Fulmaren Laboratory, Subrosia, Morning 8
“She’s gone.” Vera was staring at the spot where her daughter’s projection had been moments before. “And the sun is up.”
“How can you tell?” Sirius continued to race around the area below the balcony Vera stood upon. His engineering arena was projecting the image of the sun quite vividly. “Oh yes, right.” He paused to look up at his once ex, now once again wife. “Morning has arrived for all of Hyrule. And I’m afraid the teleport has had some rather unexpected effects.”
“You meant to tell me that sunrise several hours early wasn’t unexpected?” Vera seemed playful at first, but by the end of her question as more antagonistic than loving.
“It seems that a handful of living specimens have been teleported into the lab. Also the lab is now fully submerged into Subrosia. We are no longer in snowpeak in any capacity.” Sirius waved up at the balcony and then towards the nearby exit. “Come with me, we must greet our newly teleported visitors.”
Sirius didn’t wait for Vera, pushing his way through the halls and into a room he referred to as the ‘stasis waiting room’. It was typically where he had subjects or experiments placed when he hadn’t yet figured out a purpose or designated home for them. In this case, quite by accident, his attempt to open fast travel portals across Hyrule had in fact caused some teleportations.
But not all of them successful. Men and women were scattered about the room, and not all were fully intact. Some screamed in pain from missing limbs or unseen internal injuries. A few seemed dead on arrival. And one was shockingly familiar.
“Horwendil.” The name seemed to bring the mood down. It was true the two had fought together briefly at the Battle of Disharmony, and against the Dodongo. But both were special circumstances, one seeing Sirius overwhelmed by blood magic, and the other an alliance thrust upon him without the consideration of choice. Taden did not appear injured, but he did seem offput, uncertain as to why he had just traveled from wherever he had previously been.
Vera seemed to be tending to the injuries of some of the others teleported. She could have a cold heart, but was still at times unable to resist the nagging guilt of her conscience. She was holding a needle like device that was puffing smoke, using it to prick each person and check their blood against the magic device.
“These people are all horribly sick, Sirius. Whatever you just did that transported them here is going to kill them all in a matter of hours.” Sirius smiled at Vera’s words. Perhaps the sometimes man, sometimes Yeti deserved it. He shook off the evil glee. It was not in him to enact pointless murder unless it could be draped in the righteous cloak of science.
Sirius backed out of the room slowly, and shut the door before Vera could join him.
“What are you doing?” Her voice was muffled against the shut door.
“Sorry.” He looked down for a moment. “But your cut.” He pointed to her arm, which was bleeding. One of the injured men was holding onto her. “I don’t have any idea what’s wrong with these people yet, and neither do you. I’m putting you all to sleep. When I have a cure, I will wake you back up.” He didn’t wait for a reply, and waved his hand in front of the rune panel on the adjacent wall. The stasis room was lit up with green smoke, and without another moment passing, everyone went rigid, and began floating several feet into the air.
Stasis was active.
Sirius scanned over the crowd, taking note of what he saw. Some of the bodies were clearly dead already. A hylian with cat-like features, Horwendil, several unremarkable hylian men and women, a smaller goron, and a few Zora. And one Gerudo. A male gerudo.
“Hmmm...” Sirius pondered what he saw, his hand upon his chin. He did not recognize the male Gerudo, or most of the Hylians. But the dead feline looking Hylian seemed familiar. Sirius’ addled brain couldn’t recall exactly why, so he chose to disregard the thought and return to it later.
“I’m so sorry Vera.” He turned and left the room. It would be some time before he could analyze them all and find out what exactly the teleport had done to them.
King Tiburon/ Zora's Domain Infirmary/ Night of the 7th
He could feel the toxin spreading across his body, slowly, methodically, whatever it was that'd been on that blade, seemed to have a mind of it's own. Tiburon would've smiled at the thought of a sentient poison mere hours ago, now he fought it with every ounce of his being in pained silence.
Paralyzed, he lay there and watched as Mako left to give orders to General Eridanus and his elite squad of hand picked warriors. Tiburon only hoped that the crimson champion and his lot would come through once more. It wasn't that Mako wasn't prepared to ascend to the throne, no, Tiburons reasons were more selfish. To be frank, he didn't want to die. Wasn't ready. There was so much more to do, to accomplish. He wanted to leave Mako a world in which the Zora were the supreme race in Hyrule, he wanted to leave his son an empire.
The kings reverie was broken when a newcomer emerged from the shadows sending the spineless healers and shamans skittering, only to be called back to his side by the intruder.
“Continue to treat him if you must, but if anyone makes a move to attack, your king will be dead and your efforts in vain.”
Tiburon struggled to get a look at the owner of that gravelly voice to no avail.
“Now," The stranger stepped into the light and peered down into the kings eyes, "Are you in a state to answer my demands or do I need to wait for your little friend to return?”
Tiburon gazed up at the skeletal features of his gaoler and tried to speak, but his vocal cords wouldn't cooperate, instead he focused every ounce of his being and replied with a lopsided rictus grin.
Prince Mako/ Zora's Domain/ Night of the 7th
After seeing General Eridanus and his fellowship off, the thing Mako most wanted to do was check on the well being of his father, but that was going to have to wait. There was a war going on and the Zora had spent enough time licking their wounds. It was that line of thinking that found him huddled around a table with some of his fathers chiefest advisors.
The map sprawled out across the surface showed the rolling plains of Hyrule field in as best a representation as they were likely to see.
"Here, here and" Mako paused as he contemplated the next move, "Here. I want the river dammed and blockaded in three separate locations. A force of soldiers and workers alike will set up camp at all three locations, while the workers are closing off the river, the soldiers are to be setting up camp and building weapons of war, ballistae namely, tend to be effective against mass numbers of troops."
The prince had expected some resistance, but received little, sure there was a bit of squabbling over which captain would head which of the three groups, but that was ironed out relatively painlessly and the men set out to round up men and supplies with orders to disembark immediately.
With that bit done, Mako was there for the send off of the reinforcements to Lake Hylia and gave them orders to strengthen the garrison at the lake and await further orders for a potential frontal assault on Castle Town.
It was late in the evening, well past midnight when Mako finally made his way back to the infirmary with his spear slung across his back he carried the golden trident of the Zora Kings as he mounted the stairs. The weapon, for that is what it truly was, hummed with the energy of sea and freshwater alike and the faintest of hints of the stoic earth rested beneath those waves. In the past, the Zora had had warrior kings who controlled the element imbibed in the trident of their choosing, nearly all of them had mastered water, his father chose cunning, but the first of his line, the first Zora to step out from the water and walk on dry land, made a pact with the earth. The deal he had made is what allowed the Zora tribe to walk on dry land. Because of that pact, and the tumultuous quakes he was known for in battle, he gained the moniker of 'earth shaker' no Zora King since had been able to tame that element.
Mako looked at the glistening gold prongs, trying to digest that it may soon be his time to choose a path with the trident. That was all far, far in the future though, Polaris would succeed and his father would be restored. It was with that sense of comfort that he pushed open the doors to the infirmary and found a blade at his fathers neck.
If that wasn't odd enough, it seemed that the King was smiling at his assailant. The trident vibrated in his grasp as a golden flash erupted from the prongs and a wave part nausea, part rage washed over the prince.
Outside, and unbeknownst to the prince, the sun rose on a new day several hours prematurely.
Inside the infirmary, Makos gaze washed over the skeletal intruder and settled on the pits of his eyes.
"I presume it is to you that the undead army can be attributed?" His knuckles tightened on the haft of the trident, "State your name and give me a reason not to grind you to dust."
Rathon Boldstyre / Zoras Domain / Morning 8
It quickly became clear to Rathon that the zora king was incapable of speech as he lay with a blade to his throat. The zora’s ridiculous smile beaming up at him Rathon waited patiently until a young zora entered the room. This newcomer carried a strong sense of self worth, he seemed proud in a way that Rathon could only attribute to a prince.
"I presume it is to you that the undead army can be attributed?" This prince said through grinded teeth. "State your name and give me a reason not to grind you to dust."
“Oh of course, not that I wanted to attack you however, but my peaceful means went ignored by your foolish king.” Rathon replied with confidence, trying to sound regretful but knowing he enjoyed the bloodlust of the strike. “Speaking of the king, he is the reason you should stay exactly where you are. Unless of course you wish for him to meet an untimely demise.”
Rathon paused, watching the zora prince stand frustrated, it was clear that he was a creature of war and it pained him to simply stand by.
“Now, onto business, I am Rathon Boldstyre, I understand that our situation may not be ideal but I feel we can work something out. You see, we have a common interest you and I, I wish for vengeance upon the hylian people, the very people with whom you are at war. Provide me with an army, living or dead, I can work with both, and I will pledge allegiance to the zora cause. Oh, and if the thought of your very own undead legion doesn’t interest you, may I remind you that declining will most likely bring the death of your precious king.”
Rathon now waited for his response, if he still had a face it would be plastered in a smug grin as he pressed his rapier close to the kings throat and stared down the young zora with his cold empty eye sockets.
Prince Mako/ Zora's Domain/ Morning of the 8th
The princes grip on the royal trident relaxed ever so slightly as the skeletal ambassador spoke, laying out his plans. This explains why Tiburon was smiling. The necromancer wanted an alliance and a means to strike back at the very people the Zora were at war with.
It was Mako's turn to smile. "Threatening to kill an already dying man isn't necessarily the best means of getting the alliance you want, but that aside, I believe we can come to a mutually beneficial agreement."
Keeping his grip tight on the trident the prince stepped closer, "I've no qualms with a legion of undead, it is war time. Far be it from me to turn down allies," Mako paused and looked the Stalfos up and down one more time, "wherever they may arise. You will have your legion."
