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    Some Light BotW Fanfiction
    • Hello all. This is just a little extemporaneous Breath of the Wild fanfiction. I'm not planning this out, so I don't promise that there will be any satisfying resolution, overarching themes, or even a consistent plot. Instead, you can think of it as a sort of a thought experiment about the state of Hyrule following the defeat of Calamity Ganon. I have vague ideas about various characters and the directions their lives would take after the events of the game. That includes Link and Zelda, of course. I don’t want to focus on them because (1) they just had a whole game dedicated to them, (2) although I don't read much fan fiction, I'm sure they get more attention in that arena than any of the minor characters, and (3) if Nintendo makes a direct sequel to BotW, anything I say about those two will probably be wrong. Hopefully, the reader will gain a greater appreciation for a few of the minor characters.

      Apologies in advance for any typos and grammatical errors. Feedback is welcome. I know I don't have to say this, but just be polite about it.


      Chapter 1

      “Have you seen this!?” Totsuna practically screamed, instantly getting the attention of everyone at Lakeside Stable. However, her comment was exclusively addressed to Meeshy, who happened to be sitting nearby, at the small table in the back corner of the stable.

      “Seen what?” Meeshy asked, looking up from her map.

      Totsuna had been sitting on the floor with her back to the wall, but she took the seat across from Meeshy to slam the latest issue of Rumor Mill down in the table between them, positioned for Meeshy to read it “Dragons!” she exclaimed. Even as Meeshy glanced over the couple of paragraphs, she kept talking, describing everything it said. “A fire dragon was spotted up north. Blazing red all over, but with glowing blue horns. Apparently, the bird people in a village near there know all about it! I have to check this out!” Her pitch rose to a squeal of excitement at the prospect of seeing a dragon first-hand.

      The Rumor Mill was more specific about the location. Tanagar Canyon. Meeshy had never heard of it. “I don’t know…” she said. “Do you even know where this place is?”

      “As a matter of fact, I do,” Totsuna answered proudly. “Legends tell of the same dragon appearing over 100 years ago -- all red, with blue horns. I almost went that way instead of coming to Faron. If I had… Oh! I might have seen the dragon for myself by now! I knew I should have gone north!”

      Meeshy shrugged and looked back down at her map. “Suit yourself, I guess. Be sure to tell me all about it when you get back… but I’m sure you will anyway.” Totsuna was a decent person and not a bad friend for the time they’d known each other, but she was also something of a one-trick pony when it came to conversation; she never talked about anything other than dragons, and she rarely stopped talking. Meeshy wouldn’t regret some time without her.

      “I have an idea.”

      Meeshy looked up from her map again to see Totsuna smiling at her. “What it is?”

      “Why don’t you come with me?”

      “Hah, no. No thanks.”

      “Oh, come on!” Totsuna exclaimed. “You’re always talking about being an adventurer! Now’s your chance! Hyrule is safer now than it has been in years, and don’t think other people aren’t already rushing out to snatch up all the real excitement.”

      “Safer!” Meeshy repeated. Even when she raised her voice with surprise, she barely rivaled Totsuna’s volume. “Safer? Half the monsters out there are gold these days, and a lot tougher than they used to be.”

      “Sure, but the Divine Beasts that everyone was so worried about have all settled down, and they say the guardians are all deactivated ever since the giant pig cloud around Hyrule Castle vanished. In fact,” you’re probably better off in the north where those things used to cause problems than you are down here where lizalfos and bokoblins are the main concern.”

      That actually was a good point.

      “You’ll be novice forever if you don’t go out for some real experience,” Totsuna prodded her. “I’ll head for Highland Stable first. You can at least walk me there, right?”

      Meeshy relented. “I suppose so. If we leave soon, we should be able to get there by evening. Then we can spend the night there.”

      “Sounds good. Let’s head out, then.” She pranced up to the stable owner, Anly, waving the Rumor Mill in front of her. “I’d like to buy this will twenty rupees be enough?”

      He frowned at her. “I don’t know if--”

      “Thirty.” She paused. “Thirty five. Final offer.”

      “Deal.” As she fished out some money from her back, Anly asked, “So you’re heading up north, then? Think you’ll come back?”

      “Of course,” she answered, handing the money over and putting the paper in its place. “I’m close to something here, I just know it. Maybe while I’m gone, someone will deal with all the monsters and I’ll finally be able to look at the ruins deeper in the woods. But for now, fate takes me elsewhere.”

      “Well, you’ve been good customers, both of you. I’ll look forward to seeing you back here.”

      “Aww, thanks. I’m sure we’ll be back before you know it.”

      “Oh look! We’re back!” Meeshy interjected. “That was fun. Good thing we’re back in familiar territory where it’s safe.”

      “Oh, shush, you,” Totsuna shot back, in her usual friendly way. Keep whining like this and you’re going to distract me from the dragons.”

      Chapter 2

      The Faron Highroad was a well-travelled path for both of them. Totsuna often strolled back and forth, admiring the Zunai ruins and studying every depiction of a dragon she could find, though they all looked the same to Meeshy, who walked through the woods mostly just for the fun of it. There was a certain thrill that came adventuring, a thrill nothing else could replicate… but adventuring was also dangerous, unforgiving, and often unprofitable work, so she didn’t like to stray far.

      Totsuna talked about dragons for the entire walk, but Meeshy tuned her out for most of it. Dragons made for interesting stories, but she was more concerned with Totsuna’s offer of adventure. She’d made a good point; Hyrule was riper for relatively safe excitement than it had been since Meeshy started traveling, at least based on what she’d heard. Would there ever be a better time to strike out into Hyrule proper than now?

      As they went, the ruins of Faron became sparse, but the forest was thick right up until they reached Fural Plain, where Highland Stable lay. By that time, it was late evening. If she’d been any further out into the wilderness, Meeshy would have worried about monster attacks, but proximity to the stable gave her a sense of safety.

      Until she heard the distinct sound of horse hooves hitting the ground behind her -- at a gallop. She looked back to the sight of what looked like a bokoblin, and immediately leaped out of the way. “Totsuna, look out!”

      Totsuna rolled away more gracefully, readying her sword in one hand and her shield in the other. Moments later, the horse and rider turned and, silhouetted in the moonlight, were more clearly visible as skeletons. The stalkoblin took aim and shot an arrow; Totsuna blocked it with her shield. “Stay behind me,” she said.

      Meeshy was happy to do so. “We should make for the stable.”

      “No! We’re pinned down. Look, stalkoblins are weak. We can take this!”

      “Are you crazy!?” Meeshy screamed, ducking an arrow.“What are we supposed to do?”

      “Throw a rock!” Totsuna answered. “Go on,” she goaded her, “aim for the head!”

      What else could she do? Meeshy reached down, fishing around in the dark until her hands felt a rock. She lifted it in one hand and threw it with all her strength. It missed by a wide margin.

      Totsuna watched it fall. “You’re really bad at this.”

      “Why do you think I don’t fight?”

      The stalkoblin moved closer. Perhaps it was more confident after their failed attempt to strike back -- if it could even feel confidence -- but that was a mistake. Once it was at the edge of her range, Totsuna jumped up, slashing at it with her sword. The stalkoblin crumbled, its bow and bones falling to the ground. The stalhorse simply slowed to a stop while Totsuna finished off its rider by bashing its detached skull repeatedly with her sword.

      “See,” she said, with a relieved smile. “That wasn’t so bad.”

      But even as she spoke, another pair of stalkoblins emerged from the darkness behind her. She spun in place, swinging her sword. But one of the slatkoblins was already attacking. Its thick wooden club met her blade, knocking the sword from her hand. She immediately raised her shield, but as the other stalkoblin joined in, the attack was relentless. Totsuna was knocked back, then off-balance, then off her feet.

      Meeshy almost ran. That was what she always did when confronting with monsters, and this might be her only chance to escape, while Totsuna still had the stalkoblins’ attention. But if she did run, she’d be leaving a fellow Hylian to be murdered in the most terrifying way. She had to do something, but… what?

      Looking around, she didn’t see anything that looked useful -- except maybe the stalhorse? Well, it was better than nothing. She pulled herself awkwardly onto the horse by the bones in its neck -- a fact she tried not to think about. Fortunately, it was remarkably docile, allowing her to seat herself in the saddle without objection. Once she was on, she kicked both her feet against its hip bones. “Yah!”

