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Characters involved:

  • Princess Zelda
  • Link
  • Kagetora, castle guard
  • The Gerudo chief Nabooru
  • Rome, a Terminian
  • Sidon, prince of the Zoras
  • Mipha, princess of the Zoras
  • Revali, the Rito Champion
  • Shemri, Fallon, and Risa, three Gerudo warriors
  • Zunzune, a Goron
  • Irina and Marie, two female Hylians


GERUDO FORTRESS

Zelda

Zelda strides past the fortress's gates with sure, purposeful steps, leading her guards and the complement following. Once inside, she glances back to the Captain, asking, "Where is the Terminian being held?"

Kagetora

The Captain, in turn, looks at Kagetora, who immediately steps forward. "Please follow me," he says as he leads the group towards the chamber. Once there, he stops at the door and steps aside for the princess.

Link 

Link eagerly follows Kagetora. He pauses a moment, the guard seeming familiar, but doesn't say anything. He also steps aside to let the princess enter but his eyes wander into the room. His curiosity is palpable.

Nabooru  

The commotion of the Princess' arrival didn't escape Nabooru at all. A few guards rushed to her, each to deliver the information. She saluted them all and left the room to receive her and her party.

"Princess, glad you could arrive. I see you have friends. Many of them," she looked past her to note how many others were here. "My guards will make sure they don't get into trouble. This way to our special guest," she gestured to Rome who was still in the bed provided for him.

"I already have Shemri on the case, but I imagine with all of us together, we can work out all the kinks and wrinkles. So far, he's proven himself to be harmless. Just a victim of circumstance so far."

She stepped aside, "Kid..." she began, referring to Link. "You've got some explaining to do, but I won't bother with that now. We can pick up on that later," she grinned. "It's been a while, so I imagine I'll have to catch you up."

Zelda 

Nodding once to Nabooru, she follows along, offering Link and Irina a soft, reassuring sort of smile while waiting for her escort to lead on. From a fold in her dress, she pulls forth the faintly glowing blue stone from her desk at the castle, clutching it in a silk-gloved hand. The stone seems to embolden her, and the faint hints of worry crossing her fair features seem to melt away.

She replies to Nabooru, saying a soft, "Well met, Nabooru. Don't let Link wander too far, hmm? We...," she looks back at Link a final time, "...both need to speak with him, it seems." With that, her gaze slips back to Nabooru, by all earances prepared to meet the refugee.

Kagetora  

After bowing his head, the Captain enters the room with the princess, looking around to make sure she will be safe here. He then moves to the side, letting the princess continue her conversation and almost disearing in the corner of the room. Kagetora stays outside along with the rest of the soldiers, guarding the door.

Irina 

Zelda's smile is reassuring but cannot clear Irina's mind from her concerns about the news. She responds with a nod and a smile of her own, though a worried and nervous one. She stays outside the room and lets the Princess and Link enter, as this definitely not a conversation for a former barmaid.

Zelda 

With Link in tow, Zelda enters the austere room; not quite a cell, but lacking in most comforts. A soft smile takes to her lips as she looks upon the Terminian, asking gently, "How are you feeling?"

Rome 

Rome froze at the questions. There were a lot of them within a short amount of time, but he didn't seem to have to answer them just yet, because Zelda and her party had arrived before he could, he looked at her with a blank face for the moment, raising an eyebrow in curiosity. He blinked when she smiled, but nodded in return, sighed in relief, then spoke. "Been better, to be honest. I'm assuming you've heard of my story, given your party ?" He assumes, gesturing to Kagetora with a nod.

Kagetora  

Kagetora nods to Rome respectfully but does not offer any other reply; he just continues guarding the door.

Zelda 

Zelda brushes aside the question for the moment, lifting the blue crystal to Rome and looking through it's clear, mirror-like surface at him. Seemingly satisfied after a short time, she replies, "We have been informed somewhat, but I would like to hear your tale directly. I am Zelda, Princess of Hyrule, and I will aid as I can. But first...what is your name?"

Rome 

Rome blinks again as he hears her name, before dropping his head in a light bow. "Forgive my rudeness, Princess. I am Rome of Termina." He states, his tone a lot lighter with a more respectful flair. He didn't realize one of regal heritage would be visiting him, especially not the Princess herself. He was a bit shocked, to say the least, though, he realized he shouldn't be, considering who his tale involves. Of course she would want to know about Ganondorf herself, about his plans, how he's taken to Termina, and what he's done with it.

Link 

Link offers Nabooru a slight smile, taking comfort in her presence, but remains silent. He follows behind the princess and stays a few steps behind, listening intently to the stranger speak from his bed. He doesn't have all of the back story but he is picking up some clues that, from his expression, increase his concern. He offers Irina a worried glance.

Zelda 

Zelda dips her head lightly, a royal, well-practiced motion ere replying, "Well met, Rome. Is there aught we can provide that you have want for before you continue? If not, speak on and we will listen."

Irina 

Irina returns Link's look and waits outside, looking at Blaise and Marie for a moment. She leans on the wall and looks at the ground.

Marie

Marie glances over at Irina in return, giving her a reassuring smile before leaning against the wall herself, looking over at the Termanian with patience.

Rome 

Rome lets out a soft sigh before nodding. "Probably some water, but I can speak while I wait on that." He starts. "I guess I'll start roughly from the beginning. I was home with my family before this whole thing started about eight years ago. I was young, barely a teen, but I grew up as a descendant of a hero. Yet none of my family ever so much as stepped a foot in Gandondorf's direction when he came for our homes. I was the one who stepped forward, no matter how scared I was, but was always pulled back by my father." He gulped lightly. Four years ago, at age 16, I spoke up to one of his creatures, and my dad tried to stop me. They wanted me, but my dad stepped in for me. He's with the Goddess of Time now." He states metaphorically to signify his ill fate before pausing a moment. "He didn't stand a chance. From then on, my grandfather took care of me. My grandfather had trained me in the art of the sword, but never enough for that. Not too long ago, I got tired of watching my family, my land suffer at his hands. I heard legends of a hero from Hyrule who had defeated him before. I decided from that point I had to do one of two things: a. Fight him myself, or b. Find a portal out. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I gathered as much Intel on locations of portals and possible locations where they lead to, but by the time I got to the Valley, I was terrified, but I knew I had to do something. It wasn't easy getting to the fortress, but I made it. I made it to be greeted by him. I don't know how I made it out of there alive. He has... So much power. I couldn't hold him. Even though I had my grandfather's sword, which was said to be passed down from a hero of old in Termanian legend, I still was no match for him. I ran. I ran as fast as I could, even though he had wounded me. I cut my way through bokoblins and stalfos dodged moblins and lizalfos, and so many more... I don't know how I made it out alive, but I knew I just had to find the Hero. I knew I wasn't enough to beat him." He finishes, his eyes downcast. He wasn't sure what people would think about him, considering he ran.

shemri  

Finally, a story to attach to the mystery man's arrival.  It doesn't directly answer Shemri's questions, though...but some good guesses could be made from it.  "So then, the other side of that portal is in Dragmire's stronghold?  It must be very well guarded indeed, then...but it could also be a way inside their defenses." :|a

Shemri looks around briefly at those gathered before focusing back on Rome.  Then her head jerks back over. @.@;  THE PRINCESS OF HYRULE IS IN GERUDO FORTRESS!?!?  Hospitality must be observed!  "O-oi!  Somebody bring some refreshments for our guests!" Shemri calls out into the hallway.  C.C;

Zelda 

The Princess' expression turns contemplative for a time, considering carefully Rome's words. After a moment, she looks back to Rome, saying, "You have had a difficult time of it all, Rome. I am glad, at least, that you are free of Ganondorf's clutches, both by hand and by magic." She looks to Link, holding up the transparent blue crystal and saying, "After our time with Dark Link, I thought it might be prudent to develop a more conventional method of determining whether Ganondorf's magic works around a person or place. You cannot see through the crystal if Ganondorf has weaved spells over what you look at." With that, her gaze rests on Rome a final time (for the moment!), asking a soft, "Tell me more about Ganondorf's domination of Terminia. It is absolute, is there resistance perhaps? And furthermore...what are your plans now, Rome? You sit now before Link, the Hero of Time, and myself, the Princess of Hyrule, with your message and plea delivered. What comes next for you?"

