The Grave Child
October 27, 2019
The mercenaries collected themselves after the harrowing battle against Blind and his cronies. They found that Blind carried with him an amulet that perhaps had been giving him the ability to see in the dark, as well as a few other trinkets. After Gongu finished binding Whisper’s wounds, the mercenaries opened the stone door and continued on their trek through the Mabel City Cistern. Zedeki had heard a thud coming from beyond and wanted to investigate.
The path branched two ways. Whisper was interested in going left, smelling something that caused him agitation. To the right was a long path that led past a few more of the ancient Armos statues. Ophinia ventured in first and accidentally tripped a wire that caused a net to fall. She rolled to avoid it and brought up her weapon for protection, but found no attackers.
Instead, she was met with a solid wall at a dead end with a faint crack in its foundation. Gongu curled up and rolled at it, crumbling the wall, but knocking himself against a large metal door beyond it. Like the previous Sheikah door they had encountered, this one was engraved in old Sheikah runes and had the teardrop eye emblazoned in the center. Namika unlocked the door with a touch, and she and Whisper felt a presence from within, drawing them both inside. Ophinia, Zedeki, and Gongu attempted to follow, but each of them felt a strange sensation that caused them to turn back. Namika heard a voice speak to her mind: “The stone eaters, sky walkers, and Hylia’s Own cannot enter my shrine.” She and Whisper ventured alone.
“Welcome, Namika Rah,” whispered a voice.
At the bottom of a staircase, they found themselves in a shrine. The room was small but clean. The walls were etched in Sheikah runes, but in a dialect Namika could not understand. The room was lit with strange, ghostly blue candles. In the center of the room on a small pedestal was what looked like a mummified Sheikah warrior. When Namika entered, it rose from the pedestal and drew a long blue katana, rushing at her.
The Sheikah warrior was fast, but Namika and Whisper were faster. With a strike with her bow, the Sheikah warrior shattered into dust, dropping the katana to the ground. But as it fell, its sheath flew through the air and grasped the sword, letting it drop safely. Namika turned and found the Sheikah warrior next to her suddenly. It reached out a hand, and she flinched and moved away. But as it touched her, a strange warmth spread over her body. The Sheikah vanished. Namika picked up the katana and drew it. It seemed strangely familiar, but the balance in the blade was off somehow. She sheathed the weapon, called Whisper to her, and returned to her friends in the Cistern.
The path through the next tunnel led the mercenaries to a set of doors. The one ahead of them was closed but not locked. The door to the left had a lock on it with a small etching in the door: “Blind’s room, keep out!” Using a key they recovered off Blind’s body, they opened the door and entered the room. It smelled of old sweat and rot. An altar in the corner of the room had a few crude daggers on it, apparently used to slice up some Skulltulas, and a pair of black potions in small vials.
Ophinia reached out with her mind to sense the presence of evil. She immediately felt that the next room had something in it, and Zedeki immediately heard the thudding noise again. Ophinia, battleaxe in hand, opened the door and felt the same creepy sensation she was now used to as a raspy voice spoke to her: “Hello, Paladin of Hylia. Please come in.”
Inside the room, the mercenaries saw a small child dressed in robes and rags with ash gray skin. Her back was turned to them as she faced two dead masked people. A third masked person knelt before her, begging for his life. Next to the child were two ghosts, similar to the one that attacked Ophinia the night before. “Just a moment, please,” said the child. She sent a wave of black energy from her hand and the masked man dropped dead to the floor.
“Who are you?” asked Ophinia.
The child laughed. “It’s been so long since I’ve been asked, I’ve forgotten. But my master calls me the Grave Child. What are your names?”
The mercenaries did not answer, but instead asked why she was here. The Grave Child explained that her master wanted the masked people dead. Ophinia asked who was her master, and the Grave Child said, “He would be so angry if I told you his name. These people here just called him Cruel.” She further explained that the masked people thought that they were serving Cruel, but their hearts were not with him and they needed to be killed. Then the Grave Child thanked the mercenaries for helping her so far and serving her master. They asked what they had done in his service, and she simply told them that they had also killed some of the masked people. That in itself was service to Cruel.
Ophinia thought to ask her, “You pretended to be the Caretaker when we first spoke in that ally. Why did you send one of your ghosts to kill me?”
“The Caretaker?!” hissed the Grave Child. “The Caretaker is a false god, Paladin! But no, my master did not want you to die. He wanted to test you. Test your resolve. And you passed. My master is most pleased.”
The Grave Child found a note in one of the dead man’s pockets and smirked. She showed it to mercenaries. It was the same map they had seen before, indicating a meeting place up in the Hokani Mountains. “I’m going here and I’m going to murder them all,” said the Grave Child. “I would thank you for your assistance with this.” Then she vanished.
The Grave Child’s ghosts remained behind, indicating to Namika where the key to exit the Cistern was found before disappearing themselves. The mercenaries spoke to each other quietly. “Maybe we should have fought her,” suggested Zedeki. “She was not honest with us.”
Beyond the cistern, the mercenaries climbed a ladder that led to an abandoned manse in the residential district of Mabel Village. They ventured outside and saw the midday sun above their heads. Looking around, they could see the Grave Child watching them from the shadows, smiling before vanishing again. They made their way hastily to city hall.
Dax and Brumlee were still at city hall, looking over paperwork, when the mercenaries entered. They explained the situation, telling them that they found the ancient cistern, cleaned out some skulltulas, and met a blind man possessed by some demonic power. Zedeki and Ophinia also warned them that there may be some stronger evil in the town that they didn’t expect, indicating that their next course of action would be to go into the Hokani Mountains and find the meeting place of these masked people. As Zedeki explained this, he saw the image of the Grave Child again, whispering him to keep quiet before he told Dax and Brumlee about her. When Dax and Brumlee heard this, they apologized that they would not be able to send anyone with them as their police force was maddeningly short-staffed.