      The stalhorse surged forward, trampling both stalkblins and scattering their bones. Meeshy laughed with joy at the unexpected success; she’d half-expected the stalhorse to eat her or something. Then she tried to slow it down and turn it back toward the fight, but this time, it didn’t heed her commands. Instead, it only ran ever faster, crossing Fural Plain in a matter of seconds. Wild horses scattered in fear as the creature dashed through the shallow waters of Haran Lake. “Woah!” Meeshy shouted, quickly panicking. “Woah! Woah! Ahhhhh!” Heedless of her screams, the horse swerved through a narrow grassy pass between two steep hills. She didn’t dare let go. She just held on as tight as she could, and closed her eyes against the wind.

      And then it stopped, so suddenly that she flew over its head and hit the ground hard, rolling painfully over her own backpack. When she looked up, she saw what looked like a giant multi-colored flower. She’d seen a sketch of this once, a tale shared with her by a real adventurer. Yes, of course! A fairy fountain! Somehow, fate had brought her here to meet a great fairy. Now that was exciting!

      All the same, she cast a nervous glance back at the stalhorse that had brought her here. She could barely see it in the quickly-gathering dark, but the one thing she could see clearly was the dim glow in its empty eyes. At the sound of water moving behind her, she looked back to the fountain and saw a massive hand resting on one end of the water. Another hand appeared on the other side. Meeshy silently reassured herself that fairies never hurt anyone -- and then from the spring emerged some kind of giant horse demon.

      Chapter 3

      Meeshy ran, leaving her bag behind, and the stalhorse leaped in front of her, cutting off her escape, and she fell back on the ground. She screamed, as loud as she could, for as long as her lungs held air. Then she took a breath and screamed again.

      A booming voice echoed through the canyon, loud enough to drown her own even in her own mind, “There is no need for such fear, little human. I will not harm you.”

      Finally, she stopped screaming. Still gasping for breath, she looked up at the spirit. “What… who are you?”

      "My name is Malanya,” the voice answered. It did seem to be coming from the spirit, though she couldn’t see any corresponding motion in the horse-like muzzle. “I am the god who watches over the horses of this world. I am also the one who brought you here to see me. What are you called, little human?”

      “M-m-m-meeshy,” she stuttered.

      “It is a pleasure to meet you, Meeshy” the horse god greeted her rather cordially. “Would you hear my story?”

      She nodded silently. What else could she do?

      “Tell me, sweet girl, do you not recognize this form? Is my face not familiar to you?”

      She couldn’t imagine how she was supposed to recognize a horse god when she’d never so much as imagined one before, let alone seen one. But she didn’t dare contradict him, so she remained silent, frozen in place.

      Malanya answered his own question. “The stables! They still use my face, do they not?”

      Now she saw it. “Oh… yes,” she answered tentatively. “Yes, of course, it-it’s just dark…”

      “Harumph,” the horse god snorted, sounding very much like a regular horse. “Just another sign of the decay in this world. You see, I was once the most prominent god in the land of Hyrule.” Malanya spread his hands to both sides to emphasize his own grandeur. “Under my guidance, Hylians spread across the fields of Hyrule once again after their near-extinction. It is my image that strikes fear in the hearts of monsters but invites human and horse alike with comforting warmth. Perhaps they spread too far. Over time, they’ve forgotten about me, and few now come to pay me homage. I have now been returned to my former power and I have every intention of making myself known to the people of the plains once again.”

      Meeshy shook her head in disbelief. She’d heard legends that there was a horse god living within the wilderness of this region, but she’d never really believed it was actually there. Was this some sort of elaborate prank? She looked at the horse god more closely to see if she could detect any ropes or support beams, but it was too dark to be sure.

      “To that end,” the horse god continued, “I’ve brought you here to give you a gift. You see, if any horse you love has fallen, I have the power to revive and return it to you…” He paused and pulled back for a moment. “Whoa. Do you really not own a single horse? Well, I can’t let you leave without something… Ah! Yes, of course. I’ll give you a new horse to call your own.”

      “What?” Meeshy asked, as she pushed herself up to her feet. “What are you doing?”

      The horse god snickered. “Gaze upon the mount that brought you here.”

      Meeshy looked back at the stalhorse, and found in its place a stallion, large and proud, mostly deep brown in color but with a thick, deep black mane and tail. It looked down at her knowingly, almost as if it enjoyed seeing her surprise. “This steed is quite old,” the horse god said. “He served a number of bokoblins in his life, and then was forced to return time and again after death to accommodate their hate. Now, he is yours. Take care of him, and he too will take care of you. But if you don’t take care of him… then YOU WILL SUFFER MY WRATH!” He suddenly surged forward, reaching toward her with both hands. Even without actually touching her, the shock and panic of the moment was enough to send her toppling backwards. She curled up, covering her head with her arms and screamed again.

      The horse god didn’t harm her; he just laughed. After a minute or two, the laugh began to sound less terrifying and more just amused. She looked up.

      “I jest,” Malanya assured her, calming down significantly. “I only jest… for now. Indeed, you will find I am a benevolent god.”

      “T-th-thank you,” she murmured, but she stayed on the ground.

      “And one more thing,” Malanya added. “Take this. It’s a bridle that should help you spread my name… I mean, it should make your new steed more useful to you.” He held out one hand and indeed, a bridle drifted down toward Meeshy. It looked much like the horse god himself, like the stables, but small enough to fit a regular horse. “Oh, and you wouldn’t happen to have any endura carrots with you?”

      Meeshy should her head. “I don’t usually carry carrots.”

      “That’s okay,” Malanya sighed. “I’ll just have to… EAT YOU INSTEAD!” As he surged forward again, seemingly reaching for her, she dropped the bridle and jumped behind the horse for cover. But she screamed a little less this time, and the horse god only laughed. “I jest,” he reassured her. “If this or any horse of yours should fall in battle, return to this place, and I can revive it for you. But… bring an endure carrot next time.”

      “I will,” Meeshy squeaked, tentatively looking out from behind the horse. Malanya snickered at her again, and then suddenly dived beneath the surface of the spring. The water didn’t look deep enough to physically house such a vast creature, but maybe that didn’t matter for a spirit.

      Only now that the horse god was gone did she realize that a faint light had been radiating from the fountain for their entire conversation. Without that, the dark of night fell over her in full force. Still, she crouched behind the horse for half a minute, just waiting, half expecting Malanya or some other monster to jump out and attack her. But nothing happened. So she lit her lantern for a little light, picked up the saddle in one hand and grabbed onto the horse’s mane with the other. She didn’t have a lot of experience with horses, but this one was remarkably cooperative, walking alongside her as if it were the most naturally thing in the world.

      She wished she’d been paying more attention when the stalhorse brought her here; as it was, she knew the general direction to walk in, but not the exact path to follow back to the stable. Fortunately, the layout of the land itself funneled her onto a single path. At least she knew she wasn’t going the wrong way. But she wouldn’t really feel safe until she made it back to the stable.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.
    • For the life of me I can't remember any of the characters in the Lakeside Stable, the only thing I remember about it is the sword on its roof that attracted lightning. But it's really cool to use the POV of minor civilians like this! Even though I'm unfamiliar with these characters off the top of my head, you establish them well enough that it's not a problem.

      Can't remember if you were the one to come up with the theory that the stables are made to resemble the horse god to ward off monsters, but that's one of the BoTW theories that I love a lot so I'm glad you included it here. And of course it shouldn't surprise me that you incorporated the horse god himself. I never paid him the rupees in the game so I'm not too familiar with him outside of bits I've heard, probably just from reading this forum. But he and Meeshy play off each other well, it was a really cute an charming scene.

      Since this is meant to give limelight to these minor characters, and depict Hyrule as it's rebuilding itself, the main thing I'd like to see is how all the different stables and settlements start making connections with each other. I don't think delving into in-depth economics and politics of these factions would be necessary for a fic like this, but general worldbuilding in how they relate to each other and ultimately unite would be fun to see.

      This is a really nice story so far, I'll look forward to seeing more :)
    • Thanks! I'm glad you're enjoying it.

      I'd forgotten about the lightning thing at Lakeside Stable. If I remember correctly, the person who gives you that sidequest even speculates that someone might have put it there on purpose. That's a plotline in the making if ever I've seen one.

      I was indeed the one who came up that theory, and I'm glad you like it, too. It's nice to have a reason the stables never get attacked despite being defenseless and sometimes having monsters just up the road. (Now I just have to figure out why they never charge for boarding, transporting, and presumably caring for horses.)
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.
    • It can be kind of fun to justify certain game mechanics, but if they ever start sounding far-fetched I wouldn't worry too much about it. It should be safe to assume that they'd charge money for people using their horse boarding services, and transporting them and all that.

