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"Crimson River"

Crimson River

By: Smithy64

DESCRIPTION: Welcome to Hyrule, a land of peace and joy. All is quiet and serene until a Gerudo army, led by the evil Ganondorf, comes and attacks Hyrule Castle Town for some unknown reason. After the battle, Link investigates the matter further, trying to decipher the reason behind the attack. He finally discovers that the only thing that was stolen from the castle was a tattered old book from Impa's room. Link, then decides to interrogate Impa on the subject and is told that it was a book of Sheika Legends that had told of a once powerful warship that had far more power than the Triforce itself and the ability to recreate the gods!

Link then surmises that Ganondorf must be after the ship, but the trick is that no one knows where it is... not even the Sheika. In addition, the script written within its tattered pages is indecipherable as no one could crack its ancient language. Link realizes that he cannot do this on his own and requires the help of his friends. Together, with Skull Kid, Saria, Mido, Darunia, Ruto, Zelda, Impa, Rauru, Nabooru, Ivani, Reuben, Stali and Nazori, they must travel back 500 years when the ship was created to see were it was buried and stop Ganondorf before he makes the biggest mistake in his illustrious career.  

Chapter One: Unknown Reasons

Hylian Date: Djinuary 12, 50 A.D.

Goron Date: Good Rock Dawn Near End
Zoran Date: Aztekah Vespers Ending Cycle

Zelda awoke from her elaborate canopy bed. Her bed covers clung to her sweaty appendages. Her eyes were blood-shot from lack of sleep, as it had been hours past midnight. The sounds of combat echoed in her ears, depriving her of sleep for fear that Hyrule might be taken at any given moment. She sat up in bed and threw off her bed covers and began rocking back and forth cradling her bunched up legs within her arms. She sat there waiting...waiting... waiting...waiting for the awful message to be told to her... the message that would say: "the kingdom is doomed."

She waited patiently rocking back and forth. Her heart stopped when she heard the doorknob suddenly turn and the door flew open. Zelda was expecting a guard to appear in the doorway to tell her that dreaded message and was to escort her from the castle. She felt as if she was a failure. Like... she was not fit to be princess of Hyrule. The door slowly creaked open; Zelda braced herself. "Zelda?" asked a familiar voice, "are you yet awake?" Zelda opened one eye to see her caretaker, Impa, in the doorway. Zelda lifted her head and started to cry.

"Oh, my friend," she said, "I have failed this kingdom and I will surely die for it." Impa looked at Zelda in an awkward fashion. She strolled over towards Zelda's bedside.

"You did not fail anyone," said Impa, "you are not responsible for war, your highness." Zelda calmly shook her head and wandered over towards her bedroom window. She looked out upon the courtyard where she had met Link for the first time.

"Yes, I have," replied Zelda, "I could have done something to avert this catastrophe that has befallen our beloved kingdom. I am part of the Royal Family and it is my responsibility in a sense." The battle, which was now ensuing just outside the gate of Hyrule Castle Town, had been raging since earlier that day. No one had expected Ganondorf to break his alliance with the King of Hyrule so suddenly and lead an attack force of Gerudo thieves to their door. No one had expected the Gerudos to actually have the upper hand in the battle and reduce the Hylian military to a mere army of two hundred seventy-eight. Now it was too late for everyone. It was too late to prepare for war. Ganondorf caught the Hylians with their guard down and was going to make them pay for it.

Zelda sat back down upon her mattress and buried her face in her hands and started to weep. Impa walked toward Zelda slowly and sat next to her to comfort her at this dreaded time. Hyrule was finished and Ganondorf would soon break down the city walls and burn the city to the ground. Hyrule's only means of salvation was if they would at least survive until morning, for the Goron and Zora armies were coming to aid their periled allies. However, what was the chance of that? Hyrule's only army was being diminished rapidly and their skulls were being mounted on wooden pikes. Zelda knew, that if they ever caught her, she would suffer the same fate. Zelda wept bitterly into the darkness without any hope of her kingdom's survival.

She suddenly stopped crying and turned her attention to the turning doorknob. The door began opening slowly to reveal, none other than, Link, the Hero of Time and savior of Hyrule! Zelda jumped from her bed suddenly towards the forest boy and hugged him hard. Link gave out a loud grunt as he cringed his face in pain. "Oh," said Zelda jumping back, "did I hurt you?"

"No," replied Link clutching his side, "I am injured." Zelda seized Link's hand and removed it from his side to reveal the end of an arrow sticking out of a bloody patch of flesh. She could see that the entire arrow had gone into him and the end of it was just barely above Link's flesh.

"What happened?" Zelda asked him in concern.

"I was riding through the forces to get to the castle and I guess I got a little careless," answered Link cringing his face in sheer pain. Impa walked over toward Link and moved Zelda aside to examine the wound.

"It looks like it went in deep," surmised Impa running her fingers onto the feather of the arrow's tail. She then seized the arrow by the end and twisted it. The movement was so sudden that Link yelped in writhing torment. Impa then pulled the entire arrow free from Link's body and Link began to bleed uncontrollably. It began to run all over Impa's fingers like a waterfall onto land. "Hurry!" she yelled towards Zelda, "get a cloth!" Zelda jumped to her feet in a panic and raced over to her mirror table to grab her large white towel that she used to remove any smudges. She then hurried toward Impa's waiting, bloody hand and gave her the white towel. Impa pressed it against Link's side to stop the loss of blood. Zelda bit her nails furiously as she saw Link's face turn pale. Link began to breathe slower and could not feel anything as he felt his body temperature drop. His eyesight was going and he could no longer make out the objects in front of him.

