The Legend of Hilda and The Lost Pendants – Part One: The Courage to Do What’s Right

This is a fanfiction. The Legend of Zelda and all of the worlds and characters within it are the intellectual property of Nintendo. I am simply writing an original story in their world.

This story is rated Everyone 10+ for cartoon violence and mild thematic elements.

Sunlight bathed the land of Lorule in golden light, a refreshing light not seen in those lands for a long time. Much of the kingdom still looked like a wasteland; when the power of the Triforce knit the land back together, it did not do so gently. Yet in spite of the segments of spires thrown up by the rejoining of the lands, in spite of the continuing discoloration of the land’s vegetation, there was something beautiful about Lorule. Things were changing for the better.

In a small house at the center of the kingdom, this beauty was particularly vivid. The grass around the cottage was turning green again, and flowers were beginning to bloom. Set on top of a hill, the house looked quite plain, with little more than a straw-man in the garden to indicate that anyone lived there at all. Inside, the place didn’t look much better. Empty boxes were strewn all about, clothes rested in disorganized piles, and crumpled papers covered the desk. The cleanest thing about the room was the bed. Plush violet sheets decorated a feather mattress sitting upon a basic wooden frame. In the bed rested a young man, his face buried in a pillow soaked with drool.

Just outside, a small blue bird descended from the sky and headed towards the cottage. It alighted upon the bottom frame of the open window and looked inside. Seeing the man resting in the bed, the bird gave a few chirps. When the man did not not stir, the bird took to the air once again and fluttered over to him. Hovering in the air for a moment, the bird promptly descended upon the man’s head and proceeded to peck and scratch him.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” the man cried, jumping up and flailing to shoo the bird away. “I get it, Sheerow, I’m up, yeesh!”

Sheerow gave a chirp that sounded like a “tsk tsk.” Ravio – for that was the name of the young man – rose from his bed and stumbled over to a lopsided mirror, tilting his head to the side to check his appearance. Sleep crusts still made his vision blurry. A quick swipe of his hand across his bright green eyes took care of that problem, allowing him to see that his black hair was jutting out in every conceivable direction.

“Bed head,” he muttered. “Can’t leave the house like that.”

Ravio took a few moments to tousle his hair until it laid down properly. He then pulled off his nightgown and pulled on his rabbit robe, a long purple robe with a bunny-ear hood that covered his entire face. He kept the hood down, the mask and ears flopping behind him as he went over to where his belt lay on the floor. Scooping up the wide belt, he clipped it around his waist, the green ruppee buckle glinting in the sunlight from the windows. His final touch was to wrap his blue-and-black striped scarf around his neck, the two stretches of extra fabric thrown behind him like a cloak. Ravio checked his appearance in the mirror again, this time pleased with the image that stared back.

“Looking good, Rav,” he smiled. He then turned to Sheerow. “And what, may I ask, am I looking good for?”

In answer, Sheerow took off through the window. The young man shook his head and followed the energetic bird, opening his door and walking outside. Sheerow took off northward, flying straight towards Lorule Castle. Unfortunately there was no path down at the north side of Ravio’s hill, so he was forced to scurry down the south end and then loop around.

“No Sheerow, it’s cool, don’t wait up for me or anything,” the young man muttered to himself. Fortunately for him the bird’s destination had been quite obvious. Ravio lived quite close to Lorule Castle, which was convenient since Hilda had called on him more and more ever since the Triforce was restored. The castle looked different now with the land knit back together – the bridge that once led across a large chasm had become a footpath across dry, rocky ground.

Like the kingdom itself, the castle was undergoing a number of changes. In recent years the palace had become a veritable dungeon, complete with boiling lava, arrow traps, and complex puzzles. Naturally, the new direction of Lorule did not mesh with that sort of thing, so as Ravio moved through the building there were soldiers all around taking apart traps and puzzles. Princess Hilda’s room was in one of the castle’s high towers. Naturally, Sheerow simply flew up to the window while his companion had the pleasure of walking up countless flights of stairs.

Hilda’s chamber was part bedroom, part office. Above her desk was a map of Lorule, with a number of handwritten edits to indicate the recent changes in landscape. The desk itself was covered in papers. In the opposite corner was a table ringed by chairs, giving Hilda and any guests a place to sit comfortably during discussions. Her four-poster bed occupied a third corner of the room, the bed itself barely visible through the sheer curtains. The princess was sitting at her desk, her long dark hair obscuring most of her form. Sheerow gave a chirp to let her know Ravio had arrived. She turned towards him, her pale, cold features lovely and causing his heart to skip a beat.