Mako turned to the door, pausing at the threshold he raised a hand without turning back and motioned for Rathon to follow, "This way Lord Boldstyre."
There was no sign of emotion on Rathons featureless visage, but there was an obvious moment of hesitation before he slowly removed his blade from King Tiburons throat and walked a few paces behind the prince, his bare blade still in hand and stopped.
Mako turned to face him and Rathon raised his weapon, eliciting a smirk from the prince. "You lead the way, I'll follow. Don't think that I won't hesitate to run you through if I feel that you're leading me into a trap."
The prince's grin widened, "Oh I think we're going to get along smashingly Lord Boldstyre. Now, as I was saying, this way."
The prince lead him back down the stairway to the lower portion of the Domain, waving away any who attempted to come near them with a nonchalance that told them all he had things well in hand. Exiting the Domain proper the duo passed by where Polaris and company had battle the lightning mage and around to a wide low pool with hundreds of flat stones raised just above the water, stop each slab lay the corpse of a Zora who'd fallen in battle either at Lon Lon or here in this most recent attack.
Mako dismissed the shamans who were worrying over the bodies, preparing them for their funerary rites and then the afterlife, assuring them that these Zora had work yet to do. Standing atop a raised dais in the center of the pool, Mako gestured to Rathon at the pools edge and spread his arms wide as if to encompass the entire pool.
"As you see Lord Boldstyre, we have plenty of death to offer. I'm willing to share...if the terms are right."
Rathon Boldstyre / Zoras Domain / Morning 8
After traipsing through the dingy halls of the fishmen Rathon was surprised to be led outside. He followed the prince to a large pool and stood above it, gazing down at the fallen armies before him. These corpses would do nicely, they were still fresh and strong, much better than the old bones he dug up from the tombs.
"As you see Lord Boldstyre, we have plenty of death to offer. I'm willing to share...if the terms are right." The young prince said, clearly seeing the benefit of having Rathon on his side. “Your incentive is lying right before your eyes.” Rathon replied with a whisper. “An army fallen is of no use to you, yet I can raise them once more, your lost comrades will be returned to the battlefield. I am not here to take anything from you but these soldiers. I wish to command them in a strike against our common adversary, once the small Hylian settlement in the forest of Ordon has been destroyed and it’s people slaughtered I will return to command the undead at your will.”
Rathon saw no reason for the Zora prince to reject this offer as he left a pause for it to settle. He was of course, unsure as to whether he would be able to uphold this in its entirety. For all he knew, once his vengeance was settled and his soul found peace he would simply fade from existence. If this was not the case however, Rathon would assist this Zora prince, he cared little for the affairs of the aquatic race but if helping them meant the further destruction of the Hylian people he was willing to complete his side of the offer.
Goron Forces, Zora’s Domain, Late Morning 8
“Attack brothers!” The Goron forces came thundering up the rocks of Zora’s Domain, smashing into them with their massive bodies.
“Graaah!” Creatures that looked like rocks, ate rocks, and spoke as heavily as boulders, unsurprisingly had little difficulty rapidly carving their way through the rocky outcroppings that made up the first layer of defense of Zora’s Domain.
“Don’t stop! Keep going!” Shouts of all kinds could be heard, and before long, the tiniest bit of glinting blue water could be seen as they began to tear away the ceilings of Zora’s Domain, opening a way forward.
Prince Mako, Zora’s Domain, Late Morning 8
Rathon replied with a whisper. “An army fallen is of no use to you, yet I can raise them once more, your lost comrades will be returned to the battlefield. I am not here to take anything from you but these soldiers. I wish to command them in a strike against our common adversary, once the small Hylian settlement in the forest of Ordon has been destroyed and it’s people slaughtered I will return to command the undead at your will.”
Mako had all but five seconds to make his decision before the crashing arrival of what could only be Gorons echoed above. It was only a matter of time before they attacked, given that no alliance had ever materialized.
“It seems the decision is made for me. Do it now, raise them, help defend my home, and we shall see to Ordon after the domain is safe and secure!”
Rathon Boldstyre / Zora’s Domain / Late Morning 8
As Zora’s Domain erupted into a cacophony of panic and warfare there was one spot where peace remained. Immersed in deathly silence and distanced from the world of the living Rathon called back the spirits of the falled Zora who lay before him, his arm outstretched into the stream of death and pulling them back into the realm of Hyrule. For these warriors, the peace of afterlife would have to wait, they were still needed.
They arose in waves, countless undead soldiers rising from a mass grave and storming the Goron forces, assisting the living Zora warrior’s efforts to defend the ancient Zora entrance halls. Once the final carcass had been awoken Rathon climbed high and observed the chaos from above, his cloak flowing in the breeze of the hills and his skeletal hands moving gracefully as if he were conducting an orchestra.
As the mighty fists and hammers of the rock giants tore the muscle of the living and splintered the bones of the undead Rathon simply pulled the spirits of the fallen back into their bodies to continue the fight. The Gorons were mighty but the corpse warriors were relentless, their minds unable to leave the battlefield unless no head remained for them to return to.
Time passed and the battle raged on and Rathon began to experiment. The corpses of the slain Gorons scattering the battlefield quickly began to stir at his gestures, their spirits returning and tainted by his command to attack their living brothers. If Rathon had not been so concentrated on the battle below he would have heard the pleading voice of Gor Dargo screaming and begging him to stop, but to the Goron elder’s dismay he was heard by no one.
Prince Mako/ Zoras Domain/ Day 8
As his father lay in the infirmary fighting to hold onto any remaining shreds of humanity and his life, hordes of the lackwitted rock monster Gorons rumbled into Zora’s Domain. The undead shaman cooly went about his business, gathering up the wandering souls of the dead and adding them to the ranks of the Zora forces.
Without a moments hesitation, the warrior prince barreled headlong into the fight, goring a bellowing stone beast with his fathers trident. Planting a foot on the monsters chest, Mako pushed the corpse off of the shimmering trident and danced forward, planting the golden logo of Zora rule into the hard packed soil. The ground at his feet burst like an overripe gourd, chunks of stone and earth exploding towards an oncoming knot of Gorons, with the trident standing upright at his side, Mako drew his spear and hurled it at the closest attacker in a single motion. The Daira bone projectile stuck in the rock hard chest of the Goron, shaft quivering as the mighty Goron dropped to his knees, coughing up globs of congealed blood and gurgling as he slumped forward onto the spear, driving the shaft clean through his spine.
Mako was sprinting as his foe fell, reaching the corpse as it stopped moving, the prince planted a foot on a rocky shoulder and leapt, dislodging his spear in the process. Turning in mid-air, Mako kicked off of the face of a Goron warrior and touched down, landing in a circle of enemies. The menacing boulder muchers smiled and cracked knuckles as they closed in on the prince.
Several more Zora soldiers began spilling out of the mouth of Zora’s domain, reinforcements to the defense of their home. The Gorons encircling the crowned prince were caught off guard, and the lot of them were dispatched rather handily by the calvalry, as Mako stood in the middle, not even lifting a finger.
“Brothers! These damned rock monsters have shown their true colors! Traitors, the lot of them! These stoneheaded roaches have infiltrated our home, and must be exterminated! To me! To me men!” As the rabid cluster of troops followed their prince into battle, several chants of “Mako the Magnificent” ringed in the air.
Rathon Boldstyre / Zora’s Domain / Day 8
Far above the chanting of the Zora people Rathon continued to silently conduct the flow of the battle. He cared not for the glory or appreciation of the troops as those who fought for him showed none, but he appreciated the ability of Mako to gain such respect from his ranks. As the battle raged on it became clear to Rathon that he stood on the winning side. His numbers were growing with every fallen soldier and the troops of the living had grown in strength through the confidence in their leadership.
However, a sudden uncomfortable feeling washed over Rathons bones as he felt a small group of his undead suddenly disappear from his control. It took him far too long to realise that these were the Stalfos he had positioned on the hill to defend him, and if it had taken him even a second longer it would have been too late to step out of the way of the enormous hammer that came thundering past him.
He turned his back on the battlefield to witness two heavily armoured Gorons approaching and one far too close for comfort. Thinking quickly he rammed his bony fingers into the eyes of the first Goron as he pulled his hammer from the ground. His fingers reached deep into the rocky head of the Goron and drained the life out of it, replacing it with his own influence. Standing behind his new stony underling Rathon quickly focused back onto the battle below to ensure that his troops were still targeting the right people as he feared that with a sudden release from his control they may become unruly.
Once that was cleared up, Rathon turned back to see the two Gorons far closer and looked down at the handle of his rapier, a useless weapon against such a foe. As a last resort Rathon clambered onto the back of his undead Goron and held on by the straps of his armour. Under his command the Goron swung his hammer at one of the others and its head crumbled with the impact, as his Goron bent to swing Rathon flung himself at the other enemy and plunged his fist forward finding the only other weak point beside the eyes. His hand deep in the Gorons throat he grasped something inside and used the same dark magic as before to drain the life from this Goron.
Rathon now resumed his command of the battle from the hilltop, pulling back a few more of his undead Gorons from the battlefield to form a new protective wall around him, and this time it wouldn’t be broken down so easily.
Pop! Hiss! Time Travel!
Polaris Eridanus/ Zora's Domain/ Night of the 7th
As the crowned prince turned interim monarch went to rejoin his father, Polaris strode towards Severa with those who were joining him on the now all important mission. Polaris and Kaimu's paths converged at the offspring of Fulmaren, and as she finished speaking to a somewhat confused Kaimu, Polaris interjected before the elder Eridanus had the opportunity.