Nabooru  

"Link ought to be fine. The worst he can do is upset a cucco..." Nabooru paused for a few moments as she thought it over. "Yeah, that's about the worst he can do, but he should be fine," she chuckled in reply to Zelda. "Besides, he's got the body of a fighter. He may not have much going on up here, but he remembers in his heart," she complimented the Hero.

Shemri's outburst nearly caught her off guard, but she brought up a good point. Some refreshments should start making their way around here. Already aware of the Princess' presence here, the chefs trained by Mituni's own hand were already on the job. They'll be in shortly to serve up the best of Gerudo hospitality.

"Shemri, you continue here. I'll take care of everything else. I'm going to go check on the kitchens to see how things are going." She offered a salute to the Princess and nodded to the rest as she left the room.

Irina

Irina's concerned gaze go from the floor to the wall when she hears certain names, but she remains quiet. Sadness takes over her when she hears Rome's story, both because of what he went through and because it reminds of sad times in Hyrule. Here or somewhere else, it looks like it has never stopped.

Link

Link steps from the shadows behind Zelda and stands before the Terminian. His eyes move about as if he is searching for something but then they rest on Rome's. He instinctively holds the hilt of his sword and offers, "Your valor is admirable, Rome. We fight on the same side." He turns to Zelda, observing the crystal, mesmerized by the magic light it resonates, then returns his attention back to the visitor.

Risa  

A young Gerudo hurriedly enters the chambers from a back room. She is holding a metal tray with an assortment of treats crudely arranged... mostly roasted scorpions, mostly because at least one just walked off, and a couple of roasted cacti pears, slightly prickly still. She sets the tray down on a table with the gentleness of a Hinox, the sound echoing through the chamber. She looks blankly at the stares she receives, sees the princess,  amd then her eyes go wide with the realization of something important.  "Oh my!" She turns, runs out the room, and emerges with an urn filled with water and sets it roughly next to the foreign voe. She humphs at him, then turns and exits without a word.

Rome 

Rome looks up to the Hero when he speaks, blinking lightly in suprise before nodding. "I want to become stronger, to protect those who cannot protect themselves." He began, unsure at first where he was going with this. "Teach me more about the ways of the sword, Hero, so that I may one day become as strong as you to protect like you do." He ended, startling himself with his own words. Did he intend to ask him? Was it instinct? Perhaps. Whatever it was, it was out there now, and he meant it from the bottom of his heart.

Shemri  

Strange how one's position can alter one's thinking.  When she was a lone huntress living in the field, Shemri was amicable toward Hylians, but she didn't care a lot about their social strata.  If she had encountered Princess Zelda back then, she would have been mildly impressed by her unusual fortune, but would not have allowed it to awe herself.  In fact, she might have made a point of SPEAKING TO ZELDA LIKE AN EQUAL, just to show Gerudo are not to be looked down upon. :openmouth:  But now, as second-in-command of the Gerudo Remnant -- arguably a position that should put Shemri closer to Zelda's level -- she can only worry about how the Princess's treatment will affect the clan's reputation. c.c;

And it seems as though that worry may be valid. x.x;  Not realizing that crunchy, potentially poisonous arthropods and spiky fruits are scary gourmet prospects outside Gerudo culture is one thing, but slamming things down and giving audible signs of disdain to guests...Risa is going to have a little chat with Shemri later, and it may involve a heavy sparring session with wooden glaives. >.<;  "My apologies, your Highness," Shemri says tremulously, giving a bow with the stiffness of not knowing exactly what a bow should look like.  "We are...unaccustomed to visitors here, especially those of regal station." X/

Zelda 

Crystal blue gaze shifting from Rome to blink at the rather rough delivery of what some might call refreshments (surely nothing like the Princess was used to back home!), she nevertheless dons her polite smile, managing to accord herself as the royalty she is. At Shemri's apology, her look meets the Gerudo, the smile surely turning up at the corners of her lips into a noticeably more pleasant expression. "Please, it is quite alright. You've no need to apologize, and the hospitality is more than welcome. I, myself, must offer apologies for not sending word ahead of my coming. I needed speak with Rome as soon as possible."

She dips her head politely, then looks back to Rome, a single golden brow arching at his request for Link. Gaze shifting yet again to rest upon Link, she wonders whether he will agree or not, but otherwise allows Link to answer of his own volition, trusting her champion to do as he felt best.

Link 

Link kneels before the visitor so that he can speak at eye level with him. He contemplates the request for a few moments, then replies, "Rome, your eagerness is admirable but the sword is not the only, nor is it always the correct path against evil." He pauses a moment, looks to the princess, then back to Rome, "Get some rest. Get better. The best thing you can do to protect others is to strengthen yourself. A dead hero is useless." He stands up and looks to Kagetora, "Perhaps the castle can use another trainee. Can you keep him safe once he has recovered? I think his experience in Termina will be valuable."

Nabooru  

The chief returns with more palatable options for their guests, deciding to assist with guiding the chefs into the room. "I see Risa beat us here," Nabooru chuckles. "If you're not into that local cuisine, try this local cuisine instead." She introduced a number of Gerudo dishes and refreshments. "It's a long ways to here, so having something to eat and drink should help to take the edge off."

The chefs set the dishes down after providing some makeshift tables to set them upon. "And don't try to deny eating because I won't let you, so it's best to just do as I say," she winked.

"So, I returned in just enough time to hear that our guest may be running off to the castle? I think it's good to have numbers on your side, but he'll be something special given his circumstance." She echoed Link's sentiments without knowing them.

"Having your forces ready for the unknown he came from provides an advantage. Although, also knowing the one we're dealing with on the other side, Rome here is a loose end that also poses an unintentional threat," she addressed sternly. Her thoughts largely rested on Ganondorf, but she can understand how it could be misconstrued against the guest.

"I say train him, but I don't think I have to let anyone know about the risks posed regarding that."

Kagetora  

Kagetora is still confused about Risa but reacts when Link talks to him. "Absolutely, sir. We will keep him safe, now and when he recovers." The Captain then adds, "We can always use new recruits, as long as they can handle my training." He smirks to Rome, then chuckles.

Link 

Being a hero is hard work, and hard work means an etite. He walks over to inspect the snacks.

Shemri  

Oh thank Farore, Lady Nabooru is back to be the primary representative. U.U  Not that things were going awful, Princess Zelda has been gracious about the snafu, but it helps immensely when the person in charge is somebody who is already buddy-buddy with the VIP visitor.  And she brought better food along!  Shemri surreptitiously removes the tray from before and sets it in the corner, where Sheikah (the cat, not the actual Shadow Person present) makes quick work of the unfortunate scorpions. >:}

Zelda 

Zelda smiles warmly at Link, eyes sparkling as she seems to agree with his words, even if a hint of surprise briefly crosses her features. She dips her head politely to Nabooru, the smile still playing at her lips as she offers a soft, "Thank you, Nabooru.", as Nabooru explains the second spread of refreshments.

Perhaps as a matter of courtly politeness, the Princess reaches down to the original offering, taking a piece of cooked cactus and gingerly enjoying a bite. She seems to manage well enough, fortunately (though whether by luck or royal training is unknown to all save Zelda), and finishes the piece after a short time, comporting herself with the grace of a true noble all the while. Zelda mentions lightly with a dip of her head, "Delicious. Your hospitality is kind and well-received." With that, her eyes rest on Kagetora, glancing to Link only briefly at his question.

Rome 

Rome blinks at Link's unexpected response. He didn't even expect the green cladhero to say anything at all, let alone reply to him. "Thank you." Is all he can muster to say in response, before he looks over to Kagetora. He furrows his eyebrows in determination and nods. "I will not fail you." He says to him, going to stand, but winces lightly and decides to stay seated. Looks as though he was still a bit sore even though the fairy had healed his wounds.

Kagetora  

Kagetora is surprised; the attention seems to be on him and he doesn't completely understand why. Before he can even think of saying anything, the Captain brings his arm around Kagetora's shoulders roughly and lets out a loud laughter. "It looks like you will be the one training the new recruit, Tora." With this, Kagetora's surprise grows to the point where he gapes a bit. The Captain turns to Rome again and chuckles, "He has trained all his life to protect the royal family, so I can assure you he will be an excellent mentor." Kagetora finally speaks up --but much softer than his loud Captain-- and lowers his head. "Thank you, sir. I will do my best," he replies.

