Rosy Zelda Sue

It's been a long time.

She isn't sure how long. She has honed herself to a fine point, over the years, and not had much room in her narrowness for counting them. But it has been long.

Ganon writhes, and she cages him. Ganon struggles, and she subdues him. Ganon grows ever stronger, and she weaker. She hoards her waning strength, and learns ever more precise ways to apply it.

One day, there will be more than this. She knows it, in the core of her. Not just because it's her plan, although it was a very good plan and every careful step of it is burned indelibly into her otherwise hazy memory. She knows it because of who she is relying on. He cannot fail her. He won't. He will wake, and then matters will proceed according to his nature and the path she laid for him.

She thinks of it often, but never for long. Ganon is never content to let her rest, and so she doesn't. Her dreams of the future come in scattered glimpses, between clashes with the primal evil that haunts her home. Each thought of what's to come is old and well-polished, worn smooth by many small fleeting touches, like the front steps of the castle that are beginning to dip slightly under centuries of feet.

One day.

One day.

It's been such a very long time.

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In a chamber under the snowlands of the Great Plateau, a long-slumbering heart quickens. A century of wait ends with a click.

The waters of new life begin to drain.


Right. That's her cue.

She waits, just a moment, studying Ganon's patterns of movement—then flares her strength, reaching out to the very edges of her awareness. With one metaphorical hand, she keeps the beast at bay, spending strength recklessly in a way she hasn't done since the first half-minute of this long battle. With the other, she touches that flickering spirit, just beginning to stir.

Open your eyes...

Are they open already? She can't tell through the haze of time and distance.

Open your eyes, she repeats, stretching out farther, grasping more firmly, trying to see what he sees, feel what he feels. Wake up, Link.


The boy is still beneath the surface when he feels the touch. When he does, it is like—dawn breaking, sunrays glimmering in shallows far above—and he swims toward the light, towards the warmth—

The words penetrate to some part of his unconscious. His eyes flutter.

For the first time in one hundred years, Link draws breath.


And with that indrawn breath—


Things are, very abruptly, no longer going according to plan.

A sudden rush of memory disrupts her connection with his spirit. She flails to get it back, and misses. She flails to keep Ganon contained, and for the first time in a century misses that too, because her spirit is filled with a mad cacophony of tangled thought—

—knowing all her life that the first and most important thing about her is her destiny—

—knowing all her life that the first and most important thing about her is her family—

—that she is a gear in the machine of Hyrule, the keystone of the arch of fate, and the thing about a keystone is that it must not move from its place lest the whole thing crumble—

—that she is a Blake, which means power, and magic, and politics, and responsibility and expectations, but most of all means that all her favourite people in the world love her and support her and would take on the world at her back—

—that her father is the King and so of course he is mainly concerned with matters of state like his daughter's failure to do her duty as a princess—

—that her father is an art historian and has only ever wanted her to be happy just the way she is—

The part of her that is Zelda looks incredulously at the inside of her own head, unable to fathom what it would be like to live the life she remembers, the weight of expectations uncomfortable but not crushing, her family a source of comfort and stability instead of guilt and complication.

The part of her that is Rosy looks incredulously at the inside of her own head, unable to fathom how she made it to the age of seventeen without planting a delicate slipper directly in Rhoam Bosphoramus Hyrule's royal groin.

Then they remember the Calamity, and that whatever Zelda's disagreements with her father she never wanted him dead, and for a moment they are united in grief.

And Ganon stirs against their faltering grasp, and they are united in something much deeper than that.


Right. Well. Equilibrium regained, she/they turn/s her/their attention back to the problem at hand. It's much easier now, for some reason, to hold off Ganon while reaching for Link. What's he up to? She really hopes she didn't miss explaining the Sheikah Slate. He can probably figure out the Sheikah Slate on his own, but it's going to make her so uncomfortable to be off-script this early.


Link does not remember anything.

That's not true. He remembers fragments. He knows his name. He clambers out of the pool, shakes the wet out of his hair and looks around, and recognizes nothing, yet the patterned black and gold and those lines of blue are do not strike entirely unfamiliar. He plucks a strange slate from a pedestal, and he has not held anything like it before, but somehow he knows how to turn it on.

The doors open to the slate's touch with a low hiss. He climbs out over dirt and rock until he sees a stream of daylight. That he remembers too.


Link breaks into a mad run, and stone gives way to grass and sky, and the mountains and forests lay themselves before him, painting strokes into the gaps in his mind, and he knows a second name:



Link cannot shake the feeling that there is something he needs to do.

