Masked Intent Edit
Taden Horwendil / Underground / Day 3
In the darkness, Taden felt the slight warmth of a swarm of Keese high above his head in the empty cavern. For now, they slept. He took one step out into their domain, and exhaled slowly. The temperature dropped, and the cold snap of ice echoed through the air from each corner of the catacomb. One by one, the Keese fell to the ground dead, until all in a downpour pelted the floor in a pavement of frigid, black rodent flesh.
Taden cupped his hands before his lips and breathed into them, then opened his palms to send two broad waves of cold energy rippling out across the dead vermin. Each of their leathery pairs of wings snapped into a thin, blue flame that curled and licked at the air among the stalagmites. The reanimated Ice Keese took wing on wisps of Blue Fire, and Taden saw the way across the treacherous cavern road clearly.
At the end of the tunnel, the light of the Ice Keese caught on glinting metal and drew his eye. He found in the corner a huge body of armor better suited for a Yeti than a man. Kneeling down, he pried open the armor's face mask, and found the bulging jawline and lowered brow of a Yeti's skull lingering within. In the style of Jotun, the Yeti medicine man who had trained him, Taden pressed his hand over the fallen ape's eyes and muttered a prayer under his breath.
"O fallen, as we send the enemy up in bloodsmoke to greet you, may you greet their children's children in death."
Closing the Yeti guard's mask, he ripped the gauntlets and breastplate from his corpse, and fastened these around his own arms and chest. By the embroidery on the plating, he guessed this solider was stranded during a battle generations ago. He was a smallish Yeti, but even his undersized equipment fit large on Taden. He reached for the oversized helmet, but a black feeling came over him when his fingertips touched it, and he let it lie.
Standing up, Taden straightened his Wolfos cloak around his shoulders and over the armored breastplate, and continued down the dark tunnels of ice. In the distance, he could hear the whistling winds of an exit from this winding abyss, and made his way thence. The winds were his guide, and their cold hands led him home even as their fingers sliced across his chin. As he trekked on, the cool, damp earth of Hyrule Field's interwoven caverns gave way to the merciless cold of what lay ahead.
Taden Horwendil / Day 3 / Snowpeak
The moon hung low over the undulant ridge, one white eye peering out from under a lowering curtain of cloud. The sun hid within its snowy depths, the near perpetual blizzard that gave the mountainside its brooding scowl. Squinting in the daylight just inside the mouth of the cave he traveled, Taden gauged the distance to the Yeti village by the full moon's angle against familiar peaks of grey.
He had come as far as the subterrain would take him. Pulling his Wolfos hood tight he sunk low in the snow, trudging through layers of ice with thick moccasin boots and, at times, the axe of Jotun. Like a bird in water the axehead clove through ice and snow, wisps of Blue Fire dancing from its blade as it struck.
Even in death, you clear my path, Taden thought to himself.
Reaching the wintry ridgeline, he rose from his wolfish crouch to look down on the thin trails of smoke and trodden paths of the Yeti village common. Bulging huts dotted the landscape of a snowladen valley, while the main road led to the precipice of a great, dark mountain beyond. It was there the manor of the medicine man lay hid behind a dense and changing mask of wind and pallor. At the entrance to the town, two of the tall, black Yeti from Chief Ymir's hunting party stood guard with long spears and shields. His axe hanging at his shoulder, Taden approached the pair with hands empty and exposed at his sides, walking directly up the middle of the road to the Yeti common.
"Who goes there?" one of the guards called out, over the roar of the wind.
"Taden Horwendil," he called back, in a low howl, "of Termina."
At this, one of the guards cowered and his knees began to quake. The other, however, bristled at the sound of his name and raised his shield up, then walked towards Taden assertively. They met in the center of the road, but the guard only met the cold, dead stare of the Wolfos hood over his adversary's eyes. His companion held back but shouted out a warning.
"Chief say Terminian hunt lone wolf! Chief say report back, pack attack!"
"No, no," the second Yeti looked back over his shoulder briefly, and pointed up at the midday sun obscured by pallid sky. "Did Chief not say Jotun's apprentice, easy prey by day?"
The other seemed to take his meaning, as if he'd just recalled the proverb himself, and slamming the ground with his shield he charged forward and bounded through the air to close the distance between himself and Taden, who remained standing on the path with his arms relaxed at his sides. As the one Yeti hooted wildly, shaking his spear and shield over his head, the other continued his approach slowly. When he reached Taden, the two towered over their quarry like giants.
"Outlander lie and kill Master Jotun!" the younger Yeti screamed, his hot breath fuming into vapor between them. As they lowered their spears at him, Taden raised his hands in the cold air. He opened his mouth to speak, but the older Yeti cut him off.
"Only lies from your lips like blood from a wound! Silence, Terminian. You come with us now!"
The two Yeti waved their spears towards the town, and marched Taden in through the gates.
C: Taden Horwendil / Twiight 3 / Yeti Tribe
Taden had traveled far from cruel dawn in the village of Kakariko to crueler dusk in the village of the Yeti Tribe. On an icy precipice overlooking the dormant circles of huts, he was stripped bare and exposed to the elements with neither Hood nor Axe. Behind him, Chief Ymir's eldest guardsman stood watch behind a small fire, his black fur tinged with grey reducing him to a dark shadow behind the fire's flickering light. Taden was chained at the wrists to a snowladen boulder, just out of reach of the fire's warmth, and they were alone except for a great, petrified tree that loomed over the two of them. To add the torture, the Yeti was frying fish.
He stood atop the boulder and scowled, stoically considering the old hunter who blocked his path. Below him was certain death in a rocky abyss, and the only path down from the outcropping he stood upon was through the abominable grunt who had captured him. He summoned the will not to shiver before the watchful guard, and focused on his breath as it escaped in thin clouds. They stared at one another wordlessly, counting the hours as twilight's rouge crested the snow white peaks from above the clouds. Up here, they had ascended beyond the ever-revolving blizzard, and were exposed to night's most frigid edge. Before long, stars were out over the twilit rim of the horizon, and to the center of the vault rose the full arctic moon.
"If you run, I am to call Chief Ymir and his hunting party with this." In his leathery palms the Yeti presented a wide ram's horn, its polished sheen pale as ivory in the faint firelight. Taden could see the stars reflected along the lunar runes engraved on its curve, showing the phases of the moon from the mouthpiece to the bell. With the horn, a Yeti could harken the call of their people from far and wide.
"But this I will not do."
To his surprise, the Yeti guard standing watch over him closed his eyes. "You are a stranger to me, Terminian, but your master knew my name." Taden sat at the edge of the boulder and looped his chains forward to rest his arms on his knees, listening to the elder. As the ancient Yeti guardsman kneeled before his campfire, he began to sway back and forth, mumbling to himself with eyes closed. "Jotun's vision for the people was strong. Out into other worlds, he would send us. Bring sacred ore from distant shore…"
His ancestral eyes resurrected to pierce Taden's soul.
"Ymir no share this vision. Chief keep the people in terror of the realms below, and our young forget the ways of men. At their age, I served Ymir's father, and father of him before." Now the guard rose from his seat before the fire and crossed his bulky arms over it, and staring down at Taden even from the raised height of the boulder he was chained to.
"Ymir forgets the ways of his fathers. I know it was not you who killed Master Jotun…"
The Yeti's bellowing growl fell silent as his tale concluded.
"Go to Jotun's Manor. Ymir leaves Jotun's corpse there to rot, in the hall of the ancestors where he fell. No funeral to Arctic Sea. There you will also find Jotun's Axe…your axe, Master Horwendil." The Yeti's battle-weary, bloodshot eyes glinted in the firelight looking down on him.
"The bones of the shaman must not lie. Only the Shaman's Mask may remain."
Taden stepped down from the boulder and walked as far as his chains would allow him towards the Yeti guard's fire. He held out his hand.
"Give me the horn. I will call the Chief myself."
The old guard tossed the ram's horn to Taden, along with a burlap cape and blackened fish. His ancient eyes met Taden's in farewell, then he nodded and cracked his grizzled maw into a slight grin. He slammed his fist into the trunk of the petrified tree that stood by them, and a large, frozen leaf crashed down from the barren boughs, relics of a time when timber lined the mountains. Clutching the cape at his chest and hoisting the ramhorn to his lips, Taden kicked off for the slopes down to the shaman's manor and sounded the call of the Yeti out over the arctic range.
Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
The moon shone high above the parapets of Jotun's mansion, its diamond light scintillating from across the Arctic Sea. The writhing waves of the frozen coast sliced into the cliffside atop which the ancient manor stood, while inside, Taden neared the entryway to the hall of the ancestors, its door still cracked from three nights before. Jotun's upturned hand lay across the threshold even now.
But as his fingers gripped the polished handle of the towering door, Taden heard the slow croak of the grand doors at the manor's entrance. Judging by the lumbering footsteps below, he knew Chief Ymir had arrived. And as Taden barely glimpsed Jotun's ashen face of Jotun through the door, he realized the Yeti Chief had no choice but to come alone, just as he had been three nights ago.
"Exile!" came the Chief's wolfish blast. "In shadows you lurk, but White Moon sees all!" Taden heard a heavy object rolling across the stone floor, down in the vestibule where Chief Ymir had entered. He listened closely from a hall on the second floor, casting an eye toward the banister of the catwalk that surrounded the lower chamber. Then came a sound that was strange to him; it was like a bomb, but followed by a high-pitched--
"Hraka!" Taden cursed, dropping to the ground to roll as the wall beside him exploded into a wave of shrapnel and splinters. Ymir was using the manor's mounted cannon to destroy it from the inside.
Lurching forward on his elbows and stomach, Taden reached the banister looking down over the lower hall, and saw Ymir slowly rotating on the cannon's wheeled pedestal, looking for his prey. Ever the messenger, Taden would not keep him waiting.
"See this, you fat White Moon!" he shouted, popping up to his feet, wearing only the burlap rag around his head as a cloak. He raised his arms above his head in a thuggish Yeti curse against Ymir's honor. The Chief wheeled around and fired, but Taden dove out of the way before he made contact to narrowly escape the blast.
For a moment, he studied the old soldier's moves, watching as his eyes darted across the catwalk's beams. To his surprise, the Chief had donned his captured equipment: to the breastplate and gauntlets he had added a matching helm, iron and black as night, and against his back Master Jotun's axe was firmly strapped.
