Hello everyone, and welcome to Before the Wild. As you can guess, this will take place in the years leading up to the fall of Hyrule 100 years before Breath of the Wild. I didn't plan on doing this, but after playing Breath of the Wild, I was inspired to do something. The 100 years prior seemed to be a great spot, so here we are.
There will be snippets from the "present" but mostly it will focus on the past. It's going to be a while before we get to the first memory, so hold on tight. Thanks for reading, give it a fav, follow, and/or review, and I'll see you guys in the next chapter.
Part 1: The King of Hyrule
Link walked over slowly to the mysteriously old man on the roof of the decrepit Temple of Time. The aged male had his front to Link, holding his cane with the palms of his hands like a knight standing guard. Link didn't know why the elder was so interested in him, or how he knew his name. Not like Link remembered much besides his name anyway.
The last few days for Link ever since his awakening from slumber had him risking his life searching for Sheikah Shrines...or whatever they were called, giving that they seemed related to the Sheikah Slate on his waist and the Sheikah Towers that what nearby and across Hyrule. Inside the shrines laid challenges that granted Link a certain rune-Magnesis, Cryonis, Stasis, and... Bombs-and a Spirit Orb. Link thought the old man wanted them but it turns out it was just for the statue of the Goddess that was erected in the hall of the temple. What was Link's reward?
An answer to all his questions and a paraglider to get the hell off the Great Plateau.
The old man caught sight of Link and chuckled. "Well done, young one."
Link nodded and stood up to the elder, being only a head shorter. In the 100 years he's been sleeping, he must have stayed the same height. He must didn't get any real rest because he was tired as hell. "Yeah, with little help from you."
The old man dismissed Link's comment. "Now then… The time has come to show you who I truly am."
Link cocked his head and raised an eyebrow. "Who?"
"I was once King Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule. I was...the last leader of Hyrule. A kingdom which no longer exists." A flash of light blinded Link, covering his eyes until it went away. He opened his eyes (without some woman telling him to) and gasped at the sight before him. The old man, King Rhoam, endowed himself in royal garments. He was quite big around the belly, given his age, easily dictated by the length and color of his impressive bread. Even for a ghost, the king's hair flowed with the wind. He looked down at Link with strong eyes, one that has seen things...and regretted them all. Something within the boy coerced him to bow as if he had been in this man's presence hundreds of times before. He succumbed slightly, bowing at the waist. Rhoam chuckled, "You can lose the formalities, Link. I am no longer your king."
"Yes sir… What happened? Was it because of Calamity Ganon?"
Rhoam nodded. "The Great Calamity was merciless. It had devastated everything in its path, lo, a century ago. It was then that my life was taken from me. And since that time, here I have remained in spirit form." King Rhoam turned to the broken window behind him, Link stepping up to the king's side. "I did not think it wise to overwhelm you while your memory was still fragile."
"Like anything has changed."
"So rather than that, I thought it best to assume a temporary form. Forgive me."
Link gave his forgiveness and looked out to Hyrule Castle, where the essence of the Calamity swirled. "So, what now?"
"I think you are now ready. Ready to hear what happened 100 years ago."
117 years ago
"I need you to start pushing, My Lady."
The woman grunted as she forced her lower muscles to contract, forcing what's within her to move ever so slowly. She took a deep breath and clenched the hand of the hopeful father. She continued to yelp as she pushed, while the father tried his best to comfort his wife as best a man could at this miraculous moment. They shared a knowing glance, for, after years of trying, this was the moment they have been waiting for.
"I can see the head, My Lady. We're almost done. Keep pushing." The woman screamed as she pushed with all her might, trashing her upper body to and fro, while the father excitedly waltzed over to the doctor. A few more pushes were forced before the mother felt the load within her leave her body, and she fell back, breathing heavily. She felt the need for sleep, for such a task was a complete use of energy, but what kept her up was the sound of a baby's cries. She looked down to the father, who had, in his huge hands, their newborn child.
The doctor smiled as he looked up to the mother. "Congratulations, Your Majesties. You finally have an heir." The father, the king, sighed, and both the doctor and the queen looked to him. "Sire, are you alright?"
"I always wanted a son. It is much easier to raise a prince than to raise a princess. She'll be the object of the other kingdom's eyes, and once she's of age, princes from all over will try their hand. You raise a prince, they'll seek love. You raise a princess, you marry them for the betterment of your country." The king looked down on his daughter and flipped over her right arm to expose its back.
"Rhoam, that doesn't have to happen," the queen stated, reaching out for her daughter. "We married out of love, did we not?"
"True, Tetra, but I married the noblest woman of Hyrule. Our daughter will have offers stretching from the houses here to Hytopia." The king's eyes were fixated on a barely visible golden gleam off the queen's right hand, stamped with a trio of triangles. "But she'll be the wisest woman in the land. Maybe one day, she will be able to choose the right one."
