Souls of Caliber
Chapter 1: Prologue
Disclaimer: I hereby decree that I do not own The Legend of Zelda, Soul Calibur, or How To Train Your Dragon. Copyright to respective owner's. This fiction is a dedication to the three franchises and meant to be for fan entertainment. No one is allowed to re-upload my work without my explicit consent, written and signed with my mark. Violating my rights to claim ownership over this tale will be met with extreme punishment, as will those who falsely claim to own the titles mentioned above.
Fires blazing tall and mightily from the deepest circles of hell itself undid the village of Berk slowly. The furious blazes ignited by shadow-cloaked creatures illuminated the many Vikings who now were forming a retaliation. Only an hour before, Berk was at peace, while few powerful Vikings spent their night in the pub. The alarm had begun to ring so suddenly, many had spilled their pints all over their fur clothing.
Horrid screaming awoke those who had not been awakened by the alarm bell. Entities never before seen by the warrior tribe were invading the land, setting all in their path afire. The few dragon guardians had took flight, sending their own fire missiles into the enemy lines, but it was all for naught. The evil creatures continued their onslaught without wavering. Rotten masses of flesh moaned and stumbled their ways slowly towards the village, sickly red glows in their eye sockets and mouths full of rotten teeth.
"There! They're coming in on the left flank!" One of the larger viking warriors shouted in alarm as he aimed a catapult at the mass.
"Fire!" The leader of the guard shouted. With a large clunk, the boulder was sent flying. It collided with deadly force, but this did not stop the dead things. They continued to moan hungrily as they approached.
One of the viking warriors took a large spear and bravely charged the mass head on. As he reached the first of his victims, he was quick to learn his mistake. His target reared back and screeched loudly, the sound paralyzing his entire form and forcing him to shake violently. He could only watch in horror as several creatures stumbled towards him faster and pounced him. Their jaws bit deep into his body, penetrating his leather armor. He could not scream, he could not cry, he could only sit there and feel the pain that coursed his frame as they tore his limbs from his body while his life faded.
Nearby, a group of sickly pig-headed like behemoths dressed in horrid yellow chain mails aimed draconian bows of black oak at the flying dragons. A gurgled shout from one in grander armor was sounded and hundreds of red arrows took flight. Many of the dragons in flight fell as their hides were penetrated by the enchanted steel heads. Others that had evaded the incoming rain continued to shower the invaders with fire. But it wasn't long before they too fell victim to the creatures of death.
On the northern side of Berk, massive bodies of armor marched heavily towards the battle-arena. Many of the knightly creatures of this group held huge broad swords and buckle shields, while few others wielded axes and maces, roughly as large as their owners. A group of viking elites charged this group with their axes and shields, intending to buy time for those who could not fight to escape the village.
In the woods of the island, a young boy and his black dragon walked, returning with a load of fish to last another week or so. The dragon had large green eyes and a saddle on his back, a device of sorts was tied to his tail, replacing a missing part that was crucial to his ability to take flight.
The boy who rode on the back of this dragon wore a simply leather vest and a green shirt underneath with long sleeves. His left leg had been taken from him but to accomplish this, a walking piece replaced it. The piece was locked in with a device on the saddle that controlled the tail wing.
Smoke filled the forest, middled with the fog of the late hour. Both companions smelled the change, with the sting of the smoke was the tinge of flesh on fire. It was then that they heard the screams and war cries of the villagers. Both gave a glance at each other, not knowing what lied before them, but knowing that their homes was under attack. The dragon let himself close to the ground and jumped high, taking flight with the young lad holding on.
Within moments, they all flew above the carnage below. Witnessing the horrors that struck the seaside port of Berk, thousands of creatures of all types that neither had ever heard of attacked anything in their path. Some resembling mini goblins with leather-like masks or brown shawls covering their no doubt hideous faces held bows or crude clubs that they assaulted the villagers and guards with.
The vikings had fought back, but their lower numbers slowly succumbed to the nightmarish armies before them, roaring and growling in tongues that could not be imagined or much less deciphered. Some held scythes with razor edges, others held ugly shaped daggers, and large steel pikes.