Zelda shuddered a bit and then asked Link, "How many soldiers were left on the battle field?"

Link coughed up a pint of blood and gargled the word: "three". Zelda gasped and held her hands up onto her face. The soldiers were gone; Link was dying; Zelda could no longer take it. She turned away from Link, who was dying, and Impa, who was trying to heal Link and wept. Impa took out a long, spiky leaf from her pocket and broke it open allowing its steaming ooze to run freely outside of its skin. She then took her ooze-covered fingers and ran them over Link's wound. Link felt like someone had just poured boiling acid into his intestines, but in reality the blood ceased to run out of his wound and his skin began to sew itself together. Link could feel his strength returning and his eyesight began to come back into focus and his temperature returned to normal.

Impa wiped her hands off on her pants and exclaimed, "That should do it." Link rose slowly from the ground and found that his legs were still weak from lack of blood. He rubbed his sore head and turned toward Impa.

"Thanks, but what was that you used?" he asked her.

"It is a petal from the Shadow Flower. It only cures those who are just seconds from death," replied Impa tossing out the remains of the now empty petal. Zelda turned slowly around to see what all of the talking was about.

"Link!" she shouted, "you are alive!"

She rushed toward Link with open arms and was about to hug him when Link held up his right hand and exclaimed, "Do NOT hug me." Zelda halted and looked at Link's bloodstained tunic.

"But how?" she asked. Link pointed toward Impa and she gave Zelda a bow.

"But now the time for talk is over," said Link returning to his more serious demeanor, "I request that I borrow what remains of your troops and attack the Gerudo army head on."

Zelda looked appalled. "Link, you are not serious about going back out there are you?" she asked in anguish. "You are weak! You need to rest!" Link just shook his head at Zelda's request and refused to give up his. The two of them argued over this for a while. Link saying that Zelda was just wasting his time here instead of on the battlefield and Zelda pointing out that Link was far too weak to fight. It ended when Link stated that he was all that was left of their defense and that if he did not go it would still end the same way. Zelda could no longer argue with Link's noble decision. She knew that he was right. Therefore, she thought a bit and after awhile finally gave in to Link's request. Link bowed to her and assured her that he would not fail in his assignment. Moreover, with that, Link turned and left the billet.

Link stepped onto the stone street of Hyrule Castle Town with only two castle guards behind him. He stared head on at the gate of the city as it suddenly exploded with catapult fire. The Gerudos all stood looking into the city, but none dared to enter. They parted down the center to make way for a mighty warrior astride a black Gerudo stallion. His armor was that of thick metal and leather clanking swaying with his horse's every movement. A gigantic steel helmet with a steer's horns upon it was set upon the warrior's ghastly head. The horse's nostrils flared and its eyes blazed as hot coals. A trail of smoke and fire was left wherever he strode. His personage was that of Satan himself.

Link knew exactly who this demonic figure was. He was the same one who had begun the imprisoning war in the future. He was the one who brought so much misery to Hyrule repeatedly. His name was Ganondorf Dragmire: King of the Gerudo Thieves. The great warrior laughed his slow, sinister laugh as he removed his helmet to reveal his horrid face. His long nose jutted out from his face like a knife. His skin was a sickly mixture between green and brown like the color of warm vomit. His red hair was swept back off his bald forehead leaving room for the Gerudo Crystal to be inserted in his skull. His red eyes were like those of red suns in the distance. Ganondorf looked toward Link and his small band with hatred in his eyes. He turned his head towards his own soldiers and said to them, "I do not care what you do to this pitiful excuse for a city, but just get me what I want!"

With that, the Gerudo onslaught rushed inward onto the open streets like an unstoppable force. Link raised his sword and shouted at Ganondorf, "Surrender, Ganondorf, this is your last chance!"

Ganondorf rolled his eyes skyward and said unto Link, "Oh no, it is Link, the Pipsqueak of Time, come to stop us, whatever shall I do?" Ganondorf then laughed cruelly and the remaining Hylian soldiers began to question Link's leadership capabilities. Ganondorf reared his horse towards the right and said, "Allow me to introduce to you the fate that has befallen all of the soldiers of Hyrule!" Ganondorf clapped his hands together and the Gerudos made way for Link and the remaining two soldiers to see what Ganondorf had been speaking of. Beyond the ruined drawbridge there, in many rows were lines of wooden pikes with the skinned skulls topping them. Among these pikes were rugged crosses that supported the decapitated bodies of the soldiers. The ground below was steeped in their blood. "Are you prepared to join them?" asked Ganondorf sinisterly.

One soldier behind Link dropped his spear and ran for his life. Ganondorf turned toward one of his archers and made a notion with his fingers that meant to fire. The Gerudo smiled and drew an arrow from her leather quiver. She mounted it upon her bow and drew the drawstring back. She released and the arrow shot through the air with deadly accuracy; it hit the fleeing soldier in the back of his neck and its point proceeded out through his windpipe and out the front. Link and the remaining soldier became nervous as they saw their only comrade fall. "One down, brat," said Ganondorf crossing his arms triumphantly, "two to go."

