The two sisters had arrived at the stairs leading to Kakariko Village. Tying Strider and Talona to a tree, they nodded to each other and made their way up. Suddenly, Shehra stopped in her tracks as a sensation went down her spine, catching Shakti’s attention. She turned to her sister frowning. “What is it Shehra?” she asked. “Is something the matter?”
Sensitive to irregularities in close proximity, Shehra shivered a bit before she answered, “This place...It’s so cold.”
“Really? You think so?” Shakti asked furrowing her eyebrows in confusion. “I know it’s not our home, but I don’t find it particularly chilly. In fact, I find it rather comfortable.”
“I’m not talking about the air temperature, sister, I’m talking about….my soul. It feels eerily glacial. It….senses horrible things. Pain. Fear. Suffering. Even death.”
“Death?” Shakti asked. “But I thought Kakariko Village was supposed to be a happy place? Even though a large part of it is apparently a graveyard, from what little I know...''
“I don’t think so,” Shehra shook her head sadly. “Graves in graveyards are marked with ‘Rest in Peace’ and typically souls are indeed at peace in them. The kind of death I am sensing however is not peaceful at all.”
“Perhaps there was a murder here recently,” Shakti suggested. “No matter how peaceful a place is, these things do happen.”
“Yes. Unfortunately they do,” Shehra nodded sadly at the fact that people would do such horrible things such as murder in cold blood. Although her people were thieves, they weren’t murderers, and they did not approve of this kind of activity at all. “We’d better investigate and see what is up before we take care of our mission.”
“Right,” Shakti nodded. “Let’s go.”
The pair headed up the stairs and when they reached the top through the gates, they let out a horrified gasp at what they saw. “Holy mother of Din, Nayru, and Farore….” Shakti gasped.
Already reacquainted with his powers and skills, the mighty Link mounted his trusty Epona and headed to the head of his army of wives and daughters. All that remained to be seen was Fiora return from Hyrule's town and fields to report what information she could find. Too caught in watching his surroundings, he never heard her arrive as she walked at his and Namira's side, just between the two.
“Listen,” Fiora calmly said. “I went as close to Ganondorf’s castle as possible to scout how many monsters and minions he had, and it doesn’t look good.''
Entering the conversation, Namira asked, “What’s wrong?”, before being rather surprised to see her bodyguard pop up so suddenly.
“Ganondorf’s forces outnumber us about twelve to one. Not to mention he has some really impressive creatures near and inside his castle. Stalfos, Redeads, Wolfos, Poes, Moblins, Lizalfos, Dinolfos, Dondongos, Like Likes, Wallmasters, Floormasters and all sorts of various beasts. Lots of them too, including a few large armored knights that would rival even the fiercest warriors in Hyrule's old guard. They possessed very threatening weapons, such as massive axes...''
“You mean Iron Knuckles?” Namira asked with a gasp. Iron Knuckles, those legendary guardians, were supposed to be extremely hard to kill. The tales told of warriors that could withstand bombs, beings strongs like Gorons and yet able to wield their weight and strength accordingly. Nothing could stand in their way, as they had been protectors of artifacts and sacred places back in the days. If Ganondorf actually had some in his army, it bade ill for the whole army. “How many of them were there?''
“I counted about twenty-five,'' Fiora answered.
Shuddering in fright, sudden realization hit Namira that as strong as they were, they were hopelessly outmatched. They needed help, and lots of it.
Seeing the worried look in his mistress’s eyes, Link frowned and asked, “Namira? Is something the matter?”
Looking into her lover’s eyes, Namira frowned and answered, “We’re either going to need lots of Bombchus, or a ton of reinforcements, or both'' she joked, trying to ease the tension boiling in her blood. ''We'd need the help of the Gorons if we're to battle things like those Iron Knuckles.''
“But the Gorons have disappeared,” Fiora declared. “And they despised us Gerudos in the past.”
