Death Mountain, As You Remember It
Corgoro/Inside Death Mountain/ Night 7
The trio walked along a narrow ledge, a sheer drop into what could only be magma below; though it was too far down to see. Corgoro scoffed at the overconfident hylians, thinking they could navigate death mountain with not even a Goron tunic. Even the legendary hero had needed a multitude of tools and a Goron tunic to navigate Death Mountain, and the mountain had only become more treacherous since then. Not to mention, the Hero hadn’t even gone as far as they were going. The hylians would bake alive before they got halfway, if they could even get halfway without tools. Corgoro wasn’t inclined to care. He at the very least had some fire brewing up in him, and if he needed to bust some walls he had canteens of water for steam.
The trio turned off the ledge and into a cave that served as a path into the mountain; if you could call it a path. The tumultuous state of the volcano meant that every day the way to the center changed. Sometimes the entire place could flood with lava without warning, and when it emptied out, cooling lava would leave the terrain completely new. Sometimes clouds of steam would burst open walls, leaving a heap of rubble to walk around or climb over. Corgoro hoped for his own sake that the mountain would cooperate for them. The first thing he saw was that the room of the cave they were in was a shallow lake of lava; only the very entrance and very exit were solid. Corgoro simply curled up and rolled across the floor, ending up on the other side, but he realized his human companions could not follow.
“This is why I told you to prepare, outsiders!”
“I told you, you don’t have to worry too much about us,” Kamen spoke.
As he said this, he lept across the gap, propelled through the air and landed beside the surprised Goron. Meanwhile, Richter had changed into the unmelted stone and simply walked across unscathed.
“You control the air?” Corgoro questioned.
Kamen nodded, but did not elaborate.
“If you can, I have a special job for you. This mountain is unstable. Oftentimes pockets of water form in cracks in the mountain, and then as conditions change the water is heated into gas. The pressure can blow out walls, blow out the floor, even bring down the ceiling, and leave the path to the fire dragon blocked. Not to mention how dangerous it is to be around if it happens. If your power allows you to, tell us where these pockets are, and condense them so that we don’t get buried or stuck. It’ll make the journey much easier if you can.”
Kamen nodded. “I’ll do what I can.”
The group pressed on into a dark, narrow cave. The glow of the lava faded behind them, and Corgoro breathed a bit of fire onto a torch to light the path ahead of them. The path was eerily empty, and each sound they made echoed through the mountain corridor. Finally, the path opened into a massive room. At the center of the room was a gorge, the bottom of which wasn’t visible. Below the round platform they stood on, at regular intervals, were more platforms, each with several paths in and out.
“We’re above the very core of the mountain now, but we have a long ways to go. Each of the platforms below us is a step down in the mountain. I suggest you tread carefully, as the mountain gets much more dangerous from here.” He lead them to another narrow path, heading step by step down to the mountain core.
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Night 7
The make shift party made their way down the narrow tunnels towards the heart of Death Mountain. Corgoro's constant instance on how dangerous was beginning to grate on Kamen's nerves. This Goron was clearly under estimating his abilities, and for a brief moment Kamen had forgotten that was entirely the point. Whether it was because the heat was getting to him or because Richter's closeness with the Goron's had already irritated him, Kamen found his patients in uncharacteristically short supply.
As the three made their way out of another claustrophobic tunnel and onto another impossibly narrow ledge over the center chasm they found themselves ambushed by a pair of red tekites. Corgoron gripped the wall to keep from slipping and made ready to strike, but as the tekites lept at the group Kamen made a subtle unseen hand gesture that caused both creatures to miss their target and plummet into the abyss.
"Oh, very impressive," Kamen said as he applauded, "those things were so intimated by you the committed suicide. Now I'm sure there nothing that can stop our decent as long as we have you hear. But..."
The wind mage snapped his fingers and the trio became enveloped in wind magic that lifted the off the ledge and held them suspended over the gorge, "...I think the express route might be safer."
The decent was fairly rapid, though still long enough for the ice gaze Richter was giving Kamen to snap another nerve. Nevertheless he said nothing in response until Richter finally spoke up as the landed on the bottom. "Not like you to show off, and shouldn't you be conserving stamina in case there's something worse up ahead.