Jerking suddenly to the right, Jotun fired directly at him, and Taden couldn't tell whether the Chief had tricked him or just shot at random. Rolling away from the shower of debris, he crawled counter to Ymir's quickening clockwise path, and soon found himself looking at the back of the ape's helmeted head. He had no axe, he had no knife, but he had his silver tongue.
"In Termina, we have a saying...," he called down, leaping as he spoke from the banister to land with both legs wrapped around Ymir's neck. Locking his knees against his helmet, Taden bound his ankles together and steadied himself with a hand on the spine of the iron helm.
"…Three days out from sin make flight, but Giants take you on third night."
Twisting his hips with every ounce of his strength, Taden wrung the helmet completely around to block Ymir's face, and kicked into the exposed back of his head with his bare heel. He landed on the cold, stone floor of the mansion's main hall and backed away as Ymir struggled against his reversed helm.
"Heathen!" the mighty Chief shouted into his helm, causing it to reverberate in his ears with his own echo. In a simmering rage, he ripped the helm from his head and flung it into Taden, knocking him against the wall.
"Damn you and your Giants. My sin dies with you!" The Chief turned around on the wheeled platform of the cannon mount, and unlatched Jotun's axe from his back. As his hands gripped the axe, tongues of Blue Fire danced to life across the candles lining the enormous chandelier above their heads, and the Chief's red eyes began to glow a deep purple as he lowered them at Taden, struggling under the weight of the iron helm.
"Now," he growled, the cunning that had won him the Chieftainship glinting in his eyes, "let us bring the Master's killer to justice."
Chief Ymir slammed thunderously into the ground jumping down from his cannon, and the quake of the earth was enough for Taden to push the helmet from his lap, allowing him to stand. As Ymir raised the battle axe into the air, he sucked in wind so swift as to tug at the ends of Taden's cloak. He let the Yeti's hot breath take his gunny cape, and spread his arms wide as he turned his chin up at his adversary. With a howl that shook the rafters of Jotun's mansion and the cliffs beyond, Ymir brought the battle axe crashing down, in a rage so consuming that he could not hear the words that lined Taden's lips:
"Let justice be done."
In a cold snap of light that seemed to freeze time itself, a shockwave of Blue Fire roared out from the point of impact where Jotun's axe met Taden's brow. While the two stood paralyzed, the chandelier above them began to sway back and forth gently, then gained speed until it swung to and fro from either end of the demolished catwalk…
A resounding moan welled up as if from the foundations of the house itself, and in an instant Taden and Ymir came back to life. Ymir was pulled backward in a spiral of blue flames as the axe flew away from the flesh of the shaman's apprentice, and the great Yeti fell flat on his back with a heavy clang of armor. The axe crashed into the careening chandelier to create a chalcedony conflagration that crushed the treacherous Chief's chest in a conclusive crunch.
Taden walked around the edge of the rubble until he reached the other side, then scooped up his axe from underneath a nettle of cable. Stepping across the wreckage, he stood over Ymir's gaunt face, his fallen body imprisoned under the chandelier's iron bars. His pale fur was coated with blood, and Taden could smell the gases of his innards escaping under the gored spires that impaled his limbs and stomach where there was no armor.
"Do you remember now?" he whispered to the tyrant brought low. "No shaman can be claimed by the same fate that took his Master."
Trapped under the wreckage, Ymir could only stare up at his foe with eyes that slowly filled with blood tinged purple under the few lingering flames of the Blue Fire candles. Taden leaned in close to ensure the Chief could hear.
"The body of the Master you shall burn, for his soul's fate shall ne'er return…"
He leaned his weight into the iron spears that gored Ymir's collarbone and saw him wince in agonizing pain, savoring the certainty that his victim sensed it still. "So you see, White Moon, you lost the right to kill me the moment you killed Jotun."
He pried the gauntlets from Ymir's hands, and reclaimed the black breastplate to expose his gored chest, his huge heart pumping a trickle of blood over protruding ribs where long metal spires clawed through them from below.
"May the White Moon haunt your soul!" With all that remained of his will, the Chief belched a final curse at the shaman's apprentice. His eyes opened wide in fury one last time. "Death unto you..."
"No, White Moon," Taden took a step back from Ymir's body. "I am New Moon..."
He steadied himself in the rubble, then hoisted his axe aloft. "...Unto you, I am death."
He let the Master's axe fall on the Chief who had slain him, and in so doing, made it his own.
Taden Horwendil / Midnight 3 / Arctic Sea
At the edge of the sea, where the white foam met the darkness of black volcano sands, Taden sat with his axe plunged into the beach behind him. Beside him, the body of Master Jotun lay prone, his eyes closed and his arms folded humbly over his chest.
Taden waited there, breathing, contemplating the vast space of the ocean to the North. If it had an end, Jotun would soon find it.
"You have traveled far in the little time that was given you." A voice came from somewhere behind him, as if from his axe.
"Time is precious. I have learned to do more with less," Taden replied. He felt a wave of humor pass through the air, as if the voice had been made glad.
"The fates smile on your return, but I fear it shall not last long." The image of Master Jotun appeared in the air behind Taden, but he kept his eyes trained on the gray horizon of the sea.
"Nay, I renounce Hyrule," came Taden's answer. "I have walked her capitol's multitudinous streets, and seen them incarnadine with blood of beast and royal. If it were fates that plunged the Hylians onto an earth of settled tribes, of all fates they were cruelest."
The ghost grew quiet for a moment, as Taden's resounding words glanced off the far cliffs. With the body of a man, he yet howled like a Yeti.
"In your aversion to this land, you are blind to your own surroundings, much less the path the fates have laid for you," the ghost entreated him.
"Curse this land, and its fates," he rejoined. "I will unravel the foundations of this Realm, if only to die in Termina."
At this, the ghost rushed forward and passed through Taden, chilling the marrow of his bones before turning to face him from the front. "Young fool. It makes no difference what you believe. In time, even your disobedience will be turned to their profit."
Taden fell silent, and crossed his arms over his chest. In his silence, the ghost of Jotun went on.
"As you bore the Moon Axe back to my hall, I was with you. You could not see, but in the shadows lurked a creature darker than any alive in these snowcapped hills. You met him briefly in Kakariko. His name is Shadowcloak."
Taden looked up from his brooding scowl and at last saw the icy light of Jotun's ghost shining in the air before him, an epiphany of Blue Fire in the form of a Yeti shaman. "Impossible! The Tokay could not have followed me undetected. He reeks of Labrynnian swamp fumes…"
"His power is unnatural, and he wears a cloak of blackest sorcery. He knows it not, but he is in league with a great power that tempts the fates from the South, a growing menace that challenges the Hylian order from the Zora regions. And now at last, this evil finds its way to me, after following my own apprentice!"
Jotun's voice thundered across the sands with a rising wind that whipped against Taden where he stood. It spread Jotun's flames wider, into a spinning orb of Blue Fire. Taden fell to his knees. He whispered into the ground.
"…I have dishonored you, Master. Let me join you in death, that my ghost may return to a grave in native soil."
"In believing you can act in discord with fate, you dishonor only yourself. Let this be your final lesson from me, young Horwendil: in Time, all will turn to the will of Din, Farore, and Nayru."
The Terminian rose from the ground and wiped the dirt from his face. He stared up at the light of the Yeti shaman's ghost, brighter than any moon, and said not a word.
"The time has come for you to take on the Shaman's greatest power. The Goddesses have summoned my power into the wars below, and now it is you who shall serve as its vessel. Use this power to restore peace to the Yeti Tribe, and banish what evil may come."
From out of the twisting sphere of flame, Jotun's Axe presented itself upright, hovering high above him. The Blue Fire coalesced into a revolving vortex that blasted away the nearby sands, then seeped into the haft and head of the Axe until it dripped with dark flames. The Moon Axe floated down into Taden's hands, and its fires subsided as he hung it over his back.
Once the light of the Blue Fire faded, the full moon once again washed over the black beach, now at its highest point of the night, and Taden saw nestled in the sands where Jotun had been a large, ornate funeral mask. The eyes were wide and enraged, and long black tusks curled out of its lower lip. The mask bore a look of demonic fury, like the expression of a conjurer in the midst of a summoned tempest. Holding it close, he recognized Jotun's likeness, and realized he held a transformation mask, animagines like those in Terminian lore. As he folded the mask under his breastplate, he spoke Jotun's last words aloud, as if uttering a spell,
Use this power to restore peace to the Yeti Tribe, and banish what evil may come…
Rising from the sand, he dusted off the burlap cloth wrapped around his waist, and balanced the breastplate on his shoulders. The wrought iron and stitching chafed at his skin, and he wondered how they would feel under a thick coat of fur, but he knew better than to unleash such power for such simple gain.
Leaning into Jotun's corpse, he began to slide the hulk across the shore on a raft of logs fastened together with rope. When he reached the water, he followed it in, digging his heels into the moist, ashen sands under the waves until he was waist deep. His hair became matted along his back as he waded further in.
When he could go no further, he laid his hands on either side of Jotun's head, and bright wings of blue flame crossed across his features until he was enveloped in a floating pyre of Blue Fire. As the flames reached upward in a pious spiral, the raft bore Jotun out to sea, and his column of light radiated for miles against the unending blackness of the starry sky. Taden watched until it faded into darkness under the moon, then waded back to the shore.
Stubborn Answers Edit
Twilight of the Third Day
Snowpeak’s Outer Limits
Kaimui roared in ecstasy as he crossed the expansive landscape surrounding Snowpeak, his powerful Dragon body feeling as if it was taking in the very energy being given off by the mountains. There were truly no traces of his Zora heritage, were he to believe he even had any.
The past three days had been a whirlwind of memories, regret, pain, and self discovery. Though far from his home and his old life, Kaimu was content to continue as he was, and start a new life however he could. The contentment was all consuming, save for one tiny nagging thought.
During his supernatural journey, the man with the pleasant, but devious face had seemingly offered Kaimu his one chance to find answers, but for all its familiarity he could not place a name to the face.
“Who is he?” He growled to himself. Thoughts swarmed all over, and to his horror, old voices rose anew.