      From my vague recollections, a way that stables have been used in some societies operated like this: to travel long distances in as short of a time as possible, it was common to ride one horse from one stable to the other. By the time it gets there that horse tires out, so they swap the first horse for a "fresh" one, which they ride to another stable. Rinse and repeat. I have no idea how there was a tracking system of who's rented one horse or another, but since this is a fantasy setting you have a decent amount of leeway that most readers wouldn't need every detail on.

      That idea would justify how people would reliably send messengers all over Hyrule, I think. And the stables and its operators look like they're heavily inspired by Mongolian culture, so I assume they live a nomadic lifestyle. Wild horses are still all over Hyrule so I imagine they follow the herds and wrangle them, along with living off the hand by hunting.

      Haha, when I played BotW all the stables felt really cut and paste to me so I didn't feel like they could contribute much world building, but after thinking about these kind of details I see that there's tons of potential you could use. I doubt the stable system is the focus of your fanfic, but there's quite a lot of them in Hyrule so they'd play a pretty big role in the world.

      Obviously this is just meant to be a light fanfic, as the current WIP title suggests, but I wish you the best of luck in building up the world to whatever extent you want. If you ever want to bounce any ideas off of someone, please feel free to throw them my way :3

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mulberry ().

    • I'm not specifically planning to focus on stables, but they're basically everywhere, and as you may have noticed, I'm pretty fond of them and of horses, so they'll probably be a pretty constant presence. That's an interesting idea about the stables themselves being nomadic. It would explain the tent-like design, and if they aren't always in the same place, that gives them another reason to want to be highly visible and recognizable.

      Chapter 4

      At last, she heard Totsuna’s voice in the distance, calling her name.”Meeshy! Meeshy!”

      “Totsuna!” she called back, gently urging the horse forwardas she started to run. It dutifully sped up, When the light of Totsuna’slantern came into view, they slowed to a walk.

      “Meeshy!” Totasuna shouted again. “Where have you been? Andwhere did you get that horse?”

      Meeshy explained her encounter with the horse god as they quickly made their way back to the stable. Totusna listened eagerly, and when the story was over, observed, “That’s quite an adventure. Did it whet your appetite for more?”

      Meeshy laughed at the idea. “Quite the opposite. But I might go with you all the same. After all, like you said, it’ll probably be safer up north anyway.”

      Every stable had someone awake at all times, to accommodate visitors and watch for monster attacks, so Meeshy was able to register and board her new horse right away. When asked for name, she hesitated. “Lyric. Yes, that’s it.”

      They spent the rest of the night at the stable, and each of them splurged on a soft bed; they would need to be as well-rested as possible. Nonetheless, Totsuna was up before sunrise the next morning, and saw to it that Meeshy was awake at first light. “I bought some supplies, and we can gather some more as we go,” she explained. “I was thinking, maybe we have the horse carry our bags? It’s not like it would do any good with you just riding it, and you’re already used to walking.”

      Meeshy blinked away the remnants of the night’s sleep. “Yeah, sure.” It sounded reasonable enough, anyway, and after all, Totsuna would be better prepared to fight without a large backpack weighing her down. She stood up and stretched. “Okay, Tots. What’s your plan here? Where are we sleeping the first night? Another stable?”

      “The next stable along our road is Outskirts Stable in the west. Unfortunately, we won’t make it there in one day, so we’ll have to camp out in the wild overnight.”

      Meeshy pulled her map out of her bag and unfurled it on the nearby table. “Where?”

      Totsuna just shrugged. “I don’t know where we’ll be.”

      “Well, surely there’s a good place…” she eyed her map. It was drawn by her own hand, both from experience and copied from the maps of real adventurers. It included all of Faron and most of southern Hyrule to some extent, but the more inhospitable regions were blank and most of the details were badly approximated. Still, it was better than nothing. “Oh, here. Riverside Stable.” She pointed it out on the map. “We can just spend the night there.”

      Tots glanced at the map and frowned.

      “What’s wrong?” Meeshy asked.

      “We want to go west, not east. Riverside is out of our way,and the longer we wait, the less likely we are to see the dragon before it disappears again.”

      “Better delay a little than get ourselves killed trying to cross dangerous land all at once.” Over Totsuna’s objection, she continued, “If you want to go adventuring by yourself, go for it and take whatever route you want. I’m not risking my life any more than I need to.”

      Totsuna sighed. “Okay, I get it. We can take a detour to Riverside if we must. But after that, we’re going straight across Hyrule Field. Got it?”

      Meeshy looked down at her map again. Hyrule Field was mostly blank, Hyrule Castle denoted only by a thick X. But that was because of guardians, and those wouldn’t be a danger any more, at least based on rumors. Monsters shouldn’t be any more common there than they were everywhere. “Okay,” she agreed. “We’d better leave right away if we’re going to walk all the way to Riverside Stable today.”

      Totsuna grinned, but her excitement was even more visible in her eyes. “Why do you think I got us up so early? Let’s go.”

      “Alright, alright,” Meeshy agreed. “Oh, wait; there’s one more thing I have to do.” She circled around to the front of the stable, retrieved her new horse, and led it over to Phanna, the chipper young stable hand with an eye for style, where horses were concerned.

      “Meeshy!” Phanna exclaimed. “You finally broke down and got yourself a horse, eh? Ooh, and you won him over pretty quickly. This one’s eyes are positively sparkling with affection. Want a saddle and bridle? Maybe change the mane?”

      “Yes,” Meeshy answered, somewhat hesitantly. “I mean, no changes to the main. A stable saddle will be fine, but I have a special bridle here.”

      “Sounds good. I’ll get you set up right away.” Phanna put the stable saddle on first, a series of motions she’d performed so often it seemed almost instinctual for her. But when it came to the bridle, she had it halfway on and then froze. “Wait… where did you get this?”

      Meeshy told her about the adventure of the previous night, and Phanna listened intently, absent-mindedly finishing up with the bridle at the same time. “Wow. You’re like, the third traveler this year to run off and come back with a story of the horse god. I knew he existed, but I always kind of thought of him as more… remote than that. Like the Goddess Hylia, you know? She doesn’t actually do anything.”

      Meeshy shrugged. “Apparently, Malanya does. He gave me the bridle so I could tell people about him.”

      Phanna’s eyes grew wide again. “Oh, please do,” she immediately implored. “You have no idea how good that would be business, travelers from all over Hyrule coming here to see the horse god. Buying things, renting beds, playing Blynne’s little obstacle course.”

      “I’ll do what can,” Meeshy answered halfheartedly. Advertising for Malanya and Highland Stable wasn’t exactly her idea of an adventure, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring it up at stables she happened to visit anyway.

      Totsuna interrupted them from behind. “Hey, or you ready to go, are do you want to spend all day chatting?”

      Meeshy took a deep breath. The truth was, she’d procrastinate for another week if it were up to her. But Tots was determined to leave as soon as possible and adventuring with an ally today was safer than going alone tomorrow. “I’m ready,” she said. “Let’s go."

      Chapter 5

      Their first destination was the Great Bridge of Hylia. Finra Woods was a dangerous place, but their path only took them through the edge,not deep enough to be in any real danger. The first problem was the bokoblin encampment near the mysterious blue tower that had appeared some time ago. Meeshy hadn’t crossed the Bridge of Hylia in years, but she knew a few other travelers had made it across. She let Totsuna prattle on about dragons for thefirst leg of their journey, but hushed her as they came near the bridge.“Bokoblins,” she said softly, pointing up toward the tower. “Let’s stay quiet and try to sneak by.”

      Totsuna looked up that way and squinted. “How do you know?”

      “I keep track of monster camps in the area,” Meeshy answered. “Don’t you?”

      Tots shook her head. “I just think about dragons.”

      Meeshy chuckled. “Well, then you can trust me on this one. Quiet down until we get to the bridge.”

      Fortunately, the bokoblins weren’t prepared to ambush travelers on the bridge, instead patrolling their loosely fortified territory at the foot of the tower. The pair of Hylians carefully slipped by when no one was looking, and the bokoblins never even knew they were there.

      “I wonder what’s in that tower,” Totsuna mused once they were a safe distance away. “Those bokoblins seem rather keen on protecting it.”

      “Whatever it is, they can have it.” Meeshy looked up and down the bridge. It was quite long, and though wide enough for several people to share, still narrow enough that their path could be cut off by a small group of enemies. It was a terrible place to be ambushed. Then her eyes caught sight of motion ahead of them on the bridge. After a few seconds, her eyes focused enough to make out the figures. “Lizalfos,” she said. “Up ahead. Two of them --no, three. We can’t take three lizalfos.”

      “We don’t have to take them out. Just outrun them.”

      “Are you crazy? No, wait, see those floating octorocks down there at the other end?”