A nearby Gerudo warrior asked Ganondorf, "Sir, shall we take them?"

"No," replied the Gerudo King, "leave them to me. You and the others storm the castle and get me that parchment!" Ganondorf looked toward Link and the one soldier knowing that their lives were his to take. He had waited so long for this day and it had finally arrived. He had slain all but one of the Hylian military, he had Hyrule Castle Town in his possession, and the key to his life long dream of world domination was about to fall to his possession. He cared no longer for the Sacred Triangle that he had so long yearned for. He would finally have something far greater than anyone could possibly imagine. He no longer cared if Zelda escaped his grasp with the Ocarina of Time any more. It would all become his in little time anyway with his newfound weapon.

Link drew out the Great Fairy's Sword. This sword was the strongest sword of Termina, however, its power is limited outside of its own world. It was made of silver for the blade with an emerald filling etched with designs of black roses. The sword itself was twice as long as Link was! The soldier behind Link wondered if Link could actually hold it like he does. "What is that?" asked Ganondorf readying his crossbow, "that must be the sissiest looking sword that I have ever seen!" Link raised the sword above his head as Ganondorf raised his crossbow to his face. Link closed his eyes tightly and began to pray that he could just do it, just this once. He prayed that he could destroy a moving projectile before it hit him. Simultaneously, without opening his eyes, Link quickly lowered his sword just as Ganondorf fired his arrow of evil. The enchanted blade that Link was using had caught the arrow in mid air and split it vertically in the center. The two remaining halves flew by Link on both his sides and struck down two of Ganondorf's soldiers.

Ganondorf was astounded, enough as to even drop his crossbow clattering to the ground. For a while, Ganondorf was surprised, surprised that the best shot that he has ever had at Link in years was foiled to something impossible! This single act was all Link had to get at Ganondorf while he was distracted. Link lunged at Ganondorf with his Kokiri Sword in an attempt to cleave the Gerudo King's head down the center. Closer and closer Link came, but Ganondorf had wavered a bit in his saddle at the last minute and Link flew past him into the ground. Ganondorf, with his senses back, turned his stallion around to face Link. He smiled evilly and drew out his gnarled Gerudo sword. "Nice try, kid," said Ganondorf.

He pulled on his horse's reigns and made the stallion race towards Link at full speed. Ganondorf was intending to run him over or lob off Link's head with his sword when he passed. Link tried to move out of the way, but something held him back. His leg had been broken in his fall and the pain was so great that Link could not stand let alone move out of Ganondorf's way. Ever closer, Ganondorf came. He would not stop. He would not give Link another chance at his vulnerable cranium. Link started searching frantically in his leather pouch for something that would stop Ganondorf dead in his tracks. Ganondorf was now closing the distance between them rapidly. In mere moments, Link would be joining the other soldiers who have died trying to protect Hyrule from the Gerudo invasion.

Then, something happened, just before Link would be crushed to a pulp (or headless if you prefer), the remaining soldier of Hyrule jumped at Link and knocked them both out of Ganondorf's way. The two of them rolled along the ground for a few meters and stopped. Link looked up, he saw Ganondorf stopping his horse to turn around and try to flatten Link once more. Link looked at the soldier who had just saved his life. The soldier was still breathing; he was just unconscious now. Link knew that the soldier had just bought him some more time. Quickly, he reached into his leather pouch and retrieved his Hero's Bow and the mythical Ice Arrow.

Ganondorf was not wasting any time any longer; he was now traveling at a speed that not even Epona could reach. His stallion's nostrils flared up; its eyes were wide. Its great mane swept back in the rushing wind. Link aimed his magic arrow for the ground in front of the Ganondorf's horse and released it. Link had wanted to only hit the ground and make Ganondorf slip and break his neck on the ice, but his arrow hit the horse's legs freezing the horse into a solid figure. Ganondorf was appalled by his unfortunate turn of events as he slid forward off the horse and went flying into the air. His stallion shattered upon the ground into millions of tiny pieces as its rider flew through a closed window of a Hylian house. The force of Ganondorf's effects on the inside of the dwelling shook its foundations making the entire house collapse inward. A distasteful odor arose from the wreckage and it swept down the streets.

Link crawled slowly over to the house to make assurance that Ganondorf was indeed dead. Link, upon coming to it, held his nose as the horrid smell of Lon Lon manure entered his nostrils telling him that this house was actually a fertilizer storage cabin. As Link cast his gaze upon the wreck, he noticed a hand shoot up out of the rubble. It was Ganondorf; the Gerudo King had actually survived it! Slowly, Ganondorf pulled himself from the debris and muck and shouted at the top of his lungs: "$#! ^!!!!!" Link slightly chuckled to himself and thought, You are covered in what you said! Ganondorf slipped and slid all over the gung as he fought to stand up. "I am going to MURDER that BRAT!!!!!!!!!" shouted Ganondorf before he slipped once more onto his face getting a good mouthful of it.

Meanwhile, at Hyrule Castle, the Gerudos huddled around the now defenseless fortress like a carrion feeder over a dead carcass. For the moment, they just remained outside banging their shields together, gnashing their swords in disdain, and slunk like snakes about the outer premises of the castle. They did not enter for they were waiting for the right moment.