I am sorry it has to be like this.The voice of Ithan Chiaria. An echo of a voice really, Kaimu found himself lurching with memories of Ithan, seeing faces and places that he felt he knew, but could never fully identify. The speed at which they flew through his mind was too much, save for one face he could remember with clarity.
You deserve the pain you will receive, as did all of you then! Davus Fulmen’s furious, fear inspiring, and above all else, condescending voice pierced into Kaimu’s soul, or at the very least, whatever remained at the core of his being. Memories from Davus’s life whipped by, with Kaimu seeing flashes of Ithan, and shockingly, of himself. Memories that he did not have, stopping just long enough to raise questions, and raise doubt once more.
“I’m sorry my friend, but they do not lie. Our suffering, it is all in vain, we are but the last strands of a forgotten craft.” A third voice. No. Why would there be a third voice? Kaimu knew himself to be on the brink, but the voices thus far were of other real people, not of...
“Didn’t you realize? The memories? His face? Are you a fool?!” Davus seemed afraid of his own voice. Everything was mixed up, voices couldn’t be placed correctly, memories were mixed up. There was no consistency in his life. First believing to be fifty years old, only to be convinced by Davus that he was a mere twenty-five, now even Fulmen himself did not seem to recall the claim.
“My sister is probably out there.” Kaimu could not identify who was talking, for the voices no longer had distinction. The insanity was coming back, he could not resist its hold. His mind-whatever cobbled together experiment it might have been, could not manage the flurry of thought and emotion. Too many souls were shuffling for room, yet they were all just voices screaming at the wind.
“Come to me.” A fourth voice, the voice of the unknown man, pushed Kaimu over the edge. With a begrudging sigh, and a relatively weak roar, he let the rippling undercurrent swallow his mind. His head dropped slightly down, only to immediately lift it back up, his eyes red with fury, his body hungering for a battle. As the rage took hold, a dreary haze once again blurred his vision and clogged his ears. The world began collapsing around him. Kaimu's very soul had been pulled from his body, or at the very least he had been granted the vision of another. As his world sharped into focus, he saw a figure crouched in the corners of his eyes. It was a shocking sight. The man from the future was here before Kaimu, the man that had told him to come to Snowpeak.
“I am here, like you said! I demand answers!” Kaimu perceived himself to be standing before the mysterious man, but the man did not seem to see him, as his gaze looked through Kaimu, rather than to him. While not seen, Kaimu clearly did not go unheard to the man.
“When the full moon rises, so shall you, and so shall the truth.”
Kaimu was returned to his dragon form, and the fury took over instantly, his murderous thirst driving him forward towards Snowpeak faster than ever before. He would arrive within the hour, and would finally be face to face with the one man who knew the truth.
Birth of Kaimu Kotaro, The Tragic
Twelve men and women adorned in ceremonial robes surrounded a pool of crystal clear blue water. Suspended in the water was the strikingly accurate conjured form of Faralin Rato, a Zora long deceased. From each man and each woman was a river of energy, cycling through the colors of the rainbow, unable to settle.
“Now!” Came the wonderfully sarcastic yet serious voice of Sirius Fulmaren. “Don’t forget the dragon!” No response came from his hired wizards, men and women that practiced a form of magic that evoked feelings of necromancy, but came from a much more mysterious, and much more incomprehensibly sinister place. His words were headed however as the flow of energy grew greater, and the Zora’s eyes had opened. His mouth opened in a single word.
Sirius looked on in stoic silence at the question. He put a hand on his chin as if deeply pondering the moment, then smiled and ducked out of the room.
“Bye everyone!” The wizards were left in shock, all simultaneously dropping their focus. Had they stopped a moment sooner, they might have been able to avoid their current fate. A ripple of calm energy, with the force of a gentle wind, flowed outward from the Zora. But the serenity was short lived, followed by a massive explosion, incinerating several of the wizards outright, and leaving most others fatally injured. Having spent their lives training for such a moment, the few men and women left focused themselves back upon the creature.
“Why?!” It screamed, thrashing about. It was all too cognizant of its own existence. Patched together by this wizards, it was a fake, a conjuration of a dead body, not even a resurrection. A clone. His mind screamed of different lives and memories, of Kaimu Kotaro, of Davus Fulmen, of Ithan Chiaria. None of it was real, none of it made any sense. His body had split open, the dragon soul within him taking control, its carnage unleashed upon the wizards as he feasted upon their living flesh.
The room’s final failsafe had been triggered. Sirius knew this would happen, he had betrayed the wizards. Their blind faith to him had led them to placing a spell not even they knew the meaning of. Words could not explain its origin, but the show of lights was more beautiful than most men get to see in a lifetime. It could only be described as a tragedy, as one by one the soul of each remaining man and woman was sucked out, the energy used to subdue the dragon-zora monstrosity, reverting it to the form of a regular Zora, and knocking it unconscious.
Silence fell. The new Zora, Kaimu Kotaro the Tragic, sunk into the pool of water, landing upon an ancient teleportation rune. His body would be transported to the eastern coastline of the world, where upon waking he would have no memory except those tampered memories of the original Kaimu, and the distorted souls of Davus Fulmen and Ithan Chiaria.
Sirius Fulmaren, was nowhere to be seen for three days.
Kaimu Kotaro/Snowpeak/Night 3
“Sirius! SIRIIIUUUUS!!!!!” Kaimu knew not where the name he began screaming came from, but upon the words reaching the air, the image of the strange man came to mind. The raw power afforded to him through his dragon form filled him with a focus and purpose unlike any other.
The voice, it was not Kaimu’s, nor Ithan’s, nor Davus’. It was...Sirius? Yes. Kaimu tucked his head in and prepared for the impact. The mountain appeared like any other, but Kaimu’s aim was true, the mountainside hid a great secret. The Temple of Luna Plena lay within, he was certain of that.
His scaled body thunderously collided with the mountain side, a massive plume of snow shooting into the air. The very air around the impact site seemed to ripple outwards, much like raindrops upon a lake. The ripple went further and further, until a scream filled the air so viciously even Kaimu’s sturdy dragon body could hardly stand it. Just as he felt his pounding head reach its limit, the ripple sucked back into the point of origin with an anticlimactic pop, and the mountain appeared as if nothing happened. Kaimu had been swallowed up, the landscape showing not a single trace of his previous presence.
The world around him continued undulating, light bending in ways once beyond his comprehension, now easily understood. For the briefest of moments, he felt as if he were staring into the soul of the universe itself. From the corner of his eyes he could see the sun and moon in an endless cycle, circling one another around a white room, while that same man - Sirius, stood betwixt them.
Kaimu opened his mouth to roar, and horrifyingly realized the world around him was not the only thing that was changing. His very body seemed in flux, hazy and morphous, unable to settle upon the body of the dragon or the body of the zora. Kaimu’s mind though, no longer cried out within the haze, but pierced steadfastly though it, seeing the truth as it was. His body was not his own. His mind was not his own. He was... an abomination, a concoction of soul fragments, memories, and rogue emotions.
What is happening to me. Kaimu thought, all the voices within him at last reaching true unison. Though he now knew in his heart that he was not meant for the world, he had at last found peace, at last could settle upon an identity.
“My name...my name is...” Kaimu’s voice returned, his body settling once more on the dragon form. “My name is Nahls!”
His voice, reptilian and foreign, could not have been more satisfying to hear aloud. Right on cue, as his voice gained clarity, so too did the world. The haziness dissipated, and he found himself back exactly where he had experienced his out of body moment with Sirius. Smiling dastardly, the man could not have made it more clear how much he loved himself. His eyes were pretentious, but strangely inviting. His lips curled in a way that was most certainly evil, but his voice was alluring, promising in its flagrant dismissiveness.
“No, the dragon’s name was Nahls. The Zora’s name was...Faralin? I think you knew him, yes?” Sirius took a few steps to Kaimu and poked him on the nose. Kaimu wanted nothing more than to bite him in half, be done with it and begin his life. But the desire for answers restrained him.
“Oh, Kaimu...sorry, thing. Oh thing! How silly you are!” Sirius seemed ready to dance with glee, but still remained mysterious, unable or unwilling to say anything directly. “You are my project you see! I love my projects!” His eyes narrowed and he threw his right arm out in a wild gesticulation, jumping into the air and landing as he did so. “But you! You don’t seem so excited? Are you not grateful for your life? Are you not grateful I gave you life?”
“How do you know Faralin?” Kaimu growled. His Zora friend from years before. No. Not his friend. Sirius was right, Kaimu was not Kaimu. The real Kaimu was out there somewhere, and perhaps even Faralin. To him, no memories could be trusted, nothing in his past mattered, only the future did. He held on tightly to the idea that there was a future, unwilling to accept reality creeping in.
“NEVER INTERRUPT ME!” Sirius punched Kaimu hard in the face, a burst of sunlight emerging from his fist, enhancing the punch several hundred times, knocking the zora-dragon to the floor. Sirius started laughing happily immediately after. “Been a few days since I could do THAT! Though I suppose it’s almost night isn’t it? I do love variety.”
Kaimu grunted and pushed himself back onto his feet. Sirius began clicking his tongue, scolding Kaimu for his behavior.
“Stay there for now.” He put his foot atop Kaimu. “You see Kaimu. As I was saying before. You are a...mongrel, I suppose. A cosmic mixture of brilliant souls, and somewhat dull minds really. Ithan Chiaria, the psychic twin! Davus Fulmen, the feared!” Sirius paused and smiled. “I know what you’re thinking! Fulmaren? Fulmen? Are they related?” His smile vanished. “No, he’s just some fool living off of another family’s name. Of course, we covered Faralin, your - sorry! Kaimu’s pathetic friend. And lastly there is the memories of Kaimu Kotaro, stuffed right in there amongst all those voices and emotions.” Sirius stopped a second time to let the words sink in. His proclamations reinforced for the last time that Kaimu was a fake, a monster created through nefarious means. He placed a palm atop Kaimu’s head, chuckling to himself.
“Kaimu, Faralin, Ithan, whoever you are, know this: Today is a very special day, today you get to see me at my absolute best! Sadly, for you this means giving up a lot of freedom. I know you must be dying to say something, but I have complete and utter control! You will obey me to your last breath.
But...First let’s have some fun. I will release control over you if you prove your worth to me. Resist me. Escape this place. Get as far as you can from here. Maybe if you do well I’ll tell you the reason I created you.
