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LoZ: Pawns of Prophecy ch3.1 (by Thait)

Story by Thait. More editing. YAAAAAAY.

Muscles bunched and stretched as the large wolf surged through the tall grass of Hyrule field on his near-direct course to Faron woods. He had slowed only to eat the rare rabbit or small creature caught, or to take a quick rest but he had decided early on to take as few rests as he needed on his trip and, while he was starting to feel the accumulated tiredness of constant travel (Awkward), he wasn't going to stop till he reached Faron woods and was under the protection of the greenery of a place he could nearly call home (This whole part is a bit verbose, anyway to reword it more concisely?). He had been forced to slip into hiding four times to avoid conflict with a handful of bulblin's and the bullbo they rode, as well as a group of stalfos that had seemed to make the bulblin's run away quickly flee (concision). The two groups weren't working together, which Link supposed he should have been happy for (Suggest something like "should have made him happy" instead. Contrary to what your English teacher might have told you, there's nothing grammatically wrong about ending a sentence (or clause in this case I suppose) with a preposition. However, as a rule of thumb, I'd still advise against it when it's noticeable. When reading sentences that end with a preposition, people have usually gotten the gist before the read the preposition. If you had left this one "The two groups weren't working together, which Link supposed he should have been happy" and left out the "for" we probably would still have understood it and been able to supply the missing preposition. Consequently you've got this one word not really doing anything hanging on at the end of your sentence. Again, there's nothing grammatically wrong about it, but it -- in my opinion -- feels a bit weird.) since it meant they might fight each other if it came down to that. Though he had to admit that his knowledge of bulblin politics wasn't very impressive. He wasn't sure if King Bulblin was king due to strength of arms or if it had to do with a bloodline. Though he knew that Shad had said that he believed it was a mixture of the two as King Bulblin was obviously much larger than an average Bulblin which spoke of a different bloodline than the average bulblin but the belief was that the bulblin's would never follow any other bulblin who couldn't stay in power by sheer force of arms.

Shad had actually postulated (There's a bit of a usage problem here, since "postulate" carries a slightly more specific meaning than what you intend. When someone says postulate, they usually mean they assume something is true so they can depend upon it for further argument. Merriam-Webster defines postulate (the noun) as "a hypothesis advanced as an essential presupposition, condition, or premise of a train of reasoning." Postulate the verb is, well, to make a postulate-the-noun. It's the bolded part that's missing here. Try "suggested" or "hypothesized" instead.) that king Bulblin might very well (If "very well" doesn't add anything to the sentence in content or style, I'd omit it for concision.) be a completely different race of bulblin entirely. Unfortunately it was all theory, and theory had been put on the back-burner when King Bulblin had taken his forces and headed towards the mountains. Rumors from a captured bulblin had been that the Moblin hordes, which had beencowering in the mountains for some time, had decided to make a move on the only place bulbin's considered home. < King Bulblin had taken all the forces he had pledged to Ganon, all those that had survived anyway, and headed back towards the mountains to defend the Bulbin's home from the moblin's. From what Link could remember from his short amount of peace before being sent to investigate the castle, the princess had been surprised to find out about the trouble in the bulblin lands but, with a severe shortage of troops, had been unable to do anything to take advantage of it with the severely understaffed army and the need to patrol and clear out hyrule field of any dangers to travelers. (Multiple comments here. First, I think you sort of bury the important part of the sentence -- that Zelda couldn't do anything -- by putting it in the middle. Second, "and the need to patrol Hyrule field" is sort of a run on, it's good to know but definitely could be stated more succinctly: try "and the need to clear Hyrule field of dangers" or something. Finally, "severely understaffed" strikes me as euphemistic -- catering events are understaffed, when you're talking about an understaffed army, in the context of LoZ, you mean that there aren't enough people to protect us from an invasion of giant killer monsters. Something that big of a deal could probably use different phrasing.)