Kamen just gave his usually smile, "let’s just say I have my priorities."
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Dawn 8
"Hm..." Richter stopped and turned back towards the darkness of a long cavern that they'd been traveling through.
"What is it?" Corgoro asked expecting another flight.
Richter's gaze remained fixed on the tunnel behind them, "I saw a really bright flash of light."
Kamen let out an amused sigh to hide his annoyance, "This is a volcano, I hear tend to have burst of fire."
"It was a very bright flash," Richter responded with a level a seriousness that bordered on the absurd.
The wind mage was practically speechless, "Ah, yes, well I suppose to sooner we get the Fire Dragon the soon we get out of this heat."
Kamen and Corgoro turned to continue down the path but before anyone could take a step Richter yelled from them to take cover and pushed them out of the way. A barrage of large logs flew out of the darkness and crashed into Richter. Fortunately the the extreme heat flash dried and ignited the wood causing to the smash and shatter harmlessly against his stone body; unfortunately, the boulder that followed soon after as slightly more effective.
The three men righted themselves and readied for a fight just as their attackers came into view. It was two men, one old and one ancient, both with silver hair, blank white eyes, and an eerie blue smoke like aura.
"Well I can't say I hadn't except this sooner or later." Kamen spat, as his facade briefly crack in light of his own mis-assessment of their current predicament, "I have to say though I am glad it was you they sent. It will make this much more enjoyable."
Richter grabbed Kamen's arm before he could attack, "No it's not that, it's..." he struggled to say as he looked on at the older of the two men, "it's... they're..."
Kamen paid no heed to Richter’s attempt to warn him. Consumed with rapidly growing rage he pulled away from the rock man and flew towards the familiar assailant, grabbing him by the neck and slamming him into the cavern wall. “The years haven’t been kind to you, uncle. You’ve already completely grayed.” He paused taking a brief noticed of his great uncle pupil-less eyes, “You’ve gone blind too. Even with that I’m sure you jumped that chance to come kill me with that old bastard gave the order. All of you probably though it would be simple too, that I’d by no match for even a blind old man without the proper training of a Guardian. Unfortunately for you-”
That second man began to conjure a bolder from the red hot stone around them but Kamen thrust out his palm sending a rush of air towards him that fanned super heated ground enough to spew forth flames that engulfed the rock mage. “-I have grown quite a lot since we last met.”
“Grandfather!” Richter cried out as he watched the old man quickly succumb to the flames.
Kamen only briefly glanced back at his companion before returning his attention to his preferred target, “His grandfather? Such cruel tricks you guardian play by. I’m thankful though, because now I get to do this.” Kamen began to summon a great force of wind, but before he could execute his spell his was stuck in the chest with bone cracking force and sent flying several feet back.
“A punch?” the wind mage coughed as he trying to recover, “You can hit that hard with a punch? A PUNCH!? You can’t possibly have that much strength. No this doesn’t make sense… Damn it. Enough of this, I’m just going to kill you quickly.”
Richter, having regained his composure quickly grabbed on to Kamen to keep him from doing anything careless.
“Get off me you bastard! Do you realize how long I’ve waited for this,” Kamen yelled and struggled but was unable to free himself from his large companions bear hug.
“He’s possessed you idiot!” Richter yelled finally having come to realize Kamen’s ignorance of the situation. “We need fight him more cautiously.”
Richter’s words proved to have little purpose as the remaining possessed man collapsed to the ground shortly after he released Kamen, “What just, what just happened?” he asked as what was left of his rational began to slowly slip.
“Yeah I guess that was a bit anti-climatic,” Richter replied as he scratched the back off his head. “Those things will push a person body over the limit pretty quickly. Usually it take a while before the host is killed but with their age and this heat. Guess that why they weren’t very active.”
Kamen didn’t say a word; he fell into a dead silence as his mind became overwhelmed by all that had just happened. Chance for a small amount of vengeance had suddenly appeared before him and just as quickly been taken away. Worse, even speech and display of power he’d give we’re just to a mindless beast.
“AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” the Wind mage roared as he left out a rush of wind in all directions that caused the heated walls to illuminated brighter and flames to dance around all over the ground.
