By Perfect Soldier 01
Epilogue: Letters of the Vault
"Summer, Eightieth Year of Ordona.
I must keep this note short and brief. I enclose this book so that you may use it at your own discretion. Circumstances have made it difficult to keep it here, but I dared not destroy it lest it be needed in the future, though I pray that the Goddesses never bring such an ill fate upon the world again. I know that your dear Queen is highly proficient in linguistics, and I hope that she may be able to finish what I have begun. I regret that I was only able to make a very short foray into those ancient words, but I pray her reading will be a peaceful exercise despite the terrible beast to be found within the pages.
Keep well, for I am unsure when I may be able to see your face again. Your sister."
"To my dear mama,
I am having a wonderful time with my lessons here with the Wind Tribe. I have learned so many things for when I become king one day, but I do wish that I didn't have to be tutored so far away from home. I know that you will say it is for my own good, that I have to be strong and courageous for when I take father's crown, and I know that you are right. My only fear is that I will be forgotten when I return home and my people will not obey me when I come to take the throne. I do hope that little Daltus is behaving himself and that he remembers his elder brother. Please tell him that I think of him often, and I hope that he is not cross with me for only seeing him once a year.
But I must tell you, mama, of a story I learned today. It is so fantastic I can barely believe it! Old Gregal said that once a great monster roamed the land here, eating whole villages and castles in one bite! Can you imagine such a creature? He even said that it had destroyed the Fortress of Winds! How terrifying it must have been! I almost cannot believe that the very walls around me now were once overthrown by a single creature! I hope that our great land of Hyrule is never threatened by such a monster. But now I come to the part which I wanted to tell you about most, so I shall continue with the story.
Gregal told us that while the beast continued to eat up the world around him, there was a white knight who rose up from the ashes and fought the monster in heated combat for centuries! Gregal said he was very brave and courageous, and that was how I should fight my foes when I am king, always striving for peace no matter what the consequences. He didn't finish the story though, and when I asked him what happened to the white knight he said that they were still fighting somewhere in a far off land, locked in eternal combat forever and ever. I'm not sure I believe this part, but I liked how brave the white knight was, protecting his people for all of time. Have you ever heard this story? Can you tell me the ending when I come home?
Your son, Gustaf."
"Mid morning, Summer, third year of Lanayru.
There is a beast, a terrible beast, snarling and grunting with big tusks and vicious fangs. I see him staring at me, my hand glowing like the sun. His great hoof glows too, almost blinding to my eyes. Yet somehow I know that all is well, the land is safe. Eight pillars of light stream down in front of me, separating me from harm's way."
"I address this letter to the Royal House of Hylian Sages, for there is an urgent matter that I need to draw to your attention. I fear a great calamity has befallen our great kingdom of Koholint, and I write to beg for your assistance in tackling this monstrosity. I am led to believe that this is not the first time that such a nightmare has gripped our land with such terror, but the Great Wind Fish does not answer our calls and I have nowhere else to turn. You, Hyrule, are our closest ally, and your unsurpassed wisdom is our only hope of survival.
Their leader, the one they call Dethl, we believe you have encountered before with the rebel faction of Dark Interlopers. Your great courage in expelling those wretches from your land was perhaps your greatest triumph, but now they have come calling at our beaches, determined to cover our dear island in the darkest of clouds and the most devilish of nightmares. Just the face of Dethl has been enough to strike the hearts of our people stone cold, with those great, terrifying eyes, as I am sure you will no doubt remember, inflicting all manner of illness and disease on our citizens. It is only a matter of time before everyone succumbs to this strange, dreamlike state of disillusion, where one reality blurs into the next as if a mask has been pulled down over our eyes, and I fear by the time this letter reaches your counsel I too will have fallen in its wake. Please, dearest Hyrule, help us in our hour of need!
The Elders of Mabe Village."
"Magic has long been condemned as a dark art in the land of Hyrule, a terrible force that many only use for the ill will of their own selfish desires. But I call to you, dear brothers, to stand up against this unnecessary tide of censure and show just how good the workings of magic can be! We are not like the Dark Interlopers, seeking nothing but power and greed; we are the White Knights of Hyrule who fight for the glory of our people and to defend our beloved nation. We do not worship the heinous creatures of their faith, the monsters of nightmare and atrocity whose eyes pierce the hearts of the pure with the savage sting of sin. We do not harness the power of masks or hide in the shadows of the dark arts! We step boldly into the light of the Goddesses, our souls full of their courage, power and wisdom, and it is this which gives us the strength to rid our land of these monsters. We must once again prove that magic is a worthy and righteous power, my brothers, so even though the Triforce may now be concealed from us for all eternity, do not let that stop you from following in the shining glory of the Goddesses. Rise up and be counted among those who embrace magic and its goodness! Rise up and be counted among those who shun the darkness of evil in all its forms! Rise up and be counted, my dear brothers, among those who wish to protect Hyrule from the likes of the great beast's followers, who wish to live in peace, and who refuse to let its minions tear away their homes and livelihoods. The monster may be long since dead, but its brethren are ready at every corner to carry on the battle. Be ready, my brothers, and join us in our quest to master the great power enchantments that will lead the way to our future! Join us, the White Knights of Hyrule!"