At this point though he wasn't sure of anything going on in the lands due to not knowing how much time had passed since his travel through them (This is ambiguous, presumably Link's traveled through Hyrule a number of times on his multiple quests. "Since entering that Temple" or something might work. Also, I think you're burying the important part -- that he wasn't sure what's going on in the lands -- in the middle again.). Things had been hectic in the days that followed the defeat of Zant and Ganondorf. The military had badly needed to be rebuilt (That understatement thing again. Really this is redundant since you give a much clearer explanation of what's wrong -- namely, that all the good soldiers are otherwise preoccupied with being dead and can't reenlist -- immediately after. I'd just get rid of the beginning of the sentence. and put something like "The Majority of the military had been decimated ...") as the majority of it had been decimated by the attack of the twilight beasts. The Hylian knights had suffered nearly heavy (Oh come on, don't equivocate here of all places! They're heavy or they're some other adjective.) casualties trying to repel the invaders from the lands before they could reach castle town. The general Hylian army had suffered nearly as badly and in the end only a small amount number (Use number for discrete quantities that can be counted, use amount otherwise. A number of people, an amount of peanut butter. A number of coins, an amount of air.) of soldiers had been left to try and protect the princess in the throne room. In the end nearly all of the brave had fallen and the cowardly were left to patrol the city and the walls. Link had seen this firsthand when a group of soldiers had chickened out of helping Telma and Ilia move Ralis to Kakariko for medical help. Link had managed to give the princess a few recommendations of a couple of officers that he had noticed had shown backbone during the Twilight Invasion (capitalize historical events).

(This next paragraph, though I love the fact that you've taken the time to sketch out the political organization of the Gorons, Zora, Hylians, &c., comes across as a serious info-dump. Any possible way to reduce the amount of background you give us here, and instead spread it out over the chapter a bit more? )
The princess was in the end the ultimate authority in the land and all government revolved around her. There were a few people well off enough that they could possibly be called nobles but in the end they exerted very little power on the crown. From what Link knew of history, which was admittedly not much, there had at one time been a thriving noble population in Hyrule but a previous attack on the city hundreds of years ago had decimated the noble population. There were beings groups ("Beings" seems unnecessarily vague, but can't quite put my finger on what bothers me about it.) who could be considered nobles in the Zora and Goron races. The Goron's had their elders, and Ralis was the prince of the Zoras and Link was certain there were some who had taken command when Ralis was not in control (and is probably the wrong conjunction here. Maybe "and though Ralis was the prince of the Zora, Link was certain there were some who had taken command when Ralis was not in control." Not sure why this suggests a class of nobility, though -- why couldn't regents just be appointed as needed from the general population?). In the end they had all been lucky that the twilight had happened so early in the year that they had time to try and ration the remaining food stores as well as hunt and scavenge up enough to last the winter when it had arrived. Ordon had ended up in the best shape as the twilight hadn't reached it. Other lands had been less lucky and he had heard that several provinces had lost their entire early crops and only the hardiest of feed crops had survived the twilight. As winter had arrived they had received several caravans of food from the mountain people, those who lived outside the control of the crown of Hyrule (You sure about this? I'm pretty sure that the region is listed as "Mountain Province" on the game map, which suggests Hyrule holds some political authority over it.). They had no legal or treaty obligation to send such caravans but they had in the end given aid anyway. Ashei had talked to the driver of one of the wagons, knowing him from times he had come to her father's home, and had seemed as surprised as everyone at the food shipment. She had said later that the mountain people, while refusing to submit to the crown, still remembered where their ancestors had come from.

But still It hadn't been an easy first year after the fall of the twilight but the people had pulled through. And then of course had come the need for funds to rebuild the damage caused across the land by the enemy. And that had led to the surprise of finding the coffers nearly empty, certainly not enough money to fund the rebuilding of much. And that was how he had found himself at the castle and on his trip. Shad had delved through the Hyrule castle archives, they had survived on a lower level, and found reference to an ancient Hylian castle that was supposedly abandoned. The possibility of uncovering funds to aid in reconstruction was too good to pass up and while Link hadn't wanted to admit it there was another reason he had gone. Shad had intimated that there was a strange connection between the twilight and that abandoned castle. The thought of possibly finding a way to Midna had been the real reason Link had agreed to the mission. And while he had seen Twili markings in the castle they had been very few and very far between. He didn't want to admit it but his heart had broken a little more at each dead end found in that place and he had, in the end, been grateful for the fight against the beast that had lived there. It was a chance to vent some very impressive frustration. He was jerked out of his walk down memory lane when the first trees loomed in the darkness of the night and he passed into the edge of Faron woods.