Zelda looked, once more, from her bedroom window. She looked out upon the courtyard and wondered if Link was all right, that he was unharmed, that he would be marching up the pathway, at that very moment, come into the castle, and tell stories of grandeur of the terrible battle that he had just won. Zelda waited, but he never came. She heard her caretaker, Impa, bustling about the room as if in a fury. Zelda turned around slowly to see what she was doing.

Impa reached up toward the plaque between the pictures of Mario, Yoshi, and Bowser and above Zelda's bed. Her hand fell upon one of the Katana that were hanging in cross-like pattern on the metallic shield of the plaque and closed it over the sword's black hilt. "Impa," Zelda inquired, "what are you doing?"

The Sheikah woman pulled the blade free from its displayed confines and brandished it three times in the air. Impa put the curved blade into an empty scabbard at her side and said unto Zelda, "Stay here, I have a bad feeling about this." With that said, Impa turned her attention to the wooden door of Zelda's chamber and walked toward it. Zelda, knowing Impa's intuition, stumbled over to her bed and crumpled onto it. As she huddled her head under one of the gold-laced feather pillows she wept hot, bitter tears.

Impa glided silently within the shadows of the darkened hallways. Sheikahs were normally good at hiding and were friends of the shadow. Not even the most skilled of hunters could hear their nimble feet race through even water. As she came to the main entrance hall, she stopped and hid behind a shadow upon the upper levels of the room. The main gate was wide open! The gate was a heavy, old birch wood door that had rusty hinges that fastened it to the castle's stone walls. How could it have opened without any sound at all? Impa's left pointed ear twitched with the sound of silent footsteps within the smaller halls above her. She immediately jumped from the railing of her perch and grabbed a royal banner that loosely hung from the ceiling. Its fabric was woven with the symbol of the Triforce upon a blue tapestry. Its ropes were strong enough to bear its own weight and Impa's.

The Sheikah then began to climb it as a spider would. Quickly and silently, she ascended from her previous floor level towards the up most. As she came to her destination, she leaped from the banner and onto the wooden railing of the stone pathway and began to sprint down the hallway as fast she could. However, her sprint was more like flying across the floor. In the middle of the hall, Impa heard a din of crashing pottery coming from the kitchen billets. She then took a right and came to its outer doorframe and slowly peered inside. The chamber was dark and empty. Not a soul stirred as it was, as it seemed, that all was how it had been left when the castle chefs had hung up their utensils for the night. Save for the shattered pottery upon the floor nearest the center counter top, all was undisturbed.

Impa slowly entered the billet, looking about in various places from the pantry to under the tables. Nothing. No one was there. Impa scratched her head in bewilderment and was about ready to leave when she heard a heavy, metallic footstep behind her. Impa began to sweat as she realized that someone was, indeed, in the room with her. She did not bother to turn around as she slowly put her hand upon the hilt of her Katana and drew it out of its leather scabbard. Only when her sword was fully out of its sheath did she turn to face her enemy. The faint light of the moon from the window barely reflected off the creature's thick, steel armor. Its heavy axe was visible and showed brightly revealing that this creature was none other than a Gerudo Iron Knuckle! Impa's heart skipped a beat. How could this walking automaton escape her ears? How could she have overlooked it? Iron Knuckles were so massive and made a loud noise when they took a step; how could it have deluded her? Iron Knuckles were the spirits of long dead Gerudo Kings trapped within heavy armor. Their armor symbolized their unfinished business in the mortal realm, keeping them restrained to the physical world. They were very sloth some and carried around heavy battle-axes. The axes also symbolized their hatred and contempt for the world as they try to alleviate their torment and sorrow upon others.

Impa turned to run from it, as she knew that the Iron Knuckle would be too much for her to handle within such a small confine, and the door to the hallway closed shut before her with iron bars. The Iron Knuckle laughed silently to itself and then said in an unmanly voice, "I knew you would come after us. You left Zelda vulnerable." Impa was stunned. Not only had she realized that this Iron Knuckle had lured her here to this billet, but it had spoken in a girl's voice! A closer look at her enemy revealed that it was generally smaller than most Iron Knuckles and that it was a bit thinner too.

"Who are you?" asked Impa in a panic, "and how did you get in here without making a sound?"

The Iron Knuckle, since Impa was not going to use this information against her, began saying, "I used a prototype copy of the Hover Boots to get here. I took them off when I needed to make a noise that you would draw much attention to. The rest was easy. Now, Zelda's defenseless and so is the Triforce."

Impa, in fury, flew toward her foe with her Katana above her head and shouted, "YOU WILL NOT HAVE THEM TONIGHT, DEMON!" The Iron Knuckle raised its axe above its head horizontally and let Impa's Katana collide with its wooden handle. The force of the collision knocked Impa to the floor on her back cracking her skull upon the stone floor. The Iron Knuckle walked slowly over toward Impa's lifeless body and poked it with the spiked head of its axe. After the Iron Knuckle was sure that Impa was unconscious, she was going to make sure that she would not get up again. Slowly, she raised her heavy axe above her helmeted head and brought it down. Sure, that it would hit Impa on the throat and decapitate her. She would use Impa's head as a trophy to hang on her wall back at the Desert Colossus.