"Toothless, go find my dad and Astrid, I'm going to see if Gober is alright! If you find them, get them out of the village and take them to Raven's Point!" The boy commanded with haste. The dragon nodded and set down near a house with massive double doors, the boy jumped off and made a mad dash to the smithy shop while Toothless took flight once more, using his black hide and superior speed to hide from the sight of the archers below.
The young rider dodged the creatures that walked and charged through the burning streets of Berk, slaughtering as they went while he moved behind still standing crates. Within minutes, he was at the shop where Gober and he worked at...only the big burly man that was his mentor was no where to be found. Instead, a rotten corpse standing idly in the corner awaited him.
Foolishly, the boy picked up a heavy sword larger than he was and attempted to swing. But the creature caught sight of him and screamed. Every muscle in his small form halted at the sound. The hideous face glared into the boy's soul, burrowing into his very fiber with its gaze of death and fear. It inched slowly towards him, savoring the meal to come. Tendrils of drool fell from the gap of what seemed to be its mouth. But before it could reach out and grab him, and explosion from the side of the boy sent him flying and the creature was set a fire.
As he landed, the smoke cleared and he could faintly hear the creature giving a cry as it succumbed to the hellish fire that consumed it. His heart was racing. Whatever that thing was, it smelled like a thousand rotting bodies that had just erupted from the earth to walk again. He shivered as he thought of what it had in mind for him while he was paralyzed by its screech and gaze.
Retrieving his bearings, he jumped back up to his feet and took off into another direction. As he ran, he caught sight of a familiar, grumpy voice yelling as he was being pulled away.
"Hiccup! Run! Get off me you dumb sack o-bones." Gober grunted as he struggled against a skeletal warrior in blue armor with red trimming that had subdued him.
Hiccup was about to call out to him and change his course to his friend when he ran into something hard. He fell back, dazed by the force his head hit the object.
When he looked up, his blurry vision detailed a black knight-like silhouette carrying a huge sword. The helmet was missing, revealing the creature's dog-like head and sharp pointed ears sticking straight up.
"Hiccup!" A young woman roared as an ax struck the creature's exposed head.
"Astrid." Hiccup sighed with relief as a girl no older than he was appeared with another ax and a shield in a blue chain mail and skirt with her hair in a braided ponytail. Her strong eyes scanned him with worry, searching for signs of injury.
"Come on, your dad is being taken on board one of their ships!" Astrid informed, urging him to his feet. Hiccup looked up to see Toothless drop down next to Astrid, ready to take to the skies once more.
"Thanks Astrid. Can you help Gober?"
"I will, just be careful, the others went down after those monsters shot some kind of special arrows at them. It knocked their dragons clear out of the skies."
"They wont be able to see us." Hiccup assured as he embraced Astrid quickly, hoping she would be safer than the others were. With that done, he jumped on to Toothless and the Nightfury soared high into the night skies. With the flames growing larger as Berk burned, Hiccup could make out a massive fleet of black ships with horrendous shapes, and a large line of prisoners being forced onto each one.
Hiccup searched for his father, not seeing his form anywhere. 'He must be inside one of those ships...' he concluded. Toothless read his mind and made his way towards the lead ship. It seemed to have been filled already as the sails were being set by mini goblins in red garments.
Toothless landed lightly on the deck of the ship, near the helm of the vessel, allowing Hiccup to get off his back.
"Stay here bud..." Hiccup whispered, receiving an acknowledging noise from Toothless. He drew his small dagger and began to make his way below deck. Hiding in the corners every time one of those goblins came into his sight, Hiccup walked as fast and as quietly as he could through the creaking wooded floor, on his way to the brig of the massive war ship. Once in, he steered clear of the vision of the single knight like dog creature that guarded the brig.
He looked to his left, seeing a line of cells filled with viking folk. Hiccup waited until the armored guard turned to walk down the long line on the other end before taking off to the left. Looking for his father amongst the eager faces silently begging him to let them out, Hiccup came to the end of the line. In the last cage, his father was tied down with steel chains and somewhat battered.
"Dad...!" Hiccup whispered, catching his attention. The chieftain of the tribe looked up, panic wreaking havoc on his bearded face.
"Hiccup! You have to get out of here! Go, before that thing finds you here!" Stowick hastily urged. Hiccup shook his head.
"I can't leave you here!"