Link

Link notices Zelda looking at him. He has his mouth full as is obviously not the poster-child of etiquette. Nevertheless, he wipes his mouth clean and walks over to the princess, "I will keep a close eye on him, and I will begin investigating what is going on in Termina." He turns to the young man for a moment, and then back to Zelda, "With your permission, your highness, I would like to speak with you in private when you have a moment." At that he bows respectfully to her and returns to his original party, Irina, Blaise, and Marie, and  says to them, "Nabooru, ruler of the Gerudo, would know of anybody who has visited this part of Hyrule. We should ask if she has seen your friend, Blaise."

Irina 

“That is a good idea, Link. But before that…” Irina looks at the Princess while she roaches Rome, “With your permission, I would like to ask our guest one more question.” She then turns to the Terminian. “Rome, my name is Irina and I am very sorry to hear what you went through… and about your father’s loss.” After a pause, she continues, “I was wondering about the safety of the portal. Were all your wounds from the fight with Ganondorf, or did you also get injured when you crossed the portal?”

Zelda 

Zelda dips her head to both Link and Irina, motioning her roval to Irina's request with a simple gesture. She listens closely to Rome's response.

Rome 

Rome looked up toward Irina, his next words soft spoken, but deadly serious. "I wouldn't even recommend the Hero to go through it alone. You'll need at least a militia, if not more. The volumes just hened to be low when I went through. I'm sure it has increased tenfold, even though there were easily thousands inside of the portal stream when I went through. I'm not even sure how I made it through alive." He kept his gaze on her eyes, more sincerity in his eyes and words than even earlier.

Irina

Irina listens to Rome intently and then nods. "Thank you, Rome. We understand the situation now."  She gives a concerned look to the princess before she faces Rome again. "You put your life at risk to come and your effort will not go to waste. Hyrule may not be perfect, but it does help those who need it." She sits down by the Terminian and continues. "Her Highness the Princess and Link will do everything in their power to help; just leave it in their hands and focus on getting better." Irina smiles softly to Rome and touches his arm, reassuringly. Then she stands and goes back to Blaise and Marie, nodding her head to the Princess as if saying thank you for letting her talk to their guest.

Marie 

Marie seemed slightly startled at the sheer amount that Rome mentioned. How could that many just be inside the portal? She blinked, her mouth open a bit in suprise, but she shakes her head and smacks her cheeks with both hands, seeming to gain back her composure.

Zelda 

Zelda flashes Irina a soft smile, then motions to Link, lifting a hand to beckon him forward. "Come, Hero. Let us speak." With that, she departs the immediate room (waiting, of course, for her guards to follow along) and procures a more private location for the discussion between herself and Link.

Kagetora  

The Captain makes a quick signal to the guards and all of them, including Kagetora, immediately  follow the Princess. Once she enters a different room, the Captain assigns different places for each to stand guard outside the location.

Shemri  

Shemri frowns.  She's no general, but as a wilderness survival expert, she notices one important thing.  "Bringing a military force across the Haunted Wasteland...that shall be extremely difficult.  It is dangerous enough for those of us who grew up on the edge of the desert and know its moods and tricks, but trying to march soldiers laden with weapons and armor across the sands..."  Of course, Kagetora's unit arently managed, but there are bound to be problems with trying to get a significant number across.

Zelda 

Settling into the provided room (despite it being perhaps somewhat cramped with her guards), Zelda settles into a chair, crossing one leg behind the other in an elegant sitting posture. Hands folded on her lap, the Princess awaits her hero, offering a soft smile to the assembly arrayed for her protection.

Link

Link listens to Rome's description and this thoughtful, but then quietly walks over to the princess. He offers her a weak but sincere smile. Physically displacing himself away from the news seems to help his mood, albeit temporarily. He stands before his princess, though his expression and gestures seem cordial and relaxed, and almost exhaling he begins with a bit of small talk, "Princess. Thank you for helping us back in the desert." He pauses a moment, leaning an arm on an adjacent chair, "I always seem to find you unexpectedly, but it at always the right moment."

Kagetora  

The small room is indeed cramped with four or five guards, but it's never too much protection for the princess in moments like this --- or that's what the Captain thinks. He nods to the princess in response to her smile. As far as Kagetora goes, he just stands guard next to the door, making sure nobody suspicious roaches or tries to listen to the conversation.

Zelda 

Zelda smiles faintly, nodding once in reply from her place perched above the perhaps slightly too large chair. She laces her fingers together, offering a soft, "It is how it is destined, I believe. I'm sure you've noticed by now as well...?" She looks away for just a moment before focusing her gaze back on Link. "You wished to speak, Hero?"

Link

Link begins to arrange the objects on the table before the princess. He creates a mirror image using plates and candles and ponders his creation. "Princess, Termina is, in a way, a reflection of our kingdom. I feel that Ganon has access to resources there that can destabilize the harmony we have enjoyed." He looks up at the guards in the room and then back to Zelda, "Let us lead an expedition there to gather intelligence and forms a strategy before he becomes too powerful."

Zelda 

Zelda muses for a brief time, then responds, "An expedition is all sorts of risky, though." She frowns slightly, "There are many things that could go wrong, horribly wrong. We both know your place in this struggle of ours, but do you think you are prepared to lead any sort of press into this heart of evil that Ganondorf has constructed for himself? I somehow doubt you mean to go in force, so I assume you're wanting to take a small team if not simply go in by yourself."

Link 

Link crosses his arms, taking in Zelda's caution. He looks among the elite guards that are standing behind him and says, "I am proposing a very small expedition, simply for the purpose of gathering intelligence. Anything beyond that would likely be suicide." His face becomes puzzled, then troubled, "I just don't think that waiting for Ganondorf is ever the right thing to do. He has a proven skill for building an army." He steps in closer to Zelda and says, "I remember watching him quickly overtake your father when we were children. You can never give that man the opportunity to step in because he will."

Zelda 

She motions to Link with a hand, "And if something were to hen to you for the sake of information? What then would I be able to do? I have spies aplenty in my service, as well as Impa...though I am loathe as well to send her out."  She pauses a moment, then says, "If I were to grant my blessing for this expedition, would you agree to do so on the condition Impa accompanies you?"

Link 

Without a moment of hesitation Link concedes, "Impa has always been an inspiration for me. It would be an honor." He almost holds his tongue, but decides to let it slip, "And... Princess, no offense, but your spies haven't provided the information we have received from our visitor. I think we really need to validate this because, if it is true, we may be in a very vulnerable position."

Zelda 

Zelda puffs lightly, ignoring the slight. "I'll be returning to the castle, then. But first..." She lifts up the crystal used before, handing it over to Link. "...keep this with you. At the very least, you'll be able to detect Ganondorf's influence on the people and places around you in Termina." She looks away for a moment, a flash of confusion briefly crossing her features. Her composure settles as quickly as it was disturbed, however, and she looks back to Link, asking, "Who else do you plan to ask along?"

Link 

Link notices your sudden uneasiness. Before he answers your question he asks, "Princess, I am sorry if I was too direct. Are you well?" He had taken the crystal and stored it away, and reaches out to Zelda's arm, concerned.

Zelda 

She allows the touch, such as it is, and replies a light, "I'm perfectly fine, save the threat once again encroaching upon the borders of my kingdom. Rulership is difficult enough without the constant threat of war hanging over us as a dark cloud to all our silver linings." Zelda asks again, this time in a slightly softer tone, "Who else do you plan to ask along?"

Link 

Link contemplates the question for a few moments and then says, "I would like to take a couple of the kingdom's trusted guards, but nobody as recognizable as Impa and me... we will already have to go undercover." He looks over to Kagetora, "You sir, what is your rank?"

Kagetora  

Kagetora immediately replies, "My name is Kagetora, sir, and I am one of the soldiers guarding the Royal Family quarters in the Castle." The Captain steps up and adds, "Whatever you are planning, he is one of our most trusted and skilled guards. But please keep in mind that he will not be protecting the Princess if he leaves."