As the axe came swiftly nearer toward Impa's imminent doom, the Sheikah rolled out of the deadly weapon's path, letting it cut into the floor and jamming itself. The Iron Knuckle groaned as she essayed to lift her weapon from the floor. It was to no avail, try as she might, she could not lift her axe. Impa jumped to her feet and saw the predicament that her foe was in and that the back of her neck was exposed. She then jumped toward the enemy, bringing her sword down on her bare flesh, knocking her to the floor. Impa walked toward the breathless corpse that was once her opponent and bent over to it. With her hands, she grabbed a hold of the helmet's horns and hoisted the helmet from the Iron Knuckle's head to reveal its identity. It was none other than the infamous Nabooru, Ganondorf's second-in-command! She was wanted in several countries for her awful deeds and many have placed a large sum of money for her arrest. She was not dead as Impa could hear her breathing. The Sheikah warrior did not believe in revenge so she would let Nabooru live and would have arrested the next morning. Impa searched Nabooru's armor to find a small button on the palm of Nabooru's right hand and pressed it to let the iron bars retreat from the doorway.

Link was hoisted onto a wooden cross that was in the middle of Hyrule Castle Town Market. He looked down toward a grinning, gung-covered Ganondorf who was straightening Link's prison. "Ah, Link," Ganondorf finally said, "How does it feel to be crucified like Jesus Christ?" the scummy Gerudo King chortled at the spectacle that he had waited so long for: having the upper hand over Link.

Link thought for a moment and then replied, "Hmmm, you have tried beheading me, drowning me, trapping me, aging me, even vaporizing me. I have to admit, you have never tried to crucify me. This is a new one. Sorry, Ganondorf," Link said looking toward the horizon, "the sun is rising!" Ganondorf felt like his rib cage was going to burst with the effort needed to suppress his laughter.

"SO WHAT," the Gerudo King announced, "Hyrule has not lasted until morning and if so, where are the Goron and Zoran armies that were supposed to come to its aid?" Ganondorf fell to the ground under the weight of his goofahs.

As Ganondorf laughed hysterically, Link rolled his eyes skyward as if to say: "Do not speak too soon, Ganondork." After Ganondorf got control over his laughter, he stood erect and looked up at his fallen archenemy with triumph in his eyes. He raised his jagged sword and plunged it into Link's right knee causing it to spurt blood.

"This is for my horse, you &^$^^&)!" he said through his teeth as Link gave a groan of pain. He then twisted it and drew it across Link's knee, letting a crimson river begin to pour down his leg and into his boot. Now that Link was finally helpless, Ganondorf decided to toy with him awhile as he jabbed his sword slightly into Link's side and tore across his abdomen.

As Ganondorf was about to stick his sword up Link's nose, a Gerudo came tearing down the street holding a book above her head saying, "We have it! We have it! Let us go before the armies arrive!" Ganondorf gave a disappointed look and sheathed his bloodied sword. He then stepped away from Link without taking his eyes off him. He did not take his eyes off Link until he had left the conurbation.

Chapter Two: The Lone Ranger

Hylian Date: Djinuary 13, 50 A.D. B.C.

Goron Date: Good Rock Lunar Near End
Zoran Date: Aztekah Prime Ending Cycle

Link was alone, strapped to a rugged timber cross that was filling his back with inch long splinters out in the middle of the Hyrule Castle Town Market and hemorrhage. Not a soul in prospect. All was silent as he hung there. The sun slowly crept up into the heavens and soon covered the streets of Hyrule Castle Town in early morning crimson radiance. Link wondered if anybody would notice him as he gradually drifted off into a deep slumber. Eventually, he was awakened by the tramps of many feet marching across the unruffled marble road. His vision leisurely came back into focus just in time to see the marching bodies halt in their pace and turn toward him. He could see an estimated hundred or so creatures standing about him in straight ranks. Many were dark skinned and had rough, rugged exteriors. These creatures were Gorons. Gorons are no taller than a full-grown man and their skin is a dark brown in color. Their skin was a lot thicker than a normal elf's and their backs were covered in stony spikes that protruded outward and would become rougher and jagged with growth. Their daily diet mainly consisted of rocks and stones and they, the Gorons, had the strength of a hundred men. They all lived in an underground city in Death Mountain, serving under their Big Brother, as they would so name their leader. Upon further inspection, Link could see several other creatures. Zora, he believed. Zora were an aquatic race and much thinner and faster than that of the hulking Gorons. They were adequate fighters and swimmers, as they resembled a cross between an elf and a fish. They all lived in a place secluded from the rest of the world called Zora's Domain where they all served under a great bloated angler as their sovereign.

Out of this entire unlikely mob came a great Goron whose beard flowed from his chin all the way down to his toes. His muscles rippled on his two-tree trunk like arms that stretched out longer than his body. His weathered face suggested that this Goron was by far experienced than all of the other Gorons and his eyes sparkled with the prowess of age. The mighty Goron walked over toward Link and looked him in the eye with disapproval. Link blinked at his hoary gigantic head that was now scowling over him like an angry father to an unruly son. The Goron than broke into a smile and shouted, "Hey! Sworn Brother! What are you doing strapped to this hunk of drift wood?"

