing.
The push came as a relief to Tarah, she may have been falling, but at least she was still concious, for now. Time seemed to slow as she felt herself fall, she curled in preparation to roll on impact and saw Taden launch ice below her, she realised that the slope he had formed would give her a smooth landing and twisted in mid air to land on her back and slide down the icy slope. She slid down the curve of ice, and began to slide across the icy square, unable to stop herself she crashed feet first into the crimson zora who stood before her then realised they were heading towards the well. She began to panic and turned, hoping to catch the ledge as they fell and at the last moment felt Tadens hand catching her.
As he pulled her up and steadied her, he spoke. "Any word from the Pariah?" He asked.
"Unfortunately not" She replied, "We didn't really get along."
She quickly inspected her bow for any damage it had taken during the fall, and saw it was fine. Assuming that the zoras wouldn't stay in the well, she drew an arrow and aimed towards the hole, waiting for one to emerge.
The double footed kick to the chest caught Polaris off balance and sent him tumbling into the well. He intended to pound Taden's young companion into a pulp when they reached bottom. That luxury however, was stolen from when Taden caught her wrist, pulling her to safety.
The rungs drilled into the stone inside the well zipped by in a blur. Polaris knew that to grab one would be to dislocate a shoulder. The bottom of the well, surprisingly not full of water raced up to meet him getting closer with each passing second.
Winters Tide still clutched in his hand, Polaris drove the blade into stone, slowing his descent to a crawl mere feet above the bottom of the well. Standing there with the muffled sounds of battle still ringing above, Polaris looked around and saw no signs of Kaimu. Sheathing his sword, Polaris hefted a medium sized wooden bucket attached to a chain. At one time this bucket had undoubtedly been used to draw water from the well.
The links clinked together as he pulled them through his hands to coil the chain around his left forearm, Polaris heard a muffled scream from somewhere in the depths of the well as he started back up the ladder.
It was some time before he reached the top and listening, heard a muffled conversation. Erring on the side of caution, Polaris uncoiled a length of chain, taking the bucket in his right hand he threw it straight up and out of the well. The tell tale twang of a bow string being released followed by the thunk of arrow striking wood and the chain growing taut brought a smile to his face as he vaulted from the yawning maw of the abyss.
Landing sure footed on terra firma, Polaris whipped the bucket back around his head and flung it towards Tarah and Taden keeping his grip on the end of the chain, Polaris sent a constant flow of glacial magics coursing along its length.
Polaris drove his right hand into the side of the makeshift ramp. A ripple went along the ice until a crimson fist burst out of the wall and smashed into the girl, slamming her to the ground just seconds before the bucket and chain burst like an overripe fruit, exploding in a cacophony of jagged shards of wood, metal and red ice just feet away from Taden.
Calling out to Tarah, Polaris spat, "There are many pawns in hell girl. Don't become one of his"
When Tarah loosed her first black-fletched arrow, Taden clinched his fist to start gathering a ball of cold air in his hand. Before long the red Zora leapt back out of the Well, sending Tarah's long riding coat sweeping out behind her on a shockwave of frigid wind. She reached for a second arrow, but before she had it nocked their foe sent a fusillade of bloodred ice at them both, slamming her into the ground and bursting in all directions in front of Taden.
He was pummeled back through the air, smashing through a grimy window of the Inn, and he landed in a heap of glass, frost, and blood. Drunken onlookers reared back when the blackguard crashed onto their floor, but he disregarded them. Outside, he heard the crimson merman scolding Tarah.
"There are many pawns in hell, girl. Don't become one of his."
Taden coiled his feet up towards his chest, then kicked himself upright and stared out the man-sized hole he'd left in the window. A long cut stung down the side of his face, and he tasted blood on his lip.
"Hoy, little pawn, I think you dropped something."
Looking past Tarah to the Zora, he met the his bulbous black eye and raised his fist into the air, still balled up in what had become a strobing vortex of light, now illuminating a long black-fletched arrow at its core. He raised his fist higher and the energy expanded into a ball of light as bright as the arctic moon that blinded the Zora and stopped him in his tracks. The light shrank all at once, condensing into the arrow's long shaft to make it pulse with the same impossibly bright light, like frozen lightning. Squinting but never taking his eyes from the Zora, Taden tossed the argentine arrow out the window towards Tarah, who had righted herself by the Well and recovered her longbow.
"Quick, while he's stunned!"
Reacting quickly to a blurred movement from the well Tarah released her bowstring, firing an arrow at what she soon realised was just a bucket. She reached to her quiver for another arrow but the zora was too fast and leapt out of the well, his fist sending her crashing to the floor before she could prepare a shot. As she lay on the icy paving her body ached from the impact of the punch and she heard a voice calling out to her.
"There are many pawns in hell girl. Don't become one of his" The scarlet zora bellowed.
"I have no plans to." Tarah muttered under her breath, reaching for her bow and slowly pulling herself to her feet.
Rising to face the zora she watched him become dazed by a bright light emanating from behind her. She covered her eyes with one arm and turned to see Taden throw a radiant arrow towards her which she leaned to catch, it was cold to touch and still glowing as she nocked it and pulled back the string instantly releasing and sending the frigid arrow towards the heart of her aquatic foe.
Shinsou no Ten/Kakariko Village/Night 2
The day’s long trek to Hyrule Castle proved to be a waist. By the time she got there the whole place had fallen to chaos over some killer or something, she didn't really care. It only meant she couldn't get in to find her father’s killer. The journey wasn't a complete waist though, she heard some guards talking about a possible war with the other races.
