New Fan Works
Old Fan Works
“Servant of Night”
Servant of Night
By: Bongo Bill
The truth, as they say, will set you free.
What a load of bull.
An untrue word has never crossed my lips except for in ignorance. And look what it has gotten me. I rot in a dungeon in some castle they never told me where it was. I haven’t seen daylight for, oh, it must be eight years. And the last time was purely by accident.
The only reason they keep me alive is because they think I may know something. I have told them all I know.
They think I am hiding something simply because I wanted to be on what I thought was the winning side.
But I go ahead of myself. Let me tell you my story.
I was young, and a soldier in Hyrule. This was about the time that Ganondorf Dragmire had just begun to atone for his crimes by swearing fealty to our King.
Even then his seeds of treachery had begun to be sown.
I was one of the better soldiers, a quick thinker and looking forward to a long line of promotions. Or so I was told by me officers.
Ganondorf also saw this.
One night, in Autumn, I think—strange that I should remember that—he took a number of soldiers and guards aside, and he very secretively demonstrated his power and plans to us. With my own eyes I saw him tear the flesh from the bones of one of us who was planning treachery without so much as raising a finger. Perhaps he used some of his magic on us to weaken our wills. I don’t know.
But every last one of us—save the one whom he killed—left with the desire to serve him the utmost wish in our hearts.
Lay low, he told us. Do nothing out of the ordinary.
It was rather difficult to lay low, however: all of us, whether by his own influence or some lingering residue of the magic he used on us, were promoted within a month.
Eventually the day came: Ganondorf had seen an omen in a small child and it was time for us to move.
Some of us moved the castle’s guards to other locations and took their places, others did their parts to make the castle’s security lax enough for our master’s plan to work.
That night, attempted to kidnap the Princess, but he was thwarted by another traitor. The traitor had attempted to flee to the alleys and was struck dead where he stood.
Our master seemed to pursue the fleeing horse, but somehow managed to desecrate the Temple of Time within an hour.
Ganondorf somehow avoided punishment for his actions, something which I have not been able to explain to this day. Or is it night? Does it even matter?
Ganondorf sent “search parties” out through the countryside to look for the “missing” princess; search they did, but they had strict orders to bring them directly to Dragmire rather than to the King, as his official decree demanded.
When the searches brought no results for a year, our master decided it was time for action. He enlisted me and a number of his finest servants, who had been growing steadily in number over the years. He did not, however, tell us exactly what it was we were supposed to do.
A coup. He had to administer an extra dose of that will-breaking magic to make us think we were justified in murdering our beloved King.
It was late at night, and the King was out at one of his palaces, along with a guard composed wholly of Ganondorf’s men.
We were to capture him, keep him alive so our master could be the last thing he saw.
Which was not to say that after we had him bound and gagged, we did not take our own little liberties. Oh, how he tried to scream! The bruises, the welts that he was left with!
Our master came just as we were getting to the good part. He commanded us to stop, and said something that I could not hear because his own commands to me were all I could hear.
“You will kill him,” he said. “Stab him in the back.”
I was filled with a joy that has never been felt, an honor that has never been matched. I would be the one to raise my exalted master to his rightful throne! How foolish I was!
The King was too exhausted to make any noise at the knife going through his ribs. I thought I heard a sigh of relief, or maybe a sigh of regret, but that was all.
He would have seized power then if not for the Chancellor, who is keeping me here. But who could have foreseen that?
Ganondorf’s conquests were glorious, or so they seemed to me at the time. He swept all across Hyrule, my companions and I leading his armies of monsters and driving those who would not submit back and back—the mountains where monsters fear to tread was spared because of their cowardice and fear of measly Gorons!—and so it came to be that the very castle Ganondorf had failed to claim was all that remained.
The walled city of Hyrule and its Castle put up a fantastic fight, one which I would have been proud to have fought had I not been claim it for the aggressors.
The siege went on for months, but the Evil King—the title he had taken—came up with a plan. He was pleased with my successes in the past, so I was chosen for it.
I tunneled under the walls in a hole too narrow for monsters and entered the city.
I forget the exact details, so blinded was I by the joy and honor that would be mine after completing such a glorious task, but I betrayed the city. I destroyed the drawbridge, and the monsters flooded in.
People soon flooded out. It was a spectacular bloodbath; the ground was black with blood long before we were done. No one was left alive in the city, and the castle was torn down regardless of who was in it at the time.
After I oversaw the last few trifling details, I was witness to one of the most glorious sights that any mortal eye ever beheld: the raising of Ganondorf’s castle.
The very stones tore themselves from the ground and floated in a huge whirlwind in the sky; they left a large island floating over a large put of boiling magma.
Then they began to assemble themselves: a huge black tower rising out of the center of the mightiest fortress ever made; the only palace fit for our King.
