The Legend of Zelda: The Warrior Prince:

What Came Before:

Long ago, in Hyrule, a beautiful kingdom surrounded by forests and mountains... legends told of an omnipotent Golden Power that lay hidden. It was hidden in a sacred realm beyond the reach of men, but one day a doorway to that realm was suddenly opened...

Hoping to claim the Golden Power as their own, the people began to quarrel and fight. Many sought to enter the hidden Golden Land, but none ever returned, and instead evil power began to issue forth from the dark portal...

So the king commanded seven sages to seal the gate to the land of the Golden Power. Many brave knights were lost in the battle to protect the sages from the tides of evil, but the seal was cast! Evil flowed no more! And the seal would remain for all time...

Or so the people hoped...

But when these events were obscured by the mists of time, and became legend, a mysterious wizard known as Agahnim appeared from nowhere. With strange magic powers he eliminated the good king of Hyrule. He cast spells on the soldiers and kidnapped young maidens descended from the sages in order to break the seal.

While Agahnim succeeded in transporting princess Zelda to the Dark World, she and the other six maidens were rescued by the hero, Link. Link defeated Agahnim and sought out Ganon, defeating him also. He took the Triforce and his noble heart undid the damage Ganon had done:

The good king of Hyrule and the loyal sage returned. Sahasralah had a happy homecoming in Kakariko Village. Link's uncle recovered. The flute-playing boy reappeared. And the Master Sword was returned to its pedestal to sleep again...forever...

Or so the people hoped...

Link, while perhaps a noble hero, still had hopes and dreams like all people. Link had tasted the sweet cup of glory, and secretly longed for a return of the excitement of saving the world.

In the time before the appearance of Agahnim, tensions with Gerudo of the western desert rose. Already they were at war with the great empire called "Dunlár", and many feared that once the Gerudo were out of the way, Dunlár would invade Hyrule. Fortunately, shortly after Dunlár's war with the Gerudo officially began, negotiations began to seal an alliance by a marriage between Princess Zelda and Warrior Prince Raidon.

Link returned the kingdom to "normal," but the outside world has not stopped. The utter defeat of the Gerudo people is in sight, and Warrior Prince Raidon has been sent to Hyrule to meet the Hylian royalty as tradition requires before the official marriage.

In a lull of the fighting between the Gerudo and Dunlár, a small group slips through the Gerudo fortress. In this group are loyal retainers to King Dunlár, his son the popular "Warrior Prince" Raidon, and a select few others from Dunlár. Eastward they travel through Gerudo territory.

Prologue: The Prince Comes:

Warrior Prince Raidon, the retainers to King Dunlár, and the rest in the company proceed through the eastern gate of the walled Gerudo city. The small group wears long tunics to protect them from the sun and other harsh conditions of the desert. A weak but hot breeze whistles across the ground, catching the rough fabrics of their over-tunics and blowing dust about their feet as they walk away from the city built of dark stone.

On the lesser walls of the east side of the city, several Gerudo guards pause on their patrol of the top. They turn their gaze onto the small company, watching as the group marches to the east. Since there was no commotion at the east gate, and the Gerudo guards on the west side of the city let them through, the guards assume that the group is unimportant and they turn their attention to trying to find some measly scraps of shade in the hot noonday sun.

Reyak steels a glance back towards the Gerudo, allows a glare to flit across his face, then turns back. He snickers to himself at the unpleasant duty of those Gerudo.

"Care to tell the rest of us what is so funny, retainer Reyak?" Koyu, a captain of the Dunlár knights, keeps his eyes ahead and his hands in the large brown sleeves of his over-tunic, his voice dead serious.

Reyak decides to remain silent, his expression returning serious but the smirk fading slowly. Prince Raidon, the youngest and smallest in the group, fiddles with something on his left wrist, a thing somewhere in between a full forearm bracer and a bracelet. "Reyak, we're not meeting the Hylian royalty right away, right? Why don't you take this thing off?"

An older man with wispy gray hair and a tan, wrinkled face underneath his brown hood, steps closer to Raidon. With a voice instilled with authority, he clearly states, "Your father the king said that you were to wear that inhibitor bracer until after your first meeting with their king. You are still young and inexperienced, you might accidentally cast a magic spell and cause... a situation."

Raidon sighs and lets his arms drop to his side. "Fine then, Markus." The young prince mutters under his breath, "Just because you're my father's right hand..."

Reyak, now walking at the front of the group, slows. "Do you feel that? It's getting cooler." The group eagerly picks up their pace and discovers that it does indeed seem to be getting cooler. Raidon thinks he hears a faint sound, he turns his head. At the same time, the group hears something that sounds to them disturbingly like the roar of an approaching horde of Dodongo.

Raidon instinctively reaches into his tunic for his steel Moon Dagger. Markus grabs his arm to stop him. He leans down to the young prince, "Stay your hand, sir. Remember, we are still in Gerudo territory. If they saw one of us with Dunláran weapons, they would kill us all."

Raidon takes his hand away from the hidden sheath at his waist and nods his head in understanding. Although today may be a cease-fire day, the war is not yet over. The Gerudo seem to particularly despise Dunlár. They fight viciously, and they fight to the last warrior.