      Totsuna squinted as she gazed down the bridge. “Yeah, what of it?”

      “They’re tied together, probably holding up bokoblins. Even if we make it past the lizalfos, we’ll be shot at from both sides without much cover. It’s suicide.”

      “So what? We just give up?”

      Meeshy bit her lip. “No. There’s a raft not far from here.It’ll take a lot longer, but we can row our way across.”

      Totsuna sneered and tapped her fingers impatiently against her own thigh. “Okay, okay. We’ll go the long way. You know how to get the horse down there?”

      There was a steep winding path down to the surface of the lake. Totsuna led the way, sword and shield already drawn in case of ambush. Meeshy followed behind, carefully leading the horse. When they reached the raft at the bottom, they gently coaxed Lyric onto it, and then untied it from the little dock. Luckily, it was a clear day, and the wind, though nothing but a slight breeze, was with them.

      Still, it was slow going. They rowed with makeshift paddles,tree branches they’d picked up nearby. They cut as straight as a line as theycould, rowing in the shadow of the great bridge. Meeshy kept a careful eye onthe water’s surface for any hint of lizalfos -- the only serious monster threat she knew of in the water -- but fortunately, there were none to be seen.

      Meeshy wasn’t sure what to expect on the other side of the lake – they were already reaching the outskirts of what her map could reliably tell them – but sure enough, there was another little dock with an old raft tied up there. She took the time to tie theirs beside it; other adventurers might need rafts, and it was only polite to leave it as ready for them as she could. Meanwhile, Totsuna started up the slope, staying close to the ground to avoid being seen by any monsters at the top.

      The sky had gradually grown darker and cloudier during their trip across the lake, and the wind was beginning to pick up, so neither of the travelers were surprised when the rain started. But they were disappointed. “We’ll have to find cover,” Meeshy said, quickly tucking her map into her pack,pulling less important things like extra clothes forward to cover it. The pack wasn’t perfectly waterproof, and once rain started, it was only a matter of time before everything inside was soaked. They would have to find cover soon.

      “At least it’ll be easier to sneak past that group of bokoblins,” Totsuna answered wryly, motioning to a nearby set of platforms built into a tree, common practice for a gang of bokoblins looking for a home.

      “More of them?” Meeshy sighed. “They really have a stranglehold on this bridge. Alright, let’s go around them.”

      Tots was right; the rain hid both the sight and sound of the travelers from the bokoblins, and sneaking by them was easier than usual. Only a little further up the road, Totsuna spotted a cave. “There!” she said, pointing it out. We can take cover there!”

      “Careful,” Meeshy cautioned her. “Something else might have had that idea first.”

      If Tots answered, Meeshy couldn’t hear it over the risingsound of rain. She sidled up to the edge of the cave’s mouth and then poked herhead inside to check. Looking back, she motioned Meeshy over and then raninside. Meeshy followed, leading the horse with her.

      They didn’t have wood for a fire, so they simply kept their lanterns lit toward the back of the small cave, where they wouldn’t attract much attention from outside, but still lit most of their direct surroundings. Meeshy kept her eyes on the mouth of the cave, watching it for any movement that might foreshadow an attack.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Evran_Speer: Adding in some missing spaces. ().

    • Nice to see another post in less than a week :) Not gonna expect a consistent schedule since this is a fanfic and all, but I wish you the best of luck in keeping up the good work :D

      While in the middle of reading this I actually stumbled into one of your posts on one of the theory threads, I figured I would've noticed it way earlier but I guess I skimmed past it. Since you already worked in your horse god theory, I may have figured out what might be meant to be a surprise later on, so I'll spoiler this section for the benefit of other readers. (just in case, and you don't have to confirm or deny anything XD)

      Display Spoiler
      I'm referring to your theory about how dragons might only be seen by children, which'd give more reason for them to be shrouded in vague rumors. You said that Link might be able to see them in game because of losing his memories, which would make him innocent like a child.

      Both the main characters in this fic are adults, sure, but it's possible at least one of them is "innocent" enough to see these types of mythical creatures. Not sure what direction you want to go specifically, but I think it'd be really amusing if they reached Dinraal (that's the one they're headed toward, right?) after this huge journey, but only one of them was able to see it.

      I wouldn't be surprised if neither of them could see the dragons, though, considering Farosh is super easy to stumble into in game and they just passed through its main route.

      On a semi related note, for the purposes of this story I think it'd be best to specifically link Farosh to the sword at the top of the Lakeside Stable being a lightning rod, assuming you want to go through with that idea for a sub plot. Lightning hitting metal equipment is an interesting gameplay mechanic, sure, but I really doubt it hits weapons NEARLY as often as it does in game. But that phenomenon could be justified in Faron at least, because of Farosh's presence. Maybe imply that locals in that area prefer other types of weapons, bone-based ones.

      Other than that stuff, the nickname "Tots" for Totsuna is really adorable and I'm glad that's a thing now X3

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Mulberry ().

    • I was going to save this chapter to post with another one or two, in part because it's shorter than most, but it kind of addresses your theory, so I'll just post it now.

      Chapter 6

      By the time the rain stopped, night had fallen. That was just as well; paddling across the lake had taken much longer than the bridge would have, so they couldn’t have made it to Riverside Stable today anyway. They were lucky just to have found cover.

      They slept in shifts to keep an eye open for danger. Totsuna slept first, as soundly as if she were in no danger at all. Meeshy almost envied her. She never slept well outside of a real bed. Even once they switched roles and Totsuna was standing guard, that night was restless and generally unpleasant. The ground was particularly rough, even after she cleared rocks out of a small area for herself. She would fall asleep for what felt like mere minutes, only to wake again. After the third or fourth time that happened, she got up to offer to keep watch again, and found that Totsuna was gone.

      The surge of panic insured that she was lucid immediately. Looking around the little cave, she tried to deduce what had happened. Lyric was still there, as were both their bags. If that didn’t rule out an attack by monsters or wolves, the fact that Meeshy was still alive certainly did. But Totsuna’s lantern, sword, and shield were all gone with her. Had she just wondered off on her own?

      Meeshy grabbed her own lantern and ran out of the cave, into the chill night air. Speaking just above a whisper, she asked the darkness,“Totsuna? Are you here?” No response, but she saw a dim light back the way they had come, toward the lake, on an outcropping of rock. It looked like it might be a lantern, but what would Totsuna be doing out there?

      Meeshy approached slowly, as quietly as she could, until she was close enough to recognize the fisherman’s shield strapped across Totsuna’s back. So it was her. “Totsuna?” she asked again, a little louder. “What are you doing out here?”

      Totsuna turned partway toward Meesy, but kept her eyes fixed on the lake. “Can’t you feel that?”

      “Feel what?”

      “It’s… it's just like the feeling I get at Lake Floria sometimes,” she answered unhelpfully. "And look at that, see, that low cloud? Doesn't it look just like a dragon? I've seen clouds like that from the opposite shore before, but never from this side."

      Meeshy sighed. "You came out here in the middle of the night to look at a cloud?" Maybe traveling alone was underrated after all. “I’ll keep watch until morning.” Totsuna didn’t budge. “We have a long journey ahead of us tomorrow. You wouldn't want to miss that fire dragon.”

      Slowly but willingly, Totsuna climbed down to ground level, accepting a hand from Meeshy for the last few steps. “Yes of course,” she said. “We’d better be well-rested for tomorrow.” Nonetheless, she turned back to the lake, her eyes darting back and forth as if searching for something.

      Meeshy sighed again, as she gently tugged Tots back toward the cave.

      I don't think spoilers are necessary here, since it's kind of a bland answer, but better safe than sorry, right?

      The idea I'm working with now is that children can see dragons and adults can't, but it isn't a strict binary. You don't turn 16 and suddenly the dragons just disappear; they sort of fade away from your perception as time goes on. There are a couple examples of this. One of the people at Lakeside Stable says that he can see a light at the top of Floria Falls, but that it's been growing dimmer with time. I think he's seeing light emitted by Farosh, and as he grows older, even though the light itself doesn't change, he sees it less. Totsuna also mentions dragon-shaped clouds over Lake Hylia in-game, and describes getting a feeling near Lake Floria that's exactly how she would expect to feel if she ever encountered a dragon. Maybe she's just obsessed and seeing dragons everywhere, but maybe some people perceive Farosh as a cloud because for whatever reason, they just can't process the sight of a dragon.

      It would be funny if they finally made it to Dinraal and only Meeshy could actually see it, but unfortunately, if either of them could fully see dragons, I think they would have seen Farosh even before the game starts.

