Patron of Heroes
February 2, 2020
Paraba’s axe glistened with fire. Thick smoke and sparks dripped from it onto the floor of the temple and Paraba shrank back in pain. The arm he used to strike the Cruel God’s portal was loose at his slide, the gauntlet around it crumbling into dust and ash. Despite this, he still held the axe as best as he could. His armor was now cracked and splintered. While Gongu tended to Whisper’s wounds, Ophinia ran to Paraba to catch him as he collapsed to the floor.
“Your axe…” he whispered. “I haven’t much time… I must… transfer…”
Ophinia picked him up and he asked her to raise her axe high above her head. With a quick swipe, he struck hers with his own. But the runic axe of Paraba did not ring against Ophinia’s. Instead, it shattered into a vapor of sparkles and dust. Ophinia beheld her axe and saw that the same runes that were etched on Paraba’s weapon were now on hers instead.
Paraba’s arm was now withering, barely recognizable as an appendage. Ophinia held him up and asked if she could do anything for him. His voice was faint. He asked her to watch over for a while so he could cleanse the temple. He began tracing strange magic circles and glyphs in the dust on the floor, chanting a ritual.
Outside in the snow, Namika called to Zedeki as he strode, limping and still bleeding, towards the body of the Grave Child. The body was already cold. The girl’s skin was gray and taut, but the pool of blackness in the eyes was gone. Her eyes were bright blue when she was alive, but that must have been months ago. Zedeki lifted her body and carried her to the temple while Nami brought in My Lady. Gongu quickly performed a magic ritual to of healing for Zedeki and Ophinia, stopping their wounds from bleeding further. Paraba’s chanting continued and Ophinia knelt next to him, praying.
“I’m going to look around,” said Zedeki at length. He stepped outside and took to the air, circling the temple. Strangely, he found Bokoblin tracks, though he guessed the tracks here were hours old. He followed them to a ridge behind the temple and saw a great ruined city in a small valley. The Temple of Paraba overlooked this ruin in an age past, but now the city was infested with Bokoblins. He heard their loud voices in the distance. They seemed distressed. Or cheerful. It was too hard to say.
Zedeki returned to the temple. “There are Bokoblins in a valley behind the temple. We should shut the door.”
“I found this,” said Nami, holding up a strange white mask with a Sheikah rune on its face. “It was on the Grave- I mean.., the child’s body.”
In this moment, Paraba fell again. As he struck the ground, the armor on his body began to splinter. Something was wrong. The sentinels gathered around him. He fumbled briefly with the straps on his helmet before Ophinia helped him remove it. His face was still obscured by the wrappings around him, but he seemed to be able to breathe easier. But his skin was gaunt and pale.
“The temple is cleansed,” he said. “I cannot feel Hylia’s presence, but… yes, the temple is cleansed now. Tell me, travelers, do you know why you came to Calatia?”
The question stunned them for a moment. Zedeki knew his answer, of course. He was a shipwrecked mercenary. Namika came to Calatia to study ancient Sheikah civilization. Gongu came here with Whisper to escape his father. But Ophinia had come here on a feeling from Hylia. Her mission was to find Malanya, the horse god.
“Malanya… I’m sorry, Ophinia. Malanya is not what you think he is. He is… well… he is unkind.”
“Then why am I here if not to meet the horse god?” she asked.
“You may still meet Malanya, Ophinia,” said Paraba. “That may be part of why you’re here. Hylia guided all of you here. In a strange and mysterious way, each of you was chosen by Hylia, I think, to save this country from Majora.”
“But who is Majora?” asked Zedeki. “He was that figure in the portal, right?”
“Yes, that was Majora. He’s a lesser god like me. We lesser gods were not always gods. We gained our divinity, but we had to store it in something. I stored my power in my axe. Majora stored his in a certain mask. But Majora lost his mask ages ago. He thinks it is here in Calatia. To find it, he brought about what the people here call the Great Disaster. The country was utterly crushed by his might, and my followers did everything in their power to stop him.
“One man was able to stand against him. He was a Sheikah engineer called Lakna Shaz. He created a large creature made of stone and metal, Vah Sarias Aina Rah. In common Calatian language, it was called a Divine Beast. The Divine Beast was piloted by Shaz and other pilots, Sheikah wielding powerful weapons. Majora was defeated in the end.