And so we waited. I took residence in the Tower, the only one of Ganondorf’s servants worthy of such an honor.
It was a number of years before anything exciting happened, so I decided to present my master with a gift worthy of him.
His horse, though strong, was aging. I convinced my master to give his horse away, but to whom I never knew. Meanwhile I contacted a local ranch; I inspected it thoroughly, claiming to be a messenger from the King of Evil. The ranch was owned by a very lazy man, whom I promptly fired. I demanded that the ranch’s finest horse be presented to me as soon as possible. The new owner, a weasely laborer by the name of Ingo, agreed to it with little persuasion.
Nothing much else happened for the years until Link came.
And you already know that story.
I was in the castle when he broke in. I don’t know how I survived the collapse, but I saw him kill my master. I fainted, and woke up here.
What? My name? I don’t know my name and I don’t know why. It has been very generous of you to sit and listen to my mad ramblings. And my bread and water is almost here, and I think you’d better leave, whoever you are.
Link walked out of the dungeons rather confused. Of course, he had been confused the whole time, mostly about how he had gotten to the lower dungeons without knowing. Then he met that slightly insane old man who the guards had said was being kept there by an official order of the late Chancellor. Even Link’s status as a hero could not get that evidently harmless person out of there.
So he had found his way up to the castle, and meant to tell Zelda, soon-to-be-Queen of Hyrule, of this.
When he found her, this is what he said:
“Hi, Zelda. Something funny happened to me just now. I have no idea how it happened, but I got lost in the lower dungeons. You know nobody’s supposed to be kept down there? Well, it turns out the Chancellor had a prisoner there, with guards who were supposed to keep the whole thing as secret as they could.
“Now, I convinced them to let me talk to the guy. It’s this old soldier Ganondorf brainwashed, and they’re holding him there, thinking he’s got lots of secrets to tell them.
“Which, of course, he doesn’t. But they’re still not letting him go.
“So I was wondering if there was some way you could get him out.
Zelda thought about this.
The Chancellor was a shrewd little man with his country’s best interests at heart. Nobody trusted him. When Zelda’s father had still lived, the Chancellor was just an advisor, but when Ganondorf took over, he promoted himself and abdicated as soon as Zelda returned.
“Why would the Chancellor keep this prisoner a secret?” she mused.
“Well, he, uh, was the person who, uh, killed you father.” That last part was muttered and barely audible.
Zelda was a wise and understanding person. She was also, for the time being, very silent. “If he was brainwashed,” she said finally, “then it wasn’t his fault.
“Show me the prisoner.”
Link led her down to the lowest levels of the dungeon, where a guard stopped them.
“Your highness, I cannot allow you to enter this room.”
“And why not?” Zelda asked.
“There is, ah, a dangerously insane man inside.”
Link knew this was not true. “He’s not dangerously insane. I was just in there.”
“I have strict orders from the late Chancellor not to allow anyone inside. I still have no idea how you got in there, sir; this is the only entrance.”
“Let us through,” said Zelda.
The guard insisted that he not do so.
“I order you to admit us,” she said. Not even the Chancellor outranked the Princess and heir-apparent.
And so, the guard reluctantly swung open the rusty, squeaky door.
Inside the stone-walled room were a cell and a guard. Inside the cell, a ragged, bearded man who looked older than he was hunched over the remains of a meal and stared at Link and Zelda. Slowly, realization set it.
“Ah, it’s you again!” said the old soldier. “And you’ve brought company, how delightful!”
The guard said, at more or less the same time, “Your highness, it is not my place to ask you to leave but I must warn you, this prisoner is dangerous.”
The madman heard this and muttered, “The King? That is not the King. He is dead.” His voice changed to a sorrowful tone. “I... killed him.”
“He was Ganondorf Dragmire’s top lieutenant,” continued the guard, “and a madman. His madness seems to come and go, and Link was fortunate to come at one of his calmer times.”
“Link?” gasped the incredulous prisoner. “You are Link? I saw you kill Ganondorf!”
“You told me,” said Link. “This is Zelda, the Princess. Please tell her your story.”
The old soldier bowed, said, “Your Majesty, it is an honor,” and began, telling almost exactly the same story as he had told Link.
When he was done, Zelda said, “And you say you’ve told them everything?”
“Yes I have, Majesty.”
She turned to the guard. “Why is he still locked up if he has told you all he knows?”
The guard replied, “We have reason to doubt him, and he is homicidally insane.”
“He doesn’t seem homicidally insane to me.”
The man soon proved that wrong. “No,” he said. “I won’t. Why? No!” With an obvious effort he turned to Link and Zelda. “Can you hear him? Ganondorf, telling me to kill you. Get out, please.”
“I must insist that you do as he says,” said the guard hastily. “He’s broken free from the cell before.”
