"This is magnificent-and it is true! It never happened; yet it is still true. What magic art is this?"
-Puck, in Sandman: A Midsummer Night's Dream, by Neil Gaiman

A nice line to remember for fanfiction, in my opinion.

I do not own The Legend of Zelda series or its characters or concepts. These actual words are mine (except for the attributed quote above), but my purpose with them is to entertain, possibly parody, and let off my own creative steam. I hope you enjoy.

One more good line to open things:

"This is but one of the legends of which the people speak..."



Ganon's spirit has re-manifested itself in the Dark World. At the moment he has no body and his powers are limited, but he can project his voice to anywhere in his corrupted Sacred Land, and even into Hyrule. He has drawn monsters together in the Dark World, then spoken to people in Hyrule and the surrounding kingdoms, manipulating some without their knowledge and overtly recruiting others to his service. Through them, he's found the key to a lucrative piece of his plan. The blood of a hero, sprinkled over his ashes, will revive his body. Such a person has been found outside Hyrule, and Ganon wants him.

He's hidden his movements carefully, waiting for the return of his body and powers and an ideal placement of his pawns, but he wasn't quite careful enough. Princess Zelda has caught wind of his machinations, and Link has gone to work. With the Hylian Knights he's raided two of Ganon's budding strongholds in Hyrule, capturing or slaying his supporters.

In response, the King of Evil is now trying to fast-track his plans and completely hide his further movements. He sent for his sacrifice to be captured immediately and brought to him, knowing that this step could not be done quietly if it was to be done quickly. Luck is still against him, however, because one of his minions Link captured personally has done a deal. In exchange for the promise of a lessened punishment, he has given information on the kidnapping.

Zelda's divinations then revealed the capture party returning with the unlucky foreign hero already in chains. Link isn't about to let an innocent and a potential compatriot lose his life to the King of Evil's plot. He is loaded for bear—laden with a choice complement of weapons and items—and heading to intercept the caravan.

The night had chilled the iron bars of the cage and the manacles that they'd clapped on him. It felt good to lean his bruises against them and let the cold relieve the pain, except when the cart the cage sat in bounced over a bump in the road and jarred the hard steel against the sensitive injuries. He was dejected, bare-chested and bare-footed, cold and hungry, his swords seemed to have been left at the spot where they'd caught him, his rage long since spent.

His captors trailed ahead of and behind his cage-wagon, a troop of lizalfos and four moblins. Two of the moblins gripped the tongue and dragged it along this road through the woods. The leader lizalfos, who had disarmed him and knocked him unconscious after he'd been weakened fighting the rest of the troop, was up at the head of the column in that bronze-leafed breastplate. Most of these monsters bore cuts he'd given them in the fight before trading out for unwounded members of the band. He'd fought well and desperately, but they were patient, and infuriating in the way they'd circled up around him as if it were a tavern brawl and taken him on two at a time with those forming the ring occasionally slapping him with their tails. He'd seriously wounded only three of them. He hadn't seen those three when he woke up, stripped and chained as he was, in the cage.

What they wanted with him, they hadn't said. Where they were taking him, they hadn't said. Scathing insults and challenges had provoked them to jab him with spear butts, but not to let anything slip. Their pace was rough by human standards, especially in this wagon with poor springs, and their idea of rest was slowing to a standard march instead of stopping. He hadn't been able to sleep with the way his cage was bouncing. Wherever they were going, it was far from his home, and they were in quite a hurry. He'd been silent for the last eight of the thirty-six hours they'd been moving, and feeling particularly sullen at this rotten turn of his luck.

His wiry form was bent as he sat with his knees crooked and his arms folded on top of them. His shoulder-length black hair veiled his face and enhanced his look of misery. He faced the door of the cage, on the cart's right side as it was pulled up the road. Torches burned in iron holders at each upper corner of his cage, and a few of his captors carried them as well. They'd lit them early. The night looked like it would be clear, letting the just-waning moon pour down brightly. This would have been a good night to look at the stars before going to sleep, but instead his eyes were turned down. He smelled the smoke from the torches, heard the tread of the monsters, the rustle and creak of their leather armor, the creak of the cart…

Then he heard a soft sort of snap, which immediately put him in mind of an arrow being loosed from a bow, in particular those times when he was the one being shot at. This association was reinforced when he looked up to see an arrow jutting from the neck of one of the moblins dragging his cart. It let go to grasp the shaft, then dropped to its knees. Its partner's head snapped to the side as it saw it fall, and its jaw started to open and shout the alarm. There was another snap of bowstring, and now that the prisoner was paying attention, he caught the buzz of fletchings in the wind just before the second arrow hit the moblin in the chest. The impact made it stumble back against the head of the cart, then pitch forward.

