This was my entry for the January writing contest, the beginning of a larger piece of work to supplement my fanfiction, Evil's Bane. The pilot episode in a newly-envisioned series of short stories, this chronicles the adventures of some of the characters, primarily the antagonists, that we have all come to cherish, and yet know precious little about, bringing them closer to not only the present, but to a greater understanding of their personalities and heritage. Some may receive multiple episodes, so if things don't seem wrapped up, don't fret!
And just as an FYI, as most readers of my work could tell, this first episode is rather long, weighing in at over 7600 words, so sit back, have a beverage of your choice, and enjoy!
Episode One: “Inheritance”
Rising from the eastern crest of the mountains like a Goddess, the morning sun filtered through the brumous clouds in the sky and settled warmly upon Ganondorf Dragmire’s face, causing him to stir from his haunted slumber. Merely a boy of ten years of age, his meager frame shuddered as the cold of the desert night slowly began to ebb, being replaced by that building heat and scorching winds of the desert.
Reaching up with a dark-skinned hand, Ganondorf rubbed the sleep away from his senses and pushed the matted red hair out of his eyes. The piercing glare of the sun was blinding, uncomfortably passing through his closed eyelids as if they were merely parchment. He pulled himself up from his cot, away from the open gap of his window, and took solace in the shadow.
Restless had been his dreams of late, full of dark visions and ephemeral glimpses into the unknown. Weeks since he last awoke refreshed, the constant strain of his condition was edging at his mind, taunting his sanity.
This night he saw a dragon, coursing through the desert sands as a fish through the streams of a river. It seemed to beckon to him, call for him, entice him to follow into the deep desert. Few Gerudo ever ventured passed the western gate, and fewer still ever returned. Sometimes one would come back, wasted until near death, clutching something like a polished rock or shard of pottery as their lifeblood faded.
Nothing good ever came from that feral expanse of earth. The place was haunted, as many of the old women would say late at night to the crackling of the fires. Nothing of value was out there, save a quick death, be it desired. And should you die out there, alone, away from your people, you would be cursed to wander the dunes forever in solitude, and would be doomed to bring others to the same fate.
Brushing it off as just a dream, Ganondorf rose to his feet and stretched out his stiff muscles. His training yesterday was brutal, and he still felt it deep in his bones. Scar tissue and bruises covered his chest like a trophy case of battle, though he knew today would be even worse.
His surrogate mothers, Koume and Kotake, were relentless in his studies. They were always pushing him, guiding him, forcing him down paths he did not necessarily wish to take. It was as if they knew the future that lay before him, knew what skills he would need to survive. As the only male heir of the Gerudo, the only one that was to reign for a hundred years as king, assuredly war and warring was to be his skill. Swordplay, martial arts, dark magic; a trio of disciplines that he was required to not only master, but learn to use as one.
The morning crier upon the high tower of the fortress began the daily ritual, giving prayers and sacrifice to the sun and the desert. Her voice was loud and clear, the ancient Gerudo tongue flowing from her as if she were born to it. Ganondorf had never learned the ancient texts, as his adoptive parents felt he should study more of the forms of battle before learning the forms of the mind. It was a foreign speech that he could not understand, but he still appreciated the beauty of the carefully placed notes.
His brow furrowed. He wished to do archery today, as it was less physically demanding than the other trials, but he knew he was scheduled for scimitar training with Mistress Shaela, the Gerudo Second-in-Command. Her form and tact were callous at best, but she was the best fighter in the whole of the fortress. There was much he could learn from her, if she would but teach him, rather than spend hours and hours beating him with the wooden blades.
Ganondorf placed a hand upon his ribs. They were still sore from his last lesson with the Mistress.
Footsteps could be heard padding down the hall, nearing Ganondorf’s room. They were light and even, nearly silent, but his keen ears and training had taught him to know each and every Gerudo woman’s gait as if it were his own.
It was Mistress Shaela, coming to collect him for his lessons.
Reaching for his tunic, the pale-white one with the blue and red embroidered trim, the standard tabard of his position, he quickly threw it over his head. If there was one thing Shaela demanded, it was punctuality. If he were still sleeping or in any way not ready to begin, she would start, wether or not he was able to defend himself, and wail upon him with that wooden scimitar until he was beaten to within an edge of his life.
She was a cruel teacher, but there were no others apt to the task. Training the king of the Gerudo was no small undertaking, as the very threads that bind the clan could become unwoven if he were weak. Only the strongest were allowed to teach. The rest were kept apart, lest their failings influence their one and future leader. It was known as the Rule of Strength, and it was an unbreakable law that they all held dear.
The red and gold curtain draped over Ganondorf’s door silently parted and Shaela entered, exuding power and contempt. She always acted as if she hated him. It was a lie, but he knew it was for his own good. Any sign of weakness, any lack of respect on either end, would unravel everything she was trying to accomplish.
She was a handsome woman, slightly older than most, but still strong and fast enough to take on any invading force, or other Gerudo for that matter. Her deep green eyes, accented by yellow eyeshadow, reflected the incoming sunshine, hiding her apparent motives, and her long, flowing red hair was tightly bound above her head, as to not interfere with her work. Dressed in crimson attire, accented with golden gauntlets, she looked ready for battle; ready for war. A yellowy jewel was draped from the band in her hair and rested firmly against her forehead, gently shimmering in the sunlight, showcasing both her power and her position.
She once told him that she always wore red to his training so the stains from his blood would not show, but he was not sure if it was truth or merely another lesson in deceptive training. She was enigmatic, distant, her eyes empty whenever she beat him, but there was always life to her in the mornings. Slowly as the days wore on, however, what little was left of her own personal being eroded away into the soldier, the shield-maiden of the Gerudo; a master of body and mind.
Wordless, Shaela stood there under the frame of his door, holding the curtain at bay, staring at the boy-king with her piercing eyes. As before every altercation, one of her eyebrows raised, ever so slightly.
With lightning speed, Shaela’s fists erupted from their static position and swung at Ganondorf, the very air whistling through the gaps in the metal rings within her gauntlets. Expecting the sudden rush, Ganondorf reacted by gripping his hands behind his back, relying on his quicker feet for protection, rolling his body away to dodge the hardened steel.
“Defense is a losing battle,” Shaela’s dark voice said, never relenting the swinging of her fists. “Sooner or later, you must fight back!”
Ganondorf was struggling to keep up with the fury, but found the mental strength to manage. Having just woke up, and being on an empty stomach no less, he felt himself doing adequately.