She knew the meant they'd have to send some solders to Kakariko to ready for a Goron attack. It took her the rest of the day to get there, and exhaustion was finally setting in as the sun fell from the sky. She could also feel a cold wind coming from the village. She'd have to find an inn to rest for the night and continue her hunt in the morning.
Clawing his way once more out of the ground Kourtz emerged from the earth not far from the village entrance. As he peered around for any guards he could still feel the cold in the air, now more chilling than ever before. Cautiously he began to work his way through the streets, ever fearful of the sinister clouds that hung above. From the shadow of this backdrop however came a site Kourtz hadn't expected to see.
A Hylian girl no older than her teens walked up from the stairwell breathing heavily, clearly exhausted from her travels. Either not recognizing the Mogma near the side of the street or not bothering to she continued on. With a few more steps into Kakariko's interior she suddenly tripped and collapsed face first onto the ground. After a few seconds without moving Kourtz looked around and noticed no one else was within view.
With nobody watching he ran over to help the young maiden. "Yo! Are you O.K"? There was no reply. Now shouting Kourtz exclaimed "Come on wake up! If you can here me please wake up"! The girl began to moan and twitch at his voice.
Picking herself back up she staggered back onto her feet replied back "I'm... Fine. Just... Need to...". "Just need to nothing" interrupted the furry treasure hunter. "I'm not an expert on Humans, but I know your not in shape to do anything right now". Once more looking around Kourtz continued on.
"What are you doing out here anyways"? "I'm looking... For someone..." "Well then I don't think you'll find them. No one is out on the streets this time of night other than you and me. Trust me I checked". Worried about the well being of this stranger Kourtz resolved to help, much against his better judgement.
"If you can still walk follow me. I've got a few spare rupees so I'll get you a room to rest at in the village inn. You can keep searchin' for this person come morning".
After a minute or so the two had come to the Eldin Inn. Not wanting to waste time Kourtz ran in through the back door with the young lady silently following behind him. With a brief check in he bid her fair well before she headed to the room "Take care of your self. I check on how ya doing in the morning if I can". As he turned to leave however there was a loud crash followed by screaming and shouting.
Curiosity got the better of Kourtz as he ran down to see what was happening. Shoving his way through onlookers he saw to his bewilderment Taden standing at the inns smashed up bar shouting out the hole smashed through the window. Outside he briefly noticed Tarah let a magic arrow fly as she battled a red scaled Zora.
Turning to the wild man of Termina Kourtz struggled to put his words together. "T-Taden?!! Wh-What the hell?!! What the hell is going on?" he cried, grabbing Taden by the arm.
"The Zora have infiltrated Kakariko. We must find the Pariah and hunt down this bloody thief before they turn the Gorons and take the village from the Crown. Tarah and Leif alone can't hold them much longer."
A cold fury in his eyes, Taden swung his White Wolfos hood over his face, and hoisted his axe across the back of his neck. He leaned in and put one hand on the Mogma's shoulder, staring into his beady eyes through the carved eyeholes of his mask.
"Look for a man named Haldar hiding in the Inn. An informant wouldn't risk running away in the heat of battle. When you find him, don't leave until you know who stole the Trust."
He slipped a small, twitching satchel into Kourtz's paw. It gave off a slight ticking, squeaking sound.
"That's five Bombchu. I trust you're familiar with them. If he doesn't cooperate, burn the place down."
With that, he somersaulted out of the tavern and back into the streets, ducking as the glare of Tarah's silver bolt lit up the night. Thunder crashed across the sky and rain poured down in droves as the storm finally broke. With both hands he gripped his iron battle axe and stepped in front of her, and as Tarah readied her next shot from behind, he charged forward to close the distance between himself and the savage Zora.
Majin Kotage/Kakariko Village/Night 2
He miscalculated. He thought that the fall would incapacitate the girl, or at least slow her down. Now she had Polaris pinned inside the well, and Majin couldn’t fight all of them alone. Not for long.
His foe moved faster than Majin would have thought, fast enough to land an amplified kick to the Tokay’s hip, anyway. It appeared that he was bolstered by magic infusing his limbs, increasing his speed and strength. Majin’s cloak condensed on contact, saving him from a broken hip, but it still threw him hard to the ground and sent a pulse of sharp pain through him.
He couldn’t stay down long though, as he heard the rasp of steel and the crackle of mystical energy and knew that his enemy was renewing his assault. In an acrobatic show, Majin rose up to balance on one palm, turning himself in the direction of his charging foe with the feline ears and rose colored aura.
As the enemy spun his swords around, gripping them with the blades pointed down at the ground, he bent his elbow and pushed himself backward and leapt to his feet, crouching and leaping as the blades came up in an ‘X’. The cloak dissolved into smoky cloud and condensed under his feet to ward off the magic in the blades.
Majin landed balanced between the two blades, insulated from their power by layers of condensed shadow under his feet. With butterfly swords in hand, Majin sprang around behind the brute, spinning and sweeping his blades at his foe’s exposed back. His foe was forced to dive forward to avoid being sliced open.
As he glanced over, he could tell that Polaris had gotten clear of the well. Majin took the opening and grasped some of the shadow cloud that hung around him in a loose field, obscuring him in the dark of night. Surrounded by his element, Majin pulled more shadow to him, growing the cloud, condensing it, and then sent a smoky pillar out to intersect and deflect the storm-charged arrow loosed by the girl archer.
Next moment he was spinning and running at the one who’d been engaged with Polaris. He wielded a big axe and had the smell of magic about him, and he’d been dangerous enough to stack up against the ‘Red Ice General’ without any difficulty. Majin dove in front of him, catching the great axe on the hooks of his crossed butterfly swords. There was no way he could match the man’s strength, but he could waylay him.