The prisoner tried to follow where the arrow had come from, to see the archer. He turned his head to look over his shoulder, to the left of the road. He wasn't disappointed, as the shooter was now charging the cage with a sword in hand. But the prisoner wasn't the only one alerted now, with the moblins' bodies vanishing with small explosions of light, sound, and smoke. A harsh shout came up from a reptilian throat. A lizalfos had turned to the attacking human with a blade drawn, and cut at his near shoulder. The parry that stopped it was unexpectedly forceful, knocking the monster's curved sword back, and followed with a passing slice across its upper leg. The human barely slowed his run for this parry and riposte, and left the wounded lizalfos behind to continue his beeline for the cage. He was heading for the side with the door.

The lizalfos who'd been following right behind the cart saw this, too, and was quick-thinking enough to dash forward to intercept the would-be rescuer at the corner. It raised its axe to bring it down into the attacking human's head with both hands just as he started to come into reach. The rescuer lunged and thrust his sword into the monster's heart.

As he recovered from his lunge and pulled the sword free, the prisoner got his first chance to see him in the torchlight. The first impression he received was the green of his clothing, a tunic and a hat with a long tail that fell back from his head like a hood. He could see a shield across his back, and note the large personal arsenal he was carrying. His height was average, his build strong but not bulky enough to impede agility.

His rescuer was moving again as the lizalfos fell to one side and expired with another flash and fume, now at the door. He jabbed his blade into the ground and pulled a warhammer from his belt. "Stand back!" he shouted to the prisoner as he raised it over his head and took aim at the latch and lock. The prisoner covered his eyes with his forearms, and the cart rocked with the force of the blow. A couple pieces of shrapnel hit his legs, and the cage rang and vibrated. He lowered his arms to look, and the door was hanging open, knocked inward by the hammer. The human was tucking the hammer back into his belt with one hand while the other reached in, towards the prisoner. "Come on!"

He grabbed the hand with his own manacled one, now noticing the leather bracer on this wrist. He was helped step out to freedom, where the prisoner noticed his body's stiffness and fatigue from being stuck in the cage for at least day-and-a-half with no sleep.

"Can you fight?" the man in green asked as he reached down and pulled his sword free from the ground.

"I'm shackled," he answered, neglecting to mention his stiffness, which he expected would loosen up quickly as he warmed to the fight. "Can you smash my chains?"

"No time." There was a clunk, and the prisoner looked up over his shoulder to see a lizalfos perched on the cage, glaring and drooling at them. The handful of seconds they'd had unmolested, while the ambushed monsters tried to figure out what was going on, how many had attacked them, and which direction they were coming from, were gone. The rest of the band was converging fast on them.

"Kill the hero!" shouted one lizalfos, whose voice the black-haired man recognized as their leader's. "Catch the prisoner!" The prisoner himself spared an instant's thought to the fact that he deserved to be called hero, too, as the man in green looked tensely around at them. His free hand was digging quickly in a pouch at his waist.

"Cover your eyes!" he told him as he raised something from the pouch in his hand, in a manner that indicated he was about to hurl it to the ground. The liberated one did as he was advised, and there was a shiver of sound and what must have been a blinding flash that he could perceive even through his tightly-closed eyelids and crossed forearms. There were screams from the monsters, and as the red and yellow afterimage settled in his vision he raised his head to look again. They were clawing and rubbing at their eyes, recoiling. The man in green had turned away from them and placed his hand on the prisoner's shoulder, pushing him back down the road the way they'd come. "Let's go!"