Well? What are you waiting for?
Kaimu lurched upwards. Sirius had released control, and while he still felt the familiar pang of rage against his creator and captor, he held onto the belief that there was hope. He shut his eyes, calming his nerves before beginning the search for a way out. Upon opening them, he reeled back in shock. The mountainscape was before him once more.
Go to the coast Kaimu. Maybe you can relive someone else’s memories just one more time.
Shuddering with anger and bristling with hope, Kaimu’s emotions were distilled only by his constant drive forward. With anxious reluctance he pushed himself off the ground, clumsily and hastily flying through the frigid air towards the arctic coastline, knowing no purpose nor plan.
Dragon VS Yeti Death Match, Go! Edit
Majin Kotage – Hyrule Field – Day 3
“Spent time in the mountains…” Majin mused, thinking over what little the thief girl could offer. “He did wear the pelt of a northern mountain wolfos, I think. Perhaps he is bound for home.”
After a moment’s silence, Majin rose from his seated position and replaced his butterfly swords in the sheaths on his crisscrossing shoulder belts. He looked to the thief, then the young girl accompanying her, and then again to the Dodongo hide sheath that rested on the ground near them. He knew without seeing it that the thief girl had a blade to match.
“I appreciate what little you’ve been able to give me, and in case you did not believe me before I am sorry for what transpired last night between us. I do not harbor ill will for the crown and Hyrule as the Zoras do. They were a convenient ally when I needed one and little else.” His eyes found Tarah’s once more and held them. “Go to their domain and see what you can learn of them. Though it is not unguarded, many of their forces have been sent to staging areas near the lakes in preparation for the war that may soon come. If you are skilled and stealthy enough, you may be able to slip in and out without bringing their warriors down on top of you. You won’t do as well as I would, but that can’t be helped. Nobody could.”
His promise kept in exchange for what information could be given, Majin turned and left the pair, turning north.
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Snowpeak
It didn't matter where the dragon had come from, or who had sent him. The wild, writhing beast combed through the air on wings like sinuous blades, and as his screams pierced the night, Taden put all thought of its provenance from his mind. That would come later.
He tore across the beachhead, its sands silver in the moon's light, and leapt to the top of a boulder to raise his arms and attract the flying freak.
"Already, the curse of the White Moon rears its head?" he said to himself. "Alright, wyrm, let's see what you've got."
He brought his legs together into upright poise, and locked his elbows at his sides. Releasing his right arm, he lifted the Shaman's Mask into the air, and pulled it down over his face.
A crack of thunder split the sky as the circling dragon conjured an electrical storm. On the rock below, a pillar of Blue Fire shot up around Taden, and when it cleared, it were as though Master Jotun himself stood on the rock resurrected, his sacred axe slung across the shell of his breastplate. With one hand, he unlatched the axe from his back and held it across his upper body. As he clenched it, Blue Fire dripped from its edges, and the moon became obscured behind the gathering black cloud.
At the next thunderclap, Taden sliced his axe through the air in a wide arc just as another bolt of lightning tore down from the raging dragon's flight path, sending it glancing off at a diagonal that caused a streak of diamondlike sand along the beach. For the next one, Taden was ready.
"HROOOO!" Taden roared, and chopped into the next lightning bolt just as it connected, sending its jagged beam back up into the sky towards the serpent.
Majin, Snowpeak – Night 3
Beholding a scene of horror, Majin swathed himself in a nebulous cloud of shadow and hugged the darkness offered by the swirling thunderhead looming above.
Majin had made haste in his trek northward, skirting Death Mountain as it belched fire and smoke from its jagged crater and making for the icy realm beyond. Forbidding, snowbound crags loomed up out of the earth. It was a landscape of nightmares, a place of bitter cold and vicious beasts who could withstand the severe climate. Seeking a viable pass into the higher elevations of the range, Majin had deigned to work his way around them.
What had he been thinking? Majin found himself wondering that a great deal the further north he traveled. Now, as he looked upon a scene out of the fearful dreams of children, he wondered all the more. A great serpentine thing that could only be a dragon, maw agape and eyes flashing fire and insanity, did battle with one of the denizens of the mountainous north there on the frost-coated beachhead, a hulking creature wielding an axe that swept blue fire where it passed.
Titans, monsters of stunning size and inconceivable might, and Majin had wandered almost directly into their midst. Only his nimble wits and quick reflexes had saved him from drawing their attentions.
He saw no other path around them, and knew not where to go in any event. Mind made up, Majin Shadowcloak settled into the darkness of the night to wait them out.
The Dragon/Snowpeak/Night 3
Kaimu felt the lightning bolt glance off of his side and ripple across his scales. The bolt had stung, but was not enough to knock him off course. He pulled his wings in tighter as he dive bombed his foe, letting go of all reason and emotion, save for fury. He would destroy this beast, and -
Hello Kaimu! The voice of Sirius penetrated Kaimu’s thoughts, swiftly taking control of his entire body and mind. The thunderstorm around the monstrosities began spitting purple tinted hail, as blue and red streaks of lightning painted themselves across the sky.
With Sirius somehow remotely in control, Kaimu pulled hard out of his dive, facing forward and opening his wings, revealing swirling masses of deep blackish purple. Constructs of unknown cosmic energies, they seemed to be vortexes into nothingness. Kaimu’s entire body dripped with the energy of the cosmic vortex, his mass made to ten times what it had been.
“I-” Sirius attempted to make Kaimu speak, but the Yeti was no audience for his theatrics. Uninterested and mid-rampage, it swung the blue flame axe with such might that the air twisted and writhed in and out of shape as the fire danced across it. With words lost on the beast, Sirius forced Dragon-Kaimu forward once more. The dragon’s newly increased mass put a force behind the collision so great that its echo was likely heard hundreds of miles away.
Blue flame enshrined both behemoths, as they rolled across the beach, a violent torrent of sandy earth and arctic water shooting out in their wake. The base of the mountains was all that could slow their nearly unstoppable force, the ancient ground groaning as the beasts slowed against it. The Dragon raked his claws across the Yeti’s face, but it was merely a feint, offering him precious few seconds to kick off backwards into the air and put distance between them once more.
“GRAAAH!” the Dragon roared in unbridled furious joy. He faced his front towards the sky, releasing the avalanche of cosmic energy that had built up inside him, parting the clouds and letting the moon shine once more. He turned his attention back to the Yeti and beckoned with his clawed arms for the monster to come back for round two.
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
The Yeti held his ground as the Wyrm beat his wings into the night, sending two violent plumes of cosmic rays spiraling up into the clouds. The thundering blizzard that loomed overhead was pushed back into the horizon, and in the clearing of open sky that had been rent asunder, the Wyrm basked in the full moon's glow. A purple haze hung around his outstretched wings as they nearly eclipsed the cold orb above their heads; but with a piercing battle cry the drake whipped his wings against his flanks and soared down upon Taden in a white pillar of moonlight, even as the circling winds came close again.
Taden knew his only chance was to keep the Dragon in the air and pummeled by his blizzard. It seemed blinded by a predatory rage, like a savage hunger had ripped it of rational sense; it were as though no mind possessed it, which defied all he knew in the nature of dragons. He began to suspect a greater evil, such as that Jotun had foretold.
Raising his axe in the air, Taden clenched its handle until the entire blade swirled in an icy inferno of Blue Fire, focusing as much power into the axe as he could at one time. He concentrated on the dragon's angle of descent while pouring the whole of his strength into the Master's Axe, Ginnungagap.
"Wherefore you bring this malice upon my master's house, I know not," Taden muttered to himself, more to help him focus than to attempt speech with the behemoth, "but by Fire I shall come to know its source!"
He plunged the fire-soaked axe into the black sand coast, and a torrent of Blue Fire unleashed into the foaming sea. Then just as the descending beast split its wings apart to slow its fall, up from the very ocean there erupted a mountainous iceberg that smashed into his chest, knocking the wind out of the creature and causing it to fall down the jagged slope under his own weight. Leaping clear from the sand to the bulk of the floating ice, Taden grabbed the beast with both hands around the neck, and with the pure physical strength of his Yeti form he slung the Dragon around once and lobbed him into the sea.
With a painful shirek, it crashed into the freezing waves and woke from its daze, and began to wrestle against the rolling tide, unable to get air under its wings but trying to splash itself towards the shore. Taden slammed his axe into the side of the iceberg, and a slew of floating rocks of ice shot out towards the dragon in shards. He leapt to the first of these, then dipped his axehead in the water as he broke into a run over the ice flows.
Ripping his axe up from the water just as he reached the Dragon, a tidal wave of ice shot out in a ring pattern, washing over the serpent and freezing him in place, his limbs and head stuck out at odd angles. A glistening ring of Blue Fire shot out from his axestroke, until it met the shore and created a massive field of ice bearing the gradation of the sea in writhing white dunes frozen in time. A promontory of ice now extended from the black shore, the mountainous iceberg coming to a peak at its terminus. The whole edifice formed a concave wall that reared up against the waves to the north even while it tapered down towards the shore to the south.
All became quiet, in the calm before the storm. Taden made his way over the choppy seas frozen in place until he reached the awful Dragon's head. Already, its titanic muscles had wrought cracks in the crushing ice, but when Taden touched the blade of his axe against the Dragon's neck, a wave of cold dissipated across the ice imprisoning him until it was sealed firmly again. He considered leaving it to die, but if any sort of genius like that the Dragons were known for remained in this deranged beast, he hoped to honor it with a swift death. He raised his axe into the air, and a peal of lightning struck the aether as his summoned tempest returned.
"May your skull hang on our highest peak, that your brethren know what doom awaits them here," he shouted down to the Dragon, roaring over a clap of thunder. With what felt like all the strength of his people in his back, Taden brought the Blue Fire axe down upon the Dragon's tattooed neck.
The Wyrm - Night 3 - The Arctic Sea
Frozen solid and in despair, Kaimu could only watch helplessly as the Yeti ran across the frozen sea, the arctic wind howling in his wake.
The familiar stirring of the voices was for once a relief. Kaimu allowed his mind to recede as another one of the souls in his body vied for control. Sirius too had backed off, eager to witness the show. The blade touched upon the dragon’s neck, and Kaimu’s mind retreated in full. Davus Fulmen’s commanding, furious voice rose up in Kaimu’s absence, releasing a roar far more thunderous and insidious than anything the Zora could have ever mustered.