Dax instead suggested that they join the wandering police force of Calatia, the Sentinels. Signing up as a sentinel would earn them extra rupees and allow them to enforce the law without having to act as mercenaries any longer. The four mercenaries signed up and became probationary sentinels. Brumlee mentioned that they would need the signatures from two more Marshals in two other cities before they became full sentinels. Dax gave the party their pay for helping in the cistern.
The mercenaries, now Sentinels, ventured into the shopping district to purchase some supplies before setting off the next morning. Ophinia sold some of the supplies they had gathered from the cistern. Namika and Zedeki found a bookstore. Gongu sold the chu chu jellies to Crazy Tracy’s Potion Shop. They also purchased My Lady, the riding horse they had rented from the drunkard Bato a few days ago.
The sentinels met up again at the Little Fish Inn, renting a room for the night and relaxing in the baths. During the night each of them had a dream or vision.
Gongu found himself in the mountains, at Death Mountain, where his people live in Hyrule. But the Goron City was empty and oddly cold. Whisper was at his side and said to him, “Family.” But Gongu saw his father, angry again, rushing at him with his stone-breaker club, ready to strike. Gongu fled, but Whisper was not at his side. Father appeared again, this time as large as Death Mountain itself. He swung the club to kill Gongu, but a woman in white clothes blocked it, and Gongu fled again. He found himself in a shallow pool. The water was red with blood, and Whisper was there with him once more, his fur matted with injury. “My friend,” he whispered, “where will we go now?” Gongu found himself on Nayru’s Blessing, sailing to Calatia. The sky ahead of him was dark with storms, and the sky behind him in Hyrule was clear. But in Hyrule, he could see his father and tribesmen covering themselves in molten lead, wearing the metal as thick armor. They saw Gongu look at them and howled in anger. They charged at him. Gongu looked towards Calatia and saw the woman in white leading the ship with a golden rope. She beckoned for Gongu to follow.
Namika clashed swords with the Sheikah warrior before drawing her bow and turning it to dust. She picked up the sword and saw strange runes in it. She could understand them this time: “Save the Queen. Save the People. In the name of Hylia.” Looking up, she found herself freezing in a snowfield. At a nearby campfire, six other Sheikah were sitting. “Hello, Tutswana! What are you doing out here without your coat? Now that we are gathered, we can meet him. Let us be off!” She emerged from a tent and followed the Sheikah across the snowfields and saw each of them wielding a katana like she had found. Namika followed them until she beheld a large bear made of stone and metal. She suddenly found herself atop the bear. On its head was a strange, intricate pedestal. Nearby was the figure of a man in shining silver armor and a long cape. He held a katana like Namika’s. He said to her, “You’ve arrived at last. Come! The devil awaits us,” and he slammed his katana into the pedestal. Namika began to slip, but a woman in white grasped her hand and pulled her back up. The man in silver was gone now, and so was the woman in white. Namika looked towards the horizon and saw legions upon legions of demons, fiends, and monsters come at her. She took her katana and struck it into the pedestal, feeling a surge of energy.
Zedeki was a child in the Hebra Mountains with his Grandfather. They were pleased to be together, knowing that Grandfather’s time was running short. Grandfather drew an arrow into the Sacred Bow and fired it, sending it sailing over the horizon. But Zedeki remembers this. It was a memory, and when it happened, Grandfather fell to the ground, bleeding from his beak and eyes. Zedeki had to fly back to the Rito Village alone to get his mother for help. This time, Grandfather shot the bow and was fine. “You try it now, grandson,” he said. Zedeki tried to draw back the bow, but it was too heavy. “I’m just a child!” Zedeki cried as the arrow slipped and fell to the ground at his feet. “Let me help you,” said Grandfather. But it wasn’t Grandfather’s hands on the bow with him. It was a woman in white clothes who smiled at him when she saw him gaping at her. The bow fired, and Zedeki was an adult again. He was on a solitary mountain. He shot the arrow from this mountain, but the arrow came about and landed on the mountain, too. To the south, Zedeki saw the Southern Lighthouse of Calatia, its light extinguished. An army of the people in those horrible masks were marching towards him. He drew the bow again.
Ophinia was riding on her horse again. She heard cheers coming from her trainer, the stablemaster who taught her to ride. When she smiled and turned to look at the stablemaster, he was gone. And so was the horse. She was alone in a field of grass. Her weapon was missing. Her armor was missing. Looking about, she felt a strange sensation of fear and doubt. But this was recognizable. The Grave Child was near! She fumbled through the fields, trying to find something to protect her. In the grass, she found her battleaxe just as the Grave Child stood above her. “Paladin of Hylia, you should have killed me when you had the chance!” she hissed, sending a blast of black energy into Ophinia. Ophinia fell down, weakened. It took all of her strength to stand up, but the Grave Child shot her back down. This happened over and over until Ophinia was defeated. Her vision blurred and she waited for death. The Grave Child bore down on her, but looked up and screamed, “You!?” A man in bright clothes stood by Ophinia’s side. He grasped the axe and raised it, raising Ophinia with it. She stood on her feet again, invigorated and ready. The Grave Child shot at her again, but her axe deflected the shot. Ophinia charged and the Grave Child fell dead. Ophinia turned around and the man was gone. Hylia was in his place. Hylia spoke to Ophinia, but Ophinia could not understand the words again. But she did not need to. Though she couldn’t hear them, Ophinia knew that they were words of comfort.
On the next day, the sun rose and shone brightly over Mabel Village.Back to Quest for Calatia