The Legend of Nester:
Violin of Destiny.
The title up there's a bit of a misnomer. This isn't a legend so much as just a simple story of one guy who helped out another guy who in turn changed the world. And I'm no great hero, if that's what you're thinking. I know a hero of sorts, but I'm just a normal guy with a normal story. But if it's any consolation I am that story's main character, which is in a way a hero. Plus I'm not a troublemaker, so if you're not part of the problem you're part of the solution, right? Well, I guess I'm boring you with all this fancy-talk; you guys came here for a story, didn't you? Well, it all started a while ago; in a place you fancy folk have probably never heard of: Ordon village, my old hometown. It's really out of the way, on the very edge of Hyrule. I'm going back there a few days from now, but that's beside the point.
Ordon's a very different place then Hyrule, a place where children are sent to work from the day they can walk and talk, and the people live in carved-out trees. We had to: we were completely cut off from the rest of Hyrule for a long time thanks to a big gorge outside our village, so we didn't have any bricks or way of getting more able body workers until we built the bridge. It isn't much of a bridge, just some planks tied to some rope, but considering how we make these things I'm sure it'll last a couple hundred years. Anyways, Ordon used to be a really miserable place, what with all the child labor and the poverty. Every morning, from sun-up to sun down, me and my seven brothers and five sisters (It pays to have big families down there) would help my dad tend to the goats. My dad also happened to be the mayor of our town. You know a place stinks when the mayor is also town goatherd. These goats were as big as cows and their horns could really pack a punch when they got charging, and they stank worse than a pack of skunks. We were expected to do that for the rest of our lives, granted that we survive doing it in childhood. You know that number of siblings up there? That was the starting number of siblings. Currently I think I have four brothers and two sisters, but it's been a long time since I've had any word from my family, so for all I know it could be less. So as you can see, Ordon wasn't a very good place back then.
It was just two months before my third sister bit it, but right after the new bridge had been built, that I finished making it: Ordonian oak and goat-gut strings bound together into a violin. I had never played one before, but my mother had before dying in the birth of my youngest brother Rowan. For the next two months I practiced it every night on the outskirts of town, next to a spring we got water from. I wasn't a master at it, but at least I knew how to do something other than herd goats. Then that day came: the day Mari died.
"Hold the line tight, Nester!" my older brother Zeke shouted one stormy night as we were preparing the goat stalls for the squalls we were sure to face later that night. I was raising the last few bales of hay to the lofts where would stay dry while Zeke and Mari stored them away. Ruth, Beth, and Carlov were sealing up a few cracks with whatever sealants we had while Joni and Rowan finished feeding the goats. Thunder roared in the distance "You two done up there?" Joni barked over the wind and rain, "I'd like to go home before the lightning hits!"
"Keep your pants on, were' almost done!" Mari shouted back as Zeke started down the ladder.
"Everything look sound for the night?" I asked as Mari began to climb down as well.
"Yeah, we should be-" A huge crash and a blinding light cut her off. I fell over on my butt from the blast and began to smell smoke.
"What happened?" Beth asked dazed before I noticed that embers were falling all around us.
"WE'VE BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING!" Zeke in horror as he started opening stables and freeing goats, "GET AS MANY OUT AS YOU CAN!" We started opening stables as the fire spread faster then we could move. After we saved twelve goats did ceiling beams start falling. "That's it, we've saved enough!" Ruth barked, "How 'bout we save ourselves?" we started to bolt for the door before Mari caught my hand, "Nester, we forgot Gus!" Gus was an old donkey of ours, and the only real mode of transportation we had. Not that we needed it at that moment, but still why waste a donkey? We ran to the back of the stalls where Gus was held and quickly undid the latches, and as soon as we did Gus darted out of there as fast as a donkey could go.
Mari and I followed suit but just as I got outside the whole building collapsed. "That could've been us!" I whimpered, turning around to look at the destroyed building, "Next time Mari, don't go back for stupid-" that's when I noticed Mari wasn't there. "Guy's where's Mari?" a moment of silence followed, before Rowan spoke:
"You got out first."