Seeing his uncaring for the situation, Shaela mixed up her technique and started using her feet. Moving, circling, intermingling the space between them, she invaded his secure places, probing his form for weaknesses.
Coming fully awake, his muscles no longer tense, Ganondorf was unable to refrain from smiling. He had dodged or redirected every single attack so far, not once receiving a blow, which was much better than last week’s morning encounter.
Shaela stopped her attacks and took a step back, giving Ganondorf some room to breathe. “And what lesson has been learned today?”
Ganondorf grinned and was about to speak when Shaela landed a direct punch right into his nose. Recoiling from the hit, he was not able to form a proper counter defensive before Shaela landed another hit with her foot, right into his chest. His body flung over his cot and into a near bookcase, shattering the shelves, the contents spilling out onto the floor.
“Lesson learned?” she asked again.
“An enemy is an enemy.” he replied, his chest feeling as if it were to split open. “No matter what they were before.”
Now Shaela took the time to smile. “Good. Now ready yourself, Lord Ganondorf. I wish to see you in my hall in five minutes.”
Without another word, Shaela left the room, but not before dropping a wooden scimitar onto the floor.
Sitting up, resting his back against the shattered bookcase, Ganondorf winced at the pain, gripping his already sore ribs. A couple more hits like that and they would shatter. He was sure of it.
Reaching up to wipe away the slight trickle of blood at the corner of his lips, he reveled in the copper-ish taste, one he now knew so well. Unable to refrain from letting out a painful laugh, he grit his teeth, relieved that this day had already started out better than most.
Quickly devouring some meat and bread before heading down to his next lesson, the wooden scimitar strapped to his back, Ganondorf sighed at his lack of free time. It was lesson after lesson, teacher after teacher, from rise to dusk. There was to be no respite for him, not for even one day, for his mothers deemed his time too short. Even though they would not tell him why or how they knew, as they rarely spoke of the future to him or the other Gerudos, he was positive they were hiding something.
Passing through hall after empty hall, most the guards being out on the grounds doing drills to keep up with their training, Ganondorf came to an open balcony. Knowing himself to have a few moments of excess, he walked out into the open sunlight. Immediately realizing he was not alone, he nonchalantly walked out to the railing and gripped it tightly.
“Son,” Koume said, her aging and bent form clinging to what little shade remained out in the open.
“Mother.” Ganondorf did not look at her, but kept his sight upon the women sparring down below. “I thought you would be in the desert today.”
“Kotake is in the desert today.” Koume inched toward the interior of the fortress as the sun neared. “Searching the western wastes.”
“The wastes?” Ganondorf was unable to hide his concern. “Why would she go out there? Nobody goes out that far.”
“Do you remember Mistress Alana? She used to be a teacher here when you were very small.”
“Alana....” Ganondorf mulled over the name. “Wait...was she the one with the....” He pointed to the fingers on his left hand.
“Yes, Alana was missing most of her hand, an old war wound, though she usually hid it with a gauntlet. Your memory serves you well, Lord Ganondorf. Better still that you knew that detail when she strove so hard to keep it concealed from all.”
“I remember she was kind to me, or at least that’s the feeling I get when I think of her. Whatever happened to her? I don’t remember her leaving, but I have not seen her for years.”
“Alana went into the wastes on the night before your seventh birthday.” Koume was now fully inside of the fortress, the sun beaming directly onto the balcony. “She said that she had a vision, of something out there, in the desert, calling to her. We tried to stop her, but she fled in the night during your birthday celebration. We did not see her again until last night.”
“She’s returned?” Ganondorf kept the fact that he, too, felt drawn to the desert and that his dreams were of something out there, beckoning him to come.
Koume shook her head. “She did not survive the night. She was beyond dead when she came stumbling into the camp, but somehow her heart was still beating. If it were not for the alertness of the watch on the western gate, she would have died before even making it inside and we would not have heard her story.”
“Where did she go?”
Koume folded her emaciated arms, the long, draping folds of her darkly ornate robes swaying gently in the wind. “She claimed that she saw one of the Goddesses, and was taken into her house. An absurd notion, but it has been three years since she went into the wastes. She could not have survived on her own, so there are parts to her tale that must be true. But her speech was wild, crazed even. Something took her, out there in the desert, and had twisted her mind.”
“Like what?” Ganondorf was unsure he wanted to know. “I thought there was nothing out in the wastes but sandstorms.”
“I do not know. Me and Kotake believe her to have gone mad while in the desert, but we cannot take the chance to ignore it. If she did indeed find something out there, deep in the sands, it must be found. Especially if something it is something of the three Goddesses.”
“Like the Sacred Relic?” Ganondorf asked. “Do you think there might be a piece of that out there?”
Koume started, but trailed off as the soft padding of a thief came up from behind, even and nearly silent. Ganondorf closed his eyes in consternation, knowing this beating would indeed be severe. It was Mistress Shaela, and he was late for his lessons.
“Ah, Mistress Shaela.” Koume shuffled her old feet over. “Forgive my keeping of Lord Ganondorf for these few moments. There are things at work that he needed to be aware of.”
“Such as?” Shaela was not one to allow another to neglect the king’s studies.
“Mistress Alana returned last night.” Ganondorf took a step forward, trying to show he did not fear the other. “From the desert.”
Shaela raised a hand, ready to strike Ganondorf for spreading lies, but her hand was stayed by Koume.
“He speaks the truth, as I have told him such things.”
“Impossible!” Shaela shook her head in disbelief. “No Gerudo has ever return from the desert after a week, let alone three years!”
“Nevertheless, it is truth.” Koume began to walk away. “You, both of you, are to meet me in the courtyard tonight, before sunset. There is more to tell, but mine eyes are weary.”
Both Ganondorf and Shaela watched as the old woman moved her feet along the cool stone, heading toward her chambers. She seemed frightfully aged, and had been for some time now. Both felt for her, fearing the sisters’ time was coming to an end.
“Lord Ganondorf.” Shaela turned to him. “Know that even though you were retained by one of your mothers, that still does not excuse your absence.”
“But, seeing how things are afoot, your lesson for today will be postponed...for now.” She motioned with her eyes for him to be about his way.
Keeping his hands loose, just in case another test was at hand, he walked away from his teacher and headed back to the kitchens, eager to get a full stomach, rather than his usual quarter helpings.
Releasing a sigh of frustration, Shaela walked out onto the balcony and looked out to the west, seeing the raising sands spinning into dust devils on the horizon.