"We'd be glad to have you. It seems we've all got ties with your father, he and I are...opposite sides of the same coin, spent by a maniacal sand sorceress..."
The General stopped short of saying that, as much as Sirius needed to pay, Polaris still needed the lunar mage. Rhunerys in her aged form was nigh invincible, there was no guarantee that she could even die, but what wasn't in doubt was, if she were to be killed, it would need to be a joint effort by her two greatest creations.
Polaris realized everyone was staring at him and wondered how long he'd stood silent.
"Ah. Yes, my apologies. Sirius must wait, the kings life hangs in the balance, we must set off immediately."
Several hours later the waning moon perched high atop the night sky, as several of the heroes slept in the saddles of the mounts provided them, they all rode towards the Water Dragon and whatever adventure lie in wait there. Polaris however, had put off the waking dreams that acted as his sleep state and was alert and on edge. There was something off about the night.
As Kaimu pulled up next to him, Polaris nodded to his progenitor, "I see I'm not the only one with a troubled mind tonight..."
The duo rode on in silence for what seemed millennia. "It's complicated isn't it? Sirius is the bane of my former clan, and yet you and he have been so intertwined in each other's stories since birth.
I wish him dead and you... you hesitated earlier. You need him don't you?"
Polaris inhaled deeply, holding the crisp night air in his lungs for a time, before expelling it all in a long sigh.
"Complicated is a good term, I... I'm not even sure I can accomplish what I need Sirius for WITH Sirius... But without him I..."
The General stopped short. His skin tingled and goosebumps popped up all across his flesh,
"Kaimu do you feel.."
The annoying 'pop hiss' he'd acquainted with timestone magic sucked away all sound.
Kaimu, On Route to the Water Dragon, Night 7
"Kaimu do you feel.."
He did indeed. That same feeling of time rippling around them, coursing through his mind, his body, his everything. The first thing he did was frantically check the eggs in his pack, with all the time jumps, time battles, and other chronominous events, he was paranoid of history changing.
He couldn’t even begin to fathom how or why time was shuddering all around them, but he had a guess.
Severa, Night 7, On Route to the Water Dragon
“Guh!” Severa gasped. She was no longer with the group, or anywhere near where she had been. Colored beams filled the air, buzzing sounds, and clanking metal echoed, and two devilishly smiling parents stood over her.
“Hello Daughter.” She tried to stand up, but nothing happened. Sirius laughed, as he always did. “Oh you aren’t really here. I am a powerful man, but I can’t just teleport people whenever I want, however I want. But you were kind enough to give us a link back to you.” He frowned. “You are definitely grounded whenever we get you back. I cannot believe you took your mother’s eye, again.”
“Again?” Severa mouthed the words, but nothing came out. It was very similar to her experience earlier, she really was just a projection, unable to even talk.
“We just wanted to give you a small warning about what’s about to happen.” Sirius went into his typical grandiose display, throwing his arms into the air and running around the room. For about ten seconds. Then Vera stomped on his foot, threw him into a closet, and shut the door. She got in very close to where Severa’s out of body projection hovered.
“My daughter, I forgive you for what you’ve done, but never will I forgive you for trying to run away so much. You hurt me dear. You hurt me for never realizing how special you are, and how dangerous it is to throw your life away on...” She seemed sickened at her words. “Cultists.” Vera opened the door, and Sirius burst out, oddly still rambling, and seemingly unphased by the momentary imprisonment. Thankfully, he had just finished exhaustingly explaining the technical and magical details of what he was about to do, and had gotten to the ever diminishing point.
“So Severa, you see, using all these techniques I’ve devised, not only will the dragon portals open up again, but I will have total control over all of them!” Severa looked at her father quizzically.
“Ah yes, the closet probably drowned out most of that. Well, a long time ago I sealed up some very special portals that are strewn about Hyrule, much to the chagrin of the dragons guarding them. Nevermind the details of how I managed this without being eaten or stomped to death. But now I need these portals again, for some more testing. I had a taste of testing out time travel and warp portals a few days back, and I’m ready for the next step.”
“Sirius, no one wants to hear this. Just do what you need to do, and be done with it.” Vera said the words scathingly, they had been spoken before, often on other terms.
“Hmph.” Sirius went silent and began to mess about with switches, dials, wands, and floating stones. Then he stopped, and looked over his shoulder. “Just putting on a show, none of this does anything. It’s all remotely activated.” He snapped his fingers once, and a horrendous, terribly awful whine filled the chamber.
Severa wondered for a moment why she could hear anything at all if she was just an apparition.
“You’re probably wondering why you can hear anything at all, since you’re just an apparition.” Sirius mentioned. How convenient. “I’m not sure, I actually expected to have to hold up drawings and make hand signals, This is far more convenient.” The whining grew louder. “Uh oh...”
Severa and Vera both scowled. Sirius noticed.
“Tough crowd.” He muttered. “Okay we have a slight problem, but being that I’m busy, I’ll let the emergency dictation system explain it to you instead!”
Hello! This is the automated dictation system of Sirius Fulmaren, recorded in my own - er, his very own voice! I’m here to explain things that he’s too busy to talk about, like explosions, invasions, death, imprisonment, overcooked dinner, and other various critical events.
Sirius has attempted to remotely open several key portals across the land. Good news! He has failed! Why is this good news? Because he gets to keep trying, and that’s tons of fun! Unfortunately, he did not anticipate that all that damn lunar magic (and solar magic from his wife) would interact with a recent large scale chronomatic event.
To simplify, someone somewhere made a big old time explosion, and Sirius, being the poorly timed fool that I am - er, he is, has performed his experiment at EXACTLY the same time. What are the full repercussions of mixing lunar, solar, and time magic on such a scale?
I don’t know! But based on my calculations, all of Hyrule is going to jump forward in time. As of the announcement of this message, the entire space time continuum from earlier this evening through tomorrow morning has become corrupted. All those present within the borders of local Hyrule will experience the timeshift. Each zone of Hyrule has been pushed to the same point in time.
Critical warning, some individuals may have been beyond recovery, and will exhibit extreme disorientation, confusion, and will make claims of intense time travel. These individuals cannot be saved.
Severa blinked several times. It was a lot to take in. Somehow her father had caused all of Hyrule, from varying points in time throughout the night, to jump forward to the next morning. Her head hurt from thinking about it.
And when her incessant blinking stopped, she was no longer being projected into her father’s lab, and was once again surrounded by Beth, Kaimu, Polaris, and the others. And it was sunny. Morning to be exact.
“What...” She heard Kaimu mumbling. Everyone else looked equally confused. From their point of view, nothing had happened except the sun suddenly rising, and the entire remainder of the night vanishing into the annals of time.
Kaimu, Morning 8, on route to water dragon
Kaimu stared at the sky. It was morning. It had been the middle of the night, and almost instantly it had switched to day. The sun rose so fast, Kaimu thought that the moon had crashed into the earth and caused an explosion. In those few moments, he had imagined what his life would have been like if he’d become a guitarist instead of the soldier he now was.
But those thoughts faded, and he began to take stock of everything around him.
“It’s...it’s day.” Kaimu stated the obvious. “Aftershocks from the Davus battle. Seems like we jumped forward in time, or the world did. I’m not sure.”
Elizabeth/Zora's Domain/Night 7
The tension between herself and Soldat was escalating even more. Neither one wanted to be left without the last word. Jaden was doing his best to advocate for her in a bizarre gesture of kinship, and Polaris did his best to diffuse the situation. Eventually she just got frustrated about not being able to be understood and just let her anger brew.
When the undead swarm befell Zora's Domain, she wanted to take all of that brewing rage out on the mindless horde. But she resisted again. It had to be focused for the right thing. As she had recanted her allegiance to the Dark Father, her mind began to fill further with cacophony. Voices, music that constantly played out of tune, unstable feelings, and unstable churning in her innards all befell her. She did her best not to show it on the outside. And she could feel her right hand becoming even further stiffened inside her gauntlet. It was wet with blood and starting to stick. Still, she held off and observed. Jaden wasn't too far behind her. It was almost as though he was being extremely overprotective. There was still no time to explain why, and this bothered her further.
The Zora King was afflicted and in danger of death. If she had any hope of her people establishing a second sanctuary, it would die with Tiburon. Even though she saved Mako's life, he didn't respect her, and he was also young. If anything making an example of Beth would further establish his dominance among the ruling class as well as the people. She couldn't allow that to happen. Sure, she always had that Black Betty image to uphold. But how much more would her image be upheld as a champion of the Zora people if she were to be responsible for saving his life as well? There was much possibility here. He would owe her...so would all of the Domain.
En Route to the Water Dragon
She rode tall atop Myr-Acharn while Jaden strode behind her with Tuffy on his shoulders. But as the cool twilight overtook her, she couldn't even bring herself to converse with her uncle. He requested to talk multiple times, but she was very short and cryptic. Partially because she didn't want to speak in the language of her people and partially because she didn't know what to make of all of this. Furthermore, the noise in her mind was reaching a tumultuous level.
Severa rode close, but she was also lost in thought. This was the strangest night Beth had ever lived. She was surrounded by friends and family that she longed to catch up with, but she felt trapped within a shroud of madness that not even her steel will could break through. Her hand was on fire, and she could barely move it anymore without intense pain.
Suddenly, night shifted to day and her stomach began to pang with intense hunger. Thankfully it wasn't blood hunger, but still, she felt a compulsion to eat and drink. Her mind began to howl louder in the torment, and she looked visibly disturbed at this point. It couldn't be hid anymore. Working her right gauntlet free, it took a few minutes. The blood had caked, and she felt lightheaded after seeing how much she'd lost. Where her sigil once proudly rested now was a seeping wound. Gilded crimson covered nearly half of her forearm, and the seeping wound kept shifting in image when she viewed it. What disturbed her most was a blazing pale green set of eyes behind it.
