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Shadows of Oblivion/Chapter 1

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Deep within the Kodan mountains lay the village of Sorac, a Hyrulian outpost built several decades beforehand, during a great ago of expansion in the countries past, one meant to stretch the boarders of the kingdom to the four corners of the land. Lying deep within this mountain chain, it was believed that it lay hidden from the view of outsiders, but this no longer held true. The village was burning.

As the town was becoming engulfed in flames, its inhabitants could be seen attempting to flee as numerous armed barbarians from the surrounding region, clad in the pelts of Wolfos, charged after them, brandishing blades and axes. Though these warriors were vicious and bloodthirsty, they were not prepared for the skill of the Hylian soldiers brought from years of training. Already numerous warriors lay dead or dying at their feet, staining the soil red with their blood. The captain of the group, Sir Vanden, proved to be one of their most skillful, having already slain over a dozen of the barbarians, yelled out “FORM A LINE, WE SHALL NOT FALL BEFORE THESE SAVAGES ON THIS DAY!”

As the Hylian soldiers fought on with a renewed vigor, upon the nearby hill, numerous figures began to line up as a mounted one strode forth, an aura of authority surrounding him. Dressed in a combination of gilded silver chain mail and robes, he wore an ominous looking helm in the design of a bull’s skull upon his head, a ruby implanted in its center. Silently raising his gauntleted hand, its fingers ending in talon-like claws, the men behind him raised their crossbows and prepared to release the first volley of bolts.

One of the crossbowmen said, “Shall we wait for the barbarians to retreat, my lord?” as he took aim.

Their lord simply said “No… these savages have served their purpose. You may open fire when ready."

Vanden charged forth, blade in hand, and cut through two of barbarians who attempted to oppose him. It was then that he saw him, Gragnok, the infamous leader of the barbarians of the surrounding region. A hulking figure, he stood nearly eight feet tall and wore the silver-furred pelt of some giant saber-toothed bear and wielded a large axe with runes engraved on its head.

Gragnok saw Vanden, and yelling a mighty war cry, charged at him, knocking aside both hylians and his fellow warriors in order to reach him. Ready for him, Vanden dodged beneath the ensuing axe blow, righting himself before swinging forth with his own weapon, slicing through the side of the barbarian. Unfazed by the attack, the barbarian knocked the captain aside before raising his axe above his head, shouting in some indistinguishable tongue as he prepared for the killing blow. It was at this moment that the order on the hill was given.

The barbarian’s bloodthirsty grin instantly turned to one of shock and pain as he collapsed to his knees, revealing numerous bolts in his backside. With his ever weakening breath, he cursed and said, “Betray… betrayer… I curse thee… Zenith… you betrayed us…” before collapsing, soon to be followed by the rest of his own forces.

As the volley stopped, Vanden slowly rose to his feet, holding his side in pain from the earlier blow. Feeling warm blood begin to drip down from his forehead, he looked about and saw many of his men had fallen in the barrage. Those who remained came to his aid, and as they did, he said “We need to charge that blockade… it’s the only way we can ensure the villagers survival…” and then raised his blade defiantly at his foe, and then charged forth, yelling out “FOR HYRULE!”

Zenith simply stared at the oncoming force, and then calmly said, “The savages are dead. Let us finish off these insects. Fire on my command… now.”

After around three hours, Zenith’s forces had managed to round up many of the surviving villagers who had attempted to flee into the mountains. His ebony armored soldiers lined up the villagers, holding blades to their backs as they awaited a command from their lord and master. Zennith, upon his white steed, said to one of his captains “How many survivors?” nonchalantly

The captain, having inspected them, gave the reply “We’ve counted 32, my lord.”

Zennith, grinning from behind his helm, prepared to head back towards the main encampment before stopping to say “Correction, there are no survivors.” and listened to the ensuing sounds of muffled screams followed by the inevitable silence.

From the nearby bushes, a young boy of 12 years stifled a cry as he saw his family, along with many of the townspeople he had known for his entire life, have their lives ended in an instant. Overcome by fear, his instincts kicked in and caused him he burst from the bushes, running in the opposite direction in hopes of safety.

In an instant the soldiers saw him, which also caused Zennith to halt his horse in its tracks. One of his soldiers raised his crossbow, took aim, and fired. The bolt tore through the air, heading towards its target before veering off course, only narrowly grazing the boy in the shoulder. Suddenly sensing movement, the soldier looked up just in time to see a blade swing down towards him.

As the headless corpse collapsed onto the ground, Zennith took out a piece of fabric to clean the blood from his blade before sheathing it and saying “I do not accept failure in my army.” Turning towards a group of his horsemen, he uttered “Find and kill him, I cannot allow any chance for our discovery before we attack the kingdom directly… you know the consequences of failure.”

With this command the horsemen took flight, heading after the boy as he ran into the forest, vanishing into its misty and foreboding depths.

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