After a day of laying about, practicing some archery, and walking the grounds of his fortress, Ganondorf’s heart began to race with excitement when the sun finally began to set. Brilliant streams of reds and oranges painted across the desert’s face, cutting through the constant storms and feral gusts, creating a fury of ardent color. He stood there, back upon that same balcony, watching down below.
Koume was there, sitting on a bench, waiting peacefully. In her hands was a jar, one that he had never seen before, and she was clinging to it as if it were a child; precious and fragile. Shaela was nowhere to be seen, but he was sure that she was around, lurking in the shadows.
At last, when the sun had just began to disappear below the horizon, Ganondorf leapt from the high balcony, using the rooftops below to slide and reach the bottom level. Pounding down to the ground, the speed of it making him drop to a knee, he smiled to himself. They never let him do that.
His smile quickly receded as an unsheathed scimitar reached for his throat. No longer carrying the wooden imitation, Shaela was at his side, threatening his life, the smell of the cold steel filling his nostrils.
“Lesson learned?” the Gerudo asked of her pupil.
Ganondorf swallowed the lump in his throat. “Never jump into a situation where you cannot see all angles of attack?”
Shaela pulled her blade away and sheathed it. “Good.”
Ganondorf dared a glance to her, and saw she was carrying not one, but two blades, each secured in an X fashion upon her back. A matching veil of crimson was draped around her face, and her clothing was thicker than her normal wear.
She was dressed for war.
“Come, children,” Koume said, motioning for the pair to come closer. “Time is short, and you will need all of the night you can take.”
Both teacher and student stole a glance at each other.
“Alana brought this back with her.” Koume produced the sealed jar, showing the intricate carvings upon it’s brown clay surface. “A secret, hidden for centuries, lay within this jar...at least, that was what Alana said. You are to take it with you on your journey.”
“Where are we going?” Ganondorf asked, excited to be getting out of the valley. “Are we going to Hyrule Castle?”
Shaela had half a mind to punch the lad for his lack of foresight, but retained her anger, as they were before one of the Gerudo Matriarchs.
Koume shook her head. “No, Lord Ganondorf. You are to go into the desert, beyond the western gates, and into the wasteland. You are to find this place that Alana spoke of, this Goddess of the Sand, and you are to mark it’s location so we may travel there and study it.”
Ganondorf raised an eyebrow. “But what of Kotake? Was she not out in the desert?”
Koume sighed. “That is what makes your task that much more important. Kotake has not returned, and no word has been sent. I fear she has been taken by whatever lay in the deep desert, as she is not one to take risks lightly.”
Shaela’s fists clenched. “We will find her, Matriarch.”
“You are to be his guide, Shaela.” Koume looked deep into her green eyes. “Your knowledge of the desert will save you both, but do not rely upon it solely. Few have tasted the grains of the deep desert, so be prepared for anything.”
Shaela nodded respectfully.
“And you, Lord Ganondorf, are to take this.” Koume handed him the sealed jar. “It’s secrets I do not know, but Alana said it was the key to the desert. Said that without it, you will be cursed to wander the sands, lost. But she said not to open it until you are at the River of Sand. Only there will it reveal it’s true nature.”
Ganondorf cradled the cold jar in his hands, keeping it close to his body for protection.
“I will say no more.” Koume walked passed, heading back toward the fortress. “Fly quickly, for once the sun returns....” She trailed off, leaving them to the thought.
“Come, Ganondorf.” Shaela said, her feet already moving to the western gate. “Time is short.”
Following her lead, Ganondorf trailed close behind, feeling slightly unprepared for such a venture. Shaela was outfitted for battle, armed to the teeth, while all he had was his hands, his wits, and apparently a jar. Had Koume only said something, had she only let him know that they were going on a quest, he would have scrounged up something to help him accomplish the given task.
They reached the western gates, the setting sun filtering through the sand-blasted cracks in the wooden splines. The guard on top of the tower peered down upon them, seeing her king and another dressed for war, and wordlessly tapped her spear upon the ground. Responding immediately, the guards inside the tower spun the wheel and reeled in the chains attached to the gate, pulling it up and allowing passage.
Shaela looked to her charge and wordlessly asked if he were ready, her eyes portraying plainly her concern.
Ganondorf gritted his teeth and acknowledged his readiness.
“Nabooru!” The voice of a Gerudo came from behind. “Stop!”
Both Shaela and Ganondorf turned to see a little girl, only two at most, running toward the gate, the Gerudo who yelled at the infant in close pursuit. Shaela knelt down and stretched out her arms to the shaky-legged toddler, who threw herself into her mother’s arms.
“Forgiveness please, Mistress,” the Gerudo said, her lungs heaving from the quick chase. “She’s a smart one, that daughter of yours. Snuck right out from under my nose.”
“A thief to the bone,” Shaela said, holding the girl tightly. “Not even I could keep her contained, that much is true. No apologies necessary, Kali.” She pulled her daughter away and looked into her eyes, sweeping the wild red hair from her round face. “I have to leave you now, child, but I will return in time. Can you manage without me, little Nabooru? Can you stay with Kali for this night, to await my return in the morning?”
Nabooru, the spitting image of her mother, nodded with a toothy grin. Even though there was sadness in her eyes, the strength within, the strength of her mother, was without question.
“Good girl.” Shaela pulled Nabooru close once more, closing her eyes for a moment, and then handed her child back to Kali. “Take good care of her.”
Kali picked Nabooru up and cradled her in her arms. “As if she were my own, Mistress.”
Turning to the open expanse of the uncharted desert, Shaela steeled her nerves and stepped onto the open sand, directly facing the dying sun, a quiescent Ganondorf following closely behind.
The sun now gone below the horizon, a chill began to wash over the two travelers. Not only the lack of heat settled into their bones, however, as they were venturing down a forbidden path. The deep desert, wherever Alana had been, was long though to be a place of death, of forgetting. None who went that far into the sandstorms ever returned, and yet now one did. Whatever her path, whatever the driving force that led her out there, they needed to find it. For Kotake’s sake, they had to find it.
The sands became deeper and deeper the farther away from the valley they went, each step sinking and sliding, the ground unstable and loose. The winds had subsided for now, as they did most nights, but they had to hurry. If Alana had indeed been in the farthest reaches of the desert, there were several miles to cover before first light.
There would be no rest this night. If they were still in the open desert when the sun returned, the heat would be the least of their problems. The wind out here was strong, violent even. Combined with the sand, the very flesh from your bones would be picked clean. Ganondorf pulled his shirt over the lower part of his face at the thought.