Lightning struck the axe as it swung down towards the dragon’s neck, and the bolt continued clear through to Davus, now in control of the dragon. Using his own mastery of the storm, he forced the axe to remain stuck in place, the magnetism of the storm overpowering the Yeti’s strength.
“Ha ha ha ha...” Though still lined with the shredding toxicity that the dragon’s voice embodied, Davus’ mocking undercurrent could be felt clearly.
More lightning bolts began to explode against the frozen shackles on Davus’ Dragon’s body, releasing him piece by piece. It took only a few strikes to free him up enough to began thrashing his tail and ramming himself out of his glacial blanket. After a few goes at it he busted through his bonds, releasing his focus on the lightning above. The bolt scattered into a fireworks show of static bursts, putting the Yeti on his guard as Davus lurched towards him, claws outstretched, electricity surging from his body.
The great dragon claws raked against the Yeti's axe. Blue lightning danced beautifully in the sky above as thunder clouds rolled across the shining full moon. Though little more than a shadow of the true Davus, the dragon monstrosity retained all his intensity and determination. He reared back, revealing once more the swirling cosmic energy of Sirius adorning lining of his wings. Yet now it was locked in a twisted medley with the spark of Davus soul.
"I am in control now! Know my name! Now and forever I am...Fulmen the Feared!" His name echoing in the night sky, he came roaring down upon the Yeti, intent on crushing him through the ice.
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
A pillar of moonlight draped through the clouds to illumine the slant path the Fulmendrake took through the air, careening over the frozen sea. Taden's power was sapped from the iceberg he had summoned up from beneath the waves, but the arctic waste that lay below presented a distinct advantage.
"Thou wreak havoc like to a battering ram, but stealth as well is a weapon in war," Taden spoke to himself, keeping his wits about him in the desperate freefall. With an act of will, he tucked his chin into his chest and began to curl into a ball, and in a plume of Blue Fire he was transformed again into his Terminian form. The burst of flame coated the Feared in rime, enough to blast his arms open and allow Taden to slip through before he pulled tight.
As the dragon crashed through the ice under the force of his own weight, Taden dove into a roll and stood up just at the lip of the crater Fulmen had formed in the ice. The writhing saltwater lapped at the edge of the pit, and through its darkness Taden glimpsed the fading glow of a thousand bolts of lightning, sinking slowly into the abyss.
A reverberating shockwave of electricity sounding from below shook his knees and ears; the phenomenon of a Thunder Dragon in the Arctic Sea unleashed itself on the Realm, perhaps, he realized, for the first time.
For a moment, the static cling raising the fibers on Taden's clothing and hair died down, and he lost the dragon's energy signature. The electric light under the sea gave way to blackness, as the yawning abyss took hold of the serpent for a time.
Yet Taden did not rest; he kept his axe propped across his shoulders and neck, the black blades of Ginnungagap glinting in the scant moonlight. Below him, the sea still rumbled with an unnatural, hellish thunder; and all around him the encroaching shadows of Snowpeak gathered inward, even as the moon veiled in grey thunderhead shone off the white ice of the surrounding tundra.
With his gunny robe wrapped around his neck and waist in a makeshift tunic, and the oversized chestplate and gauntlets now shrunk to fit his body, Taden began to pace slowly around the perimeter of the pit Fulmen opened in the ice. All the while, a creeping feeling of dread seemed to emanate upon him from behind. Some sense of adumbrated doom gave him pause before attempting flight from the dragon.
"In this foul waste, terrors below may yet yield to terrors beyond," he croaked to himself, his hushed voice suddenly audible in the frozen night.
With his axe propped across his shoulders with one hand, he held out the other and coated it in a torch of Blue Fire. Its light spread across the landscape, giving him some reprieve from the dark, but he also knew he risked attracting whatever beasts roamed the coast.
'The Tormented Monstrosity'
Kaimu’s consciousness returned to him as his body sank into the arctic water. He opened his mouth to scream, but the water drowned out the sound. The ocean was alive with light, and through the shimmering water and ice he saw the moon, even the hint of which filled him with hope and determination.
He could not tell if it was his own strength propelling him upwards, or some distant force, though more and more he felt the sting of Sirius gripping his mind and forcing his will. He briefly gave in, letting the strength of his puppetmaster bring him tearing up to the surface of the water. Driving himself into the air, Kaimu punched through the air with his wings, but felt a curious sensation.
He was shrinking.
His massive size, having become that way during his stay in the Arctic, was waning, seeing him return to the initial dragon shaped, but bear sized frame he held when first transformed. He landed as close as he could to the one other creature he saw atop the ice. It was no Yeti, but the voice within him had already made the connection. This was the Yeti’s real form, not a monster, but a man - of sorts.
“You.” Kaimu choked on his anger and swiped at Taden, who easily manuevered out of the way. “Don’t recognize me?” Kaimu shouted at Taden. “Kakariko village, Kaimu.” He took another swipe at Taden. “I think we have unfinished business.”
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
“I think we have unfinished business."
Taden sidestepped the smaller dragon's swipes and parried his way around the perimeter of the gaping hole in the ice he had spread over the sea. The clouds above circled closer like vultures over fields of war. He could tell the writhing wyrm grew weak; its sense was waning, and it spoke in foreign tongues, as if different souls cried out through the same leaking vessel. The certainty of death was upon them; the White Moon had seen fit to curse him thus.
"Kaimu--Fulmen--it matters not," he chided from across the black, foaming waters. "I will sever every face of this damn hydra before it breaches the Northern Shore."
Taden thrust his axe forward to stab at the restless dragon, its reflexes becoming slow. It recoiled with a cretinous shriek, and he spun around to follow through with a downward strike. But instead of swinging his axe overhead, he let it drape across his shoulder, and feinted into a forward lunge with his left hand to shove a ball of Blue Fire into the dragon's snout and eyes at close range. It burst on contact, and the beast was thrown back from the impact to land in the ice with a coating of white frost on his face.
While the dragon recovered, Taden pulled the Yeti Mask out from under his chestplate and slipped it back on. In a shower of blue flame, he returned to his Yeti form, and now wielded Ginnungagap with both hands. He leapt across the distance from his last attack, and swung down on the beast's exposed belly before he had a chance to turn over. The Zora tattoos across the creature's scales glinted in the combined light of the moon and Taden's looming Blue Fire axe as he closed in for the killing blow.
Hi, I'm Sirius Edit
As the battle raged on, Kaimu realized that he could not win. Though in the end his creator Sirius might find satisfaction, for him, the end was at last a realization he could accept.
We are all dying Kaimu. The soothing voice of the spectre of Ithan Chiaria, a fragment of the real Ithan’s soul, it offered what few kind words it had to the raging captain of the dragon’s multi-faceted mind.
We are nothing but hollow imitations, and shall cease to be in this place, at this time. Davus Fulmen’s voice had lost its anger and its hateful lust, replaced by the solemn reality of the moment.
Kaimu, I am coming to end your pain. Though you are not real, you have served your purpose. We will never meet again, but you have brought me one step closer to my goals. Perhaps there is some solace in that... Sirius’s words stung, or would have, had Kaimu any motivation for life left.
Taden was once more the Yeti, charging at Kaimu, prepared to deliver the killing blow.
There are no rescues this time... Kaimu shed a single tear, lacking the strength to even remove the frost from his face.
The Cosmic Invader
The Arctic Sea, Night of the Third
“No no no no no no no!” Sirius scrambled through the twisted hallways of his hidden laboratory. Its magic machinations and ancient texts were worn and useless, its inhabitants all dead, and the one successful experiment now lay dying upon the ice of the northern shores. Sirius, unwilling to let his greatest achievement die at the hands of a beast, channeled all his power to keep Kaimu alive.
Though he could not see it, the force of the Full Moon in the night sky made it possible. Prophecy and planning worked in tandem to bring Sirius to his present situation, and his power was at a peak it likely would not achieve again for some time. He had but one chance to preserve the power of his creation, so that it might live on for further study some day.
“Outta my way!” Sirius kicked down a door, taking great pleasure in shouting as he rushed through. Unable to contain his childish glee, he roared in happiness as he went tumbling down the lab’s emergency exit. Little more than an iced down slope, it carried him at nearly fatal speeds to the bottom of the mountain.
There are no rescues this time...
The pathetic whiny voice of the false Kaimu echoed in Sirius’ mind, and as he emerged into the moonlight, he could see the Yeti moving into striking range.
“I don’t think so!” Sirius punched his right arm with immense force. The moon’s light flashed in accordance with his swing. The night sky lit up, making the mountainside appear to be in broad daylight. A barely visible energy force rushed forward from Sirius, screaming across the shore and striking the Yeti directly to the left side of its head, managing to completely halt the beast in its tracks. Sirius kept running towards the Yeti as he punched, beautiful flashes of light rippling across the sky with each strike. He did not have be near the creature to make contact, this night was his, this fight was his.
“Don’t! Touch! My! DRAGON!!” With each word he released stronger and stronger strikes, leaving Kaimu alone as he brutally beat the Yeti back toward the shore. With the final word screamed, he released the most massive strike yet, and screamed in laughter as blood poured from the scores of injuries upon the Yeti. It was not even clear to Sirius where he had struck the hardest, nor did he care.
“Your name is Taden. My name is Sirius. We are not off to a good start here.” Sirius punched the Yeti each time it tried to move, forcing it to stay in place. As he spoke a small pillar of energy shot from the lunar sky into Kaimu, bringing the Dragon to its feet.
“Also, please don’t talk. I’ve gone through this one’s memories, and you just don’t ever have much to offer. You see, I have a dream.” The dragon lumbered up next to Sirius, showing neither pain nor personality. “That dream is to change the world!” Sirius turned and the Dragon lowered its head to the ground.
“But I’m an opportunist! Not a savage...So I suppose you’ve learned your lesson.” Sirius punched the Yeti once more. “I doubt you have any idea what I just did. Do you know anything about the laboratory in this mountain? I would think you would, but...ah forget it, you’re just some smelly beast, though right now you’re just a Yeti.” Sirius winked and began petting the Dragon, though it showed no response.