Zelda 

Zelda nods her agreement, earing thoughtful.

Link 

Link steps towards the Captain, "Please give me one of your best soldiers. Kagetora seems like a worthy swordsman and inconspicuous enough, but I will leave this up to your judgement." He turns in the direction of @Nabooru and says out loud, "A gerudo warrior would also be a good choice, but one who can make herself blend in with the rough crowd on the Terminian bay."

Kagetora   

The Captain nods, "If you need somebody inconspicuous, Kagetora is your man. I sometimes can't even find him myself," he says with a loud laughter. "Ok, boy. It looks like you have a new mission." Kagetora bows to Link. "At your service, sir." He then turns in the direction that Link is talking and sees Nabooru and the rest of the group outside the room.

Irina

Irina widens her eyes when she hears Link talking about the Terminian bay. "Please excuse me for interrupting, but... are you sending people to the Terminian ocean?"

Nabooru  

Nabooru remained largely silent as she watched the proceedings go on, but upon being addressed, she closed her eyes thoughtfully and considered who she may be able to send along.

"I have a number of Gerudo I could send, but one to blend in...that could have been Mituni, but she's no longer among us. She has connections to that land thst could have proved useful. This won't hinder us, however. Resourcefulness is paramount in this. I'll have to see who among mine I will choose."

She nodded to Irina. "She brings up a good point. The ocean is new territory and unfamiliar, especially among my own. We've been surrounded by a sea of sand, not water."

Link 

Link nods to Irina, but has a very concerned look on his face when she speaks up. He turns to Nabooru and nods to her, bowing a bit.  "Your Gerudo sisters in Termina are a sea-faring people. They are likely loyal to Ganondorf, if he is truly building an army there."

Irina

Irina stands up and comes closer, listening to both Link and Nabooru. "If that is the case, please let me join. Water is my element and Ganondorf's troops would not recognize me. Only he would, and I will do my best to remain unseen."

Nabooru  

Nabooru scoffed. "They proved that much when they left here amd went there," she sneered. "I wish I could say I have no sympathy for them, but it's difficult to separate yourself so easily..." She sighed and propped herself against a wall in the room.

"Someone who can separate emotions from their mission... That narrows down my list." She placed a hand to her chin in thoughtful consideration.

Link 

Link is visibly frustrated at Irina's request but he doesn't say no, "Irina, are you sure you want to do this? I know your magic has become very powerful, but this is going to be a very dangerous mission." He turns to Nabooru and listens, "I trust your judgement and reciate any assistance the Gerudo can provide."

Irina

Irina watches Link, obviously noticing his frustration. She's unhy about the reaction but nods after a couple of moments with a concerned look. "I came back to protect Hyrule as best as I could. And if there is anything I can do is move and fight in the water.  If you let me, I will go with them."

Link 

Link replies to Irina, "The goal here isn't to fight, rather, it is to blend in. I don't know how well a Calatian will blend in with Gerudo pirates. We should refrain from violence, magic, and anything else that will help us stick out at any cost."

Nabooru  

"I'm sending our own researcher. I imagine she'll adjust quickly and I trust her to make the proper judgment calls. We may learn more about Termina and ways we can improve ourselves for any future engagements or battles that may be looming over the horizon."

She roached Irina and looked her over carefully. "Let's not be so quick to dismiss her potential here. She may not blend with pirates, but her ability with water could still be of service."

Irina

Irina nods to Link explain the strategy, "Understood. I can do that." She bows her head to Nabooru, "I reciate it, lady Nabooru." Looking at Link again, she asks, "When and where from is the group leaving?"

Link 

Link bows again to Nabooru, "Thank you, m'am." He looks between the Gerudo leader and the captain of the Hylian guard, "We shall leave as soon as we have assembled our party. I will call for Impa."

Irina 

"I will get ready," Irina and turns to see what she brought. She does not have her spear, but at least she has her bow. Crouching down, she goes through her bag but stops, as if she suddenly had remembered something. Her face suddenly turns sad and it takes her a few moments to collect her thoughts. The Calatian then picks up a piece of paper and a writing utensil from her bag, writing a quick note, and stands up. She roaches one of the guards, "Excuse me, but I was wondering if you could take this letter back with you whenever you leave the Fortress and have it delivered."

The guard first bows to Irina and then looks at the letter, somehow surprised at the addressee. "I will have somebody take it right now," he replies. Irina thanks him and goes back to getting ready.

Nabooru  

"Sounds like we have everything in order. I'll go and get our Gerudo. I believe she arrived here not too long ago." A friendly salute was offered to Link while she left the room, weaving through those gathered to exit.

---- A few hours later ----

Irina

It's been two or three hours since decisions were made. It might take longer to get the group assembled, but Irina wanted to make sure she was ready. Her bow is already on her back, and her bag is across her shoulders with anything she might need for this trip -- at least, anything she was able to put together in this short amount of time. The Calatian is near the same chamber where they discussed the plans while she waits, just looking out from one of the stone windows and watching the Gerudo walk around the patio while they do their usual rounds.

Irina 

Irina is lost in her own thoughts as she watches the bridge at the entrance of the Gerudo area and the water below it. Suddenly, a look of concern and surprise takes over her. Looking at the group, she quickly says, "Please excuse me, but there is something I need to do. Leave without me if you have to; I will find you." With this, she literally runs out of the room.

Rome

The Termanian didn't speak a word during the conversation about grouping up to go to Termina. He already knew it would be a difficult endeavor,  considering how he had already left Termina. His name might as well be plastered on the walls. He supposed the advantage he would give would be the fact that he knows the lay of the land, but in the state he's in, if he left right away with them, he might not be much use other than that. He didn't want to bog them down with it. Besides, he still had the Hero's conversation with him running through his head. He wasn't ready to face an army.

Zelda 

Zelda glances after Irina, watching her departure until she exits the room. Quietly, she excuses herself, following her old friend.

Marie

Marie was quiet for the duration of the conversation between leaders, but she wanted to go herself. She really felt she could be an asset to this mission, plus she really liked traveling to begin with. Her ability to manipulate magic as she does really come in handy in a pinch, especially in the way she uses it. She decided a few hours later, once the dust had settled a bit, to finally speak up. She went up to @Nabooru quietly, almost dead silently, and spoke out. "I'm willing to go too. I have combat experience and I adjust well to things at a moment's notice. I use a spear but I manage magic in a way that gives me enough mobility to close in on a target or location fairly easily. I feel I could be an asset to this."

Nabooru  

Nabooru's eyes followed Irina's run out of the room, falling back onto Marie as her attention is drawn to her.

"Combat experience is one thing, reconnaissance is another," she began, her eyes continually steeled upon Marie as if searching her soul for further insight. "What we're attempting to do here is gather information. According to the Hero, combat is the last thing we want or need. It's a small party going in with no real way of facing an army."

She turned her head up and away to look out the window, seeing where Irina ran off to. "However, skirmishes will likely be inevitable, so your skills will be reciated. Know that the group won't always be together. You all will be going to the Terminian Bay area which is inhabited by Gerudo pirates. It's an area you won't be able to mask yourself in, but..." She gestures to Rome. "Knowing there are people that look like him means you can assimilate in other ways."

She smiled. "I can admire your confidence and I won't be the one to discourage you from joining. We need ones like you who are willing to go. It tells me you'll give nothing less than your best."

Revali 

Revali decided he was going to take a fly out in the desert today. Times have been kinda iffy lately, and he was making a habit of flying to where he felt the wind take him, which so hened to take him to the fortress. Instead of going in the main entrance, however, Revali glides to a nearby balcony, letting himself in. Little did he know, he was coming in on a group of unknown people, his stride stopping once he was upon them.

Link

Link is visibly uneasy at the size of the group that is congregating.  He is especially annoyed at Irina's sudden and inexplicable departure.  He sighs and walks off to rhe window only to see a giant bird warrior thing ear.  He mutters a bit sarcastically,  "I suppose you want to join,  too."

Irina 

Irina comes back into the room along with the Princess. She is soaked from head to toe, but walks in like if she was as dry as the desert. "I apologize about earlier," she says to the group. "There was something I needed to do." She then walks to the side to wait, but realizes there is a Rito in the room and watches amazed. She had never seen one this close.