“No! I won’t do it!” The man was lying on the floor, and he began convulsing.
“Oh Din no.” That was the guard. “Majesty, please leave now! He’s going into a fit!”
“Come on, Zelda.” That was Link. “I don’t want you getting hurt.”
The man shrieked, “Help me!” and rose, his back curved painfully backwards and an expression of utter agony on his face. Then he calmed down. His face seemed full of cold fury. He grasped one of the bars of the cell and pulled.
It bent, then lodged itself free and fell to the ground with a clang.
Link didn’t see what happened next since he pushed Zelda through the door and was about to follow when he was leapt upon from behind. Darkness consumed everything but the sharp pain in the back of his head, and that, too, faded.
Why didn’t you kill them when you had the chance?
I will not kill them.
They killed me!
I am free of your lies.
But are you free of me? Kill them and I will be avenged.
They have done nothing to me.
They ridded you of me!
Death was your punishment. And I am not free of you yet.
Kill them, then, and be free!
I know you better than you know yourself, fool. And I know you lie.
You swore to obey me!
You are dead and gone, I do not obey those who do not exist.
But I am not gone; kill them!
I will not.
I command you, by the sacred Triforce, to kill them!
You have but one part of the Triforce.
I command you by the oath you swore!
Your oath has no hold on me any longer.
I will break you.
Not before I am free of you.
You are free of the bars again, and the only ones who could stop you cannot. Why do you hesitate?
I want freedom. They will give it to me.
They are lying. They will lock you up again, and you will be stuck with me.
No worse than I am now.
Kill them, damn you! You have a weapon! You have all the reason you could need! You have the opportunity! Slay them, and be free!
I have no reason to kill them. And if I kill them they will kill me, and there is no freedom in death.
Death is the only freedom!
And you are denied it?
More than you know. Kill them.
KILL THEM! KILL THEM! KILL THEM!...
“Help me,” whispered the old madman as he gently, slowly set down the cudgel he had stolen from the guard. “Please.”
Zelda was the only one there, the Link and the other guard having been knocked out, so she assumed he was talking to her. “I...” she was too terrified to speak.
The man looked around, as though seeing for the first time what was around him. “Oh, ye gods, what have I done?” Then he collapsed as though from exhaustion.
The man and Link both woke up the following morning.
Link was in one of the castle’s numerous guest rooms, in a bed and wearing little. His head hurt and he was still sleepy, so he went back to sleep.
The old man woke up in another guest room. The bed was soft and comfortable, more so than anything he had slept in for, oh, nearly thirty years. He was also very hungry.
He looked around the room, and he recognized it. So he was in one of the guest rooms in Hyrule Castle. There were guards in it, and one of them rushed outside.
It was only a few minutes longer until the second person that he told his story to, the, er, the Princess came in. “Your majesty,” he said. “I am terribly sorry about what I did in the dungeons. But I am quite mad, you see.
“I hear Ganondorf talking to me from beyond the grave, telling me to kill people.
“Will you help me?”
Zelda was stunned by the madman’s speech. In those seven years of running from him, she had learned Ganondorf’s power better than anyone else. If he was still able to talk to his allies...
No. He could not; this man was merely driven insane when Ganondorf died while he was under the effect of the immensely powerful will-breaking magic.
“I will do what I can,” she promised. “I don’t think he’s talking to you. His death probably just drove you insane. And insanity is not easily cured. But I promise you I will do what I can.”
“Thank you, Highness,” he said as she left.
I told you they would free me.
They took you from the bars and put you in a new prison. How is that freedom?
She said she would free me from you.
She lied. You cannot trust anyone.
Not even you?
You already know the answer to that. Why didn’t you kill her when you had the chance?
I never kill my host.
You killed the King.
You fight dirty.
I can make you relive that memory for the rest of your natural life.
Do what you will. You have no power over me.
I made you knock out Link, didn’t I?
The King was tied up tightly at his wrists, a cloth tied over his mouth.
No. You cannot.
I can and am.
He was covered in blue-purple bruises, and bled thick blood in from least a dozen more wounds. His eyes were closed, and his head drooped over his chest, occasionally lolling.
No! It is impossible!
You fool. You can never know “impossible” until you have tasted the power I made my own. Then, and only then, do you know what can be done and what cannot.
You are not real; I am mad. Yes, I am mad.
Are madmen half so sensible as you?
You flatter me.
Ganondorf strode imperiously in the room, and one of the soldiers lifted the King’s head up by his hair.
See that? It is me.
It is a twisted and evil man full of lies, and you are a figment of my mad imagination.
Ganondorf said something to the King, but I heard something else entirely. “You will kill him,” he seemed to say, “Stab him in the back.”
Here comes my favorite part.
I was overcome with... no!