Beth let out a shriek when she saw it and quickly slipped her gauntlet back on. Sourbeneton knew. He'd always known. Her true father's meddling did not go unnoticed; even outside of this plane, Sourbeneton did not take kindly to apostates. It was belief, subjugation, or death. And Beth only ever bowed to him, but no longer. Her head began to pound terribly as her vision became distorted and starry. Jaden rushed closer, looking even more concerned.
"Jaden, Polaris, Severa, I feel...very ill..."
Soldat/Enroute to the Water Dragon/Morning 8
They traveled in silence, much to Soldat's annoyance. The the General, the witch, and her family had all remained silent since they left Zora Domain meaning his questions were still unanswered. Though there was little he could do about it at the moment as his full attention was focused on managing the beast he'd been given to ride.
It was just his unfamiliarity with riding horseback that troubled the paladin. There was something... else. Something was pulling him. It was a feeling from inside him that seemed to be drawn to something in the distance. He didn't know what it could be or why he could sense it, but the pull was getting stronger. It was getting closer.
The oddly sudden arrival of dawn offered Soldat a brief reprieve from the mounted journey as the witch began to have "issues." She complained to the others about an illness but it was the injury she briefly reveled on her hand that he took notice of. "That will fester you know. Unless you treat it, a wound like that will become infected and gangrenous. Of course if it weren't for your profane alignment I could take care of that for you and we could continue on quickly. Sadly I suppose that isn't an option. Unless I'm wrong about that. After all I have truly begun to question just what you are and if someone would simply give me the answers I have ask for, then perhaps... I... cou..ld...."
Soldat words different off as his focus was drawn more and more by the pulling sensation. It had become stronger than ever except now instead of making him anxious his mind instead started to drift off.
A pulse from the sword of light snapped him back to an alert state, though not without leaving him briefly disoriented. He'd somehow dismounted and drawn his sword without noticing. This pulling sensation had not only caused him to black out, but readied him for combat.
It was only a short moment before everything became clear as his eyes locked on a figure approaching from a distance.
Hyrule Castle Town/Same Time
The sound of a heavy pounded awoke all in the house from their sleep. The old man's youngest son Nigredo was first down the stairs to investigate that violent assault on their shop door. "Do you know what time it...is?" He said as he sung opened the door only to find morning had somehow arrived. He had little time to dwell on it though, as he found himself knocked across the room by a swift punch source of the banging.
Rejectio no Ten arrived at the bottom of the stairs just in time to see his son fly across the store front. He and already begun preparing a modest lightning spell when he caught a glimpse at the silver haired figure that was assaulting them, "You!?"
The was approaching fast, too fast as became apparent when it was close enough to notice the heavy suit of armor it was wearing. Soldat expected at least that much though, after all he'd already figured out what was going on. It was Arch Angel that was giving him that sensation. The black out of the Angel trying to take over his body, but Yasu had stopped it to protect his companion. It could only be one thing; the very thing Soldat had suspected was behind everything since his battle in the desert days ago. They were being attack by a Ma.
The demon's host swung down at the Paladin with a single handed mace as soon as he was close enough. Soldat use his sword blocked the blow with a surprising amount of easy as he readied a stunning spell with his shield hand. He was about to unleash the spell square in the armored host's chest when he saw the man's face and hesitated, "I know you."
Jaden/On the Road Again/Night 7-Morning 8
This was not his time, nor his place, but this Polaris knew him. Though fearing overstepping his bounds by being present, he felt bad that he did not jump into battle against the undead hordes. The paladin who threatened his niece needed to be watched. Jaden did not trust him at all. And Elizabeth was an asset he could not afford to lose.
King Tiburon faced a plight that Jaden would only wish on a handful of people. And this quest got a lot more important. He owed Polaris much for aiding in training his nieces and nephew as well as shaping his own view of life as a warrior. To save someone he would not be able to openly assist in the future had its own sense of mischief and honor.
In riding out, Polaris and the other Zora warriors were talking amongst themselves. Jaden walked alongside Severa and Beth. But Beth was not interested in catching up. She looked troubled and kept telling him that she needed time to think.
Eyes blinked, and it was morning. There was no headache in existence like a Jaden Bryseis hangover, and he reached for his Zora rum while stringing curses together that would make a Gerudo blush. Downing an entire bottle and replacing it hastily, he breathed a sigh of relief as he waited for it to hit him. Sober life was not worth living for too long.
The clarity did help a bit when his niece declared that she was feeling ill. He took it upon himself to intervene and take some focus away from Beth.
"Beth, let me take this burden from you, if only for a short time. Fear not that paladin, nor anyone else. Show me the wound."
She removed her gauntlet once more to reveal that seeping rupture, and Jaden retorted to Soldat while she was wincing.
"Nephalem have less need to worry about physical infections. While I appreciate your concern, I have the proper skill to see to her."
Beth said nothing as she scowled in Soldat's general direction. That scowl turned to a smirk as he charged into combat against an enemy of profane origin. Jaden took her hand and began to chant in the tongue of his ancestors. As he was doing this, Beth's right hand stopped bleeding and the wound scarred lightly.
This wound then opened up on Jaden's right hand as the caked blood began to crack and fall from Beth's arm. He had absorbed her affliction in the mundane sense. While he couldn't ease her mind or soul, Jaden showed he could be trusted in Beth's eyes. And she was astonished that he would do that after the atrocities she had committed in past and present.
"Why did you do this for me? Thank you, but I know you hate me for what I have done to our family."
Jaden raised an eyebrow as he looked over his shoulder at Soldat fighting.
"Because I forgive you. And you are destined for greater things. And I know pain more than you ever will. Speaking of pain, that demonic force is not our issue. Hold position."
Beth was still shocked that Jaden forgave her near matricide. And all of her evil acts. She wouldn't repent of her ways to that extent, but he had not shown kindness of that kind since she was a child. Her wounds and pains were to serve as reminders of improper decisions. They were to be meditated on.
Jaden studied his niece intently. She was so off guard that she didn't even snap back when he mentioned that she was a nephalem. And while the wound now borne on his hand didn't quite hurt too badly to him, it must have been agony for Beth.
Polaris Eridanus/ Enroute to the Water Dragon/ Morning of the 8th
The premature dawn had been disorienting to some more than others in his group, as for Polaris he'd grown accustomed to the constant threat of time magic and the events, although peculiar and maddening, the general felt no physical backlash.
As Beth fell ill from the magic, Soldat remarked on his inability to heal her due to her alignment or some sort, but he cut himself short as a heavily armored foe approached at ridiculously high speeds. Drawing his sword, the paladin moved in to engage the newcomer.
After deftly parrying an attack from the interlopers mace, Soldat made to hit it with some sort of charged attack, but hesitated.
"I know you."
All around him Polaris looked on at his companions, no one seemed eager to help the man against a foe familiar only to him. With a sigh, the general raised a hand and with a flick of his wrist a crimson bolt arced down from the heavens striking his palm and sending a frigid electric charge through his own body.
Dismounting, the general broke into a jog, as he came closer to the pair of combatants he leapt into the air spinning as he went up and landed a well placed kick to the intruders shoulder. Crimson electricity crackled all along it's armor as the thing stumbled backwards.
Polaris landed beside the paladin with his chained blades drawn.
"Friend of yours?"
The Guards of Hyrule Castle Town
It was only a few short hours before dawn, when the training of the new recruits would begin. The late shift guards were finishing up their duties when the event hit.
It was beyond the realm of explanation. The sun simply...rose. The guards were confused, had they lost track of time? The sundials were no help, according to those, it was indeed now sunrise, and yet only moments before the moon had still been in the sky.
Some began to vomit uncontrollably, others grabbing their heads. But in only minutes, the symptom passed, and everyone was back to normal. Murmurs of conversation filled the streets left and right. Everyone had experienced the same thing. And yet things somehow were not quite right.
A few stragglers here and there claimed that the streets had been emptier, or more busy. The majority of people seemed confused only by the sunrise, but one man was screaming, saying that he had just been watching the executions, and now everything had changed.
But as time passed, things calmed, and the guards resumed duties. Taking the crazies away to the dungeons, and gathering the newest recruits for training. Life went on.
Vincen Forneaux/ Vincen's home/ Night of the 7th
Vincen sat at the table, deep into his cups and laughing heartily and Zerin tore through plate after plate of food.
"Heh, heh. Yeh got yer fathers appetite ya do..."
Vincen cleared his throat, "Uh, yeah. Abou' him, damn fine man. Gave me something fer yeh. Been keepin' it safe til now."
The burly knight pushed back from the table and rose up to his full height, swaying side to side he shuffled over to the armoire in the corner. Crouching down he peered wide and glassy eyed at the lock, he turned the tumbler, trying to trigger the mechanism to no avail.
He cursed and spat, damn booze has got me all bleary eyed.
Zerin stopped engorging himself long enough to laugh and point his fork at Vincen, "You know, maybe you should have another drink? May help."
Vincen harrumphed and reached for the bottle on the tables edge, "Bes' damn advice yeh gave all nigh'..."
Vincen paused with the bottle halfway to his mouth as he watched the sun rise..."Wha' the bloody 'ell?"
Vincen drained the bottle in a single gulp, "Yeh see tha'? 'Twas the middle 'o' the nigh' and then...poof." Shaking his head, Vincen went back to the armoire and after opening the lock on his first try he reached in an pulled out a stained cherrywood box. Lumbering back to the table he sat down and put the box between them.