As Majin gave ground slowly, staring into the fur-cloaked man’s face, the cloud of vaporous shadow thrust out in a thick tendril and slammed into the feline-eared man’s chest, hurling him from his feet.
“The Pariah can’t tell you anything,” Majin growled through a clenched jaw. “I’m the only one who can. Bad news for you though, you’re on my turf. The night belongs to me.”
The pillar of formed shadow rose up into the air, coiled like a serpent, then struck hard at the cloaked warrior as Majin disengaged and dove sideways over his shoulder to get clear.
Polaris cursed as, temporarily blinded, he stumbled around rubbing his eyes all the while trying to find something solid to use for cover until his vision cleared. Standing in the middle of the village square provided little cover.
Eyes finally, mercifully seeing straight Polaris had just enough time to see Majins failed attempt at deflecting the supercharged arrow. With its path only slightly altered, it was all he could do to cross his forearms before him and throw up a thin veil of mist. Where was the impenetrable wall of cold crimson armor he'd called upon? Polaris had never suffered this sort of failure in his magicks before. Unencumbered by the misty defenses the arrow flew true, the magic attached to it briefly hindered, lagged behind.
The bolt buried itself bone deep, lodging firmly into the joint of Polaris' left shoulder moments before an ear splitting explosion rent the air and the effulgent burst of ice and light slammed into his chest sending him hurtling into a tree. Slammed against the trunk of this proud sentinel, Polaris slumped to the ground trying desperately to maintain his hold on to consciousness and reality alike.
Taking in a ragged breath, and then another, Polaris raised his eyes to see a cloudless, sunny day. He was lounging under the falls as a few small orange fish nibbled at his toes. It was so unlike him to doze off like this, didn't he have somewhere to be? Perhaps not.
He tried to rise, couldn't, and so rested back against the cool surface of stone behind him, coughing. Spitting out a glob of blood off to his left side, Polaris noticed the shaft of an arrow protruding from his shoulder.
Where'd that come from? Reaching up to grab it he pulled up short as a familiar voice called out, "Here, let me." Wreathed in sunlight, Polaris was unable to see the face of the speaker. He just nodded and let his hand fall back to his side. He was very weary anyway, he may as well let this man do it for him.
Clenching his teeth, Polaris waited for the pain which would signify the shafts removal. It did not disappoint. Growling with the pain, Polaris shot forward, attempted to rise and fell back on his haunches.
"You've traveled a long way. It is unsurprising to see that your power has been affected. All will be set right, in time."
The figure leaned forward and handed Polaris the arrow. Grasping the generals forearm, the figure spoke again, "Return this in kind, and remember, even the mightiest of the mighty fall. Humbling yourself enough to know that you don't always have to go it alone is a natural progression for the great."
Polaris took the hand of the figure, briefly seeing his face, "Father?"
From inside the column of shadow, Taden was protected from the shockwave that thundered out from Tarah's arrow.
He dropped to the ground, and braced himself against the cold earth with his hood drawn low as the arctic storm past. When the Tokay that had attacked him dove out of the way of his own shadow tendril, Taden saw the little reptile get swept up in the frigid winds and blown back towards the Inn, slamming against the wall.
Before his impact cut off the source of the Shadow magic surrounding him, blocking the arrow's silver light, Taden could feel its darkness numbing his skin. His eyes seemed to grow heavy under its mask, and the veil of Shadow lingered in his face after the penumbral air withdrew.
He rose to his feet, unsteady under the weight of his axe, his field of vision spinning around him. The interloping lizard was peeling himself from the Inn's scorched and battered facade. Tarah stood over the Well and the incapacitated Red Zora with two arrows drawn. Leif was still lost in the haze of the Silver Arrow detonation; Kourtz was somewhere inside.
He could see none of them, but nothing mattered now--he had found his prey. Strapping his axe across his back, Taden unsheathed his hunting knife and began circling towards the limp, green vermin.
"You may have the night, but I have taken Tiburon's men from you," he howled. A cold light burnt in his eyes like two moons. "We are four, you are one. Now surrender and be taken prisoner, or accept an honorable death."
Tracing a wide arc through the dirt with the toe of his boot, Taden sunk low and raised his dagger into the air by his ear, steadying his gaze at the Tokay's midsection. When the lizard finally stood upright after the blast, he scraped white frost from his eye, and spit a streak of oily black bile from the corner of his lipless mouth. As he sunk into a fighting stance, Taden leapt into the air, and came crashing down on the reptilian devil with his knife turned downward, hatred in his cold, sunken eyes.
The tendril of shadow launched Leif backwards off of his feet. He smashed his back off of the wall of a convenience store, displacing the wood of the building behind him. He landed on the ground realizing that his second scimitar had been flung across Kakariko.
Before he could go retrieve his blade, a blinding silver light flashed before Leif's eyes. He let out an angry growl and started rubbing his eyes. During what he assumed everybody else's haze from the flash, he thought of something.
Leif pointed at his heart.
The fur-clad killer descended with his wicked blade aimed toward Majin’s chest, but despite the mounting pain from the blows he’d taken, the Tokay assassin was still able to cross his blades before him, snagging the knife blade in their hooks. The momentum of his foe and his superior strength drove the knife down, but Majin was able to keep it from burying in his scaly chest. Instead the blade slid across his flesh, opening a long, shallow cut down his middle.
“I’ll take option three.” Majin spat into the lupine man’s snarling face. He wouldn’t die, and he wouldn’t be taken. He couldn’t allow it.