We tried to get her out, even with Dad's help, but it was too late. We walked home in silence, except for Zeke. When we got inside, he grumbled, "If you two hadn't had gone back for that stupid donkey . . ." he never spoke to me again. Tears were streaming down my face, and hardly anyone in my family ever cries. I didn't even take off my clothes before flopping down onto my bed and sobbing for who knows how long. I tried sleeping after that, but I couldn't keep my eyes closed for more than a minute. Then I looked over at my old wooden shelf, where my violin was sitting. In a daze, I picked it up along with the only piece of music I knew how to play; a song my mother wrote called the theme of Ordon.
The rain had finally let up when I made it to the shattered remains of the stable, but the wood was still damp in some places and glowing in others. I picked a spot that wasn't too wet or too hot to sit on near where we'd left Mari, covered in the only clean cloth we had: our tablecloth. My mother had died just six years before this, and now I was playing for two departed souls. "This . . . this is The Theme of Ordon in G major." I sobbed, trying to wipe away all my tears before playing. Usually I'd play it calmly, almost cheerfully, but this time I played it slowly and sadly, as my thoughts turned to Mom and Mari, "Why did you two haft to die?" I thought as new tears began to form, "is our life so dangerous that any of us could die at any moment. After thinking and crying a little longer I stopped playing and dissolved into tears amongst the ashes of the stable. "You sound just like your mother when you play." I looked up and wiped my eyes until the tears and ashes no longer blurred my vision. It was my dad. "Oh, sorry Dad, was I keeping you up?" I stammered, picking up my violin and dusting myself off, "I'm so sorry!"
He shook his head, his old grey eyes looking a bit happy despite his deep frown, "You've picked up on it fast, you're well on your way to being an expert." He sat down on the log I was just sitting on, and not knowing what else to do, I sat down next to him. "It's my fault, you know." I said, letting my head droop into my hands, "Mari wanted to go back for Gus; I should have told her it was too dangerous." Dad shook his head, "This stable wouldn't have burnt down at all if it had shingles on the roof instead of simple wood to protect it. Besides, since Mari was the eldest I had told her what I had planned to use Gus for soon."
"You see, beyond that bridge we just built is a great big land called Hyrule. It's got a castle; that is, a big fancy stone building where important people live. At least, that's what the rumor is; never actually got beyond those woods just outside of town. But if we could establish a trade route with them, we could make Ordon a better, safer place with the things our town doesn't have already. Things like metal, bricks, certain stones, and more food. I was going to head out a few days from now to speak to the royals at Hyrule, but now I have a better idea."
"What? Move there?" I asked, enchanted with the idea of such a place.
"No, but you're close. You see, they wouldn't pay a mind to a grizzled old man with nothing to offer but a few goats, but maybe they'll pay attention to a talented boy like you. Nester, if you can play for the Hyrulean royal family and put in a good word for Ordon, you could turn this place into something livable, and for that I would pass on my mayor hood to you. What do you say?"
He had me at "play for the royal family", "I'll do it!"
The next few days I gathered up everything I would need and said goodbye to the villagers, which outside my family only included one or two families. Our village isn't very old, hence it being so small. The day I left the entire village gathered at the edge of the settlement, where a giant tree shaded a tiny glen. Everyone except Zeke who made up some excuse about going to fish, but nobody seemed to mind. "Goodbye Nester, good luck!" Rowan chirped with a smile.
"Tell the royal family I said hi!" Beth added.
"Bring me back a souvenir!" Joni added.
"Don't forget to mention my shop!" added the local shopkeeper, an eight-year-old-girl.
"Remember Nester, we're counting on you." Dad added, hugging me.
"Don't worry guys. I don't know how long it'll take, but I'll see this through until Hyrule puts us on the map." With that being said I hopped onto Gus and started off though the shaded glen, onward towards Hyrule.
Before crossing the bridge, I stopped at Ordon spring to practice one more time and pray to the local deity, named Ordona. We're not very original on names, I know. "Great spirit Ordona, please watch over Ordon in my absence. And if you could, send word to Mom and Mari about how much better I am trying to make this place. I'm doing it for them, as well as for the rest of the villagers. Oh, and please protect me along the way so I can actually make it. Thank you, amen."
My short prayer done, I hopped onto Gus and spurred him across the bridge. "Hurry up Gus, pick up your feet! We've got a kingdom to see!" I shouted along the way as he trotted towards our destination.