"You don't have a choice this time, son. You'll need help to get all of us free. I'll stay here with our people, they'll need me now more than ever. Just go!"
"Hiccup, look out!"
Pain coursed his mind, reaching all the way from his temple to the back of his head. He became aware of a pair of soft hands holding on tightly to his tunic. Someone whispered to him, calling his name as he awoke from his unconscious state. Opening his eyes to the glaring light of a torch, Hiccup made out Astrid's face. Her concerned form hovered close to his, relief flooding her eyes to see him awake and responsive.
Grunting, Hiccup attempted to sit up. Astrid pushed him back down, letting his head rest on her lap as she watched the knight lock the cell tight. Behind the two, Toothless struggled to break the massive binds holding his mouth closed and his legs and wings from moving.
In the corner of the cell, Stowick and Gober sat, chained to the wall. They both gave sighs of relief to see him awake.
Hiccup glanced around the brig, seeing the knight that knocked him out march back down the hall with heavy, thunderous steps. He glared at the creature's back.
"What happened?" He asked.
"I tried to warn you, but that guard had already hit you from behind before you could move." Stowick answered. Hiccup breathed deeply, the sharp pain was complete with a lump on his head. He held his head, feeling the new found shape caused by what must have been the knight's steel shield. He hissed under his breath from a shock wave of pain caused by touching his bump.
The young viking heard his friend give a growl from behind him. He turned to see Toothless in his chains, similar to the ones before the battle against the Green Death. Hiccup scanned his dragon friend for any injuries, but saw none.
"How did they get Toothless?" He asked.
"When they captured me after I tried to help Gober, I saw four of those bucket heads holding him down. It was easier than you think, their armor is pretty heavy which explains how so many survived our attacks." Astrid answered as she held her shoulder piece, which was slightly cold to Hiccup's head in an attempt to cool his bump.
"What happened to the rest of the villagers?"
"They, uh...they didn't make it. They were massacred like flies. Only a little less than half of the people were spared. I think they're taking us to be their slaves..." Gober somberly informed.
It was a dark day. Hiccup laid there while Astrid did her best to heal his headache, all he could think about was the blood that littered the streets of Berk as he ran through it all last night. His mind turned to the creature from the stall he and Gober had worked at his entire life. He remembered its scream, the gaze that stunned him, and most notably, its stench. But worst of all was the rotten eyes that bore into him like a knife through warm butter.
As he lay, he could hear a few of the survivors whispering amongst themselves, uttering curses while others wept silently for the loss of their loved ones.
Deep in a forest, where a mist covered the path before all who walked it, in the ancient temple within the Sacred Woods, a man with long ears sat in a small room with two others on a throne of sorts. The room had one waterfall that flowed an endless stream of water from the mountains into a bottomless pit, its walls were littered with moss and vines from the overgrown foliage of the temple. The water itself, crystal clear and clean of all impurities glistened with the reflection of the three humanoids. A large table sat at the west side of the room, before the man on the intricately designed throne of oak. Each being sat in their own styled chair, one had symbols of mystery and shadow marks embedded in. The other had one of light and ice design. The long eared man sat in one with marks of time and courage.
The one in the chair of ice and light, a man dressed in silver armor with a massive sword leaning against the table beside him on his left had long blond hair that reached his lower back. On his right eye, a large scar could be seen. His emerald eyes watched the long eared one intently. The shoulder guards of his armor plating bent up like the wings of an angel taking flight. His large blue cape rested on his neck and would brush the ground heavily when he walked.
The other who sat in the chair of mystery and shadow, a woman who wore a skin-tight red battle suit that left nothing to the imagination. Over her shoulders were armor plating shaped like a demon's head roaring, two horns on both pieces. On her knees and below to the wooden shoes she wore on her feet was a thick plating of armor shaped similarly like her shoulder armor. On her right shoulder a hilt stood out, a similar hilt of another short sword was also visible from her right hip. Her brown, mysterious eyes watched the man before her in silence, gathering her thoughts.