"Tha' righ' there me boy is wha' I been hold in' for yeh." Zerin pulled the box towards himself and removed the lid. He extricated a rough cut blood red crystal that was mounted on a simple piece of black iron hanging from a black iron chain.
'Zerin Savassi - Vincen’s Home - Night 7'
“Wha’ the bloody ‘ell?”
Sun rays beamed onto the hardwood floors as it rose just moments after nightfall had begun. Zerin gazed out the window wide-eyed, shocked at what was happening before him.
“What the hell is right… maybe a good meal with an old friend just makes the time fly by!” He said, trying to reassure himself. A brief wave of disorientation came and gone as he began to realize he wasn’t hallucinating.
The crystal dangled in front of Zerin as he inspected it, clasping the black iron chain between his index finger and thumb. After a quick glance down to the opened box that housed the crystal, Zerin noticed a piece of paper neatly folded at the bottom of the box. Multiple lines of scribbled writing seemed to be hastily written onto the faded yellow paper.
Vincen turned his head. “Whadya’ ‘ave ‘ere? Look t’be older than dirt!” he spit out, followed by a hearty laugh. He took another swig of booze. “Well go on ‘en! Read wha’ it says!”
Zerin scanned the paper.
The enclosed crystal you now have in your hands is known as the Kinetic Necklace. Whilst wearing this, you can funnel small amounts of energy into the crystal; essentially storing it. Doing this will allow you to use said energy at any time for exponential boosts in speed, power and other attributes. However, funnel too much energy, and you will experience… unpleasant side effects.
To activate the magic behind the crystal, you must first speak an incantation which goes as follows:"
“Er… Give me a minute here.” Zerin squinted his eyes and re-read the lines of the incantation multiple times. “Lay… mo… nay… mono?”
Vincen gave a concerned laugh. “Y’havin’ a stroke ‘r wha’-”
The blood red crystal shot streaks of crimson light across the room, outshining all other light sources in the room.
“Wha’ in tha’ bloody ‘ell’d ya do?!” Vincen yelled in Zerin’s ear, sending a painful ringing through his ear.
Zerin rubbed the side of his head. “Care not to yell so loud when I’m right next to you? Gods, man.” He chuckled quietly.
The crimson light dimmed to a mere glimmer resonating from the center of the crystal as it lay on the table, black chain encircling it. Zerin picked the necklace up by the chain and strapped it around his neck. The interior of his chest heated up extraordinarily before dropping down to a comfortable radiation of warmth.
“May as well try this sucker out.” Zerin said before closing his eyes and attempting to focus his energy into the crystal. Slight chills shot down his body as his body temperature dropped momentarily, transferring his heat energy into the jewel.
In hope of preserving energy in case of an emergency, Zerin decided not to use it until such a scenario.
“Good thing aye ‘eld on t’that for ye’ eh?” Vincen patted Zerin hard on the back. “So… how’s abou’ we check out tha’ whole enlistment business?”
Henreth Tammas - Hyrule Castle Town - Morning 8
Henreth awoke with a sudden jolt of mild pain shot through his body. He quickly sat up and as when he did, the pain vanished as quick as it came. As he started thinking about the cause of the pain, he noticed in the corner of his eyes that the morning sunlight was shining outside his window. The zora attack happened in the middle of the night, but wasn't that just a few minutes ago?
Deciding to put aside his confusion as he climbed out of bed, he recalled the events of last night, now almost wondering if it was all a dream or not. After getting dressed and geared, he went downstairs, carrying the key to his room. After placing the key at the check in/out counter for the woman who gave checked him in last night, he saw she wasn't around. Having payed for the room already, he presumed it would be ok if he left the key on the counter and leave without having to wait for her. On his way out he noticed a flyer on the back of the door. A quick reading revealed it was a conscription notice. 'Oh yeah, I'm supposed to go to a courtyard today. Or should I follow the flyer and find a barracks?'
Letting out a yawn, he walked down the street, looking for the supposed gathering point for this recruitment. It didn't take him long to find a small group of men moving down the street, being led by a couple guards. He walked up to the guards and asked if they were gathering recruits. "Yeah, we are. Join the group, we'll take you and everyone else to start training the lot of you." Without another word, he followed the crowd, and having to almost stopping himself from thinking about how bad this can end up being, knowing better than to jinx it.
Dromand’s Meeting Chambers, Morning of the 8th
“...And as you can see, the effects of the early sunrise have been extreme to some, but have been brief and unremarkable to most. I personally have experienced only momentary dizziness. Do you require any medical attention, your majesty?”
“No. This event is nothing to worry about. It is unusual, but you will find the unremarkable state of reaction to be the common attitude among our people. Since most of the guard is already up, I think it best we move forward with the plan. Gather up all the recruits already contacted. We can conduct another sweep later today after the first batch has departed.”
“Yes, my lord.” The single servant departed the room, making his way down the castle halls, out into castletown, and to the leader of the civilian forces. It took him only a single minute, for he, like much of the castle staff, was endowed with particularly special powers of fast travel.
Squad Leader Corven
“Sir?” The servant looked up at Corven, the man responsible for apprehending the recently executed thieves. Corven looked down at him.
“You bring word from the King?”
“You will have to conduct your training using the new methods discussed with you. I understand this was not how you wished to do things, but the King insists we do not have time to waste training these men the traditional way.” Corven sighed and waved the servant off as he simultaneously nodded in understanding. King Dromand had held a meeting, several in fact, discussing the potential need for conscription. Having now enacted it, the next step would be training all to be battle-ready.
Problem was, it would take weeks for even the most basic of training for many of these so-called men. King Dromand knew it. Corven was no stranger to battle. He believed it was better to wait and build their strength through experience, however difficult that might be in the current conditions of the world. Dromand did not believe such a luxury existed.
“Mr. Corven.” A small girl emerged into the courtyard, perfectly on cue.
“Yes, Adriana. We need your help. It’s time to teach. Contact all the recruits.”
“Yes, Mr. Corven.” The girl shut her eyes, and seemed to be mumbling, though while her lips moved, no words could be heard. She stopped after only moments. “They will gather now.”
“What did you tell them?” Corven asked, needing to verify that Adriana’s telepathic message had reached every single conscripted man.
“Soldiers of King Dromand. We march upon the desert sands to face the Gerudo threat. They seek to steal a vital piece of land, and if they succeed, all of Hyrule is in danger. Come to the courtyard now to receive your training.”
“Good girl.” He said the words without meaning them. The men in his squad, had they not already known him so well, would have been able to easily read the look on his face. Corven didn’t like using psychics. But he had no choice.
'Zerin Savassi - Hyrule Castle Town - Morning 8'
For early in the morning, the streets of Castle Town were surprisingly bustling; specifically with military officials. Zerin and Vincen drew nearer to the castle courtyard, albeit not without the occasional drunken stumble and slurred curse from Vincen.
“Soldiers of King Dromand. We march upon the desert sands to face the Gerudo threat. They seek to steal a vital piece of land, and if they succeed, all of Hyrule is in danger. Come to the courtyard now to receive your training.”
Zerin heard a woman’s voice. It seemed to have come from all directions, but none at all. Surely he hadn’t been audibly hallucinating, he thought. He shook his head.
Vincen glanced over. “Ye’ all righ’ lad? Seem a wee bit hungover.” He quietly laughed under his breath.
“Nah, just got lightheaded for a second. We should hurry up and get to the courtyard.”
The fountain in the center of town shimmered in the rising sun, giving the place a much livelier feel than it would have without it. Multiple groups of young men led by soldiers were entering the courtyard. Zerin noticed a few men joining the groups from the streets.
Zerin turned to face Vincen. “I’m sure these guys ain’t lookin’ to recruit some worn out old guy like you, so just wait at the fountain. ‘Kay?” Zerin snickered.
Before Vincen could reply, Zerin hurried into one of the groups, his next destination being the courtyard.
Squadleader Corven, Morning 8, Hyrule Castle Courtyard
“Dromand, I did not expect you.” Squadleader Corven bowed before the King.
“I wanted to thank young Adriana here for her help. And you as well. I know this was not your preferred choice of action.”
“I do as I am ordered, my lord.” Dromand nodded. Corven was indeed good at that. And now, so would his new troops.
“My new recruits.” Dromand addressed the crowd of young men, noting that among them were a few women as well. His decree had called for able-bodied men, but it seemed even clear words could not prevent those women intent on battling from joining the ranks. Given the circumstances, and recent losses, he had no objections. “Please look upon our young Adriana, and open your minds.” He paused and took a deep breath, smiling only briefly before returning to his grim stare. “Many of you are well trained, others self taught, still others have only hopes and dreams. You may think fortune tellers and psychics just a scam, or perhaps a long forgotten myth, no longer relevant to our world. Well...”
“Please, can I start now?” Adriana was impatient. Dromand nodded in agreement and left without another word. “I don’t like talking.” She seemed upset. “And my dad was supposed to be back by now, but he’s just a jerk.” She halted her words. Even for a youngling she knew she was wasting time on personal matters. “Shut your eyes.” Some of the recruits did not immediately comply, seeming uninterested in the joke before them.
<Shut your eyes.> The thought speech was powerful, piercing, and irresistible in the most literal way possible. Every man and woman in the courtyard had their eyes shut, and were unable to witness the black darkness, the fury of hell in Adriana’s eyes.
<The thoughts and experiences of the dead. The last moments of those soldiers in the Battle of Disharmony. Your fathers, brothers, friends. The fallen. They have much to teach.> Waves of violet energy pulsed throughout the courtyard. It was subtle. Only Squadleader Corven had his eyes open, and what he saw was very unpleasant, to the point where he too willingly shut his eyes.