Wind mage ran his fingers through his hair, and straightened out his cloths as he regained his composure, “Well, I guess this heat is affecting me more then I suspected. Perhaps we should hurry on our way to the dragon.”
“That sounds like a good idea but,” Richter said as he pointed towards the now illuminated tunnel at the six figures that were approaching them, “I don’t think this fight it quite over yet.”
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Dawn 8
Three figured emerged with from the tunnel, a young man who was far over dressed for a volcano, two hylian women, a mogma, a Zora Soldier and some sort of child looking thing.
Kamen recognized one of the women and the mogma for several days earlier, but with Shinsou not with him he decided to keep that bit of information to himself. He didn’t want to complicate things after all.
“Can we help you,” Richter tried to ask politely but was unable to mask his hostility.
Before anyone could so much as flinch Kamen’s possessed uncle rose back to his feet and tackled the unknown of the two women. The blue aura that surrounded the man began to dissipate and the color returned to his air. A moment later he fell to the ground dead. The women he attacked now stood there with pupil-less eyes and silver hair. The Ma had done something no drone should be able to do. It found swapped hosts.
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Dawn 8
Richter wasted no time in attacking the Ma's new host but found his legs snare by small vines presumably created by the strange little plant creature. He broke out of it with little effort but the delay was enough for the possessed one to get the drop on him.
A split second before the possessed woman smashed Richter's face with a stone shattered round house kick a powerful gust of wind slammed her into the cavern wall. "I'll admit this might be amusing any other time, but I truly am getting tired of this heat," Kamen said as he prepared another spell.
"So if no one minds I think I'll end this quickly," the wind mage released torrent of wind to stir up the surrounding flames and immolate their attacks just had he had done before. This time, however, things wouldn't be quite as easy and the one cloaked in arctic furs quickly countered with an onslaught of ice magic.
The clash of the two powers created a violent blizzard inside the cavern not only coating all present in a thin layer of ice and snow but also cooling the caverns walls. No longer illuminated with the glow of super heated rocks the cave became almost completely dark. Only a few embers remained to provide light; just enough for the combatants to still see each other once their eyes adjusted. Kamen had only plans though, as disappeared into the newly created shadows. "I suppose it’s time for a change in tactics. If you two would be so kindly take care of test rest of this."
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Dawn 8
The Zora Warrior was first to make a move, attacking Corgoro head on hoping the darkness remove any need for a defense. The Goron moved to defend itself but found it didn't have to as the Zora had frozen in place. Searching for an explanation Cogoro finally noticed the hand that had emerged from the shadows and was grabbing hold of the Zora Soldiers weapon hand.
"Having some trouble breathing?" Kamen said as he emerged from the darkness. "That would be my fault, sorry but I've completely removed the air from your body. Well except that stream I'm sure you feel blowing directly into you gills? Oh I guess that must be debilitatingly painful." He turned to the Goron with his unsettling smirk still on display, "I think now would be a good time to finish him off. If it’s not too much to ask?"
As Kamen toyed with his foe the archer girl lined up a shot that would place her arrow strait though the wind mage's neck. Just a moment before she was able to lose the possessed woman broke free from the wall and destroyed the archer with a single punch.
Everybody stopped to take noticed as it became clear they'd all need to deal with this mutual threat. Though Kamen, realizing everyone was distracted, took the opportunity to let lose a bit more of his power than usual. A formed a violent cyclone around the Zora quickly shredding it to pieces with debris and the raw force of the wind.
The Mogma, since absent from the battle, finally made it move. It burst from under the underground tunnel it had dug directly underneath the ma. The raw force was enough to launch the woman into the air. Kamen quickly followed up with a burst of air that slammed her back into the same wall giving Richter the chance to deliver a megaton punch that smashed the demon strait through the wall an into a pit of lava on the other side.
Just as everyone was about to breathe a sigh of relief the woman, despite rapidly burning to a crisp, begun to pull herself out of the lava. It was the fur clad man who finally put an end to things buy unleashing a constant stream of ice until she, and the pit she was in were frozen solid.
