Far to the east of Clock Town lies a desert valley where the wind blows through the silent ruins of a lost civilization where ghosts are still said to walk. This is the fallen fifth world of Termina, the Canyon of the Ikana. Most residents of Termina dare not tread among these remnants of a lost people, and even I must confess that I felt uneasy walking through the valley of ruin. However, there is a small encampment of fearless archaeologists gathered from around both Termina and the Galaxy. The Goron leader tells me the old story of this fallen empire.
It may not look like it now, but once long ago, this dead canyon was once lush with life. This was where the Ikana built their grand kingdom. While the rest of the people of Termina still lived in huts or caves, the Ikana constructed the magnificent palaces and temples you see all around you. They were proud to the point of arrogance, and soon outgrew these mountains and looked to expand their kingdom.
Their army marched across Termina, conquering all of the people. In each world, they built a temple; a symbol of their might and power to the masses. However it was in this canyon, their homeland, that they built the greatest symbol of their perceived superiority; the Stone Tower.
For generations, the Ikana ruled Termina in an era of prosperity, until one day their king decided that our planet was not enough in his lust for power. The legends say that they found a gateway somewhere in Termina, a passage to another world. So they marched through.
What they found there, the records do not say. However, we do know that the army came back not as triumphant conquerors but as terrified refugees. The inhabitants of that world charged out after them, and thus began the war.
The earth shook and the heavens trembled as the two armies clashed and turned the green fields of Termina red with blood. Slowly, the Ikana lost every part of their kingdom and were forced back into the Canyon. The King desperately needed a solution, for any price.
The legends say that during this conflict, a composer of music somehow discovered the mask of Majora himself. This composer pleaded with the Consumer to save his people, offering himself in exchange. Majora agreed, and taught him a song that could suck the life force from all who heard; a Melody of Darkness.
The composer wore the mask and played the song from atop the Stone Tower. The enemy army heard the song, shuddered and died. But as the Ikana rejoiced, they did not notice their own corruption infected their very souls.
Over time, the Ikana began to grow angrier. They lashed out much more often at their subjects and each other. Petty arguments devolved into fights to the death. Eventually, the once proud and grand kingdom fell into decay as order broke apart. Eventually, one group of the kingdom's subjects, the Garo, decided to rebel, and began to fight their rulers, striking from the shadows when least expected. The King turned to his composer and asked why such things had happened to his kingdom. Majora answered for the composer;
"King of Termina, you insulted me by believing that the soul of one pitiful composer was enough for my awesome power. I am simply extracting my payment."
The King begged the Consumer to stop his decay, but Majora simply laughed. He made the composer take out a flute, and made him play the Melody that Majora taught him. Slowly, the King and all his subjects faded to dust until all that was left was their bones. Majora laughed again, and simply proclaimed,
"This is my price. For you arrogance, you and your people will remain stuck in limbo between life and death forever unable to rest and forever in your kingdom's decay. This is my curse."
The mask vanished, leaving the composer's shriveled corpse behind. The Ikana would forever be trapped in their own corpses and ruined kingdom, continuously under attack by the people they took as slaves
When the rest of Termina discovered that their masters suddenly disappeared, they rejoiced, however, there was some who took pity on the Ikana's restless existence. These shamans banded together and created a song that had the power to heal a broken soul and to bring peace to the dead. Though Majora's curse was too strong for it to be used in Ikana Canyon itself, this Song of Healing was able to bring peace to the souls of many Ikana in the other worlds.
That Song is still used today.
Of course, that is only a story. Today, as you can see, the dead no longer walk Ikana Canyon, and nothing lives here but Guays, Keese and Octorocks. Why it seems the Ikana's curse has lifted, I cannot say. If you ask the Terminians, they would tell you that Young Savior of theirs put all of the lost souls to rest, though of course those egotists say that kid is responsible for pretty much everything in Termina. Honestly, I'm pretty sure they would be saying that he blew up both Death Stars and then personally decapitated Palpatine and all his clones if they thought they could get away with it. The real answer, I suppose, is still up for debate.
The Kingdom of Ikana was an empire stretching from this Canyon in the east to the rest of Termina. Due to extreme age and poor weather conditions, it is impossible to get the date of its fall with radiocarbon-dating the artifacts and ruins. In the Southern Swamp, Snowhead and Great Bay regions of Termina, the complex temples were attributed to them. Similar iconography in these locations all confirm a connection. In fact, the Ikana may have literally presented themselves as gods. The reason for this is simple. Thanks to the practice of mummification and the arid environment, xenobiologists have incredibly well preserved corpses of Ikana to study. These corpses indicated that the Ikana Kingdom was split into castes; the average sized commoners, and the gigantic aristocracy. This ruling class had a unique form of genes that gave them incredible height, with the tallest being nearly 12ft high. This practically made them giants among the rest of Termina, which of course could have led to the origin of the four guardian Giants. It is possible that the various races simply saw their tall rulers as literal gods and adopted them as such.
According to a friend and colleague of mine in the Jedi Order, the Canyon has been practically drenched with the Dark Side of the Force, most likely as a result of the events that occurred here long ago. He said that a walk through the Canyon produced negative feelings as strong as the Valley of the Dark Lords on Korriban did. The focal point of this dark energy is the Stone Tower, which is a massive structure casting a shadow over the entire canyon. It is for this reason that the Sith-worshipping Disciples of Ragnos came to Termina earlier this year. The visit resulted in a confrontation with the Jedi Order at the top of the Tower, and ultimately resulted in the death of the cultists and a Jedi Master thrown down the central shaft. The Order has since sealed off the Tower, forbidding all entry for safety reasons.
There are many theories as to the identity of the mysterious invaders. The most popular theory is that they came from the Core world of Tython, which is based on two pieces of evidence. The first, the Ikanian iconography on many of their statues and motifs. These pieces of artwork depict a tetrahedron being licked, destroyed and otherwise desecrated, most likely created as a way of expressing hatred toward the invaders. This tetrahedron is a prominent symbol found on the ancient ruins of Tython, and was evidently held in very high regard by the creators of the Old City. Secondly, there are many legends stating that a hypergate, a portal through hyperspace linking two worlds, is hidden on Tython. Despite these rumors, no hypergate has been found on either Tython or Termina, but it could provide an explanation as to how the two worlds could have made contact.
The "Song of Healing" is indeed still in use today by many doctors from Termina. It has been used to soothe terminally-ill patients right before they pass away and is frequently played at funerals. An experiment conducted at the Republic Central Medcenter used both the Song of Healing and songs from several other cultures with similar alleged curative properties deduced that patients found Termina's variant the most relaxing and peaceful out of all of the songs. One patient in particular claimed that the Song healed his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from military service, stating that it helped "put his mind and fears at rest". Terminian doctors are currently petitioning their skeptical colleagues to start using the Song as part of treatment. Only time will tell if they are successful.
The "Young Savior" mentioned here is a legendary hero held in high regard by the Terminians. Needless to say, he is not universally honored among all of the other inhabitants of Termina. He will be discussed in more detail later.