“Ravio,” she acknowledged. “I’m glad you came.”

“Always happy to be of service, milady,” he grinned. “What brings me here today?”

Hilda began searching the papers on her desk for a few specific pages. “I need you to fetch something for me. Three things, actually. Artifacts that were lost during Lorule’s unmaking that have now reappeared in our kingdom.”

“Interesting,” Ravio mused. “What are these artifacts?”

“Three pendants,” Hida answered. “One representing courage, one representing wisdom, and one representing power. They are meant to serve as keys that unlock the way to a great power, but unlike the land of Hyrule where they protect the Master Sword, here there is nothing of value for the pendants to seal away. So instead, we shall display them here in Lorule Castle until such a time where they might be useful for their intended purpose.”

Ravio leaned back against the wall and crossed his arms. “Okay, that’s cool. So where can a guy find these things? Some old merchant have them? You need me to do some wheeling and dealing? It’s been too long since I was out there, making bargains and feeling the cold, smooth touch of ruppees in my hand.”

“It’s not that kind of errand, Ravio,” Hilda explained. She was still sifting through papers on her desk, only half paying attention to the conversation. “The pendants are in a cave system that expanded when Lorule was returned to its former state. I need you to go to the cave and get them out.”

“Well excuse me, princess,” Ravio began, “but I’m no spelunker. I don’t do caves, particularly the kind where we don’t even know what kind of creepy crawlies live inside of them. Why not send one of your soldier flunkies to do it?”

“My flunkies, as you call them, are working on the construction of the palace,” Hilda sighed. “I’d go myself on such an easy errand, but I have more important things to do here. I have the whole political backbone of the country to restore. Yes, I am the princess and I ultimately rule the kingdom, but we need religious officials, advisers, ambassadors, and it’s my job to appoint all of those things. But while my soldiers are busy and I am busy, you Ravio are not doing anything. So you’re about to get some firsthand experience, what did you call it? Spelunking.”

Ravio sighed and pulled his hood over his face in case Hilda happened to look back at him. A lump rose in his throat and his eyes began to water. It was true he hadn’t been particularly busy since the restoration of Lorule, but that’s because he was tired. He’d journeyed to Hyrule single-handed, in secret, to aid Link in saving the kingdom while also making the money needed to restore Lorule’s economy. It took a lot out of him. More than that, though, it hurt that Hilda didn’t seem to consider him an asset to the nation. Here she was looking to appoint an adviser and she was sending Ravio on fetch quests. During Lorule’s darkest hour, he had proven himself both loyal and smart enough to make good decisions. Yet that had earned him no respect, no consideration for a position in Hilda’s palace.

Ravio finally managed to calm himself and get words out of his mouth without sobbing. “Your will be done, princess. Where is this cavern?”

Hilda’s staff was propped on the wall by her desk, topped as usual with a three-dimensional depiction of Lorule’s Triforce. Without taking her eyes off of her work, she grabbed the staff and rested the corner of one of the golden triangles against the map on the wall. As she pointed out the place, she spoke the name as well.

“Thieves’ Town,” she answered. “I’m glad you’re willing to do this, Ravio. I have something for you by the door. I doubt the cave will be very dangerous, but in case it is I thought you might need some protection.”

He turned to look by the door, wondering how he could have missed whatever Hilda was talking about. It took only a moment to realize that he’d missed it because it looked completely insignificant. There was a stick propped against the wall – wait, no, it was some kind of practice sword. A segment about eight inches long at the base of the wood had been cut more narrow to create a handle. The “blade” was simply a thick length of wood, rounded rather than being honed in any way. It was more of a large club than a sword, though it was obviously intended to serve as the latter.

“Where’d you get this sword?” Ravio questioned.

“It’s an apprentice sword,” Hilda answered. “We use them to train our new recruits before they’re ready for sharp weapons. It certainly isn’t deadly, but it should protect you against whatever minor threats you might encounter on your trip.”

“Gee thanks,” the young merchant muttered. “I’m glad you’re so concerned for my safety that you could spare such a valuable asset to the kingdom.”

“If you don’t have anything important to say, Ravio, I really need to be focused on my work here,” Hilda dismissed. “I’ll speak with you again when you return with the pendants.”