"So... are we friends now or something." Richter asked but soon had his question answered as the rabid little plant creature leaped at his head and started futility gnawing on his rocky face.
"Hmmmm... no." Kamen replied remaining completely deadpan despite the absurd imagery.
Kamen incapacitates Mech Koda but leaves himself open from an attack from Android #Tarah. He's saved, ironical by Ma iAlauth, whom destories Android #Tarah with a single punch. Kamen uses the distraction to scrap Mech Koda, then He, Megara Kourtz, Richter, and iTaden work together to take down Ma iAlauth and trap her in a frozen lava lake. Robo Gli then attempt to eat Richter's face.
Somewhere in Snowpeak/Morning 8
"Well they certainly didn't last long." A silver hair woman with pupil-less eyes commented having been watching the battles from a far.
"They didn't need to," an older man with similar features replied, "as long as the messages was sent. Besides those hosts wouldn't have survived long with drones possessing them. Even with Lord Dominium ability keeping them in check."
"Yes but with this body I can at least watching the carnage," the woman bragged. "Still it wasn't all bad, at the very least having the one drone swap bodies was rather cleaver. Not a bad trick for a mortal with borrowed power."
"Yes," a third yellow eyed man spoke up as he rose from his meditative sitting position, "you'd be surprised what’s possible for those of use with concepts beyond raw destruction like creativity, and strategy. More importantly, whatever thing I forced that drone into was strong. Strong enough I that I think it way may have a solution to the life span problem caused by these drones. Tentatio, find whoever made those things. See if you can't motivate him to aid our cause."
"Fine, but I think it should be Tentatia now don't you? This is a female body after all," she said with a flirtatious joke as she stretched out her chest. An act which, to her annoyance gained no response.
"Decimari," he said turning to the other possessed man, "you should still be able to utilize that bodies healing magic. Try and keep the drones alive while I'm away. I'm sure you'll find the Lord Hospitaller's power is more than enough."
"And just where the hell will you be going," Decimari angerly demanded, being somewhat in raged by this human dared to ordering them around.
"Your lord and I had a deal remember," he said as his hair and eyes slowly turned back to their proper black, "so I'm off to get what I bargained for and have a little fun with a certain other Paladin."
Kamen/Death Mountain Core/Day 8
"Are you quite done with that thing?" Kamen asked as he administered the coup de grace on his icy foe.
"This thing?" Richter said as he held up his arm that had the small plant creature gnawing on it. "Naw, she's good now that I got her off my head. I think I'll keep her."
"Keep her?" Kamen said followed by a long pause. "Ah, ok. How to put this? I know you have a thing with kids, but this one is trying to eat you."
"She'll tire herself out sooner or later, then I can start enforcing gentile discipline. In the mean time I'll just keep my arm in rock form." Richter reply with unironic earnesty.
Kamen just stood there silently for a moment trying to decide what to make of that. "I suppose this illustrates the how blurry the line between genius, insanity and stupidity really is," he said though Richter pay no regard to the comment. "Well that's settled either way. Now where'd that goron go?"
"I don't know," Richter said concernedly, "I lost sight of him during the flight. The mogma's dead though, so he might have gone ahead. I don't think he'd do that while we were still fighting though."
"Yes I'm sure everyone is friendly an honorable," Kamen responded with his cynicism in full view. "Either way we should keep going. We'll either find him, he'll find us, or I suppose we can pick him up on the way back.
Notes of Sirius’ Journal
As read by Bernard Kotaro from the books of his library, many years in the future
If you lived as long as a dragon guardian, over the years your sense of self would shift as dramatically as the very landscape. Certainly, my own has. Elements of it at least.
The Dragon Guardian of Fire, Eldin. No coincidence with the relation to Din. Of that I’m certain. One would expect fire to be the most aggressive of dragons, to present a danger to those who would carelessly approach. Yet, Eldin was always the calm one, always the thoughtful one.
It was he who convinced the other Dragons that trials were a thing endured upon reaching the stage of a Dragon Guardian, not endured upon exit. To even reach any one of the dragons was an immense task, especially during the Epoch War.