Spoof  

It's late in the day -- coming up towards sunset. And if one had ears good enough to hear, they could hear the sound of the rapid drumbeats of horse hooves. Coming from the east through the canyon that guards off the Gerudo Fortress is a rider at full speed as if the beasts of Ganondorf were fast at his heels. The rider only slows down, and nearly at the last minute too, at the narrow bridge that spans the river leading to the fortress. Horse and rider carefully make their way over, and once on the other side he breaks back into a gallop.

"The princess!" he starts calling out in a clear sign of desperate panic. "I need to see the princess!"

Link

Link sees the rider roach from the window. He immediately reacts and heads down to meet him.

Irina 

Irina hears the rider as well and runs to the window to look out.

Nabooru  

"Don't take it so hard. You remind me of when you were younger when you fuss like that," Nabooru chuckles at Link in an effort to lighten the mood. She'd have spoken further, but Irina's entrance proved to be a distraction. A disointing one, but a distraction nonetheless. "I'm uncertain of what called you out there, but I hope it was important enough to disear on the eve of this event..." She mildly scolded Irina.

Gerudo guards were already on the move of intercepting the rider and sending word ahead to Nabooru to tell her of his arrival. She grumbled to herself, only now giving heed to the Rito warrior and tilting her head. "I don't know who you are, but don't cause any trouble. Aside from that, I'm Nabooru, Chief of the Gerudo. I'd speak further, but trouble ears to have visited here."

She left the room and headed down to meet the messenger. "Alright, what's your message!? Make it quick so we can act accordingly!" She could sense the urgency, if not in his mannerisms, certainly something was shaking his spirit up.

Spoof  

The rider is actually one of the castle guard, and when he finally roaches the outer gates of the fortress, he spurs his horse to a halt. The halt is so hard that only his skills and practice keep him from flying end over end over the horse's head. He hops off and staggers a bit when he hits the ground. The man is utterly winded from the wild ride and then some. He practically coughs and chokes slightly as he tries to gain enough breath just to be able to communicate clearly.

He lies on his back, staring up at the retinue around him. "Lady Xu... sends... word... Castle Town... attacked..."

Link

Link acknowledges the guard and looks to Nabooru, "Postpone the expedition for now. Fortify your hold, we will venture back at once to the castle and report back to you." He starts back towards the chamber where the group was congregated.

Sidon 

A darkened shadow slithers through the murky depths of the river winding through Gerudo Valley, rocketing through the deepest depths at a breakneck speed. Closer it draws to the bridge not far from the fortress, pausing briefly before it...

With an explosion of water a figure emerges, flipping through the air before landing in a low crouch. Crimsons flesh meets half plated limbs, merged elegantly with layers of shining scales his torso. Atop his head is a smooth helmet of pearlsteel, sectioned into small plates as it travels down his head-tail with a mask of scales covering from nose down.

The Prince of the Zora straightens, turning towards the path towards the keep, and makes his way towards the main gate.

Nabooru  

"No need to tell me twice. You heard him! Go snd fortify the Fortress! Leave no room, hallway, door or any other structure unguarded!" Nabooru commanded of her regiment which quickly heeded her words and made off to spread the news to act.

She turned back to face the messenger. "We'll give you aid here before sending you back. Rest and regain your strength. You won't have much time before you'll need to return."

Irina

Irina does not hear the events hening outside but she does hear the commotion as the Gerudo start running around. She turns to look at the group, confused and concerned, but remembers they have an injured Terminian in the room. Still soaked, her first impulse is to grab one of the spears prepared for the trip, hold it with both hands, and stand in front of Rome's door.

Kagetora   

Kagetora, along with the other guards, join the Gerudo warriors to guard the room where the group is gathered, making sure that nobody can get to the princess without going through them first.

Sidon 

Within a short time the Zora comes within sight of the fortress, adjusting the bow across his back along with the sword and quiver at his waist. His eyes narrow as he shifts uncomfortably in the dry air, a hand raising to wave at the gate guards to alert them to his presence along with a shout of, "Excuse me! Over here! I do hate to disturb you all, but might I have a word?"

Nabooru  

The guards look upon Sidon, three of which roached him with their weapons at the ready. Of the three, one addressed him. "State your name and business with us," she spoke authoritatively. The other two remained ready to act on the chance this zora had other intentions.

Nabooru entered into the courtyard after having finished her rounds of inspection for her forces. She looked down from above toward the guards who currently had the zora occupied. "What have you learned?" She called out. Quick, but sure pacing led her down the stairs and towards the zora visitor.

"He doesn't look to be any ordinary Zora..." She observed quickly enough. Who was he?

Sidon

If there was one way to describe the look that crosses what little of the Zora's face that is not covered, it is shock. There were people that did not know who he was? What sort of barbaric land was this?!

He straightens to his full height, at least twice as tall as most Hylians, and stares down the soldiers. Friendliness fades to regal bearing coupled with a thick shroud if authority as he rolls his shoulders back and displays a crashing wave pierced by a trident upon his chest, the symbol of the royal family of Zora's Domain.

"I," he begins, a smile touching his lips beneath the shroud while projecting ironclad authority in his voice, "am the High Trident of the Army of the Domain, advisor to the King and Crown Princess." He then pauses, laughter filling his eyes and threatening to burst as he carries on without losing his commanding manner, "I am Prince Sidon of Zora's Domain." With that he removes his mask of scales to reveal his smile, warm and genuine, "A pleasure to meet you all. I do not suppose you could inform me if a friend of mine is here? Her name is Irina, and I was told she came up this way."

Nabooru  

There was silence among the Gerudo gathered here with mixed expressions of confusion, intrigue and general apathy. Nabooru was in a league of her own finding herself amused. "Well, Prince Sidon, welcome to Gerudo Fortress. I'm Nabooru, Chief of the Gerudo. We weren't aware of others within the Royal Family, but we see that your seal is official."

The guards lowered their weapons and set them at the ready to their sides as they broke apart to allow him entrance. "Irina tends to be very careful of her relationships and who she shares them with." A frown forms upon her face. "Now that I think on it, her earance makes a lot more sense now..." She did come in soaking wet not too long ago.

"We were recently placed on alert, so the Fortress is thick with guards, but we'll escort you to your friend."

Nabooru takes the lead walking along side Prince Sidon while the guards hang back and begin to talk among themselves about this Zora. Some found him attractive, others not and some were in between with their thoughts. A quick over the shoulder glare by the chief quickly straightens that out. Maybe they can talk about him later...

Sidon

"There are three children of King Zora. Her Royal Highness Princess Ruto, Princess Mipha, and then there is I." He explains, offering a dazzling smile as he sweeps into a bow. "I am honored beyond measure, Chief Nabooru. May I find myself a servant of your lands and offer myself for its defense while I remain here."

Rising upright and folding his hands against the small of his back, eying the Gerudo beside himself as his smile grows wider, "I had the borders of my own home secured before I left, after being left a letter warning of coming danger. I believe this is a time to strengthen relations with the other nations, and prepare ourselves." His voice carries a grim weight to it, and who knows how much the Prince already knows.

"I reciate your escort and company, you are the first of your people I've ever met." If he heard the discussion behind him, he does not let on and maintains his dazzling smile.

zunzune 

Zunzune had been at the fortress double-forenight now, well established with turning an old corner into a smelting and blacksmith forge named the Dusty Dragon. Her days were spent converting old scrap into metal, re-remembering her blacksmith skills from her pebble days, and making sure Jasper was well fed and out of trouble.

Yet her trouble in the forge had finally paid off - in her hands she held a brand new horse shoe, wred in a damp cloth as it was still a bit hot to the touch. Sucking on a burnt finger and musing just how much it did hurt, the goron trotted down the corner with the single minded thought of showing off her new trophy to Nabooru. Jasper, her tiny dragon companion, rode on her shoulder in a state of blissful purring.

It was promise of a new age for the fortress and the squat woman was eager to see it!