Link stammered trying to get his voice back, "I-I was ambushed by Ganondorf and his Gerudo soldiers. The-they tied me here and overran the town." Link knew this Goron; the two of them were good friends. This Goron was the leader of the Goron tribe and his name was Darunia. He was a strong and mighty leader and, although he did not look like it, he loved to dance. Darunia beat his chest with his two Lon Lon sized hands to express his joy of finding his sworn brother (sworn brothers were what Gorons called their friends). He then reached forward and tore the ropes that bound Link to the cross and let him tumble to the ground. Darunia then reached down and grabbed Link up into his mighty arms and gave him a huge bear hug. Link felt as if every bone in his body was going to snap like toothpicks between two anvils. The great Goron then let Link onto the ground and scratched his head as Link fought for air. Link then looked around and saw everyone looking at him as if he were a fugitive from justice.

A horrible voice then entered Link's pointy ears as he got up onto his feet, "OH NO, LINK! YOU ARE HURT!!!" Darunia gave a face that read: "Why did she have to come along?" Link looked as to where the horrid voice had come from to see a young Zora girl pushing through the crowd of people in a frantic effort to get to him. Her name was Ruto, the bratty princess of the Zora. Her voice sounded as if her throat was made of wet rubber. Her eyes, unlike the male Zora, which were black, were blue like the ocean. She had a very selfish nature and she never took no for an answer. She also believed that Link was in love with her. Link was glad that he was not that crazy to like her.

She ran over to him with heavy tears in her eyes and sat down next to him, wrapping her arms around him. Link gave a face that looked like he was going to throw up at any given moment. Ruto's silvery scales felt abrasive and wintry and she reeked of deceased fish. Link pulled himself away from her and she gave him a hurt look. Then Darunia finally asked, "Well, we came for a war and I do not see any Gerudos around here. Where did they go?" Link did not answer; he sagged his head and closed his eyes. Darunia understood immediately. "We are too late?" Link turned and began to walk away in a sort of flaccid fashion from his friends. The soldiers parted to make a path for him as he slowly trudged toward Hyrule Castle.

"I am sorry," said Link, "I could have prevented all of this. They left hours ago." Darunia narrowed his eyes and looked toward the climbing sun.

Link took one last look at the castle and saw that it was still standing. He breathed a heavy sigh. He was about ready to head back home when he heard a voice calling him. He halted his trek and turned to see who was calling his name. He squinted his eyes in the morning sun and held his hand over his forehead to get a better view of the area before him. As he observed the ruined gatehouse that had held a barrier to him back in the old days, he could see a girl running toward him. This girl was none other than the princess Zelda of Hyrule. She ran over to him weeping. "Link," she cried, "we did not win, did we?" Link shook his head slowly telling her that the war was lost to them as well as Hyrule Castle Town. Zelda looked away from him and stated, "They did not even bother to take the Triforce or me." Link then gave a shocked expression. They did not? Link thought to himself repeatedly. Why not? They won! They had it all in their hands and they just left the prizes that they so sought after... BEHIND? It did not make any sense. It baffled the both of them.

Link crossed his arms and looked toward the ground. He then gave the nerve to ask what they did take. Zelda gave Link an absurd expression. "They took an old tattered book from Impa's chambers," she replied. Link could remember that a Gerudo had run down the street holding an old book high above her head. Link could almost laugh.

"They come. They conquer. But only for a stupid old book?" said Link in a smirk. "What for? Is Ganondorf going to start his own public library?"

"No," said another voice from behind Link. Link turned to see Impa and was startled. He instantly fell backwards and wished that Sheikahs would not use their appearing-out-of-nowhere trick. "It was an old book of Sheikah Legends," said Impa pretending that she did not notice Link falling over. Zelda scratched her head as Link got back up onto his feet.

"What for?" asked Zelda.

Impa closed her eyes and began, "Many centuries ago, there lived an ancient kingdom of Sheikahs on an unknown continent far from Hyrule. They had built the most volatile force known to man. More powerful than even the Triforce. It is said that it had the power to recreate the gods. It had the strength to crush even the highest mountains down to the ground. They had called this vessel Carrion's Hand as it was built from the corpses of their fallen enemies. With this ship alone, they were the most potent empire in the entire world and nothing could stop them. However, after a few years, the craft was a magnet to evil and it drew legions of evil demons to it. Eventually, the Sheikahs had to bury it and put a guardian around it to slay any who even came close to this vessel. No one knows where it may be at this particular time not even their descendants as they have written the entire manuscript of its journals in an ancient writing that has not been used or remembered for years. The only key to cracking its code is known only as the Lens of Truth which was an ancient Sheikah artifact that had been a long time possession of the Shadow Emperor, the Sheikah leader."

Link looked into his leather pouch and pulled from it the Lens of Truth and showed it to Impa. The Lens of Truth was an awkward magnifying glass that had a red strip that ran down the center of it to resemble that of an eye. It had three transparent spikes at its top and purple handle. It was also known as the Eye of Truth and it had the power to see things that were hidden to the eye alone. Impa was taken aback. She had not known that Link had possessed the ancient artifact that had so long deluded her. "Link," she finally exclaimed, "with this you can see past illsusions and it will unviel the ancient writing to the spoken language of today. Guard it well, my friend, for Ganondorf may wish to pry it from you."