“There,” Shaela said after an hour or so. “Do you see that fallen tower?”
Squinting his eyes, Ganondorf spied some ruins, half-buried in the sand.
“That is the old fortress, the original home of us Gerudo when this land was fabled to be green and vibrant. We will stop there for water, if the underground spring remains, but cannot linger. After that is the River of Sand that Koume spoke of. That is as far as most Gerudo get out here. Beyond that is the deep desert, if we can find a way to cross. Hopefully we find our way soon enough.”
Ganondorf held his tongue, as he could think of nothing to say. He had never really been into the desert much before, let alone that far out. He knew it’s dangers, was taught to heed the advice of the elder Gerudo who had been out to the fallen fortress, to respect the land as if it were alive. It was a supernal being, full of memory and time, and those who did not pay homage to it’s lands were sure to perish.
Coming into the ruins, a full moon creeping up overhead, they entered into what appeared to be a main hall, the few crumbling walls inside making it seem destitute and haggard. Using only the light of the moon above, Shaela led Ganondorf down to the end where a wooden trapdoor lay, shut with an iron bar secured over the top of it.
Brushing away the sand, Shaela removed the bar and pulled the door open, revealing a bucket and a winch.
“Bring us up some water, Ganondorf.” Shaela pulled away and looked back toward the east, back toward home. “I will stand watch while you do.”
Doing as told, Ganondorf set the jar on the ground and released the latch holding the bucket at the top, letting the dusty rope unwind from the wheel. The bucket dropped into the pitch-black abyss, seeming to fall forever, the rope having a painfully long reach. Beginning to wonder if it were to end, his concern ebbed when then the sound of hitting something came up the shaft. He could not tell if it was solid rock or water from such a distance, and the echo was dually confusing, but he quickly began spinning the ratchet, bringing up the bucket.
It seemed heavier than it should have been, merely a wooden bucket full of water, but he blamed it on the rusty ratchet.
“Haste, Ganondorf.” Shaela’s eyes were nervously darting back and forth across the open sands. “Our time is precious, almost as much as that water.”
Doubling his effort, the bucket came flying up the chasm, it’s body glinting in the moonlight. A smile coming to his face, he was relieved to know there was still water in the ancient well.
“Here it comes,” he said, looking away from the bucket. “Do you have some skins so we may take some with us?”
Shaela turned and was about to answer, but her face turned pale and her eyes widened.
Ganondorf stared at her, confused.
“Lookout!” Shaela pulled out a dagger and flung it at Ganondorf.
Barely able to react in time, Ganondorf threw himself onto his back just as the blade struck something coming out of the well. Rolling backward and getting into a readied, crouched position, Ganondorf locked his eyes on the thrashing creature, unbelieving of what stood before him.
It was a Gerudo...at least it used to be, but it’s skin was dark, decayed, and covered in a vile muck. The dagger was lodged deeply in it’s chest, narrowly missing the heart, and yet it still stood before them. Another pair of hands came up from the well, just as dark and rotted as the other, and it pulled it’s deformed head out into the moonlight.
Pulling out both of her scimitars, Shaela moved to Ganondorf’s side and handed him one. “This place is fouled, Ganondorf. These sisters of ours are lost. Do not show mercy, should they attack you.”
“What’s happened to them?” Ganondorf whispered. “Why are they here in a well?”
“I do not know, nor do I recognize them.” Shaela began to back away, using a firm hand to ensure her charge did the same. “They must have been some of those who wandered into the desert and never returned.”
The first ReDead Gerudo tore the dagger from it’s chest and flung it to the ground, it’s white, pupil-less eyes glaring in hatred.
“Run, Ganondorf.” Shaela whispered.
He did not respond, his gaze locked upon a third ReDead pulling itself out of the well.
“Run!” Shaela gave him a shove. “To the River of Sand!”
Doing as told, Ganondorf picked up his feet and dashed to toward the exit, but soon reeled when he remember something he had forgotten.
“The jar!” he yelled to Shaela. “It’s by the well!”
“Keep going, Ganondorf!” Shaela’s face hardened. “I’ll meet you there!”
Ganondorf nodded and broke out into a sprint, keeping the scimitar readied should he need it. He had never before been in a fight, never before been required to kill, so he was glad that his teacher would take care of it for him.
“Ganondorf!” Shaela yelled back. “Eyes up!”
Skidding in his steps, Ganondorf gazed to the upper remains of the tower and saw more of the ReDeads, dozens of them, inside the crumbling windows and perched upon the wooden buttresses, staring down with enmity. This was their fortress now, and they had walked in uninvited.
Shaela took the initiative and charged into the trio from the well, dispatching her former sisters with ease. Her blade was sleek and keen, cleaving through flesh and bone, dropping her foes with minimal effort. Glancing down into the well, a multitude of ReDeads were climbing up the walls, using each other as if they were rungs, clawing their way to the surface. Kicking the trapdoor shut once more, she quickly threw the iron latch back into place, tugging on it to ensure it was solid.
Seeing their comrades so easily destroyed, the ReDeads in the upper wards all leapt down to the ground level, all heading toward the lone Ganondorf with outstretched claws.
Snatching up the jar, Shaela ran toward the group of ReDeads, blade at the ready, her feet moving as silently as the wind upon the sand. Ganondorf held his ground, taking up a defensive stance, as he usually did, waiting for the attack to come before taking action.
“Lessons learned!” Shaela yelled.
The memory came to him, what she said to him the morning before. Defense is a losing battle.
Gritting his teeth, Ganondorf lashed out with his scimitar and swung half-heartedly. His form was weak, unsure, but his target was indeed struck and fell, writhing on the ground until death came upon it’s unholy incarnation.
With a spinning motion, Shaela dropped four of the ReDeads and took position at Ganondorf’s side, her stained blade held high and ready. “Lesson learned?”
“Lesson learned,” Ganondorf said as he stepped toward the remaining ReDeads.
Working together, the two made short work of the few left in the courtyard, thick, dark blood flecking out onto the sands as the corpses fell until none were left alive to be seen, save those still trapped in the well.
Ganondorf’s chest was heaving with both adrenaline and anxiety, sweat beading upon his brow, while Shaela was as cool and collected as ever.
“Your first battle, young king,” she said. “Remember it well, for there will be many in your lifetime. As king, you must be the warrior that guides us, that leads us, that protects us.” She handed him back the jar. “Just as now you are charged in the protection of this jar, even I, one day, will look to you for protection.”