I speak as if I understand Dragons. But this information I know by stealing it from others, taking it from ancient texts, and piecing it together with my own research and experiments. My own clones fittingly proved to be the challenge for two of the dragons, and I don’t believe that an accident. Eldin and Faron are intelligent, and I imagine that if I had managed a third group of clones, Lanayru would have done the same.
The journey to Eldin was not without peril. Though several entered the path to his lair, it was only Kamen and Richter who reached him. Or so I believe.
That era remains timelocked to me, though I know others still visit it, and some perhaps may even soon return from it. I shall continue these notes in a new volume.
The Fire Dragon, Eldin
Eldin was alone in his chambers when the pair walked in. They both eyed him as they entered. He did not appear as he always had. He sat before Kamen and Richter in human form, albeit with scaled skin and sharp dragon-like features upon his face, arms, and legs. He wore an outfit ceremonial in appearance, and smiled widely, standing up.
“My guests, I am very grateful that you were able to endure the trials.” He looked to the right. “Please have a seat.” He motioned, and the pair discovered themselves sitting, whether they had the inclination to or not.
“My name is Eldin. Some call me the Fire Dragon. I believe you are looking for me.”
Kaman/Fire Dragon Lair/Day 8
After the battle the remainder of the track proved without significant challenge. It was only the loss of their guide that caused there to be any difficulty at all. As such it would only be a short time before they made it to the dragon's lair and were greeted with an unexpected sight.
Instead of the towering beast they had prepared themselves for they were met by something almost human. Were it not for the clearly draconic features they would have doubted they we're in the right place.
The crimson scaled man offered a courteous reception, “my guests, I am very grateful that you were able to endure the trials. Please have a seat.” Richter obliged without a second thought while Kamen choose to stand; except he too found himself seated. Despite his own will the mage found himself compelled to accept the mountain guardian's polite offer. The implications of this terrified Kamen, so much so that he had trouble keeping that from showing through. He was also certain the dragon had notice regardless.
“My name is Eldin. Some call me the Fire Dragon. I believe you are looking for me.” Eldin continued politely moving the conversation to the matter at hand.
"Ah, yes. You see we seem to be a quest to find the trust and thought you might be kind enough to help us," Kamen responded while managing to keep up his fox's smile.
Eldin didn't even try to feign supprise, it seemed he already knew the answer Kamen was going to give, "The Trust? Quite a prize for a mere quest. Maybe you are not aware how dangerous the Trust is, or that it is hidden for a reason. Tell me, why do you need such a thing?"
"Well that's a bit of a complicated matter you see. We..." Kamen froze up. There was not possible way for him to answer this question. He could tell him about the Gorons or Soldat's ridiculous quest he was positive the dragon would realize how apathetic he was to both. Any lie he try to tell would be read through, any truth would be damning. He realized he may find himself having to fight his way out of this cave but even then what chance would he have. His winds would only fan the dragon's fire and he suspect any attempts at suffocating such a being was beyond even him. He wasn't even sure the dragon needed to breath.
"We need it to save the world." Richter blurted out after noticing the prolonged silence. The Dragon's interest was clearly peaking, making it obvious wanting to hear more from the man. Kamen on the other hand was quite shock. He'd never considered just letting an honest fool do the talking.
Richter continued after taking a moment to realize he'd need to elaborate, "Well I guess it’s kinda complicated. I mean, we're helping the Gorons because we need an alliance with them so we can get an alliance with every nation, so they'll somehow stop fighting each other and help us fight an impending Ma incursion that our leader thinks is coming. Actually we fought a few here so he might actually be right. I think we also need to get the Trust to either use it to fight the things or because he wants to get them out of Hyrule so no one can fight over them. Maybe both, I don't know how that would work though"
Kamen noticed Eldin was intrigued by Richter's answer, but the reason why remained a mystery to him. Was it because it gave insight into his character, amusement over his barely coherent explanation, or he did actually tell the dragon something he didn't know. The blazing demi-god finally spoke up nearly answering Kamen's curiosity but yet confusing him even more, "Oh, I see now. You are decedents of the tribe that stayed behind during the Demon War. That would give a rather unique perspective on the state of things."
Richter was quick to correct the dragons unusually statement, "actually we're form the Guardian Order. An ancient society dedicated to protecting this world from demonic spirits.