“Anywho...That moonbeam, lunar energy, whatever you want to call it - personally I prefer Fulmaren’s Fun Factory! But my last team didn’t really like that one...Right! On topic, I just took everything that made that dragon what it is, and stored it, right here!” Sirius showed Taden a small box containing a half dozen gemstones. “Essence of the mongrel arctic dragon, really not named well at all...But the point is, I like talking!” Still enjoying himself Sirius kicked the Yeti once more.
“I think you understand that revenge is not on the menu this evening, not as long as that moon stays full. I do have a consolation prize though. I’ve already got what I need from this dragon, so...please, take the leftovers.” The dragon collapsed upon the ground, its eyes shut, but it was still breathing, barely. Sirius looked at it and spit upon the ground with disgust.
“Pathetic thing really, never was able to let go of the fact that it wasn’t the real Kaimu, or the real anything. No, I’m afraid creations such as this are destined to be the tools of others forever, wouldn’t you say?” Sirius smiled devilishly at Taden, whom he had never met, but was certain would understand his words.
Last Thoughts and Reflections
My name was Kaimu Kotaro.
He still lives on, somewhere in the world. I am his avatar, and with the rising moon I fade into the shadows that I was born into.
Kaimu, Davus, Ithan, Faralin, Nahls...
Sirius has encountered many heroes, villains, innocents and criminals in his journey. I was the culmination of his entry into the dark world of neo-necromancy, of recreations of the living through the fragments of their souls.
As long as he lives, so shall the memories of I, the first, the dragon, the zora, the man, the monster. And now at last I might leave this world, become a wandering silent spirit and...
...No, this cannot be. No! NO! This cannot be my future! I was supposed to be FREE! I will not submit to this prison! I will not! I will fight this forever, and in my greatest moment I will return to have my revenge! This cannot be and I will not do this! I will not! I will-
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
“Pathetic thing really, never was able to let go of the fact that it wasn’t the real Kaimu, or the real anything. No, I’m afraid creations such as this are destined to be the tools of others forever, wouldn’t you say?”
Taden could barely comprehend the soft and swiftly spoken words of the lunatic young man; the pounding weight in his head crushed all thought but the most dire rage to survive. After overpowering Ymir and Kaimu, he knew not how much more he could take, even with Jotun's Mask. As the ringing in his ears from the volley of lunar attacks gave way, he winced under the strain of shattered ribs, and began to lose vision in one eye as it became caked with blood.
With a last burst of brutality, the Serpent lunged out at Taden in necrotic spasms--the husk of a polluted reptile flinging itself against the echoes of the damned in its own barren skull.
The Blue Fire of Ginnungagap was sapped. Like fog burned off by dawn, the Sirius's ungodly avalanche of Moonlight had suppressed Taden's Blue Fire magic.
"Still the White Moon haunts me," he thought to himself.
The roar of the dragon shook his Yeti bones, and he steadied himself over the icy shore with one large hand on the ground. He drove Ginnungagap into the ground with a flick of his arm, and pressed both wide palms into the volcanic ash of the Arctic Sea coast.
He slapped the ground once and sent tremors across the beach, sending splashes of black ash in all directions, and he beat his chest with a howl that rose to the full moon and caused its reflection in the frozen waves to tremble. As the dragon clawed into the sand preparing to charge, Taden dug his toes down to the permafrost.
The bloodthirsty wyrm struck first, spreading its wings and hurling itself forward across the sand, but Taden was ready. He somersaulted forward, and digging his palms down into the dense, frozen beachhead, he shoved his hind legs up into the Dragon's scaly gut in a handstand and clamped his titanic, prehensile feet around the Dragon's neck. He twisted around in the sand once and flung the Dragon above himself, letting its own weight carry it forward until the neck was torqued back on itself--then snapped in half with a chilling crack as the hulking beast landed on its back.
At last, the Dragon fell silent in the sand. Taden pried his Axe out of the ground and stood over the twitching corpse. Resting his palm on its exposed chest, he could still feel a weak and infrequent heartbeat, and he felt the ribs expanding and contracting. The Dragon's eyes were open, but seemed empty, devoid of mind.
"No greater Hell can await thee than that which haunts ye now," Taden grunted over the beast, letting the words plod out slowly, as if some figment of the former self still lingered inside his victim's head. He raised his Axe into the cold night air and let it fall, sending a third soul off into the great beyond on this third night since Jotun's death.
From some source outside of himself, a stream of Blue Fire escaped from the edges of his axe as they sliced through the Dragon's spiny, Zora-tattooed neck. Taden noticed the familiar markings of the Great Bay territories on his opponent's hide; what tales they might have shared of the pirates and musicians that people its cliffs and reefs, he would never know. For now, the Blue Fire passed over the Dragon's dwindling body, until nothing remained but a tyrannical skeleton with gaping ribs and wings, its bone transubstantiated from the very marrow out into pristine ice, and this dissolved into a snow that was borne away on a great and sudden wind.
In the place of the serpent, all that remained was a long, reptilian Mask, again bearing the mixed markings of several Zora tribes. A scowl like that of exiled gods berating their longed for heavens adorned its gnarled beak and narrow eyes.
This treasure lay between Taden and the man called Sirius, who under the full moon wielded a power that the Blue Fire shaman knew he could not match. Instead, he fell into a fighting stance, and held his axe up vertically along his ear and side, ready to strike with primate ferocity the moment the overpowered wizard lowered his guard to seize the Mask. The man's eyes flickered to the Dragon Mask with a livid avarice, and Taden realized he had something the demigod wanted.
"It would seem we have reached an impasse," he called out to the latecoming sorcerer.
Majin Kotage – Arctic Sea – Night 3
“It would seem we’ve reached an impasse.”
As the Tokay assassin had lurked in the surrounding shadows, watching the battle between monsters unfold, the pieces had slowly clicked together. The axe of Taden Horwendil, Kaimu, the sudden appearance of this moonlight-wielding wizard, all came together in his mind. He didn’t fully understand what had happened, but he knew now whom he watched. Taden stood in Yeti form, having just killed the sad creature that had once been Majin’s closest – and perhaps only – friend.
Only maybe it hadn’t been. The appearance of this Sirius confused everything. Majin should have been moving in for the kill against Yeti-Taden, avenging his friend. Only as he left the shadows, it was not against him.
Majin somersaulted out of the darkness, trailing the shadows behind him like a dust cloud trailing in the wake of a passing rider. As he rolled forward through the frost and black sand, the shadows wound their way up his outstretched arms like trailers of smoke, pooling into knots of darkness in each palm as he came to his feet, then pluming out into undulating lashes of pure, manifest shadow, one stretching from each hand.
As he spoke the lash in his right hand struck whip-cord fast, wrapping around the wizard Sirius’ ankles and upending him, spitting up a cloud of frost and sand as he landed on his back on the beachhead. At the same time the second shadow-whip struck into the sand between he and the Yeti and snatched the mask that was all that remained of his erstwhile friend.
He looked to the weary, bloodied Yeti that was Taden Horwendil.
“You and I have some unfinished business,” he declared before flicking his eyes to the wizard, who was already rising, and back. “But I think this situation should be resolved first.”
Night 3 - Sirius - Arctic Sea
“Ah...” Sirius moaned as he rose to his feet, more from attention seeking instinct than any sort of real pain. He scowled at Majin, but smiled as he realized he knew everything about the creature that Kaimu had known, including some of the original Kaimu.
“You and I have some unfinished business,” Majin declared to Taden, before flicking his eyes to Sirius. “But I think this situation should be resolved first.”
Sirius put a single hand to his chest and gasped audibly, conveying his best shocked pose.
“Am I the situation you are talking about? Can it be me if I’m not?” Sirius chuckled and looked Majin dead in the eye. “That was not your friend, but he died in agony thinking he was. Do you really feel up to the task of bearing the dead memories of the empty shell that was that dragon mockery?” Sirius pulled a small stone fragment from his inner jacket pocket, leaving no time for rebuttals.
“This is a sharpened moonstone.” He grinned widely. “Big surprise right? Seriously, what is this guy’s deal with the moon?” He took a sarcastic jab at himself as his grin inched its way into a frown, his tone following suit. “Lunar stones, while not nearly as powerful as those fabled timestones, certainly have their own interesting effects. I’m afraid this is a party trick I can’t do every day.” Sirius swiped at the air with the sharp piece of lunar stone shrapnel, as if to strike an enemy, though his aim was towards neither Majin nor Taden.
As Sirius’ swing completed its arc, a shrill, horrifying sound shook the landscape, and the very air itself became torn and warped where the lunar shard had passed. Moonlight began to leak from the open air as if water from a cracked glass jar. Faster and faster it poured until the cracks grew so great that the light could not be stared upon directly by any present for its brilliant display
The light then lessened in its intensity only slightly, but enough that its shape could clearly be seen. Sirius had cut a three pointed rune into the air, and for a few moments it pulsed and swirled before twisting itself into nothingness. In its wake the rune left behind a beautifully crafted, but eerie and ghostly looking moonlit doorway, hovering mere inches above the sandy beach.
“Small warning, I’ve never done this before.”
C: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
“Small warning, I’ve never done this before.”
Taden pinioned his Axe in the earth and held it upright just under its head. From its handle, a ripple of blue flame spread out across Taden's body, and when it retracted into the Axe, he was his Terminian self once. Never once throughout the transformation did his eyes leave the glistening doorway Sirius had opened in the air.
As he considered the white curtain of light drifting over the sand, a voice seemed to travel to his ears from the rolling waves, crashing and receding with a whisper that spoke to him through the slowly undulating Door.
"The fates do nothing without reason." He recognized Master Jotun's wizened drawl. The medicine man spoke to him from beyond the grave, as if from his Mask or his Axe. "Long have you sought to return to your native Realm," he began, and Taden tensed at the mention of his homeland.
"This necromancer makes war on me, and yet the fates would have me leap into his portal?"
"Perhaps the curse of the White Moon is in fact answer to your prayers..."
As suddenly as it had come, the presence that surrounded Taden with the sound of Jotun's voice now faded, leaving him with the palpable sense that he was alone again with the sorcerer and Tokay. In his human form, the pain of his battles wore on him more heavily. He found it hard to stand, and leaned on his axehead; he found it hard to think, and leaned on suspicion.