“Everyone despised us,” Namira answered. “We are known as thieves and none holds a great place in their heart for those who steal,” she continued, bringing her mount to a halt as she bade for the army to stop and rest as there was a serious discussion about strategy that needed to be dealt with. ''We'll have to convince them somehow to back off their prejudices and grudges in order to win this war.''
As the camp was made and tents were quickly placed, a quick supper was served, with rations being eaten by everyone as Namira, Link, Fiora and a couple of advisors were discussing their approach to this war that they had yet to properly start. ''If we have to go on to get allies, we need to set an example and deal the first blow. That ought to give a clear message to everyone uneasy under Ganondorf's rule,'' Namira said after much deliberating between everyone sitting close to a map they had unfurled.
“What exactly shall be the way our message be presented? And how will we get it to anyone?” Fiora asked. “Death Mountain is a long ride, and if we get found out by Ganondorf before we can enhance our numbers, we’ll be in trouble.”
“Yes, you’re right,” Namira answered. “But there’s still hope. Shehra and Shakti were planning on visiting Hyrule on their quest for womanhood. Knowing them, they wouldn't go near Hyrule Town considering the state it is now in. Our best bet would be to check on Kakariko village to see if they made their way inside. It is close to Death Mountains, where the Gorons lives,'' she further explained, pointing at the map all the while.
“They would act as emissaries, then?'' Link asked, crossing his arms as he looked at the map. ''Not a bad plan considering they are still young and hopeful. Gorons have a soft spot for young would-be heroes,'' he said, a proud smile on his face as his thoughts wandered to two of his most promising daughters.
With Fiora giving a knowing glance at Link, she looked back at Namira as she looked at the map once again. ''That would explain what we could be doing to rouse the Gorons to our cause, but that doesn't give us any ideas on how to make our first move,'' she replied, sitting down and observing everyone as she spoke.
'' We make a diversion. We attack any outposts close to the village, we make a standing and then we get people to our side. It's best if we do this in a place full of people at first, then work our ways to the Gorons in time. Before we can storm Ganondorf's stronghold, we'll need all the help we can get,'' Namira explained, drawing a perimeter on the map as she budged various tokens representing their forces.
''Shall I go on ahead and try to reach them and tell both young ones of our plan and our hopes for them?'' Fiora asked, getting on one knee before looking up at Namira.
''Yes. Go on and tell them, then give us an estimation of the forces close to Kakariko's village and where they might be located,'' Namira commanded, before then rolling up the map as she looked at everyone in the tent. With Fiora gone as soon as she commanded it so, she then went on to speak to her advisors, speaking about early strategies and tactics that would work best in their favor.
After a little while, everyone left Namira's tent, save for Link as he sharpened his Master Sword, doing so with precision as he concentrated. ''You know, this brings back so many memories,'' he began to say, a little nostalgic as his eyes were fixated on his sword. ''When I first got here, it was peaceful and it was for a quest to retrieve the Goron Ruby for Princess Zelda. I met this huge Goron named Darunia, who then revealed himself to be a sage many years later, who seemed to take a liking to me after I saved his people from the Dodongos. He even named his firstborn after me,'' he said, a light chuckle in his throat and a smile on his face.
''You never spoke about this to me before,'' Namira said in surprise, taking a whole new outlook on her beloved as she almost admired his warrior-spirit in a different manner.
''It never did come up. Especially not when I was busy bringing your population up,'' Link retorted, putting his sword in its scabbard. ''But yes, I do have a good reputation with the Gorons, as well as with the other races of Hyrule,'' he explained, rising up as he headed outside the tent slowly.
''Then why didn't you volunteer to speak to them?'' Namira said, a little dubious about what he spoke about, crossing her arms in response.
''Because I'll be damned if I let any monster lay a hand on one of my wives or daughters so long as I live,'' he declared, giving her a look of fierce, yet gentle determination before he headed outside for some fresh air.
Stuck in silence, Namira was beginning to understand just who exactly she had charmed as she looked at him go out, wondering if perhaps he'd turn out to be the savior of the Gerudo race, albeit in a way that she never would have expected a few years ago...