Queen Tetra sighed as her husband gifted her the daughter she birthed. The baby, already fallen asleep in her father's arms, snuggled comfortably in her mother's arms. "What will the princess' name be?"
"I have considered going with an ancient tradition in the Hyrule family, although it has been last used for my great-grandmother. Her name is Princess Zelda Nohansen Hyrule."
A knock on the door aroused attention from the babe to the person entering. It was a young woman, contrary to her gray-white hair. She wore a tight blue jumpsuit that covered the bottom half of her face down, a white scarf wrapped around her neck, and the tell-tale sign of her race, a red eye with a teardrop, was stitched to the torso. She walked in rigidly as if she knew the situation she was in now was delicate. She glanced at the child in Queen Tetra's hands, "Congratulations, my lieges."
King Rhoam nodded and stood tall. "What brings you to us, Impa? Surely, by the looks of it, it isn't the birth of Zelda?"
Impa agreed. "It is a matter you need to attend to, and while I wish it can be pushed to later, to a more feasible time," Impa sighed, and looked to the window, watching the rain bombarded the castle in the early hours of dawn, "it is an urgent matter."
King Rhoam bit his lips, looking to his queen for her opinion. She gestured with her head to go, cuddling the babe in her hands. With a heavy sigh, Rhoam walked towards Impa, and exited the room behind her. As they walked the hallways of the west wing, the puzzled king followed Impa's strides. "What is it?"
"An hour ago, as I was trying to keep this wing clear, a knight came with a fortune teller-"
"Really, Impa? That's your urgent matter?"
Impa shrugged. "You act as if I didn't ask what the fortune could be if it requires you to leave Her Highness' side. Once I heard it… I knew it couldn't wait until the morrow. She's in your study."
Rhoam hummed and followed it down the many hallways to the large library on the eastern side of the castle. Immediately Impa and Rhoam turned towards the king's study in the south part of the room. There, a royal guard stood, sword strapped to the thigh, endowed in armor except for the helm. The man, close in age to King Rhoam and Impa, bowed his head as his golden hair brushed over his face. Rhoam nodded his acknowledgment of the knight and paused in front of him. "Sir Ordon, you're back today."
The knight smiled. "Your Majesty, never would I miss the day that you and Her Highness receive your child."
"But so soon after your own child?"
"He is a week old. He can look after himself and his mother." Sir Ordon crossed his arms and looked into the king's study. "Especially with this." The knight ushered the king and Sheikah inside and closed the door behind the trio. They looked upon an elderly lady, most of her form hidden by an oversized blue robe but enough to make out the weathered face and colorless hair. She looked up to the king.
"I'm am so sorry, King Hyrule, to interrupt you at this fortunate time in your life."
Rhoam folded his arms. "We'll see if your apology is needed. Let's not waste any more time."
The prophet agreed and closed her eyes. "As the King of Hyrule, heir to the Hyrule lineage, I can assume you know of the one called Ganon?"
"The Demon King? King of Thieves? The Great Calamity?" Rhoam furrowed his brow, glaring at the fortune teller for asking him of a fairy-tale. "Everybody in Hyrule knows about him. He's just a myth."
"I don't know, Your Majesty," Impa interrupted, balancing on her feet uncomfortably. "To call Ganon a myth is to call the Sheikah a myth, and we've been around since Hyrule was just a nameless land."
"Then who is he?"
"The reincarnation of the hate of a god, a fallen king of the Gerudo, a boar-man sorcerer, even the pure essence of malice and hatred. There are so many depictions of him that it is hard to pinpoint who he is, but his story is the same."
Rhoam considered Impa's words and turned back to the prophet. "Then what are your words, fortune-teller?"
"The signs of a resurrection of Calamity Ganon are clear. Happenings across Hyrule will create unknown fear. And the power to oppose it lies dormant beneath the ground. To save Hyrule, it must be found. Divine beings, an autonomous force. They will help shape Hyrule's course. As always, two chosen by the gods would rise. They will bring forth Ganon's demise. A princess' power must be set free. A hero's blade sleeps within the trees. Four pilots must be chosen to command. For the divine beings must meet the chosens' demand. The beings will sap Ganon's power. Beaten by the hero he will cower. The princess's power will seal his fate. But heed my warning and instructions, before it is too late."
King Rhoam sat alone in his study, hours after the fortune teller had given him the words of fate. Reclined, he stared at the painting of him and his wife and glanced down to her empty hands. As of now, the pair of appendages will be filled with a newborn's life, but his hands-also empty in the painting-are filled with Hyrule's safety. Safety from a cursed legend.