Yet as she turned the corner she heard the Zora Prince speak of coming danger, the woman stopped and listened for a moment, dread filling her stomach. Was he talking to Nabooru? Strengthen relations? Even Jasper coo-ed softly, not liking the sound of the conversation. Yet, not wanting to spy any longer, the woman finally turned the corner to see the magnificent sight of her first Zora, nearly as tall as a tree! Covered in every sense of splendor in fabric and jewelry, the woman realized she was staring and started to stammer out embarrassingly -

"Er - good e-ee-eving! S-sorry didn't mean to spy. Hi." Zunzune managed an awkward wave to the zora (Seriously why was he so tall?), "Er. Right! Nabooru, would you come to the forge later...? Just whenever..?" She tucked the horseshoe behind her back, causing her tiny companion to chirp curiously, "Hope it's not bad. Yes?"

hylian guard  

As people start to change plans and decide upon making their way to the castle, the guard finally gets to his knees and stumbles off afterward. "It's... it's not... how you think!" he cries out. "It's... not monsters. It's this... ooze. The screams people made... when it touched them..." He shudders in place. "I don't know... what to do. No-one does."

Link

Link looks to Irina confused and concerned when she returns wet. Before he can ask questions he gets enthralled by the presence of the Zora and the ensuing conversations. When the guard speaks he announces, "I need a group of fast riders to accompany me back to the castle." He turns to the Hylian guards and says, "Thank you for coming so quickly. Should we keep the princess safe here until we know what is going on? Nabooru's guards are among the best in Hyrule."

Nabooru  

"I understand; three children. I'll have that taken down into our records so that we'll have it reflect accurately. Now for servitude, I won't turn down the Zora if they wish to help out. What kind of threat are we facing, do you know?" Nabooru asked of Sidon, attempting to gather all that she could from him.

"We were told to fortify ourselves, but that's all I know. I don't know what we're protecting ourselves from. It would be helpful to know that."

She folded her arms in front of her, as is her usual resting pose, and guided Sidon up the stairs. "I'd love to strengthen relations. The stronger we are together, the better our chances are of facing off the true threat to us all."

She paused momentarily, "Never heard that bird around here before..." She traced the chirping to Zunzune and burst into laughter. "Is something the matter? You seem concerned." She leaned to one side as if to search for something. "I'll drop by the forge soon. Oh, this is Prince Sidon of the Zora. Sidon, this is Zunzune. She's helping us out here with her blacksmithing skills."

Sidon 

"I'm currently waiting on reports at the moment, but there was something going on in a Hylian settlement not far from Zora's Domain when I left. I sent a scout to investigate, but we have heard nothing yet. Princess Mipha will likely be the first to respond of there is trouble."

The Prince turns his head to gaze upon link, a hand pressed to his hear and a bow of his head given, though there is no recognition in his face about who this little blonde man could be. His attention, however, is drawn back to Nabooru and the problem at hand before he can say anything to Link.

"I received a letter stating an expedition was setting out," he begins, opting to leave out who it was for or why, "And given the nature of it, I believe we should all be preparing." The ready acceptance of strengthening ties brings a dazzling smile to the Zora, sharp teeth gleaming a brilliant white in the light.

The bird draws the Zora's attention as well, his eyes darting about before landing on Zunezune. A shocked expression is expertly masked within moments of his earance, though he stares none the less. This was a Goron? Certainly he knew they existed, but with how rare his travels were and the fact his home was mostly under water, it's no surprise he has never met one.

"It is a pleasure, Miss Zunezune," he says with ample warmth and a wide smile, placing a hand to his heart whole bowing his head, "A good blacksmith is worth a hundred soldiers. I hope I can take a look at your work some time soon."

Kagetora  

The Captain of the guard nods to Link. Looking at the Princess, he explains his plan. "Your Highness, it is not safe to go back to the castle. I will stay with you until we find out what is hening. The Fortress is heavily guarded, so I have no doubt you will be safe here." Then he turns to Link. "Take my soldiers. Their horses are fast and will be able to make it back just as quickly as they arrived."

"Kagetora!" The captain calls. "You have been involved in this mess since the beginning, so you are in charge of the group. Follow Link's orders and report back as soon as you have more information." Kagetora's reply is quick, "Yes, sir!" and then roaches Link. "We are ready anytime."

Irina

Irina sees Link coming back and talking to the guards but is unaware of the Goron, Zora, and the others outside. She listens to Link's plan to take the guards back to the Castle and waits quietly for instructions on what to do, if anything.

Mipha 

Mipha had thought it was a good idea to send her brother alone so she could watch over their father, just in case something were to require her healing, but something strange started going on when she left. She felt something unsettling in the land of Hyrule, and she felt a pull to go where her brother was, and considering Mipha was one for Destiny, she decided this was what she needed to do. It took some time to get there herself, but with the help of a gracious merchant, she was able to make it nearby fairly quickly.

Eventually, she was at the gate of the Fortress herself, dressed in a full set of armor and equipped with her trusty spear.

Revali

Revali didn't speak much when spoken to initially. He was rather irritated at current events, but the things the guard was saying got his interest. He didn't speak right away, but when he saw the large Zora (Why is he so tall?) He blinked. Perhaps this Zora was indeed gorgeous, but he could never compare to Revali's sheer magnitude of glory. He huffed lightly before stepping toward the main gathering, listening in further on the conversations taking place.

Rome 

Rome decided once he heard the gist of what was going on to get up out of the bed, this time actually standing. "I want to help." He states, the expression on his face solid like steel. "My sword is yours to command," he says as he bows toward the group, completely unfazed by the tall Zora, "If there is any way I can help here, any way at all, I'm willing!"

Nabooru  

"Hmm. The two settlements closest to Zora's Domain are Kakariko and Hyrule Castle Town. The report I received came from the latter. I know something is hening there, but... " Nabooru grew quiet with the realization she just had. It all makes sense now. "This is no coincidence. Now, this is major and we need to take greater measures. We mentioned going on an expedition and an attack is launched on Castle Town on the eve of our departure." She balled a fist up and cursed silently to herself.

"Alright!" Her voice carries across the Fortress and echoes along the surrounding walls. "Link, I believe your presence is needed at the castle. I will send with you a squad of Gerudo warriors. The rest will stay here and guard the Fortress and all in it as well as outside." She then focused on Rome. "Rome, you're an important asset to our expedition. However should anything take place here, I expect you to be as ready as your willingness to assist."

Lifting her head some, she addressed Sidon next. "Prince Sidon, I will have you stick by my side for now..." Her voice trailed as a guard informed her of another visitor they had. Another Zora. "Bring them here, quickly." The informant made off to escort Mipha to their location and bring her up to join into the unfolding events.

"And Zunzune, your progress in smelting has been made known to me in passing, but I have confidence in your abilities. I'll have you working closely with the soldiers in the armory. With all of your eyes trained on our weapons you all will help keep them sharpened and prepped," she finalized.

"I don't know if any attacks will hen here, but we do have someone of great import among us that we must protect and that is enough for us to be at the ready. You are all dismissed! Go and prepare!"

Nabooru  

The Chief's eyes soon fall onto the bird man that flew in earlier, able to be easily seen now with the dispersal of the warriors to prepare. "You there," she addressed Revali. "We weren't able to meet on better terms and it ears now they've become even less. I would like to take the time to know who you are, despite the events taking place." She lifted a hand and beckoned him forth.

"Irina," she called out. "This is going to sound strange, but...your abilities with water will come in handy for our Zora visitors here. I don't know how they work, but I'm only taking guesses. If we set up basins around here, can you fill them with water for them to use?" She then turned to face their newest arrival as she was brought in. "You must be Princess Mipha. I've only just learned of you and your brother, today. Welcome to Gerudo Fortress."

Irina

Irina listens to Nabooru's request and shakes her head. "I am afraid I can't create water. I can transform it into ice or snow and vice versa, and I can move it, but not from a very long distance. I could also swim to Castle Town through the river and  probably get there before the riders, but I don't know if any of that is useful."

Wait... Zora visitors? With this big crowd, she had not seen anybody close to the door of the room (maybe she understands Link's frustration now!) and follows Nabooru's gaze. It does not take long to see the smiling figure of the Zora Prince talking to people, and she lets out a quick and silent sigh of relief. She does not interrupt him and just waits with a bright smile.

Sidon 

"Of course, Chief Nabooru." Comes Sidon's chipper reply, offering a smile to the Gerudo Chief as he hears that another Zora is present. He scans his surroundings, trying to find the newcomer before calling out to Irina after Nabooru does, "Irina! Come here for a moment!"