The Village of Kakariko was a wreck. Houses reduced to rubble, a creaking tattered windmill, and a small Cucco coop that was in ruin. The worse part of it, though, were the spider webs all around surrounding people like animal pens as they worked nonstop being watched over by Poes and Stalfos.
“What is this place?” Shakti asked. “This doesn’t look like a peaceful village.“
“Yeah, it looks more like a slave labor camp,” Shehra agreed as she looked in horror at what was going on.
It was truly a terrifying sight. Men and women with glazed looks in their eyes digging, pulling heavy loads, and walking like Redeads. It didn’t seem like they had any wills of their own. While they observed, one of the young women stopped her work blinking her eyes for a moment as suddenly her glazed look began to look more normal. She looked around in confusion when suddenly one of her masters took notice as he snapped his fingers. The girl tried to run away, but she wasn’t fast enough as a giant Skulltula captured her in his spider legs, binding her in his webbing. Kicking and screaming in terror, tears streamed down her beautiful face as she cried out, “No! No please! Not that agai-“
Before she could continue, she was cut off as webbing bound around her mouth gagging her as the horrid spider brought her back to his cobweb, seeming to relish in the sight of her eyes going wide as he positioned his fangs near her own head.
Closing her eyes in defeat as she knew what was about to happen, the young girl let out one more tear of sorrow as the Skulltula sank its fangs into her head injecting some sort of venom directly into her neck. He held his bite for nearly thirty seconds until his victim’s eyes suddenly glazed over and closed as she returned to her sorry state of mindlessness. Then, the spider turned to another bundle containing a sleeping ten-year-old little boy, starting to unwind him. After he was finished, one of the Stalfos went to him and clicked his bony fingers. The little boy then woke up, his eyes dull and glazed over like the rest of the people working. Picking up a spade that was offered to him, he walked like a zombie joining the others in their digging.
Shakti and Shehra could only look in horror at what was occurring. “Wha….what is going on here?” Shakti asked. “Why is this little child like that? Why is he working so hard when he should be playing, learning about the world or being near his loved ones?''
“That spider bite,” Shehra answered. “It must contain some sort of venom that allows these monsters to control these people and make them do their bidding.” As she spoke, the thought of her mother's dance, however satisfying it seemed to be for her father, popped up in her head. About to compare the two, she began to focus instead on the situation she found herself in, if only not to delve into too terrible an imagery.
“So that girl….” Shakti gasped in realization looking up to see the young maiden sleeping and horrified as to what was going to happen once she awoke. “Oh, how horrible!” Growling at this display of cruelty, she reached for her Biggoron’s Sword and declared, “This is going to stop! Starting right n-“
“Hold!” A voice spoke.
“Huh?” Shakti and Shehra gasped as they turned to see a young man about their age beside them.
“Your sword…” He gasped. “It….it’s one of the swords that Link used to carry!” Narrowing his eyes, he growled, “Where did you steal it?”
Insulted a bit, Shakti declared, “Stole? I’ll have you know, buster, that my father, Link, gave me this sword when I became of a-“ Suddenly she was stopped as she realized what this man had just said, “Uh, wait….did you just say ‘Link?’”
“Um, y-y-yes?” The man replied, rather astounded by the furious demeanour of this scantily-clad young woman and the muscles that seemed to bulge on her body.
Shehra, also confused ,asked, “How, how do you know of our father?”
“Y-Your f-f-father?” The man asked, suddenly believing that his idea to try and stop those two women was a rather bad idea.
“Yes. Now, how do you know of him?” Shakti asked.
Shuddering nervously, the man hesitantly got out, “I…..I think you two should come with me. Quick! Before those monsters find us!”
Knowing they should be helping those people, but figuring some answers about their father first might help in regards to that, the two sisters followed this young man as he led them to a graveyard. Why they were here they did not understand, but they figured there was a reason for this.
Unbeknownst to them, however, they were being followed by someone who would change the nature of their quest in a particularly decisive manner...