Not war from a neighboring country. Not a freak event of weather. Not even the rarity of a monster sighting. It had to be a curse.
His daughter's birthday had to be tainted.
He dropped his feet from the table and leaned over his desk, soothing his temple. He knew Queen Tetra was probably worried about him now, as he had totally withdrawn himself from the rest of the castle. He knew he was wrong, knowing that childbirth wore her out, but she was a strong woman. She could handle it. Impa can take care of little Zelda.
The prophet's words hit home harder than Rhoam could have imagined. It was no coincidence that, after trying since their marriage ten years ago, the goddesses bless the royalty with a child, only for the princess to be part of Hyrule's darkness. Then the boy hero… A sword in a forest… A sacred power? The last Rhoam believed to be the power of the gods given to the royal family, but… Neither Rhoam nor Tetra knew what that was, and only Tetra had gathered a taste of it with her prophetic abilities. Was his Zelda expected to unleash it? And when? How much time did he have before-
Knock knock knock.
Rhoam paused his musings, lifting his head from its carnal grip and to its kingly stature. "Who is it?"
"Impa, sir. I have something to show you. More on the Calamity."
Rhoam sighed. "Come." Impa entered swiftly, closing the door and walking to the king's desk. Underneath her arm was a rolled tapestry, which Rhoam ignored now for a more important question. "How's the queen?"
"Tired but understanding. She's with the princess now." Impa took the tapestry and rolled in on Rhoam's desk. On it depicted an event Rhoam could only guess was a battle with Ganon, the large beast in the middle. On his sides were two people, one a figure clothed in white with a yellow 'light' surrounding her, and the other a man in green wielding a blade. Around them was copies of some machine army, and at each corner, there were four animals with a figure on top of each. On the edges of the tapestry, another story was told, though it had little to do with the events largely depicted.
"What is this?"
"A story of what the Sheikah elder says depicts the last instance Calamity Ganon threatened Hyrule. I looked over it, and it matches what the soothsayer told us to do."
Rhoam nodded. "Is it true, and if so, how true?"
"Purah, Robbie, and I spent hours researching the legends of Hyrule. Most are just stories, but some have a connection. The Triforce, Ganon, the princess, the hero… Their stories are real."
Rhoam scoffed. "So, you mean to tell me that there's a sword that can split a man into fours, another one that can travel through time, a mirror that leads to another realm, a city floating in the sky, and a race of ant-sized people?"
Impa shrugged. "We'll have to see. Sheikah aren't known to fabricate stories, are we?"
"I guess… So, what's the story behind this?"
"This history of the royal family of Hyrule is also the history of Calamity Ganon, a primal evil that has endured over the ages. This evil has been turned back time and time again by a warrior wielding the soul of a hero, and a princess who carries the blood of the Goddess. With the passage of time, each conflict with Ganon faded into legend. So listen closely as I tell you this legend that occurred 10,000 years ago."
Rhoam raised an eyebrow. "10,000 years ago?"
Impa smirked. "Yeah, I know. Hyrule was then blossoming as a highly advanced civilization. Even the most powerful monsters posed little threat to the denizens of the realm. The people thought it wise to utilize their technological prowess to ensure the safety of the land, should Calamity Ganon ever return. They constructed four mechanicals wonders that came to be known as the Divine Beasts," Impa gestured to the animals at each corner. "They also built a legion of autonomous weapons called Guardians. The Divine Beast were piloted by four individuals of exceptional skill from across the land. And thus, the plan to neutralize Ganon was forged. Upon Ganon's inevitable return to Hyrule, the princess and the hero fought alongside these four Champions against this ancient evil. The Guardians were tasked to protect the hero as the Divine Beasts unleashed a furious attack upon their terrible foe. And when the hero wielding the sword that seals the darkness delivered his final blow, the princess used her sacred power to seal away Calamity Ganon."
Rhoam let the story sink in, and looked back to the painting above his desk. His Hyrule was in trouble. Not war from a neighboring country. Not a freak event of weather. Not even the rarity of a monster sighting. It had to be a curse.
A curse he had to prevent. "Impa… Does the Council know?"
"Then gather up your best. You, Robbie, and Purah are leading the project. We start searching for these relics next week." Impa nodded, and bowed before leaving Rhoam in peace. Sighing, he turned back to his desk, and noticed a book and pen on the corner of his desk. It was a journal Queen Tetra gave him just hours before Zelda was born, citing that he should record some aspects of his life for his child. Deciding to take his mind off bleak subjects, he opened to the first blank page, clicked his pen, and began writing.
Today, as the sun rose and a new day was born, my daughter, too, joined this sweet world. In keeping with the traditions of the royal family, I have decided to name her...Zelda. I am not a man accustomed to frivolous writings, but now seems a good of time as any to begin my royal memorandum.