But the man’s strength proved too much and as he tore his knife away from the blades holding it, he ripped Majin’s butterfly swords away too. Suddenly disarmed, Majin had only one option.
The swirling, smoky shadow that had fanned out in an indistinct cloud when Majin stopped directing it then drew in as the Tokay bounded back out of range of his foe’s blade for a moment. In the brief instant before his enemy pursued, the shadows sucked down into Majin’s outstretched hands, condensing into a quarterstaff of corporeal darkness.
Exhaustion was setting in; there was no way of avoiding that. Controlling such a massive amount of shadow was draining even at night, and he still ached from his sudden introduction to the Inn’s outer wall. His limbs were already beginning to tremble with accelerated fatigue. He couldn’t keep this up, there were too many of them and his cloaked foe was much stronger than he would have imagined. Decided, Majin twirled the staff and leaped forward to meet the charge of his enemy, quickly rapping the wrist that held the bloody knife and then bringing the butt of the staff up into his enemy’s groin.
The clatter of steel rang in the night air with a note of finality. A squad of guards clad in the armaments of the Hylian army rushed in leveling spears and swords at the combatants.
“Halt!” One bearing knots of rank intoned as he surveyed the battlefield with dark, heavily-lidded eyes, the moonlight reflecting off of his polished armor and bared blade. “This ends now! Throw down your weapons!” His eyes flickered back to his men and then to the fallen Zora lying dazed by the well. “Seize that one,” he ordered, then waved his blade in Majin’s direction, “and that one too. Disarm the Hylians and hold them for questioning.”
Majin took the brief pause and broke for his swords where they’d been cast to the ground near the well. He heard cries as he snatched them up, but Majin was too fast for them, bedecked in steel as they were. He skidded to a halt before Polaris, jamming his blades into their sheathes and reaching down to tug on the unconscious Zora’s arm.
“Get up! We need the get the hell out of here!”
"I'll take option three."
When Majin rapped his hands, Taden's legs buckled and caught the other end of the lizard's staff on his shin. He dropped to one knee on the wet ground. Cold rain stung into the soil between his fingers as he dragged his nails through the mud.
Tarah was nowhere to be seen, a slight figure under the clambering crowd of guards. Soldiers began racing past him in all directions, but he saw Majin picking up the red Zora by the wellhead.
"You have chosen death." Taden slung a fistful of rainsoaked earth through the air, and in its wake a jagged wall of ice splashed across the distance between them, then slammed into the cement bricks of the well and shoved Majin apart from his fallen ally.
For a moment, the guards were on one side of the wall, with Majin; on the other, Taden saw the red Zora, and near the entrance to the Inn he saw Leif.
"Taden!" the feral one howled, pounding his hand to his chest.
Still down on one knee, he drew a dark, crimson chunk of ice from inside his cloak. It was the dead heart of the Hylian Guard they had killed the night before, now frozen to its core in Taden's grasp. He raised this into the air, letting its red crystalline surface catch the light of the moon, then hurled it towards Leif.
The savage's eyes burned red as he swiped one clawed hand through the air to seize the Dead Heart. The red Zora lay motionless at the lip of the well as the sounds of guards struggling to detain Majin echoed from over the wall. Taden shouted towards Leif.
"Kill the Zora. Do it now."
The frozen heart landed in the palm of Leif's hand, causing a slight chill to travel through his body. He put his two hands around the now ice-coated heart and smashed it into a few dozen pieces. Leif grinned as he cupped his hands and dropped them down his throat. Instantly, his eyes flashed a bright crimson and his claws extended outwards. Leif grabbed two Deku Nuts from the pouch on his side and hurled them towards the guards, giving Leif a chance to get to the unconscious Zora without the guards intervening.
The Deku Nuts sent a loud bang across the village and a blinding light in the guard's vicinity. Leif tightened his grip on his now single scimitar and sprinted towards the unconscious Zora.
As the distance was closed between the two, Leif raised his blade to head-level. He was now directly in front of the Zora, blade raised, ready to murder.
"Well," Leif snarled as he placed his sword inches away from his foe's neck. "seems this is goodbye."
Even before he said the word, he knew it to be untrue yet, as the face of the Zora, limned in aetherical incandescence leaned in closer he had to stifle a small gasp, for it was not the father, but the son. Polaris looked into his own face, not him as he was, but as he could be.
His aetherical self squeezed his hand tightly once more, leaving something in his grasp and released him, vanishing on a wind so pure and warm that it could have been bourne straight from the heavens. From far off he heard the voice of one of his companions, Majin it seemed. He sounded worried, distraught, but too quickly he was cut off and there was an obvious shift in the landscape. As Polaris came crashing back to his body and the full weight of awareness, he felt the familiar cold twinge of ice sorcery, not his own, but also not of the one known as Hothnight. This Taden, while similar in many ways, was not in fact the entity he loathed.
The first thing he noticed was that the something he clutched in his left hand, was the arrow that had incapacitated him, perhaps Majin had dislodged it from his shoulder, but then why would he give it Polaris? It wasn’t exactly the sort of trophy one kept from a battle. Perhaps he had removed it himself, or perhaps...there was sense in trying to make heads or tails of the situation now, there would be time for that later. All thought was quickly banished when, first through vibrations in the ground and then by cold steel placed inches away from a killing blow, and ultimately in voice, a stranger made his presence known. Eyes still closed and feigning unconsciousness Polaris listened as this newcomer threatened him.
Kakariko Village - Nearing Dawn Day 3
"Well...seems this is goodbye."