Ganondorf nodded and held the jar close. He now understood what battle truly was. No longer a game played in the classroom, there were lives at stake, not just pride.
Shaela looked to the moon, now reaching it’s apex. “We’ve lingered far too long.”
Picking up into a run, Ganondorf close behind, Shaela headed toward the River of Sand in the distance, hopefully to find a way to cross.
Some two hundred meters west of the ruined tower, Shaela and Ganondorf came to what was colloquially known as the River of Sand, a vertical bank of shifting grains and slight wind. Even in the cold of night, it seemed impassable. Ganondorf placed one foot on top of the sand, not even placing weight upon it, and it seemed to draw his foot in, threatening to consume him. Looking from side to side, the shelf seemed to stretch on for miles, with no end or thin point in sight.
“Many have fallen into this trap, this invention of the Goddesses, and have never been seen again.” Shaela glanced around, looking for something on the crest to perhaps grip. “And if we can’t pass here, then we might as well turn back.”
Ganondorf held the jar out. “Koume said this would help us once we reached this point. Think I should open it?”
Shaela looked hard at the jar, trying to guess what it might contain. “Do it.”
Pulling at the lid with all his might, Ganondorf managed to get the seal to break, a plume of ancient dust clouding the air around his face. Coughing away the particles that lodged into his lungs when he breathed, he looked inside, eager to learn of it’s contents.
To his horror, it was empty.
He showed it to Shaela, a blank look on his face. “What now? Some help this is.”
Shaela blinked. Taking the jar from him, she held it above her face, scouring it for clues. “This...this must be a mistake.”
Rolling it in her hands for a minute, she dropped it to the ground, half tempted to kick it into the river, hoping it would drown.
“Wait!” Ganondorf yelled, reaching for the jar. “It’s a riddle!”
“Hmm?” Shaela did not understand.
“Don’t you see? Its not what’s in it that we need, it’s the jar itself!”
Shaela was stumped. “What are you suggesting?”
Turning his sight to the constantly-falling wall of granules, Ganondorf flung the jar to the highest point and waited for it to drop low enough for him to jump to. Giving himself a running start, he leapt at the jar and was able to use it as a foothold, keeping him from sinking into the sand, and from there he was able to jump again to the relative safety of the upper tier.
“See?” He said proudly, watching the jar float back down to the bottom, where Shaela picked it up. “The others always said that those who returned from the deep desert had shards of pottery on their person. This must be how all of them crossed over.”
Shaking her head at the simplicity of it, Shaela did the same as Ganondorf and tossed the jar into the sand. Leaping upon it, she instantly jumped again, making it seem like one smooth motion, and landed upon the top. Thinking herself safe, she was caught by surprise when her foot slipped and she began to sink, but, to his great credit, Ganondorf noticed and pulled her all the way to the top.
“Thanks, kid.” Shaela said with a smile, looking to the stretching desert ahead of them and the seemingly quick movement of the moon. “Time burns without relent. Let’s get moving.”
Following into the dead of the desert, with no idea where they were going, or how they were going to get there, Ganondorf took the lead, seemingly drawn in a northwestern direction.
“How do you know where we are going?” Shaela asked after a time.
“I suppose I don’t.” Ganondorf shrugged. “I feel...drawn to go this way.”
“Just like Alana.”
“Seems that way. I’ve been having strange dreams lately. Some I cannot explain, others involve beasts and places I have never seen. But one thing is for certain, and that is I seem to know the way to go.”
Shaela looked at the boy-king, concern layered within her eyes. Catching herself showing weakness, she quickly stiffened up and furrowed her brow, looking to the sands ahead. “You are certain of this?”
Ganondorf nodded. “As certain as I need to be.”
For hours, the trek continued. Even as the moon in it’s indelible haste threatened to disappear below the western horizon, the two pushed on. Shaela’s faith in Ganondorf’s sense of direction was failing, and there was more than one occasion where she felt she should turn back, but for some reason she could not bring herself to do it. Even if they turned back now, the sun was just a hour or two away. There was no possibility of return this day. Either they found this Desert Goddess, this hidden oasis, or their time was at an end.
No Gerudo king had ever fallen to the sword. No Gerudo king had ever been lost to the desert. Shaela swore to herself that as long as she still drew breath, that he would make it home alive.
The moon gave it’s last light, leaving a hopeful gradient upon the heavens fading, and the heat of the sun broke over the distant eastern mountains, hitting their backs.
“Ganondorf?” Shaela said. “There is no turning back now, no shelter to be had, unless this place is near. We won’t last long with the sun now unleashed.”
“Yes, I know.” Ganondorf pulled a strip of cloth over his nose and mouth, feeling a wind passing over them and seeing a dust storm building on the near horizon, drawing near. “We’re almost there, Shaela. I promise you.”
Gripping him by the tunic, as to not lose him, Shaela pulled her veil close and slit her eyes thin, just as the wall of dust and sand struck.
Wandering in the impenetrable storm, no bearings or sun to be found, the two kept their feet moving, always moving, their skin feeling as if it would peel away from their bones. Ganondorf gripped his mask tightly, keeping it from ripping away. After a time he just closed his eyes, knowing they were useless, opting to rely upon his instinct rather than upon preconceptions.
“How much farther?!?” Shaela yelled into his ear, barely able to sound over the storm.
Ganondorf opened his eyes, ever so slightly. A smile came to his face and he pointed outward to a large outcropping of rock and to the languishing of the storm.
Keeping her hold upon him, Shaela followed Ganondorf toward the rock, shaking the sand out of her hair as the wind died down. They seemed to be in the eye of the storm, the surging rage passing all around, but not entering this sacred space. A pool of crystalline water lay in the center of the encircling stones, enticing their parched throats. In awe, Shaela let go of her charge and gazed upward.
Jutting forth from the sand like a monolith of the ancients, a mountain of rock, intricately carved, cast it’s shadow over the whole of the oasis. The shape of a woman, a Gerudo woman, was the whole of the structure, and a large, imposing entry was at her feet, barred by two heavy doors of wood. A colossus of the desert, she was a sight to behold.
Taking drink from the saving graces of the cool waters, the two moved toward the structure, but stopped when they saw something moving near the entrance.
Unsheathing both her scimitars, handing one to Ganondorf, Shaela readied herself for whatever may come.
“Kotake?!?” Ganondorf snatched up the scimitar and ran to his adoptive mother.