There is a point marked on the map on the device. It's not what he needs to do, but it's something. He finds an odd old man with a white beard and a campfire, but he tolerates the cryptic company only long enough to roast a couple of apples and sate what he thinks is hunger. He cuts down a Bokoblin a stroke of his axe, and that is how he knows he's a warrior.

He feels weak.

The bow and quiver feel right, when he slings them on his back. Crude, but better than nothing. The axe is unbalanced, so he drops it for a cheap sword he finds. He draws close to the point on his map and wonders who marked it for him. The destination turns out to be a an odd structure similar to the one he emerged from, but smaller, and exposed to the elements by erosion of the rock.

There is a pedestal there as well. Empty. He does the only thing there is to do.


What comes is hard to follow. The ground seems to quake beneath him, toppling him off his feet.

Then it all lurches.

The structure shatters its rock prison and plunges skywards, rising as a tower to the heavens. Across the horizon, the eagle-eyed will spot other towers breaking from the earth, called by the same force.

Energy roars through the great column beneath, sound and static enough to prickle hair. When the rising stops and the rocks settle, the power has not stopped its waxing; above Link, above the pedestal, glowing glyphs flow down a hanging spire, faster and faster, condensing in an incandescent drop of blue. It goes for longer and longer until the droplet is grown too much for the neck to support, then—

The drop falls and strikes the Sheikah Slate in a wonderfuls splash of color.


But while that's happening, something else is going on.

In the distance, a different, terrible thing is roused. The castle that sits on the far edge where the great plains meet the river trembles, and the land quivers with it. A dark miasma that laid dormant for decades rises once again to grasp the heart of the kingdom. From that brewing storm drags the dark form of some titanic monster, roiling and formless, but for a bestial head with tusks to gore giants and a maw that swallows towers whole. The thing of malice climbs the battlements on claws of shadow, stone breaking in its grip.


But it is not unopposed.


Auuuuuugh her scriiiiiiiiipt.

It's fine. He's fine. He found the tower. She did prepare for the possibility that she wouldn't be able to speak to him in the first place, never having tested spiritual communication like this before at all let alone at this range. Her contingencies cover this. It's Fine.

The golden glow of Zelda's spirit flares brightly, reaching out to Link from the heart of Hyrule Castle. Her redoubled strength drags at the monster, hauling it back down.

Remember, she implores, though she knows it won't be enough. Try... Try to remember...

She gathers her thoughts. Focuses. Get the important message through.

The beast... When the beast regains its true power, this world will face its end.


...What does that mean.

This is important, he knows. Not only because of the voice telling him about the end of the world. He knows this voice. But he doesn't. He doesn't know how to remember.

He snatches the Sheikah Slate from the pedestal to see if it has any clues.


Nope! But he has a map now.


Something crystallizes in her mind.

Why is she so much stronger now? Why does she feel like there are two of her, not just in perspective and memory but in force and purpose?

Perhaps for the excruciatingly obvious reason that she has the magical power to duplicate herself???


The golden light shining from Hyrule Castle flickers and dims, but Zelda's voice in Link's mind firms and strengthens. Now then, she says, more clearly than ever before.

I'm coming to help.

My power can keep it contained while I travel. Seek the ancient shrines. I'll see you soon.



She didn't mention a meeting place, so presumably she can track him, maybe by however way she's talking to him right now. He's instructed to seek the ancient shrines. For some reason, he feels compelled to obey her. If nothing else, meeting up might give him some answer. He has no better clue for what he's supposed to be doing.

One problem: he doesn't know what these ancient shrines are. The name twigs his memory a bit, but not enough to give him a heading to investigate.

He peers over the edge of the tower, scanning the landscape for signs of what might be shrines.


There's a mound over by a lake built out of the same material as the place he woke up in and this tower. Its patterns are glowing orange.


...How is he going to get down?


There are some openings near the center of the platform to climb down, with rest stops on the way down the tower.


And when reaches the bottom of the tower, irritated by how much less stamina he has than he expected, that strange old man is waiting for him.

"My, my... it seems we have quite the enigma here."


Link crosses his arms. This man is up to something, but something tells him it'll be easier to let the old man get this out of his system.


"This tower and others like it have erupted across the land, one after another. It's almost as if... a long-dormant power has awoken quite suddenly. If you don't mind me asking, did anything... odd occur while you were atop that tower?"


...He's not going to answer that.


"You need not conceal the truth from me. Truth be told, I saw the whole thing unfold from afar. Although I could not hear anything, I did see you react as if you heard something coming from the direction of the castle."



"I heard a voice."


"And did you happen to recognize this mysterious voice?"

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