Link nodded and stuck the ancient artifact back into his pouch. He then remembered that he was supposed to be in bed at that very moment! If one of his friends saw that he was not in it, then they would surmise that he was off adventuring once again! Link bid a quick farewell to his friends and hopped aboard his horse, Epona, from Lon Lon Ranch. Epona was a strong young horse with a hoary mane. Her fine red fur was that of a fire and she was the sleekest and fastest horse in all of Hyrule. She had once belonged to Malon, the daughter of Talon who was the owner of Lon Lon Ranch itself. Link knew that Saria, his best friend, would be angrier with him than she already was if he was not home. Saria was a green-haired Kokiri girl. She had known Link since they were toddlers and had been friends for a long time. Unfortunately, their friendship came to an untimely end when Saria and he had gotten into a gruelling argument just a week before and she has barely spoken to him since then. Link so wanted to patch his friendship with her, but she refused to listen to him. Link feared that he would never speak to her again. The argument had been over him leaving the forest many times for adventures and leaving Saria behind. She had finally gotten fed up with him and decided that it was best not to see each other for a while until they deemed it time to start again.

Link raced against the clock as the sun climbed yet higher into the sky as Link quickly shortened the distance between him and his bed. The horse's hooves trodded quickly through the dew-covered grass of Hyrule Fields in an effort to beat the clock home before anyone would awaken from their beds. He had finally reached the small ravine that led to the Lost Woods, the barrier to his hometown, Kokiri Forest. He quickly lept from his horse's back and sprinted across the wooden bridge toward his hometown. Kokiri Forest was a small isolated village consisting of a child-like race called the Kokiri. It was centered in a small clearing in the mysterious Lost Woods. Its sky was always filled with floating balls of light that would sometimes collide and blow themselves into sparkling dust. The houses were made of tree trunks and the largest of these belonged to that of Mido, the "big boss of the Kokiri." Mido was an arrogant, juvenile delinquent. He was not very bright, no; he was, in fact, quite dimwitted. His stature was that of a duck or frog and he spoke with an annoying nasal voice. He was also very lethargic and had everyone do his responsibilities for him. He believes, in addition, that everyone loves him and that he is a very striking young man. His jokes would not make any sense and people usually pretended not to hear him. Mido also had affectionate feelings for Saria, but she tends to ignore him since he is always being mean toward others, especially Link.

Kokiri were a bit of a deminuitive race, as they never grow old beyond the age of thirteen. They were characterized by the green within their ears and that they always had a fairy about them. This, of course, was what set Link apart from them. First, Link did not have green within the hollow of his ears and he never had a fairy to call his own. Nevertheless, Link was accepted by the Kokiri as one of them and not much else (although Mido never wanted to; he was out voted). However, on one of his adventures, Link learned the truth about his origin because he was not a Kokiri at all. He was, in fact, a Hylian! However, that is a whole other story altogether. As he entered the silent realm of the woodfolk, he decided to creep along quietly toward his house as not to wake anyone from their restful slumber. The very moment, unfortunately, that he stepped foot within the meadow, he was shaken by a sudden voice that sounded of wind chimes. "Hello, Link, you naughty, naughty boy, " it said, "sneaking off again? Tsk, tsk, you are very rotten indeed." As the voice had finished its sentence, a ball of blue light with dipteran wings flew down in front of Link's face. The voice had belonged to this one ball of light whose name was Navi, a fairy. This fairy had accompanied Link on his first adventure to find the three Spiritual Stones of Hyrule, but that, too, is another story. Fairies were mainly women and there light was so bright that no one could actually see as to what they looked like. The male fairies, however, had an inverted color; having their dark colors on the inside of their light and their lighter colors around them.

"Go away, Navi, and not a word to anyone or I will personally clip your wings," replied Link in an irritated voice. Navi's blue light slowly turned into a bright red color.

"Do not talk to me with that tone of voice, mister!" Navi yelled.

Link gave a panicked look and said, "Be silent! The others might hear you!" Link stuck his left index finger to his mouth and made a shushing noise.

"Afraid are we?" Navi said with pride, "For all of this secrecy, you would deserve it! No wonder Saria is angry with you." Link shook his head and swiped his right hand at Navi in an attempt to shoo her away. Link then limbered over to his tree house ladder and began to climb it. Unfortunately, the pain in his knee refused him further upward and his left leg slipped. He caught himself before he could descend and he then began to climb upward once more. As he entered, he did not even bother to take his shoes off. He dropped his pouch and sword to the floor, forgetting the pain in his knee and chest. He then jumped from the doorway across the floor and into his bed. Navi then flew in to check on him and noticed that he was fast asleep. Apparently, he had dozed off in mid-air before he had even touched the sand bag mattress. Navi smiled to herself and decided not to bother him further as she silently flew out of the open doorway.