      For the lightning, I agree that that's probably mostly gameplay mechanics. Link gets struck by lighting several times a minute if he carries too much metal. Tying that to Farosh is clever, and I'm glad you mentioned that. I have the beginnings of an idea of where to go with that plot thread, and I think lightning in Faron being peculiar is one more piece of that puzzle.

      And yeah, calling Totsuna "Tots" started because I got tired of writing out her full name, but I think I think it makes them both more endearing, too.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.
    • The chapter's pretty nice but as you said it's quite short, so I'm not sure there's much I can say about it in particular. But you've gone into more theory/future event stuff so here's my thoughts on that :D I'll be spoilering this section again because it feels like I'm backseat writing too much here, but whatever XD It might touch on future plot points so I'll hide it for the benefit of lurking readers

      Display Spoiler

      Adults seeing the dragon as a cloud would be interesting, but I don't think it's necessary for them to be seeing him in a completely different form. The dragons can still be invisible to them, but their presence can be noticed by the way they move through the sky. They're still physical so they could cut through the clouds, and keen cloud watchers might notice strange, unnatural seams that form in the clouds.

      Of course, the clouds would morph into other shapes soon after they get "separated" like this, so the phenomenon's still shrouded in rumors and nobody has a clear grasp on how it occurs. Not sure how clear I'm being about this idea, haha.

      And the dragons are mighty enough that they could affect subtle things like air pressure around them, so people might noticing them in subconscious ways. Maybe they could also block sun rays if they pass through the sky without the cover of clouds, which'd confuse people that are observant enough to pay attention. They could probably leave shadows, but you'd have to have a high vantage point to get a clear view, and even if you do they'd have flown off in an instant.

      Those are just some random ideas for ways adults could notice the dragons even if they're completely invisible, I'm sure there could be other interesting ways :) All of them cause updrafts in the game, which'd easily be one of the signs. And there's also the fact that they all have elemental powers, which are pretty noticeable.

      Fire would certainly be the best way for them to track down Dinraal, and gives a lot of dramatic opportunities. People shouldn't be able to see giant balls of fire in the sky, but I could see faint embers drifting along the breeze he leaves behind. I assume the dragons prefer staying fairly high in the sky, but if Dinraal flew pretty close to the ground I could see it starting bushfires that might get out of hand. Meeshy and Tots could close in on his trail by the seared grass he leaves behind in his path.

      I imagine Farosh would have a way easier time hiding any traces of itself from humans since it can take shelter in all of Faron's storms. So I wouldn't rule out Meeshy being able to see dragons quite yet, but I'll admit that them being invisible to both of them is still the easiest explanation. Either way, they could still have an engaging encounter with Dinraal because of the non-visual methods I suggested above.

      But yeah, looking forward to more as always! I like the direction it's going in a lot :)
    • Interesting story so far. Do you have a title for it?

      And don't sell yourself short! Some of the best stories out there start out as "light", flaky whims. :)

      I'm interested to see how Meeshy goes about spreading the word about Malanya.

      My own theory is that dragons in Hyrule are like Koroks or Minish, that they can only be seen by the "pure of heart" i.e. children and "special" adults like Link. It will be interesting to see if Totsuna eventually fits into that category.

      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Gear, by my husband, D4rkSilver
    • Chapter 7

      They were both up early the next morning, and ready to leave in minutes. As Meeshy got Lyric ready, Totsuna turned her gaze to the dewy plains of Hyrule Field, in the northwest. “Since we made camp sooner than expected, we should be able to make it to Outskirt Stable today. If you don’t mind going that way instead of Riverside Stable.”

      Meeshy frowned. Riverside Stable was still the nearer of the two, and thus the one that would offer safety sooner, as well as giving them more information on the current state of the surrounding land. But Totsuna was obviously eager to reach the location of the dragon sighting as quickly as possible, and she wouldn’t be easily dissuaded this time. “Okay,” Meeshy conceded, unfurling her map in her hands. “We can make good time if we stay close to the Great Plateau – and keep an eye to the north. At least there are no guardians, but who knows what else might have taken their place by now.”

      “You’re such a pessimist, Meeshy,” Totsuna chided her. “The spirit of adventure demands that we go bravely into the unknown just to see what’s there, especially if it’s a dragon.”

      “Courageous words,” Meeshy replied. “Two Hylian women with one sword and a horse against the world, but at least we’ve got the spirit of adventure.”

      “Now you’re getting it,” Tots laughed, ignoring Meeshy’s obvious sarcastic tone. “Onward, to dragons!”

      The Great Plateau was said to be a sacred place, but Meeshy knew little more than that. On her map, it was nothing more than a roughly rectangular outline to the northwest of Lake Hylia. As they moved west, all they could see of it was a sheer cliff to their left, sometimes packed dirt and ground, sometimes stone wall like a castle. It shielded them from attack from that side, but it would also prevent them from retreating that way if an enemy came against them from the north.

      They had passed Lake Kolomo and were coming up on Aquame Lake when an enemy came against them from the north. Bokoblins, mounted on horseback. Probably the hardest monsters to outrun, short of guardians, and they wouldn’t go down so easily as their skeletal Both Hylians spotted them at the same time. “Get on the horse,” Totsuna said immediately. Her voice shook with uncharacteristic worry. “You can escape with that. I’ll follow on foot.”

      Meeshy pulled herself up onto Lyric without waiting to be told twice, but then she reached down and offered a hand to Totsuna. “No offence, Tots, but you don’t stand a chance against those things. Get on, and we’ll get out of here together.” She very quickly added, “I won’t leave without you.”

      Totsuna hesitated for a moment, but only a moment. There was no time for debate. She took Meeshy’s hand and jumped up onto the saddle beside. With a brief shout of “Yah!” a flick of the reigns and a subtle shift of her feet, Meeshy spurred Lyric onward.

      She glanced back. There were at least four mounted bokoblins riding toward them, maybe two or three more. If it came to a fight, Meeshy and Totsuna wouldn’t last long. Their only hope was to make it to Outskirt Stable before the the bokoblins caught up to them. Meeshy was pretty sure that if they followed this road, they would get there eventually.

      Weighed down by multiple riders and their supplies, Lyric couldn’t keep pace with the bokoblin’s horses. As the gap closed, so too did the veritable walls on both sides. The bokoblins pulled into a tighter formation, and Meeshy wished for a bomb, or a rockslide. Anything to slow them down.

      Lyric suddenly skidded to a stop, spinning in place so suddenly that his riders nearly fell off. Totsuna wrapped her arms around Meeshy, who in turn pulled on Lyric’s bridle. Whether because of that or on his own accord, the horse reared up on two legs and unleashed a surprisingly fierce cry.

      The bokoblins balked at the bold maneuver, and perhaps at the strange bridle Lyric wore. The horses they rode reacted even more strongly, turning in a hurry and dashing off the way they had come, even as their riders tried to bring them under control.

      “What in Hylia’s name just happened?” Totsuna gasped.

      Meeshy shook her head. “I’m not sure. Let’s just get out of here before they come back.”

      “I won’t argue with that.”

      Neither of them dismounted the horse until they were in sight of Outskirts Stable.

      Chapter 8

      In some ways, Outskirt Stable was unremarkable. The great tent that covered the main body of the stable looked much like the ones in Faron, with a familiar cooking pot out front and both regular and soft beds inside. Despite bristling at the memory of Malanya, Meeshy welcomed the sight the stable as a sign of much-needed safety. Besides, hurrying to the safety of a stable to escape mounted bokoblins had a certain reassuring familiarity.

      As the approached, they were greeted by the owner of the stable from inside: “Hello, there, travelers. Welcome to Outskirt Stable. I see you already have a horse… Eh? Where…. Where did you get that horse gear?”

      Totsuna gave Meeshy a quick pat on the shoulder and then jumped down from the horse. “I’ll fix us a meal. You can tell this tale."

      Explaining this story was going to get old fast, but seeing as Lyric and his strange bridle had quite possibly just saved their lives, it was the least she could do. So she spent the next several minutes detailing her encounter with Malanya, and then their recent narrow escape from the mounted bokoblins. All the while, the stable owner listened attentively. Meeshy noticed two other men listening as well, and one little girl who eavesdropped on part of the conversation before growing bored of it and running off. “So it is true,” the stable owner said at last. “The stories of the god who watches over the horses of this land. Oh, how rude of me, I haven’t even introduced myself. Name’s Embry. We can board your horse here if you like.”

      “Yes, thank you,” Meeshy breathed. “He’s been through a lot today. I think he’ll appreciate the rest.”

      “And how about you? Can I interest you and your friend in a pair of beds?”

