Silent Echoes: Betrayal of Blood: Prologue -- the Fifteen Years
~*~The Legend of Zelda~*~
Silent Echoes: Betrayal of Blood
Prologue – The Fifteen Years
It has been nearly fifteen years since the events of A Link to the Past. Hyrule has found peace once again, as Ganon and Agahnim were defeated and left in the folds of time. Princess Zelda has taken her father’s mantle as ruler of Hyrule and has become Queen of all of Hyrule and some of the outlaying lands surrounding Hyrule. Many of those who once followed Ganon now have redeemed themselves and are in the employ of the Queen, others were taken into the Sacred Realm and never seen or heard fromagain.
The seals that were once placed on the Sacred Realmhave been resealed by the Seven Maidens in an effort to ward off any others that may attempt to follow in Ganon’s footsteps. The Maidens then sealed themselves in the Sacred Realm in fear that they would be taken again inHyrule, placed into the deepest regions of the Sacred Realm where few would find them again. Here they could keep watch over the Triforce and the Sacred Realm until their last breath.
Over the course of the last fifteen years, many changes to the structure of Hyrule were implemented to ensure that Zelda couldrule effectively as Queen. Many advisors and governors were appointed to keep the peace on the outskirts of Hyrule, as well as inside the borders of the land. The bandits that once terrorized the Lost Woods now live peacefully in the same Woods, now recognized as Woodshire Village and often help secure the not only the forest border but also a relic of the past: the Master Sword.
Only a few select individuals remember the existence of the Master Sword, as it seemingly vanished from sight. In truth the Master Sword never left its location, hidden deeper within the Lost Woods so that no one else would be able to wield it not only for its power but also its ability to allow only one enter the Sacred Realm once again. Hidden by the Maidens before their departure into the Sacred Realm, kept safe by the bandits who still reside in the forest, the Master Sword is a forgotten relic of a time that those in Hyrule wish to forget.
But not all will remain calm for long.
The Zora, living in what is now called Zora’s Domain, have kept something underneath a sacred pool and hidden away per the order of Queen Zelda: a crystal formation that had been left from the time the Maidens had walked freely among the people of Hyrule. This crystal had been one of three that even the smallest sliver could allow a person to enter the realm between the Golden Land and the Light World, the realm called the Land of the Shadows. A land created by the Maidens and the will of the Triforce as a buffer between these two worlds fifteen years prior so that there would be no repeat of history again.
But, like the ways into the Golden Land prior to Ganon’s horrible influence, these were lost to the world as a whole and nearly forgotten. The Zora, having found a way to remain in the graces of the Queen, took it upon themselves to keep watch over this last remaining crystal and to make sure that it did not fall into the wrong hands.
Fall the crystal did, as did the Domain itself. Limping into the Royal Palace and falling at the feet of Queen Zelda and her advisors, the last of the Zora collapsed along with only a few shards of the crystal remaining in their hands. When the last ten Zora awoke and were strong enough to tell the Queen of what had happened, a tale of their own Domain going up against them, of creatures thought to have left after the defeat of Ganon, Zelda retreated into her chambers with the last of the crystal.
From that she created ten pendants, of which she then took ten trusted couriers to ten different locations around Hyrule and on its outskirts to keep the last of the crystal safe. She then had her most loyal and trusted of her Guard to scour Hyrule for the remaining part of the crystal and to keep guard over the three entrances to the Land of the Shadows. Fear gripped the Palace, as rumors spread that there would be another dark period in Hyrule, that Ganon had returned once their Hero had left them and now there was no one to help defend the land.
A year and a half passed without any new leads. The remaining Zora fled Hyrule in fear that the blame of the crystal’s disappearance would cause them even further harm then it already had, the once proud Domain that had served Hyrule’s Royal Family for generations now lay in ruins. Rumors of what lurked in the shadows faded to distant memories, the crystal and the stories of old were again pushed back to bedtime stories. And yet Zelda still held onto the fear that the Shadow Land had been breached and the Sacred Realm was now in trouble once again.
One night a lone caravan had stopped on the western outskirts of the Palace and there the traveling trading nomads brought in goods to the Palace from across the world. A small crate was left behind for the Queen and her advisors, the nomads giving a sealed letter to the Queen as they bowed out of the Palace. Inside the crate was a part of the missing crystal, the letter opened with only a dire warning:
’Too comfortable Hyrule has become. Always keep watch to the shadows, even ones you cannot see.’
The letter was not signed, the ink faded, and the parchment torn and worn. By the time the Royal Guards had gone to the area where the nomads had set up, the caravan was long since gone. Disappeared into the night as though the caravan and the nomads had never even existed. Frightened, Zelda then ordered her Guards to search and retrieve the couriers with the pendants and bring them back to the Palace. As the Guards left the Palace, Zelda then began to devise a way to find another Hero to help Hyrule and to keep the peace within the land.
Over the course of the next three months, only two of the couriers remained alive and were brought to the Palace for questioning. The surviving couriers explained that they had been chased by shadows and creatures they had thought to be long since dead. They still had their pendants, now surrendered to Zelda and the couriers were put into a hiding spot until such tim ethat it was safe for them to return to their normal lives. The bodies of the slain couriers were brought to the Palace in the coming weeks, their eyes takenout and the pendants they had been holding onto gone.
Zelda and her advisors soon devised a plan to find their Hero or Heroes, to help defend the entrances to the Land of the Shadows, to give the people of Hyrule a sense of calm, and to keep the remaining peace in the land. Notices of a Tournament of Champions soon went up all over Hyrule, a Tournament to be held in a month’s time to find the bravest and most loyal of Champions to join the Royal Guard. Open to every person in Hyrule, soon the minds of the people were focused on the Tournament and the prospect of joiningt he Queen’s Guard.