"Sunrise, early Spring, fifth year of Ordona.
The sound of drums has long been on the horizon in my dreams, but I am unsure what it means. The sky is red with blood and the air is beating steadily with the pounding hearts of all those who have been slain. A great fire burns the landscape in a faraway land, never ceasing. A dark figure looms on a dark horse, jeering and laughing. I fear that this is not related to the current darkness extending over our lands, but a new and troublesome future that lies ahead of us. But the most worrying thing I see is whenever I am just about to wake; everything disintegrates to darkness and two huge, monstrous yellow eyes stare at me from out of the darkness, two eyes that I have seen before."
"Second month, Fourty-Fourth Year of Faron.
My dearest aunt,
I came across the most astonishing thing in my studies just this morning, and I had to write immediately to tell you about my findings. It seems that one can make time move through the power of music! Now please don't look at my letter like that, for I know that everything I say is often met with one of your incredulous looks, but this time I am most serious and you must believe me in earnest. As you know, I have been studying here in the Ministry of the Sages and White Knights for quite some time now, and I discovered the most interesting manuscript, complete with the scrawling of some ancient melody! I was down in the dungeons excavating the ruins, for I am sure you are aware of the myths surrounding those dungeons, those stories of the Queen being held captive down here under some terrible creature, and underneath a whole host of the newer flagstones I found this decrepit old sheaf of papers! It seems to be written in some kind of code, but I am certain of two words at the very least: 'song' and 'time'. I am still at a loss as to what instruments can access this mysterious power, but I've been cross-referencing the song with the academics as well as checking them against all the pieces of music recorded in the Book of Mudora. Work is slow, but I truly believe that if I can unearth this mystery then I may just be onto something here. I am absolutely determined to find a way to reverse that terrible slumber of our dear princess. No doubt you can except to hear from me again shortly.
Your humble nephew."
"An Encyclopaedia of the World's History (rough first draft), Seventy-Eighth Year of Eldin.
Entry 52. Logbook 17. The Fused Shadow.
This is a most forbidden magical object that has said to have been sealed in the vaults of the Sacred Realm, never to see the light of day ever again. It was forged from the very heart of darkness itself by the Dark Interlopers, using a most terrible magic that was thought to be lost long ago in the wake of time. While not much is known about its creation, there are certain histories of this artefact that profess it to be the child of 'Majora', a supposedly most fearsome monster of long ago that once ruled this earth in an unending reign of menacing tyranny. This seems to be the popular theory expressed by the rural inhabitants of this land, although it cannot be verified with much certainty.
However, I was assured by the elders of several villages I visited that it was most definitely not the first object to be created in this creature's name. They recounted numerous tales of a mask being created from the very remains of Majora itself by a revered yet seemingly malicious warrior who wanted Majora's power for himself. They tell me that this 'mask' of Majora was the true source of the Fused Shadow, a refined, more potent symbol of Majora's true wrath. Again, this is not the most reliable data, but it seems to be the only source of its history. I will have to decide at a later stage in my experiments whether it's trustworthy or not.
Interestingly, as a side note which I will explore in greater depth in another entry, there seemed to be a distinct split down the centre of each tribe I spoke with concerning another figure in the Majora lore. There seems to have been another warrior, some of them called him a god, who fought either alongside or against Majora in a fierce battle, who also fell at the mercy of Majora's slayer. Yet none of the elders could agree on whether he was friend or foe, a saviour or a villain. Some of them called him the White Knight, others the Great Fierce Giant, others still the Fierce Deity. Some praised the slayer as the great hero, while the rest of them condemned him as a harbinger of all the world's current evil, praising the Fierce Deity instead. He seems the most mysterious figure, but I will expound upon my findings in more detail when I have gathered more information."
"First sight of autumn, third year of Eldin.