      “I’ll have to talk our finances over with my friend.” She glanced over to Totsuna, who was still at work at the cooking pot. “In the meantime, I’d be grateful for any news you can share with me. I’ve heard the guardians are all inactive now. Is the area around Hyrule Castle safe?”

      “Suit yourself. My apprentice Trott can answer those questions for you.” Embry slipped out from the cover of the stable and took Lyric’s reigns. “I’ll take care of your horse here.”

      One of the other men stepped forward and introduced himself as Trott. Meeshy noticed now that he was dressed in the stables’ style. The other one, who looked more like a traveler, had just wandered off. “Actually, I don’t know as much as I would like. Frankly, we’re out in the middle of nowhere. I’ll tell you what I do know, though. You aren’t the first travelers to come through here complaining about bokoblins on horses out in Hyrule Field. You are the furthest south, but apparently, they’ve been attacking travelers up in the northeast since shortly after that Calamity Ganon vanished. I wish I knew more to tell you.”

      “Then it is true that the guardians all just died, right?” she pressed. “Leaving the way ride open for these bokoblins to take their place.”

      “Dead… or sleeping. Whatever they were before they all suddenly starting walking around and shooting at people. No one seems to know why.”

      Meeshy shrugged. “I’m sure it’ll be in the next Rumor Mill. Until then, I guess I’ll be avoiding Hyrule Field. What about the castle?”

      Trott shook his head. “I haven’t heard anything… which means no one who’s gone has come back. I’d venture a guess that the gang of monsters attacking people in the field may be using the castle as some kind of stronghold.”

      Meeshy bit her lip. She’d hoped for better news than this. “There were stories about a dragon seen to the north of here. Do you know anything about that?”

      Totsuna called to them from her place by the fire. “Did somebody say dragon?” At the same time, she waved them over.

      Meeshy shook her head. “Trott, this is Tots. Tots, Trott.”

      “Totsuna,” Totsuna corrected her. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. Meeshy, I’ve fixed up a mushroom risotto for the both of us. Dig in.” She held out a small plate to Meeshy and kept an identical one for herself. “I’d offer you some,” she added to Trott, “but frankly, we don’t have the supplies to spare.”

      “It’s quite alright,” Trott reassured her. “I’ve never been fond of mushrooms anyway.”

      She nodded. “Now, Meeshy was asking about dragons?”

      Trott shook his head. “I’m sure I’ve heard the same rumors you have – a fiery dragon in Tanagar Canyon. Nothing substantial, though.”

      Totsuna was obviously disappointed, but she pushed for more information all the same. “I’m told there’s a village of bird-men to the north of here as well. Could you give us some directions to get there? I think they may have more of the information we’re looking for. And is it on the way to the canyon?”

      “It’s further north of the canyon,” Trott answered, again to Totsuna’s dismay. “And a bit west.”

      As the conversation continued, going nowhere useful, Meeshy dined on the mushroom risotto. She’d shared Totsuna’s meals before and always found them impressive. She also noticed when Embry returned, having presumably taken care of Lyric.

      Once Tots and Trott were done talking and Trott departed to get back to work, the other adventurer came over and quickly took his place. He had very dark skin, a trait Meeshy had only seen in the residents of Lurelin Village, but his clothing was nothing like theirs, and it was largely covered in dust. If he had ever lived there, it must have been a long time ago.

      “Zyle,” he said simply, holding out a hand.

      Chapter 9

      Messhy reached out and shook it. “Meeshy. This is Totsuna.”

      “A pleasure to meet you both. I couldn’t help but overhear your story. You see, I myself have recently lost a horse – a dear friend, really. We were attacked by monsters, and he ran off. Truth be told, I don’t even know if he’s still alive or not, but he hasn’t returned to the stable, so I fear the worst. If there’s a chance to bring him back…”

      Something about him put her off. Before he even spoke, she didn’t trust him, and she didn’t like him. But when he brought up his horse, he sounded so utterly sincere, she couldn’t help but feel sympathy. “I believe Malanya will be able to help you,” she answered. “If you know the way to Highland Stable, the people there can direct you the rest of the way… at least as well as I can.”

      He asked a few more questions about the Horse God, basic stuff about what he should expect when he gets there, and she answered them as best she could. Finally, he added, “One more thing. You… don’t exactly sound thrilled about this situation.”

      Meeshy shrugged. “I didn’t ask to be the… the emissary of some god. I’m still not even sure I want to be out here at all.”

      “Right, so why don’t you just let me do it?”

      For a moment, she was too surprised to respond at all. “You… want to do it?”

      He smiled. “As it happens, I’m looking for some adventure right now. Journeying to meet the Horse God is a worthy adventure in itself, of course, but a mission that will take me to stables all across Hyrule? That’s something you don’t let pass you by.”

      Still, Meeshy hesitated. She hadn’t expected to face such a significant decision so suddenly.

      “I suppose I’ll need the horse, too,” Zyle mused. “The story wouldn’t have quite the same impact with just the bridle, after all. I’ll give you fair compensation for that. How does… 100 rupees sound?”

      Totsuna took advantage of Meeshy’s silence and answered the question for her. “That’s a generous–”

      “No!” he interrupted her. “Three hundred rupees.”

      “Three hundred?” she repeated, clearly surprised. “That’s a very generous offer. Meeshy and I will have to discuss this between ourselves before we reach a conclusion.” She tugged Meeshy away, and as they turned aside, Zyle, too, took a few steps in the other direction to give them space.

      Even once they were alone, Meeshy was silent, mulling over the offer in her own mind. It was true, a part of her would be glad to wash her hands of anything and everything related to Malanya. In fact, she really had no intention of going back to that place herself, regardless of whatever else happened. But the same fear that kept her away also compelled her to at least attempt what the Horse God had asked of her. What if he hunted her down across Hyrule for betraying him? Or every horse in the world suddenly became an assassin intent on ending her life?

      At the same time, they weren’t exactly rich. Meeshy only had about 30 rupees with her, and although she didn’t know exactly how much money Totsuna carried around, it couldn’t be more than 75 or so. After all, despite her sometimes excessive spending, Tots spent most of her doing things for her own interest, not for profit. With 300 rupees, spending much of their time on the road and in the wild, they’d be set for years.

      “Meeshy,” Totsuna opened cautiously, “I think this is a test.”

      “You think he won’t really pay us?” It was certainly a possibility, but Meeshy couldn't think a way for him to get the horse without paying. Surely, he didn't expect them to turn over Lyric and the bridle for nothing but a promise of payment in the future, and Lyric wouldn't take kindly to a thief.

      Totsuna shook her head. "I mean, on your journey, your quest. This is a temptation to lead you astray, and you have to resist it." She paused, waiting for Meeshy to respond, and got nothing. "Look, you can't just sell your role in a quest for an admittedly large sum of money. You have the opportunity to part of something so much..." she searched for the world, and then obviously settled, "...more."

      "There will always be more quests out there," Meeshy reasoned, still unwilling to fulling commit to her own words. "I'm sure I could find someone at this very stable who wants a... a magic boomerang from the depths of a mysterious forest."

      "This isn't your average fetch quest, Meeshy!" Totsuna exclaimed, forgetting to keep her voice down. "You could have a hand in changing the cultural landscape of Hyrule. This is the sort of journey that poets will sing about!"

      "Wow." Meeshy said, still in hushed tone. "I had no idea you cared so much."

      Tots shrugged a little too enthusiastically. "Hey, dragons are my thing. I just don't want to see you lose something almost as incredible." Again, Meeshy was silent.

      "I'm not looking for fame. Just a little excitement, and some nice views."

      Suddenly, Totsuna smiled. "That horse probably just saved our earlier, and there's no telling how far out those bokoblins are riding. We could find ourselves in the same situation tomorrow, or the next day, or any day after that, and rupees won't do you any good if you're dead."

      "That's true," Meeshy admitted. Money could buy armor and weapons, but without the training to use them properly, it wouldn't do her much good. And besides, monsters were supposed to be so strong these days, it hardly mattered anyway. "Fine," she conceded. "You're right, we can't afford to lose Lyric."

      Without another word to Tots, she stepped back over to Zyle. Based on his disappointed expression, he already knew the answer, but she delivered it anyway. "I'm sorry. We can't afford to part with the horse or bridle now. But I -- we, both -- wish you good fortune on your own journey."

      "And I to you," Zyle replied, as he turned his gaze southward, already contemplating the next step of his journey. "With any luck, next time you see me, I'll have one of those bridles, too, and my loyal friend at my side."

      Well, Meeshy thought, he took that well. She turned her own gaze northward. "I hope you do. If I'm going to represent the Horse God to the world, at least I won't have to be alone."