"Yes, the Guardian Order, that the name your ancestors ended up deciding on. I have to admit rather like the strait forwardness of it. Faron always said it lacked imagination, but then she always did look down on your tribe. As for Lanayru, well let us say its best that you came time me instead of either of my siblings.
"Wait a minute what you're saying doesn't make sense. That doesn't..." Richter paused mid sentence, his expression becoming overcome with something between disappointment and restrained sorrow as he began to realize what he was just told. "Oh... I guess he was right after all."
Eldin prodded for the Guardian to elaborate, "Right about what, was there something odd with what I said?"
Richter didn't want to answer at first but quickly realized he had to. Not because the dragon wanted to know, but because he had to admit it himself. "It's something my best friend told me a long time ago. I never doubted him but at the same time I really didn't want it to be true. I guess I probably just found it easier to live in denial. Thinking about I guess he didn't have the luxury. It must have really been hell for him to live with that truth and not do anything about it. "
The Dragon leaned forward and looked Richter dead in the eye, "Well then Richter of Seismite, man of the tribe that stayed behind who has returned to the children of Hylia and befriended to Gorons. With this new truth do you believe the Guardian Order can be trusted with The Trust?"
Richter slapped his head in embarrassment, "Oh we never did introduce ourselves, I guess that was pretty rude even if you did know our names. Anyway, may answer is the same as it would have been had I stayed in denial. No. We're just as fallible as any other nation. Our leaders have their politics and agendas. Our people sin and act on selfish impulse. Our culture is far from perfect with some of its practices being down right oppressive. We're no different from anyone else in this world. But the runt is right, we need to get the time stones out of Hyrule and right know we're at least not trying to wipe other nations to get them. Plus we are pretty good at keeping things sealed away."
Kamen stood there in wide eyed amazement. Who was this man before him talking with Eldin. This man was insightful giving thought out answers about complex issues. It couldn't be Richter saying these things; Richter was a fiery tempered simpleton. And "runt," that almost sounded affectionate did he mean Soldat. Since when did Richter mention the Paladin in familiar terms and without splitting his name? Not only that but openly questioning and criticizing the Order, he was always the most dedicated of all the ones stuck in Hyrule. What was going on? Who was this person that had been hiding in the skin of a buffoon for the past decade? Had Richter managed to pull the wool over his eyes? Had he really been best at his own game all this time? More importantly just what was the truth he and the Dragon had talked about? It must have been something Vertias had told him, that much was clear; but what was it?
"I see, I suppose I have heard all I needed to," the Dragon stated calmly seemingly having learned all he need too of both of the men's character.
Eldin, The Fire Dragon
Death Mountain Core
"I see, I suppose I have heard all I needed to.” Eldin stood up and bowed. Just as when they first entered the room, the pair of visitors were suddenly standing before Eldin on the opposite side of the room. Next to all of them was a door, that to any observer, had not stood there prior.
“I regret that our company should be so brief.” Eldin bowed once more to the two, and the door frame caught fire, burning from the bottom up to the top in seconds, leaving behind a red stream of energy, forming a proper doorway, rather than an empty arch. He shook hands with Kamen, and then Richter in turn, ensuring he looked deep into the eyes of both, confirming their candidacy.
“I also regret that you are attempting to solve a problem that has long since been addressed. The greater issue is what you are truly here for. The timestones did indeed need to be removed.” The doorway cleared away, and the vault could be seen beyond it. “Time. Time is really not so confusing. The problem is that most of the world’s creatures just can’t see it as it really is.”
A ring of fire began to burn around the edge of the room, and the rising smoke collected into a dense wall, rather than drifting off. Upon the wall images of battle darted in and out. A battle from many years in the future.
“Some wars are so dire, that we must reach into history to pluck its greatest forces, and bring them to the battlefront. You, Kamen and Richter….I do not have the right to tell you what will be asked of you, but I am not so restricted that I cannot give you some obvious hints.” Eldin winked, as if the group were all old friends. “But I know real strength when I see it. The Guardian Order does not disappoint. Not this time. Walk through this door, and prove that you really do intend to protect this world from the threats that are upon it. Or show your facade as cowards and leave this place.”