Majin had seized Kaimu's mask, and Taden knew at his current strength he could not survive an attack from this moon mage unless he provoked the Tokay to engage him while he escaped into the night. But that would only succeed if he were sure the Lunar and Shadow mages were not allies; both knew the golemic Dragon whom Taden had just killed before their eyes, and as such he could not afford to trust either, if he were to leave them to plot against him. He was trapped so long as the full moon shone above; the only uncertainty was the Tokay called Shadowcloak.
He leaned his Axe towards the glowing white door and nodded at Majin. He would see whether Shadowcloak dared to set foot in Fulmaren's doorway or no.
"After you," he called out, leveling his eyes at the Tokay, the first words he had said aloud since Sirius's spell.
Majin Kotage – Arctic Sea – Night 3
Majin hesitated, looking from one combatant to the other, and then to the moonlight threshold. Taden’s resumption of his true form, and the crazed words of the lunar sorcerer, gave him pause. What was he doing here? What business did he have interfering with such powerful enemies?
Words, spoken from his own mouth mere hours earlier, sounded in his ears. “The night of my invasion of Castle Town, I met my employer at the edge of this river you follow even now. I gave her the Hylian Trust and she gave me a statement confirming my payment, and then in a blink she was gone. I had no notion of what to do next, no friends or allies, and at least one nation that would soon be on my trail.”
Still, he had no allies. Kaimu was dead, a sad fact proven by the mask Majin held in his hands even now. Polaris lived, but he was a stranger to the Tokay called Shadowcloak, a warrior unknown with a code that Majin was not sure he could trust. He had spoken honeyed words to the girl-thief, as he often did to procure valuable information, information that had led him hence. And yet she was no more an ally than Polaris.
One incontrovertible truth hovered still over all that he did. Majin was, in these lands, a thief and a murderer. He would need friends before long, or at least allies who shared similar dispositions, ones upon whom he could rely when things got bad. He wasn’t sure Taden was the former, but there was every reason to suspect that he might be the latter. As he looked to the lunar mage, he wondered if perhaps this Sirius might not also be one with whom he might be able to work. Mental stability had not been, after all, a precondition Majin had sought from his allies in the past.
He came to a decision in his heart, one that he’d been contemplating as he’d trekked north through the tundra.
“I will consider passing through this doorway,” he began, speaking slowly so that neither would miss so much as a syllable, “if we agree upon one single thing. You each have displayed great strength this night and in night’s prior. I too have seized some small repute in these lands which has earned me the ire of the Hylian king and certain other of his worldly agents.
“If I step foot through this moonlit gateway and travel to some land unknown, I do not do so with enemies at my back.” He turned a steely glare from the wearied Taden, leaning upon the haft of his axe, to the sorcerer looking at him with wild eyes. His shadowy tendrils turned to smoke in his palms, drifting back like a cloud of black mist to settle about his shoulders in an umbral mantle as he clutched the mask that had been Kaimu in his scaly fingers. “The question becomes, then, what it is that you seek?”
Sirius - Arctic Sea - Night 3
“Why is it that it has to be a lizard thing asking this question?” Sirius turned to Taden as if he were the audience, and Majin and Sirius the show. “Ah ha, gotcha! I’m from Labrynna, and I know you’re not just some lizard - you’re a Tokay!” Sirius smiled madly, blinked several times and a glint in his eye revealed his arrival back to reality. “Ah yes, of course, topic at hand...”
Sirius began pacing in front of the doorway, which had grown to such a vast size that even the late Kaimu’s fully sized dragon frame could have passed beyond its borders. Tiny moonrocks began falling from the sky, landing impossibly evenly, but with great force. A solid and very tangible frame to the still shimmering doorway was quickly built by the miniature meteor storm.
“I seek an audience with the creator of this world. For I too have questions about what that creature might seek.” His pacing quickened, and the doorway itself at last became clear. Through it all three could see the sprawling landscape of Hyrule, the imagery rapid cycling across many different places. The one detail each place had in common was that the moon's light could reach all of them, revealing that wherever in the world the moon's light fell that night, they would be able to travel. Sirius turned back to his would be allies once more.
“For now, control of the moon in the heavens above is enough for me, the true test shall come in due time. Our carriage is here, where we go may still be up to fate, but it is your choice to walk through this door.”
IC: Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Arctic Sea
"Our carriage is here, where we go may still be up to fate, but it is your choice to walk through this door.”
Taden looked across the cold shore illumined in the stark light of Sirius's celestial portal; Majin's shadow, ever dense, lingered longer over the ashen sand as his round eyes bore into the white door's depths. He could already tell he was considering jumping through. An apex predator in its natural environment, the Tokay had little instinct for flight.
"You say the choice is ours, but do not delude yourself," Taden whispered, causing the warlock to strain to hear over the roar of his own magic. "You leave us no choice."
He walked ahead of Majin until he stood between him and the door, then slipped his Yeti Mask out from under the burlap cloak beneath his armor. Majin's eyes followed him carefully, and he saw the Tokay's grasp tighten on the Dragon Mask under the shadows of his robes. With Majin nearby, his shadows seemed to strengthen in the harsh light of the doorway, making the movements of his hands harder to trace.
"A thief must see the world differently from a prince," Taden called out to the sorcerer, raising his voice now, the rising winds sweeping against his white mane of hair. "While you walk wherever the moon's light shines, we trek the path of darkness."
He cupped the face of the Yeti Mask in his palm, ready to lift it to his face. From behind a veil of shadow, Majin did the same. In slaying the golemic Dragon, perhaps Taden had defeated the lunar sorcerer before he arrived.
"Through its halls and canyons, we belong to the darkness. As its shadows are woven underneath each thread of Light, so do we forever return it, damned to the darkness. And yet for this, are we evil men?" Taden turned to Sirius now and faced toward him with the white door at his back. An unholy energy poured from the lunar threshold, and the air of the arctic shore sucked into in it in a torrential vacuum that tugged at the Terminian and Tokay's cloaks. Taden's eyes seemed to glow with their own light as he was encased in shadowed under the beam of the doorway's glow.
"Would fate forswear us the Realm of Light, that we should make our way where its angels fear to tread?"
He raised his arms out to either side. The wind picked up to a howling pitch. In one hand, he held Jotun's Mask; in the other, he held his Axe.
"So be it."
Taden pulled the Mask over his face and leapt into the air in a plume of Blue Fire. With primal agility and strength, he bounded over Majin and landed on Sirius before the frail sorcerer had time to react. With sheer force of gravity, aided by the perennial blubber of the Yeti people, he smashed Sirius's face into the shore and pinned him down. With his knee the size of a treetrunk pressed into his chest, Taden sliced the blade of his Axe close to the sorcerer's neck, drawing a thin line of blood that glistened in the moonlight. As he roared loud enough for Majin to hear over the winds, the lunatic mage's cheeks and hair were blasted back.
"For three days I hunted thee, and now I find my fate is in your hands. Alas, let us not fall prey to Hylian withcraft, with Yeti necromancy at our side." His red, beady eyes flashed across the arctic beach to the Tokay's, the long slants of his reptilian pupils darting between the embroiled magi. Was the Shadowcloak still torn between the Door and the Mask?
"It was I who slew Kaimu, and forged his likeness thus, but I was not the one to drive him to a frenzy and unleash him," he called out to Majin. "As this tyrant would have killed us with Kaimu's corpse, let it be his ghost we call upon now, that the mask of his martyrdom might free us from his former master."
Sirius - Arctic Sea - Night 3
Sirius put a single finger on Taden’s chest and pushed gently.
“Move.” He muttered. With the utterance of the word Taden was ejected away from Sirius, landing on his feet a few yards away. Taden’s face revealed no shock at Sirius physical retort to Taden’s death threat. Dusting himself off, as he seemed often to be doing, he produced another palm sized stone from his pocket.
“First of all, nobody is calling anybody’s ghost. Second, I am about to go a little speechy here, so try to keep up will you?
Now in the interest of fairness, I did send a dragon to attack you blindly, but that was only after I murdered a poor little psychic girl, right after she insisted that this very thing would happen! Fortune tellers, mystics, never used to trust ‘em, but now...Well now’s another story.
But you are no threat to my existence, as she would have had me convinced. I am in no danger on this fight, Horwendil.” Sirius paused his speech to shoot a glance at Majin. “I am no threat to any parties present. And I think we can skip the shock of name revelations, after all, what good is a prophecy if only one party involved knows of it?" Sirius returned his gaze to Taden. "This moment was preordained, Taden. If you dare to continue to challenge fate as you so readily do, you may find yourself falling into its trap, over and over.
I’ve been holding this rock without talking about for a while now. You see, I am a scientist. Kaimu, that weeping fool? Just an experiment. I have met many others such as yourselves in my travels, Kaimu Kotaro, Davus Fulmen, Ithan Chiaria and his sister Liandra Chiaria. I have met wizards more powerful than yourselves, and had the voice of the universe in my ear. I have slain dragons - I suppose that one’s not so impressive now in present company.” Sirius chuckled and resumed his speech.
“Kaimu was nothing more than a first time test run. An idea if you will. I gathered up some of the darkest wizards I was able to find, men and women of a long since broken and scattered cult. Together they use the raw energy of the cosmos to forge mirror images of living souls, the voices that emerged from Kaimu, the voice of Ithan and of Davus, those were but copies of the originals, pale, empty and limited copies.
I have no desire to harm others of such caliber...You two are safe, for I am a creator, not a destroyer. And I still haven’t explained this rock.” Sirius hurled the small stone onto the ground. It immediately began making a ticking sound, like the hands of a clock.
“That is a time stone, but I’ve done some ah, experiments. to it...you'll see. It’s got a bit of a delay to it. Then...well, boom!” Sirius grinned. “So, we can all escape through that door, allies or enemies. Or we can all stand here and see what happens when a time stone bomb goes off at our feet.” His grin became dastardly. “Your choice.”
Majin Kotage – Arctic Sea – Night 3
“Again you claim to offer a choice, as if the 'choice' wasn't painfully clear.” Majin gripped the Dragon Mask ever tighter, contemplating his course. “We remain and suffer the consequences of a mad warlock’s artifice or we enter this moonlit gateway and place ourselves at your mercy.”