      How convenient is it that the guy with the lost horse is at Outskirts Stable? I didn't plan that at all, but I'm glad it happened.

      @Mulberry Don't worry about backseat writing! This isn't a very serious story, but I'd still like to adhere to canon as closely as possible, so getting different ideas and perspectives on things is pretty valuable, for finding inspiration and checking my own assumptions.

      That said, I'm actually going to table to dragon discussion for the moment, because I've recently come upon a new piece of information. I'd rather bring that up when it comes into play in the story so that the out-of-universe discussion coincides with the in-universe adventure. Doesn't it just feel right that way? It should only be a couple chapters from now anyway.

      No title yet. Generally, titles are the last things I come up with for anything I write, because I want them to encapsulate the spirit of the story in a way that isn't possible until the story is mostly or even entirely written. I could give it a working title, but nothing particularly good has come to mind yet.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Evran_Speer ().

    • Good chapters! It was interesting to see how regular Hylians deal with monsters (as in they run away really fast). It brings perspective, when we're used to seeing Link mow through them, that everyone else in the world *aren't* one-Hylian armies. I'm glad Messhey decided to *not* sell Lyric.. So by this point, have people figured out that the monsters will stay dead when killed, or is it still too soon since Calamity Ganon's defeat?

      I'll be looking forward to more!

      BotW Zelda in her purple Hylian Gear, by my husband, D4rkSilver
    • Generally speaking, people in the more populated east know, people in the west and south don't. Anyone who was around 100 years ago -- Impa, Purah, Robbie, most of the Zoras, Zelda and possibly Link depending on how much he remembers -- should know that Ganon caused the blood moon and will have learned by now that Ganon was defeated.

      But it isn't general knowledge among Hylians yet. They don't seem to have known that Ganon was the cause. (In fact, I don't think it's ever actually stated that Ganon was the cause, but I certainly prefer to believe he was.) Blood moons happen irregularly, so for a long time, people will probably just think that it's an abnormally long gap between occurences. Add to that the fact that, like you said, they aren't exactly leaving behind a lot of dead monsters to come back in the first place, and it will probably be a while before they actually start believing it's gone for good.

      In fairness to non-Link Hylians, there are some who are better prepared to defend themselves in a fight; we just happen to be following two of the ones that can't. Not that they'd have much hope of defeating a gold enemy, but they could maybe last a longer and retreat a little less desperately.

      Related fun fact: in-game, Totsuna carries a sword a shield, but never uses them. If she encounters any bokoblins or lizalfos, she just runs and screams like all the unarmed npcs do. Not that I've checked every npc in the game, but she's the only one I've noticed that for. I think it's for gameplay purposes -- if she tried to fight, she'd never make it past the mounted bokoblins outside Highland Stable at the beginning of the game -- but it makes for an interesting character point, too.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.
    • Wow, it's been a while. Believe it or not, this story didn't die after about a week of writing! I'm glad that this section is lax on necroposting, though.

      Since it's been a while, here's a quick recap: Meeshy and Totsuna are traveling north from Lakeside Stable to Tanagar Canyon in the hopes of seeing the dragon Dinraal (who they know only as an unnamed fire dragon). They are currently at Ouskirt Stable, where a man called Zyle offered to buy Meeshy's new horse Lyric for 300 rupees. Although tempted by such a large sum of money, they refused.

      chapter 10

      They’d never really had those 300 rupees, but turning them down still felt like a crippling loss. Neither Meeshy nor Totsuna rented a bed. Instead, they spent the night by the fire outside, alternating between truly being asleep and simply staring into the flame until it felt like they were. Morning came quickly, almost too quickly.

      Meeshy fixed a quick breakfast of wheat bread and warm milk, while Totsuna retrieved Lyric from the stablemaster, Embry. While she prepared the food, Meeshy looked around the stable as inconspicuously as she could. Zyle had already left, but there were a few new faces to replace him. An elderly man sat near the front of the stable gazing wistfully at the hills to the north, and a woman of around the same age rose not long after the part of travelers. Meeshy wondered whether they might be married, or otherwise related.

      Of greater interest was a young man Totsuna returned with. He carried a sword, and she thought she saw the edge of a shield behind his back, but he didn’t look particularly impressive, physically. He also had something on his face, like a very small mask around his eyes that did nothing to hide his features. Some strange fashion, she supposed. They’d only been traveling a few days and already, people treated the most unusual things as perfectly normal.

      “Meeshy,” Totsuna greeted her. “This kind man is Botrick. He’s a guard here at the stable, and he’s offered to escort us on our journey north.”

      “Only a short distance,” he quickly interjected. “I’ll be patrolling the north road this morning anyway, keeping it clear of monsters and safe for travelers. If you’re going that way, too, it would be negligent of me not to keep an eye on you.”

      “You patrol around the stable regularly?” Meeshy asked, too surprised to hide her confusion. “But I thought… I mean, why is that even necessary?”

      “You mean because monsters don’t usually attack the stables?” he asked. “Around these narrow bends, the stable can’t be seen very far away. A few incidents, and then everyone wants a watchman to make sure people make it through the last stretch safely. Besides,” – he lowered his voice a little, as if someone might hear – “monsters aren’t the only danger in these parts. There have been reports of bandits attacking travelers on the road not far from here.”

      Meeshy frowned. “Great. One more thing to worry about. I guess you also know about the bokoblins that almost killed us?”

      Botrick nodded. “They don’t come too close to here. I think the narrow roads scare them off – not enough room to maneuver a horse, and there are occasional rockslides just south of here.. But you shouldn’t have to worry too much about them. The road north will take you across Regencia River, which is outside their usual territory.”

      Meeshy breathed a sigh of relief. “Oh, that’s good to–”

      “The challenge for you will be getting across the bridge without getting shot. There’s always a couple of bokoblins standing over the bridge, hoping to ambush unwary travelers. You might be able to get across just by riding at top speed – some of our regulars do it quite often, but I don’t envy you having to take that chance.”

      Meeshy’s heart sank. “Well,” she reasoned optimistically, “I’ve run past monsters in the past and made it out the other side safely.”

      “I hope your luck holds out.” He didn’t sound optimistic. “It’s too bad neither of you has a bow. I have a lot of arrows of different types, and I’d be happy to sell you some if you had any use for them.”

      Meeshy shook her head. “I wouldn’t know how to use a bow even if I did have one.”

      He shrugged. “Suit yourself. I’ll get you to the bridge safely, but there’s nothing I can do after that.”

      Chapter 11

      Despite what felt like their newfound poverty, Meeshy offered Botrick a share of their breakfast. He agreed, and insisted on giving them a few rupees for their trouble. Meeshy’s objection was a formality. Totsuna didn’t object at all. Finally, they packed their gear onto Lyric’s saddle and set off.

      They didn’t encounter any bokoblins for the first stretch of the path, but at one point as they walked, Botrick pointed out an old wagon that had toppled over. “There used to be a single bokoblin that would camp out around here, ambushing travelers. Finally, he attacked too big a group, and we took care of him for good.”

      “You actually killed him?” Totsuna asked, even more surprised than she was impressed. “I didn’t know that was possible anymore.”

      He shrugged, trying to stay modest though he obviously considered it something to be proud of. “Ultimately, we forced him off that ledge over there, into Aquame Lake. No matter how tough they are, those ‘blins’re still terrible swimmers.”

      Meeshy mentally filed the information away for future use. “Good to know.”

      Not long after that, the bridge came into view. It looked sturdy and well-cared-for, but was flanked by a bokoblin on each side, standing on rafts held in the air by four floating octorocks. “For terrible swimmers,” Meeshy observed, “they sure are confident around water. Why has no one knocked these two in?”

      “They have,” Botrick answered, “just not recently. The creeps come back every blood moon. The rest of us are stuck putting up with them until another skilled archer comes along.”

      “Of course.” Meeshy rolled her eyes at her own forgetfulness. To be honest, she’d never actually killed a bokoblin herself, even one of the ordinary ones, and down in Faron, no one else did, either. The Blood Moon was easy to get used to and its strange ability to resurrect monsters had never been relevant to her.

      “How do you want to do this?” Totsuna asked. Should we ride?”

      “I don't want to overburden Lyric,” Meeshy reasoned aloud. “And they won't be able to chase after us like the other ones could. I say we take it on foot.”

      Totsuna nodded agreement. “So, Botrick, I guess this is where we leave you?”

      “I'll stay to watch you get across the bridge,” he answered. “If this goes badly, I won't be much help, but I like to know when people make it across safely.” He shrugged.