A righteous sort of hate surged through his limbs as with cat-like reflexes Polaris drove the arrow through the top of his enemies foot pinning it to the ground and rising to his feet punched the heathen beast square in the jaw with a fist wreathed in red ice like to a cold, unforgiving boxing glove. As his for reeled, Polaris spat on the ground in disgust, ”So it does. Return that to the pawn for me will you? And remind her that when her hell freezes over, for in time I will see to it that it does just that, that it will take more than one shiny arrow to bring me low.” The lack of honor required to attack a downed opponent should not have surprised him coming from such a heathenistic monster, yet the creature spoke and held at least some level of intelligence, yet obviously no morals.
Surveying the scene around him, Polaris saw a score of Hylian soldiers, still disoriented from something, Deku Nuts or something akin to them most likely, to his right side was a wall of ice a boundary separating him from Majin and the freedom that the other side granted. Finally in the distance he saw the Taden whom was not the Taden he knew. It was he whom Polaris addressed now, ”It is apparent to me now, that you are not whom I thought you to be, yet you’re not much better. For future reference, know that I am Polaris Eridanus and this is far from over.”
Passing through the veil of ice as if it were so much water, Polaris clapped Majin on the shoulder, ”Come friend, we must flee. Into the well, there is some deep dark evil in there and I fear for the safety of our comrade.”
Standing over her fallen enemy, Tarah watched as Taden challenged the reptilian until she heard a familiar sound approaching the square. The clinking of Hylian armour was a noise that Tarah was used to moving away from, and that wasn't about to change. Lowering her bow she ran to the nearest alleyway and pressed herself against the wall, concealed by darkness she watched as a crowd of guards assembled, and the fight continued.
She winced as the crimson Zora thrust her arrow through Leifs foot, then frowned at his following speech, worried by his threat. She watched as the Zora and his ally jumped into the well in pursuit of the third, and once again readied her bow, prepared to assist Taden and Leif should they decide to fight the horde of guards.
Victory Escape Plan
Taden knew no memory. In his mind, Termina was drawn behind the curtain of ice and violent wind of Snowpeak. Among the Yeti, he had learned to forget the burden of time and exist in the hunt. For a predator, there is only the moment of the kill, from which the past and future ripple away.
”It is apparent to me now, that you are not whom I thought you to be, yet you’re not much better. For future reference, know that I am Polaris Eridanus and this is far from over.”
Taden couldn't help but grin as the red-scaled Zora roused himself and dispatched Leif, then absconded with Majin into the Well. His power over the cold was godlike, but Taden sensed the fog of memory clouding the Zora's mind. When his black, narrow eyes looked at him, it were as if he looked through him into some forgotten past.
"Nay, Polaris," he muttered, looking down over the lip of the Well. "It will never end."
Turning from the Well, Taden knelt down at Leif's feet as the first mists of dew began to rise from the common lawn of the village. The cucco would crow within the hour. Wrapping one hand around the arrow in Leif's bare foot, he braced the other against his ankle, and stared up at him from the ground.
"You feel that?" Taden chided, twisting the head of the arrow. Leif winced. "'Twas Polaris Eridanus did that to you." With a grunt, he tore the arrow from Leif's flesh and packed the wound with ice to attempt to calm the bleeding. "Remember that name," he said, handing the bloody arrowhead to Leif. "You'll kill him someday."
For a moment, they were blocked from the guards by the ice barrier he had created, giving them time to regroup and escape. He spotted Tarah slipping into the alley behind the Inn nearby, and he walked over, Leif limping behind.
"We've learned all we need to know. Where's that damned Mogma?"
Kourtz/Kakariko Inn/Dawn Day 3
With a small treasure crate in one hand and a bag of bombchus in another Kourtz ventured further into the Eldin Inns bar. While a few who overheard his conversation with Taden starred at him as he passed by, most were too preoccupied watching the brawl outside to care much. Apparently none had herd the part about burning the place down if Haldar refused to help, an order which Kourtz dreaded to think of acting on. With the battle on the streets intensifying he walked up to the bartender and asked where he could find this informant.
"Excuse me lady, do you know where I can find a man named Haldar"? Not bothering to answer she whipped back "Are those yer' friends outside"? Pointing to the fight out the window she continued "You know we don't deal with trouble makers here". Letting out a sigh Kourtz pulled a golden necklace with black pearls out of his treasure box. "Perhaps this will work as an apology? I promise I'll get them outta here as soon as I get the info I need".
The bartenders right eyebrow perked up. "Well then... that'll be Haldar over there in the corner table". As he looked over at the rugged man in the corner Kourtz could see him passed out, sleeping head first on the table. Certainly he didn't look like an underworld contact, but perhaps thats why he was able to get away with it. Walking over to meet him the inn was suddenly jolted by what sounded like an explosion outside that shook Haldar awake.
Pulling over a chair and tilting it sideways to fit his black beaver like tail on it Kourtz sat down and the conversation with the Pariah began. "Well, been' a while since I'd seen a feller like you here in the village. Suppose' you want somethin' from me"? " “Yeah I need some info, and a pal of mine said you could provide me with it". "Fraid' I don't work for free" Haldar said back.
"I'll need something in exchange for I say anything". Unhappy to depart with his treasure for practical things Kourtz was angered in having to hand it over to a criminal in exchange for something that should be free. Still he didn't have much of a say in the matter. "Here"! Lifting the crate onto the table he cracked it open and stated "Here's a box of my treasures".
Spotting the valuables inside Heldar continued. "Alrighty then, what's this information you need". "I'll get straight to the point. I'm being blamed for the theft of something called the Hyrulean Trust. A source of mine told me you know about who really stole it from the castle the other day".