I see a great head with two great, yellow eyes, their tiny pupils piercing the bulging yellow irises. Two tall pointed spikes protrude from its crown, with several others framing its face. But the eyes then recede into darkness, and a beast covered in long swathes of white hair with a long snout steps out into the light, a crown of six peaks round its neck. "Tell me what you desire, child," he says to me, but I am too frightened to reply. "You know I eat children like you…" he sneers. "Do you want me to eat you? I shall, if you don't tell me what wish you want me to grant." But before I can answer he lets out a great roar which forces me to close my eyes. I hear my heart thump as loud as a drum in my ears and throat as the terrifying noise rattles through me. When I open my eyes again there is a great pig-like monster standing in place of the white beast, a flaming red mane setting his pitch black body alight. Instead of his six-peaked crown he holds two sharp fork-like spears, six sharp blades in his claws. But those eyes, those glaring, shining eyes. Those are exactly the same."
"Come one, come all! In celebration of the anniversary of The Great War of the Continents, come and see our acclaimed musical troupe perform live in your very city square! We promise a concert like none you have ever seen, and we guarantee to make day turn into night while you listen to us play! We have a wealth of experience and variety for everyone to enjoy, with a repertoire of old and new music from across the aeons. Our show-stopping performance of the famous "Song of Time" will literally transport you back to the cataclysmic battle itself! So join us in merry celebration this harvest!"
"Winter, Eightieth Year of Faron.
Thank you so much for taking care of our little endeavour. I could not go into much detail about it previously, but now I can take the opportunity without fear of compromise. I myself am not entirely certain as to how this issue has become so prevalent in the minds of the people again, but there has been much unrest lately as to whether our dear white knight was indeed such a hero as we claim. It is indeed well known through the kingdom that the royal family has always advocated his endeavours and celebrated him as the one man who rose up to destroy that terrible and villainous evil. But there has lately been a kind of resurgence of supporters for that ill-fated third party, and the people have been very vocal in expressing their abhorrence of our dear hero. I have sent a team of my own private guards to investigate the origin of this upheaval, but they have been unable to yet confirm its source.
The reason I sent you our beloved treasure was a culmination of many factors, and I do hope that I have not subsequently put you in danger, dear brother, by burdening you with such a task. We had a scare in the castle not all that long ago – one night some thieves had broken into the kitchens, no doubt to steal only some food, but they were apprehended not all that far from the library with dark lanterns in their hands, their pockets full of tinder and twigs. Previous to that incident there were numerous threats of burning the scriptures we hold due to their allegedly blasphemous praise of our hero, and just within the last few turns of the moon our effigies have been vandalised and some have even been torn down entirely. Even my dear husband eventually sided with the people, much to my continuing displeasure and grief I assure you, but I feared a revolt would be on our doorstep in no time at all if I was not seen to accept their wishes.
So I made a proclamation to the people that we were to change our ways and that I had destroyed the book myself – coming from me it would have meant so much more to them than had my husband done it, so please do not be angry with me for being so duplicitous. I feel utterly ashamed, but I can no longer trust anyone but you to keep our secret. I tried to reason with the people, persuade them towards the honest truth that our family knows so well, but they would not listen, no matter how hard I tried. I know that we are the living testimony of his heroism, and I will carry that honour proudly until the day I die, even though I am a coward and an undoubted failure in the eyes of our family.
Please be strong, brother, for my sake, and keep me in your prayers often. I think of you always, but now I am certain we will never be able to meet again except in secret. At least I still have our private guard of loyal servants who will ferry this letter into your very hands. I long for the day when I will be able to once again sing the glories of our white knight throughout the land.
Your beloved sister."
"First frost, third year of Eldin.
A lost child. There is a lost child crying. He has lost his friends; they have left him behind and have hidden themselves away in four corners of the land. But he has found a new one, one which calms his sorrow, but now the child laughs horribly, gazing at the moon. He sits beside his friend and looks into its yellow eyes set within a crown of ten horns. He holds him close."
"An Encyclopaedia of the World's History (rough first draft), Seventy-Ninth Year of Lanayru.
Entry 60. Logbook 18. The Great War of the Continents.
After gathering extensive information on this topic, I am still uncertain about how to describe this event. There are many conflicting accounts and different tales of folklore surrounding this historic event, and so I hope that the reader will forgive this slightly unorthodox approach and appreciate the difficulty I have encountered in attempting to piece together this mysterious story.
As I have mentioned previously, the Fused Shadow is professed to have been born from a parent artefact, known by many as Majora's Mask. The current whereabouts of both items is unknown, and it is doubted that they even exist in this world anymore. But while the Fused Shadow does not feature in this particular entry, its parent is of great importance and is highly significant in the unfolding tale.
I shall begin with the first account, which I hereby dub, 'Majora the Tyrant'.