“Ganondorf, wait!” Shaela followed close behind. “Something’s not right!”
Nearing the crumpled form by the door, Ganondorf, too, noticed something was askew. There was a ring of power surrounding Kotake, purple and fluctuating, and she seemed tied to it.
“Mother?!?” Ganondorf stopped just short of the purple rings. “Are you alright?”
Kotake stood to her feet, her form just as feeble and frail as before, though her eyes had turned completely white, without pupils.
Just like the ReDeads in the desert tower.
“What have you done with my mother?” Ganondorf brandished the scimitar toward what he deemed a doppelganger, an impostor within the skin of his Matriarch. “Who and what are you?”
Kotake, or rather an incarnation thereof, floated into the air, staring emotionlessly at the two.
“Magic.” Shaela readied herself. “Whatever this thing is, Ganondorf, it is not your mother. Koume and Kotake know not of such things.”
The being emitted an ear-piercing shriek, forcing both Ganondorf and Shaela to drop to the ground and cover their ears. The purple bands flowing from it like the wind itself, it’s body began to twist and contort, growing long and turning from the Gerudo that they knew into an elongated beast, like a monstrous snake; a desert dragon.
Flying through the air without the aid of wings, the dragon plummeted into the sand and burrowed deep, leaving a gaping hole that quickly began to fill with the surrounding sand. Barely able to keep their footing, Ganondorf and Shaela moved to the higher ground near the door, the rock platform, hoping to stay clear of the sinkhole.
Bursting forth from the sand, the dragon spewed out a stream of liquid fire, narrowly missing the two Gerudos, separating them to different sides of the platform. Passing by, swinging it’s talons wildly as it flew, it again burrowed into the sand, creating another sinkhole.
“Stay at the ready, Ganondorf!” Shaela yelled. “When it passes again, be ready to strike!”
He nodded, shakily gripping the scimitar.
The beast again broke through the surface of the sand, just as predicted, magma erupting from it’s belly and onto the ground in clumps of smoldering glass, but when it passed this time Shaela gracefully leapt up upon it’s back and began hacking at it’s neck. Drooping lower, it passed near enough for Ganondorf to get a clean cut in, right across it’s exposed underbelly.
The beast writhed in the air, that purple-lighted magic exuding from the wounds as if it were lifeblood. Launching into the ground once more, it disappeared, taking the Gerudo Mistress with it.
“Shaela!” Ganondorf rushed to the sinkhole, but kept his distance as the ground quaked. “Shaela!!!”
He could hear the beast in it’s grave, shrieking in agony for a moment, but soon fell silent as the sinkhole caved, the sands rushing in to bury everything below. So close to the pool of water, soon that too broke and sunk into the gap, creating a slurry of quicksand.
Suddenly a hand rose up, encased in a golden gauntlet, a couple of feet below the surface. Shaela had fortuitously leapt away from the beast just in time and gripped the side of the sinkhole, though her hold was weak and failing. The rising quicksand was coming up fast, now rushing over her feet.
“Shaela!” Ganondorf rushed to hole and threw himself upon his stomach, reaching outward and taking her hand with both of his. “Hang on!” Ganondorf’s grip began to wane and her weight started to pull him in, his body dragging toward the abyss.
Shaela knew the effort to be futile. She was able to break away from the beast, whatever it was, but now the freshly formed quicksand was pulling her back down. If she did not let go then he, the king of the Gerudo, the only male born for another hundred years, would be lost as well.
“Let go, Ganondorf,” she said quietly.
“No.” Ganondorf struggled, trying to find a good footing or something else to hold on to. “You’re not getting off that easy. You still owe me another beating.”
“You have to go on, my king.” Shaela was slipping further down, the quicksand now up to her chest. “Don’t waste yourself on me.”
“But I have to try!”
“Lesson learned?” she asked as the quicksand reached her neck.
Ganondorf shook his head in disbelief. “I...I don’t want to say it.”
“Lesson learned?” she repeated, her voice soft and caring, disregarding the Rule of Strength in order to spare his life.
His lip trembling, he relented. “Know when to give up.”
Shaela smiled. “This place means much to you now...to us. You will need to return here someday, to face that which you fear. When you do, I will guide you through the sandstorm and bring you back here safely. Forever and always.”
“Don’t go!” His hands were shaking from the strain, his face bright red.
“Look for me just past the River of Sand.”
Shaela’s eyes widened. Without another word, she released her grip and twisted her wrist so Ganondorf could not grasp her again, and slipped into the moving sands to be forever one with the desert.
Screaming his ire to the Goddess that towered over him, Ganondorf dropped his head to the ground and pounded his fists upon the rock, feeling the hatred and anger smoldering within him. The heat of day flowing over him, his tears evaporated as soon as they touched the stone, leaving no mark of his passing.
Laying still for the remainder of the day, content to die there in the sun with his hands outstretched to the sinkhole, Ganondorf Dragmire soon found the strength to rise to his feet, the strength given by his teacher. Steeling his nerve, his quest only partly fulfilled, he headed back into the desert, alone, just as the winds died down and the sun crept below the western horizon.
I don't have the time to make a long review, but that was pretty good. However, just as a nitpick, if the ruined fortress was supposed to be the place in OoT where the Poe guided Link to the Desert Colossus, then that place was actually past the river of sand.
As for the poll, there's positively astronomical proof that Agahnim and Ganon are actually the same person.
Originally Posted by Fintin O Brien
Originally Posted by Arcvalons
Vaati is the oldest villain in the Zelda chronology, and the oldest are always the most powerful.
Man, I've disproved this point every time I've dropped by the old folk's home.
Good, you were paying attention. Things have been carefully outlined with this one, so the truth of that matter with the ruined fortress will come about in another episode. There were many threads left unresolved, and many hints given for future endeavors.
As for the whole Agahnim vs Ganon debate, that also is in queue to be explored. I view the details from ALttP as completely circumstantial and opaque at best, though we will see how I convince myself when we come to that. I have an entire list of unanswered questions and side notes with the villains that will be addressed in this series, so stay tuned.
Oh this? This is but a small contributer to the larger-scale backstory I have envisioned for Ganondorf. The man he is, what drives him, what motivates his choices; that's what really interests me. Sure, you can have the "ha ha ha ha!" villain, and say he is evil just because, but that would be too easy, wouldn't it?
Thanks, GM. Yes, there is much more to come with this story. Much...much...more.
And I would wholeheartedly recommend beating OoT, regardless of this. Though some of the finer points of my writing would shine brighter if you did know all those bits a priori. Especially all the little easter eggs I have dropped in....