Pulling his chair closer in Kourtz looked the man straight in the eye. "I need to know who did it and where can I find them"?
Haldar the Pariah
“Ah yes, that. Indeed I can give you the information you seek, Mister Kourtz.” At seeing the Mogma’s eyebrow shoot up, Haldar chuckled drunkenly. “Oh yes, I know who you are, Kourtz, and who you work for. In fact, you’ll find there’s very little in this land that escapes my notice.”
“But what was I saying?” He glanced about the common room, taking in the denizens still sitting there in the post-midnight hours, many of whom slumped on their stools, under the influence of excessive drink. “Ah, right! Let us go out through the back and I’ll tell you what you wish to know in private.”
Despite his misgivings, Kourtz followed the slovenly, tottering old drunk as he pushed his way past the innkeeper and into the kitchen at the building’s rear. As the sounds of commotion out front began to die down, Haldar led Kourtz out the back door and then, using a hand upon the Mogma’s shoulder to steady himself, steered them both around the back corner of the building and into the deeply shadowed alleyway.
Kourtz seemed surprised to see his allies gathering in the gloom. Haldar was not.
“Now, that’s everyone right?” With no need for an answer to know that it was, he continued. “Your friend here, good Mister Kourtz, wishes to know who was behind the raid on the castle treasury vault, thinking that I, an old drunk in a border village, could possibly be privy to information that the king himself desires! Lucky for him, and you all of course, I do know the answer you desire. Unlucky for you all, you failed to reach me but a few minutes sooner.”
“Speak straight, man.” The lupine, silver-haired figure growled.
“My apologies, Mister Horwendil!” The Pariah moaned. The sentiment was made mocking by an exaggerated role of the eyes. “I so rarely get to hold my knowledge over the heads of ones such as you four. You’d not deny an old drunk his little pleasures, would you?
“In any event, had you been to see me but a few minutes earlier you’d have known the culprit when you laid eyes upon him.” Haldar leaned closer, causing the young woman with her bow and quiver to shrink back from the reek of alcohol on his breath. “I’ll give you a bit of a hint. He’s small, he’s quick, he’s not overly scrupulous, and he just escaped.
“Majin Kotage, or Majin Shadowcloak, is your thief. He’s a known spy, thief, and assassin for hire, one who always honors his contracts and keeps his nose out of the motivations of his employers. I think the question you all need to be asking yourselves right now is not who stole the Trust, as I’ve just told you how he slipped through your fingers mere minutes ago, but rather who it was who hired him.” He hiccupped and let out a protracted belch into the enclosed space. “That, unfortunately, is one of the few precious morsels of information in this land that I lack. I have heard rumors, whispers of a nameless individual skulking about in the shadows, throwing down considerable sums of rupees, buying silence from some and the loyalties of others, but I can give you nothing concrete.
“The only individual who can answer the real question has, unfortunately, just made his escape. I must caution you against pursuit though, for once Majin Shadowcloak has absconded into the shadows he rarely resurfaces until he’s certain the danger has passed, or unless he is certain that the greater danger lies in remaining hidden.”
Haldar the Pariah, in the fullness of his intoxication, belched again and thumped his chest a few times with his fist, even as he eyed the collection of criminals, thieves and murders, before him. “That is the path I suggest you take.” His eyes then turned to Leif and Taden in turn, the worst of the lot. “My guess is that if you think on it hard enough, you’ll find a way to make that danger real enough to draw him out.”
As Haldar finished the speech Kourtz became unnerved upon hearing his final piece of advice. Taden and Leif clearly had no feeling of moral conscience and could quickly become provoked under normal circumstances. The suggestion that they of all people should cause danger didn't sit well in the mind of their Mogma companion. Still Kourtz had no choice but to put his trust in them. Failure to do so meant living the rest of his life inside a jail cell.
While thinking about how to keep them from causing any more carnage, an idea sprung into his furry head. While he didn't know if the others would think of his suggestion as reasonable, indeed Kourtz himself didn't know if it would work, it was worth a try. "Yo, everyone. I just thought of somthin'. This Majin guy was with some Zora's right? Now why would a mercenary like that be fighting alongside the fish folk in a village like this? There's gotta be something up with that". Pausing briefly to look the others in the eye Kourtz continued on.
"You think perhaps Majin could be working for King Tiburon? Given how much he hates the Hylians I wouldn't put it past him to be behind this whole thing. In any case I doubt someone of Majin's description could have possibly met up with those Zora's without somebody noticing. Perhaps we could learn more if we go snooping around Zora's Domain". As he waited a reply he thought to himself, "At least then if we do something stupid, it will be outside of Hyrule proper".
As Haldar spoke, Tarah struggled to concentrate on his words. She found it difficult to listen to the drunk when not to far from them a rather large group of guards was gathered, only kept at bay by a wall of ice, and all ice will surely melt. After hearing Kourtz suggest travelling to Zora's Domain Tarah decided to speak.
"Hey, i'm sorry to interrupt this wonderful planning session, but in case you had all forgotten there's a hoard of armed bastards not too far from here, so I suggest we get going and consider out next movement elsewhere."
She hoped that they wouldn't resort to tunnelling again, because after living in the wide plains of Hyrule field for so long, Tarah had grown to be uncomfortable in tight spaces, and felt trapped if she couldn't see the sky above her. The only problem was that after such a display, it was unlikely that Leif and Taden would get past any guards unnoticed, so unless anyone had any clever ideas tunnelling would be their only option, and she would need an excuse to split off and meet them outside of the village.
"Oh, and i'm fairly sure there are guards blocking the way out of town, so I hope one of you has a plan, because you're not exactly going to be able to just walk on by."