They ran for it, not giving the monsters that outnumbered them the chance to recover. The rescuer pushed his charge into the lead, who felt his muscles limbering satisfactorily with the rigorous movement and the breath of free air. Moonlight shone down and cast dappled leaf shadows on the road before they veered off it, into the woods. The wind of their flight filled his ears, but not so much he couldn't pick up the exhortation from his companion.

"Come on, come on! Gotta go faster!" He was looking over his shoulder, back towards the capture party. Their shouts and curses could distantly be heard.

"I'm going as fast as I can in these shackles!" The liberated hero felt he was doing very well considering his circumstances, but was able to admit that speed was of the essence. He'd seen how fleet of foot these lizalfos could be.

"Blast." He was looking forward again, sheathing his blade as they ran and wearing an expression of frustration and worry. Then he pointed while one hand went to his belt for the maul again. "There!" The escapee looked, and saw the large rock he was indicating near the foot of a tree. They diverted for it. "Stretch the chain out across the rock."

"Right," he said, throwing himself into a seat behind their improvised anvil and stretching the chain between his ankles across it. "I guess you'd crush my foot if you used that thing on the manacle itself."

"Yeah, sorry," the man in green replied as he raised the hammer above his head again. "First chance we get, they come off." He brought it down, snapping through the chain and pulverizing the rock, too. The thump could be felt clearly through the ground, and the black-haired man guessed that the hammer must be enchanted, as it seemed to strike with more force than seemed possible for its size (it wasn't small, either). But however it worked, it did the job, for his ankles were free and it felt great to move them further apart than he'd been allowed. "Yes!" He was about to offer the chain between his wrists when he spotted monsters approaching. "Behind you, coming up fast!"

His new companion turned, switching the hammer to his off-hand while his other went to his belt once more. He pulled an object from a holster on it (a boomerang), drew it back over his shoulder, sized them up, and hurled it forcefully with a step forward. There were three of them, and the boomerang followed a tight arc and struck them across the faces in succession. They were checked in their tracks, and the weapon finished its return path to its thrower's hand. The black-haired man got to his feet, appreciative of the skill such a throw needed.

"Keep running, I'll catch up with you after I've thinned them out."
"All right, but leave some for me. I owe them." With that, he continued in the direction they'd been taking, deeper into the benighted forest and away from his captors.

Link faced his opponents. He holstered the boomerang, then unslung his shield from his shoulder and drew his sword with a ringing of fine steel. Another lizalfos had caught up, and dodged around its dizzied fellows with teeth bared and blade in hand. Link came en guarde as the monster hitched up its sword arm and made a running attack at his head. The hero took a step to the rear as he raised his shield to protect his skull from the cut, and another step as the reptile kept coming. It cut at him again, this time at his left leg, and Link took the attack with the strong of his blade. Then he gave no more ground, instead stepping into his enemy with the edge of his shield leading. He gave it a forehand strike in the jaw. Its head whipped to the side with the force of the hit. With their blades still held out of the way, he gave it a backhand blow with the shield's face. He was now almost body-to-body with the lizalfos, and dazed by the attacks and desperate to re-set the distance of the fight, it tried to leap back. Link was ready for this, however, already lunging before the foe could get out of reach. His thrust penetrated its chest, and it toppled backward into the dirt and left this world with a one-note fanfare of light, smoke, and noise.

The other three were ready to attack now, one in the lead. Link gave it a light, fast cut across the upper arm before it could slash at him. It stopped the attack as intended, but the other two cut at each of his legs almost simultaneously. He parried one with his shield and the other with his sword. He looked the lizalfos he'd counterattacked in the teeth as it snarled at him, and found it not much troubled by the minor cut. With all three about to attack him at once, Link leapt back in a fleche that put distance between him and the angry, scaly monsters. They passed forward to press their attacks. He suddenly leapt up and forward, getting elevation and momentum to meet them with a heavy jump attack and cry of "Hyaaaah!"


The escapee was still running, breathing steadily and willing his calf not to cramp any worse than it already was. He'd gathered his chain between his hands to keep it out of the way and prevent it snagging on brush. This was a great turn of luck, he realized, as he had no one to expect a rescue from, and yet the man in green had come, armed to the teeth. Perhaps he was another good samaritan and warrior who'd happened to see him the prisoner of the monsters; if their positions were reversed, he'd have done the same thing. He'd have to ask him when he caught up. But first he'd have him get rid of this last chain, and then see if he had a blade to loan.