It's very well written, I like the detail you put in. The overall theme I'm not so sure about - does every villain have to have a disurbed past? Can't we have evil just for the sake of being gloriously, madly evil? - but I like they way you've done it, and I'd be interested to see where you'd take your work from here.
This is incredible! I copied it to my iPod, necessarily splitting it into 15 individual notes...Awesome. Now, a question: Is this collosus in the desert the Spirit Temple, or the Statue within the Spirit Temple? & write the next one fast, I can't wait.
It is the Desert Colossus' exterior and the surrounding grounds that are shown. The inner confines of the Spirit Temple will assuredly come in to play in another episode, as will other locales. As for when another episode concerning Ganondorf will arrive, I am not sure. There are many projects on my plate right now, dare I say too many, but it will happen eventually; there's too many good ideas there to leave it just like that.
Episode two has been outlined, though I must apologize that it does not feature Ganondorf. As to whom will take on the role of the main character for the next round, I will let you guess. The purpose of this series is to explore many of the villains, be it prequels or no, and tell some great stories.
Oh, and thanks, Cheiragonus, for reading and giving thought. I, too, sometimes feel cheated by revealed antagonist's backgrounds, especially when it is done haphazardly. Don't worry, I'm not going to reveal every single detail, as that would just be boring. My goal is not necessarily to tell why they are evil, or how they became so, but more attune to who they are as a person; making them more flesh and bone than snarl and snap. Does Ganondorf consider himself evil? That is the paramount question I have asked myself. I wish to show perspectives, even though it could be perceived as an undermining factor to the character's aura.
I dunno; I probably just dug myself into an argument I cannot win there. I just wish to tell a story or two using these great characters. Unfortunately, prequels are generally the only feasible way to do it. :/
I think it's considerate of you to let us vote on what we want to see. However, just as a suggestion, if you get an idea of something on your own, it'd be better if you wrote it while the idea was fresh in your head instead of putting it off until you finished a different part.
For example: if you happen to think of something awesome for Onox, don't ignore him in favor of finishing something about, say, Veran. Just write what comes to you and post things in order later.
I just don't want you to force yourself into focusing on a character when you have no ideas for them yet. I've been there, so I'm just sharing my experiences.
Once again, your work is very good Doran.
Originally Posted by Fintin O Brien
Originally Posted by Arcvalons
Vaati is the oldest villain in the Zelda chronology, and the oldest are always the most powerful.
Man, I've disproved this point every time I've dropped by the old folk's home.
Thanks, AG and GM. The poll was done out of curiosity to see what everyone else is looking for, as I'm a people pleaser.... Meh, not really; I already have a list I am working from for what I want to do with most of the villains within the poll...and perhaps some that were not enumerated.
As for this series, I wrote all that first episode in one intense and blistering sitting; took me about three hours for the rough draft and then another thirty minutes to edit. I would expect the next episode to come in the same manner when the mood comes.
I do see your point, as I have oft times neglected my novel for fanfiction, and vice versa, when I wished to be working on the other, and as such the quality of the writing suffered. I, too, have learned that lesson, so now I only write what I want to write. Sure, it kills any sense of order or self-imposed deadlines, but the results cannot be denied.
I'm a stickler for ideas, as they come so fast, and rather unpredictably at times, so I write everything down I ever think of in this one massive binder I have: "The Master Bible of Doom and Gloom".
I'm a stickler for ideas, as they come so fast, and rather unpredictably at times, so I write everything down I ever think of in this one massive binder I have: "The Master Bible of Doom and Gloom".
Have you ever published anything? These would do great...though of course there would be copyright infringement. Once I made something like your "Master Bible of Doom and Gloom". I called it "Gene's Encyclopedia of Trivial Knowledge", though your name's better.
Copyright is indeed a roadblock when it comes to fanfiction, though the reasoning it is there is just. The creators have a right to protect their product from meddlers such as us.
What I wanted to do was to have a single copy made for Evil's Bane, just for a coffee table conversation piece, but even that would be illegal. Lulu.com is a great place if you ever wanted to have something of yours printed for fun, though they explicitly stated that they will not do fanfiction.
I guess I'll just have to keep working on my original novel.
“Is there nothing you can do?” the burly knight captain, Galathor, asked of the royal doctor. “There must be something!”
“I....” Alastair stumbled with his thoughts, unable to come to grips with the grim reality at his feet. “I don’t know.”
Galathor gripped Alastair firmly by his shoulder, his stern demeanor and gallant courage upon the brink of failing. “You are the best healer in all the lands, famed for your ability to stem the coming of death! We bring you here to save him, to deliver this kingdom from ruin, and all you have to say to me is ‘I don’t know’?!?”
“I’ve never seen a malady such as this.” Alastair brushed the large hand away, though in truth Galathor retracted it. “I can heal most wounds, but this....”
Alastair cut short when a cacophony of shouts and rushing of feet came emanating up the ramparts of the castle. He looked to the stained glass window, the full moon of night cascading through the colorful panes, leaving strange traces of symbols and figures upon the floor. The clashing of steel and whistling of arrows came next to his ears, followed by a flurry of resounding crashes which shook the very stones upon which they stood.
The fortress was under siege.
Galathor stood to his feet and checked his weapons, ensuring they were ready and clear. “Time is short, doctor. Work your magic and heal our king...or find yourself a blade.”
“Captain Galathor!” A squire boy came rushing into the royal chambers, a sealed envelope in his shaky grip. “Captain Galathor!”
Galathor rushed to the boy and snatched the dispatch out of his hands, tearing open the wax seal. He read the contents carefully, time and time again, ensuring he understood it completely.
“Captain?” Alastair asked, noticing the commander’s austere eyes and quivering upper lip. “What is it?”
Galathor crumpled the parchment and tossed it into the near fireplace, the yellowy manuscript igniting upon contact with the effervescent flames. He motioned to the guards to leave the room and close the heavy doors to the royal chambers, sealing the king, the doctor, the knight, and the young squire within.
“You have two minutes,” Galathor said to the doctor as he pulled his great sword from the scabbard upon on his back, the pearl and onyx stones on opposite sides of the hilt glimmering faintly in the lambency of the fire. “They are coming.”
His eyes frantic, Alastair turned back to his charge, looking him over. Chills, fevers, unconscious murmuring, contorting twitches; he had never before seen these symptoms coming all at once, let alone in such severity. There was nothing in his training, nor in his continuing studies, that spoke of any such ailment.