You see? You cannot make me do anything.
That you can control your thought better than I can proves nothing.
On the contrary: I can control my thoughts, and I can therefore control my actions.
You are a fool.
How strange! I am calling myself a fool and I don’t agree with myself!
They will die. You will kill them.
Make me. I dare you.
Kill them! Kill them, I say!
You would dare mock me?
I could kill you now.
At least then I wouldn’t have to listen to you any more. I have nothing left to live for.
Then why not end it all?
To spite you.
What is that supposed to mean?
Wouldn’t you like to know.
You wouldn’t have treated me this way when I lived, damn you.
Well, I owe you nothing. You are dead, and I owe nothing to dead men.
You owe allegiance to your King.
I owe allegiance to my country.
You can never be free.
And you would know?
You don’t sound like the King of Evil would have at the height of his power.
Death changes a man. What’s your point?
The reason for this is that you are not he.
I could kill you.
Then kill me.
I hate you.
Has the great King of Evil stooped so low?
Your soul is mine once you are dead.
And people say I’m crazy.
When Link woke up again, he was hungry. So he got up, got dressed, and went to the Royal Kitchens, all the while worried about Zelda.
His worries were alleviated when he saw her. But she seemed to be thinking deeply. No doubt shaken by the events of the previous day.
She didn’t notice him, so he went about his business.
Zelda was worried indeed. She had promised to do all she could to help that nameless madman. Why in Nayru’s name had she done that?
But she had promised and that was that. But how to help him?
There was an insane asylum in the city, but while it was a very helpful place for those who were not very insane, it merely confined people as mad as this one. What could she do?
It has been days since you were brought here.
Nonsense, she just left a few minutes ago.
Or so you think, madman.
I know the difference between insanity and idiocy.
Yes. I’m insane, you’re an idiot.
I’ve got an idea. Why don’t you kill yourself instead? Then we’d both be rid of each other.
Not if my soul is yours once I die, remember?
Kill yourself, or kill Link, or kill Zelda, or kill one of the guards, but kill somebody.
I knew it. You can’t make me do anything.
Just watch me.
I’ve been watching. For “days.”
Will you leave me alone?
Only if you leave me alone.
No deal. Go. Kill yourself. There’s a nice sharp bedpost not three feet away.
Go on, impale yourself on it.
You delight in tormenting me, don’t you?
If you are who you claim, you made me kill the King. If you aren’t, you’re still a real pain in the ass.
I am he. And if I made you kill the King, I can make you kill yourself.
I’m still waiting.
The old man rose from bed, still dressed in his ragged, thin prison garments.
He acted as though he were going to run himself on the sharp metal bedpost, but then decided not to.
Then he turned abruptly to the guards, taking a fighting stance.
He looked as surprised as the guards did.
You see? I can make you do anything.
You have no power over me.
I have more than you.
So now I can’t control my actions.
Not when I don’t let you.
You couldn’t get me out of this room
Just watch me.
Then the madman relaxed a little.
Without warning, he kicked both the guards at the same time, right between the legs. He fell on his own rear end.
But before the guards, who were in a lot of pain, could react, he hit them very hard on the backs of their unprotected heads. They collapsed to the ground.
The old man walked out into the halls.
I can do anything.
Only because I let you.
And why did you let me?
I wanted out.
You didn’t want that just a minute ago.
What’s your point?
And even if you did, you didn’t want to harm the guards.
Do you mean to say that—
Yes, I do.
No. It cannot be.
Yes. I made you do it.
You did not.
What proof do you have, madman?
I know that... that...
You have no power over yourself. I am in control.
If I can’t be in control, then nobody can!
You won’t do anything without my consent.
If anyone had been conscious to watch the old man, they would have seen him sort of stagger back into the room, the stagger back out, then lean on the doorknob for a while, then stagger back in, then back out, and so on and so forth for a few minutes, until he finally went in and decided to stay there.
I’m killing myself, damn you!
I would! If I can’t make myself do anything, I certainly won’t let you!
What’s this? You? Concerned for my welfare?
The sharp piece of metal on the bedpost was so close to his face that he couldn’t see it properly. He moved his head back, and run his eye on it, and pain exploded. In his head before everything went black for one last time.
You fell for it.
It doesn’t matter. I can feel myself dying, and you with me.
And your soul is mine.
What’s that? I can barely hear you over the sound of heaven...
Zelda came into the madman’s room as fast as she could, when the guards had come to and found her. Link was trailing.
Inside was a gruesome sight: the man’s head was stuck on the bedpost, his eye rammed through it. The bed itself was stained with copious amounts of blood.
“What... what happened here?” she managed to say.
“He, ugh, he knocked us out. That’s all we know,” replied one of the guards.
Zelda said nothing. At least the old
man didn’t have to deal with his madness any more.