He looks about with a thoughtful expression, considering Revali for a time with a gleam in his eyes. He was a striking creature, this Rito. Not in par with the sculpted masterpiece that was Prince Sidon... But definitely a cut above most in Hyrule.

"I have a few border patrols Link can take as well, if he.." A small crest is produced from a hidden pouch beneath Sidon's armor, "takes this and shows it to them. They can provide extra force of arms and fresh supplies for when they arrive, and fill them in on what is going on."

Irina

Irina roaches when she is called, bowing her head to the Prince. "Your Highness," she says respectfully. She watches as the prince produces the crest and offers it to Nabooru.

zunzune 

(This is right after Nabooru addresses and dismisses the crowd)

The compliment from the Zora prince was one thing (seriously he was all charm? He oozed it like a volcano oozed lava....), but another from Nabooru all together. She wanted to say something to disprove her - to say I'm not that good!  but she simply nodded, now keeping the horseshoe tightly held behind her back. The dragon on her shoulder chirped again, sensing the tension, but the goron simply stood still like a boulder on a bluff.

The metal was still warm.

As the gerudo woman addressed the crowd, Zunzune realized that there was something wrong. Very wrong. An attack on Castle Town? Link...the hero, Link? She could only nod when once again she was praised for the work she had completed for the town. When it was all said and done, she turned and quickly made an exit back to the forge, mind racing. The call for "Dismissed!" could not come soon enough - she was out of there.

She wasn't really sure how she ended up back at her base - her mind was all turmoil. An avalanche.

"First horseshoes, then a water system, now weapons..... I'm really glad Uncle Benjen is coming," she finally muttered to herself, outloud, "I'm not fit for this... " She held the horseshoe in front of her as she walked, worry filling her brow. Zunzune then muttered an ancient bad word, a really dirty one , as she trotted up the stairs back to her forge. Jasper could only chirp in worry.

Link

Link instinctively salutes the Zora when he raises his hand to his chest.  He isn't sure why, he just... does. A puzzled look creeps on his face, the confusion becoming more obvious as he studies the motley crew assembling before his eyes: the glorious plumed warrior that flew in through the window, the mysterious Goron and her dragon, the chieftess and her burgeoning army of fierce women brandishing spears, the eager but severely wounded Terminian visitor, the soaking wet ice princess, the... Zora princess that was very unlike her sister in so many ways. He turns to Kagetora and says aloud,  "Let us make haste. Gather the Gerudo guards." He looks to Irina and offers his hand, "I don't think your skills with water will be as useful in the desert."

Mipha 

Mipha quietly followed the guards, pulling her full helm from her face and holding it against her side as she roached the group. "Hello, Brother." She spoke with a bright smile as she stepped in next to @Sidon. She glanced around the room slowly, taking in each person's face carefully. When her eyes land on @Link, she notes his confusion quietly, but her eyes stay on him a bit longer than they should, and when she realized she was staring, she quickly turned her head and looked up at her overly tall brother, trying hard (and failing rather hard) to not blush in embarrassment.

Marie

Marie was excited that she would be of some use, but that excitement quickly died down as more grim news came. She stayed fairly quiet, up until the time the Zora prince walked in. She actually froze at the sight of him. He was gorgeous, super tall, and had a great smile that was just so adorable! She didn't know how to react, so she cast her eyes away and twirled her finger through her hair as her face reddened slightly.

Sidon 

A small, for his size anyway, parcel taken from a small travel pack swung over his shoulder, the square bundle deposited neatly into Irina's hands as he says, "You left these behind the other day." His then sweep over those present in the keep, meeting various gazes eye to eye and offering wide, dazzling smiles.

The arrival of Mipha brings a look of surprise to the Prince's face, though the laugh that leaves him is genuine and pure. "Princess Mipha, I thought you might stay to take care of our father. But your particular talents will be of use here, if worst comes to worst."

His eyes shimmer with amusement as he watches link offer Irina their hand, a hint of sadness deep within their depths. Instead of speaking he offers the pendant to link, smiling warmly at him before he looks about once more from person to person.

Irina

Irina takes the small parcel and watches it for a few moments, then smiles back to the Prince. "Thank you very much, Your Highness." She carefully places it in what was going to be her travel bag when Mipha arrives, and greets her respectfully with a bow of her head and a smile. She is about to accept Link's offer but watches the pendant thoughtfully. Then she looks up to Prince Sidon.

"I know it is not my place to suggest this, but my recommendation would be for you to come to Castle Town. I feel that the skills of a Zora warrior would be much more valuable there than in the desert, and you could make it there even faster than the rest of us." She looks around the room and sees Marie, Revali, Rome, Mipha... then turns to the Gerudo chief. "Actually, Nabooru, if I may say so... If Castle Town has been attacked, would it really be more useful for people who can fight or heal to stay here? The Fortress doesn't seem to be the enemy's target and is already being protected by some of the best fighters in Hyrule." The former barmaid probably doesn't know anything about strategy, but she is known to speak up when she feels it's important.

Kagetora  

Kagetora immediately nods to Link. "I will prepare the horses. Anybody coming back to Castle Town is welcome to ride with us." After a bow to the room, he and the rest of the Hylian guards -except for the Captain- leave to join the Gerudo guards that are traveling with them and to have the horses ready by the time Link and his party arrive.

Nabooru  

"I'll have to find another way, then," Nabooru dismissed her current idea for the water basins. Her attention momentarily falls on Zunzune's disearance back into the Fortress, figuring she'll address her later to quell some concerns she sensed.

"You may misunderstand my reasoning and that's fine, but the reason I'm building up defenses is because we have Princess Zelda here. It doesn't seem strange that around the time we planned to take an expedition that Castle Town was attacked? Perhaps it's coincidence. Strongly, even, but the events line up a bit too closely for my tastes. With Prince Sidon and Princess Mipha here, we're a royal party and I don't feel comfortable sending them into the fray given their status," she explained to Irina.

"I have no doubts on the abilities of my own warriors, only the sense of vulnerability I feel for each figure present in our lands. We have a number of important people here."

She closed her eyes to think on the subject further. "But, I'd be fooling myself if I didn't consider I'd on the front lines for my people. I haven't amy reason to believe the same couldn't be spoken of those gathered here."

She set her sights on Sidon and Mipha. "Taking the water ways would send you both to Castle Town quickly. The crest that you presented will likely not be necessary. Being the first to arrive, you'll both be able to mobilize your border patrols more quickly and with more time to act."

Her weight is displaced to one side and a hand is set to her hip, "I don't like the idea of our expedition force breaking apart so easily, but more pressing matters are here, so we'll take care of them first. Do as you will."

Link

Link looks at the pendant blankly, not expecting to receive anything. He is obviously taken aback by the Zoras. When he realizes what it is he smiles, admiring it a moment, and then says in a low voice, "Thank you." He tucks it into his tunic and listens to the conversation between Irina and Nabooru. He looks up and says to the chieftess, "Do you think it is a coincidence that the attack occurred when Zelda was away from the castle? I agree with you that we should err on the side of caution here. I don't want to leave her side, but I also feel like I need to see what is hening with my eyes and assess the situation."

Link signals to some of the guards to prepare to depart. He gathers his own weapons as the group decides on what to do, although he already seems determined to leave at once.

Nabooru   

"Exactly my point, Link. But, like I said, we have more pressing matters. Go ahead and go. Take whoever you need with you. The longer we're here, the further Castle Town will be in danger." Nabooru pressed Link to push forward. She can withhold her concerns for now. With a smile she waved her hand, "I don't need you here. Get going!"

Irina  

Irina nods to Nabooru. "I agree. Thank you for explaining." And Nabooru was right; regardless of how skilled the two Zora are, the Fortress is the safest place for them. "Anytime you are ready," she says to Link. "Please take care, everybody," she faces the group before giving one last bow to the Zora Prince next to her.  "Your Highness," she says respectfully then heads to the door following Link.

Sidon

"No." Comes Sidon's reply, his voice firm as he glances to those around him. "You all have a mission to complete, this is a blatant attempt to prevent it. Deny the aggressors that, and go on your journey. Princess Mipha is a gifted healer, I suggest taking her with you."