Brush swished aside as he moved quietly through the forest, or as quiet as he could be with a shackle and short length of chain attached to his left front leg. The soft jingle of the chain had long ago stopped irritating him and he simply tuned it out as he moved through the forest keeping an eye out for danger and sniffing for anything of interest. It had been nearly an hour before he picked up a smell he knew all too well,: blood. It had been nearly an hour of slow moving through the forest brush following the blood trail when he reached a small opening in the trees and moonlight shone on something bleached white. He could smell the scent of old bones and moved carefully forward until he looked down on the body of a stalfos, though this one wore the more light armor he was used to. Digging into the dead leaves on the forest floor he found the remains of three more stalfos,. Their swords were nearby and at least two of those blades bore human blood on them (Redundant). The trail was making more sense now, but he wondered if the stalfos had been chasing whoever they had attacked and caught up with them here. He looked at the fully-dead stalfos for a moment before turning and continuing to follow the blood trail. It took another half hour but he reached the end in a large clearing where the bodies of seven men lay hacked to pieces on the dead leaves and grass, now stained with dried blood. The remains of several stalfos and redead's lay around the small clearing as well but the now fully dead creatures had been destroyed with extreme prejudice (I'd just get rid of this part. It's pretty well established that they're actually dead from calling them remains, and the phrase "extreme prejudice" is, for some reason, a bit jarring and comes across as too technical). He moved closer, sniffing around the clearing but. It seemed that no one had escaped the undead assault. The dead weren't wearing any identifying marks but they were dressed plainly, the kind of clothes a simple hunter might wear. The weapons remaining though were anything but simple and Link was surprised to see the mark of Rusl carved into the blades. After looking the swords over more, he realized that they were nearly a duplicate of his own well-used Ordon sword. That combined with the homespun look of the clothing was making him worried that these people where from Ordon. Not that there weren't other villages in, and out, of the forest that sent people into it for food and firewood. And with things the way they were right now it wouldn't be surprising for Rusl to make swords for others to use to defend their villages. At least he hoped that was what this meant as the thought of Ordon villagers dead was more than he could handle right now, even if he didn't recognize any of the dead. In the end he bowed his head and offered up a silent prayer to the goddesses for the souls of the ones who had fallen.

This had once been a camp for the men who had fallen fallen men (concision) and he saw two paths leading from it into the woods (It's implied the paths lead from the camp), one seemed to go in the direction he was sure the forest temple was or at least in that general direction and he quickly followed it heading through the thick trees and trying to ignore the feelings that were telling him he was being followed. No matter how many times he looked back, doubled back, or went off on little side trips through the woods he always seemed to feel like he was being followed, but never found any proof of it. In the end he began to ignore it and simply moved onwards heading deeper and deeper into Faron woods hoping to find a good place to bed down for the rest of the night. It didn't take long to find a small opening made from the roots of one of the larger trees and the dirt that covered much of those roots. He crawled into the space and laying his head on his front paws he slipped into slumber.

He didn't know how long he had been asleep but the tramp of armored feet woke him and the sun shone dimly through the leaves of the huge trees of the woods. Peeking out of the narrow darkness of the small opening he watched as stalfos, armored ones like those he had seen out on hyrule field, marched past heading deep into the forest. He had waited till they had gone, and even longer to make sure that he wouldn't run into them by heading out, before crawling free of the small protection he had had and struck off in a direction away from the way the stalfos had been going. He could only hope they had nothing to do with Ordon or any of the forest villages that were here and there in the woods. Still he had to wonder why twenty stalfos would be in the forest for anything but an attack on villages of innocents.

It had taken nearly the entire day but he had managed to pass into the deep forest and now sat near the shattered wood of what had once been a pathway. One of the bones of the rabbit he had caught snapped as he bit down harder on it while looking at the violet mist that flowed around the base of the trees. Giving a sigh he dropped the bone and moved to the edge of the broken wood looking across the mist for any areas that he might be able to jump to. Noticing a large tree trunk sticking up through the mist, he leapt to it balancing easily on the small area while looking for more ledges, trunks, branches or outcroppings. He had managed to cross what he believed to be half of the area when he noticed the mist shifting as something moved through it. As it got closer he was able to see it was some kind of snake, a very big snake at that. He crouched lower on the large rock he had made it to and watched as the snake slithered slowly past on its way to who knew where. He shook his head wondering where the creature had come from, he had never seen anything like it while traveling through the forest before. He watched as the disturbed mist slowed its movement indicating the snake was gone and then began leaping again heading for the gates that would lead to the area right before the Forest Temple. The same area that would give him access to the sacred grove, as long as he could get past the Skull Kid.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 29th, 2010 02:54 am (UTC)
Hey there! I don't mean to bug ya, but in case you missed it I posted the next chapter of DLDL a little over a week ago. I'm afraid you've spoiled me, since I don't want to post it without you at least giving it a once-over (be flattered!). If you've got a zillion things going on and just haven't gotten around to it, then I apologize and please disregard my pestering.

Hope you're not swamped!
Jul. 29th, 2010 03:09 am (UTC)
Ah! I'm sorry, I hadn't seen it! Things have been crazy busy, but I'll definitely find some time in the next few days to give it a look!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )