[The Legend of Zelda and all of its elements are the property of Nintendo.]
("By Fate" occurs several hundred years after "Bound," it doesn't depend on it, but it may be nice to read that first since they are in the same universe.)
Some suggested that the great edifice known as Hyrule Castle predated the very country for which it was named. The historical records all referred to it as being complete, and more recent attempts to duplicate the architecture had ended in disaster for the construction crews. Rumors circulated that the castle itself could not possibly be held together by physical means alone, that the entire structure must have been magical in nature. Regardless of its origins, none can deny its magnificence, thought Sahasar as he looked up at the seat of the Hylian Royal family. Like many of his kin, gazing at the castle never failed to fill his bones with pride. Its nine spires reached high into the sky, as if to bring its residents closer to the heavens. Purple and Blue banners, emblazoned with the Triforce, dangled from every window and balcony. It served as a symbol of the power and might of the kingdom, a kingdom which would continue to persevere just like the enigmatic structure. It was a kingdom which had to persevere.
Sahasar returned his eyes to the cobblestone path in front of him. Though he longed to gaze at his home for a bit in the glare of twilight, the growing darkness made his path increasing treacherous. The days of his youth were far behind him and he would not suffer the indignity of being incapacitated while tripping on a rock. Such a retirement would be unfitting for him, the Sage of the King's Court. Reaching the edge of the city, he waved down the guards standing at watch upon the gate.
"I will be returning to the city in a few hours, please inform the guards on watch after yourselves if I have not returned by the time you are relieved." They nodded back their understanding. It was common knowledge in the town that any outside the gates after sundown would have to spend the night at the mercy of the lands beyond. Of course, such rules did not apply to the agents of royalty, and Sahasar wanted to make sure he didn't have to spend a moment more than necessary outside the walls; these were dangerous times. Seeing that one of the guards was gazing at him expectantly, he halted his musing and returned the look. "What was that soldier?"
"I had asked if you would like an escort my Lord." Replied the iron-clad figure, not a hint of annoyance seeping into his voice.
"No thank you, I shall manage. Just make sure that the gate is opened for me when I return." The soldier nodded and returned his gaze out into the field beyond the walls. Taking a deep breath, Sahasar placed one boot on the drawbridge and continued on his quest. It may have been a fool's errand, but Hyrule needed whatever help it could get. The Hylians had always had an unusual proficiency at manipulating the magic of time, and the court seers had foreseen dark days ahead. The banners of the castle would be stripped away, and foreign troops would infest the land. Sahasar and the other wise men had tried to peer further, to identify the invaders, but time seemed to have a will of its own, prohibiting them from seeing further. Though they tried their best to anticipate the coming tide, there were just too many possibilities. Labrynna seemed the most obvious choice, another major power which had at times been friend and at other times rival to Hyrule. Still, there were also a number of smaller countries, led by Holodrum, currently in the process of forming a large federation. At the moment, the specific foe didn't seem important, but instead that the wisest men in Hyrule were foreseeing the nation's destruction. Desperate for some alternative, Sahasar had searched the archives that the priests of the goddesses kept at the Temple of Time. It was there that he learned the Legend of the Hero.
Now, every semi-educated Hylian was aware of the stories. It was said that a great evil had once arisen in the land, and that a destined hero arose to protect the land and the monarchy. The hero was often credited as being a dashing knight while the sovereign was represented by a beautiful princess. The specific details didn't matter, it was a lesson for the youth. A fable to show that Hyrule and its dynasty possessed divine protection. The Temple archives, however, claimed not only the validity of the tale, but that the Hero and the Princess would, and often had, return in times of a severe national crisis. His rational side told him to dismiss such a claim, but the fact that it had been preserved in the Temple for all these years convinced him to take the accounts of their previous exploits seriously. With that belief also came a hope, with the threat of imminent conquest and the lack of an heir to the crown, the kingdom was in dire need of both a Hero and a Princess.
He came to a spot in the field and checked his map. Yes, this hill is where the ascension is said to have taken place. Setting his traveling pack down, he rummaged through the compartments to find the items he had procured for the evening. The Legends in the Temple said that, in the last time the two beings had been in Hyrule, the Hero had died first. His spirit had wandered in the field in the form of a skeletal warrior, waiting for the princess. A week later, she also passed away and her spirit met his in the field so that they may pass on together (or so the minstrels of the time had said, seeking to alleviate the pain of the populace). Though it sounded like a tale which a hopeless romantic would fabricate, Sahasar figured that treating it as credible wouldn't make his plan any less absurd. First, he withdrew a piece of green cloth. The priests at the temple had assured him that the tunic he had removed it from had been the garb worn by the hero himself. Apparently, fashion had changed much in the past several hundred years, but Sahasar suppressed his skepticism in favor of clinging to hope. If this object was indeed related to the Hero, his actions would get the attention of the goddesses. Fully aware of the blasphemy he may be committing, he took out a flint and lit the cloth on fire. As the material blackened and burned he recited a series of prayers and incantations, appealing to those above to notice the plight of their chosen people. Reaching into his pack, he withdrew the second item with significantly more reverence. Taking a moment to admire the way that the fire played with its blue and golden coloration, he brought the object, an ocarina, to his lips and began to play.
The notes reverberated throughout empty field. Slow and deliberate, they send a chill down Sahasar's spine and he stared out into the darkness. This song, the Song of Time, allegedly had some great importance to the Princess and the Hero. He didn't understand its significance, but he felt as though he didn't need to. Finishing his tune, he bowed his head and implored the goddesses, the spirits of the fallen champions, and whatever other forces involved to send the Princess and the Hero one more time to save their land. After about an hour of silence he returned to the castle dejected, ignorant of the magic he had invoked.
-Nine Months Later-
The people of Castletown had converted their city into a giant carnival. Streamers hung over every street, songs soared the air, and the spirit of the populace was higher than it had been in years. With news that the queen had finally gone into labor, a new energy had broken forth that had not been seen for a generation. The people eagerly crowded outside of the castle, waiting for the announcement which had been long overdue. Though the populace had hoped for an heir soon after the marriage of the crown prince, it had instead been a long, twenty year wait. Young and old alike gathered in throngs, debating as to whether the first in line to the crown would be a boy or a girl. Their excited conversation was dominated only by the yelling of children as they ran through the street. Vendors called out to passerby, encouraging them to partake fully in the day of celebration. Finally, now their waiting was over. The king stepped out onto the royal balcony, and immediately the crowds silenced themselves. Raising his hands above his head, he announced in a loud voice, "My people, today is a joyous day. Today, the royal family has welcomed its newest heir." He waited a moment for the roar of the crowd to subside. Once they had quieted down, he nodded to a servant to bring a small child, wrapped in a violet and blue blanket, to him. "I present to you, the crown princess. The heir to the promise of the goddesses, and the guarantee of our future. She is the symbol of a new era, the one who will lead us to further prosperity, and her name is…"
Though many thought of the dessert as a harsh, inhospitable place filled with only heat and death, Natalia had always loved the cool winds that blew after the sun set. After a harsh day, they never failed to bring her comfort and sooth her pain. She reveled in the cool breeze now, holding a small bundle protectively in her arms as her sisters looked on in awe. A boy! A son! No words could describe her joy at that moment. Sure, she had been eagerly anticipating a beautiful daughter who she could teach all the ways of her people- archery, riding, and stealth- but she had never dreamed that she would give birth to the future of her race. Reverently, one of the elders came forward, "Sister," she asked "what shall be his name?"