“The people of Calatia are sadly mistaken about the lighthouses that guard the borders of this land. They were taught that a great and almighty Caretaker set up the lighthouses to keep the darkness away from Calatia. That is not so. They keep it in. Calatia is a prison for Majora. If the light of any lighthouse goes out, even but for a moment, Majora’s prison weakens. Nothing we can do right now will change the fact that Majora will soon be free. And he will bring a second Great Disaster. Calatia is not ready.”
The sentinels paused. “What do we do? What does this mean for us?” asked Gongu.
“Hylia chose you four to save this country. Your weapons you hold are divine. Passed down through the ages and blessed by the gods. But their magic has waned. They must be blessed again. I will give up the rest of my divinity to charge your weapons. When blessed, they have the power of the gods themselves in them. Enough, I think, to defeat a god.”
Paraba instructed the sentinels to lay their weapons at his feet. He sat up and touched each of them in turn, causing them to briefly glow with radiant energy. Ophinia immediately felt the sadness and darkness of the Temple of Paraba fade, replaced by what was unmistakably the presence of Hylia.
The four sentinels shared a vision of each weapon. Zedeki’s was a great bow passed down by the ancient Zora, predecessors of the Rito, who used it to strike down Demise’s forces from below. Namika’s weapon was blessed by Din, Farore, and Nayru themselves and was the key to piloting Divine Beast Vah Sarias in Old Calatia. Gongu’s was also enchanted by the Golden Goddesses as a token of power for the Ice Gorons, the original founders of Calatia. Ophinia’s was a humble axe passed down through the ancestral line of the Hero of Time himself, now granted the power of Paraba, god of heroes.
The powers of their weapons were restored, and the sentinels felt themselves strengthened. But Paraba was spent. His energy was all but gone.
Seeing him close to passing, Zedeki asked Gongu’s question again. “What now? What do we do?”
“My time is short, I am sorry. What you must do is this: find the Northern Lighthouse in Old Calatia and find Lakna Shaz. Pilot the Divine Beast and defeat Majora when he escapes. The chambers to the lighthouse are locked by three keys, one from the Southern, Western, and Eastern Lighthouse. I could sense that the key from the Southern Lighthouse was recently taken north. It is in the hands of a fairy. Find that fairy. Find the other two keys. Save the kingdom. Save the people. In the name of Hylia.”
And with that, Paraba, the god of heroes, was gone. His form faded into nothingness, leaving the dust that was once his armor, and his garments behind. Ophinia stepped towards them, seeing nothing on the ground but the garments, Paraba’s statue of Hylia, and a single book. She passed it to Nami before quietly picked up his clothes and belongings and stepped towards the door. Outside, she somberly buried the clothes and placed the statue over them.
“May the goddess smile upon you, god of heroes.”
Gongu and Zedeki closed the door to the temple once Ophinia returned. While strengthened suddenly by their divine weapons, the sentinels were exhausted. They silently began giving out rations to each other.
Nami looked through Paraba’s book. The ancient glyphs were suddenly easy for her to discern, thanks to Paraba’s blessing on her katana. The book was a history of Acton, a city near the Temple of Paraba. The people of Acton worshipped Paraba and believed he could walk among them. The book cites various places in the city where the people stored magical items blessed by Paraba. Near the end of the book, a final record written by Paraba himself indicated that his followers went to war with Majora and none survived. Paraba spent the last thousand years blaming himself for the death of his people.
When Nami shared this with the party, she and Zedeki deduced that the Bokoblin-infested ruin behind the temple must be the ruins of Acton. The sentinels decided to rest for the night, barricading themselves inside the temple, and would investigate in the morning. If they could get around the Bokoblins, they might be able to find some of the treasure rooms Paraba and his people wrote about.
In the morning, Ophinia cast a spell and spoke to My Lady. She comforted her and told her to stay in the temple while they went outside. My Lady happily agreed, nuzzling Ophinia before returning to her feed.
The sentinels opened the door and stepped out into the cold.Back to Quest for Calatia