<You will find you have the abilities of the most experienced soldier. But I warn you, do not delve too deeply into what lies behind them, lest you wish to find not just the skills, but the memories. What we learn cannot be untangled from what we experience, and to borrow another’s ability, is to borrow his life.>
Adriana opened her eyes.
“That’s it.” She looked up at Corven. “Mr. Corven. I want to go back to my room now. I’m tired. I did what I was told.”
“Yes, you can go Adriana.” She skulked off, as deeply affected by the experience as the rest. Corven had not received the same transfusion of skill as his new soldiers, but he had felt the weight of the words. As the recruits opened their eyes one by one, he saw exchanged looks of sorrow, excitement, bewilderment. All of the emotions one would expect after receiving years of training in mere seconds.
“It is best you listen to her. It’s beyond my understanding, just how it all works. But know this, each and every one of you has received a lifetime’s worth of practice and experience in the ways of combat as we know it in Hyrule. You will use that starting this very day. For today we march upon the sands of the Gerudo, and declare war upon them.” He sighed inwardly, but showed no emotion outwardly. “You have one hour to return to any friends or family and say your goodbyes. Please meet out front of the castle gates when the horn sounds.”
Morning 8, Hyrule Castle Town, Hylian Soldiers
The King’s faith in young Adriana’s potent psychic powers was great, but fell short of reality. While most had been compelled to rise and travel to the courtyard, the apathy of some was so great that they could not be bothered with acts of compulsion.
“Is this one of them?” The first guard asked the second. It was an unnecessary question, but he felt uncomfortable making decisions using somebody else’s thoughts. That girl, Adriana, no one knew where she came from, or why she was suddenly such a prominent figure in the daily life of soldiers.
“No need to wonder. This is the same one we spoke to earlier. Looks like not much has changed.” The soldier kicked him hard. He was already frustrated with things, but ever since Adriana’s thought speak had touched his mind, he’d only become angrier. “So much for respecting the wishes of the king, huh?” The speaking guard lifted Cirdan roughly, waking him up. The second looked the delinquent in the eye.
“You missed the meeting. You missed your training. I hope you have some sort of military history, young fool.”
Cirdan seemed not to fully understand what the guard was talking about.
“It was a one time deal - that training, and you missed it. You’re coming with us, we march on the desert today.” With those words, they began marching off with Cirdan, unconcerned with the fact that he was the only one not to receive the special training.
Morning 8/ Hyrule Castle Town/ Cirdan
Cirdan chuckled in dazed amusement at the sudden wake up call. He could have sworn that it was the dead of night not an hour ago, which concerned him more than missing training did. Sleep was not something he had the luxury to enjoy in its fullest during his time in prison's darkness, and it took its toll; He could barely keep his eyes open in the morning sun, despite being fully awake thanks to a boot in the ass. It wasn't until he was near the castle that the gravity of his truancy hit him...But this feeling of dread was swiftly shifted to apathy once more.
"Heh...Trainin' aye?' he started before guffawing dimly 'Can't 'magine it did any o' you good if yer alre'dy done!"
He leaned back, yelling disruptively at the crowd.
"Oye lads! What'd 'ey teach ya, how ta change the diapers on th' lil' one up there?! Bah!"
Wait til 'ey get a load o' right hook. Any 'mount o' trainin' can't rightly teach a boy what to do wit' a shield dented 'enough to drink soup from.
Squadleader Corven, Morning 8, Hyrule Castle Courtyard
Corven gazed up at the castle as the signal horn rumbled through the air. A few stragglers had been held at the castle during the remaining hour that the rest of the troops had free. The stragglers - among them the drunk Cirdan - couldn’t be trusted to wander off on their own again.
“It’s time. Let’s move out.” He waved on those still alongside him, and moved out towards Hyrule field, just beyond the drawbridge.
It was a short journey, but it was more than long enough for Corven to consider what he was leading them all into. A hellscape that only the toughest men, or in this case, women, would dare call home.
Corven had not spent much of his life questioning orders, but he couldn’t fully comprehend why they were launching an assault on the Gerudo. Did Dromand know something? Was he simply making a preemptive strike? Why not seek an alliance? Surely any bad blood of the past could be overlooked for an alliance of convenience.
His concerns were washed over by the continuing sense of duty he felt to the King, and before long he was again focused, and prepared for the next in his seemingly never ending avalanche of quasi motivational speeches. But it didn’t feel right, to stir up heroism and self righteousness.
“I-” It was his last word, his last I. No one saw it coming, the fin was simply jutting through his chest, the edge razor sharp and dripping with blood. Behind him stood the ghostly image of a Zora draped in brown and red robes.
“The Zora of Labrynna have come to aid our cousin Tiburon and his forces. We are completing an alliance with the Gerudo at this very moment, ensuring the end of you all. I am the sacrificial light that shines down upon you, revealing your weaknesses.” The Zora threw off his robes, and threw his arms wide. “In death I secure victory!” His body exploded with the words, body parts and blood flying across the crowd. The quick mental training of the group kept them steady on the outside, though there was no telling what horrors were being stirred up within the minds of each one.
Corven slumped to the ground, dead, covered in his own blood as well as the now deceased Zora’s.
The nearest soldier to him looked on in shock, and gradually turned to face the crowd of recruited soldiers.
“We cannot stop.” He looked over to another wide eyed, wholly unprepared young man. “Tell the King, let him know that the Zora’s have additional troops coming in, and that they seek an alliance with the Gerudo ahead of our assault.” He turned back to the crowd. “This changes nothing! We march on the desert! Move out!”
Henreth Tammas--Hyrule Castle Town--Day 8
After the freak-show that was the little girl, he stood there for a good minute or two, recovering from the disorientation. Getting his bearings straight, he started heading towards the shopping district, hoping to find some items that would help for this upcoming 'trip'. 10 minutes of searching and talking up a standee attendant gained a map of the country for a low price of 20 rupees. He started opening his map as he continued walking, albeit at a slower pace, to avoid bumping into anyone. Fortunately, the map had the names of locations written on the map, over the general area of where they were. A quick glance to the left of Hyrule Castle's location showed a barren landscape of sand titled 'Gerudo Desert'. After studying the map some more and stockpiling water for his trip to a desert, he heard the sound of a horn being blown, 'That must be the call to gather. Better meet up at the castle gates, lest I be arrested on my second day here for mutiny or teason or along those lines.'
Henreth joined the large group of men that made up the army that Hyrule intended to send towards the desert. While he waited, he wondered why, assuming that the war is only between the Hylians and the Zora alone and that the Gerudo have nothing to do with either side, would they send troops and men to attack the Gerudo? Before he can continue the line of thought, a man spoke up, saying “It’s time. Let’s move out.” The group started their march.
The group carried on, moving through Hyrule Field, ever forward towards their intended destination. He was mildly worried about the events to come. and after a short amount of time, he heard the squad leader speak up. “I-” Then it happened abruptly. A fin found it's way through his chest, thoroughly impaling him, to the shock of everyone who witnessed the act, and everyone in general. Standing behind him, was a Zora dressed in brown and red robes.
“The Zora of Labrynna have come to aid our cousin Tiburon and his forces. We are completing an alliance with the Gerudo at this very moment, ensuring the end of you all. I am the sacrificial light that shines down upon you, revealing your weaknesses.”The Zora removed his robes, and threw his arms as wide as he could. “In death I secure victory!” he cried immediately before exploding, creating a shower of blood, organs, and body parts that went everywhere, but mostly upon the crowd.
"What the hell?!" Henreth cried as he wiped some of the Zora's blood off of his face and chest armor. "Do all the Zora around here have a thing for blood, or am I just unlucky to find the rare few that do?!"
After everyone started recovering from the shock of what just happened, a soldier at the front of the group, near the now-slumped body of the squad leader, spoke up, saying “We cannot stop.” as he turned to the person closest to him. “Tell the King, let him know that the Zora’s have additional troops coming in, and that they seek an alliance with the Gerudo ahead of our assault.” He turned towards the rest of the crowd. “This changes nothing! We march on the desert! Move out!”
The Kourtz Manipulation
(Ghost of) Meredith Delaan [Alauth]/Night 7/Mogma Shop
As Kourtz explained the events of the past few days, from his point of view, the thoughts ran rampant through his mind. Alauth was privy to the flashes of images behind those mogma eyes. It saw the brief scuffle at in Kakariko, Kourtz' murder of Zoran soldiers, the Trust stolen from the giant Zora, and a Yeti at Lon Lon saving him and a fairy. How interesting.
Meredith reached out to the little creature, a mournful look on her savaged face. "You gave not a thought to me when you fled, Kourtz. Not a thought as you ran across the kingdom with thieves and murderers. Not even a moment spared, as you stopped being the nice dear mogma I knew, and became just like those you traveled with: Murderer. Thief."
Her hand dropped back to her side. "My blood is on your hands, now. How will you atone? How can you ever atone?"
Her gaze shifted to the pack he had been filling with sundry items of the shop. "Are you just going to run away? As though that will fix anything? Run away, as you ran from the prison and killed me? Run away, as you ran from the Zora, only to kill them, too? Kourtz the Mogma. Kourtz the Cowardly Murderer."
Suddenly, the light of dawn broke through the windows and cracked door. Meredith flickered in that change, warping and twisting under the unexpected shift. Silence overtook her, and she stared blankly across the room, seeming to have completely forgotten about the mogma.
Kourtz/ Castle Town (Mogma Shop)/ Day 8
Kourtz stood in shocked silence as the shimmering spirit of Meredith chastised the Mogma about events that shamed him, events he never wanted to think about again.