Water started dripping down from the top of the icy wall surrounding the village. Leif glanced at everyone surrounding him who were clearly unable to think of any ideas to get out of town and sighed heavily.
"The only ways to get out of town without getting into any fights with the pricks behind that ice would either be to dig or climb. Digging would be an easier solution, but depending on where we end up after we dig out way back up, there could be trouble."
Leif grabbed whiskey from a vacant table next to him and took a swig. Kourtz cleared his throat. "Uh.. I'm really not that great of a climber. I'd go with digging, and don't worry about digging up in a bad spot, I can tell where we're gonna pop up at."
"That settles it for me." Leif took another gulp of whiskey and stuck the half-full bottle onto his strap of weapons. "Any objections?"
"Time is short. Make haste, Master Kourtz," Taden whispered in the dark alley. He drew up his hood and turned towards the ice wall that separated them from the guards. "The sun rises quickly, but I will hold them off as long as I can."
As he walked past Tarah, he stopped at her side and held out his Yeti hunting knife in its burlap sheath, the handle extended towards her. "Find Haldar inside, and see that he forgets our encounter tonight. He may not know you, but he knows this knife. Once more I bid you wield it."
Tarah took the short blade wordlessly and nodded to him. She darted off into an open window of the Inn as Leif and Kourtz set their claws to digging up the alleyway. Taden then left the cold comfort of the shadow behind the Inn and entered the grey light of morning.
He stood under the arc of his ice wall, like a giant tidal wave frozen in place. Already, trickles of water ran down its crevices, and he saw cracks forming at its base. Guards were banging on the far side with their swords and gauntlets. They would break through within minutes.
Raising his axe up, he slammed the blade down into the earth, creating a shockwave that raced up the side of the barrier and reinforced its strength. The guards were pushed back for a moment, buying them more time. Even still, the sun slowly crept through the mist that clung to the rooftops of Kakariko, its pale strands of light stinging into Taden's eyes. He looked back over his shoulder into the alley to check on Leif and Kourtz, but could see only shadow.
Tarah stood back and watched as Kourtz began digging, trying to avoid the spray of dirt flying behind him. She looked up as Taden spoke, taking the knife she nodded and concealed it in her large coat pocket before climbing through the inns open window. When she reached the other side she turned and leant back to speak to Leif.
"If I take too long, go without me. I'll meet you on the field"
She then turned away from the window, glad to have a way out of tunnelling. She spotted Haldar slumped over in the corner of the empty tavern and walked towards him, hand in her pocket grasping the handle of the knife. She called his name as she approached and received no response but a slight mumble so kicked his leg causing him to awaken and jump into a defensive position.
"Ugh, don't hu-wait, ah, It's you." He said, as the initial shock of his disturbance subsided.
"Don't worry Haldar" Tarah said softly "We'll be gone soon, but before we leave you in peace I just need a word"
Leaving a pause, she slowly pulled the hunting knife from her pocket.
"Now, I'm not going to use this, but lets just say we have a mutual friend who would." She paused again. "We were never here, got it?"
"Fine, jus' stop pointin' that thing at me." Haldar replied.
"Good" Tarah said, turning away from the drunk and walking back the way she came.
As she faced the the window she saw a young girl, standing and watching as guards ran past the window towards the location of the tunnel. Tarah hoped the others had been quick enough, and glanced past the empty frame to check. She let out a sigh of relief at the sight of a group of guards standing by a patch of freshly disturbed soil looking confused at the disappearance of their foes.
"Did you know them?" Asked the girl quietly as Tarah closed the window.
Hesitant to answer, Tarah decided the child was harmless and spoke "Yes, I did. Now I have to go and find them again."
"Can I come with you? I have somebody to find, and think you may be able to help. And I need to thank your Mogma friend "
Staring at the girl, Tarah realised how long it had been since she had last slept and was too tired to argue.
"Sure, just stay behind me and stay quiet."
Tarah decided now that she should be fine to exit through the front door of the inn but exited slowly just in case, it was clear and she moved out, walking towards the exit of Kakariko. When they reached the start of the stairs a guard stopped them.
"Just where do you think you're going? It isn't safe on the field at this hour." He bellowed at the girls.
"Please sir, we must pass. Our mother has fallen ill and we must go to Castle Town and beg to help her. It's our only choice or she will surely perish." Tarah responded, knowing that grown men could never deny passage to a beggar with a sick mother.
"Fine, but I warned you, it's dangerous out there."
The girls walked past the guard, glad that her oldest trick still worked like a charm. As they passed by the guard, he noticed Tarah's bow and spoke.
"Hey! What're you doing with a weapon?" He shouted at them.
"Well as you said, it's dangerous to go alone out there, and I must protect my sister." Tarah replied, slightly worried of being caught, but the guard simply nodded and they went on their way.
When they reached the bottom of the stairs Tarah looked out on the field, not seeing the others she decided where to wait.
"Kourtz, the Mogma, mentioned visiting Zora's Domain, so i'm assuming that's where they'll be heading, if we head in that direction i'm sure we'll run into them at some point. What's your name by the way?"
"Shinsou" The girl replied.
"Well Shinsou, I hope you like walking, because we may be doing a lot of it." said Tarah as she gazed across the field, towards Zora's River
As Tarah darted through the window, Kourtz and Leif broke ground and cleared a pit up to their shoulders, flinging earth and rock against the open windowpane. Before they had dug a man's height deep, Leif raised his eyes above the crude trench to watch the black mage that had numbed his injuries.
Taden looked back over his shoulder and saw the alley empty behind him but for a heap of earth. As he returned his gaze to the regimen, he brought his eyes past the Wellhead and saw that it, too, was empty.