This is the more generally accepted view, and portrays Majora as a great and horrific tyrant. Images of his appearance vary, ranging from a great hairy monster to a mere man. More often than not he is described as a monstrous beast. He lived in a land whose name has been long since lost by time, supposedly millions of years ago. Some place his existence only thousands of years ago, varying between eight and ten thousand years. In any case, it is undisputed that he conducted much of his war alone, and it was only later in his life that he began to recruit followers for his cause.
For years and years Majora remained unopposed. Many had tried to defeat this heinous creature, but just as many had failed and had succumbed to his terrible power, either by a painful decapitation or the whole consumption of their flesh. Another universal fact tells of rumours that began to spread about how Majora's armour could grant any wish or desire, but this only increased the death toll and Majora's subsequent victory over the whole world.
He continued to ravage the land until he was met by a king of a far away land, another kingdom whose name has been long since erased and whose location is unknown. Many say that this kingdom was on the other side of the world, some placing its origin on the Island of Maze beyond the Path of Fire, but there seems little to account for such speculation. This king was unlike all the others who had opposed him before. It is said that he was king of the last known stronghold in the entire world (which in itself was still a sizeable proportion of the world's land), and consequently Majora engaged him in battle, fighting for supremacy of the whole universe as we know it.
Again, the king is portrayed in many different lights, but common opinion stipulates that he was human. Some call him a giant, some a monster much like Majora, but regardless of shape and form, his defining characteristic is an association with the colour white. There is even a popular myth that describes him as possessing white eyes due to a terrible blindness he suffered from since birth.
In any case, blind or not, he and Majora fought over the land for what some have described as millennia. There seems to be no definite measurement of precisely how long they were engaged in battle, but it was certainly for a considerable amount of time. It was during this period that Majora was forced to gather reinforcements to aid his battle, and each side entered into an apparent stalemate, endlessly trading wins and losses with no clear victor in sight for many decades (for purposes of ease and clarity, we shall assume the king to be of a man's breeding, and so consequently that he could only have lasted the average life-span of an ordinary human being).
Then a curious development occurs in the legend, and it is virtually a unanimous fact that a third warrior entered the fray. It is admitted that no one knows where this warrior came from, but it is said that he was a wanderer, roaming the land with a drum strapped to his back and dancing with a feather in his hair, which, so I am told, apparently had the magical properties of being able to transform into a sword.
In this version of the story, this dancing warrior visited both Majora and the king and turned both of them into masks! With a simple song he ended years of strife and torment and freed the imprisoned world from their suffering. No one can decide quite how a song managed to turn both these mighty warlords into masks so easily, but many describe him as a powerful and secret sorcerer who had mastered how to control the essence of time itself. He was therefore hailed as the great Hero of Men who destroyed the two greatest evils this world has ever known.
However, there are other accounts which emphasise the great nobility and self-sacrifice of the white king, and followers of this doctrine denounce the dancing warrior as the greatest misfortune in history, some even calling him a divine prank of the Goddesses. They believe that, had the dancing warrior not interfered, the white king would have prevailed and crushed the evil of Majora once and for all.
I say 'once and for all' due to the creation of Majora's Mask. While supporters of the dancing warrior proclaim that the mask was born with no remnants of Majora's power, critics and sceptics of this theory believe that Majora's Mask brought forth a remaining trace of the beast's strength into the world, and due to the unknown whereabouts of this mask, it is certainly worrying about what consequences would ensue if it fell into the wrong hands. Moreover, as the Fused Shadow is believed to be a direct result of harnessing Majora's power, the white king's supporters stand firm in their protest. They argue that destroying Majora once and for all would have ultimately prevented the events which led to the Hylian Civil War, the creation of the Dark Interlopers, and the subsequent history of that unfortunate nation.
Yet there is further third version to add to this increasingly complex mixture of fact and fiction which promotes the actions of Majora himself. Naturally this course of events was obtained from the most dangerous of sources and the most unscrupulous of characters, but in the interest of keeping this encyclopaedia neutral and fair this account must be added. This tale of history provides a somewhat unrealistic yet intriguing insight into the motivations of Majora, attempting to place him in a more justifiable light.
It begins by stating that Majora was the only one of his kind, a kind of beast that had long been extinct in the world, with Majora its last remaining survivor. He roamed the earth alone, keeping to the mountains where he would not be slain due to the magical wish-granting properties of his armour. But nevertheless there were still warriors who persecuted him, climbing up into his den to challenge the great monster. But as other accounts describe, none of these men could challenge Majora on equal footing.
Soon he grew tired and angry of worthless challengers and he began to make bitter war on the world, partly as revenge and partly in search for the one true warrior who could match his strength and power. He wanted to find the one fighter who could put an end to his misery, supposedly, the one who would give him a worthy death.