      After a few farewell, the pair of adventurers crept as close to the bridge as they thought they could without risk of being spotted. Only when they were about to run did Meeshy start to think that the narrow bridge would make them easier targets. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea... But it was too late to back out now, and they needed to get across the river.

      “Okay,” Totsuna breathed. “On three. One, two... three.”

      Meeshy, Totsuna, and Lyric, darted to the bridge as one. The bokoblins noticed them immediately. The one on the right shot a fire arrow which landed well behind them, while the one on the left, blew a single note into a horn. Suddenly, two more floating rafts, each carried by four more octorocks, rose from beneath the bridge on each side. But when the raised their bows, they aimed in the other direction. Meeshy followed their line of sight and saw another Hylian, riding a horse, approaching the bridge from the opposite side, looking back at her with wide eyes. He pulled his horse to a stop, and the bokoblin's arrows landed ahead of him, exploding on impact with the ground. Lyric balked. Fire behind and explosions ahead, he suddenly whirled in place and galloped full speed back the way they'd come. Meeshy didn't know how to react, so she didn't, and the horse knocked her aside in his haste to get past her. A moment later, something else hit her, too. She felt the impact, felt like she was flying through the air, and felt herself hit something. Then she couldn't breath. Water! She'd fallen in the river! Flailing for any sense of direction, she felt something strong and wooden, and pulled herself to it, holding on for her life. A few seconds later, she found air, and stayed there to catch her breath and try to reorient herself to her surroundings. She was beneath the bridge. The bridge itself shielded from the bokoblins' arrows, at least for now, but she could still hear violent explosions overhead as bomb arrows went off. She pried her eyes open and looked around for any sign of the others, but neither Totsuna nor Lyric was anywhere to be seen. She hoped they'd made it off the bridge. Taking a few deep breaths, she plunged beneath the surface and swam downstream, hoping that the water would hide her from the bokoblins. She must have been right; she made it far enough that she'd be out of their range, and then came to the surface and swam to the river's edge.

      Botrick met her there, and pulled her to her feet. “You're okay,” he said, relief evident in his voice. “You're out of their range now. They can't hit you.”

      “Totsuna?” she asked. “Lyric?”

      “They're safe,” he assured her. “Come on, let's get back to them.”

      Meeshy brushed her wet hair away from her eyes and found herself faced with a wall of rocks and stone leading back up to the path. Under better circumstances, it wouldn't have been a difficult climb, but as it was... she didn't have any crippling injuries, but her whole body hurt. It wouldn't be fun, but it was doable. Botrick led the way, and she tried to mimic his steps. When she stumbled occasionally, he would offer her a hand and she wasn't too proud to accept it. And once she was close to the top, Totsuna was there, holding out a hand, the two of them pulled Meeshy up the last few steps.

      “Well,” she said, “that could have gone better.”

      “No kidding,” agreed Tots. “They ruined my shield.” She pulled her shield off her back to show that there was an arrow sticking out of it, and the wood of the shield was charred, obscuring half of the decorative design.

      Meeshy shrugged. “I guess it could have been worse, too.”

      “You're right,” Botrick agreed. “I didn't think either one of you was going to make it out alive.”

      Totsuna's gaze shifted toward the river, and Meeshy turned to see what she was looking at. The other Hylian traveler sat on his horse at the opposite side of the river, watching them. After a few seconds, he offered them a simple nod, and then turned and rode off. At least he wasn't holding a grudge against them for messing up his plan to cross the bridge. Nor did they hold it against him; that they'd both tried to cross at the same time was an unfortunate coincidence, nothing more.

      “The bokoblins will be on guard now,” Botrick said. “I don't think anyone will make it across that bridge today, and you need to rest. We should head back to the stable.”

      Meeshy quickly agreed, took a step, stumbled, and then continued more slowly and more successfully. Totsuna was beside her in an instant, keeping a hand on her arm to help her out. It wasn't really necessary, and after a minute or two, she pulled away a little. Nonetheless, when they found Lyric again, Meeshy kept a tighter grip on his reigns than usual.

      Chapter 12

      The journey back to Outskirt Stable was slower, but as time went on, Meeshy recovered more from her fall off the bridge and their pace gradually increased. They made it back well before nightfall, and Totsuna immediately procured a soft bed for Meeshy. The would-be adventurer was fast asleep within minutes while her body healed itself.

      “I've never seen an adventurer who could sleep so readily,” Totsuna remarked ruefully. Then again, she'd spent so many late nights wide awake, searching for dragons, perhaps sleep just didn't come as naturally for her anymore.

      “I'm going to patrol south of the stable, in case anyone else is coming tonight,” Botrick said. “I should be back in a few hours.”

      He turned to go, but Totsuna rushed after him. “Actually, I was thinking I might tag along, if you don't mind.”

      He shrugged. “I'd appreciate the company, but I don't know what you expect to find. It's just the same way you came in yesterday.”

      “I'll appreciate the company, too,” she answered.

      Nonetheless, neither of them spent much time talking. Totsuna thought about dragons. She wasn't sure what Botrick thought about. Probably just travelers to rescue and threats to repel. He was lucky that those mounted bokoblins didn't come through the pass; they would have taken him out with no trouble. She wondered what else he might encounter. Lizalfos? He might fend one off without much trouble, but they were decent swimmers, so he wouldn't be able to force one into the water like he had with that bokoblin. There would be plenty of stalkoblins at night, and those were pretty easy to kill. Totsuna had handled a few herself, and she knew even they could be tricky, especially if they brought a mix of ranged and melee weapons.

      “I got it!” she screamed, and Botrick instinctively jumped away from her, surprised by her sudden exclamation. “I got it!” she repeated, while he slowly calmed down. “Stalkoblins! Stalkoblins carry bows, at least some of them. And you have plenty of arrows. We can shoot them down, into the water.”

      Botrick shook his head. “I thought you two weren't good with bows? And I don't much experience with them myself.”

      “How hard could it be?” Totsuna asked. “I've seen it done before, and those octorocks are big targets. Wouldn't you like to make the bridge safe, at least for a while?”

      “It would be a valuable service to the travelers in this region,” he admitted. Turning, he looked over her, evaluating her usefulness in combat. “Are you any good with that sword?”
      “No,” she admitted, “but I'm not half bad with the shield.”

      He frowned.

      “Look, we can take a couple of stalkoblins,” she insisted. “Meeshy and I took down a couple of stalkoblins, and she doesn't even carry weapons. With a strong, experienced watchman like you, it'll be no trouble at all. You've been patrolling this route for a while now, right? You must know where we can find some undead monsters.”

      Botrick sighed. “They aren't always reliable, but I do know they appear more commonly to the south of the stable. The best thing we could do is stay out all night and hope they attack. We'd be using ourselves as bait.”

      “In the name of making the world a little safer for everyone else,” Totsuna concluded. “And ourselves.”

      “Okay,” he conceded. “I can't guarantee that we'll see any stalkoblins, let alone one with a bow. But I've seen at few at the fork in the road just south of here. We can stay there for the rest of the night. Just don't drop your guard.”

      And so they did. They didn't set a fire, fearing that heat and light would keep the undead away, but made a fair bit of noise to draw the attention of anyone and anything that might be near. Further in the wilderness, they wouldn't have dared, but Botrick new this land well; they wouldn't see any unexpected visitors more dangerous than a wolf.

      The discussed strategy. They both had shields, so they quickly agreed to stand back-to-back to cover each other. Anything beyond that depended on how many attackers appeared, and how they were armed, so despite the pair's best efforts to form a real plan, they both knew they'd be improvising.

      When they ran out of contingencies to create, Totsuna told Botrick about dragons, in particular, the fire dragon of the north, and how she hoped to catch a glimpse of it before it presumably vanished, as legend said it had done a century ago. She didn't have much time – more likely than not, she was already too late – but she had to give it her best effort. Besides, she'd hit a dead end in Faron, almost literally. The Zonai ruins extended deeper into the jungle than she had ever been, but it only became more and more dangerous. She always had to turn back.

      Dawn was drawing near when the stalkoblins finally appeared.

      Whoever wrote Botrick's page on Zelda wiki did an excellent job. There's quotes and the situations in which he says things, the types of arrows he keeps in stock and when he sells him, and the type of shield he carries. Apparently, he has a line of dialogue exclusive to encountering guardians, but there are no guardians on his path, so you'll only see it if you lure a guardian over to him.

      Meeshy's and Totsuna's pages are still blank.
      Goddess of the Sands

      Map of Thyphlo Ruins

      Forest Architects

      If you have Amiibo Tap: Nintendo's Greatest Bits on Wii U, you can reset which games your amiibo unlock by deleting the game and then redownloading it.