"H-how did you know that I..."
"No! NO! That's a lie! Its all a lie! I do not kill people! I have never murdered anyone!!!" Kourtz started screaming in a defensive anger as he turned away from his undead friend. He started yelling words he needed both Meredith and himself to hear.
"I tried not to kill them! I tried to keep those Zora away from me. Even when they went to kill me I did everything I could to spare their lives." Kourtz then spun around to look Meredith in the eye.
"And if they did die, then they deserved it! Their pawns of the evil King Tiburon. You don't know the lengths he'll go to destroy this kingdom. He's wants to kill as many innocent people as he can and claim this land for his own. He's the cowardly murderer here not me!"
"And as for you..." Kourtz' anger died down as he contemplated her death. "I'm sorry if I didn't think about you Meredith, but I had every reason to believe you were safe. The others told me Impa set you free. They told me you were OK." Suddenly a possible revelation came across his mind.
"...Did they lie to me!??"
(Dead) Meredith [Alauth]/Day 8/Mogma Shop (HCT)
The lips of Meredith's spectre twisted in a sad, pitiful smile as she refocused on Kourtz. "Oh, Kourtz. You already know the answer to that. You really should stop lying to yourself and face the truth of the world. You really should stop running from who you really are inside."
Kourtz' face twisted in anger. "I'm not a murderer! Don't say it again!"
"Not a murderer?" Meredith responded with a short huff. "Still lying. Always lying. Well... if you won't listen to truth, perhaps you at least can be led there." She floated closer to the quivering mogma, briefly wondering if he quivered in fear or anger, or perhaps in the act of holding back tears, and reached her hand down to him. "Murderer or not, you are a killer. You have killed. Blood is on your hands. It is up to you to admit to whom that blood... once belonged."
She took his hands in her own, and they were as she said: covered in blood. She clasped his hands together, and the sticky ichor rand through his fur and dripped with loud splashes to the ground. "Admit to yourself..."
Her eyes lifted from his blood-soaked hands to catch his own gaze. "Whose blood is this, Kourtz?"
Kourtz/ Castle Town (Mogma Shop)/ Day 8
Kourtz panicked upon seeing the blood smeared over his hands. Ever since he was a kid he hated the sight of blood, he loathed to think about gore. To see it dripping from his paws made him sick to the core.
"Augh! Get it of me! GET IT OFF ME!"
Kourtz tried to shake it away, but no mater how hard he struggled the vital fluid would not come off. Efforts to wipe it clean only further spread it across his fur, turning it a blood-soaked red. Kourtz could now feel it's warmth creep across his skin, only causing him further panic.
Tripping over a box he stumbled his way over to a washbasin in the stores basement. Kourtz plunged his fists into the dark cool water, and for a moment expected for it to go away. To his terror the water in the basin turned to blood. In that moment the treasure hunter realized Meredith was using some kind of magic to make this happen.
"Please! Make it stop Meredith! Don't do this too me! Please don't do this to me!"
"Do this to you? You have no one to blame for this carnage but yourself Kourtz! Tell me, after you abandoned me do you think my gore just went away? Do you think after you killed that Zora, his family just forgot about him and moved on? And what of the Hylian's dying by the thousands because of a war you started?"
"You try and run away only because you can't live up to the crimes you've committed. But that the bloodshed remains Kourtz, whether you want face it or not!"
Kourtz tried to hold it all in, but the pain of his friends words would not go away. Everything she said played off his fears and insecurities that ran so deep he didn't dare face them. Kourtz tried to find a excuse, tried to find possible way to separate himself from the responsibility of his actions. Yet in that moment, Kourtz did the hardest thing he ever had to do to in his entire life. He finally accepted the truth about himself.
"...Yes...It's--sniff--true. I did k-kill those people a-and I--sniff--. ...Tha-this blood on my hand's...it's...it's all because I..."
Kourtz broke down into screaming as tears poured out from his eyes. He collapsed at Meredith's feet, sobbing uncontrollably at the thought of what he had become. He had no one to blame but himself.
"Ahhhhhhgggg... NOOOOOOO!!!! NO!!!"
Alauth (Meredith)/Castle Town Mogma Shop/Day 8
The spectre of Meredith floated towards the shattered mogma.
"You can't outrun your past, Kourtz." she said, reaching down to touch a cold, ethereal hand to his cheek and wiping at his tear-matted fur. "It won't go away. You can't bring me back. You can't bring any of us back."
This was not what he wanted to hear and the sobbing became more labored and jagged.
"But you can face your future, you little scamp. Stop that crying!" The sudden change in tone shocked Kourtz enough to silence him, though he still hiccoughed with choked sobs. "Get up and fix yourself! Accept the truth of who you were and are, and then do something about who you will be! You aren't just a leaf on the wind."
She floating backwards to the door. "Don't just run away. Follow me."
Her form wavered in the light of the sun. She distorted and faded from view until replaced by another young woman, corporeal in form.
Henrietta Arand, wrapped in the dark clothing of the Crimson Eclipse, extended an open palm to Kourtz.
"Come. Follow me."
Kourtz/ Castle Town/ Day 8
Kourtz stooped sobbing and looked down at the tear drops that had fallen from his face. He was truly embarrassed, humiliated about what he had just allowed himself to do. Never before had he broke down into sobbing in front of others. Had he truly fallen so low that he had no pride left in himself? Had the war shattered his outlook on life and morality so much that he had become weak and hysterical?
Kourtz sheepishly picked himself up and tried his damndest to keep a normal looking composure. Meredith was right. What he had done was already passed and feeling sorry for himself for it would do nothing to reverse the outcome of his decisions. All he could do now was learn from them and move forward.
As Kourtz exited the doors of his shop, his eyes were blinded by sunlight. Although he had admittedly lost track of time, he still couldn’t believe how fast dawn had come. Perhaps being in the dungeons so long distorted his perception on what time of day it was. As Kourtz’ vision adjusted he saw a new woman standing where Meredith just was. After a second he realized the two were one in the same and he followed close behind.
“What? Meredith how on earth did you… Never mind that now. Where exactly do you intend us to go?”
Henrietta Alauth/Mogma Shop/Day 8
Henrietta turned and led Kourtz out from his shop.
"We're going in search of the truth, my dear mogma friend. The one thing you deserve, despite all your atrocities."
"I don't... What do you meant?"
Henrietta winked at him. "We're going to find Impa. You and I, I think, have an appointment with her."
Kourtz/ Castle Town/ Day 8
"Impa eh? I suppose I have some issues with her that do need to be resolved. Assuming she isn’t out of town on a mission then she should still be at the castle with Dromond. Either way, I need to find out what really happened to you."
Kourtz and his ghostly friend in disguise made there way through the fearful crowds of Castle Town. Almost none of the men seemed to be left in the city, no doubt because they had been drafted into the war effort by now. After a short distance the Mogma and Meredith’s alter ego arrived at their target.
"Stay close to me Kourtz, I'll get us inside."
As he walked closer Henrietta pulled out shackles, from where he did not know, and put them loosely over his hands. Turning around the corner they were both greeted by a guard in uniform.
"Arand is that you? Thank the goddess, you're still alive. I must say, by now we all assumed you had bit the dust along with the old constable."
“Yes, thank you. I barely managed to get away from that accursed cult with my life. I apologize for having used these cloths to escape from capture. If I may ask, is there any news on what happened to Marlow or Ella Huntley."
"Sadly there's no word on their status. Both disappeared shortly after Evil Elly made her way into the castle. Speaking of which, who is this you've brought us?
“He's a prisoner who broke out of the dungeons following yesterday's explosion. I found him on my way back to the castle. Please inform Madame Impa of his arrest. I think she would like me to take him to her in private. She'll be very interested in the information he has."
Castle Town Scattering
Tarah Vass / Hyrule Castle Town / Morning 8
After watching Impa walk away Tarah had turned to inspect what was left of her group. She saw only three others, Taden, Shinsou, and the boy she barely knew who had joined them in the dungeon. Kourtz and Leif were missing, presumably perished in the explosion but now was not the time to mourn, they had to move forward. Tarah hated the desert. She couldn’t stand the feeling of sand beneath her feet, or the discomfort of it getting in her shoes, nor could she handle the unrelenting heat of the sun but she knew she had to go.
Turning to Shinsou she crouched to the young girls eye level and spoke calmly to her.
“Hey, are you sure you want to come with us?” Tarah asked with concern. “I can’t guarantee your safety but I will do my best to look after you.” She said, offering Shinsou a way out of the dangers ahead fully knowing that this couldn’t be.
“No” Shinsou replied. “I trust you. And anyway, I can look after myself.”
“Well then.” She said, impressed by the bravery of one so young.. “I guess we’d better get moving”
As she began to move out of the gate Tarah saw something unexpected, the sun began to rise despite it having been the middle of the night mere seconds ago. This came accompanied by a minor headache which Tarah suppressed, ignoring the sudden change she moved on with purpose, the others following oddly quietly. It wasn’t a surprise for Shinsou to be shy, and she knew little of Xiaber so his silence was understood. Taden however seemed oddly distant as if something was troubling him.
As they began the long walk to the western desert the sun rose behind them and Tarah took this time to take inventory on her possessions. Bow and quiver strapped across of her back, icy blade at her belt and the Scythe of Shadows resting on her shoulder Tarah was armed to the teeth, speaking of teeth, she still carried the huge tooth of the river Zora in her pocket still unsure of why she took it. Alongside her vast armoury Tarahs magical abilities had grown immensely since the days when she lived on this very field, the ice of her blade, the shadow of her scythe and the illusion of her mark made her feel strong, and ready for anything. Feeling confident in her own abilities, Tarah lead the trek across Hyrule field with long strides.