He was all alone with the Royal Guard.
A curved shell of ice separated Taden from a contingent of guards banging and scraping their little spears and axes against its natural steel. Within this ringed wall Taden inhaled sharply, balancing back on his heels with moccassinbound ankles and knees together, then dropped his shoulders and exhaled while pushing his fists forward, wrists together--the ice shell burst into a fog of knives and the infantry was lacerated limb from limb.
He raised his Wolfos hood as the sun crept at last over Kakariko ridge, then stepped over the slain sentries to descend the city's central stairway. At the gate, he met one guard, trembling under the mask of his lowered visor. Taden walked up to the boy and pressed his palm over the visor, freezing it in place and coating the eyeholes with a layer of frost. The boy's knees shook and he began to moan in horror as his courage waned. Taden leaned in close to whisper behind the boy's frozen mask.
"Are you afraid?"
"NO!" the young guard shouted, muffled under his visor. "NOOO!" In a panic the guard seized his face in both hands and charged past Taden, terrified and stumbling over the bodies of his comrades. He tripped once and felt the cold flesh of his brothers in arms against his exposed palms, then recoiled and lumbered deeper into the field of dead under the blind weight of his mask.
"Well, isn't this just going swell" Kourtz thought to himself in deep sarcasm. "First the Zora's show up and now we've got guards after us. I can really tell this adventures going to be fun". Shaking his head he dug further and further into the soil with Leif close behind.
At the very least though Kourtz got to dig to the entrance of Zora's River. The almost impassable cliffside between Kakariko and there would have been a nightmare for the young Mogma to climb. In his life he might have traveled through dangerous lands, he may have even fought off monsters by himself, but Kourtz had never overcome his fear of heights. In any case digging under the village was a much more practical method of escape.
Suddenly Kourtz was brought to full attention when his claws pierced into soft wet gravel. He had run into an underground aquifer that surly led to Zora's River. Although he might get his fur wet, Kourtz knew he could dig through the gravel with about the same ease as swimming through water. In the pitch blackness though he had lost track of his monstrous companion.
"Leif, if you can hear me go back out and drag Taden down here! I've found an easy way out".
"There's no point, I've already seen Taden leave. He's probably long gone by now. We don't need him tagging along, anyway."
"Yeah, I guess you're right. Heh, I guess we'll be the first two there then, huh?"
Kourtz began burrowing through the wet gravel in front of them, revealing a small body of water. As Kourtz continued digging, Leif looked down at the wound in his foot.
Shit, if this ice melts, then the numbing effect it has will be gone, which is bad news considering I can barely walk with the wound now. I know where a Fairy Fountain is in the Zora's Domain area, but not like I'd be able to get there with ease. I'll just find another way...
Leif stepped into the algid water beneath his foot and tread deeper into the flooded tunnel.
Tarah Vass/Morning 3/East Hyrule Field
As the hours passed and the sun rose, Tarah and Shinsou walked by the side of the river towards Zora's domain, taking regular breaks, one of which lasted longer as Tarah fell a sleep for a brief period. When they reached the beginning of the steep river leading to the aquatic realm they noticed some familiar figures in the distance, and continued towards them.
At the foot of the steps, Taden spotted the young archer Tarah cresting a hill with a small companion. As they stopped under a tree, he saw that both limped and panted. Where death had lurked, sleep now struck. Standing over the slumbering girls in the tree's dappled shadow, he listened to their breathing, and heard dread in the new child's beleaguered cough. Tarah kept the Yeti bone handle of the hunting knife fast against her breast, hands clasped as in a tomb.
Shinsou roused and lifted her head, and saw only Tarah asleep under the shadows of branches swaying in a sudden northerly wind. At Tarah's feet, she noticed a green Dodongo hide belt coiled up, attached to a small scabbard like for a dagger or a shortsword. The child pulled her collar around her cheek and returned to troubled dreams.
Majin Kotage/Inside the Well/Early Morning 3
Down into the well they plunged, leaving behind the coming dawn for deep shadows of a different sort. As exhausted as Majin was after pushing his abilities so hard, he felt that he was not ready for rest.
There was just too much to do.
"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."
Majin heard the Zora speak, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Distant.
He could not help but think of his adversary. Taden. That was what they’d named him, calling out to him even as he’d matched blades against Shadowcloak. Such power he had, and not just in strength of magic. There was an air of command about him, a quality that Majin couldn’t quite pinpoint. Though he came in varied company and served the interests, supposedly, of the king, there was a part of the Tokay that knew Taden to be a freelancer much like himself.
A freelancer who knew altogether too much about him. There was nothing for it but to attend to the threat. His companions were one thing, and each was dangerous in his or her own right, but it was Taden that had shaken Majin to his core. His mind made up, Majin let his shadows disperse around him in a hazy shroud and he melted into the pervasive darkness of the well.
Polaris turned his head to seek out his companion, only to find himself suddenly, seemingly, alone. A frown played at the edges of his mouth before he sighed,"No matter." He made for the entrance to a tunnel that delved deeper into the subterrain. "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."
All the better, Majin thought. He was drawn elsewhere, but he had long been friends with Kaimu Kotaro and it gave him heart to know that the Zora would not be abandoned in his absence. Tiburon would be pleased that Polaris meant to carry out his mission, but in the end it meant little to Majin. He’d sought the Zoras when he needed a sanctuary and allies. Now, though, he found that he was consumed by a greater need.
Concealed in darkness, now alone, Majin gripped the stone and mortar of the Well’s interior and began the long climb toward the surface.