The Gods of Calatia
Session 10: Nov 24, 2019
The morning brought more snow, but Elsith’s Safe House was warm enough. Each of the sentinels spent their morning preparing for the next leg of their journey into the mountains. While Ophinia fed My Lady in the stables, the man wearing the wrappings approached her. This time, he was dressed from head to toe in dull gray armor with a thick metal helmet that barely allowed his own eyes to see. His runic axe was slung over his shoulders. He asked Ophinia if she had an answer for him - would her group allow him to accompany them into the mountains? She asked for time to think on his offer and to speak with her companions.
Inside, Gongu and Whisper made their way back to the parlor. They found Koragath and Frost both awake, with Koragath failing to light a fire in the fireplace. Gongu offered to do it, asking about Koragath’s stone bow as he did. “It’s funny you mention that, Gongu,” said Koragath. “In my tribe, the Ice Gorons, we pass down a special weapon from goron to goron. This bow has immense power, but its power wanes when its wielder can no longer wield it. But when that happens, the name of the next goron to have it appears on the grip. It says ‘Gongu’ and there is no one of my kind with that name.” And so, the bow made of stone and metal passed to Gongu, though he could not properly use it for some unknown reason.
Zedeki and Namika met Gongu in the parlor as Elsith hobbled into the room. She muttered something under her breath and summoned her invisible servant, Richard, again and commanded him to make them breakfast. After a moment, Ophinia joined them and asked her companions about taking the man in wrappings with them. Zedeki asked how Ophinia felt about it and Ophinia responded that the feeling was strange. The man in wrappings was keen on keeping to himself, but was very eager to get to the mountains and seemed more than capable of helping them.
The sentinels elected to take the man in wrappings with them. They took their leave of Elsith and her company went outside. They found the man in wrappings knelt on the ground in front of a small statue of Hylia. Ophinia asked him if he worshipped her. The man responded in the affirmative, but that he has not heard her voice in a very long time. About two weeks ago, the light of the Southern Lighthouse had gone out and he felt entirely shut out from her presence.
“You worship Hylia, then,” said Ophinia. “And what of the Caretaker? He’s the god of Calatia, is he not?”
“The Caretaker?” replied the man. “No, certainly not. The Caretaker is a false god. But he is good, I can tell you that much.”
“And your interest in the mountains?” she asked.
“Can you sense the darkness in Calatia, Hyrulean?” he responded. “Can you feel the disconnect from Hylia here? Up in the mountains, there is something evil that has taken residence in the Temple of Paraba. And I intend to cleanse it.”
The path through the forest was the same as it was yesterday. Strange eyes watched the travelers from a long distance. This time, Zedeki flew lower to the tree line to stay within earshot of his companions. After a short while, they came to a crossroad. Whisper smelled something to the east and the man in wrappings said the path east lead up the mountains towards the temple. Before they could leave, Namika spotted something running towards them: a Bokoblin with an empty quiver. Ophinia crushed one of the teeth on her necklace and spoke Blin to it.
“You there!” she hollered. “What are you doing here?”
It stopped and grasped at its empty quiver. It wielded only the empty bow in its hands. “You speak Blin?”
Ophinia repeated her question. The Bokoblin cried out, cowering and groveling. “Please don’t hurt Iglimik! Iglimik only wanted to get away from mean Billimug and the master! They are so scary! Iglimik will go north to the nicer tribe.”
“What nicer tribe?” asked Ophinia.
“Iglimik does not know,” replied Iglimik. “But other tribe up north must be nicer than Billimug.”
“Who is Billimug?”
“Billimug is the demon. Very scary, very mean. Iglimik does not want mean. Iglimik wants peace.”
Ophinia relayed this information to the other sentinels before making Iglimik swear that he would not hurt anyone or anything else. As Iglimik scampered away into the thicket, the man in wrappings informed them that he had heard of many creatures of darkness in the mountains, and a demon matched what he knew. He suggested that they take caution once they got to the mountains. On the horizon, Zedeki saw a great snow storm approaching from the north. The man in wrappings said that they should get moving. Even going through the mountains, they could still make it to the Temple of Paraba before the storm hits.
The trees of the forest waned as the sentinels traveled east, coming to what appeared to be an impassable wall. Gongu was able to see the trail fairly easily and the man in wrappings noted that the trail through the mountains was incredibly difficult to find. Even Zedeki, flying above and watching over his companions, had difficulty finding them. The snow began to fall harder and harder as they moved onward, following Gongu’s expert guidance.
The man in wrappings warned them that they’d soon approach a checkpoint: a tower that was the remains of an ancient village of worshippers of the god Paraba. After an hour into the mountains, Gongu led them to it. The ruins of a tower with a short wall blocked their path in a small canyon. The tower perhaps used to be much taller but seemed to have fallen after many years. The canyon was quiet and nothing was moving except for a few orbs of magical light hovering over the tower.
“This is as far as I have ever made it on my own,” said the man in the wrappings. “But something is different this time. The other times I tried to come here, I was met with an army. Right now, I can feel only a small source of evil here.”
As he said this, a shape appeared in the sky. A figure with black, spindly arms and a long, ornate robe reached out with its fingers and sent a shockwave of black energy that knocked Ophinia to the ground. Zedeki and Namika opened fire at the wizard but it quickly teleported back into its tower and away from them. As Ophinia picked herself up, a trio of Stalfos descended on her. Gongu, Whisper, and the man in the wrappings jumped to defend her. Ophinia, calling upon Hylia’s power, swung her battle axe and brought all three Stalfos to the ground.