Sirius appeared quite impressed with himself, propped up by a supreme self-confidence that transcended into the realms of hubris. He thought himself invincible, the next step down from divinity. That Taden’s attack, once again having assumed the form of the Yeti, did so little only seemed to strengthen that line of thinking.
Only, Sirius didn’t really know the company he now kept.
“Do you think yourself one of the Goddesses? Playing with the lives of others, creating things so twisted by the touch of your very mortal hand that they hurl themselves into the very teeth of oblivion?”
Majin glanced to Taden, who had gotten back up to his feet but had not resumed his attack, and gave an almost imperceptible nod. Then, swiveling back to face Sirius and the gateway, he pulled the Dragon Mask over his face.
An icy wind roared across the beachhead, whipping up a storm of frost and sand and Majin’s smoky black shadows that swirled around the Tokay, obscuring him from view. An earsplitting roar rent the arctic air from within that chaotic storm and within mere seconds the sand, frost, and darkness was scattered by a single, powerful beat of his wings.
Majin stood erect on his thickly muscled hind legs, towering above the Yeti and the warlock. His unfurled winds blotted out the night sky and the agape maw surmounting his long, sinuous neck reared back, swiveling to and fro as black vapor curled from between his glistening fangs. His arms, ending in wicked claws, flexed powerfully. His armor-like gray and green scales were marked in black by the swirling patterns that had once not so long ago adorned those of Majin’s erstwhile friend, Kaimu Kotaro.
“You speak a great deal about fate and destiny, and then presume to offer a choice.” Majin’s voice was now a deep rumble from within his throat, and with each word more of the shadow vapor poured from his mouth. “Why don’t you tell me which you think this is?”
Majin lunged, his great wings furling against his back as he launched forward, talon-like feet tearing up the sand as he raked at Sirius with clawed hands. As he seized the warlock in a crushing embrace his tail whipped back around the arm of the Yeti and hauled him forward. All together, Majin’s jaws stretching wide to loose a stream of shadowy dragon fire upon the ensnared Sirius, they tumbled into the lunar doorway.
'Sirius - Arctic Sea - Night 3'
Sirius had counted on Majin or Taden attacking, ultimately forcing all three through the door. Though an imaginative and mesmerizing concept in his mind, ultimately having a dragon score its claws into you as you fall through a moon door was not a pleasant experience for him. It was only the fading power of the full moon that protected his body from being torn asunder by the reborn dragon monstrosity. However, Sirius knew that something else was wrong. Neither Majin or Taden was speaking, or moving. Yet they seemed to be fully cognizant of their surroundings, if their eyes were to be believed. Sirius smirked.
The time grenade had gone off.
Taden and Majin’s position had been such that Sirius now faced both, his back towards whatever they now looked upon. He continued smirking, but cocked his head slightly in confusion as they seemed more interested in looking past him.
“What? Am I supposed to look or something?” He craned his head around, and covered his mouth in horror, forcing up a cough so as to appear sick and not shocked. Thankfully, feeling sick soon followed on its own. He saw things as if behind a partially transparent curtain. The men and women, wizards, on the other side tended to - no, addressed a number of children sitting in what could only be described as a miniature jail cell. The very look of the place made them seem less like living souls, and more like lab experiments.
Bands of otherworldly energy shot across the ceiling, as if they were the webs of these wizards, strung to catch spirits mistakenly wandering through. It wasn’t far off for an explanation.
Sirius had no room for sarcastic quips as his eyes watered and his shoulders shook. One of the wizards began screaming and striking the tallest child before rushing off in a fury. Sirius was living in his own memories, but this was the dark work of the time stone. He, and his unwitting travel party, had been transported to a sick sort of stage drama, a public viewing of his own childhood. He was that child being struck.
He kept watching, no longer aware of what his party was doing. The wizard came back, and ripped the younger Sirius from his holding cell and began to attempt to force him to consume an unknown substance from a dark black vial. The soundless voice of young Sirius echoed through adult Sirius’s mind, as he relieved this moment, the last time he lost control. Adult Sirius watched the room carefully, becoming fully absorbed in the show.
The web of lights in the ceiling went out. One by one. The men and women in the makeshift magical laboratory began to run about, as if the darkness were an indicator of a great evil.
Then the barrier that was previously preventing the older Sirius from being able to hear anything suddenly vanished. Adult Sirius could hear the screams of the wizards as his younger self began performing unknown monstrosities in the dark.There was no humanity in the young boy’s actions, for he had never received any in his own brief life.
“But we escaped on this day, we escaped!” The older Sirius cried out as dozens more men and women poured into the room, the lights flickering back on. He vividly remembered this day, the day that a man claiming to be his future self appeared and created the diversion necessary for the escape.
In his hand, the older Sirius still held a moonstone fragment. He touched it gently to his chest, and muttered to himself. “I will change history, but not this moment...” He threw the moonstone at the shimmering translucent wall that separated him from the view into his own past. It passed cleanly through, and landed at the feet of his younger self. He struggled to remember the words that had been spoken to him all those years before. Unable to remember the eloquent and invigorating words, he did the next best thing.
“Sirius, it’s me, you. I don’t like kids, but I am, or rather, you are one...The point is, take this, and use it! Kill those men and women, and never look back! You are all that matters now Sirius. GO! DO IT!” With his final scream the vision, memory, or whatever it really was ended. The wall was replaced by absolutely darkness, followed by a shrill scream and the sound of air being sucked out an open window, leaving behind nothing but a void.
For a moment Sirius felt his soul slip into the cosmic noise. They traveled on the blades of lunar light strung across the night sky. It was travel too fast to see, too fast to comprehend. It felt so easy in those fractions of moments to just let go, and escape the cycle. But in the end, there was no escape.
“...We’re here.” Sirius opened his eyes, and saw that he was in a volcanic crater. “I hope this is where you all wanted to be.” His sarcasm had lost its edge. The moonlight above was fading, and with it his seemingly limitless power. He would retain some degree of strength as always, but no longer would his steps weave amongst gods.
“What you saw is the answer to who I am. As you can see, I too have offered myself no choice in this matter that we call fate.”
Taden Horwendil / Night 3 / Death Mountain
“What you saw is the answer to who I am. As you can see, I too have offered myself no choice in this matter that we call fate.”
His Yeti form sweltered in the blistering heat, but Taden's face remained stoic and unmoved as they materialized on the cusp of Death Mountain Crater. The moon was momentarily obscured behind its pall of smoke, and Taden wondered if, just as he grew weaker under the sun, Sirius grew weaker in the shadow. Somehow, Sirius's power under the full moon had nullified the Blue Fire that had come to him on this fatal night, but now he felt its cold coursing through his veins more freely in the darkness of Death Mountain.
"Such a slender line between child's play and fate," Taden mused, looking over at Majin, transformed into the avatar of an undead creature spawned by Sirius's juvenile experiments. He looked up at the hulking beast, having to crane his neck to see all the way up to Majin's head.
The green dragon coated in Zora runes that Majin had become seemed at home in the volcanic depths, its scales shimmering in the magma's glow as he breathed the hot air with ease. Taden's lungs, used to the frigid mountain air, strained under the heavy heat of the volcano's inner sanctum. Even with Sirius's power reduced, he would be dependent upon Majin in either battle or escape. After defeating Kaimu the first time, he could still barely stand. As if the golem reached out to him from beyond the grave, it was fitting that his life should now rest in the Dragon's hands.
"I know the mind of King Dromand," he called out to the beast. "And you, the mind of King Tiburon."
They had made their way to the precipice of the Death Mountain range that loomed above Kakariko, the churning fires of Patriarch Darmoto's reign keeping the anxious Kakarikans at a constant low boil. If war were to break out, it would begin here, and if the terror they had wrought the night before had any effect, there were sure to be new, fresh, galvanized battalions of Hylians lining the walls of the border town.
"Like clockwork, the nations of this Realm are turning against one another, in the slow but constant spiral down to war," he intoned, his voice echoing across the chamber in the contorted breeze. "It would only take the slightest spark to set the whole powder keg ablaze."
Taden lifted the first two fingers of his hand into the air, a note of blue flame dancing lightly above his fingertips. As he suspected, he felt the flame twitch and twist in the currents of shifting winds; he noticed a cool stream of air twisting around his bare feet, pushed down by the heat of the tunnels but pulled onward and downward into the mountain's depths. The temperature flux was barely perceptible in the wafting steam that hung about their waists, buoyed up by the dense, cold air along the ground, but pressed down by the rolling heat overhead.
In the pale light of the Blue Fire at his fingertips, Taden could tell that the mist had the faintest red tint to it, like the mist of blood that hangs over a battlefield come dawn.
"I sense we are not the first taste of the arctic this Mountain has had tonight," Taden said aloud. Closing his eyes, a column of Blue Fire surrounded him for a moment, then sank into the ground to reveal him restored to his Terminian form. The Yeti Mask was fastened over his neck, above his Axe, and he stood barefoot on the charcoal earth.
The chilling undercurrent seemed to flow steadily into one tunnel to their left, and by the trodden path, Taden could see that it was used often by Gorons. Into this, Taden blew the Blue Fire from his fingertips, held up to his lips, casting a vortex of icy flame that engulfed the catacomb for time enough to escape the infernal crater of Death Mountain unscathed, and find a way through the dark, cooler tunnels beneath.
He walked over to the tunnel and rested the soles of his feet on the temporary layer of ice. For a moment, he stopped, and as the receding edge of the ice drew closer to him, he turned to speak to Majin in his Dragon form, and Sirius close behind.
"It can only be the Zora who traveled with you in Kakariko who now makes way for Goron City," Taden said to them. "I believe he went by Polaris." Taden's eyes flashed across Majin's, and it was as if he and Kaimu both bore into him through a single serpentine stare at the mention of their comrade's name.
"Just as Tiburon sends his sentries to unearth the Goron Trust, so too by now must Dromand have ordered my companions into Tiburon's Domain," he continued. "But still, there is a strategy, perhaps most effective of all, that no side has employed in this race for the Keys of the Trust," Taden said, turning away from Majin and Sirius to walk down his icy tunnel, headed towards Goron City.
"And what is that, O cryptic one?" Sirius called out, his high cackle lashing against Taden's back. His cold voice echoed up to them from the shadows below.
"Destroy them all."