As the group continues forward, Raidon notices the roar growing louder. Now he can tell that the sound is not quite like a Dodongo charge, though he is not sure what it might be. He looks up at the rock walls of the canyon to see them curving back and forth to make their path twist and turn. The group continues walking forward and the roar changes from a distant, background sound to a loud, powerful noise reverberating between the rock walls.

Finally the rock walls sheer away to the sides, the canyon yawning open. In the center of the space is the most spectacular thing Raidon has ever seen. The mighty Gerudo waterfall, its waters flowing all the way from the Zora spring head. Several of the group stand there, gawking. The falls are huge, more water than they had ever seen at once pounds down into the misty depths far below.

"Hey! Haven't you Hylians ever seen a waterfall before?" A Gerudo guard walks up to them, curved swords across her back. She spits at their feet and glares towards them, muttering something about stupid Hylians and getting lost in front of an archer. "We heard about you. Stop wandering into our territory. Don't they tell you that there's a war going on?"

Koyu says with the mocking tone well hidden, "The Gerudo are at war? How horrible!" Some of the retainers have to cover their mouths to hide the smiles. Raidon lets his hood droop forward to hide his face, glad for the slightly oversized cloth to hide his wide smile as he suppresses a snicker.

The small group follows the sword-armed Gerudo guard to a bridge across the chasm. She pauses and turns to face them again just before they reach the bridge. Another two Gerudo on each side ready bows, and a second sword-armed Gerudo walks up from the bridge. The first looks them in the eye, not bothering to hide her disdain. "Hoods down. We have to check for Dunlárian messengers trying to sneak into Hyrule."

A smirk briefly flashes across Raidon's face. Dunlár had been using carrier pigeons for months, with only the brief lull when Hyrule was in Ganon's grip. The Gerudo hadn't stopped – much less intercepted – a single message. Raidon allows his eyes to roll up slightly as he thinks about how fortunate that is. If the Gerudo had been stopping the birds, his correspondence with Princess Zelda would have been broken off. Such a step is a required part of Dunlárian pre-marriage traditions.

The Gerudo guard chews on her lip absent-mindedly as she looks over the group. They look a little too smudged by sand and dirt to have been Hylians who wandered into the desert, but they could have been lost there for a day or few. Their skin is a little more tan than other Hylians she'd seen before, but they still had the long, pointed ears and lithe bodies that Hylians had, though their muscles seemed more toned than most Hylians. Perhaps they were farm hands. She turns away, dismissing them as if they weren't worth her time in the first place. "Go on, get out of here."

The archers relax, putting their arrows back into their quivers. Raidon looks over his left shoulder, back at the Gerudo camp, then back forward and the group begins over the bridge. The other Gerudo don't even bother to glare at the Dunlárians in disguise as they set foot on the other side. Several sigh with relief as they make it past the last Gerudo camp without being caught.

Ahead, water springs from a rock into another water-filled drop in the canyon. A narrow bridge crosses the gap. The Dunlárian group crosses without a backward glance. As Raidon reaches the other side, he looks at the rock wall and notices a scraggly, prickly plant growing in a crack at the side of the canyon. It reminds him of home in the harsh, rugged lands of Dunlár.

As he stands to return to the march east, Raidon thinks about the letters Zelda sent him. She wrote about fields that stretched as far as the eye could see, where the ground was entirely covered in grass. Dunlár is primarily made of mountain and desert. The lushness that Hyrule casually thrives in is almost beyond the imagination of Dunlárians.

The rock narrows for a ways, and the group walks in silence. An hour or so passes, and Raidon's keen eyes notice the plants and scraggly shrubs appear more and more often. Finally, the rock walls begin to open up and Raidon notices the plants are not only more frequent, but more green and more fragile-looking. He shakes his head, assuming that his fascination with the plants is due to the fact that he spent the past two years in the Gorgon Wastes with the "sand people" of Dunlár.

The rock walls shoot off to the side, and another breath-taking view opens up to the Dunlarian group. They stand, staring out at Hyrule plain. Raidon's eyes widen, trying to take everything in. She was right, the ground is covered in green grass as far as the eye can see.

A rather overweight and unfortunately short Hylian in relatively clean overalls walks up to the Dunlarians, interrupting their gawking. "Hey there! Name's Tarin. I'm glad to see you all back. Why don't we head on over to my ranch at Lon Lon Village? My daughter can only handle the workers for so long." He adds his last sentence with a chuckle, and the Dunlarians play along.

Markus shakes his head, remembering that this Hylian was in on the plan to smuggle the prince into Hyrule. The group is still close to Gerudo territory, so the pretense must be maintained as well as they can manage until they reach Lon Lon Village. "Yes, master Tarin. We should be getting back home."

Many tales claim the beginning of the Golden Power. Some say smiths from the bowels of Dunsparse Mountain crafted it, others say magi of unlimited power created it. The Golden Power was locked away from mortal men for ages, and many sought the elusive omnipotent power.

— Excerpt of the Dunlan annals of the Golden Power