Tarah Vass / Hyrule Field, Bordering the Desert / Midday 8
Walking through the long grasses of Hyrule field seemed to be how Tarah spent the majority of her time of late. She strode ahead of the others, her eyes constantly scanning the landscape, alert to any threat that may arise yet somehow oblivious to the disappearance of her fellow adventurer. It took several hours for Tarah to even realise that Taden had gone as he made no sound, and left no trail.
“Taden Horwendil, always the most faithful ally.” She muttered under her breath with a sigh when she finally noticed Tadens absence. “I suppose the mountain man can’t handle the heat of the desert”
And with that she simply moved on, making a mental note to never rely on Taden to stand at her side again. The group continued onwards, walking through this side of the fields felt unfamiliar to Tarah, she had mostly remained to the east on her previous travels as she found that attempting to steal from the desert folk was not a particularly wise idea. This journey to the western reaches had served as a pleasant change of scenery for Tarah. This was until the grasses began to fade and ground below was just bare rock. Tarah felt her body warm up as they walked further on, until they could see the sandy expanse before them, and they had finally reached the edge of the grassland, and the beginning of the desert.
Tarah now turned to inspect her remaining allies, and it did not look good. She was now to venture into the most dangerous lands in Hyrule alongside a scrawny bowman and a 13 year old girl. However, if utilised correctly, this team could work perfectly. Standing on a rock above the pair, Tarah eventually spoke.
“To find this Thunder Dragon we will need help, we need to go to those who know the desert better than any others. Of course, the Gerudo will not help us willingly. We will be breaking into their stronghold and taking the information they need with stealth, cunning, and if necessary a little force. Now, we just need to get there. Shinsou, we need your magic now, do you think you can push back the sands in the wind and stop us from sinking below as we walk?”
“Yes Miss Tarah.” Shinsou answered. “But we will not sink if we walk on the paths.”
“Ah, but we’re not going to do that.” Tarah replied. “The roads are too dangerous in these lands, they are traversed by murderers and thieves. We shall follow beside the paths, walking out of sight from those who ride them. Now, you, um, Xiaber was it? I need your eyes open and your bow ready, who knows what we’ll run into out here, we’ll both need to be alert if we want to survive. Got it?”
With that, Tarah turned and walked on, not even waiting for the boys answer. She turned her collar up against the blasting winds and staggered across the sands, bow at hand and prepared to strike. The group walked fairly quickly as Shinsou made the ground beneath them as solid as she could and pulled the sand from the air around them.
Gli Lambe / Night 7 / Inn
The towering rocky figure admired the texture of the door to the inn, stroking it's ridges slowly with a large finger before remembering themselves and pushing the door. The warm glow of the interior was a stark contrast to the cold blackness of night behind him. The heavenly scent of honey filled the air, which put a smile on the large creature's face, which was slightly concealed by its scarf. He stopped for a moment, taking in the atmosphere and inhabitants of their surroundings before stepping forth to the bartender. The bartender was a short, portly man, bearing a brown beard that was as unkempt as it was long; A contrast to his head, which shined bald in the candlelight. The man looked up from speaking with another customer and turned to the large creature. His eyes scanned up and down the creature's form as it sat itself down on the vacant bench, never blinking.
"Huh...A Goron aye?' the man started warmly, 'Ain't seen any o' your kind since a fortnight ago. What can I do for ya, friend?" The Goron leaned forward slightly, resting his chin thoughtfully upon his hand. His brow furrowed as he pondered, but nothing tickled his fancy at the moment.
"Bah, I'll just have some water for now." the Goron responded, defeated by their own thoughts.
The bartender sniffed, then moved to grab a small barrel. The Goron glanced behind himself, scanning his surroundings again.
"Here ye' are." the bartender said, recapturing the Goron's attention.
The Goron looked down at the rather large cup of water, which looked heavenly in his eyes. The Goron briefly licked his dry lips before chugging the entirety of the cup's contents, sighing with satisfaction as he wiped the spilled water from the corners of his mouth. Without hesitating, he looked at the bartender, whom had barely enough time to walk away to tend to another customer.
"Oye." The Goron beckoned the bartender.
"What is it, my boy?"
The Goron leaned forth as he set some rupees upon the table.
"I need a horse."
The bartender shrugged with a sigh.
"Can't say I can help you 'ere...' He responded, 'Though ah' can point ye to a fella that can, across from this here town. Heard of Lon Lon Ranch?"
"I have...' The Goron rumbled with a glare, "...But I can't say I have th' time to walk over there...I need a horse before sunrise."
"Well I don't know what I can tell ya, unless yer plannin' to steal one, friend." the bartender chuckled with a grin, which swiftly faded as he looked at the Goron.
"Novel idea." The Goron sneered.
The sun rose with startling suddenness, followed by an odd grogginess washing over the men and women that were within the inn. The Goron shook it off first, and took the initiative. With the swiftness of a Zora, the Goron grabbed the man next to him by the back of his shirt and hefted him up, tossing him into the most obviously inhabited area of the inn. Moments of yelling and surprised cries later, drunkards erupted like a volcano as chaos and brawling commenced in a domino-like effect within the inn. The Goron turned to the groggy bartender, whom was reaching towards the rupees that had been set down. A knife found the bartender's hand instead, which spurted blooded as the point found the wooden table on the other side. The bartender predictably screamed in agony.
"Times up. I'm gonna need your horse...Friend."
The bartender struggled, but froze as the Goron before him shrank and grew grassy features, which then decayed into a small humanoid. He yelped at her emerging horrific burned features, revealing insides of her face where tendon and bone would have been on another species. The same sneer stretched across her horrible face as another knife found itelf poised at the bartender's throat. The bartender could barely breathe in his shock as the morning sun illuminated the most decayed parts of her form.
The bartender forgot himself in his attempt at resolve, glancing at the back door behind the table he stood before. Gli jumped over his head and made for the door, kicking it down and finding herself in the back alley. A single very strong looking brown horse stood there expectantly, barely disturbed by the Deku's entrance. In one move, the reins had been untied from the wall and Gli was upon the horse's back. She slowly licked the blood covered knife, letting out a uncharacteristically sensual moan as she shivered, before collecting herself and goading the horse to run.
I Swear It Wasn't Me
Rhunerys Telaris/ Gerudo Fortress/ Night of the 7th
”Ignore my warning if you so choose, it would be folly, but then, you’ve lived a life defined by folly have you not little sister? I warn you though, do NOT think to test me again, I AM the deserts daughter and you would do well to remember where you live.”
Namira snorted, but otherwise offered no response, the sisters stared at each other as the warning hung in the deafening silence that followed, weighing heavy on the room. Rhunerys turned to leave, making it only three paces before the sun rose and a new day dawned several hours prematurely.
Rhunerys Telaris/ Gerudo Fortress/ Morning of the 8th
Namira gasped, “You!”
Something broke in Rhunerys then and there, she cackled gleefully as she rounded on the General, ”No little sister. I had no hand in this.”
The desert erupted into a chorus of pain and agony and hurt, the wailing rose with the sun and Rhunerys stopped her cackling and looked down in remorse, ”But it seems that my warning came too late. There is nothing you can do now sister except to pick up the pieces and fight your war.”
Rhunerys/ Gerudo Valley - The Aftermath
An event explodes. It sends shockwaves into the depths of a society, and in the resultant echo we look for signs of phenomena normally hidden in the shadows, but now exposed to the light of day. When, moreover, the event is important, what people say about it will gradually be transformed by the complex interplay of memory and forgetting.
Thats what Rhunerys was doing, walking the streets amongst the grieving and pained, those that felt the lost most were those that loved. Rhunerys would remind herself never to love, for love is pain. Love is noble, and so we wrap it around all the things we think perhaps aren’t so noble in hopes no one will see what they really are. Fear. Anger. Shame. Love is pain. Love is noble. Love is a TOOL. Perhaps love isn’t so useless after all, in the proper scenario of course. For now though, she would not look at these mourning masses with love, she would examine them and search the bottomless depths of all those hollow eyes for that something hidden. That phenomena.
It became evident very quickly that, in some peculiar twist of fate, some fell swoop from an angry Goddess perhaps, that all Gerudo men had perished with the rising of the sun. Without cause or warning, all male Gerudo fell dead. The streets were a blur of chaos, women wailed and clawed at their faces, beating their chests as they cursed the unseen force responsible for turning their lives on end. One woman in particular sat flat in the middle of the sandy street, legs splayed wide. As carts, camels and others mourning veered around her, she clutched a lifeless child close to her bare breast, tears streamed down her face as she tried to coax the tiny corpse into taking it’s mornings milk.
Farther along the way, she peered into a ramshackle house, to take in the disturbing sight of a nude woman writhing astride her dead husband. Perhaps she didn’t yet know his life had left him, perhaps she didn’t want to believe the unthinkable had happened or perhaps, in a much more disturbing vein of thought, she just didn’t care.
The sights were many, a mother dragging the limp body of a lifeless toddler along behind her, refusing to acknowledge his death as she went about her morning errands. For the most part though, the pain was palpable and the women, widows and childless mothers bore their pain visibly and audibly. As she reached the end of the way, Rhunerys came upon a peculiar sight. A woman sitting in her doorway in a rickety hand made rocker, singing lightly to a babe with an odd mark upon his brow. The babe seemed to brood as his mother fussed over him. The small child had an air around him, to the untrained eye this was just a fussy baby boy, but in the land of no men, Rhunerys looked into his eyes and realized she’d found her phenomena.