With a sigh, Ravio turned and made his way out the door. Sheerow flew back out the window – the two would reunite outside. Hilda didn’t like it when the bird flew around the inside of the castle, and with some traps and lava pits still remaining the merchant didn’t care for it either. He headed down the stairs and into the main chamber of the castle. The room was covered in construction materials of all sorts – buckets of water, stone bricks, metal beams, and tools were all strewn about. Throughout the room soldiers worked tirelessly on the building’s repair and refitting, sweat pouring from their brows as they cooled lava, replaced damaged brickwork, and constructed new stairs and walkways to make traversing the palace easier.

Ravio walked through carefully, using his new sword as a makeshift walking stick to keep from waving it around all over the place. He’d nearly made it out of the building when someone stopped him. The man was massive, his rippling muscles barely concealed by thick sheets of plate armor. His face seemed locked into a perpetual sneer, and a group of skinnier sneering guards stood behind him.

“Well if it isn’t the bunny man,” the guard chuckled. The merchant forgot he was wearing his hood. He pulled it off and tried to smile his most disarming smile.

“Hey fellas,” Ravio said. “I’d love to stay and chat, but I’ve got important royal errands to run. So, uh, have fun with your bricklaying and whatnot.”

He tried to walk past the guard, but the huge man shoved him over with only only a roll of his shoulder. The merchant hit the floor and his sword clanked dully against the ground. He gripped the handle and rose to his feet, inciting all of the guards to laughter.

“Ooh, big scary bunny man’s gonna fight me,” the guard sneered. “I thought running away was your play.”

Ravio feinted a strike to the right and then cut left, trying to get past the massive guard, but the man grabbed him by his hood and flung him to the floor again. The soldier placed his heavy metal boot against the merchant’s chest, pinning him down.

“You think you’re so smart,” the guard taunted. “But you’re just a big coward. When Yuga proposed his plan of invading Hyrule, we all prepared for battle. We fought hard for our country. You turned tail and worked with the enemy. And now that we won and got our kingdom back, the princess is still tolerating you, a traitor. You should be publicly humiliated, not sent on comfy little errands.”

He pressed his boot harder into Ravio’s chest. “I guess I can settle for humiliating you in here.”

Ravio had a hard time catching his breath, but he refused to stay silent. “That’s revisionist history if I’ve ever heard it. Lorule didn’t win! We lost everything! Link was powerful, wise, and brave, and he defeated us fair and square. The only reason Lorule was restored to glory is because he was merciful and felt sorry for our kingdom.”

Gathering all of his strength, the merchant managed to roll his body, throwing the big guard off balance and causing him to topple to the ground. Ravio grabbed his sword and held it towards the guard’s face, knowing the blade wasn’t threatening but still wanting to make a point.

“You’re right to call me a coward,” Ravio admitted. “But not because I went to Hyrule and helped Link. I’m a coward because when Yuga proposed his scheme of stealing Hyrule’s Triforce, I didn’t stop him then and there. I knew his plan was foolish and would lead to our destruction. But I didn’t speak up. Instead I ran away. I am a coward because I didn’t have the courage to do what’s right. Everything I’ve done since then, even the things I do now, are to make up for that mistake.”

The merchant lowered the apprentice sword and stepped away. The big guard managed to rise up into a sitting position, but with so much armor holding him down he couldn’t get onto his feet quickly enough to continue fighting. Ravio walked past the flunkies, his eyes set forward and not meeting any of theirs.¬†Outside, he reunited with Sheerow, the blue bird landing on Ravio’s shoulder. It turned its head quizzically, noticing the merchant’s dampened mood.

“Don’t worry about me, buddy,” Ravio said, half-smiling. “We’ve got a mission up in Thieves’ Town, and we’re the only ones who can do it.”

Sheerow gave a cheerful chirp and took to the air again. Ravio sighed, his mind still on his conversation inside. So many things he wished he could change…everything had worked out in the end, but none of that was because of anything he did. The real hero of Lorule was Link, and with him gone it seemed like the kingdom was once again descending into darkness. Hilda still obsessed with power, the guards all celebrating like war heroes while bullying everyone they could…if something didn’t change Lorule would end up right where it started.

“I guess it’s up to me,” Ravio said. “Maybe getting these pendants will help change things around here. I can’t keep making the same mistakes. This time, I’m going to fight for what’s right.”

With that, the merchant and his bird began their journey to find the lost pendants.

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