Link slowly opened his blood-shot eyes to the sound of clanking metal. He looked about his dark room to see where the noise had come from. He could barely make out the shape of a small scarecrow-like body with a wide-brimmed, tattered hat rummaging around in Link's cupboards. Link sat erect in fear. A burglar? HERE? In my HOUSE? He thought to himself. His face dripped in sweat and he looked toward the shape to see a small flying ball of white light. Link slowly climbed out of bed and stepped across the wooden floor at the same speed. The floorboards creaked slightly under Link's light weight. Link came ever nearer to the creature so he could actually touch it with his bare hands. However, he did not touch him, no; he clubbed him. The creature groaned at Link's attempt to knock it unconscoius and it turned quickly. Link could see its glowing eyes in the dark and the white ball of light revealed that it was none other than the Skull Kid of Termina with... Link's leather pouch and other miscellaneous items found about his abode. Skull Kids were the result of what would happen to non-elven folk if they had dared to enter Lost Woods (i.e: humans). Skull Kids were mischevious and theivish and this Skull Kid was no exception. He had stolen an evilly powered mask in the past and had brought misery to the land of Termina as he tried to smash it with its own moon. Link, however, beat the evil mask and saved all of Termina. When the two of them had last seen each other, they had departed as friends. What was he doing in Link's house with his things?

The Skull Kid looked down at his gunnysack filled with Link's things and quickly hid it behind his back as if to look innocent. "You have two seconds to brighten my mood," Link exclaimed with a groggy tone. The Skull Kid thought a bit and scratched his wooden head. He then concluded and reached up toward Link's head.

He then seized the long green Kokiri hat from Link's head and shouted, "Yoip! Souvenir!" The Skull Kid switched his own tattered hat with Link's and then somersaulted from Link's billet, over Link's porch, down the tree, and onto his back with a sickening thud. Link looked down from his tree house door to see the Skull Kid lying on the ground in a swastika form. Tatl, his vociferous fairy, floated above him and started telling her friend to get up. Link ascended down his ladder toward the fallen would-be theif in hopes that he could get his stuff back from him. As he descended, he took the liberty of removing the Skull Kid's sou'wester from his own head and pitched it over to his left. After doing this, he dropped from the ladder and landed next to the unconscoius brigand where he then began to see if he was badly injured.

Link bent over the Skull Kid and moved his right hand toward his own hat that was now a set the Skull Kid's head. At that moment, however, the Skull Kid's right eye opened slightly and he waited until Link came within range. As Link wrested the fedora from the bandit, Skull Kid, then, extended his left leg and jabbed his foot between Link's legs. Immediately, Link dropped the hat as Tatl began saying, "That's my boy, Skull Kid! Show him who is boss around here!" Link's eye pupil shrank to the size of a period as the eyes themselves opened wide. He gagged and began to curse and swear at the Skull Kid for his foul act. Finally, with a long intake of air, Link collapsed to the ground and exhaled. The Skull Kid beamed as he bent over to seize Link's sou'wester once again.

"Mine," the Skull Kid replied haughtily as he set the cap back upon his woodenhead. Before Link could get back up onto his feet, Skull Kid, with his fairy, began to somersault through Kokiri Forest laughing like circus clowns with a good joke.

Link gasped for air as he fought to his feet and finally breathed out: "I am going to get you!" Link began to limp toward the direction of the Skull Kid's exit. He did not get far when he had bumped into one of the twins. Lori was her name. She was the lethargic of the two while her sister, Kori, slaved away to get things done. She wore a white handkercheif over her red bangs of hair and her personality was not very good, according to her sister. She, however, spent her time writing letters to a young boy in Kakariko Village who liked to hang around graveyards. No one knows why or how they even have gotten to know each other in the first place since Kokiri are not allowed to leave the forest or their lives might end. That is, however, what Mido says anyway. The other sister was Kori and she was her sister's exact opposite, except for their appearance, in every way. She was a hard laborer and was always the one who had to do everything around the house without assistance. She did not have time to waste writing irrelevant letters to a mysterious someone who did not even live in the forest in the first place.

Link pushed himself off the ground to hear Lori say,"Hey! Watch where you are going!"

Link shook the dirt from his head and began, "Do not curtail my progress! That Skull Kid is getting away!"

Lori nodded and then pointed downward toward her leathery boots, which were covered in a plastic solution. "You mean the same Skull Kid that glued me to this spot?" Link was taken aback but agreed anyway. "If it will help to get even with the lousy toothpick, he last headed for Saria's house." Link gasped. If the Skull Kid did anything to harm Saria, then she might not want to talk to him ever again! He did not want to lose her friendship, as she was the best friend that he had ever had. As Link came to Saria's house, he looked around for any sign of the scummy troll named: Skull Kid. He was now beginning to fear that Skull Kid was already within the confines of Saria's abode. Link suddenly noticed a rusted bucket of water on the top of Saria's partially opened door and a laughing noise told him that the Skull Kid was dancing atop the roof. The Skull Kid chuckled as he jumped back and forth on the top and stood on one finger. Link hated the Skull Kid. If something terrible were to happen, he would never forgive him for that. Never. As of this moment, Link considered his "friendship" with the Skull Kid to be terminated.

Link sprinted forward to seize the bucket of water before Saria would open the door. The brass door handle twitched. Closer he came with the wind pulling back his hair and stinging his eyes. The door opened slowly. Link dove for the door. The bucket began to tumble. Link flew through the air. The Skull Kid laughed at Link's petty attempt. The contents of the bucket spilled out over Saria's head as Link slid in front of her feet. Link looked up at Saria with a face of strain and helplessness. Saria did not stir; she just stood in the doorway with an iron bucket over her face. Link slowly got up onto his feet and, with his index finger and thumb, slightly raised the bucket. He could barely see Saria's glowing blue eyes under the bucket. Saria narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms. Link searched his mind for something to say.