He scoured the world for such a man or monster, ravaging and pillaging every kingdom that stood in his way, and he finally met him in the form of the white king. He revelled in this battle, undertaking many dirty tricks to extend the skirmish, employing all the monsters of the land to help him in his battle to make it a worthy challenge. It is even claimed that he stole away the white king's wife and children, gobbling them up to enrage and provoke the white king further.
And Majora succeeded in his tactics. He prolonged the war more and more, even when he seemed almost defeated he rose up again as if from death itself, forcing the white king into an endless battle for all eternity. My sources told me that Majora never wanted it to end, that he might have even wished the white king were his friend – that he believed they would have almost have been certainly friends had they met under different circumstances – but it is difficult to credit such opinions.
Regardless of such unlikely sentiment, the interference of the dancing warrior put an end to all his struggles, bringing everything to a most unsatisfactory anticlimax. Majora was frozen in time and space, trapped inside a mask, never to receive the death he so clearly longed for.
But the story of Majora's Mask does not end there with this version. My sources were adamant that Majora's Mask still exists, quite where or in whose possession they couldn't tell me, and that Majora was merely sleeping inside those prison walls, waiting for the day when he would finally finish his battle with the white king. Some say that both Majora's Mask and the mask of the white king were taken back with the dancing warrior to wherever he came from, which many believe to be an alternative dimension altogether! Others simply state that the two masks still lie together in some unknown corner of the world, battling with each other across the void of thought and imagination until their masks are donned and they are brought back to life.
Such are the disparities which I have found myself collecting over the past few years, and so I leave it to you, dear reader, to decipher which you believe to be the most creditable tale. Do you favour the white king or the dancing warrior? Do you even feel a shred of remorse for the monstrous Majora? Each story has its own truths; each has its own flaws. I will guide you no further; it is your decision.
AN: Finally. Here we are. The proper end! I apologise once again, for the very last time, for this taking a lot longer than the 'couple of weeks' I promised at the end of the last chapter! I started a new postgraduate course in September (converting to law in a year instead of three!) and I simply haven't had the time to write at all. As I said in the last chapter, I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who has been a reader, reviewer, or those lost along the way due to my severe lack of regular updates! You guys mean the world to me, so thanks for sticking with me. :D
But just before you get rid of me, I feel that this epilogue is probably in need of some explanation. Remember back when Zelda found the book about Majora in the the Records Vault? Remember she also found chests of letters? Well, these are some of those letters. I wasn't sure whether I should write a preceeding bit of narrative from Zelda's perspective to explain this or not, but I decided against it as I feel the main story has already been told, and the whole point of this epilogue was to just tie up a few loose ends with regards to how I've formed this crazy story in the first place (hence why everything is in italics)! Imagine that Zelda has been rooting through these letter chests some time after the events of the last chapter and that these are some of the letters she has picked out because they reveal a bit more about the Fierce Deity's history, as well as Majora's. I hope you could tell what I was hinting towards in all these letters - if not then by all means feel free to ask! By no means am I saying that this is how I see the Zelda universe, but given the circumstances I mention, there are lots of interesting connections to be made.
As for working out the years in the letters, to make it a bit more interesting I've imagined a system that uses each of the Four Light Spirits in Twilight Princess in rotation. So, for example, it would start with the 1st year of Ordona, then move onto the 1st year of Faron, then the 1st year of Eldin etc, and then repeat once all four had been done, so it would go back to 2nd year of Ordona etc. I know it's a tad complicated, but I thought it would be more plausible than making up names and months.
Gustaf and Daltus were kings in The Minish Cap.
The letter to the Royal House of Hylian Sages refers to events in Link's Awakening.
Some of the prophecy letters refer to events in The Legend of Zelda.
The Path of Fire and Maze Island are areas in The Legend of Zelda II: Link's Adventure.
The letter from the excavating nephew to his aunt refers to both The Legend of Zelda and The Legend of Zelda II: Link's Adventure.
The Hylian Civil War is generally believed to describe the events that occured before Ocarina of Time, which led Link's mother into Kokiri Forest.
The Dark Interlopers were mentioned in Twilight Princess, and Ganondorf was called a 'divine prank' in the scene at the Arbiter's Ground.
Lastly, I hope that I was able to give each letter a particular voice and character! I know that this chapter is very different from the others, but I really didn't want to explain this away, so it would be brilliant to hear what you think of these. So, with a last huge thank you, I bid you farewell for the time being. Until we meet again (or I actually have some time to write!) ~ Perfect Soldier 01 :)