As he started up a wooded slope, he began to imagine himself fighting these lizalfos and giving them a little much-deserved payback. Maybe he could use that hammer and make things quick, the better to get to all of them that the man in green left for him. He hoped he got a chance at the leader in the distinctive armor. He really owed him, for him he wanted a sword and a one-on-one fight, to take his time…

Scaly feet were pursuing him as quietly as possible and making up ground, especially when he slowed climbing the hill. Escapee and pursuers crested the hill at about the same time. They put on more speed to get ahead and cut him off, but didn't count on their target's impressive reflexes.

His ears caught a rustle in the brush ahead of him some ten steps. His brow furrowed. He dropped the bundled chain and let it play out between his hands, thinking he should've known it had been too easy. A lizalfos burst from the bushes to his right with a hiss, trying to take him in the side and knock him over. He was ready, and pivoted, whipping it across the face with the chain. The angry escapee twirled it over his head and hit it again, then grabbed the clawed hand it held its short, curved sword in. He gripped near the thumb and twisted with his whole body, hoping that it did try to resist and get its wrist broken. But it turned with the wrench and ended up supine on the ground, with its weapon in the human's hands. The monster was given no time to rise, as the hero planted the blade in its chest and came back up, looking for the others he was sure were coming.

Two more reptiles came at him out of the dark and foliage as their slain fellow went to smoke. He swung the chain in wide arcs to keep them at a distance, then danced forward and laid a whack on one's crown, another squarely on the other's elbow. He could probably take these two, even weak and bound as he was, but in the corner of his eye he saw another one coming. This was ridiculous; the man in green was supposed to be holding them back! He tried to lunge at one only to have it parry and swing its tail at him. He ducked the attack and fell back. Maybe three he could manage, but getting recaptured seemed a great risk. On the other hand, they'd caught up with him already, so perhaps there was little point in running.

With that in mind, he elected to keep on fighting with the desperate burst of energy he felt. He pressed an attack on the lizalfos, then feinted. The monster attempted the block he wanted and he thrust the sword home this time. Another was upon him immediately, and he left the sword in the dying reptile to turn and lash with the chain again. The human twirled his improvised weapon over his head and swung once more, wrapping the length of it around this foe's lower leg, and pulled hard. It tripped as he hoped, but before he could take advantage of its position the third one wrapped its arm around his neck in an attempt to subdue him with a choke hold.

The jaw has some of the strongest muscles of the human body. Though the teeth aren't sharp and pointed like those of a lizalfos or other predator, nevertheless they focus all the compression of the jaw into a small area and are not to be discounted. Furthermore the swordsman was in a mood to fight dirty. Therefore he picked the thinner scales and softer flesh of the crook of the monster's elbow, tucked his chin, and bit.

His assailant shrieked in pain and surprise and released its hold, but found that the human did not let go as it had expected. Instead he bore down harder though it made his temples hurt, and just as the lizalfos raised a claw to tear him off, he loosed the grip. It had let go of its sword, which the hero now had, and stabbed it deep under the ribs.

The last foe, the one he'd tripped, was most of the way up. With a step forward he kicked up in its chin with all force. It twisted in mid-fall to catch itself with its claws, face-down, the better to get back up and retaliate against the human. But it exposed the back of its head and shoulders to him, which were beaten upon with the chain.

He'd managed some payback after all. The black-haired hero twirled his bond over his head, aiming to give it one more for good measure and ensure it puffed out. But before he could bring it down again the chain caught on something behind him, and he felt it yanked. He regained his balance and turned to see his chain in the claws of the leader.

He thrashed and tried to pull free, but it stepped into him and struck him across the head with the pommel of its sword, as hard as it had hit him when he'd been captured. His world jolted crazily and what remained of his strength failed him. The black-haired man's knees buckled and he dropped, held half-suspended by the chain attached to his wrists. His vision swam and his ears rang deafeningly, but he remained barely conscious. The leader made off with him, following directions from a quiet voice that seemed to come from thin air.

Back down the hill, at the edge of the road, a monster was vanishing into smoke and a human was moving quickly into the woods.