The long eared one was clad in some dark green armor, not as much as his male accomplice, only some on his shoulders, across his upper chest, some on his forearms, and his lower legs. On his head, hiding most of his unruly blond hair was a green tail like hat that dangled to his mid back. In his throne's right arm rest was a helmet of sorts, the visor hid his mouth and jaw-line, exposing only his eyes in a wide streak shaped like a glare. On the top of the head, two smooth, edgeless bat wing-like pieces stood tall and straight on both ends. The man's dark, sapphire eyes remained closed, deep in thought, seemingly searching for answers.
The red clad warrior turned her head to a large trunk for storing things in and strode to it silently. The knight briefly glanced at an item she picked up from the wooden chest, a map of sorts. The red clad one walked back up to the table and sat down. She unrolled the old paper and placed her hand on a spot and spoke.
"The Sheikah have yet to find the answers we seek...but I believe that the evil king is searching for the legendary 'Dragon Rider' from Siegfried's and my realm. It is said that he lived on the viking island of Berk, far to the north west of of the world." The red clad one spoke. The emerald eyed one looked up at her words.
"If the legends are true, and the evil king captures the 'Dragon Rider', Hyrule will face an enemy with a powerful weapon. None of our warriors can fight against dragons, and the will of the evil king is unconquerable." He warned. The long eared one opened his eyes, neither of his companions could read them. He was silent for a time, staring at the map.
"...What of Nightmare?" The long-eared one inquired of the knight. Siegfried past a glance at the red-clad one who returned his look.
"He has yet to be sighted since your last encounter with him." The red-clad one informed.
"I have not sensed Soul Edge in some time, Taki. I believe the Master Sword had finally destroyed it this time."
"We can only hope so. It will make dealing with the evil king easier now that our resources are not split on two fronts." The long eared one muttered. Taki pulled one of her swords from their sheaths, glancing over it and sensing it for any signs of the evil sword.
"My sword is not resonating, not even faintly, Link." Taki informed. Link brought his hand to his chin in thought. If Mikki-Maru was not shimmering in the slightest, Soul Edge was gone. However, Link knew that not everything is as it seems.
He stood from his throne, leaving his helm where it was and holding his hands behind him, walked to the edge of the pool of endless water. He let the sound of the waterfall drown out all thoughts as he concentrated on the presence of Soul Edge. Gradually, as he was lost in the melody of water, he closed his eyes. Taki continued to examine her map of the kingdom while Siegfried searched his soul for signs of the wicked blade.
For Link, it had indeed been a while since he struck Nightmare down and drove the Master Sword to the hilt into the evil blade's eye. But something egged him that it was not so simple, something about how...easy, for lack of a better word, it was to strike it down. There was always a catch to every thing, Link knew this as well as his friends sitting at the table. They had sealed Soul Edge several times already before he had gotten involved, and yet it still came back. In Link's case, he had already defeated the evil king three times, sealed him in the gap between dimensions, and still he came back, twice as strong.
Anger swelled like a bee sting in Link's heart. How many times must he strike the bastard down before he can live a life of peace? How many times more will he need to retrieve the Master Sword and beg its help against the tides of darkness? Not even his sister was sure, and this was her war. She had summoned him and Taki and Siegfried to her aid, but to what avail? With each counter offensive against the dark lord's assaults, they could not push his forces back.
It frustrated him in more ways than he could imagine. He began to curse the goddesses for bestowing this fate on him. He was tired of all these wars without end.
He promised himself that if he could defeat the enemy one last time, he would leave this place and seek a life of solitude. Away from civilization, away from war, away from the Triforce, and most importantly, away from Hyrule where his pain had begun. He intended on it being where it ended as well.
The Shadow Folk and the Desert Tribe had sworn their allegiance to him, crowning him as their king and loyally following him to battle. The Shadow Sage had made him her king when he returned from the Tournament in the Stars, and the Quest of Souls and Swords. The Spirit Sage argued that her people were leaderless and had refused the dark lord as their king, and against their judgment of a male ruler not born of their blood, she crowned him as well...but this wasn't the idea of peace he had in mind. If he remained to govern the two tribes, mortal enemies of each other, chaos would only ensue. The Spirit Sage was always watching him, she and the Shadow Sage lurked in his shadow at all times, waiting, protecting. Their gazes kept him on edge, and if this was what awaited him at the end of the war, he would have none of it.
Once this was over with, for better or for worse, he would have his peace. In life or death.