Disclaimer and Notes: Shadow of the Colossus and related properties belong to Sony. A chaptered-story, though the chapters will likely be short. A take on the "price" of the ritual expanded from what we see in the actual game. All of the "background" stuff about the characters is and will be stuff pulled from my shiny not-so-metal bum since the canon is such a beautiful void.


SEALS

Chapter 1: The Beginning of the Ritual

"The price you pay may be heavy indeed."

Those words echoed in the warrior's head as the hooves of his great black horse thundered over the plain. The light from his sacred sword showed him where to go. His horse was not the biggest animal he had ever seen, but was the biggest animal he had ever ridden.

Wander had heard the tales… that living things in the Forbidden Land were as mountains. All he'd seen so far were the hawks, the doves and the lizards. He was a hunter and had seen many kinds of animals out in the forests and fields. He knew how to fell the deer, the elk and the wild boar. The largest beast he'd ever seen in his life was an elephant. He'd never hunted the creatures and had seen the one he did but once. His father had taken him to see the animal after his nation's soldiers had conquered a land teaming with great beasts and had brought a few back for the civilians to marvel at.

The gray creature had been chained in the heart of their city. The shackles had rubbed its legs raw. Wander had been but a child then and so could make no protest over the creature's treatment. From what he remembered, the eyes stood out to him the most. After all these years, Wander could not forget those grieving eyes. They were intelligent eyes. If beasts had no souls, this one had done an excellent job of trickery.

The young man was in awe as the earth shook. He'd left his horse behind and clambered up to the plateau, using every last upper-body muscle he had. His fingers were bruised and their tips were scraped. His biceps felt like they were on fire. He'd always been an agile boy and would recover quickly. The ground beneath him trembled under what sounded and felt to be footsteps.

Out of the dust and mist, Wander saw it. He beheld his first Colossus – one of the beings of legend… One of the idols he had to destroy. It was of a classic build, like a statue that might guard a city, only with patches of thick mammalian fur here and there upon its frame.

Wander snuck around it. The voice of the Dormin echoed through his spirit, telling him to use the light of the sword to decipher the giant's vitals. This was no easy task. The closer the hunter got to his prey, the more areas of tough hide, metal and stone he could see.

And, of course, the beast tried to step on him.

Wander's human body to the body of the Colossus was like that of a mouse to his own, and a runt of the litter newborn mouse at that. Avoiding being stomped on, the young hunter ran around and found what looked to be a wound on one of the legs of this living statue, partially covered in fur. The diminutive assassin figured out in short order what to do from there. Wander jumped to avoid the crush of the hoof and found himself grabbing onto the warm, brushy fur. He clambered on and gave the wound a sound stab. The victim moaned and leaned over in pain, giving his attacker a prime opportunity to scramble up his great body.

The seal on the giant's head glowed brightly after many jabs and spikes. Wander made one final, clumsy stab. Black oil spouted with tremendous pressure. The stuff was made of shadow and smelled of blood. Wander caught a glimpse of one of the creature's eyes as it fell. The eye was simple and stark, but profoundly sad.

It was just like the elephant's eyes had been.

Shadow fell over the giant's form and the light when out in its sorrowed eyes. That was when Wander saw the threads of shadow. His heart, just beginning to calm after the battle, started up a harsh rhythm again. He ran. He didn't know what those things were, but they were coming straight for him. His legs pumped in a dead heat as he felt his heart pierced from behind. He uttered a short gasp as more spears of darkness shot through his arms, his legs and his body.

The warrior would never be able to describe it, but he felt as if something was being ripped from him and was being replaced with cold darkness.

After the "transfer of blood" was over, Wander had never seen an elephant. There was no memory of it. The largest living being he had ever beheld in his life was the first Colossus. The largest he'd seen before that was his great horse, or maybe a wild bear.

The sad eyes of the dying Colossus would remain with him. They were the saddest eyes he'd ever seen on a beast.