A dazzling smile is offered as the Prince jerks a thumb at his chest, "I already gathered my armies and have them mobilized into patrols before I came here, thanks to a letter from Irina. Send a letter to Hyrule, rally the guards there with that, and let me go to the defense of the town. I will have several full regiments ready before you can stir a bunk house and we can take the river to town."

He seems to stand a bit straighter as he folds his hands against his back, amber eyes filled with pride and a hint of sorrow. "I came to join in this, but fate plays a cruel card of innocents. Continue your preparations, I believe in all of you and know you will bring light and fresh waters wherever you go."

Fallon  

As events begin to settle in some, a Gerudo comes walking out of the Fortress, all geared up and prepared to engage in her duty. A late comer to be sure, but she's finally here and ready to fulfill her purpose. Fallon saluted those present in the group upon her roach.

"Extra security has been provided for the room our guest occupies. More will be out shortly to provide cover for the courtyard area. Numerous squads have already begun their patrols around the Fortress area and into the Valley. If worse comes to worst, they're ready to cut the bridge, with the understanding that those in Hyrule Field will have difficulty returning or not returning at all."

She scrutinized the group further. "I will go and retrieve water from the kitchens and perhaps organize a group of hands to head towards the river area to gather more," she referenced the Zora present.

"Is there anything else needed?"

Nabooru   

"Nothing like hearing a good report," Nabooru chuckles. "I don't think there's much else we will need. It ears you've covered enough. More importantly, you're here which means you've made your decision."

The meeting she and Fallon had earlier wasn't exactly the best, but given some time, it seems the issue was put to rest. "Good, I'm hy to see you with us, but I'm also grateful," she shared sincerely.

"I won't have you worry over tasks like those. I'm here to help assist with them. I want you to stay close to those of import."

Fallon

Fallon nodded and maintained her position, finding a spot where she could keep most people within her view. Her hands were cuffed and primed to retrieve the pair of blades sheathed behind her back at a moment's notice.

Revali  

When Revali saw Fallon, he tilted his head slightly, recognizing her for the moment. He decided to step forward, asking her, with a little natural snide in his voice, "Don't I know you? Falling? Fallen?" He smiles lightly and crosses his feathered arms, waiting for a return reply.

Mipha

Mipha looked up at her brother with a shocked expression. "Wait a minute, sending me to Termina?" She asks, before she mumbles lightly. "I came here initially because of what hened. Our father has passed, @Sidon." She lowered gaze. "I was Crowned just before I came here."

Sidon  

Shock ripples through the Prince as his head whips around to look at Mipha, amber eyes wide and filled with the pain of a heart shattering to a thousand pieces. Pain shifts rapidly to concern, his own grief sat aside he turns and leans down to look into his sisters eyes. "Are you okay? You should be back home and not out here. You..." Trailing off with tight shut eyes and a slow breath, he releases Mipha and moves to a knee before her in supplication and emitting a soft, "Your Royal Majesty."

Spoof  

In a matter of minutes, the guards, Link, and Irina were already riding as fast as they could towards Castle Town, unaware of the sad events hening back at the Fortress. Even from Hyrule Field, it's already obvious that something is wrong. Irina gasps seeing a big, black cloud raising from the town, a cloud that doesn't look like simple smoke. Panicked people who left Castle Town through the drawbridge are still getting as far from it as they can, running in the opposite direction of the riders and arently not even seeing them as they pass by them.

Fallon

"Fallon," She corrected Revali quietly "Please remember it for next time." Her hands shifted carefully behind her back, near the grips of her blades. The current revelation of King Zora's passing took center stage and she didn't feel like breaking formality to ruffle some feathers, much as she wanted to. Now they have a Queen that requires protection. This security detail just grew more interesting.

Nabooru   

Nabooru was taken aback, but she'd be hard pressed to show it strongly. Only the widening of her eyes revealed as much as she held back. Truly, it was a shock that King Zora passed and now a Queen was among them, but she couldn't let the news take her attention off of her mission.

"On behalf of the Gerudo, you have our sincerest condolences in the passing of your father. Yet, on this day, we also welcome a queen among us. Is there anything we can do to assist in this occasion? Perhaps a room for solace?"

Sidon  

The Prince rises after a time kneeling in supplication to the new Queen, turning about and stepping back to place himself at Mipha's right hand as though it was the only place in the world he belonged. "Thank you, Chief Nabooru. Your offer is most welcomed." He offers a warm smile to his sister as he resumes his confident stance, arms folded against the small of his back. Like a smudge on the corner of a piece of glass, his confidence returns but with a subtle loss in its sheen deep in his gaze, a small mark of anguish hidden deep beneath an outward calm and confidence.

"If you will protect the Queen in my absence, I will lend my aid to the settlement in need. Unless you wish me to remain and assist you here, Chief Nabooru?"

Nabooru   

"You needn't remain here. I believe your abilities for inspiration are best suited in the situation at Castle Town. I can sense the fear the people have, even if I don't know what's causing it. With so many fleeing, it must be something of great evil. They'll need a positive light to take them through the darkness they're experiencing. Additionally, with many forces coming together, Hylian, Gerudo, and Zora, we can reinforce the message of unity and strength against the problems that plague this land." Nabooru folded her arms once again.

"Come back safely. You and the others that have departed," she smiled. "Queen Mipha will be safe here."

Mipha

Mipha mostly stayed quiet, until Nabooru mentioned her. She shook her head simply. "I will be going. I feel a need to help those out there, and I shall." She states firmly. When she set her mind on doing something, she was stubborn about it. She wasn't changing her mind, no matter what anyone said.

Nabooru   

"I sometimes forget how stubborn Zora can be," Nabooru chortled, entertaining herself with the thought of the circumstances before them. "I won't deny you your desire to help. I'll keep matters secureon my end. You and Prince Sidon continue on ahead to the Castle. They'll need both of you now."

Sidon  

"Apologize to Princess Zelda for me, that I could not greet her as is proper?" A dazzling smile is offered as Sidon turns, nodding to Mipha as he says, "I wager I beat you there."

He then breaks into a full blown sprint, powerful legs propelling him like an arrow out the gates and towards the river, never breaking his stride into he dives into the cool water and hurtles away in the dark depths.

Marie

Marie was almost too slow. She managed to jump onto @Sidon 's back, mainly hoping he kept going so she could get there quickly herself. She kept her mouth closed, praying silently that he didn't ask questions.

Mipha  

Mipha was a little surprised at the woman hopping on her brother's back, but didn't speak about it. She decided to  shake her head, smiling as she ran after her brother. "Not if I have something to say about it!" She shouts after him, diving in after him and bursting forward, unburdened by the same weight he carried.

Zelda  

Zelda sighs even as she strides quickly through the fortress, moving with her assigned guards to a private room. "Let none in, even if it be Link himself, by order of the Princess. I require absolute silence."

Impa  

unfolds from the sparse shadows of the room once the guards close the door behind the royal.

"...A seal has collapsed, your Highness. What's caused it and what's come through is still unknown."

The Sheikah had always been nearby, just doing what she does best: unseen, unheard work.

Zelda  

The princess nods to Impa, not at all surprised at the woman's presence. "I felt it as well, but did not know for certain. I have had little time to myself of late, and never without eyes just beyond the wall awaiting my return." She looks up at Impa, asking, "Do you know aught of this attack on the castle yet?"

Impa  

Impa shakes her head slowly,

"Not as yet, Princess. There were no fluctuations or warnings at all. This is particularly worrying..."

She looks at the wall in the direction of the Castle, her mouth twisting briefly in a frown.

"No warnings means a town full of our people walking around and through ground zero... How many people were caught unawares..?"  The last she said is mumbled almost too quietly to hear.

Rome  

Rome wasn't sure how he would get to the castle town, so he managed to get his sword and headed straight there himself, eventually actually managing to nab himself a wild horse, which would have easily knocked him off the first couple of times,  but he ended up managing it, and headed straight for the town. However, he will likely be late to the party...

Revali  

Revali, however, decided he would use his wings. Usually, he would have something to say in these particular occasions, but he decided it was best to hold his tongue for once. He blasted his way to the Castle town, making it there in a rather impressive amount of time.