A blast shook the sky as Zedeki was hit by a fire spell. Shaking it off, he struck the wizard and brought it down. “It is as I thought,” said the man. “The darkness that usually guards this tower is lesser, and I am anxious for the reason.”
Ophinia and Zedeki bound up their wounds and the group continued. The storm was approaching fast.
They soon reached the summit of a smaller mountain. The dark sky loomed above them with heavy snowfall now descending. Ahead, they beheld a large structure made of stone with carved columns and statues. The building had many thick cracks in it, slowly crumbling over the years under the weather that beat upon it. The mountain was dead silent but for a very faint voice coming from inside the temple.
Ophinia and the man in wrappings could not sense anything from this distance, so the group formed a plan. Zedeki and Namika would sneak in first and see what they could. Ophinia and the man would stay close behind for backup, while Gongu and Whisper would provide protection from the back if needed.
Zedeki and Namika entered the temple and quickly moved to the side behind whatever cover they could find. Inside, the temple was mostly bare except for four columns in each of the corners and an archway in the center of the room. A man in fancy but muddy clothing was standing in front of the archway, muttering, “Please… please help me…”
Zedeki flew to the ceiling of the temple and looked towards the archway. In a strange darkness inside the archway was a figure. The archway, Zedeki realized, must have been some sort of portal. The figure looked up and saw him. “Welcome to my temple, Rito,” it said. “And your friend, the Sheikah, as well. Your friends are without the temple, correct? Bring them in, we may as well talk since you are here.”
Ulrira, the man in the find clothes, stood still but was trembling slightly.
The sentinels and the man in wrappings all entered the temple. The shape in the archway said, “How interesting. I didn’t expect to see you here, Paraba.”
The man in wrappings stepped forward, axe in hand. “Get out of my temple.”
“Oh please,” said the figure. “You’ve fallen from divinity. You have no power over me unless I choose to leave this place. But what about this company that you keep, Paraba? These people, these Hyruleans, do they come to bow before their god?”
“Are you Cruel?” asked Zedeki.
“I am cruel, if that is what you’re asking,” replied the figure. “Paraba remembers my name. But I am most assuredly the god of Calatia. And when those lighthouses are snuffed out, I will reclaim my land. And I will usher in a new order of prosperity.”
“He lies,” said Paraba. “He will burn this land.”
“I reward those that serve me faithfully, Hyruleans,” hissed the figure. “Obey me and serve me and you will become strong and powerful. I may even explain to you why my followers sank your ship. But if you fail me, as this one did, and I shall give you the reward you deserve.”
From the archway, a long, black arm extended from the portal. As it moved, it elongated into a large tentacle and wrapped around Ulrira’s neck. Ulrira fell to the ground and the tentacle began pulling him towards the portal.
“How faithlessly you served me,” said the figure. “You ruined this province, as commanded, but you were weak. Come, enter into my rest.”
Zedeki, Namika, and Gongu reacted. They each fired their bows, sticking arrows into Cruel’s tentacle, but it continued to pull until Ulrira was dragged into the portal and out of sight forever.
“You dare challenge me, the god of Calatia?” roared Cruel. “Know this: I have what I need from your pitiful little ship. And when the lighthouses are destroyed, I will be free. As your enemy, I will burn you all. But you may yet be forgiven. Only the strongest will live in my Calatia. Consider this a test.”
Cruel disappeared, but two figured blocked the doorway to the temple behind them: a small girl with ashen skin and a tall winged creature with black skin and leather armor holding a long spear.
The Grave Child and Billimug, the Acheman.
Zedeki quickly fired an arrow into the Acheman, but the Acheman ripped the arrow from his own skin and flung it to the ground. The Grave Child wrapped herself in flames and smiled. She sent a barrage of fire at the sentinels. When the flames died down, Whisper and Ophinia lay on the ground.
Paraba howled, raising his axe and attacking Billimug. Namika and Gongu fired arrows to cover Zedeki while he picked Ophinia up with a heart potion. She immediately ran towards the Grave Child and swung, sending the Grave Child backwards with a powerful blow of radiant energy before turning and casting a spell. The Grave Child, greatly injured, teleported away. Billimug the Achemon hissed in horror and fled, flying away to the north.
Gongu ran over to Whisper and began to wrap his wounds. Zedeki flew out the door but could not find the Grave Child now. “Where did she go?”
Gongu closed his eyes. After a moment, he said, “I can sense her. She’s not far. She’s down the path, going towards My Lady.”
Ophinia cried out, but Zedeki flew into the air and charged through the snow. Namika raced after him and caught up just as a blast of energy from the Grave Child shattered into him and dropped him to the ground. The Grave Child laughed but only for a moment. Namika had fed Zedeki an amount of potion and he raised himself weakly up. He fired a shot and the Grave Child fell to the ground. The body of the girl collapsed and withered away, but a dark spiritual form rose high into the air and screamed as it vanished into the storm.
Inside the temple, Paraba approached the archway. The dark figure stood there for only a moment.
“You cannot beat me,” it growled. “This land is mine. I will be free. You have no power over me.”
But Paraba suddenly glowed with divine energy. His dull armor shone briefly with violent white and red light. He raised his axe and the runes burned brightly. “Be gone from my temple, Majora!”
Paraba’s axe struck the archway and it broke into many fragments. The dark figure, Majora, disappeared with a laugh.