“Squire!” Galathor withdrew a simple dagger from his cloak and tossed it to the boy. “Defend yourself!”
Doing as told, holding the blade as best a child of ten could, he backed away from the door and tried to solidify his nerves.
Shouts grew near and a great calamity set upon the guards outside the doors, their screams drowning out under such savage violence that sent chills of dread down the spines of even the hardiest of soldiers. The weighty iron-laden doors then shuddered from some monstrous, unseen force; bloodlust unleashed.
“Protect the king!” Galathor stepped forward, his blade at the ready as the door began to press inward and splinter. “With your very lives, none shall enter this room!”
Just at that moment, coming from a side door that led to an adjacent room, a frightened girl of seven stepped into the chamber, her trembling hands gripping a golden key that was draped around her neck. Her face was laden with horror, her waking eyes seeing the protective doors in front of her being torn down by some undiscovered creature, flashes of long, dark claws stabbing through the slats.
Galathor saw the child out of the corner of his eye and nearly fainted in despair. “The princess!” He turned to the squire. “Get her out of here!”
The squire stood there trembling, unsure of what to do.
“Now!” Galathor grabbed the boy by his purple tunic and shoved him toward the girl and the room from whence she had come. “There is a secret passage underneath her bed. Take the tunnels until you get out of the city. Head for Diermas Cray, and seek out the matron at the local bar. She’ll help you.” The top of the door crumbled down, crashing onto the floor in a mangled thicket of splintered wood and iron. “Go!” Galathor gave the boy one last reassuring push. “For the sake of us all!”
Grabbing the princess by the hand, the squire pulled her back into her rotund quarters and ran to the crimson-draped gilded bed, which sat in the very center of the room. Sliding underneath the high level of the bedframe, he pushed away all the luxurious and opulent jewelry cases, sliced open a cut in the rug with the dagger, and found that Galathor was indeed telling the truth: a simple trap door lay underneath.
Captain Galathor returned his attention to the entryway, which now faltered from it’s hinges and collapsed. A dark beast entered the space, it’s girth twice that of a grown man, the speed and ferocity of it unrivaled, giving Galathor slight pause.
Solidifying his courage, remembering his station of knight captain, Galathor raised his blade. “For the king!” he shouted as he charged.
The squire pulled the princess through the small door underneath the bed, her blue eyes seeing last Alastair covering the king with his own body, and Galathor being torn to pieces and his fabled sword clattering to the ground. Unable to pull her frozen stare away from the intensity of the butchery, she was finally yanked down into the dark tunnel by the boy, who then pulled the door down on top of them as they made their escape.
Shards of metal and viscera lining the floor and walls, a hooded, ebony-cloaked figure entered into the royal chamber, the dark beast having mysteriously disappeared. He was a gaunt man, his features skeletal and his eyes sunken, and he had a peculiar blue stone set upon his large forehead. Long, flowing silver hair escaped from his shroud, draping over his chest like a mantle, and his fingers were adorned with arcane tattoos and large-gemmed rings.
Accompanied by two black-armored guards, brandishing crude weapons cut from rusty steel, the imposing figure stood over Alastair and the dying king, a smirk coming to his face, revealing glimpses of rotting teeth and receding gums.
“The king still lives...Ming” Alastair said bravely to the cloaked man, unsure of any other action to take.
The figure laughed, his throat hoarse and guttural, iciness emanating from his core. Amused by the doctor, he then stepped away and motioned for his guards to finish them off.
Barely able to see, aided by narrow slits of light, the squire and the princess wound through a seemingly endless array of interconnected tunnels, all of which no doubt led to every critical point in the castle. Should they be discovered and the way flooded with guards, they assuredly would not escape.
The boy prayed for luck, for there would be no other force strong enough to save them.
His own heart thundering in fear, he glanced back at the princess, the one he never even knew existed; the entire kingdom had long thought the king and his late wife to have been childless. She had to be terrified, undoubtedly beyond measure, but she seemed to hide her grief and fright well. That, or she truly had no grasp over what had just transpired.
“Are you okay?” The boy asked of the princess, his voice cracking.
She nodded in response, but spoke nothing.
The squire turned his thought back to the situation at hand: his country had been invaded. Once the king grew ill, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before the strike came. From where or when, none truly could guess, but all felt it an inevitable doom that they were to be conquered, as the king had no heir and no line of succession had been made.
At least that was what everyone had thought. But if the king did indeed have a daughter, and this was a princess of destiny, then why was she kept hidden from the world?
Stair after stair came and went, the screams of soldiers and servants echoing through the meager crawlspace that led them on. Too scared to light a torch, of which they had passed plenty, they remained in the shadows, moving as fast as their feet would safely go, winding back and forth through the hidden veins of the castle.
Soon the air grew damp, chilly upon the children’s skin, the sound of rushing water reaching their ears. Rushing toward the noise, they followed a long, winding staircase downward until they came to an ample cistern, connected with an underground river. Nearby was a dock, aging and covered in moss, a gently swaying boat tethered to the rickety posts.
“Let’s go.” The boy pulled the girl up onto the creaking dock and jumped into the boat first. “Here, take my hand!”
The girl hesitated at first, glancing back up to the winding staircase.
“It’s okay, I’m going to get you to....”
He trailed off when he saw torchlight filling the space above. Heavy, armored boots clanked upon the stone steps, moving quickly, coming to catch that which had escaped.
Reacting without thought, the squire jumped out of the boat and grabbed the princess by the shoulders. Hurriedly, but as carefully as he could manage, he threw the little girl into the boat and cut the tethers that held it against the dock. With a hard push and a kick, the boat broke away and was picked up by the current, heading downstream with the princess aboard.
The squire watched her go, her eyes locking upon his. The girl he never knew, the princess he was charged to protect, was now on her own, drifting down a feral river in the darkness. He shuddered as the sound of the heavy boots and an unsheathing blade came from behind his back. Closing his eyes, he prayed to the goddesses that the princess would at least make it through the night.
He grunted to himself and shook his head -- he never even asked her name.
I have this strange feeling like this is the backstory to a Link to the Past, what with the country in chaos and all, and it would make sense why Zelda contacted Link's uncle if he's the aforementioned squire. And then this silver haired, gnarled old man could be Agahnim. However, since it is implied that the man is Ming and the boy dies, I could be completely wrong.
And when you say you write all your thoughts down in your Master Bible, does that include the, "that PB and J was really good" sort of thoughts?