A name? She wondered, I was going to name my daughter after my aunt, but now… what am I to name him? She panicked for a moment, realizing that the word she was to bestow would be guarded among her people for hundreds of years. Suddenly though, a name was whispered in her ear as if by the goddess of the sands herself. Natalia smiled, it wasn't a particularly traditional name, but somehow she knew that it was destined for him and he for it. "His name…" she paused, "His name is…"
"My lord, we have found him!" Sahasar looked up at the guard who had barged into his study, panting and out of breath. "Two days ago a soldier in the southern province caught a boy attempting to steal from the village granary. Upon noticing the mark on his hand the captain had a detachment of men escort him to the castle immediately."
Understanding dawned on Sahasar's face, they had found him! In a moment, he was rushing towards the throne room with no thought to dignity or decorum. At last, the savior of Hyrule! Upon seeing the mark on the princess's hand the night of her birth, Sahasar had sent orders out for the solders to search for any young lad, regardless of his social station, who was observed wearing a similar mark on his hand. Though three years had passed, he had never given up hope. Somehow, the song that night in the field had set in motion the events needed for Hyrule's redemption. Upon reaching the throne room, he paused outside for a moment to regain his composure. After a few moments of hesitation, he motioned to the guards to open the door and entered the massive chamber.
The throne room of the castle was just as impressive as its exterior. A line of massive pillars, taller than most homes, ran down both sides of the room. These pillars supported a pair of massive balconies, draped with countless banners depicting the royal crest, scenes from the nation's history, and, most prominently, images from the countless Legends which permeated their society. At the end of the hall, a throne of gold rested upon a three-level platform, where the king's advisors and servants would stand according to their rank. Still, when Sahasar entered the room, all of his attention was focused on the young boy standing in the center. His head was bowed, obscuring his features behind a head of bright-blond hair with streaks of red. His ears were rounded, rather than the pointy variety commonly seen at the castle. So he is from the southern province then, thought the sage to himself. As he approached the lad, the boy visibly flinched. No doubt he fears punishment for being caught stealing. Poor lad, he has no idea who he is destined to be. For a moment, he marveled at how such a responsibility could rest on one so young. He then lowered himself to the boy's level, and tried to look into the downcast eyes.
"Greetings, I am Sahasar. Please do not be frightened, we are not going to punish you for attempting to find sustenance." Upon not getting any reply, he turned to the soldier standing beside him. "Where are the boy's parents?"
The soldier shrugged, "It is my understanding that the boy is an orphan."
"I see," Sahasar replied. "Please go prepare a chamber for him." Turning back to the boy, he continued, "You may not know it yet, but you are a very special lad. I would appreciate it if you would stay with us here at the castle, you need not be alone anymore." Pausing for a second, he continued, "May I see your hand?"
Wordlessly, and without ever raising his head, the boy offered up his right hand for examination. As the solider had said, the faint mark of the Triforce could be seen. Sahasar stood in silence for several breaths, taking in the significance of what he was witnessing. Finally, as a maid came by to take the child away, he spoke once more to the mysterious boy, "Please, before you go and get washed up, could I have your name?"
There was a pause, long enough so that Sahasar wondered if there would be a response, but then the boy lifted his head and met Sahasar's gaze. The sage was taken aback for a moment by the boy's eyes, burning with the yellow of the afternoon sun. "My name…" murmured the boy, "is Ganondorf."
So thank you for checking out my first attempt at a long Zelda fic. I didn't want to start posting until I knew I was committed, but since I have twelve-thousand words written up so far I figured that I could start posting. I will try to upload a chapter a week but I am going to refrain from committing to that at this time. I wrote four this past week so it should be sustainable, but when I head home for the summer I may loose some steam. I would also very much like to have a Beta reader for this fic (means you get to read the chapters several weeks early!). I posted this first chapter without a reader but I expect to go back and touch it up again after receiving some feedback. Lastly, even if not Beta'ing, I would really appreciate feedback in the form of reviews. I've already talked about my concerns over my writing elsewhere, so will spare you from repeating myself. Until the next update then!